Anyone doing a Google search will find as many or more photos of Klansmen carrying American flags than Confederate ones. To single out the Confederate flag for this type of denunciation is pure anti-Confederate bigotry and politically correct posturing. It is un-Christian. We need to either keep both flags or ban them both.
The Southern Baptist church has apologized for its role in slavery, which is laudable. As someone who considers the Confederate flag a part of my Southern heritage, I want to add my voice yet again to those who say slavery was wrong. We shouldn’t abolish the Baptist Church because it once supported slavery, or because of the misguided actions of a few idiots. But we shouldn’t stop displaying the Confederate flag on these grounds, either. The same rules which apply to the flag should apply to the Baptist church; either keep both or abolish both.
The fact is that today you will be hard-pressed to find a Baptist who supports slavery. You will have an equally hard time finding someone who displays the Confederate flag who supports slavery. To single out the Confederate flag in this manner is immoral.
I don’t believe race-hustler Russell Moore -- a really nasty guy -- or the delegates to the Southern Baptist conclave represent the views of the majority of Southern Baptists, whether the issue is the Confederate flag, economic migrants and potential terrorists from Syria, amnesty for criminal illegal immigrants, Donald Trump, or what have you. I say this as a former Baptist who knows lots of very sensible and very outraged Southern Baptists. And I find Moore’s attempts to change the church to make it morre appealing to the Starbucks set and Third-Worlders, such as his recent insistence that Christ was “dark-skinned,” to be offensive and without Biblical or factual support.
So how did these left-wingers come to be in charge of the Southern Baptist Church? Most are adherents to the Saddleback Purpose Driven Church Cult, and have secretly and systematically wormed their way into positions of authority. In other words, these people have intentionally stolen the Southern Baptist Church. Interestingly enough, no person is a better example of that cult’s techniques of mind and church control than the new Southern Baptist president, Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, but more on him later.
The entire Purpose Driven Church Cult movement is based on the notion that church leaders should seize power, eliminate congregational control, and bend churches to their will, presumably to what they see as God’s will as well. In many cases God's first wish is that these pastors receive an incredibly large salary. This is what has happened to the Baptists, and why you see them passing resolutions that many rank-and-file members find to be outrageous.
The methodology of the Saddlebackers is no secret, although they sometimes go back and erase their tracks. They have published their roadmap for pastors and people like Russell Moore to follow in an effort to subvert the Gospel and seize control of churches.
How can you know if your church is being controlled by Saddlebackers or their ilk? Some of the main signs are the forced use of "praise choruses" over proper hymns, a "New Member's" Sunday School class, elimination of regular business meetings, tithing obsession, and use of words like "worship center," "campus," and "unchurched." The New Member classes are designed to isolate new members from the general church population so they can be indoctrinated by the seeker-sensitive leadership. (This blog post quotes quite a bit from various Saddleback and Willow Creek sources and is worth reading).
To understand the techniques used by the Saddlebackers, I urge the reading of this post, which reprints a gloating (and infuriating) article written by a church "transitioner" who stole a church. Or this brochure. I also suggest this article, which describes the way Steve Gaines took control of the remnants of Bellevue Baptist Church, where attendance is down dramatically since his arrival.
Now, a little about Steve Gaines. After arriving at Bellevue, Rev. Gaines was visited by a man in his late twenties, the son of Bellevue associate pastor. This man told Gaines that as a young teen his father had engaged in sexual intercourse with him on a regular basis over 12 to 18 months until the teen insisted that it stop. The man told Gaines that he did not allow his father to be around his own children unsupervised, and he did not believe his father should be counseling victims of sexual abuse, which was this pastor's role at Bellevue. Gaines spoke with the pastor and has said the man admitted to some type of improper conduct with his son, although Gaines did not specify exactly what that admission was.
So what did Gaines do? Well, I'll give you three guesses:
Guess Number One: He fired the associate pastor.
Guess Number Two: He notified the police.
Guess Number Three: Not a blessed thing.
The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing, although Gaines said he did launch an internal investigation, during which which the man continued to carry out his church duties of counseling victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
When this outrage was finally discovered six months later, Gaines' excuse was that he had understood that his predecessor, Adrian Rodgers, had known of the problem and approved of the pastor staying on. I absolutely don't believe this, but let's play this out. Gaines' position is that if it's okay with Adrian Rodgers for pastors to have sex with their teenage sons then it's okay with him. It's as if Gaines held there is no higher moral authority than Adrian Rodgers, which is ridiculous.
At Bellevue, Gaines has operated according to the Saddleback formula with zeal. He has declared from the pulpit that those who didn't fully support him should just leave any position of leadership, such as Sunday School teacher. His tithing obsession is such that he's suggested that God might strike members dead if they fail to tithe. He's refused to follow church bylaws or to provide copies of them to members, and made it clear that he doesn't believe in business meetings. And of course he's driven off those who don't agree with him, some of whom have created blogs to vent their discontent, such as the erased-but-remembered Saving Bellevue blog, and the inactive New BBC Open Forum. These are interesting reading, to say the least. These blogs are inactive today because these former members have moved on; Gaines was successful in seizing control and running off the opposition.
I should note that there is nothing inherently wrong with some of the things the Saddlebackers are doing, and if people can be reached with rock bands and coffee-house services, great. The sin is that these changes are being made secretly. If church members vote during a Wednesday night business meeting that the music director should replace traditional hymns with insipid praise choruses, then the music director should do exactly that. But for a pastor or music director to engage in this type of secret transitioning without the express request of the congregation is a sin. It's church theft.
For people like Russell Moore, Steve Gaines, and the Saddlebackers, it's all about money and market share. If traditional hymns aren't popular among certain demographic groups they believe are needed for growth, throw them out and replace them with mindless chanting (ignoring, of course, the needs of the current members). If the word "church" isn't trendy, call it a "campus." The Confederate flag has fallen out of favor, so they they got their properly indoctrinated chanters to pass a resolution denouncing it in hopes of gaining favor with the liberal media.
The Southern Baptist Convention is now led by a man who knowingly kept a child-molesting pastor on his staff as a counselor to victims of abuse for six months, and only let him go after a public outcry. The morally bankrupt people who elected this man had the audacity to tell the world that it's wrong to honor the memory of our ancestors and that we have a duty to throw open our borders to economic migrants, some of whom are bound to be terrorists.
I'll not take advice on morality from this depraved bunch.