February 18, 2007

More Nonsense

Earlier this month, I wrote a column entitled “Balderdash.” It responded to an inaccurate attack that Missouri State Representative and Baptist minister Brian Baker recently made on the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. It also dealt with the importance of religious liberty and being willing to working with others.

Now the Missouri Baptist Convention’s publication, the Pathway, has a story about the BGCM and the “First Freedom Dinner” that is just as much nonsense as what Baker made up about the dinner. It continues the same old guilt-by-association attacks that are unethical and illogical. It claims that since the BGCM co-sponsored the event with some liberal organizations, then the BGCM must be “liberal.” Here is a snippet from the piece about comments from Rodney Albert, head of the MBC’s Christian Life Commission:

Albert emphasized that there is no way, after this Jan. 30 linking of arms with a veritable Who’s Who of liberal activist groups, that the BGCM and the CBF of Missouri can claim to be in step with the typical Missouri Southern Baptist who is unmistakably and unashamedly conservative.
Well, let’s take Albert’s guilt-by association logic and put it to the test. Last fall the MBC co-hosted rallies with Missouri Catholics, but that does not mean that Albert and others in the MBC believe the Pope is infallible and pray to Mary and the saints. To claim such would be as nonsensical as Albert’s attacks on the BGCM. We can partner together on some events without agreeing on everything. Baptists should stand up for religious liberty regardless of who may be standing next to us.

These attacks are ridiculous and un-Christlike. Albert even suggested that this event was from the “dark” side (though I am quite confident I would have noticed if Darth Vader had been there). But rather than be honest, Albert and others simply resort to name calling. International Mission Board trustee and conservative Southern Baptist pastor Wade Burleson dealt with this problem earlier this week on his blog. He called this tactic: “Losing The Debate, Call Them Liberal.” That is exactly what is happening. For more thoughts on inaccurate and unethical labeling, check out a column I wrote a couple years ago that is entitled “Do Not Be Afraid … Of The Boogeyman!”

Another issue that is worth noting is that most of these attacks being made on the BGCM and the event are based on second-hand reports (or gossip). Brian Baker briefly stopped by but left before the event started and I do not believe the writer of the Pathway story or any of those quoted in it were present. Instead, they talk about what they heard from others. Considering what the Bible has to say about gossip, perhaps these Christians should be more careful about spreading false rumors.

2 comments:

  1. Jennifer H1:49 PM

    I read the Pathway's story today and had to chuckle throughout. Not sure what it says about our legislators that apparently the "vast majority" were tricked by the invitation. Since I received one of those invitations were the sponsors were clearly mentioned, I thought to myself "so are we trying to say that our legislators can't read?"

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  2. Jennifer: Thanks for the comment and for giving a first-hand report about the invitation. It is a pretty funny observation about what the Pathway seems to be implying about the legislators. Actually, considering some of the crazy stuff that goes on there, it might not be too far off!

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