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Author Topic: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout  (Read 7528 times)

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Offline Glenn63

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Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« on: Tue Feb 19, 2013 - 08:24:59 »
We Baptists are supposed to believe in Scripture as the final authority. We also believe in 'soul liberty' in matters not clearly explained in Scripture. Then separation of church and state is a third concept we claim.  So, have we not derailed when it comes to a discussion of abortion and homosexuality?

Any Christian is going to view abortion in a negative light and find an abhorrence of it.  Yet, do we not infringe upon soul liberty and religious liberty of others when we insist that a human being exists at conception, "traducianism"?  The Baptist Dr. John Gill believed a human being began when God created and formed the soul within the formed body.  The early Southern Baptist theologian Dr. John L.Dagg believed in "traducianism", a human being from conception.  Another early Baptist in the SBC, J. P. Boyce inclined to the "creationist" view of the origin of the soul, hence did not see a human person existing at conception.  So, where do we Baptists get off trying to force a law on the books for others that even we Baptists have not found agreement on? I mean a law claiming a human being exists at conception.  By what arrogance do we force, by law, another woman/family to abide by our religious beliefs on abortion in the first trimester?  If you believe an embryo is a human being at conception, live by that belief but do not force it upon another who holds a different view.  We know what the view of our founders in the USA was: 

“With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and in some cases, from every degree of danger.” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Abortion_(1500-1900)

The advances in medical science have nothing to add about when a human being starts, the union of body and soul!  That is a matter of Bible theology.

On the question of homosexuality, we Baptists make several blunders.

First, using psychological terms and defining those terms in a manner the field of psychology does not use.
Second, acting as experts in the field of sexology or psychology when that is not the role or specialty of the church and they are incompetent in this.
Third, inserting the modern idea of 'homosexual orientation' into the Scriptures when it was never heard of in the first century.
Fourth, while properly condemning sexual perversion, same-sex marriage, debauchery of every form; the church condemns people who while they are homosexual persons, they are not the perverts and sodomites the Bible condemns.  The subject of lesbianism is not found in Scripture, it is read into it. Lesbianism is hard to find in secular sources in Roman antiquity as well.
Fifth, teaching that sexual orientations are a choice which can be changed by an act of will, or unproven counseling techniques is pure quackery!  This has no place in an assembly supposedly based on truth:  "I am the way, the truth and the life".

Sadly, we Baptists, along with other conservative denominations have been swept up with emotionalism over abortion and mixed with homophobia of varying degrees.  It is fast making the church lose its power, which was based on a strict adherence to the Scriptures.  Admittedly this is IMHO.

I suggest we go back to the Bible alone and maybe God will revive us.

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Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« on: Tue Feb 19, 2013 - 08:24:59 »

Offline DaveW

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #1 on: Tue Feb 19, 2013 - 10:01:45 »

...acting as experts in the field of sexology or psychology when that is not the role or specialty of the church and they are incompetent in this.

Since God created sex, we believers should be the EXPERTS on this and not "incompetent."

Quote
Fourth, while properly condemning sexual perversion, same-sex marriage, debauchery of every form; the church condemns people who while they are homosexual persons, they are not the perverts and sodomites the Bible condemns.

How are they NOT? Does this NOT sound like a description of what we now call a "same sex attraction" or "orientation?"

Rom 1.27a and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another,

Quote
The subject of lesbianism is not found in Scripture, it is read into it. Lesbianism is hard to find in secular sources in Roman antiquity as well.
Actually it is here, especially in the context of the verse I just quoted:

Rom 1.26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

In both cases Paul used "natural function" to describe heterosexual married sex. Both men and women abandoned "natural function" for something inferior and perverted.

Quote
Fifth, teaching that sexual orientations are a choice which can be changed by an act of will, or unproven counseling techniques is pure quackery!  This has no place in an assembly supposedly based on truth:  "I am the way, the truth and the life".

Not all sins are a choice of the will but all can be repented of and left behind including same sex attractions. It may not be a simple choice. It may involve dedicated medical and psychological therapy. It may involve supernatural healing. It may involve deliverance from demonic spirits. But it can (and MUST) be done.

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #1 on: Tue Feb 19, 2013 - 10:01:45 »

Offline Glenn63

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #2 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 08:32:13 »
DaveW:
     So, since God created sex, believers are to be the experts, huh?  Well, God created the heart too, so I guess we should go to the seminary for bypass operations by theologians?  Do you not see how young college types are going to react to such reasoning as that?  So, believers are to be the experts on anything God created.  Well, we are to be studied as to the Scripture, but that hardly makes us brain surgeons!
    You quoted Rom. 1:27 "burned in their desire toward one another" and said that was "same sex attraction or orientation". First, "same sex attraction" if you do a google search is a term often found in LDS/Mormon literature, Focus on the Family, NARTH, etc., so I caution anyone against that terminology.  But, as to Rom. 1:27, it is clear Paul was NOT speaking of sexual orientation.  The Greek he used for "burned" occurs nowhere else in Paul's writings which contain much about sexual desire; in fact, the word is nowhere else in the NT.  The Greek he used for "desire" also he has not used anywhere else in his writings, nor is it anywhere else in the NT.  So, we have something very different here, not sexual orientation.  It is like speaking of rape as a sexual orientation.  We can see what Paul saw in his day as we read about Nero:  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/suet-nero.asp
    On lesbianism you wrote:   "natural function" to describe heterosexual married sex" and you are correct as far as you go.  But, look at the statement in Genesis:   " male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply"   Now, the nature, the created natural relationship we see here includes "male genitalia in union with female genitalia" for procreation.  It would equally be "against nature" or "unnatural" to unite genitalia to mouth, or genitalia to anus.  Guess what, woman can and do that with men!  In Rom. 1:27, "likewise" the man can unite male genitalia to mouth and to anus.  It satisfies the wording here.  So, in soul liberty flexibility, I do not object to your thinking this is about lesbianism, but it is not stated to be so.  You must read it into the passage.  John 21:21-23 shows what error we get into when we read into the Scripture what is not said.  In 1 Cor. 4:6 we are told not to go beyond what is written.  So, I will only go so far as to say the women used their genitalia in a manner that was not the created order.
    You concluded:  "Not all sins are a choice of the will but all can be repented of and left behind including same sex attractions."  First you must show homosexual orientation is a sin, which I do not find in Scripture.  I would agree if the "same sex attractions" are experienced by an otherwise heterosexual person it can be changed in some ways; but, that is not true for an exclusively homosexual person changing his nature.  A straight male may at times experience same sex attractions for various reasons, BUT, he is a heterosexual and CANNOT repent of that or change it!  Psychology says homosexual orientation is not a choice and it is permanent, not changeable and great harm can be done trying to change what God has made.  Oh yes, sexual orientations are of God's creation, not man's choice:  “But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use?” (Ro 9:20-21 NRSV)

    Christians, Baptists, must be cautioned on extremism.  Google search and read about: George A. Rekers, Lonnie Latham and Eddie Long.  Then check the study done by the University of Georgia for one:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

Offline DaveW

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #3 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 08:58:28 »
Quote
First you must show homosexual orientation is a sin, which I do not find in Scripture. 
Then I would submit you have an inadequate definition of "sin."

The words in both testaments that are rendered "sin" in english are archery terms meaning to aim at a target and miss. Paul says it this way:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3.23)

So sin is not just willful disobedience but is also attempting to do right but missing it. Is being attracted to someone of the same gender hitting the mark of how God made us?  Does it glorify Him or does it miss the mark and fall short of that goal?

So I say that it is sin.

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #3 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 08:58:28 »

Offline Glenn63

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #4 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 09:46:44 »
Dave, how wrong you are you'll understand.  The older I get, the more conscious I am of my sin!  Sin can be a state of mind, an evil heart, the omitting to do what we know we want to do in imitating Christ.  I am very well aware of sin within me.  But, I must submit when putting forth what I think others must believe and adhere to, I have only one rule, the Scriptures.

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” (1Jo 3:4 ESV)
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1Jo 3:4 AV)

I am quite hesitant to define sin by the holy perfection of the creation in the beginning because of how Jesus dealt with divorce in Matthew:

“He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”” (Mt 19:4-9 ESV)

As sad, depressing and sinful as most divorce is...  it seems that Jesus indicates divorce in some cases is not sin, though it was not so at creation.  So, I am leery of making the perfection of creation the "law" by which sin is defined.  I know the seriousness of sin, "whatsoever is not of faith is sin", but I also know as a Baptist, we are cautious not to lay upon others what is not contained in Scripture(Mt. 23:4):

"God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath justify it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or not contained in it."  Chapter 21 of the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith, 1742.

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #4 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 09:46:44 »



Offline DaveW

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #5 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 10:02:40 »
Glenn - get yourself a Strong's or a Vine's or a Wilson's study of the original language words in scripture.  You may even want more thorough academic works (lexicons) on the ancient Greek and Hebrew languages.

You will see what I am saying about the usage of the words used in the originals.

Sin means to miss the mark.

Offline Glenn63

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #6 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 11:38:58 »
DaveW, your attempt at condescension... is it a frustration in that you can't support your statements from Scripture?  I'll let my posts answer to whether my theological and language reference library is adequate and whether I can use it by God's grace by the Holy Spirit.  To sin is of course from its etymology "to miss the mark" as applied to missing the mark or perfection of God's law, which law we find detailed in Scripture, specifically in the New Covenant for me as a Christian.

If we are to be condescending, maybe you need to do a study in hermeneutics.   rofl  May I suggest "Biblical Interpretation the only right way" by David Kuske, a very conservative Lutheran scholar.  Available at Northwest Publishing House, www.nph.net  I may be Baptist, but I get knowledge from any solid Christian, including you.  I did not realize that those 2 words in Rom. 1:27 are sole occurrences in the NT until researching in order to respond to your remarks.  Debate in a Christian spirit can be edifying if we work at it.

Offline JohnDB

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #7 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 18:41:45 »
Glenn63,


First off,
 Dave W is a Messianic Jew and not really Baptist to start with. But I usually enjoy his contributions to discussions even if I do not agree with him.


Secondly,
What do you mean "we baptists". Baptist is like a generic term to begin with. The largest "baptist" organization is the SBC and it is a convention...no hierarchic structure exists. One cannot speak for the whole. To do so would forego being a Baptist in the SBC.


A SBC Baptist is not definable by definition...meaning that the second you can lay a theological dogma system as a lable to a baptist (other than baptist) that person is no longer a SBC Baptist.


Speaking in tounges or calvinists are two things that SBC Baptists are not. (Never mind those that might hyperventilate stating otherwise)


So when you claim that all SBC Baptists are in favor of something or against something as a matter of course of Law or Legality...I am simply going to ask for proof on that and still state...NOPE...I stay out of ALL Politics as a general principle as I believe I have biblical warrant to do so.


I am neither a republican nor democrat. I see good and evil in both parties...and all politics.


I am thinking that there is a section in the Baptist Faith and Message that states something along those lines as well.
So....as a Baptist, I can claim...do not include me with all of that. I don't do politics or legalities in any shape form or fashion.

Offline Glenn63

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Re: Baptists - Abortion, Gays: Losing clout
« Reply #8 on: Wed Feb 20, 2013 - 19:19:49 »
Hi JohnDB,
     You asked: "What do you mean "we baptists""?

I saw the title of this forum was "Baptist Forum", so unless a poster declared otherwise, I assumed those here claim the name Baptist.   In another sense, I value the Baptist distinctives:  supremacy of the Scritpures as the infallible standard of faith and practice, priesthood of the believer, soul liberty, believers immersion, religious liberty and separation of church and state, autonomy of the local church.  Now, I am a historic Baptist who embraces the 1644/1646 First London Confession of Baptists as best expressing my understanding of Scripture.  I also hold to New Covenant theology, so that fits the 1644/1646 Confession.

I am a full Particular Baptist of old, meaning I embrace all 5 points of free grace, which are in the 1644/1646 Confession pre-dating the Westminster by a few years.  I do have the early SBC theology texts by J. L. Dagg and J. P. Boyce, both of whom are full 5-point free grace men but I have not been a member of any SBC church, only visiting a few times. 

I do not understand your statement:  "Speaking in tounges or calvinists are two things that SBC Baptists are not".  I have an original "The Standard Manual of Baptist Churches" by Edward T. Hiscox, 1890.  On page 57 it states the Philadelphia Confession of 1742 is very generally in use in the south.  That confession teaches a high tone Calvinism, all 5 points.  I know that is not found among many Baptists today, but historically the Baptists in the south were largely free grace men.  Like I say, I am not SBC and do not keep up on their internal battles.


 

     
anything