Sunday, February 25, 2007

Southern Baptist Asks if Conservatism is Better

A top Southern Baptist executive says leaders in the convention should examine the spiritual health of the denomination now that theological conservatives have been in control for several years.

Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist executive committee, said his fellow leaders must look at whether the 16.3 million-member church is now better off.

“Is our convention any better spiritually because biblical conservatives are leading?” Chapman asked Monday during the committee’s winter meeting. “I leave that question for you to answer in the depths of your own heart.”

The conservative resurgence started in 1979, when Southern Baptists, angry about what they saw as the liberal direction of their seminaries, elected a fellow conservative as the convention president. It was a watershed that began a dramatic shift to the right – theologically and politically – in the years that followed.

But in the last few years, the number of baptisms in Southern Baptist churches has reached a low point, and many of the congregations have either not grown or declined in membership.

Also, internal conflicts have arisen over whether Southern Baptists can speak in tongues during worship, among other theological disagreements.

Chapman said that cooperation among Southern Baptists is the “glue that holds us together.” The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant group in the country.

The Associated Press

1 comment:

Pastor R C said...

So what is Chapman suggesting? Are we better off going back to a more liberal SBC?