Saturday, March 31, 2007

Is the Southern Baptist Convention Knowingly Planting Emerging Churches?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—"How about beer with your Bible?"

That's the question NBC's "Today" show host Campbell Brown asked March 4 on national television to introduce a report titled "Beer and Bibles: New Churches Lure Young Members."

Featured in the two-and-a-half minute segment was Darrin Patrick, founder and senior pastor of The Journey in St. Louis—a Southern Baptist church with ties to the emerging church movement, the North American Mission Board and the Missouri Baptist Convention, which loaned the church $200,000 to help start a church planting center.

The emerging church movement is diverse and difficult to generalize. NBC spotlighted The Journey's "Theology at the Bottleworks," a church-sponsored discussion group in a bar where alcohol is available to attendees.

"This isn't just a brew pub, it's a church," NBC reporter Jennifer London said, describing the room where the meeting is held. The "church" in reality is the Schlafly Bottleworks where The Journey reaches out to younger adults who might not consider going to a traditional church setting.

Patrick told Baptist Press he abstains from alcohol and that The Journey "doesn't personally encourage nor corporately promote the use of alcohol."

However, the reporter emphasized the link.

For full article click here.

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