What’s this inconsistent use of autonomy, anyway?

"We will see next month what the SBC Executive Committee does with their in-house Credentials Committee that has a process for receiving complaints about churches. I’m presuming that someone filed a complaint about the church at which Paige Patterson is scheduled to speak. But, if one of those autonomous local churches (the SBC has 47,456 of them) decides to hire a convicted, confessed, or credible sexual abuser or decides to invite a high profile (or no profile) SBC leader or former leader to speak, exactly how is it that autonomy may be inconsistently applied?" - SBC Voices

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Bert Perry's picture

Sometimes we make these things too complicated.  The SBC split from the American Baptists/Northern Baptists, and each denomination had their house rules.  Abolitionists were not welcome in the SBC, and churches that welcomed abolitionists would be expelled.  In the NBC, the same applied for slaveowners and others involved in the slave trade.  NBC got it right, SBC got it wrong, but in both cases, a clear distinction of acceptable fellowship was made.

Closer to today, the SBC has (rightly) decided that churches that allow women to preach are not welcome in the SBC, among other things.  Again, house rules.  The denomination simply has to make the decision about what to do with churches that tolerate pastors who have abused parishioners, and what to do about pastors who totally screw up interactions with victims.

With some exceptions based on very clear repentance and restitution, my prayer is that SBC leaders will start showing churches the door when they tolerate this kind of thing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.