Monday, March 10, 2008

Southern Baptists and global warming

If you're not a Baptist, you might not understand all the subtleties of this. But, hey, you might.

I'm a Baptist. Southern Baptist.

And I read today that the Southern Baptist Convention had taken up the global warming cause.

That surprised me.

Let me first clarify things for non-Baptists.

The Southern Baptist Convention is a conglomeration of Southern Baptist churches. And they have a yearly meeting, which is also called the Southern Baptist Convention.

The SBC is both the churches that get together ... and it's the actual get-together of the churches.

Yeah, that's Baptists for you.

Anyway, I was a little surprised to read that the SBC ... the group, not the meeting, which is not until June 10 & 11 in Indianapolis this year ... had taken up the cause of global warming.

Turns out they haven't.

The Associated Press, who seems to be very good at getting it wrong, had a story headlined "Southern Baptists Fight Climate Change."

CNN was closer to the mark: "Southern Baptist leaders shift position on climate change."

So, that's what the AP and CNN say.

What do the Baptists say? That is, the Southern Baptist Convention?

"Not us," says the SBC.

The so-called "Southern Baptist" statement is not an initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention

So, what is it?

It's a paper by a seminary student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. The student is Jonathan Merritt, and his dad is James Merritt, who is a past president of the SBC. It was also signed by Frank Page, current SBC president, as well as Jack Graham, another past president of the SBC.

So, yes, it's true that some big wheels in the SBC signed this thing.

But the Convention hasn't adopted it. And, since they don't meet in convention until June, the SBC couldn't have adopted anything.

If you are interested in what the SBC's current policy is, you can read it here.

And, whether or not the SBC adopts any change in policy on global warming, there's one other thing about Baptists you need to understand.

We really don't care what the SBC says or does. We're Baptists. And we pretty much do what we want.

If the leadership of the SBC gets out of line, we quit sending them money. Works great, by the way.


  1. Basil,

    I'm a former Southern Baptist and was going to post on this with the thought that it was a crazy postion for the SBC to take. Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes the old adage is true, Read More, Post Less. I'm glad I did this time. Take care.

  2. Thanks.

    Oh, and glad to see you back on the Web.

    And I'm so sorry for your loss.

  3. [...] necessarily march in lock step and we certainly don’t allow a few to speak for us all. Basil’s post here Swap This These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new [...]


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