Baptists join diverse faith groups to support mosque-building effort

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by Pergamum, May 31, 2016.

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  1. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    There is a certain irony in highlighting civil disobedience to unjust laws (Daniel, Peter, John) in an argument to support laws that are unjust.

    I am certainly glad that you have admitted that these things are not right. If these are not right, then they are by definition: unjust.

    Where we differ is that I believe that rights come from God, and therefore there is no right to abortion, there is no right to blasphemy, there is no right to sodomy, and there is no right to serve false gods.

    The way I look at it is - if we lose certain benefits that we have gotten in the past, then so be it - Christ is sovereign. I am also not going to support the pornographer's free speech case because I believe doing so would help the Church be able to preach the gospel. They have that "right" under US law as well.
  2. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    As I see it, false worship is an injustice that God and the church are given to deal with. The state can only deal with injustices between men, not between men and God. Too many Godly people were killed during the interregnum by states claiming that their form of worship was just. The remedy for false worship is the right preaching of the Word of God, not forcing people into the church at gunpoint.
  3. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    The State has a compelling interest in establishment of religion. Always had, always will. You will never escape that fact, no matter how much you will try to plead a secular understanding of "separation of Church and State". The LDS folks for instance are very well aware of the fact that they had no First Amendment protection for their religion, and so were virtually outlawed until they changed their doctrine.

    No one is asking anyone to go to church at gunpoint (well, I am not, but I guess you never know!). However, the Westminster Larger Catechism tells us our duties under the Second Commandment. Please see the bold section.

    WLC Q. 180: What are the duties required in the second commandment?
    The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God; and vowing unto him; as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing all false worship; and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

    Scripture Proof: Deut 7:5 - But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.

    With that I shall bow out of this conversation - I am glad to have this kind of vigorous debate, but I must log out :). Peace.
  4. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes, he did.

    That is an excellent description of the godly serving the true, best interest of a ruler while remaining faithful to God. For Daniel to pray to the king would have been injurious to Darius himself. It is injurious and unloving to lay a snare of any type in front of our neighbors.

    If a Muslim asks you directions to the nearest mosque, say, "There is only destruction in that path." You have loved your neighbor.
  5. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, there are two issues at stake.

    When I say, "The Church shouldn't be doing this" you seem to read it as, "He doesn't believe in freedom of religion." You are confusing the two issues.

    Just because Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead" doesn't mean that Jesus was not in favor of burying the dead.

    But the Church has a higher calling.

    I believe in other civil institutions and civil values as well, but that doesn't mean I should muster the resources of the Church in support of them.

    For example: participating in jury duty is a fine civic duty, but if a parachurch used the tithes of the Church to man juries all over the country, this would be to lose the main focus of the Church, which is to preach the Gospel and Disciple the Nations.

    There are many ways to protect the rights of church-goers, without aiding and comforting the enemy. I John 1:10 tells us to not even to greet false teachers, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them." and yet 3 million dollars of baptist tithes are being used to run the ERLC which is doing much more than greeting and welcoming Muslim imams into our communities, but are using the Church's resources to do so.

    Again...if you want to pursue a legal case in support of these Muslims, do so as a private citizen, not with the funds that could be funding the Gospel going to other lands.
  6. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Again, when Southern Baptists have run children's homes, hospitals, liberal arts colleges and all kinds of other things with Cooperative Program funds, (from which mission and seminary education funding is drawn) don't be surprised when you find them doing something else with their money like the ERLC that isn't directly tied to missions and evangelism. In my state, If I recall correctly some 3 million dollars per year is spent on the state convention's liberal arts college. Needless to say, given the makeup of the SBC, the Cooperative Program also funds Semi-Pelagian seminary professors, church plants and missionaries.

    That's denominationalism, basically. Various Baptists opposed it 100 years ago. Today various groups of them go by the names of Missionary Baptists and independent Baptists, (including independent Sovereign Grace Baptists), as well as associations like the ABA. (Landmarkers tended to break away from the SBC due to disagreement over creeping denominationalism of this sort as much as they did because of departures from the "old landmarks.") In other parts of the country, this kind of robust denominationalism fell apart for conservatives that had to come out of liberalizing denominations. To some degree it has been replaced by parachurch organizations that aren't under the oversight of particular churches or denominations.

    I'm not arguing with your philosophy. But it is simply and fundamentally at odds with the philosophy of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Program (CP) mechanism by which all of their entities and ministries on the associational, state and national level have been funded for almost 100 years. Those who come around to your way of thinking will need to leave the SBC to follow it consistently. To expect the SBC to drop all those other things in our lifetime is about as realistic as expecting the PCUSA to turn into the OPC in our lifetime and apologize for pushing out Machen and Mcintire.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, I suggested to several pastors last week that they ought to pull out of the SBC and just go Independent instead of feeling uneasy over giving to things they didn't believe were foremost.... and one took great offense at the suggestion. There is "brand loyalty" among many Southern Baptists and some would never pull out, even as they remain unhappily within and complain about the Cooperative Program and NAMB and how they use funds. It is like I am asking them to do the unthinkable.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Some will either never pull out or won't pull out now because SBC members get 50% off of the tuition at any of the six SBC seminaries. Many also think that the IMB is the best mission org of all time. The idea of having to go out and raise support is foreign to them.

    Plus, the current issues pale in comparison to what was going on 30 years ago. So the idea of pulling out over this looks crazy to those who remember how it was when the liberals were in charge, even if they are disappointed in Moore.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Is the First Amendment for Americans less important than religious freedoms for Muslims to Moore?
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    A. ERLC does not protest when Trump rally attendees are attacked in their own backyard. They fail to defend the 1st Amendment.
    B. ERLC takes great pains to support muslims desiring to build mosques due to freedom of religion.
    C. ERLC leader tweets about Jesus being an illegal alien and supports a leftist and progressive immigration policy
    D. ERLC is part of an immigration roundtable financed by the leftist and progressive rich dude Soros.
    E. Moore tweets against Trump and about Trump speaking at a Christian university.
    F. Moore is silent about Bernie Sanders speaking at a VERY SAME Christian university.
    G. ERLC takes tithes of Southern Baptist churches (1.68% or over 3 million) to do this work.
    H. ERLC's stated mission purpose is to "assist churches" but they are now focused on assisting Muslims.

    Conclusion: ERLC is partisan and political rather than merely "gospel" oriented and should be disbanded.
  13. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    A thought on the Sabbath and religious liberty:

    Currently Russell Moore and the ERLC of the Southern Baptist Convention are making efforts to defend the religious liberties of mosques, and thus, there are many baptists stating that Christianity was never the law of the land nor was America ever conceived as a Christian nation and that our country's ideals demand total religious pluralism and not merely non-preference for any of the Protestant sects through taxation.

    Sabbath laws ("blue laws") were in effect until about 1970, and most states required most businesses to close on Sunday. Why were Sabbath laws seen as never violating the 1st Amendment. Were these Sabbath laws appropriate? Don't they assume a Christian basis for civil society?

    Was this an oversight or a Christian prejudice that we did not give equal weight to the same "sacred" time of Friday mosque prayers? Or was it assumed that Christianity (though not State-Sponsored forms of such) and Christian principles would rule our land?
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    That's a good question, and it illustrates the tension in a pluralistic society that has no official religion, even though the society was strongly influenced by a particular religion for a long time. BTW in Louisiana those laws persisted until the early 80s. When I was a boy, about the only stores that were open on Sunday were pharmacies and convenience stores, most if not all of which sold gasoline. In some areas, you still can't do things like buy alcohol on Sunday.

    Even though there are generally no blue laws anymore, government offices and many others are closed on Sunday and Christmas. The calendar we use is a Christian calendar and so on. It is a reminder of what Francis Schaeffer called a "Christian base" in the sense that American culture was significantly influenced by Christianity even if it was never really "Christian" at any time in an official sense and even though many of the founders were not orthodox Christians. But there was never any mechanism in American law (especially on the national level) to ban false religions. There is no standard by which the state can adjudicate the question. Among conservative evangelicals today, including "Calvinistic" ones, broadly speaking, there is sharp disagreement over basic issues like justification, sanctification, and apparently the Trinity, with respected churchmen saying that others are either guilty of heresy or are far down the slippery slope toward it. If Christians themselves can't agree on these issues, what role could the government have?

    That being said, a generic Protestantism was basically the unofficial official religion of the US until about the 1950s or early 1960s. (One reason why the Catholic school system was set up was because the public schools were considered to be Protestant.) This started breaking down with the court decisions banning school prayer and similar things. (Now if you had school prayer, it would include prosperity gospel heretics coming in and offering "Christian prayer". The apostasy is much too far along to go back to that kind of generic "Christianity.")

    JFK's candidacy was controversial partly out of prejudice and partly due to the fact that up to that time (pre-Vatican II) Rome had not affirmed religious liberty. But by that time, the idea that even a Protestant was a Christian first and an American second probably would have been widely viewed as anti-American. The controversy was largely over once it became clear that JFK was an American first.

    Prohibition and its failure surely played a role too, since it was a cause that most Protestants of the day, liberal and conservative, promoted enthusiastically. (Sure, there was Machen et al, but that was a very small percentage of Protestants.) One reason why the KKK was so popular in the 20s, even in the North and West, was because it promised to maintain Protestant supremacy and curb Catholic influence.

    Christians and other cultural conservatives have drawn one line in the sand after another and have pretty much lost every time. Basically, religious freedom is the last refuge, the last defense against the sexual revolution. If the ERLC and similar organizations are seen to really only be out for the freedom of certain types of Christians, it will be seen as a sham. For various reasons, probably a significant majority of liberals, moderates and the indifferent view the pleas for religious liberty as a sham anyway, but the conservative evangelicals, Catholics and others are hoping for some favorable court decisions lest religious organizations be forced to perform SSM, hire homosexuals, drop all standards on sexual behavior of employees and students and so on.

    Going back to the Baptist leader John Leland in American history, if not before, there is long established precedent for Baptists favoring religious freedom for all to worship, no matter their religion. (My understanding is that Isaac Backus thought religious liberty should only be for Protestants, but his view was widely rejected among Baptists. I think the thinking would have been that a government with that kind of power has the power to flog the likes of Obadiah Holmes, throw John Bunyan in jail and so on. That's why they joined with secularists to get the First Amendment passed.) We may not like it, but that's the way it is. It seems to me that the alternative is some kind of theonomy or a theocracy as envisioned in the original WCF with an official state church. Countries that have maintained an established church are worse off than the USA, with empty churches in most of them. In the UK, the crown is the "Defender of the Faith." How is that working out?

    As an aside, regarding Sunday, almost all of the kinds of Southern Baptists that we've been referring to here, even the "Reformed" ones from places like SBTS, do not agree with the Puritan view of the Sabbath. (Neither do most Presbyterians today, For what it's worth. The PB is hardly representative of the average church member or elder, at least in the PCA.) They think the 4th Commandment was ceremonial. In Presbytery meetings you will commonly hear the old refrain "Calvin bowled on the Sabbath" and so on when a "TR" has the temerity to press a ministerial candidate on his views of the Sabbath. At most many think it means that we are obligated to worship on Sunday if they think it has reference to any specific day at all. After the service you can watch the Super Bowl, work, shop or do whatever you want. So in some sense some of them might indeed say that it was wrong, that it led to hypocrisy, a mere outward conformity and so on, and that it was hardly any more justified than was Prohibition. Those evangelical and conservative Christians that patronize restaurants and go shopping right after church (i.e. the people who have kept the USA from resembling Europe, however much we might disagree with many of their views and practices) sure don't see it as a problem. So a "Christian society" today (in the sense of one dominated by conservative evangelicalism or conservative Protestantism as it is today) wouldn't enact those laws even if they made up 80% of the population and there was no legal bar against it.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Denny Burk made statements about it and was present at that rally. He and Moore are among the most prominent evangelical Never Trumpers. I believe Dr. Mohler has made statements on his podcast about Trump's win basically signaling the end of social conservatism in the GOP, a further sign of decline and so on. (I only end up listening to Mohler once a month or so.) That article is nonsense (and probably agenda-driven nonsense) that was posted on a liberal Roman Catholic website, and I'm not sure what the purpose is in posting it here. The idea that they've been silent is ridiculous.

    If neither Mohler nor Moore said anything specific about that particular rally, it's because there was nothing unique about that rally that hasn't happened in most other Trump rallies.
  16. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  17. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Again, freedom of religion is one thing...using church funds and time to help pagans procure theirs is not the church's job. Over 3 million dollars goes to the ERLC...the Gospel is more important than making sure Muhammad in Texas can pray. They can foot their own bill for that.
  18. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Perg, I agree. Just figured that it his response to the matter we're discussing was worth passing along.

    I increasingly find myself "not at home" in my denomination, regardless of our reformed resurgence.

    For the record: I studied preaching under Dr. Moore at SBTS and have the utmost respect for him as a man of God. I just think he's gotten off-track at the ERLC and I'm not sure what the best thing for him to do is. Truth be told, I'm concerned about several of the SBC leaders we have at present; I think we've put some good men into poorly-chosen, unwisely-appointed roles. How I wish Dr. Moore had simply remained at the seminary and preaching at his church. He'd be much more effective.

    Just my $0.02...recognizing that I'm an SBC pastor of very little consequence in the SBC. :)
  19. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, My thoughts exactly. I feel like some SBC leaders are trying to speak in ways pleasing to the secular left in order to buy them street cred with the liberals for the Gospel.
  20. zsmcd

    zsmcd Puritan Board Freshman

    This is one among many of the reasons why I am leaving the SBC (not to mention paedobaptism).

    All government magistrates impose a religion on those underneath them. Whether it be the religion of humanism, Islam, or Christ; religious "neutrality" is impossible. "Religious freedom" will always be limited in some respect. The question is, how much? A nation whose citizens in general recognize the Lordship of Christ will by virtue of their love for God and neighbor, oppose the building of temples of Molech, Allah, or any other demonic false god. At the moment, we do not live under such a nation. If its citizens then, want to try and oppose the Gospel by keeping us from building our city "church buildings" then so be it. Christ has no need of bricks, stones, and steeples to build his Kingdom. I am not saying that building are not helpful, but we by definition are opposing the Gospel when we support the building false idols for the sake of our own right to hard infrastructures.

    This is a waste of time, energy, people, and resources that could be used to advance the Gospel. "Religious freedom" is not the Gospel whether or not our constitution or history of our nation agrees.
  21. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Unlike you, I don't know the man, but I wasn't surprised in the least when he was appointed to the ERLC.

    I don't have much time, but I'll say this--As you may know, before entering the pastorate, he was a staffer for a Mississippi Democratic Congressman, albeit one that was pretty conservative by today's standards. He doesn't favor smaller government, etc. and is more concerned with civil rights and racial issues than the average Southern Baptist. His dissertation on the Kingdom of God (later published by Crossway as "The Kingdom of Christ") was basically about providing a theological basis for political activism as opposed to Spirituality of the Church, R2K or dispensational (e.g. MacArthur) type views that would have the church stay out of politics to one degree or another.

    Some of his SBTS proteges were hammering away at immigration being a "gospel issue" several years ago when they were pushing a resolution at the SBC, leaving one with the idea that to oppose their particular policy is "anti-gospel." (How could it be otherwise, if "comprehensive immigration reform" is really is a "gospel issue?") And this was when Dr. Moore was still at SBTS. I'm pretty sure he was part of the Soros funded evangelical immigration round table even then. (If he wasn't, Land/the ERLC was and Moore supported their efforts.)

    If anyone has the idea that Moore has "changed" or whatever, they weren't paying close attention earlier. His actions as head of the ERLC have basically been what any observer would have expected given his background and views.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  22. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    What a hypocrite then if he holds that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    Do you have a link to prove this?
  23. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    I keep seeing smug little posts (even from RC Sproul Jr) about Moore's "Mic Drop Moment" at the Convention, but people are confusing two issues; (1) freedom of religion (which is good), with (2) the existence and authority of an extra-ecclesiastical commission on ethics for the SBC, the ERLC, and its almost 4 millions dollars it uses to push these agendas, even while almost 1,000 IMB missionaries are under-funded (which is awful).

    And even if you critique the second point, they come back with the first point and accuse you of not believing in freedom of religion (a lot of these responses seem like its simple pandering to the American masses by evoking American ideals as they spend 3.8 million NOT on missions or churches).

    Priorities people! Let private lawyers champion these causes. Let the Church be the Church! Preach the Word and Disciple the Nations...not sign amicus briefs for Muhammad and his kin.
  24. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    He worked for Gene Taylor in some capacity. This was over 20 years ago. Rep. Taylor was more conservative than many Republicans back then and was pro life, voted to impeach Clinton, etc. Because of the life issue, I doubt Moore is a Democrat now.

    Has Moore said that he'd vote for Hillary? I thought he said he couldn't vote for either. (I won't be voting for either.) If that's right, where's the hypocrisy?

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  25. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If he aided a Pro-choice candidate or the representative from a party with an official platform of being Pro-choice.

    Also, if he condemned Liberty University for letting Trump speak, but is totally silent about Bernie Sanders speaking at the same place. Or, if his hometown of Louisville is the center of many chaotic Trump protests, and he says nothing at all about freedom of speech there. He is unequal in his agendas that he is pushing. And he is pushing an agenda and this makes me suspicious.
  26. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Hi Chris,

    I will readily concede that I was unfamiliar with a good deal of his stances politically until fairly recently (to be blunt, I've never paid much attention to the ERLC until Dr. Moore began working there; and I'm not at all convinced that the SBC ought to have the ERLC). I don't recall very much of that at all in his preaching class. I do recall a blood-earnestness about the gospel, the Scriptures, and helping us to become the best interpreters and expositors of the Sacred Writ that we could be. I was stretched further in that class than in any other class ever, save one. I learned how to preach Christ there.

    For that reason, I greatly appreciate Dr. Moore. I would not be the man or the preacher I am today apart from his instruction; and for that, I will forever be indebted to him.

    That being said, though I respect him as a preacher of the gospel, I vigorously disagree with several of his current emphases, as per my previous posts in this thread.

    Thanks for engaging in this discussion. It's been helpful for me.

    Grace to you.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  27. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  28. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

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