Skip to comments.For Growing Numbers of Baptists, Pope Francis is Drawing Admiration
Posted on 02/14/2014 7:17:17 AM PST by marshmallow
Atlanta Pastor Barrett Owen said months of continuous news about Pope Francis I and his concern for the least of these inspired him to go public with his growing admiration for the Roman Catholic leader. Hes not the only evangelical who values the new pontiffs approach.
A Baptist preacher in Georgia said months of exposure to television and online news reports about Pope Francis I just finally got to him.
And thats a good thing, said Barrett Owen, pastor of National Heights Baptist Church in Atlanta.
It seemed like he had a critical mass of news stories that just resonated with me, Owen said. He consistently overwhelms me how determined he is to give such a positive face to Christianity.
Contributing to that media mass were articles and blogs published by agencies like Religion News Service and Christianity Today, often extolling the humility and least-of-these approach to ministry of the worlds most visible Christian leader.
So what did Owen do? He added to the deluge of evangelicals-who-love-the-pope commentary by penning a Feb. 7 blog on the topic for ABPnews/Herald.
Titled #popecrush after the trending Twitter hashtag for social media users infatuated with Pope Francis, the blog starts right off with a list of 10 things Barrett said he admires about the pontiff.
They include Francis choosing to ride in compact cars instead of limos, sneaking out of the Vatican to secretly visit homeless people and refusing to condemn homosexuals.
The 10 items I listed in just seconds, he said in a telephone interview. They just came off the top of my head.
(Excerpt) Read more at abpnews.com ...
Cute, but that doesn’t answer the question. If you’re unable to formulate an answer I won’t press you on it.
But I do encourage you to do your own thinking with the help of the Holy Ghost. You will attain nothing of value without the Holy Ghost.
Southern Baptists don’t teach that...they teach that the Holy Spirit imparts to the believer what they need to understand from their readings of the scripture...that scripture isn’t understood from “private interpretation”; that is to say, not from the natural man, but rather by the light of the Holy Ghost that resides in each believer.
All believers are at different levels in their relationship with God. The Holy Spirit understands this and reveals the deep things of God to each child as needed.
My husband (raised Baptist, now more Orthodox) once asked me, years ago, what I would do if the Pope made a ruling that direct contraception (intentional impairing the natural fertility of an act of sexual intercourse) was okey-dokey. As I remember it, my answer was along these lines:
Ugh. Nightmare scenario. Ain't gonna happen. But if it did , that's what I'd do.
And this is what God would do!
CLICK AND ENJOY!
Scroll about 3/5 of the way down this page to see it in context.
There is no direct Biblical teaching against Onanism per se, only that Onan was killed by God for withholding his semen to make an heir for his dead brother. Onan was a son of Judah. From Judah’s line, an heir would come; the one that would bear the Messiah. That the spiritual Dynamics were such God would take such a direct hand, as noted by the writer, Moses, should cause the biblical student to take pause. However, as an event from which formal teachings against contraception and masturbation are derived, that seems a stretch beyond what is already in the Mosaic levitical texts.
Is this passage of scripture the source of the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception?
In my experience, every Scriptural interpretation, no matter how contradictory to competing interpretations, is proffered with the explanation that it is was arrived at by the light of the Holy Ghost that resides in each believer.
He is integral in my life.
So this was not a distinctive Catholic "thing". All of Christendom --- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox --- had understood for 2 millennia what was going on in Genesis 38, and had understood that God had instituted procreation as one of the goods of marriage, and hated what Onan had done to reject and sabotage His fruitful design for sexuality.
I don't think God would allow the entire Christian community and all its various sub-communities to be misled about this for 2 millennia, only to vouchsafe His real, holy, contraceptive intentions to the Anglicans, of all people.
[Sorry,Anglicans, I love ya but I had to say that.]
To answer your second question: the Catholic Church bases her teaching on Divine and Natural Law. Divine Law tells us from Genesis to Revelation that marital union was designed to be both unitive and fruitful, that it is a good when it is, and a bitter misfortune when it is not. There is not a single instance in the OT where births are not identified as blessings, and where sterility is not identified as a sign of people rejecting God, or God chastising His people.
Natural Law tells us that it is ethical to use drugs, devices and surgery to restore and strengthen natural physiological function, and unethical to intentionally impair or injure normal, natural function.
IOW, it's not virtuous to sabotage the healthy body. We are not the masters of the source of life. We are the ministers of God's design.
Do you believe that human sexuality embodies God's design?
The video was cute. Then we started watching ten hours of “sweeping pink noise.”
I read the entire page. That really doesn’t lend itself to subjective interpretation just individual responsibility. He also adds a disclaimer of the risk but says it’s better than the alternative.
And the Baptists have it right...But what's interesting is that with all this independence to read scripture, Baptists worldwide do not stray far from each other in their final conclusion of the meaning of scripture...Doesn't it seem odd that that takes place without a magisterium to lead them???
You have a little tiny Magisterium (relatively speaking) which says, 'believe us' as compared to millions upon millions of people who independently study the scriptures who come up with a pretty much unified understanding which is miles and miles away from the understanding of your little Magisterium...
What is “sweeping pink noise”?
It’s an electronically-generated background filler, like white noise only (I suppose) mixed with a little red noise. According to the comments, it’s a sleep aid. There are also recordings of gray noise and violet noise.
‘Violet Noise’ is also the name of some kind of feminist rock band.
I can’t understand the lyrics, so I don’t know whether they’re feminist or not.
If believers A, B, and C each has an individual responsibility to interpret Scripture, and they, after praying for enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, reach three mutually incompatible conclusions, it is not at that point possible to say whether all of them are wrong or whether one (at most) is right. This leaves you with the same result as "subjective interpretation", doesn't it?
This "Baptist distinctives" web page makes the sensible rule that "Ones interpretation should be compared to those of mature Christians past and present for possibly gaining a better understanding"-- which gives us echoes of a sensus fidelium or "hermeneutic of continuity" type of discernment--- good idea, says I.
What ever each “private” level a believer may be at in the eyes of God...all Christians who believe in Christ should hold at their root faith a certain core set of truths that are unwavering and are shared by all in the main. Two are key...the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as being Lord by an oral confession of faith, and a belief in the heart that God has raised him from the dead. A repentance from a former sinful life must be evident and baptism by water and by spirit are also very necessary. There are several different creeds from antiquity, such as the Nicene creed which sum up those core values very nicely. Yes, I’ve attended Baptist churches in my life that would recite those creeds in their worship services quite regularly and several were printed on the inside binders of their Baptist hymnals. So, whatever...”private pagan” interpretations you think some Baptists indulge in, you have no idea of the dimensions of the core shaping values that God is writing on many of their hearts.
After all, if understanding scripture is truly of no “private interpretation”, then are we truly to trust even fallible human Popes to foster spiritual wisdom when God has himself said “and I shall write my laws in their inner parts.”? True, God has set various men in their places of authority, but he is also known to smite shepherds and scatter sheep when the shepherds themselves have gone astray. What shall sheep do when their shepherds have lost their vision?
MacArthur has built a career on repeating lies and half-truths and it's, "good stuff"? Dang
That just proves people who have been down so long that it looks like up to them will fall for any line of bogus trash that encourages their continuing to go along to get along.
What strikes me as odd, is your notion that Baptists are don't stray far in doctrine. Surely you realize that Baptists differ amazingly in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is essential in Christian discipleship.
I'm not talking about an individual having an individual opinion, or others, through human weakness, failing to live up to Baptist principles. (You'll find that everywhere, including of course in Catholicism.) I'm talking about whole churches veering this way and that on even the most basic questions of faith and morals.
Now I'm going to make a big list here. I don't want you to think I'm doing this triumphalistically as a Catholic--- far from it. Many of the problems you-all have, we-all (Catholics) have, too. May God have mercy on us all, strip us of pride, humble us and bring us more fully into His light. But I am refuting your assumption that Baptists, by and large, believe the same things.
You've got predestinarian Baptists and Free Will Baptists (or, if you will, Calvinist and Arminian): a divide straddling the most fundamental areas of Christian belief.
You've got General Baptists who say Christ's atonement extends to all people, while the Particular Baptists believe that it extended only to the elect.
You've got Baptists who believe that there have always been Baptist churches, in unbroken succession from the time of Christ. You've got others who insist there was a general apostasy (at the death of the last Apostle? At the time of the early councils and synods which set the canon of Scripture? At the time of the Council of Nicaea?) and that the whole of Christendom lay in error until Baptist Truth was recovered at the time of the 17th century English Separatists.
You've got Baptists who will admit into adult membership only people who have had believer's baptism, and others who do not require baptism for membership.
Regarding the Second Coming of Christ, you've got Baptist amillennialism, dispensationalism, premillennialism, and postmillennialism.
You've got Baptists who insist that every matter of faith and practice must be explicitly ordained in the Bible, either in command or by example: "If it's not commanded, it's forbidden."
You've got others that say it's OK if it is harmonious with Scripture and not explicitly prohibited by Scripture "If it's not forbidden, it's permitted."
The above has an impact on every single thing Baptists can or cannot do: do you build a church meeting house? Where is that in the Bible? Or do you meet only in believer's homes (house churches)?
Do you use musical instruments for sacred music? Acoustic or electric? Or none at all? Do you consider any kind of prayerful lyrics suitable for church music, or only paraphrases of Scripture, or only Scripture's ipsissima verba? Does your choir wear choir robes, or not? (Such questions split churches!)
Praying in tongues? Must not? May not? May? Can? Must?
Non-church-members can participate in the Lord's Supper services? Yes, sometimes, no?
Which translations of the Bible can be used? King James only?
Can women be deacons and pastors? (CBF yes, SBC, no.)
Can members be divorced and remarried? Can pastors be divorced and remarried? Twice? Three times?
(The divorce rate for self-identified Baptists --- 29% ---is higher than for any other major religious group in the U.S.)
Should Baptists support (Gay) Marriage Equality? (Alliance of Baptists, yes; most others, %$#$$@$ no!)
The Southern Baptist Convention (1971) adopted pro-choice (abortion) policies OK'ing abortion as a decision of the woman or the couple. Just like NARAL. Ten years later, the SBC came roaring back to a strongly pro-life position, but other Baptist churches are all over the board: some say intentional abortion is OK to preserve maternal health; some say it's OK for rape or incest; some say it's OK for prenatal abnormalities; most say the exact position on abortion is for each local congregation to determine. Pro-choice for churches!
The point here is not that some Baptists have (individually) divergent opinions. It is that whole Baptist churches, whole fleets of Baptist Churches, have official stands that diverge widely, and there is no standard one can point to that would be recognized as a authority.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the handiest summary of the teachings of the Magisterium. Dissident-as-Hell Catholics can be shown to be wrong by the Catechism. Dissident-as-hell Catholic *Bishops* can be shown to be wrong by the Catechism. Theres nothing comparable by which you can prove that a Baptist is just plain wrong. Or at least, just plain not Baptist.
Once again, no triumphalism here. It gives me no pleasure to point out weaknesses or failings in churches --- yours, mine, or anybody's.
May God bless you, and have mercy on us all!
Just curious, are you a Baptist?