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Not Your Grandfather's Southern Baptist [SBC poised to elect first black president]
Wall Street Journal ^ | NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY

Posted on 03/02/2012 3:03:58 PM PST by rhema

For months, the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention has been debating whether to drop the word "Southern" from its name. But last week, citing the hassle and expense, leaders abandoned this attempt to scrub the racial overtones from the convention's image. As it turns out, the SBC is poised to do something much more significant.

Meet the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., pastor of New Orleans's 4,500-member Franklin Avenue Baptist Church—and the man who this spring will likely become the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He announced last month that he was putting himself in the running, and the convention's movers and shakers seem almost unanimous in their support.

The SBC was born in 1845 after Baptists from the Northern states refused to appoint slaveholders to missionary posts, and the Southern states decided to break off. Like many Protestant denominations in America that split over the issue of slavery, the Baptists remained separate long after the Civil War. Though the leadership of the SBC supported an end to segregation even before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the denomination's churches in many cases remained hotbeds of racial animus.

It wasn't until 1995 that the SBC issued a resolution on racial reconciliation. As Richard Land of the convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission explains, "Before that, what we had never done was accept responsibility, apologize and ask for forgiveness." Since then, the SBC's black membership has grown from about 337,000 to one million.

Mr. Luter, 55, came to Franklin Avenue Baptist Church 30 years ago from the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, where, after an almost fatal motorcycle accident, he had found God and a calling as a street preacher. (It's why he preaches fast, he explains: "You have to when you're trying to reach people just

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: luter; moralabsolutes; prolife; southernbaptist

1 posted on 03/02/2012 3:04:06 PM PST by rhema
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To: rhema

I don’t know anything about him. Is he conservative?


2 posted on 03/02/2012 3:27:59 PM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: rhema

It’s not MY Baptist church anymore either. And it has nothing to do with race. It’s the wimpiness I’m sick of.


3 posted on 03/02/2012 3:29:00 PM PST by Terry Mross ("It happened. And we let it happen." - Peter Griffin)
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To: dragonblustar
Nor do I, but the article gives some hopeful indications:

Mr. Luter says he does not preach much about politics, though he does inveigh regularly against abortion and gay marriage. How his voice will play in national politics is an interesting question.

It seems unlikely that he'll be heeding President Obama's recent call to black church leaders to organize on his behalf. And the SBC has been clear in its opposition to what it sees as the president's recent infringements on religious liberty. In a year when liberals will be leveling the charge of racism against opponents of the president's policies, we can look forward to seeing their reaction to Fred Luter Jr.

4 posted on 03/02/2012 3:30:45 PM PST by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: Terry Mross

See post 3; this guy doesn’t seem to be a shrinking violet when it comes to denouncing cultural evils.

If you want real wimpiness, I suggest the ELCA and the Episcopalians.


5 posted on 03/02/2012 3:33:50 PM PST by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

I like Charles Stanley. I wonder if Fred is anything like him?


6 posted on 03/02/2012 3:37:48 PM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: rhema

the headline, it’s need to exist and the fact it does insults me...This is religion...blind to color. This man qualifies or he does not.


7 posted on 03/02/2012 3:39:52 PM PST by advertising guy ( the greatest threat to America is a Rino Senator in Congress)
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To: Terry Mross
Make that post 4.

This also from his church's web page: Pastor Luter wants the congregation to remember Franklin Avenue is not in competition with other churches. He wants members to "continue to stay focused on what God has called us to do as a church." That calling is embodied in the church mission statement: to spiritually impact our families, neighborhoods, city and state by exalting the Savior, equipping the saints and evangelizing the sinners."

Most mainline denominations get a case of the vapors when they hear phrases like "evangelizing the sinners."

8 posted on 03/02/2012 3:40:38 PM PST by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

Just please tell me he’s not anything like Obama. I can’t take another first black whatever if they’re anything like that monster.


9 posted on 03/02/2012 3:41:01 PM PST by Marathoner (In the 80s we had Reagan, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. Now we have Obama, no cash and no hope.)
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To: Terry Mross; dixiechick2000; don-o

My church in Thompsons Station is not wimpy but the leadership about 40 miles up Highway 31 in Music City sure as Hades is

it is sickening

I mean where do we go?

Southern style Church of Christ seem steadfast

Mo Synod..maybe

or most Assemblies of God...or Missionary Baptist

the fact they even considered dropping Southern from the name is a vile vile attempt...I spit on them

my old preacher in Jackson MS...Joe Tuten..long deceased would be appalled

I could care less about the black guy except it is without question a PR stunt...fools

Blacks already have National Baptist Convention also in Nashville and seem quite content with it


10 posted on 03/02/2012 3:53:29 PM PST by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: Terry Mross

Wimpy compared to what?

How do you get more conservative than Southern Baptists?


11 posted on 03/02/2012 4:00:24 PM PST by ansel12 (Newt Gingrich knows how to deconstruct Obama in a head to head race, and that is what it will take.)
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To: Marathoner

If he, as the article states, “inveighs regularly against abortion and gay marriage,” he’s already light years from Obama in several moral aspects.


12 posted on 03/02/2012 4:06:38 PM PST by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: wardaddy

The leadership do not elect the officers, the messengers do.

I do not believe that this a PR stunt. This guy seems solid to me.


13 posted on 03/02/2012 4:09:45 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: wardaddy
Your attitude is despicable. Spitting on people and wishing people Hell. What a great witness for Jesus!
14 posted on 03/02/2012 4:26:12 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: Coldwater Creek

Not questioning him..he could be great

but why a black guy?...and why right now

to make a point...as usual...just like taking “Southern” from the name...the SBC leadership has been overrun with race sensitive under 45 folks...this has been brewing a while

how many SBC black preachers are there...not many...they choose other denominations..all day church..lotsa singing and louder....more podium Swaggerting..fine...enjoy it and stay there

it’s like NASCAR...why change something blacks ain’t drawn to...why force it

when the SBC gets all PC...you know it’s over

I am not the least bit ashamed to be Southern...if that is a n issue for anyone... Mohler in particular..or any other SBC big wig

they can kiss my butt

what they really want to do eventually is take Baptist out too

more members...more power...that’s what they really want

and they hide this lust claiming they can save more souls that way...disgusting

there is a reason I go to church less than my wife


15 posted on 03/02/2012 4:31:30 PM PST by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: rhema
For the edification of those who may not know.

The Southern Baptist Convention is not a governing authority nor are individuals members of the S.B.C.. Individual churches may affiliate and become members of the S.B.C. and individual churches are autonomous.

I don't know much about the guy in the article but I will learn more. I'd venture a guess that he's not liberal though. If he ever started spouting liberalism, member churches would disaffiliate in droves

16 posted on 03/02/2012 5:00:19 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: Coldwater Creek

The leadership engineers the process. The messengers hardly know what is going on or who they are voting for.

Whatever Luter is, he is wanted for the symbolism and because he won’t rock the boat. The current leadership is betraying the rank and file in many ways (this is not a comment on Luter).


17 posted on 03/02/2012 5:09:36 PM PST by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: achilles2000

In most such organizations the main concern of the “leadership” is the funding so that they can continue to be “leaders” even if they are clueless about their “leadership.”


18 posted on 03/02/2012 5:16:00 PM PST by Theodore R. (Forget the others: It's Santorum's turn, less baggage, articulate, passionate)
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To: rhema
Most mainline denominations get a case of the vapors when they hear phrases like "evangelizing the sinners."

If you are talking about the liberal "churches" they think their calling includes equipping the sinners and evangelizing the saints."

19 posted on 03/02/2012 5:17:46 PM PST by magslinger (If I wanted to vote for a Commie I would vote for Obammie. He has a chance of winning.)
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To: Theodore R.

Absolutely correct in the case of the SBC - it is funding and maintaining phony membership numbers so they get to appear important...


20 posted on 03/02/2012 5:19:37 PM PST by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: Coldwater Creek

oh shut up...PC clone...you always spout the same kumbaya crap

high and mighty you are

go back to the mall and buy some tacky clothes


21 posted on 03/02/2012 5:41:05 PM PST by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: Coldwater Creek

btw...never claim to be a witness for God

we got plenty holy rollers like you fer that lady

i’m like Jerry Lee

boo!


22 posted on 03/02/2012 5:42:34 PM PST by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: wardaddy

Yer goin’ to hell playin’ a pee-anna ? ;-D


23 posted on 03/02/2012 5:55:00 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj
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To: wardaddy

From my POV, what we have here is a fracture of a fracture of a fracture...etc.

The “one holy catholic and apostolic church” existed on earth for one millennium. The history of the second millennium is there for all to see concerning what became on the “one.” Since the Baptists (IIRC) claim “no creed but Christ) this fact doesn’t mean anything to them.

Not so many years ago, there was dissension in a large Baptist church near me. I heard one wag opine, “Baptists are like bees. When it comes time, they just have to swarm.” When ones heritage includes the option to break away, it’s just as natural as natural can be.

Didn’t Jimmy Carter, the famous Georgia Sunday School teacher, have his church bail out of the SBC over something or other?

So, I am a bit surprised at your seeming surprise over this latest event in a long string of traditional Baptist polity. If the hive gets stirred up enough, it’ll swarm.


24 posted on 03/03/2012 4:03:30 AM PST by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o

“Didn’t Jimmy Carter, the famous Georgia Sunday School teacher, have his church bail out of the SBC over something or other?”

Yes...the “something or other” was that he and Clinton tried to set up their own “Baptist” church...one that agrees with the dem teachings on abortion, gay marriage, and such.

I don’t think it was very successful.


25 posted on 03/03/2012 11:55:16 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: wardaddy

I remember this guy! He’s a good and loving man, wardaddy. No need to be worried about him being a PC president.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2078484,00.html

If you disagree, just frmail me. ;o)


26 posted on 03/04/2012 12:02:21 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (This hobbit is looking for her pitchfork...God help the GOP if I find it.)
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To: rhema

if he’s conservative, this is a long-oerdue and very good move by the SBC


27 posted on 03/04/2012 2:10:25 AM PST by Cronos (Party like it's 12 20, 2012)
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To: Cronos

Dr. Voddie Baucham would have been good as well.


28 posted on 03/04/2012 5:54:21 AM PST by uptoolate (Republican's sure do like their liberalism)
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