5/08/2005

Somebody needs to be told that...



Hat tip to my buddy Matt for this article from the AP via CNN.com:

Ousted church members ponder next move
Kicked out for not voting for President Bush

Saturday, May 7, 2005 Posted: 10:43 PM EDT (0243 GMT)

WAYNESVILLE, North Carolina (AP) -- A pastor who led a charge to kick out nine church members who refused to support President Bush was the talk of the town Saturday in this mountain hamlet, with ousted congregants considering hiring a lawyer.

"This is very disturbing," said Pastor Robert Prince III, who leads the congregation at the nearby First Baptist Church. "I've been a pastor for more than 25 years, and I have never seen church members voted out for something like this."

In the days since the nine members were ousted, many more members have reportedly left the church in protest.

"He went on and on about how he's going to bring politics up, and if we didn't agree with him, we should leave," Isaac Sutton told The News and Observer of Raleigh. "I think I deserve the right to vote for who I want to."

Sutton, a deacon who worshipped at East Waynesville Baptist Church for the past 12 years, said he and his wife were among the nine voted out.

Prince said he noticed during the presidential campaign that more pastors made endorsements -- although not from the pulpit -- than in past years.

"It used to be that pastors would speak about the issues and not specific candidates," he said. "I think that line is being crossed."
________

I know that this is not what the majority of churches have explicitly done in the last election year, but isn't it what they have done implicitly?

And does not the dominant Radio Church of Contemporary Evangelicalism (led by James Dobson and many others of the Religious Right) implicitly make evangelicals feel that there is only one way to vote?

We need to allow for open debate on issues of biblical proportions in our churches--issues like Sanctity of Life, War and Peace, Economic Policy, Creation Care, Marriage and Family, Poverty, Hunger, AIDS, Globalization, World Debt, and other issues.


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12 comments:

p.a.hiles said...

i don't mean to sound scornful, but i thought that christians would have become more educated in the last hundred years! i personally feel that it is people like pastor chandler who make the rest of us look like un-caring, un-educated idiots who have no desire to see change in the world! but hey, the article did say that this was a baptist church!

Bob Robinson said...

"Baptists" are not to blame...
Thanks to Steve McCoy for the heads up on this article from the Biblical Recorder, the "North Carolina Baptists' News Journal."

p.a.hiles said...

I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you or anybody else who read (or will read) this article! i was angry at the time and i have had bad experiences with that denomination! i made a bad judgement and for that I AM TRUELY SORRY!

Bob Robinson said...

No offense.
Baptistic churches ARE more prone to this error. And I'm certainly aware of your past (extremely) bad experience with a church that had "Baptist" in its name.
My point was that "Baptists" come in many different flavors, and that the article above even quotes a Baptist (Pastor Robert Prince III, of First Baptist Church) that criticized this kind of behavior.
So, I just wanted to be fair.
Steve McCoy (mentioned above) is just one of many Baptists who are seeking to blend a Reformed Baptistic tradition with Emergent sensibilities.
There also is the blog, Emerging SBC Leaders, that is moderated by Steve and contributed to by a few Southern Baptists (Well worth the visit!)

Matt Robinson said...

Here is an update of this. The end of the article has a quote, "there are always two sides to every story."


http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/08/church.politics.ap/index.html

Matt Robinson said...

Try this again:

Here is an update of this. The end of the article has a quote, "there are always two sides to every story."


Update @ cnn.com

Bob Robinson said...

The article from the Biblical Recorder (hyperlinked above) tells a more detailed story.

Sounds atrocious!

p.a.hiles said...

peolpe need to understand the fact that God is an independant voter!

Matt Robinson said...

Update. The pastor has resigned.

Update #2

Bob Robinson said...

Check out what other bloggers are writing about this:
Rick Bennett

Steve McCoy of "Emerging Southern Baptist Leaders"

Steven Nicholson

Darren Moore

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga's interview with a Deacon from this church

Baptist Press has a spin story trying to defend the pastor

Byron said...

Bob,

Having pastored an SBC in North Carolina myself a few years back, my trust for the Biblical Recorder version of events is ZERO. While sharing some of your concerns, always remember the "two sides" rule...dude.

Bob Robinson said...

Byron,

Can you give some details on the Biblical Recorder as to why you don't trust their reporting of this? That would be helpful.