This from a Southern Baptist guy named Ben, who notices what I did about Rice’s speech at the SBC convention.
Baptist Blogger: Greensboro Wrap-Up
The incredulity I was experiencing at that moment was compounded within the next hour. I stood at the back of the convention floor listening to Condoleeza Rice, a woman who drinks alcohol and approves of abortion and was praised and prayed for as a true Christian sister by the SBC President. Every time Condi struck a note of political liberty or patriotic freedom, the crowd thundered in applause and rose to their feet in ovation upon ovations.
The Southern Baptist Convention has relegated Christian liberty in Christ to confessional oblivion and those who are willing to engage seriously in a discussion of its meaning and limit are characterized as an ungodly, immoral, unholy, and impure bunch of bootleggers peddling liquid licentiousness. Yet when the stars and stripes are waved, or “God Bless America” is sung, tears roll down cheeks and hands are lifted high.
We are, it seems, no different that the German Church at the close of the Weimar Republic. Nationalism is our religion. The Gospel is now emptied of its power to set the captives free. This disturbs me more than the resolution itself. In fact, I could have stomached two years of the runner-up much easier than to stand in the convention hall and watch my fellow messengers rise to their feet when the death of Al-Zarquawi is announced. A soul is sent to hell, and we do not grieve. We cheer.
Yes, it does indeed seem that many Southern Baptists show much more energy and concern over what is said about “America” and that it is not “bashed” than they are over theological matters. An alarming number of them cannot even articulate the theological discussions, but they sure can defend the Bush administration and watch Fox News and read Drudge to get “ammunition” for their defense of Bush against the “liberals”.
I did notice that NOT ONE of commenters reacted to the issue of the nationalistic fervor that far outshadowed all other things. One commenter mentioned tne matter of support for Rice even though she favors abortion, and the glee over the death of Al-Zarquawi, but nothing on what seemed to be Ben’s larger point on how so many get so much more stirred up and emotional about nationalistic stuff than with confessional matters.
Ben’s pointing this out is sorely needed by this denomination. Most of them will dismiss the idea that nationalism is an idolatrous thing, or even something to be concerned about. Therein lies the problem.