Preliminary review of the Sagemont Baptist Church Houston report
by Wm. Robert Johnston
updated 24 June 2001
Some specific inaccurate/misleading statements and flaws in reasoning (statements from the report are italicized; page numbers are from the original):
- The report elects to pass judgement on a single issue: stated position regarding inerrancy of scripture. In doing so, the report is able to make its judgement call without the internal contradictions that characterize many reviewed church reports.
- The report provides no documentation.
- The report is one-sided (although less so than many), particularly in addressing BGCT actions/statements but not SBC actions/statements regarding the current division.
- "Definitions ... Conservatives ... Moderates" (p. ii)
These definitions are incomplete if they do not address the political ramifications of these two groups.
- "Definitions ... Texas Baptists Committed (TBC)--Moderate organization formed in the 1980's which operates as a support organization in cooperation with the BGCT. (p. ii)
"...Texas Baptists Committed (TBC), which operates as a support organization in cooperation with the BGCT." (p. 1)
There are no formal organizational or finanical ties between the TBC and BGCT, so "support organization in cooperation" is misleading. The relationship may be compared to that between the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and the Missouri and Texas Baptist Laymen's Associations.
- In addition, statements made by those wielding influence within BGCT leadership circles provides further substantiation that the BGCT is distancing itself from the SBC. (p. 2)
The following five quotations are undocumented and some are unattributed (beyond "A past president of the BGCT" for example). Actual associational changes are better evidence than statements by individuals not currently in decision-making positions.
- Speaking of reconciliation between the BGCT and SBC, the current president of the BCGT stated, "I think it's a hopeless task." (p. 2)
The report does not refer to the equally dismal assessment of reconciliation by SBC leaders. For example, the report was completed five months after SBC leaders spoke against a motion at the SBC convention to form a reconciliation committee.
- Findings ... Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) (p. 3)
The 2000 BF&M does not use the word "inerrancy."
- The position any individual, local church or organization takes regarding the nature and authority of scripture is the determining factor as to whether that individual, local church, or organization can and will protect itself from false doctrine. (p. 4)
There are two elements to "taking a position": stating a position, as the SBC and SBTC have done, and carrying out that position with actions.
© 2001 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 24 June 2001.
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