Monday, June 25, 2018

A Boy From Yadkinville Is Now President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Pastor J.D. Greear
J.D. Greear won the election for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention, and you might think it's the Beginning of the End, at least so far as conservatives are concerned. American Family Radio's big mouth, Bryan Fischer, thinks Greear is too homosexual-friendly and will lead the denomination into the darkness. He's been attacked for being liberal on immigration (oops, DJT!) and for wanting to protect the Dreamers. And I believe I just heard Greear interviewed on National Public Radio this morning, suggesting that Southern Baptists needed to de-couple themselves from the Republican Party. Whaaa?

Greear is pastor of an odd mega-church in Raleigh-Durham-etc. "Odd" because it's not a single congregation but a series of "campuses" equipped with big-screen tvs. The church is building itself a big new facility in north Raleigh estimated to cost $20 million.

Greear is a hit among millennials, which apparently makes some of the old church lizards mighty nervous. He's a theological conservative -- everyone agrees on that -- but he thinks women should have leadership roles in the church (short of being pastors, mind you!), and he condemned the recent scandal surrounding Paige Patterson's covering up of rape allegations at Southwestern Theological Seminary. (Greear actually studied theology under Patterson.)

But then there's that stuff about embracing homosexuals. And that other stuff about not endorsing Donald J. Trump or his policies.

When I was a young Southern Baptist, attending a Southern Baptist College in Texas, I would have welcomed the arrival of a J.D. Greear as a breath of fresh air. Is it a passing and insignificant zephyr? Or is it a muscular wind that will blow away the bargain the historic church made with the White Jesus of politics?

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