Southern Baptist leader under scrutiny for Trayvon Martin remark – latimes.com

April 19, 2012

First of all, let it be known here and now that I believe I might fit in just fine within the Baptist Church. Lots of their ministers are big fleshy guys like me. You know who we are. You have seen all of us at the Chinese buffet, not that there is anything wrong with that. Anyway, I could never really get mad at my Baptist neighbors. Besides, you folks give us lots of fun things to kick around and we would have to do serious systematic theology if it were not for you. Here’s the latest.

ATLANTA — Richard Land, the Southern Baptist leader who offended some blacks with his comments about the Trayvon Martin shooting case, is now facing plagiarism allegations that will be the focus of an investigation launched by the church ethics commission that he heads.

Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, apologized for the remarks about the shooting in an April 16 letter to the convention’s president, Bryant Wright.

Land, on a recent episode of his radio show, called some black religious leaders “race hustlers” for stirring up interest in the case, in which an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Land also accused President Obama of pouring “gasoline on the racialist fires” when the president said that if he had a son, he would look like Martin.


For the complete story, follow this link.

Southern Baptist leader under scrutiny for Trayvon Martin remark – latimes.com.

Before offering a modest critique of things in Baptistland, and in the spirit of full disclosure, let me admit that I do not belong to an organized religion, I am an Anglican. We’re so confused on our own church government that I should never criticize anybody. So don’t take this as anything but a few harmless comments meant in love.

Baptists seem to have come down with a good case of what I will refer to as Episcopal Church Syndrome. The symptoms include taking one’s self too seriously and the irresistible desire to pop off with an opinion on everything from clear cutting, endangered species, environmental policy, right-to-work laws, and gun control. The result of these frequently inappropriate outbursts is that the speaker looks like he just threw up all over himself – or worse.

Everybody knows that the most well-informed and highly educated individuals, and those most rightly entitled to be heard on the pressing matters of the day, are radio talk show hosts. Just think about it. Aren’t they always right? There is not a theologian that can come close to the wise and witty pronouncements of those who are seated behind a microphone.

Preachers tend to think that, just because nobody ever calls them out right in the middle of a sermon, they must be really smart. A scholarly reading of the New Testament will support the idea that Jesus’ first disciples were not the brightest students available, although they were apparently good raw material. They took what they had learned in over three years of on-the-job training and put it into practical use immediately.

This is where it gets a little tricky, so stay with me. The church today is Christ’s living body in the world. Christian ministers are modern witnesses to the resurrection, in a similar way to the first messengers. The Gospel stands as a condemnation of the world’s system of corruption, thievery, and abuse. If we are gong to condemn some contemporary social ill, it should be done with faithfulness to truth and absolute kindness, recognizing that even our supposed enemies bear the very image and likeness of God.

Speak with kindness and stick with the Gospel. We owe respect to human governments and all institutions of human service, but Christians are also citizens of a heavenly city. That is the only place we will ever find perfect government, and it does not depend on my side (or yours) winning and election.

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6 Responses to “Southern Baptist leader under scrutiny for Trayvon Martin remark – latimes.com”

  1. Paul Harris Says:

    Christian leaders reserve the right to make remarks about race relations and situations as much as Al and Jessie do. You see it has become common place to make all situations racial when a white and a black are involved. That policy is not fare or right wheather it is Jessie and Al or the leader of the Southern Baptist. All situations are not because of race, that is a very racial approach. Usualy the raciest is the one who starts yelling race first. It has worked for many years and it is time for all people of all colors to stop and be honest. Obama made a statement that a white man could not make without being called a raciest but no one has said he is raciest, and the reason is he is black. Ross Pero said, you people, speaking to a largely black audiance and was branded as a raciest. This needs to stop because it is unreasonable and unintelligent.

  2. Fish Says:

    “Obama made a statement that a white man could not make without being called a raciest but no one has said he is raciest, and the reason is he is black.”

    Obviously a white man could not say that if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon. For someone to call Obama a racist because he’s black and therefore would have a black son tells us something.

    If being concerned about the NRA’s policy of making it legal to shoot unarmed people makes me racist, then call me racist.

    If it were your unarmed son shot down by a black man, would we see you defending the shooter?


  3. I think that everything published was actually very reasonable.

    However, think on this, what if you added a little content?
    I ain’t suggesting your information is not solid., but what if you added something that makes people desire more? I mean Southern Baptist leader under scrutiny for Trayvon Martin remark – latimes.com | Glad Streams is a little plain. You could look at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create news headlines to get people to click.

    You might add a video or a pic or two to get people interested about what
    you’ve written. Just my opinion, it could make your posts a little livelier.


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