The Capranica

Comments on theology and life

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Location: Hemet, California, United States

Co-Pastor of First Baptist Church of San Jacinto, California

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Interesting Posts from The Past Week

I have been away at a plannig retreat with the other two pastors I serve with - therefore, no blogging since Wednesday. However, here are a few tidbits from the week that I enjoyed reading and considered (but didn't) blogging about: Professor and pastor, Jim Hamilton, posted a great discussion on elders in Southern Baptist Churches. Some Christian rock music artists (??) seem to be too hard or seedy to gain the blessing of the already theologically loose Christian music gurus. Don't worry guys, CCM will eventually capitualate to just about anything that wants to call itself Christian. Rick Warren thinks that the recent separation of the Southern Baptist Convention from the Baptist World Alliance was done in error. Rick doesn't want to separate from anyone. His new reformation seeks to bring all Christians together. Al Mohler posts some great commentary on expository preaching. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


Blogger Kyle Walker said...

Elders in Baptist Churches? I think Presbyterians have the whole elder thing trademarked don't they?

8/15/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bret Capranica said...

If only they would have stopped with elders overseeing a local church, the Presby's would have done much better. Oops - that would have made them more baptistic. :)

8/16/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Kyle Walker said...

Bah! Humbug! Let's at least be realistic. Baptists just like to think that they are congregational. There is a new Baptist "convention" or "association" on every street corner claiming another piece of the Baptist world and seeking to advocate themselves back into the local church through curriculum and institutions such as college/university and seminaries. You really can't speak of the politics in the SBC in the last 20 years and say that there isn't a hierarchy full of intimidation and control of the local church. Other, more hierarchical denominations simply have rules to keep the power games transparent as opposed to covert. (Well, okay, covert happens in all of it but the point is there to be had)

Now, I'd say that just about any polity is predisposed to corruption unless based in discernment that seeks guidance of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture.

But, I'm a Reformer, not a Restorationist so this is low on my list. Oh boy, that opened a window ;-)

8/17/2005 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bret Capranica said...

Oh my dear brother. Autonomy is bliss (usually :) ). Influence and intimidation? Perhaps, but these do not negate autonomy. Could a struggling PCUSA congregation who wants a more conservative pastor congregationally switch denominations (if they were not reform-minded as are the more noble warriors)without surrendering their property?

8/17/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kyle Walker said...

We are painfully consistent on these points! You took that well as always. A couple of points.

Actually, the one place we are congregational is in calling pastors. A congregation can call who they wish and it is done by congregational vote. (Everyone has to get out the "users manual" to remember how to do them we do them so rarely)

I'm not arguing that Presbyterians are congregational but that I see a lot of informal hierarchy at work in the Baptist world. I think congregationalism in teh Baptist churches is really more loved than lived.

Property ownership and autonomy. Are these essential elements of the true Church? Are they even shown in the Bible as more beneficial?

One thing that must be said is that national conventions and national assemblies of most of our denominations developed from the mid 20th century obssession with institutions as the answer to life's problem. It is an idolatry that all, including the PCUSA and SBC, participated in to differing levels and we continue to participate in it to differing levels today. Yes, SBC has managed to avoid the worst of it.

Before this distortion created by American Industrialization, the Presbyterian Church was only one step away from Congregationalism. Local churches encouraged one another and held each other accountable as displayed in the epistles. Accountability is the value I would uphold in this discussion.

8/17/2005 11:01:00 PM  

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