06 November, 2016

The New Evangelical Moral Minority - The New Yorker

The New Evangelical Moral Minority - The New Yorker: "Southern Baptists had always tolerated a surprising degree of heterogeneity. In an old PBS news special, Bill Moyers, a former Southern Baptist pastor, fondly remembered the open-minded atmosphere at his childhood congregation, in Texas. “There was no creed, and no coercion,” he said. “We chose our leaders, developed our own programs, without interference from any ecclesiastical organization.” By the nineteen-sixties, S.B.C. seminaries were starting to embrace the kind of liberal theology that was ascendant in mainline Protestant denominations. One graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary reported hearing his professor begin class with an anti-patriarchal prayer: “Our Mother, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Land remembers studying under professors who rejected central tenets of Christian faith, like the existence of Hell, or the reality of Christ’s resurrection. “You’d have preachers who wouldn’t talk about homosexuality,” Land says. “Said that Jesus never mentioned it, so it couldn’t be that important.” America’s first Southern Baptist President—Jimmy Carter, elected in 1976—was a liberal."

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