A few weeks ago I wrote an article introducing Bobby Baptist. This past week pastor Marc Minter wrote a reply, introducing Barnabas Baptist. Since, Marc specifically mentioned my article, and me and since this conversation seems to be helping others understand the positions represented in SBC, I thought it would be appropriate for Bobby to explain to Barnabas, why Barnabas still doesn’t understand him.
Please know, that while I think open, honest conversation is helpful, I also think we should assume the best of each other. Thus, it would be wise for those who affirm Bobby’s position to assume the best of Pastor Minter and further give him the respect that the office of shepherd deserves.
As an aside, I do not think that Bobby represents middle age Southern Baptists, anymore than I think Barnabas represents younger Southern Baptists. For me this isn’t a discussion of one’s age, but of one’s views – to make it about age undermines the logic behind both positions. I would never assume that with age and accompanying wisdom Barnabas would become Bobby. In fact, I know just as many Bobbys who are early twenties (I teach at a University) as I do who are late fifties and I shall assume the same is true of Barnabases.
Now on to Bobby. Bobby would tell Barnabas:
Barnabas, good to meet you brother. I appreciate your views more than you realize. But, if I might offer a little advice: It is never wise to assume what others believe. I think you may have done so with me and I want to correct those possible assumptions so we can understand each other better.
I do not know any Christian with my views who “offers excuses for a despicable man simply because he is a Republican.” So that line of reasoning is dismissed as a straw man and has no place in our discussion. However, I would never speak of the President (Obama or Trump) as a despicable man – personally, I try not to use such terminology about any person created in God’s image, although I am confident I missed this mark on occasions.
Further, I do not know where you got the idea that my wife and I would not “listen to concerns about the Christian witness of those who associate themselves with pompous political populists for the sake of partisan conquest.” In fact, I addressed that pretty clearly when I shared what I say to the lost people I know, you may want to read that again.
Moreover, if you think I am concerned about political conquest you are dead wrong. I have never said such; in fact, I said, “I don’t look to our government for Biblical solutions.” I am not a registered Republican, but I am a Christian. I voted for a Republican for President because his views concerning pro-life and religious freedom best represent my views, which I derive from Scripture. Again, when I explain my views differently than either the NY Times or blogs, the lost people I know respect my views, even if they don’t agree with them.
Also, my hope has never been in political power, as if I have a “staunch grip” on such an unstable hope. But I do believe God can and does use government (Proverbs 21:1 and the book of Jeremiah), and I believe God honors families, neighborhoods, and even governments that honor Him (Proverbs 14:34). I further believe I have a God-given responsibility to vote, and to vote for someone who will protect innocent babies in the womb.
You may disagree with me on what I feel is my responsibility, and that is ok. But that is my belief, and I don’t want others implying I hope in something which I do not. I would not imply you hope in something you do not, so please do not do so, to me.
Moreover, I also do not “hope in the rise of a silent moral majority, [I] do not await a political rescuer, and [I] do not think “Republican” is the Christian party.” To imply otherwise, is not true. In fact, such simplicity describes no Christian I know.
That is not to say I do not hope and pray that my family, my community, my state, my nation, and my world would not undergo a heaven sent awakening. I do hope and pray for such. I am very optimistic about what my God can do in all of those areas.
Further, I want to do my part in making my family, community, state, nation, and world better, and yes even more Biblical, which is one of the reasons I feel I have a responsibility to vote and to vote Biblically.
I honestly think we have a lot more in common than you realize Barnabas.
Finally, I never said “abortion outweighs all other combined” nor do I think “other issues are not worthy of discussion until this one is resolved.” Again, such straw men, and misrepresentations are not helpful. What I said and implied was I felt the three issues Dr. Moore mentioned did not come to the level of concern of “the murderous torture of infants and real religious liberty.” I also said abortion is my chief concern, but I never said my only concern.
Again, if we were discussing the legal and sanctioned murderous torture of two-year-olds (where their arms and legs are ripped from them if parents choose they do not want them) I feel it would be the chief concern of all sane individuals. I personally, do not see a difference in the life of my two-year-old grandchild and the one in the womb.
Finally, I want to state again, this has never been personal with regard to Dr. Moore. This is not a discussion of whether I like him or not. That is way too subjective and trivial for me. I think that for both of us this has been about issues.
So Barnabas, I appreciate this opportunity to continue to clear things up. We may agree to disagree, but hopefully, this will help you understand me better. I have tried to only address your misunderstanding of me and thus explain more clearly who I am. I have not addressed, nor implied who you are or what you believe, you are much better at explaining that than I.
But at this time could we both commit to pray for our President (1 Timothy 2:1-4)? Let’s ask God to give him wisdom, let’s ask God to help him to be wise concerning his Twitter account, and let’s thank God he has appointed pro-life judges like he said he would.
We were told by many, we couldn’t trust him, but so far he has done what he has said and his adversarial pundits were wrong. Let’s thank God for that and ask that God would grace him to continue to keep his word.
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