You may have read about an anti-blogging resolution approved last week by the Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC). You can find the full text of it here. And, if you look closely, you’ll see a brief reference near the end of this article from Baptist Press.
As of Sunday Nov. 19, I could find no mention of it at the GBC website, or the site of the GBC-controlled newspaper, The Christian Index, even though editor Gerald Harris wrote the article that appears on Baptist Press.
The resolution, sponsored by pastors Wayne Bray and Bill Harrell, says that the sponsors treasure free speech and recognize the potential value of “responsible blogging.” They assert, however, that “certain people use this tool for divisive and destructive rhetoric at the expense of peace among the Brethren” and that “blogging is also being used by some as a tool for personal attacks upon other Christian Brothers and Sisters, and this critical and divisive use promotes a negative view of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
It is telling that the resolution, offered at the Georgia Baptist Convention, is primarily concerned with the Southern Baptist Convention.
The resolution called for messengers to “oppose blogging when it is used to cause division and disharmony among the members of our Southern Baptist Family,” that “all personal attacks should cease immediately,” and that messengers should “request and expect that individuals who disrupt the fellowship through blogging repent and immediately cease this activity and no longer cause disharmony for the advancement of their own personal opinions and agendas.”
The resolution passed.
Would you like to see what gall looks like when standing up? Having co-sponsored a resolution against blogging that is used “for personal attacks upon other Christian brothers,” Harrell then preached the GBC’s annual “doctrinal sermon,” in which he roundly criticized mega-church pastors Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, and by extension those who have adopted their seeker-sensitive methods (see this timely blog for more details).
Do you notice a disconnect here?
Apparently, questioning a person’s behavior in a digital discussion is sinfully divisive, but calling names in a fiery sermon is righteous.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump’s mama, divisive is as divisive does.
If they’re concerned about too much sharing of opinions, perhaps the GBC and SBC should follow the lead of another Baptist organization that adopted a different method of discouraging divisiveness … it did away with resolutions.