Claremore Daily Progress

Religion

June 10, 2013

A decade on, Southern Baptists adapt to new role

NASHVILLE —

A decade ago, the Southern Baptist Convention was riding high.

The president of the United States was a conservative evangelical Christian who personally addressed the group's annual meetings, either by satellite or video, at least four times in two terms, and SBC leaders were feeling their influence at the highest levels of government.

Ten years later, as members prepare for their 2013 annual meeting in Houston on Tuesday, the nation's largest Protestant denomination finds itself in flux: It has less influence in government and a growing diversity that may be diminishing its role as a partisan political player. And some Southern Baptists are beginning to cry foul at what they see as discrimination by gays and liberals that violates their religious liberty.

"For 100 years the Southern Baptists have been the dominating religious entity of the South," said David W. Key Sr., director of Baptist Studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and a Southern Baptist. "Now they are starting to feel religious victimhood. ... In many ways, Baptists introduced pluralism to America. Now they are feeling like victims of that pluralism."

A resolution passed at last year's SBC meeting titled "On Protecting Religious Liberty" cites several issues of concern: They include the Obama administration's mandate requiring religiously affiliated institutions (but not houses of worship) to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees; government defense of gay marriage; and the acceptance of gay service members in the U.S. military.

Russell Moore, the incoming president of the Nashville-based SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he would be very surprised if there was not at least one resolution on religious liberty introduced at this year's annual meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The government is overstepping its bounds in breathtaking ways," Moore said in an interview. "The audacity of state challenges to religious freedom would have been unbelievable just a few years ago. A warning about some of these threats would have been dismissed as slippery-slope scare tactics."

Text Only
Religion
  • ROCOR icon ‘Wonder-working’ Kursk-Root icon presented at local parish

    The holy Kursk-Root icon of the Sign made its way to Saint Brigit Orthodox Christian Church Friday during a tour among churches within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) Diocese of Mid-America.

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • First Presbyterian Church First Presbyterian Church celebrates 125 years

    For the past 125 years, First Presbyterian Church has served as a beacon to the faithful of Rogers County, bearing witness to more than a century of changes to the world around it.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • On a Mission
    A group of Destiny Life Church members hosted a garage sale beginning Thursday to raise money for a mission trip to Jinja, Uganda. 
     

    March 22, 2014

  • Claremore church to host Watoto Children’s Choir

    Eastern Hills Baptist Church will host the Watoto Children’s Choir in Claremore this month, bringing the message of hope and transformation to the people of Rogers County.

    March 2, 2014

  • Claremore Ministerial Alliance offers Lenten services, lunches

    Where can one go, worship the Lord, have a delicious lunch, and be out in the space of a lunch hour? The answer is the annual Lenten series of services and lunches sponsored by the Claremore Area Ministerial Alliance.

    March 2, 2014

  • Claremore Nazarene Church to host Guy Penrod, Isaacs

    Claremore Nazarene Church will be hosting artists Guy Penrod and the Isaacs later this month for a weekend of gospel music.

    August 16, 2013

  • Charles Graham returns to Claremore for concert

    Washington Baptist Church, northeast of Claremore, will be hosting music evangelist Charles Graham in concert at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, July 14.
    A fellowship dinner and fish fry will follow.

    July 12, 2013

  • HIEHLE - Stop Signs and Red Lights

    Have you ever run a red light or stop sign? If you have, it was probably not something you meant to do or want to repeat. You didn’t mean to, but maybe you were distracted or focused elsewhere.
    Then, as you realized your error, your heart skipped a beat. Hopefully, an accident did not occur.

    July 12, 2013

  • THRUN - Modern Day Pharisees

    Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the Pharisees and their teachings.
    “Then Jesus said to them, 'Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…'.”  ~ Matthew 16:6

    July 12, 2013

  • ROUND - When You Lived Behind Bars

    “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” ~ John 8:32 (NIV).

    Clad only in a pair of plaid pajama pants, he crossed the street and walked down the alley behind a row of businesses. I was startled. As I approached the parking lot near the courthouse, I crossed paths with several deputies. Taking in the scene before me, I realized the barefooted man, whose arms clutched a few belongings, had been a prisoner in the county jail. He had been set free.

    July 12, 2013