Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Baptist Community Takes Sola Scriptura a Little Too Seriously For Comfort

From the Charlotte Observer:

When N.C. Baptists meet this week for their annual session, they will likely kick out a Charlotte church that has said it welcomes homosexuals as they are -- a violation of controversial rules passed at last year's state convention.
Here's my favorite line:
"We think the local (Baptist) church ought to be free to interpret Scripture itself"
Well the Church does have the authority to interpret Scripture. But if you break away from the Church and call your ecclesial community a "church" then you can no longer say that. You can't even agree on how to read "don't lie with a man as with a woman" how will you interpret the tough parts of Scripture?

Now, I know... I know... not every evangelical agrees with this community. There are plenty of Protestants who are just as upset about this blatant departure from Christian values as I am (or rather would be if I was a Baptist). But surely it must serve as a reminder for us all of what sola scriptura has led to. It makes me wonder on what terms and in what way could any working version of sola scriptura actually prevent this sort of thing from happening?

The very concept of sola scriptura effectively eliminates any real ecclesial authority. And inherent to any discussion of 'sola scriptura' is a radical re-definition of the word "Church". Since Church (in the traditional sense) doesn't permit this heretical belief, one must create a new idea of what "Church" is. And here we see even further refinement to suit a particular community's error. When the state Baptist Convention's interpretation of Scripture has differed from their own, they have more narrowly defined "church" (insofar as the said "church" has authority to interpret Scripture) as their own local community. We all know what the next step is.

Update - they did kick the renegade community out.

No comments: