A Lesson from Marx for the SBC

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It seems a bit of a brouhaha is developing over the exclusion of (or, perhaps better, lack of invitation to) evangelical Protestants from participation in the religious ceremonies at the National Cathedral this weekend to commemorate 9/11.  The prayer vigil will, according to Fox News, include the dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, a Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.   But no Southern Baptists, and, presumably, no Missouri Synod Lutherans, PCA pastors, OPC ministers etc.   And no musicians from the classic rock fraternity either, for that matter -- unless we are perhaps talking Cat Stevens here.  The president of the Southern Baptist Convention is apparently upset at this act of `tragic intolerance towards Protestants.'  

I think  the Rev. Page has misunderstood the reason for the exclusion: it seems the powers that be in Washington understand the implications of the biblical evangel better than some evangelical leaders. Rather than lamenting the situation, the Southern Baptists should be delighted that the organizers had the sensitivity and foresight not to place them in the grim position of having to turn down such an invitation in order to avoid compromising their orthodox, Protestant identity. The public relations disaster that would have followed this elementary stand for biblical truth and exclusivity would have been spectacular.   After all, how could one maintain that one is taking seriously 1 Timothy  2 while sharing prayer time with a real-life incarnate lama?  

The Southern Baptists need to stop feeling disappointed that such a well-intentioned but theologically incoherent gathering does not want their presence and they should instead remember the wisdom of Marx - not Karl, but Groucho: you should never want to join any club that would have you as a member.
Posted September 7, 2011 @ 11:16 AM by Carl Trueman
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