They had their annual meeting this week at
Six Flags Over Jesus Hunter Street Baptist Church in B’Ham. You can find all their resolutions here. I’ll highlight two.
First, Wal-Mart is evil because it does business with the homersexshuls:
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists have long supported and believed in the biblical teachings concerning the homosexual lifestyle and the sanctity of marriage being between one man and one woman, and have supported the constitutional ban on homosexual marriage; and
WHEREAS, more than 81% of Alabamians recently voted in favor of The Sanctity of Marriage Amendment to the Alabama Constitution; and
WHEREAS, many Alabama Baptists regularly patronize Wal-Mart because of its appeal to the average consumer and its convenient locations; and
WHEREAS, according to the American Family Association, Wal-Mart in August of 2006 asked and received permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, pledging to give them $25,000.00 and fund two conferences scheduled by the NGLCC.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, call upon our denominational leadership, pastors, and church members to inform Wal-Mart at the local and national levels of our biblical beliefs concerning the homosexual lifestyle and our support of the constitutional ban on homosexual marriage; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage Wal-Mart to reconsider its actions which are contrary to the biblical beliefs of many of its customers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we encourage the 3,249 Alabama Baptist churches and their members to pray that corporate leaders at Wal-Mart as well as other companies will conduct their business in accordance with biblical principles.
Now, if the problem is that Wal-Mart is not conducting its business “in accordance with biblical principles,” then why no resolution about sex discrimination? Or making people work overtime, but not paying them for it? Or selling clothes made from two kinds of cloth, for that matter? Why does this one particular violation get them in such a tizzy?
Two, and this is my favorite, if you drink, you are going to end up as a junky living on the streets:
WHEREAS, Resolution No. 5 was overwhelmingly adopted at the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, concerning the support of organizations that educate people on the destructive effects of alcohol and that promote abstinence; and
WHEREAS, the Bible warns of the dangers associated with alcohol use (e.g., Proverbs 23:29-35); and
WHEREAS, alcohol use has led to countless injuries and deaths on Alabama’s highways; and
WHEREAS, the breakup of families and homes can be directly and indirectly attributed to alcohol use by one or more members of a family; and
WHEREAS, the use of alcohol as a recreational beverage has been shown to lead individuals down a path toward the use and abuse of other kinds of drugs, both legal and illegal; and
WHEREAS, alcohol use is a problem that directly or indirectly impacts many Alabama Baptist churches.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, we the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 14-15, 2006, express our total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing and consuming of alcoholic beverages; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Alabama Baptists take an active role in supporting local legislation that is intended to curb alcohol use in our communities and nation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge Alabama Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we commend organizations and ministries that treat alcohol-related problems from a biblical perspective, and organizations, such as the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), that promote abstinence and encourage legislation designed to limit the sale and use of alcoholic beverages.
I commented on the National Convention’s version of this resolution here. Contrary to the resolution, the Bible does NOT warn “of the dangers associated with alcohol use.” And it most certainly does not support teetotalism. Here’s the passage quoted by the resolution:
29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights
and your mind imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”
Wonderful writing, but by no means support for a total ban on alcohol. Who has the problem, according to the passage? “Those who linger over wine.” Alcohol is no different than anything else in the world: Good in moderation, but subject to abuse.
Like I said in the earlier post, if the Baptists think alcohol is inherently bad, then they need to condemn Jesus too:
Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into very good wine. He was called a wine bibber. And don’t forget Psalm 104, where we learn God
causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
Don’t misread me, I used to be a Baptist, and plenty of my family members still are. But this kind of stuff is just dumb. The old joke was that the sum of Baptist ethics was “don’t drink smoke cuss or chew, or hang around with girls who do.” I’ve always thought the Bible had a much more robust message than that, and I think most Baptists do, too. These resolutions, though, simply reinforce the stereotype of Baptists as people who don’t belive in fun and who do believe in cherry picking parts of the Bible to support their own prejudices.
Now I know the true faithful will answer that Christians should only be concerned with what God thinks about them, and not with what other people might think. I have no quibble with that principle other than to point out that what people think about God may be affected by what the faithful say and do.
Then again, I suppose having a beer after work tonight could lead to rolling doobies tomorrow, and we all know what that eventually leads to: