Website owner: James Miller
THE BAPTIST CHURCH --- A BASIC SOURCE OF EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS 11/77 I have known a great many conservative Baptists over the years. It is the group of people I have always been among and identified with. And after so much experience with a particular group of people, after such a good sized sample of acquaintances, one starts feeling he is able to make some generalizations. Specific groups of people do often tend to be alike in certain ways, to carry certain marks which identify them, to be characterized by certain personality traits or attributes. And the conservative Baptists do have some strong ones. How often I have said to myself, "Why is it that the nasty, critical, disagreeable people always turn out to be conservative Baptists?" or "Why do so many conservative Baptists seem to have emotional problems?" These are two strong distinguishing marks that seem to characterize them. Why? The reasons are perhaps complicated and many. Perhaps the basic reason is that they overreact to Modernism and Liberalism and fall into the sin of Hate. Perhaps the fault lies in their basic theology, with its strong emphasis on "salvation by grace, not by works" and its "once saved, always saved" doctrine, causing them to regard "obedience" as optional. Perhaps it lies in their idea that as Christians they are supposed to be out aggressively testifying, witnessing and winning souls --- and the negative response they receive when they do this. Perhaps the cause lies in their preoccupation with doctrine and theological argument. And perhaps there is another basic reason, too. It lies in their basic conception of what sin is and what goodness, spirituality or "being a Christian" should consist of. Their concept of sin is drinking, smoking, dancing and sexual immorality but it (their concept) is completely silent, completely blank, with regard to the subjects of Hate, Anger, and Strife. They have only a partial concept of what constitutes sin. There are missing elements in their concept.