Website owner: James Miller
CONSERVATIVE BAPTISTISM --- A LOPSIDED RELIGION 10/77 When one looks at conservative Baptistism in perspective certain salient features stand out. One is that it preaches a very slanted, skewed, version of Christianity. The entire emphasis is on "the plan of salvation" and the doctrine of "eternal security". They dwell on these subjects totally. They totally slight the value and rightness of Love, Kindness, Forgiveness, Peaceableness, etc. or the folly and wrongness of Hate, Malice, Strife, etc.. They preach only the part of the Bible they want to preach, the scriptures that support their doctrine, and totally ignore everything else. They don't see anything else. They don't want to see it and really don't see it. Their minds are blinded to it. Why is this? I think there are two reasons: 1. The modernists, their enemies, preach love so they won't preach it. 2. Their doctrine on salvation causes it. In particular the "eternal security" (i.e. "once saved, always saved") aspect of the doctrine. How does it do it? The doctrine of "eternal security" causes almost of necessity, by its very nature, the following attitude: "Follow the formula or recipe for salvation. Be saved. Give your heart to Jesus. That is all that is important. Once you have done that you are 'in'. If you haven't done that you are 'out'. Once you have done it you have 'arrived' --- you are 'there'. There is nothing more --- nothing more to desire or to be had". In this attitude there is no appreciation of the importance of Spirituality --- no appreciation of the absolute vitalness of spiritual values, attitudes and outlooks; of right thinking and feeling, of a right heart towards God. Salvation is simply an action. Once you have done it it is done. The questions of "following", "doing", "implementing Christianity in your life" and "spirituality" are questions apart and get no emphasis. They tend to assume that the totality of Christian responsibility, the totality of Spirituality, lies in "witnessing", "soul- winning" and evangelization. Instead of being a religion focusing on "what you are" and "substance" it focuses on "an action performed". Consequently, since the questions of Spirituality, Morality, and Right Living are questions apart and not relevant to Salvation, since it is only "Salvation" that is really important, they choose to not talk about the subjects of Morality and Spirituality at all. Their reason? It might cloud their simple and easy formula for Salvation. Unsaved people might get confused, might think "works" are part of "Salvation". The result is a kind of spiritual vacuum.