Sunday, April 30, 2006

Medley Reacts to PSW Vote

And now, straight from the Valley Forge Politburo of information...note carefully the charged words and phrases I have bolded.

ABCUSA: American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. And Their Pacific Southwest Region One Step Closer To Part

From "Jayne, Andy" <>Date Sat, 29 Apr 2006 22:27:13 -0400

VALLEY FORGE, PA --In a non-binding referendum taken Saturday, April 29, 1125 delegates of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest (ABCPSW) voted to recommend that the region leave the Covenant of Relationships with the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA). 209 delegates voted in opposition, and just over 50% of the member churches registered to participate in the vote. The Covenant of Relationships is the written agreement that binds the region with the larger ABCUSA family. The vote, taken without discussion, now goes to the region's Board of Directors for a final decision at a meeting on May 11, 2006.

It was taken without discussion because of the many meetings around the region and in churches. The vast majority of those present were "bound delegates" anyway...

"It is with profound sorrow that we have come to this point of separation," said Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA. "Though not uncommon in Baptist life, such actions grieve the heart of God and our Lord Jesus Christ." Rev. Arlee Griffin, Jr., Ph.D., president of ABCUSA, added, "We regret the actions of some of the churches in ABCPSW in breaking the unity of our denominational family. We consider it unfortunate that, at a time when secular society is merging and coming together, there are those in our Christian family who seek to divide even in light of our Lord's request to remain one in unity."

Translation: you PSW hacks are schismatics; haven't you ever read John 17? I wonder what they would have said to Luther.

"We give our blessing to the region, if it chooses on May 11 to leave, that they may do God's work as they feel led," said Medley. "Though the vote was not unanticipated, we had hoped and had made many efforts to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace," he added.

Even if the region does leave the Covenant of Relationships, not all the churches of ABCPSW will leave. A significant number of churches wish to remain American Baptist. They will form an Association of American Baptist Churches immediately if the region board votes on May 11 to break covenant. Dr. Samuel Chetti, executive minister of the Los Angeles Baptist City Mission Society, with the endorsement of his board, will give watch-care and oversight to the new association. There will continue to be a strong American Baptist presence even if the region splits away. "Most individual churches will be slow to take action to leave," said Joe DeRoulhac, Jr., Ph.D., pastor of First Baptist Church of Redlands, and strong supporter of ABCUSA mission. "The complexity of the possible separation will take a long time to sort out."

VF is kidding itself if it think that the ABC presence in the PSW area will be strong. It will be weak and insignificant.

"ABCUSA will continue its clear focus in mission and ministry to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are committed," said Medley, "to the seven Key Ministry Areas of Radical Discipleship, Healthy Missional Churches, Leadership, Church Planting, Youth, Stewardship and Mutual Faithfulness. God has given us a compelling mission and call. American Baptist Churches are healthy missional churches that nurture devoted disciples of Jesus Christ who live their lives in mission and ministry for the healing of the world through the love of God." Chetti added,

"ABCUSA has always held the Bible to be the standard and authority for Christian living. We are a Bible-based people and, since our inception, our mission and ministry have always been guided by the wisdom of the Scripture."

Translation: those PSW yahoos are fundamentalists; we are the true center. Yeah, right.

For further information, please contact the Office of the General Secretary at 800-222-3872. If immediate assistance is needed, please contact Dr. Robert H. Roberts at 610-585-8023.


Anonymous said...

Politely Separating

Would it have been possible for folks on the radical left to simply step to the left toward their green pastures? Similarly, could those loving, good, wholesome traditional righties (you can see where my bent is) to simply turn toward the right settling for a non-rich piece of property--oh Canaan? Then those dallying in the middle could have simply flipped a coin to decide to not move, or go to the right or left. Could it have ever been possible to amicably and lovingly split with no feelings hurt?
Abraham and Lot lovingly split; could we have too?

My contention is that our friends to the left practice power through whispering in secret and try to shut out traditionalists as simple-headed-Galileans (yahoos). I notice friends to the right are forthright with their intentions and convictions, often to their own demise.

I am personally going through a grieving process. Some of my dearest friends and family are Kool-Aid drinking, ABC “liberal-fundamentalists”. But as much as I love my family and friends, I do respect the PSW's stance to deeply read the letter to the Ephesians, often quoted for unity at any expense, and stick to their convictions toward balanced biblical authority and church integrity. My deepest prayers go to the PSW leaders for their May 10th decision; equal prayers go to the reactionaries.
The PSWites need to protect their hearts from any malice. Jude warns in his general epistle to be a kind, loving people—despite differences. It’s obvious we can’t do church associationally together. Time is short, and with God's help, we can divide with love and mutual blessing just like Abram and Lot. Losing power and authority is never easy. Whether it’s a hotheaded Herod the Great trying to kill Israel’s only hope, or a kind, gentle King David being betrayed by a son, losing power and authority is never easy. I only hope it’s a wake up call for for those tinkering with theology rather than just a platform to pontificate more erroneous, redacted religion.
“Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (Gen. 13:8)

Dennis E. McFadden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Though not uncommon in Baptist life, such actions grieve the heart of God and our Lord Jesus Christ." Rev. Arlee Griffin, Jr., Ph.D., president of ABCUSA

I disagree. I believe what really grieves the heart of God is the fact that those that He has set apart to proclaim His Word have abandoned it in favor of political correctness and a distorted view of unity.

Bravo PSW! I just wish that our leaders in the Central Region had that kind of resolve.