Texas Baptist Forum

Amnesty & ‘apostasy’

As a lifelong Southern Baptist, I am very disappointed the Southern Baptist Convention no longer stands up for biblical principles and our American nation. I read that Southern Baptists now endorse amnesty for illegal immigrants called “a pathway to citizenship” (June 20).

Just because our government can change the definition of “theft” or any crime does not make that criminal activity biblical.

Texas Baptist ForumDo you not realize that every immigrant coming into our country puts greater demands on our nation’s resources? If you support any policy that facilitates illegal immigrants coming and staying within our borders, then you support theft of those resources from this and all future generations.

Due to illegal immigrants, present and future generations will have higher cost-of-living prices because of greater population demands. Your children and grandchildren will have lower wages because of increased competition for jobs. As intelligent Christians, how can you not understand this? It is simple supply and demand and “thou shall not steal”!

I will not be part of any group that supports criminals and theft. I will renounce my Southern Baptist membership as soon as possible.

No Southern Baptist I know wants to torment illegal aliens. Repatriating—that means official return to origin—of all illegal immigrants can be done humanely without compromising our Christian principles.

You should advocate humane repatriation, not amnesty by any name.

May God have mercy on this Southern Baptist apostasy!

Kerry J. Hodgkinson



Viva Convención

I am very excited about the “Adelante … the next 100 years” initiative the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas officers proposed at Convención’s annual meeting in San Antonio this year. Considering the growth of the Hispanic population in Texas and the numerical strength of Hispanic work in Texas, this is the right time for such an initiative.

In 2010, as the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas celebrated its 100th anniversary, it approved a revised unification agreement with the Baptist General Convention of Texas at its annual meeting in San Antonio in June. Messengers to the BGCT’s annual meeting in McAllen in November also approved this agreement. Acting on the implications of this revised agreement, Convención President Jesse Rincones and the other officers ably prepared and proposed new bylaws that call for the formation of an executive board for Convención.

The “Adelante” initative is historical and brilliant. It keeps Convención as a body that is integrally related to BGCT. It encourages its affiliated churches to continue to support the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program with their offerings and to participate fully in the life of BGCT. And yet, it gives Convención a new level of freedom to speak into the direction of Hispanic work in Texas and to support new initiatives that meet the ever increasing needs of its work.

Thanks to President Rincones and officers for their hard work and insightful leadership. Adelante!

Julio Guarneri



Impure sex

An article about SBC President Bryant Wright meeting with a group of gay rights activists (June 20) includes a quote that caught my eye.  

He is quoted as saying, “Our only authority for expressing our faith is the word of God, and all through the word is sexual purity for God’s people, and that is true whether it’s homosexual sex or it’s heterosexual sex. We just feel like from our understanding of Scripture, that that is taught in the Old and the New Testaments.”  

Question: Is the SBC president giving tacit approval of homosexual sex as long as it’s “pure”? My understanding of Scripture—Old or New Testament—is that there is absolutely nothing pure about homosexual sex, whether it’s monogamous, bigamous or polygamous.  

I am of the opinion that the mention of homosexual sex has no part in this discussion except to say that Scripture calls it sin.

John R. Smith


Our legal immigrant

A legal immigrant lives in our home—our 11-year-old daughter, Julia. When we adopted her from Russia in 2006, we paid richly for her visa and  fees to ensure her U.S. citizenship. We did not shove her in a suitcase and sneak her across the border. Nor did we anchor her here, then invite a dozen or so of her relatives to leech off the taxes her father, older sister and I go to work every blessed day to pay.

She’s learned English. She recites the Pledge of Allegiance every school morning. She has a Social Security number and one day will pay taxes to the country that embraced her. Oh, and she’s a follower of Jesus now.

We have followed all the rules. We have paid every fee, completed every form and stood in every line.

And the Southern Baptist Convention thinks it’s just fine that lawbreakers sneak across the border, anchor their babies here and seldom pay taxes (June 6). We’re just supposed to forget all that as U.S. citizens and taxpayers and seek that “compassionate path to immigration status”?

What happened to the term “illegal alien”? That’s what they are. Illegal.

Render under Caesar. Go back home. Immigrate the right way. Learn English. Get a Social Security card. Pay taxes. Don’t come here to leech.

The fact we allow immigration at all is “just and compassionate.” We don’t have to condone illegal activity and sucking the taxpayer dry.

That’s not “compassion.” That’s simply wrong.

Becky Woodworth

San Antonio

Osama bin Laden

Sarah Stone was way off base (June 6) for criticizing the article concerning the whereabouts of Osma bin Laden

In Scripture, we read that murders, liars, etc. have their place in hell. Those of us who believe Scripture have an obligation to sound off—with compassion, of course—as to the completion of Bible teachings.

If you can’t say where the Bible says a person has gone, then why say anything in witness to the Scriptures?

Ted Kiser


I read Sarah Stone’s comment about not judging peoples hearts in reference to the death of Osama bin Laden (June 6). Even though the whole Bible is good and edifying, I always have thought the New Testament should be our rule of thumb, since the epistles are instructions to the church as to how we are to conduct ourselves as Christians.

Having said that, it is important to remember what the Apostle Paul said: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).

In all the time we have known about bin Laden, I never once heard he was a Christian and confessed with his mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God had raised him from the dead. So, it would seem to me that he has been judged by his own heart, and in that sense I don’t think what people have said about him is out of line.

If I had to venture a guess, I would feel confident in saying he is not with the Lord, and from what Paul is saying, he wasn’t even a saved, righteous man.

Bonnie Johnson


Myth of Christian America

Thank you for having the courage to include “Unlikely allies weave myth of Christian America, historian says” (June 6).

I know you have already received, or will soon receive, grief for doing so, but I wanted to let you know that there are those of us who appreciate you and understand how important religious liberty and historical accuracy is. 

Larry Burner



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