Texas Baptist Forum

Not an option

Rush Limbaugh is no stranger to inflammatory words, so his choice to label Sanda Fluke a "slut" and ask her to air "sex tapes" so "we can all watch" in exchange for subsidized contraception is not surprising. Unfortunately, many evangelicals have expressed support for Limbaugh's statements. Regardless of political stance, people of faith should insist that respect for women is not optional. Defending Limbaugh's language suggests publically denigrating women for political purposes is acceptable.

Texas Baptist ForumChristians should instead denounce such use of demeaning language by members of the right to describe women who advocate liberal political positions. People of faith may have reasonable objections to many liberal policy goals, including a requirement that religious organizations cover contraception in their provision of heath care to employees. But publically calling a woman's virtue into question over a political position she chooses to adopt is fundamentally at odds with the Christian faith.

The ribald language used by Limbaugh and other prominent conservative commentators to describe women has no place in civilized political discourse. It certainly is nothing a follower of Christ, whatever his or her political opinion, should choose to defend. Christ preached a gospel of love. Yet many will be unreceptive to the Christian message if it is associated with political speech that denigrates women.

Supporting such language undermines the witness of all Christians. Limbaugh's Christian defenders have plenty to apologize for.

Samuel R. Greene


Oppose but love

I commend Executive Director David Hardage and the Baptist General Convention of Texas for the biblical stance on homosexual behavior (March 5). Having served in pastoral ministry for 60-plus years, I have lovingly dealt with individuals involved in this lifestyle.

Without condemning or singling out homosexuality as a "special sin," all of us deal with the parameters of our own sexual expression. But we must do so within the bounds of God's word. We cannot blame our Creator for making a mistake if we have sinful tendencies.

Many seek to justify their sins, whether homosexual or heterosexual, as being the victims of the way God "made" us—which is beyond their control. In our secular society, every person seeks to live according to personal feelings and individual belief system. We don't want to recognize God's word as the truth and moral authority in our lives.

Yes, God loves us but hates the sins we yield to and has set us free through Jesus and placed his Spirit in us, who helps us overcome sexual sins when we adhere to his word. In Ephesians 4:22-24, the Apostle Paul states, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Thank you, BGCT, for opposing homosexuality and loving all people.

Jerry Wilson


Keep 'Southern'

I'm against the Southern Baptist Convention authorizing churches to call themselves "Great Commission Baptists." The name has nothing to do with "southern" or "South." It gives a definite place in the United States. It has been with us a long time, and to change it will confuse people into thinking we are a different group starting a new convention.

"Great Commission Baptists" has no meaning. We have a great convention, and we are doing the Great Commission as God asked us. Let's keep the name, and let's become better Christians and do the work the Lord asked us to do and not worry about changing a name that the people all over the world have known and respected for many years—"Southern Baptist Convention" and "Southern Baptist churches."

Lloyd Jones


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