- December 22, 2003
- By John Rutledge
Lotz: SBC proposal a 'triumph of ideology over doctrine'
By Trennis Henderson
WASHINGTON (ABP) -- A Southern Baptist proposal to end a 99-year-relationship with the Baptist World Alliance is a "triumph of ideology over doctrine," according to BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz.
"SBC doctrine is a call to unity among its churches," Lotz said. "Why then separate from the world of Baptists? In the end, it became a question of power and control and the desire of forcing Baptists of the world to fit into one particular mode or mold or interpretation of thinking. This is contrary to all Baptist understanding of the competency of the individual and of soul liberty!"
Lotz also questioned the study committee's claim that SBC leaders have failed to "secure a just forum" to air their concerns.
Noting that study committee members Morris Chapman, James Draper, Paul Presser and other Southern Baptist representatives have key leadership positions in BWA, Lotz said, "If you go through our members who chair key committees, I am questioned (by other BWA members) for having too many Southern Baptists in leadership positions.
"We're family," Lotz insisted. "You can't have your way all the time. ... We don't have a lockstep-like mentality where everyone has to repeat the same thing" about issues being discussed or debated.
Responding to the committee's charge of liberalism, Lotz said, "Of course, the BWA rejects categorically this false accusation of liberalism. It is sad that in the 21st century we use loaded terms to end discussion and to eliminate the thoughts and hearts of other people. It is a form of McCarthyism.
"Since the conservative resurgence (in 1979), BWA leadership has bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns of the present Southern Baptist leadership, but alas now to no avail." Looking to the future, Lotz said, "We, of course, will be very sad if indeed the Southern Baptist Convention in June withdraws from the Baptist World Alliance. I think it will be bad for the SBC and will further isolate their missions work overseas.
"I think it will make it more difficult for Southern Baptist missionaries," he added. "How will they relate to national conventions that are members of the Baptist World Alliance?
"Personally, I fear for the Southern Baptist Convention," Lotz said, "because this decision follows in a long line of other decisions that, I believe, will ultimately lead to the dissolution and self-destruction of the SBC."