Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SoBaps: Not Just Right-Wing Conservatives. Subset. Vet House-Senate Rigidity, Blockage. Movement to Reason Needed. Effects of Religious Priming

SoBaps:  The Southern Baptist Backbone of the Right-Wing Conservatives.
  Influence in a Subset.

Vet the belief system: Southern Baptist Conference.

The elect do not compromise:  
 "All true believers endure to the end.
Those whom God has accepted in Christ,
and sanctified by His Spirit
will never fall away
from the state of grace,
but shall persevere to the end."

Southern Baptists are a branch of the more general Baptist identification, and apparently the most conservative.  From their statement of beliefs, they hew  tightly to received authority.  Which of their members are in Congress, and how do they there. Ted Cruz, a new Senate arrival is a member of Prestonwood Baptist Church, an evangelical mega-church, see http://www.prestonwood.org/plano/inside-prestonwood/whats-happening/in-the-news/   Baptists self-sort:  Southern Baptist Conference, or SoBaps, the Southern Baptist Contingent, is a large group in Congress.  SoBaps apparently began in 1845, but earlier Baptist general history goes back to England and Holland, early 1600's, see A Primer on Baptist History, http://www.reformedreader.org/history/pbh.htm

SoBaps. There is now a political cadre element to the Southern Baptist Conference, adopted as the  Southern Baptist Contingent.  It is, as is the overall group, characterized by received authority, rather than interest in actual early meanings;  Biblical heritage, as heritage and not actual meaning or context, is not what the Bible really might mean, but what the convictions are of the earlier Baptists: "We invite you to consider the convictions of these (historic) Southern Baptists. Their stand on Scripture and its treatment in our schools and lives is uncompromising. As we remember the way in which God has blessed the Conventions through the years, we should keep its scriptural commitments in mind."  See.http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/heritage/default.asp. This makes it easy to see why Creationism and denials of Global Warming prevail.  The earliest Baptists had convictions that they stood by and those shape the present church. Is that so?  Heritage over new facts?   Otherwise, muster the Primary.

SoBaps are Not Always Tea Party, or Ayn Rand enthusiasts.
Mindset once fixed, however, never compromise.

Vet Every Group, Every Idea on Its Own Merits.

Vet the mindsets of elected governmental deciders.  In the nation now is a large group loosely termed right-wing-conservatives.  Who are they? Should there be a name change, for accuracy.  If one particular group shares the same religious-system beliefs, example, Southern Baptists, is that relevant?  SoBaps for short, a term already on the net. Several mnemonics, including the South Beach Aids Project -- another SoBAPs with caps.

The Southern Baptist Convention indeed has adopted as its own the "Southern Baptist Contingent" in the House and Senate. See the names and formal use of term, Southern Baptist Contingent, at Baptist Press, Southern Baptist Contingent at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=39129 . Does the church claiming these individuals as its own have relevance to who they are.  Is it time to do away with the generic right-wing-conservatives idea, and identify the particular Southern Baptist Contingent. 

1.  Why would religious-system mindset be relevant to governing:   Does the mindset create a habit of thought.

A religious system mindset is relevant if the religious system requires absolute dedication to its agenda, demands not just national but worldwide spreading, and assumes positions regardless of national need in governing; and displays unyielding belief in dogma that does not allow individual vetting.  Forced conformity.  

And yet, the tradition fostered Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Jimmy Carter, is that so?  The approaches of those fine men followed the Christian and the Social Order:
  • From SoBaps: The Christian and The Social Order: "We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick." Is that playing out now?
2.  SoBaps in House and Senate, Other. Relevance of religious system mindset.

Are there commonalities of approach, rejection of any ideas but their own, judgments abounding.  Is that how Jesus acted, questions the religiously interested even if not committed. 
  • House of Representatives SoBaps.  Vet because there are 35 SoBaps in the House and 6 in the Senate. 
  • Person to watch tonight, State of the Union:  Steve Stockman, R-TX
    • Update:  First concern was for outbursts of planned guest, Ted Nugent, at State of the Union.  Thank you both, Stockman and Nugent, for proving me wrong.  Thank you for your courtesy. 
    • Media feed plea for any state occasion, official speechmaking both sides: cameras off hecklers
      • Request to all cameras, any formal governmental presentation: 
      • Voluntarily keep lens on podium, whoever is there, and not on any heckler, or on response of so-called dignitaries to heckling, outbursts.  
      • The news of the day is to remain about the topic at hand, here State of the Nation, Address and Rebuttals. Do not dilute with histrionics.
      • Group norms in Washington should match those of the official SoBap belief: where words like respect and no racism appear, see below.
  • Senate SoBaps: 
    • Names in lights: John McCain, Roger Wicker, Tom Coburn, Lindsay Graham,  Chuck Grassley, [Robert Byrd, Democrat, is listed as affiliated Baptist, through former Northern Baptist Convention], Thad Cochrane also affiliated through other Baptist organizations, MITCH McCONNELL also "affiliates" as a "Baptist",  http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/baptists-in-the-111th-congress.
    • Rand Paul is not a SoBap, but the SoBaps seem to be taking on the form of Ayn Rand in disregard for those not of its faith. As an early Ayn Rand devotee, he now disavows affiliation with anything but championing any religious "practice."   He would allow religious-sounding practice when it forces conformity on others and has only revealed authority as its source anyway, not evidence or text, searching for roots.
    • That, sir, is no war on religion. See http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/290464/president-s-war-religious-freedom-sen-rand-paul
    • Ignore evidence on any issue of public import: danger
3.   The Southern Baptist Convention, SoBaps history: recent, and American-grown.

Its Constitution set up in Georgia, 1845. Its purposes did not include political influence or activism-extremism in the public sphere, but that is always changeable, and perhaps was by later amendment.  
  • "It is the purpose of the Convention to provide a general organization for Baptists in the United States and its territories for
    •  the promotion of Christian missions at home and abroad and 
    • any other objects such as 
      • Christian education, 
      • benevolent enterprises, and 
      • social services 
which it may deem proper and advisable for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God." See http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/legal/constitution.asp

SoBaps is the largest of the protestant denominations, see names of rising and falling stars and others in government at http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/baptists-in-the-111th-congress.   The denomination has diversity. Some 10,000 of the 50,000 affiliated congregations is "non-Anglo." See http://www.sbc.net/default.asp  It has a strong geographic concentration, and many satellite evangelical and other churches that look to it for inspiration.

4.   Focus on Received Authority over Evidence.

SoBaps places its emphasis on received authority, not examination of texts, other evidence of what really happened, as underlying its belief system.  SoBap presents as an inflexible mindset because they know they are right.

Belief in received authority means that if something was asserted or interpreted or constructed by a trusted source; it will be adopted by the dutiful believer without independent vetting, checking out the fact base, other evidence.  Other religious systems do also;  Amish, Roman Catholic, never an issue unless the do-not-vet mindset moves into government in a plural society.
There are no clear teachings of scripture;  words from ancient Hebrew or heard in Aramaic or written later in Greek, give rise to only good or bad faith interpretations based on best evidence.  Exclude the evidence and go all with received authority, and angels look backward.
5.  Vet those beliefs from the system.  Each phrase. See basic beliefs, http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp.  Then ask, on what research ground is this or that command asserted as gospel, rather than mere tradition, conviction, identity.

List of areas of belief: summaries, comments, not complete. Selected topics:

A. Scriptures - perfect as is, complete as is, no question as to interpretation as truth. Written by divinely inspired men. God as author.  Purpose is salvation, truth, and scriptures are without error. God judges us by these principles. Standard for all human behavior, and the measure of all creeds, religious opinions, conduct.

B. God one triune, distinct personal characteristics but no divisions; B1 God the Father - reigns providentially according to his purposes over creatures and flow of human history (is that how God intends pregnancy from rape?), have faith and become a child of God; B2 God the Son; B3 God the Holy Spirit - all very male, although Genesis is not so

C. Man-  Special creation because God made Man in his image. How does making a form in the image of something else give it also the attributes of the model? Best part: "every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love".  State of the Union and the SoBap guest, Mr. Nugent.  Is he a SoBap?

D. Salvation - the blood of the sacrifice redeems the believer

E. God's Purpose of Grace - The Elect hold fast to the end.  See caption, supra. God through election regenerates,
 justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners.

F. The Church

E-Learners Express. Earn your religion degree online. 

Ministers:  There is no centralized ordination or licensing procedure, no education requirements, all is determined locally. Ordain anybody. See http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/clministers.asp/ Each church is free to set up its own way to enroll people. http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/clindividuals.asp/.  A church affiliates with the big SoBap Convention by simply contributing to its mission(s).  Immediate status as a SoBap. If you sign up in time, you can send up to 10 messengers to the big Convention. http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/clchurches.asp.

G. Baptism and The Lord's Supper - immersion to symbolize death and rising again; Last Supper -- act of obedience, memorial of death of Redeemer.  

H. Evangelism and Missions - worldwide reach, goal. Convince the globe. Everyone and every church to make disciples of everyone else. Duty to seek the salvation of the lost.

I.  The Lord's Day - use for devotions

J. Last Things - There are broad views.  Agreement on end of world at some point, second coming, judgment, unrighteous go to hell.  This site goes into more detail:  Second coming, end of days. Jesus returns, people are raptured up to heaven, and then a 7-year tribulation when the Antichrist arises to rule the world, then Jesus returns again, judges those alive or dead, and institutes 1000 years of kingdom on earth, see http://people.opposingviews.com/southern-baptists-beliefs-final-days-earth-2049.html.

K. Education - Education:  summer Bible school as magnet for SoBap system, see http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39683.  If they keep the religious mission agenda education agenda out of the public system, no complaint.  That separation cannot happen, however, because the cause of education in Christ's Kingdom is the same as the causes of missions and general benevolence. Find a balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility (to coordinate mission with education?)

From the basic beliefs site:  "The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists."

What about the freedom of a child to learn, to analyze, to think?  Read on to clergy:  no education requirement there. Is that so? Enthusiastic preaching without content?  Do we begin with 1845 firm believers and believe what they believed?  No wonder there is a resistance to new areas of belief, such as global warming. 
L. Stewardship

M. Cooperation - Cooperation is an element of the belief system but cooperation applies only among affiliated missions.  See http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/positionstatements.asp/  Church and state: "neither should control the affairs of the other" -- fine, but the face of the SoBaps and the SoBaps Contingent tonight will be how they control their own. 

N. The Christian and the Social Order - Guns.  Tally sheet (cheering section) on churches with open-carry or option to open-carry guns in church, http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39673;

O. Religious Liberty - After an initial misstep in characterizing President Obama as merely "touting" the power of prayer, the rest of the article is good on summary of the National Prayer Breakfast event where he spoke.  Good work after the first paragraph, at http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39686. 

P. Family -Gays in Boy Scouts as calamity, see http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=39688;

A wife: must submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband just like they see the church willingly submitting to the headship of Christ. Both husband and wife are in the image of God, thus equal, but he is to support and protect, she to act as helper to him in managing household and nurturing children. So, she is both subservient and equal; and hubby's wifely helper by ordained householding.

Conundra to religious systems:

There was no "wife" in Genesis.  Men took women, or bought them.  Free download, http://www.mechanical-translation.org/, search for "wife" and find nothing.  Jerome put in wife where there had been woman, is that so? Helper. KNGDV or K NGD V or us (no vowels in Hebrew).  Ezer kenegdo, in our parlance, helper ezer, kndgv, as in front of him.  See http://www.godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm/. Ezer.  Same word as when God helps humans. That kind of help.  Adam the twister. Life begins with the breath, the nphsh, the soul, and not for Genesis purposes, before.  And all creatures have nphsh, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Hebrew_Index.htm

Are there are other interpretations of scripture also worth following, even more accurate in terms of integrity to the source. Then the rest, adopted by the SoBaps, is culture. What politicos call a war on religion,  because it challenges belief, is really a war on culture, cult-ure.

7. Why give so many cites?  The important point here is to anchor a representation of fact with its source immediately handy, so people can vet for themselves.

8.  Discussion: 

"We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice." See http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp  What if the tenets are not based on even basic evidence, facts, but instead on the idea of "inspiration" of this human or that, or ideas that elevated a nomadic culture perhaps, but after?  Which deciders have been primed, by accepting and remaining committed to received authority already, as in a religious structure, to believe that received authority remains the best guide to policy secular.  Which have shown themselves able to limit the received-authority mindset to their personal spheres, and act for the broader community in the secular government.

How much cherry-picking goes on from religious systems to what individual or one side politically or personally wants. Works on all sides.  All human.  Is that the point?

No "system" is specifically inspired, necessarily (did Paul have an epileptic fit?).  The conviction holds it together, not the truth, because that is not to be explored if it counters tradition. Forced conformity, extending beyond the politician to ordinary citizens in their wake.  Impose in lives of other people because the system's ideology says to.

Follow the sites here and trace how mindsets in a group perpetuate. From Scripture: Something to take a stand on and never waiver; to legislation:  take no stand contrary to received authority, or risk primary.  Explore facts if at all, lightly.  Acknowledge no error in established positions. Conviction over merit.

Is the identity factor, the belonging to a culture, more important to a received-authority system than the merit of the tenets.  "Thus this generation of Southern Baptists is in historic succession of intent and purpose as it endeavors to state for its time and theological climate those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us." See http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp