Thursday, September 28, 2006

Church Counts Controversy

by Brian Kaylor

Yesterday, Ethics Daily ran my column entitled “CBF, Baptist Press Numbers Flap Unnecessary, Misguided.” It addresses the recent attack articles by the Baptist Press over how the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship counts churches. The argument I advance is that it does not really matter and that it is time to focus on more important concerns than how big we are. (I know there have already been a lot of good responses on the attack, but they keep making it and I think the big picture has been lost at times.)

What is interesting is that Southern Seminary’s Russell Moore, who I mention in the column, has posted a response on his blog. However, it is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, he inaccurately throws out the term “liberal” (as in the past, Moore uses the term too liberally).

The other problem comes when he attempts to look like the good guy by claiming, “I hope for higher birth-rates in the CBF.” This is a nice sentiment, but it does not fit with his earlier comments about CBF. In the first Baptist Press attack article I responded to in my column, Moore called CBF “a parasitic movement.” If he views them as parasites then why would he want them to give birth? And if he really does want them to grow then why did he call them parasites?

If Moore really wants to set the record straight, then he should apology for the parasite metaphor. It is, after all, completely inappropriate and unbiblical. Such a metaphor suggests that CBF should be removed from the Body, which is something that one should never say about their brothers and sisters.

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