Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kazakh Baptists leave Baptist World Alliance

Liberal Baptists were outraged when the SBC decided to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance over differences in doctrine. This week the BWA not only announced the retirement of its current Executive Director but also the withdrawal of Central Asia's Kazakh Baptist Union from the BWA (and from the liberal European Baptist Federation). Here's an excerpt from the ABP article:
Lotz and Tony Peck, secretary of the European Baptist Federation, also announced that a Baptist denomination from Central Asia had withdrawn from both BWA and EBF. Leaders of the Baptist Union of Kazakhstan cited many of the same reasons that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention did when that body voted to withdraw from BWA in 2004, he said.

"They're concerned about issues like holiness of life; they're concerned that sin is taken seriously," Peck said. "They're concerned about the excesses of the charismatic movement. They don't believe in women pastors."

SBC leaders, in recommending to the denomination that it end its 99-year-old relationship with BWA, accused the worldwide umbrella group of being too tolerant of member bodies that, in turn, tolerated affiliated congregations or institutions with doctrinal stances that they oppose. They also disagreed with BWA's recommendation that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a moderate group that split from the SBC, be admitted as a full-fledged member.
BWA leaders responded that Baptist polity would not allow them to prescribe the doctrinal standards of member bodies.

Peck said EBF and BWA officials made much the same argument to Kazakh Baptist leaders and other Central Asian Baptist leaders during a meeting in Kyrgyzstan in February. He also said leaders from the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Kyrgyzstan had expressed similar concerns, but had not announced any formal action to EBF or BWA.
Liberal Baptists just do not get it. One cannot hide aberrant doctrine behind the facade of "religious liberty" or "Baptist principles."
The ABP article also quotes Peck's condescending spin on the decision of these Baptists in this formerly communist region: "this is quite a difficult idea for the Central Asian Baptists to get their mind around" in a region where Baptist denominations tend to be very conservative and authoritarian. How about the possibility that they are just trying to be Biblically faithful in not wanting to follow Western secular views on "freedom," feminism and sexual libertinism that have inculcated Baptist churches in the BWA?
The Kazakh brothers are to be commended for their courageous stand.

No comments: