Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Double Standard is "Why Hermeneutics Matter"

Is there a double standard in predominantly white denominations? This is one of the questions raised at the conference in Miami. Ricky Armstrong, host pastor of Glendale Baptist Church, made the point that within his denomination, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), he was concerned that there may be a double standard for theological integrity (Ricky is not alone in this concerned as some blacks in the PCA are beginning to ask the same question). You see, in the past he raised a concern for the theology of some of the black preachers in the SBC with some of the white leaders. They expressed to him a lack of interest in such theological matters and suggested to him that he focus not on what they considered to be theologically divisive issues, but rather focus on issues of cooperation like evangelism. Pastor Armstrong, however, rightly discerned the hypocrisy in this response. You see, when the SBC at large was dealing with issues of theological liberalism and modernity, the conservatives pooled all their resources to battle these deviant theological and philosophical ideas. Armstrong could not help but conclude that the lack of zeal in confronting many of the same issues and ideas among the predominantly black Southern Baptist churches was due to them being black and to some in the SBC not wanted to be characterized as racist because they call black preachers into account like they call white preachers. Yet, to Armstrong's credit, he did not leave the matter unaddressed. In fact, his vision for the conference in Miami and the theme of the conference was a response to this growing malaise of deviant theology coming from too many of our predominantly African-American pulpits. Admittedly, the answer to this problem is not simple, but it does begin with re-asserting the importance of a Biblical, Historical, and Reformational Hermeneutic that is based in a uncompromising submission to the Authority of Scripture. This is why the conference was called. This is why we answered the call. This is Why Hermeneutics Matter.

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