On Gluttony…

WHEREAS, Years of research confirm biblical warnings that gluttony leads to physical, mental, and emotional damage (e.g. Proverbs 23:20-21); and

WHEREAS, Gluttony defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit, our bodies, by causing numerous corollary maladies such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, stroke, and endometrial, breast, and colon cancer; and

WHEREAS, The meteoric rise of insurance premiums across our convention can be directly and indirectly attributed to the gluttonous dietary habits of many Southern Baptist ministers; and

WHEREAS, Chronic and morbid obesity among Christians is evidence of a failure to practice biblical stewardship, pursue godliness, and produce the spiritual fruit of self control (John 6: 27; Gal. 5:19-24); and

WHEREAS, The undisciplined consumption of food reflects a heart of idolatry (Phil. 3:18-19); and

WHEREAS, There are some religious leaders who now openly display their flagrant disregard for biblical principles that govern a believer’s diet, thus denying the church of the Lord Jesus Christ the power of its testimony that the gospel can deliver men from lives of selfish pursuit and worldly ambition for the sake of the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:12-13); and

WHEREAS, the expanding girth of many Southern Baptist ministers demonstrates the degree to which purported servants of Christ have sought excessively after those things that the pagans seek, having denied the beneficent and sufficient provision of their Lord (Mt 6:31); now therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-13, 2007, express our firm belief that the inerrant word of God condemns gluttony as an abomination and a terrible evil in the sight of the Lord; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we are embarrassed by the degree to which our own wicked and idolatrous dietary habits have brought reproach on our Lord Jesus Christ and quenched the Spirit of God in our lives;

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to take an active role in renewing their personal commitments to the spiritual discipline of fasting for the sake of the Kingdom of God; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we exhort one another to reflect godly priorities and holiness in all matters related to personal diet and wellness; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of gluttony; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a gluttonous person; and be it further resolved

RESOLVED, That we commend organizations and ministries that treat gluttony from a biblical perspective and promote a healthy diet and encourage local churches to begin and/or support such biblically-based ministries.

John Stuart Mill on Mitt Romney…

While reading Mill’s classic treatise, On Liberty, I was reminded tonight of his thoughts on Mormonism and religious liberty. The money quote:

Much might be said on the unexpected and instructive fact that an alleged new revelation and a religion founded on it — the product of palpable imposture, not even supported by the prestige of ordinary qualities in its founder — is believed by hundreds of thousands, and has been made the foundation of a society in the age of newspapers, railways, and the electric telegraph. What here concerns us is that this religion, like other better religions, has its martyrs: that its prophet and founder was, for his teaching, put to death by a mob; that others of its adherents lost their lives by the same lawless violence; that they were forcibly expelled, in a body, from the country in which they first grew up, while, now that they have been chased into a solitary recess in the midst of the desert, many in this country openly declare that it would be right (only that is not convenient) to send an expedition against them and compel them by force to conform to the opinions of other people. The article of Mormonite doctrine that is the chief provocative to the antipathy which thus breaks through the ordinary restraints of religious tolerance is its sanction of holy polygamy; which, though permitted to Mohammedans, and Hindus, and Chinese, seems to excite unquenchable animosity when practiced by persons who speak English and profess to be a kind of Christians. No one has a deeper disapprobation than I have of this Mormon institution; both for other reasons and because, far from being in any way countenanced by a principle of liberty, it is a direct infraction of that principle, being a mere riveting of the chains of one half of the community, and an emancipation of the other from reciprocity of obligation towards them. Still, it must be remembered that this relation is as much voluntary on the part of the women concerned in it, and who may be deemed the sufferers by it, as is the case with any other form of the marriage institution; and however surprising this fact may appear, it has its explanation in the common ideas and customs of the world, which, teaching women to think marriage the one thing needful, make it intelligible that many a woman should prefer being one of several wives to not being a wife at all.

Other countries are not asked to recognize such unions, or release any portion of their inhabitants from their own laws on the score of Mormonite opinions. But when the dissentients have conceded to the hostile sentiments of others far more than could justly be demanded; when they have left the countries to which their doctrines were unacceptable and established themselves in a remote corner of the earth, which they ahve been the first to render habitable to human beings, it is difficult to see on what principles but those of tyranny they can be prevented from living there under what laws they please, provided they commit no aggression on the other nations and allow perfect freedom of departure to those who are disatisfied with their ways. A recent writer, in some respects of considerable merit, proposes (to use his own words) not a crusade, but a civilizade, against this polygamous community, to put an end to what seems to be a retrograde step in civilization. It also appears so to me, but I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. So long as the sufferers by the bad law do not invoke assistance from other communities, I cannot admit that persons entirely unconnected with them ought to step in and require that a condition of things with which all who are directly interested appear to be satisfied should be put an end to because it is scandal to persons some thousands of miles distant who have no part or concern in it. Let them send missionaries, if they please, to preach against it; and let them, by any fair means (of which silencing the teachers is not one), oppose the progress of similar doctrines among their own people.

If civilization has got the better barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilization. A civilization that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy must first have become so degenerate that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilization receives notice to quit, the better. It can only go on from bad to worse until destroyed, and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians.

He shall not be moved…

The Rev. Dwight McKissic has exposed the prejudice that fuels Southern Baptist hysteria and paranoia about the gift of tongues. Earlier this Spring, Southwestern Seminary trustees adopted guidelines for themselves — largely due to McKissic’s criticism of IMB policies — that seeks to limit the degree to which seminary trustees can criticize the actions of sister agencies. We at Baptist Blogger doubt that McKissic will face more harrassment by the board for reiterating his dissent, if for no other reason than he continues to do so in his characteristic style of courtesy and respect without quieting his prophetic voice.

Check out Dwight McKissic’s latest post here.

After that, check out the Resolution on Private Prayer in Tongues that Mckissic has submitted for consideration at the 2007 convention in San Antonio.