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Southern Baptists to reflect on numbers

By Francisca Jones

This article was published June 10, 2018 at 3:36 a.m.

Southern Baptists are gathered in Dallas this week for the denomination's annual gathering and business meeting against a backdrop of concern regarding members of its leadership, a continued decline in membership and a vote to decide who will become the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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23cal says... June 10, 2018 at 7:57 a.m.

"Addison attributes the steady decline of Southern Baptist membership in part to the growth of the religious "nones," those people who do not adhere to any particular faith."
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Addison is correct. Folks are disgusted with the hypocrisy as shown by the SB leaders above. Folks are disgusted with the homophobia, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the right wing politics, anti-science, anti-intellectualism, anti-modernity, and the plain old mean-spiritedness of people who see everything as either black or white in a world filled with shades of gray.
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You see examples of these people commenting on here regularly. The Southern Baptists are losing membership because too many of its members are people whom loving and tolerant folks do not want to be around. These people are leaving because the egregious meanness of the flock is enough to drive them away despite a lifetime of indoctrination.

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PopMom says... June 10, 2018 at 8:36 a.m.

Well said, 23 Cal.

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Delta2 says... June 10, 2018 at 8:58 a.m.

Ditto on 23cal. It's also something of a parallel of our political parties. More and more people today don't like being put into a box.

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GeneralMac says... June 10, 2018 at 11:05 a.m.

23Cal............Jesus described marriage as being between one MAN and one WOMEN.

Vocal gay posters can't accept that so they label anyone who does as....."homophobics"

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Delta2 says... June 10, 2018 at 11:24 a.m.

Private, what about divorce, between one man and one woman? Are they condemned to Hell? And what about all those Old Testament guys with multiple wives? No saving them either?

But to your bigoted point, homophobia isn't necessarily about gay marriage, it's being anti-gay people period. And that's not Christian. Neither is your xenophobia.

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23cal says... June 10, 2018 at 11:26 a.m.

NaziMac: I see you can't tell the difference between state-sanctioned marriage and holy matrimony. Or, if you can, then you ignore it to justify your homophobic bias.
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The Bible (not just Jesus) has a lot to say about what constitutes marriage.
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Marriage in NOT holy matrimony.
Holy matrimony is religious. It happens in the church. Its sanctity is defined and can be defended.
Marriage is a social and legal contract that provides rights, obligations, privileges, and protections that are not afforded to those who are unwed. Unlike holy matrimony, marriage is a civil right. To deny civil rights to our own citizens is, quite frankly, the most un-American thing we can do.
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Even Bill O'Reilly gets it. He said, "The compelling argument is on the side of the homosexuals. 'We are Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.' And, to deny that, you have to have a very strong argument on the other side.
And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but THUMP THE BIBLE."
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Genesis 2:24 describes how a man leaves his family of origin, joins with a woman, consummates the marriage and lives as a couple. There were quite a few differences between the customs and laws of contemporary North Americans and of ancient Israelites. In ancient Israel:

Inter-faith marriages were theoretically forbidden. However, they were sometimes formed.

Children of inter-faith marriages were considered illegitimate.
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Marriages were generally arranged by family or friends; they did not result from a gradually evolving, loving relationship that developed during a period of courtship.
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A bride who had been presented as a virgin and who could not be proven to be one was stoned to death by the men of her village. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21) There appears to have been no similar penalty for men who engaged in consensual pre-marital sexual activity.
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Polygynous marriage: A man would leave his family of origin and join with his first wife. Then, as finances allowed, he would marry as many additional women as he desired. The new wives would join the man and his other wives in an already established household.

There are many references to polygynous marriages in the Bible:

Lamech, in Genesis 4:19, became the first known polygynist. He had two wives.

Subsequent men in polygynous relationships included:
Esau with 3 wives;

Jacob: 2;

Ashur: 2;

Gideon: many;

Elkanah: 2;

David: many;

Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth;

Rehaboam: 3;

Abijah: 14.

Jehoram, Joash, Ahab, Jeholachin and Belshazzar also had multiple wives.
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continued

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23cal says... June 10, 2018 at 11:28 a.m.

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Levirate Marriage: The name of this type of marriage is derived from the Latin word "levir," which means "brother-in-law." This involved a woman who was widowed without having borne a son. She would be required to leave her home, marry her brother-in-law, live with him, and engage in sexual relations. If there were feelings of attraction and love between the woman and her new husband, this arrangement could be quite agreeable to both. Otherwise, the woman would have to endure what was essentially serial rapes with her former brother-in-law as perpetrator. Their first-born son was considered to be sired by the deceased husband. Ruth 4 reveals that a man would be required to enter into a levirate marriage not only with his late brother's widow, but with a widow to whom he was the closest living relative.
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A man, a woman and her property -- a female slave: As described in Genesis 16, Sarah and Abram were infertile. Sarah owned Hagar, a female slave who apparently had been purchased earlier in Egypt. Because Hagar was Sarah's property, she could dispose of her as she wished. Sarah gave Hagar to Abram as a type of wife, so that Abram could have an heir. Presumably, the arrangement to marry and engage in sexual activity was done without the consent of Hagar, who had such a low status in the society of the day that she was required to submit to what she probably felt were serial rapes by Abram. Hagar conceived and bore a son, Ishmael.
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A man, one or more wives, and some concubines: A man could keep numerous concubines, in addition to one or more wives. These women held an even lower status than a wife. As implied in Genesis 21:10, a concubine could be dismissed when no longer wanted. According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, "A concubine would generally be either (1) a Hebrew girl bought...[from] her father; (2) a Gentile captive taken in war; (3) a foreign slave bought; or (4) a Canaanitish woman, bond or free." 1 They would probably be brought into an already-established household. Abraham had two concubines; Gideon: at least 1; Nahor: 1; Jacob: 1; Eliphaz: 1; Gideon: 1; Caleb: 2; Manassah: 1; Saul: 1; David: at least 10; Rehoboam: 60; Solomon: 300!; an unidentified Levite: 1; Belshazzar: more than 1.
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A male soldier and a female prisoner of war: Numbers 31:1-18 describes how the army of the ancient Israelites killed every adult Midianite male in battle. Moses then ordered the slaughter in cold blood of most of the captives, including all of the male children who numbered about 32,000. Only the lives of 32,000 women - all virgins -- were spared. Some of the latter were given to the priests as slaves. Most were taken by the Israeli soldiers as captives of war. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes how each captive woman would shave her head, pare her nails, be left alone to mourn the loss of her families, friends, and freedom.
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23cal says... June 10, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.

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After a full month had passed, they would be required to submit to their owners sexually, as a wife. It is conceivable that in a few cases, a love bond might have formed between the soldier and his captive(s). However, in most cases we can assume that the woman had to submit sexually against her will; that is, she was raped....for the rest of her miserable life.
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A male rapist and his victim: According to the New International Version of the Bible, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 requires that a female virgin who is not engaged to be married and who has been raped must marry her attacker, no matter what her feelings were towards the rapist. A man could then become married by simply sexually attacking a woman that appealed to him, and paying his father-in-law 50 shekels of silver.
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A male and female slave: Exodus 21:4 indicates that a slave owner could assign one of his female slaves to one of his male slaves as a wife. There is no indication that women were consulted during this type of transaction. The arrangement would probably involve rape in most cases. In the times of the Hebrew Scriptures, Israelite women who were sold into slavery by their fathers were slaves forever. Men, and women who became slaves by another route, were limited to serving as slaves for seven years. When a male slave left his owner, the marriage would normally be terminated; his wife would stay behind, with any children that she had. He could elect to stay a slave if he wished.
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So, there you go, NaziMac. You want to pound the bible, pound this.....and pound sand.

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ARMNAR says... June 10, 2018 at 11:35 a.m.

GM isn't a Christian.

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GeneralMac says... June 10, 2018 at 11:35 a.m.

If one wants to be a Christian, they should read Jesus' description of marriage.

He didn't say " man shall cling to man and they shall be one in flesh "

Yes, I ..AM..talking about Christian marriage because this article..IS..about a Christian religion.

You follow that gay handbook from the 1980's to a "T" .

Especially the directive that says........."label churches that oppose gay marriage as ...churches of hate..."

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