Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 02:21:19 EST
Subject: Baptist Hassles


Still another sign that no one has a patent on "god's word" is the endless succession of folks each claiming that the DO have the patent only to have someone else equally fervently say they have it too...except it doesn't match.

No one argues about the existence of gravity...and one would think a competent god's instructions would be communicated at least as obviously as the direction "down".

So we are left to conclusion that we are hearing human opinions each wrongly proclaiming itself be "god's word".


Conservative Baptists Hold Meeting


.c The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) -- A group of conservative Texas Baptists, upset with the Baptist General Convention of Texas' more tolerant views on homosexuality and abortion, severed ties Tuesday with the organization and held their first separate convention.

As the larger, more moderate Baptist General Convention continued its annual meeting, about 700 people -- including 499 delegates -- flocked to Woodforest Baptist Church to attend the first convention of the breakaway group, called the Southern Baptists of Texas.

"I think we've got to get away from this thing of getting away from God's word," said Miles Seaborn, president of the group.

Tension between the conservatives and moderates has been growing for nearly two decades. Among their complaints, conservatives claim the convention hasn't taken strong-enough stands against abortion and homosexuality.

Then on Monday, the larger group approved a new representation formula that further angered conservatives.

The plan links the number of future convention delegates, or messengers, to church membership and contributions to state causes. Previously the number was based solely on membership.

All churches now will have at least two messengers whether or not they contribute, but additional delegates will depend on the amount of money a church gives.

Conservatives contend the formula amounts to a tax that forces contributions to moderate-controlled programs and reduces their numbers at meetings. Moderates disagreed.

"I think it's fair," said Delores Flood, a member of San Angelo's Southland Baptist Church. "If people aren't contributing, then why should they decide how my money is spent?"

Conservatives said they are tired of not being taken seriously.

"Those of us who still believe the Bible is the word of God have been frustrated our money's been going to things" conservatives don't support, said Ron Eldred, pastor of Hitchcock Baptist Chapel in Hitchcock, west of Galveston.

AP-NY-11-10-98 2205EST

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.


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