Woes of the SBC Pharisees
Enid, Ok., pastor Wade Burleson is conducting more than a personal homiletic exercise when he flogs the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) through Matthew 23. His whip of the “Woes of the Pharisees” does burn, and rankles some SBCers.
Burleson cuts immediately to the bone with his (2) “pastors and self-proclaimed leaders of the SBC have seated themselves in positions of authority” who even demand (6) “that they be called “Dr.” by those who know them.”
No, prez Johnny Hunt isn’t the only SBCer with with a fake Phd. on his resume. Nor does Burleson gloss his excoriation with footnotes. Whether he has Hunt in mind is from the text unknowable.
Likewise, readers may find any number of SBC controversies among Burleson’s other broad hints.
Or choose to read his short-form allegorical satire – not quite Dante’s Divine Comedy – as straightforward experimental sermon.
It’s surely a stretch (unless perhaps you’re from Missouri, Georgia, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and northern Idaho, and others on a growing list) to read (23) & (24) as somehow in part commentaries on the Great Commission Resurgence Task force recommendations. He writes:
(23) Woe to you, SBC pastors and self-proclaimed SBC leaders, hypocrites! For you emphasize giving, giving, and giving, but you neglect the weightier things: justice and mercy and faithfulness. Don’t neglect these things while you seek the dollar! (24) In your blind greed you are straining gnats and swallowing camels.
(29) Woe to you, SBC pastors and self-proclaimed SBC leaders, hypocrites! For you exalt other pastors and you build monuments to their legacy, (30) saying, ‘If we had lived in the liberal days of our forefathers, we would have helped them them in turning around our convention.’ (31) Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered your brothers. (32) Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. (33) You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to judgment yourselves?
If Burleson’s whip stings, is it because your back needs it?
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