Moran blasts CBF, says SBC needs more holiness
May 2 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Moran blasts CBF, says SBC needs more holiness | Friday, May 2, 2003

Friday, May 2, 2003

Moran blasts CBF, says SBC needs more holiness

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

PLEASANT GARDEN - As expected, a Baptist political activist from Missouri had harsh words for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and the Mainstream Baptists Network during a speech to N.C. Baptist conservatives on April 24.

Perhaps not as anticipated, Roger Moran also spoke out against the actions of some "conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptists."

Moran is largely credited with helping shift the Missouri Baptist Convention in a decidedly conservative direction. He was the featured speaker at the Conservative Carolina Baptist (CCB) rally at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church.

Moran spent most of his speech on why he believes CBF and Mainstream Baptists are liberal. He said Paul was talking about groups like CBF when in Acts 20:30 he told the church in Ephesus, "Even from your own number men with arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."

Earlier, Moran read the previous verse in which Paul says, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock."

CBF Coordinator Daniel Vestal released a statement saying that Moran's accusations feed the "cynicism and mistrust that those in the world feel toward Christians."

"This kind of demeaning and abusive rhetoric is an insult to our missionaries who proclaim the gospel in some of the most difficult places in the world," Vestal said. "It hurts the chaplains, the seminary students, the church planters and the Baptist congregations who are a part of the CBF family."

Moran listed 22 "points of contrast" between CBF and the more conservative Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), then spent several minutes talking about how he believes Mainstream leaders are linked to groups he considers liberal.

CBF and Mainstream leaders have said that Moran uses guilt-by-association tactics and that the views of individual members do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire group. CBF has launched a Web site to respond to such accusations at

Toward the end of his speech, Moran changed the subject. He said he had the opportunity recently to talk to about 300 SBC leaders.

"One of the things I said was this, 'I am increasingly concerned and increasing convinced that as conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptists, we have developed a multitude of programs, published reams of materials, spent millions upon millions of dollars to train and motivate our people so they could do in the flesh what you could not prevent them from doing if they were in the Spirit,'" he said.

Moran said conservatives are losing their "biblical understanding of the seriousness of sin."

"When conservative, Bible-believing Southern Baptists can sing along with secular music that trivializes and glorifies sin, then for what do we tell people Christ died and shed His blood?" he asked. "When conservative Bible-believing Southern Baptists can sit in front of a television and sit in a movie theater and constantly feed on the godless wickedness of this world, then have we not indeed forgotten that whichever nature we nurture will become dominant in our lives? And have we forgotten that when we feed the flesh it grows stronger?"

Moran said that everything that God expects from Christians flows from holiness.

"Evangelism and the making of disciples, that hard work of making disciples, is not the natural outgrowth of carnal Christianity even if our doctrine is sound," he said. "Our problem as Bible-believing, conservative Southern Baptists is not a lack of evangelism, our problem is a lack of commitment to holiness, purity, obedience, faithfulness, humility."

Moran said that although he's not a preacher or theologian, he still thinks he has the right answer to the problem.

"There's only one inhibitor to holiness, it's sin," he said. "To the degree to which Southern Baptists lose their biblical understanding of the seriousness of sin, to that same degree we will lose our zeal for evangelism and for the making of disciples, because sin blinds us to the things that matter most to God."

Moran said conservative Southern Baptists need to realize that "boldly proclaiming the truth of God's word is only half the equation."

"We are in desperate need of a passion and a commitment to live the truth that matches or even surpasses our passion for preaching," he said. "We are in desperate need of a passion for making disciples that matches or even surpasses our passion for counting baptisms."

Other speakers at the rally spoke against liberalism and in favor of CCB.

Emir F. Caner, assistant professor of church history and Anabaptist studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, talked about his background as a Muslim. He said when people ask him what it takes to lead a Muslim to Christ, he tells them it takes the same thing it takes to lead anyone to Christ - a bold preacher and an unconditionally loving congregation.

"A liberal will never lead anyone to Jesus Christ," he said. "Never."

He also spoke against what he called "a Dalmatian theology" where the Bible is inspired only in spots.

"The Bible is either absolute or it's obsolete," he said. "It's either all or nothing."

Jerry Pereira, president of the Baptist State Convention (BSC) and pastor of First Baptist Church of Swannanoa, said he is pleased with Jim Royston's vision for the BSC. He said he is thankful for people who influenced his ministry and said he is proud to call Mark Corts, retired pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem and an influential N.C. Baptist conservative, his friend.

"I'm proud to call y'all my friends, too," he said. "I view us as a team working together to spread the good news of Jesus Christ across our state, across our country."

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5/2/2003 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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