Virginia Baptist Leaders Busy Betraying Their Base

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When North Korea sentences a juche follower to a re–education camp at least the ride is free, but when the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia urges members to enter a re–education camp the charge is $79.00.

In the past BGAV’s Disaster Response teams performed a valuable service and Christian witness. During my training session we were told BGAV sent mobile kitchens during Baltimore’s unrest to prepare meals for police and National Guardsmen.

I’m not sure that will be the emphasis in the future. Judging by the BGAV’s latest outreach partner, the next time mobile kitchens head for Charm City it will be to feed the rioters.

In March Virginia’s supposedly conservative, orthodox Baptist leadership is sponsoring the Mid–Atlantic Regional Justice Conference: Motto — “Be the Change.”

Jesus was notorious for demanding his disciples change everything, including names. But I seriously doubt Evangelicals who voted 81 percent for Trump are going to be willing to change allegiance to George Soros on the say–so of the hard–left cadre staffing the conference.

I’m trying to picture the church ladies who attended my disaster–training enjoying these conference sessions:

  • “God’s Word on Immigration” — Dr. John W. Herbst
  • “A Biblical Framework to Approach Immigration — Dawnielle Miller
  • “Race Coded America: Exploring Ways the Church Can Lead in Decoding a Race–Driven Society” — Antipas Harris
  • “Beyond White Guilt: Strategies for Talking With White Christians About Race” — Daniel Willson
  • “Set the Prisoners Free: Mobilizing the Church to End Mass Incarceration” — Shawn Casselberry

On the plus side, after sitting through those harangues attendees will have enough personal guilt to convert to Catholicism, if they remain Christians at all.

If this were a Unitarian or Unite conference it would make perfect sense, but Baptists? The agenda, Biblical beliefs and political orientation of the conference apparatchiks are completely at odds with every Southern Baptist church I’ve attended.

In many instances what these practitioners believe is heresy in any mainline Baptist church.

I have a strong suspicion the one word Dr. Herbst thinks God speaks on immigration is “amnesty,” particularly since he’s a religion professor that evidently doesn’t believe the unborn have a “God–given right to life.” Amnesty is also pretty much a sure thing for Miller who writes for G92.org. Slogan: “Immigrants Aren’t Illegals.”

Harris has a surprise in store for law–and–order conservatives since it’s his belief there’s a strong link between support for capital punishment and lynching. Even being opposed doesn’t let white Baptists off the hook for a hanging judge like Harris. He contends, “…generations of white privilege and black under-privilege have shaped society such that whites are often numb to the reality of their disproportionate privilege to blacks.”

So take that, white Obama voters.

Something tells me Willson isn’t really quite ready to go “beyond white guilt.” His Facebook page reveals an aggressive leftist who despises Trump supporters. He contends, “The rise of evangelical support for Donald Trump reveals, quite visibly…the dearth of compassion among American Christians.”

If Willson ever gets tired of the church, he can always minister to “Occupy.” He’s described as a “Red Letter Christian” and red is right. Willson is “pro–choice,” supports homosexual “marriage” and is active in the anti–police Black Lives Matter movement.

Casselberry is another leftist eager to start the ball rolling on after–election reconciliation. His poem “American Delusion” says it all:

The American dream is an illusion

Land of opportunity?

a Trumped up delusion

A legacy of terror we still refuse to see

Land of the free?

Home of the slave and the lynching tree.”

Officially sponsoring a conference where devoted, church–going Baptists will be dropped into a cauldron of seething leftists is so unbelievable I thought maybe the decision to join this collection of cultural Marxists was the action of a young staffer who didn’t know better and had to justify the “COEXIST” sticker on her car.

So I repeatedly called BGAV Exec. Director John Upton to find out if sponsorship was simply a failure to do basic research. Unfortunately Upton has fallen victim to the form of pride that says since I’m doing God’s work, there is no need to observe minor social niceties. Upton refused to speak with me and explain BGAV thinking.

The official BGAV sponsorship of a divisive, anti–American, heresy–spouting group of propagandists is an insult to the believing Baptists who fill the pews each Sunday and donate to missions.

Believers typically assume denomination leadership reflects the Bible as it’s written and the wishes of the membership. That’s not always the case. In Virginia it’s time to stop being as innocent as doves and start being as wise as serpents. A good place to begin would be by withholding personal and their churches’ financial contributions to the BGAV.

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Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic, entertaining and funny keynote speaker for corporate, non–profit and governmental organizations. In addition to his speaking and consulting, Shannon is an editorial page columnist for Virginia’s News & Messenger.

As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations.

During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. Shannon teaches message development, crisis communication and public relations for The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga Command College, conducts the political advertising and message section of The University of Virginia’s Sorenson Institute and he lectures on message development, politics and lobbying for The Police/Fire Labor Institute.

He is a regular speaker on political commercials, crisis communication and public relations for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has also addressed the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National League of Cities, conducted seminars for Information Management and The University of Arkansas – Little Rock and performed as the keynote speaker for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Shannon’s client list includes SAIC; United National Congress (Trinidad & Tobago); Royal Castle, Ltd.; New Generation Imaging; Dry–Clean Depot; Texas Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn. PAC; Indiana State Police Alliance; Minneapolis Federation of Police; St. Paul Police Federation; Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance; The Peterson Companies; Gleaning for the World; various political candidates and elected officials.

The work Shannon has done in the radio and television arena has been recognized for both creativity and effectiveness. He is a multiple first place winner in the American Association of Political Consultants Pollie awards. Shannon won back–to–back first place Silver Microphone awards for radio commercials. He is a three–time winner of the prestigious Gold statue at the Houston International Film Festival.

Shannon won first place in the Vision Awards for television. He has also won consecutive Silver Microphone awards for best campaign.

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