Paul Pressler's Vain Attempt to Establish His Own Legacy
By David Flick
Paul Presslerís autobiography, A Hill On Which To Die, has been sent to some 40,000 Southern Baptist pastors and leaders around the country. Someone is spending some big bucks to help Pressler gain further notoriety. I think Pressler is vainly attempting to establish his own his legacy. He sees himself as a savior of a denomination.
Throughout the book, braggadocios and self-glorifying language abounds as he attempts to build himself into a hero. No stone is left unturned to delineate his close relationship with powerful people in high places both in denominational and secular political life. There are few books in print where the author makes so many self-honoring and personal-glorifying statements about himself.
Much of the book is a feeble attempt to portray
Southern Baptists as having been on a slippery slope toward utter liberalism
prior to his taking the helm. Pressler is the ultimate spin-meister of
Southern Baptist Fundamentalism. His understanding of traditional Southern
Baptists is hopelessly skewed. His idea that the Southern Baptist
convention was on the slippery slope toward liberalism is a myth. However,
if a lie is told as truth long enough, multitudes of people will believe the
myth to be true.
One statement in the book stands out as particularly arrogant and offensive to me. In Chapter 17 "In the Thick of Battle" Pressler wrote, "These events were in God hands, and we realized that He would fight the battle His way and not ours." (p. 114)
What message is the Judge attempting to convey here? For starters, the message is that Godís agenda is fighting denominational battles. Another part of the message is that God uses his power to subdivide Baptists into pods of good and evil. Of course, fighting battles requires that someone have enemies. Since God fights battles to subdivide Baptists, the Fundamentalists think they are the good pod. Moderate Baptists, by default, are the evil pod. Moderate Baptists become the enemies of God and of all Fundamentalist Baptists. They are seen as being in league with Satan himself. Hence, they must to be vilified, demonized, and excluded from fellowship and cooperation in Baptist life. Fundamentalists, by their very nature, need enemies to function in life.
When the Judge credits God as being the instigator of the battle to takeover the SBC, he claims God perpetrated the divisions within our ranks. How arrogant and vain can one man be? How arrogant and vain can the Fundamentalist Southern Baptists be?
Apparently, Pressler does not understand the
principles governing relationships among Christians. Perhaps he ripped out
the page in his Bible which contains the following admonition: ďAs a
prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you
have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one
another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the
bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one
hope when you were called.Ē Eph. 4:1-4 [NKJV]
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