"Institutions, by their very definition, are evil," he said in that 1994 address. "Their raison d'etre is always and inevitably self-survival. They, all of them, when they are threatened, will go to any length -- tell any lie, engage in any program -- to protect themselves. And justify it as being in defense of Almighty God."
For Baptists to be true Baptists, he said, it's crucial for them to teach that Jesus never "demanded of the people who wanted to follow him that they must first know this or that, this creed, or that catechism, the nature of the Trinity or the plan of salvation, or subscribe to an Abstract of Principles to the satisfaction of the Sanhedrin. He had not insisted on any systematic belief whatsoever."
Terry Mattingly is the director of the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and leads the GetReligion.org project to study religion and the news.
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