As a man in my firm mid-thirties, I have been in the Baptist Church for at least 40 years. So, I’ve seen a lot, heard a lot and learned a lot. Over the past few years as a SBC Pastor one thing I have learned is that many Baptists are more concerned with being Baptist than being true to the call of God as the Body of Christ.
About a month ago I said, “Southern Baptists have replaced the ministry of reconciliation with people assimilation.” I got some harsh looks, phone calls and emails, but all-in-all, most people see what I mean. As SBC churches, we have historically been the folks who really know the scripture, advance the Gospel and proclaim the Glory of God. Recently, this is not the case; we’ve been more interested in numbers, budgets, growth and assimilation of people in ‘hopes’ or ‘wishes’ that they might find Christ through the wonderful programs and options available in a Christian safe-haven.
I recently read an article discussing this issue quoting Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.
“It is very important that your generation redeem what has been lost, strengthen the things that remain,” he said Friday at the close of a four-day conference on “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism.”
“Make the Southern Baptist Convention what it must be in order to serve the cause of Christ … to be the kind of denomination that is known not for its name and its brand but rather for the glory of God,” he added. “Do not give yourself to the Southern Baptist Convention but give yourself to Christ.”
Dr. Mohler called young seminary students to not get behind SBC life as the ultimate or because their ‘grandmother’ was SBC, but to champion the call of God to be glorified and the Gospel to be preached unapologetically.
“The vision before us is not the perpetuation of the Southern Baptist Convention but the call of the nations to exalt in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he affirmed.
I whole-heartedly agree with Dr. Mohler and others like him who stand behind scripture and the glory of God as the ultimate purpose of life as a believer and as the body. If the church is going to be all about the ‘stuff’ that most resembles a corporate country club, then we might as well quit preaching all together and save a lot of pastors and people their precious time at the pool.
In my opinion, if something does not happen for the better to bring the SBC and other denominations to the cross and orthodoxy, then we will see a smaller and smaller number of true fellowships of faith who will actually be the true church. What are we doing to mature people, make disciples and glorify God in all the nations? We better start asking these questions, finding the answer and terminating everything that doesn’t result to this end.
Staying Stupid in the wisdom of the Cross!
James H. Tippins