Why did there need to be a group of Free Church people called Baptists?
By the 4th Century, Constantine, and his successor Theodosius, had wedded the power of the state government to the spiritual role of the church. As this earthly force evolved, it imposed Christendom onto men by the power of civil law and had the authority to exterminate you if you rebelled.
“Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Jesus in Luke 18.16-17 (HCSB)
The Pastors’ Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms released the findings of its research just before the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore, MD. Among other things, they noted “The only consistently growing age group in baptisms is age five and under.” While I believe the report offers valuable insights that can and should be used to spur greater evangelistic effort on the part of Southern Baptists, I am somewhat troubled by the response that particular line has received.
by Walker Moore
founder, president of AweStar Ministries
Walker Moore has for decades trained and led thousands of teens on international missions trips, thus changing their lives as disciples and changing the eternities for others who became disciples as a result.
Walker is gifted by God in preaching and leadership. Having spoken at state Baptist conventions, local associations, major churches and missions conferences across the SBC, he remains an influential voice for missions among pastors, church staff and members, and teens.
To book Walker as a speaker in your church or conference, click HERE.
Twice in my life, I have been held at gunpoint. I pray you will never have to experience the feeling of holding your hands high in the air while looking down a gun barrel. I don’t recommend it.
The first time it happened was in Mexico. I was on staff at FBC, Tulsa, and we had collected clothing for people who lived at a garbage dump in Mexico. We shipped the clothes to Laredo, Texas, where I had reserved a van to rent, loaded the clothes and took them across the border into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where the church planters would distributed them.
Upon my arrival in Mexico, I encountered a problem: the rental company had no van. Since we had already made a deposit, we needed a vehicle. But all they had was a white Lincoln Continental Mark V so I used it. There is only one word in the English language to describe this car: behemoth. It took a country mile to turn the thing around.
I am young (29 to be exact), have two beautiful daughters and one on the way, and have been married almost eight years to Kara, my beautiful wife. We met at Brewton-Parker College, a wonderful Georgia Baptist college in southeast Georgia. All of these eight years have been spent in service to the local church.
My days are a little chaotic because Kara and I are humble homeschoolers. I also am serving my first full time church while pursuing a D.Min. degree.
Thankfully, I have gotten a little experience behind me. I was blessed to preach my first sermon at age 12, and I was licensed to preach at 16. In those early years of pulpit supply, I had only a Bible. I was borrowing commentaries left and right; however, I came across a little orange book, “What Baptists Believe,” by Herschel H. Hobbs.
Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) writes, “Years ago, I was with Dr. Paul Rees at his conference at Medicine Lake. I remember a wonderful illustration that he told of a bishop in India who was approached by a missionary. She said, ‘Bishop, I have sought a deeper experience with God all these years and I don’t have it. I have read books. I have read what to do and all the rules, but I am nowhere yet. Does God have favorites?’ The old bishop said, ‘No, my dear, God does not have favorites. But He has intimates.’”