Dr. Jerry Nash, Director of Missions, Harmony Baptist Association, Trenton, FL
If the current trend continues there will be another attempt to change the name of The Southern Baptist Convention within the next few years. When the name changes I believe there will be thousands of SBC churches which will not make the transition.
You may remember the only word in our name which the name-change proponents agreed with is The. They are anti-Southern, anti-Baptist, and anti-Convention. I have a suggestion for those who wish to lead the SBC in a new direction. Let us agree to let the anti-SBC, anti-CP, anti-Association, anti-State Convention and pro-Primitive Baptist doctrines be blessed to go out and become whatever it is they want to be. I believe God would be honored if they left before destroying The Southern Baptist Convention.
For those of that perspective, they can take with them any seminaries that want to go. For those who believe we need only one missionary sending agency, let them take the New NAMB with them. Early indications are that the shift has already begun. Why not make it official? If we continue to support non-Baptist networks and fund non-Baptist new churches, it is only a matter of time before SBC churches will further reduce CP giving.
As more and more of our SBC churches discover the shift in direction and doctrine, there will be less and less loyal support. As in 1 Corinthians 14:8, the trumpet is making an uncertain sound. I believe there is a limit to unquestioned, lifetime loyalty to a denomination. We see it in other denominations around us.
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest evangelical denomination in America. Our critics think we need to make major changes to become more relevant and effective. The time has come for those who not truly Baptist in faith and practice to move along and form their own convention (or whatever they want to call it) instead of trying to fix what isn’t broken.
Jerry W. Nash
Malcolm B. Yarnell III, Managing Editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology and Director of the Center for Theological Research at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, contributes these thoughts on Authentic Christianity, and offers two articles addressing this subject from the Journal available at no charge to the readers of SBC Today –
“When Hope Screams: Learning How to Suffer as Sons from the Book of Hebrews” by Ched Spellman, and
“Seeing Jesus Clearly: A Sermon from Mark 8:22-23,” by Josh Smith.
The desire of believers to display real faith through appropriate action is rooted in the witness of Scripture and exemplified in Christian history. Jesus Christ asked this haunting question of those who wished to identify themselves as His disciples: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” The Lord proceeded to illustrate the difference between two types of disciples with an architectural metaphor. One disciple comes to Christ, hears His words, “and acts on them.” This one is praised as having penetrated to “the rock” and built his house upon Him. This one is an authentic disciple, manifesting his beliefs in action. The second type, however, hears the Lord’s words, “and has not acted accordingly.” The second disciple is not founded upon the rock, so that when judgment comes, “the ruin of that house was great.” The second disciple is a hypocrite, a person whose actions do not match his claims. These are the two disparate options present to those who hear Christ: authentic discipleship or hypocrisy.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus employs an agricultural metaphor to make a similar point, proceeding one step further by demonstrating that the ability to be authentic is itself grace in action. The Father is the “vinedresser,” His Son is the “vine,” and the Son’s disciples are the “branches.” If a disciple would live, he must abide in communion with the vine, for love, the divine gift of life, moves through Him. The vinedresser will prune His branches to help them grow properly and produce good fruit. The production of fruit, or good works, naturally occurs as part of the flow of life from within the vine. If a branch does not abide in the vine and produce the fruit of loving obedience, it will be treated appropriately as refuse for condemnation. Divine love, expressed in the flood of divine grace through Christ, has determined human fruitfulness in good works to be the proper expression of the faithful reception of divine grace. In Christ’s theological system, if we dare describe Jesus’ teaching thus, there is no contradiction between grace and good works, for divine love empowers human obedience.
This article by Dr. Crosby appeared in Baptist Press this week, and we secured his permission to share it with our SBC Today audience as well.
David E. Crosby, Pastor, First Baptist, New Orleans, LA
King Lemuel decided to share with the world the wisdom he had garnered during his ascent to the throne. These “sayings” of King Lemuel are the things “his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). Restated this means that the king learned his really important lessons from his mother.
Maybe Lemuel’s mother was unusually wise and articulate. But I suspect that the king learned these things from his mother for the same reason that many of us found our mothers to be our best teachers: mothers love their children.
One night I was privileged to handle bedtime for the three preschool daughters of my eldest daughter. As I was tucking them in they started to plead, “Back scratch! Back scratch!”
“Okay,” I said, and I scratched their backs, but I could not perform the task precisely as their mother did, and they all fell asleep feeling slightly deprived.
This is a list of 10 recent blog posts which we found interesting. That we found them interesting doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with or endorse the ideas presented in the posts, but that we found them to be intriguing and thought-provoking. (They are listed in no particular order of interest). Please post your comments to discuss any article that strikes your interest. If you have recent blog posts to nominate, please send the link to email@example.com.
“My Prayer for My Enemies,” by Brad Whitt on his blog, proposing his biblical response about how Christians should deal with the defeat of their enemies, in the wake of the Osama bin Laden killing.
“Muslims Still Need Jesus,” by The Seeking Disciple in the Savedbyfaith blog, with a refocus on the need for reaching Muslims (and other lost persons) for Christ in the wake of the Osama bin Laden killing.
“Baptist Identity? Assembly of God Identity? Denominational Identity in an Ecumenical World,” by Dave Miller in SBCImpact, which opens a discussion on the issue of Baptist identity, and proposes something near Dr. Mohler’s theological triage to mitigate “unessential” doctrinal beliefs.
“Why Your Faith Is Secure: Salvation Is of God, Not of Us,” by Steve Lemke in the SBC Tomorrow blog – the first of a series of six articles by Dr. Lemke arguing for the security of the believer. Just follow the link at the bottom of each article to go to the next article. This is an “oldie but goldie.”
“The Gift Has Rules: God’s Requirements for Salvation (John 3:17-19),” by Deidre Richardson in the Center for Theological Studies blog, with an exposition of John 3:17-19. http://thecenterfortheologicalstudies.blogspot.com/2011/04/gift-has-rules-gods-requirements-for.html
“Is it Time?,” a five part series by Tim Rogers on the Southern Baptist in North Carolina blog, questioning whether there is still a place in the SBC for traditional Baptists. It’s a longer series, but well worth reading through. Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Conclusion Part 1, and Conclusion Part 2.
“The Chicago Agreement and Local Churches,” by David Rogers in the SBC Impact blog, with a commentary on an agreement brokered between various campus ministry groups. Do you agree with these para-ecclesiological guidelines?
“Releasing the Missional Manifesto,” and “Musings on the Missional Manifesto, Part 1,” by Ed Stetzer on his blog, releasing the “Missional Manifesto” he and others are endorsing in connection with the Exponential Conference. What do you think about this affirmation?
Ed Steele, Associate Professor of Music, Leavell College, New Orleans, LA
Worship is central to the Scriptures from the beginning to the end. Worship is central to understanding the Old Testament. Man and woman were created by God for fellowship with each other and with Him. Since we live in a post-Eden world, we cannot know what it must have been like to walk and talk with God without any hindrances. But for those who have a saving faith and knowledge of the Lord Christ, such an unhindered walk will be part of what heaven is like. Whatever such a walk was, it must have been unhindered worship as well. There are a number of wonderful texts that trace worship in detail, but our purposes here allow me to just highlight a few.
Consider the first sacrifices offered to God: those of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. One was accepted and one was not. Since this predates any of the Jewish sacrificial system, one must look deeper than the fact that one of the offerings was with blood and the other wasn’t. Timothy Pierce (Enthroned on Our Praise: An Old Testament Theology of Worship. Broadman and Holman Academic: Nashville, 2008, 36) observes that Abel gave the first born, while Cain just gave of the land’s produce, implying a lack of intentionality. Worship had not been commanded but grew out of the relationship with God in the garden. Wrong worship led to tragic outcomes. Worship continues to be central to the message.