DALLAS (BP) — Connect316 has changed its program — now to focus on prayer — for its Monday evening meeting, June 11, following the concluding session of the SBC Pastors’ Conference.
“Prayer will be our only agenda,” Will Hall, editor of the Baptist Message in Louisiana, wrote in an email distribution Saturday morning, June 2.
Connect316, an organization advocating a “traditionalist” view of the doctrine of salvation, “has heard the heart of our [SBC] president, Dr. Steve Gaines, and we believe our Convention’s future rests upon prayer and fasting, now more than ever.”
Gaines issued a call for 21 days of fasting and prayer, leading up to the opening of the June 12-13 SBC annual meeting in Dallas, in a statement he issued May 11 largely addressing controversy related to Paige Patterson up to that point involving comments Patterson had made in sermons regarding domestic abuse and a woman’s physical appearance. Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was subsequently terminated by a trustee executive committee on May 30 largely over the handling of two female students’ rape allegations against fellow students at SWBTS and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earlier had served as president.
Hall, in his email, said the June 11 Connect316 fellowship will focus on “calling upon our Lord to capture our thoughts, hearts, and actions. We will pray for Dr. Gaines and all our convention committee members, and for those who bring reports. We will pray for all the candidates who will be nominated. We will pray for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Most of all, we will implore God to send a revival among our people marked by humility, repentance and holiness.”
Hall wrote that “anyone and everyone” is invited to “this solemn and special time of unifying around the cross and Lordship of Christ.” People may “come and go as you please” during the session, which will begin around 9 p.m. in the Omni Dallas Hotel; refreshments will be provided.
Referencing one of the two nominees for SBC president, Hall added, “We will still provide 400 complimentary copies of Ken Hemphill’s newest book, Unlimited, on a first come, first serve basis. Ken Hemphill will be present for a meet and greet.”
Connect316, according to its website, is a fellowship that affirms a doctrine of salvation between that of Calvinism and Arminianism, holding that Christ died for the sins of every person.
Hemphill had initially been scheduled to address the Connect316 meeting, along with Richard Land, former president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Ministries with a “traditionalist” view of salvation also were to have been introduced to the group, including TrueLife, Soteriology 101 and Baptist Strong.
Among the matters to be prayed for are the issues lately raised related to both SWBTS & SEBTS.
Division abounds in almost every segment of America. Sadly, it exists even between Christians and in most churches. For too long, disunity has triumphed in our nation. It is time for this to come to an end.
Our greatest hope lies only in Jesus Christ, His Gospel, and the advancement of this Good News message reaching every corner of America and across this world.
While we call out to God for His Church to be revived by the Spirit and come together in unity and simultaneously pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America, I want to ask you to consider these four actions for all Christians right now.
1. Rest in the Lord
Resting in the Lord is not lying down; it is trusting in the Lord. Jesus is still Lord and God is still on the throne. One day, every leader in our nation, from the most unrecognized part of American society to the members of the highest court of our land, will stand in front of the Highest Court of Eternity, God Himself, and give an account to Him. They will not be alone. Each of us will give an account of our lives to God.
A call to action is important, but at times we also need to pause. We need to get before God. Rest in Him. Our God has all things under control.
2. Come Together in Unity
Followers of Christ need each other more than ever before. While certain secondary doctrinal differences will exist, we need to unite around the beliefs that:
We need to stop fighting over secondary issues and rise up together to become the spiritual light in this darkening America and World.
3. Prepare for the Future
What will the Church become in the future of America? Will we lose our freedom or have it affirmed?
We need to prepare for the future realistically, but also with great hope. Regardless of the present cultural tide that is rising in direct opposition to the ways of God, we are a gospel people committed to Christ alone.
Our future is not in the hands of the United States government; our future is in the Hands of our Sovereign God.
We need to prepare future generations spiritually and vocationally for what God wants them to be and how He wants them to live for Him.
4. Pray Like Never Before for the Next Great Spiritual Awakening
Minute by minute, day by day, a stronger conviction is growing that America must have the next Great Spiritual Awakening in our generation. Without a mighty revival in the Church and an awakening in the land that will result in millions coming to Christ, we are facing days that will become darker and more difficult.
Yet, I am abounding with greater hope than ever before. I believe God wants greatly to awaken the sleeping giant called the Church!
The alarm clock is going off in our nation and this is not the time to push the snooze button. I do not believe the Church will sleep through this season in America.
We need a mighty, nationwide movement of prayer to take place now. Prayer precedes every great movement of God biblically and historically.
Rise together now, stand upon God’s Word unashamedly, forward the message of the gospel exponentially, and pray relentlessly every day for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America.
I choose to believe God.
Every town, city, and county in America needs to have a prayer observance for our nation on the upcoming National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
According to the most recent census, there are 19,510 incorporated places in the United States including cities, towns, and villages. There are 3,142 counties including county equivalents in the United States.
America Needs to Be Saturated with Prayer
America needs to be saturated with prayer on Thursday, May 3. From small towns to state capitals to Washington, DC, as Christ followers, we should do all we can to pray for our nation on this special day.
Saturating America in prayer can only happen on this significant day when prayer gatherings for our country are occurring in businesses, churches, homes, county courthouses, and on the steps of city halls across America. Our vision and strategy should be so big that every town, every city, and every county in America has prayer for our nation occurring on this day. Continue reading