Category: SBC Issues

Acts 29 and Southern Baptist Polity

Before the outset of this post let me say that this piece is not meant to criticize Acts 29. They have the right to organize the planting of churches as they feel they are led by the Lord. This post is to show the clear irreconcilable difference in ecclesiology between Acts 29 and the Baptist Faith and Message when it comes to church governance. It is also intended to show why a church planter cannot honestly accept support from the North American Mission Board and Acts 29 while affirming both ecclesiastical statements as they both drastically differ. I have no animosity towards Acts 29 and wish them God’s best in wisdom and guidance.

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Podcast Episode 4

podcast logoWe’re back with another episode of the SBC Today podcast, and this time the gang’s (almost) all here. Only John Mann was unavailable at recording time. It did run a little bit long, but considering the number of preachers involved, it really wasn’t bad at all. We came in under thirty-five minutes.

We began with a discussion prompted by a recent article in USA Today by two scientists who argue for a harmonization of Christian conviction and the theory of evolution. We then moved on to talk about musical styles and what they reveal about a church’s theology before discussing the dissolution of NAMB’s North American Missional Task Force. We finished up by taking a look at an article by J.D. Greear on the Great Commission Task Force’s prayer website.

Thanks, as always, for listening to the podcast. You can do that here using the built-in player, or you can subscribe in iTunes by clicking the logo. Feel free to comment here with suggestions for how we can improve, and help us out by rating us and/or leaving a review on our iTunes page.

Here are some links to the things we discussed during the podcast:

Podcast Episode 2

podcast logoWe’re back again with another of our weekly podcasts. In this episode, we talk about the GCR Task Force, the closing of Sunday schools, de-baptisms, and the chaos at the North American Mission Board. We’re enjoying recording these, and hope that they are enjoyable to listen to, as well.

We welcome your suggestions for ways we can improve the podcast. Feel free to comment here, and also to leave a review for us on iTunes. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Here are links to some of the items we talked about during the episode:

Baptist. Distinctive. Cooperative.

It seems that all too often in the current environment we have in our convention today, no one is allowed to say these three words–Baptist. Distinctive. Cooperative.–without being called a liar or at least being viewed with a high degree of suspicion.  Most certainly is this the case with that group among us known as Baptist Identity.  A false dichotomy has been perpetuated throughout our convention that you are either someone who ‘loves Jesus’ or you are “Baptist Identity.”  You are someone who is for the Great Commission Resurgence or you are “Baptist Identity.” You are someone willing to cooperate with folks from other denominations or you are “Baptist Identity.”  As one who includes himself among the many in the Baptist Identity group, I know those accusations to be unequivocally false!

I have been asked why I have chosen to identify myself with this group, so let me share. My initial interest in blogging and the larger environment of Southern Baptist life began after the 2007 convention meeting and the buzz on the internet concerning motions passed and an entity head being vociferously maligned (seems the more things change…).  I blame my church’s youth pastor where I served in Oklahoma for ‘awakening’ me to all that we had going on in our convention. :-)  Nonetheless, I began my own blog and soon reconnected with a ministry friend of mine, Wes Kenney, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The reason I have taken my stand with the Baptist Identity group has not changed since day one.  As I have stated numerous times and in various formats… Why must I be required to acquiesce my biblically-based convictions as a Southern Baptist for the sake of what some are saying is absolutely necessary for a true spirit of cooperation to be evident to the larger Evangelical community from Southern Baptists?  Why do so many of us within our convention seem all-too-ready to dismiss our commonly held confession and distinctive convictions for a seat at the table of influence in the larger Evangelical world?  Why must cultural relevance take priority over biblical fidelity?

You might ask, ‘Why mention this again?’  The fact that I keep hearing such aspersions cast at those of us within the Baptist Identity group indicates that this hurdle still exists in our convention.  I ask these questions, not to stir the pot of dissention with our current leadership within our convention; nor to highlight the error of others by name.  I am grateful for the conversations I had in Louisville with many brothers with whom I disagree on certain doctrinal issues.  I take them at their word that they are not selling, nor will they sell, our convictional Baptist beliefs for the sake of influence or popularity.  I have been encouraged thus far by the tenor and direction of the Great Commission Resurgence within our convention.  The Declaration of the GCR even including that beloved phrase…Baptist identity  ;-) .  I have those whom I consider to be good friends in the various ‘camps’ within our convention, all of whom I believe are God-honoring pastors and leaders.  May God continue to move us forward for the sake of His glory and the proclamation of His gospel to the nations!

Our purpose at SBC Today is to encourage unity within our convention by emphasizing biblical discipleship and our distinctive Baptist convictions.  I believe that will help us to aid in encouraging our brothers in the larger Evangelical community as well.  What we need in our day is clarity of conviction and resolute determination to glorify God by studying, proclaiming and applying the truth of His word to our lives.

Sola Gratia!

Poisoning the Fountains of Truth: Part Three

This is part of an article originally published January 1922 in the Southwestern Journal of Theology by Dr. L. R. Scarborough entitled, “Poisoning the Fountains of Truth.” It was republished in the most recent Southwestern Journal of Theology, “Baptists and Unity.” You can find part one here and part two here. May a voice of our past speak to us today. Below is part three of a four part series reprinting Dr. Scarborough’s essay:

2. Another way by which the fountains of truth and life of our churches can be poisoned is by doing violence to the ordinances of Jesus Christ, in depreciating their value and emasculating their testimony. This is done when a Baptist church receives baptism administered at the hands of some other organization than a Baptist church. If a Baptist preacher admits into the fellowship of his church Christians who have received baptism at the hands of pedobaptists, without requiring them to be baptized by a Baptist church, he violates the truth of God and is guilty of a heresy in ecclesiology which will eventually ruin the testimony of the ordinances and vitiate the witness of Christ’s churches. Such practice eats at the very heart of the life of Christ’s churches. Such a practice will not only injure the life of the church practicing it, but will eventually poison the fountains of truth in all of our churches

A pastor of one of the leading churches of Texas told me recently of a member from another Baptist church in Texas seeking admittance on a letter from this church, but when questioned as to her baptism she reported that she came to this other church on the baptism from a certain Campbellite church and had not been required to be baptized by this Baptist church. This pastor tells me that he promptly refused to admit this woman into the fellowship of his church. I think he did right.

There lies at this point a great danger and we should guard the fountains of truth from the poison that will come by the emasculation of the ordinances of Jesus Christ.

Reprinted with permission, Southwestern Journal of Theology