It was somewhat expected by those in the know that J.D. Greear would be elected to serve as SBC President at the annual meeting in Dallas this week. I was still somewhat surprised by the 68% of ballots he received from messengers. While many were pleased with the announcement the reactions ranged from “Thank God” to talk of the downward spiral the SBC has been on for years. While I would make a good 3 1/2 point Calvinist at best I am going out on a limb and saying this choice will not seal our fate. Greear’s election is not the final nor any other nail in the coffin. Continue reading
Here is an article from The Christian Index on the Convention’s decision to repudiate the Confederate Flag. The Index also posted an editorial by Gerald Harris and my comments to that link on Facebook got a little lengthy. Nearly blog post in length. So, below is my take on the SBC resolution. By all means you are entitled to your opinion; mine is framed on the notion the Gospel is more dear to the heart of Christians than heritage, history, culture or national identity. The end game of all believers should be unity in Christ.
I have lived in Georgia most of my life (and in Kentucky the other years). I have always been a little leary of flying that flag. I understand my heritage, the nation’s history, and the origin story of the SBC. On this issue I land here: If you want to fly the flag on your front porch or on your personal vehicle, this is still a free country and you have every right. Shame on anyone that would desecrate or remove your flag regardless of ideology. But I think it is entirely fitting for our denomination, all our churches together with one voice, to say “WE no longer fly this flag.”
If I display the Confederate flag in support of history and heritage, it may be misunderstand as racism. Indeed some do fly that flag because they are racist, believing if the South would have won we’d have it made, and signifying certain individuals need to “know their place.” At the risk of being misunderstood, I do not fly that flag. In the shadow of the cross, there are no flags, no nations, no skin colors or any other thing that divides or distinguishes. We are covered by the blood. I am disheartened that some will choose the stars and bars of rebellion (it is the rebel flag we are talking about) rather than unity with fellow brothers and sisters, but such is the world we live in.
Fred Luther’s two-year term as SBC president will end at the convention meeting in Baltimore. As his term in office comes to an end, the first African-American president of the SBC sits down and talks with Baptist Message, the newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, he concludes with a rather timely statement about fathers and their role in the family and church.
Read the full interview here, via Baptist Press and courtesy of the Baptist Message.
Speculation: who will be the next SBC president? Do you know who the front runners are?
I wrote last Friday that in the changing world we live in ideas about love and hate are being distorted. While I don’t preach about hell in an attempt to scare people saved, never talking about it at all is not the way to show love. If I knew my neighbor were in danger and did nothing, that would be the opposite of love. The Gospel message is that while many people are bound for hell that is not God’s desire; his Son died under condemnation so that no other person need be condemned. Telling others that God desires for relationship and fellowship to be restored is what we as Christians are called to, but ignoring that death, judgement and hell are the consequences of sin is not an option. Continue reading
The SBC passed a resolution today regarding the BSA and its policy change toward openly gay members. I came down pretty hard earlier this week on the SBC leadership for what I expected the resolution to say, and am pleased to admit that I like the actual resolution that was passed. Perhaps it was much ado about nothing; or perhaps there are many others that feel the same way I do.
1. I am Southern Baptist. While I did not grow up in the SBC I have been a member of SBC churches since 2000. I was ordained as a deacon in 2002 and as a minister in 2004. My wife and I served full time on the mission field (stateside) for nine years, 2003 to 2012. I graduated from a Baptist college, attended BSU as a student, taught in a private Baptist school, and led BCM for seven years. The Master’s Table is listed in SBC Voices, a directory of Southern Baptist blogs. This very week my wife and I are teaching 5th and 6th graders during Colossal Coaster World and I’m driving the church bus to VBS. While I may not always agree with everything the organization does as a whole, I am certainly still a part of it. The reason I can say so much about the SBC’s response to the Boy Scouts issue is that’s the denomination I know the most about. Continue reading