March 16, 2010

Dear Southern Baptists...Part 2

Yesterday I encouraged SBC leaders both at the church & denominational level to stick with what we do best: working together for the advancement of the Gospel. Our mission endeavors at home & abroad & our equipping of students & church leaders should be our priority, not politics, not social issues, simply the Gospel & raising up leaders for God's movement. The ironic thing is when we focus on the Gospel, the social issues are impacted by it. but for some reason we're backwards.

Today I want to ask a serious question, "Why Do We Always Have To Pick A Fight?" A lot of times the SBC is seen as the antagonist pitted against the pro-choice or homosexual community, but just as often we're antagonists toward one another! We've fought & split churches & shamed the Bride of Christ over issues like music, the role of women, alcohol, and now one of the biggest issues facing SBC churches is the issue of Calvinism. In fact, right now in my homestate of Tennessee a somewhat anonymous memo has been circulating through churches that is designed to help churches "smoke-out" Calvinist pastors & get rid of them. I'm not here to debate Calvinist theology, but I do have a question, "Do we really not have any other important things to take care of as churches?"

When we fight like this, no matter who wins, we all lose. Well, all of us except the enemy. We're never going to have perfectly uniform theology in every pulpit & church in the denomination. If we were, we would be setting the denomination back about 500 year to the pre-Reformation era when there was only one church, & that didn't work too well either did it? Instead of focusing on all of our differences, why can't we rally around our common cause? I know both Calvinist & Arminian leaders who are passionate about the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, & the urgency of missions. Why can't we band together around that instead of taking cheap shots at one another?

What are some other examples of silly, self-defeating fights that those of us in the SBC have gotten into that did nothing but stall the movement of God in our churches? How do we resolve some of the tensions & get on the same page?

1 comment:

Adam said...

Nice post Matt. I understand exactly where you are coming from. Having been raised Baptist and now serving in the United Methodist church I am faced with many of these arguments everyday. I do my best to teach the Bible and leave the politics of faith out. If we spent as much time trying to spread and teach God's Word as we do arguing with each other about the little things then maybe we would see Christians really making a difference instead of making noise.