Archive for the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’ category

Indiana Disaster Relief

June 17, 2008

During the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting last week in Indianapolis, one messenger to the Convention, impacted by the sight of destruction across Indiana caused by flooding that many of us had seen while traveling to the Convention- and by the knowledge that President Bush had declared almost three dozen counties federal disaster areas due to flooding- offered a motion that an offering be taken up at the Convention annual meeting in order to help flood victims. As no mechanism was in place at the meeting to collect, account for, and distribute such funds, messengers were instead asked to donate disaster relief through the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and led in giving through the State Convention by SBC President Frank Page. Donations to help with disaster relief in Indiana can be sent to the following address [found on THIS WEBPAGE]:

Indiana Disaster Relief
State Convention of Baptists in Indiana
900 N High School Road
Indianapolis, IN. 46214 (more…)


On Resolution No. 6

June 12, 2008

The complete text of Resolution No. 6 (amendment in boldface), from Baptist Press:

WHEREAS, The ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle, with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message describing the church as a “local congregation of baptized believers”; and

WHEREAS, A New Testament church is composed only of those who have been born again by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Word, becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the local church’s only Lord, by grace through faith (John 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), which church practices believers’ only baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:16-20), and the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-30); and

WHEREAS, Local associations, state conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention compile statistics reported by the churches to make decisions for the future; and

WHEREAS, the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention annual Church Profiles indicate that there are 16,266,920 members in Southern Baptist churches; and


WHEREAS, Those same profiles indicate that only 6,148,868 of those members attend a primary worship service of their church in a typical week; and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures admonish us to exercise church discipline as we seek to restore any professed brother or sister in Christ who has strayed from the truth and is in sin (Matthew 18:15-35; Galatians 6:1); and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, urge churches to maintain a regenerate membership by acknowledging the necessity of spiritual regeneration and Christ’s lordship for all members; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge our churches to maintain accurate membership rolls for the purpose of fostering ministry and accountability among all members of the congregation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of the failure among us to live up to our professed commitment to regenerate church membership and any failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of lovingly correcting wayward church members (Matthew 18:15-18); and be it further


RESOLVED, That we humbly encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior’s teachings on church discipline, even if such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we humbly urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and their pastors to implement a plan to minister to, counsel, and restore wayward church members based upon the commands and principles given in Scripture (Matthew 18:15-35; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19-20). (more…)

The 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Message

June 12, 2008

Just before lunch yesterday, Al Gilbert delivered the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Message. The biblical text focused upon in this message was 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. The message began with Gilbert telling of how when doctors had told him that he had cancer, and possibly only 5 years to live, but a short while later more tests had revealed the growth to be non-cancerous. Gilbert told of the time between these tests, when he thought he might have a short time to live, and he had done a “death-check”- evaluating the state of his soul before God. He then said of the SBC that the “denominational doctors” have told us that we’re sick and possibly dying, but we should not write the obituary yet. We do, however (Gilbert asserted), need to perform a “death-check” to evaluate the state of the Convention before God. (more…)

SBC First Vice President Nominations

June 10, 2008

Kevin Ezell, nominating Bill Henard, asserted that his nominee is a:
1.    Godly man (in terms of personal sanctification)
2.    Giver (in terms of CP giving)
3.    Goer (in terms of missions)

Bruce Barber, nominating John Connell, gave the following resume for his nominee:
1.    Pastor with doctorate from NOBTS
2.    13th largest giver to CP in GBC
3.    Character: Approachable, visionary, mentor to upcoming generation

Andrew Higgenbotham, nominating Chris Camden, asserted that his nominee is:
1.    Faithful to our Lord
2.    Faithful to his family
3.    Faithful to the Word
4.    Faithful to his church
5.    Faithful to Christian service (more…)

SBC President’s Address

June 10, 2008

Dr. Frank Page began his address to the SBC with a “story from recent history.” On the day after Christmas, a devastating tsunami occurred, and many, many people were killed, but on a particular island only 7 out of more than 7,000 people perished due to villagers faithfully recounting danger signs noted by survivors following a similar disaster in the early 20th century. Dr. Page asked, ‘Will we faithfully recount the signs of both blessing and destruction?’ The text for his address  was John 4:7-30. The context of the passage was given, as Dr. Page explained the amazement of the disciples at Jesus’ conversing with a Samaritan woman. Dr. Page explained and applied 3 features of Jesus’ interaction with the woman: 1. She came to see herself as she really was; if change is going to occur, we must see ourselves as we really are, must deal with our past, must not depend on a substitute righteousness, and must not try to blame others for what is happening within. Dr. Page asked, “Would you join with me in saying, ‘The problem is not somebody else, the problem is me!’” 2. She came to see hope in Christ; 3. She came to share Christ with others. (more…)

Concerning Dr. Avery Willis as an expected nominee to the SBC presidency

June 8, 2008

[Due to an error in my notes, I incorrectly identified the interview with Pastor Les Puryear as the fourth one conducted by SBC Today of those six who have indicated that they will allow themselves to be nominated for the presidency of the SBC. Actually, the interview with Pastor Puryear was the fifth and the interview of Dr. Avery Willis- HERE– was the fourth.]

What I appreciated most about this interview:

  1. Referencing Jesus’ words in Luke 4:18-19, Dr. Willis points out that Southern Baptists, as we have become more economically affluent, have developed more of an aversion to reaching out to the poor, the prisoners, the handicapped, the oppressed. Dr. Willis basically (rightly) indicts Southern Baptists for wanting to only evangelize among people just like us– comfortable suburbanites, and he points out that God is not blessing this attitude in evangelism.
  2. In regards to international missions, Dr. Willis focuses attention on the thousands of unreached people groups that have never heard the name of Jesus.
  3. In regards to North American missions, Dr. Willis focuses attention on church planting where no other Baptist church currently exists.

A concern I had in regards to this interview:
Dr. Willis apparently believes that the Camel Method is a good way to evangelize Muslims.

Concerning Pastor Les Puryear as an expected nominee to the SBC presidency

June 7, 2008

The fourth interview by SBC Today of one who has said he will allow himself to be nominated for the presidency of the SBC was with Pastor Les Puryear, who is familiar to some in the blogosphere. (The interview can be heard HERE.)

What impressed me most about this interview was that Puryear addressed the apparent lack of compassion demonstrated by the average churchgoer in regards to those without Christ. SBF readers will also be interested in the fact that Puryear self-identifies as a Calvinist.

Some concerns I had regarding statements made by Puryear:

  1. He seemed to take a rather maximal view in regards to the proper function of the Baptist Faith and Message; rather than taking a minimal view (i.e., that those hired by the leaders of Southern Baptist entities must hold to at least the doctrines taught in the BF&M, which is my view), Puryear seemed to be of the opinion that questioning a potential employee’s beliefs in any area beyond the BF&M is inappropriate.
  2. He seemed to view compatibilism as reserving the role of senior pastor for men, but his answer to this question did not seem to reflect the extent of 1 Timothy 2:12- that a woman not teach or exercise authority over a man in a church setting.
  3. Apparently Puryear has criticized public statements made by Pastor Johnny Hunt in regards to Calvinism. But in this interview, Puryear says that his problem with Hunt’s statements was that they were openly critical of other Southern Baptists’ soteriology. But the problem that we at SBF have in regards to Pastor Hunt’s statements is not that they were public, but that we believe them to be incorrect. I don’t think that a pastor, if concerned about a particular doctrinal stance of others within the Convention, should be encouraged to sweep such a concern under the rug; in fact, he has the responsibility to voice such a concern, then others can respond and hopefully everyone involved can come to greater understanding. This, for me, is a case of “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll die for your right to say it.”