There is no shortage of voices in the SBC claiming that the end is near, that we balance on a precipice over the pit of destruction. I believe most of those voices are mistaken - some out of ignorance and others willfully. Most of the "enemies within the church" they warn us about are bogeymen designed to manipulate us into action, so that they can gain and maintain power. Wokeism is not a huge danger in the SBC. There is a misguided "woke" movement in American politics, centered in our universities, but it is not huge issue in the SBC. The SBC is filled with conservatives - some more … [Read more...] about A Real Danger in the SBC
You Reap What You Sow – an Exhortation
My life has taken some unfortunate turns in the last few years. My church struggled greatly to recover after COVID and after discussions the leaders thought that a 65 year old pastor might not be their best bet in rejuvenating the church. It was a friendly, cordial, involuntary retirement/resignation/dismissal. Honestly, after nearly a year I still do not know how to describe what happened. People ask what went on and we hem and haw because we do not know how to categorize what happened. They expressed deep love and appreciation and respect for me, then sent me on my way. Now I am 65 year … [Read more...] about You Reap What You Sow – an Exhortation
It Is Time to Stand
I have followed Karen Swallow Prior for several years. Though I've never had the privilege of meeting her in person, I've interacted with her often on social media. She is a woman of grace, godly character, and Christlike conviction. I've observed how she has responded to the most vile attacks against her with kindness, returning good for evil, loving her enemies. She demonstrates Jesus daily. Extreme elements of the SBC and Christian social media have attacked her in an organized and evil way. They have distorted her views, lied about who she is, and spread the most vile false accusations … [Read more...] about It Is Time to Stand
Scatter Shooting, Part Two
Scatter shooting while wondering if the Oak Ridge Boys are really from Oak Ridge. Over the years I’ve been asked if I believe all of the Bible is true. I believe all of the Bible is true except one verse—1 Timothy 1:15. In this verse Paul writes, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost” (ESV). I believe all that verse except the last part. Paul should have written, “of whom Mark Terry is foremost.” I believe those who preach regularly would do well to use the expository preaching approach. … [Read more...] about Scatter Shooting, Part Two
Ministry Check reality check
Absent a catastrophic convention, which seems likely, the SBC will have the Ministry Check database of abusers sometime soon. The SBC in annual session voted overwhelmingly to do this last year. It seems likely that our Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force will have it in place prior to June and no further votes are needed, best I can see. The Executive Committee has to execute a contract with the administrator, Faith-Based Solutions, a division of the familiar (and detested by some) Guidepost Solutions, LLC. Those who don't like the Ministry Check database, or don't want it, or think … [Read more...] about Ministry Check reality check
Christ-Active Living: The Key to Forgiveness
Jesus said some brutally shocking things that make us want to dumb his words down or rationalize them away. He told us to “love your enemies.” He couldn't really have meant that we were show love to people who hate us, who tried to hurt us, right? There has to be another explanation. Paul, under inspiration, told us “Don’t worry about anything.” Are you kidding me? In this world? Living in perfect faith and perfect peace without ever worrying about anything? No way. Surely Paul was exaggerating. In Ephesians, he commanded us to "give thanks always for all things.” I have no trouble … [Read more...] about Christ-Active Living: The Key to Forgiveness
On a Vision for Cooperative Preaching Ministry (Phillip Powers)
A well-known seminary president recently tweeted, "Any consideration of Christian preaching must begin with the realization that preaching is essentially an act of worship—the central act of Christian worship." Putting the possible overstatement aside, the preached word has been a staple of the church's theological, doxological, and ethical life together since its very inception. Even today, in most churches, preaching occupies the primary place of emphasis and importance in the weekly worship gathering. However, more often than not, the priority of preaching in today's churches has to do with … [Read more...] about On a Vision for Cooperative Preaching Ministry (Phillip Powers)
Slavery and the Bible: How Shall We Respond?
Two things can be said about the vast majority of us who are Southern Baptists. We believe that every word of God is true, inspired, and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. We believe that slavery is a deep stain on America's history which was ungodly, unjustified, and evil. That makes certain verses, like Ephesians 6:5-9 troubling for us. Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ. 6 Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing God’s … [Read more...] about Slavery and the Bible: How Shall We Respond?
Is the Executive Committee or SBC in annual session capable of handling mass expulsions?
The SBC Executive Committee expelled six churches last month. Saddleback was the most, perhaps only, notable church in the group. Five of these (Saddleback included) were kicked out for women pastors and the sixth for mishandling sex abuse. This action was done in secrecy (in the SBC we euphemize that by calling it "executive session", without public discussion, and without individual votes made public.) This is a crappy way to do the convention's business, pardon my mild scatological expression. Let's assume that everyone meant well, that decent people were acting in good faith, that … [Read more...] about Is the Executive Committee or SBC in annual session capable of handling mass expulsions?