I spent four days pounding on this phone, either on this site or Voices Twitter. Once the gavel fell, I gave my fingers a bit of a break, but I’ve heard from friends that Saul of Tarsus did not have any harsher words on the road to Damascus than some of those being posted by certain 1689ers and CBNers. Many are threatening to leave the SBC over our liberalism, our wokeness, our sinful worldliness, our failure to fully embrace abolitionist views – the grievances are many and the passions are strong.
I have been in several discussions where people said, “I wish they’d just leave.”
- That isn’t necessary.
- We are really tired of. our convention being a war zone.
You had to notice that you lost almost every vote this week, and have year after year with very few exceptions. The agenda you are selling is not one the majority of the SBC is buying.
- We are inerrantists and conservatives but are not going to conform to your political mold.
- We are complementarian but we have varying views of the application of Scriptural teaching on the issue.
- We are tired of being called liberal and being lied about.
- We are tired of seeing good men and women, especially minority leaders, slandered as liberals.
- We are relentlessly pro-life and resent being painted as wafflers because we don’t see every detail of the issue as you do.
Boil it down, WE ARE ON YOUR TEAM and we wish you would stop treating us like the enemy.
Here are my perspectives.
1. There’s room in the convention for you.
(If you are humming “There’s room at the Cross” – point to me.)
I am content to be in a convention with the Reformed and the CBN. Tom Ascol and Mike Stone have a place. I am not the membership gatekeeper, but that’s my view.
There’s room under the tent for all of us. None of us has the right to tell you to leave. You are “in the club.”
2. Your views are NOT the standard of fellowship.
Here’s where conflict has arisen. You have chosen to advocate by hurling epithets like liberal, woke, and such. It feels as if YOU do not think there is room in the SBC for us. The impression you have left is that you want to “take the ship,” throw us overboard, and “change the direction” to satisfy your group’s agenda.
That’s not how we roll. You are SBC. So are we.
3. Cooperation is the key.
The SBC works because people who are different unite to do missions. We hold a core of doctrine in common but we have freedom on other issues.
Each of our churches is autonomous. Yours can sing only hymns, another can rock and roll. You can be 5-pointers while another church disdains Calvin. We can disagree on a wide range of things while uniting to believe the Bible, the Blood, Baptism, and other core truths.
We cooperate freely and joyfully with people who differ. Being a Southern Baptist means uniting in mission with a wide range of people.
4. We invite you to return to the fellowship.
Hold your views. Advocate for them. Try to convince us. Treat us like brothers and sisters. Embrace our cooperative mission.
5. If you hate what we are and what we are doing, why do you stay?
If you can only fellowship and serve with people in theological lockstep and cultural conformity with you, the Southern Baptist Convention may not be the place for you.
It’s your call, not mine, but it’s something to consider.
We have made it clear that your agenda is not what the SBC as a whole wants. You still have a place among us.
If, however, you can only be happy running the show, if you intend to continue the win-at-all-costs agenda, if you continue the tactics you have been using, maybe finding a home that fits you is a better solution.
It’s your call.
I speak here for myself alone. No one else. The SBC can still be your home but please understand, we are tired of the war.