I witnessed two passionate pleas for the GCR report tonight. One offended me and the other moved me deeply.
Ronnie Floyd took a few minutes to harangue us about the need to vote for the GCR. It was a full court press for votes that would have made Bobby Knight proud. He asserted that God’s Spirit was behind the report and made it pretty much impossible to love the gospel and disapprove of the GCR. It was a prototypical, high-pressure emotional appeal.
I hate emotional manipulation and pressure tactics. They should not be necessary to anyone who is doing the work of God. If God is in something, if it is his will, the Spirit will move hearts to come in line. If the GCR is God’s will (as Floyd clearly believes) he does not need to emotionally manipulate and pressure the messengers. Put the truth forward and trust the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts.
I was especially taken aback at something Mac Brunson said. He told us that the Task Force are the leaders of the convention on this issue. I inferred (and I do not think I am being unfair here) that he was saying that we should submit to the will of the Task Force and stop questioning the Report. I found it unseemly.
I have argued strongly for the the GCR, but Floyd and Brunson’s pressure tactics and manipulation could have turned me off to the report if it went on much longer.
But, then David Platt stepped to the stage. What a difference that was. Here was a young pastor, humble and straightforward – none of the high-pressure stuff. He opened the Book of Romans and challenged us – not so much to vote on a report, but to sacrifice “our lives, our churches, even our entire convention” to bring the gospel to the 6000+ unreached people groups. He was passionate, biblical and forceful. Go online and get the CD! He did not play to emotion but he moved my heart. He challenged us to lives of sacrifice and commitment.
He said, “God help us if we cannot sacrifice percentages and programs when God has called us to sacrifice our very lives!” He laid it on the line and asked us, in the light of the glory of God, the truth of the gospel, and the needs of a lost world, how we could continue to keep our resources to ourselves in the Southern United States.
What was the difference? David Platt pulled out his Bible and demonstrated a biblical imperative – sacrifice in the cause of Christ. He convinced me, he did not bully me or pressure me. He challenged me to a life of sacrifice in the name of Christ.
Thank you, David Platt, for ending the night on a very high note.