Some things I love about being a part of the SBC:
1) We have a great love for God’s Word. Admittedly, I wasn’t born when the Conservative Resurgence started; and I was a child when most of the meetings and changes occurred. I’ve merely been a beneficiary. But I have gotten to know some men and women who were there through it all and staked reputations and friendships on one main issue: the Bible. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to hear their words and learn their hearts, and to see the humility, the love for Jesus, and the love for his word.
2) We have a great love for missions. As the GCR debate has shown, we have differences of opinion on how to most effectively use God’s money for missions work; but it also shows that we all care about missions…with passion. We recognize that billions of people in this world are lost and in need of a savior. We recognize that people are only saved through the Gospel. So we band together to help support those who God calls to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
3) We have great room for diversity. Yes there are some essential things that tie us together, but we are a collection of Baptist churches with some members who are staunch cessationists while others are a bit more charismatic, some who are 5-point Calvinist while others see God’s sovereignty and man’s freedom in a different light, some who are Scofield Bible toting dispensationalist while others think the rapture comes after the tribulation or that the millennium is now, some who are staunchly congregational while others learn, worship and serve under the leadership of a plurality of elders…and the list could go on. And in my experience the people in the pew tend to be far more gracious about our diversity than what we sometimes see in the world of blogs.
I have been SBC all my life and out of doctrinal convictions and the reasons mentioned above, I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
Though I don’t think they’ve always carried it out perfectly (as I know I will not always do it perfectly), one of the main things I have learned from those who have gone before me as fathers and mothers in the faith and in the life of the SBC is that we must be always reforming—always looking once again to Scripture and asking the question: Do my life, beliefs, and church practices match what God said?
After all, the entire purpose of life (the entire purpose of creation) is Jesus (Colossians 1:15-20). And through fallible men God spoke and wrote his perfect, unerring, and infallible word (2 Peter 1:16-21). It is that word, alone, that tells us about Jesus, how to live life, and how to be the church.
None of us are perfect, none of us have it exactly right (we all are fallen sinners who at best see as in a mirror dimly)…so we must come back to the Bible and be willing to reform…to change so that we honor Jesus more fully.