Twenty-four days to our Grand Confab, the Annual Meeting in Dallas. Here are some things rumbling around:
On B21, megapastor, former SBC president James Merritt endorses J. D. Greear and offers a withering criticism of loud, loutish critics:
All of this to say this to that I believe this is the most pivotal SBC presidential election since the conservative resurgence. Make no mistake—we will make a loud and clear statement of just who we are and where we want to go. Will we give in to those who want us to always be “battling Baptists,” who show more passion for what they want to “stop” than what they want to start? Who get more excited about political rallies where they spend more time falsely accusing and attacking a brother then they do about sharing the gospel and being about the Father’s work? Who shamelessly treat this entire process as if it is a secular political convention replete with attack ads that spew lies and half -truths and show more zeal for getting their voters to the convention than they do with getting the gospel out to the nations?
Everyone is calling this election “pivotal.” I’d just call it ugly at this stage and Merritt the Elder assesses it correctly.
Continuing the tradition of strange resolutions offered, a pastor in Texas has one on social justice. He’s agin’ it. Calls it “evil.”
Whereas social justice activism should be considered evil in that it is a vehicle to promote abortion, homosexuality, gender confusion, and a host of other ideas that are at antithetical to the gospel, the Christian worldview, and of God’s call to holiness…
Naturally, folks read this and headlines are composed: “Preaching social justice is ‘evil,’ a Southern Baptist pastor in Texas says”; “Pastor warns that social justice is ‘evil,’ calls on Southern Baptists to reject it”; “Meet Grady Arnold, social injustice warrior”; and the like. Likely, most folks don’t understand our sausage making resolutions process and think Southern Baptists are behind this. Well, some are, the talk show, fire Russ Moore, conspiracy wing of the SBC.
Ken Hemphill is strongly in favor of getting back to the Cooperative Program as in the days of old: 10% giving and none of this “neo-societal” nonsense. Understand he has found a guy with lots of hair, none gray, and no tie to nominate him, a very fine pastor in Louisiana. I’m a local church autonomy guy and a thank-God-for-whatever-a-church-gives-to-the-CP guy but it is reported that the nominator’s church is way below the average percentage for CP giving. Is that true? Such would make the church, presumably, one of those deplorable “neo-societal” givers a “not fully cooperative” church according to some supporters. You can’t script this stuff. It just happens naturally in the good ol’ SBC.
Robert Jeffress, fresh from a quick visit to Israel and hanging around President Trump and Paula White, likes Hemphill. Good to know he takes an interest in matters that don’t involve the White House.
As does Bobby Welch, who thinks Ken Hemphill needs a full time job and can pull the SBC out of its “nose dive.” Welch used to think a lot about baptisms. One would have thought over 700 per year (that’s J. D. Greear’s record) would at least get a sniff from him.
‘J. D. Greear doesn’t support the Cooperative Program,’ sayeth one Trad sage. Really? No church in North Carolina gives more to it than The Summit. I’m guessing that most state convention CEOs would love to have that level of non-support.
This business of Cooperative Program percentages vs dollars, the battle cry of the false war on dollars by some of the brethren, needs but a two word rebuttal: “Adrian Rogers.” If the brethren can manage three words try these: “dollars pay bills.”
If this is a ‘pivotal’ election I just hope the pre-convention nonsense and election results don’t cause people to pivot completely out of the SBC or away from our cooperative efforts.
The 2016 election was a great moment. Everyone seemed to win. I can’t see how 2018 can match that. Perhaps there’s a secret conspiracy to make it work out to God’s glory. If so, it’s only in the mind of God. One can always hope.