Since 2006 when I started blogging, I’ve read a continual battery of degrading things about our convention and many of her leaders. The wearisome drone of belittlement, impugning, accusation, and maligning has, at times, stirred me to comment with ire and disgust. Other times I’ve written posts to encourage us to “grieve not the Holy Spirit” with our maiming of the brethren. Sometimes I’ve responded to complete strangers on blogs to encourage them not to give up on the SBC because of a few who continually drip, drip, drip words of dissension and division. (I’ve been so blessed by the development of friendships with these folks. One a missionary, another a seminary student, and more.) Over time, I stopped frequenting offending blogs and ignored commenters who sought only to engage in goading.
Recently I read of one troubled blogger who wished complete and utter destruction upon our convention–an imploding that would leave us in a rubble of humiliation. His heartbreaking desire was that then we might find a remnant of humility that could match the heart of God’s desire to use us without impurity of self. While I understand the frustration he feels and the bitterness he harbors, I do not believe his wishes is in keeping with the heart of God.
He felt as if he owned scarlet letters of his individual belief and circumstance. His “red letters” were polar opposites to ones with which I’ve been branded as a Southern Baptist. We are all labeled something and given our scarlet letters, I’m afraid. But I’m not angry, bitter, or praying down fire and brimstone upon our convention as some, like he, are doing. I cannot believe our convention is worthless or totally without purpose in this world of the lost and dying.
While there are some within our SB family who’ve only experienced or harbored the dregs of all that they dislike about Southern Baptists, some of us savor and revel in another representation. Truly, there are things we can all be saddened by within our convention, but our convention is not made up of all the worst of our faith. Our churches, our missionary endeavors, our seminaries and schools, hospitals, children’s homes, Disaster Relief, Hunger Funds, etc. are made up of the best of our faith. For this I am grateful. Very grateful. Whether there is 16 million or 9 million, we are still a body of believers who, for the most part, strive to serve our Savior as He has called us to serve Him. We are faithful to our call upon our lives to “present ourselves as a living sacrifice” to go…into all the world “to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, to make disciples, teaching them to observes ALL things that He has commanded.
I am praying that hearts be given new life with the removal of bitterness and grudges and anger. May it be replaced with only goodness and peace and joy today and tomorrow. selahV