(Editor’s Note: We often open our pages to counterpoint posts. Greg is an “SBC Voice” and even though none of us on the Voices team are CBN and generally oppose the organization strongly, we are willing to give opposing views.)
I am a California pastor who loves pastoring in the great state of California with some of the most courageous pastors I have ever had the privilege of knowing and serving alongside. This past year we have stood as brothers through persecution, financial distress, declining church attendance, and a spiritual, mental, and emotional crisis among our church members that taxed our leadership to the maximum. In times like these the only hope for the church is spiritual renewal, revival, and awakening that brings people together around the Cross and the Savior who is the hope and answer to the great problems of this world. The Conservative Baptist Network stands for the foundational principles that bring about the revival we desperately need and want as Southern Baptists. Furthermore, in the midst of a great deal of confusion in our convention, many sincere people have asked the question, “What are these values that are not only the foundational principles upon which the movement called CBN has been built upon, but values that may resonate with most of us who are called Southern Baptists that might bring about a long desired spiritual awakening.” I would like to take this opportunity to articulate these very principles of CBN:
1. The Sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture, and the exclusivity and supremacy of Jesus Christ to deal completely and adequately with any and all of the spiritual issues of mankind across the globe.
2. The fearless denunciation of sexism, racism and bigotry, and the promoting a just society for all men and women. Furthermore, an uncompromising stand against Critical Race Theory and any godless theory that undermines the Biblical World View of Scripture which states clearly that, “there is neither male or female, Jew or Gentile, free or bond”. Critical Theory came to the United States from the Frankfort School in Germany. The Frankfort School was dominated by a group of apostate, secular, and Marxist Jews that fled Nazi Germany and desired to use Critical Theory in the United States to overthrow the white Arian oppressors. I can understand the pain these Jewish people suffered under the godless, racist, and ruthless policies of Hitler (In fact I am Jewish). Furthermore, these Jews watched many white Arian “Christians” stand passively by as millions of Jews were slaughtered. CR, later known as CRT, was designed to create division so that the Jewish people could gain dominance over the white Arian oppressors. Yet as a born-again Jewish believer I reject a theory that causes hatred and strife and mistrust among the races. We cannot embrace a godless philosophy that has been used to divide good people who should by all rights be working together for the great commission; to do so plays into the hands of Satan who loves to sow division in the body of Christ. In fact, in Nashville Tennessee the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on the, “Sufficiency of Scripture on Race and Racial Reconciliation.” James Merritt told the convention that the resolution, which passed overwhelming, rejected CRT, evolution, etc. and specially stated:
“(W)e reject any theory or worldview that finds the ultimate identity of human beings in ethnicity or in any other group dynamic. We reject any theory or worldview that sees the primary problem of humanity as anything other than sin against God and the ultimate solution as anything other than redemption found only in Christ.”
3. The call for Christians and churches to influence the culture by engaging in the public process and demonstrating their patriotism. I was a member of Adrian Roger’s church in part of the 1980’s. Adrian is a man who is beloved on this website. Adrian led his church to practice these very values. One of our laymen at Bellevue Ed McAteer, with the full support and endorsement of Adrian Rogers, founded the Religious Roundtable which was created to elect candidates who stood fiercely against abortion, stood for school prayer, and for the biblical foundation of America that Adrian believed in and preached on frequently. The first Candidate that spoke at the Round Table was the former Governor of California Ronald Reagan, who later became president.
4. A Vision for World Evangelism, Global Revival, and Spiritual Awakening through preaching the gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission.
5. The belief that Southern Baptist Entities are accountable to the local Southern Baptist Churches, and that a grassroots approach to national ministry is the most effective while demonstrating transparency and integrity to all.
6. The Affirmation of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
All of these stated values and Biblical truths are mainstream values embraced by overwhelming numbers of Southern Baptists at the Convention this year. There is so much more that unites us than divides us. We have a great opportunity to come together in love, forgiveness, and reconciliation if we courageously stand together on God’s imperishable Word, the blood-stained saving power of the Cross and Resurrection, and the Sovereignty and Lordship of Jesus Christ who we passionately love. I love pastors, but I especially have a heart for the small church pastor who is the unsung hero of our convention. That is why our church gives 20 percent of our associational budget to help small church pastors. That is why our church gives 14 percent to CP to unite with small church pastors to build the Kingdom of God instead of building our own kingdom. Once again, this is the heart of Southern Baptists across our convention. My prayer is that we will so unite in grace, truth, and love for one another that words of Winston Churchill might ring true of Southern Baptist when he stated, “let us so bear ourselves” that when future generations will look back at this moment in history they will say that, “this was our finest hour.”
Greg Davidson is Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Vacaville, CA. He was a candidate for president of the 2022 Pastor’s Conference.