I thought I'd sure a few more thoughts on the Great Commission Resurgence that's circulating through the SBC. For some of my previous thoughts, see here.
I want to point you to Charlie Warren's editorial in the Arkansas Baptist News. I can't get the permalink. Click on "Opinion" when you get to the website.
Now, having read both my opinion and Charlie's, I can understand where he's coming from. There has been enough bitterness and infighting in the SBC to poison a thousand wells, and a lot of it has gone on between people that are all, in truth, conservative, Bible preaching people. It's ridiculus. We fought for the Bible, then, apparently, fought over the people that didn't fight for the Bible as much as we expected.
I was barely born then. In fact, while the Conservative Resurgence was happening was one of the few times in my life I wasn't faithfully attending or being drug to a Southern Baptist Church. I was 3, we were in the Philippines with the US Air Force, and went to the Clark Air Base Chapel. So, to me, the Conservative Resurgence belongs in a Baptist History class. What I've grown up with is a group of people that, when in agreement, can passionately accomplish amazing things in obedeince to God. And when they disagree, well, I'd rather run from tornadoes (and yes, I have run from tornadoes. I've had one lift part of my roof.)
So, when something comes along that's a good idea, I'm for the idea. I think we need to make a fresh commitment as a Convention to be committed to the Great Commission. I think it has to start with churches, and with the real churches of the Convention. I'm glad, for example, that FBC Woodstock, and a handful of other churches, are more populated than the city I live in. But a Johnny Hunt proclamation carries very little weight with me. I guarantee it carries less weight than an Emil Turner suggestion. I am a committed follower of God's Word, and see that I should lead my church based on that.
Now, though, we're sliding towards the GCR being something that was Johnny Hunt's idea, and is signed by his backers, against another party in the convention.
And that's going to kill a good idea. First of all, I've said it in personal conversation, and even blogged near it recently. The fact that now somebody who other people listen to is now saying what many others have said doesn't mean we are his party, it means he's finally saying something useful.
However, I see why the previous generation in the SBC is concerned by this. The 'Battle for the Bible' did a lot of damage in places it shouldn't have. It made us into a group of people that fight all the time. I saw some of it with the 2000 BF&M. It was sad then, and this could be said now.
How to implement such a 'Great Commission Resurgence' needs careful consideration. Charlie Warren, for example, thinks merging mission boards is a bad idea. He's got his reasons. I think it's worth considering, but I don't know if it's a good idea or not.
It comes down to this: we need to refocus, from the individual Baptist, through the local church, and therefore the local church forces the SBC to go this way, back on God's Word, including the Great Commission, and that has to be the driving focus of all we do.
If somebody wants to hide a personal agenda behind that, I hope that they repent of it before God's discipline straightens them out. Because there is one agenda behind the Word: God is working in all around us to bring people to Himself, paid for at Calvary by His Son!
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