With the fallout of the John 3:16 Conference dulling to a low roar, I thought that I would share some thoughts and fears about our future as Southern Baptists. (You can read some of the responses here or here, or just ask Ben. He has plenty to say on the matter.)
Ben and I love Baptist churches. We especially love Mississippi Baptists and feel called to work in our home state again one day. Lately, however, I have been concerned about whether or not the Southern Baptist Convention will have us. We are branded with the scarlet letter. That letter is a "C."
As you may know, Ben received his M.Div. from RTS Jackson. My family and I were members of a Presbyterian church. Now, we are in Louisville, KY where Ben is pursuing his doctorate and studying under men like Dr. Tom Nettles and Dr. David Puckett.
We are Calvinists. Wow. I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen that in print before. It is a little scary considering the current climate, but it is necessary to say. We are not confrontational people, but I would not have us hide what we believe. It is the whole doctrine of God.
Earlier this week Ben sent me this blog. I read it and my immediate reaction was to get really angry that poor guy has been blacklisted because of his beliefs. Then, I thought about how many times I have avoided the Calvin conversation myself. I thought of a recent lecture that I heard on William Tyndale. Tyndale sacrificed his life for what he believed. I guess a little ostracism is a small price to pay for holding to the scripture-based solas.
My second reaction to reading Voddie Baucham's blog was fear. After all, if these things can happen to someone like him, we are certainly at risk. I have lots of questions like: Will the SBC go on a witch hunt and kick all of us out? What will some of the reformed-leaning pastors at home do about this? Will they ignore us? Or will they help us? Will Southern Seminary officially take a stand on this matter for its professors and students?
I do not know the answers to these questions today, but I do know that we will continue to be Southern Baptists. This week, I will start working on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at church. (If that ain't Baptist, I don't know what is!)
I grew up Baptist, but I rarely shared the Gospel because I didn't know what I believed. Now that I listen to solid, biblical preaching, I am told that my beliefs kill evangelism. I disagree. I am on fire now. I want to be a new kind of Baptist. I want to share the Gospel with unbelievers and not skip over anything. I want to be the kind of Baptist that can articulate what I believe and back it up with scripture. I will know the attributes of God and praise Him daily for his sovereignty. I think they call that Reformed Baptist.