WINE .. OR WHINE .. THAT IS THE QUESTION
I think the SBC is getting old. I say that because, as I've gotten old, I've noticed that one of the commodities I'm short on, is attention. I can only seem to focus on one or two things at once.
There goes my life-long ambition to be a juggler.
There's been a lot of ink, and more verbal adjectives, about wine than the subject (in and of itself) warrants IMO. But not a lot about "WHINE".
Whining ... pity parties ... lamenting the events of one's own life ... has been in abundant supply across blogdom. We wring hands and wail when kids are flunked for taking a stand ... when we cannot serve in a particular place we want to be .. often couched in the frame of where God has burdened us to serve ... when higher-ups make pronouncements we disagree with ... when the SBC moves in a direction we don't like.
All this because things don't go the way (a) we want (b) we said they would (c) we understand (d) will "benefit" us.
Can you think of any "hand wringing" in the New Testament? Where was the wailing & moaning about Stephen's murder? How about Paul's pitiful cries when he knew he was about to bite the big one? Maybe you've seen some stuff I haven't, but I simply do not recall seeing that in the Bible. What I do remember is rejoicing and victory.
Some years ago, a friend of mine had a particularly hard time with something that happened to her, in connection with her education. It was understandably very upsetting to her, and I could not blame her for how she felt. But my mouth opened and I said "What if what has happened to you in this is exactly what God has in mind for you?" That question seemed to have a positive reaction in her.
Same question ought to be asked now. What if the narrowing of the parameters ... seeming negative effect on missions ... the disqualification of missionaries for not signing the BF&M ... the threats to missionaries who "cooperate" with some non-SBC group in starting a church ... what if all that is EXACTLY what God has in mind for the SBC and the IMB?
Oh, we're big to espouse that God is omnipotent (and all the other om's) ... that He is sovereign ... but we're less apt to state that when things don't go the way we thought/expected/predicted. We need to get our head around the thought that God is Who He says He is and that all this stuff is NOT going to stop Jesus from building His church. Goodness gracious, didn't we learn anything from Job's trials?
If my supposition is correct, man wouldn't like that as we would be forced to admit we'd run our agenda in, replacing God's agenda. I have no idea why we'd do that, but I do know that God would've told us that was happening if we'd been asking Him all along. And I don't mean just the usual opening and closing prayers that seem oriented at getting God's blessings on what we do. Asking HIM to "AMEN" our decision.
Wow. I never thought of it that way. I seem to've said something I never thought of, again. Hmm....
Let me state specifically that we ought to point out what we see are ungodly, or misguided, or self-centered decisions, to the appropriate people. Those things need to be brought to their attention. But when we do that, we need to understand that our victory is in the telling, not in the results. And only then if God has placed us in a position where it is appropriate for us to do so. When conviction falls on us and we cannot rest until we obey.
Right here and now I am asking God to keep me from ever asking Him to "Amen" what I simply decide on my own. I want nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, than God telling me what He wants me to do.
Nothing else will do.
ps: I apologize here if this seems to be oriented at any one person. It's not. Except maybe at me.