Maybe It's Uglier Than I Thought
I had previously blogged about why some folks in the SBC apparently felt threatened by Calvinism and its purported growth within SBC churches, here. After thinking on it a bit further, however, I think it may be even worse than what I thought.
I really hadn't thought that possible. But I'm afraid it is.
Perhaps it is that God is not happy with the state of the SBC, and the churches it represents. Perhaps the leadership of the SBC which has refused to address the failure to make disciples .. the seeming satisfaction of the local church with letting people join our churches and then take no part whatever except .. perhaps .. contributing occasional funds ... the fact that there are churches out there (perhaps not SBC churches ) that are doing a good job of integrating new members, as well as current members, into the body of believers active in the building up of the body, but we refuse to learn from them .. perhaps those things are just as angering to God as were all the rebellious activities of Israel which brought God to raise up the Babylonians to exact His form of righteous justice on Israel.
If that's the case, then the "peace & harmony" we might have thought we've seen in the SBC is all man-made, and I'd expect that, sooner or later, it'd come tumbling down like the Tower of Babel.
I think later has arrived.
When I look at SBC 2012 in New Orleans, I'm pretty well convinced of it. There was an undercurrent of anti-Calvinism .. a sentiment of the "..Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” .. which kept cropping up in motions and things like the addition of words to resolutions.
There was a rather unseemly scene following Dave Miller's election as 2nd VP of the Convention.
Then there was the (to me) silly attempt to bolster our feelings about our efforts by adopting the alternate optional descriptor "Great Commission Baptists", which, as I told the Convention, is simply not true of us. In that context, it is arrogant and hypocritical of us to apply that term to ourselves. And, what really strikes me, is that bright, devoted minds on President Wright's Committee came up with that!
Micah Fries was on the committee, is a friend of mine, I ran into him at the Convention, and I told him I was sorry for stomping on the Committee. He said there was no problem .. I was fine.
Don't get me wrong .. folks worked hard at maintaining unity. But should we have to?
Maybe that's the real point.Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost For His Highest, talked about the Beatitudes, and eventually the entire Sermon on the Mount, in one of his daily devotionals. He finished the section with a statement that the sermon wasn't a set of behaviors to be emulated, but rather: ".. it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us."
If what I suspect may be happening, is happening, then what we're seeing in the SBC is a lot of people trying to behave as they should behave. But not be what they should be. And that may well be the result of God being unhappy with the SBC and many of its churches, for failing to make disciples, for being proud of who and what they are, and not acknowledging what has happened.
Perhaps God has given us up to our own devices. If that's the case, someone ought to say "God help us" ... but I question whether we'd want what that really might mean.
King Saul learned how to be a King, after initially not even wanting to be one. By the time the Spirit departed, he'd learned how, and went right on being king. We know how that turned out. In the first SBC Annual Meeting I attended, I told the SBC that, if certain matters weren't addressed by the Convention, as a body, the same thing was apt to happen to the Convention. Now I am certainly not a prophet, nor the son of one, but on several levels, I've seen nothing to change my mind, in the six years since. SBC 2012 in New Orleans has me more convinced than ever that I may have stumbled across a truth, there in Greensboro.
God help the SBC. I think He's the only One Who can.