An illustration of a clarifying conversation … Oh, for more of the same …

My previous post noted my response to my friend, J.D. Greear. I note friend to highlight the following e-mail exchange regarding my previous post,

Todd, canâ??Ã?ôt seem to sign in again to your blog. Iâ??Ã?ôm sure it is a user error on my part. [text with j.d.’s personal e-mail omitted]

Perhaps it was vindictive for some of the personalities involved. It certainly wasnâ??Ã?ôt for me, and I donâ??Ã?ôt believe it was for you (since you didnâ??Ã?ôt agree anyway!) The only way your apology seems to apply is if there was a common motivation in every representative that voted. Otherwise, you are simply apologizing for sins you did not commit. Or, you are implying that the Convention as a whole had the motivation of which you apologized. Iâ??Ã?ôm not offended, but you seem to implicate me in your response, and though God alone knows my heart, I do not believe that was my motivation.

I know there are certain things which conscientious Christians cannot link arms with. I cannot join hands with a CBF brother knowing that on his other hand is a soteriological pluralist who advocates homosexuality. And I donâ??Ã?ôt believe that is hyperbole; a CBF pastor less than 3 miles from my church is an activist on both accounts. I cannot give any money that would go to that guy to promote

For this reason, I believe we had to pull out of the BWA. I voted my conscience. If one day I become convinced I am wrong, I will apologize for it. But I do believe I voted my conscience.

Anyway, hope to see you in Greensboro. There are, of course, no hard feelings about this, I just wanted to be clear.

Feel free to post this, I just couldnâ??Ã?ôt do it from my home computer.

Hello J.D.,

Glad for your response. I certainly wish I did not have to use a login for my blog but comment spam can be quite tasteless.

I will update my response with a clear separation of the quotes noted as not being yours. I apologize if anyone may have inferred from the post that you were the source. I have no doubt you did not vote to dissociate from the BWA for vindictive reasons. I do feel very strongly things were set in motion long before you came on the General Council that would eventually lead to the decision. My series of posts that precipitated the one to which you replied located the reason for my apology by virtue of my association as a Southern Baptist. I thought long and hard about just how I fit into the whole scheme of things and consider myself, whether I like it or not, an extension of the decisions the Convention makes. I could have easily apologized for the boycott of Disney, and maybe it would have been less sensitive an issue.

Many have had a difficult time with the idea of apologizing for sins not committed. When the Southern Baptist Convention apologized for its racial positions of the past, many who voted for that resolution (I was one of those) did not participate in those sins. Yet, with a resounding voice we apologized for the â??Ã?úsins of our fathers.â??Ã?ù When I read that just today Matthew 18 “may have been“(changed from the original to reflect that i was not at the meeting but also read here) flaunted by the Chairman of the IMB Board of Trustees â??Ã?ì one who claims to stand on inerrant, infallible Scriptures, I believe I must apologize to Wade Burleson. I did not sin against Wade, but that is the action of the IMB which receives our support.

I understand your conviction regarding the CBF pastor down the road. I do not think this representative of the CBF any more than I believe every Southern Baptist is vindictive. My caution comes when I am willing to pitch the whole out for one of its parts. Adopting that approach, I would on occasion have to pitch the SBC. If poor theology is the measure for cooperation rest assured there is plenty of bad theology within the SBC; and I am not excluding what you describe in the CBF pastor. Not sure how you will read that last sentence. I am suggesting there is likely at least one pastor in the SBC who fits what you describe in your CBF pastor illustration.

Let me reiterate my past sentiments regarding you and your wife. You two share a genuine understanding of hospitality. I experienced this first hand in Spain. Our brief time getting to know one another gave me a great sense of you integrity and character. I believe you voted your conscience and am glad you did. I am glad you were not offended for that was not my intent to offend you. Dialogue is the only way forward and I am glad to share in the work of the Kingdom with you and come to differing conclusions on this issue. I desperately hope this kind of camaraderie around the Gospel increases among our younger leaders like yourself. Otherwise I do feel a continued â??Ã?úMcCarthyâ??Ã?ù styled hunt by those who desire uniformity rather than unity.

I too hope to see you in Greensboro.

Blessings.

Todd

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.