The article I am investigating came in the form of an editorial on impending action to be taken by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. People need to have as much information as they can before making a decision. Great advice for churches – both leadership and members alike. It appears that in a couple of weeks the Executive Committee will vote to “defund” the Baptist World Alliance. No formal report has been given. A preliminary report provided to the BWA is circulating.
A quick read of the preliminary report seems to indicate an attempt to hold the BWA responsible for a renegade notion or two. Questions arise as to what is the nature of the association of churches participating in the BWA. And, is it possible to reign in every Baptist Christian represented by the BWA. It is not possible, though attempted, in the SBC. For instance, when we agree to associate under a confessional banner, we leave room for some levels of differing interpretations. Certainly we want to hold fast to what would be considered “core” doctrines of the faith. But, in some matters there will by design be “disagreement” on “non-core” issues. This happens in our churches and cannot be kept from institutions.
Were we a “creedal” group there would be an easier means of dealing with differences on the periphery. Some will take exception with my use of the word periphery when it comes to certain doctrines. For example, some would make the role of women in ministry a matter of fellowship. So as to imply that one might not be a “true” follower of Christ if the “right” position were not taken. And yet, when it comes to Scripture, one’s coming to faith in Christ is not equated with one’s position on the role of women. Regardless of my position or yours, there is no scriptural grounds for impugning one’s character much less their position before Christ.
Likely the real issue has something to do with personalities and their differences. These are the tough ones, especially when it comes to religious/spiritual contexts. That is why, the best advice is gather all the informaiton you can before making your decision.
I am still gathering information. It might be a good habit to develop for all of our decisions. Before jumping off, take the time to become informed. To neglect to do so leaves you imperiled by emotion and lacking in good reason.