(4)WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states that, “Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love,” (Article 15); a
Article 15 of the Baptist Faith and Message ends with this statement, “In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.” It is this statement, in particular, that is missing from so many of our interactions with the country we live in currently.
In the past two decades, we have seen the results of division and discord. People are suffering. Poverty is increasing. Depravity is growing. More and more, we find ourselves living in a culture that seems bent on destroying itself.
Thankfully, that is precisely what the Gospel is intended to address.
We have been given many options for addressing the harsher parts of our society. The church has a high calling to be the front line of addressing these needs and societal ills. But the Baptist Faith and Message, wisely, indicates that the church does not have to act alone, and in fact, calls us to seek to call all segments of society into being a part of a Gospel based solution.
But we cannot do that, if we do not understand what these institutions are doing and where they are aligned with the Gospel and where they are in opposition. That is the crux of the issue facing us today- will we be an engaged, missional people or will we be a retreating, frightened people.
Fear is at the heart of these questions. Fear that some philosophy or program or government could somehow overcome the Gospel, or replace the Gospel. That’s impossible. At least, it is impossible if you are an inerrantist. The Bible is clear “no weapon formed against [us] shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17) and that Jesus “will build [His] church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) So there is nothing that will come against the church or supplant the church or the Gospel.
What then have we to fear from understanding the culture, the economics, the government of our society and partnering with them where we can to advance the Gospel and speaking prophetically against them and calling them to repentance where they come against the Gospel? Nothing, at least according to the authors of the Baptist Faith and Message.
So we are left with the question, why then are those who would stand against such efforts so violently opposed to them. The answer must be, because their power and control is threatened. They feel, in order to maintain their places of influence, they must create enemies to fight and threats to be afraid of as well. But in doing so, they call into question the writers of the Baptist Faith and Message, and the very inerrant scriptures they seek to “defend” from attacks.
Why would we listen to those who question the scriptures? Why would we follow those who disparage the work of those who have gone before us?
We should not.
*Contributed by Ryan Abernathy