A Commentary on the Modern World

A Great Commission Resurgence? SBC, I’m either confused, wrong, or insulted.
May 12, 2010, 6:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Southern Baptist Convention has just unveiled a plan that they believe will bring about a resurgence of obedience to the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Dr. Johnny Hunt constructed a task force, at the request of the convention, to see what things could be done to make the convention reach more souls for Christ.

Now this task force has returned, and they have concluded that there are nine things that the Southern Baptists need to come together to do if they are to win souls to Christ like they did in the 50s and 60s. The points are as follows:

  • A Commitment to the Lordship of Jesus
  • A Commitment to Gospel-Centeredness
  • A Commitment to the Great Commandments
  • A Commitment to Biblical Inerrancy and Sufficiency
  • A Commitment to a Healthy Confession Center
  • A Commitment to Biblically Healthy Churches
  • A Commitment to Sound Biblical Preaching
  • A Commitment to a Methodological Diversity
  • A Commitment to a More Effective Convention Structure
  • A Commitment to Distinctively Christian Families

Here is where I find myself absolutely dumbfounded by the various implications this “Great Commission Resurgence” is making.  All of these commitments should already be embodied by the pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention.  If you are a pastor, are you not committed to the Lordship of Jesus?  If you are a pastor, are you not committed to “love your neighbor as your self” and “love God?”  Are you a pastor who is not committed to sound Biblical preaching or having a God honoring family?  Basically, all of these commitments are commitments that a Southern Baptist pastors should have already made, and if they are not committed to these foundational aspects of the faith, I must ask why they would be a pastor within this denomination in the first place.

There is but one commitment that stands apart from the rest.  It is point nine, which is a “commitment to a more effective convention structure.”  In their explanation for its necessity, they conclude with the following statement:

We believe the local church must be “ground zero” in a Great Commission Resurgence, and that our associations, state conventions and national agencies exist to serve and assist the churches in their divine assignment.

Immediately prior to making this statement, the authors of this manifesto say that “some of our convention structures at all levels need to be streamlined for more faithful stewardship of the funds entrusted to them.”  The solution to this problem for them is to, ultimately, eliminate structures that are unnecessary.  However, this will supply more finances to their North American Mission Board.  In light of the fact that they say they “believe the local church must be ‘ground zero’ in a Great Commission Resurgence” it seems either hypocritical or contradictory, whichever you prefer, to eliminate programs that are closer to the local churches themselves and require those finances be relinquished to the hands of the North American Mission Board so they can spend them in the manner they think it is most effective.  Effectively, this insures that the local church will actually be spending less and less for their own causes of mission so that the North American Mission Board can accomplish theirs.

Thus, I conclude with these thoughts.  I could be wrong in my thinking that pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention are not committed to very basic foundations of our faith, such as the Lordship of Christ, sound Biblical teaching, and the Great Commission. Or maybe I am not wrong at all and I should be angry, if not insulted, that after the pastors concerned for the Gospel sent these men to find out what is being done wrong, these men return to tell them they are NOT committed to Jesus, the Bible, their families, and their churches.  If it is true, I wonder why these pastors would send them out in the first place, unless they sincerely cared about these principles all along.

Maybe I am confused about how the Great Commission Task Force plans to institute these commitments in any way differently than they are right now. All, but one, are personal commitments that every Christian should have already made.  There is but one commitment that they could have a great deal of control over, and that commitment is for you to be committed to their abilities to change the Southern Baptist Convention so that the North American Mission Board would dictate what churches receive what money for their specific reasoning.

It seems this Great Commission Resurgence is not about ten commitments, but one commitment to change the Southern Baptist Convention among 9 other commitments that the Southern Baptist Pastors already embrace. I fear advocates will suggest that if you reject the one point that the convention needs to be restructured then you will crucified to appear that you reject all the other points.  The Senate did this with the Hate Crimes Bill that was attached to the funding of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for those who rejected the Hate Crimes Bill were made to appear as if they rejected the funding of soldiers and the War against terrorism.

I pray that this committee will explain their intent in such a way that they do not need to staple one unbiblical idea to 9 biblical ideas just to try and make it more acceptable.  I find that kind of behavior unacceptable.

Now please note. This is my first impression of the GCR.  I am still studying this program, and Dr. Ronnie Floyd is e-mailing me some clarifications to help me better understand his vision and the components that are represented.  My verdict is out right now, but first impression isn’t exactly positive.  Regardless, I pray God’s truth and desire be accomplished. Until then… ..


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