What follows is my pastoral response to this week’s news (May 2022) regarding the Southern Baptist Convention.
As a fellow Protestant, servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a church leader, my soul aches for our fellow brothers and sisters within the SBC. In light of their current crisis and continued public dishonor, I won’t comment on any individual or situation. I can tell you that all Christians should pray for them and with them.
This current crisis is not only bad for the SBC and every victim. It’s terrible for all of Protestantism and the worldwide Body of Christ. They deserve our grace-filled response. Those of us from “Holiness-Pentecostal” denominations, non-denominational groups, and all our peers with a Wesleyan heritage should never think it couldn’t happen to us. We know better, and God knows we’ve had our share of past crises.
Please keep verses like these in mind: 1 Corinthians 10:12, Galatians 6:1-2, and Romans 14:4. We have no stones to cast, but we should offer them mercy. Our Lord Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
I’ve enjoyed good Christian fellowship with scores of people of various denominations, particularly the SBC. As well, I have learned much from SBC pastors. I wholeheartedly appreciate their contributions to worldwide missions and evangelism. While we may disagree with them on Pneumatology and other points of doctrine, I believe I’ll see many of them in Heaven.
This is not an abstract news event from some distant place. Real crimes were committed by real people against those who were vulnerable. Please join us in prayer for every victim and their families who continue to need God’s restorative power for healing. They need the wholeness that only our healing Savior can bring.
Pray for current SBC leadership, who must navigate a better future and demonstrate more loyalty to Christ than ever. May they be led by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. As the ancient text records about the sons of Issachar, may they have an “understanding of the times” and know what they “ought to do” (see 1 Chronicles 12:32).
Finally, let everyone who names the name of Christ be more committed than ever to the liberty of biblical holiness and consecrate ourselves afresh to walk worthy of His calling.
Titus 2:11-14 explains to us that God’s grace wants to teach us all to be better. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”