What’s going to happen at the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Florida? I wish I knew. No, I’ll not be offering any prophecies here. But this will be an important convention for several reasons.
First, the election of a new SBC president. It used to be a dream of many conservatives that the day would come when several men would be nominated president, and all of them would be committed to upholding the inerrancy of the of the Bible in their committee and trustee appointments. Thank God for the Conservative Resurgence. Thank God that apparently all four presidential nominees are solid conservatives.
Interestingly, it seems that solid conservative voters are divided among all four candidates. So the presidential election will prove very interesting.
Just because the SBC has been brought back to a strong belief in the inerrancy of the Word of God, however, does not mean all our problems are now solved. Baptists who are conservative and evangelistic still have their differences of opinion. A prime example is the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Report (GCRTFR). Will it be accepted, rejected, or amended? Will the vote be close? Will it be voted in, but not completely implemented by Boards of Trustees? Is it as bad as some say, or as good as some say?
Right now it seems the odds are in favor of the GCRTFR being adopted. But not much in the SBC is absolutely certain. Baptist messengers can be a cantankerous, independent bunch. Some will get mad at the decisions of this year’s SBC, but most will get over it.
By the way, while some have criticized Baptist Press (click on their link in the right margin of this blog) for being biased against the GCRTFR, I’ve seen a different picture. I’ve loved their reporting since they changed from leaning moderate to liberal, to leaning conservative and pro-SBC as a result of the Conservative Resurgence. They do a great job reporting news in general and they are one of my favorite sites. Respected leaders are on both sides of the GCRTFR. I’ve enjoyed reading both sides of this issue in Baptist Press (BP). They have had strong articles both pro and con, and I hope they continue that type of reporting.
As always, the Christian fellowship will be outstanding. Because, well, we’re brothers and sisters in Christ. Because as fellow laborers in the field we have so much in common. And because we need that talking, laughing, and joking with one another. Preachers will meet new friends and enjoy the fellowship of old companions from college and seminary. Preachers need fellowship with their fellow pastors.
There will, of course, be great singing and preaching. People will be challenged to be soul winners, and to allow God’s Word to transform their lives.
Crossover Orlando (local evangelistic emphasis leading up to each annual SBC) may have become the most important part of the annual SBC. At least it is for those who, as a result, come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And it is not just the official Crossover efforts. Many messengers will speak a word of witness to folks in Florida. Some will use the SBC provided Gospel tracts or bring their own. Many of those tracts will be left, hopefully with an above average tip, in restaurants and motels in Florida and across the USA. Only God knows how many messengers will point people to Jesus as a result of this trip.
Pray for the messengers and the ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention. Pray that God will work through us and because of us. And thank God that sometimes He works in spite of us.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 12, AD 2010.
Note: Deacon series will continue despite this interlude.