Mr. Terry says this about the adoption of the Garner Motion on the Baptist Faith and Message at this summer's Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio:
It is hard to understand the vote by the messengers as anything other than their expression of unhappiness and rebuke to the trustees involved for arbitrarily excluding Bible-believing Southern Baptists from service because of a practice most consider a secondary issue on which disagreement is allowed.
Anyone who reads the transcript of the debate in a non-biased, non-partisian fashion would draw the same conclusion of Mr. Terry. Dr. Al Mohler seemed to dismiss the messengers concerns by saying in his seminary 'report,' “We know who you are and what you expect of us". The editor of the editor of The Alabama Baptist responds to Dr. Mohler's statement with erudite logic:
Some ask if the trustee boards in question really do “know who you (Southern Baptists) are and what you expect of us” in light of the recent LifeWay Christian Resources study that found about 50 percent of Southern Baptist ministers believe a private prayer language could be a legitimate spiritual gift.
I would simply add if Dr. Mohler knows 'who we are' (meaning 'Southern Baptists' who don't practice 'tongues' in public or private), then why does he have C.J. Mahaney speak at his Southern's campus chapels and revivals - a man who not only speaks in tongues but advocates quite clearly that any teaching this gift has ceased is contrary to the teaching of Scripture.
Read carefully. I am one of C.J. Mahaney's biggest fans. I am glad he speaks at Southern. What bothers me is that Dr. Mohler desires the freedom to have a person who speaks in tongues to be able to teach his seminary students, but he believes it is appropriate for a trustee board to forbid Southern Baptists who speak in tongues PRIVATELY from serving on the mission field.
If there is not some kind of convention control on the establishment of tighter doctrinal boundaries for Southern Baptist missions and ministry service, then any board or insitution can mandate doctrinal requisites that have nothing to do with the BFM. The convention should have the final say on the boundaries of cooperation in terms of 'doctrine,' not the autonomous insititutions.
Dr. Morris Chapman, expressing the same belief as the editor of The Alabama Baptist regarding the motion, said,
“Other doctrines are beginning to be required aside from our adopted confession. It causes one to ask, ‘Where does it end?’”
May I answer that question?
(1). It ends when everyone looks the same, acts the same, and believes the same.
(2). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of soteriology.
(3). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of eschatology.
(4). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of ecclesiology.
(5). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of pneumatology.
(6). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of theology.
(7). It ends when everyone is the same in terms of . . . .
The Southern Baptist Convention is ceasing to be a convention of loosely knit autonomous churches of Bible-believing Southern Baptists who cooperate in spite of differences on secondary issues because disagreement is allowed, and we are becoming a much smaller convention (8,000 messengers in TEXAS) of controlled churches and pastors who are demanded to conform to all secondary and tertiary doctrinal issues before there is ANY cooperation in missions and evangelism ministry because those in charge say to us 'we know who you are and what you expect of us.'
There is a Greek word for that kind of thinking. :)
In reality, there are some who think they know best what Southern Baptists should be and are orchestrating trustee boards to reflect their view of 'doctrinal purity.'
It's past time for that to stop.
We'll see very soon (July 16-18 in Richmond, Virginia) if the trustee boards got the message.
In His Grace,