Saturday, December 01, 2007

Both Civility and Cooperation Needed in the SBC

One of the clearest and most concise explanations of the important issues we face in the immediate future of the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as an accurate overview of the past two year's events in the SBC, is provided by James Galyon, Ph.D., in his December 2, 2007 blog post entitled "Civility and Calvinism (Part II).

Go give Dr. Galyon a visit. It's nice to see someone have such a solid grasp of the issues in the SBC.

In His Grace,



Dave Miller said...

I spent some time reading blogs today, from the other side of the fence. What impressed me was that they have some very reasonable points and are gracious as they make those points.

To say that this man has a "good grasp of the issues" in the convention might also just be to say, "he sees the issues of the convention the same way I do."

I think the biggest mistake of the conservatives in the 80's and 90's was painting all those who disagreed with us as heretics or evildoers. Many of them were good solid conservatives who disagreed with the approach of the CR.

There are some power brokers in the SBC who are trying to impose their will on others, and that is a problem.

But I have to be careful, and I think it would be a good thing for all of us to realize, that there are two sides to these issues.

Bart Barber has a good grasp of the issues too. He just has a different opinion about them.

Dave Miller said...

And congrats on OU.

david b mclaughlin said...

While studying for my Sunday school class I came across the following definitions from Wayne Grudem:

Definitions of Purity and Unity

1. The purity of the church is its degree of freedom from wrong doctrine and conduct, and its degree of conformity to God’s revealed will for the church.

2. The unity of the church is its degree of freedom from divisions among true Christians.

david b mclaughlin said...

And Chapter 45 of Grudem's Systematic Theology ends thusly:

Are there times when cooperation and personal fellowship are prohibited?

Finally, when should Christians take stronger steps than those mentioned above and engage in the kind of separation we earlier called “no cooperation” or “no personal fellowship”? The biblical passages we looked at seem to require that Christians practice “no cooperation” in certain activities with another group only when the other group is an unbelieving one, and then, it seems, only when the unbelieving group shares control of the activity (this is implied in the metaphor of being “yoked together” in 2 Cor. 6:14). Of course, it may be found wise or expedient on other grounds to decide not to cooperate in a particular function, but non-cooperation would not seem to be required except when the other group is an unbelieving one. Certainly, opposition to activities such as evangelistic campaigns by other true believers would be seen by the New testament authors as divisiveness and a failure to demonstrate the unity of the body of Christ.

DT Boy said...

So much of that just made me sad. It seems to me that the comments of EC Executive Director go way beyond what the EC should be dealing with. Who is the EC to making any kind of statements on my church's style of worship? Style is so culturally relevant. Is the EC going to look at SBC churches in other countries and try to make statements on their style? That is just ridiculous.

I am honestly frustrated with this entire situation. Why is it so hard for so many to just agree to disagree on some issues. I disagree with many people in my own congregation on some issues. I am ok with this. We still work together. We still worship together. I have disagreed on some things with my own pastor and we still work together and still minister together.

Bottom line for me is that we never fully agree on everything. That is part of being human. There are simply too many of us for that to happen. I know in my own family we do not always agree on everything so why would I even begin to think that all people within a denomination, especially one as large as the SBC, would agree on everything.

This narrowing of what it means to be a Southern Baptist is making it harder for me to want to be a Southern Baptist. I know many people have wanted to serve more in missions because of what they have seen here. For me I am less likely to suggest to students go the IMB and NAMB because the policies I see being instituted within those organizations. I believe in missions and missions organizations but it is hard for me to suggest these groups to students when I have such big problems for how they are conducting themselves.

Anyhow, these are some of my thoughts that I have been chewing on for some time and just felt like sharing today. Sorry for any spelling on grammatical errors. said...

dt boy,

Please remember that when Mr. Harrell, the Chairman of the EC spoke, he was speaking for himself only - and not the full Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee of the SBC has given some very needed leadership to our convention this past year - and often Mr. Harrell has been out of step with the actions of the full Board.

I for one would defend his right to say whatever he pleases - including his views on worship - but you and others must remember that he was speaking his own views.

The Executive Committee gave us the Garner Motion, for which every Southern Baptist ought to be grateful.

DT Boy said...


I understand what you are saying and I know the EC has given us some good things. It just frustrates me that anyone in a leadership position thinks that any southern baptist entity needs to be looking at worship style. I suppose much of my frustration comes from feeling like I am "fighting" this battle in student work already and I do not need SBC leaders making this any more difficult for me.

I agree he is free to say whatever he wishes but it does not mean that his words will not frustrate me. At the same time when we are in leadership we need to recognize the power of our words. They carry weight many times beyond that which we intend them to. This can be difficult sometimes. There is a balance to be found in open and free discussion and being responsible with our words.

Anonymous said...

I can see why you recommend him you and him are following the same play book.You are the good guys The Defenders of the Faith while your opposition is miss informed,closed minded and leading the SBC to the Dark Ages said...


All who call themselves Southern Baptists are good guys.

You and others who may disagree are my brothers and sisters in Christ and I welcome the opportunity to cooperate with you for the sake of missions and ministry.

You have no worries about being excluded by people who hold to my kind of thinking.

In His Grace,


Jack Maddox said...


Hope I do not hijack the thread but if all could please pray for little Coltan Hawkins. He is my newest grandson born just a few hours ago. Colton is not doing well as he showed up early and his lungs are not functioning properly. He is on a vent and the doctors are working with him. They have told us the next 24 hours are critical. Mom is fine and we thank the Lord. Your prayers are appreciated and I love you all very much!

jrm said...


Two of our three boys were born prematurely. My wife's water broke prematurely and our boys' lungs were not fully developed. Both spent weeks in ICU before coming home.

We discovered my wife is a carrier of the bacterial infection called Group B strep. Be sure to have your daughter ask the doctors to check for Group B so that treatment can be given.

We are praying for your family.


Dave Miller said...


I kind of reacted to this post in the same way you did. But, if you want to make a point, you have to speak reasonably, biblically, and with Christian grace.

All you do is make sarcastic, cutting remarks. They do no good, they convince no one and they only make you look silly.

Why not just state to Wade what you disagree with and give the reasons for that disagreement.

Your comment does not further unity in the SBC and its sarcasm cannot work the righteousness of Christ.

Lin said...


Consider it done.

Grace and Peace

greg.w.h said...

Praying for your family also, Jack. I'm confident that God listens tenderly to prayers for tiny babies since Jesus condescended to come as one. What an especially blessed incense is the sweet prayer of a mother, a father, a grandparent, an uncle or an aunt for a child clinging to life.

I hope God will permit all of us praying to be as close relatives in our prayers for this little one so that the throne of heaven is surrounded in the sweet aroma of love for this little one.


Chad Kaminski said...


Our prayers are with you and yours.


Has there been any denominational criticism of churches cooperating in ministerial alliances of which you are aware?

david b mclaughlin said...

We'll add Coltan to the prayer list Jack. said...


Not that I am aware.

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
“A load is light if you carry it right;
though it weighs as much as a boulder.
But a tiny chip is too heavy to bear,
if you carry it on your shoulder.”

Strange how concern does away with chips on the shoulder. Your name usually got my guard up, but now I’m on my knees for your child.

Jack Maddox said...


Glad we could get your gaurd down! : )

Thanks to Rex and everyone for your prayers. Coltan is doing better yet still has a long way to go. We really appreciate your prayers and concerns. God bless one and all.


Anonymous said...

If you didn't attend the Building Bridges conference on the SBC and Calvinism at Ridgecrest, then you missed out on what may have been a historical SBC event. The conference was sponsored by Southeastern Seminary, the Founders group, and LifeWay. The event was civil, everyone sought to understand each other, and all acknowledged the need to cooperate to advance the gospel together.

Rev. said...

To say that I see SBC issues exactly the same way as Wade would be incorrect, though we certainly do see some things in a similar manner. I agree with Dave M. that "the biggest mistake of the conservatives in the 80's and 90's was painting all those who disagreed with us as heretics or evildoers. Many of them were good solid conservatives who disagreed with the approach of the CR." The way I see things now is that some conservatives have taken the CR farther than it needed to go and it appears they may not be done narrowing the parameters.

Like DT Boy, I am honestly frustrated with this entire situation. I'm willing to agree to disagree on some issues while I continue to agree wholeheartedly on vital issues such as the Holy Trinity, substitutionary atonement, and the call for all to repent and trust Christ alone for salvation. What I sense is that there are some on the SBC "playground" who don't want to "play nice."

Othoniel, I would like to ask how exactly Wade and I are following the same "playbook"? Is it because we think some within the SBC are trying to narrow doctrinal parameters even further? Nowhere have I said that I (or Wade or others) are the "good guys" and the "Defenders of the Faith" over against my fellow Southern Baptists. On the contrary, I have labored with my brothers and sisters in Christ in many various ways for the sake of Christ and desire to continue doing the same. I'm wondering, at this point, if I will be able to continue doing so. Are some people closed-minded? It seems so. It appears that some are not open to working within the denominational framework with those who are "Reformed" or who fit into some other category (e.g., "Charismatic").

By the way, I was part of the Conservative Resurgence. I took my licks as a student at an SBC university, being called a "bibliolater" and "Bible thumper" by my Moderate professors. I attended annual meetings and voted for the CR candidates. I helped lead one of the churches I pastored into the SBTC. I attended the Younger Leaders Dialogue with Jimmy Draper and thanked convention leaders for their conservative stance and leadership. In fact, the SBTC Texan had a story on that meeting, quoted me in it, and even had a shot of my mug in there. Brother, I'm a conservative.

Rev. said...

Please know little Coltan is in my prayers. I'm glad to know that his mother is doing well physically. Please keep us posted.