Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The SBC: The Titanic Of Christianity Today

The Southern Baptist Convention:

"The victories of faith in the life of the convention did not happen because men and women loved doctrine," Chapman, president of the Executive Committee, said during the morning report June 23. "They happened because they loved Jesus."

"The convention has hit troubled waters before, Chapman said, as Southern Baptists debated their identity."But while the controversy raged and theologians were arguing about Baptist identity, Lottie Moon was boarding a boat to the distant shores of East Asia," Chapman said to applause. Early believers were a missionary people before they were anything else, he said, and Southern Baptists launched the Cooperative Program as a tool to keep the convention focused on the Gospel "rather than on the budgets and buildings and bureaucracy."

My thoughts:

Chapman and the SBC denies then, the sovereignty of God which he just gave lip service to. Jesus taught this very thing in John 6 and He "lost" most of his "disciples" who never followed Him again (v. 66). I guess in the eyes of today's wimpy and man-coddling SBC, Jesus wanted to argue over doctrine and should've just talked about "evangelism" (whatever THAT means anymore). Chapman's obviously part of the problem...and Founders (those in the SBC which want to go back to its biblical roots of Doctrines of Grace) are on a sinking ship.

The SBC has just declared doctrine is hardly the issue, but "loving Jesus ". By making such a tiresome and worthless statement, they have just renounced any clear distinction of biblical Christianity from all other religions.

God says doctrine matters. It matters because the Gospel TEACHES ("doctrine") the truth about God, Man, Salvation, Sin, Hell, Death, Heaven, Grace, Eternal Security, God's Wrath, Faith.

Without doctrine, people believe in any gospel and any Jesus. Without doctrine those "converts" will be nothing more than reformed pagans without eternal life.

Pro 14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

1Ti 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that THE LAW IS not laid down for the just BUT FOR THE LAWLESS and disobedient, FOR THE UNGODLY AND SINNERS, for the UNHOLY AND PROFANE, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 IN ACCORADANCE WITH THE GOSPEL of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Gal. 1: 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

Here we see God puting the Gospel and Salvation together in Doctrine. The SBC rather ignore such pesky commands of God.

It seems that the SBC is really just concerned about their numbers, because lately that's all they seem to talk about--that and lowering the bar of Truth. "The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the convention's lowest level since 1987."(Source)

The subtlety of the SBC's error can be seen if one is well aquainted with Scripture. While giving lip service to the sovereignty of God, they turn around and reject it. They rather have no distinction as Baptists (more on this in a moment) which is to say, as Biblical Christians, but instead want more numbers, income, and influence.

Let's look at what Robert Morey says about such subtley:

The main problem is that many religious leaders today say one thing and teach another. If you ask Gregory Boyd or the other “Open View of God” heretics if they believe in the “omniscience” of God, they will say, “Yes.” Dumb Christians are satisfied at this point and go their merry way deceived and hoodwinked. But if you force them to define the term “omniscience,” they end up denying that God knows all things! They claim that God does not and cannot know the future.

Just because someone says, “I believe in sola scriptura,” does not mean he really believes in it. If he elsewhere says that the Bible is not the final authority in faith and practice, he has denied in substance what he supposedly affirmed as a slogan. Heretics have always done this. What they affirm with the right hand is what they deny with the left hand. It does not matter what doctrine is at stake.

In the early 1980s, those who denied the inerrancy of Scripture did not begin by openly denying it. They redefined it until the term “inerrancy” meant errors!

Those who deny the bodily resurrection of Christ often pretend to believe in it by tricky words and double talk. Believe me; I have heard some slick theologians in my day!

Apostasy in Scripture is of two kinds: doctrinal and moral.

A heretic can be a good person who is very moral. Yet, he can also be an anti-Christ. The monk Pelagius was according to all a good man, morally speaking. Thus when I point out some teacher as a heretic, evanjellyfish usually respond, “But he is sooo nice! He is a good man. How dare you attack him!”

They assume that heretics are always mean and vile. A nice heretic who says that right phrases and theological clich├ęs cannot be a heretic in their mind.

The problem with heretics who are “nice” is that we tend to let them get away with the most outrageous teaching because they seem to be so nice.

End quote.

It sounds nice to say we need to love Jesus and evangelize. But when one goes deeper with the SBC we see that they mean to put aside doctrinal differences and raise their numbers. Their manner of evangelism (entertaining the goats via martial arts, for example, or feeding people) is their attempt to lure the God-haters into Christ Jesus without telling them the HARD TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL (deny yourselves, count the cost, acknowledge you have NO GOOD in you AT ALL, Jesus is MASTER over you, etc.).

The distancing of the SBC from doctrine (as if doctrine is somehow lesser than love...but a look at Scripture reveals true love LOVES Truth, because God IS True and His Word IS TRUE) reveals the Down Grade has already occurred. Doctrine matters in "making disciples".

Chapman and the SBC want to avoid all kinds of doctrine, trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the gospel. This is heinousness. This is NOT what Jesus did. What did Jesus say in the Great Commission which Chapman gives mere lip service to?

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Gotherefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the HolySpirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end ofthe age."

"Make disciples" and "Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" necessitates doctrine. Doctrine means "teaching". There IS no Gospel without doctrine! And one's doctrine absolutely dictates the gospel he proclaims and the manner in which he proclaims it!

Doctrine starts in the Gospel proclaimed, as we just saw in Gal. 1. We see it throughout Scripture: John 1, Col. 1, 1Cor. 15. Jesus' biggest question is "Who do you say that I am?"

1Tim. 1: 3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine

2Tim. 4: . 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jas 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by THE WORD OF TRUTH, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of HIS creatures.

Col 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have HEARD BEFORE IN THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE GOSPEL, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing--as it also does among you, since the day you HEARD IT UNDERSTOOD the grace of God in truth,

Did Jesus "agree to disagree" with any doctrine, ever? Is the Gospel without doctrine? Is biblical doctrine optional? The answer to all of these questions is NO!

I wonder if the SBC is really just concerned about their numbers, because lately that's all they seem to talk about--that and lowering the bar of Truth. "The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the convention's lowest level since 1987." (Source)

SBC's weak doctrine shows in their evangelism (and therefore they can't complain about low numbers or worldliness of their "converts"): "Today, because of this food drop, people are going to come to Jesus -- people whose names we do not know," Hammond said. "On behalf of the North American Mission Board we are delighted to be in a partnership with Feed The Children, the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Long Run Association and Bethlehem Baptist to meet these folks' human and spiritual needs." Hunt told the crowd: "We're never more like Jesus than when we're giving. The Bible says actions speak louder than words. It's time for people to see what Baptists are doing." (Source) They had a Tae Kwon Do demonstration in their "Crossover '09" which is nothing but man-centered distractions from The Gospel.

Let's look at what AW Pink said about modern day evangelism:

Excerpts from Arthur Pink's "Present Day Evangelism""The glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." 1 Timothy 1:11

Most of the so-called evangelism of our day is a grief to genuine Christians, for they feel that it lacks any scriptural warrant, that it is dishonoring unto God, and that it is filling the churches with empty professors! They are shocked that so much frothy superficiality, fleshly excitement and worldly allurement should be associated with the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They deplore the cheapening of the Gospel, the beguiling of unwary souls, and the carnalizing and commercializing of what is to them, ineffably sacred. It requires little spiritual discernment to perceive that the evangelistic activities of Christendom during the last century have steadily deteriorated from bad to worse—yet few appear to realize the root from which this evil has sprung. It will now be our endeavor to expose the same. Its aim was wrong, and therefore its fruit faulty.

If the evangelist fails to make the glory of God his paramount and constant aim, he is certain to go wrong, and all his efforts will be more or less a beating of the air. When he makes an end of anything less than that, he is sure to fall into error, for he no longer gives God His proper place. Once we fix on ends of our own, we are ready to adopt means of our own. It was at this very point, that evangelism failed two or three generations ago, and from that point it has farther and farther departed. Evangelism made "the winning of souls" its goal, its summum bonum, and everything else was made to serve and pay tribute to the same. Though the glory of God was not actually denied, yet it was lost sight of, crowded out, and made secondary. Further, let it be remembered that God is honored in exact proportion as the preacher cleaves to His Word, and faithfully proclaims "all His counsel," and not merely those portions which appeal to him.

Legh Richmond, "Domestic Portraiture" January 6, 1825 :

For the most part, we are a nation of Christians by profession--and a nation of heathens in practice. There is to be found in the religious world--what may be termed--a pretty, cultured sort of evangelism, which too well combines luxurious ease, and serving of the world, and the flesh--not to say of the devil also. But such kind of religion will not prepare the soul for sickness, death, and eternity. At best, it will leave the soul a prey to the most fearful delusions of false peace.

The way that leads to eternal life is much more narrow than many of our modern professors are aware of--the gate is too straight to allow all their trifling, and self-will, and worldliness, and carnal-mindedness, to press through it. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14 ~Grace Gems

It is clear that the SBC is the Titanic of "Christianity" and is going down fast. Realizing its dying, they think by playing down, even disassociating with biblical, baptistic doctrine, they can somehow garner more numbers. If doctrine doesn't matter, then they need to rip "Baptist" off the title of their club.

If Baptist distinctives are not grounded in Scripture, then it is merely opinion and should not matter. But if it is (and it can be proven it is), then its not only optional, its worthy to die on the hill for:

What Is An Historic Baptist?

Are Baptists Protestants?

Baptist churches in all Ages

Its high time the SBC learn the actual history of Historic Baptists!

1 comment:

Coram Deo said...

In my humble opinion the SBC has long since become an irrelevant edifice; a temple of man built upon the shifting sands of worldly pragmatism as opposed to being grounded upon the solid Rock of Christ Jesus.

Your Titanic analogy is very apprapos methinks; like the builders of the ill fated Titanic the builders of the SBC are presumptious in the product that they've manufactured, thinking it unsinkable, invulnerable, unassailable, and inpenetrable when in reality it's been shoddily bolted and welded together by hirelings.

Having an impressive outward appearance, and filled with many goodly and expensive things, it is nevertheless structurally unsound and destined to break up and sink to the bottom of a cold, empty, and raging sea, becoming a byword and human tragedy of monumental proportions.

And like the captain of the Titanic in his pride and self-assurance, and his trust in the work of men's hands, his modern day counterparts in the SBC speak as the serpent of paradise, like that angel of light who declared ...I will, I will, I will..., and who was brought down to hell because of it.

Beware the leaven of the Pharisees.

In Christ,