“Depart we must”
I disagree with much of this writer’s opinions. It actually upsets me to read about some of our Baptist members, such as this, who have such an erroneous view on such important and significant biblical issues!
He speaks from both sides of the mouth! On one side, he says that some Baptists who left were more evangelistic and more compassionate to the LGBT then the remaining BGCT members; but immediately after, affirms BGCT members are not actually void of these qualities! What is he saying? Is he for one, is he for the other? Or is he he for neither?
Baptists are not “splitting” because of lack of love among ourselves! Or because we lack compassion for the lost or marginalized! Or because we are ecumenically aversed or intolerant!
It indeed may seem to him and many others that way, but the one thing Baptists have always strived for is being true to our Gods’ holy word! What Baptists are doing is affirming their unwavering stand on scriptural doctrine!
The lost will always be worldly! That’s a natural characteristic of the unbeliever. Knowing this, Baptists have and will always show them love—be they adulterers, drunks, depraved or members of the LGBT, or whatever sin is keeping them away from a relationship with Jesus!
So, when a church or an individual “affirms” and condones a sinful lifestyle as an acceptable and worthy one to be called “Christian,” it’s not only time to object but indeed to part company! “Be ye separate” says the Lord!
Obeying God’s commend is not at all reproachable but it actually is required! Institutions and/or individuals may do many great works, but the measurement is not in the worthiness of the “works” but rather in the close adherence to our Lord Holy Scripture!
Once someone merged off Scripture doctrine, the Lord calls his followers to depart, and depart we must.
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Obey God’s boundaries
While your recent editorial on “Baptist splits” is right on in many ways, I disagree with your remarks regarding the matter of the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ action regarding churches that allow openly LGBT individuals to serve in active leadership roles.
I know that does not surprise you, and you are probably going to be over-whelmed by others of the same opinion. If you have not already, read Glen Schmucker’s Explore the Bible lesson commentary regarding “boundaries.”
One of those boundaries God established in his word is in regard to human sexuality. The question of whether churches should or should not reach out in ministry to LGBT folks is not the issue; the question is should the church in any way affirm that lifestyle, which is clearly in conflict with the teaching of Scripture.
Churches I know would not intentionally choose a person to serve in a leadership position who is in an openly adulterous lifestyle. We simply need to practice the message we find in John 8, when Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “I do not condemn you, but go and stop this sinful behavior” (my translation).
Should churches allow LGBT persons to attend and participate in their worship, etc.; certainly, just like we let sinners of every kind do so. Habitual and openly practicing liars should not serve in places of leadership any more than a person who is an openly practicing homosexual.
Well, you have more letters to read, so I will stop here. Thanks for many years of faithful service to Texas Baptists.
Why this definition?
The question of boundaries is perplexing. How do we articulate a stance, but at the same time not close ourselves off to reaching people with the gospel?
The problem in recent decisions is defining ourselves by what we are against rather than what we are for. We want to make sure the whole Baptist world knows the Baptist General Convention of Texas does not affirm homosexual marriage or condone any sexual relationship outside biblical marriage.
However, we must ask “Why do we keep defining ourselves by what we are against?” When I read Jesus, I don’t see him building walls, boundaries or barriers, but rather breaking them down.
Our concern should be the advancement of the good news, not doctrinal purity. This does not mean that we accept any teaching as theologically sound, but that these become secondary issues. Jesus pushes concern with the well-being of our neighbor. Our concern isn’t that our neighbor believes exactly the same way that we do, so they can be against and boycott the same things. Rather, the gospel allows us to find the unity amid our diversity.
The great commission tells us to go and make disciples. How can we go if we are so concerned about boundaries? We cannot if we are embroiled in a turf war over securing home base. In reading the gospels, I see a Jesus who calls us to focus on him, to be about his work, and to define ourselves by that, rather than what we are against.
Blessed to say, “Merry Christmas”
The Collin Baptist Association Christmas luncheon was held at Cottonwood Creek church with the theme “Christmas around the world.”
Four refugees spoke about Christmas in their home country, including our Baptist General Convention of Texas area representative. One wasfrom Ukraine, one from Vietnam and one from Israel, plus Umida Wuldashezafrom Uzbekistan.
We especially were impressed by Wuldasheza, who said, “It is so wonderful to be in America where you can say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to anyone in a store or on the street and not fear being arrested for being a Christian.”
Wow, aren’t we blessed!