- January 8, 2009
I agree we need a new name for our convention, but I disagree with the proposed name of Texas Baptist Convention.
It is too vague and simple. Our new name needs to reflect a more global mission mindset. How about Baptist Convention of the Americas? The current Baptist General Convention of Texas includes many cooperative churches and partnerships across North and South America, and the BGCT currently supports the Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio. Just a thought.
The upside of the report that ministers are likely to dismiss or deny needs of the mentally ill (Nov. 17) is that 68 percent of ministers responded properly.
The article did not address the extreme difficulty in dealing with mentally ill people associated with our churches. A pastor or church or family can do very little if the mentally ill person will not cooperate. Our church has dealt directly with three diagnosed mentally ill people, and the results ranged from no effect to horrific.
The system of caring for the mentally ill in our nation now is flawed. It is difficult to get someone to seek care and take medication if they don’t want it. Our pastor and our members who were involved with trying to help these people have worked tirelessly to try to help them. About the only way this kind of impasse can be overcome is if the person overtly threatens someone or is perceived to be threatening harm to themselves. In the meantime, anguish, bizarre behavior and broken hearts prevail.
Thank God that nothing is impossible with him. That is the route to true healing in these cases, but it can be a long and arduous journey. We are aware of two cases of people previously associated with our church coming to healing in this area after much, much struggle and waiting.
Faithful to Scripture
“Graceless behavior” (Dec. 15) is an example of Baptists taking doctrine and theology into their own hands and making it not what God, through his written word, has determined it to be. Where does it say in Scripture women are to be bishops (pastors)?
It is dangerous to create Christian doctrine apart from the Bible or interpret Scripture to suit one’s preferences. The 2000 Baptist Faith & Message is a monument to faithful application of Scripture.
The Georgia Baptist Convention likewise is faithful to God by rejecting a congregation’s mission offerings because, as in the case of First Baptist Church of Decatur, by calling a woman as pastor, the church violated a clear scriptural teaching. I am sure that church saw their action as a hospitable and accepting move in keeping with the loving spirit of Jesus. The Scripture warns against taking such liberties, to paraphrase, “there is a way that seemeth right unto man but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”
Royal E. Smith
Maximum length for publication is 250 words.