"Aping" the SBC and the Central Problem of Our Convention
This will probably be my last post on the
Two quotes have been ringing in my ears over the past couple of days. One is from Francis Schaeffer as quoted by Nancy Pearcey in her book Total Truth, and the other is from Morris Chapman from his blogpost “Diminishing Returns?” I want to share them with you and add a little commentary as I believe the content of the comments are timely and true today. First, let’s hear from Francis Schaeffer:
“The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism,” Schaeffer writes—or even hot-button social issues like evolution, abortion, radical feminism, or homosexual rights. The primary threat to the church is the “tendency to do the Lord’s work in the power of the flesh rather than the Spirit.” Many church leaders crave a “big name,” he continues: They “stand on the backs of others” in order to achieve power, influence, and reputation—instead of exhibiting the humility of the Master who washed His disciples’ feet. They “ape the world” in its publicity and marketing techniques, manipulating people’s emotions to induce them to give more money. No wonder outsiders see little in the church that cannot be explained by ordinary sociological forces and principles of business management. And no wonder they find our message unconvincing.
As Pearcey continued in her observations of such who “ape the world,” she asked the question, “Where is the authenticity in all this?” and later repeated by asking, “Where is our passion for truth and authenticity?” These are good questions for the
Now to Morris Chapman who recently wrote this article as news that
Today political strategies, agendas, and power politics threaten to distract us from empowered possibilities of a people who rely solely upon God's guidance. We are drawn to do things as the world does them. To lose power from above all too often drives us to generate artificial power of our own making. We can intellectualize the Word of God 'til the cows come home and Christ reigns supreme upon the earth, but the more we attempt to do in our own power, the less we shall know the power of God. Our strength pales in comparison to the Christ who arose from the grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father.
When a president of an entity publicly endorses a potential nominee or nominates a candidate for elected office, he potentially alienates some who otherwise hold him in high esteem because they differ with the person he has embraced publicly for an elected office. Consequently, the entity head endangers his potential to provide effective counsel and spiritual leadership to the larger body of Southern Baptists although their beliefs may coincide with the entity head on most other issues.
I agree, as Dr. Chapman has said, that there is a “diminishing admiration” of such leaders in the
We are now 27 years past the beginning of the conservative resurgence. The threat of liberalism or modernism is hardly an issue. The real threat to the