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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Breaking News In Greensboro . . . Gluttons Don't Drink Alcohol

Many of you are aware of the resolution that was passed in the SBC Annual Meeting yesterday in Greensboro with regard to alcohol. Some have speculated that this resolution was intended to remove, or at least shame, Wade Burleson from his position as a trustee of the IMB. Everything these SBC leaders have stressed such as the Cooperative Program, emphasis of evangelism, and commitment to the local church is null and void. These guys, who, with their mouths have professed essentials, have with their deeds majored on the nonessentials.

Ironically, they are quick to chide Calvinists when the doctrine of election is brought up but have the liberty to speak freely from the platform about it as they wish. It appears that the only people who have the license to take side streets are those who are behind the wheel of the SBC. while those who've been along for the ride are charged with a “violation” for breaking the rules. Such is the case with alcohol.

If the SBC leaders and Executive Committee want to go down that side street, then what about the other side streets of gluttony, materialism, and pride? I for one have noticed many hanging bellies outstretched over the belt buckle. Would it not be consistent to call on all our leaders to repent of the sin of gluttony? After all, there is far more biblical warrant for denouncing gluttony than alcohol. Are we to point the finger at the growing and unchecked gluttony in our Convention? How dare we!

As Derek Webb has said in one of his songs, “We are trading sins for others that are easier to hide.” It is convenient to point out the sins of others while ignoring the sins of our own. Imagine Jesus at our Convention hearing Southern Baptists saying, “Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” Yet, as Jesus concludes, “Wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

So what are the real issues in the SBC? Who will decide to be consistent with our decisions and call out the laundry list of sins in our Convention? How about our denominational pride? What about ministerial infidelity? Family divorce?

Furthermore, what about the theological and ecclesiological issues unaddressed? What about unregenerate church membership? Or biblical illiteracy? Or absence of church discipline? Or denominational cronyism and nepotism?

What about the faulty view of decisional regeneration and flawed evangelistic practices which compound the reality that we really don’t understand the nature and power of the gospel? What about the pragmatism wherewith we rationalize borrowing Canaanite practices while neglecting the biblical truth?

Finally, what about religious pluralism’s threat to the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his uniqueness? What about the creeping influence of Open Theism in SBC life? What about the modern-day dismissal of a literal hell? Surveys have shown that 4 out of 10 Southern Baptists don’t believe in the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and even more don’t believe in a literal hell.

Now you tell me, in light of all this, why are we spending our time passing resolutions on alcohol abuse? When was the last time Southern Baptists took seriously the bigger, more eminent biblical, theological, ecclesiological, cultural, and missional issues of our day? My friend, we have become the next episode in life’s reality show called, “Adventures in Missing the Point.”

We are fighting the wrong battles, sounding the trumpet in minor key, and blowing the shofar . . . don’t make me go there.

If anything, this shows the need for our convention to have clear, biblical understanding that unites us through cooperation. We need an understanding that holds each others’ hands in the fight for souls rather than points fingers in board rooms. So as we close out the convention, what will be the lingering thoughts in Greensboro? The renewed emphasis of the Cooperative Program? Hopefully. The changing of the guard in the election of Frank Page? Possibly. The debate with Mohler and Patterson over Calvinism and Arminianism? Maybe. That SBC gluttons don’t drink alcohol?

I will let you answer that question.

13 Comments:

Blogger Mike Hess said...

Timmy,

Good post! Having not come from a SBC background I still am quite unfamiliar with the set up of the heirarchy in the SBC system. Nevertheless, it looks as though these leaders want to focus on what might be a good idea and attempting to make it a Scriptural mandate (alcohol). Good points as well as to what is of greater concern for America's largest protestant denomination.

Have a fabulous day!

Mike

6/15/2006 07:10:00 AM

 
Blogger R. Mansfield said...

One would wonder what the statistics would show regarding the number of deaths that result from obesity (which leads to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, etc.) vs. the number of deaths from the disciplined person who drinks in moderation, say no more than one glass of red wine in the privacy of one's own home? My guess the latter category is not only boosting their health but FAR outliving the former category.

6/15/2006 09:06:00 AM

 
Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

I just made a Chief Joseph speech over on my own blog. This was my first convention, and a real eye-opener. I was mostly saddened by the way the intelligent, scripture based, gentle opposition to the resolution was not even considered by the vast majority. That does not indicate a truly deliberative body.

6/15/2006 12:04:00 PM

 
Blogger Gavin Brown said...

Ditto.

6/15/2006 12:34:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

@ Mike,

You extreme fundamentalist! Who made you over?

@ Rick,

Isn't heart disease the leading diseae in the United States?

@ Realpolitiklr,

This morning I watched the debate over this resolution. As usual, those in favor argue on the basis of consequence not principle or biblical warrant.

@ Gavin,

I have always wanted Mr. T to say something on my blog. Pleae tell him that he made my day. :)

6/15/2006 12:58:00 PM

 
Blogger james said...

Proof that the traditions of men are alive well beyond the Roman Catholic Church.

6/15/2006 01:26:00 PM

 
Blogger G. F. McDowell said...

How were you able to watch it so soon after? I'd like to show some clips to my friends.

6/15/2006 04:33:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

You can watch the videos by going to this link:

http://viewers.316networks.com/viewer/viewerframes_parent.asp?b=ie&p=win&WMP=1&WMPv=7&RPIE=1&sp=&networkID=3000606&gid=0&rnd=580&hi=223

Now, the above link scrolls off the template, but if you copy and paste it in your URL it will work. Click on the "archived programs" section and click on "wednesday night" and at the bottom there is the "president's address."

Let me know if it doesn't work.

Also, I am right now listening to James White's respones to the statements about Calvinism at Greensboro. You should listen to it. The link is:

http://www.aomin.org/dl15.ram

6/15/2006 05:01:00 PM

 
Blogger Big Al in Austin said...

tim,
having been a member or staffmember of various southern baptist churches over the last 47 years, i think your expections for the convention are a little high. they can't even take a stand against MASONRY! Jesus said all men would know we are his disciples by our love for another. no wonder the world is not paying any attention to us! keep blogging!
big al in austin

6/15/2006 05:59:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Big Al,

You are correct that the world will know us by the love we have for one another. Unfortunately, I think in this case they will know us for our legalism.

By the way, Justin Taylor has chimed in and has some good thoughts about the alcohol resolution. He has shared about John Piper's experience with this issue, provides a link to one of his sermons, and also a quote from Martin Luther. Here is the link:

http://theologica.blogspot.com/2006/06/sbc-resolution-on-alcohol.html

(again copy and paste in URL)

One of these days I am going to figure out all the cool ways to hyperlink and play with the font in HTML.

6/15/2006 06:44:00 PM

 
Blogger theduckandthegoose said...

In this years convention we saw the tradition of the "establishment" be forced to take a step back when those within the "establishment" did not support what they urged others to support. The issue of "imbibing" alcohol is a tradition much bigger than the "extablishment." This is one that cuts to the heart as well as the identity of the Southern Baptist. Therefore it doesn't matter what scripture says these Southern Baptists are going to stick by tradtion. Now, let me say this... Let those of us who may have a more "conservative" view on the consumption of alcohol (by conservative I mean putting more weight in scripture than tradtion), be careful that we not be too critical of tradition. For we are not dealing with a majority of scholars and theologians, and it is tradition, not proof or understnading, that keeps many of our Southern Baptists brothers and sisters in the word, in churches, and committed to righteousness. God uses this tradition for good, let us never forget that. With that said, I pray that the seminaries, guys like Tim who are committed to inform, and preachers would raise up a generation of informed Biblical Theologian/ Preachers that will raise up a generation of informed, theologically and biblically grounded church members that do care more about what God said than what daddy said. But until our churches are ready to fill their members with theology and the Bible, I thank God for the tradtions of this Convention that have kept many in the faith.

6/15/2006 07:23:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

So was it the duck or the goose?

That is the question. :)

6/15/2006 07:29:00 PM

 
Blogger Rev. Scott Welch said...

Great post, Timmy. It seems that the SBC (and I am Southern Baptist) always seem to pick the wrong hills to die on at Convention time.

6/16/2006 10:59:00 PM

 

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