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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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

SBC Priorities: Alcohol over Integrity in Church Membership

Tom Ascol shares today that his resolution on Integrity in Church Membership failed as it was not recommended by the resolutions committee and did not receive 2/3 vote to be considered on the floor. This was very disappointing to me because it shows how deep and entrenched our denominational pride is. We cannot admit that as Ed Young said, 10 million of our “members” cannot be found by the FBI. Furthermore, our churches have neglected regenerate church membership and church discipline and have bought into the “made in the USA” pragmatism that simply doesn’t “work.”

To add to the frustration and disappointment today, I read this morning that the SBC adopted a resolution on alcohol. Added to this resolution was an amendment urging the SBC to disallow anyone who drinks alcohol from serving as an entity/agency trustee or an SBC committee member. I cannot begin to tell you backward our convention priorities are when we are more concerned with SBC committee members who drink alcohol (which is a third level issue with little Scriptural support) than we are with our churches who have plundered their possessions to Egypt and Canaanized Christ’s beloved Bride. We are hypocrites plain and simple. We write resolutions about the “mint, dill and cumin” and have neglected the weightier matters of the law. Over and over again I was hearing in the annual meeting, “Let’s major on the majors. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing and not get on ‘side streets.’” This is a side street, my friend, where the marketplace of fundamentalist ideas take us away from the culture and world we are wanting to reach—those on the main street. So while we chase down liquor bottles in the SBC, we ignore the unregenerate alcoholics in our pews.

Look, I have never had an ounce of alcohol in my life. Not an ounce, not even wine. I have no desire to defend it, but alcohol is not the problem in the SBC, we are. We don’t need a resolution on alcohol—we need a resolution on us. If we want to major on the majors, then let’s put the focus on ourselves, our denominational pride, our unwillingness to be honest, open, transparent, and broken. The SBC does not need a band-aid to cover superficial wounds; we need surgery. My question then, is, “Where are the surgeons?”


Blogger Brad Hughes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/14/2006 03:29:00 PM

Blogger Brad Hughes said...

AMEN AND AMEN! (You know I never comment on blogs, but this was too true to pass up.)

6/14/2006 03:34:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Congressman Hughes a.k.a. P&P editor-in-chief,

Aren't you supposed to be campaigning right now? Oh wait, I bet you are editing my posts . . . sorry.

I haven't listened to this morning's debate over alcohol yet, but still moments like this makes me really embarrassed that I am Southern Baptist. You think we would grow up and tackle the real issues in the SBC. When will we figure out that drunks are not the problem in our churches and conventions? It's not drunks but pagans.

6/14/2006 04:34:00 PM

Blogger runninbill said...

Very well said.

Bill Isley

6/14/2006 04:50:00 PM

Blogger Paul said...

Being denominationally prideful, unwilling to be honest, not open, not transparent, and not broken always fleshes out in the SBC over issues like alcohol. Because SBC churches are so culturally dominant in certain parts of the country, it always will. Only God knows if it’s for better or for worse depending on particular circumstances. God can use Christian fundamentalism to stop an abusive, alcoholic father from beating his children to eventually become Christian. Still, at the core, it might be because God uses Christian fundamentalism’s sinful arrogance rather than biblically driven SBC initiative.

6/14/2006 07:20:00 PM

Blogger Tony K. said...

We are a people of contradictions. Do you think this is an old-timer issue? I think your post represents the sentiments of most “younger” leaders that I know. I think this is another way we parade how clueless we are about cultural engagement.

6/14/2006 10:40:00 PM

Blogger steve s said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with addressing alchohol in and of itself. It is a worthy issue in this alchohol saturated society, but as you said it is third tier and Biblical support is weak. The problem is that we are not addressing EVERYTHING that is wrong in the church. Our leadership, our pastors and denominational leaders, are not being intellectually honest.

There should be a prioritization of issues and they should be addressed with honesty and integrity from a Biblical perspective. Ego's must go and where we disagree let's do it in a Christlike manner.

In my view, as a layman, preachers are too concerned about offending someone with the Word of God and are mollycoddling church members (whether lost or saved) by trying to fill their felt needs rather than their real needs. This has resulted in the anemic church that is in America in the 21st Century.

6/14/2006 11:16:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Guys, thanks for your comments. I have been thinking some more about this, and I am posting my thoughts on another post which I am going to make this morning.

In the SBC, there are just so many crucial issues that need to be addressed, and I am afraid that we have written the next chapter in "Adventures in Missing the Point." Hopefully, I can articulate my thoughts that having been running through my mind. Thanks again for sharing your take on the situation.

6/15/2006 04:25:00 AM


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