This summer I have read a few articles from people on why they are leaving or staying in the Southern Baptist Convention. Most of this has come as a response to one article from an African American professor/pastor’s decision. The writings in response have come from primarily from minority leaders.
So I thought I would announce I am staying in the SBC and share a few reasons why this white guy is remaining.
At ten years old, I was saved and baptized in an SBC church. I was called to preach at 17 in that same church. My ordination came from that same church. I am now 63 and have pastored four SBC churches in my days of ministry. In October I will complete 27 years at Olive in Pensacola.
So why am I going to stay?
- The Gospel-The SBC exists for the global propagation of the Gospel. I am a Gospel preacher so I fit here.
- Theological Education-The SBC believes the Bible and is committed to training the next generation.
- Diversity-The SBC is the most diverse denomination in America. Our non-white church plants are growing in number and the traditional churches are changing in their makeup.
- Independence-Every SBC church is fiercely independent. We do not work for Nashville (Executive Committee headquarters), but rather Nashville works for us.
- Cooperation-SBC churches choose to work together. We can do more together than we can separately.
- Change-The SBC has shown she is willing to repent and change past behavior.
- Cooperative Program-The giving system of the SBC for missions is not perfect but it is genius and works.
It breaks my heart that some African American men do not feel at home in the SBC and are talking of hunting the exit. However, I am thrilled at what I see in my own church in racial reconciliation. I am excited at the leadership of my friends like Fred Luter, Jerome Jones, Shaun Pillay, HB Charles and K. Marshall Williams. We will never have perfect unity until the Great Unifier returns for His bride. But until than I am going to work for world evangelization and church reconciliation.
As a small boy at Pisgah Baptist Church in Northeast Alabama, I was taught God loves us all. Southern Baptists taught me that. I think I will stay!