5 Reflections on the 2017 SBC
I guess I am weird, but I enjoy going to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Connecting with friends who are fellow workers for the truth encourages my heart. Being reminded of the reaching impact of the ministries and organizations of the SBC motivates me to stay connected. Listening to the discussions and debates sharpens my resolve to remain tethered to the Lord. Hearing Christ-centered, expositional preaching blesses my soul. Yes, there are those moments when you do not know whether to laugh or cry; however, the convention is designed to be self-corrective if the messengers follow the Word of God instead of the ways of men. The 2017 convention proved to be all of these things and more. Here are a few highlights and clarifications from the 2017 SBC.
- The Tuesday evening IMB Sending Celebration (the 4th video under Tuesday Evening) was the highlight of the week. As the newly appointed missionaries moved out into the aisles and the messengers spontaneously moved toward them to lay hands on them and send them out to the uttermost parts of the earth brings tears to my eyes as I remember.
- The confusion surrounding the resolution concerning the Alt-Right movement gave way to the understanding that we had sent the wrong message to the watching world. With humility and repentance, the Resolutions Committee and the entire convention joined in clarifying our stance as it relates to racism and the Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right White Supremacy. In God’s providence, after the passage of the resolution, H.B. Charles (the 4th video under Wednesday Afternoon, an African-American Pastor, preached Hebrews 4:14-16 on Christ alone being our High Priest. The point being is that all come to and through Christ alone.
- The clarion call of Pastor Roger Spradlin (the 7th video under Wednesday Morning) of Valley Baptist Church in California to all Southern Baptist Pastors to preach the glorious gospel of Christ through faithfully expositing the text was both powerful and exemplary!
- The obvious engagement of diverse and younger messengers at the convention both shocked and encouraged me. Since I had not attended a convention meeting in several years, I was unaware of how many ethnicities and young adults had become involved. They are not only attending, they are engaged in the leadership of our boards, agencies, and seminaries. The SBC has a bright future.
- The resolution on Penal Substitutionary Atonement of Christ was literally overlooked by some. I was blessed to join Southern Baptists in affirming our trust in the sufficient work of Christ alone. In a world that is moving more toward pragmatism and secularism every day resulting in more “churches” and denominations following suit, I am grateful to be a part of a convention that both stands on and clearly proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The SBC is not perfect. The 2017 convention certainly proved that fact. Yet, the end result was a clear statement of love and respect for all men and women made in the image of God and a reaffirmation of the glorious Gospel and our responsibility to make it known.