“…that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith….”
I want to thank all of you who were praying for us while we were at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans along with over 12,000 other messengers from Baptist churches all over the nation. On the whole, I came away very encouraged by what I see God doing within the SBC and among His churches. Let me give you a few quick examples.
(1) Luke, Kyle, Phoebe and I encountered many hundreds of faithful fellow Baptists who share the same passion for Christ-centered, Biblical Reformation within the SBC that we treasure here at Rockport. We were especially encouraged by well-attended meetings sponsored by 9 Marks.
(2) Convention messengers overwhelmingly upheld the confessional standard of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which proclaims that, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Resolutions were passed proclaiming both the valuable contributions of women in the work and ministry of the church and the biblical necessity of pastor/elders being qualified men.
(3) Saddleback Church in southern California and Fern Creek in Kentucky were removed from the SBC by an overwhelming vote of the messengers for rejecting the biblical standard of male pastoral leadership.
(4) Several resolutions were passed upholding clear, biblical positions on issues.
(5) At a special service, 79 missionaries were commissioned and sent out, many of them to places where it is very dangerous for missionaries to go.
(6) Luke and I attended a meeting where the leaders of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) spelled out a clear commitment to helping plant biblical churches anchored in a biblical ecclesiology, with a solid understanding of the gospel, clear expositional preaching and biblical discipleship led by biblically qualified men serving as pastor/elders.
So don’t believe everything you may see online. The spirit of this convention was overall very gracious with ample evidence of a genuine desire among the majority to see the SBC built more solidly on the Bible and Gospel truth.
I am encouraged but prayerful. There is still work to be done!