Controversy and Some Points of Clarification

It seems that two of my recent blogs have created a bit of controversy. That's good. I happen to like controversy. I kind of thrive on it. Of course, needless controversy is not a good thing. But if there is controversy because I have caused people to think about and think through some necessary issues, then that's a good thing.

However, due to some comments that I have received both online and in person, I would like to make a couple of points of clarification.

Clarification # 1: I like Dr. Reid a lot. I commented about his blog not because I disagree with him, but because what he wrote so desperately needs to be said. Dr. Reid is a man of God who desires to see his convention reach the younger generations in a culturally relevant way. He works closely with and supports both of my brothers who lead  Two-Four, a weekly gathering for the collegiate generation where they can experience authentic community, passionate worship, and relevant teaching. The world needs more men like Dr. Reid.

Clarification # 2: I like Dr. Aiken. He has been nothing but kind to me. In fact, during the conversation which I referenced in a former blog I told him that I believe he is God's man for the job and that if anyone could help bring reform it would be him. I'm doubtful that it will ever happen convention wide, but SEBTS has seen several changes due to his leadership.

Clarification #3: When I say that I'm done with the SBC, I mean that I'm done fighting for it and identifying with it. I don't hate the convention. I don't harbor any resentment towards the churches, church members, committee members, and Directors of Ph.D. studies, etc. who have intentionally marginalized me, belittled me, or treated me unfairly. Contrary to what Rev. Palmer may think, I can say with some certainty that you will never find me holding a position within the SBC. I don't mean that I am against the SBC or think that they are evil as my good buddy John seems to think I mean. It may, however, be beyond saving. History will tell. Perl S. Buck said that "every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied." The question which plagues me is whether or not the SBC has already missed that "split second." But let me be clear: I'm not against the SBC. I would love to see the "Great Commission Resurgence" succeed. Journey still gives money to the Cooperative Program. As the senior leadership team here at Journey we decided to give to the Cooperative Program as a means of contributing to missions and supporting conservative theological training. We do not, however, identify ourselves as Southern Baptists, and you will not find any of us serving on this or that committee or going to this or that convention fighting for a voice. We just don't care. The whole point I was trying to make is why would I expend so much time an energy trying to make a convention "look" more like me, when I can just join with people who are already of like mind, spirit, conviction, and mission? I feel no responsibility toward the convention. I am not responsible for whether or not they follow Jesus (and just for clarification right doctrine does not necessarily equal following Jesus). I AM responsible for me. I am responsible for what I do with the calling that God has given me, and to waste my time and energy is irresponsible. It's sideways energy. 

That is where I (and others like me) am coming from. Why bother? Because of the missional impact the convention can have, you say? Again, I'm responsible for me. Maybe others are called to "save" the convention. But the reason that "young people are jumping ship by the thousands" and that Dr. Reid has to talk "good younger men off the ledge from leaving the SBC" is because saving the convention is not our calling. 
  • Mark

    It seems to me that the SBC has become the modern day Pharisee’s. Especially at the SBC campus’s where rules seem to apply more than the Gospel. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy that exist? If the SBC continues its slippery slope it will indeed take a great fall. It has continued to place men and women in positions of leadership that have the appearance of good but their hearts are evil. Few in the SBC see it and those that do get sick and leave. Why would they see it? Jesus called out the Pharisees straight to their face, and the result was killing him. Silence the one who would call out our sin. People are passing by every day that need to hear and see the Gospel. Really all they see and hear are Baptist are legalistic…Baptist voted to silence women…Baptist voted to boycott Disney…etc.. The world has been watching the SBC for years and they are turning the channel. Be about the Fathers business not about SBC agenda. These have been my observations while existing in the Pharisee Baptist Convention (PBC).

  • Alex

    Amen!

  • http://johncheatham.com/ John Cheatham