I am not a Southern Baptist though some of my good friends are. One friend was pushing me to go to be ordained through the SBC yet I found my theology and theirs a bit different enough that I did not think I would feel comfortable in that denomination. (My friend Dr. Powell said he' write a letter of recommendation for me if I had decided to pursue ordination through the SBC). I am out of a bit of a Pentecostal background so "Baptist" is a bit, well non-charismatic by tradition. (I say that yet I have found some that are some who practice the gifts and do share a fuller knowledge of the gifts of the Spirit).
So because I have some friends who are SBC I look at what is going on from time to time and as of right now find the new President interview from Pastor Tad's "Total Truth" blog:
"Dr. Frank Page: The term "missional" means an intentional strategy or set of directives which would lead a person and/or group toward the accomplishment of a particular goal. To me, in our church and in our denomination, this indicates a mindset that constantly keeps the lost as a primary focus so that our mission work and ministry endeavors do not lose the vision for which they were created. Unfortunately, many bureaucracies get caught up in the institution and forget the missional objective."
I agree whole heartedly as Jesus taught we should make plans and lay strategy... to not look foolish! (Luke 14:28-32)
(I know that the scripture is teaching that we must count the cost of following Jesus... that it is to give up everything we have to be a true disciple... that is the main context of the verse in Luke, yet within that context Jesus teaches the principle that we are to consider our actions before we do them... as in making a strategy to do evangelism and outreach as effective as we can. In a way many of the so called "tried and true" methods are not as effective as they could be. (Door to door for example). To me much of it is casting pearls before swine. It is a loss of productivity and wasted time that we don't have as we are to reach a fallen world. We should never be afraid of changing and attempting to streamline and make better anything if it can bring more to Jesus. This is of course all to be under "sound doctrine" and not some "new fad". To confuse Emergent with the latest fad is to really, really, really, miss the point! And that is what many of the Mega Churchs who are trying to be "Emergent" are truly missing as they are using it as a fad to bring people in).
I highly recommend reading this interview as, especially if someone is "anti-missional", I think they are not catching the concept. In fact I see they are throwing out the baby the bathwater and the tub... just to say that Emergent's are wrong!
The real question is this: If the President of the SBC is Emergent friendly... where does that place those who are in the SBC? If Emergent’s are wrong, and your denomination now accepts them... by the very words of your president... you have a choice to:
- Accept it also.
- Fight your president as an apostate.
- Or live by your convictions and leave your denomination.
My sincerest prayers are with you in the SBC who have aligned against Emergent as this must be a truly troubling dilemma of integrity for you.