You know it won't do a bit of good, but . . .I opened up my Enid New and Eagle this past Saturday morning, and took a look at the religion section. They list the sermon titles for the following day, and I generally like to see what the other pastors in town are preaching on. Down in the corner of the page was the article:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship deletes Christ from constitution
It was a partial reprint of a Baptist Press (Southern Baptists) article. I knew immediately that it wouldn't do a bit of good, but that I was going to have to say something in response. I post my response here should any of you be able to profit from it.
Your article from July 16 (religion section) about the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship requires a clarifying response on three points:
First, it is indeed true that Baptists have been fussing for a number of years now. Cooperative Baptists and Southern Baptists do not always see “eye to eye” on multiple points of theology, and thus their separation. The AP report you printed was a reprint of a Baptist Press article (July 1, BP). Understand that Baptist Press is a Southern Baptist news agency, and thus your reporting presents one perspective of what actually happened in Grapevine, Texas earlier this month.
Second, the statement in question is a revision of the constitutional “purpose” statement of CBF, and was designed to bring that statement in line with the “mission” statement of CBF. Our “Vision” statement remains as follows: “To be the Presence of Christ in the world.” As a member of CBF, I understand that Jesus Christ and His mission in our world is central to all that we do as Great Commission, Great Commandment Christians. The mission of CBF is indeed to serve Christians and churches as we seek to discover and accomplish our God given mission. As pastor of a local church, Cornerstone Baptist, I understand that CBF works for me, not the other way around. I appreciate their humility, honesty and clarity on this matter.
Third, CBF accomplished a great deal more at their annual meeting this year, not the least of which was the appointment of 19 more missionaries, reports on the collection of funds for Tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia, and generally enjoying fellowship with other Christians. Those activities and countless others were the real “news” of the General Assembly, and confirmation of the reason that I remain affiliated with this group of Christian people.
***********************************Well, that was what I turned in as a letter to the editor. We'll see if they print it.
I am so very tired of the fight between Christian people in this world. We have more important things to do with our time. Jesus had a word about such foolish activity in his response to the disciples - Luke 9:49-50 - And John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you."(NAS)
We've much more to worry about than who is the better version of a disciple of Christ. In the end, Christ Himself will sort all that out. In the mean time, we have to be about the business of telling people - lots of people who don't yet know - that Christ loves them and died for them.