Yesterday Patricia Heys, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) communications person, released to the news agencies a new CBF global missions strategy. http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/content/news/2007/06_18_2007/ne180607nash.shtml
CBF Global Missions coordinator Rob Nash said that both a new structure and new strategy will be introduced at the annual meeting in Atlanta.
Those who continue to believe that the CBF is not building a separate denomination are seeing the world through glasses conveniently tinted to mask that fact. I applaud them in their energetic and forward looking approach, however, I find distasteful the insidious continuance to present themselves as Southern Baptists.
It appears they think they can have it both ways and some churches and pastors seem inclined to go along with that rather than risk alienating a portion their congregations which are already fractured by theological divisions.
Where are the Baptist Statesmen of years gone by who would stand and fearlessly denounce the liberal and theologically challenged positions of those who dare to claim the name Baptist? Where are the Bill Powells who will take on the entire denominational network to expose the liberal policies and teachings? Where are the B. Gray Allisons who will take on the entire seminary system and affect reform by establishing a conservative seminary? Where are the Charles Spurgeons, a 5-point-Calvinist, who railed against the abuses and excesses of hyper-Calvinism. Where are those, who with the intellectual eloquence of an Adrian Rogers, stirred our hearts to reclaim our historic commitment to God’s Word? Where are the Criswells whose bombastic pronouncements elicited fearful cries of “uncle” and drove the enemies of Biblical authority into the CBF dungeon?
Today we need men of wisdom and courage to confront openly those who seek to divide and undermine our mission. Enough of this fearful accommodation! Churches and preachers need to decide where they stand on this matter. For me, it is a theological position. The CBF consists primarily of the most liberal leaning segments of Southern Baptist Life. I welcome the constitution of that denomination and bid them God’s Speed. I do not fear a loss of influence when churches defect to the CBF. That which we lose, is what we never had anyway; so how can we say we lost it.
I’m reminded of the bi-vocational pastor who returned to work after a week or revival meetings at his church. When asked how the revival went, he replied, “Great.” When asked how many people were saved, he answered, “None.” When asked how many joined the church, he said, “None.” When asked how many rededications, he replied, “None.” When asked how it could be a great revival if there were none saved, no additions, and no rededications; he answered, “We had some blessed subtractions.”
I think Southern Baptists need some blessed subtractions. A good start is with those who still hope to convert us to their liberal theological position and support a de facto denomination while trying to call themselves Southern Baptists. How do we accomplish it? Not the way Missouri is attempting to do it, by challenging the autonomy of the local church, but by statesmen exposing them for what they are. Grassroots Baptists will respond when they know the truth.