Today, I was sadly reminded of the state of God’s church while reading about First Baptist of Greenville, South. As a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which has its foundation in this city, I have a heart for the heritage of this Southern Baptist Convention. I am often encouraged as I look back at those who form the cloud of witnesses in the convention… to see those whose life and ministry were defined by Bible. I am honored to part of a group of imperfect people who have strived to rightly divide the Word of Truth. This church was part of that tradition. It was the home of the first Southern Baptist Convention president and part of the early history of the convention. Regrettably, in the early 1990s it chose, because of doctrinal differences, to leave the Southern Baptist Convention and to join the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. It strayed from its foundation and left its legacy in the dust. It now bequest to us all an inheritance much different than the one with which it was left. It now leaves to all whom look to it as a beacon of truth, a legacy of deceit.
This church is only one glaring example of how the Christian Church has forgone its responsibility. It has left the truth of scripture and has been deceived by the fallenness around it. For you see, the church ignored the reality that it must stand on the Word of God or it will fall. Yes, the church is a group of imperfect people. It is a hospital for the sin-sick. It is a place that calls out to sinners and bids them to find freedom in Christ. It is that which invites sinners to come as they are but it cannot be a gather of those who allow the sinner to stay there. It must not forget that repentance means turning from those way that are unpleasing to God and living in the way acceptable to Him. Regrettably, like the First Baptist of Greenville, the Christian church has allowed too many who live in open sin to be those who lead and define the path of the body. It has followed the path of least resistance. The church has called out to those living in egregious sin but failed to call out those who are known for greed or gluttony or a myriad of others sin. The Christian church has declined to comment on the common sin and consequently sin has polluted its ways. It has forgotten the words of James, that “…whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." The church has declined to call sin, sin and therefore has lost both its way and its voice.
It is time for a change, for a revolution of sorts. It is time for God’s Church to rebel against the culture. It time for those who call themselves followers of Christ to become nonconformist. It is time for men and women to be sanctified dissidents. I want to be among this group… to be a man who daily who scarifies self for the cause of Christ. It is my prayer that I allow the Bible, the written word of the living God, to inform me as to His ways. It is my yearning to surrender all that I am to Christ and be a slave of His Word.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”