I once held a great deal of confidence in the Southern Baptist Convention and its leadership, expecting them to remain a conservative bulwark in the American cultural slide to the socialist left, a lighthouse in our nation’s spiritual fog, and a certain sound of clear doctrine among the clamor of society’s noise — but I am not so sure anymore.
Admittedly, I am not in the know or in the political circles of the SBC or involved with any organization that is. My ties have been with the SBC since leaving Adventism in 2000, and although the church plant I now serve as pastor began affiliated with the North American Mission Board Send Network, we are now nondenominational.
The only reason I share this about “not being in the know” is because I’m not and I want you to know that my rant to follow is just my perspective from where I sit now, watching from my Twitter feed.
I see some strong, clear conservative voices from the SBC tweeting and I see some whinny snowflake liberal voices from the SBC tweeting.
I see tweets that criticize the current direction of SBC leaders and I see tweets that criticize the ones that criticize the current direction of SBC leaders.
I see tweets by SBC leaders that seem worded as veiled jabs at President Trump and at conservative political policies. I see their overtures to liberal political policies that make me wonder why they are not part of the pro-Democrat Cooperative Baptist Fellowship?
I see tweets from SBC leaders who criticize those who disagree with them on women in leadership. I see that some stay to the argument of doctrine in their criticism while others seem to have learned from the school of blame, shame, and call names as a standard form of acceptable criticism.
Lately, I’ve been seeing re-tweets of a John MacArthur video clip that is a mere seconds-long bleep taken out of context from a complete hour-long sermon that is sadly giving SBC tweeters an opportunity to exercise their eisegetical opinions.
When I read the comment thread I have to remind myself that these are ministers, Christians, whose comments are as loveless as the Trump haters who spill vile accusations against the President’s tweets.
When MacArthur simply responded to Todd Friel’s impromptu game question, “Go home,” my first thought was that he too must be sick of reading tweets about Beth Moore. It wasn’t received as a “misogynist” comment until it got spun that way by SBC leaders who are apparently more than happy to use Beth Moore as a club in their Twitter wars against their conservatives targets.
By the way, I do not even agree with MacArthur on 1 Timothy 2:12, but losing all respect for the man because of a doctrinal disagreement is too much like liberal politicians and too unlike the righteousness once purported by the SBC, I thought.
I see tweets that make me feel the future of the SBC is weakening, and maybe that is all in God’s ultimate will as we approach the end times. I suppose that when church denominations and their movements change many of its pastors tend to move their flocks to truer pastures.
Perhaps that is part of the Lord’s plan so we become less dependent on a shared identity with a denomination, forcing us to be clear on communicating the convictions of God’s Word regardless of association, fellowship, and support.
Accurate or not, this is how I see it, at least from the view of Twitter.