Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
And come up it did, when Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, (pictured at left) presented the motion at the very beginning of the first opportunity to present new motions. The debate was scheduled for 7:40 PM on Tuesday, and the convention hall was packed for it. You can get a full rundown of the debate at Baptist Press, and the motion passed by an overwhelming majority. What I want to call attention to is the interesting juxtaposition of differing personalities and theological view points that came together to make this commission a reality.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Very full day of activity at the first day of the SBC Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. There were way too many items to go into tonight but I will hit what I think were the highlights of the day (in no particular order).
Johnny Hunt was reelected (unopposed) for a second one year term as President. Kentucky Pastor John Mark Toby was elected first Vice President, and Stephen Rummage second VP.
There was wonderful worship music spaced throughout the day sandwiched around agency reports, business sessions, prayer times, committee reports and election of agency trustees, theme interpretations (sermonettes) and President Johnny Hunt's powerful message on the need for a Great Commission Resurgence in the SBC.
We had the blessing of Joe McKeever sharing lunch with us today at Arby's. Joe is a retired Pastor and Director of Missions in the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. He is a multi talented guy and a real encourager. Joe's cartoons appear every day on Baptist Press' website. Joe has been spreading cheer in the Executive Committee display area in the Convention Exhibit Hall, by sketching caricatures of folks who visit the booth. He had huge lines of folks waiting for him all day! You may enjoy Joe's blog by accessing, www.joemckeever.com
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary here in Louisville made the first motion of the day. Dr. Mohler's motion was to allow President Johnny Hunt to appoint a "Great Commission Resurgence Task Force" to evaluate the structure, agencies, programs, etc of the SBC and report on their findings at next year's Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. This had the potential to be a very divisive issue since Executive Committee President, Morris Chapman, had earlier publicly expressed his objections to the Great Commission Resurgence Document (published a few months ago by Johnny Hunt and Southeastern Seminary President, Danny Akin, and signed by several thousand Southern Baptists - myself included). The motion was forwarded for debate at 7:40 PM tonight.
As the discussion got underway, it did not take long to see which way the issue was going. The motion passed overwhelmingly!
Several other motions were made which were directed at controversial Seattle pastor and author, Mark Driscoll. Driscoll is the founder of the Acts 29 Network of contemporary style churches. Driscoll is known for being out there on the edge and has drawn much criticism for his language usage, views on alcohol consumption, and other unorthodox behavior. Also, the growing number of Calvinists in the convention drew some attention as well. There were also some of the usual wacko motions - including one blasting the Holman Christian Standard Bible which is published by the SBC.
The number of registered messengers (delegates) from the churches was approaching 9,000 by midday. I have truly enjoyed the preaching, the music and the fellowship at this convention. It is so good to see so many wonderful friends from all around the country - renewing old friendships and forging new ones. It is also encouraging to note what appeared to be a larger number of younger pastors being involved in this year's Convention activities. I have no reason to believe otherwise than the Great Commission Resurgence issue has had an impact on energizing these younger leaders.
This older pastor has also felt a need to get closer to my Heavenly Father. I have made some commitments to Him and by His Grace and Mercy will be able to carry them out for His glory. It has been a time of revival and recharge for me, personally. I am looking forward to getting back in our home mission field later in the week, and being about His business.
Tomorrow's morning session will be full, and I look forward to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Alumni and Friends Luncheon at noon. The convention wraps up about 9:00 on Wednesday evening.
Monday, June 22, 2009
- What If We All Were Of One Mind?
- What If We All Showed Love?
- What If We Were All Led By One Spirit?
- What If We Had One Purpose?
I only got in on the last part of Florida Pastor, Mike Landry's early morning message, but I caught all the rest of them today. It's hard to say which speaker I enjoyed most, as each was different and each had their own perspective on the theme. The one common thread was the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit on each of the messages. The speakers we heard today were:
- Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research (Pictured above)
- Francis Chan, a Pastor from Simi Valley California
- Tom Eliff, pastor and author from Oklahoma City
- Michael Catt, Georgia pastor and producer of the movies "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof"
- Fred Luter, Jr. Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist in New Orleans (pictured here)
- Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas pastor, Governor, and Presidential Candidate, and host of "Huckabee" on Fox News Channel
- Alvin Reid, professor of Evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
- David Platt, Pastor of the Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, AL (pictured below)
- Johnny Hunt, Pastor FBC Woodstock, GA and current President of the SBC
We were also blessed by the encouraging ministry of Dennis Swanberg who helped us laugh at ourselves a little bit. That is good medicine too.
My heart has been convicted today in several areas, and I have recommitted myself to focus on the Mission God has given me, to love and care for the flock of Westmoreland Baptist Church. And to be renewed in our commitment to evangelism.
One major happening was a special offering taken late in the evening session to help with the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions. Right now the IMB has 2,000 candidates for the mission field, but only the finances to send 300 to the field. To the amazement of all in attendance, the offering totalled over $46,000!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
- Whatever happened to etiquette?
- If your wife is alone in the woods, and no one is there to hear her, is she still correct?
- Could someone explain that part to me again about spending our way out of debt?
- Why exactly is Paris Hilton a celebrity?
- Is the church getting worldly or is the world getting churchy?
- What part of "Thou shalt not..." do you not understand?
- Why on earth does anyone ever become a proctologist?
- Did it ever just occur to you that nothing ever just occurred to God?
- Why is the prep for a colonoscopy worse than the procedure itself?
- Did you ever notice that Don Knotts wore that same "salt and pepper" suit on the Andy Griffith Show, as well as several of his movies?
- Why was Durward Kirby Garry's sidekick on the old Gary Moore Show? Furthermore, why did Garry Moore have a show in the first place?
- Are Pastor's kids mean because they have to play with Deacon's kids?
- Why do we sing "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow" with our lips, but model, "I Shall Not Be Moved" in our hearts?
- Whatever happened to Randolph Scott?
- Why is it our kids were little heathen, but the grand kids are so perfect?
- Is anybody really listening between 11:20 and noon on Sunday? Is there any evidence?
- Why is it that "sin" is what other people do, but we only have "shortcomings"?
- How much wood COULD a Woodchuck, chuck?
- Why are teachers paid so little, when they teach future professionals who are paid so well?
- Do dogs understand what we are saying, or do they only recognize their names?
- Do Iraqi dogs understand Arabic?
- If Math is so logical, why do so many people have trouble with it?
- What if they gave a war, and nobody came?
- What are we supposed to do with our old analog TVs?
- Why doesn't Barack Obama do something nice for his grandmother in Kenya?
- When I was thinking that my fiance' was "Miss. Right", why didn't someone tell me that her first name was "Always"?
- Does it bother you that what your doctor does is called "practicing"?
- Why does God bless us so much when we are so undeserving?
- When did men stop standing up when a lady walks into the room?
- Have you noticed how many people no longer remove their caps during the National Anthem?
- Why would some folks walk a mile out of their way to tell you a lie, rather than just look you in the eye and speak the truth?
- Why do we hurt others, when we have no intention of doing so and don't realize we have?
- When will we get our eyes off others and their faults, and focus on Jesus and our personal relationship with Him?
- How will people ever react to the Gospel unless we share it with them?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
"While He was reclining at the table in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and
sinners were also guests reclining with Jesus and His disciples, because there
were many who were following Him."
"When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor,
but the sick do. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: "If we this day are judged for a good deed done to
a helpless man, by what means he has been made
well, "let it be known to
you all, and to all the people of Israel,
that by the name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God
raised from the dead, by Him this man
stands here before you whole. "This is
the 'stone which was rejected by you
builders, which has become the chief
cornerstone.' "Nor is there salvation in
any other, for there is no other
name under heaven given among men by which we
must be saved."
- They did not go into an emergency strategy session to plan their response.
- They did not seek out the "Judean Center for Law and Justice" to handle their case.
- They did not seek reparations for defamation of their character
- They did not demand their rights
- They did not picket the temple
- They did not form a Political Action Committee to help get their own folks on the Sanhedrin.
- They did not do most of the things that evangelical Christians do today when persecution arises.
What they DID DO is explained in verse 24:
"So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God ..."
They prayed. That's it. When persecution and threats came, They just prayed. But notice that this was not a lame little "now I lay me down to sleep" prayerette. These folks got hold of the throne of God. Notice a few important aspects of their prayer:
- They raised their voice to God.
- They prayed in a spirit of unity
- They gave glory and honor to the Father
- They prayed the scripture
- They recognized the fulfilment of prophecy
- They acknowledged that God knew of their plight
- They prayed for boldness that they may proclaim His message
- They prayed for the power of the Holy Spirit
- And they asked it all in the name of Jesus!
Now here is the best part of the entire narrative to me. Did God hear that prayer?
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."
What do you think?
Now in closing, consider this. They did not pray for retribution. They did not pray for the persecution to go away. They did not pray for victory over their enemies (that was already accomplished by Jesus). Christ had long before warned them that the world system hated Him and it would hate them also.
So they simply prayed for boldness in the face of persecution.
Perhaps we are missing the mark in 2009. There is a power failure among Christians today. It results from our own feeble efforts to combat evil in the public square, when what we NEED is a renewed filling of the Holy Spirit and a boldness to proclaim the Gospel of Grace in the face of the Enemy. Government won't do it. Charitable organizations can't do it. The Gospel of Christ will change lives - for time and eternity.
I don't know about you, but I am praying for a renewed Spirit Filled Boldness to proclaim Christ, and the anointed power to do so on every possible occasion.