Witnessed change in SBC 

It is with a sense of melancholy that I seek to add my voice to the opinion page. I have served in the ministry for approximately 23 years in Arkansas. I have, over the course of those years, witnessed the transformation of the SBC. We were (at least in my memory) individuals whose greatest desire was to share the gospel and ease the suffering of all persons by fulfilling the Great Commission. The SBC that I view today appears to be something that looks and feels a lot like a political action committee with a moral superiority complex (we seem to forget that a sense of self-righteous pride, not unlike that of a Pharisee, is as much hated by God as those things we protest). It appears from reading the comments in the “Letter and Opinion” pages of the ABN or resolutions from New Orleans that this SBC or at least its most vocal part cares more for a type of forced social reformation than it does witnessing the changing of lives through regeneration. After much thought, I feel that I understand why this is so – it truly is easier to pound our chests, slap on a bumper sticker, pick up a sign that says “God Hates You” and claim to be the self-appointed mouth piece of God than it is to actually be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus Christ to this lost world. Paul exhorts us to “let your moderation be known unto all men,” Philippians 4:5, or as the HCSB renders it, “Let your graciousness be known to everyone.” I do not find a lot of graciousness in the comments of my fellow Arkansas Baptists these days, nor do I find very much religious freedom for those with a moderate viewpoint.

Robert Loudermilk


What are we becoming?

What are we becoming? The Southern Baptist Convention has been blessed by God down through the years. … One of the reasons is because we have been people of the Book (the Bible).

We need to take heed to what Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3-7 (KJV), “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightiest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.”

Does being a Baptist mean anything anymore? Are we heading down the ecumenical highway? What are we going to become? If we start forgiving the devil, then we are certainly in for ruin. I think it is time to start preaching what the Bible says and certainly following the Great Commission; just because you change your name does not mean you are going to be faithful.

Mike Griffith


S.B.C. = Select Beings

As an 88-year-old lady and a member of my (SBC) church, I think we should be “S.B.C.”

It could stand for “Southern Baptist,” “Sweet Believers,” “Second Born,” “Some Bodies,” “Select Beings.”

Now you name some?

S.B.C. could be comfortable with those letters all over the world, and Praise the Lord, we are.

Mary King


Mormon ‘pointers’

In response to Mr. Turner’s advice to our Mormon friends (ABN, May 31, 2012), I would suggest that the SBC leadership could take some pointers from the Mormons. As pointed out in Mr. Turner’s opinion piece, Mormons have had a strong presence within our government for a long time. However, they have had the good sense to accomplish this without directly involving their official church organization in the dirty business of politics. Let’s get back to promoting Christ through our state and national organizations and leave the politics to individuals.

David Rauls


Open/close communion

I have been on vacation and just came back and read the ABN. I was surprised to find the support of open communion (ABN, June 14, 2012). However, our church (First Baptist Church of Lowell) has been a strong supporter (and usually outnumbered) of the belief of open communion. We felt like we stood alone with most SBC churches. I like what Wyman Richardson said about open communion: “that it makes the door wide as the door to heaven and that open communion demonstrates the love that Christ has for all of His church.” I believe that when people are not offered communion (though believers) in a local church it sends a message that you are not good enough to be one of us … it appears to foster a sense of arrogance/pride … something I could not personally see Jesus doing. I know the other side and their arguments, but open communion seems to us at FBC, Lowell, the Christ-like thing to do and practice.

Gary E. Thomas


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