Thursday
Jul122012

Scouting standards strong

During the recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, a number of concerned messengers visited the Association of Baptists for Scouting booth to ask if they had heard correctly that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were planning to loosen their standards regarding requirements for adult leaders. I am pleased to say this is NOT the case. The BSA remains committed to the moral and ethical standards, which have been affirmed several times in Southern Baptist Convention resolutions.  

Scouting remains one of the finest evangelism, family ministry and religious education tools available for established churches, as well as new church plants. Scouts and their families involved in the religious emblems program are often reached for Christ, and it is not uncommon for youth participants to clarify their calling to vocational ministry.   

While I am happy to report scouting’s commitment to the leadership standards, I remind readers that opponents to these policies are relentless and highly vocal. Unfortunately, the “silent majority” remains largely unheard. I believe this is an opportune time to encourage Southern Baptist churches and individual members to send a note of affirmation to BSA for the moral and ethical commitments to which they have remained true for 102 years.

R. Chip Turner
Past president of the Association
of Baptists for Scouting

Thursday
Jul122012

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
Norman

Thursday
Jul122012

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
Crossett

Thursday
Jun282012

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
Arkadelphia

Thursday
Jun282012

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
Nashville

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