Thank you for your editorial on cooperation in the July 12 Arkansas Baptist News. I agree with your thoughts on changes in the Southern Baptist Convention and the continued importance of the Cooperative Program as a source of unity.
Your statement that “we got all that business about the Bible settled” reminded me of how thankful I am to be an Arkansas Baptist. We didn’t have to settle any business about the Bible. That is also true of the International Mission Board (IMB) where I served for 30 years. There was no conservative resurgence in the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) or at the IMB.
The ABSC and the IMB were theologically conservative and worthy of the trust and support of Southern Baptist before the so-called “Conservative Resurgence” began.
Unfortunately, that did not keep leaders of this political movement from making dishonest claims of liberalism and heresy against our IMB missionaries and our state convention leaders. I can remember mass mailings from northwest Arkansas attacking the veracity and the theology of our state convention.
At the same time trustees, including some from Arkansas, slandered our IMB missionaries with charges of liberalism and heresy. It is my prayer that in the future our leaders will have the courage to condemn slander and the use of labels against those who represent us on the mission fields of Arkansas and around the world.