For the Southern Baptist Convention, 2008 was filled with bad news.
Baptisms reached a 20-year low. Church membership dropped, prompting fears the Nashville-based Baptist body was on a downward slide. And its outgoing president warned that within 20 years, more than half of Southern Baptist churches could die off.
In response, the Baptists announced a new national evangelism strategy called "God's Plan for Sharing." Nicknamed "GPS," the new strategy would spread the Gospel throughout the U.S. and Canada by 2020, said Geoff Hammond, president of the North American Mission Board....
Sentinel I do hope you stick around long enough for the Lord to help you with getting upset with some of the ludicrous posts around here. It is good training for disciples, stretches us to the limit, and refines us as gold. I agree with Scholium. God be blessing you all in his matchless grace!
Sentinel wrote: May I ask you a question? Why do you think people post on these boards? It has become a new habit for me, having started when I was in pain and needed a diversion, and I couldn't concentrate on reading a book. Then, it became a curosity for me.
Sentinel + enough already; Hope you don't mind my joining in. I hope the pain's gone Sentinel. I have been an SA addict for four years now. Why? Well in my particular situation I can't get much "informed" debate from Christians of various doctrines and who are knowledgeable about their specific doctrinal position. The local Church doesn't have a large number of folks who are seriously articulate about all aspects of theology and church history. The SA comments board back in 2005/6 was much busier than today,sadly. But we used to have some really satisfying (even if we did disagree) discussion about Bible, doctrines and a whole variety of topics to interest the Christian mind. I do miss the old days. Yes there have been things that should not have been posted and anger across the doctrinal divide. But has this not been the case for centuries? Look at Wesley versus Whitefield as an example. They did it by sermon/letters, if they had the computer back then?? Say no more.
Sentinel; I apologize for the delayed response. To be honest, I am trying to 'break the habit' of posting here because of the divisiveness it brings, and the time it consumes. I agree with you, it is a habit that we should break. Our time would be better spent studying the word of God. Also, there are many senseless ramblings posted here that, if read, again wastes precious time. I do pop in from time to time, but I pray to change that as well. Why do people post? Good question. I personally have been brought to the point of anger on more than one occasion, upon realizing that is usually the end result for me, I think it best to stay away from these boards. Very little edification results from many postings. Praying for some folks here is, I believe, much more satisfying to the Lord. May the Lord bless all who belong to Him with love for one another; may we all grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Sentinel; it is true the Baptist denomination is infiltrated with apostasy, as is all denominations. Praise the Lord, the church I attend still preaches the word, expounding the scriptures each Sunday. It isn't perfect, but God has blessed us with a preacher who has truly been called, and has the fear of the Lord within his heart. For the most part, pulpits all across America are filled with man-centered preaching, ear tickling preachers, pastors, ministers, reverends, priests...who just give the people what they want to hear. "They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'the Lord says you will have peace'; and to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts, they say, 'no harm will come to you'. "But, if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds". Jeremiah 23:17, 22
There definitely is a famine in America, the famine of true, biblical preaching with reverent fear of the Lord; expository preaching of the Word of God.
Having given some more thought to the question, I think what is missing in the Baptist churches that I have attended is expositional teaching on the Sovereignty of God and on Holiness.
That's probably changing for the better because of greater exposure to reformed theology. I see books on the reformers in the local christian bookstore that I have not seen in the past.
I don't mean to discount the need for a topical understanding of how to apply scripture to our lives - such as finances, relationships, etc., but understanding the attributes of God and, that "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" is key.
That is like a mission statement. It set the course for my life when I heard that teaching from R.C. Sproul back in the '80's. It was such a moment of enlightment. I immediately knew it to be true, and life made sense in a new and fascinating way.
I didn't mean to disparage Baptist churches.
As a matter of fact, I think Albert N. Martin's messages on SA are excellent in exposition. I've listened to hours of his teaching.
DJC49 wrote: Just out of curiosity, would you kindly tell me what, in your opinion, they now tell everyone? Your honesty is appreciated.
Well, I haven't been to a Baptist church for awhile, but I hear from those who go.
I think they are "topical" in presentation - you know, "relationships, finances, overcoming whatever, the current buzz topic." I'm thinking of Charles Stanley, though he would be among the better. The messages are man-centered by many.
So, I would say they are not and never have been systematic in their teaching, but topical. They pretty much forget there is an O.T. except for the children's teachings on Daniel, and Samson, Moses, etc. The way they are presented makes them sound like fairy tales.
They lack a historical perspective on Scripture and the church. They rarely emphasized the O.T. accounts as mighty works of God with an end purpose.
Of course, there are exceptions and the Baptist churches in the South would be different from elsewhere.
I grew up in the Baptist denomination and chose the PCA in adult life. The teaching use to be much deeper in the Presbyterian church than the Baptist. The Baptist church has changed alot since the time I grew up when they told everyone every week that they were sinners and needed to be saved. They didn't deviate too much except to rail against the sins that most people didn't commit. Then they could feel good that they weren't alcoholics, immoral, or divorced. That's changed also.
I never fit in in the Baptist church. They were always about numbers - how many people got saved, and, if they had an evangelistic outreach, it became competition for how many people one shared with.
The church should be a lighthouse, steering the lost to safe harbour. Sadly, the lighthouse is all about itself.
I fit in better doctrinally with the PCA, socially, etc., but, I am saddened that so much of church going is just a social event, or keeping with tradition.
The plans of man are foolish. Only the Spirit of the Lord will bring revival.
Growing up as the son of an SBC pastor all my life (and 34 now), and going to a SBC funded College and SBC seminary (SEBTS), and preaching in the SBC for 8 years. I can openly say that 6 years ago God brought the blinders off of me. For 28 years I had no idea what foolishness we are engaging in.
I am not going to name the top 10 frustrations here, but overall know that our supposed 16 million would make Finney look like John Gill. Though I follow the Founders movement, I still think it is better we come out all together. I am leaving now as it is.
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5:13
Michael Hranek wrote: Maybe the problem is the Southern Baptists have far too many ear tickling, practise a form of godliness but deny its power "vegitarian" pastors.
Hello Michael. I think that the SBC fell off the roof years ago with their liberalism. It's time for those Churches within the SBC (those that still have biblical principles) to separate and come out from among them.