Right now I’m sitting in the North Lakeland Pep Boys waiting for them to flush the transmission fluid on my trusty 2004 Toyota Camry…gotta take care of the car before I head to Atlanta today. Anyway…since it’s technically “Chris Question Friday” I thought I’d answer the Number One question I get…why am I a Southern Baptist? So let me pump some KISS “Dressed To Kill” through my earbuds and try to answer that question…
1. I believe in accountability. I’ve never been a huge non-denominational fan…too much room for poor doctrine and unchecked heresy. Networks are okay…but other than Acts 29 I’ve not seen too many church planting networks that keep their churches doctrinally accountable. Through national, state and associational Southern Baptist pastors…my ministry and personal life stays in check with Scripture. I also like the fact that the ministry and the Bible teaching for Compass Point falls under the accountability of the 2000 Faith & Message doctrinal statements.
2. I love my association!!! I’m a member of the South Florida Baptist Association under the guidance of our Director Of Missions…Robert Roberts. He is a godly man with a heart to see the disconnected people of this area reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He has also been one of my greatest mentors. On top of that we have a bunch of great older pastors that I get to hang out with and learn from. There is so much greater wisdom found in the words of the old than in the writings of the young!
3. The SBC is one kick-butt missional network!!! Last year…through the Cooperative Program…Compass Point was involved in supporting 4,946 missionaries in 153 different countries…including planting 1700 new churches in North America. Through international and domestic efforts combined there were almost 1 million people baptized last year through Southern Baptist missions. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!
4. The WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) rocks!!! When you have thousands of women and children praying nationwide for missions…the gates of Hell shake!!!
5. Lifeway is bringing it!!! It’s only taken them about 400 years to get culturally relevant…but they are writing some great stuff for small groups and Bible studies these days. The Serendipity House stuff is the best small group stuff on the market…bar none!
6. The SBC believes in the autonomy of the local church. I’m the Reformed Theology-believing, blogging, missional pastor of an emerging church that has an outreach at a local bar called the “Pub Club”…and most of the guys in the Southern Baptist Convention still love me anyway. To be honest…I don’t drink, there are better things to fight about than Calvinism, I rarely blog about SBC life and Compass Point is many other things than just emerging. The great thing is…as long as we are true to conservative doctrine…Compass Point is allowed to do what God has called us to do within the covering of “The Convention”.
7. I have no problem with the 2000 Faith & Message. Yeah…there are some flaws…and some things that are a little beyond Scripture…but with statements like once saved always saved, God exists in three persons (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), Jesus was born of a virgin birth, the Bible is without error, baptism by immersion…you can’t go wrong!!!
8. We’ve got Stetzer…yes we do…we’ve got Stetzer…how ’bout you? We’ve also got Young, Jr. and McManus…and a whole slew of other influencing pastors.
9. I believe in where’s it going. I didn’t always…but some recent things have given me hope. I know it’s a little tense in the SBC right now…but a little revolution once in a while is not a bad thing. It’ll be interesting to see where this all ends up.
10. This where God led me…and until the Holy Spirit speaks to me otherwise…the Southern Baptist Convention is where I’ll stay.