I am learning in the words of C.H. Spurgeon, “It is better to be the victim of slander than, to be the author of it.” and that one should “Shun slander as you would avoid hell.” Moreover in the Puritan Catechism Question 62 it is answered as to what is required in the ninth commandment is that:
The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, Zec 8:16 and of our own, 1Pe 3:16 Act 25:10 and our neighbour’s good name, 3Jo 1:12 especially in witness-bearing. Pr 14:5,25
“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;” (Zechariah 8:16 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
“having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:16 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
“But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well.” (Acts 25:10 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
“Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.” (3 John 1:12 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
“A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.” (Proverbs 14:5, 25 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
The convention had a lively start as it was opposed on the floor for Vice President Pence to come on Wednesday. The opposition failed because it was argued from Romans 13 to honor the king and by rescinding this invitation it would not be hospitable to our leaders. Moreover it was stated we have no political affiliation.
Next the governor of Texas, Gregg Abbott, welcomed the convention as a God fearing state. He addressed the recent tragedies with request for prayer. And he said that the worst of storms brought out the best of humanity in life and that they were brought closer to God. He shared about how he was put in a wheelchair. A huge tree crashed upon him while running and paralyzed. Life altering events like this test your faith, but he says it make his faith even stronger. He said his life is even better after this accident. It galvanized his relationship with God. He gripped God and felt his return grasp. He learned that all he needed to do in life is submit to God. He spoke of his becoming supreme court justice in Texas. He said our lives are not defined by the ways we are challenged, but our lives are defined by the way we respond to the ways we are challenged. He said our country was founded on religious liberty. We have been one nation under God since the beginning of this nation. Yet, religious liberty in America is at a time of crisis. He personally defended the ten commandments monument and it still stands on the property today. God remains in our pledge of allegiance, even though that was also challenged by Atheists. Moreover, there was a war on Christmas in Athens Texas, and they responded and won. The onslaught against religious liberty will continue, but we need to respond to this challenge. He spoke about Franklin Graham calling Texas to respond to God’s will. The country is more focused on political correctness. America is at a time of crisis. And we must play a role in leading out forward in this crisis. We must respond to this challenge to see that righteousness prevails across America. When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people suffer. He ended with reading Psalm 62. And said that we should never be shaken! The convention stood in applause.
A General asked for applause for those servants of our country behind him. He spoke of Romans 13:7 giving honor to whom honor is due, ultimately to Christ, and to pause and remember our veterans who have preserved our freedoms.
The pledge of the allegiance, and national anthem sung, and a prayer of repentance and for the nations was prayed.
Joel Sutherland, director of evangelism for North American Mission Board, addressed the convention about the crossover evangelistic impact in Texas prior to the convention. 3,354 professions of faith, and 875 additional online professions of faith. 4,229 total! That is the most professions of faith in history of crossover events!
Next year there will be a three day crusade preceding and we are invited to make this a mission trip for our churches.
O.S. Hawkins from Guidestone brought a report celebrating 100 years. It was also the first time women were seated as messengers at the SBC Annual Meeting. He expressed his gratitude for the many women who work for Guidestone. 15 billion dollars assets and added over 1 billion. 70 percent of funds are exceeding benchmarks. Concerning healthcare, it is a challenge and will continue. A new product in July 1st called secure health. It provides a lower cost alternative. Free health screenings are being given during the convention. Also it was spoken about property and casualty insurance. Also, was spoken about Mission Dignity. All of the Code Series books go to help this. The Christmas Code is free at the booth today, and serves as an Advent devotional. The Nehemiah Code speaks about its never late for a New Beginning. And there will also be an Easter Code. Started at $50 but now it is $600 to help widows of pastors. Pure and undefiled religion is this to take care of widows and orphans. If you go before your wife as a pastor, Guidestone Mission Dignity will be there to help your wives in their declining years! Mission Dignity helps retired pastors and widows.
“No retired preacher or widow should have to live in poverty.”
At this point Business began, offering messengers opportunity to make motions. It is in order to make motions at this time but not to debate them.
Microphone 2a, pastor Sam Fordham from Alabama. moved that the executive board study for study evangelism study.
Microphone ? Wade Burleson, requested the Ethics and Religious Liberty put something to help protect churches form sexual predators. And for a data base.
Microphone 4a, Phlip (last name?) for task force to assess issue related to sexual assault, abuse…etc. develop recommendations on best practices on ministering to victims; and report findings at next Annual meeting.
Microphone 4b Marshall Osburry (spelling?) pastor in Fairfax VA. Motion for 2019 convention refrain from publicly elected officials with exception of Mayor of said Sunday.
Microphone? Ron Wilson from Lakewood Baptist in Alabama motion for trustees of SWBTS to resign.
Mic 18 Jason Pamblanco in Tallahasee Florida to amend bylaw 21 to append “in an effort to divest the convention “ form partison politics …etc. etc. baring politicians from speaking from platform.
Mic? David Lewis from ? motion to unite for proactive for pro-life
Mic 7a Tom Hatley from Emmanual Baptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas. called for dismissal from service SWBTS trustees.
Mic? Tim Overton, Kingston Ave. motion for trustee training for accountability of trustees.
Mic? Scott Gordon from Missouri motion to express our desire to not make invitations to politicians to come.
Mic 3b Steve Bailey, motion for bylaw 10c for cooperative program giving amounts be reported for those officers being elected.
Mic? Louis Jefferson from Louisiana, motion to appoint a committee to make a trustee orientation program.
Business session ended.
D. August Boto interim president of Executive Committee gave report. He said in 1985 they met here and it was 5 times the attendance, 45 motions proposed, and 74 resolutions submitted. He said if God led us through that convention then, he can do it now! First time messengers were recognized. He explained about the EC that it requires 1/3 laypeople, 1/3 pastors. It serves as a house of representatives for the SBC. We are not organized with various levels of authorities, and the churches are at the time of the authority spectrum. The EC does not govern them. The EC recommends to property entities when asked. We do it this way because of Prov 11:14; 13:10; 15:22. Our process is designed to avoid precipitous action. Large ships turn slowly. Four actions will be recommended. Dr. Stephen Rummage chairman of EC will make these recommendations.
The first is the most important because it deals with how the Cooperative program will be applied. Some assume mandatory contribution, and some Bible churches who have joined us think this, but tithing and giving honor the Lord. It is voluntary. Every SBC church and member has its part in supplying at every level (Local, State, National). Some of our ministries are self-funded.
Dr. Rummage began his recommendations. First he expressed his gratitude for prayers for them concerning the departure of Dr. Page this Spring. He expressed that they have experienced God’s help in wisdom, etc. during this time. The search tea
m process was explained, and names of potential ones can be submitted to email@example.com
They have full confidence in their interim leader and workers in the meantime and count on our prayers. Recommendations began to be made by various persons from the EC.
The first was allocation budget on p.34 of Book of Reports.
But the mics lit up at this point and motions began to be made. Rummage responded to a motion against ERLC being included, and that they needed to be included. Vance Pittman spoke for the ERLC concerning bringing healing to damaged relationships than any entity combined. They have defended both republicans and democrats. You may not always agree with Russell Moore, but if you do you better be ready to defend your position from Scripture. He called the motion a conspiracy theory. But another stood (didn’t get the name) and he said the motion is not about Russell Moore but about the amendment of the budget and said it was out of order. President Gaines thanked the man for his encouragement. Then Richard Land took the microphone. He said if you speak the truth in love, you are going to offend everyone at some point. We need the ERLC to speak to and for Southern Baptists. Pastor of Trinity in CA spoke against any amendment, and in agreement with Land, and called for a conservative voice to return like when Richard Land was president of ERLC. But it looked like he just wanted to talk. Then the question was called from the floor. The amendment lost.
The question then came to the adoption on the recommendation #1. It was adopted.
Then Stacy Bramley brought the next recommendation. Calendar activities to add Day of Prayer. It was adopted.
Steven Swafford (spelling) introduced next recommendation. Operating budget. It was approved.
Jared Wellman brought the fourth recommendation, SBC referral, Orphans and Widows Sunday to be added to calendar.
Past presidents of the SBC were introduced.
First VP Walter Strickland was introduced and presided the rest of the session.
The President and his family were introduced, Pastor Steve Gaines. In the intro, his wife bore witness that he spent more time talking to God than talking to men.
Then prayer was made for our president of the SBC.
We were led in praise and worship prior to Pastor and President Steve Gaines gave his address to the convention. But before that, Steve Gaines and his daughter Bethany sang a hymn; He took the guitar. Alas and did my Savior bleed…At the Cross… and they led us in song.
President Gaines spoke about deists viewing God as a benevolent watchmaker who wound it up and let the world run by itself. Because of that heretical philosophy they do not believe in the miracles of the Bible including the resurrection. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were both deists. Franklin invented bifocals and other things and we can be thankful. He never became president of USA and was an American hero, but he was a deist. He was a man of science not Scripture; philosophy, not prayer. He was a friend of Whitfield but never embraced Whitfield’s God. Franklin influenced Jefferson. Jefferson made his own Bible and took out anything he saw as contrary to reason. He cut it down to the life and morals of Jesus of Nazareth. He cut out all of the miracles. He especially left out the resurrection. Franklin and Jefferson admired Jesus, but rejected Jesus’ eternality, virgin birth, atoning death, bodily resurrection; rejecting the very heart of the gospel and did not believe a supernatural Christianity. He then turned and asked if we believed in a supernatural God. Do you believe in a supernatural God?
In Acts, it spans the first 30 years of the church, from Jerusalem to Rome. They spread this gospel because they believed in the miraculous power of God and the gospel. They believed the gospel of Jesus Christ can change communities. They sought to pray and live like that. What is going to be the solution for our decline Southern Baptist Convention? You need to believe in a bigger God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God’s Promises are Supernatural. “After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta.” (Acts 28:1 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.” (Acts 27:20 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) In that dark hour, God showed up. Paul must have been praying, and came out with a promise. Paul stood up in their midst. God supernaturally gave God a promise in Acts 27 and fulfilled it in the same chapter. He spoke about God working in his son Grant’s life. They thought he might have leukemia. The deacons prayed the night before for Grant. He could not sleep and began to read the Bible where he left off the day before Exodus 13:13–14, and he said God speaks to him through the Word of God not just for inspiration but for revelation. He’s heard God speak out loud because he read his Bible out loud. You can say it wasn’t contextual but that was God speaking to a Daddy, and today Grant doesn’t have leukemia and he is preaching and with a family! Every Word of God proves true! the Lord is your Shepherd you shall not want. See Psalm 23. See 3 John 1:2. Matt 28:20.
God’s Protection is Supernatural. Acts 28:1 ff. Instead of the natives feeling threatened they were kind to them. A viper took hold of him. Paul was spiritual and practical. He was building a fire, doing hard work. He shook the snake off in the fire. They saw the snake as Justice working against him. But Jesus Christ was actually protecting Paul. They thought that Paul was a god because he did not die. The book of Daniel shows a man who never complained and prayed for three times a day … he got arrested for praying. He was thrown in the Lion’s Den and God supernaturally protected him! If you are following the Lord Jesus Christ God will protect you until it is your time to go to heaven. Psalm 91 (see it).
God’s Power is Supernatural. Acts 28:7ff We need to go to the great Physician first, then to the doctor. Jesus cursed the Fig Tree from the roots up and saw this the next day. Peter noticed. He answered, Have faith in God. He said moves mountains. God’s supernatural power is greater than any problem we or you have. Stop talking about how great your problems are and talk about how great your God is! He can deliver from anything God is still alive and Gos is still sovereign and is still alive.
God’s Provision is Supernatural. Acts 28:10 Supply with all they needed! They had nothing but their God, and that is a good place to be. God is your source. Other things are your resources. God will at time will dry up your resource, so you can trust in your source. “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” (Psalms 37:25 The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) Biblical prosperity: God will provide your needs and a little left over to share with others. Philip 4:19. He will supply if you will pray and believe His provision is supernatural.
We need to walk out of here in a few days and tell the world that God is still on His throne. Don’t be like Franklin and Jefferson. Don’t cut up your Bible. Don’t dismiss the miracles of the Bible. Is there something in your life that shows people that you believe in supernatural God. What in your life and church shows that. What is happening in the SBC that can show His glory. God will not share His glory with another. What is God doing in your life where people can say, that is the hand of God. Do we really believe God is still God; that God is sovereign; that God still does miracles; that God can set free anyone; etc. May be small enough so that God can be big! There is a God in the SBC! Pray like that! Pray like Jesus Christ is raised from the dead!
Baptist 21 Luncheon
Matt Chandler spoke about that we are not trained for response to abuse. He advised when preaching on submission to always state that if a woman is in an abusive relationship (spiritually, emotionally, physically or otherwise) to come to us so we can get them to safety. Always call the police first.
It was also spoken by ERLC president Russell Moore of a young minister calling an older retired minister in the midst of an abuse case that was public, to call all the media outlets and address it that night with a place made welcome for them.
Danny Akin spoke about trusting the trustees in dealing with Patterson’s case.
Trillia Newbell spoke affirming a statement of Dr. Moore on being in a Genesis 3 world and that abuse can happen here, wherever here is. Also make your procedures known as proactive and not reactive so the church knows about them. Make sure you have gracious environments so that people feel welcome to share. Don’t re-victimize victims.
Concerning complementarianism supposedly fostering abuse. Mohler addressed this issue concerning those wanting patriarchial abuser you can grab hold of complementarianism as a tool or anything for that matter. But look in Hollywood, you don’t see complementarianism is not the issue with Weinstein. But we need to make sure it is clear that is not what complementarianism is to us, and what it is not. Women are not to be submissive to men. It is a pattern in the home. Make sure we are talking about biblical complementarianism. What if your view does lead to the abuse of women. It is our responsibility to make sure it does not. You can’t preach the gospel and deny any part of the Bible. Complementarianism says we need one another.
Chandler spoke about the practice at his church of women reading, praying and being on staff. They have written a paper on this.
Trillia encouraged us to read a book by a woman. You should have the freedom to learn from the women in your midst. Look and evaluate your meetings. Are there women in those meetings? In your practice are you equipping and allowing women to flourish and use their gifts. You know what to do, but are perhaps motivated by fear because you are afraid of going to far. Educate yourself and read and learn from women.
Danny Akin said they elected a woman as a chairman of their trustees. Unanimous vote with 28 men, and two women. And there is no sense that you can make a biblical argument against it because she is not a pastor or elder in the church.
D.A. Horton spoke about spurring on women gifted and educated to be used in our churches. A women leads evangelism in their church. We need to reinforce to have people go to these women and follow them in the areas they lead. Ephesians 4 equip in the work of the ministry and join in.
The issue surrounding race came up next…
Kevin Smith said that we need to be intensely biblical. Talk to a brother and sister as such and not like you would confront an enemy. Believe in the sufficiency of Scripture but also be clear on what Scripture does not say. We should not question a brother or sister’s Christian commitment and godliness on things Scripture. Nothing is more important than Genesis 1:27. If we are not convinced of this we will have a long way to go. There is no biblical paradigm to hide bad memories in history. In a Genesis 3 fallen world we will disagree on politics and how we do them. WE need to really acknowledge the image of God in people. And you can’t point this out to people, but pray. Be careful of idolatry on both sides. Some of us roll up joints of the dung of donkeys and elephants. Why are we Southern Baptists, we are intensely biblical. But give people space to disagree on things that are not spoken biblically. Again Genesis 1:27 is key. We won’t be right with any issue that regards people if we do not regard Genesis 1:27.
Russell Moore said that he wished he could have monuments of those in the 1930’s who said Christ died for all nations who were fired for such then.
D.A. Horton said we cannot truncate things to black and white, there are more colors than that and we need to expand to be more kingdom minded. Also racism is the sin of partiality, call it what it is. When you open it up to the broad definition of partiality then church discipline and the Lord’s Table can be celebrated. God will clean his house. And we need to think about it for our convention as to what the eschatological people of God look like.
Trillia said proximity changes everything. Policies are needed, and policies change. But if we want to have things transformed, we need to get to know our neighbor. We can’t love who we don’t know, and who we are trying to know. Also, one of our failures is that we are consistently approaching this conversation from the negative. And of course we do. But what about looking at God making people in his image and Christ died for them and we can spend eternity with him. Amen. We can begin to celebrate each other and most of all the Lord. We can do this because we are learning from one another and submitting to one another. The doctrine of adoption changes everything.
Concerning the news about Vice President Pence coming…
Some were mad about this, some not. Akin said that as we are becoming a multi-ethnic body of believers we see things differently. He sensed the tension about it. Some are enthusiastic about this happening; others see it as tragic. Both extremes are wrong. He likes the idea of depoliticizing the SBC. But we will get through it. HE affirmed Mohler’s article on the wrath of God coming upon Southern Baptists, and gave hearty agreement.
Kevin Smith said there is a difference between options and imperatives. It is a sin to not consider one another. Biblical imperatives trump options.
What do we need to be in the room for?
Mohler spoke. Recognize a lot of things go on, but the only things that have lasting actions are things decided by the SBC. So if it is not a motion that gets adopted, it is not an action of the SBC. He spoke about a former rule that said during an election year, but it was a bi-centinial and in 1976 they broke it and had Gerald Ford, who was running against Jimmy Carter. It was like a half-time talk saying don’t drop the ball; don’t tackle the guy in the eighth inning. LOL
But be in the room, because anything can happen. Pay attention and vote with conviction and confidence and it will have long lasting effect. As messengers we are here to send a message to our churches.
Dr. Akin said, At 1:45 there will be the presidential election. Look on programs for business and motions.
Mohler said for the first time in years the agenda ran late.
Chandler said pay attention. An ERLC trustee has been removed. And you can’t complain if you are not in the game.
>>>> back to meeting session
Dave Ramsey gave a talk and information about Ramsey Solutions to help pastors. Financial Peace University. He gave a free subscription to pastors and as well as a amazing discount on the curriculum for the first 500 pastors who signed up.
Nominations for president of the convention were made:
Vote by ballot was taken
The Executive Committee Interim president introduced the young advisory council as representative of the next generation of leaders.
J.D. Greer was voted as president of the SBC
Keeping Christ As Your Central Focus ––Frank Pomeroy of FBChurch of Sutherland Springs, TX Preaching
A man whose shoes we are unworthy to tie, whose congregation was slain and whose daughter was killed in an act of terror
Satan does not have the power. We will not bow down to the gods of Nebuchadnezzar nor the media. We can choose to fight with one another or we can choose to put Christ at the center. God is still on the throne. Regardless of what has happened, God knows what is to be. Keep Christ the central focus of our actions.
On Friday Nov 3rd he let his little baby girl out at school. He didn’t get to see his little girl again. The media wanted to hear about 26 precious lives including his daughter Annabelle (spelling?). They were thrusting microphones at him and talking very quickly. He says that God sent him an angel in the form of a tall well dressed man of color, who walked up to him and his wife and prayed with them. He said Satan came here today and made his play but you must keep Jesus and His gospel the central focus of what you do.
He would like to say that he would have done that without the encouragement, but thank God he put that man in his way to encourage him. But he was very low at this time. His brother Mark, a pastor, stayed with him also the whole time. But keeping Jesus as his central focus was his Rock during that time and today.
He felt the need to go visit the remnant left. As he did every one of them spoke about the honor given to suffer for Christ and how they couldn’t wait to share the gospel. And instead of him encouraging them, God used them to encourage him. And he spoke to Mark saying that they didn’t have a building but they have a church; and it was a seed of revival.
He bore witness of the church he pastors that instead of choosing hate, they chose Christ! In the midst of that turmoil when they could have looked down they chose to stand in unity with Jesus Christ. They chose not to fall to the traps of the media, and the things within of their own emotions, but they chose to latch their arms with Christ, and He has blessed them over and over.
They went from 75 in attendance to 200 attendance with baptisms every Sunday. Midweek went form 23 to 60. 15-18 people in the praise team behind a worship leader who is paralyzed from the waist down who are from victim families leading the church in praise!
Regardless of how bad the world makes it seem, our God still reigns!!! From the beginning of time. And NAMB (The North American Mission Board) is building them a church.
The corn must fall to have a cornfield. The martyrs blood fell and became a seed of revival.
Their building will have a bell the children loved to ring to let the people know church was starting, in a tower now; and the another tower will have a light that will tell people that Jesus build this church, and will stay perpetually lit.
John 17, Jesus is praying to the Father, protect them by your Name that you have given me so that they may be one so that we may be one. A house divided among itself cannot stand. We need to come together and Jesus needs to be our leader!
He shared how he gave away the kayaks that Annabelle loved more than anything to do. It was a hard day. He prayed let her know that they are being used. Its hard sometimes, but if we will focus on Christ and do what he has called us to do. But when we stay in unity and put our hope in Christ as the head of the church. And the media will only be able to film the fruit of God’s glory!
My God is God whether its morning or light and whether we can’t figure out which it is!