You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.
Some how I don’t think this will be the Gospel announced among the Great Commission Resurgence promoters, nor proclaimed by the ministers of the Gospel that are sent by it. Primarily, because it does what Paul experienced. Some are saved, those who God is adding to the church, but most will rise up to kill the prophets, if the prophets are faithful, as Jesus said. For too long the gospel of social accommodation has been preached in the affluent West, and not one that calls the governors to account, one which demands repentance of the people or the dusting off of the sandals and the withholding of the blessing if the knee is not bent to the authority of Jesus Christ. If
“now we see it as our task to see the nations worship Him”
does not translate into something foreign to the status quo of the past several generations of SBC leadership, the only thing that will result is a continuance of the accommodations that cannot produce a separated people and a regenerate membership. It will only result in membership that is not committed, which does not see the church as the disciplining body it should be as Tom Ascol eloquently states. A regenerate membership must know the critical nature of the Gospel, must know its exclusivity, must know its commitment. Becoming a Christian moves far beyond mere evangelism. And a Great Commission Resurgence must first be dedicated to the commandment contained in it, “teach them to keep and to do” before it seeks growth. Without the establishment of proper means, we bring people to the church without making them disciples and the Great Commission is voided. This then is where the GCR must start, and not in evangelism but, in first establishing the discipline necessary to carry it out. Jesus first established his leadership, equipping them to equip the saints. He gave them to be the ministry for that specific task. Understanding the Gospel, Law and Prophets, is primary: “teaching them to keep and do ALL I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.” It is the second part of this that is the heart of the GC and not the evangelism, but first being established in the commandments. To do that the SBC will have to retool and make doctrine and history primary. But that seems counter to what Hunt is proposing because he makes unity in doctrine a secondary issue. You can be assured that he does not want to explain to the existing SBC membership the history of the SBC or her founding doctrine. Because, he does not want to stand to account. It is premature, then, to promote reproduction before the age of responsible conception. Let the SBC first get its doctrinal ducklings in line, and then when they are real ducks, the can think of laying eggs. Excising evangelism from the priority of equipping, produces children who beget children. How contrary to the SBC’s view of family!
“Southern Baptists also must unify with those who hold different theological stances on secondary issues that have tended to cause heated discussions within the Baptist family in recent years,”
says the article as a lead-in to the quote about Satan. But that is a contradiction. What SBC doctrine, what history, are those who are current members to be expected to acquire for the purpose of evangelism; what are those who would be proselytized be brought to as prospective members of the SBC? Is the SBC honest enough to put in the forefront the distinctions and divisions that exist, so that potential converts have all the information before them to be able to decide? Is this true:
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God.
Or is this true:
He was created in a state of holiness under the law of his Maker, but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and in bondage to sin, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
These are oppositional beliefs and both Southern Baptist. One is the Historic SBC position and the other and modernistic restatement of semi-Pelagianism in its discription of original sin. Further, the BFM, is Arminian and synergistic in its view of grace. In either case as R.C. Sproul understands quite correctly, they both live on Pelagius Island.
Linking together both the Gospel and growth of the SBC annuls any attempt at mere evangelism, doesn’t it? Doesn’t the distinctiveness of SBC doctrines of a soteriological nature mean a different approach than just a generic Gospel, get em saved, get em wet and let em loose? The Great commission requires education in doctrine, commitment to the truths of it and identification with them through baptism and a commitment from those whose charge is the GC to ensure that the prospectus knows what is required of them. Southern Baptists cannot even decided on when, what mode, or what baptism even means, nor can they mandate it because of their first love, local autonomy and self-deterministic congregationalism that voids any surety of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. And baptism for Baptists is grounded in a true regenerate confession of faith. But, a Convention that cannot even establish church discipline as a rule for its affiliated members and indoctrination into vital truths about union with Christ prior to baptism has a real problem in presenting a confident Gospel. And if there is a division over so called “secondary issues”, which are not at all secondary, but prior and primary to baptism, doesn’t the unwary public need to know up front? How disingenous, what lack of charity, what lack of honesty! It is a contradiciton to be calling people to the truth when what lies behind that “We have flat got a great message” is uncertainty about its soteriology. Unless of course the doctrines of salvation are indeed secondary. If that is the case, then so is the GC. Certainly the GC that Christ charged his disciples with was confident in ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU, but can that be said honestly simply by asserting
“The Word of God faithfully proclaimed is the most powerful force in the world,”
if in fact what the SBC represents behind closed doors is division over the primary meaning of that message? It is becoming a tired song that these are secondary issues. They’re not. For a convention that has seen two-thirds of its members lost to the great void of the unchurched since the 50′s, and two-thirds of its current membership that is unaccounted for, and another four-fifths unaccounted for in actual active commitment weekly, the SBC and Hunt can make no claim to some illustrious past. Hunt’s generation and the previous couple, if that is what he means to imply is what should be resurged, were utter failures in providing a true Great Commission and the regenerate church that is prerequisite to it. Let us hope that is not what the general mentality is that embodies the currency.
It appears, however, that it is: ‘”Missions and evangelism are not taught, they’re caught,” Hunt said, and Southern Baptists are in dire need of as much emulation as they are exhortation.’ This is simply not true. Jesus taught missions and evangelism. This form of emotionalism is exactly not what the SBC needs if it is to shake off its past enamored with Finneyism and a vain, empty faith, vacuous of a Gospel content of the knowledge of the Son.