Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Healthy Pride, Gratefulness & Hope

Back in May, I added my name to the list of people who signed the "Memphis Declaration". Point 1 of that declaration states:

We publicly repent of triumphalism about Southern Baptist causes and narcissism about Southern Baptist ministries which have corrupted our integrity in assessing our denomination bureaucracy, our churches, and our personal witness in light of the sobering exhortations of Scripture.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to a renewed pledge to integrity demonstrated by accountability in our denomination, both before God and each other, lest in preaching the meekness of our Lord to others we ourselves will be found guilty of wicked, sinful pride.

I want to be careful to not contradict what I signed then in what I am going to say now.

I am proud today to be a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am full of hope that God has great things ahead for us as a denomination.

While I feel to gloat over the results of the presidential election would not be glorifying to God, I do believe that the first-round absolute majority of votes for Frank Page sends a strong message that we as Southern Baptists are a people who believe in cooperation, both one with another in our support of the Cooperative Program, as well as with the wider Body of Christ in order to win a lost world to Christ.

I am hopeful for the prospects of all Southern Baptists, both those who voted for Dr. Page, and those who voted for Dr. Floyd and Dr. Sutton, uniting under Dr. Page's leadership as we move forward in our commitment to be the best stewards possible in our commitment to do our part, together with the rest of the Body of Christ throughout the world, in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

I also want to say I am especially proud of my mother, and the bold stand she took in proclaiming that my father, "Adrian Rogers would not have been a part of what is going on in some parts of our convention today, getting narrower and narrower about very highly interpretive issues." She truly was a major factor behind the strength of my father's ministry when he was alive, and, now that she must go on without him, continues to be a remarkably strong and courageous woman.

I am also deeply grateful for the two special times, one at the Pastors' Conference, and the other tonight during the Convention program, commemorating my father and recognizing his contribution to the life of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am also proud, humbled and challenged, all at the same time, as a result of the legacy my dear father left behind, and the many testimonies of how his life and ministry impacted others.

On another note, the issues that have caused concern during the past months related to the IMB have still not completely been solved. But I am thankful that a process is now underway in order to address these concerns. I sincerely believe this is not about proving who is right and who is wrong. It is rather about getting back on track, and joining hands one with another, laying aside our differences of opinion on secondary issues, and moving ahead in our commitment to work towards the fulfillment of the Great Commission. I, for one, commit to pray for this process in the days ahead, and urge each of you who read this to do the same. May the end result be that no one is hurt or shamed, but rather that only the name of Jesus is lifted up before a lost and dying world that desperately needs to hear an authentic, heartbroken presentation of the Gospel of grace and forgiveness that is ours thanks to the price that was paid on Calvary through the blood that was shed, and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.

2 comments:

Kevin Bussey said...

David,

It was so great to meet you and spend a little time with you. It was an honor to meet your mother!

Ken Whitten said...

David..it was great seeing you my brother at the SBC. I sure missed your Dad this week..his wisdom, his graciousness,his preaching, and most of all his Godly leadership. He was very proud of you David, as a son and a missionary, and your passion for mercy and truth. Your Mom did a great job honoring your Dad and also speaking for the family. He would be proud today of your stand for Doctrinal integrity. Give my love to Kelly and the family and pray for us at the board of IMB. We are going to handle the situation, I pray, biblically, graciously, resolvedly,with virtue and honor, so we can get back to keeping the main thing the main thing..reaching a lost world and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ..Love ya..praying for you as well as all of our Western Europe missionaries..Love stones,don't throw them.