Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Core Values

Among my most important core values, somewhere very close to the top of the list, come:

1. A desire to properly understand the message of God's Word and submit to its authority in my daily life;

2. A desire to honor the desire of Jesus that his Body may be one, and that we not divide unnecessarily over 2nd and 3rd tier issues (recognizing at the same time the complexity of many 2nd tier issues); and

3. A desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled, and concomitant desire to see the kingdom resources God commends into our hands used with the best stewardship possible.

It is these very core values that lead me to continue to be a Southern Baptist, and at the same time, voice my opposition to the recent policy changes at the IMB, and now, for all practical purposes, at SWBTS. As long as serving under the auspices of the SBC continues to be the best option for applying in everyday ministry and practice these core values, I hope to continue to serve the Lord from this valuable platform. Whenever the day comes (hopefully never, this side the Lord's return) when this is no longer the case, many of us, who are in agreement with what I say here, may need to seek together a better way to be faithful to these core values.

9 comments:

Kevin Bussey said...

David,

I appreciate your insight. I have a question. How can you cooperate with someone who doesn't want to cooperate with you? It is like a marriage that isn't working. If one spouse wants counseling and the other doesn't it is doomed to fail. It seems to me that You, Wade, Marty, me and other want to cooperate. But others only want to cooperate if we agree with them.

What is the solution?

Publius said...

That's true, Kevin, but every organization has its share of annoying people. The question is whether the annoying people are few enough in number and far enough away for you to safely ignore them and continue to do the work you believe God has called you to do.

The litmus test for me will be San Antonio. If the single data point that was Greensboro becomes a trend in San Antonio, I will have hope that it is the "narrowers" who will be marginalized, and our beloved Convention will remain broad enough for us all.

David, I'm a little worried by some of what you may have implied, in that you are holding out as a possibility the need to "find another way." (If I'm readng you wrong, I apologize) Stepchild blogged the same implication recently. Dude, you can't leave now. Wade told me, and I'll tell you: the SBC needs people like you. The conservative resurgence, while effective in many ways, also ran off a lot of people who simply had the guts to stand on their convictions and not be intimidated into following the party line. Their departure, in some ways, makes our job harder, and makes your presence and principled dissent even more important.

No matter what some people in "leadership" want to say, the SBC is still a bottom-up hierarchy. It's not their convention, it's ours. Don't give it up now.

Debbie said...

David: I agree with you on the core values 100% plus and I pray we never have to come to a decision on the latter part but believe those core values are most important.

IN HIS NAME said...

David,

God knows all the Hearts of his People. I Pray that God continues to refine our SBC people and softens the Hearts of those with Hard Hearts. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Helper. I always pray for our Missionaries, as they are Truly on the Front Line for God’s Work. I lift you and Yours up High in prayer and Know that Your Dad would not stand for what is Happening in the SBC today.

In His Name

Wayne Smith

David Rogers said...

Kevin,

I agree with what Publius says below. The "litmus test" will be San Antonio. In the meantime, I believe we must hold our ground on what we believe, and do our best to be Christ-like in the way we voice our convictions. Hopefully, truth will win out. But, even if the SBC goes in a narrower and narrower direction, with no apparent turnabout in sight, all is not lost. God's Kingdom still goes on.

In the words of Contemporary Christian Music artist Steven Soles, from his 1980 release “The Promise”…

“Lean on the peace of the Lord
For peace is his mighty sword
And who can deny or defy
the strength of his word
Of his word, of his word

Do not be terrified by signs in the heavens
Put there like a scarecrow in a field of corn
The falling of nations
Of denominations
Shall do you no more harm
If you trust in the Lord.”

David Rogers said...

Publius,

Thanks for your comment.

Perhaps I should have put the words "hopefully never, this side of the Lord's return" in bold. I am not making plans to leave the SBC anytime soon. However, when all is done and told, my bottom-line loyalty is to these core values, and not to the SBC or any other denomination. I will stay as long as staying remains, for me, the best option for living out all three of these "core values."

David Rogers said...

Debbie and Wayne,

Thanks for the encouragement, and the prayers.

Tim Sweatman said...

David,

I share these core values as well. Numbers 1 and 3 have always been central to me, but it's only been over the past year or so that I have come to recognize the importance of Number 2. I pray that more and more Southern Baptists, indeed belivers of all denominations, would embrace these values.

to-obey-is-better said...

David,
You have echoed my husband's and my thoughts exactly. We'll stay as long we we can serve, first and foremost, serve God under the IMB. We, too, pray that there is never a choice to be made, but we know what our answer will have to be if forced to choose between man's ways or God's.

Blessings,
Jen