Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hyper-Baptists Want Control Of Your Prayer Life.

I wish I didn’t have to write this series of articles. I wish everyone who carries the label Southern Baptist would realize that the Christian life is about growing in a commitment to the Lordship of Christ, to the spreading of the gospel globally, and to working with God as He builds His Kingdom. Unfortunately there is a movement that I call “Hyper-Baptist” that has a different idea of what it means to carry the label Southern Baptist. Sadly, there are SBC seminary presidents, agency heads, trustees, and pastors that are leading this movement. Even worse is many of these were leaders of the conservative resurgence or what I call the fight for a Christian understanding of the Bible. These men have taken their desire to protect the Southern Baptist Convention to a fanatical extreme. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many regular Southern Baptists in areas of leadership in the SBC, but if we don’t let our voices be heard the Hyper-Baptist Movement may drown them out.

For the past two years the issue of personal prayer language was been a huge topic in Southern Baptist life. The issue bloomed when the trustees of the International Mission Board made a policy that they wouldn’t send anyone with a PPL to the mission field. First you need to understand what a personal prayer language is. As a person is praying to God the Father, God the Holy Spirit intercedes and speaks through the person to voice a prayer in a language that only God and the person praying understands. The president of the IMB has said that he has a personal prayer language but he never made PPL mandatory for anyone to serve as a missionary. So why have the IMB trustee acted to ban anyone with a personal prayer language from serving as a missionary?

The reason is that many of those serving on the trustee board of the IMB are Hyper-Baptists. Hyper-Baptists believe there is a Baptist style of praying and if you don’t pray like they say you should, then you are unqualified to serve with them. You maybe thinking to yourself, this is crazy. The number of people without Christ is increasing and Southern Baptists are coming up with new ways to send fewer people out as missionaries. Maybe you are thinking that statistics show that the average Baptist minister prays less than three minutes a day and therefore, Southern Baptists should be thankful that someone is praying, even if it is a prayer language. Maybe you think regular Baptists should speak up and tell the Hyper-Baptist to stop trying to control what people pray. I believe if people are Christians, committed to the Baptist Faith and Message, willing to pack up their families, move to a foreign country, and learn a new language for the purpose of sharing Christ with the lost then we as Southern Baptist should do all we can to help them.

Regular Southern Baptists believe prayer is one of the foundations of the Christian life. Prayer is inspired by God and for God. One of the biggest differences between regular Southern Baptists and Hyper-Baptist is Hyper-Baptists want to control the way you pray and regular Southern Baptists believe that is God’s job.

Stay tuned for more on Hyper-Baptists

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