Monday, July 09, 2007

“Who Holds The Power?”

Who holds the power in the Southern Baptist Convention? Is the power in the hands of laymen, pastors, or denominational leaders? Many talk as if power is in the pew, but nothing could be further from the truth. The average Southern Baptist layman has no voice in directing where the Southern Baptist Convention goes. When denominational leaders talk about representing Baptist beliefs they aren’t talking about the people in the pews, but the people behind the pulpit. There are two sources of power in the Southern Baptist Convention. The first source of power is found in those behind the pulpit.

Why do you think the Conservative Resurgence was mainly a battle for the seminary? The seminary trains the pastors and the pastors control the church. At this point, someone may disagree and say that the power lies with the messengers who meet yearly to cast their votes. You are right, but ask yourself this question, “How many messengers will the church elect to attend the Convention meeting who disagree with their pastor’s point of view about Southern Baptist life?” Pastors don’t bring messengers who can vote their own conscience, pastors bring their mob. Everyone knows that the question isn’t, “what do the messengers believe,” but “what do the pastors believe.” Therefore the first source of power in the SBC is found in the pulpit.

The second source of power is the main source of power because it controls the first. The second source of power is the position of seminary president. I’m saying the most power position in the Southern Baptist Convention is the seminary president. We heard this in the messages from Al Mohler and Paige Patterson at the convention this year. They made the statement that their job was to train pastors. Therefore their plan is to hire professors who will train pastors who will stay faithful to their separatist agenda. Sadly the Baptist Faith and Message has been used for control instead of unity. Now even the BF&M isn’t enough to keep the troops in line and now there is a call for more. Why? Are the laymen in our churches calling for stricter rules? No, the call comes from the second source of power, the seminary presidents.

I’m writing this article to reveal the truth that as long as there is a hierarchy of power, change will be difficult and involvement will be low. Why should people feel passion for a convention that doesn’t care about their voice? Seminary control that leads to church control isn’t going to work anymore.

I believe the average church member is calling for a return to the Lordship of Christ. I believe the average church member is calling for faith that can be seen in the home, church, and around the world. They want real worship, real fellowship, real discipleship, real missions, real ministry, and real evangelism. The average member isn’t controlled by rules, but engaged by vision. I hope we can listen to them before we lose them. Laymen may not hold the power, but they hold the passion and potential for completing our mission.


Blogger Alycelee said...

Yes, yes, yes and AMEN.
I've been reading Spurgeon and Finney on revival.
Both said revival begins FIRST in the pulpit.
I'm praying for revival and thankful that our pastor has called us to pray.
Thanks for this post.

Blogger Baptist Truth said...

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