Saturday, December 15, 2007

MBC/Acts29 Continued debate

The title is a little misleading. This really is not much a debate. Those who have made the decision have remained pretty silent as to the reasons for their decision. The only thing that could somewhat be considered a response is that of Don Hinkle. The BP has also ran an article that gives us a little light. If we combine these two responses we get a few vague reasons. It appears that Hinkle's reasoning is that this decision was made because the Executive Board is the highest authority (except of course the necessary shout out to Jesus and His Word). I always thought that it was the local church--but perhaps I missed that class in Introduction to Southern Baptists. Along with the "just because they can" argument it appears that Hinkle's other reason is that Acts29 is a renegade network with no accountability. Here is his statement: "Because Missouri Southern Baptist churches did not give their Cooperative Program gifts to fund the church plants of another organization. Nor did they give to plant churches who pledge to do one thing, then do another, often putting the church plant and convention at doctrinal odds — and without accountability, something Acts 29 seems to be lacking."

I am trying my best to be fair with these comments. But they seem to be not grounded in truth or any biblical basis so it is very difficult. Acts 29 is a network and does not require affiliate churches to give to them. Therefore, giving to this network is no different than a church giving money to the Purpose Driven Life or for that matter the MBC giving or taking money from Mormons (Tan-Tar-A, MO Baptist College). I am not certain what the "pledge one thing, and do another" is referring to. I know my friends church is doing everything they pledged to do. I think my main problem with Hinkle's statement is that it is not substantiated by anything. They are just accusations; many of which have been addressed and disproven (see here). Timmy Brister does a far better job and is more expansive than I in addressing this, read his response.

When we look at the BP article we learn that the newly elected President of the MBC, Gerald Davidson, "argued that only a handful of board members were informed enough about the Acts 29 Network to be able to vote on any motion that was critical of it. He said on two separate occasions that his knowledge was lacking." It would have been really nice if they had heeded advice and tabled the issue until April. But, as often is the case in our democratic Christianity the majority won: "But Dunn spoke for the majority of board members who have at least heard about The Journey's well-publicized barroom ministry and are bothered by it and vow that it will never happen again." The article is not extremely informative. Yet, it does help us to see that this issue is heated, emotional, and volatile and it appears to have a set course. What bothers me most is that the majority report by Theological Committee was accepted but not the minority report. Also comments by Mark Devine and mounds of evidence seem to be ignored. This really pains me because it is brother fighting against brother.

Also, the Lord has moved in the hearts of many brothers and sisters to set up a fund for these 9 churches that will be hurt by this decision. If you feel so compelled to give then you can do so by sending a check or money order to:
St. Louis Metro Baptist Association
(designate it for the “Show Me Church Planting Fund”)

St. Louis Metro Bapt. Assoc.attn.
Darren Casper
3859 Fee Fee Road
Bridgeton, Mo. 63044

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