Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Thoughts on Acts 29 and Missouri Baptists

Don Hinkle's Dec. 20 article on the decision to defund Acts 29 churches was essentially right in his conclusion. The Missouri Baptist Convention Executive board has a right to determine how MBC affiliated churches' Cooperative Program funds are being spent. I will concede this with the understanding that the Executive Board is the elected representatives chosen by the churches, because I believe it is the only way that churches can be confident that their dollars are going to support gospel causes. But at the same time the churches also need to hold the executive board accountable and let the executive board know when their funds are not being spent in ways that they approve of. Ultimately it is the churches collectively that have the authority to tell the Executive Board what to do, and without this principle the conservative resurgence could have never happened. I'm thankful for this principle.

But there is a section that I object to in his article. He states:
The Acts 29 group and their supporters, which include a growing number of bitter moderates once in the MBC, believe the Executive Board’s action – based on the alcohol issue – is extra-biblical.

I don't think it was quite fair to lump the supporters of Acts 29 with "bitter moderates." While I'm sure that the moderates have probably jumped onto this cause because they are looking for any reason whatsoever to complain about the SBC, look at who else has been supportive of Acts 29. The Founder's ministry seems to be sympathetic to the cause and even interviewed one of the defunded church planters. Mark Dever recently spoke at an Acts 29 boot camp and stated:
Our differences are enough to separate some of my friends—your brothers and sisters in Christ—from you. And perhaps to separate them from me, now that I’m publicly speaking to you.

No one who is awake and paying attention to trends in the SBC can honestly say that the Founders or Mark Dever are people that the Moderates would be supportive of. The Moderates are just jumping on the bandwagon because it is an opportunity to criticize something in the MBC that they can get sympathy from conservatives.

As I started this post, I agree that the MBC has the right to make that decision, but I also think that individuals and churches are free to express that they disagree with the decision without being lumped into guilt by association with the Moderates. This is not a liberal conservative issue. It saddens me to see that a state convention that I'm fully supportive of in the sense that they have regained conservative control, has chosen to cut fellowship with other conservative churches.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should ask Hinkle to produce a list of the bitter moderates who support Acts 29. It is doubtful that he has one.