May 30th, 2006 | Posted in » Baptist Issues
Don Hinkle, editor of the Pathway, one of Missouri’s two Baptist newspapers (yes, we have our issues too), has published an editorial on his blog summarizing a lot of the issues we can expect to see addressed in Greensboro. This same editorial will be coming out in the Pathway soon.
It’s a well-written piece, and I’d encourage everyone to give it a look.
Just wanted to clarify my thoughts on the “big tent” / “doctrinal purist” matter Don describes so eloquently, because I think it would be easy to misunderstand us “big tenters” a bit.
“Big tenters” (such as myself) most definitely want to open up the SBC to a wider number of Southern Baptists, but the expansion of the tent is not due to a widening of theological boundaries, but rather a concerted effort to ensure that we include Baptists from all throughout our convention in our activities. We don’t want to fight battles that have already been fought. We have a doctrinal statement… the Baptist Faith and Message. Now we simply need to ensure that we use that as our doctrinal guide… that we don’t narrow those parameters by which we cooperate (as outlined in the BF&M) further to exclude any Baptist that agrees with the BF&M.
Don’s article could be read in a manner that would lead one to believe that we want to see a bit of relaxing in our doctrinal boundaries; this is DEFINITELY not the case.
Basically? It’s all about cooperation. Cooperation is what makes Baptists special… it’s what makes us effective in reaching a lost world… it’s what allows us to send missionaries to hundreds of unreached people groups… it allows the “whole” of Baptists to be far greater than the sum of our individual parts.
Let’s continue to be a people marked by unfailing love for each other… to be united, even if we can’t be uniform.