Has The SBC Succumbed To A Laodicean Worldview?

This is the question that Douglas Baker asks in his blog post dealing with the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, the SBC, the Cooperative Program, and the local church's responsibility in the Great Commission. We'll find out the answer on June 15-16.

Here's a piece of the post. Be sure to read it in its entirety.

Certainly, the missional understanding of what money given by the church is to accomplish is ultimately the prerogative of each local congregation. Nevertheless, few Christians across the modern evangelical spectrum ever even think about leaving the comforts of home to relocate to a dangerous field of service. If the statistics are accurate, it takes nine Southern Baptist congregations to produce one International Mission Board missionary. This amounts to little more than financing a fantasy and naming it missions.

Every person born again by the Spirit of God is a missionary. The only remaining question is whether one will go or send. Those who send, however, are not to be simply occupied with their own interests—totally disconnected from the mission of God. The center of God’s will for every Christian is that they live radically dangerous lives for Jesus Christ. When the vine of the church is healthy and growing, immediate concerns and pressures give way to long-term investment; mere management recedes and ministry takes the lead—not administry, but ministry with real people outside the Baptist bubble.

The Great Commission Resurgence was originally conceived as a church-based call for reform—a way to refocus the Cooperative Program and strengthen it for decades to come. It has descended into the depths of political partisanship and childlike bickering to such a degree that ministry partnerships across the SBC are obviously viewed more like political structures with special interests vying for their share of control. Unless a new vision like the trellis and the vine takes over the denominational infrastructure, the Southern Baptist Convention could eventually cease to exist —cannibalizing itself through hubris.

Perhaps that is the will of God. Christian martyr Jim Elliott once said, “American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.” Has the Laodicean worldview finally overtaken the SBC? June 15-16 will reveal the answer.

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