I was reading on the blogs just the other day about one blogger’s description of various issues. This blogger, and I cannot for the life of me remember who it was, described an issue by referencing their time at the Continental Divide. The comments were about placing one’s feet on each side of the Continental Divide and realizing the water that melted from the snow under the left foot went to one ocean and the snow under the right foot went to another ocean. I thought that was a very perceptive insight into every situation one finds themselves. It is rumored there is a Continental Divide within the SBC and the motion passed on the BF&M sets forth a case for the rumor.
Let me illustrate by pointing to another example that I have seen on the internet. This example is a blog article that popped up when I went into WordPress.com. (**Warning** This site contains some pretty graphic language relating to the effects of a medication. I only refer to this site because it is a source for my thoughts. This reference is merely designed in order that I do not plagiarize.) It seems that there is a new diet pill, named alli, on the market that is being promoted and grabbed up by every obese person that ever wanted to lose weight. However, notice something important about this over-the-counter medication.
You see, there’s (1)what the drug company markets it as, (2)the medical description of what it does and (3)the biggest effect you’re actually going to notice.
The drug company markets it as a weight loss pill. They say it will give “safe, effective weight loss”. Because it’s FDA approved it must be good. What could possibly go wrong?
A simplified medical description of the drug is that it’s a fat blocker. It stops your body from absorbing some of the fat in your diet. It doesn’t burn calories. But fat that would have otherwise been absorbed by your body… isn’t. Because fat contains calories less calories will go into your body.
It is the #3 item I need to explain because the article uses graphic, vulgar language to explain the
side effects treatment effects. The result of this, that the drug company refers to as “bowel changes”, means that your feces changes into oil and it makes you incontinent. You become gaseous and believe you are about to pass gas, but you end up squirting oil. It seems that the drug company allows for this by explaining it this way;
The excess fat that passes out of your body is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza. Eating a low-fat diet lowers the chances of these bowel changes. You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.
C an you imagine the spin placed out there by the drug company? Isn’t it amazing that they compare the oil produced by your body to the oil on top of a pizza? If that is the same oil, I will never eat another pizza. Also, they advise you to, not only wear dark pants, but to keep a change of clothes with you. If I have to waddle into Heaven with Brother Ben Cole’s resolution on gluttony tattooed to my chest, I will not take this pill to lose weight.
Tying it Together
I have been told that the leadership of the convention is not together. Brother Jeremy Green also deals with this issue of a divide in our Great Commission Council. **SEE UPDATE BELOW FOR THE CORRECT RENDERING OF THIS SENTENCE.** However, any attempt on my part to determine if the leaders are together would be purely speculation and thus result in gossip. I will not attempt to explain if there is a division among those who lead us. However, there is no doubt that there are differing ideas. Dr. Chapman’s version of the use of the BF&M by trustee boards is quite clearly different than Dr.’s Mohler, Kelly, Patterson, Land, Roberts, and Akin. I use these heads of agencies because I did not hear any other heads of agencies address this issue.
How does this alleged divide play into the SBC landscape? It seems that others are trying to place Dr. Akin in an opposite position than that of the others mentioned. I would agree with the article of fellow Pastor/blogger Brother Micah Fries that Dr. Akin did not use as passionate language as Dr. Mohler, but he did say the same thing. Others have tried to paint him as saying something opposite. here here Which brings me to the advertisement for the diet pill.
What is the Real Meaning?
If you will notice in this ad, the drug company painted it the way they wanted it to be painted and depended on the office of the FDA to enhance their movement. What they did not tell you was that your bathroom needs would increase dramatically, not to mention your clothes cleaning bill.
What does it mean if the leaders in our convention are divided? It means that they do not see eye-to-eye on things and that to anyone who has been in Baptist life means they are Baptist. To those outside of the SBC it means that some predictions long ago are coming to fruition. Therefore, some are ready to hook their horses to the cart of dividing forces and roll their way back into the city of the SBC in a Trojan Horse. This Trojan Horse has the appearance of being a gift and it looks so innocent that to accept it and bring it inside would only help. It appears some leaders view the discontent of some within our ranks as such a gift. They see this gift, it appears, as one they can use to build their circle of influence. Others are correctly, IMO, discerning this discontent as what it is–a Trojan Horse full of the possibility of spilling open with every neo-orthodoxy practice that gained its way into the pre-1979 convention. It appears that Dr. Adrian Rogers felt not all those he opposed in the Convention would deny the inerrancy of the Bible. He said on page 166 of his book Love Worth Finding; “The moderate is a person who may believe the Bible to be without error, but who also believes in inclusivism.” Also, some have said they do not desire leadership positions, but they court various leaders in order to make their voices heard.
The ones that promote the BF&M as being the sufficient guide–meaning nothing more is needed–forget that “On November 10, 1926 the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma voted to withhold Cooperative Program funds from any Southern Baptist Institution or Seminary whose faculty refused to sign the McDaniel Statement.” This was done in order to hold those teaching in our seminaries accountable to what the convention had passed. Let me add the McDaniel Statement said; “the Convention accepts Genesis as teaching that man was the special creation of God, and rejects every theory, evolution or other, which teaches that man originated, or came by way of a lower animal ancestry“, nothing in the McDaniel Statement is vague as “a sufficient guide“. While those that support sufficient guide–meaning it will be consulted and should be consulted as trustees make decision–remember that “Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.“
While some would have you believe that we have a divide in our convention, I would like to say I DO NOT BELIEVE IT. I know that we have a difference of opinion. As the water that melts on each side of the Continental Divide ends up in different oceans, some that follow one opinion will end up in a different place than others that follow another opinion. Also, as the diet pill’s
side effects treatment effects are not communicated as clearly as they should be, some effects of deciding to make the BF&M as a maximum confessional statement have not clearly been communicated. This is evident by the constant spinning of Dr. Akin’s address. Dr. Akin said the same thing that the other presidents said. It seems the only one that referred to the BF&M in a different way was Dr. Chapman. And while he is my Executive Director, I will humbly disagree with him and allow the convention to make the final decision on exactly what that statement means.
**UPDATE**I have misstated a point referencing Brother Jeremy Green article about a Pandora’s Box. Brother Jeremy does not state there is a divide on the Great Commission Council and I have not stated that correctly. What I should have said was; Brother Jeremy Green deals with a difference of opinion from one that serves on the Great Commission Council. If I in any way misrepresented Brother Jeremy’s assessment I do apologize.