Posted tagged ‘Alcohol’

An Observation for My Southern Baptist Friends

May 30, 2008

I don’t read Southern Baptist blogs very much. Usually, it is the same 10-12 folks on the same blogs discussing SBC politics and things of that sort. However, my friend Nathan Finn has been working on an excellent series by answering questions young Southern Baptists are asking called “Unplugged“. Nathan has continually written the best articles on the internet regarding SBC life (see especially his series on “What Ails Us”), and this series is shaping up to be the most substantive material this year to date.

One of the questions Nathan addressed was the issue of alcohol and the SBC. Many of you are aware of the recent controversy on this issue, and I appreciate Nathan’s biblical and historical analysis. Nevertheless, SBC bloggers have reacted on Nathan’s treatment of the issue, resulting in an observation I wanted to make to you.

Below are three blogposts from SBC bloggers (and no, I do not agree with their articles). Next to the post are the number of comments each post has generated this week.

1. Alcohol: Abstinence = Freedom (SBCToday) – 285 321
2. Wine, the Bible, and the Believer (SBCTomorrow) – 83
3. If Moderationists Really Cared About Drunkenness (Praisegod Barebones) – 45 52

413 456 total comments on three articles talking about what? Alcohol. You would think that alcohol is the defining issue of Southern Baptists these days, at least by the sheer number of comments and interest it seems to garner. Perhaps the words of Elmer Towns on the “Fundamentalist” Resurgence rings true when he recently wrote (emphasis mine):

In the last twenty-five years Southern Baptists have fought the battle of perceived liberalism within its ranks and bureaucracy, and most would agree that the fundamentalists have won that battle. Beginning with the election of Adrian Rogers in 1979, one self-identified fundamentalist after another has become president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and in turn they have controlled the nomination and election process of the various boards and seminaries. In due time, boards mandated that liberal-leaning individuals were not nominated to positions, and fundamentalists turned the various boards and committees toward fundamentalism.

Anyone remember this article? So anyway, I am left wondering, “Will the day ever come that we are as excited and worked up over the gospel as we are alcohol?”

And people tell me that we don’t need to recover the gospel . . .

Ascol Interviews Axed MBC Church Planter Kevin Larson

December 16, 2007

Over at the Founder’s blog, Tom Ascol provides an excellent interview and insight into the tragic motion the Missouri Baptist Convention made to de-fund their own church planters. Kevin Larson, pastor of Karis Community Church, answered several questions which, if anything, should help us realize that these decisions made at an executive level are affecting real people and their family, churches and their ministries.

A couple things to note from the interview. Kevin is a graduate of Southern Seminary (which I currently attend) and also checked into NETS, a great church planting program in the New England area. Kevin was a member of Clifton Baptist in Louisville under the leadership of Drs. Tom Schreiner and Bruce Ware (Schreiner ordained him). His ecclesiology is heavily influenced by Dever and IX Marks, preaches lengthy expository messages every Sunday, and has a high view of church membership. Sounds like the kind of church planter we need to be de-funding, doesn’t it?

Here’s some notable quotes:

“While at Southern, I honestly hadn’t heard anything about Acts 29, but, in my view, an abstinence only view would be unthinkable by virtue of students having sola scriptura beaten in their heads everyday.”

“We are so grateful for the support the MBC has provided. But, I do think the executive board’s decision is wrong and discouraging. Although they do have the right to make that decision, I say that the further narrowing of parameters of cooperation does not bode well for the MBC’s future.”

“In Missouri, I think this is about alcohol, yes, but it’s ultimately about power. Who will control Missouri Baptists? By the way, I have even heard rumblings that the group’s next target in Missouri will be Calvinism.”

“The average Southern student thinks Driscoll is fine, Tim Keller is amazing, and can’t understand what all the fighting is about. Why? Because Dr. Mohler and his faculty teach sola scriptura and the other four solas of the Reformation. And that makes this whole issue pretty simple.”

“Well, those mainline denominations are graying due to liberalism. Young people want something true and something worth believing and dying for. But the SBC, I’m afraid, could gray and ultimately die because of legalism. If this is allowed to persist and grow, it will push young Reformed, expositional preaching, church disciplining, and gospel cherishing guys like me out to the curb. I am convinced this is the case.”

Thank God for brothers like Kevin Larson! His response reveals that Karis Community Church is more than a just a name–it’s who they are. It’s not easy responding with such gracious and gospel-driven restraint, and if this whole deal does anything, I pray it points us to the future of SBC with men like Kevin. I am also thankful for men like Steve Tanner, Jerry Field, and Jim Shaver who have given their full support. May God turn the MBC probe light into a spotlight that offers us encouragement and hope through the churches and ministries like Karis Community Church.