Home > Church > a young former-baptist (probably soon-to-be baptist again) visits to SBC (for the first time)

a young former-baptist (probably soon-to-be baptist again) visits to SBC (for the first time)

Picture 1That is the longest post title in the short history of the re:wilsons blog – hands down.

I just couldn’t help it, there is just so much interesting stuff packed into my buddy Dwight’s first trip to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting.

Let’s just let Dwight get right to the good stuff:

I was a Southern Baptist once.

I was pretty burned by the church I was part of and walked away from Baptist life, and by walked away I mean I went to a Southern Baptist college but attended an Anglican church. For a long time I wanted nothing to do with Southern Baptists because I casted my old churches mistakes onto the entire SBC.

Then I met people who proved to me that there are Southern Baptists out there who genuinely love you and are truly filled with the grace of Christ. Still, I originally had no intention of going to the SBC.

Lee was in Nashville and wanted to meet up for coffee.

[Editor’s note: cue dramatic music to foreshadow ironic turn of events]]

I never pass up an opportunity for coffee, especially coffee with a good friend, so of course I met him. That eventually turned into me tagging along while he went shopping for a suit for the Southern Baptist Convention, which turned into him saying, “Hey, you’re coming to the SBC, it’ll be good for you.”

Lee has far too much power over me. A couple of hours later and I’m in the car with Lee and Professor Worley on the way to Louisville, this was not the way I saw my day going when I woke up that morning.

. . . . . . .

So what did this young man who was so bitter towards the SBC just two years ago think of his first real life Southern Baptist Convention?

Some of it was absurd, some of it was incredibly frustrating, some of it did not exhibit the grace of Christ, and all of it encouraged me.

There were a few frustrating parts for me such as: attacks on Ed Stetzer and other Baptist leaders for their involvement in Acts 29, attacks on the Acts 29 church planting network (a network I hope to one day be partnered with in planting a church), and attacks on Mark Driscoll – a man I look up to quite a bit.

What was encouraging was the Baptist leaders’ responses.

Mr. Stetzer said something about how anyone could get their hands on the mic at the SBC – but that they didn’t necessarily reflect the wants or views of the entire denomination.

I also really appreciated the Biblical and grace-filled rebuke from the platform for making personal attacks on Christian leaders.

It was ultimately very encouraging to see a group of people come together under the banner of Jesus Christ for the sake of furthering the Gospel.

There were a lot of different ideas of how to best further the Gospel and that caused some dispute but if you look deeper you can see a bunch of people who love Jesus and want to see His name proclaimed to all people.

For me, this was another step towards healing the wounds left behind by a careless church. While I am still not a Baptist and still have a few qualms with the SBC, I thank God for it and I pray that He uses it to further the Gospel.

My thanks to Dwight for succumbing to my persuasive abilities and demonstrating a willingness to fight to see evidences of grace in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I remember that I walked away from my first SBC with more pessimism and frustration than Dwight experienced, so I am thankful that he saw the gospel evidenced among Southern Baptists and that there was much gospel grace to witness in Louisville this year.

[For more Dwight, check out his two(!) blogs, Convergence Truth and Convergence Review, or follow him at Twitter – @dwight_david]

. . . . . . .

For those of you who have been to a Southern Baptist Convention, what was your first visit like?

For those of you who have never been, what was your impression (if any) of the events of the Southern Baptist Convention (in this year or years past)?

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  1. Foaster Coaster
    July 1, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Lee,

    First, I think you’re becoming a good baptist. Convincing someone to come to the national convention. Never thought I would see it. You’ll have to post more on the whole confrontation and resolution about Acts 29. Wondering why it was controversial enough to be talked about in that setting.

    Second, the picture makes me think you guys should star in a clean Judd Apatow type movie. Dwight could pass for a Seth Rogen character and you could pass for the guy who makes poop jokes. We could call it “Beard Buddies.” Let me work up the manuscript.

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