Off the Record: Commentary on the Journal of the Mississippi Baptist Convention

I drove home from Waco, TX to spend the weekend with my family. Meredith and I spent Sat. morning eating breakfast at Primo's and reading papers. She read the Jackson Free Press and I consumed the Baptist Record. Much to my surprise, the Record included a letter to the editor responding to a letter that I wrote in February. The writer of the letter was James Burke of Clara. I am sure that Mr. Burke is a godly man and I appreciate him commenting on my thoughts. I believe, however, that he missed most of my key points.

On February 2nd the Record published my letter and titled it, "SAD IMB POLICY."
I used this letter to explore a number of key themes:
1. I expressed sadness over the new IMB policy regarding spiritual language and baptism.
2. I expressed sadness over the action taken against Wade Burleson.
3. I expressed sadness over the narrowness of the board's actions.
4. I asserted that this policy would have excluded Bertha Smith and (in the origional letter Jerry Rankin).
5. I asserted that this policy would have excluded Paul.

Mr. Burke did not respond to any of these points. He offered a thin exegesis of key passages and stated, "The discussions is not a list of exhortations to speak in tongues, but a long list of restrictions against the practice." AGAINST? A fair reading of the NT will reveal the Paul is not AGAINST any of the spiritual gifts. He simply wants them to be practiced in a God-honoring way. Paul stated, "Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in [other] languages."

The new IMB policy is in clear violation of this biblical exhortation. I believe that the events of this year's SBC indicate that this type of smallness will not be tolerated. We will see.

I also read and enjoyed the piece on the bi-vos. May God bless each of these great men.


Perry McCall said...

Hey Matt,
I just responded to your comment on SBC outpost. Now I have just read this post. I have enjoyed reading all the post that you have currently shown. I am just down the road from you in the Carthage area. Madden, MS. We are a suburb of Carthage:) I wanted to follow up with our other dialouge with an affirmation of your thoughts on the IMB situation. Believe it or not I am trying to talk outside of the old lines. My original point was probably not clear enough. It was not meant to be an attack but a clarification that I think is needed. Some are saying that the younger generation is taking up the cause of the "moderates" of the "war" time generation. I think that assumption is wrong for the vast majority. The IMB situation is a good illustration.

Lastly, I know that you probably catch flack from some people because you are at Truett. I hope you did not sense that from me in anyway. We are close by.. I hope we can exchange ideas often.

Matt Snowden said...

I am happy to hear from you. I wish we could find all the bloggers in Mississippi. I read Rob Westbrook and am really happy that we have found each other. I have gone to a lot of funerals in Carthage. It is the home town of a number of people in our church. I agree with you that the younger generation should not take up the cause of the "war" time generation. I have always felt out of place in the traditional "war" camps. The fundamentalists seem to swagger and the moderates seem to lick their wounds. I just want to serve God and see the SBC large enough to accept a measure of diversity. It sounds like we are probably intellectual brothers.

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