The Great Commission Declaration has seen great success since its release three weeks ago. The number of signatories climbs every day. At the three-week mark, there are over 2,100 signatories. This signature list boasts notable names such as Johnny Hunt, Albert Mohler, Danny Akin, Jack Graham, OS Hawkins, Jeff Iorg, Richard Land, Thom Rainer, Paul Pressler, Ronnie Floyd, Russell Moore, Ed Stetzer, Ed Young Jr. and Sr., David Platt, JD Greear, Matt Chandler, and too many others to name. At the same time, as with the best of the Baptist way, it contains the names of many lay people who hope to see a revival among Baptists, especially in our passion and commitment to the nations. Over this three week period some common questions have arisen about the document. Many of these seem to be developed out of confusion and suspicion. http://www.greatcommissionresurgence.com/ has posted a FAQ section to address some of these concerns. The Great Commission Resurgence seems to be gaining tremendous momentum, and baptist21 is in full support of this and those behind it. It is our hope that you have signed or will sign, and that you will encourage others to as well. And it is our hope that this FAQ will clear up some of the suspicion surrounding this document. It is time to start thinking through some tough decisions about what it will mean to be SBC in the 21st century, including a look at our denominational structure, and we think this document gets us rolling in that area. Some object that denominational structure has nothing to do with the Great Commission. But of course how we organize and fund our cooperation has everything to do with how we go about tackling a Great Commission. We know even mentioning the consideration of a restructure will cause some to be nervous and others to be self-serving, but we hope that many will see the great need for this kind of conversation to begin, and ultimately for a Great Commission movement to take place.
Here are the questions the GCR site addresses:
- Why doesn’t a focus on the Great Commission appear as one of the ten commitments in the Great Commission Resurgence Declaration?
- I was hoping that this statement might be bigger and bolder. Why are these commitments basic and appear to be nothing new?
- I thought the debate over the Lordship of Christ was over years ago. Why would it be one of the ten commitments?
- Doesn’t calling the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 a ‘sufficient’ guide make it a maximal document that may prevent the Southern Baptist Convention or it’s agencies from addressing issues not covered in the Baptist Faith & Message?
- Why include Article IX? My local association, state convention, or SBC agency is not bloated, does not misuse cooperative program funds, and is focused on Great Commission efforts.
- We went through a restructuring of the SBC agencies in the mid 1990s, and some feel like the changes were positive while others believe they set us back. Why would we go through this hassle again?
- Things like the Great Commission, missions, and theological education are the primary responsibility of the local church and not the seminaries. Why does Article IX seem, at least to some, to ignore this fact?
- I don’t like the declaration because it does not say enough, it says too much, or it is not balanced. Why not write it differently?
- When it comes down to it, Southern Baptists are the people in the pew and not simply the well-known churches and personalities in the convention. Any focus on a Great Commission Resurgence should impact the people in the pew and not simply be discussed among denominational leaders and well-known pastors. So why ignore the people in the pew?