“Y We R & Y We Think U Should B SBC” (Part 2)

old-sbc-meeting-300x190Part one of “Y We R & Y We Think U Should B SBC”

3. Theological Education. We provide, arguably, the finest theological education in the world, and we do so at manageable prices because the churches of the SBC cooperate and give to cut the cost for Southern Baptist seminarians. Indeed, the “church folk” of the SBC love to give for the training of “preacher boys,” missionaries, and all who are “called of God.” In the Postmodern age the “questions” and “challenges” to the Faith increase rapidly and it calls for trained, equipped ministers who are poised “to give an answer for the hope that is within them.” The SBC allows, through “pooled” money, an unmatched level of theological training not available to other denominations and through this means is poised to send out thousands of foot soldiers for the cause of Christ. It is our hope that this will filter into the churches and that more theological education will take place in the local church. We hope to write in our vision series (SBC21) about what we hope will be exciting new partnerships between the local church and seminaries. We believe strongly that the local church is the chosen means for mission and education. However, we do believe that because of the giving of Southern Baptists we are able to provide an unmatched level of theological education that would be difficult at the local church level and absent in most other denominations.

4. You cannot find # 1-3 anywhere else. We are compelled to be Southern Baptist because no other denomination or network does # 1-3 as well or on as large a scale. Certainly some denominations and networks do other things better, or one of these three better, but none of them combines the three like the SBC. The question we think one needs to wrestle with while deciding where to spend their energy is the question of influence and impact. Where will my service be of greatest influence (not for our own influence, but for the Glory of King Jesus) and where will my service help make the greatest impact for the fame of Christ? We think that the SBC is still the answer to that question, especially when we think in terms of a holistic picture of the mission of the church. So this is why we choose to plant our lives here.

5. Heritage. This reason may not be true of all that will read this blog, but we find it increasingly true for many that we talk with. In most cases, as in ours, Southern Baptists were the ones that first shared and taught them about the Gospel. The Southern Baptist churches have influenced many with the gospel and often times those they influence turn around and “bite the hand that feeds them” (this is not to say that there are not times to disassociate with an association or church that you believe is hindering gospel work, but these decisions should be made with great care and caution, especially in light of turning your back on a denomination that has cared for you). There is always the danger, once you have been “enlightened” with fresh truths about the gospel, to look down on your home congregation or pastor as “dumb” or elementary. But, we must be careful, especially as young men, not to turn our backs on the very ones who gave us the gospel, provided reasonably priced education, and in many cases helped us start our first church. There is much to criticize for sure, but there is also much to commend in the SBC. It is our hope to work from within the SBC while honoring those that have passed the gospel to us. In our heritage there are indeed giants that we have come from; this heritage includes men like Broadus, Boyce, Carroll, Lee, Criswell, Rogers, and countless other lay men and women whose names we may never know till “New Creation.”

6. Potential. Based on all of the previous reasons, one main reason we remain Southern Baptist is because of the great potential in the SBC. We believe, and our vision series (“SBC21”) will cover this in detail, that there needs to be changes made in the SBC. We know we are not perfect, but if we will cooperate together the impact could be enormous. We could support even more missionaries and church planters in frontier territories. We could create and maintain an even more dynamic national church planting network. We could do mercy ministries and service on an amazing scale. We could continue to provide theological education at reduced rates and send out thousands of foot soldiers for Christ. This excites us, and for this to happen we need men to get involved and stick it out in the convention, even though there will be certain items in the convention with which you disagree. The changes that need to be made to make us even more effective will not happen if all those who seek change go somewhere else.

We want to end with what was said earlier about the SBC having the largest mission-sending force in history. In our opinion, this is the most exciting thing about being Southern Baptist. We hope that this, along with the other arguments we provide above, will compel you. As Bruce Ashford has said, “It has never been easier than it is right now with the IMB and the Southern Baptist Convention to get the gospel to the ends of the earth.” Think about that statement, and as you do, we pray that you will also be compelled to join and remain in this cooperation of churches that are doing great things for the fame of Christ. So, “Why am I a Southern Baptist?” We all will live one (short) life in service to the King, and in terms of impact, we believe that there is no place better-equipped to turn the world upside down for Christ than the SBC. Within the SBC we have the opportunity to cooperate together with a multitude of biblically like-minded brothers and sisters in the tasks of training more ministers, planting more churches, and sending an army of missionaries all around the planet. If you are not yet a part of the SBC, we hope you will consider partnering with us for the glory of Christ! If you have been a part of the SBC but have considering leaving for one reason or another, we hope that what has been said above will give you pause. We hope you will decide that the SBC, with all its problems and deficiencies, is still the answer to the question, “Where will my service help make the greatest impact for the fame of Christ?”

Nathan and Jon Akin

Comments 0

  1. This is a great article. I have to agree that when it comes to missions no one does it better than the SBC. Even though we are not perfect I do believe that the SBC is the closest to true biblical doctrine than any other denomination. Great job guys and may God bless y’all, your families and the ministries y’all are doing for Christ.

    Steve Helms

  2. I just met with a Pastor this afternoon in my association in East Central Indiana and there is without a doubt a negative stigma that comes with being a part of the SBC. The way I see it most of the negative commentary is internal.

    Young Reformed pastors are educated in SBC Semenaries and then they opt out of the SBC for denominations that are more accepting of Calvinism . . . or they are opting for more of an “Emerging Feel” because that’s what’s in right now.

    It doesn’t helo that the petty wars that local churches have engaged has contributed to the weakening of much of the support of associational, state-wide, and national work that needs to be done.

    The SBC as a whole (and I am a part of the SBC) suffers from cultural non-engagement. If the tide is not turned . . . we will be considered ‘a thing of the past.’

  3. One flaw in the seminary system (#3) is the fact that none of the regional campuses are funded with CP dollars. Here in Colorado, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary provides a full MDiv degree at their campus in Denver. My CP-giving church will have three students attending the Rocky Mountain Campus this fall and yet none of them will receive CP dollars for their education. Because our students do not attend a “real” campus, they are not counted as “real” students.

  4. Randall Cofield,Obviously, since you linked to the traehd, this apology concerns our set-to from another post and comment traehd.Randall Cofield, You do not owe me an apology. I think you have things somewhat confused. You stated in your apology that you had no intention to offend me. I believe that. That is where the confusion rests. I know you were not intentionally trying to offend me.On the contrary, it was my willful intent to offend you. I intended to offend you with my comments. You needed to be offended because you were being a jerk to some of the folks on the traehd. You were acting exactly like the Elephant in the Room, Hybrid-Cal type of jerk that Jerry Vines referenced along with several others in recent weeks and I wanted to bring that to your attention, so I purposely and with willful intent made offensive comments toward you. You needed to be offended so I offended you. It was as simple as that. But please know that you did not offend me, other than in the fact that I have been following your comments for a while and have determined you are exactly the kind of Calvinist, (or Fresh, Upstart Calvinist) who has been so instrumental in causing this unnecessary divide in the first place. Calvinists have been involved in the SBC from the beginning and were certainly involved during the CR. This divisiveness is a recent thing and I personally attribute it to guys who have chips on their shoulders who think they have made a recent discovery relating to soteriology. It seems to me that some of you have maybe read a book, taken a class under some guy who has read two books, visited some Calvinistic websites, then took off to the Biology lab as fast as you could run, grabbed up a white rat and a pickled frog, sacrificed them before a plastic statue of John Calvin and declared yourselves as to have arrived, complete with all of the answers to all of the questions about the mystery of the gospel. It is for that reason that I sought to offend you, Randall Cofield. I wanted to offend you in hopes that you would stop and realize that you really do not have all the answers and maybe you should comment with just a little less swagger than you have been.So trust me when I state you have not offended me and you owe me no apology. Now, if you want to thank me for calling your hand for being obnoxious and acting like a jerk, that is fine with me. My response will be, That’s OK. I am just glad I could help you in your time of need and just call on me anytime in the future and I will be glad to help you out again. Cause you ain’t heavy, you are my brother.

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