Why by Lisianthus when you can have a rose? Why buy a rose when it’s not the real thing either?
Here’s the deal. Current toe-the-line on the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 Southern Baptists are indeed a variegated bunch. But…nine tenths of them, apparently, believe in a synergistic event at salvation. Do I have any numbers? Of course not, Lifeway has cornered the market on that but I can speak from personal experience that if I go sit in almost any Sunday School class on any given Sunday I will be one of the few people in there that can spell ‘monergistic’ let alone say it with a straight face. There is a terrible lack of theological education among your average SBC church member.
Further, I can also say from personal experience that most of the time when a person—say me just for convenience—brings up the subject of Sovereignty in most any group of nine other Baptists there will be grunts and groans magnified by the respective levels of knowledge. But even if the first person—like myself—explains it quite clearly to the ones who have no idea who or what I am talking about there will be a uniform agreement that ‘Well, God doesn’t work like that.’
Insert eyeroll here.
And it’s much worse than our current Southern Baptist church doesn’t look much like the Church did around the time the Abstract of Principles for Southern Seminary was written. (Truly a snap-shot of what Baptists believed at that time) or even that the church doesn’t look anything like it did in Luther’s day. The thing that we are refusing to deal with here is that in spite of that fact that the Word of God is static and unchanging, the church is not. Times change and so do people and what people do but the Word of God is forever. “I do not change” He states very clearly in His Word. Because of her make up, the church is prone to drift and program shifts and changes in polity—all things that the Word does not do.
The problem is that you can’t graft and cut the Word of God to suit your purposes. You must retain the whole as it was given or it’s a fake. It shouldn’t mold itself to your views and opinions. When we come to God’s Word we must do more than even accept it for what it is—the revealed Word of God. It must mold us. It should shape us. We are the one’s who are conformed. Not the other way around.
The challenge is that all we do must pass the test of Scripture. The church must be washed with the Word. But she’s not—and she won’t be until the members of the Body jump into the Word of God and cling to it for what it is, not what they want it to be.