On immortality: Removing any hint of immorality among us. “You know as well as I do there have been a shocking number of heinous immoral actions among leaders within the SBC.” Greear calls on those listening to consider these examples and think of the sin of Achan from the book of Joshua. (Quick Bible refresher: Achan committed the sin of taking spoils from Jericho that were to be dedicated to the Lord. All the Israelites were punished, though, by experiencing defeat at Ai. That story ends with the Israelites determining who had committed the sin by casting lots to reveal it was Achan. He was stoned to death.) Greear says this, like the story of Achan, is an opportunity to deal with the sin among us and ask God if we are the ones sinning.
First and foremost, Greear says, this is a plea to look within. He is not advocating everyone look outside or to his or her neighbor to sniff sin out, so to speak. Rather, it’s an opportunity to get right with the Lord personally and get the collective house of the church in order.
Greear offers three pieces of advice for treating others with grace as this process of reclaiming order and repentance unfolds:
1. Always try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
2. Assume the best in others; assume that they have good intentions and that they’re smart.
3. When wronged or there’s a disagreement or miscommunication, extend grace.
While he does not use names to point to any particular instances, one cannot help but recall instances such as the “gracious firing” of Paige Patterson over a failure to report abuse and derogatory comments he has made about women in the past. The resignation of Frank Page also comes to mind, who confessed to having an affair earlier this year.
Pointing back to the mission of the SBC, Greear concludes his thoughts by pondering that perhaps this purifying is happening as God leads the SBC to greater things—“maybe the greatest days we’ve ever had in the effectiveness of the Great Commission.”