We are also drawing theological and doctrinal lines that I believe are becoming unhealthy. It’s become an “us versus them” mentality. We’ve got people fighting over doctrines and definitions of salvation. I don’t want to oversimplify here, I am from Mississippi and I have to keep it simple. Bill Clinton said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Can I just say, “It’s Jesus”? We are labeling people we don’t even know. We are building camps, conferences,and caucuses for our side of the debate. I have friends who are Arminian, Calvinist, Reformed and various other flavors. All of us agree on one thing: Jesus is the only hope of the world, and the gospel must be shared with everyone, everywhere, in every way possible. Salvation from beginning to end is Christ alone. None of us are going to stand before the throne of God and hear Him ask, “Were you a Calvinist? Reformed? Arminian?” We will all bow before Jesus as Lord. Jesus wears no labels. He won’t wear your t-shirt or argue systems of thought. He will call for absolute surrender to lordship. If we get right on lordship, we’ll get right on other things as well.
5) Remove the labels. Simply be a Jesus follower.
Tell people about Jesus. Love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Labels don’t help us reach the lost. Our baptisms are decreasing numerically. This is a time to focus on the Great Commission, not my great opinion and interpretations.
I think I’ll stop now. I realize I’m rolling a rock uphill. I have no agenda. I can’t save this denomination and neither can you. In reality, we’ve done some things that have turned off the younger generation. We’ve taught them bad habits and given poor examples of statesmanship and legacy leadership. It may be that the day of Southern Baptists is coming to an end. Maybe the boat is taking on water and it’s destined to sink. Jesus didn’t die for a convention; He died to set captives free. Some of us are saved, but still captive to old ways of thinking. If this boat sinks, I don’t want to be the false prophet who says what people want to hear. I want to at least put my thoughts out there about what we (in my opinion) need to hear.
More than anything, I’m asking, can we get on our knees and take these unhealthy situations to the cross? Can we die to self? Can we put our denomination on the altar? Can we lay aside fleshly agendas for a kingdom agenda?
The enemy is mocking us. The world is ignoring us. Jesus is weeping.
This article originally appeared here.