From The Christian Post -
Southern Baptists are abuzz about a Great Commission Resurgence they hope will move the denomination past the infighting and toward proclaiming the Gospel and winning souls to Christ.
As falling baptism and membership numbers are beginning to become a trend in the Southern Baptist Convention, pastors, ministers, students and lay people are signing on to the Great Commission Resurgence (www.greatcommissionresurgence.com) to reverse the decline and return to what they feel is most important – being Christ's witnesses.
Since the release of the declaration on Monday, more than 1,200 Southern Baptists, including SBC president Johnny Hunt and R. Albert Mohler, Jr. of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, have added their signatures.
"What unites us in this movement is not some naive notion that we are all the same or that we all agree on every doctrinal or practical issue that confronts us," wrote Tom Ascol, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., on his blog Thursday. "Rather, we agree that the gospel is central to any and every Christian effort and that we must not allow anything, no matter how good and noble it might be, to detract from proclamation of that gospel around the world."
Any time more Christians want to get out in the mission field and help the rest of us witness to a lost and dying world is welcome news to me.
But I feel there is a problem and I see it in the second paragraph of the story.....
"As falling baptism and membership numbers are beginning to become a trend in the Southern Baptist Convention, pastors, ministers, students and lay people are signing on to the Great Commission Resurgence (www.greatcommissionresurgence.com) to reverse the decline and return to what they feel is most important – being Christ's witnesses." (Bolding mine)
Feelings.......whoa, whoa, whoa feelings........
The motive is wrong here.
The reason this group wants to get back to what they feel is most important (being Christ's witnesses) is so they can get their membership numbers back to a level they feel comfortable with.
Folks, that is not what evangelism is all about.
Evangelism, the proclamation of the good news, is not about how many people we can get saved and how many people we can get baptised and onto our church membership roles.
Evangelism is not about our motives.
Evangelism is not about our desires.
Evangelism is not about us being self-centered.
Evangelism is the joyful proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ from an obedient Christian!
The article did go on to say this.........
"Southern Baptists who sign the Great Commission Resurgence manifesto affirm a commitment to: Christ’s Lordship, Gospel-centeredness, the Great Commandments, biblical inerrancy and sufficiency, a healthy confessional center, biblically healthy churches, sound biblical preaching, methodological diversity that is biblically informed, more effective convention structure, and distinctively Christian families."
.......this is good (although a more 'effective convention structure' doesn't sound like something Jesus would promote), but I think we can see that declining baptisms and memberships roles is the main reason this group has signed up to get back out there with those crazy evangelists and not the fact that taking the Gospel to 'the ends of the Earth' is what obedient Christians should be doing everywhere they go to begin with.
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