Great Commission Baptists

21 06 2012

Why I’m A Southern Baptist

I am always amazed that people will join a church and never know what the church or denomination actually believes or why they exist. I think that many people were simply born into a church or denomination and have continued without asking the hard questions. My parents were members of a Southern Baptist Church, and it would have been easy for me to just continue on in that tradition without ever even thinking about it. When I went to the University of Arkansas, like many college students, I began to question my beliefs and why I did the things I did. I started out questioning the basic beliefs of Christianity and was satisfied with the arguments for it. I then began to question my interpretations of the scriptures and the tradition of the Southern Baptist Church that I grew up in.

I discovered two things that have kept me a Southern Baptist. Before I state those two things, I will admit that we are not perfect. Like any large institution, there are imperfect people involved. There are things that I wish we would change or do differently. There have been things done in the past that are embarrassing. I am also not saying that heaven will only be filled with Southern Baptist (although we will make the potlucks spectacular). I believe that when we all get to heaven, we will discover that we were all wrong.

The number one reason why I am a Southern Baptist is because I feel like we are the closest to being Biblical of any other denomination. I love our Baptist Faith and Message that most of our churches subscribe to. I appreciate the history of our due diligence to write our statement of faith and to stick with it when it has not been popular.  I will admit that we have some gaps, but these are on nonessential items. I was bothered that in order to serve as a missionary with the International Mission Board I had to sign that I was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church and I did not use a private prayer language. I was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, but I was not baptized to identify myself with that denomination. I was baptized to identify myself with Jesus. I don’t have a private prayer language (the gift of speaking in tongues), but I certainly believe it is a Biblical gift that some people have and should exercise. All in all, though, these things are minor compared to the theological problems that I have found in any other denomination.

The second reason why I am a Southern Baptist is because of our focus on the Great Commission. As a matter of fact, our denomination just approved the use of a new name: Great Commission Baptist. Our denomination has the largest mission agency that the world has ever seen.  We are currently supporting around 5,000 missionaries who are serving in every corner of the world. This did not happen on accident. It is the result of the very reason why our churches decided to come together in the first place. We believed that one church could only do so much to change the world for Christ, but together we could not only obey the Great Commission better, but also complete it. Today we are a network of around 45,000 churches that are working towards completing the Great Commission, and I fully believe that we will accomplish this task in my lifetime.

So there you have it! Why are you attending the church that you go to on Sundays? Do you know the history of your church? Are you apart of a church that is doing their part to reach Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the Earth?



One response

21 06 2012
A Methodist… Really? « A Lot like Lot

[…] Church in Fort Smith Arkansas.  He posted in his blog today about why he is a Southern Baptist. I deeply admire and respect my friend.  He has been to the ends of the earth with the gospel and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: