After reflecting upon the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention, I am pleased with the overall tone of the meeting. Granted, we Southern Baptists still have much work to do – baptisms have flatlined since 1950, and year-over-year growth has slowed to the point of decline.
But my personal perspective of this year’s convention was one of unity. There seemed to be less heated banter and more encouragement, less of what we’re fighting against and more of what we all stand for.
Dr. Daniel Akin, Dr. Ed Stetzer, and Dr. Nathan Finn all offer informed analysis of the convention and the overall direction of the SBC. But I want to focus on one instance of the convention that grabbed my heart. This instance, I believe, represents a microcosm of the entire SBC and the shift towards a more unified stand for the sake of the gospel.
During one of the times for discussion from the floor, a pastor approached the mic and confessed before the entire assembly. His confession had nothing to do with the business at hand. He simply wanted the convention to know that he had not been pursuing God. He told us that he had previously confessed to his church but felt that God was leading him to confess his sin before the entire convention.
Dr. Frank Page, our president presiding over the meeting, graciously stated something like: “Brother, you may be out of order according to parliamentary procedure, but you are certainly in order spiritually.”
If we all could get a little “out of order” personally then we just might get “in order” as a convention. I pray that this one instance demonstrates a shift for the better for the SBC.