And it has certainly given us an opportunity to participate in the Great Commission together. I am so thankful for the hard work and the many hours that the GCRTF has put in trying to help us as Southern Baptists be more effective in the Great Commission. I am grateful for the recommendations that they have brought forth. So, I love the SBC and the GCR and I will vote in favor of it in Orlando, but I’ve struggled to fully embrace the SBC and the GCR for several reasons. And I suspect this feeling is not limited to me. I have been devastated lately confronting my own sinfulness in this area. For instance, when Ronnie Floyd delivered the Progress Report he said, “Our present culture represents 1 Corinthians 3 much more than 1 Corinthians 13.” This is how messed up I am, I immediately thought, yeah so many “other” people in the SBC need to heed this. The reality is I need to hear that, and I am saddened how I so quickly look to others as the problem. I am the problem. And it is possible that I am not the only one. It makes me skeptical that we will ever be able to cooperate for the “propagation of the gospel.” As I observe this I am fully aware that we will not be able to cooperate without the grace and mercy of God and the reason why is because I (we) am (are) so sinful. So here is why I am an obstacle to cooperation and even potentially to a GCR.
It was not my idea. I wasn’t the one who imagined it and I didn’t make decisions about what we would change in the SBC. As a prideful and arrogant man, I believe I know a better way than many of my elder brothers in the SBC. The only thing I can think of, and it saddens me, is that I want the “glory” that may result from this to go to me and recognized as my ideas. I want the validation from knowing I was right. In this same context, I struggle with cooperation because I think my way is best and it’s hard to lean on others. Again this is because I think I know better and I want the “glory” or praise that might come from a move of God, or seeming move of God. Yes, that sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? That is why as I take stock of my life I am deeply dismayed by my sin and pride.
In addition, I really struggle to be charitable toward my brothers in Christ. I want to see myself as better, smarter, etc than others. I tend to distrust others. So, I struggle to give the benefit of the doubt to my brother, or I want to critique their theology. I know that not all disagreement is bad, but when I disagree often I do it without charity. And my instinct is to respond by ripping someone apart in my mind or on a blog because I want to lift myself up and put him or her down. I really struggle being charitable to others, probably because I want to exalt myself and not truth. I have an idol in my life and it is me. And so I struggle to cooperate.
Also, I am a territorial person. I want the seminaries/churches/ministries that my family and I are connected with to get ample resources and respect.
In addition, I tend to buck against cooperation and want to drill holes in the GCR because it is easier for me to be skeptical and a critic and not get my hopes up for better cooperation or a GCR. That way I will never be left looking silly if things don’t progress. Plus, it is easier for me to criticize and “poke holes” than it is to be a part of a solution that might fail.
So ultimately, what I am saddened over in my own life is that I love myself. I want to increase and not decrease. I want the glory and that makes me an obstacle to cooperation and change. I need to repent and I desperately need the grace and mercy of God in crucifying my flesh. I want to be a person of humility, charity, and Christlike character (Phil. 2 for example). And I want to be someone who cooperates with other brothers and sisters so that the fame of Christ would spread throughout the earth. My only problem is I want my fame attached with it.
Switch to our mobile site