Sailing, Sailing: Final Thoughts on TMABC, and Picking Nits

I wanted to get back to this topic one last time, for quite some time, but other matters have prevented me. Right after I posted my third piece on our TMABC annual meeting, I was made aware of a question-and-answer session with Dr. Frank Page, that took place the day after the TMABC annual meeting. I was unable to attend, but the remarks of Dr. Page were recorded and have been made available in mp3 format on the Internet by Art Rogers. To be fair I wanted to listen to that session and see if there was anything said by Dr. Page that might change my view as stated in the three previous posts on this subject. I have since listened to that thirty-odd-minute piece of audio, and would like to make just a few further observations and comments.

To begin with, I have no doubt that Dr. Page is genuinely as he has been described: sincere, humble, and kind. I discover this to be more so each time I hear him speak. I also am convinced that Dr. Page has, and will continue to be, on the whole, a good and influence on the SBC. I believe Dr. Page to be a sincere, committed Christian who knows Christ. I was very impressed with his boldness as he described toward the end of the audio of his recent opportunities to witness to presidential candidates. As Dr. Page concluded his Q & A he shared how presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat, have desired an audience with him, obviously seeking endorsement. He would begin each interview by stating flatly “I know what you have come for, and I can’t give that to you or any candidate, but let me tell you about Jesus.” And to that I say God’s blessings be upon him and all like him. Praise be to God there are men like him not afraid to name the name of Jesus among those aspiring to the highest office in the land.

I am also encouraged somewhat by Dr. Page’s opening comments concerning his plans to unveil a strategy of evangelism at next year’s convention, intended to aid churches. He was careful to emphasize that this was not to be another program, it was going to be a strategy. I understand the carefulness, in light of much reaction to the plague of program-o-mania the SBC has been infected with since Moby Dick was a minnow. That all said, I am still concerned, not having heard any strategy details. I am afraid that this is just a distinction without a difference. It is hard to break old habits. I hope this turns out to be just such a break; a break from method to message.

So to summarize, I have a great admiration for Dr. Frank Page, and yet I cannot take back any thing I said in the previous posts on this subject. I am cautiously optimistic that good will come out of his two-year term as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. But for lasting good, from top to bottom, we all need to learn how to turn to God, seeking his good pleasure, resting in his ways and not ours. There is much I have not said, mostly because I feel this is not the post to say it. I will leave that for another post, another day.

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