For more reasons than I have time to write about at this point, I am very upset about a decision that was made this week to formally preclude any Acts 29 church from being considered a partner worthy of receiving funds from the Missouri Baptist Convention. This decision was approved by the Executive Board of the MBC. This decision is ill conceived and certain to create increased division within the MBC. I cannot express how strongly opposed to this decision I am, nor can I adequately communicate how frustrated I am with it. This is further evidence that our lip service given to church planting is just that, lip service, and not representative of a significant commitment to the act of planting new congregations and pushing back lostness. The worst part of this decision is that there is no valid justification for its existence. In convention life we are made up of so many theological preferences each of which exist in the fishbowl that is SBC/MBC life without tearing at the fabric of our unity. You are historically welcome if you are reformed or Arminian in orientation; Amillenial or Dispensational. I could go on and on. Differences, within reason, have been welcome.
I should clarify, as well, that we’re not talking about a liberal/conservative argument, either. This is a matter of differing opinions between theological conservatives. We should not divide over that! This decision is more evidence that we, as a convention, are moving from simply being biblical and conservative to being legalistic and exclusionary over non-essential issues. This is particularly true when you consider how many in SBC life have encouraged the existence of A29. For instance, Dr. Ed Stetzer, the Director of Lifeway Reasearch was formerly on the board of A29. Many in SBC life have recognized that A29 is to be commended, not rejected. For our convention to succeed, these unfortunate decision have got to stop. I pray that the Lord will not remove His blessing from our body over decisions like these. The Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention has failed us in this decision.
My friend Scott Lamb, from the eastern part of the state, has weighed in on the decision as well. I would recommend his article.