Alcohol, Acts 29 and the SBC

I have been critical, at times, of The Pathway (our Missouri Baptist Convention state paper) and its coverage of The Journey Church and Roger Moran’s critique of the JC and the Emerging Church movement as a whole. I’ve said that wholesale condemnation of the entire EC movement is difficult to pursue simply because the EC movement is incredibly more broad than most who dislike it seem to grasp. The Pathway, however, in their most recent edition has done a much better job of chronicling the controversy over The JC. I would encourage you to read it. You can find it here.

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

7 thoughts on “Alcohol, Acts 29 and the SBC

  1. Since when did Roger become the decider of who does and does not get our denominational credibility?

    Also, perhaps he should look more closely at his own words to the Executive Committee before saying that others are “dripping with errors.” It seems to me that Marty pointed out more than a few errors at the time and when questions were submitted to Roger for an explanation or response, he refused.


    The time for this is coming to an end. Either we will not allow the tearing down of others and we will thrive, or we will allow it and we will die, because the rest of the convention will do other things than be involved in this.

  2. Art-

    I believe “Arbiter of Grace” comes to mind. We better be careful or we’re going to revert back to middle ages Catholicism, dispensing grace to those who believe appropriately, and withholding from those who do not.

  3. If The Journey meets the definition of “cooperating Southern Baptist church,” and apparently it does, I don’t think the officials of any layer of convention have the authority to dictate doctrine or practice of faith or ministry methodology to them. While having a Bible study in a brewery is unconventional, and controversial, and may set the wrong way with some Baptists, it doesn’t violate the denomination’s adopted statement of faith. To step in and attempt to interfere with an independent, autonomous congregation by threatening to end a cooperative relationship, or by financial pressure, isn’t Biblical either.

    The article about this same issue which appeared in the Post Dispatch called Roger Moran one of Missouri’s “most powerful” Baptists. If there is a position in Baptist life that allows the worldly wielding of power, then we’ve made a grievous error in creating it.

    God’s blessings on The Journey. Regardless of where they are having their Bible study, they seem to be pointing a lot of people in the right direction.

  4. Lee-

    While an autonomous church is traditional SBC polity, I am afraid that in many ways we are watching that philosophy fly out the window. We are moving quickly, far too quickly, to a state of adherence to the whims of the “doctrinal watchdogs” who will dispense blessing upon those churches/pastors that appear to understand “their place” and who act and respond in a fashion that the “DW’s” deem appropriate. Evidently the issue of intelligent, biblical exegesis is not sufficient enough for one to be considered satisfactory anymore to some within leadership positions.

    Two comments in the recent St. Louis Today article that I thought were particularly telling were:

    Moran also is worried that his promise to conservative Baptists during his rise to power is beginning to show some wear. He promised his allies they would enjoy a prolonged era of control.

    “So all these churches, all these pastors that I went around saying all this stuff to, it now kind of looks like I reneged,” he said.

    That sounds to me like Moran is convinced of his personal responsibility to serve as the denominational watchdog. The other quote, is equally as important, in my mind.

    The Rev. Darrin Patrick, pastor of the emerging church in St. Louis called The Journey, says Moran’s kind of theology is only driving away young Christian leaders.

    “When you’re stricter than God about what he commands and permits, younger pastors are not going to play ball,” Patrick said. “They’re not going to take one for the denomination.”

    In this statement, I see truth. Patrick is absolutely correct.

  5. Cookie-cutter Christians end up getting devoured by the enemy. We’re not supposed to be identical or God would not have made us so diverse. It seems to me that Luke 7:34 does more than suggest that our Lord’s reputation was that of a man who may have been found ministering in breweries. Why is it so difficult to understand that we must meet people where they are, share Jesus with them there, and let God show them that He wants them to be elsewhere? If the ministry of Jesus may be used as a template, it is quite possible there are some people working in breweries that are more sincere about their faith than many sitting in sanctuaries. It is an aggravating notion that people associated with certain kinds of work or lifestyle are less worthy of the Gospel message. Any man who believes he has such insight as to determine who is and who is not worthy of the message of salvtion has assumed a sinful, arrogant perspective that may only be consistently held by th!
    e modern day fundamentalist Pharisee.

  6. David-

    Once again you prove to be far too astute to have come from Iowa. 🙂

    Seriously though, I agree with your thoughts on the beauty of diversity. It’s unfortunate that robotic preferences seem to have become to the game of the day far too often in SBC circles.

  7. Robots are easily controled. They do not have the burden of reason, they are simply expected to react. It’s no wondr that’s what some would prefer. But it flies in the face of free will and the priesthood of the believer. Nasty little ideas God had that cause all of us really enlightened people so much difficulty.

    On the eighth day God created Iowa, but I have learned to be ontent in whatsoever State I am in… even Missouri!

Leave a Reply