Ignoring the Emerging Church


I am learning to become more and more frustrated with the “old guard” of the Southern Baptist Convention. To be honest with you, if I was to start a church today I would desire to be SBC simply to affiliate with the missions efforts and probably not for much else. I would say with some confidence today that I prefer non-sbc educational opportunities, non-sbc curriculum among other things.

I read this article today that caused my blood to boil just a bit. While I’ll admit that the SBC leaders that were quoted are accurate in some of their estimations, I am continually frustrated by the lack of creedence that they give to the church that is sensitive to culture. As Mark Driscoll says so well in Radical Reformission, the church must be steeped biblical accuracy AND cultural sensitivity equally in order to be effective. I’m afraid we’re becoming more and more of a convention adrift from effective outreach. While I am by no means aligning myself with those who fail to be grounded in biblical accuracy, and I am not interested in theological compromise, I am appalled that SBC leadership would dare say that the emergent church is a “threat to the gospel.” While there are certainly churches within this affiliation that are not accurately sharing the message of Christ, there are many, many more churches within the boundaries of the SBC that are either biblically unfaithful or just simply apathetic when it comes to evangelism and yet we’re not claiming that the SBC is a “threat to the gospel.” That claim makes me sick!

Our SBC president now says that the cure for all the ills within the SBC is to “win more souls.” While I agree that we must make evangelism a priority, this kind of good-ole-boy gusto and naivety is part of what makes it so hard for me to take my denominational leadership seriously. I have lost all desire to join together at our National Convention, State Convention or other meetings. It’s unfortunate that we have become a hierarchy of power and “old ways” in what used to be a vibrant, aware, and culturally relevant denomination.

Am I the only one who is struggling with our apparent bent towards fundamentalism? Is anyone else concerned?

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

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