Cutis’ faith in Scripture unshaken
By Bob Baysinger
October 21, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – Bob Curtis, pastor of Ballwin Baptist Church, says it will take more than 14 hours of questioning by three attorneys to shake his faith in the Word of God.
Curtis, who served as the 2002 Missouri Baptist Convention president, was deposed in late July by three law firms representing five breakaway agencies as part of the MBC’s suit for declaratory judgment against the agencies. The MBC is contending that the agencies violated state corporate law by changing their charters without approval of the MBC.
Curtis was on the witness stand from 1:15-5:15 p.m. the first day and from 9 a.m.-7:45 p.m. the following day.
"I was surprised somewhat by the line of questions because the topics that were sent to me in advance of the depositions by defense counsel had nothing to do with some of the issues Mr. (Clyde) Farris raised," Curtis said. "I really didn’t see how the questions he asked tied into Missouri Baptist College breaking their ties with the Missouri Baptist Convention."
The Pathway contacted Farris, who is representing the college, to ask him about the line of questions posed to Curtis.
"I respectfully cannot respond to your questions because to do so would reveal some of my trial strategy," Farris said.
Questions posed to Curtis appeared to be an attempt to get him to admit that the Bible could not be trusted.
Curtis said it didn’t raise any questions in his mind about the validity of Scripture.
Farris quizzed Curtis about subjects ranging from the creation to the crucifixion.
"Subjects relating to Genesis stories require a more detailed understanding," Curtis said, "more than just a summarization. Anytime you deal with issues in Scripture, you must consider the context of the Scripture, the context of the book and look at it the context of the whole Bible. That takes more than I was allowed in the setting which I found myself.
"I didn’t have a theological library at my fingertips. I’m still in the growing process as a theologian."
Curtis said he hoped he had served the convention well during his deposition.
"I’m not sure I drove home the point, but when we speak of inerrancy, we speak of the original autographs – not any version. When we talk about inerrancy, it is what God says about His own Word," Curtis said. "We don’t have the original autographs, and we don’t have the word "trinity" used in Scripture. But, in context, I believe we can come to that conclusion.
"All I know is that I trust the Word of God and the God of the Word."
Curtis said he was "much in prayer" during the deposition process.
"I was praying for all the attorneys, even the attorneys representing the opposing side," Curtis said. "I was praying that God would give me a Christ-like spirit in wisdom. I believe I sought to honor God in that setting."
Curtis said he doesn’t know if he will be called to the witness stand should the matter go to trial early next year.
"I’m leaving that in the Lord’s hand," he said. "I’m praying God will bring this to a close before it goes to trial. But, if it goes to that, I will rely on Scripture and Christ who says, ‘my grace is sufficient’ for you."