Clippard wants to see more Calebs in Missouri
CAPE GIRARDEAU – Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Director David Clippard challenged messengers to the 172nd annual meeting of the MBC Oct. 30 at the Show Me Center to act like Caleb and possess the bountiful land described in Numbers 13, which today could be portrayed in terms of a harvest of souls.
“We must go up and conquer Missouri and our world for the Gospel,” Clippard said. “It is our time here. Folks, don’t talk about the great things that happened with old, dead English preachers. Praise God for that history. Make history! God will bless you.”
Clippard has become increasingly troubled over the past four years by a Missouri that has 5.5 million people but only 130,000 Southern Baptists in Sunday School. The courageous utterances of Caleb contain good words for the MBC right now, Clippard contended in his report.
He wound up shouting motivational statements like a head football coach addressing his players on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. He led up to that by first reading from a history book about the early 1800s when pioneer Baptist ministers west of the Mississippi River preached with fervency and saw souls won to Christ.
Launching into his text, Clippard preached that the Lord’s command in Numbers 13:1-2 is that He is giving the land to the Israelites. That promise is real, he said, but so is the enemy of God’s people. Our enemy, Satan, both opposes and perverts God’s work, seeking to hinder or discourage any and all witnessing.
America is also facing a real threat called Islam, Clippard said. Saudi Arabia has funded 156 Muslim study centers on college campuses in North America, he said, including three in the University of Missouri system at Columbia, St. Louis and Rolla. Clippard noted that the Muslim Student Association website gives the list of more than 150 Islamic study centers in the United States and Canada at www.msa-natl.org.
The Muslim students come over here as missionaries, Clippard said, intent on making converts. He also said that politically they do have a plan to take over America.
“The first city that they want to take over in America is Detroit, Michigan,” he said.
Conversely, the Lord gave conquering ability to Caleb, Clippard said, that can be duplicated in 2006 in the face of this twin threat by Satan and Islam. The executive director introduced messengers to about a half a dozen stories about real-life Calebs in Missouri, as he called them, who are making a difference in their communities through dedicated, consistent evangelism.
“These men are giving the best they’ve got, and I thank God for them,” he said. “They’re an inspiration to me. Are you giving your best? Jesus deserves the best we’ve got.”
He then showed a video clip from the movie “Facing the Giants” that showed a high school football player carrying a 160-pound teammate on his back the length of the field. The coach in the film kept urging the player to do his best, and because he did not quit he wound up doing far more than he ever thought he could do. Amazingly, the player wound up in the end zone.
“Missouri Baptists, my family, I think we’ve got more to give,” Clippard said in conclusion.
In a Nov. 13 Pathway interview in his office, Clippard said he would like to direct Missouri Baptists to read the same primary source documents that he has been reading. Three books in particular have been helpful, he said. Those books are: “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within,” by Bruce Bawer; “Londonistan,” by Melanie Phillips; and “How Islam Plans to Change the World,” by William Wagner. Clippard cautioned that the Bawer book is “very secular.”
The Internet can also be helpful in terms of understanding the Islamic threat, Clippard said. In particular, visit the RAND Corp. “Voices of Jihad” database and the Brookings Institute web site at www.brook.edu.