Missouri Baptist Convention’s partnerships
to be checked for theological soundness
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) President Mike Green has appointed an ad hoc committee to study the theological soundness of all relationships the MBC has with non-political para-church organizations.
“Doctrine always matters,” said Michael Knight, pastor of First Baptist Church, Viburnum, who was appointed chairman of the committee.
“Doctrine will never not matter. We are commanded in Scripture to always teach what is in accord with sound doctrine, so theological beliefs always matter.”
The other four members of the committee are: Kim Petty, laity, Grace Community Church, Smithville; David McAlpin, pastor, First Baptist Church, Harvester, in St. Charles; Denny Marr, minister of education and administration, Calvary Baptist Church, Republic; and Jeff White, pastor, South Creek Church, Springfield. Knight, Petty and Marr are members of the MBC Executive Board.
They are charged with reporting their findings to the Executive Board no later than the July board meeting. The Bible, the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message, and any applicable resolutions passed by the MBC or Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are available to committee members to use as guide.
The relationships that the MBC has developed with these organizations are to be scrutinized in accordance with how each of these organizations understands the Gospel, Knight said.
“Is the Gospel just something that saves us, or is the Gospel something that is to guide our lives, to lead us and instruct us?” Knight said. “I know we are saved by God’s grace through faith alone, but we are also sustained by His grace.
“There is a weakness in American evangelical life when it comes to an understanding of the Gospel. It’s fair for us to ask these questions. There’s nothing unhealthy about asking these questions.”
How the MBC is choosing to interact with what some are calling “the emergent church,” or “the emerging church,” is also being called into question. Committee members are positioned to examine this as well.
“There’s a plague of shallow evangelical Christianity at work in the United States now that opens us up to the emergent church and all kinds of nonsense like that,” Knight said. “So we just want to be concerned about with whom we network. When we can’t ask these questions, then something is wrong.”