Southern Baptists must grasp Christian worldview
I recently heard leaders of two other state conventions conversing about one of their newspapers. After critiquing the editor’s performance, the one leader whose newspaper was the subject, said to the other: “Well we don’t get into all that political stuff.”
I’m not certain what he meant by “political stuff,” especially since Southern Baptists are known for their politics – in and out of the Convention. Ever been to a Wednesday night business meeting or campaigned/voted for a certain former Southern Baptist preacher seeking the presidency of the United States? That is what was so phony about the moderates’ behavior. They claimed to be non-political when most Southern Baptists knew they were, whether it was activity in support of one of their leaders running for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) presidency, or a certain Missouri Baptist privately extending $100 handshakes to pro-abortion Democrats at the State Capitol. But I digress.
Politics is not a problem in Southern Baptist life. Sadly, it is an unChrist-like behavior by a relative few in Southern Baptist politics that can often be a problem. Oftentimes this can be very destructive.
Conversely if we conducted our politics according to a Christian/biblical worldview, ministries would not be soiled and relationships would not be shattered. Indeed something important would happen: God would be honored. Peace and unity could prevail. But I digress.
I suspect SBC politics was not what the two leaders were discussing. My guess is what they really meant is secular politics, or that no state Baptist newspaper should address the moral issues (what they call political issues) of the day. I have heard their argument before: “Just win them to Jesus and everything will be fine.” Two points should be made about that: (1) Just because a person is saved does not mean they will always do right (praise God for His infinite grace). Accountability and discipline with a goal towards restoration are good things. (2) The Bible says not everyone is going to Heaven. Thus the pagan must be engaged on the battlefield of public policy to the glory of God. Such action is an act of obedience while trusting God for the results, which brings us back to the subject of a biblical worldview.
While I appreciate – and join hand-in-hand with – those who are obedient to our Lord’s Great Commission to share the Gospel and make disciples, I wonder if we are not missing something important. Jesus is the savior of the world, but He is much more. He is the logos, which in Greek literally means the idea, the word, the order of everything, the rational pattern of creation. The Apostle Paul was precise in his declaration: “For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible …; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17).
This passage compels us to acknowledge that Jesus is the ultimate reality and to see Christianity as the all-encompassing truth, the root of everything – even politics. This is the powerful beginning of when a Christian starts to think – and ultimately act – based on a biblical worldview. Think it’s not powerful? I wonder if slavery would have been abolished by Great Britain if William Wilberforce had not brought his Christian worldview to bear on Parliament? Wilberforce pitted his Christian worldview against another worldview – Darwinian evolution/secular humanism – and won.
Southern Baptists like numbers, but because we often fail to live out our faith through a biblical worldview we help reap bad numbers – like 40 million. That is the number of babies killed since Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade was poised to become law while Southern Baptists focused on winning “A Million More in ’54.” Praise God for the harvested souls, but we (along with the rest of Christianity in America) apparently lacked the courage or the theological discernment to elect lawmakers who would have confirmed pro-life judges and prevented a pro-abortion Supreme Court from initiating genocide.
Why are the poor neglected? Why do murderers walk free? Why are condoms offered to school children? Why are Jack Kevorkians sought? Such is the case under pagan rule. Far more troubling is it demonstrates that Christians are not seeing, comprehending or taking action based on a biblical worldview. The easy way out is to advocate the mythical “wall of separation between church and state.” That way nobody has to do anything.
I wonder what the two convention leaders would think had not The Pathway engaged Missouri lawmakers concerning Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions? This newspaper joined other convention leaders in urging lawmakers to pass laws that would ultimately force an abortion clinic out of business, with its building ultimately purchased by the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. What man once used for evil, God will now use for good.
The issue of Christians being involved in public policy, whether individually or through a state newspaper, is non-negotiable. We must be engaged, bringing a Christian worldview to bear while being “wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove” so that our light shines among men and they come to see Christ as their savior. The goal is not to create a theocracy, but rather to obey God and ultimately bring honor and glory to Him.