Peace Committee report includes five points
Editor’s note: The following is the unanimous (6-0) report of the Peace Committee as received by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Executive Board and messengers to the 174th annual meeting of the MBC:
Point #1: The former executive director and other Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leaders “pitted” Executive Board members and key MBC leaders against one another and tried to keep them apart from each other.
• Good, godly people have been maligned. These people deserve honor, respect, and for someone to seek their forgiveness. (Probably the most classic example of this is Roger Moran.)
• If you have anything against your brother, you should go to him in a spirit of humility and honesty in order to seek reconciliation.
• If you know that your brother has something against you, you should leave your gift at the altar and go to him in order to get things right between the two of you.
• If you have been deceived in the past by someone who was seeking self aggrandizement, you should repent and seek God’s forgiveness and seek the forgiveness of the one who was maligned and from henceforth should walk circumspectly in a spirit of discernment.
Point #2: The work of the Investigative Committee and the conclusions of the Executive Board were handled properly, working within the framework of our MBC structure and within legal parameters.
• We must put it behind us.
• We must lay this to rest.
• We must quit picking scabs.
• We must pray for our former executive director.
Point #3: At all levels in Missouri Baptist life, we did not live by the Matthew 18 principle and did not go to persons directly with which we might have had an issue. Because we did not do this, bitterness, gossip, distrust, accusations and other untruths began to circulate, which in turn caused good people to act in divisive ways toward fellow conservatives.
• Very few people are exempt from a violation in this matter.
• It should cause conviction and repentance on the part of many people on both sides of this issue.
• We must stop the gossip, backbiting, and back stabbing.
• We must go to our brothers and sisters in Christ for confrontation, communication, and reconciliation.
• We must learn to speak to God first about our brethren and then to our brethren, before we talk to others about our brethren.
• We must function by the principles of Ephesians 4:29, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
• We should commit to not being critical and to not entertain critics.
Point #4: Because of these divisive ways, a multi-layered and multi-leveled series of events, meetings, letters, emails, resolutions, etc. were set in motion to perpetuate this divisiveness.
• Those who have been responsible for these divisive methods should repent of their carnality and their divisiveness, which God hates.
• We must stop aligning ourselves with the father of lies and the accuser of the brethren!
Point #5: Because we are at an impasse in our peace process, we will be asking the Peacemakers Ministries group to meet with us, so we may be able to complete the task the MBC Executive Board gave us, which is to work things out in Missouri Baptist life or biblical reconciliation in the MBC.
This concludes our report, but we ask each Missouri Baptist to pray earnestly for your Peace Committee and our desired goal of true peace and reconciliation with our beloved Missouri Baptist Convention.