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My Heart Is Breaking: Blogging and the SBC

I wrote an email to a friend of mine the other day stating that I was becoming a little discouraged over the attention that several SBC issues were receiving in the national media. He responded by assuring me that God was in control, and He would work things out in time. Then I read some of the various blogs that I track on a daily basis. The result is that I am no longer discouraged—my heart is now breaking.

I am certainly not an emotional person, and rarely do I get "worked up" about anything—good or bad. The current situation in the blogosphere, however, has really gotten under my skin. I read entries and comments demanding this and that from various people whom the writers do not know. I read accusations and innuendo regarding the motives of professing Christians that would make a "bar-hopping, wife-abusing, pagan ne’er-do-well" blush. I see misstatements, overstatements, understatements and everything in between that are used to push any number of agendas, perspectives, opinions, and the like.

The overall result of all this "in-house" bickering is that the name of our Lord is being slandered. Look at the media—they are eating this up. Every time a fellow believer publicly ridicules another, they jump at the opportunity to spread it across the AP newswire. The fact of the matter is that if someone looked hard enough at any of our lives, something would most certainly be found to give cause for embarrassment and/or heartache. The problem is that we have forgotten what it means to talk to each other. Posting a blog entry calling for answers or calling the local news reporter to share a "juicy tidbit" does not count as working out our problems as fellow believers. We are so focused on our own demands that we forget to "do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil 2:3–4).

Is the Southern Baptist Convention perfect? No. Are Southern Baptist churches perfect? Not a chance. Are the leaders and pastors within the convention and churches perfect? No way. Am I perfect? Not hardly. Are you perfect? Perhaps closer than me, but what difference does one step up on the depravity scale really make when you see that we are both at the bottom?

Here is my solution for what is ailing the SBC and our churches, and it has nothing to do with making demands, calling motives into question, or seeking answers. This is a four-part solution:

1. Be humble—"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time." (1 Pet 5:6)

2. Live out your imputed righteousness—"Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us." (Titus 2:6–8)

3. Love one another—"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." (Rom 12:9–10)

4. Serve one another—"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another." (Gal 5:13–15)

My heart is breaking over these issues because we are apparently unable to handle our problems as Christian brothers and sisters. Brennan Manning is quoted as saying, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." I find it unbelievable that we would publicly humiliate one another with no concern for the cause of Christ. Blogs have certainly raised the level of information access in this world, but they should also raise the level of personal responsibility for the bloggers. When we post something, it is not simply available to our friends and family, or even our Christian family—it is available for the world. We need to remember that.

I leave you with a few more words from the Apostle Paul: "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph 4:1–3). Let us heed the inspired words of our Lord—He gave them to us for a reason.