Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What's Your Motive?

What is your motive? I struggle with understanding how we frail creatures of dust can do some of the things we do and convince ourselves we are doing right. I'm not talking about the issues like murder, adultery or parking in handicapped parking spaces without a sticker. I am talking about the things we do at church and in our denominations. For example, when we judge others by a standard we refuse to hold ourselves to or when we impose additional restrictions on someone that go beyond Scripture and consider them unworthy of service if they do not fulfill our expectations. I believe Jesus referred to that as "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

The surprising thing is when we can do something blatantly wrong, obviously hypocritical and oftentimes just plain mean and defend to the death that we were doing it "in the Lord's name" or "for the benefit of the church" or "to protect the institution/denomination". I find it necessary when I get stirred up about something, clench my teeth in anger and haul off to "set somebody straight" to take a moment and ask, "What is my motivation"? "Why am I really doing this"?

From the public comments in relation to the issue at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the controversy over a private prayer language it would seem that a Godly man, Dr. Dwight McKissic, is being sold down the river for taking a theological stance that is held by other, though not a majority, of Southern Baptists. In advocating acceptance of a private prayer language (as far as I can tell he never proposed that every believer needed one or needed to pursue one) he has run afoul of the powers that be. The unfortunate thing is that "the powers that be" in this case would seem to be men whom many of us have looked to with great admiration for their role in leading our Southern Baptist Convention to throw off the fog of liberal theology and return to a more conservative and wholesome view of the Holy Word.

I pray that all involved in this current fracas would be smitten by God's rich supply of grace. I pray that we would all put down our stones and save them for the real giants. Since the father called me to His ministry (1980) I have never really known an SBC free from contention. I would ask those to whom God has entrusted leadership of our Convention, our SBC entities, our theological discussions and most importantly our missionary efforts, please, show me a Convention, show me a Seminary, show me a Mission Board with hearts set ablaze in passion for Jesus and in prayer and fervency to share Him with a lost world. I pray for that Holy Spirit revival to begin in me.

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