Key misunderstandings of the doctrine of local church autonomy have played a role in the mishandling of reports of sexual abuse at the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Some of the same misunderstandings were used to object to the Conservative Resurgence on the ground that it violated local church autonomy. As we implement necessary reforms in response to the Sexual Abuse Task Force report, we as a Convention will need to understand which proposed actions respect the autonomy of the local churches and which actions would fail because of that autonomy. To succeed at that task, we would all do well to look back at this historic statement of faith and to refresh our memories about what local church autonomy is and is not.
The SBC exists to advance the Baptist mission—their mission—and never to undermine it. To that end, we must be committed to the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, zealous of the biblically-taught autonomy of our local churches, committed to confessional orthodoxy, and with an emphasis on evangelism and missions. That’s what makes us distinctively Baptist.
As we respond to our cultural, societal, educational, and benevolent responsibilities, let us not forget our original task. The primary responsibility of the SBC is to support our North American Mission Board and our International Mission Board so the world will understand that God has sent Jesus into the world. Remember the Mission!
A team of Georgia Baptist leaders first visited Lima, Peru, in the fall of 2021. Our mission? To learn what a partnership with a church in the Lima region might look like.
It was heartening to hear the success of New Bethel Baptist Church’s ambitious undertaking to knock on every door within a 7-mile radius of their campus. The results have been nothing short of remarkable for the Carnesville church: More than 50 salvation decisions.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) – Last week, the SBC’s Sexual Abuse Task Force made several formal recommendations to the messengers for their consideration at the upcoming 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim. Among them was a recommendation that an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF), in coordination with the SBC Executive Committee (EC), create a “process” for maintaining a Ministry Check list of pastors, denominational workers, and volunteers who are “credibly accused” of sexual abuse. The messengers should approve this recommendation.
Our group of seven arrived early on Tuesday morning ready to investigate the question, “What would it look like for a North Georgia church and a church in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to become co-laborers in the Gospel?”
Jael's killing of the Canaanite leader Sisera, chronicled in the book of Judges, has been called by scholars “gruesome treachery,” and "first-degree murder.” What can we learn from this act, and from the choice made by Jael?
When Martha Day began volunteering at a pregnancy center, she came face to face with a need that needed to be met. Instead of waiting for someone else to step up, she did it herself. And, for that, Day deserves great thanks.
Jesus prioritizes children and their care. We see this in verses like Matthew 19:14, where Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the …