The Baptist 21 luncheon June 15 tackled some tough topics for Southern Baptists including race, complementarianism, cultural worldview and sexual abuse.
“The greatest danger in the Southern Baptist Convention is the lack of discipleship,” said Juan Sanchez, assistant professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sanchez was on the panel alongside Donna Gaines, speaker, author and pastor’s wife; Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; Danny Akin president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; Ed Litton, pastor of Redemption Church, Mobile (and newly elected SBC president, see story here); and Marshal Ausberry Sr., pastor and outgoing SBC first vice president.
Nathan Akin, executive director of B21 moderated the lunch panel held in the midst of the first day of the SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville.
“If we’re not grounded in Scripture, we’re going to be tossed about,” Sanchez said.
“Our life and our doctrine need to go together.”
In responding to recent attacks on his character and beliefs, Akin said, “It’s unfortunate when people who should know better misrepresent you.”
This age is one of social media, “where everything is sound bites.”
Social media, which is in its infancy, does not have parents to police what is being released, he said.
“Those of us who follow Christ, we ought to be setting the pattern and providing the example for everyone else to follow,” Akin said. “We stand steadfast on the authority, the inerrancy, the sufficiency of the word of God, and we oppose with every fiber of our being any worldview, framework or ideology contrary to orthodox Christianity.
“We deplore and we despise and we reject any and all vestiges of racism and bigotry,” he added.
Commenting on the SBC business sessions, Mohler said “any vote that passes on a narrow margin really fails” because it indicates the messengers — and therefore the convention — aren’t resolved on the matter.
The only woman on the panel, Gaines shared about her belief in complementarianism.
“Obviously our God is a God of order, and He established the order in the home prior to the fall, so I firmly believe in male headship in the home and the church,” said Gaines, a lifelong Southern Baptist.
While Gaines herself has never felt threatened, disrespected, dishonored or physically unsafe, she stressed that “if there is one woman who has been disrespected or abused, that is one too many, and we need to correct it.”
Talking to one another is key, said Ausberry.
“None of our seminary presidents are liberal,” he said, encouraging people to read what seminary leaders write and talk to the men.