My primary emotional response to the 2008 Annual Meeting: its all about the missionaries.
The SBC is all about the missionaries. The jewel of the annual meeting is being able to hear the stories of the missionaries. Since the IMB report was not until Wednesday night, I missed it this year. But I remember it from last year. It was very inspiring. This year, I had the joy of attending a lunch hosted by NAMB because our church led the association in per capita giving to the Annie Armstrong offering. Dave, a campus missionary to Virginia, spoke about what God is doing through that work. Incredible is all I can say. These things reminded me of why I am a Southern Baptist. I am a Southern Baptist because, through the Cooperative Program, we are able to put missionaries all over the globe to fulfill the Great Commission. And it is an honor to be a part of the gospel bearing fruit all over the world.
That is why it is all about the missionaries, specifically, who can become a missionary. The SBC began over a dispute about whether or not a slave owner could be appointed as a missionary. Those Baptists who wanted it to be possible for a slave owner to be appointed to the mission field broke away from the Baptists of the North to form the SBC. Yes, there were other factors involved, but let’s not deny that this was the primary factor. It has always been about the missionaries.
Because of the way I interpret 1 Corinthians 14, the mission agency that I support with my tithes and offerings would not appoint me to the mission field.
Because of my understanding of what constitutes a valid baptism, the mission agency that I support with my tithes and offerings would not appoint me to the mission field.
What I am supposed to do with that? I could change my beliefs, but my convictions from Scripture will not allow it. I could stop funding the CP, but I want to support the missionaries on the field. What am I to do with this tension?