July 06, 2005

An Unregenerate Denomination?

I opened up my RSS reader this morning and saw a headline that at first made me mad. Tim Challies wrote about "Southern Baptists - An Unregenerate Denomination" and I admit that I was ready to charge forth.

Then I read what he wrote, and realized that he was right.

Of course, Tim isn't the only one who has noticed this. Jim Elliff has written an article of the same name (which is where Tim started with his piece), and it's been noted by Southern Baptists that we're not doing our job when it comes to committed, regenerate church membership (I'm thinking of Thom Rainer's article in particular, which I've commented on before here.

There's a serious problem among our churches. We are so driven to baptise a million that I worry we're not making sure that the person is a proper candidate for baptism. We preach believers baptism, but do we do everything we can to make sure that the candidate for baptism is, in fact, a believer? There are unsaved people sitting in pews every Sunday morning who think they're going to heaven because they've been dunked, and we need to make sure it stops.

There are also people who are members of our churches who are dead weight -- until something important comes up at a business meeting. THEN they show up, and they ALWAYS have something to say about the way the church should be run. Of course, if they really cared, they'd BE THERE on Sundays and Wednesdays.

We need to purge our membership rolls of the dead weight. We need to make sure that new members aren't coming to simply fill a pew. And we need to make sure our members are, in fact, born again. How can we expect to reach the world for Christ when we can't even reach our own congregations?

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:16 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 There was a similar interview with Paige Patterson: http://www.founders.org/FJ42/article2.html Patterson: Regrettably I have to believe that anytime you stand up and face a congregation these days in the average church you're looking at 30-40% that have never been born again and are not genuinely saved. Dever: You mean in the evangelical church? Patterson: I'm talking about in Baptist churches where we supposedly emphasize nothing in the world but regeneration. Lord knows what it is in some others, but I think that's true of us and I think it's because we have been very careless. We've been more concerned about numbers to report to the denominational press than we have been about genuine conversion. So, yes, I'm very concerned about it. Matter of fact, I've got to where, going into churches, I preach hardly anything else but the new birth anymore from one of 18-20 passages that I work from, just because I'm so concerned about that. So, yes, I do share your concern about that. It can't be any other way for us to have as much of the world in the pew as we presently have.

Posted by: Chris at July 06, 2005 05:02 PM (Dsh1V)

2 Bust out the book of James, that will get some people thinking.

Posted by: David at July 07, 2005 03:33 AM (MF+SR)

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