As is typical, I have somewhat neglected this blog in the past month or so. I do not wish to do that and I do not have a great excuse. I have been a bit busy writing about the World Cup on the sports blog I co-operate. I do have several things lined up that I want to talk about on this blog. I finished a couple of books that I think are important for me to review and, in one case, argue with on here. I listened to a great Reasonable Faith podcast about morality in naturalistic worldviews that I would like to respond to.
But the first thing I want to talk about is something that is near to my heart and fills me with hope. J.D. Greear was elected the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
I have been a Southern Baptist pretty much my entire life. I currently am a member of a Southern Baptist church, but my church does not have the traditional Southern Baptist culture. I grew up in a church that was the physical embodiment of Southern Baptist culture, so that is what I thought Southern Baptist meant. For a few years after moving away I did not attend Southern Baptist churches, I stuck to non-denominational churches. I found my current church and loved it. I did not know that it was technically a Southern Baptist church until I had been attending for about a year. The culture is not what I expected and not what I’m used to associating with Southern Baptist churches.
J.D. Greear, I think, is going to help the Southern Baptist convention with it’s image issues. Most people think of Southern Baptist churches like I used to: they are for older, white people who sing dated hymns (not even the good ones) and drone on about how you will burn in eternal fire. Hopefully, Greear will start working against that image. It seems like Southern Baptists are more of a cultural experience than a Theological belief system. I hope Greear can change that.
I do not have a large familiarity with Greear. I think his church planted my current church. I am pretty sure my current teaching pastor worked at JD’s church before planting ours. I could be wrong about that, but I’m about 90% confident in it. I spoke with a friend of mine, the administrator of my high school, who said that J.D. Greear is very intelligent and very Godly. I am committed to reading some of Greear’s books to have a better understanding of some of his beliefs.
I read his interview with The Gospel Coalition and I was very impressed. He did not shy away from the major issues that are threatening the church: racial reconciliation and the #metoo movement. These are big deals. These are long-standing, long-hurting sins the church has been readily supporting and involved with. It is unbelievably important that we as a church stand up against all sin and injustice, but especially against the sin within our own body. J.D. seems to be a leader dedicated to fighting injustice where he sees it.
Please join me in praying for J.D. Greear. Even if you aren’t Southern Baptist, he is the new president of the largest Protestant body of believers. It is important that he leads well and walks with God. In the same way, I should pray for the leaders of Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc. traditions.
I am very hopeful with this appointment and I’m excited to see what comes of it.