Al Mohler urges young Baptists to save Convention
Jeff Robinson, Baptist Press
December 30, 2009

Al Mohler urges young Baptists to save Convention

Al Mohler urges young Baptists to save Convention
Jeff Robinson, Baptist Press
December 30, 2009

JACKSON, Tenn. — Do not leave the Southern Baptist

Convention, save it, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological

Seminary, told college students during chapel at Union University.

Mohler brought the closing address of the “Southern

Baptists, Evangelicals and the Future of Denominationalism Conference.”

He said the rise of secularism and the fall of cultural

Christianity in the deep South over the past two decades have conspired to make

the “20-something” generation crucial for defining the mission of the SBC in

the near future.

“You must be a part of forging a new identity for the

Southern Baptist Convention,” he said.

Speaking to a chapel audience that included his daughter

Katie, a student at Union, Mohler

said the heart of the denomination is a bigger issue than numbers: “the clarity

of our vision, the essential importance of our mission,” Mohler asserted.

Photo by Morris Abernathy

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivers an address entitled “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism” at the Southern Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Future of Denominationalism conference.

“It is going to be yours, and you are going to decide what

to do with it.”

The SBC is experiencing the death of cultural Christianity

because the faith no longer holds the spiritual franchise it once did in the

Bible Belt, Mohler said.

“Any denomination that bases its future on the confidence of

cultural Christianity deserves to die with that culture when it dies,” he said.

“It (a new identity) is not something we can create with a

new slogan, for new slogans will not save us.

“There is a need for a resurgence of Great Commission

passion, vision, commitment and energy in our denomination.”

He said “the cause of the gospel” called Southern Baptists

together in 1845 and “only the cause of the gospel will keep us together, only

the cause of the gospel is sufficient as a reason for us to be together.”

To refocus a denomination on the Great Commission will be

costly, Mohler said, because it will require asking questions that have not

been asked within the SBC for several generations and dealing with issues not

previously considered.

“The vision before us is not the perpetuation of the

Southern Baptist Convention, but the call of the nations to exult in the name of

the Lord Jesus Christ,” Mohler said.

“The great dynamic of the SBC cannot be to make certain that

our statistics are healthy and that our charts point ever upward; it has to be

that the glory of God would be evident in persons hearing the gospel and responding

to the gospel and the establishment of godly churches that are ruled by Christ

through His word and to show all that the church is called to show in terms of

the fruit of righteousness and the power of the gospel.”

“Do not give your life to the SBC because your grandmother

was a Southern Baptist,” Mohler told the students.

“Please do not invest your energies in the Southern Baptist

Convention because you want to save something as an important artifact of

American religion and southern culture and whatever else.

“Give yourself to the SBC because you see this really can be

a denomination that is transformed by a resurgence of Great Commission passion

to reach the world for the glory of God, a denomination ready to ask the hard

questions and to let goods and kindred go in order to do what God would have us

do in the generation ahead,” Mohler urged.

“I am not imploring you to leave the Southern Baptist

Convention; I am imploring you to save it.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Robinson is director of news and information

at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.)

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