Drifting is a dangerous thing. I have sensed times when my life was not on a clear course. I had not lost my salvation. I don’t believe that is possible. I would not say I was “backslidden” – however that word might be interpreted across Baptist circles. I just was not tied to a specific path at that moment, and I needed some time alone with God to tie the ropes of my life to His purpose.
Drifting is expected when we are not anchored to something secure. For the small boat or the large ship, it is essential that the ropes of the vessel are tied to a dock or secured to an anchor when not on open waters. Otherwise, in the absence of a running engine, the vessel is entirely subject to unpredictable currents or fluctuating winds. Damage or even disaster is inevitable.
The Holy Spirit used the writer of Hebrews to give us this caution about drifting: “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1, NASB). The letter of Hebrews underscores the supreme role of Jesus Christ in everything we believe and in all we do. The ultimate caution is to never drift from the supremacy of Jesus as the living word nor from scripture as the written word.
I like the way Hebrews returns to this analogy later in the book, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil” (Heb. 6:19, NASB). We need an anchor of the soul! This anchor is trustworthy. It will not lose its grip.
The only dependable anchor is a complete trust in Jesus for salvation and for every breath we take every minute of our time on earth. In Him we have a hope that will keep us tied to the authority of scripture. Without that mooring, the smallest current will send us into aimless drifting. With it, we are secure.
Southern Baptists know about drifting. We have seen times when our seminaries, mission boards and agencies have been adrift. Theological trends have led us down the road of liberalism, doubting even the most obvious truths of the Christian faith. While many of those concerns have been addressed, there is no vaccine for drifting. Its threat is still real.
Over the last decade North Carolina Baptists have taken specific steps to tie our ropes to the anchor of scripture. Both in theology and in methodology, we have tried to apply biblical principles to our vision and to the strategies we employ.
We will be wise to take note that an important ingredient in our efforts has been involvement.
Sitting on the sidelines never resolved any problems. Attending conventions, serving on committees and building relationships has been critical to repairing our drift and to the prevention of future mistakes. The involvement of every Baptist is important and needed. Your attendance at this week’s annual meeting is commendable.
If we are vigilant, we cannot be guilty of complaining about the drifting ship, and not taking action to secure the moorings. Our involvement in the process is essential!
This is an exciting time to be a N.C. Baptist and a Southern Baptist. We are people of the Book. The Bible is our authority. When we gather for conventions or meetings, we tie our ropes to the authority of scripture and move accordingly.
Bobby Blanton, the president of this year’s Pastor’s Conference, is wise to choose a theme which focuses on the authority of scripture. Even pastors need that constant reminder in a world where we are bombarded with secular relativism. I pray that every pastor will be refreshed in his commitment to biblical authority.
Please give your support to a North Carolina Baptist ministry that has not drifted from its moorings. The Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina has been faithful to its mission to children in our state for 126 years. They have taught God’s word to each child. This year at least 70 children in their care have trusted Jesus as their savior. Please stand with them by supporting the Thanksgiving offering for this great ministry.