The Joshua Convergence

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

    Baptist_Pastor/Theologian
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    The purpose of The Joshua Convergence is to give a voice to younger leaders across the Southern Baptist Convention who are strongly committed to biblical inerrancy, who support the goals and leadership of the conservative resurgence, and who unashamedly embrace biblical standards of separation and morality, in order that the Southern Baptist Convention might continue to hold to the authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture in the future and that the nations might be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Principles of Affirmation

    Following are the "Principles of Affirmation" presented at the Joshua Convergence Inaugural Meeting, Aloma Baptist Church, Winter Park, Florida, September 25, 2006.
    1. Truth
    This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night… – Joshua 1:8
    We affirm the inerrancy of Scripture and the need for Southern Baptists to continue “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We maintain that any departure from the sufficiency of Scripture in preaching, evangelism, counseling, missions, ministry, or ecclesiology strikes against the very truth and authority of God’s Word. Pride and human sinfulness will draw believers away from biblical truth if they are not eternally watchful. The battle for the Bible must be renewed in every generation. We take our stand to continue in that battle. ​
    2. Gratitude
    As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. – Joshua 1:5
    We affirm our deep thankfulness for those who have taken our Convention back to its theological and spiritual moorings. Because of the prayers and personal sacrifice of these godly men and women, we are the beneficiaries of seminaries that champion God’s Word, evangelistic mission agencies, and a Convention committed to the Great Commission. We are deeply disheartened by anyone who would malign the motives of these godly leaders. Instead, we seek to continue in the direction they have established, joining them in service to the Lord Jesus Christ with the prayer that God’s hand of guidance would be with us. ​
    3. Service
    Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:14-15
    We affirm a God-given stewardship of service in our Convention in order to bring about His kingdom purposes. Our Lord has said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). We are aware that – as with any human organization – the mechanisms of the Southern Baptist Convention can be manipulated. We commit to refrain from such practices. Instead, we will serve through any avenue God provides, not with the expectation of being elevated or honored, but only to please Jesus Christ. We seek a spirit of humility wherever we might serve. ​
    4. Holiness
    And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” – Joshua 3:5
    We affirm personal purity and separation from worldliness. Convinced that a redeemed life produces the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-24), we abhor compromise of biblical holiness, modesty, and temperance in the name of Christian liberty (Romans 6:15). Though we do not endorse pharisaical legalism, we resist attempts to accommodate standards of holiness to vacillating cultural norms. To this end, we oppose the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Throughout its history, our Convention has stood against the evils of alcohol. The present generation can in good conscience do no other. Further, we are unequivocally opposed to the antinomian attitude in some Christian circles concerning unwholesome and immoral language, cynicism, and profanity. We feel strongly that the Bible condemns such actions. ​
    5. Unity
    Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them. – Joshua 18:1
    We are fully committed to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a summary of our common beliefs, and we desire full cooperation with all who share this commitment. Within our number are those with diverse positions on the doctrines of grace, aspects of eschatology, approaches to worship, and missions and evangelism strategy. While we cherish opportunities to discuss these differences, we reject all attitudes of mean-spiritedness, personal attacks, or intellectual and spiritual arrogance in these debates. Instead, we pledge to maintain a peaceable spirit and to work together in our common goal of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. ​
    6. Identity
    That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ – Joshua 4:6
    We are wholehearted in our dedication to Baptist ecclesiology as expressed in Scripture for our understanding of what constitutes a local church. We are Baptists by conviction not by tradition alone, believing the fundamental principles which constitute a Baptist church are the very ones which made up a New Testament church. Such essential tenets of a believer’s church, founded upon the sole authority and sufficiency of Scripture, include regenerate church membership, believer’s baptism by immersion, believer’s Lord’s Supper as a memorial, church discipline, local church autonomy, congregational polity, confessional fidelity, priesthood of believers, separation of church and state, religious liberty, and an unwavering passion to carry out the Great Commission. We should never be prideful in being Baptist, but we should always be thankful in being Baptist. ​
    7. Mission
    That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. – Joshua 4:24
    We affirm our desire for the nations to hear the gospel of Christ. Based on this conviction, we are committed to be personal soul-winners, to lead our churches and Convention in evangelism, and to support worldwide church planting. We commit to give sacrificially to missions and to encourage our churches continually to increase their missions giving. We are convinced that the Cooperative Program has been unusually blessed of God as a tool for training and sending God-called servants to proclaim Christ. Without hesitation, we desire for all Southern Baptists churches to grow in their giving to the Cooperative Program and encourage our state conventions to send higher percentages of Cooperative Program receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention.

    [If you would like to view the inaugural conference the link is http://www.alomachurch.org/joshua.wmv]
     
  2. James_Newman

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    What does this mean?
     
  3. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I believe the subsequent statement explicates the intended meaning...

     
  4. LeBuick

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    What was this meeting or group all about?
     
  5. rsr

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    My best guess is that this is a reaction to the revolt being led my Wade Burleson.
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Southern Baptists have defended Biblical truths for quite a while, a lot longer than 1971. We really do not a new set of rules or creeds to tell us how to worship and serve the Lord or to teach the Bible. BPT, if you want to criticize our denomination, why dont you join one that meets your pristine standards.
     
    #6 saturneptune, Sep 28, 2006
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  7. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I am not sure who you are directing these statements toward, but for the record let me say the Joshua Convergence seeks to affirm the SBC leadership and the direction of the SBC. It is not a protest group. The current group that has spawned protest and a revolt within the ranks of the SBC has been the group that originated the Memphis Declaration. The Joshua Convergence meet to reject the notion that the younger and up and coming leaders within the SBC were discontent with the direction and results of the conservative resurgence within the SBC. They meet to affirm the need to constantly wage a war against doctrinal and theological error than is prone to constantly creep into the workings of the church and therefore the SBC.
     
    #7 Baptist_Pastor/Theologian, Sep 28, 2006
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  8. rbell

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    great. another SBC fight. Well, we're due. It's been weeks.

    And they wonder why folks like me never, ever attend SBC conventions...
     
  9. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I cannot fault anyone who looks on conflict with disgust, for I am sure that God is disgusted over the fallen nature of our lives. Yet, I am glad that God did not avoid addressing the need of our fallen nature. Aren't you glad that Jesus did not look on us and say, 'they are not worth the effort.'
     
  10. rbell

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    Am I thankful of the work of Christ in my life? You better believe it.

    Do I think that Christ's redemption of us and a bunch of warring baptists should be compared? No way.

    "Younger leaders" will be the buzzword in baptist circles now...everyone wants them on "my side." Kind of like "working families" in political speak.

    I've got thousands of kids dying and going to hell in my area. Let the preachers fight. I'm busy.
     
  11. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    Brother, I am glad that you are busy about the work of evangelism. The heart of our group is evangelism. It is funny that you mention evangelism. Evangelism is the issue that was being neglected in the SBC prior to the conservative resurgence. The SBC exists to evangelize the world.

    I want you to think about something. Let's say that you on your best day reach one person a day for Christ. The SBC has over 5000 missionaries on the international mission fields and over 40000 churches in North America. The fact is that we can do far more together than we can apart.

    Yet, I disagree with you that there are no comparisons between the conflict within the SBC and the work of Christ. Christ died for the church. The SBC is composed those churches whom Christ died for. In order to maintain theological and doctrinal integrity, often it is necessary to take a stand. In this present age we are constantly under attack. There are those who desire to get away from the direction of the recent progress we have made within the SBC.

    You benefit from the work of those who have gone before you. If you are not willing to engage in the battle for the Bible, that is your choice. But please to not condescend those who legitimately feel that it is their calling to take a stand for doctrinal essentials. Through the turn around in the SBC seminaries your efforts today are being multiplied many hundred if not thousand times over. The SBC is now planting churches in places and with power that we have never seen before. Trying times require patience and I will continue to reach out to those who disagree with me, but I will not cease to press on toward that upward calling which has been extended to me through Christ Jesus.
     
  12. rbell

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    it's my opinion that the warring factions--the "memphis declaration" crowd and the "joshua convergence" crowd--are not fighting over essentials.

    If we fight over non-essentials, shouldn't we quit fighting?

    Just my opinion. And I'm not an "important" baptist anyway. I don't serve on any boards, committees, or panels. No one asks my opinions. I just serve my church and love my folks.

    I appreciate your passion BPT. I just don't share your view that this is a "battle for the Bible" or anything of that nature.

    I think it's a few folks in a power struggle, and others that believe them when they say it's for more than that.
     
  13. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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    I would love for you watch the conference and then have you tell me what you think.
     
  14. Baptist_Pastor/Theologian

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  15. rbell

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    I watched some of it (I don't have 2 hours to spare) and here's some thoughts after watching it and reading the explanations above...

    -doesn't the Baptist Faith and Message make our stand on scripture clear? Why do we need further declarations and convergences, whether Joshua or Memphis writes them? Exactly where are we failing to uphold Scripture that has necessitated these conferences?
    -I don't know anyone in SBC leadership who is sad the conservative resurgence took place. Do we actually have anyone in SBC leadership who doesn't believe in an innerant Bible? Who is it that exactly worries these folks? I speak as a conservative.
    -It seems that these folks are upset that some SBC leaders have been criticized (at about the 17 minute mark). Heck, I get criticized, but I don't gather a bunch of preachers together to draft a document critical of my detractors. (Of course, I'm an average ol' youth minister--there probably aren't seven pastors in the SBC that would come to my defense :tongue3: ). Besides that--some of the criticism that I have seen (i.e., electing SBC presidents that give more than a token percentage to the cooperative program) were valid.

    Watching what I did, and hearing some of the Memphis stuff, reinforced my initial view...there are a few folks on each "side" with valid points, some others who seem to be itching for a confrontation, and still others in the middle.

    I still think we're gonna end up fighting. We always seem to. But this time, IMO (unlike some other times in history) this fight is unnecessary and will be quite hurtful to baptists.

    I'll just keep up my conservative, unimposing, unimportant and unnoticed ways and be faithful to God's calling. This kind of stuff makes me thankful I'm a youth minister (strike one) in a church without mega status (strike two) and that I have no interest in running for office (strike three, I'm out!).

    BPT, none of this is meant against you personally. But I'm quite tired of Baptists fighting over non-issues while the world around us goes to hell in high gear. I'm firmly convinced that Joshua vs. Memphis will closely resemble a WWF bout...with a few differences:
    • The spandex will be replaced with dark suits.
    • Instead of folding chairs, study Bibles will be the weapon of choice.
    • Public insults will be traded, but instead of profanity, folks will just call each other "liberal."
    • Each "side" will pick their best brawler, and a steel cage match (SBC convention) will decide the "winner" (which, of course, is Satan in unnecessary fights).
    • Instead of an excited crowd urging them on, there will be a handful of spectators. Most everyone else (Baptists like me, and the world in general) will go about their business.
    I appreciate you're following your convictions. Please, my friend, make sure it's worth fighting over. I think not.
     
  16. rbell

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    at about the 20 minute mark, the pastor speaking, speaking of "honor" says,

    "When there is an absence of honor and gratitude, there will always be a presence of arrogance, pride, and vainglory."

    He then insinuates that arrogance, pride, and vainglory is rampant in the SBC. Why? Because there are people who have disagreed with some SBC leaders. (notice the clever redefinition--"lack of honor" now means "criticizing your "God-appointed authorities" (and exactly where in Baptist distinctives is that supposed to be?).

    So if I criticize an SBC leader, am I an agent of Satan? Are certain leaders above criticism, reproach, or wrongdoing?

    BTW, a caveat: I'm an ornery little cuss. There's plenty I disagree with these guys on, but there's plenty I disagree on with their sworn enemies, the Memphis bunch. I guess I'm pretty much a heathern. Just pointing out: My criticism is equal-opportunity. But it doesn't mean I'm one of Satan's henchmen.

    Umm...there's are words for that: Unbaptist. Unscriptural. Idolatry.

    No thanks. I'll just look to the one Author and Finisher Himself. And if a leader is off base, I'll say so. I guess that means I won't be serving on any SBC committees anytime soon.

    Darn.

    It sure is nice being a nobody!:tongue3: :thumbsup:
     
  17. saturneptune

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    Rbell,
    That was an excellent post, and I agree 100%. The conflict in this situation is a facade. Each local church preaches the Gospel, teaches the Bible, and evangelizes as they are lead by the Lord. Each church is autonomous. This is not a denominational issue.

    Some people just have to always create a problem when none exists. I feel we have enough problems without creating more. Why can't some people be content and amazed at what the Lord is already doing. Some people think something is always wrong because it does not meet their warped standards.

    Mindsets like this explain why we have hundreds of denomimations and sub branches today, when in the Gospels and book of Acts there was one church, one Lord, and one accord.
     
  18. Grasshopper

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    So what doctrinal and theological error does Wade Burleson hold to that this group wages war against?

    Actually, that is the Wade Burleson position. His position is why are we narrowing the parameters over non-essentials when it comes to who serves on the mission field. Isn't the BF&M enough?
     
  19. rsr

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    But many are. They are dismayed that the Resurgents have turned out to be as intransigent, entrenched and monopolistic of power as they claim the Old Guard was.

    The alternative — many have chosen it — is to distance themselves from the politics of the SBC and pay as little attention to the denomination as they can.
     
  20. rsr

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    I assume that's rhetorical question ...
     

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