The Joshua Convergence

To bring those who don't know up to speed, the Southern Baptist Convention has spawned many differing views as of late because of the apointment of a new leader who, for those who are conservative, tends to have some more liberal views. This lead to a small meeting of some "young leaders" who stood up and said something to the effect of: "We're young, we're in charge and we say Baptists should cool off a little."

Well this spawned a sort of reaction from those who were also young and believed the opposite things. They believed they needed a voice. They needed to stand and say "Ok, these guys don't speak for all of us. We like where the SBC is headed and we want it to continue to head that way." They called it The Joshua Convergence, and they held its inaugural meeting at my home church, Aloma Baptist Church in Winter Park, FL

Well, the first young leaders said "Whoa, wait a minute, why's there always gotta be a fight? Why you gotta put the war paint on and come after us??"

Well, I was at this conference yesterday as well as the small meeting this morning and I can say with absolute certainty that The Joshua Convergence is not a war-like, combative, forceful movement. But while it is not combative, it is reactionary. What they are doing is not fighting so much as standing. They are concerned that those who do not share their beliefs are speaking for them, and they want to be identified apart from these "other young leaders."

It was also made clear by most of the pastors that this is not a conglomeration of people with political agendas. While they are not afraid to take political stands, it is painfully obvious that their concerns reach farther than politics into the very heart of thier fundamental beliefs.

What I saw at this conference was number of pastors who believed that their interpretation of the Bible and their appreciation for those who came before them were under attack. It had nothing to do with power-hunger or war-mongering; it had everything to do with solid Christians standing up for the things in which they believe and giving their side a voice.

A very powerful statement was made by Rev. Anthony George, pastor of Aloma, at the conclusion of the meeting they had today. He said that there are those who would draw lines between "us" and "them" and that each side believes God to be on their side, but if anyone on these "sides" have a saving knowledge of Christ, then God is on each of their sides. Christ is an advocate for all the saved, liberal, conservative, or moderate. But neither side should ever believe that theirs is higher, more powerful, or more correct than the other.

Comments

  1. To my knowledge, I'm the only person who has used the war language. Obviously you pulled the "war paint" reference from my blog.

    Apparently, you're a new visitor to my blog. You would have known that I wasn't part of the "first young leaders" had you read my brief profile.

    I am not a Southern Baptist.

    I'm one of those folks exiled by your first "Battle for the Bible"...the CBF kind.

    Fool me once, but not twice.

    The Battle for the Bible must be renewed in every generation? The last Battle was a full-blown War. Based on your rhetoric, you expect folks to believe that you're not itching for a fight???

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  2. Steve,

    Good post. I'm glad I found your blog. Is there a list anywhere of who attended? I would like to know who are the like-minded conservatives.

    Thanks.

    Les

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  3. All the pastors who attended registered to attend, however I don't know where that list is. It is my understanding, though, that as the Joshua Convergence website matures it will eventually have profiles of at least the more prominant members

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  4. I believe that the patriarchal structures advocated by our current SBC leaders are in stark contrast to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. In Luke 22:25, Christ warns us against adopting the world's way of power for power's sake. In Genesis 1:26, God gave male and female authority over His creation, not over one another. In Ephesians 5:21, and I Peter 5:5, all believers are exhorted to be in submission one to another, in stark opposition to the male-authority, female-subordination taught by the present leaders. In addition, godly women such as Deborah in Judges 4 , Huldah, Phoebe, Priscilla, Junia the Apostle, and others show us that God is pleased to used women in "non-traditional" ways. As a veteran of several "spiritual warfares", I know the necessity of taking a stand; I am doing that now in my own life.

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  5. One more thing: Proof-texting to prove male dominance is an old practice. In order to make "head" to mean "leader" or "authority over" in Ephesians 5:23,as our SBC leaders do, we must lift it out of context. The word "head" does not mean "leader" or "authority over", but actually means "source" or "origin", and is a picture of what happened in Genesis 2:22. The word "submit", meaning to "make yourselves available" was actually inserted by English translators in Ephesians 5:22. The verse actually reads: "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God, wives to your own husbands as unto the Lord". When you read it that way, it becomes obvious that Paul is not enjoining a special submission upon wives, as is taught so much; he is addressing their attitudes. First-century wives had to submit to their husbands by law, but they didn't have to like it. Now, the Apostle is teaching them to have a Christ-like attitude when submitting. In fact, he also links the mutual submission of all believers to the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21). All are to "submit themselves to one another" with a Christ-like attitude. Patriarchs don't like that, but it says it anyway. For more on this, please visit Christians For Biblical Equality at cbeinternational.org. What of their position on speaking in tongues? Didn't the Apostle Paul say that he spoke with tongues in I Corinthians 14:15, & 18? We are to "forbid not" to speak with tongues, yet our current leaders seem to be doing just that.

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  6. Hm . . . interesting . . . wait, when did this post become about female leadership in the church??? I was simply reporting what was going on. Sure all the pastors happened to be men, but that's not my fault.

    I guess I should respond a little bit, though, because a couple of things you said just aren't true. Not what you said about the Bible - that's all spot on, but what you said about the SBC leaders. Every Southern Baptist preacher that I have ever heard preach on this topic has, indeed, liked the "submit yourselfs one to another" bit in Ephesians. In fact everything you said is in complete agreement with everything I've ever heard come out of any preacher's mouth with one slight exception: because of what is said in 1 Tim. 2:12-14 they do not allow women to teach men in the church. But that's it. Women can hold jobs, women can be bosses, women can be presidents, women can be judges, women can be governers, and on and on and on the list goes. But what any preacher I have ever heard has said is that because Paul didn't like it, they're not gonna like it. Just to be safe.

    And, oh, I could write a book on what Southern Baptists believe about tongues. In short, though . . . we don't believe it is what you believe it is (if I assume correctly in what you believe it to be) and we have both Biblical reference and personal experience to back it up.

    I guess while I'm at it I should address Big Daddy Weave's comment, too. And I've already privately emailed him my response and we've built a cordial repore, but I think at least this much should be known publically: The "battle" for the Bible is not a battle we fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and so on. Even then, it is not an offensive battle we wage, it's purely defensive. What we believe to be right is not going to thrown by the wayside just because someone disagrees. We believe what we believe for a reason and those reasons will be made known until we can be convinced of better reasons not to believe.

    Now, for the record, I don't agree with 100% of what Southern Baptists preach. I won't go into with what I dissagree, but sufice it to say that I will stand for and defend any man's belief so long as it's not blind faith and he's not forcing it down anyone's throat. These two criteria I believe were met by the Joshua Convergence and have been met by all of the Southern Baptist pastors that I have respected over the years. So, in short, my response to all criticism is this: if we're not shoving anything down YOUR throat, then don't shove anything down OURS.

    Love ya, Kathryn; love ya, Big Daddy. Weave, I know you're not shoving anything down my throat and I respect you for that. I love the both of you and look forward to the possibility of meeting you both in heaven where we can discuss these topics a little more knowledgably ;-)

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  7. I find that the SBC leadership has been reactionary since the fundamentalist takeover begun in 1979. Having been a Southern Baptist for 45 years and being a student of the Scriptures I find that the Bible tells Christians to be proactive not reactive. And that's part of the problem of the SBC leadership Not enough proactive leadership. Too much of my way or the highway without listening to God speak through others or the Scripture.

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  8. Now THIS I agree with! Thank you, Lary, for this comment, because it is the biggest reason I wanted to start a better Christian movie studio and website. Because there has been a horrible spirit of reactionism as opposed to proactivism sneaking around American Christianity ever since the 50's with the advent of Rock and Roll and the Rock and Roll Culture. I should do a blog on that some time. I already did an essay on it for college.

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