Archive for March 12th, 2008

Mike Corley recently took on the SBC’s initiative to be better stewards of our environment.  Let me first say that I have a growing respect for Mike and his willingness to go where other ODMs are not.  However, this article and radio broadcast left me scratching my head with confusion.

On air, he reads the initiative and agrees with everything, including the scripture used to back up the movement.  There was not one thing that he said was unbiblical or even off base theologically. In fact, the only negative thing he could say about it was that they referred to those who follow Christ as “Christ followers.”  So all in all, you would think that there was little cause for concern.   But, he continues by saying that he has “great concerns as to why this environmental move has taken place in the SBC.”

He makes a strange connection between this initiative and what he calls “hyper-arminianism.”  He defines this as “the implied or distinct teaching and mindset that God cannot save someone without that person’s agreement or allowance. “  Mike never makes the argument for the connection between this move to go green and this theology, so I am not too sure how one’s view of election would affect a biblical argument for caring for the earth.

He then takes the opportunity to rag on Rick Warren and LifeWay, the SBC publishing company –once again, giving no connection to the green initiative.  It seems that his basic premise is that are were bigger issues for the SBC to handle.  But it looks like he just took advantage of the situation to promote his opinions on the denomination, Rick Warren and what he calls the “money-driven practices of LifeWay”

He closes his article with a very strange comment

“But why not spend time and money on clearly defining the Gospel and preaching that Gospel, rather than doing the popular “green thing”.  It may make good conversation over a pumpkin spice latte, but it’s not the Gospel.”

First off, the SBC is known for its evangelistic focus.  While I am sure that Corley would say that Southern Baptists mostly produce false converts, not too many denominations can touch them in the amount of money and energies spent on reaching the world for Christ.  Therefore, the amount of time and money spent on drafting up this initiative is a drop in the bucket compared to that given to preaching the gospel.  If they weren’t doing the latter, the argument might hold up.

Second, there are lots of issues that are “not the gospel’:  Church discipline, modesty, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, idol worship, and spiritual disciplines to name a few.  Does that mean these are reduced to simply good Starbucks conversation topics too?  No.  Being good stewards of the world that God has given us is no different.       

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Joe Martino here reporting from my underheated office on my lunch break. We recently played a little game of “Which emergent leader said this?” to smashing success. Now, I’d like to play a new game. Who said it? Here’s how the game works, I’m going to put a quote up and we’ll see if we can figure out who said it and what we think about it. Of course you can play at my blog too. :)

Sometime, though it’s a little more complicated. What if we are the ones who have done evil, and we see the just consequences of evildoing coming on us? In this situation God saves by judging…and then forgiving. So often the danger of evil we face is self-created, self0-inflicted, self-sabotaging–and we keep doing it because we are self-deluded and self-deceiving through denial. …

We often refer to this saving judgment as God “convicting” us of our sin and our need for repentence. Again, without it there is no true salvation. Forgiveness without conviction is not forgiveness; it is irresponsible toleration. It doesn’t lead to reconciliation it leads to chaos.

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