Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, has issued a clear, humble plea for civility in the way we publicly address issues within the Christian family. He reveals his own heart and holds out a vision to which all who love Christ should aspire when he writes,
My passionate desire is to be a bridge builder in the Southern Baptist Convention. Not to compromise biblically. Not to be soft in my theology. I desire true collaboration with those of uncompromising biblical certitude to reach a lost world with the gospel of our Savior. My prayer is that the conservative resurgence will now grow into a Great Commission resurgence.
I love that spirit! It is not born of weakness or of any desire to avoid dealing with substantive issues (as he states elsewhere in the article). Rather, it grows out of the recognition that the God who instructs us to buy the truth and never sell it (Proverbs 23:23) also tells us to love one another earnestly from a pure heart and to do nothing from rivalry or conceit (1 Peter 1:22), but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 1:3).
It is impossible to commend our Savior with any authenticity when our words and actions so obviously contradict His spirit and teachings.
Dr. Rainer has issued an appropriate call. Let’s work hard to heed it.