Bill Curtis is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Florence, SC and serves as chairman of the trustees for the North American Mission Board. The current Baptist Courier has “An open letter to Southern Baptists” from Curtis, reacting to the article that appeared recently in the Georgia Baptist Christian Index. In his letter, he calls for Southern Baptists to “respect the worship styles of churches that affirm the 2000 [Baptist Faith and Message]” and to “respect the theology of those who affirm the 2000 [Baptist Faith and Message].”
Regarding the latter, Curtis says that “some within our convention cannot be content unless they are waging a theological battle on some front.” Then he makes this astute observation:
Today, one of the most popular targets is evangelistic Calvinism. Despite the fact that the 2000 BF&M accommodates evangelistic Calvinism, there are some who are trying to identify it as heresy. Regardless of these claims, made by Bill Harrell and others, evangelistic Calvinism does not fall into this category.
Finally. Thank you, Pastor Curtis, for clarifying this point in such an open and unequivocal way. Your words are a breath of fresh air to many in our convention.
Two other calls that Curtis makes in his letter are to “reject the divisive rhetoric in our convention” and to “refocus on the biggest problem facing Southern Baptists” which is the need to get the Gospel to the growing number of unconverted people all around us.
This is the kind of spirit and thoughtfulness that will promote genuine fellowship and cooperation among churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. May Bill Curtis’ words pave the way forward.