“May God in His mercy lead us through these times; but above all, may He lead us to Himself.”
Let us love one another, because love is from God. 1 John 4:7
Instead of preparing your defense when you are expecting criticism, prepare your heart to hear it. Then wait a few days and you may not need to defend yourself or if you still think you need to, you can do so calmly.
Retired pastor Gary Fenton
I was 24 years old when Susie and I, only married a short while, went to … First Baptist Church in Hobart, Oklahoma, to be their pastor. It was at Hobart that I learned the pastorate is the people business and that life is about relationships.
GuideStone Financial Resources
Jesus knew when to get angry and He knew when to weep. Jesus knew when to fight and He knew when to engage. Jesus knew when to answer and when to ask a question. He mastered the art of living.
Author Jon Tyson
Jesus said, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” (Matt. 7:6).
There are a lot of Christians today casting their pearls of wisdom on social media. They then seem to act surprised when people trample it under their feet.
I would therefore encourage Christians to manage our expectations of the social media world. Think about it. It’s highly likely those pearls you put out there will get trampled upon, even if you hope it will spread salt and light.
I have heard reports of Christians … taking a break from it. Others are deciding to get off social media altogether. But if, as the polling data suggests, social media is here to stay, Christians will need to learn to be even wiser about what we say and what we do online.
After all, we don’t want our precious pearls like the gospel to be trampled on social media.
Brian Hobbs, editor
Oklahoma’s Baptist Message
The worst decisions are made when leaders are isolated and emotional.
Author and Pastor Dan Darling
‘Complex questions brought to bear’
I appreciate the statement of our Chairman Rolland Slade at the end of the meeting (see page 5) including his call to come together now to serve Southern Baptists. Now that the Executive Committee’s board of trustees have made their decision, the leadership and staff of the Executive Committee will provide support to Guidepost on implementing next steps to facilitate their investigation.
We thank all of the trustees for their diligence in addressing complex questions brought to bear by this process.
Ronnie Floyd, president/CEO
SBC Executive Committee
‘Some apologies are in order’
I want to express sorrow over the conduct we have displayed … over the course of this absolutely necessary deliberative process.
Too often, brothers and sisters have demonized one another for having reasonable disagreements as everyone sought to fulfill, not to defy, the will of the messengers. This included absolutely unnecessary personal attacks on our EC members, legal advisers (and) members of the Sex Abuse Task Force who are all honorable people whose careers attest to their professional expertise.
So it’s my assessment that what we have actually witnessed … was an Executive Committee board of trustees and executive leadership … who was trying really hard to do the right thing while navigating uncharted territory. This was not easy and it shouldn’t be, frankly.
I think there are some apologies that are in order. We’re thankful we serve a God of grace … and … we owe that (and the benefit of the doubt) to one another. … Now that our path has been set out before us, it’s … time to stop attacking the motives of one another and to move down this road together.
Most importantly, it’s time to know for sure where we have fallen short on the question of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist Convention so that we can correct any errors and move into the future as a convention that is the most safe for our most vulnerable members.
By Rolland Slade, chair
SBC Executive Committee
“I am continuing to pray for healing, unity and trust to be restored across our convention.”
Robyn Hari of Tennessee, recently resigned from role on the SBC Executive Committee
The real test for Southern Baptists is how well we implement the suggested reforms that may result from the investigation.
Co-author of motion related to investigation of the SBC Executive Committee’s handling of reports of sexual abuse
From the Twitterverse
“It is safe to tell the pure in heart that they shall see God, for only the pure in heart want to.” —C.S. Lewis
As I read through the Bible again this year I NEVER get tired of reading about the empty tomb! It fills me with joy, thrills me with anticipation and kills me that people do not believe that Jesus Christ is alive. He IS RISEN! He IS RISEN INDEED!
Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose. —Phil 2:12–13
Want to be blessed? Be a blessing. Call someone who is hurting & talk with them & pray for them. Little things like that mean a lot.
Worshipping Jesus is not just a weekend event … it’s a lifestyle!
In 2020 we all thought we were running a marathon. Just when we thought we were finished, someone handed us a bike and bathing suit. Then 2021 revealed that actually, it’s not just a triathlon, it’s an Ironman.
Requiring survivors of trauma to simultaneously be both victim and tutor … is cruel. It may be unintentionally so, but it is cruelty nonetheless. Explaining requires re-living, which is often re-traumatizing because of triggers, flashbacks, and honestly, the frustration and exhaustion ignorance can produce. Engage with those who have done the work and are offering to help you understand. Otherwise, the only things we should be asking of the broken are “Where does it hurt the most?” And, “How can I best help you heal?”
“Nine times out of ten, declension from God begins in the neglect of private prayer.” —Spurgeon