9/26/06

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.