Good morning church I hope that this letter nds you well after a blessed week of serving Him.
7) The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8) the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9) the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. – Psalm 19:7-9
It has been the heart of the elders to continue to succeed in maintaining open and honest dialogue with the body about discussions that take place within elders’ meetings, so on that note allow this report to ll you in with our most recent discussions.
On Tuesday September 8, discussions continued about our potential new affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. It was decided at this meeting that after the most recent discussion/questions that have been brought up over the last month, both by the body and some of the elders, that it would be in the bodies best interest to postpone (until further notice) the vote to move to this aliation.
The reason for this most recent decision was due to varying opinions and concerns surrounding three main topics.
The Baptist Faith and Message vs. our Statement of Faith
This question was raised, “If we are aliating with the SBC and replacing our Statement of Faith with the Baptist Faith & Message, are we completely comfortable with what their document does/doesn’t say about any particular topic?”.
The Gifts of Holy Spirit
The following questions were asked, “Are we ok with the SBC’s conservative stance on speaking in tongues?”, “What is the convention’s understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and do we as a church line up with them?”.
Discussion arose around the following questions, “What is the churches stance/understanding on 1 Timothy 2:12, and would it line up with the SBC?”, “What would the SBC say about a female teaching a coed Community Group?”.
It is evident, due the diverse views of the elder board on these topics (and other topics), that we need to commit the next few months of our time as elders to studying through these together, and we invite the body to do the same. Unity in the body is more important to us than our aliation and alway will be. After our Tuesday meeting the elders have decided to commit meeting biweekly to discuss areas of doctrine and theology before attempting to move forward unanimously and in unity.
What does that mean about our aliation to the ABC?
Due to the nature of not publicly associating with this denomination for the last 4/5 years because of their stance on certain social issues that the Bible clearly addresses. As an Elder board we would still unanimously recommend removing our ocial aliation with them. This recommendation wouldn’t change how we operate or run as a church in the slightest (nothing would change, not even our constitution). All we would need to do is write a letter to the ABC asking for them to remove our name as an ocial aliated American Baptist Church.
The elders would ask you to still attend a meeting on September 27, but this time, to ocially vote on this recommendation.
Church thank you for your input over the last month or so. It is our heart to move forward in unity as the Lord Himself leads His church.