BALTIMORE – Cultural trends show that America is next in line to become a secular nation, said Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Molher in his Southern Baptist Convention 2014 report.
"America, it turns out, is not the exception to secularization, it's just behind Europe," stated Mohler in his report given on Wednesday.
Quoting national statistics from Pew Research Center, Mohler said 1 in 5 Americans now identify their religious denomination as unaffiliated. As the number of "nones" rises, Mohler said seminaries must be prepared to address to this culture.
Baptists can no longer address the issues of today with a simple shift in position. "We are living in a time of outright moral reversal," explained Mohler.
Southern Baptists leaders addressed several "moral reversals" during its 2014 conference. A panel of theological heavy weighs such as David Platt, Matthew Chandler and Thom Rainer advised pastors Tuesday how to address those struggling with same-sex attraction in their churches.
The 2014 SBC Committee on Resolutions also passed a resolution addressing transgender identity. The document affirms "God's good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one's self-perception," and opposes gender reassignment therapy and cross-sex hormone therapy.
Mohler recognized that it is an "enormous challenge" for pastors to address such hot-button issues but assured them saying, "The Lord is raising up a generation ready to open their mouths." This new, younger generation of Christians is flocking to seminaries because it wants to address those cultural dilemmas. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he said, is prepared to train this new generation of pastors and church leaders. It is also ready to equip churches who have plateaued and are in decline.
The 2014 Southern Baptist Convention was held in Baltimore Tuesday and Wednesday. The annual meeting's theme was "Restoration and Revival through Prayer."