Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright met with a coalition of leaders from LGBT groups who wanted the Convention to apologize for what they described as the harm the SBC has caused by their teaching on homosexuality.
Wright, who is the pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., listened to them on Wednesday during the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., but stood firm on the Scripture.
A nine-person coalition, including representatives of Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Faith in America and Truth Wins Out, protested outside the convention hall and after requesting to deliver 10,000 signed petitions to Wright, he sat down at a roundtable with four of them. more >>
Southern Baptist messengers voted on seven resolutions at their annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., expressing support for undocumented immigrants, calling on President Obama to defend the federal marriage law, and agreeing to civil public discourse. Most were adopted without debate.
One resolution, titled “On Immigration and the Gospel,” raised a number of concerns among the messengers though.
It called upon Southern Baptist churches “to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status.” It also resolved to ask governing authorities “to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country.” more >>
Rejecting Rob Bell’s view on hell, Southern Baptists affirmed the historical biblical teaching on hell as an “eternal conscious punishment” in a resolution that was passed on the last day of the denomination’s annual meeting.
The resolution, entitled “Reality of Hell,” specifically mentions Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins. The book, released in March, criticizes the belief that a few Christians will spend eternity in heaven while everyone else is eternally punished in hell.
“Rob Bell, in his 2011 book, Love Wins, has called into question the church's historical teaching on the doctrine of eternal punishment of the unregenerate,” reads the resolution, which was introduced and passed Wednesday at the Southern Baptist Convention annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona. more >>
Bryant Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., was re-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention at its annual meeting Tuesday. He defeated California pastor Wiley Drake, who nominated himself, 95.39 percent to 4.26 percent.
Wright was nominated by David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala. Platt traveled with Wright to the Middle East recently and said he saw Wright care for pastors by praying for them and weeping with them.
“Amidst all of our talk about the Great Commission, this is a brother who is doing it,” Platt said. “He pastors a church full of people who are passionate about spreading the Gospel both locally and globally. This is not an ‘either or’ for them. This is a ‘both and.’ The people of Johnson Ferry are active in sharing Christ all across Atlanta, baptizing hundreds of new believers this last year, ministering to urgent spiritual and physical need all across their community. And then they are directly involved in ministries to more than 30 different countries around the world.” more >>
On the opening day of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, SBC president Bryant Wright addressed the convention, saying if there is one message God wants Southern Baptist individuals, churches and the convention itself to hear, it is that they have left their first love, as Jesus describes in Revelation 2.
Wright addressed on Tuesday five challenges Southern Baptists face on a daily basis that slowly pull believers away from Christ.
The first challenge he spoke about was materialism – which he says is the number one idol in SBC churches, pointing to studies that show evangelical Christians give less than 2.5 percent of their income to the Lord’s work. He said there’s a clear message in that fact. more >>
John Piper opened up about his eight-month leave from ministry last year as he spoke to hundreds of pastors Monday in Phoenix, Ariz.
He revealed a revelation he had during that period when he was re-examining his soul and his ministry efforts and refocusing on his marriage. And that is, the ultimate purpose of all things is to hallow God's name.
"What should be the all-defining, all-shaping, all-controlling desire of our hearts as pastors?" Piper posed at the Southern Baptist Convention's Pastors Conference. more >>