Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Committee Should Repent

Yesterday the Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Committee passed a motion establishing a "no partnership rule" with the Acts 29 Network (a church planting network established by Pastor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle). The motion reads as follows:

Effective Jan 1, The Acts 29 Network is an organization which the MBC Exec Bd. Staff will not be working with, supporting, or endorsing in any manner at anytime.

The motion was then amended with the following statement:

While recognizing the autonomous nature of all areas of MBC life beyond that of the Executive Board Staff, the MBC Executive Board directs the Church Planting Department and other ministry departments to not provide CP dollars toward those affiliated with the Acts 29 Network.

What does this mean? SBC church plants affiliated with the Acts 29 network in Missouri will not receive Cooperative Program dollars.

While there has yet to be an official documented public statement was to why this motion was passed, it would be logical to conclude that it comes as a result, at least in part, of the position of the Acts 29 Network and leadership (particularly Mark Driscoll) on alcohol (you can view their statement on alcohol here). The reason this is a logical assumption has to do with the recent history in the ongoing debate between the MBC and a church called The Journey, which leads a church-sponsored discussion called "Theology at the Bottleworks" at a local pub. The Journey Church is an Acts 29 Network church plant pastored by Darrin Patrick.

Why am I calling for the MBC Executive Committee to repent? The reason is that irregardless of your views of the social, casual consumption of alcohol in moderation for believers in the Lord Jesus (both libertarians and abstainers agree that drunkenness is a sin), the MBC Executive Committee has established boundaries for fellowship that exceed and violate the commands of Scripture. Romans 14 & 15 make it crystal clear that anyone who judges (condemns) another brother in these matters of Christian liberty has done so in violation of God's Word. No one has the right to declare unclean (in itself) what God has made clean in the Lrod Jesus (14:14).

There many compelling and biblical reasons to abstain from the consumption of alcohol within our culture. But the bottom line is that this is a matter of liberty and conscious between our God who judges and the individual believer. A person's view of alcohol should not be the litmus test for cooperation and unity in the gospel.

If you want to read more in response to this issue check out the following links:
Background on the issue
Tom Ascol
Scott Lamb


At 7:28 PM , Blogger scott said...

You can read my response to all of this on our website:

Scott Thomas, Director of Acts 29 Network

At 10:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they give the reason and Scripture for dropping them? I doubt it. They hold on to their tradition and will not even have a healthy debate/dialog over the issue.

May the LORD bless the Acts 29 network of churches even more. Where do we send the money?

At 4:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one option for sending $$$


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