Lots of folks scrambled to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center this morning to find out the vote on Rick Garner’s motion that was essentially a call to reaffirm the “suffiency” of the Baptist Faith and Message of 2007 as the Southern Baptist Convention’s statement of doctrinal beliefs.
Convention leaders announced that the motion was approved.
What does all this mean? Maybe nothing to people outside the denomination, but plenty to those who call themselves Southern Baptists.
Two Oklahoma pastors on opposite ends of the issue had much to say about it today. It turns out interpretation is everything, darrrlllliiiinnnngggg.
The Rev. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Enid, said it was the convention’s most significant vote in the last 10 years.
He said messengers reaffirmation of the BF&M, as they have nicknamed it, sends a clear message to convention entities and institutions that they must not make decisions based on doctrine not mentioned in the denomination’s doctrinal statement.
“In other words don’t restrict what is and isn’t Baptist beyond the BF&M,” Burleson said.
At the heart of the matter is glossolalia also called private prayer language or speaking in tongues. Burleson and many of his fellow trustees on the convention’s International Mission Board have disagreed on a policy — now “guideline” — barring people with a private prayer language from becoming missionaries.
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