Newly elected Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear recently delivered his first address to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, and had an interesting message: He wants Southern Baptists to stop bickering so much about theology.
According to Baptist News, he said: “Our disagreement on finer points of theology should not tear apart our unity in the Gospel … Calvinism is never an issue to me … I can assure you that what is not biblical is sitting around bickering about finer points of theology when people are lost and going to hell … I do not know all there is to know about the particulars of Calvinism, but what I do know is that the more I go and share Christ, the more people seem to keep getting elected.”
Greear implored leaders to use the Good News to bring people together, not drive them apart with theological arguments.
He also reiterated his commitment to addressing sexual abuse in the church, and announced the formation of a Sexual Abuse Advisory study to help leaders know how better to address these issues.
He said, “It is the Gospel that is the source of our renewal, and it is the Gospel that should be our defining characteristic as a people … Our churches really ought to be known as the safest places on the planet for the vulnerable. Isn’t that at least the heart, the most basic thing of our Gospel, when Jesus says come, ‘Unto Me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest?’ … If they don’t come to our churches, they will probably never learn to trust Jesus as their Savior.”