I was sitting on my front porch talking to my daughter, trying to explain what is going on in the simplest of terms with my blog, my writing, and the SBC.
In front of us was a small pile of large chunks of gravel, (ones my granddaughters had played with and carried over from the side of our house), where our driveway consists of bushels of gravel chunks, and even tiny stones squished down in between and surrounding them. I pointed to the small pile of gravel chunks in the front of our porch and told my daughter that it represented a small portion of folks within the SBC of, perhaps 10 to 15 percent. I told her the ones on the side of the house in the driveway represented the other 85 to 90 percent in the SBC. I told her that if we combined that smaller group of gravel-chunks with all the ones on the side of the house, it would represent the entire SBC. Then I picked up about 4 stones and separated them from all the other gravel chunks and told her that those represented a very tiny percentage of the 10 to 15 percent that is seeping into the whole and working its way into the convention to try and bring the entire 10 to 15% with them. I explained how it seems to be pitting us all against one another. It's not the 10 to 15% that is a problem. It it is not even 10 to 20 percent of the 85 to 90 percent. It is the tiny percentage of the 10 to 15 percent. These folks are pitting teens and college students against parents and grandparents. It's pitting churches against churches. And leaders against leaders.
I find myself in the midst of a strange and growing bunch of gravel, in a pit of grave concern. I do not know where I belong anymore. I was perfectly comfortable sitting in my spot on the driveway of life--snuggled amongst all the other chunks of gravel. I was happily providing a space for all the cars to drive over and find their way to the King. I sat side by side all the other chunks of gravel. Together we paved a narrow road upon which many folks have journeyed to the kingdom of God.
In thirty-plus years I've never had any major problems holding my portion of the ground for my Lord in the SBC. Now...I find myself being pushed and shoved from all directions. I'd always seen myself as fairly informed. I felt substantially conformed to Biblical principles set forth by Christ, interpreted by Peter, James, John and Paul. I've been encouraged by Matthew Mark and Luke. I reveled in the history of the New Testament church and the origins from which it all began in Genesis. I lived in the wilderness for a portion of time but one day found myself walking across a parted Red Sea of blood-washed Believers. I followed the miracle of its parting and joined in the Exodus of God's people. I studied and learned under prophets, judges, and kings. I settled into a promised land and grew where I was planted, whenever I was planted. Lately, though, I feel as though I've been jerked out of the ground, along with the flowers of grass growing between me and others in the driveway. I feel like the roots that cling to my little stone, are dangling in the air. Exposed to elements unknown.
I don't know if I can figure out a better way of saying this without having my head handed over to the pope in Louisville and the cardinal in Nashville, but this is all I can comprehend from all that is going on in the SBC. How does one please someone who does not recognize that you have been transformed?
It saddens me. It breaks my heart. And I know I will be sitting in heaven long before the gravel road I've been supporting is paved over and conformed to a new road. I know those who would move the earth to make way for more refined roads with less bumps, have their own thoughts on how to build roads to the Kingdom. I understand the need to build bridges, and in some ways go through reconstruction. But in the meantime, I find myself still conformed, not unto the world, but to the Word of God, and transformed by the Son of God who brought me down His road and placed me in the spot He's given me to hold. So I do, as best I know how.
And I hear the words of Paul saying: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
I realize I do not "battle against flesh and blood". I realize that divisions are created from the bowels of hell, and men are all but pawns at times. Pride and power and the quest for position wreaks havoc among the brethren when man whets his tastebuds on the sweet dainties and appetizers of the day. Everyone builds their own towers, I'm afraid. God has given me a tiny, tiny, little stone which rests in a speck of His universe and I know that my place demands I bow down, dig in and burrow myself into the space He has given me to occupy. I've felt the flood waters rain down upon me and have found myself nudged out of the ground at times. But God has told me, that "If my people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."...and their convention. Do you hear what I hear? selahV