In 1981 the British punk band The Clash wrote what would be their only single to reach Number 1 on the charts. Should I stay or Should I Go? is about a strained relationship, and it reflects how some in the SBC are feeling toward the Convention. Is there a reason to stay? Is there a legit reason to leave? Here are some of the lyrics.
Darling you gotta let me know Should I stay or should I go?
One day is fine, next is black So if you want me off your back Well come on and let me know Should I Stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go now? Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble An' if I stay it will be double So come on and let me know
This indecision's bugging me If you don't want me, set me free Exactly who'm I'm supposed to be Don't you know which clothes even fit me? Come on and let me know Should I cool it or should I blow?
People have been asking me if Grace will always be a Southern Baptist Church. Even a few of our members have asked if there would ever be a time when we might pull out and work with another network of churches. In fact, at the TFTG Conference a church planter asked me, "Are you die-hard committed to the SBC?" I believe my immediate response was, "I am die-hard committed to Jesus." He said, "Of course..." and I responded with, "No, that is the point."
Some argue that we are married to the Convention and should never break away. Others have lost hope and already jumped ship to work with others. I believe that breaking ties with the SBC is a real option. I believe it has to be an option because churches follow the Shepherd, not a missions program. I do not have plans on leaving the Convention, though we are watching and working and waiting to see what the next few years will bring.
When would we leave the SBC? When the Convention gets in the way of our work; when the SBC is working against our goals, vision, and theology. When it is clear that the values of the Kingdom are not the values of those we are united with, then we will break fellowship. This may happen. Our Convention can be derailed as fundamentalism chokes the missional life out of our work, or even as people who want change distract us from the most critical issues by focusing on political tug of war.
Here the thing: I honestly believe reformation will come to the SBC. This week I will lay out how I think God will do this; or at least, how I think God can do it. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts as well.