As the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting began this morning in Columbus, Ohio, SBC President Dr. Ronnie Floyd, who also serves as pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas, issued a clarion call for pastors, Southern Baptists and followers of Jesus Christ to lead in this day of growing chaos and confusion.
“Now is the time to lead,” he said, “and the time to stand.” Dr. Floyd began by citing Christian persecution around the world and noting that within our own country, social crises abound. Using data reflected in FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, Dr. Floyd emphasized that less than 50 percent of American children reach 18 in a home with both biological parents.
He reminded delegates of the evil of racism and abortion, noting that 57 million unborn children have lost their lives since 1973’s Roe decision, and warning that “when we devalue human life from the womb to the tomb, we deprive God of His glory.”
And of same-sex marriage, Dr. Floyd offered words of both grace and truth: “We love all people, even if they are struggling with same-sex attraction or adultery … We want to help them; we are all sinners and need His grace.”
Yet, he said, “I humbly declare this in love to all people, to the leaders of our nation, to the Supreme Court: We stand believing that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for a lifetime.”
Dr. Floyd asked the delegates if, like the church in ancient Philadelphia, American Evangelicals will keep Jesus’ word and not deny His name (Revelation 3:8).
That’s a good question for all of us as we consider how to live in a culture whose government is increasingly hostile to Christian faith. The challenge before us is simple: How will we answer?
Dr. Floyd rightly points out that only an awakening can turn America back to its roots — back to God. As other “religious” leaders and denominations increasingly yield to the prevailing winds of the culture, Dr. Floyd is challenging the nation’s largest Protestant denomination to tether themselves to the truth and then reach out to a lost and hurting world.
I am grateful for Dr. Floyd’s leadership and honored to partner with him, as we did last month when he spoke at FRC’s annual “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors conference in Washington, D.C., on reviving and awakening the American church.
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