Written by Eric Fannin, pastor of Vansant Baptist Church, Vansant, Virginia
1. Southern Baptists Trust the Authority of the Bible
Southern Baptists have not always trusted the Bible. In the 1970s, a drawn-out battle for the authority of the Bible, known as the Conservative Resurgence, began. Those who questioned God’s Word withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Many denominations equivocate concerning the authority of Scripture. In contrast, Southern Baptists believe that “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) and “The law of the LORD is perfect” (Psalm 19:7).
2. Southern Baptists Are Gospel-Centered
Our faith is entirely dependent upon the life, death, resurrection, and return of King Jesus. Southern Baptists are becoming increasingly known for a Gospel-centeredness that penetrates deeper than evangelism. Our leaders teach that spiritual growth is moving further into the Gospel, not beyond it; that the Gospel is the central hub for every spoke of Christian doctrine and practice.
3. Southern Baptists Are Mission-Focused
God is a missionary God, who left His home to bring salvation to us (John 1:14). He calls His people to do likewise (Acts 1:8). Southern Baptists take this call seriously through the Cooperative Program (CP). The CP allows Southern Baptist churches to combine their resources to obey the Great Commission. Local churches give to their state convention which withholds a portion for state mission work and sends the rest to the SBC. The SBC divides those funds between its entities for Great Commission work. As a result, we have the largest international missionary sending agency (IMB) in the world, having 3,623 missionaries. The CP allows us to have more than 5,000 North American missionaries (NAMB).
4. Southern Baptists Support Six Solid Seminaries
We expect the highest standards for medical schools, which train physicians in the care of the body. However, issues of the soul are of greater importance and complexity. Schools that provide training for the care of souls must offer the surest and highest education. Our six seminaries are preeminent in this regard. They are committed to the Bible so that God has blessed them to be six of the largest, most influential seminaries in the nation. While many seminaries train pastors to be suspicious of Scripture, our seminaries stand firm on God’s Word. The seminaries include Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.
5. Southern Baptists Have Been Blessed with Many Godly Leaders
In several denominations, many local churches believe the Bible and seek to follow it while their denominational leaders deny the Bible and seek to undermine it. Contrary to that, leaders of the SBC faithfully take their stand on God’s Word and proclaim it without fear or ambiguity. In the 2016 SBC presidential election, Steve Gaines and J. D. Greear were nominated. When the election was too close to call, both men offered to withdraw and support the other. Such men set a godly example and provide strong biblical leadership.
Originally published as 7 Reasons at ericfannin.wordpress.com on October 24, 2017