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Sheathe your Swords!

I attended my first Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois when I was 8 years old. Needless to say, I have attended my share of conventions and enough for the share of some others.  I enjoyed every one, partly because it was a place and a time to see friends, former students, past colleagues, etc., but also because it was always the best show in town (well, with exception of when it met in the city of a major league baseball team when they were playing home games). There seemed to always be a conflict, a disagreement, a debate on the floor, motions amended, and on and on.  Because my pastor-father knew the insides of most of these, I learned from him.  I’ll never forget the year someone made a motion that we pray for rain.  There was a  second and a unanimous vote in favor of praying.  My Dad turned to me and said, “First unanimous vote I’ve seen in years.”  This past week, we had another disagreement.  This time is was over an amendment that would withdraw fellowship from churches who had women on their ministerial staff who carried the title of “pastor” – such as Children’s Pastor, Student Pastor, Women’s Pastor, Senior Pastor, etc. The vote was 61.45% for and 38.38 against.  Because the amendment needed a 2/3 majority to pass, it failed, and social media was flooded with the bad attitudes of the losers.  Now that the vote is over, I would just like to encourage messengers on both sides of the vote to re-read the words of Jesus in Matthew 52:26, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Sheathe your swords, my friends, sheathe your swords.

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