I have postponed blogging about this for some time now because of my extreme frustration with many “young leaders” in our Convention. As I read prominent blogs about the SBC I’m infuriated at the amount of arrogance displayed. Comments on popular blogs that discuss the dangers of presidential nominees ignoring the blogosphere and the pitfalls of SBC leaders declining interviews speak to the shear arrogance of many of my misguided colleagues.
There was a time when all we wanted was a voice. We desired for other pastors and leaders in the SBC to recognize that new and different methodologies don’t equal liberal theology. We wanted the President of the Pastor’s Conference to bring in new and different speakers to give us a broad and fresh perspective (which has now happened). We simply wanted validity: an understanding between different generations that, after all, we’re all on the same team…we just might have varying strategies.
Now, instead of validity, all I see everyone demanding is victory. I see a “win at any cost” mentality among many in my generation. I see no respect for the generation that has preceded ours. I see no love for the Convention, its professed convictions and its vital missions. Instead, I see self-proclaimed “young leaders” demanding attention and whining like toddlers. Honestly, the way that many are acting is virtual proof that our generation is part of the “entitlement culture.” Sadly, in our nation, as well as in our Convention, it is abundantly clear that the younger generation believes it should be handed everything and work for nothing. Truthfully, demanding a seat at the leadership table in the SBC perfectly opposes the words of Christ in Mark 9:35; “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” I don’t recall hearing this Scripture quoted at the last “young leader” meeting.
Now, I’m certain that my thoughts and comments will immediately have me relegated to the position of a young pastor who is in the back pocket of Convention leadership and doesn’t really understand “the cause.” Nothing could be further from the truth. But I am fearful that “the cause” may be damaged beyond repair if we seek to achieve our agenda by whining, complaining and being adversaries to those who have gone before us. There’s nothing the enemy likes more than to see conservatives fighting with one another over menial, non-eternal issues (by the way, the enemy is Satan, not the previous or current generation of SBC leaders – I think we might have forgotten that).
How about a little sanity? How about mutual respect? How about some “young leaders” who are willing to stand out and step up and announce that we respect where we’ve been, we love those who have gone before us and we desire to build upon that foundation to reach our world for Jesus Christ.