Why I am a Southern Baptist

Republished from TVSBA Newsletter: The Focus (November-December 2021)

MERIDIAN, ID- Some think being a part of the SBC is like selecting a political party of which to be a part. The thinking being, if they change course I will leave them.

While that may be fine for politics, for Kingdom purposes, we have a much higher standard.

This writer has never been under the misguided notion that Southern Baptists are perfect. And, boy we aren’t. I am Southern Baptist because of calling. Just as I have been called to the ministry, I am called to be a Southern Baptist. The basis of that call is the evangelistic and missions priorities of the SBC. These are in accord with the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. These priorities have not changed.

When Israel came to the edge of the promised land, they chose heresy and cowardice over the revealed will of God. Joshua, Caleb, etc. didn’t leave because of this chosen heresy. They went with them through four decades of wilderness journey preparing the new generations for entering the promised land with a new heart that God would give them the promised land as He had promised.

Years ago I was in Virginia when a young leader spoke with me about their idea of forming another Virginia State Convention. I spoke to him of Israel’s failure to take the promised land. He said that I had a strong allegory. I informed him it wasn’t an allegory, rather, a strong application.

My reasons for being a Southern Baptist have not changed. The priorities which are the basis of my call to be a Southern Baptist have not changed. Will I reject God’s call on my life and ministry be-cause of the errors of some vocal detractors of the main call? May it never be. With Ronnie Floyd resigning as President of the SBC Executive Committee, some will say he has left Southern Baptists. He has not. He left the Executive Committee.

Keep your eye on the goal. The evangelistic and missional priorities have not changed. Until they do, God has called me to be a Southern Baptist. My job now, again, is preparing new generations for a new promised land victory in faithful obedience. Be sure you don’t jump ship in rejection of God’s promised land call and command. Wilderness journeys are not fun. However, they are certain because many among us will bail out on the promised land assignment because of someone else’s heresy. Therefore, prepare your heart and ministry to prepare the coming generations for promised land victories.
And, keep living His call personally and corporately.

Jerry Martin
An old Southern Baptist by God’s call and my choice of obedience to His call. Jerry recently retired as our Sharing Christ Missionary for UISBC yet still coordinates our Prayer Network. You can contact him at: geezer.martin@gmail.com