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The Law Amendment

As we approach the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the key decisions that will be made is whether or not to affirm the “Law Amendment,” which affirms the conviction that only qualified men should serve as Pastors/Elders in the Churches of the SBC. The initial proposal was affirmed by over 80% of the messengers at last year’s meeting and must also be strongly supported in a second year to become an official amendment.

Each year, we hear a great deal about the need to focus on the “Mission” rather than these doctrinal disputes. The point is made repeatedly from the platform that the SBC exists as a means to do world evangelization; therefore, the parameters of our cooperation should be loose and vague (my words).

If the SBC were simply an Evangelistic Association like the one formed by Billy Graham (BGEA) I would be in complete agreement. I understand why Billy Graham worked with people from a variety of doctrinal camps and convictions in order to preach the Gospel to as many people as possible. I believe what he did was good and helpful.

The Southern Baptist Convention, however, is much more than an Evangelical Association. We are a powerful force for Doctrinal Education through our Seminaries and Colleges. We are a political influence through entities like the ERLC (though I am not fully convinced of the need for this institution in its current structure). We produce massive amounts of literature for Christian Education through Lifeway.

Since we are far more than an Evangelistic Institution, it is important that we go to any length necessary to clarify our convictions in a way that is absolutely unmistakable. Therefore, I strongly support the affirmation of the Law Amendment as proposed.

Zach Terry

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