Seminary President warns Southern Baptist churches for their contemporary religiosity
by Michael McEwen
“Southern Baptists are an interesting and fascinating people. I think most people who know us would agree whether they are in the family or not! Like most of our Christian brothers and sisters we thrive on controversy and are very hesitant to run from a fight!,” commenced Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.
On Tuesday, Akin preached to those in the pews at Binkley Chapel, and from the opening words of his message, the attendees quickly knew that it was going to be sharp for his hearers.
Drawing his message from Mark 11:12-25, Akin reminded his hearers of Jesus’ admonition against those who fail to be fruitful in ministry work. “Fruitlessness now,” Akin said, “may result in fruitlessness forever. Lose your usefulness for Jesus and He may curse you and move on! After all, it is not He who needs us.”
He said, “As of this moment ‘the SBC remains a mostly middle-class, mostly white network of mostly declining churches in the southern United States of America.’ Those are the undeniable facts and that must change or we will die.” Akin noted that the serious problem is seen not only in southern states but pervasive in all Southern Baptist churches across America. Explicit and implicit in most churches, especially in the Southern Baptist realm, is the racial bigotry, Akin said.
Reading from verse seventeen from Mark’s Gospel, Akin said that Jesus cursed those who turned God’s Temple into a “den of robbers” and a “hive of spiritual thieves” for their own religious advancement.
Akin said, “All wickedness is an abomination to our Lord. But religious wickedness in His name, He finds it especially detestable. And He will deal with it. You can count on that!”
What Southern Baptists especially need, Akin urged, is a heart change. “We need an inward transformation that will result in an outward transformation that will result in our churches on earth looking more like the Church in heaven!”
Can you imagine, Akin inquired, if Southern Baptists heralded in word and deed a Savior who is for all Nations? What if Southern Baptists were exclaiming, “Come on in! All are welcomed! And none will be turned away!”
Concluding his assertive message, Akin inquired from those in chapel if they or Southern Baptists at large are barren fig trees. He said, “Will we pay any price necessary that all the nations might hear of King Jesus? Time only will tell.”
To watch video of Akin's message, click here
To read Akin's manuscript, click here