“We Are Southern Baptists”
By Randy J. McPheron, Director of Missions of the Rockcastle Association of Kentucky Baptists
I tell people that I am a Baptist because of the Bible, and I am a Southern Baptist because of the Cooperative Program. In a day when there are few denominational loyalists I’d like to explain why I am a Southern Baptist, and as long as these things remain true I will not be anything else.
1. Southern Baptists are a people of Conviction
The SBC readily affirms the inerrancy of the Scripture. We are a people who believe the Bible. We affirm what the Bible teaches about morality. God is a moral God and He demands that we live morally pure lives. In a day where many religions and church attendees are abandoning morals I am grateful to be part of a denomination that upholds biblical morality. Southern Baptists defend traditional marriage, fight for the unborn, condemn gambling, social drinking and vices that entrap and destroy lives. Southern Baptists preach the Gospel, not a watered down half truth. We believe that righteousness is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ alone! It is by grace that we are saved! We believe that the power of God to save is the power of God to keep. I personally cannot be a member of a church that doesn’t preach and teach eternal security. Jesus taught eternal security and any church that doesn’t teach it is erring from Scripture. If it were possible to lose our salvation, all of us would. We believe that baptism is sacred but that it is not regenerational. We believe that a person must repent in order to be saved. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are made right with God. Someone asked, “If you moved to an area where there are no Southern Baptist Churches, what would you do?” I would start one!
2. Southern Baptists are a people of Cooperation
Rockcastle Baptist Association churches understand that “A Rockcastle Baptist is a Southern Baptist.” We operate under the biblical notion that New Testament churches work together to accomplish what none of us can do alone. New Testament churches shared mutual love and concern for one another, assisted one another, and prayed for each other. Through the Cooperative Program thousands of Baptist churches are able to accomplish greater things for God. We support nearly 10,000 missionaries worldwide through the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board. We support seminaries, colleges, hospitals, children’s homes not to mention thousands of ministries. I am excited about the mission work of our local Baptist Association. Through our twenty-one member churches we are organizing our own Disaster Relief Ministry. Rockcastle Baptist Association Disaster Relief Director Ed Tucker and myself plan to visit the churches to enlist volunteers for this missions ministry. Ed is a faithful member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. We are working with the Kentucky Baptist Convention to help our churches to become prepared and ready to respond in case disaster strikes. 2016 promises to be a year of even greater involvement in missions! We are enlisting volunteers for missions outreach in Nicaragua. Last year reported 800 professions of faith! To God be the glory! We are hosting the Kentucky Baptist Convention Evangelism Team for one of a handful of Life Tour events across the state. The event will be held on March 10 at FBC Mt. Vernon and will feature a free “power lunch” to the community. Chuck McAlister will share a brief gospel presentation and give opportunity for attendees to respond. Following lunch the KBC Evangelism Team will offer evangelism training to our churches and pastors. This will be one of the greatest opportunities afforded to our association this year. Please pray for a great harvest.
3. Southern Baptists are a people of Commitment
Southern Baptists are bound by a commitment to the Great Commission. Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28 are at the core of our heart and soul. We are compelled to tell the world about our Savior. Together we can do more, win more, go farther than we can by ourselves. As long as there is a Bible there will be a Southern Baptist. As long as there is an unreached people group there will be missions.
David Jeremiah recently shared this… “Many of us remember Neil Diamond singing the song, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ back in the eighties, but the saying originated in 1924. The story was told of an older boy carrying his little brother on his back as he trudged down the road. Someone driving by stopped and asked if they needed a ride. The older boy responded, ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.’ These homeless boys were trying to get to Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. As the story became known, the phrase was eventually adopted as the motto for Boys Town, which still assists children and families today.”
God expects us to care for one another and to bear one another’s burdens. Southern Baptist brothers and sisters must continue to be committed. We must be faithful to the Savior, committed to one another and to reaching the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ!
(This article was written for the February newsletter- The Vision, a publication of the Rockcastle Association of Kentucky Baptists)