It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor [oppressed] than to divide the spoil with the proud. Proverbs 16:19
A powerful response to neo-reform leaders in the US, who prefer to promote CJ Mahaney of Sovereign Grace ministries, than to fulfil their calling. Thank you Thad Norvell:
When shepherds refuse or fail to live humbly among the people – when leaders are consumed by agendas (however noble those agendas may be) other than caring for the community of God’s people “like a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (1 Thes. 2:7) – when pastors are inaccessible, unapproachable, or just too busy to listen to and know their people…these are not secondary ecclesial breakdowns. They are an abandonment of primary pastoral calling that signals a stunning disconnect from the evangelical ethos Jesus declared (Matt. 22, Jn. 13) and prayed into being (Jn. 17) and that John affirmed as central to Gospel identity (1 Jn. 3).
Our zeal and skill for expanding the doctrine of the Gospel simply cannot obscure or replace our humble submission to life in the crucible of the Gospel’s work — the community that the Gospel creates where the greatest become least and the last become first. (And if that does not mean that the vulnerable, the weak, and the exasperating folks in our churches get at least as much attention from us as our successful friends and heroes, I do not know what it means.)
The Church is not first and foremost an audience for our sermons and our books; it is the people of God among whom we are our real selves. If we live above or apart from that Church in any way, our doctrines and words about the Gospel become theory and conjecture, not a testimony to a truth we know by experience.
Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor, D.A. Carson, CJ Mahaney
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28
Update: The Southern Baptist Convention passed a non-binding amended resolution, which looks like a public rebuke against Mohler.
10:05 a.m. — Messengers passed an amended resolution “On Sexual Abuse of Children.” A first amendment asks that SBC leaders and employees practice the highest level of discernment in affiliating with groups or individuals that possess “questionable” policies and practices in protecting children against sexual abuse. A second amendment asks that churches report “any accusation” of child sexual abuse.