This is the announcement I made to my church family back in in the Spring. A lot has changed in our convention since then because of COVID-19. However, I am still excited to be nominated and ready to serve the BSCNC.
If, in November, I am elected President of the BSCNC, here are five goals that will mark my term in office:
1. Continue steady-handed leadership – Steve Scoggins has led us so well. He has worked tirelessly to ensure our convention is strong. I want to continue this by being a leader who does
2. Be an advocate for our BSCNC staff and ministries – Our convention staff have weathered this COVID-19 storm with professionalism and care. They have continued to assist our churches in reaching people with the Gospel. I want to advocate for them as staff and for their ministries. They are our greatest asset as a convention of churches.
3. Provide a voice for small and medium sized churches, the backbone of our convention – often our large churches and celebrity pastors are called upon for their input while smaller churches are not. I will make sure that there are always voices in the decision making process from churches that are smaller and average. The faithfulness of people in those churches have built our convention.
4. Continue to emphasize diversity in the leadership of the convention – God has brought myriads of people to North Carolina and people from many different countries, languages, and backgrounds call themselves North Carolina Baptists. I want to make sure that our leadership, through my appointments, match that reality.
5. Promote church revitalization and church planting – Many of our churches need help and revitalization. The convention has tools to help in that process. We also need more churches to meet the ever-growing population of North Carolina. I will promote revitalization and planting as President.
If I can serve you in anyway, help you with a convention need, or answer a question, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Micheal Pardue will make a great president of the NC Baptist convention. I have relied on his wisdom for the last two years. He loves and understands the work we are doing here in NC, the SBC and around the world. He has the temperament to lead us with a steady hand. – Rev. Steve Scoggins, President, BSCNC
The Biblical Recorder is about to run a story that will cite a resolution that is being submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention that I was able to help craft along with others including Rev. Steve Scoggins and Rev. Bill Sturm. It relies on work done by others in previous resolutions along with our own contributions. This resolution was affirmed by the Resolutions and Memorials Committee of the Baptist State Convention of NC. It is our hope that the SBC will adopt this resolution next June.
Resolution on the Sufficiency of Scripture and the Insufficiency of Critical Race Theory
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message states, “[A]ll Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried” (Article I); and
WHEREAS, Humanity is primarily identified in Scripture as image bearers of God; and
WHEREAS, the sameness of humanity built upon the Image of God, justifies the value of all individuals in something that transcends race, gender, and other identity intersections; and
WHEREAS, The New Covenant further unites image bearers from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, through the gospel of Jesus Christ; and
WHEREAS, Scripture already contains principles by which to confront the sins of racism, sexism, injustice, and abuse that are not rooted in secular ideologies; and
WHEREAS, Christian community is not based on the secular ideologies of intersectionality or critical theory but instead on our common salvation in Christ; and
WHEREAS, we find our true identity in Christ; and
WHEREAS, Critical race theory and intersectionality are insufficient to diagnose and address the root causes of the social ills and sinful actions that they identify; and
WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is committed to the sufficiency of Scripture and is committed to seeking biblical literacy through biblical teaching; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention affirm Scripture as the first, last, and sufficient authority with regard to how the Church seeks to address social ills and sinful actions, and we reject any conduct, creeds, and religious opinions which contradict Scripture; and be it further
RESOLVED, That critical race theory and intersectionality do not aid in the propagation of the Gospel; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the gospel of Jesus Christ alone grants the power to change people and society because “he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we reject any ideology that establishes human identity in anything other than divine creation in the image of God and, for all redeemed humanity, our common identity, together eternally united to Christ; and be it further
RESOLVED, That while we reject the use of critical race theory and intersectionality, we do not deny that ethnic, gender, and cultural distinctions exist and are a gift from God. These gifts will give Him absolute glory when all humanity gathers around His throne in worship because of the redemption accomplished by our resurrected Lord; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention exhibits the promise that distinctions created by God and gifted by God give Him absolute glory in our churches.
An election is coming. Our country and many churches are divided. We’ve experienced a great crisis and a time of both national and person tribulation. Don’t lose sight of what is most important. Consider this from the 19th century English pastor Charles Spurgeon:
Do not pin your faith to anybody’s sleeve. Keep close to the Lord Jesus Christ. You are bought with a price—do not be the servants of men. Do not give yourselves up to party spirit. It is a pity when a man cares only for politics—when the one grand thing he lives for is to return a Liberal to Parliament, or to get in a Radical, or to lift a Tory to the top of the poll. To live for a political party is unworthy of a man who professes to be a Christian! The most advanced politics beneath the sun are nothing compared with living for the bleeding Savior and spending one’s self for the promotion of the immortal principles of the Cross. We are not to give ourselves up to any scientific speculation, educational effort, or to any philanthropic enterprise so as to divert our minds from the grand old cause of Jesus and our God!
-Charles H. Spurgeon, 1874
The last several weeks have brought about unimaginable change to the way of life for most people across the world. No other event in my lifetime, including 9/11, has changed the daily life and routine like the COVID-19 crisis. We have witnessed the rapid spread of the virus, a steep economic downturn, and unprecedented growth in the number of people unemployed.
On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). This legislation is the largest economic stimulus package in the history of the United States. This sweeping legislation has financial stimulus for businesses large and small, unemployment assistance changes, and direct payments to individuals and families.
We now have the opportunity to be good stewards of this occasion. This opportunity begs the question: Will you tithe your stimulus check to your local church? The reality is that just as every person has been affected by the crisis so has every church. The work of the Kingdom cannot stop because a crisis has come. In fact, the work of the Kingdom is more important than ever. During this crisis the community will need our churches to be a light in the darkness and hope in the midst of despair and fear.
If all North Carolina Baptists would tithe out of their stimulus checks, we would add millions of dollars to the Kingdom work of our churches at this vital time in ministry to our community. We would aid our associations in building partnerships in communities large and small across the state. If each one of us would tithe out of our stimulus funds, we would empower our state convention and the Southern Baptist convention to provide disaster relief to hard hit areas and resource missionaries who will proclaim the Gospel to people who have never heard. We will supply our educational institutions and social ministries with needed resources to both endure the crisis and continue their critical mission.
Our government is putting money in our hands to help cover life’s essentials. Each of us will spend this money in different ways for a variety of reasons. We must not forget, however, that as believers, the work of the Kingdom is essential in times of peace and times of crisis. We fund the work of the Kingdom because we know that everything we have belongs to the Lord.
Now is not the time to retreat from the work we have before us. God has brought us to this moment, and He remains sovereign over all. People are hurting and full of fear. They are uncertain about what will happen with their health, their wealth, and their employment. They do not know what to do and they have no where to turn for hope. May it be said of us, when the future books are written on the history of the church, that we were faithful in the midst of this crisis and stood boldly with the Gospel of Christ.
A year ago, I wrote much of the content of this article as an encouragement to NC Baptist to make nominations of leaders from across our state to the various boards and committees that lead in the work of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. The time has come to engage in this work again. As I have seen over this last year as 1st Vice President, the work of the convention does not stop. Our annual gathering is a momentary pause to celebrate all that God has done in and through our convention. When we adjourn, the work continues.
Therefore, I want to challenge each of you, especially young pastors and church leaders to consider serving as a part of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as we enter 2020. NC Baptists fulfill this process through the nomination process. According to the BSCNC website: Recommendations are sought each year for individuals to serve on the convention’s board of directors, boards of the convention’s agencies and institutions, and convention committees. Recommendations of North Carolina Baptists for places of service and leadership in denominational work are essential for ongoing missions, ministries and evangelistic endeavors.
There is important work being done every day through the ministries of the BSCNC. Churches are being planted, hearts are being transformed, lost people are hearing the Gospel of Christ. Our state convention is guided by those who give of their time to serve on boards and committees of our convention. We consistently need new leaders from all over North Carolina to serve in these positions and provide direction and insight from their churches to our state convention.
Joining the BSCNC Board of Directors was formative for me nine years ago. I did not understand the intricacies of our convention’s ministries. I had no idea how far reaching were the activities of the BSCNC. I had only been in ministry for a few years and witnessed the work of the convention from afar. However, my time on the Board of Directors provided valuable insight that has helped me as I lead my church. I see the work that is being done, from right here in my community to the ends of the earth.
The seventh pillar of the BSCNC’s Seven Pillars for Ministry is to Engage young church leaders. Our convention is committed to engaging younger leaders in the ministries going on around North Carolina and throughout the world. This is a commitment that I both appreciate and have benefited from. I am thankful that I have been able to be involved with convention for over a decade now, and it all started when someone took the time to nominate me to serve. Who will you nominate to serve with the BSCNC? Will you serve when asked? Let’s resolve in 2020 to commit ourselves to the work of the ministry, both in our local church, and wherever else the Lord leads us.
I am excited to announce that I will nominate Rev. J. Allen Murray to be Vice-President of the 2021 North Carolina Pastors’ Conference when NC Baptist gather in Greensboro next week for our annual convention. Allen is the pastor of Centerville Baptist Church in Kelly, NC and has served churches in Eastern and Western, NC. He and his wife, Hope, have two great children. He has studied at Fruitland Baptist Bible College and the College at Southeastern. Allen is passionate about our pastors here in North Carolina and will be a great asset to our Pastors’ Conference President in crafting a conference that will encourage and challenge pastors from across North Carolina in 2021.
As my wife and I were shopping at Walmart, I noticed the diversity in the people around me. People with many shades of melanin. People from all around the world. People with heritages different from my own. As I observed them, my heart sank thinking of the tragedy at the Walmart in El Paso just two days before. Another community retail center with people from many parts of the world. A store full of people, shopping and enjoying their day, terrorized by hate.
It is simple to blame an act of terror that claimed more than 20 lives in Texas on political ideologies, video game violence, firearm availability, healthcare access, or even the hatred inside the heart of the murderous terrorist that carried out this atrocity. The answer, spiritually speaking, runs much deeper.
These things happen because Hell hates Heaven. Hell hates that when I look around me and see people “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9), I think about Heaven. My heart rejoices knowing that God loves and redeems people from every skin tone and language group—Hell shutters at the prospect.
I find great comfort knowing that no matter what Hell unleashes on us—no matter what wickedness brings ugly terror—Heaven will look a lot like Walmart. No bigotry or hate or racism can change Heaven. Hell cannot prevail. Hell cannot overcome. The Gospel of Christ will transform the hearts of people from every tribe and language and people and nation. People from every race will comprise the Kingdom of Christ. Hate can rage and Hell can war, but they do so in desperation, not in victory. When Christ’s Kingdom is complete, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). This is the day I long for. This is the day I thought about as I strolled through Walmart.
A friend and I were recently having a discussion about church fads and the fact so many in established churches are often dissatisfied with their “experience.” We agreed that it all comes down to one question, “Is Jesus enough?” If He is, you will be content no matter the circumstances. If He is not enough, nothing you add to Him will ever satisfy. Is He enough or do you seek something more than Christ?