Morris Chapman's Response to Miles Wesner's Letter
My dear brother,
You begin your letter by questioning my motives, integrity, and honesty. Beyond that I see little or no discussion of substantive thought about the issue.
I am saddened by your bitterness, sarcasm, and caustic spirit. I pray the Lord will relieve you of your anxieties and flood your soul with a joy of the Lord that washes all the cynicism from your heart regardless that others may fail your expectations. The Lord will never fail any of us who Name Him the Name above every Name. Our only potential for genuine joy is in Him!
I'm sorry you felt compelled to write your letter, judging those whom you do not know and protesting conclusions without knowing the prayerful deliberations, experiences, and findings of the SBC/BWA Study Committee over the last five years we have been reviewing the SBC's membership in the BWA.
I'm puzzled that you don't want Southern Baptists to press their convictions upon others while at the same time chastizing us for recommending that we withdraw our membership in the BWA, a step that realeases the BWA from being put in the position of feeling pressed, which evidently accordding to Denton Lotz, the staff experienced. I am amazed that Denton Lotz can write a scathing news release about his perception that we were attempting to transform the BWA into a more conservative group and in the same breath, criticize us for relieving him of the anxiety of the SBC remaining a member. We did not insist the BWA play by our rules. We do insist the BWA play by its own rules, the Constitution, Bylaws, etc. I will not bore you with the details. The charge you and Dr. Lotz make seems superficial in light of the action we are recommending Why? Because we made a decision that will have the exact opposite affect on BWA. There will be relief for anyone who felt pressured, a charge that is overstated as well, but that's another issue.
We have great faith that other member bodies will step up to the plate, to use your analogy, and more than supplant the contributions we have been making to the BWA. No doubt, it won't be long until our bat and ball will appear to be quite worn compared to the new and exciting endeavors the BWA will be able to tackle in the coming years. If you sincerely want to study more about the recommendation, additional materials will be posted on the Internet at www.Baptist2Baptist.net under the category of "Baptist World Alliance" no later than February 1.
I pray the Lord will continue to bless you and keep you in His care in all you do for Jesus' and His Kingdom,
Morris H. Chapman
President & Chief Executive Officer
SBC Executive Committee
Online since April 7, 1999
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