To: Dr. Morris Chapman
President & CEO of the Exececutive Committee, SBC
BWA Study Committee
SBC Executive Committee
From: Lloyd Elder, member of FBC Nashville, TN
Member of the Church Leadership Commission, BWA
Former member/chair of BWA Evangelism/Educationn Committee
Let me join with a host of Baptist brothers and sisters around the world to appeal to you, the BWA Study Committee, and the SBC Executive Committee to rescind--if not at least to delay--its reported intention to withdraw the SBC from the Baptist World Alliance. My reasons are much the same as others have already communicated:
* Historically--Some of our very finest SBC leaders have provided strength and encouragement to the Baptist world family, and they have done so in behalf of the SBC churches and people who actually provide the funds. Is there some movement among SBC churches requesting such a withdrawal?
* Experientially--BWA member bodies with great diversity have forged a unity found in our Lord and His message of salvation. We have always focused on our unity, education, evangelism, human need and justice and have done so "for the sake of the gospel." Let us continue that biblical pattern under the Lordship of Christ.
* Personally--During my 35 years of association with the BWA, I have been blessed by a host of faithful believers, many of whom have suffered for the gospel; a thousand times more than an occasional misunderstanding or difference. We can discuss our differences as we affirm the Lordship of Christ.
* Confessionally--There is an outpouring of fellow-believers across the regions of the world appealing for patience, discussion, and restoration of unity. Given our century-old SBC/BWA relationship, I eagerly and prayerfully join this hopeful appeal.
Please, please, as servant leaders after the pattern of Christ, hear their plea and open your hearts to them. I believe the SBC gathered in June would applaud your wisdom and spirit. And I believe it would please our Lord during these days of such eternal human need.
Thank you in Christ,
copy to: Dr. Denton Lotz, BWA General Secretary
Dr. Billy Kim, BWA President
BWA Leadership Team
Dr. Elder is the retired President of the Sunday School Board of the SBC
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