Letter from Revd. Samuel VERHAEGHE of the Union of Baptists in Belgium to the BWA
Ostend, 04 March 2004
Revd. Samuel VERHAEGHE
Cordial greetings from Ostend.
I hope you and you family are doing well.
Please find like follows my letter as a reaction on the S.B.C. matter.
I have red the whole file that was sent to me and I have to admit to you that I am really ashamed about the way some people, that pretend to be “Christians”, behave and can treat others.
If those current leaders of the S.B.C. really cares so much about Jesus and doing the right thing, why do they do not think about the bad witness and message that will be given on World level?
It is said that there is no sympathy for the S.B.C. and that people are pro C.B.F. There is a lot of sympathy for the S.B.C. but it is again the current S.B.C. leadership that gives another sound. It is not that people are pro C.B.F. or pro anybody else. It is a Baptist principle to apply freedom of conscience to others and to accept them into the family. This vote would have been taken for anybody else and going against Mr. WARDIN’s view, the Committee did an excellent job according all the rules of the B.W.A. that are accepted by all member Unions, Federations etc.
It is always a matter of blackmail from the same S.B.C. current leaders because in fact it does not have anything to make with Christ but a position of power, control and a ruling. If one kind of pressure does not work than we go over in false accusations.
We all agreed to be part of a World body, like the Baptist World Alliance and therefore we accept “de facto” the rules and has a basic, and in my case much more than only a basic, respect, for the leaders of the B.W.A. Therefore it is really unacceptable for me that the General Secretary of the B.W.A. was not allowed to even speak at the meeting in Nashville on February 17th. “The fine and well recommended study and representative committee of the S.B.C.”, could do their recommendations and the present leadership of the Baptist World Alliance was not even given the right to speak. From the most regular to the most complicated “Court Case” even the convicted has the right to speak.
It is also said that there is anti Americanism but everybody knows that this is not true. There is no anti anything in the B.W.A. There is a big sense of unity and love even in diversity but I have the strong feeling that this current S.B.C. leadership has a anti Western Europe behaviour because maybe they cannot do what they want to do and that is frustrating.
It is also told that they are the biggest giver in the B.W.A. and one of the current leaders even gave an illustration that if he was a Pastor and saw a decrease of money in his Church it would have been a warning for him. First of all I think that this people are forgetting that it does not go over their money but the Lords money. I have a lot of contacts in the States and I know that a lot of nice people are giving, not only the rich but also the very poor people. They give to the S.B.C. and now what they gave will not be used for the right purpose anymore. To be able to do all this, false accusations, things out of context are used etc. and top of the bill, Revd. Denton LOTZ who represents us all, 209 Countries, is not even given the basic right to give the other sound, which reflects the reality and real story. The second thing is that if we look at the giving of this current S.B.C. leadership by percentage and not only figures, we than would see that they are not the biggest giver. Little struggling members are giving much more in percentage.
The very arrogant point is to now look if the B.W.A. still can represent all Baptists. Is this decision only to be made by one group? What a shame to have such a behaviour and all of this in the name of the Lord. I repeat my stand that I have big doubts and I am really concerned about the fact of this full current leadership of the S.B.C. is still able to represent the S.B.C.
We know and work with a lot of people of the S.B.C. and do not see this kind of behaviour and attitude and are asking ourselves how it is possible that this current S.B.C. leadership is given the right to just go on and on to break good relationships and friendships.
Therefore I want to affirm that we have full confidence in the full leadership of the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist World Alliance is not only the best one to represent us all but also the only one if we want to send a message of unity into this world. We love them, support them, respect them and pray for them and we do not accept all this kind of low gossip and accusations about all our integer servants of the Lord.
Please be assured, dear Revd. Denton LOTZ, dear Staff of the B.W.A., in my true friendship, support, love and full consideration for all of you.
On behalf of the Union of Baptists in Belgium,
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