“We are on the battle ground, not a playground…the alarm clock is going off our in nation,” declared SBC President Ronnie Floyd in his message to the Convention this morning. “Now is not the time to push the snooze button. Now is the time to lead.”
Floyd left no room for confusion, making it clear where Southern Baptists stand on today’s major cultural issues. “Southern Baptists, we stand believing the Bible is God’s infallible, inerrant, authoritative and final word in all things. That’s who we are and that’s what we believe.”
He recited a litany of current issues the world faces—persecution of Christians by the terrorist groups ISIS and Boko Haram and some governments; the imprisonment of American pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran; same-sex marriage; broken marriages and homes; racism; and abortion.
“Now is the time to lead,” Floyd repeatedly told Baptists meeting in Columbus.
He immediately addressed the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, warning it “could be a watershed moment in our nation’s history…This decision could add more fire to the already out-of-control sexual revolution.”
“America, we stand believing marriage is between one man and one woman in covenant for a lifetime!” Floyd declared. “We stand for biblical and traditional marriage. We do not need to redefine what God has defined.”
He told pastors, “This a Bonhoeffer moment for every pastor in the United States…we will not bow down nor will we be silent. We will hold up and lift up God’s authoritative truth on marriage. While we affirm our love for all people, we cannot deviate from God’s Word.”
Then he addressed Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court of the United States of America is not the final authority, but the Bible is the final authority and God’s Word and on this book we stand.
Quoting the late pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Floyd stated, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
He also decried the current racial tensions in the United States. “I call on all leaders and Christians today to decry all racism and prejudice denouncing as sin against God and sin against one another.”
Floyd also called on Southern Baptist churches to wake up, quit their infighting, and come together. “The Bible tells us in Revelation 3:7-8 that Jesus opens doors that no one is able to close. The church at Philadelphia was small and marked by obedience to Jesus Christ. It is not about the size of the church or your town, it is about your leadership to the commands of Jesus Christ.
Urging churches to rise up for the Lord, he said, “We can do what God has called us to do even in the face of spiritual warfare and cultural opposition. Now is the time for churches to lead and stand…We need a Jesus revolution in the United States! It is time for us to gather as Southern Baptists to lead the next great awakening.”
The time is now, Floyd said. “I really believe if the 59 presidents that came before me could speak to us about the times we are living right now they would agree now is our most defining hour as Southern Baptists….fixed by a sovereign God as a moment of destiny.”