You never know what you will encounter at the Southern Baptist Convention. As a convention of churches that gather for the sake of the gospel, we are so diverse that it is hard to pin down just what we are. We come from all kinds of ethnicities, sizes, regions, and even theological perspectives.
Truth be told one of our greatest strengths is that this collection of diverse churches gladly submits to God and each other for the sake of accomplishing God’s purpose, the gospel, together.
Our diversity often makes for unpredictable and interesting meetings.
Normally I expect a cranky pastor, an ongoing debate or moral issue to steal the spotlight from our common purpose, but even those things couldn’t top what I saw out the window after our first session.
As I looked out the window of the George R Brown center I saw with their rainbow colored signs, the Westboro Baptist Church. The sign I remember stated “Your Pastors are Whores”.
My sinful nature took over, I wanted to say or tweet something mean. About half way though writing a tweet it hit me, Jesus died for them just as much as He died for me. Instead of Hash-tagging my hatred for them, I decided to follow my savior. I prayed for them. I prayed that they might come to know the love of Jesus Christ.
When I got home from the convention, I noticed that WBC had replied to my tweet. Throughout the course of a few tweets, I was called a phony, told that God doesn’t listen to my prayers, and that my convention was full of hypocrites.
Here is the truth – they were right.
If my righteousness is based on me, I am a complete phony who can never live up to the standard God has called me to.
If the righteousness of our convention was based on our ability to follow God on our own consistently, we would all be found as hypocrites.
Truth be told, Westboro was correct in calling the pastors whores as all men are Gomer from the book of Hosea.
My righteousness and any pastor’s righteousness does not sit on what we do, but instead on what Christ did by dying on the cross and giving us eternal life. We are saved by grace through faith in the finished death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One day I will stand before God as a phony “whore” hypocrite. When God sees me, the good news is that he will see that all of the mess of my life is paid for on the cross. When God sees me what he will see is that I stand forgiven because I trusted in Jesus Christ.