We sleep now, but not in heavenly peace. Happily, some are making wake-up calls. On Tuesday, June 17, the Rev. Jack Graham, president of the Southern Baptist Convention -- and pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas -- told the SBC annual meeting that we live in "dangerous times, deadly times" with terrorism and technological advances such as cloning threatening humanity. Graham argued that evangelicals should respond to opponents not by "retreating into some Christian subculture," but should instead "penetrate the darkness of our culture" with the teachings of Christ. He vowed, "We will not retreat or run from the battle."
Some pastors have retreated or run from confronting homosexuality and heterosexual adultery: They have either overlooked the sin or treated the sinners as subhuman. But in recent years the Southern Baptist Convention -- the largest Protestant denomination in the country, reporting 16 million members -- has emphasized programs to rescue marriage. This week, it introduced an initiative to rescue homosexuals who realize their lifestyle is destructive and desire to change.
Unless some preacher says something nasty about Muslims, the SBC meeting won't get much coverage, but such programs are important. They show a willingness not to pretend that all is well, but to help those willing to come to grips with problems or differences. David Robinson's cries of joy should not be censored, and international or personal cries for help should not be obscured by summer haze.
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