Article XV: The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
Unifying Principles of Article XV
The Baptist Faith & Message calls Southern Baptists to responsible Christian living in their particular subcultures of society. We all agree that the “will of Christ” is to be supreme in our personal lives and that this should inevitably affect our society as the power of God’s regenerating work demonstrates the effectualness of the gospel.
According to this statement of faith, all Southern Baptists agree that some of the primary ways that the Christian should impact society are in the areas of: racism, greed, selfishness, vice, every form of sexual immorality, orphans, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, the sick, and abortion. The key phrase in regard to how each of the items on this list should be approached is “in the spirit of Christ.”
While I do believe that Southern Baptists agree on this point, there is a handful of people in our denomination that are not practicing what they believe but seem determined to split-hairs over some of these things. Even recently a pastor from Waco, GA, Peter Lumpkin, has been calling out Albert Mohler regarding Mohler’s past comments on homosexuality and homophobia. The culmination came when this pastor formally addressed Mohler at the 2011 SBC.
For the record, Mohler is right. The fact is, Southern Baptist have traditionally approached homosexuality in a homophobic way, much like they approached (and still do in many quarters) racism in a ethnophobic way. Both of these phobic sins hinder proclamation of the gospel to these segments of our culture. The comments made and the tactics used by some in our denomination appear to be only loosely attached to “the spirit of Christ,” yet Southern Baptists as a whole are unified in our understanding of The Christian and the Social Order.
In light of what has been said here, let us hear again the closing sentence of the BF &M with my emphases added: “In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.” May it be so by God’s grace.
For His Glory,