Originally published at Western Recorder- www.westernrecorder.org
Elizabethtown—To reach the world, “we need one another,” Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood reminded Kentucky Baptists attending their annual meeting.
“Do we understand what hangs in the balance, Kentucky Baptists? Eternity hangs in the balance,” Chitwood told the crowd of 1,200 at Severns Valley Baptist Church.
“What does that have to do with you and me and our being here today?’ he asked. “It’s the very reason we gather here today.”
“We have been called to reach our world. Thank God we decided a long time ago we would do it together. From looking around this room, I believe we’re still in it together,” he said.
Chitwood’s convention sermon addressed what it means to stand together and the importance of it.
Drawing from 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13, Chitwood said that Kentucky Baptists are “doing good work in a hard place,” just like those whom Paul referenced in the Scripture.
“Where culture has rejected, they are committing themselves to Christ and His word. They are faithful while others are falling. They preserve while others panic and quit.
“Kentucky Baptists, God has given us men like that,” he stated.
Standing together means “standing fast for one another,” “celebrating one another” and “standing in the gap on behalf of one another,” he explained.
“If we will reach our world, we must adopt a different posture toward one another that we haven’t always had,” Chitwood said.
He urged, “Rather than standing and criticizing one another, the gospel would be better served if we would pray for one another. Rather than talking about one another, we should be thanking God for one another. Rather than looking for ways to divide we should be pledging our love for the brethren.”
However, that doesn’t mean Christians can’t disagree, he continued.
“It certainly doesn’t mean that we overlook apostasy,” he said. “The most loving thing that we can do is confront those that are cascading toward the cliff of doctrinal heresy.
“But when a brother is walking with the Lord, yearning to share the gospel, I’m going to thank God for him. That’s a brother I should love,” he said.
“If we need someone to criticize, let’s criticize those who cutting the heads off our brothers and sisters, not those who are a little more or less Calvinistic than we are,” he said. “If we need someone to rail against, let’s rail against the sodomizers, instead of those who have a little different understanding of how the sovereignty of God is on display in the effectual call.
“If we need a strawman to dress down in a sermon, let’s rip the scrubs from the abortionist,” he proclaimed.
Rather than “dressing down” a young preacher in jeans or an older preacher who still wears a suit and tie, “Let’s rip the hood from the racist, rather than mock the church with a band or the church with a Baby Grand,” Chitwood said.
“Better yet, let us tan the hide of that prowling, devouring lion himself,” he urged, “and let’s love, pray for, love and thank God for one another.
“Brothers, where we can, we must stand for one another and stand in the gap on behalf of one another. Now more than ever, we need one another.”