First Thoughts

Sexual Abuse and The Future of The Southern Baptist Convention

| Heath Lambert |
The exposure of the sin of sexual abuse in our churches created the greatest crisis in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Here are four facts about where our convention truly stands as we head into New Orleans. 1. Southern Baptists Want Sexual Abuse Reform The exposure of sexual abuse jolted the SBC to the core. One case of sexual abuse would have been overwhelmingly too many. Hundreds of victims are as horrifying as they are heartbreaking. This terrible problem, however, i…

The Baptist Faith and Message and The Future of The Southern Baptist Convention

| Heath Lambert |
Conviction has always been the foundation of our convention. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has declared those convictions in The Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), which we worked so hard to create and take so seriously. It’s been a long time since Southern Baptists have had a debate about the BFM, but we’re having a big one now. When this debate is over, we will either be a stronger convention or a weaker one. I’m encouraged that the SBC is going to get in the right spot on this issue,…

Women Pastors and The Future of The Southern Baptist Convention

| Heath Lambert |
One of the kindest gifts of God to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has been the leadership we have enjoyed from some of the finest preachers in America. Those leaders have never been perfect but have always been characterized by faithfulness to the Word of God. These days Southern Baptists are witnessing a display of faithlessness from one of our most influential leaders, America’s pastor, Rick Warren. In recent years Pastor Rick has led his church in calling women to the pastoral offic…

Disagreeing and The Future of The Southern Baptist Convention

| Heath Lambert |
In the weeks ahead, I’m going to engage the big problems everyone is discussing in advance of New Orleans. Before that, I want to engage a problem at the root of these difficulties that many are missing. The Nature of Disagreements The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is disagreeing on a lot right now. It is not the end of the world to disagree, especially when those disagreements are important. Most disagreements become a problem, however, when you mistreat each other in the disagreement. S…

The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

| Heath Lambert |
A Southern Baptist Meltdown Right now, Southern Baptists are in the midst of a veritable smorgasbord of near chaos. Whether the issue is the rejection by the executive committee of the search team’s candidate to lead that entity, the highly unusual development that our incumbent president will face an opponent for reelection, the opposition of an influential pastor to The Baptist Faith and Message (BFM), or our lack of clarity on how to proceed on sexual abuse, the convention is facing all ma…

An Important Update on Health and Ministry

| Heath Lambert |
Dear First Baptist Family, I am writing to give you an important update on my health and ministry. I’ll start with my health. After surgery number five, there are a lot of reasons to be encouraged. I have not experienced any nerve pain since awakening from surgery, and my spasms have improved every day. These are the best signs available that the surgery was successful. It will take time to determine whether new scar tissue will replace what they removed, but prayer is the only thing we can d…

Tips on Biblical Friendship

I’m not sure if Covid and its isolation played a role in our thinking or rethinking of friendships. But I know during this time of “hunkering down,” I insulated myself, and my friendships did not thrive. Covid is in the rearview mirror now, but I do think we are experiencing some residual effects. Let’s do some thinking and see what we, as friends, can do to think biblically about friendship. I’ll dive in with a line from an email a friend recently sent me; “I really enjoy doing life together…

Connecting Parents to Students

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 The Bible is clear that our goal as parents should be to raise our kids in such a way that they will be lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ. It is a simple goal that we should all easily agree with. The reality is that parenting is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Parenting can feel like a roller coaster. There will be times that you wonder if you and your teenager are even speak…

An Update from Pastor Heath

Dear First Baptist Family, Today is the very first day I have actually felt like much and have been clear-headed and medication-free enough to feel I could communicate reliably. Even though the intense nature of the surgery makes progress hard to judge in the early days and weeks, I am encouraged about where I am. To update you, I’ll first share the most encouraging pieces of information and then pass along some areas where I would love your continued prayers. I am encouraged that, in the gra…

Five Ways to Love with Our Words

Our tongue is an amazing piece of God’s creative handiwork in our bodies! In one sense, it is an anatomical anomaly. The tongue is the only body part that contains muscles that are not attached to a bone at both ends. Unlike your biceps, which are attached to your elbow and shoulder joints, the tongue is an intertwined matrix of muscles that pull on each other, giving it the flexibility to twist and turn into a seemingly endless array of shapes and sizes. It also possesses tremendous stamina …

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