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The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention Will Be Determined This Week

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2022 5:30 am

The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention Will Be Determined This Week

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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June 13, 2022 5:30 am

Dr. Tom Ascol, Candidate to be President of the SBC joins Chris to talk about the future of the Convention and why he is running for President tomorrow.

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Welcome to Christian Perstatement. I'm Chris Hughes, and today is going to be one of those great shows that you're going to want to listen to, particularly if you are a Southern Baptist. Dr. Tom Astle is with me today, and Dr. Astle is currently a candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention here in Anaheim, California, where the annual meeting is being held, and tomorrow will be the day when the election will be held as the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination, is going to select their next president. Southern Baptist Convention has been in a lot of news lately, and we're going to talk about some of that today, but really, I just want you to have the opportunity to get to know Dr. Tom Astle. I don't do this very often, but this might be the kiss of death for you, Dr. Astle, but I am publicly endorsing Dr. Tom Astle to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention. It doesn't mean that I have anything against any of the other candidates, but I've had a chance to meet and talk with Dr. Astle.

He is a man that loves the Lord, and I just support the direction that he will take us as Southern Baptists. So, Dr. Astle, first, welcome to Christian Perspective. We're so glad that you're here with us today. Well, Chris, thank you very much for having me on your show. I'm honored to be a part of this, and I'm humbled that you would say what you did about supporting my candidacy nomination tomorrow for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention. Thank you very much for that, brother.

Well, you're welcome. My heart breaks, and we'll talk about this throughout the show, of what's happening within our convention, and I know that you and I share a love for the Lord and leading people to Jesus and turning our convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, around. Well, Dr. Astle, rather than me telling everybody about you and who you are, because I really want our listeners to know who you are as we go into the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting here this week, and tomorrow we're going to vote for president, and it's my hope that we elect Dr. Tom Astle as the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention. But let our listeners get to know you on a personal level. Who are you?

Well, thank you, Chris. I'm the youngest of six children that were born to a godly woman who was our mother and a father who had a lot of trouble, and our family was what you would call today a dysfunctional family. My dad was the son of a Muslim immigrant from Syria. My dad watched his father be murdered and shot down on the streets when he was sitting on a wagon right next to him in Arkansas when my dad was only 11 years old. And so he had to live with that kind of trauma and difficulty all his life, and he had a hard, hard life.

And so we had those issues brought into our family. But my mom was godly. God really dealt deeply with her, and it was a difficult marriage for her, but she saw to it that her kids knew the gospel. We were in church every Sunday at Southern Baptist Church there in Beaumont, Texas, and I remember my earliest recollection of spiritual realities was one morning. I probably was four or five years old and just walked into our living area, and my mom was on her knees weeping, begging God for help.

And I thought, man, she really believes she's talking to somebody. And the Lord used that to stir me up. And so a few years later, I was converted again under my mom's influence. She evangelized me. I was baptized at South Park Baptist Church. The Lord called me when I was 16 years old to the gospel, and that was a traumatic thing for me because I didn't like pastors. I was so full of pride and arrogance, and it's horrible looking back on the self-righteousness that just oozed out of me.

But God redeemed me and disciplined me about those things through the rest of my life, really. But he called me to preach the gospel. So I began preaching when I was 16, became a pastor when I was 21 at Texas A&M, senior in college there, and began to pastor the Rock Prairie Baptist Church in College Station, Texas. And from there went to Spring Valley Baptist Church in Dallas where I was an assistant pastor and did my PhD work at Southwestern during those years, then moved to Cape Coral, Florida in 1986. I've been a pastor at Grace Baptist Church since that time here in Cape Coral and just love this congregation.

I've got six kids, five of them are married, got 15 grandkids. They're all right here in the church, and God's just blessed me beyond what I could begin to calculate. So my life is a testimony of God's grace.

Anybody that's tempted to give up on life just ought to look at me and say, if God could save the likes of him, there's hope for me because it's a testimony of God's mercy and grace for hell-deserving sinners. And so I love him and grateful for him, and that's kind of in a nutshell for who I am. Well, what a blessing to have all your kids and grandkids right there living in your community, and to pastor a church. Did you say you've been there since 1986?

That's right, yeah, yeah. That's, so you have broken the Southern Baptist mold of staying in a church, I think with the national average, about two, two and a half years. But I think we're starting to see, Dr. Haskell, more pastors staying at churches longer, and I think that's really a blessing, because then you build a deep relationship with your church and gives you a chance to love on them more and grow with them and really get to know your people.

And I'm seeing more and more of that, I don't know if you see it as you travel, and I'd just like to see when there's a commitment. I mean, God called a pastor to a church, and certainly things change, the pastors did move, but I'm glad that you and your family have been able to have the blessing to stay with your church at Grace Baptist here in Cape Coral for so long. Well you formed another organization, yeah, you formed another organization called the Founders Ministry, for those of us who are listening, tell us what the Founders Ministry is.

1982, in November, I was a student at Southwestern Seminary, there were seven men, I was the youngest, got together in a hotel room in Euless, Texas, right outside of Dallas, and we spent the morning, on Saturday morning, in prayer and reading scripture and singing, and then the afternoon we said, man, what should we do? Because we were all ineritists, we were all involved in the conservative resurgence at different levels, but we realized inerrancy is not enough, we're going to have to deal with the sufficiency of scripture too, we're going to have to deal with what the Bible teaches, and we were all committed to a particular understanding of how the gospel works in salvation, we call it Reformed theology or particular Baptist theology, and those streams have been in Southern Baptist life from the beginning, but we thought we need to listen and learn from our forefathers about this, so we decided to have a conference the next year, and out of that has grown just a variety of ministries, a theological journal, we have the Institute of Public Theology that launched last year, where we do theological training for ministers, and we publish books, but Founders Ministries has from the beginning been committed to a recovery of the gospel, reformation of local churches, and we're not just Calvinistic, we are that without any, you know, apologies or pretense, but our fraternity goes way beyond the five points of Calvinism, and we have great fellowship with those that are not Calvinistic, but we want to see the sufficiency of scripture recovered, we want to see churches renewed, and so we really do hammer regenerate church membership, healthy ecclesiology, responsibility of leadership in a church, to guide a church, to help brothers and sisters as we come to Christ, they come to Christ to mature, see them become mature disciples who will make disciples of others, so we've just, we've been doing that for 40 years, we publish books, print materials, have a ton of content at Founders.org, you can go there, if you're interested in the Institute, the Institute is found at Institute of Public Theology.org, and we got guys like Bode Baucom, Tom Metals, Mark Coppinger, who are instructors for us, Conrad Mbewe from Africa, it's a great group of scholar-pastor theologians who are men committed to the full inerrancy and sufficiency of God's Word, and we're just, we're trying to do whatever we can to encourage churches and pastors to be faithful and trying to resource them in their efforts to be so. So is the Institute something that, if I already had a seminary education, I would go and learn more, or is it something that maybe I couldn't afford to go to seminary, but this is a way for me to learn online, or a little bit of both? Yeah, it's a little bit of both, so it's live, we teach courses here in Cape Coral right now, we're just doing one-week courses of those J-turn type of venues, but we record everything, so we're going to make it available online as well, but it's, we don't have, we're not, we don't issue degrees, we're not seeking accreditation from anybody, we want to provide the best theological education in the world, that's our goal, it's very simple, and so we get the best men we can find, we tell them, here's what we want you to teach, how the parameters, we want you to teach your subject, we want you to teach it with a view of the kind of pastoral ministry that we're facing now in the 21st century going forward, not 30 years ago, 40 years ago, so we're particularly interested in how theology meets the road in the public square, so every, every discipline is taught with that kind of vision. So a guy doesn't have to have a college degree, he doesn't have to have a high school diploma, all he has to be, he's got to be a churchman, that means he's got to be commended by a church, where a people, group of people who know him say, yeah this is a faithful brother, they got to commend him, he's got to read and write for us, so it's a pretty rigorous application process if you become a full-time student, and if you're willing to read, you're willing to write, and you're willing to be taught to read and write better, then we are, we welcome you, if you're a churchman, if you've got a good church recommendation, it doesn't matter if you've been to high school or not, so we got guys, you know, this is, this is so wonderful, guys never been to college, some that struggled through high school, we got one, recent high school graduates, one of our newest students, and so it's for anybody, and we got guys that have had, that got, in fact, we got one guy with a doctoral degree, who's one of our regular students, who's coming, and he says, mine's just being blown by these, uh, courses, so we also have a pretty rigorous auditing track, so pastors that say, you know, I'm not interested, I don't need any more degrees, or formal certificates, or anything like that, but I want to study cultural apologetics with Odie Baucom, you know, or I want to, uh, study aesthetics with Mark Coppinger, or philosophy, or apologetics, as, you know, we offer audit, auditing, uh, avenues, and we make it as cheap as we can for pastors, in fact, student, you could be a full-time student at the institute, and if your church is willing to pay half the tuition, which is way less than you'll pay, I mean, even the regular price, and I couldn't tell you what it is, uh, it's way less than you'll pay in typical seminaries, if the church is willing to pay half, we will pay the other half, so a student can go free, and, um, we've got Tom Nettles, and coming in to teach history, and Travis Allen to teach New Testament next month, and then in August, uh, we've got Richard Barcellus coming in to teach hermeneutics, and Ben Dunstan to teach public theology, and we've got Carl Truman coming in next year to teach ethics, and focusing on anthropology, based on his book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, so, anyway, it's a great, great opportunity, I would, I would commend it to anyone and everyone who's interested in being challenged and helped to think more about public theology.

What a great opportunity, thank you for doing that, and for your commitment. Folks, we're talking to Dr. Tom Askel, he is a current candidate to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention, uh, we're here in Anaheim, California, and tomorrow is the election. Opportunity to learn more about Dr. Askel when we come back, but we're going to ask him why he's running, and then cover some of the issues within the Southern Baptist Convention, and things that we think are going to be addressed, uh, tomorrow Wednesday here in Anaheim.

Stick around, we'll be right back. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.

Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org, and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. Visit Jerusalem's religious quarters and explore Christianity's most treasured religious sites, like the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Via Dolorosa. Walk with Chris through the winding alleyways of Nazareth's old city and visit ancient Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth. Float in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee, and the Jewish fortress of Masada. See firsthand where the events of the Bible took place. Touring Israel with Dr. Chris Hughes is a travel odyssey like no other.

Visit citizensforamericafoundation.com and get ready for an unforgettable trip and memories that will last a lifetime. Motherhood, faith, and life with confidence and joy. This has been American Minute with Bill Federer. For a free transcript, call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD. Welcome back to Christian Perspective. I'm Chris Hughes. My guest today is Dr. Tom Askel. Dr. Askel is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and he is the president and founder of the Founders' Ministry. He was just sharing with us the great work that they do at the Founders' Ministry and the training opportunities they have.

I'm excited. I didn't know that they did all the things that he just shared, and I'm looking forward to learning more. If you're a pastor or layman or, as he said, a churchman out there who has an interest in learning more about the Lord, you might want to look them up and find out more about the opportunities that they offer in their institute because there are some great classes coming up over the next two years. Dr. Askel, every year the Southern Baptist Convention comes together, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and I would assume the world.

They meet annually, and we are in Anaheim, California now for that annual meeting. At the annual meeting tomorrow, hopefully if things go as planned, we're going to elect a new president of the Southern Baptist Convention. You recently agreed to allow your name to be nominated for you to serve as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Why did you do that? Yeah, well, it's a great question, Chris. It boils down to one real serious thing and then a lot of little things. I've been thinking about this the last couple of days because people have asked me the last week or so more than before, but the one big thing is there are men that I respect who prevailed upon me to seriously consider it. For the last several years, I've had people say, man, you know, we would love to see you president, and can we nominate you? And I've just laughed it off.

I mean, not because I wanted to dismiss those brothers at all, but it's just not anything that I've ever aspired to. I've got a full plate here leading Grace Baptist Church. I love this church, love being a pastor. And then the Founders Ministries, a lot going on there that occupies my extra time.

And I've got a big family, love being with my family here. So I wasn't looking for anything else to do. But these guys, after what happened in 2021 at the convention, there was just a lot of despair, a lot of discouragement, and a lot of churches left. And I understood, you know, I didn't leave, our church didn't leave. We grieved over how Mike Stone was treated. That was one of the things that to me was the biggest blow was to see the godless way that a faithful pastor was treated when he was maligned, lied about, secret recordings were released by people that were officers in the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Commission. I mean, we paid their salaries, and they did this type of thing. And then Russ Moore releasing leaking letters that he'd written 18 months before that supposedly implicated Mike Stone, which didn't at all. And it just was grievous to me to think that people who call themselves Christians could act like that.

So that was already stuck in my craw. And I'd written about it, talked about it quite a bit. And so these brothers showed up in February or March, and they called me, and then they got me all on a conference call and said, hey, you know, we really want you to consider this. And Vody Baucom was what had originally provoked this. They said, let's have Vody be nominated as president.

I was all in for that. I thought of Vody, he's a dear friend. And Vody finally said yes. And then we realized, wait a minute, he's not a member of Southern Baptist Church, because he's rightfully a member of the church on the field where he serves as a Southern Baptist missionary.

And so our bylaws wouldn't let us do that in the SBC. And so Vody said, well, yeah, Tom, that means you need to do it. And these other guys said, yeah, Tom, you need to consider it. So we talked to our leadership here at the church. We have elders that lead the congregation.

And they all said no. God's blessed the church wonderfully in the last few years. And we just have, we have a lot going on. And it creates problems.

I mean, the good problems, but it really does create problems. So we needed all hands on deck as they put it. And so they were against it.

And I was fine with that. That's God's will for me when they said no. But then like a week later, these brothers came back. So we will fly down to Cape Coral, look them in the eye, tell them why we think this is right.

And they didn't do that, but got on a Skype call or a Zoom call or something. And our elders listened to the arguments and then took time about a week or so to pray about it. And one by one, they came back and said, hey, Tom, we think God's in this.

We think you ought to do it. And my wife said, yeah, I do too. And so God has always, you know, just never been even interested in thinking long about it. So those things came together. And the way I operate, I just took that as God's providence and said, okay, if the Lord wants me to do this, I'll do it. You know, and I don't know if he wants me to be president, but I do believe that he positioned me to be willing to be nominated. And so I'm willing to become president if that's what God wants.

And if so, then I want to do the very best job I can do. I've been talking, writing about problems for a long time and the SBC and trying to call us back to more biblical roots and our polity, how we need membership and the way we think about sanctification and justification, these basic things like that. And so anyway, that's, that's where I am.

These guys said, look, you've been talking about this a long time. You write about it. Why wouldn't you step up? And I said, okay, you know, God has led me thus far.

We'll see what he does. I mean, I've been encouraged. I'm here for people that I've never heard of before.

We were calling me and texting me saying, you know, Tom, we're grateful for you. Churches that have never sent messengers before. Every day, I think for the last two weeks, there's not been one day that I've not gotten some kind of communication from a church saying that they're sending messengers for the first time to Anaheim to vote for me as president.

I'm humbled by that. If it'll be an act of God, if I become president, I mean, God will be the only one who could do it. And if it happens, I will recognize that it's God's word and that I am like representing a lot of average pastors like myself that serve normative churches like ours. And if that's what God wants, then man, I'll just ask people to pray for me. God will give me the strength and grace and wisdom I need to take advantage of the opportunity to lead well. Well, I'm certainly thankful that you're running, as I said in the first segment of the show, I'm openly endorsing you and praying that God will use you in a mighty way. And I'm just thankful for your heart and your agreement and to get your wife to agree. And I don't know your wife, but if your wife is like my wife, if she agreed for you to do that, that might be a sign from God that he wanted you to run. I don't know.

I have a hard time getting Vicki doing something. Well, I tell you, I hope something that if I don't know all the powers of the president, but I remember reading about the Vodie Baucom situation and some people, it really breaks my heart, Dr. Ascol. There are some nasty people within the church world and some very bad things were said about Dr. Vodie Baucom. And for the life of me, I don't understand when we are a worldwide denomination, he is Southern Baptist sent from a Southern Baptist church in the United States. And he, as a missionary, he's basically a pastor of his church in a foreign country. And I think that's something that we need to address if we send, you know, we've had seminary presidents run for a president of Southern Baptist Convention, so why can't our missionaries run as well?

So I think that's something that we need to look at down the line. Will you mention the term messenger? And for those who are not going, but might be members of Southern Baptist churches, do you mind explaining what a messenger is? And then also can, so can a messenger vote the way they want to vote, or do they have to vote the way their church tells them, or is it different from being a delegate?

Because there might be some confusion for some of the people listening today. Yeah, messengers are sent by Southern Baptist churches to vote according to their own conscience. And so, you know, you're not a delegate that has so many votes in your pocket, you show up and you cast those votes the way that you're told to cast them.

It's not like that. So it is dependent upon the individual that the church thinks should be sent on their behalf to vote according to their own conscience's understandings of the way the Spirit of the Lord and the Word of God would guide them to vote. Every Southern Baptist church, there's 47,000 of them, is eligible to send two messengers. And sadly, no more than about 8,000 or 9,000 Southern Baptist churches are ever represented in our annual meeting. And I think that's a large part of the reason that we're in the mess we're in, is because so many Southern Baptist, understandably so, just trust.

They just trust the leadership, they're happy to cooperate. Pastors like me, you have a full plate trying to be faithful week by week in the shepherding the flock, the Lord has given you to, entrusted to your care. And then many of our pastors, maybe most are bivocational.

And so they're juggling multiple things. And to go to the time and expense of taking a few days to get to a business meeting is just very difficult. But because of that, we are not as widely represented in our annual meetings.

And I think we should be and I think we'd be healthier if we were. A church can give or can send up to 12 messengers. And the way you get more than two is by how much money you give either by percent of your budget is designated to Southern Baptist causes or by $6,000, every $6,000 that you give to convention causes.

And all of this is found at sbc.net. You can read the Constitution bylaws there. So here we are, it's the day before the convention meets. And there may be Southern Baptist, near enough to drive to Anaheim. And I just want to say, look, if you had never thought about being a messenger, you're listening to this, then it's easy to become a messengers, go to the leadership of your church, if you're a pastor, you can go online to sbc.net, you can fill out the forms there. Or you can get a letter from your church that says John Smith is a duly recognized messenger from First Baptist Church, this city, or whatever church and you just bring it with you. And you can get credentials at the convention that will give you a ballot to vote. And you can show up and vote tomorrow and stay Wednesday and vote as well on the things and hear the report. So I would encourage Southern Baptist, it's not too late, it's going to be difficult if you're far away from the West Coast. But if you can get to the West Coast by tomorrow, by Tuesday, you can come and be a messenger and you can vote and help us to try to change the direction of the SBC into more healthy pathways than what we've been on the last few years. That's right.

It's not too late. And so those of you are listening and said, hey, I didn't realize I could still go. What would be helpful is if you call your church office and ask them, there is a number, they'll know what it is, what it's called, you might know Dr. Askew, but there's a number that's affiliated. So each church is assigned basically a membership number within the Southern Baptist Convention. So that number makes it helpful for them to look it up. And then if you know how much your church budget was and the percent your church gave to the cooperative program, that just makes it go faster. But like you said, it's real easy.

You just go online, I think it's like three questions, give them your name and email address. And it's not too late. And certainly even if you can't come this year to Anaheim, but we really need you here because this is a pivotal year for what's happening within the Southern Baptist Convention.

But certainly, I think next year we're in New Orleans. So I would encourage you to do that. And as Dr. Askew said, most of our churches are less than 200 people. Most of our pastors, as Dr. Askew said, are bivocational, meaning their church can't afford to pay them a full-time salary. So they work a regular job and they pastor. And that's the bulk of who we are. It's not mega churches, but a lot of smaller churches that you go to, you might think, well, I don't have a say, but Dr. Askew just pointed out.

So I just want to reiterate what he said. Do you realize that a church with even 15 people can send 12 messengers and that's the most that any church or a mega church that might have 30,000 members, that little tiny church with 15 members can send as many messengers, if they meet the qualifications, as a church with 30,000 members. So you do have a say. And for too long, some of these mega churches have kind of controlled the direction. And I think it's time, you know, I know a lot of smaller churches are waking up and saying, it's time to turn this convention back to Jesus.

We all were talking to Dr. Tom Askew. He is a candidate to be the president of Southern Baptist Convention, which the election is going to be held tomorrow. We're going to talk more about his candidacy and some of the issues within the convention. So stick around.

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About the faith of the founding fathers and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington, DC this June. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.

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I'm Chris Hughes. My guest today is Dr. Tom Askell. Dr. Askell is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and he is running for president of the Southern Baptist Convention. For those of you that even are Southern Baptist, you may not realize that our churches are independent and autonomous, meaning we don't have the structure that the Catholic Church has, for example, where they have a pope that's kind of the head on earth of their church and the priest work for the organization of the Catholic Baptist Church. And even in the Methodist Church, I know a lot of Methodist pastors are under an organization and they're moved around by that organization.

That's not how it is for Southern Baptist churches. Southern Baptist churches, each church is an independent body, but they come together for the purpose really of sending missionaries around the world. So they cooperate in association of this, what we call the Southern Baptist Convention, where Southern Baptist churches take a portion of their offering and instead of, you know, my church might be too small, for example, to send a missionary somewhere. But by sending a portion of our funds to the Southern Baptist Convention, it's called the cooperative program, we cooperate together with churches around the country and around the world to send missionaries not only to North America, but in countries around the world.

And so if you're in a church and you've heard of the Annie Armstrong offering or other offerings, they go to support these missionaries and the cooperative program. And we're the largest meaning Southern Baptist Convention is the largest missionary sending organization in the world. And because of that, what happens within the Southern Baptist Convention is so important. And we also have six seminaries, those seminaries, seminary is basically a higher education institution that provides masters and doctorates degrees. And we have six of those that are funded through the Southern Baptist Convention. If I'm wrong, correct me, Dr. Askel.

And I think we train about 11% of pastors in the world or Southern Baptist, but our seminaries train a third of all pastors in the world. And so it's important what is taught in these seminaries and the beliefs and ideologies. So hopefully you won't mind me putting you on the spot, but I know you're getting asked a lot of questions today and you will tomorrow, Dr. Askel. But you wrote a while back that you were concerned of some of the secular and godless ideologies that were infiltrating the Southern Baptist Convention. So if I'm, and somebody might not know what you meant by that, and here I am listening to the show and we're going to go in tomorrow and vote for you.

Do I need to be concerned? Has something happened to the Southern Baptist Convention that I need to know about? Why is this so important? Yeah, well, it's a great question. I appreciate you asking it. And I was reminded while you're talking, there's a website that just kind of sprung up.

A friend of mine did it and it's taken a life of its own. It's called wehaveabook.com. And you can go there and find the article you just referred to and other things I've written, as well as you'll be linked to how to become a messenger.

So you can get all the information that Chris just went over a few minutes ago. Every American, I think every American now recognizes that we've got these crazy ideas that have been sweeping through our culture. So we've got soccer moms and parents showing up at school board meetings and saying, you're not going to teach my children queer theory. You're not going to teach my children critical race theory, intersectionality. Well, those are all kind of foreign words to us.

At least they used to be. But they are the franca lingua of the rising class in our culture today. And so what's going on is that we've got this neo-Marxism. It really does come out of Marxism.

These ideas that have been wedded with postmodernism, which basically denies absolute truth. And that's driving our politics. It's driving our education. It's infiltrated our medical world.

There's no place where these ideas haven't come in. And so let me just give you one example. I mean, 40 years ago, who of us could imagine somebody like Bruce Jenner saying, I am a woman trapped in a man's body. And yet today, we're all told that that's not to be questioned, that that's to be regarded as normal. If a man tells you that you got to call him a woman and say she and whatever, we are not to question that. And to question it is bigotry. Well, it wasn't that long ago when to question that would have just been normalcy. So these cultural ideas have blown through our institutions and the Church of Jesus Christ is not immune. We've seen it. We've seen some significant Christian organizations just fully capitulate to it. And by God's grace, I don't think the SBC capitulated to it yet.

But these ideas have come in. So for example, up until a couple of weeks ago, when Matt Hall left Southern Seminary to go to Biola out here in Los Angeles, Matt Hall was the provost at Southern Seminary, our flagship seminary. And Matt, his own record publicly having said, I am a racist and will be a racist until the day I die. Well, you know, a lot of Southern Baptists like me said, why are we, why don't we have a racist as the provost of our largest seminary? I mean, isn't racism a sin?

And I talked to Matt personally, I talked to other people that, you know, there at the seminary, and I never got a straight answer as to why would you say that? Well, I know why I said, at least I think I know why I said it is, is he was saying it in a context where people were applauding him because of critical race theory. This is something that we're all supposed to recognize that if you're white, or you're not black, or you're not a minority ethnicity, then you ought to see yourself as a racist. Ibrahim Kendi has written a book called How to be an Anti-Racist.

And in that book, he says you cannot be not a racist. So you're either a racist or an anti-racist. And here's how you got to be an anti-racist.

You got to do exactly what I tell you. And if you refuse to do exactly what I tell you, that just proves you're a racist. And so we had a provost saying, Oh, yeah, I'm a racist, I'm going to be a racist till the day I die.

Well, I said, Well, brother, you need some help, you know, I mean, if you're not willing to repent of your racism and be set free by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you need to find a different job, you know, you need some real help. It's these types of ways of thinking have come in. So we got at Southeastern Seminary, Karen Swallow Prior, a professor there, she endorsed the Reboice Conference.

Now, all you got to do is ask your folks to go look up Reboice. And you'll see what that conference and that movement is all about. It's affirming gay Christianity. It's helping gay Christians to live faithful Christian lives. Well, you know what, if you want to live a faithful Christian life, you got to repent of all your sexual sin, whether it's heterosexual or homosexual, you cannot call yourself a gay Christian, any more than you can call yourself a pedophiliac Christian or a an adulterous Christian. We all were that that's what first Corinthians six, nine, 10, 11, say such were some of you, but we've been washed, we've been clean.

And so why do we have people in the convention that are pandering to the culture with this kind of language? I mean, the past two SPC presidents preached the same sermon in which they said, God only whispers about sexual sin while he shouts about greed. And sin, like pride and greed.

Really? You know, God calls homosexuality an abomination. Does that mean homosexuals don't have worth and value and dignity? Are they not made in the image of God? Of course they are.

All those things are true of them. But Romans one indicates that they have been turned over to give vent to what is unnatural, contrary to nature. And they need to be redeemed. Can they be redeemed?

Absolutely. First Corinthians six, nine to 11. There it is again, such were some of you, you were homosexuals, but you've been washed, you've been clean. And it's like we've lost our confidence in the gospel. We've lost our awareness of what the gospel actually does when God converts someone through the power of a crucified risen Christ. And we're just pandering to the culture. You know, we're told by one of our past presidents, we should use pronoun hospitality.

So if a man says you got to call me she her, then you got to do it or else you're not showing love. We need better moral thinking right now. And that's what I see has come in.

And it's been very subtle the way it's come in. But our leaders have failed us in so many ways. And our churches have been left to confusion. And these ideas of here's how you are to be, here's how you are to work for racial reconciliation.

Here's how you are to show love for women, you got to let them preach, go let me pastor, otherwise, you're just being a patriarchal misogynist. These are accusations that are now flying about within the Southern Baptist Convention for people like me and you. They just simply want to take the Bible seriously.

We just want to believe what the Bible has taught what everybody among us as Southern Baptist believed up until about 10 or 15 years ago. And so those things have happened. We need to stop it. We need to be clear. We need to set our face like flint against the woke mob of our culture. And so we're going to follow Jesus Christ, we're going to take his word seriously, regardless of cost or consequence. And whatever you do to me as a result, that's between you and God, he'll take care of me. But we're not budging one inch from our blood stained faith.

And we're not going to dishonor our Lord Jesus or compromise his word, or any kind of bonus that you hold in front of us and say, Oh, this will go well for you if you compromise here, we're just not going to do it. A lot going on. It's pretty scary to hear all that.

And I'm sure thankful for your stand on that Dr. Haskell. Folks, we're listening to Dr. Tom Maskell, he is running for president of Southern Baptist Convention here in Anaheim, California. Tomorrow is the election. We need you to get educated on who the candidates are.

If you're within driving range, or if you can even fly, you might think it's not important. But if you heard what he just shared, the future of the Southern Baptist Convention, the future of the largest missionary sending organization in the world, the future of the largest training organization for pastors in the world has been infiltrated with woke and liberal ideologies. And we need to turn this convention around so we can continue to reach a loss for Jesus Christ in a biblical and scriptural way. We're gonna take our last commercial break. When we come back, we're going to talk about something called the resolution nine. And then we're going to also talk about what the President can do, and how Dr. Askell and his team can make a difference when we elect them tomorrow.

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I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit connieyaupers.com where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith and life with confidence and joy. The United States of America has a strong Christian heritage, but most Americans don't know the truly important role that God in the Bible played in the founding of this great nation. This June, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, for four amazing days in our nation's capital. With Chris, you'll embark on a journey of discovering the hidden secrets of Washington DC and rediscover much of America's forgotten Christian heritage. Your tour will include an up close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries. Learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic, one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception. Know the truth about the creation of the United States of America, about the faith of the founding fathers and how Christian principles were used to establish this form of government. Visit citizensforamericafoundation.com today and secure your spot to join Chris Hughes in Washington DC this June. Welcome back to Christian Perspective.

I'm Chris Hughes. My guest today is Dr. Tom Askel, candidate for the president of Southern Baptist Convention. We're here in Anaheim, California, for the gathering of the largest Protestant denomination in the world.

And tomorrow is a huge day for us because tomorrow we elect new leadership. My candidate that I'm going to vote for and I openly endorse and hope you'll vote for too is Dr. Tom Askel. He's the pastor of Grace Baptist Church, president of the Founders Ministry.

He has been written about and he has written many articles himself over the years. He's well known within the Southern Baptist and Christian world, but he is a man that has a heart for Jesus Christ and leading the laws to Jesus, and he has been a wonderful pastor and trainer for many years and felt called by God to run for the position of president of Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Askel, we talked about some of the things that are infiltrating the Southern Baptist Convention. We talked about some of the things that are infiltrating the Southern Baptist Convention, but I have a real heart for reaching the laws for Jesus Christ. And years ago, evangelism and baptism was something that was talked about a lot within Southern Baptist churches. But the number of people getting saved and the number of baptisms has gone down steadily in recent years. Can we turn it around?

And if you're president, is that going to be a priority within your administration? I'm convinced we've lost the fear of God. I try to imagine what must it look like in heaven when people down here on earth, Southern Baptists, I'm one of them, we say, well, we have a book, we love the Bible, we're an errantist, we're an errantist, and yet we neglect what the word says. We just simply refuse to do what the word says. As Baptists, our forefathers died for their convictions about the nature of the church. As you described earlier, every one of our churches is independent and autonomous. Our churches, we say, should be made up of believers only, only believers. Our churches, we say, should be those whose discipleship of all of our members, all our members' discipleship, should be cared for by one another and led by godly pastors. And yet we have churches and all of our churches struggle in various ways, but we have so many members on our church rolls that we've never heard from in years, sometimes decades, and we just let them go.

We haven't gone after them to recover them. We haven't guarded well the stewardship that's been entrusted to us to be churches that reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. It's well been said that preaching is the way that we make the gospel heard, but churches are the way that we make the gospel seen. We make it evident to the world. And so I wonder, what must it look like to God?

He's given us his book. We say, oh God, we want to see people converted. We want to see your blessings, and we believe your book, and yet we've been neglecting it. So I think our number one need in the SBC is to come face to face with the mirror of God's word and to see how we have fallen short, and we've grown kind of comfortable in patterns of falling short of his glory, and we need to repent. So God, we have sinned, have mercy upon us, and in our repentance, pray for and ask him to send his spirit with power that we might arise with a fresh fear of the living God so that we will boldly declare the one and only way of salvation, which is coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord, and say to everyone to have Jesus Christ as Lord, you must repent of your sin, and you must surrender to him as king. You must give your life to him and trust him by faith and live wholeheartedly for him. That doesn't mean a person has to be perfect to be converted.

No, it just means that you realize that your life is not your own anymore. You know the number one phrase that Paul used to describe himself? It was slave of Christ, slave of Christ, that Greek word doulos, bondservant.

I think if we started recovering that language more, it might help us. Do you want to become a slave of Jesus Christ? Well, that's different than saying, hey, do you want a fulfilled life, or you want to go to heaven, or do you want blessings?

We need to start telling people the truth. If you're going to be a Christian, you're going to have to take seriously what the Bible says, like in Paul's letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3-12, or 2 Timothy 3-12, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Are you willing to forsake everything to have Christ? I really think we've lost that edge of fearing God, and we need to repent, and we need to acknowledge that we have fallen short, but we don't have to fear that. We don't have to be afraid of coming clean with God, because whatever we discover about ourselves as we do serious inventory, Jesus already knows.

He's already died for it. There's grace. There's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, so we can arise in fresh repentance, fresh faith, and we can go forward. I believe if that were to happen, if God were to send His Spirit with power upon us like that, then we couldn't help but do all within our energy to make disciples, and we would see the gospel begin to run again throughout our culture and our world. You know, we got to water, we got to plant, we got to do all that we're called to do, but God must give the increase, and if we have not been faithful to the God who alone can give the increase, then we need to have serious feelings with Him. So I guess what I'm saying is, man, we need an awakening. I mean, we need a revival, the likes of which we've read about in history, the great awakening, the reformation of the 16th century, the second great awakening in the 19th century. We need God to come and shake us to our foundations, and that's my hope, and if that happens, then we will not, we can't help ourselves. We'll do what we can do to make disciples of all the nations, and so that's my focus, and our church has been having days of prayer and fasting leading up to the convention. If God puts me as president, one of the things I'm going to do is call upon my fellow pastors. Brothers, let's agree together to lead our churches to fast and pray and ask God to come to us and show us our sin, show us our Savior, grant us deep repentance and deep faith so that we will rise with fresh fear of Him and with a joy and desire to go and make disciples as He opens up the opportunities for us in those fields that Jesus says are white for harvest.

Amen. What do you see of the future of the cooperative program? It's an ingenious funding mechanism, but quite honestly, Chris, some of the ways that the proposal coming out of the Sex Abuse Task Force report is worded puts the cooperative program at risk. I heard from 40 churches on Saturday and more since then that had told me that if these proposals are adopted as they have been recommended without any amendments, they are leaving the convention or they're not going to give another dime to the cooperative program because we have been asked to take money from the cooperative program for the first year to pay for sex abuse reform. Now, SEND relief has come steps forward and I think North American Mission Board and IMB and Disaster Relief have said, look, we'll fund the first year, but the question of whether we're going to take cooperative program money away from missionaries and do something else with it is still in the air.

Paul Chipwood, who is the president of our International Mission Board, said if those proposals go through the way they were originally proposed, that it would cost the IMB $4.5 million in the first 15 months, which would mean the cost of 75 missionaries. I mean, I've talked to all kind of pastors and I've heard from those who have been faithful, big cooperative program giving churches, one who gives a million a year to the cooperative program saying we won't give another dime if that happens. I want to see the cooperative program protected, but we got some challenges in front of us right now. If we do not act principally and biblically in dealing with real problems in the whole sex abuse task report, the task force report, there are problems uncovered. We need to address them and honestly own them and we need to look for solutions.

But those solutions need to be biblical and not mandated by the culture that is raging right now, trying to tell us what we must see, think and do. If we can do that, then I think we can protect this ingenious cooperative method of joining together to support missions. But I mean, quite honestly, I'm concerned about it. So we will see what the convention does tomorrow. Certainly praying that God will move in a mighty way and change some of those hearts so we can continue to reach a loss for Jesus around the world.

Well, Dr. Askel, we got a couple of minutes left. I just want to give you the opportunity those couple of minutes to why should they vote for you? You know, again, that's a conscience issue. You do what the Lord directs you to do. But I'll just tell you that if God puts me as president of the SBC, I'll do whatever I can to emphasize the very themes that you and I talked about.

And I haven't aspired to this, but I love the SBC. And I think I see some things that are seriously wrong that need to be corrected, that can be corrected by the power of God's Spirit, as we submit to his word. And it's going to take courage to do that. It's going to take the kind of leadership that is willing to stand against the woke crowd and say, we're not budging an inch, we don't care what you do to us, cancel us, kill us, it doesn't matter.

We're not going to compromise this word. And I think God's people wants to be that way. I think we can be that way. But we need leadership that is willing to say, yes, brothers and sisters, this is the way forward.

Here we stand, we're not going to budge an inch. Let's rally around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, because that is the only hope this world has. I believe that.

There's nothing magical about any of that. It's simple Bible truth. And that's what God's burned in my soul. And that's what he did for me when he saved me, the life he's given me versus the life that I should have had.

It's a life of grace that has come by the crucified risen Savior. And I want to steward that, I want to declare that, I want to set that before others so that they too can come to know this God. We won't do it, we'll lose it if we cave in to all of our cultural critics and their demands about what we should say, see, think and do. We must, we have a book and that book tells us what we're going to do.

That book gives us our marching orders. And to the best of my ability, if God causes me to become president of the SBC, then I will do what I can to sound that message and to rally our churches to live that way going forward. So I would welcome your support and greatly appreciate it.

And if God puts me in that position, I'll do my best to steward well the trust that's been put in me. Dr. Askell, thank you so much for joining us on The Christian Perspective today. Well, Chris, thank you brother for your kindness and having me on and your support.

I appreciate all that you're doing and grateful for you. We're hoping to be able to partner with you over the next couple of years as president of Southern Baptist Convention. Folks, I wanted to have Dr. Askell on here today because there's something very important happening tomorrow right here in Anaheim. If you're Southern Baptist, you need to get to Anaheim, California.

If you're already here, we need you to vote for Dr. Tom Askell. The heart and soul of the Southern Baptist Convention is on the line. And if Satan can defeat the Southern Baptist Convention, he will do his best to cripple our ability to send missionaries around the world and to train pastors who will lead and understand the sufficiency and the inerrancy of God's work. This is very, very important. I know the average person sitting in the pew doesn't pay attention to the politics of Southern Baptist Convention, but I want to tell you that really the future of our nation and the world, because as America goes, the world goes.

And if the liberals can destroy the Southern Baptist Convention, which has been rock solid on the word of God, then we're going to have problems in this country that are worse than we have right now. Please, please come to Anaheim. If you're here in Anaheim tomorrow, stay on the floor, pay attention to what's going on. And when we vote, please vote for Dr. Tom Askell. Thank you for what you're doing for us. Thank you for listening on your favorite radio station every day. By the way, this will be released in podcasts later today. Go search it and share it with your friends that might be at the convention. Share it with your pastor. They need to understand why to vote for Dr. Tom Askell. Now let's go impact the culture for Jesus. Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit citizensforamericafoundation.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 20:54:14 / 2023-04-05 21:18:14 / 24

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