The Future of the Southern Baptist Convention (Conclusion)

Recently I was studying the life of the wonderful C.I.M. missionary James Fraser. A brilliant engineer and gifted pianist, he left the comforts of England to spend his adult life in Western China among the Lisu people. Today more than 300,000 follow Jesus! What moved him to make such a radical, life changing decision? It was a small tract entitled “Do Not Say”, placed in his hands in 1906 when he was only 20 years old. Hear the words that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of believers among a rural mountain people group that had no hope until James Fraser came to help them.

“A command has been given: ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.’ It has not been obeyed. More than half the people in the world have never yet heard the Gospel. What are we to say to this? Surely it concerns us Christians very seriously. For we are the people who are responsible …”

“If our Master returned today to find millions of people un-evangelised, and looked as of course He would look, to us for an explanation, I cannot imagine what explanation we should have to give … Of one thing I am certain – that most of the excuses we are accustomed to make with such good conscience now, we should be wholly ashamed of then.” (Do Not Say)

These words haunt me. I hope they haunt you. They moved James Fraser to live out the Great Commission. I pray they move me. I pray they move you. I pray they move Southern Baptist. If they do, our future is bright. If they don’t, we do not deserve a future.

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  1. Bob Cleveland   •  

    I do not believe the conformity, of the believer, can be measured by whether he did, indeed, go to a foreign field, or even whether he personally preached the gospel. I believe the issue will be whether the believer saw his role in the Body of Christ, the gifting of God in his personal life, and did his personal part in the command given to the church to carry out the great commission. Personally, my opinion is that it is painfully obvious that is NOT the case, and the fault lies at the feet of the local church and the local pastors who conform more to the pattern of church as we’ve done it, rather than training up members of the Body for the work of service.

    Just an opinion from a guy in the pew, but this does not seem the fault of the SBC overall.

  2. Matt Queen   •  

    Thank you, Dr. Akin, for this moving conclusion to your heart-felt series. May God bless you in 2010. Merry Christmas!

  3. Diane R.   •  

    Missionary Fraser obeyed Christ’s command to “Go ye… .” What did he use as his teaching tool: primarily the New Testament with the Old Testament for background or fundamentalist views of Old Testament verses?

    I’m very interested in your answer to this question.

  4. Pingback: Daniel L. Akin « Baptist Theologians

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