We are hosting a conference on the Holy Spirit, April 27-29, 2007 at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. One of the reasons we felt led to host this conference and teaching on the Holy Spirit is because of the spirit of a letter that was received in our office. The letter is from a Pastor in Massachusetts and it is printed below for you to read. After reading the letter please seriously consider registering to attend this very unique conference. I look forward to seeing you at the conference April 27-29, 2007.
Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.
Well let me encourage you once more. Our church affiliated with the SBC Massachusetts Baptist Association last year. I have been active in the association, taught the Winter Bible Study to my colleagues, and serve as the prayer coordinator, introducing a variety of prayer initiatives to the association. As a pastor who has been at the same church for 22 years, I try to encourage my colleagues and share my experience to help them if I can. Beulah Baptist is a strong mission church with approximately 25% of what comes in goes outside the church to help others. I am going to be attending the Central Asia Summit in Washington later this month as our church has a heart for Central Asia. I became close friends with a student from there who I met when I taught a course I designed on Jesus and the Gospels at New Life Bible College in Moscow. Next year, I’ll be teaching the same course at the Albanian Bible Institute. We have mission dinners promoting NAMB, IMB, and the Psalm 139 project of ERLC. I have enthusiastically been promoting the Cooperative Program and Disaster Relief Training.
I tell you all this not to boast, but to comment that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Southern Baptist Convention. I also have a private prayer language. It came upon me unexpectedly while I was in prayer. To me it enhances my prayer life particularly during intercession for difficult, complex situations and health concerns. I see it as a Spiritual gift that is just one of many in Scripture. It makes me no better or worse than anyone else. It doesn’t come with a Pentecostal agenda (whatever that is). I have been shocked that this is such an issue in SBC. I don’t care one way or another whether anybody prays in tongues, in silence, or in their own language. The Great Commission and the Great Commandments are what we are about. I have yet to meet another human being who agrees with my theological opinions 100% of the time. The strength of being a Baptist is the freedom to think under the authority of inerrant Scripture. Iron sharpens iron, so we think together, challenge each other in all humility, and help each other to think outside the box. Then we get on with the business Our Lord commands us.
That is why I think your work and prophetic voice has been invaluable. Your address at SWBTS took real courage. Your research has persuasively shown that, for the sake of the Great Commission, Baptists have historically cooperated despite differences in worship styles and theology. I am a Gordon-Conwell graduate who studied under Gordon Fee. It is just a fact that great evangelical scholars differ on the issues raised in 1Cor.14. So why should there be a SBC magesterium telling us the “theologically correct” interpretations of Scripture while also trying to dictate policies based on church tradition? Your scholarship and your persistence are truly admirable. It must be tough to take the hits that you are subjected to. But this is a thank you for your efforts at keeping SBC from becoming ridiculously narrow. When you get frustrated, just rest assured that there is a pastor here in New England who appreciates all you’ve done.
Beulah Baptist Church
Chicopee, MA 01020