Today’s post is from Curtis Woods, associate executive director for convention relations & communications.
Perhaps it was Rupert Meldenius, who said, “Unity in essentials, liberty in incidentals, and in all things charity.” This maxim portrays the heartbeat of many Kentucky Baptists. As associate executive director for convention relations, I believe that biblical truth and compassionate love go hand in hand.
Upon accepting his stewardship as executive director, Dr. Paul Chitwood wisely articulated his guiding principles to protect our “Big Tent Convention” from theological error. They are most affectionately known as “The Four Pegs.”
What are the four pegs?
First and foremost is a high view of Scripture. The Bible is authoritative for faith and practice. It shapes our presuppositions and enlivens our passion for God and His world. As Kentucky Baptists, we unashamedly embrace biblical inerrancy because we believe that the Bible is true in all that it reveals about God and His creation. It is absolutely trustworthy. As a convention, we stand under the word of God, not above, before, or alongside the word of God, but under it. The Word shapes our identity.
Second, we are committed to the Great Commission. Jesus says we must “make disciples” of all people groups. In order to do this, we intentionally seek out loving relationships with the lost, seeking to snatch their souls from the fire as an act of love (Jude 21-23). I will lamentably admit that sometimes the hustle and bustle of life keeps me away from intimacy with lost folks. I am sure you have similar experiences. Confession is good for the soul. And His commission is good for their souls. Thus, we must develop strategic ways to naturally intersect the stories of unbelievers with the great story of the gospel through personal relationships.
Third, the Baptist Faith and Message reflects our common confessional beliefs. As a convention, we must fight the fight of faith by avoiding “theological tribalism.” We should no longer define our Christian friends on the basis of geography, ethnicity, economics, or school affiliations. Our common ground is neatly packaged in our statement of faith. Let us study and affirm its content together for the gospel.
Fourth, our commitment to Cooperation displays biblical maturity. We advance the gospel together by “powering missions and ministries through Cooperative Program” living and giving. I say living because CP was created to give life to the Great Commission. By God’s grace, He has provided us with an ingenious tool to advance the gospel through our giving. Every church within KBC life, no matter its socioeconomic circumstance, geographic, or ethnic status, has the ability to be like the Macedonian churches (2 Cor 8:1-5).
If these pegs are in place, then our convention will be secure in the gospel against the winds of change.