My View from the Pew of the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting

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By Lorine Spratt

Steering Council member

Bossier City, La.

August 5, 2021

On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, I boarded a plane to go to Cape Coral, Fla., to the Founder’s Ministry conference where they were debuting the “By What Standard?” documentary. Why? Because it was important! This video revealed the hidden and concerning challenges of our beloved Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Since then, the “By What Standard?” documentary has circulated all over the United States causing us—even those in the pew—to sit up and pay attention to the drift. 

On Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, I stayed at work late into the evening to answer phone calls and emails from pastors, church leaders and church members just like me as they heard of the launch of the Conservative Baptist Network and wanted to be counted as a member. Why? Because it was important! I listened to countless men share that they were about to leave the SBC but the Conservative Baptist Network had given them hope! Amen! 

On Sunday, June 13, 2021, I stepped into my vehicle and drove for a solid eight hours to Nashville, Tenn., to the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Why? Because it was important! I wanted to be there to let my voice be heard as a messenger from my church. 

The Conservative Baptist Network has grown exponentially since its conception because we all knew that we could not remain silent about Critical Race Theory (CRT), the push-back on our religious liberty, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), and the top-down elitist mindset that was infiltrating our SBC family. 

CBN has given many, many churches and pastors the voice that they felt had been taken away for years. These voices showed up in Nashville to speak with that newfound voice, and speak, they did! 

  • Am I disappointed that Pastor Mike Stone did not win? Absolutely! 
  • Am I disappointed that Pastor Javier Chavez did not win? Certainly! 
  • Am I disappointed that our strong Resolution was watered down? By all means! 

But here’s why I’m encouraged:

  • I trust the sovereignty of God. 
  • According to the Wednesday edition of the SBC Daily Bulletin, our candidate, Pastor Mike Stone, lost by only 556 votes which says that the Conservative voice has become much stronger in our Convention. 
  • Our 1st Vice President candidate, Dr. Lee Brand, won! I believe that God will use Dr. Brand in his new position more than we can imagine. (Ephesians 3:20“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”) 
  • After selling out twice, we had approximately 1,400 attend our very first Conservative Baptist Network Breakfast! 
  • We have another year to share how important it is to trust the sufficiency of Scripture since the Committee on Resolutions decided not to call Critical Race Theory by its ugly name to appease those who threatened to leave the Convention. It seems they sought to please man and not trust God. 

To me, a member in the pew, these things are HUGE! They are encouraging! 

We have lots to be thankful for! I believe that God has given us great favor in our first year. I believe He wants us to continue to speak, continue to invite churches and pastors to join the Conservative Baptist Network, create state chapters in every single state, and engage those who have become disengaged and disenchanted for various reasons. 

  • Did we experience relentless ridicule? Yes! 
  • Did we see the Twitter crowd throw stones – even boulders at us? You bet we did! 
  • Did we see the pit of hell come against us collectively and individually? More than can be expressed here and now in this writing! 
  • Is it enough to make me quit? Never! In fact, I am more resolved to press on! 

I believe the Lord has allowed us to experience James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

We can find additional encouragement from the apostles in the book of Acts. They experienced physical torture, scorn, and ridicule but they stayed focused on the reason they were called: our Lord Jesus and to make great His name! 

Let’s continue to exalt our great God, exalt His great name, point our brothers and sisters to the sufficiency of Scripture, and warn the WOKE crowd that we are AWAKE! We are not asleep, and we are not going away! 

Let us keep looking forward and continue what God has started. (Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

So, to my fellow Conservative Baptist Network friends and to those who will join us, I remain encouraged about Nashville. Do not give up! We are making headway! (Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Lord willing, and if needed, I will hitch a horse to a buggy and meet you in Anaheim, Calif., in 2022! Never, never, never give up! Why? Because it is important! 

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Lorine Spratt is a dynamic person who makes a difference for Jesus wherever she is. She has worked and led in the business world for 24 years, has served on staff of local Baptist churches, and has served her community as previous vice president of Neighborhood Action Group. In all things Lorine does, she makes a positive difference. She is a passionate voice for biblical truth in our culture. Currently, Lorine serves on staff at First Baptist Bossier as executive assistant to Dr. Brad Jurkovich. Read about the Conservative Baptist Network Steering Council members here.