FOR RELEASE FEB. 14, 2020
Contact: Brad Jurkovich, spokesman, Conservative Baptist Network
BOSSIER CITY—A significant number of pastors and laymen, motivated by a passionate desire to keep the Southern Baptist Convention anchored to the inerrancy and sufficiency of God’s Word, have formed the Conservative Baptist Network. The Network is the product of a grassroots movement that developed organically in the hearts and minds of devoted Southern Baptists who have become concerned about the current direction and perceived future of the convention.
A significant number of Southern Baptists are concerned about the apparent emphasis on social justice, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and the redefining of biblical gender roles. Many fear that these issues have received more attention than evangelism and spiritual renewal – the emphases that helped to make Southern Baptists the largest evangelical denomination in the nation.
Many messengers left the 2018 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas with deep concern that motions were made on the floor of the convention hall to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from speaking to the messengers. When all attempts to keep the Vice President from speaking failed, scores of messengers exited the convention in protest as the Vice President began his address. The insolence and disrespect demonstrated by those who walked out on the Vice President of the United States was foreign to what the Bible teaches about respecting those in authority in I Peter 2:11-17.
The 2019 Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham passed Resolution Nine to the dismay of a large number of messengers. In defending the resolution, the chairman insisted that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality are simply analytical tools. However, they are far more than just tools; they are ideologies that have their roots in Neo-Marxist, postmodern worldviews. While the committee may have meant well in presenting the resolution, many messengers left Birmingham confused about Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality, and others left feeling that they had been misled or deceived.
There is a growing apprehension about where the Southern Baptist Convention is headed. Pastors are asking, “Is the SBC on solid theological and organizational ground? Should we continue to support the Cooperative Program? Are our values accurately represented in our institutions?” We have had one Conservative Resurgence. Is it time for a second?
Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La. and the spokesman for the Network, explained, “We are concerned about the current road our Southern Baptist family is traveling. It is a road that is twisting what God’s Word is saying about things like human sexuality, biblical racial reconciliation and socialistic justice.”
The Bossier City pastor also mused, “As Southern Baptists can we not love both Jesus and America? Is it no longer okay to be a pastor and a patriot?”
“There are three choices that every pastor and church have to make,” explained Jurkovich. “First, you can stay in the Southern Baptist Convention, not say anything and watch this denomination drift, drift, drift into oblivion.
“Second, you can totally leave. You can walk away, but you need to know that when you walk away you are handing billions of dollars of assets, and mission passion and evangelism strategy over to ideologies that will lead this convention into irrelevancy.
“Third, you can stay and stand and by standing make a difference. I believe that is what most Southern Baptist pastors and churches want to do, but they are not sure if they stand, who will stand with them.
“Well, I want you to know that I am willing to stand,” Jurkovich said. “And there are many others who are ready to stand with you.”
Many are embracing this third alternative, resulting in the birth of the Conservative Baptist Network. Pastors and laity from across the nation have been captivated by the fresh breath of this grassroots movement and believe Southern Baptists can work together to cultivate the momentum needed for a course correction of their beloved convention. Male and female members of the network represent varied ethnicities, generations, geographic locations, vocations and soteriological persuasions, celebrating biblical unity in Christ around the inerrant, sufficient and authoritative Word of God.
The stated purpose of the Network has been drafted and proclaims, “The Conservative Baptist Network is a partnership of Southern Baptists where all generations are encouraged, equipped, and empowered to bring positive, biblical solutions that strengthen the SBC in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission and influence culture.”
For more information about the Conservative Baptist Network, visit: www.ConservativeBaptistNetwork.com.
Additional comments for use in print:
“Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary was founded to advance the Great Commission and stand for the inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture. The Conservative Baptist Network supports these scriptural convictions, and I’m encouraged they are bringing members of the SBC together to support these values.”
Dr. Michael Spradlin
President of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Memphis, TN
“I am excited about the Conservative Baptist Network because it provides pastors and local churches a united voice to speak to our convention about the sufficiency of the Bible.”
Dr. Lee Brand Jr.
Vice President and Dean of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Memphis, TN
“The Convention was built one widow’s mite at a time. We are the largest Protestant denomination on the Continent, the largest Evangelical missionary force in history, and we’ve been handed a stewardship unlike any other. If we can’t stand for this, what can we stand for? I’m not willing to stand in front of Jesus and explain why our generation dropped the ball.”
Rod D. Martin
Founder and CEO, The Martin Organization, Inc.
“I have been a member of Southern Baptist Churches for over 25 years. I chose Southern Baptists because of their strong emphasis on the inerrancy, supremacy, and sufficiency of the Word of God – not just preached but lived out in everyday life. But now, the emphasis has shifted in a direction that is diametrically opposed tothe Word of God. Critical Race Theory/Intersectionality has been introduced and touted as “an analytical tool” in the SBC. I am embarrassed and insulted by this tool for many reasons but the main reason being the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only tool needed to heal and rescue the heart of sinful men, women, boys, and girls of every nation, every people, and every tongue. In the book of Acts, Phillip, when commanded by God to join himself to the chariot of a eunuch to help him understand the Word of God, was perfectly capable without “an analytical tool” because he was empowered by the Spirit of God. So ‘let’s beware that we are not spoiled through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, and after the rudiments of the world…’.
Southern Baptist layperson