Concerned pastors and laymen have formed a new network whose goal is to keep both evangelism and the authority of the scriptures relevant within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest evangelical denomination in the nation.
The Conservative Baptist Network which launched Friday, is the product of a grassroots movement developed by some SBC members who say they have become concerned about the current direction and the future of the convention, according to a press release.
The organization has posted its stated purpose on its website.
"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."
Along with its stated purpose, the group also posted five main points.
*The Network affirms the longstanding Baptist beliefs as expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
*The Network affirms the inerrancy, supremacy, and sufficiency of the Bible in all facets of life and application.
*The Network affirms religious liberty and encourages Christian individuals and churches to influence the culture by engaging in the public policy process and demonstrating their patriotism.
*The Network rejects various unbiblical ideologies currently affecting the Southern Baptist Convention such as Critical Race Theory, intersectionality, and social justice.
*The Network is committed to seeing the SBC function biblically — efficiently, and; strategically — believing Convention entities and; leadership are accountable to and encouraged by the autonomous, local churches that cooperate together.
Members of the network say they 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.
Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La. and the spokesman for the network, said members are concerned about the current direction in which they see the SBC is traveling.
"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," he said.
There are three options, Jurkovick said, that every Southern Baptist pastor and church must consider. First, stay in the SBC, not say anything and watch the denomination drift into oblivion. Second, leave. But realize billions of dollars of assets, mission passion and evangelism strategy will be handed over to ideologies that will cause the SBC 's purpose to fade. And third, stay and stand to 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," the Bossier City pastor said. "Well, I want you to know that I am willing to stand. And there are many others who are ready to stand with you."
The organization also pointed out it believes Southern Baptists can work together to cultivate the momentum needed for a course correction of their beloved convention.