A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the controversies plaguing Southern Baptist colleges. In one of these controversies the administration of Louisiana College dismissed three religion professors, in spite of the fact that they all affirmed the school’s statement of faith. Kevin McFadden was one of the professors who lost his job. This past weekend he wrote a helpful piece in which he advises Christians dealing with theological disagreements.
He directs his advice specifically to Southern Baptists, but his three main points can help all denominations dealing with theological controversy.
1. We need to recognize that some doctrines are more important than others.
2. We need to hold to our confessions.
3. We need to be people of integrity.
I think this last point is key, and Christians neglect it too often. We can’t follow points one and two if we’re not following point three. McFadden identifies a real problem within the SBC with this passage.
The problem at Louisiana College is a remarkable lack of integrity among the leadership of the college and the leadership of Louisiana Baptist Convention. And I think this lack of integrity is rooted in something deeper I have observed in the Southern Baptist Convention—a culture of flattery and glad-handing and even outright lying for the sake of personal or political gain. I love the Southern Baptist heart for evangelism and revival. But revival needs to start at home. We need to pray that God would grant us repentance of sin and faith in his Son, that he would pour out his Spirit and give us integrity. And we need to beware of the spread of the hypocrisy that is in our midst (see Luke 12:1–3).
Many Christian denominations have been racked with controversy lately. McFadden reminds us that it doesn’t have to be this way. Ecclesiastical politics divides us more often than doctrinal purity. McFadden encourages us to something better.
Read his entire article here.