One of the wonderful things about blogging is that it gives me the opportunity to restate, or even go into more detail regarding certain statements said or certain truths taught. Without going into exact dates, about eighteen or so years ago, three churches united and became Trinity Baptist Church of Southaven, MS. Throughout the years, this local body has made some decisions - some fairly obvious and some of them, in all probability were debated, and godly people may have had different opinions. There have been several times in the brief history of Trinity Baptist that THE BODY made decision to build or THE BODY called a pastor or staff member, or THE BODY made a decision to give a certain amount to a particular ministry. All of that to say, that if there is anything I am familiar with, it is Baptist people. While I have not seen minutes of any business meetings to see who, or how many voted for or against any of these events, I can say with complete confidence there were individuals who didn’t feel that THE BODY needed a particular building and may have voted against it. I am sure that some individuals didn’t feel THE BODY needed a particular pastor or should support a particular ministry. Knowing Baptists as I do, I can assure you not every member of Trinity gave to a particular mission, even though THE BODY decided to give towards it anyway. All of this to say, that we move together for the glory of God as A BODY OF CHRIST.
I speak to this because it reiterates the subject of my sermon last Sunday as we are going through a study on the doctrine of The Church. As I stated, all of us are accountable to the one another. What you do impacts my testimony and what I do impacts yours. This totally destroys the “lone ranger” concept of “I am responsible for me”… we are responsible first and foremost to Christ, but we are responsible and accountable to one another.
On November 8, 2009 the turning point for THIS BODY took place during our repentance service. We initially took the letters written to previous pastors, and framed them with all the signatures included. In doing so, we realized that we had some who had only signed one letter or signed a combination of the three… so we have taken the letters down and reframed them. They now have a plate on the frames that bears the statement engraved “From the Body of Trinity.”
We did this to make clear that EVERYONE was represented when these letters were sent out. I signed these letters, Bro. Jon Rushing and Bro. Jeff Summers did the same and yet we have never met the previous pastors. However, I am a part of THE BODY at Trinity Baptist Church. So, when “The Church” does something, it includes all of us. Daniel did this when he was praying and asking God to intervene for Israelites. Daniel said: “WE HAVE SINNED” there is no scriptural evidence that Daniel worshipped idols or turned against God in anyway. In fact, we see scriptural evidence of the exact opposite; we see Daniel was faithful when the majority was not. Why did Daniel include himself in his repentant prayer? Because Daniel was including himself with the people he loved and was a part of in the covenant before God. The same is true for us at Trinity; when we signed those letters we were repenting on behalf of the Church because that is what we are. So, as you pass by those letters and see the closing signature as “The Body Of Trinity Baptist Church,” I hope you see your name… I hope you see my name… and, I hope you see the name of our children as this can be a teaching point for our families - regardless of when you joined you can say “On November 8th, 2009 we repented.” Why? Because I want them to know when we sin it impacts the ENTIRE BODY. But when WE repent it ENHANCES THE ENTIRE BODY!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!