Here at Apprising Ministries I share the devotion “Dead Churches” by A.W. Tozer which follows in the light of The Unacknowledged Controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention: Which Jesus Do You Serve? This morning I sent that article to SBC president Dr. Frank Page because just the other day he made the statement that the SBC is “a Jesus Convention.” And this coming week a man who believes in a different Jesus is being welcomed at the next Creative Church Conference (C3 2007) by high profile SBC pastor Ed Young, Jr. in his Fellowship Church (February 22-23).

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1, HCSB)

The Southern Baptist Convention Is Becoming A Spiritual Morgue

So yet again Ed Young, Jr. will bring into his SBC church Oneness Pentecostal heretic T.D. Jakes who by his tacit denial of the Holy Trinity shows he believes in a different Jesus than The Baptist Faith & Message presents. With this in mind then one could interpret Dr. Page’s statement concerning the SBC as meaning it has become “a convention of another Jesus.” For more on the cardinal (non-negotiable) doctrine of the Holy Trinity I refer you to my friend Steve Camp’s fine work The Doctrine of the Trinity: Why This Is Essential Truth And Those Who Reject It Are Apostate.

This brings us around again to Dr. Page’s statement that the SBC is “a Jesus convention.” O yes, this sure sounds great and one can just imagine the applause as he said it. But I wonder, will our SBC president back up those words? I have personally made Dr. Page aware that Ed Young, Jr., one of our most prominent pastors, and Dr. Ed Young, two time president of the SBC, are sharing the pulpit in an SBC church with purveyor of Word Faith heresies T.D. Jakes. A month ago Dr. Page told me he was making phone calls and praying about his involvement.

But frankly, when blatant heresy is involved within the Convention for which he is overseer, this should be rather obvious. Meanwhile the Southern Baptist TEXAN did a great service to the Body of Christ by asking Ed Young, Jr. personally about this issue. His response, “our conference is a leadership conference; it’s not a theological conference.” But as I clearly showed in Southern Baptist Pastor Ed Young, Jr.: Church Leadership Conference Is Not About Theology the brochure for the C3 2007 reads:

WHAT IF you could spend two days with the greatest church leaders in America? The Creative Church Conference, led by Ed Young, will unite five of the country’s most influential pastors. Find out how these diverse and dynamic leaders have turned ‘what if’ into ‘what is’ in their ministries and their lives. (Copy on file, emphasis mine)

Here is the current picture: The new cult of liberal theology which is the Emergent Church is swallowing up much of the SBC; Church Growth Guru Rick Warren spearheads the use of pragmatic purpose driven business methods and recommends Reformation-reversing contemplative mysticism within our allegedly “Protestant” denomination, and Emergent futurist and human potential advocate Erwin Raphael McManus is leading the charge of man-love within our “Jesus convention”.

And so Tozer’s rather gloomy words which now follow take on an even more chilling truth for the alliance of local churches we call the Southern Baptist Convention:

These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Revelation 3:1)

I think we are going to have to restudy this whole teaching of the place of the Holy Spirit in the Church, so the Body can operate again. If the life goes out of a man’s body, he is said to be a corpse. He is what they call “the remains.” It is sad, but humorously sad, that a strong, fine man with shining eyes and vibrant voice, a living man, dies, and we say, “the remains” can be seen at a funeral home. All the remains of the man, and the least part about him, is what you can see there in the funeral home. The living man is gone. You have only the body. The body is “the remains.”

So it is in the Church of Christ. It is literally true that some churches are dead. The Holy Spirit has gone out of them and all you have left are “the remains.” You have the potential of the church but you do not have the church, just as you have in a dead man the potential of a living man but you do not have a living man. He can’t talk, he can’t taste, he can’t touch, he can’t feel, he can’t smell, he can’t see, he can’t hear–because he is dead! The soul has gone out of the man, and when the Holy Spirit is not present in the Church, you have to get along after the methods of business or politics or psychology or human effort. COU112-113.

“Lord, send Your Holy Spirit in power, that we might not be a dead Church, striving to look alive, pretending to function as though alive, while the life is actually gone. Amen.” (Tozer on Christian Leadership, February 17)