The problem with the label independent, fundamental Baptist is that many often emphasize the “independent” rather than the “fundamental.” This mindset often leads to an isolationist-type ministry, acting like the depressed Elijah as he moaned about being the “only one” still serving God. Elijah made it possible for a statement to be both depressing and arrogant. What an accomplishment!
The truth of the matter is that true servant leadership can be lonely at times. Not everyone wants to do the right thing, and when God blesses your life and ministry, the carnal Christian leader views it as compromising and man-made. And though we desire to fire back at the critics, as we mentioned in the previous post, don’t waste your time! Instead, focus on the great things God is doing in your life and ministry, as well as other’s.
Not every knee has bowed their knee to Baal and those like-minded, like-hearted Christians can use someone to come alongside them in prayer, work, encouragement, and friendship. The Bible teaches us to strive together for the faith of the Gospel. I’m not to strive for my Bible college, my church, my fundamentalist circle, and even my Baptist heritage (gasp!); I am to strive for the Gospel!
We waste too much time answering Satan’s call to be a “ministry critic” that we fail to seize the opportunity we have to advance the kingdom of God by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Jesus is coming at any moment and the last thing I need to do is to write a blog on why this church or that pastor or those preachers are wrong. I’d rather strive together with those who are for the faith!
Not everyone will conduct a church service like you. All other pastors won’t preach like you. Their preference in music ministry may be different. They may not wear ties during the midweek service [ How liberal! 🙂 ] They might even use a presentation software during their church service. And for heaven’s sake, how can they not have a church steeple with a bell in it! Can I tell you something? That’s okay! The question is this, are they for the faith and are they for the fundamental doctrines of Scripture? If so, it’s okay to strive together with them for in so doing, their fruit shall also abound in your account.
As a young preacher (I’m not even in my 40’s yet), I am thankful for the friends I have in ministry. I cherish my conversations with them. I love the time we spend together. I rejoice in the victories they are receiving from the hand of our God. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a little investment in their lives and ministry. Why? Sometimes my life and ministry are not always going as well as I would hope but because I choose to strive together with others who are for the faith and the fundamentals of the faith, there has never been a day in my ministry life that I haven’t rejoiced because God blessed another fellow laborer and in so doing, He has blessed me, too!
At West Coast Baptist College, I watched Pastor Chappell and the staff, strive together with others for the faith. Thank God for their example and for the blessings I’ve experienced by striving together with others for the faith of the Gospel!