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What good is salt that cannot season? Is that not the whole point--the distinctive quality that makes salt effective? Jesus put it this way, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." (Matt.5:13 NKJV, emphasis added)

Have we come to that place in the Southern Baptist Convention? Have we become modern-day Pharisees who are accurate in belief but aberrant in behavior? Do we make sanctimonious condemnations of others while engaging in sinful conduct ourselves?

If you have not read the report concerning the accusations of a cover-up and leaders involved in sexual misconduct, then please read it here:

While some of those accused have made denials and deserve a hearing, the amount of material, specificity, and corroboration can only lead one to conclude there is a severe problem in the denomination and some of its leadership.

This scandal is a call to repentance and a summons to pursue holiness. The easy thing, of course, would be to merely condemn those who have failed morally and, with humility, neglect to judge our hearts. But instead, we should say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I!"

The word scandal has its origin in the Greek skandalon, meaning "a stumbling block." The pain of victims who did not get justice is dreadful. How many have stumbled, looking up to men who claimed to be shepherds who behaved as predatory wolves in sheep's clothing? What of our witness to the world? Why should people believe the Gospel when we have corrupted it with perverse behavior? Would this cause people to stumble into hell? Most grievous, we have besmirched the name of God. Nathan points to David after his adultery and cover-up, " you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme" (2 Sam.12:14).

The purpose of salt is to arrest rottenness, so we salt meat to preserve it. As we look at the corruption of our culture, it is not that the world is any viler, but the church's moral influence has waned. Therefore, we read the horror of a young man going into a school in Texas and shooting the little children as if he were playing a video game.

Frankly, I am heartsick over what I see in the nation and church. But, worst of all, the depths of depravity of my soul are like an abyss of filth. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jer.17:9). O God, we need Your grace and mercy!

Your Haywood Baptist AMS,


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