This past July 4th, as Americans celebrated Independence Day, Pastor Jonathan Sims of Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church notified his flock about their formal independance from the Southern Baptist Convention. The reason, he said, was decades long spiritual rot within Southern Baptist churches.
Everything about this address made me cheer. He was humble, convincing and insightful. He calls himself Brother Jono and uses those simple titles for all staff. He was on fire, naming names at every turn, all while lauding historic Calvinism, the centrality of expositional preaching, the importance of church discipline and the authority of Sola Scriptura.
He gave at least ten examples of liberal rot within the SBC:
- Decisional Regeneration
- Spontaneous baptisms
- Softening on abortion
- Critical Race Theory (calling it wicked, hellish and another Gospel)
- Love for cultural relevance
- Women preachers
- Parading sexual abuse victims
- Bloated membership rolls
Sims is a fifth generation Southern Baptist preacher. He’s been a part of Southern Baptist schools and churches for nearly sixty years. So departing from the SBC speaks volumes to what he sees as a lost cause, a sinking ship and an old wineskin.
I’ve been a missionary in a little South African Tsonga village for fifteen years. I’m a Baptist but have no SBC affiliations. I am a part of Sola 5, an association of Reformed Baptist churches in southern Africa. I love and pray for and am thankful for these pastors and churches. But the Downgrade in the SBC over the years has been a grave reminder to me that if we preachers of Christ are not walking daily in the Spirit, mining carefully in the Word, admonishing each other with love and firmness and fighting ruthlessly against the greatest errors in the church today, Sola 5 will succumb to liberalism in the church as well.
God have mercy on the SBC. God give grace to Sola 5. God bless Jonathan Sims.