he first thing I do on Friday is to read up on people in the news because it seems like a good idea. I say “seems” because after I do so, they always make me blog.
Saying that, let me be clear that I support the nomination of Dr. Ronnie Floyd for the presidency of the SBC. Whilst Gene Bridges is picking himself up off the floor, let me explain why, and then explain my problem.
I support Dr. Floyd because we aren’t going to get anybody better. Dr. Mohler isn’t going to think about it; Mark Dever isn’t going to think about it. Tom Ascol is not thinking about it. Frankly, I’m not thinking about it – as if I’d be better anyway, which I would not be, and I’m not even a pastor in the convention, so “pheh” to me. So given that none of my personal “dream” candidates will be in the mix, Dr. Floyd is qualified, gifted, and frankly inside the ballpark on the essentials (the “TR” question aside).
I also support Dr. Floyd because we could do much worse. I know you salivating carnivores are looking for me to dish on who is worse, but I’m not gonna do that. It is enough to say that there are probably 10 men in large churches today who might be considered by the convention and the Powers That Be® who would certainly be worse than Dr. Floyd in doctrine, in vision, in ability, and in spirit.
Now, I suppose that if Albert Mohler or Mark Dever somehow changed their minds about being willing to be considered, I’d be interested in discussing this again. However, that’s unlikely. Thus: I support Dr. Floyd, and God bless him as he leads the SBC as we can all anticipate that he will.
Now, what’s my problem?
I was reading Dr. Floyd’s blog (and who knew he was blogging? Is it really him?), and I came across this post, entitled “Right vs. Christ-like?” It begins thus:
One of my staff members sent me this phrase recently: “Most Christians would rather be right than Christ-like.” I am confident this statement is so needed in families, businesses, and in churches. Is that not a convicting word for all of us? It sure is to me.OK: before the astute readers of the blog chime in, let’s be clear that near the bottom of that blog entry is this:
You can be right and be Christ-like at the same time. They do not have to be competing forces in your life. In fact, true rightness is done like Jesus would do it. When you evaluate Jesus’ life, He always did right, stood for right, and said what was right AND He always did it in the right way. A way that pictured godliness, holiness, and brought great glory to the Father.Before airing this out, let’s remember something here: Dr. Floyd is not talking about righteousness here: he’s talking about “right action”. He spends a lot of ink in the actual link concerned about behavior and not justification by faith, so don’t get distracted by confusing what he is saying here with faith-plus-works. His point is that most Christians (and I am sure he means particularly “Baptists” since they don’t run a lot of Presbyterians through FBCS) would rather win an argument rather than be somebody who embodies the winning “argument”.
Yeah, fair enough. Pheh! Baptists! I’ve heard that somewhere before, but I’m not sure where ...
Anyway, I read that, I got his point, but I was still somewhat, um, lacking contentment with the rest of the post. For example, it also says this:
The Christian life is not about always being right. It is about being like Jesus. I remember this phrase that was said to me years ago: If Satan cannot get you to do the wrong thing, then he will try to get you to do the right thing in the wrong way! This is so true.Seriously now: how many times can you be “like Jesus” and be “wrong” when it comes to the kinds of things Dr. Floyd is talking about here? I agree with him 100% in that the point is Christ-likeness – but you can’t be right unless you’re Christ-like.
So my problem today is really this: why would anyone create the separation necessary to make the statement, as above, that Christ-likeness sometimes means allowing yourself to be “wrong”? For example, when I used the 8-letter word of social disgrace earlier this month, was that Christ-like? Yeah, prolly not – so I was not Christ-like, and I was wrong. But was apologizing because I was wrong Christ-like? Of course it was! That’s not a pat on the back to me – that’s admitting that we are Christ-like and becoming more Christ-like when we are willing to reject sin.
Please: if you want to be right, admit to yourself that you must first be Christ-like in order to be right. If someone wants to beat me over the head about that, fine. But let’s never forget that there is no separation between being Christ-like and being right.
Even for leaders in the SBC.