SBC President, Rev. Fred Luter Jr.

Fred Luter is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this is news, so I thought it would be important to share my opinion on the subject. I think it touches on a few things: Race, Evangelism, Great Commission…

Luter Happy

I was not able to attend the SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans this past week, I just didn’t want to burn the vacation time or spend the money on the travel/lodging etc. But I was very happy with the election of Fred Luter as the president of the SBC. I grew-up as a Southern Baptist and I have been on staff at 4 “First Baptist Churches.” I went to a Southern Baptist college, and I’ve graduated twice (so far) from and attended two Southern Baptist Seminaries. What I’m trying to say is, I’m really Southern Baptist. But I come by it, I think, honestly. I had a time of searching (and I always try to keep that up) where I asked myself the question “do I really believe this…” and my answer (after 9 months) was “YES!” SBC, Lottie Moon, LifeWay, Annie Armstrong, Cooperative Program, IMB, NAMB, Baptist Faith & Message, and on and on… I’m proud of it all.

But I was proud of my convention especially this week because we elected Fred Luter as our president, and here’s why:

  • Race. Yes, it’s usually the first thing anyone mentions, so I will too, Fred Luter is black. I think it’s important, that’s why I listed it, but I also don’t like saying “the first black President of the SBC” all that much. I think (hope) it’s revealing that “younger” generations (like mine: GenX) are taking a more active role (but we need GenY even more!). Honestly, though racism is still a big issue, it’s less of an issue with younger generations. I think about race as an issue less than my parents, and they think of it less than theirs etc. I long for the day when people are just people…
  • Evangelism. To me, this is the key issue. In the SBC, with Luter, in churches, in my life… it all comes down to Evangelism, and Luter believes in it. He has a history of reaching out, especially to men, and drawing them to Jesus through the Gospel. That, alone, is enough to get my vote. I think it is great that he is black and what that says about the SBC is wonderful, but I care about a million times more about Evangelism and the Gospel, and Luter has got it right on that point.
  • Great Commission. Luter has a history of being able to reach-out to various groups and help them to get along. I believe he is going to use that ability to help us put aside our differences (Calvinism, Creation, Creeds, etc.) and work together to spread the Gospel around the world… That’s the Great Commission. This is what we are all about. I want to see more and more people come to know Jesus as the result of the SBC and the “top spot” in the SBC is the President, Fred Luter, I trust, will represent us and (more importantly) Jesus well.

I don’t see myself abandoning the SBC any time soon, I’m a “lifer,” but that’s not set in stone. We could adopt a stance that says the Bible is not God’s word, or that you must believe “this” or “that” end-times scenario to be a Southern Baptist, and then I would be gone. However, I don’t see that happening. I am proud of the direction of the SBC. In my mind, the best presidents of the SBC have been Jimmy Draper, Johnny Hunt, and now Fred Luter… These are big shoes to fill, I am hopefully optimistic that he will do a great job! I’m with you Fred!

  • Did you know I was Southern Baptist? Are you? 
  • What do you think of us? What questions can I answer?
  • Have you heard that we were electing Fred Luter?
  • What do you think about it?

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About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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