Next week, we Americans will finalize the election of our next president. I say “finalize,” because many of us have participated in “early voting” this year. In fact, I have already voted in Paint Rock and did not have to wait in line!!! I hope you have already taken part in, or will be taking part in, this tremendous freedom we enjoy as Americans. We get to vote and choose our own leaders.
The following week, on November 10, we will elect new officers of the Baptist General Convention of Texas at our Annual Meeting in Fort Worth. I hope those of you who are Texas Baptists will also be there to participate in this election, exercising your freedom as Texas Baptists.
But, to be honest with you, I personally have a larger concern than which candidates are elected in either election. My concern is that we love and respect each other when the process is over and that we work together as Americans and Texas Baptists to build a better future.
I honestly believe that we have two excellent candidates for president of the United States. Similarly, I honestly believe that we have two excellent candidates for president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
My concern for America is that we are horribly divided and that some fail to see, or refuse to see, the good in those with whom they disagree. Yes, our country faces tremendous challenges. However, if we will work together in a bipartisan and cooperative way, we can meet those challenges together and overcome them.
Texas Baptists used to be horribly divided, too, when the Fundamentalists were trying to take control of our state convention. But they failed to do so, and they formed their own convention. God bless them in that endeavor.
There is no reason today for Texas Baptists to be divided, and this year’s BGCT presidential election should not divide us – no matter who wins. We face great challenges as well, but we are a fellowship that is open, inclusive, and loving. After our BGCT Annual Meeting, with the election of a new president behind us, we need to be more united than ever before.
We have churches to start, institutions and ministries to expand, and people all over our state who need to know Jesus.
I urge you to promise God and yourself that, after our convention, you will support the BGCT even more than you do today, no matter who our leaders are. Stephen Hatfield and David Lowrie – the two candidates for president – set the example for all of us when they sat together at the TBC Convocation in August. After we elect a new president in Fort Worth on November 10, I have no doubt that the losing candidate will sincerely support our new president in the spirit of Christian unity . . . Baptist unity. That’s the example we all need to follow, folks. We are family now as Texas Baptists, and we need to stay that way. Let’s unite behind our leaders and support our beloved BGCT.