During the last few weeks, many South Carolina Baptist Convention churches have been disturbed and puzzled by the Christmas Eve sermon by Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, a church affiliated with the SCBC. This also precipitated a review and apology from this pastor on his blog. However, his 2014 Christmas Eve message and his theological position in that message are evidence of continued problematic positions and statements that are inconsistent with the beliefs of South Carolina Baptists.
These events lead to the following statements:
1) As your convention president, I call all SCBC ministers to treat their individual ministry settings as a sacred trust void of coarse, profane language as well as choosing music that is sacred in content. We are all called by a holy God and must constantly be aware of our testimony for Him as His called servants.
2) Most ministers live an isolated existence regardless of church size or location. Therefore, I personally encourage all ministers to find and actively engage in accountability groups to hold them to a higher standard morally, ethically and biblically. I am a member of two such groups that meet weekly and attend them with faithfulness.
3) As Christian brothers, I ask all SCBC pastors to be courageous, faithful servants of our Lord by renewing themselves to more sound exegetical study and expository preaching and teaching of God’s word.
Ezekiel 33 calls us all to be watchmen over souls and lives our Lord and Savior died for on a blood-stained cross one Friday over 2,000 years ago. All church leaders must take seriously their responsibilities to present well-thought and biblically based sermons and teaching that come from God’s infallible, inerrant Word and lead the lost to Christ.
Therefore, we as South Carolina Baptists must publicly state and remove ourselves from these positions and problematic statements and call for NewSpring to correct these positions if it chooses to say that it affiliates with South Carolina Baptist churches.
I thank you all for the privilege of being your convention president. If I can ever be of any further assistance, please let me know.
Editor’s note: Perry Noble’s blog post concerning his Christmas Eve sermon can be read at https://perrynoble.com/blog/a-letter-to-the-church-i-love. Tommy Kelly is pastor of Varnville First Baptist Church and president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.