By Michael Foust
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Saying he believes the Conservative Resurgence ended "as a crusade" in 2004, Morris H. Chapman asked Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee members Feb. 19 to examine the spiritual health of the convention in light of the resurgence and to pray for revival among Baptists and across the nation.
"Is our convention any better spiritually because biblical conservatives are leading?" Chapman, president of the Executive Committee, asked. "I leave that question for you to answer in the depths of your own heart."
Speaking to the Executive Committee during its winter meeting, Chapman said he believes the resurgence "as a crusade" ended in '04 -- the 25th anniversary of Adrian Rogers' election as SBC president in 1979. The resurgence represented a return of Southern Baptists to biblical orthodoxy.
"I thank God we went through the resurgence in spite of its difficulty, in spite of its hardship on all of us, regardless of position in the convention," Chapman said. " ... We're just beginning to build a convention for this generation on the basis of our heartfelt convictions.
"We must begin to ask the question as to what God would have us do now that we have been given the leadership responsibilities of the convention."
Chapman also urged Executive Committee members to ask if America as well as the convention are on the brink of a spiritual revolution.
"Every Southern Baptist leader has reason to ask, 'If not, why not?' Surely that has been the prayer of our hearts -- 'God, send us a revival that will turn this nation right-side up,'" Chapman said.
The Bible, he said, provides the formula for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14, when God says to Solomon, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
"I pray God will do it," Chapman said. "We can't do it ourselves. Only He can do it. But we can abandon ourselves to say, 'Lord, while there's much we try to do in your service, at this very moment I abandon my all for the cause of Christ.' I pray God will touch each of our hearts and speak to us as only he can. I pray that soon we shall see an inexplicable move of God among us because God's people have been on their faces."
Cooperation among Southern Baptists, Chapman said, is crucial if the convention is to grow spiritually.
"Cooperation in our convention is the rational, emotional and relational glue that holds us together," he said. "The key ingredients of cooperation are truth, trust and being trustworthy.
"Do you trust completely in the Lord to answer your needs? Are you willing to take the risk of trusting your fellow Southern Baptists and being worthy of their trust? Are you willing to trust God to do something bigger than we are, in and through us, and for the cause of Christ in the convention?"
Edited by Morris Chapman