Jerry Vines Blog
I have always had an aversion to religious politics. I’m sure that sounds strange coming from someone who was intricately involved in SBC politics for a number of years. But, there was something about it that was distasteful to me. Realistically, however, I don’t know how it can be avoided. And, I must say some of it was quite exciting.
I went to bed at a Convention one night thinking Dr. Ed Young would be nominated for President the next day. Instead, I nominated Dr. Charles Stanley for his first term as President! I was elected two times as SBC President myself.
Fact is, in any deliberative body politics plays an imperative role. It just goes with the territory.
So, how do you avoid the pettiness and ugliness that sometimes emerges? I tried to follow some basic principles.
First, I affirmed the right of any person to be nominated for any position who felt led of the Lord to do so. No one should seek to deny this basic right to any other brother.
When I was elected SBC President, Dr. Richard Jackson was nominated the first year and Dr. Daniel Vestal the second year. I was never offended or upset by that. It was their perfect right to be nominated.
Second, I never felt any group could dictate these matters. I’m not naïve. I think it is always the case that certain groups coalesce around certain candidates. There are times when it is greatly desirable that this be so. Fortunately, during the days of the Conservative Resurgence, there was great unity and oneness. The battle to return the SBC to its conservative roots cemented thousands of us together. But, no group should ever think its decisions pre-empt anyone else from reaching different ones.
Third, refuse to be involved in rumor and character assassination. Sadly, even religious politics gets mired in those swamps.
When candidates are nominated, prayerfully vote for the person you feel is best suited for the position. Then, when the outcome is ascertained, trust the results to the providence of God, love the brethren, and then all of you go out for a good supper that night!