I understand that many decades ago Baptists and other religious organizations started medical clinics and hospitals in order to better provide humane, loving care to people. But, do we have to do everything? In a day when many baptist churches are removing the word “baptist” from their names, it was surprising to find the word baptist in a name. While driving to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island (near Jacksonville, FL) I spotted a sign for this new practice, Baptist Obstetricians. I am not opposed to what they are trying to accomplish, my family has benefited greatly from this type of medical care (just ask our three children). I am concerned with we as Baptists doing anything and everything instead of doing the main thing we are called to do. We are called to make disciples. Clear and precise. This is done by bringing people to a knowledge of Jesus and then teaching them to follow Him. I am not sure how this can happen in an OBGYN doctor’s offic.?
I am concerned about the situation over at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They are seeing a huge budget shortfall in this past year and will not be able to support the missionaries who are preparing to go. I am thankful that our church and may others are stepping to the plate to have a special offering. But in North Carolina the state convention keeps 68% of “missions giving” within our state. There are worthwhile programs and ministries, but there are over 4000 church scattered (stacked on top of each other) through our state. We do a lot of things. Even some medical care. My prayer is that we bapists get back to doing the things we are called to do. Other things may be an avenue to accomplish discipleship, but the cannot be an end in themselves. I pray this begins with me, with our church, our state, our denomination, and every follower of Jesus!