All ethnicities are called to world missions, International Mission Board President David Platt told more than 600 black Southern Baptists gathered at Ridgecrest, N.C., acknowledging only 25 of the 4,700 IMB missionaries are African American.
“I don’t know all the reasons behind that [disparity]” he said during his July 23 sermon at the 2015 Black Church Leadership & Family Conference. “On behalf of the IMB I’m willing to take responsibility for it. And I long for that to change.”
More than 2 billion people have not heard the Gospel worldwide, Platt said, urging Christians to fight all social injustices, not just those that appeal to us individually.
“This is not a white issue or a black issue, this is a multiethnic issue,” he said. “What is it going to take for the concept of unreached people to become totally intolerable to us in the church?”
He segued from encouraging listeners to stand for the truth of God’s Word, to challenging them to do their part to ensure every nation hears the Word.
“The theme of the conference is ‘Stand’ here and now, and that’s exactly what I want to call us to do tonight,” he said. “Stand here and now on the battle front where the war is raging, based on the Word of God in 1 Peter 4 and 5. I would call us tonight as individual followers of Christ and His church to stand firm in the grace of God, with the Word of God, for the glory of God, in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christ.”
In both the culture and the church, Platt said, there is opposition to such ills including injustice, poverty, human trafficking, global starvation and slavery. He noted there also is passivity toward such evils as abortion and same-sex marriage.
“We pick and choose which social issues we are going to address, based on what’s least costly and most comfortable to us. And ladies and gentlemen we do not have that option,” Platt said. “The same Gospel that compels us to draw back poverty compels us to defend marriage. The same Gospel that compels us to war against sex trafficking compels us to war against sexual immorality in all of its forms.
“Brothers and sisters there are battles that are raging rapidly on the front lines of our culture, and we don’t have the option on deciding which battles we’re going to fight…. If we are going to be the church in our culture, we must engage the battles that are being fought.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press