About 30 Southern Baptist conservatives from diverse backgrounds are repenting of the triumphalism, arrogance and isolationism they say threatens the integrity of the 16-million-member denomination.
Saying they represent “disparate constituencies” in the Southern Baptist Convention, the participants met behind closed doors May 2-3 in Tennessee and later issued a “Memphis Declaration,” expressing concern and dissatisfaction over the current direction of the church body. But the group stopped short of proposing a candidate for SBC office or actions to be taken at the SBC convention in June—to the surprise of some participants.
Couched in terms of repentance, the statement says in part: “We publicly repent of triumphalism about Southern Baptist causes and narcissism about Southern Baptist ministries which have corrupted our integrity. . . . We publicly repent of an arrogant spirit that has infected our partnership with fellow Christians.”