Late in January, Rick Davis made an intriguing comment on his “aintsobad” blog. He wrote:
When I first got involved with baptist politics in Texas, after years of being a pastor/evangelist and staying at home to help a church grow, I began to hear of being “Pinsonized.” The reference was to the fellow then Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dr. William (Bill) Pinson. To be “Pinsonized” meant to try to hold on to all the churches, Fundamentalist, Moderate, Liberal, Accepting and Affirming, to give this whole Battle for the Bible time to run its course—Rick Davis, Aintsobad.blog
I have run in Baptist circles (and on a side note at times run in circles) for over twenty-five years and have never heard this term. I did on one occasion hear Rick Scarbourgh attack Dr. Pinson and promise to turn out the lights in the Baptist building if Pinson continued to be at the helm. I have always held Dr. Pinson in the highest esteem especially for his commitment to the whole Texas Baptist family. Like a pastor who is charged to love and shepherd all the sheep, Dr. Pinson believed it was his calling to lead the BGCT through some very troubled waters with integrity and commitment.
I hope if Dr. Randel Everett is called to be our new Executive Director that he and his leadership team will choose to use some plays out of Dr. Pinson’s playbook. From my position as a young pastor in Texas these were the qualities I saw and admired in Dr. Pinson, his “fundamentals” or “values” if you prefer.
I viewed Dr. Pinson as a spiritual leader, not a political operative. His heart for God was evident in how he approached his work. I had the sense his marching orders came from above and not out of a caucus meeting. He surrounded himself with strong, capable leaders who knew Texas Baptist work and knew how to work together. He had backbone enough to say “no” and to stand on historic Baptist principles yet he was not willing to drive churches or people away because he disagreed with some of what they believe. He had a heart big enough for all Texas Baptists, and he tried to wrap his arms around the two warring factions within our convention to give us a chance to calm down and make up. In other words, he was rather idealistic, and I personally appreciate him for that quality.
His approach reminds me of the words of Paul out of his prison cell when he wrote:
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit– just as you were called to one hope when you were called– 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.—Apostle Paul (Eph 4:1-6 NIV)
I believe we would all be wise to heed these words as we enter the next chapter of our journey together. Being “one” is not for the faint of heart. It demands that each of us give our very best. For the record I wish we were all “Pinsonized” or better yet “Jesus-ized”.
Remember Jesus boldly taught:
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)
I guess a good place to start this journey is by learning to “love one another.”