Amarillo: Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a dinner sponsored by The Baptist Standard. This meeting was an effort by Marv Knox and The Baptist Standard board to reach out to its readers and supporters. Anyone paying attention to the news and information business knows it is going through a sea change, and this change is impacting the Standard possibly harder than other Baptist papers because of its unique relationship with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
All the Baptist papers of the other state conventions are the voice of the administration and state leadership. However, the Standard stands apart from the convention. Not a single door of Cooperative Program money goes to support the Standard. This historic distinction gives the Standard the kind of editorial freedom that no other state paper has. This freedom has allowed the Standard to challenge the convention in days when a challenge and rebuke were in order, and at times this freedom has made the Standard the champion and cheerleader for the BGCT.
In defense and support of this unique position, Marv Knox said, “To be authentic, faith must be free.” I totally agree with him. This is one of the priceless treasures of Baptist life—“freedom,” but as we know all too well freedom comes with responsibility. I must admit I have not always seen eye to eye with Knox on all the complex issues facing the BGCT and the SBC, but I have found in Knox, an editor who seeks the greater good and is willing to dialogue and interact on the issues. He is an editor with a “pastor’s heart” who uses the power of the pen to seek to advance the cause of Christ in the world. He has also been a strong encourager to me as I sought to introduce change. He treated me as a “real player” in Baptist life when I honestly thought I was out on a limb all by myself.
I would encourage you to read the Baptist Standard, and when you do thank God for the freedom we have as Texas Baptists to be ourselves.