St. Louis, Mo.—Southern Baptists must act, akin to Queen Esther on behalf of her people, because “the stakes are high” in the church and in the world today, Ronnie Floyd said in his presidential address to Southern Baptist Convention messengers.
“More Christians around the world are being persecuted and killed for their faith than any other time in modern history,” said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. “And with the continual and growing threats of Boko Haram, ISIS and other persecution, we are seeing one of the most severe refugee crises in our generation.
“Simultaneously, with over 6,000 unreached people groups globally, we as Southern Baptists are reducing our mission force by 1,000 missionaries. Southern Baptists, the stakes are high,” Floyd said.
Laws protecting traditional marriage have been overturned, government overreach has extended to the restroom and the dignity of human life is being demeaned, Floyd said, yet “these things are not some new morality. They are signs that our nation is on the ragged edge of moral insanity.”
“As spiritual leaders, there is not one of us who can sit out in this critical hour,” Floyd said. “Now is not the time for churches in America to call time-out and retreat to their land of comfort and sit around dissecting their theology and the theology of others.”
Floyd called on laypeople to “be more engaged on Sundays than ever before,” but also to “intentionally integrate your faith on the front lines of our culture in everything you do regardless of where you are.”
Referring to Esther 4:13-17, Floyd said God sees what people do not see, and God’s faithfulness and providence are present everywhere.
“Providence placed Esther at the right place at the right time to accomplish the purpose of God,” Floyd said. “To every pastor here today and those of you watching online and to every church leader, God has you where you are at the right time to accomplish the purpose of God.
“… America is in a crisis today. We are on the precipice of either experiencing awakening or falling into an abyss. We cannot be adrift in denial any longer. We must face our future honestly,” Floyd said.
Read more at ‘The stakes are high,’ Floyd says.