Chad R. Chaddick
Baptist Reflections
January 29, 2008


Earlier this month, I attended my first TBC Board meeting in Dallas – one of four recently elected members in attendance. All four of us were asked why we said “yes” to the invitation to serve on the TBC Board of Directors.

Since that meeting, as I have reflected on that question and my initial response, I have realized that my “yes” to service on this Board is really a natural outgrowth of the “yes” that I said many years ago to supporting TBC as a member.

As I told the Board, my agreement to serve stems from a conviction that TBC people are my kind of Baptists. Seeing so much flux and uncertainty in the future and direction of so many Baptist organizations, I prefer to ride these waves of change with like-minded Baptists over navigating them alone or with those who do not share my convictions.

But maybe the phrase “my kind of Baptists” is too vague and general to convey the depth of the “yes” that I have said and continue to say. The kind of Baptists to whom I refer are men and women who know why they are Baptist and why they are not some other expression of the Christian faith. Furthermore, they are committed to being authentically Baptist and producing a traditional, historical Baptist witness rather than changing the core of Baptist identity to suit some revisionist agenda.


At the core of Baptist identity – and at the core of these people’s commitment – is the unequivocal affirmation of the Lordship of Christ. Such Baptists are so committed to the Lordship of Christ that they have spent considerable time, prayer, and resources to ensure that Baptist institutions, agencies, churches, and believers remain free from authoritarian and autocratic leadership . . . free to follow Jesus wherever and however He leads.

These Baptists are committed to the inspiration of the Bible as our most reliable and authoritative source of instruction on being Christ-like people. They are so committed to the Bible that they have spent considerable resources to provide educational opportunities in which the freedom of inquiry is cherished and protected. Why? Because freedom of inquiry is Biblical – as portrayed in the lives and teachings of the Old Testament prophets and New Testament disciples. Because, furthermore, God values such liberty – even the liberty to be wrong, as Genesis teaches us.

These Baptists seek to value what God values, and they trust that God is great enough to bless the righteous choices and redeem the fallen choices that are made with that liberty. Yes, these Baptists are committed to the historic Baptist principles of local church autonomy, the priesthood of all believers, and religious liberty for all people. They spend a significant part of their lives seeking to nurture, protect, and advance these principles, because they are convinced that the Bible teaches that God values them.


It is to all of these things and many more that these Baptists have shown themselves to be committed. They have shown their commitment not only by their words but in deed and in truth, to borrow a phrase from John. Sacrificial effort, sacrificial attendance, and sacrificial giving characterize these men and women, and they have operated on the principle that change will not take place without personal commitment and active involvement.

So they have worked and attended and given for the purpose of nurturing real Baptist kinds of Christians and a Christian community steeped in Baptist principles and polity. They have done this for Baptists in Texas , and they have done this for Baptists around the world.

When I said “yes” to being involved in the work of TBC, I said “yes” to being involved with this kind of people, this kind of effort, and this kind of Baptist life in Texas and the world. These people are my kind of Baptists.

In closing, the preacher in me cannot help but ask, Why haven’t more of our Baptist folks said “yes” to Texas Baptists Committed? Why don’t more Baptists continue to say “yes” through their involvement as new needs and opportunities eclipse the old? It is up to us who are already involved to lead the way.