Say Something Nice!First Baptist Church Charleston,S.C.

FirstBaptist Church CharlestonThis article comes from

The Anglican Communion is on the verge of rupture, The Southern Baptist Convention is in danger of splintering into single issue factions, the Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians are at an uneasy peace and very few leaders are speaking words of conciliation. The Catholic Church seems to be in a constant uproar. There is a definite and deafening decline of civility within the Christian community which is hampering if not defeating its mission.

In Charleston, South Carolina a slow but potentially powerful movement is beginning to emerge. Historic First Baptist Church now in its 325th year and the Charleston Baptist Association, the oldest Baptist association in the South, have declared the first Sunday in June as Say Something Nice Sunday. On this Sunday Christians of all denominations are urged to step back from strident discourse and to utter no word of criticism about another person or another religious group. In fact they are urged to go further and to say nice things about others and other religious groups.

Dr. Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was elected as an outsider candidate partly because of his stance on turning down the rhetoric within the convention. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has endorsed the same sentiments of stepping back for reflection and reasoned dialogue.

This project says much about the hearts of those at First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina who are sending out these press releases. To men and women like this, battles over homosexual marriage, abortion, women in the pulpit, goddess theology, the literal resurrection of Christ, the penal substituionary atonement are all mere quibbles. To these people, a minister who stands up and says, “Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, paid the penalty for our sins in his death on the cross. Those who seek to undermine this truth are the enemies of Christ and their lies are an affront to our Holy God,” is just engaging in nasty rhetoric. According to this campaign, this minister, holding a Bible in his hands, should put down the Bible, turn and say something nice about the heretical teachers who are undermining the truth of God’s Word and sending people to an eternal hell.

I wonder what these campaign organizers would have suggested to Christ and His disciples while He was on earth. “Quit with the ‘whitened sepulchre’ talk, Lord. Say something nice about the Pharisees!” “John the Baptist, cut out that harsh talk about adultery to King Herod. Say something nice, just for a day about him. Surely you can tone down the rhetoric. Things are getting too nasty here!” or “Paul, do you have to tell the Phillipian believers to, quote, ‘Beware of dogs and evil workers!’? Dogs? Is this the way a Christian should talk?”

I will say with great feeling that the organizers of this campaign are the sad products of decades of effeminization within our culture. These bearded ladies in the pulpit are tired of the sound of the trumpet and the battles over right and wrong. They now prefer to see things in terms of whether they are “nice” or not, not whether they are true or not. They prefer unity more than truth. In so doing, they are engaging in an act of treason against the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, whose unchanging Word commands us to contend for the faith, to stand strong in the Lord, to arm and prepare ourselves for battle. (Ephesians 6) The sound of war offends and frightens these pastors who would much prefer hugs and cookie exchanges to contending for truth. The reality is this: these battles are taking place because of the hatred of our powerful foe, Satan and his ages-old battle against the Lordship of Jesus Christ. To ignore this point is to run up the white flag to the enemy. Our battles within our denominations are part of the larger war waged by Satan to dethrone Christ Himself. (Isaiah 14:13) To speak nicely of the enemies of our Lord and Savior, then, would be blasphemous treason.

If we truly possess love for the souls of the unsaved around us, we will not hold back when we hear the enemy’s lies and deception being promulgated. There are battles in every denomination in our land because the battle for truth is going on in each one. Although we battle for truth, our strength is not our own, but the Lord’s. The battle belongs to Him.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

–II Corinthians 10:3-5

Posted on May 2007

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6 Comments on “Say Something Nice!First Baptist Church Charleston,S.C.”

  1. So,this is the real Marshell Blalock.Tony Campolo would be proud.

  2. chadwick Says:


    That gives me the warm fuzzies!


  3. Dr. James Willingham Says:

    “Just say nice things” by itself does not cut the mustard. The most liberal and radical, the most orthodox, etc. are the Baptists of the 17th & 18th centuries. Nice things have a place in the process of reconciliation, but truth and radical confrontation also have their place. Mediation and negotiation do not work where any part of he process is neglected, ignored or regarded as expendable. Our problem now is that the advocates of orthodoxy do not know or understand how it works. Consider how the particular/regular Baptists of the Philadelphia Assn. came to North Carolina & persuaded somGeneral Baptists to give up their general atonement doctrine and adopt particular redemption and then have the second Great Awakening and start the Great Century of Missions and unite two groups (Separates & Regulars) and secure religious liberty and help found te greatest nation that has ever been on the face of the earth. Such actions say somthing about ther belief system & practices. I suggest that we have the secret in our history to turn this whole thing around and have another Great Awakening and win the whole world to Christ in one generation. As the hymn says (a conflation of Isa.11:9 & Hab.2:14) “AND THE EARTH SHALL BE FILLED WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE & GLORY AS THE WATERS THAT COVER THE SEAS.” Which, by the way was te basis the second Great Awakening and the Great Cntuy of Missions. I mean the texts cited. See Jonathan Edwards, Plea for United Prayer for the Propagation of the Gospel among th heathen, & William Carey’s writing on the use of means in the propagation of the Gospel among the heathen. I SAY THIS CAN BE AGAIN, REGARDLESS OF THE FOLKS WHO THINK THEY RUN THE WORLD. OUR HOPE OF THIS IS AS BRIGHT AS THOSE PROMISES THAT WE CAN (AND SOME OF US DO) PLEAD NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE AWAKENING OF THE WHOLE WORLD TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. THOSE PROMISES HAVE BEEN PLEADED BEFORE AND LOOK AT WHAT WAS WROUGHT. THE PROMISES HAVE BEEN EXPOUNDED BY EDWARDS AND CAREY. STUDY THEIR WORKS, USE THE PROMISES IN PRAYER, USE THE TECHNIQUES OF MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATION (ALL OF WHICH GROW OUT OF BIBLICAL & SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY) AND LABOR TO THAT END. Remember this: GOD IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK.

  4. Greg Says:

    Is this Craig Willingham’s father? If you should pass by this again. Greg Bailey here. Went to SEBTS with Craig and had a couple of good talks with you many years ago. I hope all is well.
    Grace Alone,
    Greg Bailey

  5. Patricia Graham Says:

    I was delighted to find this information as I am researching Charleston for an upcoming prayer gathering.
    I was very encouraged that biblical standard, truth and clarity be brought to the
    forefront concerning the subject of unity.

    I pray that the LORD will continue to grant you wisdom, timing, strategy and the courage to hold up HIS WORD and HIS NAME in the GATES of Charleston.

  6. Dr. James Willingham Says:

    To Greg B. Yes, I m Craig’s father. Hope you are well. God bless.

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