Case Family in Hong Kong

Let the IMB know it’s Time to Change…

Posted in Daily Life Blurbs by jpcase01 on June 3, 2008

Way back in late 2005 Melanie and I started the application process to become candidates for the International Mission Board, the missions agency for the Southern Baptist Convention.  Melanie served two years in Guatemala with the IMB as a journeyman and has felt a strong call overseas from a very young age.  I too felt a calling to live out the gospel in foreign cultures.  Unfortunately for us, the IMB implemented two highly controversial guidelines while we were in process.  You can find out about those guidelines here: Rodney Hammer’s Open Letter to the SBCBaptism Meanings and Methods Spark Debate Among Some Baptists, and Pulling Back the Curtain on SBC Power Politics 

One of the guidelines required me to be rebaptized since I was baptized in a Christian church.  After much prayer and heartache and consulting with our church elders, I could not in clear conscience be rebaptized to gain a “Baptist Identity”.  I’m Southern Baptist by choice, not coercion.  Our church elders submitted a request for an exception on our behalf (see below), but we were told by our candidate consultant almost immediately that it had no chance of being granted.  If you know our story you’ll know that God still found a way to get us overseas.  Although we have no insurance, no formal training, no support network locally and are going into debt, we know that this is where God wants us right now.  Finally though, there are a group of people trying to reverse these guidelines. 

PLEASE visit http://imbchange.info/index.php and sign if you agree with the statement so that more workers can be sent. 

Jason,

Here’s a copy of the letter we are planning to send to the IMB.  I tried to get an appointment with the IMB representative, but his secretary said his schedule was completely full.  I have heard some rumors that the IMB is already rethinking this policy.  Let us hope and pray that letters like this will help repeal this policy.   -Rob

March 29, 2006

International Mission Board
3806 Monument Avenue
P.O. Box 6767
Richmond, VA 23230-0767

Dear Partners in the Gospel,

We, the pastors of Sojourn Community Church (SBC), are writing this letter in support of Jason Case, who is in the process of applying for missionary service with his wife, Melanie Case.   According to new IMB policies, Jason is required to be rebaptized because the church in which he was originally baptized does not hold to the doctrine of eternal security.  (Jason, though, does hold to the doctrine of eternal security.)  We cannot in good conscience rebaptize Jason, and are writing this letter to appeal for an exception.

Jason came to saving faith in Christ through the ministry of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., and was subsequently baptized in this church.  Southeast is well-known in Louisville for its strong stance on the authority of the Bible and salvation by faith in Christ alone.  The church has friendly ties with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and their senior pastor has spoken in the seminary’s chapel.

We have talked with Jason, and he has a Biblical understanding of his baptism.  He views his baptism as a symbolic proclamation of the salvation which he received as a free gift from God (Eph 2:8-10).  Jason and his wife, Melanie, are faithful members of our congregation and committed Southern Baptists.  We feel constrained by both the Scriptures and conscience not to rebaptize Jason.  We believe Jason and Melanie would make great international missionaries, and we hope that this new policy will not hamper their continued application.

Sincerely,

The Pastors of Sojourn Community Church (SBC)

Robert Cheong
Mike Cosper
Daniel Ems
Brian Miller
Daniel Montgomery
Rob Plummer

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: