KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Michael Green, president of the Missouri Baptist Convention, was the featured chapel speaker Sept. 4 for “Missouri Baptist Day” at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
MBTS President R. Philip Roberts said the special day celebrates “the fact that we’re in the great state of Missouri and [we] work with the fabulous Missouri Baptist Convention — about 2,000 churches that help to reach and impact our state for the Gospel.”
Green, who serves as director of missions for the Twin Rivers Association based in Wright City, Mo., near St. Louis, said his sermon, which he would preach for the 100th time this day, initially was given to him by the “beautiful silver-haired preacher” who baptized his wife years ago.
Green recounted that Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond series, once said, “If I cannot live as I choose, I choose not to live,” in response to his doctor’s exhortation to change his lifestyle or he would be dead in a year. “If I cannot live as I please, it does not please me to live.”
Because God gave people such free will, Christians and ministers should keep in mind three things, Green said, citing lessons from the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck experience in Acts 27.
First, “we need to know that the experts are not always right,” said Green, noting that the helmsman and the owner of Paul’s ship were the professionals and Paul was the amateur. While the professionals decided it was safe to sail, Paul predicted disaster. The centurion, listening to the professionals, set sail, only to find that the amateur had been right.
Green offered the modern-day example of the Titanic. The experts said it would never sink, when in fact that was what it ended up doing.
Second, “the majority is not always right,” Green said. “In fact, when it comes to moral issues, the majority is often wrong.”
Paul was in the minority, as most everybody else considered it safe to sail and they were all wrong, Green said.
While the majority of married Americans view separation and divorce as viable options, they are wrong according to God’s Word, the Bible, Green said. In the next 10 years, he predicted, a majority of Americans will wholly accept the homosexual and lesbian lifestyle, but that does not make it right.
Teenagers think if “everybody’s doing it,” it must be alright, Green continued. But, “If everybody’s doing it, then that’s a good reason for you not to.”
In the end, Paul — the amateur, the minority voice — was right, but not by his own wisdom, Green noted. Paul’s wisdom and his subsequent prediction had come from God.
“God is never wrong — never, ever — and He never will be,” Green said.
Green told the story of a friend who was murdered while being a “Good Samaritan.” After preaching his funeral, Green was approached by the man’s wife who said to him, “Brother Mike, I want you to know that even though I’m grieving, I know this: It was not an accident. I will grieve, but I will trust God.”
“Do you believe that when God tells you something from His Word — or that still small voice [tells you to] run it by God’s Word — are you willing to stand on that and do what He tells you regardless of what the world says?” Green asked. “The experts aren’t always right; the majority is not always right; but God is never wrong.”
Rachel Waligorski is a writer at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.