Silencing Stetzer

September 22, 2007

Christianity Today has an interesting article about pastor Mark Driscoll, a controversial leader in the emerging church movement. The piece is entitled "Pastor Provocateur." However, one minor part of the article jumped out as particularly interesting. The piece notes:

Driscoll told me that he has learned much from Ed Stetzer, a missiologist who works for the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board (NAMB). Stetzer directs the Center for Missional Research, which studies culture and evaluates church effectiveness. However, NAMB declined to make Stetzer, a member of the Acts 29 board, available for this profile. Spokesman Mike Ebert told me that the denomination has "controversial differences" with some of Driscoll's "views and practices."
NAMB would not even allow Stetzer to talk to Christianity Today? Apparently, Roger Moran and his followers have been successful in their inaccurate and illogical guilt-by-association attacks on Stetzer and others in the emerging church movement. Have we become so afraid of differing opinions that we are muzzling a man who is considered by many to be one of the greatest voices among Southern Baptists today? We do not have to agree with one another or even use the same methodologies in sharing the love of Jesus. But the least we can do is love each other and respect each other's right to speak.