By Jordan Tew, Executive Director • Baptist Publishing House
I remember visiting a used bookstore several years ago, and while I was there, I stumbled upon a collection of used Sunday School curriculum. This curriculum was supposed to be a book-by-book study of the Bible. I was intrigued, so I picked up a book and read through it. It did not take me very long to see that the author had skipped many verses and even entire chapters.
Granted, the verses and chapters that were skipped are often considered “controversial” by many. Indeed, Romans 8-10 has caused many a theological debate over the years. I was, however, saddened by the fact that a Christian publications ministry would rather skip verses (and chapters) than deal with what those verses said. Why be timid when it comes to God’s Word?
I will be the first to say there is no need to cause unnecessary strife or friction between brothers and sisters in Christ. However, there is also never any need to be ashamed of the Word of God.
When I became the executive director of Baptist Publishing House (several years after the aforementioned bookstore experience), I knew we must stand upon God’s Word without any compromise or fear. I will admit this is not a popular stand to take in today’s world, where compromise is celebrated and cowering is a virtue.
I believe God’s Word is powerful, authoritative and true. The Apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” Certainly, to be unashamed of the gospel means we also must be unashamed of the Word of God.
These convictions are also shared by our writers. The men who write for Baptist Publishing House are BMA pastors and educators. They work very hard to provide our churches with a true verse-by-verse study of God’s Word, and I am grateful for their consistent and selfless work. I can assure you it would be much easier to skip the “hard verses” in several instances, but we cannot do that because we are men bound by the Word of God. We understand our calling is to proclaim God’s Word faithfully and without compromise. That is what the churches of the BMA of America have commissioned the Baptist Publishing House to do.
This is not a new concept. The BMA has had many faithful Sunday School writers over the years. We are dedicated to preserving this legacy of faithful writers, who possess a devotion to the authority of the Bible and hold to sound doctrine.
Throughout the countless hours of writing, editing, correcting and rewriting each and every lesson, we have all solidified our conviction that we are 100% committed to God’s Word. The phrase “We don’t skip verses” is slowly becoming our motto. Second to the Word of God, our commitment is to the Doctrinal Statement of the BMA of America. Simply put, we will not and cannot produce anything that is not in total agreement with this statement.
Why are we so passionate about it? I think the answer to that question can be found in the Doctrinal Statement of the BMA of America, Article II:
• The Scriptures are God’s inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 3:16; II Peter 1:21). Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:13).
• The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer’s faith and practice (II Tim. 3:16, 17), reveal the principles by which God will judge all (Heb. 4:12; John 12:48) and express the true basis of Christian fellowship (Gal. 1:8-9; II John 9-11).
While the world is critical of such convictions, God is honored. We are grateful that the Lord has continued to pour out His blessings upon this ministry. Each quarter, more and more churches begin using BMA curriculum in their churches, and they have shared good reports about how it has helped their people grow in the knowledge of God and His Word. Some have even been saved! Indeed, as the Lord said, through the Prophet Isaiah, “My Word will not return void.”