Florida Baptists must ‘contend for the faith’ in midst of cultural ‘seismic shift,’ Singletary says
Nov 21, 2012
By JAMES A. SMITH SR.

ORLANDO (FBW)—A “seismic shift” in American culture demonstrated by the results of the recent election is a call for Florida Baptists to “contend for the faith as you’ve never before,” Jeff Singletary preached Nov. 13 at the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting.

“I submit to you this morning that the foundation of America no longer has a crack in it, but it experienced last Tuesday a seismic shift in America—the very foundation of 

America is being destroyed right in front of our eyes,” said Singletary, pastor of Exciting Central Tampa Baptist Church, a multi-cultural congregation in the heart of Tampa.

Singletary preached from the Book of Jude in delivering the convention sermon at First Baptist Church in Orlando. He is only the second African-American pastor in FBSC history to preach the convention sermon. There are 240 African-American congregations affiliated with the FBSC.

“I have come this morning, brothers and sisters, to call you and to challenge you to contend for the faith as you’ve never before,” he asserted.

JEFF SINGLETARY
FBC photo
“If we don’t get up, stand up, look up, speak up, America will go the way of the church in England. Yes, history will merely repeat itself in America and God will write ‘ichabod’ on the American church—‘The glory of the Lord has departed,’” he said.

Reflecting on the convention theme—“What Really Matters”—Singletary focused on the importance of faith, which was one of four aspects of the convention theme.

“Our faith matters because it is at the heart and the nature of our Father. Our faith matters because it is the fiber of our nation,” he preached.

“A faith that matters is a faith that transforms. A faith that matters is a faith that elevates and translates,” said Singletary.

Singletary said America has lost its once held “God consciousness,” while acknowledging not all the nation’s founders were Christians.

Still, a Christian worldview was the “bedrock of America,” he said.

“What made America great? I’ll tell you what made America great. It was not the land. It was not the people. It was not the location. It was God that made America great,” he said, adding, “Something has gone wrong.”

“When I was a little boy growing up there was a sense of God consciousness that permeated my neighborhood, that permeated my city, it permeated the country. Because those who founded and framed this nation, they designed within it a sense of God consciousness,” he said.

Today, however, Singletary said, “The very foundation of America is being destroyed right in front of our eyes, on our watch, within in our generation, to which we must be accountable to before God.”

Singletary rejected President Barack Obama’s contention that America is not a Christian nation, citing the claims of John Jay, first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

“I want to ask this morning—who are you going to believe, Chief Justice John Jay or President Obama?”

“Even the motto of our nation reflects that same sense of God consciousness that said and declares, ‘In God We Trust’—not in donkeys or elephants,” he said.

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