The U.S., churches and the SBC are in a spiritual critical time, Luter said at the Southern Baptist Convention 2013 Annual Meeting held Tuesday and Wednesday.
More than 4,400 pastors, church leaders, and lay people, are registered reportedly for the two-day event held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Below are some quotes from Fred Luter's speech on the first night of the denomination's annual convention this year :
"Because of our love for the Scripture we've had some differences of opinion, but the problem is that while we are arguing about these topics, lost men, women, boys, and girls are dying and going to hell every single day. While we are arguing about these topics and debating about these topics, America is going to hell every day. Time is running out. We do not have time for debate. We do not have time for arguing. The world needs to know that Jesus saves … for the sake of those who are lost."
"The reason this time is critical is because the spiritual pulse of our nation is at its all-time low. The time is critical because the spiritual heartbeat of our society is at an all-time low. As a matter of fact, our country is in critical condition."
"Listen to what Paul said in describing the times he is living in. Paul said in 2 Timothy, Chapter 3, 'But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unwise, unloving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.'
"My brothers and my sisters, what an accurate picture of our culture of today. What an accurate picture of our country. What an accurate picture of our communities. What an accurate picture of our cities. The Apostle Paul's prophecy to Timothy is unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, a reality today … what a tragic picture of our society today."
"What difference is the church making in this darkness? What difference is the church making in this lostness? What difference is the church making in these perilous times?"
"The fact of the matter is I cannot speak for any of those churches. I cannot speak for any of those denominations. However, I just happen to be the president of the largest protestant denomination in this world… in this country… I just happen to be the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, so I can't speak for those other denominations, but I can speak for this convention … the question I am asking of all SBC members is what difference are we making with this lostness, what difference is the Southern Baptist Convention making in this darkness?"
"According to the statistics we are not making much of a difference at all … We need all of us together to change what's happening in America, to change what's happening in our society."
"My prayer tonight is that 'Lord revive us that we may be one.' My heart's desire is that we will cry out together…"