Want to learn some things? Keep up with SBC This Week the ” weekly news roundup from around the Southern Baptist Convention hosted by Amy Whitfield and Jonathan Howe.”
The two secured an interview with Stephen Rummage, Chairman of the SBC Executive Committee which earlier in the week had announced that they have not one but two study committees that will be looking into the matter of churches dissatisfaction and concerns about SBC entities and how that might impact the Cooperative Program.
Rummage said that the actions were not solely because of the decision by Prestonwood Baptist Church and their former SBC president pastor, Jack Graham, to escrow their $1 million in Cooperative Program gifts, but…
…the issue that has surfaced most often and most strongly has been issues related to the ERLC
…some of the actions of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have caused a lot of churches to respond and to register concerns. In fact, our Executive Committee staff has tells me that they have received more letters, more calls, more emails, people who are going to or considering defunding or holding back CP monies…more concerns about this issue, more volume of correspondance and calls about this than any other issue in memory…
While Rummage said that the committees were going to look at more than just the ERLC, it seems clear where the bullseye will be located.
It’s not often that Southern Baptist are informed about the feedback content to our Executive Committee. Guess it would be a reasonable conclusion that Frank Page’s phone has been ringing off the hook about Russell Moore and the ERLC. Also, only those Southern Baptists who are deeply informed about SBC structures and relationships would think to respond to the Executive Committee. One wonders if the business of Prestonwood taking the lead in this was anticipated or even orchestrated. It is rank conjecture of course to even speculate about that.
There are two Executive Committee study groups. One is an ad hoc committee of EC officers: Stephen Rummage, Shane Hall, Becky Illingworth, Kent Choate, Stephen Swafford, Rolland Slade. The other is the Executive Committee’s Cooperative Program Committee whose chairman is Rolland Slade but whose other members I could not find.
I am uncertain if the meetings of either or both of these committees are open to the public and will be reported on.
SBC life is certainly interesting these days, even if the triggers aren’t terribly positive. The best outcome for all this would be for Russell Moore and the ERLC to take actions sufficient to defuse the ire of complainants. The worst action would be if the study expands to include the laundry list of complaints about NAMB, IMB, or the seminaries. It is noted that the Executive Committee has only an advisory role in anything involving the entities. One hopes for some level heads and irenic attitudes in all this. The Cooperative Program has been coasting along on a flat trajectory rather than the steady downward one. I’d hate to see any setback here. Cooperation is a tough task.
Amy Whitfield, Jonathan Howe and SBC This Week do a good job informing SBCers and I appreciate that.
No need in my opinion to say all the same things again that were said in the four other articles here on the subject…but I thought the Executive Committee chairman added some information to what I had read in the podcast interview.