If you like turmoil, rancor, disasters, and train wrecks...you should be enjoying SBC life right now. But...a glimmer of optimism appears. Is the Cooperation Group too little, too late? Cooperation Group named by Barber. Our president, Texas cattle baron and beleaguered Cardinal fan, Bart Barber said: “These declarations that churches are not in friendly cooperation and these appeals in response to those declarations represent a change in the fundamental processes by which we cooperate with one another,” “Within our Convention exists a widespread sentiment that the terms of the … [Read more...] about Have “the terms of our [cooperative] agreement changed?”…and other important SBC questions.
Scatter shooting while wondering why Alabama’s mascot is an elephant, but the team is called The Crimson Tide. Perhaps C. B. Scott can enlighten us. We should strive to be good stewards in both life and death. Every adult should have a will. Your state Baptist foundation or the Southern Baptist Foundation can advise you and point you to a Christian attorney. Beyond that, you can designate that a percentage of your life insurance or retirement account be given to a church, Christian organization, or institution. For example, my wife and I have designated that 10 percent of our Guidestone … [Read more...] about Scatter Shooting, Part 9
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable... He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, That would be the universe of our Grand Convention, proudly Southern Baptists, and doggone the critics we will slog onward whatever the insanity. I cannot provide the mindset of Southern Baptist women, since my pronouns are "he," "him," and occasionally "jerk," but I'm taking a risk that our recent experiences with amending the SBC constitution to target any woman who fills a job with the title of "pastor/elder/overseer" has set the … [Read more...] about In what universe do immoral pastors get standing ovations and faithful women staff pastors are “sisters living in disobedience”?
My answers below are a broader version concerning the plaque posted in the lobby of Broadus Chapel in remembrance of the enslaved whose exploitation of their labor funded the early years of Southern Baptist Seminary. The questions are from Andy Wolfson, a longtime reporter in Louisville at the Courier Journal. My answers address the plaque and a discussion in Word & Way of whether Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has fulfilled its pledge to erect a "major marker" on the campus which acknowledges the sin of American slavery and the contributions made to the seminary by enslaved Black … [Read more...] about Q&A: Southern Seminary’s Slave Contribution Memorial Marker
Take the biblical approach to this: when you hear about SBC transparency, see that ye be not troubled. It's not going to happen. But allow me to sally forth and tilt once again against the non-transparency windmill: I commend herewith respected pastor Andrew Hebert, whose Baptist Press article included this point: If our cooperative work if going to succeed, we need a new commitment to integrity in our leadership and transparency about our leadership. We need to make sure the windows are open and the light is shining into how we do our business. Transparency builds trust. The old … [Read more...] about Transparency and rumors of transparency
Last week, I felt sad when I learned that Willie McLaurin had resigned his position with the Executive Committee of the SBC. The Search Committee seeking a new president discovered he had falsified his resume, falsely claiming to have graduated from three institutions. This saddened me for two reasons. First, I hoped Willie McLaurin would be elected to the president’s post. I thought he did a good job as interim president. Second, he is a really nice guy. Several years ago we conversed about promoting missions in local churches, and I enjoyed our conversation a lot. Several have asked how he … [Read more...] about The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth
We chastise those who ignore biblical commands about unity, love, and gentleness on social media to speak evil in the name of Christ. This is a real concern but recently I have become concerned about the opposite problem - our tendency to post every act of ministry and every good deed on social media. When we live our lives on social media, when we post our quiet time shots (open Bible and steaming coffee), trumpet how many got saved or baptized at church, rejoice publicly at all the great things happening at our churches and in our lives, there is a danger that we could be violating a command … [Read more...] about Tooting Our Own Horns – Using Social Media for Self-Glory?
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has not always been a part of Baptist life. For the first several decades of the SBC the business got done through committees, meetings, and workgroups. It was finally decided a central committee was needed to facilitate all the work. The EC can trace its origins to a 1916 proposal by MH Wolfe of Texas “to create one strong executive board which shall direct all of the work and enterprises fostered and promoted by this Convention." The result of that proposal was what we now call the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist … [Read more...] about Does the SBC Executive Committee President need to be a pastor?
I had a conversation with the son of one of the members of my church last night, and it put me in mind of one of the darkest times in my life, a period no one warned me about. The fact that it coincided with the COVID shutdown didn't help much. I can't remember the exact timeframe, but sometime in early 2019 (I think - might have been 2018), my mom was diagnosed with her second round of breast cancer. At one point, the doctors told us that she would likely have three months to live, and mom went on hospice. Soon after that, my dad went on hospice as well, due to his leukemia and other health … [Read more...] about The Struggle They Don’t Tell You About
Our Grand Convention has the attention span of a toddler. We lurch from one topic/crisis/scandal/issue du jour to another at breathtaking speed, "forgetting what lies behind" and boldly, sometimes recklessly, turning our attention and energies to the next one. Witness the ease with which sex abuse reform was displaced in favor of policing job title vocabulary in local churches. Egad. What lies ahead is a task force on cooperation, one that has considerable possibilities for actual results. I predict that unless the abuse implementation task force moves into something very controversial, … [Read more...] about Doubts about SBC abuse reform at the national level