It’s our system. Why should anyone be surprised?
My mantra on the SBC Annual Meeting, specifically in response to the clamor of the remote voting crowd has always been, “Show up. Vote. Go home.”
We had over 15,000 registered messengers in Nashville. There was heavy, strident, and sometimes dramatic competition for their individual votes. As long as that is the case, we will have the kind of stuff we’ve been having.
Ed Litton won the presidential race by around 500 votes, out of over 13,000 votes cast. I’ll say it again. Votes for Mike Stone were negatively affected by release of documents just prior to the election. With such a narrow victory it’s not unreasonable to believe that he would have been elected if not for that. Pro-Stone folks call it dirty tricks. Anti-Stone folks sniff, “too bad.” I ask, do we really want convention employees or former employees doing such things that impact on the votes of messengers? I voted for Litton and still support him. You want a dirty trick? Go do a back flip in a mud puddle and Tik-Tok it.
The Sex Abuse Task Force motion was clearly the will of the assembled body. We were going to have an independent review of the issue come heaven or high water. It was also clear that the exact wording was deliberate, put together by a small group of insiders, run by the Committee on Order of Business, and brought to the floor without much explanation. We had some rip-roaring speeches in favor but little in the way of facts and explanation. I voted for it. I would have appreciated more information on the content and implications. This scenario is inherent in our system, important things being foisted on the messengers after backroom discussions. Are the COB meetings open? Are minutes kept? Is a record of communications, in person as well as electronic, kept? If so, are these publicly available for viewing or reading? I suppose it’s just a product of mass democratic meetings – a few people can control the outcome. I don’t have a workable alternative.
Maybe there’s a binder with stuff in it that can be sent to a reporter. Maybe the investigation will be completed and there not be any big problems. I hope so. I don’t like the way it unfolded and started asking honest questions about the motion in early August. Perhaps the SBC will have a positive result from the SATF’s expensive work. I hope and pray so.
It has always been the system that SBCers who want to know a lot of things get their information from non-official SBC sources and I believe that to be a carryover from church practices. SBC Voices does a little of this but not much. Most things here are informed opinions. Sometimes there are differing opinions offered here. We published an article by a CBN supporter. Write one and submit it. You never know.
I hate the idea that some anonymous individual mailed this Resolutions Committee binder to a very sharp religion reporter. I don’t fault Liam Adams for using it. It was news. But, fellow SBCers, is this really the way we want to operate and be known? Not in my view but when the Great Commission Task Force made the records of their meetings secret and sealed them for 15 years (I think they will be made available in 2025, anniversary of the Cooperative Program), that signaled a clear preference for opaqueness and secrecy in the SBC. You want information? Find someone who will leak it. I hate to say it but our operating principle seems to be pragmatism: whatever works for our group and/or hurts their group is fair play.
But it’s our system. We have to live with it…until we decide we don’t.
I saw a great Christmas movie last night, the new version of West Side Story. I loved the old Bernstein score. It was rather quaint – gangs with chains, bats, and knives and a single handgun. My how gang life has progressed.
For Christmas, I suggest for the mighty and beloved Pastor, a Stihl handheld battery operated leaf blower. That would be a home run gift. If your pastor is already a blowhard and wouldn’t need a leaf blower, give him a nice pair of socks with elves on them.
And, Merry Christmas. Have some nog, maybe a couple of pieces of pecan divinity, a very spiritual Christmas treat.
I am keenly interested in the Chronicle series on Texas parsonages. Trying to decide whether or not to jump the paywall for 99 cents, six months. Until then, I expect SBC Texans in parsonages to own up to their lake houses, swimming pools, and elaborate BBQ pits.