Let’s ruminate a bit here, first, on the idea of an anonymous site calling for transparency. Who set up the site? Who funded it? Who is behind it? Who wrote the petition? Seems absurd for a secret group to toss out a petition like this calling for, of all things, transparency.
Second, the call is not for transparency. It is for an audit. The petition is not just for an ordinary audit or for NAMB and LifeWay to be more open about their spending but a forensic audit. I’m neither CPA nor lawyer so take this online definition of a forensic audit: A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firm’s or individual’s financial records to derive evidence that can be used in a court of law or legal proceeding. (Investopedia)
The audit is seeking to find criminal behavior at NAMB and LifeWay rather than ordinary mismanagement and policy disputes? We have had an abundance of mismanagement and conflict. Illegalities? Not so sure about that.
As of this morning, the site boasts 246 signatures and I congratulate the 201 of them that actually signed their names to the petition. Many chose to remain anonymous while calling for transparency, e.g., “Anonymous Reverend in Rainsville, AL calls for transparency.” Rich.
Who authored the petition? Bobby Gilstrap, near me and a pretty strong NAMB critic is signer numero uno. Bobby, did you set this up?
Hey, there’s Rick Patrick, former 316 Trad group head. I’ll give Rick credit for a lot of things, one of which is that he puts his name to the things he pushes for in the SBC. That’s the way to do it.
Randy Adams, CEO of the NW Baptist convention, critic of NAMB, and former SBC presidential candidate signed. This isn’t the first anonymous site Randy has used in his quest to rescue the SBC.
The guy suing NAMB signed.
And, Russell Moore and ERLC, while not in the petition, still manages to get a few slaps from signers. Sigh.
I didn’t have time to analyze the whole list. You can find the site and list easily by googling my title. We don’t link anonymous SBC hit sites here.
To be honest, the SBC as a whole should be more transparent.
- Entities should report CEO pay to the Executive Committee which should make it available to Southern Baptists.
- LifeWay has some questions to answer about recent actions.
- NAMB could be more transparent by fully explaining their church planting policies concerning housing and the like.
- We are always data rich but truth poor in the SBC. Maybe we should change the reporting requirements so that the data we receive would better explain things in the SBC.
- Maybe look for this to be featured in next years hotly contested SBC presidential election.
There are conversations that are worth having in our Grand Old Convention. NAMB’s role in church planting and evangelism. The state conventions’ utter failure to use hundred of millions of dollars of CP money in ways that are effective in church growth and baptisms. The failed bureaucratic system that is set in stone in the SBC of creating levels of bureaucracy, i.e., state conventions with centralized buildings and staffing, and then paid associational workers placed by geography not population.
Have a panel. Let the NAMB an LifeWay CEOs, and state convention critics be questioned. Exactly what do we expect these entities to do, how are they doing it, where is the money being spent, and what are we getting for our hundreds of millions of dollars.
It’s an interesting time for Southern Baptists…but, I’m not signing anyone’s anonymous petition.
BTW, I just bought a new pair of binoculars, for bird watching. I’m on the trail of the elusive and secretive SBC trustee bird.
Trump, Biden? We will be moving on to other things shortly.