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.
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”?
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
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
If a church has multiple pastors, who is the pastor and how does the congregation express this? Is the fresh-faced nineteen year old summer student pastor the same as his ultimate supervisor? The SBC spent decades with a pastor/deacon model. Those decades were the greatest in our growth. Why is that model so easily discarded? How much of our ecclesiology can be traced to American affluence and liberty? If churches didn't have buildings and budgets would church governance look different? Is it fair to say that Southern Baptists, once megachurches and their celebrity pastors moved … [Read more...] about Thirty questions on our ecclesiology
That is the question. Here's a church: The church has always been SBC, at every level, association, state convention, and national convention. The church supports each of those "levels" of SBC life through contributions. The church is doctrinally orthodox and closely identifies with the BFM although it has not been formally adopted as the church's statement of faith. The lead pastor has two degrees from one of the six SBC seminaries. The lead pastor is ordained by an SBC church, has never been anything other than a Southern Baptist. The lead pastor has started several … [Read more...] about Could you cooperate with this church?
I apologize in advance to any actual rodeo clowns who might read this. They risk life and limb in an entertaining way whereas their equivalents in our Grand Old Convention risk nothing and failure merely means you get your sinecure a little earlier than expected. Here is some of the-stuff-that-you-cannot-make-up about the SBC. Remember when IMB had a funding shortfall of $210 million, somewhere around $30m per year and that led to over 1,000 missionaries retiring? That was bad. How could they? (easy, just coast along and think magical thoughts about a turnaround). Well, SWBTS had only a … [Read more...] about When it comes to train wrecks and rodeo clown acts, the SBC never disappoints
[Author's note: SBCV is a collection of opinions by various people. While folks are free to classify, categorize, and criticize the blog as they wish, it has always been the case that differing opinions are now and have always been offered. I suspect that my opinion as stated below (and often going back years and years, since I've been attuned to the issues for a couple of decades now) is not shared by most, likely all, of my colleagues here.] The issue on abuse has almost always been dominated by this question: In our collection of cooperating but autonomous congregations, what can be done … [Read more...] about The database including ‘credible reports’ of abuse. A bridge too far?
I will almost certainly miss it and...doggone it...I hate to miss sultry, sweaty New Orleans in June. Barber or Stone? I was accused last week of being an editor or something here on SBCV. I'm coping with the insinuation. I edit nothing, not even my own stuff. Your humble hacker and plodder, old school blogger is a lonesome, solitary voice here who likes some things about Mike Stone: He is a Georgian (though, south Georgia, practically a foreign country to me). He is a very good preacher. I'd just as soon hear him preach as few others. He is a good, long term pastor to his church. I … [Read more...] about What a strange SBCAM we will have
SBC number nerds may download the 2023 Book of Reports here. It is 215 pages of reports, charts, and information. I've already seen that folks will use information in the BOR as a club to bash the other party. I still hold to the naive idea that we are all on the same side for Jesus, for the Gospel to the nations. But here you are. Average Cooperative Program church giving as a percentage of undesignated gifts: 4.59%. This has slightly declined for several years. Bart Barber's church gave over 12% CP. Mike Stone's church, zero percent (they decided to give direct, bypassing the CP. You can … [Read more...] about Average CP percentage and a few other new stats: 2023 Book of Reports