[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?
What a strange SBCAM we will have
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
Average CP percentage and a few other new stats: 2023 Book of Reports
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
The annual SBC statistical weepfest, 2022 version
2022_ACP_Summary It's out! The SBC's annual statistical report: Southern Baptists Decline in Membership, Grow in Attendance, Baptisms. This is the headline and article from Lifeway Research. You can always count on our mod/lib friends to put an astringent spin on any SBC news. Here's their article and headline. In SBC annual statistics even the good news isn't that good. Everyone gets to put a spin on it. Seems the most notable statistic is that membership decline is the largest ever, 457,371. Dropping that many members is about like having another New Madrid earthquake only … [Read more...] about The annual SBC statistical weepfest, 2022 version
Answers, but many SB pastors would be embarrassed.
The Executive Committee can expel churches without messengers being involved. Absolutely true. They just did it in a closed meeting without votes being recorded or discussion on the record. Shameful. The Executive Committee may expel a church for any reason. Trick question but sorta true. Even though there are reasons listed, the broad requirement of "closely identifies" with the BFM and the last two enumerated reasons (being discriminatory and acting not inconsistently on sex abuse) are not defined. The EC can doggone well do what it wants in regard to any church. Same for … [Read more...] about Answers, but many SB pastors would be embarrassed.
Reject the constitutional amendment but take this SBC governing documents test first.
Here's an SBC polity and governing documents test. These are all True/False for my colleagues who like to play the odds and not think too much. it's very simple. I'm almost embarrassed to offer it. The Executive Committee can expel churches without messengers being involved. The Executive Committee may expel a church for any reason. The SBC Constitution specifically lists five reasons that a church may be excluded. The EC and messengers have the ability to expel individuals as well as churches from our body. A congregation must be a part of a local SBC association and/or an … [Read more...] about Reject the constitutional amendment but take this SBC governing documents test first.
Ministry Check reality check
Absent a catastrophic convention, which seems likely, the SBC will have the Ministry Check database of abusers sometime soon. The SBC in annual session voted overwhelmingly to do this last year. It seems likely that our Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force will have it in place prior to June and no further votes are needed, best I can see. The Executive Committee has to execute a contract with the administrator, Faith-Based Solutions, a division of the familiar (and detested by some) Guidepost Solutions, LLC. Those who don't like the Ministry Check database, or don't want it, or think … [Read more...] about Ministry Check reality check
Is the Executive Committee or SBC in annual session capable of handling mass expulsions?
The SBC Executive Committee expelled six churches last month. Saddleback was the most, perhaps only, notable church in the group. Five of these (Saddleback included) were kicked out for women pastors and the sixth for mishandling sex abuse. This action was done in secrecy (in the SBC we euphemize that by calling it "executive session", without public discussion, and without individual votes made public.) This is a crappy way to do the convention's business, pardon my mild scatological expression. Let's assume that everyone meant well, that decent people were acting in good faith, that … [Read more...] about Is the Executive Committee or SBC in annual session capable of handling mass expulsions?
Lottie Moon, letter writer extraordinaire and giant among Southern Baptists. Would she be canceled or excluded today?
I love the news that a significant early letter of Lottie Moon was recently donated to Southeastern Seminary. Lottie Moon letter donated to SEBTS displays Moon's courage, influence WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Earlier this month, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) received the donation of an letter written by Lottie Moon, lifelong missionary to China in whose memory Southern Baptists receive their annual Christmas offering for international missions. Dated July 22, 1878, the letter is a remarkably preserved example of Moon’s correspondence and offers a glimpse into her early … [Read more...] about Lottie Moon, letter writer extraordinaire and giant among Southern Baptists. Would she be canceled or excluded today?
Historic low for clergy trust but you need not concern yourself about that
My colleagues and I are at an historic low in regard to being considered trustworthy by the public. Notable Ratings for Clergy, High School Teachers, Police The Gallup poll puts the beloved man-of-the-cloth above lawyers, bankers, and journalists but below nurses, doctors, and accountants. Alas, when I started out in the 1980s we were, as a group, ranked high in trust. Now, we're in the toilet and swirling downward. Gallup tracked the downward movement as beginning early in this century, around the time of the Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals. Lifeway Research takes a look … [Read more...] about Historic low for clergy trust but you need not concern yourself about that