We are several years into abuse reform in the SBC and we can point to near unanimous messenger votes, two grand task forces, extensive and expensive reports, millions of dollars spent, millions of words...and no database of abusers. Why is this? The convention voted to implement this database to include four categories of offenders. From the first sex abuse task force: Confession in a non-privileged setting Conviction in a court of law Civil judgment rendered Determination by an independent third party according to a preponderance of evidence We have now had the latest … [Read more...] about Shall we relinquish the messenger directive to create a database that includes credible reports of abuse?
This week's SBC Executive Committee meeting was dominated by the difficult, some would say disastrous, rollout of the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force's goal of creating a private nonprofit to handle the database. No further comment by me on that here, but I'm interested in the EC's vote to exclude four churches. Baptist Press story here. The four churches are: Immanuel Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia, N.C., West Hendersonville Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C., and Grove Road Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C. These churches are officially … [Read more...] about Is the EC properly defining how pastors are considered “biblically disqualified”?
It seems fitting to have an old fashioned blog article on Henry Blackaby. After all, his famous study Experiencing God was first published pre-blog in 1990 but with its soaring popularity on in the late 20th century was easily a subject for the early blogosphere. I never met Henry although he was a featured speaker at a few events I attended. I used his study a few times with small groups in my church. It was unique at the time and very helpful in discipleship in the church. Once the study was a big hit and sales skyrocketed, Lifeway (naturally) expanded the product line to maximize … [Read more...] about Henry Blackaby, RIP
This is important as the amendment zealots well know. To wit: The SBC constitution specifies what churches must do or not do to be considered "in friendly cooperation", or, an SBC church. The Convention will only deem a church to be in friendly cooperation with the Convention, and sympathetic with its purposes and work (i.e., a “cooperating” church as that term is used in the Convention’s governing documents)... This is followed by five sub-paragraphs that enumerate things like the Cooperative Program, sex abuse, racial discrimination. The Amendment adds a sixth sub-paragraph. The … [Read more...] about For our casual observers: The Amendment is to the SBC Constitution, not the BFM.
This could easily be the headline if the amendment on "pastors of any kind" is passed for a second time. I'm just going by the numbers provided by the zealots in charge of pushing this. The SBC may decide on whatever basis and criteria they wish to use for membership. Autonomy at work. It just seems like severe overkill to target women sub-pastors in this fashion.The problem is that once the SBC makes this negative requirement official (the wording is “Does not affirm, appoint, or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind”), where could the EC go except to recommend en masse to the convention … [Read more...] about SBC Executive Committee to recommend over one thousand churches be expelled
Here are some questions from an admitted and certified cynic on matters concerning the SBC Executive Committee: When will any present or former EC member or staff member admit that the vote to open themselves up to the Madison Avenue law firm was a mistake? Is the EC still on the hook for legal expenses not only against their own actions but any that arise from litigation against that Madision Avenue law firm? Shouldn't the EC find a lawyer to be CEO, since (a) they didn't like their first candidate, a pastor; (b) they got skewered over the next guy and presumed front-runner who had … [Read more...] about Yes, this could be considered ‘piling on’ the beleaguered SBC Executive Committee
"Death to Moby Dick! Death to Moby Dick!" The grog-fueled, semi-ecstatic chant of Daggoo, the west African harpooneer of the doomed ship Pequod. A little Melville goes a long way in today's SBC. Our venerable North American Mission Board is the SBC Moby Dick, the enormous spermaceti whale and object of the crazed, morbid, and ultimately fatal quest for vengeance by Captain Ahab and willing crew. NAMB trains planters, plants churches, supports plants and has received record and near record offerings for years, indicative of the support of Southern Baptist crossroad churches and … [Read more...] about “I seek the white whale:” NAMB’s strident critics and Moby Dick
Jonathan Whitehead is unlikely to win a popularity vote among SBCV people but his words on the current controversy over a brief filed by lawyers for the SBC, SBCEC, Lifeway, and SBTS regarding a Kentucky case should be read. I've always found his writing to be incisive and well informed. Excerpts from his American Reformer article: Many Baptists have understood the SBC abuse reform effort in terms of brochures, websites, and trainings about how churches can prevent grooming and abuse. But the brief brouhaha highlights the area of “caring well” or “responding to abuse victims,” which can … [Read more...] about Sober view on the amici controversy
Jared Wellman and the SBC Cooperation Group is doing a survey. Lifeway Research is collaborating in this and all SBC churches with an email address receive the survey. [As an aside, I get a malware notice from my security software on Windows but not on my iPad.] Here is the survey and how I would have answered as pastor of the church from which I retired. The survey asks for answers on a scale from "strongly disagree" to "don't know". I'm not a survey expert and don't know why the choice was negatives first followed by the positives. _____ The Cooperative Program supports SBC … [Read more...] about The Cooperation Group/Lifeway survey on the Cooperative Program: Anything of value to come from it?
It's stunningly stupid that in the 21st century any church or individual would not recognize that white people using black theatrical makeup to portray any African American is highly offensive. But, one Oklahoma church pastor did (8 years ago, when Obama was president) just that. The mostly dysfunctional SBC Executive Committee recently expelled the church. Here's what I don't like about that: It looks like a case of a stubborn pastor, not a racist church. The pastor should have said about the 2015 incident, "Yeah. That was dumb. I apologize for it." He doubled down instead. So, a … [Read more...] about Blackface and expelling the lowly offensive church