I love the way Doug Hibbard labels the roofing materials needed for a church replant, stout, and he's not talking about how sturdy or durable they are. He means the cost. Tippling Calvinists probably drool when running across this word but there's nothing about beer in this one. Doug's use is so thoroughly southern here that it's not in many of the dictionaries. Nothing new there. The rest of the country is always trying to catch up with southern-speak. Dave Miller, taking a break from planning a splendid pastor's conference, blogs that "The detritus of a forced Moore termination would be … [Read more...] about More vocabulary notables
Dwight McKissic asks Black Baptist churches who are "considering affiliating with the Southern Baptist Convention to take a probative and aggressive approach..." Very fine term, probative and perfectly legitimate to encourage such efforts of any church considering changing or adding affiliations. McKissic's criticism is described as trenchant by one of the sites that picked up his SBC Voices article. The word (keen, sharp, articulate) is one of those that even if you don't know what it means, it sounds right in context. Dwight was trenchant indeed in addressing the Moore matter. And … [Read more...] about More SBC vocabulary notables
It should not surprise any observer of Southern Baptist matters that there has always been a market for fake news among us, mainly through unofficial outlets like blogs, blog comments and the like. While I am probably not informed enough to offer an exhaustive list of fake SBC news items, these below are some of the more current and prominent ones. I welcome any additions to the list The Cooperative Program is Dead or Dying The Cooperative Program provided over $478 million for the state conventions and SBC entities in the latest figures available. At almost half a billion the CP is … [Read more...] about SBC Fake News – updated
I'm a little weary of reading that Dave Miller, on temporary hiatus from this place while he manages the 2017 SBC Pastor's Conference, is a "small church" pastor. Ed Stetzer did an interview with him recently entitled, One on One with the Small Church Pastor Who "Took Over" the SBC Pastor's Conference to Highlight Smaller Churches. It's a great interview and I'm pleased to see Dave get a free lunch from Stetzer and a nice article on the Pastor's Conference. But my irascibility is showing here about the business of him being classified as a "small church" pastor. Nothing about him is "small" … [Read more...] about The strange world of SBC “small” churches
Want to learn some things? Keep up with SBC This Week the " weekly news roundup from around the Southern Baptist Convention hosted by Amy Whitfield and Jonathan Howe." The two secured an interview with Stephen Rummage, Chairman of the SBC Executive Committee which earlier in the week had announced that they have not one but two study committees that will be looking into the matter of churches dissatisfaction and concerns about SBC entities and how that might impact the Cooperative Program. Rummage said that the actions were not solely because of the decision by Prestonwood Baptist Church … [Read more...] about Executive Committee has more complaints on ERLC than any issue in memory
In an interview with state paper editors our current president was asked about the CP, our flagship giving plan now almost 100 years old. Concerning the Cooperative Program, Gaines said there is no biblical justification for churches to tithe 10 percent of their receipts to the Cooperative Program, regardless of how good the missions support program is. Churches today have a lot of their own ministries and are doing a wonderful job of reaching their communities for Christ. Those ministries should not be sacrificed for giving to the Cooperative Program through their state conventions. He … [Read more...] about Steve Gaines on the Cooperative Program
In an interesting article on Boyce, Broadus and the Lost Cause, Southeastern professor Bruce Harper notes that the pair of Baptist titans "neither reveled in Confederate lore, nor sought means to subvert the post-war order." The former rebels didn't revel? I like the case he built. Roger Simpson makes a point about "arcane theological arguments." Yeah. For example, any appeal to the Institutes. Both Rob Ayers and Bill Mac are familiar with apoplexy a common malady on the blogs that is best avoided. I recommend a vaccination against it. Stay away from paroxysms as … [Read more...] about Southern Baptist vocabulary watch
How are Southern Baptist churches and ministers managing in the age of escalating health care costs, confusion and uncertainty about Obamacare in a time of stagnant or declining church membership and revenues? A recent article, not yet available online, describes and decrys the "alarming rate" at which churches are shifting the costs of benefits from churches to ministers. The shift seems to mirror the trend of small businesses dropping health coverage for their employees. The vast majority of SBC churches are, economically viewed, small businesses with one, perhaps a couple of full time … [Read more...] about Has health insurance affected your church’s pastor search or your search for a church?
The clergy housing allowance, that magnificent tax break provided by Uncle Sam to ordained ministers which allows them to exclude from income taxes a sizable chunk of their clergy income, is under scrutiny. Nothing new here. Among the many lawsuits the Freedom From Religion Foundation keeps juggling is one that seeks to have the cash clergy housing allowance unconstitutional. The FFRF website describes their suit thusly, FFRF is asking the court to rule the provision unconstitutional because it provides preferential and discriminatory tax benefits to ministers of the gospel. The section … [Read more...] about Is our Sacred Tax Break, the clergy housing allowance, unconstitutional?
You knew it was coming: funeral selfies. I'll not use any of the macabre photographs here but you can see more than you want in the link. "Hey, check out me and grandma in our last photo together!" No thanks. Lest we think that it took smart phones, social media, Instagram, Facebook, and the modern, highly connected era for such things as funeral selfies, take a quick look if you dare, at the practice of death photographs that was popular in the Victorian era of over a century ago. It made a certain sense for families to have a photograph, even after death, with which to remember a loved … [Read more...] about Funeral selfies? Oh please!