Peter Lumpkins posted a provocative piece concerning the SBC/GCB name change proposal that prompted me to opine and pontificate with regard to my posture on this proposition.
I’m in favor of a name change because of regional, racial and public relational baggage/issues associated with the current name. However, I agree with you: if the original stated reasons for the name change proposal were valid-and I believe they were-then money is an invalid reason not to change the name. To not change the name for monetary reasons is a borderline insult.
Given the convictions, courage, strength of personalities and character of the persons on the name-change committee, I’m surprised and disappointed that they didn’t recommend a name change. As far as I’m concerned the descriptor leaves us with an identity crisis: “The SBC-the Regional, Racial & Public Relations Baggage/Issues Convention” vs. “The GCB-the Inclusive, International and Kingdom-Driven Into All The World Convention.” The committee attempted to “split the baby.” The problem we’re left with though is, one baby-with dueling identities. Who is she; The SBC? Or The GCB?
If there is any redeeming value to this descriptor proposal, it lies in the fact that the driving force behind this compromising “win-win” decision was unity. Unity obviously is important, particularly with regard to a Kingdom enterprise. It’s the question of unity that gives me pause about voting against this proposal. Nevertheless, I have until June to settle on this matter. In my judgment the name change committee needs to ask those of us who agree with the reason for the proposed name in the first place to accept this for financial, legal, practical and unity reasons. If we are specifically requested to accept not changing the name for those reasons it would make it more palatable. I think our Convention is in good hands with Dr. Frank Page. He preached at our church this past Sunday, February 26, 2012, on race relations; and he connected very well with our people. They fell in love with Frank Page.
Electing Fred Luter as president will be a very positive impact on gaining the attention and some level of respect from Black churches that are not SBC, but would embrace the 2000 BF&M Statement. But I don’t believe you will see any serious additions of Black churches joining the SBC until we see at least two-three minority entity heads.
At the moment I have not decided for sure how I will vote on the descriptor proposal. Although it is a step in the right direction, I’m inclined to vote against it. Why? To vote for the proposal is a vote to retain the name SBC. And a vote to retain the name SBC, is a vote to retain the baggage that comes with the name. Therefore, Peter, you, Howell, and I, may vote the same way for different reasons.
Peter, thanks for an interesting and provocative post.