COVID-19 and churches. Need anything more be said?
The seminary president’s statement on CRT/I blows up. This is ongoing as I write. Messy.
Alaska Baptist state convention votes to destroy the Cooperative Program. Very poor move by one of our smallest state conventions. As Ronnie Floyd said in response, “It’s the CP program, not the CP cafeteria.” Undermining the CP because you are mad at NAMB is not a good approach.
Six state convention leaders issue joint complaint to the SBC Executive Committee about NAMB. Back in the sultry days of August, six smaller conventions sent a letter to the EC complaining about NAMB. It’s about money and the letter is about lobbying for the status quo ante where NAMB just flung dollars all over the country.
ERLC carelessly signs amicus describing “hierarchy” and “umbrella” in the SBC. This was appalling error for which ERLC apologized. Abuse plaintiff lawyers were ecstatic. Ronnie Floyd and other SBC leaders had to quickly and pointedly dispute this. “Autonomy. Autonomy. Autonomy. “Write that a thousand times on your whiteboard.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary establishes a $5 million fund ” to assist qualified black students at SBTS…” This announced at the same time the seminary voted to retain the names of seminary founders who were slaveholders: “James P. Boyce and founding faculty members John Broadus, Basil Manly Jr., and William Williams, all of whom held slaves prior to emancipation.” This is a tough needle to thread – keeping these legacy names and hoping the $5 millions for “qualified black students” will assuage the offense; nonetheless, it was a fairly spectacular move by Mohler and SBTS.
“The SBC Annual Meeting is cancelled and JD Greear gets a rare third term as SBC president. more appointments for JDG will only help our current messes.
The Conservative Baptist Network pulls off a back door coup in the SBC Executive Committee. Here’s the SBCVoices article (by EC member Jared Wellman) on the matter. While that’s a tendentious way to describe it, the vehement denials may be overdone. “Took control” is a bit heavy. Regardless, it was a problem. The EC should be seen and not heard. Unfortunately, the are heard too often in a negative manner. Maybe 2021 will be different.
The SBC Executive Committee’s Credentials Committee struggles to establish credibility in regard to churches who have handled abuse poorly. Frankly, they have an impossible job. They cannot investigate churches, cannot discipline clergy offenders and can only suggest churches be expelled from the national SBC. I’m not having much optimism about the process but, persuade me.
LifeWay has severe crises. Beloved, ancient conference center in Ridgecrest, NC is sold, we think. I went once this year. Would like to continue until I die. Former LifeWay leader get huge exit settlement, and a car. There were lawsuits. Messy. I have no idea where LifeWay is headed. Maybe they do.
Thousands of SBC churches get free government paycheck protection pandemic money in an unprecedented event that has government paying clergy salaries. Numerous old time Baptists were rolling over in their graves on this one.
Several prominent African-American SBC pastors exit the SBC loudly and with harsh criticisms. Some did so after being given tens of thousands in SBC grant money. While the numbers of these are few, it is unknown if they are a harbinger of a mass exit of ethnic churches. I think not, but, who knows?
Southwestern Seminary, Baylor University lawsuit against a charitable foundation. Named in the Baptist Press article are former SWBTS president Paige Patterson, former SBC Executive Committee VP Augie Boto, and a couple of SWBTS trustees (who have been suspended) who are defendants in the lawsuit. This promises to be a confusing and complicated, Texas-sized embarrassing mess for a lot of people.
Maybe there will be a part two but one hopes the SBC is totally done with making news for this calendar year.
What better picture of the SBC in 2020 than the ugly virus graphic?
I think I’m getting ahead of Baptist Press on the top news stories. Maybe they are waiting for the dead week between Christmas and New Year’s when no one will read all the bad news.
I’m looking for 2021 to be a better year. Quieter year…if we cancel the 2021 annual meeting. Not otherwise, I’d speculate.
Not a syllable about J______ F_______ from me.