I apologize in advance to any actual rodeo clowns who might read this. They risk life and limb in an entertaining way whereas their equivalents in our Grand Old Convention risk nothing and failure merely means you get your sinecure a little earlier than expected.
Here is some of the-stuff-that-you-cannot-make-up about the SBC.
Remember when IMB had a funding shortfall of $210 million, somewhere around $30m per year and that led to over 1,000 missionaries retiring? That was bad. How could they? (easy, just coast along and think magical thoughts about a turnaround). Well, SWBTS had only a $140m shortfall over a two decade period. IMB, fortunately, had massive reserves and valuable unneeded property overseas that could be sold. They didn’t borrow their way out of it. SWBTS has? Well, I dunno, stained glass they can sell? Dead animal heads? Campus property? “One very nice espresso machine for sale, cheap!” Ugly graphs abound.
We have a contested presidential election! Nothing new there. I’m the guy here who would rather hear Mike Stone preach than Bart Barber. He is a stellar pulpiteer, and a Georgian to boot. But nope, Barber for me. He’s a solid guy, has acquired the reputation of an SBC rules and process guy, and presents himself and his cows well. Unfortunately, Stone has three strikes against him: his record as EC chairman, the dropped lawsuit, and zero Cooperative Program giving for the last reporting year. There are reasons offered for all, I’ve read them. Doesn’t work for me. Usually, losing candidates don’t jump back in for another campaign (MS has dozens? of pre-convention campaign meetings). I guess not since way back in the CR era have we had that. I would vote Texas cows, not Georgia peaches.
We have a new and improved, sanitized if you will, Executive Committee! How’s that working for us? Well, so far, the presidential search was an epic train wreck. I’m not mad about it, just embarrassed. In a secret meeting without discussion on record or votes recorded they kicked out the SBC’s most prominent church, Saddleback and a few others. The convention gets to undo that, on record, with anyone who speaks being recorded for posterity. Something is upside down about this. Shame on you, EC.
We have an amendment that’s supposed to clarify things. Uh, yeah. Well, no. Well, we must draw a line in the sand on the word (not the office, mind you) “pastor.” Thus, a church that has a female children’s director is free and clear; whereas, a church that has a children’s pastor is banned to the SBC outer darkness. I can cooperate with a church that has the latter, and easily. The EC is supposed to police vocabulary after this? They have trouble tying their shoes.
Sex abuse. The convention voted with very little debate to barrel down this road with two grand task forces, multiple millions of dollars spent and results that are far from guaranteed. Will the fully-formed database be effective? No. One. Knows. It’s never been tried. It is notable that the most important part of it, putting those who are ‘credibly accused,’ is currently in abeyance. Gonna be very tough. It is telling that the only part of this whole process that received prolonged and public discussion was the EC’s debate on waiver of attorney/client privilege. By a very narrow margin this waiver was granted. Contrast that to the amount of floor debate given either task force. We might call ourselves a deliberative body (the world’s largest!) but we’re not. We’re a mob mentality body. No time for any deliberation.
As usual there are more shoes to drop. Were I in New Orleans I’d be dropping some slip-on Sketchers. Very cool and comfortable.
I’ll watch a bit online. If I were there no crawfish would touch my lips. I just bought 15 pounds of Georgia shrimp, right off the boat. Now there’s a tasty bottom feeder.
And I’d be looking for a few folks from Ft. Worth just to check if they have stopped being dizzy from all the TDs that UGA hung on them. 65-7 forever.
But, I’m SBC then, now, and until I die. I wish the best for our convention. Maybe you guys will unexpectedly work some things out.
I hear that swelter in place orders have been given for the convention. Jay Adkins has guaranteed total chill for the convention hall. Guy likes to take risks.