"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

If I Were President of the Southern Baptist Convention --- A Short Essay Contest

Some of the best and brightest evangelical minds in the world are in the Southern Baptist Convention. People like those pictured here (left to right) Mandy and Tad Thompson, Jason Helmbacher, Jacob Fitzgerald, Micah Fries, Kevin Bussey and John Stickley are just a sampling of the number of young men and women who are charting the course of our convention for decades to come. Any of them would make a great SBC President.

Rachelle and I will be taking a few days of vacation in Alabama and I will be unable to be near a computer for several days. In full disclosure, I could be near a computer if I desired but I am choosing not to be. For all my security conscious friends and acquaintances you should be aware that both my six foot three inch and six foot two inch bone crusher sons, one of whom will be entering Special Forces training next year, will be staying at our home along with our dog "ICE," a dog we sometimes affectionately call "killer" --- and that is true disclosure.

I will post again on Independence Day, July 4th and will continue to blog regularly until I feel blogging is no longer beneficial. At some point I will stop blogging, but I don't see that in the forseeable future. While I am away for the next several days I will leave up this post for an ongoing essay contest I am running.

I am asking that you post a short essay (maximum 300 words)on what your major objective -- or objectives -- would be if you were the newly elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and give practical steps on how you would go about accomplishing it. The more succinct the essay the better.

Begin the short essay with these words . . .

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would . . .

I will give away two awards: One for the best essay (judged by three people), one for the most humorous essay (judged by the same three people). I will forward the winning entries to President Page himself. You can enter as many times as you desire.

What's the prize for the winners? Don't get your hopes up too much, but each winner will receive two items.

First, a copy of the letter from the President of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, dated February 1, 2006, giving official confirmation that the Executive Committee of the SBC, in compliance with Article 4 F (1) of the Articles of Incorporation of the International Mission Board and the Bylaws of the Southern Baptist Convention, will plan for the orderly debate, floor discussion and dispostion of the motion to remove trustee Wade Burleson from the IMB in Greensboro, NC. In the 161 year history of the Southern Baptist Convention it is the only letter of its kind, and 161 years from now it might actually be worth something.

Second, I will send a signed copy of my book "Happiness Doesn't Just Happen: Learning to Be Content Regardless of Your Circumstances." An appropriate title for the circumstances of this past year. Winners will be announced July 4, 2006.

Good days are ahead for us all within the SBC.

Blessings to everyone, and I'll see you here at Grace and Truth, Lord willing, Independence Day 2006. Until then, enjoy the essays.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

84 comments:

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
I’ve been out of school too long to remember how short or how long is a ‘short essay.’ Could you give us a minimum and maximum number of words? For instance the Baptist Standard limits letters to the editor to 250 words.

What I’m saying is that it would be bad to reject an essay if it was too long and likewise too short. We need some rules to go by.
My son showed me how to start a blog.
Rex Ray

Bob Cleveland said...

IF I WERE PRESIDENT OF THE SBC, I WOULD..

Do my best to make people think of Jesus.

It's been said that a Christian is one who makes others think of Jesus, and there'd be no better place to start such a movement than at the top.

Getting this message out would require at least three concrete actions. The first would be to meet with every SBC entity, and share the message that they're about the Master's work, regardless of how mundane or tedious, and the standard of conduct and attitude is that shown by Jesus. There's no other way we can know the Holy Spirit is having His way with us, than reflecting the Fruit He promises to bear in submitted lives.

That message simply must go forth.

Second, we must challenge people verbally, to think of Jesus. Many already know Him, but most don't. If we'll just talk about Him, even just as our best Friend, some will want to know Him, too. We have no problem bringing up our earthy mother or father, when something they taught us bears fruit in our lives. Oh, that we'd be as free to bring up Jesus, when something He's shown us arises, relevant to our life.

Lastly, our everyday conduct must remind others of Jesus. A sense of pride arises in us when a friend points out that we've reminded them, by our actions, of our natural parents. I know that's the case with me and my Mom and Dad, and I believe it would please them, could they see that. How it must please God when our actions, attitudes, words, and even just our complete trust, put God in mind of His Son.

Make others think of Jesus.

He'll do the rest.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

300 word maximum. Thanks for asking.

Bob Cleveland said...

IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION …..

There are several things I would do, immediately.

First, I would demand a recount.

If the recount affirmed my election, I would point out that I’m renouncing my Calvinistic views and claim that I do not believe in Election. That should be effective, since everyone knows Baptists would love to see Calvinists change their mind about Election. At least I think they would, as I am pretty sure it has ever happened.

Failing that, I’d begin an overhaul of the SBC entities. I’d rename the North American Mission Board; the new name would be Brothers Of Openly Zealous Evangelism. When they put B.O.O.Z.E. on the letterhead, I’m sure the electorate would have second thoughts.

On to the IMB … we’d change Missionary terms to 4 years and rename it Going Overseas Over Four Years. That way, if someone didn’t like B.O.O.Z.E., they could go G.O.O.F.Y. while sober.

Next, the Cooperative Program. That would become Believers United Causing Kingdom Survival. The new motto would be “It’s all about B.U.C.K.S”.

I’m sure there are other entities that could similarly benefit from a new image. If the ones already shown hadn’t done the trick, thought, I’d probably just resort to the “poison pill” of all “poison pills”.

I’d change my name. I’d pick one that would give apoplexy to those writing about me, or introducing me at meetings.. If I couldn’t get out of the job, I might as well enjoy the expressions on the faces of the people.

I’d change my name to John Calvin.

Pastor Mark Hensley said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention


I would immediately announce to the world via a press conference that the SBC is a convention that is comprised primarily of Pastor’s who serve a Church that most likely runs less than 100 in Sunday Morning Worship.

I would quote R. G. Lee who on one occasion in his office at Bellevue Baptist Church was asked a question about a picture of a church (Dr. Lee’s first Church) what little church is this a picture of? Dr Lee replied:

“Young man, there are no small churches in the kingdom of God!”

I would let the press know that through the years the convention has selected leadership from larger churches to speak at our pastor’s conferences and annual convention.

While we thank God for those who serve the larger churches in our dear convention, theirs is not the only voice that needs, I dare say must be heard.

I would announce that at the next Southern Baptist Convention we would have five theme interpretations during the annual meeting titled:

“God’s call, His strength, My story”

Each of the five 10 minute themes would be taught by a Pastor whose church attendance averages less that 100.

I would announce a plan that would address the reality of plateaued churches in our convention.

I would announce a task force that would study in depth the reasons for decline and prayerfully and boldly provide a nationwide strategy for coming a long side discouraged pastors and congregations to let them know that with God’s call, comes His strength…resulting in a brand new story for all the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.

That’s what I would do, if I was the President of the Southern Baptist Convention!


Pastor Mark Hensley
Senior Pastor Mountain View Baptist Church
Lafayette, Colorado
www.mvsbc.org
Pastormark61@yahoo.com

Kevin Bussey said...

If I Were President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would call to for our churches to go through 40 days fasting and praying. I would ask that our prayer would be "What do you (GOD) want us to do next?" As soon as God begins to tell us what He wants we begin to redesign the way we do ministry. As President I would appoint people to positions based on the findings we get from our prayer times.

Second, I would change the way we conduct the convention. We could get the business done in one day, the rest of our days we would have an "EXTREME MAKEOVER" for the city we are in. For example, imagine 15,000 Southern Baptists swarming New Orleans to help rebuild the city for a week.

Third, I would celebrate the diversity of Southern Baptists. Instead of fighting over PPL, Baptisms and Calvanism, I would promote the differences we have as making us strong.

Lee Saunders said...

If I were president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would....

...Spend a week at the very beginning of my term on a prayer retreat at my own expense, seeking God's will.
...Balance my committee appointments to include Southern Baptists from all corners of the convention. We have a denomination full of gifted, talented, spirit-filled servants of God. I would choose pastors and laypersons from churches that give evidence of commitment to cooperative ministry through the SBC's Cooperative Program, and I would be deliberate about including a significant number of people from small churches. I would not appoint anyone who has already served on a trustee board or committee, and would encourage the committee to follow the same example in selecting potential trustees.
...Spend the year on sabbatical from my church, and travel around the country to visit with the pastors and church leaders who are the backbone of Southern Baptist life, but whose names and faces are known only by the people in the congregations they serve. I would want to hear from them about their concerns and vision for their own ministry, and for the SBC.
...Make every effort to lead by example and avoid personal attacks whenever disagreements over non-essential doctrines and convention matters are addressed and discussed. I would hope that the political party spirit, which has characterized the SBC for 25 years, and which has kept a lot of people "in the pew" from attending the convention, could be replaced with a new spirit of cooperation.
...Serve only one term, then step down for God to call someone else who could do a better job by learning from my mistakes.

Philip Price said...

TOP TEN Things I Would Do If I Were President of the Southern Baptist Convention

10. Pinch myself.

9. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: As President of the SBC, I must go on record as stating “Even though my hair doesn’t have the luster of Wade Burleson’s, I’m just not mad about it.”

8. Create a Daily Blog entitled- Preachers Gone Wild!

7. Prepare for distribution at San Antonio- “My Favorite Salsa and Hot Relish Recipes.”

6. Urge the abbreviation ADM (Associational Directors of Missions) be changed to GWSJBDGEC (Guys who serve Jesus but Don’t Get Enough Credit)

5. Resolve to never use the phrase “My Dear Sweet Brother...” in response to messengers at the convention.

4. Appoint Wade Burleson to the “Whispering” Bill Anderson Chair of Country Music at Midwestern Seminary.

3. Recommend Renaming Discipleship Program to: The Small Cell Bible Study Discussion Group in Homes or at Church or in a Coffee Shop Training Union.

2. CP Bucks- Reward Churches who give to Cooperative Program with Gift Certificates redeemable at Kentucky Fried Chicken on a $50 to $1 ratio.

1. I’m going to Disney World

Philip Price, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Leakesville, MS

Dale Huckabay said...

I’m not sure what exactly are the powers associated with being the president of the SBC, but I suggest the following as ideas for the Convention to consider.

1. Cooperation should start with real and public repentance regarding the relationships between SBC, CBF, and other entities and dissenters wherein the SBC as an organization and as represented by individuals in their official capacity have not operated in a Christ-like fashion of meekness and lowliness. Discipline is necessary but in order to be Biblical must be carried out in love, with complete reconciliation as the goal, and with a deliberate and intense eye toward one’s own sin and the concurrent danger of falling into sin oneself as discipline is applied. The same should be expected from the other side/s but would it not be Christ-honoring to take the initiative? The pride, self-centeredness, and lack of interest in the effect of actions on the witness of Baptists to the world by Baptists themselves over the last 30 years has been evident to everyone not directly involved – and many who were.

2. Evangelization should become the primary focus of the Convention in every way. Evangelization should become the primary means of displaying the glory of Christ to the world and the display of Christ’s glory to the world should become the primary means of evangelization. Evangelization cannot be man-centered or man-honoring and be effective. The current methods and, more to the point, motives of evangelization have created a church membership that is largely lost, absent, or both. The starting point could be to demonstrate how much more Christ Himself is trusted than money, power, or any need to prove oneself right while patiently waiting for Christ Himself to vindicate even as His glorious work goes on in His glorious power. (Which power will eventually demonstrate the rightness and wrongness of all positions in all things. We all should be much more interested in getting on the right side before that happens than on the winning side!).

This is getting longer than I intended so I’ll leave it at that – apologies for the space I’ve already consumed and the probable irrelevance to the question posed!
My prayers are continually for good for the SBC.

Stefan Melikian said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would . . .

Immediately candidate for a larger church with my newly-padded resume.

Propose a new theme for the 2007 annual meeting, “New Wine, New Wineskins,” just to see what would happen.

Call a press conference in which I would urge an investigation into possible collusion between the Southern Baptist Convention and Welch’s.

Call for removal of all missionaries who have spoken in a private baby language (i.e. baby talk) within the past year.

Only appoint committee members whose churches give less than .0001% to the Cooperative Program because giving more than that indicates a lack of faith in God’s ability to multiply things.

Invite Dr. Phil to discuss his “Ultimate Weight Loss Solution” at the convention in 2007 to combat recent increases in giving to the Cooperative Waistline.

Arrange a year-long protest in Topeka against Westboro Baptist Church themed, “God hates arrogance.”

Go on Larry King with Al Mohler (he’s always on the show) to discuss my upcoming protest.

Back up all my off-the-wall statements on the show with “Southern Baptists have always stood for this.”

Explore the possibility of creating a new fragrance entitled “Resurgence” as the official cologne of the SBC.

Declare everyone who doesn’t like my new fragrance to be a Calvin Klein liberal.

Most importantly, after the inevitable backlash, make sure to send that newly-padded resume to some non-SBC churches.

Bill Pfister said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would draw attention to the health, or lack thereof, of our churches. I would ask our churches to purge inactive members so we could have a true understanding of our shrinking size. I would help churches make this difficult transition by defining what an active member is and what church membership means. I would give churches indicators for church health that go beyond size and number of baptisms.



Next I would publish documents in our national and state papers describing what the Gospel message is. I would plead passionately for our pastors to preach the Gospel and point their listeners to the cross in every message. I would plead for a return to not only expositional preaching, but Christ-centered and Gospel-saturated preaching. I would point out the shortcomings of story-based and feel-good sermons and point out the redemptive benefits of Christ-centered preaching.



Next I would begin a discussion on the effectiveness of having a three-tiered denomination; national, state and association. I would support DOM's who are doing a wonderful job, in many cases doing work similar to IMB SC's, but I would ask churches to critically evaluate what fruit their associational and state dollars are bringing. I would encourage Kingdom Growth by asking our mission boards to fund national missionaries such as Gospel for Asia with our CP dollars. I would ask every pastor to lead one home and one international mission trip a year.



I would continue to promote our seminaries, mission boards and entities, asking that churches support the CP, but I would also encourage each church to be more proactive in their missions work, not settling for only sending in a check.

Bill Pfister
Little River Baptist Church
Brevard, NC

Anonymous said...

Dorcas, what would you do?

Blessings,

Florence in KY

Dorcas said...

Florence - are you challenging me to add to my collection of signed books by Wade? :)

I will start with my entry for humor as I want to ponder the serious one some more. Although I have to admit I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at the comment on "Resurgence" cologne. That is about the funniest anyone could come up with.

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention ...

I would send a thank you gift to my nomination speechwriter.

I would hire my nomination speechwriter to field all publicity regarding my being the first woman president of the SBC, which would probably engulf most of my time for the first two or three months.

After I am done with all the news stories about being the first woman president, waving, smiling, smiling, waving ... probably on Good Morning America and Oprah, I will turn the keys of the oval office over to my nomination speechwriter and let him make the real difference in the SBC.

At the end of the year, if everything goes well, I will take all the credit, if things go poorly, I'll weep and say how I tried to do my best, and if you re-elect me I'll do better next year.

Tim Sweatman said...

If I were president of the Southern Baptist Convention I would...

Use the public platform I had been given to challenge Southern Baptists to carry out the Great Commission in its entirety. Instead of being content with making "converts," I would emphasize making disciples, which is what Jesus commanded us to do. If we were committed to discipling people, that would go a long way toward reversing our declining baptismal numbers and our decreasing financial support. It would also correct much of the theological ignorance that plagues our denomination and enhance unity.

I would do everything possible to broaden the base for serving in denominational positions. To the committes appointed by the president I would appoint a mix from all across the SBC spectrum, so long as they affirmed the BFM 2000, and I would urge the Committee on Committees and the Nominating Committee to do so as well. (Some might take issue with this, but I strongly believe that anyone who is employed by the convention or serves in one of its offices or committees should be aligned with the convention's officially adopted statement of faith.) I would be adamant that people not be recycled from one board or committee to another and that no single church or family have more than one member serving on SBC boards and committees.

At the annual meeting I would strive to ensure that everyone who wishes to speak to an issue would be able to do so (the barriers presented by parliamentary procedure would be a problem). I would also use the time allotted for the presidential address for the messengers to engage in concerted prayer.

I would also take time to go around the country to all kinds and sizes of SBC churches and listen to both pastors and laypersons share what is happening in their churches and communities.


*299 words, not counting the introductory phrase (if I counted correctly)

Anonymous said...

If I were President of the SBC I would immediately step aside and let Mrs Rogers take over. nuff said

Brett said...

If I were elected President of the SBC, I would...

a. Show up at the press conference with those fake buck teeth in.

b. Call Class of '88 "Mr. Most Likely to Succeed" and ask what's goin' on in his life these days.

c. Inform the newly elected 2nd Vice President that his job at the convention, during all business sessions, is to make sure that all the restrooms are fully supplied, thereby ensuring that the most widely asked question of the San Antonio Convention would not be "Who was the genius that suggested we should be in San Antonio in June?" but would be "Where's Wiley?"

d. Buy a ranch out West somewhere so I can chop wood and ride horses for the media.

e. Take Bobby's old bus and beg the producers of MTV's "Pimp My Ride" to transform it...with Al Mohler's mug on the side, right beside the text "Tonight on Larry King"

f. Donate the newly pimped SBC Bus to the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives for posterity.

g. Get a custom equipped Boeing 747-200B and call it SBC-1.

h. Urge Hayes Wicker to really draw the theologues to San Antonio with
"Mohler/Patterson II: the Cage Match"

i. Issue a statement titled "Patterson's Left Hook: the Truth about Mohler's Supposed Cornea Surgery Before Greensboro"

j. Use my childrens' toy mallet as a gavel when people start acting childish.

k. Conclude my Introduction of whichever politician the Bush administration sends to San Antonio with these words: "And it is my great privelege to inform you that in an unprecedented display of gratitude for our Convention's unwavering loyalty to the Republican party, our next speaker just pledged to give 10% of his/her gross income to the Cooperative Program!"

l. Grant clemency to Wade Burleson.

craig from Georgia said...

If I were the president of the SBC:

I would exhort pastors to be more Bible centered in their preaching; to spend more time preaching and teaching verse by verse through the books of the Bible. Pastors need to work at restoring their congregation’s confidence in the authority of Scripture. They need to take the lead in grounding their congregations in the doctrinal truths of the Bible. The average American Christian is severely lacking in spiritual discernment. Growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Word of God is the remedy.

I would exhort pastors to stop being so results oriented and realize God is concerned about the methods we use. I would exhort pastors to be more concerned with planting the seed of the Word of God than how many can we baptize.

I would exhort pastors to be pastors and not CEOs. Pastors need to pastor their church members; not manage them.

I would publicly rebuke Rick Warren and warn pastors of the dangers of the “Purpose Driven” philosophy. I would also warn pastors of the dangers of the “Emergent” church and contemplative spirituality. I would warn pastors that the spirituality that is sweeping America is not Bible based, but New Age based with ecumenism as its goal.

(I apologize if this posted twice)

Dave Samples said...

If I were president of the SBC, I would...

#1--Seek to reconcile and rebuild relationships with both the BGCT and the BGAV. How can God truly bless us if we are at odds with our brothers and sisters? (Matthew 5:23-24).

#2--Hold "live satellite" conventions in every state convention allowing a truly representative convention. Wouldn't it be cool if every SBC church was actually represented and voting at the SBC?

#3--Reorganize each of our boards in order to streamline effectiveness and to minimize expense.

#3--Initiate a national ad campaign to proclaim the gospel and the positives of SBC churches. Answer the question: "What are we for?"

Anonymous said...

Dorcas, I already have one of Wade's signed books, so I'd better not hog another one. I won it during his other contest, long time ago!! (Like in Jan. or Feb.)
I believe I won the Marty D. award for briefness.

Florence in KY

irreverend fox said...

If I were president of the SBC I would,

OUTLAW all private prayer languages and kick out every single SBC leader who had ever spoken in favor of such a thing

I publicly demand that Lifeway only distribute the KJV and all Lifeway materials must use the KJV in all teaching material.

Furthermore I would publicly demand that Lifeway immediately stop selling music with ungodly tempo's and jungle rhythms and beats.

I would forbid any women to speak publicly in any SBC related event, include all WMU events.

I would disassociate our convention with Billy Graham and Rick Warren.

I would cut funding from all NAMB church plants that refuse to indicate "Baptist" in their name.

I would insist that our convention disassociate with any local church that does have Sunday School and/or Sunday evening worship.

Dennis Long said...

I don't have a vote in this contest but Bret will get my vote in 2007! Hilarious!

irreverend fox said...

I've thought of a couple more while I'm at it, this is fun Wade!

-I would kick out Al Mohler and Ed Stetzer and then all other 'calvinists'.

-I would send this memo to Jerry Rankin:

"Jerry, take your private prayer langauge and HIT THE ROAD!"

-My 2007 national comapaign would be, "SBC, we ARE evangelicalism"

-I would appoint my succesor, Eurgan Caner!

-My memo to the young leaders network: Emerge out the door!

Brent Dix said...

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would thank my wife and two kids for their vote and wonder why we were the only folks at the annual meeting!
Have a great trip.

Brian said...

As a layman, I would:

1. Throw out all 'heavy theological terms' such as Calvinism, Arminianism, election, and predestination, and just direct all SB churches to preach "God=good; Sin=bad".

2. Hold a public burning of anything with the words 'Left Behind' in the title.

3. Get as far, far away from the Baptist Bible (HCSB) as possible.

4. Commission my own Bible translation that discovers male pattern baldness as a spiritual gift.

Enjoy your vacation, Wade. I'm in Alabama aka God's Country myself. Where will you be relaxing?

70 year old Brother in CHRIST said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would let someone else put the following into effect because I didn't write this.

CHRISTIAN UNITY

Christian unity is founded on each Christian"s commitment to the one God. Common submission to His person and will should result in a church united in worship, fellowship, and service. Both this fact, and the conflicting fact of churches frequently fractured, is the testimony of the NT.

The Gospel of John reminds the church that oneness was the Lord’s design for His followers (John 17:20-23). Jesus’ prayer for every generation of believers was that “all of them may be one” (John 17:21). This unity with one another stems from a shared oneness with the Father and Son. The stated intent is that “the world may believe” in Jesus through the united testimony of His disciples.

John made a similar point to a church in turmoil. Those in fellowship with God (those who “walk in the light”) share a resultant fellowship of love (1 John 1:5-7). The absence of this Christlike love, which should characterize the “light,” is no small matter. A loveless, divisive Christianity is not Christianity at all. It is a type of heresy (1 John 2:9-11,15,19).

Paul also prayed for unity in the church and often exhorted believers to maintain oneness. His prayers identify the basis of unity as the one Father, the work of the one Spirit, and believers’ common bond to Christ (Rom 15:5-6; Eph 4:3-6; Phil 2:1-2). Frequent references to unity reveal both its importance and the challenge of maintaining it in the church.

It is important because it glorifies the Father and the Son. Thus it is appropriate for believers, and it provides a witness to unbelievers (Rom 5:6-7). Paul’s actions illustrate how crucial this was to him. His conflict with Peter (Gal 2:11-14), the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), and the offering for the saints in Jerusalem (2 Cor 8-9) were all attempts both to defend the truth of the gospel and to maintain the unity of the church.

Yet the church experienced divisions. Selfishness, immaturity, conceit, and an unforgiving attitude are identified as common, root causes (Rom 15:7; 1 Cor 3:1-4; Phil 2:1-4; Jas 4:1-12). Even apparently mature Christians could place personal feelings or interests ahead of the good of the gospel and thus generate divisions. Individuals in conflict could also gather into warring factions and endanger the life and witness of the church (Acts 6:1-4; Gal 2:11-13; Phil 4:2-3; 3 John 9-10).

Believers were exhorted to recognize these pitfalls and avoid them. They were to emphasize the church’s common purpose rather than focus on the ambitions of individuals (John 17:21; Phil 2:2). They were to accept others (forgiving faults and accepting differences) as Christ had accepted them (Rom 15:7; Col 3:13-14). Also, like Christ, they were to promote the well-being of others, not narrowly pursue their own goals (Phil 2:3-4). The true “yokefellow” was exhorted not only to govern his own actions but also to promote unity where there was conflict (Phil 4:2-4).

The NT makes clear the basis for unity in the body of Christ. Jesus, Paul, John, and others frequently emphasized its importance and its rewards. The church, therefore, in every generation bears the responsibility of making unity a reality.
LOVE IN CHRIST NAME

Anonymous said...

If I were Prez of the SBC I would immediately change the voting practices at the annual convention. Each member of the SBC would be given a ballot at his/her local SBC church each year. All 15, 12 or whatever million folks we report to have would be given the chance to vote on all these resolutions and the candidates. I think things would look very different in our convention. I think average Southern Baptists look very liitle like or think very little like our leadership of the last few years. At least, I've been telling myself that to bring me comfort!

If you think about it, sooooooooo many things would be affected by this!

TruthOfActs said...

If I was president of the SBC, I would identify IMB trustees that voted for new ‘baptize’ and ‘pray’ rules.

I would require them to be re-baptized where Jesus was and since the river has changed, they would be buried in sand.

When raised from the sand, and they were not speaking in tongues of angels, repeat process.

According to rules it wouldn’t work if Patterson was doing the baptizing.
Hey! As a leader, maybe he should be baptized first.

I would search for a tongue speaking Southern Baptist preacher semo-wrestler named Peter to put Patterson under because I hear he has a wicked left hook.

Peter would need endurance because I’m afraid it would take a lot of repeats.

Rex Ray

irreverend fox said...

Hey Rex Ray,

you better hope that I'm not elected next time, cause if I am...YOU'RE NEXT!

Yep, first Rankin, then Burleson and THEN YOU!

Go practice your prayer langauge in the AG pal! We're baptist and we pray in plain english just like Paul did, buddy!

Dave in the Middle East said...

Bob Cleveland, I guess I would have to vote for you, because what this convention needs is some more acronyms.

Dorcas said...

Serious version

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention ...

I would have known I would be nominated ahead of time and have gotten well-versed in the responsibilities and obligations of the position.

For the first month of convention service I would set up an e-mail address that I would call it the "Tell It Like It Is" address. I would invite people (including non southern baptists) to write e-mails with every possible complaint, worry, concern, praise, approval of anything connected with the Southern Baptist Convention or its response / relation to the world. I would also have a mailing address for the non-computer saavy. Any mail received after that month would be destroyed / ignored / unopened. During that first month I would have a staff appointed to sort through everything from the mundane to the maddening, but taking the balance of all issues provided. I would use this to gauge the viewpoint of all people within and without Southern Baptist life as to what the true issues facing our denomination are. I would then find some way to communicate this to a group of people that would be able to draft appropriate motions and resolutions responding to the real issues perceived by real people. Of course, this could not be a power play, or the President writing her own motions to be presented, so there would have to be some way to make it a neutral suggestion. It might be as simple as publishing a list of the top ten concerns for Southern Baptists this year, and then encouraging pastors to submit resolutions and motions geared toward those topics.

In this way, the convention of just a few 1000 messengers would have the input of a wider audience on the front end of things, so we would be sure that the topics brought forward at the convention were ones of current importance and truly needing to be addressed.

Bob Cleveland said...

Dave I.T.M.E.

You're Extremely Sagacious (Y.E.S.)

Stephen Fox said...

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would rule in the Fear of God, as Jehovah urged David when He Said He that Ruleth Over Men, Must Be Just.
Some of you conservative brethren will say that text applies to state rulers, not an ecclesiastical leader. I dissent.
As my letter in the Wednesday, June 21 Birmingham Al News implied, ignorance continues to be pervasive in rank and file of Baptist in the pews, and they dumbfoundedly continue to support the Cooperative Program believing a Missions Program will collapse if they don't; yet refuse at the autonomous local church level to explore Michelle Goldberg's findings in Kingdom Coming.
I was present for a Grand discussion June 23 at the CBF offsite at the CBF in Atlanta where I made the case anybody who had hope Frank Page's election promised a new day for the Inerrant SBC was simple minded. I am convinced it was an anomaly, of the magnitude of Jim Henry. Put Sutton and Floyd together and Pressler's Council for National Policy still took just under half the vote. Karl Rove's friend Richard Land is still funded to the max under the Ex Com distribution and two candidates called for his funding to be increased.
The Bible says truth seekers must first seek it, must pilgrim on in the way. If I were elected president of the SBC, I would open the Peace Committee books in the presence of Charles Pickering and his former pastor's son Charles Marsh; Marsh's friend Kate Campbell, Jim Henry's daughter.
And then in light of the discussion in the breakout session where I was present in Atlanta yesterday on Theologians Under Hitler--look for a report next week at www.ethicsdaily.com, would take a fresh look at Baptist Work in America and see then who is the present Day Nebuchanazzar, who in fact is weighed in the balance and found wanting.
Does the Great Wade Burleson have the Virtue and Integrity, the Free conscience to post this True Dissent in Baptist Life; this submission to his own Essay Contest?
We Shall See.

Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama

Charlie said...

If I was president, I'd send a mission team to irreverand Fox,to check his credential to see if enough evidence was available to convict him of being a christain.
On second thought, I'd save the money and pray in the SPIRIT that GOD would have mercy on his pinhead.

Charlie

Stephen Fox said...

Thank you Wade for posting my Dissent. You answered my question for this round, you did have the courage and respect for open dissent to post.
To Charlie, let's be clear. Though my last name is Fox, I am not the same person who posts as the Irreverend Fox. Just happens to be an ironic coincidence.
Couple other points about my post. Forgive my spelling of Neb, I was going blindy by phonics.
I meant to say that in the free flow open discussion offsite at a restaurant during a break in the CBF Friday, a PHD quicly rebutted my assertion. This rising influential academic in progressive Baptist life, was of the opinion of some of you regs on this board, that Gboro in fact was a watershed event, and the blogging genie is out of the bottle and Pressler and Paige, Rove and Land, Mohler and the CNP and the Council of Shadows in and around Rogers, Arkansas will not be able to put the genie back in.
I am convinced WMU Staffis pro CBF. Get the flow chart of the administration. Chart the top 25 women at the offices on 280 in BHam and see if any of them would jump at the chance to sign BFM 2000. I doubt more than Three in good conscience would sign it.
Look at their church Membership. Have their pastors signed BFM 2000? Do their pastors support BWA.
Look at two leading CooP Program givers in Alabama, FBC Montgomery's Jay Wolfe, and Dawson Memorial's Gary Fenton.
Either one of those fellows signed BFM 2000? Everything I hear is they do in fact support BWA.
SBC is set to implode. Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the Wall and All the Kings Horses, and All the Kings Men, can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Stephen Fox of Collinsville, Alabama seeing if you can break the code of 1-11-04; and 5-28-06?

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

the next person I'd chop out of our convention would be Stephen Fox. Anybody who can ramble on and on and on about nothing can't be good for us good ol boys.

Let's see if the 'great' Wade Burleson posts that one, we shall see!

Melissa said...

If I were President of the SBC, I would....

Plan a time of Rediscovery and help the body of Southern Baptist Churches fully understand the purpose for having a Convention.
** I'm sure it's time to change the purpose from what it once was to bringing it line to the needs of today and if it is the same then we need a fresh spirit to blow in and give us flight.***

I would stir the convention away from issues that are not ours to dictate and to bring people back to a humble attitude of serving rather than thinking we ought to be served.

I would see that all churches are represented on all the boards / trustees etc.... not just those who give more or have more members. ** this does not communicate equality or unity**

At each convention instead of staying in HIGH end hotels we would stay at the local camp grounds and low end hotels and the money we would save would go towards ministry during this time. It would be a REAL way of showing the world that we aren't all show or all talk but that we put hands to our voice and feet to our mouth.....

We would meet in small groups / cell groups and time would be spent praying for one another and eachother ministeries, the needs of the convention and the world at large. After time of prayer and worship we would then talk about what actions we need to take in order to full fill our purpose.

As the President of the SBC I would work hard to serve and I would strive to be a Peace maker.... living at peace with all men......

I would challenge us all to be more like our Savior and less like ourselves..... walking in the spirit rather than the flesh.....

Our motto would be: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit".... Gal.5:25

TruthOfActs said...

irreverend Fox,
You’re an intriguing man. I can’t decide if you are serious or trying to get the ‘funny’ award. If you baptized me in sand, I’d take you with me. Since we wouldn’t stop talking while going under, when we came up there would be no repeat because speaking and spitting sand would sound like anything but English.

(1 Cor. 8:14) Paul said: “I think my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.” Or the Living says: “I thank God that I speak in tongues privately more than any of the rest of you.”

(Acts 8:12) They believed Philip preaching…things…of Jesus…they were baptized. (Verse 17) “They laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Verse 18) “When Simon saw…they received the Holy Ghost…”

Fox, did Simon see fire on their heads, or did he hear a strange tongue, or both?
Why did they not receive the Holy Ghost when they believed on Jesus and were baptized?
Maybe you would reply like my wife said as a joke when I asked her that question. “Oh, they were Southern Baptist.”
Or was it a joke? Hmmm

You said, “We pray in plain English just like Paul did.”

Ahaaaa, I get it. I get it. You funny man.

Rex Ray

Alan Cross said...

I would immediately resign and go back to pastoring my local church!

On my way back home, I would give everyone a copy of the following memo:

To Whom It May Concern:

Let's all return to our first love, Jesus Christ. Let's stop aspiring to denominational position and influence. Let's instead seek to influence the world. In the past 25 years the population of the world has increased from 4 billion to 6.5 billion. Have we kept pace? The U.S. population has increased from 250 million to over 300 million, with millions of immigrants coming from all over the world. Are we loving them with the love of Christ? We need to get back to the lifestyle of loving God and loving people, and get out of our baptist ghetto. I'm going to go reach those people with the love of Christ and join with others who are doing the same. If anyone wants to join me, you can follow. If not, you can sit in another strategy meeting.

Obviously, Wade, denominational position is the last thing I'd ever want. I don't want to tell others how to do ministry from some lofty perch, I want to do it myself. Much of our denominational apparatus exists so that we have a religious machine that functions well for US. I think that most of it is a waste, honestly. But, the denomination is a reflection of our churches, so it is understandable.

Alan Cross said...

O.K., on the lighter side, instead of a nomination speech, I'd pass out T-shirts that said "Vote for Alan" and I'd do the Napolean Dynamite dance in the convention hall. Then, when elected:

1. I'd start a WWBD campaign - "What Would Baptists Do?"
2. I'd purge Southern Seminary of all of the relativists and liberals - those folks just aren't biblical enough! :)
3. I'd have everyone on the platform at the Annual Meeting where robes and be referred to as "Your Holiness." It'd cut down on all the rowdiness in the convention hall.
4. I'd have a Bible Drill competition at the convention, kind of like the National Spelling Bee. We could turn it into a reality show to raise money for the CP.
5. I'd have vendors walk up and down the aisles selling ice cold beer, just to see the reaction on people's faces (and see who actually tried to buy one! It would actually just be apple juice).
6. To be able to relate better to Muslims, I'd institute a once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Nashville, Alpharetta, GA, or Richmond - your choice.
7. I'd go ahead and formalize our relationship with the Republican Party. Sure, we'd lose our tax exempt status, but think of the perks! - Before you get testy, I'm a lifelong Republican.
8. I'd declare fried chicken, assorted casseroles, and sweet tea the official sustinence of the SBC.
9. I'd encourage all Baptist pastors to start blogs so baptisms would go UP.
10. And finally, I'd fill all vacant posts with the people who posted on this blog!

Good fun, Wade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Stephen Fox said...

Wade: Thanks for posting my two submissions so far. I hope to pick up an email correspondence with Frank Page after he catches his breath from the chaos in Greensboro. I am sitting about 12 miles from him right now, if in fact he is in country this morning.
Here are two articles for you good brethren to click on, maybe even start another thread. Should be right down Ben Cole's alley if he is not too proud to cross blog.
Both up today, and go to the heart of the after effects of the last 25 years of Baptist life in the subculture of what was the SBC
www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=7538

www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=7542

The court prophet reference in the first is rich, as is Al Gore's Three Musketeer implicit thought on Ronnie Floyd, Pressler, Mohler and www.visionamerica.us as contexted additionally in Michelle Goldberg's book I mention in my first effort here post Gboro.

Stephen Fox
Monday June 26

Benjamin S. Cole said...

If I were president of the SBC, I would:

Resign.

Scotte Hodel said...

If I were preseident of the SBC I would ...

(1) Require all church members to learn at least one foreign language. This would significantly reduce the risk of someone praying in an "unknown" tongue. Church members must be informed that, in keeping with current IMB policy, if they elect - whoops! I mean choose! - to use these languages only in personal devotions, this constitutes a "private prayer language" and will disqualify them from foreign missionary service.

(2) Require all church members to study in detail the complete works of Calvin ... and Hobbes.

(3) Institute a new soul winning program with the acronym E.V.A.N.G.E.L.I.S.M.

and, for the sake of my church orchestra ...
(4) Forbid the composition of any further sacred music with more than 5 flats.

and this from my daughter:
(5) Give more opportunities for young girls to serve; they kind of get swept under the rug and told to have babies. "Where would we be without women? Florence Nightengale, Marie Curie, Hlilary .. oh, bad idea."

irreverend fox said...

Rex,

I don't know what kind of LIBERAL mumbo jumbo you are talking about, being baptized in sand...what are you, Episcopal or something?

Ok, ok, I'm done. I need to clarify; all of my posts have been attempts at humor, just trying to make someone laugh. I guess only Toronto charismatics are into laughing.

Oh well, it seemed like a light topic and one that was open to harmless sarcasm.

I’m a five point, emerging, missional NAMB church planter. I am not a cessationist and I would never vote for Caner, let alone appoint him to anything. And though I cut my teeth on a KJV, I use the NIV every week. Oh yeah, I enjoy music with jungle beats…

Matt B said...

Reading these posts reveals a vast misunderstanding of what the purpose and powers of the SBC presidency really are. Many of the responses have treated the position as though it were a position of great prestige one would aspire to. On the contrary. The position is one of service not status. There is no pay, no White House, no Oval Office. There is, however, a great sacrifice of time away from family and church family as well as the weight of great responsibility which the family and church family must help shoulder. Just watch the various presidents moderate the convention meetings. I have yet to see a man fill the position without an understanding of the immense responsibility they bear. They are not on the top of the stack barking orders. They are on the bottom of the stack bearing a tremendous burden.

Other posts have treated the presidency as if there were great powers involved. Do we no longer teach Baptist polity? We do not have an all powerful Baptist pope who rules a denomination. We are not a denomination with a top down hierarchy. Rather, we are a convention with a bottom up system of voluntary cooperation and service. There are really only three powers at a president’s disposal. First, the president appoints key committees. Once a president has made those appointments, he no longer has any more authority over them, so he had better choose carefully. Second, the president as moderator can help set the tone for the annual meetings. Third, the president can use SBC publicity to try and rally our independent churches around a particular cause such as evangelism or Cooperative Program support.

Some posts have suggested that the president should seek input from every Southern Baptist, gage their feelings and chart a course from there. Wow! It seems to me the president has a much better option. Scripture with God’s one consistent opinion would be much more concise than Baptist’s 16 million opinions. I would also like to think that God’s opinion would be more authoritative as well. The presidency is no place for personal power, prestige, or polls. It is however a place of humility and sacrificial service.

“Before honour is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).

Matt Brady
Durant, MS

Matt B said...

Several of the humorous entries have mentioned officially recognizing Southern Baptist’s apparent allegiance to the Republican Party and/or the Bush administration. For some great historical insight into that, check out Bart Barber's blog at:

http://praisegodbarebones.blogspot.com/

Matt Brady

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Wade,

If I were elected President of the SBC, I would post a traffic warning sign in Nashville near the new Billy Graham idol stating,

"Caution: driver may lose control of car when overwhelmed my the presence of the Lord."

I would also post a notice on the office door of all Baptist Blogging pastors:

"Pastor is presently finding encouragement to continue in ministry, and is learning important truths about theology, especially about salvation and the church (that is, he is blogging), and so is presently unavailable to visit recalcitrant non-attending members for reclamation evangelism."

Love in Christ,

Jeff

TruthOfActs said...

If I were president of the SBC, I would have Wade Burleson start a debate to settle each difference that divided the SBC. (Tongues, baptism, 1963 vs. 2000 BFM, inerrancy vs. infallible, Baptist World Alliance, etc.)
Each side would have a ‘staff’ to make comments. At the end of each week, non-partial debate judges would score each side from 0 to 100.
(This score is only based upon the skill of debate and not who is right or wrong. That will be settled later in ‘more to come.’)

The public would be invited to join. Their comments would be printed but debate judges would not consider them unless the ‘staff’ added them to their debate material.

Debate comments of one side would be on one column with the other side’s comments next to it in another column.

Debate judges would have to arrange statements, questions, and answers so they related to each other.

The reader would be able to read like they were hearing a conversation.

(“More to come”)

Churches are to be notified of these debates and asked to take part as each convention will ask their churches to send the number of votes for side ? and the number of votes for side ?

This way, every priesthood of the believer will have an opportunity to be heard.

The time allowed for the debates would depend upon participation and announced later.

Side effects: More Baptists would know the ‘what and why of their beliefs.’

The title of these debates could be, “The SBC hears its members.”

Rex Ray

Jeff Richard Young said...

Oops! Make that "by the presence," not "my the presence," which would be in an unknown tongue.

Steve said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention...

I'd charter thirty buses. Each bus would have a stewardess (in an apron) who is a past president of the SBC from the last twenty five years. If they are living and healthy, they'd serve, as would the pastors of the ten largest SBC churches. If short, we'd get to thirty by selecting Southern Baptists who have sought the media spotlights. Stewardesses direct people to the appropriate bus and handle luggage. During the ride, they serve every passenger's needs.

Our journey begins with thirty buses parked, doors open with stewardesses holding signs indicating who can board. One famous past SBC president holds the sign for adulterers. Another holds the sign for gay people. Muslims have a bus. Deacons who drink get on a bus. The drug addicted go over there and gang members go right here. Those who've had abortions climb aboard there, and tax cheats get on that one. AIDS patients will be riding on the blue one. Obese folks, the illiterate and people who dance are on the buses in row two. Murderers go here. Jews go there. Corrupt national leaders are on that bus over there. Pastors with homes worth more than the mean go here. Former SBC officials who were fired for liberalism go there.

Upon our arrival at Disney World we learn that God is having a banquet. Everyone is invited – even the stewardesses. No one is excluded. Our first activity finds the entire group riding It's A Small World. You see, God is good!

Having no further need for power, position, prestige or vicious manipulation, I declare the SBC an anachronism, sell everything, resign and send everyone to Samaritan's Purse, the PEACE plan or to serve New Orleans, Darfur, Hollywood or next door.

Stephen Fox said...

Getting a real discussion going here and I am finding it more worth my time.
In all kindness and candor I think Matt Brady is woefully mistaken about the powers of the SBC Presidency. One of your own, Ben Cole, can help your naivete on that one Matt. The whole takeover of the SBC was done when Pressler and Patterson realized that was the jugular; by electing the President in successive years they were able through the appointments process to turn a turtle bumbling around slouching toward a better region in the Southeast, into a troglodyte, a dinosaur or as Will Campbell once put it a crawfish digging in and going backwards.
Topic of today in Baptist life is Greg Tomlinson's Baptist Press report and commentary on the CBF meeting in Atlanta.
Tomlinson prevaricates, he can't see the Kingdom of God Forest, for the Karl Rove and Richard Land court prophecy trees.
Tomlinson goes after my friend David Currie. Currie plays realpolitik Texas style, like his friend Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins and I have to give him credit.
Smart Justice work, embracing the overriding themes of the Gospel is sometime messy business; but the arc of Scripture is true, it truly is God's work and rebukes the Pharasaism and latent culture captivity you guys participated in in Greensboro.
Also see the talk2action blog on Russ Moore's pitiful new book. It went up Friday.
Come on guys, read Goldberg and Feldman and Robinson in current Harper's and get right with the Baptist Jesus of Truett and Marney, and Martin and Judge Frank Johnson.
Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama

David L. Miller said...

(No offense guys, but you might try reading the SBC Constitution and Bylaws. The SBC elects a president, not a pope. SBC president has 2 significant powers - presiding at meetings and appointing the committee on committees that serves as nominating committee.)

So, if I were president, I would try my best to moderate the meetings fairly to let people have their say.

I would also appoint a committee on committees that would represent the real SBC (see Mark Hensley's essay above). I would appoint men and women only from churches of less than 500 average attendance.

In today's SBC, if you ain't megachurch, you ain't nothing. My one goal would be to spend two years balancing the megachurch mania in the appointment process.

Dennis Doyle said...

Wade,

The leadership of the SBC needs to acknowledge that the vast majority of our active members
have virtually no idea of what actually takes place within the ministries of our agencies, mission boards and seminaries. They simply trust that their financial gifts are being used wisely in seeking to fulfill the Great Commandment. Let’s do something really radical and communicate to our people that we want them to participate and simplify how they can do so. Here’s two suggestions:

1.Let’s admit that the whole concept of asking people to attend a 3 day annual convention in order to listen to ministry reports and to vote on leaders is archaic. The truth is that less than 1% of Southern Baptist actually attended this year’s convention. Honestly, do we really expect the average SBC lay person to take their vacation time to attend the SBC annual convention and to absorb the expenses involved? While we may still need to actually have a gathering of people to hold the proceedings, it would be fairly easy to develop a system that would allow people to participate without actually having to be physically present. Several weeks before the conventio,the Executive Board could communicate with our local churches easy to follow directions about how our members can register on line to watch the proceedings in the convenience of their homes. Through the same web site, participants could cast their votes on the business of the convention. Doing this would communicate that we really believe in the competency of the Body of Christ as expressed in the SBC to make decisions collectively for the well being of what we are seeking to do.

2. Our IMB missionaries have great stories to tell! Let’s give them a more convenient forum to share what God is doing. Let’s encourage our people to sign up through the IMB’s web site to pray for a specific missionary. After signing up, each person could be assigned to a missionary and begin receiving monthly newsletters and prayer request directly from their missionary. Could you imagine how great the impact this could have in the life of the children who participated?

I think this year’s convention was a step in the right direction but let’s have the courage to continue to open up participation to everyone who wants to participate!

Sincerely,
Dennis Doyle
ddoyle@fbcwburg.org

The Misfit said...

If I were the President of the SBC, I would...

1) Urge the IMB and Executive Committee to initiate a series of "town meetings" across the country to address the controversy surrounding IMB personnel and "private prayer language." Rather than simply "laying down the law," there needs to be a dialogue here, and hopefully a mending of fences. If the IMB is justified in their new policies, the least they could do is explain themselves. I'll volunteer to host one in SE Idaho!

2) Push for reforms in SBC structure to include pastors of small churches and (especially) bi-vocational ministers in positions of leadership in the SBC, in a genuine attempt to allow the needs, struggles and circumstances of the vast majority of SBC congregations to be voiced.

3) Lobby for an honest and thorough review of the SBC and its relationship to the Baptist World Alliance.

4) Encourage the pastors of our 100 largest congregations to invest - in time, finances, personnel and resources - in the health of our 100 smallest congregations on a long-term basis (no less than 5 years).

5) Push for a reorganization at the state and associational level within the SBC.

6) Update the old SBC logo (I thought about the name change idea, but its already been shot down too many times)

7) Challenge our seminary presidents to lead by example in engaging and evangelizing leaders in business, secular educational institutions, and the leadership of other religions (who in the SBC has taken the president of the LDS church to lunch lately??)

This was previously posted on my own blog, but I thought I'd toss it in here.

Paul Burleson said...

To all commenting, As you may or may not remember, Wade is on vacation and I've been posting comments since last Saturday. I'm probably not as wise as is he in knowing whether some should be posted or not, so there are a few I'm holding in reserve for his decision. [There may be some I should have held in reserve. :)] I assure you, he will read all and handle the winning results. I will not respond to comments as he does so well. That's his job not mine.
Keep commenting, he will be on top of it all very soon.

Paul Burleson aka Dad

Stephen Fox said...

Paul: Give me some oxygen bro; for this post and the one immediately preceeding. Your Dad has passed off on my submissions, so looks like I'm in.
True Story. Just got off the phone with Renee Horton, the Ex Sec. to the pastor of the President of the SBC, Frank Page himself. I think he will be reading some of these essays in this contest, as I got a laugh out of her describing some of the efforts.
So dudes, what you say here is going straight to the top, as you imagined it would be anyway.
Filled her in, brought her up to speed on some of the things I have been saying on this board about Feldman and Goldberg and their significance for Frank's pilgrimage as president of the SBC; also pointed out Robinson's essay in current Harper's mag.
Ms. Horton's hubby, as he has professed publicly on another board, baptistlife.com, is a friend of Cecil Staton, the Publisher of Smyth and Helwys breakaway literature. They grew up in the textile village culture of West Greenville, a subculture of a subculture if ever there was one.
Lot of that, status and struggle, is part of the Baptist matrix as well as everybody settles into place.
Even so, looking more like Al Mohler was always a DJ Kennedy right winger as Barry Hankins hints in Uneasy in Babylon, and his bent toward dominionism is coming more into definition daily.
Random thoughts on a random day.
Stephen Fox
Upstate Shaped
Bama Now

craig from Georgia said...

My attempt at humor.

As president of the SBC:

I would recommend all Sunday School material used in SBC churches be replaced with “The Purpose Driven Life”.

I would recommend all discipleship courses come from books written by Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, or Thomas Merton.

I would recommend contemplative prayer be the focus of all mid-week services. Those too shy to repeat mantras could go find themselves a place to get alone and practice their private prayer language.

Instead of just doing away with hymnals, I would lead churches to do away with all congregational singing with praise and worship leaders, teams, and bands providing all of the entertainment……uh I mean lead in worship.

I would recommend all men’s ministries (i.e. Brotherhood) be replaced with Promise Keepers.

Instead of meeting with the President of the United States, I would meet with the Secretary of the U.N.

At the SBC convention next year I would unveil a statue of Rick Warren waving a copy of “The Purpose Driven Life”.

Instead of President Bush and Secretary of State Rice as guest speakers I would have the Pope and the Right Rev Katharine Schori (Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church), after all we do want to be more inclusive.

(Hmmmm, maybe this is the direction the SBC is heading. That's not very funny.)

Xperiencedude said...

1. Order an annual mandatory smack down, winner take all iron cage event between all SBC entities.(Pay Per View proceeds going to our IMB missionaries on the field)

2. Get me a cool Baptist version of the Popemobile to attend the many national parades held in honor of SBC Presidents.

3. Have Xzibit pimp my Popemobile.

4. Break ground and buy a 'coming soon' sign for my mega-church.

5. Start changing the channel when a beer commercial comes on.

6. Begin working the phrase “axis of evil” into convention life.

7. Have millions of church fans printed up for smaller congregations with me giving the victory sign.

8. Drop the national tithe to 8.5 %.

Carlton Binkley said...

If I were president of the Southern Baptist Convention.....

1. I would lobby to ban all puppets except those that look like Al Mohler, Russell Moore, and Tom Nettles. (That would be a good puppet show!)

2. I would do my best to start a weightloss clinic at Southern Seminary so that the students could actually fit into their dorm rooms.(They're tiny! 'nough said)

3. I would require every pastor to dress down and get a cool haircut in order to be culturally relevant, no matter where they serve. (That way if the rural farmer on the second row didn't like the sermon he would still get a good laugh.)

4. I would start the Bill Gaither School of Worship at one of the seminaries and nominate Mark Lowery as the dean.

5. I would have a new license plate made for my car that said, "Elected-1" :)

6. I would ask all the churches of the sbc to provide a complete and up to date church roll including; address, phone number and picture of every member.(This should prove very interesting) :)

7. I would outlaw all the singing of any song that had to do with trains, momma, or old time religion.

8. I would call up my local DOM and ask what activities he had planned to spread the Gospel in our association just to make him nervous.

9. I would lobby to have the "emergent church" define themselves. :)

10. Last but not least. I would try to make all pastors everywhere understand that we don't just need correct doctrine alone. But in accordance with it we need God's presence in our lives and in our churches. Doctrine, correctness, and hard work doesn't bring revival. It's only the presence and power of God that ushers it in. More than anything we need the manifested presence of God. That's what I would do!

Anonymous said...

If I were president of the SBC I would assure my brethren that you can lead an active life with a full healthy head of hair... wait that's if I were the president of the Hair Club for Men.

It seems like we take ourselves way too seriously at the detriment of God's call to obedience. More time seems to be spent on discussing in what direction we want to go rather than simply going. It's time to put up or shut up on being obedient to God (which isn't denominationally specific, but wouldn't it be great if we set the example?). We also seem concerned with image which gives the impression that we're phony and arrogant.

Being realistic, I wouldn't make it past the swimsuit or talent portion of the SBC presidency pageant, but my main message would be "God told me to tell you to stop whining already... you're on the clock."

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Wade,

If I were President of the SBC, I would initiate a two-year dialogue on doctrine.

I would volunteer the 1st VP, 2nd VP, and myself to speak at several (all, if possible) of the state conventions, and would bring strong studies on soteriology (salvation) and ecclesiology (church), which I see as our two weakest areas.

I would use my influence to arrange for strong doctrinal messages during the next two Pastors Conferences and Annual Meetings.

I would personally oversee the work on this year’s motion to make any doctrinal requirements in the agencies a matter of amending the BFM 2000, and work to see that excellent motion become policy.

I would ask for a committee of heavyweight SBC theologians to rework the BFM 2000, and allow for numerous, lengthy debates and question-and-answer sessions during the process.

During my two years, I would see the “profound theological ignorance” of our present convention beginning to fade, and a renewed understanding of biblical evangelism and church membership growing to replace it.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

TruthOfActs said...

If I was president of the SBC, I would appoint a committee to investigate churches that violate the 1963 and 2000 BFM that state: “Each congregation operates under the LORDSHIP of CHRIST through DEMOCRATIC processes.”

Its true churches are autonomous, but how far can they go with a select few being ruler’s of the church and still be Baptist?

Many Baptist churches have adopted new by-laws that take authority from the church and give it to a few.

On 5-8-06, a 170-year-old Germantown Baptist Church, Tennessee of 12,000 membership REJECTED new by-laws that stated in part, “Authority in decision-making is vested in the members of our church and DELEGATED TO THE ELDERS.”
The Senior Pastor and six staff members have resigned.

New by-laws in Colleyville, Texas state: “The highest ecclesiastical tribunal of the Church shall be the LEADERSHIP BOARD. It shall be the express and final arbiter of ecclesiastical polity, Christian doctrine, MEMBERSHIP DISCIPLINE, questions of Church property, and shall make the final decision with respect to any other matter that shall arise concerning the Church, its internal working, and its governance in every respect.”

The BOARD tried to sell the $6,000,000 church and move it to another town. Four outspoken critics lost their membership by seven signatures after their senior adult class was locked out of church the previous day. One ousted member had given the land to the church 50 years ago; was a trustee of the church and a trustee of Dallas Baptist University.

The Senior Pastor and staff were graduates of a nearby seminary. This leads me to ask another committee to investigate if seminaries are teaching ‘ruler stuff’.

Has ‘school teaching’ conflicted the BFM; causing wrong direction of the SBC?

Rex Ray

Jeremy Roberts said...

IF I WERE PRESIDENT OF THE SBC, I WOULD...

Resign as President immediately, and recommend to the convention floor they vote for Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd of Arkansas. (I know there is a 1st/2nd VP for a reason, but we'll overlook it this one time.)

:~)

Matt Latta said...

If I were president of the SBC, I would...

1. Appoint a commitee to study the Total Depravity of all other denominations in the US and pair each SBC church with a non-SBC church to start focusing on prayerwalking teams, Bible translation, and missionary support.

2. Admit that my victory must have been an Unconditional Election as I went to a Church of God University, my wife went to a Presbyterian high school, I read Piper, I have worked with Mennonite missionaries in unreached people groups and I once went to Napa Valley.

3. Examine all SBC churches' baptisms, memberships, and CP giving and offer Limited Atonement in the form of giving the best seats at the convention and the best leadership positions to the higest numbers, regardless of exaggerations or numbers that have no integrity.

4. Justify my entry in the World Series of Poker and the $10,000 entry fee based on the fact that I was called there by His Irresistible grACE, and who can resist what is irresistible?

5. Offer a resolution praising the Perseverance of the Saints because of their committment to play football this year in New Orleans even though their stadium and city were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Matt Latta
Birmingham, AL
Factor7Drummer@aol.com

Anonymous said...

no new posts?

Anonymous said...

If I were president of the SBC I would preach W. Herschel Ford's old sermon "If I were Satan" for the annual president's message.

Mike Sunderland said...

If I were president of the SBC, I would plan a ministry to the churches in Hawaii.

One trip per month might be enough.

Visit at least one church on each island per visit. Along the way I would take time to see the Mormon Cultural center, the sugar cane plantations, the pineapple fields, the volcanoes, take the helicopter trip in Kauai, the whale site seeing boat in Maui, and of course, spend some relaxing time on the wonderful beaches.

I would arrange a sweet deal with a travel agent. Then invite people from my church and churches wherever I speak, to join me on this trip. I would have an associate manage this part of my ministry so I would be free to travel on the islands. I would agree to a nice commission for each passenger so I could make a little money on the side, and get enough free trips to take my family. Many pastors do the Holy Land, and the Journeys of Paul. Been there, done that.

Since my expenses would be paid by the Executive Committee these would be tax free trips.

Because the Cooperative Program funds pay my expenses, I would thank my church for sending me. I would not mention to other churches I was using their money. They do not know me that well, and might not understand. My church knows I would never do anything unethical, or contrary to SBC policy.

I would get a little extra money from the Executive Committee, and purchase a bag of Kona coffee for each member of my church. They have made a great sacrifice for me to minister to SBC churches. Since the Executive Committee has been so generous with presidents for so many years it will be a snap to get the money I need. It will take $2,000 for the coffee (the average Cooperative Program gift of our small churches). I may pick one church and send them a thank you note (a symbolic gesture, I know; but it is the thought that counts). It is not against SBC policy to give gifts and I want to do the right thing. In my heart, I would make this church the representatives of all the other churches giving $2,000 each year.

Of course, I want to bring a bag of Kona coffee to the SBC Executive Committee members and staff. After all, they do so much for me, And they get so little appreciation for their many paid trips to the meetings in Nashville.

Finally, I will recommend one of the yearly meetings of the Executive Meetings be convened on a cruise. I have heard a lot of SBC agencies do that, so it is an accepted practice, and does not violate any policy.

MIKE SUNDERLAND
Former member of Emmanuel Enid.
Presently "member at large" in our great denomination.



PS.
please do not print anything below the PS. This is copy for the "eyes only" of my dear 3 friends on the judging committee

I am available to run for President in San Antonio. My travel agent would help me round up the votes. Also, I do not read much, and have so much stuff on my walls, if I win the humorous essay, or am in the top 20, just send me one of John Lowe's cows.

I know you will want to print this, because it is so timely and a satire on the SBC.
I threw the "policy" stuff in on behalf of Wade Burleson. The policy issue seems to be known far and wide. Wade's name appeared 3 times in the Atlanta Journal Constitution; and his photo once. This paper is no county paper, it "covers the South like the morning dew."

Since the Cooperative Program created a lot of discussion at the convention this year, the timing is right to focus on this facet of our SBC work. There are so many ways we could get more money for evangelism and church starting.

For instance, since their beginning in 1996, the North American Mission Board has encouraged their missionaries to raise there own support and pay their own way; after the model of Campus Crusade. About half of them are doing that now. They have proven it can be done.

So I will ask the International Mission Board to follow this model. Think of the amount of Cooperative Program dollars would be saved if half of our foreign missionaries raised their own support.

I would ask the Board of Directors of the North American Mission Board, the Trustees of the International Mission Board, the Trustees of the Sunday School Board, the trustees of all 6 Seminaries, and all other Commissions (like Christian Life Commission, Educational Commission, and all other lesser known agencies and commissions of our beloved SBC) to pay their own way to the meetings of those boards and agencies. Many of these men and women have wanted to do this, but it has been against policy.

I am asking the Executive board to change these policies and save money Churches would be happy to pay expenses of their members to these meetings. Part of my task will be to put together a report of how much it costs for airline tickets, auto rentals, food, hotels, and other incidentals to transport and take care of the hundreds of people who go from two to three meetings per year. Just think, how much money is in the airline ticket from the California to boards and agencies. (Has anyone ever heard of video conferencing???)California has a representative on all boards and agencies, sometimes more than one. So I will get that policy changed and ask all these folks to begin paying their own way to these meetings. I will give a report to the convention next year about the amount of money saved. It will be easy to get these figures from each agency because of the open policy of disclosure demonstrated by the North American Mission Boards report recently.

MIKE SUNDERLAND

Former Member of Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Paul Chenoweth said...

If I were the President of the Southern Baptist Convention I would . . . make my first official action the changing of the name of the SBC to the Southern Buffet Contention. We have a crisis of fellowship (suppers) in our churches. It has been rumored that certain liberal groups amonst us have actually served green beans without mashed potatoes. Moderates have been serving mystery meat and claiming that there are different interpretations as to its origins. And conservatives have been trying to figure out why the loaves and fishes aren’t attracting crowds like they used to. *smile*

SBCerforthegospel said...

If I were President of the SBC I would fast and pray before I took office. I would implore God on my knees to take any anger and brow beating out of the SBC as a whole and out of the convention and replace it with unity, grace and love for those we disagree with. I would implore God for a revival in the SBC and spreading to other parts of the world including the United States.

I would pray for Saul's wisdom(which is looking at things the way God sees them including myself) and proceed from this view.

I would vow to God that I would not go beyond what the scriptures say on anything since I do believe in inerrancy of the scriptures and that it is the final authority and do what I could to promote inclusion and not exclusion over non-essentials remembering that we are about evangelism. That God works on the inside out and not the ouside in through the reading of the Holy Bible aka his words.

Stephen Fox said...

For what it's worth, I want to repeat, to date, June 30, my vote in this essay contest goes to Exeprienced Dude and Rex Ray.
Do want to implore you conservative brethren, especially the scholars and what passes for scholars in your group, that would be the young gun Ben Cole for sure, to go back to 94 and Farnely's book on the politics of the SBC. Pretty good book, student of Nancy Ammerman he was.
He slices things up three or four different ways. Of course I am little disappointed who doesn't prophesy the dispensation of Goldberg, Michelle, that has now come to light here in the latter days--see Helen Lee Turner on the Latter Days in Baptists Observed; BTW I hope to spend some time with Helen Lee in a vocations live in seminar about 10 miles from Frank Page and two miles from Cliff Barrows mid August; but Farnsley is good stuff.
Index Eric Newman, now of Baylor, and Gushee, now at Union in Jackson, Tn, when you read Hankins. And if you haven't read him yet, you are a slacker, and that goes for Frank Page and his staffers the Mortons and any other behinders lurking on this board.
Newman and Gushee were at SBTS about 94 when Mohler was putting the Covenant in at Southern. Those two certifiable "conservatives" whose academic credentials were beyond reproach, hit the brick wall you guys got a taste of this last year at IMB and then in Greensboro. Newman and Gushee testify in Hankins Uneasy in Babylon as early as 94, something the rest of us knew as early as 79, this thing was about saving the Bible, it was about what they call The Firm. This unseen shadowy Iron Fist, the SBC version of the Mano Dura, which many of us hold to be Pressler's dictation straight from the Council for National Policy.
Don't want no more dimwitters among you like Marshall Frady found Billy Graham to be in his 79 biographer. We are dealing with Nixonian evil in the cabal of Richard Land and Mohler and Patterson and Pressler and Floyd and visionamerica.us. Read Goldberg. How much more writing on the Wall does it take for you to understand just how much the SBC is weighed in the balance and found wanting?????
Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama
About 5 days Shy of July 4, 2006

Rob Ayers said...

If I were President of the SBC, I would....

1)Go listen to the people - listening sessions,meet + greets with churches, starting with the smaller congregations, and otherwise get a representative sampling of the churches in the SBC - find out what is going on, what the needs how, and how the Convention and it's entites could do to support them - and then follow up with them when I had more information.

2)Take the information from item 2 and call a summit of every President and Board Chairman of an entity - a call for a time of prayer and fasting, as well as how "we can do a better job" in supporting our mission work, as well as the work of the local church - going away from an "American Corporation" style governance to a Servant/Leader/Team Approach.

3)Lead the convention in divesting Lifeway as a "for profit" corporation, and return it to a publishing house for all Southern Baptists - thus reducing the costs and overhead of materials to support and help ALL of the churches in their work.

Rob Ayers
Pastor, Camp Branch Baptist Church
pastor_robayers@earthlink.net
cbbaptist.org

Anonymous said...

reading all of these are hilarious

Ben S said...

Wade,

a humorous attempt

If I were the president of the Southern Baptist Convention I would put together a committee entitled, The Creating and Implementing New Stereotypes Committee. Let's be honest all of us are tired of the Baptist stereotypes, they are a little out dated. The stereotypes about eating at every event and having a committee for everything must be updated. We live in a day and age where these stereotypes no longer communicate who we really are. For to long we have missed out on the opportunities to create excellent new stereotypes, because we were unwilling to let go of these several safe, yet old stereotypes. This committee would have to be very forward thinking and visionary otherwise we could move backwards in this area of Baptist life. None of us want to go back to the days when stereotypes of Baptists included Baptists can not play pool or Baptists can't look at playing cards.

The Committee would also be in charge of nominating people to be put on the Safe Killing of Old Stereotypes Committee. This committee would need to be filled with people who are merciful but also who could swiftly kill stereotypes without letting them linger. A lingering stereotype causes confusion and division. As was the case with the no dancing stereotype, even though I can not get anyone to confirm nor deny that this was an actual Baptist stereotype at one time.

Finally I would encourage at least half the members on each committee to write a book about the process of killing old stereotypes, that way in the future we as Southern Baptists could be on the cutting edge of killing stereotypes.

Please take this as it is a poor attempt at humor

a concerned baptist said...

If i were elected pres. of the SBC i would...

Kick myself for even being there and relegate myself to "time-out" or the "reflection corner". Through this process i would chastise myself for such a waste of my time,energy, and money for being there in the first place. How could i have been so numb as to waste these precious commodities on something so unproductive, questionally Christian, and un-baptist (traditionally speaking) as is the SBC!
I would spend 40 days fasting and praying for redmeption, hoping that God would have mercy on my soul for wasting the things he as given me in order to build the kingdom of God. Truly, there are any infinite number of things that i could use my time, money and energy doing in order to build the kingdom of God, NONE of which has is anything the SBC is doing.
Good thing i would never be elected, aye?

Anonymous said...

To Stephen Fox:

Please, for the sake of us readers, get a good editor!

Amanda Kay said...

Being a member of my own church orchestra, Urshë Thalór gets my vote for:

and, for the sake of my church orchestra ...
(4) Forbid the composition of any further sacred music with more than 5 flats.

Though most of our music tends toward 5-6 sharps. I think the flats might be a refreshing change.
Anyway, If I were president of the Southern Baptist Convention...
* There'd be naptime for EVERYONE! And milk and cookies with lactose free and sugar free varieties available for those who need them.
* The next convention would be held in the woods, and everyone would camp out in nice, sturdy tents. Bug spray being given to all messengers.
* There would be a massive ROAD TRIP leading up to convention in an attempt to spur smaller churches into coming.
* Worship music will be lead by a bagpipe, oboe, clarinet, and guitar...or a 300+ piece orchestra comprising of musicians from as many different churches as possible. (music given a month ahead subject to change once everyone arrives, of course)
* churches not judged by CP giving, but by answering this question: "What are you doing to reach your Samaria, Judea, and the ends of the Earth for Jesus Christ?"
* Don't get drunk, people! A little wine is A-Ok, not passing out on the floor.
* Instead of a squished frog, I shall bring S'MORES. The proper roasting of a marshmallow being related to our maturing as a Christian, a chocolate to bring all together, and graham cracker that's good for you...
* Encourage interdenominational fellowship. We should be working together to reach the lost, not competing. I’d start by encouraging youth interfaith rallies…Christ-like Hearts Ever Evangelizing Radical Students…Cheers!
* Hold student and children’s SBC which then report to the adult SBC.

justice sanderson said...

1. I would lay out my agenda to win the world to Christ.
2. I would seek to make right the wrongs of the past 30 years.
3. I would publish for all to see the salaries of ALL convention employees including Executive Committee members, seminary presidents, LifeWay president, etc.
4. I would publish ALL expense reports of all above individuals.
5. Then I would let our people decide who we should really trust.

Kiki Cherry said...

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would....

1. Withdraw to a quiet place up in the mountains, and spend time alone with God.....praying, journaling, reading and listening. I would ask God to show me His purposes for my time as President.

2. I would select a group of 8-10 individuals who I knew to be of strong character and faith. I would ask them to spend a designated amount of time praying with me about the direction of our convention. Then I would ask them to share their insights and what they felt like God had been showing them. I would also ask them to serve as my prayer team/accountability/"iron-sharpening-iron" group for the year that I was president.

3. Ask pastors, church planters, WMU leaders, missionaries, and lay people all over the country and in every SBC organization and context the following questions: a) Where do you believe God is leading the SBC? b) How do you see yourself fitting into the future of the organization? c) What do you think our primary focus should be? d) What areas do you see that could be improved?

4. I would separate the worship and meeting times at Convention. God is a Holy God--He should be worshipped in a way that reflects the honor and glory He deserves. I was uncomfortable with some of that at Convention. I felt like some of the times that should have been focused on God and His greatness were cheapened because of the placement of those times in the program. We've lost our sense of awe and respect that the One True Holy God is worthy of.

Anonymous said...

IF I WERE PRESIDENT OF THE SBC, I WOULD..........
Appoint a committee to check and see why 2 of our most prominent and vocal leaders can differ on so many points of theology, (example, is election and all is different faces) and yet, both of these claim to be inerrantist. Both claim they are right and the other is wrong.

It seems to me that if one of these men view is without error, then the other is wrong and should be disciplined and removed as leader, and vice-versa.

(2) In todays enviroment if any SBC'ers differ with the most recent decrees from on high, on even the smallest of things, then the attacks and destruction of lives, careers, health insurance and annuities begins and we are branded liberals and then outcasts.

Also, I would move to break fellowship with any Baptist Newspaper ran by a state convention that allows half truth, slander, inuendo, and attacks by that paper. According to statistics we are loosing the vast majority of our youth at 18 years old. Most of those kids think we are phonies and don't practice what we preach. They are fed up with the bad examples of attack and slander religion.

The question is "Do other see Jesus in me or just a bunch of rules and fights?"

I just spent time with a family that left the SBC to go to a catholic church because "they preach Jesus and they get along".

Do others see Jesus in you?

LivingDust said...

I would request and seek the resignation of executive leaders, committee members and trustees at the IMB, NAMB and SBC Executive Committee who have served longer than 3 years. I would immediately seek fresh, qualified LAY PERSONS from SBC congregations who have never served at the IMB, NAMB or SBC Executive Committee. In order to serve, a lay person would have to be recommended by the Senior Pastor of their congregation. The maximum duration of service would be 3 years.

The next focus would be to work with Dr. Roy Fish to stabilize and re-direct the NAMB, making it an effective mission’s entity for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in North America. The United States of America would be Mission Field #1. I would seek the approval of a major publicity campaign using TV, radio and internet, (led by Dr. Mohler and Dr. Paige or their assignees) that would educate American’s about Southern Baptists, Christian life and invite everyone to attend a local Southern Baptist church on a consistent basis.

I would inform the leadership of the IMB Board of Trustees that they have 10 business days, or less, to eliminate requirements for missionaries that are beyond the scope of the BF&M 2000. All regional leaders of the IMB would be called to Atlanta for a week long meeting with the IMB Trustees. Issues that have caused disharmony would be thoroughly examined and discussed. Plans to address these issues would be devised and a group from the SBC Executive Committee would oversee implementation.

As a personal project, during my term, I would promote the education of Baptist youth so that they could know, understand and intelligently discuss Christian doctrines.

silent1 said...

If I Were President of the Southern Baptist Convention---
(serious or humorous? - you decide)
I would gracefully admit that I am a female, replace and tighten my muzzle, disengage my brain, return to my job as a despised public-school employee, bake a casserole, learn on my own ---and never forget the one time I was treated as an equal.

Stephen Fox said...

To my anonymous detractor calling for an editor I have this to say.
The books I recommend go through an editting process. I recommend them to you. Instead of being picky, why don't you read some of them and see if your views change at all, and then give us a report here on this board, or one of the several others. Baptistlife.com has an active community across the political and theological spectrum. Maybe you can identify yourself on that board this fall and we'll see if you are getting anywhere on pilgrimage.
I have good reason to suspect SBC President Frank Page and his staff is monitoring this topic here on Burleson famous or infamous blog. I sincerely thank Wade for this exercise in free exchange, and in particular, I am finding this essay contest and the comments delightful.
Here is where I am today. I have rediscovered the BX section of Library books on the Baptist convention turbulence of the last 40 years. I think Carl Kell's U Tenn published book Exiled is the latest addition to that rack of books in most of your better Libraries. Berry College in Rome, Georgia, for instance has a good collection, just three miles from the church where Jerry Vines twice pastored.
And I meant to pick up Kell's Exiled, with a forward by the great Sam Hill, at Atlanta CBF but got turned around in the endgame.
But one got by me; of the better books on SBC Struggle. Published in 94 by Penn St Press, Arthur Farnsley's The Politics of the SBC is fascinating. I put it up there with Harold Bloom's The American Religion, and Nancy Ammerman's Baptist Battles as must reads, especially for folks who like to pontificate on this blog and at baptistlife.com and other places.
Ammerman's place is secure in analysis of the Baptist controversy, but I have always felt she shortshrifted the role of the Council for National Policy, and latent Birch Society influence on the takeover. Michelle Goldberg's recent Kingdom Coming, is a much needed corrective and analysis to Nancy's shortsightedness in what was otherwise a very significant work.
Would especially recommend it to Dr. Morton and his wife Renee, Frank Page's Secretary there at FBC Taylors as well as the entire staff.
Farnsley was a grad student of Ammerman. His insight into how democratic values of fair play in some way resolved the SBC struggle, while at same time contemplates how pluralism mediates and refashions denominational ideologies and core beliefs.
With that as backdrop I would be very interested to see if Dr. Morton, a member and apologist for Frank Page and FBC Tayloys has the courage and perspicacity to come to this board and or cross reference with the folks at bl.com and entertain a couple questions.
Especially in light of what some of the conservative brethren's concerns were about Page, in particular that he was soft on Dilday and his removal from SWBTS.
Couple questions: ARe members at FBC Taylors expected to sign the BFM 2000 if they are considered for Sunday school teacher, diaconate or other positions of influence in the church.
And Frank and Dr. Morton, had your church been in Floyd County Georgia the fall of 2004, would you have voted to oust the North Broad Baptist Church cause they had a husband and wife copastorate.
Jerry Vines Successor at West Rome was a leader in the ousting of Tony and Katrina Brooks. What would have been the nature of your role at an associational matter like that, Dr. Page.
When, Dr. Page will you have some explicit remarks about SBC and Public Schools. I have to imagine a church like yours in the Upstate has lot of members in good standing active in the Public School system. Not only at your local level was there an intense discussion of Calvinism in Baptist churches in your area--I remember a very long story in the Greenville News about 7 years ago about the matter--but Christian School and Home schooling is a hot topic where you live.
When will you have time to address both these issues as they play locally.
Looking forward to comments from both you and Dr. Morton soon as you have time for us.
Thanks, and thank you Wade for making this open forum and exchange possible.
Again I commend Farnsley to you all. And of course add Barry Hankins Uneasy in Babylon, if for no other reason for insight into what makes Ben Cole tick.
Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama
Almost July 4, 2006

Todd said...

If I Were President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2007, I would...

1. Re-enact the failed Chicago White Sox 1979 promotion "Disco Demolition Night" at the 2008 Convention, but instead featuring Carman cd's being run over by a steamroller.
2. Propose a resolution calling for any image of Lottie Moon in Lifeway literature to be updated, with Lottie having her hair pulled back in a ponytail and now wearing jorts, Birkenstocks, and a t-shirt saying "Thousands of Chinese people came to Christ, and all I got was this lousy Missions Offering".
3. Fire the staff of Baptist Press and replace them with the writers from Larknews.com.
4. Require the six SBC seminary presidents to perform an interpretive movement at each convention, to the following songs: 2007="The Champion" by Carman, 2008="Friends are Friends Forever" by Michael W. Smith, 2009="Watch the Lamb" by Ray Boltz.
5. Propose a resolution asking Pat Robertson to "please shut up."

I don't have time to count how many words I've used, so I'll stop there. I would appreciate your vote. MICAH 1:8!!!!

Christine said...

Long time lurker and first time commenter. I'm probably way too late, and I'm doubting it's worthy of acknowledgement in the great space known as "that Wade guy's blog thingy." Howevever, I'm sure someone is up late needing reading material. Here goes:

If I were President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would immediately buy a solid pair of snow boots (seeing how I'm a woman, and both of my parents work at the BGCT ... hell would freeze over quite quickly!). I would throw myself a giant "congratulations" party and invite everyone I know from "both sides" without their knowledge. Then I would just enjoy the evening, as everyone entered and did their best "huh?". The highlight of the evening would be the Twister finals - Judge Pressler vs. David Currie.

I would toodle around the Bible Belt for about six months in a rockin' tour bus. There would be a jacuzzi on top where my husband and I could hang. Splattered across the side in glittery letters it would read, "Your Cooperative Program dollars at work!" Of course, only bi-vocational ministers would get to come in and join us for a Diet Coke.

I love children, so I would want to institute a year long contest of some sort. Perhaps something like, "Best Uses for The Baptist Standard/Baptist Press" (to remain neutral, of course). Kids all over the country could fold, paint, decoupage, line litter boxes, make accessories ... the sky is the limit! The winner would be the opening speaker at the Pastor's Conference (seeing how no one shows up for that one anyway). We could then sell some of the items at the Convention. I mean, who wouldn't want a pair of Marv Knox boxers or articles on Southwestern embossed on your toilet paper?

Speaking of the Convention - it's going to be a par-tay! I'll tell my crew to take the week off and let a bunch of student ministers run the show. We'll be able to cast votes from the rock climbing wall or shoot them in electronically at our little internet cafe on site. Of course, they will make it a requirement that every booth gives away really great stuff (no pencils or bookmarks!!).

There will be a virtual reality game that puts you into a paintball war with any of the "elite" that you choose (Patterson, Vines, Mohler, Falwell, Brunson, Chapman ....). It will be equipped with astounding detail. For instance, if you choose Ergun Caner, you can have him play with, or without his beret.

Upon check in, if you are wearing a coat and tie, we will stamp your name tag to read, "I am a victim of peer pressure." There will be a posh green room, but only for those who pastor churches of 300 or less. Don't worry - I'm not being cruel. Everyone on the program will have access to a nice vending machine backstage, along with box fan.

If I were at the helm of the SBC, there would be grandiose changes. We would build unity between moderates and conservatives - not in a stuffy board room, but the way it should be - over lattes and hot tubs. More than anything, I would strive to bring back the decorum and reverence that is currently lacking in the Convention, as well as the Presidency.

Matt said...

I'm going to deviate just a tad from the contest and produce a different, yet related essay: "How to Become President of the SBC." For ease of reading and/or pragmatism, I have decided to pen the essay as a series of steps.

Step 1: Obtain a nomination for the presidency from a prominent SBC veteran of an American conflict.

Step 2: Include in the nomination speech declarations of your unwavering love for the SBC, America, and Israel: the only three God-ordained entities left in the world today.

Step 3: In the nomination speech, also expound upon the virtues of applause and standing ovations at the annoucements of the deaths of unrepentant sinner terrorists who are obviously Hell-bound.

Step 4: The presenter of the nomination speech must wax eloquent about the fact that America is a Christian nation (and always has been) upon which God's favor continually rests.

Step 5: End the speech with the declaration that "if you aren't proud to be an American, you're not a Southern Baptist."

Step 6: Listen to the votes roll in.