I was unable to make the IMB meeting in California due to celebrating my wife's birthday and not wanting to miss my son's basketball games for his senior season. The Ad Hoc Committees on the Baptism and Private Prayer Language policies did not issue any recommendations. They will finalize their report and any official recommendations regarding the policies before the next IMB meeting, March 19-21, 2007 in Memphis, Tennessee. I will be at that meeting.
I have already commended the board for the change of spirit in the board meetings since Dr. John Floyd became chairman. The forums have been filled with prayer and testimony since the summer of 2006, which they should have been in the Fall 2005/Spring 2006, and it is my understanding that the same spirit of cooperation and decorum prevailed in California. No longer are closed door meetings being used to attack individuals, including anyone in administration, and for that I am deeply grateful. I think some have finally realized everyone will be held accountable for their actions, and that always insures that any conduct, even in private, is full of grace, consistent with our calling, and honoring to Christ.
There are already reports being filed about this week's IMB meeting in California. I am hopeful that reporters will not make the same error that Tammi Reed Lebetter of the Florida Witness has made. I have never been barred from a pre-business session forum (closed door meeting) or Executive Session of the International Mission Board, nor have I ever missed attending one. Her reporting is evidence that people often misunderstand what is happening, even those who should be in the know.
The board must vote to exclude a member form forums and Executive Sessions, and they have not voted to remove me, nor will they. I continue to attend forums and closed door meetings, abiding by every policy and procedure -- even reminding my fellow trustees what they are at times. The Chairman alone has the power of appointment for committees, and we trustees do not vote to approve his appointments, or lack thereof. Though I have not been appointed to a committee, I am a fully functioning trustee, duly elected by the SBC, and I attend every meeting where business is brought to the full board -- even closed door sessions.
So, before anybody gets to excited or riled up about what did, or did not, happen in California - relax. Issues that have been raised this past year will eventually have to be addressed by Southern Baptist Convention, but at least the spirit is much better on the board itself.
Blogs have a way of helping reporters and people within the Southern Baptist Convention to get their facts straight. :)
In His Grace,