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

A Possible Solution for Turning Around the SBC

The Southern Baptist Convention has been hit with a recent slate of bad publicity due to a handful of SBC leaders who seem to be directing the SBC at their personal whims. It's fine for Southern Baptist individuals, seminaries and churches to hold to extra-biblical, narrow views regarding church life and culture, just don't force it on all Southern Baptists. For for that matter, even if a handful of Southern Baptists wish to defend their narrow views as biblical (not "extra"-biblical) and their peculiar tenets of Baptist Identity as "historically Baptist" (and not "narrow"), that's just fine with us too - as long as there is a spirit of humility in those Southern Baptists to understand that there are others who disagree with their conclusions. Southern Baptists cooperate around the essentials of the gospel for the sake of missions and evangelism, and many of us will not remain silent when the SBC begins to demand conformity on matters that have historically never been a test of fellowship.

I am hopeful that a step taken yesterday by Oklahoma Southern Baptists will have long reaching consequences in terms of grassroots involvement and increased cooperation within the Southern Baptist Convention. The Board of Directors of the Baptist General Convention overwhelmingly passed a motion to appoint a task force to . . .

"(E)xamine hosting satellite conventions and/or LIVE interactive internet broadcasts in conjunction with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma begining at the 2010 Baptist General Convention."

The BGCO Board of Directors motion went further . . .

"We request the task force to design the report and/or recommendations as a model for the Southern Baptist Convention to possibly begin implementing satellite conventions and/or LIVE interactive internet broadcasts in conjunction with the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting."

The technology is already available. These satellite conventions could be held at churches, civic arenas or associational mission offices. Hundreds of people are already observing the church services, conventions and meetings LIVE via the internet - all we need to do is implement the technology to allow those viewers who are duly elected messengers to vote online. It's not hard - it just takes planning, and the BGCO is beginning the process for everyone. By the way, Oklahoma Southern Baptists have a very good track record of implementing creative, cutting edge ministry that is later picked up by other states and the Southern Baptist Convention.

We regularly hear our SBC leaders say that they exist to "serve the churches." We all know that the highest authority in our Convention is the local church. When Southern Baptist church members can participate in the Convention without the high cost of travel expenses, we get grassroots involvement. Imagine for a moment the possibilities for our Convention. What would happen if those missional, cutting edge churches that are being planted by our young Southern Baptist pastors and evangelists (like Andy Stanley pictured above) could go across the street, watch the Convention, and vote their conscience? What would happen if those older Southern Baptists who are in love with missions, but don't like the narrowness they see creeping into Baptist life, could be elected as messengers and go down the street rather than across the country to participate in the process? Can you imagaine our 5,500 missinaries around the world participating in the Convention? What would happen if people came to auditoriums all across the country, or logged onto the Internet, to join in the prayers, praise and preaching that takes place at our national and state Conventions?

I think the action of Oklahoma Southern Baptists yesterday may well be a defining moment in our Convention. It will be very interesting to hear the arguments of those who are against the idea. Pay close attention to the debate over the BGCO's coming report and recommendations.

I am excited about the far reaching impact upon both the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the entire Southern Baptist Convention because of the BGCO Board of Directors' foresight and wisdom displayed in the adoption of this motion.

In His Grace,


Wade

143 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Excellent for all the Scriptural, Bible centric masses who are already the most active in the convention. The post-moderns have already left the convention

God Speed
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Wade,

We would like say "Thank You."

We (I'm speaking for Ralph too) have read your blog for three years and never commented, but this post has caused me to write for the first time.

My husband and I left the SBC in 2000. We supported the "Conservative Resurgence" but began to feel in the mid-1990's that the Convention we loved was moving way beyond what we thought was at stake in the 1980's (the reliability and sufficiency of God's Word). In time, even a handful of our highly placed friends "turned" on us for voicing our concerns.

For years my husband and I faithfully served Southern Baptists in several capacities, including pastor (my husband), missionary, and for a short time (in my case) a SBC agency executive assistant.

We left the SBC in 2000 because of our disgust over what we saw happening and the pain that came our way through the hateful and hurtful things said to both of us for simply voicing our conerns.

Not quite three years ago someone told us about your blog. We have been on your journey, reading every single post. It has been like reading our diary.

The only difference is you have stuck it out. You have worked to effect change. You don't seem to be bitter at all.

You have given my husband and me hope.

This Sunday we will be joining a local Southern Baptist church in our community. When we are asked why we are leaving the Presbyterian downtown church to return to our Southern Baptist roots, we will give as an answer two words:

"Wade Burleson."

You have given us more than hope. You have restored our faith in the integrity and sanity of Southern Baptist leadership.

God bless,

Wanda and Ralph - speaking on his behalf with his permission - (smile)

Wade Burleson said...

Robert I Masters,

If you wish to describe the 5,000 messengers who attended the Convention in Indianapolis as "the Scriptural, Bible centric masses who are already the most active in the Convention" in the reported 16 million Southern Baptist church members then,

(1). I would suggest a refresher course for you on statistics and math, wink, or
(2). You might consider rephrasing your comment to "excellent for all the Southern Baptists across our nation" since the rest of your verbage is redundant.

Lin said...

Wanda and Ralph: Welcome back!

Wade, Excellent. I can hardly wait.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

My gut feeling is that this'd work, if we can clear the minor hurdle of leadership that seemingly doesn't want something that works. Shining light on it may be the answer.

Oh, and the co-lead story on ABC local news here was the pulling of the Gospel Today Magazine off the shelves at Lifeway's store here. In fact, that availability from under the counter was only mentioned as a studio "tag" to the remote spot from the store, and I dare say most folks in the living rooms missed it.

debbiekaufman said...

I'm excited. Two years I've been an elected messenger, and for two years I've been trying to get to the Convention. This was and is a great idea. It would change things considerably.

Dave Miller said...

I have never been convinced that this is a good idea, for several reasons.

But I have a question for you. How is this going to "turn around" the SBC?


Such a thing,in my opinion, would reward the political organizers far more than it would grass-roots Baptists.

I think such a thing would be a boon for the Paige Patterson Political machine wing of the SBC.

NativeVermonter said...

Better fashionably late then never arriving at all. I have long held that as a humble civil servant; in good conscience, I could never forgo hard-earned vacation time to attend the annual convention. I once naively thought, “Maybe they’ll have the convention on a weekend, in consideration of all the lay people? Ha! Besides, pastors/elders can surely find someone to bring the Word for them on the Sunday they would miss. (They don’t miss many vacations themselves now do they?)

My interest in the SBC will surely go from its current state: apathy, to one of actual concern if something like this should come to pass. Alas, it’ll probably get voted down and then the convention will most likely shift to Latin. So if the SBC hopes to capture and recapture Believers who desire to serve the cause of Christ then they would do well to vote aye.

John in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

If the use of Jewish calendar was acknowledged and used properly in accordance in it's "shadows" of feasts and festivals was more recognized our churches perhaps this high maintainance formalism with SBC would have avoided this legalistic behavior with Ralph and Wanda. The Body of Christ is not limited to Prysbeterian not Baptists. Rosh Hoshanah is coming up and it is one that should promote the aniticipatioon of our coming Lord.

Anonymous said...

"Paige Patterson machine" I hear those ominous overtones in the background. Give me a brake. I have read this blog many times and some people are just too much in bad light. It is just that there is much ignorance and instead factions have occurred within the SBC. This dialogue needs to be open because factions are the fruit of the flesh

Steve said...

Oh, what a refresher for the convention meetings this step would be. Whaen was it, 1979 perhaps, that one politically devoted side mustered upfive to ten thousands day-trip voters to change one thing, who would be President?

Let's move to 2012, and two million every-day go-and-sit-and-watch voting members sit in on every aspect of the convention meeting? Not just to vote on the President, but every little decision to be reached?

AND, unlike at San Antonio or 'Naptown, every voter gets to talk over the isasues with fellow pew-sitting Baptists that they already fellowship with regularly before casting important votes? The possibilities are endless, and for those who wish to steer our convention from smoky back rooms, the preospoects are hopeless! Amen!

Geoff Baggett said...

Wade,

The time has come for the use of technology in the SBC. Involvement would increase dramatically.

One point of correction ... Andy Stanley pastors a non-denominational church. NPCC is not Southern Baptist.

Joe White... said...

This is a great, great idea! It can be done, should be done, and I pray will be done. However, I do not think this should be trumpeted as a means "for turning around the SBC". Let's just say this is a way for more Southern Baptists to get involved, which I hope most will agree is a good thing.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Where can we go to read the entire resolution? Do you have a link or copy?

Anonymous said...

Did Joe White just agree with Wade Burleson? This is turning into a cult! Ha!

Ron

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

What goes 'round comes 'round. When people can actually SEE and HEAR the 'leadership', the effect will be dramatic.

Think about Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy. People heard and saw and McCarthy's power was ended by his own arrogance.

Think about the civil rights movement. Television cameras recorded the beatings and dog-attacks on those who marched peacefully. The whole nation watched, was awakened to the horror and the unfairness, and the healing of our nation began.

The Force is with you, I think. Very exciting news!

Anonymous said...

Most of the bad publicity is coming from your blog

Anonymous said...

most of the bad publicity is coming from you & your blog

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment (smile).

Wade Burleson said...

Joe White and Dave Miller,

The SBC turnaround to which I refer is a few controlling the ship.

We need more participation, not less, more grassroots control at the local church level, not less, and more excitement among Southern Baptists about the Convention, not less.

Wade Burleson said...

Geoff Baggett,

Andy grew up a Southern Baptists. Andy IS a Southern Baptist church planter.

I think if he could be involved in the direction of our world mission efforts there is no way he would stay out of the SBC. Frankly, he, like a host of other young pastors have no interest in spending the time or money traveling to a Convention - but they would attend if it were local.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I think the only ones who will fear this needed change are the ones who are currently in charge.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom, methinks you may be correct.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Ralph and Wanda,

I think I overlooked your comment earlier. Thanks so much for taking the time to write. You made my day. Frankly, if nothing else is ever accomplished in the SBC through my increased involvement over these past three years, your return to the SBC makes it all worthwhile.

Welcome back.

Clif Cummings said...

In my humble opinion, those who fear losing control will be the most opposed to this idea.
However, if we honestly believe that the bi-vocational Southern Baptist pastor in the panhandle of Oklahoma or in upsstate New York is just as valuable to advancing God's Kingdom (as we often hear proclaimed from the podiums of the SBC annual meetings)than let's get this project done.
If we want to demonstrate that we genuinely desire the cooperation (and the cooperative dollars) of every Southern Baptist on our inflated membership roll, it's time to implement this technology.
If we honestly believe that as Southern Baptist we serve a big, big, God who is sovereign over all things - than let's just see if we can trust Him with a big, big, annual convention meeting via the internet.
A familiar phrase comes to mind - "it's time to put up of shut up"
(sorry if that sounds like a campaign speech - I've probably been watching too much Obama & McCain! :-) )

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

You think the bad publicity is coming from Wade's blog?

Think again. Wade's one of us, a kitten compared to those who are not part of us and taking shots at the SBC.

Get a load of this:

Google Blog Search

Thank the Lord we have a sane voice amongst us like Wade.

Justin

DT Boy said...

I have been able to attend the last two conventions but it has not been easy financially. We did because it was important to us. We also did to see people we normally do not see such as some of the college leaders at Lifeway and NAMB.

I would think maybe regional sites or maybe using the state associations could work and would be good because one could get away and still interact with others you do not normally see while also being better able to afford to participate in the SBC at large.

webmaster said...

Your statement about Andy Stanley is not accurate. North Point Ministries (NPM) is not Southern Baptist. It is a non-denominational Christian ministry. NPM is creating partner churches that are also non-denominational.

Wade Burleson said...

Webmaster,

I am asking the question, "Would Andy Stanley's church be Southern Baptist if they felt they would have a say in the work of Southern Baptists without going to a Convention?"

I know his church is not Southern Baptist, but Andy was raised Southern Baptist. Why did he leave?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I think this is an excellent idea. But this is not going to "turn around" the convention Bro. Wade. What this is going to do is allow the 60% of churches who average under 50 to send a full slate of delegates to the association office to overwhelmingly vote in ignorance or to vote the position of the most charismatic (in character) figure in the regional meeting place. A system such as this could indeed work and save local churches thousands in travel expenses over the years. But there will be a huge learning curve in the convention. For once we will actually get to see what the SBC really stands for. I honestly do not think you will like it Wade. I think you will find many more B.I. folks than you may realize, you will find many more Arvanists than you care for and many more Pattersonians than you care for. This will indeed bring change to the convention. Despite the fact that it will drastically lower the average IQ of the messenger body, it might actually be a more conducive place for prayer and Holy Spirit activity (of the cessationist kind) :)


Btw, would you and the BGCO like a cookie for being such brilliant trailblazers?

Kevin

Anonymous said...

I suspect that most people don't attend the Convention for the same reason they don't like to attend any business meeting.

Most people in churches are not that political, and most people hate business meetings.

If you told those people who do not attend your church's business meeting that you would televise it to their homes, I still think that most people would watch re-runs of Seinfeld instead.

"And now, item number 28 in your book of reports - the denominatonal calendar." I can already here the crickets.

I also think that from a standpoint of "turning things around" it would be a wash.

One thing that I will add - If this technology had been available in the early days of the CR, the CR would have won in 3 years due to the lopsided votes the CR would have had. It would have allowed for even more grassroots conservatives to have voted. In the early years, the institutions were moderate and they sent lots of voters/employees to the conventions. Southern used to send buses filled with students and gave the credit, etc.

There would be no problem broadcasting the proceedings to churches. Isn't this already available as streaming video on the SBC website?

Despite my comment about the CR, voting like this would be a problem.

As a lawyer, I would have to caution against allowing voting from remote sites due to the problems it would cause and potential fraud. That's why no other major conventions that I know of allow that.

Having those actual ballots cast at a central location has kept the issue of fraud from being interjected into the proceedings that have already had enough issues.

Plus only 10 people (at the most) from your church could vote. Would you have 1000 people in your church watching the screen, then the designated 10 get to vote. Are their votes seen, or secret?

Business would be slowed down because you could not have a hand held ballot vote.

At any rate, we'll watch Oklahoma, and see how it works.

Wanda and Ralph, thanks for your good work in the CR, and I hope that you enjoy your new church. I am sure that Wade appreciates the pat on the back, but I am sure that you will not put your faith in one man's ability to get something done. That's an awful burden for him.

At any rate, one must have very thick skin to be involved in any religious denomination work or politics because it's so easy to lose perspective and to it's so easy to get hurt and become disillusioned.

I go to the Convention almost every year or two. I see some good stuff. I see some stuff I can't stand. And a lot in between.

But when it's over, I leave it at the Convention.

I come home, and work on the matters in my church. We do not do much at all in the way of sacred or secular politics at our church. That keeps our church life peaceful and it keeps me balanced. Well, at least as balanced as I can be.

Take care.

Louis

G. Alford said...

Wade,

“What would happen if those missional, cutting edge churches that are being planted by our young Southern Baptist pastors and evangelists (like Andy Stanley pictured above) could go across the street, watch the Convention, and vote their conscience?”

The current “Lords of the SBC” would no longer be able to control the convention… that is what would happen. Therefore they will never allow such a radical idea (such as actually making it possible for all our churches to vote) to ever happen. But, with that said… THIS IS GREAT NEWS!


John in St. Louis,

“Alas, it’ll probably get voted down and then the convention will most likely shift to Latin.”

Your sarcasm is… Sweet! I love the part about “the convention will most likely shift to Latin. Brother you made me smile.  However, it will not get voted down for it will never get out of committee. That it how the current “Lords of the SBC” exercise absolute control… they decide what is “proper” and what is not proper for the rest of us to get a say on.

I am however hopeful!

Grace Always,

Tracy said...

This is a great idea! About 10 years ago, a few pastors in Texas proposed such an idea for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Motions were made for two or three consecutive years at the annual meeting. The final motion was simply to STUDY the feasibility of such a process.

When it came to the comment/question opportunity, one pastor stood and made fun of the idea by saying that he wished we could all meet down at the Dairy Queen for the annual meeting, but it just wasn't possible.
Afterward, lots of laughter and people shaking their heads in amusement at the overall silliness of such an idea.

I have often wondered why even the thought of regional sites the Texas annual meeting was met with such dismissive indifference.

Maybe the time has come...finally.

Anonymous said...

Nice idea, worth a try, but we've seen secular elections manipulated and these could be manipulated as well.

As for students being bused in, not that I approve if they are being pressured to vote one way, but they at least are old enough to think for themselves (though I've known people older than me who don't) unlike the children I saw registered as messengers the one time I attended a SBConvention.

To Wanda and Ralph: A lot of people supported the changes in the SBC when they thought it was about the Bible. It wasn't. That was just a buzzword, like many being tossed about in political campaigns to persuade people.

Susie

ml said...

Wade I am not sure that Northpoint is aligned with the SBC. You may want to check that. I think they are an independent non-denominational church.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

It is past time to let those of us who have endured staying in the Convention to have a say about what is going on. "They" do not hesitate to "take the money and run" and to use Annie Armstrong and Lottie moon once a year to raise vast sums of money. May this change occur NOW!!

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Who are the these evil denominational leaders...do they live in Nashville? Do they have names? Are they Richard Land, Thom Rainer, Jack Wilkerson.

Just curious
Rob in Nashville

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

We can go to an ATM in London or Capetown and withdraw money from our account, with state-of-the-art security.

We can log into our online banking and pay bills from another continent. I paid bills while we were at the Convention this year, myself.

At one time, ten years ago now, I was ministering to a reformed lesbian in Australia, a teacher in India contemplating a career change, and a young lady with problems in Germany. At the same time.

Yet here we are, paying more money than it'd take to set it all up, to bring IMB Trustees to some specific location to have a meeting too many times a year.

The SBC needs to take a giant leap forward into the 20th Century.

(The 21st would be a bit much to ask.)

Tom Parker said...

Bob Cleveland:

I would argue that the SBC is wasteful because it is not using the technology that is readily available to them. Too many meetings and way too much money spent on them.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker,
Hey we agree on something!
I think you asked me if I was a zealot...well the only real zealot Iam is a Open Source zealot. I had a discussion with Tim Vineyard about this and he seemed to be open to the idea.
I see no reason for anyone to ever pay for any Microsoft tax.
Bottom line....more money for missions less for moguls.

BTW..Tim leads IT at Lifeway which in turn does it for the convention.

Need free OS....checkout ubuntu.com

G. Alford said...

Rob in Nashville,

The “Lords of the SBC” are (rumored to be) a group consisting of just twenty men, perhaps even less. Many of these men are in very prominent and visible positions in the SBC, but some remain so obscured that their names and the power they wield would surprise everyone.

Who is on the list? I’ll give you a hint.

Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, President, _____________ Seminary.
Dr. _____________________, Executive Director, ___________________.
Dr. _____________________, Executive Director, ___________________.
Dr. _____________________, Executive Director, ___________________.
Dr. _____________________, Executive Director, ___________________.
Dr. _____________________, Executive Director, ___________________.
Dr. _____________________, Dean, _______________ College.
Dr. _____________________, Dean, _______________ College.
Dr. _____________________, Dean, _______________ University.
Dr. _____________________, Dean, _______________ University.
Dr. _____________________, _____________________________.
Dr. _____________________, _____________________________.
Dr. _____________________, _____________________________.
Dr. _____________________, _____________________________.
Dr. _____________________, _____________________________.

Now all we need to do is fill in the blanks…

Dave Miller said...

I remain unconvinced that this will have the positive effects you anticipate.

I forsee this as a boon primarily to those who are more politically astute, motivated and organized.

I guess that time will tell, if this ever passes at the national level (if I were a gambler, I would bet on "not in my lifetime").

Tom Parker said...

Dave Miller:

If you believe it will not pass is it for reasons such as the abuses that were used with the CR--busing people in only to vote? Do you think it will be abused again by such actions as this? My thanks in advance for your response.

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller,
It seems that being political active is a
noble/Biblical thing.....isnt that what Chuck Colson partially argues in How Now Shall We Live?
I think you pastor in Sioux City? One of the things I love about Orange City and Sioux Center is the way that those communities do that to the glory of God.
I loved KDCR,s former tagline...proclaiming a God-centered culture


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

NativeVermonter said...

Louis says at 12:01..."And now, item number 28 in your book of reports - the denominatonal calendar." I can already here the crickets."

Confession time. I’m afraid that rings true for me. The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) is having their annual meeting next month in St. Louis. In fact, with my Native Vermonter triceps, I can just about hit the hotel with a rock from my office. At first I became excited and thought, “Well I could just take an extra long lunch and sit in on some of the sessions.” And then I started looking at the schedule and suddenly I became very, well…not excited.

I’m sure a lot of good work will be accomplished and many people are genuinely excited as they travel from near and far. I do sincerely hope and pray that God's work is done. However, sitting in the park with an open Bible sure sounds better to me. So, the actual point is this—even with the available technology I probably wouldn’t take part. Although for every non-informed, lazy SBC slacker like myself, there will no doubt be hundreds, nay thousands who will eagerly jump at the chance to become savvy, fully-functional SBC’ers.

And I’ll be at the park,

Slacker John in the STL

J.D. Rector said...

To Rob in Nashville:
Why do you have to call the denominational leaders "evil"?!? Man, that is uncalled for!

The Word of God states that if you have something against your brother, you are to go to him personally. I don't think this blog's comment section is deemed the appropriate "personal" level to vent your frustrations, anger, or resentment.

I know Thom Rainer personally. He is not evil.

I'm hoping I misunderstood your comments. Besides, I never saw in Wade's blog article on "A Possible Solution for Turning Around the SBC" where he called our denominational leaders "evil".

Anonymous said...

Slacker John: and I might be with you. hey I helped start one of those cutting edge missional churches in 1992. we are almost 16 years old. it would ruin the spirit of our church to pipe in the national, especially the state convention. churches like ours could care less about denominational politics. unless there is a huge crisis, we want to keep it that way.

Louis

debbiekaufman said...

Louis: This is much more than just politics. We are talking about our missionaries, the future of our churches. I think people should care. It seems to me that by your statement, you would wish people to stay ignorant of what is happening? Not at least have the opportunity to have a vote? That sounds mighty circumspect to me, and as for your church, you have been active in your opinion of the "politics". So just you are representing your church?

debbiekaufman said...

J.D.: Yes. Robert just rewrote Wade's post, at least to my understanding of what Wade wrote.

Anonymous said...

J.D.Rector,
I live here in Nashville and that comment was made tongue in-cheek. I do think that if you read all of Wades blogging that is a theme that comes through many times.
See also G.Alfords comment.

BTW-I have followed the Biblical model for going to a brother who I have a charge against regarding the the sale of the Shack.

I know several of those men also and I agree with your assesment.

From The Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Ron said...

Wade,
I believe allowing remote broadcasts is a good idea. I believe it has been done over the internet to some extent. Voting from remote locations would be a major challenge. I think the most important thing that could be done to change the direction of our convention back to a more Biblical, missional direction would be to change the way the committee on committees is selected.
At the last convention 4,300 messengers voted for Johnny Hunt out of about 8,000 votes cast. We have a denomination of somewhere between 10 and 18 million members depending on how you count members. To have the direction of the convention determined by only 4,300 out of that number makes no sense. The president alone selects the committee on committees which in turn selects all of the trustees of our various entities which are then approved by the convention as a whole. This process has allowed a highly organized political organization to come in and take control of our convention.
The committee on committees is made up of two members from each state convention. The SBC president does not personally know these people but has to depend on recommendations from others. I think it would make more sense to let each state convention select the two members from its state to serve on the committee on committees. The state convention could much better select the two members from their state because they know their own people. The state conventions decide what percentage of the cooperative program funds given through their state goes to the SBC. They do not have any voice then in how that money is spent.
I have proposed this several times in different forums in the last 25 years. The powers that control our convention will fight with every means they have to not allow this method because it would allow the power to go back to a more grass roots section of our convention which would be more difficult to control or manipulate.
Ron West

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

I have been in favor of such a move toward this type of technological annual meeting attendance since I first heard the idea. Seems like it was on your blog a while back. :)

Les

Anonymous said...

Great post, Wade. Great post.

One Salient Oversight said...

You could call it SBC-span

Anonymous said...

To Wade,

In your post, you stated "many of us will not remain silent when the SBC begins to demand conformity on matters that have historically never been a test of fellowship."

That part about "begin to demand conformity". How would that be enforced? Would the leadership develop a system of "excommunication" or "shunning"?

CURIOUS

Anonymous said...

To Wade,

In your post, you stated "many of us will not remain silent when the SBC begins to demand conformity on matters that have historically never been a test of fellowship."

That part about "begin to demand conformity". How would that be enforced? Would the leadership develop a system of "excommunication" or "shunning"?

CURIOUS

Alan Paul said...

Wade-

Is the belief in the inerrancy of the Biblical text an historical tenet of Baptists? If so, do you know where I can find research on this subject?

Wade Burleson said...

Dear Curious,

Demands for conformity would be implemented by excluding otherwise qualified Southern Baptists from the mission field, trustee positions and denominational leadership.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Wade, it looks like the leadership was practicing on you and on those poor missionaries. These ayatollahs were just getting warmed up. At least they won't be issuing "fatwahs". :)

Perhaps the possible solution you describe will cool things down to the benefit of everyone. Sounds promising. :)

CURIOUS

Anonymous said...

To One Salient-Oversight,

I love your idea. How can we organize contributions for the new SBC-Span? I would be delighted to contribute. :)

Anonymous said...

I have a wonderful idea. Before any future Presslers or Pattersons are given this much control over the SBC. How 'bout sending them to special training at a "humility boot-camp." Perhaps requiring them to put in six weeks at a food bank/soup kitchen. There, they could work among the 'contaminated', you know, the gay person with AIDS, the woman who has done time, the mentally ill who are homeless and at the mercy of us Christians. Yep. Six weeks should do the trick. That will give Lord Jesus an opportunity to cure their blindness and provide them with the knowledge of what REAL service to the people is all about. And as for 'the essentials of the Gospel', what better training ground could one possibly find?

Justa Believer said...

My dear SB Geneva dweller Rob,
Re: your statements:

What this is going to do is allow the 60% of churches who average under 50 to send a full slate of delegates to the association office to overwhelmingly vote in ignorance or to vote the position of the most charismatic (in character) figure in the regional meeting place.

and

This will indeed bring change to the convention. Despite the fact that it will drastically lower the average IQ of the messenger body, ...


Your disdain for the average SB church member may say more about you than it does about them.

Justa Believer said...

Alan Paul said...
Wade-

Is the belief in the inerrancy of the Biblical text an historical tenet of Baptists? If so, do you know where I can find research on this subject?


Not to answer for Wade, but to provide my own input ... I recommend the book Baptists and The Bible by Bush & Nettles. It traces the history of Baptist views on the Bible via examination of original source documents as far back as the 1600s.

Anonymous said...

Justa Believer,
Wrong quote you a attribute to me. Penance can be done by sending a gift to the IMB Great Comission fund.

oh sorry we are not catholics...so sorry


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

What is this word "inerrancy" all about? The "Bible" is a collection of HOLY SCRIPTURES.

"Holy Scriptures" states the case. Any other descriptive or defining word is redundant.

Wade Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

I agree with justabeliever.

Thanks!

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

:)

A sense of humor exists in Geneva!

smile

Anonymous said...

Wade,

How fast can the new solution be activated? Please hurry.

With an idea like this, might be better NOT to let the leadership know until everything is in place for a new beginning.

WORRIED

Anonymous said...

"That part about "begin to demand conformity". How would that be enforced? Would the leadership develop a system of "excommunication" or "shunning"? "

Ask Dr. Klouda how it works.

Lydia

Dave Miller said...

Tom,

I am no expert on convention affairs, but I am a lifelong Baptist, a state convention president, a missionary/preacher's kid, etc. In oher words, I have some experience with Baptists. So, I have opinions based on some experience.

The vast number of people would not attend an SBC if it were across the street. They are brutally boring for the majority of folks.

People attend because someone tells them that there is a crisis. During the days of the CR (which we may disagree about) there was a genuine crisis of liberalism which we rallied around. We were stopping the spread of liberalism and the decay of our denomination. It was a rallying cry that got people to the convention.

At those big conventions, there would be a stampede immediately after the vote for president. The 30,000 messengers would become 15,000, then 10,000, etc.

Now, we have this "reform" movement in the SBC. It is so poorly defined with no established, respected leader/statesmen of the Adrian Rogers variety. Our rallying cry is "No to the policies," or "The Right to Dissent" or the more recent push on this site against the SBC stand on women in ministry. These are not exactly powerful rallying cries. They do not translate into mass motivation. Is someone going to atttend the SBC to achieve the right to dissent or to elect messengers to repeal policies?

*Lack of effective, inspirational leadership
*Nuanced positions and goals.

These do not inspire the masses.

On the other hand, the BI wing has a much greater passion. When you read some of the BI guys, you see a clear, black and white, good-guys and bad guys outlook. "They are reintroducing liberalism back into the convention." "New reformers are just old moderates."

They have leaders they are passionate about (PP, Dr. Mohler, etc.) They seem to honestly believe they are fighting the forces of darkness for the cause of Christ. And as the direct descendents of the CR, they have shown a willingness to mobilize the masses into political action. If all they have to do is get their forces across town for a couple of votes, these churches will have full representation at every meeting.

I think the far right wing of the SBC would benefit much more than the "Big Tent" groups from this access.

Until this generation of SBC leaders is completely gone (and me with them) I don't think this is going to happen.

The powers-that-be have a lot invested in the status quo and are not likely to stir the pot unnecessarily.

Note, these are all opinions based on my experience. I claim no revelation for any of them. Its just one increasingly old Baptist soldier's view.

I just think that this change will aid the powers that be, not the process of reform.

Dave Miller said...

Robert Masters,

How long has it been since you were in this area. Orange City and Sioux Center may not be the meccas of godliness you remember. They have drifted left and their passion for the Word and the glory of God is not perhaps as evident as it may have once been

They are Republican (like all good Christians, right?) but the colleges (Northwestern and Dordt) have drifted some as well.

I don't think we get the Dordt station down here, so I can't tell you about the programming.

Next time you come through, I'll buy lunch. We are right near Highway 20 on the way to Orange City.

Tom Parker said...

Dave Miller:

Thank you so very much for your response to me. I do always enjoy the dialogue even if we do not always agree. I do always appreciate your perspective on issues.

Anonymous said...

What a strange game the leadership is playing: "Name That Baptist"

Fundamentalists are now called "Conservative Christians"

Conservative Christians are now called "Moderate Christians"

and Moderate Christians, well what was that "L" word no one lays claim to? L I B E R A L ????
Yes, THAT's the one. (Everybody shudder!)

So, by simply re-naming everyone, the leadership is back in business stronger than before.

Honestly, the game isn't fun anymore.

Can't wait to turn on the computer and play " SBC-span" :)

FAN OF "SPAN"

Justa (embarrassed) Believer said...

My dear SB Geneva dweller Rob,
Mia serious culpa! I repent in sackcloth and ashes!

I would try to find a way to redirect my remark back toward the rightful recipient, but my shame is too great. Plus, now realizing it was actually KMC, I know I'd just be wasting my typing.

:)

Thanks for responding with grace and humor.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Your disdain for the average SB church member may say more about you than it does about them."


Embarrassed Believer:

Thanks for the dig...or not. But you should know that there was no disdain in my remark. Most Southern Baptists ARE ignorant of the politics of their convention. In fact, many pastors are as well. I know this to be true in my own church and in my own association. The folks in my church have no clue who the SBC President is. When I began as their pastor last January they truly felt that 1% to the CP and 6% to the association was normal. Only one person from my entire association went to the Convention this past June (I would have made #2 except I had to have surgery which prevented me from going.)

The only Baptist publications they received were Home Life and Mature Living. They also received the Word & Way, but we stopped that when they realized W&W had been stolen from the MBC.

I assure you I speak on good authority when I say that most of the SBC is this way. Most members of most churches are not aware of how the SBC operates and quite frankly they could not care less. I would submit that many do not even know why they are Southern Baptist.

And so they would be ignorant voters. I love them all the same. They rely on their pastors to inform them. Some of course stay informed, but I would say that less than one million SBC'ers know enough to vote in an informed manner.

And so, they will listen to whoever shouts the loudest.

Btw,

I am not sure who you are, but you could have emailed me privately instead of attacking me in your sweet and subtle way.

I believe this is an idea which needs to be implemented. But the serious concerns of uninformed voters need to be addressed. Our true living membership is likely somewhere under 8 million and our regenerate membership is prolly half that. And with one in four being informed about Convention goings-ons...

Don't bother replying if you just feel it would be a waste of your time. Way to shut down the conversation. Seems to me that we need to look and the pros and cons of such a big change. It is a good idea, but not a no-brainer.

kmc

debbiekaufman said...

Dave Miller: I think you understate those opposed to the polices and those who do not want to see some of the things those who identify with the BI stand for. I also think that if the electronic vote were to pass, things would at least be more available to those who do care, which I think are more than you are implying, having talked to people and being a common person myself. Sometimes it's hard for those in the pulpit or Presidents of conventions to see, but people do care, especially when given all the facts, which is now being done via the internet. Don't underestimate those who are against the policies. It's been showing that changes for the better are already occurring, and wouldn't have if it hadn't been for dissension.

debbiekaufman said...

KMC: Most are not so much ignorant, as they are not into dirty politics, which has been happening in the SBC far too long, until the last three years, things are slowly changing.

You have to have a strong constitution to be involved in the politics of the SBC. Most folks just want to get on with giving the gospel and living the Christian life. In peace. Something that rarely occurs in the SBC life.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"but people do care, especially when given all the facts, which is now being done via the internet. "

I am going to interject a thought here Debbie even though you were not talking to me.

The flow of information is exactly the problem. We are members of a graying convention and many of our members do not use their computers much, if they have one at all. It might be hard to believe in Enid, but there are plenty of small towns with small SBC churches with folks who have never heard of Wade, or Paige, or Frank, or Morris, or Al. They have never read a blog, and let’s face it, Baptist Press News is neither a Press, nor News.

Gossip is how the SBC gets its information to the masses. And the pastor's opinion is usually the majority opinion of the church. With a computer and a few good magazine subscriptions, one can read it all and decide. But that does not help out Bob S. and Fran S. Baptist who do not have a computer and think their pastor doesn't visit them enough.

The only consolation is, we would like to think that if more southern Baptists had a chance to vote that they would find a way to get informed. I simply think this process would take 3-5 years to really work itself out. And in the mean time we might have some bad decisions being made. Even after the 3-5 year learning curve, we will still have people making decisions who are not fully informed. Where no investment is made, no ownership of decision is required.

So my solution? We use our seminaries. We have 6 sites. You must register with the one closest to you and be present for voting in the same messenger format we currently have. The seminaries have or could become equipped with the necessary technology and facilities to handle the process. Try this for 10 years or so, then do a study to see the impact.

Surely Emmanuel could afford to send you to Fort Worth. :)


kmc

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"You have to have a strong constitution to be involved in the politics of the SBC. Most folks just want to get on with giving the gospel and living the Christian life. In peace. Something that rarely occurs in the SBC life."

But the Lord's business must be conducted none-the-less. I witnessed a man get man and leave an association meeting last week because his motion never got a second. That ended up being a very nice meeting. People either get along because they are dead to themselves and alive in Christ, or because they are tired of fighting. We will be a better SBC either way. :)

Anonymous said...

To Kevin,

You said, "most folks just want to get on with giving the gospel and living the Christina life. In peace."

Yes, Christians want peace in the world around them, but rarely find it there. When the first Christians said to each other: "Peace Be With You", they weren't speaking of an earthly peace. No, Kevin. The full saying was: "Dominus vobiscum," which translates as "May the peace OF THE LORD be with you." The Christian so addressed would reply, "et cum spiritu tuo", meaning "and with your spirit."

So, Kevin, yes, Christians have always wanted peace, but rarely found any earthly peace. Far from it. The Peace that Christians seek is a gift from the Lord to us in the midst of a very strife-torn world.

Most Christians, when they have lived long enough, begin to understand that Peace that surpasses all understanding; but peace none the less: sustaining, merciful, and giving the strength to continue the good fight for what is right and just.

OUTSIDER

debbiekaufman said...

Not necessarily Kevin, as has been demonstrated by people leaving and us not getting any better. Pride goes before a fall Kevin. And we certainly have plenty of that. No one can accuse us of not having pride. Your last comment has proven that.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Kevin: Why would I want to go to Fort Worth when technology could provide for me to vote in Enid? That is a waste of money, what seminary could hold that many messengers even if divided into how many seminaries there are? One might as well go to the Convention.

Money was not the reason I could not go to the last Convention.

Anonymous said...

Ron West's idea about the committee on committee's members from each state being chosen by that state's convention is an excellent one, though not likely to implemented by the current powers that be. Not to mention how to deal with the states that have two separate state conventions, a situation IMO caused by and encouraged by the current powers that be.

One only need to look at the differences between the BF&Ms of 1963 and 2000 to see the differnce between something done by an appointed committee of insiders and a committee of people chosen by individual state conventions. (if needed to refresh your memory, there is a side-by-side comparison of the two on the BGCT website)

For a group that claims to believe in priesthood of the believer it is strange that the SBC seems to be becoming more top-down (like the Catholics who believe the pope rules- oversimplification, but...) than ever. Of course some of the leadership try to make that idea into priesthood of believers, led by them, of course.

Susie

Anonymous said...

To Kevin,

My bad. I meant to quote Debbie and quoted you by mistake. Please forgive.

OUTSIDER who needs some coffee

Wade Burleson said...

Susie,

I agree with your comment about Ron West's recommendation.

I will be doing all I can to get that implemented.

It would solve a number of problems.

Anonymous said...

Debbie:

Thanks for the comment and suggestion.

Most people show they care by giving, serving and prayer. Our church has a very high percentage of people who have gone to the mission field on both short and long term assignments and we give a good percentage for a young church that just built its first building and now building its second.

Our church members show a real passion for giving, going and serving.

We send about 3 people annually to the Convention. More people from our church could go if they wanted to.

No one from our church attends the State convention.

I am not critical of you or your church for however you guys do things.

Our church culture is just not political, and we don't have discussions or arguments about church or secular politics at our church.

Our people would rather just give and serve.

Also, since we are a new church, started in 1992 when the CR was over, most of our people don't even know about the CR. A healthy percentage of our people are from non-Baptist backgrounds. They love missions, the IMB etc. They just don't care about the politics of it all.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller:

You have made some very wise observations and comments.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

You have made some good comments on this blog. I believe that your comments about Dr. P and Judge Pressler are made without any real basis of knowing either of these men personally.

It's fine to disagree with the actions or stands they took. I understand that. But I don't think any of us should get in the business of getting into the hearts and souls of people with whom we have no intimate knowledge and make suggestions about how their souls might be improved.

For all you know, they may have done or may be doing some of the very things you suggest.

Dr. P has taken some actions in recent years that are well known which I have said are fair game for discussion.

I can't think of the last time that Judge Pressler really did anything publicly. The CR ended in 1991 or 1992. Were you even around then to remember Judge Pressler?

At any rate, I look forward to more of your good comments.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

In answer to your question what "inerrancy" is all about, there is an excellent statement that can probably be found on the web - The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. That was a statement crafted by scholars, denominational reps etc. I think in the mid to late 80s.

That would give you a the best definition.

It basically means that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible as they wrote so that what they wrote has no errors in it. It has no myth inserted or other human speculation. The Bible is truly a revelation from God.

It emphasizes the original autographs such that as the Holy Spirit spoke through the authors of scripture, he did so without any error being in what was written. But note, this is not the "Dictation" theory, which is another theory of inspiration.

The word "inerrant" became a description used by conservatives during the CR to describe their view of the Bible.

In modern history, the traditional scholarly term would be "plenary, verbal inspiration" of the scriptures. That means that the very words and all of the words are inspired. As opposed to just the "ideas", which is called "dynamic inspiration."

An even lower view sees the Bible as a collection of writings about what men thought about God. As men grew and developed in their thinking about God, the mean, tribal OT view of God gave way to the loving portayal of God in Jesus.

So, to them the Bible is a collection of writings, some of which are lofty and worthy of contemplation. Others are myth (either unintentionally or intentionally inserted into the text) that may serve to illustrate. That view is what I was taught at a Baptist College in the 70s.

The BFM from 1963 used "infallible" to describe the Bible. But some professors and scholars some how twisted "infallible" to mean "fallible".

In the debate in the SBC, the word "inerrant" became used because it distinguished what the conservatives believed about the Bible from what others, who did not have that high view of scripture, believed. Somehow, they could sign on to "infallible", but not inerrant. Again, I don't understand that, but that's the way some of them thought.

I hope that helps you. I think if you read the Chicago Statement you will be impressed and it will give you a good description of the high view of Scripture that Southern Baptists hold.

The professors and such who held to the lower views that I described are no longer teaching in SBC seminaries or state colleges (at least what's left of them).

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

My bad. The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy was pubished in 1978.

Louis

G. Alford said...

Absentee Ballots Anyone?

If we as a nation, built upon the fundamental principal of the right of every man and woman to vote, can pull off a national election in which all 300 million Americans scattered around the globe have an opportunity to fully participate in the selection of our national leaders… Then it is just an “insult” to our intelligence to say that we Southern Baptist cannot have an election of our national leadership where every church in the SBC has an equal opportunity to participate.

Candidates for each office can be nominated months in advance and the correct number of ballots can be sent to each church with a DVD message and letter from each Candidate seeking office… Those churches which cannot attend the convention can then fill out these ballots and have their votes verified by the congregation… Then these absentee ballots can be returned and counted along with those cast at the convention each year.

But alas we Southern Baptist give the same lip service to believing in the democratic process for the selection of our leadership that we give to the sufficiency of the Scriptures. With our lips we are saying one thing, but with our actions we prove something quite opposite to be true.

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Oh, one other thing.

I have seen the comments suggesting that the state execs or conventions pick the Committee on Committees.

This is an old moderate proposal that was floated 20 years ago. (Not that those who are suggesting it are moderates. It's just that they proposed it before).

This would not work because the Baptist people have been and would be against it.

We literally have "been there, done that" with regard to this proposal.

I can think of some other reasons why this is such a bad idea.

1. This would REDUCE the number of people wanting to attend the SBC. The Presidential vote would be meaningless, since the President would only appoint the tellers committee, the resolutions committee and something else (calendar committee?). Most people attend the SBC to vote for the President so that he can appoint like-minded people to the Committee on Committees. If the Pres no longer has that power, the SBC meeting would become even more irrelevant in the lives of most church members.

2. From a legal standpoint, I would not state executives having more influence on national boards that are not there own. It seems good to divide up the power source rather than concentrate it. It would be like givine the SBC President or the Committee on Commmittes the right to select the executive boards of the states.

3. It would reduce further the right of SBC messengers to have any impact on the SBC institutions. Even secular politicians got this right when they did away with state legislatures selecting the U.S. Senators. Direct elections by the people are much healthier. The SBC messengers, I believe, enjoy the franchise of voting for someone who will select the Committee on Committees. Why take that power from the people?

4. It would disenfrancise those churches that relate to the national body, but do not relate to their state. There are many churches like this, and they are growing in number. Those churches should have some say so over the direction of national agencies to which they give their funds.

5. Who would get to be "the" state entity in Texas and Virginia? The old state conventions or the conservative break aways? Would you give them each one? Would this encourage more splits in additional states? Those who are currently having very little influence on state policy because they are in the minority might decide to break off so that they can have more say-so on the Committee on Committees. This could affect the state ministries that currently get the contributions from these churches, but might not get them if there were a split.

This proposal has more problems than have been thought through in my opinion.

Louis

Anonymous said...

To Louis,

My comments regarding future leadership in the style of Judge Pressler and Dr. Patterson do appear, on second reading, to be harsh.

If however, I did strike a nerve that might lead to contemplation of the effects of lack of humility in causing unnecessary pain to those that were shepherded harshly, then perhaps some good can come of my poorly-chosen comments.

Any assumption on my part of the heart-felt intents of either of those gentlemen resulted from my extrapolation from the evidence concerning the unnecessary harm done to Dr. Kouda, those poor missionaries, and to Wade.

As far as any reference to Judge Pressler's involvement in what happened to those that were shepherded so poorly, perhaps the Judge can prevail upon his protege to temper his care of those he shepherds in a more humble and Christ-like fashion.

As for me, I realize that I must do penance and pray to God to remove the beam from my own eye. So, now that I am retired, I can go down to the local food bank/soup kitchen and learn again from the gentle people there what humility means.

So, thank you, Christian brother, I am sorry if I have unjustly caused pain to anyone involved.

BTW, my great-grandfather was a judge and one-time Clerk of the Court of Washington County, N.C.

He was, by all accounts, a most humble and faithful Christian gentleman and servant of the people

CHASTENED OUTSIDER

Dave Miller said...

A couple more things on this:

1) The theory, which may or may not be accurate, has always been that the people of God gather to debate and seek the mind of Christ together, and that in that gathering, Christ leads his people.

Question: Does your church allow for absentee ballots at business meeting?

Most do not. It is kind of this same principle at work - God directing the assembled body of believers.

I know, this is a little bit utopian, but it is the philosophy that undergirds the system.

2) While there are people of all ages on all sides, one of the key factors in this debate is age. Younger leaders tend to be more supportive of change.

If you polled the 50+ crowd, you would probably get a much higher percentage of pro-Paige, pro-BI, pro-status quo voters than if you polled the 50- group.

What does that mean? The younger crowd is also much less likely to be willing to attend meetings and conventions. Look at the SBC - if you sat the 60 and over crowd on one side of the auditorium and the under 60's on the other, the convention hall would tilt.

I know the idea is that internet voting or regional conferences would increase overall participation, but I remain convinced it would not change things much.

3) One more thing - the pollsters contact 2000 people nationwide and predict a national election within a few percentage points.

using that principle, wouldn't the representation at an SBC be a sampling of what the vote would be if more were involved.

I think we often labor under a delusion that if only more people voted, my side would win.

Anonymous said...

Outsider:

Wow! That was too much. You really didn't need to go that far.

I am fine with policy arguments - even tough ones. It just veered off track a bit.

Sounds like your ancestor was a neat guy.

I think that Judge Pressler gets thrown into a lot stuff that he has absolutely no connection to.

He and Dr. P are close, I'm sure, but from what I know, Judge Pressler is fully retired, travels and spends time with his immediate and extended family. To my knowledge, he has no involvement in SWBTS, Dr. Klouda or any of the stuff that have been the subject of much blogging. In fact, I think that he and Dr. P supported different candidates for President in Greensboro - Judge Pressler was for Sutton, and Dr. P was for Floyd. I seem to recall that.

I have always gotten the impression that the two men are very independent, and while friends, don't really spend that much time together. I saw them both at the convention in Indy, but I never did see them together. They may have spent a lot of time together 20 years ago, but I think they are both living very different lives now. I don't think Judge Pressler has any involvement at SWBTS. Judge Pressler, I believe is close to 80. Dr. P is several years younger and is still in his career years.

Take care.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Dear Louis,

You are very kind, but I think I must find some useful and meaningful work in my community, rather than spend time being unfair to others on a blog.

Yes, my great-grandfather was a "neat guy". I never met him. He died when my grandmother was an infant. His name was Joseph Gray Ausbon and he was educated at Oxford. His brother, my great-grand uncle was William James Ausbon, one of the six heroes of the siege of Petersburg during the Civil War. He was awarded a silver medal from General Beauregard. There are letters in the family from that time. The family home is antebellum and is on a walking tour of Plymouth, N.C.

My great-grand father wanted to serve in the army alongside his brother, but his health did not permit. He stayed at home, in service to the community and to look after all the family during and after the war. So, yes, stories of my ancestor are filled with reports of his gentlemanly, humble conduct and of his Christian service. I have quite a legacy to live up to. (And, apparently, to learn from.)
Thank you for your kind words, but I remain chastened and please know that I accept the reprimand in good grace.

OUTSIDER

G. Alford said...

Dave Miller,

“Question: Does your church allow for absentee ballots at business meeting?

If memory serves me… the last time I mentioned absentee ballots on a Blog you made the same dissimilar comment to the discussion of how best to allow every church in the SBC to fully participate in the election of our national leaders.

Two points and one question for you:

Point #1 – It does not cost anyone hundreds or even thousands of dollars and perhaps a weak of vacation time to attend the business meetings of a local church… so your question is simply invalid to this discussion.

Point #2 – You have made the faulty assumption that all Baptist Churches have business meetings… I would have thought a man with your impressive credentials (which you listed earlier in this post) would have a better understanding of the Baptist Churches that make up the SBC to know that a growing number simply no longer have business meetings at all. I think Lifeway released a survey with some interesting numbers on this earlier this week?

Question – Why are you so afraid of letting “ALL” Southern Baptist Churches participate in the selection of our national leaders?

Grace Always,

Justa Believer said...

Dear, dear KMC,

Did I hurt your feelings? I didn't mean to, and I apologize if I did. My sarcastic nature tends me toward responding to perceived snugness with snarkiness. It might be better for me to reserve comment in such situations.

You claim that your remark carried no disdain, as you were just stating the fact that most SBs are ignorant of convention politics. Perhaps they are -- but you also said that the greater participation in convention meetings which would result from the BGCO proposal "will drastically lower the average IQ of the messenger body". Do you honestly think that wasn't a disdainful remark regarding SBs as a whole?

The most likely reason you are not sure who I am is that we don't know each other. Yes, I could have emailed you privately. It just seemed to me more appropriate to publicly criticize your public criticism of the intelligence of SBs. Perhaps my IQ is too low to make the right call.

Anonymous said...

G. Alford:

Now, be fair to Dave. He did not say that he did not want all churches to have a say.

The question is how churches will have their say.

I think that Dave has asked some good questions.

The SBC is a deliberative meeting. It was set up that way long ago. Absentee ballots could have been used decades ago and were not. Why? That could have been especially useful when horseback was the best way to get to the SBC meeting.

I believe that the reason is they wanted people to vote after hearing the proceedings so that they could be present, here the discussions and be part of it.

Now, on the technology front, the digital broadcast could accomplish that. But the digital broadcast could not guard against fraud etc. The digital recording and transmission of votes is not a secure thing - from either end. The convention site would have no way of knowing the legitimacy of the votes cast, and the remote site would have no guaranty of accurate accounting.

These are probably the reasons why U.S. citizens will hopefully never vote sitting in front of their TVs pushing buttons.

We have a creditials committee and live, in-person voting for what I think are good reasons.

Louis

Anonymous said...

To Louis,

Controls in place did not prevent past voting abuses at SBC conventions. The new technology is coming and, a little faster, than some of us dinosaurs can handle, but its promise of being a powerful communication and voting tool is obvious.

Why not accept that technological changes are here and will eventually replace many standard forms of communication? Why not adapt the new technology to need in a responsible way, and make corrections as problems arise?

Not to try is unthinkable. The new possible solution offers so much hope to so many. Louis, you cannot hold back the future. I think you know that.

Anonymous said...

To Louis,

Sometimes, I think you play the valuable role of "Devil's Advocate" on this blog. Any truth to this? :)

G. Alford said...

Louis,

I think we already have “Absentee Voting” in the SBC… An ever increasing number of Southern Baptist are voting to be “Absent” from the Convention.

With less than 5,000 Messengers actually voting in the selection of out last President; the Convention Meeting is no longer a reliable representation of the Southern Baptist Churches… and has not been so for many years now. Everyone knows this and still all we hear is excuses for why we can’t do something about it… and the sound of the door closing behind those who are leaving the SBC.

I just strongly believe that it is time we take serious and decisive action to reconnect the local church with the work of the convention… and bussing in seminary students and offering to pay for our pastors to attend is not getting job done. Only when the local Churches feel that their voice matters once again will this happen. I for one am a local church pastor who feels that no one is listening and quite honestly I feel that no one even cares anymore… that is as long as the money keeps flowing.

One word sums up my feeling about the local churches relationship with the Convention: “DISINFRANCHIZED”

Grace Always,

Dave Miller said...

Greg Alford,

You sign your letters "Grace Always" but you did not demonstrate much of it in your comment toward me. Do you always attack those who disagree with you?

I gave some facts about myself not to impress anyone with my credentials, but simply to point out that I have some experience in the workings of the SBC. I'm not a novice. Impressing you with my credentials was not my point.

I made it clear that these were opinions I had. I clearly stated them as opinions based on my experience - what I think might happen.

I guess I would have appreciated a little of that "Grace Always" in your response. At least you could have made a simple effort to read what I said and understand it before you went on the attack.

I am aware that some churches have no business meetings, but they are rare. Some only vote on major things (hiring pastors, budgets, etc). Most SBC churches still have some form of congregational rule. So, my question may not be totally invalid.

I am not afraid of letting everyone vote. Why would you assume my opinion is based on fear.

My point is that Wade said this would change the SBC and fix what is wrong. I don't believe that.

I was not advocating, just observing.

G. Alford said...

Dave Miller,

I find it amazing how easily you dismiss the opinions of others… and when your opinions are dismissed you get offended?

Dave, you are the one who listed your credentials and, regardless of how you intended others to view your doing so, it came across as an someone who feels his opinions on this matter are superior to those of others who have posted comments here.

By the way,… I value your opinions and believe there is much truth in what you have said. And I did indeed read what you said before I commented… Did you read what I said before you attacked my opinion and the reasons why I strongly believe every SBC Church should have a voice in the selection of our national leadership?

Yes Dave, I agree that most SBC churches still have some form of congregational rule… But the day when all SBC churches have monthly business meetings is fast fading away. O and yes, I would think it an honor in allowing the infirmed/hospital/home-bound members of our congregation to participate in voting by absentee ballot at our annual members meeting.

I don’t think Wade ever said this would fix what was wrong in the SBC… Wade clearly thinks, as do I, that greater participation in the Convention by all churches in the SBC is a good thing, but neither he nor I have said that this alone will fix everything that is wrong in the SBC.

Dave, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

I really am not trying to hold back the future. I do have serious concerns that I have mentioned.

I really do believe the deliberative nature of the meeting, and the potential for abuse and uncertainty are serious issues. It will be interesting to see how Oklahoma goes.

I am an advocate by profession. I can be a little devil, so say some of my intimates sometimes. But not on this blog.

G.Alford:

I do not doubt the sincerity of your comments nor your feeling. I meet many people who just seem to care less about the convention. But what I have found in the folks that I have talked to is that they really have never cared about convention politics anyway, and that there is such a cultural divide that they are not interested.

I understand your frustration, not really knowing if you could wave a wand and make any change that you want, what you would do. But I do sense a frustration that you so articulately express.

I hope that you can hang in there and try to celebrate the many good things that we all share together.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Our church culture is just not political, and we don't have discussions or arguments about church or secular politics at our church.

Our people would rather just give and serve."

Strange. Then how do you know so many intricate details about SBC past and current politics and happenings? And why do you care so much... always blogging about it even though your fellow members of the Body just 'serve and give'.


Lydia

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

Why would you think that strange?

Just because I am involved you think our church culture should be like me?

As I have stated before, we started this church in 1992 with 5 families. 3 of those families had absolutely no interest in Baptist politics. They were fine with us being an SBC church. They liked the missions programs. They just had no interest in the politics.

I would say that percentage breakdown has pretty much followed the development of our congregation, about 60% having no prior baptist affiliation, and they are not joining to become better baptists or to get involved in baptist politics.

We have a fairly young congregation. Started out with lots of college students and grad students. I was an elder at 35 (what a misnomer), but for our church, that was old. Those college and grad students who have stayed in our town, are either single working or married with little kids now.

Some of these people came from traditional Baptist settings. Many who did had very bad memories of politics in the church, not the SBC primarily, mainly their own congregations. The new people who have come are mostly not Baptist in background. They are just not interested in politics.

I was not raised in a Baptist home. Started attending a Baptist church at age 16. Went to a Baptist college at 18 and saw first hand how bad the theology among a good percentage of the religion faculty at the college was (liberal, low view of the Bible), and saw how it affected both the Christian and non-Christian student population at that college. I became involved in the CR in 1979 as a result of that experience, and have kept up an interest since then.

Our church was not founded until 1992. We didn't have 100 people until 1994. Again, the CR was over at that point.

Since we founded the church, we just have not focused on politics in the denomination.

We also do not have any politics in the church.

We do not have elections in the church. We have elders. The church only votes on whether to name a new elder, to hire a ministerial staff position, or large issues such as buildings etc. And those votes only take place upon a unanimous recommendation from the elders.

We have informational meetings once a quarter. All finances, salaries etc. are fully open to any member. The only committee we have is a finance committee.

We have servant teams (deacons) that perform lots of ministry tasks.

We have a charter, by laws and a doctrinal statement that were adopted when we constituted as a church.

So, there is really not a lot of time for politics.

Many people who join our church from Baptist backgrounds say one of the reasons they like the church is because we don't have any politics in the church.

When you consider my background, you can understand why I am involved in the SBC. As I have said, I am not at all involved in State politics. Have never attended a state convention.

When you consider the background of our church, hopefully you will see why it's not political.

This is the second email that I have received questioning why our church is not more political. I hope I have been able to do a better job of education for you guys. You apparently come from much more politicized situations, which is fine if that is what you prefer. People find different churches attractive for different reasons.

I appreciate the inquiries. I am certainly not in a position to judge or make any suggestions to anyone's church on this blog. I assume that we all like the particular emphases of our respective churches and the way our respective churches operate.

That is one of the great things about the SBC - complete autonomy. We can operate our church as we feel the Lord is leading us and other churches can do otherwise.

That is a really good system.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis,
Could we have your perspective on why the CR movement used such extreme tactics to establish control? Of particular concern is the treatment of the missionaries, which can be argued as highly unethical. How was such treatment rationalized and justified?

CURIOUS

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Dear, dear KMC,

Did I hurt your feelings? I didn't mean to, and I apologize if I did. My sarcastic nature tends me toward responding to perceived snugness with snarkiness."


Justa Believer:

You did not offend me. I love it that we can all be snug and snarkie :) Honestly when responding to you I forgot about the IQ remark and in hindsight believe that it did not assist my position in any way and so I retract it. Whether or not it would affect the IQ of the body is less certain than the fact that it would certainly alter the dynamic of the bunch. The dynamic would indeed swing to, in the words of Osama Obama, folks with "small town mentalities who cling to their guns and religion"--"the good ol' boys club."

You see, I too have come to dislike the bluegrass and grits mentality in the SBC. I do not allow the song "Give Me that Old-Time Religion" to be sang at Delhi Baptist Church. Why? Because old-time religion has failed. I fear the Oklahoma Proposal will make it TOO easy for some to vote who simply shouldn't. I think we will quickly slip into Landmarkism and ultimately the Convention will split.

But then maybe that is what Wade wants. I honestly think we are a tad too big for our own britches anyway.

To Debbie: So I have one more idea seeing that you have voted no for my Seminary proposal. Why not set all of our state convention Annual Meetings to run at the same time, then connect them all via whatever technology is required and have the messengers move right into a national meeting. There could be a reseating of messengers that could give us upwards of 150,000 messengers voting for the national meeting. What say you? (We in Missouri of course understand that we would not be positively affecting the IQ average, but promise to work on that as soon as we finish sampling the Schlaffly Beer to see if the aftertaste is conducive to witnessing.) :)

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Crowder,

Sir, are you a minister?

CURIOUS

Tom Parker said...

Anonymous:

Scarily, KMC professes to be a minister.

Anonymous said...

With all this talk of IQ's and ability to vote in the church; I am reminded of something I witnessed last year:

My son Patrick, with Down Syndrome, is a resident at Eastern Christian Children's Retreat in Wyckoff, N.J. (Best private facility in the northeast)

I saw my son get up, walk to a shelf and choose a musical toy. He carried it over to one of the stretcher-bound residents and gently gave it to him. My son has a very low mental I.Q. I wonder how high his spiritual I.Q. is? He certainly has the gift of compassion for someone less fortunate than himself.

When I think of how some SBC leaders have treated our missionaries, I wonder what their spiritual I.Q.'s are?

I think my son's may be higher in the sight of the Good Lord.

In the Church, all of us have gifts to give. God has given my son has many gifts. I consider him to be very wise in the ways that matter in the Kingdom of God.

Let the people vote. Let all the people vote.

BLESSED MOM

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"To Mr. Crowder,

Sir, are you a minister?

CURIOUS"

yes.....what's your point?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Blessed Mom,

Your story is certainly heart-felt. Your son is certainly a display of God's glory and the gifts of the Spirit. While the gift of compassion is a tool God has given your son to help him fulfill his calling, leadership and administration are gifts God has given others to help fulfill their calling. All are needed to make the body function properly. Not all are called to conventional and church polity. Not all have been given the gifts to discern such things. That being said, a noticeable lack of the gift of compassionate concern does not disqualify one from fulfilling their calling in other areas. The story of your son helps us to focus on what is ultimately important, but it does not replace the fact that we have work to do which requires other gifts and faculties. I do however think that it is important to see God at work in other parts of the body and thank you for sharing.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Crowder,

It's just that your words to "Justa Believer" make me so profoundly sad.

I can't explain to you what my son has taught me. I will try to understand your thinking; I cannot understand your heart. God bless and keep you always in His care.

BLESSED MOM

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

You fear we will "slip" into Landmarkism?

Are you serious?

My friend, we are already a full fledged Landmark Convention that needs to get out.

The Oklahoma proposal will allow us to get out of Landmarkism.

Wade Burleson said...

Blessed Mom,

Great story.

You made my evening.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

I think the Good Lord sends these angels with Down Syndrome among us to teach us how to be more humane. Sometimes, I wonder if we aren't the ones who are spiritually handicapped, and they are here to help us. :)

May the peace of the Lord be with you always,

BLESSED MOM

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"My friend, we are already a full fledged Landmark Convention that needs to get out."

Wade,

-I grew up in a Landmark Baptist Church(BMAA)

-Landmarkism is NOT my friend.

-This sir, is no Landmark Convention.

:)

"The Oklahoma proposal will allow us to get out of Landmarkism."

I humbly and respectfully disagree. It would however have a chance at success with the Crowder Amendment which seeks to streamline the State Convention AM and SBCAM into one full week of SBC FUN!!!


~Kevin

Anonymous said...

"That being said, a noticeable lack of the gift of compassionate concern does not disqualify one from fulfilling their calling in other areas."

And there you have the philosophy of the CR in a nutshell.

Only the 'calling' is from the evil one instead of our Lord Jesus Christ who taught the exact opposite of this as He taught servanthood and humility for the spiritually mature.

It is a very painful experience to have the Lord teach one compassion who lacks it. Fall on your knees today, Kevin, and beg forgiveness for what is in your heart because it is seriously hardened.

A friend who cares about you

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"A friend who cares about you"

I think you are more of a drama queen.

First of all you totally missed the point. One can possess a certain amount of compassion and not have the gift of compassion. An extra measure of grace is given to some in the body suited to their calling--just like some are given more faith than others.

I did not say that leaders who possess administrative gifts are completely without compassion, or love, or lack a cheerful heart.

Take you for example, you may very well have the gifts of love, compassion, and a cheeriness which is off the charts, but you lack the gift to read and understand the point of the thread and how my remarks fit into said thread. You also presume to be the judge of my heart (not a spiritual gift). I might refrain from that in the future if I were you.

Btw, I only have friends with faces. Show yours (as in don’t post in anonymity) or please do not reply to me.

Compassionately yours,

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

Lean not unto thine own understanding.

FACELESS

Karen in OK said...

I prefer to remain semi-anonymous. In spite of Bro. Kevin saying that he only has friends with faces.
This is directed to Tom Parker and several other people.

Please keep in mind you never know who is reading things on a worldwide blog. I have never met Bro. Kevin, but I am from his area in MO. A number of my relatives and acquaintances attend the church he pastors. You guys sure make some awful assumptions about both him and his church, that are just that, assumptions. I do not appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (Curious):

The only tactics that I am aware of that the CR used, and which I was a part of, were encouraging as many grassroots Baptists who were concerned about the theological problems to come to the convention and vote for a President who would use his appointment powers to appoint a Committee on Committees who would appoint a Committee on Nominations who would hopefully nominate trustees to the convention who would be be willing to see that the SBC institutions and their employees reflected the doctrinal beliefs of Baptists as expressed in the BFM. Also, I voted for the trustees that were nominated.

I do not remember during the CR that the missionaries were a large focus of concern from a doctrinal standpoint. The major focus were the educational institutions, the Baptist Joint Committee, the Christian Life Commission.

My in laws were missionaries overseas for about 30 years. They were never mistreated by the CR. They were concerned about the CR in the early days because the Richmond office was saying how the CR was going to destroy missions and their work, but that never materialized and they never saw any evidence of that. In fact, when my in laws retired to Memphis in the early 90s, they attended Bellevue Baptist (they later joined another church). They knew Dr. Rogers only by reputation from the CR, which they got from the old executives at the Foreign Missions Board, and that reputation was horrible. But they said after getting to know him, and being in the states for a few years, they believe that they did not get an accurate picture of the CR from the Foregin Board in the early 80s. They also attended the 1986 convention and saw the Peace Committee Report. That helped give them perspective. They voted to adopt that, as most Baptists did.

So, other than that, and that the CR was responsible for the selection of Dr. Rankin to lead the IMB, that's my experience with the treatment of the missionaries.

I am not aware that there has been some wholesale firing of missionaries or mistreatment.

So (and I am not dismissing your concerns), but I just don't know what you mean by extreme or unethical tactics or the mistreatment of the missionaries.

That does not mean either that some trustee or administrator may not have done something unkind to someone at one point or another. So, don't hear me as signing off on every action ever done by any person ever associated with or put in place by the CR.

I see the CR as a movement about theological integrity that was at its height from 1979 to 1991 or so. After that, I see different people administering different agencies with different levels of success and ability. Some good, some not so good. But I do not have the concerns about theological drift that I once did.

One exception - the Baptist colleges. Many have left the Baptist fold. Those that have will continue to drift into becoming universities that over time will have very little Christian conviction. It may take another generation, but if the Ivy League and American history are any indication, that is the path they are on. I do worry about the theological drift in those places.

If you want to tell me the specifics about the tactics and such that you are referring to, I will be glad to read and try to answer you as best I know how.

Take care.

Louis

G. Alford said...

Kevin,

Are you actually trying to say that “All Southern Baptists are created equal, only some are created more equal than others?” For that is exactly what you are communicating.


All,

What we are discussing on this Blog is the “Right” of every local Baptist Church (large or small - rich or poor - city, suburbs or country) of different opinions on many secondary matters of doctrine, to fully participate in this great Christian Democracy.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “I have a dream…” for the SBC!

Sadly some of the same excuses being offered as to why every Southern Baptist Church should not be allowed to participate fully in the election of our national leadership are the same excuses that were offered fifty years ago for why someone with a different skin color than mine should not be allowed to vote.

And before anyone jumps on here and says that no one is preventing any Southern Baptist Church from attending the Convention and voting… Let me remind you that to many small, poor, country churches the expense of doing so is equivalent to the “Pole Tax” that was put in place to keep most blacks from voting during the early part of the last century.

“I have a dream…”

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

To Karen,

All we know of Kevin is what he has written and WAY he has said it.

In trying to understand his words, I find that ofen, his manner of expressing himself speaks louder than his message. I don't know if you can understand what I am saying, but I think that's why we react to Kevin in the way that we have.

Karen, can you help us in any way to understand Kevin better than we have? If you can, it will help us and help him. Thanks, if you can.

FACELESS

Karen in OK said...

Thanks for your response. I don't think I can shed any real light, other than that when I read Bro. Kevin's comments, I think they often express a real mid-Missouri sense of humor.
I tend to think you all take some things way too seriously. And that if he did not sign his name, you would not automatically tense.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

g. alford,

All men and women are not created equal. But that is not the issue here.

I feel that I must be a little clearer in what I mean. Using for a moment a more conservative number of 8 million Southern Baptists, the 2008 Convention had a messenger body which represented 1/10th of 1%of those who regularly attend Southern Baptist Churches. Generally this has been the case since the Convention's inception. I do not desire that anyone be excluded. I have full faith in each of the local 44,000+ churches to select their own messengers. But I must tell you that in the Bible, the crowd is always wrong. The larger the pool of messengers, I believe, the less efficient and effective we will become. This is not to say that individual people are stupid or incapable of making decisions. This is to say that if you thrust in thousands of small churches into the voting mix, the landmarkist, small town "guns and religion" folks will be your primary voting bloc. Then, Mr. Burleson will be correct. Landmarkism will be the rule of law.

Now for the example of my church, and noting that Karen is listening in, and not knowing who she is, I will still speak from my heart in hopes that you all will see a greater picture through the example of my church:

My church is a small country church of great and wonderful people, but they are not informed, nor do they care about SBC polity. They pray for missionaries and send their money. I am trying to "bring them up to speed" such that I can, to inform them (or at least some of them) as to what the SBC is really about. I would not expect them to make informed decisions if I stuck an SBC website in front of them and told them to vote. They would simply seek my opinion and tell me to vote for them. Only 3 people in my church have a computer, and only 2 are connected to the internet. They will never be informed if the information medium is the internet. But you set them across from 2 presidential candidates, or let them hear them speak, and they can tell if there is a genuine spirit or a political hopeful.
As to Landmarkism in my church, I am rather proud of them. They seem to have a rather wide acceptance of baptisms from non-SBC believers where method and mode are biblical, they hold to the idea of a universal church and seek to share the Lord's table with all believers.
Most folks in the pew expect and require their pastor to take care of this Convention stuff for them. Because they are busy at the Sr. Center, and the food pantry, and the quilting club, or they can't leave the house today because they want to meet the gas man and tell him to quit making ruts in the yard and to get a longer hose.

Captain Kirk was beholden to the Prime Directive. In it were guidelines to keep new technology from destroying primitive cultures. Change of this nature needs to be implemented slowly and in stages. The Crowder amendment to the Oklahoma Proposal is the fix.

:)

G. Alford said...

Kevin,

My church is small, my church is in a small town, and yes we are card carrying members of the NRA,… But we are not a landmark church. I think you wrongly assume much, when you assume that most small churches in the SBC are landmark.

You have cleared up any misunderstanding anyone might have concerning your views with the following comment.

“The larger the pool of messengers, I believe, the less efficient and effective we will become.”

You need not say anything else… you do not trust the churches (or should I say the small churches) of the SBC to hear from God and make the right choices. I am sure you will refute what I have just said, but your own words convict you of this attitude.

Very sad indeed Kevin…

Grace Always,

Dave Miller said...

Greg, it is nice to have you explaining to us all exactly what our words really mean...

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"You have cleared up any misunderstanding anyone might have concerning your views with the following comment."

You speak for everyone?

Additionally you take one line (which I still stand by) and claim it to be the crux of my philosophy and then call me sad? (how condescending)

"You need not say anything else…"

But I assure you that I will, and you can learn to be nicer.

"you do not trust the churches (or should I say the small churches) of the SBC to hear from God and make the right choices."

I do not trust any of us to make the right choices. We are all going to claim our view and vote is from God yet we are here embroiled in a debate that you think will be solved by getting a million more opinions?

"I am sure you will refute what I have just said, but your own words convict you of this attitude."

Actually the context of all my posts refute what you have said.


Why are you being so hostile to me? I have said that I am in favor of the "Oklahoma Proposal." But that I would recommend a few changes which have been thought out and rest on grassroots experience. I am indeed conservative and my general philosophy is for slow and controlled change except in ministry where sweeping immediate changes need to take place. Those kinds of changes need to happen in the thousands of tiny lifeless churches and in the boardrooms of our entities. The Convention floor is not, nor should it be designed for broad sweeping change else we become like our Methodist, Anglican, and other Evangelical friends.

May you have a wonderful Friday.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

"You guys sure make some awful assumptions about both him and his church, that are just that, assumptions. I do not appreciate it."

Karen, we can only judge him by the words he CHOOSES to use here. Many have tried to understand him and showed great patience and he has not been banned for his arrogance and insults. He seems to delight in this behavior here.

If he is different as a pastor than he is here...I have to wonder why. Consistency of character in all venues is one mark of maturity.

A friend.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"for his arrogance and insults."

I am neither arrogant, nor have purposefully insulted anyone. But I do, as Karen pointed out, sign my real name.


...and I encourage you to come hear me preach. We can then engage in a healthy Sunday afternoon visitation. There are a ton of unchurched folks in the area around Delhi. I need lots of help reaching them.

Wade's blog attracts a lot of fine moderates in the convention. They fundamentally disagree with me on just about everything. I fundamentally agree with Drs. Mohler, Moore and Ware, and all of the "stuff coming out of SBTS" So I would expect you to attack me personally, feel sorry for my church, and generally slam my character to all the newbies to Wade's site.

I am a minister of the Gospel. The Gospel explicitly limits the nature of self and will. The Gospel places us all subordinate to Scripture and to Christ. The Gospel even limits personal freedoms. People don't like that. But I will continue to preach it. If you feel hindered by a Gospel which places you in subordination to anything, then there is not much we can talk about. You may have been sanctified by His blood, but you must also seek to be continually sanctified by His Word and His Spirit. You must continually die to self and mortify your sins.

Kevin

Dave Miller said...

Wade,

I don't know if you are still followign this stream, but I have a question about a comment you made above.

"My friend, we are already a full fledged Landmark Convention that needs to get out.

The Oklahoma proposal will allow us to get out of Landmarkism."

We are a full-fledged Landmark Conventiion that needs to get out?

What does that mean? Are you suggesting leaving the convention? Forcing the Landmarkish folks to leave?

I don't understand.

G. Alford said...

Dave,

You are welcome… :-)

Grace Always,

G. Alford said...

Kevin,

I am not being hostile to you. I like a man who says what he thinks and who signs his name… We simply disagree… You think that greater participation by the local churches in the decision making process of the SBC is a bad thing, and I think it is a good thing.

At least that is how I understand your comments… (But don’t tell David I said that, he might get the idea that I can be wrong)

Hope you have a wonderful Friday as well…

Grace Always,

Tom Parker said...

karen in ok:

I believe everything I say about MKC to be true or I would not dare word process them with my fingers. You may call what he has to say as humor; I have another name for it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I have a theory about Kevin's writing style: he is trying to push our buttons and get our attention! Then, he thinks he has a better chance at getting his point across.

You have to admit, we all read Kevin's remarks just to see what he has to say NEXT. Of course, sometimes I'm already thinking of a response before I even get to sentence two. Well, he is an attention-grabber.

Problem: Kevin is kind of like the boy who cried 'wolf'. We are so geared to reject his writing because of his style; that when he is offering something of value, we are already in attack-mode and we dont't see it.

So, I am going to try to read Kevin's writing and re-write it in my mind in such a way that I can get past the style and rhetoric and into the actual content of what he is trying to say.

This will take some practice.

FACELESS

So, it's his writing style. Not necessarily his content, which can sometimes make good sense.

What do you think? (Kevin, I hope you are listening. Could this observation help you?)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Kevin, I hope you are listening. Could this observation help...?"


hmm.....I could also publish my comments in brail for the blind and pass out lollie pops for the kiddies, but yes, please do take from my posts what you will and disregard the rest.

I am btw totally flattered that you all look forward to reading what I have to say. And while I am still not sure what "mid-Missouri humor" is, I can say that KinOk is right on one account at the very least: you all take me WAY too seriously. This is casual conversation not Blackhaw's doctoral seminar. So, in getting past whatever it is about my style that you dislike, what is it exactly that you do like in the way of content? Do you think I am ready to run for SBC President? Maybe I could be the first seminary student to be Convention head. But enough about me...what do you think about me? :))

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Kevin

I'm glad you were listening. Well, may I correct your assumption that we are all "looking forward" to reading all of your remarks. No such thing for some of us, I'm afraid. For me, it's more like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I don't want to see it; but I can't look away,either. :)

I'm always amazed at your ability to raise my blood pressure and I credit you with this power; I just think that you sometimes use a baseball bat when a fly swatter would be more appropriate.

There is that possibility that your style is a sort of defense mechanism against the rest of us. You provoke. We react. You win.
Or not.

Someone needs to try to break the cycle: we are all works in progress here. For many different reasons we have all come together here to Wade's forum. Since we're here, we may as well try to understand and learn from each other. And yes, pray for and help each other, if we can. That way, everyone wins. In this spirit, your faceless friend will make renewed effort to listen and to understand. But, like I said, it will take some practice. :)

FACELESS

Camel Rider said...

I find this to be an interesting concept but I have two issues with it.

First, as others have said...I think the BI guys would use it to spread their cause even more. Maybe if we got the magazine "Gospel Today" to sponsor the webcast that would keep them away...but otherwise I think they would be the ones to watch.

Second,
I think we're failing to discuss why guys like Andy Stanley have either left the SBC or don't participate in it. More and more younger leaders don't want to deal with this junk anymore. They don't need the SBC for networking...they have their own. They don't need the IMB to do missions for them...they are partnering with existing relationships...without all the bureaucracy. And they can 10% to missions knowing that it's actually going to help people...not being sucked away by various mid-level denominational associations.

Until we address these key structural and functional issues...streaming video, podcasts and no Gaither music will only do so much.

Anonymous said...

Hold the 'leadership' (Pressler, Patterson, Mohler, on and on) accountable for their ACTIONS aimed at SBC church members.

When they say: "You can't judge our motives or our hearts by what we did."

Tell them: But we sure can judge your characters. A man's character is reflected in his actions.

Criteria For The Court To Consider:
1. Has leadership employed unethical tactics in order to gain and keep power.

2. Has leadership failed to behave as Christian gentlemen in their open treatment of others? (It is thought that MUCH of what has been done openly, was done to intimidate.)

3. Have any in 'leadership' ever followed the prescribed Biblical way of seeking the forgiveness of those who were abused?

4. Has leadership ever tried to recompense abused members for their economic losses?

5. What is the Biblical way of calling these 'leaders' to account in a Christian community?