On the other hand, a healthy marriage is measured by the full and open transparency between husband and wife. A church is in good health when leadership has no desire to "keep" secrets from the congregation. That's not to say everything must be shared with everyone, but simply that leadership takes no effort to keep information from members. The same can be said of a healthy convention.
Dr. Albert McClellan, the former Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, spoke to a writer for The Baptist Program on December 31, 1980 and said,
"In 43 years there have been fewer than six executive sessions (closed door, private meetings) . . . The Executive Committee (SBC) has an open ear for anyone one who wants to speak to it. For almost 25 years the gallery has been two to three times bigger than the size of the Committee, and the gallery has been permitted to ask any question, to give any information, to make any point and to offer any objection."I am grateful for any positive course corrections brought about by the Conservative Resurgence, and some would argue that the removal of Dr. McLellan was one of those course corrections, but I would propose that if there has been just an infinitesimal increase in the number of secrets in the SBC since 1979, then we may very well be, no matter the objections, worse off as a convention.
Why are secrets being kept? Why do we wish to keep people in the dark? What is the purpose of leaders hiding behind a veiled curtain? I would be interested in your opinions, but allow me to offer a couple of possible reasons through the form of two memorable quotes on transparency.
"One man's transparency is another's humiliation." Gerry Adams
What I'm thinking about more and more these days is simply the importance of transparency, and Jefferson's saying that he'd rather have a free press without a government than a government without a free press." Esther Dyson
In His Grace,