Even though Bart blames "IMB administration" for his error, and even though the unnamed IMB administrator, according to Bart, never directly identified the BGCT as a Convention eshcrowing funds, and even though Bart claims he "accurately reported someone else's inaccurate information," I believe it is incumbent upon Southern Baptists to accept Bart's apology for publishing false information and not bring up Dr. Barber's error in judgment again.
However, there are a couple of things Bart wrote in his lengthy apology, unrelated to anything in his original inaccurate post about the BGCT, that should raise even more questions in the minds over anyone who is being considered as a nominee to serve as a trustee of one of our Convention's agencies.
Bart wrote the following about the BGCT:
It would be unlikely for anyone to have placed into my mouth a lower opinion than I actually hold regarding the BGCT . . . My (low) opinion about the BGCT long predates the events of the past two days . . . (My post about the BGCT) matched up precisely to the reality that I could imagine to be most likely . . . The entire situation (i.e. publishing inaccurate information about the BGCT) puts me in the bitter-tasting situation of having somewhat wronged an institution that I dislike and owing it an apology. So, to the BGCT, I apologize for not taking greater care in reporting damaging information about you. And, although I believed the story, I am glad to learn that this is merely a situation of lackadaisical inattentiveness toward Lottie Moon money on your part rather than deliberate withholding of these much-needed funds from our missionaries
I don't know about anyone else, but when I read the above, it makes me think the problem is not the inaccurate reporting of damaging information regarding the BGCT, but rather the heart of animosity toward fellow Southern Baptist believers at the BGCT. In other words, while I believe all of us should forgive Dr. Barber for his inaccurate post, it is the published expression of animosity toward brothers in Christ that seems to me to be the very problem we face in the SBC. After reading all the other things Bart says about the BGCT in the midst of his apology to them, it kind of makes me hope Bart never has to publicly apologize to me. Smile.
Until we can get to the place where we can disagree with people, loving them as part of the family of Christ while we disagree with them, we may find it very, very difficult to be the salt and light Christ has called us to be. What would be great is for the people involved, including Bart and the Finance Office at the BGCT, to get together over lunch and visit as brothers in Christ - with hearts of love for each other. The polarization that breeds animosity is precisely why the SBC is in the mess we are in.
The post in question would never have been written without the ill-will toward the BGCT in the first place. It is this ill-will, that causes some to label conservatives as "liberal" for no other reason than to justify the animosity toward brothers in Christ that is the real problem in our beloved SBC.
In His Grace,
P.S. The one question Bart should answer is this one: "Who asked you to post your article?" Bart said he posted the article about the BGCT because he "was asked to post it." The answer to the question of who asked him would be very revealing in terms of understanding the dynamics of our Convention's troubles.