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

GCR Task Force: You Should Have Never Made The Promise to Keep Secrets

A very interesting debate for unsealing the Great Commission Task Force Records took place Wednesday morning at the Southern Baptist Convention. Al Mohler said that the records should be sealed because the Great Commission Task Force promised people who spoke that the proceedings of the meetings would be kept confidential. James Smith, Editor of the Florida Baptist paper, supported the unsealing of the records by saying, "Journalism is the first draft of history." When the Convention authorized the Great Commission Task Force to do their work, the Convention never said it should be done in secret. The Great Commission Task Force did not have the authority to seal the records, only the Convention did.

Interestingly, Greg Wills, the historian of Southern Seminary, and an employee who answers to President Mohler, was the second person to speak, and unsurprisingly spoke against the motion. After Wills spoke, other messengers made some good points in support of the motion to unseal the records, but Pastor Walter Price made what some considered a good argument against the motion to unseal the records by saying, "What if you as a pastor did a church study and invited church members to speak about the changes needed in the church, but the next Sunday played what was said in the church service?" Pastor Price's arguments has at least two major problems: The Convention is not a church, it is a cooperative effort of multiple churches and the only way cooperation continues is when secrecy is abolished. Also, the Task Force's Al Mohler said that the reason confidentiality was needed was due personnel issues, not any proposed needed changes discussed in the SBC. However, the Task Force  had no authority to hire or to fire anyone, to commend any SBC employees or reprimand any SBC employees, or to delve into personnel records or to even keep personnel records. So the argument Al Mohler made that confidentiality was needed for "personnel" reasons is at best illogical and at worst deceptive.

A messenger from the floor proposed an amendment to the main motion that called for the release of selected materials from the deliberations, using lawyers, historical archivists and the press to ensure nothing "confidential" was released (assuming there was anything confidential in the first place). Danny Aiken spoke against the amendment, reiterating "we made a promise to not release the records" and that the costs of combing through the materials to prepare them for release would be cost prohibitive.

It was obvious to me the motion would fail. Time for discussion of issue expired after fifteen minutes. The President of the Convention called time for the debate. The amendment was first voted upon and it failed. The original motion to unseal the records was then voted upon, and it too failed. The Task Force minutes will remain sealed for fifteen years.

Progress is being made in keeping the SBC open, but when we continue to allow the sealing of records for CHRISTIAN MINISTRY, then we violate the specific instructions of Christ that everything involving His kingdom should be done in the light of day. We also violate our own history.

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."

Our Convention is only as healthy as the number of the secrets we keep. Those who hold the keys to the secrets will unwillingly set themselves up as "leaders" who are authorized by God to protect the sheep from harmful information. It seems the GCR Task Force "leader" believe people fifteen years from now can handle the truth--but Southern Baptists today cannot.

I find the secrecy sickening. Others may not care, but I do. I find it difficult to support anything done in a climate of such secrecy, particularly when folks are talking about how they spend the money that the widows in my church give. One of these days we will figure out SBC leadership stays at the nicest hotels, go to the most exotic locations, eat at the nicest restaurants, and spend a great deal of money, only to issue a report, deliberated upon in secret, that concludes we need to give more money to missions.

I have ministry today. Funerals, hospitals, and teaching. I find myself increasingly more uninterested in the SBC.

98 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

Sheep. We're a bunch of sheep. Which is nice except we're members of a congregationally-governed churches, and that's kind of how the SBC is to be.

Oh .. I believe you mean uninterested.

Wade Burleson said...

Again, Bob, you are correct!

Michael Ruffin said...

Your last sentence is telling. Is it possible that, as we get more mature in our following of Jesus and in our living for the Kingdom of God, we become less and less interested in denominations and their hierarchies and politics?

I don't claim maturity, but my heart is tending more and more in that direction.

Anonymous said...

The matter of unsealing the deliberations is a big point, but I’m still shocked that Johnny Hunt read from Joshua and called everyone “infidels” whose “carcasses” will litter the desert who don’t vote for GCR. The manipulative spirit that pushed this through leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. I'm most proud of the woman who said she felt bullied. She is the reason the wording on number three was changed and the GCR passed. I pray good will come from this but I fear we drove many away with the manipulative and secretive spirit with which this was handled.

Bill Pfister
Taylors, SC

ml said...

Wade I agree with you that this one is wrong and voted as such. While I understand there is a history of sealing documents, it seems their sealing is more a matter of preservation than secrecy. What is more, you said here exactly what my group was saying, "you shouldn't have made promises you were not empowered to keep." Ironically, the group on stage used the same mentality that they had been preaching against the previous two days. We have been assaulted with manipulative ideas like "Don't use fear as a tactic to stall the GCR" in reference to some who were supposedly against the GCR because it might make them trust God more for funds they lost. Funny how conveniently they used fear of what might happen were this motion to carry. "We will not have future proceedings caught if people are afraid their words will be used against them." This kind of double-speak is what disheartens me especially when Jesus said, "let your yes be yes and no be no." Besides God already knows what was said behind the closed doors it appears these men are more afraid of men than God.

Kelly Reed said...

From now on, when any task force or group examining an issue is appointed, an amendment should be added that disallows the possiblity of such promised confidentiality.

Steve said...

Yep,

Another SBC down. On to the urget matters of ministry

Lydia said...

"Is it possible that, as we get more mature in our following of Jesus and in our living for the Kingdom of God, we become less and less interested in denominations and their hierarchies and politics?"

Absolutely. The above are a cancer that eat away at our souls. Not only for those in leadership but those who blindly support them.

Bob, one of the problems is that the leaders FORGOT they are sheep, too.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
That Jeremy Guy said...

What is there to hide? Why do we need to keep discussion of those participating in a Great Commission task force confidential?

This stinks!

Lydia said...

"The matter of unsealing the deliberations is a big point, but I’m still shocked that Johnny Hunt read from Joshua and called everyone “infidels” whose “carcasses” will litter the desert who don’t vote for GCR."

Shocked? These type of sermons are delivered all the time in many of our larger churches. And the pew sitters actually believe this stuff! What excuse do the messengers have who are mostly pastors and should know the Word better?

The OT is full of rebukes against the corrupt "priests". Perhaps we should focus on that aspect of the OC and map it to what is happening in the NC.

WTJeff said...

Joe,

Just one question. Do you think the GCRTF records should be sealed?

Weezie said...

I am sickened, too. Very sickened. My husband and I are very active in "low-level" SBC - small church, adjunct seminary positions, associational activities - and we are sick.

Wade said it right - "sheep". Sheep blindly follow, and Hunt masterfully led where he wanted the sheep to go. A few bucked, but who needs them anyway? Ugh. He should have gotten the message when he got booed.

If something is that divisive - then throw it out! Or better yet, push and manipulate until you get your way. Yeah, that one is the best, because the sheep don't really know what's best for them.

I see why good, intelligent people leave the convention.

Praying for the SBC today, and for my attitude.

Bob said...

It is a sad commentary. These leaders knew from the beginning that the recordings would be sealed. If they were concerned about "confidentiality," they could have simply taken the comments/opinions "off the record" and accomplished the same thing. My prayer is that God would move in our convention in spite of some folks "motives" and "methods." God bless you Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

You seem angry and bitter, but you could actually be different than what you seem.

There are some wonderful Christian people in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

I would suggest that you grow to like them because God very well may make you a roomate of a few of them in heaven.

Jon L. Estes said...

I do wonder if those who were in SBC leadership, who left the SBC, would have brought a report on the support of liberalism and their interpretation of scripture as non inerrant and the convention passed such a recommendation... would those same men who have served on the GCRTF have supported a motion to seal those records for 15 years?

Nope. In no way. The debate would have been more heated and the ugliness more ugly.

I hope that made sense. I'm tired so this is the best you get this morning.

Weezie said...

PS Mark Noll's "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind" is a great read.

It begins by saying that the "scandal of the evangelical mind is that there isn't much of one."

Anonymous said...

While I think the GCR makes some good changes structurally the main problem facing Southern Baptist is attitudinal- not structural- and the secrecy about the GCR report shows PART of the attitudinal problem.

I am 30. For the SBC to be viable when I am 50- long after the vast majority of the current SBC membership is gone- there has to be a MAJOR shift in thinking. No more secrecy. No more resolutions on political issues, no more morality police, no more boycotts, no more in fighting over tertiary issues like Calvinism, drinking, and the role of women in the church, no more ERLC. For the SBC to be viable in 20 years they need to 1. Let local churches figure out these issues for themselves. 2. Cooperate ONLY for things that advance the Kingdom of God. It really isn't that difficult...but unfortunately that is about as likely as BP winning an award from the EPA. From here is looks to me as the SBC is headed for a long slow decline and will end up as a small regional convention with a lot of power in the south east and not much else. It's already about 70% there...

New BBC Open Forum said...

I think the title of this sums it up perfectly. "The Great Commission Task Force Are a Bunch of Wusses" indeed.

Johnny Hunt argued that it would be cost prohibitive to bring in the lawyers and cull through all those records in an attempt to release a portion of them, not to mention the process would be “arbitrary.” (You'd think they were talking about unclassifying top secret miliary records.) I agree it's ridiculous to involve lawyers and incur all that extra expense, but I have a simple solution for that — release the entire record now and be done with it. But more importantly I argue that it was cost prohibitive to form this committee in the first place and jet them all over the country to meet, eat, vacay, and do whatever they did that needs to be kept secret to tell us how to accomplish the GC.

I argue this was never about the GC. It's about money. Power and control of the money by the big boys. There was a token woman or two. Here's how the first one was said to have been chosen (shades of Bill and Hillary).

You could tell by the smug expressions on the faces of those on stage prior to the vote that neither the amendment nor the motion was going to pass. They knew they had this one in the bag.

Note to David Platt: Abandon ship! The SBC is a gasping, sinking wreck, and all they're doing at this point is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Get out now and continue doing what you’re doing which is truly carrying out the GC. Do not let the anchor of SBC bureaucracy drag you under with them.

Listening to Platt speak with that sobby, overly dramatic style of his drives me nuts, but the guy seems sincere and seems to “get” what the GC is all about. The members of the GCRTF and their enablers apparently do not.

Anonymous said...

Two quick thoughts:

1. What in the world would they have been saying that can't be made public?

2. Wade, if you are so disenchanted with being a Baptist then why in the world don't you quit being one?

Just wondering since you seem to find so many things that you don't like. There are other options in life you know.

John Fariss said...

Two things occur to me.

One: if people who talked to the GCRTF were promised confidentiality, why after even 15 years will that confidentiality be broken? Is that a "magic" number, or part of some hidden Bible code that I have missed?

Two: I agree with all that Wade has said about secrets. I would point out one thing though: while secrets have power, sometimes the "secret" itself is trivial. Making it a secret is what gives it great power. In 15 years, we may find out that what was "confidential" did not amount to a hill of beans, but those who made it secret used the power that generated for their own purposes, whether those "purposes" were for the betterment of the SBC (in their opinion) or to help them build their own little kingdoms.

John

Anonymous said...

Watching the SBC via the internet it seems to me a waste of money and time. The actions of the GCR all more encourage me to place the emphasis on autonomous Baptist churches. I see less and less cooperastion and more and more hiearchial structure in the SBC.

I see the SBC organization becoming more irrelevant as each year passes.

Ron said...

It is funny how our leaders bring up secrecy when they want to and ignore it what it helps them. Paul Pressler once said no honest person should mind a record being kept of what they have to say. Of course this was after he had secretly recorded a telephone conversation with a someone and then turned it over to a newspaper without the permission of that person.

In this case there is no excuse for secrecy. We are discussing the financial and methodology workings of the SBC. Why would someone be afraid for others to know what they have said to the committee unless their comments are gossip and slander against others.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"In 15 years, we may find out that what was 'confidential' did not amount to a hill of beans, but those who made it secret used the power that generated for their own purposes, whether those 'purposes' were for the betterment of the SBC (in their opinion) or to help them build their own little kingdoms."

Of course it won't amount to a hill of beans. They've got the next 15 years to "scrub" the records of anything potentially embarrassing. If they unsealed them now there might be things in there that could interfere with all the "little kingdom building" still in progress.

Word verification: decon

Former FBC Insider said...

This reeks of white pointy hoods.

Anonymous said...

Wanna stop this nonsense?

Stop sending the Big Men money. Stop giving them honor and praise. Stop affiliating with them.

Like Lord Beckett in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", these "captains" say "It's just good business".

I say, "Abandon ship!"

New BBC Open Forum said...

Johnny Hunt argued that it would be cost prohibitive to bring in the lawyers and cull through all those records in an attempt to release a portion of them, not to mention the process would be "arbitrary."

My bad. I meant Danny Aiken.

Robert Hutchinson said...

the debate was open and fair, yet the messengers voted to seal the records.

why would they vote to do that?

the answer that the majority are a bunch of drones just is't sufficient. just don't know why.

Brian Ladd said...

Why the shot at David Platt? Are you suggesting that being "sobby" is a ploy he uses to get results?

Bob Cleveland said...

I heard the deal about "preserving the records" by archiving them. What .. do they think the words are going to evaporate or something?

Here's one case where the US Government (Freedom of Information Act) outperforms the Southern Baptist Convention (seal the records of the GCRTF for 15 years).

Anonymous said...

"This reeks of white pointy hoods."

I think the hyperbole has reached sufficient heights when SBC pastors/leaders are being compared to the KKK. That comment is not only over the top and unfair to the men and women in question (especially given the SBC's history on such issues) it is unbelievably insensitive to the damage that racism and real KKK actually did.

What happened is wrong but no one was lynched here. Keep it respectable people.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't know if it's a "ploy" or not, and it wasn't a "shot," it was an observation. He doesn't always speak that way, but when he does it seems to be for dramatic effect. Maybe it's just his passion coming through, but it's distracting. I still think he seems sincere, by far one of the most sincere and on point of the high-profile preachers in the SBC today.

Anonymous said...

I think gcr should stand for "get creative report" As a pastor of 7 sbc churches over a period of 48 yrs. I am in shock over what our conbvention has come to. I attended the convention in Dallas in 1985. I was in favor of some changes that i thought were needed at the time. It seemed teaching in our seminaries had gotten too liberal. There were some 45 thousand messengers as i recall at the convention that yr. Well here we are 25 yrs. latter with a scripted convention and our leaders saying in effect our rank and file are too stupid to understand what gcr is supposed to be, so we will work everything out and let u know in 15 yrs. because by then old pastors like myself and others will be gone and younger more erudite ppl will understand. I am both baffled and a little angry that we have come to this. Were i young enough and felt the Lord wanted me to start a new church it wouldn't be in the sbc.

New BBC Open Forum said...

A little off topic, but I couldn't help but think Johnny Hunt was looking at Andy Stanley when he said to Mac Brunson, "Thank you for being the BIBLE preacher. What a difference it makes when someone chooses to use their Bible... when they stand to preach."

New BBC Open Forum said...

My bad. I meant Danny Aiken.

Actually I meant Danny Akin. That's what I get for copying off Wade's paper.

Former FBC Insider said...

My observation was aimed at the secrecy, nothing else.

Like Wade said, we are only as sick as our secrets.

I think it's sick. I think transparency and truth speak volumes and initiate trust.

I think secrets beg us to question instead.

BTW, lynching was only part of the horrible treatment done to our fellow men.

And it all happened "in secret". That kept the horrible treatment on-going.

It is my opinion that transparency and truth could have helped put the brakes on that.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see how spiritually wise and discerning our modern day bloggers think they are--and how stupid and insensitive are those who have been duly elected to their positions of leadership.

Perhaps some bloggers need to start looking in the mirror before they become so Phariseeical.

Richard said...

Bill Pfister,

You mention the Johnny Hunt's sermon from Joshua: I think he is catering to an audience (e.g., his members and or his friends in the audience), those who have been accustomed not to expect to learn exegetically from the text, but accustomed and demand to hear outrageous things from the pulpit Sunday after Sunday (e.g., such as funny stories and strange testimonies--the likes of Ergun Caner's). This is why Ergun Caner is so popular in many SBC churches--saying bombastic things to portray his courage and such, whether it is true to the bible text or not.

So, Mr. Pfister don't expect any faithful teaching from the convention--it is time for politics in Jesus' Name.

Chris Riley said...

Since we voted to seal the records for 15 years, does that mean Evangelical Republicans (I'm pushing a stereotype) no longer can hold to the idea of "transparency of government"?

Robert Hutchinson said...

point of clarity:

when i said, "the answer that the majority are a bunch of drones just is't sufficient. just don't know why."

i did not mean to say, i don't know why the 'drones' argument isn't sufficent.

i simply meant to reiterate my wonderment as to why a majority of the messengers after hearing a good and fair debate would still vote to seal the records.

the sheep argument just isn't good enough for me.

Bruce said...

The SBC just keeps marching blindly into irrelevance.....one former SBC member at a time.

Anonymous said...

I have the answer! Put everyone who blogs on here on the Executive Committee and then see what a fine job we can do. But then, opinions are something that everyone has.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I have a suggestion for you.

Sign your name.

Your vault of secrey is a pseudonym.

Paul Burleson said...

Anon,

You said.."Perhaps some bloggers need to start looking in the mirror before they become so Phariseeical."

Unfortunately, that is precisely where I learned the deadliness of secrets to real relationships. I saw it in the mirror as I looked at my family of origon, [Parents alcoholism] my own life, [control issues] and the mistakes I made early on, both in my family and the church families I pastored.

I believe I'm speaking for the overwhelming majority who comment here when I say my desire is not to condemn people who make those same kind of mistakes. How can I with my past?

My desire is to warn others of the shoals ahead to ANY relationship where secrets are a way of life. Even a relationship with the SBC.

It will be rocky times ahead unless we learn and correct such.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

I guess it all boils down to whom we owe allegiance; Jesus Christ and His leadership or denominational leaders and theirs.

Bob Cleveland said...

I think that Despair.com poster about Committees sums it up pretty well:

"None of us is as dumb as all of us".

Tom Kelley said...

Bob Cleveland,
I think you are referring to this:

Meetings poster

Very fitting.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Seems to me that it wouldn't have been all that difficult to publish transcripts of the GCRTF meetings, with the names of individuals replaced by "Mr. A" and "Mr. B", etc. -- if it was really confidentiality of who said things that was the concern. But I still believe the concern was more over what was said, and the likelihood that the proceedings would reveal that the GCRTF recommendations are just the start of a long-term strategy in the works to consolidate and centralize power in the SBC.

I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. But I did predict the outcome of the vote and the justification that would be used for keeping the records sealed. :)

-----
Tom

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I appreciate your suggestion but once someone signs their name then they become the focal point instead of the truth they espouse. Look at what happened in Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

"Disinterested"

Lydia said...

Perhaps some bloggers need to start looking in the mirror before they become so Phariseeical.

Wed Jun 16, 03:42:00 PM 2010

To be a Pharisee one must have official positional power and influence over others. The authority to make decisions like keeping GCR the process a secret for 15 years.

Anonymous said...

I had planned to vote to unseal the records but after listening to the arguments I believve it is good that they be sealed.

In the future, however, it would be good to address this in advance so the committee knows how to proceed.

Louis

Alan Paul said...

Who let Joe out?

Wade Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

When Joe writes and people read, more good is accomplished than anyone can imagine.

He causes more people to see my perspective than any one thing I could ever write.

That's why he's been let out.

Smiling.

Anonymous said...

"I think the hyperbole has reached "sufficient heights when SBC pastors/leaders are being compared to the KKK. That comment is not only over the top and unfair to the men and women in question (especially given the SBC's history on such issues) it is unbelievably insensitive to the damage that racism and real KKK actually did.
"

It is most definitely hypebole. Donna would not be caught dead in white. Her colour wheel is the Autumn pallette.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I had planned to vote to unseal the records but after listening to the arguments I believve it is good that they be sealed.

In the future, however, it would be good to address this in advance so the committee knows how to proceed.

Louis


Gee, I'm shocked. Seriously, what convinced you to change your mind and decide the records should be sealed?

Why should the committee proceed any differently if they know their words will not remain secret? Should they not proceed exactly the same regardless?

Seems to me that it wouldn't have been all that difficult to publish transcripts of the GCRTF meetings, with the names of individuals replaced by "Mr. A" and "Mr. B", etc. -- if it was really confidentiality of who said things that was the concern. But I still believe the concern was more over what was said....

I agree. They were supposed to be discussing how to advance the Great Commission. None of those things should matter if that's what their real purpose was.

14 years, 364 days and counting...

Anonymous said...

I was a Baptist from age 8 til 48 (three years ago) and this kind of activity is exactly why I am no longer a Baptist.

I would not make a stand/comment that I was unwilling to have my name attached to. Its called integrity.

I may not be a Southern Baptist any longer but I'm still a God-loving and God-loved Christian.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 8:06 p.m.,

I've seen Donna wear white on more than one occasion, and she was not wearing a hood and pointy hat. But I do agree she's definitely an "autumn."

:-)

Anonymous said...

Before anyone jumps on: Doug Barnes
Forgot to sign it

Anonymous said...

I was a Baptist from age 8 til 48 (three years ago) and this kind of activity is exactly why I am no longer a Baptist.

I would not make a stand/comment that I was unwilling to have my name attached to. Its called integrity.

I may not be a Southern Baptist any longer but I'm still a God-loving and God-loved Christian.

Frank (or Chip) said...

I am just glad that the Great Commission is decided so we can move on to voting on which of the 10 commandments we should keep...in public, at least.

RRR said...

Joe said; "And the Christians of the SBC are most happy to hear that. You really ought to go join the CBF since your "theology" is very in line with theirs."

It's not the "Christians" who would have great relief at Wade leaving. It's the Joe's and others who would like to continue pursuing their own agenda without accountability to anyone.

Christiane said...

Now, don't encourage Joe.

No need to be 'over-impressed' by his act once you understand that
NOBODY is as 'bad' as Joe . . .
not even Joe.

:)

hkatmom said...

Sounds like you spent your day doing the real work of the Great Commission unlike those voting in the affirmative.

Actions like the ones taken today only serve to further sever the ties that bind us. As a child, I was taught that the Cooperative Program was a way for all of us to band together to spread the love of God to all the world. Now I guess it means that we are only going to spread that love to only those who are deemed worthy by a select few in ways that are only approved by a select few. No wonder more and more are leaving the SBC. I still believe in Baptist principles but no longer the SBC Baptist principals.

Bob Cleveland said...

Tom Kelley:

WHOOPS. There goes my personal inerrancy (sound of snapping fingers).

:)

Tom Kelley said...

Bob,
You were close enough. We'll just call it a textual variant that doesn't impact the truth of the message.

:)

-----
Tom

Scott said...

There is one thing that almost everyone is missing here- a majority of the messengers who were present voted down the motion. This is the way the SBC works. A motion was presented, the Committee on the Order of Business scheduled time for debate, and the motion was defeated. If you don't like that process, go to an Annual Meeting and vote to change it.
Wade, I thought that the last sentence of your post was unfortunate. I don't think that you can sit and watch a large majority of the proceedings from the last few days on the internet, not like what you see, and then declare that you are "increasingly uninterested" because you have ministry to do. If you were really uninterested, you would not have watched or blogged as extensively as you have. The truth is that you really seem to be interested in what is going on and sickened by it. That's fine if that is the case. Just don't make it sound as if you are now going off to do spiritual work while others do the unspiritual task of deciding Convention business when you have been watching it for days.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"There is one thing that almost everyone is missing here- a majority of the messengers who were present voted down the motion."

{slaps forehead}

I think we've established that much. What a lot of people are missing is why they voted it down.

Lydia said...

"There is one thing that almost everyone is missing here- a majority of the messengers who were present voted down the motion."

Didn't your mama teach you the crowd is not always right? Have we learned nothing from 20th Century history?

So, because the 'crowd' thought it was ok to seal the records of CHRISTIANS planning a GREAT COMMISSION surge, that makes it right?

Personally, I think the crowd was swayed (as usual) by cult of personality than thinking.

Scott said...

New BBC,
You or I cannot jump into the minds of the several thousand messengers who voted down the motion. Do you have any evidence that would back up your questioning of the messengers' motives?

Scott said...

Lydia, I am not making the point that the crowd was right here. My point is that the messengers to the Annual Meeting could have voted to open the records immediately. The Task Force could argue their point all that they wanted to, but they had no control over that vote. Your idea that it was the cult of personality could be right, but it could be wrong as well. You may think, but you have no way of knowing.

Anonymous said...

The general public joins you, Wade, in being----uninterested (USA Today):

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2010/06/sbc-southern-baptist-convention-albert-mohler-great-commission/1?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Religion-TopStories+%28News+-+Religion+-+Top+Stories%29

Gene Scarborough--NC

Richard said...

SBC needs Ergun Caner to triple the numbers of baptism. Since EC came to LU the enrollment has tripled. SBC must put EC in charge of the great commission and global apologetics.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Do you have any evidence that would back up your questioning of the messengers' motives?"

Please try to follow me here, Scott.

1. You stated that most of us are missing the fact that a majority of the messengers voted against the motion.

2. I replied that we all realize that. What many of us don't understand are their reasons for voting against it.

3. I don't need "evidence" to ask a simple question.

Of course I can speculate about the motives of the committee members and the motivations of the messengers for the next 15 years, but I don't know. I just want to hear someone make a logical argument for keeping the records sealed when the topic of discussion was supposed to be advancing the Great Commission. The logic of needing to appoint such a committee in the first place still escapes me, but I digress. I may not agree with the reasoning, but at least perhaps I can understand it.

As someone said, they weren't building a nuclear bomb so why all the need for secrecy? And why 15 years? Why not 50 years or, like the census, 72 years? Or just shred everything now if it's that sensitive because most of the GCRTF members will probably still be around 15 years from now, and if they would be embarrassed to have their words scrutinized now, they should be just as embarrassed to have them scrutinized in 2025.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Scott: "You may think, but you have no way of knowing."

Lydia: "Personally, I think the crowd was swayed (as usual) by cult of personality than thinking."

I think I missed something.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"SBC needs Ergun Caner to triple the numbers of baptism."

Or Tony Nolan. Tonight was like watching the end of a Billy Graham crusade.

@sbcmessenger: Oh, goodness sakes! If you didn't see it, Bobby Welch came forward at the invitation. #SBC2010

@sbcmessenger: 200+ SBC evangelists meet. 132 of them respond 2 the invitation. 129 decisions for Christ, 3 baptisms. #SBC2010

@sbcmessenger and @fakejdgreear provided some much needed comic relief this year.

Scott said...

New BBC,
I would argue that you are doing a little more than speculating- "I argue this was never about the GC. It's about money. Power and control of the money by the big boys." Don't try to say that you are just asking a question when what you are really doing is impugning the motives of those who are on the Task Force.
Look, I realize that some of you guys have been hurt y some SBC power players. I realize that you probably believe that these guys have been propped up by the SBC system. That does not give you carte blanche to question the integrity of every SBC leader with whom you disagree.
If you believe that SBC life is broken, find a way to be part of a solution and a better way forward. The SBC system is set up so that it can be changed by a grassroots movement. If that is what you think is needed, by all means get it started. Channel your anger or disillusionment into a positive. I would argue that there is nothing positive to be gained by questioning the integrity of the Task Force

debbiekaufman said...

And Scott, if you believe what you just wrote I have some swamp land.....well you know the rest.

Rex Ray said...

Scott, you said…“Channel your anger or disillusionment into a positive. I would argue that there is nothing positive to be gained by questioning the integrity of the Task Force.”

That has a ring of ‘DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY OF GOD CHOSEN LEADERS!’

I believe you can argue all day, but Debbie said it best in having some swamp land for you.

Also Falwell’s reply of why he changed to join the SBC is justified: “I haven’t changed; they’ve come around to my way of thinking.”

Carter is looking smarter all the time.

It’s time for the Convention to get on its knees other than being forced by shooting themselves in the foot.

Anonymous said...

Folks--

The discussions are interesting and worthy, BUT go back up to my web address for USA TODAY-------Nobody is paying much attention to us!!!!

The higher the monkey climbs the tree---the more you see his tail!!

I'm afraid those not looking for a big show religion are walking away:

--To small store front churches.

--To churches which are interested in more than numbers.

--To other religions which are more about peace and love than SBC fighting.

--To the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Why should SBC leaders walk the aisle!!! I think they need to find Christ and his spirit first, but they put on a show of "recommitment"---when there is only a renewed spirit for hiding their evil for 15 years.

Gene Scarborough
Bath, NC

RM said...

If all you folks are discontented with the SBC there are plenty of other choices out there. Its funny that when you don't like something and your way gets voted down then the majority it out of touch, misguided, or unsaved. Grow up for Pete's sake. Just because you are the vocal MINORITY doesn't make you more spiritual or necessarily right.

Anonymous said...

"If all you folks are discontented with the SBC there are plenty of other choices out there. Its funny that when you don't like something and your way gets voted down then the majority it out of touch, misguided, or unsaved. Grow up for Pete's sake. Just because you are the vocal MINORITY doesn't make you more spiritual or necessarily right."

This only works if you restrict the comparison to between denominations. But the SBC cannot divorce itself from what is Christian, and it is to that standard it must be compared.

So "out of touch" is a very valid criticism when one compares the recent antics of the SBC with the foundational principles of the faith.

Know your context.

Anonymous said...

If you are becoming uninterested in SBC, then go away.

Johnson Smith

Anonymous said...

Why don't we all just vote to open it up next year? That would give everyone a year to campaign for it.
I'd imagine that most of the people with nothing to hide will out themselves before the year is up anyhow.
I've been put out of a few ministries before because I took a stand for what I felt was right. It isn't fun, but the funny thing is, God sort of stopped working through those people shortly after they decided to quit letting God be the boss. In other words: if you lose your job because you take a Christian stance on something, that job probably isn't worth having in the first place.
Jeremy B

Lydia said...

"Your idea that it was the cult of personality could be right, but it could be wrong as well. You may think, but you have no way of knowing."

Scott, are you the comment police or something? After all, you have no way of knowing it wasn't cult of personality. We can only predict future behavior by past behavior,ergo, my take is cult of personality. It is an opinion. I think those are still allowed on Wade's blog by Wade. If not, he will let me know.

"That does not give you carte blanche to question the integrity of every SBC leader with whom you disagree"

Why not? Are you saying we are wrong to question actions, behavior and teaching? Is there anyone you think has such carte blanche?

"he SBC system is set up so that it can be changed by a grassroots movement."

He who makes the rules, wins. As you can see.

Lydia said...

"If you are becoming uninterested in SBC, then go away."

I thought that was the problem. Many are going away. :o)

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Why don't we all just vote to open it up next year? That would give everyone a year to campaign for it."

Now, that's an interesting idea. However, I wonder if any such motion would ever make it to the floor for consideration.

RM (same profile # - 10769726517498571207), after seeing your juvenile behavior over the past 4 years revealed for all to see, you have a lot of gall telling anyone to "grow up."

Thy Peace said...

Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog [James White] > Tim Rogers Asks A Question.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Thy Peace. Tim Rogers is a petty little man. Typical of many of our SBC pastors. All he had to do was look on Whites website but decided to make it a question at the convention! That is the small mindedness that we are dealing with. I suppose those ignorant of the Caner scandeal in the auditoriam to what has gone on will now start asking questions that Tim and his ilk can answer about White.

These are small petty men who think they are Great men of God. Be afraid, folks.

Anonymous said...

Gene in NC SAYS:

2 OBSERVATIONS:

(1) The USA Today articles on the SBC meeting are still poorly commented upon--it plainly says, "Who out there in America really cares!!!"

(2) My oft used image of "The higher the monkey climbs the tree--the more you see his tail" now has a solution: Cover that tail with a diaper good for 15 years--and you won't have to see it--BUT it still smells!!!

Anonymous said...

If you only have criticism of the SBC, perhaps you should find a denomination that more clearly supports your views. Just saying...you seem to do a lot of complaining and whining!

Ed said...

Wade,

The use of IMB personnel to do missions in America will be a disaster. I explain why at:
http://ed-beyond-jordan.blogspot.com/

Keep sharing the faith.

Anonymous said...

If you only have criticism of the SBC, perhaps you should find a denomination that more clearly supports your views. Just saying...you seem to do a lot of complaining and whining!

Fri Jun 18, 11:26:00 PM 2010

This is what they call any disagreement, dissent from the leaders. Perhaps this reader should take a look at Proverbs sometime.

Anonymous said...

If you only have criticism of the SBC, perhaps you should find a denomination that more clearly supports your views. Just saying...you seem to do a lot of complaining and whining!

Fri Jun 18, 11:26:00 PM 2010

To fix a problem, one must actually be able to articulate and explain it. If that is to be called whining and complaining, so be it.

Brent Hobbs said...

Wade, I'm sympathetic to the call for openness and transparency. However, in this case, Greg Wills' argument won the day.

If the records were immediately unsealed, then the next time a committee did work like this and started discussing sensitive subjects, the recorders would simply be turned off so there was no record at all.

I'd rather have complete records in 15 years than edited ones immediately. And it's nonsense for everyone to keep talking about those who voted to keep them sealed as mindless sheep.

Sometimes Wade and the readers of his blog should be reminded that theirs is not the only possible opinion on a given issue.

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

I'm reading a fascinating ebook about right-wing authoritarianism. I think the author is Altemeyer.

I'm just getting started with it, but I think it turns out the people in the pews aren't the innocent sheep they are sometimes portrayed as. They have ways of looking at the world that set up their getting these authoritarian leaders in the first place. It's fascinating psychology.

When reading it, I'm seeing myself, so I'm not really an outsider critisizing. I grew up in a conservative Baptist church and am a generally traditional, conservative person. So it's people like me who end up with leaders like ya'll are describing.

Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New BBC Open Forum said...

(corrected link)

The Real Reason the GCR Passed