The Reason the Southern Baptist Convention Should Move Toward Internet Participation
One of these days the SBC will allow voting by duly elected messengers via the Internet. We already register electronically, we already have the means by which we watch the Convention electronically, all that is missing is the will to allow messengers to vote electronically. It's not a matter of if, but when.
What is stopping the Executive Committee from allowing national participation via electronic participation?
Let me illustrate. One of the interesting moments in the morning session was the Nominating Committee report. To avoid making this personal, and to focus only on the issue of control, I will not use names.
A messenger who spoke at a microphone, visibly upset, made a motion to overule the Nominating Committee report for the election of board members for the North American Mission Board by substituting a woman from Alaska in the place of a pastor from Alaska. The messenger was allowed to speak to his motion and explained the following:
(1). The woman he was nominating had ALREADY served a four year term on the North American Mission Board.
(2). It is customary for the Nominating Committee to recommend Southern Baptist board members for REELECTION to an automatic second term unless there are extraordinary circumstances that would prohibit the expected nomination for a second term.
(3). The messenger who was recommending the woman to given her second term to the North American Mission Board was himself a TRUSTEE of the North American Mission board and he testified that the woman he was Nominating had served with distinction. We were told that she had major surgery, but dutifully made every trip from Alaska for the board meetings. She had NEVER missed a board meeting, served conscientiously, and had given the committee NO REASON NOT TO REELECT her.
After the messenger spoke, the Chairman of the Nominating Committee spoke against the messenger's substitute motion by stating:
(1). This is not about personalities.
(2). The two members of the Nominating Committee from Alaska "prayed" about their nomination and felt God wanted them to appoint the pastor and remove the woman (i.e. that's church speak for the two Nominating Commitee members from Alaska had a buddy they wanted to serve, and this woman stood in the way).
(3). Trust the Nominatee Committee's work, and follow their leadership, and "sustain the report."
The messenger's substitute motion failed and the woman who had served with distinction was removed from board service.
All because of the whims of two people: Two people from Alaska who serve on the 2010 Nominating Committee. One of these days Southern Baptists will realize it is much better to have decisions in the hands of many rather than in the hands of two. The Southern Baptist Convention is being choked by political control by a few who wish to direct the entire work and ministry that is being done.
Again, it's not a matter of IF the SBC will change through electronic participation, but WHEN it will change. I will continue to push that it changes soon.
In His Grace,