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

The GCB Name Change and God's Sense of Humor

In less than 90 days the Southern Baptist Convention will vote on a new informal descriptor or tag line. The new public 'name' or descriptor by which the public will be asked to call churches and entities affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention will be Great Commission Baptists--or  GCB for short. Ironically, this month ABC launched a new television series called GCB, which is an abbreviation for Good Christian Bitches. The star of the ABC television show GCB is Southern Baptist Kristin Chenoweth. In 1981, the then twelve-year old Kristin Chenoweth brought messengers to their feet in resounding applause after she sang a stirring gospel solo at the Southern Baptist Convention in Los Angeles, California. One is almost tempted to believe that God possesses a wicked sense of humor when reflecting on the irony that thirty-one years later Kristin is starring in a television show called GCB  at the same time the Southern Baptist Convention is changing its name to GCB. Our church doesn't use SBC as a tag line anywhere, so if the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convetnion meeting in New Orleans this June,  of which I will be one, vote to adopt GCB as the new SBC descriptor, it will mean nothing to the church I pastor. However, if GCB is approved by the Southern Baptist messengers this June, it takes little imagination to know the name the public will begin using with the new acronym. I strongly doubt it will be Great Commission Baptists. And, you know what, if we spend more time working through a name change than we do identifying sexual predators in our midst, then maybe GCB is precisely the name we deserve.

16 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

As one of my favorite signs from Despair.Com says: "None of us is as dumb as all of us".

And on the serious side for a moment, we seem "possessed" by the idea that we need to find things that "work better". To paraphrase what I told the EC during my first-ever remarks before the SBC assembled, we need to realize that GOD is the source of the people who walk through our doors. They're not the result of our efforts or plans. When we get, collectively, to the place we're discipling HALF of the folks He's sent our way, perhaps He will favor our efforts by sending us more folks. Until then, I frankly don't see any reason He should. We can't handle the ones He's already sent!

Garen Martens said...

Eva and I had a good laugh over this blog. You should read it out loud with all the GCB's and SBC's. It adds hilarity to the topic.

Garen Martens said...

P.S. Grace is what's needed to accomplish the goal, not a name change.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Excuse my Aussie ignorance, but, for whom is the name being changed?

The term "great commission" is meaningless to the general public!

It would seem to me that a new "product" in the package would be more appropriate, and more appealing to those who need convincing!

Wade Burleson said...

Garen,

I went back and read it out loud. I laughed too. I alternate between sadness and laughter.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Aussie John,

You ask "For whom is the name being changed?"

Billion dollar question. The public is the answer.

I agree with you 1,000 percent. The public has zero conception of the Great Commission.

Rex Ray said...

Aussie John,

I believe “Great Commission Baptists” was chosen to give themselves a pat on the back, but like you said it won’t mean a thing to the public.

So why don’t they choose a name the public understands and congratulate themselves at the same time by changing to HOLY BAPTISTS?

I mean they have Scripture to back them up as all Baptists should be good like the requirement of elders and deacons in Titus 1:8 “…holy…”.

But the public might still think of ‘Holy Baptists’ as ‘Good Christian Bitches’.

I wish the C/R had gotten their own name to start instead of stealing ours.


Wade,
Would the picture advertising “GCB” pass “legalist’s rules for dresses?

Love your post.

traveller said...

This is definite proof God has a sense of humor. But it is also sad proof that the leaders in the SBC are completely out of touch with the very people they claim to wish to reach. The world the SBC leaders live in is only real in their imaginations and nowhere else. The evidence is, as Wade correctly points out, further confirmed by the fact they focus on things that have no significance as opposed to real issues that daily impact real people, such as sexual predators in the church. When a group cares more about a silly name than people the correct name is GCB.

Christiane said...

The timing of the GCBelles show together with the announcement of the 'new name' (nickname?) is both funny and a little sad . . .

I don't want to see people laugh at an organization that has, among all of its efforts, sent many on mission into the world. Yes, there are many incidents that are unfortunate in the SBC, but ridicule is not the way to help the 'proud' self-correct. That correction comes from the work of the Holy Spirit, in His time and in His way . . .
my own Church knows this following recent scandals.

Funny? sure
Sad? absolutely, that the SBC could have done some things to set itself up for the laughter of those who look for a way to try to humiliate it.

providential timing?
only God knows this, but my bet is that it is a man-made media reaction to some of the more extreme recent public statements of the SBC towards certain minorities in our country, which have been incorporated by a certain political party. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me for disaggreeing a bit here. But I don't see any of this as humorous, just SAD. Too many Christians are apathetic and seeking their own. There seems to be little regard for what is holy and sacred anymore. The SBC seems to be distracted with what is not important and ABC is continuing to bash Christians and push the envelope of decency.
We're living in such a time that demands humility, repentance, and seeking our Lord with our whole hearts. The alarms are sounding all around us to get serious about what time we have left to gather in the harvest. We need to stop trying to make everything comfortable and happy here and remember this is not our home, there are people dying everyday that need the love of Christ. Yet we're so distracted with what is not eternal.
I am personally grieved.
II Chronicles 7:14
Blessings, Julie

Guy Lyons said...

Take a moment and consider the eternal weight of the truth of this comment:

"The term 'great commission' is meaningless to the general public."

I'm not one to use churchy words and presume they have more value than the life and action behind them so don't hear me saying that just knowing what GC means is what I find of value or what we should hope for...

If those who have been commanded to carry out the Great Commission actually believed it and were living it, the general public would at least know what it was, even if they don't follow it...

I submit that the reason the general population don't know its meaning is because most who claim Jesus Christ's name don't either...

Oh God have mercy on us who call Him by name...

Pege' said...

Wade, BWAHAHAHAHAA!!ENCORE!!!:)

Brian said...

I think a name change is a good idea, thought not the most important idea. Even if the ABC show didn't bear this title, Great Commission Baptists means little to the world. A pastor friend said to me, "What does the world think about when they hear 'commission'?" The answer, of course: money. The world could wrongly interpret the name as meaning, "We are out for a great commission, so send us your money."

Anonymous said...

edI believe it will be the identity we have asked for. We bow to the minority, who always come to change our purpose and way of worship, as an excuse (not a reason). Everybody today wants credit for everything they can change and control. I think it is a sad decision, since God has blessed Southern Baptist all these many years operating under that banner. It is not the name we are worshipping, It is a person Jesus. Are we going to continue to make changes for all who use this as an excuse? I have worshipped as a Southern Baptist for the many years God has allowed me to live, and I will continue to worship Him under the new name. I pray God will have mercy on us through this time of so many changes. I agree with Bob Cleveland. We are so concerned about numbers that we are losing souls, when they fall through the cracks or become dissatisfied.

B Nettles said...

Wade,
Just returned from Romania where I was reminded that labels only mean something to those whose hearts are dark, and conversion only happens to those whom the Holy Spirit has changed. PR means very little to poor people living day-to-day. On the other hand, praising Jesus means everything to poor believers.

If one is ashamed of a name, then change it. If you think a name is "ineffective," then you aren't trusting the Holy Spirit.

Sergius Martin-George said...

"God has a wicked sense of humor."

Just want you to know I caught that: Wicked!

Brilliant!