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

Saturday Night on Bourbon Street: Day 1 (June 16, 2012) of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans

Logan, Rachelle and I arrived in New Orleans Saturday evening at 9:00 p.m. After freshening up a bit and a late supper, Logan and I made our way to Bourbon Street to do some street interviews. We asked a couple of questions about the Southern Baptist Convention and the potential name change to Great Commission Baptist Convention. We were not surprised that nobody had heard of the Southern Baptist Convention, nor were we shocked that most people associated "Great Commission" with paying some kind of fee. What struck home to both my son and me was the vast and utter lostness of the people on Bourbon Street. We sit in our comfortable churches, gather in our convention halls for annual meetings, and focus in on doctrinal differences by issuing various white papers on traditional Baptist beliefs. Yet, while we pontificate and bloviate, men and women outside our doors are dead on the inside and living in a virtual hell. I entered Bourbon Street wanting to know what people thought of the SBC -- I left Bourbon Street two hours later realizing it makes absolutely zero difference what people think about the SBC. As long as we Southern Baptists think more about our Convention than we do the kingdom of Christ, we will focus on the politics of our convention and less about the power of the Christ to change lives. People didn't want to talk with me about the SBC, but they sure wanted to talk about the difference between religion and a relationship with Christ. Some were hostile. Others were attentive. Logan and I both learned a great deal. You'll see snippets of our evening on the embedded video below. Monday evening I will post a brief video blog previewing the Southern Baptist Convention. 

24 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

Sure puts things in perspective. :) Only we know who we are and Great Commission to those you interviewed means money not the Gospel. Interesting. So the name change may have a more negative affect than positive.

RRR said...

Wade,

What a great perspective and reminder as to priorties. We're looking forward to your subsequent reports but this was a great beginning.

Victorious said...

Yep! Lots of sales people work on "commission" for their earnings. I can understand the money association.

Debbie Kaufman said...

My favorite:" When I sell one hot dog for $1,000. That's a great commission." :)

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie,

The hot dog guy really took to us. He was a really nice guy (Logan's favorite too). Some of the other folks weren't quite as friendly. :)

Garen Martens said...

Very interesting comments but not unexpected.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - what an awesome idea!

Looking forward to your videos!!

Save OBU said...

Looking forward to following the convention through your video blogs.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Wade,

What a terrific idea to post a video from Bourbon Street! I enjoyed your man on the street reporting. The results were not surprising.

New Orleans is definitely an interesting venue for the SBC's annual meeting. I'm wondering how many Southern Baptists will be reminiscing about the CR over Café au Lait and Beignets at Café du Monde. Perhaps you could do an on the spot interview and let us know.

Logan is doing a fantastic job! Looking forward to the next installment from your visit to the Big Easy.

Anonymous said...

To think that the SBC has a seminary in that town, I thought they were great comissionists?

Joe Carr said...

Wade,

Thanks for the video. Very interesting, indeed. We fuss and fight over secondary matters while the great majority of our nation and world is headed towards an eternity separated from Christ! It reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

I have been Southern Baptist for as long as I can remember (I am 50), but I am about fed up with all of the politics and power struggles that mark our convention. For sure, there is a lot of good being done, but it is often over-shadowed by our constant bickering and name calling. What a shame, that the same week that the SBC will elect Fred Luter as President, what will likely headline much of the news is all of the other mess.

I know you have mentioned it before, but it is amazing that the messengers that gather presume to speak for all Southern Baptists, no matter what the issue. Hopefully, there will be no additional resolutions on alcohol this year! If anyone is not clear about SBC policy on that issue...well, enough of that! :)

Looking forward to future videos :)

Joe Carr

Clif Cummings said...

I agree with Wanda... an on the spot interview from Cafe du Monde... my understanding is this where the CR was conceived... you could at least talk about why they spell "fried bread" beignet rather than sopapilla! Look forward to more reports!

david b mclaughlin said...

Great job Wade. I have no problem with people in full-time ministry, but one of the reasons I left ft ministry myself was because I was frustrated with how completely out of touch with "reality" most of church work is. Generally, the longer a person works in ft ministry the more detached they become from what is happening in the culture and are less able to relate effectively to the people in it.

Randy said...

Bless you Bro. Wade. Look forward to more videos.

Annika Rogers said...

TEAM BURLESON!
WELL DONE!
Looking forward to more!!
Bon Chance!

Annika Rogers said...

OOps...my bad....not Annika but Pege

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Wade, I have a Phd from Southern, a Baptist but not Southern. I've been to Bourbon Street. Mind if I ask you a question? Why didn't you and your son spend the two hours talking to the people about their souls? Who cares what people on Bourbon Street think about any of our denominations?

Th SBC has issues to be sure and theological clarity is one of them, but your video proves nothing. Bourbon Street from end to end is largely a cesspool of iniquity. I am not sure what your video proves.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

We did share the gospel with several people. You catch a snippet of one such conversation with the last woman. We also spoke with the hot dog guy at length and the young man with the tie on, but we didn't feel it appropriate to broadcast the more private conversations. We had permission to publish the comments on the SBC name change. Not being Southern Baptist, its understandable why the humor in the name change escapes you. Thanks for your comment.

DLF said...

It would be funny that no one knows about our name change, if it wasn't so sad. As others have observed, we think changing our name will make us more relevant outside the South. Seems like people from the South don't know who we are either. We get so caught up in our own little world we forget that they vast majority of folks don't know who we are and don't really care either. We have a lot of work to do. Changing our name is the least of our worries.

Anonymous said...

JESUS wept .....

John Wylie said...

I personally think that the video is very enlightening. If indeed the name change is in the interest of winning people to Christ maybe we just learned that nothing beats simply living and proclaiming the Gospel. I've always thought that the name change had more to do with Baptists who were offended than it did with trying to get rid of obastacles.

Anonymous said...

The Pharisees are all getting much older and see that there is a new breed coming along which are not toeing the line. This "New Breed" outnumbers the "old staunch fundalmentalists" who have controlled the convention for years. This is their last ditch effort to get the NewBreed in line before they pass on.

The problem remains that they neither hear nor care what the younger generation is saying, and the younger generation laughs in mockery at their misery.

Think I'm kidding?

Bill

Romans 5:1

Johnny D. said...

Wade, wonderful post. I'd have more to say, but I'm on my phone. Thanks for doing this and for the report from my father's hometown.