Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The 2010 Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Florida and Enid, Oklahoma

Over three years ago I wrote a post about creating regional, electronic Southern Baptist Conventions. I wrote:

It's time the Southern Baptist Convention reflected the diversity of our people within our leadership. I will be proposing at some time in the near future that the Southern Baptist Convention be held at regional locations throughout the United States.
My proposal has been made and is in the hand of a special committee that is investigating the details of how to get it done on the Oklahoma state level first, and then on the national Southern Baptist Convention level.

For this 2010 Southern Baptist Convention I will be staying in Oklahoma, watching the broadcast live, and making comments on this blog during the event. The only thing lacking is my ability to vote, but I believe electronic voting for qualified messengers, from their home or office computer is just a few decisions away from becoming a reality.

When it does, the SBC as we know it will change forever--for the better.

In His Grace,



Bob Cleveland said...

"The 2010 Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Florida and Enid, Oklahoma"

And Pelham, Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Dialoging now with Dr. Morris Chapman about concerns he expresses in this article regarding the Great Commission Task Force and its recommendation (here:

Dr. Chapman's concerns: worth the reading. I've suggested he express his concerns to readers of this blogsite, believing its readership is greater/more active in SBC matters than the readership of Baptist Press.

Wade: would you agree to dialog with Dr. Chapman about this?--to give him a call and interview him by phone, and post about it here this week? It may well be that the SBC requires major changes in order to have a more effective evangelistic ministry, but the demise Dr. Chapman suggests---from his vantage point as executive director of the Executive Committee---seems totally unnecessary.


ml said...

This is the convention people need to attend. The GCR is too big an item to not be there. I am hoping to vote to table the motion thus allowing more development and discussion. The irony is that the guys spearheading the GCR group are Johnny Hunt and Ronnie Floyd both of whom were derailed in Greensboro. What is more, the method by which they are doing their most influence is through their website blogs Greensboro was only decisive if we continue to make a statement until we can vote electronically. The GCR has some valuable and needed recommendations; but, the subtle areas need more input. Unfortunately, now is not the time to distance from the only tangible influence granted via the SBC political machine--voting. Other things are influential but voting is a real privilege.

Rex Ray said...

I remember that post. Do you remember your post asking what people would do if they were the President of the SBC?

I suggested having SBC issues debated by two groups on the internet and suggestions by anyone could be sent to the group of their choice. Then a panel of judges would pick the winner of the debate – not which group was right, but on which group made the best points.

You said it would never happen but if it did to count you in.

Three years ago, I predicted electric voting would never happen because the ‘powers that be’ had too much pride in wanting to be seen by the masses.

I hope the committee will heed your proposal. I believe a committee will do a better job than a ‘team’ (private sore spot for me) would.

I agree with electronic voting the SBC would be changed for the better – there would never be another ‘rush rush – push through - secret from the churches – vote of a BFM.

But for that reason, the ‘powers that be’ may be against your proposal. It would reduce decisions left for the Executive Committee, and they wouldn’t like having less control. said...


I have high regard and respect for Dr. Chapman. I would be happy to dialogue with him on this blog and let people chime in.

I'm not sure the logistics of getting this done and would be happy for suggestions.

Lee said...

The changes you allude to if the SBC makes the move to allow messengers to watch the convention on their computers and vote electronically are the exact reason it will never be allowed to happen. To do so would create the potential for almost half a million Southern Baptists to participate in their convention as messengers, which means that the denomination would practically be controlled by the membership of its churches. It would be too difficult for a small group of individuals to control via meetings, letters and emails, and phone calls to make sure their trustee and committee nominations are supported by the majority of those who perpetually participate in the convention. The oligarchy that now runs the convention will kill this before it has a chance to take hold. The SBC has always been a provincial, backward oligarchy of small networks connected to a few prominent, self-appointed leaders who use the influence of their personal kingdoms to run the show. It was so much that way prior to 1979 that a revolution occurred, but it only succeeded in replacing one good ole boy network with another. There is nothing more "Southern" in terms of culture than to have an organizational structure look on the surface like it is completely fair, democratic and in which everyone is welcome, but which is actually nothing more than an oligarchy of not more than a dozen or so well connected leaders with their own personal kingdoms.

What you have proposed makes sense, is practical, fair, and might even provide a foundation on which the SBC could actually make some real progress toward reversing the declines in membership and resources it is experiencing, not to mention all of the practical implications for the health of its institutions and entities. It's hard to wrap my mind around the SBC ever doing anything that practical or positive.

Rex Ray said...

You said, “I have high regard and respect for Dr. Chapman. I would be happy to dialogue with him on this blog and let people chime in. I'm not sure the logistics of getting this done and would be happy for suggestions.”

I believe this will never happen because there would be too many ‘hard’ questions for him to answer as printed in the Baptist Standard and on its blog:

Wooing another's wife April 8, 2002
___I am a widow in my 80th year, and I'm so distressed over what has happened in our beloved convention.
___The letter written by SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman and sent to churches in Texas to suggest they decrease the amount given to the Baptist General Convention of Texas and also to persuade them to join the rival convention reminded me of a man trying to woo a wife away from a faithful husband and not caring at all how she also would be deserting all her many children--ministries of the BGCT.
___I'm so convinced the takeover by the fundamentalists has come about because the average person in the pew is either blissfully unaware or uncaring about what is really happening.
___ W.I. Sparkman___ Kopperl

The Executed and the Executioner
written by Rex Ray, October 09, 2009
Is it strange that the Baptist Standard has the daughter of Billy Graham and Morris Chapman available for comment? I mean – so close yet so far apart.

Her husband and Chapman were officers in the Baptist World Alliance until Morris, chairman of a committee to ‘investigate’ the BWA and recommended the SBC withdraw fellowship based on the BWA being ‘LIBERAL’ by misquoting a German professor.

When truth came out, Chapman pointed the finger that Paige Patterson wrote the report. To this day, Patterson has never made a comment. The last to speak before the SBC voted was Patterson accusing the BWA of being ‘gay friendly’.

With that ‘judgment’ the Lotz' church treatment was: “Their behavior was despicable”. - What they did was wicked” was the description by Anne Graham Lotz - “We have been burned and hurt by God’s people.”

Wonder what she thought when invited to speak to 800 pastors and many turned their chairs not to look at her? Would they have done their righteous indignation of ‘women teaching men’ if her father, Billy Graham had introduced his daughter?
No wonder Anne Lotz said, “Religion is, I think, one of the biggest hindrances to finding God.” She might have been thinking of “Beware of teachers of religion.” (Mark 12:38 Living) Yes, doctrinal religious hatred is still ‘live and well’.

Yes, strange indeed to be on the same page of the Baptist Standard; the executed and the executioner.

Wade, I’d like to ask Chapman what influence he had in calling Rankin to get his missionaries under control that I believe lead to the required signing of the BFM 2000.

Chapman had a lot of buttons he could push; like when Patterson was being sued by the fired woman Hebrew teacher; and he told the IMB to leave you alone or you could sue them. Correct me if I’m wrong about that.

You hit the ‘spike nail’ on the head! Too bad it wasn’t the ‘good old boys’ – it might knock some sense into their heads.

The SBC will have electronic voting long after the ‘line-item veto’ is ever put into law.

Anonymous said...

I recommended a mail in ballot many years ago when I realized that the SBC annual meeting did not in any way reflect the many people in the many churches I have known and loved. Now I recommend an online vote. But I think there is about a 2% chance of that ever becoming a reality as it is too much of the threat to the power structures.

Gene S said...

It is in the rumor mill that Frank Page is on the outs with the powers that be over telling too much about the GCRTF inner discussions.

Could he forfeit his chance to replace Morris Chapman?

Since you, Wade, know all the ins and outs of SBC political intreague, could you comment?