November 26, 2014

My Thoughts on Today’s Southern Baptist Convention Meeting 6:23:09

ll1. Those of you who have various versions of autocratic church governments that never give the ordinary hoi polloi the microphone may look down your noses at allowing people to make motions to ban books, adopt flags and boycott Pepsi, but our circus has a lot to commend it over your imitation of the Vatican. Public perception has to go out the window, but meaning what you say about congregationalism, messenger representation and cooperation from the ground up outweighs the spectacle. No one will ever stand up in most of your churches and say something really stupid, and that’s a shame, because the pastor shouldn’t be the only one who gets to have fun.

2. The younger leaders of the SBC are taking on power in a denomination that has been, for the most part, attempting to lock the doors and hope they would go away. Well, they didn’t. They came to the convention and voted in a mechanism to take an urgent look at what we are doing for the one thing that holds us together: a commitment to carry out the Great Commission. What you saw today was a serious changing of the power grid in the SBC. The vast numbers of obedient old-guard messengers are never again going to show up and make the SBC into a wholly owned subsidiary of the culture war or the Jerry Vines version of the SBC. This is now a denomination that has given itself clear and simple instructions: Get to the task of world missions, not the task of building a denominational culture.

3. It’s hard for many people to see how the SBC is a victim of its own success. In its heyday, the SBC built everything, started everything, produced everything, thought of everything and told you everything. They were, unlike any denomination in recent history, a self-contained evangelical empire. But that structure was not built for the future. It has become, to the younger generation raised on the Biblical, Gospel emphasis of the conservative resurgence, a collection of distractions and unwanted structures with little relation to the Great Commission. While every agency and entity will defend its existence, the fact is that the SBC’s overall structure is too large, and younger leaders will not support the vision of the “Great Denomination” that the generation of the 50’s and 60’s valued and created.

4. Changes in the SBC will happen quickly. Seminary education is changing before our eyes. Finances are going to change. Cooperative models are going to change. Relationships with the local and state conventions will change. A lot of people are going to find that the old rallying cries- be they rhetorical, cultural or denominational- are not going to get the same response. The younger generation SIMPLY ISN’T GOING TO BUY THE OLD SBC MYTHOLOGY. The sooner leaders come to grips with that, the better things will be. It is ridiculous to lecture the audience about Calvinism or throw fits about teetotalism or books in the bookstore. The number of people who care, who are being told by ANY pastor or leader they respect that these things matter, is small and growing smaller.

5. The motions brought from the floor did reveal what an utter waste of time the culture war has been for Southern Baptists. With a $40 million dollar missions’ shortfall, some SBCers still want to boycott Pepsi and harp about Mark Driscoll. Such rhetoric is an embarassment to the next generation. In all honesty, fellows….you’ve lost. Either give it up or find one of the few churches that care about being the moral police department.

6. The patient teaching of the Gospel and church-centered theology by the Founders Ministries and 9Marks has paid off in more fruit than can be put in a basket. Hundreds and hundreds of young people, hungry to hear how to build a Gospel centered, God honoring, missionary focused church. It is astonishing. It may not be revival, but it is a solid outcome that will make a huge difference for a small number of churches.

7. No, the SBC’s generational turnover won’t be averted. Thousands of churches will die in the next 2-4 decades. But hopefully, thousands of new and revitalized churches will live.

8. It is now time for the large churches and the state conventions to come to the plate and take leadership in making sacrifices and doing what is necessary to get those stalled missionaries on the field.

9. Morris Chapman should resign. His moral mandate is utterly finished. He has served well, but his address today was an embarrassment.

10. Johnny Hunt has chosen to support the future of the SBC and the Gospel. He has laid aside the questions of style, culture and methodology- even the questions of Calvinism- and chosen to side with those who want the Gospel itself to be our unity. This is still a stunning development, in my opinion, and one for which Hunt should be deeply appreciated as a man of principle. He is not my style of pastor, and megachurches are not the future in my view, but Johnny Hunt is playing for the team, not his church or his “boys.” He is a gift to the SBC.

11. Younger leaders: You won today. Now be mature. Be gracious. Be kind. Build bridges. Heed wisdom and heal rifts. Watch Danny Akin and do what he does the way he does it.

12. God is amazingly kind to our old ship. Born in a love of slavery. Arrogant. Blind to the Kingdom outside its own borders. Cantankerous and stubborn. But the ship still sails because the Holy Spirit says it will be so.

Comments

  1. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    1. Those of you who have various versions of autocratic church governments that never give the ordinary hoi polloi the microphone may look down your noses at allowing people to make motions to ban books, adopt flags and boycott Pepsi, but our circus has a lot to commend it over your imitation of the Vatican.

    IMonk, the Vatican has a lot to commend it over those imitations of the Vatican. After all, the RCC has over 1000 years’ experience over its imitators, and has learned how far it can push, what works and what doesn’t, and what is major and what is minor. This experience comes from having our heads handed to us in the past.

    3. It’s hard for many people to see how the SBC is a victim of its own success.

    Not hard for me. Nothing can screw you up like the curse of Runaway Early Success — ask Islam, or Apple Computer, or Chris (Eragon) Paolini, or a myriad of Child Star celebrities.

    5. The motions brought from the floor did reveal what an utter waste of time the culture war has been for Southern Baptists. … In all honesty, fellows….you’ve lost. Either give it up or find one of the few churches that care about being the moral police department.

    Like Wahabi or Khomeniist Islam? They’re currently on top in THEIR Culture War.

    9. Morris Chapman should resign. His moral mandate is utterly finished. He has served well, but his address today was an embarrassment.

    I assume Morris Chapman is the archetype of the Old Guard Culture Warrior Baptist?

    As Ross says, this has less to do with corporate devotion to the wonders of being gay and more with marketing to where they think the money is. If Martians landed in the morning, we’d be seeing ads featuring little green men drinking *insert brand name of choice* within forty-eight hours. — Martha

    Why do you think Second Life caters so much to Furries? Furries are Linden Labs’ biggest bloc of dedicated customers, as a LOT of Anti-furry Griefers have found out the hard way.

    I thought true southerners drank RC, what’s this talk about Coke being the drink of choice. Was there no motion in support of RC and Moonpie? — MAJ Rowe

    Maybe the initials “RC” sound too Papist?

    The SBC did exist in the first century Ross. What do you think John the Baptist was? Presby? — IMonk

    “If John the Baptist used the Kynge Jaymes version,
    Then it’s good enough for me!
    Gimme that Olde Kynge Jaymes Version,
    Gimme that Olde Kynge Jaymes Version,
    Gimme that Olde Kynge Jaymes Version…”
    — Filk by a “Pastor Ron” in the mid-Eighties

    And since in the first century the Gospel that spread over the Empire consisted of nothing other than Young Earth Creationism Uber Alles, Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist, and Culture War Without End, Amen…

  2. “The SBC did exist in the first century Ross. What do you think John the Baptist was?”

    I doubt SBC.

    No shirt, not shoes, no service.

    You think this started with retail stores? The greeters would have never let him in the door.

  3. First of all, I totally agree with most of your post. Especially about the culture war of the last 30 years. It did rally the troops for a long time and served to help a few consolidate their power.

    The truth is, many are just by-passing them when it comes to missions, planting churches, etc. The result is coming home to roost. I am at the convention and my thought is that the theme was really more about money. It is the underlying theme in most ‘sermons’.

    Here is what I do not agree with:

    “6. The patient teaching of the Gospel and church-centered theology by the Founders Ministries and 9Marks has paid off in more fruit than can be put in a basket. Hundreds and hundreds of young people, hungry to hear how to build a Gospel centered, God honoring, missionary focused church. It is astonishing. It may not be revival, but it is a solid outcome that will make a huge difference for a small number of churches.”

    These folks promote a heavy top down structure of authoritarianism in the Body as does Driscoll, Mohler’s men like Moore, Ware, Burke and others.

    You will find NO congregational polity with these guys. It is an ‘anointed’ few running everything. They are very man centered in their view of their ‘roles’ as pastors and elders in the Body.

    In effect, they are not really that different than their CR grandfathers.

    They still want power and control over others in the Body. They are a far cry from what historically baptists have called the Holy Priesthood. Instead, they see themselves as the earthly priests over others.

    And the result of their taking over the SBC will be even MORE horrific for the women of the SBC than the CR folks. Have you seen how Driscoll preaches about the roles of women? ‘They are more easily deceived’. ‘They are gossips and cannot be trusted’ and MUCH WORSE. He sees them as an object of man’s pleasure.

    My goodness, did you not hear his ‘sex’ sermons? And these young men in the SBC REVERE this man. Perhaps you have to be a gal to be concerned.

    What on earth is the ‘role’ of women in Christian families doing in a Great Commission Resurgence document? One would think they had never heard of Lottie Moon.

    It is simply more of the same repackaged.

  4. Lydia: I agree with your frustration with the SBC’s stand on gender issues, and I do not believe Founders or 9Marks have anything positive to say about Driscoll’s rhetorical excesses.

    I’m assuming you are not part of the SBC, but might understand that many who are encouraged are not saying anyone is flawless on every issue. I know of no perfect denomination. As offensive as it may be to you, many of us prefer to hope for greater diversity in the SBC from those who are centered on the Gospel than from those who are openly advocating an allegiance to culture over scripture. Gender issues are not on the table in the SBC, but please don’t say that all SBCers agree with the views of Driscoll. I’ve been around the Founders for years and that would not be true.

    Further, it is inaccurate to say that SBC Calvinists are not committed to congregational polity. Every Founders church I know- including those with elders- has congregational polity. They may not have every committee or the same structure as some churches, but the SBC Calvnistic churches that I know have traditional congregational polity.

    9Marks materials make this clear. Again, don’t mistake Driscoll as the model for SBC reformers.

    Also, remember that men like Hunt and Akin aren’t part of the Founder’s movement at all and aren’t Calvinists.

    I hope for more and better, but I refuse to paint with a brush of worst case scenarios.

    ms

  5. ms,

    I would not paint with a broad brush if these guys would actually say something substantive warning
    about Driscoll. But they are quite reluctant to do so because he is so popular among the young seminarians and pastors. And I am not so sure they do not agree with Driscoll about women. At the least, I would hope they would follow McArthurs lead about his vulgarity.

    “Again, don’t mistake Driscoll as the model for SBC reformers.”

    But he is for the young seminarians and pastors! I live and breath SBTS as I live here know what of I speak. And since Driscoll spends so much time on the ‘roles’ topic, you cannot separate it from ‘how’ he does missions and plants churches. We are Christians first..women second.

    I am very nervous about this ‘brand’ of young pastor. They are angry, vitriolic and lack humility and respect. Founders Brister is a perfect example of this if you have read him for any length of time.

    (I am AT the convention as a messenger, btw, so I have to be SBC. And I speak as someone who holds to the Doctrines of Grace. And I speak as someone who has seen what has happened to churches (plural) taken over by those who believe in elder rule only.They give lip service to the polity angle. I am right there with you about the death of the CR. It is great news. But let us not be so happy about trading one for another that could be worse…especially for those of us who are not ‘professional Christians’ or women.)

  6. thanks for sharing your thoughts… I praise God for the reports I’ve read. I’m very thankful for Hunt and Akin and Baptist 21… I am deeply hopeful for the fruit to be seen…

  7. I am glad that the motions against Mark Driscoll were dismissed.

    I don’t agree with everything he does and says, and there is much he says and does that I do agree with. I would rather, though, view him as a brother in Christ than the devil.

    What concerns me is that, with so much of the criticism of him, he is viewed as a wolf, or just short of the spawn of Satan. He may say and do things that trigger the alarms in our minds, but he is still a brother.

    Perhaps he is also an authoritarian. In this regard there is much in Lydia’s comment worthy of consideration. My idealistic side hopes that these men will run hard after Jesus and end up reflecting His humility, love and compassion in all they do. My pragmatic side tells me they also are sinful, imperfect, very human men who will make mistakes, and do and say things that aren’t as Christlike as they should be (and probably get blogged about).

    The authoritarians will wield a lot of power, and have an equal amount of responsibility – not only to their people, but to their God, who knows whether they really are using their power, authority and giftings in a Christ-like way or not.

  8. I’ve read Tim Brister’s blog posts and his Tweets for quite a while, and interacted with him personally a few times. Anger, vitrol, arrogance and disrespect are not character traits I have noticed with the man. In fact if he’s the example of young leadership within the SBC, then I have great hope for the denomination.

  9. “Harping about Driscoll”? …you’re right, Christians shouldn’t be harping about Driscoll. Instead, they should be be publicly rebuking him for his ungodly demeanor and his frequent and public use of unwholesome language. If that’s the direction the SBC is heading, I want nothing to do with it.

  10. Lydia, curious if you have listened to the Peasant Princess series by Mark Driscoll. Im assuming that those are the “sex” sermons you make reference to. I missed all the statements that you said he made against women-they certainly would have made me bristle. That series was one of the most convicting and revitalizing set of sermons my husband and I have listened to since we first read Douglas Rossenau’s book (isnt he Baptist?) over 10 years ago. Nobody else seems to be speaking to these issues that I have been able to find. Love to hear who the young people should be pointing their ears towards.

  11. Lydia,

    No you don’t have to be a gal to be concerned about Mark Driscoll. I’ve heard a SBTS professor state that he can’t read Driscoll’s books because they make him want to puke…I agree with this professor completely.

  12. You all should be more focused on Christ and what He says then what Driscoll has to say.

    The whole convention should focus on the this ONE THING (Jn.9:25) that is the ONE THING that unites us all: Jesus the Christ.

  13. Lydia:

    I don’t mistake fanboy appreciation of Driscoll- which does include a lot more than profanity and gender issues- with remaking the SBC in the image of Driscoll. No one I know in leadership who appreciates the good about Driscoll overlooks the bad. JMac said he should be out of ministry. Can one disagree with that and not want the SBC to become Mars Hill South.

    Look at Akin and Platt for the SBC’s future. Not Driscoll.

    ms

  14. Michael — Someone has to be the “moral police,” to a degree, at least. We can have reverence for God, and still reach people, without completely crossing over the cultural divide.

    I AM exicted about the future of the SBC.

    But, I wonder why we think Chapman is so wrong and Driscoll is so good? Perhaps there are two witch hunts going on…

    God bless,
    Sallie

  15. Sallie:

    Driscoll has nothing to do with the SBC. Chapman runs it day to day. He not only doesn’t share the GRC vision, he opposes the process. He should resign. He is a good man, but his day of being able to articulate who we are is over.

    >…Someone has to be the “moral police,”

    That’s a puzzling statement. Isn’t that the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees? They were the moral police- Sharia style- and Jesus said he who is not against us is for us. Paul said specifically it is no tour calling to judge the morality of the world.

    peace

    ms

  16. ldonnie says:

    As an “old stinker” in the SBC and living in the very deep south, I look forward to change.

    I am tired of churches in my area moving to the suburbs and selling their buildings for pennies on the dollar instead of staying where they have been located for years and ministering and evangelizing the “new” people moving into their area. That cannot be a good use of God’s money nor His ministry.

    I am tired of mega churches that grow bigger with no vision to plant, plant, plant. Some of these churches have a larger budget for coffee than my first church’s total budget.

    The SBC is an “autonomous” body but I am tired of being told what I should be like and give to and all the rest. I thought it was about teaching Christ and Him crucified.

    I’m sorry for the rant – I could do more – but I am ready for changes.

  17. rampancy says:

    @Ross: “I thought true southerners drank RC, what’s this talk about Coke being the drink of choice. Was there no motion in support of RC and Moonpie?”

    What, no love for Dr. Pepper? I once dated a girl from Texas (former SBC, presently Church of Christ) and I swear, if you didn’t count her best friends and her parents, where I ranked was:

    1: Jesus
    2: Dr. Pepper
    3: Me…

    Apparently, Dr. Pepper was what “real” people drank down there.

    @HUG: Not hard for me. Nothing can screw you up like the curse of Runaway Early Success — ask Islam, or Apple Computer, or Chris (Eragon) Paolini, or a myriad of Child Star celebrities.

    If we’re going to start comparisons to Silicon Valley companies, then along your lines of reasoning I think perhaps Microsoft might be a more apt comparison (I’m going to conveniently ignore for the purposes of argument their “controversial” business practices). The fact that MS has become the de facto computing standard for business software and consumer operating systems around the world means that when it comes to innovation and change, their business is a huge ship which takes a huge amount of effort to turn.

    Apple? I’d say that the continuing obsession that churches (regardless of denomination) have with being “hip and trendy” and “relevant” is like how many companies try to ape Apple’s image, for better or for worse.

    Maybe the initials “RC” sound too Papist?

    Ha ha, you just made my day! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face on this hot, dreary, overly humid day.

  18. I’m not as enthusiastic about young SBC leaders. My husband and I recently left a young SBC church where the average age was probalbly 27. Although it was not at all concerned with the culture war and was very pro missions, we still heard the same old guilt tripping: “God is upset with us. We’re not doing our part. If the church will only get serious. Pray and fast more. Really sell out for Jesus!!” We felt it was the same spirit as old SBC, it was just more hip.
    Grace is still rarely spoken of and completely misunderstood. We may be wrong, our assesment comes from a very small microcosm, but we do not see ourselves attending an SBC church (young or old) again.

  19. It is my considered opinion after 68 years on this earth, during 48 of which I have been a born again believer, during 2 of which 48 I was a member of a Southern Baptist Church, that the absolute genius of the SBC is that when it is in its (their) interest to emphasize the abolute autonomy of each local church, that’s what they emphasize; and when it is in the association’s/state convention’s/SBC’s interest to emphasize their denominational togetherness (numbers, foreign missions offering, home missions offering, colleges and seminaries) and supposed superiority to any other group, that’s what they emphasize….

    iMonk, please do not put me on moderation! I’m being honest here….

  20. MS,

    Thanks for your thoughts in all of this. You are already drawing negative attention from one SBCer. Oh well.

    I too am hopeful. We need to get the institution out of the way and put forth the local church. Some how, some way.

    Did anyone react to PETA’s boycott in the big chicken suit? I wonder how those who wanted the Pepsi boycott motion passed felt about PETA?

    Mark

    P.s. Next year I’m making a motion to ban imonk blog posts. ;)

  21. I have been a messenger at this year’s convention and also saw it as a sign of great encouragement.

    #2 I hesitate to say that what we saw was a serious change in the power grid, particularly as it relates to the younger generation. One call I’ve heard repeatedly from men like Akin, Mohler, and Dever is for the younger generation to step up to the plate but to do so in a way that shows humility and respect for the “old guard.” It will be easy as a younger member of the SBC to blast ahead arrogantly and essentially seize the reigns from the older generation. I agree with your sentiment that younger ministers need to stay on board and be encouraged by the changes we saw yesterday, but we must be careful to receive the baton (Akin) rather than seize it.

    #4 Something else Akin (et al) encouraged us to keep in mind was that change would NOT happen quickly in the SBC, not likely anyway. If it does, great, but we, as the younger generation, need to hear the call for patience. Again, I agree with your sentiment that we need to be about the task of shouldering the responsibility within the convention, but we also need to realize that this may take some time (Akin, Mohler, and Dever were in our shoes when the Conservative Resurgence began; that happened relatively quickly in SBC terms).

    Amen to #6, 7, and 8.

    #9 Rather, we should seek to show Chapman the respect of his position. I too was appalled at his speech, but I’m not going to call for his resignation. I’d rather see him embrace the task of training up the next generation. I realize this is Pollyanna-ish to say and hope for, but I’m shooting for the ideal here and not a shotgun blast to the guy’s lifework.

    Amen to #10, 11, and 12. Though, I think I’d rather say that #11 shows the same misunderstanding of our position as #2. As far as I know, there’s not a fight between the older leaders and the younger leaders. I’ve seen and spoken with many older pastors who were delighted to see the GCR pass. The problem seems to lay in the desire to see the beauracratic nature of the SBC continue (which you rightly highlighted). We don’t need to make this a fight between generations. As the younger generation, we are prone to arrogance and pride (prone to “folly”). For the most part, I think you’re right on with these things, but your words carry a bit of swagger. Perhaps I am mistaken and that was not your intention. If that this the case, I apologize for my misconception. At the very least, this gives you an opportunity to clarify your thoughts in case someone else sensed the same “swagger.”

  22. If anyone sensed “swagger,” I could write about ten things I disagree with in the SBC. I would suggest “swagger” is subjective. Can one celebrate without swagger? Maybe or maybe not. I’ve been hanging around this denom half a century. What happened yesterday built on the vote we saw last year regarding integrity in church membership. The meetings around the SBC tell the story. Hundreds up at 10 p.m. to hear Dever talk about doing church- and not megachurch?

    Akin and Hunt and Page siding with the villified Calvinists?

    The opponents to GCR having nothing to say but “Calvinism! Bad!”

    It was significant shift. I have no swagger. I am frankly amazed and stunned. I was at SBTS in 1979. Don’t get me started as to where we are compared to where we were. I was a moderate busing messengers to New Orleans and Atlanta in the days of 40,000 messengers. To see this, from such SMALL seeds is stunning.

    I must disagree on Chapman. He is a good man, but the good thing to do is resign. The statesmanlike thing to do is admit that his speech was a different vision of the SBC- a vision that was crushed in that GCR vote. We don’t need to hear that voice anymore and Chapman should know that first of all. BTW- I’ve often liked Chapman, but his alignment against the GCR is as ominous as move to batton down the institutional hatches as I’ve ever heard. Step down. This is the real world.

    peace

    ms

    Oh….Mr. Lumpkins should know that I have been fisked by Frank Turk, Phil Johnson and James White. I am a major leaguer, sir. Put up that t-ball equipment.

  23. As I said, I apologize if I misread your post. All that said, as a younger member of the SBC, I would caution other younger leaders to accept humbly any shift of power into our hands (no doubt that a shift has occurred).

    Thanks for your response.

  24. Michael — I understand what you are saying about the moral police thing but you have to acknowlege too that Jesus said “Go and sin no more.” He doesn’t allow us to stay in sin if we are truly regenerated in Him. We also read in scripture that we will know men by their fruit. I don’t expect perfection. I am not perfect. Also, Driscoll may not be a southern baptist but he has great leaders in our convention who seem to overlook his actions that seem less than fruit bearing, and even treat him as the poster boy for what a minister should look like. Maybe instead of joyously pronouncing what an awesome guy he is, they could find an equal wihtin our denomination to shine their light on. David Platt comes to mind.

    As for Chapman, there is a great portion of the SBC that are not 5 point calvinists and agree with him on what he is saying. I don’t know the man personally but it seems as if he is trying to just stand on what he believes. He isn’t the only one thinking what he’s saying.. so let’s not persecute him just because he has a backbone. If we are supposed to be coming together to work, in spite of our differences, then calling for his resignation and not showing love and a compassionate heart is not the right approach. Actually, I guess you could say it seems rather Moran-ish to me.

    Have a blessed rest of the week!
    Sallie

  25. Sallie:

    Just read your post on Tuesday at the SBC. Please note:

    1) The SBC gives NO funds to Acts 29. If a church that is part of Acts 29 ALSO receives some funds from NAMB, that is because of dual alignment. Acts 29 isn’t even a denomination. So there is no legal motion to defund Acts 29. There could be a motion to not give NAMB $ to anyone who has aligned with Acts 29. As far as I know, that’s about 5 churches.

    2) The SBC doesn’t disfellowship individual churches that I know of. Churches align with state conventions and local associations, and disfellowships occur at that level.

    3) It is true that the SBC’s confessional statement- which isn’t binding on any individual church except voluntarily- does specify that men are pastors. The church in Tx was disfellowshipped at the state or local level, as I understand it.

    4) Mark Driscoll has no association with the SBC, formal or informal. The SBC might as well be debating its objections to Joel Osteen.

    5) Mark Driscoll has never done “Theology on Tap.” That is a program that was done by Journey Church in St. Louis and many other churches.

    6) GRC was written primarily by Danny Akin. He is not a Calvinist.

    peace

    ms

  26. Werther says:

    iMonk: “The sbc isn’t boycotting pepsi.”

    Oh good. That bodes well for the integration of a younger leadership. You know…the Pepsi generation?

    (rimshot)

    I’m afraid I’m not the sort of person who is likely to follow the minutes of SBC meetings. Apologies if I seemed to besmirch an innocent religious group with the label of anti-pepsism. By “they” I meant, whoever was organizing the boycott.

    So it’s a gay thing. That’s the information I was after.

  27. I agree to a certain extent about Akin but am still concerned. Did you read the article in abp quoting him about Baptist needing to have more children? It is downright bizarre how they think. Are they going ‘Quiverfull’? They tried FIC and it did not go over well at SBTS but has not gone away.

    http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4163&Itemid=53

    And why the article on women’s roles in the GCR?

    I am all into diversity bu it would be great to include women in that for a change… all this sounds like more Talmudic stepford wives doctrine. I do want to caution folks that the up and coming wing of the SBC is quite patriarchal. I know because I am surrounded by these young magistrates.

  28. Michael — thanks for reading my blog post and answering some of my questions. That is, afterall, what I said I was searching for in it.

    You’re right that The Theology at the Bottleworks is a Journey thing. Sorry I misread that and attributed it to Driscoll. It is another Acts 29 church, though, so was easy to accidentally attribute to him. And yes, they aren’t sbc.. I know :-)

    The money thing: The executive board at the Missouri convention loaned Acts 29 money. I guess it doesn’t really matter if it was loaned or given… but money did transfer hands. I guess my question is do other conventions use money in that way? and, What is the point of us rallying behind GCR if we are going to outsource to entities that are not SBC? and, Do we need to have a “standard” of what we expect from others who get money from us?

    The SBC messengers in Louisville voted Tuesday morning and almost unanimously passed a reccommendation to cease relationship with Broadway. That wasn’t just a state item.. it was a convention one. I listened to the talk on the floor (via my laptop) and I got the report also from Baptist Press, USA Today, and a few other secular papers as well. Am I missing something?

    Oh, and I know Danny Akin isn’t a Calvinist :-)

    Sallie

  29. >…all this sounds like more Talmudic stepford wives doctrine. I do want to caution folks that the up and coming wing of the SBC is quite patriarchal. I know because I am surrounded by these young magistrates.

    As I said earlier, I would wish the SBC had a different view of women, but I don’t exactly see women in the SBC demanding that things change. The SBC’s commitment to complementarianism is generally described by its opponents in terms like yours above, leading me to wonder where are the young women gathering, writing, speaking, blogging, etc about the terrible lives they are leading and the oppression they are experiencing in SBC churches.

    I have about 50 SBC churches on our campus as volunteers every year. The women uniformly give the impression that, aside from ordination as pastors and deacons, they are quite happy with traditionalism.

    As an egalitarian, I have to express a certain amount of frustration at comments like yours above that clearly register your emotional reaction- which is entirely yours and to be respected- but which don’t seem to match up with the experience of women in the SBC, who aren’t exactly lining up to become Methodists or Pentecostals.

    Complementarianism, Lydia, is driven as much by women in evangelicalism as by men. When I read your words, I wonder if you ought to be more straightforward and say you would prefer the SBC be more PCUSA in this area.

    Some of your language is, frankly, a bit off the meter. Stepford wives? Young magistrates? I know what you mean, but even I wouldn’t say that sort of thing.

    peace

    ms

  30. Sallie:

    I miss the Broadway discssion. Because of the way SBC affiliation happens- primarily through giving- it’s a bit of a “show off” item to disfellowship a church on the floor of the convention. All the “real” criteria are at the other two levels.

    Small amounts of money- grants and loans- are made by some state conventions and by NAMB to new church plants that may become SBC churches. (Affiliation isn’t instant for a new church.) In this case, MBC gave money and then learned that Journey had a Bible study in a bar. They turned it into a crusade. Journey paid the money back, but because Journey is Acts 29 affiliated, it became MBC vs Acts 29. Ridiculous. The love of money is …..

    peace

    ms

  31. Lydia [assuming you are the same Lydia who comments on Wade’s blog],

    I think you have a very sharp mind, but I don’t share your opinion concerning Brister.

    I don’t think I have even been tempted to think of him in the way you describe when I have read his blog.

    Grace to you [my fellow new covenant sister:)],

    Benji Ramsaur

  32. “As I said earlier, I would wish the SBC had a different view of women, but I don’t exactly see women in the SBC demanding that things change.”

    In my circle of friends many families are leaving the SBC over this and a dozen other issues. It sounds like there may be many changes in the SBC soon, many for the better. And I applaud someone like you, MS, who are working to change things for the better. But many of us have had to move on after a figurative “perp walk” out the door of our local church.

    I don’t wish the SBC ill, but many of us have just left. And the make up of the GCR study group seems to contain some strongly “women need to be in the home, period” people.

    But again, I want the SBC to become an evangelical, missionary supporting, church planting organization once again. With almost all the other stuff being matter of private or local church debate.

    It should be an interesting year.

  33. There are lots of reasons to go and lots to stay.

    I really don’t see the SBC’s view of women to be one that ought to be of much discussion value. Clearly, it’s a denom happy to be firmly complementarian. Those for whom this is a primary issue should go elsewhere, I agree.

    I rejoice that we are getting some very important things right.

  34. I am glad that they are refocusing on total dollars given going to the field rather than gloating on their new 30,000 dollar desks as they did when they were renovating and expanding oh about 13 years or so ago.
    Johnny Hunt is a man of principal and he is committed to bringing change; a lean mean reformist he is definately becoming.

  35. I agree…let’s change our name…Sooner than later

  36. How about just calling yourselves “The Great Commission Commission”?

  37. I mean, it would get rid of all the baggage of “Southern”, and “Baptist”, and “Convention”, all at one fell swoop, and it could be construed in lots of interesting ways…

  38. ProdigalSarah says:

    Well I read this discussion as an outsider who left the SBC as a teen and did not return when I returned to Christ. It’s really nothing to do with me.

    However, my mother is very interested and since she is bedridden in a nursing home I have read the Great Commission Resolution and some of the blogs to her over the phone.

    Here are her reactions.

    She is glad to see the younger pastors asserting themselves. There time has come. She feels that the old guard not listening to the younger generation has led to many leaving for non-denominational churches. I don’t know about that. I do notice that many of the UMC women I’ve met grew up Southern Baptist or Catholic.

    She also wanted me to mention that you younger pastors will be the old guard in another 20 years. And there will be a new younger generation with fresh ideas. Remember your own experiences and listen.

    Over all, though, she is happy to see the emphasis on missions. In the final section of the resolution, the section that deals with family life, the resolution mentions the children as the first mission field. I agree with this, but would add the local community is the second and naturally expands from the first. There is so much work to do in our own communities.

    The children as the first mission field should be as much a concern for the fathers as the mothers. What the children learn from observing their fathers and the church leadership will help shape their view of the church, and their relationship to the church.

    Regarding the role of women, I suppose the women that stay with the church are content with the current structure for the most part. My sisters and I left and never returned. As did most of the girls I knew growing up. I suppose if a young woman feels God calling her to preach she should understand that to mean in a different denomination.

  39. Yes, they should drop SBC and get a cool name like:

    Re:Bap+is+

    The T’s are crosses. Cool, eh?

  40. Werther says:

    A “t” or “T” would also be a type of cross.

    If they are going to change their name, may I suggest “Jesus Church of America”? That would fit with their general tenor.

  41. A thoughtful, reasonable response to the Convention. It is amazing that the old ship sails on view of the evils that have often attended it. Having studied Black History (prospectus for doctoral dissertation at Columbia U), I can say it gave me nightmares. also I was suitably impressed by God’s exclamation point to Richard Furman’s writing that Baptists would fight in defense of slavery. He died in 1824. In 1861 a cannon ball from Ft. Sumpter came whizzing throught te FBC of Charleston and drilled into his grave.My prayer is that God would grant us a Third Great Awakening that would win the whole earth in one generation and perhaps for a 1000 more after that first one in order to literally fulfill the promises made to Abraham. Our depravity is remarkable even after we are converted. Dr. George W. Truett said in one message, “If you knew what passed through my mind while I sat here at the beginning of the service, you wouldn’t hear me. You wouldn’t hear me.” That is impressive to me.

  42. I enjoyed your assessment of the SBC annual meeting. So glad I found your site. While there are some things I’m not clear on, I will do some research on those. I have been concerned for some time that (at least in my church) there seems to be little emphasis on evangelism. We do things, like community days and VBS but there seems to be little fruit from them. We talk about sharing our faith, but we are all safe, secure and quite independent in our own homes and little actual witnessing occurs. Sure hope things change. evamaddox.wordpress.com

  43. Michael,

    Thanks for the post. While I have disagreed with you in the past, I think you make excellent points in this blog. Keep up the good work, brother.

    Jared

  44. Rodney Ericson says:

    I certainly hope and pray that what you say is true, but I am far less optimistic that the GCR committee is made up of the men who can actually bring about a change in the way we do things. There are too many men in that group that are still part of the old guard. Most of them are still teetotalars and fail to preach sermons of grace that are gospel centered. The fact that the average age of the attendees this year was lower should not be seen as significant since the convention was held in Louisville.

    I would love to see a change, but my prediction is that the SBC will make minor changes that continue the same legalism and cultural withdrawal that we have seen in the recent past.

  45. Is Danny Akin one of the old guard or not? He seems to be for and against the same issues at the same time? What is his main thesis. What should we follow or what should we watch. Or do you mean we are to follow him and always do what he does? Or should we think about the future outcome or the rebound reaction and then take action even it it is not Danny’s idea? JB

  46. Thanks for the summary thoughts, Michael.

    You stated that the clear and simple instructions for the SBC are: Get to the task of world missions, not the task of building a denominational culture.

    I wonder if there is a need for a solid, Biblical foundation in understanding both the kingdom rule of God and the nature of the church? I just can’t see the church accomplishing mission very effectively without a solid foundation in these two areas.

    Any thoughts?

  47. Tony Wagner says:

    Who is the “old guard” ? Is this a reference to such men as Morris Chapman, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Adrian Rogers, Homer Lindsay, Charles stanley and several others I might mention. I hope not.

    Personally, I was more than pleased to see the GCR accepted at this years convention as it was. And I am hopeful for the future when I see a new generation of Southern Baptist step up with an unmistakable desire to lead this denomination under the authority of God and his word. But let us not forget other generations and other battles and the men and women who gave themselves, all of themselves to those battles. Men and women who had the same desire and committment to God and his word.

    Before there was GCR there was the CR and many of the so called Old Guard sacrificed much in that battle, ultimately securing for the young lions of today a denomination where the hope of GCR is possible.

    One of those young lions spoke with great power at the Pastor’s Conference this year and these words were th foundation of his message: Will we risk all and die in our devotion, or retreat and die in the wilderness?
    This is not a question for the Southern Baptist Convention. It is one that every Soutnern Baptist, indeed every Christian in this country must answer. And the effectiveness of the GCR hangs on that and that alone. I can promise you one thing. There are few, if any of the old guard that would disagree with that.

  48. Having just spent the past week with several SBC missionaries, I have to say I am also encouraged for the kingdom of God. I found that our folks on the mission field are nothing more or nothing less than highly committed followers of Jesus Christ wanting to change the world. The culture wars don’t matter to them because they don’t matter in eternity. Thank you so much for this post. It seems that I caught the same vision on the mission field that you caught at the SBC meeting. To God be the glory.