Posted tagged ‘Southern Baptist Convention’

Three Positive Points Regarding SBC 2012

June 21, 2012

I used to blog about the Southern Baptist Convention quite a bit. In recent years, I have tried to focus on practical issues of church life from a theologically driven focus. Nevertheless, given the significance of this past week, I’d like to jump into the SBC blog world again and attempt to contribute a few reflections and anticipations.

NEW LEADERSHIP

I am very glad that the election of Fred Luter as the first African American President of the SBC was not overshadowed by the theological controversies swirling around on the internet. The moment when we all stood in affirmation and celebration of his election was a powerful moment. I don’t know how anyone could have not been emotional gripped by providence and the present recognition of history being made. As I type this in my NOLA hotel room, my wife and I just returned from a tour of the city.  One of the significant and recurring points the guide made was the slave quarters and how they lived in this city. Learning how prominent slavery was in the history of this city (and our country) makes me all the more appreciative of God’s work of repentance in the SBC.

Along with Luter as President, I am very encouraged by the election of Nathan Lino as First VP and Dave Miller as Second VP. Over the past four years, I have been a part of a “young leaders” meeting where, in 2008, I first met Nathan. He is an experienced church planter, whose church just celebrated their 10th anniversary. Nathan has a wonderful, gracious spirit and evangelical commitment to work together with Southern Baptists who may not agree with him on various theological issues but nevertheless are unified in the gospel and the Great Commission. Nathan and I have discussed this week how we can work together to forward a new narrative of healthy, robust discussion as brothers who see differently on various issues but have a transcendent love and determination to not allow the differences keep us from linking arms and hearts for reaching the lost, whether they are across the street or across the world. Hopefully, you will hear more about that in the future.

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Ten Thoughts About the SBC

June 13, 2011

It’s been quite a long time since I blogged anything about the Southern Baptist Convention.  Early blog readers will remember the days when SBC issues were a regular item here.  It is not so much that I am uninterested in what is taking place in the SBC as much as it is a desire for me to be more of a contributor in what I do than simply what I say as a commentator.  Having said that, I hope the stuff I am writing now about the gospel, mission, church planting, etc. would be considered edifying to anyone, but especially to my Southern Baptist folk.

But alas, this is the week of the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I am unfortunately not in Phoenix, AZ where the mass of polo shirts and comb overs are converging.  Given the significance of this week in SBC life, I thought I’d post ten (random) personal thoughts about the SBC for what it’s worth.

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The Alabama Baptist: A Case Study in the GCR Debate

June 3, 2010

You may not be Southern Baptist, and you may not be from the state of Alabama, but if you’ve got a moment and care about the Great Commission Resurgence, I like to offer a few thoughts.  I am one of those boys born and raised Southern Baptist, and for 20 of my 31 years of life, I was an Alabama Baptist–one saved (1987), baptized, licensed (1997), educated (University of Mobile, 1997-2001), and ordained (2001) in Alabama Baptist churches.  As a college student, I traveled and preached in numerous Alabama Baptist churches, and my childhood pastor (Fred Lackey) was two-time president of our state convention.  While many 20 year old guys were defeating the latest video game, I found myself debating old, bald-headed CBF dudes on the convention floor of our state convention annual meeting about inerrancy.  I suppose I could bore you with more stories, but I share this because, while I was born and raised Southern Baptist, I grew to become a Baptist by conviction and appreciation of our rich confessional and missional heritage.

Although I am no longer an Alabama Baptist (I pastor in sunny South Florida in a county where evangelicals comprise less than 5% of the population), I still try to keep up with all that is happening back “home.”  In recent months, I have come to see that, under the direction of its editor, Bob Terry, The Alabama Baptist has become a significant factor in opposition to the Great Commission Resurgence.  Consider the steady flow of articles, beginning from early March of this year:

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Addressing the Morris Chapman Controversy in the SBC: A Call for Accountability, Transparency, and Unity

July 8, 2009

Morris Chapman has served as President and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention since 1992.  During the 17+ years that he has served in this position, he has undoubtedly done some great things for Southern Baptists, and his role in advocating the Conservative Resurgence is one to be remembered, including being a past president of the SBC from 1990-1992.  However, Chapman’s actions over the past couple of months have spiraled downward to a point where many Southern Baptists are deeply concerned about his actions, not the least of which are the following:

1. Within a few weeks after the formal and public announcement of the Great Commission Resurgence document, it was being reported that Chapman was having serious disagreements with the two leading architects of the GCR–Johnny Hunt (president of the SBC) and Danny Akin (president of SEBTS).  At one point, Hunt wondered if the differences were because “he’s [Chapman] sitting as an executive director and I’m out there with the pastors every week.”  At this point, the Chapman and the GCR was no private or personal matter, and Chapman was just beginning his counter-GCR campaign.

2. Two weeks later (a month after the GCR document is released), Morris Chapman utilizes the denominational online “news wire” of which he is CEO to publicly express his grievances over the GCR document, in particular Article IX (for a detailed response to Chapman, check out Tom Ascol’s interaction).  At this point, Chapman had clearly positioned himself with an opposing vision than that of GCR advocates.  Ironically, the second reason why Chapman did not sign the GCR document was because of his belief that it would cause division, which leads to the third development–SBC Louisville.

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Why Are You Hopeful About the SBC?

July 1, 2009

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with 13 brothers along with Dr. David Dockery to talk about the gospel, SBC, and the future.  I was really excited to see what was originally a meet up with some old friends turn into such a fruitful and encouraging time of gathering a solid group of guys with Dr. Dockery to share our hearts and speak candidly about  important matters ranging from burdens to blessings.  As we began talking, I realized that I should be recording some of the comments of my brothers, and I only captured the last four, namely Ben Dockery, Nathan Akin, Trevin Wax, and Jedidiah Coppenger–concluded with a strong word of encouragement by Dr. Dockery.

The restaurant obviously was not well lit, so the video quality leaves something to be desired, but nonetheless, I thought I’d share a portion of last night’s discussion as each person took a moment to answer the question, “Why are you hopeful, or, what do you find encouraging right now about the SBC?”

Reflections on My First SBC Annual Meeting: 10 Lowlights

June 30, 2009

At the SBC 2009 in Louisville, there were far more highlights than there were lowlights, as seen in my previous post.  However, there were some significant moments and observations I came away with from my first SBC Annual Meeting that were rather discouraging.  Here are some that I jotted down:

1.  Morris Chapman

What Morris Chapman did as a part of the Executive Committee report should be enough to bring about his resignation.  It was that bad.  Seriously.  Whether he claims ignorance or spoke with such ill-informed knowledge, the level of incompetence and grandstanding for political agendas as the most influential bureaucrat in the SBC is appalling. There is too much power and pulpit for one man among a convention of autonomous, local churches to continually say such things without accountability to the convention he is positioned as the Executive Committee CEO.

2.  Motions & Moralism

It has been pointed out already by several that motions can be made by any credentialed messenger at the SBC and that the motions do not necessarily represent the common voice of the SBC populace.  While that is true, I do believe the motions reveal a lot about the ongoing need for the recovery of the gospel in the SBC.  The Pastor’s Conference centered a great deal on gospel unity, passion for mission, and a commitment to seeing renewal in our local churches.  The motions, however, focused on education, boycotts, homosexuals, drinking, cussing, flags, etc., all of which leads me to the next lowlight.

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Reflections on My First SBC Annual Meeting: 10 Highlights

June 26, 2009

As usual, I’m one of the last people to get around to writing a summary of their experience at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY.  I mentioned in my previous post that this was my first time ever attending one of these, so I was eager to make the most of it.  Each day began around 4:45am and did not end until midnight, and due to the high volume of tweeting, texting, and emailing, I was recharging the iPhone 2-3 times a day.

Generally speaking, this was an off-year and expected to be a down year in attendance as a result.  However, the news of the Great Commission Resurgence task force coupled with the strategic location where there is a higher concentration of informed and interested younger Southern Baptists, the economic recession and off-year scheduling could not keep back the 8,500+ messengers, many of whom were in my generation.  This is significant because it is over a thousand more than last year when a key Presidential election was taking place.

During the flight back, I took some time to bullet point some of the highlights and lowlights of my first SBC experience.  In this post, I want to mention some highlights to be followed by some lowlights in a follow-up post. Now for some highlights.

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