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If you ever wanted to know why...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:06 pm
by Sandy
...there is almost constant conflict in today's Southern Baptist Convention, this discussion is a good example of it. ... ike-stone/

I frequently use the term "provincial and backward" to describe the way the SBC does business. There is a structure designed around independence, autonomy and cooperation that depends on individual integrity and respect to operate properly. But it appears no one counted on good old human nature to put in a system of checks and balances that could prevent certain individuals, who glad-hand and politic their way into influence by spending all their time at meetings and gatherings, formal and informal, and do little else except preach in their church on Sunday. Apparently the author of this piece, Dave Miller, a pastor in Iowa, doesn't really care or realizes that there's not much they can do to him.

There are always those who are going to use their power and influence to get what they want done and nothing is going to stop them. Integrity breaks down and no one stands up to them because their friends and relatives also wield influence and they use such lovely Christian tactics as blocking their ability to do anything else in denominational life, or, in some cases, drop a word to a chairman of a search committee to sink their boat.

In spite of convention votes, the trustee system and the way all of that works, there is this guy on the executive committee who is ignoring all of that and using his position as chairman to get things done that he thinks need to be done. So they are bypassing the duly elected officers and the entire process and doing their own thing because, well, it's obvious, this exec comm chairman doesn't like Russell Moore's presidential politics. And he doesn't like the lineup of speakers and presenters that the duly elected president of the pastor's conference picked.

I've worked outside the SBC for a decade now, in one place for an institution that belonged to another denomination, and currently for an institution that belongs to a non-denominational church. I could write a book about the contrast with the SBC in the way business gets done. It hasn't been without its problems, for sure, but in the one case where I had a board chairman get out of line and brought the case to the district council, they saw what was happening and in accordance with their bylaws, stepped in and corrected the problem. He had a relative on the district council who had to recuse himself, along with one of his fellow church members. As far as the non-denominational ministry goes, when you worship with your board leaders every week, fellowship with them, share coffee at the men's breakfast and sometimes gather at their home or yours for small group or fellowship, there's no communication problem and no pre-set agenda.

The other thing I've noticed is how many former Southern Baptists there are in ministry outside the SBC. Even in Yankeeland, you find them. Fed up with the "provincial backwardness," they've moved on without regret. These are not "flaming liberals." They're pretty mainstream Evangelical conservatives, fitting well in mostly non-denominational churches and ministries. Some of them have moved up here from da land of cotton on purpose.

I still have friends who serve in the SBC, and they and the denomination are always in my prayers. They can solve this problem by exactly the way Dave Miller puts it in his post. There's someone who should be on the executive board but would likely never have the influence to get elected or appointed.