Monday, June 19, 2006

Greensboro is Behind Us, Now What?

We saw good things happen in Greensboro.

However, the “old guard” will not be willing to accept defeat. You can believe that they are already planning strategy for next years meeting. We will soon begin seeing subtle and some not-so subtle attacks being directed at bloggers, Dr. Page and others who were elected to offices. We will also see statements that will continue to label the bloggers and Dr. Page as "liberals" or "moderates" because they have ridden that horse for so long. Those particular “buzz” words have always given them much mileage.

They will validate their opinion with a variety of examples. One that will be used is the "alcohol motion" and many of their followers will fall into the trap of believing their claims because they have been on the bandwagon as "political conservatives" rather than "true inerrantist." Then there is always the "hometown" factor. It is easy for them to explain that Dr. Page's win of the election "did not have any thing to do with the bloggers,” as they say “he was put in office because of the people from North Carolina and South Carolina." Although, they forget to explain why the other “hometown guy” did not have the same success. They will never admit that their candidates lost the elections because of their poor support of the CP or endorsements by “kings and king makers.”

I am sure the backrooms are filling and will be filled until San Antonio. The key players will not post on the blogs because they are not used to working politically in the light of day. They will continue with the methods they have employed in the past. It will take more than one defeat for the message to sink in or for them to realize that it is truly time for change.

My prayer is that the folks in Texas and surrounding states who are tired of the issues that have been present by the bloggers such as "nepotism" or "leadership coming from pastors or members of churches that don't support the CP" or "the attempts to silence dissent" or "the many other issues that motivated the bloggers to speak out" will turn out as they did in Greensboro.

We can't let ourselves become complacent in thinking all is well after Greensboro. We must continue to address these issues and keep up with what is happening at IMB BoT meetings and other BoT meetings. Concerned SBC members need to attend these meetings and send the message that “we are concerned and we do care how they conduct business and spend our CP dollars.”

After Greensboro and the media coverage of the bloggers there will be a larger readership of the blogs. People who have never read a blog before will begin reading. So we need to keep the issues in the forefront. We need to be able to present the facts to a larger audience and keep them abreast of the IMB BoT situation and other issues that may arise from other BoT meetings. Ignorance and apathy are never valid excuses for allowing manipulation or cover-ups of unethical practices in the agencies and institutions of our convention.

Also the MOST important thing we must do is to pray as never before for our new President. The "old guard, kings and king makers" will scrutinize everything he does to gather information and ammunition for their attacks. Dr. Frank Page and his family will need our prayers and support. He was willing to accept the challenge to seek office to help promote change in our convention so those of us who advocate change must stand in support of him and commit to lift him up in prayer.

So since we have "seen you in Greensboro" we will “see you in San Antonio” next year.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Problem with the Nomination and Endorsement of Ronnie Floyd

A chronology of the problems with the nomination and endorsement of Ronnie Floyd for president of the SBC:

  1. In February, we had Vines, Patterson, Pressler and Smith announce at the Pastor's conference in Jacksonville, FL that Johnny Hunt was to be the next SBC president. (I am assuming that they prayerfully sought God's leadership and this was His will as revealed to them.)
  2. The Executive Committee announces that the Ad Hoc Committee report recommends for the convention to do the following: (1) encourage individuals to tithe; (2) encourage churches to give at least 10% to the CP; (3) encourage the election of officers from churches who give at least 10% to the CP.
  3. Johnny Hunt's record of giving is in question based on the statements and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee.
  4. Johnny Hunt announces that "he does not have peace" about being nominated for the President of the SBC.
  5. Johnny Hunt then announces his intent to nominate Ronnie Floyd to be president of the SBC. (I am now assuming that he sought God's leadership and this is now the will of God.)
  6. Patterson announces on the SWBTS website that he supports Floyd's nomination for SBC president even though he (Patterson) had previously referred to Floyd's actions (fire truck baptistery) as "blasphemous."
  7. Morris Chapman then admonishes the leaders of Baptist entities to refrain from endorsing candidates.
  8. Floyd's record of giving (0.27%) is in question based on the statement and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee. (I believe that Floyd's record of giving to the CP may be worse than Hunt's)
  9. Akin sent out an email to SEBTS' population endorsing Floyd and inflating his numbers in order to make Floyd's record to giving look better. (However his explanation is apples and oranges.) What is being questioned is Floyd's CP giving.
  10. Floyd posted an endorsement for himself by Al Mohler on his (Floyd's) blog site. (Which I feel displays a bloated ego)
  11. We now have three (3) seminary presidents who are endorsing and embracing a presidential candidate who does not support the CP (gives less than 1/2 of a percent). It is money given through the CP that supports their seminaries. I would think that they would want churches to support the SBC so in turn their Seminaries would be supported.
  12. If Floyd becomes president and leads our churches to give to the CP by example then there is a great possibility that these seminaries will have to greatly increase their tuition and housing cost for students, down size their administration and faculty, or cut back on some of their travel and other personal expenses.

I find it hard to support Floyd because he doesn't lead his church to financially support the CP although there is an argument that his church does "significantly give to other SBC causes."

As pastors of churches I wonder how you would feel about the following scenario.

Suppose I am a wealthy member of your church. Let’s just say that my annual tithe should be $1,000,000. I have determined that I know better how my money should be spent so I put $1,000 each week into the offering and then I go though out the community to see who I can help with rest. At the end of the year I have given my church $52,000 and given others whom I termed as my mission projects $948,000. I am not directly helping my church but I am significantly helping missions, I just get to choose which ones.

I hope you all think the above scenario is wrong.

As a born again believer, I am supposed to tithe. As a member of a local body I am suppose to bring my tithe to that storehouse and not determine on my on where it should go.

Floyd's church does not have to be part of the SBC to be Baptist. They have chosen to be part of the SBC so therefore they should support the SBC through the CP and not choose how they give "their significant percentage."

If every church in the SBC did the same thing then on what exactly are we cooperating?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Commitment to Missions

As I was reading through the Blogs this morning, I happened on a couple of recent comments to a post on Pastor Art Roger's blog entitled The Once Proud Flagship. Both of these comments were very thought provoking. I have place the copied comments from GeneMBridges and SBC Dissenter in italics.

The first one was found in a comment from Mr. GeneMBridges. It was a resolution which I felt to be very profound. I believe this resolution and others like it are very much needed to be presented at our convention in Greensboro.
The resolution below was part of a comment supplied by GeneMBridges on Pastor Art Rogers blogsite.

This resolution was discussed at one time on another blog but nobody ever followed up with it. Now's a good time to bring it up. It could be modified to include all statistical reporting to include the NAMB, seminaries, etc.

Whereas this 148th annual session of the Southern Baptist Convention marks the 26th anniversary of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention; and

Whereas at the heart of this resurgence has been a determination to return to an unashamed commitment to the inerrancy and infallibilty of the Bible as the written Word of God; and

Whereas the Baptist Faith and Message states that the Scriptures are "the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried" (Article 1); and

Whereas the inerrant, infallible Word of God instructs us not to bear false witness (Exodus 20:16), but to put away lying and to speak truthfully to his neighbor (Ephesians 4:25); and

Whereas in 2004 the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Church Profiles indicated that there are 16,287,494 members in Southern Baptist churches; and

Whereas well over one half of those members never attend or participate meaningfully in the life of any local Southern Baptist church and are thus no different than non-members; and

Whereas the ideal of a regenerate church membership has long been and remains a cherished Baptist principle; now, comma, therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2005, urge Southern Baptists to repent of neglecting the effort to maintain responsible church membership, and be it further

RESOLVED that we urge the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention to repent of their failure to obey Jesus Christ in the practice of church discipline (Matthew 18:15-18), and be it further

RESOLVED that we plead with pastors and church leaders to lead their churches to study and implement out Lord's teachings on this essential church practice, and be it further

RESOLVED that we encourage denominational servants to support and encourage churches that seek to recover and implement our Savior's teachings on church discipline especially when such efforts result in the reduction in the number of members that are reported in those churches, and be it finally

RESOLVED that we commit to pray for our churches as they seek to honor the Lord Jesus Christ through reestablishing integrity to church membership.

It's a start. Will anybody take the call?

The second relevant comment was made by Mr. SBC Dissenter who also expressed the need for this resolution to be submitted. Mr. Dissenter, however, raised a very important question in regard to the chairman of this year’s committee on resolutions. This comment in turn raised several questions in my mind which I feel should be addressed.


Please...please...please send that resolution to the committee. I'm sure Tommy French is chomping at the bit to get our resolutions this year.

Inundate them with such resolutions.

By the way, does anybody know why Tommy French was chosen to serve as chairman of this year's committee on resolutions?

Is he the same Tommy French that served on the Sunday School Board?

Is he the same Tommy French who served on the Committee on Nominations?

Is he the same Tommy French who served as president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention?

Is he the same Tommy French who serves on the board of trustees for New Orleans Seminary?

Is he the same Tommy French who was elected 2nd Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2001?

Is he the same Tommy French who Paige Patterson appointed to the Committee on Committees in 1999?

And does anybody think it is strange that Tommy French was chairman of the Committee on Committees that year, and that he appointed the next year's committee on nominations, who in turn appointed him to the New Orleans seminary board?

My, what extensive credentials for denominational service. In fact, is there any post that Tommy French hasn't had in Southern Baptist life?

Maybe an appointment at SWBTS is forthcoming.

I believe that we should check out the “Tommy French connection.” I for one would be interested in the answer.

If we find that this gentleman has indeed held all of these offices then I personally question why? Is it because we have so few qualified people within our SBC that we would have to utilize one person for so many different positions? Or is there an entirely different reason behind his appointment?

It appears that facts, figures and data such as supplied by Pastor Art and Pastor Marty, on their blogs, and Mr. Bridges, in his comment, is much needed for those who have been skeptical of the voices of my fellow SBC members, who have been calling for a spiritual awakening within our convention and a call back to THE REASON for our CP which is for our churches to cooperate with each other to reach the lost in our world. Our main mission should be MISSIONS and the preparation of young men and women to carry out this mission.

We have too long remained silent and allowed the "powers that be" to operate without accountability for their actions.

We need to repent of our apathetic attitudes and get on with the "mission of the Great Commission." Reaching souls should be the priority of our churches, our agencies and institutions, our trustees, and each and every member of our convention. Imagine what a difference we could make in the world if even the "un-inflated number of members" got on fire for God and made missions their priority.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Historical Privilege Cast Aside

According to Pastor Art Rogers, the paper entitled (Trustee Policies and the Perspective of History) was made available to the BoTs at the meeting in Tampa. It would have served them well to have read and researched the contents of this paper prior to adopting their “policy” which was designed to prevent dissent from anyone on their Board.

Trustee Policies and the Perspective of History

Someone must speak against the new policy on "Trustee Responsibilities" not because the joint committees' efforts were in vain, but because this policy lacks historical perspective.Until 1979, a tight system of power and control enveloped our denomination, and party loyalists who supported the leftward shift in our denomination were continually appointed and reappointed to serve on our convention's boards of trustees. But in 1979, the election of Adrian Rogers offered a real hope that the system could be changed and that our denomination could be saved.In those early years of the conservative resurgence, inerrantists slowly trickled onto the boards and agencies of our denomination, each year joined by others until sufficient majorities could turn our seminaries, our commissions, and our mission boards around. Some of the people in this room - men and women who stood against overwhelming opposition and endless assaults on their motivation and character - were among those early trustees of the conservative resurgence. But they kept carrying the message back to the people that things were not well with our agencies. They kept reporting the problems, the compromises of doctrine, the ethical misconduct and the abuses of power that had infected our denomination. And in time, the convention listened. In time, every seminary president who would not affirm inerrancy was replaced, and every mission board president who would not respect trustee governance resigned.Those were not easy years for the men and women who first began to push for change, for accountability, for doctrinal faithfulness in our convention agencies, boards, and institutions. But they kept taking the message, the criticism, the bad news and the reports of problems back to the churches and the people; and in time, our convention was restored.However, if this policy had been in place during those early years when Adrian Rogers sent his first appointees to the boards, when Bailey Smith and Jimmy Draper and Charles Stanley were slowly but methodically appointing inerrantists who would stay the course and save our convention, then the message would have never been heard. There would have been no conservative resurgence if Midwestern Seminary and Sunday School Board trustees had not stood firmly against board policies in the Elliot Controversy. There would have been no conservative resurgence if Jerry Johnson had been silenced from publishing his criticisms of the Roy Honeycutt administration at Southern Seminary. There would have been no conservative resurgence if Ralph Pulley had not taken the hard line against Russell Dilday at Southwestern Seminary. If W.A. Criswell had never written "Why I Preach that the Bible is Literally True," if James Hefley had never printed "Truth in Crisis," if Skeet Workman had never stood against abortion and homosexuality at the Christian Life Commission, and if Paul Pressler had not publicly spoken out against the abuses of our denominational press and criticized the editorship of Al Shackleford, then none of us would be here today.Last night Trustee Ken Whitten said something prophetic when he noted that one day none of us would be here, and that these policies will still be binding. If we adopt them, we have tied the hands of the W.A Criswells, the Jerry Johnsons, the James Hefleys and the Paul Presslers of tomorrow. They will be kept from doing what made the conservative resurgence possible in the first place. They will be kept from taking the problems to the people, to the pastors and laymen who support the Cooperative Program, and to the WMU ladies who pray for our missionaries.This we cannot do for the sake of our own service, or for the sake of theirs.Trustees must vote against this policy and, in doing so, preserve the very means by which we have all been afforded the chance to serve in a denomination that would not have had us thirty years ago. (copied from Pastor Art Roger’s site)

The writer of the paper definitely researched the history of the SBC which is apparent that the committee of IMB BoTs who authored the "new document or policy" to silence dissent have not done.

I had blogged earlier in the week on another blog site the following:

"If the current trustees of the IMB were the trustees of LifeWay in 1990, there would be no Sanctity of Human Life lesson in our Sunday School material today.

I remember when CB Scott made the motion in 1987 and over half of the trustees and the whole LifeWay administration were against his motion to include a Sanctity of Human Life lesson in all Sunday School material on the third Sunday of January until Rowe V. Wade is overturned.

He did not cease to push for his motion to be adopted. Finally in 1990 enough trustees voted to support the motion and we now have a Sunday School lesson every year to support Sanctity of Human Life.

Had Mr. Hatley and Mr. Corbaley and others like them who now serve as IMB BOTs, Mr. Scott would have been expelled immediately from the board for he was far more aggressive and pushy in his endeavor than Dr. Burleson has been.

This is only one illustration. There are countless others such Jerry Johnson, Paul Pressler, Larry Holly, Paige Patterson, Robert Tennery, Bill Powell, T. C. Pinkney and countless other men who sought change in the last 30 years of the SBC.

Dr. Burleson has only followed a precedent which has been handed down to him by those who served as Trustees of various Boards and Institutions in the history of the SBC. Not one has ever been expelled. Possibly some should have been, but Dr. Burleson is certainly not one who should have been.

We have got to go to Greensboro in June. This cannot be ignored any longer"

No longer will Dr. Burleson be able to follow the "trail of dissent" that has be so evident in Baptist life throughout the history of our Convention.

The developments of the past few days should make us all even more determined to travel to Greensboro.

If this "new policy" adopted at the IMB becomes embraced by our other Baptist entities then the person or persons controlling the caucuses will become more powerful to continue their agenda for control of the SBC.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Call for Repentence and Public Apology

When we get to Greensboro in June there should be an outcry for a public apology from the IMB BOT for the hurtful way they have treated Dr. Burleson, his wife and children. Mr. Hatley and Mr. Corebaley besmurched and berated Dr Burelson's character as if he constituted less then the personhood of the image of God which he is.

Dr. Burleson stood for up for Dr. Rankin when obviously no one else would.
The IMB BOT also owes Dr. Burleson's church an apology for they have surely laid hands on God's annointed.

The IMB BOT owes the SBC an apology for they have truly treated us as if we are little children without capability to understand information pertaining to the IMB and insulting our intelligence by issuing new guidelines that suggest we have no ability to discern right from wrong. It seems that they have annointed themselves as guardians over us and the mission program of which we as the SBC finance in total. The IMB belongs to the members of the Southern Baptist Convention which is made up of members of Southern Baptist churches. We send trustees to represent us to the IMB.

Trustee Bill Hudgins from Alabama was quoted as saying "Many people think that we are a representative for our state at the IMB, but that is not the case. We are trustees for the IMB we are not delegates for the state."

Obviously Mr. Hudgins is poorly versed in the ways of the SBC. Let me illustrate:

1- First of all it is correct that trustees do not represent state conventions but they do represent every co-operating church within state conventions because those churches make up the entirety of the SBC.

2- There is no such thing as a Trustee "for" the IMB. Trustees are voted upon and appointed "to" the IMB by the messengers in session during the annual Convention. It may help Mr. Hudgins to look up the word Trustee and study it's meaning carefully.

3- No knowledgeable Southern Baptist ever uses the word "delegate" in reference to the trusteeship of any Board, Agency or Institution within the SBC now or any time in its history.
We should give the IMB BOTs an opportunity in Greensboro to make the proper apologies that they so obviously owe to Dr. Burleson, Dr. Rankin, their families, Dr. Burleson's church, and the SBC as a whole.

If they refuse to do this it may be time to consider Pastor's Cole's motion to vacate the Board and declare an election from the floor using the guidelines which are in order to elect the proper number from each state or joint convention of churches within various states as are prescribed therein.

We owe it to the Burlesons, the Rankins and the SBC to deal with this matter.

Most of all we owe it to the missionaires on the field who cannot speak for themselves for they know full well after Tampa that if they do so it will be their own peril.

I am going to Greensboro. I hope to see you there.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Response to Jerry Corbaley's Anonymous Blogs

Brother Jerry,

You speak harsh words to those men and women who feel the need to be anonymous. You seem to forget the atmosphere in our convention has caused some who have been willing to stand through the years and have taken such a beating by people such as yourself and Mr. Hatley, to be unable to use their given names because it immediately puts up a red flag due to the fact that they have been so slandered in the past that perception is now considered to be the truth even though it is not always the truth. I know several of those people and I understand their situation so I will speak for them.

Also there are many missionaries and people working in Richmond at the IMB who would love to have a voice but they are not ignorant and they know there would be repercussions if they did use their real names. A simple study of our history reveals the truth of this statement.

You are proud to be a trustee of the IMB and rightfully so, but any time that you, Mr. Hatley, Mr. King, Mr. Pearle and others want to be anonymous in what you say and do all you have to do is go into executive session and then come back with a sanctimonious statement about rules of procedure forbidding you to be open about what you actually said. Is there any evidence of hypocrisy in your position? I think so.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Response to Resolution Issues regarding casual reading on sbcoutpost.

Casual Reading--

Steve, by casual reading, I simply mean that by reading the afore mentioned documents one can ascertain that the SBC, during session, is the legal authority of all trustee boards and agencies. I am sorry if I sounded flippant. Truthfully, I have spent much of my adult life studying the Charter, Constitution, Bylaws, and Business and Financial Plan of the SBC along with the same documents of all SBC Boards and Agencies. I have also spent too much time memorizing Robert's Rules of Order.

GeneMBridges, I may not have made myself clear. If so, I am sorry. My intention was to state that a resolution is not binding on the SBC or any entity thereof. A resolution is really a statement presenting a Theological, Political, or Social position or desire, etc. of the Convention as a whole. Only a motion is authoritative upon the SBC or a specific Board or Agency. Kdawg is right that motions should be first presented to the right people before presentation upon the floor. The right people are the duly elected Parliamentarians of the Convention while in session. (The people can be contacted with a motion prior to the convention to make sure that it passes parliamentary qualifications.)

Tim, Over the years I have seen several Resolutions and Motions pass from the floor. Honestly, I have written some that passed with an overwhelming majority. Let me say one more thing and that pertains to the Great Fathers. Never at any time did they desire to remove a whole board. Back in those days we simply would not have had the votes to do such a thing. Many conservatives would have broken ranks if that had been tried. Never in any meeting anywhere, anytime was such a thing suggested. That which Pastor Cole has suggested is totally new and believe me it is scaring some of the Great Fathers, as you call them, out of their socks and rightfully so.

Response to Resolution Issues on sbcoutpost.

Relating to the ideas presented by Tim Batchelor and GeneMBridges:

It is not tricky business to interfere with the business of trustees. The SBC convention is the duly recognized legal authority over all trustee boards. This is evident through a casual reading of the Charter, Constitution, Bylaws, and Business and Financial Plan of the SBC. Therefore a motion directing a specific action on any board or agency is legally enforceable.

GeneMBridges states a resolution is the needful thing to make changes. -not true. A resolution is a good way to the let the trustees of any board know the sentiments of the convention body at-large but a motion demands action. Not all motions are given to trustee boards to deal with themselves. It totally depends upon the substance of the motion as to whether the trustees may handle it or if the convention as a whole should confront the specific issue at hand.