Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where is all this GCRTF heavyhandedness?

Some of the brethren are complaining about the Great Commission Task Force and the recommendations that came out of it. It is said that the GCRTF recommendations (those would be the ones that were overwhelmingly passed back in June by the assembled SBC) is divisive, that it was a top-down deal, that it was somewhat coercive on the state conventions. I don't see that, save for the fact that when money is on the agenda it is inevitably divisive. Those who have want to keep. Those who see greater priorities for our money want to reallocate.

Amazingly, some have even complained about pastors, churches, and messengers who were detached from active state convention life getting involved in the process, showing up at the conventions and, gasp!, voting. There would have been no GCR, much less a GCRTF, if this wasn't done 30 years ago.

While the GCRTF recommendations did frame the question about the proportion of resources to be kept in heavily churched, Deep South state conventions, one has to admit that no state has been coerced. They met. They voted. That's the way we do stuff.

So, what's the problem?

A number of state conventions have indeed voted to move towards a 50/50 Cooperative Program split and some who haven't committed to those numbers have increased the SBC portion. Good moves, IMO, but not moves that anyone has dictated to the conventions. It is well documented that nobody tells an autonomous Southern Baptist church, association, state convention or the national convention to do anything...sometimes not even Jesus.

I have my doubts that the states will ever achieved the 50/50 split that some have committed to do. State conventions that don't want to give more to the SBC, IMB, and NAMB can certainly vote to keep their money.

But I don't see how anyone can complain about the process.

Baptist Press has an entire story collection on the state convention meetings.


Anonymous said...


If i were to make a motion at a national convention to "call upon" any of our entities (you name one) to do something... anything,when the motion is brought back to the floor it will be called out of order because the body of the convention can not direct the entities to do anything, that is the role of the trustees.

Yet, on page 9 of the final report the GCTF is "calling upon" churches to increase their CP giving and state conventions to increase their CP funds to the Southern baptist Convention.

From my place in the cheap seats this is out of order as no one outside the trustees of an entity should be "calling on" that entity to do something for anyone else.

I would imagine that no state convention would even be considering a 50 / 50 option if it were not for the "calling on" by the national convention.

Out of order...


William Thornton said...

Shoot, Jon, we are always being "called on" to do stuff. Check the Cooperative Program study committees of the past years.

No question that the GCRTF recommendations, overwhelmingly passed this past June, did indeed set the agenda for the states and it's good that they did. But the states don't even have to discuss it if they wish not to. Some have voted to go along with it. Some haven't. Each state can make their decision.

Do the states and GCRTF critics here of late just resent the fact that the GCRTF pointed out facts about where lost people are and where we are spending most of our CP money?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was even brought up at the BGCT this year. Not that it surprises me. I wouldn't have brought it up if I was there. Everyone is in survival mode at the moment. I don't see money from churches increasing until they start get to a better place financially.


Howell Scott said...


As I believe you are referencing one of my recent posts when you talk about some who have "complained about pastors, churches, and messengers who were detached from active state convention life getting involved in the process, showing up at the conventions and, gasp!, voting."

I am not complaining about folks becoming involved in the process. Go back and reread Nathan Akin's article that I was responding to. When one side uses politics (which is fair and obviously their right) to advocate that previously disinterested pastors show up at State Conventions to affirm the establishment's agenda and vote for pro-GCR Presidents, then it is well within my right to use politics and rhetoric to point out what is taking place.

By all means, let's have an open discussion. But, when the establishment tries to use a top-down approach to "impose" their agenda on the States, I think it is hard to spin this as just like the CR. The CR was a grassroots effort that took on the establishment. The GCR is just the opposite. And, there are more and more people that see it for what it is, even if you do not. Thanks and God bless,


Anonymous said...

Now, Howell, let's be charitable here. Those who disagree with you are not to be considered willfully ignorant, which is close to what you say above.

And, come on, the CR was the ultimate top-down deal: A very, very few men cooked it up and made it work with the SBC multitudes.

This thing will work itself out in the years ahead. I predict states will mostly protect their revenue streams.

Have a nice weekend.