Shall Southern Baptist churches defund Southern Seminary and Al Mohler?
Well, no, I don't think that is even remotely called for, but here in Georgia one prominent church answers “yes” and has defunded both SBTS and Southeastern Seminary. The Georgia Baptist Convention allows for such and for continuing to label a church’s giving as Cooperative Program even though the church wants to designate around up to two SBC entities.
Abilene Baptist has informed the GBC that they wish for their CP gifts to not go to SBTS and SEBTS. Their pastor, Bill Harrell is a former SBC Executive Committee chairman.
Reasons were stated: SBTS is a “breeding ground” for Calvinists; the pastor doesn’t want to help start Acts 29 churches, and he objects to the Great Commission Giving category. Another GA pastor says that this may represent a “seismic shift in SBC life.”
My fellow Georgia Baptist, Peter Lumpkins, sees this as a very significant move and as indicative of the disaffection of a large segment in SBC life. (Link here and one might note the lengthy comment stream generated by that blog article).
Plodder thinks not but understands that when some pastors get something in their own mind they might project it onto the rest of us and consider it “seismic.” We will see. I would speculate that some of the more strident anti-Mohler voices will take Mohler's recent commentary on the SBC and homosexuality and start with the same kind of squawking.
We all know that Southern Baptist conservatives are well steeped in is designated giving and not a few have itchy CP trigger fingers. I don't see anything worth pulling the trigger over here.
[The Christian Index first carried this news on June 2nd. I cannot locate the story on their site or I would link it.]