Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top ten SBC stories of 2011

I recognize that most SBCers think that if it doesn't involve the SBC it's not worth thinking about, so here's my list of top SBC stories for 2011. The rest of Christendom can have their list, but none of that counts here (however, if the world had ended as Harold Camping said it would a couple of times in 2011, I would have been happy to include that non-SBC story in the list).

1. Bryant Wright appoints an informal, unfunded SBC name change committee. And thereby stirs up the ire of many who resent his ability to do this. Get over it. You will get a direct vote, if it comes to that, next June.

2. Tom Elliff elected as new head of IMB. Whenever our flagship agency has a new leader, that's big news. I wish him every success in leading the SBC's flagship entity.

3. SBC Cooperative Program receipts show a slight increase. The Executive Committee reported this for the fiscal year ending September 30th; however, the next two months showed a steep decrease. Maybe they back-loaded September to make 2010-2011 look good? Whatever...an increase was unexpected.

4. Southern Baptists bash Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Start with Robert Jeffress, pastor of what used to be the SBC's top church, FBC Dallas. Add a few others and not a few bloggers who display their religious bigotry in foreswearing voting for a Mormon candidate. Perhaps the brethren should start a re-elect Obama SBCers group.

5. State conventions move towards 50/50 Cooperative Program split. State conventions get credit for good intentions; however, Plodder takes the Matthew 24 approach to these - cuts and rumors of cuts, but don't be alarmed, the checks haven't been written.

6. Surry (NC) Baptist Association kicks out church with female pastor. And does so summarily. How dare the church call a female and ignore the association's doctrinal purity and unity? And some in the SBC say that our name ("Southern") is the cause of our bad image.

7. Frank Page puts Calvinism at the top of his list of challenges for the SBC. Since he hears from a lot of Baptists, I'd listen to him on this.

8. SBC annual meeting attendance lowest since 1944. Only 4,814 at Phoenix, a group which didn't include moi (I've already been to Phoenix in 110 degree heat in June). So, it was an off election year and ther was no raging controversy. Still, SBCers used to like to spend some expense money.

9. New biography of Lottie Moon published. Regina Sullivan's new bio is the first in about three decades. It calls into question the use of Lottie's starvation death narrative as a fund raising tool but what good are facts if they don't get the money flowing? SBCers should read the book.

10. Plodder resigns his church and retires. Well, this one is pretty big news around my house if nowhere else. I reserve the right to undo this one if the Lord leads.


Stephen Fox said...

I think you nailed the tenth story.

I would place here at year's end the new conversation with the BWA and how it inflects what Nelson Price is trying to impose on Shorter against it's will, the will of the greater community.
Will the Shorter crisis get swept under the rug while Bryant Wright makes Whoopie with the BWA to put a little veneer on SBC's image.
Nelson Price is focussing on what think is sodomy. What about sodomy as a metaphor for what Price is doing to an Institution.
I dont know where to wedge Shorter into your top ten, but I do think the Shorter story has much gravity for what is going on in the SBC in realtime; and framed by Giberson and Stephens in The Anointed, is bigger for Newt Gingrich's conversation with America than Jeremiah Wright was for Obama in 08

Tim Dahl said...

Someone very close to me said s/he wouldn't vote for Mitt b/c of his Mormonism. However, I think s/he very well will vote for Mitt if he's the Repub candidate.

I might change #7 a bit: "Frank Page puts Calvinism at the top of his list of challenges for the SBC. Since he hears from a lot of Baptist Seminary Presidents, Mega-Church Pastors, and other important Baptist dignitaries; I'd listen to him on this."

Stephen Fox said...

Since Tim brought up Page and Calvinism he may want to take a look at the Group on which Page is an advisor hardwired to some of the political operatives at North Greenville College who were core at Page's church in Taylors S.C.
The group is well connected to leader of the Tea Party and US Senate Force Jim Demint of the Redeemer Prez Church bout five miles from Taylors

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed "most" of your list. That #10 is close :)

Maybe a #11 would be: LifeWay pulls pink Bible when discovering some money went to Planned Parenthood.

Ron Hale

Lee said...

I don't see a Baptist pastor declaring that he will not support a Mormon candidate for President as religious "bigotry." If you know much about Mormonism, or about any particular denomination or faith group, and you know someone is an active participant in it, that tells you a lot about the person's character, personal beliefs, morality, and says a lot about how they would conduct themselves in office. Mormonism is a faith that is almost the exact opposite of Christianity in just about every aspect, including the use of deception and secrecy to conceal its core beliefs from people it considers "inferior gentiles", and core teaching that they are the true "chosen" people of God, hence, their involvement in elective office is God's will to enable Mormons to take over the government and usher in their own "theocracy." Setting aside the long list of Mit Romney's political lack of fitness for office, the fact that he is a Mormon is just one of many reasons Christians should avoid even the appearance of supporting him.

William said...

I know you've lived close to all that, Lee. Someone who declares that they will not vote for an individual on the basis of their religion shows bigotry in that.

At the moment some SBCers have drawn the line - no Mormon gets their vote. Others (Jeffress et al) speak of holding their nose and voting anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Bryant Wright appoints an informal, unfunded SBC name change committee. And thereby stirs up the ire of many who resent his ability to do this. Get over it. You will get a direct vote, if it comes to that, next June."

Aw, come on, William. HOW we do things...as in process....is just as important as the result. It does not help that the promotion around the name change in the secular media by such SBC pundits as Meritt Jr and Mohler are alluding to our name as racist.

This was an end run around messengers to create momentum for what could not be done by direct vote many times before. It was political strategy.

I really do not care if we change our name. I DO care "how" we do it.


William Thornton said...

Lydia, you are wrong. No end run around messengers. Every single one who cares to show up will have a vote. What could be more fair than that?

I recognize that opponents of any name change would rather have had a chance to nix consideration of the same...but they get a vote.