Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NAMB trustees have been the problem...still are I'm afraid

Let's think about this for a minute.

On September 1st we got the announcement that the NAMB CEO search committee was bringing Kevin Ezell to the trustees as nominee to be the new NAMB leader.

The SBC at large, folks whose churches pay all those bills and put $130+ million into NAMB, got exactly 13 days to talk it over, examine the nominee's record, discuss it, question it, complain about it, and be delighted about it.

During the 13 days people from blogging nobodies to state convention presidents asked questions, some SBC leaders offered high praise, and some NAMB trustees supported the nominee in the face of questions.

In response to questions raised on Ezell, Tim Dowdy, NAMB trustee chairman said on September 10th that
"I realize there is an ongoing discussion among Southern Baptists about how we can best express our passion for missions through our giving," Dowdy said, "and I am sure that will be part of our discussion this Tuesday when our trustees meet to discuss Kevin's nomination.

If they did. SBCers will have to take someone's word about it because the meeting was closed. That is unacceptable, inappropriate, and, to use Norman Jameson's term for it, an insult.

It is an insult.

It was an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees sit on their hands while Robert Reccord wasted millions on such things as flying to London for a movie premier, and then hand him a secret severence package.

It was an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees to handle the Geoff Hammond meltdown as they did.

It was an insult for NAMB trustees to follow both of those by telling Southern Baptists to just move on from those debacles but do keep on sending their money.

It is an insult to Southern Baptists for NAMB trustees to stiff the entire convention and the legitimate questions they asked about the new CEO and missions support.

I hope Kevin Ezell can lead our dysfunctional agency to some successes. He might start with a frank conversation with trustees about openness and transparency. He might remind trustees where the money comes from. He might assess the agency's credibility and try and assign a reason for the lack thereof.

Trustees might have someone to lead NAMB out of the morass they have put themselves in. I hope so. I pray so. But they certainly haven't helped themselves here.

But maybe I undervalue the idea of sticking one's head in the sand and ignoring all the clamor.

Update: Trustee spokesman says a "strong majority" supported Ezell. Come on guys. The world isn't going to end if we have frank discussions and disagree about things.

Yet another update: ABP reports the vote to have been 37-12, the new CEO getting about a 75% vote. That's right guys, let the news trickle out from anonymous sources.


Norm said...

The new SBC was conceived in the dark and then walked in the shadows, and now you have a problem with its operations?

How does your marginalization feel, William?

Dave Miller said...

"Update: Trustee spokesman says a "strong majority" supported Ezell. Come on guys. The world isn't going to end if we have frank discussions and disagree about things."

True, William. I think that we need to keep blogging about openness. Maybe the next generation of Baptist leaders will be influenced toward a greater openness.

The past generation (and mine) has done a lot for our denomination. They were warriors and saw the world in clear black and white. But the next generation needs to build on that and include open discussion as a value.

foxofbama said...

I am having my disagreements with David Miller about fairness and rancor, still in All Christian Candor I continue to hold to the conviction he speaks with unwarranted,possibly self assumed authority on matters of how the SBC got to where they are now.
As I understand him at his SBC Voices blog where the CR and Inerrancy has recently been discussed to some exhaustion, his reading on the subject is minimal; mostly to works that satisfy the Fundamentalist estimations of themselves.
He can correct me on this, but he has not Read:

Hankins Uneasy in Babylon
David Morgan's Book the Holy Crusaders
Grady Cothen
Stricklin's The Geneaology of Dissent

And that just for starters, His knowledge of the BX 6400's is minimal.

And best of my memory he routinely failed to engage the chapter on Inerrancy and the Ridgecrest conference and the witness of MarkNoll and Clark Pinnock in the grand little online pamphlet; Chapter 13 in particular.

As Dr. Thornton and others have pointed out, the SBC has elected former pastor of the leading Calvinist in the SBC to head the NAMB.
Whether Gary Fenton and other churches like his who lead their state conventions in percentage giving to the Cooperative Program while wincing at the thought of signing the BFM 2000 will continue to give with abandon, Only God knows.

foxofbama said...

My apologies and a correction; my url was faulty for the Pinnock/Noll witness.
Should be

Anonymous said...

I used to wonder why the churches I attended had NAMB Missions giving goals being only 1/2 as much as IMB Missions giving goals. I think I get it now. We want to give towards home missions, but we just don't trust the suits in charge of it.

FYI - we have both of our State and NAMB missions giving at $500 this year. We have IMB set at $1000.


foxofbama said...

Going Forward, Dr. Thornton, on this matter I have you will work into some of your thinking the insight of Ircel Harrison and his BarnabasFile Blog, easily googled.
He has a stellar blog up in the last few days characterizing Ken Ezell as an Independent Baptist in every aspect but Name Only.
I noticed couple weeks ago in Jerry Vines Blog where he confessed he and Adrian Rogers had several conversations about Going Independent before going All In to the Takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.
My Dad used to say early on that the SBC was being taken over by Norrisite Independent Baptists and said it wasn't much different from the assault of Frank Norris on George Truett.
I was reading Ellen Rosenberg and others and thought there was a bigger thicket than that.
Both instincts had good bit of truth in them. But the recent Ircel Harrison blogs and the appointment of Al Mohler--Mohler at gut root level coming from a Francis Schaeffer ideology shaped by DJ Kennedy--suggests there is new weight to my Dad's elemental analysis.
In hindsight, Adrian Rogers and Jerry Vines coulda done a great Service to Christendom if they had resisted the seductions of Pressler and Patterson and gone their own way.
Until that is admitted, I don't see how even a good conservative like yourself can give an honest account of how it was the SBC got to this place of puttin a Two percenter in Charge of the Henhouse.

William Thornton said...

Stephen, you are welcome to comment on the subject at hand here but stop pouring all of your other junk in here...please.

foxofbama said...

Dr. Thornton; I did not intend to irritate you unnecessarily. My comment of 8:07 this morning was not a drive by, but was sparked by what I consider one of the more thoughtful insights into the Ezell appointment, though obviously of some dissent.
If you have the time and inclination to google up Ircel's Barnabas File Blog, I think I will make sense and you will see the value of my remark, even if it cuts against the grain of your working frame of reference in Baptist Life.
Gaffney at Home against Byrnes tomorrow and a chance to redeem a 2-2 season; then it's own to Chicago and let's win there.