Saturday, June 8, 2013

SBC 2013 VP Nominations

I know I have been absent from here and from many other blogs. I still read many SBC blogs daily, but do not find the time to be able to engage in conversation. I detest the "drive by" commenting so if I do not have time to engage, I don't. But I miss it a lot!

With that being said, I am excited for two nominees for 1st and 2nd VP for the 2013 SBC! The Southern Baptist Texan is reporting here that Bart Barber is being nominated by Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis as 1st VP. I've met Bart a couple of times in person but feel like I have known him my entire life. Southern Baptists will not be disappointed if Bart is elected 1st VP. He is one of the kindest and smartest people that you will ever meet. He was personally very encouraging to me when we were in the process of adopting our youngest son. Most in the SBC blog community know Bart very well. So I will move on to 2nd VP.

My pastor, Bob Pearle of Birchman Baptist in Fort Worth, will be nominating Don Cass for 2nd VP. You can see the Texan article here. Don is a godly man who has a great heart for evangelism and the vast experience in working together with others to reach the lost with the Gospel. It is a privilege to know Don and have him as a member of our church. He is unequivocally the best choice for this office to unite Southern Baptists in the proclamation of Gospel.  

Like many others, I am increasingly concerned about the SBC's decline in baptisms, which reflects a decline in evangelism. We as Southern Baptists need to be concerned about evangelism personally and corporately in out churches, associations, and state conventions and our SBC institutions as a whole. We need to love those in the world who are without Christ just like our Savior does. Lack of evangelism is a lack of love for the world and disobedience to our Lord. We need men like Don Cass who have a heart for the lost and experience in personal and corporate evangelism.

Frank Page appointed the Calvinism Advisory Committee and published the report TRUTH, TRUST, and TESTIMONY in a TIME of TENSION that clearly states the road ahead for Cooperating Southern Baptists is for us that have differing theological convictions set those aside for the sake of the lost. SBC Today has a great take on this report found here. We must agree to disagree on Calvinism but work together in evangelism and missions no matter where we hang our hat theologically on sotierology. So what does this have to do with 2nd VP you might be asking. If you are actively involved in SBC blogdem, you already know. I want to be kind and charitable, just as the above report asks us to be. Don Cass is such a person and the only candidate for 2nd VP of whom that can be said!

I pray that Southern Baptist Messengers choose someone for 2nd VP who embodies the character of an evangelist for the Gospel. I further pray that they select one with the integrity and heart of one who truly is a believer and practitioner of unifying love and respect for his fellow Southern Baptists. There could not be a more stark contrast in candidates for 2nd VP this year and only one who truly embodies that which the Calvinism Advisory Committee is calling on all Southern Baptists to embrace: Unity and Respect. We should expect all leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention and all entities serving our denomination to affirm, to respect, and to represent all Southern Baptists of good faith and to serve the great unity of our Convention.

That person is Don Cass.
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Friday, March 2, 2012

SBC Name Change and Unintended Consequences

Much has been said both for and against the Southern Baptist Convention changing her name. You can find a number of good articles for either position at the following sites: SBC Tomorrow, From Law to Grace, SBC Voices and PraiseGod BareBones. Just search their blogs for numerous articles that have been posted about the subject.

As we now know, the recommendation from President Wright's unilaterally appointed task force is that the convention maintain its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: "Great Commission Baptists."

While not being diametrically opposed to changing the name of the SBC, I certainly have many reservations. I agree with Bart Barber, Howell Scott and others in that my objection has centered mostly on the intentional end run around the messengers in the appointment of the task force by President Wright. This even though messengers clearly spoke on this matter as recently as 2004. The legal and financial implications of a name change alone are troubling. But so are some of the reasons given for a name change (see my comments at SBC Today here, here, and here). But many believe (including the task force) that all of these issues are resolved by taking on an unofficial name and that it is a "win-win". I'm not so sure about that.

So let's look at two (I'm sure their will be more) unintended consequences that adding a descriptor or nickname might bring:

Disunity - I do not know if this will pass or if so, by how much. But clearly a firestorm is in progress now. This may further divide our convention especially between those churches who go with GCB and those keeping SBC. I fear the day that this could lead us into having two different groups existing within our Convention that incrementally take us down the road of a formal split. I sincerely hope that does not happen.

I wonder how many pastors would be in favor of having a group within their church adopt an informal descriptor of the church and voluntarily choosing to abandon the name of the church in it's promotions and missions work? Would it not be confusing and lead to disunity of the body as well as to prospects? Would anyone think this would be a good idea?

Legal - I do not think the legal implications of doing this has been thought through. This is especially true regarding the impact to local churches. What happens if a church decides to use the GCB name in legal documents? Are those documents valid? For example: what if a church changes or puts a requirement in their bylaws or Constitution requiring affiliation with their local association, state convention, and with the GCB? A generation (or less) from now, a local church may not know that GCB is a non-legal name for the SBC. Would those documents be worth the paper they are printed on?

What if a member in a church that only has publicized "GCB" innocently gave a gift in their will to the church, with the requirement of it remaining in the GCB? Since the GCB is not a legal entity or name, could that gift (money, land, or other asset) be contested by family or others with standing?

This may not happen in five years, but what about ten years from now or twenty? For the sake of argument, let's assume the GCB name explodes in use across the country. A generation from now local churches and her members may unwittingly use GCB in legal documents, wills, and trusts. From this non-lawyer's perspective, I am concerned that it could open a legal paradox that one day could put those local churches at risk if the SBC does decide to use an informal and non-legal name.

Blessings,

Ron P.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scott Wilder Show Returns Again

Scott has just announced that He and Lauren are back on the DFW airways on 1190 AM from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Monday through Friday.

It will be good to have them back on terrestrial radio again. Please see Scott's note about it here. Please pass this on to your friends and post on facebook. Read more!