Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:47 pm

Oh, and if the SBC had broken with the other Baptist over slavery just 50 years ago would that make them a more enlighten denomination? 50 is less than 167. :lol:
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:21 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:Oh, and if the SBC had broken with the other Baptist over slavery just 50 years ago would that make you a more enlighten denomination? 50 is less than 167. :lol:

Use "them", not "you", Tim. Sandy is no longer SBC.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:48 am

Haruo wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:Oh, and if the SBC had broken with the other Baptist over slavery just 50 years ago would that make you a more enlighten denomination? 50 is less than 167. :lol:

Use "them", not "you", Tim. Sandy is no longer SBC.


Point taken Haruo.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:15 am

The perspective taken by virtually every American Christian group, church, or denomination during a long period of American history was segretation of races. It's there, it is part of the history, and some of what was history has carried over into the existence of groups that are still largely based on racial background.

This thread, and the resulting conversation, was launched by Ed's accusation that Baptist Press is "milking" the fact that Fred Luter is the first African American president of the SBC "for all it's worth," (whatever that means), and cited, as an example, the BP story about an award Luter had received, named in honor of George Washington Carver, for accomplishments that included his being the first African American President of the SBC. I am citing Ed's criticism of Baptist Press, and his choice of this particular example, as evidence of the fact that moderate Baptists, whether they be ABC-USA, CBF, or dually aligned, can't seem to pass up an opportunity to criticize Southern Baptists even when they are doing things that moderates have patted their own selves on the back for doing.

Southern Baptists are experiencing great growth in the Northeast, upper Midwest and far West, due to an aggresive and well planned church-planting effort largely led by African Americans in the inner cities. In addition to that, when the convention voted in favor of the resolution apologizing for their racist past, it wasn't just lip service, like a lot of "dialogue" between religious groups. They meant it. And they have taken steps to facilitate it. Many African American pastors are leading their congregations into affiliation with the SBC, in some cases remaining dually aligned with their African American based denomination, but in many cases, leaving it behind because the conservative theological stance of the SBC appeals to them, and some of them perceive their own denomination as being too liberal. SBC leaders were told that just passing the resolution, without including African Americans in genuine leadership positions wouldn't work, and they took that to heart. The same thing has been said about other ethnic minorities. I'm not sure how many trustees, committee members or executive board members across the various layers of SBC bureacracy are members of ethnic minorities, last I heard, about 25% and growing.

I don't know, but maybe the SBC becoming more ethnically diverse, and reaching into African American, Asian and Hispanic communities leaves moderates without grounds to gripe. The growth being what it is, it won't be long before ABC-USA won't be able to milk its ethnic diversity for all its worth.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:48 am

Sandy:
This thread, and the resulting conversation, was launched by Ed's accusation that Baptist Press is "milking" the fact that Fred Luter is the first African American president of the SBC "for all it's worth," (whatever that means), and cited, as an example, the BP story about an award Luter had received, named in honor of George Washington Carver, for accomplishments that included his being the first African American President of the SBC. I am citing Ed's criticism of Baptist Press, and his choice of this particular example, as evidence of the fact that moderate Baptists, whether they be ABC-USA, CBF, or dually aligned, can't seem to pass up an opportunity to criticize Southern Baptists even when they are doing things that moderates have patted their own selves on the back for doing.


Ed: Sandy it is not true that this thread was "launched" by my comment to Harou that "Baptist Press is "milking" the fact that Fred Luter is the first African American president of the SBC "for all it's worth"'. My comment regarding BP did not come until the 6th post of the thread and was in reply a comment by Haruo. And actualy reads "And they still milk Luter's color for all it is worth." AGAIN, when you quote me please be accurate.

And my citation of the BP story dated Jan 24th of this year was in response to your challenge, in which you asked "Would you provide a specific example of this, please?" I still believe that story is a good example of BP Still "milking Luter's color for all it is worth". Who with any interest in the SBC is not or was not on jan24th, aware that
The SBC finally has a Black president?

And BTW, it so happens this thread was "launced" with a post by Blake who is neither CBF or ABC-USA , nor is he aligned with group of Baptist to the best of my knowledge.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:01 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Sandy:
This thread, and the resulting conversation, was launched by Ed's accusation that Baptist Press is "milking" the fact that Fred Luter is the first African American president of the SBC "for all it's worth," (whatever that means), and cited, as an example, the BP story about an award Luter had received, named in honor of George Washington Carver, for accomplishments that included his being the first African American President of the SBC. I am citing Ed's criticism of Baptist Press, and his choice of this particular example, as evidence of the fact that moderate Baptists, whether they be ABC-USA, CBF, or dually aligned, can't seem to pass up an opportunity to criticize Southern Baptists even when they are doing things that moderates have patted their own selves on the back for doing.


Ed: Sandy it is not true that this thread was "launched" by my comment to Harou that "Baptist Press is "milking" the fact that Fred Luter is the first African American president of the SBC "for all it's worth"'. My comment regarding BP did not come until the 6th post of the thread and was in reply a comment by Haruo. And actualy reads "And they still milk Luter's color for all it is worth." AGAIN, when you quote me please be accurate.

And my citation of the BP story dated Jan 24th of this year was in response to your challenge, in which you asked "Would you provide a specific example of this, please?" I still believe that story is a good example of BP Still "milking Luter's color for all it is worth". Who with any interest in the SBC is not or was not on jan24th, aware that
The SBC finally has a Black president?

And BTW, it so happens this thread was "launced" with a post by Blake who is neither CBF or ABC-USA , nor is he aligned with group of Baptist to the best of my knowledge.

Corrections duly noted.

The award referenced in the article was presented to Fred Luter in part because one of the accomlishments they were honoring (United Methodists at a college in Iowa doing the awarding, mind you) was Luter's election as the first African American president of the SBC. How do you write an article about the award presentation and leave that out? And what exactly does the SBC get for "milking Luter's color for all its worth"? There is no shortage of self-back patting among certain Baptist groups when it comes to ethnic diversity, and the deliberate pains they've taken to specifically choose someone because of their gender or race, rather than their qualification for the job.

The SBC has elected other members of minority groups to its highest offices. Luter also served as First VP, and there have been at least two other African American vp's, along with a Hispanic, at least one Asian, and a couple of native Americans. "Milking" this would have included mentions of other things. This doesn't do that.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:44 pm

Ed:Sandy in this thread you have made more than one reference to the gains made by the SBC race relations since the "resurgence" which you seem to date as having occurred in 1979. The fact show that a number of folk who where forced out of their Positions due to the resurgence/takeover within the SBC from 79 through 2000 laid the groundwork for those advances. I would suggest you find a copy of a pilgrimage of faith the autobiography of Henlee Hulix Barnnette who led the Lab for a counseling course that I took at SBTS in 1991.
In that book I suggest you look closely at Chapter 14 Titled Race Relations.

And Sandy since I honored your request for an an example of my position would you favor us with an example of there being "no shortage of self-back patting among certain Baptist groups when it comes to ethnic diversity, and the deliberate pains they've taken to specifically choose someone because of their gender or race, rather than their qualification for the job." It is true that in the ABC-USA we are proud of our #2 man who. "Since August 1991, the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins III has served as the executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Additionally, he is chief executive officer of Judson Press, the publishing arm of American Baptist Churches USA. His passion has led American Baptist Home Mission Societies to commitments of encouraging discipleship, engaging in mission and transforming the soul of a nation. He says, "We are to be an incarnate community that affirms that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the midst of our cultural, theological, racial and ethnic diversity, we want to exhibit unity as a household of faith." And we have peole who unless they have seen him or his picture do not know that he is Black. http://www.abhms.org/leadership_team_li ... .cfm?DID=1

But Sandy, let me ask are you suggesting that the SBC took deliberate pains to specifically choose Luter because of his race, rather than his qualification for the job? I have heard no one in any other Baptist group make that charge. I will even go further, from what I have observed via the media for the first 7 months of his Presidency Luter had done a commendable job.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:27 pm

Tim:

Is it not amazing the SBC wants to think something big has been done by having one African-American President and this was an uncontested election? Maybe in next 167 years the number will rise to two. The standard of diversity is mighty low in the SBC IMO. :brick:
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed:Sandy in this thread you have made more than one reference to the gains made by the SBC race relations since the "resurgence" which you seem to date as having occurred in 1979. The fact show that a number of folk who where forced out of their Positions due to the resurgence/takeover within the SBC from 79 through 2000 laid the groundwork for those advances. I would suggest you find a copy of a pilgrimage of faith the autobiography of Henlee Hulix Barnnette who led the Lab for a counseling course that I took at SBTS in 1991.
In that book I suggest you look closely at Chapter 14 Titled Race Relations.

And Sandy since I honored your request for an an example of my position would you favor us with an example of there being "no shortage of self-back patting among certain Baptist groups when it comes to ethnic diversity, and the deliberate pains they've taken to specifically choose someone because of their gender or race, rather than their qualification for the job." It is true that in the ABC-USA we are proud of our #2 man who. "Since August 1991, the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins III has served as the executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Additionally, he is chief executive officer of Judson Press, the publishing arm of American Baptist Churches USA. His passion has led American Baptist Home Mission Societies to commitments of encouraging discipleship, engaging in mission and transforming the soul of a nation. He says, "We are to be an incarnate community that affirms that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the midst of our cultural, theological, racial and ethnic diversity, we want to exhibit unity as a household of faith." And we have peole who unless they have seen him or his picture do not know that he is Black. http://www.abhms.org/leadership_team_li ... .cfm?DID=1

But Sandy, let me ask are you suggesting that the SBC took deliberate pains to specifically choose Luter because of his race, rather than his qualification for the job? I have heard no one in any other Baptist group make that charge. I will even go further, from what I have observed via the media for the first 7 months of his Presidency Luter had done a commendable job.


Your "example" didn't even come close to proving your point. It, in fact, proved exactly otherwise. A United Methodist college giving an award to Fred Luter, in part because of his "first" as an African American president of the SBC, is not an example of the SBC doing anything, much less "milking his color for all its worth." So what's it worth? And why does it bend you all out of shape that they mention it? You rarely skip an opportunity to point out all of the virtues of racial diversity and how wonderful that is for ABC-USA, and milk that for all its worth. It is hypocritical to criticize Southern Baptists for doing it, and then cite an example that doesn't prove your point.

The SBC now seems to be the preferred choice for many African American church leaders and local congregations. Lots of predominantly African American churches were part of the SBC prior to Luter's election, so it is not likely that "milking Luter's color" would be high on their list of priorities. Actually I think that the appeal is conservative theology, and the SBC's stance against gay ordination. Those values are shared by a vast majority of African American Baptists. Some of them remain dually affiliated with a predominantly African American denomination but a fairly significant percentage of them are uniquely aligning with the SBC. They represent a segment within the SBC that is growing rapidly. So do the African American church plants. And, Tom, while Luter is the first African American SBC President, at least two others have been elected to one of the vice presidencies in the past decade, along with two Asians, and two native Americans. I'm guessing that, within a decade, you'll see another African American, and probably at least one Hispanic serving as SBC president. I hope you guys can get over it by then.

There was a lot of dialogue prior to 1979, Ed, but dialogue is just a religious organization's way of putting forward the appearance of action without actually doing anything.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:08 pm

Tom Parker wrote:Tim:

Is it not amazing the SBC wants to think something big has been done by having one African-American President and this was an uncontested election? Maybe in next 167 years the number will rise to two. The standard of diversity is mighty low in the SBC IMO. :brick:


Yes, and Sandy has to do funny math to make it look better. Dont get me wrong, I'm glad he was elected. But it isn't ground breaking.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:28 am

Ed: Sandy when you write
Your "example" didn't even come close to proving your point. It, in fact, proved exactly otherwise. A United Methodist college giving an award to Fred Luter, in part because of his "first" as an African American president of the SBC, is not an example of the SBC doing anything, much less "milking his color for all its worth." So what's it worth?


Your rebutal would possibly be of some value had the story cone from a United Methodist publication but it does not it comes from Baptist Press the PR arm of the SBC.

And I am still waiting for you to favor us with an example of there being "no shortage of self-back patting among certain Baptist groups when it comes to ethnic diversity. It is true that when you or others attempt to make it look as if the SBC's vastly improved record on race relations only began with the take over of the SBC by a conservative alliance with fundamentalist such as Falwell which came to light at the SBC meeting at the Summit in Houston in June of 1979, I and others often show that we and our mentors where braking new ground and planting the seeds for the post takeover/reformation advances, prior to that. We also point out that other Baptist where ahead of us back then, when we where still in the SBC, so we are not patting ourselves on the back. And that CBF hit the ground in 91 pushing support for improved race relations, even when some of us still had one foot in CBF and the other still in the SBC, is a fact. And keep in mind this "Yankee's" participation in the SBC was precipitated by a Black Baptist, Army Chaplin, a graduate of SBTS under who's ministry I was saved in 1955. Therefor I do not buy your line where you say "There was a lot of dialogue prior to 1979, Ed, but dialogue is just a religious organization's way of putting forward the appearance of action without actually doing anything".
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:25 am

Tim:

It will quickly have been a year that Fred Luter was elected President of the SBC and what has his leadership accomplished in the SBC world? What stands has he boldly taken, what new initiatives has he been leading? Maybe someone can help me on this? :?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:19 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Sandy when you write
Your "example" didn't even come close to proving your point. It, in fact, proved exactly otherwise. A United Methodist college giving an award to Fred Luter, in part because of his "first" as an African American president of the SBC, is not an example of the SBC doing anything, much less "milking his color for all its worth." So what's it worth?


Your rebutal would possibly be of some value had the story cone from a United Methodist publication but it does not it comes from Baptist Press the PR arm of the SBC.

And I am still waiting for you to favor us with an example of there being "no shortage of self-back patting among certain Baptist groups when it comes to ethnic diversity. It is true that when you or others attempt to make it look as if the SBC's vastly improved record on race relations only began with the take over of the SBC by a conservative alliance with fundamentalist such as Falwell which came to light at the SBC meeting at the Summit in Houston in June of 1979, I and others often show that we and our mentors where braking new ground and planting the seeds for the post takeover/reformation advances, prior to that. We also point out that other Baptist where ahead of us back then, when we where still in the SBC, so we are not patting ourselves on the back. And that CBF hit the ground in 91 pushing support for improved race relations, even when some of us still had one foot in CBF and the other still in the SBC, is a fact. And keep in mind this "Yankee's" participation in the SBC was precipitated by a Black Baptist, Army Chaplin, a graduate of SBTS under who's ministry I was saved in 1955. Therefor I do not buy your line where you say "There was a lot of dialogue prior to 1979, Ed, but dialogue is just a religious organization's way of putting forward the appearance of action without actually doing anything".


Buy whatever you want, the moderate Baptists who controlled the SBC prior to 1979 can talk about "laying groundwork" and "setting things up for racial reconciliation" all they want to. Like most things they have been involved in, it's just talk. The fact of the matter is that the SBC, under conservative leadership the past 30 years, has moved itself to the cutting edge of racial reconciliation and cooperation, to the point where a significant number of African American churches and leaders are comfortable enough to commit to membership. On the other side of the coin, an increasing number of African Americans, and members of other minority groups, are becoming involved in the various levels of leadership, from associations to the SBC's trustee boards and committees. Luter is the first African American president, but he's not the first African American to be involved in top level leadership.

Tom, I think you need to review your lessons on Baptist polity and how all of this works. Luter's election itself is a clear signal to African American Baptists that the barriers are down, and that race is no longer an obstacle to their involvement in, or cooperation with the SBC. That had already been happening, given the increasing number of African American churches joining the SBC, some remaining dually affiliated with their historic African American denomination, but the majority becoming uniquely aligned with the SBC because they are doctrinally and theologically more compatible. African American and Latino congregations in particular are where the growth is occurring in the SBC, and it is being reflected in an increasing number of both being selected to serve on boards and committees, and elected as officers.

But SBC presidents, under the constitution and bylaws, have just two specific tasks. Some have used their position to lend support to particular kinds of ministry work, such as Bobby Welch's bus tour to promote evangelism. If you'd been paying attention, you would know that Fred Luter has promoted both disaster relief work, and church planting pretty heavily. But the main part of his job, and his influence, will come when he submits his list of individuals nominated to serve on the committee on committees for the next convention. My guess is you will see several African Americans and hispanics on that committee, and it will be the catalyst that opens a lot of doors. That will be Luter's legacy. Sorry, Ed, if that disturbs you.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:38 am

Ed: Sandy, what is it that you think disturbs me? I do hope Luter has a number of qualified minorities among his nominees and I hope the convention accepts them. I have been working toward the end that racial and ethnic designation not be a major consideration in the selection christian leadership, for close to 60 years.

I would also be interested in why you think Tom needs to review his lessons on Baptist polity and how all of this works. I am not at all sure that Luter's election itself is at all, a clear signal to African American Baptists that the barriers are down, and that race is no longer an obstacle to their involvement in, or cooperation with the SBC. And neither are are the handful of blacks that I have heard talk about it. And no none of those are in the SBC.

And please give me some concrete examples of how " The fact of the matter is that the SBC, under conservative leadership the past 30 years, has moved itself to the cutting edge of racial reconciliation and cooperation".

So far I remain persuaded that you you are only blowing smoke as do many other many historical revisionist who support the takeover of the SBC.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:36 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:And BTW, it so happens this thread was "launced" with a post by Blake who is neither CBF or ABC-USA , nor is he aligned with group of Baptist to the best of my knowledge.

I was raised SBC. Continued to attend an SBC church in college for a couple years before going to an Assemblies of God church for three years. I attended an SBC church for two years in seminary before switching to a Missionary Church (generic conservative evangelical free church denomination). My membership officially is still in the SBC church I grew up in in high school, but I no longer consider myself SBC and would have great difficulty joining an SBC church anymore. I self-identify most basically as a conservative evangelical Anabaptist.

Getting back to the original purpose of the thread, doesn't anyone find it convenient that the President's page is dispatched (without any reason I've heard of) upon the election of the first black SBC president? If they were milking it for all it was worth they'd still have the President's page. Yet at the same time I don't doubt that there are influential people in SBC life milking Luter's election for more than it's worth. Really, is there any danger in making much about the SBC electing a black person to a figurehead position of little influence? Anyone else get the feeling that both sides of the aisle are being played to on the matter? I don't doubt Bruce's analysis on the matter regarding racial attitudes in the South. Many SBC bloggers came out in support of Luter before and after the election. And it is symbolic, but as a symbol is it powerful? I'm not sure a black man as president of the SBC is a powerful symbol considering the lack of power the position has. The more progressive minded in the convention get to talk about and hope for change in race relations while the silent (possible majority) don't have to say anything to continue to support a system and culture of inequality that won't be meaningfully affected by a black man's election.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:07 pm

Blake:

I agree with you: Luter's election was symbolic. What has been accomplished in SBC life over the last 8 months because of his being elected President as it relates to race relations, or anything. Did no one have a plan for how he would be "used" after he as elected?? :?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:25 pm

Sandy wrote:The fact of the matter is that the SBC, under conservative leadership the past 30 years, has moved itself to the cutting edge of racial reconciliation and cooperation, to the point where a significant number of African American churches and leaders are comfortable enough to commit to membership.

Sandy, if you think the SBC is on the cutting edge then you either have little knowledge of the variety of efforts other denominations are going through on issues of racial reconciliation or your idea of being cutting edge is just very dull. Is there a Christian denomination in this country with laxer standards on what it takes to claim membership with the denomination? If it requires little effort to associate with the SBC then why wouldn't the numbers of minority churches increase if it comes with accomplishing the many missions of "healthy church life" (e.g. supporting missionaries, connection to and support to attend biblical seminaries, etc.) by only needing to send a check or few to some organizations?

In my mind, something that would get the SBC a little closer to cutting edge is a group of influential leaders in the denomination representing many races coming together to propose focusing on the SBC modelling the Body of Christ as a place of many tribes, nations and languages. This effort would include all the usual talk of increased evangelism and church planting efforts, but would also come with a curriculum push from Lifeway with material on what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, it's diversity, relationship to mission, understanding the sinful nature behind our lack of actual present diversity, and one chapter or subsection of a chapter on white privilege. I suspect if such a curriculum were ever released in this backdrop we'd quickly know what the state of race attitudes were in the SBC from blogger reactions, sales figures, surveys from churches that used it and maybe even resolutions from the floor at the annual meeting. There is no organized efforts I'm aware of to both intentionally diversify the SBC in terms of churchs, leadership and seminary faculties and to educate the majority consituency of the SBC on why it needs to be done and ways in which their status quo is hampering the process. The SBC is diversifying because the tide is merely heading that way, not because we're cutting edge.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:49 pm

Blake:

The SBC has been in decline for a long time but none of the power brokers in the SBC want to admit it. Electing an African-American President is not going to fix what ails the SBC.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:10 pm

Ed: Blake, I do think you raised a good question when you asked about the non existance of a Presidents page under Luter. And I agree with your view of Sandy's "cutting edge" descriptor". How ever I am not persuaded with your thought that, "If they were milking it for all it was worth they'd still have the President's page" . If there where still a presidents page. Those in control of the convention would have to control that page and I am not sure that with Luter in the presidency that would have been possible. I have some idea as to why the page was dropped, but no one other than Luter and the power brokers really know. And Blake please keep in mind that when I spoke of those milking Luters presidency for all that it is worth I referred specifically to BP in response to Haruo's comment.

I would also suggest that you give a little more thought to Sandy's reminder of the SBC presidents responsibility for making appointments. That appointment power was the hammer used by the Pressler crowd to bring about the CR/TO.

And when you say "The more progressive minded in the convention get to talk about and hope for change in race relations while the silent (possible majority) don't have to say anything to continue to support a system and culture of inequality that won't be meaningfully affected by a black man's election." I see the second part as having some validity, but I am not sure of whom you are you are speaking of as "The more progressive minded in the convention". I do not think the the more progressive are the ones bragging about Luter's election. That is not to say that they did not play a significant part in his election.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:56 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:I would also suggest that you give a little more thought to Sandy's reminder of the SBC presidents responsibility for making appointments. That appointment power was the hammer used by the Pressler crowd to bring about the CR/TO.

That appointment power required the election of, what 10 to 12 presidents in a row to accomplish the CR? One president does not have the power to change things as drastically as the CR did. He has a tenth that power or less. Considering how there are still some SBC churches the fundies would probably love to throw out for doctrinal reasons but can't due to autonomy, the same will be true of racist attitudes in SBC churches in the future. Power of appointments may be one rung above no power at all, but the ladder is pretty high and there's much climbing to be done on this issue. It's not good enough to to get there by way of waiting for the tide to come in and float us to the top.

Ed Pettibone wrote:And when you say "The more progressive minded in the convention get to talk about and hope for change in race relations while the silent (possible majority) don't have to say anything to continue to support a system and culture of inequality that won't be meaningfully affected by a black man's election." I see the second part as having some validity, but I am not sure of whom you are you are speaking of as "The more progressive minded in the convention". I do not think the the more progressive are the ones bragging about Luter's election. That is not to say that they did not play a significant part in his election.

By progressive minded I think of those who have some desire to actually challenge the status quo of the convention instead of what most pastors do which is to continue to talk about the gospel, mission and evangelism in the usual ways and expect that to work itself out into the needed changes. When I think of progressive Southern Baptists I think of Ed Stetzer, Wade Burleson, J.D. Greear, Dwight McKissic, Alan Cross, Joe Thorn, Jonathan Merritt, Tim Brister, Todd Littleton, Marty Duren, and others. I certainly don't agree with the theology of all these people (probably on many points for some of them), but all of them have struck me as people challenging the status quo of the SBC in some respect and aren't doing it in a superficial way. They seem to walk their talk. And yes, many of them blogged at least once about Luter's election.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:03 pm

African American churches were joining the SBC in increasing numbers well before Luter was elected. As William and I have pointed out on a number of occasions, one in five SBC churches is predominantly ethnic in composition, the greater number of those being African American. And as we have also said, that does not include an increasing number of multi-racial congregations. Among Christian denominations in this country, that's pretty cutting edge.

Blake wrote:The SBC is diversifying because the tide is merely heading that way, not because we're cutting edge.


Is that a personal observation from wherever you might happen to be? If so, your vision is quite limited.

Most of those ethnic congregations are in major cities, where a concerted church planting effort has been going on for quite some time, planned in advance, and relying heavily on African American leadership and existing churches to provide leadership and training. Not all the stuff you find in SBC Life or in Baptist Press is political in content. I don't know of a denomination that puts the kind of resources and personnel into inner city church planting these days that the SBC does. I know both NAMB and Lifeway are involved in the effort, and the seminaries are providing the training and graduating the church planters.

Down in Dixie, sure, there are a lot of older, traditional, aging SBC congregations where the numbers are dropping off. You're in Indiana, have you checked to see what the membership and attendance numbers are doing in the Chicago Metro Baptist Association? Or the Philadelphia Region of the BCPSJ? Or Metropolitan New York? Or even in Metro Atlanta? Probably not. Have you been around Lifeway lately? I have. Have you heard about Change the City, Change the World? I guess not. And that would preclude your knowing about the joint city reach/church planting emphasis between Lifeway and NAMB. That kind of planning and those kind of resources are not the result of an approaching "tide." To use the same analogy, that's wading out into the water and going for a swim in the waves.

The first real test of the effect of Luter's presidency will be centered on what happens around his committee appointments, which we will probably know sometime this spring. I expect there will be several African Americans in the mix, but that's nothing new. There have been African Americans in increasing numbers on the various committees and trustee boards. We'll see where it goes from there, but I expect the convention will accept everyone he offers, and re-elect him to a second term to do the same next time around. He'll have two full slates of appointments which will have the effect of increasing African American and minority representation on the boards and committees.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:24 pm

There is a deep inconsistency in this, and I am speaking anecdotally, but most African-American churches affiliating with the SBC in the Mid-Atlantic area are doing so in dually-aligned status. That means that they are retaining their affiliations with other national bodies while affiliating with the SBC. Therefore, are members counted twice? The perfect example is Dr. Mark Crostan, last year serving as president of the BGAV at the same time he served as president African-American state body. The other question then is why the SBC frowns on White churches being dually aligned with the ABC, CBF, or Alliance?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:18 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:There is a deep inconsistency in this, and I am speaking anecdotally, but most African-American churches affiliating with the SBC in the Mid-Atlantic area are doing so in dually-aligned status. That means that they are retaining their affiliations with other national bodies while affiliating with the SBC. Therefore, are members counted twice?


That's what I'm wondering. Sandy are you talking about new church plants? Or, are you just talking about already existing churches affiliating with the SBC?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:03 pm

I'm not aware that the SBC "frowns" on churches being dually aligned with other Baptist denominational bodies. I think you may be confusing a couple of state conventions with the SBC. The Missouri Baptist Convention did pass bylaws which requires its member churches to be affiliated with the SBC, and restricts membership in any other state convention, or in CBF. Some of the churches historically aligned with both the SBC and ABC-USA in Missouri got their panties in a wad and pulled out. The bylaw included the provision that churches which were dually affiliated with a body that had a fraternal relationship with the SBC were exempt, and that included those churches affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, the largest African American Baptist group, because it has had a long standing fraternal relationship with the SBC.

I don't really see why there should be any kind of distinction made between existing African American churches that join the SBC and either remain affiliated with their historically black denomination, or uniquely align with the SBC. They're only counted once as far as I know. But the fact of the matter is that they are joining, qualifying as "cooperating churches" and contributing to the Cooperative Program. That makes their members eligible to be messengers to the convention and be elected as officers. But a lot of predominantly African American churches are uniquely aligned with the SBC, and many of them were started as church plants supported by CP funds. Fred Luter's church in New Orleans is a good example. There are a number of African American megachurches in Houston which are all uniquely aligned with the SBC and never were part of another denomination, such as Brookhollow, Brentwood, Fort Bend Church, Southwest Community Baptist, and perhaps a dozen others. There are many in the Dallas area as well. I think we've discussed Dwight McKissic and Cornerstone Baptist in Arlington, which has over 3,000 members. Someone said they thought his church was affiliated with another denomination other than the SBC and SBTC, but if that's the case, they are giving 12% of their undesignated receipts to the CP. A lot of these churches are "home grown," having been church plants supported by the CP in their early days. So I'm talking about both. And you'll also find a lot of African Americans in predominantly white churches. Or I should say, ethnically diverse churches. The last SBC church I belonged to, in Houston, did not have a "predominant" racial group, but had a mix of hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Whites.

We will see what happens when Fred Luter's committee nominees are presented. That will give us a good idea of how open the SBC is to including members of ethnic minorities in leadership. I think a lot of moderates and liberals will be surprised, and proven wrong in their assessments.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:35 am

As usual, Sandy, your only frame of reference seems to be TX. My frame of reference is of KY, NC, VA, and service with the old HMB in Utah/Idaho. In those days in the West, an ABC/SBC church would not be accepted into the Utah/ idaho Convention. There may be a few African-American church starts in VA, but looking at the list of BGAV churches from that background in the online annual, most are not listing their membership which is reported elsewhere.
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