2013 SBC Annual Meeting

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2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:10 am

While I doubt anyone would confuse the humidity at an SBC meeting in Houston with humility, the former obvious from one's first morning breath, the latter always in short supply amongst our struttin', backslappin', gregarious brethren, I am optimistic that the annual meeting will be good.

Here are a few things I read in the tea leaves from afar, no benefactor having offered to pay my expenses to attend the meeting (second consecutive year this has happened).

Elections

Fred Luter will be reelected as president and will deliver a stem-winding, corn-shucking, rip-roaring sermon.
Bart Barber will be elected 1st VP. He is a sensible, reasonable, quality pastor.
Jared Moore, whom I know from SBC Voices, will not be elected 2nd VP but will continue to grow in knowledge and grace as he ages and works toward an advanced degree. He is a serious minded young man. Try again.

The Calvinist Report

It will pass easily but there is really nothing controversial in it and it requires no action.
Various SBC luminaries will offer comments filled with sweetness and light.
An outlier messenger or two may get to a mic and ask a dumb question, but that's the SBC.

Peter Lumpkins' resolution on Sex Abuse (look for my article later today on the subject)

Will be buried in the resolution committee and not reported out to the floor with the reason offered that the SBC has addressed the issue in previous resolutions.
An attempt to put it on the floor for a vote will fail.
The SBC will have missed a good opportunity to get ahead of a scandal that will embarrass some of our prominent leaders.

The statistical report

There will be hand-wringing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth over the sharply lower baptism total for 2012.
God will be blamed for this in that He hasn't sent revival.
Pastors will be blamed for this for not witnessing.
Jerry Drace, president of the SBC Evangelists group, will blame pastors for not using vocational evangelists.
No one but Kevin Ezell will be able to say they are doing something that might change the downward trend.

Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts will be beaten up.
The near defunct and moribund SBC Boy Scout alternative, Royal Ambassadors, will be touted.

People-watching

Look for the mega pastors and mega wannabees to be wearing suits or at least dress shirts with cufflinks. See how they strut (you could strut like that with some practice, get a full length mirror).
Observe carefully how many of the Reverends are embarrassingly rotund. Follow one to lunch and find out why.
Be sure and not miss the miscellaneous business sessions because that is where you will be entertained by a few oddball messengers offering oddball motions. Hey, it's their right.
Lament the lack of tonsorial enhancement, toupees. Thirty years ago there were no shaved heads and hundreds of toupees. Now, scarcely a toupee to be spotted and shiny pates everywhere.

I regret not being able to attend but, Lord willing, I will make Baltimore next year.

Have fun, after all, you are on an expense account.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:08 am

Your analysis, William, is probably more on target than most of the journalistic ones. One comment, the SBC may have been so busy getting out of the world, it doesn't know lost people by name any more. After all, if you send your kids to a church school (segregated of course), where are they going to encounter lost people? If you work out in the church's wellness center, when do you meet real sinners at the Y? If Baptists don't even speak to each other in the ABC store, how are they going to reach the world? If you can't go to Disney, how will you know the common language of those who go? If SBC folks can't spend money in Starbucks, when will they interact with their neighbors? (tic) :wink:
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Timothy Bonney » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:44 am

I appreciate your report William! (and the good humor with which you make it.)
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Haruo » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:01 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:I appreciate your report William! (and the good humor with which you make it.)

Me too, and Dave's comment as well, though of course it really only applies in toto to the megas, since small rural churches can't afford their own wellness centers.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Neil Heath » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:42 am

Haruo wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:I appreciate your report William! (and the good humor with which you make it.)

Me too, and Dave's comment as well, though of course it really only applies in toto to the megas, since small rural churches can't afford their own wellness centers.


William's perspectives on "things SBC" is almost always on target and more realistic than the Baptist Press spin doctors will be.

I trust your observations, and hope you get to go next year.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Timothy Bonney » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:45 am

Neil Heath wrote:.... and hope you get to go next year.


Well I'm sure I'd wish THAT on William. :lol: But then maybe the meetings are less contentious than they used to be.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:21 pm

I will be setting up a donation system to send po' ol' William to next year"s convention.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:30 pm

William Thornton wrote:I will be setting up a donation system to send po' ol' William to next year"s convention.


Be sure to request press credentials.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:41 pm

So it's in Baltimore next year, huh? That's just a hop skip and jump down the road. I may go just for old time's sake.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:57 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:After all, if you send your kids to a church school (segregated of course), where are they going to encounter lost people?


The idea that having your kids in a philosophically hostile public education system enhances evangelism is not factually accurate. Kids need to be in an environment that disciples them, and prepares them for the challenges of "kingdom citizenship." The public schools systematically undermine their faith. Statistically, those who attended Christian school for their education through high school are much better prepared, and much more effective evangelists than their fellow brethren who went to the public schools. They are also five times more likely to remain in church following their college experience. And you're living in the past if you still believe that the church-related Christian school is segregated. The African American enrollment in private Christian schools affiliated with ACSI in the US is about twice as high as the percentage of African Americans in the general population, as is the Hispanic enrollment. Maybe down in backwater Dixie there are some Christian schools that go back to the segregationist days, but that's a bygone era.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Michael Wrenn » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:00 am

William Thornton wrote: Observe carefully how many of the Reverends are embarrassingly rotund. Follow one to lunch and find out why.


That is because even though baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances with Southern Baptists, fried chicken is a sacrament. :D
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:57 am

Sandy wrote: And you're living in the past if you still believe that the church-related Christian school is segregated. The African American enrollment in private Christian schools affiliated with ACSI in the US is about twice as high as the percentage of African Americans in the general population, as is the Hispanic enrollment. Maybe down in backwater Dixie there are some Christian schools that go back to the segregationist days, but that's a bygone era.


Obviously, Sandy, you have not spent much time in the old mainstay states of the Confederacy. Church related schools were started (as well as were other private schools) whose sole purpose was to prevent "Christian kids" from having to attend public schools. When the schools were integrated in the community where I am, only the three sons of one of the white ministers remained in the high school. The last statistic I saw for the public high school here showed it was 10% Caucasian. The tradition, since 1969 has been for white families to send their kids to a private academy. It does claim to be integrated, but the pictures show only Indian, Asian, and a couple of Latino kids. Public education has been abandoned not for the issues you may have mentioned but for the issues of race.

From a personal standpoint, my son graduated from a public high school in 2005. The school did not attempt to undermine his faith. I read most of his textbooks, and there was no subversion of faith in them. My encounters with parents were interesting, and I found several who were as concerned about their children's faith as was I. There were other issues that had little to do with the school but much more to do with poverty and crime.

By the way, Sandy, did you notice the wink at the end of my post and the tic? Guess you were tweaked.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:34 am

Dave Roberts wrote:
Sandy wrote: And you're living in the past if you still believe that the church-related Christian school is segregated. The African American enrollment in private Christian schools affiliated with ACSI in the US is about twice as high as the percentage of African Americans in the general population, as is the Hispanic enrollment. Maybe down in backwater Dixie there are some Christian schools that go back to the segregationist days, but that's a bygone era.


Obviously, Sandy, you have not spent much time in the old mainstay states of the Confederacy. Church related schools were started (as well as were other private schools) whose sole purpose was to prevent "Christian kids" from having to attend public schools. When the schools were integrated in the community where I am, only the three sons of one of the white ministers remained in the high school. The last statistic I saw for the public high school here showed it was 10% Caucasian. The tradition, since 1969 has been for white families to send their kids to a private academy. It does claim to be integrated, but the pictures show only Indian, Asian, and a couple of Latino kids. Public education has been abandoned not for the issues you may have mentioned but for the issues of race.

From a personal standpoint, my son graduated from a public high school in 2005. The school did not attempt to undermine his faith. I read most of his textbooks, and there was no subversion of faith in them. My encounters with parents were interesting, and I found several who were as concerned about their children's faith as was I. There were other issues that had little to do with the school but much more to do with poverty and crime.

By the way, Sandy, did you notice the wink at the end of my post and the tic? Guess you were tweaked.


Perhaps.

Sometimes I get the impression here that the culture of the eleven states of the Old Confederacy is the only one that matters. In the sultry backwaters of the ole South, the sort of thing you describe may still exist to some degree. In the metro areas, and in the rest of the country, it's just not that way in very many places. The very first Christian school in which I taught was a third African American and half Hispanic, and was owned and operated by an old line Southern Baptist church which founded it in 1946. That was in Texas, BTW, and the main attraction of the school, aside from the Christian emphasis, was the academic quality of the instruction. Being surrounded by sub-par, underperforming, "teaching to the test" public schools is a great recruiting tool.

Having moved to a new state, I had to re-educate on the specific public school curriculum objectives which are contrary to Biblical Christian values and teaching. There are plenty of them, though I think Texas actually had more.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby TrudyU » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:30 am

Ed: Sandy just what sort of "specific public school curriculum objectives which are contrary to Biblical Christian values and teaching" did you have to re-educate on when you moved to Pennsylvania?

While we are here would you explain just what you mean by "I had to re-educate on" . And where you re-educating yourself or someone else?
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:31 am

William Thornton wrote:The statistical report

There will be hand-wringing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth over the sharply lower baptism total for 2012.
God will be blamed for this in that He hasn't sent revival.
Pastors will be blamed for this for not witnessing.
Jerry Drace, president of the SBC Evangelists group, will blame pastors for not using vocational evangelists.
No one but Kevin Ezell will be able to say they are doing something that might change the downward trend.


What I would be interested in knowing, in this area, is exactly what denominational initiative could be put in place to make a change? I don't think this is something that can be resolved or solved on the denominational level. Evangelism happens in the local church, or it doesn't. And right now, it is not happening in enough places to make a difference in the statistics.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby TrudyU » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:04 pm

Sandy wrote:
William Thornton wrote:The statistical report

There will be hand-wringing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth over the sharply lower baptism total for 2012.
God will be blamed for this in that He hasn't sent revival.
Pastors will be blamed for this for not witnessing.
Jerry Drace, president of the SBC Evangelists group, will blame pastors for not using vocational evangelists.
No one but Kevin Ezell will be able to say they are doing something that might change the downward trend.


What I would be interested in knowing, in this area, is exactly what denominational initiative could be put in place to make a change? I don't think this is something that can be resolved or solved on the denominational level. Evangelism happens in the local church, or it doesn't. And right now, it is not happening in enough places to make a difference in the statistics.


Ed: Sandy for your first question, what denomination are you asking about? And I wonder if you do not mean, Evangelism must be done by members of the local church or it doesn't happen? I am persuaded that very little effective evangelism happens in the church. Or that it needs to. I would agree that in most denominations it is not happening in enough places to make a difference in the statistics. I do not share you pessimism about the potential for a denominations impact. IMHO the denomination of which I am a part ABC-USA and adjunct organization, CBF, of which I am also a part each focus more on feel good projects and need more emphasis on direct Evangelism. Feeling good is a lot more fun than is challenging the culture of those in need of conversion even if (or, especially if) they are recitatives and closest friends. Too many are only interested in the perks of Christianity but see no need to share in the sacrifice of Christ.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Haruo » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:49 pm

TrudyU wrote:Feeling good is a lot more fun than is challenging the culture of those in need of conversion even if (or, especially if) they are recitatives and closest friends.

Recitatives?? Oratorio, opera or cantata? Didn't know operatic delivery styles could be saved, except maybe in YouTube.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:34 pm

Sandy, the only national initiative that has potential to increase baptisms is NAMB's church planting effort.

In the past the simultaneous revivals would bump up baptisms but theses seem to be a thing of the past.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby TrudyU » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:16 pm

Haruo wrote:
TrudyU wrote:Feeling good is a lot more fun than is challenging the culture of those in need of conversion even if (or, especially if) they are recitatives and closest friends.

Recitatives?? Oratorio, opera or cantata? Didn't know operatic delivery styles could be saved, except maybe in YouTube.


Ed: Cute Haruo. I think you know I meant Relatives. An could have guessed that I had mistyped it and too hurriedly selected the wrong option offered by spell check. Context my friend context.

I have a first appointment with a hand surgeon next Monday. I praying that he can eventually help my typing but not expecting perfection. Getting rid of the pain, even to have it lessened would be a blessing.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Haruo » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:58 pm

Sorry, Ed. You're right, I guessed what you meant, and shouldn't have drawn attention to your typo.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:26 pm

William Thornton wrote:Sandy, the only national initiative that has potential to increase baptisms is NAMB's church planting effort.

In the past the simultaneous revivals would bump up baptisms but theses seem to be a thing of the past.


I appreciate the fact that planting new churches does have the potential to increase baptisms, and that NAMB sees it as a priority, and is putting all of its eggs into that basket. I think it will also require consulting with the local people in the field, and taking into consideration their advice and expertise when it comes to their own parts of the country. That's the danger of the denomination taking the initiative and putting something into program form. They have a tendency to want to do it their way.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:00 pm

Sandy wrote:
William Thornton wrote:Sandy, the only national initiative that has potential to increase baptisms is NAMB's church planting effort.

In the past the simultaneous revivals would bump up baptisms but theses seem to be a thing of the past.


I appreciate the fact that planting new churches does have the potential to increase baptisms, and that NAMB sees it as a priority, and is putting all of its eggs into that basket. I think it will also require consulting with the local people in the field, and taking into consideration their advice and expertise when it comes to their own parts of the country. That's the danger of the denomination taking the initiative and putting something into program form. They have a tendency to want to do it their way.


Not all. Their goal is 50% of budget to church planting.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:05 pm

It seems to me that the purpose of many Christian schools is to isolate children from actually learning about the culture they live in. I believe it creates persons who are ill prepared to deal with reality when they actually get out into the secular world via work or college.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:46 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:It seems to me that the purpose of many Christian schools is to isolate children from actually learning about the culture they live in. I believe it creates persons who are ill prepared to deal with reality when they actually get out into the secular world via work or college.


That wouldn't even be close to reality regarding any Christian school in which I've ever worked. And I wouldn't be able to name one that I've ever heard of that does that. Statistically, students from Christian schools excel in college, whereas their peers from the public school system struggle. We prepare our kids to do research, write, interpret results and literature, and we let them fail when they don't meet the standard. In thirty years of teaching and serving as an administrator in Christian school, there are two things that I have seen in our graduates. One, they are far more capable of handling the real world than their public school peers whose education shielded them from failure, pandered to them, and dumbed down their classes. Two, it is rare for them to abandon their faith and drop out of the church.

You're invited, if you're ever around here, to come to our campus and visit with our students. You can preach a chapel service, and then sit in some classes and chat about reality, the secular world, and determine for yourself whether our kids have their heads on straight. Our students graduate with critical thinking skills that the public education system abandoned years ago.

A Christian school isn't an isolation ward, it is an incubator. When our students graduate, they have a very realistic view of the world, and most of them live a life that demonstrates it.
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Re: 2013 SBC Annual Meeting

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:11 pm

Sandy, I think it depends on which students and which Christian schools. The independent evangelical schools in this area seem to exist to keep people from studying evolution, to teach young earth creationism, etc.

My wife briefly attended one in N. Little Rock as a young person funded by the Churches of Christ who tried to tell her that she wasn't saved because she wasn't Church of Christ. I've heard reports of others who attended a school I'm aware of in this area that told Catholics that they weren't Christians.

As person whose wife has taught in public schools I take offense at your characterization and broad sweeping generalizations about entire systems of schools in different states, locations, etc. The public school here in Iowa has over the years been of very high caliber. We are in danger of losing that because of cuts to education by a Republican governor. But that is another story.
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