A little late for the Cooperative Program and Ronnie Floyd

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A little late for the Cooperative Program and Ronnie Floyd

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:24 am

SBC Life is the slick mailout sent periodically to all churches and pastors. It is available online here.

The current issue, June/July, must have been already finished because both the print and online versions fail to incorporate changes adopted by the SBC Executive Committee officers for the sole purpose of propping up Ronnie Floyd's dismal chances of being elected SBC president in light of his churchs' 0.27% Cooperative Program giving. Seems that the CP study committee called for election of state and national convention officers whose churches give at least 10% of their undesignated receipts.

Well, the change to drop the 10% in favor of a non-defined amount (the exact new wording is "leaders whose churches 'are committed to increasing systematically and enthusiastically the percentage of undesignated receipts given through the Cooperative Program'”) is too little, too late, too transparently partisan, and too silly to make the least difference.

Can we have a little enthusiastic commitment with that ZERO POINT TWO SEVEN PERCENT?

Morris Chapman should know better. The SBC in session in Greensboro will vote to approve this CP study and its recommendations...or not. I plan to vote not.

Which leaves us with our three SBC prez candidates:

Floyd: 0.27%
Sutton: 7% (according to reports...info a little scarce on the newcomer)
Page: 12%

Perhaps the SBC in session ought to apologize to the moderates of the 1980s who unsuccessfully pushed the 10% standard...nah, none would be around to hear it.
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Postby T. D. Webb » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:33 am

William. . .You go Guy! Thanks for the post leading this Okie to believe if 10% is good. . .then 12% is a tripper! Frank is on the right "Page" concerning this issue :wink: .


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Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:54 am

John Pierce at Baptists Today has quite an interesting editorial that visits this issue from a moderate Baptist perspective. It may be toned down a bit, but he seems to be calling for moderates to get off the fence once and for all, and the current controversy in the SBC, along with the mismanagement of missions enterprises, is the evidence he cites as reason enough.

The "young conservatives," represented by Wade Burleson, Frank Page, etc., are just now discovering what moderates experienced between 1979 and 1990, mainly that the fundamentalist leadership of the SBC can't tolerate even the slightest degree of disagreement with their leadership of the denomination. Pity that most of them weren't around to be involved in denominational life between 1979 and 1990--it might have been enough to have made a difference and I can't really see that the "young conservatives" and "pre-1979 moderate leadership of the SBC" have any real theological differences to speak of.

I've always struggled with the idea of using missions money and support of cooperative ministry enterprises for political pressure, but then, denying members of contributing churches, especially those who contribute a significantly higher percentage of their offerings to the enterprises, the opportunity to share their visions and ideas for ministry on trustee boards because of who else they might support, is far worse. Perhaps the time has come for moderate Baptists to reconsider their continued support for Southern Baptist mission enterprises, especially in light of the abuses that have recently been revealed.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am still holding out hope that, even at this late hour, a change in leadership, represented by Page, Burleson and others who have openly identified with the "young conservative" movement, would also bring about an inclusive spirit that would truly "broaden the tent" and eventually get rid of the exclusive, cliquish, so-called "conservative resurgence" that has caused the current decline in the SBC.
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Postby William Thornton » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:08 am

Sandy wrote:John Pierce at Baptists Today has quite an interesting editorial that visits this issue from a moderate Baptist perspective. It may be toned down a bit, but he seems to be calling for moderates to get off the fence once and for all, and the current controversy in the SBC, along with the mismanagement of missions enterprises, is the evidence he cites as reason enough.

The "young conservatives," represented by Wade Burleson, Frank Page, etc., are just now discovering what moderates experienced between 1979 and 1990, mainly that the fundamentalist leadership of the SBC can't tolerate even the slightest degree of disagreement with their leadership of the denomination. Pity that most of them weren't around to be involved in denominational life between 1979 and 1990--it might have been enough to have made a difference and I can't really see that the "young conservatives" and "pre-1979 moderate leadership of the SBC" have any real theological differences to speak of.

I've always struggled with the idea of using missions money and support of cooperative ministry enterprises for political pressure, but then, denying members of contributing churches, especially those who contribute a significantly higher percentage of their offerings to the enterprises, the opportunity to share their visions and ideas for ministry on trustee boards because of who else they might support, is far worse. Perhaps the time has come for moderate Baptists to reconsider their continued support for Southern Baptist mission enterprises, especially in light of the abuses that have recently been revealed.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am still holding out hope that, even at this late hour, a change in leadership, represented by Page, Burleson and others who have openly identified with the "young conservative" movement, would also bring about an inclusive spirit that would truly "broaden the tent" and eventually get rid of the exclusive, cliquish, so-called "conservative resurgence" that has caused the current decline in the SBC.


Moderates have been speaking of getting off the fence, getting on the train that's about to pull out of the station, etc for a decade and a half now...though I did read and appreciate Pierce's column.

Seems to me...a generational change is about to come in the SBC. I mean, if Adrian were alive and available for a nomination speech, or pastor's conf. keynote message, what would he say and do? Now the various brethren are jockeying and pondering and who knows what will happen?
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Postby Billy » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:15 am

Is the CP the major item up for debate at this years convention?
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Postby William Thornton » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:49 am

Billy wrote:Is the CP the major item up for debate at this years convention?


I'd put it differently, Billy. The CP record of the presidential candidates has been front and center stage in the run-up to Greensboro - no question about that. It has overshadowed the Burleson ad nauseum stuff.

The CP study report, an SBC Exec. Committee item, will be up for a vote. These recommendations are usually routinely passed but I'd guess this one gets some debate. It is meaningful only in the sense that SBs are obviously once again interested in the program and the level of support given it by candidates for elective SBC offices. The EC has already watered down the 10% suggestion for those running for office, a transparent item in deference to Ronnie Floyd's 0.27% CP giving.
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Postby Sandy » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:19 am

William Thornton wrote:
Sandy wrote:John Pierce at Baptists Today has quite an interesting editorial that visits this issue from a moderate Baptist perspective. It may be toned down a bit, but he seems to be calling for moderates to get off the fence once and for all, and the current controversy in the SBC, along with the mismanagement of missions enterprises, is the evidence he cites as reason enough.

The "young conservatives," represented by Wade Burleson, Frank Page, etc., are just now discovering what moderates experienced between 1979 and 1990, mainly that the fundamentalist leadership of the SBC can't tolerate even the slightest degree of disagreement with their leadership of the denomination. Pity that most of them weren't around to be involved in denominational life between 1979 and 1990--it might have been enough to have made a difference and I can't really see that the "young conservatives" and "pre-1979 moderate leadership of the SBC" have any real theological differences to speak of.

I've always struggled with the idea of using missions money and support of cooperative ministry enterprises for political pressure, but then, denying members of contributing churches, especially those who contribute a significantly higher percentage of their offerings to the enterprises, the opportunity to share their visions and ideas for ministry on trustee boards because of who else they might support, is far worse. Perhaps the time has come for moderate Baptists to reconsider their continued support for Southern Baptist mission enterprises, especially in light of the abuses that have recently been revealed.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am still holding out hope that, even at this late hour, a change in leadership, represented by Page, Burleson and others who have openly identified with the "young conservative" movement, would also bring about an inclusive spirit that would truly "broaden the tent" and eventually get rid of the exclusive, cliquish, so-called "conservative resurgence" that has caused the current decline in the SBC.


Moderates have been speaking of getting off the fence, getting on the train that's about to pull out of the station, etc for a decade and a half now...though I did read and appreciate Pierce's column.

Seems to me...a generational change is about to come in the SBC. I mean, if Adrian were alive and available for a nomination speech, or pastor's conf. keynote message, what would he say and do? Now the various brethren are jockeying and pondering and who knows what will happen?


I think you are right regarding a generational change in the SBC. The so-called "conservative resurgence" leadership is old, as is most of its pew support. If it isn't voted out, it will eventually die out. The problem is that the younger generation, as it has developed in the SBC anyway, hasn't taken a very active role in denominational leadership and this has allowed the current leaders to prevail at rubber-stamp convention meetings. This year may be a watermark for the younger generation to measure their support and ability to affect the denominational leadership. It will be interesting to see where their energy and inertia takes them if they don't win the presidency. Their primary difficulty may be support. Pastors, church leaders, and even church members under 55 are not found in quantity in the SBC's churches these days. The Pressler-Patterson coalition is not opposed to using special tactics to guarantee that they prevail, I wonder whether Burleson's group has similar plans.

Moderates have gradually been getting off the fence for more than a decade. Their theological schools are growing, and that growth has accelerated in the past five years. The various organizations and groups see increases in the number of participating churches and individuals, in contributions, and in participation at their meetings each year. Daniel Vestal reported at South Main Baptist in Houston back in January that CBF would set another record for total contributions this year, both the Global Missions Offering and general budget, and that it would not have to depend on large "gifts" to achieve that this time around. The BGCT, BGAV, BGCM continue to grow and distance themselves from the SBC. State CBF organizations are well organized and are helping get the word out on a grass roots level.
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