Friday, June 30, 2006

What Really Happened at the SBC - Part 2

4. During the Executive Committee report, an amendment from the floor seeking a statement encouraging 10% cooperation from churches to the CP, was soundly defeated. I believe strongly in the CP, but many pastors find themselves in a quandary. On the one-hand they desire to increase giving to the CP but on the other they do not desire to increase giving to liberal state colleges or conventions.

It would not surprise me at all to see a groundswell of Southern Baptists calling for state conventions to give at least 50% directly to the SBC (which is what they are apparently working toward). Further I predict a motion, that in essence, gives churches, who find themselves in state conventions that keep more than 50%, the opportunity to give directly to the SBC and receive CP credit until their state reaches 50% contribution.

There is no state convention that is training pastors like our seminaries or missionaries like NAMB and IMB. Therefore, I would be in favor of more than 50% going to the national level.

5. Before the convention there appeared to be a storm of threats and promises of confrontation of the powers that be in the convention, especially, Dr. Paige Patterson. Wisdom prevailed.

6. The New Young Leaders
Much was made of the new young leaders on the Blogs…but the exaggerated predictions of the Bloggers concerning both the participation of the convention messengers (some predicted 20,000) and the New Young Leaders movement validates the small effect (although I believe there was an effect) I feel Bloggers had.

Ironically, I believe this convention will end up producing a major movement. I know of numerous young pastors and leaders in the convention who are adamant that the *Blogger group with their antinomian presuppositions, pride, and ingratitude will no longer represent their generation. I imagine the concerns of many of these young pastors will erupt into an earthquake of unity and purity that will rock the Richtor-scale and perhaps usher in an new Awakening.

*Those unified on the Wade Burleson/alcohol and other issues.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What really happened at the SBC

I was exuberant at what God did at the SBC this year. And not just a little amazed. I headed into the convention expecting a possible impact and a real “fight” from the floor by and with the *Bloggers and the “new young leaders” of the convention, I was joyously disappointed. Here is the breakdown of the convention (as I saw it).

1. The Presidential Vote.
This concerned me as much as anything before the convention. The President has the appointment power that can change the course of the convention. My concerns were warranted, I believe, because of some of the Bloggers who were supporting Frank Page, yet having problems with the word inerrancy. I even spoke to one on the phone who said he had met with a group of BGCT pastors encouraging them to come and vote for “change” in the convention. I’ve always felt we are known by our friends as well as our enemies. However, as the convention neared my concerns were eased. I spoke to Ben Brammer (Frank Page’s son-in-law) who assured me of his father-in-law’s theology. I trust Ben totally and was comforted by his words. Furthermore, during the vote I noticed L Russ Bush, a bulwark of conservatism who helped lead the way in the conservative resurgence, voting for and sitting next to Frank. Finally, I listened intently to my President as well as a President of another institution affirm Dr. Page’s conservatism and election!
This coupled with the other results from the convention brings me to an acute view of what took place. The election of Frank Page WAS NOT a message to the leaders of the convention that we needed to change course. The election of Frank Page was over CP giving. That’s it. If there was a mandate that came out of the convention it was “either put up or shut up when it comes to supporting the convention.” I agree with Ben Brammer when he says his father-in-law would have been elected without the support of the internet (Bloggers). In fact, on every other issue at the convention to which the Bloggers spoke, they were soundly defeated! Let’s look to these.

2. The Wade Burleson Motion and Vote.
Some of the Bloggers who fellowshipped with Wade Burleson at the convention spoke for Wade’s motion to have the executive committee appoint a committee to look into the IMB Trustees. Wade asked that his motion be sent back to the IMB trustees with the stipulation that the chair not be able to appoint the committee. Wade was wise to ask this, since that was going to happen anyway. However, it went back without any stipulation to the chair – an apparent loss for Wade.

3. The alcohol Issue
The anti-nomian Bloggers push to keep the convention from speaking against the consumption of alcohol was not just resoundingly defeated, it was rejected with an amendment that applied the abstinence of alcohol to the Trustees of our institutions (a direct application to one of the foremost speakers on the Blog for moderation). This not only exhibited the faithfulness of Southern Baptist to know and interpret Scriptural principles accurately, it also revealed the relatively small impact of Bloggers (although they did have an impact).

My next post will conclude my analysis of the Greensboro convention with predictions for the future, especially in light of the 10% defeat and new young leaders.

* when I use the word “Bloggers” I am not identifying all of them, just those who seem united on the Wade Burleson, alcohol, and BGTC/BGAV issues.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Entering the blogosphere

In 1978 I finally reached the age to play pee-wee football. As I walked onto the field in Tom Bean, Texas I was very nervous. My football knowledge was almost non-existent, and entering the unknown had always made me uncomfortable. Further, I was concerned about playing with boys who were much more experienced than I, and extremely concerned I would commit a huge embarrassing football faux pas. Interestingly, those feelings have returned, only more acutely, as I enter the blogosphere.

Why would a technologically-challenged individual such as myself ever enter this avenue of expression. I have avoided this arena for 2 months. And have had good reasons for such avoidance.

1) My wife and I are expecting our first child this December and of course I cherish every opportunity to give her the attention, love and tender care she deserves as my wife and as one with child.

2) As an educator, it is my sincere desire to be fully prepared for the courses I will be teaching this fall and to honor Christ in the ministry He has given me. Therefore, I typically spend much of my summers reading and prepping for the fall.

3) As a pastor, summer is a great-time to do door-to-door evangelism. Further, I have more time to spend with the flock, whom I love.

4) I have long desired to use the education, experiences, and studies God has given me to work toward getting the Intelligent-Design theory of origins taught alongside evolution in the public school system. I approach this as an educator, not as a scientist. And thus am a proponent of the foundational educational principle that the public education classroom is to be the "“free-marketplace of ideas."” In the words of John Milton, "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?" However, it appears that the current application of this principle limits it to areas, which the NEA and Courts have sanitized from all religious thought save atheism. In other words, the public education classroom is now "“the free-marketplace of ideas, provided these ideas do not create metaphysical implications or provided these ideas fit into the indoctrination of the NEA."” In my opinion, the Courts’ adulteress affair with the NEA has removed our freedom to think openly about important questions like: 1) Why am I here?; 2) Is there something beyond man?; and 3) What is the goal of life?

In order to do my part in freeing the enslaved public classrooms from such unchallenged bondage I have determined to write a book this summer on this issue from the perspective of an educator.

Because of all these reasons and more I have successfully avoided the temptation to start this Blog. However, at this point in my life God has called me to serve Him in and through the SBC. And the happenings of the Greensboro Convention produced a burning within my spirit, which could not be quenched by anything except becoming a voice for truth in the SBC through this Blog and other avenues. I recognize, in many ways, I will be an anomaly here and at times, perhaps a lone voice, but truth shall prevail. I covet your prayers that I not neglect my time with God, my wife, the church I serve, my responsibilities at the Seminary, or personal soul-winning.

In my next post I will speak to the issues, which prompted this Blog, including the impact I think bloggers had on the Greensboro convention.