Category Archives for SBC Issues

The Massive Merger Mistake How Much Power Will Southern Baptists Give One Man?

August 28, 2017

Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
Executive Director, Connect 316

Over the past few years, some Southern Baptists have been making overtures about the possibility of combining our North American Mission Board with our International Mission Board. I can already envision the slick public relations campaign. It will sound spiritual, logical and fiscally responsible, like the clear, God-given solution to all of our problems:

We must merge these two great organizations in order to demonstrate our gospel unity because a house divided against itself cannot stand. Our financial crisis can only be solved as we marshal our forces and work together to glorify God and fulfill the Great Commission. 

Mighty fine sounding words. But look deeply at such a proposal and you will discover a troubling knot of principles that threaten our historic Southern Baptist governing philosophy. Such a consolidation of raw power would strike a serious blow to principles like shared leadership and participatory decision-making. It would ignore important differences in the mission and function of each board. And it would represent the logical, if misguided, extension of a Great Commission Resurgence Plan begun in 2010 that has consistently failed to deliver on its promises.

Frankly, this centralization of authority at the national level, eerily reminiscent of Obamacare, would create more headaches than it would solve, for once the two organizations were enmeshed, it would be extremely difficult to untangle them. This merger is the kind of idea we should oppose even before it has been formally proposed. Like the telemarketer who interrupts your dinner, we should reject his pitch on principle without bothering to digest his fast-talking spiel and overblown promises of time-sharing nirvana. 

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Does God Love You and Want to Save You?

August 26, 2017

Dr. Mike Holloway, Pastor
Ouachita Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA
SBC Executive Committee Member

This article was originally published in The Louisiana Message.

ALEXANDRIA (LBM)–Where are we going in the Southern Baptist Convention pertaining to the love of God?

I am hearing and reading about more and more Southern Baptists who say that God does not love the world, with some using theologically hair-splitting statements like “well God doesn’t love everyone the same or with the same kind of love” to argue their point.

I would like to see the Bible verse that tells us that.

More importantly, I really want to know if the Southern Baptist Convention is moving in that direction, one that discourages me from going to my neighbor and telling Him that God loves him and has a wonderful plan for his life.

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Rethinking SBC Membership Policies—Part 3 A Proposed Approach to Solving Our Problem By Incentivizing Southern Baptist Loyalty

August 16, 2017

 Dr. Rick Patrick, Senior Pastor
 First Baptist Church, Sylacauga, AL
 Executive Director, Connect 316

In Part One I expressed the concern that Southern Baptists have a very lenient policy for admitting new churches into our convention. All one must do is (a) basically affirm our beliefs, (b) state somewhere, even semi-privately, that you will cooperate with us, and (c) donate an undesignated gift—optionally undisclosed—of any amount at all to any Southern Baptist entity. Frankly, this policy leaves us open to abuse by certain outside partners willing to be Southern Baptist enough to receive our benefits but not Southern Baptist enough to shoulder our responsibilities.

I identified four benefits: (a) sizable church plant funding through NAMB, (b) free ministry consultation from denominational resources, (c) voting privileges at our Annual Meetings, and (d) discounts of 50% off seminary tuition. I defined partners as those who were not really Southern Baptists in their heart of hearts, whose loyalties were truly elsewhere, regardless of whether or not they met our official definition. I defined members as the kind of typical Southern Baptist Church where the people happily claim an identity with the SBC, are familiar with our programs, customs and culture, and have been faithfully paying their Cooperative Program donations for decades—often at levels approaching ten percent.

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