Evidence suggests that the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention may have interfered with the autonomous decision-making of our state conventions by exercising their authority to release or withhold mission dollars donated by all Southern Baptists. NAMB may have leveraged these financial gifts in order to dictate matters of policy and personnel that are properly at the discretion of our state conventions.
Several credible, high-level, first-hand witnesses report that NAMB may have interfered with autonomous state convention decisions in Maryland-Delaware, the Northwest Baptist Convention, Michigan, West Virginia, and Alaska, among other states. There is even evidence, outside the scope of this article, suggesting that Dr. Ezell may have used NAMB time and office equipment to place phone calls solely for the purpose of keeping former state convention employees from doing ministry with other Southern Baptist entities, in an apparent attempt to prevent those individuals from earning a living.
The entire church of Jesus Christ in our nation needs to convictionally come together in unified prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in America. There is no greater need in America. What will it take to wake us up, die to ourselves, and come together under the banner of the cross?
There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God’s people. Regardless of our denominational identity or independence, the time is now for us to come together before God in clear agreement, visible union, and extraordinary prayer for the next great move of God that will catapult us into reaching the world with the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that unified prevailing prayer will lead to these results. Continue reading
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.