"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SBC Prez Who Might Even Listen to Lowly Bloggers?

Last week the Wartburg Watch reported that a certain man who is a former SBC church member but has been shunned in recent years may have a meeting scheduled very soon with the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bryant Wright.

If this is true, and I understand that it is, even one more reason why I like Wright - some other reasons I gave here.

Here is the link to the Wartburg Watch article, which as of this writing has 24 comments:

Perhaps There is an SBC Prez Who Cares What the Little Guy Thinks

Wouldn't that be something if our new SBC president was willing to meet with someone of little stature - at least as far as the SBC power brokers are concerned - who shares the concerns expressed on this blog and other critical SBC blogs?

What if you had a meeting with Bryant Wright, and wanted to express some of your larger concerns about our convention? What would the top 3 things you would like Wright to address?

My top 3 would be: 1. addressing every concern that Christa Brown has been callling for in regards to tracking sexual deviants and creating a means by which victims can be heard and helped and not shunned; 2. A call for complete financial openness and transparency within the SBC and SBC churches so we all know where our money is going; 3. A system by which misbehaving Baptist pastors are held accountable and disciplined by a board of their peers, like most other professions have. The interim LBTS president called for this years ago.

Go to the Wartburg Watch article above and comment, or feel free to comment here!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your thoughts here, WD, but I do not how you do some of the things that you are asking for and still keep the local Baptist church autonomous.

It will probably take someone like you, who is not associated with the SBC headquarters, to keep lists of pastors/preachers/professors, etc and "blackball" them. And make such lists available to all churches and institutions.

If the national convention gets involved, then they could exert some "official" control over churches or pastors. And I do not think any of us want that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I don't trust any of these guys. Been there, done that. In my opinion, they are all "in the club". Most are egotistical, arrogant, not to be challenged. All they are interested in is the money and their power. And heaven help you if you get in their way, or if you have a concern that they find "challenging". The word "pompous" comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

9:43 comment

The typical SBCer especially pastors have it too good to establish something like that, but I do agree that something like that needs to be established.

There are many families going to the "Family Model" of worship just because so much has gone on and has been covered up over the years especially in Youth Group and with Pastors.

Maybe it is time that we revisit what "autonomy" means?

I agree that no central form of government should exist; however, to bury our head in the sand leaves us open to much deserved criticism.

Pastorbill

Anonymous said...

Who says they don't need some type of "control" put on these out of control "institutions". They accept public funds and should be accountable. Not to mention the "trust" they illicit by being a "spiritual" entity. As it is they just run roughshod over whomever gets in their way!! Some churches are dead anyway.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe it is time that we revisit what "autonomy" means?
"

For the SBC leadership, autonomy means sanctified sin.

dee said...

Anon9:43AM

If there is no "official" control, then how does a church get booted out of the SBC like the church in Georgia that had a woman asa pastor? (And to be sure you understand, I am NOT talking about the one with a lesbian pastor)?

I don't buy the "autonomous" bit. It just means a church is autonomous until it does something that someone "in charge"at the SBC deems "wrong."

Anonymous said...

If the term 'autonomy' has been used to EXCUSE to remain silent and thus enable the protection of predator-clergy as they roam like wolves among SBC Churches,
then that term needs to be re-defined big-time.

All the 'leadership' who kept silent knowingly need to be sued for their participation in the abuse of victims that followed, as a result of their silence.
And IF THE LEADERSHIP RECOMMENDED a predator, knowingly, then that leadership should go to jail.

No Christian entity can remain silent while knowing that innocent people are in harm's way;
and no Christian entity could EVER turn its back on the needs of innocent women and children by refusing to intervene and share information that would protect them from harmful predators.

Anonymous said...

My top 3 concerns about the SBC?

I would only talk to the SBC president about the things that the SBC president or the SBC has control over and that is - appointments.

Bryant Wright can't do a thing about anything except appointments.

We did not elect a king or a President with executive powers.

The SBC president can attend meetings of the EC, but he does not have a vote.

If you want to know what I would talk to newly elected SBC Treasurer and EC President, Frank Page, that would be more interesting

1. More financial openness at the SBC offices etc. This would be good. Things have already improved since the days of Dr. Bennett, but there is more to do.

2. Seeing that the SBC stays within the confines of its authority and mission.

The SBC only collects the money that churches send to it, and distributes that money to the agencies based upon an agreed upon budget.

The SBC should get out of all ministry and programming type emphases. That is not what the SBC is for.

The SBC exists only so that churches can pool their money for missions, education etc.

No programs should be running out of the SBC.

The agenices each have their program statements and they should go full bore after their respective missions.

But when dollars are sent to Nashville, they should go to missions and education, and no pet projects.

3. Improved trustee selection so that the SBC boards will have better access to people with skills who have experience with balance sheets, business programs etc. And trustee orientation and education.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:36,

I am the anon 9:43 by being autonomous it means that we do not have an "official" system like many of your mainline protestane denominations (methodist, presbyterian, episcopal, etc.)

However a church must agree to certain criteria to be a part of the SBC, if they choose not to agree wit hthis criteria there is no one forcing them to join the SBC, but it is agreed that they will abide by these criteria if they are going to be a SBC church.

Thus, if they violate that agreement the SBC does not fire the pastor they just cease having a cooperative agreement and relationship with that church.

This is typically done on the state level, however and not on the larger national level.

I hope this makes sense to you, I do not know if I made sense on this or not.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Maybe it is time that we revisit what "autonomy" means?

and

If there is no "official" control, then how does a church get booted out of the SBC like the church in Georgia that had a woman asa pastor? (And to be sure you understand, I am NOT talking about the one with a lesbian pastor)?

I don't buy the "autonomous" bit. It just means a church is autonomous until it does something that someone "in charge"at the SBC deems "wrong."


Questions I was going to suggest before I read the comments.

I'll just say the same thing I said on the WW article. It doesn't matter to me what they say. It's what they do that matters. Saying all the right things means nothing if it's not backed up by actions.

The cynic in me says Bryant Wright may be a "nice guy," but he wouldn't have been allowed to be elected (yes, that's what I meant -- allowed to be) if TPTB didn't think he'd at least maintain the status quo.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Bryant Wright can't do a thing about anything except appointments.

Something Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler understood and seized upon over 30 years ago. The CR wasn't the grassroots effort they touted it to be. It was a top-down takeover that was in the works for over a decade before it began. Not that the previous regime did any better when it came to the subject of clergy sexual abuse, but I'm just saying until you have someone as president who's passionate about this issue and will surround himself with powerful people who care and make the appointments needed to make a difference from the top down, I don't see anything changing. If he pushes too hard for change in his first year, he'll be voted out before his second. If he lasts for a second, he's the equivalent of a lame duck.

I'd like to see TPTB in the SBC be half as passionate about protecting their members from clergy sexual abuse and spiritual abuse as they are about protecting each other and declaring what manly men they are and keeping the wimminfolk in their proper place.

That would be "change" I could believe in.

Dr Who said...

Guarantee something will be accomplished with the Guy from GA talking to Bryant Wright. I know him well and he will either get it done or do it himself.

I hear a website clock is ticking if if does not get accomplished what he feels needs accomplished.

This meeting could make or break Bryant Wright, "right from the start"....

Purify the Ministers is the ultimate goal of his and if I were those within the Baptist denomination I would listen intensely.....

I wish them well.

Anonymous said...

"Bryant Wright can't do a thing about anything except appointments."

That is a biggie right there. Let's see if it is the same old people...like you.

Does anyone remember that Louis said he 'did not anticipate working with the SBC in any capacity"? Then we find out he is on an SBC related Board. Same old types playing deceptive games.

"We did not elect a king or a President with executive powers."

He has a bully pulpit.

dee said...

ANON 3:20

Thanks for trying to answer. I admit it. I am a bit obtuse. What in the world is the difference between a church which elects to keep on a woman as pastor and a church that elects to keep on a pastor who hides a pedophile on a staff?

It would seem to me that they would boot the pedophile situation first-you know-"whoever harms one of these little ones it would be better to tie a millstone around his neck and jump into the abyss" and all that sort of thing.

Seems to me that is a far stronger warning than to allow a woman to be a pastor...wait a minute, there is no similar millstone warning for woman pastors, is there?

Anonymous said...

"Thus, if they violate that agreement the SBC does not fire the pastor they just cease having a cooperative agreement and relationship with that church.
"

You mean they ceased taking their money. Which means the woman pastor church was considered 'tainted' money but the many sexual pervert churches money is not.

Dee said...

Anon 10:40

You took the words right out of my mouth.

Anonymous said...

The SBC is insignificant. About the only people making a difference are those on the mission field. Churches AREN'T.

Anonymous said...

"The SBC is insignificant. About the only people making a difference are those on the mission field. Churches AREN'T."

ANON 2:29 PM . . . Well said!

John Wylie said...

Many SBC churches are making a difference. Those missionaries are being called and sent out in those churches and their financial support is coming from those same SBC churches. "And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit."
(Philippians 4:15-17)(ESV)

You cannot separate the missionaries from the churches that are supporting them, they are partners based on the authority of the above text.

Further, there are thousands of people professing faith in Christ, being discipled, and being provoked to "love and good works" in those SBC churches. Yes they may not be as productive as they once were but to call them insignificant and say they aren't making a difference is really not fair nor is ot true.

Kenneth said...

1. WD I just wanted to remind you that all SBC churches are autonomous. There is nothing the SBC could pass that could force a church to do anything. It is our greatest strength as well as our greatest weakness.