For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Does The Missouri Baptist Convention Need Saving?

Two weeks ago, 11 pastors from some of the largest churches in the MBC called a meeting (at least some folks were invited; not me) to express their “concerns” over matters in the state convention. The cute little title for this meeting was “Save Our Convention.” One email that went out prior to the meeting (which I obtained a bootleg copy of) stated:
Folks, these are desperate times!
That email went on to say that the main issue was:

…the political agenda of a select group of individuals seeking to control the direction of this convention to the neglect of the voices of the masses. It is our belief that this agenda has culminated in the manipulation of the Nominating Committee process as well as a tightening of the reins in the area of church planting and a lessening of involvement among our fellow Missouri Baptists.

Can you say “fear mongering?”

During that meeting in St. Louis (which I didn’t attend, largely because I wasn’t invited) information was passed out stating the concerns more fully. (Thanks to David Krueger’s blog for posting this information for the rest of us to see; and for a very good commentary on it).

That handout said in part:

What is Our Purpose?
1. To break the power-hold that a small group has on the Missouri Baptist Convention.
2. To halt the spread of a legalistic spirit and allow for diversity of opinion on non-essentials.
3. To include all those who want to work together with the Baptist, Faith and Message as our guide.
Can you say “innuendo?”
Furthermore, the statement laid out these objectives:
Goals for Missouri Baptist Convention
• Elect new slate of officers President 1st and 2nd Vice President Recording Secretary
• Reject Nominating Committee Report if it is not reflective of people who represent the MBC as a whole and adopt a substitute minority report.
• Reject Presidents Nominations for the Nominating Committee if those nominations are power brokers and do not reflect the MBC as a whole.
Can you say “ridiculous?”
If the issue is the political machinations of a small group of men and women (who by the way are named in the report), then how is that solved by replacing it with the political machinations of this group instead?

The question is: Does the Missouri Baptist Convention need saving?
The answer is “Yes” and “No.”

No, the MBC does not need saving from the current Executive Board, which according to the SOC group is a mere ignorant puppet of the reported power mad individuals they list. I know several Board members and know them to be much more intelligent than that.

No, the MBC does not need to be saved from the remnants of Project 1000, the movement several years ago to reclaim a conservative direction in our state. That movement is over and done with. The only evidence the SOC group can point out to the contrary is an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which we all know clearly beats with the pulse of the average Missouri Baptist. (Can you say “sarcasm?”)

No, the MBC does not need to be saved from any of these perceived threats, none of which has any factual basis. However…

Yes, the MBC does need to be saved from individuals who spread fear and division.

Yes, the MBC does need to be saved from those who would continue to lead us down a path toward moral relativism (see my previous post), many of whom do seem to be involved in church planting as the above statement maintains.

Yes, the MBC does need to be saved from those whose best solution to “power brokers” is to become their own power brokers. (Read those stated goals again). I guess it’s OK to politick and control as long as you’re the one doing it, right?

Yes, the MBC does need to be saved from those who say they are concerned about the “masses” not being represented when they haven’t consulted those “masses” themselves. The last time I checked, I wasn’t a power broker, which would make me a “mass,” I guess. No one asked me if I was offended. No one asked me if I felt left out. And yet the SOC group assumes to speak for me.

Yes, the MBC does need saving from those who highlight the service of certain individuals on boards and agencies trying to show their supposed “control” while neglecting to mention that several of the SOC members have themselves served on just as many boards. But no one accuses them of a “power-hold.”

The MBC needs our prayers. Our state leadership and our state staff need our support. And we ought to be concerned about our direction as a state. Yet, for some reason, I’m much more concerned about the agenda of the SOC and their misinformation and innuendo than about anything else.

(For a much more insightful take on this, read the blogs by Rodney Albert or David Krueger)


Anonymous said...

Good article, Dad.
"Fear mongering", "innuendo, ridiculous","sarcasm"... I can say them ALL!
Love ya.

Anonymous said...

Great article.
Tim A. Blankenship