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Nov 19, 2010

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Joe Blackmon

Much of the credit for this division must be posted on the GCR side of the ledger.

Actually, if you're saying it belongs to them it'd be better to say "debit" since the normal balance of an asset account is a debit balance.

LOL

tom jefferson

I am just glad that PhDs that teach in seminaries (many never having pastored local churches) know exactly what churches, what associations, what state conventions and entire denominations need to do and don't mind telling us how.

Man, they are so smart. I am glad the rest of us dummies have them to show us the way.

Howell Scott

Peter,

I wonder what Dr. Akin meant by "myopic?" Did he mean 1) "nearsighted, shortsighted, astigmatic" and the like or, 2)"close-minded, intolerant, bigoted, parochial" and the like? You and I have been on the same page when it comes to some of what we have seen concerning the GCR and the process.

You are correct when you say that the reason for much of the divisiveness can be attributed to the GCR and its supporters. Of course, anytime that opponents of the GCR point this out, we are the ones accused of being divisive.

Last I checked, the entity heads were supposed to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. In essence, Dr. Akin (who has used similar language before) has just called a whole lot of churches (because churches comprise the State Conventions) myopic because they did not fall in line with the GCR recommendations.

I pastor a church in one of those State Conventions. The SBC establishment better figure out, and quickly, that this is not playing well in Peoria and a lot of other places in SBCland! Thanks for the heads up on the tweet and the insightful post. Have a great day and God bless,

Howell

Les Puryear

It seems that is one disagrees with Danny and all his little Akins, then one is myopic and territorial. What hubris does it take to make such a statement? Hard to imagine.

Perhaps our seminary presidents and professors should get back to teaching and stay out of SBC politics. Do they not have enough to do in their classrooms?

Les

Rick

I nominate Peter, Les and Howell for Pres, 1st VP and 2nd VP in any order you guys prefer. Run on the platform of restoring transparency and fairness in this process rather than hosting arm twisting Pastors Conferences, insulting those who disagree, locking up secrets and locking out smaller church representation. It might take a while to build consensus, but who really wants to be called myopic? If nothing else, you could use the nomination speeches to promote a different kind of SBC. They have to recognize you and give you time to speak rather than cutting off debates.


Don Arndt

Alright yall,

GCR guys are divisive, intense, fiery, less than courteous, blah, blah, blah for pursuing a course that puts our missionary focus where the need is greatest. Whatever.

Some questions for those who dislike the tenor and approach of the GCR, the task force and other leaders.

Was there a problem with the SBC missions apparatus as it was say 8 months ago? Were we being as effective as we could be? Were the places of greatest spiritual darkness getting the proper attention?

Maybe you believe we were a few short years from the whole world coming to Christ? Maybe you think that the old ways are always the best ways?

You have voiced your concerns, complaints and criticisms loud and long.

What should we have done? You don't like what happened. You don't like how it happened. You don't like how it was implemented.

Well, what are your solutions?

I waited with breathless anticipation for your approaches and solutions to the problem of a world that is rapidly becoming more and more lost?

Don

Mary

So anyone who has questions or voices dissent doesn't support the Biblical Great Commision? Isn't that kinda like playing the race card in politics - it's supposed to shame and shut up those who dare ask questions?

Tim Rogers

Brother Don,

Your questions are very sarcastic sounding but I promise I will not respond with sarcasm.

Let's look at placing all your questions together as one and then I will answer that. it seems that your questions center around what those that disagreed with the methodology would purport that we do with what we have? Well, let me just say it this way. This entire GCRTF report, while calling attention to various parts of the convention is targeted at some pet disagreements of some leaders. NAMB is the target and that target is very relevant as there are problems with the IMB and nothing was pointed at that organization. Also, there is a targeted audience that desired to have their societial giving counted as Cooperative Program funds.

So, let's face the facts. The GCR is a pseudonym for "get out of my way I am running the convention now" group. So, how about helping me see something. What has happened at NAMB to settle our concerns that organization is headed in the right direction? The releasing of everyone over the age of 54 and then the hiring of everyone under that age? Do the leaders at NAMB no realize they are setting the stage for an age discrimination lawsuit?

But, let's give our President of NAMB a chance and ask others to stop the rhetoric of "myopic and sad" state conventions.

Blessings,
Tim

Debbie Kaufman

This is all very interesting coming from Peter, Tim Rogers, and Mary. Seems I and others were saying this when those who would exclude were running things. And it was you guys who were saying trust the leaders. Yes, I am smiling. I'm almost laughing. It just goes to show the SBC is about power and control. And it will always be this way until someone says stop or doesn't care anymore. I fall in the latter. I have learned a lot in 5 years. :)

Mary

Debbie, it makes me very sad that you are such a bitter woman. I pray Christ will do a work on your heart and heal whatever it is that makes you so unhappy. I'm very sincere Debbie. You have great gifts and I would love to see you use them for the glory of God rather than to try to hurt and destroy those you disagree with. Peace Debbie.

Dr. James Galyon

"Perhaps our seminary presidents and professors should get back to teaching and stay out of SBC politics. Do they not have enough to do in their classrooms?"

"So, let's face the facts. The _____ is a pseudonym for 'get out of my way I am running the convention now group."

Anyone else here remember the 80s-90s? To quote the inestimable Yogi Berra, "It's like deja vu, all over again."

Chris

Seems to me like there is a lot of myopic talk these days. If you don't "see" things like some folks then you must be guilty. I love the irony of Lumpkins, Rogers, and Puryear pointing this out! Who is going to lay down their pistols first?

peter

'Chris'

First, if you'd like to make a clear point, please do so. As it is, I fear few but yourself know precisely the irony you wish to communicate.

Second, if you desire to make a genuine contribution here, then let us know who you are. You may want to reference the page above (link just below the banner) on commenting incognito.

With that, I am...
Peter

Don

"This entire GCRTF report, while calling attention to various parts of the convention is targeted at some pet disagreements of some leaders."

This is a judgmental statement. You have placed motives that you are speculating about onto widely respected leaders, no proof, just your "feelings."

"The GCR is a pseudonym for "get out of my way I am running the convention now" group."

This is a baseless attack on the character of these leaders. Who is in this group? Do you have proof or evidence that they are intent on completely reshaping the convention in their image?

Unless you have some knowledge that you are not sharing, the only information you have is their public statements and sermons. From everything they have said, these leaders believe we must adapt our methods and policies to be more effective in the advancement of the gospel.

Other than name changes, what serious institutional changes have NAMB or IMB gone through in the last 25 or so years?

I apologize for the sarcasm. But the thrust of the question is the same.

Do you believe the SBC is doing an acceptable job in impacting the lostness in the world? Are there no changes that need to be made? A few changes need to be made? Sweeping changes?

It is easy to sit behind a keyboard, . . . . . . ,

Sorry, had to adjust my bathrobe and Mom needed me to do something, . . . .

and throw stones. Ezell has certainly had some trip-ups in his public statements. But, sometimes there is a need for a new perspective and outlook.
I think the need for a true GCR is so obvious on its face, that I don't understand the continued fomenting of division and controversy.

Again, I apologize for the earlier sarcasm. I truly want to know what changes you think we need.

peter

Don,

Begging pardon, but you're completely overreaching by suggesting the remarks here are "baseless attack[s] on the character of these leaders..." Come on. The questions raised thus far are real questions founded upon the dishonesty or lack of integrity of no one particularly. If you truly want to know what changes some here think we need, then leave the nonsensical assertions we're allowing character assassinations aside.

With that, I am...
Peter

Tim Rogers

Debbie,

Let me give you the difference in today and 2006. No Presidents of any entity made such statements about autonomous conventions. No one here is saying we are not trusting the system We find ourselves facing leaders that speak out against the very ones they are receiving funds, but then turning around and chastising us for not giving. Huge difference in today and 2006, but very similar to pre-CR days.

Brother Don,

I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are seriously inquiring for information and not just to play a "gotcha" game.

First, as for the "judgmental statements". Have you spoken with any on the GCRTF and asked about the purpose to some of the proposals? Also, do you know, whom on the GCRTF that were also involved in the Geoff Hammonds forced resignation? One other point is the removal of one particular person from the Executive Committee only to end up at Lifeway, then to end up with a choice position under the new leadership at NAMB. Nothing judgmental about placing the information of fact in the public.

The GCR pseudonym is very easily seen just by the response to the open letter from the Ala DOM. Nothing he said in that letter is what was tweeted by others and what is pointed out in this article.

Do you have proof or evidence that they are intent on completely reshaping the convention in their image?
Can you say Great Commission Giving? The current President of NAMB, when asked about his giving, responded that he did what he felt was best for his church. That is fine. Why does he desire to run an agency he would not help fund?
Do you believe the SBC is doing an acceptable job in impacting the lostness in the world? Are there no changes that need to be made? A few changes need to be made? Sweeping changes?

No. There are changes needed in the IMB. What was the recommendations for the IMB that had any kind of change? Where is the outrage about the "bloat" in the IMB? How many of the M's that are over 54 will be fired, er, offered early retirement?

Yes. Changes need to be made. I do not believe you will find anyone here that will disagree with that. What you will find is a disagreement of placings people in positions of leadership that gave up on the convention and started giving their funds to other organizations. It appears that we are doing what some in a previous ministry wanted to do, place people on the finance committee that were not tithing in order for them to see the need and probably start. Why place persons in positions to make decisions that have not wanted anything to do with the convention before?

No one here is against changes. Shoot, I look in the mirror and see myself changing everyday. What I do not appreciate is a pointing to certain areas that some leaders do not like and only change them. Are you telling me that SEBTS, SBTS, and others don't have bloat that they can get rid of?

The GCRTF was hatched in the mind of denomination leaders, not the mind of the people in the pew. As such, we have moved to a hierarchical structured change instead of a convention of churches structured change.

Blessings,
Tim

Rick

Don,

I think we need "tweaking" not radical restructuring. The latter produces so much conflict it distracts us and shuts down progress. I admit when it comes to change, I prefer an incremental rather than catastrophic approach. As far as changes go, I would like to see the largest of our SBC churches support the CP with percentages similar to our smaller churches. While I would like to see this, they are autonomous and can do as they feel led. I certainly applaud state conventions, ON THEIR OWN, who increase their CP split to the SBC, but I do not recognize any "top down" authority to coerce that approach, since these entities are just as autonomous as the churches. One thing I TRULY wish would get more attention is the difference between a state convention possessing ministry agencies and entities versus those upstart conventions who have no such structure of ministries to support. We should not be comparing apples to oranges. I simply think we can make the convention better through the use of less drastic measures than the NAMB layoffs and all the revolutionary hype.

Rick

In other words, the change I would like to see is to tone down the rhetoric, realize we're all on the same team, and promote a "kinder, gentler" GCR in which no one feels like they have been targeted for elimination.

Tim Rogers

Brother Don,

One other thing. Do you think that the SBC only needs the IMB and Church Planting?

Blessings,
Tim

Steve Lemke

Although I don't disagree with some of the views expressed regarding our current situation in the SBC, I want to express concern about the several comments in this thred which appear to be derogatory toward all seminary personnel. Could I point out that it is one thing to disagree with one or two seminary personnel, but it is a totally different thing to paint with a broad brush and suggest that ALL seminary people should be removed from "SBC politics," or that they have no experience in the local church?

First of all, about their involvement in "SBC politics," SBC seminary presidents are (by virtue of their office) members of the Great Commission Council, which plays a role in developing convention policies, and they are also expected to represent their entities before groups such as the SBC Executive Committee and the SBC. They cannot avoid "SBC politics." Furthermore, as I count it, at least 10 seminary or college presidents (not counting W. A. Criswell or Adrian Rogers, who pastored churches with associated educational institutions), served as SBC President for about 25 years of convention history. For example, college and seminary presidents were elected SBC president consecutively from 1936-1946. In 1936 John Sampey of SBTS was elected SBC president for two years, followed by SWBTS President L. R. Scarborough for two years, followed by NOBTS President W. W. Hamilton for two years, followed by Baylor president Pat Neff for two years. Paige Patterson was the most recent seminary official elected as an SBC President. Since Dr. Patterson obviously played a crucial role in the Conservative Resurgence, would you really throw away his contribution just because of the particular ministry into which he was called by God?

(By the way, regarding GCR, let us remember that the majority of the GCR task force was pastors, not seminary personnel, and apart from the advocacy of trusted pastors such as Johnny Hunt, Ronnie Floyd, and Ted Traylor it would not have happened).

Regarding the suggestion that seminary people know nothing about the local church, I would say, "Really?" It frustrates all of us who have felt called into seminary positions out of local church positions when the suggestion is made that we "left the ministry." I can attest that at NOBTS we have a number of faculty members who have served the Lord through local churches, associations, state conventions, and IMB, with decades of experience, and continue to do so in active interim ministries and mission trips. These "broad brush" remarks are inaccurate and unfair to them.

It is fine to disagree with individuals. But you don't have to impugn, discount, or silence everyone at all six SBC seminaries to do so.

peter

Dr. Lemke,

Sorry so long to acknowledge your worthy contribution and an excellent corrective calling us all to make sure we stay on subject and avoid the 'broad-brushes' you rightly pointed out.

I agree with so much of what you write. It's true hardly a soul--if he or she is engaged in SBC life at all--can avoid "SBC politics." It's a part of any sizable organization, especially when voluntarism is central to the organizational atmosphere. It is also true many in the GCR were pastors, most of which were pastors of sizable and/or mega-churches.

Again, it is true that many seminary/college presidents have, both in distant and recent past, served as SBC president. And, it is, if possible, doubly true, how wrong-headed to assume, much less state, that seminary personnel know nothing about the local church.

All of the above and more I 100% agree. And, you were right to "call us out" on it.

The focus I personally have tried to maintain in these discussions is to note what I perceive to be the over-playing of one's influence toward an agenda not rooted in the convention at large but in the minds of a select few within the denomination. I've maintained elsewhere that, unlike the CR where the "power-brokers" were handed their marching orders from the bottom up (i.e. they were given their power by the masses), the GCRTF agenda has been and remains a "top-tier" down approach. In other words, the agenda provided for the future of the convention is driven chiefly by "power-brokers" within the denomination. And, I have not been silent about whom I personally think is "running the show" so to speak--Dr. Mohler. I mean no ill-will toward him personally by naming names. I'm but pointing out what I believe to be a "political" fact based upon several lines of observation.

For my part, there is just too much concentration of influence in the "power-brokers" today, again with all roads strangely, one route or another, winding up in Louisville.

I realize I've criticized decisions and directions of some entities, especially NAMB and SEBTS. Even so, I hope, Dr. Lemke, I have not used offensive language toward any denominational agency head, personnel, or official, and if so, I'm more than willing to make it right. I, for one, appreciate our God-called servants, both SBC-wide and state-convention wide--and will not, by God's grace, intend any criticisms personally directed at them.

Thanks again for your worthy contribution. May our Lord give you a great Thanksgiving season.

With that, I am...
Peter

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