« Strategy on Choosing a New Name for the Southern Baptist Convention by Peter Lumpkins | Main | The SBC Name Change and the Three R's by Ron Hale »

Sep 28, 2011

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volfan007

Also, is it not amazing that the SBC has spread to every state in the Union, and into many, many, many, foreign countries; in SPITE OF OUR NAME? I mean, we were the SBC while spreading out beyond the Mason-Dixon line. We were the SBC while going west of the MS River. We were the SBC while starting Churches in Honduras, and Zimbabwe, and India.

Why didnt the name hinder that growth and reaching out?

Maybe the name doesnt hinder as much as some think. Maybe doing away with the name "Baptist" is at the heart of this issue. I dont know.

David

Howell Scott

Peter,

The more that I read pieces like Merritt's, the more sad and mad I become. Sad because the entire SBC -- warts and all -- stands accused, convicted, and sentenced to forever be the racist, Jim Crow loving people that the elites think, that despite our over 150 year history of sharing the Gospel with the world, regardless of their language, ethnicity, or skin color. Mad because people who should know better are using racial politics to further divide Southern Baptists. One sentence in Merritt's USA Today article particularly stood out:

"Much of Southern Baptist history is laudable, but we cannot forget that the denomination was founded in 1845 over slavery."

We cannot forget because people like Merritt will continue to bring it up. Should we forget our past? Yes and No. We obviously can learn from our past, including our past sins, so that we do not repeat them. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. But, I thought we were a Convention that preaches and teaches redemption, forgiveness, and grace. I guess for everybody else, but not for us. Talk about losing the Gospel. Maybe these guys need to take a long, hard look in the mirror! Thanks and God bless,

Howell

Mary

I wonder, how many that are pro name change but insist this isn't aboutour Baptist Identity will boldly proclaim the name has to have the Baptist part? You see all the articles focusing on the Southern, when I think we all really know it's the Baptist part that offends those who want to change the name. Let's see some articles for those willing to go out on a limb and proclaim we must remain Baptist.

peter lumpkins

Mary,

I think you make a great point. Perhaps Stetzer, Rainer, Mohler, Ezell, Patterson, and/or others will make it clear "Baptist is going over my dead carcass."

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Peter, I would bet one of your shiney new nickels that you definately won't see anyone standing up for keeping the Baptist part. It'll be spun as the overwhelming majority want something non Baptist.

peter lumpkins

Unfortunately, I have to concede, Mary. Perhaps one in the list will--at least in the 'round-table' discussions--die for it. Even so, when it's all said, my guess is, the "task force" will publicly admit that it is next to impossible to legally change the name (an admission they all fairly well know now since Morris Chapman did a thorough study of name change in 1999). Therefore, they will move in a very easy direction for them--a dba similar to Converge Worldwide.

This scenario will be touted as a "great compromise" between name change advocates and those who are "bound in their tradition." We'll still technically be the Southern Baptist Convention (which allegedly appeases "old fashioned" believers like me, believers stuck in the 1950s) but we'll be known to the public as, for instance, the Gospel Centered Conference or the GCC (which pleases Baptist 21 groupies). Perfect solution!

Then, just like Converge Worldwide, GCC will be purged of all items publicly linking the new and improved Gospel Centered Conference to the old and outdated Southern Baptist Convention.

Just thinking out loud...

With that, I am...
Peter

Mary

Peter, my attorney husband has come to the same conclusion as you that the only way to do this would be a dba. The cost would be literally in the millions to try to legally do this and then he says that at first glance it would seem a form of malpractice for any attorney to recommend that you give up some of the old grandfathered protections that the current SBC has. To be clear it's not malpractice when the attorney's are telling them what they stand to lose, but the attorneys cannot possibley be recommending this. Do you think that will be part of the report? Are will the SBC only hear the sunshine, light, and unicorn side to this?

LMalone

Oh, I have thought they wanted to drop Baptist for a while now. A few things gave me that impression. For one, some churches are dropping it for various reasons. I can remember when Noblitt's church dropped it...they had some disdain for the SBC and were following Piper and Driscoll at that time.

Others dropped it to be more cool and put "community" into their name.

Then reading around the Reformed blogosphere for a while now, one picks up on the disdain for "Baptist" or the thinking that some in the SBC are not "real" Baptists. A creed/confession is always mentioned.

You see, Roger Williams, wasn't a real baptist in the Puritan mold.. (wink) Our Baptist heritage comes from the Puritans who put people in the stock who missed church.

So, Baptist does not really fit where we have been headed for a while now. Look at T4G. The joke around my city is that SBTS is the real Presbyterian seminary in town.

Now, as to Merrit, can someone tell me why this particular young man seems to be everywhere representing the SBC in the secular media? BTW: Your USA Today link did not have the article.

Ron Hale

WE are being taught the three R's:

R - racism, we must move away from our racist roots of slaveholding days. The shame game is employed.

R - regionalism, we must cast a new image of being cosmopolitan and urbane and the word "southern" inhibits us and our future.

R - reaching, we must change our name to reach more people and start new cool churches that would be embarrased to join with us otherwise. The word "Baptist" may sound to "Clampitt-ness" to some of the young'uns.

Max

A local SBC church with a young, restless and reformed pastor just did the right thing regarding the name of their church. After years of area SBs wondering about their exact theological persuasion, they painted "Reformed" under their church name on the church sign. Perhaps that's an easy fix to things ... just be honest and tell folks who you are on the sign out front! By the way, their primary church name doesn't have "Southern" or "Baptist" in it ... it's one of those cool names designed to attract, rather than identify.

Jeff Moore

Since Southern Baptists are a small, regional body that has to farm out its mission work to groups like the Acts29 network, we should change our name to the "Drunk Calvinists" and be done with it. Plus we could then look down our noses at those tea-totaling, Bible-thumping types that believe God will save anyone that believes.

Scott

Jeff,
Can you point us to an example of a Calvinist who is guilty of the sin of drunkenness?

Ron Phillips, Sr.

Jeff,

For those of us who are not Calvinists and who hold to a biblical view of alcoholic abstinence your remarks are not helpful. It's hard enough to have an open discussion with those whom we disagree without throwing "bombs" at them. Especially when our Calvinist brethren continually claim there is a anti-Calvinist conspiracy in the SBC. Let's not give them ammunition for such a claim. There's a fine line when using sarcasm or other literary devices to make a nuanced or ironic point. Peter is great at it. But I think you crossed the line here that actually hurts the cause.

Blessings,

Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Scott & Ron,

Thanks for assisting the thread to self-correct. I can't always be in a position to monitor everything...

Jeff,

I appreciate your readership. But Scott and Ron are correct: no moderationist about whom I am aware argues for a moral slight on drunkenness. On that issue we all agree. What may offer argument is whether moderationism is better suited than abstentionism in unintentionally lending itself to encourage more drinking. In addition, as I argue in my book, moderationism is, strictly speaking, a utilitarian ethic whereas abstentionism is fundamentally an absolutist ethic. One may then query whether the Bible teaches moral principles from a utilitarian point of view or a absolutist point of view. As for me, I think the latter.

Anyways, thanks for commenting. But like Ron indicated, make sure we don't give Calvinists "ammunition" so to speak to fire at us for implying ridiculous accusations.

Grace, all.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Ron Hale,

Brother you need to tease that out in a full post. I'd publish it here if SBC Today didn't want to. Great summary!

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Mary,

It sounds like I'm in good company! Perhaps I'm not such a backwoods,dumb West Georgia redneck after all :^)

With that, I am...
Peter

Lee

Peter,

I really don’t have a problem changing the name to a new dba that would not carry a geographic connotation, but for me, ‘Baptist” must remain in the name. I agree with others, that the true desire for Jonathan and crowd is to drop that wascally “baptist” name all together. Especially, since Jonathan Merritt states that it solicits “pain in the eyes” of others.

My real question, is why would Jonathan Merritt (Jonathan Merritt is author of theforthcoming A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. He serves at Cross Pointe Church in Georgia where his father, James Merritt (SBC president, 2000-02), feel the need to bring up slavery?

This makes no sense to me and serves no purpose. I suppose it made his “piece” more appealing to usatoday editor, not sure. It is divisive and opens up old wounds that have been formerly apologized for in 95. I agree with Howell’s statement “ We obviously can learn from our past, including our past sins, so that we do not repeat them. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Why is Jonathan always dead center of a controversy? It seems as if he has an aversion to the tenants of the denomination. It would be hard to argue, based on the wealth of his writings on homosexuality. I am not bringing this up out of left feild, he drops a nugget in the usatoday article supporting his long running favorite topic “In recent years, however, the denominational ship seems to be turning. A new generation of Southern Baptists seems less concerned with fighting such battles and more united around missions and church planting.”

Sound familiar, check out this quote, “My generation will not fight to preserve the platform for traditional marriage that our predecessors have fought for," the 26-year-old says. "Older evangelicals are so stubborn and unable to compromise or reach out a hand. And they're in danger of losing their legacy." link http://www.advocate.com/Print_Issue/Features/Reduce,_Reuse,_Religion_/

Only Jonathan can write an article about a name change AND have it support is extreme views on homosexuality. Read for yourself...

LMalone

Lee, From the environmental manifesto, to the articles concerning homosexuality in the CSM and Huffpo to this name change article...I see a young man trying desperately to make a name...for himself.

Stephen

On "Converge Worldwide," it should be noted (though I admit it's not that significant to your point) that the largest, or at least most noteworthy, church in that denomination is John Piper's church in Minnesota, which still goes completely by the name Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Dana R

I have done a good bit of info on Jonathan Merritt....Scary at best. This young man finds every chance to talk about homosexuality he can. On a google search I just found where he did an interview on the Paul Edwards show and actually said that The SBC should drop the name Baptist. My husband has heard that there are rumors floating around about Jonathan coming out with some "Big News" soon. The more I read and hear from Jonathan the more my husband and I wonder where truly his dad is now on things. How does his father allow him to serve on his staff with his views on homosexuality ? We have heard that Jonathan claims Dr. David Gushee of Mercer University is one of his mentors and Dr. Gushee is a member of church in Ga that was kicked out of the SBC over ordaining a woman to be a pastor and my husband understands that they will allow practicing homosexuals to join.Concerned for the SBC , Jonathan, and James Merritt. My heart breaks over this compromising behavior.

LMalone

I have heard that Saddleback is SBC. Is that correct?

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