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Feb 27, 2012

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Les

Peter,

I'm not quite sure what I personally think of the name change thing. I can see both sides. Why change what has arguably been a great and historic name that has way more credibility than not. On the other hand, I can see where some feel that it hinders them in some locales.

Interestingly, I worshipped yesterday at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City. It was a great worship experience attended by about 1200 people in two services. It is in the heart of downtown KC.

Their webpage describes what they believe and who their partners, if you will, are. SBC is not mentioned on the website as far as I can see. I had to go the association website to see if they are SB. They are. http://www.redeemerkansascity.org/

Seems to me that congregations like Redeemer are already choosing to not use SBC if they believe that is to their benefit. I suppose with local church autonomy that is ok. So I don;t think the name change will affect churches like Redeemer at all. That's probably the case with many SBC churches like Redeemer around the country.

BTW, great sermon yesterday and no mention of Calvinism. Purely biblical and gospel centered.

peter lumpkins

Les,

Thanks. The truth is, it's hard to accept arguments from those who insist on name change because they rarely offer compelling reasons. Perhaps the most compelling is the "southern" is a hindrance. But, as you rightly observe, no one compels a church to openly identify as SBC. Even NAMB since the late 90s or so have been encouraging new church starts to have "Southern Baptist" in their name at their own discretion. So for Draper to suggest we've never really encouraged that or told people it was "OK" is grossly unfair.

But to make things worse, we want to "vote" on something that is optional. Why? Well, let me make a prediction. Watch the entities--without the least concern from SBs who fund them--change their monikers overnight--at least those entities which have been GCR advocates. "Top-down" decisions in the making...

With that, I am...
Peter

Max

National Public Radio conducted an interview with Bryant Wright regarding the SBC/GCB name change. That exchange provides some insight into what SBC segment was primarily driving this and why now.

NPR: “Now, you called a taskforce to debate the issue of the name change. How was this issue first raised with you?”

Wright: “Especially from younger pastors beginning new churches in different parts of the country …”

NPR: “This has been a long-going discussion. What does it say to you that this is the year that people talked about it so seriously?”

Wright: “… because our North American Mission Board has such a huge focus on planning new churches outside the South …”

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/23/147301485/southern-baptist-convention-debates-name-change

peter lumpkins

Let's see: this is driven by young church planters? Planting churches "outside the south"?

I wonder how many voices that constitutes over the whole scheme of things? I wonder also how many of the church planters felt compelled by NAMB to identify their church start as Southern Baptist? I wonder also how many of the church starts are also partnered with either A29 or SGM?

With that, I am...
Peter

With that, I am...
Peter

Max

If we were going to start from scratch on a new name, we might consider "Southern" Baptist ... as supported by this graphic: http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/religion/baptist.gif

Steve

My church history teacher at Southern Seminary in the early 2000's explicitly denied that Southern Baptist origins were tied to slavery - said beyond a shadow of a doubt that slavery had no implications in the Southern split of Baptists. Guess he didn't get the memo...

Oh, and I'm a church planter (not a young one :) ) planting in the Phoenix area where less than 10% of the population believes in Jesus. The name Great Commission is as foreign to them as Southern Baptist...none of them are going to "come" to church no matter what I call it. That's why we "go"...

Les

Maz, I realize that graphic is 12 years old, but still...that's stunning.

selahV

Steve, such a great word: "Go" I was incredibly impressed by those who "came" and "told" and then "showed" me the Gospel. Wasn't long after that I "followed". Much later I discovered that they were Southern Baptists commissioned to do so. By then I was sold on Jesus and simply wanted to learn more about Him. So they "taught" me. selahV

Dwight McKissic

Peter,

I'm in favor of a name change because of regional, racial and public relational baggage/issues associated with the current name. However, I agree with you: if the original stated reasons for the name change proposal were valid-and I believe they were-then money-is an invalid reason not to change the name. To not change the name for monetary reasons is almost an insult, again, if the stated reasons were valid.

Given the convictions and courage of the persons on the name-change committee, I'm surprised and disappointed that they didn't recommend a name change. As far as I'm concerned the descriptor leaves us with an identity crisis: "The SBC-the Regional, Racial & Public Relations Baggage/Issues Convention" vs. "The GCB-the Inclusive, International and Kingdom driven Into All The World Convention".

Electing Fred Luter as president will be a very positive impact on gaining the attention and some level of respect from Black churches that are not SBC, but would embrace the 2000 BF&M stament. But I don't believe you will see any serious additions of Black churches joining the SBC until we see at least two-three minority entity heads.

At the moment I have not decided for sure how I will vote on the descriptor proposal.It is a step in the right direction, but I'm inclined to vote against it. Why? To vote for the proposal is a vote to retain the name SBC. And a vote to retain the name SBC,is a vote to retain the baggage that comes with the name. Therefore, Peter, you, Howell, and I, may vote the same way for different reasons.
The committee attempted to "split the baby." The problem we're left with though is, one baby-with two identities.
Who is she;The SBC? or The GCB?

Thanks for an interesting and provocative post.

Steve

Thanks selahV - you know, in the debate the other night Ron Paul made this statement: ""But I think the obligation of all of us should be the oath of office. We should take -- and it shouldn't be the oath to the party. I'm sorry about that, but it isn't the oath to the party, it's the oath to our office."

Too often as an SBC pastor I feel as if I'm being asked to take a greater oath to the convention than I am the to the position of shepherd.

boB Cleveland

If it's the lost world we're supposed to be reaching and teaching, I'd have thought the Committee would have presented evidence as to what those folks think of, when they hear the words "Great" and "Commission". I don't imagine it's about church, religion, Saviors, or anything of the sort.

You're right. If changing the name is the right thing to do, it's the only thing to do. To be frank, though, the whole affair reminds me of Health Inspectors in restaurants. They have to find something, don't they?

Tim Rogers

Brother Peter,

Wow!! You and Brother Dwight in agreement on something and for the same reason. You have truly positioned yourself for the next state Baptist editor position. :)

While we look at the history from the moral perspective we should look at our theology that began the SBC. If it was a purely Calvinist theology that began the convention and we are begun in agreement with slavery, then we need to take as hard a stand against Calvinism for the moral effect.

Blessings,
Tim

Donald Holmes

Dwight said "I'm in favor of a name change because of regional, racial and public relational baggage/issues associated with the current name."

Now, maybe it's just me, but it seems that the negative baggage that people bring up has more to do with the SBCs stances on current moral issues than on historic errors. People seem much more concerned with our "errors" on homosexuality and the role of women in church and home.

selahV

Donald, seems to me that it all depends upon who one talks to on any particular day. When we look in the mirror of life and only see the speck in someone else's eyes, we have an identity problem of monumental proportion. As I see it. I think the folks in my sphere who do not come to Jesus and the Southern Baptist church I attend, has more to do with my voice, my actions, my attitudes than what our forefather's did over 167 years ago...but that's just the reflection I'm seeing these days. Can't really speak for other folks. selahV

Max

Tim Rogers writes "While we look at the history from the moral perspective we should look at our theology that began the SBC."

It's clear from blog and social media buzz that the YRR crowd are encouraging adoption of the GCB nickname in their ranks. Bryant Wright's NPR interview indicated that young church planters were a key consideration in launching the name change task force. Could it be that the YRR and their influencers view the new name as a mechanism to move away from majority non-reformed SBC belief and practice, rather than an avenue to distance themselves from geographical or moral referents? Would GCB be a new banner to encompass primarily YRR ministries in the days ahead, while still enjoying access to SBC funds and entities?

The tag-line nickname poses a dilemma to SBC pew-sitters. Why would any Southern Baptist not get behind something called the “Great Commission”?! After all, haven’t Southern Baptists always been Great Commission Baptists?! If this had come at any other time except in the midst of concerns about theological drift in our seminaries, publishing house, and mission entities, there would be an overwhelming cry “Do it!” Yet, in the minds of many of us, we remember another nickname from a Charles Spurgeon quote “It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.” Call me a wacadoodle, but I sense this is not only about geography and past sin.

Donald Holmes

"If this had come at any other time except in the midst of concerns about theological drift in our seminaries, publishing house, and mission entities, there would be an overwhelming cry “Do it!” Yet, in the minds of many of us, we remember another nickname from a Charles Spurgeon quote “It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.” Call me a wacadoodle, but I sense this is not only about geography and past sin."

I think you just verbalized what I have been feeling.

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