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2009.06.22

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Doug

If the future of the SBC is in the hands of those like J.D. Grear, this convention is in bad, bad shape.

Clay

...or perhaps the future is very bright indeed!!!

selahV

Peter, surely this was said in jest! Surely a man who was chosen to speak to the SBC pastors has a better understanding of what kind of people fill churches believe about the Gospel of Christ. Surely, this cannot be his genuine view of what our churches are filled with...if so, then he needs to get out more. He really does. selahV

John Meche

Actually I went to that kind of church filled with that kind of people. And I know of many others just like it. I think the majority of our SBC churches are steeped in legalism. Just because we know the difference between legalism and gospel doesn't mean the people in our churches do.

Douglas K. Adu-Boahen

I'm sure it was a comment in jest. Seems you have some pre-existent problem with Greear and are merely jumping on his back once an "opportunity" reared its head...

Bobby Capps

Caricatures are just that: Overemphasizing prominent features.

He overemphasized.

We'll be okay...

Somebody once said, "My toes are sore already, how 'bout letting 'em heal instead of steppin' on 'em.

Or the way Ed said it this a.m. "We're never gonna change until the pain of staying the same hurts worse than the pain of changing."

Lotta things need to change, we all know that! There's a gracious way to facilitate that.

I vote for that.

Calvinator

Actually, the problem is deeper than what J.D. grasps. There are also fast-growing mega, multi-site churches filled with lost people who have not been converted as well. Their lives are no different than those who don't claim to know Christ.

And no, its not only those who think that if you don't drink beer and vote republican who are lost. Its WMU directors, deacons, VBS organizers, pianists, Brotherhood directors, chior directors youth workers and those who do very little other than fill a pew. I HAVE been there and it IS a reality.

J.D. repeats the same mantra quite often, and I'm afriad its used more to justify his methodology than anything. Though, there is truth in the essence of what he's saying.

selahV

So...you gentlemen believe this because you know this and I do not agree with you because I know this is not true in my case with the churches we pastored in the South, nor the one my husband and I were called out of in New England and many which I've attended. Are there lost people in churches? Of course. But where would you rather them be? In the bars and football stadiums? I don't. I pray that whomever is in all places are brought to Jesus. To say they "fill" the churches paints all Believers with the same brush. And that is a very sad thing for anyone to preach in "jest" or in all seriousness. selahV

Calvinator

That kind of commentary most likely would not disturb those who are geniunely converted and those who see the ignorance toward the gospel that exists in many churches. If it is a church where this is not a problem, then they should be grateful, but concerned for the many where it is, mainly due to years of weak preaching and teaching.

Debbie Kaufman

Exactly Calvininator. Instead of saying it isn't and it doesn't exist. It does, and we need to be praying and acting on the behalf of those who it does fit.

Selah: You don't agree with most of JD's doctrine, so how are you going to agree on this. What I think needs to happen is that we(and that also includes you and Peter) begin to do a self exam and see where sermons such as JD's can be used to change us. Love is missing, and it has been missing for quite some time. Love for those even that we disagree with, which admittedly is missing in my own life, and I believe yours as well(please don't tell me not to judge, actions speak what is in the heart).

This should be a time of reflection. If everyone keeps denying that what the speakers of the Conservative Resurgence is saying is true, either no change will take place, or it will take place and you will just be left out with your denials of no it doesn't and no it isn't.

Chris Gilliam

well well well. Seems we have a rift. I have been in many churches in the south and across denominational lines. Some with a many a lost memeber--- some were beer drinkers and democrats, some were mean spirited and republican, some were old-school high churched liberals, some were mealy mouthed moderates, some were hard tailed legalist, some were progressive post moderners, some were mega church members, some were traditionalist, some were emergants. All needed Jesus and despite the genre of worship of the method of ministry, some just are tares, yet some are ferile ground that needs a good plowing. And truth be known most city folks never seen a plow and most rural folks don't like the city and yadddaddadada. I agree Peter- time we quit smacking at genra in roder to pump up new genra- bottom line, If we don't proclaim and disciple we all just have perfomance and that just does not please King Jesus.

Chris Gilliam

please excuse the typos- me old hands have painted all day and me weak mind can't spell.

Debbie Kaufman

Chris: Proclaim and disciples what??? More fighters for the SBC? Just the phrase "mealy mouth moderates" indicates a heart change is needed. We need to repent of warrior type ways and words that are just plain mean. You can either listen to the truth or ignore it, the same choice believers have. But if you ignore it you have just ignored over half of the Bible.

Debbie Kaufman

That should be, the same choice unbelievers have.

Rae Whitlock

It's always fun (but usually unhelpful) to harp on context-less sound bite.

So, what else did J.D. say?

Geoff Baggett

Frankly, I don't see why someone should be bent out of shape over a statement like this. I've never set foot in a SB church where the pastor did not proclaim the lostness of vast numbers of people in our pews.

Having planted a new church deep in the Bible belt within the last decade, I can testify that many, many, many people ... instead of accepting the true Gospel within our churches ... have actually been inoculated against it because of a false system of beliefs predicated upon adherence to a set of legalistic rules.

Indeed, to me, people touched by Southern Baptist life in the past but disengaged from the church are the most difficult people on the planet to reach and reclaim.

Byroniac

There is a distinction to be made between constructive criticism and blatant disrespect. I wasn't there, so I don't know for sure which of the two it is. However, given no more than this "sound bite" from which to judge, I'd have to say to me it looks a lot more like the former instead of the latter. If the problem does not exist, why are so many making the same observation? Probably either these people are just overly critical or some problem exists which needs addressing.

Mark | hereiblog

What JD said was similar to what he said at the Advance09 conference I recently attended. (Notes on blog.)

JD wasn't the only one who referenced a decline in churches in the South.

Along similar lines, Matt Chandler mentioned that folks in the South are the toughest to evangelize. This is because they are religious and moral, etc.

peter

All,

So sorry for no time to interact. What I find amazing in this thread is the absolute breakdown in so many of the comments concerning the "soundbite."

The latter are indicative of completely ignoring precisely what was said: "JD wasn't the only one who referenced a decline in churches in the South."

In no stretch did the quote I referenced say jack squat about the "decline in churches in the south." Rather he said, "Our churches in the south are filled with people who think if you vote republican and don't drink beer, you'll go to heaven." This statement concerns what people believe is required to go to heaven.

Please. If you must take issue with something here, please, for communication's sake, deal with what is published and that with which I actually criticize.

With that, I am...
Peter

Luke

Debbie,
Chris' list contained more than just "mealy mouthed moderates". What would you have preferred he said, "spineless", "yellow". Why does "mealy mouth" bother you so much??? Jesus called the Pharisees "white-washed" tombstones full of dead bones. And in the midst of this exchange, you are going to arrogantly claim that YOU have the truth and Chris does not?

PUUULEASE!

Either debate Chris on his comment or move on. But to do the very thing you are accusing Chris of...get over it!

LUKE

PS: not a word of this typed in anger...just sheer amazement

Byroniac

Luke, perhaps the problem is with the perception. Of all those in the list that Chris gave, only two have negative descriptions, and only one of those was limited by the word "some." Meaning that it could be perceived that all moderates deserve a negative description ("mealy-mouthed"), when the fact of the matter is, unless one has exhaustive knowledge, all moderates cannot be said to be so. So Chris should have either explained he meant "some" moderates or that his list leaves some moderates out, unless he truly means to say that all moderates are mealy-mouthed, at least in the SBC. A moderate is a worse critter than a liberal according to that list. It can be misunderstood (which begs the question, what DOES Chris mean by that?)

Luke

Perhaps you'll want to reread Chris' comment before I respond to you Byron.

Luke

Byroniac

OK, nevermind. I misread it. I must admit I don't like the adjective "mealy-mouthed" though. It still seems to imply that if you're moderate you're mealy-mouthed (or at least fails to say there are any other kinds of moderates), and that I think is the root of the problem. Why not just lump the moderates in with the liberals and call them "conversativish" liberals?

Luke

Byron,
haha...I like your alternative. To be honest, I had to look up mealy-mouthed. I had heard it a few times before but did not know the accurate definition. But it does point to a common dilemma that we all face. At what point to adjectives lose their helpfulness and become a hindrance. Since I do not know Chris' heart, I will not assume that he was purposely trying to be pejorative. Rather, he was simply using adjectives that are thrown around in various circles. And by the way, I don't like the "mean-spirited" and Republican being put in the same phrase, cause I be a registered Republican.(GASP) I know I heard you gasp.:) But I am not offended because I definitely know of those who fit the bill. Hope ya'll get some more rain Byron. We are in desperate need of it too over here.

Luke

Byroniac

Luke, I stand corrected. Thanks! By the way, what is this "rain" thing you speak of, and why should I need it?

Luke

Byron,

Cause Luke is spending too much money on watering his garden to make it all worth the effort. My grass is brown, trees are dropping limbs and my roses are particularly unhappy with the chlorine that comes from city water. Our gullys are dry the rivers are clear.

By the way, just read that Ethiopia is having swarms of locusts pass through their area eating everything in their path. Seems almost apocalyptic eh?

Mark | hereiblog

OK, Jack Squat Peter. I was simply enlarging the context a little more.

I'm sure JD was using hyperbole to get a point across. Surely, you are familiar with hyperbole, aren't you?

I don't know if churches here in the South are "filled" with those types of folks. I'm unwilling to say that those folks don't exist though.

I love how you pick my one comment out of all the others.

jthomas

Peter, why is that when people disagree with you its always their fault for not understanding. Perhaps, your writing is not as clear as you want it to be or need it to be.

You have such an angry tone in your posts. Others can write the same thing, and sound more civil.


Byroniac

Luke, may I suggest Astro-turf? It never needs watering, and it's always green. ;) Amazing stuff, that. (And yes that thing about Ethiopia does sound Apocalyptic. I hope it doesn't cause any famine there...sounds like bad stuff).

selahV

Luke, well, no one could accuse you of being mealy-mouthed, now could they? ha. I just looked that up myself. Didn't know it meant what it did. Even funnier that Martin Luther is who helped coin the phrase, huh? I may have to study up on him a bit.

Peter, I think what some are missing in the post is that it is assumed by that statement JD Grear (whom I do not know, nor have any idea what he believes doctrinally) said in his sermon, is that he depicts "Our" (as in all the SBC churches in the South)as "filled" meaning partially, somewhat or actually "saturated" as you put it in your title with folks who actually think that being a Republican and not drinking beer qualifies them for a seat in Heaven. That is just nuts. There may be a handful of folks who could possibly think they can get into heaven, but I know of absolutely no one who thinks that way. None. Nada.

And you weren't talking about some folks who may think they are safely gonna reach the Throne because of whatever acts they do or don't do, or beliefs they cling to that have nothing to do with salvation's grace and trust in Jesus. I do believe that is the point you were making. And while we can all attest to all kinds of folks abiding inside the church building, we don't all agree that all that abide within the walls of church buildings know Jesus. I hope folks can understand this a bit better when they think about what you are saying.

I sincerely do not think you were saying JD Grear's entire message was fraught with this kind of statement, but you felt as though this one in particular may have been a tad misleading in the scheme of things. I haven't been able to listen to the messages. My network is not cooperating with our convention's site. I've read some great things about others. Praying the whole is better than a few one-liners. selahV

Grady Bauer

Peter,
One thing I'm shocked I haven't heard from you is your solution to the SBC issues. So I want to ask...
1. Do you believe the SBC is in decline? If not, what do the numbers really mean. If so...see#2
2. Why do you think the SBC is in decline?
3. If you had Dr. Hunt's ear....what would your solution to the current state of the SBC be? Would it be the GCR? Would you approach the CP and restructuring?

I read an interesting post by David Phillips that offered a solution...http://www.wdavidphillips.com/2009/06/22/sbc-annual-meeting-2009-if-i-were-to-restructure-the-sbc/
What do you think?

Grady Bauer

sorry tried to post this link

http://www.wdavidphillips.com/2009/06/22/sbc-annual-meeting-2009-if-i-were-to-restructure-the-sbc/

Chris Gilliam

Sorry so late in catching up.

Debbie- re-read please. There was not a ounce of hate in my listings of the "some" I was contrasting that with the original post of "filled" and with SelahV's comment of "get around some". I went further to talk of their need for Jesus. I was not judging any of them just labeling them descriptively. Sorry you rushed to judge me, but I forgive you. BTW- I have read the text. It appears you missed all the interchanges with Jesus and the pharasees. Seems there are too many to miss, not to mention Paul's warnings, Peter's Jude's....

Luke- you nailed it, thanks for getting it.

Byronic- We cool. Not all moderate are mealy mouthed and not all republicans are mean-spirited.

Peter- I agree to your post in that it is hard to have a conversation when we use such broad words as filled and then associate those catagories with certain genres of worship. It just don't play out. It reminds me other the other day when 3 generations of my family were cleaning fish. we all had a different approach, but the results were the same. To top it off my 80 year old uncle even taught some of us whipper-snappers a new trick!

Mark | hereiblog

I've asked JD over at his blog if he would explain a bit about his statement.

Petros,

I hope you will not take personally what I've said. I wasn't trying to derail anything, etc. I'm not sure why you seemed so upset with my one comment.

SelahV and I just made friends and I know you two are friends. So, I don't want to make waves and lose a new friend. :)

Byroniac

Chris, thanks. For the last several days I've been especially cranky for no good reason. I probably deserve it somehow, but no one here does. Anyways, watch that Luke fellow, because he's usually on top of things.

selahV

Awh, Mark...I'm so glad you are concerned about our friendship. A word of encouragement...rarely does Peter take anything personally. Points. That's what Peter argues. Points. Views. Opinions. Evidence. Topics. Stick to the topic. That's him. Upset? That's funny...no...just stay on topic and don't read anything into what he's saying that he's not saying. Ya know? When you expand into another territory, then that's talking about something he wasn't talking about. Uh...I think they call that a strawman, but I'm not sure, it may be something else. "Hyperbole"? I need to go look that one up. That wasn't nice asking him if he was familiar with something you know full well he is familiar with, ya know?

What did he say to you that made you think he is upset anyway? He's reiterating what he wanted to critique...that's all. And I'd bet my month's worth of coffee that he did it on the fly, too. But since I haven't talked to him, I can't be sure of that.

Hey Peter. If I said something here that is so far off base I need to be corrected, feel free. I know I'm not the brightest bulb in the box, but thought my new friend Mark, needed to know he didn't have to worry about waves and breakers. And so I added a bit of driftwood to the tides. :)

Back to the topic. I'd bet most folks in most SBC churches know it takes more than registering as a Republican and abstaining from beer to get them into heaven. selahV

Mark | hereiblog

SelahV, are you serious?

I asked Peter about hyperbole just as it seems I should ask you about rhetorical questions. It wasn't nice to ask about hyperbole? It was a rhetorical question. There's nothing "not nice" about it.

Why I thought my one itty bitty comment upset Peter is because of all of the comments my one was what he focused on.

In no stretch did the quote I referenced say jack squat about the "decline in churches in the south."

I was trying to add some more context to JD's position. Isn't that fair? Did JD just get up there for 30+ minutes and say

"Our churches in the south are filled with people who think if you vote republican and don't drink beer, you'll go to heaven."

Was there no other context? Of course there was. I can understand how one might be upset about that line, but in what context was it given? What was JD really getting at?

Is it too much to ask that you read my comments with just as much charity as you are asking me to read Peter's?

And I did go ask JD about this line on his blog. Let's see what he has to say if he answers.

selahV

Mark...mark...brother...what in the world did I stir up? I really wasn't picking on you. Please, please I'm sorry. I really didn't know what you meant by the hyperbole thing. I had to go look up what that meant. seriously. ha ha. this is too funny. Rhetorical questions? uh...which ones? I was only trying to help ya understand what I probably don't even understand. So...please forgive me for being so intrusive. If you hadn't brought up my name, I wouldn't have said a word. But cause you seemed to value our new-founded friendship, I was trying to let ya know that waves weren't crashing in upon my head. That's all. so forget everything I said. I was stupid. Dumb. the lowest wattage in the box. Like my post says today..."Well, shut my mouth." selahV

Mark | hereiblog

LOL..okay. It just seemed you didn't misunderstand me, but not it seems that you really did.

All is well! :)

One day Peter is going to let me buy him a coffee.

peter

Dear Mark
Thanks for your comment. May I suggest if you do not desire to be
quoted, do not type any words.

With that, I am...
Peter

John

Maybe this what's causing the decline in the SBC... someone had an issue with one quote from a pastor that the individuals don't even know and now there are multiple people offended and offending each other for no apparent reason other than they want the last word. I think we need a bit more Jesus and a little bit more grace.

John

Maybe this what's causing the decline in the SBC... someone had an issue with one quote from a pastor that the individuals don't even know and now there are multiple people offended and offending each other for no apparent reason other than they want the last word. I think we need a bit more Jesus and a little bit more grace.

John

Maybe this what's causing the decline in the SBC... someone had an issue with one quote from a pastor that the individuals don't even know and now there are multiple people offended and offending each other for no apparent reason other than they want the last word. I think we need a bit more Jesus and a little bit more grace.

Mark | hereiblog

Peter,

You are so clever. Why didn't I think of that? You either missed or ignored my whole point. I hope other can see it.

I did not come here to be divisive, however, it seems that you want to make me out to be as such. So be it.

I wish you wouldn't make me laugh this early in the a.m.

With that, you are...still my brother in Christ! :)

Luke

Is there a link to J.D.'s sermon that I have missed somewhere? I looked all over the SBC site and cannot find a link.

peter

John,

Actually, I had more than one issue I mentioned in the short post I put up. Like I said earlier, deal with what's actually posted please, if you'd like to contribute.

With that, I am...
Peter

Cory

Mark and any others who may be interested, and if this is off topic then I apologize Peter. J.D. is traveling some of which is out of the country for the next couple of weeks so he will more than likely not be available to share his intent on this statement until a later date.

peter lumpkins

Cory,

No problem, bro. Mark was the one interested. I personally heard JD's entire message. I think I understood but he is welcome to correct my perception if he feels I misunderstood.

With that, I am...
Peter

volfan007

When people make stupid comments like this to either look cute, or due to biased ignorance, and then they get in a limousine and catch a private plane to a lavish, beach resort...well...it just kind of shows us what is/could be wrong with the direction that some hipster radicals would want the SBC to go.

Where are these people who believe what JD said? My goodness.

David

Byroniac

David, what if the reason JD Grear said this fits neither one of your scenarios? What if he was simply exaggerating to emphasize a point that a real problem exists? And what if he is right? What if the so-called "hipster radicals" (whatever those are) happen to be right?

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