Friday, May 21, 2010

Doug's Thoughts on the SBC GCRTF Part 5

While there have been comments recently downplaying whether anyone cares what bloggers think, I'm going to chime in with my own opinion about one of the current issues we're facing in Southern Baptist life. Now, this is a long thought, so it's going to be spread across 5 blog posts. There's a “Contact” link at the top of the blog. Email me if you want the whole thing in one document. Or click here for a PDF (I hope!)
10.  Re-establish mandates for each entity that cannot be exceeded without approval of the SBC at Annual Meeting. Fund these entities with these percentages of National CP receipts:

  1. Executive Committee: to promote cooperation between SBC Churches, entities, and states. 2% of CP, maximum.

  2. Seminaries/Education: Provide effective education with a primary emphasis on preparing for service within SBC Missions or Churches. Maintain historical records of the SBC. 10% of CP, maximum.

  3. North American Mission Board: Promote cooperative missions inside the US/Canadian Borders among English-language populations with less than 20% believers. This includes special populations, such as military/correctional facility/emergency/hospital chaplains as well as ethnic groups. Coordinate Disaster Relief within US/Canadian Borders when it exceeds state capacities. 30% of CP funds

  4. International Mission Board: Promote cooperative missions outside of US/Canadian Borders or in unserved non-English speaking populations within those borders if no other SBC group is working in that population. 58% of CP funds.

  5. Collectively, NAMB and IMB should coordinate with the seminaries to establish a fully-expense paid internship/education system that covers the cost of education while providing access to supervised practical ministry for students. Financial provision to be handled in exchange for a committed term of service in underserved areas. If the government has figured out how to do this to get teachers and doctors places, we can find a way to do this to get preachers and missionaries places.

  1. None of this addresses the spiritual dynamics discussed in the mainstream GCRTF Report. Why not? I don't find many points of disagreement, but I do find it to be a point of redundancy. If we are Bible-centered, Lordship of Christ honoring people, then we will strive to light the world with the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know if we need the term “penetrating lostness” or not, since, like “missional,” we'll end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out what it means. If we will preach the Bible in our churches, if we pastors will call our people to obedience, then these issues will take care of themselves without new terms. I'm very hesitant that we not decide in Orlando what each autonomous local church should adopt as a mission statement or a values statement. If we hold to autonomy, we hold to it. If the SBC Annual Meeting cannot second-guess church personnel decisions, it cannot dictate mission statements or values to churches.
    Ultimately, this comes back to the question of obeying Christ. The list of suggestions at the end of the GCRTF Report is interesting to me, as I see statements borrowed from resolutions that took several years to pass or were never brought out of committee, now shown as “good ideas” for the SBC. All of them come back to points about church membership, stewardship, parenting, education, and church behavior that reflect whether or not Christ is Lord in all things or if people get to pick and choose their obedience. If we will surrender and obey, if we will repent and return, we will see the glory of God revealed in what He does within us and through us. Otherwise, we'll sit on the sidelines and see what He does without us and about us.
For your consideration,
Doug Hibbard

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