Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Horserace

For the first time in my recollection, the election of First Vice-President will be the big event, far overshadowing the Presidential election at the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting. Nobody will want to miss being there at 5:00 pm on Tuesday. Today, I'm wearing my political analyst hat. The 1VP election does have tremendous personal significance for me. Never before has anyone I have known personally ever run for any office in the SBC. Now, this particular race features not one but TWO men with whom I have become personally acquainted and whom I personally like. That's a little mind-blowing for me. But the historical significance of this election is equally staggering. Privately I had predicted that the Burleson Blogger Coalition would secure the nomination of a Southern Baptist who has cautiously steered away from the controversies of the past two years, much like E. Y. Mullins was snatched out of New England obscurity in the midst of the Whitsett Controversy to lead Southern Seminary. Instead, they have selected a nominee who is very publicly and vocally aligned with one side of the partisan divide currently plaguing the convention. Not that David Rogers is monolithic…not at all, but he certainly is not a fence-straddler. And so, now we have a 1VP election in which each candidate's colors are clear. Two partisan candidates. Frank Page's re-election is a non-event, making this the vote-to-end-all-votes in San Antonio. Setting aside my obvious advocacy role of late, the analyst in me salivates to witness this historic election. Some fascinating observations:

  1. Jim Richards is certainly the Cooperative Program candidate. In addition to attending a church with exemplary Cooperative Program support, Dr. Richards has been responsible for re-defining what state conventions can do in supporting national and international missions causes. Twenty years ago, who could have imagined a state convention being so generous as to pass along for missions more money than it keeps for itself? Jim Richards, that's who—he not only imagined it, but he also brought it to pass. Analysis of last year's Presidential election grappled with the question of what caused Frank Page to win so handily. Was it his support of the Cooperative Program? Given the events of the intervening year, that seems likely. This 1VP election may help us to answer the question, as one of the CP's greatest friends stands for election in the person of Jim Richards. If you like the Cooperative Program, you're going to like Jim Richards. (NOTE: Bellevue Baptist Church, David Rogers's home church for obvious reasons, gives 1.02% through CP, although I doubt David had anything at all to do with that decision)
  2. It is delicious irony that the self-proclaimed anti-nepotism squad is nominating Dr. Adrian Rogers's son. One of the earlier salvos fired against Dr. Richards came from Marty Duren (see here), who derided Richards's candidacy based upon the fact that Jim Richards is being nominated by Mac Brunson who is married to Debbie Brunson who was selected by the Committee on Nominations (sorry for the convoluted sentence structure…it takes a few phrases to describe such remote connections!) to serve on a board from the state of Florida, even though she has served on the board before and has not lived in Florida, apparently, long enough. Marty has edited away the comment after I objected, and I thank him for that. I opposed to the overreaching connection, but not to his objections to cronyism, nepotism, and recycling of appointments. I agree wholeheartedly with this concern (see #3 on this post). I'm just not as caustic about it as some are. I think David Rogers ought to be able to run for First Vice-President no matter who his daddy was—let him be evaluated on his positions and his exemplary service in a difficult missions field. But you've got to love the irony of the Burleson Coalition asking the SBC to indulge in a little nepotism.
  3. The differences between the two candidates extend beyond politics into theology. David Rogers has some publicly expressed disagreement with The Baptist Faith & Message (see here for a reference to that fact with a link to sources); Jim Richards is fully in support of The Baptist Faith & Message. David is, obviously, the pro-Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third-Wave practices candidate, and has blogged extensively (his blog is here). Jim Richards just as obviously is not. David favors a very minimalist ecclesiology, relating warmly to a "city church" concept merging (although not quite formally consolidating) Baptist churches with other non-Baptist churches. Dr. Richards is a firm supporter of Baptist distinctives in ecclesiology. Anyone who has read my blog for more than a week knows that I agree with Dr. Richards, but any objective observer would have to note that this election has become something of a referendum on Baptist theology.
  4. The big winner in all of this may be none other than Dr. Patterson. The First-Vice-Presidential election takes place immediately after the Southwestern Seminary report. I have fully expected the SWBTS report to be the key moment when Ben Cole will attempt to make our Annual Meeting his personal vehicle for advancing his personal vendetta against Dr. Patterson. But, with such a critical election for his party coming up immediately afterwards, Ben may find that it is not politically astute to spew too much venom and reflect poorly upon his candidate. I'm not sure whether that will stop Ben, but it is a factor worth considering. Which will win out: vengeance or calculation?
In any event, we have not seen an election at the Southern Baptist Convention genuinely contested on clearly-defined issues since the 19980s. This is truly historic. My biggest regret at getting so involved in it personally is that I have disqualified myself from ever being able to write about it as a historian. Whoever gets that assignment in the future someday—I envy you. Have fun.

72 comments:

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Barber,

I laughed out loud when I read this . . .

One of the earlier salvos fired against Dr. Richards came from Marty Duren (see here), who derided Richards's candidacy based upon the fact that Jim Richards is being nominated by Mac Brunson who is married to Debbie Brunson who was selected by the Committee on Nominations (sorry for the convoluted sentence structure…it takes a few phrases to describe such remote connections!) to serve on a board from the state of Florida, even though she has served on the board before and has not lived in Florida, apparently, long enough. Marty has edited away the comment after I objected, and I thank him for that . . .

You asked Marty to edit out a comment, for which you thank him, and then you put the comment in its entirety on YOUR blog.

:)

It makes me wonder what it is that offended you about what he wrote?If it were objectionable, what in the world are you retyping it for? Dr. Barb, er surely you realize the illogic of you have just done, and as you called upon Marty to correct what he wrote, I gently call upon you to consider doing the same. If you choose not to, I do thank you for one of the lighter moments I've had today.

:)

Wade

CB Scott said...

It seems that every time preacher boys get around the Alamo we get mighty "fiesty":-)

I guess we all want to wear a 'coon skin hat and yell: "Remember the Alamo."

Were John Wayne and Fess Parker Southern Baptist?

cb

Jack Maddox said...

Bart

Your comments concerning the contrast between the two candidates in ecclesiology are not only telling, but I believe have more ramifications for Baptists for the future than the PPL issue.

CB

I don't know what you said but I just like the way you said it!

Blessings
Jack

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Brother, as long as we keep laughing, we'll make it through this.

Actually, if you had read one sentence further, I think your question would be answered. I did not complain that anything Marty said was objectionable, just that it was not relevant to Dr. Richards's candidacy in my opinion. It is relevant, however, to Marty's distaste for such things as nepotism, cronyism, and recycling appointees. That item is of relevance to the point that I am making.

Alan Cross said...

Wade, I thought the same thing.

Bart, I had not read Marty's comment on his blog, but I did remember that he listened to you and changed it. Now, I know what he said about Jim Richards. I wouldn't have if you had not reprinted it. What was your purpose in asking him to delete it if you were going to use it against him later?

I would ask David about some of the things that you label him with, like the pentecostal/charismatic theology thing. He has been very clear that he is not pentecostal or charismatic. Also, he very much believes in denominational distinctives. I know, because we just had a discussion about it the other day. Just because you have denominational disctinctives does not mean that you cannot work with others.

I really hope that we can go into this election respecting both of these men without calling their leadership or theology into question. I believe that David would be a candidate that promotes cooperation because of what I know of him and my discussions with him on the subject, not because I am comparing him to Dr. Richards. My vote for David will not be a vote against Jim Richards. And, as far as the Cooperative Program goes, I heartily applaud Dr. Richards stand in Texas. I wish that Alabama would follow suit. But, since David Rogers is a missionary supported by the Cooperative Program, I am sure that he is a big advocate of it as well. I applaud the exploration of minor differences, but I would hate to see us catergorize either of these men in a negative light.

Maybe it would be appropriate if all of us respected these two men, and while stating our support for one or the other, not try to bring them into a camp and use them as political pawns. They deserve far more than that.

Bart Barber said...

Alan,

I have not the slightest heart for denigrating David. I think David himself and Dr. Richards himself would acknowledge that each of the items I stipulated represents an area of theological difference between the two of them.

Bart Barber said...

Alan,

Read my response to Wade regarding the quote from Marty's blog. I never thought that anything Marty said was personally offensive—it was irrelevant there, but it is relevant here.

Grosey's Messages said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bart Barber said...

Alan,

Please also note the use of "Third Wave" in the quote. PPL is common to all three of these movements, thus the inclusion of all three in the compound adjectives. Many people will not readily identify the adjective "Third Wave." The "Third" part means something. Giving "First" and "Second" helps to identify what the "Third" is connected to.

Bart Barber said...

Steve,

I love you brother, but don't hijack my post, please. :-)

Grosey's Messages said...

:) apologies Bart... but he won't answer anywhere else.

Bart Barber said...

Then he ain't gonna answer here, either.

Alan Cross said...

Bart,

You were typing your reply to Wade when I was typing my comment so I missed that. I receive your answer to all of my questions. Thanks for replying.

volfan007 said...

cb,

guess who wore that coon skin cap and where he was from? the hero of the alamo was none other than davey crockett from TENNESSEE! in fact, davey crockett's last home before going to texas is about 15 miles from where i live. also, i have some relatives of davey crockett in my church.

i'm coming down to the alamo to take a stand as well. i hope that you see my ballot waving high for the conservative positions. i do hope to not end up like davey though. we all remember what happened to him at the alamo.
:)

david

Anonymous said...

volfan,

I hope you fare better physically at the Alamo than did Davey. But I must confess that I hope your political efforts meet the same fate there as did his! ;)

Signed,

Santa Ana the Baptist
!Viva David Rogers!

CB Scott said...

Vol,

You must admit you walked right into that one:-)

cb

Brad Guenther said...

Santa Anna,
Check your history. Santa Anna may have won at the Alamo, but it was a Pyrrhic victory that cost them the war.
Not sure how that fits into your political hopes. :)

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Barber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Barber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Snowden said...

While the SBTC's level of contributions to the CP is certainly to be highly commended, comparing their level of giving to other established state conventions is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. As a relatively new start-up convention, they have just a handful of institutions with which they partner in Texas and therefore much less demand for budget funds remaining within the state as contrasted with long-time state conventions that support a large number of institutions including colleges and universities, hospitals, and other agencies.

Bart Barber said...

Gary,

Some would say that it is more like comparing fresh apples to really old ones.

Bro. Robin said...

Gary

Spin, spin, spin

God Bless

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Barber,

I really appreciate the way Wade and company have entered your post calling everyone not to make this a political fiasco and treating the candidates like a pawn.

Then, comes Wade riding in with: "Nice try on Bellevue's CP giving. Won't work. David's been overseas for years...David Dykes, pastor of the largest financial contributor to the Cooperative Program in the history of our Southern Baptist Convention is nominating David."

Could you please , spin, ur...uh...I mean interpret what you mean by this? is David a pawn in your hand, after all, Wade?

With that, I am...

Peter

Bart Barber said...

Peter,

I like David Rogers. I disagree with David Rogers. I hope that the post reflected both realities without making chess pieces of anyone.

This isn't the Franklin Mint, after all.

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

I only wrote that because things have been so political lately and I would hate to see these two men pulled into that. I like David Rogers A LOT and he has stayed out of many of the controversies. While I disagree with Dr. Richards on some statements he has made, I want to give him full respect as well. Bart answered my questions regarding this and stated that he was not doing that. I believe him.

I really was just hoping that we don't end up going there and that we deal with issues instead of running down one man to prop up another. I was the one using the "pawn" language, and to be consistent, I hope that I don't see it from either side. For what it's worth, I have a pretty good idea that both men are their own men - I know that first hand from David and I assume the best about Dr. Richards.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Bart,

A Baptist history question for you.

How often (if ever) does a 1st-VP become the President? Is the 1st-VP position a stepping-stone to the SBC Presidency?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Oh Lord, we have the Moderates checking in to give us history lessons now. :>)

Brother BDW,

I know that you will be at another convention at the end of this month, but what say you about these latest nominations?

Blessings,
Tim

peter lumpkins said...

Dr. Barber,

No, actually, my comments were more a response to Wade's virtual "junior high" antics over his apparently, unbeatable candidate, all the while Alan was insisting we should not pawn these godly men. I thought it a bit of shocking irony.

Alan,

Here is the truth as I see it: I probably could vote for either man since I know personally neither man. I do not doubt David's credentials nor character for one Georgia minute. I believe he is everything that is stated about him.

Nor do I doubt Dr. Barber's personal description of Jim Richards. He sounds like a an awesome man of God.

And if we all agree with what I have just stated about both men, my question is, why would anyone want to run for an office or nominate a man for an office when there is already a good, godly man nominated?

Dr. Barber answered that question, I think, when he wrote: "David is, obviously, the pro-Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third-Wave practices candidate..." Not that David Rogers is charismatic. If he says he's not, I have no reason to doubt his word at this point. Rather, he surely *is their candidate.*

Hence, Politics is more the engine here. At least, that's my take on it. Our hope should be at this point, can it be politics without the normal dirtiness involved?

From what I've experienced with you, Alan (and, of course our Host), I honestly think it can be. Unfortunately, I am not so confident about some others.

Grace all. With that, I am...

Peter

p.s. Sorry for the long post Dr. Barber

Bart Barber said...

Aaron's question is a good one:

Historically, the question pretty much breaks down into a century-by-century view. In the 19th century, candidates sometimes moved from 1VP to President. Starting in the 20th century, that changed. Today, the 1VP position is often regarded (for no good reason that I know of) as the "kiss of death" for ever aspiring to be SBC President. 1VPs just rarely ever wind up being President.

Bart Barber said...

I should clarify, starting somewhere in the 20th century. In the early 20th century, James P. Eagle was SBC President after serving as a VP.

Bart Barber said...

Peter,

i wasn't rebutting you; I was just clarifying for all. In understood the context of your post.

Bart

Bart Barber said...

That is...I understood. I just wish I could type.

joerstewart said...

Dr. Barber:
If it's not political, then the latest candidate could just quietly withdraw his nomination. Think that might happen?

Gary Snowden said...

Robin,

Trying to ignore the facts by calling them "spin" makes it appear that you are the one doing the twirling. Simply look at and compare the budgets for the various state conventions (that information is readily accessible) and you'll clearly see that the SBTC's level of CP giving, while highly commendable (as I also stated) cannot fairly be compared with established state conventions who retain larger percentages within their respective states to fund their many institutions and agencies. That is fact--not spin.

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

I think your post has many noble elements to it but I'm not sure most messengers are going to think this contest through to the extent you obviously have.

I don't have a dog in this hunt as I am not enamored by either of the 1st VP candidates. Having said that, let me say that for all of the symbolism, theological differences, etc., I think the vote is going to come down to pure geography. The convention is in Texas and if a Texan does not win, it'll be one of the biggest upsets in SBC history.

Les

joerstewart said...

Gary:
How about this for spin? Wade lauds Pastor Dykes (rightfully so) for his C.P. giving. Two short questions:
1) How much of the C.P giving gets to IMB and NAMB missionaries through the giving apparatus Green Acres employs?
2) How does Bellevue get off the hook so easily for its CP giving?

Bart Barber said...

Gary,

Likewise, many of the churches that give practically nothing to the CP use the money to fund their many ministries.

The question is, do we believe God's priority is fairly depicted in the retention of virtually 80% of CP funding in a single state (as BGCT does in TX) while only 20% goes to the entire remainder of the world?

I promise you, any state convention could find good ministries to spend 100% of the CP funding on. It is a matter of sacrificing here in light of the tremendous needs elsewhere.

Bart Barber said...

Les,

You do rightly note the TX factor. I do not know exactly how to quantify it. Dr. Richards is very popular within the SBTC. But so was Adrian Rogers. This matchup defies prediction in many ways.

Gary Snowden said...

Joe,

(1) I honestly do not know the manner in which Green Acres Baptist Church gives its CP offerings, so I am clueless as to what the percentage is that actually reaches IMB and NAMB missionaries.
(2) I don't think that Bellevue ought to get off the hook easily for its low percentage of giving. I think it reflects exactly what took place throughout the entire period of the Conservative Resurgence as megachurch pastors were elected as SBC presidents when their own churches gave a mere pittance to the CP. They got a free pass though because they could mobilize the troops to oppose those who were falsely maligned and accused of being liberals. While I think Adrian Rogers could well be criticized for Bellevue's historically poor support of the CP, to my knowledge David has never been on the staff there so it would be difficult to blame that on him.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

One of things I absolutely dislike about blogs is that sometimes tone is conveyed that is completely unintended. In no form or fashion do I wish to convey an inhospitable or inappropriate tone on your blog and sincerely apologize. I sure don't feel anything in my heart but love and respect, so I again, please forgive me if something else is conveyed.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

I have experienced the same phenomenon myself. I have removed both of my replies to your comment. Sort of an image of what God does with our sin—the past obliterated in a mouseclick!

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart, Joe and Whoever from Texas,

Can you help me understand the giving plan of the BGCT? I have looked and for the life of me do not understand it. I see that if you give $1 how much stays in Texas? Also, there are a number of other giving avenues, according to my understanding, are able to be added to that. So if a church gives $1 to the CP method through BGCT, and chooses to give $.10 to SEBTS, $.10 to the IMB, and $.10 to the NAMB do they count this as CP giving? Also, if I am correct in this assessment, according to the giving formula a church in the BGCT can check CBF and have it counted as Cooperative Program Giving.

Blessings,
Tim

joerstewart said...

The BGCT giving plan allows the Church to designate how it gives. It all is considered CP giving. Notice this portion on their form.

Baptist General Convention of Texas
Gift Remittance Form

I. Cooperative Program (Reported as C.P. Gifts)
Use in forwarding voluntary Church gifts of Cooperative Program and designated funds
to the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Worldwide for missions and ministries.

Option 1:BGCT 2007 Cooperative Giving Budget (Texas Adopted Plan)
79% BGCT 21% Worldwide SPECIFY WORLDWIDE RECEPIENT
SBC _ _________
CBF _ _________
BGCT __________ (to enhance TX World Missions Initiatives)

Option 2: Church Designed Cooperative Giving Plan $________________

BGCT Budget______ % $_______ Worldwide______ % $_______
Specify Worldwide Recipients(s)
Exclusions (If desired, limit 5): _ _______________________________ SBC ____________________________ CBF ______________________
BGCT________ (to enhance TX World
_________________ Missions Initiatives).

Here's how the gifts sent on can be broken down.
FOR GIFTS BEYOND TEXAS TO
WORLDWIDE MISSIONS AND MINISTRIES*
(The % will be allocated to worldwide causes according to your specifications)

2007 TOTAL %
TEXAS WORLD MISSIONS INITIATIVES
WorldconneX 50.00%
Mexico Endeavors 20.00%
Texas Partnerships 20.00%
Baptist World Alliance 10.00%
Total Texas World Missions Initiatives 100.00%

SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION
International Mission Board 50.00%
North American Mission Board 22.79%
Seminaries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 4.89%
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 4.65%
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 4.47%
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 4.13%
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary 1.76%
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 1.50%
Library and Archives 0.24%
Ethics and Religious Liberty 1.49%
Annuity Board 0.76%
SBC Operating 3.32%
Total Southern Baptist Convention 100.00%

COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP
Faith Formation Initiative 4.50%
Building Community Networking Initiative 4.00%
Leadership Development Initiative 12.50%
Global Missions and Ministries Initiative 60.70%
General Assembly 1.70%
Communications and Marketing 5.90%
Administration 10.70%
Total Cooperative Baptist Fellowship 100.00%

*Worldwide Missions and Ministry funds will be distributed according to the
church’s choice as directed on the front of the Gift Remittance form.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Tim,

I don't have much of an opinion on this race. At our General Assembly, we don't do much voting. No resolutions. Not much controversy - just a few rubber-chicken dinners, a little woman preaching, and of course a breakout session led by Dr. Leonard.

Tonight while doing thesis research at the BU library, I've had the miserable experience of flipping through ten years worth of Biblical Recorder issues - which unfortunately chose to stop indexing their paper after 1989! Baptist State papers aren't exactly research-friendly!

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Tim, I am from Texas. Last year, I chaired a committee at my church to review my churches' state convention affiliation. Your assessment is correct. A church affiliated with the BGCT can direct funds to the CBF and the BGCT calls it Cooperative Program giving. However, all of the giving through the BGCT is called "Cooperative Program" giving. Even if funds are not distributed to the SBC, it is called Cooperative Program giving. The BGCT keeps 79% in Texas and allows churches to designate 21% called "worldwide giving" to various entities.

Bart Barber said...

Rebecca,

Actually, the situation is even worse than that: A church can give 100% to the BGCT, with not a penny sent to any other organization, and still count all of the money as Cooperative Program.

The BGCT giving form for churches is here.

martyduren said...

Bart-
Firstly, deride- express contempt for, ridicule.

I find your entire use of my announcement puzzling and your adjective is misplaced. My critical comment was aimed at circumstances surrounding the wife of the nominator, not the nominee. You told me it was below the belt, so I agreed to remove it and did so.

I also noted that his nomination was likely to increase participation from BGCT churches. That is not a jibe; it is a probability based on the less than friendly feelings that one has toward the other.

I am completely non-plussed at how you interpret your own remarks as appropriate. The connections you mention are not "remote" in any sense, but I'm thankful for your statement as it demonstrates the lack of concern that you have about the recycling of people on entity boards.

Second, nepotism- the practice of those with power or influence favoring relatives or friends, especialy with jobs

I'm surprised and amused at your convoluted logic in trying to equate the nomination of Rogers with nepotism. In case you had not heard, Adrian Rogers died. It was in the news. He's not pulling strings (well, not down hear anyway). He's not calling in favors for his son. And, David isn't an all purpose candidate whose name has been submitted to all the recent vacancies in the SBC.

As I understand it, this is the first time that an active, career missionary will have been nominated for the office. There is no cronyism and certainly no recycling.

Third, we can develop some little buttons for the blogs of you, Jeremy, Wes and Robin that say "Barber Blogger Coalition." I have some friends that can get to work on that right away.

martyduren said...

*not down here*

Bart Barber said...

Marty,

I think the button thing might actually be cute.

Bart Barber said...

Were you talking about HTML buttons for web sites, or campaign buttons to pin on a shirt? I took it as the latter, but re-reading, I'm not sure.

martyduren said...

Mos def it was html!

Shoot! I forgot that you could do that...

Bart Barber said...

But, to get to the more serious stuff, I have publicly agreed with you guys on the need for more variety in nominations. You'll be glad to know that the TX portion of Committee on Committees has submitted for Committee on Nominations two people who have never served on anything in denominational life and who, as far as I know, have never had close relatives hold any position in denominational life. I'm with you there. I used the quote merely to show how ardently you hold that position. As I said, it is relevant to show your feelings about these kinds of insider nominations.

I could have worked to research a more appropriate reference, I suppose. This happened a few days ago, so I conjured it up quickly out of my recollection. No harm intended. I think Ben posted once-upon-a-time on this topic. I can dig around his site for another quote to support my point here, if that would please you better.

martyduren said...

BTW-
If Dr. Richards is elected (or even a yet unannounced third candidate, who knows?), then I hope that I would pray the eventual winner with equal fervency.

Bart Barber said...

Marty,

Glad to know about the prayer commitment. I will match it with my own, regardless of the outcome.

I regret that my logic only amused you. Wade laughed out loud, apparently. Read it again, and maybe you'll get better enjoyment out of it.

Bart Barber said...

Well, after a brief search, I have been unable to locate the post I was after on Ben's blog. You find me a quote, Marty, and I'll swap them out. Anything exemplifying opposition to nepotism will do.

I did stumble upon Ben's post upon the seventeenth anniversary of his father's death. Quite moving. I'll pass the decade mark October 13, myself.

Strider said...

Political.... Well, I guess everything can be skewed to be political but I think that David's nomination has another 'political' source than the one you have mentioned. I am very biased here speaking as an IMB M but I have noted that there have been several comments on the blogs saying that what unites us and declares our unique Baptist Identity is our love for Missions. This has been in the minds of some- myself included- shoved aside in an attempt to declare a Baptist Identity based on a mystifyingly diverse set of theological distinctives. In other words others have said that what makes us Southern Baptist and holds us together is our theology.
I believe that David Rogers nomination is not about Jim Richards and not about the 3erd wave but rather about Missions. If we elect an active missionary then we are declaring our unity based on our common committment to the command of Christ to make disciples among all peoples.
This is what I think it is about. I hope it never becomes anything else. But as I said, I am biased here!

Bart Barber said...

Strider,

Brother, mission is not something that differentiates Rogers from Richards. They both share a passion for missions. One is in the pit; one is holding the ropes. If more people in the USA held the ropes like Jim Richards does—getting a state convention to send 55% of its CP giving forward to missionaries like you—who knows what God might do through the number of missionaries we could afford to put on the field then!

Bart Barber said...

Indeed, Strider, David Dykes and Jim Richards would make a great team! Assuming that Green Acres gave their CP monies to the BGCT according to its adopted budget, if they had given them through SBTC under Jim Richards, another $536,646.14 would have gone to national and international missions. That a half-million dollars and change! See the difference that Dr. Richards's CP commitment can make when applied over all of the churches' giving in an entire convention?

That's a great way to hold the ropes!

Bart Barber said...

The above figures were for 2005.

martyduren said...

Bart-
I will concur on one point: I wish every state convention was passing along 60, 70, 80% to unreached areas. The fact that we are not is troubling.

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Bro. Bart, you're right. As our committee began review of the two state conventions for my church, I placed a call to the BGCT, asking the question, "What percentage does the BGCT give to the Cooperative Program?" Their answer: "100% of all funds go to the Cooperative Program. After finding the form on their website, I understood how they could answer that way. Their finance program is called the "Cooperative Program." Seemed deceptive to our committee.

volfan007 said...

some people dont mind lying and stabbing others in the back. a lack of integrity will show itself in many ways. when people dont accept the bible as the inerrant Word of God, and are willing to get in bed with those who dont believe it, then they are really willing to do a lot of things that are underhanded and despicable.

david

a man said...

Bro. Bart,

We need to be careful in making one's CP giving percentage a test for leadership in the SBC. "I know a man" who has led the church he pastors to reduce CP giving to almost nothing as a protest to the leftward direction of the state convention the church has affiliated with for decades. As the protests have gone unanswered, the next logical step is to withdraw affiliation if the church approves. However, the money withdrawn from the CP was not earmarked for local ministries. Rather, it was given directly to SBC agencies and institutions and does not show up in CP giving totals. In fact, this same church led a very large association in Lottie Moon total gifts last fiscal year. Though the pastor has no desire to serve at this time in SBC leadership, he feels that he has some very excellent members who could serve well.

Bro. Robin said...

Gary

If you want to look at spin, I suggest you look at how the BGCT divides the money that is sent to it and then calls it cooperative program giving. There is not spin in the SBTC and how they distribute their money. They whole heartily support the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program.

Anonymous said...

Bart,

I find it oh so fascinating when those who love to be critical are sent scurrying for a quick response because their position has been challenged. Then they accuse you of "spin" - oh, please.

Your points regarding the CP giving, ecclesiology, and PPL (et al) are what push me to vote for Jim Richards. Besides the fact that we both know him to be a man of impeccable integrity and unwillingness to compromise. [Sounds reminiscent of another great statesman who said he would not compromise.]

Nonetheless, after all is said and done, all speeches are made, the nominations officially submitted, many of those dear messengers will vote with a ballot of sentimentalism for the man we have loved so much - Adrian. Those in opposition to Jim Richards know this very well. Regardless of Dr. Dyke's statement that one should not vote for David Rogers for any reason other than Christ's leading (and that should be the case) there will be the sentimental votes to be had. Proof that they will draw this card into action will come the first time Adrian Rogers name is mentioned in the nomination speech. The very mention will draw votes towards his son, perhaps many. In fact, would David Rogers even be nominated if he were not Adrian's son? Highly unlikely.

Regardless, I'm supporting Jim Richards for all the reasons you mentioned and more. He's a hero in the state of Texas for how he has led the SBTC to stand for and be THE convention in Texas that continues to emulate our truest Baptist identity.

Thanks brother!

B McWilliams

Bart Barber said...

Well said, Byron. Well said.

Dorcas Hawker said...

Bart -

Regarding your comment June 5 at 10:24 p.m.:

I had several posts commenting on recycling and nepotism At the City Gates prior to its untimely demise in early February of this year. That data is now lost to the atmosphere of blogdom. The titles of the posts were "Are You In?" and "The SBC Recycling Program". I was not able to locate a Google cache version of them. I regret losing information that could have been used for scholarly reference by Bart Barber, Ph.D.

Bart Barber said...

Dorcas,

And the nature of your posts—would they be likely to change the color of my visage?

:-)

I regret that they are gone.

I guess what I remember most about your blog from last year, when I was first starting (I think it was yours) was the part about people needing to come up and tell you, "I'm THE Morris Chapman", etc.

I still joke about that sometimes, and it cracks me up every time.

Dorcas said...

Yes, I was greatly concerned that I wouldn't recognize anyone, and walk up to some big wig who expects people to be asking them to sign a Bible, and instead I would ask "can you tell me which way to the restrooms?" :)

Anonymous said...

Bart,
Get your facts straight before you blog.
Green Acres Baptist Church sends 34% of our CP to SBC - we don't follow the BGCT formula.
In addition, of the 66% that stays in Texas we designate $300,000 of that to go to Breckenridge Village, a home for retarded adults.
Thanks for letting me give you the facts so you can blog on!

thanks be to God! 2Cor2.14

David Dykes, Green Acres Church, Tyler

Bart Barber said...

Bro. David,

No intention to mislead here. The rather conspicuous inclusion of the word "assuming" in my comment should indicate to everyone that I was making...well...an assumption for no other purpose than for illustration's sake. It was 11:36 pm when I wrote the comment; I doubt that I should have rung you up at that time! So instead, I made it clear to everyone that I was using an assumed circumstance to show how much impact it can make when the state convention is on board with the mission of winning the world for Christ.

You have a great church. We have mutual connections. Praise God for your ministry. You have no enemy here, brother.