So, who all predicted that the presidential election would be settled on the first ballot, while the second vice presidential election would go into a runoff? Whoever you are, I would like to visit with you about some stocks I'm considering for purchase! What an unexpected day!
First, the presidential election:
I am happy with Dr. Johnny Hunt's election and I'm confident that he will make a good president. His sermon Sunday night was the highlight of the Pastors Conference and was an encouragement to me. I am proud of Frank Cox, believing that he articulated a strong positive vision for the Southern Baptist Convention. I am glad that both of these men are leaders in our convention.
Dr. Hunt has articulated a passionate vision for pastors to be more faithful to share the gospel with lost people in our ministry locales. Will you join me in praying that God will bring Bro. Johnny's vision to pass? Surely his vision is our need.
Second, the vice-presidential elections
Would you believe that they aren't over yet?! Tomorrow morning at 8:20 am I will (once again) cast my ballot for Dr. John Newland. If you've never met Dr. Newland, you can. He's been serving as an usher for the convention and has been on station for, as far as I can tell, virtually every minute of the convention. From usher to vice-president? Sounds to me just like a promotion Jesus would make.
Dr. Bill Henard won the first vice presidency with an astounding 73% of the cast ballots. Congratulations are in order, as are our best wishes and prayers for Dr. Henard for the year to come.
The press is taking note of the motion to declare Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX, not to be in friendly cooperation with the convention. Broadway Baptist Church is a homosexuality-affirming congregation. I don't know why this is so newsworthy. Southern Baptists amended Article III of our convention several years ago—this motion is merely the logical extension of that vote. Someone will try to convince the Executive Committee that the problem was the pastor, not the congregation. But two out of three church members voted to express their confidence in the pastor's leadership during the controversy, and no corrective action has been taken toward the members in question.
The unfolding of the motion will consume at least a year, and I think it a good and biblical thing for Broadway Baptist to have that time to consider their grave error and to consider that they might repent.
Long-time Executive Committee employee Jack Wilkerson, who was Vice President of Business and Finance until last September, moved a proposed amendment to the SBC constitution to prevent entity heads from serving as SBC President. Hmmm…whatever might have prompted him to make that motion?
Let us all thank our lucky stars that Jack Wilkerson was not around in 1845. We would have no Boyce presidency. We would likely have no Cooperative Program (an offshoot of the Seventy-Five Million Campaign championed by entity-head-and-SBC-president Lee Rutland Scarborough), no Baptist Faith & Message (crafted largely by entity-head-and-SBC-president Edgar Young Mullins), no 2000 revision of the BF&M (championed by entity-head-and-SBC-president Paige Patterson)—I'm not sure that the SBC would have endured to 2008 if Jack Wilkerson's proposed rules had been in place early in our history, but certainly our history would be much, much different.Good leadership is a gift from God—I recommend that, rather than shackling the ballot hands of the messengers with arbitrary rules, we leave them free to take whatever godly leadership the Lord chooses to send our way.
Fellowship with other people
Enough that it is 12:26 AM and I'm still not in bed. But I'm going to remedy that problem right.....now.