Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Very Wise Decision: GCRTF Will Not Recommend IMB-NAMB Merger

The Florida Baptist Witness is reporting that the Task Force will not be recommending a merger of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board and the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board. I know that the task force was duty-bound to consider this possibility thoroughly, and I'm thankful that after having considered it exhaustively they have concluded against the merger. I opined early-on against the merger (as a bad idea, not as a malevolent action), so perhaps it is not surprising that I gleefully receive this recommendation.

I expect that we will soon hear the remainder of the recommendations. I'm cautiously optimistic. Optimistic because I have confidence in the Southern Baptist people, including those involved in this process. Cautious because my theology tells me that we are—all of us—fallen and frail and error-prone creatures longing for redemption. Whatever the proposals, in whichever of my three categories they may fall (viz., those for which I would fight, those about which I would merely comment politely and then vote, and those against which I would go to war), I plan to hear them prayerfully and to show my respect and gratitude for those who have given so much of their time to prepare them.

But I am very hopeful to see some of category #1, perhaps a good bit of category #2, and none of category #3 at all.

18 comments:

Todd Benkert said...

Bart,

If the report is true, I too am glad they are not merging the boards.

Do you have any idea whether the recommendations, whatever they turn out to be, will come as a whole package or considered individually?

Blessings,
Todd

Andrew said...

Bart,

What would be some issues that you would go to war over? I'd take it a merger might be one...CP allocations maybe? Would a merger of seminaries (another idea floated by some) be fight-worthy for you?

Bart Barber said...

Todd,

I'm guessing that the recommendations will come in an "omnibus spending bill" :-)

Bart Barber said...

Andrew,

If there had been a proposal to merge IMB & NAMB, I would have put that into category #2. I have expressed my opinion about the matter respectfully and politely, I believe. If such an item came to a vote, I would vote against it.

On the hypothetical question of a seminary merger, I would put that into the same category. I would want to hear the rationale offered. I have elsewhere opined before my doubts that we could really save much money without dramatically limiting our abilities to do what we need to do in reaching North America for Christ.

Category #2 is a very large category for me.

To category #3 belongs, among a very few other things, any possible recommendation that we remove the word "Baptist" from the name of the convention. Over that I would go to war.

War is not to be cherished. Robert E. Lee said, "It is good that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it." War is terrible. Denominational war all the more so. It should be reserved for things profoundly theological. To remove "Baptist" from our name would not be something so profoundly theological, but it would certainly signal something so profoundly theological. I would not labor hard to defeat any such proposal.

Bart Barber said...

Rather, I WOULD labor hard to defeat any such measure.

peter lumpkins said...

Bart,

Of course we could pull a "you-know-who" and claim the reason they did not go forward with the merger is because "we" exposed the agenda they had in mind. Thus, they were forced to back down. ;^)

With that, I am...
Peter

Joe Blackmon said...

Peter,

I know you dit'nt. LOL You owe me a new laptop after I just spewed Diet Dr. Pepper all over the screen of this one.

Bart Barber said...

Peter,

There are those in life whom it is my ambition not to emulate.

:-)

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

You said:"Bart,

Of course we could pull a "you-know-who" and claim the reason they did not go forward with the merger is because "we" exposed the agenda they had in mind. Thus, they were forced to back down. ;^)

With that, I am...
Peter"

Just very curious who you are referring to. Please name this mystery person. My thanks in advance.

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

1-You know who it is.
2-Why do you care?

Grosey's Messages said...

haha .. very cool Peter... :)

volfan007 said...

Tom,

I agree with Joe. You know who they're talking about, and why would you press the issue? Surely, you're not trying to start something? No, not you...surely not! :)

David

volfan007 said...

Tom,

Maybe they're talking about Al Gore? Maybe?

David

:)

Joe Blackmon said...

And might I add that the person being referenced has kind of earned the digs and slams he receives by preaching an unbiblical, cooperate-with-anyone-no-matter-what-they-believe, antinomian gospel of "cheap grace". I'd love to see him come to repentance, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it.

Anonymous said...

If one has to explain a joke, it's no longer funny.

Peter and Bart should simply laugh with those who got the joke.

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

Speaking of jokes...why did the cookie go to the doctor?

He was feeling crummy!!!

I don't care who you are, that there is funny.

Tom Parker said...

Louis:

You see I don't get the joke, therefore I am missing the humor of it. I'm still waiting for someone to clue me in so I too can laugh.

I really believe I asked PL a very simple question since he was the author of the "joke".

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom,

Again, you are fully and completely aware of who the "you-know-who" is. Why not just drop the act.