In my present way of thinking, only a landslide vote one way or the other will have any substantial impact regarding the "descriptor" for the SBC, "Great Commission Baptists":
- If it fails by a landslide, then it will fall away into the dustbin of forgotten history. That kind of a vote would matter.
- If it fails by a narrow margin, what's to keep churches or other autonomous state conventions or local associations from using "Great Commission Baptists" anyway? Nothing. And so, if a lot of Southern Baptists support this name, even if they don't muster a majority in New Orleans, won't they just move forward undeterred with their intention to use this name?
- If it passes by a narrow margin, will any institution, church, or individual be constrained to use the phrase "Great Commission Baptists" ever at all? Not that I can see. Frankly, I don't see our congregation using "Great Commission Baptists" in place of "Southern Baptist Convention" any time within my lifetime. We still send "Adopt an Annuitant" money to "The Annuity Board!"
- If it passes by an enormous margin, then I think that the phrase "Southern Baptist Convention" will only appear again in footnotes and legal pleadings as far as the national convention apparatus is concerned. Such a vote would embolden those who dislike the name "Southern Baptist Convention" to drop it forthwith. That kind of a vote would matter.
I'd be surprised if the vote were to achieve a landslide either direction. For that reason, I'm wondering how much this particular vote will really matter in the long run.