Monday, April 30, 2012

Will the "Great Commission Baptists" Vote Matter?

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.


Bob Cleveland said...

If the Great Commission is to make disciples, and if we fail to disciple 2/3 of the people God sends us, dare we refer to ourselves as "Great Commission Baptists"? Wouldn't we be hypocrites in so doing?

Alan Cross said...

If this is going to be a big deal, we should hear more about it at this point, I think. It is like the GCR. What happened to it? Why is it not mentioned? What do we do to participate in it? I think that things can be better, but we have these votes every couple of years and then we hear nothing else about it as we move on to the next thing.

Bart Barber said...


I don't accept the idea that we fail to disciple 2/3 of the people God sends our way. If by "disciple" you mean "disciple fully" then the fraction I think you're looking for is 3/3, because we've yet to disciple fully anybody.

If that's not what you mean, then what DO you mean?