Monday, April 21, 2014

SBC 2014. Why I'm Not Going

Yup.

Right. I won't be going to Baltimore.

Three main reasons why:

First ... not necessarily in order of importance ... it costs a bunch of money. We're retired, living within our Social Security income (thanks all you taxpayers), and the Annual Meeting puts a fair dent in our budget. So, we'll be doing something else with whatever funds we'd have spent in travel, lodging, and meals.

Hopefully something more productive.

Secondly, travel is increasingly difficult. I flew so much from 1975-1984 ... 100 airports in that time alone ... that I really do not like air travel. And that was when I was in my 50's, as opposed to my current 75.

I've also spent more time in hotels than I might have preferred. I averaged a week per month in out-of-state travel during those nine years, and even the nicest hotels get old after a while.

I'll never forget one time, Peg and I were driving to Indiana on a Friday night. We stopped at Bowling Green ...  we'd left after work and wanted to get to Indy reasonably fresh on Saturday morning ... and checked into a motel. When I opened the door to the room and let Peg precede me inside, I thought "Another dreary hotel room that smells like Lysol". At that moment Peg said "This is going to be such a treat!". I fell on the bed, laughing.

That's about how travel had gotten for me. And, unless it's a vacation to someplace I REALLY want to spend some time, and enjoy just being there, I'd rather stay home.

Last, there's the fact that I do not think I have anything else to say to the Convention, that God wants me to say. My personal opinion is that the SBC has built itself into whatever it is, today, and that's fine with me. I know in the past few years I've addressed directly, from the floor, the SBC's self-pride evident in "adopting" the designator "Great Commission Baptists", and how egregious that was to me in light of the cold facts of membership, attendance, and other objective evidence. I've also addressed the attempt by some to restrict what it means to be Baptist, in their taking a stand against certain sovereignly-bestowed gifts of the Holy Spirit.

And I have witnessed the Convention's reaction to those things. So I'm done with that. All my energies will be used within the local church to which I belong, and the personal ministry of those with whom I have such contact.

And travel? Only to places I want to go, to see people I want to spend time with.

The SBC has made itself into what it is, today. Whatever favor or disfavor that finds with God, is fine with me. I simply won't be involved ... as I see it now ... beyond whatever activities God puts on my plate, here where I am.

10-4, good buddies. Over & out.

2 Comments:

At 7:57 PM, May 10, 2014, Anonymous Leehttp://deepintheheart.wordpress.com said...

:-(
You've been one of the voices of reason from among the mainstream grassroots of Southern Baptists. If people like you don't go, they're in trouble.

But the SBC has always been provincial and backward when it comes to conducting its denominational business. A few self-appointed prominent individuals figure out where the control levers are located, and use their influence to direct things the way they want them to go. The appearance of congregational input from the pews is present, but the decisions are made in advance and the outcome depends on what the insider circle decides it will allow to be presented on the floor, and what gets in the agenda. It's always been that way, in fact, it was much worse before the conservatives gained control. I had high hopes that the conservative resurgence would change all of that, and it is certainly much better than it was prior to 1979 in that regard, but it has fallen into the same trap, and operates with the same provincial, antiquated mentality.

THe good thing is that the denomination is much more the content of its churches than it is the rump organizations that spend Cooperative Program dollars. The churches have their own ministry and their own impact apart from that of the denomination, and they are much more successful at what they do than the denominational apparatus.

After first attending an SBC church in the beginner department, and being a member of one for more than 40 years, I've enjoyed these past four years in a Christian and Missionary Alliance church. Maybe Dwight will have another great conference, and I'll see you there.

 
At 8:05 PM, May 10, 2014, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

I really do enjoy going to the convention and speaking my piece about what's going on. But this year, particularly with the report I've heard is coming from the Committee studying the qualifications and requirements for messengers (if it comes forth as presented so far), the clear message to me seems to be that, if that's what the SBC has molded itself into, then let them.

Madea said one time "When somebody shows you what they are, BELIEVE THEM!". This may be the year the SBC does that, and I think the results may be swift and visible.

Of course, I could be wrong, and hope I am. But we shall see.

Thanks for the kinds words, Lee. And amen on a conference at Arlington!

 

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