The Internet Monk is at times the most critical voice of the SBC, even while on the inside. At the close of Advance 09, he aknowledges there are problems that the SBC needs to work through in order to remain effective, and wonders how we will do it.
Which forces me to ask the question: why save something that is so bad off? I’m not saying the SBC is doomed, just like iMonk didn’t suggest we kill Evangelicalism. When he wrote The Coming Evangelical Collapse, he was suggesting how it would change and what would come from those changes. I’m just wondering outloud, based on some of his criticisms: if Sunday School is in the way of being effective, if Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings are not the way to fund missions, if the VBS themes are offensive, if congregations are divided by Calvinism, if the number of baptisms grow while the number of active members fall, if youth programs are no more than social alternatives, and on and on, why keep bailing water out of a ship that continues to sink?
Let’s be clear: I am an ordained minister in the SBC. Before Tony Kummer excommunicates me from SBC Voices, let me clarify the purpose of this post. I’m presenting a hypotheticl scenario, and wish to engage a critical discussion. Hypothetical questions are designed to force us to think about the answers. IF the SBC had more problems than could be fixed, what would be wrong with letting it go and moving on to the next thing? The goal of every Christian is to share the gospel, to become more Christ-like, and to exhort fellow believers to do those same things. If we spend all of our energy fixing an organization (any organization for that matter) instead of doing these things, we are preventing ourselves from fulfilling the Great Commission. If the cost of repairing my car were to exceed the value of the car, then going ahead with repairs is a waste of the money I should be investing in my next car.
I’m not saying the SBC is doomed; but if it was, would that be so bad? Many churches are giving up their buildings and moving into homes and small groups, and doing so with great success. Instead of meeting in a Sunday School classroom, Bible studies are meeting in coffee and donut shops. If keeping the organization alive will interfer in the longrun with building the Kingdom of God, then it would in fact be best to pull the life support plug and let it pass.
I hope iMonk will consider thoughtfully responding, and not feel this is some sort of personal attack. I invite your thoughts and comments as well.