Yes I Am Southern Baptist

sbcIn lieu of yesterday’s post I wish to clarify a couple of issues (before anyone asks).

1. I am Southern Baptist. While I did not grow up in the SBC I have been a member of SBC churches since 2000. I was ordained as a deacon in 2002 and as a minister in 2004. My wife and I served full time on the mission field (stateside) for nine years, 2003 to 2012. I graduated from a Baptist college, attended BSU as a student, taught in a private Baptist school, and led BCM for seven years. The Master’s Table is listed in SBC Voices, a directory of Southern Baptist blogs. This very week my wife and I are teaching 5th and 6th graders during Colossal Coaster World and I’m driving the church bus to VBS. While I may not always agree with everything the organization does as a whole, I am certainly still a part of it. The reason I can say so much about the SBC’s response to the Boy Scouts issue is that’s the denomination I know the most about. Continue reading

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Fred Luter’s Call for African-American Missionaries

Fred Luter with Tom Elliff

Fred Luter with Tom Elliff

Fred Luter is the first African-American to serve as SBC president.  But of the 4,900 missionaries serving the International Mission Board, only 27 are African-American.  That’s only 1/2 of 1%, despite the fact that 1 million of the SBC’s 16 million members are African-American.  There are far more Hispanic and Asian missionaries in the field, and Luter would like to promote change.

“A lot of our African American churches are in the ‘hood,” said Luter, who pastors Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La. “It’s a daily fight every day. [People ask me], ‘Why do I need to go to Africa, Asia or Europe? We need to get people saved in this community.'”  “It’s a both/and approach,” Luter said. “We need to reach the people in our neighborhoods and get African Americans out on the foreign field.”

Read this article in full at Baptist Press.  

SBC Name Change: Update

Will Southern Baptists change their name?  Last week I said the answer was a little yes, a little no.  Literally.

The SBC task force appointed to study the prospects of changing the name recommends adding a tagline, the descriptor “Great Commission Baptists.”  Micah Fries, a member of that task force, has revealed much of what went into making that recommendation.  Read the post in its entirety; here’s an excerpt:

Changing the name to something that sounded good today, but would lose potency and effectiveness over time had little appeal to me. From my perspective, Great Commission Baptists was a great choice, as it did not preserve some of the baggage that comes with a name like Southern Baptist all the while clearly explaining our desire to unite around the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Task Force came to the unanimous recommendation that ‘Great Commission Baptists’ captures well who we have historically aspired to be and propels us forward to a bright Great Commission focused future.

A discussion of financial considerations is included, as well as a plea to prayerfully consider supporting the recommendation.  Thoughts?  Concerns?  Many feel there are more important issues we could be spending our time and energy on, but that may not happen for a while.

SBC Name Change: A Little Yes and a Little No

UPDATE: A member of the task force explains their recommendation.  

The official recommendation coming from the task force assigned to study possibly changing the name of the denomination is to add a subtitle.  Instead of Southern Baptist a church may call itself Great Commission Baptist, or keep both nomenclatures.  Some people are deeply offended and object highly to simply changing the name of the denomination they know well, despite the SBC being somewhat of a global brand.  This compromise is meant to satisfy everyone, if there can be such a thing. Continue reading