SBC Leaders Explore Name Change

“Some people think that if they change the names of things, the things themselves will have changed, too.”

David McKay

Three simple words — Southern…Baptist…Convention — conjure up various images in the hearts and minds of people around the globe.  Some Southern Baptists find the denominational name endearing while others find it restrictive.  Yes, this long established moniker is being scrutinized once more.  Will it survive this time?

Since late last night the internet has been abuzz over the news that the Southern Baptist Convention may consider changing its name. According to the Baptist Press:

“Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright has announced the appointment of a presidential task force to study the prospect of changing the 166-year-old convention's name.

Wright, who was re-elected to a second one-year term during the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix this past June, said he believes the study will be helpful for two main reasons.

‘First, the convention's name is so regional,’ he said. ‘With our focus on church planting, it is challenging in many parts of the country to lead churches to want to be part of a convention with such a regional name. Second, a name change could position us to maximize our effectiveness in reaching North America for Jesus Christ in the 21st century.’”

For those who know SBC history, this breaking news is nothing new.  The Associated Baptist Press (ABP) emphasizes that SBC leaders have considered a denominational name change numerous times in recent years.  Bob Allen writes:  (link)

"In 2004 then-SBC President Jack Graham made a similar argument when he proposed a committee to study a new name to better reflect the convention’s scope as a national rather than regional body. Messengers at the 2004 annual meeting in Indianapolis debated the idea vigorously before voting 55 percent to 45 percent against a name-change study.

Southern Baptists have rejected attempts to rename the denomination eight times since 1965. Presented in 1999 with a motion by Executive Committee member Blaine Barber of Michigan to become the “International Baptist Convention,” the Executive Committee decided a new name was neither warranted nor desired."

The presidential task force appointed by Wright will be chaired by Jimmy Draper, former President of LifeWay Christian Resources.  The Baptist Press article lists the other members of the task force who are:

— Michael Allen, senior pastor of Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago.

— Marshall Blaylock, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C.

— David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

— Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board.

— Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board.

— Ken Fentress, senior pastor of Montrose Baptist Church in Rockwell, Md.

— Micah Fries, senior pastor of Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo.

— Aaron Harvie, lead pastor of Riverside Community Church in Philadelphia, Pa.

— Susie Hawkins, speaker, Bible study teacher and missions volunteer from Dallas.

— Fred Hewitt, executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.

— Cathy Horner, Bible teacher and pastor's wife from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C.

— Benjamin Jo, pastor of Hana Korean Baptist Church in Las Vegas.

— R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

— Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

— Bob Sena, retired director of Hispanic resource development and equipping in the North American Mission Board's church planting group.

— Roger Spradlin, co-pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif., and chairman of the SBC Executive Committee.

— John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.

— Jay Wolf, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.

Not only do some have a problem with the regional description "Southern", but the label "Baptist" bothers others.  In recent years a number of Baptist churches have left the word "Baptist" out of the church name even though they are indeed affiliated with the SBC.  For example, Two Rivers Baptist Church, which experienced an internal crisis a few years ago (see our archives), recently changed its name to "The Fellowship at Two Rivers" to distance itself from the conflict that severely impacted the church.  This seems to be a growing trend among newer churches in the SBC.

The Associated Baptist Press article concludes as follows:

Previous efforts to rename the SBC have met resistance for reasons both traditional and practical, such as the cost of changing legal documents and signs and then passing the new identity on to more than 45,000 churches."

Al Mohler has weighed in on the matter in a blog post entitled:  Will the Southern Baptist Convention Change Its Name?

Mohler begins his post with these words:

"Southern Baptist Convention president Bryant Wright has launched an effort to change the name of the Convention, or at least to give the issue serious consideration. He announced this intention as he presented his report to the SBC Executive Committee last night. Instantly, energy filled the room."

So energy filled the room at the mention of a name change?  

President Wright expressed a desire to have individual Southern Baptists share their ideas about a potential new name for the denomination.  To encourage input, Wright has set up a website at   

We will continue to keep tabs on the situation and provide updates when they are available.

Back in the 1950s, a popular Canadian quartet called The Four Lads sang of their confusion regarding a certain name change… The song seems to fit this topic very well.



Lydia's Corner:  1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17     Acts 25:1-27     Psalm 5:1-12     Proverbs 18:19


SBC Leaders Explore Name Change — 62 Comments

  1. Wait just a second here – there are 2 WOMEN on this here committee! What is this convention coming to? Wonder if the girls’ votes will only count as 3/5ths of a vote…

  2. Some people don’t like me very much. Sometimes I don’t like certain things about myself, either. I’ve done some stuff people have every reason to be unhappy with, and there are some connotations to the meaning of my name that can be problematic. I’m not really interested in changing any of the things about myself that people don’t like, but I wonder if it would help if I changed my name. Anyone want to be part of my task force to study the prospects of a new name for the Junkster? Suggestions for a new name are welcome. (Suggestions for any more substantative changes are not.)

  3. The SBC in Canada is called the Canadian National Baptist Convention.
    SBC wouldn’t go over well here.

    The Canadian Southern Baptist Conference was formed in 1963, changed in 1985 to Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists.

    In 1987 Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary & College opened. They haven’t changed their name.

    The Canadian Southern Baptist Conference changed it’s name to Canadian National Baptist Convention in 2008.

    The SBC has been hanging out in Canada since 1953. The name change doesn’t make it any less the SBC.

  4. @TrinityWatcher
    “Wait just a second here – there are 2 WOMEN on this here committee! ”

    Well at least one of them is from a church that is:
    very complementarian – no women in leadership except to assist men.
    Elder led and there are more pastor elders than lay and elders select new elders.
    Pastors are in total charge and the congregation is basically sheeple.
    Marry young and have parents support kids married through college.

    Oh, and from the pulpit on multiple occasions it has been said that this particular church is a member of the SBC for many reasons but does not claim to be an SBC church as they like to go their own way when it seems better to them.

    So I have to ask, is the SBC changing it’s name or has the SBC mostly gone away and the new organization is looking for a name to match the new organization?

    Why not change the name? Only the first item I mention above is anything at all like the SBC church I grew up in.

  5. Thanks for letting me know who wrote this song. My wife is familiar with the song. I had no idea who originally sang it. Constanople was also built on seven hills interestingly enough.

  6. If the name changes, the members of the SBC church near me won’t even notice. But seriously, I think the word “Southern” no longer applies. Being a southerner, I’d prefer to maintain the purity of that word, so yes, I’m all in favor of a name change. How about, Baptist Church, United States of America — BCUSA, sort of like PCUSA, only not?

    Odd, I actually know one of the committee members — but that one grew up Presbyterian. Oops, maybe I ought not tell that, it might be a disqualifier!

    It used to be that you didn’t have to see the name to know you were passing a Southern Baptist church, because most of them refrained from putting crosses on their steeples — the idolatry thing. I was told that anytime somebody tried to put a cross on a steeple, there was a church split.

    I’m familiar with a church that was once named “Podunk Community Church”, but they decided that so many Baptist churches are using the “community church” label that many people automatically assumed they’re Southern Baptist, and they’re not. So now, they’re just Podunk Church.

    A rose is a rose is a rose…

  7. “I was told that anytime somebody tried to put a cross on a steeple, there was a church split.”

    Back in 67 the church I grew up in burned. It was a fairly large church for the small community. Say 400 on a typical Sunday. My father was asked to head up the building committee to replace the church.

    Some things that created some internal fights.

    Step 1. Sell old property and buy new. Of course the fact that we were having buy neighboring houses in the old location to house Sunday School classes and such was not a factor in the why change crowd.

    Step 2. Come up with a design that wasn’t red brick with a white steeple out front.

    Step 3. Put a big cross on top of the hexagon shaped sanctuary. Biggest complaint was that people driving by would not stop in thinking it was an RCC church.

    Step 4. Borrow money to pay for it. But all the borrowing was done by selling bonds to MEMBERS of the church. Still a big sin in some minds and created some bitterness that lasted for years. Bond were paid off in something like 5 years.

    And I’ll skip how contentious Sunday extended family dinners got to be. My grandfather was was a founder of the church in about 1910 and was continually going on about how the “young folks” were ruining things. My father was in his 40s at the time.

    Real SBC’ers don’t do change well at all.

  8. Nickname:

    Yes a rose is a rose is a rose. And a skunk is a skunk is a skunk. And dictatorship of the pastor, by the pastor and for the pastor is the skunk form of government that pervades the SBC today and they claim not to be hierarchical in structure.

  9. I believe it’s important to point out that there are Southern Baptist churches that do not emulate the Mohler model. Just last weekend I heard a Southern Baptist preacher on the radio expressing frustration over the things that divide the convention such as “Gasp, women pastors”. That’s a direct quote from the pastor. He is a Southern Baptist pastor in a rural town who is obviously frustrated with the direction convention leaders are taking. Such churches are nothing like what Lynn described, praise God! I feel sorry for these long-established congregations scattered throughout rural America that are trying to be autonomous.

    Here’s my opinion for what it’s worth. Mohler & gang need to pull out of the SBC and go start their own denomination. Someone over at SGM Survivors commented on the SBC name change and suggested “Sovereign Grace Ministries”.

  10. I was discussing this with someone the other day, and we came up with a few suggestions.

    Those familiar with the KJV-only movement will understand this one: PBC (Peculiar Baptist Church).

    Or, if the SBC aspires to worldwide coverage, perhaps WBC (Worldwide Baptist Church) would be better? Or perhaps they should take their aspirations to other worldly levels, and choose UBC (Universal Baptist Church). It’d be kind of like that Catholic church in Orlando called “Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine.” Which, if we play with definitions of words, brings me to…

    … wait for it …

    why not, the CBC (Catholic [universal] Baptist Church)?

  11. Josh,

    Great suggestions! What names would you recommend if the SBC leadership wants to abandon the word “Baptist” altogether? Talk about an identity crisis. Geez!

  12. Trinity

    We know one of the women. She is not the outspoken type and will not rock the boat whatsoever. So, they knew which women to pick.

  13. Eagle

    However, you could go to an ultra hip Acts 29 church and still be in deep dodo with legalism. At least the formal clothes give you advanced warning.

  14. Seems to me God has already given the SBC a new name. They just haven’t noticed. 😉


    Ga 1:8-9
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
    than that which we have preached unto you, let him be (Anathema) “accursed.”

    As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you
    than that ye have received, let him be (Anathema) “accursed.”

  15. BeneD

    You hit the nail on the hid. You can put lipstick on a moose but it will always be a moose. Corollary for Driscoll fans: You can put on a tattoo sleeve and and multiple piercings but you still subscribe to a whole lotta nonsense.

  16. Nickname

    Many organizations are changing their names. I knew that Campus Crusade needed to change their name because of the highly politicized meaning of the word Crusade. They change it to CRU-which has no meaning. I know that the word “Southern” will go. But I wonder if “Baptist” will still be in the title-I think not. I believe they are running from some well-deserved perception issues.

  17. Lynn

    In order to truly change, in today’s “formularized” church-you need to hire a music minister who has tattoos and occasionally lets loose with a profanity which he apologizes for with a gleam in his eye. Then, you put his picture on a billboard with a picture of the senior pastor looking oh so hip in a Mickey Mouse shirt and his wife in leather pants and high heels-you’ll draw ’em in like flies.

  18. I see nothing wrong with “running from certain perceptions.” This is certainly a damned if we do change it, damned if we don’t situation.

    I am for the name change. Whether Baptist is kept or not. And if it means the death of the SBC as some claim, so be it. Then we can rebuild from the bottom up which we should be doing anyway. Until the last several years, we were a mess and until the internet we tried to hide it. Now it’s out for all the world to see. A name change is not a full answer but it is a start. The SBC was corrupt for many years. In ways it still is, but it’s getting better. Much, much better. Things are always a mess when Christ gets left out of the equation. We replaced Christ with money, power and turning the time at the Convention into a Republical political rally. That has changed.

    There is nothing wrong with a name change, even if it is to retool our image to the public. The apostle Paul changed his name from Saul of Tarsus. Many times in scripture names were changed to reflect a change in one’s life. God changed people’s names to reflect who they were at the time. It’s a good thing.

  19. I believe it would be a great idea to change the name. It would not solve every problem under the sun, for sure.

    But why would an Protestant, missionary minded organization stick with a name that was crafted in 1845, with the primary reason being the regional emphasis “Southern” to distinguish it from the Northern Baptists it just left?

    Denominationalism is a hard sell to lots of people nowadays. People move across the continent and from other countries and back again all the time.

    I actually think it is a testimony to the SBC’s flexibility and democratic governance structure that even allows it to discuss these things. It also shows that on some level the SBC is willing to junk things (like denominational names) that are not really central to the Christian faith.

    Can any of us imagine some of the more traditional churches in the US even thinking about this? They don’t have the structure or creativity in my opinion to even bring it up. Their existence is rooted in tradition, and in many cases, that is one of the points that keeps them from disintegrating altogether.

    The LifeWay story is a great example that has been successful. “Baptist Book Store” was clearly a liability. The SBC tried something, and it worked.

    So, I give the SBC kudos for trying.

    I do not think it will succeed, however. The majority of churches in the SBC are in small, rural areas. They will see this in a negative light at this time.

    Maybe 20 years from now, as the SBC keeps planting new churches and those churches are not wed to the SBC name, then you may see a change. But probably not now.

    Also, there are other things that need attention, too, and a name change does not solve those issues.

  20. “Your grandparents’ church” YGC
    “We Be the Bosses” WBB
    “Somewhere Behind Convention” SBC! aka “the Laggards”
    “Stuck in the Past” SPC
    “Men in Control, Women barefoot and Pregnant” aka the reproducers
    “Grand Old Church Association” GOCA as in Gotcha, note ref to republicans
    “Churches of the Closed Mind”
    “Some Get (Got?) More” SGM!
    “Association of Churches of Alternate Reality”

  21. Dee/Deb

    The issue is that all those little churches give a significant percentage of their budget to the Cooperative Program, which funds the state convention and the SBC, and also use convention literature, which keeps Lifeway in business producing the indoctrination materials. The also give the the mission offerings. These little churches give proportionately more than the Megas. So the SBC must be careful or lose a significant piece of the national entities’ incomes.

  22. @Lynn
    “Well at least one of them is from a church that is:
    very complementarian – no women in leadership except to assist men.”

    Yes, yes, it all makes perfect sense now. They needed a woman on the committee to make sure that minutes of each meeting are taken and proper correspondence is mailed. Can’t really have the men doing such things, now can we?!? After all, ladies in the South are known for proper (written) etiquette. =P

  23. Debbie

    Thanks for weighing in. Here is my question for you. You said “There is nothing wrong with a name change, even if it is to retool our image to the public.” Which image is being retooled? The Reformed Baptists? The UnReformed Baptists? The Secondary Issues at All costs Baptists? The Ed Young Jr Baptists? The Baptists Who Recall Missionaries Who Speak in Tongues Baptists? What is the SBC today? Is there any unifying factor that would show up in some new image? Is the idea of an SBC “identity” shattering? Has it become, except for “no woman pastors and only immerse baptism” merely an association of a bunch of nondenominational churches pretending they are denomination?

  24. WSB– We’re Still Bigots
    WSSS- We Still Support Slavery (‘cept this time it’s wimmen and chirrens)
    United Church for Conservative White America
    MRWD — Men Rule Women Don’t

  25. Anonymous
    Could you read my comment to Debbie and weigh in? I am interested in your thoughts in this matter.

  26. Arce

    I just heard that somewhere over 63% of SBC churches are tiny and rural and have average salaries for pastors in the $30,000 range. Do you know if this is true?

  27. They can get “energized” and create a presidential task force to rename the convention, but they refuse to create a database of ministers who have been charged with, confessed to, or credibly accused of sexual abuse. Why can’t they get energized about implementing some bare-bones measures to protect families and kids? Junkster’s analogy is perfect here. Let’s not correct the serious problems with the convention; let’s just change our name!

  28. Wendy

    I am giving you a standing ovation for your comment. Maybe they can outrun the reports of pedophilia in SBC churches. They will have plausible deniability for Christa Brown’s documentation at Stop Baptist Predators. What, Baptists? We’re not Baptists-see our new name is “Whatever.” Hmmm “Whatever” might work..

  29. Yep, but that data may be a year or two old. And most small churches give 10% or more to the Cooperative Program (CP), quite a few give more. Our church in another city 30 years ago gave 20% for out of church ministries – 2-3% to the association and the balance to the Cooperative Program. And we were also generous givers to the Lottie Moon (foreign) missions offering, the Annie Armstrong (home) missions offering, and the state missions offering. Our attendance was about 300-350 on a good Sunday during the school year.

  30. Mohler says there was energy; are we to assume it was positive energy? Booing can still fill a room energetically, as can outspoken opposition.

    I thought the “Southern” part of the name was an appropriate moniker, even for churches that weren’t in the south. The local SBC churches around here (decidedly not in the south) all seem like they’re trying to import southern culture along with the baptist ideology.

  31. Dee,

    I love it! But we must say it a certain way. If you really think about the SBC’s shenanigans, “Whatever” is a perfect name.

  32. Dee:

    Thanks for asking me to weigh in on your comment to Debbie.

    The common thread in the SBC today, as far as I can see it, is funding missions through a cooperative effort.

    All of the churches get that, I think.

    They are all missionary in the purpose, and they feel that funding things with other churches is the way to go.

    The other thing that I would say is that most of the churches take a strong, conservative view of the Bible and the Christian essentials.

    I think that there is a broad agreement on a very high view of scripture, and issues like the nature of God, the nature of Christ, the nature of salvation – those things seemed to be shared by most Baptist churches in the SBC.

    I don’t think that I can name a strong SBC church, regardless of size etc. that would have a pastor who would stand up and say that the Virgin Birth, for example, is not that important (Cecil Sherman). Or that there are other ways to God than through Christ (Ken Chaffin).

    There is GREAT diversity in programming and cultural (both church related culture and at large cultural) issues, but there is a constant push from different groups as to who will control the dominant, public face of cultural expression of the SBC.

    The churches no longer share the common church culture that used to be a staple in Baptist and all denominational life.

    In the past, there was much more latitude on doctrinal issues than there is now. But there was unity on programming. Every church basically sang out of the same hymn book, used the same Sunday School literature, did church the same way, had the same children, adolescent, adult and senior adult names for classes, materials and other programming.

    Today, there is more agreement on doctrine and less on programming. That touches things like the name of a church, the name of the SBC, music, etc.

    Today, churches can be completely independent. Do whatever they want, and still have access to all of the things a church needs.

    Many churches and Christians I meet don’t believe that a denomination will help them.

    The only way a denomination really helps is in a unified funding mechanism for missions, education and related enterprises.

    If a church sees that, they will be denominational.

    Finally, because all people are a bit schizoprhenic, Baptists in the SBC are no exception.

    So, while there is more cultural difference among SBC churches today than ever, I am not sure that holds true on some issues.

    I think that the ordination of women issue, though never a strong issue in SBC circles, even when the Moderates ran it, does unite a good many SBC churches. I believe that is primarily because women in the pastorate in the US took place in a lot of liberal denominations. (not exclusively, however). It’s just that most SBC folks I know suspect that many people who favor women’s ordination are liberal. That is probably a hold over of the debates of the early and late 70s, when in fact, that was true.

    There are a hodge podge of other cultrual issues where there is more uniformity – in the political arena. This is reflected in the ERLC stance on various issues.

    But those issues come and go, and I don’t think that is a driver for many churches.

    The issue there, as I see it, is not wanting the cultural engagement agency of the denomination to reflect something other than the dominant position of the SBC churches, even if it is not the only position.

    So, when the old Christian Life Commission of the SBC consistently took a pro-choice position over and against the feeling of most folks in the SBC, that was problematic.

    I don’t see the ERLC as being a large unifying factor. Most folks don’t follow it closely. BUT, if the ERLC was like the cultural engagement entities of many denominations in the US, where they are way off the page with most of their own people, it would become a problem.

    I think that’s how I see things in the SBC today.

  33. Dee,

    lamb chops?

     com’in up north… n’ gett’um whilez daze hot, huh?


    Sopy ;~)

  34. Anon, Dee, Deb

    One comment re women in the pastorate. Pentecostal churches are generally very conservative scripturally and politically, but have had women in the pulpit for many decades. There are other, relatively conservative groups that have had women in the pulpit as well.

  35. “To be honest, I am personally traumatized by the very idea of changing the denomination’s name. I feel an almost physical loss at the very prospect. It is a deeply and unavoidably emotional question for any Southern Baptist whose life is intertwined with the Convention, its work, and its churches.

    …At the same time, our commitment to the Great Commission and the urgency of the Gospel must exceed our emotional attachments and fears. A responsible movement of Gospel churches — of Baptist churches — must be ready to ask this question and face it fearlessly. 

    …We can and will do this together.

    …Most importantly, there is a world desperately in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — so we must not allow this question to divert our energies from the Great Commission task. 

    …It will not matter what we call ourselves if we lose sight of the one great cause that has brought us together.”

    -Al  Mohler, Jr.

    a whole lotta nonsense?

    not really…

    You are so right Al, things are always a mess when Christ and his gospel gets left out of the equation…

    (sad face)

    Sopy ;~)

  36. Anonymous

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I still think it is odd that they would unite over not allowing a woman as pastor but not over dealing more strongly on the pedophile issue.

    However, you did give me a bit more insight in your reply that is helpful. You said “I believe that is primarily because women in the pastorate in the US took place in a lot of liberal denominations. (not exclusively, however). It’s just that most SBC folks I know suspect that many people who favor women’s ordination are liberal. That is probably a hold over of the debates of the early and late 70s, when in fact, that was true.”

    So, now I think I understand why that issue took priority over the past 40 years. Maybe in the next 40 they can begin to deal with a far more pressing issue, pedophilia, in a comprehensive way. It is hard to imagine that, in the next decade, the SBC will continue to focus on the woman thing and ignore the abuse thing. Surely there are those brave men and women who will stand up and offer solutions?

  37. Sopy

    Having grown up in the Boston area, I cannot wait until someone like Al Mohler hits the scene up there and starts touting Ken Ham and strict complementarianism. Boston people are not known for subtlety in their response. A family member, in search of faith, went to a conservative evangelical church up north and happened to be in a Sunday school class in which they started in on some strict complementarianism. He raised his hand and asked them if they really meant it. He said it was a pile of **** and got thrown out of the class. I hope the little old ladies of the south are prepared….

  38. Sopy

    Al said “Most importantly, there is a world desperately in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” So how does he define the gospel? Young earth creationism is now called gospel creationism. He is going to have quite a time up north.

  39. Dee:

    Thanks. I could not agree more.

    I am against a database owned and operated by the SBC. I think a private one would do just as well, and I bet the SBC would give free ads for it.

    But otherwise, based on what I have read from you, we are in full agreement about this issue ethically and morally.

  40. Thanks for weighing in. Here is my question for you. You said “There is nothing wrong with a name change, even if it is to retool our image to the public.” Which image is being retooled? The Reformed Baptists? The UnReformed Baptists? The Secondary Issues at All costs Baptists? The Ed Young Jr Baptists? The Baptists Who Recall Missionaries Who Speak in Tongues Baptists? What is the SBC today? Is there any unifying factor that would show up in some new image? Is the idea of an SBC “identity” shattering? Has it become, except for “no woman pastors and only immerse baptism” merely an association of a bunch of nondenominational churches pretending they are denomination?

    If I may I am going to answer this question to me. It has nothing to do with any of the above. We are a denomination. Some SBs would disagree with me on that. But we are the very definition of a denomination. We are also independently run churches. IOW each church is autonomous. So we are different in areas of theology that are non-essential. But all can agree with the essentials, virgin birth, faith in Christ alone for salvation etc. That is a good thing. It’s the way it should be. So I don’t believe that any of what you mentioned above is a issue for being SBC. In fact I love the fact that we are that diverse and are attempting to work together for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Diversity is not a bad thing.

    What is and was bad was the corruption, the power mongering, the massive amounts of money that came with that power that should be in missions, which is our goal. The SBC was never started for college professors to have mansions and massive amounts of money. With this brought corruption and a mini SBC mafia. Also programs sucked up money, and little was given to the missionary. It turned into a psychological blood bath too many times. That is slowly changing. In fact it is small compared to what it was. It’s a good start in my opinion.

  41. Oh and I do get the feeling that SBI is shattering. That too is a good thing. The identifying unity factor is we all want missions to prosper and for Christ to be given to the world, we also unify in that we believe in the essential doctrines strongly. It may not be much of a unifier, but it’s the most important IMO

  42. Dee,

    Touché!  Good question: “What gospel?”

    …a lot of fun in Boston, huh?

    Well, SBC, name change and all…, she’s built for speed,
    She’s got everything that uncle Al  needs,

    …Well, I saw uncle Al with bald-headed Charles, looks like theyz was hav’in alotta fun…

    He saw Dee & Deb com’in and he ducked back in the alley…


    Sopy ;~)

  43. Debbie
    If people can disagree on secondary issues in the SBC, then why are women not allowed to be pastors?

  44. I also do not buy the unifying mission stance because of the cleaning house we have seen at the IMB over the BFM2000 which attempts to elevate the second tier doctrines to a salvic level. Are we unified around the BFM? :o)

  45. Oh, and I think the name change is a PR move to try and stave off the slow death that is occuring and attract a new crowd of givers.

  46. Lin,

    I’m not so sure it’s a slow death. Haven’t seen any quotes lately about the SBC being 16 million strong and the largest Protestant denomination.

  47. Deb, I don’t think the SBC elites got the memo. But I do agree with some who think that Wright setting up the task force was an abuse of his position. It is just not done. The SBC has a history of belief in a polity of the priesthood. Not end runs by presidents. I say this because this issue is NOT NEW. It has been voted down several times by the messengers, the last was sometime in the last decade. Looks to me like the elites are trying new tactics.

    I don’t really care about the name. I DO care about how they do it.

  48. Lin

    There are a few recalled missionaries who might have something to say about the SBC’s view on secondary issues.

  49. Lin: The appointing of a task force(unofficial taskforce) to study this was not an abuse of power on Dr. Wrights part. He can ask for a study to be done. No Convention monies are being used. Each person assigned to this task force pays their own way. It was legitimate. It’s a study. Not a done deal.

  50. Lin: There are changes being made slowly but surely. The exclusion of missionaries has not occurred since the change of the guard. But if you will notice all are included. Calvinists and non-Calvinists are taking part in this. Old and new leaders are being invited to the table. Change takes time, but the changes I see happening are addressing some of these issues. I do hope that a database is addressed and I will continue to push for that to happen. But as for some of the other things you mentioned leadership is pushing in a direction that I agree with.

  51. Dee: The answer to why are not women pastors allowed? It’s still up for debate. Changes do not happen overnight and the SBC is still in a strong stance to disallow women ministers. There are so many other issues to overcome as well. But we are headed in the right direction. We didn’t get in the current state we are in overnight and it’s not going to all be solved overnight. We have come so much further than we have, that I am thrilled with the changes that have taken place while patiently waiting for others.

  52. Debbie
    I agree with you. However, I do not think that it is correct to say that the SBC allows for differences in secondary issues. In some, it does. But in others, such as women, it does not. And watch Al Mohler very carefully. He is about to raise 6 day creationism to, as he says it, “gospel” importance. It troubles me that these guys focus so much on these issues and only give lip service to the SBC wretched history with pedophilia and domestic abuse.

  53. On a more sinister note than Constantinople-to-Istanbul, there’s the series of name changes from CheKa to OGPU to NKVD to KGB…