I am leaving for Boston on Friday for my mother’s funeral. She will be buried next to my dad. We are only having our immediate family for a graveside service, and then we will go out to dinner, which is what she wanted. She insisted that we “charge” the dinner to her account! I will post discussion questions for Friday and cancel Echurch this weekend. Stay tuned. I have a concerning story I will discuss soon about another well-known church I attended when I was in Boston.
What does it mean when a church is found on the SBC Church Directory website?
I am fed up with the obfuscation by pastors who claim to follow “the Truth” when it comes to this matter. Many of you might remember when JD Greear ran to become the SBC President. The problem was that most of his members had no idea that the Summit was a member of the SBC. I had more members get irritated with me when I informed them they were Baptists. They, of course, denied it.
In 2018, I wrote that President-Elect J.D. Greear’s Congregation FINALLY Realizes It’s Southern Baptist. You can watch the video there and have a good laugh.
J.D. Greear said:
“The third question some of you just asked is ‘Since when did we become Southern Baptist?’Uh, and I get that. That’s not something we really wear on our sleeve here. There are obviously parts of the Southern Baptist Convention that we’re not excited about, and we don’t feel like really represent who we are as a church…”
As Greear revealed, it’s all about the money – IMB dollars.
In our previous post, I mentioned this conundrum. As residents in the same geographic area as The Summit Church, Dee and I have known for years that some Summit attendees had no idea that their church was part of the Southern Baptist Convention. If you check out the church website, you’ll understand why. It’s been one of The Summit’s best kept secrets.
Now Summit members know for certain that they are indeed Southern Baptists since their pastor has been elected SBC president. What a tragedy that Greear has had such shame for the denomination which he will now lead.
Of course, he had all sorts of excuses. The one that gets the most play is that they could cooperate with the SBC for missions as if the Summit wasn’t doing enough missions on their own. What they mean is that there is money involved. For example, the pastor can participate in retirement ‘opportunities.’
It is merely a “partnership”- the big lie.
in 2019, I addressed this topic again in We Are Not Baptists…Are We? Why Are SBC Churches Hiding Their SBC Affiliation From Their Church Members? This is one year from the last post I quoted.
We are not Baptists and the thought of the upsets me.
I was at a gathering with a group of Christians I’ve known for a long time.
Person A::”You will be pleased. Our church is setting up a program to help those who have been sexually abused. It’s a really good program which involves outside counselors who are helping us to set up a supportive program.
Me: “That’s wonderful! Are you using the Caring Well materials that the SBC is giving out to churches?”
Person B: “Why would we use Baptist material? Our church isn’t Baptist.
Me (now confused): Your church is a Southern Baptist Church.
Person B: “My brother works there and the church is definitely not Baptist.”
Person A: “I think they don’t talk about it because it’s not important. It’s just in the background”
At this point, I realized that I had stepped into an explosive situation. I know their church is a member of the SBC. Yet, I could tell that they were becoming quite upset so I decided to end the conversation.
I was left with the question: Why did they become upset? Nothing changed. Their church was still the same church. Yet, something changed in the conversation. Tension was present.
So, I introduced the situation on Twitter. I suggested that people check the SBC church directory and see if their *nondenominational* church is listed. A few people responded. They were shocked to discover their nice nondenominational church was really a member of the SBC.
Sadly, Summit and other SBC churches are told to conceal their membership in the SBC. They are coached to tell people that it is not a membership, just a partnership. And that is simply not true.
This next part of that post is essential.
Why do people appear angry when they discover that their church is covertly a member of the SBC?
Here are some possible thoughts.
They do not like being purposely left in the dark. This could lead to trust issues within the congregation.
They have heard about the recent reports of abuse in the SBC.
They have heard about the history of racism in the SBC.
They view the SBC as a *religion* that pushes lots of rules and regulations.
They view the denomination as not friendly towards women.
They have given a bunch of money to their church and feel like their own church is lying to them. People like to know how their donations are being used.
They feel like they are viewed by their church leaders as too stupid to understand such matters.
Recently, I have become aware that the SBC is making headway in New England. None of the ones I checked admitted that the church was a member of the SBC!
I contend that this is a big lie. It is predicated on the fact that many church members are trusting and don’t check things carefully., In other words, it’s better to keep them stupid. “Let’s preach Jesus, and when we hook ’em, we’ll laugh it off and say it’s merely a “partnership.” Greear got away with it, and so did many others.
David Platt and McLean Bible Church
Frankly, I knew that the people of this church were naive in calling Platt. Their previous pastor was Lon Solomon. He was an effective, generic evangelical and was beloved by many in the congregation. Looking for a way to slide out of the onerous IMB, Platt discovered a church with lots of money and infrastructure and saw a cash cow.
I have no problem with a church calling an SBC pastor. I have no problem with them joining the SBC. I have a problem with churches like the Summit, which played games with the SBC membership until JD was gonna be President. By then, the spin machine was well-developed, and he got away with his little obfuscation.
Well, Platt has miffed off many of the members of McLean Bible Church, and they aren’t sitting back and smiling about it. You see, there was a pesky little clause in the bylaws.
It appears there is going to be further action at McLean Bible Church. That little snippet was from this document addressed to parties at MBC from Chap, Petersen, and Associates, PLC.
If you say, “Well, maybe it was a sweet little partnership and didn’t mean anything,” look at this following document. It appears that Heather, wife to Platt, was elected to be a messenger to the SBC convention. That means she could VOTE for the church.
Here is a link to the entire document.
If you want to laugh, the Capstone Report posted a video of David Platt saying that the church is not a member of the SBC.
I wonder how this happened. Did Heather get her flight, hotel room, food, and incidentals paid by MBC? Did she feel a bit guilty? I sure hope she did because, if she didn’t, that speaks for itself.
There are two other issues that I want to discuss on this matter, and I plan to do so next week.
- A church that sends messengers to vote at the SBC convention means the church is a member of the SBC.
- All those joining a church should be told, in the new members class, that they are entering a Baptist church.
- Pastors should deal with the inevitable questions about child sex abuse, sex abuse of adults, money questions, etc.
- If the above is not dealt with, then church leaders are lying. Failing to mention a difficult truth is a lie.
- Tell them immediately if they don’t know. For example, Greear and friends knew the people didn’t think they were Baptists. Therefore, tell them before you need them to understand why you will be President of the SBC.
- In my opinion, Platt planned to move MBC to become SBC from the start. If he didn’t say anything, this is deceptive and unworthy of a possible pastor.
- David Platt is an SBC pastor, and it appears he lied.
At first, I thought this was a bunch of control freaks trying to undermine David Platt. I now don’t believe that to be the case. It appears, to this outside observer, that they had the right to be upset.
I look forward to seeing how Platt’s attorneys get him out of this. Stay tuned.