Tuesday, September 20, 2011Download All Stories
SBC name change study sparks lively debateNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The announcement from Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright of a presidential task force to study the prospect of changing the convention's name sparked a lively debate during the SBC Executive Committee meeting Sept. 19 in Nashville, Tenn.
Executive Committee member Darrell P. Orman, pastor of First Baptist Church in Stuart, Fla., offered a motion that convention attorneys study the issue for one year "before we take any action" on possibly changing the name. The motion later failed on a 39-20 vote.
"Every man here wants to do something significant in his life for Christ and His Kingdom," Orman said. "A name change could be a future necessity for our convention but it should start from the bottom up, not the top down."
The Great Commission Resurgence Task Force's 2010 proposals for dramatically reorganizing the Southern Baptist Convention and reallocating missions dollars had caused a "tug of war" and left "a lot of conflicted feelings ... across our nation," Orman said. "We don't need another wedge issue at this time."
An Executive Committee member from Ohio echoed Orman's concerns.
"If you get outside of Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, GCR is still very, very divisive among Southern Baptists," said Charles Chambers, a layman from Toledo, Ohio. "Don't divide us again."
Another Executive Committee member suggested a better approach would be to let messengers to the SBC annual meeting bring up the subject themselves.
"I would counsel us to be very thoughtful and prayerful before we open a can of worms that the convention has not said on the front end they want to open. [Messengers] have said in years past that this is not something we want to do," said Ron Madison, senior pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville, Ala. "It may be time to consider it again, but if it is time to consider it again, isn't there wisdom in letting the messengers generate that request, rather than putting something out here ... that is almost guaranteed to become a focus of, at very best, a spirited discussion?"
Wright noted the convention's name is geographically regional, which he said could be a barrier to starting new churches outside the South. He added he has received "continual feedback" from church planters outside of the South and Southwest regarding the "regional nature of our name."
"In New York and Boston and Minneapolis and out West, it's just a big barrier that they are continually dealing with," Wright said. "... Part of the study is to consider a name change as a possibility of removing a barrier to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are so many people that are unreached, that it's a barrier to even have communication with them, or for them to even consider coming to a new church plant that is a Southern Baptist church. Hearing that feedback in [my] travels around the nation was definitely influential in me praying about this possibility." Read More
SBC president announces task force to study possible convention name changeNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- 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.
Page announces Hispanic Advisory CouncilNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, announced the formation of a Hispanic Advisory Council with a goal of "more fully integrating Hispanic Baptist churches into the total fabric of Southern Baptist life and ministry." Read More
Don't Ask, Don't Tell officially ends
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The military's ban on open homosexuality officially came to an end Sept. 20, resulting in celebration among gay and lesbian groups but concern elsewhere that the new policy would restrict religious freedoms and infringe on privacy. Read More
Collegians urged to carry passion for JesusGLORIETA, N.M. (BP) -- The needs of a hurting world -- and transformational missions opportunities to meet those needs -- were set before 2,000-plus students during Collegiate Week at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M. Read More
British evangelist: Changed lives draw people to faith in Christ
GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)--Seeing a life changed because of Jesus will draw people to faith, a British evangelist told ministry leaders during Collegiate Week at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M.
"I suspect your university campuses are becoming much like the U.K. [United Kingdom] -- they don't want all that religion stuff," said Dennis Pethers, author of "More to Life," a simple four-story approach to believers more easily share their faith and an understanding of the Gospel.... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: The persecuted church & the distracted church
Columnist Doug Carlson, who went on a trip to Central Asia recently, compares the faith and commitment of persecuted Christians overseas to the faith and commitment of the American church. Read More
FROM THE STATES: Calif., N.C., S.C. evangelism/missions news
EDITOR'S NOTE: From the States, published each Tuesday by Baptist Press, relays news and feature stories from state Baptist papers and other publications on initiatives by Baptist churches, associations and state conventions in evangelism, church planting and Great Commission outreach, including partnership missions. Reports about churches, associations and state conventions responding to the International Mission Board's call to embrace the world's 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups also ... Read More