And When I DO, Here's What I'll Tell'em.......
I have said in a couple places that I would speak against the Great Commission Resurgence Declaration. Thanks to some communication from some people I trust, I had just about changed my mind. But I believe I am going to go through with it, albeit it might not be what you expect.
So, here's what I'm going to say:
1) First, in case you wondered, I signed the Declaration when it was first put online. I think there were 147 signatures, and 12 Points, when I signed it. And in case you wonder why I'd sign it and then speak against it at the convention ... well ... I heartily endorse the Bible, too, but that doesn't mean I'm for using it to press flowers, squash mice, or as kindling in your fireplace.
2) I recall a couple of these "swell motions" ... one is the "Regenerate Church Membership" motion last year, including the "Repentance Amendment" added from the floor. That passed, although I estimate 40% of the people voted not to repent or even change the status of all those members we cannot even find.
I'm confident you can recall other motions about changing this or that, or repenting over something-or-other, which were approved without any evidence of change thereafter. In other words, when all is said and done, there's usually a whole lot more was said, than done.
3) The ideas set forth in the GCRD are great. We would all be well advised to follow the concepts and suggestions which SBC President Hunt sets forth.
4) Check this, from the Florida Baptist Witness: "The Southern Baptist Convention is a ship “adrift” and so low in the water that it “probably” needs to rid itself of some unnecessary “cargo” to “float and be healthy and strong again,” SBC president Johnny Hunt said in a May 13 interview with Florida Baptist Witness".
What's more, Ed Stetzer said we're a "denomination in decline", if I recall correctly. Over a year ago.
5) Passing a motion and forming a committee (if that's in the cards) to study the deal is about all the SBC can do. Police powers, the SBC doesn't have. So, by nature, the SBC cannot tell the churches or the SBC entities what to do. Hence, "adopting" the GCRD, officially, is about it. That, and forming a committee .. which is as Baptist as a pot-luck supper.
Maybe if we'd formed a Committee to study the Garner Motion, or the Resolution as to Regenerate Church Membership, something might actually happe ... uhhh ... hmmm ... never mind.
5) Jesus said some interesting things about hypocrites. Not the least of those things was, in speaking of an unfaithful servant:
The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:50-51, NIV)
Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to face whatever fate awaits hypocrites, which seems to be a place appropriate for guys who get chopped into pieces. So ... here's the deal:
The Great Commission Resurgence Declaration is a fine document. What it says about our SBC infrastructure, and what the focus of our efforts ought to be, is right on, in my opinion. But the worst thing I can possibly think of, with reference to the Annual Convention taking action on it, is this: If we vote on the Declaration ... to appoint a committee to study it ... and then we don't follow through and do what is set forth in it, then we're a bunch of hypocrites. If you're a trustee on the Board of an SBC entity and you vote in favor, but don't begin studying the Institution you serve and its structure, right away, then you're one, too (in my personal opinion).
I don't think we want to be hypocrites. When I rise to speak to it ... if it comes to that, and if I have the opportunity to do so ... I'm going to say that, if you vote for the thing, you'd better be prepared to act on its recommendations. Now. And that applies to folks all up and down the line, since the Declaration applies to just about everybody involved in SBC work, from the Presidents on down.