And Just WHAT Is It We Can't Do, Again?
Something's been bothering me for a while, so guess what.
Yeah. I'm gonna write about it.
I've heard ever since I've been a Southern Baptist, that we're a Convention and not a Denomination. OK, I get, that, even though I find it curious that the last time I looked, the SBC website said the word "convention" referred both the the "denomination and to the annual meeting". Well, all righty, but it does seem to come in handy now and then, not being a denomination.
Stuff like convicted sex offenders, womanizers, etc. We don't have to keep track of them. Nor of embezzlers, who steal from mission boards, which makes it easier, I suppose, to set them free to steal from Alabama citizens in a clever fraud scheme (which was apparently practiced while on SBC payroll).
And then there's accountability. It's a lot easier to excuse the failure to disciple eight or ten MILLION people God sent our way, when you say up front you don't have any control over that.
So .. what is necessary to be a Southern Baptist Church? From what I'm told, the church must contribute to the Cooperative Program, and they must be in "Friendly Cooperation" with the Southern Baptist Convention. I'm not real sure what that means, but I know for certain you can't condone same-sex unions in the church. And, I'm pretty sure having a woman for a pastor isn't, either. But aside from that.....
So I am wondering .. if there are a couple things they'll check up on you about, why can't they check up on whether you're actually making disciples of the people God has put in our midst? Why can't the SBC require that churches clean up their membership rolls? Why can't we require folks who haven't attended in a year (barring some substantial reason like being a shut-in) be removed from membership?
Why can't we require some sort of performance, on the part of members, to be members?
Why can't we require some sort of performance on the part of churches to be an SBC church?
I can think of a few reasons.
- We don't want to.
- We getting along OK without it.
- We have plenty of money.
- Local pastors don't want to be held accountable.
- We couldn't claim to have 16,000,000 members any more.
- We couldn't say we're the biggest, any more.
Or maybe it's all of the above.
The way I figure it, we've got to have some things we say we can't do, to have something to blame the current to-what-ever-degree-it-is-disappointing results of the collective efforts of the SBC on. To that extent, maybe we don't really want to fix things.
That would explain a lot. Like the GCRTF Report. In my opinion.
Almost forgot .. somebody ought to point out that neither of the things the local church has to do, to be an SBC church, have anything to do with the local church actually MAKING DISCIPLES. Hence the question: since the SBC is about cooperation, and not about discipleship, why the fuss about a Great Commission Resurgence?