SBC2012: Race, and Race
There's a lot to say about the meeting, but I confess I don't really know what to say, so I'll start by quoting an old friend who emailed me. I'm not going to reveal his name since I haven't asked permission, but he said something extremely important in his email. Seems he'd seen me in one of my rants from the floor, and had written to tell me. In the email, he said the following:
"Fred Luter is an outstanding human being and a great pastor. He'll make a good SBC president, SO LONG AS HE STAYS AWAY FROM RACE."
I thought that was an extremely salient point. He may have been elected because he was a capable man, and for other reasons, but let his presidency be about his abilities, his servant's heart, his Spiritual wisdom and perception, his leadership abilities ... which he has demonstrated to and among people of all description in New Orleans, and perhaps his presidency will be about those things. And not about his race. If anybody tries to make it about his race, it will always be about this fine man's race and something else.
That ought not to be. But you can bet that every reporter, from CNN to the smallest newspaper, is going to ask about that, and let's hope Fred has the wisdom to steer clear.
The other race that mattered was the one for 2nd Vice President. The "Establishment Guy" .. Eric Hankins, of the "Anti-Calvinist-Manifesto" .. which seems to have been signed by something over 1% of the people who read it .. was soundly defeated by blogger Dave Miller, Editor of the SBC Voices blog. I'm particularly elated about Dave's winning, because I finally have seen an "Incoming SBC Officers" picture with a guy in it that dresses like I do and faces some of the same .. shall we say .. problems that I face every day.
Good onya, Dave. But if you want to know where the concentration of voting power was, at the convention, I think we just found out. It was a bunch of bloggers and twitterers with cell phones.
There was also a somewhat pointless motion affirming what's known as "the sinner's prayer". You know .. where someone who's saved leads someone else in a prayer of repentance, confession, and asking for forgiveness and salvation. As I have heard it, a well-known preacher had tiraded against the use of such a prayer, calling is "superstitious and unbiblical", and I think this resolution was a reaction to that. I don't know what the preacher had in mind .. maybe that the poor lost sinner knew better what he ought to do than a believer, and didn't need any help in "gettin' saved", but I'd certainly not agree with that. In fairness, I do believe he softened his stance somewhat, hopefully not in an attempt to curry favor with the folks who rose up against what he'd said.
The resolution went, in the normal course of business, through the Resolutions Committee, who rewrote it substantially. The original resolution contained some rather anti-Calvinistic language, which was removed (thankfully). One of the "protagonists" moved to amend the final resolution to put some of it back in, but the amendment failed, and the resolution passed.
I don't use "canned prayers" or anything like that. I prefer to simply lead them to do what the Gospel says is necessary to be saved. But the only time this stuff really means anything, anyway, is when a Spirit-filled follower of Jesus is talking to a lost sinner, and I don't think we want to start telling them what not to use to lead people to faith in Christ.
There were probably some other things that were big enough to report, but I was either asleep, or not smart enough to recognize them. But several things I would state most affirmatively.
- The gathering of bloggers at the Cafe du Monde on Monday evening, which ran from maybe 9 pm (CB and I were there at 8..) until nearly midnight, was a blast.
- Meeting some of the bloggers and Facebook guys that I've gotten to know electronically, since my last convention in 2009, was a real treat.
- Being there for the election of Fred Luter as President of an organization which was formed something over 150 years ago, by slavery advocates and mostly over the issue of slavery, was by all accounts the most momentous thing I have ever witnessed. The atmosphere in that building simply cannot be described.