Five Thoughts on Day Two of SBC 2012
1) "Great Commission Baptists" passed by a small margin of 53%-46%. This does not replace the name "Southern Baptist Convention" but can be used as an alternative name for any church/entity that desires to do so. According to the task force who studied the issue, many Southern Baptists serving in the northern and western United States have stated the alternative name would be helpful to their efforts. I do wish the margin was greater, as I hate to see the convention so divided on something as basic as its identity. I voted to support the alternative name, but am torn on the issue. I mainly voted in the affirmative out of respect for leadership and those on the task force. I think the jury is still out on whether the alternative name will prove to be effective, or even significant, in the long run.
2) While the convention was overall pretty amicable, there were a couple messengers who used the floor mics today to spew some particularly harsh/ugly words towards leadership. This was unfortunate and frankly unfair as those on the platform cannot really respond directly to personal attacks on their character during business session. Leadership (particularly President Bryant Wright) showed a great deal of restraint/grace in their response. In fact, Bryant Wright did an excellent job of moderating the convention in general.
3) There is now a new verb in Southern Baptist vernacular... Henceforth, going to the microphone 100 times, quibbling over every fine detail of Robert's Rules, making trivial motions, and generally making a pest of yourself shall be known as "Tribbling." A messenger with the last name of Tribble from Illinois did exactly this the last two days and in a weird way, aside from Fred Luter, will probably be the best remembered personality from this convention. I'm really surprised "Tribble" didn't trend on Twitter the way it lit up anytime he went to a mic. Bless his heart. I'm sure he's a good guy. But you have to know when enough is enough. I'm sure in his mind he was trying to help the convention, but he actually ended up wasting an awful lot of people's time.
4) So we passed a resolution saying we support the sinner's prayer. In other news, we also passed a motion in favor of little children and puppy dogs. In all seriousness, there was a lot of baggage attached to this motion I'm not sure all the messengers understood. This motion was basically made in response to David Platt and others in the SBC (primarily those of Reformed leanings) warning that the sinners prayer can be "superstitious" and lead to false conversions. I couldn't agree with Platt more. Look, no one has a problem with a sinner crying out to God in repentance and faith for salvation. (At least we better not!) That can take the form of a formal prayer or many other things. The issue is not the act itself, but the attitude of "easy believism" that so often accompanies it. That's the real discussion we need to be having in the SBC, and little in this resolution really addresses that. Some are fired up about this resolution (on both sides) but I don't see it as a significant development either way.
5) Today we witnessed the power of the internet. A small church pastor named Dave Miller from Sioux City, Iowa (hardly the hot bed of SBC life) was elected as 2nd Vice President. How? He runs the most widely read blog in the Southern Baptist Convention. (www.sbcvoices.com) Blogging and social media has truly leveled the playing field in the SBC, as in many other facets of society.
On a personal note, my nomination speech went well. I think. I don't really remember much of it. Rachel recorded it on her phone and I am waiting for her to email me the video file. I actually ended up sitting on the platform for over an hour as they thought they would squeeze me into one business session, but ran out of time and I had to wait for the next one. It was quite an experience. Fred Luter came by and introduced himself. And just to see the proceedings from behind the scenes and everything that takes place in the background on the platform was very fascinating. I am thankful to Jim Wells for allowing me the honor of nominating him. My only wish is that I had enjoyed the moment more.
Flying back to the Ozarks in the morning. It's been a good trip. Pray for safe travels.