Thursday, June 12, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention to Sit Out 2008 Election...

Yesterday, one report pointed out that that there wasn't an election-related gathering of the GOP for Baptist pastors across the street from the SBC annual meeting. Personally, I see this as one of the more positive things that did not occur in Indianapolis. The Southern Baptist Convention should be an issues focused body and no one's forgone conclusion as far as political party affiliation. Even if I do not completely agree with the fine points/issues of Dr. Richard Land's Four Modern Horsemen of the Apocalypse, at least it wasn't presented on the stage of a political candidate (or political party).

I, for one, do not appreciate the Southern Baptist Convention's association with the election of the current administrative leadership in Washington. As an individual, I helped elect the Bush administration...and frankly, I haven't been as disappointed with White House leadership since the Carter administration. I firmly believe that each and every Southern Baptist should actively participate in the political process, however, as a convention/organization I strongly believe that we should avoid entanglement with party affiliations and focus on candidate positions on the issues...there is a difference. There is a BIG difference.

To take a position that says the GOP = Southern Baptist is offensive. To take a position that says to be a Democrat = Southern Baptist is equally offensive. If one asks why our church attendance, memberships, and convention attendance numbers are dwindling, consider the divisive nature (for an individual) to either of these two offensive positions.

There is confusion in SBC circles about John McCain, although this article indicates that many convention attendees will vote for McCain because he is a Republican and perceived to be less liberal than Obama. I share some of that wary feeling...wondering if I should vote for McCain in spite of the fact that he is on the Republican ticket. My suspicion is that confusion will lead to apathy among SBC voters and they will sit this one out. That is a shame, because there are issues that cross political party lines that will require quality politicians from both political parties to address... and those parties need to hear from individual (and refugee) Baptists.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Congratulations to Johnny Hunt, SBC President

I wish Johnny Hunt the very best as he seeks to guide the Southern Baptist Convention for a season as president. He was not my choice, but I respect the decision of the majority in Indianapolis.

For the outgoing President, Frank Page, I offer my warmest appreciation for his service and agree with this closing quote from Ben Coles:
"When he was elected, Frank Page told us that he was conservative but he wasn’t angry about it. Through two years of incredible pressure and conflict, he’s as solidly conservative as he was the day he was elected. And he’s still not angry. Not at the people who opposed him — either secretly or publicly. And not at those of us who by our support gave him more headaches than he ever deserved."

Godspeed, Johnny, I am praying for you.