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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

SBC Observations Over the Past Two Weeks

It’s hard to believe that it was just a couple of weeks ago that Johnny Hunt turned down the nomination for the president of the SBC and nominated Dr. Ronnie Floyd. Because of travels and finals, I have not been able to keep up on all that has transpired; however, I have blogged about this a little bit here and at SBF.

I noticed yesterday a couple of things: first, Baptist Press is paying a lot of attention to bloggers—even using them as the content for their articles. Secondly, after checking the ole’ Sitemeter, I along with several other bloggers have found visitors from several interesting places such as Springdale, AR and Woodstock, GA. Now I don’t want to give any more specifics, but simply state this to make a point. Baptist Press isn’t the only one clicking the refresh button—many SBC elites are as well—and for good reason.

There have been many who have come out in disagreement with several matters including the “supernatural revelation” of Dr. Floyd’s nomination, the fire truck baptistry, the interview-turned-down, woeful CP giving (ahem, not “SBC causes” whatever that is), and recent comments on hypercalvinism in the SBC. All this in just the past two weeks! Notice something very carefully: NOTHING has been said about Dr. Ronnie Floyd or his character. I suspect that many of the SBC elites are waiting for a SBC blogger to slip up and make some ad hominem charge or attack but to no avail. This is a reminder to all of us that what we say can and will be used against us in the political machinery of the SBC.

On another note, Paige Patterson has felt it necessary to come out and recommend Dr. Floyd for the nomination; in addition, Dr. Danny Akin has sent an email defending Dr Floyd and his church's CP giving. And most recently, Dr. Al Mohler has written a letter of endorsement as well which can be read on Dr. Floyd's blog. Three seminary presidents of the SBC and denominational heads at that have not only pledged their support but have made a vocal campaign for Dr. Floyd. Thirdly, Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, argues that the CP should not be a “sacred cow”, and the Ad Hoc CP Committee’s recommendation is just “a bad suggestion." He then goes on to express his pledged support for Floyd. It is clear that the concerns and criticisms are serious enough to warrant such a response from the likes of such influential men.

Speaking of those concerns, bloggers have been demonized for being interested in such matters. Because of the new media, the accessibility of information, and the immediate publication, blogs have become the monkey wrench in the machinery that has been running so smoothly in the past. But is it not fair that a nominee who is running for a public office be subject to public scrutiny? Should we not examine the candidate, his church, and his theology? This is not a character assault, but responsible allegiance to a convention not made of a few mega-voices, but of millions (or so we are told) of little voices who are (or should be) committed to the future of the SBC.

I appreciate the words of Wade Burleson of late as he points out the difference here. Personally, I do not know Dr. Floyd except from his books, a few sermons, and a few blogposts which I have read. He seems like a great guy and a godly man. There is no reason to question his integrity or godliness. But there is good reason to question some of the things he has said or done; moreover, there is good reason to question the way in which one is nominated for the presidency of the SBC. Furthermore, I am encouraged to read the admonition and counsel from Morris Chapman who expressed the personal conflicts of interest by denominational leaders like Patterson and Akin to publicly endorse a candidate for the presidency.

The resurgence stalwarts have spoken as expected for their man, but what was not expected was to see the grassroots movement speaking out as they have. Baptist Press has picked up on this and so has the Kingmakers. Sweaty palms rest on keypads as the other potential candidate is awaiting to be announced. There is a legitimate reason to be worried as I presume they are. After all, a former president, two state papers, and a host of bloggers are actively writing about this presidential candidacy (not to mention out-going president Welch’s Million More has produced 4.15% less baptisms). Let me conclude by saying that ultimately this is not about Dr. Ronnie Floyd or the presidency of the SBC, it is about the future of the SBC and how we are going to get there.

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