Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thoughts on the Houston SBC, 2013

As usual, I enjoyed the fellowship with friends and preachers I had not seen in a year or more. Heard some gracious, encouraging comments on my two books and my mother’s Cookbook. Did so much walking and standing, my feet and legs paid for it for several days. Had an SBC hangover! 

Also enjoyed the Pre-SBC Bible Conference held at Southview Baptist Church, Rosharon, TX. Heard some great preaching and singing, and was pleasantly surprised at the SBC messengers from around the country who showed up.

SBC President Fred Luter seems to be doing a great job. He was reelected by acclamation. Glad to see Bart Barber elected as SBC First Vice-President.

The Calvinism Report seems to be generally well received. Two points in their report deserve note.

First, they affirm both Calvinists and non-Calvinists (aka Moderate Calvinists, Traditionalists) have been a part of the SBC since it’s beginning in 1845.

"We affirm that, from the very beginning of our denominational life, Calvinists and non-Calvinists have cooperated together.” -Calvinism Committee; 2013.

This affirmation is important because some of the New Calvinists have argued only strict Calvinists comprised the SBC for about its first 100 years.

Second, the statement said those who believe infants inherit Adam’s guilt, and those who believe infants do not inherit Adam’s guilt (both sides agree we inherit a sinful nature because of Adam) both fit within Southern Baptist orthodoxy.

“We agree that everyone has inherited Adam's hopelessly fallen sin nature, but we differ as to whether we also inherit his guilt. We agree that men and women are sinners, but we differ about the effects of sin on the mind and the will. We recognize the differences among us between those who believe that sin nullifies freedom to respond to the Gospel and those who believe that freedom to respond to the Gospel is marred but not nullified.”
-Calvinism Committee; 2013.

This is important because some have accused Traditionalists or non-Calvinists of being heretics or leaning toward heresy.

The Calvinist Statement will do some good, but both sides will continue to do what they’ve been doing. Perhaps it will quiet down the more extreme on both sides.

There seemed to be confusion by some that the SBC Pastor’s Conference was going to be all panel discussion, with no preaching. Some of the early schedules seemed to indicate that. I hope we continue to have revival type, and expository preaching at the Pastor’s Conference. Hope we continue to get great older, and younger preachers; traditional as well as contemporary preachers of the Gospel. I’d also like to see an evangelist or two preach each year at the Pastor’s Conference. Our evangelists have been too often neglected.

As always, there was good singing and preaching at the SBC. The Resolutions Committee presented some good resolutions. You can see the resolutions at sbc.net.

The display areas are always interesting to me. Calvinists had at least a couple of booths; non-Calvinists need to get a little more involved and have a booth or two as well. They also had some good hot dogs in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Attendance was low this year, 5,103. I was present at the SBC that had a record 45,000 messengers. That was at the height of the SBC Conservative Resurgence. When there’s an incumbent President and no huge controversy, attendance is usually low.

But I believe more pastors and others need to commit to attend the annual SBC. And those who do, need to commit to be present when important business is taking place. We need to be more committed to voting for the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice President. We need to be ready to vote on Resolutions and motions.

During the 1960s and 1970s conservative pastors got in the habit of attending the SBC Pastor’s Conference, enjoying the preaching and fellowsip, and skipping the SBC business sessions; and the moderates took over. Dr. Williams, an HBU professor, told our class years ago that conservatives study their Bibles, and liberals study parliamentary procedure; and the liberals win every time. That changed in the Conservative Resurgence. But now many are regressing back to the old ways. Come to the SBC and vote your convictions! We need you.

Next year the SBC will be in Baltimore, Maryland. We will be electing a new president. It will be an important convention and conservatives need to start making plans to attend. It will be a sacrifice for you to attend, but one that needs to be made.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 18, AD 2013.

SBC Resolution on Tithing

Southern Baptist Convention, Houston, 2013 - Interesting Details

Other articles in lower right margin.

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