This is going to be my last post on Valleygate and the BGCT annual meeting.
I didn’t drink the kool-aide.
I was there. I went to the meetings and to the business sessions, I read the bulletin and the book of reports. I asked questions. I participated in discussions. I listened to the debates and the comments made during the business sessions. I drew my own conclusions. They did not, by the way, match my pre-conceived notions as I entered the convention hall on Monday morning.
The impact of the Valleygate investigation and the subsequent report has still not had enough time to be felt, either by messengers to the convention this year, executive board members, or Baptist Building staff. This year’s convention followed the release of the report too quickly for any comprehensive actions to be taken.
Two immediate priorities came to the forefront. One was to put policies into place in the BGCT operating structure that would safeguard the convention from being taken advantage of in this way in the future. That was important. The other priority was to move heaven and earth if necessary to repair the damage to the reputations and ministries of the Texas Baptists in the Rio Grande Valley. For other matters, there is plenty of time. The full impact of this investigation, as well as the wrongdoing it uncovered, will be better handled by the 2007 convention in Amarillo, when there has been enough time for everything to sink in.
I’m willing to admit that my perspective is influenced. I know several of the individuals on the executive board, including the chairman, from having attended seminary with them, or served in an association on a committee with them, or having been a fellow church member of the same congregation together. I trust them. I believe the BGCT is in good hands because of that. It was also influenced by Dr. Wade’s willingness to expose himself to an open question and answer session in the middle of a crisis in which he had already admitted to having made a mistake. That took courage. Few, if any, Baptist leaders in powerful positions would have ever exposed themselves to that kind of scrutiny, especially without exercising some kind of control over the questions. That gave his words a high level of credibility.
There were 2,000 messengers at the convention, all of whom could have introduced motions or resolutions. It was pretty quiet. It was a pretty quiet convention all the way around. I discern that as contemplation. Things are still being turned over, sifted and considered. That’s the way I interpret it, anyway, along with a few others with whom I spoke.
For those who see this as a political “circling of the wagons,” I think you’re wrong about that.
That’s just the way I see it.