I’ve been following the memoirs that Rick Davis has been writing about his term of service as the BGCT’s evangelism director. It’s interesting stuff, and my frame of reference includes the experiences of a college buddy of mine who served in a similar executive position in another state convention, and some other college friends who got too close to the flame of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona scandal and got badly burned. You can read what the Samurai has written and draw your own conclusions.
Is this standard operating procedure for Baptist organizations?
Denominational politics is par for the course, we are told. No real explanations are given, and certainly no justification is offered, it is just “the way things are.” Most of the current political activities in the BGCT and the SBC date back to 1979, when a political movement began consolidating power to protect the SBC from a perceived theological drift to the left. The current leadership of the BGCT, heavily dominated by Texas Baptists Committed, organized to prevent a fundamentalist takeover of the BGCT and its institutions. Energy and resources were shifted to those causes. So whatever happened to Bold Mission Thrust?
A lot of water has passed under the bridge in almost 30 years. A reform movement has arisen in the SBC because the mission of the conservative resurgence has changed from stopping the perceived “leftward theological drift” of the SBC to preserving the high level institutional and denominational jobs for its leaders as rewards for service. The tightness of their control has produced resistance and a move for reform. In the BGCT, the moderate leadership that organized to control the convention’s boards and offices is now engaged in wholesale damage control in the wake of a scandal which sullied their reputation.
Those in the SBC who are hoping for reform and change are pinning those hopes on the election of another Frank Page type president in June. In the BGCT, the hope is that the newly named choice for executive director will go in at least a bit of a different direction than his close ties to TBC, CBF and moderate Baptists would indicate, in refocusing the convention back on Kingdom business. Other than that, it would appear that only the formation of another political organization would be effective in electing officers and appointing trustees to bring about change.
We need revival. Genuine, Holy Spirit-led, poured out revival. That is our only hope.