In the 2008 SBC Book of Reports, page 18, item number 4, the executive committee dealt with a motion I brought to the convention recommending the establishment of a task force to deal with the spiritual gift of tongues, particularly as it is practiced as a “private prayer language.”  The IMB trustees developed a policy on this particular practice, and in so doing, prompted many Southern Baptists to declare that such a policy was going beyond the BFM 2000 and was not something they were authorized to do.  Wade Burleson eventually resigned his seat over this issue. 

In declining to form a task force to study the issue, as recommended in the motion, the executive committee declared that “the Baptist Faith and Message is sufficient in its current form to guide trustees in their establishment of policies and practices of entities of the Convention by additionally observing that it is sufficient to guide the Convention’s Committee on Nominations in its selection and qualification of trustee nominees.”

That would be consistent with what the Garner Motion stated at last year’s convention, and in agreement with what both Wade Burleson and Dwight McKissic have been saying all along.  I’m not sure if the executive committee has the authority to over-rule a trustee board policy, but at least they have clarified the Convention’s position on developing policies that go beyond the scope of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.


About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

3 responses

  1. Steve Austin says:

    From what others have reported, the Executive Cmte would never tell a Board what to do. If a board decided that unicorns and Harvey the Invisible Rabbit were real, it would stay that way until enough trustees were replaced to rescind that decision. Boards can be defunded but nobody ever sees that happening.

  2. Tim Dahl says:

    Aren’t the Messengers there the SBC in conference? Isn’t the SBC the sole proprietary owner of the SBC agencies? It would seem that the Messengers are the only ones with the right to tell the boards what to do.

    Oh well. I guess it is true, “Send us your money, but don’t expect to be an influence.”

    Tim Dahl

  3. Lee says:

    The SBC in session has authority over the trustee boards in two ways. One, they elect the trustees. Of course, they are usually elected as a group, and it is usually a matter of course that there are no challenges and the whole slate is elected at one time, but the convention does have that authority. Second, the convention controls the budget received by its entities and agencies. Theoretically, the way the convention gets action on something it wants from a trustee board is either by the influence of electing trustees who are committed to making the changes, or by cutting the budget.

    It took the Patterson-Pressler group about nine years to begin to have an effect on SBC policy through the trustee boards, and about 12 years before they completely controlled every board. The convention does have the authority to remove trustees, but it takes a separate motion for each one and, I believe, a two thirds vote. Even now, that would be hard to achieve.

    The BGCT, and most other Baptist state conventions are set up in a similar way. The exception is the executive board, which conducts the business of the convention between sessions. They can take action on their own, though some things require convention approval, but the convention in session always supercedes them. That was what all the hullabaloo was about a couple of years back when Michael Bell ruled David Montoya’s motion out of order.