http://www.swbts.edu/chapelschedule

Fellow blogger Big Daddy Weave reports, on Baptistlife.com today that Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, will speak in chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on October 15.  This is welcome news.

This is a definite sign that relations between the BGCT and the SBC, and particularly Southwestern Seminary, are warming a bit.  This is as it should be.  The BGCT and SWBTS had a close, longstanding relationship from the time that the SBC incorporated the school as one of its institutional ministries. The fighting that has occurred between the school and the BGCT in the wake of the “controversy” has appeared to be petty and selfish on both sides.  It has been duly noted and reported in the state’s secular media. 

It has been my personal opinion that our battles have not been so much about doctrine, or about “fundamentalism” as they have been about who has power and who calls the shots.  Perhaps some doctrinal perspective has been mixed up in that.  But how far apart can we really be when the executive director of the BGCT has been invited to preach to ministry students in a Southern Baptist seminary?

There are some who did not like the outcome of the controversy in the SBC.  But aside from the formation of the CBF and the Alliance, there has been no “mass exodus” from the SBC.  As it is, even 90% of CBF’s congregations retain some sort of SBC affiliation.  Attempts to move the BGCT away from cooperation with the SBC have been met with resistance, resulted in a major split in BGCT affiliation and the formation of the SBTC, and are now meeting with resistance in the BGCT itself.  The fact of the matter is that, even though there may be some changes that have occurred in leadership, and in the way the convention is led, most Baptists would still rather cooperate where we can, than resist and fight over the direction things have gone. 

We are not as far apart as we might think.  I am looking forward to seeing the podcast of Dr. Everett’s message.

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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.

4 responses

  1. Aaron L. says:

    You can watch online or see the video afterwards at s
    http://www.swbts.edu/events/chapel_archive.cfm

    In Him,
    Aaron L.

  2. Tim Dahl says:

    Hmm….

    I wonder if this means they won’t exclusively be pushing the SBTC anymore. SWBTS has been anti-BGCT for quite a while now. It will either be interesting to see, or not.

    Tim

  3. Lee says:

    I see a couple of other Texas Baptist pastors on the list who are from BGCT affiliated churches. They may be dually affiliated churches, but I know they are BGCT.

    I don’t know if this is a gesture in response to the BGCT opening up the opportunity for Southwestern to exhibit at the convention in November or not. I’ve heard some people say that the friendliness of the SBC toward the BGCT (i.e. the award received by Green Acres church in Tyler at the SBC meeting in Indianapolis) is an attempt on their part to make nice in order to gain more support, now that they have sensed most BGCT churches have stayed financially faithful to the Cooperative Program and are advocating for a better relationship. I think perhaps there are some leaders who have gotten to know each other, realize how petty some of this stuff has been, realize that cooperation in missions and ministry is still a greater priority that personal preferences in theological views, or who gets to run things, and have decided to move forward in spite of resistance or pouting.

  4. David Lowrie says:

    Lee,

    It’s my prayer that this is the first fruits of a new day in Baptist life. It is time to put the past behind us. Our struggles have weakened us on many fronts and hurt our reputation for the cause of Christ.

    I commend Dr. Patterson and Dr. Everett for this step toward better relations. We must never forget we are still part of ONE KINGDOM under our Lord.

    The losers in our struggle have been the people who desperately need us to be salt and light. The losers are those outside our churches who do not have a personal relationship with our Lord. We have squandered too much playing our power games at their expense.

    David Lowrie