Back on August 30th, I wrote a post which I titled New Names and Faces Needed for BGCT’s Future. David Lowrie, who subsequently was elected president of the BGCT in Ft. Worth in November, made this comment:
“I believe we need a balance in this approach to change. I agree we need new faces at the table, and we also need a handful of strong leaders who can keep us in touch with the history and the lessons learned from the past.”
I agree with that, wholeheartedly.
Over the past couple of days, I have heard much response from many people. In addition to the blog, my proposal was also discussed at http://baptistlife.com, an internet message board on which I participate in the discussion. I didn’t think there would be all that much interest there in this particular discussion, but there was some. This blog received over 500 hits in the last two days. I’ve read the responses, along with the emails I’ve received, and let it all sink in for a while. Now it’s time for a response.
First of all, what probably disturbs me the most is the suggestion from some that what I have proposed, as well as who I am and what I might be after, is being discussed. Let me assure you, I do not have a hidden agenda. What you see is what you get. It is my intention to conduct myself in an open, above board manner and approach the convention with these proposals in the manner prescribed for doing so by the convention itself. I am aware that one of my weaknesses is the ability to wield a sharp tongue (or keyboard as the case may be) when I am defending a cause and as a result, I fully intend to conduct myself in a manner that is pleasing to God and consistent with my professed belief in Christ. So I would expect anyone who has anything to say about what I am proposing, particularly if they are involved with the BGCT, to speak to me directly as opposed to talking about me behind my back.
I’ve been told, by several individuals who claim to have had similar experience, to expect a barrage of criticism from those in the BGCT who will be opposed to what I am proposing. There are those who have said that these proposals will never see the light of day, and that by proposing them, I have touched a live nerve which may well result in personal attacks, and perhaps even threats, being made. Seriously? If that is the case, and that is the expected reaction from convention leadership, then a more appropriate proposal would simply be to disband and shut the whole operation down. No issue is worth the loss of your integrity. I am not your enemy.
These proposals are not intended to open the door to a “fundamentalist takeover” of the BGCT, nor are they intended to diminish the gender and ethnic diversity of the trustee boards and convention committees. In fact, the broad representation of churches and individuals that would be required to be nominated on an annual basis would most likely prevent any kind of special interest from taking over, and it would require an even greater amount of ethnic and gender diversity than currently exists, if it were to fill all of its positions annually. Though the proposals have been criticized as being “restrictive,” in fact, they would require a much larger pool of human resources to be utilized in filling all of the committee and board positions. The nominating committee would have to dig much deeper than it does now in order to find the people it needs. It is hard to call something “restrictive” when, in fact, it would open the door to denominational service to a much larger number of people than the current system allows.
These proposals were put forth to generate a discussion which I personally feel needs to take place. Obviously, they will need to be tweaked and polished before they are presented. And like any other proposal, there is always the risk that they will be voted down in the convention. So be it. If I can accept that, then I see no reason why someone at denominational headquarters should be plotting ways to shoot the proposals down before they can be fairly discussed and presented to the convention in accordance with the current rules.
Let me make this clear. I have no intention of seeking a seat on a BGCT committee or trustee board. Particularly after making a proposal such as this, I would not accept a nomination to serve on a board, nor will I seek any kind of BGCT office. Please do not accuse me of ulterior motives, or personal ambitions, because that is not the case, and I want that to be on the record.
I am not your enemy. If you will address your comments and remarks to me directly, you’ll get a direct, and honest, response. Leave a comment, or shoot me an email and I’ll answer back as soon as I can.