For the first time in two years, I will miss the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, due to some other schedule conflicts. I think this year’s convention will make for some interesting observation, if nothing else.
I would guess that Johnny Hunt will be nominated and re-elected as president, without much in the way of opposition, if there is any. The brief controversy over the accreditation status of the school from which he received his doctorate was a flash in the pan.
Perhaps the biggest item of business will be the appointment of a “Great Commission Resurgence” task force to make recommendations regarding the implementation of the GCR. I would guess that most messengers who attend the SBC these days are aware enough of the issues involved to see the need for doing this, and that a task force will be appointed. It might get sticky after that, but there appears to be enough support for it now, looking at declining CP revenues and investment income, to at least take a look and see what needs to be done. I’ve heard things discussed such as the merger of NAMB and the IMB, and a look at the executive board’s growing budget expenditures, and I think those things are worth some consideration.
I hope the SBC considers the proposed resolution that reflects the points of the Pinckney-Shortt resolution offered in 2004, regarding public school education. If it passes, there are some structures in place, such as the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, and several home school associations, which could form a task force to make further recommendations. One of the best things Southern Baptists have going for them today is a system of higher education, with colleges and universities supported by state conventions. Pulling resources together to make Christian education happen on the elementary, junior high and high school level, and helping those churches which are already involved in this ministry to expand and involve a much wider constituency, would be a good thing.
Dwight McKissic’s resolution regarding racial reconciliation is excellent. It is interesting that, though only a small portion of it involves a reference to President Obama, that’s where most reports on it have focused. It’s a good resolution, and it is the sort of thing that is quite appropriate for the Southern Baptist Convention to be doing. We have Biblical instructions related to the way we are to approach the civil government. In America, we also have the privilege of dissent and disagreement, but even though we may disagree with the approach taken by whatever administration has been elected, we are still obligated to support them with both our prayers and our obedience. It’s part of our testimony.
I can remember, in the past, living in various places where a Southern Baptist Convention meeting wouldn’t make the local news unless it was being held in that particular city, having to wait a day or two, or perhaps even a week, for the state Baptist paper to come out and discover what the SBC had done. Now, you can log on and watch the sessions on the internet. Maybe, just maybe, we are not too far from the day when messengers can log on to their computer, enter a credential security code, and participate and vote from their computer keyboard.