The Southern Baptist Convention was in San Antonio, TX this year. The convention went well, but the interpretation of the votes of the SBC are being debated on blogs even as I type this blog. There are those who are of the same mind as I who feel that the SBC was great. It seems that we were able to help protect the SBC from another group who has a very different opinion of the SBC.
The election of officers went well. The most interesting vote for officers was for 1st VP. Jim Richards was one of the candidates, and David Rogers was the other nominee. Jim Richards won the vote 68% to 32%. In my opinion that was a great victory and a great relief. (David is the late Adrian Rogers son, but he does not hold the same views as his father; and "that is all I have to say about that.")
There was another controversial vote at the SBC. The vote was on a statement made by the Executive Committee of the SBC. It was a general statement concerning the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The statement says that the BF&M is a "guide" for trustees of SBC entities. The debate was over what exactly "guide" means. Those who think along the lines of IMB trustee Wade Burleson and his cohort Ben Cole believe that the EC's statement means that the BF&M 2000 is the maximum guide, meaning that trustees can't hold any further standards for professors, employees, etc... without as Burleson says "getting permission from the SBC.
I believe, as do many other SB, that the BF&M 2000 is the foundational, minimal statement of faith for all SB and their entities. There are several other statements of faith, like the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the Danvers Statement, and the Abstract of Principles, which are used in a complementary fashion with the BF&M 2000 that further clarify and define what we as SB have believed for hundreds of years.
The vote at the SBC was 57% to 43% in favor of the statement by the EC. One side says that everyone voting had a clear understanding of what was being voted on, and yet they did everything they could to end the discussion ASAP. While leaving the convention hall after the vote I heard many people talking who were very confused, saying, "Didn't we just reaffirm the BF&M 2000, that's all we did, right?" I had the "displeasure" of telling them that I was afraid that was not what happened at all. I was almost immediately proven right when Burleson and Cole and others began blogging that Dr. Mohler and Dr. Akin and others would now have to get permission from the SBC before they could continue using statements of faith in addition to the BF&M 2000. (I believe that this issue will be addressed again at the next SBC, and for years to come.) It is amazing that Wade and his cohorts all talk about widening the tent of acceptance and tolerance in the SBC, but want to exclude any other statements of faith which help us as SB understand what we believe and why we believe it.
Please pray that God will lead us very clearly in these areas of great concern. Pray that God will demonstrate to us what His plans are. Pray that we will all have the discernment to obey Him.
I will say, in closing, that I have a blast serving up Dr. Mohler on Wednesday morning. You should be able to go to http://www.sbc.net/ and see video of all the sessions of the SBC. Dr. Mohler, you did a great job responding to the questions about the EC's statement, as did several other seminary presidents. I am proud to have you all as leaders in our convention. May God bless you as you lead in the training of the future leaders of our churches.