Everyone plant one, unless you have been divorced

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by reformedbeliever, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    To all Southern Baptist members. I’m sure you have heard the wonderful Southern Baptist campaign “Everyone Plant One”. This is a campaign to plant new Southern Baptist churches. Statistics show that over the last 50 years, SBC churches are declining as population grows. This campaign is to try to offset this trend.
    One problem, in my opinion, with this campaign is the fact that the North American Mission Board has in place a blanket policy that excludes partnership or financial assistance for church planters who have been divorced. They do not take into consideration any factors for the divorce, whether or not it may have been a biblical divorce or not. All the literature that I have personally read says that a planter does not have to be a pastor. A planter can be a lay person.
    Where in scripture is a person excluded from planting churches if they have been divorced? How is it biblical for a God called church planter to be excluded from funded partnership with the NAMB?
    I was told that the SBC would gladly partner with me to plant a church, only I would not be funded. They would be glad to take 8% of our undesignated funds for Cooperative Program work. What about the 50% plus membership within the SBC who are divorced? They gladly take their divorced dollars and put them to work. Is this not double minded? Is this more narrowing of cooperation from an already pharisaical mission board?
    I was divorced over twenty three years ago. My wife deserted myself and my son. I raised my son with the help of my wonderful Christian wife of twenty years. My wife and I are raising our adopted daughter. We are so blessed by the Lord.
    I was not without fault in my divorce. I was lost when I was married to my first wife, but I did want to be married and did not want to be divorced. Divorce is a horror for anyone to go through.
    According to God’s great mercy and grace, He saved me. I was born again and the old person who used to be exists no more. I am a new creation in Christ. Everyone who knows me can tell you the great difference in my life. I went back to school, through the Ministry Training Institute, and was called by God to plant a church. I felt God’s strong calling to plant a new church which embraced the doctrines of sovereign grace. This new church would strive to put God in the center, and stress His sovereignty in all things including salvation. This church seeks to do His will for His glory.
    I have never drawn a salary. I do not seek a salary. I do seek financial help to get the church started. I wonder how long those who work for the SBC, would do so without a salary?
    For a year the church has met in our home. We still meet in our home on Wednesdays. We have recently been using the local association office to meet on Sunday. I’m patient and seek God’s will for our new church start.
    My question for you Southern Baptist is this. Do you know that our NAMB will not support a new church start, if the planter has been divorced? Has the NAMB become too narrow in their biblical viewpoints of what may not be biblical at all? If you have been divorced will you keep giving them your divorced dollars?
     
  2. canadyjd

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    reformedbeliever

    I thank God for his mercy upon you and His presence in your life and the work of ministry you are doing. The success of your ministry will not be determined by what the SBC/NAMB does or does not do, but by God's continuing presence in it.

    The policy concerning divorce is an attempt to correct many years of liberal views in the SBC. Even though I think it goes too far in some cases, I certainly wouldn't stop giving to the cooperative program over it.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. reformedbeliever

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    So if someone holds to the literal interpretation of a one woman man... as in being dedicated to one woman... then they are liberal? Again, show me where it is biblical that a divorced person can not plant a church?
     
  4. canadyjd

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    First, I didn't say you were "liberal". Don't take what I am saying personally. You asked if one would stop supporting the cooperative program over this issue. The answer is no. The COOP program is a great program, despite a few problems here and there.

    There is no doubt the I Tim. passage means "one woman man", which was an expression wives put on their husband's tombstones to indicate the husband had been faithful throughout the marriage. The I Tim. passage also indicates a pastor is to be someone who manages his household well. A divorce is a good indication of problems managing the household, even if it occured long ago. The qualifications are for Pastors, not "church planters", if they are not going to be the pastor.

    The folks in charge had to make a decision on the issue. This is what they decided. Most SBC churches would, I think, agree with the decision.

    At some point, maybe the leadership and membership can be convinced that such a policy goes beyond the biblical standards for qualifications for church planters and/or pastors, and the policy will be changed.

    In the meantime, I hope you will continue your ministry and your association with the SBC and the cooperative program.

    peace to you:praying:
     
    #4 canadyjd, Feb 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2007
  5. palagislandgirl

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    Everyone plant one

    Reformed,

    I know how you feel. You are in my prayers. Keep up what you are doing!:godisgood:
     
  6. reformedbeliever

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    I appreciate the tone of your response to me brother... and thank you for the well wishes. I will continue to seek to honor God and to do His will, regardless of the applause of men.

    I have to highly disagree with you about a divorce being an indication of the inability to manage the household. Is a man to forceably keep his wife in the home, a prisoner against her will? If a woman wants to go running around and party, chase the men, and does not want to remain married, they will do just that, regardless of what the man wants. How can a man manage a woman, against her will? I just don't follow your logic.

    I was a lost man at the time of our divorce. If I had been saved prior to our divorce, I would have been divorced much faster than I had been. She was not interested in God. She was interested in having sex with as many men as she thought she could convince. She was convincing.

    Peace to you too brother.
     
  7. reformedbeliever

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    Palagis... thank you for the prayers! There have been more developments, so I am waiting on a response from the BGCO. I will keep up the work, just not sure it will be a Southern Baptist work. I must admit that the latest development has hit me hard. I am beginning to wonder if God has really called me to start this work. I do believe in a sovereign God, so I am going to trust Him. I just don't know where this is going to lead me. Grace and peace... RB
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Well honestly this isn't as clear cut as we might believe insofar as the decline is going. The greatest days of the convention for growth were in the 1950s and 1960s well within the 50 year mark...but let's not mince facts.

    And I completely agree. Divorce issue should be decided on a case by case basis not a blanket issue. But that is decision of the convention and we must abide by it while attempting to change it.

    Well I'd suggest that you should investigate other funding sources and agencies. NAMB has some strict requirements that are in place and that's just the truth of the matter. While it might stink, that is the policy of the board.

    There are plenty of other funding options that have a lot less strings attached. I'd investigate those!

    I had a prof in seminary...well a teaching assistant I guess...who was in the same boat. Divorced while lost. Why in God's name are we requiring lost people to act saved and hold it against them when they don't? No clue.

    I empathize with you, but until our limited exegesis climate subsides in the SBC my apologies for your troubles. If I can be of any assistance in helping you procure funding please let me know. :)

    For what it's worth, if God is really calling you into church planting trust Him and He'll provide more funds than the SBC could ever provide.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    for what it's worth, the SBC was never liberal by accepted understandings of liberalism. The SBC was theologically leaning moderate at worst. The "resurrgence" was a corrective action that has gone too far. Vilifying someone and ending their faithful ministry over a minute area of theology as practiced often in the resurrgence is liberal secularism imho.

    Also, opening our read of the 1 Timothy and Titus passages on leadership to include a more generous read is not liberal either.

    Your thought on the CP giving is right on btw :D
     
  10. reformedbeliever

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    Thank you brother. I am interested in the other funding. Will you pm me with the information?
    I understand that we have rules in place that will have to be tolerated until they can be changed. The purpose of this thread is to make it public the changes that need to take place. I'm afraid that I may not be able to hang around the SBC long enough for them to take place. Maybe if enough people hear of the unbiblical standards and rules in place within the NAMB, then changes will occur. Help be the squeeky wheel.
     
  11. gb93433

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    Does the SBC leadership ever think? Did they check their brains at the door and find it impossible to think?

    Paul murdered people and planted churches, but somehow the SBC thinks that divorce is the unpardonable sin.

    B.H. Carroll started SWBTS and pastored a church. Those who followed behind him years later have tried to cover up the fact that he smoked by having the cigar painted over in his picture at SWBTS.

    For some strange reason does anyone get the picture that the SBC leaders like to hide the truth?
     
    #11 gb93433, Feb 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2007
  12. preachinjesus

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    Sure they do. But this kind of thinking is just symptomatic of the fundamentalist swing of the resurrgence. If anything we are constantly narrowing the parameters of what it means to be an "authentic SBCer" which is ridiculous imho

    amen. Not only to mention that it is highly hypocritical that the venerable founder of an institution could not even get a first look for a faculty position...or janitor's position with the above listed resume.
     
  13. gb93433

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    They are the same people who did not like it that a number of students at SWBTS were coming from non-Baptist backgrounds. They did not like students without a pedigree.
     
  14. reformedbeliever

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    Well it looks like the good ole SBC has destroyed this new church start. I'll not go into the details at the moment. I've been up most of the night. I can't believe such a supposedly God fearing organization has done something like this.
     
  15. gb93433

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    You could start the church without SBC help. That is what Rick Warren did. If you already have a group of people and the pastor does not draw a salary it does not take much to survive and also grow.

    Accepting SBC money can be a real pain at times. The first person I worked with in a SBC church plant had never planted a church yet he was their "expert". Each month I had to fill out forms and meet with that man who was of no help to me. Once we were out from under that responsibility we began to grow even more. The church accepted their responsibility better rather than relying on money from somewhere else. When the money chain ended it became a very different church. People gave more and saw it as their's.

    Several years ago I worked with several other churches who pooled their money in an effort to help new churches in the area to get started. I led the effort and it worked very well. The churches liked it and the church plant pastor liked it. The churches also pooled their resources and when the churhc plant needed help with something several people could help. It placed the burden across many churches rather than just one.
     
  16. reformedbeliever

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    Yeah, we have been a church for a year without the SBC. There have been developments that resulted from our seeking financial help from the BGCO. I do not want to talk about them in this forum, but believe me, the church is good as dead.
     
  17. reformedbeliever

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    As an update. There are some really Godly men who work for the church planting group of the BGCO. They have really tried to help me. We will meet Wednesday to discuss what we will do as a church. As of now, I don't see why I should partner with someone who does not want to partner with me (NAMB). I'll be in prayer and ask that those who care would be also.

    I still see no biblical requirements for a church planter. Are there any? Other than of course being called by God to plant a church?
     
  18. guitarpreacher

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    We planted an SBC church a little over 4 years ago. To date we have received the following:

    From the ABSC - $2,500
    From NAMB - $0.00
    From an SBC individual who wanted to help - $1,000
    From our local association - 1 broken lapel mike (wasn't worth trying to repair)

    Our experience (we're still SBC) the cooperative program is much more about gathering funds and paying staff salaries than it is about cooperation. My experience is only with NAMB, I have none with IMB
     
  19. guitarpreacher

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    ReformedBeliever,

    Are you by any chance close to Chickasha?
     
  20. Karen

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    I pray for you to have God's blessings and direction.

    As far as Biblical requirements for a church planter, you obviously disagree, but SBC policy seems to say that a church planter has the same Biblical requirements as a pastor.
    Are you saying that you think a woman could plant a church? You are saying you see no Biblical requirements.

    Did I know about the strict interpretation of the NAMB? Yes. Do I agree with it? No. I do lean more to case-by-case and that it is far less relevant what one did before becoming a Christian.
    If anything, my individual church is more strict in its rules. I do not agree.
    But I am not leaving it or the SBC over it.

    Fellow Christians who think this way are not evil or the enemy. They are striving to be Biblically faithful. And they might argue that you are trying to elevate your feelings about what you think God wants you to do above the text of Scripture. I trust that is not true in your case.
    I hope your meeting goes well.
     

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