News analysis: Generation gap creates dilemma for SBC

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    The story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4182&Itemid=53

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) -- The 2009 Southern Baptist Convention marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of a theological/political movement aimed at stopping the nation's second-largest faith group from drifting into liberalism and inevitable decline.

    [​IMG] This Creation Museum skeleton of a mastodon featured prominently at the Southern Baptist Convention may have been an ironic symbol for younger attendees wondering if the SBC is becoming extinct.

    Three decades later, Southern Baptists are baptizing fewer new converts than in the 1970s. Total church membership is starting to drop, and a recent study warned that years of precipitous decline may lie ahead.
    Meanwhile, the old guard that led the "conservative resurgence" is moving off the scene, followed by a generation behind them that needs some convincing that the SBC is the best vehicle for their investment of their churches' mission dollars and energy.

    SBC President Johnny Hunt succeeded his first year in office in rallying younger Baptists. They came to Louisville in unusually large numbers to support Hunt's Great Commission Task Force, which they hope will find ways to make the convention more responsive and relevant to their goals for ministry.

    Rather than stepping into pulpits of traditional Southern Baptist churches, some of these young ministers want to start new churches that appeal more directly to the interests of their generation. That involves outreach innovations, like a church in St. Louis that invites people once a month to gather at a local pub to talk about theology.

    That may appeal to Christians with spiked hair and body piercings, but it doesn't sit well with many traditional Baptists, especially those of the Greatest Generation who were raised in an era when Baptists didn't dance, drink or go to the movies on Sunday.

    Roger Moran, a Missouri layman who served the conservative resurgence faithfully in ideological battles with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and before that the Baptist Joint Committee, brought 4,000 copies of a 47-page pamphlet warning messengers of perils of the "emergent" or "emerging" church, but he handed out only a few hundred before convention officials asked him to stop.
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I have a hard time think ABPNews is going to offer a good, and objective, analysis on the SBC. ;)

    This convention provides a glimmer of hope for many of us younger pastors. That said I will cautiously await results. The GCR commission needs to move boldly and act forward to creating a nimble convention to address the needs of a society where Christianity is no longer the center. They also need to produce meaningful results or this will be the last straw for many of my friends and peers.

    I am very concerned this will be much to do about nothing. The ensconced leaders are just too influential with steering this Titanic towards iceberg country. One obvious example is the lack of minority voices in the GCR committee. I worry about that. We need more strong leaders from all races and both genders. We have them in the SBC in the wings but they neither trust us or have reason to be involved.

    Without significant change in the next 5 years we will die and be remembered as a footnote the western expansion of CHristianity who's report will read: "It was 5 miles wide and about 1/2 inch deep."
     
  3. Freedom

    Freedom
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    In seizing power over the SBC, the conservative faction won the battle but will lose the war.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Christianity will not rise or fall based on what the SBC does. I believe if it does fall that people will quickly realize what is truly important and it is not the annuity board. I once heard a Baptist historian say that if it were not for the annuity board there would not be so many problems in the SBC.
     

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