Seminary president says smaller families hurting baptism totals

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    WAKE FOREST, N.C. (ABP) -- A seminary president calling for a "Great Commission Resurgence" in the Southern Baptist Convention says reversing the denomination's declining baptism totals is a matter not merely of evangelism, but also birthrates.

    Most attention to a Great Commission Resurgence petition that has collected more than 3,000 online signatures leading up to the June 23-24 SBC annual meeting has focused on an article suggesting streamlining the denomination's bureaucracy. Another less-discussed section, however, hits closer to home for Baptist families.

    The last of 10 articles in the much-discussed petition calls for commitment to "build gospel-saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first mission field."

    It says too many Southern Baptists "have embraced unbiblical notions about marriage and family," including that "children are a burden rather than a blessing and smaller families are more 'responsible' than large families."

    In an April 16 chapel address at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary that started the discussion, seminary President Daniel Akin was more explicit.

    "Southern Baptists have been seduced by the sirens of modernity in a very important place," he said. "We have been seduced in how we do family and how many we should have in the home."

    The rest of the story is at http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4141&Itemid=53
     
  2. rbell

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    Maybe he should stick to his seminary job, and quit trying to be the Holy Spirit for every Baptist family in the country. I don't think the position's open.

    I'm kinda partial to that "priesthood of the believer" thing.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    From what I've seen and heard I think ABPNews truncated the statement.

    Aside from that part, I think the idea is silly. If we believe the power of the Gospel we know that it is stronger than birthrates.

    There is considerable scholarship and research to suggest that the Church in Europe isn't dying away anytime soon and that Islam isn't as strong as suggested. From everything we've seen most Muslims that move to Europe assume an aspect of religious apathy that comes with that move. Also there is a significant wave of Christians from Africa moving into Europe. :)
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    If we have more kids, and they get saved, yes, that might increase the number of baptisms. That might make us feel better. We ought to reach our families, but there's lots of other families who have no Christian heritage or example in them... maybe we could also reach them.
     
  5. Freedom

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    Everything I've seen says the Church in Europe is much weaker in terms of numbers than it was say 50 years ago.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I always thought Paul commended singleness.
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    Numerically it is not as large as it was 50 years ago, but numbers don't reflect strength. Europe has always engendered a weird, cultural religion that is apathetic to its core.

    I'm going to suggest that the Church in Europe is much, much stronger than it was 50 years ago because those who attend (for the most part) are deeply committed and desire Kingdom growth. :)
     
  8. Freedom

    Freedom
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    That would be great if it were true. Do you have any reason for suggesting this? Or are you saying that the strength of the church is inversely proportional to its size?
     
  9. TomVols

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    How anyone could seriously dispute Dr. Akin's assertion that the average Christian family structure more closely resembles and replicates culture than Scripture is beyond me.
     
  10. StefanM

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    It's also important to note that it's a completely different economic and social environment in 21st century American than 1st century Palestine.

    Akin's solution is to bury our heads in the sand and to reproduce. That may be well and good if you have a good amount of land or a significant income potential, but do we really expect families who may be struggling to make ends meet on two incomes to continue to have children which will probably necessitate a reduction to a one-income household.

    Now, I understand the point that many of us have overextended ourselves, but there is a point at which even frugality will not help much. If you are making $30,000 a year, you cannot support 6 children in most areas of the country. You won't even have the resources to house them. Where I live, to get even a decent two bedroom apartment (translation: free from stray bullets and rapists) is going to cost $600 a month. To provide housing for 8, even a three bedroom home would be extremely cramped, and it would be expensive. Even if you could get into a home for 800 a month, then you only have roughly 20k to support 8 people.
     
  11. StefanM

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    Moreover, Dr. Akin, quite honestly, is being absurd with his assertion of thinking of families as a "mission field."

    "Pastors should acknowledge that we do have a culture mandate to be fruitful and multiply and that the Scriptures consistently witness to the fact that children are a good gift from a great God," he said. "They are a prime avenue and a prime mission field.
    "In fact, in my axioms message, I said that our first line of doing missions is our own families. Of course, if you have one child as opposed to four, five or six, then you have a much smaller initial mission field."

    If we are going to think in terms of evangelization, why have children at all? Doesn't the risk that one child might end up in hell bother him? We don't have children to create a mission field. If anyone is looking for a mission field, he should do it outside of the maternity ward.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    A Stalwart American Church Faces the Unimaginable: Decline

    You might like to read the following article as a companion piece for the one in this thread. It begins:

    Much has been made in recent decades about the declining membership in Mainline churches -- denominations that include Presbyterians, United Methodists and Disciples of Christ, among others.

    But one American religious institution that has long seemed impervious to such declines has been the Southern Baptist Convention, which has been and remains the second largest denomination in the United States (behind Roman Catholics).


    http://blogs.indystar.com/thoushalt/2009/06/considering_a_o.html
     
  13. jcjordan

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    Have you even read the entire GCR? This is just one point of the entire GCR and point I fully agree with.
     

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