Should ABCUSA and CBF merge?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joseph M. Smith, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    This coming June, two important Baptist bodies will meet here in Washington, DC, and, although they are separate organizations and will have separate meetings, there will also be a shared meeting. Behind the scenes there is a little talk that the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the American Baptist Churches, USA, should merge.

    Any opinions out there on this? By "opinions" I mean not only "should they" but also "will they"?

    There is already one area of institutional cooperation, by the way. CBF uses the American Baptists' pension program, the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board. No greater glue is there than this, that we trust them to manage our retirement funds!
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Both associations are irellevant to Biblical Christianity. Doesn't matter to me.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    That hurts! And is not correct. In both contexts I have read and heard very serious, very appropriate discussions of Biblical interpretation and application issues.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    You're giving too much consideration to Joseph's venomous posts. Ignore them and let his own words condemn him.
     
  5. gb93433

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    It should matter to you to make such statements which are unfounded and out of ignorance. Obviously you are ignorant about a number of American Baptist Churches. There are ABC and SBC chruches which are terrible. I can take you to some ABC churches that make many SBC churches look like a bunch of liberals and the ABC churches are winning people to Christ while the SBC churches are dying. There are ABC churches who get their pastors from DTS. I cannot find one organization that does not have some kind of corruption.

    Now that I have said that I would challenge you to name just one denomination or convention that does not have any corruption. Quite often I am reading about corrupt pastors who are lying, pedophiles, and stealing money. None are exempt.
     
  6. tinytim

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    Mr Smith, you will soon learn that Mr. Botwinick is prejudiced and displays an arrogant attitude whenever anyone mentions the ABCUSA, or PDC.. It seems that anyone connected with us is the spawn of Satan.

    As for the OP, I have heard rumblings but that is it for now.
    I am currently in Charleston, WV for our West Virginia Baptist Convention.
    I will be here until Thursday, doing the work of our Savior.
    On Wednesday we (over 500 of us) will be going to schools, hospitals, health care clinics, soup kitchens, etc for about 6 hours to spread the love of Christ in Charleston.

    I would like to ask my fellow Christians that condemn us what you plan to do for Christ this week? If it is nothing, then just keep quiet, because there will be a bunch of ABCUSA members doing God's work in Charleston WV! BTW, if you are close by and want to join us, feel free. You can email me or PM me, and I will give you directions.

    Mr. Smith, I will be keeping my ears open, and may PM you info if I find it to be relative. But if I post it here, our "brothers and sisters" in Christ will tear us apart like a lion attacking a piece of meat. It is sad, but true...
     
  7. untangled

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    I do not believe that these two would ever merge. The CBF seems to be a bit different in ordination practices than the ABC is from what I understand though I do not know much about the ABC myself. In my opinion it will never happen.
     
  8. Jack Matthews

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    Proof? I thought not.

    You're the same guy that was telling us a few days ago that the Republicans would hold both the House and Senate. Gee, what a reliable source of information you are.

    You obviously know nothing about either organization. Why don't you keep your judgmental, pharisaical attitude to yourself?
     
  9. Jack Matthews

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    I don't think a complete merger is in the works, or would ever be. These two groups are roughly the same size in terms of number of churches, members and financial support. A merger would create a lot of difficulties that would he hard to resolve.

    I do think a lot more close cooperation, in terms of various kinds of ministries, such as the retirement fund for one thing, and the BJCRL, formerly BJCPA for another, will be coming down the road. They are somewhat balanced geographically, with the majority of CBF in the South and ABC-USA in the North and West. Both groups rest very heavily on the Baptist principle of independent, autonomous congregations, so the emphasis is not building doctrinal conformity, but ministry cooperation based on theological consensus. While they accept churches in ministry cooperation from a wide base of theological positions, the vast majority tend to be moderately conservative.

    Baptists have a tendency to split and separate over little things. Here we have a couple of Baptist groups who are setting a Biblical example of how to get along together.

    The church I attend prefers not to use the "affiliated" label with regard to support for cooperative ministry. We contribute to missions as we feel led, but we do our own doctrine and polity. We allow members to designate their offering to either the SBC through the Tennessee Baptist Convention, CBF or ABC-USA. I don't even know what the breakdown is, but I know we have some people who support all three. Can't be that far apart, can they?
     
  10. El_Guero

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    Why not?

    Then there would be a solid front for the 'moderate' face.

     
  11. Jack Matthews

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    I think both of these groups are so loosely tied together, and work to a great degree through church and organizational networking much more than through a central structure, the idea of a single organization is probably anathema to both groups. I believe they will connect through some of the individual organizations. They already are through the retirement fund, and most churches in both groups support the BJCRL. CBF's international missions effort tends toward unreached people groups, which might open the door for some ABC-USA congregations to get involved in, and there are a lot of ABC churches that support Passport, which is CBF's youth missions initiative.

    These are groups where the structure and support is done by the society method rather than the convention method. ABC-USA's national body only meets once every other year, and CBF is much more of a network organization, with a central office in Atlanta that probably only has a staff of a dozen people.

    Baptists seem to work together much better this way, with a high degree of local church autonomy and no authority vested anywhere else. After all, that's historically the way they have always done it.
     
  12. StraightAndNarrow

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    Why should it hurt. He has no idea about what he's saying. Completely clueless.
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

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    Actually, I believe that the ABC-USA is about as centrally focussed as the SBC was before the Fundamentalist takeover. I spent about the same time (over 10 years) as a member of each so I think I have a pretty good perspective on this. I asked my ABC pastor this question about 10 years ago and his reply was no. Of course this was before the ABC split.
     
  14. Magnetic Poles

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    [​IMG]

    "Mamma says, stupid is as stupid does."
     
  15. EdSutton

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    I would observe a couple of pejorative shots, here, as well as one in the post of Joseph of Ark. What exactly does one mean by "centrally focussed (sic)"? That usage is nothing more than a 'catch phrase", for the fact that one disagrees with some today. And what exactly does one mean about being "irrelevant to Biblical Christianity"? That's another 'catch phrase, IMO. If dissemination of the message is irrelevant, then so is everything else we do, as Christians. That is not the same as to claim perfection, in any manner whatsoever.

    And I also strongly disagee with the phrase "Fundamentalist takeover", as well. If anything, this was a "taking back" to a 'Biblical position', at least concerning the nature of Scripture, among other things, consistent with that of such as Boyce, Broaddus, the Manlys - both father and son, Dagg, Fuller, Howell, and Mell, some of the 'leading lights', from the 1840's beginning of the SBC, thru the start of the twentieth century. The fact that there was no 'food fight' over the subject, did not mean it was not there, witness the departure of C. H. Toy, and Southern Seminary.

    Still, I do also stongly disagree with some of the "politics" that I have seen displayed by all sides in the last 25 years, or so.

    However, 'Joe of Ark.' :laugh: is entirely correct on one thing. It really does not matter, I would assume, for unless "the ABCUSA" is far different in polity from any other Baptist Churches I have ever known, any Baptist church can affiliate with any organization she wants, that will have her. The CBF, although I would disagree with the 'general theology' that many of it's affiliated churches tend to follow, is not an "ecclesiastical hierarchy", but an association of Baptist churches, many of which still also affiliate with the SBC, as well, in some ways.
    I would imagine there are some churches that also affiliate with both the SBC and ABCUSA, and would not be surprised that some may affiliate with all three groups, although I know of none specifically.

    The reason this matters not, is that these varied groups are at the "bottom of the heap", simply because they are Baptist. The local church is at 'the top of the food chain', and everything proceeds from that, not the other way around. :thumbsup: (Is that idea that difficult to comprehend, for some? :BangHead: ) My own local church, the Forks of Dix River Baptist Church, was gathered in 1782. She has affiliated with the SBC, from it's earliest days, and was around for over 60 years before there was any SBC. We were there 55 years before the KBC was founded in 1837. We were there a few years when Elkhorn Association, the first 'Association' west of the Appalachain Mountins was formed. And we were a part of it all. But not one of these can or ever could tell us who we could affiliate or associate with. "We's Baptists!" That is a part of what makes us so.

    The OP was my own 'College Pastor' of the UK BSU more years ago than either of us like to admit, probably. I suspect I am still more conservative than he, unless he has moved in that dirrection some over these years, 'cause "I ain't moved!", as the old farmer said to his bride while driving along. I was more 'conservative/fundamentalist' in those days than he, and long before the "conservative resurgence" controversies in the SBC. We differed some, but without the vitrol too often evidenced today. Vitrol, from any position, is not a necessary requirement, "just 'cause 'We's Baptists!'!".

    FTR, I cannot speak for any others but would think I, at least, am not entirely clueless. And Jack Matthews has a great post, that I did not read prior to 'editing', but definitely agree with his last post.

    Ed
     
    #15 EdSutton, Nov 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2006
  16. Joseph M. Smith

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    OP here, Ed. With "OP" standing for "Old Person". I don't think I have moved a whole lot, either, but we could always discuss, as I recall.

    You would get an "A" if you were taking the Baptist Polity course I teach at Wesley Seminary for your dissertation on the local church being the key item in Baptist relationships. A little tough to convince even Baptist seminarians of that, particularly when they attend a seminary of a connectional church. One of my students told me last week that some of the Methodist students said to him, "Polity? You're taking Baptist Polity? You people don't have a polity!". Not by their lights, maybe.

    As to the question of multiple relationships -- dual alignment with both SBC and ABCUSA has been the prevailing pattern in the older churches of the D. C. Baptist Convention for many years. Now some add to those affiliations membership in CBF, PNBC, NBCUSA or NBC. (Sounds like TV networks!).
     
  17. EdSutton

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    OP actually stands for "opening poster". (Might be the reason also I don't start many posts, to avoid any 'confusion' by getting that moniker. :laugh:) 'Cause I might not want anyone to really know that I'm already 58 +. And as you were already a college and seminary grad, I'd assume you are eligible for AARP membership as well. Maybe I should take the course you teach. I could use a few more "As" on my transcript. :thumbsup:

    In fact, I believe the D. C. Baptist Convention, itself, has multiple alignments, from something I read, not merely some of the churches. I'm not sure what PNBC stands for, exactly, but am aware of the other acronyms, and some churches in KY are also aligned with NBC or NBCUSA as well as the SBC, as well as the ones I already mentioned.

    And I agree about differing points of view. I'm sure over the years, most of us can find something with any about other individual, Baptist or no, which we disagree on. I unfortunately think many prefer to "fall out" over, say, 2 % where we do not agree, rather than just agree to disagree on that, and consider that we do agree on 98%. I think a good example that is floating around today, might be the so-called "prayer language" bit. I am definitely what might be called a "cessationist", as to the question. But I also simply desire not to get drawn into this 'food-fight'. :BangHead: The issue is not addressed by any of the BF&M, my own church constitution, etc. Ergo, why make a 'non-issue' an issue.

    Maybe a good phrase, to coin one perhaps, is-
    "Agree when we can; disagree when we must; and do it all without being disagreeable."
    I doubt these words are original, at least in general.

    As you said, you and I weren't disagreeable when we disagreed back then. And I'm sure I have 'mellowed' over time. And for anyone who may not happen to know what 'mellowed' means, it means 'over-ripe, almost rotten'. :laugh:

    Ed
     
    #17 EdSutton, Nov 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2006
  18. Joseph M. Smith

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    Yes, the District of Columbia Baptist Convention itself has been aligned with both the Southern Baptist Convention and the now-named American Baptist Churches or its predecessors from our beginning in 1877. Baptist leaders in the nation's capital during Reconstruction decided that they did not want to see Baptists perpetuate the sectional divisions that had so torn the nation and which were still apparent in the national denominations. And so for many years the norm was dually-aligned churches within a dually-aligned state convention (one of the reasons we are a state convention and not an association in either the Maryland or the Virginia conventions, even though we are very small).

    But a number of years ago I headed a task force that led our Convention to affiliate with the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC). We did this because, since more and more of our churches are African-American, we wanted to affiliate with and affirm a historically African-American Baptist denomination. PNBC was our choice over NBC or NBCUSA because of its more moderate stance, because it has a close association with ABCUSA, and because it is headquartered here in Washington.

    I originally asked about the merger of ABCUSA and CBF. It occurs to me now that a three-way merger of ABCUSA, CBF, and PNBC would truly be potent. But it ain't easy to unscramble eggs!
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Thanks for the additional information and history. :thumbsup:

    Ed
     
  20. tinytim

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    Just reading about you bunch of OPs...and had to laugh.
    I was offered the senior discount at micky ds yesterday!!! too much gray hair... and I'm only 36!

    Did I take the discount? YOu better believe it...
    I didn't know you could get 2 sodas for 85 cents!!!

    Bring on the old age!!!!!
     

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