Southern Baptist Life

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Nicholas25, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    I have only been a Southern Baptist for around 17 months, but since I have immersed myself in Southern Baptist life. I love the Cooperative Program. I love how my church in Northeast TN can partner with Souther Baptist Churches from far away to work for God's glory. I also enjoy the organization and structure of the state conventions and national convention. I just think there are a lot of positives about being a Southern Baptist? You agree? Disagree?
     
  2. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    I agree heartily. There is something to be said for cooperating together in joint mission efforts!

    But, a word for the nay-sayers out there. Each SBC church is autonomous, just as any other Baptist church, and so chooses whether, and at what level, to cooperate. There is no top-down hierarchy in the SBC and the "Convention" only exists as an entity for the one week a year during the called annual meeting.

    There are some problems with the SBC as well, as many can attest. In some cases it is difficult to turn a huge ship with a small rudder (the huge ship being the Convention and its agencies, the small rudder being the local church). By the time leaders rise to take the helm, they are often older men who have a different way of seeing issues than is perhaps needed for this culture and era. But in any case, much good has come about because of the joint efforts of SBC churches cooperating with each other for God's glory!
     
  3. idonthavetimeforthis

    idonthavetimeforthis
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    Agree wholeheartedly!
     
  4. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    I have served as Pastor and as a member in both SBC churches and non-SBC churches. I agree that there are some great things about SBC life. I love the fact that through the Cooperative Program you can support some missionaries that would have to be extra-careful about their knowledge of being a missionary because of where they serve. I also respect some of the men in the SBC like Mohler, Akin, and Patterson. In some cases, the local association can provide help and resources to their ministers while calling upon an army of volunteers to support things like Disaster Relief.

    On the other side, SBC churches and the denomination have their problems. The politics almost always accompanies the denomination. While not all politics is bad politics, I seem to believe much of the politics in the SBC is not helpful. As I once said, SBCers (and most Christians) are not happy unless they are fighting.

    What I didn’t like when I was a member.

    1. SBC literature, which I felt needing much improvement and is often shallow.
    2. Some of the events that seemed “over-hyped.”
    3. The lack of connection between individual missionaries and the church. In my current (and last) church (non-SBC) we often rub elbows with our missionaries and are intimately engaged with them, more than the average SBC church.
    4. Being identified with SBC first and not doctrine first. I had a Pastor friend of mine who was SBC who left because people would go to his church because they were SBC, not because they agreed with the church doctrinally. Because you are SBC does everything you need to know about your doctrine.

    What I didn’t like when I was a Pastor

    1. The constant time consuming events that I was repeatedly asked to participate in, and the politics that often accompany these events.
    2. The fact that the IMB “appoints” missionaries and not the church appointing and sending missionaries. I understand the IMB should have an approval process for SBC missionaries, but the appointing ceremony should not be top-down, but should come from the church upward.
    3. The lack of depth from the LifeWay Sunday School literature.
    4. Some of the entities that we support (or used to support) by default through the Cooperative Program.
    5. The other books, literature, and seminars pushed by some entities that tend to favor the Church Growth movement. I was never asked, for instance, to attend a preaching session on developing expository Christ-Centered Preaching, Pastoral Counseling, or other Pastorally required skills. I was often asked to attend sessions on modern church growth ideas. While there are some positive movements in some segments of the SBC, I was often disappointed and would go outside of the denomination for further Pastoral development.

    These are just a few areas. While I appreciate my SBC brothers and sisters I tend to avoid SBC churches and denominational people. My wife and I would join an SBC church if it was the best in the area. However, if all other things were equal, we would choose a non-SBC church over an SBC church.
     
  5. Zenas

    Zenas
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    The SBC is the strongest missions machine I have seen. There are thousands of small churches that could not even come close to supporting a missionary on their own, yet through the Cooperative Program they each make a meaningful contribution to the missions effort of the denomination.
    Yes, each church is autonomous but that being said, the SBC has certain expectations from its member churches. Why would they have the BF&M if they didn't expect churches to adopt it? I know it's not a requirment but still it makes a statement about their expectations. And it's a fact that if a church goes too far off the reservation (women as pastors for example), that church will lose its SBC status. This usually happens first at the associational level but it ultimately severs the church from the SBC.

    It's nice to say the "Convention" only exists as an entity for one week a year, but that seems to deny the fact that they own some expensive real estate in downtown Nashville where hundreds of people work 52 weeks a year. I haven't seen one of their paychecks but I would bet they have "Southern Baptist Convention" or similar language printed on them.

    Let's face it, we are every bit as much a denomination as any of the other great denominations in the Christian world.
     
  6. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    Indeed... I get to see and meet a whole bunch of the ones going out. People dedicated to spreading the gospel in ways that many will never realize, especially the ones who head off to territories and people groups where if their true mission were known, they would loose their life almost certainly and immediately.

    While many individuals in our churches are very happy to sing the old song, "Please don't send me to Africa..." they will support those who willingly go and many hands (wallets) makes that possible.


    Yup. No perfect world out there. But a common confession is one of the building blocks that lets the SBC be the largest denomination on earth apart from Roman Catholicism.

    There are two SBC agencies in Nashville, LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the SBC, and the Executive Committee. The National Mission Board holds their offices in Alpharetta, Georgia. The International Mission Board holds their offices in Richmond, Virginia. Seminaries are in Louisville, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Wake Forest, New Orleans, and Kansas City. Yes, we have buildings and leaders who work year-round. That might be expected with a denomination that consists of 16+ million members and over 42,000 churches. A feature of the SBC is that several of the largest churches hold more members than some entire denominations, not that large numbers are the key to anything in particular.

    Yup... We are. I've argued before that everyone is actually a "denomination" even if they disavow the terminology. At the end of the day, we simply need a word to describe what we observe, and denomination works as well as any.
     
  7. Tater77

    Tater77
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    Southern Baptist Life.......fried chicken and casseroles........pot luck dinner........oh what were we talking about again?
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Oh I completely agree that there are great things about being Southern Baptist. Not only are you part of a biblically based denomination, we all participate in the best missions structure available. The Cooperative Program is absolutely genius.

    One word of advice, just stick to enjoying the missions and actual Kingdom growing efforts. Don't get into the nit-picky pointless politics. People will try to force you there but resist.

    The church where I get to serve gives to CP and we have sent many a young person to seminaries to become pastors. That's where our involvement ends. Too many times we had been dragged into pointless fights over silly matters and got off mission. It is hard, but just stay on mission and use the convention's brilliant structures to help reach the world!
     

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