What an amazing weekend at the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, LA! If you were unable to attend, you missed a great weekend of fellowship, food, and fun. I was able to take part in some amazing conversations with some big names in the SBC and was thoroughly pleased with the results of the Convention. Fred Luter’s election as President was historic and unity in other matters prevailed. Dave Miller’s election to 2nd Vice President and the passing of the resolution on unity around the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 were the clearest signals that the Convention is ready and willing to move “beyond Calvinism” and toward a soteriology as outlined in the BF&M 2000.
Before getting into the elections and resolutions, I would like to recognize the SBC Twitterverse for its awesome ability to completely disagree on the official #hashtag for the convention. Nearly every tweet had a string of hashtags behind it, but by the middle of the day on Tuesday there was one that was unwavering… #Tribble. If Pastor Tribble does not hold the record for most times on the microphone, I’m only glad that I was not present for the one that surpassed his mark. I lost count how many times we heard the words, “Microphone 6A,” but it was numerous. In all fairness, I did support him in a couple of the things he said, and I raised my ballot in support. There were however some issues that seemed to be irrelevant and the convention nearly unanimously shot down a few of his proposals, as did the committee.
I intend to address the historical election of Fred Luter in another post, so for now it will do to say that his election is well deserved and I am happy to have him at the helm. His election, along with the approval of the new nickname should allow all those who viewed our history as a hindrance to the Gospel to move forward with boldness into the unreached parts of this country and to the ends of the earth.
Going into the Convention, there was much debate around the “Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of Salvation.” Some welcomed it with delight and signed it. Some called it heretical. Others called it well intentioned but poorly written. It was the hottest topic going into New Orleans.
Since Eric Hankins authored the Preamble to the “Traditional Statement” he was assumed by his supporters to be the next 2nd VP of the Convention. He is a pastor in the deep south with a PhD. His father is also in Southern Baptist leadership, serving as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Enter Dave Miller. Dave agreed to be nominated and entered the election at the last minute, and he is a pastor from the outskirts of Southern Baptist life. There is one thing about Dave that stands out, and that is desire for unity among Southern Baptists. He is always the top commentator and administrator of SBC Voices, and his comments are always charitable and geared toward unity. It has been well documented about the divisive nature of the “traditional statement” and Southern Baptists clearly and loudly stated that they had enough controversy and proved it with nearly a 60/40 vote for Dave Miller.
Miller’s election, along with affirmation of Chris Roberts’ resolution on cooperation and the doctrine of salvation drove the point home that Southern Baptists are tired of infighting. We declared that affirmation of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is enough to be considered part of the Southern Baptist family, and it is enough to engage the world for Christ alongside one another. Now that we have resolved we are ready and willing to unite around the BF&M 2000 it is time to put on our boots and go to work in the field. It is time either to give or to go.
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