This post is a continuation of resource compilations begun April 28 about the emerging situation of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson and implications for the Southern Baptist Convention. Compilations are news report and social media items selected by Brad/futuristguy, who is part of the Spiritual Sounding Board team. Social media responses are generally taken from Twitter, and although the initial post linked may not seem crucial, the thread typically contains important responses.
Resource Links, Part 1 – April 28 through May 22. Historical background resources, audiofile transcript, news articles and social media responses from April 28-May 22.
Resource Links, Part 2 – May 23-28. News articles and social media responses.
Resource Links, Part 3 – May 29 through June 3. News articles and social media responses.
Resource Links, Part 4 – June. Focus on statements and news articles related to topical and institutional issues in advance of the SBC annual meeting of June 11-12.
Final note: Listing here does NOT mean endorsement of content. This bibliography encompasses a modest range of source perspectives from people who would likely disagree on many things and agree on at least some things. They range from fundamentalist to conservative to moderate to progressive.
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TOPICS ON THIS PAGE:
- Some Key Post-Meeting News and Articles [Added June 14]
- “For Such A Time As This” SBC Rally [Added June 10]
- Final Preparations for SBC Annual Meeting [Added June 10]
- Missing SEBTS Archive Boxes; Publication of Student File Items
- What Does the SBC Need To Do To “Clean House”? Some Views From Around the SBC
- 1. Focus on Abuse, Survivors, #MeToo, #ChurchToo
- 2. Focus on Leadership Diversity, Especially Racial/Ethnic
- 3. Concerns about Mission, Structures, Activities
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Some Key Post-Meeting News and Articles
June 14, 2018. J.D. Greear Ministries. Better Late Is Still Late: Advocating for Victims of Sexual Abuse. Important blog post about abuse from newly-elected President of the SBC. He addresses survivors, pastors, and advocates. EXCERPT:
In recent weeks there has been an increased awareness of the church’s need to be more skilled and more aware in how we care for marriages and dating relationships where abuse is present. I know that many public figures that have spoken out have been applauded for doing so. And doubtless there are many of us—in the SBC specifically—who feel like the proactive pieces that have been written in recent weeks (to which I contributed one) are groundbreaking.
At the same time, I have begun to hear more and more from many of my sisters in Christ (and some brothers) who have been championing this cause for much longer than a few weeks. Hearing their stories and sensing their passion, I am realizing that we need to be more humble and sober than this. Our awakening to the issue of abuse, even if just to new nuances of the issue, means that we were previously asleep. And as we struggled to learn how to care for the vulnerable well, people were suffering. The church’s clumsiness has often meant that the suffering of others was longer in duration and deeper in impact than it should have been.
Pastor Greear posted a link to this on Twitter. Several survivors/advocates have posted comments and critiques worth noting:
June 14, 2018. Baptist Press. ERLC: New initiatives on women, abuse, by Tom Strode. EXCERPT:
DALLAS (BP) — Russell Moore announced new initiatives on women and abuse during the report of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Wednesday (June 13) at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Moore, the ERLC’s president, said the entity will convene a women’s summit as a major part of its work in the year ahead. He also told messengers the ERLC is partnering with LifeWay Research in commissioning a full-scale study on the extent of abuse in churches.
June 14, 2018. Religion News Service. Southern Baptists mull what’s next on confronting, preventing abuse, by Adelle M. Banks. This extensive article covers SBC news and already announced and possible plans for addressing issues of abuse.
June 16, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Series of five comments by futuristguy, first one here, on a June 13th post, President Elect J.D. Greear’s Congregation FINALLY Realizes It’s Southern Baptist, by Deb Martin. His series of comments look at questions of how change happens in general and long-term trends that drive change, plus specific trends that have led up to the pressure on the SBC to confront its negative track record on issues of abuse, harassment, and violence against women.
June 18, 2018. SBC Voices. Hope For Women Of The SBC – Quotes after #SBC18, by Jacki C. King.
SBC18 is over and there has been a lot of talk about women and the future of our convention. My fear is that it would remain just talking points, but my hope is that all that we have discussed, read, and heard will be put into action. That pastors, staff, and members of local churches all across our nation would begin to ask the question of who and how they will utilize the God-given gifts of women within their ministry contexts whether it be from the platform of next years SBC or the halls of local churches.
After SBC18 I am left hopeful. Women in the SBC are connecting and spurring one another on like never before, and so I wanted to give you the voices of some of the women that are leading the way as they take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. I highly encourage both my brothers and sisters to follow, listen, and learn from their efforts. I’m privileged that these women are in my tribe and I’m challenged by their hearts for the local church and the Great Commission. Lets not just talk the talk, let’s begin to walk the walk.
June 19, 2018. SBC Voices. #SBC18 Annual Meeting Recap (Karen Swallow Prior). An important post analyzing key occurrences at the annual meeting, especially regarding treatment of women in the SBC. EXCERPT:
Unable to attend, I pored over the Twitter feeds and news reports from home, knowing that this year’s meeting would, one way or the other, be a significant moment in Southern Baptist history. Before the meeting, Southern Baptists appeared divided on issues that in some cases represented years of accumulating, unbiblical attitudes and actions regarding women, racism, and power within the denomination. And while complete unity has never been a goal for a denomination founded on the distinctives of soul liberty and congregational autonomy, all of the resolutions recommended by this year’s committee passed enthusiastically. Although resolutions hold no binding power over member churches or affiliated institutions, they bear significant weight within a structure based on voluntary partnership. Resolutions express the will and values of the convention, not only to its members, but to the watching world—which is exactly why so many of us—particularly women—approached the meeting with nervous anticipation. The outcomes revealed we are not as divided as many of us feared.
While a number of resolutions on a range of topics would be voted on, for many SBC women, including me, those resolutions that would either affirm or overturn the voices raised in the preceding days relating to the treatment of women, as well as the status of those with the power to affirm or denounce their mistreatment, were of most pressing concern. The defeat or passage of key resolutions would send a clear signal that the convention would either return to the entrenched ways in which women have too often been dismissed and derided by too many influential SBC entities and leaders—or would turn from those ways and forge a new course going forward. I and countless other Southern Baptist women I heard from approached the meeting with a mixture of anxiety and hope.
In the end, hope won.
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“For Such A Time As This” SBC Rally
For Such A Time As This Rally will be held Tuesday, June 12, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Speakers will address issues of abuse and violence. Available for attendees will be pastoral resources produced by victim advocates and professionals on how to respond to abuse disclosures.
Press Release (June 5, 2018): https://www.dropbox.com/s/5hkxojhz7z2phim/Rally%20Press%20Release.pdf
Thunderclap “Virtual Rally”: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/70449-for-such-a-time-as-this-rally
June 12, 2018. Restory. The Abused: The Church Must Do Better, by Mary DeMuth. This is the presentation Ms. DeMuth gave at the For Such A Time As This Rally.
She also provided this Ministry Leader Abuse Resource Sheet. It includes description lists for various forms of abuse: physical, verbal/emotional, spousal sexual abuse, and financial abuse. It also includes suggestions on best practices, recommended reading, and internet and phone resources.
Items from the For Such A Time As This Rally — articles, media mentions, resources, videos of speeches, etc.
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Final Preparations for SBC Annual Meeting
June 09, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Pay Attention to the SBC Resolutions Committee, by Wade Burleson. How resolutions are handled at the annual meeting could affect the future. This post has a comment from RB Kuter that I find particularly insightful, as it deals with how past institutionalization of leadership affects present functions and future directions:
I don’t expect much drama at the Convention. Paige-ites continue to be in control as mentioned regarding the Resolutions Committee. The President has been set. Some noise will be heard regarding how the Convention needs revival, women respected, etc. But Trustees of Boards will ultimately be set by those having the same spirit and mindset of yesterday. Executive Committee, Ethics Board, IMB, Seminaries, and power players will continue to play the game.
After another one or two Conventions, we may begin seeing some shifts from current control. But not this year.
June 10, 2018. Fox News. #MeToo crisis jolts Southern Baptists ahead of key gathering, by David Crary.
June 10, 2018. The Tennessean. Why this week could be pivotal for Southern Baptists to address treatment of women, by Holly Meyer.
June 10, 2018. The Washington Post. How women led to the dramatic rise and fall of Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson, by Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey.
June 11, 2018. Star-Telegram. Prayers and protests: Welcome to the Southern Baptists’ meeting in a #MeToo world, by Sarah Smith.
June 12, 2018. The Daily Caller. The Fall Of Southern Baptist Paige Patterson Part One: Lion Of The Convention, by Joshua Gill.
June 12, 2018. To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. No More Covering Up Abuse or Covering for Abusers–a Plea for Churches, by Sheila Gregoire. This post serves as a checklist for many major instances of abusive theologies and activities from Southern Baptist leaders, some of these situations still unresolved, unrepented from, unapologized for.
June 12, 2018. Christianity Today. J. D. Greear Elected Youngest Southern Baptist President in Decades, by Kate Shellnutt. “The popular North Carolina megachurch pastor takes over amid significant membership declines and a public reckoning over abuse cases.”
June 12, 2018. Baptist Press. 2018 SBC BLOG: Live updates from the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas, by David Roach.
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Missing SEBTS Archive Boxes;
Publication of Student File Items
This section includes some items posted in other parts of this ongoing resource link bibliography. They are repeated here to give the historical context and, in some cases, post statements, press releases, or documents not repeated in more current articles. Some of these articles appear out of chronological order of their posting because they contain crucial information or items from a prior time.
I’ve been noticing how many of the statements and posts mention so-and-so’s attorney, an unnamed legal counsel, or the institution’s legal department. Maybe this is an indicator that this complicated situation really will only get resolved in court, with depositions under oath and cross-examination. This Wartburg Watch post comment by Mulsin fka Deana Holmes (who is a lawyer) suggests that this situation is definitely in legal territory and should not be subjected to mediation/Peacekeepers.
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May 26, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. The Missing Southeastern Presidential Archives, by Wade Burleson.
June 05, 2018. Baptist Press. Patterson attorney claims ‘misrepresentation’, by David Roach. This is included out of chronological order because it contains the text of a May 31, 2018, letter from Chris Thompson, the former Special Assistant to Paige Patterson, who removed the archive items from SEBTS. South River Baptist Church
May 31, 2018
To Whom it May Concern:
In 2003, while serving as Special Assistant to the President, I assisted Dr. and Mrs. Patterson in the move from Southeastern Seminary to Southwestern Seminary. This relocation involved the packing of the Patterson’s personal belongings, their expansive library, their personal files, archived material related to the Conservative Resurgence and the Southern Baptist Convention, and the T.A. Patterson historical collection. I was employed by SEBTS and had access to all locations where these items were located. All materials were loaded into a tractor trailer and two 20 foot Ryder trucks.
Office staff at Magnolia Hill and in the President’s Office identified and boxed files that were to be moved to Southwestern in the weeks leading up to the move. Material consider relevant to SEBTS was not taken. Archival material not related to SEBTS was collected from Appleby Hall. The T.A. Patterson historical collection and other archival material related to the Conservative Resurgence were collected from the archival room in the SEBTS library. All items were collected on a Friday and Saturday during office hours and loaded for shipment.
I continued employment at SEBTS until the end of August 2003 and began work at Southwestern Seminary in September of 2003.
Contrary to allegations, nothing was stolen. No building or rooms were broken into to acquire the material. Everything taken was considered as material belonging to Dr. and Mrs. Patterson.
Dr. Chris Thompson
May 31, 2018. SBC Issues. The untold truth: Facts surrounding Paige Patterson and his removal from SWBTS By Sharayah Colter. Ms. Colter responds to the following allegations about Paige Patterson.
Accusation # 1: Patterson encouraged a female Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student not to report an alleged rape to police.
Accusation # 2: Patterson did not handle appropriately an alleged case of sexual assault against a SWBTS student.
Accusation # 3: Patterson says an abused wife should return to an abusive husband.
Accusation # 4: Patterson objectified a 16-year-old girl in conversation with a woman and her son.
Accusation # 5: Patterson fired student employee Nathan Montgomery in retaliation for Tweeting an article calling for his retirement.
In responding to certain of these accusations, Ms. Colter posts pages of documents reportedly from the situation with Megan Lively. However, these apparently are from Ms. Lively’s SEBTS student file, which are confidential and protected by law (FERPA). This has become an ongoing issue.
June 01, 2018. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Statement by Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. EXCERPT:
Based on a number of follow-up questions I have received this week, I am providing this additional statement related to our May 30, 2018 statement. The unanimous decision by the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Paige Patterson was prayerfully considered and warranted.
We confirmed this week through a student record, made available to me with permission, that an allegation of rape was indeed made by a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003. […]
In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015. […]
Further, SWBTS received a request from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary requesting the return of any documents taken by Dr. Patterson upon his departure from Southeastern. Counsel for SWBTS, Michael Anderson, immediately reached out to counsel for Dr. Patterson, Shelby Sharpe, on May 25 and made inquiry regarding the documents. Mr. Sharpe advised Mr. Anderson that Dr. Patterson only took documents from Southeastern that belonged to him. Yet, independent of that request, following the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, SWBTS located Southeastern documents on the SWBTS campus and began taking steps to preserve them. Mr. Anderson is in contact with George Harvey, counsel for Southeastern, and is working with Mr. Harvey regarding Southeastern’s request for the return of its documents.
The morning after the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, Mr. Sharp provided a few documents he reportedly obtained from Dr. Patterson. The documents clearly dealt with Dr. Patterson’s tenure at Southeastern and should have been previously provided in response to Mr. Anderson’s May 25 request. Shortly after these documents were provided, the wife of Dr. Patterson’s Chief of Staff published a blog and attached these documents without the permission of the students referenced in the documents or appropriate leadership from SEBTS or SWBTS. I believe this was inappropriate and unethical. Regardless, the additional documents do not alter the decision of the Executive Committee.
Ultimately, the decision of the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Patterson was clear and unanimous.
June 04, 2018; link notes this was posted at 6:19 pm. SBC Issues. The release of facts in response to further accusations against terminated SWBTS president Paige Patterson, by Shelby Sharpe [personal lawyer for Paige Patterson].
June 04, 2018. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Statement from the Administration of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. EXCERPT:
During the last few weeks Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) has walked through a situation that began when our administration was contacted by a former student who was the victim of an alleged sexual assault in 2003. Dr. Danny Akin, president of SEBTS, communicated the institution’s willingness to assist her in any way, and began an internal review of the matter. At this time, the internal review is not complete because SEBTS is not in possession of documents deemed as being owned by the seminary. At this time there has been no evidence discovered that disputes or discredits our former student’s account.
June 05, 2018. Mere Orthodoxy. A Brief Note on Paige Patterson’s Defenders, by Jake Meador. EXCERPT:
The bizarre defense both men make is similar: They object to Patterson’s firing on procedural grounds, arguing that there is not sufficient proof of the accusations being made against him. Pr. Wilson in particular cites the biblical precedent for 2-3 witnesses and then claims that there are not 2-3 witnesses in this case.
There are two problems here.
First, many of the accusations against Patterson are not actually accusations. They’re… citations. […]
Second, it’s actually not true that we have fewer than 2-3 witnesses. We have, to the best of my knowledge, 10 witnesses. […] So on a factual basis, Pr. Wilson’s claims aren’t even accurate.
June 05, 2018. Star-Telegram. Paige Patterson’s ‘break her down’ email taken out of context, his lawyer says, by Sarah Smith. Includes comments from Stuart Cochran, attorney for the woman reportedly raped in 2015, about the recent statements made by Shelby Sharpe, attorney for Paige Patterson. EXCERPT:
In a statement to the Star-Telegram, Cochran said he disagreed with “the characterization of these communications” by Sharpe.
“Most remarkably,” he said, “neither Patterson nor his lawyer deny that Patterson made these statements, which are plainly antithetical to Southwestern Baptist seminary’s purported stance against ‘all abusive behavior.’ “
June 05, 2018. Star-Telegram. Paige Patterson’s ‘break her down’ email taken out of context, his lawyer says, by Sarah Smith.
June 05, 2018. Baptist Press. UPDATED; Patterson attorney claims ‘misrepresentation,’ by David Roach.
June 06, 2018. Istoria Ministries Blog. Dr. Shawn Madden and the Southeastern Archives, guest post. Dr. Madden was formerly the librarian at SEBTS, including at the time the archive boxes went missing.
June 07, 2018. SBC Issues. An Open Letter to My Southern Baptist Brothers and Sisters by Dr. Thomas Hatley. Dr. Hatley shares three detailed suggestions “as to how we might turn this matter to a pattern of mutual respect and healing.” He recommends the SWBTS board chairman and executive resign; a third party review accusations and evidence in the case, leading to mediation; and Dr. Patterson be reinstated as SWBTS President but with specific areas of authority removed. The Twitter thread from journalist Sarah Smith linked below has a range of reactions to the open letter.
June 08, 2018. Star-Telegram. Baptist leader Paige Patterson denies he mishandled sexual abuse, by Sarah Smith.
June 08, 2018. Baptist Press. Patterson denies mishandling ‘reported abuse’, by David Roach.
June 08, 2018. Star-Telegram. Southern Baptists have a new keynote speaker. A teacher at his church was accused of child abuse, by Sarah Smith.
June 08, 2018. The Wartburg Watch. Paige Patterson WILL NOT Be Delivering the Keynote Address to SBC Messengers, by Deb Martin. Includes screenshots of the letter from Paige Patterson to SBC President Steve Gaines, and also his statement to the Southern Baptist Family.
June 08, 2018. Christian Post. Former IMB Chairman Says Paige Patterson Should Be Reinstated, Calls Firing Improper, by Leonardo Blair. EXCERPT:
Thomas Hatley, a former chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, has called for the resignation of Kevin Ueckert, chairman of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s board of trustees, as well as the executive board members for firing the seminary’s former president Paige Patterson.
Hatley, who served as IMB chairman for eight years and has been a pastor in the SBC for more than 40 years, also called for the reinstatement of Patterson as president of the Texas seminary and an independent investigation of the claims that led to his firing.
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What Does the SBC Need To Do To “Clean House”?
Some Views From Around the SBC
1. Focus on Abuse, Survivors, #MeToo, #ChurchToo
I may add to this reference list, but for the time being will note that SBC Voices has been posting a series of articles that are big-picture oriented for the SBC, looking not simply to “move on,” but to intentionally move into the future with strategic foresight. That is why most of the first wave of posts here are from that website. A number of other posts have focused on resolving the present crises, and they are mainly listed in other Parts of this bibliography series. (For links to other Parts, see the top of this post.)
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Albert Mohler/Commentary. The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. Posted May 23, 2018. EXCERPT:
Sexual misconduct is as old as sin, but the avalanche of sexual misconduct that has come to light in recent weeks is almost too much to bear. These grievous revelations of sin have occurred in churches, in denominational ministries, and even in our seminaries.
We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem. The unbiblical requirement of priestly celibacy and the organized conspiracy of silence within the hierarchy helped to explain the cesspool of child sex abuse that has robbed the Roman Catholic Church of so much of its moral authority. When people said that Evangelicals had a similar crisis coming, it didn’t seem plausible — even to me. I have been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twenty-five years. I did not see this coming.
I was wrong. The judgment of God has come.
Judgment has now come to the house of the Southern Baptist Convention. The terrible swift sword of public humiliation has come with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that this story is not over.
Jacki C. King/SBC Voices. #ChurchToo And Our Response (Jacki C. King). Posted June 02, 2018. EXCERPT — MAIN POINTS:
The response of the church, from brothers, sisters, leadership, and lay people, has got to become an intentional and thoughtful process. This post may not be an exhaustive list of needs to be addressed in light of the problem, but I hope that it is a diving board into a conversation that much of us who serve the church need to be having.
Are you listening? […]
Are you speaking? […]
Are you resourcing? […]
Ms. King has an additional article, posted June 06: Brothers, We Need You (Jacki C. King).
Sam Rainer. What the Southern Baptist Convention Needs Right Now. Posted June 03, 2018. EXCERPT — OPENING AND MAIN POINTS:
For far too long, we’ve been wrong. We were wrong about slavery. We were wrong about Civil Rights. Now many of us are wrong about the #MeToo movement. The Southern Baptist Convention has been wrong about horrifying sins. Obvious sins. Massive sins affecting generations. Right now, we’re a dumpster fire, and we keep fueling it with shovels of manure. We’re full of it, and the world is watching. That’s not hyperbole.
We need repentance, not excuses. […]
We need humility, not charisma. […]
We need to care about character as much as we do about doctrine. […]
We need new earthly heroes. […]
Doug Hibbard/SBC Voices. What is next? Some ponderings for the SBC as we move forward. Posted June 03, 2018. EXCERPT — MAIN POINTS:
First, we need to pay attention to the fact there are very likely more victims who will come forward.
Second, while there aren’t enough characters in every tweet to make mention of the fact that very real people are innocent victims in this, we need to not forget that.
Third, we should be wary of scapegoating Dr. Patterson.
Fourth, we need to take a long, hard look at our doctrine. […] What we do need to do is reconsider how we are applying the texts that we see in Scripture.
Fifth, at some stage, we have to re-evaluate our response to accusations.
Sixth, we need to keep those in our prayers who are the side-effect victims of these moments.
Finally, at least for now, we need to examine how we can do better. What can we do in terms of prevention?
Todd Benkert/SBC Voices. In Light of All This Mess – My Hopes for the SBC. Posted June 05, 2018. EXCERPT — OPENING, MAIN POINTS, CLOSING:
This year, however, I have a healthy dose of dread to go along with it. These past few weeks and months have been draining and disheartening to say the least. There are still major questions up in the air about what will happen when we gather in Dallas and there is a dark cloud of recent scandals, political battles, and the continuing decline in numbers that have me discouraged – and I’m the resident optimist here. Still, I hold on to hope. I hope that in the midst of this mess that we are in, that God will do something in us and bring about change to our denomination and its churches. I remain hopeful that God will work all these things together for our good and His glory. Here are a few things I’m hoping for and praying God will bring about
I hope we can be freed from our denominational egotism. […]
I hope we have a new passion to minister to the hurting. […]
I hope we have a revival of hearts to put our differences aside and work together for the cause of the gospel. […]
I’m weary as many of you probably are as well. But I’m praying for better days and I’m praying that the present turmoil won’t just die down but will cause us collectively to take a long hard look at ourselves and ask God to change us. Maybe God is done with Southern Baptists and there is no hope. Then again, the Bible offers hope again and again with the promise that if judgment leads to repentance that God will restore and once again use us to bring glory to his name. I pray we do and He does.
Amir/1st Feline Battalion. Southern Baptists and #ChurchToo: A Homeowner Analogy. Posted June 07, 2018. Addresses such topics as how to deal with victims who’ve been steamrolled in the past, and what to do going forward. EXCERPT:
Calling in the contractors, they determined that the extent of the termite infestation, and the damage, have rendered his house on the verge of condemnation. Without immediate, extensive renovation, his house will collapse by the end of the year. The money required for the renovation would be at LEAST half the value of the house itself. It would be a painful cost, but–sadly–he is facing this problem because he failed to address it when doing so would have been inconvenient but otherwise harmless.
Now, his options range from very painful to disastrous. If he punts on the renovations, he will lose everything. But the cost of renovation will be very exacting.
In a nutshell, I’ve just described the Southern Baptist Convention.
Brad Sargent/futuristguy. What Will It Take for the SBC to “Clean House”? Four Suggestions from a Futurist. Posted June 07, 2018. Some specifics in each suggestion, and links to resources on concept frameworks and practical skill applications.
1. Deal with past and present actions of people in power against whom there are credible accusations of perpetrating, enabling, and/or covering up: abuse, sexual misconduct, racism, etc.
2. Deal with past and present commendations of people and organizations against whom there is credible evidence of unresolved wrongdoing.
3. Apologize for past and present condemnations of people who, it turns out, have attempted to be of help with #MeToo / #ChurchToo issues, and/or who have been victimized by SBC people in power.
4. Learn and apply concept frameworks and practical skills for integrity and justice when there is reported abuse, harassment, sexual misconduct, racist actions, etc.
Wade Burleson/Istoria Ministries Blog. Complementarianism Is a Good Word that Has Been Hijacked to Wrongly Mean Authoritarianism. Posted June 08, 2018.
NBC News. #MeToo goes to church: Southern Baptists face a reckoning over treatment of women, by Alex Johnson. Posted June 08, 2018. Extensive overview of key people and issues involved.
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2. Focus on Leadership Diversity, Especially Racial/Ethnic
Alan Cross/SBC Voices. Why We Can’t Wait: The SBC’s Continual Need to Pursue Racial/Ethnic Diversity In Leadership. Posted April 05, 2018. EXCERPT:
As the MLK50 Conference sponsored by the ERLC and TGC came to an end last night, I was both encouraged and discouraged. I was incredibly encouraged with what was said, the amazing people I met, the hard truths expressed, and the desire of 4000 people to bring racial healing to the church under the blood of Jesus and the Cross of Christ. But, upon reflection I was also a bit discouraged that it has taken so long to get here, and I left concerned that we would easily fall back into our centuries old pattern of “going slow” when it came to all of us coming together in sacrificial love and unity in Christ. We must all excel in intentionally pursuing people from all races and backgrounds with gospel reconciliation, in joining together and submitting to godly leadership of different races, and to caring about the needs and concerns of people who are racially and ethnically different from white majority culture in SBC churches. We must do this with a vision of Revelation 5 and every nation, tribe, people, and tongue gathered before the Throne of God worshiping the Lamb.
Southern Baptists cannot “go slow” in our pursuit of racial/ethnic diversity in leadership.
We cannot wait.
It has already been too long.
He is also the author of When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus (NewSouth Books, 2014). [Full disclosure: I have known Alan for nearly 20 years, and we have had many discussions about dealing with systemic issues on problems like racism and abuse.] BOOK BLURB:
When Heaven and Earth Collide is an investigation into what went wrong in the American South in regard to race and religion—and how things can be and are being made right. Why, in a land filled with Christian churches, was there such racial oppression and division? Why didn’t white evangelicals do more to bring racial reconciliation to the South during the 19th and 20th centuries? These questions are asked and answered through an exploration of history, politics, economics, philosophy, and social and theological studies that uncovers the hidden impetus behind racism and demonstrates how we can still make many of the same errors today—just perhaps in different ways. The investigation finally leads us in hopeful directions involving how to live out the better way of Jesus with an eye on heaven in a world still burdened and broken under the sins of the past.
Brent Hobbs/SBC Voices. Announcing the SBC Leadership Diversity Initiative. Posted May 17, 2018. The goal is to build a network of more diverse leadership.
The SBC Leadership Diversity Initiative is designed to be a networking tool that helps open channels of communication within our convention.
A convention where ethnic minority leaders and members, as well as Southern Baptist women, know they are valued and considered an indispensable, integral part of our denominational life together.
We want to open communication networks.
We want to see our effort duplicated.
We want to raise the prominence of “lay” leaders and nominations.
We want to help educate Southern Baptists about the process of leadership selection and how they can be involved.
That the SBC would be a convention where ethnic minority leaders and members, as well as Southern Baptist women, know they are valued and considered an indispensable, integral part of our denominational life together.
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3. Concerns about Mission, Structures, Activities
Chris Hefner/SBC Voices. 5 Lessons and Reasons for Hope In Spite of the Recent Tensions in the SBC (Chris Hefner). EXCERPT — OPENING AND MAIN POINTS:
As a Southern Baptist I have been following the recent controversies and tensions at a distance. There is no shortage of opinions, commentary, criticism and defense. The tenor leading up to next week’s convention in Dallas promises to be eventful and significant. There is ample reason for self-examination personally and denominationally. There are lessons we can learn and reasons we can have hope in spite of the controversy and tension.
1. The SBC is an affirmation of the biblical narrative. […]
2. The SBC is committed to Biblical inerrancy and authority. […]
3. The SBC is committed to theological education. […]
4. The SBC values missional cooperation. […]
5. The SBC is becoming increasingly aware of its blind spots and theological tension points. […] We must not stand at this moment in SBC life surprised by the improprieties or mishandlings by those in positions of power. Rather, we must bow our knees in humility and contrition. […]
Randy Adams/randyadamsdotorg. Trust and Partnership – A Recovery Program for the SBC. Posted June 07, 2018. EXCERPT — OPENING:
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) needs a recovery program. Followers of Jesus, including those who lead, are not exempt from addiction to power, money, and sex, and we have been reminded of this with jarring frequency over the past few weeks and months. Deep wounds caused by multiple failures are now festering from infection. Added to the more public matters is a sick hubris that has caused some to weaponize money and leadership, intentionally hurting others, certain that they are smarter, wiser, or better than “them.” Much of the focus has been on the resignation of leaders and the firing of a seminary president, and rightly so, but perhaps worse than the headlines is our deficit of trust and partnership that has grown as large as the national debt. Although trust and partnership have been eroded in multiple ways, the serious erosion of cooperation and trust between the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and denominational partners has led to a collapse in the numbers of churches started and the number of new believers baptized.
Many think that we are in the midst of a church planting boom in the SBC. We are not. […]
William Thornton/SBC Voices. An evaluation of Randy Adams’ SBC Recovery Program. Posted June 07, 2018.
For some of the responses on social media to Mr. Thornton’s post, see @ReformNambNow on Twitter.
Alan Cross/SBC Voices. Breaking the SBC’s Addiction to the Wrong Kinds of Power. Posted June 08, 2018.
Luke Holmes/SBC Voices. The Southern Baptist Convention Is a Symphony Not a Melting Pot (Luke Holmes). Posted June 09, 2018.
Dave Miller/SBC Voices. SBC: Is This a Time for Lament? Posted June 10, 2018.
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