Month: June 2012

If Not a PAC or Lobby Then What or, One More Reason to Disband the ERCL in the SBC

The ever gutsy Dave Miller over at SBC  Voices got hammered for suggesting we no longer need the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Some raced in to tout the helpful work of the ERCL. I still am looking for evidence. Instead I keep finding reasons to question if this is money well spent and if we can point to any real benefit beyond re-capitulating the Republican National Committee’s platform.

My religion reporter friend knew I was on vacation. Greg also knew I have been disturbed by the ERCL-Richard Land Debacle. He sends over a piece on Florida Baptists. The default Baptist response has been autonomy. We get some of the religious liberty side of our heritage. We do not do so well with the ethics side. Read More

Timing Is Everything or, Are We Witnessing a Wagging Dog In the SBC

The OKC Thunder takes the biggest stage in basketball in less than half an hour. Some of us on vacation faced a dilemma. Head out for an evening fishing jaunt or stay and watch the entire game between the Thunder and the Heat. Timing is everything.

Politics is often about timing. Who steals whose thunder with a grand announcement or well orchestrated retort. Southern Baptist politics is no different. The one question that continues to come to mind every time I stop and read an opinion piece on the not-really-about-Calvinism statement recently released by a group in the SBC is, “Why now?”

The group is comprised of Baptists, who like Texans, can be told . . . but not much. Yes, some of my best friends are Texans.

The SBC stands ready to move forward with the election of Fred Luter. Could we not savor the moment? Read More

While the SBC Blogosphere Blows Up

The hill across the lake where we once vacationed as children displays the aftermath of a tornado. Adjacent the power dam where we like to fish shows signs the ecosystem has been adjusted by the not too distant storm.

Reading SBC Voices while the rain is keeping us off the lake conjures the same images. Many bemoan the sectarian nature of the current SBC. It is as if we do not have a good memory.What we experience today is the aftermath. Religious battles have disrupted the delicate ecosystem that is the SBC.

There is no going back.

I am getting rested and ready for what may be a historical SBC Annual meeting for more reasons than electing the first African-American President. Something will emerge. What we do not know.

In the meantime, you may find some photos fishing trip on my Tumblr site.

Land Mass or, Trustees Carelessly Caring for SBC Land

Only a document igniting a fever pitch discussion about Calvinism in the SBC could bury the report by the ERLC Trustees of the SBC.

Suspicions confirmed. Baptist Press released the report from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on Dr. Richard Land’s racially charged comments and plagiarism. The ERLC Trustees took more action than I suspected, but much less than most pastors or staff would have received. The typical non-celebrity pastor would have surely been terminated.

The rate of pastoral terminations for his or her own indiscretions or the systemic maladies of the churches served could be considered epidemic. Sitting in a breakfast meeting intended to help place graduates of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988, I remember the statistic of pastoral changes for the State of Oklahoma. Clyde Cain noted, “On any given week there are 12 pastors going to new churches and 12 pastors leaving their church.” Talk about encouraging job security. Not much has changed – anywhere. Read More

Friday Photo – My Three Girls

Brown eyes would apply to any of these three. We always have a good time when we are together and I am glad Patty insisted on a photo with her girls. Together, they are, “My Three Girls.”

I have added my Tumblr site to the options to follow in the right sidebar. I am going to make it chiefly a photoblog. Stop over and check them out. Nearly all are available on my site. Read More