Today begins the Annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Early this morning I read my mentor’s words regarding the goings on in the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Rick used to be employed by the BGCT and if you peruse his blog you will find some comments about the experience. He offers some thoughts pertinent to the analysis of any situation marking the realization of a new day.
We live in a cultural era long on individualism and consumer
materialism. Money for small membership churches (the mass of us in
this mess of us) is harder to raise. Large and megachurches mostly keep
their money at home. They provide world class entertainment, an aura of
success and depend on the smaller churches around them for evangelism
We live as well in a socio-economic era wherein real wages and
benefits for working class people fall behind actual Cost of Living
increases annually. More of us are in more debt than ever.
We are in an era, a kairos of time, wherein doctrine/theological
understanding is mostly lost on the populace, producing a murky
understanding of the place where the spiritual and the material
conjoin. People are more likely to hear about how to overcome their
depression in church than to hear the saving gospel news.
We are in an era decidedly distrustful of central authorities and
superstars at the same time we are dependent on them and fascinated by
them. The central bodies, conventions, associations, et al, must
constantly find ways t remind us how relevant they are to us.
Recently reading a blog entry by the new president of the SBC Executive Committee – unwilling to link to it here – magnifies these thoughts and broadens them beyond state denominational relationships.