Welcome to the world's largest deliberative body, the Southern Baptist Convention. If anyone could design a more backwards system for making decisions in the 21st Century I can't imagine what it would be. It is mayhem and madness. I love it!
I missed a few things yesterday but Sweetie has been here since Sunday night, taking in the entire Pastor's Conference and all the sessions yesterday (first day of the actual convention). There were many upbeat reports yesterday. God is doing some wonderful things. The International Mission Board report was very encouraging and ended with thousands of us at the altar, praying for God's mission to a lost world. Jerry Rankin put an interesting number into perspective. There are currently an estimated 1.6 billion people around the world who do not have a witness telling them about Jesus. He made the point that there have not been 1.6 billion minutes to pass since Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Wow!
The report on New Orleans Baptist Seminary needed to be bottled and sent to every church in the SBC. God has done a great thing, an awesome thing. The seminary is just about rebuilt. The Lord has provided in that 56 million of the 57 million needed to rebuild the school has been received. I thought we should just take up an offering last night. If all 8500 messengers have $117.34 we would have that million dollars behind us!
One point of contention was debated and hopefully settled in the way that I think it should have been. First, Morris Chapman, our SBC Executive Director gave the Executive Committee report and as part of it was very strong that the Baptist Faith and Message is the only doctrinal statement that we should use as Southern Baptists to determine cooperation with each other. Some people have tried to add all sorts of things "in addition" in order for someone to be considered as co-operating. A motion was later made to affirm the BFM 2000 as our only statement of faith and to encourage the boards, institutions and entities of the SBC to operate accordingly. We will get the official vote tally this morning but from the first glance floor vote it looked like this motion was approved. I think this is a good thing.
I wish there were a way to transport the whole church here and let them see that God is working in so many ways beyond our local churches. Yesterday I was very delighted to be called a Southern Baptist Christian. Of course you can see part of it, both live and archived at
Look on the left hand side of the page and click on "Watch the 2007 Annual Meeting".