Monday, April 17, 2006

The resolution has been sent


I submitted a slightly edited version of the resolution on integrity in membership numbers to the Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention for consideration at the 2006 annual meeting in Greensboro. It is entitled, "Integrity in Church Membership." It is now up to the discretion of the committee whether or not to let this resolution be heard on the floor of the convention.

25 comments:

Perry McCall said...

Tom,
I want to thank you for your example and for this resolution. I have spent the past 9 months living the consequences of standing on the conviction that some circumstances require the obedience of Church discipline even if the “timing” isn’t right. I do not want to imply that your resolution vindicates the decisions that I have made as a pastor. You do not know me or the circumstances that I am referring to. However, I do want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for attempting to demonstrate through this resolution the seriousness of our failure to follow Christ’s teaching on discipline. It is nothing less than sin. The most horrifying words I have ever heard as a pastor were, “I know that it is in the Bible BUT I don’t believe….” Thank you again for your courage and your faithfulness.

Perry

art rogers said...

Respectfully, Tom, the Convention can call it to the floor with a 2/3 vote even if the committee doesn't choose to recommend it.

David B. Hewitt said...

Dr. Tom:

Many thanks for sending it in. I won't be able to be in Greensboro due to another commitment, but please do keep us "posted" as to how it turns out. :)

SDG,
DH

Tom said...

Perry:
Press on, brother. The Lord honors those who honor Him. I have prayed for you this morning.

Art:
Thanks for pointing this out. You are correct. SBC Bylaw 20 says, "No person may submit more than three resolutions per year. The Committee on Resolutions shall prepare and submit to each annual meeting of the Convention only such resolutions the Committee recommends for adoption. Such resolutions may be based upon proposals received by the Committee or may originate with the Committee. Only resolutions recommended by the Committee may be considered by the Convention, except the Convention may, by a 2/3 vote, consider any other resolution properly submitted to the Committee." I suppose that such a resolution would need to be brought from the floor of the convention during a regular business session.

jbuchanan said...

Tom,
I think that your resolution is a good and that we must deal with this issue as a convention. May I suggest that you or perhaps Dr. Nettles write an article about the resolution and submit it to Baptist Press. I tend to be pessimistic by nature, so I'm not sure that the resolution has much chance of passing and I am certain that it will not garner a 2/3 vote for consideration if the Resolutions Committee does not present it. However, if the mere presentation of this resolution could begin an honest dialogue about our unregenerate denomination I think that it will be worth it. Having some coverage in Baptist Press will perhaps spark some interested and may even raise support. May I also suggest that we do three additional things:

1.) Introduce similar resolutions at every state convention meeting this fall.
2.) Introduce similar resolutions at as many associational annual meetings as possible.
3.) Put together some type of simultaneous emphasis that would teach our local churches and introduce them to the concept of church discipline. May be a "Making Membership Count" simulcast with Dr's Dever, Mohler, and Nettles.

I think that educating the church about discipline is the most importnat step that we can take. All attempts to deal with unregenrate church members will fail unless we help our church to see the Biblical teachings concerning membership and discipline.

Just a few thoughts.

Mike Miller said...

Tom,

Thanks for that. If it makes it to the floor, I will vote in favor. Our church is currently in the process of formulating a plan to deal with the discrepancies in our membership roll. Attention to the matter is way past due.

If I can assist your effort in any way, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Chris Bonts said...

Tom,
As a former Garret Fellow and research assistant for Thom Rainer, I think you should invite him to address this issue in Baptist Press. I know that he is busy, but he has made numerous references to this topic in one way or another (either in print or class lecture). His approach to analyzing current trends in churches is often to demonstrate weaknesses/strengths through statistical analysis in light of Scriptural teaching. He has said on numerous occasions that membership numbers in our convention are so inflated that they mean nothing and cannot be used to study our churches. He often has to resort to looking at actual attendance numbers rather than membership.
Given his announcement that Lifeway would begin to do more statistical analysis of our churches (Lifeway Research), he would probably be very interested in your resolution and may even become a champion of it. My suggestion in no way implies that I do not think you are capable of addressing the issue accurately and persuasively. I just recognize that Dr. Rainer has the ear of many in the convention. Despite differences on one or two points of the doctrines of grace I think he would be agree with your efforts here.
Thanks again for your service to your church and your brothers in Christ through this blog.
Chris

art rogers said...

Tom,

The resolution must be "properly submitted" within the time frame of April 15 to 15 days prior to the convention to be considered. Until 2003, messengers could submit resolutions from the floor, but now they must go to the committee first. The motion to bring it to the floor must come during the report from the Committee on Resolutions.

If you would forgive the shameless self promotion, I am winding up a two week long "Primer" on the convention for Young SBCers who may be attending the first time. Anyone interested can find it at 12 Witnesses.

I think the fact that the convention housing has sold out and had to be restructured is indication that the "normal crowd" will not be in attendance. Rather, I think the Convention will be full of messengers who are ready to take some action in focusing the SBC on several vital issues.

In light of this, I think it is considerably more likely that a 2/3 vote is possible to get your resolution to the floor, should it not be recommended by the committee.

Tom said...

Jbuchanan:

Good thoughts (as are the others given previously).

Art:

Thanks for linking to your blog. I was trying to figure out how to do that myself. You have put up some good stuff there. Your observations about anticipated attendance are interesting. I agree with you. Many who do not normally attend these meetings will be there.

Chris:

Since you know Dr. Rainer, why don't you float your idea by him? I would be delighted to hear his thoughts on the issue. His last BP article on this was spot on. Thanks.

Darel said...

Tom,
I will be praying for you and for the Convention.

art rogers said...

Tom,

You are generous in your comments about my blog.

I look forward to meeting you in person.

Chris Bonts said...

Tom,
The request has been made. I offered to write something for his perusal/endorsement prior to submission to Baptist Press if he is too busy or not-interested in writing the article. If he offers to submit something for me, I will contact you for clarification of ideas, etc.

Chris

Chris Bonts said...

Hey - this is completely off topic - but does anyone have any ideas for resources that can help me out with a project I am working on?
I am currently working on "essential christology for gospel proclamation." Basically, it is a statement of what one has to believe about Christ to grasp the gospel. I have been unable to locate any resources that deal specifically with this topic. Any ideas would be great. I do not want to recreate the wheel if I don't have to do so.

Chris

Castusfumus said...

Chris, I believe that Al Mohler is going to present exactly what you are asking for at T4G.

What an awesome band of brothers!!

jbuchanan said...

Tom has inspired me with his resolution to pen a resolution of my own. As you brothers know, I am leading the fight in the SBC against the use of theater style seating in our churches. With all of the hub-bub over Dr. Caner and the nomination of Johnny Hunt this issue has been overlooked. But nevertheless I shall press on. Please consider the following:

Whereas, our Baptist forefathers, both of the Sandy Creek and Charleston traditions, upheld the use of pews in the church, and

Whereas, Noah and his family sat upon benches hewn from wood in the ark, and

Whereas, the pew generates a sense of community and unity in the church, and

Whereas, the pew by its uncomfortable nature lends itself to the resistance of slumber, and

Whereas, the theater style seat represents a heretical gnostic influence upon the church, and,

Whereas, Leonardo Davinci painted Jesus and His disciples seated upon wooden benches in the "Last Supper" thus conveying the secret message that all true churches use pews, and

Whereas, theater style seating represents the decadence and wordliness of Hollywood, and

Whereas, if pews were good enough for Paul they ought to be good enough for us, let it be resolved,

That this convention call upon all of our churches to burn all existing theater style seating in our churches, and

Let it be resolved that we publicly repent of our pewistic tendencies, and

Let it be resolved that any church that continues in pewism be removed for the fellowship of this convention.

GeneMBridges said...

Whereas, Leonardo Davinci painted Jesus and His disciples seated upon wooden benches in the "Last Supper" thus conveying the secret message that all true churches use pews, and

---He was a paedopewist, though, so you might not want to go there.

;)

art rogers said...

I think that is the sortest post I have ever seen from Gene. Moreover, 2/3 of it was a quote of someone else.

What a day.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Joe,

I think the BFM2000 was purposely drawn up in such a way as to leave room for Pewites and Chairists. To narrow the parameters of cooperation in our convention to only followers of Pewism is to go beyond your authority as a SBC messenger.

Next you're going to say that if you were baptized in a church that had theatre seating you can't be an IMB missionary.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

P.S. You've gotta start writing on your own blog!

GeneMBridges said...

I present:

The Pew Controversy: A Primer

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/04/pew-controversy-primer.html

jbuchanan said...

Gene,

You have honored me by officially recongnizing the cause. Now if only I can get the Caner brothers to start ranting about it and for Dr. Mohler to include it on his blog.

David Roberts said...

Tom:

I will be in Greensboro. My parents live there and I pastor a church 2 hours away. I will do anything I can to help with this resolution. Looking forward to the Founders breakfast too. Maybe we'll cross paths at Together for the Gospel.

David Roberts
Lenoir, NC

hashbrown said...

Tom,
Do you have your final revised resolution on this blog?

Kevin

Tom said...

Hashman:

I have not posted the final, revised version, but it is almost identical to what I did post. I only corrected some typos and the date and changed the name to "Integrity in Church Membership."

Dave:

I will not be able to make the Louisville conference. Hope to see you in Greensboro.

kc said...

Where is the resolution on pews?

hastings said...

jbuchanan:

Are you actually serious about your resolution about pews or is it a joke?