Thursday, May 11, 2006

Floyd should not be elected president because FBC, Springdale gives .27% to CP--so says commentary in Florida Baptist Witness

[Edit: I have corrected the title of this blog by identifying the linked article as a commentary and not an editorial; the editor of the FBW did not write it.]
This commentary claims that Ronnie Floyd should not become president of the SBC because his church only gives .27% (that is slightly more than one quarter of one percent) to the Cooperative Program out of its $12 million dollar budget. That's $32,000 dollars, total. The story was posted early in the Florida Baptist Witness. I consider the printing of this commentary by Michael Petty a very courageous move by the editor, James Smith.

What is also interesting is to note the many denominational positions that Floyd has held over the last several years. While I don't think any artificial standard of CP support should be imposed on those who would serve in SBC leadership positions, the excessively miniscule amount that FBC Springdale gives to the CP is newsworthy.
HT: Art Rogers

88 comments:

Michael Spencer said...

You know, I am going to have to revise my low opinion of Baptist State papers. First the Georgia Index does the job for a change on Reccord, and now the Florida paper speaks the truth. This is the iMonk talking, but I'm applauding state papers acting like journalists for a change. *applause*

loveforthelost said...

He should follow the lead of others and not turn in a ACP report. Of course, he has nothing to hide like some who don't turn in their ACP.

I do agree partially with you. $32,000 is horrible for a SBC church that large, but you did not show in your report that FBCS gives 189,000 to SBC causes and continues to give to both Lottie and Annie. You could also have showed how much FBCS allocates each year for missions. It is incredible what Doug Sarver is doing at that church. He, like Dr. Floyd, is a great leader and has such a heart for the lost. I had a opportunity to work for him one summer while I was in college. He is a great man

My take is that they are bypassing the state and giving directly to Nashville (which a lot are doing or considering doing).

Tom, how much do you give annually to CP and what percentage is that of your budget?

Also, I have a feeling that you will not admit it, but I can't help but think you are doing everything possible to campaign against Ronnie Floyd for president. Just a thought.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

In all this talk about CP Giving, I thought I'd chime in about the good folks at Parkview Baptist in Arlington, TX.

Three years ago, they were participating minimally in the Cooperative Program, and were, in fact, receiving more from CP than they were contributing.

Two years ago, the Finance Cmte recommended a 3% amount of undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program.

Last year, we designated 5%, and this year we will move toward 8%.

In addition, we have led our association in per capita giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering two years in a row.

All that said, I have to agree that the men who lead our denomination should lead in every way...not just by showing up to trustee meetings and annual conventions in a fancy suit.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

By the way...I spoke today with a member of the Lifeway Search Committee. It seems that "God told" Pastor Floyd that he was "God's man" for the Lifeway Job. I had heard this from one committee member. Today, I heard it from another. He also would not submit a resume because he was too "high profile" in Southern Baptist life to have a resume requested of him.

Yesterday I spoke with a man who is very likely to run for convention president. His CP giving is stellar, and his commitment to the conservative resurgence is impeccable. Moreover, he is committed to seeing ALL Southern Baptists who affirm inerrancy and believe that the BFM2000 is a tight enough fence of cooperation afforded a place in denominational service.

I urged him to REFUSE to "spiritualize" his nomination by saying that "God told him" to do anything or that "God gave him a vision." He just needs to articulate the principles he stands for, and let the chips fall where they may.

The haughty spiritual language is the most distasteful thing about these nominations. I remember last year when Roy Fish was nominated by a layman from North Carolina. In the nomination speech, we were told that sitting at Roy Fish's feet was like sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Such overkill is the essence of disingenuity. I will not vote for "God's man" for the SBC presidency. I will only vote for a godly man. Everybody thought Saul was "God's man" too. Southern Baptist would do well to remember that.

loveforthelost said...

I find it interesting, benjamin s. cole, that you are willing to come out and say that you know Ronnie Floyd wanted the Lifeway job, but you will not say which committee members told you that, nor will you let the cat out the bag about who you talked to that was running for president. I think what you are doing is a terrible thing to do.

Tom, i highly encourage you to not post benjamin s. cole's last statement and my reply to him. That is highly inapproprate and i think you know it is.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Hey...

I just got confirmation to quote him.

His name is Ed Ethridge. He is a friend of mine from Texas and trustee at Lifeway. He was on the search committee, and he told me that anybody that wanted to know, they could contact him.

He is the executive director of the North Texas Baptist Association.

God bless...

G. Burch said...

I think "loveforthelosy" should be named "lovetodisgree"...is this not the kind of guy you want in your business meetings?

GeneMBridges said...

With all due respect loveforthelost:

A. You post anonymously under a pseudonym, and your post links to a blog with a dead URL. Ben posts under his real name with a "live" blog. So, please, before you go on about Ben Cole not revealing names, please do us a favor and reveal your own. Come into the light.

B. Why should Ben tell us the name of a man who MIGHT run for SBC president? If he has not committed himself to it or has not been nominated, why does Ben need to reveal it? The reason Ronnie Floyd is being discussed as was Johnny Hunt is that they have both put their names out there with certainty. Ronnie claimed divine revelation from God. If this other individual is who I believe it to be, I know for a fact that it is a man with the experience, background, and credentials but who has gone out of his way NOT to seek leadership. There's an old saying "Leadership is not to be sought out by you." There is a marked difference, if it is who I believe it to be, between him and Brother Ronnie, for Brother Ronnie has been seeking denominational office of this kind for a long time. This is no secret. In comparison, this other individual has served when asked and has not actively sought after the SBC Presidency. I'd add that if you really can't figure out who it very likely is, you must be quite naive.

C. Why does Ben Cole have to tell us every name of every person about whom he posted, when you wrote above:

He should follow the lead of others and not turn in a ACP report. Of course, he has nothing to hide like some who don't turn in their ACP.

What others? What evidence do you have that they have something to hide? Names, churches, statistics please. If Ben Cole needs to give a full account, then why don't you?

It's also rather telling that you accuse Brother Tom of "doing everything possible to campaign against Ronnie Floyd." Is that how it is in the SBC now? It's okay for Johnny Hunt to write a lengthy nomination paper for Brother Floyd, and its okay to have Bailey Smith and Paige Patterson stand behind you when you annouce your nomination, but it's not okay for a blogger to express his feelings about that candidate if they are negative?

Apparently, we are left to conclude that you believe it is okay to campaign for a candidate for SBC President but inappropriate for others to campaign against that individual. So much for congregationalism.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Can anybody tell me what a "spiritual life coach" is?

jbuchanan said...

Why has cooperative program giving suddenly become a litmus test for whether or not a person should become President of the SBC? You have pointed out in a previous post that this was never the case during the resurgence years and that it is your opinion that it should be now. I personally believe that cooperative program giving is important and have lead the church that I Pastor to make significant increases to it. But should this be a test of whether or not someone is qualified to the President of the SBC? I am glad to see state newspapers doing some real journalism for a change.

Let me again make a suggestion to everyone here: Chose your battles wisely. We all want to see the Resolution on Integrity in Reporting brought to the floor. Let's concentrate on that front and let the Presidency debate go until another day. After all the President has very little power and it is simply not worth causing division in the convention over. Ronnie Floyd is a good man and will make a good President. I may not agree with everything he does but that would be the same for Tom or Mark Dever. Let's focus on one battle at a time.

We should all be praying at Greensboro and the consequences of this convention. I do not think that there wil be as many fireworks as are expected but there will be a few. I pray that we will not embarass oursevles before a watching world and more importantly that we will not dishonor God. I love sound doctrine as much as anyone here but I also know that Jesus said that "they will know that we are his disciples by our love." We need to be careful.

loveforthelost said...

To g burch…

Sorry about disagreeing with many at this blog. Sorry about having my own opinion. Sorry about expressing that opinion. Life would be easier if I just let Tom and a hand full of others tell me what to think. I’m glad you don’t ever disagree with anybody about anything. I take it you agree with Johnny Hunt that Ronnie Floyd would be a good SBC president. Maybe God too, if He did indeed tell Dr. Floyd that He wanted him to run for president.

To Gene Bridges…

1.) At this blog, I don’t give my name simply because I know that I am not with the majority. I notice how this blog has, for some, become a place where individuals are disrespected and insulted. I do not wish for my name to be included with those who are disrespected. I just like to deal with the issues. If you so desire I would be willing to correspond with you off this site.

2.) I wasn’t suggesting that Ben Cole reveal those names. That information should have been confidential. But while he reveals such confidential information about one man, he doesn’t do the same for others he refers to. Also, the ACP comment was a tongue and cheek reference to the blog about the ACP reporting. You accused me once of not taking something as a joke. That’s what I was doing. I’ll work on making my humor come across a little bit better next time. I am new to this whole blog thing.

3.) I do find it incredibly insensitive to reveal for the whole world that someone’s pastor applied for a job and didn’t get it. I find it incredibly inappropriate for a search committee member to reveal that information to those that are not a part of the team.

4.) I don’t think it is wrong for any of us to campaign for who we think should be SBC president. I do think it is wrong though when on one hand somebody says that they are not campaigning against someone, and on the other hand they continue to give the impression that someone is a bad nominee.

5.) As far as Dr. Floyd seeking nomination, I don’t know if he is or not. Maybe he has something on Johnny Hunt that intimidated him into withdrawing. But as I’ve read his blog, it seems as if he is approaching this with prayer and humility.

loveforthelost said...

For g burch...

I must say that I do think jbuchanan's posts are always well written and full of wisdom.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. Ascol and Friends,

Have you checked out Brother Wes's chart on this subject?

http://cathp.blogspot.com

Very interesting stuff.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

art rogers said...

I just came from the chart at Wes Kenney's blog. It is disturbing.

Byroniac said...

loveforthelost,

What do you mean by "i highly encourage you to not post benjamin s. cole's last statement and my reply to him."?

I too am new to this whole blogging thing, but it appears to me that posts appear instantly, sans approval from anyone, as long as they are not anonymous (i.e., blogger accounts are required) and pass word verification (according to the settings of this blog).

I'm sure Tom Ascol has the power to delete posts once they are created, but the blogger has the right to delete his/her posts as well. I've been playing around with my own pathetic blog site (existing only to provide me with a blogger account for making comments such as here) and currently I know of no way to prevent instant posts, or to queue them for further processing (which to me, would seem to defeat the point anyway).

loveforthelost said...

byroniac

you may be right. I thought if you had a blog you get get rid of posts that may be inappropriate. I may be wrong. This is the only blog I have ever been a part of.

I think it is inappropriate to reveal to the whole world that someone was looking for a different place of service, when in fact they didn't get that position. Its like saying, "the only reason I am still here is because someplace else didn't want me." No pastor ever wants to find himself in that situation where his church knows that he looked elsewhere. Plus, no search team member of anykind should be out openly sharing everybody that pursued that opening. That's why I requested Tom to remove that post if he could.

Tom said...

Loveforthelost:
For someone who chooses to remain anonymous, you sure are free with your suggestions. What is it that makes you think that I am doing "everything possible" to campaign against Ronnie Floyd? Please point out what I have said that can be classified as that. In reality (as I have said and as you would know if you have been reading here very long) I don't think who becomes president is that big of a deal.
If you think that simply reporting facts, or linking to relevant articles about announced SBC presidential candidates is campaigning against someone, then I suppose you will inevitably judge me as guilty of that practice. But I do not see it that way. I think of it as shedding light on subjects. For the record, the only personal contact I have had with Ronnie Floyd has been great. He ate a meal in my home when he was working on his DMin at SWBTS. I found him gracious and very winsome. As far as I can remember, the previous two sentences are the only personal remarks I have made about Dr. Floyd.
You are welcome to continue posting here, but you might find it more rewarding to start your own blog where you can impose whatever kind of rules that you desire. Don't get put out if I choose to ignore the suggestions you have made.

studentofgrace said...

loveforthelost said...
At this blog, I don’t give my name simply because I know that I am not with the majority.

There is a word for that my friend and it is "cowardly". If you aren't willing to put your name behind what you say then I would encourage you to ensconce yourself in the comfy anonymity of baptistfire.com

ScriptureSearcher2 said...

In a previous post I stated the obvious ~ that there is much more to the iceberg than its tip and encouraged all my brothers to get beyond that tiny part of the huge frozen mountain.


Some of you are doing a highly commendable work in your research.


Please do not stop now. Your daily persistence will be richly rewarded by your prayerful and investigative efforts to get to the truth that all Southern Baptists need to know about any and all who seek to become the leader of the largest non-Roman Catholic "Christian" denomination in the world.

tim rogers said...

I just came from the Florida Baptist Witness website and there is a great article there that articulates very well my feelings. A pastor in Fl. has written an op-ed peice that does not denigrate Dr. Floyd, but really calls into question his dismal giving record.
Tom,
I just want to remind all of us that we are in your house. As a guest in your house I believe you can do whatever you would like to do concerning another's post.
Ben,
A "Spiritual Life Coach?" I don't know but I think it has to do with NASCAR?

loveforthelost said...

To Tom,

I'm not trying to impose rules on your blog. Do you not think its wrong that someone shared personal information about someone trying to relocate to a new area of ministry while they did not get that position? I asked you to remove that (I don't know if you can or not) simply out of concern for members of FBCS that might read your blog. To me that is personal information. That kind of information can hurt a person's current service if it gets out.

Your title for this particular blog "Floyd should not be elected president because FBC, Springdale gives .27% to CP." You should (in my opinion) first state that it was an editorial from Florida Baptist Witness. Also, instead of detailing all that FBCS is doing as far as missions, your mention of the article only included that they give just $32,000 to CP. You didn't state anything about the $189,000 that they also give to other SBC causes. Nor did you mention anything about their Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong gifts. Nor did you mention that they spent 1.6 million dollars on FBCS mission work. All you stated was that he gave just $32,000 to CP. That is biased in my opinion.

When you look at the $189,000 plus the $32,000, that's more than my church gives to CP. My church has lead our state the last four years in CP giving. It's not the same percentage but in total dollar amount, it is more. It is a good amount.

WHen you look at everything they are giving to missions, it comes out to be close to 15% of their budget. That's great! They have different needs then your church or my church. We have said nothing about his reasoning behind why they don't give more. Nor has anything been said about how you should measure someone's commitment to CP - should it be based on % or total amount giving? I do wish he would have not declined on Tad's questions. Believe it or not I have some problems with Dr. Floyd's CP giving as well. But it seems as if we are looking for anything we can pounce on to call his character into question. I do apologize for the "everything possible" comment. That was a bit strong.

I do enjoy blogging here, but if you don't want a differing opinions on you blog, I wont come back. Let me know.

Gavin Brown said...

right on , tom. if floyd was really supernaturally led to run for SBC pres, as he says he was (paraphrase), then he will not mind the scrutiny that comes along with it. people want to know, and rightly so, that his character is above reproach, and a good reflection of that is the way he's handled all areas of his church's ministry, be it children's baptismal practices or missions giving.

hashbrown said...

jbuch,

You say focus on one issue, but I think it may take a convergence of several issue to compel folks to come out to this convention. Its possible that if an alternate candidate draws some anti-establishment folks, they will in turn vote for a very anti-establishment resolution on integrity.

Tom,
I think loveforthelost comment illustrates a reason why we should be turning in our ACP. It does appear a tad hypocrital (it hurts to say this), for guys to not turn their ACP in and then examine others ACP to make arguments against why they are not doing things biblically. Which we, myself included, have done when we highlight articles like that of Eilif. (sp)

Cole:
stop teasing about the candidate that you know of. When do you think we will hear something?

loveforthelost said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Fries said...

loveforthelost,
First, 15% for all mission causes, in my opinion, is not much of from a budget. In the association I am a member of the churches average 11% just in CP giving, not counting other SBC causes.
Secondly, again in my opinion, it is not the total dollar amount given it is percentage giving that is the equalizer. If I am a millionaire can I get away with giving 20 thousand per year and its okay because it is far more money than anyone else gives in total dollars? As a pastor, I think most of us would argue that a tithe is a specific percentage amount not a dollar amount.

I commend Dr. Floyd for leading his church in giving to a variety of mission causes. However, he is not being nominated for president of a variety of mission causes but SBC mission causes. So I want him to be a strong supporter of the SBC agenda.

One final comment. In the association that I work with if the churches gave to the CP at 2% (approx % of giving from Dr. Floyd's church to SBC causes) giving would have dropped in 05 from $220,000 to $42,000 and if all the SBC churches gave 2% the SBC would go bankrupt overnight.

Jim Crigler said...

Re: CP giving. I looked at Wes Kenney's post over at "Called According" and a couple of disparate thoughts occurred.

First, there's the possibility of a typo in the FBCS's statistics. The fact that the 2005 CP contribution was 10% of the 2004 contribution tends toward that as a possibility, and I think charity demands some fact checking. If their 2005 CP giving was actually $320,000 and was reported incorrectly due to a clerical error, we should be embarrassed by making a big deal of it.

Second: I have been told that there are career missionaries who can't get sent to the field because of lack of funds even though total missions giving is at a record high. Where's the money going? Here's a hint: Right now I have in my bill-paying basket five (5) requests from people I know who want to go on short-term overseas mission trips; I expect more. Frank Turk over at PyroManiacs posted this economic analysis that I think we should read and ponder deeply.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

You'll hear something Monday, I predict. And when it is announced, there will be some tough questions, and there should be.

I'll be honest, I've got some questions of my own. And yet, at this point, I'm just ready for a contested election, and a real option for the messengers.

A threeway race would be interesting.

Wes Kenney said...

Jim,

Thanks for pointing that out. That was my first thought when I looked at those numbers yesterday, and I had decided not to post that chart. But when the Florida Baptist Witness published their piece on the web today, I decided to go ahead.

If it was a typo, it is theirs as they entered their ACP data. If this is the case, I expect we'll see a correction straightaway.

loveforthelost said...

To Paul…

I tend to agree with you that as a leader in the convention your church should be a model for CP giving. I like raising questions to see how others think about these issues. I’ve known of churches on the associational level that were large churches and they gave to the association a percentage of their budget every year. In one association, one large, growing church got to the point where they provided one third of the association budget. That church for various reasons (they were good reasons) pulled back dramatically. That sent the association into a panic. And other churches followed.

If a church like FBCS gives 10% of their budget, that would be well over a million dollars. What if a few of these churches cut back dramatically? The convention could be in serious trouble.

Now, I don’t think that is a great reason, but it may be a possibility of why FBCS and other mega-churches don’t give. That’s why I was disappointed about Dr. Floyd declining to be interviewed.

What is the benchmark for good CP giving? I, along with my Pastor believes it should be 10%.

fred said...

Mr. "loveforthelost" whoever you might be? You offend me.

Sir, you demonstrate your worldliness in every post you make.

You accuse others of doing something while at the same time doing them yourself.

That's spiritual blindness!

You hind behind anonymity while choosing a name "loveforthelost" which is meant to imply that no one here has any love for the lost. Why not have the courage of your conviction and tell us your name.

Finally, as to your opinion and us not liking it, I read this blog because most of the people posting here have realized that their opinion doesn't matter. God's does.

I feel sorry for you. May God grant you repentance.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Fred:

Take it easy on loveforthelost. There was a time -- not too long ago -- when I was out there posting under a pseudonym. I was confronted on it, and I stopped doing it. Now, if i'm not willing to say it and have my name attached to it, I don't say it.

And to be honest...it's a relief. I'm sure he'll come around.

BSC

Tom said...

KBH:

I am not arguing that Ronnie Floyd should not be president. I have merely linked to some information about him and his church and a commentary that raises questions about his church's CP giving. I have repeated this many tmes, but I don't seem to be making my point: as a Southern Baptist I care about who becomes our next president, but in the big scheme of things, I don't think the presidency of the SBC is that big of a deal. Further, I disagree with those who think some arbitrary standard should be set for CP giving to qualify a man for leadership in the SBC. I won't repeat my reasonings for this here.
So, if opting out of ful participation in the ACP numbers collection while also calling attention to reported information on presidential candidates constitutes hypocrisy, then I suppose I am guilty. Obviously, I do not see it that way.

Loveforthe lost:
As I said, you are welcome to post here. I think you will find that a person need not agree with me to get a hearing in this forum. Your misquoting of the title of this particular post indicates that you have not read even the title carefully. Now, granted, I slightly edited it, exchanging the word "commentary" for "editorial," but it never said what you quoted it to say.
Further, the reason that I did not give all of the giving information on FBCS is because I linked to the article and assumed that all who wanted full information will simply go read the commentary (as I presume you did). The thrust of the commentary was concern on the low percentage of CP giving. That is what I highlighted--not to "campaign against Ronnie Floyd" in any way. Rather, simply to point out--in the case--serious concerns being raised by others about this particular issue.
Once again (actually for the third time now), feel free to continue to participate in the dialogue. You don't have to sign a confessional statement to comment here. I do think it would be helpful if you will read very carefully what is actually said and what is not said, and direct your comments and critiques accordingly.

Jeremy Roberts said...

Ben, a Biblical Life Coach is explained in detail at http://www.ronniefloydwinners.com/html/about_winners.htm

The show has been revamped in the last few months and is really sharp. If you want to watch Pastor Floyd's messages online, they're available on www.ronniefloydwinners.com

Try podcasting or watching some sermons on the "Winners" website. It encourages me, and I pray will give many bloggers a fresh view of Pastor Floyd's tender heart.

The LifeWay information was inappropriate to put online for the whole world to see. It is one thing to banter about the decor of one of the baptistries as some have done or to discuss your personal disagreement with the financial giving to the CP, but it is an entirely different thing to post private information that could hinder his ability to shepherd his flock.

Tad Thompson said...

The CP issue is very important. This is how we fund missions. I don't want a church member on my finance commitee who just gives a token gift to the church and then makes very important decisions.

The SBC pres makes very important decisions regarding who will nominate those who decide much about how funds are spent.

Jeremy - Why is it that everyone else is wrong here - may it be that this attitude is wrong. It was no secret that he wanted that job - that was all over the place.

Gavin Brown said...

jeremy roberts, you said:

"It is one thing to banter about the decor of one of the baptistries as some have done.."

Decor? Is that all this is about? What a spin doctor.

Darel said...

Tom,

I appreciate your blog, and I think of you as a very level-headed and straightforward kind of guy. As to this topic, I had never assumed that you "campaigning against" anyone, but simply doing some reporting. I found it completely relevant that you don't think CP giving should be used and then point out (through this article link) that other people are making a big deal out of it. Good job.

However, I had to take several seconds to compose myself from an hysterical fit of laughter when I read this:

"Loveforthelost:
For someone who chooses to remain anonymous, you sure are free with your suggestions."

That has to be the most ironic statement in relation to forum/blog posting that I have ever seen in my Internet existence. Good job on the funny.

Chuck said...

Loveforthelost,

I'd love to be able to get into contact with you personally about some of these things. How about starting a blog of your own? Leaving an e-mail address for people to contact you through? I know this is Tom's show, and he allows anonymous posts, but it would be helpful to actually have these disussions on a full-out blog or via, rather than in meta form. Just a thought.

hashbrown said...

Tom,

My point is not that you are against Floyd, I don't think I even said that you were. That was loveforthelost.

I dont think you hypocritical, my point was that I can understand why you would be open to the charge of it, for the reasons stated above.

No offense intended. I love you brother.

Tom said...

KBH:

Point well-taken. Thanks, brother!

loveforthelost said...

To Tom...

I greatly apologize (without sarcasm and with sincerity) for the possibility of misrepersenting your statements. I freely (and ashamedly) admit that sometimes I comment on what general impressions I have as I read through some of these If the future, I have chosen to "postread very carefully what is actually said and what is not said, and [will] direct [my] comments and critiques accordingly.

To Chuck...
I am thinking about starting my own blog. Currently, I am a Seminary student and extremely busy. But I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When seminary is completed, I plan to start my own.

To Fred...
Please don't feel sorry for me. The issue is not me hiding. I enjoy coming here and discussing these topics. I don't think it should matter what my identity is. With the comments about Dr. Floyd suuposedly wanting to lead at lifeway coming out onto this blog - to me, that's an extreme low. Who know's what careless remark might be said about me? I think many here appear to be godly men, but with statements like that, some appear not to be.

I just want to discuss the issues. Everything I have said and have asked have been done in sincerity. I do not consider myself to be above correction. Neither should any that post here.

Tom said...

Loveforthelost:
Apology accepted. Please do not let it bother you one second more. You are always welcome to come here and share your insights and challenge the views of others. Thanks for displaying the kind humble spirit that all of us need to cultivate more and more.
Press on in your studies.

euroclydon said...

Ben,

Just curious if this possible candidate ever pastored in the great state of texas?

James K. in Easley, SC

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

I know the 10% standard for the CP has been thrown around the convention lately; however, what is a good percentage for local associational giving? What do your individuals churches give to your local associations? I am presently seeking the Lord in this matter for our church.

Sojourner said...

To All,

I find this conversation very refreshing, and it is not because I perceive that folks are being "bashed." I am refreshed because people are actually concerned about the direction of the SBC and the doctrinal issues that are at stake.

I believe, as I hope almost anyone will agree, that the SBC desperately needs reform. I'm not just talking about the "TULIP" or the "Solas" either, though they are certainly important. I'm talking about reform that we can agree on whether we be Arminian or Calvinist. That is:

1. Lousy covenant commitment in our Church communities.

2. Bloated church rolls.

3. Doctrinal vacuum in the pulpit and the the pew. (Even if you aren't a Calvinist, you and your people ought to be able to accurately articulate the position. I have a grasp on the Remonstrance, and I am laboring to see that my people do as well.)

4. Worship that moves beyond taste of style to the majesty of a living God.

5. Finally, and this is a personal issue, when will we take seriously that other ordinance? (Hint: Not baptism)

I long for this in our convention, and if Dr. Floyd is elected, I hope he, for what part he can play, moves us in these directions. Unlike Dr. Ascol, I believe that the President of the SBC is a *big* deal. It is a reflection upon us, and I believe that a godly man in that position could be of tremendous benefit to us.

So that's me giving my two cents. May the longing of all our hearts for genuine revival settle in the heart of the man called to be President.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Brian,

At our church we give 6% CP, 3% local association, and 1% direct to missionaries we know. It was like this when I came here four years ago, and I haven't touched it, because I think it is a great formula.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

hashbrown said...

brian,
associational giving is another can of worms. Our church has decreased our giving significantly in the last couple of years. We were giving 7%, we are now down to 4%.
Most associations are whack, that's that theological term, they exist for themselves and not for the churches.
I know a church in town that has cut atleast $30,000 in the last couple of years. Simply because they could not see what they were getting back for their cooperation.
I would encourage you to investigate what your association does, get the budget, and see if it is serving the churches or if the churches are serving it.
I can cut money from an association with a much clearer conscience than the cooperative program. That hurts missionaries and mission efforts in general.

fred said...

Benjamin,

I appreciate your comments and I acknowledge that I was too harsh with "loveforthelost". I see that he is in seminary and is likely much younger and so I will chalk his comments up to youthful zeal.

"Loveforthelost",

Please accept my apology for attributing a motive behind the reason for your name. As for posting anonyms, please continue posting as you feel led. Finally, if you really were not trying to offend, then please accept my apology for the over reaction.

fred said...

I have a question for those who think that it is wrong for certain "private information" to be leaked out about a Pastor seeking another position.

I truly cannot understand why any Pastor would not want to be upfront with the congregation in the first place. I thought we were co-laborers

Help me to understand,
1. Why the secrecy?
2. What's wrong with letting others know whats on your heart?

Is the church a business that it would fire its Pastor for spite?

Someone said that it would hurt his ability to lead his church. I believe this would only hinder him from leading, if people were following a man and not God.

I am troubled by all the secrecy. I believe it is proof that the church is worldly.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Thanks, Jeff Ricahrd Young & K.B.H. for your input regarding associational giving.

I totally agree with your caution, K.B.H. This is, in fact, the situation we find ourselves facing. This association is increasingly going by the way of pragmatism and event evangelism, not to mention being fairly alienated theologically.

However, I wonder how much involvement FBC Springdale has with his local association? As a heralded true SBC leader (not to mention the mega-church thing, which should open up greater opportunities to help other churches), shouldn't he be taking an active leadership role with at least the churches that he ministers with "next door?" According to the FBC website, http://www.fbcs.net/html/about_key_info.htm#5 he "provides associational leadership when asked." When asked?? If there's little to no associational leadership, little to no giving on a national level (CP), why would he want to lead the Convention? The SBC President should be the lead servant for the local churches. If the national convention (with the President at the helm - so to speak) exists to serve local churches, shouldn't we seek a man who has served local churches without the title of President?

IMHO, this is what happened to American politics. Politicians have forgotten that they are public servants. Now, they are anything but that. Instead of modeling true servant leadership to the world, it seems as though the SBC is learning from the world how to be political. May God draw us to repentance.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...
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Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Sorry, I meant to add this paragraph:

Our selection of SBC Presidential candidates should be based upon a proven record local church service. As it stands, we are selecting candidates that appear to be good at taking care of their own church and their own programs (which you can buy, of course). To serve other churches would logically mean that they are already taking care of the flock God has entrusted to them. My point is this: if we are selecting a President that will lead the Convention in support of all local churches, he should be doing that already.

hashbrown said...

Brian,
I wouldn't make too much about their involvement or lack of involvement in associational stuff.

Sometimes guys just have so much going on, there are just so many things or organizations a man or church can focus on passionately.

Sometimes the mega-churches can really overshadow the smaller churches if they get too involved in the association. Smaller churches sometimes resent when the big churches come in and boast of all their programs(at least that is the perception by some).

I was at a larger church, not mega-church, which got the cold shoulder by the smaller churches who thought we were kind of a know-it-all.

It's delicate. I'm sure Floyd is doing what he can locally.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Sometimes the mega-churches can really overshadow the smaller churches if they get too involved in the association. Smaller churches sometimes resent when the big churches come in and boast of all their programs(at least that is the perception by some).

That's not the point. The point of an association is that more can get done for the Kingdom if we ban together. That means (at least in our association) when we come together, we do something independent of what is happening in the local churches. That is, unless we agree to a program that is running in a church. If smaller churches resent churches because of size, they need to repent or choose not to associate any longer. If a larger church tries to run the show without much input from smaller churches, they need to repent or choose not to associate any longer.

In a earlier comment, you cautioned me to investigate the association before giving. Great advice. The implication, though is that we can pull support entirely. Larger churches pull support because of a lack of receptivity to their ideas. Smaller churches MAY get together, but are limited in fuction because of size and resources. If you take these to their logical conclusion, we could ask: "Why have a local association?" This is the question we as a church are facing. The difference, however, is that we will stop associating only if the other pastors cannot handle being associated with us due to our Reformed theology.

If someone desires a top convention position, fine. At least, though this person should be committed to the Convention from base level - the local association. If this cannot be done - if we can't find ways to serve churches in a local association due to our size or whatever; fine - just don't wake up one day desiring the top servant position.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

K.B.H.

Then again, I am reminded of the verse, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown..."

I do see your point; however, I still believe that associational service should get at least some attention when reviewing a candidates' qualifications.

Darel said...

fred,

I think sometimes things need to be kept between yourself and God until it has had time to simmer. Rashness is a quality that is not becoming a man of God, much less a pastor.

Seeking counsel, and weighing decisions in private as well as prayer, seems to me to be a very wise course of action for someone who has the responsibility to "feed my sheep". Airing every stray thought before your congregation is not the appropriate course for the pastor of church.

loveforthelost said...

to brian...

I would not make much of someone's assocational involvement as a requirement to be SBC president either. If you take your position to its logical conclusion, then one would have to devote time to serving their local church, the local baptist association, the state convention, and the national convention to qualify for president. There's no way one can do that much.

I think it could be asked though - in the past, have you shown yourself to be involved at the associational level, the state level, and the national level? To me, that might be a better approach.

As far as k.b.h.'s experiences, mine have been the same. For some reason, within associations, the larger churches and smaller churches have a hard time hooking up. That I don't think rests on the large or mega church pastor, or really even a SBC presidential candidate. That's the job of the DOM.

For whatever reason, most DOM's haven't figured out nor implemented a strategy that meets the needs of all of its churches. that's unfortunate because I am under the conviction that that could be the secret to seeing Southern Baptists make a significant impact in America today-- a group of churches in a general locale working together to flood that area with the gospel of Christ and planting new, exciting churches.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Loveforthelost,

I agree with you and certainly did not define the involvement that should take place. I just believe that it ought to be more than just attending a monthly meeting. I realize that I came on pretty strong with my before mentioned comments. However, if we accept CP giving at a scant .27% what will we accept at an associational level?

loveforthelost said...

to fred...

Its not worldly to refrain from sharing that you may be looking for a new place of ministry. If anything, it is wisdom. Yes, we may be co-laborers, but we are not co-leaders. You may come to point where you sense that its time to move on, but in God's timing that may not be in the now or you may just be wrong. If you approach your church and tell them you are looking, then what's going to happen is your hands are cuffed in making decisions for the church that need to be made in the now. It may be two or three years down the road before God moves you. who knows? It a lot harder to get people to follow you if they know you could be gone tomorrow. Or they may say that "since your departure is inevitable, we don't need to waste time waiting for you to leave. We're going to go ahead and find someone who will want to be here." Then all of a sudden you find yourself without any ministry to serve in.

Also, a question to be asked is, who's right is it to share that someone is looking or has looked elsewhere? If you privately seek a new position, is it right for a search team member to make that public, especially if the candidate is doing it in private?
It's not an issue of being worldly on the one searching, but its an issue of courtesy on the one hiring.

loveforthelost said...

brian...

that is a good question. I had never thought of that before. I don't have an answer either. probably more than .27%. Maybe at least 2-5%.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

I am really enjoying the dialog, gentlemen. Even though the comments may have been directed toward the Floyd nomination, we are really discussing what it means to be a Southern Baptist Convention.

I am encouraged by all of you.

Michael Petty said...

Floyd granted an interview to the Texan and the article can be seen at: http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/5918.article

Wes Kenney said...

The only years for which data are available on FBC Springdale's financial support of it's association are 2001 through 2003, in which they gave $18,000 per year to the Washington-Madison Baptist Association. For those keeping score at home, that's 0.22% in 2001 and 2002, and 0.17% in 2003.

wisdomofthepages.com said...
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wisdomofthepages.com said...

Let me throw this "book blurb" out on the discussion table. It is from the cover of Bro. Floyd's book, Finding the Favor of God (2005). It should go without saying that the reviewer is someone we deeply respect and listen to when he gives his opinion on a subject. Without further ado:

Ronnie Floyd is a faithful and visionary pastor, who desperately desires to see his people grow to understand the meaning of the gospel and the reality of God's grace. Finding the Favor of God reflects Ronnie Floyd's heart, mind, and soul. This is a pastor who lives what he teaches.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

Caddiechaplain said...

Gentlemen,
I will again attempt to subliminally introduce a man who would and will serve the Convention well if nominated and elected. He is currently the chairman of the Executive Committe for the SBC, Dr. Rob Zinn. He excels in every area an imaginable Southern Baptist would be proud to consider. I know, I know, he may not be a member of the "good ol'e boys club," but come on, his church gives $400,000. to CP. His church attendance is 65% of his total membership. He leads his church to baptist close to 400 people a year. He has only been a member of one church all his christian life and he has pastored that same church for over 30 years. I know, I know, his under qualified.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Friends,

Dr. Floyd's comments about CP giving (in the article referenced by Michael Petty) are very interesting.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Stephen A Morse said...

Tom, I wonder if you (or maybe the resident SBC historian: G Bridges) could enlighten me as to where the older ladies in my congregation got the idea that CP giving was "the tithe of the church"? When did the CP begin to propagandize this idea to the churches?

I would love to know this and be able to respond to it more intelligently!

Jeremy Roberts said...

Fred – Why the secrecy? If Pastor Floyd went before his congregation and told them he was praying about the possibility of going to LifeWay at the time, some would perceive that as him having a problem with the church and wanting to get out of there. You may believe that is a sign of the church being worldly, and maybe it is…to each his own opinion. However, it is reality.

Brian R. Giaquinto – When I served under Pastor Floyd, he specifically lined up the DOM, Harry Black, to spend an entire afternoon teaching me the importance of local associations. Brother Black’s email address is hosted by fbcs.net. The position I took with a state convention after leaving FBCS was to work down the chain for Dr. Geoff Hammond, a former DOM in Northwest Arkansas and is a great friend of Ronnie Floyd’s. He is definitely there to help the association when needed. I specifically remember Harry Black telling me that whenever he needs Pastor Floyd he knows he can call.

Brad Graves said...

I trust and believe in Ronnie Floyd. He has invested in my life and in my chrch planting. I planted a church in New Hampshire and he gave to us. Plus he led his church to give $2.6 million to missions, of that $480,000 to SBC causes last year. That is more than I did. Read my full blog at...http://churchlaunchers.blogspot.com/

Brad Graves said...
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Brad Graves said...

I trust and believe in Ronne Floyd. He has won respect from many leaders. He church gave 2.6 million to missions, $480,000 to SBC causes, of which I was one as a church planter in New Hampshire. He is the real deal, the guy I am voting for. Read my full blog on him at...
http://churchlaunchers.blogspot.com

Byroniac said...
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Byroniac said...

I have to admit I know precious little about Dr. Ronnie Floyd and his leadership abilities, and whether he is the right man for the SBC presidency at this time or not. He is handsome and seems to have charisma as well. I do not want to make the mistake of judging from appearances alone, however (as I remember Samuel's account of anointing David in 1 Samuel 16:7).

Is Dr. Floyd an Eliab? Is he a David? I do not know. And due to my ignorance, I want to remain neutral until I can become better informed (which I admit, I have not taken the time to do). I DO hope however, that the right man is elected, and regardless, that we will all pray for God to grant wisdom and understanding to those who lead us. Leadership can certainly be an underappreciated job (I say that on the outside looking in).

Tom said...

Stephen:

Maybe Gene can hunt that down. I don't know when it started.

Larry said...

I think we're somewhat missing the point here. No one (at least I don't think) is questioning Dr. Floyd's commitment to Christ, love for the lost and desire to honor and grow the kingdom of God. The question is the appropriateness of his being president of the SBC.

Many on here have talked about the generosity of Dr. Floyd's church in supporting missions and praise God for that. However, the plain truth is that his support is by and large outside the SBC cooperative program. I'm sure he has reasons for that bypass and I think those reasons need to be explored. If he has no confidence in the cooperative program or if he has doctrinal or other reasons for channeling his church's missions giving another way then that is relevant to the discussion of his candidacy.

Why would he want to be president of an organization whose goals and programs he does not support? If the goal of his presidency is to change those things about the cooperative program (or other areas of Baptist life) with which he does not agree then that too is relevant and he needs to be forthcoming about what changes he would make so that the cooperative program would be something that his church could support whole heartedly going forward.

I'm not saying this as a gung-ho supporter of the CP necessarily, these just are some of the questions this article brings to mind for me.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Jeremy Roberts,

Thanks for the information. I made a judgement based upon what little information was available. Unfortunately, my conclusions were wrong.

The problem is that this kind of info is hard to come by, but shouldn't. After all, as messengers called to vote, we need to be given the appropriate facts to make an informed decision. We're only four or so weeks away from convention.

As mentioned by others on this post, there should be some kind of time frame to get a candidate (and all the pertinent information) before the people. We're running down to last minute here.

Russ Reaves said...

Gentlemen,

Reading these posts and comments is one of my daily joys. I have never commented before, but I feel the need to on the subject of whether a pastor should or should not inform his congregation of his desire to seek a new place of ministry.

I began pastoring before attending seminary. I served my first church for five years, and fought many battles there. However, it was not until the battles were behind us and the church was moving forward to greener pastures that I felt that I had accomplished what God sent me there to do. I was certain that seminary was the next step for me, and intended to seek a church position near the seminary I chose to attend. After five years of ups and downs, and coming to love that congregation deeply, I felt that I must be honest and up front with them about my intentions. EVERY PASTOR I KNEW TOLD ME I WAS A FOOL. However, I did not want to stand before the Lord to answer for being sneaky and underhanded, so I told them of my plans, and that I hoped they would allow me six months to make this transition. I also said that I would be open to them voting to remove me before then. I will tell you brothers that those six months were some of the sweetest I have ever had in ministry. The people had never had a pastor to be that open and honest with them. They respected it and God honored it.

After seminary, I was faced with another potential move. Again, every pastor in whom I confided said, "Don't tell it -- wait until 2 weeks before you leave." Yet again, after all I had been through with that congregation, I loved them too deeply to hide what I felt like God was laying on my heart. Besides, they are my church family too. If I do not seek their prayer support, whose can I seek? They ask me to pray about their big decisions, I felt the need to seek their intercession on my behalf.

Again I found God to be faithful. He honored my transparency with the poeple, and the people developed a deeper sense of respect and trust for me as their pastor and for pastors in general.

Men, the sneakiness that pastors carouse around under is a contributing factor to the loss of trust we face in the churches. While I understand the "wisdom" of making sure everything is in place before making any announcements, I just wanted to share a personal testimony of how one pastor opted to ignore that "wisdom" and do things differently. I chose the road less traveled, and that has, for me, made all the difference.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Russ:

Words well spoken.

Do you like my new icon? I think it's more than fitting.

BSC

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Oops. Let me try that icon things again.

Andrew said...
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Andrew said...

Larry - thanks for helping me put things into perspective.

The only thing I would add is that unless Ronnie provides an explanation for "Toon Town", I cannot in good conscience support his candidacy. After watching the video, it’s my conviction that FBCS children's ministry embraces a plain denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. No amount of CP or associational giving will cause me to overlook that.

Jeremy Roberts said...

Andrew, please explain the "plain denial of the sufficiency of Scripture". I am failing to see this denial you speak of.

Andrew said...

Jeremy,
I was referring to the discussion surrounding the May 7th post, "Of Fire Engine Baptistries and Blasphemy" (to which I responded to Dale Hudson about “Toon Town” and the sufficiency of Scripture). I share many of the concerns raised in the comments on that post, especially those of Gene, David Hewitt, deacon and Nathan White.

If the ABC special video (http://www.kidsinc.tv/kidz_church.htm#
) and FBCS website are inaccurate and “only present one side”, then perhaps Ronnie can clarify. I was hoping that he would address these issues in the interview with Tad, but then declined that interview. I am still hoping he will provide some answers.

Larry said...

Andrew, I agree with you. The fire engine, cannon shooting baptistery definately needs to be addressed as well. I was only looking at the issue of CP giving in my comments here.

God bless...

Larry

fred said...

"Loveforthelost"
You:
Its not worldly to refrain from sharing that you may be looking for a new place of ministry. If anything, it is wisdom.

I do not agree. I refer you to the comments made by Russ.

You:
Yes, we may be co-laborers, but we are not co-leaders.

So you see one man on top making decisions for the church. The biblical model is a plurality of Elders leading the congregation.

You:
If you approach your church and tell them you are looking, then what's going to happen is your hands are cuffed in making decisions for the church that need to be made in the now.

An example of why one man should not LEAD a church. I hope the "your church" is not meant the way it sounds.

You:
Or they may say that "since your departure is inevitable, we don't need to waste time waiting for you to leave. We're going to go ahead and find someone who will want to be here."

Walk by faith not by sight.

You:
Then all of a sudden you find yourself without any ministry to serve in.

So you start one. They did not take your legs or your arms or your tounge.

You:
Also, a question to be asked is, who's right is it to share that someone is looking or has looked elsewhere?

It's not a matter of right but of duty. The duty of a Pastor to be upfront and honest at all times.
Look to the Apostle Paul for an example.

You:
It's not an issue of being worldly on the one searching,

If one seeks to lead people to trust in the living God for everything, but make excuses why it cannot be done in every situation. That is worldly. That's the way the world operates.

Darel,
You:
I think sometimes things need to be kept between yourself and God until it has had time to simmer. Rashness is a quality that is not becoming a man of God, much less a pastor....Airing every stray thought before your congregation is not the appropriate course for the pastor of church.


Just so everyone is clear about what I am saying. Of course many things are kept between an individual and God. Darel, do you really think that seeking another position is a "stray thought"? I don’t.

Jeremy,
You:
Why the secrecy? ...You may believe that is a sign of the church being worldly, and maybe it is…to each his own opinion. However, it is reality.

Jeremy, the church is already worldly. God is looking for men who will lead with integrity. It does not help the church to keep things from them of this magnitude. After all, he had submitted his resume. He must have been in prayer over it for sometime personally.

Russ,
Thanks for your comments. God bless you brother.

Stephen A Morse said...

Russ, I have been in the same kind of situation and by the grace of God chose the same kind of perspective. It was a little rockier than you have described but my conscience is clean.
I detest the deceptive practices I have seen when pastors leave a church.

Gene, Do you have any insight into the 'church's tithe' question I raised earlier?

JCope said...

A Cooperative Spirit

Can a person be a maverick (non-conformist) and still have a cooperative spirit? I think so. I myself have always been a maverick yet been a loyalist to the team. The Apostle Paul was a maverick with a spirit of cooperation. Jesus was a maverick to the religious system, yet was all about unity. Christ prayed in John 17:21 “that we would be one in unity” or cooperation.

As a personal friend of Ronnie Floyd and one who served on his team for 7 ½ years, I would call Ronnie a maverick. I would also say I know of no one who exemplifies team and cooperation to a cause more than Ronnie. Mavericks, because they are daring in their faith, can be misunderstood. From one who has never blogged nor likes e-mail, my attempt is to help calm the fears of those who might not understand Ronnie.

Our family relocated to Philadelphia, PA 5 ½ years ago. We have grown from 5 people to an average attendance of 650. We faithfully give to the CP, yet we also gave this past year $100,000 to start a church targeting the hip-hop generation. How did we do that? Through a cooperative spirit. The bulk of our start-up finances came through NAMB (funded by CP), FBC, Orlando (largest giver to CP) and FBC, Springdale - who gave $100,000 that wasn’t funneled through the CP. FBC, Springdale has done this for other church starts also.

Why would Ronnie be willing to be nominated to serve as President? I know for a fact it’s not for personal gain. He is pastoring a church located in two locations, producing a daily television ministry and moving into a new worship facility at their north campus this fall.

In a day and time where mistrust and denominationalism is at a low the emphasis must be to move our convention forward into the future with a cooperative spirit yet with room to be autonomous. Ronnie has a strong commitment to the local church, yet believes in the SBC and has given much of his life to our great cause as Southern Baptist.

Take it from a pastor in the Northeast - our convention needs a PR job when it comes to who we are and where we are going. Our blogs and conventions are scrutinized closely by the skeptical outsiders looking in.

I know that Ronnie is a man who spends much time in prayer and fasting as he seeks the mind of God. One thing I know of him, he will discern God’s direction as a convention. This is why we need Ronnie to help lead our convention into a spiritual movement of God. He is a man passionately on fire to reach the lost. Because of his trust in the Word of God he has tremendous faith. His discipline and administrative skills are second to none.

I’m casting my vote in confidence that Ronnie can lead this great convention forward in a spirit of cooperation and unity.

jimbeaux said...

It has been suggested in linked blogs that FBCSpringdale simply bypasses the Arkansas Convention and gives directly to "Nashville". Does anyone here know that for a certainty, and if so, how much do they give that way. While helping in direct church plants etc. is great; if that is their primary means of giving, they are not, by the practical standard I believe most Southern Baptists would endorse in "full cooperation" with the conventionl.