Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Johnny Hunt will not be nominated for President of the SBC?

A commenter named David Rich left the following note on my blog today:
Tom,
Thank you for the information. I am new to the blog thing..but wanted to update the Johnny Hunt for SBC president blog. I am a member at FBCW and at the close of Sunday's sermon Dr. Hunt indicated that he WILL NOT be accepting the nomination for president of the SBC.
I have not had the privilege of meeting Mr. Rich so I cannot tell you anything more about this than what he has written. If Pastor Hunt gave a reason for his decision, it would helpful to know what he said.
I say it would be "helpful," because of all that seems to brewing in SBC life as we move toward the convention in Greensboro. I have already gone on record with my views that if the reason is because of how much or little FBCW gives to the Cooperative Program (as was conjectured by some the last few weeks), then I think it is a mistake for him to pull out. The "movement conservative" leaders of the last 27 years repeatedly indicated by word and example that leadereship should not be determined by the amount of money a church gives through the CP. If their reasoning was sound then, what makes it unsound today?
Regardless, if indeed Pastor Hunt will not allow his name to be submitted to the convention for the office of president, this will only further heighten interest in what already promises to be one of the most anticipated and watched annual meetings in recent years.

25 comments:

wisdomofthepages.com said...

Would it be possible to change one's position on "Leadership doesn't have to come from big-time CP giving churches" argument now that the Convention is certainly in Conservative hands?

What I mean is, in 1978, a pastor who led his congregation in strong CP giving, would do so fully well knowing that vast portions of the money were going right into institutions that were unbiblical in theology and practice. Is this the case anymore? If not, then is it really a case of hypocrisy to evaluate the quality of a convention-wide leadership position on the basis of CP giving?

Different times. Different methods.

Having said all that... I am actually opposed to having open records of what a church gives. On a macro-level I think it goes against the very spirit of not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing, and aids in the promotion of sinful pride in one's church.

ScriptureSearcher2 said...

YES, much is brewing and the anticipation so many are
experiencing regarding the forthcoming SBC in June in Greensboro is huge and growing larger daily.

It may be a real old time
"barn burner" as Bill Anderson used to say.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

Tom,

I checked the video feed from his last Sunday's sermon; and, in deed, he very briefly announced that he refused the nomination. It is located on the 1.21 time stamp. No reason was given and it was mentioned so fast that I almost missed it. It was thrown in as a quick side bar during a discussion about people praying for him and his schedule.

David said...

Tom,
I am new to the blog, as I have previously stated. While I would identify myself with the Calvinist thought and school..if you will..I am a dedicated Southern Baptist. Dr. Hunt's statement came toward the end of his sermon. While thanking the congregation for praying for him The statement was this "As you know.. I have declined my name to be nominated for the Southern Baptist Convention." (www.fbcw.org webcast for 4/30/2006. Mark 01:21:55 and forward).
While I am a member at FBCW and support the leadership of my pastor, I cannot personally comment on his views on Calvinism and the Reformed thought. I wanted to share this with those of you who read this blog. Your comments about our church giving to the CP must be based on the budget percentage allocation of gifts. If you go back and read Hefley's first volume on the SBC crisis, you will find that most of the conservative churches gave small percentages of their budgets to the CP. While I am not condoning it, that has been a historical trend of convervatives.

Nathan White said...

Tom,

I have heard the same thing from several local sources, for at least a month now.

I'm with you: it is sad to see the politics that seemingly led to this decision (even though I was not crazy about Hunt being nominated). I cannot understand the reasoning from a biblical perspective, and maybe that's why I disagree :)

SDG

wisdomofthepages.com said...

And as I have previously stated, if Mark Dever was nominated for President, and if it was shown that his church only gave 1% to CP, I would still be the first in line to vote for him.

We need the voice of an Old Testament prophet in our leadership, cutting things straight no matter what sacred cows are slain, and if that voice came from a 1% CP-giver, who cares?

Tom said...

David:

Welcome to the blogosphere! Thanks for making us aware of your pastor's announcement. You are correct in your statement about many conservative churches giving small percentages to the CP. That practice was defended on the basis of local church autonomy. Those arguments still make sense to me.

centuri0n said...

OK: let me say that the following comment has not facts associated with it, and that it is strictly made on the basis of my own personal baises:

SPLIT.

Here's what I think: concerning our confessional nature as a convention, we have to deal with the ever-larger issue of what to do about the differences between the "reformed/calvinist" types and the "weslean/arminian" types. The rhetoric, frankly, is about at a fever pitch and when someone like either one of the Caners is willing to say some of the things he has said about Calvinists lately, there's a line being crossed which is historically bad when it comes to SBC Baptist unity.

The scenario I envision is this: rather than has out the differences and even agree to disagree with us hard-headed C-types, the arminians would present a split representing the "best and brightest" in their midst and force churches to choose their side.

This scenario has beauty in simplicity -- because it forces the C-type baptists in our convention either to seek reconciliation (for what, exactly?) or to simply allow the old SBC to no longer exist. It causes the problem of seminary allegiances, and puts our best and brightest in the position of having to defned the stereotypes floated by the other side for years as being what they believe.

It's classic baptist politics.

And again -- that's my read of the green. I;ve never been much of a golfer, but take it for what it's worth.

David said...

Wisdom,
I agree with you regarding the type of leadership that is necessary at the convention level, and I would be supportive of Dever. As far as the percentage allocation to the CP goes...well, I would like to see larger percentages..but I don't condemn those who don't. You and your church give what you are led to give (autonomy) and I will try to give what help I can to increase CP giving in every shape and form (total gifts and percentages). That's what sets us apart as southern baptists, as you all know! Regarding Pastor Johnny and FBCW, my wife and I transferred our letter there about a year ago, so I am still getting used to things. With Dr. Vines frequently scheduled to preach on Sunday nights, it should be interesting...to say the least. Regarding his take on Calvinism/Reformed theology..one thing I have often wondered, and maybe someone can help, is why Dr. Hunt would have invited Dr. Mohler to be one of the "featured" speakers at the church when the new sanctuary opened almost 2 years ago. While Mohler was focused on "The DaVinci Code," it seems odd to invite him to speak if Dr. Hunt is anti-Calvinist. Just a thought. I guess I am attempting to reconcile the two. Perhaps this will help me understand him more when he preaches on Sunday.

GeneMBridges said...

My sources tell me the "Movement Conservative" candidate is to be Ronnie Floyd of Springdale, AR. Additionally, Wade Burleson's name has been tossed about, but he has made no official announcement. He isn't seeking to be SBC President, but he will stand if nominated.

centuri0n said...

Ronnie Floyd?

[joke]
So if elected, will he have one church in 41,500 locations?
[/joke]

No offense, Dr Floyd: I sell your books as good as anybody's.

David & Rose Ann said...

Wisdom: Here is the link for Dever's chapel address at Southwestern Seminary on 4/11. Dr. Patterson introduced him with much praise, but Patterson is not on the audio file.

http://www.swbts.edu/events/chapel_schedule.cfm

Interestingly, I believe he said that Capitol Hills Baptist is among the larger CP givers per capita income given membership total.

hashbrown said...

If the standards for leadership change, right or wrong, I think it will be helpful in getting some non-mega-church pastors in a position to influence the church.

I think another good standard would be to limit the presidency to pastors who have atleast 60% of the people on their roll attending. :-)

Here is the most recent statement by Burleson. In context I think he is leaning against a run.

If I believed a nomination to a position of service in the SBC would be detrimental to providing solutions to the above issue, I would decline that nomination without hesitation. I will do what I believe is best for the convention -- period.

My guess is that there will be some sort of effort to calm things down with the candidate for president or vice president. Some sort of non-establishment guy who won't do any harm but will give the young SBCers someone to get excited about.

There is enough tension about the future of cooperative program giving that money mihgt trump getting rid of calvinists and narrowing doctrinal borders in general.

Jim Crigler said...

The subject of Cooperative Program giving has been something of a revelation to me. I grew up in a church in a college town somewhere in the South. (Okay, I grew up at home, but you knew what I meant.) The notion of the church's cooperative program giving was preached from the pulpit and promoted generally once a year. It turns out that the pastor was one of the founders (small "f" ;) of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. (Please note: As far as I know, he was theologically conservative, but he "went CBF" as a denominational loyalist, believing that the convention leaders of the era were the "real" Southern Baptists. I wonder even now whether he understood that the CBF was to become a haven for those we euphemistically call "moderates" on our good days.)

Back to the subject: I always thought that generous CP giving was a "given" for a Southern Baptist church, and I never made the connection between being conservative and not contributing. It just never occurred to me. But of course it makes sense: Those who were watching what was going on at the seminaries theologically would hold back contributions that would eventually flow to the schools, increasing their faculties' power base. And that explains the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings that went straight to the mission agencies without CP filtering.

One of my college roommates was from an IFB church, and at one time gave me a tabloid, printed on newsprint, that called "liberal" various seminary professors by name. Because of my "loyalist" upbringing, I passed it off as part of the whole isolationist IFB thing. It now appears he was at least partly right.

Timmy said...

I don't know if this will be a downer or not, but I have heard first-hand and second-hand that Dever would NOT accept the nomination to be president of the SBC. I believe the last time was just a couple of days ago as I stood next to Don Elbourne who asked him that very question, to which Dever graciously declined and made a comment to the effect that there were other men more suited for the position and could do a better job. I don't know, but the position of the President could be one of those hated positions that nobody will want to take. Needless to say, this year's convention is setting up to be like none other in years past.

jbuchanan said...

All of this is very interesting, but it may end up being nothing more than an tempest in a teapot. Seriously, the only powers that the President of the SBC has is to appoint certain committees. There is no way that a conservative is not going to be elected. Johnny Hunt would have been as good a President as anyone else. The position is much more a figurehead and honarary position than anything else.

I know everyone is anticipating alot of fireworks at Greensboro. But I simply do not see it happening. The most notable thing that may happen is that there will be more than one person being nominated for President. If it is true, that Ronnie Floyd is being nominated I believe that he will win hands down. Wade Burleson has about as much chance of being elected President as I do.

Let me make a strong suggestion, let's worry more about our churches than the denomination. Reforming the convention will be accomplished one church at a time. I applaud Tom's resolution but it will not solve the problem of unregenerate church membership. First, I seriously doubt whether it will get out of committee and second, even if it passes it depends on the efforts of Pastors in local churches biting the bullet and getting on with the hard work of church discipline. There is where the rubber meets the road.

With that said, I would love to see someone like Dever or Mohler elected President. But I do not believe that it would change the direction of the SBC one iota. Change in the convention must take place at the local church level.

Gavin Brown said...

Dever for pres!

Even if he doesn't accept, he should be nominated. Isn't he the kind of pres SBC should be striving for?

hashbrown said...

I believe if someone like dever were president it would make a difference.

for a year, what they say and write would get special attention. Many things could be said about ethical evangelsm, meaningful membership, and church discipline, that would not otherwise get the attention they deserve.

I think it would be the beginning of some good coversations within the convention.

DOGpreacher said...

Hashman has a good point concrning Dever, however, I do believe jbuchanan makes a great point concerning "one church at a time", and THAT will only happen as "one pulpit at a time" is preaching sound doctrine. THAT will only happen as our seminaries are educating the ones to fill those pulpits rightly. So.....as much as I would love to see Albert Mohler (or Mark Dever) as president, I believe he is right where he needs to be concerning the potential for the pulpits of the SBC to preach the word of God aright.

David B. Hewitt said...

It kind of has a trickle-down effect you might say, unless I don't understand the way the committee on committees works.

The president nominates those people, right? Then, they pick trustees for boards, and seminiaries, right? Then, don't the trustees hire presidents of those insitutions? Don't the presidents hire teachers and other staff?

There is where the presidential position comes in useful. A Reformed SBC President, especially if many were elected several years in a row, could indeed help.

Helpful Resources for Finding Jesus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Caddiechaplain said...

Wild, Wild, West. . . . !
Being from the West Coast, not much of what goes on from the East Coast reaches us (probably because of the sound of the Ocean). As you can imagine, most Churches in Calif have been somewhat overshadowed by Saddleback with maybe the exception of Grace Community.
Convention politics is not something we have given a whole lot of thought too. We still struggle with whether or not to leave "Southern Baptist" in our State Convention's Title!
It would surprise some of you to know that one of our best leaders in the State (and it's not necessarily Rick Warren) is a man who has served Southern Baptists well for over 30 years. He is has served in one church for 35 five years and 30 of those as senior pastor. He has been President of the State Convention, chairperson of the State Executive Committe , Trustee and Chairman of the Trustees at Golden Gate Seminary, He was first VP of the SBC, and he currently serves as chairman of the Executive Committe for the SBC.
Now, not that this is all that important (?) but his church continues to lead the State Convention in Calif in coopertive gifts ($400,000/year just for CP, doesn't include Associational and other mission giving). His church baptizes between 300 - 400 a year ( and has for a number of years). His church attendance is at about 60-65 % of his membership. And, oh, did I mention that is Reformed in his doctrine (he is a 6 point Calvinist - STULIP!)

"Mr. President and Messengers of this Convention, I place in nomination for the office of President, my friend and dedicated brother in Christ, Dr. Rob Zinn from Immanuel Baptist Church, Highland, CA.!"

jbuchanan said...

The one pulpit and one church at a time philosophy is the only viable way to produce lasting reform. I agree that it would be great to have a reformed President who would appoint reformed people on the committee of committees who would then appoint reformed members of the nominating committee who would then nominate reformed trustees to our boards. But that is not going to happen in the current enviroment of the convention. We cannot make this just about Calvinism or Reformed faith. A candidate running for President on a strictly Reformed agenda would suffer massive defeat. By working this reform one pulpit and one church at a time we will gain strength and will demonstrate to our sceptical brothers that we truly are evangelistic and not a threat to the health of the convention.

Joseph Botwinick said...

Is it beyond reality to hope that maybe someone like Al Mohler will be nominated?

SBC Noobie said...

It is official: Dr. Hunt will nominate Dr. Ronnie Floyd. The press release is on the website at www.fbcs.net