Monday, January 08, 2007

Southern Baptist Texan on AWOL Church Members

This may be old news by now someone just pointed out to me the Southern Baptist Texan's special report on "Born-Again Baptists?" from last month. Managing Editor Jerry Pierce does a fine job of addressing the elephant in the corner that many Southern Baptists simply pretend is not there. I was very encouraged several weeks ago by the kinds of questions that he asked me several weeks ago during an interview on this subject. His article is very well done and worth reading.


GeneMBridges said...

Okay, I clicked the second link and "This Article Could Not Be Located" appeared.

Apparently the article is AWOL along with these church members. Either that or this is wonderful object lesson. :)

Tom said...


I think the link is fixed, now.


J.D. Rector said...

Tom: Excellent article! I also read with great interest the article on the round-table gathering in Arlington.

Any comments on this meeting from you or anyone else?

J.D. Rector

DOGpreacher said...

Yes, J.D., I was standing outside the First Baptist Church in the city I live in as youth filed in to a concert where the "band" was admittedly "charismatic/pentecostal" and I said then that we were bringing in change in this area through our young people. That was 4-5 years ago. I look like a prophet.

GUNNY said...

As the pastor of a SBTC church (plant), there are some really encouraging things happening.

Well, I guess I should say that there are some really good questions being asked.

They are sparking some good conversations, getting some people thinking who might otherwise continue to coast.

For that I am grateful. Of particular encouragement was a sermon Chris Osborne (then president of the SBTC) preached at the 2004 annual meeting decrying unregenerate church membership and lack of discipleship.

I immediately ordered copies.

Ched said...

Excellent article. Thanks for the heads up.

Brian Hamrick said...

I still say we need to put Dever on a bus tour to remove 5 million members in one year.

flawedcricket said...

I need to send the article to FBC of my area. I just officiated a funeral of a person who was a member there but hadn't attended a service or event since 1990. When I contacted them about her death they said they were saddened about her death and that no one was available to officiate. I could probably contact them and ask for her "letter" and they would send it to me stating that her membership was in good standing.


B Nettles said...

Several other articles that came out of that Baptist Distinctives conference (mentioned in the article) are interesting, especially the one about Jim Elliff's paper . If someone takes it seriously, Tom, they'll invite you and my new pastor to speak at the Pastor's Conference next summer. ;)

B Nettles said...

I'm rolling on the floor, LOL!!

Then we could rebaptize 'em!

Bill Formella said...

You made my day Brian. I'm still picturing that one in my mind.

You know, that really would get some attention. Think of what the billboards on the bus could say. I know there a lot of people always crying that the "reformed" are too harsh, but is there no place for satire and strong words amongst such foolishness? Was the Apostle Paul a spiritual meanie for suggesting that the "circumcision party" just chop.........go read it yourself.

chadwick said...


That picture of Dever's "Everyone Canned" Bus Tour of Excommunication will be forever a classic etched in my mind!!!!

Dever could also offer a new H3 Hummer to the first pastor to "church" (excommunicate) 100 unregenerated members in 2008 !!!

You're not IT . . . You're OUT!!


scripturesearcher said...

More numerous are they than those who love, honor, serve and worship our sovereign God.

But many Southern Baptists take great pride in their budgets, buildings and baptisms ~ of people whether or not they are converted to our Lord Jesus Christ.

G. Alford said...

Thanks for this very good article Tom:

I predict it will be completely ignored by all those Southern Baptist Pastors who voted not to accept your resolution on “Integrity in Church Membership.”

I hate to say it, but I also predict that any resolution put forth on this subject will be voted down next time also. And if by a sovereign act of direct intervention by our Lord this resolution did get adopted by the Convention… that’s as far as it would go. Who are we kidding? These Pastors are never going to implement policies of accountability in their churches. It would be carrier suicide for 99% of them to even attempt to do so and they know it.

But thanks for the article Tom; it reminded me of the importance of this topic in my ministry.

Brian Hamrick said...


Are you planning to do a resolution redux this June?

I'd like to encourage that we keep bringing it up. Everytime we do, it raises awareness and promotes some thinking.

Tom said...


I don't know much more about the meeting in Arlington than what I read in the papers. I do know and respect some of the men who participated. My take on their concerns and efforts is this: they are very concerned with the very things that they are publicly addressing. The men that I have come to know who are involved in this do not strike me as having any political aspirations. They see some very real problems in the SBC--some of which I see, too--and are providing a network for a growing number of Southern Baptists (rapidly growing, as it appears to me) to communicate, fellowship and think about denominational life and boundaries.

Greg and Brian:

I do plan to introduce my resolution again this year. I plan to post an article about it in the near future.


pregador27 said...

I would like to know more about your resolution about integrity in church membership.

Bill Formella said...

G.Alford I wouldn't be so convinced of your position. I have known a few "small church" pastors that are not Calvinistic but are sick of the numbers game and the power of mega church pastors in the convention. There are a lot more small churches than there are mega churches. I don't think many people expected Frank Page to get the vote over the more heavily favored Ronnie Floyd but he did.

With a little advanced promotion and explanation you never know. I'm no convention expert but I could see it happening. Press on Tom.