Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Decides No Longer To Cooperate With CBF

Although, I wasn't at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as I was at a CBF dinner with my mom, my grandmother went with a group from Campbell---so we heard bits and pieces from her and attendees of both events. Anyways, here's what Tony Cartledge had to say about the decision of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina to no longer give to CBF:

BSCNC to no longer "tolerate" CBF
Encouraged to “pull out a can of spinach” and “put an end” to toleration of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) annual session pulled out their ballots and approved a new budget structure that eliminates any option for contributing to CBF.

The action came Nov. 12, during discussion of a proposal to scrap the four cooperative giving plans the BSCNC has offered for more than a decade.

The initial proposal, from the Cooperative Program Giving Committee, would have retained an option by which churches could designate 10 percent of their gifts to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).

Matt Williamson (right), pastor of Oak Forest Baptist in Fletcher, offered an amendment to eliminate the CBF option, saying the BSCNC should not partner with an organization that might send new converts to a church that does not teach inerrancy. “I will die on the hill of inerrancy,” he said.

Eric Page, of Victory Baptist in Columbus, said keeping the option would imply that the BSCNC tolerates CBF. Like the cartoon character Popeye, he said, the convention should “pull out a can of spinach and put an end to it.”

The proposal also called for funding for theological education at North Carolina Baptist divinity schools, budgeted at 10.9 percent of the current Plans B and C, to become a sharply reduced two percent option. The proposal was approved with that option intact. The BSCNC is currently in the middle of a two-year budget cycle, so the new structure will not take effect until 2010.

(Read More: Here).

Also, Big Daddy Weave had this to say:

The Demonization of Moderates: NC Baptists Oust CBF
Messengers to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina decided today that Churches will no longer be allowed to support the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship through the BSCNC beginning in 2010. Check the Biblical Recorder for the story later today.

One NC Baptist fundamentalist had this to say about the decision over on his blog, Southern Baptists in NC:

The reason this amendment passed is that NC Baptist are Southern Baptist they are not CBF Baptist. (This statement is something the Baptist General Convention of Texas would do well to heed.) NC Baptist are trying their best to say that we do not want anything to do with CBF. If there are churches that desire to be CBF then have at it. However, do not try to tell the world that you are Southern Baptist and be part of an organization that was organized as a result of being disgruntled with doctrines Southern Baptist believed and held dear. What does this mean for BSCNC? It means that the churches that were bypassing the convention are now going to need to stop. It means that we are in this together and thus we need to support the budget together.

Also, there needs to be a call now to the head offices in Cary that NC Baptist have clearly stated we are not CBF. Thus, an employee at the convention offices should be a member of a NC Baptist church not one that is dually aligning themselves with the CBF and the BSCNC. We had the clarion call today during the budget vote that we will not even give you an opportunity to send funds through us to the CBF. We certainly should be able to say we want you attending a BSCNC church.

And here is a response to the BSCNC's decision from a moderate North Carolina Baptist. The blog post is appropriately titled Demons.

I am sitting in my office after spending the last day and a half at the Baptist State Convention of NC. I witnessed a historical moment, and it breaks my heart.

The Baptist State Convention has, for about 18 years, provided 4 giving plan options for churches to contribute their missions giving through the state convention. One of those plans, plan C, provided for 10% of our total giving to the state to go to CBF national. For years now, the multiple giving plans have been under attack, with the primary focus being on plan C. In the last couple of years, the state had determined that the 10% apportioned to CBF would not count as NC Cooperative Program giving. Last year, the state formed a committee to investigate a single giving plan that would preserve multiple options. That committee brought its recommendation today. There would be a single giving plan, and churches could check a box on their giving form if they desired a portion of their proceeds to go to CBF. An amendment was brought from the floor to remove this check box. After a secret ballot vote, the amendment passed. After years of efforts, plan C was officially dead.

This isn’t what broke my heart. Anybody with a brain has been able to see this handwriting on the wall for years. There are going to be those who argue, as there were today, that churches can just send their money directly to CBF and negatively designate the SBC out of their missions giving. CBF churches are still welcome in the Baptist State Convention of NC, they will say.

They are lying.

Those who spoke in favor of the amendment based their arguments on 2 points: CBF doesn’t affirm the inerrancy of Scripture, and CBF isn’t true Baptist. There were calls for the convention to “take a stand”. And so they did. They thought they were taking a stand against some faceless organization. Instead, they took a stand against Christian men and women I serve and work with every day. They called me, my church members, and my peers in ministry enemies. They demonized us.

That is what breaks my heart. They made people I love and respect into demons in order to get what they wanted. I could have lived with a decision that said, “We are SBC, and we want a plan that says we are SBC only.” I would not have agreed with it, but I could have respected it. I can’t respect this. Especially when I know it is going to be followed by somebody saying, “We aren’t kicking you out. You can still send your money to us.”

When the announcement of the vote was made, there was no comment or response. A couple of folks clapped, though not as many as I honestly expected. The President just moved on to the next item of business. The convention moved on and left behind Christ-loving, Christ-serving people who had just been accused of not being true Baptist or even true Christians, people and churches who have been a part of the state convention for decades. I’m sure some will say it was just an example of the convention saying, “Get behind me, Satan.”

Funny, Jesus said those words to Peter, the rock upon which he would build his church.
To those CBF pastors, laypeople, and churches who winced at being made to feel like demons, my heart hurts with you and for you. My prayer for all of us is that we will be able to put aside the hurt and anger that rises in our belly at being called a demon so that we might fully concentrate on being the rocks upon which Christ will build His kingdom.

Texas Baptists should pay attention to the fundamentalist from North Carolina cited above and the actions taken today by the fundamentalists in the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. What happened today in North Carolina is just one of MANY examples which demonstrate that Cooperation with Fundamentalists is not possible. It just ain't.

Fundamentalism by definition seeks power and control. First, the state convention cuts the CBF option off. Second, the state convention decides to tell its employees which Baptist churches are OK to attend and join. Power and Control.

We can be nice and drop the fundamentalist tag and just call 'em Southern Baptists - as if a good many of those Southern Baptists are not fundamentalists. That what some folks here in Texas are doing. They pretend that somehow moderates and fundamentalists can work together under the same roof. They pretend that somehow a Baptist organization can be supportive of both Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. They pretend that a Baptist organization can support programs which affirm Women In Ministry while also accommodating an institution that wants to keep women out the pulpit and in the home; baking cookies, cleaning, and birthing babies, Quiverfull style.

Naive? You Bet'cha. That's putting it charitably. Why any person who eschews fundamentalism would want a better relationship with a Baptist group completely controlled by fundamentalists is beyond my comprehension. Some Texas Baptists need to pay attention to what happened in North Carolina and Georgia this week. They need to read a book or two. A primer on fundamentalism is apparently needed. Or, just keep that head in the sand.

The ONLY Way to Cooperate With a Fundamentalist Is To Obey Him.

Labels: North Carolina Baptists, Texas Baptists

posted by big daddy weave at 11:17 am

I guess us "evil Moderate/Progressive/Liberals" are too leprous to cooperate with, because we may taint the Fungelical Pharisees with all this talk of female pastors, errant bibles, tolerance and Christo-centric social justice and what not.

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