Sorry for the lack of posting this week. Cyndi and I went to the Southern Baptist Convention and Pastor's Conference and just got back home yesterday. I wanted to live blog from the convention, but I decided not to try that hassle.
I want to go to San Antonio next year….perhaps then. Anyway, if you are interested in reading what I thought, you'll have to read more (hint…click the link below). Day 1 — 11 June
The SBC Pastor's Conference kicked off. There were three messages scheduled to be preached this night. I don't remember exactly what everyone preached on, but here is what I remember thinking:
- Dick Lincoln — just an ok message. Kinda fluffy. Don't remember much meat.
- Johnny Hunt — this was my favorite message of the night. Again, I don't remember what he preached on, but I remember thinking that it was good.
- Rick Warren — Rick couldn't come, so we decided to leave instead of watch him via tape. I'm NOT a fan of Rick Warren (while there are good things in the Purpose Driven Life, most of it is fluffy and not very deep. Instead of doing PDL, I would recommend churches choose Empowering Kingdom Growth)
Day 2 — 12 June — Morning
I was excited today. This was the breakout sessions, and I wanted to hear Dr. Mohler and Dr. Patterson debate Calvinism. Well, I got called to work (cell phones…arg) so I missed both Calvinism sessions. Cyndi and I chose to go to the Reaching Today's World through Global Outreach session. It wasn't what I thought, but the material presented was good for a church not into thinking missionally.
Day 2 — 12 June — Afternoon
The breakout sessions ended but we were still at the Sheraton. They had taken the ballroom and expanded it out. This was a contemporary worship session. When we walked in, the band was playing something (I don't know what), but some people wouldn't like it. Before I get too far off on the music, I better tell you that I enjoy Christian Rock, Christian Hard Rock, etc…. However, I think worship is different. In worship, it doesn't matter how it sounds to us……Worship is for God Almighty, not us. We need to find out how He wants us to worship Him and do it that way.
- Nelson Searcy — his wife is 8.5 months pregnant yet he showed up. Again, I don't remember what he talked about (I bought the CDs so I didn't take notes). He was interesting though.
- Kerry Shook — Motorcross guy! I remember him talking about starting a church in Texas and getting a motorcross guy to come into the sanctuary and ride around. At first, I didn't know what I thought, but it ended up ok. I don't know that I'm comfortable with things like this going on in the sanctuary, but the guy ended up and got saved.
- Erwin McManus — This guy was interesting to listen to. He had some good points (what would happen if you took the word church off your sign, would people know you were a church?).
Day 2 — 12 June — Evening
We are back at the Convention Center. David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, and Ed Young are on the docket for tonight. I was looking forward to all of these.
After Tony Evans finished, there was a mass of people leaving the convention center. They missed a good message by Ed Young. While I don't agree with everthing he said (some things people would call "side streets" really aren't. Some discussion needs to be had. Some things must be hashed out), he had good points about people leaving the church when they are young.
Day 3 — 13 June
This was the first day of the convention. Lots of stuff going on. This is the day to introduce motions if you wanted. I had been thinking about a few, but I decided not to do anything. However, I did see one thing that really rubbed me the wrong way. In the Executive Committee Recommendation #11, page 6, paragraph F, I saw they were adding a sentence that would prohibit any former employee of one of the convention entities from serving on the board of trustees for that entity. This means that a former missionary couldn't serve as an IMB Trustee, a seminary student working at Lifeway to pay his way through school couldn't ever serve as a trustee, a janitor for NAMB would be inelegible from serving, etc…..
I talked to some people to find out when to make the motion to ammend. Once I found that out, Cyndi said I should find someone else to make the motion (I work for the IMB. I don't have any desire to be a trustee; however, I think I should be able to be a trustee if I am no longer employed by the board). I talked to my pastor who also went as a messenger. He also thought this was a bad idea, agreed someone else should make the motion, and agreed to do so when it got brought up.
This was also the day for the presidential election. There wasn't really any place to eat around the convention center, so we went out. We didn't think this would be a problem and we could get back in plenty of time. Well, when we came back, the lots at the center were full. Traffic was a mess. TONS of messengers had come in for the vote. ARG! Well, I barely made it back in time to vote. I had been dreading this time because I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to vote for Floyd because of his poor CP giving. I didn't know much about the theology of the other two and I didn't want a liberal. I'm not going to tell you how I voted right now….I did get to vote though. I just want everyone to pray that God lead the SBC and we keep up our strong stance on the Bible.
I found out later that I missed some votes to approve Executive Committee reolutions because of this lunch break. ARG!
Later in the evening, discussion occurred on rec. 11. Someone else (not my pastor) made a motion similar to mine. I gave it a hearty second and voted for it. It passed.
Oh, the CP discussuion occurred prior to the presidential election. I can't believe how many Southern Baptists voted against urging churches to give 10% to the CP. This was just sad.
One interesting moment from Tuesday was the nomination of Wiley Drake for 2nd VP. What a hilarious speech. I think everyone laughed non-stop throughout the whole thing.
Day 4 — 14 June
I remember a few things about Wednesday. The main thing being the IMB presentation. Although, I find it sad that Southern Baptists would pat ourselves on the back more for the historic LMCO giving than the people saved overseas (there was more applause for the LMCO giving than the overseas baptism number). How sad!
The other thing I remember is Dr. Welch's last message. What an encouragement. What a challenge. I know some people in blogland are upset about his mention of computers, etc…, but deep down, I think everyone knows it is true. If we would spend more time about our Father's business, would we have time for other things??
After everything was over, Cyndi and I were talking about the last thing. She was disturbed about how everything ended. Instead of ending with plastic crowns and fancy banners, we should have ended on our knees in prayer. We should have been begging God for forgiveness! We should have been begging God for Revival!
Overall, I enjoyed the convention. I enjoy seeing democracy in church government in action. What other denomination would allow the people to move it?? However, I was saddended also. I think the convention needs to start taking hard stands on hard issues. The convention needs to start looking to God and seeking Him (no, I don't really think we are doing that now like we need to).