What Will Happen at the Southern Baptist Convention This Week?

Within Southern Baptist circles, all eyes are on New Orleans with week where the national meeting will take place.

The Conservative Baptist Network is running Pastor Mike Stone from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia to be the president of the Convention. The Convention has been under the control of “moderate” leaders during recent years; and the Network has expressed concerns about the unmistakable liberal drift within the denomination. The current president is Bart Barber– a moderate.

It is expected that one issue will likely be the deteriorating financial position of the Convention. This problem has arisen due to the manner in which the current leadership crowd has been handling the various sexual abuse allegations that circulated in the corrupt media.

It is also expected that the convention will be asked to address the issue of women pastors. Recall that Rick Warren’s former church in California had been disaffiliated earlier this year because it had hired female pastors. Warren is expected to try to make an issue of this at the Convention and to speak up on behalf of churches with female pastors. We shall see if this happens.

The Dissenter has two relevant recent articles.

First, Warren has made the claim that nearly 2,000 churches within the Southern Baptist Convention have female pastors.

Second, it is pointed out that J.D. Greear– a former Convention president– published an article that equivocated on the matter of “disfellowshipping” churches that have female pastors. Greear predicts this will be an issue at the Convention.

If, in fact, the Convention ultimately takes a permissive stance on this issue, then it will drive away more conservative churches. On the other hand, if it takes a biblical stance, other churches will likely be driven away.

There is one additional bit of context for the discussions at the Convention this week. Membership in Southern Baptist Churches have been decreasing; and there has been a “sharp drop” in seminary enrollment.

It should be an interesting week. The main functions of the Convention are to enable churches to pool money together for missions and for seminaries to train clergy. We can only hope and pray that these functions will continue to be executed faithfully in the future regardless of however the Convention handles the above matters.


2 thoughts on “What Will Happen at the Southern Baptist Convention This Week?

  1. Yes, a lot of thorny issues to be decided and there will be both praise and criticism of the outcomes. Delegates will , hopefully, follow the confession of faith when voting.

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