Two Whiffs At Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting

The SBC’s annual convention in Indianapolis has concluded for the most part.

A couple of important items of business received votes.

First, the Convention failed to restrict the office of pastor to men. The vote did not achieve the 2/3 supermajority required to pass the motion. That means female pastors remain acceptable within the Southern Baptist Convention despite the clear scriptural teachings that direct this office within the church is restricted to men.

(Interestingly, the Presbyterian Church in America or PCA, a conservative Presbyterian denomination, voted against female pastors, elders and deacons at its annual meeting this week.)

Second, the Convention was presented with a motion to eliminate the Ethics and Religious Commission– its lobbying arm– since it had taken a sharp left turn over the last decade. However, the delegates voted down this motion. That means the Commission will continue to be free to advocate from the liberal side of the spectrum.

One major problem is that the employees of SBC “entities”– i.e. employees of seminaries and Mission Boards and the like– participate as delegates at the annual meeting. This tends to shift the votes leftward.

Moreover, I had heard earlier this week that the wayward North American Mission Board pays for its employees to attend the annual meeting as delegates. That means the Cooperative Program donations of individual churches supports a leftward voting bloc attending the annual meeting and voting. That ought to be a major red flag.

The convention elected Clint Pressley from Charlotte to be its new president. He was not one of the two most identifiably conservative candidates running. We might post more about that later– but the most conservative candidates only received about 31% of the initial vote.


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