That’s the comment by Darrell Orman, chairman of the Resolutions Committee, speaking to Christianity Today after the passing of the resolution on regenerate church membership. Tom Ascol’s response:
“That’s a sad reality. Even Jesus can’t tell some Southern Baptists what to do.”
Am I the only who finds it odd that the chairman of a resolutions committee is on record asserting, ‘You can’t tell us what to do!”? Why, pray tell, does the SBC have such a thing as a Resolutions Committee?
Incoming President Johnny Hunt, when discussing about purging membership roles, said that “few church members are in worship every single Sunday.” But is that rationale not an indication of the very reason why we need to practice church discipline that we may uphold meaningful church membership? So we have few people attending church every Sunday; ergo, don’t purge the rolls. How would that work if we said, “Few church members believe in tithing, so we don’t need to receive tithes and offerings anymore.” Instead of being predisposed to the biblical standard, have we not placated to the current standard and sought justification for our negligence? I have stated elsewhere and will state again that I am hopeful that Hunt will lead the way and inspire pastors in pursuing integrity in church membership. Let’s pray for him and the churches of the SBC, that our reporting will be a reflection of honesty and our repenting will be a reflection of humility.
In their report on messengers at the Annual Meeting of the SBC in Indy, Baptist Press reveals that those under the age of 40 accounted for only 16.22% of those in attendance. That means that more than 4 out of 5 were over the age of 40; nearly 1 in 3 over the age of 60. The 7,277 messengers represented 3,142 churches in the SBC–a denomination with over 44,000 churches. Seven percent of SBC churches were represented in Indy at the annual meeting. Seven percent.
So going back to the first observation about no one telling Southern Baptists what to do. When the SBC bureaucracy wants to legislate a total abstinence position on alcohol regarding church planters, missionary appointments, or denominational servants, remember that no one can tell Southern Baptists what to do. When you hear denominational leaders policing Calvinism in search committees with arbitrary requirements, remember that no one can tell Southern Baptists what to do. And when the increasing number of empty chairs at the annual meeting lead to redoubling efforts for denominational loyalty, remember that no one can tell Southern Baptists what to do.