Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baptist watching

The following is from the blog of Jacob Lupfer.  The blog is called "Saving OBU."  That's OBU as in Oklahoma Baptist University.  This is just a small portion of one post.

Anyway, I have not paid attention to SBC politics in many years, but this year's convention seemed pretty typical. It was mostly white, mostly old, and (like many denominations) mostly driven by clergy and denominational staff rather than laity.

The highlight was, of course, the historic election of Luter as the first black SBC president. The main event was the unending circle of SBC elites patting themselves on the back for finally finding a black person who will go along with their social/political agenda atoning for all the racist sins in the SBC's past. One prominent sideshow was the kerfuffle over whether or not LifeWay stores should sell a inspirational movie about race (The Blind Side). (With Luter's support, LifeWay discontinued selling the movie.)

There was also a debate over the efficacy of the sinner's prayer, whether it is an advisable evangelism tactic, and whether it is followed with sufficient discipleship. I don't want to open that can of worms here, though many Baptist blogs covered the debate.

Boards, agencies, and institutions gave their typical reports. Nothing seemed especially newsworthy (though please correct me if I'm wrong). The demographers reported continued membership decline (the SBC is below 16 million members for the first time in over a decade). White church decline continues and nonwhite congregations appear to be something of a growth industry in the SBC. I don't know how many legitimately mixed race congregations there are, but a few Latinos and a black person in the choir do not make your lily white church "mixed-race." There is definitely a trend toward acknowledging the importance of "ethnic ministry," though when white people refer to everyone else as "ethnic," you wonder how much progress will ever be made.

No comments: