Baptists' plan tries to address dwindling numbers

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Southern Baptists have adopted changes they hope will lead to a denominational growth unlike anything in their history.

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The Southern Baptist denomination, founded in Augusta in 1845, is planning to divert funds outside of the area to address declines in membership.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
The Southern Baptist denomination, founded in Augusta in 1845, is planning to divert funds outside of the area to address declines in membership.

Southern states, where the denomination is concentrated, might feel the pinch when money traditionally spent on established church programs is diverted outside the South.

"It will fundamentally change the way the Southern Baptist Convention is put together," said the Rev. Bill Harrell, the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez and a longtime member of the convention's executive committee.

The denomination, founded in Augusta in 1845, is struggling to address declines in membership. When delegates gathered for an annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., in June, their focus was a document calling for a Great Commission Resurgence.

"I see our convention at this point going through some transitions I am troubled about," Harrell said. "The GCR is a rallying cry."

The report urges a response to a number of statistics, namely that 6 billion of the world's people, including an estimated 258 million in North America, are "without Christ."

In 1950, Southern Baptists had about 27,800 churches. In 2008, the number had grown to about 44,800. Yet Southern Baptists baptized about 33,800 fewer people in 2008 than they did in 2005.

Ed Stetzer, the president of LifeWay Research, the denomination's research arm, has declared Southern Baptists "a denomination in decline."

He says the church, the country's largest Protestant denomination, has struggled to respond to a changing culture, an aging membership and new, young leaders who are choosing partnerships with other churches and church-planting networks.

Offering cooperation

The average Southern Baptist tithes 2.5 percent. Southern Baptist churches keep 94 cents of every dollar in their offering plates, forwarding 6 cents to the Cooperative Program, which funds international and domestic missions and seminaries and provides for operating expenses.

It's a bloated bureaucracy to some, but the bedrock of Southern Baptist cooperation to others.

Most agree, however, that something must be done to address declines in membership and baptisms.

The Great Commission Resurgence includes seven recommendations, all of which were adopted in June, including one that would allow Southern Baptists to give directly to missions, rather than funneling that money through the Cooperative Program.

The Cooperative Program was created in 1925 to fund missions but now also is used to fund other programs and entities of the church.

The SBC describes it as "the crown jewel of the denominational world, pulling together the resources of almost 50,000 churches and missions."

Many are concerned that the GCR will diminish giving to the program.

"There's a fear that it's going to ultimately destroy the unity of the Cooperative Program when the Cooperative Program is what defines us as Southern Baptists," Harrell said.

Georgia Baptists will give $45.5 million to the Cooperative Program this year. South Carolina will give almost $32.2 million. The funds are split among three pots: one that is kept, one that is given to the national convention and one to cover costs of both the state and national conventions.

The pot that goes to the national convention is largely spent at mission agencies.

One of those agencies, the North American Mission Board, which is based in Alpharetta, Ga., sends some of the money back to the states in the form of cooperative agreements. Those agreements will be phased out over the next seven years.

That's a loss of $900,000 a year for Georgia Baptists and $500,000 a year for South Carolina Baptists.

The money currently funds a portion (or, in a few cases, all) of the salaries for 151 missionaries in Georgia and 129 missionaries in South Carolina, said Mike Ebert, the communications team leader of the North American Mission Board.

Rethinking the impact

Baptists in the South are being asked to make a sacrifice, said J. Robert White, the executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, who served on the task force that developed the Great Commission Resurgence.

"Stronger conventions need to support weaker conventions," White said, noting that South Carolina and Georgia are the two oldest conventions in the country. "State conventions like Georgia should send that $900,000 to parts of the country that don't have many Southern Baptists."

That's the goal. While the North American Mission Board spends most of its funds -- up to 77 percent -- in areas with few Baptist churches, Southern Baptists, as a whole, do not.

"Approximately two-thirds of our Cooperative Program dollars are spent on regions where only one-third of the population resides. In other words, the greatest percentage of mission funds remains where our own churches are concentrated," according to the GCR recommendations.

The changes could force Southern states to do away with some of their missionaries or find other ways to fund them.

"We have 2,100 churches in South Carolina, and this will mean something different to every one of them," said Roger Orman, the associate executive director of the communications and mission development team of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

The convention has set a meeting for Aug. 24 in Winnsboro, S.C., for churches to come and learn about the effects of the GCR.

In Georgia, White is optimistic.

"Our churches will need to increase the Cooperative Program support as they're able to help us make up this gap," he said. "We believe we can make it happen without losing people or ministries."

Working as a group

Until the state conventions make changes, it's difficult to measure the local effects.

Many of the Augusta Baptist Association's 62 member churches already give to the Cooperative Program faithfully.

However, several of the area's most vibrant ministries, and the association itself, don't receive funds channeled through the Cooperative Program, said the Rev. Don Wheless, the executive director of the Augusta Association of Baptist Churches.

Local churches have, for instance, established 12 churches in the past 12 years. While some have been more successful than others, it's a sign that this area is committed to church planting and evangelism -- regardless of where the money is coming from, Wheless said.

"When we work as a group, we're able to pull together our resources," he said. "Our churches believe in that. They find ways to make it happen."

ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF

Abbigail Deloach, 8, is baptized by Associate Pastor Terry Doss at Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez. The Southern Baptist denomination, founded in Augusta in 1845, is planning to divert funds outside of the area to address declines in membership. \nThe Rev. Bill Harrell, of Abilene Baptist, also serves on the convention's executive committee.

BACKGROUND: Last spring, Southern Baptist leaders drafted the Great Commission Resurgence declaration, which called for a renewed focus on Jesus' call to spread his message. Thousands of Southern Baptists signed on in agreement.

DEVELOPMENTS:

- A 23-member task force -- which includes the Rev. Frank Page, a former pastor of Warren Baptist in Augusta, and J. Robert White, the executive director of the Georgia Baptist Convention -- was appointed to present at the annual meeting its recommendations for addressing dwindling membership and decreasing baptisms.

- In June, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Fla., overwhelmingly approved the task force's recommendations, which include channeling funds away from established programs and using them to fund new churches and more missionaries outside of the Southern states.

-- From staff and wire reports

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CoastalDawg
126
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CoastalDawg 07/19/10 - 01:58 am
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I can give a definitive

I can give a definitive answer that will increase the membership exponentially but it will also change the face of Southern Baptists. I was reared in a Southern Baptist Church in this very town and am once again attending a Baptist Church, independent, in another city, but that is a temporary resting place. But I also frequently visit a church that ministers to 10,000 people per week, enthusiastic people, people who support ministries all over the world. The difference is THAT church allows the Holy Spirit to guide in its worship & praise and pastoral leadership. It began as a small congregation just over 20 years ago and now reaches around the world with its live streaming of worship services and internationally broadcast television. The pastor is a very humble man who, if the Spirit so leads, will give up his sermon time in favor of a move of the spirit, something that I have NEVER seen in a Baptist church in all the years that I've known about the Baptist denomination, and believe me that has been many years. The congregation of that large church consists of all ages, races, and financial groups as well as various social groups, yet they all are there to serve God, serve EACH OTHER, and propagate the gospel throughout the world. Baptists must move away from the formality that has gripped the services and they must serve youth as well as the gray haired ones. True worship and praise are paramount to preparing the congregation for the Word and that Word must be just that, a Word from God, not some 15-20 minute concotion to keep the service down to its one hour limit. I have family and friends who are pastors and I know whereof I speak. Pentecost was a real event and it is just as real today as it was on that day but most modern churches have opted for the comforts and convenience of two verses of three hymns, an offertory, and a sermonette, getting the congregation to the restaurant right on time. The Righteous Brothers of all people (imagine that, righteousness) sang a song "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" and that title describes many modern day churches, not just Baptists. I would suggest that pastors study diligently the second chapter of Acts and act accordingly, turning the activities of the church over to the Holy Spirit - let HIM be their guide, not the budgets, not those older members who never want anything to change in their church, not even his OWN wants unless it lines up with scripture and is "endorsed" by the Holy Spirit. After all, Jesus DID say that He would send a Comforter and Helper after He physically left earth, yet most churches want to fly on their own. So there it is - you won't have to worry about baptisms, money, none of that if you seek FIRST the Kingdom of God. The particular large church which I mentioned usually has a baptism on one Wednesday night a month and the pastor baptizes pretty much non-stop for 45 minutes to an hour. Something is right there. Rejunvenate yourself and follow the scripture, the WHOLE scripture. Don't sermonize on what the Holy Spirit DOESN'T do on earth any more - those "dont's" are blocked by your own lack of participation. I'm not talking disorder, I'm talking order in the church and outside the walls where going to church takes on the meaning it once had. Amen.

iletuknow
7
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iletuknow 07/19/10 - 02:43 am
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The B.S. money machine

The B.S. money machine appears to need a rethink. Disney World is the appropriate place to do it. Could it be to the horror of the pseudo clergy the missing congregation has wised up? The only thing worse would be to lose the tax free status then certainly the gates of hell would be in view.

justus4
124
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justus4 07/19/10 - 03:27 am
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A long article that offers
Unpublished

A long article that offers some proposals to increase the dwindling numbers of churchgoers, but the article never mentions the word "Truth." If u are selling a faulty product, it won't take the informed public too long to discover the snake oil ingredients and terminate any associations. Repackaging religion can only get u so far, but until Truth is realized throughout these congregations, the numbers will continue on a southern course.

Sellout
0
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Sellout 07/19/10 - 05:45 am
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Two words: Stripper

Two words: Stripper ministers. You'd increase membership through the roof. How 'bout it?

InChristLove
22491
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InChristLove 07/19/10 - 06:12 am
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CoastalDawg, you post is so

CoastalDawg, you post is so accurate.

cubbie
0
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cubbie 07/19/10 - 09:15 am
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The few times I've attended a

The few times I've attended a SBC I heard only the ministers " opinion ". I did not hear a rational understanding or teaching of the Bible. Like a lot of others, I turned to the "new" churches. One Sunday I found New Life Church on Wrightsboro Road, where the old Sky City was. WHAT a lift I had. I learned from the Bible that day, not from an opinion . I will make this my home church. The people are all so genuine and friendly. The SBC are stuffy with put up appearances No wonder they are having trouble.

FedupwithAUG
0
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FedupwithAUG 07/19/10 - 09:20 am
0
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A Billion dollar

A Billion dollar restructuring project based on a Wal-Mart model to spread out and dominate. The idea spends some millions and increase membership to bring in billions. There should be a tax when so much money is involved. I'm surprised they don’t go door to door with direct deposit forms.

follower
332
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follower 07/19/10 - 09:37 am
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This may be one of the only

This may be one of the only times I agree with Justus. Truth is the missing ingredient from most pulpits. The Bible says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" II Timothy 2:15.

When the Word is compromised to attract the masses, Truth is no longer truth. While God wants your devotion and loyalty, He does not change the message. To do so is the height of idolotry, making a god to fit our image of the god we want.

Expository preaching [Scriptural teaching and preaching] is not opinion based. It expounds on the unchanging nature and Word of God.

Trying to follow a bunch of rules is the foundation of failure. Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment and He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself". Can you imagine the world where we esteemed our neighbor in such a manner. Would we steal, kill, gossip, slander, or demean one that we love?

A change of heart is the only change that will result in real change. But notice it's our change that's needed, not God's.

Sargebaby
4694
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Sargebaby 07/19/10 - 09:53 am
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CoastalDawg says; "The

CoastalDawg says; "The congregation of that large church consists of all ages, races, and financial groups as well as various social groups, yet they all are there to serve God, serve EACH OTHER, and propagate the gospel throughout the world."
_____________________________

That is exactly correct, and that is what most SBC Churches are not doing. Also, the SBC has taken upon itself to establish doctrine that although is mentioned in the Bible, but does not conform to basic human rights within Christianity. Example; activity of wives and women in the Church! The SBC would have women become subservient to their husbands to the point of slavery! Check it out! This is just one reason I no longer attend the Church I've been a member of for 70 years. I've become, for the time being, an independent Bible study Christian. When, and if I find a Church that serves God like the one CoastalDawg mentions, I will become a member, should I live so long!

scoopdedoop64
3264
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scoopdedoop64 07/19/10 - 09:59 am
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It is true that many

It is true that many ministers in many denominations are not preaching the Bible anymore (John 17:17 Thy Word is Truth). CostalDawg, you had some very good comments. The Rev. Bill Harrold made a comment that I disagree with. He said that the Cooperative Program is what defines Southern Baptists. If that were true it would explain why Southern Baptists are declining. What has always defined Southern Baptist is not a program but a person, Jesus Christ. That there is salvation in no other name and that we are committed to the Great Commission to share the gospel with the whole world. I am a Southern Baptist and graduated from a Southern Baptist Seminary as an ordained minister. Therefore, I understand fully that Southern Baptist are not perfect but are a strong denomination that has traditionally preached God's word. Yet we are not declining because Jesus is not relevant but because we have ceased to present Jesus to the world in a relevant way and because Christians from every denomination need a fresh encounter with Christ that will radically change their lives and bring about a revival.

Jillian
2
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Jillian 07/19/10 - 10:02 am
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NOTHING can be a substitute

NOTHING can be a substitute for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as one's personal Saviour. It doesn't matter what name is on a building. If we pursued that as much as some pursue the $$$$$ a lot of our problems would take care of themselves. Following a denomination means nothing.

howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 07/19/10 - 10:18 am
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Scoop, you hit it right on. I

Scoop, you hit it right on. I thought exactly the same thing. Whenever a man-made enterprise (even church-related) takes precedent over real purpose of a church -- Jesus Christ-- then that church becomes more of a business than a real church.

Sadly, this problem is not unique to Southern Baptists. Most mainline protestant denominations are in decline. I'm not a SB, but I tend to support most of their doctrinal stances and applaud their efforts. But, anytime you get your emphasis out of focus just a little, you open yourself up for problems. I think that's what we might be seeing here.

And yes, I too AGREE with what Justus wrote. That might be a first as well. Without a primary emphasis upon God's truth, you have replaced holiness with "hole-iness".

mgrah92
0
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mgrah92 07/19/10 - 10:15 am
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I was raised Southern Baptist

I was raised Southern Baptist and left the church because Satan has blinded their leadership from acknowledging the gifts of the Holy Spirit are meant for now. They don't teach people to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit nor do they experience any of those gifts in operation. I have never heard testimony during a service at a Baptist church of someone receiving a miraculous healing. They believe in doctors more than God providing their healing. I believe the SBC, Baptist churches, and other churches who do not give full recognition to the Holy Spirit will continue to decline as long as they refuse to acknowledge the deity of the Holy Spirit and His gifts. The Baptist churches I have been in are to rigid in how they conduct their services to permit the Holy Spirit to operate. People who attend Baptist churches that do not teach about the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not ever get to experience the reality of those gifts in operation. God says His people perish because of a lack of knowlege. I received a miraculous healing by the power of the Holy Spirit, was healed from cancer 8 years ago. I know the gifts of the Spirit are real and for now. It is sad to think about how many peoples lives have been cut short because the Baptist Church fails to acknowledge the gift of healings. And how can you measure the loss from the benefit of operating under the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, and prophecy? The more I learn about the Holy Spirit the more I realize that He is God with us, in my life, and is in me now - and wants to bless me so much more than I can even believe. It is sad to observe our enemy has won such an important battle; that so many Baptists are blinded to the blessings that come from an authentic relationship with the Holy Spirit. I praise God for His faithfulness in seeking our relationship with Him. I pray for revival of the Holy Spirit's power into the lives of all people in the CSRA. I love the Baptist Church and believe their leadership has an even greater capability that other denominations to lead a revival in the USA. I pray Baptist leaders will fully endorse the Holy Spirit. Let's begin a revival here, and then spread it across our country. I know God is calling me to be a part of the revival He wants to start here. Please let God speak to you about His plans and then make a new commitment to be a part of His plans. <(((><

scoopdedoop64
3264
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scoopdedoop64 07/19/10 - 10:18 am
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Hey Sargebaby, how are you

Hey Sargebaby, how are you doing? Haven't seen any posts from you in a while. Good to see you posting. I am sure you know that the SBC churchs are autonomous (sp?) meaning that each one governs themselves without being told from SBC what they are to teach and do. So it is true that some SBC churches may live back in the stone age trying to keep women from any point of ministry. But the fact is that women are doing at least 65 to 70% of the work in most SBC churches. Where would we be without them? However, if you are referring to being a pastor of a church it is predominantly veiwed as that scripture would indicate that men are to primarily serve in that role. Men are to be the leader of their wives at home and that is also for the church. This does not make women less valuable to men anymore than Jesus was less God for submitting to the Father. To me the scary part is that men are not taking up the leadership they should and in those situations I know that God will work through the women. You know I love women, I married one! LOL Anyway Sarge that was my comment. Stay healthy and safe!

soldout
1287
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soldout 07/19/10 - 10:32 am
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costaldawg is on the money

costaldawg is on the money and correct. Baptist are Word people and that is why word churches keep growing as they gain the baptists. Once you know the Word is real for today and the Holy Spirit lives within you and will direct your path it is hard to get excited over a sermon that comes more out of the newspaper than out of the Bible. An easy fix for Baptist churches is to promote the gifts of the Spirit. The baptist can have it all because they know the Word.

fish2
0
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fish2 07/19/10 - 10:40 am
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Fact: Most Southern Baptist

Fact: Most Southern Baptist churches are segregated---white Bapitist churches and Black Baptist churches. Maybe if these churches joined together maybe the sprit could be found.

scoopdedoop64
3264
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scoopdedoop64 07/19/10 - 11:03 am
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fish2, you are right.

fish2, you are right. However, I can tell you that God is working in that area and we are seeing more people willing to join together but we have a long way to go because we are not talking about just skin color but cultures and styles of worship. An intergrated service is so enjoyable because its like having a taste of heaven. The Bible says in Revelation that they will praise God from every tongue, tribe and nation.

Pastor Dan White
1
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Pastor Dan White 07/19/10 - 11:19 am
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Apart from the good points

Apart from the good points made about the Holy Spirit and the SBC by several bloggers, the SBC has other, (shall I say) "non-spiritual" issues that hinder their desire to reach out for Christ.

Most are not user friendly to divorced and remarried people. Certainly, it's anathama and the end of ministry in the SBC for a pastor to divorce and remarry even if the pastor's spouse is the one unfaithful. SBC programs seem to emphasis family; i.e., a husband, wife, and children and gear most of their programs for them. Warren Baptist and maybe a few others are exceptions ministering to those who have gone through a divorce and are trying to put their lives together again through the grace and mercy of Christ.

Secondly, most SBC churches and institutions are not user friendly toward women. The official position of the SBC is to NOT recognize the call of women to the diaconite or to the pastoral ministry in spite of the fact that the Bible says there is neither male nor female for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). The Quakers back in the 1600's allowed women to minister based on this verse. They were pioneers for sure. I guess many SBC women agree with the Baptist Faith and Message that "a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." I always thought that God took Adam's rib from his side to make woman an equal partner. He didn't take material from his head to make him ruler over her or his feet to make her under him. It's odd that Baptists accept the amazing ministry and teachings of Beth Moore, one of their best selling authors, but do not recognize her ministry in the act of ordination. And, as far as I know, she has not asked for ordination. One of the great ministers in Augusta, Rev. Sandra Kennedy, left the SBC because they were not user friendly to women and did not recognize through ordination her amazing gifts of ministry. There are other women, some good friends of mine I know of who had to leave the SBC because of this refusal to ordain women.

And then there is the homosexual issue. I may be wrong about this, but if I was a homosexual, the last place I would want to go to would be an SBC church because of their condemning attitude toward homosexuals even though they say, "Hate the sin and love the sinner." If I had doubts and was uncomfortable about my homosexuality and wanted to get help to change to heterosexuality, I don't think an SBC church would be the church I would go to in order to find spiritual help.

Thus, there are at least three groups, maybe more, who would possibly feel disenfranchised from the SBC and who the SBC will have a hard time reaching for Christ to experience his grace, salvation, love, and forgiveness.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 07/19/10 - 11:31 am
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But we just put in stadium

But we just put in stadium seating, a surround sound system, and got a jesus-ATM in the lobby! You tellin' me that ain't packing in the crowds? Lawdamercy!

scoopdedoop64
3264
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scoopdedoop64 07/19/10 - 11:40 am
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Dan, You are right that Beth

Dan, You are right that Beth Moore has not asked to be ordained and that is because she holds to the position that it is for men. Her teachings and speaking engagements are always meant for women and she works under the authority of her pastor and husband. Pastors and men are free to learn from her excellent biblical studies by watching her videos. God placed women to be helpers and supporters for the men and we men need all the help we can get. It is only pride that states that the woman has to be ordained to be special or be a blessing to others. We all have our role and function as set up by God. Ephesians 5:23 states that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ also is head of the church. God would not have men be head of the family and then deviate from that in the church.

dominionfs
0
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dominionfs 07/19/10 - 11:50 am
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Well said Jillian. I will

Well said Jillian. I will welcome the day when all churches are dead and people focus on their personal relationship with God rather than their religious affiliation.

baronvonreich
1
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baronvonreich 07/19/10 - 12:08 pm
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There sure is alot of

There sure is alot of BigFoot/SpaghettiMonster nonsense being thrown about on this thread.

Lets see.....churches don't pay taxes yet think they have the right to lobby government and expect the same fire and police protection afforded to all the other property owners who pay their taxes....hmmmm.

Then we have the prevailing bigotry towards women who aren't deemed equal much less the vile hatred towards homosexuals and the constant lobbying to deny them basic civil rights.....whew.

Based on just that, I can kind of see how those who prefer freedom and liberty for all, as was fought for by our founders and drafters of the Constitution, wouldn't be all that supportive to the ol' Baptists. It is akin to joining a hate group, and I won't even go into all of the centuries of blood and violence that is on the hands of organized religion in the name of Christianity. And then there is the vast hypocrisy that seems to exist that the major worry about declining membership/baptisms is really mostly about the ability to collect money now and in the future and that stinks to "the high heavens." Why is the current membership only tithing at 2.5%?

bone1
0
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bone1 07/19/10 - 12:50 pm
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opiate, masses, etc. let's

opiate, masses, etc. let's discuss something interesting like dryer lint; at least it would be a new discussion rather than the same old, "THIS is how to fix an archaic system that replaces reasoning with mythology." if you are spiritual, be spiritual; if you are religious, be religious - but keep it to yourself.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 07/19/10 - 12:51 pm
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The Southern Baptists were

The Southern Baptists were the only major religious group in America that publicly supported war with Iraq.

Southern Baptist spokes-man Richard Land said in a published statement that the United States would not enter Iraq as conquerors but as liberators. He called it a just war.

http://www.galvnews.com/story.lasso?wcd=8680

More recently, Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez enjoyed a rollicking good church service with a Bush impersonator and a member wrote on this board that he thoroughly enjoyed himself. The pastor though it was kindly corny but funny too.

GOD needs to reward your crowd!

Pastor Dan White
1
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Pastor Dan White 07/19/10 - 01:01 pm
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Thanks scoopdedoop64. I knew

Thanks scoopdedoop64. I knew Beth Moore believed the SBC doctrine of submission the man and was comfortable with that. I just believe that doctrine is misguided because I believe our role whatever gender is to submitted to Christ first and foremost. I don't think Jesus established a hierarchy of submission except to submit to Him and to submit to one another in love which instruction is the overarching premise of Ephesians 5:23 that you quote. "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21).

Pastor Dan White
1
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Pastor Dan White 07/19/10 - 01:08 pm
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baronvonreich - Yes, the

baronvonreich - Yes, the history of Christianity is replete with horrible incidents and wars. The Puritans in the 1600's murdered King Charles ! and the William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, to establish their political rule under Cromwell. Not very Christian for sure. Yet, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Examine Christ. His love, mercy, grace, salvation, and forgiveness and those who truely live in Christ. There are those out there that live in the Spirit of Christ both now and then.

Pastor Dan White
1
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Pastor Dan White 07/19/10 - 01:25 pm
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Another point about Southern

Another point about Southern Baptists and their leaders desire to start new churches in the Northeast, Midwest, and West where the SBC is in a minority is that those in these areas are immediately biased against Southern Baptists because of the geographical adjective, "Southern." They think that it is a regional denomination. When I was a Southern Baptist and served a church in Pennsylvania, I had a lady ask me, "Southern Baptist? Isn't that kind of like the Ku Klux Klan?" I am glad to report that I assuaged her fear and her and her husband and children eventually affiliated with my church there. But believe me, it's tough trying to be a Southern Baptist in areas outside of the South. Southern Baptist bureacrats will tell you that Southern denotes conservative theology and not geographical location. Several attempts have been made to change the name of the Southern Baptist Convention getting rid of "Southern" but they have failed. As Southern Baptists begin their new program of "Great Commission Resurgence" into areas outside the South, they might strongly consider a name change. The Baptist split in 1845 because the Southern Baptists believed in slavery and their northern brothers did not. It was a preview of the Civil War. Methodists did this also and were reunited in 1939. The Southern Baptist Convention pulled out and formed in Augusta. The Northern Baptist Convention realizing that the Civil War was long over changed their name to American Baptist Convention in 1950 and now are the American Baptist Churches, USA. It's way past time for Southern Baptists to have a name change.

dawgfan1
0
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dawgfan1 07/19/10 - 01:23 pm
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The Word of God proclaims, “A

The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority over men.
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching men or having spiritual authority over them. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors/preachers. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 07/19/10 - 01:26 pm
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Pastor Dan - Are those

Pastor Dan - Are those building the "pay to pray" palaces complete with gymnasiums, coffee shops, grand pianos, stadium seating, HDTVs, surround sound, chandeliers, and the like all while refusing to pay their just taxes and bribing/lobbying a secular government for continued tax breaks and oppressive laws living in the Spirit of Christ?

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 07/19/10 - 01:35 pm
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dawgfan1 - Your argument

dawgfan1 - Your argument sounds good about women not teaching men, but how many churches who believe this have women teachers with men in their classes? I would say that there are many including Beth Moore who has plenty of men in her conferences. They are for women, but men are not met at the door and turned away in churches where her live conferences are beamed in by satellite. To be absolutely consistent in women not teaching men, men should be turned out of every class or conference where a woman is teaching. Otherwise, it seems a little hypocritical to me.

Even scoopdedoop64 said, "Pastors and men are free to learn from her (Beth Moore's) excellent biblical studies by watching her videos." So, I want to ask, what is the difference in a woman teaching a man or male pastor by video which is acceptable and a woman teaching men from the pulpit? It is either women teach only women or women can teach men and in that teaching position of men, they hold "authority" over the men they teach. Perhaps the "women can only teach women" people need to have the women sign an affidavit or something that proves they are women so men cannot buy her materials. How dare a man profit from the teaching of a godly woman like Beth Moore!

It seems to me that we are all pilgrims and can profit from godly teaching regardless of the gender of the teacher.

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