The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention met this week to conduct their business….propose a Cooperative Program Budget, to deal with issues referred to the committee from the annual meeting, and the other assorted items that have to be dealt with on a regular basis.
The highlight of the meeting was the report last night of President Bryant Wright’s Name-Change Task Force. Their report concluded that changing the name of our convention would be detrimental, but they recommended (and the Executive Committee adopted) that churches that feel as thought the name ‘Southern Baptist Convention” is a hindrance could use the name, ‘Great Commission Baptists.’ The staff of the Executive Committee will investigate ways to incorporate that name into existing logo’s and other identification marks of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can read in detail all that (and more) on Baptist Press (http://www.bpnews.net/).
I am a Southern Baptist by choice- by a careful and deliberate consideration of Scripture and the truth it contains. The church I serve as pastor does not identify itself in our legal name as a Southern Baptist Church. We do cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as the Northwest Baptist Convention, the SouthWest Oregon Baptist Association, the Winston-Dillard Ministerial Association, the Winston-Dillard Chamber of Commerce, the Winston Area Community Partnership…and should I go on? All of these associations are voluntary and evaluated by our church leadership on a regular basis. We advertise in the phone book under Southern Baptist Churches (how many of you use a phone book any longer?). We don’t make a big deal about being Southern Baptist. We make a big deal about being Biblical, about being politically and theologically conservative, and being engaged in our community. If the Southern Baptist Convention ever became a hindrance to our efforts to proclaim the gospel we would choose to disassociate ourselves from the SBC (or Great Commission Baptists). The same is true for any voluntary association in which we choose to participate.
So, the name change that wasn’t doesn’t really bother me one way or another. Call yourself what you will, as long as you base your choices in the truth of God’s Word!