It’s been clear for the past few years, as the Conservative Resurgence generation of leadership passes or falls into disrepute (Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler), that the folk in the pews are ready for a less conservative, less crazy, less malicious and straight-jacketed denomination. I thought the fight would be joined last year, but … No.
It’s going to happen this year.
Today, the Executive Committee of the SBC, behind closed doors, made the most stunningly stupid decision since the sexual abuse debacle of 2008. The blow-back will be enormous. If you love the SBC, be in Orlando.https://t.co/65HhEc49ok #SBC2020 #SBCPC20 #HosannaWong #SBCExecComm
— Wade Burleson (@Wade_Burleson) February 18, 2020
Wade is among the most decent, generous-spirited pastors in the SBC; he is one of the very few whose church I could picture myself sitting-in without feeling that I had soiled myself. We disagree about some important things, obviously, but he isn’t one of those pastors who is so stupid and mean-spirited that his mere presence is painful.
So: What is he tweeting about?
Every year, in connection with the annual meeting, there is something called the Pastor’s Conference. Nominally, it is administered separately from the annual meeting, but it is funded and controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s kind of like the children’s table at Thanksgiving; they’re apart, but there is still oversight by the parent organization.
What do you know? This year, the Pastor’s Conference decided to invite a woman speaker. It’s like the boys at the children’s table inviting the free-spirited teenaged girl from down the street, the one who causes the mommies to cluck about how she dresses.
You can see the problem, I’m sure. Naturally, the ‘adults’ stepped-in and told the boys to disinvite her or there’d be no Pastor’s Conference at all.
This invite, y’all should understand, is not the entire source of friction; it’s a proxy for a wide range of disagreements. The Old Guard wants to hold the line against gays, cohabiting couples, acknowledging sexual abuse, trans-racial couples, on and on. The younger pastors want to be more welcoming and do church in society as they find it.
The icing on the cake is that Albert the Pious, the dullest mind of the 16th-century, is running for SBC President this year.
It’s going to be a great meeting. I swear, if I belonged to a church I’d try to get credentials to be there.