One of Aesop’s fables is making itself known within the ranks of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC). In the fable there is a little boy that became bored watching sheep and wanted to amuse himself. This little boy decided if he would cry wolf then all of the people would come running to fight back the wolf. When the people from the village came running up the hill there was no wolf, only the little boy laughing at the people. The people told the little boy not to yell wolf unless there really was a wolf but the little boy did not listen and cried; “Wolf! Wolf!” again. When the village people came back and found no wolf the little boy was warned again not to cry wolf unless there really was a wolf. The little boy was amused that the people would come running just at the cry of “Wolf!” After a while the little boy saw a wolf prowling around the sheep and he cried wolf, but the people did not come. When the time passed that the little boy was to return with the sheep the village people came to find him. They found him crying and the sheep scattered.
In the past annual convention in November, 2011 there was a resolution that came to the floor of the convention from Jim Jacumin, messenger from the Board of Directors (BoD). It seemed strange that this resolution was not presented through the Resolutions Committee instead of the BoD. However, it was presented to the convention and passed unanimously. As one reads the resolution the second “Be it Further Resolved” saiys it all:
“…the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina endorses the proposed Marriage Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution;”
In recent years we have noticed less and less openness coming from our convention leaders. Do not get me wrong, if you were to ask these leaders they would stand back, stick out their chests and say; “we are transparent in everything we do.” To which we would have to say; “wrong!!!”
Here is just one example of convention matters being held closer and closer to their chests. The Budget, in years past, was usually placed out in advance through the Biblical Recorder. It was not a summary of the budget, as is the case this year, but it was the budget as was going to be presented to the messengers for a vote. I honestly do not see any reason for the Budget Committee to with hold this information from the messengers. Certainly there will be questions. When will the messengers get their copies of the budget? When they register at the convention. Most will register between 2pm and 9pm on Monday. The budget listening session is 7am on Tuesday. You know what happens at the Budget Listening session? Nothing, Nada!!! Then when the budget is presented on Tuesday afternoon they will report there was not one disagreement presented in the listening session. Read more
The latest transition at the Biblical Recorder has revealed a more definite turn in the trajectory of the paper’s base. The Biblical Recorder has been firmly in the hands of the Moderates here in North Carolina until this last change in Editors.
Loosing readers was based on the Moderate direction of The Recorder which is evidenced, not only in the biased news stories but, in the recent editors and their connections with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Dr. R.G. Puckett was a founding editor of the Associated Baptist Press, Dr. Tony Cartledge was a leading pastor in the CBF when he came on board as Editor, and Norman Jameson is an active member in one of the leading CBF churches in North Carolina. Now the Recorder is in the hands of Conservatives and it will remain to be seen how the conservative pastors connected with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) will respond. The future of the Recorder retaining her independence from the BSCNC is now in the hands of the conservative pastors in North Carolina. If the Recorder does not begin showing an increase in circulation that translates into a profit for the paper it is good reason to believe she may lose her autonomous position as an agency. The 2011 budget for The Recorder was in the $900,000 and she receives $370,000 from Cooperative Program funds to help offset her budget. Some advocate a lesser cost of operations by bringing The Recorder under the umbrella of the BSCNC. Don’t know if that has been officially discussed, but it has been rumored it may be one way to help retain the state paper’s viability.
Dr. Marse Grant was editor until 1982. When he turned over the reins of the Recorder he did so with a circulation of 119,000. This circulation enjoyed a very wide base. However, the state was witnessing the beginning of, what is now known in the history books as, the Conservative Resurgence. Dr. Grant was a rare creature that was able to work both sides of the political spectrum and as such kept the conservative base interested.
In 1982 Dr. Gene Puckett came to the Recorder and stayed until 1998. Read more
I understand that spending cuts at NAMB in order to channel available funds to its church-planting program included an elimination of support to the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE).
The comment above was third in the comment stream for a post here at Southern Baptist in NC. The post was one where I analyzed the recent NAMB mission statement that was approved at the convention in June. Brother Max commented concerning the COSBE cuts made by NAMB and certainly we have many full-time itinerant Evangelists concerned over their relationship with the entity that was created in order to evangelize North America.
My concerns about this new mission statement covered four areas and not one of these areas had anything to do with COSBE. In all four areas my concern was the appearance of eliminating any kind of partnership with the local association. When Brother Max brought to my attention the concern of elimination of COSBE I remembered how church planting here in NC, at one time, was not producing churches that were known for baptizing people. To my recollection there was a time in NC that we did not see a significant increase in baptisms among our church plants. That concern was voiced throughout the pastors of NC and within the halls of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) offices in Cary. Thus, I responded to Max with the following comment.
I believe you are correct. That is what I understand. What you will find if you check with state conventions is they are eliminating Evangelism Director and even entire evangelism departments. Many are going with just church planting.
Here in NC, our Evangelism Director had a come to Jesus meeting [Emphasis were not in original comment] with our Executive Director/Treasurer concerning church planting boot camp without training the church planter in evangelism training. The results of that meeting was an implementation of evangelism training in the church planting boot camp and that resulted in church plants growing.
We seem to have gone to a new evangelism of just planting churches. Read the Church Planting report of our recent BSC Board of Directors meeting. We are seeing many churches planted and many baptisms. Thus, it seems all one has to do is plant a church if one wants to see baptisms increase.
Many times comments garner me emails and sometimes a phone call or two. Some emails and phone calls are very cordial and encouraging while others are not so encouraging or cordial. I have come to understand that you take the good with the bad. Well, this comment did more than garner me a phone call, it brought about a follow-up visit from Brother Don McCutcheon, Executive Director of our Evangelization Department.
Rev. Allan Blume, Editor/President Biblical Recorder
“Once a Pastor always a Pastor!” That was a statement I heard a former professor say. He made that statement as a result of a question asked of him by someone concerned with him “leaving the ministry” for a position at the university where he taught.
Well it seems that Rev. Allan Blume has that statement to make. Brother Allan announced to his church on Easter Sunday that he was resigning to take the position of Editor/President for the state paper, The Biblical Recorder. You can read the entire article as announced by the Biblical Recorder staff. One thing I want to remind readers is to make sure you get his first name spelled correctly. He will correct you himself in a very cordial way, but it is a pet peeve of his. This writer has been corrected before for using just one “l” in his name.
As this series continues I want to remind our readers of the prompting that brought this about. It is based on scripture but also a life lesson found in the song of the 1978 Country Music hit by Kenny Rogers “The Gambler”.
“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.”
In the last post I lamented how the current leadership is not what was envisioned when I first started coming to conventions back in 1990. Of course by 1990 the entity leaders in the convention were beginning a downhill journey as SEBTS and others were now enjoying a majority of conservative trustees. I began at SEBTS in the fall of 1989. We still had many of the old moderate professors teaching at the seminary and much of the administration was abandoning ship. As a matter of fact the Admissions Director walked me personally through my interviews with the professors along with Dr. Lewis Drummond and then after telling me I was accepted into the Associate of Divinity program immediately told me he was leaving to go to Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, the moderate seminary that was just getting started. Which brings me to my next point in this series.
Second, the standards that I was taught when I was in seminary. Read more
In 1978 Kenny Rogers, of no relation, sang a song that went straight to #1 on the Country Music charts and #16 on the Pop Music charts. What is amazing about this song was that it was released earlier in 1978 by American country music artist, Bobby Bare and went nowhere. Don Shiltz, the author of the song, recorded it before 1978 and charted it to only #65 on the Country Music charts. Rogers took the song and made it the premier song of his 1978 Gambler album and it was the popularity of this song and album that is credited for getting Rogers the 1980 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year award.
I have been a country music fan for many years. I am like Country Music great, Barbara Mandrell, “I was country when country wasn’t cool.” One thing I appreciate about vintage country music is the life stories that are taught in the lyrics. Certainly, if one can get past, “getting drunk the day their moms get out of prison” lyrics one will see there are many life truths contained in the message of the songs. Kenny Rogers’ hit song, “The Gambler” is one of those songs. The chorus of his song brings me to the purpose of my post;
“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”
****Was informed today that our convention has expressed there are no new funds for church plants coming from NAMB due to the reorganization. We were told that $9 million was freed up to be used to plant churches by NAMB leadership. It seems that the pipeline is now clogged by the bureaucracy of getting more funds to the field.****
The familiarity of the title for this post dates one back to the 1970 Apollo 13 mission that was termed a “successful failure.” The original statement was; “Houston; we have had a problem” and those words I remember hearing on the CBS News coverage echoes in my mind. However, when the original film came out in 1974, it was a fictional based movie that changed the tag line from; “we’ve had” to “we have”. The purpose of this was the tense use made it appear the problem was behind them, when in reality the problem was very real and was about to cause, not only the mission to be cut short, but could result in the demise of the astronauts.
With that illustration in mind, I want to change the title to “Cary; We Have a Problem!!” This problem is not something that has just happened but something that is on going. What is that something? Church planting in other states. There are a number of reasons that I am against the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) planting churches. The main reason is according to a Biblical standard, churches plant churches not associations, conventions, nor entities. However, the second reason I am against the BSCNC planting churches is the double-dipping of Cooperative Program funds. What do I mean?