The late Rev. Ted Stone for years stood to the convention floor in North Carolina and made motion after motion to either remove Plan C (The Plan that excludes the SBC completely but is still counted as CP giving in NC) or go back to one giving plan. His last attempt was the convention the November before a heart attack ended his life while he was walking across North America to raise awareness of the drug problems facing our nation. Brother Ted stood courageously and many times unpopularly. It was at his last attempt that Brother CJ Bordeaux brought a message from Dr. Morris Chapman that basically placed Brother Ted’s statements as suspect concerning the giving plans. However, Brother Ted can now take credit that his hard work over the years has born fruit here in North Carolina.
North Carolina Baptist voted Wednesday during the budget discussion to remove Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as an option of the new giving plan. For years NCBSC had 4 giving plans and last year a motion was made by Dr. Scott Eanes for the Executive Committee to form a committee to study the giving plans as to their viability. The Study Committee was headed by Dr. Ed Yount from Conover. This committee had hardened conservative warriors along with hardened moderate warriors. However, they came to an agreement that the plan to present was one that included an option for churches that still wanted to support the CBF. This committee did their research and followed what they believed to be the direction God was leading. One thing they forgot to do. They forgot to tell the reason for leaving the CBF option available. The reason everyone was given centered mainly around the desire to stop fussing and fighting and a desire to do ministry together with someone that does not believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Those were the reasons given around the convention hall as reported by the maker of the amendment.
It seemed the convention was going to get through a year without controversy. There were two scheduled miscellaneous business sessions where nothing came to the floor from the messengers. I am certain the leaders of the convention were walking on cloud nine this morning with the diverseness of the committee that was making the only controversial motion. This probably was a done deal in the minds of many. Even with Dr. CJ Bordeaux, a constant critic of Plan C and anything CBF in the past, speaking for the recommendation that included the option to be chosen, this motion was not going to pass that easily. Why?
I believe the reason was right before the eyes of the convention. I did not attend this year, so I do not know what the spirit was in the convention hall. However, just seeing this on live stream made me laugh at the simplicity by which this amendment passed. If I did not know better, I would be suspicious of the back room deal brokers. However, I know Rick Speas and I can assure you he went out of his way to make certian nothing of the sort happened. I also know members of the Study Committee and I can also assure you they kept this information close to their chest. None that I spoke with would even hint at what they were trying to accomplish. The reason this amendment passed is that NC Baptist are Southern Baptist they are not CBF Baptist. (This statement is something the Baptist General Convention of Texas would do well to heed.) NC Baptist are trying their best to say that we do not want anything to do with CBF. If there are churches that desire to be CBF then have at it. However, do not try to tell the world that you are Southern Baptist and be part of an organization that was organized as a result of being disgruntled with doctrines Southern Baptist believed and held dear.
What does this mean for BSCNC? It means that the churches that were bypassing the convention are now going to need to stop. It means that we are in this together and thus we need to support the budget together. I know the SBC has some fine agencies and I am in agreement that the SBC is who we support with our $$$’s. However, we do this through the State Convention. Not only does it mean we move our giving to go directly to the BSCNC, but we need to press our leaders on two other issues. First, we need leaders serving on the Executive Board that count the CP gifts as only those gifts going to the Cooperative Program. While I am a supporter of the IMB, by my giving directly to the IMB does not say that I am giving to the Cooperative Program. Our leaders need to go back and read the 1925 agreement made when the CP came into being. Second, we need people serving on the Board of Directors to come from churches that give at the very least 5% of their churches undesignated funds in CP giving. We need these leaders to stop short changing the convention especially when they are serving in a position to direct where the money is going. Let’s face it, there are churches that were part of the BSCNC for the sole reason that we were allowing their funds to flow through Cary straight to the CBF in Atlanta. These churches will stop funding through the convention and give to the CBF-NC, which by the way, has the same formula of giving that we used to call Plan C. Only difference is that the CBF-NC now retains the 64% not the BSCNC. So there will be a drop in giving so there needs to be an increase from conservative churches to help offset this drop.
Also, there needs to be a call now to the head offices in Cary that NC Baptist have clearly stated we are not CBF. Thus, an employee at the convention offices should be a member of a NC Baptist church not one that is dually aligning themselves with the CBF and the BSCNC. We had the clarion call today during the budget vote that we will not even give you an opportunity to send funds through us to the CBF. We certainly should be able to say we want you attending a BSCNC church.
Well, there you have it. Certainly does seem to have been an interesting convention and I had nothing to do with that motion coming to the floor. However, I believe the late Rev. Ted Stone would be proud. Of course he is in a place now that budgets and who gives to whom has no concern for him. He is rejoicing around our Father’s throne. Let us now do the same. Go and expand the Kingdom of God–OUR CLARION CALL!!!