Well, what do you say. “It’s over.”, I guess. The only reason we came back this evening was to see if “anything” would develope out of the IMB report. There were a few ripples. At the point of “questions” two men stepped up to the mic and both each directed their question, not at Dr. Rankin, but the new chairman of trustees, John Floyd. Each messenger in his turn ask Dr. Floyd what he was going to do concerning “certain trustees” not being allowed to attend all meetings of the IMB, and of the excessive use of executive (closed) sessions. Dr. Floyd responded both times to the effec “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” My pastor said afterward concerning the response, “What condescension. What an insult.” The point was made, and publically, so the monkey is on the IMB’s back, and they are going to have that monkey for the next 12 months.
There was also the unveiling of a large bronze statue of the Rev. Billy Graham standing in front of a cross, holding up a Bible in one hand with the other arm raised, in his typical style of offering the gospel. There was also a brief appearance and address by Cliff Barrows. It was all nice, a nice gesture, but. . .
Keep in mind, this was my first SBC ever. I was raised a Southern Baptist. I am a Southern Baptist now. The first twenty-five years of my adult life I raised a family of five in an independent, rural, reformed Baptist church. Three pastors and twenty-five years later, I woke up one day and found myself in a reformed Episcopal church, to which my wife and I said “Hey, what are we doing here? We’re Baptists.” So here are a few random impressions of my first convention.
1. The music was better than I thought it would be. My pastor’s wife asked what kind of music do I like, to which I replied, “I don’t know. I haven’t heard it yet.” More on this some day. Maybe.
2. Everybody clapped for everything. After praying, after preaching, after singing, after business. If we were doing God’s business, why were we constantly applauding man for everything.
3. Too many frivolous resolutions and motions, especially the ones that passed.
4. Too much preaching. Now this comes from someone who listens each work day on an iPod to 25 min. of Piper, 26 min. of Sproul, 38 min. of Mohler. I also listen to my pastor’s three messages twice, because I record and publish them, and want to make sure the audio quality is fit for the internet. Then there’s the odd conference messages I pick up, and the audio of of other pastor’s sermons. I guess I should have said “Too much shallow, man-centered, mediocre preaching. Some day I will tell you what I really think.
5. Words too often used: inerrency (without the accompanying “sufficiency”), ten percent, and baptism (without the accompanying “regeneration”). More on these later, maybe.
6. Words not used often enough: soli Deo gloria
I’m sorry. It’s late. I really did enjoy the convention. I will have to post a counterbalance soon. There was much good, much encouragement, if you looked for it, but I just can’t get the phrase “Ringling Brothers” out of my head.
Go to the blogs I linked to in the previous post. They’ve all updated this evening, all good stuff. Go to Wade’s blog also. I’m going to paste his photo in the margin of my dictionary next to the words gracious, patient, and longsuffering. It’s late. I’ve got to get to bed. We shove off at dawn.