Posted by: Robin Foster | January 8, 2008

The Games We Play For Political Expediency – Redux

I made a promise over at Tim Rogers blog that if an offending post towards another blogger was removed from the internet that I would follow suit and do the same. Since the post was removed I am doing so also. My reason was that I did not want my site to connect the offended blogger to the subject that was used to slander his character and reputation. But, the post also contained another subject that dealt with the political games that are played in the SBC. Since that subject did not include the offended blogger by name nor the subject by which he as maligned on the internet, I republish it here for further dialog.

It was released that Dr. Al Mohler would be seeking the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention this June at her annual meeting in Indianapolis. Not soon after, a post was released by Wade Burleson concerning the Cooperative Program giving of the church Dr. Mohler attends. Again, on the surface, it seems that Dr. Mohler’s church (who he is a member of, not senior pastor) is not supportive of the cooperative program, but allow me to make some statements. We all know there are some state conventions that do not see eye to eye with some churches concerning the conservative resurgence and denominational accountability. Cooperative program giving is done through the state convention which then passes on a percentage (depending on the state) to the national convention. I don’t know why Highview Baptist Church decided not to give traditionally through the convention in Kentucky with the cooperative program, but what I do know is that they have recently become affiliated with the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana where one of their satellite campuses are located.

Thanks to the research Bart Barber did, we know that in 2008, Highview Baptist Church has designated $400,000 for the Cooperative program and $100,000 for Lottie Moon. With these facts, I can support this man, who is a member of a church that gives in this way, for president of the SBC.

Unfortunately for some, those facts don’t matter. Again, political expediency is the call for the day so use the facts that are only helpful to your cause.

I do want to close with one interesting snippet from the dialog between Bart and Wade. In it Wade makes this statement:

My church’s 5% giving to CP I believe should disqualify me from seeking the Presidency of the SBC, so I am not asking for a standard that I am unwilling to accept myself.

As I stated before, cooperative program giving is done through the state conventions and a percentage (depending on the state) is sent to the national convention. Apparently, Wade believes that 3 or 5 percent disqualifies one from becoming President of the SBC. Oklahoma Baptist churches funnel Cooperative program money through the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. In other words, the BGCO is supported by cooperative program giving churches. I leave you with this question.

In light of how money is sent through Oklahoma to the SBC, why did Wade feel he was qualified to be president of the BGCO (a cooperative supported entity) while leading his church to then give 5 percent, but now he does not feel qualified nor does he think anyone else is qualified for the presidency of the SBC (a cooperative supported entity) at that level of giving?



  1. Robin,

    I am guessing that your question in the last paragraph is a rhetorical question, and not one that you really believe will be answered in an honest and forthright manner? I believe the answer is the age old phrase: “Do as I say, not as I do.” 🙂

    Ron P.

  2. Ron

    We will see.

  3. Highview used the words “various erroneous news reports” in their statements and that’s exactly what the information that was used as a negative for Dr. Mohler’s election was from: actual news reports.

    I think that we should give men the benefit of the doubt when they’re just quoting news reports published by the conventions own press arm.

    The BP article contained this information. Do you believe that it was the Baptist press that was using “tactics” to discredit Dr. Mohler?

    I read the article and my first thought was that someone was going to use this as a reason not to vote for him. I am glad to see Highview set the record strait because I fully intend on voting for Dr. Mohler, but it seems to me that many are forgetting that Wade and others have used Published reports for their reasoning.

    Also, When Dr. Page was elected, many in Greenville, many cited that he was a better choice because his church exemplified CP giving. Countless blog articles and analyses were written saying that this new president’s election was a statement about the primacy of the CP giving to messengers. When Dr. Mohler’s announcement was made, on SBC today, many supporters of Dr. Mohler were wondering if this would be a black eye on his run.

    The point is that CP giving is important to the sbc voters and many, even supporters like me, saw this as a weakness. We assumed the published reports were true.

    I just think this is something to keep in mind.

  4. Worshipleaderron

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, the reports were taken from the news articles. I only used the wording that was used by Highview’s pastor.

    The focus of this post was that Wade had no problem being President of the BGCO (a cooperative program supported entity) when Emmanuel’s CP giving was not, as he termed “generous, ” but now feels that someone who belongs to a church that does not give “generously” should not be president of the SBC (a cooperative program supported entity). Wade sought this as a reason to not vote for Dr. Mohler. I have only called him on what seems to be a difference between his logic and his actions.

    With this, one thing should be made clear, I applaud Emmanuel and Highview’s focus on missions and reaching out to people. Both pastor’s ought to be commended for their leadership in those endeavors. But the question remains about what Wade stated and his actions of the past.

  5. My understanding of CP giving is that if it doesn’t go through a state association or convention, it doesn’t really “count.” In states dominated by liberal leadership in the state that is very difficult. My understanding is that Highview goes around the KY Convention to benefit SBC organs in a way that KY doesn’t get the first fruits. Many churches in VA who wish to stay with the VBMB and do not wish to join the SBCV likewise may give generously, but not through channels.

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