As I’m sure many of you have heard by now, current SBC president, Bryant Wright, has appointed a “task force” to study the legal and financial ramifications of changing the name of the nation’s largest protestant denomination. Unlike many other groups, the Southern Baptist Convention has never had a name change in its 166-year history. Historically, there has been much opposition to such a move by the duly elected messengers.
Does Wright believe that sentiment is changing? If so, why does he believe that?
Well, Wright gives two reasons for this belief:
“First, the convention’s name is so regional,” he said. “With our focus on church planting, it is challenging in many parts of the country to lead churches to want to be part of a convention with such a regional name. Second, a name change could position us to maximize our effectiveness in reaching North America for Jesus Christ in the 21st century.”
Obviously, this is a hot button issue within the convention, and Wright no doubt knows the fire storm this will create. Hopefully, he has prepared for the coming backlash.
According to Baptist Press, some members of the SBC’s Executive Committee expressed concern over the possibility of a new name and of this task force being selected without convention approval. In fact, since the task force is not an official committee of the convention, members have to pay their own expenses.
Should the churches of the convention be concerned over the way this is being handled? I’ll reserve my opinion for another time. What say you?
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