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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Florida Baptists Convention ‘We are Better Off Without Them’?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FBC/FBW) - At the 146th Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting Nov. 12-13 in Daytona Beach, Fla., 1,258 messengers and 736 visitors rallied around the theme, “We Are Better Together.”

So begins an article on the Florida Baptist Convention website reporting the events and actions of the 146th Florida Baptist State Convention.

For the most part I could care less what the Florida Baptist Convention does. Following the actions of John Sullivan and his Cronies in Jacksonville over the last few years which include the firing of Bill Lollar, banning anyone from serving in any position within the State Convention who does not think (as Sullivan does) that drinking a class of wine is the unforgivable sin, and the recent Statewide attack on Calvinism sponsored by (that's right) the Good Old Baptist Boys... my church no longer supports, nor consider ourselves a part of the Florida Baptist Convention.

In fact I had decided to leave off blogging about the actions of the Florida Baptist Convention several months ago when it became ever so clear that “no one was listening” however, I just could not pass up a few words about the theme for this years convention “We are Better Together”.

I find it just a little... actually I find it a lot... HYPOCRITICAL that in the same year that John Sullivan sends a state wide mailing to every Baptist church in the state attacking Calvinist, and the very year he imposes a ban on anyone from serving in the State Convention who happens to drink a glass of wine from time to time that the theme of this years convention is “We are Better Together”.

Are we suppose to believe that John Sullivan believes “We are Better Together”? Yea Right! And the Easter Bunny is real...

I think someone must have gotten the memo wrong from Sullivan's office... the theme was supposed to be “We are Better Off Without Them!”

If my numbers are correct (and they are) less than 25% of the eligible messengers from the Florida Baptist Churches bothered to attend this years convention... I guess they got the message John, .....Did You?


Anonymous said...

Did you attend the annual meeting?


G. Alford said...

No Steven I did not...

And that’s my point… the Florida Baptist Convention has made it all so clear that as a Calvinist that does not support their anti-alcohol policy that I am unwelcome in the Florida Baptist Convention… and I try not to go where I am not wanted.

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Bro Greg,

I am a pastor here in the state of Florida. I have been reading your blog for several months. I attended this years annual meeting and was encouraged. I say this because of the testimonies of what the Lord is doing in the various churches throughout our state in the areas of church planting, mission work, etc.

You talked about being unwelcome as a Calvinist who does not support the State BoM recommendation against alcohol/rec drugs for those serving on agency boards. Allow me to ask a question. Is not the cause of Christ more important than our peronal liberties? What do you mean by Calvinists not being wanted?


G. Alford said...


I appreciate the fact the you found this years convention encouraging... at one point (many years ago now) I to was encouraged by attending the State convention meetings. And yes some of our churches are doing some great things to advance the kingdom... however have you ever stopped to ask yourself would not these same churches be doing all this... without the State convention?

If there was no State convention I hardly believe the work of God in the state of Florida would come to a stop... it just might increase without all that overhead and bureaucracy.

You mentioned church planting and ask why I felt that Calvinist were unwelcome? Here is an easy way for you to understand my feeling that Calvinist are unwelcome in the Florida Baptist Convention... Call the Missions Division office of the Florida Baptist Convention and tell the person on the other end of the line that you are a Calvinist and that you considering planting a church somewhere in Florida... after th long pause on the other end assure the good receptionist that this is not a prank call and ask to speak to Cecil Seagle, Director of Missions Division... If you actually get Mr Seagle on the line tell him the same thing you told the receptionist... then you will understand why I said Calvinist are not welcome in the Florida Baptist State Convention.

If that little exercise does not make it clear for you that Calvinist are not welcome in the State of Florida... perhaps reading these post documenting the conduct of the Leadership of the Florida Baptist State convention toward Calvinist over the last few months will help.

Narrowing the Parameters of Cooperation

Getting Hot as Hell in Florida for SBC Calvinists

Denominational integrity and controversy in the Florida Baptist Convention

Steven, you said “You talked about being unwelcome as a Calvinist who does not support the State BOM recommendation against alcohol/rec drugs for those serving on agency boards. Allow me to ask a question. Is not the cause of Christ more important than our personal liberties?”

Steven I would say ABSOLUTLY the cause of Christ is more important than our personal liberties! However it is the BOM and John Sullivan that have placed their own liberties and opinions above the cause of Christ in the State of Florida not me. By excluding those who do not agree with them that Wine is a Recreational Drug (which actually makes Jesus out to be a recreational drug user) they have “limited” the cause of Christ in the State of Florida to include only those who agree with their absurd position. By narrowing the parameters of cooperation it is the Florida Baptist State Convention that is damaging the cause of Christ and not those who choose to spend their time, energy, and CP dollars elsewhere.

Grace Always,