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Thursday, February 21, 2008

25% of Florida Baptist Churches Give $0 to the Cooperative Program in 2007

According to the Florida Baptist Witness (printed edition) 703 out of 2759, or an incredible 25% of all, Florida Baptist Churches gave absolutely nothing, zero, zip, not-a, to the C.P. in 2007. Clearly these churches that the Florida Baptist Convention claims as cooperating churches are not cooperating… at lest they are not cooperating with the Florida Baptist Convention.

Regardless of the spin coming from Jacksonville fewer and fewer Baptist Churches in the state of Florida are actually cooperating with the Florida Baptist Convention in any real or meaningful way? Two possibilities come to mind for The Florida Baptist Conventions own report showing that a full 25% of its churches contribute $0 to the C.P.

The first possibility is that the Florida Baptist Convention is simply doing what most Baptist Churches do… once you get your name on the roll they keep counting you no matter what, even if you’re dead, or in this case have not given a dime in years.

The second possibility is that at least a few of these churches were offended by the conduct of Dr. Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Convention, in 2007 (click here to read some articles about Dr. Sullivan’s conduct this year) and have chosen to send their missions dollars elsewhere. In all fairness some of these churches did not given anything in 2006 either, so they are probably in the first category or were already offended before Dr. Sullivan arbitrarily decided who was “Holy” and “Pure” and who was not. However, others gave quite a bit in 2006 and have made the decision to stop giving to the C.P. this year, so something has caused them to jump ship.

When you combine the IMB’s narrowing the parameters of cooperation to exclude those who speak in a private prayer language and those who were not baptized properly (in a Baptist Church that believes in eternal security and by a Baptist Preacher) with the decision of John Sullivan to narrow the parameters of cooperation in Florida to exclude those who do not agree with him that drinking a glass of wine with your evening meal is a sin, and his ongoing campaign in the state of Florida against Calvinist, it is predictable that this trend of Baptist Churches in Florida of opting out of the Cooperative Program will continue to increase in the coming years as more and more Baptist Churches in Florida are disillusioned with the conduct of both the IMB and the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Those who love the SBC and care deeply about the work of Missions supported by the Cooperative Program should also be deeply concerned about the impact of the decisions of those in Leadership upon giving to the Cooperative Program.

7 comments:

Batchaps said...

Greg,
I realize this has nothing to with this particular post, but some of your other postings have addressed the use of alcohol.

The following is verbatim from NAMB's Chaplain Endorsement Manual (http://www.namb.net/site/c.9qKILUOzEpH/b.232872/k.A966/Endorsement_Manual.htm) that all SBC chaps must sign and agree to adhere to. The Florida B.C. is no different than the SBC in it's position. Both are completely un-biblical.

PERSONNEL POLICIES OF THE
CHAPLAINS COMMISSION, SBC
The following items have been identified by
specific policy statements of the Chaplains
Commission, SBC. The initial and update
application process offers an opportunity for the
applicant to affirm compliance and support of
these policies. Applicants and endorsed
chaplains/counselors in ministry with questions,
comments, or difficulties in the areas of these
policies are encouraged to contact the
Chaplaincy Evangelism Team associate for their
area of ministry.
1. Doctrinal Stability–The Chaplains
Commission, SBC, considers an
affirmation of the Baptist Faith and
Message as currently adopted by the SBC
essential for endorsement. The initial and
update application process offers an
opportunity for the applicant to affirm
support of these doctrinal statements.
2. Abstinence from the use of alcoholic
beverages and other abused substances–
Historically, the position of Southern
Baptists on the use of alcoholic beverages
has been abstinence. The Chaplains
Commission, SBC, affirms this traditional
stance of Southern Baptists. Endorsed
Southern Baptist chaplains and counselors
in ministry are expected to avoid the
consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Abuse of other substances, i.e. controlled
drugs, is not to be part of the lifestyle
choices of a Southern Baptist
chaplain/counselor. Those who have been
advised by a physician to consume alcohol
or controlled substances on a routine basis
should contact their chaplaincy associate so
that appropriate notation can be made in the
chaplain/counselor’s file.
3. Glossolalia--It is the stated policy of the
Chaplains Commission, SBC, that no
person who is actively participating in or
promoting glossolalia hold endorsement as
a Southern Baptist chaplain or counselor.
4. Divorce and Remarriage–Persons with a
history of divorce will be evaluated in
accordance with NAMB policy.

I had mentioned in a previous post that I left the SBC/NAMB as a Navy Chaplain over theological differences, this was one of them. According to policy, an M.D. can prescribe the use of medicinal alcohol but Jesus has no authority to prescribe the sacramental use of alcohol.

My prayers are for you.

Russ+

G. Alford said...

Russ,

Thanks for your prayers... many in the SBC think I am in great need of prayer :-)

Your comment "According to policy, an M.D. can prescribe the use of medicinal alcohol but Jesus has no authority to prescribe the sacramental use of alcohol." is dead on!

It would not be so bad if they adopted this kind of a policy in ignorance... But, they do not adopt this kind of a policy in ignorance... They know the truth of God's Word... and they simply do not care!

Grace Always

WatchingHISstory said...

I too am off topic. Last Sunday Steve Gaines attempted to fill Adrian Rogers' shoes in anti-Calvinism.
He opposed irresitable grace and in great form he stated that "A lot of people are teaching that stuff" Some people paid several hundred dollars in tithes and offerings for his anti-Reformed polemics. They got what they paid for!

But what caught my attention was his statement that "the rich young ruler ask, what must I do to be saved?"

I was raised a dispensational pre-mil and am now a 'pan'mil (everything will pan out in the end) I am not up on covenant beliefs.

Are saved and inherit eternal life interchangable?

If the saved are redeemed from death (nekros) was the RYR lost or dead? (apollumi)

The RYR was a covenant Jew and had kept the law so was he asking Jesus to be saved? A coin was lost from its owner, a sheep was lost from its shepherd and a son was lost from his father. (He was dead to his father) The coin, sheep and son had a relationship but were lost (apollumi)
The coin had no will and the sheep lived by its instincts but the son had a will and returned repentant to his father.
Was the RYR "saved" but unsatisfied internally with his own life. Did his question to Jesus have to do with this lack of peace?

"nekros" means one has no will nor sense of no peace, nor of being lost.

My question, if we are going to refer to the RYR shouldn't we be asking the saved in our churches, do you have eternal life? Are you lost (they are 'saved') and need to return to fellowship? They need restoration of usefulness. They need to be spent in service. They need to be in the fold and they need to live out their sonship.

What about the sinners 'nekros'?

Help me out here?

G. Alford said...

Charles,

You said “Help me out here”...

Sorry brother I cannot help you at all here... As you are in no need of any!

I am very disappointed with Steve Gaines, but not surprised. The doctrine of irresistible grace does not teach that those that are called by God do not wrestle with his call, but that in the end “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Steve is making the elementary mistake of assuming that the Rich Young Ruler was called of God... No where does the Holy Scripture say this... Actually another verse might help Steve better understand what is going on with the Rich Young Ruler: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt.7:22-23) If these were not “The Called of God”, then what evidence does Steve Gaines find to assume that the Rich Young Ruler was ever called of God?

Actually, the Rich Young Ruler teaches the impossibility of those who are NOT “The Called of God” of ever coming to God... sorry Steve, you missed this one by a mile!

Thanks for the chat Charles...

WatchingHISstory said...

Greg
Pardon me for comming back to you. Seems I am beating a dead horse (nekros)
I am not sure if I understand how the RYR was not called. He came to Christ running and Jesus 'loved' him. He was a covenant Jew, living in obedience to the law from his youth. He was in a position to resist the Holy Spirit.

A 'gentile' non-covenant sinner is 'nekros'. Contrary to Scofield he cannot blaspheme, resist nor insult the Spirit. A believer can blaspheme Matt 12:31, resist Acts 7:51 and insult Heb 10:29. Grieving and quenching are just forms of the latter. All three scripture references seem to be things a 'nekros' couldn't do. But they imply that they could be
'appollumi' (pardon my Greek - I am restricted to Strongs)

Can't a saved person walk away sorrowful. Some can be forgiven in this life and others (believers) will stand before the Lord unforgiven.

Can't a sanctified person trample the blood and face an angry God?
Heb 10:29 You imply that the RYR was not called and that says that a lot of people may not be called who may assume they are.

My view may assume that more are called (He is gracious in his calling) and that there is the possiblity that a person can be reckless with his/her committment.

Actually my point is that a reckless choice will reap untold sorrow for the believer in the life to come. Missing hell is one thing going to heaven insincerely reaps a sorer punishment than immaginable.

I've just thrown this togeter quickly but I want some clarification. Pardom the rambling.

Charles

G. Alford said...

Charles,

There is no need to ask for pardon in our discussions... I just wish we were having them around a table filled with budding young theologians drinking strong coffee and enjoying the fellowship that we simply miss out on over the Internet.

Anyway, the point I was trying to bring out is that today many people assume rather freely that they are among “The Called” and “The Redeemed” because they are somewhat religious... (usually just on Sundays)... or because they have had a “Religious Experience” somewhere in their past. I find this a dangerous assumption on the part of sinners (that's all of us) who must one day stand before an offended God.

Concerning the RYR “... For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” ... 28For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

While the RYR may in fact have been of “The Called” and was simply wrestling with following Christ at this point in his life, we have nothing in scripture that speaks to this being the case and much that causes us to believe that he was not. I am simply saying that I do not think his coming to Christ on that day had anything to do with the Calling of the Holy Spirit... (in my opinion)

But as to your first point Charles... YES! I could not agree with you more... “He is gracious in his calling”... Amen and Amen! And I am one sinner who is grateful that he is. It is my prayer and great hope that he is far more gracious than we ever dare to believe!

And as to your second point that the called and the redeemed can be reckless in their walk... I would go so far as to say that not only can they be reckless in their walk, but that even the most careful believers (especially in America today) are often reckless in their walk... or perhaps the word “Careless” would be a better description of their attitude.

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

The RYR DIDN'T HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, BUT HE DIDN'T KNOW WHY. WHAT HAD HE DONE/ WHO HAD HE OFFENDED. He prided himself by his outward observance of the law, but knew nothing of its spirituality.
The outward [General] call goes to all, but only thosev who receive the inward [effectual call] close in with Christ.
He was Religious, but lost...
Paul W. Foltz DD