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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Decline of LM and CP Offerings - Some Tough Questions

In his Blog article today titled Decline of LM and CP Offerings Due to Legalism Wade Burleson, Oklahoma Pastor and former IMB Board of Trustees member, reports that the 2008 Lottie Moon Offering was down 6.05% compared to last year. As a result of this shortfall in giving the IMB will be reducing it’s number of missionaries by up to 400 by the end of 2009 and eventually by as many as 700.

Wow, that’s a significant cut in missionaries. But rather than lay all the blame for such a drastic shortfall in Lottie Moon and Cooperative Program giving on the downturn in the economy Wade states that at least part of the blame is due to the adoption of extra-biblical policies.

Wade states “If we wish to grow CP and Lottie Moon during difficult economic times we will denounce all attempts by Baptist Identity radicals to define "obedience to Christ" and "holiness to God" in a manner that goes way beyond the truth of Scripture.”

Let me just say that Wade is absolutely right in his comment… only I would say that difficult economic times have nothing to do with it, and that if we wish to grow the CP and Lottie Moon offerings during anytime (good or bad) we must stand strong against all extra-biblical policies that cause good conservative Southern Baptist to curtail, or even stop, their giving to the CP and Lottie Moon.

During the blog conversation that followed I posted the following two comments that I wanted to share with you here.

(Comment #1)

Under the current IMB rules for personal holiness Christ’s Disciples are bared from serving as missionaries with the IMB, because in the eyes of the IMB they are considered “unwise”, “disobedient unto Christ”, “and unholy before God”.

And if you can believe such a thing; under the current IMB rules for personal holiness Christ’s himself is bared from serving as a missionary with the IMB, because in the eyes of the IMB the same Lord they claim to serve is “unwise”, “disobedient unto Christ”, “and unholy before God”.

Do you see just how dangerous it is for any man/board to set himself/themselves up as the giver of God’s law? This is exactly what the Catholic Church did many years ago when they disallowed something that God himself has not disallowed (That is for Priest to do what is natural unto man, and good according to God, and take a wife). And how has that turned out for them? What is the fruit of that extra-biblical law? Priest turning to homosexual behavior with children and life long adulterous affairs.

Ah… but we Baptist are far wiser than the Catholics, surely our extra-biblical laws will never hurt our witness. (That last line should be read with dripping sarcasm) A Baptist missionary organization disallowing Christ… A Baptist missionary organization saying that Christ was unwise… A Baptist missionary organization saying Christ was disobedient unto Christ… A Baptist missionary organization saying that Christ was unholy before God.

We Baptist are far wiser than the Catholics… I think not.

What utter stupidity is this!

(Comment #2)

Joe Blackmon - As I am sure you know; there are only two ordinances of the Church we Southern Baptist recognize as being Biblical. They are Baptism and the Lords Supper.

You comment: “I am saying there is no good reason to have to use fermented grape juice when the non-fermented kind will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended.”

My question to you is; are you equally open to substitution being made in the ordinance of Baptism as you are in the ordinance of the Lords Supper? Following you example could not someone say “There is no good reason to have to plunge someone all the way under water, when sprinkling will more than do the job and serve as the symbol intended.”

If not? Please explain how you can be consistent in your Biblical Exegesis and observance of these two ordinances when clearly you allow for substitution in one but not in the other.

In fact you are demanding substitution in the one but never in the other... please explain.

(end of comments)

I then ask the Amazing Tim (I’ll ban you) Rogers and Jim Paslay to feel free to answer the question I ask Joe…

Alas, sometimes it’s lonely out here in the blog world when you ask question that the other side are incapable of answering… all I have heard back so far is the sound of crickets chirping.

Grace Always,


Grady Bauer said...

First time at your blog...well written post with an excellent comparison to the Catholic church. I've seen this similarity before as well...I find this interesting since we supposedly value the authority of the local church yet the convention is growing in it's influence and power...the power to keep people out of various SBC agencies. We wonder why they're not giving as much...we want their money but only the people that look just like some BI guy.

Greg Alford said...


Thanks for the compliment... and yes the more the Southern Baptist Convention follows the ideology of the BI movement the more we will follow in the footsteps, and repeat the same mistakes, of the Catholic Church.

The Ideology of the Baptist Identity movement is a purely “Separatist Ideology”... it is an Anti-Cooperation Ideology that if left unchecked by the convention will lead to division after division. We (the SBC) have already been down this road once with this Ideology and the results were that thousands of “pure” churches separated themselves from those of us who were not pure (the SBC churches). That is where we got the whole Church of Christ denomination and the thousands of Church of Christ churches that teach that the Baptist are apostate and going to hell.

Grace Always,