Shocking News: GCR Opponents Talk To Each Other

For those of you new to my blog, you may be wondering how I chose the name “fromlaw2grace.”  As it happens, I studied political science at George Washington University and then went to law school at Florida State University where I graduated with my Juris Doctorate degree in 1991.  After practicing law for three years, God changed my life, calling me out of MY lifelong dream of being an attorney, to following HIS plan for my life, that of pastor and preacher.

Although I no longer practice law and though I believe the Gospel — not government or politics — is the true power of God unto salvation (i.e., the only real hope and change), I have never regretted attending law school or practicing law.  In my role as a pastor, I have found that my past experiences with law and politics have given me a different perspective that most other pastors simply do not have.

Those experiences — for good, bad, and indifferent — shape who I am today.  These same experiences also provide me with my own unique view of Southern Baptist life, both at the local church level where I serve as a pastor, but also at the state and national levels of SBC life.  While some may not agree with my opinions or perspectives, I will continue to call them like I see them, especially with regards to the politics of the Great Commission Resurgence.

And, if you do not believe that there are politics involved in what has happened in the past year and what continues to play itself out in today’s SBC world, then you have not been paying attention.  Regardless of which side of the language divide you find yourself on, you must pay attention to what is happening today because it will affect the tomorrows of our Convention and how we partner together to carry out the Great Commission through our churches, associations, state conventions, and the national SBC.

In what must come as a shock to those who led the Conservative Resurgence over the course of 30 years beginning in 1979, there are actually pastors and lay folks, state convention executives and national leaders, who are on the same page when it comes to questions and opposition to the GCR Task Force Recommendations (not the Great Commission itself) that were “overwhelmingly” approved in Orlando this past June.  Who knew that there would be people who believed and thought that the SBC was headed down the wrong path who would begin to ask the same questions and even to network with one another?  I know.  This kind of thing happening within the SBC is just mind-boggling!

In what should not come as a surprise to anyone who dares question the wisdom of the GCR Recommendations, the pushback against the pushback has begun.  The arguments being advanced against those of us who question the establishment’s plan for the SBC are no doubt designed to brush back the opposition.  One recent commenter at SBCVoices, in response to my post, The SBC & CP:  What Language Do You Speak, said the following:

I have it on good authority that “Someone in the SBC”, who shall for now go unnamed, is organizing bloggers to write negative articles (Hit Pieces) attacking the general direction of the SBC as outlined by the GCR task force, and the new leadership of our agencies. I can’t begin to express to you how “Utterly Disgusting” this sort of behavior is to me!

How horrible!  Political organizing in the SBC.  Someone, quick, please go tell Paige Patterson and Judge Pressler and the other CR leaders that this sort of thing is now frowned upon in the Convention, at least according to this commentator from Voices:

I, also, believe that you are right about the efforts of some who blog. If that effort is coordinated, that’s a pity. But there is nothing to do about that.

Now, let me ask a few questions to those who are conservative inerrantists who believed that the CR was a good and necessary action.  Was it utterly disgusting to organize fellow Southern Baptists, who believed that the Convention was headed in the wrong direction, so that the Convention could be turned back to its conservative roots?  Was it a pity that conservatives back in the late 1970s and early 1980s were coordinating their efforts to implement a conservative resurgence within the SBC?

If there would have been no organization or coordinated effort by certain leaders, then there never would have been a CR!  Just because we have blogs and the internet and text messaging (oops!  I wasn’t supposed to mention that one) today does not mean that any organized or coordinated efforts by those who question or oppose the GCR is somehow wrong or “utterly disgusting.”

I cannot speak for any other blogger or pastor or leader within the SBC.  But, what I can tell you is that, as of my writing this post, there has been no effort to coordinate or organize the opposition to the GCR.  That, my friends, is happening naturally, all across the Southern Baptist Convention.  Can anyone in Nashville or Alpharetta or Richmond say TEA PARTY!

That does not mean that there will be no organized or coordinated efforts to oppose some of the elements of the GCR in the future.  However, when I can be on the same page with folks like Peter Lumpkins and Tim Rogers and Les Puryear and David Hankins and David Crosby and a whole host of people that I have never met before and some of whom I may not have even agreed with on some issues before, then I think that speaks volumes about a grassroots movement within the SBC that is building naturally, from the bottom up.

Those within the SBC establishment, including those who support the establishment, can certainly dismiss out of hand those who criticize or question the GCR.  They can chalk it up to nothing more than a bunch of sore losers complaining about a lost vote in Orlando.  They can feign shock at grassroots Southern Baptists talking amongst themselves about the direction of the Convention.  They can do any and all of the above.    But, just like liberals did with the election of President Obama, they may seriously overestimate their mandate!And, just like liberals did with President George W. Bush, they may seriously misunderestimate their opposition!

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About Howell Scott

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for the last fourteen years. Before entering the ministry, I was a practicing attorney in my homestate of Florida. I have been married to my wife, Brenda, for 18 years and we have three sons, Stephen, Jacob, and Andrew.
This entry was posted in Cooperative Program, Great Commission Resurgence, Southern Baptist Convention and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Shocking News: GCR Opponents Talk To Each Other

  1. Howell,

    I’ve got to say, brother, you are surely shucking some corn here. Very good. I shall link this post asap.

    Now, for the record, no one–and I mean no one–I know of is “organizing bloggers to write negative articles (Hit Pieces) attacking the general direction of the SBC as outlined by the GCR task force.” That is a fact. If they are, I have been left completely out of the equation which, from my perspective, makes little sense since I have consistently voiced an alternative position from the very beginning. Of course, there could be viable reasons for leaving me out, reasons like: a) I am unliked b) I’m too much of a spark plug c) I’m already on board (if it ain’t broke it don’t fix it) d) I’m not a pastor, etc etc.

    Even so, I have no knowledge of such a strategy. And, whether some acknowledge it or not (nor am I boasting in the least), I am in a position in my “network” to know the “denominational guys” who possess pockets deep enough to barter something like that successfully. It’s funny really.

    Thanks again, Howell.

    With that, I am…
    Peter

    • Howell Scott says:

      Peter,

      I was born and raised in the south (if you consider Florida south), so thankfully I know what you mean about shucking corn. I appeciate you taking the time to read and comment. I think that these charges of “hit pieces” and organizing is, as you say, quite funny. What people who are supportive of the GCR can’t seem to understand is that there are lots and lots of grassroots Southern Baptists — of all varieties — that have serious concerns about some aspects of the GCR. I know that I am not making friends in Nashville, but that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to keep doing what you know is right and let the Lord take care of the rest. Thanks again for stopping by and thanks for the link. God bless,

      Howell

  2. Les Puryear says:

    I will say that no one suggested I write anything whatsoever about the GCR or the CP. Everything I wrote was on my own initiative.

    Les

    • Howell Scott says:

      Les,

      I certainly understand what you are saying. Looking at this from a political view (which is very much at play), what we are beginning to see is the pushback against those of us who are questioning the GCRTF. What better way to marginalize the oppostion than to talk about conspiracies and collusion among opponents fo the GCR. When people in positions of power — whether in government or religion — are challenged, many times they will begin to attack those who dare question. We shouldn’t be surprised that this is happening, but instead keep shining a light on all this. We don’t have “Government in the Sunshine” laws that applay to the SBC (otherwise we would have had open GCRTF meetings and records that were not sealed for 15 years), so we just need to keep shining the light in places where it needs to be shone. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. God bless,

      Howell

  3. Bennett Willis says:

    Generally we think that everyone does the same thing that we do. So if “we” get together and come up with a plan, we think that everyone else does the same thing.

    • Howell Scott says:

      Bennett,

      How right you are. Obviously, people within the SBC network with each other. In this particular case, I just think it’s interesting to see how folks from different backgrounds within SBC life are seeing things the same way when it comes to the GCR. It doesn’t take a coordinated effort when things are so clear to see that people will naturally begin to speak out. Thanks for reading and commenting. God bless,

      Howell

  4. Robin Foster says:

    Howell

    I thank Peter for writing about your blog. Some good stuff here. Looking forward to what else you might write. God Bless!

    Bro. Robin
    Ps. 112:1

    • Howell Scott says:

      Bro. Robin,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the kind words. I think that it is interesting that God is moving among a variety of Southern Baptists, bringing folks together that might not always see eye to eye on some of the finer points of Baptist doctrine. And, contrary to what some within the establishment might think, this grassroots movement is not being organized or coordinated, at least as of yet. But, more and more rank and file Southern Baptists are beginning to see things more clearly. I’ll keep calling them like I see them, even if that doesn’t win me many friends in high places. Thanks again and God bless,

      Howell

  5. stephen fox says:

    I would hope that all who see this weigh in at http://www.sbcvoices.com in the discussion on The So Called Conservative Resurgence.
    It appears not many folks in that Playground Conversation have much of a history with the BX 6400 shelf at any decent Baptist Library.

    In regard the coordination of Baptist Bloggers,I hope William Thornton and his SBC Plodder blog makes the list. He supports Bryant Wright for the most part, but raises several questions for Ken Ezell.

    The Southern Baptist Convention took a blow tonight on National Public Television in T’he 2nd hour of the Second Installment of the Three Night PBS Frontline Series God in America.
    A Chapter in the Inerrancy Saga, late 1900’s took center stage as did the Scopes Trial.
    For one, Al Mohler isn’t looking too smart tonight.

    The concluding hour tomorrow promises to spotlight Paige Patterson among others in spotlight on the Rise of the Religious Right in last quarter of the 20th Century.

  6. stephen fox says:

    correction, Inerrancy Saga was late 19th Century. last of the 1800’s; as shown as key to America’s intriguing history with Religion and it inflects its core ideology and evolves with every generation.

  7. stephen fox says:

    Since you invoked President OBama, want to share with you and your audience a response I made just now at http://www.sbcvoices.com in their active thread about the Conservative Resurgence in response to a fellow who used his disdain for President Clinton as help for folks who oppose the CR:

    Here is my reply:

    Just looking for a litte truth, Bill Mac, in a great chasm of ignorance about matters folks profess to know the truth about.

    As I have said often, least name a cursory reading of the BX 6400’s on the matter before you go pontificating.

    I am footnoted in at least three of those volumes, and my Dad confronted one time SBC Prez Contender Fred Wolfe about things he said in a Convention Sermon when the BAMA SBC met in 89 in Huntsville, before the tornado came through.

    I’m not saying the tornadoe came because Wolfe misreprsented my Statement to the Body; I’m just saying my Dad called him out.

    My Point is this, Cecil Sherman once confronted Adrian Rogers with the quote and I trust Gene Scarborough to get it exact; and I paraphrase, has it ever occurred to you by all things sacred that you could be Wrong?

    I have gotten to know online, Adrian’s son David online at SBCImpact.
    But I’m sorry History will judge Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Charles Pickering, Helms, Pressler, Patterson, Mohler and the whole cabal: Wrong.

    Do watch with me the finale of God in America tonight on PBS. May not be as stout and direct as Moyers interview with Pressler in 87 nationally on PBS, but promises to be pretty stout.

  8. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Howell,

    Thanks for the shout out. But, then I am in a political quandary. What should I do about room we have reserved at the Monroe, NC airport? Should we cancel that reservation since we have been found out? Also, what about the hanger for the private jet everyone will be flying in on?

    🙂

    Blessings,
    Tim

    • Howell Scott says:

      Bro. Tim,

      LOL! Why don’t we reschedule the meetings out here in New Mexico. Hardly anyone realizes that NM is even a state of the union! Holloman AFB is just outside of town, so maybe we could have the jet land there under cover of darkness and then we could do our planning! Sometimes you just have to laugh. Seriously, what really amazes me is that people from all kinds of backgrounds within the SBC are coming together in unity in questioning and even opposing some of what is going on with this GCR. I think that people in the establishment do not have a clue as to the reason for the discontent about the GCR and how all of that was handled. You can see this thought process in some of my interaction on SBCVoices. No one I know, including myself, is opposed to a Great Commission Resurgence within our churches and within the SBC. However, when people begin to equate fidelity to GCRTF Recommendations with fidelity to the Great Commission, then I think they are headed down a dangerous path. Appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. God bless,

      Howell

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