When the news broke yesterday that the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention had a recommendation on the name change AND it hadn’t come via the normal fighting, backbiting, hysterics that normally follow the SBC dealing with issues of change, I gotta admit – I was hopeful. I mean – this is a big deal for the SBC and to get this far in the discussion without WW III is a major accomplishment.
It’s refreshing to hear a majority in the convention finally understand that “Southern Baptist” is incredibly limiting and carries with it significant racist and religious baggage. It is an unnecessary stumbling block – so let’s deal with it.
Then I heard the recommendation – too many legal issues with changing SBC on top level, use a informal title instead. I understand that. I can live with that. Makes sense. Other companies do that all the time. What’s our informal label?
Great Commission Baptists.
This is the alternative to Southern Baptist? Really? Facepalm, moment. This feels like being told we are updating our house! We are so excited to update our house!! We’ve got the whole 1950’s look going on and it’s time for a makeover!! And the big update is …..
Putting in shag carpet.
Before somebody goes all “WHAT??? Are you anti-Great Commission??” on me, I am NOT anti-Great Commission. It’s just that 95% of the world has no idea what those words mean. And before the SBC starts patting themselves on the back – according to our stats on church-planting and baptisms – neither do most of our churches. Instead of removing a religious baggage term, seems like we’ve just swapped one for another.
The SBC is ‘updating’ to 1970’s shag carpet.
I guess it’s an improvement. I’m not sure that anyone outside the South will use that one either. I’m glad that as a convention we are not at each other’s throat in the middle of this conversation. So, that is an improvement.
But “Great Commission Baptists” just further proves the point of what most people think about SBC anyway: we mean well and have great hearts, but are completely culturally clueless.
Maybe this will open the door for SBC churches to drop the labels and just focus on being the church.
That’s my prayer, anyway.