SBC Executive Committee Chair Ernest Easley on Article III of the SBC Constitution

sla11I’ve written about internal Southern Baptist Convention issues more than I care to recently (here, here, here, and here), but the proposed changes to the Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention are noteworthy and significant.  As SBC Messengers prepare to travel to Baltimore for the annual meeting, the summer edition of SBC Life, the news organ of the Executive Committee, touched again on the issue, and, in particular, on the controversial proposed changes to Article III.  The entire article can be found here, but I will provide the relevant portion here:

 

Question: Why did the Executive Committee include the phrase, “Has not intentionally operated in any manner demonstrating opposition to the doctrine expressed in the Convention’s most recently adopted statement of faith”?

Easley: At its September 2013 meeting, the EC Bylaws Workgroup tried to envision a “blue sky” approach to Article III; that is, if Article III did not currently exist, what should an article on messenger composition of the Convention look like? Numerous ideas were expressed and considered. Some were immediately added; others immediately discarded; and a few were retained for further consideration. One that was retained was the idea of making reference to our confessional statement. This idea seemed to make sense and was retained in the draft proposal presented to the EC in February.

Since the February EC meeting, individual Baptists have emailed us at article3@sbc.net, and bloggers and state paper editors have debated the wisdom and value of this sentence. Some pointed to the potential upside of how such a statement would clearly identify who we are. Others expressed alarm at how such a statement could be used to command a rigid doctrinal conformity even on matters which historically we have agreed to disagree. We have monitored this debate and I am sure this sentence about our confession of faith will be carefully reviewed by the EC at its June 9 meeting.

Let us hope this means that the disputed wording will not make its way into the final proposal.

4 thoughts on “SBC Executive Committee Chair Ernest Easley on Article III of the SBC Constitution

  1. Keep up your agitating and the new wording will read “…has not intentionally operated in any manner demonstrating opposition to the doctrine expressed in the Convention’s most recently adopted statement of faith–and has not befriended Wyman Richardson…”

    • Ha! That is very likely. I do rather suspect that I have closed the door on any hopes of a career in the upper ranks of the SBC! :-)

      • Nah, I’m envisioning some scenario in which Methodist ninjas descend on the convention there in Baltimore and murder all the senior leadership in brutal hand-to-hand combat while you’re in the bathroom. When you return, drying your hands on your pant leg (because those air-dryers never work), you look out upon the hellscape of carnage and tattered banners, and the ninja all simultaneously turn their gaze upon you. With his dying breath, the bloody and battered Frank Page tosses you the official SBC leadership medallion–which is gold and jewel encrusted–and says “Only you can defeat them now.” He then coughs, and dies. Solemnly, you place the medallion around your neck and flex. Your suit coat and shirt explode under the strain of your swelling muscles. You then annihilate the ninjas in one long kung-fu fight montage and thereby prove to the world that the SBC is the One True Church and that you are its rightful leader.

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