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Posted by on Jun 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

The 2011 Southern Baptist Convention Thru Prism of Twitter

Crossposted at Baptists Today (  Check out Weaver’s Weekly Wrap-Up @ BT.

Southern Baptists held their annual meeting this year in Phoenix, Arizona.  These days, live blogging appears to be out of style.  Very few blog posts were published by Southern Baptists this past week.  However, hundreds of messengers tweeted updates via Twitter throughout the meeting.  Check it out:

Southern Baptists debated and eventually passed a set of Executive Committee-approved recommendations aimed at increasing ethnic diversity on convention boards, agencies, in the seminaries and among convention leaders/participants.  Prior to the SBC’s approval, I published a blog post about the proposed ethnic diversity initiative which I dubbed a “Baptist-style affirmative action program.”

I pointed out that Southern Baptist leaders such as Richard Land have long been vehemently opposed to any initiative that resembles affirmative action.  Rev. Dwight McKissic, a leading African-American voice in the SBC, agreed with my assessment.  Dr. Steve Lemke, director of the Baptist Center for Theology & Ministry at New Orleans Seminary, did not and penned a public response at the blog SBC Today.

Messengers voted overwhelmingly to elect New Orleans pastor Fred Luter as 1st Vice-President of the SBC.  A former street preacher in the Lower Ninth War of New Orleans, Luter is the first African-American to hold the 1st VP position.

The SBC’s resident crazy – known for praying for the death of countless elected officials including President Obama – nominated himself for the position of SBC president.  Drake, who previously served as the SBC’s 2nd Vice-President, received 4.26% of the vote.  Yes, 101 Southern Baptists cast their ballot for Wiley Drake.

One of many blog/twitter examples of a Southern Baptist championing the success of the “Conservative Resurgence.”  This is a favorite past-time in the SBC.  No doubt.  Interestingly, Southern Baptist blogger/pastor Dave Miller reveals that there is a growing divide in the SBC on the issue of homosexuality.  SBCers are debating the best way to oppose homosexuality, the “homosexual agenda,” and relate to homosexuals without coming across as hating gays…

Last week, I wrote about a group of faith-based LGBT organizations seeking an apology from the SBC.  Read my article and short interviews with two of the executives here.  Representatives from these groups were present at the annual meeting of the SBC in Phoenix.  See pictures of their protests here.

The SBC passed a resolution on Tuesday that affirmed its “belief in the biblical teaching on eternal, conscious punishment of the unregenerate in Hell.”  The resolution cited popular author/pastor Rob Bell whose recent book Love Wins sparked a controversy among evangelicals concerning the doctrine of hell.

A quote from the now two-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Wright received his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1980.

Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, retweeted my tweet about the fine Baptist research center that is the Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archive in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nearing the end of the annual meeting, messengers adopted a resolution supporting government efforts to provide paths to citizenship for “undocumented immigrants.”  The resolution was quite controversial and messengers ultimately ended up adding a clause declaring that the resolution “is not to be construed as support for amnesty.”  Read about the controversy here and the full-text of the resolution here.

Additional SBC Links:

Resolution On Protecting the Defense of Marriage Act (2011)

Resolution On Civil Public Discourse (2011)
[This resolution targets Westboro Baptist Church, Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones & Wiley Drake]

Resolution On The Gender-Neutral 2011 New International Version (2011)
This resolution encourages Lifeway Christian Stores not to sell the most recent version of NIV]

SBC president meets with gay rights advocates (Associated Baptist Press)

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