Southern Baptists


#1

What do you think of the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists?
And by rejecting an official (legal) name change, why are so many SBC churches committed to the Southern identity??


#2

Further evidence of the entropic nature of bible Christianity.


#3

[quote="stewstew03, post:1, topic:274636"]
What do you think of the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists?
And by rejecting an official (legal) name change, why are so many SBC churches committed to the Southern identity??

[/quote]

This article gives a few ideas on the hold on this identity and the struggles of some to change it.

Despite the winds of change that cause many Protestant groups to change names, identities, theologies and ministers, some identities may hold very close ties to their faith.


#4

[quote="stewstew03, post:1, topic:274636"]
What do you think of the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists?
And by rejecting an official (legal) name change, why are so many SBC churches committed to the Southern identity??

[/quote]

To distinguish themselves from the Baptists who don't practice the great commission? :shrug:

(ps. the great commission includes the baptism of infants)


#5

[quote="Spencerian, post:3, topic:274636"]
This article gives a few ideas on the hold on this identity and the struggles of some to change it.

Despite the winds of change that cause many Protestant groups to change names, identities, theologies and ministers, some identities may hold very close ties to their faith.

[/quote]

I grew up on Southern Baptist Churches. I think the article down plays the connection between the SBC and its birth through a pro-slavery stance. It takes a long time to recover from history.

I'm reminded often, here, about the Anglican Church and King Henry. You can change your name; but you can't change your history.

Peace,
Anna


#6

[quote="IggyAntiochus, post:4, topic:274636"]
. . . .(ps. the great commission includes the baptism of infants)

[/quote]

Indeed it does.

Anna


#7

These are my thoughts on the matter and they are not based on anything scientific. There are Southern Baptist churches in all 50 states and all the Canadian provinces. Outside the South, however, their numbers are so small they are irrelevant. Probably 90% of all Southern Baptists live in the South where their influence is enormous. For instance, the county where I live has 33 Southern Baptist churches and only two Catholic churches. These are the demographics.

The leadership of the SBC recognizes, quite correctly, that one major hindrance to growth outside the South is the name Southern Baptist. Thus, the move to change the name to something more inclusive. Moreover, if there is to be growth it will have to be outside the South because the SBC has pretty well saturated the South already.

The rank and file, on the other hand, are southerners with all the cultural pride (and baggage) of the region. Southerners are proud of their heritage and have a kind of "us against the world" mentality that has its roots in the days of Reconstruction. More than once I have heard Senator Lindsey Graham say, "I am a child of the South." Can you imagine any senator saying, "I am a child of the North," or any other region? If the name Southern Baptist Convention is changed, it will be one more piece of cultural identity slipping away from millions of people who think of themselves as "a child of the South."

I don't know if the name change will happen, but if it does I predict the loss of members in the South will be nearly as great as the gain throughout the rest of the U.S. and Canada.


#8

[quote="IggyAntiochus, post:4, topic:274636"]
To distinguish themselves from the Baptists who don't practice the great commission? :shrug:

(ps. the great commission includes the baptism of infants)

[/quote]

Reminds me of a church sign I saw once:
"We're the friendly church in town"
Not like those other churches in town where they bar you at the door.:D


#9

[quote="Zenas, post:7, topic:274636"]
These are my thoughts on the matter and they are not based on anything scientific. There are Southern Baptist churches in all 50 states and all the Canadian provinces. Outside the South, however, their numbers are so small they are irrelevant. Probably 90% of all Southern Baptists live in the South where their influence is enormous. For instance, the county where I live has 33 Southern Baptist churches and only two Catholic churches. These are the demographics.

The leadership of the SBC recognizes, quite correctly, that one major hindrance to growth outside the South is the name Southern Baptist. Thus, the move to change the name to something more inclusive. Moreover, if there is to be growth it will have to be outside the South because the SBC has pretty well saturated the South already.

The rank and file, on the other hand, are southerners with all the cultural pride (and baggage) of the region. Southerners are proud of their heritage and have a kind of "us against the world" mentality that has its roots in the days of Reconstruction. More than once I have heard Senator Lindsey Graham say, "I am a child of the South." Can you imagine any senator saying, "I am a child of the North," or any other region? If the name Southern Baptist Convention is changed, it will be one more piece of cultural identity slipping away from millions of people who think of themselves as "a child of the South."

I don't know if the name change will happen, but if it does I predict the loss of members in the South will be nearly as great as the gain throughout the rest of the U.S. and Canada.

[/quote]

Zenas,

Very insightful. :)

Anna


#10

[quote="stewstew03, post:1, topic:274636"]
What do you think of the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists?
And by rejecting an official (legal) name change, why are so many SBC churches committed to the Southern identity??

[/quote]

I don't really care about the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists, but I guess that the hope for the Baptists involved, the alternative name would be intended to remind them of the Great Commission that they believe Christ gave them and that they believe they are dedicated to carrying out. They probably also hope that such a name would have a wider geographical appeal.

I've only lived in the South for a couple of years, but I think that Southern identity is important to people in the South in general. They are proud of their food (barbeque, fried chicken, etc.) and drinks like sweet tea. They're proud of their manners and their slower pace of life. They're proud hospitality skills. I think they see the Civil War as a real effort to crush their identity (which they see as existing apart from slavery, racism, and the KKK), and they are determined to not lose their culture.


#11

[quote="Zenas, post:7, topic:274636"]
Outside the South, however, their numbers are so small they are irrelevant. Probably 90% of all Southern Baptists live in the South where their influence is enormous.

[/quote]

It may seem that way to you, but the SBC is a worldwide organization with a sizable chunk not located in the southern United States.

The name change is to recognise the fact that the SBC really isn't a southern thing anymore.


#12

They may change the label, but the ingredients will still be the same.


#13

[quote="Splagchnizomai, post:12, topic:274636"]
They may change the label, but the ingredients will still be the same.

[/quote]

Like what? Love of Christ and mission work? You are correct in that. :thumbsup:


#14

I sense impending thread death...


#15

:smiley:

We should also pray for unity, so that the SBC and GCB don’t become new rivals in denominations that further fracture the body of Christ. In fact, we should pray for Baptists to come back home to the fullness of truth in the Roman Catholic Church! :signofcross:


#16

[quote="AlltheRoses, post:10, topic:274636"]
I don't really care about the SBC offering the alternative name of Great Commission Baptists, but I guess that the hope for the Baptists involved, the alternative name would be intended to remind them of the Great Commission that they believe Christ gave them and that they believe they are dedicated to carrying out. They probably also hope that such a name would have a wider geographical appeal.

I've only lived in the South for a couple of years, but I think that Southern identity is important to people in the South in general. They are proud of their food (barbeque, fried chicken, etc.) and drinks like sweet tea. They're proud of their manners and their slower pace of life. They're proud hospitality skills. I think they see the Civil War as a real effort to crush their identity (which they see as existing apart from slavery, racism, and the KKK), and they are determined to not lose their culture.

[/quote]

The idea of Southern culture as something to be held onto is an interesting point, though, because Catholics are often criticized for placing too much value on a cultural identity tied to the Catholic Church. In other words, the critique of Catholics is that the doctrines and teachings of the Church are, at least for some populations, secondary (or dicta) compared to the cultural heritage linked to the Church. Communities like this are ripe for evangelism and targeted by NAMB and groups like Bob Tebow's, with the argument put forward that, "well, that not really Christians - Catholicism is just part of their cultural tradition!"


#17

[quote="Splagchnizomai, post:15, topic:274636"]
:D

We should also pray for unity, so that the SBC and GCB don't become new rivals in denominations that further fracture the body of Christ. In fact, we should pray for Baptists to come back home to the fullness of truth in the Roman Catholic Church! :signofcross:

[/quote]

:D

I'm glad we're in your prayers. You're also in ours. :thumbsup:


#18

[quote="Calgar, post:11, topic:274636"]
It may seem that way to you, but the SBC is a worldwide organization with a sizable chunk not located in the southern United States.

[/quote]

Like where? I haven't travelled the whole country but I have been across the Ohio River and when you cross it, Southern Baptist churches are hard to find. I spent a week in Washington state once and, while I noticed several Baptist churches, not a single one was Southern Baptist.

The name change is to recognise the fact that the SBC really isn't a southern thing anymore.

I think I acknowledged there are SBC churches all over the country. But if you think it isn't a southern thing anymore, you are delusional. There are two states outside the old Confederacy where the SBC has heavy influence--Kentucky and Oklahoma. Two others--W. Virginia and Missouri--where their influence is moderate. Why do you think churches like mine are being asked to go help churches in places like Idaho, Oregon and St. Louis? You don't see SBC churches from those places coming to the South to help out here, even though the SBC uses the term "partnership" to describe these relationships. The reason you don't is that they are often too weak to support themselves, much less help in other places.


#19

[quote="Zenas, post:18, topic:274636"]
Like where? I haven't travelled the whole country but I have been across the Ohio River and when you cross it, Southern Baptist churches are hard to find. I spent a week in Washington state once and, while I noticed several Baptist churches, not a single one was Southern Baptist.

[/quote]

Like where? You just want me to name one that's not in the southern U.S.? Here's a few in New York. cnyba.org/index.php

Not all SBC churches have southern baptist in their name. Especially the ones up north or overseas. ;) Again, this leads to a name change. The SBC represents a lot more than the American south.

[quote="Zenas, post:18, topic:274636"]
Why do you think churches like mine are being asked to go help churches in places like Idaho, Oregon and St. Louis? You don't see SBC churches from those places coming to the South to help out here, even though the SBC uses the term "partnership" to describe these relationships. The reason you don't is that they are often too weak to support themselves, much less help in other places.

[/quote]

I don't understand what you're saying here. Are you a southern baptist? Or are southern baptists asking you for help? As to the SBC being weak in Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri? I can't say, haven't been there in years. But years ago when I lived in MO the SBC church I attended was pretty large, and strong.

And I don't really understand why you would think a church would be unable to support itself. All you need is someone's home, some folding chairs, and some cassarole (we are baptists after all :p ).


#20

[quote="stewstew03, post:16, topic:274636"]
The idea of Southern culture as something to be held onto is an interesting point, though, because Catholics are often criticized for placing too much value on a cultural identity tied to the Catholic Church. In other words, the critique of Catholics is that the doctrines and teachings of the Church are, at least for some populations, secondary (or dicta) compared to the cultural heritage linked to the Church. Communities like this are ripe for evangelism and targeted by NAMB and groups like Bob Tebow's, with the argument put forward that, "well, that not really Christians - Catholicism is just part of their cultural tradition!"

[/quote]

Good point. Sometimes the blackbird accuses the raven of being too dark:D I think that for many in the South an evangelical type of Christianity is as much a cultural-religious thing as Catholicism might be for an Irish or Italian Catholic from the Northeast, for instance.


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