I do have a ton of material in various journals I want to use for this series. The series is to be book length. The size of the book is growing.
The material is serious. I don't think many Christians, in particular baptist Christians, read serious things very often.
Still, this is my little contribution to your benefit, Texas baptists of a moderate stance. You are desperate. In two short decades you have muddled along to this point: you are the second place convention in your own state.
Now, as the gamblers say, you will "double up to catch up." Your committee will put forward a young fellow or a person of ethnic diversity in the vain hope someone can undo your near past. No matter. You will fail.
Your model is wrong, as models so often prove to be. You are not mean or evil or wrongly liberal. You are not so many of the hateful, hurtful things said about you.
You are just desperate.
You put forward slogans, as if anyone cares about your slogans. You choose Scripture slogans now because you so much want others to believe you believe the Bible. Too late. You spent the last two decades letting the other group frame the conversation. They tied belief in the Bible to loyalty to the SBC. You tied your convention to "baptist distinctives" and rolled your eyes at the hoi polloi. Effete snobbery is never an easy sell, except in the boardrooms of effete snobs.
You put forward candidates now who tell you they can bring you back to your moorings in the SBC. You hope this will stop the pummeling you get from the national convention. You are wrong again. You sent those folks packing (granted, they were already packing to go) more than ten years ago. You will now lose the people who stayed with you because they are not going back.
In this series, I pretend to tell you what might work. The truth is money is tight, technology is supreme and your conventional conventionality just won't work.
So, here is the great opportunity you have left to you. You can remake this thing into something that might work in the 21st century. You did notice history turned its inevitable page, right?
Oh…I forgot…you are you.
When you put your new fellow forward, you will tell me (us) why he is a good choice. In this you will try to say why he is so worthy of the job. He will be some kind of preacher because that is what sells but he will be worthy of the job, you will say, for many other reasons, among which are…well, what?
I am trying to say something different. Americans do not know what we admire anymore. Our leaders are not religious or even popularly secular. We envy rich businessmen and powerful officers of the military, not people who talk for a living. In particular, we do not admire those who spend their lives talking about God, unless they have some special kind of real-life. Think Mother Teresa over Joel Osteen.
So, you will need to say what it is about your fellow we should admire and show why he should be admired. Admirable traits will not actually be on his job description. You will tell us how he thinks outside the box because he can tell you how to repackage the old ways but that won't do.
What will do?
The absolute best you can do is to select someone with a message meant to reframe the conversation. Revolutions succeed or fail, politically, because they offer a new resolution.
"Be it resolved that all men are…" is the place you start. You don't finish the sentence with "…just what they have always been…" unless you can afford the status quo.
Let me conclude today gently. If you can tell your core audience how your new choice is admirable, you can reframe the conversation to benefit the Kingdom of God on earth. To do this you will need to know what your admire and why.
Tomorrow, I will be specific about what that might be.
Opinins expressed here are mine alone.