Wednesday, April 26, 2006

not the preferred nomenclature

It's been tried a few times in the past, but to no avail. Some are discontent and would like to change the name of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I must say that I too find the label a bit curious. The "convention" really only occurs for a few days in June. So, I'll be the first to admit that "fellowship" or "alliance" or "koinonia" or some such would be a more appropriate description of the entity.

To say we're "Southern" is true to our origin, but not true to the scope of our vision. Wouldn't a church in Milwaukee (Algonquin for the Good Land) find it odd to be a "Southern" Baptist church? In fact, I came across the following from a FAQ page of a SBC church in the north:
"Southern Baptists? Does this mean we are Christians from the south? No. In fact, most of us were born and/or raised in the Fox Valley area. The SBC is a worldwide group of baptist churches who cooperate together to further the Kingdom of Jesus Christ."
I know I would find it odd to see a Northen Baptist church in the Murphopolis.

Okay, more could be said about SBC perhaps not being the preferred nomenclature, but ... what would you use instead?

The symbol/logo, which I like, brings to mind taking the Bible and its message (i.e., the Christ who died and rose again as the substitutionary means of redemption) to the world. Thus, if you're going to have some sort of geographical identifier, I'd love to see something with more of an international flavor. Perhaps International Baptist Something or Other? I like the change they made more than a few years back from "Foreign Mission Board" to "International Mission Board" and would embrace something along those lines.

Perhaps International Baptist Convention? But, then we might have to start making rootbeer as well, lest IBC some after us. What about International Baptist Fellowship?

In a perfect world, we could come up with a name using the same acronym, SBC. Slooge Baptist Convention was one of my ideas, but nobody seemed to like it. What? You got a better idea?! Let's hear it.

What's in a name? In an age where labels are HUGE, I think quite a bit is in a name. I'm an inertia guy, an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by a significant force. In this case, the motivation to change the name would have to be significant enough to endure the associated pain. However, I'm inclined to think that such a change could make it easier to reach out to the country and to the world. Ergo, in my mind, it's worth the effort and grief.

My gut tells me that many more feel the way I do, but trying to find some sort of consensus that is appealing enough to overcome decades of tradition would be a huge hurdle.


At 26 April, 2006 11:08, Blogger MStateDawg said...

Okay...I think I have a suggestion...With wanting to keep with the same acronym, maybe we could change the name to "Saints Believing in Christ" or "Servants Being Called"...something to that effect. I, too, do not like the name "Southern Baptist Convention" as it is too exclusive. When someone asks me what faith I am, I always say that I'm a Christian first, everything else second (I do go to a Southern Baptist church). Just my two cents. Keep preaching the gospel, brother, and may God always bless you and your family!

At 26 April, 2006 11:39, Blogger brandon said...

I am not Baptist and so i don't really have a suggestion. But what I always come back to is wondering what Jesus (and God)would think about all the denomination discussions. If the idea is to be a Christian, to accept Christ as your personal savior, and to do all in your power to live as Christ lived, then what difference does it make if you like a rock concert service or an acapella service, take communion each week or once a month, etc. Just something I always come back to when the denomination topic comes up (not that it really did this time, but it made me think of it anyway). I would be interested to hear any and all thoughts on the topic. Feel free to shoot me down too, if you don't agree with my take. By the way, Happy Birthday old man! (I can say that since I tuned 35 twelve days before you and my old lady 6 days before me.)

At 26 April, 2006 17:28, Blogger Mike said...

Perhaps International Baptist Convention? But, then we might have to start making rootbeer as well, lest IBC some after us.

Does it now provide telecom service?

I've heard the discussion of name change a couple times before. It would be nice, but I haven't loved any suggestions I've heard.

At 26 April, 2006 17:45, Blogger Mike said...


It sucks that we have denominations. It really does. However, I think we cannot so quickly dismiss the divisions. We must maintain a balance, not forsaking purity for unity or vice versa. God does care how we worship Him. He does care what we say about and to Him. We have to stay faithful to what He has commanded. Sometimes, in trying to do so, Christians have had to split fellowship. This is unfortunate but not to be shocking in this sinful world.


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