Newsletter
October 1995

 



 
Some questions have no right answers.
Baptists Today, a “national, autonomous publication of news and opinion for Baptists in the USA,” edited by former Georgia state paper editor, Jack Harwell, editorialized regarding the upcoming budget votes occurring in several states, including Texas.
It is amusing to consider the absurd, “Chicken Little” statements hurled at “weak” Texas Baptists.
Now is not the time for Texas Baptists to change course. We are just starting on Texas 2000, a strategic plan for the next five years developed by 74 Texas Baptists from all walks of life across the state.
Mission Arlington began in August of 1986 with a mission of “taking church to the people”; if you can do missions overseas, why not in Arlington?; and a vision of a Bible Study in every neighborhood, apartment community, mobile home park and retirement center in Arlington.
Every so often, someone worries that no one is representing the center between the two extremes, i.e., the fundamentalists and Texas Baptists Committed.
There have been many questions and some criticism of the proposed 2 1/2% reduction in the amount of Cooperative Program funds forwarded to the SBC.
Dr. Robert Sloan is the new president of Baylor University. Texas Baptist Committed interviewed him to get his thoughts on events in the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the future of Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

SBC OPERATING BUDGET SOARS

The SBC Executive Committee publishes SBC Life, which is mailed to 80,000 SBC pastors, denominational workers, and missionaries. As noted in the Baptist Standard, they devoted two full pages to the upcoming vote on the BGCT budget. They are extremely unhappy that Texas Baptists are considering keeping 2.5% more money to start new churches in Texas.

We thought you should have the facts regarding the SBC Operating Budget, which funds the Executive Committee and staff, the SBC Annual Convention, and SBC Life magazine.

According to current budget information, the SBC operating total is $3,213,254. The proposed 1996-97 SBC Operating Budget is $3,415,254. This is a $202,000 increase. It equals 6.28%.

In 1980, the SBC Operating Budget was $704,000. In 1995, the budget was $3,097,786. The increase from 1980 to 1995 is $2,393,254 or an increase of 340%.

 

INTERESTING QUOTE FROM GARY MILLER


“When our churches have a money crunch, we try to find ways to cut administrative costs and be resourceful, so we can keep our missionaries supported. The BGCT must follow suit.”

Press release, Southern Baptists of Texas, 8-31-95.

COMMENT: Gary Miller is pastor of Sagamore Hill Baptist Church, Fort Worth, and a candidate for president of the BGCT this year in San Antonio. Sagamore Hill gives 3 percent to the Cooperative Program. It does not seem that he, John Bisango, Ed Young, and Jack Graham have “cut administrative costs” too deeply to support missions with Cooperative Program giving of 3% or lower. If they were not being so “resourceful,” how much lower would it be?

ANOTHER INTERESTING QUOTE


“Our Southern Baptist heritage in Texas of cooperation for missions and theological education is eroding in Texas at the very hour when we need to make significant advance. The erosion in the BGCT of the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program support is further
enhanced by moderates who redefined cooperative giving to, in effect, dually align the BGCT with CBF and promote an independent giving spirit in our churches.”

Press release, Southern Baptists of Texas, 8-31-95.


COMMENT: How much more independent can you get than less than three percent giving to the Cooperative Program? And how has what Texas Baptists did in Amarillo hurt giving when gifts to the BGCT, CBF, and the SBC are all up? It seems to be working just like we predicted it would. If you treat people fairly and with respect, everyone gives more and everybody wins!

A THIRD INTERESTING QUOTE


“I’m told that we have over 3,000 folks that feel the LORD has called them to full time missionary service but cannot be appointed because of a lack of funds. We do need to do more work in Texas, but not at the expense of our Foreign Missions program. We need
to reduce fat and become more efficient with the dollars in Texas.”

Ernest Gregory, President, Baptists With a Mission, writing in opposition to the proposed BGCT budget.


COMMENT: Gregory should talk to Miller, Bisango, Young, and Graham before he criticizes the many wonderful congregations where Texas Baptists Committed has held meetings. Many of those churches give 10, 15, even 20 percent to the Cooperative
program.

Furthermore, Gregory should talk to the Foreign Mission Board if there are 3,000 missionaries waiting for appointment and they say there are no funds. The Foreign Mission Board has over $200 million in reserves. It seems like it would be good stewardship to use that money to put missionaries in the field.

And finally if you want to see fat, ask Larry Lewis, Home Mission Board president, to mail you a picture of their new offices. Donald Trump never built anything that fancy

 

 


Vote for These BGCT Leaders: Wade, Humphrey, & Rodriguez

Charles Wade, pastor of First Baptist Church, Arlington;

Ophelia Humphrey, past president of the Texas WMU and a member of First Baptist Church, Amarillo;

and Noah Rodriguez, former Chairman of the Board of the Hispanic Baptist Theological Seminary in San Antonio and member of Primera Mexican Baptist Church, San Antonio, will be nominated as officers of the Baptist General Convention of Texas at the annual convention in San Antonio, Nov. 13-14, 1995.


Letter to the Editor By John T. Allen, Grand Prairie




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