Southern Baptists confront shrinking numbers

Writing in the AJC, Christopher Quinn documents the continuing decline of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“Membership in the 16-million strong denomination is dropping. They lost 38,000 members between 2007 and 2008, the last of four stagnant years, according to Convention numbers. Donations to missionaries fell $30 million short of a $170 million goal this year…..

David W. Key Sr., director of Baptist Studies at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, said Southern Baptists blamed their own moderates and liberals for problems in the past. The Convention shed its moderates as it became more socially and theologically conservative in the last two decades. Now, they are beginning to look inside for fault, he said.

Southern Baptists’ narrowing definitions of who Christians are in a society that is diversifying is one reason the group is losing membership, Key believes.

“You no longer have the luxury of saying that everybody has to look the same,” he said.”

… Danny Aiken, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina, admitted to problems in the Convention.

“We have lost focus as to why we exist, both as a convention of churches and as a local church,” Aiken said. The lack of growth is because Baptists are not preaching the message of salvation in Jesus, as they have in the past, he said.

A similar story is playing here in Georgia as well. As Quinn noted in a story a month ago, “Southern Baptists in Georgia are declining as a percentage of the state population, according to their Annual Church Profile.”

“In 1970, nearly one in five Georgians were Southern Baptists, but the most recent profile from 2007 statistics shows a little more than one in ten Georgians are members of the denomination. Growth has flattened in recent years and dropped by a tiny margin in 2007 while Georgia’s population has grown rapidly in the last 30 years.”

In some ways, the debate over the convention’s future direction echoes that within the Republican Party: Should they try to moderate and reach out, or is the better approach to recommit to what some Southern Baptists consider core principles? For the moment at least, the convention seems determined to take the second approach.

As the Washington Post reports:

“The slowly shrinking Southern Baptist Convention voted on Tuesday to sever 125-year-old ties with a Texas church that allowed homosexual members to have their photos in the church directory.

Messengers (delegates) to the SBC’s annual meeting voted overwhelmingly to disassociate from Forth Worth’s Broadway Baptist Church, following an executive committee ruling Monday that the congregation “failed to establish its compliance” with the SBC rules that ban churches that “act to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior.”

According to the Associated Baptist Press, “it was the first time the SBC has ejected a church simply because denominational officials perceive that the congregation is in violation of a policy prohibiting affiliation with pro-gay churches.”

… Two years ago, then-SBC president Frank Page said the declining numbers can be blamed, in part, on a perception that Baptists are “mean-spirited, hurtful and angry people” and that the denomination has been known too much in recent years for “what we’re against” than “what we’re for,” Page said.

“Our culture is increasingly antagonistic and sometimes adverse to a conversation about a faith in Christ. Sometimes that’s our fault because we have not always presented a winsome Christian life that would engender trust and a desire on the part of many people to engage in a conversation on the Gospel,” he said.

“All Southern Baptists should recommit to a life of loving people and ministering to people without strings attached so people will be more open to hearing the Gospel message.”

That’s apparently the approach Broadway Baptist tried to take in 2007, when gay couples who were attending Broadway asked to have their portraits in the church directory. Rather than reject the request, the congregation voted to publish a directory with candid snapshots and group shots rather than with traditional individual or family photos.”

The Post also notes that the convention is likely to sever ties this week with a Georgia church, First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., which recently called a woman to be its lead pastor. The SBC’s Faith and Message, revised in 2000, clearly states that “the office of pastor is limited to men.”

92 comments Add your comment

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
5:09 pm

Sadly, all denomination are losing members, how do you think we got Obozo?

But you go ahead and think that it is because they don’t have enough queers, sure thing.

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
5:13 pm

Now let’s talk about real declines-

The major news event of the past week for our Anglican and Episcopal brothers and sisters in Christ is the continuing decline of the Episcopal Church in the USA.

“The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan is in free fall.

The liberal diocese is faced with declining church attendance, and dwindling income.

And let’s see here, what did they do to bring all that on?

Hmmmmm?

RW-(the original)

June 23rd, 2009
5:15 pm

Hard to believe that somebody would think that with rapid growth in population the ratio of one denomination would stay the same. No wonder the AJC is going under.

ByteMe

June 23rd, 2009
5:16 pm

So when do we get to vote on buying liquor on Sunday?

If they keep declining in size, when do we call them what they really are: a mean vindictive cult?

ByteMe

June 23rd, 2009
5:17 pm

RW looks at the rain and says “no wonder the AJC is going under.”

Mort Merkel

June 23rd, 2009
5:17 pm

When politicians at a wine tasting hide like children whenever a camera is near, you know the Talibaptists are still feared.

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
5:24 pm

Wait a minute, I thought we were a Muslim nation?

What’s all this talk of Baptists?

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
5:25 pm

<I pray for you America, my a$$.

I'm ruled by Andy

June 23rd, 2009
5:27 pm

I belong to the church of latter day hermaphrodites.

The Baptists seen me coming one Sunday and said ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Sam

June 23rd, 2009
5:27 pm

Don’t you worry folks, the “Humanist Church of Global Warming” and their offshoot, the “Reorganized Church of Climate Change” is gaining in numbers. Their theology based on celebrity idolotry, state run media brainwashing, selective scientific interpretation, and mandatory political correctness is here to redeem the world from the scourge of Christianity….

catlady

June 23rd, 2009
5:29 pm

Byteme: Think “critical mass.”

Sam

June 23rd, 2009
5:31 pm

Hey IRYW, in the US, all religion is to be frowned upon except Islam, didn’t you get the memo from Hussein Obama? Anyway, latest reports are that when you file your 2009 tax returns, you have to send in your measurements for the full body burkas…..

rcs

June 23rd, 2009
5:31 pm

A mere 0.2% loss over a two year period. The AJC would be happy if their circulation only dropped by that percentage.

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
5:32 pm

These “southern Baptists” that preach the godliness of all things GOP and pronounce people such as Kerry to be nothing short of devil worshipers are not the true followers of the faith. They are the followers of the dark side. They are American Taliban.

getalife

June 23rd, 2009
5:33 pm

Oooh, a wingnut thread.

It’s the family value hypocrisy stupid.

Pray at home and keep religion out of politics.

The American taliban kills Americans.

Sam

June 23rd, 2009
5:34 pm

rcs, very funny!!!!!

In the liberal and AJC world….I wonder how many subscriptions were “saved” in addition to being lost. I’m sure the administration is giving the AJC tips on that.

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
5:35 pm

What does it take to stir this cauldron. A bigger ladle?

deegee

June 23rd, 2009
5:35 pm

Southern Baptists may be mean spirited, hurtful and angry but they sure like to sleep around with each other.

Paul

June 23rd, 2009
5:37 pm

38,000 out of 16 million. If this was Congress talking about Pork, it would be referred to as ONLY two tenths of one percent of the total.

(Speaking of which, Congress just passed the war funding bill. Half a Billion in earmarks. Ummm, this is Pres Obama’s bill, isn’t it? Veto, anyone?).

But the problem is flat or no growth over two years. Even with a growing state population, they’re not winning new members. So, what to do?

In times of uncertainty and turmoil, people turn to traditional systems. And the traditionalists buckle down even more. They don’t experiment by loosening things up.

Republican Party? More like the Iranian Supremo Ayatollah. The crackdown’s coming. Hard and merciless.

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
5:39 pm

Heck Whiner, the whole state of Michigan is in free fall.

Sam

June 23rd, 2009
5:40 pm

Paul, more like Ayatollah Hussein Obama…

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
5:42 pm

It’s just me, but I have a hard time getting my mind around a sect that evidently believes it’s better for their “Savior”, to cavort with a “Woman of ill repute” than to have a wife…Just sayin’

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
5:43 pm

AmVet

June 23rd, 2009
5:45 pm

“Sadly, all denomination [sic] are losing members”

Let me fix this: GLADLY, all denominations are losing members.

And as long as I’m redacting nonessential non sequiturs:

“Hard to believe that somebody would think that with rapid growth in population the ratio of one denomination would stay the same. No wonder the AJC is going under.”

Should read:

“Hard to believe that somebody would think that with rapid growth in population the flatlining in all mainline Christian denominations would be hard to obscure. No wonder Christianity is going under.”

There, all better.

But not all is lost, maybe you sheep should follow Tom Cruse’s or Mitt’s lead. I hear they’re going gangbusters…

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
5:46 pm

A More Contentious Obama Press Conference-See BS “News”

Todd: Mr. President, I want to follow up on Iran. You have avoided, twice, spelling out consequences. You’ve hinted that there would be from the international community, if they continue to violate — and you said “violate these norms.” You seemed to hint that there — there are human rights violations taking place.

MR. OBAMA: I’m not hinting. I think that when a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car, that’s a problem.

eewwww, how “tough.”

Yeesh, so now the fawning sycophant state run press corps has heard the criticism about their slavishness, so how do they answer said critiques? By lying about “getting tough.”

When I see some old battle wagon sitting in the front row haranguing Obozo over things he hasn’t even done, get back with me.

booger

June 23rd, 2009
5:49 pm

The AJC is the much better analogy of the Baptist. Both have taken an extreme stance because this is what they believe. Both have suffered the consequence of this as well.

Difference is that the AJC is a news source. Journalism used to be an honorable profession, and now has become an advocacy mechanism. The Baptist, on the other hand, Don’t really claim to be anything other than what they are.

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
5:51 pm

AmVet- After the attacks of 9/11, Christianity in America saw a tremendous surge in their memberships and attendance.

So, we can attribute the recent declines to two things, pick one- Bush winning the war on terror and increasing America’s security or what sorry people those leaving must be to abandon their Lord when they don’t “need” Him.

Thanks for the opening.

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
5:54 pm

Whiner, your 5:13…The Episcopal Church allows women to to be Rectors (priests) allow ALL people to be member, Recognizes the Gay community. They are a modern answer for those who feel the need to worship. What I like about them the most is that they recognize that Church is for sinners and not the righteous. So you had better find the one closest to you and get there pronto…Just sayin’

AmVet

June 23rd, 2009
5:55 pm

Yep, the poor put upon, misunderstood, victimized American Christians.

After rich, white men, they may be the most repressed group on the planet.

Wait a minute! That doesn’t sound right.

Here, maybe this is closer:

After reviewing how much cruelty Christians have used to establish their religion, or even force it on others in all parts of the world, is there much wonder why some people like Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) observed, “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards humanity. What has been the effect of coercion?” Or why the Irish author Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) commented, “When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.” Even Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth: “I had started disliking Christianity. This was not without any reason. Those days Christian missionaries used to stand in a corner near the High School in Rajkot and used disgraceful words against the Hindus and their Gods/Goddesses. I could not bear this.”

DoggoneGA

June 23rd, 2009
6:04 pm

“But you go ahead and think that it is because they don’t have enough queers, sure thing”

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.

getalife

June 23rd, 2009
6:05 pm

Wingnuts should admit the gop used them to get power, tossed them under the bus and then destroyed our country.

Jesus taught to help others not engage in politics.

Listen to him and use the money to help others.

It just might save your souls †

AmVet

June 23rd, 2009
6:05 pm

Re post 9/11, almost immediately thereafter, church attendance dropped right back to where it was. BFD. Fear of an angry and vengeful god has ALWAYS been one of Christianity’s great selling points to the more gullible.

WHEN THE Gallup Poll first asked the question in 1957–in the clean-cut, churchgoing days of the Eisenhower administration–a whopping 69 percent of Americans said they thought “religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life,” and only 14 percent thought religion was losing influence. By the end of the 1960s’ social revolutions, those figures had dramatically reversed: in 1970, 75 percent thought religion’s influence was decreasing and only 14 percent thought it was on the rise.

Only in the mid-1980s did more people again think that religion’s influence was going up rather than down, but the figure never topped 50 percent. The televangelist scandals of the late ’80s handed the lead back to the “decreasing” view. When the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked the same question in March 2001, the public response was roughly the same ratio found by Gallup since 1995–37 percent say “increasing,” 55 percent say “decreasing.”

“Those changes did not, however, alter private practice. Church attendance returned to near-normal following a surge after the attacks, and most Americans generally resumed their preattack spiritual lives, according to most indicators in the survey of 1,500 adults sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “It is largely those already highly religious who are saying they have increased their religious activity even further,” said the report released on December 6.”

Survey responses also signaled that most Americans rejected assessments by Christian right personalities Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson that God lifted his protection from America on September 11 because of the country’s permissive attitude toward abortion, homosexuality and other liberal causes. Some 73 percent said they “totally disagree” with the idea that the attacks were a sign from God, including 63 percent of evangelical Christians.

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
6:10 pm

Hey, “wingnut and a prayer,” when you asked what will it take to stir up this qualdron, I’ll bet you never thought it would be the heretics^^ that would start ranting and raving.

Amazing, isn’t it?

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
6:14 pm

…Is it any wonder that a movement with so little to offer people who are suffering is nervous? The 5-percent shift of evangelical voters to the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008—with much sharper increases among younger voters—demonstrates that many evangelicals want new solutions, even if they’re still leery of the left.

Rice University professor D. Michael Lindsay, author of Faith in the Halls of Power, suggests that social conservative leaders may be sticking with the old party line because they still believe it. He points out that many evangelical religious leaders are faith entrepreneurs who built large churches, media ministries, and activist organizations using strategies modeled on the business world…

Paul

June 23rd, 2009
6:14 pm

getalife 6:05

[[Jesus taught to help others not engage in politics.

Listen to him and use the money to help others.

It just might save your souls †]]

So THAT’S what it’s all about. Think they might get a clue?

I like to add “live and let live.”

43 minutes. No sweep.

A Wingnut and a Prayer

June 23rd, 2009
6:17 pm

Heretics! Ranting and raving. Got parody, preacher.

jt

June 23rd, 2009
6:33 pm

Normal or AmVet-

Ya’ll don’t think I hate America or her troops do you?
Even though I didn’t deserve them, I do have two combat ribbons.

I Report :-) You Whine :-(

June 23rd, 2009
6:36 pm

New All-Time Lows for Both CBS & ABC Evening Newscasts

Getting tired of hearing the BS?

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
6:43 pm

No jt, I don’t. Most everything I have read from you is reasoned and, in my view at least, valid. Don’t sweat it…Just sayion’

jt

June 23rd, 2009
6:44 pm

Norm-
Thanks dude.

AmVet

June 23rd, 2009
6:46 pm

jt, I salute you and am in near total agreement with you.

President Obama, STOP BUSH’S WAR.

Paul

June 23rd, 2009
6:47 pm

I figured someone would’ve picked up on “Congress just passed the war funding bill. Half a Billion in earmarks. Ummm, this is Pres Obama’s bill, isn’t it? Veto, anyone?” but on further reflection, it’s apparent cons expected it, libs wanna ignore it.

@@

June 23rd, 2009
6:47 pm

I’m confident my church family has broken with Methodist doctrine. Either the district council isn’t aware or they’re overlooking our indiscretions. I can assure you it’s the latter. Occasionally church doctrine will come up in a committee meeting. The adherence to guidelines often hinder or slow down progress so I usually suggest asking forgiveness instead of permission.

So far it’s worked well…..the forgiveness appears to be boundless.

~~~~~~~OO~~~~~~~

Who’dathunk bringing up WACO downstairs would start such a firestorm. Please bring forth the post where I offered any support for David Koresh. You can’t so don’t bother trying.

There were those within the F.B.I. who were working to end the standoff through negotiations. They weren’t given the opportunity. Janet Reno was reluctant to share the facts.

Report on Assault on Waco Cult Contradicts Reno’s Explanations

Many questions remain about what happened at WACO that day. It’s not surprising that so many leftists trust the government’s account.

If Matilda is lurking, this one’s for you.

In Nyack, New York, William Ayers’ terrorist group the Weather Underground launched an armored-car robbery that left two Nyack, NY police officers — Officer Waverly Brown and Sergeant Ed O’Grady — mortally wounded. In addition, the Brinks armored-car driver, Peter Paige was also shot to death by the Weathermen.

Quite simply, Ayers’ group of killers left five children without fathers as a result of the brutal and vicious armored car robbery.

In addition to the New York police officers killed, a 1970 pipe bomb in San Francisco set by the group killed another police officer and critically wounded yet another cop. When given the opportunity to serve on boards and appear at press conferences with Ayers, an up-and-coming politician named Barack Obama jumped at the chance.

The so-called “Progressives for Obama” signatories include Weathermen Howard Machtinger, Jeff Jones, Steve Tappis and Mark Rudd. Machtinger helped author the the mission statement of the Weathermen that called for revolutionaries within the United States to wage a ‘people’s war’ and attack from within. The government would fall and ‘world communism’ eventually would be instituted.

When you’re ready to condemn William Ayers and his comrades for the deaths of ^^^ those law enforcement and security personnel, I’ll buy your concern. Until then, it’s just pious fraud.

Soldier of Fortune

June 23rd, 2009
6:53 pm

jt

June 23rd, 2009
6:54 pm

Thanks AmVet-
I have biscuits, field peas, and porkchops waiting.
I’m out.
And it was really W’s daddy’s war. Or at least HE should have finished it.

Soldier of Fortune

June 23rd, 2009
6:59 pm

Actually, it is Reagan’s mess that led to the wars.

josef nix

June 23rd, 2009
7:10 pm

sorry I missed this one…

jt–not to worry. You’re somebody who knows how to think for yourself, A rare commodity, I have found, in this time and place.

NORMAL–what’s with the voice of reason? This is not the time or place for such heresy!
“…says Jesus walked on the water, and I know that it’s true, but sometimes I think that preacherman would like to do a little walkin’, too…if you don’t like the way I’m livin’, just leave this long-haired country boy alone…”

Got a lotta preachers ’round these parts… jus’ sayin; :-)

Paul

June 23rd, 2009
7:12 pm

It was Roosevelt’s fault. He should have reigned in the Brits. He was a lib – he shoulda gone for Iranian self determination. Not colonialism.

:-)

Game’s on. Pleasant evening, all -

RB from Gwinnett

June 23rd, 2009
7:39 pm

Jay, how do churches such as CrossPointe and North Point figure into these numbers? They are mega churches, but don’t carry the “baptist” name on their signs. Are they included in the numbers or not?

1 in 5 vs. 1 in 10 with no mention of the population change, Jay? It must really suck to be you and have people actually think when reading your CRAP.

Question for you Jay… What would the AJC give for their numbers to have been “flat” for the past 4 years vs. the massive decline you’ve seen?

What a friggin’ joke you are, Jay.

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
7:44 pm

Josef, wondered where you went…I’m sittin’ here, merlot in hand, virtually watchin’ RB smoke at the ears…RB, got church? Just askin’

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
7:46 pm

Heck, Paul, could say the same for Truman, with the French and Viet Nam.
If we hadn’t insisted that France got her ol’ colony back, we could have delt with Uncle Ho ourselves and saved over 58,000 lives…Just sayin’

josef nix

June 23rd, 2009
7:49 pm

NORMAL–Course they didn’t tell you the count was taken Saturday night…been a lot higher if’n they’d done it Sunday mornin’

What’s the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist? Methodists can dance standing up. :-)

josef nix

June 23rd, 2009
7:56 pm

NORMAL–Yeah, the rapprochment with the French being hailed as a success of the current administration kinda skeers me…let’s see now, War of 1812, WWI, WWII, Vietnam…ain’t we paid of La Fayette yet?

Why don’t they have fireworks at EuroDisney? The French keep surrendering…jus’ sayin’…

josef nix

June 23rd, 2009
7:59 pm

Back at ‘cha later–keep ‘em rightous, Normal

Normal

June 23rd, 2009
8:03 pm

Sorry, I missed ya, Josef…see you in the a.m.

RB from Gwinnett

June 23rd, 2009
8:36 pm

Yea, Normal, I got church, but more importantly, I got the forgiveness that comes with accepting Jesus as my savior. Do you? If not, we’d love to have you join the fold. No questions asked.

BTW, I attended Frank Page’s church in Taylors, SC back in the late 90’s when he first moved there. He’s a fantastic preacher and pastor; one not to be missed if you have the opportunity. No screaming or ranting or raving, just a great message about Christ with some great music. The church I attend now doesn’t have a denomination indicated on the sign out front which I think is perfect because we tend to focus too much on the church sign and not enough on the purpose of the church. Come join us sometime.

Use-to-be

June 23rd, 2009
8:41 pm

I was raised by “moderate” 3rd generation Southern Baptist parents. The autonomy of the individual church is what made Southern Baptists different from the other churches in the south. I was very proud of that difference. When I was beginning my career, the silent revolution began in the denomination. It soon became outright war. Female friends who were called to the ministry were no longer welcome in the pulpits of the very churches they grew up in. Children of long standing members who had wrestled with their homosexuality for years were no longer welcomed with open arms when they came to church with their parents on special occasions. Respected professors at seminaries were suddently considered too radical and were terminated. Female deacons who moved because of job transfers were unable to find a church where they could serve in that capacity. Sermons became political rants and only the most conservative politicians were “acceptable” candidates. Is it any wonder that my generation is leaving a denomination that frowns on moderation? Why would we want to raise our children and grandchildren in such a setting? Finding moderate Baptist churches is becoming harder and harder. No wonder so many members are going elsewhere when they can’t be found. No wonder so many are staying home on Sunday.

Coyleft and Will Jones are as dumb as Jay

June 23rd, 2009
8:45 pm

I would suspect that all religions are showing a decline in members. Just look around at the
actions of the general populace. Do you think more people are becoming followers of the
10 commandments? Surely not.

Dave

June 23rd, 2009
9:27 pm

that send “tingles” down you leg Jay?

I rule Andy

June 23rd, 2009
9:38 pm

Why do always take at least 2 southern baptists fishing with you?

Because if you only take 1 he’ll drink all your beer…

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

the evil rich

June 23rd, 2009
9:40 pm

First it was the Catholics, then the Methodists (remember the duct tape ads) and now the Baptists want to get along with everyone, instead of staying true the teachings of the Bible, that’s one big reason why there are declines in membership, including mine.

Use-to-be

June 23rd, 2009
10:30 pm

The question is – which Testament’s teachings do you follow? Also, in the New Testament, do you pay more attention to the words of Paul or the words of Jesus? Would you be able to cast the first stone? I just wonder those things when I hear and read the views/opinions of some conservatives.

RLJ

June 23rd, 2009
10:35 pm

Thank you, Pope Jay. There are a lot of factors that have led to a decline in numbers. Have any of you noticed that moderate to liberal denominations are in decline as well? It is not the tasks of churches to bend in the political wind of the day. It is there tasks to hold to their faith in God based on the Bible and invite others to share that faith. If you disagree, you don’t have to join. And if numbers decline for being faithful, so be it.

Sp Ed Teacher

June 23rd, 2009
10:55 pm

USE TO BE: I was told if I brought any of my black students to church with me, we could not come in! I was glad to move from that part of GA. But, sad to say, I probably would hear that at many SBC right here in metro ATL.

I am playing the piano for a multi racial SBC. The SBC no longer accepts those who live in the area, but isn’t that what church is for?

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

June 23rd, 2009
11:04 pm

Jay, the decline in the Southern Baptist convention is more than offset by the enormous gains at non-denominational churches. Just look at Nort Point and FBC Atlanta which spring from a common seed. The bleeding and real loss of members is at the liberal churches like the PCUSA and Episcopalians.

Cherokee

June 23rd, 2009
11:07 pm

“What a friggin’ joke you are, Jay.”

“I got the forgiveness that comes with accepting Jesus as my savior”

Anyone else see the oxymoronic nature of these two comments?

Now that you “got the forgiveness” is it too much to ask that you live your life with respect for others?

Gawingnut

June 23rd, 2009
11:23 pm

Talibaptists?

That’s really original! Mind if I use that at the next Deacons meeting?

Jessica

June 23rd, 2009
11:28 pm

I agree with some of the criticism of my denomination — those in leadership have often focused too much on social/political issues and not enough on sharing God’s love and grace with others. I think we need to find a way to be more inviting to people who are truly seeking to know God.
At the same time, I don’t think this means abandoning our deeply held beliefs just to boost numbers, no matter how unpopular those beliefs may be. We want to help people know God — the REAL God as He is revealed in the Bible — not just some imaginary idea of Him that fits in with the culture around us. The truth is, some choices we make are not okay with Him. We call that sin. If people don’t know about sin, they can’t know about repentance, forgiveness and grace. If we aren’t telling people about those things, it doesn’t matter how likeable we are — we may as well shut the doors and go home.

John Calvin

June 24th, 2009
2:15 am

North Point is not a non-denominational church. It is a Baptist church that doesn’t call itself that.

clyde

June 24th, 2009
5:27 am

Sorry I missed this yesterday.I always like reading about declining church membership.

marko

June 24th, 2009
5:33 am

The old jokes claims that main difference between Methodist and Baptist is the fact that two Methodist will greet one another when they meet in a liquor store. Southern Baptist have always felt that the rest of us are entitled to their opinions. If at long last they’ve started to lighten up a bit, I say good for them. In fact I’d like to buy them a beer. Perhaps someday I could even do it on a Sunday.

josef nix

June 24th, 2009
6:17 am

Okay, all you poster, self included, who like a Baptist joke, there were two Jews walking down the street, one had converted and the uncoverted asked him to loan him ten dollars…

I won’t finish it, though it IS funny, but do we accept them as freely when it’s another sect…? I do, but if I tried to finish this one, on my own sect, the Evil Moderator no doubt would hold it,,,just sayin’…

Cherokee

June 24th, 2009
6:30 am

Jessica thank you for your gracious comments – you sound like someone who takes your beliefs seriously.

The only problem is, that we all have heard about what you believe to be sin, so we really don’t need to have you tell us about it anymore. Many of us have read the same Bible that you have, and reach different conclusions about things like homosexuality, or having a beer on Sunday.

Again, though, seriously, thanks for the graciousness of your post. So many self described Christians on these comment pages could learn from you – they don’t make Christianity very attractive.

Goober

June 24th, 2009
7:19 am

In the early ’90s I worked with an independent mission group building simple churches in rural Mexico. Our Southern Baptist Church men’s group had money budjeted for missions and I asked them for money to help with construction costs. There was an uncomfortable silence and the preacher finally spoke up and said, “We have to be accountable to the SBC.” Now that’s narrowness and rigidity. We sometimes forget Who we are accountable to.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

June 24th, 2009
7:20 am

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

June 24th, 2009
7:21 am

John Calvin

noy my favorite source, but believed to be accurate:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-09-08-megachurches-numbers_N.htm

highly amused

June 24th, 2009
7:23 am

I’m a day late but love reading how people intollerant of Christians are complaining because Christians are intolerant. The really funny thing is most of you have no idea how linear your thinking really is. BTW Cherokee, I actually have read the Bible and recognize there are different interpretations on many things. What the Bible says about homosexuality however is not vague. It is very definitive and not disputed within its pages. But HEY. You sounded very smart and reasonable and thats what’s important right. Not facts, just self promoting one-liners.

Normal

June 24th, 2009
7:31 am

Like I said before, Church is for the “sinner” and not the righteous. Until you let the sinners in, it is not a church, just a social club.
—-
My God you don’t have to wind up every Sunday…You know the rest…

DB, Gwinnettian

June 24th, 2009
7:34 am

In 1970, nearly one in five Georgians were Southern Baptists, but the most recent profile from 2007 statistics shows a little more than one in ten Georgians are members of the denomination.

That’s encouraging, but I have to wonder–does it have to get down to merely one in (say) twenty Georgians to be at a kind of tipping point, where the majority of Georgians will feel comfortable saying in public what they’ve uttered privately about the SBC for years?

Normal

June 24th, 2009
7:38 am

Hey, HIGHLY AMUSED, if God made man in His image, why are there Gay men and women? He must have had a purpose. Think it might have been to teach tolerance? Understanding? Acceptance? and maybe, just maybe, a
little Agape love? And by the way, you said you read the bible, now read the bibles history…start with Constantine, the pagan Pope…just sayin’

Jimmy Joe Bob

June 24th, 2009
7:59 am

Why don’t Southern Baptists make love standing up?

They’re afraid people with accuse them of dancing!

Peter

June 24th, 2009
8:01 am

The reality is typical of the Reporting whiner……obviously that person is not Christian……..and neither are allot of the “Christian” folks out there.

Normal

June 24th, 2009
8:02 am

Babtists- Sow wild oats Saturday night, Pray for a crop failure Sunday morning…Just sayin’

Cherokee

June 24th, 2009
8:13 am

Thanks Amused. I’ve read the Bible too, several times in fact. It’s just not quite as clear as you say, about a lot of issues, including homosexuality.

clyde

June 24th, 2009
8:16 am

Highly Amused,

Here’s another one liner for you that takes two lines.

There are any number of religions out there worshipping a number of different Gods.At least some of you have to be wrong.

I rule Andy

June 24th, 2009
8:17 am

“It is not the tasks of churches to bend in the political wind of the day.”

Yet they wish to become political, so they must “bend in the political wind”.

Churches need to decide if they wish to church the masses and remain tax-exempt or become political entities in which case they must pay taxes like the rest of the PAC’s and they’ll have to make some compromises on the delivery of thier message…

Jeff

June 24th, 2009
8:18 am

@@: Yeah, well, Kent State to you, too…

I rule Andy

June 24th, 2009
8:25 am

Yeah, mega-churches, that’s the answer. there’s some real fellowship going on under the roof of that monsterthedral amongst the 35,000 parishoners…

Churches have adopted the whole “communicate to the masses” concept, why not some moderation here and there?

pat

June 24th, 2009
11:06 am

The left preaches tolerance and open mindedness, yet they are the most narrow minded, intolerent people of all. It’d be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

Responsible Reporting

June 24th, 2009
7:05 pm

If you are looking for more informed and relevant opinions in Georgia and the United States please see

http://www.boortz.com

http://www.drudgereport.com

Stop reading this guy because he should not be allowed to put food on his table for his family after writting this.

Dave

June 24th, 2009
9:15 pm

Goober,

Your pastor was evidently uninformed. Churches are not accountable to the SBC; it’s the other way around. I know of several SBC churches who support independent missions efforts almost as much as they do SBC missions. SBC churches are free to support whatever missions effort they so choose. The SBC isn’t the problem, it’s people who don’t understand the relationship between the SBC and individual churches.

LA

June 27th, 2009
10:09 pm

If you live in a segregated neighborhood and attend a segregated church, you need to pray that Jesus Christ will heal the fear that leads to hate and anger. We are all God’s children and the Gospels have provided a way to come into His light. When we are with God, there is no fear, hate, anger or judging others. Integrated churches are the surest sign that God is Love.