#SBC18 Motions: Part Two

MOTION #2: “Mr. President, my name is ____________________________ and I am a messenger from _________________________________ in (City, State). I move that the Southern Baptist Convention request the Executive Committee to amend the Business and Financial Plan and other necessary legal authorities to require and publish to the convention a comprehensive external forensic and operational audit of all convention entities every ten years.

RATIONALE: The convention already requires each SBC entity to publish an annual audit report and signed statement affirming that the entities’ internal controls are “adequate.”

Well, “adequate” just doesn’t cut it when we’re talking about Kingdom work. The standard for Southern Baptist entities should be “above reproach,” and we’re learning just how easy it can be for a single entity head — or board of trustees for that matter — to allow mission creep, lax financial protocols, and poor management to metastasize to the detriment of the convention’s witness and reputation.

Southwestern Seminary didn’t get here overnight. The International Mission Board didn’t wake up one morning and decide to call home more than a thousand missionaries. The North American Mission Board didn’t fall prey to “extravagant spending and failed ministry projects” all of a sudden.

The Conservative Resurgence may have been successful is protecting the Bible from liberalism, but we’ve come face-to-face with the reality that some Southern Baptists leaders haven’t been doing very well protecting convention resources from waste, fraud, and abuse. In fact, if Southwestern Seminary were a publicly-traded corporation, Paige Patterson could already be in prison.

This year, the Department of Defense — long known for mission creep, wasteful spending, and internal programmatic and personality-driven silos — has finally begun the behemoth task of auditing the department for the first time in history. More than 1,200 independent auditors have be unleashed on the department. In the end, taxpayers will have “shareholder confidence” that the department’s financial statement presents a true and accurate picture of its financial condition and operations.

This year’s Cooperative Program Allocation Budget is $192 million.  Over the last ten years, Southern Baptist churches have contributed more than $1.5 billion through the Cooperative Program, not counting designated offerings.  This level of funding demands more than a “signed statement” attesting to “adequate” internal controls. It demands a book-to-floor inspection of real property assets. It demands a full reconciliation of all financial transactions. It demands verification that designated contributions are spent appropriately. And it demands real world recommendations for improvement from objective, independent advisors.

I’m not saying Southern Baptists should stop trusting their entities.

I’m just saying it’s time to trust . . . and verify.

SUNDAY BONUS MOTION: Mr. President, my name is ____________________________ and I am a messenger from _________________________________ in (City, State). I move that the Southern Baptist Convention request the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to bring a report to the 2019 annual meeting certifying whether campus construction projects from 2003 to present have been undertaken in a manner consistent with the SBC Business and Financial Plan, which stipulates that “competitive bids should be taken if possible” in addition to other protections regarding potential conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and fundraising activities.



Dwight McKissic asks some important questions

Take a few moments and consider the questions Rev. Dwight McKissic is raising. Would Southern Baptist doctrine, polity, or policy preclude a woman from serving as convention president?

A New Blog for a Pneuma Time
By Rev. Wm. Dwight Mckissic
“Voting Greear, Could as Easily Vote Hemphill, Tempted to Nominate Beth Moore for SBC President”

When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed because he simply looked “suspicious,” initiated by the fact that Zimmerman viewed him as “suspicious” and chose to pursue him against the order of the police department, it was a personal, powerful, picturesque and emotional moment for me to hear Dr. Fred Luter address this matter as President of the SBC. I never thought I would live long enough to hear a SBC President redemptively, righteously and prophetically address a matter when a young Black man was needlessly shot because the idea was stimulated by unfounded suspicion and his killer not following a police order.

If a Hispanic person was addressing immigration issues while serving as President of the SBC, it would likely have a radically different tone and project the SBC as compassionate on the immigration question.

Imagine for a moment with me, what if the person serving as SBC President at this hour was a competent, accomplished, biblically sound, orthodox female who could address the multitude of questions and issues the SBC is facing regarding women issues? The criticism and skepticism would be less dramatic if the SBC historically had demonstrated confidence and belief in the gifts and value of SBC women serving at all levels of leadership in SBC institutional life within the boundaries of the Bible.

Click here to read more . . .