10% to the cp?
5/29/2006 09:59:00 AM
Should the SBC president be required to be from a church that gives 10% of undesignated funds to the cooperative program? The more I thought about this, the more I began to think that is a bad idea. I think the Cooperative Program is a good thing, but it shouldn't be used for political leverage. Here are a few reasons I can think of

First, it limits the candidacy of presidents. The presidency of the SBC is not for an elite few, but open to any person who is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, thus turning the Cooperative Program into a mechanism that could be used for political leverage. A candidate from a church that gives 12% would be "more qualified" for the position than one that only gave 10%. I don?t think giving is something that should be used for that purpose.

Second, it would diminish the importance of local church and would promote denominational functions. The SBC has been pushing for churches to give 10% of their undesignated funds to the cooperative program. Requiring high ranking offices to have such levels of giving seem to make denominational functions a high priority if the church wants to be a part of the denomination. This would ultimately diminish the local church and make the denomination more important, which could ultimately lead to a whole host of problems as noted in my last post.

Third, this could have a trickle down effect. If the president is required to come from churches that give 10%, then vice presidents, seminary presidents, trustees, missionaries, and other SBC representatives might have the same requirement. Along the same line of thought, it could happen that other requirements are placed on offices, like being a graduate of an SBC seminary, or being the pastor of a 1000-plus-member church, or something like that.

I think the hearts are in right place. The SBC wants to protect the Cooperation Program, which is the lifeline of the convention, but should never be done at the expense of cooperation or limit those who can cooperate. It seems like a contradiction

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