Longer Title: SBC Voices Says The Quiet Part Out. Then Goes Quiet Again.
Friday gave us online SBC drama unseen since the days of… MABTS hosting a documentary showing.
Here’s the story in three acts:
Act 1: Good for SBC Voices
On Friday Morning (12/3/21) SBC Voices posted an article that was immensely reasonable. Authored by William Thornton, the piece acknowledged several elephants in the room that many in the SBC have been pointing to with increasing urgency yet have been met with the kind of silence that usually involves awkward looks at the ceiling.
To read this article coming from those generally in favor of the shenanigans that took place at the 2021 Annual Meeting in Nashville was a breath of fresh air and many (on Twitter anyway) were thankful for the sheer honesty of the piece (blurred what I could since I didn’t get permission from those who pressed like).
Here is [some] of the good stuff contained in the article (more on why only some in a moment):
Let’s take a moment to inventory the obvious realities very sanely acknowledged in this piece, widely available to everyone who participated in the Annual Meeting but officially Not Allowable hitherto this posting:
1. SBC Messengers didn’t have a good idea of the ramifications of what they were voting on when presented with the Sex Abuse Motion and, had they, the vote might possibly have been affected.
2. There was an obviously well-crafted presentation in favor of the motion and those with dissenting voices were not given reasonable opportunity to articulate their concerns, objections, etc. Nathan Stuller, if I remember correctly, tried to make just this point of order and wasn’t allowed to (Note: Nathan has confirmed this is correct).
3. Many of the Messengers in attendance simply do not have the time (or interest?) required to stay abreast of all pre-Meeting dynamics because of other vocational responsibilities.
4. Not everyone in the CBN is a monster and, in fact, Mike Stone is a good preacher.
Honestly – no sarcasm, snark, or subtext – isn’t that a wonderful set of acknowledgments in this piece? Is it not just the kind of transparency that would re-open the chances of not just reasonable where-do-we-go-from-here conversation after the decimation of the ExComm but also a future of cooperative ministry? I honestly think it was.
But someone did not.
Act 2: Cometh Dave Miller
Ol’ Dave Miller was. not. happy.
Not happy about the acknowledgments. Not happy about the descriptors. Not happy about the article.
Act 3: Some Voices – Like at the Annual Meeting – Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Speak
When Big Dave is mad it matters at SBC Voices.
So what is the result? You may know already if you clicked the link to Thornton’s article above.
The article is gone.
But don’t worry. They’ve got another post to fill its place.
You know guys, SBC Voices is a place for just that – Southern Baptist Voices. And all voices are worthy of being heard. Except some voices, obviously.
Sorry, William Thornton. I thought your piece was legitimately a bridge-building kind of article. I know you still support Litton and whatnot but you at least opened a line of communication where those who take a different position on a number of issues could have met with your camp. Unfortunately, you said the quiet part out loud and, well, that can’t happen. I honestly wish your line hadn’t been cut off.
Update 2 – Oh my, again: Dave has claimed… a bunch of stuff. I confess I’m skeptical about the the getting-cussed-out portion but I’ve called on him to make the names of those who did so public as that behavior is unacceptable.
I had thought this thing ended three times already so, while this looks like it’s over, if anything else develops we’ll post another update.