A few years ago Alan Nelson used a phrase that briefly set SBC Twitter ablaze. He wrote, “take the ship” and ol’ Dave Miller, who suffers from a debilitating case of thalassoharpaxophobia fell on his fainting couch moaning. The Guinea hens that circle his website heard the commotion and sounded the alarm. And thus a meme was born.
To be clear, not a bad meme. Dave & The Birds found it useful; those of us over here found it hilarious. So both sides were generally happy in the lead up to the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN. I confess, those of us on the Good Ship Normal thought we had a real chance to throw a wrench in the destruction of the Southern Baptist Convention already well in motion at that time.
I was wrong. Very wrong. The Establishment apparently heard the flock gobbling and took it very seriously. They flexed their muscle. The Empire struck back and the empire took the field. Our shot to get in the way of those trying to ruin the SBC failed to launch.
So what does a Pirate Who Couldn’t Do Anything do? One factor is that I’ve got a lot of time invested in the ol’ SBC.
– I remember Danny Akin preaching against the danger of loving a theological system more than the Savior, which seems tragically ironic these fourteen years later.
– When a bunch of Calvinists fought with Paige Patterson and no one outside the SBC cared at all.
– When the Young, Restless, and Reformed were actually young rather than just desperately dressing like they were
– When Russ Moore was calling for an aggressive return to patriarchy, of all things
– That before The Baptist Blogger got the Nashville delegates to end sex abuse & racism he was on Think Progress & HuffPo’s naughty list for… well… you tell me what to call it.
– Speaking of Patterson, I’m old enough to remember that J.D. Greear became a thing because Patterson decided to make him a star (you can find remnants of this memory if you know where to look)
So yeah, I’m an old head. And as such I do not plan on going anywhere, at least not until it is absolutely too toxic to stay.
What does that mean for CR:V? Well, everyone here stands on their own two feet. We’ve had brothers and sisters come and go already. But we are going to be doing some things differently around here. We came, we saw, and we got beat. So now it is time to own it and do whatever we are going to do next.
What I have seen is that there is a kind of liberty in defeat, a freedom found on the margins; on the outside. Congratulations. You won. The Establishment is fully in charge and there are few who even want to challenge. Southern Baptists get the Greear Good Ol’ Boy (& Girl!) Network, the Akin/Gaines Trust Fund Set, and the Moore-Self-Identifying-As-Outsider crew steering the ship.
How’s it going?
Well, so far we’ve got a President who is a national laughingstock because he plagiarizes sermons. So far we’ve seen a pretty successful witch hunt, leaving us down to 71 trustees on the EC now, with no President or VP. As of this writing we’re waiting to hear if the SBC is going to lose its insurance.
Nonetheless, some of us stubbornly normal folks are still around.
Once I thought we had a chance to win, to thwart the self-immolation of the SBC and its Cooperative Program that the Establishment is at various times drunkenly stumbling toward and others sprinting at in vengeance-hungry lust. Now that we have been disabused of that notion we are going to cut a different course.
We’re still Southern Baptist so we are going to talk about what the Convention is – at the confessional level, at the grassroots level, and at the level of whatever the Establishment is up to. Expect more theology, more confessionalism, and more humor – on this last front think about Marty Duren’s old SBC Outpost but less too-cool-for-school and more lightheartedness.
Time to get started building what’s next.