Some pastors have noted parallels between the politics of the Southern Baptist Convention and the politics of the local church. One idea along these lines is that you don’t want to be that church member as you work for reform in the SBC. Yeah, you know the one. Sure, you’ll love that church member anyway, but you’ll also wonder if you’re required to like him or her. Don’t be that kind of convention member.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Theoden remarks to Aragorn, “The old alliances are dead.” That phrase sticks in the back of my mind as I write this post because it is not my intention to end or strain any alliances. These are not the days for conservative Christians to make enemies within their own ranks!
We are few in number as it is. May the old alliances remain alive, and may my brothers and sisters in Christ hear me out on why you won’t see me personally endorse Ronnie Floyd’s Vision 2025. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with everything. Instead, I see a glaring blind spot.
To me, the vision says we need to replace the tires, detail the car, and repair the windshield. But we’ll leave the failing transmission untouched. New tires are always great. But not if the vehicle can’t shift.
A Book of Numbers
Based on these 2019 numbers, 36.1% of Southern Baptists are in church on any given Sunday. And that’s if the 5,250,230 [attending] people were all members. Of course, some of them are guests, and children, so 36.1% is actually high, but we’ll use that number anyway.
This means that on any given Lord’s day 63.9% of those professing allegiance to Christ are missing. And this isn’t a Sunday here or there but the telling story of the entire year.
Furthermore, the trend is going in the wrong direction. Based on the numbers presented, in 2018 the percentage was at 36.5%. That means in 2019 fewer members are attending church percentage-wise than they were in 2018.
As Southern Baptist pastor, Jim Elliff, once wrote, the SBC is largely an unregenerate denomination. That is, if we take the New Testament’s admonitions about the local church seriously.