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 Information and Inspiration on Issues of Importance to Baptists
Sixth and Final Report of the SBC Funding Study
The Fifth and Final Report of the SBC
Stand For Marriage
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee
Final Report of Ad Hoc CP Committee (Appendices)
Cooperative Program Advance Plan
Fourth Report of the SBC Funding Study Committee
Review of NOBTS's Sole Membership Charter Amend.
Response to reservations about sole membership
Reservations Concerning a Charter Amendment Prop.
Sole Membership - A Florida Layman’s Perspecti
A Letter to Dr. Denton Lotz
Letter from Albert W. Wardin
The Relation of the SBC to its Entities
SBC Funding Study - State of Giving
What is Sole Membership?
Sole Membership
Letter to Missouri Churches
Questions and Answers
Behind the Scenes at the SBC
Response by Morris H. Chapman to the BGCT
Does It Matter What Missionaries Believe?
Letter to the Baptist Standard
On Facts and Fallacies
Letter by SBC EC President to Dr. James L. Hill
A View from the Other Side
Carter's rift with SBC not a new development
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee Report
SBTS Response to BGCT Seminary Study Committee
Exec. Comm. Interacts with BGCT Funding Proposal
The Pastor's Point of View on the BGCT
Feasibility Study for Name Change
Report of the SBC Peace Committee
Doctrine, Cooperation, and Association
Report to the Fellowship of Deacons
Too High a View of Scripture?
The Truth about the SBC and Texas
Christ, The Bible, and Human Experience
Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation
BFM - Still Thoroughly Baptist!
Texas First, Texas Only - Not the Spirit
Anti-SBC Leaders Threaten Cooperative Program
Southern Baptists and Women Pastors
The Root of the SBC Controversy
Your Church Reaching the World for Christ
Together We're Carrying Out the Great Commission
Doctrinal integrity paramount for Serminary
Have Baptists replaced Jesus with a book?
Why theology matters for the Great Commission task
A survey of the 2000 BFM
Baptists, the Bible and confessions
Southern Seminary and the Abstract of Principles
An Open Letter to Southern Baptists
A Statement About the Baptist Faith & Message
An Example of the Need to Change The BFM
Incredible Vanishing Corporations
Committee on Cooperation - Report and Findings
An Open Letter from Dr. Allen to Dr. Wade
Why Cooperate?
The Southern Baptist Convention is Alive and Well
Letter by SBCEC President to TX Church Leaders
  Home > Reports, Articles & Papers
Selected Quote

"There should be an 'Abstract of Principles', or careful statement of theological belief, which every professor in such an institution must sign when inaugurated, so as to guard against the rise of erroneous and injurious instruction in such a seat of sacred learning."

James P. Boyce
from "Three Changes in
Theological Institutions"
- summarized by John Broadus, 1856

Anti-SBC Leaders Threaten Cooperative Program
by staff of the Executive Committee of the SBC

A Brief History

For seventy-five years the Cooperative Program has been the means whereby Southern Baptist churches could support all the ministries of their state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Prior to this unified giving plan, appeals for support were made by the various mission boards, schools, benevolence ministries, and other enterprises directly to the churches. The results were uneven, costly, and ineffective. The SBC in coordination with the state conventions developed the Cooperative Program so that churches could support the whole program of Baptist work with one regular monthly gift. The results have been wildly successful with tremendous growth in all phases of our mission work.

From its inception, the Cooperative Program has depended largely upon the state conventions for its promotion. The work the Southern Baptist Convention has done in this area has been basically through the state conventions. The agreement was the state conventions would collect money from the churches and, after covering expenses of promotion and other agreed upon deductions, divide the receipts equitably between the state and the Southern Baptist Convention. As a part of this responsibility, the states agreed to promote the "whole" program, i.e., they would promote the SBC side of the Cooperative Program as vigorously as they did the state side. Because the SBC has believed it would be treated as a true partner, it has been pleased for the state convention to set the distribution percentage. In the same spirit, state convention leaders have been unselfish when determining the amount retained in the state convention for its work versus that forwarded to the SBC for its ministries. Each has recognized the historic and healthy division of labor between the Southern Baptist Convention and the state conventions that basically gives the lead to the state convention for ministry within the state and to the Southern Baptist Convention for ministry outside the state. This arrangement has maximized efficiency and minimized duplication of effort. It also has allowed plenty of opportunity for working together on a myriad of ministries and projects without the sense that there was a violation of "turf."

Historically, the state conventions have also valued the ministries of the SBC as their own and labored diligently to challenge the churches to support the national and international ministries with the same enthusiasm as state convention ministries. They recognized that Cooperative Program money given by the churches was intended for both the state convention and the SBC and did not begrudge the portion going for SBC missions. Most state conventions regularly seek to increase the percentage going to national and international causes and any decreases have been made with great reluctance.

A Cause for Alarm

In recent years, the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) adopted giving plans for the Cooperative Program that have the effect of supporting the state convention but curtailing support for the SBC. We were concerned with this fundamental change of definition of Cooperative Program at the time. Now, some SBC critics in Texas are pushing further and are attempting to dissuade churches from giving to the SBC. They have made various charges regarding the faithfulness, effectiveness, and necessity of SBC ministries (charges that are addressed elsewhere in this series of articles). This is a serious breach in the long-standing, useful partnership between the state convention and the SBC.

No one can tell individual Southern Baptist churches how to give their money. That is the reason we have always made provision for designated gifts. But we can encourage the churches in a particular direction. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention's position is that all churches are encouraged to give without designation to the Cooperative Program through the state convention. We have resisted creating any other track for giving because we believe it harms the idea of the Cooperative Program and breaks faith with our state convention partners.

In place of its long-standing practice, your church is being asked by anti-SBC leaders in Texas to abandon its support of SBC missions during days of unparalleled effectiveness and opportunity around the world. Not only is there no good reason to cut back, there is every reason to support the SBC more fervently. The agencies of the SBC have a track record of distinguished service to Christ and to Southern Baptists and are at their zenith in effectiveness — more missionaries under appointment than ever before, more candidates for missions service than ever before, more church starts in a single year than ever before, more students enrolled in the six seminaries than ever before.

We are extremely disappointed that anti-SBC leaders in Texas have persuaded the state convention to adopt what is at best a neutral attitude toward the SBC portion of the Cooperative Program and to promote other groups as bona fide recipients of Cooperative Program giving. This is a fundamental violation in the state convention/SBC partnership.

We are even more disappointed in the unwarranted and divisive criticism of SBC missions by those who would divert the gifts of faithful Southern Baptist churches in Texas to their own control. It would be sad indeed if Southern Baptist churches in Texas were dissuaded by a vocal minority of anti-SBC leaders from supporting the SBC portion of the Cooperative Program or denied a vehicle through the state convention for forwarding their gifts to Southern Baptist Convention missions causes. We hope neither of these practices becomes a reality. However, the Southern Baptist Convention is committed to relating to Southern Baptist congregations in Texas and will find a way to partner together in the event the traditional methods are unavailable.

What can you do?

    1. Communicate your support of SBC missions and ministries to your church and the state convention.
    2. Encourage a return to the historic state/SBC partnership through the Cooperative Program.
    3. Continue giving enthusiastically to SBC causes.
    4. Inform yourself and encourage your church to send its maximum number of messengers to the meeting of the BGCT meeting October 30-31 in Corpus Christi.
    5. Pray for the Lord's guidance and blessing on all our ministries as we work cooperatively.

Reprinted from The Truth about the SBC & Texas, by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Copies of this brochure are available at no charge by
clicking here or by calling (866)722-5433.

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