The SBC name change recommendation and its future

Much hype in recent days has centered around a potential change of name for the Southern Baptist Convention. Some think it’s a done deal, and others are just plain confused. The truth is, a recommendation has been made to the Executive Committee who has agreed to present it at the 2012 annual meeting.

The issue stems from the offense taken by some at the word ‘southern’ and the resulting effect on some Southern Baptist affiliated evangelistic works. It is an issue that has been discussed multiple times in SBC life over the past 100+ years but has never been resolved. Last year SBC president Bryant Wright appointed a task force to study the issue and report back to him.

The resulting task force recommendation, presented at yesterday’s Executive Committee meeting, was to leave the legal name as is but offer an alternate name, Great Commission Baptists, for those who wish to use it. The recommendation, as it currently stands, has no binding power and is nothing more than a recommendation. At least not until the convention acts on it at this year’s annual meeting. The convention has the final say and will ultimately decide whether to embrace or reject this recommendation.

Ultimately the question is not what I like the most or least. It is not which is more popular or well-known. The primary question is “what best positions us as a convention of cooperating churches to make disciples?.” That’s not something that any one person or church can determine. The task force has researched the issue and made a recommendation they feel best answers this question. Now Southern Baptist must come together and decide as a whole.