â€œAs I remember the Chairmanâ€™s words, he was asserting that inaccurate accusations distributed by rumor and media were adversely affecting missionary morale. The word â€˜blogâ€™ was mentioned in the general context. The reference to missionary morale was a tiny percentage of the whole report, which was encouraging, cooperative and built trust and understanding among those who were there.â€
It has been discussed on several blogs, notably SBC Outpost, that there is a potential conflict of interest regarding Dr. John Floyd's election as chairman of the trustees of the International Mission Board. I emailed Dr. Floyd regarding this, and here is his response:
I am not sure what is meant by conflict of interest that some are discussing. It has been supposed that we receive a pension from the IMB. Any retirement funds for missionaries come from Guidestone, the same as any pastor or other agency employee. That is from funds already contributed for that purpose, not funds that are currently being provided. I have never served on a committee that has anything to do with benefits for emeritus missionaries.
In other news, Baptist Press is reporting today that the recommendation that the SBC elect leaders from churches who give 10% of their undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program is being changed to delete the reference to 10%. The official statement of the officers of the Executive Committee said, "These recommendations never were intended to create controversy." Morris Chapman, President of the SBC Executive Committee, states in the article that "The mention of a specific percentage in the recommendations has generated so much discussion from a variety of perspectives that we felt a revision would allow all Southern Baptists, from churches large and small, to enthusiastically approve the report, including the nine recommendations."
Dr. Anthony Jordan, Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, chaired the ad-hoc committee responsible for the report. He expressed disappointment with the revision, but affirmed the leadership of Chapman and the officers of the Executive Committee.
Jeff Richard Young, I, and I know many others have been praying for this upcoming meeting, and continue to do so. There are many issues that must be resolved, and I am told that this meeting will see them dealt with. As most readers know, the motion to ask the convention to remove one of their fellow trustees, which was passed in executive session in the board's January meeting, was unanimously rescinded in March. This vote followed passage, with three dissenting votes, of comprehensive new policies on trustee responsibilities. I have been told that the vote to rescind the request for removal would not have passed unless these new policies had been adopted, because the attitude of the board toward the trustee in question had not changed. The newly adopted policies provide new ways of dealing with the issues, and they will be used for that purpose in Albuquerque.
I will be traveling to Albuquerque on Monday. God's provision, accomplished through a wonderful, loving couple in my church, has allowed me to make this trip. I will be present for the plenary sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I am especially looking forward to attending the Appointment Service for new missionaries to be held at Hoffmantown Church. I also look forward to meeting many with whom I have had only telephone or email conversations.
I don't know what to expect from this meeting, but I do plan to keep you informed. When making hotel reservations, my only requirement was internet access. Come to think of it, I could have just slept in the lobby.
Please continue in prayer for this meeting. Pray that the Kingdom will be expanded as a result of what happens there.