Awareness brings us closer to understanding. That is why I would like to bring your awareness to a topic that is being discussed within the Southern Baptist Convention. Last night a special task force reported to the SBC Executive Committee their study on the question of changing the name of the SBC. The task force considered the name change and brought their suggestion back to the Executive Committee. Here is an excerpt from Baptist Press, Task Force Report, that will shed light on this consideration of a name change.
“Our one desire from the beginning was to consider the removal of any barrier to the effective proclamation of the Gospel and reaching people for Christ. This is an issue that just won't die. In fact, the first attempt to change the name was in 1903. Over the years since then, it has been presented to the Convention in one form or another 13 times. We felt that this is an issue that needed resolution so we could move forward with full energies to present the Gospel around the world.”
The task force mentioned many reasons to change and keep the name but, a legal name change was not beneficial to our convention. Our name carries with it a great vision and identity that is known the world wide. They did acknowledge that there may be churches, organizations and entities that are in friendly cooperation with the Convention that may be able to make use of a name that is not attached to a national region as indicated in the name “Southern”.
The task force made the recommendation that no official action be taken to change the name of the SBC. But, that we consider the granting of churches, organizations and entities the ability to use a descriptor that would indicate their relationship to each other and the SBC. The non-legal name would be “Great Commission Baptist”, a name that would hold to our tradition and beliefs.
The Executive Committee will have to vote to bring this recommendation to the 2012 SBC in New Orleans. The recommendation would mean the SBC would have to vote to use the phrase “Great Commission Baptist” as a non-legal descriptor. So, no official change, just a new phrase to associate with the Convention.
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Until the Whole World Hears,