So what do you do believe pastor? Do you hold to X-theology or Y-theology? Which is it Xism or Yism? If you hold to Xism we must have full disclosure!
OK, those aren’t exactly real questions. Though it’s been said more than once in Southern Baptist life that if a pastor holds to X-theology, he should offer full disclosure to the search committee. What hasn’t been say is that given the same situation that Y-theology should also be disclosed. It’s even been charged that a pastor holding to X or Y theology might come in and totally wreck an otherwise healthy church.
The wrecking of churches may or may not have merit. It’s hard to broadbrush in such a way. I would also add that what congregations do with their pastors is very sad today. Churches go through a pastor every 3 – 5 years depending on which stats you go by. I would argue that this hardly constitutes a “healthy” congregation all around. OK, off the rabbit trail.
A disclosure isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It may not always be the best idea either. Whatever the disclosure is either X or Y theology doesn’t always clear the mudd for the search committee. Depending on just how theologically astute the search committe members are can make the difference. So a flat out disclosure might hurt more than it helps. Even so, I have another suggestion for disclosure outside of Xism and Yism.
Better SBC Disclosure
OK, I’m speaking larger scale here as it comes to Southern Baptist theological disclosures. Recent emphasis has been on the Great Commission Resurgence which I don’t see as pointing to theology X or Y. Instead, I think the theological disclosure questions should be built around the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (BFM). Even the SBC site’s Basic Belief’s section points to this document.
Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are.
It may even been a good idea for the candidate to ask the search committee about the BFM. This may not be a perfect starting place, but it’s as good as any. This is the very theological document which Southern Baptist churches cooperate around. It only makes sense to start there as I see it.
My question might be: I understand your concern over theology X or Y. May I first ask you about the BFM and your churches stance on it? As I look to minister in a Southern Baptist church I do hold to the BFM and thought it wise that we first visit that document and work from there.
Good idea? Other thoughts?