Southern Baptist mission board to cut as many as 800 positions

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International Mission Board President David Platt challenges the congregation at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., to go to unreached people living in hard places because we have an “incomprehensibly glorious God." Photo courtesy of International Mission Board

International Mission Board President David Platt challenges the congregation at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., to go to unreached people living in hard places because we have an “incomprehensibly glorious God." Photo courtesy of International Mission Board

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(RNS) The International Mission Board of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination is running out of cash reserves.

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  • Richard Rush

    While it’s always sad bad news to hear about people losing their jobs, the Good News is that this is surely indicative of how the “post-Christian” movement is gaining steam.

  • Be Brave

    Satan gaining steam. Of course the sides are starting to form.

    The Anti-Christ and his minions.

    It’s clear to see that now.

    Nice to see you all in the light for a change.

  • H. Richey

    Sad news on my 96 birthday.

  • Scott Shaver

    What do the state of Wisconsin and the IMB currently have in common?

    A 210 million dollar structural deficit.

  • Larry

    The Southern Baptist Church is as close to the Christian notion of demonic as one can get.

    It was founded on the notion of defending slavery in the name of Jesus. Went on to be the spiritual guide for the Klan/segregationists. Now they are at the forefront of opposing current anti-discrimination laws.

    So what is good about them?

  • Reality Check

    Missions are outdated modes of religious colonisation, it was time they were slimmed down anyway.
    Intruding into other peoples cultures and demanding they change to another point of view is arrogant and not something that is generally tolerated ourselves.
    By all means take in something useful like medical skills, but leave religion at home.

    My parents were missionaries, my father probably did more harm than good with his narrow minded intolerances. He certainly did to our family.

  • chirs

    Say what you want but I got friends who sacrifice their life on the mission field day in and out. I know some who have lost their life too. The IMB does a good work. It is not a post Christian thing or focusing thing. It is just how can we better manage the resources we do have. Yes we as SBC had issues when it came to race and we repented of that and started to do something about it. Still we are generous with our monies in helping people. Yes we take unpopular stances in social and moral issues. It is better to have the favor of God than then approval man.

  • Chris

    Missions for religion are always bad, whether the missionaries live or not.

  • Reality Check

    If the Southern Baptists want to send quality missionaries, send non white Americans or Canadians to the mission field.
    Sure a little bit of repentance might have been done for the racial views of the past, but alas those racial views are often not far from the surface and it doesn’t take long for them to surface again in a third world situation.

  • Jack

    Careful, Larry.

    Based on your logic about the Southern Baptists, your own Democrat party is Satan’s spawn — the party of slavery; the party that triggered a fratricidal civil war over slavery; the party of the KKK, the noose and Jim Crow; the party of “progressive” Democrat Woodrow Wilson who brought Jim Crow to Washington; the party that, by word and deed, still treats black men like boys, not equal adults; the party that couldn’t even push through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in an overwhelmingly Democrat Congress without massive GOP support; the party that still opposes equal educational opportunity by opposing the right of parents to choose good schools over terrible ones; and the party that believes black bodies and souls still belong in the grip of the master and mistress who know what’s best for them.

    Unlike the Southern Baptists, the Democrat elite haven’t changed at all. They still refuse to look a black person in the eye and say, “you are my equal.”

  • Jack

    No, they’re not “always” bad. On a purely secular level alone, missions have often brought extraordinary progress to humanity in every area you can name, from literacy to technology, modern farming to modern sanitation and medicine, treatment of women and children to breaking down caste and class-driven systems, human rights to political democracy.

    Historically, the worst enemies of missionaries overseas have been entrenched elites in traditional societies who were used to keeping their people dependent or in chains. Missionaries were the greatest revolutionary force in history, challenging local elites and offering long-suffering people a better way and a better life of one’s own choosing.

  • Jack

    It’s already been happening, Reality Check…..for quite sometime now.

  • Reality Check

    Oh dear, that is very historical around David Livingstones time. The modern missionary is more likely to see a good career option with lots of comfortable trimmings and adulation by the faithful, rather than a calling by God.
    The worst still subject women to being lesser humans, take the best land for their own needs from the impoverished, disrupt the daily lives of subsistence rural people by demanding they listen to endless theological nonsense and alas resort to violence when they don’t get their own way.
    Yes there are some excellent missionaries, but the more radical and extreme let their well intentioned colleagues down woefully.
    And missions are very good at covering up the mess that their errant missionaries create. Very, very good at it.

  • Chris

    The democratic elite such as Obama… Jack you’re pretty darn stu​pid

  • Chris

    More like the steam is coming out of your ears.

  • Chris

    No they are always bad. Always selling what they can’t deliver on. Always the dark side. Always the big god and deliverance lie.

    They try to bribe people with food and favor but it’s always the same sales job and the product is one big lie. That’s bad.

  • Chris

    There are no good religion missionaries.

  • Susan

    The Southern Baptist Covention has a missionary group devoted to converting Jews. Closing that up could save some money. It is a group that should never have existed. Christians should not be trying to reduce the number of Jews in the world.

  • Loren Haas

    Perhaps this suggests that the rosey membership numbers put out by the SBC are not based in reality, but rather wishful thinking?

  • Reality Check

    You’re partially right. Episcopal groups have on the whole got it right. But fundamentalist missions are a totally different kettle of fish.

    They have little intention of relinquishing their power. Rascism abounds, as does rampant child abuse in their boarding schools.
    Look carefully where donations are going with such organisations, much of it is used to defend or settle actions of their errant members who have indulged in criminal actions.

    Alas, have been there and got the t-shirt.

    Thanks for the debate.

  • OMG

    Good point! And leave all other faiths alone too.

    Perhaps if The Southern Baptist Convention stuck to the Bible belt, Americas trousers wouldn’t keep falling down 😉

  • Mike

    I recall when Danny Akin delivered his the Great Commission Resurgence sermon, and laid the challenge at the feat of the senders, and supporters. The seminaries and the SBC world were becoming outraged over the “bureaucracy” and “red tape” associated with both the IMB, and NAMB. I know it was only time before large cuts were made, I just hate to see cuts at the expense of the missionaries. There has to be other areas to cut beside the field workers…

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  • Larry

    LMAO! Those Southern Baptist segregationists became the “Religious Right”. YOU are their legacy, not current progressives/liberals/whatever they are calling themselves. “By my logic” that is funny.

    That being said, nothing you wrote addresses a word I said about the SBC being at the forefront of trying to give prejudice legal sanction.

    Obviously they value giving bigotry legal sanction over charitable acts and mission work. Again, what good are they?

  • Larry

    One great way to free up money for field work is to stop funneling money to misbegotten political causes. Combatting anti discrimination laws, promoting frivolous lawsuits and funneling money to clearly lost political causes wastes millions of dollars and manpower. Plus it undermines the legitimacy of the church. Reducing them to an extremist PAC.

    Obviously promoting legalized bigotry is a higher priority over spreading “the good news”. Think of all the good work which could have been done had the SBC not preferred to promote hate and persecution.

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  • CMR

    The night that Babylon fell, the invaders diverted the waters of the Euphrates and the water level dropped thus Babylon’s protection evaporated. The Medes & Persians crossed the riverbed and captured the city without a fight. The book of Revelation says that “Babylon the Great” will also be destroyed. First, the waters will dry up. The symbolic Babylon is a religious entity. (Rev.18:21-23) The waters are the people who support it. (Rev.17:15) There is nothing “Babylon” can do to save herself. God himself has judged her to be unfit and deserving of destruction. (Rev.18:4-8, 21) I’m glad to see these prophecies coming true… Our deliverance is near…

  • Jack

    Chris, there’s nothing I wrote that isn’t true historically, and as for Obama, I guess you weren’t following the 2008 Democratic primaries and presidential campaign very closely.

    Obama was being hit by the Clinton forces on the one side and parts of the black Democratic establishment on the other side — some of whom were saying he wasn’t really “black” in the same way that black Americans born in this country and descended from enslaved people were.

    And along the way, there were a few strangely-worded compliments from such people as Joe Biden who described Obama as some sort of odd “exception” to his race, a “clean” black man, as Biden put it.

  • Jack

    Nice dodge, Larry.

    Let’s review this, shall we? You are attacking the Southern Baptists for their past support of slavery and oppression of black people.

    I am saying that your Democratic party has exactly the same legacy…..over the exact same period of history.

    Thus, if you’re going to blast the Baptists for their past, you have to blast the Democrats for the same past — including “progressive” liberal icons like Woodrow Wilson, one of the worst racists ever to set foot in the White House.

    And I am further saying that while the Southern Baptists are trying to move away from their ignoble past and toward a truly color-blind society where everybody, black and white, have exactly the same rights and exactly the same responsibilities as equal adults, your Democratic party is still drawn to racial division and unequal treatment.

  • Jack

    No Larry, I am not their legacy, but you apparently are. I insist on a single standard for everybody, and consider it an offense to human dignity to believe that any race is lesser than the other, which leads to the extremes of oppression on the one hand and paternalistic favoring on the other.

    Except for a brief shining moment in the mid-20th-century with people like Hubert Humphrey, father of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Democratic party seems incapable of getting its act together on race. It is either crushing or exploiting black people, as in the days of slavery and later Jim Crow, or it is lowering standards to insulting levels for black America, as in recent decades with its betrayal of the color-blind goal of racial equality.

    Why can’t that party look black Americans in the eye and say, “you are our equals in every respect, bar none?” Why, when they see a black person, can’t they look behind color and simply see a fellow human being equal in capability?

  • Larry

    You are denying what has been pretty well documented for several decades.

    http://weeklysift.com/2012/12/03/a-short-history-of-white-racism-in-the-two-party-system/
    “Republicans don’t have to say “n—er, n—er”. Everybody gets it. They aren’t the Racist Party, but they are the party where white racists are welcome, where “Barack the Magic Negro” is funny, and people email each other photos of Obama with a bone through his nose or put his image on fantasy food stamps with ribs and watermelon. Just as Republicans aren’t anti-Hispanic, they just think police should stop people who look like they might be illegal immigrants. They aren’t even anti-Muslim, they just don’t think freedom of religion includes the right to build a mosque.”

    We can add that it is the conservatives who were actively trying to attack the right to vote for blacks, elderly and poor.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-the-racism-underlying-voter-id-20141020-column.html

  • Larry

    Of course in all of your phony historical revisionism, you fail to address the fact that the SBC STILL supports legalized discrimination through lobbying and frivolous legal actions. You even have come out in favor of it.

    The church of the KKK became people who actively fight revisions to the Civil Rights Act and claim “religious freedom” means a right to deny people goods and services in public accommodations in accordance with their personal prejudices. New spin on the same old garbage.

  • Larry

    “I insist on a single standard for everybody, and consider it an offense to human dignity to believe that any race is lesser than the other, which leads to the extremes of oppression on the one hand and paternalistic favoring on the other.”

    No you don’t. You think Christians are entitled to deny dignity to people in public accommodations, if they can claim God says so.

    The SBC is not trying to move away from its bigoted past. It is simply changing the type of bigotry it is supporting publicly.

    Are you done lying or is there more bullcrap you have to shovel?

  • Larry

    “I insist on a single standard for everybody, and consider it an offense to human dignity to believe that any race is lesser than the other, which leads to the extremes of oppression on the one hand and paternalistic favoring on the other.”

    No you don’t. You think Christians are entitled to deny dignity to people in public accommodations, if they can claim God says so.

    The SBC is not trying to move away from its bigoted past. It is simply changing the type of bigotry it is supporting publicly.

    Are you done making stuff up or is there more bullcrap you have to shovel?

  • Jack

    What I don’t like about Republicans are their sins of omission — their failure to consistently apply their own successful ideas and policies on how to help people, ideas that go back to Lincoln and deal with how best to empower poor people.

    But what I don’t like about Democrats are their sins of commission — their horrifyingly bad record on race relations and the damage it continues to do to our country and to the very people they say they’re trying to help.

    Both parties have truly blown it in different ways, and its hard to say which deserves more criticism — the part of rank stupidity and forgetfulness (Republicans) or the party of pitting Americans against each other for political gain (Democrats). Is it worse to be dumb as a rock, or slippery as a snake?

  • Jack

    Nice try, Larry, but the overtly racist history of the Democratic party is indisputable. For over a century, it was America’s apartheid party ….and it was only in the mid-20th century that statesmen like Hubert Humphrey stood up to this nonsense, resurrected the old post-Civil War Republican civil rights revolution, and made it their own, countering Jim Crow, compulsory segregation, and government-mandated discrimination.

    When Humphrey stood in the well of the Senate for his historic legislation, he warned fellow Democrats not to sabotage it by transforming it into race-based quotas or other betrayals of its color-blind aim. He said that if they ever did, he would oppose them tooth and nail.

    Humphrey’s legislation passed and was signed by LBJ. It was a proud moment for America.

    But Humphrey’s warning came true by the early 1970s. And true to his word, Humphrey spoke out against the betrayal. For that, the far left called Humphrey a “conservative.”

  • Jack

    Larry, little green men from Mars didn’t come down and start a civil war over slavery. Your Democratic party did. Nor did they upend America’s first civil rights revolution after the Civil War by starting the KKK and doing other despicable things. Your Democrats did. Nor did they create the evil apartheid system of Jim Crow. Your party did. Nor did they stop every GOP attempt to revive the late 1860s civil rights revolution right through the early 20th century. Your party did. Nor did they block school house doors and prevent black people from entering. Your Democrats did.

    Among them, Woodrow Wilson, who brought Jim Crow into the federal government, was a “progressive.” So was Senator William Fulbright, a staunch segregationist who was Bill Clinton’s mentor. So was Senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansman.. So was generation after generation of segregationist. Most supported FDR’s New Deal. Some felt he didn’t go far enough.

  • Jack

    In other words, Larry wants the Southern Baptist Convention to become the Larry Convention, trading in its fidelity to its own creed which is based on the historical Christian faith for Larry’s creed which is based on Larry’s own random whims, shifting emotions, and grandiose pretensions.

    It would be like trading in the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the thought life of Charles Manson.

  • Sir, to your comment regarding your experiences. I am sorry to hear about the damage done to you and others in the name of missions. However, to counter point your broad statement in the former I offer this. Missions is not one sided, and it shouldn’t ever be, missionaries need to be as much a student of their surroundings and host culture, as an influence to the positive they hope to be. You are correct in the assumption that this is lost on many, but there are a few out here that understand the needs of their host culture and adapt to enhance the quality of life of those they serve (offering the example of Jesus). Also, missions is more of a bridge building than a “colonisation”, offering education and techniques not readily known to nationals as a way of “building a bridge” to offer the hope of Christ in a normally hopeless, desperate existence. Living the example of Christ IS missions in the opportunities it affords, it is not by nature colonisation.

  • Greetings,
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