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Statement from Anthony Jordan on SBC name news

Dr. Anthony Jordan, Executive Director-Treasurer for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, issued the following statement about the recommendation from the SBC Task Force appointed to study a possible name change.

“I believe a majority of Oklahoma Baptists will be pleased that the legal name will remain. The heart of Southern Baptists has always been the Great Commission since our founding in 1845, so the proposed unofficial name speaks to that heart. While a name is important, we as Oklahoma Baptists will remain focused on the task at hand, which is to continue to proclaim the Gospel, serve others and love all people in order to bring glory to the Name of Jesus Christ.”


Author: Staff

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  • Personally, I think the Task Force did a good job with a difficult task.

  • Lloyd Biggers

    I am opposed to the SBC name change and the “optional unofficial name”. We are what we are and we have good reason to be proud of the SBC name we presently carry.

    Does anyone really believe that we can change our name and the unchurched will suddenly see us in a different light than before, flock to the church buildings and reverse the decline in membership? The Lifeway study that revealed a significant enough level of negativity toward the Southern Baptist churches by the unchurched implies that our work fulfilling the Great Commission is made more complicated. It may be. However, painting our denomination with a different color (i.e., name) does not change the composition of our Biblically-based doctrine.

    With over 50 associations, fellowships and conventions using the name “Baptist” in the U.S. I can see where the unchurched are confused, as this list goes from the Alliance of Baptists to the World Baptist Fellowship. The Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas is also in this list.

    We (SBC Baptists) have pregnancy crisis centers, childrens homes, relief shelters, disaster relief teams, foreign and home missionaries and numerous other outreach programs that carry comfort, goodwill and the message of the Cross to those who need it. How many of the unchurched know about these programs of our denomination? I imagine very few.

    I believe the answer to our negative numbers from the Lifeway study is not window dressing like a new name, but advertising in the national media showing what the Southern Baptists are doing in our communities to serve those in need. Additionally, each of us needs to redouble our time in God’s Word daily and spend copious amounts of time in prayer to God, seeking wisdom, forgiveness of our sins and His assistance to us in living our life as He wants us to do. We need to live our faith each day and be the salt of the earth and that the light on the hill, essentially “walking the talk.” Any effort less than that is aid and comfort to those who seek to criticize our church.

  • Mark Wood

    I am thankful that the Convention has given so much thought and prayer to this issue. I too am proud of the long heritage that the SBC has in going after the main thing, the gospel. However, I believe that it is insightful and sensitive to discuss a name change as we look to the future. I believe that the name ‘Great Commission’ will be offensive to many people, but it will be offensive because of the gospel message that it bears. What is better, to be offensive because we are being obedient to God in our pursuit of the Great Commission, or to be offensive because our name ‘Southern’ reminds people of the terrible time in our country’s history when slavery and prejudice were ingrained so deeply that even our churches followed the cultural influences?

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