SBC EC’s Chapman states ‘grave concerns’ about harm to CPcomment (0)
May 20, 2010
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee President Morris Chapman has accused the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) of taking away with the left hand what it affirms with the right.
The task force “elevates designated contributions” to mean the same in terms of cooperation as “contributions made to the whole” of Southern Baptist work through the Cooperative Program (CP), he said. Moreover Chapman challenged those who agree with his concerns to attend the annual meeting “as a messenger from your church” and oppose the recommendation to create the new nomenclature and category of giving.
Chapman said the GCRTF proposal makes the CP “just another component of a conglomerate category” and that this devalues the CP and also leads to devaluation of the CP name.
Cooperative missions and ministries are what define Southern Baptists, not what individual congregations do alone, Chapman said. Calling the CP a “brand” known by Christians around the world, he said the CP not only provides support for SBC missions and ministries, but that “the name and methodology historically have defined Southern Baptists as cooperating for the Great Commission.”
“[T]he Cooperative Program IS our Great Commission Giving!” he wrote.
Chapman named four other negative consequences he said would result from the GCRTF push to set up “Great Commission Giving” in competition with the CP:
• devaluation of cooperative efforts — “It is a sad fact of human nature that when those who proportionally give small amounts to a collaborative enterprise try to control its processes, it undermines the willingness by those who proportionally give much to continue their giving at sacrificial levels”
• unintended consequences of “budget shortfalls” caused by increased “special interest” giving
• instability for entities regarding funding projections
• a fractured spirit — “anything to lessen the effectiveness of the Cooperative Program ... will endanger ... the very spirit of cooperation by which we go about our work for God’s Kingdom.” (BP)