SECRET: SBC moves to make it harder to get financial info on entities

If you thought Russell Moore’s progressive politics was all that was wrong in the Southern Baptist Convention—think again. The SBC’s Executive Committee is proposing greater secrecy under the guise of more transparency. It is a political move worthy of fat cats in Congress rather than the Church.

Here is the proposed change that would make salary information release subject to each individual entity policy rather than the general SBC Business Plan:

“Cooperating Southern Baptist churches have access through the Convention Annual to information from Convention entities regarding income, expenditures, debts, reserves, and operating balances. Additional inquiries may be made by official action of a cooperating Southern Baptist church. Such inquiries, including requests for salary structure information, may be submitted to the entity board and will be handled based on the entity board’s approved guidelines.”

Good luck with that!

We’ve documented how churches and individual SBC members requested salary information from entities and never received it. So, the SBC Elite plan is to take away the current policy mandating disclosure.

Here is the current policy.

Members of cooperating Southern Baptist churches shall have access to information from the records of Southern Baptist Convention entities regarding income, expenditures, debts, reserves, operating balances, and salary structures.”

The old policy allows any member to get this information—information that secular non-profit organizations must make available to all taxpayers!

The new policy will allow the already run amok SBC entities to decide if it will reveal how much their entity heads are paid.

This is the fox guarding the henhouse.

One is forced to ask why so much secrecy? Are the SBC entity heads ashamed of how much they earn? Just how deep into the six-figure range are we talking?

New Plan allows entities to bypass Cooperative Program for fundraising

The old Business and Financial Plan prohibited direct appeals by the entities outside of the two regular offerings. Here is the old plan on fundraising:

“VI. Fund Raising Activities: A. Approval of Financial Activities – No entity of the Southern Baptist Convention shall conduct any type of fundraising activity without the advance approval of the Convention, or its Executive Committee. No advance approval shall be required for the two Convention approved special offerings: Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.”

The new financial plan allows the entities to find donors outside the Cooperative Program.

“Financial Appeals to Churches: Because of the strength and importance of cooperation and the generous giving of Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program, no entity of the Convention or their employees should initiate an approach to any church for inclusion in its church budget for financial contributions. This provision does not address the practice of an entity receiving gifts initiated by a church or soliciting individual contributions in support of the entity’s mission.”

Thus, the entities can go around the local church to solicit monies from church members. The new wording bans solicitations for inclusion in annual church budgets; however, the far more important thing to note is that the SBC entities can use their brands to solicit funds directly from the people in the pew.

So, next time you need to repair the church roof—you’ll get to compete with the big SBC brands with their digital and online marketing campaigns.

Have fun with that!

SBC Executive Committee & Entities mock Morris Chapman

The entire rewrite makes a mockery of Morris Chapman’s motion. Chapman, a former CEO of the SBC’s Executive Committee, was a messenger to the 2019 Annual Meeting in Birmingham. Chapman made a motion asking for greater financial transparency in the SBC.

Here is what Dr. Chapman said in making his motion in Birmingham:

Dr. Chapman said,

My motion is very simple. It asks the Executive Committee to examine our current policies to see where Southern Baptists may improve our financial accountability and transparency. I was thrilled a moment ago while I watched the emphasis upon foreign missions. We’ve got a great mission force around the world and how strongly we are able to support them with our gifts and love and prayers. But we also expect them to be honest in their reporting back home. And it is our desire that we who are administrators and executives working throughout the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention be just as trustworthy and as honest as those who are serving in the field giving a report to us.

“My motion is built upon two biblical commitments. First, Southern Baptists believe the Lord’s work is done best when it is done by the Word of the Lord. And second, we believe the Lord’s work is done best when it is done in the light of day.

“This year, the light has shinned on our cooperative work in ways that have revealed our need for reform. I am thankful for the work of our new executive committee president Ronnie Floyd. He is already doing in just a few short weeks much to bring about needed reform.

“And yet, we cannot stop there.

“By the power of God, we must use this opportunity of self-examination to make sure that everything we are doing for the Lord is with integrity, accountability and transparency.

“One day, my fellow Southern Baptists, we will give an account to the Lord Jesus for what we have done with vast resources he has given us. Let us covenant together today that we will stand before Him, confident we have been good stewards of His kingdom.

“May God help us.”

Yes. May God help us. The Executive Committee will not do its job. And instead pretends this new business plan is reform when it is in fact enabling the entities to evade accountability.

This is evil. It shows the SBC Elites love lucre more than they fear God.

You should remember this in Nashville.