What’s in a Name?

Recently I’ve been mulling over the issue of whether the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) will change their name to the “Great Commission Baptists.”  I’m not a Southern Baptist myself and I really don’t have a stake in this at all, but it’s interesting to see how these things go.  I couldn’t care less whether the SBC dropped their name, especially since the vast majority of churches within the SBC today do not subscribe to the biblical doctrines it once held.  One could also argue that they don’t take the Great Commission seriously either, especially given the nature of worship within your average SBC church.

I don’t mean to sound harsh, but this is the reality for the SBC today.  People like Dr. Al Mohler notwithstanding, there’s a prevailing sentiment within the SBC to treat Calvinism like a plague.  Never mind that the vast majority of the churches who founded the SBC were Calvinists.  Never mind that the majority of the early Baptists were Calvinistic.  History doesn’t matter to these folks.  What’s truly appalling is that a lot of these folks seem more concerned with stamping out Calvinists than cleaning up the messes within their own ranks.  To be fair, there are a handful of Reformed Baptist congregations who are still affiliated with the SBC.

At the end of the day, this proposed name change has more to do with a reaction to perceived cultural bias than anything else.  It’s certainly not based upon anything theological.  Many people think that the term “Southern” is a turn-off to many would-be members.  Maybe that’s true.  I don’t know.  But that really shouldn’t be the reason an association of churches decides to change their name.  That’s just more cultural pandering and bending to the growing PC mentality.  Whatever the case, the SBC has deeper and more important issues to settle than this.

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