An Open Letter to the Southern Baptist Convention
I am greatly saddened that I feel it necessary to compose this letter. I pray that the day will soon come that we can fully endorse all of the ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention, but the present is not that time.
I became Pastor of Rentz Baptist Church in Rentz, Georgia, in November of 1996. During my time as Pastor, I have attended every Annual Meeting of the GBC. In 25 years, I have only missed two SBC Annual Meetings. Rentz has been a wonderful and supportive ministry. We have supported SBC, GBC, Associational, and other ministry opportunities. During my tenure, we have increased the total dollar amount of our Cooperative Program giving by over 300%. We are committed to continue supporting mission causes at least at our current level of giving. The ministry causes that we are continuing to support will not suffer any reduction in our giving.
Our future giving through the Cooperative Program will be directed toward Georgia Baptist Convention causes, the International Mission Board, and select Georgia Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries. This decision was not made hastily, and it received the full endorsement of our congregation in a duly called Business Meeting.
We have had serious concerns for several years, particularly with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The recent Annual Meeting in Nashville caused our level of concern to accelerate to a heightened level. There seemed to be a level of condescension toward the average messenger that I had not seen before. Any opposing opinion was summarily dismissed as irrelevant. The speakers in general seemed to have a concerted agenda that promoted specific candidates and positions.
My prayer is that the day will come when our ministry will have full confidence in all of the entities of the SBC. I have no animosity toward anyone, but there are problems that must be addressed if the SBC is to survive.
Tom Vann, Pastor
Rentz Baptist Church