Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Houston Chronicle Misleading - SBC Churches Have No "Headquarters"

Houston Chronicle Article on SBC

Every one of the 14,000 SBC churches is autonomous.  That is, they are not part of a hierarchy.

There is no "headquarters."  Every Southern Baptis church hires their own pastor and sets their own budgets.  They also have freedom to do ministry and preach as they see fit.

Typically, the pastor is accountable to a board of lay leaders such as elders, deacons, or a personnel team.  Ultimately he is accountable to the entire congregation.  Like anyone else, the pastor is also accountable to local authorities.

But the national Southern Baptist Convention has no authority, or supervisory power over local churches. The SBC itself is a voluntary cooperative effort for things such as seminaries and missionaries. It never was a central authority.

The article in the Houston Chronicle is misleading, as these matters are handled by the local church and local authorities as appropriate.  Clearly the reporter would know that.  They have to know that the SBC literally has no legal standing over any local church.  This is in contrast to an actual denomination, with a hierarchy that can direct churches what to do.

If there is a complaint against a public school teacher you don't write to the Secretary of Education in DC to "fire" that teacher. You work through the local school board and authorities.

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