The Association of Convictionless Baptists

I’m too darned cheap to go around buying domain names for every brilliant idea I have, so I’ve formed a new Association that I’m promoting here at SBC TooDazed called the Association of Convictionless Baptists. It is a product of my First Year Initiative in which I’m calling for an appreciation of all things Baptist since at least February or March of this year. There isn’t much to go on so far: the resignation of Wade Burleson and a couple of rather ominous-sounding reports from Ed Stetzer’s research group at LifeWay, something heading towards a baker’s dozen candidates for SBC President, and the average Southern Baptist preacher’s expanding girth.

Who is in the Association of Convictionless Baptists?

Well, at the moment no one, but we are taking applications. Baptists who have convictions claim our numbers are very great. However, our membership tends to be much like the “Some” family that exists in many churches. You’ve heard of them, right? A well-meaning (or not-so-well-meaning) person comes to you just prior to the Sunday morning worship service and says, “Pastor, some people are saying you preach too long.” When you ask who these people are you get a blank stare, as if you’d just asked them solve a Navier-Stokes equation. In fact, nearly every complaint or problem in church life originates with the Some family. Likewise, we are told that there are “some” Baptists who are Convictionless Baptists. It is likely that they are in every church, but centuries of Baptist life have failed to reveal the specific identity of any of these people individually.

What is the sine qua non of a Convictionless Baptist?

Lacking convictions there really is no sine qua non for our group. On the other hand, our raison d’être is to look smart by using Latin words the average person must look up. If we can’t find Latin words you don’t know, we’ll try Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, French or even really obscure English words. Like “evagation.” Our only conviction is to look smart at what we are doing.

Where’d the name come from?

For the mathematically challenged, we have chosen a three-word title. But we’ll describe the second word first, the third word second and the first word third. Just to make it interesting.

We are Convictionless. There are other names inappropriately used to describe us, like ecumenists, or reformers, or dissidents. No, we are simply convictionless. Our hope is that the Southern Baptist Convention becomes awash in anything and everything. We don’t care. Baptisms are down? Bah! CP giving percentages are in decline? No biggie. Emergents are taking over like the Russians in Red Dawn? Who cares (we really like Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell and Charlie Sheen – especially the young versions)? Not us.

We are Baptists. Well, for the most part. We trend away from using “Baptist” in the naming of our churches these days. We don’t use LifeWay material. We give a pittance to the Cooperative Program. We would much rather go to a John Piper Conference, or a Willow Creek event, or listen to John Maxwell tapes, or rub our bare bottoms with 60 grit sandpaper than attend a Baptist event. The prominent preachers in our convention spend a good amount of time preaching against us. Baptist watchblogs excoriate us and are not beyond making up things that simply aren’t true to make their point about us. But we like the name. It has a nice ring to it. And even if we’re not “real” Baptists, we hope that one day we might be.

We are an Association. Well, if there really were any of “us” I suppose “we” might make an association. “Some” may join us in our quest for the convictionless. We are often told that there are many of us. Now if we could just get the mailing list perhaps we could ask for our share of the CP giving and I could sit around all day promoting this nonsense. In fact, with as many of “us” as there seem to be I should be sitting under an umbrella on the beach of the French Riviera typing this out on my new MacBook Pro. But I guess my kind of snobbery doesn’t pay as well as I think it should. Yet.

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2 Responses to “The Association of Convictionless Baptists”

  1. Annon Says:

    I want to join. As a convictionless Baptist there is finally an association for me to associate with. I can now seek the Baptist Non identity I have always wanted. Since I have no convictions and I am seeking to be a non identity Baptist, well, I am now home.

    No more trying to hide that I have no convictions and no more trying to hide that I am trying to hide my identity. Now it is out in the open that I can truly hide my identity and convictions in the open. I will keep my name Annon so as to be consistent with my non convictions and my lack of identity.

  2. Dave Miller Says:

    I signed onto Bart Barber’s ACB, because I thought it was pretty good. However, I have been told by your friend Rosie that I am not conservative. I am, in fact, an agent of “Enid.” This is because I do not tow the party line on wine-bibbing, (theoretically, for I am still a vino-virgin in real life).

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