Time to stand up, step up, speak up
July 20, 2004
In recent days, there have been so many events taking place that I cannot speak to only one topic, even in my limited space. So here is a potpourri of subjects and information that I believe may be of some interest to you.
First, let me say to Missouri Baptists that Suzie and I have been very encouraged by you. It was magnified at the SBC in Indianapolis where we had innumerable good Missouri Baptist folk tell us they loved us and were regularly praying for us. I want to tell you that was repeated so often to us that it really stoked our fire! The statewide reception we have experienced in these 23 months has been incredible! How could I ever become discouraged with this many friends and prayer warriors surrounding us? Missouri Baptists, you are a blessing to us. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.
Not by Missouri Baptists, but by the gutless U.S. senators other states have sent to Washington. The July 14, 48-to-50 vote in the Senate against the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) is deeply disappointing. Missouri Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent voted FOR the FMA and for that we are very thankful. Please let them know you appreciate them. Don’t relax! The war is still on and we have a battle to fight and a message to send on Aug. 3 to the rest of the nation about marriage and the family.
One of the regular briefings I receive from Washington is from insider, Gary Bauer. Bauer was a member of President Reagan’s cabinet and is the former head of the Family Research Council. I want to share some of his thoughts with you here:
“Today’s 48-to-50 vote in the Senate against traditional marriage is deeply disappointing. The Senate Democrats voted en mass against the marriage amendment with three exceptions. Senate Republicans for the most part voted for the amendment, but six crossed over and joined the Democrats in opposition to the amendment. (See how each senator voted on page 10.)
“But, this is not a defeat unless YOU surrender and give up. I am disappointed by the reaction of many so-called “representatives” in Congress, but my friends, you came through in a big way. You did your job – you put pressure on Capitol Hill in support of the marriage amendment in a way I can’t recall in all my years in Washington!
“In every office we visited yesterday the phones were ringing off the hook non-stop. One newspaper reported that the phones in one Senate office were ringing 300 times an hour – once every 12 seconds! I am told that the Capitol Hill switchboard received a record volume of calls in support of the amendment and that the Senate voicemail system crashed numerous times. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The Senate’s actions tell me that many elected officials fear the voting block and finances of the homosexual agenda more than they are concerned about the Christian community. If we impeach some activist judges and vote out of office those with wrong moral voting records, things will change
Missouri Baptists, I know you were a vital part in making the telephone lines “smoke” in Washington. Now, you have one more job to do: Vote YES on Amendment 2 on Aug. 3!
Proposed 2005 budget and the legal battle
Our Executive Board once again conducted your business July 12-13 and we were able to give them a wonderful financial report. In addition, to our MBC being right smack on budget targets, we gave them an update of the activity of the Agency Restoration Fund (ARF).
In April, I wrote to you and our pastors about the Executive Board’s decision to budget some of the Legal Task Force’s expense. Since that article, we have had a lot of activity. I have received letters and checks from many churches and individuals who have stepped up to the plate in monthly commitments. Most are for two years. What does this mean?
We are not including the five entities in the 2005 budget because the gifts to the ARF and the line of credit the convention established last fall appear to be adequate to meet the 2005 needs. We are rebuilding reserves that were totally drained two years ago. According to the MBC’s Constitution and its Business and Financial Plan, “…the Executive Board (is) to maintain an adequate Contingent Reserve Fund … The Executive Board shall determine and provide for the adequacy of such fund.” In addition, prudence says we must do this because the possibility of a move from the 75-year-old Baptist Building has become a possibility in the months ahead. Reserve funds were also relied upon for the marriage and gambling information the MBC sent to every church in recent weeks. These kinds of battles are not going to go away.
Your Executive Board has the responsibility and authority to administer the budget in all ways that will protect the convention’s reputation and business interests. They will give a full and detailed report at the Kansas City annual meeting, Oct. 26.
Fight for your family! Go to the polls Aug. 3. Don’t go alone. Find three like-minded friends and take them to the polls with you. Yes, Missouri Baptists, there is a lot going on, but we must keep our minds singular in fulfilling the Great Commission. It is our duty to the One who died for us!