Giving plan vote changes no relationships with BSC
    November 19 2008 by By Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    Nothing in the Giving Plans Study Committee (GPSC) report amended and approved by messengers in annual session Nov. 12 changes the relationship of any church cooperating with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, according to BSC Executive Director-treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr.

    BSC photo

    Milton A. Hollifield Jr.

    Hollifield distributed a letter via e-mail to over 4,000 pastors and associational offices Nov. 18 to clarify misperceptions that churches which give money both to the BSC and to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) are no longer welcome in the BSC.

    “A church's cooperative relationship with the BSCNC is based upon (its) financial support of the Cooperative Program, and (its) desire to participate in the missions and ministries efforts of the Convention,” Hollifield said. “The autonomous decision by any church to direct a portion of its missions budget, whether through use of the remittance form or through direct contributions, to organizations outside of the BSCNC does not result in a change of relationship with the Convention.”

    Messengers adopted the report of the Giving Plans Study Committee after amending it to exclude an option that would have let churches send money to CBF national through their check to the BSC. Dialog between opinions on the convention floor at times grew tense.

    “The discussion surrounding the five recommendations of the study committee and the subsequent amendment revealed both the strength and weakness of Baptist polity,” Hollifield said. “Any messenger at any time may question anything for any reason.”

    Although debate on the amendment included repudiation of CBF for not holding to inerrancy, Hollifield said in the “frequently asked questions” section of his letter that voting on the amendment was not a referendum on inerrancy. It was neither a vote for “liberal theology” nor a vote against “the doctrine of inerrancy,” he said.

    Hollifield applauded the unity evident in the annual meeting’s first two days and emphasized the Convention’s commitment to serve local churches.

    “We have taken great leaps forward to prayerfully position the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as a servant to local churches,” he said. “North Carolina brims with change as the state's population increases with people from other nations and cultures. It seems that God is bringing the world to our doorstep, and we must learn to live as missionaries in our own state.”

    Hollifield emphasized that the Giving Plans Study Committee full report included five recommendations. The other four were adopted, which include a move to a single plan and the options to negatively designate; to designate two percent each for the Adopt an Annuitant Program; and to designate two percent for theological education at Campbell and Gardner-Webb divinity schools.

    Hollifield said GPSC members “represented the finest our churches could offer” and that they “were respectful of each other; prayed for each other; talked with each other; and worked to advance the issue forward with no false caricature of the other's position.”

    He reminded churches that the current four giving plans are operational through all of 2008 and 2009 and encouraged “all churches currently in friendly cooperation with this Convention” to continue to support its work” through the Cooperative Program.

    He closed with an argument for the value of churches’ continuing cooperation with the BSC.


    11/19/2008 7:16:00 AM by By Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 9 comments

Matt Hollifield
This is such a divisive issue. In my mind, as with many others, this "de ja vu" that continues to happen is difficult to handle. The scars, the wounds, and the memories that many of my friends experienced during the 80's, 90's, and today, are still painful. It is obvious that conservative exclusionaries are alive and well. Thank you to all who work for and believe in autonomy and inclusiveness. Some people who sound harsh and very angry have probably been very hurt.
11/23/2008 8:00:49 PM

David MacEachern
Thank you for your response to Mr. Benfield. I agree with your sentiments about OUR EDT.
11/22/2008 8:12:56 AM

Ray, your comments come across much harsher than I know you to be. One thing to remember is that Milton is executive director-treasurer for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. I know it pains him for there to be a constant parade of issues that separate rather than unite and no one hurts more than he does when individuals, organizations or churches feel they cannot continue to cooperate with the larger body of North Carolina Baptists. But he is EDT for those who choose to remain. He does not share the exclusionist spirit exhibited at the convention.
11/21/2008 1:45:07 PM

David Todd
It seems to me that there is a lot of venom that is directed at "groups" and "others" from several of the more moderate folks in our state. I wish it were possible for us to look at each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and to accept our differences, and go on with Kingdom work. The truth is, both conservatives and moderates can be spirit filled and work for the Kingdom if we will just focus on Christ and quit throwing rocks. I must say that being a conservative with less "tolerant" views is difficult in today's world, just as it was hard for Paul when he was working to grow the early Church. I would expect those with non-biblical worldviews to sometimes question why we believe like we do, and maybe that would be an opportunity to share the Gospel. But I certainly do not expect to be constantly "attacked" from the pulpits of moderate pastors and by other lay persons in our state. How can this be called Christlike at all? Maybe we should all just humble ourselves and go our way, whether CBF or SBC. For me, while I don't always like the way that the SBC comes across, I believe that they are committed to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world, and that's what lasts forever.
11/21/2008 1:09:38 PM

Ray W. Benfield
We all know the "new" BSC leaders, as with the SBC, are a group of "control freaks," continuing to "cut the apron strings" with sober, sensible, and cooperative folks year after year as the conventions roll around. They are short on forgiveness, tolerance, and peaceable understanding of God's Holy Word, the Bible. They only seek to divide, destroy, and lie about their opponents just like the secular politicians. Bro. Hollifield is their man, gentle and kind on the surface, but willing to do their bidding to get the job & keep it longer than Roy Smith and Jim Royston.
11/20/2008 8:28:09 PM

11/20/2008 11:28:51 AM

Milton didn't get put in that job because of his originality or independence.
11/20/2008 7:22:26 AM


I 100% agree with your assessment!
11/19/2008 6:53:44 PM

Well, now we can see that the Baptist State Convention's Executive Treasurer has a new name "ALICE IN WONDERLAND." This is shown by his assertion in the above letter which claims that no CBF church will be excluded from the Baptist State Convention. OH, COME ON!! This is just the continuing of the takeover by the fundamentalists whom Rev. Hollifield now seems to be totally at home among. If he thinks that this will not change relationships with the BSC, then all I have to say is "KEEP ON DREAMING ALICE, AND YOU WILL MAKE WONDERLAND ONE DAY."
11/19/2008 5:35:54 PM

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