Monday, January 03, 2005

Lies, Darn Lies and Southern Baptist Statistics

After reading Bob Allen's story at Ethics Daily about International Baptists disputing overseas Baptism claims, I'm beginning to wonder about some other creative ways the SBC might be using statistics.

Are they as creative at counting dollars as they are in counting souls? What happens to the funds that the SBC receives when it sells off assets that Southern Baptists acquired for the work of missions? For instance, when the SBC sells a university in a place like Hong Kong are the receipts reported as contributions to the Cooperative Program? In other words, are assets being sold to disguise a real, ongoing decline in contributions to the Cooperative Program?

Why are IMB missionaries being required to raise money from their home churches to support their ministries? Are those donations being counted as CP receipts? Under previous administrations soliciting funds directly from churches was forbidden because it could undermine funding for the entire Cooperative Program. Recently Morris Chapman complained about the BWA soliciting funds directly from SBC churches. Isn't the IMB doing the same thing?

Is the IMB getting the most bang for its buck? Several former missionaries have reported that the salaries of IMB administrators are exorbitant and their travel, lodging and conference expenses are extravagant.

When are Southern Baptists going to stop turning a blind eye to this kind of mismanagement?

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