Saturday, October 21, 2006

TransMin Conference Ends on Hopeful, Even Triumphant, Note

The first annual conference of Transformation Ministries ended today on an upbeat and united note. This year's conference in Alhambra, the first since the pro forma break between the former ABC of the Pacific Southwest and the ABCUSA, was nearly twice the size of last year's conference in Bakersfield.

Yesterday I reported that the selection of Ken Hutcherson was part of the effort to draw a clear "line in the sand" between the old and new order. That line was made even clearer when delegates overwhelming approved the preliminary changes in bylaws needed to effect the legal separation of TransMin from Valley Forge. That, despite the churlish attempt of an retired attorney-delegate from FBC Claremont, CA, who tried to hijack and filibuster proceedings with a (his words) "laundry list" of objections. In essence, he wanted his church to have the ability to buy influence in an organization which he despises. (See more under SIMONY in your dictionary.)

The real line in the sand is that TransMin is building a truly missional fellowship of Baptist churches. No more mainline club member, be careful what you say, you may offend somebody, let's appoint a study group claptrap.

We heard an enthusiastic presentation on the National Association of Evangelicals as well as a (typical for Dale) well-reasoned and Biblically-based study on the NT roots of associationalism.

Near the very end, Tom Mercer of the mega-church High Desert Church of Victorville, CA, spoke briefly. "There's a lot I don't know," he said. But there were three things he did know:

1. The ABC was headed in the wrong direction: "...appointing tasks forces to discuss what God has already decided."
2. Doing a few things well was essential, and,
3. Right direction requires the right leadership, and that Dale Salico had his full confidence.

A grand conference, and my kudos to all involved.

PS. A note to my ABC readers across the country. Don't you wish your conferences where like this? I've served in four regions, and hosted a state confernece when I was in Ohio. Get this clear: you can't have this when you wallow in theological compromise and accomodation with the world. You work out the implications...


Dennis E. McFadden said...

One quibble with my esteemed friend and co-blogger: The attorney from Claremont came to the meeting as a supporter of the separation from the ABC. Through this past year he has been a voice of reason in a conflicted congregaton, arguing for the TM position. He is just such an analytical (cf. anal-retentive in the dictionary) that he cannot abide not dotting all of the "I's" and crossing all of the "T's." The impatience by the majority (me too) was unbecoming and marred an otherwise perfect event.

Glenn Layne said...

Then what are we to make of his "humpf, now I'm going back to my church and reccomend we leave?" at the end?

Dennis E. McFadden said...


I think he was angry that people were impatient with his hijacking of the process for his nit picking points. If you have been taking heat for defending the region against far left folk in your own church, then the region turns their back on you, I guess leaving might sound good. Glenn, I'm not defending his conduct, merely indicating that he has been a consistent voice of reason in the church this past couple of years.