Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Do You Think When You Hear... "Southern Baptist"?

The other day I posted a survey of 801 Southern Baptist pastors. It produced a lot of thoughts and comments... which was very interesting...

Over the weekend, Dr. Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay, conducted an informal survey on Twitter regarding people’s thoughts about the name “Southern Baptist.” Specifically, Rainer asked...

... for original article.

What do you think when you hear ‘Southern Baptist’?

The answers were quite telling.... to say the least....

About 60% of the respondents gave a negative association. Another 30% were positive, and 10% were neutral or unclear.

Let’s look at the responses. They are provided in the order they were received....

Legalism, Controlling
Fights, Legalists
Hellfire and brimstone, Pharisees
Fried chicken, Don’t drink
Women who can’t wear pants, Disney boycott
Cooperative Program, Banjos
Adrian Rogers, Fundamentalism
Passion, Missions
Conservative, Conservative
Strategic, Bickering
Disney boycott, Pharisees
Piano, organ, and robes, Irrelevant
Boycotts, Vacation Bible School
Legalism, Becoming more Reformed
Narrow-minded, Fond memories, sad memories
Legalistic, Awesome dinners
Suits and dresses, Old school, traditional worship
Not real, Legalism
Behind the times, Extreme conservatism
Crazy people, Restricted missionaries
Very legalistic, Bible-believing
More about what you’re against, Jesus followers
Southerner, Swiss Army Knife, all blades open
Evangelizing, Loving yet legalistic
Biblical, Welcoming only to some
Socially relevant, Talk, but does not walk missional
Deacon, Legalists
Introduced me to Jesus Christ, Safe
Southern, Don’t understand spiritual gifts
Slavery, Country
Evangelism, Fundamentalist sect
Missions, Tradition
Strength, Legalism
Potential for maximum impact, Small, rural churches
Potential for complete irrelevancy, Easy believism
Inerrancy, Gospel overshadowed by politics
Inerrancy, Fighting
Uptight, Legalistic
Legalism, Passionate about holiness
Staunch, Stuffy holy rollers
Unwavering, Traditionalists
Fundamentalist, Lost the next generation
Hellfire and damnation, Old traditions
Too limited, Close minded
Self-righteous over grace, Hymns, pipe organs, choir
Antiquated, Don’t let God move
Pharisees, Legalism
Name that needs changing, Fights
Missions, Controlling
Baptist from the South, Younger generation desires reform
Relationship with Christ, Cooperation for missions
Baptisms, Missions
Tradition, Cooperative Program
Love, Contrast of old and new
My grandmother, Fried chicken
Solid doctrine, Worldwide missions
Inerrancy, Sunday school
Tradition, Bible
Disney boycott, More negative than positive
Old people, Conservative
Pipe organs, Biblical
In-fighting, Evangelistic
Tradition, Family connections
Legalism, Blind about miracles
Lottie Moon, No drinking
Rich in past, not in future, Don’t know water turned to wine
Fundamentalists, Fellowships
Legalism, Fried chicken and 3 desserts
Men in suspenders, Controlling
Right doctrine, Don’t trust laity
Missionaries, Business meetings
Other Baptists, Legalistic
Name that needs changing, Inefficient

I am in no way bashing the Southern Baptists... I am one... I was raised in this denomination and received Christ in it as well.

So I am not posting this to add to the negative comments... what I want to discuss is...

What do you want people to think when they hear "Southern Baptist"?... and what can we do to change these perspectives?

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