Friday, May 18, 2007

IMB to rename its Christmas Offering

The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced today that it will be changing the name of its annual Christmas offering.

Bubba Wilson, an IMB trustee from Mobile, Alabama made the announcement. According to Wilson, "A few weeks ago we were looking through some old Mission Board records and stumbled across some very shocking news about Lottie Moon. Now keep in mind that we are all very grateful for the work she did in China so many years ago. However, we came across an old journal of hers. In her own handwriting, Ms. Moon admitted that she used a private prayer language. We were all dismayed and knew what we had to do."

Within the next week, the majority of the IMB trustees had flown in to Richmond, Virginia. Their meeting reportedly took place over a span of three days. During the meeting, tempers flared on both sides. However, in the end the board approved a measure that would remove Lottie Moon's name from the Christmas Offering.

Mr. Wilson further stated, "A great deal of prayer, fasting, and soul-searching went into this decision. We just felt we needed to make this stand or the integrity of all Southern Baptist churches would be in danger. We hope no one's feelings get hurt over this."

When asked why the trustees were so upset over Ms. Moon's private prayer language, Mr. Wilson said that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 did not allow that. Mr. Wilson was quickly reminded that Lottie Moon lived well before the year 2000. Mr. Wilson replied that he had not thought of that. Then when Mr. Wilson was informed that the BF&M 2000 does not speak to the issue of a private prayer language, he retorted, "Well, if it's not in there, it should be!"

The remaining question is: What will the new name be for the Christmas Offering? No decisions have been made, but a few possibilities have been leaked to the public. These include "The Purpose Driven Christmas Offering," "Your Best Christmas Offering Now," "Why the Miraculous Spiritual Gifts Have Ceased Christmas Offering," and "Jesus and Santa Both Love You Christmas Offering."

The IMB reportedly still hopes to surpass its goal of $150 million this Christmas.

No comments: