Word&Way Victory

April 24, 2010

Yesterday, the Missouri Baptist Convention dropped all of its legal actions against Word&Way. One down, four to go. Windermere Baptist Conference Center already won a similar case and has won an additional case that is awaiting a decision from the appeals court. But at this point, every judge that has examined the merits of the case has ruled for Windermere. Since Word&Way's case was virtually identical to the one the MBC already lost against Windermere, the MBC had to know they could not win the case.

Slowly, people are starting to realize that the MBC misstated its case. Far from being an easy case as promised, the MBC has struggled in the courtrooms. The MBC has also been caught lying about not using Cooperative Program funds, about not suing individuals, and about the supposed efforts for arbitration. Now, Missouri Baptists are voting with their pocketbooks against the lawsuits. The Pathway reported last month that by a 60-40 ratio MBC churches are giving to the CP plan that does not include money for the lawsuits. Interestingly, they noted that the ratio at the start of the year was 30-70, meaning thirty percent of churches changed. It is highly unlikely that any church actually chose one plan and then changed just two months later. Instead, this shows why the MBC made the plan with the legal funding the default one. Thus, thirty percent of the churches were just slow in choosing the plan they wanted, which means churches that did not want to give to the lawsuit had some of their contributions spent that way. It raises the question of how many of the forty percent simply have not made a decision yet. It also raises the question of how the MBC is going to pay for the lawsuit this year since average spending means they need one hundred percent of churches to give to the lawsuit part of CP. It probably means that, as in past years, they will spend CP money they were not supposed to. But at least with the Word&Way case dropped, one ministry can move forward and maybe a little less of the MBC's ministry money will be spent on lawsuits.