In a post of April 23rd, I commented about the Missouri Baptist Convention's decision to utilize Cooperative Program offerings to fund their ongoing litigation efforts against five Missouri Baptist entities. The argument that MBC Executive Director David Tolliver advanced to justify the use of CP funds to pay for lawsuits against fellow Baptists was that these institutions had been built and sustained by CP funds so it was only right to use CP funds to reacquire control of them.
In an article in the most recent edition of Word & Way, the heads of the Baptist entities in question examine Tolliver's claim about CP funds building and sustaining their institutions and the facts clearly don't bear out Tolliver's assertion. In the year in which Missouri Baptist University received their highest support from the MBC, it represented 3% of their total budget. All of the funds that went to MBU were restricted to scholarship assistance for Baptist students, so cutting those funds merely hindered Baptist young people from pursuing an education.
The Baptist Home existed for 4 years before it received any MBC support and the MBC never owned or purchased any of the properties or assets of the Home, including the expansion to the two additional campuses.
The MBC did purchase the Windermere Conference Center but its level of support was once again only a fraction of the center's operating budget down through the years. The convention budgeted $148,875 in CP funds for Windermere in 2001, an amount equal to 5 percent of the $3 million budget.
In fact, in 2002 when CP allocations for the five were escrowed and never paid, the convention budgeted about $2.1 million for them--less than 5 percent of the combined current operating budgets of the the five.
It will be interesting to see how Missouri Baptists respond to the appeal to officially approve of the use of CP offerings to fund the ongoing lawsuits, now in their seventh year. Hopefully the hollow claims of these institutions being built and maintained by CP funds will be exposed and one more prop will be knocked out from under the MBC's efforts to justify the unscriptural practice of suing fellow believers.