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When King Saul and his son Jonathan died on Mount Gilboa following a battle with the Philistines, David wept and cried “How the mighty have fallen!”

The Philistines themselves might have said the same thing a few years earlier when a younger David whipped their giant champion, Goliath: “How the mighty have fallen!”

Fans of Kentucky basketball might be singing that same lament after the fabled Wildcats were chased out of Rupp Arena by the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb University, one of five institutions of higher education affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC).

The story may seem hard to believe, but it’s true: upstart Gardner-Webb waltzed onto Kentucky’s home court Nov. 7, got off to a 14-0 start, and never trailed en route to an 84-68 victory.

Another story making the rounds in North Carolina is easier to believe, but, to my knowledge, far less true.

On Nov. 13, during the BSCNC’s annual meeting, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina (CBFNC) will hold a dinner meeting, something the organization has done for several years. Since a fair number of CBF supporters still attend the annual BSCNC meeting, it’s a convenient time for the state organization to hold a fellowship gathering. Since so few of the participants tended to return to the Tuesday evening session of the Convention, CBFNC leaders decided to extend their program a bit this year.

That plan has been in place for many months, and I’ve seen or heard no evidence that it has any other purpose than to promote the fellowship and programs of CBFNC.

Multiple conservative spokesmen, however, have been raising an alarm of late, claiming that the purpose of the CBFNC event is to attract messengers and pack the house for the Wednesday morning BSCNC session, when there may or may not be an effort made to reverse the BSCNC Executive Committee and Board of Directors’ decision to remove Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina (WMU-NC) from the annual North Carolina Missions Offering, beginning in 2008.

In an article on the Conservative Carolina Baptists website, budget committee member Steve Hardy concludes his analysis of Convention issues by saying “CBFNC has planned a major rally on Tuesday evening in Greensboro so they can flood the Convention with messengers on Wednesday morning.”

Yadkinville pastor and frequent blogger Tim Rogers said in a recent post:

I received this information in an email and you need to know that it is reliable information. The person I received this from certainly would know about this political move.

NC Baptists need to know that the WMU will try to reverse the Board’s recent action which excludes them from the NC Mission Offering. THIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON WEDNESDAY MORNING!! In the past conservatives have not been faithful to attend on Wednesday morning and we MUST not let that happen this year!!

Rogers goes on to say “The CBFNC (moderate/liberals) are having a huge gathering on Tuesday evening in an effort to get their messengers in Greensboro to be ready for the Wednesday AM budget presentation.”

It seems a bit strange to me that I’m on the CBFNC mailing list and in fairly close touch with CBFNC leaders, but I’ve not heard a word about any “get out the vote” rally on Nov. 12.

If the information is truly reliable, and CBFNC has indeed decided to abandon its longstanding purpose for the meeting in favor of an all-out effort to pack the BSCNC house on Wednesday morning, the organization has done a mighty poor job with publicity, because it appears that only conservatives got the memo.

In truth, it’s one of the state’s leading conservatives who sent the memo to supporters, incorrectly portraying the CBFNC meeting as a political rally for WMUNC.

I don’t doubt that many of those who attend Tuesday’s CBFNC meeting will be registered BSCNC messengers who will also attend the Wednesday morning meeting, but there is nothing new about that. They will do so because they are faithful Baptists who are interested in their Convention, not because they were called out to Greensboro by a CBFNC meeting.

That you can believe.

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