"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Associated Press

Marty Duren has a very interesting post today on SBC Inconsistency that sheds some light for me on a situation I had heard about, but never knew specifics. There are several connections in that story with other events in the SBC and IMB as well, connections that may soon come to light.

I continue to seek to talk about principles and deal with issues. However, it seems that the publicity about the recommendation for my removal is spreading. The Associated Press has released a story this weekend. I have refused comment to all reporters who call, only answering questions by email and only addressing issues, never people. Most reporters draw from my blog, a blog that only concerned Southern Baptists had ever heard of, much less read, before the national attention. Nobody else cared.

It seems that the impetus for the media attention is not my blog, but the fact I am the first trustee that will be brought before the SBC for removal in the 161 year of our convention.

I really believe, in God's Providence, that everyone can come out of this with a better sense of our mission, a clearer understanding of essential doctrine, and most of all, a passion for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ around the world.

As I am typing this, I have received a page from our Pastor of Missions at Emmanuel Baptist Church that our 20 member church missions team in Africa just met with the Prime Minister of a very strategic country. We have one of our church members, on the ground, working with our IMB personnel to reach this country for Christ.

Let me encourage everyone who has an interest in the future of our convention to keep your eye on the prize. It's not necessarily unity. Disagreement sharpens everyone. The prize is the gospel of Christ spread around the world. It's the spirit and the attitude with which we disagree that will determine if our eyes are really on the prize.

No room for mean spiritedness in the Kingdom of God. That doesn't mean that you won't have to say tough things, it just means that the way you say them is with a tender heart.

Have a great weekend.


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

6 comments:

fedbeggar said...

Wade,
I admire your desire to stick to fight principles. My questions, and it is an honest one, are

1) how do you deal with principles and issues with those who are fighting people?
&
2) as you continue to deal with principles will the people problems that exist (assuming they do)take care of themselves?

kent

Brother in Bama said...

Bless you, brother. It pains me to see something like this going on in the SBC. I don't know what body of believers I'll associate with if the extremist win out on this thing.

I don't speak in tongues, and actually have some questions about the validity of the practice. That's not to say I don't think its legit, it's only saying I have questions. Regardless, though, of how I feel, it's not my place or anyone else's place to tell another person how to pray in a private setting. I think it's ironic that Paul mentions practicing the speaking of tongues in private, so it's clearly not unbiblical to do so, yet it sounds as if the very people who insist on drawing a hard line on the accuracy of the Bible (I don't necessarily disagee with this stand, either) are the same ones who have issues with speaking in tongues in private.

What's wrong with this picture?

Oh, well. Whatever. I pray for His will to prevail in our church. All my life, I've been convinced the SBC comes closer than any other group. Certainly not saying the SBC has been infallible. No, we're comprised of people, and anywhere there are people there are going to be mistakes. Just saying I think we've done a pretty good job of getting close. I guess what I'm trying to say is I've always had less issues with the SBC way of thinking than with any other group.

If this thing doesn't get straightened out, though, I'm not so sure I'll be able to say that anymore. This one is a biggie. Right up there with abortion, homosexuality and the right to arm and protect myself and my family. No one, I mean no one (apart from our Lord), should be able to tell anyone how to pray privately. Period. End of discussion.

Keep on keepin' on, my friend.

Wade Burleson said...

Fedbeggar,

I really believe that dealing with principles will eventually lead to solving any people problems that may exist (the continuing attempt to control, or stay in power, or the giving of plum jobs or positions to loyalists).

I'll give you an illustration. As a pastoral staff at Emmanuel Baptist Church we make sure that we abide by policy when it comes to rules for youth on ski trips, youth camps, etc . . . The pastors cannot show favoritism to their kids. The pastor's kids must abide by all policies, like anyone else.

Good principles (or policies) take care of people problems.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

It may have learned about it another way, but I can say that the day Wade learned what the IMB trustees planned to recommend about him to SBC messengers in Greensboro, I emailed about 20 news agencies--the AP included--asking that the matter be covered by them and that the "story behind the story" be discovered (isn't there someone/s still behind all of this--and isn't no one doing anything about pointing out to him/them the error of his/their ways?). Maybe it took a few days for the agencies' reporters to move to this story (one reporter I inquired of was covering the Alito hearings at the time and couldn't get loose from that assignment to take-on this one--but he did forward my inquiry to his editor, who already has done a story on this situation).

I thought the AP reporter did a fair job of telling the story--but not the whole story. I hope the agencies aren't finished yet.

Heath Powers said...

I recently read an article about events at the IMB in the Victoria Advocate (Texas 1/21). Ironically the previous page had an article about the new movie End of the Spear. The Waodani had a homicidal rate of 60% and nearly wiped themselves out before the missionaries came to them. I could not help but draw a parallel to what is happening in our convention. The November decision by the IMB combined with previous actions has compelled me to wonder if I am even a Southern Baptist. The SBC's leadership is defining what it means to be a Southern Baptist so narrowly that I do not seem to fit the bill anymore. We have become unteachable it seems. I keep the conviction that there are many issues Baptist should have the freedom to disagree over. If we keep spearing one another what will become of the Great Commission? Will eternal security matter to those who are perishing? Perhaps we should pray rather than attack how our brothers and sisters pray. No baptism will save from hell, only the blood of Jesus. Can we not once again rally around the cross and empty grave as children of God with good news to share? If the men won't preach the gospel, then I pray God will send women who will. They may step on someone's doctrinal toes, but beautiful are the feet that share good news.

Anonymous said...

I pray that you will maintain your course and that the real Southern Baptists will give you the support that you need at the convention. This type of action only makes the Southern Baptist leaders look very foolish and undermines the love and compassion that the Bible teaches us to show the world. EM