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

My Family Thanks You and a Few Personal Requests

I want to thank people from around the world who have posted or written words of encouragement. If you are a first time visitor to this site, please know that I read every comment. I have picked up a great deal of wisdom from my fellow Southern Baptists.

I am going to sit back and take a deep breath and not blog until at least next week. However, my wife, Rachelle, told me this morning that I should send this post to give you some information and let you know how we are doing. I am setting aside several days for prayer and reflection, and will pick up blogging again next week, Lord willing.

Obviously, because I am being publicly accused of slander, gossip, (those two words are in the official record but have been removed from the press release) lack of accountability, and a loss of trust, I will have to address my church Sunday morning. Several people have asked me how this would affect my ministry at Emmanuel. It is revealing for me just to say that my wife and I had not even thought about it until others asked. Our church is wonderful, and they know me. Frankly, our delightful missions pastor Dr. John Stam (yes, the ancestor and namesake of THE John Stam of China beheaded by the communists for his refusal to renounce Christ), told me the buses are being chartered from Enid to Greenboro!

Just a few words of wisdom to all my friends around the world:

(1). Be gracious in your emails and letters and phone calls. I can guarantee you that every person on the Board of Trustees who voted to recommend that that I be removed from the board did so because they actually believed I was disruptive to the mission of the organization. They might be guilty of shortsightedness, a lack of wisdom, or may simply be clueless, but don't even imply they don't LOVE the IMB --- they do.

(2). I stand ready to do whatever is necessary to resolve this matter. I will only repent when I am told what it is I have done wrong --- specifically, and only if I am convinced in my own heart that something I have done is wrong.

I realize more than anyone that I can be guilty of poor judgment, but it requires people in leadership who are not wanting to protect their positions of authority to point this out to me. There are those people within our convention --- and I will listen. But I can't repent just because people are hurt. Repentance is based on violations of Biblical, moral, or ethical principles. Let's sit down and discuss what those violations are.

And just remember. The dialogue will go both ways.

(3). Most trustees are fifty or older. Some are in their seventies. I am not sure how many have ever read my blog, but some think a blog is like "computer pornography" (an actual quote). I really think if the trustees took time to hear my motives, communicate with me, and recognize that even though I am "new," effectual work could be accomplished.

But I am the type of person that will never back down from what I believe to be violations of principle. My fellow trustee Rick Thompson told me on the drive back to the hotel after the Executive Session in which I was removed, that if the trustee leadership would have listened to your concerns from the beginning, rather than trying to silence you, we would not be in this position.

(4). If I was asked once, I was asked fifteen times to resign AFTER the vote for the recommendation to remove me. The carrot that was offered was that there would be no press release that would be damaging to me or the IMB. Some of the appeals were very, very passionate. All of them were phrased in such a way as to save everyone embarrassment. What nobody, but those who know me in Oklahoma, seems to understand is that this is NOT about me. It is about the future direction of the IMB and our convention.

The official statement released by the trustees used the word "impasse" between Wade Burleson and the Board. From my pespective there is not an impasse, and never has been one. When actions that were taken either violated, or went beyond the principles we as Southern Baptists have historically stood upon, the forum for dissent moved to the convention at large. The convention now has the opportunity to speak.

(5). There is so much more I could say, but I am choosing not to say it. To defend oneself from gossip or slander (actually they probably meant "libel"), one must know the specific charges upon which the accusations are based. I have received nothing. For the specific statements that are allegedly libelous to be shown to me means that I will have to reveal names, events, and actions I have witnessed first hand in my defense. I'm not sure anyone wants that. I have intentionally written about "principles" and not "people," in an attempt to effect change without harming reputations or people. I want to us to take the high road in resolving this issue.

Again, this is NOT about people. It is a matter of principle. I really do love every trustee I have met --- even those who have disagreed vehemently with my positions or methods. Most trustees probably don't even understand the dynamics of all I am saying, but I promise it strikes a chord in thousands within our convention. I am not sure trustee leadership actually desires to press those two allegations of gossip and slander, thus the removal of those two words from the public press release, but they remain in the official record. At some point, that public allegation against me will need to be addressed.

I would prefer to fix the problem in private as a Board member, and not in public. I reiterate, I stand ready to dialogue. But as is evident, I believe I am accountable to the SBC as a whole, and I am fully prepared to address any and all issues at Greensboro.

Let's get to the point where we are focusing SOLELY on missions and support of our missionaries on the field. I promise you, that is all I seek.

Finally, above all else, let's remember to support our giving to the Cooperative Program, Lottie Moon, our churches and other missionary causes. The Southern Baptist Convention is so large that from time to time, there will arise issues like this.

Don't pull out. Don't leave. Don't quit giving. I won't and my church won't. The mission is too important.

I am still a trustee of the International Mission Board. I have chosen not to attend Executive Sessions (confidential sessions) because of the accusations against me, and though I am responsible for business matters as a trustee, my real enjoyment is meeting our missionaries and encouraging our staff and getting to know other trustees better. I'll be at every Board meeting till the convention in Greensboro votes to either remove me or informs the Board that I must stay.



In His Grace,




Wade Burleson

57 comments:

Melody Lenox said...

Wade,
Yet again your character shines through in what you write. Grace, truth, love and respect. Thanks for leading the way on the high road!

Bowden McElroy said...

Are you free to tell us what the "impasse" was? The phrase implies the Board made a request you were unwilling to comply with. In the absense of information, the rest of us are left to speculate and guess.

One guesses the request might have been that you withdraw accusations of inappropriate cacausing, or apologize for not speaking with one unified voice, or to take down your blog.

And if you don't feel free, why not? Are you unaware of "the impasse"? Are you waiting for the Board to take the initiative?

I certainly understand taking a break and will not press you to answer this question any time soon. Perhaps after your "vacation from blogging" you could help the rest of us understand more clearly what is going on.

Thanks

Jon L. Estes said...

Enjoy the time away from the blog and may God richly cover you with His presence.

Greensboro will not be an ugly convention because of this but an opportunity for the SBC to approach the throne of grace and once again make Jesus our first priority as a convention and the the Great Commission as our mandate.

We as a convention are on the edge of revival, what we decide on this issue (and I believe we will decide correctly) will usher in a mighty rushing wind.

So goes my prayer.

Tripp Hudgins said...

Grace and peace to you, your family and your congregation atthis time.

Kevin Bussey said...

Wow! Wade I am impressed by your grace and love. I'm proud to have you as a trustee. I can't wait to meet you in Greensboro. I am with you 100%! I will continue to pray for you, the IMB, NAMB and the SBC as a whole. Thanks for being such a great example for those of us who are "cooperating conservatives!"

Steve said...

Thanks for keeping us informed and encouraged Wade.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Thank you for taking a stand. The time for dialogue on principles and not personalities is long overdue. My prayers are with you. May God Bless you.
Charles Womack, Pastor
FBC, Bethany

Wade Burleson said...

Bowden,

As crazy as all this sounds I don't even know what the impasse is. If I did, I would tell you. I made it known clearly that I would stop blogging if the trustees voted this as a policy for all board members. The recommendation was for removal.

I think it is safe to say the sentiment is some trustees did not look forward to working with me in the future. One told Rick Thompson that he could not be in the same room with me. Since I have only been on six months, the prospect of years of further service did not inspire great joy.

In His Grace,

Wade

David Phillips said...

Wade,

You asked me on Tuesday night to help in defending your character. I promised that would do that. But may I say that you are doing such a superb job demonstrating grace, love, compassion, humility, and a Christlike nature, I'm not sure there's much more I can do. (:-D)

But I will keep my promise!

Blessings...

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I praise the Lord for His grace in filling you with a loving, humble, gentle and gracious spirit reflecting the example that Christ Jesus demonstrated while He was on earth.

One wonders what the current IMB would do if Paul, the Apostle,not your dad, :^) applied to be sent out as a SBC missionary, especially when Paul explicitly told the Church at Corinth, [b]"I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all."[/b] (1 Corinthians 14:18)

In His Grace and Peace,
Tom D. Webb

Steve W said...

Wade,
If all the trustees were as gracious and humble as you, you and the SBC wouldn't be in this mess. Bless you brother!! May your tribe increase.

Dr. Tracey Jines said...

Wade,
Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of "all" Southern Baptists. Policies, such as the ones initiated and approved by the IMB Board, need to be at the forefront of SBC member's attention. I appreciate your grace and humility in bringing the issue to discussion and pray that others that disagree will clearly state and defend their beliefs so that "all" SBC members can be informed and make informed decisions. I love the IMB, but most importantly I love the glory of God through his son, Jesus Christ. I support all our IMB missionaries who are carrying this gospel to the ends of the earth. My prayers are with you, your family, and your church as you walk through these next few days, weeks, and months. May God's best be displayed in our actions and decisions.

For His Glory,

Dr. Tracey Jines, pastor
Highland Hills Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, OK

Anonymous said...

Is it any surprise that this type of thing could happen just as large numbers of SBC churches were catching the Acts 1:8 vision?

May God have mercy on us all.

I will be praying for you and our convention.

Anonymous said...

Wade: Would invite your readers here to also take a look at how your story is playing at www.baptistlife.com the faith and practice forum there.
You may take some comfort in the fact that as it stands now, knowing what he does today of the situation, the leading fundamentalist conservative in the state of Alabama, John Killian, of the Maytown Baptist Church has expressed his intention to vote for you in Greensboro, that you keep your position on the IMB.
As all this plays out I would ask you and the whole solar system of your side of the aisle to consider what Carey Newman and David Gushee said when faced with a dillemma similar to yours in mid 90's at Southern Seminary. They hit the glass ceiling of what they call the Firm, loosely the higher eschelon of fundamentalism in the SBC, the likes of Patterson, Pressler, Ronnie Floyd, Mohler and the late Adrian Rogers and came to the conclusion that all appearance of democracy within the conservative resurgence was a facade; ultimately it was Pressler's will be done and most damning, their conclusion in Barry Hankins' Uneasy in Babylon is similar to mine: God is not in the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC. Your travail is par for the course for fundamentalism
Stephen Fox, Collinsville, Al.

Aquila Staff said...

Wade,

praying for you, and for God's best. I believe these are the very issues (power/unwillingness to dialogue) that are propelling many younger SBC'ers to view the "old guard" leadership as irrelevant.

David Robbins

Clif Cummings said...

Others might be, but I am not the least bit surprised by your response. Having served with you and calling upon you for counsel and wisdom as I encountered difficult days, to the absolute best of my knowledge you have never been less than graceful and have always brought God's Word to bear on the circumstance.
You are so absolutely correct: "... this is NOT about people. It is a matter of principle."
I imagine I speak for thousands of pastors who wish they could be in attendance at Emmanuel Baptist, Enid Oklahoma this Sunday. However, having served that great church, for me it wouldn't be just to hear you speak, but to bask in the overflow and to particpate in the great outpouring of love and appreciation that I know is forthcoming. Know that I will join thousands of others in fervent prayer for you.
C.H. Spurgeon wrote: The pillars on which our minsitry rests are, under God, the prayers of our people.
Rest my friend! For a season, rest and be encouraged by the flood of grace that I know is coming.

The Zs said...

Wade - my brother-in-law, Dino Zaragoza, had your blog linked to his. I'm so glad I could read this and pray for you and your family, also to pray for the SBC and IMB. I am pretty broken-hearted to see the state of things, but all the better to pray.

You are right in what you are fighting for; a righteous man will never be put to shame. God Bless you, and thank you.

Crystal Zaragoza
Nashville, TN

Anonymous said...

Wade,

As an M in CA who missed your attendance at the meeting last week, know that we are with you in spirit and praying for you and your family. We appreciate you very much. My family and I are praying about personal vacation this summer in the states. One place we'd like to be as messengers is in N.C.

DB in CA

Calsmom said...

Pastor,
We support you 100%! Stay strong! Gracie and Leo

Tim Sweatman said...

Wade,
Your continued humility, love, and graciousness throughout this ordeal is the greatest evidence in your behalf. Get away with God and your family for a few days to be refreshed spiritually and emotionally. We're praying for you and are proud of you.

One thing to consider when you get back into the full swing of things: Since many of the trustees have apparently never read your blog, perhaps you could print up a hard copy of everything you have written and have it distributed to the other trustees. The open-minded ones would then see that the accusations against you are baseless.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

You wrote.

I am not sure how many have ever read my blog, but some think a blog is like "computer pornography" (an actual quote). I really think if the trustees took time to hear my motives, communicate with me, and recognize that even though I am "new," effectual work could be accomplished.

This says a great deal, and what it says mostly is that if those of us who follow blogs expect these brothers and sisters to read your blog (and other blogs), someone may have to actually print the pages and mail or fax them.

I simply cannot believe that God-honoring men and women, even those who disagree with your position on recent IMB policy changes, would vote to seek your removal if they understood the character you display in every post you make.

RMc said...

Thanks for the update. Many are concerned with how you are handling the situation. I hope you will be given rest in the coming days.

Anonymous said...

Wade: I have gotten word late in the day that state Baptist editor in a state that has not been completely cowwed by fundamentalism is on your side as things stand to date; meaning he will vote for you in Greensboro. This same fellow is trying to step back a little before becoming overwhelmed by events, but it all smells to high heaven to him.
At same time this fellow who is strong supporter of the Cooperative Program is also strong supporter of Baptist World Alliance; so things are cutting many ways as you take on the Gut of the Fundamentalist takeover of the SBC.
As we all learn more about you, it appears your position strongly in the Calvinist Camp may become a matter of controversy.
I am learning more about Jean Cauvin from last year's Pulitzer Prize Winner Marilynne Robinson. Her 1998 collection of essays the Death of Adam will give you more substance as you make the rounds of the secular press in the coming year. I can see you taking Al Mohler's seat with Larry King in a few months, maybe even upstage Karl Rove's political blood Brother Richard Land, a key member of the SBC's Firm as Hankins, Newman and Gushee name them in Uneasy in Babylon. And I do not think it is any small coincidence the chair of the IMB is geographically very close to Ronnie Floyd in Springdale Arkansas. Pressler knows his geography as well as he knows his Reconstructionist strategies with www.visionamerica.us
You pray and stay in the Word. Gonna be one of those teachable moments for the Priesthood of the Believer in your branch of Baptist life in America.
Do check out Death of Adam. You can think me in a few years.
Stephen Fox,
Collinsville, Alabama

In Christ name, Slay the Dragon

Militant Moderate said...

Wade --

I am proud of your courage in taking a stand. As you well know, some of these same attitudes and actions have been chafing to me for years, ultimately causing me to leave the denomination.

Edwin E. Vineyard
The Militant Moderate
militantmod.blogspot.com

Pege' Rogers said...

Wade, I am boldly going to the throne of grace on behalf of you and your precious family. I have watched our Heavenly Father use you to address some inportant issues over the years that I have known you. He has once more called you. By your example of grace and truth I have learned to stand in faith to situations God has placed me in. Thankyou for your comittment to the scriptures.There are too many important things in the world to be concerned about, such as sending the missionaries out to preach Christ and His salvation, instead of straining at gnats. It will be interesting to see how the Lord will work this out together for good and HIS glory.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking such a strong stand in this fight!!! Your character and integrity shine brightly and are an inspiration. You are in our prayers! As the wife of a young paster in the SBC it is very refreshing to see your leadership on these critical issues. We greatly respect you for the courageous stand you are taking!

David Wilson said...

Wade, I've followed the details for the last few weeks as first the new policies were put in place, and now as the events of this week have occurred. I've read everything I could trying to understand the situation. It appears to me that the heat coming out of this far exceeds the issues themselves. I don't agree with the policies, but I don't think that's the "presenting problem" as an ER doc would put it.

It's hubris exposed in all its ugliness. The events did cause me to experience a rare occurance today - I fould I agreed with what was posted on this at both a founders blog and a CBF one. Now that's irony.

Be wise as you go through the days to come. My prayers are with you.

soonermq said...

Wade,

You and your family have our prayers and support. It is going to take Godly men such as your self to step forward if we are ever to save our convention. I for one have to wonder how much value a person can add to the IMB if they don't know what a Blog is and am unwilling to even read it before accusing you of slander. That is simply closed mindedness and if they truly want what is best for the IMB and our missionaries, perhaps they should consider stepping down in favor of someone a little more in step with the times. Blog’s and the internet are changing the way we all communicate with each other and that is not going to go away. I find it very interesting that they are upset with you for using blog’s when many of our missionaries use them today to communicate with all their supporters and friends.

Bryan Peters said...

I am praying for you in this time.

Stgilbert said...

Dear Wade,

I was saddened, but unfortunately, not shocked to hear the news of the trustee action. I will be praying for you and for the next several months, as this next year could define all of us as SBs in the years to come.

Blessings,

Steven T. Gilbert
Central Asian Region

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how cruel people of God can be with their mouth. I pray that Emmanuel is slow to speak and prays for grace first. How easy it is to start blaming and accuse before we think. God bless and keep you and your family...

Christie said...

Wade,
We thank God for the work He is doing through you. We are praying for you and your family and will be in Greensboro this summer.

To God be the Glory!

Anonymous said...

I thought you might like to read my post about the IMB controversy. Let me know what you think. If there are any errors in my argument please let me know. I'll be praying for you and your family. Keep up the good work!

Howie Luvzus

Alan and Kim said...

Wade and Rachelle,

We love you and are there for you, as you were there for us years ago!

Almost 10 years ago, we were asked by fellow believers and committee members to resign a church leadership position of a Southern Baptist church, following a real revival in our own personal lives. You'll recall that we had been convicted and confessed to the staff what we believed to be harmful actions among leaders of that church during private staff meetings, at which we had participated in.

We stand witness to your love for us and God's family and a desire to not divide God's family. We resigned and left, with great sadness, the congregation of believers that we had loved and served along side of. We joined your fellowship immediately and have grown under your teaching of God's grace and forgiveness ever since.

Anyone who would have negative comments about your motivations or desire to divide, does not know you and has not followed under your leadership.

As you know, we had to take the brunt of a lot of rumors and gossip, and over time, we believe that God restored our good name and purged the darkness from that congregation in His own way. (That church is, once again, alive and growing.) The Lord has continued to remain faithful and we now see what a blessing that horrible time was, as our eyes have been opened and God's Word has come alive, under your direction.

God bless you and your family! We are praying for you and support you!

Anonymous said...

The challenge we face is determining fact from fiction. Unfortunately, Baptist Press is predispositioned to print more public relations than a fair and balanced approach to this issue.

I, too, am heartened that this issue is finally being addressed. I am a conservative, fundy. And I've been very disturbed about this new strain of ultra-conservatism rearing its head. It's already claimed one seminary president. Let's hope it doesn't claim Dr. Rankin.

John & Cay Thorn said...

Wade we are seeing such a Christlike attitude in you from all this mess. May God get the glory and may you continue to shine for Him in wisdom and courage.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I don't know you personally, but just wanted to say I'm deeply saddened by this whole situation. However, thanks for bringing these silly issues to the forefront and especially thanks for bringing blogging to the non-bloggers since over 1/3 of the internet content are blogs now. Blogs are the propaganda pamphlets of the past. Words have power and the lack of knowing about blogs reflect a disconnect Christians have with the culture.

Travis

Anonymous said...

MAY GOD BE WITH YOU.I PRAY YOUR QUEST BE IN GOD'S WILL.I'M PRAYING YOUR STRENGTH. LOVE MISSY VANNESSA

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Thank you for your courage and the willingness to stand firm in your convictions. I am an IMB missionary who is also very disappointed with the new policies of the IMB. I wrote a letter describing my concerns to the trustees and it's now been more than a month and there has been absolutely no reponse. I know that I cannot represent the IMB with integrity any longer and will be resigning shortly. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult time.
Your brother in Christ,
Tom

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

If you can, hang in there till Greensboro.

We need you on the field, and I believe you may actually be surprised at what might happen.

In His Grace,

wade

Pablo M said...

Wade,

As an Okie who served overseas as an SC and also worked in RVA. You are a hero to me and I want to say thanks—I haven’t had many heroes in my 42 years! You can’t hear it, but you have the cheers and prayers of many on the field for doing what you are doing. You are taking a stand on something that is so important to world missions. I am glad it is you, a person with obvious honesty, eloquence, humility and godly grace. What you are doing is so needed. May your blog have the effect of inspiring other young leaders and lead toward the breaking up the network of the privileged few who wield power in the SBC, much the same way the internet has created a new accountability in secular politics. I love that you are not doing it through “gotcha” mean-spirited politics, but by fair and open means on your blog. Hopefully the days of Boss Hog style leadership in the SBC are numbered.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burleson,

We appreciate what you are doing. We were attempting to go overseas with the IMB, but we have been greatly affected by the new policies.

It is essential that we all respond to each other with the love and compassion of Christ. Thank you for showing that.

It grieves us to think that as the watchmen the blood of millions of unreached people could be upon our hands.

We will be praying for you, your family, the trustees, and the rest of the IMB personnel.

Anonymous said...

Wade, God will win this battle.
You will always have our support.



Jeremy and Tori Chastain
members of EBC.

Anonymous said...

I would encourage all serious folks after the truth and implications of this matter to come to the www.baptistlife.com faith and practice board to read what fellow Oklahoman David Flick has to say are the ramifications of Wade's stance in the IMB for the leadership of Anthony Jordan there in Oklahoma as well as the legitimacy of BFM 2000; which it seems to me has aftershocks for the Calvinist movement within the SBC and Nettles new book.
I did like the post from Australia; quite interesting indeed.

Todd Benkert said...

Wade,
We will be praying for you. I will be in Greensboro to vote against your removal. I hope too that there is some way to reverse the IMB's new policy. Thanks for taking a stand.
-- Todd; toddbenkert@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Wade: I am very sorry that you have been so misused by IMB trustee leadership. You have been on the receiving end of the same kind of treatment experienced by other good men such as Richard Jackson, who led his church to give over a million dollars a year to the IMB for several years, but was denied meaningful participation in SBC affairs because he opposed the exclusionary tactics of P and P. It is not easy to defend yourself before rank and file baptists when the accusers control the official means of communication. Until the leadership of the SBC apologizes to men of great faith and sound doctrine such as Winfred Moore, Russell Dilday and Richard Jackson for the unwarranted attacks on their faith and practice, there is little hope for healing in the body. Now that you have tasted the bitter fruit of their tactics, I hope that you will recognize that fundamentalists can never be satisfied until everyone agrees with them and that includes other fundamentalists. Soon there will be war between Patterson and Mohler over five point Calvinism. The only hope for the Cooperative Program is for churches to continue to cooperate and the present leadership of the SBC is incapable of cooperating with anyone who may differ on interpretations of Scripture. My sympathies are with you and your family.

Jon said...

It is hard to picture that a trustee would be recommended for removal for simply disagreeing with the new policies, which, by the way, I disagree with also based on the fact that adequate policies are already in place at least with regard to prayer language, and theological doubt on the other.

It seems apparent that the present controversy has to do with the possibility that Wade called a few on the carpet for their political machinations, which involve Rankins.

I guess a majority of the trustees have never heard of the first ammendment or the definitions of "gossip" and "slander."

One dictionary defines "gossip" as "a report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people." Discussions meant to bring to light the possible motivations of others in order to increase knowledge hardly rise to the level of dissimenating rumors maliciously.

"Slander" has been defined as " A false and malicious statement or report about someone." Again, it is quite difficult to believe that Wade has acted maliciously in his speech(or writings).

If I am mistaken about the nature of the current situation, I hope that someone will correct me.

I wish you well Wade,

Jon B.

Richard & Lois said...

Wade,

You and your family are on the prayer chain for our S. S. Class.

It is never wrong to do right!

We love, support, and pray for you.

Thanks so much for being our Pastor
and sharing grace like we have never heard before.

God Bless, Richard and Lois

Anonymous said...

I just finished a recent book by Timothy George and John Woodbridge entitled, "The Mark of Jesus; Loving in a Way the World can See."(Moody Publishers,2005)

On page 87 they have some helpful suggestions on we can work together in a common Christian cause without violating the principle of maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Speaking the truth to one another in love.) Here is a brief summary (get the book for a more detailed discussion):

1) First, make a careful distinction between primary doctrines of the faith, which may not be compromised without betraying the Gospel, and secondary issues, which may be important but are not essential for followship. Everything in God's Word is true and important or else it would not be there, but not everything is of equal importance in every respect. The second coming of Christ, for example, is a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. To deny it is to lapse into serious heresy. But earnest, Bible-believing Christians may honestly differ on some details of the end times without breaking fellowship with one another.

2) Second, when we have theological disagreements with our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is always appropriate for us to pray for additional guidance and illumination from the Holy Spirit. John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrim fathers, once said to his flock: "The Lord has more truth and light yet to break forth out of His Holy Word." The same Spirit who inspired the Scriptures long ago must be present in our hearts and minds when we study them today if we are to understant them aright.

3) Third, humility, not arrogance, is the proper attitude in all controversies among Christians. This is not an argument for proceeding from lack of conviction, but rather for recognizign our own limitations and blind spots. The wisest among us are still learners in the school of faith.

The book seeks to interpret much of the late Francis Schaeffer's idea of the "last apologetic" - living lives of peace and righteousness that testify to the redeeming power of Christ. I highly recommend the book for a scholarly reflection on these important issues.

Serving Christ in Asia with the IMB,

Butch

Anonymous said...

As an IMB missionary, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our SBC family in supporting the Lottie Moon Christmas offering and the cooperative program. I would like to express appreciation to the trustees that have saught to serve the cause of international missions and seen to it that the IMB missionaries are well taken care of. I would like to take this opportunity to express strong support of Jerry Rankin, who is a true man of God with a passionate vision to reach the unreached people groups of the world. His leadership has had a tremendous impact on turning this IMB ship to focus on the main thing of reaching those that are totally unreached. Jerry Rankin is a humble man that is chosen and anointed by God for this task, and I would beg the trustees and the SBC family to give their full support to him as a faithful president of the IMB. In my opinion there is nothing more that Satan would like to do than to cause Jerry Rankins to lose heart. Please pray for him at this time. We all need to move together in a spirit of humility as Jesus taught in John 17:21 "that they all may be one; as Thou Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in US; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." Our moving in humility and unity will directly impact our missionary witness. So it seems to me that the passion we all share for missions should lead us to be unified in a spirit of humility---SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THE FATHER SENT THE SON TO SAVE THEM.

Ann Tatum said...

Pastor Wade,
As a former Southern Baptist who had no wisdom to deal with the same issues many years ago, I am blessed by your willingness to speak out in support of scripture. If you are going to be open to being led by the Spirit and not the SBC, you are only at the beginning of your battle for truth.

One of the finest teachers on the internet is Robert B. Thompson, pastor of a small church of another denomination and on the internet worldwide. www.wor.org. is his website. Thank the Lord for the wonderful testimony we have in the missionaries and pastors who dare to accept persecution at the hands of the church, for that is where it most always comes from in history. A. Tatum, Tulsa

knnuki said...

Wade, you are in the right here. Those trying to silence or get rid of you will not succeed. Your character in this discussion says it all. Continue to take the moral high ground and God will bless you no matter what the trustees do or don't do. Don't allow yourself to be intimidated (as you're not).

Emma Rose Moore, Vinita said...

I want to pledge my prayerful support for you. Thank you for standing on principle. It just happens that on the day I first heard about this, the scripture passage for the day in Missions Mosaic was I Corinthians 14, Paul's discussion of gifts and of private prayer language. I hope to attend the SBC this year as a messenger.

kent pate said...

Wade,

You are an outstanding young leader with unquestionable character and principle, as well as biblical/theological wisdom beyond your years. I completely agree with you in person and in position! You are a "chip off the old block", and I am proud to know you both! Stand strong in truth and love, you are not alone! God bless!

Tamara Burks said...

Pastor Wade, I learned of the goings on from my mother, Jeannine, last night and was truly shocked by the actions of the SBC. I witnessed your ministry to my grandfather the evening of my grandmother's death, and it is a moment I will never forget. You continued to minister to him in his grief, and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. You are the very definition of the words "pastor" and "Christian". You are right -- your people DO know who you are. You and your family will be in my prayers, daily.

Peace,
Tamara Burks, Tulsa

Anonymous said...

Hi Wade,

My husband and I serve in a closed country with the IMB and are home on stateside right now. We have often wondered what kind of people the trustees REALLY are, and I think this situation has brought a lot of clarity to us. Your attitude and perseverance through this situation has been an encouragement to us, and we are thankful for voices like yours in meetings that end up determining things that affect our lives. Thank you for your Christ-like example.

Michael Stover said...

Wade;

I, too, am a young pastor that has experienced some trouble 'breaking in' to some 'old-school' types throughout our state and national convention (I am in TN). I admire your poise and honesty. Keep focusing on the right goals and methods. There are many like me who only want the same things: integrity, dedication, and to do away with 'old-school' connections and back-channel policy-making.