I am sure much will be made of Dr. Rankin's interview with state Baptist editors, but as an insider let me tell you the shocking statement in that interview. It did not come from Dr. Rankin, but rather, in the form of a question from one of the state editors, Bob Terry.
Bob Terry (The Alabama Baptist) -- Jerry, yesterday, I was told that the discussion of, uh, behind the new policy that the board has adopted concerning private prayer language was really advocated by board members who favored using a private prayer language and they were hoping to get it approved so there could be a broader use of a private prayer language . Do you have any feeling as the president of the organization that that scenario is founded in reality?
I don't understand that statement in bold print. In fact, I would go further and say that the statement is over the top. I understand that Bob is a wonderful editor, and I have enjoyed his erudite editorials, but I have two questions I will be asking him, that as a reporter, he may not be able to answer.
(1). Who told you that Bob? A trustee? Surely not.
(2). What is the purpose of someone saying that to you Bob? To scare people? Surely not.
Let me reiterate, I am not faulting Bob Terry for what he said, or for even asking the question, but I am just hoping that there is not underlying this question an attempt by people somewhere, using maistream media, to give intentionally misleading information to cause the Southern Baptist Convention to be scared of something that does not exist.
I HAVE NOT MET ONE TRUSTEE WHO IS ADVOCATING PUBLIC CHARISMATIC TONGUES SPEAKING.
The old policies of the International Mission Board were very effective at controlling any abuses of the gifts on the field. In fact, they were so good, there was never a problem that was NOT handled quickly, firmly, and ultimately effectively.
Those of us trustees who opposed the new policy on tongues simply were concerned about going into a person's PRIVATE prayer closet and saying, "YOU CANNOT HAVE A PRIVATE PRAYER LANGUAGE." We believed that going into a person's prayer closet and demanding they not pray in tongues is not only a violation of Scripture, but is going way beyond the BF&M and the duties of the trustees in establishing qualifications for missionaries.
However, the question posed to Dr. Rankin by the editor of the Alabama Baptist paper sounds to me like somebody is spreading false information to try to explain the rationale for the new policy. It is hard for me to understand why someone would intentionally give the editor of the Alabama paper FALSE information.
Sometimes the tongue I don't understand is the one that uses English.
In His Grace,