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

What Is True About IMB Trustees

There are many who are jumping to my defense on the internet and through letters and comments on blogs. I would like to remind everyone of some things regarding my fellow IMB trustees and hopefully you will keep these few facts in mind when you seek to weigh in with your opinion.

(1). Each trustee is a brother or sister in Christ and deserves to be treated with love and respect.

(2). Every trustee truly desires to do what he or she believes is best for the IMB.

(3). The issues that we trustees face us will only ultimately be resolved through prayer, humility and cooperation.

(4). No trustee desires the Cooperative Program or Lottie Moon giving to suffer, and every trustee is committed to insure that does not happen.

(5). Though a few trustees are guilty of serious errors of judgment, many trustees who voted for the new policies and ultimately my removal from the board did not even comprehend the issues raised through this blog. What will convince these trustees to change their minds will be patient, gracious discussion of the issues.

I guess I felt impressed today to remind all of us who are Southern Baptists to be kind toward one another and pray for each other. I am praying for my fellow trustees.

Our mission work deserves our best efforts to work with each other in the spirit of grace and truth.

In His Grace,



Ronnie Thompson said...


I am Rick Thompson's younger brother and I have been following this situation closely since January. I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for being a great friend to my brother. I am also grateful for how you have conducted yourself. Thanks especially for your post today. This discussion needs to stay above the fray and your blog and Rick's have taught me a lot about being gracious even when you disagree with someone.

This comment is more personal in nature, and it might be best left out of the public realm. Thanks again and know that we are praying for you, the trustees, and the IMB.

Ronnie Thompson

Linda Lewis said...

Wade, you don't know me but my prayers are with you and your family. I worked briefly for the IMB and love the folks there but am continually grieved with situations such as these. My husband and I are in full-time ministry. He is a liscensed and ordained Southern Baptist minister working on his doctrate and has an honorary doctorate. We go into all denominational churches as the Lord opens the doors. We live 100% by faith and do not draw salaries from secular positions. God is faithful and true. You can STAND on His Word. He will never fail you, desert you, or fail to understand your needs and He will meet them all according to His riches in Heaven. It grieves me that any group would "cherry pick" God's Holy Bible and decide what is "okay" for today and what is meant for a different century when God says specifically, He changes not. He is very explicit in stating He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The passages in the New Testament pertaining to tongues were God-breathed and no man can truly detract from their genuine application today. I thank God for all His precious gifts to us no matter how undeserving we are, He gives to us His best in love. His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours and I feel no need to try to understand what is beyond my limited abilities when God has graciously bestowed faith and grace on me and all His children. It is enough for me to know that God said it and it is so. I do not understand why "spiritual leaders" of any Christian organization would take the positions taken in this instance that are contrary to God's position. We would never agree to sitting quietly or supporting any group of teenagers trying to tell the President of the United States how to correctly run the country when they simply "think" they know what is best and better than the President. We readily recognize their emotional, mental and physical immaturity for what it is. The spiritual immaturity of those pushing to control God's called and chosen and the gifts God's specifically given them is equally absurd. God gave the gifts and He decided they are for the present to use for edification of His church and the gift of prophecy as He deems. I believe it is time that individual Christians stand on His Word and not any man's word or ideas. Whether or not I represent the SBC or any Southern Baptist organization will not be asked of me when I stand before His throne. I will be asked how I represented His Son, Jesus and that is what I live my life by. May God forgive those who know not what they do as they are ever learning but never reaching the knowledge of God. May they stop the foolishness and resist placing stumbling blocks and offenses in the paths of believers. My heart goes out to you and yours. I know my heavenly Daddy is on His throne and working behind the scenes on your behalf. We will be in Greensboro too but we are not anyone to anyone as far as the SBC is concerned. We are children of God though and look forward to seeing God be God yet again. Anticipate good things, know God answers prayers, know He holds you safe in His tender care and your every need will be met.

Anonymous said...

Wade, you have a pastor's heart. Sometimes I feel you are too soft. As Paul confronted Peter concerning Peter's agreement with the Judaizers, there are times when error in judgement and regarding scripture needs to be confronted. Some, apparently have a legalistic fundamentalist agenda and do not want what is necessarily best for the IMB, but their own agenda.

Rick said...

Thank you for the reminder - though I agree with you whole heartedly, and have myself tried to come to your defense, I got the distinct impression from many of the trustees that I spoke with that there are those who are attacking rather than discussing, sharing and persuading. I pray that we would all be reminded of Philippians 2 and act out of a gracious and loving spirit.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Good post.

art rogers said...


Your love and humble support for your fellow trustees speaks to a deep personal character and integrity.

I am afraid, though, that the IMB and the Lottie Moon Offering will suffer in its support. While errors in judgement may be the problem, sometimes simple mistakes are the cause of grave consequences. The best course of action is to immediately recognize the mistake, openly accept responsibility and then correct the course of action as quickly and as wisely as is possible.

Unfortunately, this is becoming a slow process where rationale and "evidence" for the two actions now raising our ire has been far from evident, with promises for them to come out later.

The reponse I am hearing is that the BOT, the IMB, the SBC et al is not trustworthy and that we might could do better with our funds by controling them ourselves rather than turning them over to those who take actions they cannot or will not defend to us. This action would be devestating to the convention and the mission boards.

I certainly hope that it does not come to this, but failure to respond appropriately and quickly may lead to this action by many.

A few years ago, a removal of commission for two missionaries that had been a part of our church resulted in this type of action from the church. I readily admitted that we didn't know the whole story and encouraged everyone to trust the agencies in control of the situation. Still, the irritation of the congregation simply resulted in us not reaching our goal for the first time in over a decade. We missed it again this year - though the previous situation had blown over three years ago.

I can't say why we missed our goal. Things seemed to be in rebound and most thought we were on the right track, but the Lottie Moon Offering always tells the tale of our people's trust in our denominational leaders.

Wade Burleson said...


Your comments are read, but you are correct, I cannot post them.

Thanks for your interest.

P.S. Ronnie, I thought your comments gracious and edifying to the public at large.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful By Product


At least for me, these recent events as revealed through this blog, have had a very positive personal result. This blog has prompted me to read and study more about what I believe, what I know, what I thought I knew more than anything in quite some time. It has caused me to revisit and visit for the first time issues of theology, soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology and missiology.

I have seen how all of these are interconnected and related to one another. I have also had reinforced in my mind that competing view points and differences on these studies can and do lead to political alliances, factions and in-fighting. I have also been constantly reminded thanks to this blog that cooperation can happen when we focus on them main things and choose not to accentuate minor disagreements.

Our polity is necessary for achieving the Great Commission and keeping a large denomination such as ours moving. The things discussed in this blog have been enlightening to say the least. The problems brought to light here only remind me how each of us are flawed and in need of constant guidance from His Spirit in our dealings with others in our fellowship as well as others from without of our fellowship.

Thank you for making me think and examine what it is that I do believe and hold true. Thank you for making me consider how I express dissent. Thank you for helping me to reinfore what I always have believed..some things, especially when it comes to matters of truth and integrity, are always worth fighting. I hope others have had the same experience.

Bill Scott

Steve Joiner said...

I believe what you are doing is a self-righeous campaign and violates integrity of being on the committee. For one thing, what a church does or a private person does with Pastors or staff as to their personal life is totally different than Missionaries that represent the mainstream of Southern Baptist. There are certain truths that are in the bible and I believe the committees original recommendations are correct. Your actions are not. There are others ways to do what you want to do and that is to take your compaints internally through the chain of command.

If you were on a committee with me, I would not trust you to keep ANYTHING confential. Once that take place, it inhibits the work of the committee. By approaching your "campaign" in this manner is a lack of integrity.