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

The SBC Is Worth Our Finest Efforts

After reading several of the comments on the previous post, I felt it best to clarify a few of things associated with our efforts to turn the SBC toward more of a cooperative spirit.

First, any talk of leaving the SBC is not in the best interests of the kingdom of Christ. Why? The SBC already has a mechanism in place for reaching a world in need of a Savior --- the International Mission Board --- and it would take at least a century for another evangelical missions sending organization to duplicate what the SBC is already doing. There are some who seem to be saying, "If I don't like what the SBC is doing, I'll just leave." I would propose that the SBC is in need of people who will tough out the bad times, be faithful in the rough times, and in general, give their finest efforts to better the SBC.

In marriage counseling I tell couples that once the word divorce enters the vocabulary, it is just a matter of time before it happens. Those who are advocating leaving the SBC lose their effectiveness in being an agent of change for the SBC. Of course, blind loyalty to a denomination is never appropriate, but I am of the opinion that with all our warts and faults, the SBC still has in place one of the greatest organizations to build the Kingdom of Christ in the history of man. Stay in the game, my friends. Threatening to leave the stadium only minimizes your influence.

Second, there is no need to be angry or bitter. Twenty years ago if some conservatives who were the victims of hard ball politics would have just smiled and laughed their way through the tough times, much of what we are seeing happening today in the narrowing of the parameters of cooperation might not have even begun. Instead, many conservatives became angry and bitter at the intimidation and control techniques used by some, and as a result, they are no longer part of the process of change. The Bible is replete with verses that tell us to rejoice in all things. The best antidote to anger and bitterness is a comprehension and acceptance of the providence, sovereignty and goodness of God.

My wife, staff, church and I will tell you that this past winter and spring have been wonderful. I have no offense toward those few who attacked me. In fact, I really like those who dislike me. Further, the more I am around people who did not previously know me, and the more I visit with them, the more I am seeing them grasp the issues that face us. This is NOT about people or personalities. It is about the philosphy of broad involvement, creative missiology, and mutual cooperation. I have faith that when the people of the SBC, including the trustees of our agencies, have full information, the right thing will always be done.

Finally, I have been invited to participate with a group of Southern Baptist men and women from around the nation that will be meeting in Memphis next week to dialogue about what can be done to change the direction of our convention. All these men and women are grateful for our conservative heritage, possess an evangelical and missional zeal, but are concerned that we may be becoming too narrow as a convention by exceeding the BF&M 2000 and excluding wonderful, conservative Southern Baptists from participating and cooperating in our convention efforts to reach the world for Christ.

I laughed when I read someone who wrote this meeting was "secret." I can assure you that I will not be a part of anything "secret." I will blog about the meeting, I will tell you exactly what takes place, and when it is over I have been told we can anticipate a handful of resolutions and recommendations that will be presented to the Convention in Greensboro. Since I have been assured the meeting is to discuss the issues and not personalities or people, I have agreed to participate.

All of us have learned a great deal ove the last twenty-five years. I really believe Greensboro can be a beautiful demonstration of how conservative Christians, who may not cross every "t" the same or dot every "i" the same, can work together for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. Again, it will require our finest efforts of speaking the truth in a spirit of grace.

I will post again on Monday and then will be traveling to Memphis with my youth pastor Ben Carr.

Have a great weekend and may this Lord's Day be a wonderful day of worship and refreshment!

In His Grace,


Wade

27 comments:

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

I'm not looking to leave the SBC. I am frustrated by the mechanism we have in place. When I see all of the waste it makes me sick. As a pastor, I feel responsible to my church to make sure their money is being spent where they thought. If the money is going to un-reached people across the world that is great! If it is going to feed Hurricane evacuees! Great! I am grateful for my seminary education that was underwritten byt the CP!

But if our money is going to pay for lavish vacations, cars, renaming palaces and building buildings- I am concerned!

The CP should be for missions, ministry and training! It is time to streamline this runaway train before we loose some cars along the way!

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I hear you. You and I both are committed to change the SBC. We will get there.

Thanks for the reaffirmation of sticking it out.

wade

Greg Cloud said...

Wade,

My grandfather, I think, would thank you for what you just said. In all the time I knew him as an active pastor, I don't know of a single year he ever missed the SBC convention. While he pastored on the west coast, convention time was when I would get to see him and grandmother--he'd stop off with us in Arkansas on his way to and from Nashville. He continued to go and be involved well into his 70's, until grandmother was too infirm to travel.

He passed away February 15th of this year, his 91st on this earth. I have inherited his library, which surrounds me in my office at home. Much of it is devoted to works on the SBC and its history. It was an organization for which he cared a great deal.

Reflecting on him right now makes me realise that he saw the SBC, not as an end in itself, but as a tool to reach the lost for Christ. The SBC is no more and no less than this. Any tool must be maintained, repaired, lubricated, sharpened and cared for. Many are ready to toss this tool away, or set it aside for a lengthy re-build. But while the tool is out of service, how will the job get done? I firmly believe that the Lord does not NEED the SBC to reach the world, but He WANTS it. If it fails, He will use something else. But don't we all want Him to use US? This tool has been effective in the past. Let's care for it now, no matter how much sharpening must be done, for it to be effective again.

My prayers are with you, as always,

Greg

art rogers said...

Wade & all,

I am not advocating leaving the SBC, and I think you know this. I state it as clarification.

I am saying it is the responsibility of the leadership to not "run off" those with whom they disagree.

You said:
There are some who seem to be saying, "If I don't like what the SBC is doing, I'll just leave." I would propose that the SBC is in need of people who will tough out the bad times, be faithful in the rough times, and in general, give their finest efforts to better the SBC.

I think you are right, and the idea that it will take a century to produce what we already have is a sobering thought. Nevertheless, being right about not leaving may not be able to stop the tide. Openness and willingness to allow others to lead with different ideas - cooperation, will be the thing that keeps us together.

I encourage all to stay, and leadership to be inclusive as an incentive to stay.

Steve said...

Wade, the Memphis meeting is what it is. If it's not secretive in some sense then why have the organizer(s) not made any effort to be forthright on what it is? People (including me) have asked the organizer about it and he hasn't responded. Opponents of Calvinistic conservatives have heard rumors about the meeting and said things publicly and I haven't seen the organizer respond publicly. Secretive is as secretive does.

And I don't get your reasoning for why you think people need to stay in the SBC. Plenty of denominations/networks/conventions have mechanisms for reaching the world in need of a Savior. We are just one, a larger one, but one nonetheless. We need all of them, not just ours. Maybe some guys would do better in other systems and networks and denominations. I find it curious that you unwittingly lay guilt on anyone thinking of leaving or being willing to leave by equating it with divorce, which is clearly a different category of leaving. Plus, I think you are a bit off on discussing divorce. I know of couples who have discussed divorce, and it was a kickstart for them to take marriage seriously. Thinking of leaving often helps us think of the reasons we should stay. Divorce can be a powerful idea for men who are screwing around on their wives and realize they are about to destroy their marriage.

A better example is something like a car. You get a car (a set of systems working together) because it takes you where you want to go, helps you get to work, school, etc. But cars go out of date. They break down. They eventually work against your goals and schedule and needs. So they need to be fixed or replaced. Surely one view, my view, is that we can fix the SBC. And I encourage people to stay in, and have done so for years.

But people can choose to leave for various good reasons. They may find other systems and tools better for their mission, even if our system and tools are still good. They may find SBC systems and tools too difficult to fix (wasting our mission time), and find it better to move into other networks where impact is more immediate.

As to minimizing influence by threatening to leave...again, I disagree. It minimizes influence among people with views of the SBC like yours. But some of us aren't trying to influence your generation and bring change through votes and resolutions. We are trying to join up with And seeing beyond the boundaries of the SBC and putting it in a healthier place among a world of Christians actually will maximize influence among younger SBC'rs who want to be more about Jesus than they are about the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Art,

How could a man who has written the definitive tome on parlimentary procedures in the SBC leave?

Thanks for your great work and love for the SBC

Wade Burleson said...

Steve,

I appreciate your opinions Steve. I think you are doing a good work.

I think we just see things a little differently about the SBC, and that is all right.

As to Memphis, all I can say is what I know from my experience not yours.

It will probably be the most well documented meeting in the modern history of the SBC with the people who will be there.

I like that. When people know there will be no secrets, it causes everyone to think twice before they say or do something.

I'll try to keep you posted as I am sure others will do so as well.

Scotte Hodel said...

i thoroughly agree with your view that "leaving" is not an option.

I did not grow up Baptist. I'm not even sure that I grew up "Christian." I came to faith in Christ as a student at the University of Illinois, where I joined what eventually became Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Urbana-Champaign.

When I earned my PhD, my first job offer came from Auburn University in Auburn Alabama. When I interviewed I attended a prayer meeting Lakeview Baptist Church. It was most certainly NOT the style of service, nor the church culture with which I was familiar, and to this day I am "a sort of round peg in a kind of square hole."

My wife and I joined Lakeview that fall, almost 17 years ago. I have been "on ther verge" of leaving ever since. Culturally, I'm just not Baptist. Why do I stay? Several reasons, all of which I've communicated with our pastors and deacons:

(1) "I am never going to figure y'all out. However, you love the book, and I love the book. That's good enough for me."
(2) Only once have my wife and I left a church for any reason other than moving out of town - and it was because the reasoning used to teach the word of God was, well, squirrely.
(3) I spoke to our congregation this last Sunday morning for our "Every Member in Ministry" drive. My opening statement was "Satisfaction in Christian life comes from many things, but principally from finding where you belong and making a contribution there. " In spite of the round peg-square hole comment above, my pastor, the leadership, and our congregation embraces this idea you've put forth about working with people who disagree in nonessentials. I've found a place where I belong and am making a contribution.

That's worthwhile.

I just hope the IMB will permit those like me to make a contribution as well.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

I frankly get a little amused when I hear talk of "cutting & running".

One of my personal heroes of the faith was Caleb. He was apparently tight enough with God that he knew what God had in mind for him; when the majority rejected the Deal, Caleb just sat right there and waited it out.

When all the nay-sayers had died off, he simply, and quietly, received what God had promised.

There have been times in the last 20 years that I wondered if God was telling me to change churches. Always, God has pointed out Caleb and his persistence, and steadfastness. I'm glad He did that.

As I mentioned some time back, I resent, at times, that some of the tithe I pay goes to support actions of the IMB and the BoT with which I disagree. God then points out it ain't my money, so quit fussin' about it.

God's up to something. I wish He'd hurry.

Micah said...

As a young pastor who honestly has sympathized with the desire to leave the convention at times I have come to the conclusion that you are right Wade. Our's is a tremendous voluntary (and let us never forget that SBC life is completely voluntary) partnership with a powerful history of missiological success. I would maintain that there is still a fantastic potential for an even stronger future as long as those who desire the Kingdom of God to expand continue to work for change within the convention. Thanks for the good reminder.

Tim Sweatman said...

Wade,

The Younger Leader dialogue I mentioned on your previous post was the first time I became aware that a large number of younger SBCers were seriously thinking about withdrawing from the SBC. Based on what they said, I got the feeling that they didn't want to leave the SBC but felt like many of the leaders didn't want them to stay unless they did ministry in a way that the leaders found acceptable. It's not really the "If I don't like what the SBC is doing, I'll just leave" mentality that is driving this (although there are some with this attitude), but the perceived attitude among SBC leaders that "If you don't do ministry the way we think you should then you're not a real SBCer." Such a mindset has led a number of young SBCers to ask themselves, "Why remain part of an organization where I am not wanted?"

While it is difficult to stay in a situation where you feel unwanted, sometimes it is best to do so. I encourage people who feel disconnected from and/or marginalized by the SBC to stay in the SBC and work for reform. Our cooperative missions work is worth being slighted and misunderstood by those in positions of leadership. While we are definitely NOT the only group that is committed to worldwide missions, I do believe that we have the most efficient system of sending missionaries, and I would hate to see us throw that away because we're not willing to overlook relatively minor differences and work together for the sake of the Kingdom. The only way I could ever recommed withdrawing from the SBC would be if one disagreed with SBC beliefs regarding essential doctrine OR if the SBC were no longer an effective missions sending organization. My concern is that if recent trends of narrowing the parameters of cooperation are not reversed then the latter will happen.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Anonymous Missionary who still loves the SBC and IMB,

I could not post your comment. It was excellent, but unfortunately you named someone and called him a slanderer.

Having been falsely accused of gossip and slander myself, I am in no mind to place a name of someone on my blog and accuse him of the same.

Please remove that phrase and I will gladly post your comment.

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Good thoughts and as usual, dead on in logic.

wade

Anonymous said...

I agree that those who still feel they can make a difference should stay and work for change in the SBC. Maybe they/you can bring it back to where it should be - focused on working together for the cause of Christ rather than trying to find new ways to exclude people and gain power. I wish you success. But some who tried to make it a force for carrying on God’s work in the world finally concluded that their efforts were better spent in something more useful than fighting a losing battle, and trying to cooperate with people who were more interested in their own power than in the power of the Gospel. Don’t think it wasn’t a painful choice.
Many, myself included, wish it could have been otherwise.

In my opinion the SBC became too narrow when it pushed through the 2000 BF&M, though it had been headed that way for years before. To give just one example: The 1963 edition was written by a committee which included the presidents of all the state conventions, thus representing a variety of members, while the 2000 version was written by a handpicked few. The text greatly narrowed the parameters of cooperation. Going beyond that is just more of the same.

There were several unnecessarily narrow statements in it. I won't mention here all that I disagreed with, but pertinent to this comment is the statement that says I am a lesser being in the sight of God. However anyone tries to explain it otherwise, it says women are less than full citizens in the kingdom of God. That is not the attitude of Jesus who went way beyond the culture of that time and place in His treatment of women. So it would be useless for me to try to change it since, because I am female, my opinion is considered worthless by any who agree with the 2000 BF&M.

I hope for the sake of God's work in the world that those who are still trying to make the SBC a force for good succeed. Not only does the narrowness exclude many whose participation would enhance the work of the SBC, but many actions of the power-hungry (excuse me, but that’s the way I see it) drove people away from Jesus rather than drawing them to Him, which should be our goal.

Susie

Dorcas said...

Wade,

Have a safe trip to Memphis. I really appreciate this post on the SBC. I too believe it is worth our finest efforts to stay and be involved.

imb m in asia said...

I think for those of us who are employed by the IMB and maybe other SBC entities, it's not a simple matter of staying in the SBC. We are employed by the SBC/IMB, etc. We are not an autonomous church that has chosen to join the SBC.
The way things have been going the last year it seems like more and more there are those who are seeking to limit who we can work with, what we can teach, who can teach alongside and more. I'm not autonomous. I have to work within the guidelines I'm given or leave the IMB. I have no problem with this when it comes to the essentials (BF&M). The debate comes when/if I ever get told to teach or lead in a way that is NOT biblical or to conform to "what the majority of Southern Baptist believe" (and may only be cultural perferences.
I was in an SBC church before I was born. I appreciate the SBC and the support for missions. It just seems that in the past there have been too few over there (in the States) standing up for cooperation and therefore the "we won't work with anyone but Southern Baptists" group has been able to push their agenda through. I pray this is changing; not for me and the work in my country, but because if we don't cooperate then millions will die and go to hell. And there is no debating that.

JUSTAMOE said...

It's good to see conservative Baptists previously referred to as moderates, and even liberals, being called "conservatives" again. That takes guts beyond the average in today's SBC, in my opinion.

NO ONE (and I do mean NO ONE) truly understands "leadership" if he doesn't understand "team" and "teamwork".

It may not be a term we use often to refer to it, but the SBC is--or, is supposed to be, for the sake of the earth's population--a high-performance team. Teams ALWAYS are made up of VOLUNTEERS who share a similar position/passion, who have chosen to gather around a common vision, and who are willing to COOPERATE in order to accomplish a stated mission. Functioning in this way yields results which go 'way beyond only the typical to the status of "exceptional". (See the link: http://www.teamresources.com/team.html ; this is info promoted by NAMB, folks.)

It is not a characteristic of high-performance teams for the teams' supposed "leaders" to tell their fellow-members to shut up and keep working--rather, that's a way to quickly end cooperation, lose the volunteers, and cease seeing exceptional results. If it ever could be said, "That SBC--boy, it's a high-performance team!" the truth of the statement, in my view, ended essentially in 1979 when the SBC's leaders either initiated or agreed to the convention's take-over. The statistical evidence seems to back-up that idea.

Can the SBC be a team again? Yes--but not by trying to re-write what it means to be "a team". The SBC isn't an island, and it isn't a "team" merely because its "leaders" say that it is. The SBC will be a high-performance team seeing exceptional results when it adopts the characteristics true of all such teams. In the meantime, it will get what it's getting and lose what it's losing; otherwise cooperative--and conservative--Baptists CAN walk away from the SBC and its purported "leaders" and should if the convention will not function like a high-performance team in today's world. Eternity is too near, life is too short, resources are too precious, etc., to waste time being "commanded" to go counter to understood principles of teams and teamwork by people who are not leaders at all. God lets 3000 American churches die annually for the same reason. Is anyone listening?

Some will take exception to the terms I've used above. Suggest your own vocabulary to explain the same circumstances if you desire--but, primarily, get on somehow with the business of the kingdom!

Anonymous said...

Amen to all Susie had to say. It amuses but puzzles me that so many of the "young pastors" stand up for the BF&M2000 and believe it includes the "essentials" that you write so much about. It's as if it is almost being equated with Scripture. To my way of thinking, it includes "non-essentials" that should not be there. Our church cooperates with both SBC and CBF and no one makes a big deal out of it. Since my mission money has not gone to SBC for several years, it perhaps would not be ethical to ask my church to send me as a messenger to the SBC meeting in Greensboro and I probably will not; however I am encouraged that change may "be in the wind," and I will be following closely what transpires there.
Florence in KY

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good words, Florence. Like IMB M in Asia, I too was attending an SBC church before I was born. It hurts me to see what the SBC has become.

Florence, I think the BF&M 2000 IS being equated with Scripture - it calls itself an instrument of doctrinal accountability and is being used as that. And I agree that it includes some things I would call non-essentials, as well as some things I do not agree with, as I said.

I especially hurt for the missionaries who must cope with so many hassles and such uncertainty. I recently read an article about a study of the effect of constant job stress and its detrimental effect on health. It's probably only God's healing and sustaining that is preserving their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. From what I have seen in recent years, most of the leaders who should be encouraging and enabling them in their work have been doing just the opposite.

Wade, I can tell you are trying to turn that around and provide what they need to do their jobs well, and I hope and pray that you succeed.

Susie

CharlieMac said...

Oh, but it will be so interesting to read these same blogs after Greensboro. I truly hope and pray that I am wrong. I believe that those of you who go up against the current "powers that be" are in for an 'awakening'. I can hardly wait to say, "I was wrong!" I will try to keep quiet if I am correct, because the wounded will need healing. So I will say now that the principled idealist among you will either capitulate and join 'em or come away wounded and wiser. Unless of course you bring a "bus ministry" to the voting sessions as was done at the height of the "takeover".

Laura said...

I understand the desire to stick with it, but what if we're just going down with the ship? That's how I feel when I think about ministering with the SBC -- I would have to violate my conscience to sign a lot of churches' covenants, or implicitly condone good ol' boyism and fundamentalist legalism by my participation.

I am a mid-20s single woman. I can't preach to a congregation, or have teaching authority over mixed groups my own age (I agree that this is right and biblical, by the way).

How can I make a difference in a denomination run a whole lot of men my dad's age -- men whom I'm supposed to respect and defer to? I have one more year of seminary, and then I'm done with the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Laura,

Obviously you are free to do as you feel led.

Ten years from now you just may wish you had not left.

Blessings,


wade

Shoshana L said...

Those advocating sticking with the SBC keep using such “high and lofty” ideals as the past history of the organization and its sheer numbers as worthy reasons to stay aboard a vessel severely off course.

Don’t abandon ship, they reason. We’re big, we’ve got a great heritage, and after all, where are you going to find another “boat” like ours?

As I think you put it, Wade:
"...it would take at least a century for another evangelical missions sending organization to duplicate what the SBC is already doing."

I don’t come close to agreeing with that statement, but first, I’d like to talk abandonment. Just who has abandoned whom?

When I was first baptized in the Holy Spirit, I was just as much a Southern Baptist as any other Southern Baptist in any one of the SBC churches in the convention. I supposed I was a member in good standing. For all I knew, I had a bright future there, helping to change things for the better from the “inside.”

It’s funny how quickly things can change. Suddenly people like me were considered the black sheep of the family. We were the tainted leaven among the brethren, and church leadership didn't want the "tainting" to spread.

At a time when we were experiencing rich blessings from our Father and gifts we could employ to win others to Christ, we were made to feel like outcasts --abandoned by the Baptists and then told we had done it to ourselves. As you said you experienced, Wade: We "liked them," but suddenly they didn't "like us."

Now -- 34 years (of my lifetime) later -- and what's going on in the SBC? A new crop of hopefuls who plan to “change things from the inside.” Different leadership at the helm. Same control and carnal manipulation …now, with a creed attached. Same threats, same abandonment of those seen as "defiant."

So we’re a third of that CENTURY you were talking about, Wade, on down the road…and nothing much has really changed in the SBC. Those in power are just getting a little bit slicker, a little craftier in the way they pull it off.

It brings to mind a time in our nation's history, right before the American Revolution, when the Tories kept telling the Patriots to hold faithful to the Mother Country in spite of the fact they were being taxed unlawfully and without representation.

They may well have said something like this: “Stay under the thumb of the English and don’t rock the boat. We’re the best thing going. Don’t voice any opposing opinions, don’t be seen associating with anyone deemed off limits, and get used to operating under a system of changing rules. And – while you’re at it—don’t forget to sign this loyalty oath.”

Patrick Henry (1736-1799), however, had plenty to say on the subject of whether or not to remain faithful to an unyielding, remorseless governing system. He wondered what people were waiting on.

"Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? ... Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

Those still allowed to operate inside the SBC would do well to consider this when making their decisions. For as I see it, it’s going to take a revolutionary intervention of a goodly number of its membership (or an act of God) to change this convention’s present course.

Anonymous said...

Don't think for a second that this SBC/IMB conflict is internal. The results are echoing around the world and negatively impacting any missions efforts by your missionaries. This today from the (London) Sunday Times on why the British don't like Americans:

"A great deal of this, of course, has to do with the underlying difficulties of living with a sole hyperpower in a nerve-racking world. Then there’s the Iraq war, along with America’s enmeshment with torture of terror suspects, and on top of that global warming. There’s also a sense — and a not unreasonable one — that America’s evangelical fundamentalists, with their zeal, intolerance and eschatological excesses, have hijacked a once kinder, saner nation.


This is from our closest allies. Imagine what our enemies are thinking.

Ron West said...

Wade,

I have been out of touch for a while and wanted to comment on your two latest blogs at one time if possible. The “Good old Boy System” condemned by Paul Pressler contained some interesting comments. You quote your friend Paul Pressler as saying, The system was closed to conservative leadership, and I realized how closed the LIBERAL good old boy system had been, and The nature of LIBERAL control showed me that they were unwilling to be open, and other similar slanders of SBC leadership of the 70s. The LIBERALS must not have done a very good job of controlling things if they allowed theological conservatives such as Keith Parks and Russell Dilday to be appointed president of the FMB and SWBTS. I will give you an example of the type of liberals Pressler is referring to. When I was appointed by the FMB in 1978, Morris Chapman, Jim Henry and Ralph Smith were FMB trustees. Liberals??? Here are some more of Pressler’s liberals who served on committees and trustee boards in the70s. Bailey Smith, Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines, Homer Lindsey Jr., Ed Young, Jimmy Draper and more. I am afraid Paul Pressler misled you. Liberals were not in control of any trustee boards in the 70s and the boards were open to democratic processes and diverse viewpoints. Why did someone from Texas have to come to Oklahoma to tell everyone the liberals were in control? Was no one in Oklahoma smart enough to figure it out? Isn’t interesting that Pressler and other resurgence leaders keep accusing SBC leaders of the 70s of doing exactly the things they are doing now. Comparing the control held over appointments pre-conservative resurgence by leaders of the SBC to the system in place now is like comparing a stream passing through Enid to the Mississippi River. If you want to see an example of the present good ole boy network, check out Dorcas Hawkers blog on the SBC recycling program.

Wade, I don’t think anyone has a clearer understanding of what is happening in the SBC today than you and no one expresses it better but do you really believe that liberals controlled the SBC in the 1970s when I was attending Southwestern Seminary and when I was appointed by the FMB? Do you think I would attend a liberal seminary and serve with a mission board controlled by liberals?

You say you like Pressler because he was gracious to you and expresses love for his wife and children. I think a better judge of character would be how you express yourself toward those who disagree with you. You have been an outstanding example of integrity and character in that regard. What is Pressler’s record in this regard?

Your article on “The SBC is worth our finest efforts” is one of your best. The establishment of CBF is one of the best things that ever happened to the resurgence movement. It caused two things to happen. It gave them something to attack and they cannot exist unless they are attacking something. It also took away from the annual SBC meeting most of those willing to stand up and question their decisions. Your statement about many conservatives moving away from active participation in the SBC is accurate. Many of these are still active in SB churches, associations and state conventions. Perhaps in your Memphis meeting you could discuss how to bring these people back. In regard to your Memphis meeting, resolutions and meetings are okay but the only things that will change our direction is electing a president who will appoint people whose allegiance is to the SBC and not just the conservative resurgence.

Wade Burleson said...

Ron,

I honestly can't answer your question. I was in high school in the seventies, but you make some excellent points worth considering.

Wade

Anonymous said...

Ron certainly did hit the nail on the head. Wade, had you been older at that time, knowing you as I do through your blogs, I honestly believe you would not have been misled.
Former missy, Florence in KY