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

A New Nomination for President of the SBC

I want to commend Tad Thompson for his excellent questions asked of Dr. Ronnie Floyd on his blog Total Truth. Dr. Floyd initially declined to respond, but he has since said he intends to give answers to the questions in the near future. Tad has also asked others in the blogospher to offer answers themselves. I think this is a great idea, and I will be posting my fifteen answers to his fifteen questions on this post. Following the Q&A I will respond to those who are interested in knowing if I will allow my name to be presented into nomination for the election of President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

1) What does the term "missional" mean to you within our denominational context? Do you see any valuable messages for the SBC coming from the Emergent Movement? What harmful messages are coming from the movement?

The term "missional" within a denominational context means that we are intentionally seeking to engage the cultures of the world, including our own, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We become all things to all people in order that we might win some. We are "missional" about all we do --- we are on a mission.

Sometimes churches and denominations get stuck in a rut of doing what we do because we have always done it that way before. The young pastors in the "Emergent" or "Missional" churches of our convention can help us see that our methodology must remain fluid, while our theology must remain constant. I'm not sure that there are any harmful messages coming from this movement. However, a couple of cautions might be advisable. Young leaders must first not judge those who are not "like them," for if "missional" pastors begin to judge others, they will be no different than those from whom they came. Young leaders must also be aware of the tendency of some to compromise the message of the gospel.

2) Cooperation has become the mantra for many pastors who are voicing their concern that many powerful political players in the SBC have an agenda to narrow the parameters of cooperation along specific, doctrinal boundaries that go beyond the BFM 2000. The highest profile example of this narrowing of cooperation are the new IMB policies on Baptism and the use of Private Prayer Languages. What is your position regarding these new policies? In what ways should Southern Baptists cooperate with other denominations and entities in order to fulfill the Great Commission in the world?

My position regarding the new policies on Baptism and Private Prayer Languages? No comment (see the new IMB trustee policy handbook forbidding sitting trustees from criticizing Board approved actions).

I do believe we as Southern Baptists can, and should, cooperate with other evangelical churches and denominations in reaching the world for Christ. These Great Commission partners are our friends, and are on the same mission as we. It would be foolish for us to ignore them or pretend they did not exist, particularly on the mission field.


3) There are a growing number of young leaders in our denomination that have embraced a "reformed" view of the doctrines of grace. I recently attended the Together for the Gospel Conference in Louisville. There were close to 3000 pastors at this conference and over 70% of attendees were 20-40 years old. Do you believe Reformed Theology is a threat to the SBC and the Great Commission? What value, if any, is there in having a denomination that allows for theological diversity within the boundaries of the BFM 2000?

The only threat to our denomination is the attempt to narrow the definition of what it means to be a Southern Baptist, or to narrow the parameters of cooperation in missions and evangelism. "Reformed" theology is not a threat to evangelism in our denomination. Southern Baptists have a long history of pastors who hold to the doctrines of grace and Calvinistic thought. On the other hand, there are many Southern Baptists who are not Calvinistic. The problem is when either side tries to so narrow the parameters of cooperation that a point comes when one group does not consider the other group "true" Southern Baptists. The SBC is large enough to allow for theological diversity within the boundaries of the BF&M. Diversity is the heritage of Baptists. We must stop the demand for conformity of interpretation of those doctrines that are not essential to salvation.


4) Where do you stand on the freedom of principled dissent from concerned trustees of any of our SBC agencies?

I believe confidential matters among Boards should remain confidential and if a trustee violates confidentiality he ought to be censured or disciplined. However, to discipline a trustee for principled dissent, in my opinion, is a very unwise move. The suppressing of principled dissent is often the sign of weak support for one's position. I am of the firm opinion that strong positions, based upon the Word of God, can withstand dissent, but principled dissent is dissent based upon the Word of God and by all means should be allowed. A Christian's conscience is bound to the Word of God, not the opinions of man.

5) What is your opinion of the Executive Committee's recent call for the convention to only appoint leaders from churches who give at least 10% of undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program?

I believe if you read the report of the Cooperative Program Study Committee you will see it is simply an encouragement or a request for Southern Baptists to take into consideration the amount of support a church gives to the CP before voting someone from that church into office. I think that is a fair request, but I would be against any standardization or bylaw recommendation that requires a certain percentage given to the CP. Southern Baptist people are smart enough to know what is best, and while it is fair for the request to be made, it is also fair for churches to either choose to give ten percent to the CP or not, and likewise, it is fair for the messengers to abide by the encouragement to elect only those candidates to office who give ten percent to the CP or to simply ignore the request. That is the beauty of every entity in the SBC being autonomous.

6) FBC-Springdale/Pinnacle Hills is an atypical church from the standpoint that it covers a lot of geographic ground, and it is frankly huge in terms of attendance every week. How does your work in NWA reflect the vision you would cast in the SBC?

This question is a good one for Dr. Floyd, but does not apply to anyone else.

7) Critics of the "mega-church" paradigm would say that there is a problem with churches which are already large launching satellite locations rather than planting new works. For example, it leaves the appearance that the senior pastor is drawing attendance based on personality rather than sound preaching because his work is not producing more senior pastor-caliber believers; it masks over discipleship with "spectator" Christianity. How would you respond to those critics?

I personally am in agreement with the critics. I believe there is something wrong when the work of the ministry or the preaching of the gospel can only be accomplished via videotape or the broadcasting of a "main personality." We are to make disciples of Christ, and in the discipleship of Christ's church the Spirit will appoint to each appropriate gifts for the building up of the body. If a church becomes too large it is impossible for proper discipline, proper mentoring, and proper discipleship to occur. I would wholeheartedly recommend a new church plant over and against multiple sites of one church with a video preacher, but because I believe in the autonomy of the local church, I also believe only individual churches can, and should, make those kinds of decisions.

8) In our consumer-driven culture many churches take a pragmatic view of ministry that allows for almost any method as long as it produces the desired results. The internet is a buzz with talk of a fire truck baptistery at FBCS, fully equipped with confetti canons. Is this methodology defensible from a theological perspective? How do you respond to those who criticize your church for using such methods?

It does concern me when one of my members, Yacouba Seydo, baptized in the Nigerian river by a non-Southern Baptist, cut-off from his Muslim family because of his faith in Christ, accepted into our church upon his statement of faith and baptism, but can then be rejected by one of our agencies for an invalid baptism, while someone who who is baptized in a fire truck with confetti and family applause, within one of our Southern Baptist Churches, is deemed appropriately baptized because it happened in a Southern Baptist Church and allowed to serve as a missionary within the SBC.

One is baptized upon threat of death. The other is baptized in a veritable party atmosphere. The one who gave up everything for Christ is considered "improperly" baptized because of "who" baptized him (a non-Southern baptist), but the one who was baptized in a fire truck during Southern Baptist Sunday School is considered "properly" baptized.

If all is accurate as reported then something is indeed rotten in Denmark.

9) There are some who believe that membership numbers in most SBC churches demonstrate a lack of integrity because many of these people are on our membership roles, yet never darken the door of our churches. Do we need to change our view of membership as a denomination? Would a revival of church discipline be beneficial for us as a denomination?

When I came to Emmanuel, Enid fourteen years ago there were 3,600 on the rolls and about 750 in small group attendance. Today we have 2,000 on the rolls and 1500 in average small group attendance. Because we pastors are called "undershepherds" and shepherds are called to know their sheep by name, we take it upon ourselves to know our sheep individually and care for them spiritually. We do practice loving church discipline, but it is always done in grace, only on violations of clear commandments of God's Word, and always for the purpose of restoration, never removal from the church, unless of course there is no repentance. So, I would say there does need to be a revival of discipline within the SBC.


10) What are the most important objectives for the SBC in the next 10 years?

We must engage the hearts and minds of young pastors in our convention. We must show them that the SBC is a place for cooperative ministry, and that their is a place for evangelical conversatives within our denomination, even if they don't "do church" the way their fathers did church. We must expand our parameters of cooperation and include men and women in the appointment process who are conservative and evangelical, but have been left out in recent years. We must recongize that we live in an age of increased accountability and heightened awareness of issues within agencies, and as a result, all of our business must be conducted in as open and transparent venues as possible.

Our objectives remain the same. We desire to take the gospel to the nations. The question we face in the very near future is clear: "Will we stop the narrowing of the parameters of what it means to be a Southern Baptist?" This is THE key objective in the next ten years. Our gospel witness is at stake.

11) What are the most important cultural issues for the SBC in the next 10 years?

Without sounding trite I wish to propose the most important cultural issue for the SBC is how we can recognize that we ARE the culture. Too often we withdraw from culture and become isolationists who condemn, when Jesus told us to go into the world and be people who effect change by our love and our example. How does a homosexual change? By the power of the gospel. How do teenagers stop engaging in promiscious sex and cease having abortions? Through the power of the gospel. How does a city shut down its bars and fill its churches? Through the power of the gospel. I would suggest our greatest need is to be a people who engage the culture with the power of the gospel. Refreshingly, I see this happening all across our land.

12) Apart from your weekly study of the Bible, what are the three most important books you have read recently which have influenced you in the ministry?

The Autobiography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The Life of God in the Soul of Man by Henry Scougal
William Huntington; Saved Sinner by Dr. George Ella

13) World Christianity has taken a dramatic shift to the Southern Hemisphere. This shift is mostly in the form of Pentecostalism and Catholicism. In what ways should the IMB be adapting to a rapidly changing world in order to spread the gospel effectively to the ends of earth?

The best advice I could give on this is that we must recognize that Christianity will not look like FBC Smallville, Texas in other countries of the world. When we try to formulize what "church" looks like, and then demand that missionaries and others follow our Western Americanized formula, we are asking for trouble. The IMB is full of creative, conservative evangelicals who know what they are doing.

I say we let the administrative staff lead, and we do our best to support and follow, while maintaining our fiduciary responsibilities for financial, legal and moral accountability.

14) Are there kingmakers calling the shots in the SBC? Should agency heads or seminary presidents attempt to influence the boards of other agencies for the purpose of undermining agency leadership?

Yes, but not for long.

Absolutely not. To the extent that may have been, or continues to be a problem that should stop. I think steps are being taken to insure it does not occur any longer.


15) Finally, as a younger leaders in the convention, what will you do as president of the SBC to bring younger leaders to the table? What ideas do you have to develop leadership within the denomination? Are there ways to ensure that involvement in SBC life can include a broad coalition of leaders from various demographics, such as age and church size? What is the role of the small and medium size church in SBC life?

There must be a very intentional, purposeful attempt at bringing younger leaders to the table. Conferences and national meetings targeting fellowship and training among young leaders is essential. In addition, the appointment powers of the President of the SBC are such that he can facilitate more involvement among young pastors across the convention. Some of our best, brightest pastors in the SBC are in small or medium size churches. Engaging younger leaders to participate in the SBC should be a priority for whoever becomes President of the SBC.

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING MY NOMINATION FOR SBC PRESIDENT

From the very beginning of my blog on December 10, 2006, I have attempted to address the issues that face us as a convention. I have maintained that I have no desire to be elected to a national office in the SBC. But because the issues are so critical, I have been determined to see that real, effective change comes, and part of that change means having a President who understands the issues and will take steps to address them.

Because the discussion of the issues on this blog has resonated in the hearts of thousands of Southern Baptists around the world, I have received at least twenty five requests from individuals desiring to either nominate me for President of the SBC or allow my name to be nominated by others. I have refrained from commenting when reporters ask my intentions, because I have sought out others to run for President, not myself. I have personally asked five men to run for President of the SBC. For various reasons these men did not feel led of God to agree to be nominated at this time.

Recently I was introduced to a man who had been approached by several individuals, none of whom was me, to allow his name into nomination. This morning I had a lengthy conversation with this man and left quite impressed with his grasp of the issues, his desire to address them with both a firm resolution and gentlemanly grace, and his pledge to open up the doors of cooperation and participation to include all evangelical conservatives in the SBC and not just a select few. He is a great supporter of the Cooperative Program, a rock solid conservative, and pastor of a very strategic church. Though we might not see eye to eye soteriologically, he has pledged not to denigrate anyone in the SBC who holds to "reformed" theology, believing the SBC and the BF&M is broad enough for us all.

If this man decides to allow his name into nomination for the Presidency, I will not allow mine. He will make a decision by the first of next week, and because I believe he would make a great President of the SBC and address the issues that concern us, I will give him my full support.


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

52 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

From reading Tad's blog, it looks as if the intent was to answer them, as time allows. That's affirmed by the update to the effect that Dr. Floyd intends to provide a response by tomorrow morning.

Might give that a look.

tim rogers said...

Wade,
If this person allows his name to be nominated will you allow yours to go forward as a VP?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I am inclined to allow others to serve in that position. Thanks for asking though.

Anonymous said...

WADE,
I'm your 70-year-old brother and I know your heart. I love you and yours and I know that the GRACE OF GOD has allowed you to carry this burden for the LORD.
Well done good and faithful servant.
PHRASE THE LORD

Paul Fries said...

Wade,
Thank you for taking the time to answer so many questions.

Will you provide one more answer and that is to share your churches giving record to CP and other SBC causes?

Thank you,
Paul

art rogers said...

Wade,

You are a man of integrity and wisdom. Still, if you need a nominator - I'm free!

Charlie said...

Wade

I can't go to Greenboro, even though I surely would love to. I believe that now is not the time for you to run for office. GOD is using you for a higher purpose. In time HE will reveal it to you. Enjoy the "peace of JESUS" for now.

Charlie

Tad Thompson said...

What update? He sent me an email today saying that he will be answering certain questions in another venue - not on the blogs. This means that he will not really be answering these questions. He said it is not the right timing.

Wade - thanks for sharing your responses. It wasnt that hard or controversial - I don't think.

Jack Maddox said...

Ok...I will let the cat out of the bag....IT"S ME!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! I AM THE ONE!!!!!!!

just kidding guys, I just thought a little humor...no matter how 'little' was in line.

On a serious note ...Wade, once again, I aplaud you and your blog. It is no doubt the 'flagship' of this spectrum. I am glad your my brother and my co-laborer in Christ.(even if you didn't answer my millinial question! hehehe, ;)

Blessings from the mission field of North Clay County

J

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

I hope he decides not to nominated so you can be nominated.

Wade Burleson said...

Paul,

I know we gave $105,000 to the CP last year plus additional funds for Lottie Moon. Our total missions giving was around $420,000. Dr. John Stam, our missions pastor has run the numbers for us, but I am in Dallas and don't have them before me. We support several missionaries directly including one member who runs the largest orphanage and Christian School in India and another member who runs several clinics, schools and churches in Africa.

I'm not sure what the percentage is of undesignated monies because we give a set amount, not a percentage.

Tony K. said...

I enjoyed hearing your perspective on those questions. This is certain to be an intereting year for the convention.

Ron West said...

Excellent answers. Whether you run or not these are the kinds of answers our next president should give.

LivingDust said...

Brother Wade,

Because the SBC is a bureaucratic, cooperative entity and NOT a church, my questions for you are not about your views of scripture or the BF&M. They are as follows:

In your view, what organizational changes, if any, would help to make the SBC more effective?

What latitude and authority does a President of the SBC possess to confront and neutralize the influence and power of the current group of "kingmakers" and anymore that might come along in the future?

In your view, has the SBC overstepped its mandate and intended purpose in any area?

Gavin Brown said...

Wade, you said:

"I'm not sure that there are any harmful messages coming from this movement." (the EC)

There are actually several harmful messages coming from the EC. Realtivism; Obscure positions on the reality of hell and the sinfulness of homosexualtiy; cooperation with non-Christian religions, to name a few. I'm painting with a broad brush, but the aforementioned are pretty rampant among EC'ers.

Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

Wade,

We all know you from the hours you have shared your heart on this blog. You will make an excellent leader for the SBC. If not now, in the very near future.

Tim Sweatman said...

Wade,

As usual, your openness in responding to Tad's questions is a breath of fresh air for the SBC. If this brother that you refer to allows his name to be placed in nomination, I'm sure Art can change the template for his bumper stickers from "WADE '06" to "WADE '08." If not, we'll sell the '06 stickers and give the proceeds to CP and Lottie Moon.

Wade Burleson said...

Gavin,

That may be true, but not among the SBC missional or emergent pastors I know.

GeneMBridges said...

Wade, you wrote:

9) There are some who believe that membership numbers in most SBC churches demonstrate a lack of integrity because many of these people are on our membership roles, yet never darken the door of our churches. Do we need to change our view of membership as a denomination? Would a revival of church discipline be beneficial for us as a denomination?

When I came to Emmanuel, Enid fourteen years ago there were 3,600 on the rolls and about 750 in small group attendance. Today we have 2,000 on the rolls and 1500 in average small group attendance. Because we pastors are called "undershepherds" and shepherds are called to know their sheep by name, we take it upon ourselves to know our sheep individually and care for them spiritually. We do practice loving church discipline, but it is always done in grace, only on violations of clear commandments of God's Word, and always for the purpose of restoration, never removal from the church, unless of course there is no repentance. So, I would say there does need to be a revival of discipline within the SBC.

---This has been my pet peeve about the Baptize a Million drive, namely the man behind it can't get this percentage of folks to his church, and his baptisms rise while his attendance declines. Great idea...poor example behind it.

You, sir, are setting an example. I don't expect to see all churches have a greater attendance than membership in my lifetime. Those centuries are over...but this shows that getting those numbers in line CAN be done! Praise the Lord, Brother. If I ever move to Enid, I know where I'm joining!

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm not sure that the command to bring the tithe to the storehouse means churches should give a tithe of "undesignated funds" to the cooperative program. But I do know the command to go and make disciples is sure applicable, and I somehow think that the leader of a church which actually does that, as opposed to one which sends a check, isn't as (or more) qualified to lead a mission organization.

I'm not demeaning sending 10% to the Cooperative Program. Our church does that and I'm happy about that. But we also send folks to the field, based on what our staff and our members are led by God to do. I'm even happier about that.

Incidentally, I didn't know there was a bad "time" to answer a question.

Chuck Andrews said...

Wade

For health reasons, I don't think I will be able to attend at Greensboro. Although, I am still considering it. You’ve got my vote in whatever capacity you choose to lead. The SBC needs many more leaders who not only understand and preach the theological words of grace but can also consistently apply them in their relationships.

Not to be controversial but using the previous blog as an example. I know the spirit in which you say this man is a “pastor of a very strategic church.” And it takes a church like an Emmanuel, Enid for the Presidency candidate to come from. Am I implying something? ABSOLUTELY! The time, workload, and commitment of the Presidency is enormous and it takes, not only God’s man, but God’s church, as well. Still, the only pastor of a very strategic church that the people of FBC Cartwright, Oklahoma know is Ray Early. I know you are using “strategic” as a relative term and not a status title but it serves as an example of what follows.

We have to use words to communicate, yet, words fail us. So, God uses His Word in unison with His Spirit and this never fails us. Wade, I know sometimes, as has already been demonstrated (baptism, alcohol, etc.), people try and turn your words against you (it happens to all us preachers) because words fail us. So, God communicates through your regenerated spirit in unison with your words. I know and hear your spirit. And that’s equally, if not more, important than your words. Thank you for being open and honest with us. It is my belief that God has called you “for such a time as this” in the SBC.

In my opinion, anybody with an ounce of discernment and an open agenda can read your blog writings, call you on the phone and have a personal conversation with you, set over a cup of coffee with you, listen to your messages over the internet, go to Israel with you, or have you in their church then they ,too, would know the grace of Christ that resonates from you, Rachelle, all your family, and Emanuel Baptist Church.

The privilege and joy is ours.

Chuck

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,
Just something on my mind. If after Monday and the other person does not allow their name to be considered and you then allow someone to nominate you, how will we know that you are actually in contact with someone. I believe you to be a man of integrity, but I believe you will admit with the past struggles in the SBC it would be refreshing to be able to trust leaders do not have personal agendas.
Will the person allow you to tell that he was praying about this but did not feel led?

Greg Cloud said...

Wade,

You, sir, are a true gentleman. God bless you.

You can be wounded by being honest, I just found that out. I may get to spend more time pastoring now. :)

God bless you, whatever decision you make.

Greg

JUSTAMOE said...

Emmanuel-Enid, 2005 ACP:

$105,000 to CP;

$1,912,782 undesignated gifts/offerings;

$313,495 Total Mission expenditures;

$3,383 Annie Armstrong offering;

$60,291 Lottie Moon offering;

$250,000 to pastor's salary (joke!!);

1695 resident membership;

1924 total Sunday School;

881 Sunday School average attendance;

1300 in primary worship;

112 baptisms (most 30-59 years of age; "other additions" = 46);

65 total Disciple Training participation;

360 total Music Ministry;

Ken Dare said...

BRO. WADE......IF YOU RAN FOR
PRESIDENT OF SBC, I WOULD CERTAINLY
VOTE FOR YOU....WILL PRAY TO THAT
END....MY PASTOR OF MY CHURCH AT
FBC, TECUMSEH, DR. TIM WALKER, HAS
JUST BEEN CALLED AS PASTOR AT FBC,
STILLWATER, OK.......HOPE YOU KNOW
HIM....HE SUPPORTS YOU...LOVE,
IN CHRIST, KEN DARE(now living in
Bixby,OK)

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I'm sorry but I don't understand your question.

Wade Burleson said...

Justamoe,

Do you know my social?

The Pastor's Salary is a tad low.

:)

JUSTAMOE said...

Credit card numbers, but not social. Your MOE said he hopes to get a raise next year.

Seriously: congrats on the good work during 2005. I hope 2006 is more fruitful still.

Anonymous said...

"14) Are there kingmakers calling the shots in the SBC? Should agency heads or seminary presidents attempt to influence the boards of other agencies for the purpose of undermining agency leadership?

Yes, but not for long.

Absolutely not. To the extent that may have been, or continues to be a problem that should stop. I think steps are being taken to insure it does not occur any longer."

Wade,

Thank you for your candor as expressed in this "blog." While I do not approve of blogs, I thought I would weigh in on this statement. There is simply no PUBLIC evidence of any such people who are "behind-the-scenes" and who are "calling the shots." It is always amusing to me to hear rumors, whether they are true or not (how can you tell the mob a part from a bunch of guys sitting around talking about politics?), that are disseminated recklessly, among which this is one of the greatest. I am scared that people might believe you and elect you for President so I am trying at all costs to have you eliminated from any position of power I can. Someone nominated Bobby Welch before I could get my guy in place last time, I WON'T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

B.S. Fatherson
SBC Big Wig

Anonymous said...

I wish that you could ocme and visit my area of the world where I serve with the IMB. I wish you oculd hear of the discontent that exists - in my group of 21 personnel - there is one unit (who is retiring next year) supportie of the present direciotn of the IMB - the other 20 have various levels of discontent with our current direction. Now you are probably saying - ah ha - this is the the reason why we need to not narrow the paramters. Actually all but two couple are extremely please with the new parameters. I think there is a greater level of dissatisfaciton than you perceive within the IMB - and I am not sure where the responsibility lies. However personnel are fearful to identify themselves lest they be "marked" by administration - the entire idea of principled dissent sounds good - but we know the reality - those who do dissent - their lives are made miserable. I could go on and on but I am afraid it does not fit into your assessment of the problem. I do think that the issue is deeper than "convention" politics - which has always been around - even before the resurgence. I fear that even if you and those like you have the noblest of intentions and the purist of motives - I would be willing to bet (if I were a gambler in moderation - I don't think the Scripture explicitly prohibits it either) that within 5 years the same system that the current conservatives decried and now you also decry - would have crept back in. I am not sure of the solution - but I do think that very well meaning people hope to refrom a system but then because they belive so strongly in what they have fought and been willing to zealousy pursue - they want ot insure that the legacy persists and so they end up falling in the same trap. I do think (and have long thought) that the SBC needs to look at the percentage many of their leader's churches give to the CP - again these are good people - I do not understand why they are not more supportive. If they were - jsut think of what the IMB might be able to do. Well jsut a bunch of random thought - I am not really on anyone's "side" - I see some wonderful godly people on every side of this issue. I probably will not write again - I think that maybe if many of us even took half of the time we spend blogging and reading blogs - praying, confessing, sharing with the lost - maybe God could repair some of these things in response to our contrition - and is that last statement that of a Reofrmed or non-Reformed thinker?

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,
The question really deals with the political nature in which we find ourselves in the SBC. You have been mentioned numerous times in the past as a possible candidate for President. The political nature would be to create a vacum of leadership then someone from outside step into the vacum. In order for this to happen rumors would float that we need a change and then everything negative pointed out that goes on in the SBC. We have seen much negative things pointed out and which needed to be dealt with. I have read the blogs and many people are asking you to run. You told me that you are not intersted in allowing yourself to serve in the VP position. Now you say that you have someone that is praying about allowing their name to run and you will wait to see if they allow it to happen or not. If they say no, then you will allow your name to go forth.
While you have not said that you have received a vision from God or that you believe you are God's choice, you effectively place yourself in that position by your cautious approach and asking someone else to allow their name to go forward. If this person does not allow their name to go forth then you step out of the shadows and say--"I did not choose the office, the office chose me".
My question goes back to keeping the political nature out of this thing and calling on integrity to rule the day. If this person does not allow their name to go forth, how will we know? We take your word for it? I trust you, but I believe that is asking lots on SBC to just take your word that someone else was considering running.

Kiki Cherry said...

Wade,

Don't joke about things like that. This bunch probably COULD find your social. Especially Dorcas!!! : )

Jeremy Roberts said...

Wade, you said, "I believe there is something wrong when the work of the ministry or the preaching of the gospel can only be accomplished via videotape or the broadcasting of a "main personality." Thankfully for The Church at Pinnacle Hills, Pastor Floyd preaches live to the people in the second service, and will preach live to all of them within a few months.

I love your statement about how you believe individual churches should be left up to making those kinds of decisions due to autonomy. This is what is great about the SBC...autonomy and cooperation tying together.

Tad - Since Pastor Floyd told you he would answer your questions in another venue, that automatically makes him a liar? You said, "This means that he will not really be answering these questions." I understand he initially agreed to answer them and then backed away. He did, however, tell you he would answer them in another venue. How dare you have the audacity to question his character! Ronnie Floyd has impeccable character!

Just because he wants to answer your questions in a different venue it does not mean he is lying!

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Impeccable is a pretty strong word, Jeremy.

A few more months in seminary and you will learn that the heavy theological word "impeccable" can only be used when speaking of one man.

And Ronnie Floyd is not that man.

GeneMBridges said...

Tad - Since Pastor Floyd told you he would answer your questions in another venue, that automatically makes him a liar? You said, "This means that he will not really be answering these questions." I understand he initially agreed to answer them and then backed away. He did, however, tell you he would answer them in another venue. How dare you have the audacity to question his character! Ronnie Floyd has impeccable character!

Just because he wants to answer your questions in a different venue it does not mean he is lying!



Jeremy, Tad wrote, that the email said he would answer CERTAIN questions in another venue, not THESE questions in another venue.

He sent another email which said, "I went into some of these issues today in a one hour interview with Baptist Press. They dealt with many of these openly."

So, he still did not answer THESE questions. He answered SOME of these questions.

If this is the SBTC interview, let's see which of these he answered:

a. The Calvinism question was answered. Here is the answer:Asked specifically about what some perceive as the threat of Calvinism, Floyd encouraged recognizing “the good that exists in whatever people believe and try our best to come together to discuss what we can do together and believe together. The more we split hairs on various matters, the less effective we’re going to be in carrying forth our mission,” he added.

I'll add here that he calls the Calvinism issue "spliting hairs." This will garner him little sympathy. See here to see why: http://www.all-of-grace.org/pub/others/deathofdeath.html

The Reformed wing of the SBC isnt' naive. They know that not everybody is going to agree with them. On the other hand, from their perspective, Calvinism or non-Calvinism isn't splitting hairs, because there is so much that Calvinism affects (read Packer's article in the link and you'll see why they feel that way). They are looking for a person who, if not a Calvinist, will at least understand that much and not give the impression that he trivializes their concerns as "splitting hairs." There is quite a difference between a soteriology that is actively trinitarian in each phase of salvation and one that at the conceptual level works out to functional Unitarianism by making 2 persons of the Trinity passive in salvation (election and regeneration) and dependent on man. Calvinists see it that way, and, on that, they're quite correct. All the Calvinists want is somebody that understands that there are reasons they feel as they do and will work with them. Lots of the SBC Calvinists would sooner work with Wesleyans than some SBCer's for this reason. That should tell you something. It's not just the anti-Calvinism, it's the reduction of their concerns to "splitting hairs," which, they feel contributes the attitude that these things don't really matter and makes them wonder if there is some sort of hierarchy of important doctrine and practice that matters more than others. As I said, they understand not everybody is going to go along...they just want the leadership to stop marginalizing them. Add that most of them are young, and you can see why the issue is so "hot."

b. He used the word "missional" once. He failed to define it. It was not asked.

c. Nothing on the Emergent Church-not asked.

d. No comment on the IMB policies, may have been asked.

e. No clear answer the the question on principled dissent. Standard talk about letting the trustee system work, etc. Question may have been asked.

f. On CP giving and the Executive Committee, he answered as follows: Responding to a recent Executive Committee study encouraging the election of SBC officers from among churches that give at least 10 percent to the Cooperative Program, Floyd said, “The very men who turned this denomination back to biblical inerrancy would not have been qualified. We would have eliminated so many great people who now are giving large sums to the Cooperative Program.”

Instead, Floyd reasoned, “If we want people to give more money to CP—and they will—we have to give them a vision that is so attractive that dollars, cents, resources, persons and personnel will be elevated to a brand new level.”

g. Regarding the question about his church in particular, one could say he answered that one as follows: Floyd said he has been innovative in his approach to ministry while “never one time sacrificing biblical truth.” He asserted, “Orthodoxy is not threatened by innovation. Real truth can stand through the test of time.” He urged churches and the denomination “to really put forth without argument that we have a truth in the Word of God and in Jesus Christ,” adding “that it can be packaged in a way that can be appealing to a 21st century generation. If we do not do that then we can share truth all day long, but it may not be heard by the masses who need to hear it.”

(One supposes that he's not heard of the Regulative Priniciple, oh well. I personally find this problematic, it zeroes on one of the leading reasons Southern Baptists are leaving the denomination where I live--the unapologetic pragmatism and packaging.)

h. Apropos g, there was a question about the confetti baptistry. Not asked, No answer.

i. Ten year objectives for the SBC: No substantive answer. Standard response on helping local churches, bringing the different generations together, reaching the world for Jesus. Wade's answer here is direct, to the point, concrete.

j. SBC and culture: look ahead. This combines with i and perhaps g and his answer on innovation.

k. Books: not asked; no answer.

l. IMB adapting to missiological shifts: hard to say. Not directly asked, not really answered.

m. Kingmaker Question: Not asked, no answer.

n. Younger leader inclusion question: asked, answered very well.

So, did he answer Tad's questions?

Anonymous said...

Benjamin,

Give the guy a break. Talk about "splitting hairs." I think we all know that Jeremy is not placing the character of Dr Floyd on the same level as Jesus. To say a man has impeccable character is understood by most people to mean he is a good guy. But, you are entitled to your opinion.


Gene,

You said, "There is quite a difference between a soteriology that is actively trinitarian in each phase of salvation and one that at the conceptual level works out to functional Unitarianism by making 2 persons of the Trinity passive in salvation (election and regeneration) and dependent on man. Calvinists see it that way, and, on that, they're quite correct. All the Calvinists want is somebody that understands that there are reasons they feel as they do and will work with them."

I do understand what you are saying here, but are you not merely articulating the other side of the same argument posed by nonCalvinists? I understand that a potential for nonCalvinists could result in Unitarianism; and we can see this occuring in history. However, by pitting Calvinism against the far extreme for a nonCalvinist, you are utilizing the same argument that says all Calvinists don't evangelize. For a lack of a better term...let's not "split hairs" when discussing this topic by focusing on the extremes.

Furthermore, it seems as if you are saying that in order to be orthodox, one must be a 5-point Calvinist. Following this line of reasoning, then there were no Trinitarian Christians pre-Synod of Dort. This is a rather bold statement and I encourage you to rethink your position.

This line of reasoning stems from your suggestion that there are two camps, Trinitarian-Calvinists and Unitarian-nonCalvinists. It is a false assumption to think that.

You are merely creating a strawman argument by building up one side, making it look flawless and downgrading the other side by looking at its extreme. I thought that this is a major issue that your camp was fighting against.

I suppose I could use your reasoning and argue that the majority of people participating in these blogs are 5-pointers. If I wanted to create a strawman argument, I could say that instead of sharing the faith with lost people, these (you) Calvinists believe that God will convert those He desires. Therefore it is okay to spend the day reading and writing on blogs. However, I know this is not true...we are all sharing the faith daily and seeing people saved...aren't we???

imb m in asia said...

People can say all they want. They can put a spin on things to make it look good, or to try to bring you around to their understanding. However, you can not argue with FACT. FACT is that Ronnie Floyd's church DID NOT give very much to the CP (.27%) last year; half of CP monies go to the IMB.

I, too, have been encouraged in the past by Dr. Floyd's messages. However, I am very discouraged by the lack of support he has led his church into giving the CP over the last few years; especially last year.

Unfortunately, I can't attend the SBC convention, but I know many who are; my parents for instance. The first time EVER they've gone as messengers! They are so put out with all that's gone on.
Just today, on the phone, my father told me, "I can tell you one thing. I will not vote for someone whose church only gives .27% to the CP." Yea, Dad!

Don't get me wrong. My family likes and appreciates what Dr. Floyd has done. However, the factual lack of giving by his church to the CP speaks louder than all the words he could say to try and justify it.

If every church in the SBC began to follow his churches example and give only .27% to the CP, where would that put us, and many others who rely on CP monies to support us and our work? Answer: having to fund raise...

Say all you want....I'll take the facts...

Anonymous said...

Local church autonomy, a view of infallibility and inerrancy of Scriptures - AND - the Cooperative Program are what makes the SBC.

The CP has always been lifted up in state and national conventions as the SBC way of doing kingdom work and missions at home and abroad. How can we elect a megachurch leader who leads his church to give .27%?

Tony said...

Wade:

Thank for your responses. With regards to the issue of the “Emergent Church” it would seem there is more to be wary of than you mentioned. While you may know of no SBC pastors delivering what you would consider harmful messages we still need to be constantly aware of the danger. Many of the questions asked by those in the Emergent Church are valid their answers more than often are not. The danger is not in what we see now but what is creeping in. Successful heresy does not usually jump right in but slowly makes itself at home.

I can not agree with you more on the issue of video of services as it would seem that the church is then built around a man rather than Christ. How are preachers to be raised up if only one person is seen as capable of doing the job? In this case does this then not say that it is the person delivering the message that matters than the message itself?

With regards to baptism, I guess in some ways you did answer the question in number 2, the issue should be whether the baptism was believers baptism or not. I would hate to think that what becomes of this baptism issue is that we need to carry around the resume of the one who baptized us and other information just to prove it was real. As you alluded to, baptism with confetti among friends or with bullets in the sight of the enemy, which is a more public expression of faith?

Having not been a Southern Baptist all my life one of the issue I see is not simply the young pastors but the view of the convention as a whole, that if you are not in the club good luck. So, reform in how the convention works would be good and finding ways to include those that are outside the system. This whole issue of voting for president is a good example as I really do not know how one can vote for people that many of us do not know. There really should be a way for nominations being much earlier and then there could be good conversation on who we vote for.

Again thanks for your responses and it is good to see someone willing to give their thoughts on the issues.

Jeremy Roberts said...

Gene - I did not catch the word CERTAIN before. I was wrong.

Ben - Apparantly two semesters of Greek and two of Hebrew have not taught me the details of "Impeccable". Exegesis of both languages is coming this fall. I simply meant that he is a good guy. Hopefully there is no deeper meaning to "good guy", but you know what I mean.

Bob Cleveland said...

I noticed something I hadn't noticed before.

Most of what I observe is about corporate rules oriented at "guaranteeing" the work of God.

Baptism: this is as personal an event as we see in the life of a believer. A time of submission to the example Jesus set. Yet all the "qualifications" surround what the "baptizer" believes. If it's true that it's the Holy Spirit Who "baptizes us" into the body, then why are the doctrinal positions of the human baptizer of such importance?

Does the IMB attach such importance to that, that they assume that disagreement will hinder God's work?

Tongues: I think it's an awful lot for a Board to do, to pronounce what God does not to any more. Do they think that a missionary who has a PPL is going to thwart God's building of HIS church?

I know, I know ... they claim that missionaries who are called by God, are going to get to the field whether the IMB sends them or not. But, in insisting that candidates conform to what they view as SBC standards, which go far beyond the BF&M, the IMB is guaranteeing more that the church in the field is SBC, rather than simply the Church that God builds on the indigenous population.

Doctrinal purity in the field: Preachers are commanded to preach the truth. But believers are commanded to reject false doctrine. And the BF&M says we're responsible for what we believe. Frankly, I see fewer well-grounded (doctrinally) believers among baptists than in my former denominational connections.

Apparently, we're depending on conforming preachers more than informed and knowledgable members.

Wade Burleson said...

Tony,

I appreciate your spirit and will keep my radar up on the issues you raise.

You very well may be right on target.

I am not that well informed on emergents, but if what you say is true, I would find that troubling.

Wade Burleson said...

LivingDust,

You pose good questions. I am working on a series of posts that will answer them all for next week.

Wade Burleson said...

SBC Big Wig,

I wish you the best in your efforts.

:)

Tony said...

Wade:

Thank for your response. This is a good example of how the blog world has benefits. I do not think in the past I could voice quetions and opinions and get a response.

Again thank you for your response and heart to deal with real issues.

Roger Maddox said...

Wade,
Please share with your readers some information about your theological education, i.e., where you studied and degrees earned. Also, please state your convictions about theological education for persons planing to become professional ministers and for laypersons.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
You have said that your church supports two missionary units.
(1) Is your church supporting them because there were circumstances that prevented them from being appointed by the IMB? (I don't need details.)
(2) Does your church have policies for your missionaries similar to those of the IMB--like agreement with the BF&M?
Nannette

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

They would not qualify as IMB missionaries under the new policies.

We do examine them doctrinally, but the statement of faith they must agree to is our church doctrinal statement found on our web site.

Brian Charland said...

Wade,
Can you spend more time explaining your views regarding the requirement for all appointed officers to be from churches that give at least 10% of their undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wade
I was baptized in the ocean at the first beach baptism held by Calvary Chapel. 400 of us Jesus freaks turned up and shiverred our way out to be dunked under the oversight of Pastor Chuck Smith. Much later when we joined a SB Church, the pastor accepted our baptism and profession of faith. We transferred our membership to a second SB church who accepted our profession of faith and baptism. What would the cutrrent BOT policy say about my case?

Tad Thompson said...

Jeremy:

You should read my entire blog before you start claiming I called Dr. Floyd a liar. I have never called him a liar - if I have, show me with my words. You should be careful what you say - be sure you have it right.

Gene - you are the man - always with great analysis. You don't miss a thing.

Anonymous said...

Wade I appreciate your comments but I have one disagreement. The Founders Journal, which many of our baptist pastor belong, speaks to how the pastor should go about changing his church to one of Calvinism beliefs. It promotes Calvinism in suttle ways and instructs the pastor to refrain from using the word Calvinism,proclaiming that the common churchgoer is ignorant of such words. Freewill and elect are words that the pastor is asked to stay away from. They must be explained to the church and then the church must decide. Glossing over freewill and elect, will only cause more confusion.