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

On Formulas, Signatures and Rituals vs. Genuine Christian Ministry

God saved me by His amazing grace through the work of Christ. I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus because of God's discipleship of me. John Newton said it best "I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see." Christianity is not my religion of choice, it is my personal faith through conversion by God's grace.

However, I am a Southern Baptist by choice. I could never lose my Christian faith because I never found my Christian faith. God found me. On the other hand, one could walk away from the demonination and remain as committed to Christ as ever. I am a Southern Baptist by choice, and I refuse to walk away, because I believe it is the best denomination by which true Christian expressions of Biblical missiology, theology and ecclesiology exists. In other words, the SBC is an environment where doctrine, missions and churches excel.

That is, unless or until. . .

(1). We get to the point that formulas take the place of real missions ministry. I do not believe I could improve upon Marty Duren's post on this matter, so I point you to SBC Outpost and Marty's comments on the Cooperative Program. When a formula supercedes participation in, prayer for, and passion about missions, we begin to die in areas of missiology within the SBC. The ideal situation is for the International Mission Board, the Executive Committee of the SBC and all other agencies to empower churches to get excited about the mission efforts of the SBC and to work to include anyone and everyone within the SBC to be a part of those Great Commission efforts. The narrowing of the parameters of participation only forces some churches to take the road of funding missions independently.

(2). We get to the point that healthy doctrinal discussion and dialogue is substituted with fiat creeds. Southern Baptists have a huge legacy of confessional, theological statements. Most of our early SBC forefathers based their church and associational confessions on The Philadelphia Confession, which was an Americanized version of the English Baptist 1644 and 1689 London Confessions of Faith. I have taught courses on each of these confessions and I can promise you, the modern Southern Baptist will not have a clue about what is said in those Confessions, not because they are so poorly written, but because they are so WELL written.

The dumbing down of our theological understanding in the SBC has created an environment where people no longer debate theology. To seek to measure, and eventually approve, a person's theological acumen by asking that person to merely attach a signature to a simplistic doctrinal statement does nothing for the advancing of theological precision. What does that person believe about the atonement? What is that person's view of justification? What does that person believe about the Trinity? It is one thing to use the word "justification" but it is an entire other matter to know what it means.

In the 17th Century Baptists debated for months the nature of the eternality of Christ. Did Christ "proceed" from the Father from eternity? This question is absolutely senseless and foreign to a modern Southern Baptist because we are so doctrinally puerile. When debating the issue of "tongues" in the New Testament, one Texas pastor with a seminary degree actually said to me, "When I was in Seminary I was taught tongues was of the devil. It aint' taught in the Greek." I had no clue what he meant, but it was obvious he was not open to a freeflowing debate on the subject, or for that matter cooperating with anyone who had a different view than he on this non-essential.

Of course, I believe cooperation in the SBC in the area of missions should be based upon fellowship around the essentials --- the person of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, etc . . . In my church we are doctrinally precise, but I have no problem cooperating with other churches in the areas of missions and evangelism who are not as precise as we on the non-essentials of the faith. However, if and when some began to demand doctrinal conformity and precision in areas of the non-essentials, I will do my best to keep the doors broad and open to prevent the SBC from becoming an isolated evangelical sect.

(3). We get to the point when the churches are no longer the highest authority in the SBC, but rather authority is inversed so that boards, denominational executives and others seek to limit the autonomy of the local church.

The local church must be central. When ecclesiologcial matters are decided by those not affiliated with one's local church, we become very Catholic in our heirarchy and forsake our Baptist heritage.

It's time we as Southern Baptists focused on real ministry on the local church level, guarding sacredly the historic freedoms of Southern Baptists to do real, genuine Christian ministry in and through our churches the way each church is led by the Holy Spirit.


John Moeller said...


You are giving to missions as God has instructed you and your team to give. Good for you! Never be pressured by tradition. Pray, Seek, and then do.
Your numbers show a dedicated church too! I would put your attendance percentages against anyone’s. Most churches hover around 50%, yours is way higher. Keep up the great work in small groups too. That’s where hurting people reach out in a non threatening environment.
Ken Hemphill was my pastor long ago in Norfolk. BC said; the mission of the church .. the task .. the vision .. should depend on the giftedness of the members. AMEN! I watched our church in Norfolk explode in growth because Ken lived by this. All churches should, even the little mission churches across the world. Thus the heated debate. Missionaries need to be allowed to use the gifts God has given them in the mission of the church .. the task .. the vision. Souls is what it is all about!
As a layman, I look at the business sense of Christianity. Souls per dollar. Most impact for my money. When I find a successful missionary, I fund them. Barbara Walker in Haiti gets my money. She rescues new-born babies off the trash pile before the garbage truck crushes them. She gets them adopted into Christian homes in the states. She wins souls and saves lives. She is sound in her doctrine and uses the gifts of the Spirit like I have never seen before. It has saved her life many times. I once thought the gifts had faded until I spent a week with her in Haiti. I challenge others to do the same. Find out for yourself if the gifts are important when satan is trying to take your life and your ministry. I believe the debate would end, there would be understanding and cooperation. Think about it….

Kevin Bussey said...

Right on Wade!

ScriptureSearcher2 said...

AMEN! Your understanding of the scriptures, our Baptist history and the current situation that's ever threatening our Southern Baptist Convention ~ plus the courage of your God-given convictions ~ are deeply appreciated and most commendable.

I know Fred Cherry, your maternal grandfather, is proud of your stand
for Christ and the truth.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Wade,

"To seek to measure, and eventually approve, a person's theological acumen by asking that person to merely attach a signature to a simplistic doctrinal statement does nothing for the advancing of theological precision."

This is the best line from this good post, and I agree strongly with this sentiment. I would rather have a person who does not agree with every item in the BFM, but understands and holds to most of it, than one person who is willing to sign it, but understands it very little.

Love in Christ,


David L. Miller said...

I have a book called "Salvation in Full Color." It is a collection of sermons from the Colonial Era in America. It is amazing, because the level of theological understanding in those sermons - sermons preached in pulpits - would flummox 95% of seminary graduates today.

Anonymous said...


Hmmm... I'm confused, perplexed by that word.


Micah said...

John Moeller-

Praise the Lord for your commitment to missions, but at the same time I would strongly caution you regarding the "bang for the buck" philosophy you stated. While I am in sympathy with the need to invest where there is response I also think there is a tremendous need for pouring time, money and influence into unresponsive areas.

For instance, there is little response occuring right now in Muslim countries (as opposed to China, Eastern Europe, etc.) and yet I think we would all agree that there needs to be even more of a commitment to reaching Muslim countries, even if they aren't responding right now.

That's why I think CP giving is so vitally important. It's much like studying the Bible topically, as opposed to expositionally. If I do I am liable to skip parts I don't like and focus on my pet peeves, yet when I study the Bible verse by verse I am forced to deal with passages that I don't like, but ones that I need. Missions, in a small way, is much the same. If we simply focus on areas that we know, or have contact with, or see great response in, much of the world will never be reached. Praise the Lord for the IMB identifying lostness and prioritizing ministry in countries that most of us have never heard of.

If it weren't for cooperative giving many of these unknown, unresponsive people woule never have a chance of knowing God.

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,
Whille i agree wholeheartedly that we are Southern Baptist by choice I also believe it takes more than choice to hold me here. It takes accountability. I am accountable to other churches in my Association, State Convention and the SBC at large. I am accountable to these others for my actions and attitudes. I feel that in your attitude you have shown in this post is you are around until get tired of playing ball then you will take yours and go home.
Where would we be if we only had Separatist Baptist? We would be in the midst Fundamentalism Frank Norris style. I here your concern, but I for one will never leave the SBC by decision. It will be by the Sovereign direction of God. It will not by because I place lines in the sand that if you cross this line I am gone. If God so designs and leads me out, I will leave quietly and follow God. I certainly will not say, if this happens then I will stay. From what I remember about God's call on my life I am on a journey. I do not make decisions, the last time I did that was at salvation when I decided to follow the drawing of the Holy Spirit to come to Jesus, and that very decision was prompted by God. On this journey I follow God, I do not stake claims and blame others because I pull up my tent pegs.

crosspointman said...


In your comment on formulas, you are rejecting the notion that elected SBC leaders should give 10% to CP. Are you consistent in that thought?

Do you expect key leaders in your church to be exemplary givers in your church? Do you teach percentage giving (tithing)?

In Luke 21:1-4, the Bible records: And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."

Was Jesus paying more attention to percentages or dollar amounts?

The larger church pastors want to correct Jesus. Ronnie Floyd is quoted as saying: “But I think that the last time I remembered, it’s real difficult to spend percentages. You spend dollars and cents, and in relationship to that I don’t think we need to be judging a church in relationship to what it gives percentile wise. I think that’s very unfair.” (Baptist Press, May 12, 2006)

I think Jesus would disagree with you on that, Ronnie.

Using Marty Duren’s rationale (and yours too, I assume), the low giving by the rich that day at the Temple was due to a failure on somebody’s part to cast a "compelling vision." Strange that Jesus didn’t pick up on that principle when He had the chance.

Should we have SBC leaders that can cast a "compelling vision" for cooperative missions? Yes! But how can they cast that vision if they are not invested themselves as pacesetters? Instead, we have leaders like Ronnie who want to tip CP, then spend CP dollars jet-setting from one meeting to the next for two years… directing Southern Baptists in how they should do cooperative missions.

That's not a vision problem -- it's an ethical one.

Henry Blackaby told students at Southwestern Seminary a couple of years ago, “The Cooperative Program is not something men designed, but something God put together.” (Baptist Press, March 5, 2004)

We need leaders who believe that – who consequently give enough to qualify as enthusiastic, exemplary supporters of the CP – they are the ones who can cast the vision.

t. d. webb said...

This Okie can tell you now, Wade, that the Lord used your post today to bless my "flummoxed" socks off!

May He richly bless you and yours in these telling times.

In His Grace and Peace,


Anonymous said...

Flummox? is that good or bad?

Anonymous II

Bob Cleveland said...

There's an old adage .. "The minimum requirement becomes the maximum obligation".

We are collectively unable to discern whether someone is a Spirit-filled believer who will minister the truth. So we make up rules which follow what we see ourselves doing, how we think, interpret things, etc., and then apply them to others. As long as they meet those requirements, they're ok.

It's inevitable that we don't know whether we guessed wrong until damage has been done.

I don't know that there's an answer. At least not in an organization which recognizes the individual's priesthood as the SBC does.

Wade Burleson said...


You make good points. Thanks for the post. Our church gives close to 20% to missions, the question I would ask you is simply this, "In your opinion does our missions giving outside of the CP count in the Kingdom of God?"

Anonymous said...

That's not the issue Wade, whether or not your giving counts in the Kingdom of God. Of course it does. The issue is, should the men we are electing to lead Southern Baptists, a cooperative body, should these men COOPERATE? .27% is not very cooperative...Just a thought.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I think you are missing my point. I happen to agree with you. My point, however, is that when you start bringing Jesus into the conversation, as Crosspointman did, one must be careful not to act as if the SBC is the only evanglical way to build the kingdom of Christ. It is only one way, and yes, we may not want SBC leaders who don't support the CP with large percentages, but we definitely better be cautious about acting as if the CP is the ONLY way to do missions in building the kingdom.

Wade Burleson said...

And by the way, I am on the record saying I believe requesting 10% giving from churches is appropriate. However, there is a difference between a request and a requirement.

brad reynolds said...

Can you give any specific examples where any of the 3 concerns have taken place at all in the SBC, which warrants such warnings? If not, then what is the real purpose of this post? and why are they concerns? Perhaps a concern that, we “remember the resurgence” and the things for which men like the late Dr. Adrian Rogers fought would be a more needed and important post.

Anonymous said...

This pastor supports the CP but whenever I hear "missions" and "Cooperative Program" in the same sentence, commitmen to the former designed to drive giving to the latter, I wonder if it is understood by all that PENNIES on the CP dollar finally arrive at honest-to-goodness missions?

For me to support substantial increases to CP giving, major changes must be made. Until then, Lottie and Annie get the larger dollars.

All that being said, give me an elected leader whose support makes it into at least one whole percentage point...

crosspointman said...

I would affirm that an SBC church can give to any mission group they choose. I would also affirm that the extension of the kingdom of God involves many more believers than Southern Baptists alone.

The question is this: would any missional organization (secular or Christian) hand off the reigns of leadership to someone who is not a financial stakeholder in the enterprise?

Earlier, I did invoke an illustration involving Jesus and the widow's mite, but not to suggest that the CP of the SBC is the only kingdom enterprise God cares about.

My point was that Jesus measured her commitment in terms of sacrifice for the cause (percentage giving), not in terms of aggregate dollars given (total giving).

Thank you (by the way) for starting this online conversation back in December. The blogging has been one of the healthiest expressions among us (SBCers) in 25 years. I pray it will stir thousands to re-invest themselves in our piece of the Great Commission as Southern Baptists.

Wade Burleson said...


Well said.

I could not agree more.

Thanks for the clarification.

Wade Burleson said...


When it is appropriate to commend the conservative resurgence I never practice restraint. I have, and will continue, to commend it.

When it is appropriate to issue warnings, I will also do so. To give specific examples at this time would require breaking a new policy on public dissent by sitting trustees, so one will have to use his imagination.

What is the real purpose of this post? To wake people up to the fact that real Christian ministry cannot be formalized, ritualized and systematized.

You have good thoughts BR, I would suggest you start a blog if you don't like the direction of mine. There is plenty of room in the SBC and the blogosphere for people with two different view points who can work together for the advancement of the gospel and I'm serious when I say I respect your thoughts and the manner in which you convey them.

brad reynolds said...

To imply such things are taking place in the SBC without factually defending such implications would be in conflict with the 5th declaration of the Memphis Declaration which you signed.

You said the purpose you wrote this was to "wake people up to the fact that real Christian ministry cannot be formalized, ritualized and systematized." Do you assume that many of your readers disagree and believe that Christian ministry should be formalized, ritualized and systematized? If not, then it begs the question.

Also, thank you for your kind words...I do not take them to imply differing views are not welcome here, for you have been so generous in posting my comments.

Wade, I have some concerns about many things you have said, but you have been kind in your responses and I appreciate that - there is much room for those who disagree on personalities or paradigms to work together, but for me there is no room to work with anyone who denies inerrancy - which you do not, although I do wonder if you would work with them. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Brad Reynolds
I didn't get an answer in my previous post.
How would you define inerrancy of Scripture in the HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE Mathew 9:18-19 "My daughter is near death",versus My daughter just died" in ALL Other Translation ?
18 As He was telling them these things suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before Him, saying, "My daughter is near death,
but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live." 19 So Jesus and His disciples got up and followed him.

brad reynolds said...

Please see all the comments under the post "SBC Presidential Nomination Announced."

I don't mean to be short but I really am wearing my welcome thin here, and I feel I addressed your concerns adequately there.

Anonymous said...

To John Moeller and Micah,
It’s a joy to write to Christians where we can love each other in the Lord without arguing who is a liberal. Your subject is where does Christ want missionaries to be sent?
You both have good points. The key is Christ’ command, “Look on the fields, that they are WHITE to harvest.” Later translations have “READY for harvest.” They use READY because the translators were not farmers and do not understand WHITE when it comes to wheat. When wheat turns white in color, it will fall to the ground in 3 days. The whole world is brown fields of wheat except some are white. White is opportunity. Doors are open that may close soon.
Rex Ray

t. d. webb said...

Anonymous II,
The answer to your question,"Flummox? is that good or bad?, may depend on how long your "flum" is ;^) . . .

"flummox" is defined in my dictionary as, "flum·mox" (flumÆÃks), v.t. Informal.
to bewilder; confound; confuse.
[1830–40; orig. uncert.]

This Okie trusts that you, Anonymous II, are no longer bewildered, confounded, confused or, in short, "flummoxed" by the definition. :^)

In His Grace and Peace,

cyngun said...

You've stated precisely my reasons for abandoning the SBC ship. It had already begun to sink before I realized it, and I honestly believe that it is too far gone to be saved now. God cannot work through an organization or a group of people who have forsaken love and who value uniformity over unity.

I believe that all three of your criteria for no longer choosing to be a part of a denomination have well been met in the SBC some time ago. The final nail in the coffin for me was being disqualified for service with the IMB because I would not put my signature on their current "instrument of doctrinal accountability" which is being used to...as you put it: "demand doctrinal conformity and precision in areas of the non-essentials." Whether or not a woman is senior pastor--is that an essential? Whether or not a woman graciously submits to her husband--is that an essential? I believe as you do that "cooperation in the SBC in the area of missions should be based upon fellowship around the essentials --- the person of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, etc."

I also believe as you do that the local church is the highest authority in the Baptist tradition. The local church voluntarily chooses to affiliate and cooperate with a local association, and/or the state and national conventions for the purpose of working together to accomlish more than it could alone. Isn't that what the Cooperative Program is all about? Those entities have no heirarchy of authority and should not expect to exercise control over a local church body. However, that tradition was abandoned in 1988 when the SBC decided in San Antonio that in doctrine of the priesthood of the believer there are a few 'priests' who are higher and should have authority over others.

The local church is who sends missionaries; again, the IMB is simply a channel they go through to cooperate together in order to accomplish more. Baptists have trusted the IMB for decades to do what is right for their missionaries; this trust has been been destoyed, however, as the IMB has lost sight of whom it represents, and now has an agenda which has nothing to do with missions, and everything to do with control.

The SBC that I have known all my life from cradle roll to Sunbeams to GA's to Acteens to Vacation Bible School to Ridgecrest to Glorieta to Sunday School to Children's Choir to Training Union to Associational Missions to BSU Summer Missions to Foreign Missions... I could go on and on...the denomination in which I grew up, which nurtured my faith, which provided me a proud heritage no longer exists. It has been a long time in coming, but it is dead. I still grieve the loss of such a rich heritage. Tragically, men claiming to represent some noble purpose have stolen it and used it for their own selfish gain, and what is now known as the SBC is not even a dim reflection of its former self.

It is a painful realization, but eventually more and more Southern Baptists like myself will wake up and see that their beloved denomination was taken right out from under them, and the spiritual leaders whom they trusted to do right have betrayed that trust.

I'll be curious to see just how long you can hang on. I know your heart is with the Lord and far from the deception that parades as doctrinal purity and denominational loyalty.

Anonymous said...

Brad Reynolds,
You remind me of what Wade’s blog is not as you say a more important post would be remembering the resurgence and things for which men like Rogers fought. If you really believe that then it would be your Christian duty to start that post and learn how much support was for it. You might even use Rogers’ words of; we will stand, even if we stand alone. As more and more rules make the circle smaller, the SBC may accomplish just that.
The resurgence in my opinion was using the Bible as a political football to fight against non existing Liberals to win against any opposition
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Brad Reynolds,
On this post, you state, “For me there is no room to work with anyone who denies inerrancy.” And on The SBC Presidential Nomination Announced (May 8, 2006), you state, “Based on the Chicago definition of inerrancy, which is what the battle in the convention was over, I will state ‘one who denies it is a liberal.’ It is not name-calling for me but rather my firm belief of what constitutes a liberal.”

Would you clarify what you believe is a liberal?

I read the ‘Chicago definition on inerrancy’ (web has it under these words) for the first time today. It has 3,940 words. It states:
“We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved violate the truth claims of the Bible.”

If I understand this right, a thousand lies, a thousand errors, and a thousand discrepancies would not violate the truth that every word in the Bible is from the mouth of God and is perfect. I can hear the devil laughing now, “Everything I say in the Bible, they believe is from God.” There is something missing here and I believe it is intelligence.

This is frightening: “We further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without GRAVE CONSEQUENCES.”

Does inerrancy demand allegiance over God’s command to love our brothers in Christ? If it does, then inerrancy is more important that the Bible, and that is why the devil’s lips are smiling.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Concerning your points:
1. If I remember Baptist history right, the Cooperative Program was started at least partly to fund well all the entities/causes Southern Baptists had decided to fund (missions, education, etc.) since previously whichever entity was the best at promoting their work got the most money, and there were constant appeals to the churches by them for funds. With the CP it was a matter of distributing money through a budget which should have been voted on each year by the messengers. Maybe if people don't like it, they should work to change the budget. It was, and in my opinion, still is a good idea, at least for this reason. We do still have Lottie and Annie offerings, but not much else, and agencies/entities are adequately funded. For that matter, the tithe is a formula, but still is widely promoted.

2. Do I need to say more than BF&M2000! Oh, well, I will say more anyway: Its "instrument of doctrinal accountability" was made retroactive for missionaries appointed earlier, working well for many years, but who could not agree with its narrowed/different interpretation, and were fired. Anyone who did not totally agree with those in power was called liberal or worse and forced out. (Wade, I believe you have experienced a bit of this!)

3. In some associations there was pressure on churches to sign BF&M2000. For example, even before it was "made illegal" attempts were made to force churches out of associations for ordaining women; even as deacons, though this at least wasn't "made illegal" even in BF&M2000. Recently in Missouri churches who wanted to fund missions in cooperation with others in a way not approved by those in power were forced out of the state convention. Apparently if a church has the resources to fund other mission work on its own outside the SBC it's ok, but not to join with other churches to do the same.

The SBC has been a great institution, but I'm afraid it is becoming increasingly narrow, and in danger of having fewer and fewer participants because of the narrowed parameters. As was said earlier on this blog, it may come down to two who are the only ones who agree on everything, and then the one of them who has the power shoving the other out when he finds a reason. It will be a sad thing, but in case no one noticed, this has already been happening, and many have left because they are tired of the fighting and pettiness and prefer to work together in harmony.


yes2truth said...

Hello Mr Burleson

"God saved me by His amazing grace through the work of Christ."


"I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus because of God's discipleship of me."


Born Again believers are not disciples (I am presuming you are Born Again) Discipleship brings us to the The Lord via The Father's calling. Once Born Again we are no longer disciples but friends and brothers of Jesus Christ. At Pentecost the disciples received The Holy Spirit and were disciples no more, but Apostles. We must understand the difference or we will remain half baked so to speak.

"Christianity is not my religion of choice, it is my personal faith through conversion by God's grace."

True Christianity is not religion.


Anonymous said...

I am an active IMB missionary, and while I am in awe of larger churches' participation in missions, I also feel that more attention needs to be paid to the CP.

The IMB, represented by all of our churches in the convention can do much more than even the largest church can individually. The IMB can and does, as Micah said earlier, reach many of the lesser known and hard to reach areas. "If we simply focus on areas that we know, or have contact with, or see great response in, much of the world will never be reached."

I work in an "unresponsive area" and the work is very difficult; that is why Father called me and my family here. If it weren't for the CP, no Southern Baptists would be living in this dark region. No single church could provide the level of support that is required to live here on a long-term basis.

Having said all this, my point is that individual participation in missions by large churches is great, and I have personally benefited from it; but giving to the CP is equally important. IMO, less than one percent of undesignated funds of a mega church's budget amounts to less than a drop in the bucket. It at the very least implies that this type of church believes it can do more and maybe do better than the IMB on missions work. If a pastor says he believes in CP and supports it, his church's financial contributions ought to more closely reflect their level of support.

Thank you all that support the CP so I can keep on keepin' on!


Former M said...

Brad Reynolds,

Case in point, when missionaries were asked to sign affirmation of the BF&M 2000, it was stated that this would protect us from accusations of heresy. At the same time, regional leaders (at least two I could, but will not name here) told missionaries that what they really believed was not as important as their signature of a piece of paper.

A line was drawn, and we were told we must comply. There was no question of the validity of one's ministry, doctrine, or calling, so much as complying with the "request". At least one regional leader's goal was to coerce everyone under his charge to sign or resign before the change was made from "request" to "order."

If you kept up with press releases, a paper was later circulated that addressed further intimations of heresy on the field among missionaries. This came from a seminary setting, but was publicized as a broad-spectrum inditement of heresy. Stepping over the line of affirming the BF&M 2000 had become meaningless within two years of the initial request to quell suspicion of heresy.

Yes, the issues of Wade's post address real problems. Missionaries have always been giving great scrutiny before being sent to the field. Prior to 1995, however, they were commissioned and supported as missionaries. Since that time, they are considered employees of a missions agency. This is a very significant change as it relates to their work, autonomy, and the quality of support they receive.

The issues are real. You would do well to look beyond your admiration for the leaders of the "conservative ressurgence" to understand the tactics employed, as well as their implications to missions, ministry, and the kingdom.

I have been informed by a former seminary student of an individual who teaches things I would consider heresy. He signed the BF&M 2000. I believe you would have problems with his teaching. He stepped up to the plate, however, and is in agreement with the BF&M 2000. The signing of the creed did not address heresy in the least. It tightened the noose of conformity and response to dictates by administration. There is a big difference.

Anonymous said...

Hello y2t,
y2t, y2t, y2t—(you repeat a person’s name when you show concern for them.) You have a good heart, but are getting a little mixed up. A person who has been born again becomes a child of God—a disciple of Jesus. There were only 12 Apostles. The 11 Apostles were told to wait for Pentecost, but they ran ahead of God and replaced Judas with a man that was never heard of again. They did not wait for God to choose the replacement of Judas. Paul never forgot seeing Jesus—he stayed blind for 3 days. In some way to say we are apostles is to belittle the TWELVE.

It’s true what you say, “We must understand the difference or we will remain half backed so to speak.”

By the way, will you respond in someway at the ‘pecking order’ shown at the first church counsel?
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

All you do is gripe. Doesn’t that get tiresome? You just fuss, fuss, fuss. Why don’t you say thanks to Susie for explaining Baptist history and how the SBC has become narrow?

Also a word of praise would be good for the former missionary who told how missionaries were changed into employees, and signing the creed 2000 did not address heresy but tightened the noose of conformity by dictates of others.

You need to encourage cyngun to bail water instead of abandoning a sinking ship. Think of the masses trapped under its deck of ignorance. They are our brothers.

And last but not least there is Brad Reynolds. What would we do without him? He is brave enough to stick to his guns (full of blanks) and become the target of many. He is worried that his welcome is growing thin, but assure him he is one that reminds us why Wade’s blog is so important.
Rex Ray

brad reynolds said...

Your kind words make me blush.

Please read the Chicago statement carefully, I believe it says the "alleged" errors and discrepancies...I've addressed the fact that the statement "the fool has said in his heart there is no God" (and similar statements) does not deny the inerrant writing of that statement in the original autgraphs, nor the truth of it. The statement "there is no God" is errant, the statement that "the fool has said in his heart there is no God" is not.

And if there are errors and spots then "who's inspired to spot the spots?," further who's to say John 3:16 doesn't contain errors. The road on which you are walking is destructive to a belief in God's Word.

brad reynolds said...

Former M,
If what you said is true (and I have no reason not to believe you), it is sad that a regional director behaved as such. I want to believe that if the IMB President knew that M's were being told, “what they really believed was not as important as their signature,” he would have addressed such an unethical practice. In fact an agency head who hears such statements made, should boldly state if you don't agree then don't sign.

Please know if I did not affirm it I would not be teaching at a seminary because of my own convictions about signing something I don't believe or affirm.

My "admiration for the leaders" of the resurgence is not as much about them as it is about what they did and to imply it somehow blinds me to reality in any way is quite offensive to me.

From your title, I will assume you were a Missionary and I want to thank you for your service

Anonymous said...

I am refreshed as I read about Pastor Wade's thoughts for future direction for our SBC. I know that a spirit of unity is a must for us to suceed as a movement of believers. As we make room for all the works of the Holy Spirit we will see a Church empowerd to do what only God can do and that is use ordinary people to accomlish extrodinary things for the sake of Christ Kingdon. Only the enemy wants to divide us. Lets hang together with a spirit of unity. Contending for unity in the Spirit will always be something, I believe, will please the Lord and cause us to continue to walk in His favor.
We serve an amazing Savior.
Mike McGregor
Edmond OK

Anonymous said...

Wade, Wade,Wade,
What excuse can I give? I read my comment of “…reminds us why Wade’s blog is so important.” Then the next word that caught my eye was “Rex.” (Wonder why that would be?) and “Your kind words make me blush.”
I thought WADE BURLESON had replied to my comment. I rush on to read the rest. First there was a correction of the word I had left out, then things really got bad. So bad, the conclusion was “The road on which you are walking is destructive to a belief in God’s Word.”

I was crushed. I started writing last night until my eyes wouldn’t stay open. Then all day today. I said some critical things—the worst was so bad I deleted it—(told him he sounded like Brad.) After church, I checked to see if my long comment had been posted—it had not. I discovered to my horror and my joy that it was Brad who had replied, so I had written to the wrong person. I feel so foolish—the joke is on me, but it is happy days again.
I will send it in again with the right name on it.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

To Brad Reynolds,
I wrote the following thinking Wade Burleson had replied to a post that I had sent you.

Thanks for acknowledging kind words. You’re correct that I did not say “alleged” in my post comment on the Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy.
You can do with my comment as you wish, but I prefer that you don’t print it because if people thought you believed like me, you couldn’t be elected dog-catcher. By the way, you never answered if your church was built around 1988. I believe that was the year we (Volunteer Christian Builders) helped construct a large church in Enid.

I want to say upfront that there are no errors, no lies, no discrepancies of any kind in the Word of God in the Bible, and the road I’m on leads to the strongest faith in God’s Word.

A 20 year study of how the roots of Catholics and Baptists were started in Acts 15 has led me to the conclusion that the Bible can be divided into TRUTH and UNTRUTH—with God’s Word on one side and the devil’s lies, man’s lies, ignorance, confusion, uninformed, and plain stupid on the other side. It is as Paul wrote, “…rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (2 Tim. 2-15)

The presiding lawyer (I carry his card in my billfold) for the SBC in 2004 did not like the SBC statement of: “We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter” as he said, “That means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue, so we added ‘all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.’”

Hey! I believe both statements are true.

At the convention, one delegate was unhappy his motion had been ruled improper. He shouted something like: this convention is just like the one we got rid of…you are a hypocrite! The response stole my heart—with a big smile on his face—I’m not a hypocrite. I’m a lawyer.”

Some are like doubting Thomas that have to SEE the Bible perfect before they believe. Christ said blessed are those that believe and have not SEEN.

God wants us to believe the Bible because of faith and not because it’s perfect. Why did God choose the foolishness of man to spread the Gospel? Why does he not write John 3:16 with clouds every day all over the world?

Man always wants God to do things man’s way. If God can use a donkey to teach men, why does man tell God that women cannot teach him? Do you think man has heeded Christ’ warning of teaching as Scripture the commands of men? If man had believed Christ’ words, he would never have made our BFM into a creed.

If I believed the ‘end justified the means’, I’d say, “Thanks for straightening me out on my crazy thinking the Bible had errors and discrepancies.”
The “end” in this case is me wanting you to be president, and the means would be praising you by saying I’m wrong. But that would cause my conscious to admit a lie. That lie would be me saying I believed there are no discrepancies in the Bible.

Notice I left out “alleged.” Have you studied the Chicago Statement: “We deny that ALLEGED errors and discrepancies that HAVE NOT YET BEEN RESOLVED violate the truth claims of the Bible?”

This is like a virus loop in a computer that never stops going around. It’s like a dog chasing his tail never goes anywhere. “Have not yet been resolved” ties to “alleged” and “alleged” ties to “have not yet been resolved.”

Let’s apply this statement to a court case. Lawyer: “The ALLEGED statements, testimonies, DNA, confession, etc HAVE NOT YET BEEN RESOLVED violates the innocence of my client and therefore they do not exist.”

Another illustration:
First man says, “This color is white and the girl is dead.”
Second man says, “No, that color is back and the girl is alive.”
Chicago says this is not a discrepancy because the alleged contradiction has not yet been resolved.

Chicago is a coin that has ‘heads’ on both sides.

Brad, you sure took an easy Scripture to illustrate your point. How about a tough one?

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Was this a real question or was it a fake question? If we know why Jesus was forsaken or we think we know, why didn’t Jesus know? God chose not to reveal this to his Son as Abraham chose the same thing. Jesus nearly died in the garden—this would have been too much for the human part of Jesus to withstand.

I believe this is the most agonizing question ever asked of God and He could only answer with tears. The pain of nails did not kill Jesus. God executed his Son by forsaking him which literally burst his heart. Christ’ blood saved us and the only pure water in the world flowed from his side washed us white as snow.

Jesus proved he did not know his Father would forsake him in John 16:32, “…the time is here when you will…leave me alone. Yet I will not be alone, for the Father is with me.”

So Brad, were these words of Jesus true or untrue? Please don’t say it “has not yet been resolved.”

You say, “And if there are errors and spots then “who’s inspired to spot the spots?”” That is an easy question—answered by John 14: 26 and 16:13, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things.” “When the Holy Spirit, who is truth, comes, He shall guide you into all truth.”

As grain and shaft are gathered together and the wind separates the shaft, gather truth and untruth of the Bible and let the Holy Spirit separate them. And the Holy Spirit does not just abide with a committee but is in every INDIVIDUAL Christian’s heart.

So why does the Holy Spirit not tell us all the same thing? He does, but man has rules and guidelines that must be followed that require a blindfold when reading the Bible. There are traditions as in Acts 15 that took priority over the truth that Peter revealed.

You ask, “who’s to say John 3:16 doesn’t contain errors?” See the answer above.

Your conclusion: “The road on which you are walking is destructive to a belief in God’s word.”

That really hurts. That is the attitude your blog was trying to get rid of in the SBC. We were not going to worry about the small stuff, but agree on the main thing to carry the Gospel to the world. What happened?

Gene Bridges and y2t won’t answer my questions and now what you’ve said—you too Bruta?

I’ve been discussing with v domus on post April 26. Instead of cutting Baptist throats, how can a Catholic say he would like to meet a Baptist as he liked him very much?

He posted a grand thought today through his 4 year old granddaughter while watching birds eat. “Papa, how many can eat at one time”. I told her there was room for 20 hummingbirds to eat at the same time. She looked puzzled and asked “How come they keep fighting when there’s room for all of them?”

Brad, surely there is room at the foot of the cross.
Rex Ray