After a good night's sleep and some reflection time I'd like to give you some observations my wife and I have made about the events yesterday.
(1). There are a number of trustees of the IMB who are rock solid, quiet, and respectful of everyone. Please don't lump all trustees into judgment made about what happened yesterday. Nobody was given an opportunity to speak after the special report, and there was no vote taken. The Chairman who issued the report is no longer Chairman. The Executive Committee who authorized the report has changed. This meeting was the last for several trustees who are now off the Board and a new group will be joining in July. I've got seven years and I am very patient.
(2). What happened in the plenary session is so shocking and stunning to everyone involved that it sucks the very air out of the room. To allege "multiple breaches of confidentiality" without ever coming to me with any substantation privately is absolutely wrong, and it is evidence that the former trustee leadership had no desire to work with me at all or to answer my penetrating questions, but to only silence me. This was not the first time this type of behavior has occurred, but it is just the first time it has happened in a public forum.
(3). I personally believe it is risky for me to attend Forum and Executive Sessions this next year. I knew that I was susceptible to someone trying to trap me on the confidential issue. I would NEVER intentionally breach any confidence, and would immediately apologise and correct the problem if anything were to be ever be pointed out to me. The paragraph in question from Monday's blog about the "blue ribbon panel" was considered by me to be public knowledge, but by the Executive Committee a high level secret. This,"blue ribbon panel" which was debated PUBLICLY ad naseum on Wednesday and then eventually tabled, is supposed to look into revising the policies. As stated on multiple occasions, I have discussed this blue ribbon panel with multiple people in various public places. When people don't like what you write, they will look for anything to discredit you.
I am glad though that this motion was tabled. This blue ribbon panel was to be APPOINTED solely by Dr. Hatley according to the debate in the public session. Since it is tabled that will not happen. I much prefer an independent panel appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention since the doctrinal standards of the convention can only be answered by the convention and should not be answered by individual agencies. It is outside the purview of our responsibilities as trustees.
I would ask my fellow trustees to read this next paragraph very carefully. I do believe that to label something "discussed" in Forum as "highly confidential and secret" is absolutely relative. For example (and I use this as a hypothetical), SUPPOSE there were a very long discussion in Forum about a public report of a sister agency. Now let's say that I post on my blog the report of our sister agency in its totality --- information that I did not OBTAIN in Forum but had received weeks earlier. Am I violating confidentiality because I blog about information that I have which was discussed in Forum but obtained by me separately from the Forum?
I am trying to see both sides. I have tried hard to never to violate confidentiality. The best way to avoid this problem is to never conduct confidential meetings except for personnel matters or security reasons. The pattern in the past has been for very strategic changes to planned behind closed doors and then the trustees are given the changes just prior to an expected vote. Healthy discussion of issues publicly prevents many potential problems.
(4). The intimidating tactics of those who wish to silence me will not work. They've tried multiple times and I think they are beginning to realize I have a backbone of steel. One of the things that the former Chairman constantly pressed me for was an apology to the Board to let him and trustee leadership save face for their push for my removal. I have steadfastly refused to apologize for anything but the tone of my December 10th blog.
It is interesting to me that the Chairman read into the public record only a portion of my blog from Monday where I reiterated my regret for the tone of the December 10th blog. Oh how I wish he would have continued. That is the beauty of this blog. People can read for themselves and make their own decisions.
(5). Finally, the Chairman should have taken the advice of some very wise people and not done what he did yesterday. But what is past is past. I am still a trustee. I will still continue my service. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with my fellow trustees and those new trustees who are coming on board in July.
EVERYBODY REMEMBER --- because of the actions yesterday some amazing things that are happening around the world through the efforts of the IMB will be overlooked.
I intend to remind us all of these great things in the days ahead.
In His Grace,