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

The Tipping Point Is Reached

Due to the fact Chairman Hatley refused to talk with me after the meeting to give me the substantiation for the charges of "multiple breaches of confidentiality," and due to the fact that the actions of the Chairman clearly violated Matthew 18 and the new rules on trustee accountability by not coming to me privately prior to making the unsubstantiated allegations public, and due to the fact that the former Chairman has decided usurp the authority of the Southern Baptist Convention by removing me from Executive Sessions and Forums, I have chosen to do three things:

(1). I will attend Executive Sessions and Forums regardless of the Chairman's request trusting in my legal counsel that no trustee can be barred from the business of the full board without approval of the Southern Baptist Convention.

(2). I am prayerfully considering posting next week a blog entitled "Who's Wounded?" in response to former Chairman Hatley's statement urging Wade Burleson “to change his position to follow a biblical model of restoration of wounded brothers and sisters in Christ."

This post is currently in the hands of several of my counselors and advisors as we pray about its release. It will detail names, dates and actions of the events of the last two years by certain trustees as they have acted in an improper manner, in violation of Board policy and Scriptural commands, and wounded many people by their actions. I was in the process of privately confronting these trustees, including Chairman Hatley, and seeking to hold these trustees accountable to the Board approved policies of conduct and decorum in order to prevent further wounding of individuals when my removal was sought. In other words, I was seeking to follow the Biblical model of restoration of wounded brothers by confronting those doing the wounding. Though it is not time for me to release the body of the post, the following is the last two paragraphs:

In conclusion, I both agree and disagree with Tom Hatley. I agree that as a trustee I must "follow a biblical model of restoration of wounded brothers and sisters in Christ.” I am doing that. I am confronting, and will continue to confront, those who are doing the wounding.

I disagree with Tom Hatley in that if he thinks the trustees hurt by, or offended with, trustee Wade Burleson are the "wounded," then he is either part of the problem or a hindrance to a solution. Either way, we are in a much better position to now deal with the real issues than we were a year ago.


(3). I will continue to blog about direction of our International Mission Board and Southern Baptist Convention. I am not an official spokesman for anyone. I am not a reporter. I am simply giving my perceptions to the people who elected me. If people don't like what I am saying, then ignore me, or say something different. There is room for us all in the SBC.

In conclusion, I thought I might share a couple of emails

Gene Bridges sent me an email last night that made me laugh. He said,

"(Hatley) advised Burleson to offer “a verbal apology before this board and not just on the blog site which many will not access, therefore they will not benefit from receiving that apology.”

ROFL...Now think about this one for a minute. Hatley wants Wade to apologize to the full board because the full board is apparently offended by his statements. However, here he admits that members of the board will not access the blog, therefore they will not benefit from receiving the apology. Really? They apparently can be offended by material they cannot access but cannot benefit from material they cannot access. These two propositions logically tug in opposing directions. Brother Tom is a wooly thinker indeed.

While having “no desire to restrict his opinions” nor insisting “he agree with the majority of this board on any issue,” Hatley said that “when character is impugned and motives are judged that a spirit of mistrust emerges that can damage the ability of this body to work together.” He indicated that while Burleson felt these matters stand reconciled, Hatley told the Oklahoma trustee that “others do not enjoy that view and remain hurt by his comments.”

So, it's okay for them to use BP to impeach Wade Burleson and question his motives, but it's not okay for Wade to blog and discuss the motivations of his fellow trustees, whatever they may be, given the fact that no quotes were given. Let's be clear on this. They get to operate under one standard, while Wade must operate by another."

Good thoughts Gene. This blog does not equal Baptist Press or the Southern Baptist Texan.

I do think Baptist Press did a good job in the article about the meeting, though the transcript is lifeless. As soon as possible I will put the audio on my blog so people can hear it for themselves. It is interesting that in spinning the story the way they want at The Texan, they leave out reporter's Tammy Leadbetters comments from the Baptist Press article that I place here:

Reporter Tammi Leadbetter's words for the Baptist Press, not posted by the Texan.

Following the meeting, Burleson sought further discussion with Hatley, asking a reporter to listen in. “You need to hear this. I need a witness,” he stated. As the former board chairman spoke with another man, Burleson asked, “Dr. Hatley, Dr. Hatley.”

As Hatley finished his conversation and returned to gather his papers, Burleson again sought a hearing, stating to Hatley, “Brother, you did it again,” repeating his concern that charges were made without evidence of wrongdoing.

“I will not talk with you,” Hatley responded twice in response to Burleson.


The Board is changing. Believe it or not THE SPIRIT IS GETTING BETTER!!!

What has occurred in the past behind closed doors has been far worse than what happened in the public session in Albuquerque. I am grateful everything is now being recorded for all to see.

In His Grace,

Wade

48 comments:

Kevin Stilley said...

Brother,

Please accept this comment in the spirit of love with which it is made, self-destruction is not the same thing as martyrdom.

Kevin

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

The bible refers to finding a "Pearl of great price..". I'm reminded that pearls are produced by an irritation that just won't go away.

Hmmm .. God seems to have a sense of humor. If He uses an irritation in an oyster, to produce great worth and beauty .....

Hang in there, Bro.

JUSTAMOE said...

Wade:

I'm extremely impressed regarding your reliance on counselors in order to think through the matters of the past several months--to do so, I think, indicates a good bit of wisdom on your part (and the rest of us can take a lesson--another one!--from you on that). So, I now would encourage those counselors to consider what agape--love--truly is from the New Testament perspective. What agape love ISN'T is letting errant brothers continue to bring destruction and self-destruction without an attempt at correction. What agape love IS is seeking the total wellbeing of the errant brothers simply for the prize each one has become to us in Christ (yes, the individuals in the caucus group are to be prized by us as brothers in Christ).

At this point, NOT to disclose what you know fully would not equate to agape love--in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Wade...if the board is getting better where is the evidence? Read your blog---in our world the daily efforts are spent controlling the press. The free press has pretty well gone by the way side. Even though I do not blog, I find blogs to be news worthy compared to Baptist Press, etc...If you expect fair treatment from Bapitst Press and the Texan, you live in a dream world. Yet, I wish you all the best in everything. One day more will awaken to power and control hidden under the Bible and closed doors. wayne

Cathy said...

Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow!!

My prayers are with you. I am a Boomer SBC PK physician. I look forward to change and more love for each other in the great old convention of my ancestors. There is a legacy that could be lost and many have already given up.

More importantly I hope we can come through this and be what we should be in this world. Being a powerful political machine is not our mission.

We need to nurture and disciple individuals to empower each and everyone to be GCCs.

Thanks for you sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Some may not be aware that among founding editors of The Southern Baptist Texan is the husband of BP's reporter, the who covered your IMB meeting at Glorieta.

Hope by now it's obvious to everyone why it became necessary for (the CBF-supported) Associated Baptist Press to be launched.

Mark R.

SavedandSure said...

SO MANY OF US REJOICE TO READ OF YOUR DESIRE TO HELP KEEP US INFORMED ABOUT SOME OF THE "SECRET THINGS" THAT GO ON "BEHIND CLOSED DOORS."

IT DID NOT START WITH THE EX-CHAIRMAN THOMAS HATELY BUT MAYBE IT WILL STOP WITH HIS DEPARTURE FROM THIS POSITION OF POWER.

ALL SOUTHERN BAPTISTS DESERVE TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON....

LET THIS MESSAGE GET OUT TO ALL DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS!

josh said...

I am sorry that it has come to this and as a member of the SBTC I am sorry that our paper would spin the story, but I am not at all surprised based on my experiences with those in 'power' at the SBTC office.

t. d. webb said...

Wade, this Okie is fervently praying for the Lord to cover you with His grace and favor in this confrontation with the "ex-leaders" and, possibly, the current leadership of the IMB BoT. The fact is that the political power players of the SBC have more than a "gadfly" addressing the unequivocal wrongs they have committed or condoned against you, the wonderful missionaries that are serving the Lord with support from the IMB, and the Southern Baptist Convention members throughout our nation and around the world. Rather, it appears that they have a "Tiger by the Tail", to quote a song title by the late Buck Owens.

Dr. Hatley's latest personal attack, added to the previous slander against you after the BoT had voted to recommend your removal, was/is inexcusable in all respects. . .and it will be his own very words, recorded and soon to be made very public that will indict Dr. Hatley in the eyes of any objective Southern Baptist. The BP and Texas Baptist may try, but even they cannot spin away the truth this time. . .Dr. Hatley and his cronies' (in the outgoing Executive Committee) acts are going to be laid bare for the world to see and the Messengers in Greensboro to judge.

In His Grace and Truth,

SavedandSure said...

Many thanks for not rolling over and playing dead!

Denominational politics is usually worse than the secular kind conducted so often on the local, state and national levels.

Shame on Thomas Hatley for his hateful conduct. It was worse than childish but he is no longer the chairman.

We'll be watching all those who are entrusted with positions of power and leadership responsibilities.

Our deepest gratitude to you, Wade Burleson!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Burleson,

It would be helpful to hear from you personally as to how you have been dealing with the scriptural texts of Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. Please study these carefully, and pray for the Holy Spirit to illumine the text for you. You will see that the Chairman acted properly.

Also, do you not think it is better to conceal a matter like a trustworthy man (Proverbs 11:13)?

A Southern Baptist from Texas

Theophilus said...

Wade, You've done great on the Grace and Truth up til now. Don't lose your cool now! Both (all?) sides need to review 1 Cor 6 before you go too far down the legal counsel route. You all are a very visible model to your missionaries, the SBC, and to a watching world. Mind your witness. Praying for all of you.

Hiram Smith said...

Dear Wade,

Thanks for your decision to meditate on my last comment. Since it was intended for your other readers as well, I hoped you would publish it so they would also get a chance to meditate on it. But, half a loaf is better than a crumb. I pray my words will bless you and any others you allow to read them.

Am I correct in concluding that the content and tone of your blog today indicates that you remain determined to “stand” rather than negotiate, listen and persuade (and even apologize for what you have published against fellow IMB trustees and their good faith decisions, as Tom requested)?

Your most encouraging words today were, “If people don't like what I am saying, then ignore me, or say something different. There is room for us all in the SBC.”

Is there room for us all on your blogsite? I’m one of those who likes some of what you are writing, but not all of it. Isn’t the purpose of blogging to inform and encourage or discourage, and work through the verbalization of agreements and disagreements? Otherwise, blogging becomes a spin zone with those dreadful “constantly narrowing parameters.”

Your next most encouraging words were, “I do think Baptist Press did a good job in the article about the meeting, though the transcript is lifeless.” However, comparing what you reported with what BP reported prompts that age old knock: “They write like they must have attended two different meetings.”

Your readers will all want to read the much fuller accounts published at the www.sbtexas.com website. I hope you will encourage all to read the two articles published there.

Wade, I pray that you will follow the pattern Jesus directed in Matthew 5:21-26 and demonstrate your Oral Herscheiser calibre determination to “be reconciled with your brother [Tom and other trustees].” You can do it, and you will be better for it.

I love you brother and pray for your good health, wisdom and peace. May God make you a blessing to everyone of your fellow trustees as he has among the people of Enid.

With joy in Christ’s service,
Hiram
Psa.23:1

Ron Mackey said...

There comes a time, after all attempts at quiet, humble reconciliation have failed, when a public accounting must be made. I appreciate your willingness to risk your own reputation and standing in the SBC to bring that accounting to the real SBC - the thousands of Christians who worship, serve and give to SBC churches around the globe.
I read somewhere that a fellow Oklahoma pastor said it was wrong for Oklahoma to be robbed of representation on the IMB by censuring you. As a native Oklahoman I concur totally. As a Southern Baptist, I must say that what has been done in the darkness now needs to be proclaimed in the light.
However, it is easy for me to be outraged and to stand on the sidelines and cheer you on. You are the one who must stand and take the abuse. Therefore, I commit myself to praying for you daily. I will pray that, in this process you will be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.
On the behalf on many of us who have waited and prayed for a change of spirit in the SBC, thank you for your courage and wisdom.

Michael Stover said...

I think it is way past time for all to hear of the goings on that have caused such problems with the trustees and our missionaries. I look forward to reading this post and getting to the facts.

imb m in asia said...

Thank you Wade for staying the course! We find ourselves almost unbelieving that any of this happened! We also realize that the urgency is even greater in spreading the Good News. Our time is short and may be shorter yet if the SBC at large continues to allow this type of ungodly behavior to go unchecked.
God bless you and your wife!

Dorcas said...

Amen!

I am glad for point #1.

Bro. Ray said...

I am certainly not in your shoes, dear brother, so I do not wish to come across as telling you what is proper or improper.

However, my first impression of this post is that of a "scorched earth" policy. Maybe I am too passive, but I always remember a story from a fellow pastor. He was accused of a heinous wrong in the church he had pastored for 10 years. He could have brought all the evidence to the forefront and had a "hearing" to declare his guiltlessness in the matter. Instead he made this comment: "Since I have been preaching, I have loved this particular, local church. It was always a dream of mine to pastor here. I love this church too much to tear it up over me and my rights or wrongs. Therefore, I will simply step aside and allow the healing to begin."

Now, I am in no way suggesting that you should do the above. I just personally know the good news of what is going on through the IMB is being obscured.

I do not mean this as an attack upon you. I am praying for God to be glorified through this debacle, that I certainly believe is not of your choosing. But neither was my pastor friend's.

Til Jesus Comes,
RB

art rogers said...

I hoped it would not come to this, but I think that full disclosure is perhaps the best course now, Wade.

They made their bed. We all know the rest.

Jason Lee said...

Wade,

I applaud your response. Continue to walk in humility (while standing firm) as we will pray this for you.

It seems that much of the IMB controversy that has surrounded you over the past few months could have been avoided or quickly resolved if people would communicate biblically as you have advocated. Not only in your situation but when conflict arises often believers' tendency is to avoid it while the Bible clearly points us to "speak the truth in love." This is obviously missing in many of our churches today and this ultimately has led to a failure to do church discipline and is rooted in the Bible not being lifted up as all-sufficient.
I applaud you for continuing to do this and advocating for all involved to do it.

Jason Lee

Jake Barker said...

Wade,
Thank you for bringing all this to the public eye. Hatley etal are as bad as the liberals (deny the divinity of Jesus, sodomite clergy). I say this with the meaning that there are Christians that want to leave (due to the liberal takeover)in the main line denoms that would love to have a home in the SBC but won't because of the infighting that Hatley etal create.

Jake Barker
Holdenville, OK

Charlie said...

Wade

I think it is time to name names.
Hang in there....

Charlie

OKpreacher said...

Wade, I know that you don't need me to defend you so I will let you know that you have my support and I'm praying for you. I have written my own thoughts about the situation more fully on my blog okpreacher.blogspot.com so that those that want to acuse you won't have my comments to use.

Okpreacher

Jay R. said...

wow...remind me to never cross Jake Barker.

Mitch said...

Wade,
I appreciate your diligence to bring the deeper issues into light. Even still, be careful that our true enemy not enter by the open door. Please take note of an appeal posted on my blog.

Pastor Tony said...

Brother Wade,

I don't feel the spin doctors won on either SBT or BP. Granted both articles were authored by the same person. I don't think it cast you in a negative light. I don't think it was particularly harmful.

I say all of that to say this. You have demonstrated tremendous grace in this situation and I pray that you do not allow this conflict to spin down into a tit-for-tat type of spat.

Many of us are following these events with great interest, but I must ask the hard question: Will the revealing of dates/names/occasions help to empower our people on the frontline? Or will it cause so much noise in Greensboro that the cry for help from around the globe will be drowned out?

I do not know the fullness of your pain or of the accusations against you, so I can not answer those tough questions. I am just asking you to prayerfully consider them.

I am praying for you, brother. Praying for wisdom and strength.

Blessings,
Tony

Brent Dix said...

Wade,

I am new to your blog and even newer to the politics of the IMB and the SBC. From what I have read so far you have handled yourself in a very gracious manner and you should be commended for that. Many times we shy away from controversy and run from a fight when we need to stand up for very basic right and wrong issues.

I have a few comments concerning the topic of blogging or reporting on what is being done in meetings.

Your comment in your previous post: “Frankly, we should abandon 90% of those meetings in order to let Southern Baptists know what is going on. Things done in the light of day are always better for organizations like ours.”

I agree. As a matter of fact, there needs to a very narrow definition of what should and should not be done in the public eye for ALL to see and read about. The following cases, in my opinion, are the only times that business of IMB should be conducted in private and not discussed in a public forum:

1. Specific Personnel matters – areas of discipline, terminations, etc.
2. Policies or discussions dealing with missionaries in sensitive/dangerous areas of the world or reports from these areas.
3. Legal matters-law suits, potential legal issues.

There may be one or two other specific topics that need to be handled privately. But outside of these areas I can’t for the life of me understand why any discussion would need to be cloaked in secrecy or “confidential”. Normally, there is an “agenda” at work when folks don’t want others to shine the light of day on their discussions. My guess is that nine times out of ten the “agenda” in question is not in the best interest of the organization if “confidentiality” is required in order to discuss it.

Your comment in your previous post: “Way too much is at stake for the future of our Southern Baptist Convention to not discuss the issues freely.”

Absolutely!

For the sake of disclosure I am a former IMB missionary. My contact with Trustees was minimal during my time with IMB (and prior). When I did come in contact with them they were gracious, kind and just great Christian folks. I remember at my appointment service meeting with a group of them and having them pray for my family and the work we would be doing. There was love, tears and strong encouragement in that room. I know beyond a doubt that for the most part our Trustees are great people doing a tough job and on occasion they may lack wisdom or in anger lash out. But we all do! It’s how we handle it and what actions we take after we are “called on the carpet” that matter.

Keep at it.

Mike Woodward said...

I see Matthew 18 has been used by some to explain the actions of the BoT chair; it is maintained he privately went to Pastor Wade, then took one or two witnesses, then took it to the BoT and SBC at large (loosely, the church).

That's a good model.

Now what I don't understand is the position by some that Pastor Wade should pause and reflect more on the meaning of Matthew 18 before he practices it.

Why the eagerness for one to practice Scripture and reticence for the other to practice Scripture?

charliemac said...

The choice of scripture (Prov. 11:13)is interesting in "A Southern Baptist from Texas" comments. Many of the surrounding verses could surely be applied to those who accuse with innuendo and run, especially verse 12.
Mac McFatter
Semmes, AL

Scotte Hodel said...

I have a smirk on my face as I read different forms of advice: "Tell them ... don't tell them ... read the Bible ... you're doing a great job reading your Bible ..." and so forth.

I know better than to provide my own ill-informed advice. I have a Polish-descent colleague at my University who describes himself as a "jar-headed pollock." I've commented to him that what that means is that, even though he is very quiet and self controlled, when he ultimately chooses to act it would be very foolish to get in his way, right or wrong. The advice is no longer needed nor warranted. In God's grace, he's made progress and, I believe, has changed and even saved lives because of his technology and his stubborn refusal to give up on God's call in his life.

Yours,

A S Hodel, Assoc Prof.

blampp@juno.com said...

Wade,
I'm glad you've decided (with counsel) to continue to attend all sessions where you're allowed! I realize it's much easier for us on the sidelines to encourage you to indulge the discomfort of public sensure in order to fulfill your commitment to those of us who voted to have you on this Board! I'm sure, by now, it is evident I'm not the only one who appreciates the effort. I realize my next comment goes in the face of what other's have said; but, I would urge you to let us get through the SBC annual session before revealing your documentation. That way, there can hardly be the usual accusations of manipulation for personal purposes (self justification)as compared to the need to address issues that impact our Mission Personnel and Kingdom Purposes. I'm sure there are more than the one or two you've heard from on this blog site that would justify the Chairman's actions. But, this Board's functions have begun reflecting more of a secret Fraternal function or a Corporate Board under a CEO than an elected group with oversight of a Mission Organization. Back in the early sixties I moved from a Denomination that used a Societal System which at the time was working similarly! I believe the SBC has as system that can correct this drift. I also believe there are men presently serving on this Board that are working to change those perceptions being conveyed by the media!
Philemon 4-7 (NIV version) convey my sentiments!
We need to hold Tom (and the other Brother's who've declared their offense) lovingly before the throne of Grace!

Anonymous said...

Great counsel Brother Ray! But I am concerned about Jake Barker. Jake, do you feel we have gone so far with our widening our parameters that we can now attract the mainline religious group to come with us??? Wow! If we stop bickering we can greatly increase our NUMBERS. Who cares what you stand for anyway? Standards and separation are passe. This is the new world let's all get together. Hmmmm That rings a bell. Great counsel Brother Ray!!!

Trevor said...

Pastor Wade,

It seems that your opponents are counting on your Christ-like character to work in their favor...

That is, perhaps they hope that you will be merciful and not take the opportunity and liberty that is yours to expose their unfortunate words & actions.

As frustrating as that may sound, it is precisely what our Lord did as He forgave the very ones who nailed Him to the cross. They didn't deserve it -- He was innocent -- He still took the fall.

This truth bothers me...it offends my flesh...but I think it is right.

Personally, I am curious about the proceedings & conversations that happened behind closed doors. My human nature certainly wants to hear the whole story.

But as a follower of Christ, I will have an even greater respect for you as a leader, if you decide to let men of struggling character mistreat you unjustly.

Maybe you are faced with a choice between acceptable (i.e. exposing these men) and triumphant (protecting their already waning character & leadership by letting it go).

Whatever choice you make, Wade, we all stand to learn much about being spiritual leaders by simply reading your blog.

So far so good.

Trevor Davis
Great Commission Church
Olive Branch, MS
trevor@gccob.com

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

I'm continuing to pray about this whole mess. Thanks for keeping us informed. We need you. Thanks for standing strong.

tl said...

Wade,

I commend your courage.

I do not believe the problems on the IMB BoT began when you arrived there just about a year ago. They predate you being there.

Futher, some on this thread have implored you not come forward, to maintain the silence.

But if unethical behavior has gone on for so long with the knowledge of many good, but silent, trustees then they become part of the problem too (by their silence).

Sin ignored spreads like a cancer.

Anonymous said...

We have been members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma, for almost forty years. Wade Burleson has been our pastor for the last fifteen years.
It has occurred to us that some of you might be interested in knowing what it is like at our church under his leadership.
His leadership is characterized by openness and transparency. He invites open discussion, asks for questions following sermons and shows consideration for those who disagree with him.
Our church is characterized by unity and a sense of fellowship of the believers. Many of us have strong diverse opinions but our pastor has led us, through the doctrines of grace, to accept one another just as we are accepted in Christ by our sovereign God. One of our pastor’s recurring themes is unconditional love.
We are privileged to have him as our pastor and highly regard his wife, Rachelle.
If there was ever a person uniquely prepared by God for the challenge before him it is our pastor—Wade Burleson.

John & Mona Loewen
Emmanuel Baptist Church
Enid, Oklahoma

GeneMBridges said...

Dear Pastor Burleson,

It would be helpful to hear from you personally as to how you have been dealing with the scriptural texts of Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. Please study these carefully, and pray for the Holy Spirit to illumine the text for you. You will see that the Chairman acted properly.

A Southern Baptist from Texas



This is interesting. "Anonymous" wants a personal response yet will not give his or her personal name. Let's just be clear here. Anonymous gets to post under one standard while demanding another for Wade...yet another double standard.

Apparently, you missed this the first time around when you made this same observation:


A. The IMB chairman is not the pastor of the IMB, and the IMB board is not a local church, so you are proceeding under the assumption the IMB board funcitions the same way. If it is, then it is by their consent. They are governed, then, by their manual. Their manual states that Matt. 18 is the process that they will follow.

B. 1 Corinthians 5 assumes that Matthew 18 has not been followed or has been followed in part but not in full; it is therefore predicated on Matt. 18. Matthew 18 says to act if your brother sins. Where is the limitation to private offenses? Even John Gill says that they can be private, but he does not restrict them so. In the other passage, the sin was public and was being talked about in such a manner the other members were guilty of approving of it if they did not act. This isn't just any public act; it is an aggravated act that was bringing disrepute on the Body of Christ. Are you saying that Brother Wade is in gross sin and bringing shame on the whole church?

C. As an elder on a board of elders, multiple witnesses are required to bring a charge vs. another elder. Notice carefully, that when asked, the trustees have never disclosed the specific nature of their complaints. Both Matt. 18 and 1 Cor. 5 assume that the nature of the offenses has been made known specifically. Where is Tom Hatley's documentation? It's been requested multiple times but no specifics have ever been named.

D. The board has a covenant that governs its behavior, and it states very plainly that they are to follow Matt. 18 in such matters. Chairman Hatley was out of order and functionally broke a covenant vow.

E. Technically, those Scriptures are discussing sins. What sin has Wade been committing in posting on his blog? Policy violations or mistakes in judgment about the appointment of a blue ribbon committee are not necessarily sins that rise to the level of public discipline within the church. They certainly are not gossip. If he's libeled anybody, they haven't charged him, and he's blogged public material as it is.

F. Discipline is to be redemptive, not punative. It is meant to teach other Christians at large not to sin unrepentantly. There is nothing in Chairman Hatley's actions that I can see that demonstrates a redemptive attitude toward Wade, nor is there any hint he is remotely concerned about the Body of Christ at large in this matter. He and some of his friends are mad at Wade. This is juvenile and does not become elders in the church. Was he an elder in my church, I assure you that he would be before our disciplinary committee right now.

G. The irony here is that this is reflective of the general reality about church discipline in this Convention. Since the vast majority do not practice it consistently, they dont' know how to go about the process.

H. Let me point you to some history on trustee dissent. Public dissent occurred in the 19th century first with P.H. Mell and then B.H. Carroll. Their trustee boards did not act in this manner at all. In fact, both Mell and Carroll acted to make the deeds done by their trustees quite public. They were not threatened like Wade has been threatened and their character was not dragged through the mud as this board has done.

Also, do you not think it is better to conceal a matter like a trustworthy man (Proverbs 11:13)?

That would be a valid objection if Wade had divulged private information and engaged in a pattern of tattling. As it stands, he has discussed information that is from PUBLIC meetings that the membership of the SBC has a right to know--that is why they are called PUBLIC proceedings. As to his disclosure of the information in this latest entry, he has sat on it for a long, long time and not said a word about it. This Scripture is not, therefore applicable.

Jake Barker said...

Anonymous said...
Great counsel Brother Ray! But I am concerned about Jake Barker. Jake, do you feel we have gone so far with our widening our parameters that we can now attract the mainline religious group to come with us??? Wow! If we stop bickering we can greatly increase our NUMBERS. Who cares what you stand for anyway? Standards and separation are passe. This is the new world let's all get together. Hmmmm That rings a bell. Great counsel Brother Ray!!!

Mr Anonymous:
What I am saying is that there are plenty of conservative Christians in the main line denoms. These orthodox Christians are being persecuted by the liberal mainliners. Many of those that would choose to leave their apostate denoms would gladly accept the conservative/orthodox SBC as home were it not for the likes of Hatley. Would you not like to see your local church grow with an orthodox conservative influx of members?

Jake Barker

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

I sense from your latest blog that you may be responding hastily, out of anger, frustation, or a hurt ego. Maybe not. I just want to encourage you to respond in a gracious manner. Take more time to pray and seek the Lord's way before you answer accusations. Even though you are right, make sure you are not standing up for yourself, but for Christ and His cause. Focus on what will help us to fulfill the Great Commission and don't let the pharisees (and Satan) sidetrack you.

I see the recent developments as just another way the enemy is attempting to keep us from having an impact in his territory. A narrowing of parameters could divert us from participating in what God is doing around the world through church planting movements.

What you are doing is important, but just make sure you respond in the Spirit of Christ. I encourage you to not just counter-attack and get in a "he said...I said" type of debate. Instead, take the high ground, talk about why the policy changes will hurt or even kill work where there are hundreds of millions who have never heard about Christ. Debate why we need to return to a New Testament pattern for mission among the unreached, instead of focusing inward on denominational orthodoxy.

From an IMB Missionary in South Asia

JUSTAMOE said...

Let's review where we've been since late last year--and before--in regard to these matters:

1. Caucus group meeting consistently, in opposition to previous guidebook for trustees;

2. Some IMB trustees out to get Dr. Rankin, but denying it's so;

3. Unnecessarily restrictive guidelines established for baptism and tongues--ones exceeding the already-fairly narrow BF&M 2000; a trustee responsible for the guidelines now elected IMB chairman;

4. Negative responses to inquiries/disagreement/principles of Wade Burleson, or no responses at all;

5. Unrighteous sactions against Wade as a trustee in retaliation for voicing his convictions, and representing the average SBC'er, whose views agree with Wade's--then a confusing backtracking by the trustees' leadership in order to save-face;

6. Charges against Wade for libel and/or slander actually applying to other IMB trustees;

7. Oppositional IMB trustees and their chairman apparently reading the blogs during the past 6 months but never offering to join the dialog there in order to clarify their views;

8. Ultra-conservative Baptist news editors and reporters continually failing to interview Wade directly in order, not only to tell the story, but to help resolve the situation--spinning their reports instead in order to protect the ultra-conservative cause and its leaders;

9. SBC "power brokers" meanwhile remaining in "disconnect" and nominating/endorsing a good man whose leadership includes undefensible minimal support for the SBC's Cooperative Program--this despite new appeals for greater support of the CP;

10. 10% of bloggers at this site and other popular blogs covering the matter appealing still for "more reflection" and "deeper introspection" rather than a full disclosure now of who among the SBC is responsible for initiating and perpetuating the self-destruction of the convention and its agencies.


The above is in addition to the truth Wade knows but graciously has addressed privately with those responsible, to no avail. My opinion: it is time to remedy this sickness with the truth, appropriate corresponding actions following, and a recommitment to the SBC's purpose for existing. BEFORE the June meeting of the SBC is the time--so that messengers present will understand the issues. There is nothing difficult in understanding this.

Wade, lead the way.

Myles said...

Wade,

I long ago quit the SBC, largely because of the tactics that I see at play here. And as a baptist, I have hope that there may be something of value left beneath all the mess. My hope, as a baptist and as a Christian committed to ecumenical cooperation, is that the next months will be a time for things to be brought to light that have needed to be lit up for a long time, and that, in all of this, there may be yet a purpose for baptists at large. press on.

Anonymous said...

Wade
I want to say "Amen" to John and Mona Loewen's post. chamm

Tim Sweatman said...

Wade,

Your patience throughout all of this has been exemplary. I have complete confidence that even when you choose to make public any details of what has transpired that you will do so in a gracious manner and will discuss facts and not innuendos. Let me say that I am especially heartened by commitments 1 and 3. If there's one thing that irritates me, it is when someone gives in to bullying. I am thankful that you have stood firm for grace, truth, and openness.

an IMB worker in the Middle East said...

Bro Wade,
You are angry... no, ANGRY! now and rightfully so. Take a deep breath. O.K.; do it again.

I have been so proud of the way you have conducted yourself so far. You have been very careful to discuss issues and not personalities. It is obvious to all (OK, most)who actually read your blog that you have taken the moral high ground. Will you forfeit that position if you start telling all? I'm afraid this will just deteriorate into a mud slinging contest. You risk loosing all if proceed down the path you are contemplating. Please proceed carefully. Too much is at stake.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
This is Rex, a Southern Baptists from Texas of the old convention, BGCT (Baptist General Convention of Texas). The Southern Baptists from Texas, that condemns you, are of the new convention, SBTC (Southern Baptist of Texas Convention.} These leaders have the same thinking and strategy of those who took over the SBC years ago.

You probably new this but I believe you are learning the hard way how they operate.
They even quote Scripture for you to keep your mouth shut—Proverbs 11:13 “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”

With King James, this looks like they are right, but the Holman has a better meaning, “A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but the trustworthy keeps a confidence.”

Wade was not told ‘bad stuff’ in confidence—so this Scripture does not apply. In fact Scripture that does apply is something like this: “To know of a crime and not report it makes you just as guilty.” (Does someone know the Bible reference?}

Someone wanted you to follow the footsteps of a pastor who ‘stepped aside’ to allow healing of the church when the pastor was accused of a wrong. Sounds to me like this pastor thought of a slick way to plead the fifth amendment

Jake Barker, when in the world did those who deny the divinity of Jesus (liberals as you called them) take over the SBC? Did you mean ‘Christians’ or ‘demons’ would love a home in the SBC but won’t because of infighting? I think you need to rearrange your sentences in the light of day.

Tony, The cry for help has been muffled by the wrong that has been done. Exposing them is over due so those cries can be heard.

Trevor, you tell Wade to act like Christ and say nothing about being mistreated. I agree he should act like Christ, (John 18:23) “If I lied, prove it.” Jesus replied, “Should you hit a man for telling the truth?” Wade should not be hit for telling the truth.

Many have made good comments, but I believe (tl) had the best conclusion—sin ignored spreads like a cancer.
Rex Ray

imb_m said...

Wade,
Pray, pray, pray!
I don't believe, based on what you've written, and your actions over the last six months, that you would rush to hastily make your point. (As evidenced by all the references to counsel you are receiving about whether or not to release names.) Neither do I think you would be "slinging mud" as someone above said.
I believe it is time for the truth to be seen in all it's ugliness. I trust you will be careful that all accounts and recollections are documented and have witnesses...so there is no cry of "slander".
I know this is a difficult time for you and your family. Please know that while you're praying for us, we're praying for you.
One of our leaders said the other day that we must have a great sense of urgency in our work. Not only because millions are dying without Christ, but because our efforts could be hampered if things continue to be dictated from on high, down to us; things that are not biblical in nature and are more tradition based.
I think too many SB's believe that people in leadership positions of the SB system are without fault and shouldn't be talked against, since they are God's man or woman. Where is this biblical? When wrong is done, an accounting should be expected.

Please know that we're praying for you as you walk through this time.

JUSTAMOE said...

Couldn't get into the comment section of Saturday's blog, so doing it here:

Option 1: been done by you for 6 months now, and meeting opposition all the way (we are to seek to win our brothers, not our cases against our brothers--but our brothers are responsible for being "win-able"--ours have not had this attitude);

Option 2: realizing I'm subject to the same, the better choice in my opinion; a smattering of this will be known by many--but not all--messengers of the SBC in June, but no ability to resolve it will be possible unless the full truth is known; at this point, name the names and tell the full story--the "un-win-able" brothers themselves essentially have chosen this course (but probably really, really are hoping this option won't be chosen; if they were repentant, they'd be phoning you this weekend before a disclosure takes place);

Option 3: means how many more months of utter frustration, unfocused attention, and lack of progress in an eternity-impacting ministry called "international missions"?--which would you rather have on your conscience: the healing of the SBC or the loss of souls in the meantime? That's not a hard one for me.

70 year old Brother in CHRIST said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.
To what John & Mona Loewen said.
I have never met your Pastor Wade, but I Know His HEART. Sad that there are Posts from People who never experienced this closeness to our LORD JESUS CHRIST in their WORSHIP Service and to have a Pastor that Leads like JESUS. I know because my PASTOR JEFF leads like JESUS. That is way Brother Wade is defending GOD’S TRUTH in the Name of TRUTH. Our Pastors are OPEN, HUMBLE and FULL of GRACE.
Your Brother in CHRIST