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

A Review of the Events the Last Six Months

Paul Littleton reminded us yesterday of a quote by George Burns on preaching a good sermon. "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible."

I think the same principle applies to blogs. Sometimes we lose our perspective with so much material between our beginning and our ending. Recently I read an article from EthicsDaily.com that did a good job in summarizing some of the events of the last six months.

Some will refuse to even read this column because of the editor's support of the CBF, and just the fact I refer you to the article will lead some to call me a CBF sympathizer. That causes me to chuckle. More than a few have written said that I am one of the most disliked men by the CBF in Oklahoma for various reasons I won't go into here. However, any lack of affection between me and the CBF does not stop me from appreciating good reporting.

Sometimes it is helpful to remember the big picture and this EthicsDaily.com article scripts a broad summary in George Burns fashion --- the beginning and the ending come close together.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I’ve been thinking of my comment today for a long time and your statement, “Any lack of affection between me and the CBF does not stop me from appreciating good reporting”, sort of reminded me of what I need to say.

Since I nearly left this world three times last year, I thought when I met this person in heaven someday; I’d like both of us to smile.

You see, I have written some hard words to a friend of yours that changed his letters from “Dear Brother Rex” to “Dear Mr. Ray.”

At the SBC in 2004, a mutual friend explained who we were but we sort of ‘looked the other way’ instead of ever shaking hands.

I had written. “Leaving the Baptist World Alliance makes me want to bust. I hope SBC messengers use Mordecai’s gallows meant for the BWA to end the study committee’s reign of control at the next SBC. How many times must your crowd stab you in the back before you see you are not like them? As Hitler wanted to rule the world, your crowd wants to take the place of the Holy Spirit in controlling Christians.”

In a ten page letter I had said a lot worse, but at the end of the convention, I couldn’t find him. I asked a lawyer why did this person keep his job so long—was it because he did such a good job or it was so hard no one wanted it? He replied some of both.

At Greensboro, I wish to shake his hand in respect. I plan to wear a sign, but I haven’t figured a way to make it bullet-proof.

Rex Ray

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

Good article. It sticks to the facts and omits the invective and the derogative adjectives. I like that.

It interests me that the "powers" criticize you for letting people have their say on the blog. If the blog cannot be a place for freedom of speech, then neither can a "town hall meeting"; I suppose discussion at the Convention might be limited, too?

Perhaps the startling conclusion is this: they criticize you for having your say, and for letting others have their say, too. They criticize the fact that you say it, without dealng with the issues you raise. Same with commenters on the blog, AND your even letting them comment.

Now THAT'S interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Please stop saying that you are "hated by CBF" unless specific statements have been made by to that effect. CBF is willing to work with anyone willing to work with them, and I believe that Dan Vestal has one of the most gracious spirits of any Christian I've ever known.

My understanding is that some in Oklahoma were troubled by an article you wrote a few years ago, entitled "Why CBF Should Not Exist."

Nonetheless, and speaking personally as one who's been involved with CBF since its inception, if there are any individuals who have expressed "hatred" toward you, those persons are in the wrong.

I admire much of what you're doing, and simply ask that you try not to make sweeping generalizations. (And I'll try harder to do likewise with my Calvinist friends. :) )

Thanks,
Mark (who lives only a few miles from the Alabama birthplace and family home of your ancestor, Rufus Burleson)

Kevin Bussey said...

Nothing like being in no man's land! :)

Wade Burleson said...

Mark,

Sorry, but comments to that effect have been made repeatedly.

I appreciate and commend your spirit, but it needs to spread a little among your friends.

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

After an initial reading the only part of the article I questioned was his comment from Marty Duren's blog that Dr. Floyd receives a pension from the IMB. I could be wrong and please correct me if I am, but I believe that Dr. Floyd gets his pension from Guidestone just like any other pastor, missionary, or SBC employee. It is not done through the IMB. I don't know if Marty Duren has clarified this or has kept this position, but if Dr. Floyd is receiving a pension from Guidestone and not the IMB then it should have been clarified in Mr. Allen's article. He left it open to think that the rules are being broken in this instance. If this is the case, that is not good reporting, but giving information to draw certain conclusions.

If Dr. Floyd is somehow receiving money from the IMB as a pension then I am at fault and I apologize for my comments.

Thank you Wade for keeping us updated.

Bro. Robin

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade,

A word of caution,don't confuse ego and pride with standing for the faith. Examples: Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, King David, Ahab, The apostle Peter(Acts), The Devil is very subtle with this lie. Beware that you don't destroy what has been built in your family or relationships in the SBC. I too love the SBC and hate to see the acrominy and hatred that is being built.
I pray for The IMB and all Pastors everyday. Let's save our strong words for the purveyors of hate.
Just as Jesus did.

Pastor Dave
Romans 12:1-2
D

Jay R. said...

Pastor Dave:

A word of caution: Don't put Jim Bakker and the Simon Peter in the same category. Let's realize the difference between charlatan and apostolic father.

Anonymous said...

Good, unbiased assessment by Bob Allen. It is amusing that so many seem to be intimidated by the CBF. It is so small compared with the rest of the convention--like a flea, eh?! I agree with Mark's comments on Dan Vestal. There's plenty of room for you, Wade! I know you would find more openness and love. I think you would agree with the freedom in Christ that their missionaries experience. I guess I'm just daydreaming!!

Florence in KY

Anonymous said...

Let me add that the CBF missionaries experience the freedom that my husband and I did with the FMB in the 50s and 60s.

Florence in KY

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

You are correct. However, there are other benefits for retirees that trustees have authority over. At the least the new Chairman will need to recuse himself when those matters are addressed.

The bigger question is the propriety of former IMB administrator, who by his own admission was at odds with the direction of the President, now chairing the trustees. How functional or not is that?

Maybe Dr. Floyd has had a change of heart. Maybe he has, but this trustee and others will be watching closely.

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Dave,

I'm very comfortable with where I am, but thanks for the caution.

Anonymous said...

I, too, receive a pension from GuideStone as a result of my service with the FMB. I consider it a pension of the Board.
Florence

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

Thank you for your clarification. I agree with you that Dr. Floyd should recuse himself if those matters of benefits come up for discussion.

But again, the article did not fully disclose information on Dr. Floyd's leaving it open for a desired interpretation without full disclosure.

Whether Dr. Floyd is God's person to work closely with Dr. Rankin is yet to be seen. All we can do is pray, verify, and hope that we don't continue down the road of narrowing parameters for service in the IMB. I don't know if someone being at odds with the president automatically disqualify's him for service as chair, but I hope that your differences with the direction of the IMB do not continue to disqualify you from special committees. That remains to be seen also.

Thank you again for your service to God and our convention and helping this Southern Baptist pastor understand the implications of decisions that are being made.

Keep Watching Closely

Bro. Robin

Anonymous said...

To Jay R,

Amen, there are vast differences in Jim Bakker and The apostle Peter. Also there are vast similarties. The Sin of Pride affects charlatains and true believers equally. The devil is not bound by ones station in life nor by ones service to our heavenly Father.
I'm still praying for Bro. Wade and his family

Pastor Dave
Romans 12:1-2