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

A Wordsmith Who Owes Some Apologies

I have met James A Smith, Sr., the editor of the Florida Witness, on at least two occasions -- one in Pensacola, Florida and the other in Albuquerque, New Mexico -- and I enjoyed our conversations.

It is appropriate for editors of state papers to give their opinions on convention matters as Mr. Smith did in his editorial this week regarding the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, but I believe Mr. Smith crossed the line in two areas.

James A. Smith and Wiley Drake

I believe Mr. Smith owes Wiley Drake a public apology. Wiley was elected by a majority of the Southern Baptist messengers who gathered in Greensboro to conduct Southern Baptist business. Yet Mr. Smith says this about Wiley . . .

"It was sad that the Convention elected a man more known for his microphone-hogging, self-indulgent and almost always out-of-order motions than for his serious support for the work of the Convention through the Cooperative Program."

I wonder if Mr. Smith would have said that about Ronnie Floyd had he been elected? Laying my wonderment aside, and giving Mr. Smith every right to question the Cooperative Program giving of Wiley's church, what bothers me is Mr. Smith's very personal attack on Wiley calling him "microphone-hugging" and "self-indulgent" and other words that any serious journalist would know from which to abstain.

Does Mr. Smith know Wiley? I don't agree with Wiley on his Disney boycot and other motions before the Convention, and in fact, Mr. Smith agrees philosophically with Wiley much more than I --- but I've come to know Wiley. Why can I disagree with a man's policies but accept a man personally, but Mr. Smith attacks a man personally but agrees with his policies?

I know Wiley's love for his wheelchair bound wife. I know Wiley's love for the homeless in Los Angeles. I know Wiley well enough to know that he ministers in the power of Christ to the very people Los Angeles leaders want gone. I know Wiley lives his life based upon convictions and principles, and though I don't agree with Wiley on everything he has presented to the Convention, Wiley is the kind of guy I can cooperate with in the Southern Baptist Convention. Wiley is as Wiley says.

Mr. Smith, fifty percent of the convention agreed. Messengers voted Wiley to be Second-Vice President. I would caution you against denigrating a duly elected officer of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is very unprofessional.

James A Smith and Ben Cole

Second, Mr. Smith outright, intentionally misrepresented Benjamin Cole in his editorial. Mr. Smith said,

"Cole, a frequent and loud critic of International Mission Board trustees’ new policies on baptism and “private prayer language” for missionary candidates, unashamedly packages his opposition to the alcohol resolution with his agenda about narrowing theological boundaries in SBC life tied to the ongoing controversy at the IMB. So, this is the kind of Christian liberty that is desired of missionaries and other leaders in Southern Baptists life — the right to drink booze, speak in tongues and hold as valid baptisms at churches believing in baptismal regeneration?"

Mr. Smith, Benjamin Cole's father died when Ben was 13 from drunkenness. The notion that Benjamin Cole desires missionaries to "drink booze" as if those missionaries are to get drunk is highly inappropriate considering the circumstances of Ben's own father's death, a testimony he very passionately and emotionally gave from the floor of the convention, arguing that drunkenness is a scourge on our society, but in our belief of the sufficiency of Scriptures we ought to condemn only what Scripture condemns.

Further, as you well know, the new policy at the IMB on tongues prohibits a "private" prayer language. The old policy already stated that missionaries on the field were not to speak in tongues publicly or face discipoline.

Finally, to allege that Mr. Cole is advocating baptismal regeneration is a downright lie. You know better. Baptismal regeneration has NEVER been the issue.

Mr. Smith I am deeply disappointed in your editorial. On the one hand you shame bloggers, but from your very pen you have practiced more deception and defamation than any blogger I have read in the past six months.

My prayer is that you will think twice before you resort to such tactics in the future.

In His Grace,

Wade

44 comments:

Micah said...

Thank you Wade. Very sound comments and much needed in the face of personal attacks on the part of Mr. Smith. I appreciate the Witness as a state paper that does a very good job of news reporting, but this editorial places a black mark on the face of that paper. Here's hoping that Mr. Smith will offer some sort of an apology or retraction.

Brittany said...

My favorite statement by Smith about Drake is, "But, we laughed, and that’s what seemed to be the most important qualification for this office."

So in Mr. Smith's opinion, not only is Drake a baffoon but so are the people who elected him ... So much for playing nice and losing with dignity.

Alan B said...

As a Baptist journalist myself, the written words of Dr. Smith bring shame to the ministry to which I was called. Being a religious journalist is a calling laden with responsibility; a calling hearkening to one of the first faith-journalists, Bro. Luke, who wrote: "It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed."

An ethical writer, especially one of great faith and position as Dr. Smith, should quickly see the foolishness made by his keystrokes.

pastor gary said...

On a personal, one on one level, I agree with his assesment of Drake, to be honest.

BUT,

when I read his published comments I was also taken back and shocked that this guy, working on a state staff, would so openly bash an elected sbc officer.

I didn't have a great opinion, for example, of Bill Clinton, but I never felt it was appropriate to try to humilate him or disrespect him.

One on hand, I think the messengers blundered by electing Drake, but you know what? It doesn't matter, we did it and we (I) now owe Drake our support, prayer and respect.

This guys comments were totally childish and over the top.

joethorn.net said...

Good words Wade. Glad someone dealt with this aspect of the editorial.

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

This is typical of people who lose power. Any side! This should be a warning to us all to love others and treat people with the respect that God wants us to give them. Thanks for your post!

Alan Cross said...

I agree with you assessment of the editorial, Wade. We are not stupid people, as Mr. Smith makes out. He seems to dismiss everyone who does not agree with him. I found the article to be very offensive in every possible way. This is exactly the type of thinking that we are all so tired of and we are working to see changed. I hope that this is not representative of all of his work. He should definitely publish a retraction and apology.

BTW, why does the leadership of our convention find it so necessary to tell everyone how insignificant the bloggers are and that everyone should ignore us? If we are so insignificant, why are they reading us? Why don't they stop talking about us? Interesting.

GeneMBridges said...

I would like to have an answer from Mr. Smith for the following question:

Since when did it become acceptable to violate the 9th commandment in the name of "the cause?"

This is the kind of thing that prompted me to post this on denominational idolatry from 1859. Please dash over to SBF and read it:

http://strangebaptistfire.com/2006/06/20/
denominational-idolatry-reproved/

W said...

Wade,

Pleae do not see this post as an attack on you, it is not. However, I am not a guy (as you already know) that will stand and pat you on the back and say "Way to go Wade...great post." Instead, I want to point out some weaknesses in what you said.

Like yourself, Smith has a right to write as he sees fit. You of all people should realize this. Some may see your post and think, "Well, if that's not the pot calling the kettle black."

I heard Cole's speech at the Convention; but I have also read his blogs.

Smith did not say what you are accusing him of. He said that Cole has no problem with people drinking booze. Cole has said himself on his blog that his "chairman of deacons makes the best margaritas." My heart goes out to him for his dad's death; however, Cole does not believe in total abstinance...thus, it is okay to "booze it up."

Before I move on, you said that Smith has "practiced more deception and defamation than any other blogger"...are you serious? Have you read the posts comparing a certain president to a hitman?

I concur, on this issue, he did not define "prayer language." Not certain there is a difference between tongues and "prayer language" but this is a debate for another time.

Wade Burleson said...

Alan,

It is almost as if the more they say what they are saying about "bloggers" the more they hope people will believe it.

Wade Burleson said...

W,

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you writing.

I stand by what I have written.

The editorial was over the top. I am not familiar with the examples you give, but would be happy to draw a similar assessment if you would be more specific.

In addition, if you could point out one sentence on my blog that takes a similar approach in attacking people by name, I would be more than happy to acknowledge it and retract it. So, people may say "The pot is calling the kettle black" but you better be able to prove it.

Blessings,

wade

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

As I've mentioned, I think these really are the end times. Further, I think that God will be requiring that we go about His work in His way. That means showing forth the Fruit of the Spirit.

We hear a lot of talk in the church about "bearing fruit", referring to winning souls. I think that's an incorrect euphemism ... what the church (IMO) needs, and what the world out there desparately needs to see, is the lives of believers reflecting the Fruit of the Spirit .. love, joy, peace, patience ... all of it.

The Editorial certainly does not show it. To me, that is intolerable. The Editorial, even if it is opinion, smacks of the style of the supermarket tabloids. A bit of truth, mixed with sarcasm and inuendo.

We seem to resort to any and all means (within bounds) to win souls. That's wrong; we must go about whatever we do in the Fruit of the Spirit. God will use what we do to lead people to salvation, but we MUST do it exemplifying the same fruit that Jesus showed.

As an aside, all I've seen about your going about your work, conforms to that standard. Thank you for that.

BSC said...

I can't wait for James Smith and the Florida Baptist Witness staff to weigh in on my resolution on gluttony next year.

I'm not offended in the least by his op-ed, Wade...at least as it concerns my position He took some license that he shouldn't have, but so what. Every servant should be faithful to his master.

I am, however, deeply angered that he would take shots at Wiley Drake, a man who has attacked not one soul. Wiley didn't ask to be nominated. He didn't ask to be elected. He certainly didn't ask for his CP giving to be held up as an example or try to obfuscate by talking about "Southern Baptist causes." In fact, it is completely tasteless for Smith to have picked on Wiley's CP giving in light of this article where Wiley talks about his own disappointments with the CP giving at Buena Park and commits to doing more. I can't imagine why Smith would raise arguments against Wiley on this matter. Did he even read what Wiley said about it before scandalizing Wiley's church or its record. This, from the Biblical Recorder's interview with Wiley:

"The Cooperative Program is the lifeblood of our convention, and I think that anybody who wants to lead the convention should put their money where their mouth is. I am grieved when I read our own ACP reports from Buena Park. I want us to do so much more than we are doing, and I'm working hard to get us there. We are a small church with a small budget in a big city with a high cost of living. I kind of feel like Peter at the Gate Beautiful. Silver and gold have we none, but whatever we've got, we're giving to the Lord. I try to keep in mind this simple truth: to whom much has been given, much shall be required."

I think somebody should nominate James Smith for 2nd VP next year. Maybe the messengers who elected Wiley will wisen up and choose leaders like Smith for our highest convention offices.

Jay R. said...

Don't sweat it Wade. Nobody really reads the Florida Witness.

If they do, and if they are even remotely thoughtful, do you really think they see Mr. Smith's editorials, or any of the Florida Witness materiel as really good journalism. I wouldn't think so.

Blessings on what appears to have been a solid convention. I know there is a lot between now and then, but what's the word on you for prez in 2008?

Carry on.

tim rogers said...

Brother Ben,

How would you have characterized Ronnie Floyd if he would have responded to questions concerning his CP giving by saying: "The Cooperative Program is the lifeblood of our convention, and I think that anybody who wants to lead the convention should put their money where their mouth is. I am grieved when I read our own ACP reports. . . I want us to do so much more than we are doing, and I'm working hard to get us there"?
Don't answer that, I think I already know.
Cut everybody some slack. The convention is over let us get on with the business of serving God.
Tim

dave woodbury said...

Amen. You have been the model for principled, gracious dissent. Mr. Smith would do well to follow your example. He could have gotten his point across more clearly without the rhetoric and personal attacks.

Dave

Tom Bryant said...

Good points. I read it online this morning. Mr. Smith has done a good job of being even-handed. He wrote well of Dr. Page because of his CP giving as opposed to Dr. Floyd.
But these personal attacks on these men is wrong and ought to be retracted and repented of.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Wade and Friends,

One of the things about America that makes me sad is the way politicians on both side of the aisle use inflammatory language to paint the other side's position. Talking points have taken the place of debate.

In this case, Mr. Smith does the same thing. He uses the word "booze" on purpose, as the most inflammatory term he could think of. He could have said, "responsible use of alcohol" or even just "wine" or "alcohol," but he was trying to make the other side seem evil or wicked.

He did the same with "speaking in tongues" and "baptismal regeneration."

By using these extreme terms, He did, in effect and on purpose, lie about Ben Cole. Since I hold the same positions Ben does on these particular issues, he lied about me, too.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." is still a commandment, Mr. Smith. (Yes, and the KJV was still the only thing we used when I learned the 10 Commandments in Sunday School.)

I guess that standing on the Bible rather than on the traditions of men is always sure to wrankle some. Well, I guess they'll just have to be wrankled!

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Jay R.

You really know how to stir people up :)

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Frankly, if Ronnie had said that it would have been a breath of fresh air.

t. d. webb said...

Wade and Ben,
Thanks to both of you for standiing tall on principle and being used of God in these issues, in spite of the slings and arrows thrown your way by critics with agendas that are all too transparent in their scope and purpose. It is not surprising that such folks who lack evidence to support their assertions, resort to strawman arguments and poisoning the well with distortions and personal attacks. Moreover, don't be shocked if Mr. Smith and others don't follow up with further attempts at character assassination, namely yours.

Hopefully, those reading such epithets will consider the source and then move on to important things.


In His Grace and Peace,
Tom

Charles said...

The sad, sad truth about the editorial is that it is just one more example of how the language and style of Washington and Wall Street have been more successful at "winning disciples" in the church than the church has been in winning disciples in Washington and Wall Street. The world is full of rhetoric like Mr. Smith's. All I have to do is turn on Bill O'Reilly or Rush. I suppose Smith was trying to be humorous but, instead, he was just sad.

W said...

Wade,

Thank you for allowing my comments to be seen and not rejecting them because we differ.

I never said you singled out someone, my reason for using the phrase "calling the kettle black" is based on his right to call it as he sees it. This is exactly what you are doing with the IMB; right?

Though you are not singling people out, you are discussing issues. I don't know Smith, however, I read his article as him attacking the issues, not the person.

Should he have called him microphone hugging? Well, if the shoe fits...self-indulgent, I don't think he should have said that...out of order motions, again if your foot is 10.5 and the shoe is the same size....

But the fact is, Wiley is Wiley period. When he steps to the microphone, one has become accustomed to hear a wileism. He has done it to himself. Does this make him self-indulgent; no. Furthermore, I think that calling him such is crossing the line, however, Smith is entitled to his opinion. In the same way, you are entitled to yours, Ben his, and I mine.

God forbid we become a Communist society that restricts people from having an opinion. With that said, we must also realize that truth is not relative. One of us is right and the other is wrong. Let us pray ad seek God in order for us to find the Truth.

W.

GeneMBridges said...


I never said you singled out someone, my reason for using the phrase "calling the kettle black" is based on his right to call it as he sees it. This is exactly what you are doing with the IMB; right?


He has a right to call it as he sees it. He does NOT have the right to violate the 9th commandment when he does so. Unless Wade has violated the 9th commandment, the analogy is specious.

Brittany said...

Totally off topic, but I wanted to mention that about a dozen of us staff members gathered in the IMB chapel to hear who won the SBC presidency. As Page's name was read a collective "whoop!" and "yes! yes! yes!" escaped from those gathered. I can't speak for all IMB staff members, but I know a fair amount are relieved Page won.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is most interesting...What do you expect from the controlled press....you stirred up the folks...and that is always dangerous when you are dealing with conservatives only. Only state paper I know that is informative for thinking is the Baptist Standard....one from the convention that pays many, many SBC bills....It is only beginning but some knew one day folks would turn on each other....We are going to find that the enemy did not leave..
Wish all could pause and see how the attacks, etc... sounds and looks to the people we say we want to reach. As Dallas Willard reminds folks in one of his book.."We have learned how to be saved, but have not learned very good on how to be Christlike..." Wayne, from Alabama

Jeff said...

This editorial contains some really terrible reasoning:

"The ERLC tract concludes: 'Alcohol is treated in the Bible somewhat likeslavery and polygamy, which, though not universally condemned, were undermined and ultimately doomed by the high moral principles set forth in the Scriptures.'"

So abstinence from alcohol is a creation ordinance like marriage? I think not. In Psalm 104:15, we read that God "made wine to gladden the heart of man." In the final consummation at the end of history God will "make for all peoples a fest of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full or marrow, of aged wine well refined" (Isaiah 25:6). At very best,
abstinence from alcohol is a concession to the hardness of men's hearts, not a higher phase in progressive revelation. This editorial inspires very little confidence in either the Florida Baptist Witness or the ERLC.

W said...

Gene,

Good to hear from you, it's always a joy.

Again, the "self-indulgent" thing may not have been the best words to use. However, he is entitled to his opinion. Furthermore, the other thoughts Smith provided about Wylie is nothing new, I have heard them before. Does this make it right? I don't know.

"The pot calling the kettle black"

The fact is Smith lays out his convictions concerning alcohol and tongues. This is a point brought out by Wade. He does not think it is right for Smith to do this.

Wade talks about his convictions too. Although he does not name names, we know who they are. If Smith were to say, "A man who stood up and told jokes..." we would know who he was talking about. In the same way, when Wade says "trustees", we know the names.

W.

BTW why are you not on other blogs that attempt to discredit Patterson, and reminding that author of the 9th Commandment?

Anonymous said...

Bro. Wade:

I cannot think of two greater examples of improper language that disparages others than the following from the blog site, Baptist Blogger. If you do not mind me saying so, often, the impression I get is that you are quick to attack those who disagree with you and quick to defend those whom you consider to be friends. All I ask is that you be fair in your assessment.

I would like to get your opinion on the first "broad brush" comment made regarding the messengers of teh SBC and the second comment that clearly falls into the fallacy of guilt by association. Are these appropriate comments to make as a Christian much less as a Christian pastor who should always speak so as the edify others?

Ben Cole said:

"No election of officers in the Southern Baptist Convention will be able to address the systemic and profound theological ignorance of the average messenger to the annual meeting."

"It should surprise nobody that the messenger offering the amendment was sent to Greensboro by the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, the church whose reputation and practice continues to be colored by its former pastor, none other than the Rev. Dr. J. Frank Norris of Fundamentalist fame."

Thank you for letting me comment on your blog.

IMB M

Wade Burleson said...

IMB M,

I have my doubts you are actually a missionary. My world map via stat counter at the time you posted does not show someone on from overseas.

Nevertheless, I allowed your comment and would encourage you to identify yourself.

I have a hard time comparing the two comments from Baptist blogger to a very personal remark against Wiley Drake, but if you feel those remarks are hyperbole or over the top, it is definitely your right to say so.

Charlie said...

Wade
James Smith would not even answer an email or an article I submitted to the Fla Baptist Witness. Our church thru a poll found out that only about 5% read the witness so discontinued the weekly service. I'm glad we are saving the money.
It doesn't surprize me that he would be critical of anything he doesn't think follows the party line. The Fla Baptist Witness is not about Fla baptist. Anything Smith wrote would not carry much weight with me. Too bad we don't have term limits for editors with their own agendas.

Charlie of Gainesville

Darren Casper said...

I suppose there is more than one point in Mr. Smith's editorial to find disappointment with, but my greatest concern is insertion of the Biblical practice of speaking in tongues along with "drinking booze" and baptism by churches that hold to baptismal regeneration.

Mr. Smith is not the first to make such disparaging remarks about praying in tongues equating it with something like "drinking booze."

Dr. Rankin is on record that he has prayed in tongues, I would believethat this is a communication between brother Rankin and our Holy God, between the Father and one of His children.

If we are a convention and a people that "truly" believe for the SBC to be effective that we need God's anoining and blessing upon the ministries we lead, then I also believe we should all be careful about making such negative, harsh comments about something that may very well be something that God the Father is very much involved in.

btw - Wade sorry I didn't get to see you n NC, but I was able to say hello to the Mrs. Burleson.

Stephen Pruett said...

Just a couple of thoughts for W with regard to your comment, "With that said, we must also realize that truth is not relative. One of us is right and the other is wrong. Let us pray ad seek God in order for us to find the Truth."

I am probably as strongly opposed to post-modernism as you, and I have enjoyed defending the existence of objective reality and truth to a number of people, including an atheist Nobel Laureate.

However, this "Truth means one of us is right and the other is wrong" attitude cannot help but contribute to continued narrowing of the parameters for cooperation. I am not accusing you of being certain that you have the Truth and Wade does not, but that is a reasonable inference. Why would you post your opinion if you thought you were, or even might be, on the wrong side of the Truth on any of these matters?

I would suggest that a more productive attitude would be, "The truth is often hard to discern, and I am a fallible human being who brings biases, preconceptions, and character flaws to my search for the truth. Therefore, before I assume, even to myself, that I have figured it out and someone else has missed it, I need to work, study, and pray to be sure. Even then, I need to proceed with a good deal of humility, because I might still have overlooked something." I must confess I do not always exhibit this attitude myself; but I aspire to it. I think it is biblical (e.g., Paul did not feel he had to be certain about every matter of theological or practical interest, but he recognized that there are things we can only hope to see "through a glass darkly").

I have been been supportive of Wade from the first time I read his blog, because I sensed great care and a degree of humiilty when he asserted truth. This attitude promotes cooperation. The idea that Truth is always clear and must be declared on every issue and that you cannot cooperate with whoever is on the "wrong" side of it promotes fragmentation.

imb m in asia said...

ugh! My first post got eaten! If it appears I've double posted, please remove one of them!
My second and third try didn't work either, so here's my fourth try!

My mother sent me the link to this article several days ago. My response back to her was that Mr. Smith was lying on some of his details. Better yet, he was choosing words like "speaking in tongues" and "baptismal regeneration" to get the majority of SBCer's to agree with him....regardless of whether he was telling the truth.

He wasn't!

The two new policies that the IMB must follow are regarding private prayer language and baptism outside of a local church and this includes that the church most hold to “once-saved-always saved”.

First let me say that we are totally against baptismal regeneration. That is NOT what the new policy is about!

Some of my follow colleagues and workers would have been excluded from working with the imb under these new polices because they have a private prayer language. (They will be excluded if this policy becomes retroactive.) These people don't speak publicly in tongues; they enter into their prayer closet and pray PRIVATELY! They don't even talk about it (at least not until these policies were enacted and they have personal concerns about them.)

If I baptize my daughters, by immersion, in our tub their baptisms will not be considered valid. (By whose standards? God's?) According to the new IMB policy, my daughters wouldn't have been baptized into a local church therefore their baptisms would not be valid. They couldn't serve under the IMB until they were re-baptized. It doesn't matter that they totally understand what baptism is and means…the baptism wasn’t done in a local church.

The Ethiopian eunuch wasn't baptized into a local church. I guess he couldn't be an imb missionary. Hey, for that matter, neither could Jesus!

These two new policies are about limiting who the SBC will agree to work alongside, by placing EXTRA-biblical standards upon those who would serve.

Mr. Smith obviously can say what he wants, but he needs to be careful that what he says is true and that he doesn't insinuate or outright state things that are untrue.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Your failure to directly respond to IMB M's examples from Coles' blog shows your double standard.

I've read and talked to many Reformed Theology people and they all think that because others don't agree with them, then they are "theologically ingnorant." RT'ers 'say' they only want to debate, but in reality many think they are too intellectually superior to debate on Scripture alone. Personal attacks, while either specific or broad brush, seem to be a favorite tactic.

Another quote from Cole in the same blog is "Of course, I noticed that Jim [Richards] had recently visited his barber, which confounded my ability to esteem his apparent Nazarite vow with any degree of credibility."

That doesn't sound too congenial of an attitude to me.

Anonymous said...

We agree with Wade.

ArkRazorbaptist

Anonymous said...

Wade,
FYI, IMB M's do come stateside occasionally. Not sure if this was the case, but he could be an M and still be in the US on a stateside assignment or on vacation
Milton

M somewhere in the world said...

...IMB M Test...

Wade, as usual, you've struck a chord among those who both agree and disagree with you...or maybe it is not a matter of dis-agree-mentalism (woohoo! i've coined a new 'ism'!!!) as much as it is that you have opened a little chink in the curtain, letting light fall on a page from a paper that most folks would not have payed much attention to otherwise.

Thus is revealed the power and wisdom of blogging. Some stories and editorials that impact a reader's viewpoint locally would never see the light of day outside of that particular community (like, who reads the op-ed page of the Slat Valley Review on a regular basis?). The web, and blogging in particular, have allowed floks from around the world to get more information than before, and draw their own opinions about what they have read. I suppose that if a local reader of the Florida Baptist Witness relies on that source alone to form opinions, then they would assume that Mr. Smith was spot on! But if they followed ALL the news available, they might have some questions as to the veracity and appropriateness of his comments.

Whenever I see the word editorial, I immediately get in the mindset of "this is the opinion of one person and does not reflect the thinking of a majority" - in short, it's to be taken with a grain of salt. I thank you, again, for providing (through your blog, and links to other blogs) a whole shaker of salt for us to season our thinking.

(the IMB M test bit is for you to figure out where I'm posting from - I've always wondered how specific those stat tools are).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a definition of editor and editorial would cut him some slack.
Also,haven't we seen many bumper stickers state things against President Bush and I don't recall seeing similiar bumper stickers for President Clinton. Points out changes in our society when we don't get our way.
SWBTS graduate on staff at a Fundamental Baptist Church in Minnesota.

Stephen Fox said...

My understanding of Jim Smith, is he is a Pressler plant in Baptist media life. Like Ronnie Floyd the urban legend I have always understood to be parabolic truth is Smith came to his position as a plumb for frontline battle work in various press rooms where the SBC was held in the 80's and 90's during the Takeover. He and Eldridge Miller of Salislaw worked together.
If I am mistaken, please somebody out there in Wade land correct me. Like us all, James Smith has an interesting history, a backstory as to how he came to his own microphone.
Michelle Goldberg, and Kingdom Coming; start there to context James Smith.
One thing more, Wade would be great if you googled up and linked E J Dionne's great June 16 piece from the Washington Post which was syndicated and published in Bham News among other papers last week, I think on same day as my letter in the Bham News
Stephen Fox
Alabama

Former M said...

Florida Baptist Witness works for the SBC political machine. Why would you expect different from it after the upset to the powers that be in Greensboro? This is the way that Baptist Press has operated over the last few years toward any who opposed the power brokers. It just so happens that a majority opposed them in Greensboro.

Bill Dodson said...

I have been reading these blogs for some months now, since the controversy with the IMB Board broke out. I am a son of a SBC missionary, a graduate of an SBC seminary, a former SBC pastor, and until a few weeks ago served very succesfully in a California SBC convention agency. The Lord called me to lead a similar organization outside the SBC family six weeks ago. For the first time in my adult life I will be looking for a church and not giving first consideration to SBC churches. Do you know why? Because of this stuff I'm reading about here. I'm not blaming Wade. Wade sounds like a reasonable, intelligent, Spirit-led man. But I am just so turned off by the denominational conflicts that I can't even imagine trying to give the SBC one more day or one more penny. I hope it can all get worked out one day, because I wouldn't want to stand before Jesus and have him ask me about my stewardship of what could have been the greatest missionary effort in all of history, only to be torn apart at the seems by people who have arrogated to themselves what belongs to God.

Debbie said...

Bill: I belonged to a fundamentalist church in my early years full of this and more. We split more times than I care to count. I don't think Wade is the problem.

Anonymous said...

Drake is a fake!