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

Is It a Generational Thing?

A long time Southern Baptist with a heart for missions told me the other day that he felt some of the disagreements over the use of blogs in Southern Baptist life was generational. He made three statements that caused me to pause and give further consideration to whether or not his thoughts were on target.

(1). The older generation of Southern Baptists is very comfortable saying one thing to you privately, but something a little different publicly. The newer generation of Southern Baptists believes that what is said privately should never be contradicted publicly in the least degree.

(2). The older generation of Southern Baptists believes that anything that does not reflect positively on the Southern Baptist Convention or her autonomous agencies should be kept private, while the new generation of Southern Baptists believes that transparency and openness, even of those things that do not reflect well on us, should be made public.

(3). The older generation of Southern Baptists believes that loyalty to the organization is of more importance than cooperation with other evangelical Christians, whereas the newer generation of Southern Baptists will first ask questions that go to the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ at large rather than loyalty to the denomination.

What say ye?

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


David L. Miller said...

I think the answer to these questions vary with each of the issues.

1) That is NOT a generational thing. That is an integrity issue. I think my dad's generation had as much or more integrity as my generation, or the next. I think it is that kind of statement that offends the folks that get offended. "The younger generation has integrity, but the older doesn't." There is nothing wrong with keeping private things private, or keeping things confidential. I should speak the truth at all times, but should only speak the "whole truth" to my trusted, closest friends and family. I have told my kids over and over again that they do not have to tell everyone in the church things I might say at home.

2) There may be something to this. I am not sure it is generational, as much as "computer-ational." Young people keep diaries today - online where everyone can read them. So, there may be a tendency to for the computer generation to make things public.

I face this problem at the local church. If we are having problems, do I announce it on Sunday morning from the pulpit, or do I keep it among myself and the leaders?

3) This one seems to be true. Finding a person under 35 who has a strong sense of denominational identity is hard. I am a former president of my state convention and have probably been more involved in denominational affairs than any other person in my state. Yet, I feel more loyalty to the "body of Christ" than to the Baptist Body.

So, I think there is some wisdom in these statements, except for #1. That one will offend some folks.

Luke said...

It may very well be a generational thing. Think of the difference in the way broadcast journalism over the last 30 years. Back then, some journalists believed that some things should be kept quiet. The government did things that might not be ethical, but we didnt want to know about it. Now, we demand to know everything the government is doing. We want total transparency. Why should it be any different with our denomination who should have nothing to hide.

Also, I don't follow why some would say one thing in private, but say something else publicly. Perhaps it is meant as going to the Convention and passing resolutions, even though everyone still continued to watch Disney and ABC and ESPN, all owned by the same company. Toeing the party line when everyone is looking I guess

Les Puryear said...

I'm not sure what age range constitutes older and younger generations (I'm 54), but I heartily agree with these statements. Even though I may be placed chronologically in the "older" generation, I agree with the perspectives as stated of the "younger" generation.

Anonymous said...

It is not age. It is power, politics, and control. Those who got into positions because of the above were expected to be obedient to the system. And, history of SBC shows that if they were not obedient every effort to silent them moved forward. I am of the older and I have watched this happen. There is nothing new here---Just the enemy has changed. If you say it in public you better be able to stand the heat if you are not obedient to the power, the politics, and control. I wish this was not the TRUTH!!!! Wayne, from Alabama

Wade Burleson said...


Your right, some may be offended, but I don't think the author of the statements was implying there was a lack of integrity. He meant that the older generation was comfortable in the back room and the new generation wanted everything done in the living room for all to see. But I can see what you are saying.

mr. t said...


I think your friend is on target. There are differences between generations on communication style and institutional loyalty (among others). If SBC institutions (and churches) don't adjust to the cultural changes, they will eventually become irrelavant, decline, or even die. As a whole, Christianity in the U.S. is already sliding toward where Western Europe is today. We are only a generation or two from the same condition.

Brian R. Giaquinto said...

I am in basic agreement with number three. We must be more Christ's Kingdom-minded, not our kingdom-minded. Although...

David Miller commented that it was getting harder to find someone under the age of 35 who have a strong denominational identity. I am 33 and strongly identify myself with the Southern Baptist Convention - even in light of what I just wrote.

I think we're creating a false dichotomy to pit denominational loyalty against loyalty to Kingdom-wide advancement. I think that's the implication of statement number three. Why can't the two be one and the same? We keep the denomination transparent and public to ensure our priority is effective Kingdom advancement - and not an 'ole boy network. I think that's the goal of the blogging network.

ColinM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

You know, I had a conversation with a man I greatly respect at NAMB the other day and he said the same thing to me. I do agree and believe that my generation (I'm a gen-exer)wants what is said privately to never contradict what is said publicly. I also believe that we should be transparent. It's called accountability where I'm from! Anyway, I think that there are some issues that come up because of generational differences but then other times I think issues arise because of an unhealthly interest in controversy. That's just my thought.

David Phillips said...


I think some of this is generation.

In regards to #1 & #2, I don't want someone telling me what to do and I find people who are honest about what has happened, good or bad, to have much more credibility that people who only spin stuff to the positive. Transparency is a virtue, and is something we can learn from.

As for #3, we've been taught the kingdom in seminary (at least I heard it from Ken Hemphill in a one-week class at NOBTS in 1994, that started my journey anyway) and we've bought it. We are sold to the kingdom, not the convention, because we heard in seminary that the kingdown was the most important thing. We're reaping what was sown.

Dorcas said...

I fit in the younger generation, so here is my perspective:

Point 1:

I agree that it is an integrity issue. If I hear someone say something privately, and then when they are discussing the same thing in public and the story is different, I think: hmm? that's not how I remember it. Then it makes me question how honest the person is in general.

So if we are talking about saying something "different" in public versus private ... that would simply be a lie on one end or the other. However, on the privacy of the home, or amongst friends issue, I do think that there is a time and place for generalizations to be given in a public setting of something you have more specific knowledge of in the private setting. This may be a fine line to discern, but I believe one is about integrity in honesty, and the other is about integrity in respecting personal relationships.

Point 2 - I think to just put a positive face on it won't work because people are always looking for something to call hypocritical. I think it better just to say ... this is who we are, we try to follow God, sometimes we mess up, when we mess up God still loves us, and so we begin again and never give up. I think this is a better witness to the world at large than trying to market an image of perfection.

3. I am not ready to give up on denominational identity myself. I want to do what is best for the Kingdom of Christ. Yet I definitely would much prefer to do it within the context of being a Baptist rather than abandoning ship. If I see another organization or group doing something more effectively than we are, instead of just going to join the other group and complaining about how we aren't doing that, I would rather try to help figure out how we can get in on what God is doing and make changes within our organization to match that.

blampp@juno.com said...

"What Say Ye?" .....over 7 decades now my response has been..... AND STILL IS! HOGWASH!
Several of the above comments have alluded to it, but..... to succomb to distorted truth or a double standard is dishonest and shows a lack of integrity!
Yes, I've seen it by the power brokers of our "theological swings",
and have personally applied this form of dishonesty, for which I have also had to repent! Several of the Proverbs speak to this issue!
The beauty of change has been the acceleration of communication vehicles which now allow much more immediate reaction on the part of those who pursue the truth through varied venues!

Glen Woods said...

A couple of observations from my own non-SBC perspective.

1. These sorts of issues take place in most, if not all denominations to some degree.

2. I am not so sure it is a generational thing, as much as it is an attitudinal thing. That is to say, younger folks are just as capable of exhibiting some of the characteristics described in the post. I just chafe at the idea of lumping entire generations into one mold of behavior, for good or for bad.

3. In terms of dealing with problems, one principle I have tried to follow is to keep it within the circle of offense. If an issue is strictly between two people, it should be resolved between those people if possible. If it is not possible then a wider circle may be needed. I think of Matthew 18:15-17 as a point of reference. If an issue affects an entire denomination, then it is possible it should have a wider consideration within that denomination, especially if it is clear that leadership is not able to arrive at healthy decisions in a timely way. Additionally, accountability is always a good thing.

4. Generally I think there is a sort of protectionism that can happen among denominational leaders that would cause them to not bring problems to the light of day. Naturally they do not want the good name of the denomination to be denigrated. I wonder if some of the issues many denominations (my own included) have had with blatant sinful behavior would be resolved and prevented more quickly if these things were made public? Again accountability is healthy and inspires a constructive fear of God.

Just my thoughts. :)


Glen Woods

Tim said...

I think a lot of conflict boils down to generational issues.

As a whole, younger generations tend to not be as institutionally loyals...across the board not only in SBC life. Let's face it, younger generations have seen authority figures in every bracket of life do horrible things. This include politics, religion, business, you name it.

I don't know if there has been one decade where you can't find a quote to be scorned (for example: Reagan era: "I have no recolection of that." Clinton era: "Well, that depends on how you define 'is'."

There does seem to be more of a desire towards transparency. There is also an even greater tendency towards individualism as well. The older generations in my church, very much want things nice said in public...about everything! I made a comment that my wife and I had a fight early in our marriage. I was later reprimanded by a senior adult and told that I was to use the word "disagreement." Also, I've been informed that we don't have arguments at church, just lively conversations. lol

This seems to be a quote for this younger generation: "The truth will set you free, but it's gonna hurt like heck first."

Tim Sweatman said...


In a general sense these issues may break down along generational lines, but I would say that it is more a matter of mindset than of age. I have met a number of people over 50 who want true openness and transparency and who are focused on the Kingdom, and I have run into quite a few younger people (even younger than me) who are comfortable with keeping things behind the scenes and are more concerned with keeping the SBC separate from other believers. I do believe that your friend has rather succinctly articulated the underlying reasons for the tensions we're having in the SBC.

Anonymous said...

I think your friend is hot on the trail of some serious stereotypes and broad generalizations on the first two. I wish him happy hunting. Anecdotally, some of the young bloggers have specifically exhibited the exact behavior supposedly preferred only by their elders. Go figure.

The third is well established between the Depression/WWII generation and the Boomers.

Anonymous said...

Not having ever lived below the Mason-Dixon line, I cannot comment about any of this being 'Southern'; but I can resonate with these being generational, especially the 2nd and 3rd points. The church consultant Lyle Schaller made the point decades ago that denominational loyalty was on a steady decline.

<>< Ron Troup; rltroup@netzero.net

Bob Cleveland said...


There's a lot of truth in all of it, albeit ALL generalizations are false (including this one about all generalizations being false).

#1: I think young folks are more "in your face" about things than older ones. Perhaps that's a reaction to real or perceived hypocrisy among the folks they hear most, which would be the older generations.

#2: Generally true, I think. At least the younger generation I deal with. You ought to hear my SS Class (young marrieds) when we talk about the restrictive missionary guidelines, for instance.

#3: Bingo. You bet.

However, I'm not sure there's an "older generation" compared to me. And, truthfully, I don't hang around folks my own age, for a lot of reasons. Some of them are evidenced in #1, #2, and #3.

Let the games begin.....

frostburgpreacher said...


Every generation in some way reacts to the generation before it and tries to shift things a different way. At least if you study history it seems this way. It is not always on a whole this way but it does happen.

My Father reacted to his Father. My Grandfather was a West Texas oil field worker who moved his family constantly. My Dad went to six different high schools in four different states. When my brother and I came along we only moved once and that was when I was six years old. My Dad wanted his family to feel the stability of living in one place.

I think another instance can be seen in my generation who saw divorce tear apart their homes. These same kids of divorce are very loyal to their wives and children because they are reacting opposite of what their father or mother did to them as a child.

I think the my younger generation sees what seems to be inconsistancy in things and are reacting to what is precieved by what happened in the SBC before they came along.

I am sure the next generation of leaders will react to what my generation does when the time comes.

Rev Darrell Treat said...

Brother Wade, I first wrote this back in March and it was printed by the Pathway, (the Missouri Baptist Paper) I think it would fit your question of ethics and disclosure. You are welcome to put it on the blog if yo want and also to identify me,
darrell treat

As I sit to write this letter/article, I would like to begin by stating that my intention is not to attack any person or group or to insinuate anything about any person or group. I just want to tell a true story and it’s later presentation in the pulpit.

Late last November, during quail and pheasant season, my son and I spotted a beautiful pheasant in the tall grass on my neighbor’s place about a mile north of our house. I turned around and went back to see if I could bag him. I parked some way from him and began to stalk him hoping he wouldn’t fly off toward the highway (thus taking away a shot). To make a long story short, I was able to bag him without much of a fuss. He was beautiful!! A perfect one to mount.

Later, after some (uh-hum) “discussion” with my wife, I was really proud to have a beautiful bird like that sitting in my living room. The taxidermist did work which would have made anyone proud. Everyone who came by the house complimented me on the bird. They all wanted to know where I got him so they might hunt in the same spot and try to get a beauty like this one for themselves. I decided to keep my secret hunting place a secret. I would vaugely mention about it being in a field on private property not open to the public.

I decided to take this awesome bird to the church that I pastor and show him off to all the hunters in the church. They oogoogled and awed and gave many compliments about his rare beauty and also many complimented on the great way it was mounted. All wanted to know where I got him and what it cost to mount him.

I replied the same as I had to some others before. “ I got him in the tall grass on private property up north of my house.” I even told them, “I got lucky, as we found just one piece of lead that I hit him with when I shot and that was in his head. The rest of the feathers were not hurt at all. The mounting didn’t cost me much at all.

I write this to tell of the sermon I preached titled “ This Bird, The Facts and The Truth”. The fact is, everything I just said is true. For example: (1) My son and I were driving down the highway (2) we did spot this bird in the tall grass on private property north of my house (3) I did turn around, go back, get out and stalk the bird (4) I did get the bird (5) I did shoot him in the head (6) I was proud to display him in my living room (7) the taxidermist did a great job (8) Everyone was envious of my trophy.


You see, I did indeed spot this beautiful bird and I did turn around and I did park and began to stalk him. However, as I moved closer to him with my shotgun to get a shot, I noticed he was not moving. As I got closer, I noticed he was already mounted!!!!!!

I took the bird home, had a thought of a sermon on “TRUTH vs. FACTS” got out the BB gun and shot him in the head. I also had my son observe all this and I took the time to have a teaching moment with him.

Grandma used to say, “half a truth is a whole lie”. My Pastor used to say, “if a person tells a 99.9% truth and then leave out that other .1% for the purpose of decieving, slandering, attacking, distorting or changing the perception of a truth, then 100% of what you say is a lie and God’s Word says Satan is the Father of lies and it also says the liars don’t get to heaven.”

The only truth there is, is ALWAYS 100% TRUTH AND 100% FACTS. If we leave out ANY part of the truth or ANY part of facts then we are being used of Satan. It is that simple.

Who are you serving today?

Darrell Treat
Gentry Baptist Church
Gentry, Mo.

sbc pastor said...

David Miller,

Great insight and observations! Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,

James Hunt said...

That about says it.

Those who don't speak the party line get excoriated by some.

It takes some guts to stand as you've been doing.

Thanks for thinking more of Kingdom benefit than your own political promotion.

Wade Burleson said...

I wish anonymous people would cease being anonymous

Ron West said...

I am also a long time Southern Baptist with a heart for missions. I think Wade’s friend is substituting the term - older generation - for current leaders of our denomination who are also leaders of the pseudo-conservative resurgence. I am not sure how much generation plays a part in each of his points. There are plenty of us old time Southern Baptists who do not fit his criteria. There are also plenty of younger generation Southern Baptist who have been more than happy to support the present leaders in each of the points mentioned.
1. I was around in the 60s and 70s during Vietnam, assasinations, race riots, campus protests, Watergate, etc. We were the ones who said - tell it like it is.
2. There may be some truth to this. But then again my generation said -let it all hang out.
3 Some of us older guys remember when we were members of the BJCPA and BWA and did not fear the WMU. Our generation said ???. Never mind, I can’t think of anything cute but many of us knew that we could be loyal Southern Baptists and still cooperate with others.

A-8 said...

I would heartily agree with all three statements. The older generation grew up in the mindset of "church as center of social life", thus they do not wish to ostracize anyone at the local or national level. The younger generation are still coming from whether church is central to them personally, thus they defend it against errors more forcefully.

t. d. webb said...

Wade, the difficulty with broad-brush generalizations is that there always exist individual experiences that are exceptions to the "rule". Thus, as one who's photo is next to the word "antique" in the dictionary, I can tell you now that inside this wrinkled shell of senility (whose grocery shopping list frequently includes words such as "Fixodent", "Depends", and "Metamucil")is a child of Christ, bursting with enthusiasm to see the SBC become a body of believers who can freely and transparently (publicly and privately) express their views on Christian issues and principles without fear of being personally attacked or an object of character assassinations. To that end this Okie lifts a glass, half-filled with . . . Geritol, :^) in a toast to the Lord for how He is working in Wade Burleson as a most "trustworthy" Trustee in the IMB.

In His Grace and Peace,

IN HIS NAME said...

Bob Cleveland said it best.


We teach the young ones and grow with the generations without compromising GOD'S WORD. The young learn from the old (Wisdom) and the old learn from the young.

A Brother in CHRIST

Anonymous said...

Trying again.
Rev. Wade:

I laughed when I read your posting. Does the phrase "Knew not Joseph" ring a bell?
Your yearnings for A SBC that existed before 1979 are evident.
This most senior member of the oldest cohort assures you a warm welcome awaits.
The leaders you refer to as "older" were the Young Turks 35 years ago. They are unchanged.

David L. Miller said...

I was at Dallas Seminary in 1979,when the Chicago Conference on Biblical Inerrancy issued its defining report on what inerrancy does and does not mean. It was also, obviously, the year of Adrian's first election as President of the SBC and the beginning of the ground war of the SBC conflict.

I asked my theology Professor, Dr. Blum, if the Chicago report would have any impact on the debate going on in the SBC.

He looked at me sarcastically and said, "I doubt it. Southern Baptists live in their own little world and care little about what goes on outside of their circle."

This has been one of the most significant changes in Baptist life during my time in the ministry. Southern Baptists have become a little less exclusive and a little more involved in the greater kingdom of God.

I think it is a generally healthy trend that I hope will continue.

On the other hand, it is a trend that unnerves some of the older generation of SBC folks.

Our challenge is to maintain an SBC identity without holding on to SBC exclusivity.

Anonymous said...

I dont believe that it is a generational thing at all. I believe that it is a Christian thing (someone saved) vs someone in the Club (a false convert, someone lost, looking for power, pride, etc).

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,

I agree with what you have posted as to the differences in the generations. I am 47 today and am on the back side of the baby boom. One thing that I was taught by my Daddy--and rebelled against--was that you kept family business secret. When you were in public and family business came up you placed the best positive attitude and comments you could muster. If you ever spoke against things in the family or revealed anything that was supposed to stay in the family you were not to be trusted again.
I was told to leave the room on many instances when my Daddy wanted to discuss something that he said he did not want anyone to know. It wasn't that I would go out and tell things that were confidential, it was that when a subject came up that I knew we had discussed from a certain perspective, I told that perspective.

I truly believe the blogging in the SBC comes from the mindset that "family" business is being discussed with non-family members.


Bob Cleveland said...


I will clarify one opinion of mine. When I speak of the older or younger generation, I'm speaking of the one we see here, now. If the suppositions are true, they wouldn't have been a generation ago.

Someone said that those who are too old to learn, were probably always too old to learn. I think the younger generation we see now is a product, partially, of the society we live in now. Information is king; it's verifiable as never before, and this generation easily verifies what's said.

My computer bible has allowed me to instantly check original languages when I prepare a lesson, something that most couldn't have done a generation ago.

We'd be terribly naive not to think that the information age hasn't impacted how younger believers think, today.

Timmy said...


This may have already been stated as I simply perused the comments, but there are several folks in the SBC over 40 who blog. Bowden McElroy has actually put a couple of lists of these bloggers. Here are the links:


As far as blogs go, I think the issue is how you use the medium provided for us by technology. I am sure that the elder generation when radio, recording, and television came out dealt with the same issues. Blogging to some degree is as amoral as other forms of communication or publication. It is how you use it (or abuse it) that causes problems. Blogs is simply a modern techonological tool provided to anyone who wants to use it. Yes, it is a huge amplifier for small voices which can cause greater harm than good, but bad examples should not eclipse the greater good that can be brought out of blogging.

i home said...

The whole Protestant thing is so diluted and general that the old orders no longer mean much. Be loyal to what? The older generation was more identified with there groups, more prone to protect them.

Philip Price said...


As a pastor, I have to remind myself to challenge people to express a commitment to God first and not just to the institutional church. If I'm not careful, I'll challenge folks to come to a special service because "we want to have a good showing" or "we want Bro. X to see what's happening here," instead of encouraging them to come to "worship in spirit and truth."

I find many older Christians have a commitment to God and to the institutional church. So, they are going to be at church whenever the door is open--for them, it's the right thing to do. However, few younger Christians come to church just because a service is scheduled. Relationships (family and friends) and an evalution in light of "Kingdom building" dictate priorities.

Consequently, I see a struggle between the institutional commitments vs. Kingdom of God involvement having an impact upon many denominational decisions.

IN HIS NAME said...


Does that mean they are one leg up on us?

A Brother in CHRIST

Tony D D said...

I think these comments are right on---whether they offend or not. A few years ago, about 6, I started going to the SB conventions. After hearing so many great sermons about the cooperative program and the Southern Baptist convention I thought that my first trip to the convention would be like a little taste of heaven. Boy, was I blown away.

I have seen first hand "the scratch my back and I'll scratch your mentallity."

I have been amazed over the last few years how mad you can make some of the older hands by simply asking them questions concerning their views and why they do the things they do.

The younger generation has been taught to examine everything and weigh it in light of Scripture.
I also remember being taught that we are to be committed to the Kingdom by Dr. Hempill. But, for the older generation the Kingdom is the cooperative program---the good, the bad and the ugly.

I pastor a church that has a median age of about 60---the 20 or 30 younger folks here bring the average way down. This church prides itself as being Southern Baptist. I don't know how many times I have heard: "this is what we do because we are Southern Baptist." But, in reality they couldn't tell you a thing about the SBC.

I don't mean to put a bad light on the folks that I pastor, they are great people. But, they are certainly from a time when things could happen and no questions were asked.

The Older Generation wants our generation to be less critical and more loyal to the SBC. We want to see the SBC less political and more loyal to the Great Commission.


Doc said...

One of many things I have always admired about Jesus is his openness and directness. He was the same to everyone both the high and the low in public and in private. While he was always loving to his own disciples and to others he did not mince words.

Sadly the same is not true with too many people in the church who seem always careful with their syrupy false words. This is especially true of the churches hierarchy who, like the ancient kings, chopped off heads of the commoners...but strangled royalty with silk cords.

Kyle Goen said...

Interesting observations/thoughts...
3) In that case, we need to stop talking about "Kingdom Growth" and start talking about SBC growth. Seems very narrow to me.

Bill Nettles said...

I'm having a little trouble getting my thoughts organized into a comprehensive, coherent missive, so I'll just list some points to consider:

0) I believe the control of information boils down to power vs stewardship, control vs shepherding, pride vs accountibility.

1) Information and it's sharing is a control and power issue. If one controls the information, they believe they have power.
2) Information about unpleasant occurances leads to fear of loss of power, so the information is hidden. Example: a 23-year faithful worker leaves an institution, but the board of trustees isn't informed. Even those on the personnel committee are not informed. Apparently, the administrative leaders are fearful of telling the trustees everything that is happening.
3) I don't believe there can be an "all or nothing" attitude toward release of information. I don't tell my brother or sisters about my bad diet choices or that I lost a $100 bill (bad news). If I fall through the ceiling, I might consider telling them (for the humor or sympathy factor). But my immediate family DOES get told. But they are immediately affected and bound to me financially as well as familially.
4) SB institutions are financially accountable to the churches and should not withhold information from them.
5) The very size of the denomination makes it nigh impossible to share information with the churches and maintain a privacy within the sphere of the churches.
6) Most southern families viewed bad news in the family either as "gossip" or something that reflected on the whole family because it showed you weren't in control. "You just don't talk about those things." That's why children were sent from the room--they will repeat ANYTHING they hear.
7) Some of the "information" IS gossip.
8) People who are not in power do not understand the struggle with this issue and how easily the temptation to control issues can overwhelm. I am thankful for the pastors and other leaders who struggle successfully to maintain their humility and will honestly consider viewpoints different from their own.
9) Not all issues are scriptural interpretive issues, but all situations are Biblical situations.
10) Our very human nature (fallen) is to attack, tear down, diminish another's power. At our best, we may seek to maintain accountibility, but we are dangerously close to character destruction. (I could chase a rabbit here: should we avoid accountibility because it could lead to character assasination, in the same way that drinking a glass of wine can lead to drunkenness?)
11) Business done in the back room which is brought to the public meeting as a done deal is WRONG and leads to gossip. It also offends the "weaker brother." :')
12) Closed working sessions of committees have their place to allow unusual ideas to get aired, discussed, defended or supported, without the originator being castigated or taken out of context. However, arm-twisting, loyalty threats, etc are improper.
13) In my 20's, I living in Pittsburgh and Northern VA for a while. The SB churches were either vacuous, knee-jerk denominational, or liberal. I attended a non-SBC church. When I moved back to Mississippi, people were amazed that "they taught the Bible" somewhere besides an SBC church.
14) To echo an above point, I believe a lot of the attitudes come from a "southern" perspective that "my family is the best or at least I'm going to make you think it's the best."

Sorry for the rambling. May the Lord of all Knowledge purify our hearts!

Bill Nettles said...

In response to Pastor Treat's comments: I appreciate the ideas and have heard them taught in Sunday School and church as well. My initial thoughts are to completely agree, but I have wondered whether there might be a real difference between being truthful and being complete.

The Bible is full of instances in which people are deceptive but not untruthful; they just didn't give all the facts all the time. The Scripture doesn't give us a judgement on the right or wrong of it either.

The prime example I can think of is the whole story of Jonathan and David. Was Jonathan wrong to not tell his father, the king, where David was and to aid in David's escape. Wasn't Jonathan being deceptive at best. In fact, he lied to his father. Yet he was loyal to David, his covenant partner.

Jonathan and David deceived the servant boy who was retrieving the arrows.

Was David wrong in deceiving the king with his flight? You might say he was protecting his own life, but is that really a good reason to deceive? Maybe. On the other hand, David struggled with his deception and refused to strike the king when his mighty men urged him to do so.

David's lack of deception led to the slaughter of priests when he sought food. He even ate the bread reserved for the priests.

Hasn't Jehovah himself sent deceiving spirits?

Not wishing to get into a situational ethics encounter, but couldn't there be times when giving ALL the information to anyone who asks would violate agreements and covenants. Maybe in those situations a better response would be "I can't say any more." There are probably times (more often than we want to acknowledge) when we should say, "I don't want to know any more. I would only lead to my sinfulness."

And aren't our IMB personnel being deceptive in 10/40 issues?

I would say that in the situations of financial and policy matters in our churches and institutions, DECEPTION AND WITHHOLDING OF INFORMATION (except where it relates to field personnel security) IS WRONG!!! I see no GOOD reason to withhold or hide these issues.

Derek said...

A few thoughts on generations…

Each and every generation has blind spots.

Para-church ministries have been a blessing to many. Many were led to the Lord or developed spiritual disciplines with their help. These organizations major on the Bible and their missions (lessons learned: we get truth from the Bible (not our denominational headquarters and the mission is the most important thing). Very good! In order to minister to the greatest number, these organizations ignore those things that distinguish denominations: church government, baptism, etc. (lesson learned: these things are absolutely unimportant, not worth mentioning.) An unintended consequence that is not good.

We live in a culture in rebellion against God, His Word, and His ways. To those in the predominate culture, anyone with standards looks mean (of course, legalists are mean). So a young Christian, living in this world, learns that, though he has standards, he has to communicate them in the just the right way. After all, he is the member of a minority group. You can’t come on too strong or they won’t listen to you. He has standards, he wants to stand for the standards – but he can’t come over like a Mack truck.

In contrast, someone who grew up in the time when you went to school and the teacher had Bible reading and prayer, and then you went to Boy Scouts and your Scoutmaster talked about the importance of being in church, and then you went to church – and everyone in the community was saying the same things. In one lifetime, the culture has shifted so far, that he is grieved over it – and angry over the loss. And when you hear him at the pastor’s conference, that anger comes across. Younger guys, without his memories, hear only the anger and wonder what’s wrong with him.

Some of the changes we see are the result of growing up in a home with divorced parents. Some practically reared themselves. They are a more independent. Sometimes, because they didn’t have a father in the home they learned to respect, they are too independent.

Some of this goes back to the doctrine of depravity. The newly powerful, like the newly rich, can get drunk with it. Most of the conservatives I know did not fight to replace a liberal old boy network with a conservative old boy network.

We do need to remember, also, that the liberal drift we faced was real. Those who fought to save our denomination from the liberal drift had to fight really hard. Many paid high prices. And these Canaanites were not dislodged easily. If it wasn’t for them being willing to fight the bloody battles, we could be calling Jesus “Sophia” (as an alternate name) and debating the ordination of homosexuals – not discussing Landmarkism or Calvinism. These debates, in a way, are a good sign.

Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

We stand on the side of honesty, openness and transparency.

irrevrend fox said...


sorry for the delay, I know you've been waiting for me to weigh in. Sorry.

I think that is EXACTLY right.

You're welcome.

Bryan Riley said...

Paul "Dad" Burleson, that is just the thought I have had many times and is one of the reasons why I keep asking questions in my posts (and probably one of the reasons no one seems to be able to respond to them). And, as an added tip, at no charge, God reminded me today that we have to remember that all posters are people, souls, hearts, and minds, at the other end of a computer. Although we often cannot see a face, and, in some cases, people even don't reveal who they are, they are still people who need a relationship with Christ or a more mature relationship with Him. May God's grace shine upon us as we represent Him.

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, sorry, i think i just posted on baptism here... is there any way you can move it??

foxofbama said...

Derek, I think need to read Carl Kell's book Exiled when he talks about the Liberal Drift.
And again to all of you as I am recommending to my friends on the Progressive mainstream New Testament side of the Aisle, the one not so culturally infested, so captive to the last 150 years of Southern American history; James Ault in the last segments of his celebrated Spirit and Flesh, has great new insight for me at least into what makes fundamentalism work; at same tweaking some of the biases little more sophisticated to its left.
A case in point is a post at www.ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=7622
Will be a richer exploration for you if you context the episode between Robert Parham of the CBF associated BCE and his defense against fundamentalist bloggers; you will understand it all better if you read Ault first, especially his last section.
And check my new blog. Great light there, getting brighter all the time.

TruthOfActs said...


A lot of good statements have been made on this subject, but overall I believe these three beliefs are false. For them to be true, the younger generation would have to change their beliefs when they became the older generation.

That just doesn’t happen. If fact, the older a person becomes, the more they become set in their ways.

What we see in the SBC leadership today, is what they were when they were young men.

It’s good that young people today have learned from others mistakes, but they didn’t learn it because they were young. There are many old people today that knew there were mistakes many years ago.

Rex Ray

sexy said...