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

Irenic Conservatives Had Better Wake Up and Let Their Voices Be Heard

Last night I spoke to Dwight McKissic.

He gave me permission to tell you about it. I will not give you all the details of the conversation, but I feel you need to know the reason for the call.

Dwight had requested I give him a call because he was troubled -- deeply troubled. When I reached him in his office I found his tone soft and his spirit heavy. Dwight's wife was with him. He put me on the speaker phone so she could hear the conversation. They felt I might know what they were going through.

Dwight was ready to quit.

This pastor of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Texas Convention no longer felt welcome in the Southern Baptist Convention.

He had just sat through his first trustee meeting at SWBTS where white papers were distributed that in effect defined who was welcome at Southwestern in terms of a private prayer language.

Dwight McKissic, a conservative Southern Baptist pastor, a leader in the African American Christian community, a man who believes the Bible from cover to cover and affirms the BFM 2000 found out that he was not welcome at SWBTS.

The narrowing of the definition of what it means to be a Southern Baptist continues to occur.

Bear in mind that what happened at SWBTS yesterday is not a Southern Baptist Convention action. It is an institutional action.

Bear in mind as well that when the press releases are issued today regarding the action taken at the SWBTS trustee meeting there will be people who say, "Southern Baptist institutions can do as their trustees please."

That's true, but as I discovered when I opposed doctrinal policies and guidelines at the IMB that I felt went beyond the convention doctrinal statement (the 2000 BFM) --- not to mention the Bible --- I was told, "But the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has already passed a similar policy!"

It's as if the narrowing occurs slowly, one agency at a time, until people say, "It can't be wrong because everybody's doing it."

As I've said on many occasions I do not have a private prayer language, but I sure don't mind having in SBC leadership or on the mission field those Southern Baptists who do --- particularly since the Bible says we are not to forbid it (I Cor. 14:39).

I would consider myself an irenic conservative.

I don't mind people in leadership in any of our agencies who have a continualist view of the gifts. I would oppose the forced resignation, termination or attrition through non-promotion of those who have a private prayer language. I oppose restricting the service of God-called Southern Baptists simply because they have a gift of the Spirit that I don't possess.

Most of all, I oppose the demand that everyone conform to a particular doctrinal interpretation that goes beyond the BFM 2000. Once we start down this slippery slope of doctrinal conformity it will not stop until everyone who happens to disagree with those in control are ultimately excluded.

Fellow peace-loving, conservative Southern Baptists who believe the Bible and who can work with other conservatives who also believe the Bible but interpet some passages differently, had better wake up.

We are dying as a convention.

It is not a sudden death. It is slow and tortuous. We keep defining who is and who is not a 'true' Southern Baptist, and we continue to exclude conservative evangelical Southern Baptists who believe the Bible completely, but don't see eye to eye on different interpretations of the sacred text.

We are on the verge of collapsing from within. If we don't stop this narrowing of the parameters of cooperation and fellowship we will end up a small sect within fundamentalist Christianity. I am beginning to believe that some would not mind if that occurred.

Not for a minute do I believe this is the desire of the majority of Southern Baptists, but it's now time for voices that have been silent to be heard.

There are some of us in trustee positions who are now saying, "Enough is enough! We must allow for differences, we must appreciate one another's uniqueness, and we must not divide in fellowship and cooperation over doctrines that are not essential to the faith."

However, those of us who are trying to stop the doctrinal narrowing within our convention are now being called the problem.

Dwight McKissic was told by some yesterday that he was the problem.

He has been asked by a few SWBTS trustees to resign "for the sake of unity."

Dwight loves the SBC. He is not a trouble maker. He is shocked at the strong reaction (what he would call 'overreaction') of those who have risen to speak against him, or those like him.

Now it's time for Dwight to hear from those support him.

Dwight. Don't resign.

You can't.

Southern Baptists need you.

The kingdom of Christ needs you.

We appreciate your gracious spirit. We affirm your love for the Word of God. We join you in your desire to reach your community, yes the world, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We admire your strong stand for truth.

Dwight McKissic, don't step down.

You are not the problem. You are not the cause of division.

You are part of the solution for healing in the SBC.

Perhaps you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this.


Make no mistake. The people who are seeking to exclude people like Dwight are the ones DEMANDING that everyone interprets the Bible the way they do. Irenic conservatives are at peace with their conservative brothers in Christ who disagree.

We must work hard to remain a convention where all evangelical conservative Baptists who believe the Bible are welcome to participate and cooperate in every aspect of convention ministry.

We are losing future leaders by the hundreds in the SBC because of our demand for doctrinal conformity on third tier doctrines. There is time for healing to occur, but we must act quickly. Will you be a part of the healing process?

Why don't you take a moment and write a note, or leave a comment to let Dwight, his wife, his family, and his church know that there are thousands of Southern Baptists who are glad to call them friends and fellow Southern Baptists.

You may reach him at . . .

Rev. Dwight McKissic
Cornerstone Baptist Church
5415 Matlock Road
Arlington, TX 76018

Phone: 817-468-0083
Fax: 817-468-0309
Email: cbc1983@airmail.net

Or you may leave a comment here. Dwight doesn't have a blog, but his daughter will copy the comments for him to read.

Dr. McKissic's passionate and articulate response to the narrowing of the doctrinal parameters of cooperation at SWBTS and other agencies is here.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

85 comments:

Dave said...

"Dwight McKissic was told by some yesterday that he was the problem.

He has been asked by a few SWBTS trustees to resign "'for the sake of unity.'"

This sounds so familiar... and familiar to all of us in ministry. Wade, thank you for posting this. We will be praying for Dwight.

Also, thank you for once again expressing our dire need and dire condition as Southern Baptists. I am right there with you!

David Cowan - lowercasechurch.com

Alyce Lee said...

Dwight McKissic is not the problem. He said some time ago he had thought about leaving and taking his church out of the SBC. Why would that be? Politics? Powers that will not receivr his non-cessationist viewpoint?
Now its out in the open. Everyone knows it and it appears Dr. McKissic has a backbone of steel too and not only speaks what God gives him but refuses to stop.
I belive SBC life as we know it is at a crossroads. It cannot survive like this any longer

No more top-down management, controling everything. No more selfish agandas. call in the auditors and watch the finances in a real way, lets require the agencies to be accountable.
I believe God is actually tearing all this down. But, is he tearing it down to rebuild? Or just tearing it down?
This entity called the SBC needs to repent. Repent of being proud and arrogant Thinking we have the whole truth and others only have a smaller portion of it. Repent of thinking that we are more spiritual that other parts of the body, Repent of taking scripture out of context and using it to slay our brothers and sisters.
God is looking for people of heart.
I'm concerned we're showing him religios fundamentalist, evangelical, I know better than you because I only read KJV.
Come Lord Jesus and deliver us.
Tear down everything and burn everything that is ungodly and raising itself against the kingdom and let us join you in building the kingdom with you. Give us agape for one another that we can really think more highly of others more than ourselves, for in these things we bring glory and honor to you, Father God.

I pray for Dwight McKissic, his family, I pray for Wade Burleson and his family, I pray for Ben Cole and his family, I pray for David Rogers. Father, in the difficult times I ask that you give them vision, covering and boldness to finish and complete the calling you have for them.
I pray that the power of the Holy Spirit will be on them and inside them working with them in their journeys, directing them clearly.
I pray that you send them helpers. Men who are willing to serve and help them. I pray that the convenant that grows with and around all these men will be of you and will not be broken.
Father, I petition you in great confidence, because I petition you in the mighty and lovely name of Jesus your son and Amen.

to-obey-is-better said...

Wow.

I read on Ben Cole's site the statement that Pagie Patterson gave to the SWBTS trustees.

?????????

Please Dr. McKissic. Don't leave!
You are standing in the gap for those of us who can't say much right now because of our situation. (Work in a Security 3 region)

We're so sorry that you have to go through this, but God knew this was going to happen. He has prepared you for this time.
We are praying for you as you seek His will in the matter.

Blessings,
J

Strider said...

Thanks for posting this Wade.
Hey Dwight! Hang in there friend. I am not as concerned about the tougues issue as the way it is fought. Cessationist believe the truth but deny the power thereof. We can not allow them to dictate who is in and who is out. I was baptised a Southern Baptist when I was 12, I was discipled by SB's, I went to a SB university, and I went to the SB school you are a trustee for. I pastored an SB church for four years and have been with the IMB now for 11 years. They (whoever 'they' are) do not tell you what SB's are, I am telling you. We love the Word and we love what it says and we love obeying it. Push against the darkness hard Dwight. Gloom and doom and depression is a lie from the evil one. Read Revelation again- we win. You and me TOGETHER in Christ we win.

Bob said...

Bro. Dwight, I love you as my brother in Christ. Don't quit! Don't give up! I was with you at the SWBTS chapel meeting, and you said nothing wrong. I still can't believe they yanked you off the website. Let us pray for unity in our diversity...and we are diverse because God created us that way. Let us also pray for peace in the convention and SBC institutions. Keep preaching the gospel, my friend!

TruthOfActs said...

“Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears or tomorrow, the Tiber will run red with your blood!’
“The British are coming! The British are coming!
These cries of alarm are no more disturbing than the slow cancer of “doctrinal conformity” with the slogan, “We’ll stand if we have to stand alone!”

The big trouble is more and more standing are told to sit.

Please Lord; unite our hearts to lift up Jesus.
This prayer should resound.
“Fire unsigned missionaries!” makes Jesus cry,
Betrayed soldiers down.

“It’s only politics…not my concern.”
This fable has been around.
Awake, dear brother or you’ll become
Another soldier down.

Dwight McKissic is doomed to be another soldier down. For ever sore toe that Dilday stepped on, McKissic has stepped on ten, and look what the trustees of SWBTS did to Dilday.

In 1998, when Tom Eliff passed the presidency of the SBC to Page Patterson, he said, “All parasites and barnacles had been removed” which prompted this letter to be printed in the Baptist Standard.

A 68-year old ‘barnacle’
I have been a Southern Baptist for 60 of my 68 years. I have been a Sunbeam, G.A., Acteen, and Baptist Woman and have given to and promoted the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and state missions offerings since I was 6. My dad and brother have been faithful pastors and SBC officers. I have taught S.S. classes for more than 40 years and believe the Bible from cover to cover. I’ve taken food to the grieving, worked in vacation Bible school, the nursery, the kitchen and camps, for starters.
In short I’m the kind of member Brother Tom Elliff would love to have in his church. How dare he call me and my kind a “growth” on the bottom of the “Ship of Zion” to be gotten rid of. May he fall overboard.
Joan Pennington Tallowood Church, Houston

The narrowing of what it means to be Southern Baptist started a long time ago.
Wade and McKissic, welcome to the ‘awaken.’
Rex Ray

Mac McFatter said...

I would second Rex Ray's comments. I am one of the barnacles that has clung on because of CP missions. At times it has been difficult to remain a supporter of the SBCP. I would quote General Schwartzkoph in his book, "It Doesn't Take a Hero". He was advised when he was thinking of getting out of the Army because of inept corrupt leadership, If people like you quit, THEY WIN. I wish we had military leadership of his caliber now! Hang in there and see how God uses you.

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

this is an outrage. Plain and simple. We need to strengthen the discriminating authority of the bf&m2000.

if we can demand that our seminaries and agencies not tolerate anything less then the bf&m then we ought to also instruct them to not discriminate beyond it.

Please let Rev. Dwight know that he has been prayed for and will continue to be prayed for by me, my "pentacostal" elder (shhh...don't tell anybody that I have a tongue talker on staff) and our church. Southside is a blended church that sticks with the bf&m2000...which means our arms are wide open to folks who pray in tongues...and we even have one or two cessationist running around here...all together...all worshiping Christ...all serving in harmony. I made our church aware of this when it happened and I will let our leadership know tonight during staff meeting...please let Rev. McKissic know that we will pray for him tonight.

martyduren said...

Stand strong, Dwight. Even if they all ask you to step down, it doesn't mean it's from God.

Stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rev. McKissic:

God anticipated this, as He stuck a verse in the Bible about it:

John 16:1-2: "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. (NIV)

Hang in there. You're not the reason for the controversy. The controversy ... and the problems it reveals ... is the reason you're there.

LivingDust said...

Brother McKissic - it appears that at some Baptists seminaries they spell the word "unity" as follows:

C-O-N-F-O-R-M-I-T-Y

I really dislike the misuse of words, don't you?

I'll pray for you and those who are maligning you.

Ellis said...

Dwight:

You are a man of courage. My heart is heavy for you and with you. I will not ask you to stay in the SBC, as much as she needs you. I will ask you to follow the heart of Jesus. Do what Jesus would have you do, and take courage. Do not be afraid. The Lord is with you. He is on your side. The Word of God is on your side.

Remember the words of Jim Elliot: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

blessings!

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, Thank you for this post...... Pastor McKissic, I will pray for you during this time of persecution. Dont be troubled , dont be heavy at heart. Maybe, just maybe this is your call from GOD to come out of Babylon and the system that is starting to permeate the SBC. Look at the Joshua Convergence, telling us to worship the SBC heroes of the past and give them gratitude. I say, let us worship God and trust only in Him ,not a man made institution that is full of pride.....Trust GOD and be thankfull for this time of persecution.

Timothy Cowin said...

Dwight,

If your not welcome, then I am not welcome. You are not alone!

This entire issue at SWBTS coupled with last years IMB issue, are examples of a growing willingness of some in the SBC to keep fighting anybody that does not conform to their defintion of what a SB is. This attitude and ongoing infighting is, IMHO, one of the reasons some young pastors and young church plants are basically in name SBC, but in practice non-cooperating in SBC life either in giving or in participation.

This needs to stop. We must address the warring spirit among us. Somehow we need to affirm the BFM as the ONLY guide for cooperation in SBC life or each little entitiy in SBC life will be left to do whats right in their own eyes. Why even have the BFM? I see a growing opinion by some that it is never acceptable to fall beneath its teachings, but it is perfectly acceptable for some to think that they speak for all SB in going beyond its affirmations.

Prayerfully
Timothy Cowin

Kevin Bussey said...

Rev. Dwight McKissic,

I want to encourage you during this tough time in your life. I have been praying for you. I hope you remain a trustee of SWBTS. We need men like you. Know that I am behind you.


Wade,

I am an optimist by nature, but this last year really makes me wonder where I fit in the SBC. I was always taught that we are the "BODY OF CHRIST." What healthy body cuts off one of it's members? I'm sick.

craig from Georgia said...

"As I've said on many occasions I do not have a private prayer language, but I sure don't mind having in SBC leadership or on the mission field those Southern Baptists who do --- particularly since the Bible says we are not to forbid it (I Cor. 14:39)."

...

“Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” (1 Corinthians 14:39)

In the context of this chapter and compared with Acts 2 Paul is teaching that prophesying is more profitable, but don’t forbid the speaking of foreign languages. There is no application here to a private prayer language, which doesn’t exist, at least not in the Bible.

Roger Simpson said...

I am just a "guy in the pews" so I don't know anything about the "machinery" of the SBC. I can't really grasp why some are incrementally chipping away at boundaries of what encompasses the SBC.

I'd be interested to hear those who are trying to exlude pastors such as Dwight McKissic from positions of leadership in SBC agencies lay out their case. It would really help me to understand the issues by hearing a cogent argument that articulates the position that those who hold to a "continualist" position have no place in SBC life.

As I said, I am just a laymen and I don't have any institutional "connections". However, I have paid pretty close attention to this debate for the last year or so. My head may be in the sand on this but I still have never heard a clear statement as to why "continualists" like Dr. McKissic are not welcome in the SBC.

What is even more confusing to me is why people who are "cessationalists" but who tolerate "continualism" are also considered "suspect".

Kevin Holmes (and still baptist by conviction) said...

Dwight McKissic is not the problem. We are the problem. We have been uninterested and uninvolved, allowing those with such desires to "take care of that stuff." In so doing we have virtually granted carte blanche control to a few power brokers.

Brother McKissic, please don't give up or give in. You have my apology for my contribution of passivity which allowed such a situation as this to develop in the SBC. You have my prayers. You have my support.

John Fariss said...

Many years ago, I heard someone ask my old Great-Aunt Kate how she was doing. Her reply was, "Well, I've got one foot in the grave and the other on a bananna peel."

The Southern Baptist Convention is just like my great aunt. In fact, that is why I have one foot still in the SBC, but the other in the CBF: not because I am a raving liberal, or even particularly moderate, but because for years now, the SBC has been narrowing these parameters. And if SBC institutions continue to do this narrowing, there will be more and more who leave, whether to unite with the CBF, some other group, or just to become independent Baptists: not because the theological grass is greener elsewhere, but because we feel useless, disenfranchised, even kicked out of the SBC!

If this continues, the SBC will become a single-party entity; everyone remaining in it will agree and walk in lock-step, have great internal fellowship, even gain some converts. And whether it is a church, a political party, or a government, that is never healthy. And despite the great advances that may be claimed once the single party is in effect, they will actually be less than the percentage population growth. The SBC will be on a road to greater and greater irrelevance, until one day, they look around, and realize they are in the same position that today the Primitive Baptists are in. There are still a few of them around, but they are irrelevant to our culture. They established a theological lock-step, and what happened? They lost their edge, the vitality that diversity can bring (even the Old Testament bears examples of God's will being brought about through conflict between parties, both of whom think they are speaking for God). We can look at the Primitive Baptists and say, "It was so predictable!" but it wasn't in the early to mid-19th Century, when they split from us. Even up until the close of that century, the numbers were about even between the Primitive Baptists and the SBC. And if the SBC continues down the road it is now on, in a hundred years, it too will be a footnote in history, while God's work goes on elsewhere.

You (Wade), Dr. McKissic, and others like you have my support and prayers. And I won't abandon ship; but the ship may well abandon me. At least that's how I feel this morning.

Chuck Bryce said...

Dwight,
My Brother in our Lord and King Jesus. I pray that His Holy Spirit will fill you to overflowing, that you may strengthened for the task at hand. I pray that our Mighty God will carry you through this time. I believe that He in His Sovereignty has placed you in this position "for such a time as this". Please seek the Father's guidance but my prayer is that His will for you will be to continue to stand in the gap.

Yours in Christ,
Chuck Bryce

Chuck Bryce said...

Kevin, don't be discouraged! If you even think avbout leaving may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits daily!

Roger Simpson said...

At the time of my previous comment I was not aware of the letter by Dr. McKissic and the statement by Dr. Patterson. I found both of them on Ben Cole's BLOG -- or by following links from Ben Cole's BLOG.

I retract my question about laying out the "cessationist" position. Whether you agree with his statement or not, Dr. Patterson does state the case for his position.

For me the question remains, "Does the recent activity regarding PPL stray sufficiently from 'traditional Baptist practice' that it is tantamount to annexing 'contempary charismatic practices' -- of a Vinyard / Pentecostal strain -- into SBC life?"

I don't see any evidence that "continualist" (i.e. PPL) practices that may be going on in the SBC are moving us to the threshold of becoming the same as Pentecostal or Vinyard groups.

Kevin Holmes (and still baptist by conviction) said...

I've now read Dr. Patterson's address to the BoT. I have also read Dr. McKissic's letter in response.

Oh that we would all be as gracious in our disent as Dr. McKissic.

OCHands said...

My wife and I have been privileged to study at SWBTS and at NOBTS. It grieves us to see the school which we have loved and appreciated so much become involved in excluding fellow Baptists from participating in its operations. And to think that part of the controversy involves the gifts of the Spirit. I do not believe that God gave these gifts to create divisions within the body, but on the contrary, to help build up the body. Rev. McKissic's open confession of his spiritual gifts and their importance to him, and to his church (and others like them)was sincere and should have been received with rejoicing, rather than rejection.
Here we would like to express our support for him and for those who hold to similar convictions regarding the gifts of the Spirit.
May God openly and dramatically reveal his support for His servant Dwight McKissic.
Milton

Africa M said...

I almost did not make it here. Almost, but the voice of God was clear and the politics had to take a back seat even though I knew that at some point it might come back to me. Well now it is time for those who are in my position to stand for what is right. It is difficult being in security 3 place to find a way, but there are many here who support in every way possible people like Dr. McKissic and Wade.

We need more men that will stand in the gap for us. Our prayers will continually lift you up.

Maybe one day we will see the unity of the body that was so dear to the heart of Jesus. All of this has drawn me closer to those of His body who serve alongside me in lifting up Jesus in that foreign land of America.

Thanks for being faithful in all you do.

Africa M

fargogeorge said...

Wade:

Reading this post reminded me of a conversation I had with Bill Leonard in the early 90s, when I was a student at Southern Seminary. At the time, Leonard was a Southern faculty member and a leading voice among SBC moderates.

In this conversation, Leonard observed that the conservative resurgence included both evangelical (e.g. David Dockery) and fundamentalist elements. He said: "Our [the moderates'] conflict is not with the evangelicals but with the fundamentalists." He added: "I believe that when it comes to power and influence, it will be the fundamentalists, not the evangelicals, who control things in the SBC."

Looking to the future, he predicted that if the moderates were out of the picture, the conflict would continue between the evangelicals and fundamentalists within the conservative resurgence.

Interesting....

1RevsView said...

The character and professional massacare of Sothern Baptist servants began over two decades ago. Many God called and dedicated SBC leaders had their theology, character, and integrity questioned by this same crowd of self-proclaimed "inerrantist" doctrinal police. Their strategy was to discredit and destroy credibility.

Truthofacts is right on target! Dwight, and I would add you Wade, are both doomed to be named among the long list of faithful SBC Soldiers (Lolley, Honeycutt, Dilday, Ferguson, Elder, Cothen, Parks, Tanner, Jackson and many others) who were maliciously attacked and bereated into submission and resignation for being people of truth and integrity.

Wade and Dwight may find strength to fight for a while but like so many stalwarts of SBC denominational life who became the victims of the 1980's P&P (Pressler & Patterson)hit team they'll eventually get to you or just ignore you.

Where are the people who initiated these ungodly and not to mention unchristian character assinations
today? They are SBC leaders in all our institutions and agencies.

They have won! They will not relent until the 2000 BFM CREED (yes, I know it's only a confessional document not binding on any congregation) is not only used for doctrinal conformity they will also eventually amend it to cover all their desires for uniformity.

A portion of the preamble reads... Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Yeah, and I'm the Tooth Fairy and no one has had to sign on the dotted line!!!!!

Wade and Dwight, God bless your faithfulness, diligence, and love for the SBC. I just happen to believe the SBC you want to rescue disappeared years ago. The so called "Conservative Resurgency" leaders will never loosen the reigns of leadership for the likes of folks who advocate more than one viewpoint, open discussion, dissension, and differing interpretations of scripture.

Wade, do you honestly believe that you, Dwight and others with your kind of servant heart and inclusive spirit have a leadership future or "spiritual home" in this denominational enviornment?

Tim Cook said...

Those of you who have seen my blog (though it has been woefully lacking in posts lately) know that I already have a spiritual identity crisis of sorts regarding denominations...this, quite frankly, doesn't help. If everyone continues to narrow, then what do those of us who fall between the cracks do? start yet another denomination? There are many denominations where I might be accepted, but many of those are moving to the opposite extreme, being TOO accepting, too compromising. Even the ABC, USA, where I first heard the gospel, is drifting into compromise in some areas. Where can I cooperate? Where will I belong in God's family? Bro. McKissic, I pray you stick around. If you do, so will I. Let's make the SBC one of the last safe places for unity WITHOUT compromising the essentials of the faith. If we don't, brother, I don't know where else to go.

In Christ,
Tim Cook

othoniel a valdes sr said...

is the prayer language is private why do you feel a need to promote it

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

Wade and Dwight,

You are both being prayed for here on a dead end, side street at the far end of the information super-highway.

It is issues such as this that make me schizophrenic. Part of me (the majority) says "Hang in there!" While a smaller part tells me, "It is time to bail out." I am a Southern Baptist by choice and an IMB missionary by calling of God, and am thoroughly sick of the "iron grip" on our beloved convention. Will it ever end?

If someone thought that all the blogging back in December, '05 and January, '06 caused a lowering of morale among those who God called to share the Good News around the world, they should survey us now. The only thing that keeps me going is that God called me and has yet to release me. But at the rate that our convention is going, which will come first, my retirement or the implosion of the SBC?

Wade Burleson said...

Othoniel,

Allow me to answer your question.

Nobody is promoting a private prayer language.

You just have a man who is opposed to people asking "Do you have a private prayer language?" and if the anwswer is 'yes,' then the respondent is disqualified from service.

Nobody is promoting it.

People are protecting those who are being excluded because of it.

In His Grace,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

1revsview said,

Wade, do you honestly believe that you, Dwight and others with your kind of servant heart and inclusive spirit have a leadership future or "spiritual home" in this denominational enviornment?

Answer: I do.

I also think an awakening is coming to the SBC.

I am committed to maintain a positive spirit, a generous heart, and an iron will in the midst of it all.

Blessings,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

To all:

I humbly apologize. I had been told by a friend that Dwight had been President of the SBCT. He and his church are members of the SBCT, but he has never been its President. I have corrected the error.

He should be :)

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Let me say that while I do not agree with you or Brother Mckissic on these issues, neither do I desire to see you leave. I say it is great that we are discussing and debating these issues instead of whether we believe the Bible or not.

Having said that, let me also say that as SB we serve together in a denomination that is directed by the local churches. Our Institutions are related to the local church through the Trustee System. If the Trustees make a decision that is against what most Baptist feel is correct, the place to deal with it is at the convention.

I will stay in the convention and serve here as long as I believe they convention is honoring God and His Word. When the day comes that I do not believe the SBC is doing that I will saturate her with my absence. All of the begging and letter writing campaigns in the world will do no good if I believe the SBC is not honoring God and His Word. If I use the threat to leave because I am not getting my way on an issue them you may be able to reel me back in by sending letters and begging me to stay.

Dr. McKissic, I do not desire to see you leave. It is not what I believe anyone wants. If God called you to be part of the SBC then you need to stay. However, If you feel the SBC is not honoring God or His Word, then my Brother, my prayers are with you as you seek to serve our Lord.

Blessings,
Tim

Bryan Riley said...

I had to look up "irenic" and am glad I did. Great word. Thank you for the education this morning. Here is what I found at the M-W Online:

Etymology: Greek eirEnikos, from eirEnE peace
: favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation

Christ called us to a Ministry of Reconciliation. There is nothing Conciliatory about the actions you and others have highlighted. May we continue to pray for repentance and revival for the Christians in this country (and the world).

Leaving the SBC should not be a burden that you or Dwight or I or others bear. If God has called you to serve in the SBC, continue to do so until those who oppose you bear the burden of going against God's call on your life.

drglenn said...

What church history evidence is there for a private prayer language or speaking in tongues?

Is there any evidence in Baptist history?

Does anyone have any insights?

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Glenn,

Forgive the long post, but I would propose to you that 'a private prayer language' is simply speaking in tongues privately.

“My hunch would be that “private prayer language” is a recent innovation designed to get around Baptist tendencies to be suspect of charismatic utterances. It falls under the “what you do at home is your own business” idea and served as an easy way to give people who have experienced ecstatic utterances, or prayed in the spirit, or whatever other term you wish to apply an out and assure mission boards and churches that they weren’t going to lead a charismatic service with everyone “speaking in tongues” or turn a mission church into a Benny Hinn type crusade."

For more background material on tongues I would read Baptist theologian Sam Storms

Wade Burleson said...

The quote in italics in my above comment is from David Eaton on Marty Duren's blog. I think he has some good insight.

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,

I hate running two different comment streams, but this is your blog. You and I have been discussing this issue over at Brother Marty's blog.

Your interpretation of PPL as being the gift of tongues being spoken in private does not have a Scriptural basis. The only Scripture that I can see to support it is 1 Corinthians 14:2. If this is the basis the doctrine is removed from the context of Scripture. In the context of Scripture Paul is referencing the public use of this gift. To build a doctrine on this Scripture reveals a misuse of Scripture and will lead to an abuse of the gift. While you are free to observe the truth of that statement, and even promote the truth of that statement you are limited by Scripture to promote it in the context of the Scriptural setting and that being its use in public Worship.

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I would encourage you to study the writings of Baptist theologian Sam Storms enttiled Speaking in Tongues and the Southern Baptist Convention Part 1, and Speaking in Tongues and the Southern Baptist Convention Part II.

I think Sam does a good job answering your question from a Biblical perspective.

Lee said...

Dr. McKissic,
It looks like I will just be echoing what everyone else seems to be saying. Don't resign. Stay the course.

You have provided sound, scriptural support for your view. Of course, there are those who disagree, but the SBC has never been about doctrinal conformity. It is about brothers and sisters in Christ cooperating to do missions. How in the world can 40,000+ autonomous, independent churches agree on every single interpretation of scripture? The essence of being Southern Baptist is in your willingness to come together and support the Cooperative Program and its missions ministry with the common purpose of advancing the Kingdom. You and your congregation are as much a part of the mainstream of that as any other church in that group and there are plenty of other Southern Baptists who agree with you.

Hang in there.

SWBTS M.A.R.E. 1989

Debbie said...

I would sincerely ask you not to leave Dr. McKissic, it would not be for the sake of unity as I see the Bible teaching the use of the word unity. I am sincerely praying for you and echo Alycees prayer. My husband and I do not agree with what has happened to you.

Marty Duren has said: "Stand strong, Dwight. Even if they all ask you to step down, it doesn't mean it's from God." and I agree.

Tim Sweatman said...

Dwight,

Thank you for taking a principled, albeit lonely, stand against the continued narrowing of what beliefs are acceptable within the SBC. If this trend toward requiring conformity to one specific interpretation on every doctrine is not stopped, the SBC will collapse. I believe God has raised up people like you and Wade to shine a light on what is really happening behind the scenes in the SBC. I pray that God will sustain and strengthen you, your church, and your family in the coming months as you will undoubtedly be the subject of much criticism and even attacks. Just remember that there are many of us praying for you and encouraging you.

jasonk said...

Wade, truer words were never spoken. Potential leaders ARE leaving the SBC by the hundreds, and it will continue to get worse unless men such as yourself and Dr. McKissic continue to stand firm against the political machine that has become the SBC.

Yesterday I heard George Will speak. He said, "its good to be a pessimist. You're right most of the time, and when you're wrong, you can be happy." I don't know if he borrowed that from someone else or not, but until you came along, I had no optimism about the future of the SBC. Even though I have already left, I now have some hope, because of you and people such as yourself. Thank you.

SBC Layman said...

Wade and Dwight,

I am reminded of story of Esther and specifically this passage from Mordecai in Esther 4:14

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews (the body of Christ) will arise from another place, but you and your father's family (your church) will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position (this place of leadership) for such a time as this?"

May our response be like Esther "And if I perish, I perish"

Come what may, let us all be faithful to the Lord.

Troy

colinm said...

Wade,

thanks for the link. How do you figure Storms is Baptist?

irreverend fox said...

My final conclusion:

-as long as the IMB refuses to discriminate beyond the scope of the BF&M2000 on doctrinal issues, we'll be sending our Lottie Moon money directly to our missionaries to Laos.

-if our other seminaries take the same route as swbts then we'll just not recommend out refer our students there.

-if the bf&m is ammended to discriminate officially against private prayer languages then we'll pull out all together.

We are not "congregational" and this is how our elders feel. We've prayed and met tonight and this is how we will speak. We're a church plant with a grand total of 150 folks reached in three or so years...we're no mega church...but...we are something and we can not support the IMB until this changes. We support foreign missionaries and will do what we can to send our dollars straight to them.

If this tent gets any smaller we're "bouncing", as these postmoderns like to say.

Gavin Brown said...

On the one hand, the SBC leadership seems threatened by Calvinism (which is historically on the side of Cessationism), and on the other, they want to force the resignation of a brother in Christ who holds a Continuationist postition.

You are correct. This has gotten a bit absurd. I'll be sending Mr. McKissic a word of encouragement.

Rzrbk said...

Wade,
Your warnings for the reasons Irenic Conservative had better wake up are well taken.
It is interesting to think back to the origin of this private prayer language issue. It began at the IMB. Do you think Tom Hatley and other trustees woke up one day and said this is a big problem among our missionaries and we need to develop a policy to correct this? Jerry Rankin and other administrators have said this has not been an issue. I have not seen it even mentioned on the field where I serve. Some have said that the real motivation for this policy was to use it to attack Jerry Rankin. There was no theological or practical reason. It has been suggested that Paige Patterson was one of those encouraging this action by the IMB trustees. If so, this is another indication that the motivation behind much of what happens in SBC life today is not theological but political and is done to attack those you oppose or defend those you venerate (the Joshua Convergence). When you develop policies for the wrong reasons, it has a way of getting out of control and having consequences that you did not anticipate. You reap what you sow seems to be true.
There is nothing new in all of this. It has been the SOP for over 25 years. Brother McKissic made an unbelievable statement in his letter of explanation on his church’s home page. He said, Had I known at the time of my election to the trustee board that such a shift from openness to narrowness was imminent, I never would have accepted the assignment. Has he not paid any attention to the actions of his friend Paige Patterson or his political organization over the last 27 years? I hope Dwight McKissic doesn’t resign or leave the SBC. I am sorry for the hurt he feels. However, I remember in 2001 the BGCT elected him to their executive board and he used that position to accuse the BGCT of not supporting the truthfulness of the Bible and accused their leaders of racism. He then withdrew his church from the BGCT and placed it in the SBTC and was rewarded by being made a trustee at SWBTS. I wonder if he feels the criticism he has received by the SWBTS BOT is more of less justified than his own attacks on the BGCT. You reap what you sow.
Ron West

SBC IS BAPTIST said...

Wade If this post is to long, tell me and I will remove it. Thanks for sharing this and as always Your Heart

Dr. Dwight McKissic,

This matter is very heavy on my Heart and I don't have this Gift that God gave you, but I know that God does many thing that I don't understand at this time. But I see your Heart and I don't see the Heart of the others mentioned or spoke against you. God did give me the Gift of prophecy which I will explain below. My Prayer will be for you and Yours to be steadfast in the Lord and continue to be led by the Holy Spirit. I would Love to hear you Preach and Worship with You and Your Church. I have a special place in my Heart for the way you Praise and Honor the Lord in Worship Service. To God be the Glory.
I'm younger than you as I'm 71 yrs old and have been a Born Again Christian since 1969. I enclose what some Learned Men wrote about quenching the Spirit and include what my Gift is and have been told for years by Pastors and Fellow Christians. I did not understand until Dr Charles Stanley preached on the Gifts and this defines me.
Characteristics of someone with the gift of prophecy:
· A strong need to express himself verbally.
· A strong ability to discern the character and motives of other people.
· Wholehearted involvement in whatever he is doing.
· Very open to correction.
· Extremely loyal.
· Willingness to suffer for what is right.
· Persuasive in defining truth.
II. Misunderstandings about someone with the gift of prophecy:
· His sense of right and wrong is often judged as intolerant.
· His strong desire to proclaim truth is often interpreted as disinterest in listening to other people.
· Frankness is viewed as harshness or impatience.
· Interest in groups may be misinterpreted as a disinterest in individuals.

.

1Th 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.ESV
THE BELIEVER'S STUDY BIBLE
Editor
W.A. Criswell, Ph.D.
Managing Editor
Paige Patterson, Th.D.
1Th_5:19 The phrase “Do not quench the Spirit” may be rendered “stop quenching the Spirit,” suggesting the cessation of an action which is in progress. This verse addresses the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in one’s private life as well as in the assembly of believers. The present tense of the command exhorts them to stop bringing the working of the Holy Spirit to a halt. It is encouraging to note that God gave them repeated opportunities to be used by His Spirit (see also 1Th_4:8). The metaphor “quench” suggests that the activity of the Spirit conveys a warmth, even a fire within a fellowship. When the Spirit’s fire is not quenched, one will find a Christian, a fellowship, characterized by the positive aspects of 1Th_5:12-26.


1Th 5:19 - Quench not the spirit. By which is meant, not the person of the Spirit, but either the graces of the spirit, which may be compared to light, and fire, and heat, to which the allusion is in the text; such as faith, which is a light in the soul, a seeing of the Son, and an evidence of things not seen; and love, which gives a vehement flame, which many waters cannot quench; and zeal, which is the boiling up of love, the fervency of it; and spiritual knowledge, which is also light, and of an increasing nature, and are all graces of the spirit: and though these cannot be totally extinguished, and utterly put out and lost, yet they may be greatly damped; the light of faith may become dim; and the flame of love be abated, and that wax cold; the heat of zeal may pass into Luke warmness, and an indifference of spirit; and the light of knowledge seem to decline instead of increasing; and all through indulging some sin or sins, by keeping ill company, and by neglecting the ordinances of God, prayer, preaching, and other institutions of the Gospel; wherefore such an exhortation is necessary to quicken saints, and stir them up to the use of those means, whereby those graces are cherished and preserved in their lively exercise; though rather the gifts of the Spirit are intended. The extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, bestowed on the apostles at the day of Pentecost, are represented under the symbol of fire, to which perhaps the apostle may here have respect; and the more ordinary gifts of the Spirit are such as are to be stirred up, as coals of fire are stirred up, in order that they may burn, and shine the brighter, and give both light and heat, 2Ti_1:6 and which may be said to be quenched, when they are neglected, and lie by as useless; when they are wrapped up in a napkin, or hid in the earth; or when men are restrained from the use of them; or when the use of them is not attended to, or is brought into contempt, and the exercise of them rendered useless and unprofitable, as much as in them lies. And even private persons may quench the Spirit of God, his gifts of light and knowledge, when they hold the truth in unrighteousness, imprison it, and conceal it, and do not publicly profess it as they ought.
1Th_5:19
To quench the Spirit means to resist His influence, like trying to smother a fire. One of the fundamental rules of walking with God is that we should not say no to the Spirit of God.

In His Name

Wayne Smith

Snoofy said...

Rev. McKissic.

You are a hero, a soldier of Christ, God's faithful and most precious servant. Don't let the forces of foolishness deter your stand for freedom and righteousness and liberty in Christ. I believe you should be the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention - and I believe you will be. I encourage you to stay the course where you are. Do not resign. That you were asked to shows the Patterson political machine is a very confused. WE are ALL behind you. But if you should ever resign, know that you will always be welcome in the BGCT and never asked to give up your private prayer language.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,

I do not understand in all love and respect how anyone can say that no one is promoting anything. This would not be an issue had it not been promoted. I think people need to take a time out and look at the specifics. It was promoted and it is an agenda or else it would be private just as the title assigned suggests.

Jack Maddox said...

Snoofy

If you really knew Dr. Mckissic you would know very well that he would not be welcomed in the BGCT not would his convictions allow him to be a part of the BGCT.

B.L. said...

first off, i admit my ignorance in fully understanding what all is going on here. i have tried to keep up and clear the blurry areas where i don't quite get it all. but here's my question, in 10 or 20 years, is this issue going to be such a hot seat issue? i can't help but wonder if this is just the "buzz" topic of the here and now? will time expel the weight of the current drama? i am a bit new to the SBC so i don't know fully the history behind these multi-tier issues...

i guess the reason I ask is because it's inevitable that Patterson and those who are against, for example, McKissic and you, Wade, will eventually die (i don't mean that negatively at all, just practically) so once they get on out of here (this world) will those who are more on your side of the debate be able to discuss and act more effectively and openly what it is you feel is so important?

that may not make much sense but maybe there is something in there you could speak to...

William Madden said...

Wade and fellow bloggers,

I find it quite ironic that moderate Baptists were pushed out or marginalized so effectively, (and in fact, many Southern Baptists whose postings I have read on this blog say that they are glad that moderates are gone), while so many seem to be ready to come to the defense of PPL practitioners. That's not to derogate the PPL practitioners. No, not by any means, but just to point out that the moderates were equally worthy of defense.

Inerrancy seems to be the dividing line. Although he supports PPL, etc., Dr. McKissic is at least an inerrantist, as he clearly declared in his response to Dr. Patterson which was posted on his (Dr. McKissic's) website today.

So, it's okay for "irenic" Baptists to support Dr. McKissic as long as he's an inerrantist, but moderates are viewed, by and large, as not being worthy of a similarly principled defense. You are, perhaps, the exception, Wade, since you have stated on this blog that you would consider working with principled fellow Baptists who affirm the authority and sufficiency of scripture without using the term inerrancy. I wonder, would you also defend the rights of such Baptists to fill leadership, seminary, and missionary posts in the SBC as you imagine its future?

I hope the answer would be yes, but I'm not sure about that because of your own stated views on inerrancy, which is to say that you have stated that you consider yourself an inerrantist.

I'd like to argue here that inerrancy should be abandoned as the litmus test for who gets to participate in Southern Baptist life and who doesn't. Recognizing this is important not only for healing the split in the Convention, but also for reaching a lost world.

For progress to made, it needs to be acknowledged that for a Christian to believe that the Bible is authoritative and sufficient for Christian faith and practice while stopping short of using the word inerrancy is just as principled and intellectually valid a belief as holding the view that one should be able to practice a PPL, etc.

Before I proceed, I want to make it clear that by saying the Bible is not inerrant, that I am not anti-Bible. I was saved in a Baptist church at the age of 8, and I have never stopped believing in Jesus or the Bible. I have studied the Bible, both through faith and for faith, and also from a scholarly perspective. Some persons might consider the scholarly perspective inimical to faith, but I do not. I do not believe God intended us to turn off our minds when reading the Bible. I believe one has to read the Bible with one's mind and one's heart at the same time.

What I learned from careful study is that a careful and thorough reading of the Bible will demonstrate beyond doubt that the Bible is not inerrant in all particulars, at least not in an historical or literal sense.

Reading the text of Matthew, Mark, and Luke side-by-side in a book such as Throckmorton's GOSPEL PARALLELS reveals some of the difficulties of calling the Bible inerrant in a literal or historical sense. Reading the gospel accounts side-by-side, one becomes aware that there is a common core of material in each gospel(such as parables, and sayings of Jesus), while also drawing attention to the way that the gospel writers differed on certain details. Most of those details would be considered minor by most historians (and by me, too, for that matter), but the differences are there and are not easily explained away.

So, in a certain sense, the gospels themselves provide a hermeneutic model that mirrors the goals of an irenic church polity. In order to read the gospels together, we have to affirm the essentials at the core, without getting too bent out of shape about the non-essentials.

Wade, as your postings of last week amply demonstrated, God's love for man and his plan for the salvation of humankind are beautifully laid out from the earliest books of the Bible to the last. The "errors" (contradictions, discrepancies--whatever you want to call them)that do exist in Bible do not obscure the message of God's great love and salvation; they are like the fingerprints, dust, or residue of age that burnish, but do not dim the glory of a Renassance masterpiece, such as the Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" or Leonardo's "Last Supper." The flaws are there. But the Truth is not obscured.

I think its important to recognize that not calling the Bible inerrant is an intellectually and spiritually valid position if we want to reach a lost world, too. Because the college-educated unreached folks that I find myself witnessing to these days have read enough of the Bible to know that there are a few contradictions or inconsistencies. If I try to convince them that the Bible is inerrant, the conversation will hav ended before it even started.

If, on the other hand, I acknowledge that the Bible contains some apparent contradictions, but then I add that I still believe in the Living God of the Bible, and that it is possible to have a loving relationship with him, those persons are intrigued and want to know more. Bottom line: I think our message is more appealing when we say that we have a loving Savior to share with others, more so than when we try to say that we have all of the answers.

Jackson Magazine said...

Wade,

As a Christian and Southern Baptist I wish the name calling would stop on both sides of this issue. To be specific to your blog I find it sad you allow name calling and character bombing on former SBC leaders of the conservative resurgence. Of course, you claim innocence by saying you respect these leaders even when you disagree with some of their action. That may be true but you allow character assassination via broad statements made by others on this blog. I wish that would stop.

As to the issue of a private prayer language: do Southern Baptist entities and Southern Baptist messengers at the annual meeting have a right to clearly define doctrinal stances?
I ask you Wade to respond.

In my opinion Southern Baptists do have that right. They may decide to affirm a private prayer language, not take a stance, recognize differing views and allow all or not allow those who adhere to such a view. It is the priority of the entities board of trustees and administration and the messengers of the Convention. It is true that the SBC has housed differing views on this issue throughout its history; however, that doesn’t disallow a change in policy. One may desire traditional practices to continue and has every right as a Southern Baptist to lobby for such a view. The flip side of that is another can argue for a change. No matter the positions both should be done honorably and without the name calling and distain that is being demonstrated on this blog. Can we not honorably disagree?

Wade I would greatly appreciate your response. Thank you

All for Jesus
George Jackson
Rom. 1:16

Stephen Pruett said...

Craig from Georgia, Tim Rogers and Winning Truth,
I Corinthians 4:27 "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God."

What is speaking to yourself and God, if not a private prayer language? Earlier in the passage Paul states that he wants to pray both in the spirit and with understanding. Thus, in the context of the whole passage, we are told that prophesy is a better gift, but it can be personally edifying to speak in tongues privately. You may see it differently, but I have not found anyone who could conclusively and objectively refute this view (some assumptions are always invoked, which may or may not be correct).

As Wade has already pointed out, no one is promoting a private prayer language. We are asking just what you seem to favor-that it remain private and not be a subject of inquiry in the process of approving missionaries or Trustees.

Dr. McKissic, I am praying for you, and I hope you do not leave the SBC. There are many who support you, and if the vast majority of laymen ever wake up, they will demand to know what in the world the leaders of our institutions are doing.

colinm said...

Mr. Madden:

I don't desire to start a debate about inerrancy, but I would like to address some of your points. You say "Bottom line: I think our message is more appealing when we say that we have a loving Savior to share with others, more so than when we try to say that we have all of the answers."

I think you have flipped positions here. An inerrantist says this: it may contain apparent contradictions that are not easily explained, but those instances have not proven the Bible in error, and for these, we claim we don't have all the answers but have possible explanations and ultimately trust that God is sovereign over His Scriptures and we will be given understanding later...

You: The Bible clearly contains errors or contradictions, God wants us to use our minds, and if you are using your mind, you can clearly generate the answer to the inconsistencies: it is an apparent contradiction because it is a contradiction. In other words, in my human mind, I am smart enough to discern where the Bible errs- i.e. I have the answers. You can "explain away" a contradiction just as easily by classifying it as erroneous as you can exploring scenarios that would justify the text, without taking a fideistic position.


Outside of the General Baptists of England just prior to their embracing of universalism, where does your position draw its Baptist heritage?

All this to say that you must recognize that those who hold to inerrancy actually view their message as "more appealing," and more humbling.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Stephen,

If you want it to remain private - why was it brought up in a public manner. This is really the issue that is unbelievable to me. It is a no issue until some made it one. Dr. M should not have preached it in Chapel. Others asking for a statement are actually making it public. I think we can see this clearly or else there is an agenda! It is simple when you put the time line of events and see the issue based on events not preference. I stand were I have stood - an agenda has been promoted and thank God the trustees at SWBTS stood where they should have!!!!!

to-obey-is-better said...

PPL.

This was not an issue until the IMB BoT brought it up last year.
They are the ones that have called attention to it!

Prior to this, if you publicly advocated speaking in tongues or did so in public, you were fired from the IMB. It went from this to...if you are ASKED if you have a PPL, and say yes, then you are excluded from service with the IMB.

Who brought this up? Not Dwight McKissic. The IMB Trustees...they are the reason we're in this debate. They chose to address something that was NOT an issue and make it an issue.

There was NOT a problem on the field with speaking in tongues...no one advocated it for long...if you did...you were gone.

Now? It's all out there.

I, for one, have no desire to ask people what they do or how they pray in private to God.

I disagree with the direction the SBC is heading....


Who else will the SBC dis-fellowship from?

j imb m

Wade Burleson said...

William Madden,

I disagree with your post, but I do agree that offering Christ to a lost world should be our common bond.

George,

Of course messengers have the right to establish doctrinal guidelines. They have. The BFM 2000. Insitutions don't have the right to go beyond it.

Snoofy said...

jack maddox,

I don't see it now, but somewhere above I read that McKissic was the guy who made some condemning speech at the BGCT and then took his church to the SBTC. I didn't know that when I posted. I remember the incident, but I didn't remember the name McKissic.

But hey, I forgive McKissic for that. We are all continually trying to work through our theology. But now I do understand why McKissic is a trustee. To be a trustee you have to prove your allegience to the Conservative Resurrgence and that you can be trusted. By denouncing the BGCT, they thought McKissic had proven he could be trusted. But now that he did not follow the party line on a private prayer language, he must be terminated.

For many years I was used by stronger people to promote their agenda. Only late in life did I learn to recognize such people and walk an independent path. Did you see the Baptist Press article on Frank Page and Morris Chapman visiting the White House.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=24148

It is three weeks before the election, and Baptist Press puts out a thinly veiled endorsement for George Bush and the Republicans (at CP expense). It doesn't matter what you think about George Bush and the Republicans, it is wrong for the SBC to promote a political party (but they do it now at every SBC meeting in June by inviting high profile Republican figures to speak.) Frank Page needs to learn to say "No" to this kind of manipulation. This kind of SBC behavior is another reason why I support the BGCT.

Ricky said...

Dear Pastor McKissic,

I cannot speak to the chapel service in which you preached or the issues facing your trusteeship at SWBTS. I believe that to be an internal matter that needs to be addressed in the confines and by the dictates of the seminary in which you are a trustee. It is my opinion that this conflict should not be displayed to the public until it is resolved within the trustee body of SWBTS.

Although I cannot speak to the issues at SWBTS I can speak to you as a pastor who has been ready to quit the ministry and just give up the fight. I was privileged to pastor a church that primarily consisted of military couples. Every two years the church would go through a turnover because of military transfers. The church would grow from about thirty-five people to close to one hundred and then we would lose near 2/3 of our membership. We were in the midst of our third such turnover when I grew very tired. The constant rebuilding, mentoring, squabbling that inevitably arose because of immaturity in new Christians, and of course the financial worries due to losing so many in such a short amount of time began to take a toil on my spiritual (and physical) life. I did not want to move to another church, denominational position, or even a Para church organization. I just wanted out of the ministry. The more tired I became the more that I confirmed within my heart that it was time to leave God’s calling on my life. My wife hurt because I hurt. She wept when I wept. She prayed with me and for me as I went through this season of my life. My wonderful Pam would ask me “Did God call you into the ministry?” I would reply “Yes.” She would then ask “Did God uncall you from the ministry?” I would have to reply “No.”

Even though I knew that God had not released me from my calling I still wanted to quit. I knew that I would have been in direct disobedience to the Father, but didn’t care. I just wanted out…

Dwight, I write all of this to say that with the power of the Holy Spirit and much prayer (without a private prayer language…lol) I fought through my desires to quit. Perhaps a better way to write that last sentence is…God brought me through my desire to quit. I am glad that He did. We have since moved from that “military” church and now pastor another church and we are in the midst of a wonderful harvest. Our family would have never experienced a great renewal within our lives or a church if I had disobeyed the Father and quit.

Let me ask you question as I close this letter…”Did God call you to ministry and into the leadership position at SWBTS as a trustee?” If you answer no…then leave the ministry and SWBTS. If you answer yes…then let me ask you a second question “Did God uncall you from the ministry and as a trustee?” If that answer is also no…THEN HANG IN THERE. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! If you quit you may never see the harvest of your work.

I am praying for you, your wife, family and church as you go through this trying season.

Ricky Le’Mons
Sr. Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

TruthOfActs said...

Ron West,
You hit the nail on the head when you said McKissic was chosen as a trustee when he led his church to quit the BGCT. The same with Jim Richards being selected as a trustee.
Patterson chose most of the trustees of SWBTS when he was president of the SBC. Then they chose him to be president of SWBTS. He was a personal friend of McKissic in their agreement on inerrancy. Talk about a system of the good old boys…

It seems most of you guys don’t get it. It’s not a question of McKissic quitting. It’s a question of him retiring and accepting what ever carrot they have to offer, or him being fired and showing Patterson for what he is—a hatchet man who is a self-appointed watchdog over doctrine of the SBC.
Rex Ray

William Madden said...

Wade,

So if you say you disagree with my post, what are you saying? That moderate Baptists who affirm the authority and sufficiency of scripture (but stop short of using the term inerrancy) will never have a meaninful seat at the table in the future of the SBC as you imagine it?

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Rex...

The SBC has always had a good-ole-boy system...no matter what side was "in control" It is called "networking"

The SBC is an organization...Talcott Parson (Social Scientist...in the early 50s-60s) once wrote that organizations are man made tools that are created to serve people over a period of time they develop almost become self-sustaining and the people end up serving the organization...

Once the machinery is in place...change is very difficult ...in time it must either be restructured or it will eventually become bloated and die

If not kept in check the orginal purpose and the people who created it are no longer a priority...keeping the machine running is

This was a reality...even before the "conservative resurgence" The players have changed...that is all

Not all who believe the Bible to be innerrant and hold to the BF&M 2000 have been decieved and are self centered ignorant Bible thumpers are who demand or cave in to comformity

Not all who believe the Bible to be authoritative (or infallible,or have a high view of scripture... but not inerrant) and hold to the BF&M 1963(or whatever version) are playing word games while they slip the slippery slope of liberalism...

In most (not all) cases people on both sides have strong convictions they truly believe are given by God and they act out of those convictions...in leadership... on the boards... seminaries... agencies....

But are they really serving God through the SBC...or just the SBC..and thier own survival/sucess

no one can really truly know the motives those in leadership except God...we may get a good idea by inspecting the fruit of action..but even that can be difficult...

So we as average SB sit back, complain, call names, make inunendo... and blog...and actually do very little


The reason things are in the shape they are in in because the average Southern Baptist just does not care (or at least they act that way)

Before 1979...The average SB let a small group of people run things..and there WAS some flirting with Liberalism...change needed to happen...you know that is where you and I will always lovingly disagree...

Now the pendelum has swung too far in the other direction...why? because the average SB..has let a small group of people run things and we are FLIRTING with legalism.

Greensboro showed that the average SB has a voice...and when they speak...they can be heard...do we care enough to speak and act

The question that we must each (no matter what side we are on) must ask is are we serving God or the SBC...for the SBC to stay healthy it must remain a means for the average SB indivdual and church to serve God...not and end to itself...

If we cannot (or will not ) keep the SBC in proper perspective/priority...then it needs to change...or die

Maybe it is changing...maybe not

Time will tell

If it does die God... will raise up something else to take it's place..

We need the Wade Burlesons, Dwight McKissics, Paige Pattersons (Yes...him too) , and even the Rex Rays...to shake things up...

You pastor

RMS

Jackson Magazine said...

Wade,

In your response to me you said, "of course messengers have the right to establish doctrinal guidelines. They have. The BFM 2000. Institutions don't have the right to go beyond it."

Than you believe the institutions that have other governing documents (some older than the BFM) are wrong if those other documents are used as a primary governing rule instead of secondary guidance. I draw this conclusion from your statement. You have said institutions “don’t have the right to go beyond” the BFM. I disagree. Institutions do have the right to go beyond the BFM. At Southern Seminary and I believe the other institution (although I may be wrong) the faculty must teach “in accordance with and not contrary to” the BFM. In Southern’s case the Abstract of Principles is also a governing document.

The BFM is not a creed it is a confession. Baptist entities use it as a governing tool and are to adhere to its confession where it confesses. Where the BFM is silent an institution is left to the discretion of its own government. I’m sure you would agree that the BFM is silent on the issue of a private prayer language. I would venture to guess your opinion is no SBC institution is allowed to make a statement in the negative toward the issue and certainly not disallow those who adhere to it from being on the faculty or leadership. However, there is a flip side of this coin. If silence from the BFM allows there to not be a position stated than it doesn’t exclude there from being a position stated. No where does the BFM or guidelines of an institution state that only what is contained in the BFM is what we believe and adhere to. Most, like Southern, clearly state “in accordance with and not contrary to.” If the position is contradicting what is contained within the BFM than there is a problem. On the issue of a prayer language there is no position in the BFM; therefore, no contradiction is made in affirming or denying that doctrinal view.

The BFM is a wonderful guideline and gives clear boundaries on certain issues. But the BFM is not the totality of Baptist belief nor if an institution. Point 2 of the report to the Convention in 2000 agrees with such a statement when saying “we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility.” Also, in the final sentence before the articles the report states "It is the purpose of this statement of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe." "Certain teachings" allow for other teachings. I personally believe every SBC appointment and entity should affirm the BFM to the point of teaching and/or governing “in accordance with and not contrary to.” If an institution desires to address an issue not contained in the BFM than it has the right to do so.

The BFM is to address the “certain needs” of a generation. It is obvious the issue of a private prayer language needs to be addressed.

All for Jesus
George Jackson
Rom. 1:16

Jackson Magazine said...

Wade,
I would like to know your thoughts
- George

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

You comment, "We are dying as a convention," is accurate. If this is true, I believe it is for a different reason than have stated.

Some time ago, Dr. Rankin asked the IMB Bot's to issued a policy concerning PPL. If I am wrong on Dr. Rankin's actions, I apologize. When they did, people criticized them saying they were narrowing parameters of cooperation. I feel that accusation is disingenous, since they were basically forced to come up with a policy that reflected the biblical perspective of the majority of Southern Baptists. If anyone thinks the SBC majority doesn't hold to this view, they are only kidding themselves.

The tongues and PPL issue quieted down until Dr. Mc Kissic criticized the decision of the BoT's in a chapel sermon. This "irenic" conservative creates division with his criticism. Again the issue is pushed with so called, "principled dissent" and when Dr. Patterson, who did not know such criticism would be leveled, acted to keep it from video streaming. He is then labeled a censor, racist, and power hungry seminary president from "irenic" conservatives. Again, the issue was forced on him and Dr. Patterson reacted.

Dr Mc Kissic after issuing a public letter criticizing Dr. Patterson and the administration at SWBTS, then issues another public letter to Dr. Frank Page asking for this to be resolved by an addition to the BF&M clarifying the tongues and PPL beliefs of Southern Baptists. Again, the issue is being pushed by those who are not with the majority belief of SBCers.

Finally, Dr. Mc Kissic adds this issue to the agenda for the trustee meeting this week at SWBTS. When the vote is taken, it is 36 to 1 against Dr. Mc Kissic. A clear majority on the trustee board.

According to your definition of irenic, one would have to stir controvery at every opportunity they had instead of seeking peace and unity. This is the very opposite of what the word means.

Well, this irenic conservative is letting his voice be heard according to the example of others. It is wrong to corner someone into giving an opinion and then blast them with unfair accusations when it disagrees with yours. The ones who are pushing the narrowing of parameters are the ones who are pushing their minority beliefs upon a body of believers that don't agree with the minority position.

You can promote Dr. Mc Kissic as a victim of those who are accused of narrowing parameters, but in reality, he has pushed the issue in ways that are not principled. He has done this to himself. No one wants him to leave the SBC. If he pushes for adding an article explaining what the SBC believes about tongues and PPL, he will then push himself out of the SBC, not the other way around.

We are dying because controversy is being stirred up by a minority of people who wish to work outside the system in order to create havoc inside the system.

With all due respect, it is time for irenic conservatives to wake up and see controversy for what it is. The attempt of a small minority to force the majority to go against their convictions concerning biblical truth and hermeneutics.

Scotte Hodel said...

I fail to see the logic in the post above, which says "The ones who are pushing the narrowing of parameters are the ones who are pushing their minority beliefs upon a body of believers that don't agree with the minority position."

In this context, it's exactly backward. It says that policy that excludes otherwise qualified missionaries from service does not narrow paramters, but a policy that permits these missionaries to serve does narrow parameters. That is, fewer people is permissive, but more people is restrictive.

If the issue under discussion were tithing or soul-winning, an argument based on the decisions of the majority would be laughable. As presented, the argument is either based in the (lack of) experiences of the majority or else it's based in guilt by association: "Charismatic/pentecostal preacher XYZ is flaky, therefore all charismatics are flaky."

In either case, the logic is faulty.

[Dr. Burleson: thanks for the heads up. I've sent an email to Dr. McKissic directly.]

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

You are dead wrong in your conclusions.

Candidate consultants for the IMB were recommending missionaries for service that some trustees were rejecting --- not all trustees, just some trustees.

It depended on which Personnel Committee sub-group the candidate was brought before (up until 2006 you had subgroup A, B, and C subcommittees on the Personnel Committee of the IMB). No missionary candidate is appointed without Personnel Committee approval (then the full board). Because we appoint so many missionaries we have to break meet with candidates in several subgroups.

IMB administration and staff did not believe it was fair for a candidate to be either approved or rejected based upon which subcommittee he appeared before. Some trustees viewed things differently than others.

The administration requested clarification on the issue of 'what is a proper baptism.'

Let me remind you that no missionary candidate was ever brought before a personnel subgroup during the tenure of Dr. Jerry Rankin who had not been immersed. Missionary candidates go through an exhaustiive vetting process with staff (Candidate Consultants) prior to ever coming before the Personnel Committee. Nobody wants candidates rejected at the last minute by trustees, so Candidate Consultants do a thorough job. Further, no candidate has ever been brought before the Personnel Committee during the Rankin tenure who had not been immersed after coming to faith in Christ.

But some missionary candidates were brought before the subgroup who were baptized by immersion after having come to faith in Christ in churches, or by pastors and people, who were not Southern Baptist. Some trustees felt the missionary's baptism to be a biblical baptism, other trustees did not (it was not done in a church or by a person who believes in eternal security). Again, it depended upon which subgroup the candidate was brought before as to whether or not he was appointed.

Robin, NOBODY CAN COME BEFORE THE IMB BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR APPROVAL AS A MISSIONARY CANDIDATE UNLESS A LOCAL SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH HAS HAS ALREADY ACCEPTED HIS BAPTISM. You must be a member of an SBC church for three years before becoming a missionary.

IMB staff and administration did not like the inconsistency of some trustees rejecting Southern Baptist missionary candidates, already accepted by a Southern Baptist Church, while other trustees accepted them. So they asked for a policy review on baptism.

IMB staff and administration got what they asked for --- and more. It was a policy adjustment on baptism AND tongues, initiated and pushed by trustee leadership.

I have asked since my time began on the Board (July 2005) for the rationale on changing the guidelines on tongues. The old guideline forbad speaking in tongues publicly (which I support). I was NEVER given an answer until this summer. The answer was simply --- 'There is no anecdotal evidence of a Charismatic problem on the field, but we don't need evidence of a problem --- this is a doctrinal matter.'

The staff and administration were not in favor of the changes to the guidelines. As I said, the old IMB policy on tongues forbad the public speaking of it on the field (a policy I endorse and support), but the new policy now moves into a person's private prayer closet. The new policy demands that what was private be made public by asking the missionary candidate 'Do you speak in tongues when you pray in private?' If the candidate tells the truth and says, 'yes,' he or she is now disqualified.

Of course, President Jerry Rankin has a private prayer language.

The new policy on baptism puts the emphasis on the doctrine and qualifications of the person (and or church) who baptizes the convert. The old policy asked the missionary applicant about his personal doctrine when he was baptized, and whether or not it was by immersion, after having come to faith in Christ.

The new guidelines now disqualify Southern Baptist people who affirm the BFM 2000, are members of a Southern Baptist church in good standing, an feel called by God to the mission field.

Again, Bro. Robin, you need to ask yourself the question, "Who is forcing their convictions on whom?

Bro. Robin, a question for you?

Could you serve with a Southern Baptist who prays in tongues privately, but never speaks in tongues publicly? Could you serve with a Southern Baptist who has been baptized by immersion after having come to faith in Christ, and is a member of a Southern Baptist Church that has accepted his/her baptism, but the baptism was in a Freewill Baptist Church? The missionary candidate did not believe, and does not believe he can lose his salvation, but the pastor who baptized him does? Can you serve with that missionary on the field?

I can. Irenic conservatives can.

Until we have a convention full of people who are peaceful in these matters will will not stop the narrowing and excluding until we have nobody left to kick out.

I already know what the two next issues will be --- I've drawn my line in the sand here because I don't have a dog in this hunt (I don't speak in tongues and I have been baptized in a SBC church).

So, Robin, I will not let you shift the blame for division.

It lies squarely in the lap of those who wish to demand other conform to their views of doctrinal positions that go well beyond the BFM 2000.

I, for one, will not let them get by with it.

In His Grace,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

George,

You are correct.

I should have been clearer in my answer.

Institutions like seminaries can have Abstracts of Faith --- that's why our boys from Emmanuel go to Southern and don't go to Southwestern. We have a choice, and our church would not agree to the position of SWBTS as articulated by their President.

HOWEVER, the International Mission Board is TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

There is only ONE IMB in the SBC.

THEY facilitate CHURCHES WHO SEND THE MISSIONARIES.

THE IMB exists to support the churches.

THE IMB SHOULD NOT GO BEYOND THE BFM 2000 --- it is a convention wide insitution --- you can pick one of six seminaries.

Thanks.

David Rogers said...

Among my most important core values, somewhere very close to the top of the list come:

1. A desire to properly understand the message of God's Word and submit to its authority in my daily life.

2. A desire to honor the desire of Jesus that his Body may be one, and that we not divide unnecessarily over 2nd and 3rd tier issues (recognizing at the same time the complexity of many 2nd tier issues).

3. A desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled, and comcomitant desire to see the kingdom resources God commends into our hands used with the best stewardship possible.

It is these very core values that lead me to continue to be a Southern Baptist, and at the same time, voice my opposition to the recent policy changes at the IMB, and now, for all practical purposes, at SWBTS.

As I read through the various things Bro. McKissic is saying, I sense a commitment on his part to these same core values. As long as serving under the auspices of the SBC continues to be the best option for applying in everyday ministry and practice these core values, I urge Bro. McKissic to stay the course, and commend him for his courage and convictions. Whenever the day comes (hopefully never, this side the Lord's return) when this is no longer the case, many of us may need to seek together a better way to be faithful to these core values.

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

Thank you for your response. On the issue of who brought up PPL, it was to my understanding from others that this was brought to the trustees for a decision by Dr. Rankin to seek clarification. I will investigate this further. Again, if I am misinformed, I apologize.

But I am sure that Dr. Mc Kissic did push the issue further with his criticism of the IMB BoT during chapel. He pushed the matter further with his criticism of SWBTS administration, He pushed the matter further with his public disagreement and recommendation to President Frank Page to clarify this on the BFM 2000. Now he pushed it further by bringing the discussion to the trustee meeting. So, I ask you, who is pushing this issue? If it goes to the floor of the convention, it will be rejected. Then the SBC will be accused of narrowing parameters. Who is pushing the SBC to narrow parameters? Even you admitted that it shouldn't be added to the BFM. Most everyone I have read said this, but Dr. Mc Kissic is still pushing the issue.

Private prayer language is a misnomer. Even if the IMB doesn't ask the question, the issue always comes up publicly. I might add that Dr. Mc Kissic is arguing for a continualist perspective which would go against your support of the old policy.

I did not comment concerning Baptism, but I support the decision of the IMB.

What two decisions do you think will be next? If it is Calvinism and Eschatology, I believe you are wrong concerning this. Like I have told you before, if they kick you out because you are not a dispensationalist, I will go with you even though I am one. If they kick you out because you affirm the doctrines of Grace, I will go with you because I affirm all but one. I don't believe you have to fear those issues.

Thank you for your clarification and insight into the selection process.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

Thank you for posting on my site. Please excuse my mistake by not telling you I was posting my comment here. I have always done this in the past and somehow forgot to this time.

I recommend others see my response above to you. Thanks and God Bless.

Bro. Robin

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

You are welcome.

Thank you for the gracious dialogue.

Wade

P.S. By the way, if I were Dwight, I'm not sure I would have spoken on the gift of tongues in the chapel service. But I'm not Dwight. If I were Paige, I definitely would not have censured the message by keeping it off the net. But I'm not Paige. Both these men come to the table with their own perceptions and love for Christ. I want neither excluded from service in the SBC.

Greg Hicks said...

I keep thinking that one day I'll wake up and this terrible nightmare will all be over, but instead, it keeps getting worse.

I'm with David Rogers, except I might go further - the die appears to be cast. Unless something dramatic happens to change the direction we are headed, we are on course to become an SBC that is no longer the best option he describes.

Wade, how is the direction going to change when leaders like Dr. Patterson continue the movement toward narrowing the parameters of cooperation? You seem to see opportunity for change to occur with the current leadership in place...

Wade Burleson said...

Greg,

Irenic conservative leaders need to be appointed. Trustees under the age of fifty need to be appointed. Young pastors need to show up at the SBC. Things can change, but there is a process that must be followed. All I'm attempting to do now is to get people informed.

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

By the way, I just noticed something I missed in your last comment.

You said,

"I might add that Dr. Mc Kissic is arguing for a continualist perspective which would go against your support of the old policy."

You are incorrect. Under the old policy you could be a continualist. You can also be a continualist under the new policy (which I am). A continualist does not necesarilly speak in tongues (I don't), it's just that he sees Scripture does not explicitly teach the gift has ended.

TruthOfActs said...

George Jackson,
You made a good point that institutions have other governing documents other than the BFM, and Wade agreed with you.
But you’re dead wrong when you said the BFM 2000 is not a creed.
The BFM 1963 and the BFM 2000 are confessions just as there are statues of Billy Graham and Nebuchadnezzar.
The BFM 1963 and the statue of Billy Graham stand on their own ground. The RULES that go with the BFM 2000 and the statue of Nebuchadnezzar make them creeds where people are forced to obey.
The statue of Nebuchadnezzar was not bad, but the rules probably caused the people to revolt and kicked him out to eat grass.

I believe the time is coming soon that the majority will turn against the rules that force people to sign the BFM and there will be many leaders eating grass.
Rex Ray

Publius said...

Wade,

I like your "line in the sand" comment. You're right in saying that this issue is not about PPLs or baptism, but about a basic willingness to cooperate with those who disagree on nonessentials. If that's what it's about, you might as well draw your line in the sand here, before the debate turns to something you really care about.

The New England Holocaust Memorial bears an inscription that speaks to us now (and before anyone gets all huffy, please understand I am not insinuating anything about the people involved, just the kind of situation we're in):

They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Wade Burleson said...

Publius,

Touche.

Anonymous said...

Question is...What would any of us do if we were a leader within the SBTC? BGCT? I am sure we have all the answers. We already have two camps. Lets add one more...SBCC,"the Southern Baptist Continualist Convention". How about the SBCPPL, "the Southern Baptist Convention of Private Prayer Language". I could go on in this silliness for hours. The real problem...All of us.But I do not think the current "private prayer" issue should be discussed further. It is secondary and not worth dividing over.Just an ignorant, first time pastor at the ripe old age of 49 throwing in his two cents.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Let’s see—you said on Monday, October 30, “I have received probably 100 comments favorable for a statement of cooperation…there have been 4 that could be considered critical of it including the 2 that focused on Ron’s comment—for the sake of keeping the focus on the issue at hand I am closing the comment section.”

Well, well, well—what kind of truth and grace is that? Should Ron’s comment be deleted because two people didn’t like it? He wrote what he thought was the truth. Let’s hear what these two guys say. I thought discussion was the basis for your blog. To shut the post down is what Hitler did to newspapers.

Wade, a few times you have disappointed me, but this is the first time I’m angry. You say you want to change the SBC, but you’re not going to do it with your tail between your legs.
Rex Ray