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

We Must Not Be Sidetracked from the Issues

The SBC is a wonderful convention where independent, autonomous churches cooperate with each other for the purpose of world missions and evangelism.

The ability to cooperate with each other is dependent upon our willingness to accept each other in spite of our differences.

I personally affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 --- every jot and tittle. I have signed the BFM 2000 for my service on the IMB.

My concern for the Southern Baptist Convention has been twofold:

(1). Though the BFM 2000 states "the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments" (and the BFM) "has no authority over the conscience," any one who expresses disagreement with the interpretation of any of the handful of seond or third tier doctrines placed in the BFM are excluded from SBC service. Southern Baptist confessions should contain only first tier doctrines, and just a few, important second tier doctrines that make us distintively Baptist, but avoid third tier doctrines in order that we might rally around the good news as Baptists and put our differences in individual churches aside.

The greater concern however, is,

(2). There is a movement by some within the SBC to narrow the parameters of cooperation within the SBC by demanding agency employees conform to a particular interpretation of third tier doctrines that are not addressed by the BFM. As a result, some conservative Southern Baptists, who affirm the BFM 2000, are now being shut out from service.

The question then must be raised --- "Who is establishing the doctrinal requisites for the agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention?"

Obviously, the answer should be -- "The Convention by the adoption of the BFM 2000."

But if there are doctrinal requisites for employment at a particular agency that move beyond the BFM, where did they originate, for what purpose were they implemented, and who is responsible?

That's the issue.


The Attempts to Distract


There are some who are now attempting to distract from the issue at hand. They are attempting to make this very personal.

The Scripture says that a soft answer turns away wrath. I desire to be soft with my fellow Southern Baptists, and with the Lord's help, I will be. I would ask that you pray for me. The following are just a handful of comments left in the last three days on various blogs that seem to have the purpose of distraction.

(Comments from Terrence on Brad Reynold's Blog)

What brand of wine do you prefer for visitation? I understand that your companion Ben prefers mixed drinks. I simply wanted to know if you preferred MD 20/20 or Boones Farm?

(Comment from Jim Henry to Wayne on Reynold's Blog)

Are you serious? If you are then you are a bigger kook than Wade. May God have mercy on you

(Comment to Jeremy Green from Anonymous in Oakdale on Reynold's blog)

You asked several questions concerning the signers of the Memphis Declaration and their beliefs. From reading the thousands of words spilled on these blogs, it is evident that they are only interested in defending the use of alcohol. I wonder if homosexuality is next on thier agenda?

What say ye Wade? If homosexual activity permissible as long as it is done in moderation?


(Comment from Volfan007 to Brad Reynolds)

It's hard for me to understand a certain bloggers whining and crying and calling for unity...and he joins with these same type people, and then he calls himself a conservative. i am sorry, but the tent can only be so broad before it breaks.


(Comment from HarveytheRabbit to Brad Reynolds)

It appears to me that the alcohol issue and trustee issue may just be the tip of the iceberg. It seems that these alcohol bibbing, women pastor promoting, charismatic liberals are now upset with Dr. Frank Page .

What if Wade and his cohorts intend to overthrow Dr. Page and run McKissic for SBC President? Dear Lord deliver us from the "Burleson Method."

Awwwwwe help us Lord


(Comment from an Australian named Grosey to Brad Reynolds)

In My Honest opinion, if you guys could help him get his MDiv, he may be a little more hospitable to the conservative position"


(Post from Jeremy Green who will not allow comments on his blog)


I have received numerous emails and phone calls from other conservative Southern Baptists stating that they are also very concerned and several have even stated that he should either resign or the convention should remove him from his position at next year’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

(Comment from Les Puryear on his blog)

I'm just telling you how you come across to a lot of us. Disingenuous. Self-righteous. Martyr-complex. Thin-skinned. I am not trying to call you names. I am just describing how you sound to a lot of us conservative baptists.


These are just a handful of examples of what is being said to me and about me.

It is an axiom that when one's argumentation is weak, attack the opponent. There is no need for any of us who see what is needed in the SBC to attack anyone.

I'll do my part, and encourage you as well, to insure we stay above the fray, refrain from personal attacks, and focus simply on the issues before us.

Have a great Lord's Day,

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

76 comments:

Debbie said...

My husband and I stand solidly by you and others who have brought these issue to light with both our support and our prayers. I pray along with you that people focus on the issues which began with the private prayer language and where an by whom baptism is to be performed and has rolled into another whole set of issues.

Charlie said...

Wade

Remember the ONE you serve was also falsely accused. I don't expect you to hang on a cross, but, I expect some would hang you in a minite. It is amazing that Satan is alive and well. When the family of believers attack you it distracts from the truth of your message.From Genises to Revelation, the bible is a book of moderation. There are definitely some absolutes and many permissables. Paul had a "little wine for his stomachs sake". He also spoke in tongues more than all.He also was falsely accused. His fellow apostles didn't always agree with him. In the end though He died for the truth. Never wavering in his service to the LORD JESUS. Does GOD expect any less from us??. For all the negative attacks against you, please remember there are many more praying and loving you. Dwell on these things and not on the darts of the enemy and those who would "hinder" your walk with our awesome GOD. Hang in there but remember also "there are some people that you can't warm up to even if you were cremated with them".
Charlie of Gainesville

UCM said...

Tony Campolo says that all of us have to have a devil so we can blame stuff on "someone" or "something" out there....

But often the devil is "in here" ... the problem isn't "out there" - the problem is "in here"

The problem is "us."

(The prophets often said this! Israel's problems weren't the Babylonians and Assyrians - Israel's problems were Israel!)

When the Southern Baptists had the moderates and liberals to fight, well conservatives could rally around that. But the moderates have taken their toys and left for other playgrounds... so now the SBC has to find another devil to fight.

The problem is that not everyone agrees on what is "essential"

What you have as second and third tier doctrines, others have as first tier issues...

It's like comparing apples and oranges.

Luther didn't start out wanting to start a new church....

Wesley never even left the Church of England, yet today there are about 9 million United Methodists world-wide plus thousands and thousands more who trace their heritage to Wesley's theology.

Wade, you can't whine about how people aren't nice. We are sinners. We are saints. We are both sinners and saints.

There is a reason that those of us who are not Baptist are not Baptist! At one time in my life I considered becoming a Baptist. Then I realized that just because the grass looks greener, it's just as hard to mow. People are people. Deep down inside we are all the same.

Jesus is Lord, pass the ammunition!

May God have mercy on us ALL!!!!

Roger Simpson said...

Wade:

The comments you have included in today's BLOG are mostly ad-hominum attacks.

They are attacking you primarily rather than the issues you are raising.

I think their position would carry more weight if -- to name two examples -- they argued that (a) the idea of "tiers of doctrine" is incorrect or (b) they made the case that a so-called 3rd tier doctrine is really a 1st or 2nd tier doctrine.

If the commentors hold that 100% abstenance of alcohol is necessary to be a "Baptist in good standing" then they should argue their case on its merits.

I believe that the position paper by Dr. Patterson regarding alcohol -- whether you agree with it or not -- lays out the "total abstenance from alcohol" position in an irenic tone and is quite compelling.

Regarding alcohol, there are well reasoned arguments on both sides. However, from what I can see, SOME of those who disagree with you are not using a reasoned approch. Rather than arguing the case on its merits they have a presupposition that they are correct and they refuse to engage the issues.

I recognize the names of most of the people you mention in today's blog. I've seen them lay out their position in dozens of previous comments. They seem sincere in holding to their side of the issues. I don't think these pastors will ever change their stance on these issues. They simply won't tolerate any other view of the issues under discussion -- such as alcohol.

I think I'm accurate in depicting their view that they won't "agree to disagree" on several issues at play here -- such as use of alcohol.

I don't think most of them even acknowledge in principle that there is such a thing as tiers or layers of doctrines.

I really don't think dialog is possible between both camps.

This whole argument has become more polarized over the last six months and is getting more pointed as each week passes. I wouldn't be surprized if there isn't some type of "showdown" in San Antonio.

Tim said...

Yeah, San Antonio.

It seems that history is repeating itself. Hopefully, those wanting to draw the lines closer and tighter won't win this time.

I've heard it said that Religion is one of the only things that people won't compromise on. I can understand that. I won't compromise on quite a few things. But in a "spiritual family" that is supposed to be known for it's love of each other...well, I don't think this is what Jesus had in mind.

Tim

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

why are they so angry?

Glen Woods said...

Howdy Wade,

Mind if I take a crack at responding to those who have been posting about you in their blogs?

My mom had a plaque on her kitchen wall during the years I grew up. It said, "Swap a smile, trade some cheer. Let's be happy while we're here!" For me that isn't just a meaningless platitude. It is a way of conducting myself so that others are built up, rather than torn down. Believe it or not, we can disagree while also showing kindness in our words and actions.

Unfortunately, comments that cut to the heart personally are hurtful and unproductive in public or private discourse. Why not show kindness? Why not deal with issues rather than putting down specific persons with sarcasm and vitriol?

I am sure that if Wade and I were to discuss theology at any length, there are specific things about which we would disagree, especially in regard to third tier distinctives. We have different backgrounds. Different perspectives. Yet based on what I have observed from this blog and his direct interactions with me, I know there is a mutual brotherly respect. Shouldn't that be even more evident among those of you who are Southern Baptist?

The world is watching folks. Remember, people from all walks of life stroll across our blogs. When they see Christians tearing each other apart it simply reinforces negative perceptions. Is that the testimony we want to convey? Wouldn't it be great if we could demonstrate Christian charity even in the face of disagreement instead?

Blessings,

Glen Woods

Bryan Riley said...

What is the most sad about it is thinking of unbelievers reading such muck. I've written and have seen others write wondering whether God sees it like some of who are parents see our children in the backseat of the car, fighting about trivial things like "he said I was looking at him, but I wasn't," and "I did see a green car." "No, you didn't." "Did!" "Did not!" "Did too!"

Sigh.

Wade Burleson said...

Bryan,

I am reminded of the words of Christ, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one for another."

The world probably pays no attention to what is going on with the bickering --- they expect it, but that's also probably why there are so few genuine conversions in the SBC.

When we get really serious about loving one another we can rest assured the world will be enamored with our gospel.

wade

irreverend fox said...

at the risk of sounding way out in left field, is their a good reason why our southern baptist heritage is so blemished with violence/angry outbursts, vitriolic speech?

what is it about us that makes us so quick to anger, historically and today?

I think we should examine our roots a bit to see where this comes from.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

I wish everyone could sit down and talk to the ex-missionary I visited with, last week. Maybe if they saw what's happening, from the perspective of flesh-and-blood brothers and sisters in Christ (instead of faceless names or abstract rules), they'd feel different about what's going on.

I've been against the narrowing all along, but I cannot describe what a difference that made in me.

The attacks are what they are, and are remarkably close to someone saying "I'm so glad I'm not like that guy."

Africa M said...

Matt 15:18
But the things that proceed out of the mouth [or the blog] come from the heart.

Maybe it just is clear that the what is in the hearts of some.

Wade, Thanks for blogging with integrity and a purpose.

IN HIS NAME said...

All,

IMHO it all comes down to TRUST. Where do the people of the Baptist Church and SBC put their TRUST???

Do we put our TRUST in GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT in the Atonement in JESUS CHRIST, Using what God's Word
says

OR

Do we put our TRUST in MAN or MEN that want to Take away or Add to God's Holy Word.

What do you all think???

In His Name
Wayne Smith

Joel Rainey said...

Wade,
This is a great post. Thanks for doing what you can to keep things "on point." I am very weary of the personal attacks.

I would like to suggest something concerning yoru discussion of the various "tiers" of doctrine. You are correct that "third tier" doctrines should not need to be uniform in order to cooperate. However, I am struggling with the idea that "second tier" doctrine should not be required.

In my mind, salvation would only be contingent on "first tier" doctrines. But "second tier" doctrines are things such as one's view of baptism, the church, and other things that make us distinctively "Baptist." Those I believe should be requirements for national denominational employees. It may be that we simply have different understandings of what constitutes "second tier" doctrine. But I have no problem with these "second tier" issues being important enough to be "go-no go" issues regarding employment, missionary appointments, etc.

In other words, while I would never write-off anyone as a fellow believer who differed with me on baptism by immersion, women pastors, etc. I would have a dificult time withe the fact that they occupied a place in our network paid for by Baptists in order to forward Baptist work.

Just a thought. Thanks again for the post!

Joel Rainey said...

Wade,

To clarify my previous post, I believe the 2000 BFM contains doctrines in both the first and second tier, and I am perfectly OK with that.

I would not, however, want to see the BFM begin to take positions on third tier issues. (Calvinism, alcohol, glossolalia, etc.) I serve alongside dear brothers who differ with me strongly on all three of these issues, and more!

Wade Burleson said...

Joel,

Excellent comment.

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

At some point we will need to identify the second and third tier doctrines.

I personally do believe that believer's baptism by immersion is a second tier doctrine and is appropriate in the BFM.

However, the authority of the baptizer (to say he must be an ordained deacon or pastor of the SBC or another church of like faith or order; or as in my understanding of Scripture the baptizer can be any disciple of Christ) is a third tier doctrine (in my opinion).

A private prayer language seems to me to be a third tier doctrine.

I fully grant that the tier system has not been fully thought through, but I would agee with you that first and second tier doctrines belong in the BFM (that's why it is called the "Baptist" Faith and Message), but third tier doctrines should be left out.

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

I too have been disappointed with some of the comments said about you on other blogs. I made my feelings known on Brad Reynolds blog yesterday. He affirmed what I said about some of the unchristian comments about you.

I will have to disagree with you concerning Jeremy Green and Les Puryear. I believe they are able to defend themselves, but I don't believe those comments were meant to be personal attacks in spite of weak arguments. Jeremy was not calling for your removal, only what other people have stated to him. I will add that all of us from time to time repeat the sentiments we receive in communicating with others. With what knowledge I have from Jeremy's blog, I don't think he has ever called for your removal.

Les was expressing how you come across to some with the comments and blogs you have issued.

Over the last few weeks, I have witnessed your activity on other sites increase. I hope you continue to debate and when either you or I see inappropriate comments, no matter who they are directed to, we can express our Christian unity in denouncing unchaste speach. Thank you for your time.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

Lee said...

Hang on to your hat. Were you around to remember how all this went the last time?

This looks and sounds a lot like that.

The credibility you now have is a result of the fact that you have not resorted to the personal attacks or name calling in retaliation. Keep that up.

The rhetoric from those who are calling themselves "conservative", but who are resorting to name calling and retaliation, and are turning what should be a reasonable theological debate into a war of words for political control of the SBC undermines their credibility. They've turned this into a win-lose situation, and apparently think they can't "win" by sticking with the debate and avoiding the personal attacks.

That doesn't seem to be a very good method for convincing Southern Baptists that they are the ones who should be leading the convention.

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

Thanks for the comment, and I would agree with your desire to make sure that we maintain a Christian spirit in all we say (or write).

I have reread both comments by Les and Jeremy and will politely disagree that they are not personal in nature.

I don't anticipate spending time on other blogs in the future, so I appreciate your help in this matter.

Wade Burleson said...

Joel,

I reread my post and in light of your comment added "second tier" doctrines as part of the doctrines that "should" be in the BFM. I thought I had said this, but your comment made me realize I had not. Thanks.

wade

Kenneth Kirksey said...

I've been thinking about the whole first, second, third tier doctrine issue, and I'm not sure that there should be any second tier doctrines, at least as Al Mohler's original article defined them.

By definition, second tier doctrines are doctrines that are not essential to salvation, yet separate us from other Christians. I can't see how that's Biblical view of how the church should work. No doubt that in practice there are things many people consider second tier doctrines, but should they?

In my opinion, there should only be two types of doctrines: essential and non-essential. There is no tertium quid. If we take any other approach, we're saying it's okay to have divisions in the Church. Thats the main reason I prefer the traditional creeds over the BFM. The Apostle's creed sticks with first tier doctrine. The BFM mixes first and second tier (possibly third tier, depending on your point of view) doctrines.

jasonk said...

In 1988 I attended my first and only Southern Baptist Convention meeting. It was in St. Louis, and Dan Vestal was running as the annual "candidate everyone knew would lose." He was the moderate's sacrificial man of the year. I was young, in my first staff position, and rode to the meeting with a group of staunch SBC pastors. All week long, they dogged Dan Vestal like they knew him. Pastors. Accusing a brother pastor of ridiculous things that could not be true.
Toward the end of the week, one pastor asked the group, "do any of you know Dan Vestal personally?" The responses were predictable. No one knew him. The pastor then said, "Well I do. And he is none of the things you accuse him of. He is a dynamite preacher, a faithful servant of the Lord, and is more conservative than 99% of the people in the ministry."
In a second, like dogs, the pastors turned on the one pastor who was standing up for the right thing. "Well maybe you're a liberal too," they said.
I could do like others on this site have done, and encourage you by quoting verses saying that they persecuted Jesus and Paul and others, and so they will persecute you too. But I won't because these are your brother pastors acting like children (not the adjective I would choose to describe them). And when they succeed in narrowing the convention even more, and they surely will, eventually there will only be two Southern Baptists left. And then, they will split in two.
Bless you Wade. I think you are in fight that is impossible to win.

sbc pastor said...

Wade,

The comment that you quoted from my site is not a personal attack at all. I have only commented on some of your previous statements that are very concerning for many conservative Southern Baptists. Here is the context of the particular statement that you quoted:

"Over the past six weeks I have posted several blogs documenting statements made by Wade Burleson, currently a Trustee of the SBC’s International Mission Board, that are very alarming. I have received numerous emails and phone calls from other conservative Southern Baptists stating that they are also very concerned and several have even stated that he should either resign or the convention should remove him from his position at next year’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

I have also received several emails from other signers of the Memphis Declaration – which was also signed by Burleson. However, none of them have addressed his statements and have appeared to be evading the issue. Why is that? Are the other signers of the Memphis Declaration in agreement with Burleson on these very serious issues or not? Here are a few questions that conservative Southern Baptists, including myself, would like to have answered:

1) Do the signers of the Memphis Declaration believe that it is completely acceptable for a Trustee, as is Burleson, or an employee of an SBC entity (such as missionaries, seminary professors, administrators, etc.) to sign and affirm the BF&M “with a couple of written caveats” as Wade Burleson has admittedly done?

NOTE: A “caveat” is a modifying detail; a stipulation or a provision which clearly denotes that one’s affirmation is conditional and therefore not in complete agreement with as written. Interestingly, the Latin “cavere” means “warning” or more literally “let him beware.” This would seemingly be an appropriate word of caution for conservative Southern Baptists which have historically believed in, and practiced, doctrinal accountability.

2) Do the other signers of the Memphis Declaration consider other individuals which do not affirm the inerrancy of the Bible to be theological “conservatives” as Burleson admittedly does?

3) Do the other signers of the Memphis Declaration believe that there were only “about four or five people in leadership positions at our seminaries that needed to be dealt with” prior to, and during the early stages of, the Conservative Resurgence as Burleson admittedly does?

Burleson’s comments are very troubling indeed for many conservative Southern Baptists. Hence, it would certainly be helpful to know whether the other signers of the Memphis Declaration are in agreement with Burleson on these very serious issues. If they are not in agreement with him on these issues then no doubt they are truly singing the blues. However, if they are in agreement with him then it is the SBC that should be singing a sad song!"

Thanks and God bless!!!

In Christ,
JLG

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

Aside from Robin who can debate respectfully and Christlike, I don't understand the ugliness. What are they going to do when we get to heaven? Are they not going to worship with us then? Maybe some think the tiers are different parts of heaven.

Light Horse said...

If our preachers, who are supposed to be spiritual leaders, cannot get along for the purpose of telling the world about Jesus, then perhaps we should just disband the cooperative program?

It seems more and more like an issue of which political party will be in charge of the missions agencies, seminaries and money. Perhaps its time for the laypeople to take the denominational apparatus away and do missions on a church by church basis. If all our future preachers are learning in seminary is how to fight, then perhaps it's time for the convention to stop underwriting their schooling?

With each new development, it seems like the political trumps the spiritual. The whole drama is very disheartening.

volfan007 said...

wade and all,

someone told me that i had been quoted on wade's blog. i could say that the quote was not in context of everything that i said...that it was taken out of context, but, i will leave that alone.

i just want to say that i do not hate wade. i hold no grudges against wade. i am not fighting against wade. my fight is not with flesh and blood. so, if wade or any others think that i am fighting wade....well, you would be wrong.

in fact, i sincerely pray that the Lord will bless you, wade. and, that He will bless your marriage, and your family, and your church.

i am just glad that i am saved. that the Lord keeps me saved. and i am going to heaven. i love the Lord, and i am grateful to Him for saving a no good sinner like me. halelujah!

and, because i love Him is why i serve Him and why i stand for the truth. and, i will defend His Word and seek to become more like Jesus until i breathe my last breath. i will do what He wants me to, for saving my soul...for giving me life....for washing my heart clean. my heart and my life belong to Jesus.

volfan007

ps. this was not said in a mean way. this was not meant to be ugly. there was no hatred in my heart as i typed these words. if you were here..with me...in tn...i would pour you a pepsi, or sweet tea, and we'd find something sweet to eat.

James said...

Jeremy,

Do you consider the BF&M 2000 to be perfect and innerrant? If not, where do you disagree?

Do you consider CS Lewis, Billy Graham, John Wesley or John Calvin (take your pick) to be theologically conservative?

James

peter lumpkins said...

Dear All,

Is there possibly another kindred soul in all of cyberspace who is as lost in all this rhetoric as am I? Please identify yourself and let's be lost together.

With that, I am...

Peter

Ricky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Clif Cummings said...

Wade,
I read these words from the Together for the Gospel Blog in a post by Ligon Duncan. He quotes the Prince of Preachers and as I read them, God turned my thoughts toward what I had read here. I pass them along for no other purpose than to encourage you with the words of Spurgeon:
“I know that, whenever God chooses a man for the ministry, and means to make him useful, if that man hopes to have an easy life of it, he will be the most disappointed mortal in the world. From the day when God calls him to be one of his captains, and says to him, “See I have made thee to be a leader of the hosts of Israel”, he must accept all that his commission includes, even if that involves a sevenfold measure of abuse, misrepresentation, and slander. We need greater soul-exercise than any of our flock, or else we shall not keep ahead of them. We shall not be able to teach others unless God thus teaches us. We must have fellowship with Christ in suffering as well as fellowship in faith. Still, with all its drawbacks, it is a blessed service, and we would not retire from it. Did we not accept all this with our commission? Then we should be cowards and deserters if we were to turn back. These castings down of the spirit are part of our calling. If you are to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, you must endure hardness. You will have to lie in the trenches, sometimes, with a bullet lodged here or there, with a sabre-cut on your forehead, or an arm or a leg shot away; where there is war, there must be wounds, and there must be war where there is to be victory.” (C. H. Spurgeon)
SWEET STIMULANTS FOR THE FAINTING SOUL
Sermon No. 2798 - AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL,
Lord’s Day Evening, Winter 1860

Wade Burleson said...

Ricky,

I have a group of people that I visit with on a regular basis for accountability on my blog, and ask their opinions of my posts before I put them up.

On this particular post I simply wanted to give illustrations of posts that I think go way beyond any particular issue and move into personal attacks.

It should not be personal. It should not be about calling people names. It should not be sarcastic or means spirited.

Our debate should be loving and Christ centered and focused on the issues.

This cuts both ways, and I have said, and written that people on both sides of the issue should deal with the issue and not personality. I will be no part of any movement against an individual --- period.

Let's stay focused on the issues.



In His Grace,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Ricky,

By the way, if you feel I have been mean spirited or personally attacked anyone personally on my voluminous blog posts, feel free to copy the words I have written here.

I think you will find I have done all I can to keep things focused on the issues and not make them personal.

I don't know anything about military moves, but I appreciate your comment.

In His grace,

wade

Bro. Robin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, Keep on blogging, my brother. Truth shall rise above the spirit of religion, and sometimes the truth can be painfull to some. It doesnt really matter what these backbiters and gossipers have to say, as they will receive their reward in the future (see commandment number 9)...

IN HIS NAME said...

Light Horse

You and Bryan Riley said it best. We should be lifting up the one that died for our sins, rather than doing all this Baptist fighting. I live in a very small town of 16,000 people and we have 24 Baptist churches in a 5 mile radius. As you can see there have been many Church splits because of their petty peeves.
Peter what you say Brother.

In His Name

Wayne Smith

Matt Snowden said...

jasonk,

Thanks for the story. It was very instructive.

RM said...

I must be living and reading things that noone else is reading and seeing. I have read every comment that Wade has ever written and I find him to be THE very best blogger there is out there--and probably has the sweetest spirit of any I have read. In spite of the cheap shots that many feel led to take at him, he always responds in truth and love. Many times I wish he would be more firm in dealing with our "fellow conservatives." I just read one blog in which some guy said he wanted to make peace with Wade (why would fellow believers/pastors not be at peace with each other when we're on the same team!) and then proceeds to call him all sorts of names. What a strange world we Baptists live in...

Matt Snowden said...

ireverend fox,

You ask where all the anger in our Baptist DNA comes from. That's a very good question. Why are we the battling Baptist? As a Mississippian I am prone think it may be rooted in "the war." It could also come from our humble social history. Folks frustrated in society often fight for a place of power in the church. It could be a bunch of stuff. It could just be sin. What do you think?

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

Please be specific where anyone says the men you named are being used by Satan (in other words, give the actual quote) and if it is true that someone has made that accusation of a fellow brother in Christ I will remove it.

I do not moderate comments, so your help is appreciated.

CB Scott said...

Jasonk,

That was 1987 for St. Louis. In 1988 we were in San Antonio.

cb

IN HIS NAME said...

Wade,

I think Bro Robin was reading what was commented by Ricky.

In His Name
Wayne Smith

Lary said...

Wade,
You are right about so many things in the SBC. And you are right again. To disallow any Southern Baptist a part in any entity of the Convention just because they don't conform to the BFM 2000 in all its parts is make an exclusive denomination of the Southern Baptist. The fundamentals of the denomination were decided long ago and the BFM 2000 has only been a divisive element in the SBC since its inception. It has been divisive because it was devised by men who wanted to continue to control the SBC and that was their only motive. To tell any Southern Baptist that they cannot serve on any SBC entity unless they believe at least the first tier (as you put it) is to exclude many Southern Baptists who have been Southern Baptist for many, many years and are not neophytes to the denomination. They have given their resources to the convention and cannot now serve on any entity simply because they don't believe in that first tier. By the way, what is that first tier? Whatever it is, it is a sidetrack from the issues which should be to win the world for Christ no matter what it takes.

Wade Burleson said...

Wayne,

Your keen sense of insight and humor is refreshing.

I will choose to allow Ricky's comment that I am being used by Satan to stand.

In His Grace,

Wade

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

As I recall, please correct me if I am wrong, but your response to my email which you have quoted was that you appreciated the spirit of the email.

I'm somewhat confused. My comments to you were to try to make you aware of how you come across to some of us. I know many people love and support you and that's great. But there are many others who wonder about some of the things you write. In no way was this intended to be a personal attack on you. I was trying to communicate how you sound to some who don't necessarily agree with you.

But if you would rather not know how those who disagree with you feel, then that's okay.

I have offered to cease and desist with criticising you if you would cease and desist criticising SBC leaders such as Dr. Patterson. It appears that your post today is your response to my offer, loud and clear.

You can take my comments out of context and assign a spirit which was not intended if you wish. But I'm done. I've tried to reason with you but it seems to no avail.

You don't have to worry about me anymore. Your name will not appear in my blog anymore. I assume that is the goal of your post this Lord's day.

I just hope your supporters can see the lack of grace which you are willing to extend to those who offer to make peace with you.

Sincerely,

Les

yugaidemeht said...

The other cheek Wade...the other cheek.

Billy,

p.s. Thanks for waiting for me to get the camera battery last wednesday!

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

I have removed my last two comments from your blog. Unfortunately, I was blinded by self righteous zeal and did not seek understanding.

I still stand by my first comment and hope you will in the future see Jeremy and Les' comments differently.

Please accept my apology.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

Wade Burleson said...

Les,

I don't considered myself at odds with you -- at all. I don't even know you. As you are aware, I have never served with you in any capacity within the SBC, have not had the privilege of meeting you, and for that matter, have never even spoken with you. In addition, I have not said one critical thing about you as a person, your ministry, or your desires for the SBC --- I have only asked why you insist on calling me a moderate or a liberal.

Les, I shall continue to focus on the issues at hand in the SBC. I have often expressed my love and respect for the leaders of the SBC, including Dr. Patterson.

There is a difference between voicing disagreement over one's actions and attacking a person. I have not attacked a person on this blog --- ever. I commit to never do so in the future as well.

I also have never been worried about you, just puzzled. Nevertheless, I wish you the best in your life, family and ministry. I also pray your blog will be used to help people in their walk with Christ.

In His Grace,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

I do accept your apology.

Don't feel too bad, thought. You unwittingly gave my wife and me (and possibly Wayne) a pretty humorous moment tonight.

As you read Ricky's comment and then took me to task for allowing my supporters to comment and accuse Jeremy, Les and Brad of being used by Satan --- only to embarrassingly discover later that Ricky was actually saying I was being used by Satan and also implying "others" were saying that Jeremy, Les, and Brad were being used of Satan (which is not true) --- is an example of how blogs can so easily lead people astray.

May we all be cautious in what we say and write.

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

I am glad my stupidity can be used for you and your wife's humor.

If Kevin hadn't dropped his Pharisee of the week I would nominate myself. I hope others can admit their mistakes.

The only person used of satan tonight has been me. I'm outta here.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

SWBTS Underground said...

I am lost in the rhetoric, Peter. Not only so, but so immersed in it that I find myself being drawn to its use...but alas not its value.

One could easily string together comments from this site and others attacking the leaders of the Conservative Resurgence, the members of the Joshua Convergence, and the administrators and leaders of of SWBTS and various trustee boards, that are personal attacks and just as nasty and hurtful.

Just above on this string exists an example: "It has been divisive because it was devised by men who wanted to continue to control the SBC and that was their only motive."
This comment may not be hard on the ear in terms of language, but is as sinful as you can get, assuming the motives of a man- judging the heart.


I consider myself a nuetral observer, and I consider myself standing on Scripture. But you know what, everyone does. Therefore, comments about the devil coming against you in ministry and for standing for what is right (the Word) has been and will continue to be the fuel for all sides of these issues. Everyone has been reviled...by brothers in Christ. Imagine that. And because their position is the one the Devil abhors.

You have placed these comments up, and now Brad will put his up. And guess what, now all your supporters can see how devil-influenced Brad and his minions are, and then Brad's supporters can see how devil-influenced you and your minions are- at least, that is how they will see it. The thing is, I think this battle will end with a third party not yet to enter this fight taking the SBC. That is the party I want to see. Yet, I find it hard to be optimistic about it when Christ's name continues to defamed.

James 4:11, yet again, "Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge."

Hey Marty, instead of a post on Hebrews 6, why don't you ask everyone's opinion of this verse?

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

Your humility is refreshing.

Blessings,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

SWBTS Underground,

Could it not be that we can actually debate the issues like David Roger's and not be considered antagonistic toward the administration or trustees of any SBC agency?

I think we can.

:)

SWBTS Underground said...

Yes, when you debate the issues

Bill Scott said...

Wade,
I think that many of the problems that you experience in the way of blogging come with the territory in which we choose to communicate. Electronic media is very impersonal. Blogging is even more impersonal than a direct email exchange between two people.

Blogging is a medium ripe for personal attacks and libel due to the fact that it so impersonal. Some bloggers do not even use their real names. How convenient is that?

Blogging is in your face and out there for all to see. Some people will always take advantage of this. I have found that people will write things in an email or even more so in a blog environment that they would never EVER say to someone in person or on the phone for that matter.

Keep the faith and fight the good fight Brother! To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher.."Don't let the 'bloggers' get you down!"

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

Debbie commented on my blog with a dynamite observations. To quote her:

"We no longer have liberals serving in the IMB. They are gone. I don't see where it is necessary to move on to the next group to exclude."

Wow. If there's even a germ of truth in that, it would certainly explain the "attack mode".

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

You may call it like you see it, but I feel you missed this one.

Robin's comment came well before John Kizzire's.

I do not know John, but to be sensitive to you on this issue I have determined to remove both his and your comments.

I do agree that we need to be careful on how we characterize others.

Thanks,

wade

psmpastor said...

Wade,

Isn't inerrancy a real issue? Would you not consider Jeremy's blog conerning some of your statements a real issue?

Patrick

Wade Burleson said...

psmpastor,

Anyone who denies the authority and sufficiency of the Bible should not be Southern Baptist.

I do not hesitate using the word inerrancy. Some who believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Bible do (like Billy Graham).

But yet, they BELIEVE the Bible from cover to cover.

So, inerrancy is a problem if people don't believe the Bible.

Just ask someone if they believe the Bible. They'll tell you.

Tim Cook said...

This whole thing is saddening. Personal attacks have no place in the work of the Gospel. Yes, Peter, I am lost in the rhetoric. In any case, I just feel compelled to note:

1) It is my generation that is noticably absent from many of our churches.

2) My generation, by and large, cares little for the distinction between Baptists and OTHER DENOMINATIONS, much less conservative vs. moderate Baptists.

3) Personal attacks are obvious in their nature, and can be seen through by even us "young kids".

4) As a result of this political wrangling, narrowing of cooperation, and most of all the personal, vitriolic nature of much of the discussion between Christians, the church is about to LOSE my generation.

Does anyone care?

Alycelee said...

As I read the comments from the originals post there was actually one thing I agreed with :
...... Awwwwwe help us Lord.
You have always been a man full of grace Wade.
And if I see you behave otherwise, I promise to email you :)
Agape

psmpastor said...

Wade,

Thank you for your response.

Jeremy Green,

Please enter into dialogue with Wade instead of about Wade. I am not suggesting that your concerns are wrong. I would like to see you openly discuss this issue with Wade.

If you spend your time trying to discredit Wade and other Memphis folks then I would suggest that Wade is correct about loosing sight of the issues.

Patrick

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
I started not to reply to your reply as I felt sorry for you being between a rock and a hard place. Your saying, “Thanks” almost did it.
But after thinking it over, I’ve decided the same as my conclusion of my deleted comment that saying, I’m sorry or I was wrong would be good for you. A spanking would do us all some good at times.
We are all somewhat like Adam telling God it wasn’t his fault.
My comment called your attention to some slander in the post previous to yours. You have deleted that comment and that’s well and good, but why kill the messenger?
We both know the answer because the slander brought out the point that Ricky made which I agreed with.
You have said you would not delete Ricky’s comment, but it’s too bad if someone agrees with him.

I’m in the backseat of Bryan Riley’s car saying, “It’s not fair!” “Is too!” “Is Not.” “Is!” “Not!” “Is!”…

I love his illustration.
Rex Ray

IN HIS NAME said...

Wade,

These battles on the Blogs remind me of the days before the internet, being a pioneer on Prodigy as a online service. The battle was All Christians doing battle with the Jehovah Witness’s on what the Bible says. Any old timers out there?

In His Name

Wayne Smith

Bryan Riley said...

Speaking of distractions and red herrings, I was looking at 1 Peter 5 this morning and noticed that the Greek for care/anxiety in the casting your cares language contains that concept of a divided mind. When we worry or when we get sidetracked by anxieties, divisive issues, etc., we have a divided mind. It prevents us from being able to focus on One. And, we are designed to focus on the One worthy of our worship and attention. When we aren't we become of two minds, divided, unable to please Him, and in a sense, schizophrenic. Frightening.

We must be diligent and endeavor daily to case all our cares/anxieties/distractions on Christ (lay our burdens down at His feet as in Matthew as well), and be sober and vigilant, self-disciplined and alert, to resist the real enemy out there (instead of allowing him to distract us into believing the lie that our brothers and sisters are the enemy or that any human is the enemy).

Agurah said...

I've only recently started following the most recent brouhaha, so forgive me if this has been published before. I have a question:

Has there been any sort of poll of missionaries and former missionaries, especially those who have served in fields where they are having to actually bring the gospel to people to whom it is entirely foreign?

I know that in Utah, there was less meanspirited bickering over non essentials among evangelical Christians than we see here in the Bible belt. Certainly people believe what they believe, and teach the same. But the list of "essentials" is much shorter.

We were there relative to a job, and spent our time in a KJV-only Independent Baptist church, as it was one of the few Christian churches available to us. It wasn't so hard to respect the pastor's pulpit on things with which we disagreed. But this was largely because the pastor did an excellent job of keeping the focus on Christ and His work rather than abandoning it to emphasize 1611 KJV as an inspired translation, getting saved means cutting your hair, and women have to wear dresses. Of course, he believed these things. But they weren't really made an essential of salvation as we see in similar churches here. It was shocking to return to Texas.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Like you’ve said before, I’m a persistent person. You haven’t given any ‘good’ reason for deleting my comment. To be deleted gives the impression something really bad has been said.
When have you ever deleted a comment because you felt like the comment “missed”?
You stated; “To be sensitive to you on this issue I have determined to remove both his and your comments.”
To be “SENSITIVE” to me! What does that mean? I think that’s like telling a person: ‘I’m going to be sensitive to you and delete your comment.’
Since you have deleted one of my comments before for not being on topic, why did you not delete all the ‘garbage’ of bad stuff said about you yesterday on another post that was off topic? I just don’t get it. In the interest of trying to ‘clear’ myself, I’m going to post again my comment exactly the way I wrote it before:

Wade,
I may remind you of: ‘with friends like you, who needs enemies?’ but I’m just calling it like I ‘read’ it.
If I understand Ricky correctly, he suggested that you posted the negative comments about you in order for ‘us’ to ‘chew them up—that way they get exposed and you keep your reputation of never attacking anyone.
After reading the comments, I see his point. Your comment to Robin Sunday Oct 1, 10:55 PM says, “Please be specific where anyone says the men you named are being used by Satan…and if it is true that someone has made that accusation of a fellow brother in Christ I will remove it.”

What’s almost funny is that you say this after the previous comment states, “I have never, ever personally heard such demonic venom coming from the mouths of so-called believers in Christ like this that you have graciously, and I’m sure with much forethought, posted today.”

I think I would rather be accused of being used by Satan than told my words were “demonic venom.”
All and all, I think it proves Ricky’s point, and I believe you would be more respected if you admitted his words hit a little close to home.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

WOW! I wrote this separate as I went back to check Rickey’s comment and it has been deleted by the author.
After Wade replied to it twice, and in another comment Wade said he was not going to delete it.
Now it’s gone. Rickey, are you telling the jury to forget what you’ve told them?
I believe you’re a friend of Wade’s and I am too, but as iron sharpens iron, true friends are to state the truth.
Wade is human enough when someone says some untruth about him, he would like for someone to stand up for him. We all feel that way. Paul felt the same when he said the sad words: “No one stood for me.”
And that’s what Wade did when he let his friends ‘go to bat for him.’ That’s not bad but to deny it didn’t happen is not the exact truth.
Rex Ray

Don Minshew said...

The value of blogging is that ideas can be debated in a open forum. One downside is that the communication can be created too quickly and lack the precision that is necessary for truth. We get opinion and cliche mixed into truth and wind up with half-truth and innuendo. In one of your comments, Wade, you stated "but that's also probably why there are so few genuine conversions in the SBC." Careful! God still works powerfully among the churches of this convention to bring the lost into the kingdom. He still works dramatically in those same churches to build disciples.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Why has no one mentioned you’re saying, “I personally affirm the BFM 2000 --- every JOT and TITTLE”, when you’re signed the BFM, you ADDED three “caveats”—
1. Not agreeing to add “s” to priesthood of believer,
2. Not agreeing to office of pastor limited to men.
3. Not agreeing to force employees to sign the BFM.

How do you explain those THREE affirming “every jot and tittle?”

By the way, I’m proud of you for adding those caveats and having the courage to do so. I hope you haven’t changed your mind.
Rex Ray

Ricky said...

Dear Wade and All,

I emailed Wade and apologized for my earlier comment because as I read it again I felt that it was not loving, compassionate, thoughtful or well written. Rex, I do not know Wade so I can not call him a friend. But, I do respect Wade. He and his family would be welcomed at Trinity Baptist Church and I would be honored to fellowship with him and his family over dinner and a cup of coffee.

I am in total agreement with Wade that we are distracted from the purpose that the Father has for individual Christians, churches, associations, state and national conventions. As I understand God’s Word our purpose is to do our part in extending the Kingdom of God and building up the body of Christ. I know that we are distracted because in our wonderful denomination we say that we are sixteen million strong and yet we cannot find but eleven-twelve million. We have baptized less and less believers every year even though we have planted more and more churches. By our own denominations admission we have 70-80 % of our churches who are either maintaining or in decline. We know that 75% of our youth leave the church once they graduate from High School. We have very real problems, but we seem stuck on alcohol, speaking in tongues, Dr. Patterson, Calvinism, moderates, fundamentalist and the list could go on and on. It is my belief that satan uses these distractions that we are so passionate about to distract us from our mission.

My battle is not with Wade, our denomination or even the detractors of our great denomination. My battle is not even with those who are without Christ. The battle is with satan.

Prayerfully, this will help clarify my opinions and will not distract us from our mission.

May God richly bless you,

Ricky

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

My caveats are simply that those who disagree with the interpetation of non-essential doctrines, held by even the majority of Southern Baptists, are excluded.

For instance, I don't hold to women pastors, and don't care if it is "priesthood" of the believer (singular) or believer(s) (plural), and I am also ambivolent about signing the BFM 2000. My point is that these are the issues that divided the SBC in the BFM 2000, and my CAVEAT is simply that we ought not EXCLUDE from service or fellowship those who disagree with us on these issues (I PERSONALLY agree, but find it unconscionable that we exclude people from service who disagree --- over the interpretation of these non-essential doctrines --- which might never should have been in a major confession in the first place).

The same could be said of tongues. I don't speak in tongues, I don't have a private prayer language, and I don't want one. I just don't agree with excluding people from service those who do.

Wade Burleson said...

Ricky,

Good, kind words.

I will take you up on the cup of coffee some day.

Thanks,

wade

wln said...

I believe that many within the SBC are more concerned about being conservative vs. being Biblical. This attitude causes the circle of cooperation to get smaller and smaller. We are to be led by the spirit and we are to be honest with scripture. If this is a Liberal idea, then call me a Liberal. However, I would prefer to be called a follower of Christ.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
I think you misunderstood my question of: (How do you explain those THREE [caveats] affirming “ever jot and tittle?”)

In your reply you did not even mention ‘jot and tittle.’

‘Ever jot and tittle’ is Scripture telling how God’s Word will not pass away. When you used this term to describe your belief in the BFM it gives the impression that you believe the BFM just as the Bible in believing every thing said in the BFM.
But in your reply, you said, “…these non-essential doctrines --- which might never should have been in a major confession in the first place.”
That is NOT believing “ever jot and tittle.” To say so is trying to please the BFM 2000 crowd and the caveats is trying to please the other side, but in the end you need only stand for truth and please God
Rex Ray.

Steve A said...

Man, I thought my school kids could find little things to nitpick about! They have nothing on our religious zealots. Next, someone will say Wade is "looking out my window!"

TruthOfActs said...

Steve,
Maybe you don’t understand my disappointment in Wade saying he believed “ever jot and tittle” of the BFM.
You see, his “caveats” gave me hope that he would work to have those caveats removed from the BFM. If that makes me a “religious zealot”, then so be it.

I believe men that produced a paper and chopped the heads off of everyone they had control over who wouldn’t sign it (even 20 year missionaries) are the real religious zealots.
Rex Ray