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

Who's Your Favorite Team? The Yankees?

I wish to begin this post expressing my appreciation for Dr. Paige Patterson. I am grateful for his love for Christ and his leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention over the years. I have appreciated the way Dr. Patterson has graciously and publicly affirmed Dr. Mohler, a man who is President of a sister agency (Southern Seminary) but is miles apart from Patterson soteriologically. Dr. Patterson's personal affableness with Dr. Mohler during the debate at last year's Greensboro's Pastors Conference is well worth imitation by us all.

I say these heartfelt words about Dr. Patterson at the beginning of this post because there are some who erroneously believe that if one expresses written disagreement with Dr. Patterson then he must be either against Dr. Patterson, or worse, his enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth as far as I am concerned. I am grateful Dr. Patterson is a Southern Baptist and wish him, his family and his ministry at SWBTS untold blessings. I believe we are a better convention because of Dr. Patterson's involvement.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE FACE IN THE SBC

The Southern Baptist Convention has so much going for her. I do believe, however, that there is a huge problem that is like an internal cancer. It will eat at us from the inside out unless we diagnose it, do all we can to convince the family (all Southern Baptists) that the disease is real, and take decisive, intentional steps to cut it out before we die from it.

There are some in the blog world, but particularly in the mainstream media, who are trying to color the current controversy in the SBC in terms of Calvinists vs. Arminians, or Charismatics vs. non-Charismatics, or Landmarkers vs. non-Landmarkers, or Abstainers vs. Moderationists or Conservatives vs. neo-conservatives, etc . . .

These issues are not the root problem in the SBC. There have been preachers and people within the SBC who have held to different sides of each of the above named issues since the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845.

The current problem we face in the convention is an attempt to make everyone conform to, and affirm completely, ONE uniform interpretation of the above named issues. There are some in leadership who see themselves as the guardians and gatekeepers of doctrinal purity, and feel it their calling to either remove Southern Baptists from leadership who don't side with them, or at least to prevent any Southern Baptist from serving as a trustee or employee of an SBC agency who disagrees. Not all of the above issues are in the current dialogue, but it is certain that, given time, they all will be.

The demand for conformity of interpretations of the sacred text is the problem. The controversy among us is not about what the text is, it is about what the text says. The problem we face is not about a belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, but in the sufficiency of Scripture. In other words, there is not agreement in interpretation --- but that's not bad. Diversity is the middle name of Southern Baptists.

The Cooperative Program only works when diverse and different churches, pastors, and people COOPERATE. If we continue to narrow the definition of what it means to be a Baptist, and demand conformity on doctrinal interpretations of the text that are not addressed by the BFM 2000 in order to serve, we should change the name of the Cooperative Program to the Non-Cooperative Program. I feel Dr. Patterson desires this conformity, and seeks to use his influence to bring it about.

A QUOTE THAT REVEALS DR. PATTERSON'S MINDSET

There is an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram dated Wednesday, October 18, 2006 where Dr. Patterson is quoted extensively about his position on tongues and his SWBTS trustee, Dwight McKissic, who speaks in tongues privately. There is a very memorable line toward the end of the article that I believe illustrates Dr. Patterson's desire for the SBC.

"I have opposed [speaking in tongues] for all of these years because I think it's an erroneous interpretation of the Bible," Patterson said. "Southern Baptists traditionally have stood against what we feel like are the excesses of the charismatic movement. All we're doing is restating where we've always been."

Baptists are "the most intense advocates of religious liberty," Patterson said, defending the right of other Christians to believe in speaking in tongues.

"But don't wear a Yankee uniform when you play for the Mets," said Patterson

I love this quote.

It made me chuckle when I read it. It's one of the things I like about Dr. Patterson --- you never have to wonder what he thinks.

ONE DAY THE YANKEES WON'T HAVE ANY FANS LEFT TO SEE THEM PLAY

If we accept Dr. Patterson's view regarding the SBC we will eventually die as a convention. How will we die? In numbers of people who are called Southern Baptists.

We will not stop narrowing when the private prayer language issue is over. We will not stop the narrowing when we forget about the new demand that believer's baptism be performed by a Southern Baptist or a 'church' that believes in eternal security (I still don't understand how a 'church' baptizes somebody). We will continue down this slippery slope of narrowing to the point that we demand what a 'true' Southern Baptist should believe about soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, etc . . .

I think SBC pastors are already disconnected from their congregations. Nobody in our churches cares if somebody prays privately in tongues, as long as that tongues speaker doesn't disrupt the worship of others, or demand that everyone have the gift.

Nobody in our churches cares if a person was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, evangelical church, freewill church, congregational church, etc . . . as long as they followed the Lord in believer's baptism.

Nobody in our churches cares if somebody drinks, as long as that person isn't controlled by it or becomes drunk and puts his life and other lives in danger.

Nobody in our churches cares if a person is a Calvinist or not; they just want to know if their fellow church members love Christ. Nobody cares if their brother in Christ is a historic premillenialist or a dispensationalist.

And I could argue that solid, evangelical conservative scholars throughout the centuries have argued both sides of the above issues from the Scriptures.

But there are certain Southern Baptist pastors and denominational leaders who do care about these things. They care a great deal.

In fact, they care so much about these issues that they say, "If you don't agree with us, then you are not truly a Southern Baptist and should not be in leadership positions. In fact, you ought to ask yourself if you should even be a part of the SBC. Go join a Pentecstal Church. Go become a Presbyterian. Go join the Methodists. Go somewhere else if you can't affirm our interpretations of the text."

In other words, "Don't wear a Yankee uniform when you play for the Mets."

DR. PATTERSON'S VIEW OF THE SBC IS THAT OF ONE TEAM (the Yankees) --- MY VIEW OF THE SBC IS ONE LEAGUE WITH MANY TEAMS (Major League Baseball).

If the Southern Baptist Convention is like the Yankees, then churches must look the same, act the same, believe the same, etc . . . (just like the Yankees can have no facial hair, must wear the same uniform, etc . . .)

But if the Southern Baptist Convention is like the Major Leagues, then churches can have their own identity. They will not look the same, play the game the same way, have the same goals, or even finish the season in the same place, but they will all be servants of the same Master, Jesus Christ (just like the teams in the Major Leagues are all different but all play the same game --- baseball).

We are narrowing our Major League Convention down to a professional baseball team.

We are booting out of the ballpark those who aren't Yankees. We don't want Mets. We don't want Astros. We don't want Cubs. We want Yankees.

Someone will say, "But we can't boot anybody out of the SBC --- people leave on their own." Yes, you are right, but if there is one thing people in this country should know it is that "Taxation without representation will always lead to a revolution." To take Cooperative Program funds from churches, but then refuse to appoint their missionaries, will lead to a revolution. For the convention to appoint a trustee or an agency head who speak in tongues privately, but then to say, "We don't want you because what you believe or practice is harmful to the churches" is doing all you can to tell a man he is a Met at heart and should not be playing for the Yankees.

DR. PATTERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO NARROW SWBTS BUT NOT THE IMB

The trustees of SWBTS hired Dr. Patterson. The President of any agency has the perogative to set the agenda, policy and guidelines that he desires --- or at least he should.

Trustees should follow their President, or if they can't, they should terminate him. It is obvious that the trustees at SWBTS are overwhelmingly in support of their Presdient on his doctrinal positions regarding cessationism. Even though Dr. Patterson's views go beyond the BFM 2000, he has the right to establish policy that bars continualists from teaching at his school. Southern Seminary in Lousville follows what is called "The Abstract of Principles," a document that goes well beyond the BFM 2000 in demanding conformity in soterological views of professors who teach at Southern. It is Southern's perogative, and Dr Mohler's, to do this. In other words, each seminary can establish doctrinal requisites that go beyond the BFM 2000.

There are five other SBC seminaries.

SBC churches and theological students will vote with their wallets and pocket book as to which seminary is the best.

It will be very interesting to see enrollment numbers in the years to come.

A narrow ideology that forbids dissent and demands conformity, and most importantly, ignores the sufficiency of Scripture in matters of faith and practice and emphasizes tradition as in "Southern Baptists traditionally have stood against what we feel like are the excesses of the ________ movement" is ultimately the death knell of the institution.

We'll see for whom the bell tolls. I predict record enrollment numbers at Southern in the coming years and declining enrollment at Southwestern. It does not have to be that way, and I hope that I am proven wrong. Frankly, what Southwestern Seminary does is the business of the trustees, and not mine. Most of our young men and women at Emmanuel go to Southern or Golden Gate.

However, the International Mission Board should not set doctrinal requisites that EXCEED the BFM 2000.

There is only one mission board in the Southern Baptist Convention --- not six. You can't choose which misson board you are going to use.

The IMB facilitate CHURCHES WHO SEND THE MISSIONARIES.

THE IMB exists to support the churches, and without the churches there is no IMB, for that matter, there is no SBC.

When you narrow the parameters of cooperation to make the entire SBC look like the ONE team (the Yankees), you will lose the support base for the COOPERATIVE PROGRAM.

By the way, my church probably does not look like the church Dr. Patterson would pastor. I'm not saying his church would be wrong and we would be right --- we would just be different from each other. Further, I would NEVER demand that Dr. Patterson's church, were he a pastor, look like mine.

"Who's your favorite team? The Yankees?"

Dr. Patterson will tell you that you should be a Yankee to be a Southern Baptist. I am saying you can be a member of any of the teams in the Major Leagues and simply cooperate with the rest of us to make the Major League Convention the best possible Convention we can be. We can do it! It's called cooperation.

What I can't figure out is why this Met's man is being asked to wear a Yankee's hat.

We are all playing the same game.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

84 comments:

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Your baseball example is very true. No one has to wear a certain uniform to play the game. In fact, I’ve played more out of uniform than in a uniform.
Narrowing the circle is making rules that a right handed batter must hit to left field etc.

The worse rule was making the BFM 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

SBC Layman said...

"If the whole body were an eye, were would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?

But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

But now there are many members, but one body

And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you?'; or again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'.....

....There should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it"

If we were all Yankees, there would be no more ball games!

(I wonder if the Texas Rangers feel slighted:)

Troy

Vonnie said...

Hi Wade,
I am not a Baptist, but am a Christian who belongs to the Church of Christ. I have been following your blog for quite a while, came through Kevin Bussey, who reads Wade Hodges, who is a Church of Christ minister. 6 degrees of Separation - or something like that. I really like the way you think - and write. One of the men at our church is a chaplain in the Air Force and I think wrote a great blog on unity yesterday. You can read it HERE

Vonnie said...

I knew I should have checked Kevin's website before I stated that he reads Wade Hodges - I should have said Scott Freeman.

Steve A said...

This is a truly instructional entry. It puts the current zeal for conformity in practical terms.

Y'know,... there was ... there was this old bunch tha' started out with ten rules and a strong mandate, but by the time the rules list had expanded past 600, why, almost nobody cared about any of them. Matter of fact, only their Most Valuable Player could even try out for their league, and, danged if they didn't cut Him!

Steve Austin

Publius said...

Wade,

I think you're right about churches voting with their dollars, and their feet. It's already happening. One reason your voice seems so loud and alone is that many who would stand with you have already left, quietly. Not all, but many.

I think what we're really seeing is the transition pains of a Modern organization moving into Postmodernity. More and more churches are willing to decide for themselves what they believe, and how they interpret the Scriptures. And when they do, they're not waiting around for approval from the Convention. If they decide that they no longer have a place in the SBC tent, they just leave. No fanfare, no arguing. They just start spending more of their money on their own missions and less on the CP.

So what we're seeing is not a split. It's not going to be the Wade Faction against the Patterson Faction, or whatever. It's going to be the Patterson Faction controlling a smaller and smaller convention (though they won't let the numbers reflect the decline) as more and more churches exercise their "local church autonomy" and quietly leave the fold. Tragically, what we know as the Cooperative Program may be lost forever. I don't see anything else rising to take its place. Instead, missionaries will join smaller regional agencies and support themselves (you probably see this already).

It's a small consolation that the "narrowing" faction, if you will, probably believes they're doing the right thing. They think postmodernity is the biggest threat to the church, and they'll fight it tooth and nail. Well, it probably is the biggest threat to the SBC, but the Church is stronger than ever, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

Bryan Riley said...

Kudos on a great post and metaphor. A couple of others used this metaphor today as well, and they are worth the read. Dorcas at http://dhawker.wordpress.com/ and Brent at http://colossiansthreesixteen.com/. The only problem with the metaphor at all is that clearly the major league teams are in competition with one another. We, as Christians, regardless of our stripe, should not be.

Dorcas said...

Bryan -

I don't know if you've seen the Tommy Lasorda commercials encouraging people to watch the playoffs even though "their team" is out of it for this season. The point of the commercials is that "this is baseball and you know you love it" so watch the playoffs for the love of the game. That sort of thing.

I think it is a friendly competition for those who truly love the sport. So I think the analogy is fair to use.

Wade -

Sure, go ahead and make the point I was trying to make with more style and finesse. Just when I get excited about hitting an infield single you go and hit a home run. :)

I appreciate this post. I don't know if I agree entirely with some of the conclusions about the role of seminary presidents and their ability to have so much control over the institutions, but it makes me think. That's the part I appreciate most.

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

what does a guy like me do when he agrees with both you and Patterson on this?

On the one hand, I can't stand that narrowing of parameters. On the other hand I do believe that we need to define what we believe as a convention.

I think defining what we believe and instructing our agencies and seminaries to not tolerate less than and to not discriminate beyond it, would solve this problem.

But like you, if we had such a statement, I wouldn't want it to be so narrow that a McKissic couldn't serve, or brother Rankin.

Until we have a standard of faith that cuts both ways this will continue and we will continue to spin our tires. Let the Convention decide what we will and will not tolerate doctrinally.

So Wade, which team am I on? The Patterson Generals or the Burelson Renegades?

Africa M said...

Just one more reason to not like the Yankees.

I've always been a Cubs fan. I love playing the game, the smell of fresh cut grass, the smell of hot dogs, the feel of the Spirit moving in your life. Loving my Master as he teaches me to play this game well. Don't know if I will have any results, the Cubs usually don't. But just wait until next year.

The results are His I'm just glad I get to play. I hope I love Him more through this journey.

I just hope somebody doesn't take over GM and tell me I'm no longer wanted on the team. Big worry for those in my position

Hopefully that will never happen so for now I say Here am I Send me in Coach.

GaryB said...

Some may respond to you that MLB has a set of rules that define it as baseball. Each team can't stray from which ball to use, wood vs metal bats, etc. And each team/church has to follow the "rules of the game".
And the commissioners office sets out rules for all to follow. And that within the team there may be rules such as who sets the lineup,
who visits the mound or if the Twins win their division and keep their coach and Oakland wins their division and cans the coach.

From my independent baptist history this discussion is part of
why some focus on separation so much and why many groups left the Northern Convention in the 40's and 50's. Leaders in those groups often say my way or the highway, or to follow baseball "to the showers you go"

Timothy Cowin said...

That finally does it! So Patterson says:
"Don't wear a Yankee uniform, when you play for the Mets."

You got it backward Wade, says we are playing for the Mets?! The stinkin Mets! The Mets that we call "pondscum" here in St. Louis!

Now it is all suddenly clear to me! No wonder this last year has been so difficult for me. Unbeknownest to me, unseen hands have been attempting to force me down a path of beind a MET?! With the slip of a tongue the truth is revealed.

NEVER, as one who is a life-long, fanatical, bleeding red, CARDINALS fan, will I will ever be a Met!

I don't even have to ask my church to vote on this, we will go to our graves saying "GO CARDS!"

From Cardinal Nation

Timothy

PS
How sad if this really shows Dr. P's thinking on this. He does'nt think anybody who disagrees with him on this matter should even be on the "SBC TEAM."

jasonk said...

Well said Wade.
The SBC has been set on a course to become one of those denominations only occupied by people who think exactly the same way. Older people who only talk about the good old days, and frighteningly loyal and determined younger people who excel in nothing more than drinking kool aid and repeating what they have heard.

dwm III said...

Wade,

I posted recently on my blog about Baptist Battles (I think that will ring a bell with you and this post). I believe that the biggest problems are pride, our flesh, the world and the devil.

I also think that one of the biggest problems in the convention is our view of ecclesiology. As I have seen through your blog and others there is a lack of understanding of ecclesiology. I do not necessarily see this in your posts but in the comments I have read by others. It is not that they are ignorant or in need of Jesus. It is just that we haven't been thinking in terms of the church but the convention.

Anyways, just some rambling thoughts.

God bless,
dwmiii

Scotte Hodel said...

This may be off topic, but I'd like to ask the nature of government at SBC seminaries. I teach at a secular university. Our board of trustees is responsible to oversee general policy, etc., and the President is responsibile for the implementation of those policies: that is, the president is accountable to the board of trustees.

From the above (and from some of the recenter letters of Dr. McKissic) sounds like the seminary authority structure is quite different from ours. In particular, the treatment Dr. McKissic received as a visiting, speaking trustee would be nearly unthikable where I work, even if his views contradicted the publicly stated of our university president.

In terms of the current controversy, I understood my position as a charismatic within the SBC as soon as I read your list of teams. Two words: The Cubs.

Scotte Hodel said...

Argh, proofreading. Spelling errors. From a professor. (Engineer, but a professor nonetheless.)

Mike said...

Irreverend Fox said...
"On the other hand I do believe we need to define what we believe as a convention."

I think we've done this and we've called it the BFM2000. The issue is do we define what we believe about every jot and tittle of theology or should we, as I believe, only define the essentials of the faith and then leave non-essentials for interpretations of the churches.

It doesn't matter how narrow "we" define our parameters, there is no way 40,000 SBC churches will ever be exactly alike. That's one of the reasons we have a New Members' Class for all new members, SBC'rs or not. While we are proudly SBC, we may be different, and probably are, from the SBC church a block away, a city away, or a state away.

Back to the baseball analogy, whether Yankees or Mets, there are certain rules to the game that must be followed or the game ceases to exist. All the teams must play only 9 players at one time. Each team gets three outs. Each batter gets only 4 balls and three strikes. These are the fundamentals of the game that if taken away keep baseball from being baseball.

However, each team may choose how they play within the parameters of the fundamentals. Some like the long ball, some depend on strong pitching, some build for speed. So the Yankees and Mets play the same game within the fundamentals of the game, but may look completely different in the actual playing of the game due to the non-essentials. Thus, there is beauty to the game. I pray we never lose the beauty of the SBC...strongly conservative, defending the fundamentals of Scripture (as defined by Scripture...not a narrow "we" who decide what additional fundamentals are), yet lovingly recognizing that in lower tier beliefs, there is room for friendly dialogue and differences without having to separate, censor, or attack.
Mike

Bart Barber said...

Good morning, Wade,

I probably shouldn't do this right before going on vacation, but look at it this way—folks can rip me to shreds with no fear of rebuttal.

1. In 1845 there were no charismatics. In 1845 there were no Landmarkers. In 1845 there was no modernism. Many of the issues in play today are not timeless questions that must necessarily remain unanswered, nor are all positions in the SBC today equally able to lay claim to the Baptist heritage.

2. Why stop the league at the SBC? You've mentioned Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. All of these denominations have made arguments for their distinctive practices out of the scripture. Here's the deal: Not every exegetical argument contains equally valid exegesis. The modernist problem of people discounting the value of scripture is a relatively recent problem. It does not and cannot explain the origin of denominations. The roots of the SBC are in precisely what you are decrying—that a fellowship of churches can be built around a set of particular interpretations of the biblical text. Everything that makes a church Baptist rather than Quaker belongs in this category...everything. Thus, when applied consistently, it seems to me that your argument works against the separate existence of the Southern Baptist Convention, not as a set of idea to preserve and strengthen it.

But as for me, I'm willing to say that some interpretations of scripture are better than others. William Miller built upon scriptural interpretation his prediction that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. That's interpretation, not an attack upon the inerrancy or sufficiency of scripture. But it was bad interpretation. And to forsake the willingness to hold convictions about what is good or bad interpretations...that is a recipe for denominational suicide.

Bart Barber said...

Good morning, Wade,

I probably shouldn't do this right before going on vacation, but look at it this way—folks can rip me to shreds with no fear of rebuttal.

1. In 1845 there were no charismatics. In 1845 there were no Landmarkers. In 1845 there was no modernism. Many of the issues in play today are not timeless questions that must necessarily remain unanswered, nor are all positions in the SBC today equally able to lay claim to the Baptist heritage.

2. Why stop the league at the SBC? You've mentioned Presbyterians, Methodists, etc. All of these denominations have made arguments for their distinctive practices out of the scripture. Here's the deal: Not every exegetical argument contains equally valid exegesis. The modernist problem of people discounting the value of scripture is a relatively recent problem. It does not and cannot explain the origin of denominations. The roots of the SBC are in precisely what you are decrying—that a fellowship of churches can be built around a set of particular interpretations of the biblical text. Everything that makes a church Baptist rather than Quaker belongs in this category...everything. Thus, when applied consistently, it seems to me that your argument works against the separate existence of the Southern Baptist Convention, not as a set of idea to preserve and strengthen it. Indeed, they would serve great as an argument against being Baptist at all.

But as for me, I'm willing to say that some interpretations of scripture are better than others—more accurate than others in conveying the one-and-only sense of the text. William Miller built upon scriptural interpretation his prediction that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. That's interpretation, not an attack upon the inerrancy or sufficiency of scripture. But it was bad interpretation. And to forsake the willingness to hold convictions about what are good or bad interpretations...that is a recipe for denominational suicide, IMHO.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

I accidentally double-posted (browser error on the first one). Please delete the first reference and leave the second.

By the way, thanks to John for making my point, although from the perspective of one who views the result more favorably than I do.

irreverend fox said...

Mike,

what do we do, then, when the BF&M2000 is not the only criteria in discriminating theologically?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

In a previous post you said the SBC was dying. Now today you say it is doing well but has a cancer in it that needs to be cut out.

Can you define exactly what is the cancer? What authority you have in defining this cancer? How do you propose the SBC cut out this cancer? What do you do with the cancer when it is cut out?

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

The cancer is identified in this post.

One of my wife's and my best friends is a beautiful lady who, if you look at her, you think, "She looks great!"

But she has lymphoma. She's dying, and unless the cancer is removed she will not be with us long.

You cut the cancer out by appointing people to positions of leadership who affirm the BFM 2000 but don't demand you be like them in other areas. The President of the SBC needs to be very intentional in his appointments.

I think you will find that is happening.

:)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

You are wrong. There were all these folks in 1845 --- and more.

This is one of the reasons the convention had a rocky start.

Many of these "autonomous" churches who thought differently had a hard time envisioning 'cooperating' with different 'autonomous' churches.

Finally, I don't know why you repeatedly move back to a warning of liberalism. Jesus told us that Pharisaical thinking is just as dangerous as Sadducean thinking. Why not sound the alarm against legalism Bart?

Wade Burleson said...

For all who wonder about the analogy and where the Methodists and Presybeterians and Anglicans, and Assembly of God churches would fit in.

Don't be offended, but I'll give you my take --- I realize it will sound arrogant to some, but I'm going to do it anyway.

I could say they are playing another sport --- football, hockey, etc . . .

But I don't think that is true. They are in the Christian game just as us --- cults would play other sports.

I would say these evangelical denominations are in the minor league farm system.

Something keeps them from the big leagues. You know what it is in my mind?

Their traditions that are not based upon the Word of God.

The unfortunate thing is there are some Southern Baptists who now want to move SBC tradition above the Scripture.

I will do all I can to keep us part of the big leagues --- Sola Scriptura.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

wade,
i left this on yesterdays blog by mistake- did you delete my post from this morning or did i mess up sending it?
thanks
John

John Fariss said...

Good analysis Wade. A minor point of disagreement: I think SWBTS may well see an increase in enrolment. Why? This new policy will have a polarizing effect, and there are always people who are attracted to that. Given the vast population of the US, there are significant numbers of people who will interpret this as "having the courage to take a stand." There are plenty of people who will say, "Well, I'm no charismatic, I don't believe in that stuff, I'm called into the ministry, I should go to a seminary that has the courage to say charismatics are wrong, that HAS to be where God is calling me, ergo that's where I will go." So even if there is no fudging of enrollment records, I expect an increase. (BTW, I recall some fudging was done at SEBTS with enrollment in the late 80s or early 90s, either under Dr. Drummond's tenure or in the early days of Dr. Patterson--something about defining a full time student as anyone who took a certain number of hours, which was below the normal number full-time students took, and then adding up all the total hours taken and dividing it by the new definition of a full time student, and claiming that was the enrollment of "student units.") The real question, as I see it, is: will this increase be sustained, or just a spike, after which decline will follow? My guess is the later, for the same reasons you give.

Gavin Brown said...

Wade,

You nailed it. The SBC is a COOPERATIVE of LIKE-MINDED (Read - not homogenous droids who line up on every jot and tittle) churches and individuals who work together to spread the Gospel to the nations for the glory of God.

Great post.

Bob said...

This post was enjoyable to read. I especially like your baseball analogy.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

Don't forget in your analogy, that there are different leagues in baseball. But most of the baseball is played on streets or on vacant lots or in fields with kids and sticks and an old coverless ball. At least that's how it was when I was a kid.

And they'll play with every team configuration imaginable.

I don't think for a minute that, if Derek Jeter stopped by a sandlot, he'd tell them how wrong they had it for having 5 kids on a side. He'd probably grab a mitt and jump in.

Kevin Bussey said...

Although I'm a Braves fan, I enjoy the playoffs without them. I just like sports. I love the testimony of Albert Pujols. We as SBC'ers should be for every team. We are not in competition with each other or for that matter other denominations. We are in a battle with Satan.

Wade Burleson said...

John,

I'm not sure to which post you are referring. Sorry. I usually delete nothing.

John said...

I love your baseball story- I would assume that many in the SBC would say that other denominations are the "teams" ie- the METhodists are the Mets.... The real problem as I see it is that many if not most sbc leaders seem to beleive that we really are the Yankees- the best- the greastest- america's team- God's team. I believe scripture teaches that we are all in the body of Christ and it takes us all to be the body. We should be ashamed when we claim to be more important than other parts of the body. Speaking of baseball and Yankees- is it not funny that the Yankees were put in their place- big time salaries, best farm system, greatest fans, highest revenue, most all stars... guess what? they still lost, Huh??? Maybe we in the sbc could use a little humble pie.

Matt Snowden said...

I thought he would have gone with a "ride for the brand" image. He does not seem like a baseball guy to me. I may be wrong. Go Braves!

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

Irreverend Fox,

I think that's the problem. As a convention we've laid out the BFM2000 as our framework for cooperation within those theological parameters, but then different SBC agencies/institutions say that the BFM2000 is not enough, we'll add more to narrow those parameters. Why have a statement of faith that supposedly speaks for the entire convention when any agency/institution can add their own clarifying/limiting beliefs to the BFM2000?

So this time, it's cessationist vs. continuist. Next time, could they say that Article X of the BFM2000 is not clear enough about "Last Things" and that the only faculty we'll hire are those who support a dispensational view of eschatology which has been the historic position of Southern Baptists (this is hypothetical)? Thus, the powers that be could narrow the parameters beyond what the convention has determined as theologically sound.

I think you've asked a great question...what do we do? Do we as a convention say to agencies/institutions that the BFM2000 is our statement of faith and you cannot narrow those parameters nor add to/take away from those parameters? I personally would not mind sending that message.
Mike

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

What is being missed in this discussion is the very principle that consistent theology must be held by those who are working for the SBC. How can we say that the "tier" approach will work when what it will cause is a traffic jam in what subjects people are being discipled with.

We need to remember that biblical evangelism includes discipleship thus this issue is important and one that we must know if it is being advocated or not.

One missionary told me just three weeks ago that he is frustrated dealing with the charasmatics who come in after he has led someone to Christ and then they start teaching tongues etc.

I realize you guys have said this is private - but again if it so, why is now puplic and why is it being promoted. This fact, reveals why this is an issue that must be dealt with and rejected.

I have said it before and will say it again, I love people who practice or believe such truths. However, for us as a convention to endorse this as acceptable is not at all in-line with who we have been and what we are.

A person can belong to the SBC but just as there are parameters in the bible for Church leadership positions, there must be parameters for SBC employees.

Why is this so hard to see?

If it is private - why is it so publically promoted? Thus does this not reveal that if there is no control it will obviously be an issue taught by employees? If you say not - then why are we even discussing this? The answer - it is being promoted and there is a desire for it to be promoted and allowed.

Go Tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

art rogers said...

Wade,

Let no one say that I never disagree with you. ;)

I disagree that any of our agencies, especially our Seminaries should have the right to make a "non-policy policy" the restricts faith byond the BFM. Especially SWBTS, who does not use the Abstract of Principles, but the BFM as the document that professors must sign. Now they get to add an adendum to the BFM?

If we support their right to do this, what would happen if every Seminary President did this with PPL or various other minor issues?

I think that they have overstepped our confessional document and their own governing document. This is not healthy and I think it needs to be overturned. Specifically, I think we are going to need to address the our agencies and institutions as a whole and their ability to go beyond our confession.

If we sort this out, the BFM becomes the one common place where we all sort out our agreements and disagreements. Whether or not we can cooperate together happens there and only there. It is much easier, and healthier, in my opinion.

Bryan Riley said...

Bart, in the year 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and so on there were no baptists and there was no Bart. And, as Wade said, your history is a little off.

Wade, I don't know that I think SBC is any more in the major league than other denominations and we must guard against pride. At the same time, please note that I'm saying I don't know, and I am not trying to argue that such "agnosticism" about the issue is a form of humility... I'm just being honest about my opinion on the issue. I also am not sure how it would help the body to say, we're the heart of the body and the rest of y'all need to get in line cause you are dragging us down. In fact, remember that they are all part of the same body.

Now, I get the idea of farm league and how it is a part of the major league system, but I'm just not good to go with this extension of your metaphor. I also still worry about competition, friendly or not, in the body. The members should not war with one another, period. My right hand does not challenge my left hand to a friendly sparring match.

When will you change to the Beta?? :)

Jackson Magazine said...

Wade,
You made very interesting statements in your post: "Nobody in our churches cares if somebody prays privately in tongues, as long as that tongues speaker doesn't disrupt the worship of others, or demand that everyone have the gift.

Nobody in our churches cares if a person was baptized in a Southern Baptist Church, evangelical church, freewill church, congregational church, etc . . . as long as they followed the Lord in believer's baptism.

Nobody in our churches cares if somebody drinks, as long as that person isn't controlled by it or becomes drunk and puts his life and other lives in danger.

Nobody in our churches cares if a person is a Calvinist or not; they just want to know if their fellow church members love Christ. Nobody cares if their brother in Christ is a historic premillenialist or a dispensationalist."

Those are pretty big statements and very broad. What info do you have which backs up your view. Will you please make that info public?

I think churches do care about these issues. I also believe it is healthy for our Convention to discuss and state where we are on these issues. I agree with Tim Guthrie that to be such a private matter it is very public. I think this is from both sides. There is one side that wishes the Convention to say both views are excepted in the SBC and people who have a PL are welcome in the leadership. There is the other side which argues people with PL's are welcome in the SBC but are a minority. Therefore, leadership & mission appointments are to be withheld from them. It is a very complicated issue and one that could be for the good of the Convention. Yet, the level of bad debate and name calling is to high.

All for Jesus
George Jackson
Rom. 1:16

Timothy Cowin said...

Tim Guthrie,

I can attest to what you are saying. Certainly, charismatics and pentecostals all over South America have come into Baptist churches and have led them away. M Will this IMB and SWBTS policy change that? NO.

What you are describing is not that SBC M's that have a PPL are on the mission field diverting chruches to pentecostalism, this has never been documented as a real problem! If one is found doing this, FIRE THEM! But whtat is happening is that Charismatics, Pentecostals, and in particular AOG's come in behind us and teach charismatic doctrine to baptist churches. It is disengenious of you to look at what non-SB's are doing to SB-churches and then say "see, we have to stop Mckissic, and those like him."

Blessings
Timothy

Mike said...

Wade,

Good summation of what's happening in the SBC. I'm 32, Gen-X. I've always been a S. Baptist and even went to a SB University. And while I'm a member of a super-historical SB church, and God called me to a para-church ministry. (I straddle two worlds) Here's my observations in no particular order nor coherence:
- The majority of SB's have no clue any of this is happening. The article today gets filed along with our hatred of homosexuals, disney halloween, and subjugation of women. Great PR, just what Jesus would do I'm sure. One more straw on the camel's back.

- I see friends my age dropping like flies from the SB church. You know what they tell me after they leave, "I've been set free." We're trading the bondage of sin for the bondage of tertiary legalistic arguments and rules. Well guess what my generation is saying with their feet, "You guys have fun with out, we're out."

- Because of my gig, I'm also meeting w/ many Baptist pastors who contribute to the Coop Fund, but have dropped the Baptist from their name and don't participate in the conventions in any way. You guys can get mad at them, but they don't care a lick. Most are too busy showing their faith with their deeds.

It is hard to fight through this crud when you're sharing the gospel to an unbeliever, particularly a knowledgeable one in the South. There's enough baggage the Enemy brings to start with, but when you say you're a Baptist, you pile on so much more.

It's getting tiring. These Boomers may get exactly what they're asking for.

It hurts too, because the other side of my gig allows me to work with IMB folks on the field. I suppose they can call me in a few years for tips on support raising. ha!

P.S. Many of the Bible churches are far from minor league, and I see other denominations doing amazing work on the field as well.

Erudite Redneck said...

It grieved my heart to see my SBC become what it's become the past 25 years. I'm content now as a member of an unabashedly liberal Congregationalist church whose only creed truly seems to be Christ, with each follower's conscience his or her guide, under the Spirit, as to how to interpret Scripture and everything else. I've no plans to return to a Southern Baptist church, but do not rule it out. Which raises a question: Is there any organized effort to reach out to what I call the Southern Baptist Alumni Society?

Timothy Cowin said...

There are basically 2 sides to all of what is going on in the SBC.

1. Those who are willing to let the BFM be the standard for cooperation among SB's. (And I don't mean just send your money, I mean FULL participation).

2. And those who are think that the BFM is not good enough and it is not capable of being used as the guide of Coopertation. (It needs help).

I truly beleive:
The BFM and all before it were written for the express purpose of defining what we all agree on! The right document to determine fellowship and cooperation is and should be the BFM.

What if Dr. Mohler decided that it would be best for SBTS to only hire Calvinists? What if Patterson decided it would be best to only hire non-Calvinists? I bet Patterson would not receive as much greif as Mohler would.

My point, there are minority views, and there is such a thing as a tyranny of the majority. The BFM is written in such a way as to aid cooperation with minority and majority opinions on various doctrines, (read preamble).

We are not truly totally cooperative as a convention. Deny a section of the BFM and you are outside of full cooperation. But the BFM is the only document that the SBC Convention as voted and approved for this purpose. EAch entity, or trustee is going beyond its authority to go beyond or fall beneath its doctrine.

If they have the right to add to it, then do they also have the right to take away from it? The sword cuts both ways. Both are not in keeping the trust that trustees have been given. IMHO

Mike said...

Wade,

Great post. As a former SBC church planter who migrated to the PCA and is now moving back to my roots...I realize what I really disliked about the SBC. The issue turned from inerrancy to specific interpretations of what most of my generation consider to be important, but minor issues.

The beauty of the Baptist church used to be in its cooperation for ONE thing...the Gospel. Churches could look different and still faithfully give their money to a program that they knew supported taking Christ to to the world. However, now churches are beginning to withhold that giving (which I think will decline), and looking to support and cooperate with other like-minded churches and organizations locally.

Maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Thanks for your faithfulness and passion for Christ.

-Mike
www.littlebluealien.com

Tim Cook said...

George Jackson,
You are right, it has been made public, and here's why: I have felt as if seeking apointment with the NAMB or IMB might be something I wanted to do several times in the past, but I have not actually looked any farther than that. Why? Well, while I don't personally speak in tongues, I can't in good conscience teach against it in all cirumstances. It would be deceptive on my part. In other words, if I were a missionary and someone in a church plant I was overseeing began to speak in tongues, I would not say "stop it!", I would simply praise God that he had given them a gift that I did not have. In the current stiuation, I have trouble believing I would "pass inspection" by either mission board if I was forthcoming about my position. It would stay private, if the mission boards didn't ask me about my views on speaking in tongues. But they will ask, of course. This process is what makes it a public issue. What would you have missionaries do in order to "keep it private" Lie? Betray their convictions? Do we need a Baptist 5th amendment? "I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may be labeled Charismatic..." This is a public issue because the mission boards make it one. If you really want it to stay "private" then the answer is simple: The IMB and NAMB must stop asking missionary candidates about it, or at least loosen the regulations concerning it. Otherwise, it will continue to be a public issue.

In Christ,
Tim Cook

P.S. I was upset about the NAMB policy a long time ago. For some, this is not a new problem, it is one that has just taken a while to pick up steam and be noticed by the powers that be.

Lee said...

I think a lot of people don't understand that the BFM is not a doctrinal statement which defines "Southern Baptist doctrine." The SBC is made up of more than 40,000 independent, autonomous churches, none of which must affirm the BFM2000 to cooperate. The convention itself is not intended to be a doctrine-setting body, but a body which conducts the business of cooperative ministry. The BFM 2000 is to serve as a guideline for that ministry, not to determine what defines "Southern Baptist beliefs."

To me, the conservative resurgence was about controlling the seminaries and mission boards in order to assure doctrinal conformity to a particular standard which they believed was necessary to save the convention from "liberalism" and turn it back to Biblical roots. Personally, I think their claims were quite exaggerated, in light of what has transpired since 1979, but that is the general purpose. Controlling the seminaries controls the doctrinal content of what will be preached and taught in the churches. Controlling the mission boards means that what Southern Baptists have to say and who they influence on the field will be in line with what the CR leaders think is orthodox Christian faith. That, at least, was the theory.

As the conservative resurgence has narrowed the parameters for cooperative ministry through denominational channels, Southern Baptists in significant numbers are going elsewhere to do the same kinds of ministry. Seminary enrollments dropped of drastically, and have only rebounded somewhat because the length of time that students stay on campus has increased. Students are taking longer to finish because they are working more to pay the increased cost of attending, and some of the schools now offer bachelor's level programs. But many Southern Baptists, perhaps as many as half of the pool of potential seminary students, go to non-SBC supported seminaries for training these days. Of course, the moderates created new schools and that drained off quite a few, but I've observed that schools like Moody, Talbot, Dallas Theological, Gordon-Conwell, Grand Rapids, have picked up lots of Southern Baptist students. As far as mission service goes, in the past decade, I have not met a single Southern Baptist mission volunteer who signed with the IMB. Our church has two international missionary families, one with Campus Crusade, one with New Tribes, neither considered the IMB because of its rules, practices and difficulties. Several members of our church went on short-term opportunities this past summer, none through SBC programs. And we are a conservative, typical, run of the mill Southern Baptist church.

I'm glad that there are a lot of Southern Baptists who are involved in career missions, but as far as our own agencies go, which are supported by our gifts, we are losing many of the brightest and best because of the way we do things.

IN HIS NAME said...

Wade,
We Southern Baptist need to walk in the Spirit if we are to be light to the world, as other Christians do.

Who brought PPL into the Light of Day? Isn't it Due to the fact that Dr. Jerry Rankin shared he had a PPL. Dr. Paige Patterson started sending letters and his underhanded way of doing things, my way or the Highway. Then the Spirit of God's people started standing upright. When God's people our oppressed God raises up His Choosen Leader's to confront the oppressor. This IMHO is why we are in this mess. Tradition, Baptist don't Dance, etc, etc,and etc.

Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Th 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.


Eph_4:30
Holy Spirit, Personal — The Bible uses various kinds of language to speak about the mysterious Spirit of God. Some of that language is nonpersonal. The Spirit is like a wind which blows (Joh_3:8) or like water which is poured out (Act_2:33). The language of the Spirit is usually very personal. Christians are not to grieve the Spirit. The Spirit is a Person who is sensitive and is hurt by the immoral behavior of those in whose hearts He lives (Isa_63:10). When Paul said not to quench the Spirit (1Th_5:19), the language is nonpersonal (the Spirit is like a fire); but it should be interpreted as personal. It means the same thing as not grieving the Spirit. Not to grieve the Spirit and not to quench the Spirit both refer to commitment to the way of life into which the Spirit leads the church. The church should be in communion (see note on 2Co_13:14) with the Spirit, personally responsive to His leadership. We should make a free personal, moral response to the personal Spirit of God. He is with us and is grieved when we sin. On the seal of the Spirit, see note on Eph_1:13-14.

In His Name

Wayne Smith

DT Boy said...

I agree with you Wade that in time that Southern Baptists will really begin to speak with our money and our voice. I know for me personally that I loved my time at SWBTS yet my wife (who also graduated from SWBTS) chose not to give to SWBTS because of the direction Dr. Patterson is leading the institution. I also have a hard time recommending SWBTS as an institution. I know there are some wonderful professors at SWBTS yet there is so much that I do not like it is hard for me to tell someone that I think it would be a good place for them to go.

I also agree that the numbers at SWBTS will begin to decrease, especially at the graduate level. This saddens me greatly because SWBTS has been an incredible instrument in God's hands and it is a place that dearly love. Yet, I have to remind myself that God is still on His throne and that someday SWBTS will again be place that I can recommend to others.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Timothy Cowin,

First, let me say that I have received your email and I will respond in the next day or so. I have been holding a series of Revival meetings this week and have not been able to do much research.

You say; "But whtat is happening is that Charismatics, Pentecostals, and in particular AOG's come in behind us and teach charismatic doctrine to baptist churches." How wre these groups able to teach such doctrine in Baptist churches? It is because of doctrine being taught that PPL is a spiritual gift when the Bible does not address it as such.

Then you say in another comment "What if Dr. Mohler decided that it would be best for SBTS to only hire Calvinists?" Go to SBTS and listen to what the majority of the Prof's teach. I understand that there is even one Prof. that teaches you were regenerated before you were saved.

My point is this. SBTS is known that if you desire to learn Reformed Theology that is the place to be. There is no question about it. You let someone walk into that chapel and preach that you were chosen not to be a calvinist and see how long that sermon stands. The piont is they teach the doctrine that the President of the Seminary ascribes. That does not mean that everyone there is a 5 point Calvinist, but the overwhelming majority of them are. The reason the churches were able to be taken over by Charismatics, AoG's, and Pentecostals is the teaching of the Doctrine that allows for PPL as a Scriptural Gift.

INMHO that is the reason.

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I Corinthians 4:28 states: "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.”


Dr. Stephen Pruett asks in a comment on another post, "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 (in tongues) and with understanding. Thus, in the context of the whole passage, we are told that prophesy is a better gift than tongues, but it can be personally edifying to speak in tongues privately. Thus, the Bible not only mentions private prayer language, but actively supports it for those who are given that gift.

Tim, you say,

"The reason the churches were able to be taken over by Charismatics, AoG's, and Pentecostals is the teaching of the Doctrine that allows for PPL as a Scriptural Gift.

Would you please, Tim, answer Dr. Pruett's question? Refer, again to the text --- not what you have been taught, not your tradition, not your logic --- the sacred text.

If you allow that the Bible teaches I Corinthians 4:28 that speaking in tongues privately before God is a gift for personal edification, which I have no clue how you are going to get around saying the Bible DOESN'T teach that when it is written in plain English (or Greek if you wish to read from the original) in the the verse above, then Dwight McKissic is a Biblicist, not a Pentecostal, or a Charismatic.

A Baptist biblicist.

And it might be that you are in danger of exalting a Baptist 'tradition' above Scripture.

Think about it.

Pentecostals are wrong in that they say tongues should be 'normative' for all Christians, or it is 'evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling.'

The Bible does not support Pentecostal teaching like that -- at all.

But, Bro. Tim, is it possible that you may just as guilty as the Pentecostals in ignoring the text and promoting tradition over the Bible?

Just asking.

Again, what says the TEXT?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I am reminded of what Vance Havner used to say, "I don't understand everything there is to know about electricity, but I don't sit around in the dark until I do."

I don't understand a private prayer language, don't have the gift, don't seek it, and don't want it. and I can't fully explain it --- but I'm not going to sit around and say it doesn't exist or that it is of the devil, when both Christian brothers and sisters profess to have it, and the Bible speaks of it.

All I'm saying to you Bro. Tim is that I would be real careful about ruling out of OTHER'S faith and practice (I don't care what you do with your own) things you don't understand, particularly when it is in the sacred text that we call the inerrant Bible.

WTJeff said...

Tim Guthrie,

The PPL question is publicly promoted because people are being asked if they are practicing it in private. If this question wasn't asked to prospecive M's, it wouldn't be an issue. If we truly want to return PPL to a private issue, then we need to allow it to remain private. If the fact that a prospective M has this practice is of concern, simply require they keep this fact private.
If the issue were truly PPL it could be solved easily enough. However, IMHO, the issue seems to be conformity and the narrowing of cooperative paramenters.

Jeff

Wade Burleson said...

Well stated Jeff.

Why can't people understand what you just said?

Greg Cloud said...

Isn't using the "Yankees" an interesting analogy for the SOUTHERN Baptist Convention? :)

Blessings!

Greg

Michael F. Bird said...

Wade, excellent post. Many true words spoken here. There seem to be those in the SBC who want to take everyone down the road of neo-Fundamentalism.

Grosey's Messages said...

Hey Wade,
When you get irritated you make mistakes (I am smiling here, I am not Irritated or aggressive) Its 1 Corinthians 14 not 1 Corinthians 4.
(would a.... help? was gonna say a few leetters but that would irritate you).
Wade, your quote of Tim Pruett reads "Thus, the Bible not only mentions private prayer language, but actively supports it for those who are given that gift."
Would you please give chapter and verse (in greek if necessary, and you may use whatever pronunciation you wish, as I am not there to hear you).
I think you would find that Paul is not endorsing tongues, but challenging the abusive use of tongues and redirecting such use to a better outcome.
Now that's an exegetical issue.
The concern that many of us have today is that
1. the tongues we witness today in PPL and not so PPL is not actually the biblical gift of tongues, because it does not share the characteristics of language as such (grammar syntax and vocabulary), and so is completely contrary to that demonstrated in Acts 2.
2. that those experiencing tongues become proponents of tongues, instead of proclaiming Christ.
Christ is no longer the big deal, tongues is. I know that sounds inflammatory, but truthfully, how often have we as younger men gotten away from preaching Christ and become proponents of third tier issues (inclding calvinism and dispensationalism, both of which I am a proponent) rather than the first tier gospel?
3. That because of the have/have not debate tongue speakers engender, and the means in which it is communicated, the character of a denomination can change over just a few years. We here in Australia have witnessed the removal of such Basic Baptist principles as congregational govt, believers' baptism for church membership (of any sort),and the autonomy of the local church (the Baptist Union holds all church properties). We have seen important
doctrines such as the security of the believer, have to be removed becasue our charismatic Baptist churches have such a high rate of falling away.. these tongue speakers don't stay saved for some reason.. I guess you shall need to modify your calvinism to accommodate such a movement as many have here in Australia.

Brother Wade,
I have never responded to you with arrogance or anger, but I do respond to you with concern and distress over the direction you are travelling. I feel you are opening pandora's box. Once its opened there is no going back...
You are welcome to not publish my comment if you see fit, and just alter your previous comment (1cor 14 not 1Cor 4) or to correspond to me privately if you wish. I am just concerned for the general direction you are travelling and the outcomes that will result.
Steve

Debbie said...

Wade: Thank you for going the direction you are going in.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, I was surfing the web today and found an organization that you might be interested in..... It describes a very good group of people. It says under (ABOUT US) that they share a common bond of basic Biblical beliefs and a commitment to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world...It states that you become a member by belonging to one of its member churches...It also says that typical church membership is by accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord and experiencing believers baptism by immersion....They have a Charter a Constitution and Bylaws.....In its Faith and Message article XVII (Religious Liberty) it states : God alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it....I couldnt find anywhere where it excluded people who are part of the organization from serving the Lord.....Does this sound too good to be true?...Go to www.sbc.net and see!!! They all appear to be on the same team...

miriam plowman said...

Publius said... many have already left, quietly.

Actually many didn't leave quietly. But just began to watch from a distance. Many still send their money (perhaps that is dwindling, this postmodern culture likes accountability and hands-on work). Isn't that we learned from our Dear Lotto Moon among others? To give pennies to send this dear lady to the mission field. We've come a along way from that investment. Perhaps we are too far from it. The "local" church has got to have a much more hands on, heart connected, interactive part of the "sent" church. I believe God is calling churches, local churches not just to send money, but to become the New Testament church again and send our people.

I wonder how much of the fear, discipline, arguing, discounting, control, narrowing for M's on the field and in some cases disregard for the M's would be different with a stronger connection to the local church.

Lee says "the conservative resurgence was about controlling the seminaries and mission boards in order to assure doctrinal conformity to a particular standard which they believed was necessary" ...

One comment I've heard of those who seek that kind of control or as Wade mentioned in an earlier post "lives for power".. as they get more and more control by moving" others out.. is that eventually they will turn on themselves... a narrowing even further because once you get those who don't agree with you on most points - out, then it's those who don't agree with you on many points - out, til finally you get to the point of wanting to break company with anyone who doesn't agree with you on every point - out.

I'm reminded of the saying "When they came for the... I remained silent because I was not one...." until "when they came for me... there was no one left to speak."

I am glad there are people to speak still. (Thank you Wade & McKissic, et al) Never let it be said "When they came for the bloggers... I remained silent because I wasn't one..." HA!

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Let me take a stab at the issues raised by Dr. Pruett.

First let us look at the context of the Scripture. Paul is dealing with an abuse of PUBLIC Worship. Please note PUBLIC. It is in this context that 1 Corinthians 14:28 is penned. Paul dealt with the abuse of everyone speaking in a language that was not the common language of Corinth. Remember Corinth was a metropolitan city where people from all over came. I would venture to say it was like a New York City of the first century. Though many different languages were spoken, there was a common language and that was. . . Koine Greek. Also, the Corinthian church did not have the advantage that you and I have today. That disadvantage they had to operate under was the lack of a complete revelation. As you know, it is in this background that Paul had to, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pen words to help the church conduct PUBLIC Worship in an orderly manner. When Paul penned these words he had to speak to people that were known as extremist in all of their practices. It is seems to me that their exteme tendencies were driven by their desire for edification, thus Pauls reference to the various edifying tendacies of prophecy and tongues.

If you follow Paul's reference to edification found in 1 Corinthians 14:4 you will note that word means to "build up" and is a word used in the Greek language to reference building a building. Paul says, in order for us to build up other believers we are to prophesy, because when we speak in tongues it builds us up. What was he referring to as building us up? I believe he means it places the one speaking in tongues in front of the church as someone more in tune with the Holy Spirit than others who were not receiving that particular gift.

With that in mind what did Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 14:28? While Paul did tell them to speak to God silently that does not mean in an unintelligible tongue. I believe that verse means; "this speaking is mainly in the form of inspired prayer"—Bible Background Commentary It is a private prayer not one of unintelligble language. Remember he was describing a public worship setting. This Public use of tongues was a revelation given by the Spirit of God. The reference to privacy for a language without an interpreter is a reference to a new revelation from God.

Brother Wade, I pray that I have answered the question. Let me also say I do not understand this either. I have never claimed to completely understand it. I also have never claimed that Dr. McKissic was not a biblicist. I am saying that he is debating for a "spiritual gift" that is not found in Scripture, but it is found in the tradition in which he was raised.

Sorry for the long comment, but I felt I needed to lay a Scriptural foundation.

Blessings,
Tim

Greg Hicks said...

Wade,

At the risk of advocating the building of a platform that could result in the kind of lyching you almost experienced this year at the Convention - if the Convention is going to entrust its agencies to the Presidents and trustees, as you note here - wouldn't you agree there really ought to be a better means of holding the Presidents and trustees accountable for their actions? One could get the impression from your post that Dr. Patterson and the trustees should be able to do pretty much whatever they want to do at SWBTS. But SWBTS does not belong to Dr. Patterson or the trustees - it belongs to the SBC. The President and trustees of our agencies are but stewards, entrusted by the SBC with a fiduciary responsibility to manage the agency for the benefit of and in a manner consistent with the will of the owner.

From my perspective, a key part of the problem the Convention faces, as we learned with the IMB's PPL and baptism policies, is there is no real means for the SBC as a whole to overturn the actions of the trustees. Shouldn't there be a means where the Convention - the owner - can meaningfully say, "We disagree with what you've done and its a big enough deal to us to overturn your action" short of removing the entire board or replacing them over a seven year period?

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Timothy,

How can it be so bad to state the obvious that is happening here? If there was no issue - then why are we dealing with it? Wade and others have made it an issue and this is because they wish to make it one. Why? I do not know and will not try to impose my ideas as to why other than to say that it has happended. I also know that if you open the door and say it can be accepted, how will you stop the teaching of it. This is not a leap - this is simple 1, 2, 3...

Sorry, I do not buy and neither do many others.

As to saying that people in the pew do not care - every church that I have been in has and does and am in many of them - I too want to see the proof that people in the pews do not care and would also propose this question: "What if we said ok to PPL and then found a M teaching or sharing their acceptance of it? What then? If we allow it, can it be shared? Who will police it? You guys have got to be kidding me!!!

Come on guys - have you lost your logic?

David L. Miller said...

I've put up with a lot of nonsense in these blogs. I can take a lot - but if Paige Patterson or Wade Burleson - OR ANYONE disses my Yankees, then we will have a problem.

With the World Series beginning in two days, I find myself longing for the millennial kingdom when the Yankees will win the World Series for 1000 straight years.

What a perfect world that will be.

I may be an irenic conservative, but when I sense my Yanks getting roughed up - I can no longer be silent.

Dave "Steinbrenner" Miller

Nathan White said...

Wade said: And I could argue that solid, evangelical conservative scholars throughout the centuries have argued both sides of the above issues from the Scriptures.

Would you please provide evidence of tongues-speaking and private prayer languages even being mentioned by anyone remotely evangelical before 1900? Because by 'centuries' I didn't take you to mean the early 1980's.

Wade said: ...I have no clue how you are going to get around saying the Bible DOESN'T teach that when it is written in plain English...

I highly respect you and your blog, but this statement is certainly unfortunate. Using your method of exegesis, I could turn around and say that the Bible clearly teaches that animals speak in tongues as well (Balaam's donkey). Would you support barn-yard services in the SBC, Wade? :)

All things considered, I did enjoy this post. I just pray that this drive for unity is not characterized by 'accepting' other views on issues that can easily lead astray. There is a reason why Paul said to watch your doctrine carefully, and though I disagree with Patterson on many things, I respect him for honoring that command.

SDG

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Tim Guthrie,

In order to correct your obvious misperceptions about who is making an issue of private prayer languages, I offer this comment I gave on another post. Read it carefully. You are dead wrong in your conclusions about who is making the private prayer language an issue. Read on . . .

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.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Grossey,

Thank you for your kind post.

I think you err in your logic, but it might just be a faulty perception on my part.

I grant that there are abuses of the gifts by Pentecostals and Charismatics.

Any abuses should be addressed both biblically and firmly. But to rule out 'gifts' because of abuses is like saying 'I'm not going to drive because there are wrecks when you drive.'

There is nothing to fear when one believes Scripture.

Tongues should in the vast majority of cases, if not virtually all expressions of it, REMAIN PRIVATE --- and that is the standard of the Word of God.

On the other hand, to 'forbid' someone from speaking in tongues privately by saying it is NOT a gift, or is of the devil, or is not from God seems to me to be violating the very text --- 'Forbid not the speaking in tongues.'

In other words, the Bible is a sufficient rule and standard for me --- not an argument from a pastor who has bad experiences in Australia with 'Pentecostals.'

Wade Burleson said...

Nathan,

Obviously you are a cessationist.
There are many in the SBC who are not. Both base their views on their intrepetations of the word of God. There should be room for both.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Can the answer to this question be clarified? If a person believes and practices a PPL, isn't it logical to believe that this would be taught? This is why it needs to be asked. I have been a SBC member for 38 years. At no time in any of my 38 years has any PPL advocates been seen in full view of SBC members. I grew up close to SWBTS - many professors etc filled our pulpit on many occassions - no PPL advocated. My parents and grandparents were all SBC people. PPL was taught and has been taught as not good theological interpretation and practice.

You keep saying you have past examples of PPL being held by major theologians etc - who and when?

You say people in the pews are not concerned with this issue - again, how can you Wade know this. This is an arrogant statement of broad sweeping implication that is completely pure speculation and maybe dreaming on your part. It is an exageration at the least.

One final thought: With all the modern charismatic issues gaining popularity in the world today - the trustees that asked the question concerning the PPL issue have the heart of the SBC and I thank God they were on the fence for us. Someone should have asked Dr. R!!!!!!!!

Grosey's Messages said...

Wade, you need to clarify with me where my logic errs.

I believe the main statement was the issue that
Paul does not encourage tongues (in 1 Cor 14), he redirects it to private use to stop public abuse (there are commentators that would agree that the "private use" may be Paul's tongue-in-cheek (ouch) reproof of the Corinthians since all spiritual gifts are for public edification 1 Corinthians 12:7 :"for the common good" NIV.
This means that Paul was not endorsing tongues, but simply permitting it under restrictions.
Anyway,
I look forward to you clarifying your comment

John Fariss said...

I have a dumb question: WHY do the trustees of the IBM sit as a final human resources/hiring committee? My understanding of the trustees of most organizations is that they deal with policy, and leave administration to the administrators. In every local church I have served, trustees are even more restricted: they act as the legal voice for the church, but can act only as directed by the congregation. Have IMB trustees always dealt with administrative issues of hiring or calling? And if not, how did it come about? Should it be that way? I think understanding that would really help me to untangle the knot that our missions service has become.

Snoofy said...

"Don't wear a Yankee uniform when you play for the Mets."

This is one of those assertions that contain a bit of truth somewhere, but immediately strikes you as having something dreadfully wrong with it.

I probably hold to 95% of the theology held by Dr. Patterson (I am not a Calvinist). It's just that the other 5% sets us a universe apart. The problem with the Yankess/Mets statement is the implication that every Yankee uniform comes in the same size. Yes, it's all about the degree of uniformity required to be a Yankee - Wade's point for the last year or so.

And the uniforms change over time. Like it or not, Baptist WILL change. That is a given. The problem with the current SBC is that the arguments are now largely over 16th to 19th century theology (something very fine to be concerned about in the 16th to 19th centuries). The SBC has not yet adequately grappled with the major developments of the 20th century. We are relevant only to ourselves, and Christ did not call us to that. Southern Seminary is even going backwards to 7 day creationism. Yes, I know that is the apparent meaning the writer of Genesis. I wish it was true. But the fact is science CAN prove that the earth was not created in 7 literal days. The fact that our best SBC educational institutions do not understand this IS a very serious problem.

God will raise up someone to help Christianity out with its present irrelevance to modern culture and knowledge. Sadly, that help won't come out of SBC institutions under the present leadership or Yankee/Mets thinking.

David Rogers said...

Tim Guthrie,

If the "Dr. R" you are referring to is my father, I have heard by way of several trustees (whom I will not name) that they did indeed ask him shortly before his death what he thought about the at-that-time possible new policy on tongues. And his reply was: "I don't think we should go there."

This is also consistent, by the way, with what my mother said at the Pastors Conference in Greensboro.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Thank you for this tidbit of information.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Grossey,

You said,

"Wade, you need to clarify with me where my logic is faulty."

My Comment: Ok. You asked, I will.

You say . .

"I believe the main statement was the issue that Paul does not encourage tongues (in 1 Cor 14), he redirects it to private use to stop public abuse"

My Comment: My word. This is what I have been saying from the beginning. Is anyone listening? Tongues are encouraged in private use, NOT public use in the Bible. Why are we then doing the OPPOSITE of the Biblical instruction by forbidding them in PRIVATE? I'm listening! Anyone? This is a Scriptural issue and you and I are in agreement.

You go on . . .

(there are commentators that would agree that the "private use" may be Paul's tongue-in-cheek (ouch) reproof of the Corinthians since all spiritual gifts are for public edification 1 Corinthians 12:7 :"for the common good" NIV.

My Comment: Huh? Are you serious. You just properly exegete the text in one paragraph, and then in the next text you rule out the plain meaning of the text by commentary. That is the rationale of liberals, and I know you are not one, but you are using their tactics.

You conclude by saying. . .

"This means that Paul was not endorsing tongues, but simply permitting it under restrictions."

My Comment: This is a glaring logical error. How do you permit without endorsing? If I permit my son to play football, I am endorsing it. Paul not only PERMITTED TONGUES IN PRIVATE, HE PRACTICED IT! How do you permit, practice and not ENDORSE something. Of course, nobody, including Paul is saying you MUST speak in tongues, but rather it is a gift of the Sovereign Holy Spirit that dispenses it as He wills. I don't have it, nor do I want it, but I see Scrripture not to prohibit it and do not believe that we should be a convention that violates Scripture.

Those are the errors in your logic.

In His Grace,

wade

Alyce Lee said...

Wade,
I really appreciated this post and it's something we really need to think about.
I alway enjoy Bryan's post and the spirit with which he always communicates.
SBC layman gave us the scripture that we need to reflect on concerning accepting one another. We so miss the boat here, Lord Jesus help us.

I just don't understand what the fear is about. Fear that we are about to change? May I suggest that perhaps change is needed. If we can't even accept our own brothers and sisters, and even in that acceptance we do so thinking they are the "weaker" brothers with an air of pride, then please Father, change us.

Dr. McKissic is not a "weaker" brother. Neither is he trying to get Tim Guthrie, Dorcus, me or anyone else to speak in tongues. I value him as a brother. Not only that, I value him as a Overseer in the body of Christ. I heard his message, I believe it was annointed and from God.

It is frightening to me to discount the gifts of the spirit, to demean those to practice them, to assume that they are "weaker" brothers, and to be so prideful that we can't even listen to our brothers and sisters and hear their hearts. For me personally, this is dangerous ground.

JB Phillips in Corinthians 13:4 says it best:
This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

A-8 said...

Your article reminds me of the story of the unknown disciple (Mark 9:38-41). Jesus didn't require everyone doing His Will to be "one of us" -- neither should we!

Chuck Andrews said...

Wade

(Due to the length, feel free to edit this or delete it entirely.) Those who don’t want to face the issue of narrowing the parameters of cooperation shift the argument to something used as an illustration of the issue. It’s like a bait and switch in reverse. It’s a diversion tactic. So goes the debate over the biblicalness of tongues or PPL. Those who want to debate hermeneutics are trying to shift the focus.

I’ve been in an SBC church for 49 years (ever since I was 1 week old). Saved and baptized in an SBC church at the age of 8. Surrendered to preach in an SBC church. Licensed and ordained by SBC churches. Educated in a conservative and excellent college that could very well have been the Mecca of the SBC in the ‘70s and ‘80s era. Have either been preparing to or vocationally serving SBC churches for 27 years. Now, I’m medically retired/disabled from “the ministry.” Have never spoken in tongues nor had a private prayer language. Although, I do speak with a significant southwestern accent and sometimes butcher the English language.

All that to say, I know that of which I speak. I know it by experience and embodiment. I’ve been on the receiving end and the giving end. Speaking of abusive use of gifts! We preachers in the SBC have abused the spiritual gift of prophecy at least as much as, if not more than, Pentecostals and Charismatics do tongues. We have believed and proclaimed that our calling makes us the Lord’s anointed. Some us have been fast to defend the first part of 1 Corinthians 14:39 “desire earnestly to prophesy” but try to exegete away the second part of the verse, “do not forbid to speak in tongues.” The sin of abusing the gift of prophecy, IMO, is the arrogance of Gnosticism. It goes something like this:

“Based on my calling, I have been given the special, spiritual, and superior knowledge of interpretation. I, and those who agree with me, am right all the time and if you disagree with me you are, at best, unenlightened or uneducated. At worse, you may be a false prophet. God has called me and since I have the preeminent, highest, and greater gift of prophecy, I’m required by God to tell you ‘how the cow ate the cabbage’ and masquerade it as a concern for your well being. I’m just a humble servant of God obediently exercising my gift.”

This abuse of a gift may have done more harm to more people than the abusive use of tongues or any other of the gifts. At least those who actively promote (and I know you don’t) PPL are inclusive and not exclusive. My brothers and sisters in Christ who have a PPL, at least the ones that I have fellowship with, do not insist that I have the same interpretation of non-essentials in order to cooperate with them in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.

Knowing all analogies break down at some point, here’s my shot at the baseball analogy -- The issue is the playing field. The dimensions of a Little League baseball field are significantly less than the dimensions of a Major League field. Those who want to narrow the parameters in order to have a ‘pure’ convention, want to play on a Little League field. Of course, the Big Leagues reach more people.

Chuck

TruthOfActs said...

To Baptists,
Can a tree leaf say that it didn’t come from the tree root, or ‘Amazing Grace’ did not come from a regenerate heart? Will a man spit on the graves of his ancestors?

With humble hearts, we should look back on the ones that carried the torch for the Gospel that started at Calvary. Sure, we give glory to Jesus, but shouldn’t we be thankful about the ones that carried on his teachings throughout the centuries. Holding to Christ teachings as expressed by Paul has cost millions their lives. To say they had no part of Baptist beliefs today is to tell them they died in vain.

“I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church of Christ did NOT start baptizing babies for salvation in 251 AD, but the ones that withdrew fellowship from that group was his Church and had their roots in the teachings of Christ from the day men believed in Jesus.

Baptists did NOT split from Catholics, therefore we are NOT Protestants because we existed before Catholics.

To believe Baptists started in the 15 century is equivalent to believing the ‘big bang’ theory of evolution.

It is recorded in the Bible that some of Paul’s GENTILE converts took Paul at his word when he wrote, “If anyone even an angel from heaven preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you, let him forever be cursed.” (Galatians 1:8)
History records that one man in public, denounced the beliefs of elders from Jerusalem that were trying to get Gentiles to obey the Jewish law. I believe that man had Baptist beliefs in the priesthood of the believer as the Bible says about him, “…does not acknowledge our authority over him.”
2 Galatians is a running gun battle between Paul and guys with long letters of recommendations. Who wrote the recommendations? I believe it was the same church that wrote, “We understand that some men from here have troubled you and upset you with their teaching…” (Acts 15:24) Their teaching of obeying the law to be saved caused Peter to withdraw fellowship from Christian Gentiles. Paul straightened Peter out and sent these guys packing. They were confident the church would enlighten Paul, but it didn’t work out that way.

“The Trail of Blood” says, “Great churches began to claim authority over smaller churches..Their many elders began to lord it over God’s heritage. Here was the beginning of an error…practiced by others as well as Catholics.”
Is that what is going on today? Is not the big SBC telling churches and God who cannot be their pastors, who cannot teach men, who is not qualified to be missionaries, who must sign the BFM, and when IMB trustees can complain?

We have the cart before the horse—the local churches are to tell the IMB what’s what—not the other way around.
To start, learn when and where Baptist roots started, honor those for our beliefs, and stop those who would change our beliefs that come from Jesus.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Today, you said there are no new rules to make a comment—just be nice. Hey! Being nice is hard sometimes when the truth is told. Does that mean no one can call me a ‘moderate’ which is what I am? Ha

Anyway, I guess some people wondered what happened to my comment that was here for several days. I guess it’s gone because it was not ‘nice’ enough.
Since it is connected to my comment today, I’ll try to take out the part I believe you thought was not nice.

Bryan Riley,
I just discovered your statement that there were no Baptist in the early years. This tells me that you’re not an ‘old’ Baptists in age. J.M. Carroll had collected on of the world’s largest volumes of church history which was given to SWBTS on his death. His ‘Trail of Blood” was a series of sermons that was put together by someone else. He was honored very much, but I’ll bet his picture no longer hangs on the walls of SWBTS as his book was ‘thrown out the window.’
You see, he traced Baptists all the way back not to John the Baptist, but at least to Peter and Paul. If it wasn’t Baptists, who split from the majority who baptized babies in 251 AD? He gave the many different names through out the years that Baptists were called. They were usually named by their enemies who never stopped persecuting them. Thus the name of his small book—“Trail of Blood.”

Today, Carroll’s book may still have been honored if he hadn’t got to meddling. You see, he gave some evidence like ‘John would drink of the same cup Jesus did’ by being boiled in oil. Yes, history records it, BUT tradition says he didn’t die.

Just think—when the first ‘son’s of thunder’ was killed that his brother would not have shaken his fist in the king’s face and called fire from heaven? That would explain why James had an easy death, while John died slowly in oil. History records another John who was known as ‘John the Elder.’ Now, Carroll really meddled—claiming this John wrote the three John’s and Revelation. Horrors! We can’t have that! BURN THE BOOK!

Well Bryan, you may have heard this already, but you do know the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Rex Ray

Paul said...

I've been a Mets fan for over 25 years (and now I'm sad that they lost to the Cardinals).

The SBC is like the Yankees in the following ways:

Great history
Won a lot of championships
Think they're better than everyone else
Solid manager (pastors)
A little wacky at the top (denominational leadership/Steinbrenner)

But to really make the analogy work we have to pretend that the Yankees claim a sell-out for every game but in reality fill less than half of the stadium. ;)

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

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

I hope you enjoy your hiatus as much as I enjoyed mine.

If you can document what you're asserting about Landmarkers and charismatics being around in 1845, you'll be the first ever to do so. I strongly suggest that you write a book about it and share your evidence with the world. You'll set the discipline of history on its ear and make a ton of money. You could donate it to charity or something.

Also, help me out here....I'm having trouble finding the word "liberal" or anything about "liberalism" in my comment. I know you're really particular about people throwing that word around where it doesn't belong, so I'm sure you wouldn't put that word in my mouth, right? ;-)

If I understand your "farm league" analogy, you are suggesting that, at the points where these other denominations differ from Southern Baptists, these denominations offer no purported scriptural basis for their beliefs. That's what makes their practices "traditions" rather than "differences of interpretation" I assume. If I assume incorrectly, then please help me to understand what is the difference that makes one Christian's argument from scripture a "tradition" and makes another Christian's argument from scripture a "different interpretation."