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

Thank God Dwight McKissic Is a Southern Baptist

In this day when a junior pastor of a small start up church who fawns over the title senior pastor takes direct shots at a genteel Southern Baptist statesman like Dwight McKissic . . .

In this day when leaders of Southern Baptist Conservatives of Texas will look Pastor Dwight McKissic eye ball to eye ball and glad hand him when they need him for purposes which further a denominational agenda, but not so subtly turn their backs on him when he dares to speak his personal convictions regarding the Word of God which happen to run contrary to pontifical bulls from on high . . .

In this day when self-appointed protectors of spooky Fundamentalism who don't know Dwight McKissic, nor have ever spoken to Dwight, much less shared a meal with him, prayed with him, or spent time in worship with him, proceed to make judgments about him and boldly write of his motives, condemn his actions as a trustee at Southwestern, and then proclaim THEY never would have done what Dwight has done . . .

In this day when Mid-America Seminary seems to have her fingers in the Southern Baptist pie more than Southern or Southwestern Seminary respectively, and when professors, administrators and employees of Mid-America seem to have heard from on high that the SBC would be better off if Southwestern graduate and current SWBTS board member Dwight McKissic would resign . . .

In this day when a great deal of false information, slanderous accusations, and downright unchristian statements are being made against one of the finest African American pastors our convention has ever produced . . .

Allow this person who actually knows Dwight McKissic to say the following five things about him in order to set the unofficial record straight --- :)

Dwight McKissic has a heart of gold.

He cares for pastors. He cares for his church. He cares for the poor and underprivileged. He cares for the lost. He cares for his family. He cares for his enemies. He cares for everybody. There is not a confrontational bone in this man's body. He will stand on truth, speak to sin, but he cringes at the thought that someone thinks he doesn't love them -- or even like them. He paid out of his own pocket for the pastors to attend the Roundtable in Arlington yesterday. That's how much he cares. He knows no more what a temper tantrum is than a colorblind man knows Green from Read (an intentional pun). :)

Dwight McKissic has a tongue of silver.

Yesterday was the first time I ever heard Dwight preach in person. He is a mastor orator. Ezekiel's valley of dry bones were not only made alive centuries ago by the Word of God and the Wind of God, they came alive in my imagination twenty four hours ago as Dwight beautifully articulated, with abounding alliteration and searing similes, that the SBC will only live when the Word of God is proclaimed and the Spirit of God is petitioned. We need more preachers like Dwight McKissic in the SBC.

Dwight McKissic has a mind of steel.

You know his mind is sharp because he always pauses before he speaks. The fool runs off at the mouth, but the wise man listens. Often times during the Roundtable I watched Dwight's eyes as others spoke and this man listened. He soaked up information. Then decisions were made; not rashly, nor in a peurile manner by speaking before he actually had any first hand information. His mind is made of steel because the molten information has time to cool before his silver tongue protrudes.

Dwight McKissic has a voice of velvet.

There were more than a few times I and others had to strain to hear Pastor Dwight. He does not push anyone around. He wins you over by his calm demeanor, his simultaneous glistening and twinkling eyes, and the dimples at the two crowns of his broad smile. He is courteous in tone and resepectful, at all times, in demeanor. Young pastors would do well to imitate this velvet personality style of Pastor Dwight's, or else you may find your influence will actually spread less than frozen butter, a fact that is already coming to the fore for some.

Dwight McKissic has a family of jewels

He has a beautiful, hospitable wife. Sons that honor him in both words and ministry. A church family that reveres and admires him, to the point that some vie to simply carry his Bible or water bottle --- all of which makes Pastor Dwight uncomfortable because he sees himself no different from anyone else in the church. From the custodians to the children, from the secretaries to the seniors, from high and mighty to the forgotten and lowly --- Dwight McKissic sees himself in them all. He is a shephered among all his people, and his people reflect the humility of their leader.

You can evaluate yesterday's Southern Baptist Pastors' and Leaders' Rountable held at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington by reading what others say about it in the mainstream press and via the blogs.

I chose to post today about Cornerstone's pastor, the man I have grown to know and love --- Dwight McKissic.

I have enjoyed writing this post, and yes, it is a little stronger than my usual template - intentionally - because I made a solemn promise to God that if I ever came across a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention that I felt was being mistreated, marginalized, or falsely accused, I would not sit by quietly and let it happen. The words have flown from my fingers easily because I now know Dwight. It's much easier for a Christian to sleep at night when he writes or speaks about a man that he takes the time to get to know personally. If I saw problems that I felt needed to be addressed with Pastor Dwight - I would not use the internet - I would talk to him personally.

I myself see no problems that require my intervention in the life of Dwight McKissic, nor are there any foibles known to me that would prohibit me from writing what I have written in this post. I write what I know in my heart to be true about the man Dwight McKissic.

Add it all up. He has gold in the heart, silver in the tongue, steel in the mind, velvet in the voice and jewels in the family.

Dwight McKissic is one valuable man.

Thank God there are hundreds of pastors who know this to be true and will not sit idly by while any denominational leader, whoever he may be, or any other puerile pontificating person tells us Dwight McKissic needs to leave the Southern Baptist Convention or step down as a leader of the SBC. Get used to him. He's in this for the long haul.

Thank God Dwight McKissic is a Southern Baptist.

Thank God, Dwight McKissic is a Southern Baptist.

Thank God Dwight McKissic IS a Southern Baptist.


In His Grace,


Wade

By the way, for the handful of you who are irate with me for what I have written today because you are the ones who have slammed Dwight publicly by either your spoken words or your written words, please know that I also look forward to working with you in cooperative Southern Baptist gospel ministry.

You just need to get used to fellow Southern Baptists refusing to allow the marginalization or character assassination of godly, conservative men and women who disagree with you. Those days of you being able to do that with impugnity are now over. :)

38 comments:

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, I really appreciate your direction and desire here, but I have to wonder if there is a better way to say such things? I'm not saying I have an answer at this point because I just read your post and haven't prayed about it or thought about it as you have. I just have to wonder how Jesus would respond to the things being said and done. Are you taking up someone else's offense? Again, I am just asking. Help me here. My desire is that we practice what we preach, which is Christ crucified, the power of the resurrection in and through us, unity in Christ, love, forgiveness, forbearance, humility, etc... how can we do all of this and demonstrate the need for repentance throughout the church??

Nomad said...

Wade,

Welcome back! Glad to see you are back with "gumption". 40 days was a long time.

irreverend fox said...

I hope and pray that someday I'll be able to share a meal with Dwight McKissic...it would be an honor.

Wade Burleson said...

Bryan,

Good thoughts.

What would Jesus do?

I'm not sure, but as I read the New Testament several phrases come to mind: "pit of vipers" "whitewashed tombs" "your father the devil" etc . . .

I don't know what Jesus knew, so I have refrained from doing what Jesus did, and will continue.

I do believe I have defended Dwight, but make no apology for doing so.

Blessings, and you definitely have earned the right to question what I have written by your thoughtful, kind and earnest posts.

I have considered your question at the end and believe that Jesus was very firm with the Pharisees and soft with the broken.

A good example for us all to follow.

Wade

Barry said...

Wade, Thank you for your post. I simply say ditto to everything you said. After sharing a meal with Dwight McKissic and hearing him preach, I am also blessed with his gentle greatness. Thank God Dwight McKissic is a Southern Baptist!

Bob Cleveland said...

Amen, Wade.

After personal interaction with several of Cornerstone's staff and Dwight's family, I can affirm that they say the same of him that you do. And they know him best.

I think we have enough witnesses.

Plus, I aren't even a pastor and I never detected any difference in his attitude (nor anyone else's at the Roundtable, I hasten to add) toward what I had to say, from what the guys with initials before and after their names said. His respect seems to be toward people, as people.

Say, now, that's biblical.

Alycelee said...

Wade, I watched yesterday and I for one am thrilled you're back.
To me, you affirmed that the fruit of the spirit are active in Bro McKissics life from an up close and personal perspective. I appreciate that affirmation for the fruit is what I look for and gives testimony that God is active and working in our lives.
Agape

Pastor Brad said...

As someone who does not have a great deal of experience with SBC politics (nor do I desire to) but does have personal ties to MABTS and friends who have graduated there, I ask this honest question: When you say, "In this day when Mid-America Seminary seems to have her fingers in the Southern Baptist pie more than Southern or Southwestern Seminary respectively" are you implying that there is a political agenda afoot here? Aren't all trustees appointed by the convention and not by the political powers-that-be? Though I am not a graduate of MABTS, I greatly respect and appreciate the work they are doing here in the Northeast to reach this culture. I think every pastor but two (I am one of those 2) in the Hudson Baptist Association is an MABTS grad.
Also, when you say, "when professors, administrators and employees of Mid-America seem to have heard from on high that the SBC would be better off if Southwestern graduate and current SWBTS board member Dwight McKissic would resign" I wonder who you are speaking of other than Dr. Van McClain, who is also a SWBTS grad and duly elected trustee. You make it sound like there are others and that their influence over the McKissic situation is more vast. Are there others? I also wonder how his actions have implied that he somehow thinks he he has received a divine revelation to rule unilaterally in this or is necessarily making a judgment of Dr. McKissic's character? Is his expression to Dr. McKissic that he should resign as a trustee not within his duty as the chairman of trustees of SWBTS if he feels this is what is best for the school? Is it not the view of the trustee board as a whole?
I emailed you that I have appreciated what you have said on some topics and have been challenged. Here, in my opinion, you have come dangerously close to doing what you are accusing others of - making personal attacks against those you don't personally know.
I don't know Dr. McKissic. I would not venture to make a statement about him personally, but I have no reason to doubt his godliness or sincerity. Of what I know of Dr. McClain, he is hardly part of a political agenda, as you appear to be painting him. He too is a valuable part of the SBC and a godly man who I believe is doing what he feels is best for SWBTS.
I ask these questions, not to be argumentative, but to understand this portion of your post. As you have said that you will not allow another godly man to be disparaged, I too desire that a godly man and a wonderful institution is not unjustly maligned.
Sorry for the length of this post.

Todd said...

I was honored to be present at the Roundtable discussion, and honored to have met a minister like Dwight. He speaks with prophetic courage and biblical clarity. Bitterness is absent from his demeanor and tone.

Of all that was said at yesterday's meetings, the message that still stir in my heart is Dwight's call to let the Word of God join the Wind of God to bring the dry bones to life. Can these bones live? This is a question that I have been asking about the convention, but Dwight forced me to ask them about my own walk with Christ and my own pastoral leadership of my church.

Wade, it was an honor to meet you and to hear you speak, both publicly and around the dinner table. I appreciate your devotion to truth and integrity.

Looking forward to the conference on the Holy Spirit in April.

RM said...

Wade,

Surely by now you know that the SBTC tries to destroy those that don't agree with them. They are just holding true to form (again).

Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

Let me publically say thank you for being generous, gracious, and hospitable to me. I look forward to working with you for the advancement of the Gospel in our great state.

I respectfully add that while you will disagree with Jeremy Green on his comments and his lack of allowing you or anyone to comment on his blog, I will say that anyone who starts a conservative church from the ground level in the middle of Waco Texas is no junior pastor. BTW, anyone who starts a church anywhere is no junior pastor in my opinion. I had the opportunity to sit down and meet with him and he loves Jesus, his family, the church he pastors, the lost, and the SBC. While you and others will disagree with the tone of his comments and points of view, there are some amiable quailities about him.

I might also add that his tone of comments are no worse than others in personal attacks.

I was impressed with Dr. Mc Kissic, the roundtable, and the hospitality given at Cornerstone. Thank you for the open invitation.

God Bless

foxofbama said...

Wade: News that your blog is up and running again after a 40 day hiatus made a post at baptistlife.com
Wondering with the news out of Longview Today, and the report Randall Balmer has about East Texas, Baptists and Abortion in his celebrated recently published book Thy Kingdom Come;
Wonder two things, are you cooperating Arlington Roundtable pastors reading Balmer's book;
And Two, do you see any promise in your world coming out of the Baptist ID conference in Feb at Dockery's Union U in Jackson where I think Steve Gaines met his wife Donna.
Marty Duren is pumped about the conference, and I obliquely reference it in a post at BL.com and a letter I think will be published today in the Crimson, student newspaper's at Timothy George's Samford U.

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

Graciousness to you is an easy thing. We disagree, but you are humble, pastoral, and gracious to those who don't see eye to eye with you.

Thanks for your comment.

I am quite sure there are amiable points about Mr. Jeremy Green. However, he is not the subject of my post.

Dwight McKissic is the subject of my post.

Mr. Green simply said things about Dwight that are not true, which I corrected.

Blessings,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Brad,

May the Lord prosper you and your ministry.

You are correct in that I am referring to the chairman of the board of SWBTS who asked Dwight to step down.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Matt Snowden said...

You turned a good phrase with "spooky Fundamentalism." That's a pregnant one.

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

Wade,

It was a pleasure to finally meet you in person yesterday. I found you to be professional, kind, inclusive (even inviting) of differing opinions, and overall genuine. Thank you. Also, I for one appreciate the fact that you are willing to take a stand to defend a brother in Christ.

Though I have not spent as much time with Bro. Dwight as you, I must concur with your evaluation of his character. I have spoken with him by phone twice, and briefly at the meeting yesterday. I find him to be a man if humility, integrity, and passion for Jesus and for God's call on life as a pastor.

Furthermore, I found the people of Cornerstone, at least the ones I interacted with, to be people with humble servants' hearts. They went out of their way as hosts to make everyone feel welcome. They were indeed most gracious in their hospitality. That speaks volumes to me in that, generally speaking,the true personality of the pastor will be expressed in the congregation; especially when the pastor has been there from the beginning. These too are people who do think highly of their pastor, as was demonstrated in their comments to that end and their graciousness in service with him. This too only validates what I had already concluded in my personal encounters with Bro. Dwight.

I'm also glad that Dwight McKissic is a Southern Baptist. For that matter, I'm glad you are a Southern Baptist.

Thanks for yesterday.

I just received a phonecall from Bro. Dwight (while posting this comment) to express his gratitude to me for attending yesterday. A more gracious man of God I have never met.

By the way, I confess some amount of humorous satisfaction in the "Jr. Pastor" comment.

Wade Burleson said...

Brad,

No conspiracy theory here. Just concern when the chairmen of key boards of SBC agencies and key ad hoc committees come from the adminstrative staff of one seminary.

craig from Georgia said...

~sigh~

It's not about Dwight McKissic. It's not about those who support Dwight McKissic or those who oppose Dwight McKissic. It's about the authority of Scripture.

Michael Stover said...

After reading your post and especially after reading pastor Brad's comments and questions, I too would like to know what sneaky things are afoot at Mid-Amnerica Baptist Theological Seminary. I am an alumnus of that institution and can attest first-hand to a streak of "spooky fundamentalism" that runs throughout the place. But I would like some proof and/or details that prompted your comments.

Wade Burleson said...

Craig,

Spot on.

Wade Burleson said...

Michael,

Nothing sneaky afoot that I know of. Just odd at the number of employees at Mid-America sitting on key boards and committees as chairman, and particularly odd that one of them asked Dwight to resign.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Why on earth has "pastor" Jeremy Green taken it as his responsibility to call you out in public? As if you were hiding.

It is "men" like Green that sadden me. Of all the sin in America, is this the best he can do? Is Waco that much of an Utopia? If so, I need to move there (though I likely would find a different church to attend).

These are reasons why I am a church planter, who is planting a church that is not part of the SBC.

Keep up the good work of the good news.

Yours,

Planter in North Carolina

Pastor Brad said...

Wade,

Why do you continue to leave out that Dr. McKissic offered to resign BEFORE Dr. McClain asked him to do so?

And why do you not answer questions that challenge you? And why are you not posting all the comments any more? And...And why is the sky blue? :)

Wade Burleson said...

Pastor Brad,

Dwight is a nice man and hates conflict. When he realized the consternation his message brought he did offer to resign. He quickly changed his mind.

Many weeks later he was then asked to resign. No connection.

Look at the first comment in this string by Bryan Riley to refute your second question.

I have never published all comments. Many are inappropriate for various reasons.

I can't answer your fourth question --- God does what He desires regarding colors. :)

Anonymous said...

Wade,
We did miss you and your earnest assestment of current topics in our convention.

To some of us missionaries around the world it is the only open and honest link we have to some of the topics that you have touched. Why we are kept in the dark I am not sure but some of those topics relate to us and we hear about them only through this new form of communications, the Blog.

Thanks for hanging in there.
A. Missionary

William Madden said...

Wade,

Welcome back to the blogosphere! I've followed with interest the events of the last several weeks--the conference at Cornerstone, etc.
I pray continued blessings on you, your family, and your ministry as you enter the joyful holiday season.

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

I appreciate Brad's comments about Mid-America's work through the seminary's New York campus, where Dr. Van McClain serves as an associate professor and library director. It is evidence of the seminary's red hot focus on evangelism. 25% of the population of the United States lives within 250 miles of that campus. I'm glad that Mid-America and Dr. McCLain are there helping spread the gospel to that vast population. Between the two Mid-America campuses, their students witnessed to 1,680 people during the first six weeks of this school year, and 256 people received Christ as a result. That doesn't sound like "spooky fundamentalism" as Michael suggested. Furthermore, Mid-America supports and promotes international missions to the point that they have been accused of over promoting the international cause, if that's possible. I would think that a trustee of the International Mission Board would be grateful for the work that Mid-America is doing. Instead you have chosen to cast aspersions upon the "professors, administrators, and employees" all of whom I doubt you have "spoken to or shared a meal with." I don't mean to be ugly in saying this, but it appears that you have no problem taking jabs at those to the right side of our convention while trying to broaden the tent of our convention only to the left.

Denise said...

I know I'm just a lay person, member of a SBC church in Houston and would love to know if my pastor was at this round table but somehow I doubt it.

But anyway I just can't help but think that Jesus isn't saddened by all this. I know that the overall plan is for unity etc. but I just am betting he sheds a tear or two when he boots up the DELL in the heavens!

Bill Scott said...

Wade,
It has been a long 40 days! Welcome back. I have been in the Army for nearly 20 years. Snipers are only effective when they hit the mark. If they cannot hit the target they are merely a dangerous distraction from the tasks at hand to be performed. Counter sniping is sometimes necessary to neutralize poor "sharp shooters" intent on disrupting the work at hand.

I believe that young Jeremy was way off target. I believe you scored a first round fireball with your counter fire! You did this simply by telling the Truth with Love.

Keep on keeping on Brother.

Bill Scott

John Moeller said...

Welcome back Wade,

After reading your post, I looked up and read Mr. Greens blog. WOW, what a bunch of "opinion".

He states;....despite the fact that most Southern Baptists believe his Neo-Charismatic/Pentecostal practice of PPL to be thoroughly unbiblical..... Talking about you.

Unbiblical? Has he even read the Bible? If he missed this, what else has he missed, and what are his parishioners hearing, surely not the Bible....

I am glad to see you back! You are the defender of the little guy!

THANKS!

Tom said...

Dwight is a wonderful person. I agree.

However, calling someone a "Junior Pastor" is both egotistical and condesending.

Others could say the same thing about you. They would be wrong.

Size of one's church has nothing to do with their freedom to speak.

The very thing you are criticizing others for doing you now do.

RM said...

Guys, give Jeremy a break. He's young and obviously under the guidance and direction of the SBTC leaders. Need I say more?

Jack Maddox said...

"You are the defender of the little guy!"

Not this little guiy!!!! : )

Welcome back Wade...it is good to see you coming back full of grace and truth.

Blessings
Jack

Wade Burleson said...

Tom and Jack,

Pastor Jeremy's words on his blog repeatedly inflame through name calling, including using the words 'moderate' and 'liberal' in identifying conservatives, and saying of the meek and gracous Dwight McKissic, 'he's throwing a temper tantrum.'

I do not believe the kingdom of Christ is strengthened - nor relationships broadened - by labeling, name calling or the like. Calling evangelical Bible believing conservatives liberal or moderates, or saying a pastor who is twice as old as you and has started a church from scratch that now runs over 2,000 in worship is throwing 'a temper tantrum'does not help the kingdom.

Unfortunately, some do not seem to respond to gracious comments. I think we must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves in order to determine the best approach to get one's point across, and yesterday I chose the wise serpent approach with Pastor Jeremy.

I do not intend to continue that approach. It is not my style, but I will use it, without apology, when I believe it is needed. For those who still wonder of the appropriateness of identifying Pastor Green as a junior pastor (29 years of age at a church with no other pastors), as compared to a senior pastor, I would simply say Jeremy has received a tablespoon of his own medicine, and hopefully it will act as an antidote against further name calling and labeling by him.

If not, I shall continue addressing the issues as I have the last year, and will seek to ignore all personal attacks on me by Jeremy, but reserve the right to defend others, like I have Dwight McKissic.

I wish Pastor Green the best in life, family and ministry. I would have told him this in his comment section if he had one.

In His Grace,


Wade

Lee said...

There are a lot of people out there who do not seem to realize that insisting on doctrinal conformity isn't the way Southern Baptists have historically and traditionally done business. No one Baptist ever speaks for all Baptists.

I'm still trying to figure out what Dr. McKissic has said or done that warrants his resignation from Southwestern's trustee board. If lock step agreement with the leadership of the SBC and the seminary is required to be a trustee, then why have trustees?

I realized, from a young age, that the people in church who cared deeply for its well being were passionate about protecting it from harm and had a vision for it to grow and accomplish its mission and vision. I also realized that, from time to time, they would disagree about how that would look and how it would be done, and sometimes, they disagreed about the things that were preached or taught. But they were always gracious in their disagreement, and never left a business meeting or an informal discussion angry with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are all on the same team here. There is no room for personal ego to get in the way.

I'm sorry I had to miss the roundtable.

T. D. Webb said...

Wade, thanks for your eloquent defense of Pastor McKissic. This Okie regrets not being able to attend the Roundtable in Arlington, but from all appearances and reports, the event was a witness for revival and recommitment to the mission to which Christ has called us.

The "Senior" (to whom?) pastor in Waco, obviously can't specifically document his allegations and personal attacks on you and Dr. McKissic. . .anymore than those who have engaged in similar tactics during the past year. Otherwise, he would have supplied at least a centilla of evidence to support his accusations. Moreover, the fact that Pastor Green will not allow anyone to publicly call him to account on his own blog speaks volumes as to the integrity of his allegations.

In His Grace and Peace,

Jim Champion said...

If anyone would like to comment on Jeremy's blog, I started a blog called comment on Jeremy L Green at the follwong address - I try to post Jeremy's posts as soon as I see that one has come up, but am late from time to time when I am travelling etc.

http://jeremylgreencomments.blogspot.com/

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

I know this is late for a comment about Brother Green. You speak of "Spooky Fundamentalist." I was a Pastor around Ft. Worth around twenty years: Southside, Denton; FBC, Springtown; FBC, Watauga. Even in the sixties the Seminary was caught in the war between FBC, Ft. Worth and FBC, Dallas. Not a week went by we were not attacked visciously by Bob Jones, John Rice, Jerry Falwell, Lee Roberton, Jack Hyles and the likes. We laughingly called them "The Fightin' Fundies" or the "FunDAMmentalist." When I saw we were willing to allow Falwell into the SBC with nary a word, we opened the doors for every reactionary under any Baptist garb to come inside our house.

I am sixty-six years old, had three heart attacks, spent seventeen days in ICU, had five bypasses but lost one in my last heart attack, my church loves me, my wife loves me, one of my dogs loves me. I have no drums to bang, but mark my words; the "Fightin' Fundies" will tear this Convention to pieces.

I am a conservative. I am so conservative that the "Fightin' Fundies" appear liberal when it comes to interpretation of the Scripture; however, I do not hold to all that is called conservatism as it is now popularly called in the SBC. I see what has happened in the Sunday School Board and I wonder. I see what is happening in IMB and I wonder. I see what is happening at my home Seminary (SWBTS) and I wonder. What in the world was wrong with Hemphill? Was he liberal, too? I see what is happening in the historical position of Baptist on Separation of Church and State and I wonder sometimes whether we are Baptist any more or not.

I will try to keep standing up here in Norman working with Zero U as I loving call it for my C&C group of kids.

You keep standing up. You will be run over. But maybe a few of us will join you at the stake. Heck, since I'm Heaven bound, it might be interesting to see what a little fire feels like.

Phil.