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

A Clash of Ideologies and the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

There are currently two ideologies within the Southern Baptist Convention wrestling for the future control of the hearts of Southern Baptist people, and ultimately, the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention herself. Recently a handful of Southern Baptist bloggers have alleged that all the current issues within the SBC are politically motivated. Several of these men, including Bart Barber, Brad Reynolds, and others suggest that Ben Cole and I are the leaders of a group of people ready to overtake the Southern Baptist Convention. Bart Barber went so far as to say:

"The stakes are pretty high for the SBC in 2007. Burleson and Cole are very well organized and focused. I think it very possible that they will carry the day in San Antonio, because they have quite the head start on conservatives. Your faithfulness to attend in San Antonio and bring your full slate of messengers could make all the difference."

I chuckled when I read the above paragraph for a couple of reasons. All the people I know in the SBC are conservative. Whichever ideology ultimately prevails, conservatives will ultimately 'carry the day,' because both ideologies are held by conservatives within the Southern Baptist Convention. In addition, I can't speak for, or on behalf of, Ben Cole, but I can say with an easy assurance that I have as much interest in organizing people for political purposes as Bill Clinton does in attempting to raise funds from staunch Republicans.

My desire for the last year and a half has been to raise the awareness within our convention that there really is an ideological conflict among those who call ourselves Southern Baptists. Both ideologies are similar in that they are both based on a conservative approach to the holy Scriptures and a firm adherence to the fundamentals of the faith. However, beyond these two areas of agreement, the two ideologies are as different as night from day. I believe with all my heart that if one of the ideologies prevails, then the SBC will not be, within a generation, the vibrant, evangelical missionary convention we are today. So, in one respect, I agree with Bart Barber --- the 'issues' in the SBC are important, but I disagree they are 'politically' motivated -- the issues are ideological in nature.

THE DEFINITIONS OF THE COMPETING IDEOLOGIES

An ideology can be defined as "the unifying system of beliefs, attitudes, and values expressed in the superstructure of a culture."


A separation ideology held by crusading conservatives

Doctrinal purity is essential for cooperation, and since there are no non-essential or unimportant doctrines in the Bible, it is absolutely necessary for there to be a uniform doctrinal interpretation of all Bible doctrines, and if not, separation from those who hold to different doctrinal interpretations.

A gospel ideology held by cooperating conservatives

A desire to advance Christ's kingdom on earth through the confession, proclamation, and application of the good news. The Bible is undoubtedly central to this cooperation, but Jesus Christ is the center of it. Therefore, there is a desire to cooperate with one another, affirming the essentials of the gospel and our Baptist identity, but granting liberty in the non-essentials and love in all things.

Those who know me well understand that my passion in life has always been my family and my church. I was involved with what is now called 'the conservative resurgence' in the 1980's, but beginning in 1995 until 2005 I was totally uninvolved in Southern Baptist denominational life except through support of our denominational missions program and positions of leadership within the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. During my ten year absence from SBC leadership I did not hang around with the powers that be in the SBC. I did not 'network' with pastors in national meetings, or attend conferences where SBC leadership spoke. I also did not attend most Southern Baptist Convention meetings. I was too busy with church, young kids, and state ministry.

That all changed in 2005 when a sitting trustee of the International Mission Board contacted me and asked me to serve as a trustee of the IMB. I quickly discovered that the SBC I loved and cherished for over forty years had significantly changed in the previous decade. I had fought 'the battle for the Bible' believing it was essential that the Southern Baptist Convention take a stand on the veracity, reliability and sufficiency of God's Word, but I soon realized in the summer of 2005 that a small group of Southern Baptist leaders seemed to be forcing the entire convention to accept uniform doctrinal interpretations regarding matters that go far beyond the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. When I publicly expressed a different opinion and biblical interpretation regarding certain views held by those separatist ideologues,, they took the steps they believed necessary to keep the convention pure, and I experienced first hand the effort to exclude a conservative, evangelical Southern Baptist from leadership. The convention I believed was built on gospel cooperation seemed to be overtaken by a separatist ideology.

MAY OUR RELATIONSHIPS ENDURE THE STRAIN

When there are ideological conflicts, even among brothers, there is always the possibility for misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It is unconscionable for any Southern Baptist to lie about a brother in Christ or spread slander or gossip. In addition, it should be possible for Southern Baptists with opposing ideologies to discuss the issues without rancor. It is one thing to talk about verifiable facts and quite another thing to go public with unsubstantiated statements which cannot be supported. Take it from a person who realizes everything he writes is scrutenized to the nth degree -- never write anything you are unwilling or unable to prove as fact. I would go further and say that anyone who falsely slanders a brother in Christ should be held acccountable -- in every way possible.

However, to discuss the ideology of separation involves describing how people are excluded from Southern Baptist missions and ministry. The separation ideology is only exposed when you tell the stories of the people who have been hurt by forced removal through a narrow interpretation of non-essential doctrines that are forced on the entire convention -- without convention approval. Again, the two ideologies discussed in this post are both held by conservative evangelicals. This is not 'us' versus 'them.' The questions is rather simple: Which ideology do we wish to prevail in the SBC?

Regardless of the outcome, I think a letter I recently came across expresses my heart regarding my brothers in Christ within the SBC with whom I disagree. The letter, written in 1940 by M.K. Ghandi to Aruthur Moore, aptly summarizes my feelings toward those in the SBC who are holdinga to the separation ideology in our Southern Baptist Convention:

I see that we cannot agree as to facts and, where we agree, we view them from different angles of vision. Therefore we must for the time being agree to differ. We shall know each other better when the mists have rolled away. I know that our friendship can easily bear the strain of our differences.


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

132 comments:

Kaylor said...

Very well put! If your critics would actually read this post and follow it, then maybe we could have a healthy discussion of the important issues. Let's work on toning down the politics, slander, etc.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Ok, so why go to the media if we are all on the same side? Why turn SWBTS into ATS and SACS?

Wade, I am trying to understand you but read your post and then I read of actions such as the above and you do not denounce them - what is a guy to think?

I am really listening - but I am hearing two different versions.

IMBLITS said...

"Pure" and "purity" are such lovely and positive words.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Thanks for your comment.

ATS and SACS are governing commissions who simply insure policies and procedures of insitutions are followed. They don't set the institutional policies, they enforce them.

Frankly, I am confused with your concern. As you know, I did not write letters to ATS or SACS, nor could I or would I. However, you and others seem to be saying that SWBTS administration did nothing wrong in the Klouda issue. So why the concern?

As far as my condemnation of anyoone who does write an official complaint to ATS and SACS, I would simply say that the proper channels to take when an institution is ignoring their own governing documents is ATS and SACS. I reserve my outrage toward the problem itself, not the messenger of the problem.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I just read your post for this morning on your blog, and I would urge you to reconsider your choice of words and, as Kaylor said above, tone it down a little when addressing others. You have a tendency, it seems to me, of often accusing people of hypocrisy, and speaking down to others with a shaming tone. For instance, you wrote in the last paragraph of your emotionally charged post this morning . .

To the person who continues to ignore my question of why I am being deleted from your blog for asking questions - do not think you can come on here and *sigh* and so forth without being revealed. This is a debate and a discussion and I will not be treated like some preschooler by anyone! Grow up and discuss and debate. If you cannot do that - get out of the debate! *Sigh*

Tim, do you hear how that sounds? You tell somebody to not *sigh* and then you yourself close with a *sigh.* I will not even address the other paragraphs where you accuse others of hypocrisy, sowing discord, and other 'sins.' I think you might find yourself far more effective if your tone were softer, your words more compassionate, and your attitude not quite so seemingly condescending.

Maybe I'm a little too senstitive because you seem to be writing about one of my church members, a female who also happens to write a pretty good blog. If I'm reading it wrong, I[ll be more than happy for others to tell me and I'll admit to you that I may have misread your tone.


Wade

Steve A said...

A vibrant, growing organization has discussions where people trust each other enough to discuss their differences, whether it was men like Adams and Jefferson discussing slavery at the constitutional convention, or Peter and Paul discussing non-Jewish believers.

Brittle, temporary institutions with no trust between peers handle disagreements like Lenin did with Trotsky, which ended with faces disappearing from photographs and a bloody ice axe in Mexico.

Sometimes the regime hanging on to power in some corners of the SBC reminds me of General Patton when he had finally run out of Nazis to fight. How many crusading leaders of the conservative resurgence were awarded high posts and were expected to become able, calm administrators, but continue to see godless liberals behind every tree?

We cannot allow the SBC to drift into separatism or legalism, or the forming of fiefdoms where all power resides in the hands of local tyrants.

TELL YOU WHAT: If we got Roy Huneycutt to sign a surrender treaty in a Virginia court house could we just declare this war over so everbody could say, "Halleluyah!" and go home?

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that, one day (soon?), all readers here will come to agree that: Any year's version (1925, 1963, 2000) is REPRESENTATIVE of the personal theological persuasions of EVERY KIND OF BAPTIST ever walking on the planet earth--and that not to agree with this statement is not to know the BFM statements or Baptists, or both.

Again--and again and again and again--everyone: Permit everyone else to choose which version of the BFM to which he/she will adhere as representing his beliefs, and then let's "get on down ministry road" together for the gospel's sake. (Only the Holy Bible itself, in its entirety, is EXHAUSTIVE of Baptists' personal theological persuasions; PP himself, though, can sign his name to the BFM1963 as REPRESENTING his theological beliefs [and used to do so]--and DVestal can sign his name to the BFM2000 as REPRESENTATIVE of his--read the documents.)


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

martyduren said...

Geez, I knew it.

You're not Southern Baptist, nor a moderate, nor even a liberal--you're HINDU! Anyone can see that from the approving quote of Mahatma Ghandi in your post.

Tim-
I have not contacted SACS or ATS, nor do I intend to do so. It should be noticed, however, that if either of those agencies find anything that threatens the accreditation of that fine institution, it will not be because of decisions that Wade Burleson or Ben Cole have made.

Bart Barber said...

Certainly I agree that the differences are ideological in nature. The dichotomy between political and ideological is a false one. Politics are, almost always, ideological.

I was merely referring to the level of political organization taking place on your side of the issues, which has been considerable, and considerably more than those who disagree with you. I do not consider it insulting for me to say that you guys have your stuff together.

Nor have I ever encountered anyone who presses for uniformity on all matters of interpretation (more raw meat for the lions).

johnMark said...

Wade,

I wanted to ask, which doctrinal positions or lack thereof would you be unwilling to cooperate with amongst other SB churches? And, in your view, would these same doctrinal positions also warrant exclusion from the Convention? Maybe the answer to these questions will help further understanding.

Also, it is interesting to me that only motives vs. actions on one side are being questioned. You've called for investigation into recent actions yet your motives are in question. The "other side" seems to get a free pass on motives and actions regardless. This is where we need to come together and discuss things rather than question motives.

Politically, this is normally done when one side can't, won't or doesn't want to deal with facts and/or fact finding so they go to motives. I see it everday on the TV in my office everytime political party candidates are on.

I have a few more observations, but I must go now.

Mark

CB Scott said...

All,

I think the people usually named in this political coalition would strongly disagree as to the depth of their political affiliation in this matter of Dr. Klouda and SWBTS. Frankly, there has not been a true political machine developed in all the time of their "loose" relationships.

For those usually named as a coalition the Dr. Klouda situation has been about an injustice perpetrated upon someone that is truly innocent of any wrong doing. That is really the whole scope of the matter.

This opinion is from one that has spent much time as part of various political coalitions and this is not one.

THE NRA FOREVER. Now, that's a coalition of a political nature of which I am proud to be a member:-)

cb

bryan riley said...

Do you remember the childish game you played as a kid where you said "he who 'smelt' it dealt it"? In my opinion accusations of politicking is like that. People who accuse others of politicking generally are the ones doing the politicking.

Blogs simply exist. They didn't used to, or for some of us, they didn't exist until we got out of our technology ignorance and discovered them. Prior to that awareness, most may have felt a certain way about grace and truth, but didn't have any avenue to communicate. With the advent of blog awareness, a group of individuals began to find that many people were disatisfied with what appeared to be a growing slide toward legalism in the "conservative" Church. And they wrote their opinions and feelings, using a foundation of the Bible/Jesus. That's not a political movement. That's sharing ideas, thoughts, concerns and love.

Is it always done perfectly and without the stain of humanity. Absolutely not. So, some who are now accusing Wade and others of politicking may well go forth and try to find "specks in the eyes" of millions of words written openly and honestly. I hope instead they will go forth into hospitals and the homes of the economically disadvantaged of their communities with the love of Jesus. I hope the same will be true of every Christian who spends any time at all writing or reading blogs. I'm grateful we all have a communication to unite around and use to sharpen one another (Marty's blog always does that so well with his discussion of things like "do you use AWANAs? How does your church handle" X?) But we must always remember our first love and let it rule our lives.

I can say that I've first hand seen how Wade does that.

Anonymous said...

. . . And (any year's version of the BFM) CAN be the basis for our COOPERATION as Southern Baptists IF WE WILL COOPERATE--which actually is the question. We do not differ enough theologically--nor have we ever!--to justify what has taken place among us in the SBC since 1979.

Isn't it time to come together, rather than to come thoroughly apart? It's time for a glad day in the SBC, not for perpetuating the sad day we've experienced during all this time--the CR (supposedly) notwithstanding (I personally know some of those "resurged conservatively" against--they're more biblically/theologically conservative than the most conservative grandmama of any reader/blogger here--though they wouldn't FORCE readers here or their churches to hold to one version of the BFM, which is what I understand basically is being said in today's post at this site; what a waste!).


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

bryan riley said...

Ugh! accusations ARE like that. Terrible... my first couple of sentences have a subject-verb disagreement problem. SORRY. I should proofread, but my pride and slothfulness often doesn't allow it.

bryan riley said...

BTW, the last subject-verb agreement problem was intentional, in a poor attempt at comedy.

Perhaps I need to go back to bed on this cold Monday morning. :) Perhaps Wade can just change my is to an are and delete these last two comments.

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

This whole thing is frustrating to me. You probably saw me on Bart's site trying to understand the far right side. It all sounds so arrogant.

Is there really any hope for us to come together?

Alycelee said...

I started my blog to journal about my life with God and family. I had no agenda then, I have no agenda now. In the process and frankly I don't remember how, I found Wade's blog. In reading him, I saw how in tune I was with what he is doing. I try and look for what I believe God is doing and join Him.
Being active in Baptist life, I was aware of Wade as a trustee, NAMB, SWBTS, I would say more aware than most "pew people" -still no agenda.
But-all my Christian life I have been ministering to and fighting for those who are oppressed, both in and out of the church. Many times, sadly I've found when bringing these inside the church it is more difficult for the members to accept them than it is for this new person adjust.

Joining Wade was a natural for me. I saw his vision, because it is my vision.

'Church people' have attempted to grasp the church, 'the kingdom' as if it were ours to hold. The scriptures tell us to 'count others more significant than yourselves' Unfortunately, there is little evidence of that here. There are, however, some positive things going on here. I've learned much. I've seen the heart of many and recognized the humility of Christ in them.

I've also seen the opposite. I've seen people bent on disagreeing. I've seen some that it didn't matter what the issue, what the post, I knew before the commented, they were going to be 'against'-to me that's less than honest, less than humble and yes, political, the very ones calling Wade politically motivated.

While we aren't having this discussion in person and sometimes this method is difficult to discern, more than not with people who post regularly, the heart comes through loud and clear. It's there we need to ask God to check it-perhaps before we post.
Just like real life, ones reputation can be ruined here.

With that I would like to say, not trying to embarrass any one there are many here who exhibit the wonderful character of Christ. Many.
Bryan Riley, you are indeed one. Thank you.

Bob Cleveland said...

Time to trot out the pink hat.

As long as I've been a Baptist (which I admit is only 26 years so I may be a relative newcomer), the SBC has been pretty cooperative. Then along come some folks who want to tell us that the BFM isn't restrictive enough and they're going to change some rules and disqualify some people who disagree with their changes.

And, if any of them actually raise objections, they'll be called divisive and their motives will be questioned.

I've been caught in one real-life confrontation between Wade and the "establishment". Live, first-hand. That may be a limited exposure, but I can tell you that Wade's conduct was exemplary and above reproach, and the "establishment" conduct was an outrage. And that's not a strong enough word.

Turning a seminary that's done wrong in to the SACS or ATS? Darn right! If you think complaining to the SBC itself would work, just think back to Wade's motion at Greensboro. (I'd think if the IMB BoT were addressing that, I'd imagine we'd have heard, but...).

When I look at Israel in the OT, and see how God cleaned up their act when they wouldn't do it themselves, I thank God for folks who'll not let matters like the Klouda issue, the IMB changes, the NAMB deal et al go unchallenged. If all we do is pray for God to intervene, He's apt to clean up the messes like he cleaned up Sodom and Gomorrah when the people wouldn't listen.

The majority of SBC members seem either indifferent to, or ignorant of, the events that have been generated all this. Perhaps the "establishment" wants that.

Heaven forbid.

Please.

Wade Burleson said...

Bob,

I find it sad that those who hold to a separatist ideology cannot see the anger and condescension they emit.

It's difficult to even begin discussing cooperation with those kind of attitudes.

Wade Burleson said...

Mark,

Read this for the answers to your questions.

In His Grace,

wade

RefBapRob said...

Wade,
1). I think the term would be theological rather than ideological. ie....you emphasize equality...I emphasize distinctiveness(roles
in the church and society)
2). I believe that there was no injustice....in fact Rob Bell and Bill Hybels have done the same thing to men. They have that right.
3). Parameters set the outside boundaries...anyone is free to set them as smaller but no one can go larger!...someone might not allow women to speak or lead at all(fine)...some might have women lead the Sunday School class(fine).....Women as senior pastor(not fine).

Lastly ....a job is not a God given right!
I heard Warren Buffet say that statement He does not claim to be a Christian. You seem to think it is .....sounds leftist!
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

CB Scott said...

Bryan,

I have really grown to appreciate you, but was "who smelt it dealt it" a game for future lawyers played by such children when you were growing up?:-)

cb

Anonymous said...

Word of mouth gossip is all in the past. Telephones sufficed for a long time but now have been superceded by BLOG's. A million words + have gone down the drain. We used to preach against gossip being used to spread discontentment.But Finally we have arrived at the true port to realize that a great part of the Bible is really non-essentials. And those who disagree are a lot of things that just stack up to being mean. Come on theres no need to suffer, let's be friends with the world. Let us get on Wade's bandwagon he'll go far.

Michael said...

Dear "Not quite figured it out w/tim Guthrie",

Blogs as boring as ours relating to extremist religious nuts are not that high in demand to the outside world; as unfortunate as it is. these blogs have ,I think, as much privacy is getting a private room in community center and having a shouting match. I'm sure we wouldn't think of it as public there (likely it would be more public there than here)

I wish someone who did not grow up in a church(any church),and who are still not in a church, who are reading this would give us a heads up so we can know for sure.

Go With God,
not quite figured it out either w/Michael

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Masters,

You continue to err.

It is not theological.

Dr. Kluoda's situation is ethical.

Rules were violated for the sake of an opinion that is not held convention wide. An institution can't do that without facing consequences. I hope they will make it right.

Wade

Anonymous said...

I have been lurking on this blog and other Baptist blogs for several weeks—watching with the same morbid fascination that I look at a car wreck. And for some reason, today, my heart is breaking, and I feel I have to finally speak.

I'm an outsider in this discussion in many ways, and I won't go into them all here. I do agree that when something's broken, it needs fixing. And where there is injustice we need to try to right it. But I think what I'm getting at is best conveyed with a metaphor.

It seems to me that the hurts, needs, and injustices of this world are in this HUGE river, and people who need our help are floating rapidly by, some breathing their last breaths and going under. And they're desperately looking to the shore for someone, anyone to throw them a lifeline. And there we are, on the shore, arguing about if it's better to throw a life jacket or an inner tube! Should we extend a pole or toss a rope? Who gets to throw the rope? Can we work with someone else who isn't even a Christian to pull these people in?! Meanwhile, the people flow sadly by.

It feels like churches and denominations are so much more worried about being "right" that they ignore the real work!

Sometimes, when I have a fast-approaching deadline for a job I don't want to do, I busy myself with straightening my office, color-coding old files, rearranging my desktop. It makes me "feel" like I'm working, but I'm actually ignoring the real work.

All we are called upon is to be salt and light in a dark and weary world. God is big enough to sort out the rest. Can't we trust Him enough to do that?

Cheryl

Lee said...

You've accurately characterized the two ideaologies within the SBC. The problem is that one of them is hostile to the cherished Baptist ideal of the Priesthood of the Believer and the independent, autonomous local church. Using a denominational structure like the SBC to enforce doctrinal purity and conformity won't work, because there is a back door. The way we keep our membership records and denominational statistics is an anesthetic that has dulled the pain of the losses experienced by the SBC over the past 25 years. Doctrinal purists, by the very nature of their philosophy, cannot tone down their politics or conduct a healthy discussion of these issues. From their perspective, to do so is to compromise what they see as a "pure" and inerrant faith, based on their own inerrant, infallible interpretation of scripture. How can you negotiate, or share leadership, with people who believe they're right, you're wrong and talking to you corrupts their purity?

moderate baptist said...

"It is unconscionable for any Southern Baptist to lie about a brother in Christ or spread slander or gossip."

Wade, do you understand that this is exactly how conservatives came to power in the SBC? Do conservatives such as yourself understand how much hurt the resurgance caused SBC moderates 15 and 20 years ago? Do you honestly believe that men who used slander, gossip, and lies last time won't use those tricks again?

RefbapRob said...

Wade,
Respectfully,
Theology is the Queen of all Sciences for the Christian.(God says....we obey)
Ethics is a category under theology for the Christian.
A course at a christian school would evaulate all ethics based on the supposition that God is Lord.(his/her theology)

It is my contention that what PP did was ethical. BTW.....I know that Lifeway has done that zillions of times. It is called right to work. Lloyd Elder!
Theology not Gender.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

RM said...

I agree totally with "Moderate Baptist." I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the things some of your fellow believers and Baptists are saying about you.

Guys, its time to BEHAVE. What you are doing is exactly what the Fundamentalists did 20 years ago and its still just as ungodly.

Wade, you're doing a great job. Keep it up.

Dr. and Mrs. Milton A. Lites said...

Bob,
I always appreciate your comments. They are usually right on, and I usually agree with them. The only area where we might disagree on this matter is what can we do as Baptist Church members. Since we are not in leadership positions, have no access to those who are, and apparently no influence on them either.
For many days now, I have read comments on this blog as well as others--both pro and con (PP, PPL, etc.) What has become apparent to me is that this matter will not be resolved via blogs, news reports, etc. I agree that those who can wield some influence need to speak out, and they have done so.
I continue to believe that this is a matter which God himself must deal with in his time. I feel certain that you did not mean by "if all we do is pray" that this is not a real solution. Interceeding for those who caused the problems as well as those who were affected by the outcome is not a passive approach to a solution, but a very active one. God has the best solution, and I want to pray for Him to bring that about in a way that will bring him honor and glory and give many more people opportunity to hear the good news.
I appreciate you greatly.

Alycelee said...

Robert-
"It is my contention that what PP did was ethical."

"Klouda joined the school in a tenure-track position in 2002. In 2003, Paige Patterson, who had recently been hired as the school’s president, personally assured her the administration change would not jeopardize her position, she said.

Reconcile those two statements and tell me again what he did is ethical please.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Mod Baptist,

I never participated in the activities to which you refer.

I'm beginning to realize that you may be accurate in your assessment having now experienced it myself.

Wade Burleson said...

To all,

I am attending the Oklahoma Evangelism Conference today & tomorrow.

I chose not to fly to California for the IMB meeting because of my wife's birthday and my son's basketball games.

I will comment later tonight and keep you informed of the IMB meeting when I hear from my trusted friends on the IMB BoT. :)

bryan riley said...

Cheryl, thank you for sharing your heart. I agree with what you are saying, and all too often "Christianity" gets practiced through theology and argument rather than sacrificial love and real "life saving." But please know that Wade and many others who blog are doing more than just writing about things here and are all hoping to be a part of Jesus' mission to seek and to save the lost. Your point is very well taken.

Moderate Baptist, I too see that now. When I was a child and a teenager during the advent of the so called conservative resurgence, I was a giddy joiner who had no clue what really was happening or that it wasn't modeled after the principles of God's kingdom. Although I can't say that as a self-styled "super-Christian" youth I had any real power in what was going on, I am sorry that I cheered on such activities. I was wrong.

RefbapRob said...

Alycelee,
1). I believe those are either Sheri or Wade's words. I have said from the start I dont necc believe them. What are the facts?
2). people change..it is possible that PP changed his mind about her position or cicumstances changed? I suspect what he told was a little different then she remembered!
Paige has never been unclear in his communication. Just read all the World Magazine articles on the gender neutral Bible.
As my mother says....You look a mad dog in the face ,you will probably get bitten
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Mike Ruffin said...

Wade,

The comment by "Moderate Baptist" names the reality that keeps getting in my way when it comes to reconciling myself with life in the 21st century SBC. I entered Southern Seminary in August 1979, thus just two months after the SBC meeting that is usually regarded as the beginning of the "resurgence" or "takeover" or whatever one chooses to cause it. I spent seven years at the seminary and I watched and hurt for my very good, faithful, Christ-honoring, Bible-teaching and Bible-living professors as they labored under a darker and darker cloud and under greater and greater pressure. I still hurt for them and for some other good and faithful Baptist Christians who led our agencies and were also persecuted unfairly.

Some of us have looked for other means and places to serve and to give because we have a hard time living with ourselves when we know our efforts and money go to support the work and agendas of folks who had a hand in that persecution. Some of us have remained involved in SBC ministries, particularly throught the support of missionaries, because their work is so important and because it's in our spiritual blood, so to speak.

I am grateful for your efforts and your words. I believe in forgiveness (even though I know that many of those whom I struggle to forgive don't think they have done anything that calls for forgiveness, which makes it that much harder), but it's a struggle--a spiritual struggle, at that.

Some of us keep thinking and a few of keep wanting to say that what you and others (Dr. Klouda, especially) are dealing with is very 1980s-ish. Where I get stuck is in the place between knowing that it's just the truth and knowing that we can't live in the past.

But the practices of the past are continuing in the present.

It's important, then, to keep telling the truth, to keep calling attention to injustice, and to keep focusing on the essentials and refusing to divide over the non-essentials.

Before 1979, I think that the mission was the main thing. I long for the day when it is again.

Anonymous said...

Bryan,

I'm sorry here if anyone thought I was "against" what Wade or anyone else is doing here. That was not my intention at all. I think Wade is seeking to rectify a wrong, and I'm all for that.

My point, and I include myself chief among the violators, is that ALL of us—the moderates, the liberals, the conservatives—we've all, to some degree planted our flags in something and are vigorously defending it.

I spend WAY more time blogging than I do helping others. Period.

For those who spend more time actually living out the words and commands of Jesus than trying to be right, blogging, watching TV, whatever... my post was not directed at you.

It was directed to all of us (and, I'm at the head of the line) who've gotten off track in the best way to be a real witness in the world. I don't think the hungry and needy care a whit about our correct theology...not that it's not important to have orthodoxy, but I think it takes a secondary position to orthopraxy.

That was my point, and was certainly not directed to anyone specifically on this post. (I'm WAAAAY too liberal to be considered among the conservatives' taking positions against Wade!) It was directed to all of us in the body of Christ who've lost sight of our real purpose here.

Cheryl

sarobert said...

Just the facts

Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: She was a woman at the time of hiring

Fact: She was relieved of her duties because she was a woman

sarobert said...

Just the facts

Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: Sheri Klouda was a female at the time of hiring

Fact: Sheri Klouda was relieved of her duties for being a female

How difficult is it to see the injustice in this?

B.L. said...

Hey Wade (or anyone I suppose),

Here’s a thought I struggle with all the time, and more so recently given the circumstances. I think the reason I struggle with it so much is because I haven’t ever been a part of a certain denomination long enough to think I can claim it with vigor and passion. With that context being laid, here’s my thought in regards to the current issues within the convention and ideologies and all that:

I can’t help but wonder if we as Christians have placed too much importance on whom we are as a specific type of Christian (i.e. Baptist, Methodist, Disciple, or whatever) and to what degree we are in that specific type (i.e. Liberal, Moderate, Conservative...). I repeatedly see self-given labels such as “Life Long SBCer,” “Baptist for Life,” “Right-Wing Baptist,” as well as phrases like “I’ve been here for X number of years and that’s not the way Baptists truly believe and practice” and so on (those are very general claims and paraphrased at that, keep in mind). There is much distress among sisters and brothers within this church of believers and most every other denom out there. The arguments at hand appear to be outweighing the very heart of the message of the Gospel. I am not taking a swing at you or anything you are attempting to achieve, I want you to know that. I am simply attempting to seek what it is we as believers in Christ, being Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Non-Denom’s, all of us, are to be fighting for? Is it more important to be a certain degree of a certain denomination holding certain beliefs or is it more pleasing to the heart of God to worry a bit less about our struggles and fight more for those who are in need of Godly teaching, both believers and unbelievers (side note: this will probably only come when leaders put down their own desires, huh?)? Anyhow, have, on both sides of the argument, Christians begin to fight more for their inner-denominational beliefs and practices than for the righteousness of God alone? What do you think?

I am fully willing to hear, if rightly so, that I am way off base and too “loosy goosey” with my affiliation to a certain denom if that is warranted. I am, though, a member of Southern Baptist Church, but in the words of my first Baptist pastor back in Ada, “I am way more Bible than Baptist.” He seemed to strike a melodious chord in his desire for more of the Word and less for the politics that have seeped into the Church.


In Curiosity,

Bryan

bryan riley said...

That's how I read your note, Cheryl, and I agree and I join you in saying that I too theorize more than i practice. Again, thank you. Your humble comment was very needed.

Alycelee said...

Robert, That is indeed a quote from Sheri and you choose to say she is not telling the truth?

But PP is telling the truth, even though he is silent on the issue?

Read sarobert, just the facts- it seems to be you are dismissing the facts for some "emotional" attachment to PP or the powers that be?

Well, we will just follow the facts all the way, if it go before ATS, SACS, courts, it is indeed Robert, not going to go aways. So we shall follow and I am certain of one thing. The truth will come to surface.
The truth is what I want. Not my version, not your version-the truth. Do you?

johnthebaptist2007 said...

Wade - do you know Gary Crawford, pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida? I know he was on the IMB BofT in recent years. If he is still on the Board, tell him "mo-scratch" said hello. (Please use my real name of course) He married me and my lovely wife 20 years ago.

RefBapRob said...

Sarobert,
As I see it!
Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: She was a woman at the time of hiring

Fact: PP believes that it is unBiblical for women to teach in the school of theology

Fact: Sheri Klouda and others no longer teach in the school of theology


Wade
Why want dont you start a theological school that allows women to teach.
See the modus operandi of moderates!
Belmont here in Nashville is a perfect example of that .....just further down the road.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Cheryl,

"...not that it's not important to have orthodoxy, but I think it takes a secondary position to orthopraxy."

Perhaps that statement alone is more revealing than anything else that has been said.

'Orthopraxy over orthodoxy'

'Pragmatics over doctrine'

'Methodology over Theology'

Another way of saying this is 'what works over what's right.' Orthopraxy must always be the servant of orthodoxy.

JSM

Refbaprob said...

Alycelee,
Please quote me correctly! I said I didnt necc believe her side! I may or may not!
I see no court filings or evidence. Her own statements are not sufficient for a verdict in my mind.
PP on the other side has written and published plenty on this topic(women teaching theology).
BTW---Why dont you all cry out to the injustices perpetuated on men for the results of affirmative action.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

JSM,

Believe me when I say that I understand where you are coming from and I know what you mean. But how that is lived out is what I was directing my thoughts toward.

I can mouth/speak/know all day long that helping others is "right," but if I do nothing, then my right orthodoxy means nothing.

A non-Christian who helps others "does" what is right.

My faith tells me that it's more important to "do" right, rather than to have "right thinking" on spiritual matters...aka "faith without works is dead."

Anonymous said...

JSM,

My final thought, and then I have to be away for a while.

What I was getting at was that most Christians—regardless of their theological place on the spectrum—agree that we are to be salt and light to the world...and not only in terms of the preaching the gospel, but in terms of physically helping others.

What I find so distressing is that we grains of salt and rays of light end up arguing with other grains of salt and rays of light over which ones of us are more flavorful or bright. We spend most of our time comparing ourselves to each other to be the most "right" about our particular brand of salt or the intensity of our light.

And in the meantime, the world is rotting and dark.

Hope that clarifies, and if not, I'm not going to spend time trying to persuade you otherwise. I think I'll just go and pray about the areas where I find myself most guilty of what I've just spelled out.

Peace to all,
Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Cheryl,

I say that orthodoxy is more important, because even a good work done with a proper basis of belief is as "filthy rags." Get the beliefs right and the works follow, get the works right and the faith does not necessarily follow.

Proper beliefs lead to proper works. Proper works lead to... pride.

JSM

Anonymous said...

whoops, meant

"even a good work done withOUT a proper basis of belief..."

JSM

bryan riley said...

I think what perhaps both JSM and Cheryl are trying to say is best said at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 13:

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

The orthodoxy and orthopraxy of love must be first. When we have love, they both follow. Love is God and comes from Him alone. So, it all goes back to... God. Nothing prideful about that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Well said, Bryan. An even better way to look at it and pull the two together. Thanks for your clarity on this.

Peace,
Cheryl

G. Alford said...

Wade,

You said; “ I soon realized in the summer of 2005 that a small group of Southern Baptist leaders seemed to be forcing the entire convention to accept uniform doctrinal interpretations regarding matters that go far beyond the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. ”

“ to discuss the ideology of separation involves describing how people are excluded from Southern Baptist missions and ministry. The separation ideology is only exposed when you tell the stories of the people who have been hurt by forced removal through a narrow interpretation of non-essential doctrines that are forced on the entire convention -- without convention approval.”

I agree 100% with what you are saying… and I am just as deeply concerned over the “ideology of separation” that a “small group of Southern Baptist leaders seem to be forcing the entire convention to accept”.

Has anyone to your knowledge attempted to document just how many Southern Baptist (men and women) Missionaries, Pastors, Professors, and Churches have been affected by this ideology of separation? I can think of several and I am just one Pastor.

It might be eye-opening for a lot of Baptist if a Message Board or Blog was created to document these cases (and yes I know it might be abused, so there would have to strict guidelines for posting).

Grace to all,

moderate baptist said...

Wade, I didn't mean to sound accusatory. I'm sorry if that's how it came off. What I don't think many SBC conservatives understand is how badly they hurt moderates in the name of doctrinal purity. People were slandered and called liars in front of their families, churches, and students. These events caused immeasurable harm to the families involved. It uprooted families, left good parents unemployed, took wonderful preachers out of the pulpits in which they were called to serve, and, worst of all, caused some to lose their faith. Whatever one believed at the time, the ends should not have been allowed to justify the means.

Your point, if I have it correct, is that it's possible to disagree and still be cordial to one another. I couldn't agree more. I just don't have any faith that the bulk of the SBC current leadership understands or cares the harm they did, and won't hesitate to cause harm again.

Oh, and it's Ms. Moderate Baptist. :)

sarobert said...

RefBapRob said...
Sarobert,
As I see it!
Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: She was a woman at the time of hiring

Fact: PP believes that it is unBiblical for women to teach in the school of theology

Fact: Sheri Klouda and others no longer teach in the school of theology

I'm not sure you have the facts correct. You may, indeed, know more than the rest of us. However, there is still a Dr. Dorothy Patterson listed in the faculty of the school of theology at SWBTS.

Furthermore, how far do you think we should extend the application of this interpretation of the scripture? Shouldn't we ban women teaching in any of the schools where men may be students? Shouldn't they be excluded from boards and all environments where men may be supervised for the sake of consistency? This interpretation seems selectively applied. This may be exactly what some would intend as the ever flexing "parameters" are refortified.

Robert Welch

Debbie said...

"However, there is still a Dr. Dorothy Patterson listed in the faculty of the school of theology at SWBTS"

Yes, the wife of Paige Patterson is listed.

Michael F. Bird said...

Wade,
I'm 5000 miles away but I can see that you're dead right. There are at work two competing visions of being "the people of God" in the SBC. One that seeks gospel renewal coupled with a faith that majors on the majors and adheres to the distinctives of its baptist heritage. And another version that seeks to liquidate from the denomiation those who disagree on secondary matters and to label as "moderate" or "liberal" those who do not tow the political line. Keep fighting the good fight!

Bob Cleveland said...

Ochands: Thanks for the kind words. Maybe I oughtta "splain" further.

A long time ago, I heard that "Before you pray, you can do nothing more than pray. AFTER you pray, you can do a LOT more." That was the writer's way of saying we ought to pray before we DO something, but after we pray, it's time to get to work. There are other euphemisms for that.

I firmly believe that the efforts and the voice of folks like Wade and Marty and Art and Ben can and may very well bring results. I think they did, in Greensboro. If they'd prayed and then stayed quiet, nothing much would likely have changed. And if nothing had happened, God might well have done something more drastic.

I know "what if" never happens. But all we can do is all we can do. I thank God for guys (and gals) who can do that.

I also feel that it was important for me to do the things I did at Greensboro and even Arlington.

Like I said, all I can do is all I can do. That much, I could and did.

Thanks again.

Southern Baptist Deacon said...

Southern Baptists have moved away from the church organization defined by Jesus. I have written a thesis on Church Governance and posted on the Web at

http://southernbaptistdeacon.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Ok, Guys, and Ladies, If an ABC guy can step forward and say it is time for those people who hold and voiced such strong opinions to step back from the plate, rest the baseball bat on the ground, calm your nerves, smile and enjoy the warmth of His Grace. There are more inning ahead. Just about all that can be said has been said and it appears to me that it is time to allow the Holy Spirit to move.

Pastor Wade and a few others have made a strong argument for review of this unfortunate incident and allow your reviewing organizations to take a look at it. It appears that the case as presented is clear and very understandable, as is the remedy. If you good folks on the two sides don't stop your bickering you will cause in empasse in your next discussions. Then you might be considering moving, renaming or just becoming independant baptists.
My own denomination is well beyond where you folks might be advancing to. Our argument is over that scourage of homosexuality, more importanly what the Scripture says about it. Our National leader says, since each church is an enity on its own then I can't tell them what to do or how to do it. So, they turned a deaf ear and our annual convention looked like a Gay pride celebration. When conservatives objected and churches walked out one at a time so, they paid no attention. When our most conservative region, your goning to laugh at this, Southern California, Arizonia, Hawaii and Nevada called ABC of Pacific South West, walked out as a total region they began to notice something was wrong. Since then 7 different region (usually by states or groups of states) began to give them ultimatiums and began to stop sending funds out of the local regions. I guess you guys know that your SBC folks made a purchase offer on our Headquarters in Valley Forge, PA?
SO, what am I saying? Please cool off and don't look into the abyss that we in the ABC had done.

An indifferent leadership couples with an agenda has split this denomination and it continues.
By the way, I am in Oregon where the liberals outnumber the moderates or conservatives 10-1.
And should you ask, we have a statement in our policy that sais "Homosexuality is inconsistant with the Christian lifestyle."
When the split comes to Oregon my region will follow by I won't.

Ron Yarnall, ABC guy in Oregon.

RefBapRob said...

Sarobert and Debbie:
Let me correct myself.
Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: She was a woman at the time of hiring

Fact: PP believes that it is unBiblical for women to teach men in the school of theology.

Fact: Sheri Klouda and others no longer teach men in the school of theology.

Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

johnMark said...

Bryan,

You said, "The orthodoxy and orthopraxy of love must be first. When we have love, they both follow. Love is God and comes from Him alone. So, it all goes back to... God. Nothing prideful about that."

I am just wondering, what did you mean when you said, "Love is God"?

Thanks,
Mark

bryan riley said...

John Mark, I meant it like 1 John 4:8. In fact that is what I was referring to when it came out onto the computer screen. I simply inverted the equation, without meaning anything by it. It could have been written God is love. I just meant it like if A = B, then B = A.

RefbapRob said...

Wade and everyone,
It is pretty common to have a much more narrow doctrinal statement in the evangelical world.
Is it also common for institutions,churches to require strict adherence to those standards.
Here is an example from the university I graduated from in Omaha.
http://graceu.edu/2006-07Catalog/GeneralInfo/WhatWeBelieve.htm
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

bryan riley said...

John Mark,

I also was writing in the context of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, the portion of my comment you didn't include, where it says that all those things listed (whether prophecies or works, etc.) without love are nothing, meaningless, worthless. I believe another way of saying that would be to say that anything without God is meaningless.

I hope the explanation helps.

bryan riley said...

Robert Masters, I am not sure what your last comment about the commonality of narrow doctrinal statements adds, but I don't think any one, even you, is calling for us to be common or to be consistent with others' practices if those practices aren't consistent with the practices of our Lord, Jesus. At least I hope you aren't and I hope no one else desires that.

RefbapRob said...

Bryan,
What.....what is common is for people to be hired and fired based on a more narrow doctrinal statement.
An example...My mother is a dispensationalist and I in good conscience would never adhere to her churches statement. It is a Bible Church.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

johnMark said...

Bryan,

Thanks for the response. It was not my intention to cut off any context. I don't see how, regardless of context, that any Christian can claim "love is God". That's why I asked.

It makes sense that you transposed the words.

Thanks again,
Mark

Batchaps said...

refbaprob,
You wrote:
Let me correct myself.
Fact: Sheri Klouda was hired at SWBTS to teach in the school of theology

Fact: She was a woman at the time of hiring

Fact: PP believes that it is unBiblical for women to teach men in the school of theology.

Fact: Sheri Klouda and others no longer teach men in the school of theology.

Let me add:
Fact: The BFM 2000 (the very one both PP and Dr. Klouda signed as conditions of employment at a SBC institution) support this narrow view that PP has suddenly applied.

Fact: The U.S. Code prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, etc.

Fact: PP, by his cowboy actions, which are out of step with a large constituency of us who pay his salary, has now invited the government (both State & Fed) into the affairs of SWBTS.

Q: What else can PP simply change his mind about, claim the change is based on his interpretation of scripture, and be held accountable? For example: PP is very outspoken in his denial of the Doctrines of Grace (as a Reformed Baptist, you should understand). If he decides to expel or fail all students who hold to this theological position, based on his interpretation of scripture, is that okay? Or, any prof. who adheres to the Doctrines of Grace (the very ones that B.H. Carroll embraced) will not be allowed to teach in the School of Theology.

Do you feel that PP has the right to take these (hypothetical) actions?

Batchaps

Batchaps said...

refbaprob,
My fact should read-
Fact: The BFM 2000 (the very one both PP and Dr. Klouda signed as conditions of employment at a SBC institution) does not support this narrow view that PP has suddenly applied.

Sorry for misspell

Batchaps

RefBapRob said...

batchaps,
the faculty should certainly be in step with his theology(dispensationalism). He has the right to tell them to leave.....I am not signing up to go to Southwestern. As Southern has the right to do the same with the Abstract of Principles(I wonder if that is why Demski left Southern so soon....on his own accord I mean?)
not an issue for me.
That was the point of my illustration about my mother....I could never go out as a missionary from her church. Period.
Its all about Theology!!!!!
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Alycelee said...

Robert, so If I'm following you correctly in your last post, PP is the final authority at SWBTS and he can do as he pleases, bottom line?
Is this what you are saying?

RefBapRob said...

Batchaps,
not all discrimination is unlawful! Especially regarding religous organizations.
I hope you discriminate against paedophiles teaching in your sunday school class.
You might want to check out the case against Westminister seminary in Philadelphia.
Here is another discrimination case going to the U.S Supreme court for the second time. My brother is the headmaster at Brentwood Academy. As you can see even the secular feminist were greatly concerned about this case.http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/analysis.aspx?id=17979
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

RefBapRob said...

Alycelee,
No I believe in Soli Scriptura. You must convince the majority of messengers that vote his actions were unBiblical.
You have not convinced me.
To convince me you must take all the Biblical evidence...ie...grudem, piper, grothuis, webb, duncan, dever,n.t.wright.nicole and weigh those suppositions as to how they maintain fidelity to Scripture.
Soli Deo Gloria
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8: A Faithful Paraphrase

Agape can restrain itself when being provoked by people, and even can be kind toward folks instead.

Agape is emotionally-mature; it is other-focused, not self-centered (it doesn’t get unduly jealous, and doesn’t need to point-out itself by selfishly misbehaving).

Agape acts nobly; it isn’t at all self-seeking, but the opposite of selfishness and sinful pride.

Agape isn’t on the verge of explosion, and it doesn’t keep track of the evil it experiences or observes and who did it.

Agape doesn’t feel entitled to receive, but to give.

Agape isn’t appealed to by unrighteousness, but it celebrates with the truth (if the truth is denied, and moral considerations are minimized, agape can’t be happy—it always offers protection, but points to the truth).

Agape always keeps faith and hope alive—it sees reality for what it is, but continues to give the benefit of the doubt and to look to a better future.

Agape doesn’t take failure as final—other things, including some exciting spiritual things—will cease to be, but agape never will suffer collapse.

Agape’s character is unfailing—God infinitely has agape, and even is agape.

Love (agape): to pursue always and unconditionally—despite all personal costs to myself—the total wellbeing of another simply for the prize that one has become to me
(cf. John 3:16; Romans 8:31-39; Ephesians 2:1-10; etc.)


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Batchaps said...

refbaprob,

Using the very same principle you suggest in your illustration is exactly why PP is not correct in his actions. He has gone beyond what the BFM 2000 allows or calls for.

If the BFM 2000 isn't strict enough for him, he does not have the authority to add to it nor take away from it. If he cannot abide by it, (just as you could not in good conscience serve at your mother's church) i.e. allowing qualified women to teach then he needs to resign- integrity demands such action. He should look for employment where his view of scripture is espoused, i.e. Bob Jones U. or Mid America.

If we use your line of reasoning, which is fallacious, then PP could decide only white males are qualified to teach, claim some type of scriptural basis and expect the members of the SBC to sit idly by and approve of his action. And we should be upset if government authorities step in?

This is about BAD theology.

Batchaps

Stephen Pruett said...

Robert,
Seminaries are not kingdoms and seminary Presidents are not Kings. They are accountable. He may have changed his mind and thus he may not have been lying when he said no one's job was in jeopardy. However, he did not change the policies of the institution. In most academic institutions, tenure track faculty who are not yet tenured can be fired for any reason or no reason. However, when there are specific policies indicating that tenure requirements apply to men and women, it is WRONG (unethical) to force someone out because of their gender. If Dr. Patterson wanted to change the policies and if he went through the proper procedures to do that, then his actions would have merely been unkind. However, I would guess that such a policy change would not be well received by accrediting agencies. I would really love to see Dr. Patterson required to prove to competent (non-Baptist) theologians on an accreditation committee that the only reasonable interpretation of 1Timothy 2:12 is that women can never teach men theology or doctrine. I know he's smart, but the passage is simply not that specific. Assumptions and suppositions are involved in reaching that conclusion, and they could be wrong. That is why this should not be a reason for excluding from service or withdrawing fellowship.
More importantly, even if it was a sufficient reason, a person who is by all accounts a fine Christian woman should not be treated as she has been treated. Good grief, we don't even do stuff like that in secular institutions of higher education. I have seen it happen that when we knew of family or financial difficulties, a person was given special consideration to ease a transition, even if they ultimately would not be given tenure. Shouldn't SBC seminaries operate at a higher standard?

Batchaps said...

refbaprob,
You wrote:
"To convince me you must take all the Biblical evidence... ie... grudem, piper, grothuis, webb, duncan, dever,n.t.wright.nicole and weigh those suppositions as to how they maintain fidelity to Scripture."

Pray do tell: which canonical books did any of these men, whom I all love to read (you left out MacArthur) ever pen? :)

Semper Reformanda

Batchaps

Anonymous said...

I was about to say that some rambling can sure be a comment thread killer, but it seems many are engaging it.

How do people feel about the term "doctrinal purity," its use to describe theology, and its effect on those who listen?

RefbapRob said...

batchaps:
Can you name one non-pentecostal, non-fundamentalist seminary that allows women to teach men. There are some and they are liberal. Calvin Seminary for instance.
Prediction ...next year PP will still be president of Southwestern
Sheri Klouda will not be teaching men at Southwestern in the school of theology!
I will still be a Calvinist Baptist in the Southern Baptist Convention networking with all my DOG friends in Church of Christ churches, Presbyterian churches, Baptist churches, Bible churches and even a few Pentecostal churches...Praise the Lord
God Bless You all
Sola Deo Gloria
RefBapRob

Batchaps said...

anonymous,
Doctrinal purity may exist in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church but not in the SBC. The BFM 2000 has so much wiggle room that even moderates can feel at at home here.
Essentials-unity; Non-essentials-liberty; Everything-love.
Until someone convinces me that they possess all truth, are infallible and inerrant, then I would hesitate to buy into their version of doctrinal purity.

BC

RefBapRob said...

Batchaps:
Sorry about Macarthur ....many more also and tried to include those who are on the egalitarian side..ie william webb.Notice this line...weigh those suppositions as to how they maintain fidelity to Scripture." and to Alycelee....no I believe in Sola Scriptura.
Sola Deo Gloria

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Even "if" you, Marty, and Ben were politically motivated (in any sense whatsoever), I still think it would be better for the convention to have you guys apply your ideology than have the other ideology applied to the convention by men who desired to please the Lord.

Even a well-meaning doctor can end up killing you.

Like I have said before, there is a sense in which MOTIVATION DOES NOT MATTER.

Batchaps said...

refbaprob,
To answer your challenge:
Western Seminary- Conserv Baptist Association of America; Alliance Theo Seminary of the Christian & Missionary Alliance; and even Trinity Evangelical- EV Free Church (with the great D.A. Carson) has Dr. Lois McKinney-Douglas teaching in the Missions/Evangelism Dept- all of the above have women teaching in the Theology departments and certainly I do not consider these schools to be liberal.

Other comment- You wrote-> "Biblical evidence, that is, (i.e. = that is), grudem, piper, etc..."
You've just equated these fine men to writing biblical evidence. I know what you mean, but I do not equate their commentary on scripture to the same level as scripture (I know you don't either). That being said, I disagree with them if their interpretation is that women cannot teach men in the Academy.

But the issue here has to do with PP overstepping his given authority as President of SWBTS. I did attend SWBTS, 1997-2001 (and still am puzzled as to why Dr. Hemphill was forced out) and know that there are several great professors still there that do not hold to PP's view. My hope is that these men will sound off and rectify this situation.

BREAK BREAK

Another question: Does the whole "women in authority" only apply in ecclesiatical settings?

Batchaps

Anonymous said...

CBP here, my blog is on the blink again so i will have to sign in on anonymous again.

OK, I admit that I am just a country boy from Oklahoma who God has graced to live and pastor in missouri.

Country as I am , I know that anytime some religious person says "I KNOW MY RIGHTS" they are probably sinning or about to sin or defending someone who has sinned.

It sure seems there is a lot of arguing over things that just don't matter a hoot to a lost person.

I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS.

IF A LIBERAL LEADS A PERSON TO CHRIST, WHO SAVES THEM?

IF A WOMAN LEADS A PERSON TO CHRIST, WHO SAVES THEM?

If someone who loves Jesus but differs on some things with me leads a person to Jesus, WHO SAVES THEM?

If a religious leader gets to big for his britches and starts steppiing on people, who is the victims advocate?? (answer) Jesus

IF A RELIGIOUS PERSON DOES WRONG, THEN OPENLY AND PROUDLY CLAIMS HE KNOWS HIS RIGHTS, WHAT DOES GOD THINK? (hint) "pride comes before a fall"

My wife and I have been blessed to have a business/ministry that has shipped food, medical supplies, clothinig, autos, tens of thousands of bibles, musical equipment, computers, etc to 34 countries and 41 states. I have been blessed to preach in almost 100 churches and have seen many come to Jesus.

At no time did anyone ask me if I was a liberal or conservative.

I am so conservative I squeek when I walk

At no time did anyone ask me about my orthodoxy.

They wanted to know about Jesus.


I have a question: When Jesus said to "Go and make disciples, TEACHING THEM ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU" Where did he say to argue with each other over orthodoxy?

Please don't say Paul said it.

I keep hearing "the Bible says" this or "the Bible says that" and then a whole lot of opinion.

It says, "love one another" "make disciples".

The reason we started our "other" ministry was because of all these folks who think they have final say on all things and wanted to fight all the time.

We work with ABC,SBC, Presbyterians, Methodist, YWAM, Pentacostles, Mercy and Truth, Independents and WHOEVER CAN HELP US GET THE WORD OF OUR PRECIOUS SAVIOUR TO THE WORLD.

We don't argue or discuss much doctrine, politics or sports.

THAT IS THE WAY I REMEMBER THE SBC SOME YEARS BACK.

ORTHODOXY?? "GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES". "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF"

ORTHODOXY? "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU. (all words of Christ)

PP DID WRONG.

ALL THE DEBATE IN THE WORLD WON'T CHANGE THAT

GOD IS WATCHING AND HE SAID VENGENCE IS HIS THAT HE WOULD REPAY...

NO ORTHODOXY OR OPINION CAN CHANGE THAT

Brother Wade is right. the Lady was done wrong.

God is watching.

THERE IS A JUDGEMENT DAY

country baptist preacher said...

Ok, I think my blog is working.

It was I who put up the anonymous post that starts with "CBP here"

I wonder why so many ALWAYS come on as "anonymous" and nothing else

Are there some security concerns?

Anonymous said...

RI Masters is making me wish our reformed theology was not the same.

bryan riley said...

CBP, keep preaching. You are on it! :) Thanks. I had problems with my blog which is why i switched to wordpress. :)

Good stuff on doctrinal purity above, batchaps.

CharlieMac said...

Someone used the example of not using a pedophile to teach a children's SS class. That is completely off subject. Discriminating against someone because of their actions is very different to discriminating because of their gender.
I also snickered at your use of the saying look a mad dog in the face and you get bit. Does anyone else believe this describes what has happened to many who dared to stand up to the current president(s) of our seminariy(s)?
"just a guy in the pew"
Mac McFatter

Mike said...

How was the evangelism conference yesterday Wade?

Anonymous said...

CBP, nice post, and yes, some of us are "anonymous" because we work overseas in countries that don't want us to be here...so it is about security because we don't want to put our names. :)

Speaking of being overseas (with the Int'l Board), just in the region that I work, there are more and more coming to the field who believe the way they interpret the Word is correct, the only correct way, and if we don't agree, some won't even talk to those who disagree. Many of those like this come from one particular school but are starting to come from a second school. And they do have an agenda--gain leadership within regions so they can impose this idea (of only having one way to interpret scripture) on the region and ultimately on methodology. Honestly, regions within the Int'l Board do function a bit autonomously from (although under the direction of) Richmond because Richmond understands the need for each region to have region-specific policies when necessary. So, it's possible for those in leadership to influence methodology quite easily.

Anyway, a bit of a tangent. The point being that even in the Int'l Board, there are many (not a majority) who are like what I described above, and they do have an agenda. Thankfully, regional leadership and Richmond leadership is aware. Some of those with an agenda still think they are being stealth, but it's not working.

How do they think they'll succeed? They simply believe that because they interpret scripture the "right way", God will bless them, their ministry, and will eventually "have success" (however that is measured) and be put in positions of leadership, which will allow them to influence methodology. And they are taking names now to see who they want to bring on with them when they get there.

I had the (un)fortunate opportunity to sit in on a seminary class taught by one professor who holds this attitude. He did nothing but bash the Board and the specific region that I'm in for the first half of the first day of class (an all day class). And what did the students do? They joined in, bashing our President (Uncle Jerry) and some of the various methods of evangelism that some regions implement. These people are poison, pure and simple.

What is one of their focal points? Women in ministry.

I was not aware of SB political life until after this seminary class. It was at that time that I realized I was attending the class of a professor who had written an open letter to all the Trustees of the Board about our President Rankin. I was able to obtain a copy of the letter. The attitude conveyed in the letter toward Int'l Board leadership was passed on to these students.

About (their view of) women in ministry, so as I talked with some of these students and the professor, this is what I was told: Women are to be managers of the house and child bearers, period. If they were to open their mouths and even quote John 3:16 and a man could hear, it would be in violation of scripture. Therefore women can not even quote scripture, let alone interpret it in case a man might hear. It's interesting though. They were willing to be so bold in their opinions when they were in their own group, but when these people were among people of various opinions, they were willing to compromise what I had heard earlier and talk in vague terms. Interesting.

We can see Wade's explanation debunking this ideology.

But still the point is made, right? The same issues you all are dealing with in the USA among SB clubs in trying to gain unity, those seeds of discord have already been planted among workers with the Int'l Board by the students of professors like this and the professors' boss who promote only my interpretation of scripture or else you are wrong.

Before this happened, workers with the Board while on the field didn't pay much attention to stuff going on in the USA because we have our own issues to deal with, but now, it's different. We have to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

"my interpretation of scripture or else you're wrong" was supposed to be in quotation marks as I was intending to quote them.

country baptist preacher said...

anonymous,

thanks for the "security" reply. I am very familiar with those needs due to our outreach ministry.

charliemac asks: "I also snickered at your use of the saying look a mad dog in the face and you get bit. Does anyone else believe this describes what has happened to many who dared to stand up to the current president(s) of our seminariy(s)?

Do I believe this has happened with some current and former presidents? YES! by first hand knowledge

Debbie said...

Anonymous(posts above mine): This is why I will continue to speak out. This is why I will continue to be in prayer especially for missionaries such as yourself. Thank you for sharing this.

Debbie said...

Anonymous also said "Before this happened, workers with the Board while on the field didn't pay much attention to stuff going on in the USA because we have our own issues to deal with, but now, it's different. We have to pay attention."

And you shouldn't have to but you are right. Unfortunately missionaries have to pay attention now. It takes away from your important call. It also adds to the many stresses that our missionaries already have on the field.

Wade Burleson said...

The Evangelism Conferences has been a mixed bag in my opinion.

Rick Ousley preached one of the finest messages I have ever heard in my life. Junior Hill preached a good message. Bobby Welch and Johnny Hunt preached.

Interesting post today by Ben Cole. I find it amazing that a chairman will issue a public statement seeking to discredit the Kouda post, wait four days to respond to my email requesting specifics on the alleged 'inaccuracies,' and then refuse to provide minutes for the 'one' inaccuracy he identified.

*Sigh* (that sigh was in honor of my church member, friend and Christian lady extraordinaire, Debbie Kaufman, who continues to display grace when accosted by bully pastors :) Deb, couldn't resist).

I don't understand the delay, unless Ben has explained it.

In His Grace,

Wade

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous M:

It don't take no genius to see the inevitable outcome of the trend you mentioned, if there's not a turn back to adherence to the BFM, and not going beyond it.

Wade, you listening?

My pastor said one of the earmarks of a "cult" is adherence to the biblical interpretation of ONE man.

Hmmm.............

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Who are you kidding? None of the other seminaries would tolerate women in the theology department. Why should Southwestern be singled out. Why don't you bring this to the floor of the SBC this year. I promise you, a convention hall filled with SBC MEN will never even consider your unorthodox method for training ministers. And are not the best trainers for those in minister also to be those who are qualified biblicaly for the position. GIVE ME A BREAK. You and Ben know your ideas would never float so your reduced to writing acrediting agenicies. How does if feel to be the founder of the MICKY MOUSE CLUB?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

This is some interesting stuff. What I don't understand is why you and others continue to oppose everything instituted by PP. It seems like you are waiting at the edge of the table for scraps of discontent to fall into your lap. In the long run, I don't think most minsters are as concerned with accreditation as they are with biblical standards for ministerial preparation. Just think of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. They bucked accreditation for years, and as far as I know, most SBC ministers would be more than happy to attend an institution that followed a biblically based set of standards rather than a set of standards established by the moderates of Virginia and Texas. Also, watch out for Southwestern. After PP gets that dump cleaned up, the great majority of SBC'rs will be more than happy to send their young men there. Especially here in the the Southeast. Southwestern doesn't need the approval of liberals and moderates in Texas to thrive. PP, thanks for all your doing. That school was a drain on my life, and if it were not for your involvement, I would be ashamed to say that I graduated from that school. B. H. Carroll lives in PP's prayer Closet!!!!!!

William Madden said...

Anonymous,

Are u a 'fraidy cat? Why hide behind Paige Patterson to talk so tough. Come on out and let us know who you are. Or are you just afraid to be a public person and receive hundreds or thousands of emails and phone calls from all of the people that you will discover disagree with you?

Charles said...

Issues of security, especially for those serving in dangerous situations overseas, are understandable. For those in that situation, I would encourage the consistent use of a pseudonym. It would protect your real identity and, at the same time, provide an alternate that allows you to stand apart from those who thrive on anonymity for nefarious purposes. To simply post as anonymous without any differentiation by default enables others to assume your tacit association with and/or approval of all other posts as anonymous.

I'm preparing a short series for my own blog on the role of anonymity in Christian blogdom. A part of my research reveals the following:

The importance of personal identification as follows:

1. to provide a gesture of goodwill,
2. to develop mutual confidence,
3. to reduce the scope for dishonesty;
4. to enable either person to initiate the next round of communications; and
5. to enable either person to associate transactions and information with the other person."

If you must remain anonymous, consider a pseudonym and stand out from the mob.

country baptist preacher said...

It is a hard thing to grasp:

Not every vote of the " yearly convention" or every vote of a trustee board, or of the BFM 2000 committee, or of any other man made committee is necessarily the will of God, or pleasing to God.

(the golden calf committe comes to mind. Remember, that overwhelming vote VOTE TO REPLACE GOD with the calf is right there in scripture and the overwhelming vote of the people was for all to donate of their funds to do it.

THEN THERE WAS THE "COMMITTEE TO RETURN TO EGYPT". THANK GOD THAT PEOPLE WHO TRULY FOLLOWED GOD WERE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE VOTE OF THE COMMITTEE.


MIGHT DOES NOT MAKE RIGHT

When a group has expelled all who differ from the pack, who is left to differ with their vote.

Are these so called "unorthodox views ", made to be "unorthodox" according to men or God?

2 Tim 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. "

Why can't denominations just let God be God? And make no mistake. History shows that all denominations (ON THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT AND IN THE MIDDLE) will eventually select leaders who began to act like Little Gods.

IT IS FORGOTTEN THAT IT IS HIS POWER AND HIS WILLL AND NOT OUR VOTES AND OPINIONS THAT MATTER.

I AM CONTINUALLY AMAZED HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE THIER LIVES AS IF THERE IS NO GOD TO ANSWER TO

country baptist preacher

Anonymous said...

Interesting statement:

"If the BFM 2000 isn't strict enough for him, he does not have the authority to add to it nor take away from it. If he cannot abide by it, (just as you could not in good conscience serve at your mother's church) i.e. allowing qualified women to teach then he needs to resign- integrity demands such action."

Does this go for Seminary Presidents alone? Who else? How about Trustess?

Both sides can not be different can they?

TG - I am having problems logging in - could only do it this way!

Anonymous said...

Let's ask this question of those who disagree w/Wade: Say you served on a board of a Christian agency or non-profit agency. Serving along side you is a woman - a woman who also happens to be the associate pastor of a church. Maybe she gets elected to chair that board. Would you remove yourself from that board, and if so, exactly why?

OK Law

Anonymous said...

Actually yes,

I do believe that there are hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of moderates who would love to email me every hour on the hour to complain that they are not having their way with Southwestern. I also know that there are millions of Conservatives who are supporting Patterson's involvement and heartily affriming his moves at Southwestern. Think of the actions of Wade and Ben. They both have a telephone and a word processor. They both have decided that pastoring their church is secondary to their ministry of taking over the convention. They both spend a whole lot more time on issues surrounding Southwestern and the IMB than they should. Just because you have a rolodex with the names and phone numbers of prominent sbc'rs doesn't make you a mover and a shaker. I think the lasting result of the malcontent blog movement will be tantamount to amway. Nobody's buying, but everybody is talking about it. Cheers, anonymous

Mike said...

Wade,
You mentioned Johnny Hunt and Bobbhy Welch preached? How were their messages in your opinion?

bryan riley said...

At least Ben Cole doesn't mind people knowing who he is when he takes things on in a way that is uber aggressive. At the same time, he is taking on those who would promote the law over Love. It doesn't sell as well by someone who remains anonymous, and who desires to promote the law over Love. I am reminded of the Priest and the Levite, walking to the other side of the road, away from the one who was like unto dead for some odd reason... Praise God for the Samaritans.

Scott Dollar said...

Bob,
Interesting comment about your Pastors definition of a cult. Up north of the border planting a church I was told by one Christian that she likened Southern Baptists more to a cult then an evangelical denomination becasue her expereince with Southern Baptists was that they were the only church and only interpretation that was valid.

Alycelee said...

Wade, Robert Smith of Beeson spoke at our Evangelism conference. Is he speaking there.
He has a wonderful and inspiring message on grace.

Bob Cleveland said...

Scott: Interesting indeed, since the document to which we look, as an expression of common baptist beliefs, itself says that folks are free to write their own statment of beliefs. Also, he said that's one of the earmarks; a definition would have some other stuff in it.

For some strange reason I feel like trotting out another old quote that I like:

"Too many people live life on the assumption that, if you drive a ten-ton truck, you don't need road manners."

There. I feel all better now.

Wade Burleson said...

William Madden and Charles,

Both your suggestions and comments to anonymous are appropriate.

I always delete anonymous comments that attack other people, including those comments that strike at the character of PP and others. However, I will not waste time nor energy deleting comments from people who are critical of me.

I agree with William that is is the heighth of cowardice to hide behind anonymity. If you have something to say, put your name to it.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Miss Bertha Smith was a a conference with my father. The preaching was lousy, and when Miss Bertha was asked 'What did you think of the preaching' she responded with a gracious word about what God had spoken to her personally. I have used that as a model to not ever be critical of any preacher who is attempting to preach the Word of God. However, in some instances, I must be critical of those who 'preach' without ever letting the text drive the sermon. Bobby Welch and Johnny Hunt preached a text, so I can issue no criticism.

Wade Burleson said...

Alycelee,

I wish I could have heard the sermon!

wade

Alycelee said...

Well my dear Brother Wade, I have it on DVD, I will send you a copy.
Do you know him?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

You said, "The height of cowardice is to hide behind anonymity." There are some missionaries and other Southern Baptist people who are in positions in which they cannot yet respond publicly. There will be a time when they can, but it has to be strategic because they may have only one opportunity to speak up before they are forced out the way Kouda was.

I understand your frustration, and who could argue with you if you just refused to allow any anonymous comments, but don't judge all anonymous comments as cowardice. For some, being anonymous is strategic.

In any case, you are doing a great service to Southern Baptists. You are making a personal sacrifice to speak up, but there are many who will receive more than criticism when they make themselves known. They will be fired.

Thanks for speaking up for those who agree with you but can't yet do it as publicly as you have. May God bless you. You are on the mark. You are speaking for many who can't speak, and you are giving courage to others who can but haven't yet done so.

Signed with sone embarassment,

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

"some"

Alycelee said...

Scott Dollar, I don't think any particular denomination can either hold themselves up as "the only way" and certainly cannot hold themselves up as "the most humble" for if they were to take that crown, if would have to be quickly taken away.
We do all, as believers need to cooperate with GOD, for if we do cooperate with God, we would find ourselves in cooperation with one another and not be throwing stones.
Who/which will be reclining at the Lords table next to Him? At this point in our lives, in the world of 'religion' and denominational life, the question would be more aptly put, who will be at the Lords table. We could all use a lesson in humility and servant leadership-agreed? A good place to start.

Alycelee said...

anonymous,
If you could use at least a 'handle' to distinguish yourself from other anonymous. It gets confusing for us-to keep one from another.
Thanks

Charles said...

To anonymous - (I hope you know who you are because nobody else does...) -

You stated: "There are some missionaries and other Southern Baptist people who are in positions in which they cannot yet respond publicly."

The necessity of anonymity for missionaries is dangerous places is a no brainer.

Please elaborate for us what other positions in Southern Baptist work are in danger of losing their life because they publicly adopt a position on either side of the Klouda issue. The inference is that it is just as dangerous to speak up for or against PP as it is to speak up for Christ is the Islamic world. If that is the case...well...we're in worse shape that even Wade says we are.

Scott Dollar said...

Alycelee,
I agree. I have tried to convey in this particular instance that her experience was not representative of all SBCers and that most would not believe, teach or act like they are the only way.

Wade,
I know you hear this a lot, but thanks for what you are doing. It helps to keep some of us informed about what is going on and is refreshing to see the passion of many SB that desire to cooperate for the kingdom of God with those that hold to the essentials of the faith, but not divide over non essential issues.

Jim Paslay said...

I continue to be amazed at the shallow remarks of those who continue to link recent difficulties with the theological problems that were clearly a cancer within our convention.

I read Moderate Baptist's comments about how gossip and lies brought the fundamentalists to power. I read with interest as rm comments and agrees with Moderate Baptist and adds "ungodly" to the mix of adjectives of those sorry funny-damn-mentalists.

I'm curious to those who want to blame current issues with the problems of the 1970s and 80s. Do you include people like the late Dr. Adrian Rogers in your general smear attacks? Is everyone who voted for change a liar and a gossiper?

I personally think some of you have selective amnesia when it comes to our convention. You have been looking for a crying towel to vent your frustrations and this blog is it. As long as you continue to link current problems with issues of the past, you will have no credibility. If you admit that there were serious theological problems in the 1970s, then there is hope for you. Otherwise, may I suggest joining Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in their quest to unite disgruntled moderates for Hillary!

Anonymous said...

Charles,

The inference was never that there are Southern Baptists in other positions besides missionaries who could lose their "life" by taking a position for or against the Klouda situation.

The fact, not inference, but fact is that there are many Southern Baptists in positions where they could lose their "job" by taking a position in opposition to Paige Patterson. That's the whole point of what Wade has been blogging about. It is also the reason no professor at Southwestern has spoken up in support of Klouda publicly. They risk their "job" and livlihood if they speak up.

The view must look wonderful from your judgmental high horse.

Wade, thanks for what you are doing.

Charles said...

Pastor Jim,

I would suggest that a careful reading of Brother Wade's posts would remove the red herring from the room that the Klouda issue is a theological matter. It is a matter of justice and mutual accountablity within the Southern Baptist body and especially the standard of justice and accountability of those in our highest and most trustworthy positions.

Would you agree that those in positions of high responsibility should be held to the highest standard of integrity demonstrated by a complete knowledge of, understanding of, and adherence to not only the policy and proceedures manuals governing personnel but also the Biblical admonition to simply "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?

There is a common theme between the 80's and today and it is NOT, in my humble estimation, theological integrity. It IS the apparent willingness of some of the characters who play prominent roles in both this drama and the drama of the previous generation to sanction ANY method they consider necessary, to assure the destruction of their perceived enemy.

While pounding away at the task of assuring absolute doctrinal conformity in some of the most difficult theological conundrums, why do we so willingly lay aside Basic Christian Discipleship 101: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."


Brother Anonymous
I'm sorry to say the view is quite ugly from my horse, heartbreakingly ugly.

Forty years ago I witnessed my father stand up to the local KKK in rural NC when he was tagged a "N-lover" for statements he made from the pulpit. I remember white robed men marching around our church and parsonage one Saturday calling for my family's death(the ruckus disturbed my cartoons - their hooded, hidden faces gave me nightmares.) I remember the cross they burned in our parsonage yard. I remember my own beloved German Shepherd dog disappearing only to reappear on the lawn a few mornings later beheaded and gutted. (Dad actually found her and buried her before I got out of bed that morning, he only told me the details a couple of years ago.) His stand in the face of injustice not only threatened our livelihood but our lives, as well.

By God's grace, I have not been called upon in my life to stand with courage in the face of such apparent, yet ultimately impotent power. I pray, however, that when called upon, I will stand for justice with the courage of my father.

If you are in a job that would be threatened by naming openly and honestly the wrong doing of someone in authority over you, I sincerely pray for you and openly and humbly acknowledge what a great struggle you face. It has to feel lonely. God be with you.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous missionary,

I apologize for not making myself clearer.

It is the 'height of cowardice' to hide behind anonymity when someone attacks another person.

Missionaries are free to comment anonymously. Interestingly, I have never heard a current missionary attack a person, anonymous or with a signed post. This speaks highly to the character of our missionaries.

bryan riley said...

Jim, when you read comments against slander, pride, wrong attitudes, lack of love, etc., you should read them just that way. Not attacks against individuals, but attacks against sin. Attacks against the Enemy. We don't fight flesh and blood, and many bloggers would do well to start living in that reality. It seems more want to make this about Wade or others whereas God really wants to make this about Him and His purpose. Many are the plans of man's heart, but God's purpose will always prevail! And, just like we shouldn't be quick to attack individuals, I also hope Dr. Rogers (and others) wouldn't want to be praised for what God did. From time to time we do struggle with such feelings of pride (or inadequacy), and may we humbly surrender those to God.

Michael(not Mike) said...

The number one rule in most jobs is:
"don't piss off the one who is in charge of your pay"

unfortunately in much of baptist jobs and religous institutions being known as a trouble maker does NOT help you keep that job.

Charles, I'm glad you can irritate your boss without worrying about your job. Your one of the few.

Michael(NOT Mike)

Charles said...

Friend Michael not Mike,

No one should irritate the boss for irritation's sake. But what should we be prepared to risk on behalf of a brother or sister at work who has been wronged? What could we HOPE that they might risk on our behalf if we had been wronged? Have even the Christians in America adopted the Darwinian "survival of the fittest and the fittest don't make waves" philosophy of the culture? Is there ANY injustice great enough to merit you or "anonymous" above risking your job to address?

I weep that we send our young men and women to die so that we can remain free to cower in the face of injustice in the land of the free and the home of the used to be brave. I hope our kids follow their grandparents' and great-grandparents' example rather than ours.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

I hear what you are saying. You said, "Is there ANY injustice great enough to merit you or "anonymous" above risking your job to address?"

Of course there is, and there will be an appropriate time for me to do so. On this blog is not the time. The time is when I can do it and make the greatest impact. I am grateful for the moment to make comments anonymously. Not hurtful comments, but comments which affirm there are a lot of anonymous people out there who agree with what Wade is saying.

I'm through for now debating anonymity. The issue is the unjust and unchristlike treatment of Dr. Kouda and the narrowing of what it means to be a Baptist Christian. God bles you Charles and have a good evening. Keep it up Wade!

JamesBrown (reports of my death have been greatly exagerated) said...

Wade,

Just a thought or two. Don't you change from a gospel ideology to a separatist ideology the moment you imply that those who run the convention must share your ideology.

I am just a humble seminary student. I am just trying to follow God and glorify Him in my life. I was given a piece of advice when I headed to school that I will always remember, "Stay out of the politics, just go to school get equppied and get out".

I have tried to do so for two years now, but these controversies swirling around try to drag me in, they try to tempt me to become involved, to fight, to choose a side. However, I realize that I do not want to be on your side or Dr. Pattersons side, I want to be on God's side and frankly from what I have seen, I am pretty sure that God would disapprove of both parties actions.

To choose a side seems to me to distract me from what God has called me to do here. I would caution you not to let yourself get sucked in by Satan to something that, though it seems a worthy cause, may be just a way to distract you from your calling as pastor.

As to Dr. Patterson, I have met the man on more than one occasion and know him to be a kind man who, when he is not being attacked, listens to reason and will, if challenged about seminary policy that is unbiblical change his policy. I speak from personal experience. He has dome it for me.

Wade, please be careful that in your ernest attempts to right a wrong you do not end up hurting more people in th process. Furthermore, always be on God's side and give up your "right" to be right.

James Brown
Fort Worth, TX
Seminary student and friend of God

othoniel a valdes sr said...

with all due respect to the writer
and to you
our family does not need any outside intervention .
Our responsability & accountability is to God and Our family not to outsiders.

TruthOfActs said...

To anyone with eyes,
One high school senior said, “Oh coach, you’ve scared us enough; let’s start shoveling snow.”
He took one step back and was gone. The group was in shock till they heard him yelling. He had fallen through a hole covered by snow, and was dangling 10 feet below them and 40 feet above a concrete floor with his shoe caught in a roofing brace.
He was screaming, “Help me! My shoe’s coming off!”
“Somebody grab my ankles!”
“Coach, “I won’t let go!”
Eight school kids lowered the two down and pulled three up.

The eight should have held the largest and strongest, but he took the dangerous position of leading.

My hat is off to Ben Cole for leading to help a lady in distress that we’re all talking about.

Should we help by having an appreciation day for Sheri Klouda at SWBTS?

Would someone please tell me what would be wrong with that? Is everyone afraid of the big bad wolf? Is the school under the control of the KGB? What is going on? Is this Russia or America? What are we afraid of?

My pastor was a student at SWBTS when Dilday was fired. The students were ready to march or do anything Dilday told them. He told them to continue their education.

Today, are students afraid for their education?

In 1968, my brother organized the first Artic Winter Games and now there are 27 countries participating. He organized volunteers to move an aircraft hanger 200 miles in the dead of winter to Fairbanks, Alaska for a sport complex for kids. It was named after him. He was the coach in the story above when he started with a dump truck and 10 kids.
He could motivate a march, but he’s so weak from ‘valley fever’ when he told me goodbye this week, he didn’t take a pillow off his head.

So what do we do? Are bloggers worth anything besides talking? Moses is the only man I know in the Bible that God told to stop praying and start marching. But we’re about were we were when I left for Arizona more than a week ago.

Thanks to Wade, and again, thanks to Ben Cole.
Rex Ray