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

Poor Reporting but Good Results from the IMB Meeting

I was unable to make the IMB meeting in California due to celebrating my wife's birthday and not wanting to miss my son's basketball games for his senior season. The Ad Hoc Committees on the Baptism and Private Prayer Language policies did not issue any recommendations. They will finalize their report and any official recommendations regarding the policies before the next IMB meeting, March 19-21, 2007 in Memphis, Tennessee. I will be at that meeting.

I have already commended the board for the change of spirit in the board meetings since Dr. John Floyd became chairman. The forums have been filled with prayer and testimony since the summer of 2006, which they should have been in the Fall 2005/Spring 2006, and it is my understanding that the same spirit of cooperation and decorum prevailed in California. No longer are closed door meetings being used to attack individuals, including anyone in administration, and for that I am deeply grateful. I think some have finally realized everyone will be held accountable for their actions, and that always insures that any conduct, even in private, is full of grace, consistent with our calling, and honoring to Christ.

There are already reports being filed about this week's IMB meeting in California. I am hopeful that reporters will not make the same error that Tammi Reed Lebetter of the Florida Witness has made. I have never been barred from a pre-business session forum (closed door meeting) or Executive Session of the International Mission Board, nor have I ever missed attending one. Her reporting is evidence that people often misunderstand what is happening, even those who should be in the know.

The board must vote to exclude a member form forums and Executive Sessions, and they have not voted to remove me, nor will they. I continue to attend forums and closed door meetings, abiding by every policy and procedure -- even reminding my fellow trustees what they are at times. The Chairman alone has the power of appointment for committees, and we trustees do not vote to approve his appointments, or lack thereof. Though I have not been appointed to a committee, I am a fully functioning trustee, duly elected by the SBC, and I attend every meeting where business is brought to the full board -- even closed door sessions.

So, before anybody gets to excited or riled up about what did, or did not, happen in California - relax. Issues that have been raised this past year will eventually have to be addressed by Southern Baptist Convention, but at least the spirit is much better on the board itself.

Blogs have a way of helping reporters and people within the Southern Baptist Convention to get their facts straight. :)

In His Grace,



johnMark said...


Thanks, but uh....did you contact yourself before commenting about yourself?

Just wondering...



Wade Burleson said...

Good one.


GeneMBridges said...

Good post, Dear Brother.

Just a tad off topic for this one, but oh so relevant to your general discussion in these parts, might I suggest discussing this old jewel:


Perhaps our denominational leaders (and us bloggers as a whole) could use a dose of Puritan thinking in these matters. This book is invaluable...and for those who are interested if order from Monergism Books, it's $18 cheaper than you can find it at Amazon. I'm the librarian at my church these days. I love books that are discounted. I certainly recommend this one!

Wade, since you get a lot of traffic, perhaps, if you've read it, you could post bits of it every few days in the run up to the Convention or write a review of the whole book, including anything that you think we could all learn from it.

Trevor said...


Perhaps I misunderstood that entire article, but it seemed to say that the board of trustees disagrees with every single one of your contentions. It wasn't very encouraging to me. Did I miss something?

Trevor Davis
Great Commisson Church
Olive Branch, MS

Wade Burleson said...


Great question. I will seek to answer it by posting a response at 11:00 p.m. Central time tonight. It will be the post for February 1st, 2007.


Kevin Bussey said...

I like the positive spirit! May it be contageous!

Les Puryear said...


I'm glad that you're glad about the change in spirit at the Board.

As I was reading the Florida Witness article I couldn't help but wonder about something. Were you aware that the Board was going to address your motion during this specific meeting?

Maybe my naivete is showing but I would think you would at least want to be there for that particular meeting.

Since we often disagree on issues, I hope my question is not misunderstood. Please know that I do not ask this question with any intention of malice or seeking to "catch" you in anything. I am truly wondering if you knew this issue was going to be addressed at this time.



Bowden McElroy said...

I'm not at the meetings, so I cant' see a the kindler, gentler spirit you write about.

What I can see is the article you referenced and the statement from the IMB BoT: "(The Board) retains the prerogative and responsibility of further defining the parameters of doctrinal beliefs and practices of its missionaries"

That sounds arrogant and condescending to me; not sweeter of spirit. Am I missing something?

Wade Burleson said...


My wife's birthday and my son's basketball games are far more important than convention business.

A billion times more important.

Wade Burleson said...


I am using your quote in my official response to the official response.


Alan Cross said...

So, basically, nothing's changed. They're just being nicer about maintaining the status quo. And, did I hear you right? They will not be issuing the results on the investigation into the infamous policy changes until the next meeting? Wow. Who knows? Maybe we'll just all forget about this and move on. Right.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: I for one would see nothing wrong with not attending the meeting for the sole reason that you knew they would be bringing that report. That let them make it, with no fear of controversy or divisiveness.

But I hasten to add that I believe your statements about why you chose not to attend. Period.