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

Someone Needs to Jump Off the Merry Go Round

It seems that one of my fellow IMB trustees, Mr. Jerry Corbaley, has taken offense to the fact that while I have affirmed the report adopted at the last IMB meeting regarding my recommendation, I also pointed out that it was not an investigation into the merits of my recommendation. The report speaks to IMB policy, and it is quite accurate on all counts, but there was no 'investigation' conducted into the major concerns I had expressed in the recommendation itself. In fact, I was told that the report was not an investigation by an administrator at the IMB, a fact that led Mr. Corbaley to call that man an idiot on his blog before he realized it was Dr. Rankin. This unfortunate and intemperate use of language is often characteristic of the blog world, and I'm sure Mr. Corbaley regrets his decorum in the matter. I am hopeful that he will soon realize that we IMB trustees need to go on with our work in the area of missions, and reject all attempts to politicize our board meetings. If an investigation is needed, and it may or may not be determined at the SBC that one is, then an outside ad hoc committee will be created by the President of the Convention in consultation with the Executive Director of the SBC Executive Committee -- the very thing I asked at last year's convention. The IMB Board of Trustees should not waste their time in these matters, just as the IMB report affirmed. We need to put this matter behind us as a Board, let others deal with it as they see fit. Below is a comment I placed on Mr. Corbaley's blog which he refused to publish.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mr. Corbaley,

I believe that you are aware that my recommendation for an investigation into matters at the IMB called for an investigation committee formed by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. At the convention I did not oppose the Committee on Order of Business in recommending my recommendation be referred back to the trustees. The IMB trustees and administration chose to simply issue a report on policy and why they could not investigate matters raised by my recommendation.

I wholeheartedly agree with the IMB report addressing my recommendation. I would have voted to affirm the report had I been at the meeting, simply because I never thought, just as the report said, that it was within our purview to investigate matters of concern outside of our Board. There is no disagreement among anyone with whom I have spoken regarding the following:

(1). Nobody investigated to see if the head of another agency sought the removal of Dr. Rankin.

(2). Nobody investigated if the trustee nomination process was manipulated by sitting trustees to insure that only likeminded people were placed on the board.

(3). Nobody investigated as to why the policies were pushed contrary to administration’s desires.

(4). Nobody investigated the manipulation and coercion of an agenda contrary to the President’s by outside influences.

In fact, administration of the IMB asked me to remove the phrase "investigation committee" from my post - because there was not one. The person who asked me to do this you called an idiot, and I'm sure that you regret that now that Dr. Rankin has emailed and identified himself as the one who told me there was no investigation committee and asked that I remove that phrase from my blog.

That's what I mean when I say there was no investigation committee. You will find IMB attorney Matt Bristol agrees with this assessment as well. If I were you I would leave things alone and stop emailing other trustees seeking to create controversy or you will find yourself making even more mistakes than you did last year.

I, like you, believe that the trustees of the IMB should get on with the work of missions. The SBC and the Executive Committee will handle other matters, if they choose, just as I originally asked them at last year's SBC. If the Executive Committee of the SBC receives this report of the IMB and makes a decision not to investigate the concerns raised by my motion, so be it. However, one should stop saying the matters above were investigated because it becomes, as Dr. Rankin says, a matter of integrity.

Thanks for your service to the IMB. I look forward to seeing you in Memphis.

In His Grace,



Jeremy said...

An observation by a longtime reader and first time commentor. I read what you say and it makes perfect sense. I read what Mr. Corbaly, Mr Green, and others write, attacking you without restraint, and I cannot make heads or tails of what they are saying. I commend you for your restraint and grace. Keep up the good work. You have inspired me to look into starting a blog on my own.

Anonymous said...

"Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,
White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery."

Paradise Lost. Book iii. Line 474.
John Milton (1608–1674)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Patterson is currently preaching on End Times at SWBTS, and I am just wondering whether the IMB will soon require missionary candidates to believe in a pre-millennial rapture. I say this tongue in cheek, but I think it illustrates my point.

I am a student at SWBTS and am truly glad to be here! I am very grateful for Dr. Patterson, and came to SWBTS primarily because I wanted a thoroughly conservative theological education = and am receiving just that! Honestly, coming to SWBTS has been one of the best decision I've made! However, I would be very troubled if I did not believe in the sovereignty of God, since I am completely barred from service with the IMB, NAMB, and (now) SWBTS due to the fact that I speak in tongues and am a continualist.

I think the excess and abuse of charismatic gifts is a very real issue that needs to be addressed with integrity and a good hermeneutic. I was in perfect agreement with the former IMB policy on tongues, and am all for a very careful approach to such secondary doctrines!

I am, and intend to remain, a Southern Baptist - but I currently find no place to serve within the Convention. I also know that I am not alone. In fact, I know a number of very conservative, doctrinally sound, missions-minded, biblical inerrantists, who are in the same boat. In regard to them, the SBC is missing out on some fine Southern Baptists who desire to serve God and reach a lost world with the gospel.

Thanks for all you do Wade - keep fighting the good fight! God bless you!

Steve A said...

Hmmm... No mention of the SBC Prez lately. Is he, or should he, be addressing these issues? I s'pose he's a lock for his second term at SA....

It just kills me that we are presented with exactly the kind of solid, conservative Baptists that we went through a generation of conflict to produce at our seminaries and yet some "leaders" at our agencies find an excuse/rationale/inspiration not to make use of them and their God-given abilities/gifts. What a loss! What a waste of time, money, and other resources!

Elizabeth said...

So, now that a sitting trustee has publically called Dr. Rankin "an idiot", will there be any action taken at the next IMB meeting to address such blatant disrespect?

Wade Burleson said...


At the time he did not know it was Dr. Rankin. It is unfortunate that anyone uses that kind of language and I hope this is a lesson learned.

alycelee said...

Just another example of gathering the wagons in an effort to control and manipulate. When will this ever stop? When the silent majority becomes vocal?
Keep on Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

Steve A,

He will have a big role in San Antonio.

He is doing a very good job.

bryan riley said...

It shouldn't matter who the subject of the term "idiot" was for one who is following Christ. I know I still think it sometimes, and even as I read this account I thought to myself "what an idiot," so in my heart I still struggle, and that heart struggle can still be sin as my attitudes are unloving, but I remember using such terminology and thinking in such ways much more often when in junior high.

I have to say I haven't seen the blog post, but it actually surprises me that someone would write that and I am not really all that interested in going to read it. There are blogs by some who enter this discussion I don't read because to do so could be, for me, too tempting to start casting stones.

Elizabeth said...

I'm a little confused as to how Jerry Corbaley can say that there was an investigation that lasted for months, yet Dr. Rankin seems to say that there has not been an investigation conducted. Is there anyway that you can offer any clarity on this?

Clif Cummings said...

There are more than a few contributors in the Southern Baptist blogging world who should follow this admonition of Paul: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:29-32, ESV)

Would not then the testimony of our mouths be acceptable in His sight and be as a bright contrasting light in a desperately dark world needing to hear and see the distinctive difference that God's grace makes in the life of His children?

Let me be clear. I have read most every one of Wade's blog entries since its inception, I believe he has purposely and with dogged determination followed the admonition of the quoted verse above. However, many, many others on either side of the SBC debates and issues at hand simply have not. Some try to couch their words with humor and satire. Often times, even as I myself have chuckled at them, I have to ask: “is this building up? Is it ministering grace to those who are reading it? Does this grieve the Holy Spirit? Is this blog entry one filled with bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander or malice?” “Has it been written with a tender heart knowing of how much I have been forgiven by my ever grace full and forgiving God?”

We can speak of inerrancy until we die. However, unless we yield to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture and apply it in our lives, our words will continue to fall on deaf ears in the world's marketplace and media.

“God please first grant me the grace to do so and then I pray that you will allow your Holy Spirit to guide and guard the mouths (and blogs) of all who call themselves Christian.”
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!" (Psalm 141:3-4, ESV)

I’m just one beggar sharing bread with others…

Bro. Robin said...

"Spooky Fundamentalist" or "Idiot," what's the difference?

Wade Burleson said...


A clear difference. The title of the post was Spooky Fundamentalism which addressed a theology and philosophy, not an individual. In the post I worked to identify the philosophy and refrained from identifying a person.

To call a person a 'spooky Fundamentalist' or an 'idiot' is perjorative of the person. That, Robin, is the difference.

It's best to stick to issues, and not people, and refrain from labeling individuals.

Wade Burleson said...


I do not intend to write on this subject again, but the reason I have written on it three times is to correct Mr. Corbaley.

I called Dr. Rankin to ask him about the report. He confirmed what I knew intuitively the first time I read the report -- it was a statement about Board policy, and it clearly stated that it was neither the purview or desire of the Board to be distracted from mission work to 'investigate' anything.

In fact, Dr. Rankin said there was no 'investigative committee' and that I needed to take that phrase down from my blog. I believe that ABP and BP and other picked up that language from a reporter with the Southern Baptist Texan who was at the meeting. Her report has since been altered and the reporter from ABP told me they were running a new story in the very near future.

I don't know why Mr. Corbaley is insisting there was 'an investigation.' You will have to ask him. I think much has to do with perception or the desire for things to be perceived in a certain manner regardless of truth or facts.



Wade Burleson said...


A good word for us all.


Kevin Bussey said...


I have learned that people will call names when they have nothing of substance to say. Mr. C has not given me a valid reason for his behavior. That is a sad commentary on being a trustee. I think CB's idea is the best.

Wade Burleson said...


To be specific in answering your question, Mr. Corbaley put on his blog the following sentence.

"What idiot told Mr. Burleson there was no trustee investigative committee? Or were such words twisted out of context?"

He then asked me to identify that person. It seems before I could fulfill that request Dr. Rankin told Mr. Corbaley he was the person who told me. Dr. Rankin was specific with me. He told me that I needed to remove the phrase 'investigative committee' from my blog because their was not one. It is impossible to twist those words.

In His Grace,


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for explaining this for me. It is very clear now what is happening.

Bro. Robin said...

Bro Wade

You wrote:

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

You miss the point, even though you may not call anyone a spooky fundamentalist, declaring that those who do not agree with Dr. McKissic's actions as protecting spooky fundamentalism is really putting them into a spooky fundamentalist camp or label.

I agree with you, it is best to stick with the issues, not create false labels that only divide.

Wade Burleson said...

Bro. Robin,

I am not asking anyone to agree with Dwight. I don't have a private prayer language myself.

I am asking for people who disagree with Dwight to treat him with respect, grace and genuine Christian love.

It is Dwight who has been censured and publicly ridiculed and repudiated. I believe we should acknoweldge that the SBC is filled with diverse people and we should embrace them all as brothers and sisters in Christ.


Bro. Robin said...

Bro. Wade

I would hope that all would do the same for Dr. Patterson.

As always, thank you for the respectful conversation.

God Bless

Bro. Robin

Wade Burleson said...

I agree Bro. Robin - Without hesition or conditions. Confronting wrongdoing, however, can be done with respect and grace. See quote from the post earlier today.

Bill Scott said...

It almost appears that the SBC in some ways has become the homogeneity club. It seems that the folks jumping off the Merry Go Round are those that reject strict homgeneity - conform or leave - you are either for "us" or against "us." If you dare question or inquire you will confront the Baptist Wall of Silence.



Wall of Silence? You're kidding.

Debbie said...

Insisting that there was an investigation when it is clear through the proof you have given there was not makes me wonder what meeting Mr. Corbaley attended.

To call someone an idiot not once, but twice also makes me wonder of the anger among some trustees. How far is this anger willing to go?

Anonymous said...

*sigh* For an early warning about another divisive second-tier issue the Pattersonistas will eventually entrap us in, see this post about contraception:


Bob Cleveland said...

I read Mrs. Patterson's article. I learned some things.

Did I do wrong? Should I try to forget them?

And here I though I had it down pat.....

Paul said...

Bro. Bob,

Please report to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones so that they can wave their magic wand of forgetfulness before your eyes. (If you didn't see the movie Men In Black you won't get that).

Paul said...

John Herring,

I suspect Bill may be referring to things like the three e-mails I have sent to Dr. Van McClain to which he has only replied with three sentences, the substance of which has been that Wade's post on Sheri Klouda was filled with inaccuracies. I suspect he is referring to things like my request to Dr. McClain for minutes of past public trustee meetings to which Dr. McClain has not responded. I suspect he may also be referring to a comment I attempted to leave on Dr. Corbaley's blog asking how the SBC could have a model of congregationalism working in a large organization like the IMB BoT if no such organization will take the step to create a model. And the suggestion that the 89 trustees of the IMB lead the way in open congregationalism for the rest of the convention. And that with what influence he might have on that board that he might consider assisting in that process.

Walls of silence. I've run into several recently.

paul said...

I meant to add that Dr. Corbaley has not published my comment for some reason.

Bill Scott said...

Roger that Brother!