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

The Value of a Blog for Those Who Tell the Truth

A wise man once said that those who tell the truth never have to keep track of their lies. The beauty of blogging is that the person who is consistently speaking the truth will become evident. In addition, that person who misrepresents the truth will eventually be uncovered.

It was interesting that when the Sheri Klouda story first broke on this blog a few weeks ago several comments were made regarding alleged 'inaccuracies.' To this day not one person has shown me even one inaccuracy in the Klouda post and Dr. Klouda herself has publicly verified the accuracy of my post. I learned a long time ago you don't put anything in print as fact unless you know it to be true. There will be some who will allege inaccuracies and falsehoods for personal gain or protection, but the blog is a wonderful tool for helping keep the record straight against those who distort or misrepresent the truth.

Allow me to give a recent example. I wrote a post entitled There Was No Trustee Investigation Committee and stated that an administrator at the International Mission Board had asked me to remove the phrase 'trustee investigation committee' from my blog, because there was not one. It seems that though my recommendation called for one, administrators and trustee leadership felt it best to only address policy, protocol, and procedures of the Board. The report laid out the proper boundaries of the board according to bylaws and policy documents and was presented as the response to my motion. There was no 'investigation' into the merits of the concerns raised within my motion because the committee did not feel they had the authority to investigate. I frankly have no problem with the official response to my motion because I never felt it was appropriate, from the beginning, that the trustees of the IMB be charged to investigate the manipulation of the trustee processes by outside influences, including other agency heads.

Nevertheless, a fellow IMB trustee took exception to my statement that an IMB administrator told me that there was no investigation committee. This trustee wrote on his blog, "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 the idiot in a comment section. Well, I called the trustee in question rather than post the name of the administrator on my blog, and this trustee informed me via phone that he had already received an email from Dr. Rankin explaining that he, the President of the IMB, was the one who told me to remove the phrase 'trustee investigation committee'from my blog.

Now, this trustee is attempting to say, in what seems to me to be an attempt to deflect his own embarrassment, that I took Dr. Rankin's words out of context. I most assuredly did not. Dr. Rankin, in his usual forthright and gracious style, told me that I should remove the phrase. He said that the report to my motion was an honest and cooperative effort to answer policy questions raised by my motion, to not spend any more time dealing with my recommendation than necessary, to attempt to be as non-controversial as possible in the response, and to get back to focusing on the missions and purpose of the board. I affirmed the desires behind the issuance of this report, but then asked Dr. Rankin why not one person asked to see my documentation, affidavits and materials that served as the basis for the major concerns expressed in my motion and that I have requested on three various occasions to trustee leadership to present to the entire Board. Again, he responded by saying 'there was no investigation committee' and suggested that I remove the phrase from my blog. After the conversation, I wrote a new post that gave the details of what I learned from the 'IMB administrator.'

I agree with Dr. Rankin that IMB Board should never have been given the responsibility to investigate outside influences upon the nominating process and the pushing of agendas that were contrary to the IMB President's and administration's desires. My motion at the Southern Baptist Convention requested the Executive Committee of the SBC to take that responsibility. I really appreciated Dr. Rankin's help in understanding the report. For my fellow IMB trustee to now attempt to say Dr. Rankin's words were taken out of context is over the top. But he continues to seek to rewrite history on his blog. He stated in a post yesterday, entitled Of Idiots and Context, "To date, (Mr. Burleson) refuses to address the issues listed in the May 2006 Executive Committee report."

All I can do is smile at that statement and thank the good Lord for the ability to blog. It is easily seen by anyone who wishes to take the time to read that my response to the May 2006 Executive Committee Report has been a matter of public record for almost a year --- well before last year's Southern Baptist Convention in June. My fellow trustee's statement "Mr. Burleson refuses to address the issues listed in the May 2006 Executive Committee report" is once again, either an intentional misrepresentation, an unfortunate memory loss, or a momentary lapse in the accountability policies of the IMB.

You may read my official response to the IMB Executive Committee's report of May 2006 in the following posts. A thorough reading of each post below will give you the background and the history of my eventual recommendation to the Southern Baptist Convention which was presented one month later in June of 2006.

This Really Gets Old, But In The End, It Will Be Worth It (May 24, 2006)

Reflections in the Denver Airport and Decisions (May 25, 2006)

The Tipping Point Is Reached (May 26, 2006)

In The Counsel of Many There Is Great Wisdom (May 27, 2006)

The Decision: A Motion in Greensboro (June 1, 2006)

The above five posts illustrate the beauty of blogging.

There is a past record to keep revisionists from succeeding in rewriting history.

In His Grace,

Wade

97 comments:

JLG said...

Once again you have displayed both grace and truth.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Judge Long said...

I read every single post to which you linked in May 2006. My word. These guys who are against you are up against it. Well done.

I now see that some simply hope people will forget the issues. You have laid down a faultless track record and there is no way under the sun - as far as I can tell - that anyone can dispute your facts.

My confidence in the SBC and the IMB soars everytime I read your blog. We have people who really do care to help Dr. Rankin and staff implement their vision.

That, to me, is the role of a trustee -- empower the President to implement his vision.

Judge Long

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links. I now understand the issues completely. I guess I could have looked in the archives, but writing this post helps me ignore those who distract and distort.

Debbie said...

Unfortunately the trustee is not willing to discuss or hear correction. I have tried to comment once on the first post he wrote on this subject and on the second one to correct, only to have neither comment posted.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I want to aske this question, and I am trying to be as respectful as I can.

After reading all the posts, and having followed this issue since the imposition of the new policies, I am deeply burdened by SBC Life.

THE QUESTION
How is it that there are NO, NONE, NOT 1 other trustee that will speak out about, at the very least, the right to dissent and not be labeled, marginalized, and refused the ability to participate.

I look at all the names of the trustees, some well known, and I have lost respect for these people who WILL not break rank. They must be more concerned about keeping their connections then speaking for what is right.

Also, Why is Dr. Rankin seemingly so weak in his response to Mid-America's, PP, and Eitel's attempt to effect the policy of his agency? If he would speak loud, clear, and consistent, I truly believe SB would rally to him and the only unseen hand moving in the SB would once again be the Lord's!

TC

Bill Scott said...

Truth is not subjective or conditional as some would suppose. Attempts to misrepresent the "facts" of these happenings in the IMB have not and will not prevail in the hearts and minds of the objective.

There will always be those that believe what they want to believe. There will always be those that have their minds made up before the facts are heard. I think that the term "yellow dog" is used to describe that kind of blind loyalty.

We should be loyal not to an organization so much as we should be loyal to the Great Commisioner. When the organization is in step (according to scripture) then there is no need for respectful dissent.

Respectful dissent is necessary when the truth is being compromised.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

It seems natural that those in authority would insist on bible-prescribed behavior from those under their authority. The real rub comes in when those under authority insist on the same from those in authority.

I guess that response from leaders is also natural, which is exactly the point. We're ALL supposed to be operating according to a new nature.

Bill Scott said...

Good shootin' Bob. You got a first round fire ball with that one.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Be patient with the trustees. Many are quietly and persistently working hard to correct mistakes.

Answer to your second question. Job security. Put yourself in his shoes. Not much can or should be publicly said, particularly in light of past confrontations with board leadership. As I continue to say, it is getting much better.

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

I log on every morning to read with anticipation the next post from you. You, more than anyone I can see in the SBC right now are showing how to deal with those who have as you said, poor memories, etc., with grace, but demanding they tell the truth.

You have inspired me to take the same gracious and loving stand in dealing with some of our supervisors on the field in our area of the world who must be cousins to the folks who are giving you such a hard time.

It seems that many who have commented on your blog and others' blogs are just singing another verse of the old country song "Don't Confuse Me With the Facts, Boys, My Mind Is Already Made Up."
(Please, no offense to country music. I listen to it too.) : )
Please know that we are praying for you and others who are asking the hard questions and asking for simple Christian accountability one with another.

Looking forward with hope,
IMB missionary

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
I like your title of “The Value of a Blog for Those Who Tell the Truth.”
I like the ability of archives that record that truth.

I like your stand for Sheri Klouda, and others.
I like your signing the BFM 2000 with the note in effect that signing should not be mandatory.

I am in sympathy with the way you have been treated in your desire to stand for truth and grace in pointing out the wrong that has been done by leaders in making more and more picky rules for others to live by.

It was revealed to us on yesterday’s blog that before a missionary could be appointed; they had to win a soul within the last year.
NONSENSE! (Imagine someone praying, “Please Lord, I’ve poured my heart out to this person over and over to accept you, but if he doesn’t I won’t be accepted to your calling.”)

If the IMB has the right to make that rule, they have the right to say, ‘Any missionary who has not won at least one soul each year, will be fired.”

Has the IMB, by taking the responsibility of the Holy Spirit, become God or the devil?

Wade, I like your saying, “Somebody needs to say enough is enough.”

I’d like to point out that SOMEBODY has already said enough is enough as Monte wrote yesterday:
“We were people, who had enough discernment and foresight to know where this might ultimately be heading, and under conviction, whether we believed the words in the document or not, we chose not to sign. [BFM 2000] We knew that if we gave in to this tactic that we would become accomplices to the carrying out of a narrowing agenda and the cruel tactics we had already seen used. WE WOULD NOT BE PARTY TO THIS.”

I’m disappointed NOBODY told Monte they were sorry or anything. His outstanding words were like water off a duck’s back. WHY? Has anyone thought how cruel these hundred plus missionaries were treated not to mention the harm done to the Great Commission?
Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I don't know Monte, but he seems to have been a prophet about the narrowing beyond the confession itself.

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

This is an example of why I tried to stay out of the SBC mess. We have un-churched people going to hell and we are fighting with each othe over parsing of words. Man, this makes this optimistic guy rather pessimistic today.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

I know Monte. He is exactly what he seems to be. What he says is completely consistent with what he is.

The bible says where there's no vision, the people perish. As I read Strong's, the word "vision" doesn't just mean the ability to see the future. It also means the ability to see spiritually-revealed things. That includes what's going on, and its expected outcome.

Your assessment is correct. He spoke and acted prophetically.

Anonymous said...

My late husband predicted this type of thing around 1990. Before that, we thought that maybe the SBC needed to become more conservative. He forsaw the results of the tactics used by those who framed the takeover. At that time we decided to distance ourselves from SBC causes, to some extent. I love my SBC church, but being able to channel my mission dollars elsewhere has helped to preserve my sanity! And I am so very happy to be able to do so.

Just paint me a free and faithful Baptist! God is good--all the time!

Florence in KY

Steve A said...

I'm not the first to put it this way, but stand firm in your faith and rest on the Beloved. You represent many, many grassroots Southern Baptists who are indeed tired of the creeping legalism, fundamentalism, and good old boy watchdog approach. Thank you for blogging the truth.

I might add, as fond of the word "breach" as Mr. Hatley has been, we wonder if he is getting too big for his "breaches?!"

Wade Burleson said...

Tim and Jerry,

Repeated symbols and IP addressses give you away. No anonymous posts please.

Timothy Cowin said...

Wade,

No problem, I have been working on my DMIN for several weeks and have not been blogging actively. I wanted to post without going and cutting and pasting my wordpress page, I forgot it:) So I look = timothycowin.wordpress.com, how could I forget that:)
No other intentions meant.
I should have placed my entire name, sorry.
TC
Timothy Cowin

Scotte Hodel said...

I would like to reinforce your comment to be patient with trustees who appear to be silent. When the IMB policy on baptism and tongues first came out, many people asked me what my pastor would do. I said, "He will say nothing publicly. He will work quietly behind the scenes to do what he can."

Well, I was wrong. He worked quietly for about two months, then preached on the subject because of his concern for the affected people in our congregation. He has since remained quiet, but has also been working quietly behind the scenes.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath." A principle that my pastor practices, and one that provides good advice in these administative situations.

Babylon 5 put it differently: "The quiet ones change the universe. The loud ones only take the credit."

My hat's off to those trustees who are quietly and consistently working to correct mistakes.

Scotte Hodel said...

Clarification on my comment above: my pastor is NOT a trustee of the IMB. I didn't notice the implication until after I submitted the comment.

Wade Burleson said...

Timothy,

I knew you by your initials TC.

I should have been clearer.

I was referring to another Tim whose comment has been deleted.

In His Grace,

wade

Anonymous said...

Wade, I am anxious to hear your opinion of Ben Cole's post today regarding Claude Thomas. From the outside, it seems only one side of the issue was presented. You normally allow the subjects an opportunity to respond and I saw no such response on Ben's blog. Also, I noted that Ben ommitted some pages from some of his source documents. Any thoughts? Are you aware of what happened with this incident? I would love to hear your view on this subject.

Benjamin S. Cole said...

Anony:

I omitted the attached schedules from my documentation. It was quite expensive to have Kinkos scan that many pages in so I could provide them electronically.

Interesting you should say I didn't give enough, when other commenters on my blog are saying I gave too much. Just goes to show that I don't really make my decisions based on how much or how little I think others will approve.

But wbould you care to provide a credit card to allow me to scan the others?

BSC

Monte said...

Gentlemen, thank you. Your words are kind and humbling.

Bob, you're a true friend (and neighbor). Love and appreciate you.

Monte E.

Anonymous said...

Ben, I was actually referring to several pages of Thomas Brandon's letter to the pastors. From the page numbers on the documents, it seems that about 4 pages were missing. Where are those pages?

Also, how did you get permission to post that correspondence in the first place?

Lastly, were the parties involved given a chance to respond before you posted your blog?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I think in all of this talk about the truth and fighting against the Pharisees of SBC ideals, one must be warned. In combating the Pharisees make sure you don't become a Sadducees!

Oklahoma Joe

Wade Burleson said...

Sometimes you have to pull hardest Oklahoma Joe, against those who are pushing the hardest. Sadducees are not pushing right now in the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I'll let Ben speak for himself. It is helpful if you would identify yourself unless you cannot for some unkown reason that you might share with us.

Anonymous said...

Wade, I understand your point. I was asking because I don't know/follow Ben as much as I read you. I trust you and your judgement. I was asking your opinion on the subject becuase it seems to me that there must be another side to the story and was curious as to what you thought. As for the other questions, I agree that Ben and I will continue our conversation.

I must remain anonymous for know . . . thanks.

Anonymous said...

To make it clearer, I will begin signing my posts.

truthseeker

Rick Thompson said...

T.C. said,

"How is it that there are NO, NONE, NOT 1 other trustee that will speak out about, at the very least, the right to dissent and not be labeled, marginalized, and refused the ability to participate."

Your assumption that there is a rank and file on the board that never voices descent and that Wade is the lone voice of opposition is a mischaracterization of the board.

The policy votes were split at just about every juncture and you should also keep in mind that the same body that voted to remove Wade reversed itself a few months later to the chagrin of many.

Anyone who attends the board meetings would surely laugh at the assumption that we are always a united entity. We can't even agree to discuss a motion without a split vote.

Believe me, there is lively dissent on the board as their should be among diverse Baptists. Looks can be decieving. Exec session debate, for instance, is never made public so as to show a united front when decisions are brought into the open. We may not like it, but it is the tradition of the board and most agencies of the SBC.

The Burleson motion was unanimous because NOBODY wanted that hot potatoe- on either side. We had a February deadline looming and we had missions work to deal with.

We may be rank at times, but don't call us rank and file.

;)

Wade Burleson said...

T.C.

I can assure you that Rick Thompson, trustee of the IMB, is both a man of courage and conviction.

Mark his words well.

Wade Burleson said...

T.C.

By the way, I have gone on record saying that had I been at the last meeting I would have affirmed the report as well.

I would have simply asked one question, "Was there an investigation into the merits of my motion" and the answer would have been 'no,' and I would have said, "Thank you," sat down, and voted for the report.

We are not the ones to investigate.

wade

Wade Burleson said...

Truthseeker,

That's not really a name, but I appreciate your spirit.

If there is another side of the story I'll be waiting to hear it.

All I know is that what Ben has written is accurate. But of course, as one who aims for dead level accuracy, I know there are always those who will seek to 'give another side' of the story.

OC Hands said...

Wade,
You know something of our bacground: my wife and I both grew up in SBC churches, she attended a Baptist College, I was active in BSU. Then we both met at a Baptist Seminary, served SBC churches prior to be appointed as foreign missionaries by the FMB (shows you how long ago that was.) We served over 34 years on the field, and just recently retired. This background may be boring to some, but I think it is necessary to understanding our dilemma.

Our first introduction to the "conservative resurgence" was at NOBTS, where we began to hear the word "inerrancy." I know that this concept served as a rallying point for the movement, and became something of a litmus test for true Southern Baptists.
As we have observed the growth of the "movement" over the last few years, it seems to us that there has been a narrowing of the parameters of beliefs, and the exclusion of those who disagree at any level.
What has puzzled us most is the growing awareness that the battle has not been only about inerrancy, but a real fundamentalist approach to all of life. As we have read what the leaders of this movement have written, it appears that we missed the growth of Calvinism and Calvinist beliefs in our seminaries and churches. I know we have studied Calvinism in seminary, but it never dawned on me that it would become such a strong influence in our convention.
Could someone bring us up to date on how the concepts of Calvinism and predestination have become so prevalant in our convention? It does not seem to square with our emphasis on missions and evangelism. I know that some who hold Calvinist views are still willing to work with those who might hold other beliefs, while others demand that cooperation depends on whether others share the same identical beliefs with them.

We are a bit confused, because we have always believed that an unbeliever who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, confesses his sins, is saved. Now it seems that he must be chosen by God in order to believe. The unbeliever does nothing. This is not what we were taught, nor was it the prevailing thought in the convention that we knew and loved. I have heard it said that the idea of man's partipation in his salvation (along with many other beliefs) grew out of the post-modern movement that placed great emphasis on the individual (man) and assigned personal choices to man that was never intended.

Does this mean that the churches we grew up in that emphasized a personal faith in Christ based on our confession of Christ as Lord were misguided, and theologically incorrect?

We are very sincere in our questions, because having been overseas for more than 34 years, these ideas seem very foreign to us.
Thank you for your understanding.

Roger Simpson said...

There has been some discussion regarding scanning of pages of text.

I have a high end scanner here. In the interest of allowing source documents of interest to be provided electronically, I will scan the subject documents myself and send back a CD with the JPEG images along with the original documents. I will do this for free.

The only cost would be mailing me the documents -- or you could hand carry them if you are in Central Oklahoma

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Timothy Cowin said...

Wade and Rick,

I have yet to see another Trustee come forward, at least in a way that has been public, or reported, and say that they disagree with the policies on baptism and the policy on PPL and the manner in which Wade was treated.

I have yet to see another Trustee publicly declare thier disaproval of Wade being assigned a responsiblity or being allowed full particiapation as a Trustee. It has been reported that the Trustees voted unanimously to restrict you (Wade), is this so?

If others are dissenting against these courses of action, Praise the Lord, but I have not heard nor seen it. It always has the appearance that Wade is alone on this. If he is not, then please make yourselves known. Why would BP or somebody not reveal that there are those on the trustees who feel that Wade has been unjustly denied the ability to participate on the board in the manner of every other trustee? It has had the appearance that you are alone on the BOT Wade.

Timothy Cowin

Anonymous said...

interesting, the following article ran this morning at 11 or so on the WFAA news on T.V.

http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/stories/wfaa070213_mo_femaleprof.7e8473db.html

(hope the link works)


b.l.

Anonymous said...

crud, the link didn't work...if interested, just go to http://www.wfaa.com/ and in the middle of the page towards the bottom you should see the headline of "Professor: I was let go 'because I'm female"....


b.l

Wade Burleson said...

Timothy Cowin,

The trustees have never voted to restrict me.

The only unanimous vote was to rescind the recommendation to remove me. The vote for my removal was far from unanimous.

The Chairman of the Board alone has the power of appointments to standing committees, and his decisions are not voted on by the trustees. He alone has kept me off a commtitee --- but I'm not complaining. :) I know everything that is going on, maybe more so, than others.

Again, just as Rick said, there are some wonderful, courageous trustees who will do what they believe is right, regardless.

Those who form the Executive Committee of the IMB are all appointed by the Chairman of the Board. The previous chairman was Tom Hatley. The current chairman is John Floyd. Those two men alone have restricted me from serving on standing committees, but I attend all meetings of the full board, both plenary and executive session (behind closed doors).

We know what we are doing.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

I guess Ben is not going to make those 4 pages available to everyone? It seems that those 4 pages are pretty important in that they contain legal opinions concerning the veracity of the charges made against Dr Thomas. It would seem that those views would be very important.

What if Dr Thomas is innocent and was falsely accused? Has anyone considered that? Would Ben have knowingly withheld documentation to bolster his point and his argument against Paige Patterson?

If that is not the case, why choose to not include all pages of the attorney's letter?

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. . .

I await Mr Cole's response.

Truthseeker

Truthseeker said...

For anyone interested, read the document supplied on Ben's blog. On the first page of the letter, the last sentence reads, "However, I got the impression that the truth that was desired was whatever it took to remove the Senior Pastor and other executive staff. It always make a difference whether you are really . . ."

The next page in the document is 3, not 4 pages later and deals with something completely different. I would love to know what makes a difference and why it was not included the first time.

Roger Simpson said...

Truthseeker:

Evidently, you have access to the four disputed pages since you seem to be aware of their contents.

If you have them, then publish them so the "average guy in the pew" will be getting a balanced view.

The documentation submitted so far demonstrates a blatent misuse of ministry resources. The evidence not only suggests gross misconduct but actually skirting the law in terms of not reporting as income some of the monies received for personal projects and junkets.

However, it could be that subsequent to the paper trail "in evidence" that FBC Euless provided W2's showing additional taxible income for the years in question.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Greg Hicks said...

Truthseeker,

Why are you asking Wade about details of something Ben wrote on Ben's blog? Why don't you ask Ben by commenting on Ben's blog?

Roger Simpson said...

Sorry guys:

I get confused between various
anonymous posters here.

I think my comments above should be directed to "anonymous" not "truthseeker"

Why don't you guys come out and give your real name so we can keep track of you?

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Charles said...

Truthseeker,

I respectfully submit that it is inappropriate for you to anonymously hijack Wade's blog when the appropriate venue for your questions is obviously Mr. Cole's blog.

Hiding your identity behind Isaiah 53 fails to sanctify your effort.

http://baptistblog.wordpress.com/

Steve A said...

Hey, O C Hands,

I'm just an old hick out in the sticks, but the most arresting facet of the TULIP for most folks here is Predestination. I'm not ready to deny God that He knows who's going to be saved already, but the effect of this belief on human members of his Church would seemingly have to take the urgency out of evengelism efforts. I've heard it and read it from other believers.

When I think about it, I get this picture of Calvin being proud of having figured God out. Then, of course, there is the story of Calvin and the Lord having a game of chess soon after Calvin gets there, and every time Calvin does a smart move, God says, "I knew you were going to do that. Yeah, I knew you were going to do that too!"

Wade Burleson said...

Truthseeker,

I agree with Greg.

Any further comments about the issue you raise will be deleted. You are not addressing this post or in the flow of this comment stream. Go to Ben's blog.

Truthseeker said...

Roger, I have no such access or knowledge. I just find it interesting that those pages are left out. I also find it interesting that a group of men can orchestrate an attack on a man called by God to lead his church and no one even blinks or stops to think, "are we sure this is right?"

I also know that numbers, audits, etc can be made to say anything one wishes. Yet, these accusation are accepted at face value. What if we took all the accusations leveled at Wade at face value? This facts here just don't add up to me.

It just doesn't make sense.

Greg, because privacy requires I remain anonymos for now. Ben's blog does not afford that right. Also, I orinially asked Wade a question and Ben began the dialogue here. I am just following his lead.

Also I believe more people read this blog and think it is important to seek the truth, not just what helps further an agenda.

Truthseeker said...

I apologize if I have offended anyone or if anyone feels I have "hijacked" the blog. That was never my intention.

I orinally asked Wade his opinion on the matter because I value his opinion and do not know Ben. Ben then responded here so I assumed it was ok to continue the dialogue here.

The title of this post is "The Value of a Blog for Those Who Tell the Truth." I agree with the premise completely. Blogs have become an incredibly powerful tool for change. I am afraid that tool was abused this morning by Ben and I was wishing to discuss it here. I apologize.

Also, I am not hiding behind Isaiah 53. I am making a statement about Dr Thomas, especially vs 8.

David J. Sanders said...

Truthseeker,

Don't mistake Ben's silence as him not responding to you. Ben is on I-30 right now headed to the Baptist ID Conference. I know because he is stopping off and having dinner with me in Little Rock.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Truthseeker for your comment and spirit. I commend you for your passion and hope you and Ben can visit soon.

Lee said...

Had it not been for blogs and bloggers, most of what I have read about things going on in the convention, including the IMB difficulties you have had, issues surrounding Southwestern Seminary's intention to invest its endowment with a secular company, the problems related to Dr. Klouda, the censorship of Dr. McKissic's chapel address, would have escaped notice. Only the issues at NAMB, exposed by the book of a former employee, and then the Christian Index, appeared in a timely manner in the Southern Baptist press.

Sometimes, the consequences of telling the truth can be very difficult to deal with, even in a Christian denomination. Just know that there are people out there who appreciate what you do, and pray for your protection.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother O.C.,

I thank the Lord for your long years of service on the mission field. I also thank Him that you have raised your questions here on the Baptist Blogs.

As for the rise of Calvinism (not the whole package, of course)in the SBC, evidently you are referring to a brand/variety of Calvinism other that what is growing in influence within the SBC today. I am one of the SBC-ers who believes some (not all, of course) of the tenets of Calvinism, and I do not agree with what you wrote about Calvinistic beliefs. I will gladly correspond privately with you about this matter, if you would like to e-mail me.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

david j. sanders said...

I would also say, had it not been for blogs, Dr. Frank Page may not be the president of the SBC today.

Anonymous said...

Love the beard Jeff!

Anonymous said...

"We are all Calvinists."

--Albert Mohler, June 2006
"Reaching the World for Christ With Differing Views on the Doctrine of Election"

Timothy Cowin said...

Wade,

Sorry about the misunderstanding and thanks for the clarification.

TC

Charmona said...

I simply don't understand the parameters of leaders in the SBC. While it is interesting to read many persons views of women's roles in life, church and the seminaries, the issue is not my personal view or, I think, Dr. Patterson's views or vision. If the SBC does not officially exclude women from teaching in her seminaries, then by what authority does he exclude women from teaching anything at any seminary. If individual leaders have this kind of freedom to expand the policies to their viewpoints, why do we set policies at all. I understand the pope's authority. The setup the RCC has in regards to power is pretty clear. Please, someone explain to me how he could let this seminary professor go based on her gender. And, do me a favor and not add your personal feelings, verses or Dr. Patterson's personal views. I am interested in facts.

Charmona

Charmona said...

I should not have used the word "fact" in my previous comment. It seems to imply that someone's feeling or verses are not facts. Not what I meant.

I meant to say I'd love to hear actual denominational policies that allow this kind of de facto policy setting by an individual leader.

Wade Burleson said...

Charmona,

The policy handbook, adopted by SWBTS trustees, gives the guidelines for tenure track faculty positions at the SWBTS school of theology in his/her language. In other words, in every guideline that is listed, the pronouns are always 'his/her' or 'he/she' in the policy book.

That is fact. You cannot discriminate according to gender due to the very nature of the wording of the policies. The handbook would only use the pronoun "he" if positions were reserved for males by board approved policy.

All other documents in the SBC are silent on the matter

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Lee for the kind words and expression of prayerful support.

It means a great deal to me.

RefbapRob said...

Charmona,
Paige Patterson has made it clear that he does not favor tenure at SouthWestern. At least that is my understanding of his position.
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I hope you are planning to blog about the identify conference at Union University. I would love to hear your views concerning it. I wish I could go, but I will not be able to attend.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It is interesting to me that some people accuse you of harming the SBC because you are telling the truth. Their reasoning seems to be that revealing the wrongful actions of a few at the top will cause people to stop supporting the convention.

The reason I find that so interesting is that I, along with a number of my friends (and I think many others), have been moving away from the SBC for years. We knew much of the stuff you are revealing already, but no one with any influence seemed to be willing to say it was wrong. Your willingness to reveal this stuff and call it wrong is causing me and many others to become engaged again in the convention. It makes us feel like there may be hope after all.

I represent people who are not liberal by any means, but we are clearly not Fundamentalists either. We just believe the Bible with all our hearts, and believe people who call themselves Christians should act like Christ.

I also believe your spirit and attitude represents the majority of Southern Baptists. Hang in the there! The blog is the friend of truth. God Bless.

East Texas Pastor

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I have registered for the Baptist Identity Conference. My worship pastor and one of our members will be flying us in our member's private plane. Unfortunately the weather is a little iffy tomorrow and we won't determine if we can fly to Jackson until 11:00 a.m. If we do go, I will sure give my thoughts.

In His Grace,

Wade

Katya said...

I find it very funny to hear the word "truth" used to describe what's being communicated in a blog. Blogs give one person's OPINION. There are always at least two sides to a story. And usually more than that. Let's not fool ourselves.

Wade, when you say, "The blog is a wonderful tool for helping keep the record straight against those who distort or misrepresent the truth" I have to disagree. It is merely a forum to broadcast ideas. You, of course, feel that your ideas and your ways of thinking are correct. You even call your blog "Grace and Truth." Other bloggers with different ideas share their perspective and they would also attest that what they say is "true."

One truth that we can all agree on is that each one of us is a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. So what is the use in using a blog to try to persuade readers that those who don't see things the way you do are "misrepresenting the truth"? It's really all about opinion and perspective.

William Madden said...

Katya,

I've read your posts before, and you've always seemed reasonable, so your latest post surprises me. Of course, I would agree with you that everyone's point-of-view, blogging, etc. will be somewhat colored by his or her own subjective views, but I think what Wade is talking about is very different. Actually, he's talking about two different forms of untruthfulness that are in some ways related. One type of problem is the tendency of certain SBC leaders to change their stories afterward to make their wrongful actions seem justified. An example of this would be as in the Sheri Klouda case, where leaders of Southwestern Seminary are saying that Sheri Klouda did not have the full support of the trustees when she was hired, when in fact, all evidence to the contrary seems to indicate that she did have that support. The second type of untruthfulness is a tendency to misrepresent the concerns that Wade has raised in order to throw rank-and-file Baptist off the trail of the issues about which Wade is trying to raise awareness.
That's more than subjectivity--it's more like a concerted effort to suppress the truth of these situations--which is a form of, you guessed it--lying.

I'm tuned in to what Wade is getting at because long ago, I was witness to some improper actions at the IMB involving very personal attacks by an IMB staffer on a missionary candidate; after it was looked into and finally dealt with, it was explained to me by IMB staff that we were not to talk about what had happened. Too often, I think, Christians are mistreated by fundamentalists, and then persuaded that for the sake of the good of the "SBC family," they should just keep quiet about it in order to help the SBC avoid some bad press. That may have been the way that things were done in the past, but I'm glad to see that those days are coming to an end. Keeping such things quiet did nothing to discourage wrongful behavior and probably even encouraged it. Being aware of such wrongs and seeing no efforts to right them is one reason why many have left the SBC, but now, I think a new day is dawning, however slowly.

T. D. Web said...

Wade,
Dr. Jerry Corbaley should be encouraged to continue blogging. His own written record is ample enough evidence of the tactics to which your adversarial "colleagues" in the IMB BoT are willing to stoop. Dr. Corbaley's "Hatleyesque" technique of evading the specific facts of the issues relating to the "investigation" he asserts (without proof) was accomplished by the IMB BoT thus becomes a self-indictment of his own culpability in the deplorable manner in which certain leaders in the IMB BoT treated you and the subsequent "wall of silence" that they erected when their unfounded charges were challenged. While this Okie's comment (along with many others) on the California D.O.M.'s blog will most likely never see the light of day, Dr. Corbaley is saddled with, as you stated so succinctly, Wade, the glaring record of his own false witness in this matter, and is documented by his very own words. Even an "idiot" can see that truth.

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb

Andrew said...

I appreciate your time in dealing with these issues, which need to be dealt with. I hope that you will be careful not to allow the tenor of your comments become such that they cause people to reject the very proper content and intent. We need debate, but it must be civil. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I don't exactly know what all the politics of what this is all about. I am a future IMB heading to South Asia. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss, because my wife, family and myself have followed a calling from God, and the IMB has processed us through to FPO in August with travel to the field in October. I simply focus on what God has planned for my life, and all the things of the world fade away. Not that some of the things you have been discussing aren't important, I know that when leaders lead an organization based on God's leading, there is no questions on what should or shouldn't be done. Sorry if I must post as anonymous, but I feel that I should since I am finishing process to FPO with the IMB soon. I will only leave my name and location.

Steve- Tennessee

Wade Burleson said...

Steve from Tennessee,

Of course. No dissent from your comment here.

Wade Burleson said...

Katya,

See William.

Thanks for your comment.

Katya said...

Hi William,

Thanks for responding to my comments. I write comments so infrequently that I’m surprised you remembered me.

The main point that I was trying to make is that we shouldn’t confuse the discussion of these issues by using words like “truth.” Wade has skillfully presented his perspective quite fully. However, that is just one of many perspectives. Since his blogging about Shari Klouda’s treatment by SWBTS I haven’t seen any “defense” given by the trustees or by Dr. Patterson. So we can’t really say that all the evidence has been presented. Yet it seems that many people have already decided that Dr. Patterson and the trustees acted wrongly.

Do you remember the name of the newspaper of the Soviet Union? It was and still is called “Pravda.” Pravda in Russian means “truth.”

Just calling it “truth” does not make it so.

Thanks again for the discussion. Blessings!

William Madden said...

Hi Katya,

Yes, I remembered you because your name caught my attention. I did graduate work in literature in a comparative literature department populated by some bright and fascinating scholars of European literature, including a Katya (Austrian)and a Kasia (Polish). They were great teachers and I learned a lot from them.

Your comparison of blogging to PRAVDA is interesting because, actually, I was over on Tim Guthrie's blog last week arguing that the way the SBC suppresses dissent in the Baptist press and only allows articles that support the "party line" reminded me of the Soviet model for doing the same.

This past summer, an old friend of mine (former SBC journeyman now serving with a different missions sending agency) and I took a ride through the countryside where I grew up and discussed Wade's blogging. My friend compared Wade to Gorbachev and we talked about the difficulties that come with trying to do "glasnost" and "perestroika" at the same time. It's very difficult to achieve an atmosphere of openness when the body politic has already been transformed by propoganda and coercion into a defacto one-party state. Of course, in reality, the situation in the SBC is not as monolithic as that. Even within the SBC, there are divisions between conservatives, as well as a host of other factions around the fringe. What makes the situation more difficult, I believe, is that the "sensible center"--authentic Baptist conservatives that were not fundamentalists--left the SBC to move on and work through other missions-sending entities, making it more difficult now to cobble together enough people with common
views and an understanding of Baptist distinctives to effectively resist the virulent fundamentalism which I feel is slowly but surely eating away at the SBC.

At least that's my view, which is, of course, indeed subjective! Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for your post. I teach in the humanities department at a college in Atlanta GA. If you're interested in Asian studies (my focus), you might enjoy visiting my blog: www.postcardsfromasia.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

My estimation of the "no defense" from leadership in the SBC is that just perhaps they might be archaic and feel like the notion of gossip could be involved. Originally gossip was word of mouth, but along came the telephone and 'boy' what a boon to that tongue,and now 'o boy' we got ourselves a blog with no holds barred. You have managed to insinuate and accuse to the point of name calling and yet believe in yourself that you've done nothing wrong. And to keep it fueled you have a lot of flame fanners behind you. Where will it end? Who knows? Expose those guys to the world, surly you can find Scripture reference to that.

Anonymous said...

Scenario: You have a member in your Church who has reason to believe another member is taking too much authority in the Church.
Advice: "Get on your blog and let the rest of the congregation know what that party is up to." Is'nt bloging fun.

Tim Cook said...

Anonymous,

To your scenario: if you have first taken the matter to the pastor, then gone with someone else to the offending party, and still nothing was done, you bet. Start a blog, stand up and speak in the worship service, shout it from the rooftops. If I recall, Peter called certain church members to account for misbehaviour publicly, and they ended up dead. A blog seems quite permissable in that light, don't you agree?

In Christ,
Tim Cook

Debbie said...

And don't post accusations under the name "Anonymous", own up to your statements.

T. D. Webb said...

Anonymous said...
"My estimation of the 'no defense' from leadership in the SBC is that just perhaps they might be archaic and feel like the notion of gossip could be involved."

Or they may be trying to hide behind some “anonymous” archaic rock until the smoke clears. . .
After asserting that Wade Burleson’s accounts (regarding the IMB BoT issue and the Dr. Klouda force out) were rife with error, two leaders of separate SBC agency BoT’s have produced not one centilla of documentary evidence to support their claims. However, one of our “anonymous” observers bravely speculates “gossip could be involved” as the cause for this wall of silence. The good news is that now when their deeds are exposed, they may be able to run or "lay low". However, there is no longer any place where they can hide.

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb

Leigh Ann Powers said...

I recently finished reading David Kuo's book Tempting Faith. Regardless of what you think of the Bush administration, it's an interesting read just based on Kuo's personal struggle to live out his faith while in the political area. And some of the criticism he levels at the political arm of the evangelical movement is well justified. Kuo says two things, though, that I find relevant to SBC life these days.

One is this: that power, for the Christian, has the ability either to refine or to corrupt. To refine in so far as you realize that you are inadequate for the task and it makes you hit your knees, and to corrupt when you begin to believe it really is all about you.

The second is this: that power heightens our natural tendency to "cover up"--even when faced with legitimate criticism--and heightens our natural reluctance to admit we have made mistakes--partly because once we have been accustomed to being in power we fear losing it.

I am grateful for the many godly men and women who serve our Lord and our convention prayerfully, with grace, dignity, and humility. Yet I fear that there are some in positions of influence that have fallen prey to the seductive influence of power and have ceased to let themselves be held accountable. Kuo's book reminds me of our need to be in prayer for all those in positions of authority over us--and makes me hope that in the (however unlikely :-)) event that I find myself in a position of influence one day that I will remember I serve One who is vastly more important than I am. We are only stewards.

Blessings,
Leigh Ann

Katya said...

Hi William,

Thanks for the discussion. I'll check out your blog!

Blessings

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your appreciation of this God-given beard. Referring to the distinctive red strands in it, the waitress at Cracker Barrel said, "I see some Vikings were raiding along the coast near your grandparents village!"

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Tim Cook: Is that where that biblical principal ends? "Stand up in the worship service and shout the injustice and go out and blog the world?" Is that how you interpret:"verse 17" of the obvious principal you speak? Which principal did you have in mind. The one on Church discipline in Matt. 18:15-17 or the one who lied in Acts 5. They do not go together and you cannot combine them. If you could methinks the gentleman who disturbed the worship service might be in trouble.

Marty said...

I think Rick Thompson went to the Dan Quayle spelling bee-

"potato"

Anonymous said...

Debbie: If you speak to the anonymous on the comment "No Defense" then I reread it and perhaps its just a little on the sarcastic side and I apologize. If I post again I will think twice. I did not intend to speak expressly of Wade, I should have said; "ya'll". Deny if you will that some things expressed while not exactly saying who they refer to show disdain and certainly border on name calling. I will remain anonymous but refrain from accusations.

Tim Cook said...

There are two principles at work here: that church discipline and accountability should be exercised in a manner that is orderly and with concern about gossip - that's the one from Matthew - and secondly, that God hates underhanded financial dealings and deception in the church. By your arguement, it seems, we should not talk about ANYONE'S wrongdoing for fear of gossiping about them. I have heard from many of the bloggers that critisize leadership that they went to great lengths to make changes and deal with our leadrs' sins through the proper channels. If those have not worked, then why is it wrong to speak out? We must hold our leadership accountable - if not by blogging, how would you suggest it be done?

In Christ,
Tim Cook

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Anonymous,

The words of Christ are clear regarding ministry for the cause of God's kingdom -- it is to be open, transparent and evident to all.

Nothing in the ministry of Christ needs to be concealed. The world conceals. Christ reveals.

I do not believe we ought to be ashamed of anything we have done. True Christian ministry bears scrutiny well.

Rick Thompson said...

Actually Marty, "Potatoe" is the old English spelling of the word, thus the plural "potatoes". They stopped spelling it that way in 1870, but Quayle and I are trying to bring it back. I also misapplied the word "descent" when I meant "dissent". I haven't thought of an excuse yet for that one.

T. D. Webb said...

You appear to be a "dissent" person, Rick. . .Please convey the best regards of this Okie to "Tatoe" Quayle when you compete at the next spelling bee. ;^)

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...

Tim Cook: I give. We are not on same plane. I'll say no more. Audios

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Tim Cook,
I think the next step biblically is to go to the church not the blog or press or stand up and shout it.

Steve A said...

When honesty, openness, and true Baptist beliefs are restored to the IMB, someone will simply HAVE to write a book about this.

Debbie said...

Tim: In this case, doing this has proved impossible. I do not see anything that has been done wrong in going public with the issues that have gone public. I believe it was exactly the right thing to do. If I have knowledge of these things, I too would go public. Things should no longer be hidden from view and for the reasons Wade has given. Every ministry must be transparent.

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Debbie,
My comment was in refernce to a specific comment made concerning applying Matt 18 in a church situation. He skipped the biblical next step of going before the church and instead said "blog it!" Not a true biblical next step to his situation that he referred to.

Wade Burleson said...

To which church do you refer Tim?

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

it is Tim Cooks comment:

"To your scenario: if you have first taken the matter to the pastor, then gone with someone else to the offending party, and still nothing was done, you bet. Start a blog, stand up and speak in the worship service, shout it from the rooftops."

I think he missed the church step.