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

When Losing The Debate, Call Them Liberal

There is a young pastor who is planting a Southern Baptist Church deep in the heart of Texas and blogs mostly about me. I have never met him, but I might one day stop in to say hello when I'm in Waco visiting my daughter at Baylor. I really believe he has a good heart and desires to serve the Lord, and I wish him the absolute best in his ministry and family. One of reasons I usually don't pay attention to his posts is because he has shut off the reader's ability to comment, and it is my experience shutting off the comment stream is detrimental to everyone. The issues we face are not always black and white, and frankly, a handful of them are quite complex. Blog comments can be compared to iron sharpening iron, and they help everyone simplify the issues. Or, as Yale scientist Alan Perlis suggests, "Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it."

One of my church members, Debbie Kaufman, whose blog I do read, posted yesterday about this young pastor's suggestion that I was a liberal because I believe in 'the priesthood of the believer.' Debbie was offended at his proposition, and sans debate, she challenged this young pastor on her blog. I think I will take the opportunity, this one time, to show the fallacy of his logic in calling everyone who happens to disagree with him a 'liberal.'

This young pastor says that true conservatives, of which he seems to believe he epitomizes, believe in 'the priesthood of believers' (plural), and not "the priesthood of the believer" (singular). I am familiar with the arguments of his theory, and it is not my purpose in this post to either affirm or refute them. I desire to show that if we followed his logic, and called everyone who at one time advocated the use of the phrase "the priesthood of the believer," then the following Southern Baptists would all be considered liberal.

Herschel Hobbs, The Baptist Faith and Message, San Francisco Southern Baptist Convention, 1962. “Baptists emphasize the soul’s competency before God, free­dom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer. The principle of the priesthood of the believer is the ba­sic belief of Baptists. There are (other) basic things generally held by Baptists today as through past years. But, under­lying all of them has been the principle of soul competency in religion.”

Adrian Rogers, Former President of the Southern Baptist Covnention and Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tennessee "The priesthood of the believer does not refer to authority, but to the fact that each believer has direct access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ."

George Truett, Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas"The right to private judgment is the crown jewel of humanity, and for any person or institution to dare to come between the soul and God is a blasphemous impertinence and a defamation of the crown rights of the Son of God."

James Leo Garrett,Distinguished Professor of Theology Emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. "So, which is it? Priesthood of the believer or priesthood of believers? It is not either/or but both/and. The term "the priesthood of the believer" communicates the biblical emphasis on the individual and soul competency. The term "priesthood of believers" communicates the biblical emphasis on community and fellowship."

L. Russ Bush, Conservative Theologian and Co-Author of "Baptists and the Bible" "There has been and is ongoing a remarkable rebirth of Baptist identity in the world. We are mission minded believers who read the Bible as God’s truthful Word. We follow the teachings of Jesus, baptizing new believers by immersion. We gather to remember His atoning death, and we seek to implement the principle of the priesthood of every believer."

Paige Patterson, Author of "Authority and The Priesthood of The Believer": The Shophar Papers. Criswell Center for Biblical Studies, 1980. "The title of Dr. Patterson's book, written in 1980, is in the form of the traditional singular "The Priesthood of the Believer."

W.A. Criswell, Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention and Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, In "A Thankgsiving Sermon." "The nation of America is chosen to God. We do not have a prophet to write our history, but God's hand is evidently upon us. The beginnings of America are hidden in the purposes of God's grace in the world through us. The Puritan came in a quest for God, and history has called them Puritans. They were Puritan separatists. They were trained in the school of John Calvin, they were Calvinists. They pledged allegiance to God alone and not to a king or a hierarchy and they believed in the priesthood of the believer. They believed in the right of every man and every church to worship God without interference from an ecclesiastical authority or a monarchical head of government. . . It is God Who hath given us this beautiful and wonderful land. And it is the Lord God Who must help us and keep us."

The Blue Ribbon Commmittee Who Wrote The Preamble to the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message. "Baptists emphasize the soul's competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer."

Read the above quotes again. They will help you to resist the temptation of calling 'liberal' those brothers in Christ with whom you may disagree. I am aware that some Southern Baptists, whom I highly respect, prefer the term 'priesthood of believers" and I respect their use of this phrase, but it is wrong to denigrate those who use the singular, particularly since it is the nomenclature used by all Southern Baptists prior to 1988.

In closing, I would like for you to ask yourself this question: Has it ever been the practice of some Southern Baptists in years past to falsely malign other Southern Baptists with the epitaph 'liberal' in order to marginalize and exclude people from Southern Baptist cooperative ministry? If so, could it be that a few Southern Baptists today are using the same tactic? Methinks Southern Baptists are wising up.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Kaylor said...

Wade: Thanks for this post. You are absolutely correct that many people wrongly throw out the “liberal” label. It seems that if one cannot answer someone’s argument, then the response is just to start calling them names. (I wrote a column a couple years ago about this problem).

Dave Tomlinson wrote in The Post-Evangelical (an excellent book): “We shouldn’t use pejorative and ultimately meaningless labels like ‘liberal’ to make childish boogieman-type threats against each other. Our tentative and imperfect doctrinal deliverances matter little to God, and labels less.”

Wade Burleson said...

Great article Kaylor. Well done. Thanks for the link.

texasinafrica said...

Welcome to the world moderates have been living in for twenty years, Wade. I'm sorry they're demonizing you like they did us. Why are disagreements on minor points of doctrine more important than the many beliefs that unite us?

jasonk said...

Little man. Big desk.

Anonymous said...


I'm surprised at you quoting Herschel Hobbs. Didn't you know he was "duped" and mis-led by neo-orthodox theologians when he allowed the use of "the priesthood of the believer" in the 1963 BF&M? :)

Maybe your post should be titled: "When Losing The Debate, Call Them Duped"

East Texas Pastor

Kevin Bussey said...


Great post. Unfortunately this isn't just fundamentalists that use this tactic--extremists all sides call names when they are losing.

RefbapRob said...

Maybe you could encourage your friend and mine, Marty Duren,to follow your suggestions.
In Christ
Rob Masters

Cecdaddy said...

"I have never met him, but I might one day stop in to say hello when I'm in Waco visiting my daughter at Baylor. I really believe he has a good heart and desires to serve the Lord, and I wish him the absolute best in his ministry and family."


This is what I find most heartening about reading your posts, your deep respect for everyone. I truly hope in the Lord that I will one day be courteous and encouraging like you are today.

Unfortunately, my attitude is probably closer to this brother’s in Waco, only I see the world differently than he does. Based on the Perlis quote, I would be a pragmatist, because I definitely do not ignore, avoid, or remove complexity. It’s the only one left for me!

Cecdaddy said...

Sorry, meant to give my name, I don't mean to be anonymous: David Cecil

Big Daddy Weave said...

Great post. My fellow Wacoan has gone to great lengths to rewrite history and redefine terms to further his crusade.

As I said at Debbie's blog - Private interpretation can lead to heresy but I'll take messy freedom over coerced conformity or lack of conscience any day of the week...

kevin said...

I saw that picture of you crossdressing on sbcoutpost.com. Don't try to convince me that you are not a liberal :)


GeneMBridges said...

Of course, the issue with the use of the label is that too many times people throw them out against others without considering, as in this instance, how others are employing a particular term. Likewise, those who take offense sometimes do so when a label is used by an opponent because the one taking offense reads the label in a manner his opponent did not or does not use it.

Take the term "Arminian." Sometimes Amyraldians and Non-Calvinists get upset, because they think a Calvinist means "Five Point Arminian" (eg. you can lose your salvation), ergo, they get upset. However, that term "Arminian" can refer to in many cases anybody who is known to affirm libertarian action theory in their soteriology. That's why I generally differentiate, if you watch me carefully, between "Calvinist, Amyraldian, and Arminian." That last one is inclusive of all who affirm libertarian action theory. It pays to pay attention to the way others use a term before taking offense.

Likewise it pays to pay attention to the way others use terms before giving offense as well. For example, "priesthood of believers" means that everybody in the set called "priests" is a believer and is a priest, hence it is a priesthood of believers. This is not unorthodox at all; it goes back to the Reformation.

On the other hand, you have those who sometimes employ it in a manner the broadly Protestant tradition never construed it; as in a post-modernist "everybody is his own interpreter" sense, as if its historical meaning is a license for individualism rather than a call to community. On the other hand, you can so emphasize the community aspects of the historic definition that you become enslaved to tradition, as if Baptists and only they, or Presby's and only they, or (insert name here) and only they are the "right" community. One will lead to anarchy; the other will lead to radical sectarianism.

Intersecting with this is the way terms like "Sola Scriptura" get construed. Some think it means we have no traditions at all and only the Bible, eg. Solo Scriptura. Yet historically it means the Bible and any traditions that we subject to Scripture may be included but they are not infallible, whereas the Bible is. Most aren't aware that its also an Aristotelian category of causality, namely the formal cause or principle of our faith/salvation.

Likewise, when doing historical theology, particularly for those who do it by prooftexting; it pays to know how others mean the terms that are being used. Take "closed communion." Today that means "nobody at the Lord's Table except your church members and any who are known to be orderly from outside." A paradigm case would be what you find recommended in the Charleston Associations Manual of Discipline. However, from time to time, you'll find somebody pointing to a 17th century text and arguing that because they said they believed in closed communion this is "the" Baptist tradition on the matter. The problem, however, is that depends on the time, audience, and author. Sometimes, in fact, quite often, it means simply "regenerate church membership," for "communion" meant "church membership" and "closed" meant "believers only." "Open" meant "believers and unbelievers."

Catholics are notorious for reading all instances of "Church" in the Bible and in the Fathers as "Roman Catholic Church." We Baptist do the same thing rather frequently with each other and our own theologies. This means we need to practice as careful exegesis of our own statements on blogs sometimes as we would a theology book or certainly the Bible, not because our blogs and books are infallible like Scripture, but because the "grammatical-historical" method has more than one use.

GeneMBridges said...

While I'm at it, I might add at the root of this problem with said blog(s) (HT: Debbie) is the not so subtle idea that if you aren't a Baptist the same kind as they you aren't a "real" Baptist. Now, I'd agree with that in some cases in the past, like some of the Alliance of Baptist people. I live in an area where some of them are rather prevalent, and they really are, in my opinion, at least functionally apostate.

That said, I'm always suspicious when folks talk about "the" Baptist view or "the" Southern Baptist view. At best, one can only muster a "majority" view in a particular era or for a particular group in a particular time. In some cases, it's easier than others. In the 17th century, Baptists were split into two groups, and those groups actually believed their confessional documents, so there is little question. You can actually speak of a "Particular Baptist" view or a "General Baptist view," though it shifts over time; you just have to be careful. The same is largely true of the 18th century. It's in the 19th until today that the waters get murky, because, if you ask me, folks stopped taking the 3rd commandment which, combined with the 9th, stands over the concept we call "oath taking" or "oath breaking." People felt/feel free to interpret a confession and sign it without believing it, forgetting that when you sign your name, you're taking a vow sorts, so if you don't believe it, you're breaking an oath. This isn't to say I think you can't have reservations about a confession. Rather I'm an advocate of a tiered approach similar to the way the PCA uses the WCF, but I digress.

I'd rather focus on the evaluation of x by "Southern Baptists" claim as a whole; that is "the" SBC or "the" Baptist view. The whole argument being offered strikes me as a parallel appeal to "the mind of the church" made by Catholics and some of their supporters in the Presbyterian and Anglican churches (the Federal Visionists). For one thing, I find it highly ironic that ones among us Baptists so vehemently opposed to Catholicism and anything like Presbyterianism or Erastianism will (sometimes with frequency) invoke the same argumentation. When you point this out, it's rather like watching Barney Fife with "that little vein on his neck." They get all atwitter and before you know it, they're ranting at you with their hair all mussed up like Barney. I wouldn't take them so seriously, if it wasn't for the fact that more people than they are involved, because I get emails (as do you all) about what I write that are not from other bloggers. People read this stuff and take it seriously.

On the other hand, there are some folks to I just don't pay attention anymore. I had a friend graduate from SEBTS several years ago who told me he didn't learn anything new. He and I went to college together, and I know his grades and what classes he took - we were in some of the same ones, and I know that if he didn't learn anything new in seminary, he wasn't paying attention. I don't take him seriously at all. After awhile, you realize that some persons aren't worth your time, simply because, if you look closely, the only people reading them are the same people. They're off in their own corner muttering to themselves. Pat them on the head and leave them there.

About "the mind of the church" or "the" Baptist thinking or view, this is a dubious appeal. The church is an abstraction. So is "the SBC" or "Baptistery." This doesn’t mean both aren't real but each isn’t something over and above the members who compose it.When Wade's opponents or anybody else's appeal the mind of the church, or "the" Baptist view (or whatever the parallel term), they are surreptitiously appealing to the minds of the church-The minds of individual churchmen-The views of individual Baptist "Fathers." This applies to every discussion of historical theology too, no matter what the group. The list can get very selective, and who's to say that the minds of individual Southern Baptists are right and are to be preferred over, say, those of the 17th century or from "rival" Baptist groups to the one of which anybody is a part.

This is why I'm suspicious of phrases like "Baptist identity" if employed in particular ways. It smacks of rationalism, that is the technique of taking a 2nd or 3rd order idea or set of ideas in a theology, elevating it to the first, and then crafting all else to protect it. That can happen with ANY doctrine. In fact, of the first order doctrines, only two can really function as principia: Scripture and God and then together. It's one thing to craft a well thought out theology from exegesis based on two solid high level principia; it's quite another to say, "This is 'the' Baptist identity," now let's craft all else around it!

When they appeal to an evaluation by Southern Baptists or "the" Baptist tradition, or "the" Baptist view, or "the mind of the church," they are appealing to the minds of individual Southern Baptists or other Baptists, not the SBC as a whole; not Baptists as a whole. So where do we find the mind of the church in their own concrete ecclesiology? How does their theory of the church cash out in actual practice? They are catholic (lower c) in what they say, but sometimes Anabaptistic in what they do, a tad Catholic (big C) in their church politics. Hence, when they appeal to the mind of the church or SBC, which church or SBC are they referring to? Is this some lowest common denominator of what all Christians or Southern Baptists believe, regardless of their ecclesiastical or theological affiliation or background? Where is that survey? This is where they need to be pinned down.

The Cachinnator said...

Wade, I'm at Truett Seminary here in Waco, so if you're a liberal, I'd hate to hear what someone who thinks there aren't enough conservatives in Waco would have to say about me. And that's wretchedly sad. No one is better at distancing Christians from Jesus than Christians.

And disabling blog comments isn't only detrimental; it's cowardice. It's the little girl who sticks her fingers in her ears and yells, "La la la la!"

How pathetic and sad that we have become so adept at reducing nearly everything in life to meaningless categories like "liberal" and "conservative."

Give a shout if you are in Waco. I'll score you some theatre tickets.

Bill Scott said...

Alfred C. Snider of the University of Vermont writes a primer on cross examination debate entitled, "Code of the Debater: Introduction to the way of Reason." While we do not necessarily engage in Cross-X here, the "Code of the Debater" does have some merits:

I am a debater.
I attempt to be worthy of this title by striving to observe the code of the debater.

I will research my topic and know what I am talking about.

I will respect the subject matter of my debates.

I will choose persuasion over coercion and violence.

I will learn from victory and especially from defeat.

I will be a generous winner and a gracious loser.

I will remember and respect where I came even though I am now a
citizen of the world.

I will apply my criticism of others to myself.

I will strive to see myself in others.

I will, in a debate, use the best arguments I can to support the side I am on.

I will, in life, use the best arguments I can to determine which side I am on.

I will respect their rights to freedom of speech and expression, even though we may disagree.

I will respect my partners, opponents, judges, coaches, and
tournament officials.

I will be honest about my arguments and evidence and those of

I will help those with less experience, because I am both student and teacher.

I will be an advocate in life, siding with those in need and willing to speak truth to power.

Wade...I especially like the last one.

Nomad said...

I do so hope you feel honored to have such a champion as Debbie! Everyone needs a supporter like her.

Wade Burleson said...


I love your spirit and tone. By the way, I now use the phrase "the priesthood of believers" as well as 'the priesthood of the believer' because of an article I read that you wrote. I see both as valid. My aim in this post is to show that saying the latter does not necessarily make you a liberal. Blessings to you and keep up the good work.


Wade Burleson said...


I agree. However, at this point, the greater danger comes from the extreme right in our convention.

Greg Hicks said...

That Jeremy Green does not allow comments and Jerry Corbaley limits comments from those who disagree would at least suggest they are concerned whether or not their postings can bear the weight of careful scrutiny.

Particularly in light of Wade's previous post on the value of blogs when trying to sort out who is telling the truth, I also find it notable that everything Wade has previously posted remains available on his site; that is not the case with some of the other bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Wade asked, "In closing, I would like for you to ask yourself this question: Has it ever been the practice of some Southern Baptists in years past to falsely malign other Southern Baptists with the epitaph 'liberal' in order to marginalize and exclude people from Southern Baptist cooperative ministry? . . ." Yes, it has; a certain Baptist newspaper editor in a state to the east of Wade's state, for example, has done so with no foundation--and without personally interviewing those he so labels but refers to in his writing--for quite some time. This editor knows who he is, probably reads here frequently without commenting, but appears of late to be one of those "wising up"--for which I am glad.

Wade, thank you for keeping the issues--and how they may be solved through dialog and without name-calling--before us all.

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Wade Burleson said...


I determined a long time ago that if it can't be defended, then it shouldn't be said. :)

Thanks for the comments from both you and David. And, Nomad, you bet I'm happy to have Debbie as a church member. She and her husband are a couple of Baptist jewels. And the SBC better beware. She's so fired up she's going to San Antonio. :) But don't worry. She's quiet and quite humble. She's just a whiz in logic and her understanding of true Baptist freedom and grace.


timothy cowin said...

Wade I ran across this comment from two gentlemen who are in the midst of the battle in the Episcopol (they left) church over the homosexaul issue.

"Fundamental to a liberal view of freedom is the right of a person or group to define themselves and to not be dehumanized by the definitions and distortions of others. This right we request even of those who differ from us."

Timothy Cowin

timothy cowin said...

Somebody ought to teach us newbs how to link when we post:)

Wade Burleson said...


A great quote. Of course, if our convention ordained those who acted out in homosexuality or those who acted out in adultery, I would leave our convention as well.

I would hope that I would leave with class and grace and not demonize those with whom I disagree. The fact of the matter is God is on His throne regardless of the sinful behavior of man.

Todd Pylant said...

Like many others, I am disturbed by the young Waco pastor's comments on his blog. Not so much that they are false and inflamatory, for there is much of that in the blog world. What bothers me, or concerns me the most is the thought that his viewpoint might represent a large section of Southern Baptists. I hope that he is a lone voice and few are the number that agree with his tone and content, but I fear that his tribe might be larger than that. If this be the case, our convention is in real trouble.

Ignorance is not hidden behind a large amount of verbage

Wade Burleson said...

I'll show you how TC

Start with the < symbol.

Don't skip a space after the symbol and put

a href=

You do skip a space after the 'a' and before the 'href'

After the = symbol, with no space between, put quotation marks " and then copy and paste the http://www. address of the link without a space between it and the quotation marks. Be sure and put quotation marks at the end of the http:// address as well, again, without skipping a space.

Without skipping a space after the second quotation marks put the > symbol and put whatever phrase you wish to describe what it is you are linking to. Like below, I am simply saying the link is here.

>The link is here<

and then after the < put, with no spaces between the /a> as the closing tag.

When you are finished creating your link it will look like the following:

The link is here.

Click on the link and it may explain it better than I have.

Wade Burleson said...


He is definitely in the minority.

Monte said...


I thought it was significant that you said, "it is the nomenclature used by all Southern Baptists prior to 1988." I knew that in recent years that as disagreements grew sharper over some theological and doctrinal views, and with the introduction of the 2000 BF&M, that there seemed to be a backing away from the preaching and teaching of the priesthood of the believer by many. Some have even argued that this is the shield that moderates and liberals hide behind, and the flag they always seem to wave in a dispute.

The problem, as I see it, is that I have never believed that my conservative beliefs regarding doctrine and theology have changed so much since before 1988. However, I'll admit that I, too, have waved that flag when I have seen that political tactics were being used in order to remove leaders of our agencies, or missionaries who stated that the 2000 BF&M was being used as a creed in definance of this firm conviction among Southern Baptists.

The thing I have had so much trouble with through the years is in how we have abandoned those principles and doctrines that I was taught as a Southern Baptist growing up. Mine was a very conservative SB home where sound theology and doctrine was taught. In fact, when my wife and I made the decision in not signing the 2000 BF&M, and returned home from the mission field, I told my father over the telephone, "Please remember that you are the one who taught me that we as Southern Baptists are not a creedal people." My father responded by saying, "You're right. I did." Although he is as conservative as they come, he has stood by our decision from the beginning and has never disputed it--although we might differ greatly in other areas.

But I do believe that all of these issues move hand-in-hand, and show the sharp distinctives in both conviction and belief and a mere political power struggle. These are doctrinal matters, yea, matters of the heart, which display conviction. You can argue these all you want, but in the end, one must always choose the path of the conviction they know because of the role of the Holy Spirit--and that confirms the doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer.

Sir Thomas Moor would not endorse King Henry VIII's whimsical decision to abandon sound doctrine concerning a divorce out of convenience because of his political preferences or power. Sir Thomas bowed to a higher authority and stood upon his convictions, ultimately leading him to his death. In the end, we must weigh all of this in the balance and if by the conviction of the Holy Spirit we cannot abandon what we have known to be truth all of our lives, we recognize that there may be a price to be paid.

Anonymous said...

Wade and Todd,

I agree he may be in the minority, but his logic is the same as that of the president of our largest SBC seminary. Unless something changes, we are going to be training young ministers with the same philosophy as his. Our convention already is in real trouble. I pray Frank Page is appointing men like you Wade to positions of leadership in SBC.

East Texas Pastor

Steve A said...

Wow. If we could get our dear brothers Jeremy and Jerry to be as vigilant in uncovering mis-interpretations of the BF & M at SBC agencies as they are in sniffing out supposed incorrect theology, they could turn lemons into lemonade.

Not allowing comments to blogs reminds me of Napoleon the Pig in Orwell's "1984" saying, "some animals are more equal than others."

By the way, I think I may have had a Aristotelian category of causality (somebody wrote about here) but I couldn't keep the front end aligned and it went thru a mess of tires.

timothy cowin said...

Did you all notice that Mr. Green's current article is filed under "apostacy."

Wikepedia describes this term thus:
"Apostacy is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of one's religion... In a technical sense, as used sometimes by sociologists without the sometimes pejorative connotations of the word, the term refers to renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to one's former religion. One who commits apostasy is an apostate, or one who apostatises. In older Western literature, the term typically referred to baptized Christians who left their faith."

I would venture that Jeremy is reading this stream, Please take down the "apostacy" tag, to keep it reveals a sad condition of your heart towards somebody you may disagree with over theological interpretations, but yet still is your Brother.

Timothy Cowin

timothy cowin said...

Also Wade, Thanks for the lesson!


Bill Scott said...

Strong's, as in Hebrews 6:6 says:


Definition: 1) a falling away, defection, apostasy

Either way it is sliced it is certainly an attack on character or on the person, rather than attack on ideas or concepts.

Wade Burleson said...

If it were not so silly I might be offended.

As it is, I laugh. Thanks guys, but don't worry about it.

TOM PARKER said...


It makes me sad when people attack you because I really believe you are trying to improve the SBC.

Tom Parker

Wade Burleson said...


That's my sole goal.

Thanks. No need to be sad, though, change is occurring.

Paul Burleson said...


Wikipedia says..."Conversation are the ideal form of communication since they allow people with a different view of a topic to learn from each other. A 'speech' on the other hand, is an oral/written presentaion by one person directed at a group."

The same source says..."Propoganda is aimed at influencing the opinion or behavior of people. Often, instead of impartially providing information, propoganda can be deliberately misleading, using logical fallicies, which, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid."

Would it not seem, according to these definitions at least, that a blog that speaks but does not allow some form of comments, MAY be more propoganda than conversation since that kind of presentation can not be questioned?

Wade Burleson said...

I do believe I would agree.


bryan riley said...

One thing about not allowing for comments and not allowing ideas to be shaped through the advice and commentary of others that concerns me is that I wonder if it is like being wise in one's own eyes.

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

Given those scriptural admonitions, and the fact that this young man spends a lot of time "teaching" others God's word, I daresay that what we need to be doing is praying for him, his wisdom, and that he would be diligent to be a living sacrifice to the Father.

May our hearts not react in anger against one who attacks; instead, may we act only in love and gentleness, praying for those who would persecute us.

bryan riley said...

Another thought I had about the labeling of people... which is something I greatly eschew. It is always so easy to criticize and so very difficult to encourage. Blogging about others and labeling people, rather than providing encouragement toward a greater understanding of the Father, is the ultimate in lazy. Which, if I recall, is something that being wise in one's own eyes is connected to in Proverbs as well.

God calls us to much greater things than criticizing one another. We can do that without thinking. But to love? Well, that is our call and it is impossible without Him.

Alyce said...

Labeling for posting purposes is one thing.
Labeling one another is another.
Indulge me for a minute please. Here is a rundown of Mr. Greens labels:
Apostasy 12, Wade Burleson 14, Alcohol 2

Quotes from Jeremy’s blog
“Wade Burleson (a moderate pastor from Oklahoma)"
1 label-Wade is a moderate.

He (Wade) affirms the inerrancy of the Bible himself and therefore he is obviously not a liberal Southern Baptist. Yet, he accommodates the liberal view (as most moderates do) by stating that it is not necessary to affirm the inerrancy of the Bible in order to be a conservative.
2 label-Wade is a moderate

Wade Burleson, an IMB trustee from Oklahoma. Burleson’s theological beliefs are not in agreement with the Baptist Faith and Message…
3rd label Wade is not in line step or really Baptist?

Since he (Wade) believes that the BF&M, our convention’s statement of faith - which serves as an “instrument of doctrinal accountability” (BF&M, 5), is “in error,” it would appear that he has compromised his integrity by signing/affirming it.
4th label-Wade has a lack of integrity

However, when Wade B, a theological moderate from Oklahoma and current Trustee of the International Mission Board, dishonestly signed the BF&M with three written caveats and at least two other unwritten areas of disagreement the perilous danger of doublespeak once again resurfaced as the perilous danger of doublespeak once again resurfaced as the liberal loophold that it is.
Wade talks through both sides of his mouth suggesting he doesn't really mean what he says.

Can ANYONE honestly read ANY of this and tell me this is not about an agenda?

I have to say, I do admire your desire to seek reconcilation. I would wear armour and tape the conversation if I were you, better yet-take Ben with you :)

Bill Scott said...

I think that there is another way to look at young Mr. Green.

I contend that his blog is a side show. It is an off-broadway production on a cheap budget. It is a detractor from the more important issues at hand.

It is a bit like "nanny-nanny-boo-boo-I-wish-I-could-blog-like-you-do."

In military terms it is a diversion. It is designed to confuse and to draw resources from the main effort of the battle. Small diversions such as young Mr. Green's blog are simply bypassed on the way to the major objective(s). When the battle is over, and the objectives are seized, simple diversions such as his will be soon forgotten.

Anonymous said...

At the least the errors made in regard to Wade are based--erroneously--upon words he's either said or typed.

The editor I mentioned earlier today has made the same mistake as the blogger being referred to here, but the editor has done so in regard to the ones I'm thinking of with no basis at all--nothing he's heard and nothing he's read from them.

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Alycelee said...

Bill, you're right of course. He wouldn't have anything to blog about if he didn't discuss Wade.
But, as you can tell the 'mamma' comes out in me and what really burns me is when he has the nerve to come HERE and discuss and NO ONE is allowed to comment about anything on HIS blog.
How open, how fair is that?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article at link below. What are you going to do if all 5 of the other president's support Patterson's decision with Klouda? Read it for yourself.



Bill Scott said...

I thing Paul B. is right. I would categorize young Jermy's blog as a form of propaganda more than a conversation. Propaganda is always one sided. It is always designed to misinform. Have a great weekend!

Alycelee said...

I just listened to Dr. Greg Thornberry at the Identity Conference speak about the Angry Young Men in the SBC. He actually said…. “lets try and distinguish between things that are of primary and secondary importance in Baptist life.” Then he quoted someone who spoke about the dangers of doing just that-calling it sectarianism.

Hummmmm, primary and secondary, (first and second tier,) isn’t that what Wade has been saying for years now?
Actually, it was pretty good!

David Rogers said...

Timothy Cowin,

"Linking in comments for Dummies (if you use Blogger)" by David Rogers.

1. Open up your own blog.
2. Click on New Entry
3. In the text space for the new entry, write in the text you wish to appear in the link
4. Highlight the text
5. Click the hyperlink icon
6. Type in or paste the URL you wish to link to
7. Click Accept
8. Click HTML editing
9. Highlight what you see there
10. Right-click to copy
11. Go to the comment in which you wish to paste the link.
12. At the appropriate place, right-click to paste.

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting how popular blogsites such as Wade's set the pace for Baptist publications such as the SBTexan, putting them in a kind of "catch up with the story" mode. It seems to have happened quite a few times during the past year.

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Quinn Hooks said...

Ok, I have dealt first hand with liberal doublespeak. This brother just doesn't know what a liberal is. I disagree with you on a couple of things but I would not label you a liberal. A liberal can not and will not affirm the BF&M 2000. I have dealt with liberals and tell you what a liberal is. I accept that there are various degrees of conservatives. It is possible to agree the Bible is inerrant and infallible yet disagree on some issues. That does not make you nor me a liberal. Also, if the comments are disabled, does this disqualify him as a blogger?

Anonymous said...

Just stop reading Jeremy's blog.
I stopped months ago. It's not worth the frustration. He's not willing to dialogue, so there's no sense in reading......

imb m

Quinn Hooks said...

Just stop reading Jeremy's blog.
I stopped months ago. It's not worth the frustration. He's not willing to dialogue, so there's no sense in reading......

imb m

The irony for me is that I would not know he existed without Grace and Truth to You

timothy cowin said...


Thanks, I don't know why I did'nt think of that...

Timothy Cowin

Ron said...

I have been out of the loop on reading blogs lately but I think some of your latest have been the best at focusing on the crux of the problem in the SBC. You have identified the misuse of labels by those in the conservative resurgence. You have pointed out the lack of response to challenges to prove charges and thus a lack of accountability on the part of leaders of the conservative resurgence. This has been true since 1979 of the resurgence and its leaders. I have written of this often in letters to the editor of the Arkansas Baptist. I am thankful that blogs such as yours are allowing those who are interested in truth all across our convention to recognize the true nature of the resurgence.

As to the misuse of labels, one the leaders of the resurgence in Arkansas wrote in their state publication that they reserved the right to refer to all those who did not support their presidential candidates as moderates. They then referred to moderate as the generic name for liberal. The liberal or moderate label has never had anything to do with theology. Just like little kids on the play ground, leaders of the resurgence use labels because they do not have facts or truth on their side and fear nothing more than being forced to be accountable.

You may remember when I tried to get IMB trustee Jerry Corbaley to give an explanation for his statement that there were liberal IMB missionaries and he would never answer. This reminded me of former IMB trustee Ron Wilson’s claim in a letter to trustee Chairman Bill Hancock that our missionaries were neo-orthodox heretics who were controlled by liberals. I asked him several times to prove these statements. Again no response and lack of accountability. Wilson was rewarded for his work on the IMB by being placed on the NAMB to continue his attacks on missionaries. The latest has been his leading in the firing of NAMB missionary Michael Stewart of California. You took up the battle for Sheri Klouda. Some time you should consider looking into the wrong that was done to Stewart by the trustees of the NAMB.
Ron West

TruthOfActs said...

Gene Bridges,
In my opinion, your first two sentences were good on the issue of labels having different meanings to different people, and this caused disagreement. The rest of your lengthy comment reminded me of:

I walked a mile with supremacy
He chatted all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all he had to say

The main topic of Wade’s post was individual priesthood vs. priesthood of believers. You made no comment. Are you afraid to say which is best? Surely you know the difference. This is a true example:

A mechanic was hired to work on cars for the Baptist Village in Israel by Southern Baptists. Two different years, I talked with him several times, and he was happy in his job. He had individual priesthood in his work as he loved to work on cars.
The last year I saw him, he was unhappy. Under priesthood of believers he was forced to give up his job for the good of the group. His old job was given to his father while he was trained to run a computer. He hated it.
With priesthood of believers, it’s our way or the highway as it tramples individual priesthood. What was born at Calvary was pronounce dead by the BFM 2000.

Gene, you owe me several replies, so I don’t expect any on this because as you said, “You realize that some persons aren’t worth your time.”
Rex Ray

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...


You made a comment, above, which really lets me know that you are a man seeking truth. The comment? "By the way, I now use the phrase 'the priesthood of believers' as well as 'the priesthood of the believer' because of an article I read that you (Gene) wrote. I see both as valid."

Praise God, you are not stuck in the rut that many of our leadership appears to be, a spirit that cannot learn.

TruthOfActs said...

10-40 Window Missionary,
I agree that Wade is not “stuck in the rut that many of our leadership appears to be, a spirit that cannot learn.”

What are Gene’s words that caused Wade to say, “I now use the phrase ‘the priesthood of believers’ as well as ‘the priesthood of the believer’?

Of course, Wade may be the only one that could answer that.

I’m reminded ‘some are educated far beyond their intelligence.’
Rex Ray

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Sorry that you got snowed in, I was really looking forward to meeting you.

Have a Nice Day,


davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

After looking up "liberal" in dictionary.com, a few other names came to my mind that todays so called " I`m stuck in the mud, Holier than you, conservative Baptists would call liberal ...

1. Noah -crazy boat builder
2. Abraham -heard God and trusted Him
3. Isaac
4. Jacob -wrestled with God
5. Moses -burning bush, Egypt (Pharaoh), Red Sea, Miriam, Ten Commandments on stone tablets (yea right), The Ark,
6. Caleb -believed God`s promises
7. Joshua
8. Deborah
9. Gideon
10. Samuel -a prophet (I guess it was OK back then)
11. David -King, Worshipper(danced..Oh my!!), Lover of God. etc..etc
12. Solomon
13. Isaiah
14. Jeremiah
15. Daniel -hyper faith
16. Jonah
17. John the Baptist
18. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
19. Mary and Martha
20. All the people in the upper room.
21. Peter
22. Stephen
23. Paul - enough said
24. Barnabas
25. Silas
26. Timothy

These are just a few who did not follow the status quo of the "conservative" establishment and were labeled as liberal.

They were liberal in their trust, faith, obedience and service to God, while conservative in their beliefs in God.

Bob Cleveland said...


Sorry to come really late to this party but I'll say this anyway: If the 2000 BF&M had been the first, I wouldn't be nearly as concerned about "priesthood of all believers". But my point of difference with them concerns why the change?

What's really accomplished by changing from the priesthood of "the believer", to "all believers"? Did I somehow lose my priesthood? Did something change somewhere?

I haven't heard a reason that holds water, yet. And if I want to conjure up a conspiracy theory, there's a whole lot of fodder for that in the change.

Jim Paslay said...

Wade Burleson said:

Has it ever been the practice of some Southern Baptists in years past to falsely malign other Southern Baptists with the epitaph 'liberal' in order to marginalize and exclude people from Southern Baptist cooperative ministry?

If Wade had been blogging back in the 1980s, I believe this article would have been entitled "When Losing The Debate, Call Them Fundamentalist With A Capital F." I will concur that most "liberals" left the SBC by 1990 after the New Orleans convention. They left and went to other denominations. And it is irresponsible for an individual to attach a label to someone without checking facts. But I am also concerned with the comparison of what is going on now in the SBC with what happened in the 1980s and 90s. It is not the same thing.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that this blog has become the moderates' crying towel to air their gripes about the last 25 years or so. If you want to express your concerns about what is going on now, that is one thing. But to link it to the past and label everyone who agreed with the Conservative Resurgence "Fundamentalist" is just as wrong as the ole boy who throws the "L" word around.

Let's stick to the present, otherwise, we risk the danger of being revisionist historians.

TruthOfActs said...

Jim Paslay,
You said most liberals left the SBC by 1990. What facts do you base your statement own? Tell us a list with their names. If you don’t know, then you’re passing on hearsay as if it was facts.

Patterson had a list of liberals before the Conservative Resurgence and it was less than ten.

Oh, but that’s history and you’d rather repeat history than learn from it.

Why don’t you answer Bob’s question: Why did they change “individual priesthood” to “priesthood of believers”?
Rex Ray

GeneMBridges said...

Why don’t you answer Bob’s question: Why did they change “individual priesthood” to “priesthood of believers”?

Because, as matter of historical theology, that's the proper term; so in reality, the reversal is the opposite. The latter term crept into parlance as a development of Hegel's historiography and Enlightenment rationalism. Also, this concept is NOT a Baptist distinctive. It becomes a uniquely Baptist distinctive when wedded to the concept of a regenerate church membership; for without that if you index it to the visible church, you wind up with unregenerate persons serving as priests in the priesthood. It is a broadly Protestant distinctive. As such, as part of dogmatic, historical theology and should be understood on those terms, if those terms are exegetically sound. I would add as well that the use of the term in this fashion connects us to the historic church in a real way, just as the stand on other issues.

The main topic of Wade’s post was individual priesthood vs. priesthood of believers. You made no comment. Are you afraid to say which is best? Surely you know the difference.

A. No, the main topic of the post was the use and abuse of labels. My reply was responsive to that. Individual priesthood v. priesthood of all believers was cited because that is how Mr. Green chose to phrase his objection. That is why the examples were cited.

B. Yes, I do, and since it is well known that I am a Reformed Baptist who subscribes to the 1689 confession and serves a 1646 church, it shouldn't be that difficult for you to discern my beliefs. What do these documents state?

C. I've written on this topic before in a couple of venues. Wade has apparently read it.

D. No comment? Hardly. I touched on this directly.

E. "Which is best" depends on the context and what is meant. I defined those terms in my comment. You have provided us with a textbook example of the fallacy of limited alternatives. To answer you on your own level, "That depends on what is meant by the person using the terms."

With priesthood of believers, it’s our way or the highway as it tramples individual priesthood. What was born at Calvary was pronounce dead by the BFM 2000.

A. Perhaps you should take a tour of Baptist tradition on confessions and books of discipline. The Sandy Creek Association was quite autocratic, a fact of history often overlooked. Kehukee protested this in its formation. Philadelphia Association did not unite with any who did not subscribe to the essence of their confession. The Charleston Association's book of discipline includes a section on associations, including notation about churches becoming "heretical." In 1844, A query in Tuscaloosa Association asked specifically if it is consistent and proper for churches in the Association to call ministers who disagreed with the Associational Abstract of Principles. There was a one word answer, “No.” Associations also answered questions about theology and praxis for their members and expected them to follow up. There was a day when Baptist churches collectively could censure their churches and this was not considered unusual. We just live on the latitudinarian side of Baptist history, that is why these ideas are so shocking.

That said, the issue isn't the use of a confession or the priesthood of the believer, but the articles that are elevated to too high an order and the right use of the confession. When "Baptist principles," whether it is cessationism, or semi-cessationism or the priesthood of believers/the believer, are elevated to the level of principia of theology, that's the problem. This is equally true of libertarian freedom or predestination. That's just rationalism and stems not from the period prior to about 1725 but the period afterward. Ironically, the latitudinarian and the legalist wind up making the same sort of argument.

When a confession is made the interpretation qua interpretation of Scripture in a manner that substitutes the confession for grammatical-historical exegesis, that's a problem and does not subject itself to it, that's a problem too. Now, if you're at all concerned, I happen to dislike the BFM for the same reason I dislike the 39 Articles of Christian Religion. I prefer older Baptist confessions. My reasons are both exegetical and historical.

B. The way fundamental articles are to be derived is a question going back to the High Orthodox era of Protestantism. I refer you to Richard Muller's Post Reformation Dogmatics, Volume 1, last chapter. Incidentally, my position is quite close to that of Turretin and Witsius and Andrew Fuller.

What was born at Calvary was pronounce dead by the BFM 2000.

This is dripping with hyperbole. For starters, this doctrine was NOT "born at Calvary." The locus classicus for this is from , and the writer refers us to the OT. This is not a point at which the covenants show a major disjunction, since 1 Peter employs it to make the point. It was only "born at Calvary" in the sense that Christ is our covenant mediator and there is not more priestly class within the visible covenant community. However, since the means of salvation between the two covenant eras is the same, justification by faith alone, and the ground is the work of Christ, this doctrine was in effect spiritually from the beginning of the covenant of grace though without the pouring out of the Spirit on the general membership; in terms of types and shadows the old has passed away. That is the main difference. Since I subscribe to Baptist Covenant Theology, I'll point you there if you require more to know what I affirm.

It would be helpful if you would actually attempt to mount an exegetical argument for this concept in individualistic terms related to the interpretation of Scripture in particular. Examples are cute, but they serve as arguments from analogy minus the analogy without a corresponding exegetical argument.

It is true that each person is a priest; it is not true that he thus functions apart from the covenant community and its role. If that was so, it wouldn't make sense for Peter to point us to the OT and a communal example. Our ministry to each other and our intercession before God and the world at large mirrors Israel's priestly role as a nation in the OT.

In terms of historical theology, this doctrine stands against sacerdotalism and sacramentalism. Since the SBC is not administering the means of grace through a sacerdotal priesthood and the emphasis is on Christ as the covenant Mediator for each individual within the regenerate community, the SBC is not violating this principle. The interpretation of Scripture relates to the concept of Sola Scriptura and exegetics not this issue. Cf. Eastwood, a Methodist: The common error that the phrase "Priesthood of Believers" is synonymous with "private judgment" is most unfortunate and is certainly a misrepresentation . . . . Of course, the Reformers emphasized "private judgment," but it was always "informed" judgment, and it was always controlled, checked, and corroborated by the corporate testimony of the congregation. Indeed Calvin himself fully realized that uncontrolled private judgment means subjectivism, eccentricity, anarchy, and chaos."

We live in the era in which people are told to determine God's will be lining up the signs, Scripture, prayer, and their intuitions. That's just mysticism by another name if taken in a more "conservative" direction, or Barthianism if taken the other direction. This doctrine was never intended to go there. Neither was it intended to make all things a matter of dogmatic faith, where the community dictates everything. That's the old Romanist and Lutheran error to excess in making all things fundamental doctrines for their members. Again, I'll point you to Turretin and Witsius in particular.

Gene, you owe me several replies, so I don’t expect any on this because as you said, “You realize that some persons aren’t worth your time.”

Considering I contribute to no less than three blogs you have had ample time to contact me to bill me for the replies I allegedly "owe" you. 'm sorry, but I do not regard comment threads as discussion boards. You'll have to forgive me if I choose not to reply to every person that directs something my way and my lack of precognition in knowing you even had replied in the past.

As it is, I surmise your problem isn't with the way the doctrine is construed from Scripture itself, but the way the BFM is used. That is related to confessionalism, but Baptist history is by no means uniform on that issue. In fact, church history itself, including Protestant history, is littered with latitudinarians on confessions. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the vast body of literature on that.

Anonymous said...

For clarity this is exactly what Jeremy posted on his website. I am not sure why this quote was left out in this discussion.

"I am not saying that anyone who has ever used the term "priesthood of the believer" instead of "believers" is a liberal or even a moderate for that matter. I am merely pointing out that some, including Burleson, use the "priesthood of the believer" as a "get out of jail free" card or an "I'm a conservative Southern Baptist no matter what I believe or don't believe" card."

And as far as the comment stream not being allowed on his blog it doesn't mean he is a coward. I think his blog proves he has the courage to stand up for his convictions just as Wade does. There are many blogs that do not allow comments because the author's use them as an electronic journal. The purpose is not for people to have a discussion group but to simple impart information. If anyone seeks to discuss the issues with Jeremy they can always email him with there questions. His email address is in his profile. I think that the rhetoric here is slanted somewhat.

Oklahoma Joe

Jim Paslay said...

Rex Ray said:

Why don’t you answer Bob’s question: Why did they change “individual priesthood” to “priesthood of believers”?

I didn't know I was required to answer Bob's question. Besides I wasn't responding to Bob, I was commenting on Wade's article.

As for the list of liberals who left the convention, I'm not sure I can come with a supposed list but it is fact that a significant number of professors from our seminaries jumped ship. Would that be considered leaving to you?

I have obviously touched a nerve with you You want to tie what is happening now to the Conservative Resurgence of the past. They are not the same.

In regards to the BF&M, how long will you continue to whine about it? If you and others don't like it, go through the process and have the SBC go back to the 1963 BF&M. But I can assure you that you won't be satisfied with the 1963 version either. Moderates want wiggle room when it comes to biblical truth.

David L. Miller said...

I engaged this fella in a debate about his tendency to slander anyone who disagrees with him. He never responded to anything I said, then called me a liberal.

Anyone who knows me knows how laughable the title liberal is for me.

You just can't talk to this kid.

TruthOfActs said...

Jim Paslay,
Even though Gene replied first, I’m replying to you because I understand your words clearly. I want to say thanks that I didn’t have to read a book or get a dictionary—as Gene said, “To answer you on your own level.”

You’re right; you didn’t have to answer Bob’s questions of: “What’s really accomplished by changing from the priesthood of ‘the believer’, to ‘all believers’? Did I somehow lose my priesthood? Did something change somewhat?”

His questions are hard to explain from your viewpoint, but from mine it’s easy—the answer is YES.

You said, “As for the list of liberals who left the convention, I’m not sure I can come with a supposed list…”
Does this mean you have repeated hearsay as facts?
“A supposed list”? Surely the victors would have had a body count if there had been any liberals to count.

You said, “It is a fact that a significant number of professors from our seminaries jumped ship.”

Is your ship the same as Tom Eliff telling Patterson (1998) that all barnacles and parasites have been removed from the ship of Zion?

Your professors that “jumped ship” were not liberals but were more like Dilday not being ‘one of us’ as Patterson said. They were removed as Dilday.

Dilday was criticized for saying, “We Texas Baptists don’t like anyone telling us what to do except God himself.” Did they want him to say the opposite?...‘We like anyone telling us what to do except God.’

1. That’s what Hebrews did when they told God they wanted a king.
2. That’s what Christians did when they became obedient to a pope.
3. That happened when a letter requested our missionaries to have “a confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree.”

The letter was a ‘request’ in 1997, but it became a decree with the forced signing of the BFM 2000.

You keep saying what happened in the Conservative Resurgence is not happing now.
There’s the same people still dong the same things of making more rules of Pharisees.

Why do you say moderates want wriggle room when it comes to biblical truth?

Will you agree the Bible contains the perfect Word of God? I do.
Would you take a True-False test?

1. The lies of the devil are in the Bible.
2. The lies of men are in the Bible.
3. The ignorance of men is in the Bible.
4. The stupidity of men is in the Bible.
5. All words in the Bible are NOT from the mouth of God.
6. All words in the Bible are not perfect.
These are not trick questions. If all the words of the Bible were perfect, it would be like a math book and we would not need the Holy Spirit to teach us. Maybe that’s the reason God wanted us to have the Bible we have today, so we would trust him for his perfect Word.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

Gene Bridges,
Have you noticed people address the people they reply to, but you don’t? Do you have a patient on that or something?

Bob said, why did they change “individual priesthood” to “priesthood of believers”?

You said, “Because, as matter of historical theology, that’s the proper term; so in reality, the reversal is the opposite.”
I believe you mean ‘priesthood of believers’ is the proper term according to historical theology. But what do you mean by “the reversal is the opposite”?

You did well in lettering your answers A, B, C, D, and E.
A. You’re right; Wade’s main topic was ‘labels’, but that had 330 words, while ‘individual priesthood’ had 730 words.
B. You say you know the difference between ‘individual priesthood’ and ‘priesthood of believers’, but you didn’t explain ‘individual priesthood’. You say you subscribe to the 1689 confession, so I guess you don’t believe the 1963 or the 2000. You say I should be able to discern your beliefs. You’re wrong again.
C. I asked the 10-40 missionary what did you write that caused Wade to say, “I now use the phrase ‘the priesthood of believers’ as well as ‘the priesthood of the believer.” I guess you don’t know either as you said you had written on the topic before.
D. I accused you of not making any comment on the two “priesthoods”, and I was partly right because out of your 5 pages you said nothing about ‘individual priesthood’, and only two sentences about ‘priesthood of believers.’ But you’re right, you “touched” on it.
E. I asked which did you believe was best, and your answer was more or less—“depends.”

I wrote, “With priesthood of believers, it’s our way or the highway…” About all I got out of your long response was you didn’t like the BFM. You said, “My position is quite close to that of Turretin and Witsius and Andrew Fuller.”
What do you think about being close to the Bible?

I wrote, “What was born at Calvary was pronounce dead by the BFM 2000.”
You said, “This doctrine was not born at Calvary.”

Do you not believe God tore the temple veil from top to bottom? Do you believe every individual Christian can enter into God’s presence without going through a priest? I know you do because you said, “It is true that each person is a priest.”

Some say the individual can pray to God, but he cannot interpret Scripture by himself, even with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Do you think the Holy Spirit only teaches committees? That’s not what Jesus said. He said “You”—the individual.

Gene, you suggest I should “familiarize yourself with the vast body of literature…”
No thanks—if I ever get that done with the Bible that will be good enough for me.
Rex Ray

Radical Moderate said...

All of this is very interesting but I feel compelled to call to your attention a gross error that was made several days ago.

Napoleon the Pig made his comment in Orwell's "Animal Farm" not in "1984." To the best of my recollection there are no talking animals in "1984". Which of course is why all real Christians like "Animal Farm" better than "1984", because it is more like the Bible.

I would have brought it up before but I have been too busy dotting my t's and crossing my i's to make sure nobody labels me as something that I don't want to be.

And to be perfectly honest, I consider that to be just as significant as a debate bewteen the "believerists" and the "believersists." Somebody named Paul is rolling over in his grave.