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

Are You Kidding? Please, Tell Me You Are.

Dr. Van McClain is reported to have told The Southern Baptist TEXAN today that:

"If the board officers (of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) cannot come to an agreement with trustee Dwight McKissic, they may recommend to the SBC meeting in San Antonio this June that he be removed from the board.

Dr. McClain said this action might be taken because there are

" . . . concerns about the manner in which McKissic has expressed his disagreement regarding board actions and seminary policies. The board chairman also claims McKissic has inappropriately used confidential material sent to him as a trustee in advance of the board’s Oct. 16-17 meeting."

When asked to be specific about the charges of breach of confidentiality Dr. McClain

" . . . declined to describe the specific nature of the confidential material but said that McKissic would be made aware of the specifics if he attends the private meeting with board officers April 2."

You must be kidding me. Dr. McClain has gone public with 'breach of confidentiality' charges against Dwight McKissic, but has not even told Dwight McKissic himself what the specifics of the charges are? I find this reprehensible conduct by any board chairman. Does anybody else see the absurdity of this action?

Of course, I have little confidence in Dr. McClain at this time. Dr. McClain publicly ridiculed my post on Dr. Sheri Klouda, claiming it was 'filled with inaccuracies.' When I challenged Dr. McClain to show me the 'inaccuracies' he responded with a one sentence email four days later - "The vote for Dr. Klouda was not unanimous." I then asked to see the minutes of the board meeting in which Dr. Klouda was hired, and after being stonewalled for several weeks, I have now received verification from the minutes where it is actually recorded that in the plenary session of the full board a unanimous vote occurred in the hiring of Dr. Klouda onto the faculty of SWBTS.

Dr. McClain must not have been paying very close attention to events this past year in the SBC. Had he been, he would not have even contemplated making ridiculous, unsubstantiated charges without being able to back them up. That kind of action will always eventually backfire, and the very man you seek to discredit will become the man who will ultimately bring about the change that is necessary.

The article says Dr. McClain is not hopeful for a 'resolution' with Dwight McKissic because

“We tried to set up a private meeting with him in accordance with our constitution and bylaws,” McClain said. “He refused to come to this confidential meeting unless certain conditions were met, and basically the conditions he wanted would be such that it would no longer be a private meeting between the trustees.”

Dr. McClain, were the conditions requested by Dwight McKissic for this private meeting with the Executive Committee of SWBTS the following?

(1). A request that two trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theologicial Seminary Board who are not on the Executive Committee -- trustees of Dwight's choice -- be present, and one non-trustee by the name of Dr. Jimmy Draper be asked to attend the meeting?
(2). A request that the specific charges against Dwight, in detail, be given to him in writing prior to the 'private' meeting so that Dwight would not be blindsided with charges while in the meeting?
(3). A request that a tape recording of the private, closed door meeting be made as a precaution against any officer of the Board, or Dwight himself, making any future public statements to the press about what happened in the meeting that would be in contradiction to the actual events that transpired behind closed doors?

Again, were these the requests Dwight made to you Dr. McClain? If so, please be aware that he had asked me when you 'invited' him to a 'closed door' meeting to discuss 'inappropriate' trustee behavior that this is exactly what I told him I would do if I were in his shoes. If these are the reasons you are now refusing to meet with him privately, you ought to be ashamed. The above conditions are a protection for both the board and Dr. McKissic, and no Christian should ever shy away from them.

The TEXAN article closes with this paragraph:

"If Southwestern’s board officers recommend McKissic’s removal, and if the convention does vote to remove him during their June annual meeting in San Antonio, it would be the first time a board member has been involuntarily removed from an SBC agency board."

Dwight, that will not happen. The process you are about to go through is difficult, but there is no way under the sun a convention filled with autonomous churches, independent people, and thousands of friends that you possess in Texas will ever remove you. We have trustees who have embezzled, some have been immoral, and a few have even been sent to prison -- all having done horrific, ungodly things -- and yet never in the 161 year history has the convention forced the removal of a trustee. What have you done, Dwight, besides doing your best to bring accountability to the agency you serve?

By the way, only two SBC trustees have ever been offically threatened with removal. Allow me to give you some friendly, personal advice. Don't give in to bullying. Stand true to your convictions. Continue to be gracious and kind to those who would seek to ridicule you and disparage you. Recognize that you will be accused of everything short of assassinating President Kennedy, but never forget, once those who are in charge realize that you will be able to defend yourself before the entire Southern Baptist Convention, the 'charges' against you will be dropped faster a judge's gavel at the close of sentencing. It is unfortunate that you, Dwight -- a wonderful pastor, family man, Southern Baptist missions and theological education supporter -- are now being maligned. I know you do not like conflict. I know your desire is to live at peace with every man. But you must recognize that change always involves pain for someone. It is your desire for all actions of Southwestern and the SBC to hold up under the scrutiny of every Cooperative Program giving church and individual in the SBC. That is a noble cause, and for this reason, your message will eventually be heard.

In His Grace,


Wade

100 comments:

Alycelee said...

Here we go again. Power plays going unchecked. How will it ever be stopped? When the silent majority decides not to be silent anymore.
Thanks Wade for always keeping us informed.
Perhaps Dr. McClain is correct that a trustee should indeed quit. Should he lead by example?

Wade Burleson said...

Alyclee,

The key is new, fresh trustee appointments. Recycled appointments of the inner network of 'loyalists' must end.

We are on track to insuring that happens.

Oh, and by the way, a good man like Dwight need to stay.

If Dr. McClain insists that Dwight resign because he said he would if the Chairman lost 'trust' in him, my response is simple:

Is not Dwight allowed to change his mind, similar to the Executive Committee of SWBTS changing their minds about bring foundation funds in under internal management?

Frankly, I am looking forward to the details of the specific charges, because I can assure you Dwight has no clue, and I am not unfamiliar with the backpedaling that occurs when people try to establish a basis for their very public attempts to discredit individual trustees.

Kevin Bussey said...

Remember the Alamo!

Scotte Hodel said...

One of my colleagues gained this insight from the movie "Amazing Grace:" that Wilberforce struggled between doing "ministry" and staying in parliament. He was able to choose to do both.

I have not met any of the people named in the original post above, and so what I say here is not a personal comment, nor aimed at any individual.

We need men (and women) of integrity to serve in leadership, both in the SBC and elsewhere.

They are often thankless jobs, but we need them to be well staffed.

Rob said...

Sounds alot like a crusade against a particular trustee at the IMB by Tom Hatley. Guess this will be the M.O. until real change occurs at all levels of SBC life.

Clif Cummings said...

In the infamous words of the well-known theologian Yogi Berra: "It's like déjà vu all over again."
See you in Arlington & San Antonio.

A-8 said...

If turn-about is indeed fair play...Dr McClain might find himself up for a convention vote to remove him. Stranger things have happened!

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

I find it quite interesting that while, on one hand, SWBTS can dismiss a woman because she is "not qualified" to be a pastor and therefore can't train pastors; they can allow a dean like McClain to serve, even though he 1) makes false statements to the press (he told the Dallas News that no SBC seminary ever had women teaching theology - this is not true - I went ot GGBTS and had 2 professors that taught Hebrew and OT Theology) and 2) goes to the press to talk smack about Dwight before he's even called Dwight to talk about the issue himself - a blatant violation of Matthew 18's church discipline pericope.

If it's ok to dismiss a good Hebrew teacher because she's a woman, and therefore not qualified to teach pastors, should we not also dismiss a dean and professor who misrepresents facts (a violation of the commandment to not bear false witness) and ignores what Jesus says about how to handle conflict/church discipline? What integrity, SWBTS. I'm glad I stayed out of that country club and went to a seminary whee the leadership was more concerned about empowering godly men and women than oppressing and persecuting them.

Debbie said...

The red flag seems to be the words "private meeting." I would think that would be clear by now that the days of "behind closed doors" are gone. It appears that the press was used by Dr. McClain to send a message as if Dr. McKissic was the problem, and not this policy. I'm appalled that this is going to continue to go on. Dr. McKissic's requests were reasonable, yet I believe that they do not want Dr. McKissic to protect himself as it would ruin their ability to get rid of him easily. Good for you Dr. McKissic.

Debbie said...

Jason Epps: It does look ridiculous when written down as you have doesn't it. It just shows a tip of how bad things have become in the Convention, and why change is desperately needed and why these things need to come to light. I believe we will see more before June.

Steve A said...

The money Dr. McClain and his allies are playing these power games with was given by little kids and moms and dads so that the world would come to know Jesus. For shame!

If there is rejoicing in Heaven whenever a soul is saved, I must imagine different sounds echo forth when such small men strut about so grandly, calling themselves servants of The Good Shepherd.

Be strong, Dr. Dwight, the very earth itself might shake and open doors for you, and you will be delivered to rejoice with your friends.

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

Random thought: I almost wish there were some kind of "court" where these things could be brought to the surface, prosecuted and defended, all out in the open. There's so much "he said, she said" in blog town and in the media - I wish there were a central arena where this kind of thing could be dealt with formally and publicly. Forgive my naive idealism.

Greg Hicks said...

I'd settle for an SBC version of the "No Spin Zone."

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I never cease to be amazed at what comes next. Paige Patterson, Dr. McClain and the rest of their crowd remind me of a guy named Clayton Williams who ran for governor in Texas a number of years ago. If he would have just kept his mouth shut, he would have won the election, but he couldn't do it. He kept putting his foot in his mouth, and it eventually revealed his true character. The more McClain talks, the more he reveals his true character. The more he talks for Patterson who is obviously pulling the strings, the more Patterson's character is revealed.

Wade, let me say it again. Your telling the truth is not hurting our convention. It is helping more than you know. I will be at the SBC Convention in San Antonio for the first time in over 15 years. It has been a while since I felt there was any hope. Hang in there Dwight!

East Texas Pastor

Bill Scott said...

Wade,
I have been reading through the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis again. I was struck by this today and thought of you before I even read today's post:

"Book One, Chapter 12
THE VALUE OF ADVERSITY
IT IS good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men."

I think that you personify that last sentence. I pray that Dr. McKissic will "root himself firmly in God" that he will be able to stand!

Dr. McClain seems to have it in for those of different backgrounds.

1)He seems to be against inclusion of differing theological views that are not essential to faith.

2)He seems to be against women teaching at SWBTS.

3)He seems to be against a minority trustee because he has issues with #1 and #2.

If these things were committed in the secular world the EEOC would be all over this mess.

Am I off track?

I will continue to pray for Dr. McKissic.

Lee said...

Well said.

I'm no prophet, but I could have predicted this, or some other form of it, beginning on the day that Dr. McKissic spoke in chapel.

I had to smile, just slightly, when I read your comment to Alycelee that said, "Recycled appointments of the inner network of loyalists must end." I believe I remember hearing something almost exactly along those lines in '78 or '79 from Dr. Paige Patterson.

Den said...

When you guys "dismiss" the one who condones and engages in "misrepresentation" don't forget to toss the one who condones plagiarism.

Roger Simpson said...

Den:

Are you implying someone is quilty ripping off someone's work and claiming it as their own?

If so how does this relate to the subject at hand?

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Marty said...

The shortest book ever written:

Leadership Worth Following, by Van McClain and Tom Hatley.

OC Hands said...

According to "The Texan" here is a quote from McClain: “This trustee board and this president of this seminary, Dr. Patterson, are committed to openness. Every trustee has this opportunity at our semi-annual meetings to meet with the president,” McClain said, referring to a pre-meeting, closed-door forum. “They can correspond privately with the president or with the trustee chairman. Our desire has been for openness and for explanations to the questions that are asked,” McClain contended."

Does anyone else see double-speak here? "We are committed to openness, but meetings must be private." Can someone explain to me just how this works?
Also, didn't anyone see this coming? If someone doesn't adhere to the party line, they become the enemy. Then, there are no limits to the methods used to remove them from leadership. This often happens when leadership is in the hands of a few, and we "blindly" follow the leader.
I regret to see this, because it appears that we have strayed far from the commands of our Leader in Battle--Jesus Christ.
I commit myself to pray even more for our convention leaders, because this is such a crucial time in the convention as well as in the world. We need men of integrity who are known by their spiritual qualities, and who demonstrate the character traits consistent with the Biblical definition of a leader, men who can lead us to make a difference in the world by our attitudes and actions, not just by our stated beliefs and doctrinal tenets.
Are there enough SBC pastors and members who are willing to stand up and say "This is not the way we expect our leaders to act. Change your ways or we will change our leaders." I sincerely pray that when the "people in the pews" see this that they will not blame the media, but will genuinely seek for more information from our leaders and demand higher standards of Christian behavior and leadership from them.

irreverend fox said...

I hope and pray that they attempt to remove brother Dwight...I really do.

Bill Scott said...

Foxy,
Do you say that as a catalyst for change? I think that there could possibly be some positive benefits from this latest fiasco. It certainly would further expose these "not so hidden" agendas.

Mike Ruffin said...

I know even as I write this that someone will feel compelled to say that what is going on now is nothing like what was going on in the '80s and I recognize that there are very, very significant differences.

Nevertheless, as someone who was a student at Southern Seminary from 1979-1986 (two degrees, not the seven year M.Div. plan) and thus during the hot years of the resurgence/takeover/reformation, I must make one comment. I wish that there had been people back then who were willing to stand up and fight for those who were being unfairly demonized like Wade and others are standing up for folks like Klouda and McKissic now. The kind of interest in the truth and in Christian integrity and civility that we are seeing now would have been a lot of help back then.

It seems to me that we sowed the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind. Thankfully, there are storm chasers among us.

Jim Champion said...

Dr McKissic responds to the charges in todays Dallas Morning News

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-baptists_06met.ART.State.Edition2.43e9e7e.html

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Amen.

Irreverend,

Would you care to elaborate?

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
The old saying, “Given enough rope, they’ll hang themselves” may reveal given enough years, they’ll do the same.

I believe Mike Ruffin is on target. Leopards don’t change their spots, and neither do people’s traits.

Between meetings at the Arlington conference, how about a little march you know where; anybody?
Rex Ray

irreverend fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
irreverend fox said...

Wade...I'd love to see the fundamentalists who are trying to narrow the parameters of fellowship attempt such a thing...I think they are in for a rude awakening if they do...

I also think it is a shame how they have tried to malign the man in the latest edition of Pravda (Baptist Press)...a true shame...if they actually have a problem and if the man actually did something to rise to this degree of discipline then bring it before the convention and stop playing games with his reputation in Pravda.

Put up or shut up.

I hope and pray that they actually make this move...I think there are greater implications than simply this situation at stake.

Baptist Theologue said...

In the Dallas Morning News article referenced earlier, Dwight was quoted as follows:

"The effort to remove me as a trustee at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is nothing but a 21st-century lynching of an independent thinking black man who has demonstrated strong support for the Southern Baptist Convention."

Wade, do you agree with Dwight that the effort to remove him is a "21st-century lynching of an independent thinking black man"?

Mike Morris
(aka BT)

G. Alford said...

Rex,

I have a good pair of walking/marching shoes and I am with you… and while we are at it how about a very public “Boycott” of a certain SBC Institution of higher learning by SBC Pastors and Churches?

I for one can no longer in good conscience recommend SWBTS to any of my students…

Grace to all,

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Wade and Friends,

I think Brother Dwight does himself and his cause a disservice by asserting that this has a racial element to it. He is under attack for his outspoken views, not for his skin color. I do not agree with Dr. McClain's tactics, but neither do I agree with Brother Dwight's inflammatory rhetoric.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

Den said...

Roger, read Ben Cole's recent posts.

CB Scott said...

Just a very sad day in the SBC

cb

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

The Bible condemns both careless speech, and lying. Dr. McClain's statements about you and your blog are one or the other. I cannot see how either a president of an entity, or the board of trustees, can allow, and certainly not justify, such statements from an apparently unrepentant leader of that entity.

This is a clear indication, to me, of just what I warned Dr. Welch about, when I spoke to your motion in Greensboro. Corporate tolerance for such evil seems a clear indication, to me.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade,

I have sat back and watched the show for some time now. I began with a limited knowledge of you, SWBTS, her President, her trustees(McClain, McKissic, et al), and the issue (or lack of one)surrounding Dr. Klouda's firing. I have read your blog faithfully, the blogs of others, BP News, ABP, and other articles of interest. I have done this for one reason. I am looking for a seminary to attend in the fall of '09 after I complete a religion degree at Missouri Baptist University. SWBTS was my initial choice to consider. Why? Quite frankly becasue I am not a Calvinist and it is (was) my desire to study under the tutelage of professors with whom I have theological commonality. I have since come to realize that is/should not be my reason for choosing a seminary (within the Southern Baptist confines). I have also come to realize that I could not in good conscience attend a seminary shrouded in so much controversy. I have, over the last months, grappled with my views on Dr. Patterson, SWBTS, Dr. Klouda and the issue of women as teachers of Hebrew :) ...and you. Here is my assessment. Dr. Patterson has done more to divide that unite. His enrollment continues to decline (was SWBTS really once the "flagship"?) And from all information avaliable, he seems to be more concerned with trophiss and books than unity and evangelism. "I have studied, I have prayed.....Dr. Klouda should have stayed." Dr. McClain AND Trustee McKissic need to either step down or step aside. I have learned in my short 31 years on this rock, that strong convictions are not necessarily a good thing. I believe God can more effectively use a man or woman whose convictions are not dogmatic, but rest in a desire to be holy and pleasing to God and God alone. SWBTS and the SBC is suffering. They are suffering because good men of God continue to make this an issue of the press. Dallas Morning News should NEVER report the interal affairs of our beloved convention. Shame on those who use the secular media to advance their own agenda. In the SBC today, we need prayer, we need much prayer. We do not need reform, or revolution. You sir know all to well the pain associated with revolution. Once it was needed. Now we just need prayer. We need brothers and sister to "give up" their agendas and "go with the grace" that the Lord gives. Can this be done? Of course it can. I am thankful to God for the BGCT and the CBF and the "Mainsteam" folks for ONE reason only. They are not making decisions in our Convention. God set up the loal church specifically because people ARE different. We all must worship according to our convictions, something even Luther championed. I have noticed over the years that Baptists do not know how to debate. Thank God we were not around in the days of the early church councils. Convention polity might be better served if all of God's men got together and let the HS guide their vote. Or maybe not. Our convention needs a rest from the rantings of Calvinism/Freewill, PPL, Women in Ministry issues, etc. We need to get behind Dr. Page's vision of a more inclusive denomination while maintaining traditional conservative and Baptist distinctives. We need more men of God willing to stand up for truth and unity. I believe God will one day make you our President. Your history of service and dedication to the King speaks soli Deo gloria. But there is a path we must follow to healing, peace, and unity and growth in evangelism. sometimes we much remove ourselves from controversy in order that we might be effective in the furture. (I alluded to this in regards to the SWBTS trustees I mentioned). I believe Dr. Frank Page to be God's man for the job both now and in the next term. I hope the convention can unite around the vision God has given his.

Sola fide, Solus Christus,

K. Michael

Debbie said...

To Dr. McKissic, it isn't rhetoric obviously Jeff. This is happening to him, not to you or I. He is a man of honor and I take what he says seriously, not as rhetoric. This is serious and a difficult time for him.

I give him the latitude as to what he says. He may not be that far from the mark. Many jumped on him last time, all white men. Give him a break on this point.

Bill Scott said...

Bob,
I think you have hit the nail on the head with the word "corporate." It seems in many ways the SBC is run as a secular corporation.
The difference is that there are no real "shareholders." We do have a vote when it comes time for a convention. However, in between conventions,it seems that much is done that is clearly without regard to the constituents.
I am thankful for the mass media and the information age. Things that happen in the shadows are able to brought to the light very quickly.

Jason said...

K. Michael: I admire your thoughtfulness in choosing a seminary - I've been to both Golden Gate (M.Div., '04) and Midwestern (D.Min., '07) and loved both. I would recommend Golden Gate because of its focus on missions and church planting rather than these peripheral theological issues and political gunk. The Lord worked in my life in a huge way while I was at Golden Gate, and I have every reason to believe that you'll get as fine an education there as you would any of our SBC seminaries. Midwestern is great, too - I just don't know as much about their Masters programs. I'd love to talk with you more about this if you're interested - I'm a theological education nut. Feel free to send me an email and we'll hook up.

Jason Epps

Anonymous said...

Well said, K. Mike, not bad for a young'un.

I agree. However, until we decide to just let God have His way, and quit trying to each get our own way, there will be such strife.

Kinda reminds me of the scripture... "All we like sheep have gone astray...each turned to his OWN way..."

Greg Cloud
VBC, Muldrow, OK

Strider said...

I am with Fox. I hope they try and go through with their plans. It will define us for sure.
I was just over at Guy Muse's blog and he listed some quotes from Neil Cole. He was talking about ministry but for some reason #6 seems to be appropriate.

6. There are two kinds of lost people in the world, the moths and the cockroaches. In the darkness, it's impossible to tell them apart, so the best way to discover the difference is to turn the light on. The moths will be drawn to the light, and the cockroaches will flee.

Take out the word 'lost' and the quote is still true.

Wade Burleson said...

K Michael,

I gently disagree with your observation that Van McClain and Dwight McKissic BOTH step down.

Only those who force on others their strong convictions on non-essentials should go.

Dwight would never in a million years force his beliefs on anyone.

He just doesn't wish to be excluded because of his.

And he shouldn't be.

Wade Burleson said...

Baptist Theologue,

I learned a long time ago that to say you disagree with how someone feels is a no win situation.

Dwight expressed how he felt. Who am I to tell him his feeling is not legitimate?

I'm not in his shoes.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bill Scott: We the people are complacent in Zion. We're about a little sleep, a little slumber, and a little folding of the hands in rest. At least that seems a majority status in the SBC.

The Jamaica Baptist Union has 301 CHURCHES and 40,000 MEMBERS. They had 10,000 or therabouts at their last convention.

The SBC has 41,000 CHURCHES and we had fewer messengers at our convention last year, than the JBU did. We only had one out of FOUR churches even represented there!

In fact, that was the topic of my last posting. It got one comment....

And when someone rises up to object to what is obviusly happening, you see how the "corporation" treats them.

Our (collective spiritual) poverty is upon us and we don't even see it.

sepherim said...

First, they went after the moderates. Then they went after the non-signers of BFM2000. Then they went after the tongue-speakers. Then they went after the scripturally baptized. Then they went after the women. Now they are going after the Blacks. Are you going to be next?

Emily H. M. said...

Debbie,

I agree with your assessment of McKissic's remarks. Even though a woman in the SBC pursuing a calling in Christian higher education, (which isn't exactly fun right now!), I'll never really know what its like to be in a historically marginalized group the way McKissic does. Even in my own reflection on the revelations regarding Sheri Klouda, it has been difficult for me to discern between what of recent actions and statements is sexism (albeit with religious varnish), and what is true biblical conviction (with which I happen to disagree).

I have a feeling that if McKissic were a white, older, "insider," we would not be having this discussion. Only God knows, of course, but I think we would be naive and short-sighted not to acknowledge the possibility that race and "class" (in the SBC sense of the insiders and outsiders) is at least an underlying issue (though not one that any party involved would admit or acknowledge even to themselves).

Going further, however, I think that perhaps McKissic's comment was focused less on the "black man" part and more on the "lynching" part. McClain is "trying" McKissic in public, I think hoping that the public tide will turn against him. This could be understood as political and rhetorial "lynching." Granted, much of recent conflict has been done in public. But, McClain is pursuing formal proceedings against McKissic and yet publicly airing the accusations prior to said proceedings.

And, finally, I have to wonder: how much does this occurrence have to do with the hoopla surrounding Sheri Klouda and financial mismanagement at SWBTS? Ben Cole predicted just a little while ago that Patterson would be resigning soon and/or he would be taking action against McKissic. I don't know that Cole is a prophet, but I think his instincts were obviously correct. If Patterson can get the focus off of him and onto McKissic, then he may be able to save his rear end and his place at SWBTS.

My thanks to Wade for fearlessly addressing these issues.

-Emily H. M.
Texas

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

I'm not in agreement with what SWBTS is doing, but I think it's a bit unfair to accuse anyone of "going after blacks," as has just been suggested.

PBill said...

"Lynching"?

Is there a racial component to this thing or is this just incendiary rhetoric? Oh, we cannot comment on such if those who express such things "feel" them or are having a "difficult time." Wonder how McC feels about being categorized as a racist? Wonder if that makes for a difficult time?

Can't see much progress in this thing from any public or blogged statements.

Too bad.

Jim Champion said...

I think one thing we have to look at is that the worship experience in an African American church can be very different from what most of us experience on a weekly basis.

If the SBC really desires to be welcoming to our African American brothers and sisters we are going to have to realize that while we worship the same Lord and Savior we do it a bit differently. If we cannot accept differences then I would say that we are racist at worst and xenophobes as best.

If I am Dwight McKissik I would also think that the thought behind the statements by McClain are racist. McKissic did nothing wrong, he just held a viewpoint that is different from all the white trustees. He preached a sermon in a Seminary chapel using the innerant Word faithfully. As far as I'm concerned, if a group of seminary students cant handle a word like McKissic preached, they dont belong in seminary!

I think that we as SBCers have come a long way on the race issue, our little North Texas SBC church is becoming more diverse by the week, but McClain shows that we still have a long way to go as we add more people of color to our trusteee boards etc.

sepherim said...

I have no trouble visualizing the day when Patterson and McClain will be singing the old Chad Mitchell Trio song, "There's no one left but thee and we, and we're not sure of thee."

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....

When I commented before, I missed that part about Drs. McClain and McKissic stepping down in K. Mike's post.

Although I do greatly agree with the spirit of what Mike wrote, I don't think it necessary for either of these men to be dismissed or otherwise leave their positions.

Here's why...

The problem is not particular people. Frankly, it's about sin and attitude...wilfulness and the desire to harm those who disagree with you.

Sin can be repented of, healed, and forgiven. We don't need to fire people, we need to deal with sin and obtain healing for the hurt it causes.

This forgiveness and healing is there to be found---provided freely by the grace and blood of Jesus Christ. There is no need to make this about people---ultimately this boils down to, just like everything else, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the fruit that relationship brings.

Also, folks fuss about the "race card" being played. Problem is, Dwight IS an "independant thinking black man"; that card is already on the table--and has always been. No ignoring the elephant in the room. I can't judge the motives of Dwight's opponents, but there it is. Given the civil rights history of this nation--as well as in light of recent discriminatory SWBTS board actions-- it is understandable if that thought crossed Dwight's mind..."what if..."

Anyone else see all this as a conflict between the bludgeon of law versus the reconciliation of grace?

This conflict has been around a long time. Solution is the same...repent of wilfullness and seek Jesus Christ.

Greg Cloud
VBC, Muldrow, OK

CB Scott said...

Wade,

I realize you do not need my opinion to verify yours, but I would like to say you answered the young man, K. Michael Crowder, very well.

I also hope he learns that strong opinions are the only ones that will stand under fire. Your's has. So has Dwight's.

It is for that reason that I have a very strong opinion that I must stand by both of you in relation to your positions on your respective Boards.

The three of us (and all of us) do not have to agree on all things and we don't, but we have to stand together on this:

Wade Burleson has committed no moral wrong which would demand his departure from the IMB. Dwight McKissic has committed no moral wrong which would demand his departure from SWBTS.

Their theological positions are not heresy in nature. In reality they are historical positions within Orthodox Christianity.

Are their positions different from some of mine? Yes. Outside Orthodoxy? No.

Therefore, I must stand with them. If I do not, I may be next in line for banishment because of the different view I have on a "Just War" than most Christians.

So, on to San Antonio and any place in between and beyond.

cb

Greg Cloud said...

Hey CB,

Not to speak for K. Mike, (cause I can't), but I got something totally different out of his post. (Maybe I'm just getting slow with age.)

But anyway, I agree that strong opinions are not only good, but necessary. You got to know what you believe and hang onto it...not only what you believe, but why...and be constantly reassessing those beliefs to insure their strength.

What is terribly, terribly wrong is when one comes to believe that revelation begins and ends with him--and then begins to impose by some means of force his belief on others--this is what I mean by wilfullness. This is a flaw with our leadership these days.

It's one thing to know strongly what you believe, and quite another to be so full of your own infallibilty that you seek to impose your beliefs on others...take it or leave it. I agree with you, -- frankly the main reason I enjoy reading and commenting here -- neither Dwight nor Wade fall into the latter category.

Christ is the only infallible one. And isn't it a tenent of Christianity that Christ is alive and seeks a relationship with us by grace? If we would culture that relationship, and seek that the fruits of His Spirit would be the fruits of our actions, then healing would begin--for all.

Sola Christos, as it were.


Greg
VBC, Muldrow, OK

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

Jim,

In a recent comment, you wrote:

"If I am Dwight McKissik I would also think that the thought behind the statements by McClain are racist."

Could you elaborate on this a bit? What statement or statements are you referring to? The only reason I ask is because I haven't read any quotes from McClain regarding this matter that would (in my opinion) indicate any kind of racist motivation - but I'm open to your having read more on the subject than I and therefore having access to statements that are more "racist" than the ones I've come across.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think McClain and the actions of SWBTS are unacceptable, but I think that before we lend any credibility to the notion that McClain or anyone else in the SWBTS administration is racist, we should have some pretty substantial evidence. I'm not saying that you yourself beleive that what McClain said was racist, but you did say that you could understand why McKissic "would think that the thought behind the statements by McClain are racist." Hence, I'm simply asking, for my own information, what "statements," specifically, you're referring to. Thanks in advance for your thoughts concerning this matter.

Blessings,
Jason Epps

TruthOfActs said...

Alford,
Yippee, the march is on. You can lead and I’ll follow or visa versa. How can we get Fox to join?
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Jason Epps - The "theological education nut", what is your email address? I have a question.

Charles Clark said...

Mike Ruffin:

You are 100% correct!

Charles Clark

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade and fellow commentators,

Thank you very much for your comments to my fist, long, and I promise rare, appearance. First of all to clarify. I was not in any way paralleling the quoted portion of my post to Wade's position on the IMB Board. Secondly, I must clarify that although I mentioned "step down", I also mentioned "step aside", and by that I meant (and should have said) "lay low."

Gentleman and Ladies, the Kingdom work must go on. If I were in a position where much strife could be eliminated by my resignation, then I would do it in a heartbeat. All for the sake of the kingdom. It is God who has called me, it will be God who places me, keeps me, and removes me from ministry. I have only one issue with trustee McKissic. If he is a lone dissenter on a board of 40 (forgive if this number is incorrect) on the issue of PPL, then in the sake of unity, I find it necessary for him to not pick this battle, for the sake of the name of the Seminary. There must be many other issues to which Mr. McKissic could be of great value to the institution. Many of you are much more knowledgable about the history of SWBTS. I know what I have read. I also know that Dr. Patterson is the captain of the ship. The trustees are the oarsmen. The ship is sailing in the direction Dr. Patterson is leading. I am not calling for the removal of either trustee or for the President for that matter. I am calling for men to do honor to their conscience and to their God. If that means stepping down then so be it. If that means praying for unity then so be it. If that means waging a public war on a secondary....err, third-rate issue like PPL, then so be it. The "chips" will fall where they may...as it were. But I, like many others, will not consider the seminary as an option. This is not taoistic pacifism, this is...."I can tell you a thousand things God would rather me do." :)

For the Kingdom,

K Michael

Wade Burleson said...

K Michael,

Allow me to use your logic and then ask a question:

You said, "I know that Dr. Patterson is the captain of the ship. The trustees are the oarsmen.

My question: Is Dr. Rankin captain of the ship at the IMB?

You said, "The ship is sailing in the direction Dr. Patterson is leading"

My question: Is the IMB sailing in the direction that Dr. Rankin is leading?

My point: One cannot have it both ways. You cannot encourage SWBTS trustees to be quiet and follow Dr. Patterson's leadership at SWBTS and on the same hand say nothing about trustees who oppose Dr. Rankin's leadership. Remember, Dr. Rankin emphatically encouraged our board trustees not to implement the new policies. As most everyone now knows, Dr. Patterson sent a position paper and a cover letter to every IMB trustee attempting to influence the trustees to correct IMB ship becaue the 'captain' was leading it astray.

It seems to me that attempts to control boards through appointments, politics, and agenda setting -- in some cases contrary to the President of the institution -- is our biggest problem. Where does this originate?

I would like everyone to pay very, very careful attention to the following quote from Dr. McClain regarding Dwight McKissic.

Dr. Mclain said: "This is not a question about the issue of private prayer language; he has the right to believe whatever he wants about private prayer language,” said McClain. “He has the right to influence the convention however he wants about private prayer language. This is about his conduct as a trustee of Southwestern Seminary.”

Well, I guess if one can't silence dissent, then the next tactic is to accuse the dissenter of rotten character.

Does it surprise you that someone would go public with 'charges' against a trustee without ever talking to the trustee privately? Does the language used against Dr. McClain sound familiar?

If not, read this post from over a year ago.

Again, from where, of from whom, does this kind of language originate?

R. Grannemann said...

K Michael,

You said:

"I know what I have read. I also know that Dr. Patterson is the captain of the ship. The trustees are the oarsmen. The ship is sailing in the direction Dr. Patterson is leading."

You are mistaken. The trustees are the captain and Dr. Patterson and the professors are the oarsmen. Patterson is like the CEO of a corporation, the trustees are like the board of directors. The CEO serves at the pleasure of the board. Patterson serves at the pleasure of the trustees. Patterson is to carry out faithfully the direction of the trustees. If he does not do this the trustees have the obligation to find a new president. Patterson is to answer to McKissic and the other trustees, not the other way around.

If McClain is communicating with Patterson over the matter of McKissic, than that is wrong. That is trustee business, not Patterson's business.

What is needed is a strong and independent board of trustees. We don't have it. This is the root of what is wrong at SWBTS and what is wrong with the SBC in general. Trusteeships and board positions are awarded according to one's loyality to a political machine and a set of litmus test questions. If you knew more about how the political machine took over SWBTS then you would understand this more clearly. The dissatisfaction you see is the kind of thing that crops up in every dysfunctional institution with a leadership obsessed with control.

K. Michael Crowder said...

What is needed is a strong and independent board of trustees. We don't have it. This is the root of what is wrong at SWBTS and what is wrong with the SBC in general.

Which is why my analogy stands correct....it may not be the correct form of institutional polity, but it is Patterson polity. I go to a University who's board is a puppet for the President. I can see no other way of describing a board who votes to become self-perperuating years into a President's tenure. I suppose at least board and president are working together, and they have suceesed in stealing a University form the Missouri Baptist Convention.

In response to Wade,

I can see where my logic might be flawed when paralleling this to the IMB. But I assure you we are not in disagreement over either issue. If I had my way I can tell you who would go...and it would not be you, Dr. Rankin, or Trustee McKissic. But I do not get my way. I hope and pray the Lord does. I have seem several churches "split" in m lifetime. Many times it is the "good" folks who leave. God can then work with the "anti-remnant" to advance His will. Stranger things have happened. I do not have a PPL.....nor would I begin to criticize or restrict someone who does.

Thank you all for the chance to input today. It has been fun. You can email me for additional comments.

Blessings to all,

K Michael

Lee said...

Eventually, the Southern Baptist Convention is going to have to change its governing and trustee structure to be more relevant to the times and less suceptible to small group domination. It's easy for an inner circle to dominate the trustee boards when fewer than 10% of the churches participate in convention business and fewer than 10,000 out of a theoretical 16 million Southern Baptists are the ones who have the only say in what is done. The only means left for Southern Baptist churches to express their dissatisfaction with what is happening in their convention is to cut their funding, which doesn't cause entrenched bureaucrats to quit, but does shorten budgets for missionaries and puts more pressure on student in the seminaries.

How do we hasten the exit of trustees who have been recyled from board to board quickly enough to make a real difference without having to wait a decade, and risk more damage to the CP in the meantime?

Wade Burleson said...

K Michael,

I agree.

Thanks for your comments.

wade

Lee,

Well said

R. Grannemann said...

K. Michael,

The president is answerable to the trustees and the trustees are answerable to the convention. A strong trustee board does not mean they can become self-perpetuating. It means they set policy and the president carries it out. Of course the two should work together. But if there is a conflict, the trustees win. They are ultimately in charge.

I've never been in favor of the colleges breaking away from the state conventions.

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

Anonymous: My email address is jpe777@gmail.com

Jason Epps

Anonymous said...

Wade typed: ". . . would never in a million years force his beliefs on anyone . . ."

Folks who chose a few years ago to do the same, for the same sake of conscience and standing on the same historic Baptist prinicples, in regard to the BF&M 1963 vs the BF&M 2000 are now termed "moderates". Has Bro. Dwight also now become a "moderate" in this sense?--It's a thought that deserves attention and a question that deserves an answer, in my opinion (on another day at this blogsite; my saying this is not at all an indication that I oppose Bro. Dwight or his stand).


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Jack Maddox said...

"Now they are going after the Blacks."

Wow...simply wow!!! Just when I thought it was safe to read Wade's Blog...

Steve A said...

Surely we have enough leaders within the SBC that Drs. Patterson and McClain could simply be "cycled through" so that some others could serve. Then, if problems persist at SWBTS, we'll know better, and they can say, "See! Told'ja!"

I have no reason to accuse Drs. Patterson or McClain of racism, BUT there is so much precedent of "good old connected boys" who act just like these two BEING racist as well as exclusionary that McKissick's words need to be considered.

The intense worship differences between the white and black churches that I have witnessed make me wonder if Patterson & McClain just don't trust parts of the African-American religious experience and practice as authentic, to say nothing of their reported problems with Charismatic Christianity. Are the good Drs. able to raise their hands above shoulder-level?

Cecdaddy said...

I just was not able to fit my response to the whole "race" question on this comment area. For an unauthorized, purely my view, defense of Dwight McKissic, please see my post here.

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

Dear Cecdaddy,

I read you post and believe that a differentiation between the issues is in order. One issue is McKissic's analogy. Another issue is the charge of racism that is being leveled, without anyone actually saying it, at Dr. McClain and others at SWBTS.

Let's begin with the first: Dwight McKissic's comment/comparison about a "lynching." I think your defense of McKissic is justified in the sense that we should consider what he had to say. Some of us may agree with his choice of words and others may disagree. But regardless, we should still respectfully consider his point of view. However, this is, in my mind, the lesser of the two issues.

The second issue has to do with insinuations by yourself and others in blogtown that McClain (and possibly Patterson and others at SWBTS) acted as they did towards McKissic out of racist motivations. This may be true and it may not be. But I am unwilling, as disgusted as I am with these two guys and what they've done, to brand them as racists without any decent evidence. I have asked for such evidence on this blog and have received none. Neither did I find anything of substance in your post that would give me objective reason to believe that these two men's actions with regard to McKissic were motivated by any degree of racism. Do you have quotes from these men that lead you to believe they are racist? Do you have audio files? Videos? Anything of substance besides the weak logic represented in the following statement from the post on your blog?

"Bro. McKissic is African-American, he is educated, he has been elevated to a level of equality with other trustees, and he happens to believe in and practice a Private Prayer Language. Dr. McClain and Dr. Patterson are not African-American, the majority of the trustees are not African-American (I believe there are only two), and so race is an issue."

I'm sorry, but the data you use in this formula to arrive at the conclusion you do ("and so race is an issue") holds little weight. It's subjective (i.e. your opinion - one that has yet to be substantiated by any quotes from the two men in question) in nature. If you or anyone else in cyberspace are going to persist in suggesting that McClain, Patterson, or anyone else is a racist, I would encourage you to back up your accusations and/or insinuations with something of substance.

This, in my opinion, a serious issue that needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand (the issue of McClain and Patterson being painted as racist). The fact is that regardless of what McClain and Patterson may have done wrong in this situation, they're still my brothers in Christ (even though I've never met either one of them). If you're going to accuse an elder (or elders) of being racist - do as the Scripture says and bring some witnesses to the table. If you can't do that, then show some respect to these men - and yes, they deserve your respect even though they may have done some questionable things - and focus on the issues at hand without tacking on some kind of a personal attack (the charge of being a racist) for which neither you nor anyone else has shown any substantial objective evidence.

All I ever hear about is how we need revival in the SBC. How the old guard is wrong and we are right - blah, blah, blah. But the more I read from people on my own "side," (the side that advocates causes like Klouda's and causes beneficial to people like me who utilize a private prayer language) the more I see these kinds of personal attacks (even though I'm sure no one will fess up to labeling McClain and Patterson as racists), sarcasm, and disrespectful rhetoric - all of which are doing nothing to bring unity to our denomination or to the body of Christ! GOD HELP US! They attack us, and how do we respond? We attack back! Are you kidding me? Is this the way of Jesus? Is this the way of the meek person spoken of in the Beatitudes who doesn't stand up for his rights because He realizes that Christ Himself is His advocate? Is this how we show mercy? Is this how we deomnstrate poverty of spirit?

If McClain and Patterson are the bad guys that everyone thinks they are, then guess what? Jesus will deal with it - I promise. He is the Sovreign ruler of the universe, He's in control, and I find nothing in His Word that leads me to believe that my call or anyone else's is to slander or disrespect two elders like McClain and Patterson during a disagreement like this. Yes - I think that what they did to Klouda and McKissic was all kinds of wrong. Yes - I think they should have to be held accountable for their actions. However, I do not think we're doing anything for this cause or for Christ's Kingdom by throwing a charge of racism at these men when we have no evidence that this was their motivation.

We need to focus on the issues at hand and leave character assassination out of the equation. Some may say that racism IS the issue - but until you show me good reason for thinking that, I'm not buying it. It's God's job to deal with McClain and Patterson's motivations - not mine, not yours, and not anyone else's.

I may not be doing the things that Patterson and McClain may be doing, but God knows that I'm a huge work in progress and that I've got issues just like they do. Thank God I've got a congregation, a family, and friends that give me the grace and mercy to screw up every now and again without attacking me personally every time I stumble or do something with which they disagree. I don't like how McClain and Patterson are acting, but I MUST give them extra grace and mercy because I am in such dire need of it myself. I think if we all decided to extend guys like this such grace and mercy, we might one day witness God doing a miracle in our hearts and in theirs - a miracle that results in our unity, our cooperation, and our passions being united - as they should be - to take the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.

"By this, all men will know that you are my disciples - if you have love for one another." (John 13:35

Blessings,
Jason Epps

dwm III said...

Cedaddy,

So, is McKissic a racist too?

Of course, as was said about Patterson in an earlier post, everyone is racist.

So, wahs McKissic's comments based upon racism?

Just a thought.

dwm III said...

Let me clarify that the Patterson comment was in the comment section and was not made by Wade.

:) Sorry Wade.

Anonymous said...

A request to tape record a private meeting? Come on what were you thinking Wade? It seems your poor advice to Dr. McKissic is one cause in the derailment of reconciliation between the SWBTS trustees and Dr. McKissic. I know that if the deacons at our church had requested a private meeting with me about sensitive issues and I asked if I could bring members who were not permitted in a private closed deacons meeting and then asked further to tape record the meeting, they would have probably taken similar action. Bad advice that may have only hurt the cause of reconcilation instead of helped. I think there is enough blame on both sides on this one.

Anonymous said...

Sorry forgot to identify myself on that last comment. Fingers got to sticky with the keyboard. I am a little "computer illiterate" sometimes with this blog stuff.

Oklahoma Joe

R. Grannemann said...

While I can never know what it feels like to be black in America, and I certainly cannot say how Dr. McKissic feels, there is no real evidence for racism and the subject should be dropped.

It is more likely that McKissic gave some material he recieved as a trustee to a blogger. In this case we should look at SBC whistle blower policy to prevent retribution to someone revealing information the public ought to know. Did McKissic reveal extravagant spending, intimidation of an employee, an executive's Cooperative Program financed salary that is much too high? If so, there is no case against McKissic. McClain needs to reveal specific charges.

Greg Hicks said...

OK Joe,

If you didn't believe your deacons were trustworthy men, would you meet with them without a witness? Perhaps you have never been in a situation where people are doing and saying one thing behind closed doors while publicly posturing in a way that communicates the opposite of what they are actually doing. People who have nothing to hide hide nothing, so why is a closed door meeting necessary? It cannot be to "protect" Dr. McKissic - he is calling for everything to be public, including the specifics of any charges they want to make. Clearly, he has nothing to hide - so why are the EC trustees demanding secrecy?

Anonymous said...

On the contrary Greg I have been in such positions several times before as a pastor and board member of other institutions. I have actually been in situations before where individuals wanted to discuss things in a public setting that needed to be handled in private by the leadership bodies first to which it found resolution without upsetting others unnecessarily. Private meetings do not convey that there is something to hide, dishonesty, deceit, etc. and that is a silly conclusion to draw anytime privacy is requested. I enjoy privacy very much in my marriage, with my friends, with my family, with my finances, etc. and I am sure you would admit you do as well. But, the issue is not about me or you and our personal experiences. My comment was given to Wade and really does not need requests from anyone about my own personal experiences.

Oklahoma Joe

John Fariss said...

I cannot and would not state publicly that racism plays any overt part in the McKissic issue. However, as a white man originally from Alabama who has pastored churches in eastern and western North Carolina, southside Virginia, and now suburban Maryland, I can and will publicly state that anyone who believes racism is not present in our churches,is lying, deluded, or at the least, nearly blind and badly mistaken.

Racism can take any of several forms. It can be overt and hostile--the sort of thing that produced riots and lynchings in the 60s and earlier, and that still manifests itself in some white suprecimist hate groups. But racism can also be more paternal and patronizing. My father was that sort of a racist; he was a small-town Alabama police chief back in the 60s, and he (and others) prevented violence in our home town. But although not a strict Jim Crowe type, he was still prejudiced. And there is racism that is even more subtle. In one previous church I served, a pastor was asked to resign after an African-American family attended at his invitation, and I was warned that, although it was a minority county, there just wasn't "anyone" left to evangelize, since all the whites in the area were members of one church or another. I saw a pastor firend asked to resign from his church after he baptized an African-American kid from a nearby group home. I know another pastor (of a First Baptist Church in a county seat town) who said his missions leaders would fight to get a visiting African Christian to speak in the church, but would be ugly (and he never explained exactly what that meant) if a local African-American dared to attend. I have seen dark-skinned Hispanics who came to a church I served turned away and given directions to the nearest Catholic church--because they were dark-skinned and Hispanic, although either would have been sufficient to turn them away. And these are things that people who are Baptists and who profess to be Christians have done in recent years.

And some racism is even more subtle. At another church I served, there was just a sense of unease when an African-American visited. No one did anything, no one said anything, but then again, contact was slow and cool. One church I served invited an African-American choir to sing once a year. Why? Not because it was wonderful musical worship--it was, but the church leader's rationale was somewhat different; it was because "THOSE PEOPLE tickle us." That is a form of racism. At least in the South, 11 AM on Sunday still begins the most segregated hour of all.

I have had prejudice directed at me, albeit for different reasons (for instance, the chairman of the Ordaining Council who interviewed me, told me at the conclusion, "Well, knowing you were from Alabama, we didn't expect much, and were pleasantly surprized." He meant it as a compliment, but it betrays a prejudical attitude he went into the interview with. I guarantee you Dr. McKissic has encountered racism, even if patrolizing or subtle, from white Southern Baptists. I can well understand that racism is on his mind.

Cecdaddy said...

Jason Epps,

In putting my defense on my own post, I had hoped to take the particular discussion on possible racism away from this comment stream.

You are correct that the issue at hand, the one that Wade posted about, should not be sidetracked by claims of racism. I realize that I am using this word in a way that it is not used in the popular media, and I also realize that I introduced the word to the discussion. By stating, “If you are a human of a certain race, then you are racist,” I had hoped to use it, not derogatorily, but in the sense that our race is a framework for our point of view. A white man sees the current landscape of American life differently than a black man, and vice versa, that is how I used the term “racist.” I am sorry; it simplified my writing but confused my argument.

My intent was to say that Patterson and McClain are no more racist than you or I, and that we need to acknowledge how race issues taint our view of the world. Slavery was in our land for 244 years (from 1619 to 1865), legal equality did not arrive for another 100 years (24th Amendment in 1964, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Executive Order 11246 in 1965, Civil Rights Act of 1968).

We have about 344 years of racial strife, and only, at best, 40 years of equality. If we were to speak of generations in the sense of one generation every 40 years, then we have over eight generations of hate, mistrust, and inequality compared to one generation of legal equality.

The basis upon which I make my claim that all people in America are “racist” is the concept of Intergenerational Trauma. Attitudes and beliefs of one generation are passed on to the next, and the only way to stop this is to deliberately not pass along those same views.

I am sure we have all heard about the newlywed husband who asks his wife why she is cutting the ends off her roast. She doesn’t know why, her mother just always did it. She asks her mother for the reason behind it, and her mother has to ask her grandmother. Finally, they discover that there is no present reason for cutting the ends off, the newlywed wife’s grandmother’s pan was simply too small for the roasts! This is a humorous example of what happens in Intergenerational Trauma.

A nationalistic form of Intergenerational Trauma, where their attitudes are based on nation instead of race, is the animosity between the French and the English. It just happens that we split the line on race in America due, in large part, to slavery.

A man may bear no ill will towards black people in general, and yet finds that he is anxious when he sees a black man driving through his predominantly white neighborhood. There is no reason for this, yet the man learned long ago that there was something wrong about a black man driving through his neighborhood.

I am not accusing anyone of an angry or militant racism, but a latent racism. In my post, I referenced two men in my church who I dearly love, men who mentor me and who are helping me to grow in the Lord. Yet, I did accuse these men of racism. They are good men who are friendly toward African-Americans, and I pray that one day they will see how their views are tainted by old prejudices that go back generations.

The Jim Crow era of the South makes since when you consider that for over 200 years, white children and black children had both been taught that black children were inferior. Now, all of a sudden, due to some Yankee President, the black children (and adults) are set free and called equal. It takes time to unlearn, especially when it has been learned over generations.

I realize that there is no “proof” of “racism” in Dr. McClain or Dr. Patterson, I certainly hope there is not! Yes, what I said is subjective. I do not think that the powers that be are trying to keep black men in their place, but I do want to suggest that we may not realize why we respond the way we do.

Remember my quote from Chris Rice, “when you are used to being in charge, true partnerships will feel like you are being dominated.” Even people who are sensitive to the racial motivations within their thought processes will struggle with how the change in position feels.

I am sorry that I ended up personally attacking Dr. McClain and Dr. Patterson, I must learn to be a better writer in the future. Please believe that a personal attack was not my intent. I do not see the “race” issue within this item to be the big issue, but I do believe that it is part of how we process what is happening.

I have no ill will toward either Dr. McClain or Dr. Patterson as far as race is concerned, and I can only think it would make them stronger if they were to wrestle with whether or not latent racial attitudes did affect how they interact with people. I know I wrestle with it often.

Please forgive me for the poor job I have done in communicating the idea of Intergenerational Trauma. Obviously, I need grace too!

Cecdaddy said...

dwm iii,

Yes, he sees the world through the eyes of a Black man, and he reacted based on past biases toward and from white men.

I have a military background of at least 4 generations. I described the situation as an ambush. I would not have described it as a modern day lynching. McKissic is an African-American man. From his history – not necessarily personal, but cultural and racial, what is happening to him looks like a lynching, walks like a lynching, and talks like a lynching. To me, it’s an ambush.

Does this mean that he is antagonistic toward White people? NO! I also do not think that anyone else in this particular situation is antagonistic toward Black people. However, we view life from different perspectives.

Forgive me for referencing Chris Rice again, “when you are used to being in charge, true partnerships will feel like you are being dominated.” We may think that an African-American person is stepping over the line, when really they have just put their toe on the same line that ours are on. Once our perspective is corrected, then we will be better able to judge another’s position.

I quote Chris Rice because I often have to remind myself of what he said. Anyone who has been solely in charge of something and suddenly finds himself or herself sharing their responsibility and duties will feel that any input from the other party is an attempt to dominate. This happens in government, in business, and in church.

Jason Epps -- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA said...

Dear Cecdaddy,

You have my sincere thanks for your response to my comments about your blog post. God had obviously given you a heart of empathy anda hear for racial reconciliation. I have much to learn from people like yourself. You sound like the kind of guy I would dig hanging out with if I wasn't all the way out in Utah. :0) Anyway, thanks again for your words. Online communication is, I think, something we're all still trying to figure out, so it's all good.

Blessings,
Jason

Cecdaddy said...

Jason,

Thank you for your kindness in confronting me regarding what I wrote. If only God would get around to giving me a brain for philosophical discussion and apologetics!

May God's Peace be with you as well.

David Cecil

Jim Champion said...

Dwight McKissic has just posted a response to JLG and a letter of apology to Van Mcclain over on Bart Barbers blog. Pastor McKissic is truly a man of great character.

Greg Hicks said...

Wade,

I think your advice to Dr. McKissic was very wise and I'm glad he has the wisdom to follow it. Brother Dwight would be foolish to meet with the publicly stacked SWBTS EC against him without witnesses who can be trusted to validate what actually occurs. Including Jimmy Draper, widely respected, trusted, and a lifelong friend of SWBTS can only help.

I assume if the EC continues down the road they are threatning they will have to make the case by publicly laying out their accusations before the convention?

R. Grannemann said...

Greg,

In my opinion, a motion to dismiss Dr. McKissic will almost certainly NOT come before the Convention. If there is even one motion to dismiss McKissic, there will be a thousand motions to dismiss McClain and Patterson. It would be a circus. Emotions would go through the ceiling and Dr. Patterson's job would be at risk. Dr. McClain will soon realize this.

Greg Hicks said...

R. Grannemann,

I hope you and Wade are correct in your assessment that the threat by the SWBTS EC to bring Dwight McKissic before the SBC to remove him as a trusttee will be dropped, just as the decision to bring Wade before the SBC for removal was reversed.

I, however, am not so sure.

While there are some similarities in the two situations, there are also some significant differences - and I'm thinking primarily about the differences between the two agency Presidents.

David Flick said...

I received my M.Div. from Southwestern in 1974, way before the SBC takeover began. SWBTS was a truly fine seminary in those days. I ceased to support the institution the day they fired Dr. Russell Dilday. On the day they hired Paige Patterson, I seriously thought about torching my certificate. Rather than reducing it to ashes, I turned it upside down. (3rd from the left on the bottom row) If and when the seminary ever does return to moderate hands, I'll return it to its original position. But not one solitary day prior. I have not set foot on the campus since Patterson ascended to his lofty position. I will not return until he is gone. Furthermore, SWBTS will not receive a single dollar of my support until he is gone...

R. Grannemann said...

Greg,

You have a point.

Anonymous said...

Trustee leaders tried to meet privately with McKissic to discuss their concerns about his behavior. But McKissic insisted on bringing outside witnesses and tape-recording the meeting, McClain said, adding that would make a private meeting impossible.

“He has not worked with us in a way that gives many hope that there will be reconciliation and redemption,” McClain said. “I’ve tried to work privately through correspondence, and he’s made that private correspondence public. He quotes me out of context and does not give the full context of our conversation, so he slants the conversation however he wants to.”

“This is not a question about the issue of private prayer language; he has the right to believe whatever he wants about private prayer language, . . . This is about his conduct as a trustee of Southwestern Seminary.”

Jeff said...

Who is Van McClain? I know he is a trustee, but can you give some info.

Tom in Indiana said...

Sorry for the delay in posting. This morning I reread Wade's original post and I think I have a relevant question... Wade, can Dr. McKissic provide information about his whereabouts on November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas? Should we provide this information, if interesting, to Dr. McClain?

(a small joke, for those who take everything too seriously)

Anonymous said...

The other shoe drops @ SWBTS:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/031007dnmetklouda.34547c9c.html

Alyce Lee said...

Can anyone tell me where to find information (if this is accurate) that Dr. McKissic apologized to McClain for the lynching remark?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

One party thought a joke was appropiate concerning Pres. Kennedy,s assination. So Maybe a little whitticism for my friend David Flick could be tolerated. David, if is found out that your money would once again fund this institution I have no doubt there will be no stone left uncovered until your wishes are satisfied in full. After all all you are asking is a little "moderation".

sepherim said...

David Flick,
I came to SWBTS in '73 so we must have passed in the hallowed halls. I always sat on holy row 13 in chapel. I have never hung my diploma but may do it now just so I can turn it upside down. I did not totally withdraw my support until they hired Patterson. I still stop in when I am in the area because so far (at least as far as I know) they haven't started removing books from the library. It is still one of the best in the world.

Anonymous said...

There are two levels in the communication taking place among our denomination.
It seems that there are many "overt" (stated) claims that cover the "covert" (unstated) reasons for the actions taking place. What do I mean by this? Mrs. Klouda is "simply another professor not granted tenure" (overt-stated); while the "covert" reason is that she is a woman teaching men. So therefore, while the "overt" actions taking place against Dr. McKissic's may be speaking about PPL, the "covert" reasons may indeed be racism. Who can know what motives are behind any actions. Only God can judge--and we can be sure that He will.

The scripture says "let your yea be yea and your nay be nay", and I wish this were so in our denomination!

Anonymous said...

Here's a bit of humor for you. While I was looking up overt and covert in my dictionary,I saw that one of the definitions listed for the word covert said "a flock of coots".

Maybe that is what is happening in our denomination.

t. d. webb said...

"Private meetings do not convey that there is something to hide, dishonesty, deceit, etc. and that is a silly conclusion to draw anytime privacy is requested."

Oklahoma Joe

Joe, my naive fellow poster at "Grace and Truth to You", your generalization above is puzzling. While a person obviously has a general right to privacy in his personal life, exceptions occur when illegal acts occur. Moreover, the Southern Baptist Convention is, by no means, the personal corporate entity of Paige Patterson or Van McClain. In the case of the IMB BoT, their guidelines expressly prohibited "private caucuses" of Trustees. It is a given that there are occasions when discussions in a BoT should not be made public (when the security of a Missionary in certain foreign countries might be compromised or threatened, for example) However, in virtually all matters of official polity and practice, SBC institution leaders have an over-riding responsibility to communicate themselves transparently in word and deed to their ultimate constituents, the local churches of the SBC. In any case, as has been pointed out repeatedly, the SWBTS is neither Dr. Paige Patterson's nor Dr. Van McClain's nor the SWBTS BoT's "private" seminary, to arbitrarily conduct "private" or secret meetings at which individuals may act or speak without being held accountable by anyone for their deeds or their words. Southern Baptists should never tolerate the existence of "Magisteriums" within their Convention. There is already a church in Rome which is the poster child of that folly.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

othoniel a valdes sr said...

the issue is clear for me.According to SWBTS The good professor was giving time( 2yrs) to find new employment which she did and I would be surprise if her employment is for less since our Seminaries don't pay that well.
If all of this is true why sue the family that has trained you & fed you for so long ?

othoniel a valdes sr said...

I am not an insider nor do I want to be but could the reason that no one has been forced out in 161 years is because the bad guys that did the bad deeds you mentioned may have resigned on their own.
I can wait for San Antonio and settled this issue so that we can move on or move out