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

Skiing, Spring Break, and Your Sincere Opinion

While I am skiing with my wife and two youngest kids in Breckenridge, Colorado through the weekend, I thought I might use the occasion to run a contest. The prize is not worth much (a personalized and autographed copy of my book "Happiness Doesn't Just Happen"), but the better prize will probably be reading the various and sundry excellent thoughts of your fellow Southern Baptists. Two questions.

(1). A Southern Baptist once told me that 'blogs' were like internet pornography. To be fair, this person did not know what a blog was at the time. In your opinion how have blogs run by Southern Baptists helped or hurt the Southern Baptist Convention?

(2). Some believe that the new policies at the IMB are great, some believe they are no big deal, and others believe they are horrible. What do you believe will be the long-term effect on the SBC if the policies are not reversed and why?

105 comments:

Strider said...

I am sure that by the time I finish typing this I wont be the first comment anymore but if I hurry I could be.
1. Blogs are a pretty mixed bag. I have had some wonderful converstions about the work and about theology on the blogs. I have a blog solely because I see it as an avenue to inform our supporters back home of what God is doing here in our lives and work.
But of course, blogs have also been very political. I have seen them used to stir up fear and mistrust. That saddens me and I try to stay away from that stuff and stay focused on the Kingdom.
2. The policies have already kept God-called people off the field and if not altered they will keep even more off. We are losing some of the most passionate God seeking people because of this policy and I urge the BoT to rework it asap.

Okie From Muskogee said...

Regarding the SBC person who likened Blogs to porn but didn't really know what a blog was, that person probably doesn't know much about porn either....

Neither do I, fortunately. But he/she was probably referring to the compelling/addictive nature of blogs. Blogs are calling attention to the "man bites dog" issues among us, and such posts, and the comments they engender, are capturing increasing attention. They are simply more compelling and put institutional "house organs" to shame.

For a long time, "Letters to the Editor" were the 1st-read sections of the newspaper. Even if misguided, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just multiply that principle exponentially. It is fascinating to track the rapid exchanges in an international "conversation"--all enabled by today's instant messaging/publishing/journalism called the blogosphere.

One of the best virtures of blogs, however, is their usefulness in "investigative reporting." As traditional newspapers cut their staffs and budgets, the collaborative efforts of bloggers create synergy in seeking truth and accountability.

No wonder the establishment resents them. (They should embrace and engage them instead, if they are wise.)

Sure there will be extremists who practice free speech to a fault, and others whose vanity compels them to demonstrate how little they have to say. But they are the minority.

Good blogs such as yours, Wade, take desktop publishing to a high level. It's a serious form of journalism(with the emphasis on "journal"!).

The entry threshold for blogging is low. Anyone with a keyboard can blog to their hearts content. But the "quality of a man's blog," like gold, silver, precious stones, will determine the readership in this forum of New Journalism. As was said of that new sect in the 1st century, "If blogging is not of God, it will pass away on it's own; if it is of God, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it."

Steve A said...

Blogging is speech, subject to all of the ups and downs of oral speech (plus the mechanical errors!) Blogs are the key, however, to a lively conversation between people who share an interest, even if they are a world apart. Those who disagree with proposed changes must justify the status quo, which is always a good thing.

Baptists like me who never knew what others actually thought about our faith issues or convention affairs have had a whole world of information opened up to us.

We are here to bring the lost to Jesus and join with them in worshipping our Lord. We are not here to show off our influence or impress others with our religiosity. Narrowing the agreed-upon framework which has been producing good results with additional qualifications must be considered to be playing with fire when we realize what is at stake.
Are we willing to lose missionaries and those they could have reached in order to reach a more purified philosophy?

If we remember the basics of evangelism and ministry demonstrated in the Scriptures we should be able to find qualified mission workers and get them to the fields while they are still white with harvest.

Yet, Come Lord Jesus!

Chris Gates said...

Wade,

I can't believe I will be just the forth comment on this one (I am up early). I think the "SB Blogs" have been good, at least, at getting information out there for the people to see and understand. Some have probably been bad. But, like the writings of Thomas Paine before the revolutionary war, getting the info out and the different perspectives out there is invaluable.

Long term for the IMB--a much more marginalized criteria for service, and ultimately death . . . just like the rest of the SBC. Too many [EE TAO] (mispelled, no doubt) out there being turned down for service.

Mike said...

What is Chairman Floyd's email address? I would like to address him directly regarding the policy issues. Thanks.

Dorcas Hawker said...

Blogs, in a way, are the fellowship hall for the church, to that extent I believe they have helped the SBC. I feel closer and connected to more people within the body of Christ. There is freedom to mingle around the room. I can wander over to the table where they are discussing the pastor's sermon for that day; and then perhaps over to a lively chat about family, kids, and the crazy thing junior did last week; after I catch the news there, I hear someone trying to get people on board with a mission project and go check out what is going on in that corner of the fellowship hall; and then a funny joke catches my ear and soon I find myself caught up in laughter and the joy of fellowship. After catching my breath from laughing until I was crying, and grab a glass of punch, it is back over to listen to some of the men deep in a debate about a topic of SBC Life, and though I may not comment much, I do collect a lot of information to think about and ponder on the drive home. But the beauty of the hour spent in the fellowship hall with fellow believers is that everyone had the freedom to move about and talk about a variety of topics and interest with everyone else. In that way we are the body of Christ, living and growing in godliness together, each at our own pace and with varying interests and gifts, and yet we ARE together. That is the greatest benefit I see that blogs give to the SBC. For all the disagreements we may find ourselves in upon any given topic, the fact of the matter is that by and large we are talking to each other, meeting new people, and being able to see, on those days when we feel a little down or alone in the world as to our Christian walk, the truth of 1 Kings 19:18. This is the benefit of blogs in my opinion.

knnuki said...

Of course I think blogs are positive for Southern Baptists (or anyone, for that matter). They represent one more way to openness, honesty, transparency and good, healthy debate. Of course this sort of honesty and debate make some people nervous (it always will), but will we let those who wish to stifle debate set the agenda? Certainly not.

IMB policies are simply another way to take control, stifle debate/dissension and create a narrower and narrower view (narrower than scripture) about what is acceptable. If this thinking continues, the organization at large will become more and more narrow, harder to get along with and will eventually shrink, age, and completely lose effectiveness in the kingdom. This would be a shame, but not the end of the world. God uses - or doesn't use - organizations and man-made formations as he wishes and that is always a flexible, dynamic process in His kingdom. He's in charge of the process, not us.

knnuki said...

Internet porn? That's simply ridiculous, reactionary misinformation. I advise anyone who thinks blogs are like porn to simply dive in, examine the real evidence and draw reasonable conclusions based on the real situation they ovserve.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

Blogs are just blogs. They're just like books, notes, memos etc. Their substance is reading and writing and the communication of thoughts. In that sense, they're like conversations.

So ask: what's the effect of conversation, on the SBC? Does it hurt or help? My take is that it's helpful. Even if all it were to accomplish were to expose injustice, that is still helpful.

As to long-term effect on the SBC, of the changes, I think the SBC will at least be robbed of a lot of collective blessing that could have been upon us. The plain fact is that, if we have to do things the narrowing way it's going, in order to be obedient to God, then none of the other missionary organizations out there would be in a state of obedience now. Put another way, we're missing the fact that spreading the gospel is more important than perfection of method.

Like it or not, the changes indicate an elitism and denominational self-importance. That's gonna cost somebody, somewhere, sometime.

Tim Rogers said...

Sister Dorcas,

I do not believe I can liken blogs to fellowship halls. If I were attacked in our church's fellowship hall like I have been attacked, or have attacked, I do not think I would like to spend much time in the fellowship hall, not to even mention, the church.

Blessings,
Tim

irreverend fox said...

hey Wade...I'll do anything for a free book!

1. In short...I think blogs have potential for good and evil...just like any media. I think the closed door deals and hush hush activity days are over...but I think on the flip side many characters might get assassinated...but then again it is the blog world that will also work to vindicate such people. I don't know...I think in the end the sbc will be much more educated and passionate about the direction of the convention...which is a good thing. People having time to pray, think and dialog about the implications of an issue prior to the convention will be very helpful (and scary for the good old boys who were accustomed to tossing out an issue, cramming down our throats about it’s urgency and then taking a vote…all within a half hour!) and should serve a tremendous tool in the future.

2. The new IMB policies, if not changed, will severely hurt the IMB...when I have an elder in my church...a true man of God, full of wisdom, knowledge and love...who could not serve as an IMB missionary because he was baptized in an Assemblies of God church and does have a private (and I do mean PRIVATE) prayer language...then our little church can not directly support the IMB. How can we support an agency that insults such a faithful elder in our congregation? To suggest to him that he’d need to be baptized again is insulting. The day those policies are over turned is the day we return to our IMB support...there has to come a point where "enough is enough" and guilt trips can't work forever. We send a set percentage every month to the CP…but we made a decision not to send money to the Lottie Moon offering until our elder is at least hypothetically eligible. We've redirected those funds to a missionary couple in Thailand...if the IMB turns back then we'll end up giving more to foreign mission than ever before because we will not cut out our friends in Thailand. I think there will be a significant drop in IMB support because of those new guidelines.

timothy cowin said...

Blogs have been a source of information that BP will not touch.

Blogs have been a way for people who are being marginalized to speak out.

Blogs have been a place of learning. I have been shaped by the interchange of ideas. It is like being back at seminary again.

NOW if the policies stand then,
We will continue to experience the defragmenting of the Convention. MOre SB churches will exercise their autonomy to a fuller extent.

Tim

Pastor Brad said...

Blogs are both a sign of the times and an amoral tool. The answer to the question of whether blogs have helped or hurt the SBC is yes.
Blogs are a voice of the common man and of accountability. There are many examples of this, so I won’t even attempt to list them all here. They have also been a wonderful forum, in my opinion, for pastors and other interested lay persons to discuss issues that are not commonly discussed outside our circles, at least outside seminary. Every time I try to discuss the nuances of a certain theological point or pastoral concern with my wife her eyes glaze over and she starts redecorating in her mind whatever room we are sitting in. So, blogs can be a foundry where iron can sharpen iron.
In these areas blogs have been beneficial to the SBC.
Blogs are hurtful to the SBC when they become a place of gossip, slander, and conduct unbecoming a child of God. I think most of us have been guilty of this a time or two. I certainly know I have. The weakness of blogs is that you can type something in response to someone without looking them in the eye, so we say things, or say them in a way, that we would never say face to face. Worse yet, we say them not one-to-one, but broadcast out over the web for anyone and everyone to read.
I also think blogs are often detrimental when used to dredge up dirt and conflict on sitting leaders who are un-liked by the author. We need look no further than the situation at Bellevue and FBC Daytona Beach for evidence of this.
Blogs will continue to be both a help and a hurt, as the printing press, telephone and every other communication device has been, because some will discipline themselves to control the raging fire that their fingers can be and others will not.
I am not well-enough informed as to the situation that caused the new IMB policies to contribute, as I have heard various conflicting information from various sources.

Pastor Tony said...

Blogs are no more good nor evil than the people who author them. I like blogs. I enjoy getting a peek at what has always been secret to me, the inner workings of the SBC. I am committed to the SBC vision of missions and reaching the lost.

Blogs have allowed me to pray in a more informed way. For instance, I always prayed for the IMB like this, "Lord, please bless the IMB and their work, you know what all happens there." Now, I can pray this way, "Lord, my brothers and sisters at the IMB must be doing your work because the enemy seems to be coming at them from every direction. So, Lord, please keep your peace and love and mercy evident at the next meeting." I would not have been able to pray so specifically before and for that I am grateful.

However, there is a part of blogs that bothers me. Sometimes, either in the blog itself or in the comments, it seems that no attempt to "control the tongue" (see James 3) has been exercised. Because there is no face-to-face and because we can not see how the other person is reacting, we tend to spew from the fingers some of the most vile, hateful, divisive stuff I have ever heard Christians say. Blogs are only good for the SBC if the bloggers are careful about what they say and seek to have Christ's love oozing from every page.

Wade, you have done a tremendous job at being that kind of example. Thank you.

As for the narrowing of parameters at the IMB: It is my opinion that the apostle Paul never drew lines of exclusion in his work for the advancement of the Gospel. He sought to cast the net wide except for the legalists who refused to believe in God's grace. I believe he did so because he trusted that God would take care of it. It would seem to me that those who are demanding conformity to tertiary issues are afraid of losing control. But I submit that God never has, nor ever will, lost control. Should we not have a little faith in the one we are seeking to bring to the nations?

Barjonah said...

1) I wouldn't say blogs are like porn, but more like tabloids--inquiring minds WANT to know. In a day where church leaders and church members are overwhelmed with information, there is so much that even the most informed misses. When there is something significant that happens regarding something that you love and is important to you (in this case, the SBC), you want to know what is going on. The bloggers are great resources to inform people and generate interest and dialogue in previously disinterested or uninformed Southern Baptists. Like tabloids, however, there are often (some blogs more than others) stories, video clips, documents, etc. that are sensationalist. This does NOT mean that they are necessarily untrue, but simply that their postings are intended to evoke an emotional response. These sensationalist articles sometimes border on "airing dirty laundry" and have no place in a public format. I believe that is why there are Baptists who are so critical of bloggers. Like the tabloids, it is easier to just dismiss them out of hand.

2)Having served with the IMB recently, I say with certainty that for the vast majority of missionaries, the issues being debated on the blogs or in the BoT meetings are NOT affecting morale or performance. These men and women are continuing to share Christ, plant churches, and many are oblivious or disinterested in the entire matter.
So, I think the policies themselves will have little affect. There are NOT multitudes of missionary candidates that have been kept off of the field because of these policies. The IMB will continue to send as many qualified missionaries as CP and LMCO giving will possibly allow.
On a theoretical level, the question of policies more restrictive than the BF&M2000 is an issue that will have lingering debate. I think that issue will have long-term affects whether the IMB overturns the policies today or when Jesus comes.

Grace and Peace,
Barjonah

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
(1) Blogs have helped the SBC by revealing truth. As truth will make us free, blogs give the SBC a wake-up call to keep it on the straight and narrow.

As letters to the editor of a newspaper give the public the heartbeat of Americans, blogs do the same for the SBC in knowing the heartbeat of Christians.

(2) New policies at the IMB are just more Pharisee rules to have power and control over the Holy Spirit. The long-term effect will eliminate ‘Daniel’ missionaries who listen to God. They’ll be replaced by ‘yes sir’ people who listen to men, and great will be the fall.

BTW Wade, while at Breckenridge, would you chop down a certain tree? I remember the yell of a ski patrol, “I’ve been chasing you! You’re the fastest, dangerous, out-of-control skier I ever saw! Why didn’t you fall down?” (He had retrieved my skis and brought them to where I had stopped sliding on my back.)
“I was afraid to…haven’t been skiing in 23 years.” (Didn’t tell him I didn’t know how to turn or slow down.)

I wished he had run me off as he said he was going to, because later on a blue slope, they brought me down with my nephew telling my wife. “There’s something wrong with uncle Rex.”
I had 24 hour amnesia, and that night, my wife woke me up three times saying, “Who am I?”
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Wade, if not for your blog, I'd still be taking 3 classes at seminary a semester on top of working 45 hours a week, with a new baby at home, trying to get the requisite hours to qualify for long term service. Know that I already have two bachelors degrees and two masters degrees, but I was striving to get those hours only setting myself up for rejection at the interviews because I was baptized in a "Christian" church. The IMB's website (http://going.imb.org/longterm/qualifications.asp) still has never been updated to reflect the changes in policy, we met with a candidate consultant 2 times and were never told about the policies until we brought it up. After a professor brought up the policy debate in class I found your blog and was able to get some clarification and hope that there was at least one advocate out there for those in our situation. At first, I was mad, and my wife was heart broken, she's already served a journeryman stint and has felt a calling overseas from a very young age. After consulting with our elders, searching through scripture (particularly Ephesians 4) my conscience would not allow me to be rebaptized solely for purpose of gaining "Southern Baptist" identity. I'm a Southern Baptist by choice and will still be one even if I'm unable to serve with the IMB. Thankfully, we've been able to pursue other means of going overseas, and should be finding out within the month if God is opening a door to Asia for us, but unfortunately we will be going without 3 big things we were hoping the IMB could provide: training, insurance and the network of people. Wade please know that there are probably people in seminary right now working toward a degree with the hopes of applying for the IMB, who will not even qualify because they've only consulted the website and don't know that they won't be accepted because of the baptism and ppl policies. We know 3 other couples just through our small circle of friends that have been told that if they move forward they will not be approved, they are all seeking other means of pursuing their call. God's work will advance of course, even if the policies stay, it will just be more independently.

Roger Simpson said...

Blogs have been very helpful to me because they give me an opportunity to interact with others having a different outlook. This helps to define the landscape of various issues and assess the issue in terms of two key parameters: (1) how important is it to reach a common understanding on the issue, and (2) how likely is it.

I see issues on BLOGS cutting two ways. One is "strengthening" firmly held positions and the other is "breaking down" barriers of cooperation.

Some issues that are deemed foundational. I think the liklihood of coming to a common understanding or "agreeing to disagree" is remote. One of these issues is "inerrancy". I think that both sides on this issue consider this to be a major issue and I don't think the sides will ever get together on this nor do I think that either side will agree in principle to "tolerate" the opposite position.

On the other hand, I think BLOGS serve as a platform to assist in reaching accomodation on some issues. I predict that there will be some "middle ground" regarding the IMB positions on PPL and Baptism.

Without specifying whether BLOGS are "good" or "bad", I think, so far, it is too early to discern the extent whether they only serve as a platform to harden preconcieved notions or they help to frame a debate leading to cooperation.

At the margin these BLOGS probably help since they allow discussions to be subjected to more "light" as opposed to a "chosen few" coming up with something and then presenting it to the "masses" to be rubber stamped. Right now, I'd say it is too early to tell the degree to which BLOGGING is framing the overall debate in the SBC. In a few years we will look back at this nascent pheonomenon and be able to gauge it.

More important than the effect of BLOGGING is the combined effect of BLOGGERS and the decentralization of decision making that is in the wind.

Alycelee said...

I began my blog as an online journal, having bits and pieces of paper all over my desk at home and attempting to collect my thoughts. Once I began to write them online for 'real people' to see, it seemed God had other things in mind and connected me (what seemed to be an accident at first) to other SBC bloggers.

I've learned much, grown much through listening here. It has also allowed me to be in contact with missionaries all over the world. Blogs have connected me with M's through email and newsletters; I link to their sites. This is VERY IMPORTANT TO ME, as the scripture says 'blessed are the feet of them that bring good news.' It bothers me when these same missionaries are treated with disrespect and spoken to with condescension. We should at the very least, converse with them honorably.

The information afforded me here on blogs, leads to more research on my own. I am no longer naive. I am now more accountable and take that very seriously. Yes, blogs are good. This format holds us accountable to BE, what we SAY. Now, when we say we believe, that belief must prove itself true inACTION. We Baptist love to talk about our theology and what we believe being pure, inerrant, undefiled, however the scripture says pure and undefiled religion is tending to widows and orphans. (caring for others)
Blogs are like tire tracks-where the rubber meets the road. Are we going to talk about it-or do something? FINALLY-something is being done, a very good thing.

IMB-this policy will keep good missionaries from being appointed and worse, it will set a precedent for other agencies to continue to say who can and who can't. This could potentially not just be the end of the IMB-those 'who can't' may find a place where they can and take their money with them.
The real question to consider, where is God is all this?

Anonymous said...

1. On the question of blogs, they like all things are morally neutral, the question is how will they be used. Some use them to negatively to slander, hurt and divide, others use them positively to inform, heal and unite. May we have the discernment to know the difference.

2. On the question of the IMB policy, I am speaking as a pastor of a church who had to re-baptize a member in order for her to qualify as a Journeyman. I was left feeling that the IMB is an agency that no longer serves our church but we serve it. The local church really has no say so as to who qualifies to serve as a missionary. It would seem to me, that if a local cooperating Southern Baptist church receives into membership a person by their statement of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and having been baptized through believers baptism by immersion that should be good enough for the IMB. If it is not, then we should stop letters of reccomendations from other like minded Southern Baptist Churches.

Steve Davis

CB Scott said...

Wade,

I agree with Dorcas. Blogs are a source of fellowship. From blog contacts, I have had phone contacts. I have driven to meet other bloggers and broken bread with them. I have had men and women to let me know they were praying for me and my family and church.

Important principles, concepts, ideas, problems and many various issues have been brought before me in blog posts. Bloggers influence each other. I think blog posts cause people to read and research in a search for truth. I just know I am going to get you (Wade) to read more and change your ecclesiology to be just like mine within the next couple of years:-)

I have had the opportunity to converse with others that do not agree with me in all things, yet, through the communications I have learned they are brothers and sisters in Christ. (That includes Wes, Wade and the often wrong but never in doubt Tim Rogers:-)

I saw bloggers help a brother in need.

For me blogging sharpens iron like no other "whet stone" since Peter and Paul squared off about Jews and Gentiles a few years ago.

One more thing, I must disagree with Okie from Muskogee. The person that spoke to Wade comparing blogs to porn might know very much about porn. He could have been comparing blogs to something that has caused horror in his own life. We usually use that which we do understand to compare to that of which we do not. I pray I am wrong.

cb

Anonymous said...

I can see some similarities to blogging and pornography because some bloggers will prostitute their spiritual integrity in order to gain access to classified information that is deemed confidential until a certain time...For example, April 19th. Slithering around like a serpent in order to gain firsthand knowledge of private information is unethical and it shows a lack of character on the part of those who do it. How do we honor the Lord when we practice so deceitfully? What makes us any different from the CNN's of the the world? In Romans 12:2, (for the pastor who spends more time blogging instead of sermon preparation, Romans is located in the Scriptures), we are told to stand out and be different from that of the world. How do we appear any different when we gain access to information in the wrong way? If used incorrectly, blogging can be another tool that Satan uses to destroy the work of Southern Baptists.

P.S. Don't commend the the Nominating Committee for a job well done when all that you have done is rake their work over the coals. Webster's call this an "oxymoron."

Sincerely,
Oxy

timothy cowin said...

Oxy has proven the need for blogs. His disdain for dissent speaks volumes about the exact attitude that the blog threatens. There are those in SB life that want to crown their demogogues and follow lock-step, and then expect to reap the rewards with positions and feelings of being included in the "group."

There are those in SB life that are addicted to the politics and underworkings of the denomination. They thrive on behind the scenes gatherings, executive sessions, informal and unethical strategy meetings before the meetings. The backroom, good ole boy network is gasping for air because of the advent of the blog. Just my opinion.

Tim

Paul said...

Whoever said that people who will be nominated for denominational service is "classified information?" I was once nominated to serve in a position in our state convention and no one ever told me that I needed to keep it "hush-hush." This isn't national security. It's church working together cooperatively. Sharing information is not some great (or not-so-great) sin.

Anonymous, what are you wanting hidden, and why?

Lee said...

Breckenridge. That brings back memories. I took youth groups up there for several years. I brought home a broken ankle from there once, too.

1. Blogs are editorials. Those that occasionally, or regularly, deal with SBC issues can only be helpful, that is, if the leaders who read them with discernment are willing to listen. Baptist news media is limited, partly because resources do not allow for enough outlets to cover everything, and partly because there are some bad connections in which leadership has control over the job of the writers. Blogs have brought a balance, instant information, and wider coverage of things that are going on that are of interest to Southern Baptists. Understanding that they represent a wide variety of opinions and diversity, which is the SBC, I think they help more Baptists become involved in denominational life and at the same time make better, more informed decisions.

2. If each SBC agency is permitted to make modifications and additions to the BFM2000, and the trustee structure basically remains as it is now, with agency executives picking and choosing their own trustees because no one is holding them accountable, there would be no consistency. You would have doctrinal "kingdoms" carved out all over the SBC. And I think eventually this would break down the Cooperative Program, because you have 40,000+ independent and autonomous churches and many of them would want to start channeling their financial support by designating it to the agencies and institutions that represented their own doctrinal biases.

John Moeller said...

1. BLOGS! The best blogs is in Louisiana. Craw fish and prawns thrive in them blogs and you can go out on your boat and grab them critters and cook um. The blogs also are rich in plant life with some of the prettiest being the pitcher plant and iris. My favorite recipe is the Louisiana Swamp Blog; 1/2 pound shrimp, 2 ears white corn, 1/2 pound smoked sausage and 1/2 onion per person, 1 bag crab boil, 1 1/2 tbsp seafood seasoning per serving. Directions: Bring water to a boil. When water is boiling stir in seafood seasoning, cut up onions, sausage, corn, boil 10 minutes. Add unshelled shrimp, cook till they are pink, drain, serve. Wade, you meant prawns not porn, right? Oh, yea, this all goes well with Wade’s sweet ice tea, a Baptist tradition.


2. IMB policy! Baptist fight, missionaries cringe and satan laughs. Galatians 1; (my paraphrase) You are saved by grace alone, you didn’t deserve it, and you can’t earn it through Baptist doctrine, that’s a works mentality. If anyone tries to tell you that you have to be baptized a certain way or private prayer language is not of God then tell them to go to hell. Galatians 2; Paul didn’t wait on the IMB to bless him, NO, he went out on his own and preached the good news. When the theologians of the IMB try to force their views on missionaries, tell them off to their face. Man is not justified by baptism, or invalidated by prayer language. Do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 3; You fools! Salvation is so simple, but you twisted it into works and rules. You are a son of the living God by faith alone. Galatians 4; You have enslaved yourself to fighting about doctrine. Where is your Joy? You hate me for bringing this up, truth hurts. We are not slaves to doctrine, we are free. Galatians 5; It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Live by the Spirit and you will have Love, Joy and peace! Don’t get conceited about your doctrine. Galatians 6; be gentle, we all sin. Lastly, don’t let the IMB push you into anything your heart says is wrong. They boast in their doctrine, you boast in CHRIST! Jesus loves missionaries just the way they are.

Bob Cleveland said...

And I almost forgot ...

If I hadn't been here, I wouldn't be here.

I was a decent local church member, but my sphere ended at the city limits of Pelham, AL. Now I know wackos all over the western hemisphere, for which I am extremely grateful.

And I have seen CB in a pink hat.

docjoc said...

Although I have been a Southern Baptist for now almost 17 years in a large church, I was always an outsider. Problems were alluded to in our church but exactly what those problems are never discussed. I knew nothing about the SBC or the IMB. This blog has taught me about what is really happening among Baptists. Some of my worst fears have been confirmed.

While the God in Dead Movement has not gained much of a foothold, the Holy Spirit is Dead Movement is alive and well among most Baptists that post here and apparently in our schools.

John Fariss said...

Are blogs pornography? Of course not; but I suspect that the individual who made the comment was simply engaging in hyperbole, a rhetorically extreme expression--in other words, a soundbite he hoped would carry his point of view. And, a few years ago, it may have done so. Fortunantly, Americans (even us Southern Baptists) are becoming more and more astute and technologically fluent, so the statement was recognized among most from my own boomer-generation and up as "overkill," and was thus discounted. It would probably be fair to say that at their worst, blogs are a very efficient form of gossip. As Dorcas says, they are the electronic form of the church fellowship hall; and any pastor who hasn't been there. . . hasn't served some of the dysfunctional churches that I have! (Which is why, of my two Christian children, only one is active in a church.) Now: that worst can be pretty bad; but at their best, blogs served an investigative/watchdog/whistle blower functive. Especially with the conversion (not completely so, but by-and-large) of Baptist Press to a publicity agency, and the policy of many state baptist newspapers to carry "no bad news," blogs are serving a valuable and Godly function. After all, the Bible does say, "The truth shall set ye free." And then between the two extremes of gossip and investigation, there are all sorts of "shades of gray" that blogs attend to: they can help us sharpen our own arguments, show us weakensses, provide a safety-valve, etc.

As to the second question, the long-term effects of current IBM policies: yes, they will have an effect, and it will be detremental. I don't know how many candidates it will keep from being missionaries; probably not an immense number, although one is too many. By itself, the policies will have little effect, because it appears a majority of Southern Baptists personally have no problem with the policies (I don't have a PPL, I was baptisted by a Southern Baptist church, and I guess they believed baptism was symbolic of my presumably previous salvation), while only a few are passionately opposed, and most of them are opposed to the principle and not the practices, making it hard to carry any vote. I believe, however, that overall, it will have a cascading effect for Southern Baptists. Take me for an example: I consider myself, in most matters, a conservative Southern Baptist. I believe the Bible IS the very word of God, I believe what is says about Jesus (everything from being born of a virgin to being the Son of God and God the Son, who was crucified, died, buried, and physically resurrected, and a lot more that is conventional, orthodox, and "baptist"). But I affirm the '63 BF&M rather than the 2000, I oppose the use of any BF&M as "an instrument of doctrinal accountability," i.e., a creed, I find Landmarkism to be historically unfounded and am uneasy with Calvinism (at least in its hyper-expressions), I rarely uses the word "inerrant" because I believe that to qualify it in a meaningful way makes it moot, plus I see some the political baggage with it, and I see no universal Biblical prohibition against women deacons or the moderate use of beverage alcohol. I see these policies as one more feather on the scale. Eventually, there will be enough feathers that the scales will tip, and I will no longer, in good conscience be able to remain a Southern Baptist. Some may say, "Good riddance, you are a moderate (or liberal) anyway." But the thing is: I am not alone. There are many, many more like me, both in the pulpits and in the pews, more in the younger generations than the older ones. And eventually, if it continues, many others will find the balance tipping too far. And the SBC will find itself not unlike the Primitive Baptists today: a dwindling few without the relevance to impact the culture for Christ. So: call me what you want; the policies will hurt the people who are and consider themselves to be the Southern Baptist Convention.

davidinflorida said...

What John moeller said, Ditto!!!

John Fariss, I`m one of those in the pews with you.

B.L. said...

1. Blogging today is really no different than the writing of great treatises in Christian History, with the exception that blogs use the ‘WWW’ and historical figures used books or pamphlets. For example, Martin Luther's book called "Bondage of the Will" was a response to a work of Erasmus where he, Erasmus argued for a "Freedom of the Will" or free choice in humans to choose God.

What scholar or church historian would argue today that it was detrimental to the general picture of Christianity for Luther to write such a work where he literally bashes and bashes some more the work of Erasmus, even though he was protecting what many might call orthodoxy? Maybe they would argue that Luther could have 'backed off' a little, but historians look to Luther's work, as well as many others, as a guideline of thought with appreciation of his work in the Reformation.

Therefore, blogs today and treatises of yesterday are really no different in purpose, but only in mode.

All that to say, if someone today says that SBC bloggers are only harming the SBC, then they too should 'raise Luther from the grave' and argue with him whether or not it was right or wrong of him to defend, via books and pamphlets, what he felt was orthodoxy!

(this coming from someone who once criticized Wade for the amount of time he spent online, blogging...who now can see that Wade’s purpose is furthering the kingdom...)

2. Policies are Policies, some will hurt, some will help. If they support the Gospel, good. If they hinders the Gospel, then may God smite them (the policies) with a mighty hand!

Steve A said...

I'm still trying to find the light unto my path in Bro. Oxy's commentary; no luck yet. The bushel basket may be a bit heavy there.

MY STREAM STORY

I imagine this lively stream in the countryside, with a good flow in all seasons. Some busy boy sets a flat stone in the way, thinking it will regulate the flow and make it "do right." Coming back a season later, I see the rock simply caused the support beneath it to wash away in the streaming water, and the stone is now on the bottom, no longer a factor.

I also see this flow of God's called workers going to his service, a stream running through all seasons. A proud, busy agency has propped itself up in the middle of the flow, to control the flow and to make it "do right." After a season, the world may come by to look and see that the flow now courses to God's service uninterrupted. Apparently the agency has lost its support and now lies beneath the flow, forgotten, unlamented, and useless.

By the way, who wants to guess how many foreigners behind soulless walls and minaret towers, hurting people looking for answers or just a human voice, and modern day explorers come here to find people born to serve a Living God, exchanging their ideas of sharing love, joy, comfort, and deliverance freely and casually?

Mark Richardson said...

Wade,

(1.) Blogs help the SBC by providing a global means to share ideas which has revealed:
a) information that keeps leaders accountable, b) the weaknesses/strengths of the shared ideas, and c) the Christian witness, or lack of, of those blogging/commenting.

(2) Should the IMB policies not be reversed, the long-term effect will be:

a) Loss of power – we will lose/have lost the Holy Spirit’s corporate blessing of empowerment. The IMB's ratified rejection of one of the Holy Spirit's works/gifts should not be taken lightly,

b) Loss of progress – media campaigns, programs, policies, or personalities will not stop the decline, and

c) Loss of purpose – we will be deluded and diverted in our attention and loyalty to defending/arguing over narrow interpretations of subordinate doctrinal issues rather than being unified under the mandate of the Great Commission.

It’s a serious matter to offend the Holy Spirit. We should repent of our bloated pride and arrogant defense, especially in light of the narrow Landmarkist policies.

If we let the policies stand, we will become a convention that would deny the apostle Paul appointment to church planting and missionary service - how ludicrous! (I realize this statement is colored by my own interpretation of the issues).

We should humble ourselves before the Lord, bind ourselves together for His kingdom’s causes, and reverse the new polices of the IMB.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I do not have a PPL, have been a SB all my life, and lead my church to support the SBC).

Matt said...

I will keep it simple.

1. This discussion proves that blogs are helpful to the SBC, because without them most people on here wouldnt take the time to think about issues and communicate with others. I would rather have informed people voting against what I believe than people just doing it without knowing why.

2. If the policies are not revoked, missions will still continue, God will be glorified in all the earth, and then the end will come. It might actually happen sooner, since we will have more organizations forming that are willing to really partner with people who agree on first-tier issues regardless of denominations to see His name praised in all nations. I for one will be in that group.

rmsprayberry said...

The top 10 ways that blogs CAN BE like internet pornography
(But this does not mean that all blogs are like internet pornography)

10.They can be habit forming
9. They can offer a false sense of intimacy
8. You can partake anonymously
7. They can victimize and violate
6. You cannot ignore them…they are here to stay
5. They saturate you mind with powerful images/ideas
4. Blogs are multiplying exponentially all over the internet
3. What is revealed on the blogs was only whispered about 10 years ago
2. Lifeway is coming out with a 10 week study on the disturbing effects of BA (Blog
Addiction)
1. The latest polls show that 39% of Southern Baptist Pastors actively seek out and peruse
blogs on a regular basis…while neglecting there pastoral responsibilities


As far as IMB policies.....I agree with Matt..If the SBC agencies/institutions/policies no longer reflect what I believe to be biblical and baptist...then I will partner with some who do.

irreverend fox said...

Wade,

I don't know what it is about this topic but it has inspired LONG comments!!! I'm just as guilty!

Anonymous said...

Me thinks Oxy's last name is Moron. I love the expositional nature that blogs are "forced" to employ. Folks like Mr. Moron are exposed and that has to be good for the kingdom.

Les Puryear said...

1. SBC Blogs are windows into the hearts, mind, and souls of some of its pastors, church members, theologians, and trustees.

2. If the IMB policies to which you speak are not revoked, then I believe one of the long term effects is BFM2K and any other BFM is not worth the paper it's written on. If SBC entities and agencies can establish their own doctrinal parameters outside of the stated essentials of the SBC, i.e., BFM2K, then we have no doctrinal integrity. It matters not whether a trustee signs an agreement with BFM2K or not because he or she, as a trustee, has "carte blanche" to add doctrinal parameters without the oversight of the convention as a whole.

Regards,

Les

A-8 said...

1) I think at the most basic level, blogging is just another means of communication and complaint. We are now an electronic generation, so we do not publish pamphlets like generations before. However, I think the level of debate is a little juvenile and caustic for the body of Christ. Perhaps we can elevate our discussions as we (should) try to elevate one another to Christ!

2) One of my roommates is a Pentecostal (and not the crazy snake-handling kind!). We have discussed the policies on prayer languages and baptism and he has registered his great disappointment. We both agree that this will only continue to divide the body and give the world (and Satan) yet another reason to mock us.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I'm late reading as I've just returned from a four-day meeting in Ohio. One of the better times for me in a great church. And, while I try not to comment too much on your blog, for obvious reasons, [One burleson voice is sufficient on ANY topic.]:) I have to comment on this request.

I really agree with Dorcas. She expressed what I experience a lot of the time.

I would simply add, it seems to me that any amoral thing or activity can become a ministry killer if not under the control of the Spirit in our lives. Golf, baseball, fishing, reading, anything CAN become an addiction or tool of abuse. But none of those things just listed, adding any you would choose to, are the problem. As always, those things only reveal the heart/spirit of the person involved.

I do think blogs are in the beginning stages and each of us must work out our ethic, use, and personal value for this medium of communication. But, for me, the blessings far out weigh the negatives. I do refuse to go to certain places on the Internet. I do refuse to go to certain blogs. So I would also agree with Strider, they are a mixed bag.

Having said all of that, I believe this arena of communication is good for the SBC. It has certainly opened me up to a TON of guys/gals whom I would have not known/heard this side of heaven. THAT is a blessing to this old guy for sure.

The IMB/BOT policies...your voice speaks my heart.

Dad

Anonymous said...

1. I will never forget the day I was reading the newspaper, and I came to an article about how blogging was influencing the SBC presidential election. I immediately decided to explore Wade Burleson’s blog. The rest is history. For years as a woman, I have gradually felt more and more ostracized by the leadership of the SBC convention. Actually, I have felt like a second-class citizen in the body of Christ. On summer break from teaching school, I became re-connected with the workings of the SBC.

I believe that dialogue and communication are instructive and constructive. I do want to thank Wade Burleson and others who have taken a stand for those the “machine” have tried to disenfranchise for one reason or another. In the long run, Jesus will be glorified.

I do wish that women would take a more active role in the dialogue on the blogs. We are not second-class citizens, and I read in my Bible, “God is no respecter of persons”(Acts 10:34). God can use the person He so desires to use. No doubt, God does have reasons for anointing some over others; however, that anointing has nothing to do with gender.

2. I believe that the IMB policies are choking the very life out of the SBC. Hopefully, the Spirit of God will soon send a fresh breeze of His Spirit to bring repentance and renewal. That is my prayer.

Kathleen

Chuck Bryce said...

1. John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

2. James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

By this I do not mean or imply that we are always right and others are wrong but how can the "light" of open investigation and discussion not be a good thing. Keep blogging.

Then, how can narrowing the scope and "adding to the doctrines of God the commandments of man" be healthy and remain unopposed? Keep blogging for right.

Debbie said...

Amen Kathleen.

Bowden McElroy said...

Blogs: The only real power bloggers have is the power to make blissful ignorance more difficult to attain.

Policies: The policies themselves impact the SBC far less than the manner in which the discussion of the policies occurs. The risk to the SBC is that words like loyalty and unity become excuses to avoid openness, honesty, and transparency. The long term effect of a conflict avoidant mindset will be the aging - and eventual dying off - of the Convention.

Anonymous said...

anonymous, you are absolutely right! I am a moron for getting caught up in all this jargon. For anyone who may have been offended by the critical comments that I made earlier, please accept my deepest apology.

Oxy

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

I hope you are enjoying your trip. OK I'm lying I'm jealous! :)

Anyway,

I won't win your contest but I will tell you why Blogs have been good for me. After being at SWBTS in 1994 and seeing politics first hand in the SBC I decided to never get involved with the SBC.

Then following Hurricane Katrina and living on the Gulf Coast at the time I had a guy named Marty Duren come to my blog and give me a hard time for listening to REO Speedwagon and Journey. I wanted to see who this guy was so he had a story on SBC Outpost about a church on the Gulf Coast that was refusing water from Anheuser-Busch. It angered me because I saw suffering 1st hand.

I started reading regularly and then got read your blog when it started later that year. I then moved to Charlotte and was reconnected with my Seminary buddy Art Rogers.

Blogs have allowed me to meet guys like you, Marty, Art, Ben Cole, Dorcas, Bowden M., Bob Cleveland, CB Scott, David Phillips, Micah Fries, and others.

Blogs connected me with Jason Sampler through my friend Joe Kennedy. My church has been to New Orleans twice and is going again in May to help rebuild Edgewater Baptist. Why because of blogs.

Blogs aren't evil. Sure there are evil people on blogs but I've had people pray for me in some difficult circumstances. I've had the privilege to pray for Alan Cross' son Calaen because of blogs.

I met your dad who came to my church for a week of renewal because of blogs. I've had contact with missionaries who I would have never met if it weren't for blogs. I have witnessed to atheists and agnostics on my blog from Canada and Australia.

They don't waste my time. They sharpen me. When we mess up someone calls us on it.

I'm grateful to know you and Rachel through blogs and look forward to meeting others that I have blogged with since Greensboro.

Mark said...

Don't know that I can add anything substantive to what has already been said (which is why I rarely commment), but here goes:

1) I'm sure that blogs can be like pornography to some people and in some situations. No doubt many like to look and see who's fighting and over what and for how long and which ministry or institution can we dislike now. No doubt some live vicariously through blogs...not wanting to voice their own opinions publicly but rather to watch dialogue from a safe distance (must confess my own tendencies along those lines at times).
However, I have found these tools to be exactly that - new tools for communication, information, discussion, rantings. Many who have wondered what really goes on in the SBC between Junes (like me)or who wonder if they're alone in their wondering have greater opportunities to find out.
As has been stated eloquently by others, this amoral tool cuts both ways.

2) My son just finished a history report on Henry Ford (his entire history grade for the semester rides on this one report - crazy!), so forgive the analogy.
Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile, but he revolutionized the way in which automobiles were manufactured - to make them faster, cheaper, better, more numerous. The SBC IMB didn't invent missions, but in some wonderful ways it has revolutionized the missionary sending method - well-trained, well-funded, men and women of God committed to finishing the task.
At some point Mr. Ford lost sight of for whom he was producing cars, and decided that he knew best the specific car people needed. He's remembered as saying that his customers were free to have a Ford in any color, as long as it was BLACK. He also grew unconcerned about those who bought his vehicles second-hand (like I do), because they weren't HIS customers, but someone else's. Now a red car is no different from a black car, save the color, as long as they both have the requisite components for being called a car.
The SBC and IMB exist (tell me if I'm wrong) primarily to provide individual churches and their members greater opporunity for carrying out the task given to God's redeemed. They are vehicle makers for the church. I fear that the manufacturer may not only tell us what color we'll have, but what brand of tires and which stereo system and which upholstery and what specific options...
But Mr. Ford kept right on punching out cars (I think the company is still around!), though other rivals came along and quickly crowded the market.
I don't think much will immediately happen if the IMB policies are not reversed - they will keep punching out the product - but over time other rivals will crowd the market (they're already doing it), and some, maybe slowly, will begin to attach themselves to a new brand, or just take whichever is cheapest. But by the time my grandson is writing a report on Wade Burleson (shameless, I know) the SBC and IMB as we know them may very well be historical institutions mentioned in history reports and fondly remembered by old bloggers sitting on their porches sipping tea pining for the good ol' days.

Sorry so long.

Mark Sims
FBC Perrin, TX

Bill Scott said...

Wade,

Q1:
Blogs run by Southern Baptists have helped the SBC through Truth, Transparency and Thought.

Blogs expose the truth for what it is concerning inner workings of the various institutions beneath the umbrella of the SBC. The truth about the policies and precedents from within the inner sanctum of our seminaries are revealed for all to see. The truth about the policies and precedents of the IMB and their paralyzing and purging parameters are also posted publicly and purposefully.

Blogs bring transparency to our institutions within the SBC. No longer are the SBC rank and file blind to the politics and power plays behind the stained glass windows of the SBC institutions.

Blogs provoke thought. Thought provokes questions. Questions create dialogue. Dialogue promotes understanding. Understanding provides avenues for cooperation and collaboration among Baptists and other sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.

Q2:
The long term effect on the SBC will be detrimental if the policies are not reversed. I believe there are three factors which validate this position. These factors are openness, opposition and obsolescence.

Openness is key to cooperation from within and without the SBC. Openness does not mean compromise. Openness does not mean heresy. Without openness to our brothers and sisters of other faith groups the SBC will diminish over time. A lack of openness to brothers and sisters in Christ that have been biblically baptized but not baptistly baptized will cause the qualified to find other fellowships in which to serve. We should also be open to those who practice a private prayer language. This does not mean we have become bapticostals. It simply allows a believer to have a degree of transparency about their private prayer life.

Opposition to biblical precepts and truths for the sake of dogma and doctrine is detrimental to our convention. Scripture and doctrine are inextricably linked and cannot be separated despite the most valiant attempts to do so. However, internal opposition to our brothers and sisters in Christ on second and third tier doctrines will cause division, dischord and strife within our convention. This has already been adequately demonstrated from within and without the blogosphere.

Obsolescence is the destination for our convention, in particular for the IMB, if these policies are not reversed. The cooperative program has been the model and envy of the evangelical world concerning missions efforts. This wonderful model will loose it’s cooperative veneer and it’s longstanding leverage for the cause of Christ if parameters are narrowed beyond the BFM 2000. Obsolescence is the destination for our convention if biblical models of prayer are rebuked whole heartedly and seen as a disqualification for the mission field. Qualified candidates who are obsolete in the eyes of the IMB will find a place where they are valued and not vilified. Qualified candidates will move on with missions where they are not singled out for their biblical beliefs.

The sum of Q1 and Q2 is undefined at this time. The sum of these two questions will be the subject of much speculation. The sum of these two questions remains to be seen in the months and years yet to come. One thing is for certain, prayer, discussion and dialogue will help define the sum of Q1 and Q2.

TruthOfActs said...

I’m waiting for someone to say, “How do you get pornography on the internet?”
For years I didn’t know how or interested in finding out until I heard how easy it was. So I thought I’d better see what kids could be exposed to…playboy magazine eat you heart out. (I never bought one, but I’ve seen enough of the garbage to know it was sin. No wonder our nation elected such a sinful president and still is looked up to.
How can anyone look at such evil and not have the Holy Spirit grieved within them? Makes me wonder if they have the Holy Spirit. Someone wrote that pornography can be habit forming. How would a Christian know that? As a kid, I even felt guilty looking at the wrong pages of Sears & Roebuck.

With that said, I’ve enjoyed all the comments…even Tim’s. When I saw his picture, I was not wrong in thinking it would be negative, but he did good on his next comment. Without slighting others, I’m going to reply to the last 3 comments I read before starting this.

Levin Bussey,
I liked your personal account of blogging on how it has affected you.

Mark,
Your comparison of the SBC to Ford is very enlightening. BTW, do you know my brother-in-law Rollie Rinker?

Bill Scott,
Enjoyed your comment very much. I liked what you’ve said on why we blog on your blog of March 14.

The funny papers had the other day: “Loneliness can’t be cured by listening to others. You can only feel alive and whole when others are listening to you.”

It was made funny by the speaker saying, “What do you think of that?” and another replied, “Think of what?”

Few like to listen but had rather talk, but which one learns?

I think in writing, one can learn from himself by collecting his thoughts into a conclusion that had not existed before.

Thanks to all…wonder if someday there will be a convention named SBB? (Southern Baptist Bloggers)
Rex Ray

Mark said...

Rex Ray,

Rollie Rinker doesn't ring a bell...should it?

mark sims

Anonymous said...

Ditto, Kathleen.

Florence in KY

stearnsybears said...

I was done with the SBC. I din't feel like they wanted Chrisitans like me anymore. Diversity seemed to be the enemy. I still feel that way. But the personal reflections of these blogs gives me food for thought. It's helpful to know what others are thinking.

OC Hands said...

Regarding the significance of the Baptist blogs, we are very thankful for some of them. Having been out of the US for almost 35 years, it has been difficult to get a grasp of what has been taking place in the convention. Even on stateside assignments, it was hard to see the total picture, because we were limited to the churches we attended, or those where we were the speakers.
It has been an education having the blogs to read and study. We have been "re-educated" (a favorite Chinese commuunist term)as to what Southern Baptists believe now, and historically what they have always believed (tongue firmly in cheek.)
While we were actively serving overseas, we were impacted by some of the developments in the SBC, but had little background as to what was going on. By having access to the blogs, now at least we can benefit from the wisdom and insights of those who are at the leadership level of the SBC. Even if they disagree theologically, and cannot reach common ground on some issues, at least we can be aware of just what those issues are, giving us sufficient information to pray intelligently about the situation.
Also, it has been encouraging to read the comments of lay people, members of the pew--which we have become in recent years--and to know their heart for missions and for the SBC. Hearing the younger pastors and leaders voice their support for and interest in world-wide missions has been inspiring, to say the least. And to learn of their growing involvement in local, regional, national and international mission efforts has been most encouraging.
And, to be able to set up a blog where good news about missions overseas can be posted regularly has been a genuine delight. If you have not visited our blogsite, here is the address:
www.vopraise.blogspot.com

The down side has been to see the little-ness, mean-ness and uncivil nature of some who post on the blogs. While their commitment to their beliefs is admirable, the manner in which they dismiss any who cannot see things exactly as they do is unfortunate.

As to the new "policies" instituted by the IMB in regard to the requirements for new appointees, I believe it is unfortunate for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious is that it will narrow the parameters of mission involvement not only for prospective appointees, but for the churches that they represent as well. For those churches who can afford to, some will choose to do their own sending, thus draining potential funds from the IMB and SBC. This is already happening, and does not need to be expanded. Otherwise, we will return to the days before the Foreign Mission Board. It seems to me that the era of "cooperative" efforts is coming to a close in a number of ares of SBC life. This is tragic, and not what we were prepared to face upon retiring from the IMB.
The other more subtle aspect of these decisions is that it shows evidence of the growing influence of certain elements of our convention who seem to be more interested in correct doctrine than they are in international mission efforts. Whether this is due to the influence of Calvinism is something that I have been pondering for some time. I pray that these policies will be eliminated as soon as possible so that those who are called to go may be sent by those who should be supporting them.

G. Alford said...

Oxy,
“If used incorrectly, blogging can be another tool that Satan uses to destroy the work of Southern Baptists.”

Yes… and so can the Baptist Press

Grace to all,

G. Alford said...

Brother O.C.

I can say with some authority that the growing influence of “Calvinism” in the SBC is NOT what has lead to the “narrowing of the parameters of cooperation” in the SBC… as Calvinism along with PPL and Alien Baptism have been identified by the “Ruling Party” as the three deadly sins among Southern Baptist.

The culprit you are looking for goes by a different name: “LANDMARK-ISM”!

Grace to all,

OC Hands said...

G. Alford,
Thanks for the clarification. I knew something had moved the base of missions, but was not sure.
Appreciate your update.

TruthOfActs said...

Mark,
Sorry, I got the wrong town.
Rex Ray

R. Grannemann said...

Recent interview with Dan Rather on blogs and journalism. Interesting:

Rather opined at length on the state of his profession, in which too many journalists have become lapdogs to power, rather than watchdogs. "I do not exclude myself from this criticism... By and large, so many journalists--there are notable exceptions--have adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude)," he said.

"My role as a member of the press is to be sometimes a check and balance on power."

Indeed, Rather's ascent to the pinnacles of power in journalism came as a result of his reputation for asking very tough questions and--as Hampshire pointed out--not being afraid to ask follow-up questions, of powerful people like President Richard Nixon, the first President George Bush, current President Bush, Saddam Hussein, and many others.

Rather responded that he sees a lot of potential in the Internet, and in the blogosphere in particular, but that he worries about anonymity on a lot of Web sites and blogs.

He said it's very easy to attack someone when you don't have to put your name to your complaints. He's not sure how to strike the right balance between professional and citizen journalism, but he believes the market will eventually provide that solution.

http://news.com.com/
Dan+Rather+Journalism
+has+lost+its+guts/
2100-1025_3-6166528.html

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moron,

I was simply reacting to your ridiculous and absurb comments. You did not offend me or anyone else other than the one to whom you were "speaking". If you sincerely want to express your "deepest apology", you need to apologize to Wade, by name, and unambigiously. He is listening now.

Anonymous said...

unambiguously even

Colin said...

Use your stat counter of google to run the stats on visits versus post topic on this blog.

Stats will show that topics of gossip, pessimism, critique, and dissension will have abundant visits and comments.

Stats will show topics about strictly biblical topics (with no attending current events), optimism about the SBC, and non-controversial/divisive subjects to be ill-attended, noticed, and commented on.

Anonymous said...

hehe - Colin, does this surprise you? Surely not. You make the statement as if it's a news flash. This is and always will be the case. Anytime you get fallen, depraved people interacting, sensationalism is very predictable and very well attended to...and yes, even by those that have been reached by the hand of the Almighty and had their eyes peeled back.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve A said...

How humorous to hear that Dan Rather is concerned about the world of blogging and its effect on journalism. Mr. Rather made himself the poster child for the politically active journalists of the Columbia School variety, always on one side of any issue, elevating one political side and knocking down the other. Rather could begin a question or a sentence making Ronald Reagan out to be a fool and finish it convincing you the man was a crook.

I think what all the modern elitist media members really want is the right to make mistakes and tilt facts (since they're
"professional") but don't want others on blogs doing the same thing. It parallels the feeling of loss of control they feel with the rise of Fox News and the concervative press and talk radio.

If religiously involved people and conservatism rule the blogoshere, how will they ever fool us again?

K. Michael Crowder said...

Are we willing to lose missionaries and those they could have reached in order to reach a more purified philosophy?

Yes--Amen and Amen!

When my local church begins a licensure or ordination process the exact "purified philosophy" of the candidate is painstakingly by the Pastor and Board of Deacons. My guess is if a candidate expressed interest in tounges, PPL, glossolalia, or other such charasmatic/Pentecostal biblical intepretations that that candidate would be pack up and dropped off at the local AoG Church. With Godspeed of course. I agree with my theology professor Dr. C. McClain: "if you are not Baptist, we can pray together, but we cannot start churches together. I believe in starting and building Baptist Churches"

We had better get back to preaching the gospel and tightening out doctrinal belts. What do I think the best policy should be for the IMB missionaries? Let's borrow military policy from former POTUS Bill Clinton, "Don't ask don't tell." Here is how it works, it you as a missionary, called of God, ordained, commissionand apaid by the SBC choose to practice a PPL then WE (IMB) will not ask you about it, not should you tell us about it. ADDITIONALLY, you should not "tell" the people to whom God has called you to witness and minister. when a person goes to work they should leave their problems at the curb. when a missionary or pastor goes to work, they should leave their heresies at the curb.

If not...then yes I would be wiling to loose them as a missionary. Ladies and Gent....if we had to fire all but 100 of our missionaries to get the truth, the while truth and nothing but the truth preached (as a fulfillment of the great commission for the 40k SBC churches who rely on the IMB for this very ministry, then so be it. that is of course not the case by any stretch of the imagination. I do not have a problem with the policies....I have a problem that it has come to having to have such policies. But we are in the Laodcean age...and the SBC is not exempt from the enemy's tactics to seduce the church since he cannot subdue it.

(this is a slightly stronger position than what I have taken before on here but I am becoming more convinced that in the next 10-15 years, the CR will have been in vain.)

-kmichael

K. Michael Crowder said...

The new IMB policies, if not changed, will severely hurt the IMB...when I have an elder in my church...a true man of God, full of wisdom, knowledge and love...who could not serve as an IMB missionary because he was baptized in an Assemblies of God church and does have a private (and I do mean PRIVATE) prayer language...then our little church can not directly support the IMB.

I do not see this as an issue. Your church, a Southern Baptist Convention alligned local congregation, who holds to non-SBC doctrine are in no way contractually obligatated to fulfill the great commission in part by supporting the IMB, I am quite certain the AoG would be quite happy to receive your financial contribution--you will find all the info you will need to here:
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
1445 North Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802
Telephone: 417-862-2781
www.ag.org
***in loving christian jest***

*On a side note, I would be curious as to the policies of some various SBC churches regarding the acceptance of non-baptist baptisms. I am not quite sure if I know my own churches policy. e-mail me if you like, I would be interested in positions and reasons. I do not think I would be in the Landmark camp on this issue, but where does achurch draw the line?

OC Hands said...

So, if you don't believe like we do, then you're not Baptist, and we will take you by force and drop you off at the nearest AOG.
My how we have grown in love and fellowship. And firing thousands of missionaries to get at "the truth."
And how would this bring the gospel to the millions of people who have never heard of the love of Jesus? Will having a "pure doctrine" take the gospel overseas? How many who are pursuing the "pure doctrine" approach are willing to go themselves and take the gospel?
Is this the kind of love and compassion that Southern Baptists believe and practice?
I certainly hope not

TruthOfActs said...

O C Hands,
Well said to Crowder. I think your life’s work speaks as true as your words.
I’m afraid Crowder has tightened his ‘doctrinal belt’ so tight there’s not any room for his heart to love one another as Christ commanded.

It seems his greatest concern is not for the lost, but the Conservative Resurgence will be in vain.

Does he not believe if it is of God it will not fade away? Or is it the other way around he’s worried about?

What he ought to worry about is something that has not faded in 2,000 years that he calls “heresies”.

The Bible teaches that contributing things from the Holy Spirit to the devil is blasphemy and is not to be forgiven in this world or the world to come.
Rex Ray

Bob Cleveland said...

K.Michael:

What "non-SBC doctrine" does that church hold to? Certainly it is not accepting the baptism of someone in an AoG church!

If that's SBC doctrine, could you point me to where it's written down, please?

bryan riley said...

1. Blogs are awakening individuals across the landscape, changing ignorance into some knowledge, providing a voice to many who felt voiceless, and transforming apathy into passion. Of course, it will be imperfect knowledge, can empower people who will use it in improper ways, and cause fleshy passions, but I believe opening up the communication channels is very positive overall.

2. God only knows. It will work to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Ben Stratton said...

QUESTION: What do you believe will be the long-term effect on the SBC if the new IMB policies are not reversed and why?

I think most of you are blowing the long term effect way out of proportion. If they are not reversed (and I am one who hopes they will not be!) I think a few churches may break ties with the SBC, but this will be a small number. I don't see the total number of missionaries on the field being affected or the amount of money given to the CP being affected by this.

Anonymous said...

About KMichael's comment, from someone on the field with the IMB, it used to be "don't ask, don't tell" and "if you do, then just don't teach that because we don't emphasize that." The problem was this, it wasn't official policy and some of our people on the field began to feel "the conviction of the Spirit" that they should teach that, and so they taught that. What is "that"? That speaking in tongues is one of the main evidences of being filled with the Spirit. The policy, which restricts personal "use", is/was a reaction to that phenomenon and sought to cut the tree, not off at the branches, but at the root (at least in the eyes of the policy makers).

How have current policies affected the IMB? Not in any way that God didn't see coming and not in any way that He can't correct if He wanted to correct it.

Debbie said...

K Michael Crowder and Ben: I don't like what you have said nor do I agree. The end result will be different than what you think, but you two are at least honest on your beliefs. That is refreshing, and I can't fault you for this.

Debbie said...

anonymous: My question would be this, what abuses? When some trustees have asked for proof of these abuses, none were provided. No one case scenario could be provided. There seems to be no reason for these policies.

Mr. Crowder: The missionary candidates are now asked if they have a PPL. What are they to do now, lie?

Steve A said...

Wow, Mr. Crowder, I don't actually believe I've seen anyone call Dr. McKissick a heretic before, which os what can be inferred from your statements. As far as the baptism issue goes, maybe Paul and Timothy would earn your "heretic" label as well.

Are there secondary and tertiary issues? Dr. Moeller at Louisville has even written so. If everything is first-tier all the way, we never were a convention, just one more top-down denomination.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Oye Vey....where to begin...

I really just wanted to win the book...lol...but I think I failed miserably. I'll attempt to address each response in this post, and again I am sure, I will fail miserably.

1st to oc hands. I am sure you are a wise man of God and indeed you have made a valid point in response to my post. But the point I was trying to make is all we should be in one accord in our mission work. If Southern Baptist Missionaries feel compelled to preach controversial spiritual gifts as a necessary tool for evangelism and gospel proclamation then I would submit that they signed up to labor in the wrong denomination. I am not judging them, not all sir, I am suggesting that this Convention, biblically, theologically, doctrinally and creedalistally disagrees and does not want this "false doctrine" spead in the name of Southern Baptists. I have no issue with the AoG or other such demons preaching/teaching this doctrine. For they will be judged by God on their actions as will I and the SBC. I do not dislike or hate those of the Charimatic/Penticostal persuasion, I have two cousins who are Godly pastors of AoG Churches, one in AR, and one here in MO. They are brothers in Christ, but I would not build a church with them.

2nd to truthoffacts Your conjecture is incorrect, and your questions would be better served if directed towards me. Lastly, you might want to do some serious study of the synoptic texts that deal with blasphemy of the Holy Spirt. Sir, there is NO sin that God does not forgive. But I do appreciate your comments as we must all be kept in check by various other viewpoints.

to Bob Cleveland:
Admittedly, I do not even have a clue as to what church I/we are talking about....hince I have no clue to what doctrine they hold. The point, however, that I was trying to make, is that if this church believes that one of its members (a former AoG member and one who currently speaks in tounges or has a PPL) deserves to be a IMB missionary, then said member should be required to hold to a set of doctrinal standards, else we let a Catholic priest in to perform mass in our name. God forbid either! As to my question on Baptismal acceptance, (one to which no one has answered) it was a genuine question, and one to which I do not know where I stand.

to debbie Mr. Crowder: The missionary candidates are now asked if they have a PPL. What are they to do now, lie?

I am curious why you asked this question? For I do not sense that it was rhetorical. The answer is of course NO. And that is how the system works. Are some so desperate to be part of the SBC that they should lie about their convictions? Shame. There are non-denominational mission agencies out there that are more accepting of eccumentical ministers. The IMB of the SBC is not such an agency nor should it be required to conform to post-modern eccumenicalism. Thanks for your kind words, I am sorry that we disagree.

To steve a
You make to much of and use to strongly the word heretic. If we wanted to truely label, most of us on here could be considered a heretic. Personally I would consider Luther a heretic. But even God can use a heretic for good. I do not know Dr. McKissic nor would I call him a heretic. In the future it might be wise to save your inferences for a time after which you have consulted the person to whom you are refering. As to the Baptism issue, please re-read.....I gave no opinion one way or the other, but was rather seeking to gain information to make a more informed decision. So please do tell, Why is it that you have infered that I believe Paul and Timothy are heretics? I sincerely await a response (via e-mail please).

A grain of sand on the beach of life,

-kmichael

Anonymous said...

A simple definition of blogs: A digital church parking lot.

Parkography, not pornography.

To Crowder: Your cousins are both "brothers in Christ" and "demons"? Wow.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debi L. Maestri said...

Blogs, blogs are you nothin' but porn?
I DON'T THINK SO, so why all the scorn?

Blogs show me the money, blogs show me the way
Just "BRING IT ON DUDE!" in the light of day!

Some blogs make us happy, and some make us sad
Ben's blogs are soooo funny, but make people mad!

Blogs equal us out, without showin' faces
"Anonymous" bloggers can hide in most cases.....

Don't worry my friends, but DO watch your tongue
PPL's, say IMB, are nothin' but dung!

And if you don't know if you're baptized or not
Just love GOD'S WORD and ignore the thought!

Bill Scott said...

K Michele Krowder,

You are extremely dogmatic and spiritually condescending. What a lofty spiritual and doctrinal plane you have reached. Please write a post on your blog detailing how we can all ascend to the heights that you have reached with your doctrinal purity.

By your use of the yiddish exclamation "oy vey," it must be your pharasaical roots coming out. Your brand of "christian love" has driven many away from our convention. I am not talking about the baptists being driven away. I am speaking of the lost choosing to find elsewhere to worship. I contend that your brand of "christian love" will not further the cause of Christ!

If you condescend on brothers and sisters in Christ the way you do, I shudder to think how you must act towards the lost. It sounds odd for you to point out heresies when it appears you are dangerously close to committing them yourself.

It is my sincere hope that in Heaven you live next door to a Pentecostal. I hope they pray loudly in their PPL for you to endure for all of eternity through.
"A Christian Jest Just for You!"

Smile Brother, there is a AoG heretic praying for you somewhere in the blogosphere (maybe in a PPL).

OC Hands said...

K.Michael,
You have shown a great deal of patience and insight in responding to those of us who disagree with you. IMHO, you use "inflammatory" words indiscrimately--in referring to those with whom you disagree. To call Martin Luther a "heretic" or to refer to pastors of AOG churches as "demons" is really over the top. We can disagree theologically with Lutherans, Methodists, even charismatics, but to label them as heretics or demons indicates either a reckless use of language, or a lack of consideration for others or both.
Southern Baptists have been blessed by God because we have been faithful in evangelism and missions. But he has other workers that have also been blessed by being faithful in these areas. I have worked together with some of these, and I count it a privilege.

K. Michael Crowder said...

oc hands:
I did in no post ever call an AoG pastor a demon. You should not take the words of other commentators in response to me. Lastly have I "shown a great deal of patience and insight in responding to those of us who disagree with you." OR do I "use "inflammatory" words indiscrimately--in referring to those with whom [I] disagree." I submit sir that it cannot be both.

As to bill scott:

I should not even respond to you sir. How inappropriate are your comments, and so off base as to be completely incorrect. YOu can disagree with me. I respect that and I welcome it. But to be outright mean, is just wrong.


OOPS-----BIG TIME EDIT!!!!!!

I just re-read my posts to see where the word demon might have been misunderstood.

I wrote: I have no issue with the AoG or other such demons preaching/teaching this doctrine. that should have read denoms As in short for denominations.

Sorry for the confusion.

Intersting though how some of you handled this.

K

John Fariss said...

K. Michael:

Regarding the demon/denom mispelling, you wrote, "Sorry for the confusion. Intersting though how some of you handled this."

"I'm sorry, but. . . ." is never an appology, and that is essentially what you have said, IMHO. Just say, "I'm sorry," and leave it at that, and I think you'll find most folks will forgive an honest typo. And your comments do come off as being inflamatory and harsh, whether you meant them that way or not. If this was a face-to-face conversation, are those the words you would choose to speak? Doesn't the Bible say something about "a soft answer turneth away wrath"?

Kudo's to Brother Hands, Rex Ray, and Bob Cleveland.

K. Michael Crowder said...

And your comments do come off as being inflamatory and harsh, whether you meant them that way or not. All of my comments? Some of my comments? Or just the ones to which you disagree? I would emplore you to be more specific. I disagree that the Holy Spirit emparts gifts such as tounges and PPL's. Additionally, I feel that those who believe they have such gifts are misguided in their intpretation of the Holy Spirit's work in their lives. (in short, they are just wrong, imho)and how could one believe it is ok for another to teach "wrong" doctrine. Truely how many of you out there would want a SS teacher teaching a class of 3rd grade boys and girls how to speak in tounges??? Would your churches SS director or Minister of Education ask the teacher to step down? Of course they would, or your church would have a major battle on their hands. I am a Southern Baptist because I believe in the Bible the same way that most other Southern Baptist's do. I am not Catholic, or Lutheran, or Methodist, or Charasmatic because I do not believe in the Bible the same way they do. Why do some feel the SBC needs to move in a syncretistic direction? Earlier today I was reading the admission requirements for MidAmerica Baptist Theological Seminary. Did anyone know they will not admit one who has been divorced or one who has a spouse who has been divorced? Nor do they allow women to enter divinity degrees. Many in our convention would scoff at this, but I submit that they are just agreeing with Paul. anyway, I said I was sorry for the typo. If that is not enough for you then it would not have mattered what I had said. Additionally, that was more for the nasty e-mails I received. I said nothing htat should have been construed as offensive to anyone on here. I know I called Luther a heretic, but he'll get over it. :) And I suspect you will too.

I wonder if I won the book...

;)

Love in christ,

kmichael

TruthOfActs said...

Michael Crowder,
I’ll take your advice and make my comments directly to you. You said: “Sir, there is NO sin that God does not forgive.”

First some free advice: Saying “Sir” when everyone knows you don’t mean it, is a cut down, and does not win friends or influence people. It may make you feel good, but that’s about all.

If there is “No sin that God does not forgive”, will you explain Matthew 12:31-32?

“Because of this, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the one to come.”

These verses apply to what the Pharisees had said, (verse 24) “The man drives out demons only by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

They had contributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of the devil. That will not be forgiven.

Is it worth the risk to say ppl is NOT from the Holy Spirit?

Crowder, would you bank you life on it, or should I say soul?
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

Michael,
Your winning? About the same as the man finding favor with David when he SAID he had killed Saul
Rex

TruthOfActs said...

Michael,
I shouldn’t have said that because you, I, and Fox will all be in the complaint department. I included Fox because I remembered him moaning so on the last contest.
Rex

K. Michael Crowder said...

Rex,

I will not debate this tid-bit of theology on Wade Burleson's blog. We can take it to my blog and I will post my view of the "unpardonable sin" by midweek. This infact has been one of my side studies amidst my towering pile of reading for school.
"Crowder, would you bank you life on it, or should I say soul?"
I'll bank my life on Jesus.

Your winning? About the same as the man finding favor with David when he SAID he had killed Saul You are right, you should not have said that. And I am not moaning. And if blogger has a complaint department, I'll be sure to include you 1st thing when you post on mine. ;)

Lastly, I am a bit clueless as to your objection to my calling you "Sir." It was not meant as a complement or an insult. It is simply an intext label I use from time to time to emphasize my comments to the person to whoim I am speaking. Nothing more nothing less. You really need to stop the nit-picking.

And don't forget to check out my blog later this week.

kmichael

TruthOfActs said...

K. Michael,
You don’t want me to be nit-picky? If I was nit-picky, I’d ask how you pronounce the name “kmichael”.
I’ve always had a problem if people signed their names without correct spelling. It’s like they wanted people to know they’re important enough that the world should know them. This may be a chip on my shoulder starting with my brother signing his name backwards. (Zeh Yar)

You’re clueless about “Sir”? Do you remember?... “You Sir are no John Kennedy!”
The man was making fun, and “Sir” added to it. Maybe I’m wrong, but to me “Sir” is correct when showing respect or praising someone but is not correct when making fun, disagreeing, or ‘tongue in cheek.’

Why should I believe your “towering pile of reading” over the simple words of Jesus? People that bank their life on Jesus, believe his Word.

Fox, I was just trying to be funny when I mentioned your name. I for one have read many comments (including yours) which are a lot better than mine.
Rex Ray

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Here’s an idea for ‘who’ will choose the winners. (I guess there’ll be a winner for #1 and a winner for #2.)

Have the contestants and readers vote the winners.
Reasons:
1. It will cause comments to be read closer.
2. Eliminates getting ‘judges.’
3. More ‘faith’, respect, etc in the ‘judges’ which will reduce the ‘whiners.’ (Ha)
4. The winners would (in my opinion) feel more honored.

I suppose no anonymous votes would be allowed or Fox might not get any sleep. Ha (If I didn’t like him, I wouldn’t pick on him.)
Rex Ray

John Fariss said...

Dear K. Michael,

I expect there are quite a few things on which we would agree: the necessity of Christ for salvation, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the Trinity, just to name few. I even would agree that much (I hesitate to say all) the modern phenomena of tongues, as practiced in charismatic churches, is something very different from that found in the Book of Acts, and that to which Paul referred. But to my perception, your comments--that is, their tone, as that as is communicated in print--comes off as harsh and somewhat judgmental, whether I agree with a specific comment or disagree.

When I was in college some 35+ years ago, we had to read a fellow named Marshall MaClulen (pardon the spelling, I am going from memory, and it was a long time ago), and his big thing was communication. He said that there were "hot" forms of communication "cool" forms, and a range of "temperatures" between them. He said TV was a somewhat cool form because it lacked the ability for those "on" TV to read their audience, unlike the theatre, which was thus a warmer form. The hottest communications were face-to-face, and the coldest were the print media. Of course that was long before blogs or the internet, but I am reasonably sure he would consider them cool because we cannot pick up facial expression or nuances of tone. So maybe face-to-face, I would not percieve this "tone," but in print, I do, as apparently have several others.

You come across to me as angry about something. Maybe you are not, but that is the feeling I percieve. Either way, I would suggest (and I say the same thing in couseling couples): if someone tells you this, before you decide if it is valid, you first have to decide if you want to deal with it or not. So, do you want to? Then I typically ask, "How could you have expressed the same thing another way?" I think that is the source of your perception that people were attacking you: they felt you were coming with a certain emotional content, and they responded in kind. So then, assuming you are willing to deal with it, how could you have said the same things you said, another way?

By the way, yes, I expect Martin Luther will get over you calling him a heretic. But then such name calling don't hurt the person they are directed towards; they hurt the one doing the calling.

K. Michael Crowder said...

john fariss,

thank you kindly for your post. Let me first say that I am not angry in the slightest about anything regarding the issues of this thread. I am not happy about some of the unchristian things that were emailed to me, but be that as it may. I have re-read and re-read my 2 original posts and other than my gaff in mispelling "denoms", (I will gladly stand beside Dan Quayl for our eternal flogging) and some mild use of scarcasm, I find nothing that should have been construed as "offensive." I did not use the word heretic until someone suggested that by calling a view heretical that I was automatically calling all who hold that view a heretic. Not so. People hold to views for all sorts of reasons. Holding a heretical view does not necessarily make one a heretic. I called Luther a heretic like you might call Pelagius a heretic or yet another might call Calvin a heretic. I was onces told by a Landmarkist Pastor that open Communion was heretical, does that make me a heretic for observing open communion?

Spencer Burke wrote a book called "A Heretic's Guide To Eternity." Though I disagree with nearly ALL of his theology, the concept of the book is quite unique. Prolly a book that ALL of us heretics should read.

So...here is my different way of saying it. You build churches and do missions with heretics like you and I will build churches and do misions with heretics like me. And if we are the same type of heretic, then lets serve God together.

At the end of the day I am not concerned whether the IMB policy is changed or not. God is doing great things in the IMB. LM offerings are at an all time high and we have more missionaries on the field than ever before, and more people groups being reached that ever before, but then Wade might be the better expert on the wonderful things happening at the IMB. A trustees report might contain a more comprehensive list of the blessings of God than say, the BP or Missouri's, "The Pathway."

As to blogs....reality has a way of separating the wheat from the shaff. Wades OP's are great as are many other bloggers including Marty Durin (my 2 favs) But the commentaries, as seen in this blog, and to quote our resident poet, "are nothin' but dung!"

My bible study this morning was on Salvation an restoration...that pastor had a great sermon on Grace to cap it off. God has blessed with a great day.

-kmichael (kay-mi-kuhl)

Debbie said...

kmichael: I emailed you twice in response to your emailing me. You are not a victim here kmichael. You cannot make the statements you have and go unchallenged. I deleted my post to you simply because I could see it does no good to talk to you. The subject is blogs, not theology. Maybe your own blog would be a more suitable place to go if you want to continue to discuss this.

volfan007 said...

kmichael,

you will find that there are many who will call you angry and mean if you dont agree with them. if you believe differently, and have any passion about you, then they will attack you in all sorts of ways. they will falsely accuse you, and they will jump on your back. all the while claiming that they are the open minded ones...the welcoming ones...the nice ones. hang in there, bro.

david

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
On a personal note, I read your words: “While I am skiing with my wife and two youngest kids in Breckenridge, Colorado through the weekend…” March 25, 2007

It caused a flashback while visiting my brother, we had skipped church and drove to Breckenridge to ski. My last remembrance was riding the cable car with my nephew. I lost about 8 years of my life as I was brought down with 24 hour amnesia…couldn’t remember any of my children getting married etc. The restaurant manager asked us to leave as I had found a wig on my head and was asking customers if they knew how I got it.
They wouldn’t let me drive my van, but I did remember where the key was. All the drive back to Monument, I hounded them with one question: “what’s today?”
“We’re tired of telling you!”
“Please, just one more time.”
And afterwards, I say, “Sunday? We skipped church to go skiing? No wonder the Lord zapped me.”
I think they were more tired of my repeated conclusion than the question.

But my conclusion was based on fact. Once I had decided to skip teaching my SS class and drive to Louisiana for a spear fishing contest on Sunday. (I told the Lord that once a year was OK.) They called it a ‘Gar Rodeo.’ I left on Saturday with my 12 foot long homemade boat and two other guys that qualified us for being the ‘Three Stooges’ when the boat hit a stump and started sinking. (The guy was about blind without his glasses that was controlling the steering wheel as I had to hold the gas jets in place since they had come loose.) The lake was a huge swamp and we didn’t know where the nearest bank was.
With the boat on the bottom, we held on to trees with 9 scuba tanks floating like corks. It was exactly SS time. After an hour, our ‘you-who’s changed to HELPPPPP! We took turns. Church was long over before anyone heard us.

So Wade, hope you didn’t miss church, or did you preach to them going down hill?
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

What???

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

That is perhaps the most bizare post I have ever read...very strange bro......very strange

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

In regards to your comments to MK concerning Matt 12...that’s a great job of exposition brother...are you saying that if one disagrees with the modern application of tongues in the charismatic/neo-Pentecostal tradition that they are in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Surely not!

By the way...I find it interesting that one poster that disagrees with many on this thread questions the theological validity of some positions and he is labeled mean and worthy of scorn...however you folks have been in full attack mode for over a year and a half now towards many on the BoT of two of our SBC institutions simply because you disagree with them (Which is fine by the way) yet your the champions of all that's fair and right.

and you cannot see the inconsistency in your actions?

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

In regards to your comments to MK concerning Matt 12...that’s a great job of exposition brother...are you saying that if one disagrees with the modern application of tongues in the charismatic/neo-Pentecostal tradition that they are in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Surely not!

By the way...I find it interesting that one poster that disagrees with many on this thread questions the theological validity of some positions and he is labeled mean and worthy of scorn...however you folks have been in full attack mode for over a year and a half now towards many on the BoT of two of our SBC institutions simply because you disagree with them (Which is fine by the way) yet your the champions of all that's fair and right.

and you cannot see the inconsistency in your actions?

jrm

Char said...

kmichael said:

"Did anyone know they will not admit one who has been divorced or one who has a spouse who has been divorced? Nor do they allow women to enter divinity degrees. Many in our convention would scoff at this, but I submit that they are just agreeing with Paul."

I am a woman who has a MDiv. According to you, and the fact check I did, Mid-America does not admit women to the MDiv program for reasons that are very meaningful and carefully worked out, I am sure. There are sabbath keepers who remove the light in their fridge prior to Sabbath so not to infringe upon the Lord's request in Exodus not to light a fire in their homes (Ex 35:3). Additionally, there are some who could argue from the scripture that a man with a deformed hand, foot or private part, could not serve the Lord in a priestly manner (Leviticus 21:19). There is an endless number of requirements well meaning people could come up with. I SUPPORT 100% Mid America's right and OBLIGATION (given its convictions) to never receive an application from me.
BUT... we were not really talking about one PRIVATE CHRISTIAN AMERICAN instituton's requirements. You said, "many in our convention would scoff" at Mid A's MDiv requirements.
THANKS FOR MAKING MY POINT.

Many, in the polity we have chosen as a convention, is a majority! If the majority of SBCers want women with MDIVs, then guess what. That's what we do. THERE ARE plenty of privately funded organizations that cater to niche preferences.

I, for one, do not scoff at your preferences. You probably arrived at your conclusions after much prayer, Bible reading and exposure to all the possible ways Christians have lived out the Biblical teachings through the centuries.

Char

jack said...

1). A Southern Baptist once told me that 'blogs' were like internet pornography. To be fair, this person did not know what a blog was at the time. In your opinion how have blogs run by Southern Baptists helped or hurt the Southern Baptist Convention?

BLOGS & SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

“ Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana’s words may prove prophetic for Southern Baptist leaders who equate blogs and websites that challenge their theocracy with “pornography”. These internet sites that represent dissent from within have been ignored by some, maligned by others and engaged by a small but growing number of emerging leaders, reformers, SBC laymen and clergy.

Like their counterparts five centuries ago the majority of SBC leaders appear to be missing the message of the unfamiliar and evolving medium they face. It is most ironic that many who ushered in what they call the “SBC Conservative Reformation” and who liken themselves to Martin Luther are responding more like the Catholic authorities he fought against than the reformers with whom they claim to identify.

Martin Luther understood that the printing press afforded the opportunity for an “information revolution” in the same manner that the internet does today. Luther – armed with the printing press-- published five pamphlets for every one put out by his Catholic opponents.

For decades Catholic authorities responded with repression and pronouncements of rebuttal. By the time they realized that they needed to participate in the conversation and tried to engage the masses via their own printing presses, their views – for a large number of their former followers--- were meaningless.

As we move forward in time to the present, blogs and other websites – like the printing presses that fueled Luther’s reformation—are spreading ideas, and fueling conversations and dissent within the SBC, with greater speed and ease than ever before.

This represents a challenge to those who wish to enforce strict “top down” denominational control of the SBC and mandate strictly structured approaches to worship, evangelism or missions.

This represents an opportunity for those who wish to engage and empower individual local churches and their members to fulfill the Great Commission in unique fashions according to the opportunities before them in their communities or on the mission field.

Only God knows who will prevail.

(2). Some believe that the new policies at the IMB are great, some believe they are no big deal, and others believe they are horrible. What do you believe will be the long-term effect on the SBC if the policies are not reversed and why?

FUTURE SHOCK

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Walt Kelly’s words spoken through his cartoon character “Pogo” in 1989 could just as well have come from leaders of the SBC’s “Conservative Reformation.” The movement first targeted those identified as liberals within its seminaries and has marched on to identify and expel other perceived liberal threats throughout the denomination’s agencies (such as the IMB) and within its individual churches (through changes to the text and enforcement of the Baptist Faith & Message).

The long-term effect on the SBC if the policies are not reversed will be just what those who are championing them intend: A smaller body of believers; governed by a smaller body of leaders; following a smaller body of scripture (eg: strict cessationalists only need apply); cooperating with a smaller number of Great Commission Churches; engaging a smaller number of people (eg: Baptists are only to condemn those who consume alcohol – thou shalt not sit among them and spread the gospel) in a smaller number of methods (all strictly approved and overseen by a smaller but more judgmental centralized church authority).

They expect this will win larger numbers to Christ – in the same fashion that “tightening the parameters” is supposed to produce a larger number of theology students at a certain SBC educational institution.

Hopefully the math on the mission field will work out better than it has so far on campus.

If enough members demand an end to the current obsession with extra-biblical “Baptist Distinctives” and questionable interpretations of scripture (by people who call themselves inerrantists, no less) then the SBC has a chance of surviving and serving God instead of man. If not, the cause of Christ will go on without it – just as it did before

K. Michael Crowder said...

char,

Thank you for your intellegent remarks. On the examples you quoted from the OT, however, invalidity would be my only comment. We are not subject to Levitical or deutero-canonical Law. In fact we are not subject to any OT Law that has not been restated in the NT. You can disagree on the last point and I am fine with that. But the point is not all OT is the same. Even for current Jews, assuming a Messiah had not come, Temple Law and ritual is void as there is no Temple. I hold to a male only ordination because that is what I believe God instructed Paul to write. And I would submit that most Southern Baptist's would agree with this position. Infact I am certain of it. Our BF&M2000 and several resolutions through out hte years as well as our own seminary policies (SWBTS, SBTS, MWBTS for sure) I'd have to research Southeastern and NO, and GG. At last survey, there were only a small number of churches who approved of female ordinations and only a few dozen at the most with female pastors. As for this issue I trust God will work in the local associations to work this out. I cannot say for certain, but in my own local association, it would not fly. We are indeed local autonomous churches. but the majority will always decide issues of continued fellowship with churches. Churches are alligned at the pleasure of the majority of the balance of the alligning churhes.

You sound like a very level headed person. and I am not going to tell you that your ordination (assuming you are ordained) is not of God. But I will say, that according to my exegesis of Paul's writings to Timothy, one of you is wrong.

And that is not being mean. That is calling a spade a spade. I should hope you are as honest with me.

- kmichael

Wade Burleson said...

Winners Announced:

Winning comment for the first question: Dorcas Hawker


Blogs, in a way, are the fellowship hall for the church, to that extent I believe they have helped the SBC. I feel closer and connected to more people within the body of Christ. There is freedom to mingle around the room. I can wander over to the table where they are discussing the pastor's sermon for that day; and then perhaps over to a lively chat about family, kids, and the crazy thing junior did last week; after I catch the news there, I hear someone trying to get people on board with a mission project and go check out what is going on in that corner of the fellowship hall; and then a funny joke catches my ear and soon I find myself caught up in laughter and the joy of fellowship. After catching my breath from laughing until I was crying, and grab a glass of punch, it is back over to listen to some of the men deep in a debate about a topic of SBC Life, and though I may not comment much, I do collect a lot of information to think about and ponder on the drive home. But the beauty of the hour spent in the fellowship hall with fellow believers is that everyone had the freedom to move about and talk about a variety of topics and interest with everyone else. In that way we are the body of Christ, living and growing in godliness together, each at our own pace and with varying interests and gifts, and yet we ARE together. That is the greatest benefit I see that blogs give to the SBC. For all the disagreements we may find ourselves in upon any given topic, the fact of the matter is that by and large we are talking to each other, meeting new people, and being able to see, on those days when we feel a little down or alone in the world as to our Christian walk, the truth of 1 Kings 19:18. This is the benefit of blogs in my opinion.



Co-Winning Comments for the second question: Bill Scott and the last comment by Jack

Bill Scott's Comment

The long term effect on the SBC will be detrimental if the policies are not reversed. I believe there are three factors which validate this position. These factors are openness, opposition and obsolescence.

Openness is key to cooperation from within and without the SBC. Openness does not mean compromise. Openness does not mean heresy. Without openness to our brothers and sisters of other faith groups the SBC will diminish over time. A lack of openness to brothers and sisters in Christ that have been biblically baptized but not baptistly baptized will cause the qualified to find other fellowships in which to serve. We should also be open to those who practice a private prayer language. This does not mean we have become bapticostals. It simply allows a believer to have a degree of transparency about their private prayer life.

Opposition to biblical precepts and truths for the sake of dogma and doctrine is detrimental to our convention. Scripture and doctrine are inextricably linked and cannot be separated despite the most valiant attempts to do so. However, internal opposition to our brothers and sisters in Christ on second and third tier doctrines will cause division, dischord and strife within our convention. This has already been adequately demonstrated from within and without the blogosphere.

Obsolescence is the destination for our convention, in particular for the IMB, if these policies are not reversed. The cooperative program has been the model and envy of the evangelical world concerning missions efforts. This wonderful model will loose it’s cooperative veneer and it’s longstanding leverage for the cause of Christ if parameters are narrowed beyond the BFM 2000. Obsolescence is the destination for our convention if biblical models of prayer are rebuked whole heartedly and seen as a disqualification for the mission field. Qualified candidates who are obsolete in the eyes of the IMB will find a place where they are valued and not vilified. Qualified candidates will move on with missions where they are not singled out for their biblical beliefs.

The sum of Q1 and Q2 is undefined at this time. The sum of these two questions will be the subject of much speculation. The sum of these two questions remains to be seen in the months and years yet to come. One thing is for certain, prayer, discussion and dialogue will help define the sum of Q1 and Q2.


Jack's Comment

(2). Some believe that the new policies at the IMB are great, some believe they are no big deal, and others believe they are horrible. What do you believe will be the long-term effect on the SBC if the policies are not reversed and why?

FUTURE SHOCK

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Walt Kelly’s words spoken through his cartoon character “Pogo” in 1989 could just as well have come from leaders of the SBC’s “Conservative Reformation.” The movement first targeted those identified as liberals within its seminaries and has marched on to identify and expel other perceived liberal threats throughout the denomination’s agencies (such as the IMB) and within its individual churches (through changes to the text and enforcement of the Baptist Faith & Message).

The long-term effect on the SBC if the policies are not reversed will be just what those who are championing them intend: A smaller body of believers; governed by a smaller body of leaders; following a smaller body of scripture (eg: strict cessationalists only need apply); cooperating with a smaller number of Great Commission Churches; engaging a smaller number of people (eg: Baptists are only to condemn those who consume alcohol – thou shalt not sit among them and spread the gospel) in a smaller number of methods (all strictly approved and overseen by a smaller but more judgmental centralized church authority).

They expect this will win larger numbers to Christ – in the same fashion that “tightening the parameters” is supposed to produce a larger number of theology students at a certain SBC educational institution.

Hopefully the math on the mission field will work out better than it has so far on campus.

If enough members demand an end to the current obsession with extra-biblical “Baptist Distinctives” and questionable interpretations of scripture (by people who call themselves inerrantists, no less) then the SBC has a chance of surviving and serving God instead of man. If not, the cause of Christ will go on without it – just as it did before.

Wade Burleson said...

If the three winners will email me with mailing addresses I will send the book out this week.

Great comments to all. My wife and I enjoyed reading them (at least, most of them :) ).

I particularly liked the Breckenridge tales. Rex, your comment took the cake. :)

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