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

A Resolution on Love for Fellow Christians

________________________________________

WHEREAS, the Holy Scriptures acknowledge Christ as the head of His church; and
WHEREAS, His church encompasses all the peoples of the world who place their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; and
WHEREAS, God commands that His people love one another deeply (I Peter 4:8); and
WHEREAS, whoever does not love does not know God (I John 4:8); and
WHEREAS, Jesus Christ proclaimed that all persons will know that we are His disciples, by our love for one another (John 13:35);
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-14, 2007, reaffirm our love for Christians of all denominations and our desire to cooperate with evangelicals around the world for the fulfillment of the Great Commission; and
Be it further RESOLVED, That we call upon our elected officials to lead us to love with not just words but with actions and in truth (I John 3:18); and
Be it finally RESOLVED, That we, the individual messengers of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention, love each other so that we will be bound together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14).


Submitted to the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee, Chairman Gerald Harris, on May 28, 2007, by Messenger Wade Burleson

149 comments:

Wade Burleson said...

This, to me, is the most important resolution we could pass.

Amy Downey said...

I thought I was going to be first but then Wade has post the first comment. Shucks! Oh well then, Wade I wanted to let you know that I found this part of your resolution very interesting. Let me also explain why I could not vote for it.

"reaffirm our love for Christians of all denominations and our desire to cooperate with evangelicals around the world for the fulfillment of the Great Commission"

First, I have, and love profoundly, friends of just about every denomination. They are some of my closest friends and we pray for each other on a daily (and sometimes more) basis. I have friends who are Charismatic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, non-denominational, etc., etc. We pray together. We discuss issues (yes, debate!) but resolve that we will always be friends despite our religious disagreements.

However, we have also agreed that on certain issues we can't cooperate because of our doctrinal position on certain issues, especially soteriology. An Assembly of God Christian will witness and disciple differently than a Baptist Christian ... because of our differences on soteriology. An AofG will witness and disciple someone with the belief of apostasy imbedded. A Baptist (well most Baptists anyway) will witness and disciple someone to realize that eternal security is a blessed reality.

Now I affirm, support, and encourage all denominations to be diligent in regards to evangelism. God does the saving regardless of human failings and mistakes; He justs wants our willingness to witness. However, denominations are different in their approaches and asking an AofG to set aside their understanding of apostasy, for the sake of cooperation, is as unrealistic as expecting a Baptist to throw away our understanding of perseverance. It just won't happen.

We can work separately (as it applies to evangelism) and God will gain His increase. We can work together on issues not involving evangelism and God will be the one who is blessed.

Ultimately I want every Christian (regardless of your denominational stripe) to be a diligent witness to all the lost of the world. Just understand that on some issues we will work on separate sides of the street.

And again as I wrote yesterday, there will be some who read my feeble explanatory efforts in a negative way. I recognize this fact. I just wanted to explain my view of why evangelical ecumenism can only go so far.

blackhaw66 said...

Good try at a resolution. Of course what it means to love someone will be interpreted differently by different people. Thus in the end this resolution means nothing. That is unless one describes more of what it means to love someone. That is why the Bible does not just say love on another but adds how one does it. "as yourself", "As Christ Loved the Church", etc.

But what this will look like is an attempt to get support for the NBC and other items that you support. Whether you want it to or not this is what many will see and thus must be thought of before making a resolution like this.

Bryan Riley said...

I would agree, Wade. I love the language that says that we love all Christians and that we desire to cooperate for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

I do wish we could include some specific actions of love, however. It is good to call for love with actions and in truth, but even better if we can give examples of the kinds of actions we will endeavor to do! I know it is hard to do that, because once you start listing you are afraid you will leave something out. And perhaps that is why it would be a difficult task. I just know we are often seen as full of words but lacking action!

Micah 6:8!!!

Amy Downey said...

I feel like I need to explain myself a little more with a story from my dad's ministry. I don't know why because those who will agree will agree and those who don't ... won't.

My dad, Jack, pastored for 27 years until his death in 2000. At one of his first churches he would visit the county jail every week. Another Jack was a AofG pastor who also visited the jail. They would meet for coffee before and after their visits and pray together for those souls with whom they shared the Gospel.

Jack the Baptist and Jack the AofG both led prisoners to the Lord but they never worked together in a witnessing opportunity. Why? Different views of soteriology. In fact my dad used to "tease" the other Jack that while they were both going to heaven when they died, he (Baptist Jack) was the only who was sure of it!

There will be former prisoners in heaven because of both Baptist Jack AND AofG Jack. They have both received the rewards from God the Father but yet never compromised or suspended their understanding of salvation. And ultimately God received the increase for their service.

Their Christian love for each other was strong but their cooperation only could go so far.

Again, I know that I have not changed a single mind. However, I thought this story illustrated well my position on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Wade, I think your best buddy Ben Cole should have coauthored this resolution...

Signed,
"The Good Cop, Bad Cop" Police

Jack Maddox said...

WADE

AWESOME!!!....You have done it this time...best job I have seen in quite a while!!! : )

Lets see...If I vote yes...well...

and if I vote no...oh man....

Yep...masterful my friend...simply top notch!

Jack

volfan007 said...

amy,

i really enjoy reading what you write. you seem like a very intelligent person who loves the Lord and believes His Word. thanks for joining in these discussions. your comments are very enlightening and have been a blessing to me. thanks.

david

blackhaw66 said...

Amy,

We all know that you love many men . . . and women . . .. But do you think you could accept a conference like the NBC if it was just Christians coming together to feed the hungry etc.? Maybe if all those attending were orthodox Christians but not necessarily Baptist or that the conference stated that it was Baptists who were coming together. What I am trying to say is that would you be okay with a non- or inter-denominational group or conference of orthodox christians that were coming together for the common purpose of social issues.

I am not trying to trick you or paint you into a corner. I would be happy to attend a conference or be a part of a group as I described above. My main problem with the NBC is that it is declaring what Baptists beleive. Well there is also that thing about some of them promoting beliefs that are not orthodox. But anyways I would be happy to support a conference of Christians unified in core Christian beliefs in order to promote feeding the poor etc. In fact I am a member of the Bono's One organization which can be viewed very simliarly to what I have described above.

Amy Downey said...

Blackhaw 66,

Yes within the parameters you set out.

BTW, I know who you are and we will discuss your opening sentence. (grin)

Amy

Benjamin S. Cole said...

volfan007:

You're such a big flirt.

BSC

RKSOKC66 said...

I'm all in favor of cooperation.

As a matter of fact I think there is a certain group that has taken up the moniker of "cooperation" in the name of their group. Of course I'm speaking of the CBF.

I wonder how much more "cooperative" the SBC (or any subset of the SBC) would be if your resolution was already on the books.

I don't think cooperation should necessarily trump good judgment in deciding whether a proposed "joint venture" makes sense. Before, starting something it only makes sense to examine the landscape to see if the "chemistry" is right to allow everyone to work harmonously.

Also, there is not necessarily a correlation between the size of the group engaged on something and success. Real world test cases show that sometimes you can make more progress tword the defined goal with fewer people that are focused and competant. That way you don't waste time trying to manage group conflicts rather than doing the work itself.

I don't like micromanagement. I don't like requiring conformity since it is not a pre-requisite for results. If I have five groups that naturally seem to shake out, I'll give each of them a defined task and a "problem space" to work in and let them go.

In the area of Baptist life this might mean allowing guys with different "styles" to organize together and do their thing.

Like I used to say in Silicon Valley -- Either start moving or get out of the way!

Your "cooperation" resolution implies to me a "top down" management style where some guru at the SBC is going to wave a wand and make stuff happen due to some document that was approved in San Antonio. What about a "bottoms up" approach were "entrepreneurs" (various evangelical leaders / local churches / ad-hoc groups) join together by common consent to do something.

The something could be drilling a water well in a poor slum, or working to support a soup kitchen, or woking together on Billy-Graham-style mass evangelism.

My bottom line: don't worry about people who are un-cooperative. Eventually people will align into "like minded" groups -- whether the process is "managed" or not.

Lack of cohesiveness is inherently unstable. It will automatically resolve itself. Some other "group" will step forward when existing organizations become moribund due to internal bickering.

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Whereas I am of sound mind and have a clear conscious & a loving heart I resolve to vote against
this loving resolution

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother moderator,

i move for the adoption of the resolution.

Anonymous said...

pretty pitiful when you have to have a resolution to love each other.

blackhaw66 said...

anonymous,

Whoever you are I guessyou would say that it is equally as pitiful when someone has to command you to do love others. Hey we even have to be commanded to love God and ourselves also. You are right how pitiful we are.

blackhaw66 said...

Sorry I meant to love others. Not to do love others. That could maybe be construed in a bad way. Although we were commanded to do that also. Amy, what are your thoughts on this?

Amy Downey said...

Blackhaw 66,

With all Christian charity and love, leave me alone before I am once again forced to call you a goober! :-)

Bill Scott said...

Blackhawk and Amy,
Get a room!

Geoff Baggett said...

All You Need is Love...

Amy Downey said...

Mr. Scott,

I will grant the fact that you don't know myself or Blackhaw66. And perhaps cannot recognize a joke. And for those facts, and those fact alone, I will refrain from saying more than you owe both of us an apology.

Bryan Riley said...

Can anyone show me where it says to make every effort to unity SO LONG AS OR IF your soteriology is the same?

Can anyone show me where it says that they will know we are Christians by our love, but they will grant us an exception on that if our doctrine is different?

Can anyone show me where it says that they will know that God sent Jesus because of our unity, except that it's okay to be disunified if someone uses different semantics to describe eternal security?

Does anyone think that all our disunity may be the result of a devil who is all against the idea of the world knowing that Jesus was sent by the Father and therefore he does all he can to prevent unity???

Does anyone else see an entire love story called the bible written by a God whose theme was restoring the broken relationship between mankind and God and amongst mankind itself, and that when we work to divide relationships we aren't really working toward building the Kingdom of God?

May we see that we are brothers and sisters when we serve the same risen Lord who died on the cross for us all and who saves all who will follow Him. Sure, there are some who don't have as much revelation of Who God Is, but that doesn't disqualify them from serving or from being a son or daughter of the King. They just need some more discipleship, as do you, and me, and all of us. I sure hope none of us would say that our ideas about God haven't changed a lick since we became a Christian.

bryan riley said...

And, go ahead, pipe on about you have to believe in the Lord Jesus. I agree. And, yes, it must be the same Jesus. But I believe that that same Jesus is big enough, through His HOly Spirit, to work in and through others just as He is in and through me. We will grow more and learn more about Him as we grow in our love for Him and others.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

"love for Christians of all denominations and our desire to cooperate with evangelicals"

Who decides if they are truly Christians and Evangelicals? I assume by your other posts that one should just take them at their word that they are.

Is that a correct assumption? If not could you explain why?

Thanks,

Steve Allen

Webster7 said...

Thus in the end this resolution means nothing. That is unless one describes more of what it means to love someone.

I have to agree with Blackhaw66 here. For example, I think Paige Patterson and Ben Cole could both affirm this resolution, but they would be worlds apart on what they mean by their affirmation. It's fairly easy to pass a resolution that puts a general face on the people you're proclaiming to love but doesn't demand specifics.

Rod said...

Man, you're really pushin' the deadline.

ml said...

Wade, Where is the reference to 1 Corinthians 13? Seems like a gross oversight in your resolution?

I appreciate your attempts and am sympathetic to your cause--unity among Southern Baptists for a singular Gospel cause. However, 2 John 10-11 warns us about blind love--in the form of hospitality--that is indifferent to sound doctrine. In fact, while 1 John places much emphasis on real love over-against a proto-gnostic pridefulness, the admonitions from 2 John would appear to be rude and, for lack of a better cliche, closed minded toward others in comparison to your resolution. What is more, Jesus said that our love for him centered upon our keeping his commands--one of which was loving others and of course loving God. Could you articulate how you personally balance between ethical love to others and a love for God driven by rightness in doctrine? You routinely speak about secondary and tertiary theological differences. What constitutes a place on which you would say, "No, I cannot go that route and maintain the integrity of my convictions?" In other words, is there a place where you would say, sorry I cannot offer hospitality towards you? Keeping in mind, of course, that the statements about Jesus should be matched against the life being lived if 2 John is kept in context[vv.7-9].

Bryan Riley said...

ML,

What is doctrine?

blackhaw66 said...

Brian Riley,

No one to my knowledge has stated that we should not love those who differ in theology from us. I think we should love the Atheist and the Pagan and the Muslim and Mormon. Sometiems to love someone is to disagree with them. Sometimes to love someone is to actively fight against their theological positions.

And soteriological differences can easily become very important. So I would not just glibly state that soteriological differences should not be a factor in whether one should fellowship with them in unity.

No one has suggested that there cannot be theological differences. It is just a matter of what theological differences one has with another. Whether one speaks in tongues or likes contemporart worship is not worth splitting over. However doctrines such as the Trinity, the Lordship and exclusivity of Christ, etc. are issues to divide over. of course this division is regretable and hurts everyone but in this world where things are not perfect it msut be done.

To sum up what I am saying, everyone beleives we should love our neighbor but the question is and the difference lie in how we do this in the real world.

blackhaw66 said...

I want to say I am sorry publicly to Amy and any other for my somewhat off color humor. I am happily married and do not want to give ANY suggestion like I might of given in this thread. Sorry again to all. I am just a goober.

Bill Scott said...

Ms. Downey,
Perhaps that type of joking is best left to personal exchanges so as not to give readers the wrong message. Mr. Blackhawk's innuendo and your response was hardly a meaning contribution to the topic stream. I do, contrary to your assertion, recognize a joke when I see one. However, such exchanges would be better left outside of this forum.

These words were spoken in love. Enjoy your day.

Bryan Riley said...

Do we truly divide over these things, Blackhaw, or do those who fail to preach the true gospel simply fall away or pull away from those who preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven?

We talk about dividing, separating, what we are against... Even those of us who are basically on teh same page can't agree on what is 1st, 2nd or 3rd tier (whatever that means). As a result, we endlessly divide and argue and dispute. Yet God tells us not to argue. God tells us to make every effort to unify. God tells us to pray for one another before we do anything else. God tells us to love.

I think if we spent more time obeying His word individually and less time arguing amongst ourselves we'd draw more to the Father.

It seems that we are called to stand for Jesus. As we do so, those who stand for something different will be shown to stand for something different. Even God doesn't separate the wheat and the tares.

Again, where does scripture teach us there are exceptions to the commands I've been citing?

I'm not being glib; I'm trying to state simply what seems to be simple. Trust, obey. God is God; I am not.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

Though I'm sure your intent for this "love for fellow Christian" resolution was noble, I trust you are not surprised if some of us stare at our screens with squinched eyes, scratching the side of our head.

As for me, I do not understand it. Not the words, obviously.

With your usual clarity, Wade, your typed strokes missed not a beat. Yet, as I read it, I'm wondering what applicability you are hoping for should it be passed.

From my view, I do not recall a time in the SBC when we were more open to working with fellow evangelicals of various brands as coherts for Christ and His cause.

I think it was Amy Downey you exhorted a few posts back to listen to Debbie Kaufmann, for there is a lot to be learned from her. Granted.

Nevertheless, I unapologetically exhort you and others to listen to Amy Downey for, given the profound posts she's written here, there's much we glean concerning loving and serving with those who differ, as she's demonstrating from her own experience, the profound love taking place.

I experienced similarly this morning, in a meeting with various leaders in the Atlanta area, a spiritual unity to host an evangelistic festival on the Motor Speedway property. Need I mention there were three Baptists, a Methodist, two Pentecostals and a Church of God among others. We are going to invite a Wesleyan evangelist to preach.

I cannot help it; this resolution seems to me to assume rampant bitterness, hate, loveless belligerence and total, theological tunnelitis among Southern Baptists.

Sorry, Bro. While I encounter difficult people everyday of my ministry, I will not paint SBs at large the same dreary color.

As always, Grace, Wade. With that, I am...

Peter

Wade Burleson said...

I never dreamed I would ever see people give so many reasons on why they could not support a resolution to love their fellow Christians.

Jack, you are on to something -- do we comprehend what the newspapers will say when they declare . . .

"Southern Baptist vote down a resolution to love their fellow Christians."

:)

Maybe I have just enough stick-to-it-iveness to be able to let people see what the real problem may be.

blackhaw66 said...

Byan Riley,

So if your pastor or maybe a deacon in your church decided not to believe in the Trinity or in the Lordship of Christ then we should just leave them alone? Or maybe if the SBC president changed his mind on the Trinity above then we should just let him remain the president of the SBC? That is what Jesus was trying to argue for in his parables on the wheat and tares? That should be more important than other passages in the Bible where we are told to discern and test propets to make sure they are not false? Did Paul just leave the Judaizers alone? Did he not mention them and call them out in Galatians?

I understand that often Christians split over stupid stuff. I think most of us will agree on that. It only takes a glimpse into church history to see that. However why throw the baby out with the bath water? It seems you are saying that we should never split due to doctrinal differences because often we do so for stupid reasons and because God said that we should strive for unity. Sure we should strive for unity but sometimes it is unobtainable due to major differences in belief. And yes sometimes chrisitans do split over theology. Look at the reformation.

Mark Williams said...

The resoloution is a great idea. It will be interesting to see its impact on the blogging world where too often there is nothing but criticism of others. In fact, that would be a great place to see leadership by example. Maybe we could begin writing with a spirit of grace and mercy. Then the unbelieving world might notice that if we can love each other, our love for them is genuine also. And it might result in edification taking place, the Body getting stronger, and even Christ Himself being honored among those who carry His name. I will look forward to watching in the remaining days leading to the SBC Convention to see how the momentum will be building as words are put into practice.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Wade,

I was thinking the same thing you were.

I suppose that given the current environment of suspicion and line-drawing its natural for us to read into everything some kind of under-handed intention. I, for one, don't think you're trying to slide liberals into cooperation with the SBC through the back door of love.

Still, I'm not sure your resolution will make it to the floor. But, thank you again for your graciousness and, yes, love.

Blessings,

Emily

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Brother Bill,

One wonders if such an imprudent, repugnant statement like "get a bed" could morally co-exist in posts about love for fellow Christians.

As for me, I'm still pondering that one, my Brother.

With that, I am...

Peter

blackhaw66 said...

"Southern Baptist vote down a resolution to love their fellow Christians."

Wade,

You do know of course if this does happen you are as much to blame for it as those who would vote against it. You would be the one who proposed such a proposal knowing wht others would think about it. You, unless you are naive (not saying you are), would know that others would judge it based upon what they think of you and your positions. Especially since if they know your stance on the NBC. Whether you are right about the NBC or not, you would just as responsible for the headline as the ones who voted it down. IN fact maybe more because I can see some voting against it fearing what implications might be made from it when there is no positive outcome for voting for it. Again I say there is no positive outcome because everyone will say that they are loving their neighbor but will have different views on what that means in our daily lives.

Bryan Riley said...

No, BH66, there are other principles that explain how to restore unity in such situations, such as Matthew 18. And, in every instance, love is the standard. Thus, this resolution upholds that. And, please remember, that much of the debate here at this blog and throughout the "conservative" church today is not over things such as the trinity or lordship; instead, it is about things like music, drink, education, baptism, gifts of the Spirit, etc. Meanwhile, it's still true that well over 90% of everything goes to "ministry" to areas that regularly have opportunity to hear the gospel or own a bible.

And, my question about exceptions still remains. I believe God can take care of His Church and His teaching better than I can. I will trust that what He tells us to do will work. If defending a "doctrine" (for lack of a better term) means that I have do things that aren't consistent with His words then something has gone awry.

Mike Ruffin said...

Wade,

I would vote for love.

I also might continue to wonder how many angels can stand on the head of a pin, but I won't argue about it, and I won't call those unChristian who don't arrive at the same number that I do, and I will love the 9,999ers as much as I love the 8,222,131ers.

Goodness, but we strain at gnats and swallow camels.

And they'll still know we are Christians by our love, the Lord Jesus said.

Anonymous said...

How about a resolution calling Carter and Underwood to protect the life of the unborn?
And don't give us this "they told me they oppose abortion" lie.
They are pro-choice; period!

RBM

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

RBM,

(Said in love and frustration):

Please, can we go one post without a Carter/Underwood reference?

We get it. You think they're baby-killers.

-Emily

blackhaw66 said...

Bryan,

you said "If defending a "doctrine" (for lack of a better term) means that I have do things that aren't consistent with His words then something has gone awry."

But that is just it. My point is that you would not have "to do things that aren't consistent with His words." He has told us to judge prophets. Okay so we shall. We are also to strive for unity. Okay. So how do we balance those two commands? By only dividing over critical issues and not silly ones. Again I agree much of what the church divides over is stupid. Dividing over the color of carpet or types of worship is just plain unChristian.

But my point is that the Bible calls us to divide and not have fellowship with those who are unorthodox. Thus we keep the unity as much as possible as long as we can but it is not an always type of command. There are times when God calls us to not have fellowship with others. Like in Matthew 18, which you mentioned, there are times when the church says you cannot be a part of us. That is what the Bible teaches.

Wade Burleson said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The resolution is filled only with Scripture.

I hope we could see the value of issuing a positive statement to the world.

In my wildest dreams I cannot imagine this resolution voted down.

Mike Ruffin said...

Wade,

You said that you could not imagine this resolution being voted down.

I unfortunately can, because people in our context always see ulterior motives behind everything--even a call to love.

It's sad, but it's true.

Keep the faith, brother. You're trying to say some things that have to be said.

Bryan Riley said...

Where does the bible tell the Body to divide? Matthew 18 really deals with unrepentant sin, so I probably misquoted that passage because I'm not sure it is a basis for how we are to deal with propositional disputes.

Anyway, way off topic. I'm probably too worked up to be writing today.

Wade, I love the resolution. I pray we put some feet and hands behind it and show our love.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Emily and Wade,

I see both your and Wade's point, Emily. No debate there. My question is, do you see ours?

The tacit assumption of the resolution is, SBs dwell in such a critical state of non-love for other Christians, we have to vote to resolve to love. My eyes are squinching again. Sorry.

For me, it's almost like voting on a resolution to reaffirm God's existence.

And, if I actually proposed such a resolve, I'm not at all uncertain, I'd have howls of protest.

Nonetheless, I could then, as did you and our Wade, Emily, wonder how we ever got to a point when SBs could get no one to agree on a resolution affirming God's existence.

Peace always, Emily. With that, I am...

Peter

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Maybe you have your finger on something.

What would it say if Southern Baptists could not resolve to agree on the existance of God?

What does it say if we can't agree to love each other?

I think it may reveal a great deal.

blackhaw66 said...

Bryan,

It is not a sin not to believe in God? It is not a sin to not believe in the Trinity? I think wrong beliefs such as these are sins because wrong beliefs like these can send someone to hell.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Peter,

Indeed, I do see your point. And, in my local context, I agree. Typically, our SB church does well loving those in other denominations. Obviously, reiterating the imperative to love fellow Christians in my context would be redundant.

Where I would see a place for such an exhortation is the public stage upon which the SBC--like it or not--finds itself every year. Granted, I don't think outsiders pay near as much attention to us as we like to imagine. But, I think there is room for some reinvigorating and reshaping of the SBC image in the public sphere (at least in the circles I run in). Since the resolutions we make are publicized and sometimes scrutinized by the press, perhaps a resolution is an appropriate place to begin.

Notice I said, "perhaps," though. I'm not at all certain such a move would be effective. But, I think its worth a try.

Thanks for your point, Peter. Peace to you as well.

-Emily

P.S. To address the comment that might come up: "But we shouldn't care about our public image!" True. But, many have argued based on our public image that the SBC must be prophetic about national sins (i.e., abortion, alcohol, drugs, etc). In my mind (and maybe just my mind), if there is a place for public loving affirmation.

blackhaw66 said...

Wade,

Okay your resolution is made up of statements from scripture. SO what? I think many will not have a problem with the statements per se but with the baggage they feel comes with it and the assumptions and beliefs behind them. Some will most likely feel this is a way to get support for the NBC. Can you really blame them for thinking that? i would not since you are an ardent spokeman for it and the resolution has a passage about working together with others. Many will see this as a tactic to put others down who disagree with you on the NBC. After this resolution passes then you could claim that those who do not support the NBC really are not loving to those involved in the NBC like Carter or Campolo and really do not have a spirit of cooperation that was clearly part of the reolution just adopted.

But in the end my problem with the resolution is that it is so general and can be interpreted in so many different ways when it comes to real situations that it is of no purpose. There seems to be no reason to make it unless it will be used as a tool to demonstrate that others are not loving.

Geoff Baggett said...

Do we truly need a resolution to love anyone? Is not the exhortation of the Word of God enough?

Does anyone, other than the media (if it is controversial enough) really pay any attention to or care about "resolutions" anyway?

I quite agree with Peter. Such a resoultion would seem to indicate that there is a deficit of love among toe messengers to the SBC. I am sure that there may be much disagreement over certain issues, but surely the absence of true, biblical, brotherly love will not, in and of itself, be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Peter, you are completely correct. Plus, I believe that Wade and Ben must look at how collectively they have hurt some of their fellow Baptists before they push for this resolution. Wade would say that the dirt is not on him, yet with a phone in his other hand talking to Ben about what is next.

One would not think you could author this type of resolution with dirt on your hands, (or on your cohorts hands.)

So what is there to gain? If the resolution fails, Wade can play the martyr. If it passes than he gets much congratulations and comes out as the author of love and peace. Come on. Either way, he gains something he seeks.

blackhaw66 said...

Oh and I forgot to point out that the church that states that "God hates gay people" uses scripture all the time to but clearly they abuse nad misinterpret it. Thus, and this is my only point, one can have resolutions that have much scripture in them but still miss the mark because of interpretation.

Also I wanted to point out that it seems that this resolution is already being used to demonstrate those who are loving and those who are not.

"In my wildest dreams I cannot imagine this resolution voted down."

"What does it say if we can't agree to love each other?

I think it may reveal a great deal."

You cannot see how anyone would vote against the resolution. That is unless those who do not agree with it are unloving. How could they be any less? They cannot even agree to vote on loving each other. Wow they are unloving and uncaring and uncooperative. Right?

RKSOKC66 said...

Whether or not resolution passes concluding that God exitsts -- he still exists.

Whether or not a resolution passes saying we should cooperate probably won't have much tangible result one way or another.

Hopefully the resolution will pass with little or no floor debate. It would be ironic to argue a statement that only has symbolic value. I don't see any downside "risk" to voting for it.
What "principled" stand someone could possibly take against it?
Also, what is the utility of voting against it given that it is largely symbolic.

Mike Ruffin said...

Uh-oh.

Former Presidents Carter, Bush, and Clinton were together today, along with Billy and Franklin Graham, for the dedication of the Billy Graham Library.

I wonder if this means that the Grahams have been duped into...nah, that's just too easy. I'll let somebody else do it!

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

Here's a resolution I think SBs perhaps should consider. Do you think anybody would vote against it?

Notice carefully it's absolutely filled with Scripture.

WHEREAS, "In the beginning, God..."(Gen.1.1); And,

WHEREAS, "God said to Moses,“I am who I am.”(Ex.3.14) And,

WHEREAS, God says, "For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior" (Isa. 43.3). And,

WHEREAS, God Himself affirms, "I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God;"(Isa.45.5)

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the SBC meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-14, 2007, reaffirm our belief in the existence of God.

And be it further RESOLVED, that, we challenge all Churches in the SBC to reaffirm their belief in God's existence as well.

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we, the individual messengers of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention, call upon all our elected officials to lead us by example in both word and deed to hold fast their belief in God.

With that, I am...

Peter

Bryan Riley said...

BH66, I want to apologize for my heart as I wrote. I feel convicted that I was not writing and thinking without pride. I also think I was unloving. My heart was beginning to want to draw attention to myself rather than a focus on Jesus.

I don't want to enter into a debate that isn't honest, kind, and loving and edifying. I am struggling a bit today with how I approach my writing and have confessed it to Gdo and feel like He is saying confess it here.

With respect to your last comment to me, I think the problem with dealing with belief issues as sin is that one cannot truly know the beliefs of the heart. One can address issues of sinful conduct. That could include false teaching.

Thank you for taking time to listen, talk, and teach.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

I find this whole thing a bit amusing.

A resolution that speaks prophetically about truth and/or ethical matters is bold, strong, and important (i.e., glossolalia, pastoral ministry, Israel, etc). But, a resolution that speaks prophetically about love is soft, useless, and irrelevant.

Hmmm... I must have missed something. I'll see if I can find it over dinner and a movie with the love of my life.

Grace and peace to all,

Emily

Wade Burleson said...

Dear Peter,

If there were people acting in the SBC as if there were no God, the resolution could possibly be beneficial.

If some, would you not agree, act as if they don't love their fellow Christians, the resolution may have benefit.

Wade Burleson said...

Emily,

I like your style. :)

josh h. said...

I will be surprised if this resolution makes it out of committee.

Bryan Riley said...

Emily and Wade, It also speaks well of the fact we need no resolutions (see Marty Duren over at SBC Outpost) if we don't need a resolution on loving.

Debbie said...

I hear some saying that they love their friends or have a friend with a different view, the Bible says that it's easy to love our friends or family, what's difficult and what takes supernatural intervention is to love those we do not know, do not like and do not agree with. Treating all we disagree with, with kindness, grace and love. This resolution in my opinion covers that. I of course think this resolution is sorely needed and is very important. I do not understand the negativity to this. But it does tell me a lot.

Bob Cleveland said...

ta-DAAA!!!!! Welcome to the SBC!

Sniff ... sniff ...

R. L. Vaughn said...

"Jack, you are on to something -- do we comprehend what the newspapers will say when they declare ...
"'Southern Baptist vote down a resolution to love their fellow Christians.'"

Perhaps a good reason not to present it. Unless...

blackhaw66 said...

a resolution that speaks about love is not irellevant but wade's resolution is if not in the end hurtful to the SBC. I think I have stated my reasons why. Again this is another Agree with Wade then you are a good guy. if not then you are a bad guy kind of thread. It is getting to be very predictable around here.

Wade Burleson said...

It's already presented. Must be addressed by the SBC. Who would have thought this would have been an issue.

I'm hoping it will not be.

Wade Burleson said...

"A resolution that speaks about love is not irellevant, but"

Blackhawk, sounds like you may be the one that is being predictable.

:)

blackhaw66 said...

bryan,

i should apologize as well. i think that you make a good point. i cannot know what one really believes in one's heart. however if one teaches or states that he believes something contrary to Christianity such as not believing in the Trinity then I feel I can call him or her out on that. i think you will agree.

blackhaw66 said...

I probably am since the same thing is going on in every thread. You suggest that those who disagree with you are unloving etc. i am predictable because your tatics never seem to change no matter how many times it is pointed out to others.

Wade Burleson said...

Blackhawk,

You obviously have never met me or attended the church I pastor.

Everyone gets a free pass to disagree with their pastor -- and it is the most loving congregation I know.

Nobody has to agree with me. I just hold people accountable to love those with whom they disagree.

I think you might be seeing things in reverse. I am not saying people who disagree with me are unloving -- I am saying that those who can't love those with whom they disagree need to be confronted.

:)

See the difference?

Baptist Theologue said...

One of the greatest acts of love is to be obedient to the Great Commission. I would like to suggest that we encourage all our Baptist universities to add an evangelism course that would be required for graduation. Students could be taught a generic presentation such as EE, CWT, etc., but they could also be taught how to adapt to various contexts such as the postmodern one. Some students in our Baptist universities (who were raised in a Christian culture but were never truly saved) might be saved through such a course. The Christian students could be trained to multiply themselves. Of course, there could be a supervised "laboratory" experience.

blackhaw66 said...

wade,

you are right I do not know your church or what you do there. But I know how you spin thigns here and that is wht i am commenting on. I am not commenting on what your church is like at all. But your blog is very predictable. Sorry but you know this is not about your church.

Debbie said...

blackhawk: It is what we practice in our church, which in turn transcends to the community as our members go out and practice it there.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

I agree with you about Emily. Her style is engaging but not brashy.

I do not agree with you we need a resolution even if some SBs are unloving--at least, no more than we need a resolution because some SBs speak in tongues.

If I am not mistaken, your Dad offered a piece recently, contesting, as I recall, the misuse of resolutions (Please know this is entirely by memory now; I do not even remember the post).

Quite honestly, I think generically proposed resolutions such as this one on love cheapens resolutions generally and makes them moot for the simple reason they lack an authentic connection to any real crisis or issue from which begs imminent action or stated position from God's people.

Given that, Wade, I'm surprised our Brother and your Dad, Paul, has not already entered this arena and smacked you right across the mouth: "Who's ya Daddy, Boy!"

Know I love all you guys. With that, I am...

Peter

Bart Barber said...

I like the resolution. I'm all for love. If the committee will leave in all the parts about love, but take out the part about desiring partnership in fulfilling the Great Commission, then I'll vote for it.

Love, not ecumenism.

ml said...

Wade, I suspect you have already submitted your resolution and my previous comments were not intended to suggest that in principle I disagree with your resolution. For as the strand has suggested, how can one reasonably disagree? It is actually a refreshing resolution in the sense that it does not state what we are not but articulates what we want to be about. I think a statement about unity vs. uniformity would have been a good addition to your resolution. Unity doesn’t demand uniformity and, in fact, thankfully God's love for us is never based on us being like him or even always agreeing with him. Nonetheless he continues to loves us without condition.

I do believe that the separatist nature of Baptists makes the cross denominational unity and cooperation difficult to achieve, especially our insistence that Baptists emphasize a regenerate church. This makes us inherently suspicious of other traditions, whether we admit it or not.

R. L. Vaughn said...

IMO, the resolution inserts two issues that are not essential for agreeing on loving one another: in paragraph one, the nature of the church, and in paragraph six, the nature of cooperation. Baptists, even within the Southern Baptist Convention, do not agree on those points, though they could agree on the essential principle of love.

IN HIS NAME said...

WADE, HERE IS A PICTURE THAT FITS YOUR POST.

GOD’S VISION FOR HIS CHURCH

Scripture Reading: Revelation 7:9-12

There before me was a great multitude . . . from every nation . . . people and language . . . .

Rev. 7:9



In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Christian Reformed Church, an artist was commissioned to make a painting reflecting the denomination’s history. The painting consists of 150 faces of people who have had an impact on the church throughout the years. They are pictured behind a communion table with 12 communion cups, symbolizing the 12 apostles, and an open Bible, pointing to the importance of God’s Word.

That painting reflects God’s vision for his church. God wants the church to be a place where the faces at the table are continually multiplying, where people from different ethnic backgrounds, who speak different languages, who appreciate different worship styles can come together and use their gifts in many ways.

The painting also gives us a tiny glimpse of John‘s vision recorded in Revelation 7:9, in which “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language,” stands before God’s throne. That’s the vision God has for his church.

The church today must pull out all the stops and do everything possible to live into that vision. We must become more and more inclusive by inviting people from different backgrounds to join us, and we must allow all people to use their gifts according to the way God has gifted them.


Prayer
Lord, help us to grow more and more into the vision you have for your church. Show us how we can welcome and include all who want to serve you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today is a ministry of The Back to God Hour
http://www.BacktoGod.net/
email: btgh@crcna.org
800.879.6555;

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

In the spirit of love -

How about those Lady Vols (softball team) playing in OKC!

You gotta love it!

Anonymous said...

I know the Carter deal next year is hard to ignore, but I do read Wade's resolution as aimed at the "San Antone" convention. This SBC doesn't promise to be the parking-lot-rumble some of the conventions in the 80's were, but this resolution would really have helped then. Might this resolution have prevented the CR drones from booing Hershel Hobbs, or similar shout-downs?

Steve Austin

Ron P. said...

This resolution reminds me of when the Pharisees tried to entangle our Lord in Matthew 22. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? If He had answered either yes or no, their trap would have worked - to incite either the people or the Romans against Christ.

We can not (nor would we) say no to love! But this resolution is worded in such a way that it could and WOULD be used for the purposes of ecumenism and justification for participation in the Carter NBC. This resolution as proposed would be used by many to say that the SBC supports the ideas behind the NBC and we should thus participate.

Whatever happens with this resolution, those of us who are opposed to the NBC for biblical reasons, will get a lot of grief. We will be castigated for opposing love, or if approved, we will not be in agreement with a resolution passed by messengers to the SBC.

So let us continue to love all believers, as already affirmed in practice and in our high view of scriptures. But say no to this effort to trap conservatives.

So, render ecumenism and social gospel to the NBC and let us keep on with sharing THE Gospel and good works as we have been doing. But let us do it even better.

Ron P.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade.

After the past week of reading your posts (NBC, Carter, Resolutions, etc ), one verse keeps comiing to my heart,

Matt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you".

These things are listed in Matt 6:25-32......

Wade Burleson said...

Ron P.

You are thinking way too much.

Why the caveats?

Just love your brother and stop the 'buts' . . . :)

Seriously, the resolution is offered in full faith that the adoption of it will send a positive message to the world.

Paul Burleson said...

Peter,

Quite to the contrary, resolutions that are political in nature or are attempts to codify minor theological issues beyond the BF@M may clearly be lacking in authenticity and perhaps would not demand immediate action.

However, one in the midst of vilifying and disrespectful language towards brothers and sisters of the faith that calls for an embracing of a clear biblically foundational action as loving one another, just might be needed by us all.

I cannot speak to Wade's motive for presenting such a resolution, nor can I speak to your personal need of being reminded of this foundational characteristic of the christian life Peter, but, speaking only for myself, I perhaps need and would certainly appreciate, vote for, and respect any convention that resolutely committed itself to adopting and following such a statement.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should vote a resolution in favor of fluffy bunnies and world peace.

It would have just as much impact as this resolution - and just about as much specificity.

DLM

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

Your resolution full of Scripture and you wonder why all the noise? Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! The family amendment in the BF&M is full of Scripture and has been attacked from day one by moderates. The whole husband and wife passage from Ephesians 5 is in there and moderates still rail about it!

Maybe we still have a problem with the inspiration and authority of Scripture and whether it is the Word of God or contains the Word of God.

Paul Burleson said...

One other word on motives and I'll bow out.

I, because I know him better than anyone, except his wife, will always believe Wade's motives are of the highest caliber. Some others, because of whatever, will always believe they are devious and smack of duplicity.

The fact is that only God knows the "why" of anything we do. It is legitimate to disagree over "what" one does, and even the "how" one does it, but the "why" is beyond the scope of our knowledge.

Our dialogue would be much healthier and helpful if we would cease the assigning of motives. That assignment of motives to others generally, I've learned from my own life, is colored by what "I" would do and am often blind to that fact.

I'm concerned about ALL our relationships if the assigning of motives I see on blogs is characteristic of our other relationships, and I find it hard to believe it isn't.

Suffice it to say, I am genuinely concerned about the state of our churches/families if the atmosphere of dialogue reflected in the blogs is a picture of the atmosphere of the dialogue in our churches and homes.

Maybe I'm wrong. My prayer is that I am.

Baptist Theologue said...

I agree with Paul Burleson. We should not be talking about motives of other folks.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Our dialogue would be much healthier and helpful if we would cease the assigning of motives.

Amen, Bro. Paul. I may not always faithfully meet this standard, but I (and we) should try. I do believe you are right on target. Thanks for the reminder.

Webster7 said...

If the committee will leave in all the parts about love, but take out the part about desiring partnership in fulfilling the Great Commission, then I'll vote for it.

That is simply a flabbergasting statement for a Christian to make.

Jerry Corbaley said...

Wade,

I will not be making time to attend the convention in San Antonio. But I would vote for this resolution as is. I would even "second" it, though such is not required.

After being born again, there is no greater priority nor faithfulness than loving God and our neighbors.

Well done, and thank you.

blackhaw66 said...

1 john 3

4Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

1 John 4
1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

John 10:25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me,

John 10:37-38
Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

blackhaw66 said...

i quoted those verses above to demonstrate that in fact scripture does ask the believer to think about thde motives of others. in fact Jesus asked the jews to think of his motives. Now of course we know anothers motives because of their actions and most importantly because of their love however we can still judge another's motives by looking at their actions. And I think that is what others are asking Wade to do with te NBC and what some are arguing against Wade himself.

Jack Maddox said...

Ok...here it goes

NO MATTER WHAT I LOVE ALL OF YOU IN JESUS. AS MUCH AS IT IS POSSIBLE I WILL PRAY WITH YOU AND WORK WITH YOU TO FULLFILL THE GREAT COMMISION

ILOVE YOU
REALLY I DO
I PROMISE
I MEAN IT
NO KIDDING
EVEN YOU BEN COLE

There, I am now covered no matter what happens with this revolution...errrggg...I mean resolution

Jack "The Baptist Lover" Maddox

Jack Maddox said...

by the way...I just read this on another blog...wonder if these words would be considered "Loving"
Its a little long but I am curious what one would think about this being loving.

"It’s not rude for you to walk up to me and tell me that I’m mean spirited. It’s not rude for you to post about my mean-spirited ways on my blog.
Neither is it rude for me to tell you that you’re obese, and that your obesity is a poor reflection on the Lord and his Church. Nor is it rude for me to write about obesity on my blog, and perhaps link you as an example.
But that’s not very nice of me is it? I’m still mean and you’re still fat.
Which leads me to this question: How can brethren speak about their own sin and others without being considered rude, insensitive, and hypocritical?
I make no excuse for words that have been hurtful and cutting. Tearing down a brother with words is un-Christlike. Some people — and I’m not suggesting you — find excuses for their gluttonous diets.
These are my thoughts for now."

well anyway...after reading this I think maybe Wade is right...or as it Prophet John Lennon said..

"ALL WE NEED IS LOVE"

Jack

Jack Maddox said...

by the way I can answe the brothers question concerning how we can speak to one another without being...how did he say it..."rude, insensitive, and hypocritical?"

Try this brother blogger...DO NOT BE RUDE, INSENSITIVE, AND HYPOCRITICAL"

Hope that helps : )

for some reason the biblical warnings of being 'double minded' seems apropiate.

Jack "The Baptist Lover" Maddox

Bill Scott said...

Mr. Lumpkins,

As that you are the legalistic quote maister of blogdom. I am quite shocked that you misquoted my quip. In fact, I am quite diappointed that you in your daily efforts to provide the opposing view would undermine your position with an inaccurate quote.

Blackhawks apology validates the existence of innuendo that did not have a place in this comment stream. I commend him for that.

I also believe that your persistent verbosity, most often in the negative, could be construed as less than loving towards the author of this blog or those that agree with him. Why is that my dear brother?

I am with that....

Bill

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Wow! Took me from May to June to read all the comments. I was going to make a comment, but Peter already beat me to it about the resolution of Southern Baptists believing in God.

So, I’ll have to come up with another resolution—SOUTHERN BAPTISTS STATE THE BIBLE IS THEIR DOCTRINAL GUIDELINE.

And I’ll use what has already been said: “Baptists vote down the Bible as their doctrinal guideline”, or “Baptists keep their doctrinal guideline a man-made paper.”

I believe this resolution is much more needed, meaningful, worthy, etc., but I don’t guess anyone will touch this with a 10 foot pole because it would be a slam against the conservative resurgence and their BFM 2000.

Bryan Riley said...

Webster 7, you are 100% correct. I was shocked to see that statement made by Bart and I don't understand it. Where are the exceptions to Jesus' prayer for those who believe in Jesus?

Does anyone remember what the name of Satan means? Could it be that one of his greatest ploys is seeking to divide the Church (not just a few baptists, although he surely does that well) in an attempt to try to prevent Jesus' prayer from being fulfilled?

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother barber,

would you please elaborate on your comment where you said, "...take out the part about desiring partnership in fulfilling the Great Commission...Love, not ecumenism."

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your words. I am concerned you mentioned Wade's "motives" in your post to me. Not once, as I recall, in the dozens of personal comments--self-admittedly, comments which much more than not, question his postion--have issues about heart matters surfaced.

Now to the point: this thread, my brother Paul, demonstrates quite nicely the questions about this particular resolution some of us have raised: any support is soft at best.

That is, "loving other Christians" does not connect nor beg for convention-wide consideration anymore than a genernic one on "believing the Bible" or "believing in God." That said, my ballot would stay in my pocket.

By the way, it also stays in my pocket for the one on PPL and Ben Cole's on blubber. These are issues that, in my view at least, chip away at the historic significance of our annual resolutions.

Grace always, Paul. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Bill,

Switching the subject to me when the imprudent comment was made by you is flattering, to say the least. But I think I will pass, if that's o.k.

In addition, equating engaging dialog with being unloving turns Christian ethics on its head and makes even Jesus out to be a contentious sinner. Were I you, my Brother Bill, I would ponder that position a little more.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Bart Barber said...

Robert,

Gladly. In the New Testament, Christian love is encouraged to be expansive and all-inclusive. There are a great many people whom I love as fellow members of the body of Christ, but with whom I cannot enter into missionary partnership. Dr. Francis Beckwith is a great example. Although I have not met him, I love him in Christ as a fellow believer. I believe that he has acted very foolishly in becoming a Roman Catholic. His profound disobedience to Christ and to biblical truth reflected in his affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church does not mean that I no longer love him, but it does mean that I do not desire to enter into missionary partnership with him—that I would not hire him as a missionary, co-pastor with him in founding a church, co-author with him a tract explaining and presenting the gospel, etc.

I am not an ecumenist.

Paul Burleson said...

Peter,

You and I have carried on dialogue that has been a blessing here and other places. I continue to appreciate your heart and Kingdom efforts in your ministry.

My "motive" reference is the result of catching up on blog reading after a few days away. It was because of remarks like the following and these are given as illustration purposes only as I don't remember who said them or if they are verbally exact. "If the resolution fails Wade will PLAY the martyr." "Trying to TRAP the Convention as the lawyers sought to TRAP Jesus." These are reflective of this blog only. I'm referenceing the reading of several comment sections of several blogs.

My referencing these words is Not an attempt to single out or to castigate anyone. It is simply to show a sample of those MANY comments on MANY blogs I've read today that, it would seem to me, go beyond the realm of actions and speak to what is in the heart of a person.

Paul the Apostle made it clear to the Corinthians that we ARE NOT to attempt to judge anyone's heart as the Bema has as it's explicit purpose to "bring to light hidden motives." 1 Corinthians 4:5

I just believe it is not helpful to relationships OF ANY KIND for us to assign motives. Unless I'm incorrectly reading the language often used, I think we MAY be prone to this. Thus my call for us to examine it.

If you find it isn't true in your particular case, the examination can only be good I would think. It IS good for me to examine my own words often.

peter lumpkins said...

All,

Just a word, if you will indulge me. Since it has been suggested by our Brother Bill that my persistent sparring with Wade here could very well be indicative of my personally not loving him, two things.

First, I love Wade both as a human being made in God's image yet fallen and as my Brother recreated in the image of Christ (No, my fingers are not crossed!). I respect his abilities as a leader, a prominent Pastor and a fellow Southern Baptist.

And to any fellow contender, I suggest that, if you do not do the same, you need to clear out a place on the floor this morning and have a heart to heart with Jesus.

Second, this blog, I repeat from sometime back, stands as a breath of fresh air in blogdom. It is the standard, as far as I am concerned. Little wonder it's received upwards toward a million hits in less than two years. Incredible, at least to me.

Understand: the freshness is not, in my view, in the ideas it embraces (No, that is not meant to be UNloving!). The truth is, many of us contest the ideas.

Rather, the freshness lies in Wade's willingness to actually engage the ideas he offers. Win or lose, he goes for it. For me, that alone commands a measure of respect that no one should hold from him.

My comments here are many times sliced and diced by a few hatchets who, rather than engage my words and demonstrate their raw absurdity--making me tuck tail, red-faced and run--the charges of "condescension", "arrogrance" or "emotional blabbering" are cleverly offered. But know this, which is my point: THEY ARE NEVER OFFERED BY WADE.

And, that's not to be said for many of the hotrods. Nope. For them, evidently, their image as a reformer is at stake. Consequently, to have their ideas viably challenged, potentially making them appear kooky, they'll either ban you from commenting or simply ignore everything you write (but then, for no real reason--if your point appears valid--they'll quietly ban you and write you an email telling you since you have a heart problem, they'd rather you not comment on their blog until your spirit is checked).

Kudos to you, my Brother Wade. Overwhelmingly, your blog is both civil and fair. You engage vigorously and Christianly even if, most of the time, at least with me, you've chosen the wrong piece of pie :)

Grace to all. With that, I am...

Peter

Bryan Riley said...

Bart, how does your view comport with the way Jesus worked? His disciples didn't even understand who He was or what He was about most of the time He ministered with them. He even sent them out on their own.

I am trying to understand.

How did this work in the early church? It sure seems like the main focus was going and proclaiming the truth about Jesus, period. That people are separated from the Father and need that relationship restored and that it can only come through Jesus. It seems that Christians all share that and can work together in telling the world that. I also think that a recent post by Alan Knox really addresses the implications of your view of church well. You can read it here.

peter lumpkins said...

My Brother Paul,

Thank you. I hear your heart and receive your words well. And, know I too experience nothing but edification in our talks.

Peace, my Brother. With that, I am...

Peter

p.s. I still long for a chance to sing together :^)

Paul Burleson said...

Peter,

Whether others would be edified by our singing, [those special songs that you and I both know by heart from back when music was REALLY music] or not, I WOULD.

That time could come one day. Southern Baptist Conventions have been known to experience some strange things. Maybe we'll get together there. :)

Bart Barber said...

Bryan,

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes Mary as Co-Redemptrix with Christ. You're having trouble understanding why, although I love those who are Christian brothers within this organization, I cannot partner with them in the activities I mentioned? Really?

For the same reason that Paul did not partner with those who demanded circumcision of new Christian believers.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

You said, "Kudos to you, my Brother Wade. Overwhelmingly, your blog is both civil and fair. You engage vigorously and Christianly."

You have successfully given one of the nicer compliments to me that I have read from anyone on this blog.

The reason? It comes from someone who rarely agrees with me. If we could take that little victory and multiply it 16 million times we might have the beginning of true revival in the SBC.

Too many people think IF you disagree you are not civil, or IF you express dissent you are not Christian, or IF you have opposing views you are not in union or in harmony. It is CHRISTIAN LOVE and GRACE that brings the harmony and union, NOT doctrinal conformity on tertiary issues.

Bryan Riley said...

Bart, I really am asking. And, as it appears from your comment that you believe I am in error, I would love to know why, with a biblical basis. I am asking for you to instruct me in all wisdom. Sincerely. I'm out here ministering, and doing so with people who have some different beliefs than I do, so I'd like to know what you think as I do so.

I would like to know where it teaches in the bible that I cannot share with an unbeliever the fact that Jesus loves them and provided the Way for them to be restored to the Father through the cross simply because I happen to be with another brother or sister who happens to belong to the RCC or some other organization that may have some beliefs that seem askew.

I would like to know biblically whether I am commanded not to lay hands on someone for healing and prayer when I am ministering with someone who has some different beliefs than I do but who also is a brother or sister in Christ.

I would like to know if the bible teaches that Jesus ever prayed for unity only for those who believe the same way on every theological issue. Or if we were told to go into all the world only with those with whom we agree. John 17.

What if God spoke to you to work together with someone who was a regenerated Catholic? would you obey, or would you assume it couldn't be God speaking? How would you make that conclusion based on the Word?

I have to wonder if such a teaching wouldn't make those looking on who are unbelievers really question the message of reconciliation we are called to proclaim... 2 Corinthians 5.

I'm really asking. And you can even email me if you don't want to write here. You've had my email in the past, but it is bwriley4[at]yahoo[dot]com if you need it again.

Alycelee said...

ooWade, Thanks for your efforts with the resolution.
What a wonderful day when we as Baptist would not only affirm the resolution, but indeed live out our faith in love.
Unfortunately for some, it wouldn't matter what the resolution said, if penned by you Wade, the response would be like many here. No No Never.
Baptist have got to stop seeing themselves as the chosen one's. We aren't.
And Peter, Nevertheless, I unapologetically exhort you and others to listen to Emily.
Agape
Alycelee

Cheryl Schatz said...

Sometimes I wonder if anything less than persecution would draw us together and take down the barriers. I had read somewhere that the third world Christian brothers and sisters have been praying for persecution for the North American church. I think that persecution has a way of getting rid of the secondary matters of disagreement. At least I can imagine standing together with dear brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree over what a woman can or can't do in teaching and over what a Christian can or can't do in their prayer closet and as we are being tortured for our faith, I can feel their love and acceptance. When we can see Jesus within another Christian who as a true follower of Christ accepts all the foundations of the faith, we should love them as Jesus does because I believe the persecution will someday come to knit us all together.

Wade Burleson said...

Alycelee,

I'm not sure I have exhausted all my abilities to convince people of certain positions. I find that most folks have never met me, assume things untrue, and over time change their mind.

What people need to realize is that the one thing I do have is tenacity. I'm here for the duration, so it would help if people who may not like what I am saying to take a deep breath, realize I do not shy away from vigorous debate, will never knowingly attack anyone personally, and will stay in the effort to move the SBC away from legalism and full blown Fundamentalism to the very end.

bryan riley said...

Yes and amen, Cheryl.

Can you see the Christian who adamantly "defends" the faith by standing for every issue of doctrine exactly as they believe it to be standing with a fellow Christian before a firing squad for proclaiming that Jesus is Lord and the Way to the Father and saying "Wow, I can't believe they are shooting you, too, since you believe that a woman can preach!"

CHRIS HILLIARD said...

Wade,
I completely support this resolution. It reminds me of a sermon I preached recently from Romans 13 on love. I told the congregation that love is a debt we should owe, we should seek to pay, but we'll never be able to pay it off.

Bart Barber said...

Bryan,

I'm on the way out of town to perform a wedding, so forgive me if my interaction is sporadic today.

The RCC's beliefs are askew about the gospel. I would love to stand side-by-side with a Roman Catholic believer and share the gospel, so long as the Roman Catholic believer would be quiet altogether or avoid saying anything about the Roman Cathoilc version of the gospel (Gal 1:6-10)

My relationship with such a one would be the same as with any believer in gross error and subject to the discipline of the body (Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Titus 1:10-11)

I do pray for the unity of all Christians, which will come when those in error repent concerning items of such gravity as making Christ share the title of Redeemer with Mary

Amy Downey said...

Cheryl said, "When we can see Jesus within another Christian who as a true follower of Christ accepts all the foundations of the faith, we should love them as Jesus does because I believe the persecution will someday come to knit us all together."

The portion of your post about persecution is right on and I can agree with you. However, and this has what has been lost in the spin zone of the blogworld is that to be against this resolution (which I am) is not to say that I don't love my fellow Christians ... I do.

Read my post again and you will see that love for my fellow believers, regardless of denominational stripe, is at the heart of my post. Loving God and holding fast to those doctrines which require vigorous defense is also at the heart of my post.

This is not an either/or issue. This should be a both/and issue. I can love my fellow Christians but be against this resolution. To tell me that is impossible is judgmental and ultimately unloving.

In regards to a completely unrelated issue -- I want someone to know that he is wrong in every way imaginable but that I still forgive him.

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Whereas
resolutions have no power in SBC life I make the resolution to abolish them (except this one) )from now own until
His return can I get a witness & a second .

Paul Burleson said...

One would be wise, I would think, to NOT see the adoption of this or any other resolution as a test of the heart. It would be possible to Not vote for this resolution [or any other] and have a heart genuinely in love with Jesus and people. It would also be possible TO vote for this resolution and have a heart far from the essence of it's words. Just as a resolution on abstinence does NOT reveal the heart of those who do/ do not vote for it about their heart in loving Jesus or the Word.

All resolutions accomplish are a statement of where those who are gathered for the moment stand on any issue. I would think it helpful/wise for this resolution to be adopted before EACH Convention. But, for whatever reason one might have for not voting for it, it does not reflect the inner heart of any person. DOING what it says does that.

Mark said...

I've been in SB churches all my life, a pastor for about 10 - tho not very involved in matters outside my association at the time.

Question: Is the suspicion and seeming conspiracy theorist mentality, evident regarding this resolution and Bro. Wade's possible attendance of NBC, typical of the SBC over the last 20 years, or further back, or forever, or merely a new occurrence?

It's an honest question looking for an honest answer. And yes, I wonder about the need for/effectiveness of resolutions in general.

Mark Sims
FBC Perrin
"the greatest church in Texas!"

Wade Burleson said...

I believe you are asking an excellent question that I, too, shall be curious as to the answer.

blackhaw66 said...

Paul,

You said that to vote no to the resolution does not say that you are unloving in your heart. I agree. But is not that what has happened here? And has not those who do not agree with the NBC been shown in an unfavorable light also? It seems to me that if I reject both the resolution and the NBc or either or that I am cast into the not loving sector by the author of thos blog and many others. And I am not talking about motives but actions.

volfan007 said...

wade,

in light of this resolution on love, i'm wondering who were trying to ridicule with your comment on ben cole's blog..under "you call this compromise?" i dont believe that you normally talk like us, here in the south. and, your comments did seem to be condescending and ridiculing of a certain group.

is that the kind of love that you're talking about?

david

CHRIS HILLIARD said...

Wow. Just read those comments too David. Didn't sound "Wade" like.

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann,

My comment was an attempt at humor. No person or persons were mentioned in the post or the comment on Mr. Cole's blog. I was attempting to show the logical fallacy of those who cry compromise. If you were offended, I sincerely apologize. In no form or fashion was I attempting to sound like you, particularly since I have never even met you.

Humor and saracsm is sometimes biting, and it is not normally my style - but it seems to be the DNA of Mr. Cole. Three things I appreciate about Ben -- he has a brilliant and logical mind, he is able to laugh at himself as much as he does others, and he recognizes that he is often mean spirited and makes no bones about it.

It's the passive/agressive, superspiritual smile-to-your-face and-plunge-a knife-in-your-back style of some that is both duplicitous and hypocritical. No one can accuse Ben of either.

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

I, too, apologize to you if my comment is a reflection on you.

Please forgive me.

CHRIS HILLIARD said...

No, no, no. I just said it didn't sound "wade" like. I ain't be talking like that...trust me, I can laugh. But you are right, humor and sarcasm can be biting at times and I have had to humble myself and apologize numerous times over the years. Especially being a pastor I've had to be careful.

Brad said...

Wade,
I realize you will probably just direct me to Ben, and I want you to know I have approached him about this, but here I am asking you as one who seems to admire him. You said,

"Humor and saracsm is sometimes biting, and it is not normally my style - but it seems to be the DNA of Mr. Cole. Three things I appreciate about Ben -- he has a brilliant and logical mind, he is able to laugh at himself as much as he does others, and he recognizes that he is often mean spirited and makes no bones about it.

It's the passive/agressive, superspiritual smile-to-your-face and-plunge-a knife-in-your-back style of some that is both duplicitous and hypocritical. No one can accuse Ben of either."

In the context of this post about love, I ask, as are many, how you can admire his upfront "mean spiritedness"? I recognize it is in some ways preferable to the duplicitous and hypocritical ways of others, but that does not make it an acceptable way for a Christian, much less a minister of the Gospel, to speak, does it?
I agree with some of what you and others are arguing for, but guilt by association is limiting your impact, IMHO.

blackhaw66 said...

Brad, I think you are right. And I want to apologoze to Wade if I sometimes, in my thoughts at least, lump him together with Ben Cole. This lumping even if it is just subconcious might affect how I take some of comments from Wade. I do know that I have taken this resolution and thought about how Ben Cole has been so agressive in attacking Patterson. Sorry if it has affected my view of you, Wade, in a negative way or if it has affected the way in which I view your comments.

Brad said...

Wade,
Two more thoughts:
Thank you for the kind apology for your words that might have been misconstrued. A wonderful testimony.
Two, simply out of curiosity: Did you or did Ben write the resolution? You make no mention of it. He claimed to have authored it, then backed away from that. It just seemed odd.
Thanks.

Paul Burleson said...

Blackhaw66,

I would think, if I'm reading correctly, this post is expressing the author's intent on investigating any avenue to further the spread of the gospel in a unified way and meet some practical needs of people. Were that purpose proven to be incorrect or were the people involved found to be political or otherwise, proper actions would be taken by the author I'm sure.

The discussion following his post, it seems to me, has resulted in some attempting to show the author how unwise it is for him to hold to his investigation. I've not read where the author has indicated ANYONE OUGHT... to do as he's doing or think as he's thinking... about the investigation of avenues for the sharing of the gospel.

So, 66, I would think the author's post and the author's comments are about his reasoning for himself only. If there is disagreemnt/debate on the author's part to what someone says, it is in the context of showing the wisdom of his decision FOR HIMSELF. Thus, if one says he OUGHT not...he responds with why he thinks their argument is flawed. So it is about his doing something, not you or me.

But...we will have to both ask the author. :)

Tyler said...

I like this blog and I like brother Wade's sentiments. But if we need a resolution to declare that we're going to love the brothers and sisters whom God has called to be part of his family, it seems to me that a resolution might not do the trick. Isn't this kind of like offering a hungry man a piece of paper that says, "WHEREAS, we voted that this is a roast dinner with a side of pie, BE IT RESOLVED, you're full?"

I'm not saying, "don't submit it" -- by all means. But wouldn't its successful passage be its own kind of declaration of surrender? We need a resolution for this? And this resolution is controversial?

I wish I was confused about why non-believers have no interest whatsoever in what the church has to say. I wish their scorn didn't strike me as eminently reasonable.

Wade Burleson said...

Brad,

First, you misunderstand, I don't admire his mean spiritedness. I admire his willingness to say he is mean instead of spiritualizing it away.

Second, I wrote the resolution.

Wade Burleson said...

Paul,

Bingo.

I'm not asking anyone to do as I do, I'm asking everyone to not condemn those who do as I.

Robert Hutchinson said...

brother barber,

thanks for the response.

when i read "...reaffirm...our desire to cooperate with evangelicals around the world for the fulfillment of the Great Commission..." i read it as simply saying we as southern baptist Christians will promote a spirit of cooperation for common Christian ends.

allow me if i may to ask you to comment on a series of realistic life situations that would call for a cooperative spirit among believers.

btw: i would be glad to hear the response of others who would vote against this resolution.

1) would you allow an non-southern baptist evangelical Christian to attend an sbc seminary?

2)and when the urban missions class he attends goes into the streets of new orleans to mourn with those who mourn and to help rebuild would you allow him to cooperate with the rest of the class who are southern baptists? would you allow this evangelical Christian to tell others that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, has the God given power and authority to forgive you of all your sin?

3) what if your local ministerial alliance of evangelical Christians was going to hold a week long city wide revival and they asked you to preach at the services being held at the methodist church? would you preach and invite your church and the lost people to attend? what if they wanted your church to host one evening with the evangelical church of the nazarene pastor preaching?

4) what if your church caught fire and the local churches around you including the catholic one got together and held a hog roast to raise money to help your church rebuild. would you accept the donation? what if it was the luthern church that burned up would you encourage your people to attend the roast and give money to help rebuild?

4) what if the assemblies of God church in greensburg, kansas was so poor they needed skilled volunteer labor to help rebuild. if you pastored an sbc affiliated church nearby, would you let the retired skilled laborers in your church know about the need and encourager their cooperation?

these are realistic examples of forms of cooperation that this resolution and even the bf&m 2000 whole heartedly endorse.

bf&m 2000 on missions and cooperation

"It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ."

"Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament."

"Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth."

Funny, the bf&m has an even more ecumenical tone that this resolution.

So, I guess I conclude this long comment by saying to anyone who would vote against this resolution...do you also disagree with the bf&m 2000?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Amy said: "I can love my fellow Christians but be against this resolution. To tell me that is impossible is judgmental and ultimately unloving."

Actually in my original post I said nothing about you, nothing about the resolution, and nothing about judging people who wouldn't sign the resolution. I am not sure why you read so much into my comments about love and unity through persecution.

I was commenting about loving other believers. When one says they love another Christian but fails to show love with their actions, their words do not come across as trustworthy. For example, I have been told to my face by a Pastor that I will go to hell if I don't repent of teaching the bible to mixed groups. This Pastor also says that he loves me, but he has no time to dialog with me on his judgment call nor can he show me where I am scripturally wrong. How can he say that he loves me yet condemn me to hell for something that is a secondary issue? His words of love do not ring true to me because there is no loving action that follows his words.

My love for him has been shown by my patience and willingness to help him with his computer problems even though he has judged me. I have not said that he is in sin or judged him unfairly. I believe that real love is an action and words can be hollow when there is nothing that confirms the words.

When we can treat people with love and respect who disagree with us on the side issues, then we can show the world that we are the children of God. It takes nothing to love someone who is just like us. But when we can show love through our actions even to those true followers of Christ who differ from us on the non-essentials, the world can see a difference in our actions and they can see Christ in us.

I do appreciate Wade as I have followed his writing one and off for some time now. I have seen a gracious spirit in Wade, one that refuses to belittle people even if he sincerely disagrees with them. I have not seen him return insult for insult. He is tenacious but he is kind. I feel honored to call him my brother in Christ and I liked his resolution. When one has been personally attacked for so long by others who call themselves brothers in Christ just because of a disagreement on a side issue, it is so refreshing to see an attempt at a clear call for love. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God.

Wayne Smith In His Name said...

Bart, and others that have a hard time seeing truth.

Truth is calling a spade a spade and that is what Ben Cole is all about. Ben reminds me of Jesus in a lot of ways. No one on these Blogs is more loving than CB Scott. I know that these two gentlemen know and love the LORD GOD ALMIGHY. These two men know far more than we know about the past and what has happened in the past with some leaders in the SBC.

IN HIS NAME
Wayne Smith

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Strangely, you wrote in your post card to Dad that "Bingo...I'm not asking anyone to do as I do, I'm asking everyone to not condemn those who do as I."

Did I miss my bus or did you not at length not only argue for your resolution, but express a bleeding ulcer about how others like myself could not support it?

Note, Wade, your first string of defenses:

"I never dreamed I would ever see people give so many reasons on why they could not support a resolution to love…"

"The resolution is filled only with Scripture…In my wildest dreams I cannot imagine this resolution voted down."

"What does it say if we can't agree to love each other?"

"If some, would you not agree, act as if they don't love their fellow Christians, the resolution may have benefit."

"Who would have thought this would have been an issue."

Debating is not condemning, Wade. I thought we agreed about that, you fibber!

With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007 said...

wade,

it was not just the way you were talking that offended. it was the implication that all of us ignorant, southern, anti ecumenical, fundie hillbillies just dont get it. all of us down here in the good ole sooouuth just dont know how in the world we'uh gonna know what to do. we'uh just so ignorant, we cant see how all them boys could get togethuh to open up one of those little ole libraries and still not be true to the biiiible. i wish we had someone with a biig head....ooops, i mean a big elite intellect who could help us'n's down he'uh.

that's what was so offensive.

but, i do accept your apology for offending me.

btw, who were you talking about when you made this quote in this thread...

"It's the passive/agressive, superspiritual smile-to-your-face and-plunge-a knife-in-your-back style of some that is both duplicitous and hypocritical."

who is that?


david

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Uh, just a second as I pull the knife out . . .

Not you.

:)

Wayne Smith said...

volfan007,

David there's and old saying that if the shoe fits wear it. The HOLY SPIRIT is the one that convicts.

In His Name
Wayne Smith

volfan007 said...

wade,

thanks for the clarification. did you not play golf today?


wayne,

i say that old phrase all the time. it's a good one.

david

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
I’m correct about one thing; no one wants to touch my resolution of having the Bible as our doctrinal guideline. If I brought it up at San Antonio, I’ll bet the response would be, “Old man, you’re out of order.”

volfan007 said...

hey you, at mic #3, old man, you're out of order!


david:)

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
David 007,
Mike #3? I’ll have to remember to stay with #1.
Nice to get a response—I was beginning to think this ‘black sheep’ was writing in an unknown tongue.

I started to accuse Wade of doing that on Wednesday May 30 with his “PC” and “EC”, but he had a definition for them in his P.S.

David, I have been given a reason why we cannot have the Bible as our doctrinal guideline in a letter from Jerry Rankin. I don’t know if the reason was original with him or he was just passing it on. See if it makes any sense to you:

“Because the Church of Christ has the Bible for their doctrinal guideline and we have to be different.”

Now to me, with that reasoning, we should remove from our ‘money’ “In God we trust” because that’s what Hitler had on his soldier’s belt buckles.

Now I know you’re not afraid to say what you think because you’re good at getting into ‘trouble’ for doing so.

Anyway, thanks again