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

Why Wiley Drake Should Not Be VP of the SBC

When the Southern Baptist Convention voted to boycott Disney World, I took my entire family, the very next day, to Orlando, Florida to enjoy Disney World. I told my church it was the best vacation we ever had. It was then, in the mid-1990's, that Wiley Drake first came into my consciousness. He was the man who recommended that boycott at the SBC, and the messengers passed it. I let my strong disagreement with Wiley be known at the time.

In fact, Wiley's views on everything denominationally, politically, and about life in general are as different from my views as the colors across the aisle on the 50 yard line at the annual Texas OU Cotton Bowl tussle. Wiley's classic dispensationalism, ardent fundamentalism, and strident political activism are the antithesis of my views. My concern over the last several years has been that we, the SBC, are becoming ideologically like the Wiley Drakes of this world .

Last year in Greensboro, North Carolina, an elderly pastor named Bill Dotson took it upon himself to nominate Wiley to the position of Second Vice President of the SBC. He asked Ben Cole to write the nominating speech. I believe the speech to elect Wiley Drake will go down in history as one of the most, if not the, funniest SBC nominating speeches of all time.

Wiley Drake was elected.

My choice for Second Vice President was my friend Bob Bender from Colorado. In fact, I had helped Bob get his nominator and talked with him several times about his being nominated. I did not know Wiley personally before he was elected, having only one conversation with him (and that was about our disagreements), but after Wiley was elected, I met him, his wife, and his mother-in-law during an informal reception at our hotel.

This is what I discovered. Wiley is a man who possesses a very soft heart. He ministers to the down and out in a street ministry that he personally leads. Most of us who are Southern Baptist pastors wouldn't even think of helping in, much less organizing, such a ministry to the poor and outcast. He cares for the Mexican immigrants in California as if they were his own family, buying food and clothes for them as he tries to help them get established. He cared for his aged mother-in-law, who was in a wheel chair, with both class and grace. Wiley is a man of paradox. He thinks like a fundamentalist but he seems to care for the underdog like a liberal.

Wiley's views on abortion are well known. He strongly opposes abortion and calls it 'the murder of our children.' What is not so well known is Wiley's alleged support of a man in prison for killing an abortion doctor. Some liberals question why people are silent about Wiley's 'support' of domestic terrorism. Other fundamentalists take me to task for sending a message to the powers that be in 'getting Wiley elected.'

A few thoughts on Wiley Drake for people to ruminate on:

(1). If our convention continues down the road of fundamentalism, Wiley Drake will be the norm, not the aberration.

(2). People are beginning to wake up to where we are headed, and if it takes the election of Wiley Drake for Southern Baptists to see that the logical end of extreme evangelical fundamentalism is having leadership that advocates the boycott of Disney World and allegedly supports the murder of abortion doctors, then maybe Wiley's election is for our ultimate good - it will wake us up to the fact that our mission is to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the world. We are a gospel convention not a political convention.

(3). However, I would be very cautious about accepting something you read on the Internet about Wiley Drake. I have not spoken to Wiley on the issue of his 'support' of a murderer. I, like everybody else, just found out about it. I've not heard Wiley speak to it. Too many people are quick to jump to unfounded conclusions before talking to the people involved. I am not defending Wiley, I am just urging caution to all who would castigate him before you talk to him.

(4). I love the SBC and support the SBC with dollars and ministry. I am skeptical of anything that is said to embarrass the SBC by those who were once participating in the SBC but pulled out. The SBC needs neither liberalism or fundamentalism. Both Pharisaical and Sadduceal extremes may have their place in the religious world, but not in the SBC. We need moderation in all things except our love for Christ.

(5). Wiley Drake should not and will not be reelected to an SBC office in San Antonio. Thankfully, people want moderation in our leaders, not extremes.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wade, thanks for another on-spot commentary!

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb

Kaylor said...

Wade: Very well put. I hope you are correct that Drake will not be elected again. And I think you are right on that Drake represents the direction that many in SBC leadership seem to be headed.

While I have not spoken with Drake about this recent issue, I have spoken with him in the past. Although he was a very nice guy, I was troubled by much of what he said.

That conversation led to an article I wrote about Drake's connections with the Moonies. Although he apologized publicly back in 2001, I reported that he actually continued to be a part of their events. When I interviewed him, he at first denied he had done any other events, but he did kind of admit to it when I pointed the facts out.

I fear that you are right that Drake is where the SBC is headed. While he should be commended for his work with the poor and ignored peoples, we must not follow his example of exclusion. From his Disney boycott to his attacks on public schools to his attacks on the Baptist World Alliance, Drake has been drawing more and more lines to exclude more and more people.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: Well said.

You seem to hint ("...if it takes the election of Wiley Drake for Southern Baptists to see that the logical end of extreme evangelical fundamentalism ...") at the fact that God is behind the scenes directing what is going on in the SBC. To that, I say "amen".

Wade Burleson said...

And Amen.

Karen in OK said...

I never have understood the disdain many had for the Disney boycott. In my younger days, I was a member of Bread for the World and Evangelicals for Social Action. I have subscribed to Sojourners and The Other Side.
I was deeply affected by Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Sider.

All those entities were BIG on evaluating your consumer choices in the light of your Biblical convictions. As an example, I participated in the Nestle boycott for years. All of this "liberal".

You had the perfect freedom to go to Disney World, boycott or not. But why does it make you so mad that there was a boycott? Any boycott ever? Or just this particular one?

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

If, as you say, "our convention continues down the road of fundamentalism, Wiley Drake will be the norm, not the aberration."

UMMMMMMM? Since when was Wiley Drake a candidate endorsed or supported by Conservative Resurgence leaders? By your own admission his nomination was supported not by the Paige Patterson's of the convention, but rather by your friend and political ally Ben Cole, whose speech no doubt will go down in history. I admire the humorous wit that Ben has. I think most would agree that it was Ben's hilarious nominating speech and not the logical outcome of conservative leadership that led to Drake's election.

Dorcas Hawker said...

I think there is partly a problem in the whole election process anyway. Leading up to Greensboro many people asked "What does a Second VP do?" The response most gave was "not much." The candidates don't really campaign (at least not to the "person in the pew" messenger), they are just brought up at the last minute, so unless one is very knowledgeable as to the "who's who" of SBC life, we are left voting based upon nomination speeches alone. If we are concerned about the public image of the SBC, and if that is what the President and Vice President is really all about, then perhaps it shouldn't all hinge on one speech. I'll admit it ... I voted for the speech. As a first time messenger, I didn't know much about Wiley at all.

That is the power of the speech writer in SBC politics. But then, I guess a lot of people knew that already.

Wade Burleson said...

Ms. Karen in Oklahoma,

Our convention has better things to do, like focusing on the gospel, missions around the world, and cooperative ministry -- positive changes for a dark world in need of the light of Jesus Christ -- than to boycott Walt Disney and his Disney World character.

I wasn't mad, just astounded that the SBC can't tell the difference between what is important and what is absurd.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Civil War Photographer Matt Brady :),

The policies of Wiley Drake are the policies of fundamentalism.

Jack Maddox said...

Ok Wade, let me get this right because I am a little confused and you know how dense we "Spooky Fundies" can be : )

1) You obviously and rightly so distance yourself from Wiley Drake.

2) You never really supported WD due to his antics and positions in the past.

3) In fact, you supported another candidate for VP, Bob Bender

4) It was in fact, Bill Dotsons idea to nominate Wiley, and Ben Cole was jsut being helpful in electing him by writing the speech

5) Your reason for not supporting WIley was because he represented Business as usual and was typical of fundamentalist leadership

6) This recent incident only goes to show us what can happen if we Southern Baptist continue to elect those extreme fundamentalist that we have been so enamored with.

then you seem to make the point that WIley is what is waiting for us if we do not 'moderate' our convention.

Is that pretty much your position?

Jack Maddox

Jack Maddox said...

oh Wade...one mnore question for you if you don't mind.

Did you vote for Wiley Drake in Greensboro?

Jack Maddox

Timothy Rudd said...

One problem that I have with actions such as the Disney Boycott is that I can not find any basis in the Bible for Christians to ostracize unbelievers for thinking and behaving like unbelievers. Expecting to cause lost people to act like saved people through some contrived external means rather than through the saving work of the Holy Spirit in their lives is an exercise in futility.

If we were a little more patient in the face of sin in the lives of unbelievers and a little less tolerant of sin in the lives of confessing Christians, we would go a long way toward being the church we are called to be.

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

You say that Wiley's policies are the policies of fundamentalism. So now suddenly Ben wants to take us down the road of narrow fundamentalism helping to elect men like Wiley Drake? I thought he was your ally in leading us down the road of friendly cooperation? Which is it?

By the way, since you labeled Wes Kenney as a fundamentalist in your post, no doubt you would do the same to me. I'm in no way supportive of Wiley Drake for leadership in our convention, nor do I know of anyone in conservative leadership that supported his candidacy. Vocal support only came from some in your network of political allies.

Debbie said...

Petitions and boycotting never has brought people to salvation.

I do not boycott nor sign petitions because my question is how do you expect those without Christ to behave? I am a new creature not because of boycotting but because of Christ. I am not a Green Beret for Christianity nor is my battle cry "Onward Christian Soldiers."

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Maddox,

I sense a little fear that my point that the SBC needs to moderate from her advancing fundamentalism is beginning to be felt and heard.

I was always for Bob Bender, but like my pink hatted friend Bob Cleveland pointed out above, 'God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform'

In His Grace,

Wade

Karen in OK said...

I agree boycotts can be overdone, problematic, and ineffective. And Christians can and will reasonably differ on where that line is drawn. But for example, I hope that I would have joined in William Wilberforce's boycott of sugar raised by slaves had I been in that time and place.

It seems to me that SOMETIMES it is appropriate for Christians to get out of the huddle and speak collectively to the culture at large that something is wrong.
Disney, for example, was not about not liking Mickey Mouse. It was about a corporate policy of Disney on homosexuality, which would partly be funded by any individual Christian's dollars spent there.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Matt Brady,

Ask Ben what he thinks of Wiley's policies. He speaks quite well for himself and I will not choose to do so.

Regardless what you think of Wiley, ask yourself this question -

'How did he get elected to an office in the SBC?' The answer to that question may solve the riddle on how the SBC can, has been, and is manipulated for the election of officers who do not hold to the majority views of Southern Baptists.

Wade Burleson said...

Karen,

You don't change the hearts of homosexuals by boycotting Mickey Mouse.

You change the hearts of homosexuals by loving them enough to take the gospel of Christ to them and tell them the truth about their sin and the only Savior given for sinners.

Debbie said...
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Michael Chance said...

Wade, a very solid and courageous post, my friend! See ya' in San Antonio!

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

Karen: I am well aware what the boycott was about. I agree with what Wade has said. Boycotts work no better in this situation than if we declared the official doctrine in the United States is to be Christianity, forcing people to accept it,as some have voiced they would like to do.

God works from the inside out, not the outside in.

Jim Paslay said...

I took my family to Disney World in 1994 when the convention was there. It was at the time that I learned about Gay Pride Day at Disney World. We went on the Monday after the event. We were in line talking to a couple from Ohio who had come down to enjoy Disney World. They showed up on Gay Day wearing red shirts not realizing what was going on. The lady's husband had sexual advances made upon him all day long by the male homosexuals. They found out later about the significance of the red shirts. It was disguisting according to the couple.

Wade, Walt Disney would roll over in his grave at the direction of Disney. They needed to be boycotted and I am glad the SBC did so!

Jack Maddox said...

Mr. Burleson

I fear you may misunderstand the intent of my post or you seek to pint it in another vain alltogether. Fear...fear my friend? Not from this preacher! In fact, this only substatiates what I have felt all along...that you and Ben and perhaps others are the masters of Baptist politics. Your former connections with past political machinery in the SBC has taught you both well. The fact that you now turn your poilical warewithall on the current SBC is quite telling. No Mr. Burleson, you misread my post if you think I am in any way starting to see your point. I greatly enjoyed our fellowship in Arlington and although I do believe that we in the SBC should tolerate other views...I feel this has nothing to do with that. Your equating the comments and actions of Wiley Drake to the dangers of the current SBC and the direction of our convention only serves to drive an even larger wedge between your position and myself. I am afraid your position on this issue and on other issuesis are far to transparent for this simple minded fundy.

I will see you in San Antonio and God's blessings as you travel there.

Jack Maddox

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

You said I should ask myself:

"'How did [Wiley Drake] get elected to an office in the SBC?' The answer to that question may solve the riddle on how the SBC can, has been, and is manipulated for the election of officers who do not hold to the majority views of Southern Baptists."

I still happen to believe that the majority of Southern Baptists in the pew still hold to the fundamentals of Scripture. I believe the will of the majority HAS been heard for 28 years. Your question above, is the very reason I am concerned with your network of friends who are working to elect those who I don't believe represent the true majority of our convention.

Timothy Rudd said...

We should be careful not to take an "anybody but Drake" attitude into the election. All of the reasons not to vote for Drake (which, if true, are admittedly compelling) must be weighed in the balance with a number of other factors, including the views and qualifications of any alternative candidates.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Brady,

We are not talking abou the fundamentals of the Scripture.

I believe in the fundamentals.

We are talking about the fundamentalism of the extremists who wish to separate from everyone over ever little disagreement in doctrine.

Cooperation is the fabric of our convention - not conformity.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I'm glad to know you have sworn off politics.

You must be aware my friend that the very structure of our SBC requires politics for change to occur.

Our convention must moderate.

It will.

Jack Maddox said...

Folks

This is not about who supports boycotts or not...this post is about the actions of Wiley Drake in regards to the duplicity of Wade Burleson and Ben Cole in their former support of him.

Why duplicity you ask? Because if they were so against everything he stood for then why did they endorse, defend and celebrate his victory. What was their reasons?

Can you answer that Wade?

and Wade...you have not answered my other question. Did you vote for Wiley Drake?

Jack Maddox

Karen in OK said...

Debbie and Timothy and others,
You are right that we should not attempt to force others to be Christians. As if we could.
And Wade is right on how the hearts of people are changed.

But I strongly disagree with your seeming assessment of all boycotts.
William Wilberforce has been one of my heroes for years. Since this is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in England, more is easily available on his life and the activities of the Clapham sect.

I would urge you to look again at Wilberforce's activities. Urged on by John Newton, the former slave trader. Some appropriate activities by Christians do not change people's hearts but still have a great impact upon society for the better.

Debbie said...

Karen: I would not put the boycott of Disney next to William Wilberforce. There is no comparison.

Alycelee said...

The cultural, moral and spiritual battle will not be won by complaining and boycotting, even slapping our hand on the battle.

The SBC better wake up and smell the coffee, because our reputation, our very name means to many legalistic, mean spirited, having little compassion and I could go on and on. Do I want to align myself with the likes of Westboro Baptist Church? Definitely not.

We are supposed to be a reflection of Christ.
He didn't have a problem with sinners rather loved them and offered them a way out. His problem was with the religious, specifically the religious leaders.

It's about inclusive ideas not personalities when we look to leadership.
Thanks Wade for this update.

Pamela said...

The idea of standing up for right is always right. How it is done will determine its effectiveness.

I am a black person that realizes that some boycotting may be necessary. I think of the bus boycotts that took place. My parents told me about them and I heard about them when I was very young during Black History classes. It set a moral compass for the nation.

I am also a person that lost a job and took five years before I could find work in my field. I also have business training and watch the trends in business from time to time. Anyone that keeps up with business will note that many of them will 'prosper' with a reduction in labor costs. TRANSLATION they laid people off and/or began to hire offshore workers at 20-30% of American wages. I know this is against the law but I have seen this personally.

There was a time that I would participate in boycotts thinking that I was sending a message to the companies by squeezing their finances. Hoever my view changed after working For a brief time in a call center where the vast majority of workers were offshore. I'm in Tulsa OK where the wages for call center workers are some of the lowest in the nation. Many call centers have moved here in the past few years. When I worked there 200-400 jobs were lost because a major mobile phone company wanted to reduce their labor costs. I told my Mother that was impossible domestically. Those jobs went to India.

This is my point. People can boycott businesses until the cows come home. Because of NAFTA and CAFTA companies can lay off workers and hire replacement workers offshore for a portion of what they would have paid American workers and still make a profit. No points will be made in the vast majority of cases and many people, including Christians, will be out on the street looking for work. The heads of these companies will not lose much if anything.

When I hear Christians screaming boycott anymore I shudder thinking about how many American Christians could lose their jobs in the process. Lost people are going to act like lost people. They will make decisions that Christians disagree with. That is because they have a dead nature inside. When my friends send me emails about a boycott they get a very long email from me stating why I will not support them anymore. I feel a better way is to pray that the Lord send laborers across the paths of the corporate heads so they can hear the gospel and change.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Maddox,

I was against Wiley Drake holding office from the very beginning and told Ben Cole that personally before the election. After the election I met Wiley and saw his heart. I happily call Wiley a brother in Christ. I look forward to continued cooperation with him as a Southern Baptist. I don't know how many times I have to tell you that Bob Bender was my choice Maybe if I say it in an unkown tongue you will understand. :)

Mr. Maddox, you above all should know that I value acceptance and cooperation with all - including fundamentalists. Wiley Drake is a pure fundamentalist. He has much in common with the fundamentalists in our convention.

I will sit back and watch with amusement as my fundamentalist friends seek to distance themselves from Wiley. Wiley is what we were becoming.

But it seems by your reaction to Wiley, you and others of similar ilk are beginning to see the light. Blessings.

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

Those of our "ilk" have always seen the light concerning Wiley Drake. It was those of your "ilk" that helped put Wiley in as 2cnd VP.

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

You say:

"Cooperation is the fabric of our convention - not conformity."

I agree, but at what point do you draw the lines of cooperation. According to your post, the SBC should no longer include men like Wiley Drake in leadership. Are you too narrow to accept Drake?

My point is that we all have preferences for the kind of leadership that we want and are willing to draw lines that we will not cross. Some of us just draw the lines at different places.

Debbie said...

The difference for me is that I would never say Wiley has no business running for office, I just may not vote for him. From what I understand some are saying that if a person does not meet the criteria if voted in he/she cannot serve.

G. Alford said...

Wade,
You said:

'How did he get elected to an office in the SBC?' The answer to that question may solve the riddle on how the SBC can, has been, and is manipulated for the election of officers who do not hold to the majority views of Southern Baptists.

In my humble opinion the SBC will never elect officers who hold to the majority view of Southern Baptists… until the majority of Southern Baptist are allowed to elect their officers…

Until the SBC adopts a “One Baptist One Vote” policy the process will always be open to manipulation!

Why is everyone in the SBC so afraid of democracy? …is it because those who are in power got there under the current system and really do not trust the Southern Baptist people?

Now, getting down from my soap box…

Grace to all,

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Matt Brady,

My church member, Debbie Kaufman, answered your question.

Wiley is always free to run. The question is whether or not our convnention messengers will elect him.

Matt Brady said...

Debbie,

"some are saying that if a person does not meet the criteria if voted in he/she cannot serve"

?????

Could you find me one quote, just one, anywhere to that effect? I would love to see it.

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Barber said...

Can I draw attention back to the fact that you have labeled Wes Kenney as a fundamentalist.

I thought you were against that sort of thing?

Matt Brady said...

Wade,

I beg to differ. Debbie did not answer my question. Perhaps you misunderstood. I did not ask where the convention messengers draw lines of cooperation. My question was, Where do YOU draw the lines of cooperation?"

My point was (and is) that even you have lines that you will not cross in who you would support for leadership in the SBC. Again, some just draw the lines at a different spot.

Bro. Robin said...

Wow, Wes is a Fundy!

A few more posts like today's and he will move up to the Spooky class of fundamentalism. :-)

Anonymous said...

wes is a fundie? is he a spoooooky fundie? well, sometimes he is kind of spooky. :)

this post and comment thread has been most interesting.

david(volfan007)

Jim Paslay said...

debbie said:

I do not boycott nor sign petitions because my question is how do you expect those without Christ to behave? I am a new creature not because of boycotting but because of Christ. I am not a Green Beret for Christianity nor is my battle cry "Onward Christian Soldiers."

So, what is wrong with "Onward Christians Soldiers?" The last time I read Ephesians 6, it said something about putting on the full armor of God. It also says "we war not against flesh and blood but principalities..." Sounds like Paul was talking about a battle. Our enemy is Satan, and this world is a battleground not a playground.

Economic boycotts have been successful down thru the years, just ask Seven/Eleven store executives. There was nothing wrong with the SBC voting to boycott a company that claimed to be a friend to families. Maybe if more Southern Baptists had joined in on the boycott, Disney would have changed sooner!

Anonymous said...

G. Alford:

Well said!

John Fariss

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

Does anyone know if Mickey Mouse prays in a private prayer language?

:0)

Anonymous said...

jason,

lol. that's funny. :)

i dont think that micky has ever spoken in a prayer language, but i'm sure that donald duck has, i know that huey and duey and luey have most certainly done it. :)

david(volfan007)

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

Well as for Donald, Huey, Duey and Louie - they better not call and ask ME for any money to do missions! We don't give money to "quacks" who speak in tongues!

cameron coyle said...

"The SBC needs neither liberalism or fundamentalism. Both Pharisaical and Sadduceal extremes may have their place in the religious world, but not in the SBC." [sic]

"Mr. Maddox, you above all should know that I value acceptance and cooperation with all - including fundamentalists."

Well Brother Wade, I see that you have not grown any more consistent in your statements during the months since I last visited your corner of the web. How is anyone to know what you really think when you call both sides of the coin? Which is the real Wade, the one who says that "fundamentalism" has no place in the SBC, or the one who says he values acceptance and cooperation with the "fundamentalists?"

Bart Barber said...

The one who adjures that he will not stand by and let people be labeled, or the one who labels Wes a fundamentalist?

Jack Maddox said...

yltzbAlycelee

You Said

"The SBC better wake up and smell the coffee, because our reputation, our very name means to many legalistic, mean spirited, having little compassion and I could go on and on. Do I want to align myself with the likes of Westboro Baptist Church? Definitely not."

My Lord sister! Surely you are not equating the SBC with the likes of WBC? If not, why would you even make an analogy to the folks at WBC? DO you feel that is where we are heading? That would be like me equating wade Burleson’s desire for cooperative unity to the Unitarian Church.

We may disagree, and you may disagree with the current leadership in the SBC although I do not know to what extent you personally know any of them. However, can our disagreement simply be that, brothers and sisters disagreeing over points of polity and perhaps even theology without making gross over generalizations like "mean Spirited" "Legalistic" and "Little compassion" To further make the reference to Westboro Baptist, which is a mean spirited, cultic, anti-Christian and in my opinion demonic group of people who are in no way affiliated with the SBC whatsoever...is somewhat disingenuous and a little mean spirited in its own right.

Jack

Wade Burleson said...

The fundamentals of the faith are what our convention is built upon.

Fundamentalism (sectarianism, exclusion over tertiary doctrines, and demands for conformity on non-essentials) as a philosophy has no place in the leadership of our convention. Neither does liberalism and her philosophies of denying the authenticity, inspiration and sufficiency of Divine revelation or the power of the cross.

Jim Paslay said...

Jack,

Well said! Amen!

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...

Let's see - it is wrong to label one a liberal and the Spooky Fund do that and this must stop but it is ok to label one a Fundy and by making a huge vague line draw all Fundy's into a group with the one who was labeled - is this not what I read?

I thought cooperation and brotherhood was to be put above name calling and division?

I think we can do better - can we not?

Wade Burleson said...

I am open for a new name for those who wish to exclude fellow Southern Baptists from missionary participation or denominational leadership who disagree with them over minor, tertiary doctrines. It seems that some are a tad sensitive over the word 'fundamentalist,' so I am open to a new word.

Bart Barber said...

All Wes did was point out the problems with Wiley Drake. Does that make one a fundamentalist?

Wade Burleson said...

Barth, when there is a open advocacy to exclude missionaries who possess a private prayer language from serving on the mission field, when there is a desire to ban church members and pastors from representation on SBC boards and agencies who do not practice closed communion, when there is a desire to accept only baptism at the hands of a 'duly authorized' pastor and a rejection of one's baptism not in a Southern Baptist Church or one that teaches eternal security -- what would you prefer I call that? I won't get into other ecclesiogical, eshcataological, or soteriological demands for conformity illustrated by the ideological and philosophical extremes represent by Wiley and those who think like him -- the above three illustrations serve my purpose. Give me something to call the above?

REV. CHRIS HILLIARD said...

"Fundamentalism (sectarianism, exclusion over tertiary doctrines, and demands for conformity on non-essentials)"

I find it interesting that the more I read your blog the more I realize that you and you alone get to decide what is "essential" and "non-essential". Truly, you are advocating a new defintion of what "conservative" is. I was thrilled when Wiley was nominated and voted for him. Why? His passion and willingness to go all our for Jesus. I don't agree with all his views but I love his heart. Isn't it interesting that you hate the "conformity" you claim is being pushed and then cry out when a candidate doesn't match everything you hold to. The "younger voice" is not unanimously on your side Wade.

cameron coyle said...

Actually Wade, you made both of those statements in the immediate context of Brother Drake. It would appear that either you have two definitions for the word "fundamentalist" (one which has a place in the SBC, one which does not) and that Wiley Drake somehow fits both, or you have contradicted yourself yet again. Which is it?

Bro. Robin said...

Is that Bert, Barth, or Bart Barber waxing so eloquently? :-)

Wade Burleson said...

Barth, Bert, Bart :)

Take your pick.

REV. CHRIS HILLIARD said...

"Why in the world do we waste our time trying to identify the 'deceptive' and 'dangerous' within our convention? Could it be that the real enemy is being ignored and those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ and part of the Southern Baptist Convention are being unnecessarily attacked?"

Remember that post Wade (4/3/07, Fellow Southern Baptist are not teh enemy?) Consistency, Consistency...

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: In accordance with my latest blog posting, I ask myself if the three prohibitions you mentioned contribute to, or detract from, the Lord's plans to reach and win all those who will spend eternity in Heaven (Don't mean to be Calvinistic there....). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which.

Wade Burleson said...

Cameron, this confused, inconsistent blogger is not quite sure how to answer your query since it is hard for me to judge whether it is rhetorical or categorical in nature, so I'll just let it pass.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Bob, like you I believe 'the Lord will build His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail' even if the gates are of our own construction.

Alan Cross said...

Chris,

I could stomach Wiley's positions as well as long as he was just a fundamentalist. Even if I disagreed, it doesn't mean that he shouldn't serve. When he starts siding with murderers you have to draw the line. No one would categorically support anyone and everyone. It is messed up to side with the Army of God in the abortion debate, no matter how pro life you are. We should say so. If we don't we are ONLY political and are not worth much of anything.

Jack Maddox said...

"I won't get into other ecclesiogical, eshcataological, or soteriological demands for conformity illustrated by the ideological and philosophical extremes represent by Wiley and those who think like him"

I will say this Bro. wade. with that kind of a broadside directed at Wiley Drake...who you yourself said has not been proven to have even done what he is being accused of, it certainly seems to clash with your comments concerning him following his election...I would simply say this...if your part of the Burleson/Cole machine...better not mess up...they will drop ya like a bad habit!!!!!

Wade...if you were Tony Soprano...my guess is somebody would be getting 'whacked' over all of this. : )

(Hope you can take this with the humor in which it was intended : ) )

REV. CHRIS HILLIARD said...

I don't agree with Wiley's view as well on the abortion issue. But I do understand why he holds to it. It isn't as rare a view as you might think amongst Baptist.

Bro. Robin said...

I prefer Bart-Man

Defender of Baptist Orthodoxy
Church historian extrordinaire
Quicker than Ben Cole with a white paper.
Able to confuse and disorient audiences with a term like xenoglossa.

Look, up in the sky. Its a pastor, its a professor.

No, ITS BART-MAN! :-)

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Maddox,

Unlike you, I have told Wiley everything I have said here. I disagreed with his motion to boycott Disney, believing it to be a separatist mentality which is not conducive to the gospel of Christ. His eschatalogical views regarding Israel may be the majority view of leadesrhip in the SBC and the basis for our politics in the Middle East, but we as Southern Baptists should focus on the gospel since we are in Arab countries as well as Israel -- and our the gospel should transcend nations. I too, am against abortion, but the militant extremes of fundamentalism would seek to offer no solution to the problem of unwanted children (by the way Jack, I hope you are at next week's evangelical conference in Colorado to help provide a solution for orphans). This is not a broadside. It's an honest evaluation of the ultimate end of a particular ideology.

Wade

P.S. For someone who wrote, "See you in San Antonio" in closing out your post earlier today - as if you were done - you must have decided to stick around, right? :)

Jack Maddox said...

Holy Glossalia Bart - Man! That pesky Wade Burleson and his ban of do gooders is at it again!!!!

Jack

(again, please receive this in the humorous if not pathetic vein it is offered!)

Wade Burleson said...

So received.

If you don't know by now, I am not easily dissuaded.

:)

Jack Maddox said...

Mr. Burleson

I am only Ggad to stick around since the conversation is so stimulating and I must admit at times challenging. In fact, I plan on 'sticking around' until Jesus calls me home...then I must say I will no longer be active in this discussion. As far as I will see you in San Antonio...I meant, well...I will see you in San Antonio...meaning ...when you are there and I am there...we will see each other.

As far as the conference in Colorado. I regret that I will be unable to attend, however, I will continue to do what I can by continuing to serve with my wife as a foster parent, taking in children who have suffered some of the most horrible of circumstances. We have adopted one child and have and will continue to give a home to those who are needing our help. This is in addition to my four biological children, on Grandchild, 2 dogs, and several stray skunks that seem to think they are welcome at the parsonage!

I do not know what you mean by 'militant fundamentalism", but I do hope your not making the claim that it is something represented by the leadership of our SBC in comparison to the Army of God.

Jack

Debbie said...

Jim P: Read Ephesians 6 and see why we are to put on that armour and what that armor consists of. Context.

Are you talking about this same Paul who said in Romans 9:2-3 "I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race"

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to everyone who has commented, it saddens me to see the name calling, the "my way or the highway" mentality, etc. It saddens me deeply to know there are people walking around in our neighborhoods who don't know Jesus, but yet we spend our time trying to get our points across. Does it really matter at the end of the day? It seems the focus has shifted from being a light in a dark world to making sure our religious views are heard and understood. As Jesus died on the cross, He was still trying to lead others to Him, not disputing with those who didn't believe His views. I believe it saddens our Maker greatly to see what all went on in this "Why Wiley Drake Should Not Be VP of the SBC". When our beliefs become the issue over what God wants for His children, our beliefs become an idol...and it seems as if this is happening more and more each day. The enemy knows that once Christ is in us, we cannot be snatched away. With that knowledge, he will use distractions in our lives to keep us from going forth with the Great News. As we went back and forth with one another today, trying to prove our points, how many lost souls drew their last breath today. We've got to stop allowing the enemy to distract us - we must move forward with the Great Commission.

Steve

Bart Barber said...

To all:

Defining fundamentalism is indeed a tricky subject. As for me, I do not mind if you call me a fundamentalist. Baptists wound up being called Baptists when we decided to own the insults hurled at us and make them our own. I think that's a pretty good strategy, personally. Nevertheless, I think Wes Kenney has been a lot more evenhanded in the past year than most of us have. I had the general impression that he was loved and appreciated by those on all fronts.

I suggest that we all await Nathan Finn's dissertation. It will be the definitive word on what is a fundamentalist.

Bart Barber said...

I offer this as my final comment on this thread:

People asked Wade Burleson to distance himself from Wiley Drake and his comments. Bro. Wade has done so. Some credit should be given to him for that action. It is the right thing to do. Thanks, Wade.

However, I wish you could find it within yourself to do such a thing without deprecating Wes or lashing out at anyone. Bro. Wiley's actions are not Wes's fault. Bro. Wiley's ties with your movement are not necessarily your fault, and you have aptly demonstrated that Bro. Wiley is not under your (nor, apparently, anybody's) control.

But for you to try to assign him and lay the blame for his actions at the feet of your opponents is incomprehensible at best and reprehensible at worst.

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Barber, thanks for your last comment on this string. As always, you are welcome at any time. I am not often accused of being slow mentally or challenged in the area of comprehension, but I confess I have absolutely no clue what you mean in your last paragraph. For me to help you comprehend that which you find incomprehensible and help you accept that which you find reprehensible will first require me to both know, and then understand, what bothers you. The fact I have no clue of your meaning, I'm sure, is due to my inability to comprehend what seems clear (yet incomprehensible) to you.

Debbie said...

"Defining fundamentalism is indeed a tricky subject"

It's pretty easy Bart. As a former fundamentalist for 35 years "If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, talks like a duck....."

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Reading it, I'm sure I don't understand it either!

This is why we all benefit from editing.

I meant to say: "for you to try to assign him to the 'fundamentalist' camp and lay the blame for his actions at the feet of your opponents is incomprehensible at best and reprehensible at worst."

P.S.: I'm fine without the "Dr.", thank you.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie:

I'm sure that Nathan will, without further consideration, build his dissertation around your definition.

This really is my last comment (since I was incomprehensible on my erstwhile "last comment" I just couldn't go out that way).

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
R.C.Sproul said essentially the same thing about Paul Hill during a qestion and answer session several years ago. It was at a tape of the month meeting prior to the Ligonier conference.
I have in my house a tape of the AFA in which Adrian Rogers preached a whole message on why Southern Baptist should boycott Disney!
Boycotts are an effective way to a accomplish certain tasks..just ask Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Just ask Don Imus.
Wade when was the last time you went to a strip club? I am pretty sure you boycott them!
Many leaders came out in support of the boycott including the Assemblies of God.
Wade as an IT guy who thinks the Open Source community is awesome;you might like to ask our community if they use Microsoft products. By the way you should not use Microsoft products either...it is immoral. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is the largest supporter of abortion in the world...period! Never mind what they believe about Homosexuality. I Thank the Lord that this company will be offering an alternative to Windows....http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/05/01/13147.aspx
BTW....Ubuntu has a Christian version that is available at whatwouldjesusdownload

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Instead of why Wiley Drake should not be VP of the SBC, the better question is: How did Wiley Drake get elected? Most messengers did not know any of the people nominated for V.P. Therefore, it was the speech made by Bill Dodson of Kentucky that essential elected Wiley Drake. Now the fact of the matter is that Ben Cole wrote the speech that elected Wiley Drake. Who elected Wiley Drake - some say he was elected on his merits - other say that Bill Dodson by his great speaking skills - others say it was Ben Cole who wrote the speech. It was a combination of all - but mainly the content of the speech that elected Wiley Drake. In reality, most pastors (that I have spoken to about the matter) believe it was the content of the speech that helped Bro. Drake stand out from the crowded field, therefore a person must ask Ben Cole why Wiley Drake was nominated in the first place. No one can answer that question except for Ben Cole.
Gene Price

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I am glad you have finally spoken out on this. We can all say the Wiley Drake is a nice, caring person but he is not a good choice for SBC VP. Many of us feared he would embarrass our convention and he has with his endorsements and public positions using his title as SBC VP. You were not the only one who attended Disney after the boycott. After the boycott, Drake said he would continue to go to Disneyland and use the passes he already had. Does that make sense? Some of our great Southern Baptist such as B.H. Carroll, R.G. Lee and Billy Graham have said they support the Southern Baptist position of separation of church and state. Wiley Drake is head of an organization called United for Unity of Church and State and stated that Jesus is the King of the United States. Is that true? He has always been one of the first to use the word liberal to attack conservatives in our convention he disagreed with. His election last year was not because of the brilliance of Ben Cole’s speech. It was a throw away vote taken as a joke.
Ron West

K. Michael Crowder said...

Mr. Burleson,

It will likely not shock you that I disagree with nearly every point you had to make in the OP of this thread. You say our convention should not be political yet I submit that you, infact, are the most polical pastor currently in the SBC. I am saddened by your apparent joy in spitefulness. the Disney boycott was most necessary, and another is needed this year, in addition to Disney parent ABC. Your Disney vacation was your right, but it is also in direct defiance of the messengers of the SBC. Your views and positions sir, are not in the majority of the congregants of the churches of the SBC. Your following is slim at best and with the advent of the blogisphere, likely not to grow.

Not to the topic of fundamantalism. This is historically a word used by liberals to destroy the work of men and women who hold to the Bible's truths and foundational doctrines. The word, in its modern venacular, is an ad hominem abusive fallacy and those who use it are well aware of this fact. I submit that your vision of a more syncretistic SBC will only serve to propel America to a more European syle of Christianity where the doctrines of sin and retribution are replaced with an extrabiblical doctrine of the love of Christ (whoever he might be to you). Please tell me sir, how one can repent of sin of which they do not believe hey posess? How will they know if they do not hear? How will they hear if we do not tell them and stand against sin and the evil one.

Lastly Wade, I would ask you to apologize to your brother in Christ, Wiley Drake, for spreading unconfirmed rumors about him and potentially mischaracterizing his for pure political gain. This was over the top and not in accordance with Matthew 18. Allow God to place whom he will in positions of authority within the SBC. This type of politics is liken to:
"For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants to whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task......For we are God's fellow workers..." 1 Cor 3:4-5,9A

-kmichael

Nathan Finn said...

Wade's question:

"Barth, when there is a open advocacy to exclude missionaries who possess a private prayer language from serving on the mission field, when there is a desire to ban church members and pastors from representation on SBC boards and agencies who do not practice closed communion, when there is a desire to accept only baptism at the hands of a 'duly authorized' pastor and a rejection of one's baptism not in a Southern Baptist Church or one that teaches eternal security -- what would you prefer I call that? I won't get into other ecclesiogical, eshcataological, or soteriological demands for conformity illustrated by the ideological and philosophical extremes represent by Wiley and those who think like him -- the above three illustrations serve my purpose. Give me something to call the above?"

Answer: How about "historic Baptist?"

Ok, I know that was bad, but I just couldn't resist! I guess it's the "fundamentalist" in me. :-)

NAF

Nathan Finn said...

Before buffeting me as a supporter of the Army of God or other psychotic group, please not my above comment was 100% in jest.

NAF

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
You try to be all things to all people....its not working! Fear God ,not man.
I made this because you keep bringing up issues that your "moderate friends" point out to you.
Leave the Convention...join the Fellowship.
Get Out!

Robert I Masters

Robert I Masters

K. Michael Crowder said...

Leave the Convention...join the Fellowship.
Get Out!


Now now...no one over here wants him to leave......but I WAS sorta thinking that the BGCT could use a new Wade. ;)

-kmichael

Wade Burleson said...

We all are a tad touchy this evening are we?

:)

Sorry to disappoint. I'm here to stay.

Robert I Masters said...

Wade,
I just thought I would give you a dose of your own medicine...voteforWiley and stopwade

not being politically active or anything!

p.s
weak minds refuse to answer tough questions.
ie..was Adrian Rogers a fundamentalist when he made that sermon on the Disney boycott.....oh no he was the president not just a 2nd VP

Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Wade said:
"the colors across the aisle on the 50 yard line at the annual Texas OU Cotton Bowl tussle."

You heretic, it's OU-Texas Cotton Bowl tussle!

Pastor John said...

I'm sure some of you are aware of this, but Art Rogers was kind enough to get some info. straight from the horse's mouth.
No offense to Wiley.

http://www.twelvewitnesses.com/2007/05/03/art-rogers-wiley-drake-wes-kenney-james-kopp-abortion-murderer/

My greatest qualm with blogging is that so many of us jump the gun.

Stephen Pruett said...

K michael, you said, " I submit that your vision of a more syncretistic SBC will only serve to propel America to a more European syle of Christianity where the doctrines of sin and retribution are replaced with an extrabiblical doctrine of the love of Christ (whoever he might be to you)." What do you mean by extrabiblical doctrine of the love of Christ? Could you give specific examples in which Wade has supported an extrabiblical doctrine.

The truth is that you and Robert Masters would prefer that people who disagree with you on doctrinal issues, even though their view is based on just as high a view of scripture as yours, would leave the SBC. I believe such an attitude is inconsistent with scripture. How do you reconcile it with the absolutely clear and often repeated scriptural declaration that love for one another is the key distinctive of the church? I don't recall Paul asking anyone to leave except for unrepented open sin or overt heresy. Do you have access to some inside information I have missed that identifies a set of lesser doctrines which are sufficient to justify breaking fellowship?

To suggest that Wade is proposing a European style syncretism in the SBC leaves me with a huge slack-jawed, HUH?! coming out of my mouth. Can you cite specific evidence for this conclusion?

There are two potential paths for the SBC. It can follow your preferences and continue to further narrow the criteria for cooperation or it can hold to our high view of scripture, agreement on essentials and Baptist distinctives, and allow for disagreements other matters. My opinion is that the former path will decrease the effectiveness of the SBC as a tool in fulfilling the Great Commission and the latter path will permit an increased effectiveness in this role.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Mr. Pruitt,

Thank you for your response. Let me seek to clarify some of the misconceptions you have of my post from which you quoted. You ask:

"What do you mean by extrabiblical doctrine of the love of Christ? Could you give specific examples in which Wade has supported an extrabiblical doctrine. "

I will answer the latter question first. NO--I cannot for I did not charge Wade with this heresy, I charged, and rightly so, European Christendom. Quite frankly, I would not consider myself qualified to place into question much of Wade's theological ideologies. I can only comment in response to what he posts, and only in cases where I believe my exegesis is more sound.

So what is an extrabiblical doctrine of the love of Christ? It is the new postmodern/emergent view that God is love. It cherry picks the Bible and mixes extrabiblical sources such as mysticism and other eastern philosophies such as taoistic pacifism to form a Christianity that void of the doctrines taught by Christ and the Apostles.

No, I did not charge Wade with this, but I submitted that by opening the SBC up to a host new and neo-orthodox doctrine disguised as "baptist distinctives" will eventually lead to a Christianity that is more agnostic than Christian. If you study the history of the church in America and Europe, you wil discover that we are not far behind.

There are not 16.4 million converted Southern Baptists. Using Billy Graham's number of 75% of church members are unconverted, that puts us under 5 million. Does that scare anyone? Not that we only have 5 million, but that we allow over 10 million to think that they are? To allow false docgrine to creep in, and to allow professing converts to remain in reigning sin, is to slap our living God in the face.

-kmichael

"Sincerity has no ability to negate the poisonous influence of error, neither does a Godly life, infact, it makes it all the more dangerous. There is no doctrinal precision without affirmation or denial. Error taught by a Godly man is the most dangerous thing in the world." -A.L. Martin

Dorcas Hawker said...

Wade said that the nomination speech was likely the funniest in SBC history. Bart Barber has suggested that Wiley's election was just an SBC lark.

I went back to last year's annual meeting website and waited through the 17 minutes of other speeches to watch the actual speech again. Actually, the speech had only three major jokes amidst two pages of very significant reasons why Wiley Drake was worthy of being elected.

As I said, I voted for Wiley on the basis of the nomination speech alone, for I had no other information on any of the candidates upon which to base my opinion. So I would urge those who think that Wiley is just a "joke" vote to go back and listen to the speech ... minus the laugh track ... and tell me if the majority of the room might not have had a reason beside farce to vote for Wiley.

LivingDust said...

June 15, 2006 - "No election of officers in the Southern Baptist Convention will be able to address the systemic and profound theological ignorance of the average messenger to the annual meeting."

In the same vein, lets make sure the "Pastor" who publically posted these harmful words NEVER gets nominated for a SBC position.

othoniel a valdes sr said...

go Wiley :
May God continue to bless you,your family & ministry.
As a Southern Baptist I am not afraid
of you
or what you stand for even when I find myself in disagreement with you.

Alycelee said...

Jack, about your response to me on how the SBC is seen by the world: " My Lord sister! Surely you are not equating the SBC with the likes of WBC?"

If you reread my comment you will see that it isnt how I see the SBC that's important, it's how the WORLD is seeing us. If you don't think our reputation is seriously in question, I just don't know what to tell you.

As far as who I know and who I don't-I hope you arent inferring that my lack of knowing 'who's in and who isnt, impares in any way my right to comment. Hopefully when I go to San Antonio, I can actually meet some.

While I didn't meet you in Arlington, I did see you.
I heard you amen Robin on proving points of cessastionist. So Jack, at least I can recognize you. :)

Chris Humphreys said...

I plead ignorance to all that is said in this blog about Wiley Drake. I stumbled upon this blog by accident. I don't think I have ever written anything in a blog. I know I don't have the time nor desire to blog. Another thing I don't have the time nor desire for is to get involved with denominational politics. Call me a pastor of a new sovereign grace Southern Baptist church that only wants to preach, teach, live the Word. I can't call into judgment those who think they can "reform" the SBC by toying with the denominational political machinery, but for me, I see it as a total waste of time. Instead, to "redeem the time", I will focus my energies on other matters which seem to me have more eternal signficance and lasting value. You can disagree with me, or agree with me, but one thing is probably certain--I won't know about it, because, as I said, I don't have the time nor desire to blog.

Anonymous said...

In the original post it reads that you met him and think that he is nice because he cares for Mexican illegals. But this isn' true in any sense of the words you wrote. I too have met him and he doesn't care for Mexican illegals. Yes he has a homeless shelter, but it isn't fit for humans to live in. And he used to be an active member of the KKK in Arkansas. Doesn't this set of alarms in your mind? To me this should have been a red flag to the SBC. I often wonder why he came to California. And more so, when will he be leaving? And do you know that he wears a bullet proof vest all of the time. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But yo do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." Rev.3:14-18

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Paully said...

It amazes me how much time we Christians spend on unimportant issue?

What did Jesus tell us to do? Love God and our neighbor as ourselves. And to break down even further (for those of us who need more than 2 rules), Jesus told us what would be judged on Judgment Day: Did we clothe the naked? Feed the hungry? Visit the sick and those in prison?

We are not going to be judged by our religion/denominational/political preferences. We are not going to be judged by our sexuality/how much money we have/did we boycott the right companies/pro-life or pro-choice, etc.

We are going to be judged by HOW MUCH WE LOVED!

And do you know who is laughing right now? SATAN! He is laughing at us. Satan is using our pride, selfishness and our need to be right, to keep us from doing the important things.

A favorite quote I saw on a Church sign "For God so loved the world, he didn't send us a committee."

I don't care if a person is heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual. I don't care if a person is conservative, liberal or moderate. I don't care if they are pro-life or pro-choice. If we are agree to disagree, roll up our selves, and start doing the things JESUS asked us to do, we could accomplish so much for God.

As I get older, I finding out that Jesus had it right: I rather hang out in a room full of sinners than hang out with the saints. The sinners tend to live out their love, the saints just like to talk about it.