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

The Most Important Vote at the SBC in 10 Years

Some might believe that the most important vote at the SBC this year will be the vote for First Vice-President between missionary David Rogers and SBCT Executive Director Jim Richards. Though this vote is important, it is not the most important vote.

Some might believe the ballot cast Wednesday for any number of resolutions that will be presented to the SBC tomorrow could be the most important vote at the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention. Though there are several worthy resolutions, no vote for a resolution will be the most signficant vote cast by messengers at this 2007 convention.

I believe the most important vote of the Southern Baptist Convention this year, not to mention the last ten years, will take place sometime Tuesday night, during the previously scheduled business portion of the agenda, when the seated messengers of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio will debate, and then ultimately vote for, or against, the adoption of the Executive Committee statement regarding the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which reads:

"The Baptist Faith and Message is neither a creed, nor a complete statement of our faith, nor final and infallible; nevertheless, we further acknowledge that it is the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and such is sufficient in its current form to guide trustees in their establishment of policies and practices of entities of the Convention."

The above statement was adopted by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention this past year in response to a motion made at the 2006 Greensboro Southern Baptist Convention by Dr. Boyd Luter, former Dean at Criswell College.

If the Convention herself adopts this statement, it will send a strong and irrefutable message to the trustees of Southern Baptist boards and agencies that the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message is the only consensus statement of doctrinal belief approved by the SBC, and to establish doctrinal guidelines or policies that exceed the BFM 2000 is an act contrary to the wishes of the Convention herself.

Again, in my mind, this recommendation to adopt the Executive Committee's statement on the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message is the most important vote to come before the SBC in many years. I pray that the adoption of the statement passes at the Convention, as it did in the Executive Committee of the SBC, WITHOUT opposition.

Why Should The Executive Committee Statement on the BFM 2000 Be Adopted by the SBC?

(1). It will give trustees the authority to lead out in the prevention of any SBC agency from demanding absolute conformity on interpretations of tertiary doctrines, doctrines that are not addressed by the BFM 2000, before there can be participation in SBC missions and ministry.

(2). It will communicate to men who pray in tongues like Dwight McKissic and Jerry Rankin, and men who believe in Calvinism like Al Mohler and Tom Ascol, and men who believe in cessationism like Paige Patterson and Russ Moore, and men who believe in Arminianism like _________ (fill in the blank), and pastors who hold to Landmarkism in their local church, and pastors who don't hold to Landmarkism in their local church, that there is plenty of room in the SBC for both interpretations of these tertiary doctrines, and that not one side, or the other, is free to demand that others take their position in order to cooperate in missions and ministry in the SBC.

(3). It will help us focus on the main thing - sharing the gospel - and will stop cold the continuing narrowing of the parameters of cooperation by insisting we Southern Baptists unite around the essentials and cease making tertiary doctrinal interpretations issues over which we divide.

Probably the more significant question one might ought ponder is this: "What does it mean if people speak out against - or vote against - this Executive Committee statement on the BFM 2000?"

It would seem to me that opposition to this statement would represent a belief by some that the BFM 2000 IS NOT sufficient, and there is definitely a movement afoot by some in the SBC to narrow the doctrinal standards of cooperation by doctrinally adding to the BFM 'post de facto' by changing agency doctrinal policies and guidelines without Convention approval --- a charge that I have consistently made over the past two years.

We'll see how right I may have been by watching carefully the debate. Notice closely 'who' opposes the Executive Committee statement. Listen to the reasons 'why' a person opposes it. You will learn a great deal by just listening. You can watch (and listen) to the convention LIVE by clicking here.

Other Items of Business On Tuesday at the SBC

There will be several interesting reports from our agencies, not the least of which are the Lifeway Report, where I have already heard some are attempting to question the President of Lifeway on the tongues survey released a week before the convention. As most of you know, the Lifeway survey found that over 50% of Southern Baptist pastors believed that tongues was a legitimate gift of the Spirit.

The International Mission Board report will be offered Tuesday night, and the Southwestern Theological Seminary report will be given Tuesday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. There will be other interesting items presented to the convention in the form of recommendations and resolutions. I will update everyone Tuesday night.

The Election of First Vice-President

Tuesday afternoon, right before the supper break the election for First Vice-President will be held. There is a clear choice this year between ideologies of conservative cooperation vs. fundamentalist separation. David Rogers, IMB missionary to Spain and son of legendary Southern Baptist Adrian Rogers represents the fresh wind of cooperation among conservatives around the essentials of the gospel, and freedom to dissent on the non-essentials. Jim Richards represents the ideology that there are no tertiary doctrines in the Bible, and you must agree with me on every issue or you cannot be considered a true Southern Baptist.

Jim Richards is in his home state of Texas and he is expected to win because of the huge number SBCT messengers in San Antonio -- but don't rule out David Rogers pulling off what would be the biggest upset in recent memory.

A Review of the Events at the SBC on Monday, June 11, 2007

Due to the lateness of the hour, I only wish to highlight a couple of events that occurred today at the SBC. Though the Convention officially begins tomorrow, many thousands of Southern Baptists are already here enjoying the Pastor's Conference and the fellowship with other Southern Baptist people.

First, Dwight McKissic did a phenomenal job in debating Dr. Russ Moore of Southern Seminary on the issue of tongues. In the portion of the debate where the two positions were defended from Scripture, Dwight was the hands down clear winner. Someone told me later that Dwight reminded them of Luther at the Diet of Worms where the Catholic bishops excoriated Luther on his lack of knowledge of Catholic history, only to be handed their own heads on the proverbial platter when Luther expertly defended his views on justificaton from Scripture.

I also listened to the talk given by Dr. Patterson on KCBI Radio as he was asked questions by Jerry Johnston, President of Criswell College, about his 'concerns' over the SBC. I couldn't help but smile as Paige articulated his belief that the new enemy in the SBC (again)is the 'liberals.' I was around during the early eighties when Pressler and Patterson made stump speeches about how to 'rescue' the SBC (I was Pressler's driver in Oklahoma), and I really believe if you were to take today's tape and play it against one made by Dr. Patterson 25 years ago, the two would have sounded the same.

Of course, a great deal has changed in the SBC over the past quarter century, not the least of which is the fact that all the liberals are gone.

People are beginning to wake up to the fact that the old mantras don't work anymore.

Finally, it was my pleasure to eat dinner with all the messengers from my church, three of which are attending their first ever Southern Baptist Convention. One of those three, Dr. Cyril Kumar, heads up our orphanage and school in Bangalore, India. I have never seen a man work harder than Cyril, and literally thousands of lives and families have been saved through his ministry called 'Touch India.'

Sometimes I get concerned that Cyril might get jaded by what he sees. However, today, I was thankful to learn that he was excited to be at the SBC and he learned a great deal about Southern Baptists, including that there is propensity in all Southern Baptists to say, "Have a good day" even when it has gotten dark, is night, and the 'day' is almost over.

I pray that tomorrow is 'a good day.'

In His Grace,


Wade

33 comments:

t. d. webb said...

Amen and Amen!

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

to-obey-is-better said...

We'll be praying!

imb m's in asia

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

I'm certainly "for" the Ex. Cmt. statement. What's surprising is that you are. Not only are you publicly on record as disagreeing with the BF&M, according to your posts, the BF&M clearly poses too many restrictions on being Baptist. Remember the Nettles' triad--trinitarian orthodoxy, evangelical faith, separatism--about which you said you'd go toe to toe with anybody who demanded more than that in being Baptist?

But even if you were against the statement, I would not assume you were not geniunely Baptist like you seem to suggest about "some who oppose." I thought rigorous debate WAS the Baptist way.

I hope you enjoy a good steak & eggs' breakfast. With that, I am...

Peter

Dull Iron said...

Peter - I, too, once enjoyed your input. However, I now believe what a few others have stated already, what some others are just beginning to say, and what most others are thinking but haven't said...yet : Your comments are becoming predictable and tiresome in all I read.

Worthless opinion of mine, to be sure. But for some reason I felt compelled to share.

DI

Wade Burleson said...

Dull Iron,

Thank you for saying what I intentionally restrain myself from saying.

Peter, I'm not sure you have even read my posts. I have wholeheartedly affirmed the BFM 2000 with only a couple of personal minor disagreements on tertiary doctrines (closed communion, and the condemnation of infants) while pointing out three other minor areas that other Southern Baptists disagree.

I'm not sure why you can't figure out I am showing that demands for 'conformity' on the interpretation of tertiary doctrines is the very think I am fighting -- and this recommendation from the Executive Committee stops that dead cold in its tracks.

:)

Get a Life said...

Mr. Peter,

I agree with Dull Iron.

What you write has gone from something that makes me think to something in the tank.

Those of us who have read what Mr. Burleson writes understand exactly what he says.

I'm sorry you cannot. However, you have allowed those of us who really care about the SBC to see your true colors.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Wade,
It is good to hear there is concern to promote the BFM NOT to be a creed.

The big problem: What is the definition of a CREED?

If the vote is 100% for it not to be a creed, then if all or anyone is FORCED to sign that statement, THEN it becomes a CREED.

WEBESTER---CREED…An AUTHORITATIVE formula of religious belief.

Keith Parks said it quite well: “A confession becomes a creed when others determine the beliefs one is forced to sign.”

The BFM 2000 in itself is not a creed, but it was made a creed when Christians (like you) were forced to sign it.

The BFM 2000 says: “Baptists deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches.”

This BFM broke its own statement and became a hypocrite when it took a confession (“The office of pastor is limited to men…”) and forced it on all the churches of the SBC.

If the BFM is going to be worth anything, it has to be upheld by the ‘appropriate’ people. ‘Wrong’ people can wiggle around anything on paper…just look how far the IMB has gone with its new rules.

You can tell a hog all day long to stay out of the mud, but if you don’t have a change in people, the same oh same oh is going to stay the same oh same oh.

Thank goodness, David Rogers is an opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Keep writing. I think you are on target. Comments like...

"Peter, I'm not sure you have even read my posts. I have wholeheartedly affirmed the BFM 2000 with only a couple of personal minor disagreements on tertiary doctrines"

reveals the postmodern theological confusion that is existent. How you can "wholeheartedly affirm" something with only a few disagreements is beyond me. The failure that this group seems to miss is that NOBODY HAS DEFINED TERTIARY DOCTRINES, of course other than Wade. I think the burden is on him to prove why PPL is a tertiary doctrine. I believe it is a secondary doctrine. Even if the teired system were implemented, the issue still will not be resolved.

John B.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Dull Iron,

Thank you for the compliment.

Wade,

To the contrary, it may be others that are not reading them but I assure you I am. I simply remind you what you've written, Wade. Do you so easily forget?

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear GetALife,

With DullIron, I bid you thanks for the compliment. And know I'm glad my true colors are evident to all.

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Wade,
There you have it. Patterson is saying that you are a liberal. I know you are not; but your undiscerning support for the pro-choice organizers of the Atlanta gathering (Carter, Clinton, and Underwood*) have given Patterson the upper hand. This is why most of the proposals and candidates supported by you and the other bloggers will be defeated.
Sad, really sad! You were once relevant.
* Underwood, president of Mercer University. He has been a financial supporter of Planned Parenthood. Evidence has been presented on this blog time after time and Wade has ignored it (but SBC messengers will not...)

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

The Executive Committee's statement will never satisfy the moderate that sees the 2000 BF&M as the ultimate result of the Conservative Resurgence. They have called it everything but a statement of faith. It is their whipping boy!

I also must agree with Peter that I am somewhat surprised by your endorsement of the Committee's statement after reading your posts. There are a significant number of people who comment on your blog that are adamantly opposed to the 2000 BF&M. I don't think the adoption of the committee's statement will instantly bring harmony.

Finally, to Peter, I for one enjoy your comments. I appreciate your wit and insight! Wade is a big boy, he should be able to handle whatever you dish out!

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

Like you, I believe that there is a clear and important choice for First Vice-President.

On Peter`s blog on Friday, Jim Richards, during an interview, stated " I believe in reaching out to others who hold a different view"...and..." Southern Baptists may have to decide whether they are willing to accept some non-language "gibberish" prayer as a valid position in Baptist life",... all in the same paragraph.

With that, I will pray that David Rogers will become the next First-Vice President of the SBC.

Mike Ruffin said...

Wade,

While I think that the Executive Committee statement is sound, I also think that you're dreaming if you think that its adoption will really stop the efforts to further narrow the doctrinal parameters of the SBC.

What you may end up with is an annual effort to revise the BF&M statement in order to bring about such narrowing. That'll be fun.

Blessings to you!

GuyMuse said...

Thanks for the link to be able to view LIVE the convention. However, upon clicking was led to an information page.

The actual page which opens up the live streaming is:
http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc07/default.asp

Anonymous said...

For those who want an informed reason why we can trust the IMB policy go to Dr. Hershael York's weblog and you will find an excellent post about what is exactly involved. http://hershaelyork.blogspot.com

Oklahoma Joe

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Keep posting and do not be threatened by those who instead of trying to defeat your argument, resort to trying to discourage you. I myself have been there before in posting on this weblog so you are not alone. I have even had some comments deleted with no explanation. I fear that your future posts may hover closely to the delete key as well.

Oklahoma Joe

David Wilson said...

It is an important vote in one sense, but since we've begun using the BF&M as a creed, much less so.

I can remember as a beginning seminary student being asked to write my own "statement of beliefs", the professor at NOBTS) being careful even in that case not to call it a creed. That was in 1990.

Now everyone signs the BF&M plus some.

t. d. webb said...

Wade, given his claim to have read your blog entries, shall we grant that Peter Lumpkins has done what he says. . .However, then we are confronted with another question. . .What is Peter's expertise in "reading comprehension"? Based on his comments here and on other threads, Peter either doesn't have a clue, or is deliberately miscontruing what you (Wade) are saying. In this case, the Okie fears that the latter may be true of what "Peter am. . .".

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

peter lumpkins said...

Dear DavidinFlorida,

I am glad the interview with Jim Richards I posted allowed you to glean what you needed to vote intelligently. That was its purpose.

Also, I'm glad you noticed the term "gibberish". While I personally did not like the term Dr. Richards employed, nor thought it would set well with some--that is, be "politically" liable--I posted our dialogue precisely as we had it. I have no desire to "clean up" anyone's answers to make them more marketable.

T.D. Webb,

I appreciate your reading my many comments and I'm glad you are decided about me. Others, unfortunately cannot make up their minds :^)

Oklahoma Joe, John B. & Jim Pasley,

Thank you for your warm affirmation. Perhaps my words are not as thoroughly nutty as some suggest after all!

Faith today. With that, I am...

Peter

Jim Paslay said...

t.d. webb,

I have found that Peter is very artculate and is usually very insightful. You can say that you disagree with him but to question his reading comprehension skills is a little over the top.

By the way, are you Wade's spiritual bodyguard? As I said in a previous post, Wade is a big boy and doesn't need someone else to fight his battles for him. Defend your position but let Wade defend himself!

Anonymous said...

To begin with, the BF&M2000 is not the ONLY statement of faith, just the latest, though I understand why it was stated that way.

But on to my main question: Ever since the post about levels (tertiary, etc.) of agreement I have wondered where on the scale the place of women is. I know where it is on my scale of beliefs, though I do not doubt the salvation or even Baptist identity of those who think women are less than fully human, just as I do not doubt that those of earlier generations who advocated and even practiced slavery, for example, were Christians, though they were certainly mistaken, to put it kindly. Also, I can work with people who believe differently from me on this topic, although I expect they would preface their cooperation with me on my having a lesser role in whatever we were working on.

In all the previous posts and comments there has been no statement of what level this issue is, although I suppose it is considered primary since it is in the BF&M2000. (I don't remember it being addressed in previous BF&M statements, other than that they did not use inclusive language.) Maybe its level (whatever it is considered) was taken for granted in the discussions about what level beliefs were since I think almost all those writing were male.

Sorry to muddy the waters. Just curious.

About the SBC meeting, I will just pray that it will be positive and Christ-serving rather than the usual negative or silly stuff.

Susie

Monte said...

I remember the e-mail exchange that took place between me and our regional leader on the mission field. When I expressed my concerns about signing the 2000 BF&M, stating that in signing it, it resembled more of a creed than a statement of faith. He wrote back and said emphatically that it was not a creed and that I should go ahead and sign it. This went on in at least a couple of more e-mails, and finally, I wrote back and stated that I really didn't care what anyone chose to call it, I didn't wish to sign it.

I might add, this regional leader never once picked up the phone and called us; never once stated that our work and tenure with the IMB was worth sitting down and discussing this matter face-to-face; never once said that our call and ministry was more important than a document; never once suggested that all that the IMB had invested in us in our 17 years could somehow be resolved if we could just visit together. We didn't live that far away. We were in Latvia, and he was in Prague--less than a two hour flight away. When I said matter of factly that I did not wish to sign, my wife and I were suddenly vilified, and 17 years as missionaries through a denomination and sending agency we had known, loved, and had been loyal to, came to a screeching halt. I wish I could believe that this one resolution could stop this process "dead in its tracks." My experience has led me to believe that these years of in-fighting will not be resolved by this one decision on the floor of the SBC. There is too much invested in this by those who seek to control.

I also told my regional leader that we had rather resign from the IMB than be fired because we would not sign. We had loved our time as missionaries too much for it to end like that. He wrote back and told me that I was presumptuous to think that missionaries would ever be fired over something such as this. I had seen too much already in our years of service. I knew that those who started this process would finish it. One year later, missionaries were fired because they would not sign. I wasn't as presumptuous as I had been accused. One decision on the floor of the SBC will not bring the ultimate agenda of some to an end.

ml said...

Wade did you write Morris Chapman's presentation? Does he read this blog?

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Keep commenting as you truly DO understand what Wade articulates. As you continue to comment, Wade et al continue to be exposed.

Steve Allen

Dan Malone said...

Dear Monte,

Thank you for expressing what so many other IMB missionaries went through, and some are still going through. Although some resigned and others were fired, many decided to sign the BF&M 2000 in spite of their doctrinal disagreements (such as their aversions to creeds of any sort, or the proper place of women in ministry, or the emphasis and elevation of some parts of the Bible over Christ's own words and example) -- so that they could continue their ministry.

Many reading this post and this comment are thinking at this very moment, "Well we're better off not having those 'liberal' missionaries serving on our behalf." How sad, how very sad, that such an attitude exists within some corners of the SBC.

My prayer is that Baptist brothers attending the SBC will wake up to such abuses and right the course of this fundamentalist-controlled faction of the SBC.

t. d. webb said...

Jim Paslay said: "I have found that Peter is very artculate and is usually very insightful. You can say that you disagree with him but to question his reading comprehension skills is a little over the top."

Jim, this Okie's observation was an "either/or". Just as you have misunderstood or misconstrued the Okie's comment, Peter has repeatedly committed the same error with regard to Burleson's posts in this Okie's opinion.

Jim Paslay said: "By the way, are you Wade's spiritual bodyguard? As I said in a previous post, Wade is a big boy and doesn't need someone else to fight his battles for him. Defend your position but let Wade defend himself!

Of course, Jim! Wade pays this Okie big bucks to fend off his (Wade's) detractors. (ROFL!) By the way, Jim, this Okie's position is that Wade Burleson is one of several heroes who are exposing the political power plays in the SBC for the world (especially Southern Baptists) to see. The all to frequent response of the political power player supporters is to personally attack and marginalize, if not destroy, Wade Burleson. As can be seen easily by anyone with a modicum of comprehension, there are many posters on this blog who enthusiastically stand with Wade in this cause.


In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...

Bummer - I thought my comment about Peter's predictable rhetoric would put an end once and for all to his commenting. But alas, he still comments.

My apologies to all who dwell here...other than the Oklahoma Joe's and Tennessee David's, of course.

DI

Bill Scott said...

Jim Paslay,
It would appear that you are Peter "i am" Lumpkins" legal representation as well. I find that Mr. Lumpkins is well able to defend any postion, justified or unjustified, rational or irrational, factual or non-factual, real or perceived, narrow minded or more narrow minded.

So I ask you...are you Peter "i am" Lumpkins spiritual bodyguard or what?

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Dull Iron,

As always, my gratitude once again :^)

Dear Mr. Webb,

I appreciate a good laugh. I found one when I read "Wade Burleson is one...exposing the political power...The all to frequent response of the political power player supporters is to personally attack and marginalize, if not destroy, Wade Burleson."

By even the most conservative estimation, Wade may be the hottest political spark-plug in the SBC presently--aside from our Brother Ben, of course.

As for observing Wade being attacked, I rarely experience that phenomenon personally. His ideas, however, are an entirely different thing.

With that, I am...

Peter

t. d. webb said...

Peter,
After you get over your giggles, you might consider for a moment the threats, implied and explicit, that Wade endured when Tom Hatley and friends vainly determined to remove him from his Trustee position, the subsequent edict from Hatley to prevent Wade from serving on any committees in the IMB BoT, and the public campaign to embarrass Wade for . . . daring to express dissent against IMB BoT policies which unilaterally narrowed Southern Baptist BFM2000 doctrines as applied to all new employees of the IMB. So, laugh away, Mr. "I am" . . . Just remember . . . While your "ox isn't being gored" this time . . . "What goes around, comes around.", though this Okie wouldn't, for a moment, wish that you would ever be confronted with any of the malevolence Wade has encountered for the past 18 months.

In the meantime, Lord willing, the SBC will begin to hold its agencies accountable for attempting to usurp the control of doctrinal confessions within the Convention.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

peter lumpkins said...

Mr Webb,

You got me all wrong. I am now not laughing. Or at least I wasn't until you kept going on and on and on. I recall the energizer bunny.. Just can't help it.

And thank you sincerely for not wishing me any ill-harm. Grace.

With that, I am...

Peter

Jim Paslay said...

bill scott,

No, I am not Peter's spiritual bodyguard and I wasn't necessarily defending him as much as I was complimenting him for his insightful comments concerning Wade's posts. It seems when someone makes a valid point concerning Wade's views or dares to question one of his posts, someone runs interference for him. My point is Wade is more than capable of taking up for himself.

My question to you: By your post can I assume that you don't care for some of Peter's views? If so, is it because you disagree with Peter, or because he disagrees with Wade and therefore you feel the need to defend Wade? Just wondering!