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

The Practical Outworking of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention's Adoption of the Executive Committee's Statement Regarding the BFM 2000


"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."

Adopted by the Messengers of the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio, Texas, June 13, 2007.

The above statement, adopted without opposition by the entire Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention this past year, and pulled out of the 2007 Annual Book of Reports for adoption by the entire Southern Baptist Convention, passed by a 58% vote of the voting messengers in San Antonio, Texas.

The trustees of our agencies are elected by the Southern Baptist Convention. The convention cannot 'instruct' autonomous agencies what they can, or cannot do, but I have repeatedly stated that as a trustee of the International Mission Board, I am accountable to the Southern Baptist Convention for my actions on the International Mission Board, for the Southern Baptist Convention elected me, not the board of trustees of the IMB (at least I think: wink). Allow me to review the events of the past year and a half and show how this very important decision by the SBC to adopt the Executive Committee's statement on the BFM 2000 has now brought us full circle.

The Beginnings of the Controversy

The controversy at the International Mission Board began in November of 2005, when I questioned the authority of my fellow trustees to implement new doctrinal 'policies' that (1). Rejected Southern Baptist missionaries who possessed a 'private' prayer language, based upon a doctrinal belief that 'tongues' were not a gift given by God to any Christian for private edification, and (2). Rejected Southern Baptist missionary candidates who were baptized in churches, or by individuals, that 'did not believe in eternal security' even though those missionary candidates already were members of a Southern Baptist church that had 'accepted' their baptism, and the candidates themselves were baptized by immersion, trusting Christ alone for salvation.

I asked privately, repeatedly, and eventually publicly the following question:

'Who has given us trustees at the IMB the authority to reject missionary candidates from our cooperating Southern Baptist churches based upon a refusal by those missionary candidates to conform to a specific interpretation of a tertiary doctrinal issue that the only consensus Southern Baptist confession of faith, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, is silent about?

The Tipping Point Is Reached

The post that upset so many people was written in December of 2005, one entitled Crusading Conservatives vs. Cooperating Conservatives: The Battle for the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention. The quote that summarizes that post is this two sentence paragraph:

The Southern Baptist Convention, through the trustees of our boards and agencies, is narrowing the parameters of fellowship and cooperation to the point that real, genuine conservatives are being excluded as unfit for service in the SBC.

Our convention hated liberalism twenty years ago and we expelled it from our midst, but at this hour we better hate legalism and Fundamentalism as much as we did the former liberalism or we will find ourselves so fractured and fragmented that we no longer have the ability to cooperate about anything, including missions

Again, the above comment was written a over a year and a half ago, right here on this blog. My feelings have not changed.

A Conservative Foot Soldier Wakes Up From a Ten Year Nap

I was a foot soldier for the conservative resurgence in the early 1980's, driving Paul Pressler around Oklahoma, rallying people to go to Dallas to take back the Bible. I was elected as Chairman of the Denominational Calendar Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1994 and still have framed in my office an original copy of the program of the first Southern Baptist Convention in 1845, in Augusta, Georgia, right beside the 150th Anniversary Program of the 1995 Southern Baptist Convention with Dr. W.A. Criswell, Dr. Herschel Hobbs, and myself on the program. In 1995, I took a decade off from participating in the SBC. My four kids were ages 1 to 8, and I needed to invest time in my family, my church (which was involved in a building program), and my state. During those ten years I served two terms as Vice-President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and two terms as President. During June, my wife and I would either be on vacation or in Israel, and we only attended the Southern Baptist Convention three times from 1995 to 2005. In other words, I was out of touch with the SBC.

In 2005, when I was contacted to serve as trustee of the International Mission Board, I accepted. I hadn't sought it, but I was honored to serve. During the orientation and first few meetings, I really enjoyed getting to know my fellow trustees and especially the missionaries, but I quickly began to feel like Rip Van Winkle. I had awakened to a convention that in some ways I did not recognize.

The Grand Old Lady Was Being Crippled

For example, I knew that when Dr. Jerry Rankin had been hired as President of the International Mission Board, the fact that he spoke in tongues during his private prayer times, had been raised. However, the chairman of the search committee at the time, Dr. Joel Gregory, had said that Dr. Rankin's private prayer language was not an issue. Dr. Rankin became President of the International Mission Board and quickly became one of the most respected men in our convention.

In 2005, as a new trustee, I was told that it was now deemed best by IMB trustees that Southern Baptist missionaries NOT have a private prayer language. Beside the fact that the sitting President of the IMB would have been rejected as a SBC missionary were the new policies to have been in effect during his interview process years earlier, as an IMB trustee, I felt I needed to know why this new policy prohibiting a private prayer language was needed. I asked for anecdotal evidence that there was a 'charismatic' problem on the field not being properly handled by administration or staff. I asked for the evidence time, after time, after time. I never received it.

Finally, I was told that no anecdotal evidence was needed. This was a DOCTRINAL matter and the board was implementing the policies based upon a doctrinal interpretation that a 'private prayer language' was not Biblical. Of course, I was told that 95% of Southern Baptist churches believed the way the trustees believed, and it was 'our right' to implement whatever doctrinal standard we trustees desired. Of course, now we know, according to an independent survey conducted by Lifeway, over 50% of Southern Baptist pastors believe that a private prayer langauge is a legitimate gift from God.

I affirm every Southern Baptist's right to believe that a private prayer language is not a legitimate gift -- as I do every Southern Baptist's right to believe that a private prayer language is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. What I don't affirm is a board of trustees meeting behind closed doors and adopting a 'doctrinal' policy that exceeds the Baptist Faith and Message, excluding otherwise qualified Southern Baptist missionary candidates from service.

I don't have the time to deal with my problems with the baptism policy except to say it bothered me more than the private prayer language policy. The BFM 2000 is silent on the authority of the baptizer, or the need that the baptism should take place at the hands of one who believes in 'eternal security.' The controversy at the IMB was never about baptism by any method other than immersion, but rather, the demand that the IMB tell churches what was 'an appropriate' baptism in terms of 'who' baptized the church's member. I personally believed the new policy reflected a very strong Landmark tendency - a doctrine that often threatened to divide our Southern Baptist Convention in years past, and wrenched the very important ordinance of Christ from the local church into the hands of a board of trustees of a SBC agency.

Where Were These Demands For Doctrinal Conformity Coming From?

Through various events that I have documented over the last year and a half, including my own election as a trustee of the IMB, I was under the opinion that many of the demands for doctrinal conformity were emanating from our Southern Baptist seminaries, particularly one seminary President who believed that orthodoxy could only be defined by his own personal views on Landmarkism, cessationism, anti-Charismaticism, anti-Calvinism, hyper-dispensationalism, etc . . .

Nothing wrong with these doctrines - unless you begin to demand that every Southern Baptist believes the way you do. My motion to investigate the controversies at the IMB, which was referred back to the IMB by the convention, included requests to investigate the following:

(1). The manipulation of the nominating process of the Southern Baptist Convention during the appointment of trustees for the International Mission Board.
(2). Attempts to influence and/or coerce the IMB trustees, staff, and administration to take a particular course of action by one or more Southern Baptist agency heads other than the President of the International Mission Board.
(3). The appropriate and/or inappropriate use of Forums and Executive Sessions of the International Mission Board as compared to conducting business in full view of the Southern Baptist Convention and the corresponding propriety and/or impropriety of the Chairman of the International Mission Board excluding any individual trustee, without Southern Baptist Convention approval, from participating in meetings where the full International Mission Board is convened.
(4). The legislation of new doctrinal requisites for eligibility to serve as employees or missionaries of the IMB beyond the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. (emphasis mine)
(5). The suppression of dissent by trustees in the minority through various means by those in the majority, and the propriety of any agency forbidding a trustee, by policy, from publicly criticizing a Board approved action

I only point out to you these 2006 recommendations to show that the vote this past Tuesday night at the 2007 SBC was not taken in a vacuum.

What the Adoption of the Executive Committee's Statement on the BFM Means

(1). Any policy or guideline at an agency, that is based upon a doctrinal interpretation that EXCEEDS the Baptist Faith and Message, is not in line with the convention's vote to adopt the Executive Committee's statement on the BFM.

Some might argue that the BFM, by the statement itself, is not a COMPLETE statement of faith. As Dr. Mohler said today, it is not sufficient for the hiring of seminary professors.

I agree. There are some agencies, like seminaries, that need tighter, narrower, and more defined confessions - like the Abstract of Principles. The Convention has already approved the Abstract for Southern and Southeastern (not to mention it predates every BFM), but if Southwestern Seminary were to desire to 'tighten' her institutional confession, the proposed doctrinal confession would need to be voted upon by the convention as a whole.

(2). If trustees of any agency, particularly convention wide agencies like the International Mission Board or the North American Mission Board, were to refuse to abide by the convention's wishes of not demanding conformity on doctrinal interpretations not found in the BFM, then those trustees should be answerable to the convention -- since the convention elected them.

This does not mean there cannot be guidelines or policies that are implemented for moral, ethical or pragmatic reasons (weight, homosexuality, adultery, etc . . .), but new 'doctrinal' guidelines that exceed the BFM 2000 cannot be implemented unless there is a convention-wide consensus.

(3). I am in agreement that any trustee or employee who signs the BFM, but makes known any variance or disagreement with the BFM, should make that known publicly and in writing. The convention, then, has the right to remove that trustee, just as they have the right to remove trustees who do not follow their wishes in NOT establishing new doctrinal guidelines or policies that exceed the BFM.

I have made it known, from the very beginning of my service with the IMB, that I have two very minor disageements with the BFM. Since the 2007 SBC convention voted last night that the BFM was not infallible (thank the Lord for that one), I feel quite comfortable with my wholehearted affirmation of the BFM with only these two very minor disagreements over 'closed communion' (I believe in modified open communion as do many other Southern Baptist pastors and churches) and the innocency of infants until they personally sin (I believe the Bible teaches infants are guilty before they actually sin). Actually, there may be only ONE minor disagreement because I keep having professors tell me the BFM doesn't teach infants are innocent before they sin, but I have a hard time seeing their logic.

But, since all Southern Baptists believe the BFM is a consensus CONFESSION and not a mandatory CREED, then minor disagreements should be appropriate. That, in fact, is the nature of the difference between a confession and a creed.

I have also pointed out three other minor wording problems (the 'Spirit baptizing rather than 'Christ,' making every effort to end war, etc . . . ), but those minor disagreements were not my own personally, but written by Sam Storms and used to illustrate a point over 'minor' doctrines vs. 'major' doctrines of the faith.

Nevertheless, if someone believes that someone, similar to me, can't wholeheartedly affirm the BFM 2000, while at the same time expressing disagreement over closed communion and the innocency of infants, well then, that person ought to make a recommendation for my removal from the International Mission Board.

That's consistent. If you wish to ADD to the BFM -- the convention should make the decision. AND, if someone thinks closed communion is a 'major' and 'primary' doctrine, necessary for Southern Baptist missions and ministry service, then by all means, bring that person before the convention and let the convention decide if they should serve.

I think you will find that the convention will make the decision that this is a minor doctrine, one over which Southern Baptists should not divide. I'm very willing to be the guinea pig in order to show, by living example, the difference between a creed and a confession.

In fact, I was hoping that motion would come from the floor at THIS convention. It would serve well as an illustration between essentials and non-essentials, local church autonomy vs. denominational hierarchy, etc . . . I do not believe closed communion defines who is, or who isn't, a true Baptist.

(4). I do believe everyone in the SBC, on both sides of this issue has a good heart. But, I can't understand why anyone in a position of authority within the SBC would take such a flippant, even careless attitude toward the wishes of the entire convention.

My post yesterday was the strongest post I've ever written. I think I was simply taken back by the attitude and the words I heard by a handful of the seminary Presidents in reaction to the convention's vote to adopt the BFM statement. I am hopeful that in time, a more humble and soft attitude will prevail toward the ultimate authority of our convention -- the majority vote of messengers. Authority does not ultimately reside in the President's office, nor even ultimately even in the boards of trustees, but in the people who put the trustees in place.

(5). Finally, prior to 1979 our convention cooperated for the purpose of missions. Since 1979 the focus has become an attempt at bringing doctrinal purity to our convention. It is now time to refocus on the very reason we became a cooperating convention -- missions!

I am hopeful that the next year will help us refocus.

This post shall be my last one until the weekend.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
t. d. webb said...

Wade, thanks for standing firm in the midst of ad hominems and other personal attacks from those who stand with the political power players of the SBC.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Baptist Theologue said...

Sorry I edited this after your response.
Wade, you said,

“This does not mean there cannot be guidelines or policies that are implemented for moral, ethical or pragmatic reasons (weight, homosexuality, adultery, etc . . .), but new 'doctrinal' guidelines that exceed the BFM 2000 cannot be implemented unless there is a convention wide consensus.”

The present IMB policy is that divorced people cannot be appointed as career missionaries. This policy involves a doctrinal issue (not just a moral issue) that is not covered by the BF&M. (Some SBC churches and individuals believe it is okay for divorced people to serve as pastors, deacons, and career missionaries.) How would you deal with this issue? Would you ask for a convention vote on whether the IMB should appoint divorced people as IMB missionaries?

My understanding is that the old IMB policy on tongues was that those who spoke publicly in tongues could not serve as missionaries. This policy involved a doctrinal issue that was not covered by the BF&M. I know that you do not like the new IMB policy on tongues, but apparently the old IMB policy would now be unacceptable to you as well. Would you ask for a convention vote on whether the IMB should appoint public tongue speakers as IMB missionaries?

The EC statement on the BF&M says that it is both incomplete and sufficient. My interpretation of the EC statement is that the BF&M is sufficient to guide in what it addresses but insufficient to guide in what it doesn’t address. Your position seems to be that the BF&M is sufficient to guide even in what it doesn’t address; in other words, if it doesn’t address a particular doctrine, then that doctrine should not be addressed at all, unless the convention approves it. Am I understanding you correctly?

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bro. Wade, on the other thread you said you would answer definitively the question "Would you say that the BFM tells us that a Southern Baptist is one who observes closed communion?"

I understand your answer is "I do not believe closed communion defines who is, or who isn't, a true Baptist."

How does that jive with your statement "Don't try to tell us who is Southern Baptist and who isn't, the BFM does that."

You write, "I do not believe closed communion defines who is, or who isn't, a true Baptist." But the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention tells us that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper (close/closed communion).

This kind of comes across the same as you describe the seminary presidents -- "thumbing your nose," saying I don't agree with your statement, and if you don't like it then vote me out of office. Will you agree with the seminaries when they make policies with a "if you don't like it, then you can vote..."? If this is not basically the same, please explain why? Thanks.

Tripp said...

Wade...I will say this...you are very good at political spin.

Would you please answer one question for me...Why have you yet to discuss the election of Jim Richards as 1st Vice President? Would we expect such silence from you if David Rogers had of won?

I still contend that all the BFM resolution did today was create more confusion surrounding this issue.

Tripp said...

Wade said:

"Finally, prior to 1979 our convention cooperated for the purpose of missions. Since 1979 the focus has become an attempt at bringing doctrinal purity to our convention. It is now time to refocus on the very reason we became a cooperating convention -- missions!"

No offense, but a Southern Baptist liberal from the 1980s couldn't have said it any better.

You can't have effective missions without doctrinal purity! And our Convention is far from having doctrinal purity in place.

Baptist Theologue said...

Wade, you said,

“I am saying you don't EXCLUDE, by policy, on the basis of new DOCTRINAL guidelines.”

I want to make sure that I am understanding you correctly. You would include divorce and public tongue policy under new doctrinal guidelines not covered by the BF&M. So you would not exclude by policy a divorced person or public tongue speaker from serving as a career missionary unless those guidelines on divorce and public tongue speaking are approved by a vote of the convention. Am I correct in my understanding of your position?

kehrsam said...

Tripp:

As one of those "liberals" (theologically speaking), yes Wade sounds a lot like us. This is not because Wade is a liberal, but because he is opposing the same type of process which drove so many of us liberals out of the Convention during the 1980s. But that war is over, the conservatives (including Wade) won, and those of us liberals left are definitely on the fringe of things. So be it. I expect I will be forced to join some other denomination some time, but I choose to stick it out as long as I can: My home SBC church is my family, and I will not leave without a fight.

But the current debate is not about liberalism, contrary to Dr. Patterson's presentation yesterday. It is about issues such as Calvinism, Landmarkism and soteriology, matters which have never been matters upon which all Southern Baptists agreed. The fact that the different seminaries take differing views on these subjects should be all that is required to admit this point.

The question, therefore, is do we adopt a top-down approach to theology, or do we hold to the traditional Baptist beliefs of the priesthood of the individual and the autonomous local church?

Closely related to this debate is the issue of church-state relations. Since the Conservative resurgence, there has been the temptation to associate the Convention in partisan politics. Whatever one's view of the current political landscape, I think it fair to say that involvement in politics has compromised the integrity of the SBC, with no noticeable improvement in the surrounding culture. Yes, we must attempt to change the world, but becoming a slave to one political party is hardly the way to accomplish it. (By the way, I encourage all Baptists to be active in politics; I am merely suggesting that such action as a Convention is counterproductive).

Famously, revolutions eat their own. I am hopeful that Southern Baptists can focus their attention on reaching the lost, not on battling over the definition of a "true Baptist." Frankly a true Baptist is any Baptist preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Liberals such as myself can do that, and I think that far more important than what I don't do (or believe).

Peace and may the blessings of God be yours.

docjoc said...

What continues to astound me is that so many know what I and most all other Baptists believe. How can they know? Where do they get their assumptions?

Since I must assume as Protestants we all believe in the Priesthood of the Believer, how without a survey know can anyone know what Baptists believe?

The recent Lifeway Survey shows how wrong those assumptions can be.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Vaughn,

I am saying I am more than willing to submit to the convention on this issue.

If I need to be removed as a trustee over this issue, I will go. In fact I WANT the convention to speak on this issue. I WANT the convention to decide if a person can be Southern Baptist and believe in modified open communion.

It will illustrate the definition of a confession that is found in the statement that was adopted.

I believe this is the one area where the BFM is fallible -- but it is a minor area of disagreement.

If the convention disagrees - so be it.

I am a Christian first, Southern Baptist second. And my Southern Baptist Church will have no problem cooperating with other Baptist conventions if we need to do so.

My point is this -- the convention should have the final say on this matter, and I will humbly and graciously submit to their desires.

Wade Burleson said...

Kehrsam,

Well said.

Wade Burleson said...

Baptist Theologue,

Let me be as clear as I know how. The board of trustees of the IMB have the authority to hire missionaries. On doctrinal matters that exceed the BFM 2000, DO NOT MAKE A POLICY UNLESS APPROVED BY THE SBC AS A WHOLE.

But the board should hire whomever they please.

I will be traveling tomorrow and unavailable to answer any questions.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Tripp,
When Jesus came, did the Jews have “doctrinal purity” with their 600 plus legalistic laws? Did God make men any smarter today as then?

The Jews had God’s laws, but they taught as doctrine the commands of men. (Matthew 15:9)
Don’t you think men do the same today? No? Why do you think Jesus said, “Beware of the teachers of religion.” (Mark 12:38 Luke 20:46)

The commands of men say only men can be pastors, but where is that taught in the Great Commission or a quote from the Bible?

You might say, ‘Oh, that is the way we interpret Scripture”, but is that not exactly what the Jews did?

How is the Bible our doctrinal guideline, when men have made the BFM 2000 our doctrinal guideline?

Is NOT the BFM the commands of men? When something is hard to understand, a guideline makes it clear, and thus it becomes higher/more important, than the original.

Just as religious leaders broaden the hem on their robes, if pride had weight the making of guidelines over Scripture would require wheelbarrows for egos.

Tripp, you say, “You can’t have effective missions without doctrinal purity!”

Can you prove that? Can you prove that Judson didn’t have effective missions because there was no BFM, no IMB, etc. All he had was the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide him.

If Baptists get so tangled up in “doctrinal purity”, that we lose sight of MISSIONS, God may say we’re neither hot nor cold…you know the rest.

Anonymous said...

I for one am glad that you woke up. Unfortunately, there are others still out there in la la land still sleeping. They are also involved in their little worlds at this time. Too busy to worry about cooperating for missions.

Going through the 'signing of the BF&M2K' and loosing a huge amount of M experience woke me up a long time ago. Some signed and never read the thing. Why? Because they had respect and trusted authority over them. These leaders had yet to fail them, why worry. I am sure this happens to some degree today. Those that didn't sign were very much awake and saw what was on the horizon that you and others have been seeing in the last 2 years. Thank you for stepping up and being a voice for those that can't. Other leaders need to take heed and really, really, care about our mission efforts and start speaking up. I DO NOT BELIEVE that Paige, Al, Jerry, et all are the majority view of our people who support our missionary force. We need those voices to speak up and be heard.

When the BF&M signings ceremonies were brought into the Chapel services at our seminaries for the professors to sign, I thought it disrepectful to God and the time set aside for corporate worship. It's interesting that, something brought into that setting for signing, is now no longer sufficent.

I watched Dr. Mohler via streaming from the other side of the globe. I don't know him personally, never met him, really didn't know where he or the seminary stood on things. I did know that he served in some capacity on the BF&M2K committee. I saw the same thing Wade did, but through different glasses. The man appeared angry and defiant. Rather that was the message he meant to portray, I don't know. But that was how it appeared to me. If this is the model of leadership I need to follow, I need to go somewhere else. PLEASE, someone else lead and get us back on track of sharing and bringing people all over the world into GOD'S Kingdom. We cooperate because of MISSIONS.

I also find it interesting that the only article/blog that I can find at the moment on those that spoke of missions is in The Baptist Standard. Did anyone hear Dr. Rankin? Did anyone hear Dr. Garrison? It seemed that they had to WORK at getting a response from the messengers when they spoke of God intervening and bringing someone into His kingdom. Yet, when Dr. Mohler went on his 'whatever that was", people just clapped and responded greatly. IT'S NOT ABOUT DOCTRINE. IT'S ABOUT THE LOST!!!!!

M with YOUR organization

Strider said...

The talk about 'doctrinal purity' irritates me. God uses us in spite of our foolishness. We all quote Martin Luther and acknowledge that God used him to change the world but no Southern Baptist agrees with half of his theology. No, this talk of doctinal purity is just works righteousness in a poor disguise. I strive to understand the Word and my Lord better so I can serve Him better. I love Jesus and I don't want to think wrong thoughts about Him. But if I do misunderstand- and I am sure that I don't understand Him perfectly- I know that He will continue to lead me into all truth and use me for His glory. But here is the thing: I have found that He leads me into truth as I go on mission with Him. If I stay home and write up doctinal statements this has little benefit to me. As I go out with Him he reshapes me and makes me to be more and more His. This is one of the West's chief discipleship problems. We sit in a class and do a study and think that we are transformed when what transforms us is our obedience. No friends, doctrinal purity will not save the SBC. In fact, we will only find anything close to it when we act in obedience and go on mission with Him.

This reminds me that I was disappointed that no blogger I have found has said anything about the IMB report. Proof that missions are not what we care about? I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the resolution a monumental change?

I understand that BFM 2000 takes no stand on errancy and inerrancy. Under it, you can believe in errancy and still be a Southern Baptist. Thus, Huckabee, in the recent Republican debate, could say he didn't know if God created the world in 6-days or not and remain in good standing as a Southern Baptist.

However, I further understand that the Patterson crowd says that you have to believe in inerrancy. They say, as I understand it, that tradition, following the conservative takeover in the 80s, requires inerrancy, even if BFM 2000 doesn't. Errancy is thus heresy. As I understand them, they take the Roman Catholic position that tradition is a source of authority.

The resolution would seem to reject any argument about another source of authority requiring inerrancy. As I would read the resolution, it says you can believe in errancy like Huckabee and still be a good Southern Baptist.

I believe Mr. Huckabee would welcome this resolution.

Isn't this a major change of direction in the SBC? Isn't it almost inviting the liberals back in?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the Global Warming resolution?

It might not be obvious to everyone, but the language in that resolution, especially the part about no limits on CO2 emissions, just happens to track the lines long taken by the ExxonMobil propaganda machine.

Reports,

http://www.pr-inside.com/southern-baptists-question-human-role-r152792.htm

allege that Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and research with the SBC's Washington-based Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission helped write the resolution. The ERIC office is not far away from the ExxonMobil propaganda headquarters in downtown Washington.

ERIC and Land rose to world prominence for making the Southen Baptists the only major religious denomination supporting Bush's war in Iraq and inspiring people around the world to ask why God told the Southern Baptists one thing and the Pope the opposite.

The line about hurting the poor is a standard DC propaganda line. It rose to prominence when Rupert Murdock used it fighting some changes Nielson wanted to make to its TV rating system that might have negatively impacted Fox. Every PR firm in DC has used it since then.

Was this resolution a public relations coup planned by ExxonMobil aided by Duke and Land and ERIC? Has the SBC been unwittingly used for corporate political propaganda purposes?

I wouldn't doubt that ExxonMobil would take care of Duke and Land for their efforts. I have heard that it is paying $10,000 just for op-ed pieces in regional papers.

This resolution and the involvement of Duke, Land, and ERIC smell like an ExxonMobil refinery all the way back here in DC.

irreverend fox said...

Wade...oh...you are the master of spin...will you please answer this one question...it seems like you avoid it at all costs...

please explain to all us simpletons why you refuse to discuss the price of tea in China?

your silence on this is deafening.

enjoy your breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

Ben Stratton said...

Wade,

You wrote:
"The BFM 2000 is silent on the authority of the baptizer, or the need that the baptism should take place at the hands of one who believes in 'eternal security."

I strongly disagree with you here and believe the BFM 2000 teaches that alien immersion should be rejected. Consider the following:

1. The BFM says that baptism is "a church ordinance". It is obvious this is referring to the local church. Baptism is to be administered by a local church and under the authority of a local church.

2. The BFM defines a N.T. church as "an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel." Only Baptist / baptistic churches fit this definition.

If baptism is an ordinance of the local church and only Baptist / baptistic churches fit the definition of New Testament churches, then it follows that alien immersions should be rejected.

Lee said...

Tripp said:
No offense, but a Southern Baptist liberal from the 1980s couldn't have said it any better.

You can't have effective missions without doctrinal purity! And our Convention is far from having doctrinal purity in place.


You're kidding, right?

Who defines what "doctrinal purity" is, or decides when we have achieved it?

Southern Baptists have never attempted to achieved doctrinal purity, and in this life, we never will. The basis of our cooperative mission efforts isn't lining up behind someone's interpretation of doctrinal purity, it's lining up behind the great commission. It always has been.

If doctrinal purity is required for effective missions, then you have to explain why baptisms have been declining and churches all across the SBC are plateaued or declining during the past 27 year emphasis on achieving doctrinal purity. It would seem to me, in view of the evidence, that focusing on doctrinal purity, which is really just focusing on someone's idea of doctrinal purity, is counterproductive to missions.

Wade Burleson said...

Ben Stratton,

Welcome, again, my friend. :)

I consider you one of the more polite Landmark Baptists and enjoy our conversations together.

It is because of statements like yours above I am willing to stick my neck out for our convention.

I do not want to be a part of a Landmark Baptist Convention.

And I promise you, I am doing everything in my power to prevent it from happening.

On the way out the door of the hotel. Everyone have a nice weekend.

Wade

P.S. Thanks for the humor Fox.

irreverend fox said...

NOTE TO ALL:

Wade has spun again and refused to deal with my question...oh he is slick...

Monte said...

I mentioned to my wife in 1991, that once all the so-called "liberals" were driven from the SBC, the different brands of "conservatives" would turn on each other like dogs. There were and have been "too many cooks in the kitchen" for many years. It was bound to happen. Here it is.

It continues to amaze me how some always use the battle cry of "liberalism" and wave it in the faces of those who do not conform to their every belief and tactic. Indeed, if what one person who has commented on this blog has stated is true, then the SBC will limp along, battling over every definition of "doctrinal purity" to the detriment of its own mission efforts. As long as legalism prevails under the guise of doctrinal purity, that's all this denomination will ever be known for --its fights and not its mission. Because indeed, its need to have every "t" crossed, and every "i" dotted will be its mission. Welcome to the world of irrelevance. While you battle on over your disputes of doctrinal purity, other Bible-believing, focused upon the essentials, God-fearing, passionate followers of Christ are out there on the battle lines beating with the passion and heart-beat of God. The focus is upon the redemption of mankind. So, have at it! Surely it's worth it to battle over these things for the rest of your days.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, in your reply to me concerning closed communion/art. vii, you stated, "I believe this is the one area where the BFM is fallible -- but it is a minor area of disagreement."

I'd like to ask you to clarify. I understand you disagree with Art. VII, but to say this is "the one area where the BFM is fallible" is confusing. I would say that all of it is fallible (liable to err), seeing it is written by unspired men, however sound, good and sincere they may be.

I personally would never sign the BFM, but I also am not seeking a position in the SBC. Also to sign with caveats while claiming wholehearted agreement seems very strange to me. What is your definition of wholehearted?

irreverend fox said...

IF I CAN BE SERIOUS FOR A MOMENT...

you "haters" (a slang word used by that young generation under 50...) are too much!

1. it is clear that all you do is sift through every word Wade writes...carefully looking for ANY inconsistency...sheesh! I bet Wade has contradicted himself to one degree or another. I bet he has...so what? He is not the Bible guys! Geez! And Wade doesn't have it all figured out...who could stand 100% consistent with people like you sifting through every single word he has ever written? He is a husband, father and pastor AND HE BLOGS ON THE SIDE...good grief...you guys remind me of the Pharisees looking for anything Jesus said to catch Him in a contradiction...um...Wade isn' Jesus. That doesn't make him a full blown, sneaky, slick...hypocrite. STOP TRYING TO "CATCH" WADE...it's getting ridiculous...I honestly think it is an obsession for some of you to find ANYTHING to bring to the comment section with "AH HA! GOT YOU!!!" You supposed contradictions are usually taken out of context…or Wade perhaps miswrote or wasn’t clear enough…and at that even those supposed inconsistencies are rare…give it up…he does this on the side guys…

2. Wade has been clear, concise and easy to understand. Those of you who continue to say that you can't follow his reasoning are either LIARS or STUPID. Just because you don’t agree with him does not mean he is not being clear. That is an aggravating, silly, debate tactic that I get from Roman Catholics all the time.

3. This is WADE'S blog...it works like the Rush Limbaugh show it seems...it's about what WADE is interested in blogging about! You guys that come in here and insist that Wade comment on this or that have some real gall! That's why I made my satirical comment about him refusing to comment about the price of tea in China. This is WADE's blog about what WADE is interested in and about what WADE has something to say about! There are probably 15,000 issues that Wade could comment on...that doesn't mean he has to do so. Ask him questions about his posts...stop coming into the comment section and challenging him to answer questions that he is not discussing.

There is part of me that really hopes that Wade removes this comment section...you guys are making this a real joke. Looking for ANYTHING the guy ever wrote to use as a charge, continuing to insist...over and over and over...that he is not making sense (when in reality he is and you just don't agree with him...those two things are not the same)...and bombarding him with questions about things he is not even addressing is getting VERY old.

I don’t know why Wade puts up with it.

Monte said...

Wade-
You said: "I am hopeful that in time, a more humble and soft attitude will prevail toward the ultimate authority of our convention -- the majority vote of messengers."

Okay, Rip, I think you've gone back to sleep. Dude! Wake up! These people think they ARE the authority in the SBC! They always have!

Anonymous said...

Go, FOX!!

I agree; when we (You, me, or....heaven forbid, even Wade) have nothing better to do than sift through others writings to fine any POSSIBLE contradiction, for the sole purpose of making those who disagree with use out to be liars or hypocrites, then we have truly lost our minds (and certainly have lost our way from God's purposes).

Just diagree. Argue your points, disagree with Wade, or whomever else you choose. Quit nitpicking!

Charles

Anonymous said...

Ooops! In that last post I have AT LEAST three typos.

Someone will probably archive that and bring it to my doctoral dissertation defense as evidence of lack of intellectual acumen, I'm afraid!

lol

Charles

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Irreverend Fox,
You write: "I bet Wade has contradicted himself to one degree or another. I bet he has..." Then, you write: "You[r] supposed contradictions are usually taken out of context…or Wade perhaps miswrote or wasn’t clear enough…"

You're contradicting yourself. Toward a better day,

With that, I am...

Peter

Steve said...

Wade, I appreciate you explaining your position with more clarity today.

Couple of things:

I'm having difficulty distinguishing between creeds and confessions in this discussion. I've often heard the language of creeds being "prescriptive" and confessions being "descriptive," but if the BFM is descriptive, it is getting more specific than any "prescriptive" creed I've ever seen. In other words, it seems the BFM is prescriptive, particularly for anyone wanting to be in a leadership position.

Other thought: the focus on doctrinal purity, while necessary, has drained the SBC...missions is the way to re-energize.

Stephen Pruett said...

IFox-Amen and Amen. By the way, I also like your screen name. If I understand the etymology of Reverend it indicates one who is worthy of reverence. Only one man has ever been worthy of reverence, and He is not here physically anymore.

Jim Paslay said...

To the fox,

First of all I am under 50 and I don't see all the problems that Wade sees. I was for the Conservative Resurgence and still believe there are theological problems within the convention, but I agree that it is much better than before the 1980s.

Yes, there are Pharisees within our convention who seek to narrow the standards. But there are still moderates who don't believe we EVER had theological problems. Let me quote one, "My home SBC church is my family, and I will not leave without a fight." That is one of the problems, moderates are still fighting and stirring up trouble.

What I don't understand is why you and others feel like you have to defend Wade at every little point. He has a blog site that is public and he is subject to criticism. Fair and unfair. Wade is not infallible and some of the criticism in my estimation is warranted. Besides, good healthy debate never hurt anyone, right?

kehrsam said...

Jim Pasley:

I am not fighting and stirring up trouble, thank you very much. The only fight I am involved in is the right to stay in fellowship with my home SBC church and the Convention as a whole.

We are not saved by doctrine but by the grace of God the Father and the mercy of Jesus Christ. When we meet in heaven we can then laugh about my heresies, as we shall know the Truth.

Tripp said...

I think some responses are in order from me.

1) I stand by my claim that in order to perform missions, you need doctrinal purity. How can you expect to witness to individuals about Jesus Christ and engage them in a discussion of Christian principles when everyone believes something different? If I believe Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father...and you reject that...how can we effectively engage in missions together. It is pointless to engage in missions if the agency performing the mission has no clue what it stands for and believes.

2) Rex Ray...I don't seperate Jesus Christ from the word of God. I believe the word of God is very clear on some of the issues you raised, i.e. women being Pastors. The word of God is not "man made" commandments. We should base all of our doctrinal beliefs on what God's word says. Once again, this discussion has already taken place in the SBC. The mere fact that we have to address this again among supporters of Wade Burleson should make it very clear to all the dangers of what Wade is advocating.

3) Regarding the priesthood of the believer...this ideal is not to be used to supersede Scripture. One does not have a right as a Christian to believe something contrary to God's word. So often, I have observed, many Baptists use the priesthood of the believer to justify their OWN opinions on biblical issues and doctrines. Once again, on these issues, it is not about OUR opinion. It is about what Scripture says. The priesthood of the believer does not give anyone the right to ignore Scripture.

4) I am going to be very frank abou this. I am new to blogging...but since I have been reading Southern Baptist blogs, I have observed that the Burleson "coalition" enjoys inflicting conflict upon the SBC.

They enjoy having people "doubt" what "real" Baptists believe...they enjoy setting up supposed contradictions among Baptist documents...in essence, they seem to enjoy creating confusion. On top of that, the anger directed at the leadership of the SBC is not only shocking, but it also represents a quality that should not be present in those calling for "unity".

I may have not answered all the concerns raised against me, but I will say this. When I come to this blog, I feel like I have gone back in time to 1980. It seems to me that a lot of the issues being discussed currently on this comment thread has to do with issues that the SBC dealt with long ago. It worries me greatly that many want to continue to bring these issues up. In my humble opinion, it appears that the Wade Burleson coalition is nothing but a front for a return to theological relativism.

Tripp said...

Still waiting on Wade to address Jim Richard's election.

It appears I could be waiting till the cows come home....

I ask you, would we have had such silence from Wade if Rogers had of won?

Anonymous said...

At the end of the Southern Seminary report, there was an interesting question. The following may not be exact wording, but I believe it's fairly accurate. The video can be watched at SBC.net.

Question From A Messenger:
I was concerned that the motion on BF&M passed last night.


My fear is that this could lead to gutting our historical baptist polity. It could lead to turning the BF&M into a 100 page document. However, do you feel that what happened last night with the BF&M will tie the hands of SBTS
trustees when dealing with issues outside of the BF&M such as
glosalalia?

Dr. Mohler:
I will gladly take my stand, share my position, and the position
of Southern Seminary.

We will gladly embrace the BF&M as a "guide" but we must ask questions...about issues not addressed there.

For example, there's nothing in the words of the BF&M that speak to the practice of speaking in tongues as being an ongoing part
of baptist worship, but I don't believe that this is the kind of
professor that that our convention would have our seminaries to hire."

-----

So the only way that statement stands is that if cessationish theology is the position of Southern Seminary and the position of all it's professors.

I'm not arguing this point, nor would I would be troubled with it. There should be room within this convention for some diversity not only among our churches but even our seminaries; for example, the difference in reformed theological training at Southern against Southwestern. I just want to be clear in my understanding.

Thanks,
Darren Casper

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed reading your convention comments. I find it most interesting as to your historical comments. Having been in SBC since late 1960's, I find it very interesting how you missed what was really happing to so many good people over these last years. The attendance at convention continues to reaveal the lack of interest of so many. I used to never miss, but what is the use!! It is evident now that the folks remaing will be turning more and more on each other. Who else is left? The percentages are breaking down like before when there were 40,000 in attendance. If money was not plentiful in this country, the SBC would be about gone....thanks again for your blogs filled with interesting observations and comments. You are stirrring the base. I am glad ou have good relationship with your church...Wayne, of Alabama

Tripp said...

The SBC is not in trouble of "dieing".

The SBC's best days lie ahead. Just look at enrollment numbers at SBTS. The future looks very bright.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Irreverend Fox,
Ah, long time no comment to each other, but you opened the door before I knocked. I’m glad you’re stepping in for Wade because he is far too busy to do justice to all the comments coming his way.

Wade once said, “An honest question deserves an honest answer”, but we all (including Wade) avoid answering questions when we have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

First of all, I’d like for you to get a mental picture of what I think will happen at the next SBC. Messengers will be given 1,001 voting cards to handle the cases presented to the SBC to be answered. It’ll be worse than Moses trying to give judgment on complaints of the people. Of course this won’t happen because it would take weeks to hear both sides of all the cases.

The IMB and others operating outside the BFM was a ‘can of worms’. Morris Chapman’s Executive Committee statement had the goal of burying the can, but in doing so; it will open up a bigger ‘can of worms’. So the SBC will vote to go back to the same oh same oh.

The fundamentalist SBC will grow in finger pointing, arguing, conflict, quarrelling, and on and on with disagreement. Meanwhile, less and less time will be spent on Missions, and more and more people will miss heaven. Leading the pack will be Jim Richards who has had plenty of experience on the state level since he said, “Theological agreement will be the FIRST foundation of the new Convention.” (SBTC) He ought to fit right in with ‘like thinkers’ in joining ‘one of us’ on the national level.

Well, Fox, do you have any predictions while you’re on the “Serious Side”?

I for one believe when fundamentalists finish dissolving one another, there’ll be plenty of moderates (true conservatives) to pick up the pieces and once again the glue that holds Baptists together will be MISSIONS in reaching the world for Christ.

BTW, do you know why the ‘reformers’ want to change ‘doctrinal glue’ to ‘cooperation glue’? They can’t use ‘mission glue’ because that was what the old convention had and the CBF still has.

irreverend fox said...

Peter...

note that I prefaced with the word "usually"...no contradiction there...

it's ok...I forgive you...no really Peter...it's ok...I forgive you...it's water under the bridge...

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

Tripp says " I believe the word of God is very clear on some of the issues you raised "

There is the problem. That is why I believe that this blog exists. People who demand that their "clear views" of second and third tier issues must be followed by all or else.

The only doctrinal purity is Jesus Christ. Everything else isn`t...

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

I have been commenting on this blog since around August 2006, if my memory serves me adequately. To date, I have not noticed an observable out-of-control thread. Today's post makes history.

One who has followed your posts cannot help but wonder where all your defenders have run. You appear to be abandoned, holding an empty bag. Shame on them, except, of course, the Fox and Mr. Webb.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

irreverend fox said...

hey Rex!

I am not sure about what you are asking me friend. My point is that I think, even in the last few weeks, the craziness of these comments have come to a fever pitch...it's wild the way Wade is being disrespected and accused. It's like he is being treated like a wolf in sheep’s clothing...

If you don't agree with Wade then respectfully disagree. If he answers your question and you still don't like it agree to disagree and move on...or just move on. GO AWAY. Vote against him and what he stands for...vote for men who believe like you...but just go away...that is what I feel like telling people who come in here just to pick on, accuse, second guess and hassle Wade. GO AWAY.

And no Rex...I'm not talking about you...I don't think you're a jerk. But I think there are some real, honest to goodness jerks around here lately...just looking to nit-pick Wade...and it's even worse than that...what is being more and more loudly implied is that Wade has wrong motives...that he is trying to overturn the resurgence he worked for...that he is a liberal...or not a Christian...

It's too much for me...agree to disagree...and voice that...that's fine...BUT IF YOU ARE AGAINST WADE THEN GO AWAY.

If you are against this man...if you don't respect him...if you don't love him...if you don't trust him...THEN GO AWAY. You can disagree and trust him...you can disagree and respect him...you can be for this man and not agree with him...IF YOU ARE AGAINST WADE GO AWAY.

with that...I am tired...have a nice lunch...

um Rex...what was your question again? lol

Alan Cross said...

Peter,

Could it just be that everyone is sick of arguing about this stuff with people who will not listen? I know that I am. I don't see what good it does. But, if you really enjoy it, by all means, keep it up!

Stephen Pruett said...

Tripp, So you are CERTAIN that every one of your interpretations of scripture with regard to ALL doctrines is THE correct interpretation? If so, the rest of us just need to quit and make you POPE.

Doctrinal purity requires uniformity on issues about which Christians have been studying and arguing for hundreds of years (e.g., 5 points or less than 5 points). I can almost be certain that you hold a position on some doctrinal issue that is not the majority position of the SBC (this is based on the fact that I don't know anyone whose positions are all majority positions or I don't know what the majority position is). In this case maintaining doctrinal purity means you have to leave. Sorry, we'll miss you.

Peter, Wrong again. Wade's supporters are here, but most are too wise to be sucked in by your inflammatory and obnoxious comments. However, I have always had a weakness for calling the bluff of bullies, so I just can't resist.

By the way you mentioned that you participated in some type of ministry effort with people from a variety of other churches, yet you criticize Wade for associating with another Baptist (J Carter). Duplicity! Inconsistency! I cannot understand what any of your comments are saying!

Tripp said...

davidinflorida said:

"There is the problem. That is why I believe that this blog exists. People who demand that their "clear views" of second and third tier issues must be followed by all or else."

Let me make it clear...I don't mind a division between first, second and third tier doctrines. I also don't mind working with other Baptists who differ with me on THIRD tier issues.

However, my only concern with these divisions is who decides what doctrinal issue goes where.

As I have said before, I know many Baptists who place speaking in tongues in the secondary tier, not the third. Wade has expressed his view that it belongs in the third tier. Who is right? How do we decide? IMO...the messengers of the Convention should have a stated policy on this issue as well as other issues that may blur the line between the second and third tier.

What I truly worry about is the tendency from some who are defending Wade to regress into arguments about our view of Scripture, etc....issues that the SBC settled a long time ago.

I also worry about the personal attacks directed at Godly men such as Dr. Patterson and Dr. Mohler. I don't see much "compromise" coming from many associated with Wade Burleson.

Monte said...

Did it require the woman at the well to have every doctrinal issue worked out in order to go back into town and say, "Come, see a man who told me everthing I ever did?" Did Peter have everything worked out and did the apostles come to some agreement on doctrinal purity in Acts 2 before he addressed the crowd and "about three thousand were added to their number that day?" You see, having been an IMB missionary, I can say from experience that we were conveying the Gospel. So many things that we find to be important here in the good 'ole USA, in the SBC, and that we find ourselves in disputes over were rarely things that we ever thought about, much less discussed on the mission field. So, no, it doesn't require that we come to some consensus on doctrinal purity in regards to those things, which are not addressed in the BF&M. We knew who we were as believers--who had the call of God on our lives.

Tripp said...

Stephen...once again...doctrinal purity on FIRST and SECOND tier issues. I don't mind disagreement on third tier issues.

From where I sit though...the Convention has yet to accomplish doctrinal purity regarding secondary tier doctrines. We must do that in order to be effective.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Fox,
Thanks for not calling me a jerk. I thought it was too good to be true—you being serious and all that.

I remember long ago when everyone on the blog was ready to hang you because you were making fun of Wade. You had me fooled also, as I thought you were serious with your comments.

Now if you made everyone go away that disagreed with Wade, you’d take all the fun out.
Don’t you know Baptists had rather fuss than witness? Hey! I just shot myself in the foot.

Stephen Pruett said...

Tripp, It seems to me that Wade's view (and my view, for what it's worth) is very clear. Let the convention decide which are 2nd and 3rd tier issues. By the way, I prefer Essentials and Baptist Distinctives (rather than 2nd tier), which would be doctrinal issues about which one must agree to participate (and there would not be a huge number of them, if I was in charge-which is a frightening thought in and of itself-me being in charge that is). Then there would be many less important doctrinal matters on which the SBC might offer a consensus interpretation but which would not be used to prohibit participation or employment. I think Wade has been very clear, especially in recent posts, that the annual meeting is the place to make these decisions.

Wouldn't you say this would be better than having them made by 70 people or less depending on the size of the Board. They all may be great folks, but group dynamics get involved and dominant personalities sometimes exert undue and unwarranted influence. That is less likely to occur with all the messengers present and everyone having equal time to present their case.

As far as people who support Wade not being interested in compromise.... It is not Wade or his supporters who favor excluding conservative Baptists from service on the basis of 3rd tier doctrinal issues. It is not us who favor an absolutist affirmation of the B F & M with no hint of a reservation allowed on any issue (even 3rd tier ones). If the B F & M was enforced absolutely my pastor would have to give up his position as a trustee at SBTS, because our church allows "born again believers" to participate in the Lord's supper. Probably substantial portions of every board would be gone over this issue or another one. Is that really what we want?

Tripp said...

Stephen,

I have no problem with the Convention settling what are Baptist Distinctives. I guess, in this regard, I can agree with you and Wade.

My problem is some of the statements that are made by Wade and those who support him. For example, for Wade to say:

"Finally, prior to 1979 our convention cooperated for the purpose of missions. Since 1979 the focus has become an attempt at bringing doctrinal purity to our convention. It is now time to refocus on the very reason we became a cooperating convention -- missions!"

IMO, that is not helpful. Wade seems to be implying that our focus since 1979 had not been missions. That is foolishness. Wade also seems to indicate that we have reached doctrinal purity in our Convention. Once again, that is foolishness.

If you scroll up this comment thread, you will see many classical Southern Baptist liberals cherring Wade on. Once again, that makes me nervous...especially when the priesthood of the believer is thrown out to defend beliefs that may be contrary to God's word.

I also disagree with some of the interpretations that are present here regarding the BFM. I don't see the problem with The Lord's Supper that others see. What does worry me though...is the attempt to downgrade the importance of the BFM...saying that you don't have to fully agree with the BFM in order to hold position in the SBC.

I believe a Southern Baptist should be asked to affirm the BFM if they wish to serve as a missionary, etc. As I have said before we also need to clarify our positions on some issues that are not covered in the BFM, i.e. I don't think the BFM goes far enough on some issues.

So I guess what I am saying Stephen is that I can agree with some of what Wade and his supporters are saying. I disagree though often with some of the comments that are made...and many of the implications that arise from some of the proposals on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,

I'm tired, and have been too tired to comment much the last couple of days because of a tragedy in the church I serve. But don't mistake silence for absence, abandonment, or lack of support. All I will say for now is amen to what Alan said.

John Fariss

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Stephen,

You write: "Wade's supporters are..too wise to be sucked in by your inflammatory and obnoxious comments... Duplicity! Inconsistency! I cannot understand what any of your comments are saying!"

Sticks and stones, Stephen, are definitely not nice.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear John,

I am deeply sorry for the tragedy your Body faces. May our Lord grant all His healing powers.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Alan,

I did not know I was arguing about anything. I too find repulsive arguing about things that do not matter.

Evidently, though, our host has deemed this issue sufficiently worthy to carry on a thread about it.

I hope you evening well, Allen. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

I read a column in the Dallas News that possessed a quote by you. I find it out of character. Would you mind explaining it?

"But Wade Burleson, an Oklahoma pastor who has been outspoken about what he sees as overreaching by SBC boards – including the IMB, on which he has been a dissenting member – said the messengers knew full well what they were voting on.

And he used his blog to say that Dr. Mohler and other SBC seminary presidents **"gave to our convention the proverbial finger"** by resisting the idea that they need to stay within the faith statement's boundaries."

Is this correct? And if so, is this really the public persona you'd like to project, Wade?

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Here is what I see. for years the resurgence folks argued that it didnt matter how much a church gave to the CP as long as thier leaders were elected. Along cam Page who was elected because of his CP giving, and all of a sudden it was important to elect Richards because of his CP giving.

Secondly, the BFM 2000 was rammed down the conventions throat - it was the most important document in the history of the SBC - proffs were required to sign it, missionaries were fired if they didnt sign it. Didnt seem like a minimal document at the time. Now it is the "minimum" standard.

Where does it end?

Pressler said in his book a Hill on which to Die, that it would not hit the chairismatics (never could spell that word) in the convention. If I were a calvinist I would be worried. If I were a woman who is a youth pastor or minister of education in a church I would be worried, If I were a woman who taught anything but music or childrens ministry in a seminary I would be scared to death (and perhaps the female music proffs should be scared - there is plenty of theology in music). How long could we make that list?

I think what we will see, is more and more churches giving fewer dollars to the SBC and doing more missions on thier own as the noose gets tighter and tighter.

Paige Patterson has failed at SWBTS by his own standards - he proclaimed the days of falling enrollments over two years or so ago - enrollments have continued to fall. He and Wes Kenny both looked like fools when Wes arrogantly tried to put down the rumor that SWBTS has a homemaking program. His chapel will be an albatross to the seminary in a similar vein that the leadership development center was an albatross to his predecessor. Even after they spend millions to build it, the upkeep will be very expensive and they wont be able to require enough students to attend chapel to keep it half full.

Jim Champion

Greg Welty said...

Wade,

I believe that you are sincerely motivated in your views by a passion for both the peace and the purity of the church. I have never thought otherwise. I think anyone who has pastored for a quarter-century, as you have, deserves an enormous amount of respect. But it's precisely because I respect you that I think your views are worthy of interaction and assessment. To ignore what you have to say, especially the *big* things you have to say, would not communicate respect at all.

So I think robust disagreement can coexist quite comfortably with our common desire for the expansion of the kingdom of God. And I infer from the fact that you have a blog, with open comments, that you invite feedback. I continue to proceed on that judgment (wink, wink, Irreverend Fox :-)

Mohler explained the trustee system very well. There is a balance here between the power of the messengers (to recall trustees) and the prerogatives of the trustees (to make decisions on policy and practice for the entities they lead).

Let me be blunt. I don't think I agree with the two much-discussed decisions the IMB trustees made in 2005. By that I simply mean that if I were an IMB trustee at that time, I would not have voted for those decisions. But I also agree with historic SBC polity, including the prerogative of trustees to make exactly that decision. To say that the trustees have to get convention approval for each and every one of these kinds of decisions is an *abandonment* of the trustee system, and a replacement of it with direct democracy, which is unworkable. This is what Mohler was getting at in his brief explanation of the trustee system in the Southern Seminary report. You are essentially saying, "You are trustees, but we don't trust you to make these kinds of decisions." This is as contradictory a position as to say: the BFM is a sufficient doctrinal guide, but parts of it are non-essential and therefore negotiable (which is your position, correct? :-)

You speak of those who "begin to demand that every Southern Baptist believes the way you do." Why you conflate this with the IMB decisions, I have no idea. No SBC entity has the authority or power to demand that every Southern Baptist believe something. But they do have the authority to set the rules for those who would voluntarily enter into a fiduciary, employee relationship with them. Last I checked, that was considerably fewer people than "every Southern Baptist" :-)

What I find most interesting is point (2) of your exposition of the EC statement:

"(2). If trustees of any agency, particularly convention wide agencies like the International Mission Board or the North American Mission Board, were to refuse to abide by the convention's wishes of not demanding conformity on doctrinal interpretations not found in the BFM, then those trustees should be answerable to the convention -- since the convention elected them."

But, of course, trustees are *already* "answerable to the convention," since convention messengers can remove them from office if they so wish.

Again, you say that in response to trustees who hold secret reservations about the BFM:

"The convention, then, has the right to remove that trustee, just as they have the right to remove trustees who do not follow their wishes in NOT establishing new doctrinal guidelines or policies that exceed the BFM."

But, of course, the convention *already* "has the right to remove that trustee."

You describe a circumstance in which someone ought to recommend your "removal from the International Mission Board." But, of course, messengers *already* have the power to remove you as a trustee, if they so choose.

Given all this, it seems to me that nothing productive has been accomplished by your support of the EC statement, vague as it is. For you haven't given the convention messengers any powers that *they do not already have*. It's not so much that your revolution ends with a whimper, but SBC-wise, there wasn't much need for it in the first place.

Still, I am astonished by your following recommendation:

"If you wish to ADD to the BFM -- the convention should make the decision. AND, if someone thinks closed communion is a 'major' and 'primary' doctrine, necessary for Southern Baptist missions and ministry service, then by all means, bring that person before the convention and let the convention decide if they should serve."

Notice that you have conflated two issues here: going beyond the BFM, and going contrary to the BFM. Clearly, opting out of closed communion goes contrary to the BFM. You persist in regarding this as a non-essential. By way of contrast, the BFM -- according to its own preamble -- regards this as one of the essentials. What about this is unclear to you? The convention has *already* spoken about closed communion. It found its way into the BFM -- unlike countless other doctrines that could have made their way in -- because it was the consensus opinion of messengers (and of the committee that revised each and every BFM) that it was essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice, and one of the things most surely believed among us.

It's one thing to ask for permission for things not addressed in the BFM. But to act like the BFM is some mixed list of essentials and non-essentials, when the convention has already said the BFM is the essentials, is too convenient by half. Who's giving who the finger, really? ;-)

And this leads to a more general issue: you both endorse and reject the EC statement. You continue to make a distinction between essentials and non-essentials *within* the BFM. But the BFM doesn't make that distinction between essentials and non-essentials. It regards the doctrines it includes as a statement of the essentials. So, you must be getting your distinction between essentials and non-essentials from some other source. (Private opinion? Interviews with friends? Survey of your local church? I'm only guessing here.)

Doesn't that mean you don't really believe the EC statement? You don't believe it is a sufficient doctrinal guide, because you have to go somewhere else -- besides the BFM -- to figure out what the non-essentials are. You believe it is sufficient but negotiable. As I said, I can scarcely understand your position.

You keep on saying, "Take the issue TO THE CONVENTION." And again, that means you don't really believe the EC statement. If the trustees need the guidance of the convention, then the BFM is not a sufficient guide for them. So why do you say it is?

Of course, there's a way out of this fundamental conundrum for you, Wade. Simply treat the term "guide" the way Mohler understands it. Problem solved! Unfortunately, that would mean the BFM-as-maximal-doctrinal-standard would go out the door. :-)

In deference to Irreverend Fox's comment above, I don't think I am focusing on minutiae here. I'm focusing on very basic principles and positions that Wade seems to endorse with enthusiasm. If Wade is incorrect in the ways I'm suggesting, it won't be on technical grounds. It will be because the most basic things he says about the BFM and the EC statement are in conflict. How can genuine reform proceed upon a platform that just doesn't make any sense?

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Welty,

I appreciate your spirit and dialogue. I shall attempt to answer your questions. I seem to have answered them before, and you seem to perpetually ask them, so hopefully, this will be the last time you will either ask or I answer the same questions.

You say, "The convention has *already* spoken about closed communion. It found its way into the BFM -- unlike countless other doctrines that could have made their way in -- because it was the consensus opinion of messengers (and of the committee that revised each and every BFM) that it was essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice, and one of the things most surely believed among us."

You allege closed communion is 'an essential' and one of the things most believed by Southern Baptists.

I, and my church, are Southern Bapitst. We practice modified open communion. I do not believe it is an essential or a necessary Baptist distinctive, and have made my position known from the very beginning. The convention elected me, and at the time, nobody thought it relevant to point out my minor disagreement. If now, it is a 'major' disagreement with an essential, then the convention has the right to remove me. I believe you will find they do not believe it to be an essential and will show you by the refusal to make it an issue.

Wade Burleson said...

You also ask "Doesn't that mean you don't really believe the EC statement? You don't believe it is a sufficient doctrinal guide, because you have to go somewhere else -- besides the BFM -- to figure out what the non-essentials are."

Dr. Welty -- you are the one trapped in fatal logic. I am ASKING the convention to remove me if they intended the confession to be a creed and ANY disagreement - including my two (the innocency of infants and closed communion) - is cause for removal.

However, it would seem to me, that if you insist that someone be removed that a trustee be removed for disagreeing with 'non-essentials in the BFM,' or, for that matter, even believing that there ARE non-essentials in the BFM, in contradiction to what you allege the convention decided --- THEN YOU MUST ALSO DEMAND THE REMOVAL OF ANY TRUSTEE WHO ADDS A DOCTRINAL POLICY AND GUIDELINE THAT EXCEEDS THE BFM 2000.

I'm more than happy to leave with all the others. :)

irreverend fox said...

hey Rex...I've always liked you...it tickles me to no end when I picture you trying to follow me! lol! I've always been Wade's #1 commenter...he has a ranking system that he has hanging on his office wall…

I don't want people who disagree with Wade about something he wrote to go away...I wish people who were against Wade...the man...to go away.

Maybe it's just me...but I can disagree with somebody and yet trust them and respect them.

Wade Burleson said...

Fox,

I really appreciate your kind words, but I must gently disagree.

I welcome everyone to this blog, even those who wish to attack me personally.

In His Grace,

Wade

kehrsam said...

Tripp: As the only self-confessed liberal in this comment thread, I assume you mean me when you said, "If you scroll up this comment thread, you will see many classical Southern Baptist liberals cherring Wade on. Once again, that makes me nervous...especially when the priesthood of the believer is thrown out to defend beliefs that may be contrary to God's word."

What makes you think I can't read God's Word as clearly as you can? Just curious. "Priesthood of the believer" does not mean making it up as you go along, and I do not believe I have ever suggested as much.

As it happens, I am not one of Wade's cheerleaders, not because I don't agree with much (but not all) of what he stands for but because we have separate interests. I am not terribly interested in intra-SBC theological debates: I already know I am outside the mainstream and don't expect the Convention to change to accommodate me.

What does concern me is political debates couched in theological terms, such as the recent episode in Florida where the state Convention mailed every church dvds of Jerry Vines sermons highly critical of Calvinism. When religion mixes with politics, the only result is the muddying of religion, with a concomitant decrease in our ability to do God's work. This I hope to avoid.

If we could avoid a replay of the 1980s with the lives and careers of many good men and women destroyed, that would be nice as well.

smithwe said...

Dr Greg Welty,
Would you please send me your email address. I sent you a email at Web site but you have not responded.
Thanks
In His Name
Wayne Smith

NativeVermonter said...

Hey Wade,

Forgive me if you have already posted on this subject but what are your thoughts on the church membership resolution that didn't receive too much attention? I'm sure some can relate when I say our mid-week service is a mere shadow of the Sunday morning crowd. And we have official members who have not seen their "family" in quite some time. When I think of the responsibility that we have for these missing members, my heart grows heavy. As the convention comes to a close and things start to settle, I look forward to some God honoring, Christ exalting posts that make much of Him and edifies the Saints. Those posts get the "proveribal" thumbs up.

In awe of His Grace,
John in the STL

Wade Burleson said...

John,

I was shocked, disappointed, and ashamed we did not consider the resolution.

I am attempting to find out who killed it in committee and why.

Anonymous said...

An observation about power and corruption.

In 1994, I voted enthusiastically for the "Contract with America" Republicans who were promising to come in and reform government. Now, many of them are power-protecting, pork-producing problems themselves. It is so easy to take eyes off the job and get them onto the process of protecting power (I honestly am not trying to put this many "p's" in this paragraph).

In 1979, I voted enthusiastically for Adrian Rogers, and through most of the 80's continued to go to the conventions and support conservative candidates. I am still glad I did and do not regret at all the conservative turn of our denomination.

But is it possible that the generation that procured the power in the 80's somehow lost sight of the purpose of that power and began to protect position rather than promote the kingdom?

I am grateful for Judge Pressler and Paige Patterson. I am thankful I have a nephew at Southern (hope they don't convince him of that fifth point, but what the hey). Mohler is amazing.

But maybe what we need is something the Republican class of '94 promoted - term limits.

It takes a very special man of God to stay in a position of power for decades without letting the power of the position replace the power of Christ in his heart.

Dave Miller
Iowa

docjoc said...

From reading this blog it would seem to me that many of you think of the BF& M is very close to being a sacred document. Even the particular year it was written is often listed to help identify which version it is…much like we use the acronyms KJV, RSV, NIV, NASV etc for various versions of the Bible. But perhaps it’s more like the Book of Mormon that helps us understand our “Baptist Distinctives”

When I joined the Baptist Church many years ago they did not tell me of the central importance of the BF&M to every Baptist. I was not even told it existed!

Did my Baptist church accept my confession of faith in Jesus and vote me in by mistake?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it odd that you cannot view the Tuesday night depate regarding the EC statement? Surely no one in the convention is purposefully keeping out of view say like being unable to view Dwight McKissic's message at SWBTS:-) I'm sure it's just an "oversight" wink wink.

Texan in Oklahoma

Anonymous said...

NativeVermonter said...

"I look forward to some God honoring, Christ exalting posts that make much of Him and edifies the Saints. Those posts get the "proverbial" thumbs up"
-----------------------
BROTHER, LET ME BE THE FIRST TO HONOR YOUR REQUEST.

(I am not the anonymous from the previous weeks postings, you will read below why I must post this way)

I find that through all the SBC fog, GOD IS STILL AT WORK AND STILL IN CHARGE .

Just this morning, with the help of saints from the SBC and other denominations, we were able to send some much needed supplies to folks in a very dangerous country.

(2) I have a great friend here in the states who is Jewish. He is a Christian and was a soldier in the Israeli army years ago. His mother is in the Gaza strip and reports that many are coming to Christ even as the wars rage.

(3) Former SBC missionaries who are dear friends and in a refugee camp in a war zone have been sent food, clothing and medical supplies. God and only God has pulled off some incredible things to help get the items through hostile territory. It took 3-4 groups from different denominations to get it there including locals who crawled though the forest at night.

(4) I attended a YWAM (youth with a mission) event and was shocked at the apparence and clothing of some of the "ministers" and entertainers. The band was so loud we could not talk, even yelling right in each others ear. I was properly indignant and almost angry at the noise.

However, God is still on His Throne and does not need our permission when to act.

Dozens of teens were laying on the floor crying out to Jesus and asking forgiveness.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT IN THAT NOISE, THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD MOVED ACROSS THAT GYM AND CHANGED LIVES!!

I had to go be alone and ask forgiveness for my own stubborn religious arrogance.

In 3 nights, over 300 gave their lives to Christ. I had the privilege of following up with many of them.

WOW! GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL


Glory to God In the Highest!!!

God Bless Wade and his ministries!

Peace

Stephen Pruett said...

Tripp, Thanks for the clarification. I don't agree with all the comments of Wade's supporters either, so we have something in common. However, having been a regular reader for some time I believe that to some degree the characterization that there is an unhealthy desire for doctrinal purity is justified. We have seen the IMB impose more restrictive regulations based on doctrinal matters that are clearly disputable, we have seen a woman lose her position as a Professor for being a woman, we have seen an attempt to remove a trustee apparently for dissenting (just my opinion, I know they say that's not the case), we have seen a board of trustees enact a policy prohibiting public disagreement with board decisions, we have seen missionaries fired for not being able to totally affirm the B F & M because of disagreement over non-essentials, and we have seen seminary professors fired for the same reason.

This seems to me to constitute a trend which, if unchecked, will have anyone who wants to serve or be employed by the SBC looking over their shoulder and wondering when their minority doctrinal stance on some minor point will become cause for removal. Some, maybe even me, may express the seriousness this with hyperbole, but I think it is a real threat, if not to the existence, then at least to the effectiveness of the SBC.


I would like to consider just one issue that you and Wade have discussed as an example. The issue of closed communion is not addressed as such in the Bible, because there was only one "denomination". Thus, determining the proper doctrine on this matter cannot be done directly from scripture. It is based primarliy on human reasoning with a few passages thrown in and interpreted in light of the present situation with multiple denominations, which of course did not apply at the time the passages were written. I think it is a mistake to make any such doctrine a criterion for service or employment. I know those who oppose Wade are concerned that his desire to not narrow parameters will open the door for a resurgence of liberalism. I can understand that concern, but I am more concerned about the tendency to become ever more restrictive with regard to disputable doctrines. Even if one side is supported by more Baptists than the other, if those in opposition can raise objections to the majority interpretation that cannot be convincingly addressed, the issue should be left open. In my opinion, the B F & M does not take such an approach, and I would like to see it changed. However, since it is what we have at present, at the very least I support not making NEW rules on doctrinal issues that go beyond the B F & M. I do not agree that this would be unworkable. We need not revisit all regulations that are in place, we just need to stop the trend of narrowing cooperation on the basis of disputable doctrinal positions.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, Greg Welty made my point better than I did, so I'll paste it here, comment briefly and move on to another subject (Prophet irreverend fox is sure to be even more irritated if his Cavs lose again tonight!). "...opting out of closed communion goes contrary to the BFM. You persist in regarding this as a non-essential. By way of contrast, the BFM -- according to its own preamble -- regards this as one of the essentials." I really wouldn't be surprised if a majority of the SBC churches practice open communion. But the fact remains that until the convention decides to change it, the BFM states (and has since 1925) that close/closed communion is the kind of communion most assuredly held by the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. If it is wrong, change it.

In my wandering around the blogosphere, I found the following statement by an irenic Southern Baptist who has stayed out of the political fray. After reading it and thinking about it, I think he is probably right: "...the much-discussed resolution on the BF&M is not very important. I listened to the debate. I read the blogs. I spoke with eye-witnesses. I read the statement for myself. There is absolutely, positively more than one way to interpret the resolution. Some people voted for it because they thought they were simply reaffirming the importance of the BF&M. Some people voted for it because they thought they were sending a message to the trustees at IMB and Southwestern. Some people did not vote for it because they thought it was a step toward making the confession a 'creed'. Others did not vote for it because Dwight McKissic spoke in favor of it. Confusion reigns because the resolution was worded in such a way that both Bart Barber and Wade Burleson could read it and claim victory. So it is not very important, whatever any given individual may think happened when the messengers cast their votes."

Anonymous said...

Dear With That I Am Peter Person:

Wade addressed that matter already. As you enjoy reading so much, find the posting and read it.

Maybe one day you'll have someone pay a great deal of attention to what you type as well--and maybe one day those words will be half-way correct.

With that, I am finished.

volfan007 said...

wade,

it was nice to finally meet you in person. i have come home refreshed and blessed from the sbc. i hope that it will be held in san antonio again real soon.

david

ps. it was also good to meet alcye and her pastor. and, i told you that dwight mckissic and i were about the same size.

Anonymous said...

The BF&M has always been and continues to be our agencies "guide." That is why presidents of our seminarys voted for it... Yet in regard to hiring professors and asking pertinant questions for those interested in receiving funds from the IMB nothing has changed. Otherwise the interviews would be short.."Do you affirm the BF&M?".. "Yes"... "Then you get the job!" Come on guys..if this vote was historic then I have a convention hotel room in New Orleans for you next year.

Greg Welty said...

Wade,

Thanks for your replies, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how you're interacting with my arguments. In your last two comments, you repeatedly raise the issue of your possible removal as a trustee. Indeed, you go so far as to think I "insist that a trustee be removed for disagreeing" on various issues.

I've never raised the issue of your removal as a trustee. I have no desire for you to be removed as a trustee. I have no plans to recommend this in the future. Nor for any other trustee, for that matter.

That isn't even what I'm talking about.

Rather, I'm talking about:

-- the balance which already exists between the power of the messengers and the prerogatives of trustees.
-- your proposed abandonment of the trustee system and replacement of it with an unworkable direct democracy.
-- the inherent contradiction in saying that the BFM is, for trustees, a sufficient but negotiable guide for doctrine.
-- your confusion of the IMB decisions with demands that every Southern Baptist has to believe something.
-- the uselessness of the EC statement, since SBC messengers already have the powers you think are secured by that statement.
-- your confusing of going beyond the BFM with going contrary to the BFM.

These are the issues and arguments I raised. In response, you raise an issue I haven't even broached: your removal as a trustee. It's just weird.

(BTW, I'm not "alleging" that closed communion is an essential. I'm simply telling you what the BFM says here. I'm not sure how your "belief" in open communion, or my belief in closed communion for that matter, is at all relevant to whether or not the BFM claims it is a statement of the essentials. I mean, we can't rewrite that fact *about what the BFM claims for itself*, can we?)

Anonymous 7 said...

Oh dear, someone has got his panties in a wad. Might I gently suggest with kindness and loving concern that you get off your hiney and get out in the world and start helping the sick and the poor and the lost? Just a loving suggestion delivered in the spirit of fellowship.

Ron P. said...

Dr. Welty,

Thank you for the excellent posts!

I too am at a complete loss as to how the BFM Resolution has been contrived to state that agencies can not "EXCEED" the BFM or that agency Trustees must go the convention on any doctrinal issue and and get messenger approval.

This reasoning does at least two things:

1. It makes the BFM a creed.
2. Worse, it means that NO RESOLUTION passed by messengers will have any bearing on doctrinal issues for our agencies, because ANY and ALL resolutions would "EXCEED" the BFM.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Anonymous 7 said...

I meant that suggestion for Dr. Welty, but please feel free to direct it at yourself should you feel that you are in some way not healing the sick, feeding the poor and spreading the Good News. Should you be doing all those things all the time in a manner pleasing to the Lord, then please ignore the suggestion and forgive me for being so rude to suggest it ... although I do wonder how you find the time to do all that and to read this blog.

Jack said...

The assertions that messengers were “confused” about what they were voting for … or that the resolution is “vague” flies in the face of statements these same messengers heard before they voted:

“Any practice instituted by an entity in the Southern Baptist Convention that has the force of doctrine should be in accord with the Baptist Faith & Message and not exceed its boundaries unless and until it has been approved by convention messengers.”

“Secondly, if an entity … adopts a confession of faith separate and distinct from the Baptist Faith & Message, and it includes a doctrine unsupported by our confessional statement, the entity should request approval from the convention prior to including the doctrine it its confession.”

-SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman.

“(SBC agencies) should be subordinate to the Southern Baptist Convention.Children don’t set the rules; parents do.”
-Dwight McKissic, SWBTS Trustee.

Agency heads – Seminary Presidents included – who argue that they are not bound by a resolution approved by the SBC Executive Committee and approved by a majority of messengers have in effect declared themselves and their trustees “self-perpetuating” and outside the control of the convention and the individual churches who fund them.

– The question is will the Executive Committee and the churches it serves now stand by as rogue agencies, directed by rogue Presidents and Trustees disregard the orders of those who they are supposed to serve?

Anonymous said...

Wade;

How come you and your blogging buddies left the convention hall every time something spiritual took place?

I sat by the door and noticed you strutting back and forth, leaving the hall for things such as the IMB presentation (you stayed for the report, left for the presentation--as you did for NAMB).

Just curious.

Paul Burleson said...

Anon,

I usually send an e-mail when I am personally offended by someone's words and have done so on a few occasions. But there is no information or e-mail address for you so I will respond in this fashion.

Your words are judgmental [meaning condemning] and shallow at best and totally unchristian ultimately. I know Wade doesn't mind nor is he bothered by a person's words against him and I'm not responding on his behalf. That would be interfering with what is his responsibility and I won't do that.

My comment is totally for my personal offense alone and I would do it no matter the name you have placed at the beginning of your unnecessary and childish remark were I to be acquainted with that person.

Were you to ask have I done this when___________said something similar, I will simply remind you I've stated that when I'm personally offended I comment by e-mail. But had I NOT been offended by ANYONE else but you it would NOT justify what you have said.

Taking responsible for ill-advised and unchristian behavior would be the appropriate thing to do. I trust you will do so.

Paul Burleson said...

Anon,

One final word and I'm finished. Your response is your business not mine.

To say "Wade isn't bothered by words spoken against him" is not correct I think. Anyone with the presence of Grace in their life is touched by hateful words.

It is how we respond to those words that is our choice. He has chosen to not respond and allow people to say what they wish. I respect that decision.

Remember I'm writing because of MY offense at your words, not his.

OC Hands said...

Songs that come to mind when reading about the convention (Some with slight variations):
“We’ll be arguing doctrinal purity when Jesus comes” (She’ll be coming around the mountain)
“Sunrise, Sunset”
“Call me Irresponsible”
“My Way”
“King of the Road”
“You do something to me”
“Whatever ___ wants, ___ gets” (or thinks he should get.)
“These shoes were made for walkin’”
“Makes me wonder”
“Bless Yore beautiful hide”
“I could write a book”
“I get a kick out of you”
“Turkey Lurkey time”
“Friends in Low Places”
“Who let the dogs out?”
“The way you do the things you do”
“Taking care of business”
“We are family…?)
“Let’s stay together”
“It had to be you” (Jim Richards)
“Can You feel the love tonight:?”
“We belong together”

kehrsam said...

OC: Some Day, We'll Be Together.

Lee said...

Tripp said:
So often, I have observed, many Baptists use the priesthood of the believer to justify their OWN opinions on biblical issues and doctrines. Once again, on these issues, it is not about OUR opinion. It is about what Scripture says.

So when scripture, in I Cor. 15 clearly says that the gift of tongues is primarily used as a private prayer language, that it is a legitimate gift with a specific set of conditions required for its practice in the church, that its purpose is edification (and not authentication of a messenger, as some Baptists insist), and there is no scriptural support for the idea that tongues ceased because the canon of scripture was formed, what are you supposed to do with a trustee board's policies that are based on someone's opinion of what scripture says, and not on its clear teaching?

OC Hands said...

Kehrsam
"It will be worth it all"

OC Hands said...

Kehrsam:
One other, I can't resist
"The blogs are alive with the sounds of Welty"

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I heard every presentation.

Reporters were calling me often, asking to speak to me.

On those occasions they called, particularly after significant votes, they requested my presence in the press room.

I refused. Told them if they wished to speak to me to come into the arena. I spoke with them on the concrete right inside the doors of the convention hall, and when they were through, I stood by the wall so not as to interrupt the speakers. I personally disagree with you and would call all things done spiritual, including business.

But I want you to know I stayed until the very end of the IMB invitation and spoke with several people who had come forward.


Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Greg Welty,

You are a D.Phil from Oxford.

You are also polite.

I appreciate both. Listen to what you just wrote:

"BTW, I'm not "alleging" that closed communion is an essential."

I could have written that same statement. However, your statement can be taken two ways:

(1). It IS an essential because the BFM says it is - there is no 'alleging' it.
(2). I don't agree that it is an essential.

You hold to the first. I hold to the latter.

The convention is now successfully positioned to show the absolute absurdity of viewing our confessions as creeds, a position contrary to historic Southern Baptist polity.

I do not believe CLOSED COMMUNION is an essential of the faith or even necessary for Baptist identity. David Rogers, son of legendary Adrian Rogers, agrees with me. He's a missionary, I'm a trustee.

If someone cannot sign the BFM and express written caveats, then David Rogers and Wade Burleson should be removed. We BOTH signed the BFM affirming our agreement with the essentials of the gospel doctrines in the document, and wrote our minor disagreeement on a couple of non-essentials.

Either we will have to cooperate with people who disagree on non-essentials in missions and evangelism ministry in order to win the world for Christ, or you and others will need to terminate David and remove me as trustee.

Unfortunately, boards have fired missionaries without convention approval. At first they said they wouldn't over disagreements with the BFM 2000, then they changed their minds and fired them --- the convention had no say.

The convention has a say about trustees. I am saying if you believe my position is not within the parameters of cooperation of the SBC remove me or do not put me up for reappointment for two years.

The convention will have an opportunity to speak on whether or not the BFM 2000 is a confession, with the ability to disagree on minor doctrines and serve the SBC, or a creed, with no room for disagreement and prescriptive for service.

I believe you, and others that think like you, will be 'spanked' :). That word is used not in a personal way, because as I said, I admire you. I use it to describe what I believe deeply in my heart.

THE CONVENTION IS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY. She is the mother.
The children are the boards - the mother gave birth to them.

So, I know exactly what I am doing. I am a conservative who has drawn a line in the sand and said I will NOT allow our convention to reflect the Landmark, cessationist, anti-Calvinistic, hyper-dispensational, anti-women, narrow theological shibboleths that rabid Fundamentalists reflect.

There, how's that?

Wade Burleson said...

If someone doesn't put a doctrinal check on the boards, the convention 'de facto' will become what I just described above by those 'doctrinal' guidelines and policies that reflect those doctrinal biases filtrating throughout the SBC -- "What do you mean we don't believe this as a convention? Don't you know the IMB has had this as a policy for the last _____"

Well, no, John, frankly, I didn't know that. :)

volfan007 said...

wade,

by the sound of the cheering and clapping when dr. patterson made his remarks....i'd say that the convention took a very conservative stand.

by the vote between david rogers and jim richards.....62% for richards...only 38% for a missionary and the son of adrian rogers....the convention made a huge statement about staying the conservative, sound course.

by the understanding of dr. mohler, dr. kelly, dr. roberts....they all took the exec. committee's statement as meaning a minimal statement of belief, and that more could be required of those hired to teach....shows that the convention does not want the bfm2k to be a minimal standard. besides, i will guarantee that many people who voted for this thought that it was just a statement of affirming the bfm2k, and they did not understand what you and ben and dwight and others wanted it to mean.

i thought the sbc this year was tremendous. it was uplifting and a huge blessing to my wife and to me. the votes that were taken showed a lot about where sb's want us to stay, and the city of san antonio was wonderful. i just cant say enough good about the sbc this year.

david

volfan007 said...

excuse me....that should read "does want not want the bfm2k to be the maximal standard"...not minimal.

david

Wade Burleson said...

Volfan,

I scratch my head when I read comments like yours. You are saying the very opposite of what the convention said when we voted on the recommendation.

I am puzzled how someone can argue against voting for the adoption of the statement by using arguments of what the adoption will mean if voted for approval by the convention -- and then when the statement is adopted USE THE VERY SAME ARGUMENTS and say, "This is what the vote for the BFM statement meant."

I am attempting to put a transcript of the arguments for and against the adoption of the BFM statement that were given on the floor of the convention during debate. It will show, without qualification, everyone knew the impact of that which was being voted upon.

It is the only video missing from the archives. I'm tracking it down.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I still can't view the Tuesday evening debate regarding the EC recommendation. It was discussed Tuesday evening wasn't it? If not could you clue me in to the session that it was discussed?
Thanks for your blog.

Texan in Oklahoma

Tripp said...

Lee,

Regarding tongues...I have already expressed my opinion that the Convention should settle this issue once and for all. IMO...this is a secondary tier issue, and one that most Baptists feel passionate about. Therefore, the Convention should have a stated policy approved by the messengers on the issue of tongues.

Steven,
I think for the most part we agree. You said this though:

"I know those who oppose Wade are concerned that his desire to not narrow parameters will open the door for a resurgence of liberalism."

You can put me in this group. I think SOME of what Wade advocates is valid, but the manner in which he advocates it really causes one worry. I do not have a distrust of the agencies and leaders of the SBC. I am willing to give them some discretion in how they act. I am not out to "get" men like Dr. Patterson.

Also, I do not believe the IMB acted inappropriate with the policy they passed. I do not feel the need to start a crusade over that policy.

I can understand though your concern about too much narrowing. I accept that concern and believe the Convention should keep it in mind. Yet, I have a very hard time walking down the same path that the Burleson coalition advocates.

Lastly, regarding the BFM motion...there can be no doubt by anyone at this point that the motion was VERY confusing. Just look around the blogs...and talk to some of the messengers and you will see that there were many interpretations to that motion. IMO...all the motion did was to create confusion and allow some to claim a fake victory.

This confusion, I believe, should to be resolved next year in Indy.

Tripp said...

Wade,

What I can't understand is this.

You have seen numerous people write on this blog and others that they voted for the motion not with the understanding that you and others are now putting forward. Many messengers have said they were confused and continue to be confused.

Messengers like volfan are just expressing what many people feel. This is a VALID concern. Just because you interpreted the motion one way, does not mean that EVERYONE therefore understood it in the same manner.

I cannot understand for the life of me why you and others cannot admit that the motion was very vague.

Would you not at least admit that this motion has caused confusion among Southern Baptists?

CB Scott said...

Vol,

Please list a few names of those that you really believe are seeking to have the SBC leave a "conservative course."

I would really like to know the names of those people.

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Texan in Oklahoma,

It seems someone is intentionally leaving the debate on the recommendation out of the archives.

I am attempting to find out why.

I do believe some of our brothers who have alleged confusion may have a little egg on their face, or red in their cheeks, when the general public is able to hear Dwight McKissic and Rick Garner speak so direct and eloguently on why the adoption of the EC statement was needed, and Jeremy Green and a host of others on what would HAPPEN IF THE STATEMENT WERE ADOPTED!!

People heard all this and adopted the statement.

Wade

volfan007 said...

wade,

i believe that many people spoke against...and voted against...the exec. committee's statement, because they feared that you and others in your group would try to spin it and use it like you're doing. i do beleive that many, many people voted for this motion because they thought it was just affirming the bfm2k. they didnt understand what you and ben and dwight were trying to make it mean. all they did was vote for the bfm2k. to affirm it as our minimal standard of belief as sb's.

it really is that simple.

i think that you should look at all the other things that happened to see clearly what the convention was saying....the election of jim richards by a gigantic margin....the cheering of dr. patterson by a huge majority of the messengers....the understanding of three seminary heads concerning the x committee's statement...that it was minimal....and all the other votes.....these were all huge statemtents that we dont want to go down an ecumunical,charismatic, cbf, women ministers, alcohol drinking path in the sbc.

cb, i dont want to get into names, my bro. let's just let the chips fall where they may land. it was good to see you at the convention. you still owe me a cup of coffee though. :)

wade, again, i was glad to finally meet you and shake your hand.

david

CB Scott said...

Anony,

You said we left the hall when something "spiritual took place."

You know, Wade is a nice guy. His father is also a nice guy. I, on the other hand, simply say; you are a bare-faced liar. I wish you were man enough to give your name. I would be glad to say it with more force.

cb

CB Scott said...

Vol,

You are a nice guy. I really mean that, but......Your arguments are the most hollow and of the least substance of any I have read in Blog Town. You remind me of Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

cb

jack said...

The time has passed for individual Southern Baptists to fight to save the SBC from a handful of Seminary Presidents who regard it as a family business and the sycophant trustees and faculty who shield them from accountability. It is up to the churches now.

Unless Pastors take up this battle, inform and mobilize their congregations against the College of Cardinals that run the seminaries and the Crypto-Pope among them who is re-shaping the denomination in his image then the battle is over before it has begun.

The denomination is graying, baptisms are declining, and young people are voting with their feet. Our seminaries are teaching worship styles designed to reach previous generations during their chapel services and efforts by churches to reach the current generation are being declared heretical.

A majority of trustees of our Missions Boards are more concerned with the cause of Patterson than the cause of Christ and are booting qualified church-planters and missionaries from the field lest they plant merely Christian churches and not newly-defined Southern Baptist Churches.

The SBC as it currently exists it not worth fighting for. It has become a golden “holy huddle” that will slowly die along with those churches who blindly follow its Seminarians’ calls to embrace “Baptist Distinctives” and ignore modern culture.

It is up to the churches to lead now – as it has always been. Individually and collectively (through their own associations such as Willow Creek or the much-maligned ACTS29) the churches must show the way by engaging the very culture the Seminarians attack. It is up to the churches to adapt while the Seminarians ossify; and it up to the churches to fund qualified missionaries and church planters among them that the denomination refuses to send into the field.

Either the SBC will follow the churches’ lead or it will die. And if the churches don’t lead then it is already dead.

Anonymous said...

Wade - Please press until a response is received regarding the archives. I am a missionary serving in the former Soviet Union. As you know, our region is emphasized this year and there are several things I would like to see from Tuesday night.

We are 9 hours ahead of San Antone time so watching the proceedings live was difficult...though I tried for a few hours. Please tell someone....anyone...that the politics they are playing in "allowing" something "mysterious" to happen to the archives is hurting the missionaries that are serving.

I am sure that will make them jump to corrective action!

haha...yea, right?!

Ms. Shunary N. Yourup

R. L. Vaughn said...

One anonymous ended his/her comments, ".......although I do wonder how you find the time to do all that and to read this blog."

I know you weren't speaking to me (since you mentioned to whom you were speaking), but I will answer anyway -- exactly the same way you find time to do it.

Tripp said...

volfan,

You know we have our differences. :) But I enjoy reading your posts brother and you make valid points. Thank you for them.

Wade,

Once again, you use comments that are really not helpful to this discussion. You said:

"I do believe some of our brothers who have alleged confusion may have a little egg on their face, or red in their cheeks, when the general public is able to hear Dwight McKissic and Rick Garner speak so direct and eloguently on why the adoption of the EC statement was needed."

May I ask...do you enjoy seeing your fellow Southern Baptists have "egg on their face"? Do you enjoy always trying to appear as if your opinion is always right and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong?

I really wonder about your intentions here Wade. I hope you have the right motives regarding all of this and are not out to just cause a steady stream of conflict and pain.

Once again, I ask you...can you not admit that confusion exists over this motion? Regardless of what was and wasn't said on the floor...can you not acknowledge that many people are confused as to the interpretation of this motion?

Let us try to work together to clear up the confusion...instead of trying to make sure one "side" has egg on their face.

Wade Burleson said...

Tripp,

I probably could have used better words. I apologize for those which offended you.

Let me say it better.

I believe that when the videotape is able to be viewed, those who allege they were confused over the recommendation will be seen as people who are either unable to comprehend basic English, or they are desparate in their attempts to spin the clear outcome in a manner different from what actually happened.

I believe the latter.

Tripp said...

Wade,

Thank you.

Once again though, can you not acknowledge that confusion exists now regarding this motion? I don't see how anyone can look at the discussion that has taken place, and not see the confusion that is present.

Wade, when I read that motion, I did not give it the interpretation you did. I understand that might have been the orignial intent. I am just saying the motion was very vague. I truly believe you and others need to understand that most of us were and continue to be confused by the motion.

A little decorum would be nice on this...instead of trying to claim victory and the like.

Tripp said...

The above should be "original" not original. Please excuse the typo.

Greg Welty said...

Wade,

I'm well aware that you *did* sign the BFM with written caveats. It's precisely because of your past honesty in that act, that there should be no issue of your removal on those grounds. Those who appointed you to be a trustee had the prerogative to hire you on precisely the grounds they *did* hire you. And that is that. (Remember, I'm for trustee prerogatives here :-)

My highlighting of the word "allege" is that you seem to think that what the BFM claims about its doctrines (are they negotiable? non-negotiable?) is a matter of some controversy, with "allegations" on either side, each trying to show their respective views. This is not the case. The content of the preamble and the rest of the document is not a matter of dispute. It's a public document written in our language.

Sure, what the BFM says isn't true *because* the BFM says it. That would be ridiculous. And there can be open debate among brothers as to whether what the BFM says is in fact in accordance with Scripture, with one side "alleging" this, and another side "alleging" that.

This is all a given. My point is different. If I were to say, "the BFM regards women pastors as beyond the bounds," it would be exceeding strange for you to say, "Yeah, that's what you *allege*." Huh? That's what the document says. Likewise, if I were to say, "the BFM regards closed communion as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice," it would be exceeding strange for you to say, "Yeah, that's what you *allege*." No, that's what the document *says*.

That's all.

I suppose we've exhausted our dialogue on these and other specific issues I've raised vis-à-vis the coherence of your position. I'm willing to let things stand as they are, agree to disagree, and let your readers benefit from both sides of our conversation.

I would like to say a few more general things about the EC statement and its significance, in another comment. The focus won't be on you specifically, but on the platform or movement you apparently represent.

(BTW, Anonymous 7, I don't wear panties :-)

Greg Welty said...

I'm sure that just about all of the messengers had limited time to wrestle with understanding an already vague statement, before they had to vote.

I think either a pro or con vote was acceptable, because the statement was so vague it could be interpreted in a variety of ways: the BFM is a minimal floor but not a maximal ceiling (Mohler, Patterson, Kelly, Land, Barber), the BFM isn't a minimal floor but is a maximal ceiling (Burleson), the BFM is both a minimal floor and maximal ceiling (perhaps the view of some others). It's sort of a Rorschach inkblot test :-)

Mohler's take on it is interesting: all the EC statement implies is that the BFM is a sufficient guide for those issues it has chosen to address, but it is obviously insufficient to guide in those areas it does *not* address. What else can we make of the explicit language in the statement that the BFM is "not a complete statement of our faith"?

In any event, it seems to me that all of this confusion could have been *easily* avoided. Morris Chapman's earlier presentation made it obvious what those on his side of the aisle wanted. According to the transcript, Chapman interprets the significance of the EC statement thusly:

"(1) Any practice instituted by an entity in the Southern Baptist Convention that has the force of doctrine should be in accord with the Baptist Faith and Message and not exceed its boundaries unless and until it has been approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and secondly,

(2) If an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention adopts a confession of faith separate and distinct from the Baptist Faith and Message and it includes a doctrine unsupported by our confessional statement, the entity should request approval from the Convention prior to including the doctrine in its confession."

This is *obviously* what Wade et al wanted to enact by way of the EC statement. *So why not say this*, and have the messengers vote on it?

Why instead replace Chapman's eminently clear suggestions with the vague statement that was instead proposed?

Now, I could try to divine their motivations and suggest that they knew Chapman's fairly blunt and specific (1) and (2) had no chance of passing, and so they opted for the EC statement itself, knowing that its vagueness would generate support. Who wouldn't want to vote "for" the BFM?!

All I will say is that *if* that was their motivation, then they gambled and lost, and have now paid the price for their political expediency. Because now what they have is a meaningless statement, as far as *their* purposes are concerned. And they've alerted any future convention messengers to what their agenda really is, and to the tactics they are willing to employ in order to get it accomplished.

I'm not saying this was their motivation. I'm saying that quite a few people are going to look at it this way. And the clearer Wade et al are as to what *they* think the EC statement implies -- and Wade has been extremely clear in the original text of this post -- the more puzzled their detractors are going to be when they look at the statement itself. "If all of *that* is what they really wanted out of this statement, then why didn't they make *that* their statement, and ask for a vote?"

Any thoughts here?

Wade Burleson said...

Yes, sir, Dr. Welty,

You are quite deft at spin yourself.

It would seem to me that Chapman's address, the debate prior to the vote, the blogs which pointed to this recommendation as the most important decision the SBC would make days before the vote was taken ALL made it clear what was at stake in the adoption of the statement.

AND IT WAS ADOPTED.

I marvel that you youself understand the implications of its adoption as stated by the Exective Director himself --- and yet you act as if the statement did not do the very thing the Executive Director said it did -- and the convention who adopted it heard that it did from those who argued FOR its and adoption AND those who argued AGAINST its adoption.

You remind me of a little boy who fights for a toy with his cousin, and then when he loses the fight says, "Oh well, that toy really isn't as great as I pretended when I fought you for it."

:)

Greg Welty said...

Wade,

I am neither a little boy, nor did I fight for this "toy," either for or against. You know this, correct? So your analogy is just... lame :-)

You're evading the central issue: what got voted on wasn't Chapman's address, or your blog posts, or [fill in the blank]. What got voted on was the statement presented to the messengers. Yes, or no? :-)

If it was your intention to get agreement on what *you think* is the significance of the EC statement (Chapman's points (1) and (2)), then why not ask the messengers to agree on (1) and (2)? Funny how you don't offer a simple answer to this question.

The idea that what *you* take to be the significance of the EC statement was "clear" to all is eminently refutable. As Herschel York testifies, "I had at least 50 people ask me how they 'should have' voted, only to gasp in horror when I or someone around me explained our perspective. 'I didn't understand that,' was the frequent reply." Bart Barber gives similar testimony on his blog.

Are all of these people liars? Is Al Mohler just a mendacious, power-maddened autocrat? I think I can guess what at least *some* of your commentators here would say on that last point:-) But what about you? There's an exceeding high price you pay for insisting that what *you* say was the significance of the EC statement, was indeed clear to all. Are you willing to pay that price, in terms of your own credibility?

But maybe you think I only "allege" that York and Barber testify as they do; their blogs don't really exist, and they really weren't there :-)

Tripp said...

Wade,

Greg's point is right on. He said:

"You're evading the central issue: what got voted on wasn't Chapman's address, or your blog posts, or [fill in the blank]. What got voted on was the statement presented to the messengers. Yes, or no? :-)

If it was your intention to get agreement on what *you think* is the significance of the EC statement (Chapman's points (1) and (2)), then why not ask the messengers to agree on (1) and (2)? Funny how you don't offer a simple answer to this question."

I stand with Greg and MANY others...we would like you to address this.

Why not simply ask the messengers to agree to these points? Please address this...without the name calling.

Jack said...

The statement came from the Executive Committee.. the Chairman of the Executive Committee explained its implications.. and messengers debated that prior to the vote. Pastor McKissic's argument just before the vote was taken made it VERY clear what the vote was about.

What we are now seeing is an argument about whether the clear SPIRIT of the motion will be honored or if those who disagree with it will be successful in parsing every jot and title of the statement--- reframing it according to their wishes by focusing on the LETTER of the law.

This, by the way, is the same way Pharisees twist scripture. -So, feel free to parse the following verse:

THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS.

Wade Burleson said...

Tripp,

Name calling? I believe your integrity is now at stake. There has been no name calling on my part.

You ask "Why not simply ask the messengers to agree to these points? Please address this

As soon as the video is put in place, the actual transcript of those who spoke for the passage of this recommendation, along with the words of Dr. Chapman in addressing the report that contained this statement, will be placed in black in white for all to see.

The messengers knew exactly what they were voting upon.

Anonymous said...

So, if the argument is that what was voted on is not what was intended - why did people like Dr Welty et al argue so vehemently against it - but now are saying that it doesnt change anything. Just like our good friend JLG, they were against it before they were for it!

Sometimes you just have to laugh, unless you worry about who will be thrown out of service next

Jim Champion

irreverend fox said...

I wish people would leave Wade longer comments for him to sift through and respond...that would be helpful...a good 800-1000 word comment is appreciated by everyone.

Wade Burleson said...

Fox,

You're funny.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Champion,

I do believe your comment is the championship comment of them all.

:)

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, funny you should mention Fox and championship in two successive posts. Perhaps he is still chafing over the championship -- Spurs vs Cavs, that is. :-D

R. L. Vaughn said...

In practical application, who will determine the meaning of this statement? For example, when our US Congress passes a law the courts (and ultimately the Supreme Court) finally determine what it means. What about in SBC life? Will each instituation/agency determine for itself what the statement means? Is there someone to interpret it and enforce a consistent application of it from agency to agency? Must the different elected messengers interpret it year to year? How will this work? Thanks.

Wade Burleson said...

R.L. Vaughan,

It will play out on the boards of our agencies.

The IMB being the first.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, either you don't understand my question, or I don't understand your answer. You are saying this statement is a directive to the boards, are you not? Who will determine whether the board -- you mention the IMB -- has applied it "correctly"?

irreverend fox said...

hey now...I'm from northeast ohio...I'm used to saying..."wait till next year..."

but hey...GO TRIBE!

R. L. Vaughn said...

Fox, in seriousness, your team seemed to be a pretty class act to me.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Vaughan,

If by 'correctly' you mean what Dr. Morris Chapman said in his EC report which contained the statement the entire convention adopted as her own, and reads verbatim as follows . . .

"(1) Any practice instituted by an entity in the Southern Baptist Convention that has the force of doctrine should be in accord with the Baptist Faith and Message and not exceed its boundaries unless and until it has been approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and secondly,

(2) If an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention adopts a confession of faith separate and distinct from the Baptist Faith and Message and it includes a doctrine unsupported by our confessional statement, the entity should request approval from the Convention prior to including the doctrine in its confession."


I and a majority of other IMB trustees will see that this is implemented.

Tripp said...

Wade,

My integrity is not in question. When I said "name calling" I was referring to these comments:

"You remind me of a little boy who fights for a toy with his cousin..."

"those who allege they were confused over the recommendation will be seen as people who are either unable to comprehend basic English..."

etc. Perhaps you didn't actually use certain terminology...but your intent was clear with those statements.

I also observe where you once again refused to answer Mr. Welty's questions. You are doing yourself harm by not responding to that question.

Indeed, I believe you will come to regret your position regarding all of this. I warn you to proceed with caution. Most people can see through the political smoke and realize what is really going on here.

Tripp said...

Wade,

One more question. You said:

"The messengers knew exactly what they were voting upon."

If this is the case, then how can you explain all the examples of messengers who have stated that they didn't completely understand what they were voting for? Are they lieing? Are they all "spinning"?

Or are they just "uneducated".?

R. L. Vaughn said...

No, by "correctly", I mean who ultimately determines what it means in the sense the Supreme Court determines what a US law means? I'm assuming that the assembled annual convention is the only final appeal that there is?

The reason I'm asking this is: If the annual convention is the final appeal, it seems to me that ultimately it won't matter what you think it means, or what Morris Chapman, Al Mohler, Greg Welty or anyone else thinks it means (other than the moral suasion any of you might have in debating it before the whole convention). If "you and a majority of other IMB trustees" implement something and someone brings it to the convention, is it the voice of the convention that will stand? Again, if so, it is that voice that year or the next or whatever year that will "say" what is the correct interpretation of the statement. Is this idea of SBC polity right or wrong?

jack said...

Tripp:

1) Some are.

2) Most are.

3) We all are "uneducated" according to Pope Patterson & Cardinal Mohler.

Wade Burleson said...

Tripp,

The ones telling you of this confusion are the ones who voted against it.

If you can't figure out why they are saying what they are saying I won't be able to help you understand.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Vaughn,

I don't necessarily disagree with your last statement.

That's why I'm in this for the long haul.

And will keep blogging.

:)

Tripp said...

Wade,

When I first read the motion, I didn't interpret it with the meaning you and some others have given it. When I read comments speaking against the motion...I was confused because I didn't see any problem with the motion.

Only AFTER I read your interpretation did I realize the TRUE intent of the motion.

Therefore, my confusion does not exist because someone told me I should be confused. It exists because the motion was vague.

Why can't you accept this from me and other messengers who are being honest with you? Why do you need to apply some grand "conspiracy" theory to all of this?

Tripp said...

jack,

Once again, this rhetoric:

"We all are "uneducated" according to Pope Patterson & Cardinal Mohler."

is not helpful at all.

Wade Burleson said...

Tripp,

No conspiracy at all. What I am simply saying is, 'When the debate over the motion is printed for all to see, it will be evident to all who were not present at the SBC that the implications for voting FOR the motion is seen in both the arguments by those FOR and AGAINST.

There was no absence of clarity and no fog of ambiguity and the transcript will prove it.

I also believe comments by those on the losing side prove just exactly what it was that was passed.

Alycelee said...

Peter, you have much in common with TRIP.
You're both tripp'in.
Let me guess, both you and Mr/Mrs whoever Tripp voted to continue counting everyone who has ever been in a Baptist church so we can pound our chest and yes 16 Million STRONG.
right?

Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,
What you are missing in this discussion is that the motion was indeed weak! It is confussion to the max in it's wording. You also miss that so many were confused that the backlash from this will be heard for the next 12 months.

By the way - I voted for it. So what does your interpretation of my vote tell you? Probably not what my vote was cast as - or will you ask me? :)

TG

Anonymous 7 said...

Dr Welty,

I am relieved to know that the Panty Question has been answered before the Convention was forced to write a panty resolution. I imagine such a resolution would go something like this:

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

Thus we are saved from dangerous panty heretics.

I remain sincerely yours, but only a loving brother way, not in an icky Showtime fashion,

Anonymous 7

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Once I post the transcript of the debate I will ask you -- after everyone has a chance to read for themselves the arguments of those for, and against, the recommendation --- what you intended by your vote.

Not till then.

Jack said...

Tripp:

When Pope Patterson and Cardinal Mohler apologize for the tenor of their speeches --- then I'll apologize for the tenor of my rhetoric.

Until then I -- and many others who have witnessed their disgraceful displays -- will continue to call for repentance as well as their agreement to abide by the Ex Com statement in the spirit in which it was adopted.

In HIS Service (but not theirs),

-jack-

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

Would you notify us when the official video streaming of Tuesday night's debate is put online?

I'd like to listen to both sides of whatever was said on the floor of the convention by both the pro and con sides to judge for myself if they -- in fact -- were taking opposite sides of the "same issue".

Or, alternatively, does the transcript confirm that the two sides didn't even share a common understanding as to the issue at stake in the resolution -- independent of where any person came down in terms of either being in favor, or against, the resolution?

I was here in OKC so I don't really know what happened there in the Alamo City.

Of course, I continue to be in favor of not enforcing "noose tightening parameters" in the SBC agencies over tertiary issues.

If, in fact, the "confusion" only started "after" the final vote tally was announced, then I'd say it is clear who is doing the spinning.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Anonymous said...

Anon 7, you are flatout funny! But I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for that. The tone here is a bit more serious. Just wanted to bring that to your attention.

-Jimmy

Debbie Kaufman said...

Volv, Dr. Welty etc.:Do you know what sickens me most? People such as yourselves have to make up things and destroy people in order to win. Well it's not a win that is honoring to God. I would rather lose and have told the truth, being honest and kind to people, not stoop as low as I saw some do this past year and in the Convention itself, such as Dr. Mohler who completely turned this around because he could. I saw a man like David Rogers torn to shreds and for what? Power, Control. This vote on the BFM was clear and yet it's never good enough, lies will always prevail. God help those who gain power by using these methods. No I don't even pray that, God help those of us who will never use these methods. I know what I saw and heard, what you guys are saying is not it. Now carry on.......

Wade Burleson said...

Roger,

Couldn't have said it better -- and I would absolutely love your impartial, non-SBC attending independent opinion on whose spinning the outcome.

Anonymous 7 said...

Jimmy,

It's either laugh or cry as I watch intelligent, Christian people go to war on each other. I'd rather laugh, but I do understand why others might feel differently. I will withdraw.

Anonymous 7

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

Barber voted for it as well. There is no unified consensus of votes for those who altogether disagree that the authorial intent of this motion will prevail. So, how will you prove what each of these intended by their vote?

Secondly, the transcript might prove that most of the individuals speaking for or against the motion understood it according to the authorial intent. But there was the exception in the lady who took time speaking against it that was really speaking for the BFM 63- nothing whatsoever to do with this motion.

This DOES NOT prove that the messengers understood the full implications. There were many who did, and apparently many who didn't. Opinions do not change this fact. Are Dr. York and Barber liars? err, pretenders?

Thirdly, how in the world were messengers suppose to automatically know that Chapman's address was DIRECTLY addressing this motion, or that this motion was DIRECTLY referencing Chapman's reasoning? Was there an appeal to remember his exact reasoning?

Fourthly, as Dr. York expressed, there was not (besides Robin Hadaway's attempt to relate your intent to the IMB directly with divorce and homosexuality) a succinct, full-orbed argument against the motion construing the implications of the authorial intent.

How did it go:

Garner
Hadaway
McKissic
Cut from Art Rogers to BFM 63 lady
who else? anyone remember?

Regardless, how in the world is anyone going to enforce authorial intent? The WRITERS of the BFM intended for all articles contained within (including closed communion, etc.) to be ESSENTIAL and non-negotiable, and the convention SPOKE in 2000 to that confession, yet Wade doesn't want to enforce that authorial intent....

Wade Burleson said...

Colin,

If what you write is true, then all of us will eventually settle for cooperation around the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, and the removal of any 'authority' of any board for removing those who disagree on the non-essentials.

That will be just fine and dandy.

Rob Ayers said...

Dr. Welty,

I could not help but notice your statement in one of your responses:

"-- your proposed abandonment of the trustee system and replacement of it with an unworkable direct democracy."

To which do you refer? The Convention of messengers of the churches is but a microcosm of the active membership of the churches (anywhere between 2000-20000 messsengers at once compared to active membership of 6 million). The body of the Convention is "too onerous" for "direct democracy?" Of course I can forgive you - the polity is referred to as "Congregationalism" - a unique identfiying marker of Baptists for a few centuries. "Direct Democracy" would be for every member of every church to vote on the issue - I don't think you mean that at all.

Of course, there are those things which are decided by the Convention such as Presidents, Trustees, Motions, and Resolutions. Too onerous? And of course the grandady of them all - the assembly of churches approves the BF&M. Too onerous? Surely if this assembly can do all of these things, it can surely hear the requests of the entities to expand (narrow) doctrinal suitability for the hiring and firing of staff. Too onerous? Is it too much for them to think through? Is it too much for the counters to count? Or is it too much of a hassle for some? I really think you need to think about this some more. It seems that your words here are fallacious. Could they be a cover for something else - such as the suitability of the common Baptist to understand "complex" theological questions, or understand (I'm paraphrasing) a thimble's full of church history? I hope it is not. On this, I will give you the benefit of the doubt until I hear otherwise. And like you have asked previous, I would really like an answer here to these questions.

Rob

Tim Guthrie said...

The arguments that you are hanging your declared opinion of justification is mute from the standpoint that those were not the totallity of the arguments due to time. The other issue is a clear decision by the chair to rule Bart Barbers motion out of order for one reason nad one reason only - it could lead to the convention telling the Trustee system what to do and thus it violated SBC Bylaws.

Therefore, your interpretation of this motion is totally off or else the whole issue on this motion should be thrown out due to the chair contradicting itself.

Did you hear the discussions in the foyer immediately following the vote? People were scrathcing their heads and asking others what in the world that motion meant!

Wade, you are off on this one - big time. The Presidents of the Seminaries who spoke after the fiasco were spot on and rightly so!

And yes - I did vote for the motion - it changed nothing at all!

Sorry we did not get a chance to meet at the SBC! I was looking forward to it :)

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

We'll see.

Jack said...

"Did you hear the discussions in the foyer immediately following the vote? People were scratching their heads and asking others what in the world that motion meant!

The Presidents of the Seminaries who spoke after the fiasco were spot on and rightly so!"

Yes, thank goodness we have the Pope and his College of Cardinals to know what to do when the lowly priests and their parishoners know not.

Hail Mohler, Full of Grace ...(well, he is a Calvinist, no?)

Anonymous said...

Tim,

You say that Wade is "off on this one..."

What's your take on the LIFEWAY report on Southern Baptists and their feelings about speaking in tongues? Were the pastors interviewed "off" as well? Do you trust the accuracy of the report?

Just curious,
Darren

Lee said...

Volfan007 said:
the sound of the cheering and clapping when dr. patterson made his remarks....i'd say that the convention took a very conservative stand.

by the vote between david rogers and jim richards.....62% for richards...only 38% for a missionary and the son of adrian rogers....the convention made a huge statement about staying the conservative, sound course.


By the fact that only a third of the registered messengers were in the hall for that late Tuesday afternoon election, and that many of them were people from nearby SBTC churches and some students from Southwestern Seminary, I wouldn't say that the "clapping and cheering" during Patterson's presentation was anything more than rude and obnoxious behavior.

The election of the First VP has nothing to do with the conservative direction of the SBC, though I do see it as symbolic of the direction the SBC has been going for 27 years. I'd be willing to bet that David Rogers is theologically at least as conservative as Jim Richards, if not more so. What that fraction of messengers did was elect a bureaucrat over a missionary, which clearly says to me that the political control of the convention is more important than missions.

Tim Guthrie said...

Darren,
The report to me had some holes in it.

Your attempt to accuse me of saying they were "off' is really "off" in and of itself. Good try thought:)!

Why not stick to the issues I raised - how does PPL come into this discussion anyway?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

A guideline to exclude Southern Baptists from missionary service because the missionary candidate is asked, and answers truthfully, "Do you have a private prayer language?"

PPL, Tim, is the discussion.

The Convention said no board has the right to define 'Southern Baptist' in terms of demanding conformity to an interpretation of doctrine not found in the BFM.

We have 50% of Southern Baptist pastors who believe a private prayer language to be a legitimate gift of God, but a board deciding, on doctrinal grounds that those with PPL are not qualified to represent Southern Baptists.

The convention said the IMB trustees are wrong to go outside the BFM and demand conformity to a specific interpretation of the gifts (cessationism).

Ron P. said...

Wade,

The convention did NOT say:
"... no board has the right to define 'Southern Baptist' in terms of demanding conformity to an interpretation of doctrine not found in the BFM.

The convention messengers did approve:

“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.”

Your statement, is not what messengers voted on.

Again...

If your statement stands:

1. The BFM becomes a creed.
2. No SBC Resolution approved by messengers will matter in doctrinal issues before the various agencies, because they (resolutions) would EXCEED the BFM. Based on your arguments, ONLY the BFM can be used, therefore any and all resolutions that have, can, or will come before messengers regarding doctrinal matters are just a waste of everyone's time, breath and the paper they get printed on.

The SBC has spoken, the BFM is sufficient to GUIDE trustees.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Anonymous said...

for a cogent explanation of what was passed in S.A. on the BFM I suggest you go to: "www.ronniewrogers.com"

He lays out the serious problems it could portend for...and some clarifications that are needed.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Ron P,

The BFM cannot become a creed when you allow disagreement on issues like closed communion and the innocency of infants ---

Which is being allowed.

Colin said...

Wade,

I do not recall discussing negotiations.

Wade Burleson said...

It's been allowed for two years of my service, since my dissent was in writing, and it is allowed for seven years since David Rogers did the same in his service as a missionary in Spain -- as well as others who are currently on the field.

Wade Burleson said...

Try to change that now. :)

Colin said...

Who is trying to remove anyone?

Ron P. said...

Wade,

According to your view of the resolution, the ability (right or wrong) to disagree with the BFM on ANY matter (while employed by the SBC) ended this week.

I obviously do not share your view of adding language to the resolution that clearly is absent. But if you insist on your interpretation, you have really painted yourself in the proverbial corner.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Tim Guthrie said...

Wade,
You said "We have 50% of Southern Baptist pastors who believe a private prayer language to be a legitimate gift of God, but a board deciding, on doctrinal grounds that those with PPL are not qualified to represent Southern Baptists."

First, where are the 50% of Pastors? Second, the question relates to the SBC and Trustee system.

The SBC did not vote what you are claiming or interpretating it voted. It voted that the BF&M is a sufficient guide - that is all.

:)

TG

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, under your interpretation of the statement being discussed, can a board demand conformity to a doctrine that IS found in the BFM?

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Ben has suggested that only he and Barry McCarty understand Roberts Rules of Order. I'm starting to believe that he is close to correct.

The convention did not adopt the text of the debate—the convention adopted the text of the statement. I disagree with much of the discussion from both sides offered during the debate on the motion. I disagree with the plain text of the statement that we adopted not one little bit.

The text simply does not say what you say it says.

And the solution is so simple: Present a motion that plainly states the goals you hope to achieve: That the convention believes that our boards of trustees should not adopt any policies or practices that range beyond the text of the BF&M.

Not something that might, in somebody's interpretation of it, imply that sentiment...present a motion that states matters plainly and let the messengers vote on it.

If you dare.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

OK......

To the issues you raised...

You speak of the SBC and the trustee system. I thought that the convention voted to say to our institutions and agencies that the BF&M was and is a sufficient guide; and thus the logic is that we must stop the narrowing of parameters for participation for out North American and International missionaries.

The IMB baptism policy is doing this...

Then you have the recent findings of LIFEWAY and evidently 50% of SBC pastors do believe that tongues as a gift may still exist today and that some pray in such fashion privately. LIFEWAY reported this, not me. You asked where these "50%" pastors are. I have no idea, I guess you'd have to go to Rainer or Stetzer.

So as to the issues you raise, it was and is my understanding that messengers in San Antonio voted to speak into the trustee system to stop all the litmus test. We have the BF&M, let's move on.

:)
Darren

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jack: What is the point of your last post again?

Tim Guthrie said...

Darren,
All motions pertaining to the internal operations of any of the entities must be referred to those entities Trustees (SBC Bylaw 26B). The motion on the BF&M did not do this or thus it would have been out of order without it being referring to the Trustees of each institution.

What is so difficult about understanding this. The messangers cannot tell any agency what to do with internal operations. This was also reiterated by the Chair when it ruled Bart Barbers motion out of order.

The BF&M motion did nothing and that is why i voted for it - it affirmed the role of the BF&M as being only a guide - nothing else.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Vaughan,

David Rogers is currently a missionary in Spain and believes in modified open communion, as do I. I think he is a wonderful represntative for Southern Baptist missions and missionaries.

He exemplifies what it means to cooperate around the essentials and give freedom in non-essentials.

Not everything in the BFM is an essential of the faith - PERIOD.
If you believe it is, then David Rogers ought to be fired.

I'm saying this convention has lost its collective mind if that happens.

And it won't.

:)

Thus, de facto, the convention is ruling there are non-essentials in the BFM.

:)

Oh boy, this is getting good.

Wade Burleson said...

Ron P.

I WELCOME the attempt to terminate David Rogers, and I WELCOME any attempt to remove me as a trustee before the convention.

The motion says the BFM is 'fallible' and 'not a creed.' It is a confession --- and you can be a true Southern Baptist and disagree on minor points, as well as serve the SBC and disagree on minor points.

THAT'S WHAT YOU CALL COOPERATION!

I know exactly what I am doing.

:)

NativeVermonter said...

I do appreciate the many good comments that this thread has produced. And overall, blogging has caused me to actually have an interest in what goes on in the convention. And even though we don't really want to discuss regenerate church membership, I'm glad to see that we passed the resolution on global warming--a hot topic indeed (okay that was bad). It seems not only will Mr. Bonds need a * for his name, we too will need one when we say that the SBC is 16 million * "strong."

John in St. Louie (but loves the Red Sox)

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, since you brought up David and since you didn't answer the question: Under your interpretation of the statement being discussed, would the IMB be within its rights (and in accord with the statement) to demand conformity to a doctrine that IS found in the BFM, such as closed communion? Not -- do you agree with it -- but, would they be within their rights under your interpretation of this statement.

P.S. -- there seems to be no inkling that anyone is considering dismissing David or that this would happen. But if they did, how could it possibly violate the statement you are defending?

Jack said...

Debbie:
I was responding to a statement in a comment prior to mine that the messengers who approved the resolution had no idea what the measure meant and that we were fortunate the Seminary Presidents stepped in to "fix the fiasco."

I have likened the defiant Seminary Presidents to the Catholic Pope and his Cardinals who rule over the Roman Catholic church.

-Couldn't help myself from beginning to recite a Baptist "Hail Mary"...

I am sorry to say that -- until his disappointing display of arrogance in his address after the vote-- that I held Dr. Mohler in high regard.

It now appears that he has simply been playing "Good Cop" to Paige's "Bad Cop" personna.

Of course, I could be wrong. We'll know when and if we see any humility or repentance, but as time passes that becomes less likely.

Wade Burleson said...

They would not be within their rights to remove me -- only the convention can do that. The trustees can only recommend it. They have NO AUTHORITY to remove any trustee. PERIOD.

We trustees would be within our right to terminate David Rogers for disagreeing with the BFM on closed communion.

We are not, and we will not.

By 'de facto' action, we are saying closed communion is not an essential of the faith and Baptist identity.

Thus, we are saying, by our actions that there are non-essentials in the BFM, and it is a confession, NOT a creed.

Those are GOOD things, and I commend our board for taking this position.

It's smart.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Anonymous poster after Ron P., thanks for the link to Ronnie Rogers' The Baptist Faith and Message: "Our only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs"? I was not familiar with this blog until you linked it.

Wade, some of what I was reading seemed to me to indicate you did not think they had authority even to that extent. Thanks for the clarification.

As for the IMB's 'de facto' action, I think it could have other meanings than just "we (that is, IMB as a group?) are saying closed communion is not an essential of the faith and Baptist identity." It could mean that "they" choose their battles -- kind of like those presenting this statement did not choose to clearly write into the statement what they meant by the statement (assuming your version of the meaning is the correct one).

Thanks again.

Greg Welty said...

Jack,

I wasn't aware that Pastor McKissic's speech constituted the views of the messengers who voted for the EC statement. Was this announced somewhere? ;-)

Jim Champion,

You say that, in the past, I have "argued vehemently against" the EC statement. Of course, I did no such thing, and I have an archive of every comment I've ever posted on an internet blog.

If you like, I can give you links to recent comments here where I offer *several* interpretations of the EC statement. But at no time did I endorse or reject the statement itself. The bulk of my time has been taken up with assessing the coherence of Wade's position *if* we interpret the statement as he wants it to be understood.

Debbie Kaufman,

You say it "sickens" you that people like me "have to make up things and destroy people in order to win." Why in the world do you think I have the intention of destroying people? I have made fairly explicit on this blog my immense respect for Wade as an experienced pastor, and have repeatedly made clear that the thought of his removal as a trustee isn't even a blip on my radar, nor was it ever. Nor have I ever ascribed motives to him (as far as I can tell). As for "making things up," perhaps you could share a few cases of my doing this.

Rob Ayers,

By "direct democracy" I was referring to the proposal of Wade et al to bring every policy that goes "beyond" the BFM up for a vote each year by the assembled messengers. No, I wasn't referring to "every member of every church." Sorry if that was misleading. I'm simply drawing a contrast between the trustee system and the messenger voting system, that's all.

Think about it: every year, every policy decision made by every SBC entity that someone deems to have gone beyond the BFM, will be up for review by a majority vote of the assembled messengers. You don't think that would gunk up the works a bit, in the tiny sliver of time that would get allotted to these matters in a two-day convention? :-)

I realize that Chapman's speech says that "the entity should request approval." But what if the entity thinks its policy is well within the bounds of the BFM? Who makes the judgment call on that matter? If the messengers, then we're back to my previous paragraph.

And no, I'm not implying the messengers are stupid. There are a great many who are wiser than the average seminary professor, and I speak from experience :-) I'm implying that the convention has limited time in a two-day period.

Wade,

You say, "The motion says the BFM is 'fallible' and 'not a creed.' It is a confession --- and you can be a true Southern Baptist and disagree on minor points, as well as serve the SBC and disagree on minor points."

Would accepting women pastors be a "minor" disagreement? After all, to reject this you only have to reject a fairly short phrase in a single sentence of section VI. What could be more "minor" than that?

The BFM itself doesn't make a distinction between major and minor doctrines. So who decides what is a "minor" disagreement? Careful how you answer here. If you say, "The trustees get to decide," then once again you're rejecting the EC statement. That statement said the BFM is a sufficient guide for trustees, but if the trustees allow minor disagreement with the BFM, then they've rejected the "sufficient" guidance of the BFM.

Again, interesting conundrum you've invented for yourself here. In short, to make the EC statement compatible with your goals for overturning the IMB policy, you've got to strip trustees of the power to hire people like you. If the BFM-as-sufficient-guide puts a maximal ceiling on doctrinal matters, then it puts a minimal floor on them as well.

Unless you think the trustees are empowered by the EC statement to treat the BFM as a *negotiable guide*. Then you're home free. Unfortunately, it said "sufficient" guide.

Which shall you choose? Is the BFM "sufficient," such that the IMB policy must be overturned? Or is the BFM "negotiable," such that minor disagreement with it is allowable? It cannot be both, but you appear to want both.

As a last ditch defense, you may appeal to "de facto" action. "They hired me with my disagreements, and that is that."

Unfortunately, as you are well aware, the EC statement is the bane of "de facto" action. It looks to the future, not the past, for the application of the BFM as a "sufficient" guide. It is the "de facto" past action of the IMB policies that you hope the EC statement will overturn. So are you *sure* you want the retroactive authority of the EC statement applying the "sufficiency" of the BFM? I don't see how (i) the IMB policy falls, (ii) trustees who disagree with the BFM stand, and (iii) consistent application of the EC statement is maintained, all at the same time.

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Welty,

Faulty logic.

The convention has never ruled that a disagreement with the BFM 2000 is cause for removal. Neither have the trustees.

Neither does the EC statement on the BFM even COME close to that. In fact, the EC statement on the BFM affirms the ability to for people to disagree over minor doctrines of the BFM for it is a 'consensus confession' and is fallible and not a creed.

The whole argument is ONE OF COOPERATION Dr. Welty.

We operate by the COOPERATIVE PROGRAM -- and it is time for those demanding CONFORMITY on ever little doctrinal precept to wake up and see that is NOT the Southern Baptist way. Never has been, never will.

LivingDust said...

Question - what might be the implications if the SBC were to make an addition to the BFM2000 that would acknowledge the existence of secondary and tertiary doctrines and express that fact that differences exist among Baptists regarding these doctrines and somehow state that differences of belief in regards to these secondary and tertiary doctrines are not grounds for exclusion in service to any agency within the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Living Dust.

I personally believe your idea is brilliant.

Tripp said...

This will be my last comment on this thread, because frankly I don't see anything getting accomplished.

Everyone is talking to each other, but it appears no one is listening. It is disheartening to see the division that can exist over a motion such as this.

There can be no doubt that confusion existed on this motion before, during, and after the vote. There can be no doubt that many messengers voted for this motion not understanding the true intent behind it. There is also no doubt that the Burleson coalition is not going to bend on this. They are dead set on enforcing their interpretation of this motion on the rest of the SBC. Anyone who expresses concern about the motion is ignored or their concerns are downplayed.

I see no cooperation coming from the Wade Burleson coalition. For a group that constantly advocates more cooperation, they sure can ignore in when they want to have things "their" way.

I have learned a lot about this coalition from this experience. I have watched how they have attacked men like Patterson and Mohler simply because these men were expressing their opinion. I have also observed how they have no tolerance for anyone who may not see the issue exactly as they do.

I said earlier that I believe a cancer is present in our Convention...and I stand by that. I am all for unity and cooperation...but how can you engage in these actions when one group refuses to work with or understand the other group? It is complete madness.

I urge Southern Baptists to send a clear message next year in Indy on this issue. It is time that we remove this cancer from our midst.

Wade Burleson said...

Uh, Tripp, I do not believe anybody has referred to you as cancer, and I regret you feel compelled to label those with whom you disagree as cancer.

I do not question your integrity. I know you tell the truth.

Though you are welcome at all times, I wish to say goodbye since you are a man of honor and and you have said you will not return to this blog.

:)

Blessings,

Wade

One of these days I hope we can meet and you may realize I'm not near as scary as you imagine. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Oops, Tripp, I see you said you will not comment again on this 'thread': you didn't say 'blog.' My apologies.

I'm tempted to keep this post up for a year.

:)

Anonymous said...

Cancer is a bad word and has no place in a blog like this, but it does't seem that Tripp is scared of you Wade, although you obviously wished people were. The ego is a very fragile thing.

Anonymous said...

Last Anonymous: stupid second-half of your comment, and in the spirit you accuse Wade of. Just an observation, brother.

Anonymous said...

Again: any year's version of the BF&M statement is sufficiently REPRESENTATIVE of the personal theological persuasions of every kind of Baptist and almost all evangelical Christians ever walking on the planet Earth, and can be the basis for our cooperation in missions and evangelism--and blogging--if we will cooperate, which truly is the question.

With 80% of the SBC's 43,000+ congregations having achieved over their lifetimes now the status of either "plateaued" or "declining" in terms of their numerical growth--and those congregations being led today by the likes of serious-minded folks such as are blogging ad nauseum in this thread--it would seem that the idea of cooperating prayerfully for soul-winning and church-starting anywhere that lost people can be found (but mostly in those churches and pastors' own neighborhoods) might be really important to people. If this dialog and demographics were on display in any other denomination in the U.S., the bloggers here would stand at a distance and remark about the foolishness of those people. Unless you are reading a different Bible and basing the BF&M on it, my expectation following the SBC annual meeting this week is that significantly more cooperation than is displayed here must have just this second come over the horizon.

"God, help us--and forgive us for wasting so much of Your resources and our time."


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

R. L. Vaughn said...

Isn't the idea of changing the BFM2000 to acknowledge the existence of secondary and tertiary doctrines a 'de facto' admission that in its current form it does not? If it does not, on what basis do you parse what is and isn't?

LivingDust said...

Brother Wade,

Do you, by chance, somewhere in your extensive files or in an earlier post at "Grace and Truth to You" have a suggested wording for a amendment to the BFM2000 that would address the issue on "non-essential doctrine", different beliefs among Baptists regarding these doctrine, yet cooperation in ministry and no restrictions to service by Baptists at SBC agencies.

Something deep inside tells me that I'm not the first to ponder this idea. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Vaughn and Living Dust,

The entire debate revolves around the points the two of you are making.

I don't have the answers, but with dialogue with people like the two of you, we will eventually get there.

Jack said...

Dr. Welty:

Pastor McKissic's statement came just before the vote and succinctly framed the issue (just as the Chair of Ex Com did from whence the measure originated) and just as the blogs that supported the measure leading up to the convention did. -Hard for me to understand how consistency causes confusion.

Tripp:

I can understand your frustration. The conversations on blogs are often circular.

That said, I don't expect (or ask) Patterson, Mohler or you to agree with me on all matters theological or others like me.

What I am hoping is that we can agree to disagree on matters theological such as Calvinism, PPL, Closed Communion, Alien Immersion and agree to unite once more around the mission of fulfilling the great commission.

THAT is what is truly worth fighting for.

Colin said...

Wade,

Though the majority of Welty's points and arguments have gone unanswered and unaddressed, I do think everyone is getting somewhere with your recent comments. Thank you for your clarification and your willingness to engage. It would be very helpful (and probably impossible) to gauge how many Southern Baptists agree with you on your non-essential BFM doctrine stance. Forces then could be mobilized in the right direction for the health of the Convention.

I am curious about this (in the most irenic way I know how): it is now this generation that has deemed a few doctrines in the confession as no longer essential for Southern Baptist identity (if that indeed is the case). Therefore, the foundation of the BFM becomes a continual majority-rules opinion of what Scripture teaches. With every doctrine subject to multiple interpretations, orthodox and heterodox alike, is the ideal situation for motions to change certain portions of the BFM to come to the floor for vote every year, while the messengers decide yearly what is essential or no longer so?

Anonymous said...

Wade, you need to address the how the resolution affects inerrancy.

You should declare as errant those people spinning this resolution as opening the door back to the errants.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Tripp,
It’s amazing you’re still flying with all those bullets in you, or do you have a bullet-prove vest? I guess the real reason you do not respond to direct questions is they would prove you have the wrong thinking.

Many comments ago, I asked you 9 questions, but you did not answer or attempt to answer any of them. (You would make a fine politician.) You just continue beating your drum: “You can’t have effective missions without doctrinal purity!”

One question: are you the one who decides what is pure in all these little doctrinal arguments?

The most harmful thing about your statement is the indication that there will be NO missions until all agree. And that is what the devil wants because he knows Baptists will never agree on everything.

Christ said if he was lifted up… Are we lifting up Jesus with all the arguing over doctrine?

But I’m too late with this as you have left.

Sort of like me shooting at a bear when he was so far away my arrow only went half way. But that was safer than looking level eyeball to eyeball with a grizzly in thick Alaska brush when my only bullet had not made him happy. Ten minutes later, my wife of 4 weeks, was in a tree stand screaming, “You’re going to step on him!” It happened all over again, but this time my gun ended up in one hand and the bolt in the other. I felt like the song that says, “Lord, if you can’t help me, please don’t help that bear.”

Sorry I got carried away on my favorite story.

Fox,
Thanks for saying, “I like you.” TO ME, that was the highlight of all the comments. One of these days, we’ll be swapping stories in heaven and they won’t be about politics, theology, or bears. Too bad, a lot of us will do most of the listening.

Wade Burleson said...

Colin,

Thank you for your irenic comment.

The BFM should be about the ESSENTIALS of the Christian faith and Baptist identity.

Period.

However, if the BFM contains some non-essentials of the faith and Baptist identity - and it does - then we need some sort of statement of cooperation that when it comes to our missions and evangelism ministries.

We are a cooperating convention. Your church does not have to look like mine. Your beliefs on doctrines, that may be very important on how your church is run, may be different from mine.

We are brothers and sisters in Christ with a Baptist identity (believer's baptism by immersion identifying us with Christ and His poeple) and we cooperate for the sake of the gospel.

A proposed statement of cooperation is coming.

Kyle said...

Brother Wade,

First time I've commented here. Let me say that I appreciate your insight, perspective and opinions, though I certainly disagree with your views. I do believe you are sincere in your stance, and long with you for baptist to cooperate in fulfilling the great commision of Christ in spite of minor differances.

I do have a question for you. I ask the same question to Bart Barber, and would like to see you response as well.

Its obvious to me in your views concerning the motion that passed at the SBC Cov. that you and I see the implications in different ways. As a matter of fact, both sides here seem to be cheering victory.

My question - Giving the above observation, does this motion really mean anything? Does it really have teeth at all? In the whole grand scheme of things, this motion that caused such a stir and sent the bloggers into a frenzy, really going to make any impact at all in the SBC considering the sharp division over what it even means?

Again, thanks for standing for something - That alone is commendable in our culture.

Kyle Caudell

Wade Burleson said...

Kyle,

You ask, " Does this motion really mean anything? Does it really have teeth at all? In the whole grand scheme of things, this motion that caused such a stir and sent the bloggers into a frenzy, really going to make any impact at all in the SBC considering the sharp division over what it even means?"

I believe it does. Over time, you will see the debate continue. Application of the motion will not happen overnight, but it is coming.

By the way, it is not the motion that caused the stir. It was the narrowing of the doctrinal parameters of participation in SBC missions that caused the stir.

This motion is the response.

Blessings,

wade

LivingDust said...

Brother Wade,

Question - What chain of events must occur to modify the BF&M2000?

foxofbama said...

Wade:
Hope your audience will seriously consider this analysis of Ben Cole's friend Robert Parham as you place yourself in the wider Baptist context in America.
Parham's thoughts from his www.ethicsdaily.com also appeared in the Nashville Tennesesan

Old Guard and New Wave Fundamentalists Battle Over SBC Perimeters

Robert Parham
06-15-07
Old guard and new wave fundamentalists battled this week over the perimeters of exclusivity in the Southern Baptist Convention.


Contrary to headlines, the battle was not between moderates and fundamentalists. That struggle began to wane 19 years ago at another San Antonio meeting, when fundamentalists defeated moderates in the presidential race by fewer than 700 votes out of 32,727 registered "messengers."



The victors took control of SBC agencies, aligned the denomination with the Republican Party and launched a two-decade crusade of exclusivity and negativity.



Southern Baptists boycotted Disney, ruled against mothers working outside the home, opposed the ordination of women, asked the GOP to consummate its relationship with the convention, targeted Jews for evangelism, refused to participate in interfaith services after 9/11 and withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance, the world's largest Baptist body. A growing number of Southern Baptists support an exit of Christians from public schools, which they call "the enemies of God."



Even convention president Frank Page has recognized that "Baptists have too long been known for what they are against."



Yet little was done at the meeting to change that perception.



Page himself expressed thinly veiled opposition to the old guard, who took over the SBC, when he compared them to the French generals who built the Maginot Line, a pictogram for prideful failure.



His negative comparison was one of many signs of the simmering intensity among the 8,581 messengers over denominational boundaries.



New wave fundamentalists won a motion that makes room for the employment of missionaries who speak in tongues, a practice associated with charismatics. The old guard disfavored such lax perimeters and desired tighter requirements for baptism to ensure doctrinal integrity.



The first vice-presidential race pitched a missionary, who favored broader boundaries and whose father had led the battle against the theological moderates in the 1980s, against an angry hardliner, who had fought the younger generation over the acceptance of alcohol consumption at last year's meeting. The hardliner won.



Factions scrimmaged with motions that instructed SBC employees to avoid involvement with the "emerging church," an approach with which the new wave resonates and the old guard despises. Another motion admonished Baptist-owned bookstores not to sell C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.



A new wave blogger had said the SBC was too aligned with the Republican Party and expressed support for a resolution calling SBC leaders to avoid partisan political advocacy.



That resolution was turned upside down into a statement that basically affirmed what the old guard has done for years.



Not surprisingly, the old guard paraded their partisan alliance. A fundamentalist agency head disparaged both Bill and Hillary Clinton in his report, while he praised George Bush as a moral leader.



Bush addressed the convention for the sixth straight year via satellite from the White House, saying little but clearly relishing the long applause.



The meeting resolved little. The SBC's trajectory is set toward more conflicts between the old guard and new wave fundamentalists.



Robert Parham is executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics.

Wade Burleson said...

Living Dust,

I do not necessarily believe we should ALTER the BFM 2000 -- unnless it is to remove EVERY non-essential of the Christian faith and Baptist identity.

I think it is probably better to pass 'A Statement of Cooperation.'

One is coming.

:)

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