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

Ben Cole: A Testimony of Faith in Christ's Power

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One of the major lessons that I, Wade Burleson, have learned during these past two years of blogging is that we Southern Baptists often make false judgments about men and women whom we have never met. It is easy to feel we know someone through his/her writings, but it is the spoken word that conveys the spirit and character of a person much more than the written word. One only has to read the writings of Luther in Table Talk, or Calvin in his letters to the Geneva Council, or Gill's lectures in rebuttal to criticisms that he believed in 'eternal justification' to realize that one's pen is often sharper than one's spirit.

This past Sunday night, August 19, 2007, our church had the privilege of hearing the personal testimony of Ben Cole. Ben has joined Emmanuel's staff to develop small group ministries, coordinate our media and audio/visual productions, and assist with pastoral ministry among our people. Ben was introduced last Sunday in all three of our morning services and spoke Sunday night during the evening service.

Some people across our convention have formed a biased and negative opinion of Ben without ever meeting him. For those of you in that group, or even for others of you who know him personally, it would be worth your time to listen to Ben's personal testimony, preached last Sunday night at Emmanuel, and reflect upon the power of Christ to transform lives.

After listening to the message you might be interested in the question and answer time that followed.

I believe you will come away from hearing Ben's testimony with a clearer understanding of Ben's devotion to Christ, his ability to communicate the sacred text with both passion and power, and his desire to always keep the church focused on Christ. Those who know Ben personally understand that his contributions to the kingdom of Christ are both unique and needed. Say what you will about him after listening to his testimony, but you will never again say he is not a believer in, and a recipient of, Christ's power to transform lives.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

52 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

t was a wonderful service. The line that formed in front of Ben at the end of the service was indicative of the fact that I'm not the only one who thought so

Anonymous said...

Then pray tell why does he post stuff like he did August 10 on his blog?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they were in line to "hug" him to check for a microphone and see how many copies of Roberts Rules of Order he had on him.

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

I have come to know Ben personally during the past year and I can echo your comments. Ben has a great heart for God and His people and a sincere devotion to His calling.

Ben is an extremely bright young man and I am glad to say that he is a friend of mine.

I will admit that prior to spending time with Ben personally I did not have that opinion of him from his writings. He is a great writer and sometimes his fervent passion for causes which are close to his heart goes overboard a bit.

But for those of you who have not taken the opportunity to "get to know" Ben Cole personally, you have not seen the compassionate, loving, caring, and "laugh out loud" funny person that he is.

Emmanuel Baptist is blessed to have my friend, Ben Cole, on staff.

Les

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Whether you like what Ben writes or not, you can't say he lacks the intestinal courage or character fortitude to sign his name - can you?

irreverend fox said...

I have never read any criticism of him that stated that "he is not a believer in, and a recipient of, Christ's power to transform lives."

I have no doubts about him in that regard...any more then I would doubt that about Dr. Patterson...

I also believe that we can learn a tremendous amount about a person by reading their writings...in fact I believe a persons writings give a far better snap-shot of their heart than what they speak...not having to look someone in the eye when articulating ones self brings tremendous "freedom" and removes many filters...ones writings reflects ones thoughts at a much deeper level…

we should therefore all be careful what we write...mis-speaking is much easier to forgive then writing something bone-headed...you can't backspace what you say...you can with what you write...choose what to delete and what to publish is very telling...

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
irreverend fox said...

choosing...not choose...sorry...

Debbie Kaufman said...

irreverend fox: Have you read some of your comments over the past year? I have.

irreverend fox said...

Debbie...I'm not sure I understand your point...did you "hear" me exempting myself?

or you?

Anonymous said...

why has the "sbcoutpost" been taken off-line?????

Blackhaw said...

Wade,

One's writings do reflect one's heart. You can debate how much compared to meeting and kowing another in person but one's writings do reveal the heart of a person. I think the problem wit writings is often one does not understand the other or the intention of the other. Has anyone confused what BC has said or his intention? Is it not clear that he has often attacked Patterson (whether justiifed or not) and often has used sarcastic and coarse speech to do so? And is there any question that his intention was to do so? I think all of that is clear. Thus given what I said above I think one can criticize BC for the way he makes his views known. Also it is clear that he has a vedetta against Patterson.

If BC was not so clear in his writings as to his intention and his meaning then I could understand your point. However BC is very clear and the way he is clear and some of the tactics he has admitted to using is the problem some of us have with him. So I think maybe your post has some merit for some people but not for many.

BH-CARL

Debbie Kaufman said...

We are off topic are we not?

Debbie Kaufman said...

I am so tired of Rabbit trails that head off from the point of a post.

Blackhaw said...

Debbe?

Is not Wade's point that many are misjudging BC by what he writes? He seems to use the testimony as an example of what he is like in person and what he says in person which for Wade is a better indication of who someone is. I disagree but that seems like the major point of the post.

BH-CARL

Blackhaw said...

Sorry that should have been "Debbie." No offense meant if any was made.

BH

Debbie Kaufman said...

There is no offense taken at all Blackhaw.

This will be my last comment so as not to take over Wade's comment thread.Sorry but this has been in my throat for awhile. It's for selfish reasons I comment here, it's to get this off of my mind. The short and sweet of it is this.....if you haven't listened to the message then you haven't listened to Ben and no comments should be made until the listening of all the message and the following Q&A is complete. Many of us knew Ben's writings before he spoke this message and he was embraced and applauded by us as a church. That is my point.

Forgive me Wade if I am inappropriate here, but I said it and to be honest I meant what I said.

Darby Livingston said...

"One's writings do reflect one's heart. You can debate how much compared to meeting and kowing another in person but one's writings do reveal the heart of a person. I think the problem wit writings is often one does not understand the other or the intention of the other."

I agree that writing reflects one's heart. However, that's not the whole story. The greatest danger in trying to assess one's heart is that it's nearly impossible to do in soundbites - whether in person or on paper. My heart is such a complex mixture of passions, that I rarely know it. I suspect that when we get to know others over time, we will come to a fascinating discovery. We see ourselves all over again.

Dorcas Hawker said...

I was interested to listen to it because I had never heard Ben's testimony in consecutive form, only bits and pieces as conversation would come up in Sunday School classes and such. Inspired me to be even more dedicated in my ministry to children.

Funny when he went to Mark 9 though. My first thought was "Oh no he didn't!" practice this sermon on us Wednesday night. :) But it turns out Parkview got a sermon regarding the Mount of Transfiguration more than the latter part of the chapter. So it felt like the second part of a sermon series instead. Too funny.

The Q&A session brought up something I had never thought about before when Ben said he was looking forward to learning from Wade and his character of graciousness. For myself I had only thought in terms of what Parkview was losing and Emmanuel was gaining. Or perhaps what Ben was gaining in terms of career. Yet in that comment I see in Ben the true proof of his Christian character even in this move. He is seeking to learn from others and grow in his own Christian walk.

Never in the time I have known Ben has he ever claimed to have it all together or know it all. He has many times admitted his great need for God's grace, and prayed alongside the other church members to increase our passion for lost souls.

It is by this word and this example that I can concur with Wade to say that Ben truly is a living testimony of faith in Christ's power.

Blackhaw said...

Debbie,

I have listened to Ben's testimony and the Q&A. I still have the same opinion.

And to all I think that actually a prepared sermon does not say as much about what someone really believes compared to their replies that they make pretty much off the cuff on a blog.

BH- CARL

Blackhaw said...

Darby,

Okay but the only thing I was trying to say is that we can judge others by what they write. We are called to be wise and judge other's actions. Christians are known by love. (1 John) and one can tell a good tree by its good fruit. Thus when I see that another who claims to be a Christian is very unloving in his writing then I have not only the right but the duty to call him or her out. The body of Christ is supposed to say to the other person that is unloving that they are unloving. It needs to be done in a loving way but it should be done.

I think BC's writing is very unloving. Also his actions (that he himself has said that he has done) are also very unloving. He has a personal vedetta against his former father figure. Many believe that BC does not reflect a Christian like attitude in his blog, in his responses to others on sbcoutpost and other blogs, and in the way he politically manuevers in the SBC. (Particularly what he has admitted to doing at the convention).

I just do not see this man of Christ that others do. His actions seem to suggest otherwise.

BH-CARL

irreverend fox said...

blachaw...you said...

" prepared sermon does not say as much about what someone really believes compared to their replies that they make pretty much off the cuff on a blog."

and I agree completely! anybody who doesn't is not as humble or Christlike as we are.

irreverend fox said...

and if I may so bold...Wade...what makes you think you can even trust this guy?

I look at all the inside dirt he shares with us about Dr. Patterson and must wonder...not new dirt...all the dirt he shares about his time WITH Dr. P...what makes you think you won't be next? My Sunday School teacher always said that “a gossip to you will be a gossip of you…” I’m not “fan” of Dr. Patterson nor am I remotely a fundamentalist… yet I just do not get why you would yoke up with someone who strikes SO MANY as a back stabber...

Corey said...

Even when we meet people in person, our first impressions are often wrong. I am ashamed to say that I have been on both sides of this issue. For example, my first impression of Ben Cole was wrong. I have never met anyone, including Ben, that I see completely eye to eye with, but I believe that to be a good thing. My thinking is challenged. Ben Cole is quite obviously a highly intelligent, highly creative thinker. For that, he has my respect.

Blackhaw said...

Fox,

Glad you agree. I do not know however that I am the new Moses or anything though. I have my problems just like BC does. I am just for us being the body of Christ to BC the way I hope others will be with me.

BH- CARL

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Fox,

Those untrue things which I have seen written about me, those untoward things which I heard said of me, those untenable things which I have experienced done to me by Fundamentalists in our convention make Ben Cole look like Mother Teresa.

Jason Epps said...

To those who criticize Ben,

I have my own issues with the manner in which Ben has sometimes written. However, two personal observations seem relevant: 1) I have met Ben personally (on one occasion). I have even questioned him, publicly, about the tone of some of his comments and posts. In Ben's response, however, he admitted that he wasn't perfect and that he was still a work in progress (my summary - I'm not sure that he used those exact words). 2) Ben has also stated that he looks forward to "learning from Wade's graciousness." I think this is highly commendable. He obviously realizes that he, like the rest of us, is still growing in certain areas.

Now, why don't we loosen up a bit and cut the guy some slack? He's obviously committed to the Lord and Wade trusts him - so let's give him the benefit of the doubt and stop raggin on him, yeah?

In my passion, I've often offended others with the mode of my communication. I always felt my heart was right, but others often disagreed. We may disagree with Ben's mode of communication, but the issue of his heart is between he and God. If he professes to be right with God and if other trustworthy men such as Wade place their stamp of affirmation on that - then let's rejoice!

We're all growing - and we're all in it together.

Blessings,
Jason

Anonymous said...

Hope you guys have fun sipping wine together as you lead people to Christ. Be prepared for him to turn on you like he did Dr. Patterson.

irreverend fox said...

Wade...I'm sorry that you've been so jaded...that's just wrong...

Blackhaw said...

Jason,

You said: "We may disagree with Ben's mode of communication, but the issue of his heart is between he and God. If he professes to be right with God and if other trustworthy men such as Wade place their stamp of affirmation on that - then let's rejoice!"

I hear many people say this kind of statement but I just do not agree. Does not the Bible teach church discipline? Isn't that judging another's heart with God? Now a blog is not a church but doesn't the Bible suggest that Christians cna judge others by their fruit? I do not see where the Bible teaches that a person's "rightness with God" is not the church's or other Christian's business. It seems to me that the Bible states that it is the Church's business. But I am not even stating that we should make a proclamation about his rightness with God. What I am saying (and I think many others) is that we should be able to tell BC that some of the actions are wrong. I think it is fine for me to tell BC that a post of his is unloving because it is. And I also think that if he posts in the same manner on many occasions then I can tell BC that he does so and that it reflects on who he is as a person.

I am not saying that he is not a Christian. I will say that he obviously has some anger issues that need to be dealt with before blogging about Patterson. I would also suggest that the way in which he carries himself in the blogging world is not what i would expect of a pastor or even a layman. I hold pastors to higher standards but i would be critical of his posting if he was just Larry Layman and not a minister.

BH- CARL

Darby Livingston said...

"Love sees the other person under the cross, and that is what enables it to have true sight. If my intent in passing judgment were really to destroy evil, then I would seek evil where it really threatens me, namely, in myself." (Bonhoeffer, Discipleship)

It seems that many who accuse Ben of sin are committing the exact same thing in the midst of the accusation. What is Ben's sin? Publicly embarrassing a brother in Christ? Too much sarcasm? Not enough sniveling in his confrontation? What are the posts admonishing Ben? How are they much different? I just don't get it.

Wade Burleson said...

Irreverend Fox,

Jaded people lose their sense of humor, ability to love people where they are, and determination to change things. I've lost none of the above.

My comment is a specific answer to your question, "If I may be so bold, what makes you think you can even trust this guy?"

My answer is an attempt to help you see your inability to understand me or my views.

gmay said...

Wade, on a light note that hopefully won't get me reprimanded for being off topic, is it any coincidence that Oklahoma gets a tropical storm and Ben on the same day?

All joking aside, have you all survived the flood?

May God use your ministries together to bring great glory to Him in Enid.

Wayne Smith said...

To those who criticize Ben,

Ben Cole has been over the line a few times and I know a Brother who will correct Ben when He is out of line,
When the truth is revealed I wonder what you people will have to say. BEN COLE DOES NOT TELL LIES. If he did I know someone who would be all over Him.
When you have been Persecuted by Standing for Christ and Truth you will know what Ben Cole has been through. The Truth shall set you Free

In His Name
Wayne Smith
.

Blackhaw said...

Darby,

I guess you would say that no one can say anything negative about another even if it is in Christian love. i think that one can. The diffeence between BC and many of the posters criticizing his methods is the methods each use. BC's methods and actions are not loving. Many of those that criticize Ben are the exact opposite. i hope the best for Ben. i only criticize what Ben does for the sake of the SBC and for his sake. I love him enough to tell him the truth instead of laughing along with him. Look at what has occured at SBCoutpost. There was a revolt against the tactics that Ben uses and now there are posts about changes and respecting each other.

BH

BH

Blackhaw said...

Wayne,

i do not remember accusing BC of telling lies. i accuse him of impure actions and unChrist like posts on his blog and responses on other blogs. So I do not see the point in your response.

BH

Darby Livingston said...

I absolutely believe it's possible to say negative things in love. It's necessary, and I do it all the time. I question how one differentiates between BC's posts and his critics from the perspective of love. It's easy to say Ben isn't loving, but his critics are. How can that be measured? Why can't Ben be motivated by love for the SBC, even while using unorthodox methods? I doubt BC single-handedly brought down SBC Outpost. That blog is doomed from the start, no matter how good the intentions, because it deals in truth. Truth is dangerous when money and power are on the line. I don't care how loving one confronts certain people - the results will be the same - nothing.

Wade Burleson said...

Gmay,

The rain absolutely missed us in Enid.

Flooded an entire city just 35 miles south (Kingfisher).

The spin was just south of us. (No pun intended).

Lee said...

Here's what I know. Until the Baptist Conference on the Holy Spirit last spring, I really didn't even know who Ben Cole was. I'd heard the name, and read his blog, and that was it.

After he'd preached, his heart and his passion for Christ and the work of the Kingdom were clear to see. I saw his respect and graciousness in handling what I judged to be some hostile disagreement with what he had to say, without backing down from his convictions.

The problem with God's using people to accomplish his kingdom work is that he doesn't get perfection. Our motivation to serve comes from gratitude for what God did for us in Christ, and we bring all of who we are into that ministry. It takes a lifetime to work all of that out. And I don't think any of us are in position to judge anyone else until we become perfect ourselves. At least, that's what the scripture says.

If Ben's criticism of Paige Patterson has carried a bit of an edge to it, the response to what he's written hasn't been any less "edgy", nor any more consistent with the scripture that it cites.

Ben's a smart guy, and he's in a church under the mentoring of a leader who will help him take some of the rough edges off.

I'd offer him just one suggestion that might speed up that process. Get married. There is nothing like having a Godly woman at your side to support you in your ministry.

Jason Epps said...

Jason,

You said: "We may disagree with Ben's mode of communication, but the issue of his heart is between he and God. If he professes to be right with God and if other trustworthy men such as Wade place their stamp of affirmation on that - then let's rejoice!"

I hear many people say this kind of statement but I just do not agree. Does not the Bible teach church discipline?

*** Why do you assume that Ben has not been “disciplined?” Just because it hasn’t been done publicly?

Isn't that judging another's heart with God? Now a blog is not a church

*** Exactly. You said it. A blog is not a church. No “but’s”

but doesn't the Bible suggest that Christians cna judge others by their fruit?

*** Doesn't that verse refers to prophets? Not, generally speaking, Christians? I don’t know that Ben has claimed to be a prophet.

I do not see where the Bible teaches that a person's "rightness with God" is not the church's or other Christian's business. It seems to me that the Bible states that it is the Church's business. But I am not even stating that we should make a proclamation about his rightness with God.

*** Again, it IS the church’s business. But as you said, a blog is not a church.

What I am saying (and I think many others) is that we should be able to tell BC that some of the actions are wrong.

*** I disagree. I don’t believe Ben is accountable to everyone in the SBC with an opinion. That’s ridiculous. Ben has people that he is in relationship to that have earned the right to mentor him. He shouldn’t have to be accountable to anyone who declares oneself to be Ben’s spiritual head.

I think it is fine for me to tell BC that a post of his is unloving because it is.

*** You are certainly entitled your opinion, but just make sure you don’t exhibit the same attitude you accuse Ben of. :0)

And I also think that if he posts in the same manner on many occasions then I can tell BC that he does so and that it reflects on who he is as a person.

*** Again – your opinion is welcomed! But understand that Ben is not accountable to you, and for you to assert or even imply such is wrong.

I am not saying that he is not a Christian. I will say that he obviously has some anger issues that need to be dealt with before blogging about Patterson.
*** Maybe so – but that’s between he and his mentor/spiritual father, whoever that may be. It’s not for you or I to continue lambasting him about. Besides, most people have anger issues. As I said earlier - we're all works in progress!

I would also suggest that the way in which he carries himself in the blogging world is not what i would expect of a pastor or even a layman.

*** What “you” would expect? Why do you continually place yourself in a position of authority over Ben? One could say the same thing about the way you are presently carrying yourself with regard to the appointment of a pastor at a church of which you are not a part.

I hold pastors to higher standards but i would be critical of his posting if he was just Larry Layman and not a minister.

*** You may hold pastors to a higher standard, but once again, it’s not YOUR job to hold Ben to ANY standard. It’s between he, God, and his spiritual mentors and advisors. I’m sure they all know his heart better than you or I.

*** Now, can we please stop all this and celebrate with Ben about his new position? This is a great thing for him and all this crap is detracting from it! As I said earlier, cut the guy some slack and let him enjoy what God has blessed him - and Emmanuel with!

Jason

Jason Epps said...

Oops - I forgot to address the above comment to "blackhaw" Carl.

Belief Matters said...

Wade and Ben, Are you going to step up and sign on to Rainer's pledge?

You all have strangely quite on this one.

Perhaps, the same respect you all desire for Ben ought to be done for Dr. Patterson.

Blackhaw said...

Darby,

First about SBCOutpost read the posts about poeple wanting to boycott and such. Many were directed right at and only at BC and his involvement. I do not know if he "Single handedly" brought down SBCOutpost but his involvement there was probably the strongest factor.

Second, BC's actions and methods are more than unorthodox. They are unloving. That is the difference.

BH- CARL

BTW I also am ashamed at those critics of BC that do not do so in love. That is wrong also. But many of his critics are not like that.

Wade Burleson said...

Belief Matters,

I let my yes be yes and my no be no.

I will always write the truth with grace, and no pledge is needed for me to continue doing that.

In His Grace,

Wade

Blackhaw said...

Jason,

"Why do you assume that Ben has not been “disciplined?” Just because it hasn’t been done publicly?"

Okay. But again I think Ia have the right to state my problems with his methods. There is nothing unbiblical about it.

"Exactly. You said it. A blog is not a church. No “but’s”"

AHHH! You can't have it that way Jason. There is almost always a "but"

"Doesn't that verse refers to prophets? Not, generally speaking, Christians? I don’t know that Ben has claimed to be a prophet."

Ben is a pastor (or was) thus he i prophet. He also is a prophet whether he wants to be or not because he is making statements about the Biblical texts and calling others to do something or not do something because of it. Sorry he is a prophet. But I think we can use the verse also for Christians in general.


" Again, it IS the church’s business. But as you said, a blog is not a church."

It is not a church no. But we are all part of the body of Christ. Thus I have the right to tell my brother in Christ about what I think he is doing wrong. Especially on his pastor's blog.

"I disagree. I don’t believe Ben is accountable to everyone in the SBC with an opinion. That’s ridiculous. Ben has people that he is in relationship to that have earned the right to mentor him. He shouldn’t have to be accountable to anyone who declares oneself to be Ben’s spiritual head."

All Christians are accountable to all Christians in some ways. I am not BC pastor. I do not claim to be. But I think the Bible is clear that we are to love one another and rebuke one another in love. There is some form of relationship on the web and thus it is not like I totally do not know BC at all. But really if Patterson got up today and said homosexuality is not a sin you believe that you could say nothing to him because you do nto have a relationship with him? If so then why do you post on blogs about him? And why is it okay for BC to do so also since he has no relationship with PAtterson (in the way you describe) at least anymore? If you condemn me in this way then you condemn BC also.

"You are certainly entitled your opinion, but just make sure you don’t exhibit the same attitude you accuse Ben of. :0)"

Okay and true.

"Again – your opinion is welcomed! But understand that Ben is not accountable to you, and for you to assert or even imply such is wrong."

Sorry but we as Christians are accountable to one another in love. By what you are saying then Wade should not be posting many of the posts on this blog and BC should definitely stop. I mena who is Wade or Ben to tell Patterson what to do. He is not accountable to them.

"Maybe so – but that’s between he and his mentor/spiritual father, whoever that may be. It’s not for you or I to continue lambasting him about. Besides, most people have anger issues. As I said earlier - we're all works in progress!"

Okay then that should apply to Patterson as well. But it doesn't right?! Basically if BC can criticize Patterson actions(Which I think he can) then I can criticize his. BC is not above criticism.

"What “you” would expect? Why do you continually place yourself in a position of authority over Ben? One could say the same thing about the way you are presently carrying yourself with regard to the appointment of a pastor at a church of which you are not a part."

I do not think I have said anything about his appointment. I have just writen about his actions in the blog world. But yes I can judge what is scripturally right for a pastor to do or not do. Christians are calle dto read their Bibles and use the knowledge in everyday life. As Chrisitans we are unified with every other Christian through Christ so that gives me the right, no the duty to tell BC about his unloving actions. By what you are saying I can't speak about anything occuring in the SBC or much of what is going on in my local church. I am not the guy sitting next to me in church head. So why can I say that I can speak to him about his actions no matter if he is my best friend or not.

"You may hold pastors to a higher standard, but once again, it’s not YOUR job to hold Ben to ANY standard. It’s between he, God, and his spiritual mentors and advisors. I’m sure they all know his heart better than you or I."

Ben is a prophet and thus I should judge the words and actions of a prophet. It seems he gets legitamcy by being a pastor/minister/prophet but not the responsibilities of that position. Sorry BC can't have it both ways.

"Now, can we please stop all this and celebrate with Ben about his new position? This is a great thing for him and all this crap is detracting from it! As I said earlier, cut the guy some slack and let him enjoy what God has blessed him - and Emmanuel with!"

I wish BC the best and I hipe that he deals with his anger issues and deals with whatever he is so upset with Patterson about.

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

I pray God's richest blessings on your church for His glory as Ben begins his ministy at Emmanuel.

texasinafrica said...

Wade, thanks for sharing this with us, and Ben, thanks for sharing your testimony to God's power, and to the power of God's people doing God's work.

As an aside, I never would have guessed that both of you have such Southern accents! (Ben gives "Jesus" three syllables.) It just goes to show that, while blogs are great, but they don't give us a complete picture of one another.

Jack said...

Ben and Wade:

I pray that your efforts together will bring many people to Christ in Enid as well as within the SBC.

Blessings,

-jack-

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Thank you sir. Your kind words are appreciated.

K. Michael Crowder said...

This was the first time I had heard Ben preach. A few comments:
1. He is obviously a good speaker, clear, pleasant tone, etc.

2. He is obviously a speaker of the Baptist preacher type. (stories, analogies, redundancy, etc.)

3. He is no doubt a Baptist preacher type of the "converted" and "called" type. (This is evident in his testimony)

4. It is also obvious that God is able to speak through Him through His Word.

That being said, here is what is disturbing to me. (But may ultimately be in God's Will). That Burleson and Cole have now joined forces under the guise of ecclesiastical cooperation in an effort to purport an "agenda" within the SBC. (I just said what everyone else is thinking--also understanding, however, that our most gracious God could infact have just placed two like minded men together).

Additionally, Ben's testimony was a was a great witness and perfect example of the destructive power of alcohol and how it is being used by satan to destroy lives. Oh wait....but that was not the message doctobecole was trying to get across now was it? Instead, these quotes might better explain the "agenda" of Mr. Cole (and dare I say his new mentor, Mr. Burleson):

"Southern Baptists are a notoriously cantankerous lot."

"I have never regarded alcohol as the cause..."

"Alcohol never killed..."

"Alcohol cannot be blamed for rising health-care costs..."


Oh really? Check out this 1990 stat: Alcohol abuse was ranked as a greater health problem than drug use--48% compared to 40%.

"Daniel Akin acknowledge[s] that the misuse of alcohol is to blame, [he] condemn[s] all use just the same. Scripture cannot sustain this position, and it is disheartening to hear Baptist seminary leaders attempt to twist out of the Bible enough evidence to dismiss clear teachings about Christian liberty..."

So just because one CAN makes it ok???

"To blame the contents of a bottle for climbing divorce rates and highway deaths makes as much sense as blaming a bullet for a homicide."

James Merritt said it best:
"Cole exhibits a gross ignorance of the difference between the wine/strong drink of Bible days and that of today. His entire argument in one sense is irrelevant because it is comparing apples and oranges. It would be as if one would advocate that a car should not travel more than 25 mph because a horse at that speed traveling through the streets of Jerusalem would be dangerous in bible days so the speed limit of today applies accordingly. The alcohol content of wine today would be the equivalent of much strong drink in bible days!

God bless and direct you both (Ben and Wade)! Hope to see in you in Indy! (ok that is not really true). ;)

K

t. d. webb said...

Wade, this Okie was wonderfully blessed by hearing Brother Ben's testimony/sermon. Praise the Lord for using you and Ben in the ministry which He has graciously provided to the Emmanuel Baptist Church and the Enid community. Notwithstanding the comments of those who seemingly take such great delight in playing the critic and faultfinding with regard to Ben, this Christian is filled with thanksgiving, praise and glory to God who miraculously uses His chosen people to do His work in ways unfathonable to the mortal minds of many. May His grace, mercy, and peace bless Ben as he answers God's calling.

By the way, Ben. Take no heed to those who are impatiently urging you to "take a wife". God, in His own good time, will provide all in accordance to His perfect will.

In His Grace and Peace,
T. D. Webb