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

IMB Trustee Meeting ,Monday, Sept 10, 2007

The trustees of the International Mission Board gathered Monday at Ridgecrest Conference Center outside of Ashville, North Carolina for the September 2007 Board Meeting. There are over 1,000 retired missionaries who are at Ridgecrest for what many of them told me was "the biggest family reunion in the world." Rachelle and I enjoyed visiting with several missionaries at supper and around the grounds. Some of these men and women are in their 80's and 90's and have made their way to North Carolina to see friends, former colleagues, and other Southern Baptists who have served the Lord overseas. The IMB sets aside a week where we honor these retired missionaries once every five years. At supper, we sat next to a couple who spent forty years in Paraguay, two widows who have a combined service of seventy- five years on the continent of Africa, and a gentlemen who served many years in Russia. The highlight of the evening was when one of the missionaries, his voice choked with emotion, stated, "The hardest part is not deciding to go, but making the decision to leave." As I looked around the table of eight missionaries there was not a dry eye as heads nodded in agreement. Very moving.

The IMB trustees had a closed door forum this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. It has been said often here on this blog that whatever is said behind closed doors at the IMB is confidential in nature - and I am careful to follow this guideline. However, I am not a fan of trustee forums. I believe every item of discussion conducted by an SBC agency should be done in the public eye for all Southern Baptists to see. The only exception to this rule are those things that require secrecy for the protection of level three security missionaries or SBC employees overseas. However, anything that would require the revelation of specific names or locations of these men and women in dangerous regions of the world is rare and can be covered in closed door committee meetings. All other matters, including discussion, debate and dialogue is best conducted in plenary sessions for all Southern Baptists to hear and observe. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee has set the example for us all by having only a couple of closed door forums in the last several decades. The IMB has a closed door forum every board meeting.

The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ. Any of us, however, is capable of acting one way in public and another way in private - or saying one thing when people are listening and another when they are not. I am of the opinion that the SBC is a better convention when trustees and leaders say publicly what they feel free to say privately. I don't know if the practice of closed door forums will ever change at the IMB, but it is a goal of mine to see that it does before I am off the board. By the way, I happen to believe the same principle of transparency applies to the state, associational and church level as well.

The rest of the day was filled with the interviewing prospective missionaries. The plenary sessions of the IMB will take place on Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon at Ridgecrest. The appointment service will be Wednesday night. The trustees of the IMB are assigned to different regional committees (i.e. Pacific Rim, North Africa and Middle East (NAME), Western Europe, Central Asia, etc.). Regional committee meetings will meet tomorrow. I plan on visiting with some great missionaries who have served the SBC for decades. They have a great deal to teach me.

I will write again of the trustee plenary sessions late Wednesday night and post early Thursday morning.

In His Grace,


Wade

79 comments:

Benji Ramsaur said...

"The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee has set the example for us all by having only a couple of closed door forums in the last several decades. The IMB has a closed door forum every board meeting."

Wade,

This kinda reminds me of the teenager who begins to keep his or her door closed alot in the house.

The parents begin to wonder "why"

Some might be wondering about the IMB

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I appreciate your passion for institutional accountability and transparency.

Do you allow church members in good standing to sit in on your weekly executive level staff meeting?

Thanks! I pray for you often,

Derek Simpson

Dave said...

When you are given a trust by the people it is ones obligation to openly display that trust is earned & kept. If our passion is the world to know Jesus, what would any reason be for not being open. By the way what regional subcommittee are you on?

Wade Burleson said...

Derek,

If they had a desire to sit in the weekly Executive Staff meeting, they could. Many have been invited to attend. They would see pastors with a passion for excellence in ministry, people who need the Lord, and a desire to do everything for the honor of God.

If there were problems that were being addressed, one would know that the people involved had already been approached privately and they had the opportunity to be in the meeting themselves.

he's only chasing safety said...

Regardless of the places where the IMB may not resemble every single ideal that everyone might hope for in a missions program (which may not be realistic, but it is worth fighting for), hearing about your trips to the conferences and the stories of former and current missionaries excites me greatly.

I hope God grants me the grace to not only serve long on the mission field but to return one day with the same passion and commitment as the ones who found leaving to be the hardest thing to do.

Kiel Hauck

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

You said:

"The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ. Any of us, however, is capable of acting one way in public and another way in private - or saying one thing when people are listening and another when they are not."

Are you saying that some of our trustees are duplicitous in their behavior when it comes to behind closed door meetings and plenary sessions? If so, then who? One might take your statement and say that we cannot trust our trustees. I would hope this is not what you mean.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave, let me give you a detailed answer to your question since it is often asked by others. You ask, "By the way, what regional subcommittee are you on?"

Since the debate over the new policies occurred in 2005, I have not been assigned to a regional subcommittee. To understand how the IMB breaks down the world into 11 different regions, read this

Regional assignements for the trustees of the IMB are actually appointments by the chairman of the board of trustees. First, Tom Hatley, and then John Floyd, the only two chairmen under whom I have served, have respectively chosen not to assign me to a region.

That is the chairman's perogative and I am not complaining. By the way, the appointment privileges of the chairman of the board of the IMB are much stronger and broader than the appointment privileges of the President of the SBC. The President of the SBC must work through a committee (the Nominating Committee), while the chairman of the board of the IMB appoints at his own discretion. All special committees (like the Policy Review commmittee for the new policies) are appointed solely by the chairman of the board. Committee assignments are ultimately made solely by the chairman of the board of the IMB. All other chairman of the committees of the IMB, those who form what is called 'The Chairman's Council' are appointed by the chairman of the IMB.

One can understand why it has been the practice of some trustees in the late 90's and the early 2000's to gather together previous to IMB meetings and 'caucus' and count votes to ensure a certain individual was elected chairman. Frankly, the system itself lends people to politic, and that would be fine were it not for the 'bluebook'(the policy manual) for IMB trustees that strictly forbids groups of trustees to gather to discuss upcoming business of the IMB without all other trustees present.

Though the previous two chairmen have chosen not to appoint me to a regional subcommittee, last year I stayed at the South Asia regional offices of the IMB for over a week and had a delightful time with the missionaries in that region. I also overnighted in the Pac Rim regional offices and enjoyed the company of some of the finest missionaries I have ever met. My wife and I will be heading to the East Asia region this January for two weeks. I am scheduled to speak at a marriage retreat in the Central Asia region, and we have the regional leader of Middle America and the Carribean in our church. Our church youth group is developing a partnership with the Western Europe region, and we have already sent one young man to seminary who interned in Europe with IMB personnel over the summer. Currently we have ten IMB missionary units from our church serving in five of the eleven IMB regions.

Last year John Floyd said that he would not appoint me to a regional subcommittee because there were still hurt feelings among a few over the new policies debate. I have chosen not to make this an issue an issue and believe greater work is accomplished by traveling to, and sending people to work with, all IMB regions. The new chairman of the IMB may choose to appoint me to a regional subcommittee next May. It makes me no difference. I end up spending more time with all the missionaries while people are in regional subcommittee meetings at board meetings anyway - and I enjoy that immensely.

According to policy, no issue can come before the board, no recommendation can be passed by the board, no business can be conducted by the board without a full, plenary session of the board involving every single trustee.

I am a fully functioning, active board member of the IMB. But for a conflict when my son was playing in the state basketball playoffs, I have never missed a plenary session of the board.

And, Lord willing, I will not ever miss.

I have two more years on this term, and four more on the next. I anticipate some may seek to prevent me from being renominated in a couple of years, but ultimately the people who need to be asked if they desire Wade Burleson to continue serving as a trustee are the missionaries and executes of the IMB - and the convention. I will abide by the wishes of these people - but not the wishes of a vocal few. If some wish to make my reappointment an issue in a couple of years, they will end up creating further reasons to believe that the SBC has gone 'far enough' in purging people who disagree.

I look forward to the challenges in the future and will continue to work to ensure our missionaries and the missionary work of the SBC has the strongest base and support system in the world.

In His Grace,

Wade

P.S. Does that answer your question?

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

A little English grammar refresher.

'Any of us' is a phrase with an antecedent ('any' - meaning everyone without distiction) and a pronoun 'us" which means generallyy Christians and specifically 'trustees of an SBC agency.'

Further, the sentence "any of us is capable of acting one way in public and another way in private speaks of potential.

So, Robin, my language is clear.

Anyone, including you and me, can say things, do things, accuse people, attack people, and twist truth - behind closed doors - believing that we will not have to answer for what we say or do because there will be no repurcussions or accountability for our words.

But open the doors to the intense scrutiny of the public eye of the SBC and we will be far more cautious, far more careful, far more diligent in ensuring we have spoken to the people with whom we have had a problem before we go on and on about them.

By the way - that is the beauty of blogs. There is a written record of everything that is said, and I find that those who struggle with being consistent don't last long in the blog world because the heat becomes too much.

So, it is not a matter of trust - it is an understanding of human nature - including my own.

It is ALWAYS best in Christian ministry never to say anything in private that you would not want broadcast in public - except when the broadcasting of that information puts someone's life in danger.

Otherwise, Christian ministry should be an open book - always.

Wade Burleson said...

To all,

I am out for the day. I will read comments and respond if possible late tonight. Please write what you feel but keep the tone civil and the words gracious toward people. Disagreement over ideaas and principles is always allowed and is refreshing when done with respect and civility. David, I deleted your comment. Let's talk about the issues and avoid attaching nomenclatures.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Wade,
My sincere apologies. No problem deleting the comment. I should have kept my mouth shut.

dm

Bro. Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Cross said...

Robin,

I generally try to ignore this type of thing, but you are either not comprehending what Wade is saying or you are trying to intentionally mischaracterize his statments. I hope that it is the former. He in no way said anything of the kind, and I am not just trying to defend him. When I read his post and then your initial comment, it appeared to me that you took his comment out of context and then attached some questions to it that were not what he was saying. That's fine. You were confused. Wade directly answered your question, however, and told you what he meant which is EXACTLY how I took it the first time. Open doors keeps ALL OF US accountable. Closed doors allow ALL OF US the potential to hide things. That is just a consistent rule of thumb and why consistent closed door meetings are not as advantageous as open meetings. This is why transparency is always preferrable to secrecy in these types of things because we are all fallible.

To read his explanation and then say, "You have made it clear that you believe all the trustees are duplicitous," is quite erroneous in my opinion. Wade said no such thing and that should be apparent to everyone who read his post, your question, and his answer.

In brotherly love, I really hope that you will reconsider your last statement.

WTJeff said...

No Robin, I believe that Wade has made it clear that we all have the potential to be duplicitous when we meet in private and less likely to do so when we speak in public. It's called the sinful nature. He in no way has made an accusation but simply stated every person's vulnerability to be duplicitous. Having our words open to public scrutiny makes us more willing to choose them carefully, choose them graciously, less likely to accuse without sufficient cause.

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

My wife read your comment before we walked out the door. Rachelle is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. She is a heart ICU recovery nurse and the bright one in our family.

She asked me, 'Have you read Robin's comment to you after you responded to his question?'

When I said no, she read it to me and then said, "Robin is being a duplicitous man by attempting to cause division by attributing to you things you never said which people will later hold you responsible for saying - when it was Robin who said it all along. He is a troublemaker. He is trying to cause you problems with others. What does the Scripture say about troublemakers. I am furious."

Robin, you have the distinction of being one of only a handful of people in the world who have made my wife 'furious.' :)

She'll get over it. :) She did, however, read this comment, believed it to be precisely what she said, and asked me to post it. She believes you need to be called out for doing what you are doing.

Robin, as usual, I agree with my wife. My words stand themselves - not your attempt to twist them.

In His Grace,

Wade

Benji Ramsaur said...

bro. robin,

Based on Wade's grammar alone, could you share how you get that Wade has "made it clear that you [Wade] believe all the trustees are duplicitous"?

Wade stated "any of us is CAPABLE of acting one way in public and another way in private" (emphasis mine)

Wade, based off his statement, goes on to explain that he is speaking of "potential".

If Wade is not being consistent with his own grammar, could you share with us how?

Wade further goes on to say "Anyone, including you and me, CAN say things, do things, accuse people, attack people, and twist truth - behind closed doors - believing that we will not have to answer for what we say or do because there will be no repurcussions or accountability for our words." (emphasis mine)

If "can" goes beyond speaking of the "ability" to do something into speaking of "actually" doing or being something, could you share with us how?

Grace

Bro. Robin said...

Alan

Thanks for your comment. I disagree with your analysis. I addressed this issue openly and received this answer from Wade:

"Anyone, including you and me, can say things, do things, accuse people, attack people, and twist truth - behind closed doors - believing that we will not have to answer for what we say or do because there will be no repurcussions or accountability for our words."

I might add to Wade's grammar lesson that "repurcussions" is spelled "repercussions."

But leaving that aside, it seems unfair to make the statement he did and leave all the trustees suspect to duplicitous behavior. If he does not desire to do this, then let him state so. It also seems not fair to make this statement without offering evidence that this type of activity happens among the trustees.

NativeVermonter said...

Cover me…I’m going to attempt to recapture this thread back to its original intent.

I realize that the Christian will, at the Great White Throne hear the words “Well done good and faithful servant,” based on the merits of Christ’s active and passive obedience alone. That His blood is all that the Father needs to see. And I also realize that the Judgment Seat of Christ ain’t going to be a pretty time for me because it’s all going to be out in the open. I have plenty of wood, hay and stubble for the lot of ya I might add. BUT…for the missionary, I do hold them in high esteem. If we had Christian trading cards, I’d be trying to get yours! May you continue to boldly proclaim He who is eternal. Thank you for serving our Lord. I’m quite reminded that every heart with Christ is a missionary and every heart without Him is a mission field.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

As I read your comment about 'serving on a regional committee', I couldn't help but be a little amused when you said, "but ultimately the people who need to be asked if they desire Wade Burleson to continue serving as a trustee are the missionaries and executes of the IMB - and the convention."

As an M on the field in my 4th term, I can say that we "M"s don't get a say so in whether you stay or not. Our own RLTs' advice and opinions don't seem to hold much weight with the BoT. So, what makes you think that we would be asked?

Still an "M" with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...

Robin Foster,
You and the other 3 are very very sneaky in all of your comments and Posts. Why is it that you COVET brother Wade?

Alan Cross said...

Robin,

I took Wade's statement as saying that we are all sinners and that we need openness and accountability to ensure that our sinful nature does not at times override our desire for righteousness. I know that you believe in total depravity and this seemed to be what Wade was referring to. Our trust is not in the perfection of man. This is why our Founding Fathers in America were genius in their development of a governmental system that provided for accountability and checks and balances. It appears that our Founding Fathers had a better grasp on human nature, depravity, and the potential for sin and the need to protect the people than we do as Baptists.

I saw no accusation of anyone, just a recognition of human weakness in regard to ALL OF US and a call for transparency to protect us from falling.

I still hope that you will reconsider your statement. As a brother, I believe that you are in great error here. Please reconsider.

idaho layman said...

Robin - truly, you ought to be ashamed. Kudos to all those who have called you out for a very public display of a lack of integrity. The office of pastor demands much more in terms of character than you have exhibited in this comment string. You best hope the good people who are members of your church do not what you have sought to do to a fellow pastor. I agree with Alan above, but I would be much stronger. You owe Mr. Burleson a public apology.

Anonymous said...

If I got wind of my pastor saying to such a God-ordained servant as Wade the things Robin wrote here there would be meltdowns on the phone lines and a parking-lot convention like you never saw.

This fellow is born again, right?

Steve Austin

Paul said...

Robin,

My brother, you do seem to have a knack for this sort of thing. But now you have more than the Biblically mandated two or three witnesses standing against you. I think it is time to say, "Perhaps I was wrong," in light of the utter silence in your defense.

Wes Kenney said...

Allow me to break that silence. The trustees of the IMB voted in January of 2006 to ask the convention to remove our host from their number for precisely this kind of language. It is non-specific, and so it is always unclear exactly who is being talked about.

Language such as "A few of my fellow IMB trustees ought to be glad I am uninterested in enforcing the good professor's 'doctrine' of tobacco (wink)," which came in the post of the "transcript" of debate on the Garner motion in San Antonio, is just one of a myriad of examples of this kind of use of language which disparages all generally while disparaging none specifically.

I'm grateful Robin has pointed out this latest example.

Anonymous said...

Wes Kenney
You the man of PRIDE and the other 3 are very very sneaky in all of your comments and Posts. Why is it that you COVET brother Wade?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

When a retired missionary says "The hardest part is not deciding to go, but making the decision to leave." maybe that missionary has been reading the intentional misrepresentations by a group of pastors who should be above all of that.

Which leads me to ask, "Can one be the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church and behave so carnally?" Makes me want to stay among these pagans overseas, at least they are living in their natural state, no duplicity in them

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Sorry, in my haste to publish this, I neglected to sign it,

A 10-40 Window Missionary

Anonymous said...

My plea for others to join us in the foreign mission field stops at people like Wes and Robin. Don't do it guys!

Why? Because you would never make it out here.

Why? Because once you think you are above sinning...

(i.e. you will always behave consistently and correctly behind or out from behind closed doors with no potential to do otherwise)

...you are doomed to fail and fall.

In our people group, pornographic material is laying around like milk and bread. As soon as I would relax and think I got it made...I would be done!

Guard my heart again today, dear Father, by Your grace and mercy and by using one of Your own children that may cross my path and hold me to account for Your glory alone. Amen!

For your spiritual well-being and for your church and families, stay home guys.

SL1M

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wes,

You said "It is non-specific, and so it is always unclear EXACTLY WHO IS BEING TALKED ABOUT." (emphasis mine)

Your statement is true in regards to Wade's seemingly teasing statement "A few of my fellow IMB trustees ought to be glad I am uninterested in enforcing the good professor's 'doctrine' of tobacco (wink),"

However, while Wade does speak of the "potential" of "all" trustees in his post, could you point out where he is indicating there is an "actual" problem with "one, two, a few, some, or all" of the trustees in his post?

Grace

gordon said...

Wesley, you and Robin are joined at the hip or possibly the brain. You have done precisely what everyone on this comment string is chastising Robin for doing. You are intentionally misreprenting the truth for the purpose of attacking another brother in Christ. Both of you so called ministers know better. Your political agenda is not worth character assassination.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The attacks on Wade or any brother or sister is a very old symptom; no fear of God.

grace
Country Baptist Preacher

Barbara said...

This is Barbara, Pastor Wade's secretary. He is in meetings today and I am asking that people posing as missionaries not comment. The IP addresses do not match up with what you are alleging. Other missionaries who have posted for long periods of time are consistent with their known IP address. Thank you for your help in this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barbara said...

To the "IMB Missionary:"

Please call our church (580-237-0602) and identify yourself and the region in which you work so we can verify who you are and we will be more than happy to post your comment. We will keep your identity a secret; but we will not post further comments until we can identify who you are.

NativeVermonter said...

Well I tried to ask for cover in order to recapture this thread. Apparently some old wounds are festering anew which doesn’t portray a very good message to those who are following. Not sure how the various nuance of a sentence or the “parsing,” can cause such a stir. If an unbeliever should happen to come across this line of communication, there sure isn’t anything here to point them to the Cross. “Well Mr. Holier-than-thou Native Vermonter, does every comment to every post have to point to Christ crucified for the sins of men?” I’ll leave that to you…

Anonymous said...

As I read Wade's posting, and before I read any of the comments, two things occured to me: (1) that yes, he is correct: we ALL, as sinners saved only by the grace of God, have the potential to say one thing privately and another publicly, and he was steping on his own and my toes as much as he was on the toes of Page Patterson, Tom Hatley, John Floyd, or anyone else. How many times have I read the comments of some of the folks with whom I disagree and have said (to myself), "What a jerk," or "What an idiot," or "How can anyone in his right mind think that way?" And some who have read my comments have no doubt thought the same things about me. That is the duplicitous behavior I understood Wade to be talking about. I know that I have confessed to God for my comments, even though none of you heard them--but God did--thanks to Wade. And (2) I suspected that at least part of Wade's motivation was based on his experience as a trustee of the IMB. But even if this is the case, he has every right to feel what he feels, and he was careful to focus on the behavior, not on personalities, and not to specificially criticize actions of his fellow trustees, which I believe is something he agreed to over a year ago. That, however, is not the main emphasis of my comments.

My comments are more in the line of observations than anything else; and if everyone will just pull back a step or two, I think they will see an incredible amount of polarization taking place in these comments. It rather reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:12, "One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another, 'I follow Apollos'," when we should be about following Christ. Unfortunantly, when people are as polarized as we in the SBC have become, it is hard to pull back and see anyone else's comments as anything but attacks. But folks--and mind you, I am as guilty as anyone of reading comments from some folks and taking them as attacks whether they were meant as such or not--we HAVE to pull back. The next step beyond polarization is fallout. We are already seeing too many people fall out of the SBC, either literally or functionally. This is not a plea of, "Why can't we just all get along?", but rather just a plea to pull back from the brink which can hust us all. If we will just rachet down the rhetoric and give Wade--and Dr. Floyd, and even Bros. Robin and Wes and others the same benefit of the doubt we want ourselves--there is no telling what great things God will accomplish throught the SBC!

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ...however..."

Once again you have called into question and raised doubts about the work of the IMB and her trustees. Why? How does this help the IMB reach the world for Christ? Does it encourage your readers to support the IMB or, doubt the integrity of those who lead the IMB?

volfan007 said...

boy, what's amazing to me is the way that some people in here, under the guise of being spiritual, are attacking robin and wes. it's absolutely astounding that people would question thier motives....question whether they were saved, or not....accuse them of being covetous!?!? of wade!!!???! what? and, of course, the one who accused them of being covetous remained anonymous.
why dont you tell us who you are, mr. anonymous? we should at least know who you are making such statements like that against two wonderful men of God like wes and robin.

another irony to this whole thread is that the commenters in here getting onto wes and robin....are doing the same thing that they say makes them mad at wes and robin????!!!!? wes and robin say that they're upset at wade for insinuating that our trustees cant be trusted. and, some of you in here are mad at wes and robin for insinuating things about wade! wow! and, the attacks that yall are making on these two men....they're viscious and mean and condemning. incredible.

david

Anonymous said...

Of all the blogs I read, yours is the only one that continually shows that your posts are new. Which means something is wrong with bloglines, or you continually make changes to your blog entries.

Which makes me wonder what kind of changes you make???

Scott

Anonymous said...

Barbara,

I’m the “IMB Missionary” and I’ve emailed you (rather than making an international phone call) but haven’t gotten a response or seen my comment restored. Is there a reason that commentors with tough questions for Wade are suspected as “posing” as missionaries, while those who support Wade are not?

WTJeff said...

No wonder younger generations are leaving. They want nothing to do with the types of things that are occurring in this comment thread. Wade says that unless a very specific criteria is met, that all meetings should be held in public. He sites the tendencies of our sinful nature as a reason this should occur. As a result, his motives are called into question. When others question those who question his motives, their called vicious, mean, and condemning. It seems that the time has come of us to put our preconceived notions aside, deal with the specifics of the post without speculating as to the writers motivation, or stop participation in these forums altogether. There's no way we've honored Christ here today--my earlier entry included. I've been challenged this week by a furloughed IMB missionary to share my testimony five times with a non-Christian this week. Instead, here I sit. I'm part of the problem, but I hope to do something about it. I won't comment again until I've reached my goal. Maybe we would speak with more grace, seasoned with some salt, if we kept our true mission at the forefront of our minds -- to reach the lost for the glory of His name.

Grace,

Jeff

Anonymous said...

AMAZING.

A post where someone (Wade) suggests that we would all do well to be open and transparent.....

A HUGE blog-o-fight ensues.

WOW.

I read widely in SBC circles and I never cease to be amazed at our ability to attack our brothers. We can't seems to let ANY comment, no matter how important (or unimportant) pass by without making sure everyone knows our opinion....

Well, our opinions (MINE INCLUDED) aren't really too important are they?

Read blogs. BE NICE (Or in more Christian language: Show Christ's love to all). Live for Him.

OK - Now everyone can commence firing at me. I'm sure someone needs to explain to me how I'm wrong....

Charles Brazeale
Neosho, MO

Barbara said...

Anonymous IMB Missionary: I received your email and replied, but it bounced back. With the information you have provided, you are free to post. If you would come up with a name or a moniker by which your posts can be identified, it would be helpful.

In His Service,
Barbara

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

With all the lobs being sent Wade's way I want it clear that my lob which was rightfully deleted was hurled at the IMB and not Wade.

I had actually come back to delete it after a few minutes of reflection and he had beat me to it. Which was fine.

Of course, if I disagreed with Wade I wouldnt hesitate to say so. But I agree with him strongly on this.

No reason not to be open unless truly sensitive issues are being discussed.

Benji Ramsaur said...

davidbmclaughlin,

I first want to say that I respect you for having the humility for wanting to go back and delete a comment you felt was inappropriate.

Second, I also respect you for apologizing to Wade for your comment [I don't even know what you said by the way].

Third, I want to say that if there are any out there who think that Wade is "against" the IMB, it seems strange that he would delete a comment that was a "lob...hurled at the IMB".

Thank you for your example of humility Dave.

Benji

Alan Cross said...

This is truly unbelievable. The very nature of blogs is that they are self corrective. If someone steps out of line, they can be confronted and called to reconsider their position. Every negative comment does not have to be tolerated so that there is a false peace. I do not agree with the one who questioned Robin's salvation. That is out of line and it should be apologized for. Robin can be wrong without being condemned to hell. Not good.

I also do not agree that all who questioned Robin on his statements were attacking him or were trying to be mean. I know Robin and we have dined together. We disagree often, but I consider him a brother in the Lord. One day, we will put any differences on these small issues aside and dance around the Throne of Grace together. My asking him to reconsider his public statement was meant to speak to a brother in Christ in a way that told him that I thought he was wrong on this and that he would do well to retract his statement. It was not meant to degrade, run down, or be mean in any way. If we cannot even disagree amicably on the statements and actions of others, then we all need to just find something else to do and quit being total babies.

As for Wes, if Wade has made mistakes in this area in the past, that really should not affect this situation since he clearly articulated what his position was. If we cannot accept the answers that people give, then why engage in dialogue at all? Why even bother posing questions or reading anything? Let's just hurl accusations at one another and be done with it. Oh wait, it appears that that is what we are doing. Again, not good.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

benji,
thanks but i cant really accept the "humble" tag.

seriously-i include my picture on my user id. how humble can i be?

btw, does anybody else find it weird that deuteronomy says Moses was the most humble guy in the world-and that book was written by Moses?

:)

David Simpson said...

It's pretty sad when guys feel the need to slant a blog discussion by pretending to be someone else (there's a term for that, which escapes me). Some of the boldest comments on this blog in opposition of the topic come from annonymous sources. I appreciate that Wade responds only to those who identify themselves.

blampp said...

I believe it appropriate to say; "The Lord Loves You All (Even the deleted Commentators)..... and I do too!"

I also hope we can work together with greater harmony in Mission Support than seems indicated in our "analysis" of what we may acceptably say. Since there are only two types of folks (lost and saved)..... my prayer is that I can become increasingly "transparent"..... maybe, if the lost can see through me....... maybe then they'll get a glimpse of Jesus.... (Matt. 12:30)

Les Puryear said...

Alan,

You said about Robin, "One day, we will put any differences on these small issues aside and dance around the Throne of Grace together".

Like you, I love Robin as a brother in Christ. Like you, I have had the privilege of dining with Robin as well as the rest of the cast of the "usual suspects". :)

Brother, I hope I see you and Robin and everyone here in heaven...but I'm not sure that the sight of Robin dancing will be very heavenly. ;>

Les

volfan007 said...

robin,

do you dance the cha cha? or the tango? :)

i'd pay good money to see you do the tango. :)

david

Wade Burleson said...

East Europe Anonymous M,

Thank you for giving me your identity. First, I would appreciate it if you would not misquote what I have written. People can read for themselves. You said that I wrote, "The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ...however..."

I actually wrote "The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ." Any of us, however, is capable of acting one way in public and another way in private." I am including myself in this statement and simply evaluating the character of man. Integrity requires quotations that are accurate.

Second, you say, Once again you have called into question and raised doubts about the work of the IMB and her trustees.

I have never raised doubts about the work of the IMB. I am defending the work of the IMB - always have, always will - believing the professional missiologists who work for the SBC understand missions better than anyone.

Third, you say I raise doubts about the trustees. If my statement, 'The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ" raises doubts, then I will continue to raise more doubts. Again, I think you have misrepresented the entire intent of my post.

The theme of my post is that the work of the SBC should be conducted in full view of the SBC. No closed door debates, dialogue, or discussions. Let the world see our prayers, our hearts, our disagreements, our mission, our love for each other and the Lord.

We have nothing to hide.

Bro. Robin said...

Les

:-) That was funny!

David

Since I will have a new body, I am hoping I will be given new coordination skills with that body. So I should be able to do both.

Darby Livingston said...

"It is ALWAYS best in Christian ministry never to say anything in private that you would not want broadcast in public - except when the broadcasting of that information puts someone's life in danger."

It's all going to be shouted from the mountaintop anyway.

ywam missionary said...

Robin,

I would be very interested in your rationale for twisting Bro. Wade's words. I am not attempting to be mean, nor do I desire to attack you personally. I am a former Southern Baptist who now serves with YWAM and am interested in whether or not you can humbly apologize for what seems to me, through reading every comment in this blog, an intentional and malicious attempt to disparage someone by twisting what he has written, very clearly I might add, and asserting he is saying and doing something TOTALLY OPPOSITE of what he actually said. Is that not lying? And if it is, should you not publicly repent and apologize. Just curious.

Bro. Robin said...

ywam missionary

Thanks for the question. I will answer it the best I can.

I don't feel I have twisted his words. I am not alone in what I have said.

BTW, if you visit our site at SBCToday.com you can see how Wade has reacted to my post concerning this weeks IMB meeting.

I will leave the rest up to God.

Benji Ramsaur said...

bro. robin,

You are also not alone in not answering my questions.

ywam missionary said...

Bro. Robin,

Respectfully, I have read what Bro. Wade said in response to your post and unless you can clue me in on something I may be missing, I have no idea what is wrong with it. Further, why do you dodge my direct question by pointing out something totally unrelated.

Robin, the only person in this comment string that agrees with you seems to be your friend and blog partner Wes Kidney.

I ask again, why do you and Wes take plain words, twist them, and act as if you have done nothing wrong? I am only curious.

Pastor Bill said...

Bro. Robin,

I am frankly shocked that you can't see the sin in what you have done. May God help you.

Pastor Bill
Las Vegas

Anonymous said...

Sorry!

I was just so shocked at what I read in Robin's follow-up that my responsemust have polarized the discussion - prompting equal and opposite reactions. Some smart person wrote somewhere about the tendency to morph into your opponent in an argument.

Wade's basic point, which I feel sure we all have seen or experienced, is that in a private setting, wrong or biased information could be heard from members to which they would never sign their name (red herrings, character asassination, obvious axe-grinding, etc.). The protection of a public session is that the biased or unfair statement is either not spoken, or it is immediately corrected in a healthy exchange. If I've got a question, or am about to cast a vote based on wrong info, I sure want to know the truth as soon as possible.

That doesn't mean that there must be someone I don't trust, or that I fear the group doesn't desire openness. Does it?

Steve Austin

Wade Burleson said...

Steve,

Could not have said it better. That is EXACTLY what I intended to communicate.

I'm glad you and a host others see it clearly.

Wayne Smith said...

Steve Austin and All,
Wade has always sought Truth in all of the encounters in the IMB, as far as I have seen and heard. These sad groups of people that cannot accept Truth are always attacking anythingor anyone that points to Truth.

They can’t even except God’s Word as to Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Those whose names are written in the Lambs Book of Life are Predestinated, Elected and Chosen by God before the foundation of the world. This means before God created the world of which we live.

For Reform by being Informed.
In His Name

Anonymous said...

P.S.:
That footballer who got hurt so terribly is already showing movement the docs didn't know he might EVER perform. Somebody out there musta been PRAYING!!

Steve A

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I copied and pasted directly from your post. I did not misquote you:

"The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ...however..."

If you look back over the comments of your readers, you may begin to see my point.

The first comment:
“This kinda reminds me of the teenager who begins to keep his or her door closed alot in the house. The parents begin to wonder "why" Some might be wondering about the IMB”

Another one:
“When you are given a trust by the people it is ones obligation to openly display that trust is earned & kept. If our passion is the world to know Jesus, what would any reason be for not being open?”

“With all the lobs being sent Wade's way I want it clear that my lob which was rightfully deleted was hurled at the IMB and not Wade.”

Maybe it is not your intention to raise doubts and questions; but the results speak for themselves.

-East Europe Anonymous M

Paul Burleson said...

Anonymous,

You put up as a quote__then repeat it later in the comment section. The quote you attribute to Wade is...

"The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ...however..."

Then you bring a conclusion like this...

"Once again you have called into question and raised doubts about the work of the IMB and her trustees. Why?"

But what was really said was...

"The trustees of the International Mission Board are men and women who desire what is best for the SBC and the kingdom of Christ. All of us, however,...."

You may see your conclusion justified by what you see in some other comments. But to change words and call them a quote is not the way to present a viewpoint. I'm not defending Wade. He needs none from me. When he’s thought to be correct in a view__ more power to people who want to agree. When he’s thought to be incorrect in a view__more power to people who want to disagree. But I'm seriously disturbed at what I've seen you do.

This is not a personal offense thing that is causing me to speak up on Wade's blog, which I seldom do, but a concern for your seeming failure of quoting correctly so an argument can be made. My question is ..why? Why NOT quote the exact words and take a person to task over what was said if there is disagreement? Why change quoted words to resemble something else? I will NOT assign you a motive. But I would like to hear your heart on this. It would help me understand and I could not find an e-mail for you to ask this which__ is my normal way of doing things. Thank you in advance for your response.

If you prefer to send me an e-mail__mine is on my profile. Feel free to do so.

Anonymous said...

East Europe Missionary - Your "quote" is not a direct quote! Do you know what that means?

If you rearrange the words or leave out words, then it is not a direct quote...even if the meaning remains. The fact that you also change the meaning of what is said is a whole different matter.

WOW!

Paul Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Yes. It is "manipulation" of words AND meaning.

"Words" are vehicles of "meaning." My view [or yours'] of a person's "meaning" in their words is only mine [yours'] as that person's words go through my [your] baggage and filters. To ascertain a true "meaning" of what was intended by a person you would have to give THE ACTUAL words. Then you would need to ask questions of the one who spoke them__ about intent. You can guess, opinionate, even accuse but you cannot, with truth, say what their meaning is.

I would encourage you to NOT do to your marriage partner what you did here when discussing things. I would encourage you to NOT do your bible presentaton/studies the way you have done it here__ as you speak/preach. You will wind up alienating a partner or not giving the meaning of the text but an opinion that lacks credibility because you did not actually deal with the words as given.

"Why" you did it I do not know and have asked.

"Why" I've written this comment is several fold in motivation.

One.. is because you chose to not e-mail me privately so I'm responding this way.

Two..because I would desire to assist you in relationship skills as a brother/sister in Christ.

Three..because I'm at liberty to use Wade's blog a little more generously than I would dare use someone else's. What can he say to his father? :)

Four..because I'm hoping people will hear and heed some practical words about disagreeing without doing so disrespectfully. Wade's present post speaks to this well.

I don't say much on Wade's blog for obvious reasons. But this I felt the need to say. Whether it is heard, understood, accepted or rejected, I will leave to each person and the Lord. Whether I'e been honest with my motivation you will have to leave with the Lord as well. In the end, we all are in good hands, don't you think? But we ARE in His hands and WILL give account for EVERY word.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I hope you don't mind, but some one has asked me to tell why it isn't a quote if only a couple of words are left out. I thought I would answer.

In journalism 101 a quote is definded as "the transcription of what someone has said."

There is a distinction, however, between a direct quote and an indirect quote. The direct quote is an exact transcription, word for word, of what a person has said. It always has quotation marks and those marks VERIFY the exactness of the wording.

Indirect quotes are faithful to the meaning as the writer understands the one being quoted, though the words are, perhaps, not exactly the same. But you NEVER use quotation marks. [And in good relational skills you would state your understanding of the meaning of that indirect quote is open to challenge.]

We preachers are to be something of a wordsmith so I think this is important to understand. Thanks for the forum Wade.

Anonymous said...

Paul Burleson,

Sorry to have given you the impression that I wasn’t going to answer. I’ve had a busy day.

In my family, we have come to a humorous conclusion about the word “but.” You can say all kinds of nice things about someone, but if the next thing you say is “but,” then you’ve just undone the nice things you said.

Honey I love your dress, but…
Sweetie, what you did was very thoughtful, but…

We laugh about it in our home because we sometimes catch each other doing it. The word “however” functions in the same way as the word “but.” It’s a conjunction joining two different things.

Wade explained why he doesn’t like closed door forums. He talked about the IMB’s closed door forums in the same paragraph he talked about man’s capability to act one way in public and another way in private and that when the public eye is upon us we behave better. So, is it such an impossible jump for a reader to begin to think that trustees might be doing or saying things in these closed forums that are inappropriate? That is honestly how I read it.

If you don’t see it this way, I won’t keep beating a dead horse. As I already pointed out, at least some of the other commentors reflected the idea that what is going on behind closed doors could possibly be suspect.

-Anonymous M in Eastern Europe

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Wade,
I was thinking about this issue while trying to sleep last night.

Since you have suggested that the meetings be open, I am curious what the responses are to why they should not be open.

I don't know if you can share that rationale or not but I am curious.

Alycelee said...

I loved what you wrote about the retired missionaries.I think I even understand how they feel when they left their assignments. I always take every opportunity to talk to, listen and pray for those on the mission field.

It seems if would be well if we just cut to the chase. Some of us see Wade as a godly man of integrity and know his vision and purpose here and in his ministry.
Others don't. It's ok if some don't see. (or can't)

It does bother me, when several people ask for accountability for words here,
(not what they meant-but the reality of what they said) and there is no response, simpley more of the same.
This is not submitting ourselves one to another.
God help us and send us the heart of a true servant.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the confusion Pastor Paul. I know the silliness in East Euro Miss's explanation. I was just trying to get him to see the silliness in what he was doing. As you can see by his explanation, he still doesn't get it.

Imagine quoting scripture like this and leaving out a word here or there!

Ugh!

Paul Burleson said...

One more whack at the proverbial "dead horse" and it is my last.

Anonymous,

"Sweetie, what you did was very thoughtful, but/however..." seems to me to be a bit diffrent than..... "Sweetie, what you did was very thoughtful, all of us, however..."

It seems to me one could draw a different intention on the part of the writer than the one you have interpreted as the correct one. Thus, ask questions. Don't give a direct quote then change the words to fit your interpretation.

You ask..."So, is it such an impossible jump for a reader to think that trustees might be doing or saying things in these closed forums that are inappropriate?"

I would think one could make that jump. I would. But I would have to honestly admit Wade was saying that closed doors MAKE IT POSSIBLE for inappropriate things to be said by ANY board member, HIMSELF INCLUDED.

I would say "amen" to that and remember it for all closed door sessions to which I might be invited. I don't think this is inappropriate. I've said it MANY times to the entire congregation I was pastoring at the time about an upcoming closed door meeting.

As I said__my final whack__but it's been fun. Thank you anonymous for the dialogue.

greg.w.h said...

Another journalism 101 saying that I've run across: "light is antiseptic."

Greg Harvey

Paul Burleson said...

Greg,

I read someone who said "we are as unhealthy as we are secretive."

As to sayings__your's is stated positively and mine is stated negatively. I like yours better.

K. Michael Crowder said...

It was said by Wade in posts of old...

“I told John that I would not apologize now and I would not stop blogging. I also told him that I accepted his decision not to appoint me t0 a regional committtee.”

“I will continue blogging for the good of the Southern Baptist Convention and the International Mission Board. I accept your decision to not appoint me to a regional committee."

“(1). I will always tell the truth.”

“(2). I believe the IMB is most effective when we focus on our mission. “

“I do not wish to appeal - there may not, at this time, be enough votes - I honestly don't know.
That is the chairman's perogative and I am not complaining. “


But, I say unto you, if our dear brother even THINKS of an appeal, that the collective of his readership should indeed ask, "what of the above quotes?"

Thank you Wade for your honesty and willingness to drop this subject and topic for GOOD and never speak of it again. At least under the leadership of the current chair. And always remember dear brother, sometimes, 'unhappiness just happens, regardless of your circumstances.' John Piper always says: "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him, through our LOSSES, not our prosperity.

Oh, just an fyi: the word [committee] only has (2) t's and the word [prerogative] contains an "r" as its second letter (I noticed you forgot it.)

Lastly, before I forget. I had a brilliant idea! For future IMB board meetings, It would be helpful, and much more "transparent" of you, if you could wear a small lapel-cam, and possibly partner with 316networks to do a "live" feed to your blog.

Of course we will close our eyes during which times you "duke it out" with the chair. ;)

ihs,

kmichael

Dave said...

Wade

Yes, I understand your response and I appreciate it. I wonder how prevalent this has been in the past for someone to be a member of the board but not be assigned to a region. That would mean that you have no voice in any of the regional meetings with perspective appointees. Hang in there!