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

The Path to Keep a Focus on Missions Was Clear

The November 5-7, 2007 Springfield, Illinois International Mission Board trustee meeting could have gone down as one of the greatest trustee meetings in the history of the IMB. We heard some wonderful field reports from our Regional Leaders, we received some amazing statistical information about the number of churches planted and baptisms performed in our overseas missions work, and we passed the largest missions budget ($305 million dollars) in the history of the IMB.

Unfortunately, the Springfield, Illinois trustee meeting may be remembered as the time when a rare, possibily unique, censure was issued against a sitting trustee. The very sad and unfortunate truth is that this censure, and the resulting distraction from our mission work, was absolutely avoidable. I feel it is necessary to show that if there is a loss of Southern Baptist focus on missions during this very important Lottie Moon season, it is because a few leaders chose not to follow the very clear path laid out for them that ensured missions, and not conflict, stayed in the forefront of the IMB. I will avoid using names to keep anyone from feeling my words reflect poorly on them. However, Southern Baptists should ask the question 'Why?' Why did this censure have to happen? Why now? For what purpose? The fact that it did occur, in light of what I am about to tell you, is a sign that some Southern Baptist leaders have either lost perspective about what is really important in SBC life, or are so obsessed with the stifling of any dissent, or are so consumed with keeping power and control that comes with absolute authority, or (and I pray this is not true) they have been so blinded by either vendetta or personal ego that they can't see any higher calling.

Even though the censure was a majority vote, I am absolutely certain that the majority of International Mission Board trustees did not know the information this post contains when they voted to censure. However, a few trustees in leadership were told, in detail, what I am about to tell you. It is not confidential information. though it should have been shared with the entire board, it was not. It was not shared with the trustees in the Monday night trustee Forum because my censure was not even discussed. It was not shared with the full trustee board during Executive Session Tuesday night when my censure was voted on. I probably would have shared the information with all the trustees had I been asked to address the board before the vote, but I was not afforded the opportunity to address the trustees before they voted on my censure.

No Executive Session rules of confidentiality are being broken in this post. The information that I am about to share with you was given to two IMB trustees who serve on the Executive Committee as well as an administrator of the IMB. These three men were sent to meet with me by the Executive Committee late Monday afternoon (5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) to seek out a resolution that would stop short of a public censure.

I am free to give the details of what I said to these men in that meeting - a meeting which occurred at the end of a hotel hallway as the four of us sat on a couch and two chairs - because the Executive Committee themselves reported in the Censure Recommendation, what I said. The Censure Recommendation states the following about this four man meeting:

Trustee members of the Executive Committee and a senior staff IMB staff member met with Burleson on the evening of November 5, 2007 for further discussion. Burleson was asked to apologize for the following violations:

(a) Making public private communications with fellow trustees;
(b) Speaking in a way that reflected poorly on fellow trustees; and
(c) Publicly criticizing board approved actions instead of speaking in positive and supportive terms as he interpreted and reported on actions of the Board of Trustees, regardless of whether he personally supported those actions.

Burleson stated that the violations regarding speaking in a way that reflected poorly on his fellow trustees were unintentional offenses for which he would gladly apologize. However, he stated that he intentionally chose to make public private communications with the trustees and that he intentionally chose to publicly criticize board approved actions instead of speaking in positive and supportive terms as he interpreted and reported on board actions.

That 'official account' of the meeting is correct - as far as it goes. It does not say enough. Not near enough. But before I tell you the critical information that is left out of the Censure Recommendation, let me tell you what the Executive Committee did get right about what I said to those three men sent by the Executive Committee to meet with me.

The Details of What Was Said Are Accurate

I did tell the men that I would personally and publicly apologize to Winston Curtis, Jerry Corbaley, and John Floyd for posts on my blog, posts that I was told 'reflected poorly' on these men. I stated that though none of these men had ever approached me personally with his offense, and though I had never intentionally sought to disparage these trustees, I would accept the word of the Executive Committee that the men had been offended, and would issue an apology to them publicly - without reservation - immediately.

I also said to them, and it is reported correctly by the Executive Committee, that I could not apologize for making public so called 'private communications' with fellow trustees. But the rationale for not apologizing is not given. Why would I not apologize? Because the alleged 'private communications,' were conversations that occurred about International Mission Board business, and were questions being asked of me by Southern Baptists. I asked these questions to keep Southern Baptists informed about their missions agency (see my explanation here). In no form or fashion did I violate Executive Session rules of confidentiality in any of my blog posts. Also, if someone I visited with at the trustee meetings, either missionaries or trustees, stated that our conversation should be 'private,' I always abided by their request.

Finally, the Executive Committee accurately reports in the Censure Recommendation that I said I could not apologize for my public dissent of board approved action. However, again, the explanation was not fully given. I do appreciate the Executive Committee reporting that I said the following:

"Burleson further stated that he would not apologize for these intentional violations of the Trustee Standards of Conduct and Trustee Responsibilities. Burleson stated that he had voted against these standards of conduct when they were adopted because he believed in the principle of dissent."

The Executive Committee left out the word 'Baptist' before the word 'dissent.' I'm sure this omission was unintentional. I told the three men that I was a Baptist first, and the principle of courteous dissent was a cherished one. I could not apologize for publicly opposing the private prayer language and baptism guidelines, nor could I refrain from opposing the 'New Trustee Standards of Conduct' because those 'new' standards contained a very un-Baptistic policy. The 'new' trustee standards, adopted March 22, 2006 in Tampa, Florida, say this:

Individual IMB trustees must refrain from public criticism of Board approved actions . . . trustees are to speak in positive and supportive terms as they interpret and report on actions by the Board, regardless of whether they personally support the action.

I told them that I could NOT, in good conscience, abide by that policy. When they told me that I was bound by the 'New Trustee Standards of Conduct,' I reminded them that I voted against the 'New Trustee Standards of Conduct' on March 22, 2006. They said it made no difference, and they could not understand why I would 'intentionally' violate the public dissent rule and then refuse to apologize. I told them that my Bapist principles were higher than 'new' trustee guidelines, and I could neither violate my conscience nor my convictions by abiding by the 'new' trustee standards of conduct that prohibited public dissent of board approved policies.

Why Were New Standards of Conduct Needed in 2006?

March 22, 2006 was the day the International Mission Board voted to adopt 'The New Trustee Standards of Conduct' in Tampa, Florida. It also happens to be the very trustee meeting where trustees voted to rescind the recommendation for my removal from the board - a recommendation that would have had to be offered, debated, and voted on by the messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina three months later - June 2006. But before the IMB trustees went into closed door session to rescind the recommendation for my removal, and eventually expunge it from the record, the 'new' Trustee Standards of Conduct, which stifled dissent, were passed. At the time, and during the debate, I said to anyone who listened that 'the new guideline prohibiting dissent is the worst policy passed in the history of any agency of the Southern Baptist Convention.'

For years the International Mission Board trustees were guided by the conduct guidelines contained in what is known as the 'The Blue Book.' There was no prohibition against public dissent in 'The Blue Book.' Why, all of the sudden, were 'new guidelines' needed to stifle dissent in March of 2006? Well, I think it was because my blog was causing a stir in the SBC. I always spoke courteously and graciously in my dissent, but I tried to explain why the new private prayer language and baptism guidelines were ultimately harmful for the SBC - an agency was narrowing the doctrinal requirements for missionary cooperation beyond the convention wide accepted Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

Simply put, rather than having the Southern Baptist Convention deal with the recommendation for my removal for dissenting against the guidelines passed by the IMB that went beyond the BFM 2000, trustee leadership tried to deal with me by passing 'new' guidelines that stifled dissent and threatened 'censure' or 'discipline' if the 'new' guidelines were not followed.

Initially, I really thought it best to attempt to follow the guidelines prohibiting dissent, and I did my best to 'support that which I didn't support,' but I saw very quickly that when Baptists, or any Christian group for that matter, take away the cherished principle of free and courteous dissent, the group can quickly deteriorate under the whims of autocratic leadership. Exerting absolute authority over missionaries, fellow trustees, or IMB administrators, to the point that everyone fears to speak out lest they lose their job, their position, or their reputation is highly unhealthy and dysfunctional for any organization, but particularly any Christian organization. Further, when you publicly state you support what you don't actually support, you are at best pretending, and at worst lying. Transparency is the opposite of such pretension.

So, for the past several months my writings have always been supportive of the mission and work of the IMB, respectful of my fellow trustees (even those with whom I disagree), and always for the purpose of bettering the IMB and the SBC - but I have publicly dissented when I felt it necessary and I have always sought full transparency in our work. It seems that many people have been encouraged by my blog to become more involved in mission work, particularly SBC mission work, through what I have written, including this missionary appointee who note sent me the following comment this week while I was in Springfield:

Wade, my wife and I saw you this afternoon when you came into the hotel in Springfield. I wanted to come up to tell you hello and that you are one of the reasons that we decided to proceed with an appointment with the board and soon we will be moving our family to a restricted access area and it really helps us to know that men like you are standing up for what is right.

New IMB M

Even if some of my fellow trustees cannot see the positive in my blog, it is certain that others do. My goal has been to increase missionary participation, increase giving to missions, and to increase the number of missionaries appointed to serve the SBC.

Displeasure Expressed for Using the IMB as 'A Platform.'

However, the trustee spokesman for the three men who met with me that early Monday evening, November 5, said he was upset that I (and I quote), "used my position as a trustee on the IMB as a platform to raise concerns in other Southern Baptists over what I was calliing 'the narrowing of the doctrinal parameters for missionary cooperation and participation in the Southern Baptist Conventon.'"

They felt my bog was a detriment to missions. These men said the Executive Committee desired an apology for all three things on the list given to me - and my willingness to only apologize for the personal offenses, but not apologize for intentional violations of the 'new' trustee guidelines put us in a quandry. There was a stalemate.

What the Executive Committee DID NOT Report

Toward the end of the meeting I was finally asked the million dollar question:

"Wade, what solution would you propose?"

I told the three men, two Executive Committee trustees and the IMB administrator, my proposed solution to the stalemate. Again, my proposed solution was NOT reported in the Executive Committee's Censure Recommendation description of my meeting with these three men. Again, the full board of trustees was NOT told what I had offered in the Executive Session.

Here is what I said.

I did not desire Wade Burleson to be an issue at this meeting. I wanted people to focus on Lottie Moon, missions, and the great things that were happening around the world. I did not wish to be the focus of this meeting. I did not intend to say anything about Jerry Corbaley's 153 page email and believed that since Southern Baptists could read for themselves what he wrote (which, by the way, was all about me), there was no need to discuss it any further. It had nothing to do with our missions purpose.

Further, I said that I was feeling it was time to move forward in my own ministry, and that I was feeling led to do four things, and would do all four if the Executive Committee would simply ignore any attempts to censure me, and move forward in the IMB's work.

(1). I would, without hesitancy, apologize both publicly and privately to the three men who felt certain of my posts placed them in a poor light, and,
(2). I would, from this date forward (November 5, 2007) abide by the 'new' trustee guidelines prohibiting dissent, because . . .
(3). I was closing my blog on December 6, 2007, as it related to the IMB and the SBC, choosing to concentrate on personal ministry, and
(3). I would step down as a trustee of the International Mission Board before the end of the year, but . . .
(4). I would not apologize for any violation of the 'new' trustee guidelines regarding public dissent of board approved guidelines and would leave my posts up as a testimony that I stand by the veracity of all I have written.

I further told them that I believed the majority of Southern Baptists agreed with me that Baptists should have the right to graciuosly and courteously dissent from the majority, and that the Garner Motion, adopted at the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention, indicated that the majority of Southern Baptists agreed that the IMB had gone too far in passing doctrinal guidelines that exceeded the BFM 2000.

I could not apologize for saying that there was the 'narrowing of the doctrinal parameters of missionary cooperation' because I could never apologize for telling the truth, even if it was not what trustee leadership, or other leaders in the SBC wanted to hear. However, for the sake of avoiding further controversy, and for the purpose of keeping the International Mission Board focused on missions, and not 'the Wade Burleson issue,' I would do the four things above.

I told them that if the Executive Committe would wait until the NEXT IMB Board meeting that Wade Burleson would be no longer an issue. I would be gone. But if they pressed for an apology, they would not get it.

The Decision To Censure Shows a Lack of Southern Baptist Statesmanship

I honestly thought that the issue was resolved. We closed that little four man meeting in prayer and the next day, I was absolutely convinced that I would not be censured. I called my wife and told her nothing was forthcoming. I told my Dad the same thing. I told Ben Cole everything was off. They all knew of my impending resignation.

In my mind, I was attending my last IMB trustee plenary session Tuesday night, when, out of the blue, we were called into Executive Session. I was, just like two years ago, completely blindsided. I had not been told the censure was coming. I had not been given the three page Censure Recommendation. I was not asked to speak to the motion. I have no clue how many trustees knew what I offered to do, but I am honestly clueless as to why my offer was not accepted. Maybe stunned is a better description than clueless.

The Lord Is In Charge

I am grateful that I learned from a young age to trust in God's providence. There is no human, logical explanation as to why I was censured. I realize that some might say, 'Well, if you had just apologized, it wouldn't have happened.' I don't know how to respond to that kind of thinking except to say that an apology for publicly dissenting, or an apology for keeping Southern Baptists informed in as transparent of a manner as possible would be a violation of my principles and my conscience - as a Baptist Christian and as a trustee elected by the SBC to serve Southern Baptists - not my fellow trustees.

So . . . because a majority of fellow trustees voted to censure me . . .

(1). I will NOT resign from the International Mission Board and will faithfully serve out the tenure assigned me by the Southern Baptist Convention, and
(2). My wife and I will gladly pay our own way to International Mission Board meetings and rejoice that the money saved for our expenses can be used in overseas missions work, and
(3). I will continue blogging about IMB trustee meetings, including all the information needed for Southern Baptists to understand what is taking place in the largest missionary sending agency in the world.
(4). I will continue to be gracious and kind to all my trustees, and will be supportive of the mission of the International Mission Board, but will continue to publicly dissent, when appropriate, if there are IMB policies implemented, guidelines approved, or actions taken that either violate Scripture, Baptist principles, or Christian charity, and finally,
(5). I will humbly accept any future censures from my fellow trustees, for my conscience is bound to a higher principle than that guideline which stifles dissent.

Let me encourage you to give to Lottie Moon this Christmas season. Let me also encourage you to increase your Cooperative Program giving. This week the Lord has shown me that I couldn't get out of the IMB and the SBC even if I wanted, and I definitely desire the IMB to be strong as ever.

The Lord must have a plan for this current controversy. Heaven knows I offered the olive branch.


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

183 comments:

Tyson Wynn said...

Wade,

It is obvious that you have gone above and beyond in your efforts to be gracious and Christlike. My conclusion is that God must desire and will use your continued presence on the IMB. Godspeed my friend.

Wade Burleson for SBC President 2008!

Anonymous said...

We are so glad they did not take your offer. We are so glad you did not resign. We are so glad you will keep telling the truth about what is going on at the IMB. We are so glad you trust us as SBs to be able to read and make decisions for ourselves.

Their refusal to accept your offer solidifies the belief that this is nothing more than personal vendetta, personal pride, and incredibly immature activity on the part of some trustees. It clarifies that they did not want to resolve this issue. It was "do it our way" or nothing. They wanted to humiliate you, not reconcile.

Thank you, Wade, for not stepping down. Thank you for not giving in.

I pray you will be moving UP soon. Maybe even in June. What a breathe of fresh air that would be. Please hurry before we all suffocate.

We continue to stand with and pray for you. What you are doing is inspiring many to follow the Lord more boldly and courageously. I wish all our trustees could be as trustworthy and open and bold as you.

Steve

Anonymous said...

To say the least, the action of the board majority--and certainly the actions of the executive committee in this case--were not the most emotionally secure nor spiritually mature actions ever to be taken during the board's existence.

It will be extremely difficult to believe that those individuals--if truly qualified to serve in the capacity of trustee of such an important decision-making body--will permit this action to stand, after having thought through the matter since arriving home from Illinois and having observed the reaction of ordinary Southern Baptists around the country.

A quick reversal of this action would be greatly appreciated by us--folks at home who understand enough about both sides of the issue to have concluded that Wade is not incorrect either in his convictions nor in his blogging.

Robert Hutchinson said...

establish an imb travel expense fund through emmanuel and i'll be the first to contribute to your expenses.

wade, i sense the Lord's peace within your spirit regarding this outcome.

may His peace, be your rest.

sincerely,

robert hutchinson

A Simple Student @ SWBTS said...

I think that you are right that it is unfortunate that this trustee meeting will be remembered for your censure. I think that a far more important statement was made at this BOT meeting. As I point out on my blog, in Mark Kelly's article at imb.org, he alludes to a five-point statement on contextualization that was adopted at this meeting. I have yet to find a copy of the statement but it would appear to have day-to-day implications for IMB personnel around the world. It is too bad that this statement could not have received more attention than the statement on your censure.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS

Wade Burleson said...

A Simple Student at SWBTS,

I will be posting a great deal on the subject you mention in the future.

By the way, you are absolutely correct in your analysis.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert,

Thank you. I really appreciate your kind offer.

Wade

Anonymous said...

Good post Wade...I can't wait to see how God will us you in the future.

David Sanders

Anonymous said...

That would be "use" you.

ds

Anonymous said...

I have been an IMB M for several years now. This situation brings to light a problem that I have noticed many times b4. I think that so often the BoT holds values and opinions that the majority of Ms and majority of Richmond staff do not hold. It is completely baffling to me that things like this could happen. Why does the BoT seem to be so often out of touch with those whom that are supposed to be supporting and out of touch with so many of the churches that support us? I don't have an answer.
We are with you Wade. Blessings to you. Keith

Anonymous said...

Wade,
For some time I have been concerned that an entire generation of "Christian statesmen" was passing. You have given me hope that a new generation is rising! May God continue to bless and lead.
Sincerely,
An IMB missionary

Anonymous said...

writing from the mission field--
My first up close observations of IMB were 25 years ago. We put off an attitude of "we're better than anyone else doing missions, and we don't work with anyone else because we don't need their help and besides they don't do it the Baptist way". We were also known for having more money to spend than other groups and not just a little pompous about it.

Under Dr. Rankin we have come a long way in taking on a more humble and cooperative modus operandi (PTL). Other missionaries do not seem to dislike us as much as they used to and we benefit when we can work together for the Lord's glory. And yet the BoT wants to take us right back to the "bad old days" of arrogance and isolation from other Christian workers. News flash-there will not be a special Baptist section in heaven!!

Wade, though I wouldn't have wished upon you the grief the authoritarian bullies have dished out, I'm glad you decided not to resign the BoT or close the blog to IMB and SBC related issues.

May the Lord bless you with abundant grace and steadfastness for the race he calls you to run (whatever it is), and may He raise up hordes of courageous and principled men and women in the SBC to seek and demand openness, humility, and inclusiveness in decision making.

Anonymous said...

Wade - This quote below is undoubtly the best I have ever read on your blog. It's so simple and truthful that it's scary...or so it seems to some.

"Exerting absolute authority over missionaries, fellow trustees, or IMB administrators, to the point that everyone fears to speak out lest they lose their job, their position, or their reputation is highly unhealthy and dysfunctional for any organization, but particularly any Christian organization. Further, when you publicly state you support what you don't actually support, you are at best pretending, and at worst lying. Transparency is the opposite of such pretension."

I must say that it's hard to believe that Peter Lumpkins and others like him are so full of hatred toward you that they are actually relishing in your censure. The sad truth is that they actually disagree with your statement above.

Know this Wade. Lumpkins, and the others like him, are more on the outside looking in than they realize. They are NOT in tune with missions and missionaries. They might be comfortable in their own little world, but they must be cringing at the fact that EVERY missionary on the field that is commenting and at least 2 RL's that I know of support your position.

Everyone please remember: The LMCO goes to support missionary families...not the BOT.

SL1M

Anonymous said...

Another IMB M appalled at the BoT actions over the past 2 years yet greatly thankful for Wade.

IMB M in SA

Anonymous said...

Remember that God feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies. He is more creative than just the Lottie Moon Offering. And for that He is to be praised.

Will said...

Your last two posts brought me to tears, angered me, frustrated me, and humbled me. I fall way short of the Grace that you have shown the IMB Trustees and would have responded much differently to the censure action. Had this happened to me, the headlines would be reporting boot-sized bruises on the posteriors of several individuals...and I know in my heart that isn't right. God and I will just have to work more on my shortcomings.

You have used the phrase "Baptist dissent" a number of times in recent posts and I love your clarity in defining Christ-like qualities to the phrase. I think it is sad that we have to dissect the word 'dissent' from what has been foundational to Baptist history. And to stifle gracious and caring dissent blows me away.

I fully expect a new, counter-term-buzzword to appear from the ranks of those who would stifle differences of opinion. We're witnessing 'doctrinal accountability' tossed around in the Tennessee Baptist Convention right now to silence anyone who even questions the convention's application of the BF&M2000 as a litmus test for committee/board service. We are at the point where my affirmation of the BF&M2000 requires that I can no longer question any portion of that document and be considered 'doctrinally accountable'.

I suspect that 'Baptist dissent' will be translated into 'creeping heresy' by those who are threatened by folks who wish to see transparency rather than anything resembling conspiracy.

My prayers are with you, your family, and the entire IMB family,
Will

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade, a question:

In light of the fact that Saul went on being a King after God had withdrawn His Spirit, so we know that's possible, IF God has given the men referred to over to a depraved mind, how would their actions be different from those which transpired?

You're right about God being in charge, and you'd best be asking why He ordained this.

Clues abound.

to-obey-is-better said...

Yeah God!

We're so glad that you did not resign! We were very upset to hear of the antics of the BoT. Do they not have other more important things to do?

In light of your offer to them, it simply makes what they did appear to be very vindictive.

Blessings to you.
We will be praying for you in the coming months.
Thank you for being there for people like us.

imb m's in asia

Gary said...

Wade,

Again let me state that I appreciate what you are trying to do.

However, from time to time, in the course of Human Events, etc., one must nail the 95 Thesis to the door.

You've done that before. Perhaps it is time to enumerate and clearly do it again?

All the best. Prayers for you and your family and the Emmanuel Family as well.

I'll look forward to your sermon online Sunday. I expect there will be a little extra fire in it!

Gary of Norman

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I think your insight will get the following story.

World War II; my father was a chaplian, and was on the front lines from 3 days after D-Day till the war was over.

An MP was giving him a ticket for having the top up on his jeep. (With the top up, jeeps were more exposed to enemy fire.)

My father argued the top kept Bibles from rain that were given to soldiers, but he took the top down.

“What! You’re giving me the ticket even though I said I would keep it down?”

In the presence of the MP he put the top back up, and it stayed up the rest of the war while all his tickets got thrown in the waste-basket.

Once an 88 shell went through the top, missed his head 12 inches, his knee 3 inches, exploded on the ground, and blew holes in the engine.

I pray all the bullets that are bound to come, miss you.

I’m glad your olive branch was rejected and we will not get soaked Bibles or falsehood because ‘truth and grace’ will continue.

Thank you Jesus.

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Why don't you continue to lean on God's providence and do like Elvis and leave the show behind.

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Could it be the PROVIDENCE of GOD
for YOU to resign from the board since the pill you selling the board is not buying.

Tom Parker said...

othoniel a valdes sr

Your comments sure do not sound Christ like.

Wade Burleson said...

Othoniel,

The opportunity was there. No longer. However, thank you for your comments.

(in a low, smooth voice I say)

'Thank ya. Thank ya very much.'

Wade 'Elvis' Burleson

P.S. I'm now singing some of my favorite hits including "Don't Be Cruel, Don't Think Twice - It's All Right, and my personal favorite 'Doin the Best I Can'."

:)

creed said...

I think it ironic that ABP the article is on-line) called the IMB for information and an interview about the BOT action and were referred to a lawyer. Of course, the IMB lawyer defended the BOT action. So here is a censure by a christian agency, supposedly following the guidelines of scripture, that is then defended to a Baptist news agency by a lawyer, rather than those who supposedly followed Scripture to resolve an issue. Seems strange to me that those who will their understanding of biblical guidelines will then run to the legal eagles for cover.

Just thinking.

Sam

Lin said...

Did everyone miss the deception here? This is a classic tactic...blindsiding. Is is SIN. Premeditated and well thought out SIN and I am appalled. Are we to the point we only see it as a tactic and not sin? I hope not!

I have to wonder how many who voted in that closed meeting are reading your proposal to the 4 men for the first time?

Why not allow your proposal to be read in the closed door session?

Whether anyone agrees with
Wade or not...using deceptive and coercive tactics to win a vote against a brother is unChristlike and I fear for these men.

How does a Christian deal with those who would deceive so easily and think nothing of it? Light. Truth. Prayer.

Not 'deals'.

Pamela said...

It is mess like this that cause sincere Christians to leave the institutional church. No longer can preachers make blanket statements that these people are lukewarm to the gospel.

I think Wade understands that many people nowadays refuse to quietly accept things that are not Biblical. I'm not much for denominations because they for the most part are too confining because of rules and regulations that are NOT a part of godly living. The utter nonsense that seems to have caused the conflict (PPL and I forget the other issue) is amazing to me.

From my reading of this blog and discussions here it seems like some of this stuff is not even in the official SBC rules. To make adament rules and punish people by them when they are not official is out of step with what the point of denominations, fellowships and the like are. They define how they are going to operate and those in leadership decide to agree with them. The dissent issue that came up with Wade from my understanding was an added issue that Wade told them that he would not agree to out of Biblical principle. On the surface it may have sounded like they were trying to protect the institution. However if Wade is being truthful the policies were set up to cover the rear ends of the leaders.

I sincerely hope to God that this can be resolved using the principles of God's word and with the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Lord will let Wade and his family know if he is to remain or slide out into a group that is not so restrictive and needlessly demanding about things that have nothing to do with Christian character and purpose.

I'm not SBC so I do not have any personal passion about this as such. However I'm a committed Christians that longs and desires to see God's kingdom manifested on earth through His body. I have read this blog for at least a year. I have known people over the years that used to be SBC but chose through prayer to align themselves with other denominations/churches. Seeing what is happening here I can understand why they chose to go elsewhere.

I will sincerely pray for the SBC and ask for His wisdom and if led leadership changes. God decides what He wants. However He does not always get what He wants because we can choose to obey or not. Whatever plans for the SBC the Lord has will solely depend on decisions that everyone in the SBC must decide, from the top down.

Wade Burleson said...

lin,

My wife just walked in the door from working all night at the hospital. I read her your comment.

She just smiled and said, "Wade, when trustees begin to realize that the average Southern Baptist who reads your blog knows more about what's going on at the IMB than even the trustees themselves, that's when grassroots trustees and grassroots Southern Baptists will demand the IMB begin to open her doors."

My wife is a wise lady. She and I both still wonder why issues related to my removal and censure are handled behind closed doors when we have repeatedly asked that everything be done in the Plenary Session.

Mike Ruffin said...

As Yogi said, "It's deja vu all over again." Or, to be more biblical about it, "There's nothing new under the sun."

Way back when, in the late '70s, Southern Baptists were all about Bold Mission Thrust. We were, in our committed audacity, going to take the good news to every person in the world by the year 2000. But, a quest for power fueled the pursuit of a narrow theological agenda that too many folks felt justified slander, ridicule, half-truths, and character assassination. Rigid orthodoxy supplanted theological integrity and, much worse, broadly based missionary fervor.

Since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, your situation is part of the playing out of that old, old story. This trustee meeting was more about you than about Lottie Moon (amazing, isn't it?) because in the new SBC world order, power is more important than integrity and conformity is more important than missions (not to mention that it's more important than civility, love, grace, and any number of basic Christian virtues).

I appreciate your stand. Unless young and other Southern Baptists rise up and say "Enough is enough," nothing is going to change and you and others would be well served to find another Baptist venue in which to serve (sorry for what I know many of your readers will regard as heresy).

If you are committed to staying the course, then allowing your name to be put forward for SBC President next year would be a good start. It's time to fish or cut bait, I fear.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

You said "She and I both still wonder why issues related to my removal and censure are handled behind closed doors when we have repeatedly asked that everything be done in the Plenary Session."

If I may be so bold, I don't think you REALLY wonder. It's pretty obvious, isn't it?

I know you hoped for better than what they did and how they did it. I know you prayed for better than what they did and how they did it. But you didn't get what you hoped and prayed for.

Following Jesus happens when Jesus is the one doing the leading. If those men did not do it thusly, then none of us really wonders why not. IMO it's only a desire to think the best possible, of others, that keeps people from assuming that which is blatantly obvious.

Or not. Just a view from a pew.

Lee said...

Look at all the anonymous comments here. It's sad that the board adopted such a draconian policy, and the way they chose to handle this issue, but it is even sadder that missionaries and employees cannot even sign their name to a comment out of fear of retribution. It's a good thing our Baptist forefathers in heaven cannot see what has happened, or they would be grieving.

One thing we need to remember is that trustees serve at the pleasure of the convention. I know it is expensive and cumbersome, but we've sat on the sidelines for too long, and allowed this to happen. If you disagree with what the trustees have done, get yourself to Indianapolis in June and help be a part of the solution.

Darby Livingston said...

I'm not sure the original source, but I remember when John Gotti was on trial, the press interviewed folks in his neighborhood and asked what they thought of him. I remember an older lady saying he should be let go. He kept the neighborhood safe and was generous to those who lived there. I doubt she was lying. However, I can't see how he could be let go, on principle, just because some good was being done. Is the cp similar or dissimilar to the Gotti scenario?

Anonymous said...

Africa M says,

Wade,

Sign me up as one more grateful M that they did not accept your offer. As M's we have longed for someone to stand up for our causes and care about missions as much as you do. We need more M's not more narrowing of parameters. We need to feel confident that those running the show care about us and what we are doing for the kingdom. Here's hoping more trustees realize what their job is and for whom they are working. Transparency is essential.

Thanks for caring. For standing. For taking the heat. Many are watching, praying, and care about the missions and the SBC just as passionately as you.

Here's hoping that through it all missions will really be the focus.

With a grateful heart and much prayers,

Africa M

john said...

Wade,

As I read about your offer the the BOT leaders, I see that would have solved their problem with you. That fact that they turned you down does, as someone above mentioned, makes it look like they have more interest in a vendetta than in a solution.

It is sad to think that the agency who is in the best position in Christendom to see the gospel carried to the ends of the earth would act this way.

As we think about the commands of Christ in how we ought to demonstrate our love for one another, we are saddened that our leaders cannot model this among good people chosen by our Convention. We hoped for better. We expect better.

I will pray that the BOT will rescind this poor decision. Surely Christian leaders can find a better way to deal with this matter than to mimic politicians. Lord, raise up a Christian statesman at the IMB. Surely, there must be one.

John Sneed

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Pastor Noel was right about one thing, we didnt know all the facts about what went on behind closed doors.

Thank you Wade for letting us know this. And if anyone who was there disputes what Wade is saying, let them come out in the open and do it.

For me, this comment is the crux of the entire matter:

Further, when you publicly state you support what you don't actually support, you are at best pretending, and at worst lying. Transparency is the opposite of such pretension.

God bless you Wade. You and your family are in our prayers.

R. Grannemann said...

It must be hard to continue when they treat you so badly. But the Lord is your strength. You have been the single greatest influence to open the SBC to the public debate and scrutiny it needs to have. Don't give up. Countless people are praying for you.

Anonymous said...

When in the course of human events....

Anonymous said...

So could you clarify what this means in the future? The censure mentions you NOT participating in IMB Trustee affairs. You say you will continue to serve. How will that work? I applaud your stance and look forward to being kept informed. Thanks for standing by your convictions

jallen said...

What is it the Father says something about not believing the things He has in store for us even if He were to reveal them?!

I'm SOOOOO pumped because of the truth that has been revealed in this blog! For the first time in all this mess about baptism, PPL, and then this horrific, personal attack against God's man for the season(YOU), my hope for the future of not only the IMB but the convention is renewed!! I can't WAIT to see what the Father's gonna do!!!

It's going to be amazing to watch how He turns this whole mess into something that will energize and expand His kingdom building around the world!

Already the push to give MORE THAN EVER to LMC, is an exciting foretaste of how our JUST and KIND Father is going to bring GLORY TO HIS NAME through this exhausting journey of your's, and how millions of people, both in upgs and mega cities around the world are gonna get to hear the Good News...some of them for the first time EVER! What THEY meant for evil, GOD'S GONNA USE IT TO WOW THE NATIONS and put those feeble minded brothers(and their puppet managers) to shame. And Wade, it won't surprise me if when this all comes to a conclusion, that like Joseph you too will in humility turn away for a moment with tears. Only to turn back to face your accusers with open arms and forgiveness!!!

We only have to look as far as Joseph to see how hateful, spiteful men turned on one of their own brothers and THOUGHT they were ridding themselves of 'this trouble maker'. Well, we all know how THAT story turned out and your story too my friend, is going to have the exact same effect on the lives of countless others. As the FATHER continues to bring redemption and salvation to millions!

Your faithfulness to His leadership is commended and serves as a model to all. But to watch how He's going to use this whole bitter mess to cause MERCY and GRACE to flow through out the entire world is nothing but SPECTACULAR...AWESOME...THRILLING!!

He's RENDING THE HEAVENS and GLORY is GONNA FALL!!!!

It's such a pathetic word, but for now will have to suffice, "THANK YOU" for being faithful! AND "PRAISE YOU LORD, for what you're about to do"!!! HALLELUJAH!!

As usual, my excitement and the late hour have allowed me to ramble on far too long. But really, I think this thing has finally begun to turn around and we're about to witness a move of God, a sweeping sense of reconciliation and forgiveness, and the right arm of our ALMIGHTY, LOVEING move once again to show His POWER and GRACE!!!

GaLORY!!!!!!

t. d. webb said...

Wade, this Okie fervently prays for you and your family, the IMB, and especially the Missionaries scattered around the globe that are subject to the meanspirited vindictiveness of the political power players who currently think they hold control over the IMB, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there is Another who is Sovereign and obviously in control of this matter. Praise the Lord!

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Philip said...

After reading this, I'm reminded of a scene in the Dustin Hoffman film, Outbreak. In the movie, a deadly virus has infected a town, and the government has plans to use their most powerful weapon to vaporize the town, including all the sick and dying citizens therein. They've never used this weapon before, but they must use it on their own citizens to be sure the outbreak doesn't spread.

Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s characters work the entire movie tracking down the source of the virus so they can develop an anti-serum and spare the lives of the citizens of the town, thus negating the need to use the nuclear weapon.

They succeed! They find a monkey carrying the virus that made it past customs. They quickly develop an anti-serum, as only Hollywood can do. They notify the powers that be that they have a solution! The general in charge of the operation orders the bomb strike anyway. You see, come to find out the government had the anti-serum all along, but the general wanted the opportunity to test the weapon, thus showing the world the power they had.

The key scene, reprinted for your reading pleasure.

Col. Daniels - Her pressure's down. It worked, she's normalizing.

Maj. Salt - But, sir, they're coming. I picked up a transmission. The plane is in the air. They're coming.

CD - Get us in the air.

MS - Let's tell them we have the antiserum.

CD - They don't care.

MS - This is crazy.

CD - They want their weapon.

MS - They'll kill everyone?

CD - Right.

MS - They'll watch innocent people die?

CD - Yes, they want their weapon.

Sorry for the long post, but this is exactly what happened and why. Of course the stakes are not as high, and I feel I must also make it clear to some literalists out there {cough} J. Corbaley {/cough} that I'm not suggesting the trustees want to actually kill anyone, but they went forward with the censure because they want their weapon. Wade is the example of what happens if anyone else dares to speak in opposition. I believe the trustees are good people, doing what they feel is right. But they are wrong.

The anti-serum had been proposed.
Their threat had been neutralized.
They went nuclear.

They want their weapon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Wade,

Do you know when someone search "IMB Missionary" on Google your blog comes up on the first page? Some of us have non-Christian parents who search on the web to learn more about IMB and this is what they will find: Their son and daughters belong to an organization where the leaders are fighting against one another. In my last reply to your blog I pointed to 1 Cor 6:1-11 as a verse that shows that you shouldn't drag Christian dispute into the public (secular) arena. I got ripped by a whole bunch of people because they believe I incorrectly used the verse since they say it only applies to the courts. I believe this passage does apply since your blog is read by everyone (Including non-believers) and it is in the court of public opinion.

I am an IMB missionary, I agree with many of the things you are fighting for, but I just wish the trustees can focus on reaching the lost instead of flighting among themselves.

DH

Philip said...

DH, nobody "ripped" you. Everone's response was reasoned and respectful, even in disagreement. This is the crux of certain trustees disagreement with Wade. They take any disagreement as a personal attack.

You were not attacked, not "ripped", only disagreed with. There is nothing un-christian about that.

werdnasinned said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I invite you to abandon pieces of truth and the church of men. It's my prayer that you will open your heart of purse full communiom with the Catholic church.

t. d. webb said...

Anonymous said...
I invite you to abandon pieces of truth and the church of men. It's my prayer that you will open your heart of purse full communiom with the Catholic church.

"Purse full communion" Mr./Ms. Anonymous? Many of us were not aware that the payment of "Indulgences" had slipped to this level, even for the RCC. In any case, this Okie can happily and confidently assure you that you will find little receptivity to your offer, here. . .Perhaps, you would have better luck soliciting converts from the IMB BoT leadership. . .You obviously have considerably more in common with them. . . ;^)

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
You said, “For years the IMB trustees were guided by the conduct guidelines contained in what is know as ‘The Blue Book’…Why, all of the sudden, were ‘new guidelines’ needed to stifle dissent in March of 2006?”

Why indeed?

The same question could have been asked in 1997 when missionaries were told:

“We should recognize that some standardization of policy is necessary for serving the needs of more than 4,000 field personnel, and having recognized that, PUT THE POLICY MANUAL ON THE SHELF and focus on the task of winning our world.”

Missionary furloughs were done away with. They were changed to ‘stateside assignment’. They were told to have:

“A passion to know the Messiah and make Him known with a total abandonment that supersedes concerns of finances, family, and personal fulfillment.”

To have “A confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership whether we necessarily understand or agree…and letters about cost of living become a thing of the past.”

Why indeed?

Paul tells us the answer (2 Timothy 4:16) “At my first answer, no man stood for me.”

Rex Ray said...

Philip,
You hit the nail on the head.

What better way to show their muscles than to censure Wade?

David Simpson said...

Wade,
I'm tempted to request of you my favorite Elvis song, "In the Ghetto," to sum up where I feel all the brooha has descended...
Keep up the faith!
(BTW, "Ghetto" is actually tied with "Viva Las Vegas,"- just keepin' it real)

Anonymous said...

What about their "dissent" of some years back at the time of the Big Change (to use a neutral term)? They and their kind acted in, if I may say it, a much less Christian manner in their "dissent" than you have and with much less reason than you to raise the issues raised.

You have as the saying goes, disagreed without being disagreeable.

Wade, will you delete my comment if I say bullies can't handle it when anyone stands up to them?
Hang in there.

Susie

matt said...

It says a lot that the only person the BoT or IMB is making available to publicly defend the censure of Wade is a lawyer.
http://www.abpnews.com/2845.article

And the lawyer's argument is that the BoT did not violate any laws by censuring Wade. So what? Legality has never been the issue. Censuring Wade was reprehensible, unethical, and sinful. The fact that it may have been legal is irrelevant.

The actions of the Executive Committee in intentionally excluding relevant information from the full board and then allowing the full board to vote for censure without all the facts are reprehensible. Such men have no business serving in any type of Christian leadership capacity.

Wade is in trouble for making Corbaley's letter public? Wade was the subject matter of the letter! If anyone has a right to make a communication public, I would think it would be the person about whom the communication was written. It sounds like the IMB's ethic is as follows: The speaker/writer of information has the unilateral right to determine if the information should become public. The person spoken/written about has no say whatsoever.

greg hicks said...

Wade,

The IMB BOT issues are only one front in the battle for the kind of convention the SBC will become. Marty Duren's comments at sbcoutpost, "What should be ignored is the SBC in toto. With stunningly few exceptions the glory has departed." I fear Marty may simply be an "early adoptor" of a mass exodus of active participation, giving, and involvement in the SBC if very significant change does not occur in fairly short order.

After all you've been through, I don't know how you are still standing, but I praise God you are are still standing. I pray that the Lord continues to strengthen you and give you wisdom.

Thank you for continuing to fight the good fight!

Jim said...

May the Baptist principle of honest, respectful and Christ-like dissent always be preserved. Congregational church polity demands it. Effective denominational administration requires it. The unbelieving world admires it. Most importantly, I believe Christ is glorified by it.

Because I do not believe in anonymity,

Jim Palmer, IMB missionary (27 years) currently serving in MAC

Anonymous said...

So let's see...

Wade is arguing for the "Baptist" Principle of Dissent...

The IMB BoT are arguing for the "Biblical" Principle of Unity...

Some of you might want to reread John 17.

My opionon... we all got one. :)

Joe W. in TN

Wade Burleson said...

Joe W.

Biblical unity is not uniformity.

Biblical unity is the unity of the Spirit in the midst of courteous dissent.

To force man-made unity by decreeing trustees or church members must 'publicly support that which they do not privately support' is a charade. To allow public, courteous dissent without vendetta and retribution is Christian and Baptist.

Southern Baptist need to learn real transparency and real, Biblical unity. We are caught up in pretension and show, not the vitality of genuine transparency and the power of the real communion with people who are different than we.

When you publicly state you support what you don't actually support, you are at best pretending, and at worst lying. Transparency is the opposite of such pretension.

Blessings,

wade

greg.w.h said...

Jon W.:

Given that I've been commenting based on John 17 since early in the summer, perhaps I'm the best qualified to respond to your comment.

John 17 is a prayer by Jesus to the Father. That it is recorded in the Bible suggests that it is also an appeal of conscience by the Bridegroom to the Bride as well.

One way to interpret it--from that perspective--is that there will be lots of reasons for disunity that come along. Jesus doesn't condemn the disunity as much as pray for the Father to keep us unified. To the extent his appeal is to us, I don't see him issuing authority to conduct inquisitions and hang or burn people.

After the resurrection as he is preparing to return to heaven, he makes a very unusual statement. While previously he insisted that he be viewed as coming under the authority of the Father, in Matthew 28 he says, instead, that ALL authority in heaven and in earth has been given to him.

Given all authority, if your view of John 17 is accurate, you might think he would put in place a regimen of enforcing doctrinal purity. Instead he takes the precise opposite approach: we're to evangelize, teach, make disciples, and baptize. All of those things are voluntary on the part of the person going (he desires that we CHOOSE to do them) and on the part of the person being discipled.

It suggests a faith conversation that is not rigid and authoritative, but one that encourages discussion, reason, and action. The fact that the OT canon was just getting settled at the time of his life and that the New Testament canon took until the Council of Nicea to settle (and then mostly prompted by the Marcionite heresy where Marcion cut out the sections of the New Testament that showed a linkage with Old Testament thought since supposedly a NT god had replaced the OT one), it is even difficult to make the claim that Jesus would even have uttered the word inerrancy to his disciples. Neither did he tell the apostles to record the Bible as part of the Great Commission.

Dissent occurred and we see that record. The use of the Church Council in Jerusalem did not immediately resolve certain doctrinal problems such as the evangelism of the Gentiles, the eating of food sacrificed to idols, nor the necessity of Judaization of new converts. It wasn't all neat. It wasn't all unified by force.

I know where you are going with your reference to John 17 and I agree wholeheartedly with you. But censuring Wade seems to me to be the opposite of Christ's prayer and his implicit appeal to us. Just my opinion, of course, but I'll offer it is a well-considered opinion and not produced at the spur of the moment.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Wade and Greg,

I humbly disagree. Please don't
"rip" me for dissenting. :)

I just believe that the time to dissent is before the meeting, during the meeting, and before a vote. After that... Unity!

To continue to dissent after the vote, is to make the leap from dissent to discord. Many times we have respectful and kind dissent in our Church business meetings, but after the discussion and after the vote we move forward as one body.

Joe W.

Tom Parker said...

Joe W,

said, "To continue to dissent after the vote, is to make the leap from dissent to discord. Many times we have respectful and kind dissent in our Church business meetings, but after the discussion and after the vote we move forward as one body." Please tell me and the other readers you are not serious about your above comment. There are times to dissent and Wade has every right to dissent in this particular circumstance. Some issues you can move on, this is in my opinion not one to move on about.

t. d. webb said...

Wade,
What is amazing is that those who endorse the IMB BoT's censure of you implicitly agree with the proposition that those who falsely charge, deliberately malign, and personally disparage others in "in private" should have immunity from being held accountable for their words, even in the case of a diatribe of 153 pages being sent to 89 fellow Trustees around the country. Conversely, those who tell the truth in public should be censored. . .Go figure. . .

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

creed said...

Joe W

Remember.

Baptists would not be here and building Baptist Churches if the early Baptists had not dissented from the Anglican Church. These early Baptist heros were not willing to form a paper unity with a group they knew to be doing Church the wrong and unbiblical way.

Sam in TN

Melanie W said...

I was saddened, though not necessarily surprised, to read of the censure. Know that I am praying for you Wade, and for our entire convention as we decide what's truly important and decide the direction we will pursue in the future.

Much like Greg Hicks' comment above, I believe that Marty Duren is just the beginning wave of people who will throw their hands up and walk away. That is not an option for me. I feel very strongly that our convention is a good thing that has and does and will glorify God and bring others to his name. But, as with any organization staffed with mere humans, its going to need some "refining moments" and some much needed dissent to bring us back to a more biblical model. Thank you Wade for not giving up on us and for sticking it out. May many of the rest of us be found faithful to be standing beside you.

Joe W. - I would agree with your statement that once a decision has been made we should then stick beside it - 95% of the time. I too have been in many churches where a decision was made that I disliked, but I participated and supported the decision. Or, asked others to support a decision that I voted for and they voted against. But never have I "supported" a decision that I felt was un-Biblical. And I pray I never do.

Melanie Warren
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

greg.w.h said...

So what you are saying, Joe (sorry for the poor rendition of your name earlier), is that Luther should have shut up after he was excommunicated. Perhaps that is the right position, but I'll offer that paying for man-dispensed grace is a poor substitute for the authentic variety that God provides freely.

I feel similarly about man-created rules designed to promote a feel good atmosphere in a church. Usually disagreements are based on real differences. A continued effort to in love address the differences is a more impactful approach in my opinion.

In fact, one of the things I admire about Rob Zinn--the one who gave the Convention sermon this summer--is how he moderates business meetings. There were more than a few occasions where the majority had CLEARLY won, and he asked permission from the congregation to table the motion for more work. He explained that he was more concerned about doing damage to the body than he was in expediting decision making.

Now THAT is unity of the kind you say you prefer. And it is from an elder statesman of the state convention from whence Jerry Corbaley hails by one of the great conservative pastors of that state.

Greg Harvey

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

...after the discussion and after the vote we move forward as one body.

What if we are moving forward in the wrong direction?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

...when you publicly state you support what you don't actually support, you are at best pretending, and at worst lying. Transparency is the opposite of such pretension.

Quote of the Week over on my blog.

Charles R. said...

Wade,
I'm curious if you can see parallels between the types described in Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience and the various actions and reactions of our IMB board members.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,
Unity in Jesus Christ is Diversity in Jesus Christ. The body of Christ has been given many different Gifts of for the Glory of God. Wade you and IMB of Trustees are in our Prayers

In His Name

Anonymous said...

David,

I have yet to meet a person on the losing end of a vote who did not truly believe... "we are moving forward in the wrong direction". Hence, the vote in the negative.

I think we need to recognize that the other members of the IMB BoT were also appointed by the SBC, not just Wade. I refuse to believe that they are all ungodly people; and clearly they believe that Wade is indeed hindering the work. To try and draw comparisons between what Wade has done and Martin Luther standing up to the Catholic Church is in my opinion just a straw man.

Again... my opinion... Joe W.

Scott Shaffer said...

This issue of presenting a unified voice to the public while dissenting in private is interesting when applied to the local church. For instance, when the elder/deacon board reaches a majority (not unanimous) decision on an important issue, how should that be presented to the congregation at large? Assume that this isn’t a decision that the congregation would normally vote on. Should the vote details be made public? Should each pastor/elder/deacon reveal where they stand on the particular issue? Or, is it not practical to have a rigid policy in this regard?

Many church constitutions allow for decisions to be made by the board by a majority decision, so there is an implicit recognition that some will dissent.

I’m interested in your thoughts.

Scott

P.S. I have no agenda here about Wade and the recent censure; the comments just got me thinking about the dynamics we find in boards and how it may apply to the local church.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,
I know that you already know what I’ am posting here, but there are utters who need this Milk, for eye’s to see and ear’s to hear. May God continue to give you That Enter Peace that only God and Gives.


Title: My Utmost for His Highest
Author: Chambers, Oswald, 18741917
November 5
Partakers of His Sufferings
“… but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings …” (1
Peter 4:13).
If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of
experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others. Because of this process, you will never be surprised by what comes your way. You say, “Oh, I can’t deal with that person.” Why can’t you? God gave you sufficient opportunities to learn from Him about that
problem; but you turned away, not heeding the lesson, because it seemed foolish to spend your time that way.
The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered
“according to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:19), having a different point of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we
can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. When it comes to
suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to want to know God’s purpose
beforehand. In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God’s orders through a shortcut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering—the way of the “long road home.”
Are we partakers of Christ’s sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp out our personal ambitions? Are we prepared for God to destroy our individual decisions by supernaturally transforming them? It will mean not knowing why
God is taking us that way, because knowing would make us spiritually proud. We
never realize at the time what God is putting us through—we go through it more or less without understanding. Then suddenly we come to a place of enlightenment, and realize—“God has strengthened me and I didn’t even know
it!”

In His Name

creed said...

If a broad brush is used to paint a narrow stripe the result is too wide a stripe. We have all been on the losing side of a vote, but not "everytime" did we say this is going in the wrong direction and turn mean spirited about the vote. I may lose and support the majority. I may lose a vote and try to work for a better answer. To say everyone who loses a vote is automatically going to vehmently say we are going in the wrong direction is painting with too broad a brush. There is a difference between losing a vote and grinding an ax, and losing a vote and working for a better solution.

Sam

creed said...

Scott,

I believe Baptists follow a congregational polity that says the congregation makes the decisions, difficult and easy. Often the details are referred to committees who struggle with these details then come back to the congregation with recommendations. Still, it is one man one vote. We had a "Deacon Board" who made decisions, would not allow dissent outside the Deacon meeting and our congregation said loud and clear, "We are Baptists and as a congregation we will make decisions. Package your recommendations and bring them to us, the congregation." That is a true mark of Baptist polity and proper understanding of the priesthood of all believers and soul competency. In other words, Baptist.

Sam

Anonymous said...

Joe W.
You made the following comment,

"I think we need to recognize that the other members of the IMB BoT were also appointed by the SBC, not just Wade. I refuse to believe that they are all ungodly people; and clearly they believe that Wade is indeed hindering the work."

My thought is that if they really believed he was/is hindering the work, why not accept his suggestion to resign shortly and get on with things. Obviously it wasn't about "hindering the work" since that will actually happen more now. They had a great offer to get Wade "out of their hair" so they could do what they wanted to do, but turned that down in favor of making a spectacle and hindering the work further. Regardless of what people say or thing, if you get to the bottom of it, it really comes down to this: "Wade, you've wronged me. Say your sorry or we're going to get you." All the other trustees were just pawns and the info given like the 153 page diatribe, etc, just obfuscated the issue. Try to see it for what it really is: a personality issue that grew way out of proportion due to disagreements that were tied in to positions and power. Think about it.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But the results will speak for themselves. You and I both know that there were a million ways to resolve this without it getting ugly. Those weren't tried. The only thing that was tried was people going to Wade and saying, "just say you're sorry and then we can move on."

Scott Shaffer said...

Sam,

So in other words, the deacon board never makes any binding decisions. Rather, they just make recommendations?

Anonymous said...

Sam,

You said... "We have all been on the losing side of a vote, but not "everytime" did we say this is going in the wrong direction and turn mean spirited about the vote." .... and ... "To say everyone who loses a vote is automatically going to vehmently say we are going in the wrong direction is painting with too broad a brush."

I certainly agree with your observation. However, I never said anything people becoming mean spirited, nor did I say people vehemently "everytime" express their opinions (although you put quotations around that word).

I simply pointed out my experiences and that the person dissenting "truly believes" we are going in the wrong direction.

Just for clarification... Joe W.

creed said...

Scott,

Correct. The same is true for the committees. The congregation makes the binding decision. The Deacons handle ministry and as such are a ministry group. The Committees handle the business and make recommendations. The congregation votes it up or down. The only exception would be sensative issues which are public only so far as needed. Be sure, we trust the people we elect to serve on the committee and in the Deacon Ministry.

Sam

Sam

creed said...

Anon/Joe W.

Sorry. I used the quotation marks to emphasize my thoughts, not to suggest I was quoting you. My mistake. I was actually thinking of a different situation where the thoughts I was emphasizing were applicable and I thought germane here.

Apologies,

Sam

Scott Shaffer said...

Sam,

Thanks. How would you suggest churches handle dissent when someone vocally disagrees with the majority?

Lin said...

"I invite you to abandon pieces of truth and the church of men. It's my prayer that you will open your heart of purse full communiom with the Catholic church."

Actually, the SBC is inching closer to Catholicism every day. As you can see, we are exchanging the Priesthood of the believer for authoritarian rulers.

Michael said...

Scott,
What we have here is (using analogies) the board of elders came to a majority vote then presented the vote as unified when announcing it to the church. Then later on, one of the elders blogged about it and said he didn't agree and said why. So this elder is being barred from meetings because he made his feeling known to some of the congregation outside of church building.

Myself, I can understand unanimity in official reports but I don't understand this forced unanimity in unofficial reports of a personal nature.
Part of what spurred on the private conversations censure is the fear that some words unwisely said will get out and show them in a bad light. So rather than getting lessons in PR, then made that against the rules.

Michael

creed said...

Scott,

Listen to them in public and/or in private. Know the people of a congregation, and longevity counts here (I have served only 3 Churches in my 29 years of pastoring). Be a friend to all. Build trust. Be patient. Be wise to catch teaching moments for both sides of an issue. Learn what battles are worth fighting. Use the best of Jesus diplomacy. Stand your ground on extraordinary issues and resulting decisions. Avoid secrecy, excewpt in very extreme sensitive cases. Talk based on already built relationships. Remember, people often are not easy to deal with, but people are our business.

Also, I can be wrong.

Sam

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

I really appreciate you trying to understand, but I think you are missing something.

The majority rules. There is no question about that.

The IMB majority passed guidelines that exceed the BFM 2000 that exclude otherwise qualified and God-called Southern Baptist to the mission field. There is no question about that.

The guidelines are enforced by staff at the IMB. There is no question about that.

The convention adopted the Garner Recommendation which stated '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." There is no question about that.

I am simply telling people the truth and seeking to display grace to all - even those who disagree. There is no question about that.

The way to deal with the Wade Burlesons of this world, particularly if you don't like what he is saying, is to ignore him. Don't attack. It will only backfire in the end.

greg.w.h said...

That's some great advice, Sam. If I were to add to it, it would probably be something like this:

"Always imagine that God is chuckling with you, not at you."

Greg

James said...

Wade,

It seems to me that certain members of the board believed that you would be more "dangerous" to their agenda after quitting the board than you would be if they censured you.

Did they have believe you were going to accept a nomination for president next year? Was this a pre-emptive act to poison that well?

If so, they might have succeeded, but (it seems to me) they were spitting into a hurricane since their action makes it much more likely that the next president will be expected to forward the agenda that got Dr. Page elected. Also, it insures that the next convention will address the policies of the IMB directly.

"I will...put hooks in your jaws..."
Ezekiel 38:3

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Joe,
First, thanks for the dialogue.

I refuse to believe that they are all ungodly people; and clearly they believe that Wade is indeed hindering the work.

I have never accused them of being ungodly. I just think they are wrong. I believe that Wade's desire for openness says volumes.

To try and draw comparisons between what Wade has done and Martin Luther standing up to the Catholic Church is in my opinion just a straw man.

My "wrong direction" question was merely a response to your assertion that once a decision has been made that everyone should just accept it and move forward. I was just asking what someone should do if they sincerely believe the move is in the wrong direction.

What would you do? Would you just accept inaccurate representations of your actions and go along with things that you felt were wrong?

My Luther comment (in the other thread) was in response to a comment that Wade should just resign instead of dissent. My point was merely that if everybody did that, there would have been no Reformation. Am I comparing Wade to Luther? No. But I am asking, as above, what someone should do when they disagree with the direction we are going?

Ironically, we now know that Wade DID offer to resign. You claim the Board is sincere. I don't doubt it. But so is Wade. He offered an olive branch that was too generous if you ask me and they snapped it in two.

What we have here are two groups in the SBC:

Group A believes that decisions should be made in secret and that the parameters of who can be an SBC missionary should be narrowed. There should also be no dissenting point of view voiced.

Group B believes decisions should be made in the open and that the parameters for missionaries should not be further narrowed. Dissenting points of view should be allowed to be voiced.

The question I still have is, why should dissent not be allowed? Whether it is Luther, Burleson, McLaughlin, or Joe? And what should someone do (even in the minority) when they sincerely believe we are headed in the wrong direction?

Love & Mercy,
David Mc

Scott Shaffer said...

Michael,

Perhaps you didn't catch my earlier statement, "I have no agenda here about Wade and the recent censure; the comments just got me thinking about the dynamics we find in boards and how it may apply to the local church."

I'm not trying to apply the IBM action to the church or vice versa. It just got me to thinking about the local church...

Anonymous said...

David,

You asked... "why should dissent not be allowed? Whether it is Luther, Burleson, McLaughlin, or Joe? And what should someone do (even in the minority) when they sincerely believe we are headed in the wrong direction?"

First, I am not saying that dissent should not be allowed. What I am saying, is that there is a proper time and place for a minority dissent to be expressed.

As to your second question, I believe Sam has answered well... " Be a friend to all. Build trust. Be patient. Be wise to catch teaching moments for both sides of an issue. Learn what battles are worth fighting. Use the best of Jesus diplomacy." But may I add this... don't air grievances publically that might undermine both yours and your Lord's goals. No matter how much Wade wants to believe he is helping the IMB, the fact remains, this whole incident has given the IMB a black eye (figuratively speaking). Wade, of that there is no question.

Joe W.

Matt said...

Wade,

I'm grateful for all you're doing for the SBC. You have said that you cannot in good conscience abide by the policy that prohibits public dissent from board approved actions. I commend you in that. Your desire is to obey God rather than man and to keep your integrity intact.

Why not take it further? Shouldn't the same logic that leads you not to abide by the policy prohibiting dissent also lead you not to abide by the policy prohibiting disclosure of what happens in Executive Session? I'm not talking about things that happen in Executive Session for legitimate reasons, such as missionary security. However, much of what is done in Executive Session is done in secret for anti-biblical reasons. Jesus did nothing in secret (John 18:20). If the reason for why a given action happened in Executive Session is anti-biblical, then I encourage you to disregard the rule prohibiting disclosure. No believer is under any obligation to obey anti-biblical laws/rules.

James said...

[davidbmclaughlin.com] The question I still have is, why should dissent not be allowed?

Especially since up until a year and a half ago, dissent had never been disallowed, and if someone had attempted to disallow it 25 years ago it would have caused an outrage.

Why is it that such a policy is necessary now when throughout the history of the SBC such a policy was never necessary before?

Incidentally, has the BoT trustees altered their policies in light of the Garner Recommendation? I haven't noticed any defenders of the BoT that have suggested that board majority be censured for their obstinancy toward the convention majority.

James said...

[anonymous]No matter how much Wade wants to believe he is helping the IMB, the fact remains, this whole incident has given the IMB a black eye (figuratively speaking). Wade, of that there is no question.

Okay. Granted. But who is responsible for that black eye? Wade alleges that he offered to make the whole controversy go away. The majority decided a more grand statement was necessary. Why? They arent' saying. But Wade is hardly responsible for the BoT walking in to a door.

shadrach said...

I prayerfully submit these few comments.

First- There is some environment of fear on the mission field created by decisions that lead us to believe that dissention will cause our removal. However, this environment has caused those of us on the field to sincerely consider whether or not to remain and agree with our Board or to leave.

Second- Transparency and the right to dissent are Baptist doctrines, see the autonomy of the local church and the priesthood of the believer. But, dissention should be regulated concerning extra-Biblical material; our duty to publicly disagree with our governing authorities is raised when they specifically violate our Biblical commands.

Finally- Our BoT could not allow Wade to just fade away. If his concluding influence with our Board still held that he was correct in his actions, that means the BoT was in the wrong. Many of you will say that they are wrong (I have yet to hear them defend their actions and so will not cast my vote to either group, rather simply to Christ), but to allow that as a public admission would be to destroy their ability to function as YOU, the SB’s that voted for them or ignored their reccomendation, decided that they should.

I will sign my name, because I believe we should each be held accountable for everything we say and do.

Shadrach Black, an IMB M in WA

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Thanks James. That is exactly how I was going to respond.

James said...

[Shadrach] Our BoT could not allow Wade to just fade away. If his concluding influence with our Board still held that he was correct in his actions, that means the BoT was in the wrong.

I just don't see how this is so. It would mean that WADE still *believed* the BoT was in the wrong. It would say no more than that. If the BoT believed their actions were defensible, there was nothing to prevent them from making that case going forward. In fact, it would be easier for them to do that since Wade said he would let his blog go permanently dormant.

Now, if the BoT thought its actions were not defensible by argument, then I suppose you are right. They would need to win the argument *politically* by smearing Wade in some way.

But I fail to see how that is furthering the job we SBs want them to do.

Wade Burleson said...

Matt,

You ask a good question.

The new IMB trustee 'Standards of Conduct' which stifled dissent and were rushed into adoption on March 22, 2006, are simply internal guidelines.

Executive Session confidentiality rules are the law of the land.

I am not only trained in parliamentary procedure, I read vociferously - including all materials of the IMB and Virginia state laws - and I will not ever violate Executive Session confidentiality.

The only reason I can talk about something that was done in Executive Session is because the Board revealed it publicly - as they did my censure and the details leading up to it.

Bowden McElroy said...

Wade,

The Trustee Code of Conduct doesn't merely stifle dissent: it is written in such a way as to ensure discord.

Trustees are mandated "to interpret" the work of the board while simultaneously forbidden to say anything negative.

Anyone who is on the losing side of a vote will soon find themselves in an ethical dilemma: either they will be quiet and violate the mandate to speak out about the work of the IMB or they will speak positively about something they do not really believe and thus engage in deceitful behavior.

It is highly likely that, over the course of four years, EVERY trustee will find himself/herself in violation of either the Code or their own conscience.

shadrach said...

James,

In the ABP news article about all of this, they link Bro. Burleson's actions to the election of Frank Page. Because this has been taken this far and because the BoT are defining themselves as diametrically opposed to Wade on this point, we cannot have, as Ravi Zacharias would say, 'both and.'

This is a larger issue at the heart of many things in our convention. Can we in good faith cooperate with those we do not agree with? and to what extent?

Right now, it seems that we would rather further isolate ourselves than incorporate ourselves. Thus, someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong.

The BoT's ability to continue doing their job as our representatives is linked to our faith in them. They must prove to you and me that they are in the right. Maybe this could have all been sorted out quietly a year ago, I doubt it, but not now.

Wade Burleson said...

Bowden,

I don't know why it takes a pyschologist to say what every Southern Baptist should know. I said at the time of the passage of the new, March 22, 2006 'Trustee Conduct Standards' that they were the worst guidelines ever passed in the history of any agency of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Glad to know Bowden, at least one psychologist does not think I'm crazy.

:)

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

I asked the other day, but in the business and confusion of the moment I guess you did not have a chance to answer. I ask this question in all sincerity...Will you pray about allowing your name to be placed into nomination for President of the SBC. I believe it would give the convention a avenue to speak to this issue with great clarity. I also believe you are the only man who would have a chance against Dr. Mohler in Indy.

jrm

Matt said...

Wade,

Could you please humor me and point me to the specific Virgina statutes that would prohibit you from disclosing the contents of Executive Session meetings? I could do the research, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if you've already got the information.

I tried to find the IMB's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws online, but I came up empty. Would you consider posting the text of these documents as a resource for Southern Baptists?

I understand why you're making the distinction between disregarding the IMB standards and disregarding Executive Session confidentiality rules. However, my point was that I don't see any biblical or moral principles compelling such a distinction. Just as a believer is under no obligation to obey an anti-biblical internal guideline of the IMB, so too is a believer under no obligation to obey an anti-biblical law of the land (or a law that is OK in and of itself but is contributing to an anti-biblical practice in the context in which the believer finds himself). I can certainly appreciate that the consequences would be different, though.

creed said...

Gentlemen:

I am deeply concerned where this one IMB event coupled with all else with which the Convention is dealing is going to take us. In the past issues of control have split at least three State Conventions. The battle of the Alamo may be fought again as soon as next week, this time with the Tennesseans staying in Tennessee to defend themselves against the CR on-slaught. Tennessee is one of few that has, to date, prevented take-over of Boards and Institutions. We seem to be sliding backwards downhill and I do not yet see an answer. What is the ultimate answer to settle a McCoy-Hatfield type feud among Christian brethern/sistern? More dissent? More motions? More campaigning as happened in Missouri and resulted in changes? More sniping? Listen, as a old Vietnam vet I know people get hurt bad when we snipe at each other as enemies.

I can't hang out a white flag, but I cannot stop defending what I hope are sound Baptist principles and beliefs.

Somebody throw out a life-line.

Sam

Wade Burleson said...

Matt,

It is not a matter of humor. It is a matter of law, and the statutes are clear. Have you ever served on a board? Usually attorney's give you the legal spill during orientation.

By the way, this is PRECISELY why I believe that Southern Baptists should NEVER go into Executive Session. What we do should be open for all eyes to see. It is also why the Executive Committee of the SBC has only done it a handful of times over the past forty years.

Jack Maddox said...

Man Wade...I guess its official, I am not going to have that question answered. Oh well...since I like you and dont want to continue to be simply ignored as if my question has no merit and does not matter, maybe you will answer this one. DO you think Texas Tech has a prayer of beating your beloved Sooners this year? Maybe you will at least answer one question of mine.

Anonymous said...

Wade said, "
The way to deal with the Wade Burlesons of this world, particularly if you don't like what he is saying, is to ignore him. Don't attack. It will only backfire in the end."

Folks, that is Wade. It is more than dissent. It borders on arrogance and people are beginning to see it--hopefully in time. There is a plan and "they" are executing it.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

A little wake up call.

If I were desiring to be President of the Southern Baptist Convention, I would be a politician. I would say nothing that would upset people. I would seek to make everyone happy. I would not tackle the tough issues. I would do everything in my power to preserve my reputation.

I am not a politician.

And, no, Tech has no chance against my Sooners.

:)

Wade

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

You said, "The convention adopted the Garner Recommendation which stated '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.' There is no question about that."

Hmmm...there ought to be some question about that. You've given us the wording of Dr. Chapman's sermon, which we didn't approve, not the wording of the Garner motion, which was nothing like that.

I wish the Garner motion had stated things that clearly. Then perhaps we would have resolved some things this Summer.

Anonymous said...

Go to Outpost and read Wade and Ben. You want this guy on your staff? Again, see the real guys at work. Do not be fooled. http://sbcoutpost.com/2007/11/09/with-apologies-to-none-pt-1/#comments

DT Boy said...

SO much of what has happened around this Trustee Meeting makes me so sad. I had hoped that things would have worked out better for all involved. I see both sides of this. I think both sides have committed wrongs. It just makes me sad that how one sided this has come about.


I pray that God will heal the wounds and that IMB Board will be able to move forward. I also pray the Southern Baptist will once again move towards openness and free discussion.

David said...

Wade:

As I understand it, you also did not seek the office when you were elected to the president's role in the Oklahoma convention . . .

So, you didn't actually say "No" in answer to Jack's question. I agree: it's better for the office to seek you than for you to seek the office.

Please know: the office is seeking you now.

creed said...

anonymous,

Who is "they" and what is their plan? Sounds sinister. Why won't "they" identify themselves? Will "they" help or hinder? Who are you that you have this inside info on the "they" agenda?

Sam

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

First of all, I really do not need your "Wake up" call sir. When I asked the question, I was sincerely seeking your heart on the matter. It was a legitimate question non deserving of a sarcastic initial reply.

Secondly, I never asked if you were "Desiring" I asked if you would consider 'praying' about your nomination.

Your comments concerning politicians indicts everyone who has ever allowed their name to be placed into nomination, including Frank Page...I would think you would want to re think that line of logic.

I am sorry that I cannot ask a simple question without a loaded response. There are many who would welcome you to represent their view point in the SBC in Indy. I am not one of them although I believe your candidacy would allow Southern Baptists to speak to the issues that have troubled us these past few years...one way or the other, The convention could speak. Your candidacy would be a good opportunity.

As far as not being a politician...many would struggle with your take on this...you are one of the most politically polarizing figures in the SBC at the moment...that is not by itself a bad thing, but for you to say you are not a politician is laughable. I will even go as far as to say that your political activity is based upon your convictions which you hold dear, but you do utilize politics Wade. In the same way the CR used them for change, you likewise are political.

You are wrong sir on the most pointed of all issues in my last comment to you...and this was one grieves me greatly...I am sorry Wade...Tech will upset the Sooners this year...

and I do believe we will see a Wade Burleson run at the Pres of the SBC...if not this year, then in 2010

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I sure didn't mean to offend in my response. I apologize.

I can't figure out why you are asking the question, that's all.

Again, I'm sorry if my response sounded loaded. I appreciate the question.

James said...

[shadrach] This is a larger issue at the heart of many things in our convention. Can we in good faith cooperate with those we do not agree with? and to what extent?

As you say, this is a constant question at the heart of a convention like ours, based on chosen association rather than apostolic succession.

Right now, it seems that we would rather further isolate ourselves than incorporate ourselves. Thus, someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong.

Well, I suppose it seems that way at any moment of crisis. In the 1920s the Norrisites isolated themselves from the rest of us. In the early 90s, the moderates began doing the same. However, I suspect that now while those who seek a narrowing of our convention are in places of authority, they are not the majority (similar to the situation in the mid-1970s).

The BoT's ability to continue doing their job as our representatives is linked to our faith in them. They must prove to you and me that they are in the right. Maybe this could have all been sorted out quietly a year ago, I doubt it, but not now.

We will have faith in them if they make themselves accountable to us. That was what the reform of the late 70s was all about. The current leaders are no more above accountability than were the leaders of the 1970s. But the BoT seems to consider their positions too important and their vision too wise for accountability.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

Thanks for the apology. I am perhaps getting to sensitive in my middle years. I likewise apologize for being to quick to anger. It is the whole 'plank in my eye' thing.

The reason I am ask the question is because it is the question that everyone is asking. It is an obvious question brother. It would seem that it must come to a referendum with someone representing yours and others view and vision of the SBC pitted against the vision that is held by those who would support Dr. Mohler and the current leadership. It was very much the same in 1979. The candidates held very different approaches to SBC life. Let's stop attacking each other, calling each other names and demonizing one another. Lets recognize that there are two very different views being held in the SBC today. You are by far the most focal and visible personality representing a change of the 'status quo" It is time to get this behind us, win, loose or draw...

jrm

James said...

Jack,

As I said earlier in this thread, if I were to guess, I would say the purpose of the BoT's censure was to turn a Wade nomination into a poison pill (why else censor him if he had agreed to quit?). And it worked. A serious Burleson nomination at the this point would be such a thumb in the eye of the board majority that it might actually cause a wounding division of the convention ("sweet to my mouth, but bitter to my stomach").

But it also means that the BoT has helped prove Wade's point just when a new candidate for president must be chosen. It is far more inevitable that the candidate will be elected who seems most likely to address the actions of the IMBoT and install new trustees that will make themselves more accountable and less inclined administer beyond the BFM2000.

Because they convinced themselves that Wade was their enemy, they have sown a whirlwind.

Jack Maddox said...

James

you said "However, I suspect that now while those who seek a narrowing of our convention are in places of authority, they are not the majority (similar to the situation in the mid-1970s)."

The election of Jim Richards in San Antonio would run against the grain of your point. There the so called “narrowest” defeated the “Big Tenter” (Rogers) and rather convincingly so!

It is not about a "narrowing" but a unwillingness to "Broaden"

There are many who disagree with the two issues of the BOT that have been the 'rallying" cry of those like Wade and his supporters. I am one of them. However, they go to far...they have gone to far in their tactics(Ben Cole) In their desire for a "broader" ecumenicist SBC. (Burleson) If you think that Southern Baptists desire to go down these kind of paths, you are incorrect. And if you think the heavily weighted opinions found on Wades blog represent the majority of Southern Baptists, then you are mistaken.

I believe a Burleson vs Mohler race would solidify not only my opinion, but the direction of the SBC. My guess is that Mohler would win 60 - 40, hands down.

It would be rather ironic though would it not that two Calvinist would be vying for the office!

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

sorry, in the above post I should not have said "solidify my opinion" but rather "confirm my opinion"

jrm

Jack said...

Jack:

As a Tech alum who is all too used to being teased and ultimately disappointed by our perennial underdog status I applaud your optimism but acknowledge Wade's realism.

I wish Tech the best, but if history is any indication the streak will end "Sooner" than later.

-Guns Up!

(The "other" Jack)

Danny said...

Keep in mind that there are other Baptists "not of this fold" who embrace historic Baptist distinctives, appreciate discussion on important issues, and don't require conformity in order to serve the Lord.

You are a voice crying in the SBC wilderness. I wish you well.

Lin said...

"It is not about a "narrowing" but a unwillingness to "Broaden""

Not that is clever.

Does this mean the SBC is narrow enough and needs no more narrowing? (I hope)

Anonymous said...

Wade, more than ever we are praying for His wisdom to guide your every step. You could not have done any more than you did to expedite your removal from the BoT. Obviously the Father has different plans for you which require you to remain in your present position.

I recall a summit at Camp David back in the 90s when the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, attempted to strike a peace deal with Yassar Arafat. Barak gave in to Arafat's every demand: he offered to give territory over to the Palestinians, he even proposed annexing part of Jerusalem. Arafat thumbed his nose at Barak's offer. I was stunned. But the truth was, Arafat really did not want peace, even when Barak was willing to sell Israel's soul over to the PLO. That became evident when the offer was rejected.

I see a parallel between that summit at Camp David and the hallway "summit" in Springfield Illinois a few days ago. You offered to give up the fight and walk away from the conflict in the interest of allowing the IMB BoT to move forward without you as a distraction. The BoT, like Arafat, thumbed their nose at your sacrificial offer...and proceeded to escalate the war.

What does this lead us to believe? It makes the BoT look as though they really had no interest in resolving this conflict, this "impasse." Instead, they spurned your offer and escalated the war.

If lying, deception or witholding of information occurred in the moments leading up to the vote for your censure, I pray that this will be made plain for all to see.

Many of us out here on the field are praying for you, that you will continue to represent us with the integrity and grace that have defined you over the last two years. May the God of all grace perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

An East Asia M

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
There’s a price to pay for dissent.

Acts 15 tells of the powerful Jewish church of Jerusalem being dissented by Peter and Paul on how man was saved.

The conclusion was their “BFM” omitted the words of Peter that all are saved by the free gift of Jesus, and put in rules that got the foot in the door for the start of Catholics.

(I challenge anyone to tell how Catholics got started another way; history is being repeated by the narrowing of perimeters in the SBC.)

The elders of the big church persuaded Paul to take vows under the nose of those who plotted to kill him for years.

He never had freedom again. The elders never lifted a finger to prove Paul innocent at his trial.

This killed two birds with one stone: It got him out of their hair, and prevented the potential revolt of Gentle churches if their members killed Paul. (the killing of Paul implied Acts 21:22)

“…no man stood for me…I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16) This is the prayer he heard from Stephen; had the same crime been done?

We’re glad for Paul’s dissent and yours. I know your outcome will be happier, but in God’s eyes it can never be as great.

jasonk said...

I've read comparisons to Luther and the RCC, Hitler and the Nazi party, but I do believe that this is the first time I have read a comparison to Arafat. It is refreshing to see something different :>)

God bless you Wade. Keep up the good fight.

Matt said...

Wade,

I'd like to read the statutes myself. Can you point me to the specific statutes that are "clear"?

Wade Burleson said...

Call the IMB attorney Matt. I am sure he will be happy to assist you.

I do not know his name. He is young, new to the position, and took the job over from a very wise and godly man I considered a dear friend.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for you, Jack M, the views held by Wade probably represent many more S. Baptists than you realize.

I don't think the majority of S. Baptists approve of lying, deception, withholding of information and the like that has gone on for much too long on trustee boards and in presidential suites. It's time for a new day. Just accept it, Jack, and move on. Your boys have had their day and we have seen the outcome. It's time for change.

And unlike your prediction, I think Wade would take Mohler easily, about as easily as the Sooners will defeat the lowly Red Raiders.

Steve

pewsitter said...

The rank-and-file will view all of this as politics --regardless or who is most right or least wrong -- unless one side or other acts in an extraordinary and unexpectedly sacrificial way.

RM said...

To say the least I am disappointed with what the trustees did--but not surprised. Its the way things work in that group.

I emailed the IMB and asked for the names and emails of all the BOT. They did not send them but did send the names and states of each trustee.

They also said if I would like to write ALL of the trustees, just send an email to:

imbtrustees@imb.org

If they are "normal" people they will at least listen to emails that we send.

I also have the list of trustees and their states and would be glad to send them to anyone who asks. Just email me at:

c-b-c@verizon.net

I'll send them right to you.

The best way to deal with this action is to let them know there are Southern Baptists out there who care--and who vote.

RM said...

To say the least I am disappointed with what the trustees did--but not surprised. Its the way things work in that group.

I emailed the IMB and asked for the names and emails of all the BOT. They did not send them but did send the names and states of each trustee.

They also said if I would like to write ALL of the trustees, just send an email to:

imbtrustees@imb.org

If they are "normal" people they will at least listen to emails that we send.

I also have the list of trustees and their states and would be glad to send them to anyone who asks. Just email me at:

c-b-c@verizon.net

I'll send them right to you.

The best way to deal with this action is to let them know there are Southern Baptists out there who care--and who vote.

Gary said...

All,

An interesting confluence of events.

- The IMB BoT censure Wade early this past week.
- Annual Pastor's Conference before the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) occurs beginning Monday morning
- BGCO Annual Meeting convenes beginning Monday evening.
- Wade Burleson is the Parlimentarian for said Annual Meeting

Note that two of the featured speakers of the Pastor's Conference are Daniel Akin, SEBTS, and Al Mohler, SBTS.

Rightly or wrongly, there are a number of us who have believed for a long time that the BGCO Annual Meeting business has been "decided" in the halls of the Pastor's Conference. Perhaps it has always been that way. But I recall BGCO meetings which lasted longer than the current meetings. There were a number of colorful characters who made it to the microphones. It was great fun, actually.

However, the floor has been very "controlled" for almost 3 decades now. And perhaps that is a good thing. What would happen if the rabble, er, Messengers, had a different idea about how the State Convention should do its business? Why, that would be dissent. We can't have that, now, can we?

Having been to several SBC meetings during and after the "purge" myself, I can certainly see where you wouldn't want the rabble to get to the microphones.

(I apologize to those whose sarcasm switch has been disabled. You need to work on that.)

Wade,

Honest disagreements on those things which are not primary to the faith are fair game. Please don't begin to shy away from those. I doubt that you would find few in the pew who would disagree. Woe be unto us if our skin is so thin that we cannot have someone question us on these without taking offense. And for all of us who are believers, we should be able to argue the primary tenets of the faith at the drop of a hat.

I leave you with an Irish Prayer:

May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping.

Gary Skaggs
Norman, Oklahoma

James said...

[jack] I believe a Burleson vs Mohler race would solidify not only my opinion, but the direction of the SBC. My guess is that Mohler would win 60 - 40, hands down.

All the more reason for Wade not to be the candidate. Let it be someone else who would inact the same policies.

Look, I adamantly backed the reforms of the late 70s and 80s. I think SBs owe Paige Patterson a debt of gratitude for what he did back then. And I want him to retire now before the harm he does now, outweighs the good he did then (I think Patterson's backing of the erstwhile staunch *moderate* Ronnie Floyd for president proves he's lost his way).

It's not a Burleson vs Mohler question. Most messengers probably *wouldn't* back Wade because of some of the things he's written. But most Baptists recognize a fundamental problem with trustees acting without transparency. Most *pastors* recognize that the board's restrictions on glossolalia and baptism are unreasonable *if* they know what they are. They have MEMBERS who they know quietly practice glossolalia in private prayer.

The board minority can win this by argument. The majority know they can't. That's why they haven't tried.

Steve said...

In allowing the new Trustee Standards of Conduct to be adopted in 2006, International Mission Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. John Floyd has shown that he either can be manipulated to damage the missionary thrust of the SBC and ignore what has ever been a Baptist distinctive - welcoming diversity of opinions; or is intentionally willing to allow political and personal vindictiveness to overwhelm the cause of Christ.
He then followed this failure up with this week's comedic surprise attack against a man of principle, Oklahoma Trustee Wade Burleson.

In either case, his usefulness in his current post has been reduced to an embarrassment. He needs to leave this position of trust as soon as a successor can be selected.

Matt said...

Wade,

Thanks for referring me to the IMB attorney. I'll do the legal research myself and then I'll only need to contact him if I find any issues that may hinge on the application of internal IMB policies or documents to which I have no access.

I apologize for incorrectly assuming that your comments that you "read vociferously" from the laws of Virgina and that the "statutes are clear" meant that you had firsthand knowledge of the relevant laws. Had I realized you were simply relying on your interpretation of what an IMB attorney said during orientation, I would have done my own research from the beginning.

Thanks for all you're doing to strive for greater accountability and transparency in our denomination. Please keep it up.

Matt

Wade Burleson said...

Matt,

You are welcome. I pray you will do your research 'vociferously' as well.

:)

And I pray you will come to the same conclusion as I that it would be unethical, illegal and unChristian to publicly report actions that occur in EXECUTIVE SESSION - and therefore, except in the most extreme cases of danger for missionaries - Southern Baptists should always avoid EXECUTIVE SESSIONS.

Because - we have nothing to hide.

Right?

Jack Maddox said...

Steve

Then you make my point sir. I disagree with your analysis, however I do realize that you believe what you to say to hold water. So then, let Wade and those who support him pay the price, travel to Indy, nominate him and let the chips fall. If he wins I will be the first to admit I was wrong and that you were right. I stated that I believe it would be 60 -40 in Mohler’s favor. It was more than that for Dr. Richards vs. Brother David Rogers. Before you pull the Texas card let me remind you brother that the SBTC is a relatively small convention. Trust me...the BGCT boys were not there voting for Jim! I believe Steve it is you who are incorrect...the SBC is not a convention of bloggers friend...they are a convention of Grass Roots conservatives who continue to support the CR. And your juvenile draconian view of the SBC really begs the question friend.

and by the way...The only 'boys' I have are 14 and 16 years old and need to be cleaning the yard right now. I don’t have any 'boys' and no 'boys' certainly have me in context of the SBC. I am a Pastor, not a politician. I believe I can say that with a degree more credibility than others.

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

my above post is to the former annonymous Steve, not the Steve before my post momentarily ago

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg.w.h said...

As I read through the comments again and again, I want to admit something that concerns me. We seem to have convinced ourselves that because the world is imperfect, that majority positions are the only proxies we have for God's leadership.

Perhaps that is true. But I'll offer, again, that Luther's stand was not the majority position. Correction never comes from the majority...it always comes TO the majority.

Wade's entire method for dissenting might be unbiblical and might cause strife. But if his message is on target, the Trustees and the Convention owe it to God to listen to Wade and to act on what he's saying.

Let's try to take Wade out of the picture and Jerry Corbaley out of the picture. I'll argue that the fact that the Southern Baptists are grassroots conservatives is equally irrelevant unless we condone the majority vote as our only proxy for God's leadership.

I'll argue that it would be BETTER and more biblical to roll dice in that case because then God can more directly influence the outcome than he can when pride, politics, and irrationality come a cropper among the majority. While that might not be the case in the IMB Board of Trustees actions in general, we have the specific example of the private prayer language restrictions that at the very least should cause us question.

I would urge Wade to spend the time between now and the next IMB meeting taking an inventory of all of the decisions that were made while he has served as a Trustee. He should present a slate of decisions that he feels violate biblical principles, Baptist principles, or that were done solely out of a sense of political control by the majority over the minority. Since I believe the changed trustee guidelines fit in that category, I would include them.

That slate should be presented to the Board of Trustees for attention. The Chairman should be very interested in referring the slate to the SBC Executive Committee for guidance. Page and Chapman should work together to appoint a group to examine these actions and determine if they feel it is in line with the Garner Amendment that was voted on this past summer.

If that group feels there are problems with the decisions, they either should refer it back to the Board of Trustees for additional consideration, or bring a resolution to the Convention floor advising a new course of policymaking that enhances and replaces the Garner Amendment with a better written, more coolly formulated approach.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

You would have gained a great deal of credibility had you done what you say you were going to do. I don't understand why you don't do it anyway if it was the right thing to do.

Now you are just trying to prove a point. That is childish. Your latest blog reek's with arogance. You may very well have been right before, but you are not now.

Regardless of how this all works out, you will look back at the last few paragraphs of your latest blog with regret you said it.

Not only did you lose an opportunitny to gain a great deal of credibility, but you are also losing some of those who want to support you.

I am truly sorry to write this. I hope I'm wrong.

Bob Cleveland said...

Well, anonymous, I think you're wrong for posting anonymously. And it's one thing to disagree with Rev. Burleson, but quite another to simply state he is wrong.

Like Leo Durocher (I think it was) once said; "If 35 rows behind third base was the best place to call balls and strikes, that's where they'd put the umpires".

Belief Matters said...

So Bob Cleveland where are you sitting.

Bob Cleveland said...

Belief Matters,

Check my blog. That'll pretty well describe where I sit.

And where I stand.

Belief Matters said...

But your quote as I understand it contradicts your position.

How can you know for sure what has happen in executive session?

How you heard both sides of the issue?

Bob Cleveland said...

Belief Matters,

I'll post my opinions as to the matters in Rev. Burleson's post here. I do so with the evidence I have, and I won't defend them to you or anyone else, except Rev. Burleson.

-30-

Jack said...

Bob:

Interesting that you ended your post with " -30- ".

At some point in your life I would guess that you were trained as a journalist, a linotype operator, a telegraph operator, or an amateur radio operator.

Which is it?

73,

-jack-

-30-

Bob Cleveland said...

Jack,

I read a book about Ottmar Mergenthaler, about 55 years ago.

Belief Matters said...

Just remember they are your opinions.

So your quote is out of line. Because everyone's opinion on this is equal.

We don't have the full story.

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
Why did you ask Wade if he will run for president of the SBC?

1. 11-7 18:35 “Will you allow your name to be placed in nomination for President of the SBC in Indy?”
2. 11-8 01:06 “Will you consider allowing your name to placed into nomination for President of the SBC in Indy?
3. 11-9 22:03 “Will you pray about allowing your name to be placed into nomination for President of the SBC?”
4. 11-9 22:52 “Man Wade…I guess its official, I am not going to have that question answered.”

After the second time, you asked him to pray about it. You told him: “I also believe you are the only man who would have a chance against Dr. Mohler in Indy.

This sounds like you want him to run for president. Why? Would you vote for Wade or Mohler?”

I believe your answer is: “Let Wade and those who support him pay the price, travel to Indy, nominate him and let the chips fall.” You even say, “My guess is that Mohler would win 60-40, hands down.”

Hey! You told Wade he would have a chance—that would be 50-50. Make up your mind.

Wade told you he was not a politician, and you said that was laughable. That’s a polite way of calling him a liar. Right?

You accused him of giving a loaded response to your simple question. Now that’s what’s laughable.

Wade said, “I can’t figure out why you are asking the question.” He didn’t buy your “I was sincerely seeking your heart on the matter”, and I don’t either.

I feel the reason you want him to say yes to your question is so you can say all his motives were for political gain.

Today, the Dallas Morning News listed ten commandments of an organization. One of them read: “When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.” Some people would fail to qualify even though it was the Mafia.

Belief Matters said...

Whether you are for Wade or against him its obvious he is political. He is a dissenter so he is political.

davidinflorida said...

Belief,

It`s funny that you call Wade a dissenter. While I don`t know if that makes him political, one of dictionary.com`s definitions of a dissenter is.......an English Protestant who dissents from the Church of England.

Is the SBC turning into the a type of the Church of England?

James said...

[belief matters] Whether you are for Wade or against him its obvious he is political. He is a dissenter so he is political.

That is a stunningly cynical statement. It's on par with people who say that that "everything is a manipulation". I suppose, then, all pastors are merely small-time politicians in their churches because they are elected by their congregations.

There is a difference between attempting to persuade and merely squelching the possibility of opposition and collecting vote markers.

If you really believe what you say, I feel sorry for you.

Rex Ray said...

Belief matters,
Would you say Jesus was the greatest dissenter of all times since he took on the ‘religious powers that be’?

He even got physical. Your statement would make him a politician.

I believe you need to think about what you said.

Lindon said...

Just remember they are your opinions.

So your quote is out of line. Because everyone's opinion on this is equal.

We don't have the full story.

11 November, 2007 00:06

I have to admit that sometimes I am awed by the Orwellian thinking I come across these days.

One of the tactics used in any power play is to say one does not know the full story so cannot have an opinion or make a decision on something.

At the same time, the situation has been painstakingly DESIGNED that way with closed sessions and gag orders!

The ministry of truth?

I am still reeling over the BoT referring inquiries to a LAWYER.

Belief Matters said...

Wade call himself a dissenter. You can't dissent without a political system in place. Wade is not in favor of anarchy. I am not say he is playing politics, but everyone is political. I am, and you are too.
Without it we would have anarchy.

I am not against Wade. I am simply pointing out things. Is this an amener's blog only?

Right or wrong we only have Wade's side of the story. I am not defending anyone. I was just pointing out to Bob his inconsistent quote.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

(In my best Reagan dead pan) "well Rex, there you go again"

You got me Rex, man I can't fool you. I am just this maniacal, caniving, fundy that has nothing better to do than trip Wade up. I am all about getting Wade...

Dude, are you so obsesed with me that you go back and cut and paste my questions? Rex, I will no longer reply to your ridculous comments. We are brothers in Christ and I love you in Jesus. lets simply end on something we can agree...

Rex, the sky is blue.

or am I just trying to trick Wade?

jrm

Tom Parker said...

belief matters:

It would be real easy to solve this dilema if the other side would give their side of the story.

Belief Matters said...

There the situation. They haven't. We don't know why they haven't. People like to assume they know why, but we don't know.

Wayne Smith said...

Belief Matters Alias Jeff Thomas,

History must be a very weak point in your Education. The Bible is full of the History of God and all of His Glory. If you do a little research from the beginning of Brother Wade’s Journey with the IMB of Trustees you many Find the Truth Also.

In His Name

Tom Parker said...

belief matters:

I for one am not looking for the "others" response. It seems to be the pattern. Lots of problems could be solved if those that know the other side would not leave things hanging.

Anonymous said...

The sky is actually black. It only looks blue to us.

I think it's time for another post Wade. :)

Robert said...

Jerry Corbaley on vacation in Hawaii from the family blog;

'Jerry, as a Major, war and history buff, loved seeing the tunnels and bunkers carved into the mountain by hand.'

Aha, the Bunker mentality revealed!!

Belief Matters said...

Wayne, I'll give you my phone number I am not trying to hide anything. belief matters is my blog.

Funny thing when I seem to questioned Wade, people go crazy.

There are always two sides to every story. The BoT have chosen not to respond. I am not sure why.

James said...

[belief matters] Right or wrong we only have Wade's side of the story.

Part of "Wade's side of the story" is that the board should going into executive session except for specific actions that would endanger someone's life. Part of Wade's side of the story is that he wants all sides of every story exposed to daylight. What's the other side of that story?

Belief Matters said...

Good lawyering :)

I can only tell you we have Wade's side, and not the other side.

There are some who would cry foul, if they were accused without getting both sides.

There are valid reasons for not going public.

greg hicks said...

We only know one side of the story because of the wall of silence erected by the IMB BOT. The stonewalling by the IMB BOT toward rank and file Southern Baptists did not begin with their censure of Wade, it started at least as early as their stonewalling regarding the PPL and baptism policies and has only gotten worse since.

I personally attempted to get the BOT "side" of the story regarding the PPL and baptism policies by contacting Tom Hatley and the Georgia IMB trustees immediately after the enactment of the policies. I wanted to hear their rationale before drawing my own conclusions.

Along with multitudes of others, we were met with delays and stonewalling. When forced by the outcry over the policies to justify their actions, we later learned that at least some of their justification was demonstrably false.

Trust me, the BOT has had more than a multitude of requests to get their "side" of the story but have decided, for reasons that the rest of us can only speculate, to strengthen the wall of silence.

At some point, you lose the opportunity to have your "side" heard and considered. It's kind of like when someone refuses a sobriety test after being stopped by the police for DUI/DWI - refusal to participate leads to an assumption of guilt.

pewsitter said...

"...refusal to participate leads to an assumption of guilt."

When Jesus was on trial he refused to participate....

Bob Cleveland said...

pewsitter:

and thereby He assumed MY guilt.

Bry M. said...

Scott Shaffer said...

Sam,

Thanks. How would you suggest churches handle dissent when someone vocally disagrees with the majority?


Do it the Baptist way, start another church. ;)

Belief Matters said...

Perhaps they have a valid reason for the wall of silence.

Everything is based on assumptions and what Wade has written.

Perhaps, they are abiding by their policies.

then you have Bob telling people they can't, when he does. I find that funny.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Belief Matters and Pew Sitter: I am not going to argue with you or say anything other than this with the full permission of my beloved spouse: My husband and I have never been more proud of our minister and his wife (Wade and Rachelle) than we are right now at this moment.

greg hicks said...

Belief Matters,

I'll play along...

The Board of Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility over the IMB - they are not the owners of the IMB - they are simply stewards of the IMB for the SBC as a whole.

They decide, unilaterally, without direction or approval of the SBC to enact two policies that are beyond the doctrinal parameters adopted by the SBC as a whole (i.e. the Baptist Faith and Message) and these two new policies exclude some Southern Baptists from serving as missionaries.

Southern Baptists then begin to ask the trustess for a rationale for the policies.

Now help me understand - what valid reasons could exist to fail to provide a rationale for the policies?

Belief Matters said...

I don't know.

Has Wade shared everything?

Do pastor's/staff share everything with the church?

The answer is no for various reasons.

Belief Matters said...

Good for you Debbie. I know Wade is blessed to have you as a member of the church he serves.

Again, I am not against Wade. I just feel like there needs to be at least another view presented.

This is sort like a pep rally. People have assumed that because I have questions that I am against Wade.

I am not against Wade. I enjoy listening to his sermons.

James said...

[belief matters] There are valid reasons for not going public.

Fine. What are the reasons for not going public with the other side of the story or with their reasons for requiring pledges beyond the BFM? Are there valid reasons for not giving those? Okay. What are the valid reasons for not giving the valid reason for not going public. How far back do we have to go to get an answer from those whom we entrusted to do our business?

James said...

[belief matters] Again, I am not against Wade. I just feel like there needs to be at least another view presented.

Looks like we agree! Where do you think the bottleneck is?

Bob M. said...

I believe the FIRST responsibility of the pastor of a local church is to feed the sheep, as Jesus said. If a pastor such as Wade has so much free time to blog instead of focusing solely on his church family, then perhaps priorities need to be reassessed.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bob M: Your remark indicates someone who does not know Rev. Burleson, has not been around him, and has not paid attention to the things his church members have said.

pewsitter said...

Mrs. Kaufman,

Being proud of your pastor is a good state of affairs. I have nothing at all against Rev. Burleson and have no desire to take a side. I commented on a very narrow issue -- that silence doesn't always mean guilt. There may be a non-dastardly reason why the other trustees have not spoken up yet. Some purely hypothetical ones: they could be in prayer; they could be considering how to respond w/o violating their own policies; they could be reviewing the situation, including documents and history, before commenting; they could have an internal disagreement about whether or how to respond; they could be attempting to reach unity on a response; they could be considering a change of course;...who knows?

So actually I have never commented on Rev. Burleson at all. These are difficult times for good people. Hangeth thou in there.

Rex Ray said...

Belief matters,
You keep asking for the other side of the story, and people keep telling you the answer, but you cannot learn for some reason.

Maybe you could learn from a 5 year-old:

“Why did you hit the little girl?”

After five minutes of questioning and no response, my father said, “Answer your grandmother!”

“My mouth’s tired of talking.”

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
Congratulations on a good defense. (When you cannot refute truth, the best thing is to make it into a joke.)

You’ve been in a corner before and the only way out is your “In my best Regan dead pan) ‘Well Rex, there you go again.”

You’ve used that line before; can’t you think of something new?

You’re transparency is so easy. You tipped your hand when, Shane Waldrop said, “Wade for president”, and you said, “May history show that Shane fired the first shot! How about it Wade…?” (11-7 18:35)

On 11-09 02:00, Steve said, “I pray you [Wade] will be moving UP soon”, and you replied after 100 plus comments and 36 hours later (11-10-13:51),

“Steve, then you make my point sir. Let Wade and those who support him pay the price, travel to Indy, nominate him and let the chips fall.”

Jack, you said, “I am just this maniacal, fundy that has nothing better to do than trip Wade up. I am all about getting wade…”

Wow! That’s being a little hard on yourself, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have gone that far.

Aw…you’re going to quit? I thought we had a good conversation going. This ends up just like last time.

BTW, I think Wade knew what you were up to, but he’s too nice to wrestle in the mud like us.

Lindon said...

"I believe the FIRST responsibility of the pastor of a local church is to feed the sheep, as Jesus said. If a pastor such as Wade has so much free time to blog instead of focusing solely on his church family, then perhaps priorities need to be reassessed."

11 November, 2007 23:53

I did not know you went to Wade's church. I am certain you have good reason to believe that his sheep are not being fed before you commented. Right?

In any event, I get the impression that the Sheep at that church are taught to 'self feed', too, as in a true body. As all maturing christians should. I am sure you have heard of the priesthood of believer? It used to be taught in SBC churches.

But in this new SBC, it seems that they want the sheep to be totally dependent on 'mere men' for everything...including what to think.

However, if you want to focus on time spent on this issue, why not be concerned for the wasted hours it took to develop this censure and the 153 page diatribe by Mr. Corbelay? That took a huge amount of time.

Belief Matters said...

Rex, The problem is not my understanding, its people being to defensive.

I have said over and over again there are good reasons not to respond.

I imagine in Wade's church there are meetings where not all the details are disclose for valid reasons.

Yes, BoT has refuse to comment.

I find it amazing that some good men and women are being slander by people who don't know the full story.

We can support Wade, but we can't make judgments and question the convictions of others.

I refer to Bob Cleveland's quote which he spew out on others, but doesn't apply to himself.

We are told we can't make judgments about Wade, but certainly judgments are being made about others.

Rex, I know the answers, and I reject the answers.

James said...

[belief matters] I imagine in Wade's church there are meetings where not all the details are disclose for valid reasons. Yes, BoT has refuse to comment.

I bet you are right: individual staff evaluations or accountability sessions between staff members.

But there is no "pastor" of the BoT. Dr. Rankin is the closest thing to it, but the analogy doesn't really apply.

A BoT meeting is more analogous to a church BUSINESS meeting. See? The BoT is conducting SBC BUSINESS. As the son of a pastor, I never saw any portion of a business meeting being conducted in secret. Even non-members were allowed to attend (but not vote). The only partial exception was when the staff salary was voted on, and then all staff family members were excluded (just the opposite of an executive session in which only the insiders are admitted).

Do you see how your comparison's have been off track so far?

There might be reasons to conduct SBC business in executive session, but censoring a trustee or voting on policies are not suitable reasons. They are not conducting THEIR buisness. They are conducting OUR business and we have an OBLIGATION to be able know exactly what the heck is going on when they meet. They definitely should not hold "voice" votes to hide accountability, or do anything else to obfuscate accountability.

The BoT continues to undermine our trust in it by insisting that it ought to act in secret willy-nilly. If it has a good reason for an executive session then it needs to say exactly what that reason is.

This is not a lack of trust on SBs part. This is a lack of respect from the BoT toward SBs.

Rex Ray said...

Belief matters,
Do you really know why the 5-year old remained silent?

You say, “I know the answer, and I reject the answer.”

The king said, “…how is it you are here without wedding clothes?” And the man had no reply.” (Matthew 22:12)

With your reasoning, the king should not have thrown him out because the man may have had good reasons.

Your logic makes a mole hill into a mountain.

Bob Cleveland sort of set himself up and you caught him with your question of where was he was sitting.

Bob is sitting where we all are—in our individual priesthood. He, like most of us, resented anonymous criticizing Wade by saying he was childish and arrogant.

I believe anonymous saying, “I am truly sorry to write this. I hope I’m wrong” is an out and out lie.

I believe this ‘see no evil, hear no evil’ kept Christians from standing for Paul, kept Christians from standing against fundamentalist taking over the SBC, and keeps them from standing for Wade.

Belief Matters said...

James, You might be on to something, now I didn't say ON something. I see your point that is something good to chew on, but I am not sure we can say it is exactly like a church business meeting.

I believe even Wade has stated that executive session is needed at times. I am not sure we need to know everything the board does. Perhaps, even why it censures members.

But I want you to know that you have made a good point, and it is something to chew on...thanks..