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

Responsible and Respectful Service to the SBC

Our church has made it a habit to be available to help 'restore' men who have fallen into public sin while in ministry. On several occasions we have been part of the process the Lord has used bring to about restoration and healing to pastors' families, churches, and ministries. One of the men who has been the grateful recipient of our church's grace and love called me the other day and said he was puzzled by statements in Baptist newspapers that speak of IMB trustees "making every effort to restore him (Burleson) to service." The pastor who called me said, "Don't the trustees see that you are respectfully and responsibly serving the SBC and do not need any 'restoration' to that service?

I laughed and told him that I'm not the one he needs to convince. However, I did also tell him that he seems to comprehend a few things that some (not all) of my fellow trustees have a hard time understanding. Trustees are appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention. The authority behind our appointment is the Southern Baptist Convention. The cooperating Southern Baptist churches of our Convention send 'messengers' to the annual Convention, and these messengers appoint us. They (the 'messengers' who represent the local churches) are ultimately our highest authority. I will obey the wishes of the Southern Baptist Convention - unless or until - the SBC begins to flagrantly and volitionally violate the Word of God. If that happens, then I will voluntarily cease being a Southern Baptist and lead the church I pastor to withdraw from the Convention.

Since the Southern Baptist Convention has affirmed these last twenty years our belief in the Word of God, I don't think we will collectively and intentionally violate the Word of God, but humility is needed to be able to differentiate between those foundational truths of the Christian faith and other doctrines that are often interpreted differently by various conservative, evangelical Christians. The issue that we Southern Baptists must wrestle with is the implementation of doctrinal policies at our SBC agencies that exceed the Baptist Faith and Message and exclude otherwise qualified Southern Baptists from missionary and ministry service. For trustees at our agencies to say to Southern Baptists, "You must believe this," when the doctrinal interpretations they demand conformity to are beyond the scope of the 2000 BFM is a violation of Southern Baptist Convention trust and an act beyond the scope and parameter of trustee service. If the IMB trustees wish to establish a doctrinal parameter for missionary participation that is narrower than the 2000 BFM , then the IMB Board of Trustees MUST ANSWER TO SOMEONE.

We SBC trustees answer in every sense - morally, ethically and rightfully - to the Southern Baptist Convention. The Convention maintains the ultimate authority over trustees. Therefore . . .

(1). When a trustee body establishes doctrinal policies that exceed the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, and then use those policies as a basis for disqualifying otherwise qualified Southern Baptist missionary candidates, the Southern Baptist Convention has an obligation to advise that trustee body of their displeasure - if in fact the SBC disapproves. If the trustee body is unresponsive to the Southern Baptist Convention, then it becomes incumbent upon the Convention to elect trustees that will abide by their wishes.

The Convention expressed her displeasure with SBC agencies establishing doctrinal policies that exceed the 2000 BFM by adopting The 2007 Garner Motion. This motion made clear that that the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message should be the SUFFICIENT doctrinal standard of cooperation among Southern Baptists. READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE DEBATE OVER THE GARNER MOTION. No rational person can misunderstand what was said, and those who say the SBC did not know what they were doing should be ashamed. It could be easily argued that I am a trustee who is actually being responsible and respectful to the Southern Baptist Convention by attempting to fulfill her wishes. Let me hasten to add that the Convention cannot 'instruct' any autonomous agency, but any trustee worth his salt would realize that 'advice' given us by the SBC should be heeded.

(2). For 163 years Southern Baptist agencies have never felt it necessary to stifle the public expression of a minority opinion by sitting trustees, but on March 22, 2006, the International Mission Board passed a policy that explicitly commands sitting trustees 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. Failure to abide by this new policy (2006) may lead to censure.'

The Southern Baptist Convention is the ultimate authority over the International Misison Board trustees and can either express their acceptance or displeasure with the new policy that stifles principled and courteous dissent of sitting trustees.

I believe the SBC will soon speak as clearly on this issue as they did about their desires that the 2000 BFM be the sufficient doctrinal standard of SBC cooperation. If, however, I am wrong, and and the Convention desires all sitting trustees to publicly support that which they cannot privately support, I will resign from service as a trustee of the International Mission Board. They appointed me, and if they do not wish to hear my courteous and principled dissent while serving as a trustee, I will unconditionally resign. I listen to the SBC on this matter. I take my orders from the Convention.

Again, I believe that I know the Southern Baptist Convention's desires in this matter. Disagreement is not only the prerogative of individual Southern Baptists – it is the Baptist way. To disagree is not sin. Nobody has to be 'restored' for disagreeing. We should learn to cooperate in missions and ministry with other Southern Baptists who see things differently on matters that should never divide us. I believe that this is what the Convention desires. We need a Gospel Resurgence. The Conservative Resurgence is over. It's time the Gospel gained our attention and we learned to cooperate with people who are different than us. I am not asking for everyone to be like me - I'm just holding accountable those Southern Baptists who wish to exclude people who aren't like them .

I look forward to my continued responsible and respectful service to the SBC.

In His Grace,

Wade

93 comments:

SBC for Life said...

May your tribe of trustees increase in number. Your statesmanship, leadership, and gracious ability to handle extraordinary efforts to marginalize you are making you a legend in our day.

On behalf of my church I say thank you for representing us.

Robert Hutchinson said...

why is this so hard to get?

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

Relative to your point #1:

The only way I am aware of for the rank and file SBC messengers to effect change in any agency is by voting for a president to the SBC who supports a "cooperative" stance in the agencies relative to "secondary" issues and makes appointments to the nominating committees which ultimately select the BoT nominees. Assuming this happens, it will likely take a number of years before "increased cooperation" is implemented by the BoT of the IMB. The timeline for this transformation might be a decade or more -- just like the CR.

Regarding point #2:

I suppose some motion could be introduced and passed at Indianapolis directing the BoTs to not "stifle dissent". As is customary, this would likely be referred to the agencies themselves for resolution. Although the BoT of the IMB might perform some perfunctory "action" to investigate any recommendation sent to them by the convention, I think that odds are 1000 to 1 that they will NOT rescind their current policy on dissent.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but short of replacing trustees over a period of years, I don't think that the convention really has any mechanism to effect change in any agency. If there is such a mechanism then I'm not aware that it has been tested in my adult lifetime.

Consider this scenario.

1. The convention at Indy passes a motion which says [in effect], "The trustees of the BoT can not implement rules which inhibit any member from publicly stating a minority opinion".

2. As is customary, the motion is referred to the agency involved (in this case IMB BoT) for "study"

3. The IMB BoT comes back in 2009 and says, "We see no need to make any changes".

Then what?

It looks to me like this topic is going to take a while to come to some sort of resolution.

The problem is that to my knowledge there is really no mechanism in the SBC by-laws to require that the BoT of any agency take any action as a result of some explicit request by the messengers.

It seems that the de-facto condition is that short of replacement at the end of their normal term the decisions/actions of the BoTs of the various agencies are not subject to review or modification by the messengers at any annual meeting.
Hopefully, for the good of the SBC, someone can shed some light on this and fill in my knowledge gap a show that I'm wrong in my understanding of how the SBC operates.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

You said "We need a Gospel Resurgence."

I think you are right.

And when it comes to all that you have been through, I smell providence.

Grace

Benji

Steve said...

It just might be time to pray for Dr. Floyd and his coterie of "the insider comfort club" to be restored to the service of the IMB and the Convention!

irreverend fox said...

the SBC is not “The Church” and it can come or go…it is what “we” say it is, right or wrong. why is this so hard to understand? what would have become of the conservative resurgence if those insurgents had abided by these new guidelines 25-30 years ago?

hello?

David said...

The SBC--and our state Baptist conventions and our local associations--ONLY are resources which our congregations provide to themselves via their CP and other dollars in order to carry the gospel farther and faster.

My congregation doesn't need the SBC for its theology--we know what we believe about the Bible, thank you VERY much! Our church needs the SBC for the resources shared for the gospel's advance by like-minded congregations composing the convention. We're willing to cooperate primarily on that basis (having checked out the SBC's theology long ago--if it wasn't OK or OK enough, we wouldn't have associated to start with).

If the SBC cannot help our church in its on-going missions endeavor because the convention is bogged down in politics, we can move on alone or to another like-minded national group not so side-tracked. Our doing so would say nothing AT ALL about choosing to "leave the family". The SBC ISN'T a family (though many have strong sentimental attachments to it); its a huge religious non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to respond to the gospel-related desires of its affiliated churches expressed via the votes of those congregations' messengers. PERIOD.

It IS time for a gospel resurgence! But that resurgence needs to start in your local church and mind; when we stop being off track at home, we'll stop letting the SBC be off track in Indy or anywhere else. Precious lost souls around the world demand it.

David said...

". . . your local church and MINE . . ."

greg hicks said...

Hi Wade,

How would you suggest the SBC hold the IMB BOT (and other BOT for that matter) accountable? What is the means of doing so? We are well aware they pay no attention to the clear meaning of resolutions.

Rex Ray said...

Rksokc66,
You’ve made very good points. If I hear you correctly, you bring out that the IMB can tell the SBC:

“Ya, ya, ya! What’d you going to do about it?”

The time span you speak of could refer back to the old statement:

“No problem exists that a few good funerals can’t take care of.”

All and all, as time goes by, we see the nature of those who started the CR, how they took over under the smokescreen of removing liberals and the battle for the Bible to gain power and control.

Wade Burleson said...

rskoc66,

You are correct in your thinking. However, the Executive Committee of the SBC - which acts as the Convention between annual sessions - or the Convention herself could instruct or advise me until what you propose occurs.

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

What would you consider a volitional or flagrant violation of the Word of God?

Wade Burleson said...

DavidinFlorida,

To forbid something that the Scripture commands, or to command something that the Scripture forbids.

Blessings,

Wade

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

I have a suggestion. Sell stock in the SBC. Including all the entities thereof. Then once a year we'd have Stockholders meetings instead of Conventions.

Say, wouldn't THAT be a trip! Hmmmm......

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

In what way could the whole SBC violate the Word of God? Do you mean the individuals in leadership positions? How about board members?

If a board member was in violation of Commandment number nine "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" in a 153 page letter, would that be enough?

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Love for individuals covers a multitude of sins.

I am speaking more of 'collective' actions of the entire body.

I frankly have faith in a majority of Southern Baptists to do the right thing.

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

Then I believe that Wade Burleson will be a Southern Baptist for a long long time.

he's only chasing safety said...

What's scarier than going beyond the BFM 2000 is going beyond what Scripture says, and it continues to happen. How long until people catch on to what is taking place and realize that their Christian freedoms could soon be at stake as they serve in ministry?

It is my eager hope and expectation to be present with a group of as many as I can gather in Indianapolis this coming summer. It may not be enough to make a difference, but we all have the right to speak up on these issues, and I believe that to remain quiet and tucked away on our blogs would be a travesty.

he's only chasing safety said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wade: I want to bring your attention to something topical here on your well trafficked blog and I'll be brief. May pick it up with Alycelee.
Robert Parham who Ben Cole reads religiously packs a wallop with his oped today at www.ethicsdaily.com about Romney and Huckabee and the Mormon Question, saying among other things Kennedy had common ground with Baptists in 1960 on separation of church and state but the SBC now rejects such a notion; hence Romney has a conundrum while Kennedy faced only a riddle.
Thanks for this aside off topic opportunity, but the spirit lead me.
Sfox

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Kind of in line with the beginning of Wade's post, I just want to tell the readers here about a conversation I had with someone this weekend.

I brought up Wade Burleson and before i could say what I thought, they said, "Let me tell you something about Wade Burleson. I dont even know how he knew who I was but I was trying to plant a church and was really struggling financially he came through for me and saved me financially. I'll never forget it."

That guy is no longer pastoring but that kind of love from Wade meant the world to him...and does to me as well.

Thanks Wade for practicing what you preach behind the scenes when nobody is looking. It was nice to know that about you.

btw-this guy didnt need restoration, just some love and help.

Shibboleth,
David Mc

LivingDust said...

RKSOKC66,

Below are excerpts from a statement issued by Dr. Frank Page, just days before he was voted in as President of the SBC:

"There is a serious disconnect between the leaders of our Southern Baptist Convention and the rank and file lay person and pastor. Some perceive that there is a well oiled machine, filled with power hungry politicians, running the show while the vast majority of loyal, supportive people are left without any voice and/or influence. While this observation may or may not be true, there is a serious perception of disconnect and distrust."

"I call on all those who are in positions of authority to recognize the need to involve a larger number of persons. Many of us are tired of seeing the same names on committees year after year. Many of us are losing patience with the perception that a few people control everything in the Southern Baptist Convention."

NEWSFLASH Dec. 2007 - nothing has changed.

Rather than waiting until 2009 for the IMB to tell us that "no changes are necessary" I suggest that congregations vote to STOP FUNDING THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM until the leadership is changed.

Scotte Hodel said...

"To forbid something that the Scripture commands, or to command something that the Scripture forbids."

I recently did a search on http://www.biblegateway.com for the phrase "Do not forbid." In three English translations that I checked, there is only one verse where that phrase occurs: I Cor 14:39: Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Food for thought.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

Bingo.

Wade

P.S. The Convention has not said that. Only a Board.

greg.w.h said...

LivingDust:

I would offer that fully funding the Cooperative Program honors God and sends the message that we trust God to work this out. It is harmonious with Wade's efforts to seek a courteous and respectful discussion.

I am convinced that God is interested in working with all of the redeemed to build a more complete knowledge in Christ Jesus and draw us together in unity through that more complete knowledge. Wade's efforts orient us towards recognizing our incomplete knowledge that has led to distinctions.

Some people seek to sharpen those distinctions. We are left wondering as to their purposes. We speculate as to the reasons. But through dialog and discourse we can seek a common ground and we can replace our lack of understanding of them--as well as theirs of us--with a more complete understanding. It requires confrontation and dissent to enable that discussion.

That's right: we must lovingly confront what we believe is wrong. Through love we can understand why the actions are taken. Through love we can respectfully ask that our viewpoint be integrated. Through love we can respectfully seek unity with these brothers. Through love they can please the Father by remaining unified with us.

Unfortunately, when we start talking about money, we resort to Satan's methods. When we emphasize whether we give or not, we are exercising the use of raw power. I will argue that it is NOT God's way to ask men and women in Christ Jesus to exercise raw power over each other. And those that do it risk God's direct correction.

The contrast between our approaches and theirs will become less marked over time. They will see the wisdom of this approach. And only those who wish to risk God's correction will fight against it. We share far too great of a salvation to find reasons not to come together and not to unite. We have in common almost everything. The things that separate us are--in essence--doctrinal opinions. If God had desired it to be any other way, he would have removed the veil already. He tolerates ambiguity.

It is a spiritual test of our character and our likeness with Christ Jesus to endure that ambiguity and--through love--to seek real peace.

Greg Harvey

LivingDust said...

Greg,

Thanks for your thoughtful and reasoned comments. It appears that you hold more hope for an improved situation than me. When I watch an internet telecast of a SBC Annual Meeting and leaders of seminaries stand up and tell the entire Convention that it has errored and they will do as they please, then as a layperson I lose hope. When an entity like the IMB suspends the participation of an SBC-appointed Trustee because of principled dissent, then as a layperson I lose hope.

Something is not right at the SBC and the laypeople who make up the congregations of the SBC know it. Based on what is public knowledge, it appears that there are some who skillfully utilize the "raw power" to which you eluded to push their agendas and continue their dominance within our cooperative convention.

How is it that they escape accountability to the PEOPLE of the SBC?

Greg, many laypeople are frustrated with the SBC and the ugly face of it. The leadership of the SBC seemingly cannot breakdown walls of disagreement and distrust within its ranks. The PEOPLE watch from afar as the fires blaze, year after year, at the SBC castle. Yet, the princes who stoke the fire still demand a tribute from the PEOPLE.

Let’s see the leaders of the SBC show an iota of respect to the PEOPLE of the SBC by acting responsibly and settling differences in a Christ-like manner. Let’s see the leadership of the SBC practice what it preaches.

greg.w.h said...

LivingDust:

I hear your concern. I do not have any greater hope to depend on than this: With God nothing is impossible.

Greg Harvey

Scotte Hodel said...

"The Convention has not said that. Only a Board."

Actually, two, both the NAMB and the IMB.

Even so, regardless of our missionary organization policies, one of the privileges of teaching youth sunday school is that I can regularly quote from that radical, corrupting textbook, the Bible, and then ask the kids, "So, what do you think this says?" Rumor has it that even the kids who cut up in class then start quoting the lesson later on.

Dangerous thing, this Bible. One of these days, some of us may actually believe it and put it into practice ...

Amen!

Rex Ray said...

“P.S. The Convention has not said that. Only a Board.”

I believe what is being discussed is ‘not allowing dissent.’ Does the SBC have a clear conscience?

Did over 100 long-time missionaries lose their call from the Lord and 15 were fired because of their dissent?

Maybe it was a Board that did that also, but the reason given: “The Board was being ‘accountable’ to the SBC.” I believe the SBC is guilty—“To know of a crime and not report it makes you just as guilty.”

Strange how we can’t see something until it happens to us.

Notice I did not mention the removing of “barnacles from the Ship of Zion” because of their dissent of the BFM 1998 and inerrancy.

RKSOKC66 said...

One of the issues “on the table” is the extent to which minority opinions are “tolerated” by the majority in the SBC. Is their any mechanism that constrains the majority to reach out and compromise with the minority for the sake of peace?

Evidently, the answer is NO. There is no mechanism that forces compromise.

Take the issues of PPL and the “administrator of Baptism” as examples. Clearly, the BoT of the IMB supports the tightening of these parameters.

It remains to be seen what the position of the messengers is at any annual meeting on these two questions. It could be that the current IMB BoT is “in sync” with rank and file messengers. However, the Lifeway survey suggests that the views of the total SBC constituency are much broader than the narrow views that are held by the BoT.

Regardless on where you come down on the CR and regardless on how you view the current controversy in the IMB BoT, you have to acknowledge that the arcane method used to appoint trustees through layered committees appointed -- directly or indirectly --by the president of the SBC does not even approximately result in the people on the boards of trustees being representative of the breath of views in SBC life. Looking over the last twenty years I think it is fair to say that there is an unwritten, implicit, litmus test that any potential trustee candidate has to pass while being vetted by the committee on boards. This insures uniformity in those chosen since they all have to PASS MUSTER BY GOING THROUGH A COMMON GATE.

We need to switch to a method so that, within any state, groups can field their own slate of candidates for the various open BoT positions in a given year. The slates would be voted on directly by the messengers. There would be no such thing as a “board of boards”. For example, in Oklahoma there could be several slates: each one fielding a dozen candidates for the various open BoT such as missionary agencies and seminaries coming vacant in a given year.

Such a structure would make it possible to effect change. As it is, it takes decades to turn this aircraft carrier around and make any type of correction. The aircraft carrier can only be set on a different course when a series of SBC presidents sharing a common vision are able to finally appoint enough like minded people to the committees who in turn ultimately appoint the BoT slates. If I was going to invent a method which would keep any given Good Ole Boy network in power for as long as possible – while at least giving lip service to a “democratic system” then I’d probably come up with the system that the SBC currently uses.

There are so many layers of insulation between rank and file guys in the pew and those serving on the BoTs of the agencies that BoT members essentially “report directly to God”. They certainly aren’t accountable to their constituency – since they have no constituency. We don’t have direct elections for BoT members and we don’t have any recall mechanism available to messengers to remove sitting BoT members.
I thought Baptists were supposed to hold to “democratic” church government. With the exception of the direct election we have for SBC president each year I don’t see much of a democracy. Messengers have no say in who is serving on the BoTs of any of the agencies. They have to power to override any action of any BoT. They have no power to remove any member of any BoT.

I don’t see much likelihood that in the current controversy regarding the IMB BoT there will be any change soon to implement policies to engender “increased cooperation”. At best any change will take years – if not decades. The question is how long will those who are disenfranchised be willing to sit on the sidelines and wait?

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Wade Burleson said...

Good thoughts Roger.

I believe change may be effected sooner than you think.

We'll see.

Hiram Smith said...

Wade, did you “laugh” out of contempt at the notion that you needed “restoration”? Or, was it a defensive withdrawal from a very on-point question that made you uncomfortable? Either way laughing at such a fitting question is a rather inept response, which suggests the question touches a deep-seated problem. Did your laugh convey a feigned naivete regarding your obvious need for “restoration” to good standing among your fellow trustees? After all, your “restoration” is a necessary thing if you are to “obey the wishes of the” SBC isn’t it? Isn’t restoration essential if you are ever to do the real work of an IMB trustee–which was intended by your “appointment” as trustee of the IMB?

Your repeated expressions of contentment with your role as resident dissident among trustees, all of whom are in good standing, seems bizarre enough to suggest an element of incoherence in your understanding of your predicament. How long will you continue to condemn your fellow soldiers in “IMB Troop” for being out of step with you? Your plight prompts an old song for your plight, “It ain’t the preacher, nor the deacon, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

The vote by a majority of your fellow trustees against your participation in their work and against the IMB paying for you to attend their meetings says much more about you than you seem to realize. Yet, you say that you and your wife will pay your way to those meetings (where your trustee peers have voted that you shall not participate). You say you will attend meetings and participate fully, including voting. Does that really seem to you to be a competent and realistic response to your predicament? If you want to participate, why do you refuse to do what your fellow trustees have called for you to do? By simply doing what your fellow trustees do, and ask you to do, you can participate with them in the work of IMB trustees?

It seems so strange to be writing these things to you now, such a short time after writing that I expected you to be elected Chairman of the IMB and soon thereafter President of the SBC. My how quickly things change and how far-fetched certain ‘reasonable’ ideas become!

We all should remember that the two large majority votes against you by your fellow trustees were carefully and prayerfully cast by people who had come to know you in a working situation as your peers on the Board. Few in your “blogging community” have ever worked with you face-to-face as your fellow trustees have done. Out of their direct experience with you, trustees came to see you in a much clearer and more revealing light than we will ever perceive you through your adroitly controlled blog. Their judgement about whether you are able to make constructive and useful contributions to the work of the Board is founded on far better grounds than those which are accessible to the blogging community. Members of your blogging community have never worked with you in the setting that your fellow trustees have. Consequently, the two groups have very different perspectives on the quixotic dissenter of the IMB.

Wade, how does it feel to have achieved the unique notoriety of being the only SBC agency-entity trustee in history to have slandered fellow trustees and other SBC leaders to the point that you were censured soundly twice by votes of fellow trustees. What is your next goal? Will you actually be a candidate for the SBC presidency in Indianapolis or Louisville or elsewhere? Will the votes of fellow bloggers assuage your appetites? With what other windmills will you tilt?

Do you expect another SBC Nominating Committee to recommend you again for appointment/election as trustee of any SBC agency-entity? Do you even believe that the Committee that recommended your original appointment to the IMB would make the same decision again? Do you think the messengers to the SBC would vote for your appointment again to the high office of trustee of any SBC agency-entity? Prudence suggests that you not get your hopes up for such a remote eventuality. At the first mention of you serving as an IMB trustee, if you had forthrightly explained your commitment to being a disciple of dissent, it is most unlikely that you and the IMB would have gone through the turmoil and heartaches consequent to your becoming a trustee of the IMB.

Whatever your laugh at restoration expressed it was not likely a thing envisioned by the SBC Committee on Nominations when they originally decided to recommend you to the Convention as a suitable candidate for trustee of the IMB. And, when the messengers voted you into that high office, few, if any, likely wanted you to use the position to become the resident dissenter of the IMB, so troublesome that even one of your fellow trustees would prefer not to work on a committee with you, nor to eat at a table with you.

Wade, please reassess your laugh and reconsider your estrangement from your fellow trustees, and seek to be restored among them. I am confident they will gladly help with your much needed restoration.

Hiram
Psa.23:1

Rex Ray said...

Hiram Smith,
Would you say all that again? It just goes in one ear and out the other.

You sound like someone that has been pardoned by the governor, and the first thing he does when he gets out of prison, he shoots the governor.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex Ray said:

"Would you say all that again? It just goes in one ear and out the other. You sound like someone that has been pardoned by the governor, and the first thing he does when he gets out of prison, he shoots the governor."

Listen to Rex running some big time smack! : )

really bro. rex, for you to get on old hiram for his post begs the question does it not? The post calling the kettle black somes to mind.

and are you implying that Wade is the govenor? I think he has his heart on something a little bigger than that. I did not know the SBC even had govenors, though some might say they think they have kings >wink, wink<

jrm

Tom Parker said...

Hiram:

You ask Wade lots of questions in your comment on his blog about "Responsible and Respectful Service to the SBC". May I ask you one question? Do you feel better know that you shared your comment?

Rex Ray said...

Roger,
Just when I thought you couldn’t do any better, you did it again.

Your method of representation of States is an excellent idea. This method was used on the BFM 1963 by its committee being composed of each State’s convention president.

The Good Old Boy system was used in selecting a small committed made up of personal friends of Paige Patterson, to produce the BFM 2000. You can see what a mess it has us in.

Much has been said about using the Internet for churches to vote. Why has this not been done? I’ll tell you why; because the powers that be don’t want it. The Good Old Boy system would be out the window and their control and power would vanish.

Ah, Jack Maddox,
Your baby must be doing better. Good to have you back.

James Sissney said...

I find it rather amusing that the IMB trustees have chosen to censure Wade. Are they truly this scared of change?
Where would we be as a country if every voice of dissent was squelched in such a way?
My family have supported and will continue to support Wade in this, no matter what the outcome.
I truly hope that Wade gets the opportunity to become president of the SBC. Then maybe some effective change will come about and we can move on to what is really important (SPREADING THE GOSPEL) instead of all this backbiting and unproven allegations.
All of this goes to show how legalistic the SBC has become and how much change is truly needed.

Keep up the good fight Wade.
May God bless you abundantly with the patience and skills required to continue unwavering.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

Yes, Coltan has improved a great deal but is still in need of prayer. Thank you so much for praying for my grandson. Thank you everyone.

jrm

now back to our endless bickering

Gary said...

Wade,

A bit off topic, but maybe not.

I have seen bantered about on other websites some pretty interesting figures of how much it costs per BoT meeting. I doubt that any of those numbers are available to the great unwashed, especially by way of the internet.

Do you know what that per meeting cost is? I know that it would vary according to location, but an average cost per meeting would be of interest at least to me.

Thanks,

Gary
down here in Norman

Wade Burleson said...

Gary,

This year's budget sets aside $650,000 dollars for trustee meetings.

That averages out to a little more than $100,000 per meeting. The overseas trustee meeting will cost more.

Jack Maddox said...

Folks

I have a question. Can anyone tell me where the BoT have said that Wade cannot dissent? Wade is the one that has made dissent the issue, not the BoT. The BoT has said that Wade has repeatedly violated policy and confidentiality in the METHODS OF HIS DISSENT. Now you are free to disagree with that and I know most of us will on this blog, however, to consistently claim that the BoT's took their action because of simple disagreement with policy or dissent is just not so. If that was the case then why have they not censured everyone who disagrees with them who serve as trustees. Again, this problem, whether one agrees or not, is in the perception that Wade has dealt in less than an ethical matter with his fellow trustees and the business of the IMB. You do not have to agree with that, but it is the issue.

It would seem to me that there needs to be more discussion concerning what constitutes proper protocol in light of new technology and methods of communication. I don't like the fact that my teenage boy will ask a girl our by mode of text message...in fact, I have put a stop to that method of communication with him when it comes to the opposite sex. He does not agree and he see's it (texting) as a perfectly appropriate mode of communication. He and I disagree. I win in this case. I am not building a analogy between the IMB BoT and myself as a parent. They (the BoT) are not our parents, the SBC is the parent, however I am simply saying that there is a lot of confusion on the propriety of blogging as a mode of dissent and communication.

The BoT has said by their actions “You may dissent, but you must do so according to the policies and protocol agreed upon by the majority if Board members.” This is no different than it is in our church’s. If you disagree with hat then you must also agree with the methods of the bloggers at Bellvue Baptist and their methods of dissenting with their pastor. If you do, then that in itself speaks volumes about the gulf that divides us.

jrm

James Sissney said...

'speak in positive and supportive terms as they interpret and report on actions by the Board, regardless of whether they personally support the action. Failure to abide by this new policy (2006) may lead to censure.'

This sounds to me like they are trying to limit dissent amongst the members. Looks like what my mom used to say "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." LOL
I have read plenty of good comments about the IMB, its mission and the future of the board, by Wade, and am quite sure that this will continue in the future.
There is a strong spirit of change alive in this and I welcome it.

titanwes said...

Dissent is one thing and disagreeing is not a sin. However, insubordination is and whether it be in person or on a blog, rallying people to raise a formal dissenting action against those who have been appointed as authority (since God is sovereign over all) is insubordination and sinful. The Bible states that the only time you may go against said authority is if they are asking you to sin. As far as I can tell, that has not happend. Yet, the dissenting movement continues and its sole purpose is to generate enough differential attitudes that the appointed authority is overcome and we humans get our way.

The thing that boggles my mind is that you are not satisfied with simply disagreeing. You are intentionally or unintentionally asking for agreement from those who know you and your ministries. Though you may sit back and say that those responding are free to do so, you knowingly understand what it amounts to... creating an organized effort to subvert authority that has been appointed by God.

I am not trying to accuse anyone and pointing fingers, but I am confused that in an organization that is losing its position in this increasingly immoral world, instead of trying to come together and figure out a way to make a difference for God, we continue to bicker over semantics and words taken out of context.

Wade, you are loved by your followers and clearly have done some great things in the ministry, but isn't it time to stop disguising our disgust with policies in veiled posts and start rallying the troops to the front lines of a battle that we are losing more and more each day? I am reminded of 1 Timothy 6:3-4 that qualifies anyone who disagrees with the sound doctrine of Christ: morbid (diseased) interest, causes controversy, disputes over words out of which arise envy, strife and constant friction.

Is the SBC perfect? NO... have they been wrong? YES... Are you perfect? NO... have you been wrong? YES... The only ONE man who completely right was CHRIST. For us, we have to follow that which He has laid before us and that means following that which He appoints before us. If the right foot and left foot keep going in opposite directions, we will continue to lose ground. However, despite what the right foot and left foot think is the correct way to go... they are both subject to the direction of the HEAD.

Thank you for your time.

Gary said...

Wade,

Thanks for the numbers.

I know that you and your staff are in the midst of the very busy Christmas. Do take enough time to reflect, worship, and enjoy.

Us Baptist Yahoos can wait.

O:->

Gary

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I am calling you out. And I am calling you out firmly.

Identify ONE statement, sentence, or word on my blog that violates 'confidentiality.'

You made the allegation - back it up.

Wade Burleson said...

Titanwes,

The issue is authority.

Whose authority is the greatest.

I say it is the SBC's authority.

Wade

Chuck Andrews said...

Hiram

You make an excellent point and a gracious argument. Because Wade serves as a Trustee accountable to the SBC, if you are a part of the SBC, you have a right to question his actions, as they relate to the board that he serves on. Just as we all have the right to question all our Trustees actions, as they relate to the board that they serve on. They are our Trustees. They are accountable to us. Synonyms of accountable are words like: answerable, explainable, and responsible. Questioning the actions of leaders is not inherently evil.

If I know Wade, and I think I do, he will take your questions seriously, search his heart, and give you an answer. You may or may not agree with his answer and that too is your right. If you agree with him you stand with his position. If you disagree then you graciously and respectfully dissent. You can do that because he allows it to be that way on his blog.

Many of us have questioned our board's actions and the answer we've received is essentially "Trust us. We are doing the right thing. But, because our action was taken in an Executive Session, we are not at liberty to answer your questions, explain ourselves, or be responsible to you. Just trust us."

For some of us, that answer is not satisfactory because it appears that something is being covered up. If the "sin" of Wade Burleson is that detrimental to the whole of Southern Baptist and the integrity of the gospel of Christ then he and we deserve no less love than what Paul showed Peter and the church with his public rebuke identified in Galatians 2. If the "sin" of Wade Burleson is so severe that it necessitates unprecedented action of a century and one half then shouldn't we all be warned like John warned Gaius about Diotrephes in his third letter. If the "sin" of Wade Burleson's wickedness has escalated to the place where, if we followed at least one of our leaders example, we "are not even to eat with" him then "in the name of our Lord Jesus …with the power of our Lord Jesus" let him be identified as in 1 Corinthians 5.

Even with that we all need to be careful applying Psychology 101 - Self-Projection of Personality Traits. In Dr. Luke's account of what is commonly called the beatitudes he points out the danger of trying to conclude the meaning of a response in another. True enough, a laugh can mean different things, but who knows what?

6:20 Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
6:25 Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

I submit that only God and the person can know motive, sometimes only God.

Chuck

Benji Ramsaur said...

hiram smith,

Allow me to ask you a question.

Would you be willing to go on the road with all the strict subscriptionists to local Southern Baptist churches preaching the need for SBC entities to only employ SB's who believe in closed communion?

I think Wade would be willing to have a fund raiser on his blog to help pay for your gas.

Grace

Benji

Rev. said...

titanwes:
You state, "I am not trying to accuse anyone and pointing fingers, but I am confused that in an organization that is losing its position in this increasingly immoral world, instead of trying to come together and figure out a way to make a difference for God, we continue to bicker over semantics and words taken out of context." Have you not considered that the present dissent has to do with these very things? That some are concerned with uniting around our commonalities and agreements, but that some want to "continue to bicker"? Why are things such as Calvinism and private prayer language even an issue?

Jack Maddox said...

First of all Bro. Wade you need to prayerfully stand down!
I have not 'accused' you of anything, so before you "Call me out" as if you are some kind of 'defender' of all that is noble and true in the SBC you need to take the time to carefully read what I posted. I am sure you have not sir. Your tone and your accusation betray you my brother. You sir do not have the corner market on "firm' so do know that I also am FIRMLY if not STERNLY saying to you as a brother and fellow minister of the gospel to please do not use the term "Calling you out" as if you are my father or one who has the position or place to do so!

Now if you will please read what I posted you will see that I said that this was a perception of those who are serving on the board. They (The BoT's)are the ones who have accused you Wade, not I. This is all that I claimed and all that I said. I understand why they feel the way they do but I am not a member of the BoT's therefore my opinion is only that, a opinion. It seems to me your need for clarification is with the ones you serve on the BoT's. Not a simple country preacher from Texas who simply was trying to make a point that much of the problem as I see it is in the mode of communication and the misunderstanding of that mode in the modernity of 21st century ministry and denominational life.

jrm

ps - if your use of the term "calling out" and doing so 'firmly' is some attempt at intimidation do know wade that it worked about as well as your Sooners intimidated my Red Raiders! Not very much. : )

Wade Burleson said...

Hiram,

Answers to your questions:

(1). No, I laughed because this pastor - with no denominational experience - saw clearly what others find confusing. There was no contempt at all. I smile and laugh a great deal. "Laughter is medicine for the soul," said Solomon.

(2). No, see above.

(3). No, see above. When a person asks a question three times it is rarely because he desires an answer, but is instead, attempting to make a point. (laughing) Please, Hiram, don't ask why I'm laughing this time.

(4). No, the SBC determines my service.

(5). There is not one ounce of condmemnation for any trustee being out of step with me. There is
a question about trustees of the IMB being out of step with our function of providing oversight for missions and refrain from establishing narrow backdoor doctrinal policy that excludes otherwise qualified Southern Baptists.

(6). Absolutely. I will be present in January at the Board meeting and look forward to my continued service to the SBC.

You may wish to number your questions next time so it will be easier to find them, or keep your comment limited to one.

Blessings to you Hiram and I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

No offense intended in my comment. I sincerely apologize if you were offended.

I simply believe that comments containing 'allegations' of breach of confidentiality should be backed up with proof.

I appreciate your honesty in writing you have none, and know of nowhere where you can find it.
You may search far and wide and you will find none because it hasn't happened.

In His Grace,

Wade

Jack Maddox said...

Your point is not proved Wade. In fact, for you to claim so is simply an opinion and one that I take issue with. You have misrepresented my point in and that I SIMPLY claimed that no one has taken away your RIGHT to dissent. This is a red herring and a straw man. No one is trying to stop dissent. The issue is the manner of dissent and the willingness to abide by board policy. This is the position of the BoT's in their censure of you as a participating and active member of the board. This issue is not about dissent...it never was, if it was simply dissent, then again you would be in good company as there are several who share your view (and mine by the way) of the policies passed by the BoT's. Yet there is only you who has been censured. The reason? Wade Burleson disagrees with the policies of the IMB BoT's? No, they have said it is for repeatedly violating their policies which were approved by the board itself.

The fact that you and I are even having this discussion is proof of your ability to dissent. In fact, when it comes to dissent bro. Wade, you have perfected the art. Perhaps this will be your legacy.

That is the point.

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

The exact language of the policy that forbids dissent:

"'Trustees must speak in positive and supportive terms as they interpret and report on actions by the Board, regardless of whether they personally support the action." Failure to abide by this new policy (2006) may lead to censure.

Seems clear to me.

Blessings,

Wade

Jack Maddox said...

Wade

My being offended is not the issue. I am a big boy and so are you and none of this is personal. I understand that and so do you. Your attempt at verbal playground bullying isn’t the issue either. You cannot intimidate me. Thank you for your apology however it is not necessary.

jrm

Benji Ramsaur said...

Jack,

A challenge to back up an allegation is interpreted as "bullying" in some sense?

James Sissney said...

So, let me get this straight. The issue here isn't about dissent but the method of dissent? WOW!
I for one am proud of Wade for expressing his concern for the happenings within the IMB. I like to know what is going on and how it might affect me and those that I love.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

I do not know what verbal playground bullying is. Like Benji said, I just make sure people back up what they say.

Jim Sissney, great to hear from you! We miss you around these parts. Blessings to you and your family!

Wade

James Sissney said...

Wade,
I miss being around there some too!
Especially this time of year with Pageant and all associated.
Give everyone a big hello for me!
I will be praying for the pageant to go smoothly.
And, I will continue to pray and support you in this time of turmoil.
Sounds like more than a few feathers are ruffled.
Hope to see you soon.
Blessings to you all as well.

Wade Burleson said...

Jim,

I have learned over the last couple of years that the grace and deferential humility expressed towards those who disagree with civility at Emmanuel is not the pattern everywhere.

Oh well. Soon it will be.

:)

Jack Maddox said...

Benji

In this sense, yes. But it does not always work! : )

jrm

James Sissney said...

The winds of change are blowing!

BTW (off topic) will any of the pageant performances be broadcast over the web?

Jack Maddox said...

Since I have been asked to 'back up' MY ALLEGATIONS, i must say I will not since I have 'alleged' nothing in my comment. I did however state that the BoT's have 'alleged' that Wade violated repeatedly the board policies. I repeat, this is their allegations although I understand their position and even agree with it. I am hiding behind nothing. But I did not make these allegations. However, again, I have been asked to 'back them up' and thus I will do.

Simply read Wade's post of November 7th and you will see where he has done an excellent job in sharing the charges of the BoT's which led to censure. You will also have where Wade disagrees. (Dissent) The allegations imply very strongly that the issue is not Wade's dissent, but the methods in which he used. My original point AGAIN, is this. Our disagreement is not with whether one can dissent, but what methodology can he or she utilize while serving as board member or entity leader within the SBC.

I am neither passing blessing nor blame. Just simply saying that the issue is not a Baptist’s RIGHT to dissent, but again, what methods to they utilize.

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

Jim,

We will have the final performance - Wednesday night - broadcast LIVE.

wade

Chuck Andrews said...

Jack

“this problem, whether one agrees or not, is in the perception that Wade has dealt in less than an ethical matter with his fellow trustees and the business of the IMB. You do not have to agree with that, but it is the issue.”

Whose perception?

I think I understand your point. It’s not dissent that the BoT is censuring, it is the method of the dissent.

If so, I submit to you, that the policy is an oxymoron. Dissent is defined with the idea of indicating a differing opinion than that of the majority. Before the vote takes place, that defines the decision of the majority, all commentary is simply discussion and/or debate of opinions concerning the motion. Dissent, by definition, can not take place until after the vote that identifies the majority’s action. By its nature, dissent must be public because to keep bringing up the dissent in private (Executive Session) would be ruled out of order and the dissenter silenced (turn microphone off).

So, for the BoT to say, “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.” is effectively saying, not just the method of dissent but dissent itself will not be tolerated. That was the purpose of the policy.

To say that the BoT policy allows for dissent and that the censure came about because of the method of dissent is, IMO, a denial of the definition.

Chuck

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Not the right to dissent but the methods?

All righty then. How are my methods different?

I am gracious. I am civil. I express my dissent against trustee decisions.

How is that different from trustees expressing their public dissent against IMB administrative leadership, which has occurred regularly over the past few years?

Just asking you, since you seem to have insight on how my dissent is different.

Blessings all around,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

Ignore my comment above.

Chuck's comment is ten times more perceptive than mine and much more to the point.

Don't ignore his.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade and Chuck

I do agree that Chucks comment is better in defining that which separates us : )

Chuck

Although I would disagree with your conclusions, I do believe you understand that which divides us.

Wade

I ask this in all earnest. Do you believe that perhaps this has become more of a conflict of personality with yourself and many on the board in whom you are at odds with? By that I do not mean to dismiss the convictions held on both sides, but seek clarity on why if this is simply a 'dissent' issue, why you alone are the one who has been singled out?

Are you the lone dissenter or is it that your the only one brave enough to speak out against these injustices (ok..a little sarcasm there on my part). But seriously, the personality issue intrigues me somewhat?

what say you?

jrm

ps - Chuck - you have a familiar face and name...have we run into each other on our journey? Where have your served and where did you go to school...feel free to e mail me at jrmaddox@wf.net

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Let me give you a tip about Jack Maddox. Instead of “I am calling you out”; you should use his words of June 5, 02:51: “I CHALLENGE YOU…

to find one time he has spoken with the degree of shrillness and un-Christ like rhetoric that you have shown him.”
(Jack was referring to Jim Richards.)

I replied, “I quoted what he said…looks to me like you are condemning his words to be shrillness and un-Christ like rhetoric.”

His CHALLENGE vanished as he has not replied back; have you Jack?

Jack, you said, “They (the BoT) are not our parents, the SBC is the parent,”

Granted you did not say the SBC is our parent and I’ll give you that wiggle room, but the SBC is our servant.

The servant should not interpret Scripture for us. The servant should not tell churches what sex their pastors must be. The servant needs to stop acting like they’ve replaced the Holy Spirit.

Jack, you said, “The BoT has said by their actions “You may dissent, but you must do so according to the policies and protocol agreed upon by the majority of Board members.”

Ha! Their rules have replaced the bottom of the ‘suggestion box’ with a wastebasket.

James Sissney said...

Thanks Wade!
Hopefully I will be in a place with decent enough internet to get to see it.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

Why are you stalking me again? : )

I did respond Rex. You just did not like my response. But if you would like me to set up a lunch with Dr. Richards so you can attack him in person instead of on a blog I can make that happen for you. Just let me know. (Smiles)

As far as the Parent Analogy Rex, I was referring to the SBC as she is properly defined. The messengers of the church's. we are really properly a convention when our messengers convene. This was my point in the Parent analogy. Wade has used the same analogy before I believe concerning the Garner motion

titanwes said...

Wade,

Are you saying that the SBC's authority is the greatest authority?

I am not sure I understand your response and don't want to misinterpret it.

Wade Burleson said...

Jack,

You would have to ask trustee leadership why I am singled out. Other than the fact I may be making a difference, I can offer no reason. I can assure you that I am always respectful, gracious and civil in all my communications - both public and private - with my fellow trustees. It is what I am saying - now how I am saying it - that is the problem.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Titanwes,

In terms of convention authority, the SBC has the greatest.

In terms of the authority over me within the Convention it flows like this:

God (His Word)
Conscience
My Church
The Southern Baptist Convention
IMB Board of Trustees

Blessings,

Wade

titanwes said...

Rev,

I do not count determining correct theology as bickering. Calvinism should be an issue if the intent is to merge their beliefs with those of Southern Baptists. Note the "Baptist" in the name. As far as private prayer language goes, I cannot force you to adhere to my beliefs on the subject. However, if I am part of an organization that deems it inappropiate, I can neither promote it nor partake in it within my church that is under said organization. Again, it goes back to following that which has been appointed by God. That would be the same thing as a deacon of the church starting a gathering of church members who adhere to theology that directly contradicts what their pastor has laid out. Do you think that God would smile with approval on that instance?

The same could be said for what is happening today. There needs to be some agreement with WHY we believe what we believe. College campuses are littered with students who have become athiest or involved in some other religion because they were never taught WHY they believed what the BIBLE says. As a convention we cannot bridge that gap until we are united in those beliefs and start focusing on the real issue... the growing number of church/ Christian dropouts and the rising difficultly in promoting Christ in a country that was built on a religious backbone.

I don't see how private prayer language or any other personal dissent figures into that need.

Thanks for your response. I hope the holidays are treating you well.

Bill said...

Someone please tell me how I can, with integrity and honesty and a straight face, speak supportively of policies I do not support.

The rule seems oxymoronic to me. And deliberately deceptive. I'm serious, someone please show me what that looks like.

Wade Burleson said...

Titanwes,

An inability for you and others to see the big picture at what will eventually erode cooperation within the SBC is a problem - but if I continue to repeat the issue at hand, maybe one day you will see it.

Until then, I look forward to continuing cooperation with you and your church in Southern Baptist missions and ministry.

Wade Burleson said...

Bill.

Good luck getting an explanation.

I say that statement makes everyone publicly conform and turns Southern Baptists who disagree into either pretentious people or outright liars.

Jack Maddox said...

Bill

I do not necessarily support the policy that the church I pastor holds to regarding divorce and the qualifications of ministry. I do not agree in totality with some issues of polity spelled out in the constitution. I will work within the system of our church to intiate change as God leads. I will however speak favorably to these issues as voicing my opinion in appropriate venues, praying for change. How do I do that. I affirm the convictions which motivates their (church leadership)position. I agree that there are appropriate avenues to take in helping us to possibly change. I do not violate confidentiality nor do I take on these issues in my church newsletter. I do not write a monthly article (or daily for that matter) questioning these policies. I would not discuss what is said in leadership meetings with others in a private or public venue. If the issues are such that I cannot in good conscience continue to be supportive, I would then seek the Lord for a place of servcie where I could be supportive.

I am not saying that Wade did any of this on the level of BoT service. But the majority of the board says he did. Therein lies our problem

jrm.

Batchaps said...

Titanwes,
Wow! David Koresh would be proud of those reasoning skills you demonstrate.

In essence, you believe that folks in the SBC should not question those in leadership positions and do exactly as the leaders say. Your inability to see the big picture is indicative of blind indoctrination, as opposed to an education that developed your cognitive reasoning skills.

Who determines the correct theology you allude to? You? the Church? the SBC? Please do not say the Holy Spirit, because it is obvious that as divided as the factions within the SBC are that the HS is not a part of the madness.

You further assert that, "... if I am part of an organization that deems it inappropiate, I can neither promote it nor partake in it within my church that is under said organization..." Yes! Mob Rule! Totalitarianism! The Taliban would agree with you.

Some of you folks who consistently goose step to whatever comes out of Nashville/Richmond need to wake-up, get into the 21st century and join Wade, myself and others in a place called reality. I am afraid that as things are, the IMB as it once was/is, will not last another 25 years.

BTW "Calvinism is the gospel" C.H. Spurgeon.

Russ+

Jack Maddox said...

Russ

Nice analogy brother...that 'goose step' reference was real nice.

jrm

Rev. said...

titanwes:

So what do you deem as "correct theology"? Does the Baptist Faith & Message contain "correct theology"? If I am able, along with Wade, Dwight McKissic, Al Mohler, and Paige Patterson, to affirm the BFM, then what is the problem?

You state, "Calvinism should be an issue if the intent is to merge their beliefs with those of Southern Baptists." Wow! That statement says that "Calvinists" are completely outside of Southern Baptist beliefs, despite the facts that the BFM contains an article on election, that most of the leaders of the SBC in 1845 were "Calvinists," and that Southern Seminary is still operating according to its charter and the Abstract of Principles (clearly "Calvinistic").

As to private prayer language, when has "the organization" deemed it "inappropriate"? The IMB and NAMB have deemed it so (going beyond the BFM to do so), but has the convention ruled on the matter?

You keep bringing up "that which has been appointed by God." So, I ask, what about those who are in now in power but fought against those in authority in the 1970s and 80s?

The authority in a church is different than the authority in a denomination. Bucking the pastor, who is an elder with the oversight of souls (Heb 13:7, 17), is not the same as dissenting with those in denominational leadership. Your analogy breaks down because it is apples and oranges.

You go on to state, "There needs to be some agreement with WHY we believe what we believe....As a convention we cannot bridge that gap until we are united in those beliefs..." I thought we were united since every Southern Baptist affirms the BFM. If you and others believe that there needs to be agreement on further issues, and that the BFM needs to be made more explicit and narrow, then by all means, work for that. Make it plain during such a process that "Calvinists" and "Charismatics" and whoever else you want to exclude (e.g., non-Dispensationalists) are unwelcome in the SBC. Just make sure it is in the doctrinal statement that is affirmed by the convention.

I look forward to continued dialog with you on the matter. I hope the holidays are treating you well also.

Batchaps said...

Jack,
If "das boot" fits... :)

Russ+

Bill said...

Jack: I think I understand what you said, but it was a little vague. But I don't think it answers my question. How do you speak supportively of your churches policies which you do not support? You can speak supportively of your church, the heart and sincerity of the people who came up with the policy, the heart of the people who abide by the policy, etc. But can you, with honesty and integrity speak supportively of the policy itself? Let's take it a step further: What if the policy was enacted while you were pastor, over your objections (albeit lawfully)?

Now suppose the church, knowing your disagreement, says "now Jack, we know you don't support this policy, but we order you to say you support it." If you comply, what does that make you?

greg.w.h said...

Titanwes's and Rev.'s comments on Calvinism actually are both true. Prior to the Conservative Resurgence (and arguably until Mohler took over at SBTS), modern Southern Baptists were either quietly or rarely Calvinists. Most were at most four pointers.

That has changed somewhat, but the grassroots Baptist in the typical, unconnected SBC congregation (think 80% of the 40,000 churches) would probably be surprised at HOW Calvinist SBTS is.

Which makes Wade's efforts so much more important: there are MORE things to divide over now than there ever have been in the history of the Convention at one time. Which leads us to suspect that the Holy Spirit not only is tolerating this current situation, but encouraging it.

We can either sharpen the distinctions and go down the road towards division, or we can choose to realize that the Bible REALLY ISN'T THAT CLEAR on things we want to claim it is clear on (my favorite being our continued, rules-mongering position on alcohol...which...oddly enough even the posters at Wade's blog continue to defend despite SCANT biblical support.)

We can either make it a fight to the end of time and basically bow in Satan's direction. Or we can agree that our unity is both greater, deeper, wider, and stronger than our differences and permit those who under examination are Spirit-filled to lead.

I'll even propose that we can and should have a somewhat watered down unity doctrine that majors on the majors and embraces all of the minors. The BFM 2000 seems very much to be that document. It is neither too Landmarkist, too Arminian, too Calvinistic, too neo-Pentecostal, nor too legalistic.

One of my roommates in college commented that the division of apartment chores and filling of the food pantry actually has a very precise metric for when it is done pretty much correctly:

"Everybody complains." ;)

Greg Harvey

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
You asked me, “Why are you stalking me again?” If I disagree with you, and you call that “stalking”, what are you doing to Wade?

I had made a comment to Wade how you “challenged” me, but you never replied to my answer of June 5.

Today, you said, “I did respond Rex. You just did not like my response.”

Is that a clever way to say your response was silence, because you never wrote a reply? In fact, you only made one comment to me on Wade’s June 3 post of 245 comments. On June 5, 02:51, you made your “challenge” (I’ve already put it on this post) and you also said, “Again, if you are not a member of your town’s FBC then I will gladly wipe the egg from my face.”

BTW, did you ever get the egg off?

Your next comments were made on Wade’s June 5 blog at 17:56, 18:19, 18:42, and 18:51, but none were made to me.

The next day, on the same blog 02:32, I wrote: “Ah, Jack Maddox, you’re still around. I thought you’d left since you only took up for Jim Richards once on Sunday’s blog. Is he not worth more than one comment, or did you and Gary Ledbetter of the SBTC see it was getting to be bad publicity since you couldn’t refute truth?”

You did not reply to me, and you made no more comments on that post.

So Jack, where did you reply or was it only in your dreams? I believe you have more egg.

Like I said, it’s good to have you back, and if you can set up that lunch with Richards, I’d like to bring Russell Hale (batchaps)along also. They probably know each other real well.

Jack Maddox said...

Rex

Your freaking me out dude! I tell you what…you win! Congratulations! I admit it. Your right and I am wrong. Jim Richards is a diabolical dictator, The SBTC is a branch of the illuminati. The CR was all about power, prestige and rock and roll. Good for you Rex. You nailed me. I will call Judge Pressler tomorrow and turn in my official fundie thought control card. Since I have fessed up and conceded your theological and ethical superiority there is really no need for you to keep records of my quotes and conversations any longer. You can take down my picture from the wall, throw away the pin filled voodoo doll, and tell the guy in the red sedan to stop tailing me. There is also no longer any reason for me to go back and forth with you any longer…

Sorry rex, but I am breaking up with you. That’s right…no more talkie talkie.

jrm

Wade Burleson said...

A promise is a promise Jack.

:)

Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
This is me talking in your rear view mirror.
Me thinks you confess too much. I don’t keep records, but I can read.

Wow! What a dramatic exit. I couldn’t have imagined you could be so funny…red sedan…breaking up…no talkie talkie? Boohoo!

I’ll take down your picture but I’m keeping the voodoo doll in case you bother Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

You make me laugh.

:)

P.S. Hiram, I will NOT waste my time telling you why.

smile

Rex Ray said...

Titanwes,
Sorry so long in making this reply. I’ve been occupied with Jack Maddox so much, I’d almost forgotten how your comment made me see red.

In way of background, I’ll quote a man’s thinking that caused Paul so much trouble. The second bishop of Antioch (Ignatius) wrote John:

“Well-known persons, relate that Mary is full of all graces and all virtues…she is the lady of our new religion…there is in Mary, the mother of Jesus, an angelic purity of nature allied with the nature of humanity. Such reports have greatly urged us to desire a sight of this heavenly prodigy and most sacred marvel.”

Titanwes, it’s easy to see this bishop’s thinking led to the worship of Mary. He also said:

“We ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself.”

I guess you see where I’m going with this. You said, “Dissent is one thing and disagreeing is not a sin. However, insubordination is and whether it be in person or on a blog, rallying people to raise a formal dissenting action against those who have been APPOINTED as AUTHORITY (since God is sovereign over all) is insubordination and sinful. …creating an organized effort to subvert AUTHORITY that has been APPOINTED by God. For us, we HAVE to FOLLOW that which He has laid before us and that means following that which He appoints before us.”

Your thinking is the same said to missionaries in 1997 for them to have “A confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree.”

God-appointed only makes a person ‘God’ in the Catholic religion.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jim Sissney:*Off Topic for the first time I might add. I thought that was you but was not sure. How many Sissneys could there be? Email me if you are still reading this.

James Sissney said...

Yes, Debbie. Tis I.
My computer won't let me send e-mails from this site so you (or anyone else for that matter) can contact me at inspectorjimbo@hotmail.com