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

A Decision I Believe Is Best for the Future of All

The following statement was read by me during the plenary session of the International Mission Board, Tuesday night, January 29, 2008.

My fellow trustees,

I want to briefly share with you what a great privilege it is to serve with you as a trustee. It is my belief that God has uniquely gifted and called each one of us to this role so that we can work together to advance the IMB’s mission. My earnest desire is to be a working member of our team so that we can accomplish that mission together. While I understand that some of you may harbor doubts about my ability to actually be a “team player”, I want you to know that I am committed to being a team player and that perhaps you have not yet seen or understood a full picture of me. Accordingly, as we move forward into a new year of serving the IMB together, I would like to say a few words to clear the air of past events, express my commitment to working with you within our internal standards, and then once I’ve spoken, let the proof of my verbal commitment be seen in my future actions.

To begin with, I do admit that I have in the past intentionally violated our newly revised (Spring 2006) internal standards of conduct. In particular, I publicly disagreed with certain actions taken by this board, rather than speaking in supportive terms or staying silent on matters about which I disagreed. The new standards of trustee conduct, adopted in the Spring of 2006, state that a trustee must publicly affirm a board approved action even if he cannot privately support it. I want you to know that I never expressed my dissent out of a desire to harm the work of the IMB or any of you, my fellow trustees and brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead, I did so out of an exercise of my conscience. Simply put, I believed in my conscience that it was the right thing to do to further our mutual goal of supporting the IMB’s purpose of cooperatively taking the gospel to all peoples of the world. I recognize that many of you may have been upset by my decision to express my disagreement and feel that it has hurt the work of the IMB. Scripture teaches us that sometimes we can exercise our conscience in a way that offends others. I am sorry that this seems to be the case here.

Therefore, it is my goal going forward, to the extent it rests in my power to do so, to live at peace with all of you and not cause you offense. It is also my goal to have a greater focus on the work of the IMB than on me. Accordingly, I commit to you this day that I will no longer violate, intentionally or otherwise, our new trustee standards of conduct. If I find myself in disagreement with a policy or proposed policy of the Board, I will express my disagreement using the channels that are available—for example, plenary forum sessions, trustee forum sessions, and private communication with fellow trustees—but will not take my disagreement outside of those confines to the blogosphere or world at large. In fact, if this statement is accepted, I intend to shut my blog down immediately after this board meeting. I should add that it is possible, however unlikely, that an occasion might arise where I believed that we had enacted a policy that violates Scripture or conscience. If that were to happen, I would resign and express my disagreement outside the structure of the IMB or understand I will be censured. I do, however, consider such a future occasion to be unlikely. It is my belief that God has blessed the work of the IMB because it is carrying out a mission close to his heart and that so long as we collectively continue to seek him in prayer, he will guard us from error and bless our work.

I do look forward to working with you as a fellow servant this year and in the years to come.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson


The above statement was not deemed an acceptable apology by the Executive Committee of the International Mission Board. I was informed by Chairman John Floyd of its unacceptablity last December when I initially sent it to them. I had also been told at the time, however, that the Executive Committee would present my letter to the board at this January 2008 trustee meeting for the board's discussion and possible approval. However, that promise was not fulfilled. The Executive Committee chose not to bring my statement before the full board at this trustee meeting for their consideration. When I realized today that my letter would not be discussed as I was told, I requested that I be allowed to read it to the full board during tonight's plenary session. I was recognized and read the statement in full. Chairman Floyd then informed the trustees that the Executive Committee had not deemed my statement to be an acceptable apology. Nothing else was said.

Then, Chairman Floyd dismissed all guests, reporters, and staff and called the trustees into Executive Session. Chairman Floyd related to the board that the Executive Committee rejected the apology because I needed to specifically apologize for violating the new trustee standards of conduct that prohibit any public dissent of board approved actions. Since the new trustee guidelines that prohibited dissent were adopted in 2006, I have intentionally violated that policy by writing my objections to doctrinal board policies that exceed the 2000 BFM. I have written that my fellow IMB trustees have passed new doctrinal policies - without any field evidence that there was a need for such policies - and as a result of these doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM 2000, and in the minds of some, violate the clear teaching of Scripture, the IMB is now NOT appointing otherwise qualified Southern Baptist missionary applicants to the field. The narrowing of these doctrinal parameters of cooperative mission work is dangerous to our convention and threatens our belief in the historic Baptist principles of the sufficiency of Scripture, cooperative missions, and religious liberty. Worse, the 2006 revised trustee standard of conduct that prohibits public dissent is unconscionable, unbaptistic, and will one day be viewed by Baptist historians as a tragic mistake. I have stated, repeatedly, that I cannot apologize for expressing my public dissent on these issues since the IMB trustees should have never taken the actions in the first place. It is a matter of conscience to me.

However, in an attempt to put these issues behind us and to move forward as a board, I offered the above statement tonight as a genuine expression of what I was willing to do to take the focus off me and place it back on missions. But in that specially called closed door meeting after the plenary session I was, again, pressed to apologize to my fellow trustees for violating the new trustee policy that prohibits public dissent. I reiterated my desire to apologize for any unintentional offense among my trustees that my dissent may have caused, but I could not apologize for my choice to publicly dissent. I had voted against the policy that forbids dissent, and in my mind, to publicly affirm the policies I have questioned, when I cannot privately support them, would make me a liar. I told my fellow trustees that I stand by the statement I read into the record and could go no further. My desire was that we could put this issue behind us as a board and focus on that for which we are responsible - missions. Let me reiterate the preceding sentence, it is the heart of tonight's action.

Though I do not believe it is within the purview of the International Missions Board of Trustees to establish doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM 2000, and though I believe at least one of those policies was initially pushed to embarrass the IMB President, and though I believe the convention's Garner Motion has affirmed the inappropriateness of such policies that exceed the BFM 2000, and though I have expressed my courteous dissent on the basis of principle, my statement tonight was simply an attempt to get our board refocused on missions and off of tangential issues and to let my fellow trustees know I was desirous to move forward with them in the work of cooperative missions.

Again, my statement of apology was deemed unacceptable by the Executive Committee of the IMB. The board seemed to accept the Executive Committee's recommendation that my apology was unacceptable because no board member made a motion to reverse the Executive Committee's decision not to accept my statement.

It became crystal clear to me tonight that it would be impossible for me to continue as a trustee of the International Mission Board. The appropriate forum for my continued service to the Southern Baptist Convention is now outside the IMB Board of Trustees. I deem it better to be censured by man than to be condemned by conscience. It is my decision to resign, effective immediately, from service as a trustee of the International Mission Board. I will continue to work to effect change within the Southern Baptist Convention and will post later this week my plans for the immediate future.

I will also be leading our church to increase her involvement in our cooperative missions work. I hope you do so at your church as well.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

132 comments:

Bill Scott said...

Wade,
While I am saddened at your resignation, I am relieved that you too can focus on whatever is that God has in store for you and your leadership abilities.

I am sure that the IMB BoT is quite satisfied and will openly rejoice at your resignation. I however am saddened that the only person with any brass in their constitution has resigned.

Thank you for your service to ME as an Oklahoma Southern Baptist.

Blessings Brother.

Bill Scott

jasonk said...

It is attitudes like the ones you have mentioned here that remind me of why I left the SBC, and make me question why I decided to come back.
I respect your decision, but am saddened by it, because we need people like you who are willing to stand up for what is right.

CB Scott said...

"and the beat goes on...."

cb

Lee said...

I'm looking forward to what your continued service to the SBC will involve.

The words of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King come to mind, "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last."

May God enlarge your tent.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Thank you. You deserver better.
Ken Colson
Montana

john said...

Wade,

I was sorry it came to this. I thought your letter said everything necessary. I can't help but think that the future will be interesting.

John Sneed
Davenport, IA

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Two statements come to mind. Ben Franklin said, "A man without courage is a knife without an edge." A. W. Tozer said, "Great Saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God."

You have been gently dogmatic and razor sharp. It's called courage. I'm proud of you.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS said...

WOW!!! I am really sorry that it has come to this. In a way, I am in shock after having read your blog for so long. In a way, I am not shocked at all. It's too bad! As to your continued work in the SBC, maybe you could become a trustee at SWBTS! This place needs change.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS

Anonymous said...

Wade,
As an M on the field I am saddened by your resignation. I'm now afraid that we are 'voiceless' on the BoT. I pray that others step up to the plate and God raise up who will have God's agenda and the interests of missions & Ms as their priority rather than that of SBC power brokers & special interest groups.

Thank you for serving God & us so faithfully.

An SBC M

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I don't even know where to start. As another M on the field I share the sentiments of my brother above.

Thank you for taking the brunt of the attack for so long, as you spoke on behalf of so many of us. I appreciate you and your sacrifice.

May God's grace continue to permeate despite the ridiculousness.

~ Another SBC M

Bob Cleveland said...

This IS a sad day. This IS a tragic development. This IS unnecessary and counterproductive in the sense of getting the Gospel to the lost. This IS a painful reflection of how far IMB leadership has fallen.

What it ISN'T, is surprising.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your decision to resign. I think that this will help the IMB move forward.

Also an IMB m

Anonymous said...

As a former IMB M in a Security 3 region, I want you to know that your commitment to truth was (is) appreciated and admired by my whole team.

Thank you for your service, Wade. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours, and may your tribe increase!

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Thank you for your service on the board. I very much appreciate the fact that when I contacted trustees to learn about the new selection policies, you actually responded to me, instead of 1) ignoring me or 2) telling me it wasn't your job to share your views on the matter.

As a Southern Baptist, a SB seminarian, and a former staff member at a SB church, my wife and I will be continuing support our cooperative missions effort - although it looks like we will most likely be disqualified from service with the IMB.

As discouraging as it is, we are investigating other ways to transplant our lives into another country than through the IMB.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade,

You are a man of greater character than I had once thought. I will sincerely pray for healing in this matter and that the IMB will continue to be a great entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. I will also pray for you and your church in their continuing effort to reach the world for Christ.

I will also pray that God truly guides you in the months ahead as you refocus your gifts, talents, and personality on those things HE deems necessary for the good of the Church and the Convention.

Much Grace and Truth to YOU,

Kevin M. Crowder

Anonymous said...

Wade,it was actions by folks like this that made me leave the ministry back in the 80's. No grace, no forgiveness,no apparent concern for the task at hand. All's i can say is i'm proud to be a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church and to serve alongside of you and the rest of the staff and members as we attempt to reach the world for Christ. Our huge invovlement in missions and the reports we get back from Niger, India, China,and others, makes a person proud to to dream and say, hey, i had a hand in that. God bless you.

Your fellow servant

Rick Talley

Anonymous said...

I agree with this M's statement.

Thank you for your decision to resign. I think that this will help the IMB move forward.

Also an IMB m

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

This is a great day for you and the SBC. I am looking foward to see what mantle God has chosen for you now.

In the words of that Spirit filled Christian William Wallace........

..........FREEEEEEEEEEDOM.........

Tom Parker said...

K. Michael Crowder,

Please go gloat somewhere else. You use nice words, but your past actions do not validate them.

Brian said...

Wade -

I've been a faithful reader of your blog for quite a while now. I'm saddened by your decision to step down, but understand your rationale. May God bless you and your family. I look forward to reading about what He does in your life in the near future.

Brian
An Alabama Baptist

David said...

Wade:

Unless it is too late, I WOULD BEG YOU NOT TO RESIGN FROM SERVICE AS AN IMB TRUSTEE.

You may have meant otherwise, but your report makes it appear that there is NOT EVEN ONE OTHER BRAVE SOUTHERN BAPTIST WITH A BIT OF CONVICTION serving as a trustee of the IMB at this time. If you resign from the board, the rest of the SBC NEVER WILL KNOW what truly takes place behind the unnecessarily closed doors of the trustee meetings--or how truly inept the IMB trustees' leadership is at times, or how divergent from typical SBC perspectives its thoughts and actions are.

If you resign from the IMB, it will be a sad day BECAUSE YOU RESIGNED, NOT BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THE TRUSTEES CAUSED YOU TO FEEL AS IF YOU MUST. This day is a "stand up for what is right day"--a man with true conviction, and the courage which should accompany that conviction, cannot give up. The rest of us--who do not serve as IMB trustees nor now ever will be invited to do so--are DEPENDING ON YOU.

Wade, if it isn't too late, please choose to stay in the struggle.

Alyce Faulkner said...

Wade, like some here my initial reaction is sadness. I read the post last night and couldn't bring myself to even comment.
Then the sun came up this morning, God is on His throne and not threatened. I realized this is a new day.
My reaction today is different. I can't wait to see what God is going to do. I pray blessings on you, Rachelle, your entire family and Emmanuel.
Agape

Alan Paul said...

I was reminded, by your statement of how baptist historians will view the narrowing of the parameters of the SBC, of a statement I once heard. It was said that Southern Baptists will be remembered as simply a missions movement with the dates of the movement after it. Nothing more. This was said in the wake of the destruction that was the conservative resurgence. It was a statement of foresight I think, because the convention that narrowed a huge part of its people out the door (moderates and those accused of being moderates) would continue to narrow itself right into obscurity.

As to your admonition to give more to IMB: Conventional wisdom says you don't throw more money at a dead horse expecting to revive it. Instead, I will be giving to missions organizations that have dispensed with the political nonsense and are focusing their work.

A side benefit of these conventions imploding is that it has given birth to a host of missions organizations that work directly with missions-minded folks and churches - giving them a way to serve out their God-given purposes while not having to deal with so much nonsense.

Bob Cleveland said...

Uhh ... it's going to be hard moving forward, what with the BoT stuck in reverse, and all.

Anonymous said...

Please help me understand the need for an "apology" I read your statement word for word and you admitted to the official rules violations. What is the purpose of an "apology" especially to a board. Can a board have their feelings hurt? I don't think so- It leaves me with more questions than answers.
John Daniels

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

I'm setting here trying to take this in.

My thoughts turn now to what impact your resignation will have on the issue at hand: namely the narrowing of parameters for appointment for missionary service.

Maybe even more crucial is what this whole episode says regarding the leadership of the various agencies of the SBC and the degree to which that leadership is responsive to -- or isolated from -- the rank and file SBC "guy in the pew".

At least one result is evident: The proposed motion to be offered at Indy to remove you and/or censure you will now become moot.

Stepping way back from your involvement on the BoT over the last several years and taking a broader view, I'd make the assessment that the IMB is still running pretty much on all cylinders. I agree with the points you have raised. I agree that the "recent" restrictions are neither wise or necessary.
However, I don't think that the continued utility of the IMB is at risk. I don't think historians in future decades will look back at the present time and note that this was the "beginning of the end" of cooperative missions by all the churches in the SBC. In some strange way I think the opposite will be the case.

The results of your work have not been fully reflected in SBC life. It may take a number of months -- or years -- before this whole thing plays itself out.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

OC Hands said...

Wade,
Although I could see this coming, nevertheless it came as a shock and a blow to freedom. I do believe that the reasons given for your resignation were valid ones, involving your own conscience, and the desire to see the IMB move forward. For that, I commend you.
However, this will not insure that justice will prevail nor will it result in wiser decisions and more Christian attitudes on the part of the IMB trustees. What it may mean is that the leader of the trustees will become emboldened to the point that he believes he can do no wrong, and that he has ultimate power.
While I am saddened by your resignation and deeply grieved at the way you have been treated, I am saddened and angered even more because of the stubbornness and hard-hearted attitudes of the leaders. It is a cancer that seems to be spreading across the convention and will eventually do more irreparable harm to Bible believing Baptists who sincerely desire to remain in the SBC, but who because of conscience, like you will give up and leave.
I could write a book about my feelings regarding some of the leaders because I know too much about them--their past actions and attitudes which have not changed, and which reveal their true nature. I cannot understand why God continues to allow men who do not act according to Biblical teachings regarding relationships with fellow believers while at the same time trumpeting their dogmatic beliefs as their reasons for the un-Christian attitudes and actions. Unfortunately, the seeds for this cancer were sown in the so-called Conservative Resurgence. Please hear me out. I am not blaming those who sincerely were striving to return the SBC to what they consider its Biblical roots. What I saw happening was an attitude that the end justified the means, and some of the means being used were shocking to me.
What I am saying is that some who were caught up in that movement have apparently carried that attitude over into the "new" SBC, seemingly maintaining the belief that they can do no wrong if they are protecting the true doctrinal beliefs that make up the SBC.
While it may seem that they have won, I can assure you that God is no respector of persons, and what a man sows, that he shall also reap.
I am hereby renewing my prayers for the leaders of the SBC, including men like yourself, lifting them up to the Father and interceeding for them. I don't pretend to know how to pray for them, neither will I tell God what to do. I will follow the Holy Spirit's leading as I pray for you and for them daily.
May the God who led the Israelites out of the wilderness into the promised land also lead you from the chaos that has occurred in the IMB into the promised land of more effective service in another arena.

CB Scott said...

Michael Crowder,

Wade is a nice guy, I, on the other hand am not.

You really are a punk and the sad truth is you will probably always be one. And in being one you will hurt many churches.

Maybe we will meet someday and I will get to buy you a cup of coffee and a piece of huckleberry pie. At least I hope somebody does, 'cause that seems to be the only thing to cure people like you.

cb

cusgiez said...

Wade,
As a friend and as a faithful reader of your blog from day one, I personally can attest to your desire to honor God in your work. I am grateful for what you have done on my behalf as a Southern Baptist, but more importantly, for what you have done for me (and for my family) as a brother in Christ. Now, as it appears that your time has ended with the IMB, I am eager to know what God is providentially working in your life as He unfolds His plans for you. Please know that in whatever it is that God has planned for you, you have my whole support. You certainly have fought the good fight, but, alas, they did not have ears to hear. You are a rare one indeed!
Greg Giezentanner

Anonymous said...

A PARABLE

The BoT shows a certain spirit.

When that spirit came to our Seminary, hundreds of lives and ministries were ruined and intentionally destroyed. Eventually, those who brought the troubled spirit moved on. Now, we hear some good things are happening there.

In the late 90's a group of "victims" sort of floated together and became our own support group. We discover God had moved most of us to other places where He needed us to help other victims of MW and the CR. We learned (1) when the human body gets sick, you can feed it the best steak and prime rib but it will vomit the best out, yet, still have the sickness.
(2) The body WILL NOT GET BETTER until there is a visit to the GREAT PHYSICIAN.

We realized most of those who were "VOMITED" from MW were indeed great steaks and prime rib and the sick body could not stand it.

We created a group called "VOMITED" which stands for "Victims Of Midwestern In Touch Enjoying (the) Diaspora". It has now done its task and all have moved on.

Most have started new works some are overseas with other sending agencies.

When sickness exists in a body, Goodness cannot stay without the body being cleansed.

Wade, I can't wait to see what God has next for you. Remember, Christ was a desenter, so were Luther, Huss, Bonhoffer etc.

The blood of those who got us here demand we be desenters.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I agree with what your Dad once said. I think there is going to be a surprise ending to all of this.

It is so cool to look at something and see that it is hopeless.

And then have those two Bible words come into your mind.

But God...

WTJeff said...

As one whose sinful nature is full of cynicism, I can only conclude that Wade's statement was not accepted because those in power knew a man of Wade's character would resign rather than do anything that may harm the work of the IMB. I can only hope that Wade left behind a enough napkins so those remaining could wipe the egg from their faces.

May God use you for bigger and better things.

Grace,

Jeff

art rogers said...

I think I'll "come out of retirement" and freelance for a day by posting about this on my own blog.

Short version: Dust off the notebooks. It is past time to reveal the stuff you have squelched on their behalf.

As to the increase in cooperative giving, I must say you are either the most gracious person I've ever met or you've turned a corner in your mind and no longer operate on sense.

I'll opt for the former, but I'll keep and eye out for the latter. :)

he's only chasing safety said...

How discouraging.

Thank you Wade for being a man of such integrity and an example of what a gracious man should look like.

I pray that there are some hidden on the Board who are now willing to stand up for the sufficiency of Scripture.

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Dad" comment from Benji

:)

John D said...

Wade –

To be honest with you, I have disagreed with most of what you have posted on this blog. But in all fairness, I do think that your statement was amicable, and should have been accepted by the board. I do regret the fact that it was not and that it has come to this.

John

art rogers said...

CB,

Crowder's young. He grow out of what he has thus far displayed.

We were young once, weren't we?

Bezner said...

I'm sorry to see you step down, Wade, but I appreciate your work and hope that you will continue to do so.

Alan Stoddard said...

Your influence is not diminished by resigning. It's sad in one way, but good in another. I see you doing more to bring reformation in the SBC by not being on the BoT.

May a great groundswell of dissension spring from the SBC that is Scripture driven, spirit-led, and courageous (open minded).

Bob Cleveland said...

God does some stuff in the building of His church that we don't agree with, sometimes. Like raising up the Babylonians to teach Israel something.

In New Testament times, He mentions giving up wicked folks to their own depraved mind.

I've heard it said that the Holy Spirit's a gentleman and all that, but God takes some pains to tell us that ain't true. He's not even a man at all.

Wade's term "what's best for the future of all" may be in the context of letting God do as He wishes with the IMB .. maybe even the SBC .. unimpeded by Wade's stand for righteousness, openness, fairness, Christlikeness, etc. In that context, I agree with "..is best for the future of all".

Let the fireworks begin.

Josh In FL said...

Though it's a sad day for sure, I'm excited about what will happen next.

Remember...

Wisdom is proved right by her actions

CB Scott said...

Art,

That is my point exactly. You really are as bright as I said you were two years ago.

He is young. Coffee and Huckleberry pie will help him to grow up.

It is like throwing fertilizer on weeds. :-)

cb

cb

Lin said...

Whew! As I was reading, I thought I was going to see that you would quit blogging. Now that would be a tragedy.

Let them meet behind closed doors and micromanage missions. Mankind has always thought too highly ourselves. I guess I can't get my mind around how differently they read the scriptures about servanthood, humility, the first will be last and not to Lord it over others.

In their 'book', Paul would be in sin to have rebuked Peter publicly. Or John for writing about Diotrephes, who wanted to be first, in a letter for all to read for 2000 years. Hmmmm.

Paul said...

My goodness,

These people have all the spiritual maturity of a third grader throwing rocks on the playground. Someone needs to get over there and teach them a thing or two about the meaning of the words grace and forgiveness.

I can tell you I'd never in a million years encourage a student to attend Mid America if this is the sort of leadership in practice.

I would say that it's unbelievable, but sadly by now I know that it's not.

Wade,

Thank you for your service to the IMB and for your service to Southern Baptists. At least your tenure stopped some of the utter foolishness that was taking place on that board. Too bad it didn't stop all of it.

In my best Mike Gundy impersonation let me say that this "makes me wanna puke!"

Alan Cross said...

Wade,

You are in my prayers. I wish I could say that I was surprised by this turn of events, but I am not. The leadership of the SBC has shown themselves to be completely immersed in postmodern relativism. Right is wrong and wrong is right - it all depends on who is in power, on who wields the gavel. There is no protection. There is no truth. This is what happens when you try to take part in the SBC and you don't just go along to get along - you get run over.

I agree with Art, Wade. Why in the world would you encourage churches to increase their giving to the CP? Giving without accountability is being a poor steward of the resources of God's people. I am afraid to be so bold, but if the IMB BoT is truly as they have shown themselves to be, then does giving money to them honor God? We are told to take part in the Great Commission. They are showing that they expect us to support what they want to do without any accountability. The IMB should be accountable to the churches of the SBC. That is what trustees are for. Yet few care if we go beyond the BFM with arbitrary doctrinal policies. In over TWO YEARS, no one has shown why these policies were needed. When you try and bring accountability, you are told that you are not wanted. How can you, in good conscience, tell all of us to keep giving to the CP when our leaders act this way?

You do it because you are very gracious and you want things to work out. I have had private conversations with you where you expressed only that desire and you refused to say anything negative about the people that you opposed on principle. Wade, the IMB BoT was wrong about you. But, they've been wrong about just about everything over the past couple of years. That is an issue of comptetence and character.

Yes, Wade. You are right. We SHOULD give more to cooperative missions. It just seems that the IMB doesn't want to cooperate with anyone except for those who see things exactly the way that they do on every issue. Where does that leave us?

Kevin Bussey said...

What a sad day Wade,

Thanks for your heart for missions.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

You are getting a lot of encouragement and nuance support at bl.com today.

Here is what I said in SBC Trends there:

Norm makes a good point
by Stephen Fox on Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:02 pm

I would nuance it a little different and encourage Wade in this season of humility to begin, with Ben Cole, an earnest study of Noll, Marsh, Balmer and Kimball; even it means blogging just once or twice a week.
Daniel Vestal told me a couple months ago he has known Wade, since Wade was a boy.
There is Hope.

Wade doesn't bring quite as much to the table as David Gushee, but here is hoping his pilgrimage begins to mirror Gushee even more, and that he brings Ginny Brant along with him, even as our new friend on this board Ryan Hale "Thatboyaintright" kinda found the way on his own.

The Memphis Declaration in retrospect mighta been a good start for a lot of young revenants.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I thought of writing this to you privately as I normally do, but decided to do it publically after reading the comment to your post by David. PLEASE forgive the length. I've also posted this on my blog.

Courage of convictions is so lacking among leaders in our nation [including religious leaders] that many will never understand the decisions you've made now or in the past.

Detractors will see this as a victory for their side or a lack of character on your part. [This simply shows they neither understand character nor the issues from my personal perspective...but that is another issue in itself.] Friends will perhaps see this with some relief that you won't have to continue to face the pressure that has been on your person, family, or church any longer and rejoice. Or..some of those friends may see it as a setback for what is right and needed and may even wonder if you have capitulated to that pressure.

But people who REALLY know, you and know you well, realize that it is the same guiding principle of conscience and openness to counsel you follow now that you've excercised from the outset in dealing with the effort you discovered to use an SBC organization to hamstring, if not remove, a duly elected leader in Southern Baptist life.

You have sought out, fought for, and taught what the issues really are. That has been a troublesome and costly journey for you at a price you've been willing to pay. Again, I say...I'm proud of you.

Now you will face the cost of another decision based on principle. The greater problem of becoming the issue has awakened you to the need for this action. You have chosen your course of action.

Some will not understand. You, however, have NEVER wanted to become the issue. You've never allowed anyone else to be the issue and when you did feel that slipping you quickly corrected it. You're now being consistent in this as you have in all things.

To stop short of a calling...because of fear or pain... is a lack of character. Mark Twain said "Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of it." You've NEVER stopped short of your calling.

To go beyond a calling...because of an agenda or cause...is pride. A.W. Tozer said "Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulations." You've chosen to NOT go beyond your calling.

As always with you, it is, again, based on principle and is for the good of people, and will not be understood or acepted by all as the right thing. But, praise God, you have been and are still being true to your calling.

You said..."I deem it better to be censured by men than to be condemned by conscience." That says it all.

DAD

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I have followed all of this from the very beginning and I am proud that you stuck it out this long. This is not just a IMB BoT problem. It's an infestation of the SBC. I think you can do more for missions OFF of the BoT rather than on it.
When I first read that you resigned, I was disappointed. I felt once again abandoned. But, I didn't comment on my initial reaction, for I don't feel that way anylonger. I think there is MORE to come from Wade Burleson and it can be handled much better for you to be off of the BoT. I look forward to your next post.
I am grateful for your efforts while serving on the IMB BoT. I believe that you have experienced much of the same 'stuff' that some missionaries have gone through with the signing of the BFM among other things.
Press on!!!
M with YOUR organization

he's only chasing safety said...

Alan Cross,

Just because the Board of Trustees has chosen to act a particular way does not mean that we should stop giving to the cooperative program. Remember, this isn't about the trustees, it's about those serving their hearts out on the mission field.

I can assure you, there are an abundance of strong Southern Baptist Christians suffering on the field right now that do not condone all of the board's actions. Yes, the parameters for missionary hopefulls are narrow (I'm learning from experience), but through God's grace, brothers and sisters who are passionate about God's people among the nations are getting overseas to share His love.

This is why we give to the cooperative program. Don't punish the missionaries for the board's mistakes.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Art and CB,

I do love a good cup of coffee, but apple pie is my preference. I will be in Indy (room booked at the Marriot) and would be glad to sit down with the two of you to share my views on said topic and to allow you to judge me in person (or if you prefer--hold me accountable for what I have said presetly and in the past on this blog). I am prepared to defend all of my statements (and/or perhapse learn a thing or two from you both).

As for my previous post on this thread--it was very sincere. Regardless of Wade's motive in this move to resign, the Lord's work will carry on.

My age has nothing to do with my view. You place a great many Southern Baptist's in this same category of "young and naive" when you attack the validity of my view based on my age. Careful.


ihs,


Kevin

he's only chasing safety said...

One last thing, then I'll shut up . . . I promise.

I think it would be good for all of us to remember to show the same grace that we are asking the Board of Trustees to show in their actions. Anger, harsh words, and hard feelings will solve nothing. Instead, perhaps we should focus on the glory of God being proclaimed among the nations despite any particular board's decisions.

We've all made a mistake or two in the name of doing what we thought was right. I'm sure that we can understand when this happens to others.

By the way, I'm a young Southern Baptist too. I know I'm an idiot and am happy to tell you, so please take my words with that understanding.

Jon L. Estes said...

If things don't change my LMCO and AAEO will increase while others decrease.

For a while maybe we can support the troops without supporting the trustees.

I wonder, if something like this became a pattern we would need to watch closely for the the trustees to make the AAEO and LMCO not for the missionary / field expenses only.

Alan Cross said...

He's Only Chasing Safety,

I love the missionaries on the field. The problem is, as long as the money keeps flowing, the IMB BoT does whatever they want. They see that as license to act how they will, irrespective of what is right. No one wants to punish the missionaries. But, at some point, we have to be good stewards of what God is giving us. If the money dries up, perhaps God will use other means. If the missionaries are called, God will provide. I'd be happy to help them.

But, what I have just said won't happen anyway. The money won't dry up. The giving will continue and it will increase - for awhile. By and large, Southern Baptists are disconnected from our global missions effort. We don't pay attention to what goes on and we believe that if we send a check, then all is well. The BoT has capitalized on that belief and they are using the nickels and dimes of Southern Baptists to carry out their own theological vision of what Baptist missions should look like, a vision that goes far beyond the CR and that has NEVER been approved by Southern Baptists.

But, it is hard enough to get us to care about our neighbors going to hell or about over half of us actually ATTENDING worship. I doubt that the majority of Southern Baptists care very much about the theological direction of the IMB. As long as the leaders of the CR nod and approve, that is good enough for most Southern Baptists, because they fought the 20 year Battle for the Bible and have earned trust because of that. Anything else that they might attempt is ignored at this point.

No, giving will increase. Our missionaries are not in danger. It's just that some of us have realized that we need to be involved in global missions as well. I don't know what that will look like, and I always thought it would be through the IMB. I am sadder than anyone that they have redrawn the rules of cooperation. Sadly, we are left to either do nothing or figure something else out. My inerrant Bible doesn't allow me to do nothing, so I guess we'll have to proceed with the second option. I have no idea what that means.

art rogers said...

Chasing Safety,

The ones holding the missionaries hostage are the BOT. To refuse to support them as they narrow so tightly those who can serve - those who believe and behave exactly as they prescribe while a minority viewpoint within the SBC family - is not to hold the missionaries hostage.

That presupposes that we will not fund missionaries at all. This is not the case. We will just not fund them through the CP. Obviously, we can still give to the Christmas Offering, but I predict that this will fertilize the move toward other networks of mission efforts.

Kevin,

I never discounted what you said because you were young, just the brash nature you reveal as you say it.

Youth speaks with passion and that often leads us to say what we would later rephrase.

Though Paul tells Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because he is young, that Scripture is balanced significantly by the call of other passages to reverence age, that age and experience beget wisdom, that grey hairs are a sign of wisdom, etc.

Case in point: you misunderstood almost everything that was said, because you lack experience. It's not your fault, which was my point. You can only know what you first learn, and you are still growing.

Therefore, I encouraged CB to be gracious because we were in the same boat.

The offer of Huckleberry Pie is not a option, e.g. Apple Pie. It is a reference to American Culture and is intended to communicate something to you - that you missed, because you have not experienced it, I assume.

That reference is many years old, but you missed it. It has been made in the SBC blogosphere many times in the last year, but you missed it. You are relatively new to this venue as well.

Again, I don't blame you. I was pointing out to CB that you deserved a chance to understand some things before he offered you Huckleberry Pie. He seems to think that is how you will best learn.

You must not know me at all, to say that I am discounting the opinions of many Southern Baptists because they are young.

Ah, well. You are young. You will get it someday. Soon I hope.

Rick said...

Wade,
I just returned from the State Evangelism Conference, and since I no longer have a laptop, I just read your post. (and the comment string)

I, too, must join the chorus of M's and former M's who thank you for your courage to stand up for what you believe. I am so sorry that it has come to this. I'm sorry that you have been treated so poorly and grace has not been given to you by the BoT.

May God continue to bless you as you seek to serve Him!


Rick Boyne
Pastor
Immanuel Southern
Wagoner, OK

NOTE TO ALL: Don't give up on the IMB; the field is filled with Spirit-filled men and women of God who seek to see the nations reconciled to God through Jesus! Don't judge the whole IMB by the BoT.

David said...

Paul:

I have only the greatest of respect for Wade, just to be clear.

It's good to know that there are 2 such Burlesons--or more!

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Heaven & Earth Rejoice
SBC Rejoice
Blog World Rejoice
IMB Board Rejoice
We are free at last........

othoniel a valdes sr said...

PS:
Conscious Rejoice

Tom Parker said...

othoniel a valdes sr,

You are in good company, K. Michael Crowder feels the same way you do.

The 4 Sullivans said...

We are sorry to hear this Wade. But we have hope this has begun some healthy waves that will continue on into the future of the IMB. We appreciate you. We'll see you in April.
Blessings to you. The Sullivans

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I would encourage you to retract your resignation. Nothing good can come from the IMB BoT being allowed to continue to operate without transparency and accountability.

I can imagine that that you and your family have suffered significantly from all of the personal attacks. I would not wish more of that upon you, but if you could at least continue to go to the meetings and keep us updated about what is happening without becoming a target for more attacks, it would be greatly appreciated.

A disappointed IMB M

Robert Hutchinson said...

wade,

i was reminded today of samuel's attitude after the people pressed to have a king placed over them against his wishes.

23 “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. 1 Sam 12:23 (HCSB)

i thank the Lord for your attitude and ask that he will give me the same.

Anonymous said...

Kind of amazing that some gloat about someone leaving the fold over their convictions. Makes me liken them to what the Pope probably said when Luther left:
Heaven & Earth Rejoice
RCC Rejoice
World Rejoice
We are free at last of that dissenter!

Paul Burleson said...

David,

No need to clarify. I knew that to be true. Your thoughts triggered mine but not in a negative way. Just in a way I felt I needed to go personally. I admit to stepping very close to the line of "defending Wade" but hope I stopped short of that line because insight into a person is far better than the defense of that person. That's what I admit to doing..giving insight into one I know well. And, besides, he does a great job of defending his own thoughts and actions. He doesn't need me to join that cause.

You have deep concerns for the SBC...may your tribe increase.

Strider said...

I feel the need to say something but I am not sure what. I appreciate what you have sought to do. As an M I felt the pressure that many put on our IMB President and I hated that no one stood up for him. I just don't understand a room with over 80 people sitting there and saying nothing. Even if you were totally out of line someone should have stood and said something encouraging- it is what we Christians do, even when we should be still- but no one said anything. You read a fine apology and no one thanked you or stood for you. How are we to believe you when you say that these are godly men and women? Godly in what way? Their silence due to fear or worse puts them squarely in the enemy's camp. I wish just one of them would prove me wrong.
Remind me.... what happened after Lot, the last righteous man, left Sodom?

Jason Epps said...

Wade,

Almost three years ago, you took an interest in my situation. I had been denied funding for my church plant, and you made my situation known to those who could help. As a result of your taking an interest in a guy in Utah, a state not prioritized (as seen in the money invested it it) by most Southern Baptist, there is a vibrant expository-teaching, inerrantist, Christ-centered church that is the only one of its kind in an area with a population of several hundred thousand.

I must admit, my soul has grown quite tired of all the politics in the last year. As a result I haven't been following the blogs as I once did. However, please accept my thanks for the efforts you made to bless me, my family, and the congregation of Gospel Fellowship. I never thought someone in the South would fight for someone like me who refused to give up a specific spiritual gift. You have certainly exposed my ignorance in your actions. Thank you for the lesson, and may other Southern Baptists at home and abroad continue to learn it.

Love in Christ,
Jason Epps

Jake Barker said...

CB,
You wrote: "He is young. Coffee and Huckleberry pie will help him to grow up." I hate correcting spelling errors.....it's KNUCKLEBERRY pie. However, all other words were spelled correctly so you still get a 95 ;-)

K. Michael Crowder said...

"You are in good company, K. Michael Crowder feels the same way you do."

This is not true Tom Parker. Please allow me to express my opinion in my own words as I have already done.

Art Rogers,

In one breath you say you do not discount me becasue I am young (32) yet in the next breath you discount me becasue I am young (32). You would do well not to think you know me by any other means than that which I have posted. (hardly a comprehensive analysis of one's personality or character).

I have seen and indeed do understand the huckleberry pie reference and discount its premise by ignoring it and suggesting that CB add apple pie to the coffee promise. But then you missed that didn't you. ;)

You have failed to show how my comments have been in error or offensive in the short time I have "been around" except that they differ from your's and Wade's opinions. Or that they are in express opposition to the actions of Wade on a number of issues.

So please, dear Elder Brother, do show this young lad where his comments have been unbiblical, keeping in mind that sometimes the truth is offensive.

You can email me.

K

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

And here I thought Indy was not going to be very exciting. Sorry to hear about your resignation but I can't say it comes as a shock.

The fight, however, for full disclosure and the right of dissent must go on. My former pastor in Tennessee and former President of the TBC asked me over the holiday's why more young pastors do not get involved? Shall I say, "exhibit A."

I hope, however, this will galvanize more of us to get involved and become more proactive.

truth, not religion said...

ok, to many anon's,

I will give this a try, hope is works.

I thank God for Brother Wade

wtreat

Alan Cross said...

Strider,

You raise some very interesting questions. I would love to hear the answers.

happy gram said...

"I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."
(Martin Luther)

i have a great deal of respect for you, wade. i have heard similar anecdotes from others who have concerns with the IMB. i will continue to pray for God's blessings on you and your family. jan

Anonymous said...

Strider,
No one says anything (BoT), simply because they don't want to lose their prestige and all those 6 to 7 free monthly trips and one with their wives.

As a M, I can tell you for sure most of them are clueless to what really goes on the field. When they traveled they are escorted by leadership and the lowly missionary can only speak to them in the presence of leaders.

Big, bright beautiful things are presented but rarely do they seek out the missionary for a truly one on one open communication.

Why do you think all the Ms that write to blogs have do it anonymously?

Wade, you now have the opportunity to really find out what missionaries feel. Now you can seek the heart of the M without being a BoT member. Now you can go as a pastor wanting to know the true state of missions from those that do missions not from those that simply advocate missions.

God bless you Wade and I believe you will do more for the SBC, IMB and missionaries in general.

Serving Him, first and foremost.

happy gram said...

"...and you are a punk." all this talk of youth and inexperience leaves me laughing. cb, however elderly he is, expresses himself in a very childlike, vindictive manner. wade, i appreciate your courage and strength of character and the manner in which you respond to those whose length of years does not reflect depth of character.

David said...

Paul:

"Paternal instinct"--I have it, too (2 teenage daughters).

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Sometimes God calls us to beat our heads against a brick wall. God also will give us the wisdom to choose our battles. It appears you are making the choice to leave this battle, after first spending much time doing the first mentioned. (I've been through both situations, and in one case the brick wall yielded, but that doesn't happen often.)

I won't say I'm not disappointed you're leaving this battle. I guess I had hoped against all the evidence that you would win against this "brick wall". But no one can make the choice for you. It seems you have put up with it longer than anyone could expect you to. You are going to continue blogging, I hope?

Don't these people see the picture of Christianity they are giving to outsiders? One would think, especially since they are on a mission board whose purpose is supposed to be reaching out to people.

May I suggest on your way home you stop in Atlanta and see some Baptists who are trying to do God's work in harmony?

You have fought the good fight.

Susie

Wade Burleson said...

I have read a handful of comments by people who can't understand why I would not apologize for violating the 'new' trustee standard of conduct (2006) that states 'a trustee must publicly affirm a board action even if he cannot privately support it.' Allow me to explain why I cannot apologize for my violation of that new standard in 2006 and early 2007.

I was recommended for removal from the board in January 2006 by trustee leadership because I wrote in December 2005, after months of working behind the scenes as a duly elected trustee, that certain trustees (without naming them) were pushing two two horribly written doctrinal policies for political purposes, including the end of Dr. Rankin's era as President of the IMB. You can rest assured I can support what I have written. Further, I wrote that these two policies would exclude from Southern Baptist missionary service otherwise qualified Southern Baptists. I also pointed out that the two policies in question (baptism and private prayer language) both exceeded the clear statements of the BFM 2000.

I felt the need to go public with my opposition to the policies because for several months I had asked trustee leadership to give me the documented evidence from the field that these policies were needed, and NOBODY would give me ANY evidence that problems on the mission field necessitated such policy changes. In the end, I was told by John Floyd that there was NO anecdotal evidence from the field that these policies were needed. It was a doctrinal issue.

So, you have trustees of the International Mission Board violating their convention mandated responsiblities by implementing doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM. Trustee leadership was furious that I publicly questioned the rationale for their actions. When, in then end, the trustee board voted to adopt the new policies (by a controversial vote total), I took my objection to the SBC through my blog.

Trustee leadership then recommended my removal for 'gossip' and 'slander' but immediately changed it (when challenged to prove it) to 'loss of trust' and 'resistance to accountability.' When they realized I would be able to defend my objections to the IMB policies before the entire convention (as I did for over one hour to a select group of Convention leaders in February of 2006 in St. Louis), trustee leadership led the board to UNANIMOUSLY rescind the recommendation for my removal at the very next IMB meeting. In that same meeting trustee leadership asked that a NEW Trustee Standard of Conduct be adopted which states that "trustees must publicly affirm a board action even if they cannot privately support it." I voted against the 'new' standard of conduct, arguing that (1). it was the worst possibly policy a Baptist agency could ever hope to pass because it violated ever sacred and historic Baptist principle associated with religious liberty and freedom of conscience, and (2). it was a cowardly way to deal with my dissent because it removed the issue of my objections to doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM 2000 from being dealt with by the convention. Trustee leadership felt it was better to seek to control me and contain me than allow free debate of these issue before the SBC.

Due to the fact that several motions were coming before the SBC in 2006 and 2007, including the motion to investigate how trustees of the International Mission Board were violating the bylaws of the Southern Baptist Convention and seeking to appoint their own replacements by calling, vetting, and approving nominees to the Board, and the infamous 2007 'Garner Motion' where the Convention told her agencies that the BFM 2000 was the only convention wide doctrinal statement and is a sufficient guide for cooperation, I intentionally violated the "new" trustee standard of conduct that prohibits dissent and wrote about the two poor doctrinal policies of the IMB and how they were damaging to the future of the SBC.

I do not regret violating the 'new' standard of conduct that forbids dissent in 2006 and early 2007 and therefore I cannot apologize for it. I can apologize for the fact that my dissent has distracted the board from focusing on missions. Every meeting became an attempt by trustee leadership to 'deal' with Wade Burleson, and I absolutely regret that. However, because people throughout the Convention, including me, spoke to the very important issues at hand within our Convention, the SBC eventually adopted the 2007 Garner Motion and now everyone knows that the narrowing of doctrinal parameters of cooperation is unacceptable in the SBC.

My heartfelt statement last night was an attempt to extend the olive branch to my fellow trustees and put the focus on missions at the IMB and off of me. However, my statement was not accepted. Trustee leadership desired for me to state I was wrong in violating the new trustee standard of conduct that forbids dissent.

I cannot do apologize for that which I believe is right.

I believe expressing my dissent to the IMB actions, in violation of the very standards of conduct used to attempt to stifle me, was simply an act of conscience on my part. I was following what I deemed to be the higher moral good for the Convention. Others may disagree with my view that I was doing the higher good, but I was willing to put my name, my reputation, and my future on the line. That is how deeply I believed in the principle. I also have seen the good that has come to our Convention through the Garner Motion and the election of Frank Page. Finally, the number of trustees who have sought to terminate Dr. Rankin has been greatly reduced and he is probably in the best standing he has been in for a very long time in terms of job security. The board is ready to focus on the future and any new directions administration may take us.

However, trustee leadership would not accept anything last night but a statement that said, "I was wrong for violating the 'new' trustee standard of conduct that forbids dissent."

Again, I cannot apologize for those things that I do not believe are wrong. History will my the judge. It did become crystal clear to me last night that for me to continue in my service as a trustee of the IMB, I would be a distraction. Questions would continually be asked, "Has Wade apologized yet?" or "Is Wade on a committee yet?" or "Has the censure been lifted?"

These questions are a distraction. The Executive Committee of the SBC strongly reprimanded the Executive Committee of the IMB this past Monday for seeking to bar me from trustee meetings, stating that the IMB Executive Committee opened up the IMB to a lawsuit from the SBC. Further, I went absolutely as far as I could go in seeking to bring about a resolution through drafting the statement I read in the plenary session. The Executive Committee said that it was not acceptable. The impasse is solid; and it is distracting.

Therefore, for the sake of missions focus at the IMB, I resigned. For the sake of the SBC, I will continue to stay involved in seeking to keep the basis of our cooperation intact and resisting the temptation in the hearts of some to narrow the doctrinal parameters of SBC missionary and ministry cooperation.

In His Grace,

Wade

art rogers said...

Kevin,

You are still missing, well, pretty much everything.

I have yet to address the CONTENT of anything you said at all, but that is what you decried:

"My age has nothing to do with my view. You place a great many Southern Baptist's in this same category of "young and naive" when you attack the validity of my view based on my age. Careful."

I only addressed the TONE of your comments, then and now. Harsh before, conciliatory in perceived victory. Actually, I didn't address that, but CB did, and I responded to him in your favor.

As for the Huckleberry Pie, I doubt that I missed it. You have never given any indication (still have not) that you actually do get it, other than to assert that you do. Can you give the reference? If not, no harm done. If so, I'll gladly own my error.

For the record, the legitimacy of one's views is not bound to age at all. If you are right, you are. Being older is no guarantee.

Yet again... I only addressed your tone, and then not even to you, but on your behalf.

Are you yet instructed?

Alan Cross said...

Wade,

Thank you for sharing that. It seems obvious what has transpired here. Your testimony must be accepted, since everything that you say happened, happened in the view of many witnesses. I am sure that they are all reading your blog and comments today. If they will not dispute your view of the events, then we can only assume that your perspective is without challenge and is accurate. I don't say that because I doubt you. I say that because of the people who try to argue with you about what you have seen, heard, and experienced. These allegations are too damaging to go unrefuted if they are not true.

Thanks for fighting the good fight.

CB Scott said...

Michael,

Thank you for the invitation. I guess I will now have to be in Indy.

We will have a most excellent time.

Happy Gram,
Thank you dear lady. I am glad you can see my childish abilities coming through. It is a fact I served up huckleberry pie very well in my youth also. For some reason I have always known when it would serve as the perfect desert to go with coffee for those who exhibits such a cruel brand of rude behavior as does Michael. :-)

Art,

You are truly a rascal at times, but, of course, one of my favorites. :-)

cb

CB Scott said...

He's Only Chasing Safety,

Your comment about continuing to support the IMB is a very good and most timely statement and as for your age....Well...Wisdom can come from the mouth of any person who has it no matter their age. And I really mean that.

cb

art rogers said...

CB,

My pleasure to be a favorite rascal of yours.

Anonymous said...

As an IMB M who has followed this sad saga from the beginning, I am really disappointed. I feel like those of us who disagree with this narrowing of parameters have lost our voice, although I know we haven't. You are in our prayers. I'm on the field because that's where God called me and I will return at the end of my stateside assignment. I will pray and ask God to give me a heart completely devoted to him and completely focused on the work he has called me to, knowing full well that I can't trust the IMB BoT, and have no confidence that they are supportive, especially if I disagree with anything. If I weren't already a Southern Baptist, I wouldn't join for anything. We're quickly moving from a purpose of cooperation in fulfilling the great commission to a denomination of control and hierarchy, the very things I thought we weren't for as Baptists. That's a sad state of affairs. I will just try to keep my head down, stay faithful, and trust the Lord with the future, even with a heavy heart.
Thanks Wade, for you tireless work for the IMB, the SBC, and those of us who want to cooperate in winning the world for Christ. May God bless you as you continue working for His kingdom, but from another vantage point. You've been an inspiration to me and many others and we appreciate you. You are in our prayers.
An IMB M (who can't give his name for fear of retribution)

Anonymous said...

I feel as if we have lost our champion. It is a shame to have things come to this. The real issue is can we trust and rely on those who are left in charge? I personally see things getting dimmer before brighter. Hopefully things will change at a rapid pace and God's work will be carried out.

Mike Rasberry said...

Wade, I am thankful you finally stepped down. Now perhaps the board can get past you.

Anonymous said...

I hope that those on the BoT read these comments, and realize that as trustees they are both representatives of their respective SBC churches, the entirety of SBC churches (from all perspectives) and also representative of us M's on the field. Most of all, the trustees in their actions must be representative of Jesus Christ.

For those of you trustees that have silently supported Wade in the past, please stop being silent. Some of us serving have given up everything to come and boldly proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ in dangerous places. Please have the guts to stand up and do the same among the BoT. If God be with you, there is no need to fear the end result of your actions.

Another IMB M

Anonymous said...

All this banter hurts me. No, truly, it pains me. To see the anger in some remarks and to see the arrogance in others. All of us are called to be saints with ALL that in EVERY place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord! Let us act like His people! Through His Spirit we are partakers of His very divine nature. Where is the gentleness, where is the forgiveness, where is the grace, where is the mercy? Please come along with me and pray for unity in His body.... across denominational lines.... and especially throughout the IMB. Let us pray! Let us pray! Let us pray! And let us not stop serving and loving and bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord to the lost ALL around the world. His will.... WILL be done!

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I think I'm going to throw up. And it has nothing to do with that nasty virus going around.

Wade, you are in our prayers.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Maybe this is an allegory.

My brother was the Recreation Director of Fairbanks, Alaska. Skipping the details of him starting to teach SS, asked by pastor to investigate trouble in parking lot, mauled by police, put in jail, police chief fired, he resigned as a vote of confidence. His boss said he was accepting his resignation as he made too many waves. The City Counsel told his boss to get Ray back on the job or they would give Ray his job.

So, you have resigned. Maybe the SBC can be like the City Counsel.

I’d suggest someone like Art Rogers to make a motion to that effect.

If there wasn’t enough disgruntle to march against Patterson, maybe there’s enough love to march for Burleson at the next SBC.

If someone will start this, count me in.

Anonymous said...

I learned long ago that when a person seeks to publicly display (particularly on blogs and message boards) his or her perceived or real disagreement or emotional pain in matters such as this it is often done - intentional or unintended - with thought of seeking some acknowledgement and recognition.

One must ask themselves is God glorified in my saying this or am I?

I firmly believe that the wise and discerning person - the person who carries their cross daily - the person who denies self - will exercise grace and discretion in such times.

To that end, all of the commentary on this post, including the initial post, would have been better left unsaid to the glory of the Gospel.

When we cross the line of drawing attention to ourselves and making the issue about us rather than the Gospel, we err. We miss the mark.

K. Michael Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
art rogers said...

Anonymous - after Rex Ray,

I am afraid you think you perceive motives. I know only mine, but I assure you that I do not seek personal gain - in fact I have refused several offers for various nominations because it is precisely what I don't want.

I know well Wade well enough to suspect that you are quite wrong about your speculations.

Lin said...

"To that end, all of the commentary on this post, including the initial post, would have been better left unsaid to the glory of the Gospel."

If you really believe this ...use your real name.

Tim Sweatman said...

Wade,

When I saw the title of this post, my initial thought was that you had finally resigned. Then as I starting reading I became concerned that you might have apologized for the stances you had taken and yielded to the pressure to shut down your blog, both of which would have caused me to lose respect for you. And both of which would have surprised me greatly based on my observations of you over the past couple of years.

I appreciate the grace and courage with which you served on the IMB BOT. I am concerned about the immediate future of the IMB now that there is no one on the BOT (to my knowledge) who will seek to hold the BOT accountable to the convention. But I take solace in the fact that your service to the Kingdom of God, and to the small part of the Kingdom known as the SBC, will continue unencumbered by the efforts of others to place restrictions on you.

G. Alford said...

Wade,

I am deeply saddened by this and I am praying for you my brother…

What has happened to you should remind all Southern Baptist who venture into denominational life “That being right does not make you bullet proof, and those who are killed by friendly fire are dead nonetheless!” Perhaps someone should paint a sign and put it out front of the SBC Building – “Dangerous Waters, Enter at your own Risk!”

Unlike others who have commented on the impact of this I believe the Fall-Out of this for the IMB will be huge… things could get very interesting in Indy???

Grace Always,

Steve said...

The thing that most sticks in my craw about all the fun & games at the IMB Board of Trustees the last couple years is we have a chairman who tries to make points from disrespecting the man we have in charge of that storied agency, Mr. Rankin, and then orders Baptists - Baptists!! - on that board to lie, smile, and go along if they have a problem - even a doctrinal one - with the board's actions.
This Dr. Floyd is no Baptist like I ever saw - who would have dared float either one of these ideas to a bunch of Americans, much less religious thinkers? He sounds like he might be more at home with the Mormons, some little Presbyterian bunch, or maybe some General Baptists.

If Hillary gets elected, I'm sure she can find a little fiefdom with a desk for Dr. Floyd and his little comfort club, with some stenos and office aides to order around and "direct."

Stephen Pruett said...

Wade, The reasons for your decision are right and proper, so your decision must also be right and proper. The BoT is diminished, and I hope in time they will realize this to be the case or that they will be replaced. It is difficult to understand how the BoT can regard you to be a rogue trustee when they are in fact a rogue board. They take no notice of the Garner motion, they ignore pleas from representatives from many churches that support the IMB not to narrow the parameters for cooperation, and they ignore the Lifeway poll indicating that private prayer language is not condemned by a majority of Baptists. I really do not understand this.

Lu said...

I'm posting this comment without yet reading all the other comments (97 as I type), so I apologize ahead of time if I'm jumping into the middle of a different but related conversation.

Wade,

I learned of your resignation tonight through an article in Baptist Press and immediately came over to read your most recent posts (working full-time while going to school full-time doesn't leave much time for reading blogs these days).

The news of your resignation broke my heart, and left me very saddened. Not for you, but for the IMB BoT and the IMB overall because they have lost an incredible servant-leader with a God-heart for the world.

I love the IMB so very deeply. As a former IMB missionary I not only fervently believe in what they do every day, in their mission, but I also owe an huge debt of gratitude to those who serve in the Richmond office who took amazing, gentle and loving care of me after my parents died unexpectedly. They graciously served me and watched over me as if I were one of their own children or sister.

Not only do I owe RVA, but I also owe the trustees who appointed me. They had no idea the powerful confirmation of God's hand on my life and His specific direction to "go!" that their decision to appoint me was to me. I thanked God for them and their willingness to affirm my "call" (whatever that word really means) every day for years.

It breaks my heart to hear what is going on in that influential body. It breaks my heart that those I love so dearly in RVA and across the globe are negatively impacted by the poor decisions of these broken followers of Jesus. And it breaks my heart that there are those in the BoT who so fervently refuse to accept God's grace for themselves or for others. Most of all, it breaks my heart that these brothers and sisters on the BoT have lost a trustee that could have aided them in correcting the unBiblical course on which they have set the IMB.

I understand your decision, and given the circumstances I believe it was wise. I am glad for you that you will no longer have to serve in an environment that seemed quite hostile toward you. No one needs that kind of stress in their lives!

But I cannot help but cry for the IMB, for Dr. Rankin and all the staff at RVA, for all my friends and so many others serving in the field, and for all those who long to serve alongside them as IMB missionaries but are denied because of the hard-heartedness of a few in power.

I pray that your example will embolden others in the IMB BoT to stand for what is right and True.

And My God continue to bless you, Wade, in whatever endeavors you pursue next. If it hasn't been said in the other 97 comments, Thank You for your unwavering service as an IMB trustee.

Anonymous said...

Praise God that this is over. Maybe the IMB can get on with the business of furthering the Gospel. It doesn't matter if you agreed with the Board's policies or not, as a trustee you had to either abide by them or resign. You chose not to abide by them and resign. You continued to violate the policies and left the IMB trustees no choice. At least you have now made a wise choice and the right choice.

Rex Ray said...

To the person that thinks they learned long ago such wisdom they can advise us and Wade that all our comments “would have been better left unsaid to the glory of the Gospel.”

Those are the most unkind/insulting words I’ve heard on any blog.

You’re the type that can say anything and expect people to believe as long as you include God or the Gospel.

To say, “when a person seeks to publicly display his or her…emotional pain…is often done…seeking acknowledgement and recognition”, has enough twisted truth to be dangerous.

I supposed you would have yelled, ‘Keep you thoughts to yourself’ when Jesus cried, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”

Mike Rasberry said...

I'm continually amazed that the cadre of followers here have such insight, such wisdom, and knowledge.

The idea that Burleson is a martyr is ludicrous. He made his power play and failed. Now, he will attempt to launch from a different platform.

I have no animus toward him for making his attempt. I do not know him personally, but I do keep up with the blog. His continual attempts to position himself as the set upon martyr just won't wash.

In a matter of weeks, he'll be back in the news in a new way. There is much to criticize about any denominational agency or institution, but there is also much to applaud.

There will always be voices to rail against the status quo. Burleson was not the first and he won't be the last.

So please, don't make this out to be more than it is.
http://mrponderings.blogspot.com

Rex Ray said...

To Anonymous praising God this is over.

It ain’t over till the SBC sings.

Why don’t you sign your name?

You crow like Hiram Smith.

Mike Rasberry,
Thanks for the compliment about our wisdom, but I know criticism when I hear it.

Who said Burleson is a martyr? I believe you’re the only one to use that word. It’s easy to make up ‘false words” to make fun of.

Can you define your word “power play”, or how Wade went about doing it?

Are your deacons free to speak at business meetings, or they ‘sworn’ to agree with what ever the majority agreed on at deacon meetings?

kingofbleh said...

Another nail in the coffin of denominationalism. Cooperation does not require power, but can be destroyed by it.

A truly sad day, but I believe God has providentially released you from this episode to move on to something where he can use you to get greater glory for Himself.

Blessings to you dear brother.

Lucas Defalco

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

My prayers are with you as you step away from the BoT and follow God's leading in your life.

I have little and know less but if I can help in any way to keep Southern Baptists in the pew informed and up to date, let me know.

FYI - My specific prayer (top of the list) is that Dr. Rankin will not be blind sided now that there is not someone to expose any slithery plans being covertly carried in the back door.

Jack said...

Here is the most biblical view of Wade's resignation I have found on the blogs so far:

http://loveandlead.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/a-divided-house-a-response-to-burlesons-resignation/

Anonymous said...

Where did today's post go? Was it pulled down?

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I, like so many, am saddened by your resignation. You were a strong voice, the only strong voice, speaking up for Ms on the field. We hope your voice will continue to be heard in the days to come. Look forward to reading your book.

Unlike some, I am not encouraged that this will bring about a positive change at the IMB. The fact that NO ONE stood up to accept your apology during the meeting speaks volumes about the other trustees. Surely there was one who could have risen and said "I accept your apology." But no, there was not even one.

And where has Jerry Rankin been during all of this? He is the President of the IMB. Why has he been so silent for so long? CB Scott has commented on this in the past. It's time for our President to speak up for a change.

Rankin is a big part of the reason there were new guidelines put in place. It's high time he takes his stand. How does he feel about the current BoT? Is he in agreement with their actions? Could it be he is too afraid to stand up to the trustees for fear of losing his job? May he exhibit the same courage and competence that you have, Wade. This is not meant in any way to be disrespectful of Jerry Rankin. But it simply comes as a question asking where has he been? As President he should be leading! And part of that involves dealing with his BoT.

I must agree with others that to continue to give to the IMB while this group of BoT is in charge is not a wise decision. There must be accountability.

The good news is that many new organizations and ways of spreading the gospel will emerge involving MORE people than currently those who go through the IMB. God wants the nations to know Him. And He will use as many instruments as possible, not just one.

--Steve

Mike Rasberry said...

Those who continue to express regret that no one now speaks for the Ms on the field seem singularly deceived. While they need a voice, the great preponderance of Southern Baptists need a greater voice.

We DO NOT support your tongue speaking, your lax position on baptism, and your alcohol use.

It is time for you to understand that your nefarious attempt to circumvent those guidelines by giving lip service to them without embracing them is, in large measure, where responsibility for this fiasco lies.

The trustees are elected to insure that funds collected from the churches are dispensed through policies, programs, and personnel in such a way as to reflect the theological understanding of those churches.

We DO NOT need to broaden the tent, not to widen the path.

The correct and proper thing would be to resign and seek service through an organization more closely attuned to your moderate philosophy.

Now, certainly some will think me harsh. However, I lived through those moderately liberal professors who believed it OK to sign a statement of beliefs, as long as they were working to change those beliefs. And work they did, to the extent that we had warfare withing the SBC before we could return to the task of taking the "Good News" to the far reaches of the world.

I don't want that to happen again, but I see its seeds in the actions of those who, while agreeing to appointment guidelines, deny them in practice.

Where is the integrity in that?
http://mrponderings.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The sad reality is that despite Wade's best efforts, the IMB BoT is still controlled by a majority of trustees who approve of what has been going on there (the secret meetings, censure, wasting of incredible amounts of money to fly themselves all over the country and world, the restrictive guidelines on baptism and private prayer language, etc). And not one, except Wade, has voiced any consistent opposition to what has been going on.

I think it's time to realize that perhaps they DO represent what most S. Baptists believe. The actions of John Floyd and others may actually reflect the feelings of most Southern Baptists. That is a sad, sad thought.

Sad, but God will raise up newer and better tools to be used for His service. He is not limited to only one organization or one particular group of people.

He continues to look for people who love Him more than the praise of man.

May God have mercy on us all, and may He raise up new leaders who will put His kingdom above all else.

--Steve

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rasberry,

I apologize for not communicating more completely when asking for someone to speak up. You seem to be making some pretty harsh judgments about what I meant and who I am when you said

"We DO NOT support your tongue speaking, your lax position on baptism, and your alcohol use.

It is time for you to understand that your nefarious attempt to circumvent those guidelines by giving lip service to them without embracing them is, in large measure, where responsibility for this fiasco lies."

I have to admit that I am personally offended. I don't speak in tongues, baptize unbelievers, or drink alcohol nor do I believe that I have compromised my integrity by working with the IMB. I work with the IMB because it is the choice of the church that has raised me and that I have served for nearly 40 years.

What I am is concerned and disappointed. We have a monumental task but distracted leadership. The leaders on the field have one eye on the field and one eye to the states. You seem to see the fiduciary responsibilities of the trustees as being their primary task but I have to admit that I expect more from them. Perhaps I need to change my expectations.

I would ask you to consider if you could change the way you are judging those of us who believe that the leadership of the trustees have over-stepped their bounds.

One simple solution that I have heard colleagues suggest is that someone podcast the trustee meetings. It would at least encourage greater participation from the whole body and it would/might be a way to ensure that the group does not go too far too right or too left.

A disappointed IMB m

Anonymous said...

Rasberry,

Please list the missionaries (names, country of service) who speak in tongues, are lax on baptism, and use alcohol. I think you, like the trustees, will come up empty.

We're waiting. Please present some facts or quit making assinine and unfounded accusations about our missionaries. It's hard enough being a missionary on the field without having to hear rhetoric like yours.

--Steve

Mike Rasberry said...

A Disappointed Missionary Wrote:
"I would ask you to consider if you could change the way you are judging those of us who believe that the leadership of the trustees have over-stepped their bounds."

Sir, I certainly did not intend to impugn the integrity of all missionaries. I have the utmost respect for those who have served faithfully. I, too, have served overseas, and my daughter and her family now serve in a restricted country. So, I'm not anti-missionary.

I'm concerned about the students coming out of seminary who believe drinking and tongue speaking is acceptable. Certain there do appear to be some now serving who also hold to those beliefs.

I believe it is WRONG to expect Southern Baptists to support those whose philosophies, lifestyles, and beliefs we do not believe is Biblical.

All this began when Wade had a friend who was rejected by the board. He began a crusade which I personally believe was vindictive in nature, and which has led him to become a magnet for any disaffected Ms.

Steve wrote:
"Please present some facts or quit making assinine and unfounded accusations about our missionaries. It's hard enough being a missionary on the field without having to hear rhetoric like yours."

Sir, I understand being a missionary and all it entails. However, I've seldom met one who felt the mission was so hard. If you want hard, try doing Home Missions for a while. They have no salary, insurance, retirement, or travel expenses. They have no one standing ready to get them to emergency care, or to their families in case of an emergency.

Your statement reminds me of the "day laborer" who works only for his hire. If "serving" is such a hardship in your mind, then perhaps you should find another line of work.

I really wonder if you'd serve like William Carey, with the hardship he encountered, and the opposition. However, to him it seemed but a moment because he knew he was blessed far more than he deserved.

It is attitudes like yours which do cause M's such problems. You seem not to realize the degree to which you have been blessed by receiving the call of God to serve as you do and having been recognized as having that call by your home church, and the denomination. You seem to focus on the travail rather than the blessing.

I pray God's blessings upon you as you seek to obtain personal revival.
http://mrponderings.blogspot.com

Rick said...

Bro Rasberry,

Wow! Blessings and curses from the same lips.

As a recently returned missionary now serving as a pastor, I find your comments explaining your position offensive to me as a former missionary, offensive to me as a fellow pastor, and offensive to me as a Southern Baptist. Having been on "both sides of the pond", I can't imagine a fellow pastor blasting a current SB missionary and questioning his service like you have.

You said "I pray God's blessings upon you as you seek to obtain personal revival." Why not just spit in his face?

Rick Boyne
Pastor
Immanuel Southern Baptist Church
Wagoner OK

davidinflorida said...

I`m glad that February has only 29 days in it.

Pastor Rick Boyne,
Very well said....Bravo....

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rasberry,

I don't consider myself a disaffected m, assuming you mean discontented with the work or disloyal to the body of Christ. I am disappointed in the politicalisation of the IMB.

Also, I have met with a fair number of new folks, since we served a few times as MIR's for orientation, and I honestly can't think of one that got through orientation and is on the field struggling with the prohibition of alcohol or speaking in tongues. Maybe they are doing both in the closet, but I don't think there could be too many. We don't have walk-in closets. :)

That isn't to say that we don't have our share of problems. Arrogance and pride are probably our biggest problems, especially for those who have come straight from seminary without serving in our churches. (Nothing teaches humility like a couple of years of weekly sermon preparation!) But, learning a new language can sand off some rough edges, too.

Mr. Burleson's blog may be magnetic because it strikes a chord with it's readers. We sympathize with the struggles of others. I am a SWBTS graduate so the information about what Dr. McKissic and Dr. Klouda have been going through are of great interest to me. I can't imagine their pain. I am dependent upon the support of SB churches through the IMB. It just seems reasonable to me that I should be able to find out more about what is happening.

My point again in writing initially was to ask "if Wade has to step down, who will step up?"

Your brother,
A disappointed IMB m

hopelesslyhuman said...

Wade,

I don't know how you have held up as long as you did. You did all you could and then some. Thanks for taking a principled stand in a gracious, loving way that has been very, very costly to you, your family, and your church for the sake of the kingdom.

K. Michael Crowder said...

"My point again in writing initially was to ask "if Wade has to step down, who will step up?"


Um, it is pretty clear...the answer is Wade. You see, he is going to announce on March 1st his candidacy for President of the SBC. He believes himself to be the next Adrian Rogers, only this time, he is spawning the "Moderate Resurgence" a.k.a. "The Wide Tent"

He will lead a 10 year resurgence that will eventually rid the Convention of all the Bible believing inerrantists.

Hardly!

The easiest way to get rid of velvet-steel is to dunk it in water.....ruins the velvet and the steel begins to rust. It also does wonders for the pride. :)


k

Tom Parker said...

K. Micahel Crowder:

Your words are pure poison. Unless Wade has told you what he is going to do, you are once again trying to diss Wade. Please go away.

Steve said...

Should the rest of the world ever run short of tribalism, intolerance, and arrogance, I do believe it can always find an abundant supply in the religious folk of the United States.

Anonymous said...

While I can respect your decision, you did join an organization and specifically a board with rules you agreed to follow. When those rules became something that went against your personal beliefs, you decided to violate those rules. You do have the right to express your views, but people reading your blog should keep in mind it is one side of the story. No one should feel the actions against you represent the feelings of the entire SBC or the IMB. I hope you do seek the Lord's guidance on what is best for your ministry going forward. As you can see from some of the other comments, people just wait to make fun of Christians and our politics. I hope it is not your intention to contribute to this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I agree with your concern for the reputation of the church. But, I don't agree that by speaking out Wade has damaged the reputation of the church. He has actually done a remarkable job of speaking up sensitively and compassionately, in my opinion. He should have our admiration for his perseverance, a characteristic of godliness.

We have received a couple of letters from Dr. Floyd explaining his perspective (the other side of the story) but he has mostly used the letters to deride bloggers. Brother, in this case I am afraid that the other side of the story is even worse than what we have heard so far. Other first hand comments that I have heard have been much more discouraging. Wade at least has persevered this far, others wore out long ago.

What if Judge Pressler hadn't persevered and fought against the godless liberals? Where would we be today if he hadn't organized the disaffected to his cause? Where is Wade's Paige Patterson to stand up with him? Who will stand up now?

A disappointed IMB m

truth, not religion said...

test

T. D. Webb said...

Wade, this must have been a terrifically tough decision to make. However, this Okie notes that the Lord has given you peace in doing what you believe is best for all involved in this matter. That said, those who seek to dictate their particular pet theologies to the SBC should hang their heads in shame for their actions, remembering the old adage, "What goes around, comes around."

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...

"What if Judge Pressler hadn't persevered and fought against the godless liberals?"

Actually, although there may have been some in the SBC who were godless, Judge Pressler didn't try to differentiate between liberals believers and those who weren't believers. He was against all liberals. And moderates. And those who were only moderately conservative. And those who were conservative, but not enough.

And it is just this sort of rhetoric ("godless liberals") today which gives the SBC a bad name. Let's drop the labels, which say more about the one who uses them than the one who is labeled. Let's employ a measure of respect for people with whom we disagree.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom Parker,

Solomon reminds us to not answer a fool in his folly. Thanks for your defense of me, but it is unnecessary.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I am sorry that you found the phrase in question to be disrespectful rhetoric. Dropping the labels is a great idea. Unfortunately these labels are a major part of our history, but they certainly don't need to be a part of our future.

It does seem a bit judgmental to say that those who speak out publicly for change in the IMB BoT are not concerned with the reputation of the SBC. I would argue that those who remain silent are empowering the rogue trustees. I guess it all depends upon one's perspective.

Respectfully,

A disappointed IMB m

Mike Rasberry said...

A Disappointed IMB said... "I would argue that those who remain silent are empowering the rogue trustees."

The really good thing is that the "rogue" trustee is now gone. I would think that you would certainly consider that the vast majority of Southern Baptists probably agree with the trustee majority. So how can they be "rogue?" Strange indeed.

I don't see how missionaries can serve under such "rogue" leadership. If I felt that way about someone to whom I'm subject, I'd remove myself from that situation. There are hundreds of Mission sending organizations out there.

T. D. Webb said...

Mike Raspberry said: The really good thing is that the "rogue" trustee is now gone.

Mike, from what this Okie knows about his friend, Wade Burleson, your declarative is little more than wishful thinking, similar to several other strawman arguments you and others have proffered here.

It was Wade's decision to cease contributing to what he perceived was a "distraction" from the BoT focusing on its appointed responsibilities regarding the overseeing of the worldwide missions effort of the SBC. However, this Okie suggests that the real "distraction" was caused by the IMB BoT leadership's reckless adventure in attempting to dictate Southern Bapist theological doctrines through an agency in the Convention, when they knew they would never succeed in an open forum of the SBC.

While you and others wink at the secretive, collusive, Landmarkish, vindictive, political power playing actions of the "establishment" BoT leadership and the majority of their "cookie cutter" Trustees who have, thus far, demonstrated little more than a bobble-headed "yes man" endorsement or tolerance for the unconscionable deeds of the BoT "leadership", there are many rank and file Southern Baptists who are repulsed by these despicable political power-play tactics.

The BoT leadership, and apparently you too, sir, are eager and willing to shut up, close down, and be done with anyone who dares to reveal these tactics so that certain political power players in the SBC can continue to control the SBC from their dark rooms and closed forums.

No, Mike, Wade isn't gone. . .and this Okie fervently prays that there will be thousands of "new Wades" who will join the effort to reopen the SBC to all Southern Baptists, rather than continue with rule by power hungry cliques through its agencies.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Anonymous said...

Wade, I do not know you, but as a mother of a IMB M, and a pastor's wife, a family totally serving the Lord in Baptist churches,
I appreciate your stand with the BotIMB. I've been a faithful Baptist for65 years and my heart cries when I see what has happened in our convention.
To men like Keith Park, m's who left the field they loved because of their strong belief in the atonomy of the church, and others I could name... who only want to serve the Lord without all the politics.
God Bless
An old Baptist Mom

Rex Ray said...

Old Baptist Mom,
Thanks.