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

An Opportunity to Speak to the Entire SBC

It seems the Lord has deemed fit to give me an opportunity to speak to the entire Southern Baptist Convention which will convene in Indianapolis, Indiana in June of 2008. Two weeks ago, just as I was boarding a plane with my wife to travel overseas to visit several of our missionaries I received a copy of an email sent to William Harrell, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. The email, copied below, is from Hiram Smith, member of Olive Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida.

To: Rev. William F. Harrell, Chairman
Executive Committee, SBC
Nashville, TN

Dear Mr. Chairman:

It is my intention, and the intention of others, to introduce a motion to immediately remove Rev. Wade Burleson from membership on the Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board of the SBC at this year’s convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Numerous other good faith efforts have been made to get Reverend Burleson to bring his incessant Internet publishing into line with biblical standards of communication within the Christian family. Regrettably, these efforts have failed, making this most unpleasant initiative necessary.

Southern Baptists need to reestablish an appropriate level of responsible and respectful dialogue and debate within the appropriate forums of the Convention, and not “before the unrighteous,” as Paul cautioned the Corinthians. The Internet is not the proper forum for any agency-entity trustee to attack and criticize SBC leaders, nor fellow trustees, nor the carefully and prayerfully voted decisions by trustees of any SBC agency-entity. All these things Rev. Burleson has done and continues to do.

Draft of motion: “I move that Reverend Wade Burleson be removed immediately from the most honorable position of trustee of the International Mission Board of the SBC, and that the current Nominating Committee be asked to recommend his replacement.”

After seeking to obtain information on appropriate protocols for submitting this action and having my requests declined, I am “shooting this off in the dark.” Therefore, please adjust the content and format of this communication, taking whatever action is necessary to assure (sic) that the opportunity to introduce a motion to this effect in Indianapolis will be secure.

Please feel free to contact me by phone (at any hour), email or postal delivery, especially if I am required to submit any more information. Details on my identity, church membership, etc. are in Executive Committee office files from numerous resolutions that I submitted at the last SBC conventions in Indianapolis and Nashville.

Sincerely,

Hiram Smith (member, Olive Baptist Church)


I do not know Hiram except for a few of his comments on this blog, including this one (the fifth comment down) in a post from last November. Hiram is also the one who recommended to the 2005 Nashville, Tennessee Southern Baptist Convention that ten percent of the SBC ELRC budget be given to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Ministries to support efforts 'to reestablish the rights to acknowledge God in America.'

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

71 comments:

Only By His Grace said...

To all the Beloved in the Southern Baptist Convention,

I think it would both proper and fitting that someone would write a similar petition asking that Hiram Smith be replanced on the BoT.

How silly can we get? About as silly as attempting to hold secret meetings inside a shut my mouth committee.

Phil in Norman.

Drusba said...

MMM!!!! God works in mysterious ways. I pray that you will be able to speak at the. People will see your heart for God and misisons. May God give your wisdom beyond your imagination to share what the Lord has on your heart

Wade Burleson said...

Phil,

I can assure you that Hiram is not a member of the BoT. The men and women on the Board have displayed more wisdom in this matter.

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

If, in fact, such a motion ever comes to the floor, then I think normal protocol would be for there to be some floor debate where statements could be made by those representing both sides of the issue.

On the negative side, it would bring out in the open up quite a bit of "polarization" which right now is smoldering just under the surface.

On the positive side, it would provide a vehicle so that the rank and file in the convention could directly weigh in on your continued service on the BoT and by extension the validity of the issues you have raised. Also, I think the vote would be widely interpreted as a referendum on whether or not your "censure" by the BoT was proper.

On balance, I believe the introduction of the motion would be a positive move. What's wrong with having the whole convention (or at least whoever shows up in Indy) having a direct say on a matter which has garnered quite a lot of attention over the last couple of years?

Hopefully, the motion will not be "buried" by being shunted to some comittee or entity to study.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

RKSOKC66 said...

Upon more thought, I now realize that my previous comment did not address a key aspect of the service of any member of the BoT of any agency.

The issue I did not address is: "What is the procedure in the SBC bylaws that provides for the removal of any member of the BoT of any agency?"

I admit that I don't know the answer to this question.

Roger

Wade Burleson said...

Roger,

You make a couple of good points. In response to your question, I will post below a portion of the letter sent to Hiram Smith and copied to me, Dr. Chapman, and Baptist Press (in accordance to notification requirements established of SBC bylaws). The portion of the letter below, written by SBC attorney Augie Boto, should answer your questions regarding procedure.

While the Executive Committee does not control the handling of motions, we can probably predict how things will transpire should your motion be offered. First of all, as I said, your motion would have to be made during a regular business session (not during the IMB’s report or presentation) from a floor microphone. It would have to receive a second. It would then be referred to the Committee on Order of Business for referral or scheduling. I do not believe the Committee on Order of Business would refer the motion to an entity or to the Executive Committee, but would instead schedule the motion for debate and action at a time certain during a “Previously Scheduled Business” session on the second day of the annual meeting (Wednesday).



I anticipate that you would be recognized first to speak in support of your motion, after which the trustee in question would be given an equal amount of time to respond. I believe the entire debate, including your position and response by the trustee, would occur from the floor microphones rather than the platform. Whether the first two speakers would be given a longer period of time than the three minutes usually allowed is up to the chair. We would probably counsel against their (your) receipt of additional time inasmuch as press accounts prior to the Convention will offer ample opportunity for both sides of the issue to air their arguments. After the first two speakers, those speaking for and against your motion would alternate until the time expires, the question is called, or the microphone lines are empty, at which time a vote would be conducted, and would carry only if two-thirds of the messengers present vote in favor of your motion.



Though you have not asked, I believe you should be informed that if your motion is offered, the Executive Committee will not render an opinion or recommendation on its merits to the messengers prior to or during any debate which ensues. The Executive Committee does not involve itself in the work of the Committee on Nominations during the Convention’s selection and approval of trustees. And even though history seems not to afford any guideline for Executive Committee involvement in the case of a removal (this appearing to be a case of first impression in the history of the Convention), it seems logical that the Executive Committee should also remain unbiased and detached in any removal process. Therefore any questions directed to the Executive Committee asking whether it is pro or con on the issue will be answered with a response that makes it clear that the will of the messengers regarding trustee selection and removal should be reflected by, rather than directed by, the Executive Committee.

Dan Paden said...

This'll work out. It's becoming obvious to more and more people that wholesale changes are needed in the SBC. This process will end up highlighting that fact.

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Here we go again.

Wade, you and I will cross swords on things. That is true. But, unless you are guilty of true ungodly conduct it would be a great wrong for a motion such as this to pass at the SBC.

So, therefore, I ask you the following; Are you seeking to live before God, your family, your church, your community, and the world in a biblically blameless fashion, holding to the faith as delivered to us in the Word of God for all who name Christ as Lord to live by in your daily life hiding no secret sin from God in your heart?

Wade, if Oklahoma Baptists decide not to place your name up for reelection in your second term that is the right and privilege of Oklahoma Baptists.

But, for someone who simply does not like you to move to remove you without proper evidence of you living in a fashion that is openly not that of a Christ-Follower would be sin on that person's part and very rude behavior.

If the SBC were to pass such a motion it would be sin within the greater ranks of the denomination as a whole.

The short version of this in cb fashion: this is just stupid, Hiram, get a life.

cb

Wade Burleson said...

Uh, CB, my church, my family, and my state all know me. Haven't had the pleasure of meeting Hiram. Though I did call him yesterday and he assured me this was not 'personal' but was an attempt to right the direction of the SBC.

Frankly, I welcome the opportunity Hiram presents. If the Convention does not wish a trustee to hold his agency accountable to conforming to Convention actions (i.e. 'The Garner Motion), and if the Convention does not wish to allow courteous, minority public dissent among her trustees in doctrinal issues that are not part and parcel of the BFM, and if the Convention does not wish to be a place that unites around missions and stops the narrowing of parameters of cooperation that looks to exclude as many people as possible from cooperative ministry for doctrinal reasons that exceed the BFM 2000 --

Then I will willingly step down as a trustee and cease participating in the Southern Baptist Convention.

But I don't think for a moment that is what the Convention will decide, regardless of Hiram's hopes.

CB Scott said...

"Right the direction of the SBC?

How does placing a Claymore in the convention hall right anything?

cb

Lin said...

"It is my intention, and the intention of others,.."

Did these 'others' sign the letter?

"Numerous other good faith efforts have been made to get Reverend Burleson to bring his incessant Internet publishing into line with biblical standards of communication within the Christian family."

Biblical standards are communicating in the dark? Behind closed doors? Hiram, and his fellow travellors, are trying awful hard to make it a 'sin' to disagree with those who hold titles and power.

"The Internet is not the proper forum for any agency-entity trustee to attack and criticize SBC leaders, nor fellow trustees, nor the carefully and prayerfully voted decisions by trustees of any SBC agency-entity. All these things Rev. Burleson has done and continues to do."

I have been reading you for a long time and have not seen 'attacks'. I have seen explanations. Sharing of information. But, Attacks? No. What he means is that there is to be no public disagrement with any decisions made behind closed doors and public discussion of them that are anything but positive according to thier standards.

No 'negative truths' are allowed to be discussed which is why they came up with the gag order which is unBiblical in the Holy Priesthood.

"After seeking to obtain information on appropriate protocols for submitting this action and having my requests declined,..."

This is telling.

"Details on my identity, church membership, etc. are in Executive Committee office files from numerous resolutions that I submitted at the last SBC conventions in Indianapolis and Nashville."

Numerous resolutions?

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems that the more we try to "prove" that the SBC (and its entities) is the "crown jewel" in God's plans for the evangelization of mankind, the more we prove we're NOT.

Far, far from it, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Hello Wade,
I have read your blogs for many days now and have been one of those "lurkers." I have found your thoughts both interesting and challenging. As a long time SB -- and an employee of a SB agency -- I want you to know that I support you and when/if this comes to the floor, I will be more than glad to vote -- and I will vote to support you. Press on in your continued quest for faithfulness.

Steve said...

Anger does some funny things, and makes normal folks into something their mother might not recognize. What is worse is when debate or dissention is stifled simply to keep official conduct or miscues out of the light. We don't care to walk in darkness any more 'round here.
Such a debate will surely end up in a discussion of the IMB BoT's huge mistakes in its attempt to narrow the rules by which missionaries are selected, which would be a good thing.

Only By His Grace said...

My bad, Wade.

For some things I am extra thankful. This one being that Mr. Smith is not on the BoT.

I am very uncomfortable with anything done behind closed doors that do not deal with reputations or places people in other dangers. If a church member wants to sit in our budget committee, nominating committee, Deacon's Committee or any other committee they are more than welcome.

One of the main reasons I do not like the Masonic Lodge is all the secrecy and pledge to secrecy. I have seen a whole passel of wrongs done in secrecy. It is this one major point that causes me to take my stand with you. Going beyond the parameters of the BFM is important, but this one tears me to pieces. Forbidding criticism of any BoT member or BoT business already passed goes hand in hand with the secrecy.

Light is very important to me, and there is something in me that causes me to cringe when I sense darkness.

Phil in Norman.

Louis said...

This motion will only provide some sad theatre. I hope the idea of bringing it is re-thought.

Removal of a Trustee is an almost impossible feat, especially under the circumstances here. I don't think that the CR ever employed this tactic because it's such a bad tactic.

That is especially the case here.

Many of the 16 million don't know a thing about the mission board, even its official name. Most of these folks have no idea who Wade is or what Wade is or what a trustee is.

There's probably a good percentage of people who support the IMB and its new policies.

There's a smaller percentage who think that Wade, while sincere, hasn't acted wisely, but don't care to do anything about it.

There's a much smaller percentage who support the censure.

There's a very small group who think that removal of a Trustee under these circumstances is right.

It's hard to extrapolate larger lessons from a vote like this under these circumstances.

Of our 16 million, about 10,000 will be in IN, and even for most of them, this is such inside baseball, they may not get it. They will reflexibly be against "remvoing" anyone. Sounds so un-Christian.

Wade could probably see his stock rise higher if he did not even feel the need to speak in his defense.

I suspect that there will be IMB trustees, even those who disagree with Wade on issues and may even support the censure that would speak against this motion.

I don't know the guy who is going to make this motion, but it appears that he thinks like those who believe that taking a stand - no matter how ill-conceived, no matter how small a chance it has of persuading, and no matter how much rancor it will cause at what otherwise would be a pleasant deliberative meeting of Christians, is the most important thing to do.

In an unrelated story, I heard that some messenger is going to bring a motion that Bill Clinton be kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention and forever prohibited from being a trustee at any of our institutions, and that Hillary Clinton never be let into the SBC!

Louis

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

I will speak, but it will not be a defense of me. That is one thing with which I agree with Hiram. This is not about me.

Blessings,

Wade

OC Hands said...

Wade,
"Oh what a tangled web we weave..." so goes an old saying. If it is true that two wrongs don't make a right, then what about three or four? If we are talking about Biblical standards of conduct and communication, then why are so many decisions made behind closed doors, and those who participate are not allowed to discuss what transpired there with those who are supporting them? Does this make sense?
There is a scripture "Men loved darkness rather than light because..." When people are accused, and cannot speak openly and defend themselves (not allowed to use the microphone) then there is deception afoot.
Our prayers are with you as you make a stand for liberty and free speech in a convention that seems dead set on preventing anyone who disagrees with the leadership to voice their opinion.
The question that comes to mind is "Why would the idea of such a motion even be entertained by our leaders?" Should it come to be presented to the convention, I do believe more will come out than the originator of the motion (and those who might support him--which is why this may make it to the floor)might have intended.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

sssshhhhhhhh....hush....listen carefully.....sounds like more growling directed at Wade, Mrs Klouda, the janitor from Southern, people with a PPL, baptisms deemed unacceptable, and all others who dare....how dare them!

Anonymous said...

ooops, forgot to sign the "ssshhhh" post

wtreat@centurytel.net

CB Scott said...

Louis,

I have already tried to do the Clinton thing several years ago. It may have passed. We will never know. Dr. Paige Patterson, then President of the SBC, ruled me out of order when it came to the floor for a vote.

I am now glad he did.

Hiram Smith needs to back away from this. It would be the wise thing for him to do. I wish someone had given me such rational counsel back when I made the Clinton motion. Had Dr. Patterson not had the good sense to rule it out of order and had it passed it would have done far more harm than any good to the SBC.

cb

cb

Anonymous said...

Steve, are you implying that Hiram is "normal?"

john said...

Wade,

I have disagreed with you about many things. I am unhappy about some of the things you champion.

That being said, this motion is simply wrong. You have really done nothing more than told the truth about the way some things are done in the Convention. There ought to be nothing wrong with that. We are children of the Light. Satan works in the dark. Also, you have championed open debate on some issues that need to be aired publically.

I am against anything that stifles discussion and open operations of our SBC entities.

I predict if this motion makes it to the Convention floor, it will fail. God knows, it ought to fail.

As in all things, may God's will be done.


John in Davenport

Anonymous said...

Bro Wade
I believe it would be appropriate for you to ask the chairman of the bot for the IMB to speak against the motion on your behalf. If they believe that the censure was truly necessary and that it was the maximum penalty you should serve, then IMHO they should be against this motion- if they are not, then they should have had the integrity to ask for your official removal in the first place.
John Daniels

Wade Burleson said...

John in Davenport,

You have articulated the very thing I desire in the SBC. I don't wish everyone to agree with me on issues, nor do I want others to demand I agree with them. I desire all of us to work together cooperatively for the furtherance of the gospel and to keep things open and transparent in terms of the governance of our agencies.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

John Daniels,

I need no defense and will ask for none. The vote will be about principle and direction of the SBC, not personalities.

Les Puryear said...

Wade,

Augie Boto knows a lot more about convention proceedings than me. However, if memory serves me, when a motion is made from the floor to "direct" an agency to do anything, that motion is automatically noted from the chair as "out of order."

The motion as Mr. Smith ( I hesitate to call him "brother") stated would appear to do exactly that: instruct a board to take action, which no messenger can do.

We went through that last year on the wording of the Garner Motion because of this silly rule about boards and agencies not being accountable to the messengers.

Les

art rogers said...

Les,

The motion is not out of order because it is requesting the Convention to decide something - which is the only way a Trustee could be removed. The BOT of our IMB (specifically the Exec. Comm. of that board) ran up against this 2 years ago which is why Wade is still on the Board. The SBC was not likely to remove him.

Which brings me to another point - just commentary, if you will. Hiram, whatever else he is, is not much of a politician. As it is, Wade is "shut down" as he can be, given the restrictions placed on him.

One of two things will happen and neither will be to Hiram's liking, I suspect.

1) Wade will be removed from the BOT and will feel free to speak with no reservations about that which he knows/has evidence of and what he perceives to be at issue in the future. In other words, with nothing to lose, Wade can really speak his mind.

Believe it or not, Wade has not said everything that he could - or as some of us believe should.

2. Just as happened two years ago, placing Wade in the position of martyr will rally people's attention and loyalty, which will result in a well informed crowd at Indy. The same kind of crowd that was in Greensboro, and elected Frank Page to the Presidency.

Hiram may well be doing his part in ensuring that the "status quo" candidate is not elected.

Please also note the similarity in the timing between this year and '06. Good grief.

Josh in FL said...

"Wisdom is proved right by her actions." I read about a guy who said that somewhere once ;)

It's about time this gets brought to the table. I hope it makes it to the floor.

Dwight said...

Wade,

Welcome home. Thank God that it sounds like you and Rachelle’s trip to China was edifying, enlightening, and encouraging to the missionaries, you and Rachelle, and to all Southern Baptists who read your blog.

Regarding the Hiram Smith motion: “God can hit a straight lick with a crooked stick” I remind you Wade of what Joseph said to his brothers after he had been treated by them very similarly to how you have been treated by some of your SBC brethren.

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them (Genesis 50:19-21).

Wade, you are where God has placed you. God will use Hiram’s motion for his glory, the good of the convention and even for your good. God has used you to protect the jobs of existing missionaries including Dr. Rankin and to foster and encourage missions and missionaries around the world God will continue to provide for you as only He can. I pray that God will use you to speak a word of comfort, edification, exhortation, correction and Christ exalted and honoring speech if the Hiram motion comes to the floor of the SBC. “Do not be afraid.” God will be by your side and if He gives me the strength I will be in Indianapolis to pray for you to be greatly used of God on this incredible platform Brother Hiram has given you. God means this for your good. Forgive me for getting “preachy” here.

Dwight

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

I think that this is an awesome opportunity for you to get things right.

Hopefully Hiram`s request will come to fruition, and won`t get lost in the red tape process.

Truth......

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

It has been awhile. Glad to see you back from the Far East. Also, glad to hear of your encouragement of our M's.

I must admit that your #8 in your 2008 predictions looks very close to coming to fruition.

Brother Art,

It has been a long time.:^) I will agree completely with your assessment of the situation if it plays itself out. I would rather this not come to the floor myself.

Blessings,
Tim

Jake Barker said...

Acts 13:44-49 says it all.

Dave Miller said...

I am pretty sure this will not come to a vote. I think it will be referred to the EC or IMB and will die a slow death. I am guessing the parliamentarian will rule that such a motion should come from the IMB or something like that.

I think it would be great if the motion came to the floor for a vote. It would bring some closure.

On the other hand, if a president is elected who is under the sway of Paige et al, you will not be renominated for a second term when your first term is up. A second term is the norm, but it is not a right.

I think that is when the fireworks will be lit.

Dave Miller said...

I almost always think of something after I hit send.

Here's my point: Floyd and the other powers-that-be will not permit this to go to the floor, because they would be pretty sure the motion will fail.

They don't want the egg on their face that losing that vote will bring.

Now, for a confession of sin and a heart of fleshly desire: conventions are always more interesting when there is intrigue and suspense like this. The conventions back in the days of the CR were really exciting (especially if you were pulling for the winning side - sorry, Rex Ray, had to sneak that in).

But without the intrigue they hold less of my interest.

I know, I am terrible. I am 50 now, so I can't blame it on youthful indiscretion anymore.

CB Scott said...

Art has spoken well here.

I will add a cbism here.

"Some people can't help throwing lite matches at open gas cans."

Ole Hiram must have stopped at Wal-Mart last week and bought him a gross case of matches. He is most certainly addicted to this malady.

The major cause of this malady is a lack of common sense.

cb

Rex Ray said...

Tim Rogers,
Please don’t scare me by saying #8 of Wade’s predictions is close to coming true.
I searched all over for his predictions thinking #8 would have a certain person for president.

I’m glad that #8 says:
“(8). The IMB Executive Committee will be informed that they do not have the authority to bar from participation a duly elected trustee, and that if they wish this trustee to not participate in trustee meetings, they must make their rationale for this desire known to the Convention at large - at a time and place that the trustee in question will be allowed to speak in response - and then the convention will decide.”


I’m sure that Wade has the evidence, the wisdom, and the love to face such a motion.
Hiram Smith reminds me of a dog barking at one that could swallow him in one gulp.

Hey! Dave Miller,
I was enjoying your comments but was shocked by you being sneaky and terrible.
Does Wade need an alter call here? Hope you’ve gotten over being grouchy. I liked your thinking better when you decided to stop following the C/R blindly and being a water boy. You have a way about you that wakes me up. Thanks.

CB,
It’s bad enough throwing matches at open gas cans, but I think Hiram is sitting on the can and dropping matches.

Rick said...

Well, this might do the trick to get me to the convention this year!

What silliness! What a waste of time and effort! What an excessive use of exclamation points!

I pray that God will (somehow) receive glory (anyway).

Debbie Kaufman said...

Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GeneMBridges said...

It is well known that we at Triablogue have taken an unpopular stand with respect to what the Bible says about (internet) communication. We actually take the position that harsh and plain language and public expressions not out of bounds if a person has earned them. Namely, we believe that many of the objections like that which Brother Hiram is leveling do, in point of fact, stem from an unbiblical belief in what the Bible says. Speaking for myself, I've seen several of our commenters make such claims about their treatment from time to time on our blog, only to,when pressed, learn they are the ones operating with a sub-biblical, generally legalistic set of standards. Sola Scriptura is Tota Scriptura.

In point of fact, the Bible reserves its harshest language for those within, not outside, the covenant community. He is welcome to visit our blog at any time and participate in a conversation to learn what this means. Alternatively, perhaps he would like to take some time to develop an exegetical argument in support of his position, namely one defining, "biblical standards of communication within the Christian family" and demonstrating how you, Brother,have violated them. I,for one,would gladly forward it to the staff of our bleak little apologetics blog for their evaluation. Being an apologetics blog and a blog of persons of Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Baptist persuasion all work together, I believe we could, indeed be objective. If asked, I would gladly reserve my comments for last or not comment all.

The logic he is employing here, from the brief letter, appears atrocious. One presumes he is referring to Christians discussing their "dirty laundry"in public as "unbiblical." One wonders where this comes from exactly, given the number of public rebukes in the Bible..

A. What is the exegetical argument - exactly?

B. What is the practical argument? Eg. he seems to be analogizing along these lines: Christians w
should try to resolve their disputes among themselves, ergo unbelievers should not be privy. Because the internet is "public," what is said is open to unbelievers sight, ergo, discussing something on a blog is "unbiblical." I wonder what Brother Hiram would have done with all those Baptist and Presbyterian newspaper articles that were polemically charged in the 19th century,or all those Puritan pamphlets published in Holland and spread over Europe (some of which influenced our Baptist forebears),and what about all those state Baptist papers today that editorialize and publish letters to the editor that contradict the "party line" in their state conventions as well as the SBC. If he was remotely consistent, he would deny that Baptists should have a free press, publish letters, etc. all because unbelievers just might read them.

C. Ironically, it doesn't seem this brother has made an effort to reconcile matters with Wade, that is, using his own yardstick. The Apostle Paul also has a doctrine of church discipline (to wit for elders too), and if Wade is being charged specifically with violating biblical standsrds, then that means he is guilty of sin. If guilty of sin, the first court is his local church,and, I should think that in the case of a charge from outside that local body, a "presbytery" (not a dirty word according to our Baptist forebears, FYI) could be convened to adjudicate it. To this day, none of that has ever been done, by anybody , for the IMB BoT is no presbytery convened for such a purpose. The Convention is a meta-association, and therefore the court of last resort. I commend Brother Hiram for wanting to follow Biblical standards; I have to wonder, why is he not doing so himself?

Wade Burleson said...

Gene Bridges,

My entire deacon body and pastoral staff at Emmanuel invited Trustee Chairman John Floyd and any trustee leadership of his choice to fly to Enid to do exactly as you articulate. There has been no response.

JB said...

Wade,

When I read your blogs (as well as others), I feel like I'm watching Extra, or one of the other celebrity gossip programs. You can call it something else, but the reality is that you lead a gossip ring on the web. I liked reading it in the beginning because I thought you were addressing some legitimate concerns, but over time it appears that you guys have just found a forum for "acceptable" gossip and slander. The Bible does have a great deal to say about that.

JB

Debbie Kaufman said...

JB: I call it bring things that were once in darkness(behind closed doors) into the light. That is something the Bible has much to say on. Christian transparency. I as a Southern Baptist am grateful.

Ronk said...

JB,

can you identify any gossip and slander on Wade's part?

CB Scott said...

Debbie,

I call it; "Brang me a flashlite 'cause theys boogers out here and I don't won't 'em to get me." :-)

cb

GeneMBridges said...


My entire deacon body and pastoral staff at Emmanuel invited Trustee Chairman John Floyd and any trustee leadership of his choice to fly to Enid to do exactly as you articulate. There has been no response.


And that, Brother, is why, IMHO, what the IMB trustees led by its chairman/men did you is more akin to what the Roman Catholic Church did to Brother Martin Luther in Worms than anything in the Bible. Sad, really sad.

Anonymous said...

"You can call it something else, but the reality is that you lead a gossip ring on the web. "

I am so glad you brought this up. A friend of mine who used to be a missionary in a Muslim country wrote about this very thing not too long ago because they keep seeing anything brought to light about famous leaders called 'gossip'.

They have interesting yet pretty radical thoughts on this. In Muslim countries you dare not critisize or question any religious leader or you many lose your head.

We cannot do that here, of course. Instead, some accuse people of gossip who brings things to light that are not positive about leadersd. Negative truths are now 'gossip'.

This accusation of 'gossip' is working in many parts of the blogosphere. People are actually being disciplined in some church groups for reading blogs (Not in the SBC, that I know of..maybe Georgia?.. but in some Patriarch groups..it is becoming normal)

Now, think for a moment about something. If enough Biblically ignorant people fear being called gossips and fear saying anything they know about unethical behavior or false teaching, then the leaders have free reign.

Can you imagine what that will do for the end times apostasy! No one will say a word because they will be labeled as 'gossips' or not practicing Matthew 18. The bad guys will be able to draw in more people.

Are we seeing the road being paved for just this sort of thing?

Negative truth=Gossip

Questioning Leaders=rebellion and not submitting to 'authority'

Calling out public false teaching=Not practicing Matthew 18

Mills

Patrick said...

Wade, long time reader, first time poster.

Keep plugging away. All you're doing is keeping the general SBC public informed about what's going on in the SBC. Unfortunately, some, like Hiram, don't like to be exposed to the general public. That's why they claim that you're "misusing the internet." All you're doing is telling the truth, and some people can't grasp that.

Patrick, Oklahoma City

Alan Cross said...

I really hope the Hiram proceeds with this. It's the only thing that will get me to Indianapolis. Me, and probably a lot of others.

Wade, you said,

"Frankly, I welcome the opportunity Hiram presents. If the Convention does not wish a trustee to hold his agency accountable to conforming to Convention actions (i.e. 'The Garner Motion), and if the Convention does not wish to allow courteous, minority public dissent among her trustees in doctrinal issues that are not part and parcel of the BFM, and if the Convention does not wish to be a place that unites around missions and stops the narrowing of parameters of cooperation that looks to exclude as many people as possible from cooperative ministry for doctrinal reasons that exceed the BFM 2000 -- "

Didn't you just describe the position of the IMB BoT, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mohler, and many others in leadership? Isn't this exactly where our "leaders" are? Isn't this where they are taking us? The only question is if we will wake up. I still hear us sleeping.

Perhaps Bro. Hiram has been appointed to wake up the slumbering masses. Let it be.

K. Michael Crowder said...

I just wanted to say that it is my sincere privilege to endorse said motion and will be personally voting in favor of said motion as well as all who are in my party. With this and the election of Dr. Mohler as President, I can say that I am looking forward to a productive Annual Meeting with a fruitful year to follow.
The prayers of many are being answered.

Wade Burleson said...

JB, answer Ronk's question. Can you identify one item that is gossip or slander on this blog?

Crickets.

Wade Burleson said...

M. Crowder,

I hope you are a good sport if the vote doesn't go your way.

Wink.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Mr Burleson,

I vow to be no less of a sport than you have been in regards to the IMB Trustee "guideline" votes.

WINK!!!!!!!!!

(back to exile I go)

:)

k

Bob Cleveland said...

I think it'll be a first-rate miracle if this thing ever comes to the floor for a vote. Were I most anywhere in the SBC hierarchy, I'd do EVERYTHING I could to keep that from ever happening.

Of course, God works in some pretty strange ways, and maybe this will be one of them. Part of me hopes so, in fact.

Wade Burleson said...

Crowder,

That will acquire a tad bit more diplomacy than you seem to possess.

Smile

Wade Burleson said...

Crowder,

The highest authority in the entire SBC is the local church.

My local church believes the guideines to be extra-biblical at best and anti-biblical at worst.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the next highest authority.

The BOT of the IMB next for me.

If the SBC says that I do not have a right to voice my disapproval to what I believe to be policies that exceed the BFM 2000 and contradict the teaching of Scripture, then I will cease all involvement in the SBC.

I do not, for a moment, believe that is what the SBC will say.

Blessings,

Wade

K. Michael Crowder said...

Burleson,

You said: "That will acquire a tad bit more diplomacy than you seem to possess."

I say: touche`

smile

Debbie Kaufman said...

Crowder: Nothing comes to fruit when hate is the motivator. I highly suspect this is the case here.

Lee said...

If Wade has the integrity of conscience to step down should the convention as a body affirm something he cannot affirm, does Hiram Smith have the integrity of conscience to leave the SBC if it does not affirm his motion?

From what I am hearing, in a lot of different places, I wouldn't place any bets on Al Mohler being elected president of the SBC, either.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Wade,

I really want to comment on your last response.

First of all, the highest authority in the SBC ought to be Christ. As simplistic as that seems, it is ll too often not the case when rogue messengers vote their "conscience" and pastors and lay leaders attempt to sway other congregants of other churches by way of the blogosphere.

Secondly, your church will believe what YOU teach them. This is the case with most church who love and trust their pastor (This is of course a generalization, but it bears some weight), but pastors can be wrong.

Truth be told, this decision should be made in full body congregational meetings which instruct messengers how to vote. After all, we do not send delegates. In this manner, the Holy Spirit can be allowed to give discernment to a corporate body in prayer.

The blogosphere usually subverts the power of the Holy Spirit to sensationalism and emotionalism until one such ideology reaches critical mass based on the view of the popular culture.

I would hope when you are removed as trustee that you will not leave the SBC for in the SBC we are kind loving bunch who cooperate with those who disagree on a variety of matters. We just do not let them be trustees.

So it would be sad if you felt that you and your church could not cooperate if you were deemed unworthy of trusteeship.

But sad though it may be, understandable it also is, and prayer we will give you for the Christian maturity to endure.

God bless,

K

Debbie Kaufman said...

Secondly, your church will believe what YOU teach them. This is the case with most church who love and trust their pastor (This is of course a generalization, but it bears some weight), but pastors can be wrong.

So we are now brainwashed Crowder? I'd hate to have over 2,000 people hear you say this. You may have to dodge them telling you just what they think. That is ridiculous. I can speak for myself personally, I have listened to Wade for going on 16 years. You should too. It's for all the world to see and hear. I have been a Berean due to his teaching and have not found Wade's sermons Biblically wanting at all. In fact, it has changed my Christian life dramatically within the last eight years. Yep. It took 7 or 8 years of lots of Bible study for it to sink in. How will they know unless they have a preacher? This is the question Paul asked. We do. It's why his presence as our pastor has so much longevity. I noticed you are just now taking a pastor position, your first. Watch and learn K. Michael. As a parishioner, I would wish for your church that you use Wade as an example. Also if you come to our church, it would be obvious who is the head. It's how I began to focus on Christ. Christ is the head and it shows. I believe it's why these issues spoken of by Wade in his blog concern him. Christ tends to do this to us.

Sorry Wade, I couldn't let this one just slip by.

Debbie Kaufman said...

One final point.

I would hope when you are removed as trustee that you will not leave the SBC for in the SBC we are kind loving bunch who cooperate with those who disagree on a variety of matters. We just do not let them be trustees.

I had to smile when I read this.

Wade Burleson said...

Crowder,

If this is what you call 'back in exile,' I would hate to know how much you would comment when you come out of it.

:)

By the way, Debbie's smile is right on when you wrote, I would hope when you are removed as trustee that you will not leave the SBC for in the SBC we are kind loving bunch who cooperate with those who disagree on a variety of matters. We just do not let them be trustees.

She's smiling because it is the trustees who set policies that exceed the BFM - in contradiction to the expressed desire of the SBC - and exclude otherwise qualified Southern Baptists from not serving as trustees - BUT FROM SERVING AS MISSIONARIES.

I'm smiling too.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Debbie,

You said: "As a parishioner, I would wish for your church that you use Wade as an example."
(A Parish is a Church ruled over by an ecclesiastical Bishop. You are NOT a parishioner, you are a congregant). *that was a freebie
I appreciate your loyalty to your pastor. I have never commented on Wade's shepherding skills in the negative. But I live in eastern Missouri, and Wade in western? Oklahoma. That is a bit too far to drive for pastoral advice. I will continue to seek the advice of my home church pastor, my former DOM, and the current Interim DOM in my new association for they are all great men whom I deeply respect. I will also seek advice from the Holy Spirit through prayer and God's Word. (Not a story about God's Word) :0

I will also continue to seek the advice of my professors at Missouri Baptist University and look forward to the day when God allows me to seek the advice of the Drs. Mohler and Moore and other professors at SBTS.

And, with much respect, I have decided NOT to seek your advice. :) For I am of the opinion that pastoral training should come from other pastors/men. ;)



In the Love of Christ,

Kevin

K. Michael Crowder said...

"…in contradiction to the expressed desire of the SBC"

With respect Wade, the Garner motion is hardly the "expressed desire" of the SBC. It logically carries not weight in this, its first year, due to the widespread reports of misunderstanding with its intent and implications.

I am praying that a better motion be placed on the floor this year and that the poorly worded Garner motion be rescinded.

Until such time, you cannot continue to use this motion to "garner" support for your views on past IMB trustee votes.

Sorry for staying out of "exile" for so long, but I just really missed our little chats. :)

K

Anonymous said...

My old great, great, great great grandpa would roll over in his grave.

(he trly was a great man) a preacher with a 6th grade education and a college music teacher.

crowder wrote "The blogosphere usually subverts the power of the Holy Spirit to sensationalism and emotionalism until one such ideology reaches critical mass based on the view of the popular culture."

There is the whole problem. We have leaders that believe a man or a group can "subvert" the Holy Spirit.

It si Not Possible for mere men to subvert God.

"the plans of men are many but the ways of God shall prevail"

wtreat@centurytel.net

Rex Ray said...

I refuse to get concerned with a “little chat” with Crowder because Paul said, “Don’t get involved in foolish arguments…” (2 Timothy 2:23)

Anonymous said...

hey rex, AMEN. i won't let it happen again, thanks for the reminder.

grace
wtreat@centurytel.com

Anonymous said...

"There is the whole problem. We have leaders that believe a man or a group can "subvert" the Holy Spirit."

Mr. Treat, This is because Crowder (or Kevin) DOES follow men. He believes that mere men can thwart the work of the Holy Spirit. He believes this because he has been taught to follow men. NOT Christ alone. This comes across in how he communicates his 'position'.

What makes it so sad is how much he delights in his position. Why sad? Because it does not come off as a 'principled' position at all.

He likes to sling mud and see what sticks. He is enamored with what he thinks is knowledge. I guess him to be in his 20's. If older, he has REAL problems that are very serious and should stay out of ministry.

Mills

K. Michael Crowder said...

Mills and WTreat,

Sorry for the delay in response but I failed to check back as I had no clue that my remarks would have been so misread.

I said: "The blogosphere usually subverts the power of the Holy Spirit to sensationalism and emotionalism until one such ideology reaches critical mass based on the view of the popular culture."

I thank you for bringing this potential error to light, but after a moment of consideration and study I have determined that what I said is indeed correct--subjective as to the blogosphere--but correct none the less. Let me show you where you , sirs, are in error:

Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to "Quench not the Spirit. (KJV)" The NIV renders the verse, "Do not put out the Spirit's fire." The antecedental action here would be quenching the Spirit. The Greek word here is sbennute (a present active imperative)in the second person. Paul is telling the brothers in Thessalonica to NOT do something which we assume they could otherwise do, lest he not waste his time telling them not to.

Sbennute has the following English words as possible uses: quench, extinguish, stifle, suppress, or go out. What is interesting, is that the word subvert is a suitable synonym for each of these words.

Source: "subvert." Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1). Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. 09 Feb. 2008. Thesaurus.com http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/subvert
**********************

So, gentlemen, I will thank you kindly to direct your chatter to Paul, or rather to the Holy Spirit, if you are not still busy subverting Him.


Kevin M. Crowder