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

Thirty Days of Thought and Prayer for Me

To My Fellow Southern Baptists:

For over three years now I have sought to live by principle in the face of intense personal pressure placed upon me by some of my fellow trustees at the IMB. My wife Rachelle, my Emmanuel church family in Enid, my fellow Southern Baptists in Oklahoma, and a host of new friends from all over the world have been extremely supportive during these difficult times. From a 2006 recommendation for my removal from the International Mission Board of Trustees and its reversal, to the 2007 attempt to bar me from IMB trustee meetings and its reversal, and through the ongoing public statements about my character by Southern Baptists with whom I do not have the pleasure of friendship, there has been an incredible amount of negative publicity for both the Wade Burleson family and the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole.

Through it all I have sought to be gracious, to always see the best in people, and to be extraordinarily forgiving of those who have either intentionally or unintentionally sought to hurt me or my ministry. There have been times when I have lost my patience, and apologized for my shortness. There were occasions when I was blind to my own faults, and listened to people who wisely counseled me and helped me see my shortcomings. Through it all, I can honestly say I have never sought to intentionally denigrate any single person, whether those who deem themselves my friends or those who see themselves as my foes.

I realize it is my natural tendency to come to the defense of those broken or defenseless Christians who I perceive to be weak or powerless to either protect themselves or find a place of healing and rest. My desire to defend the defenseless, speak for the voiceless, and protect the vulnerable leads me to come across very strong to those I perceive to be bullies. I have sometimes justified my firmness by pointing out that Jesus was soft to the broken adulteress, but He took a whip to the religious Parisees. But . . .

I am not Jesus. I don't have His judgment or His wisdom. Sometimes the human judge of the Pharisees can become the Pharisee. It was my privilege to spend the past four days at the International Mission Board with my friend, John Parton, who travelled with me to Gainseville, Florida for the meeting. John is gruff. He'll tell you what he thinks. His family has abandoned him for his treatment of them. He cursed often during the week, and I cringed every time a fellow trustee was near, lest they hear. John was a Navy Seal for four terms in Vietnam and twelve years total. He became a mafia enforcer in California after the war, and he has broken every commandment and many U.S. laws multiple times. But God is doing a work in John. To see this man weep as I talked with him of Christ in a restaurant booth, to hear his voice break as he shared with me the fear of dying alone, and to spend four 24/7 days with John helped me know that I am not at heart a Parisee. That's not what I'm saying about myself - that's what John said to me.

Yet, today, I felt like a Pharisee. I do not expect anyone to understand, nor do I ask for your sympathy. I posted a blog that detailed the reasons why I have stood by principle in the face of extraordinary pressure over the past three years. Yet, in giving my explanation, I identified people and their actions, rather than speak to principles and issues. For over three years I have sought to address issues and stay away from anecdotes and narritives with names. After landing in Oklahoma City and driving through a snowstorm back to Enid, I read what I posted last night, again, and I was struck with the fact that it is not my responsibility to create brokenness in another human being. Only God can do that kind of work.

'Discipline' in the Bible is a beautiful, medical word. It represents the actions of one who will take precautions to set a 'broken' bone. It is to always be done with grace, humility, tenderness and kindness, and when set properly, the bone is stronger than it was before it was ever broken. It is a majestic experience to help bring healing to a broken person through Christ and His grace. Unfortunately, it is beyond our power to create spiritual brokenness. God has called us all to be men and women of peace; people of the gospel, not a people of the Law.

But to be a person of peace does not mean that you or I cannot have deeply held principles that we live in the face of fierce opposition. I believe deeply that Southern Baptists should have the freedom to debate issues and enjoy one another in spite of our differences. I feel strongly that brothers and sisters in Christ who possess a different skin color, or pray in another tongue, or worship in a freer manner, or view the world through a varied lense, or whose interpretations of tertiary doctrines are different than mine should all be accepted as worthy participants in the missions and ministry efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jesus Christ is our bond. He is the Living Word, and if we miss Him, we will never truly either rightly interpret or apply the Written Word.

Therefore, I wish you to know that I stand by my decision to not seek forgiveness for violating the new trustee standard of conduct that states a trustee shall publicly affirm that which he cannot privately support. It was right for me to break that policy in following my conscience and deeply held principles, and it was right for me to resign from the IMB. However, before I write the narrative of my experiences at the IMB over the past three years, I need to give a great deal of thought and prayer to whether or not this is God's desire for my life. I am not saying it is or it isn't. I am saying that I do not know. I do know my post from last night was not appropriate at this time and I have taken it down.

I appreciate your prayers on my behalf. I will not blog about the IMB through the month of February and I will seek the Lord's direction for the future of my involvement in the Southern Baptist Convention. I would much rather spend my time building something. I am afraid my story might only tear down. I trust the Lord will give me clear direction. Contrary to what some might say, I love my fellow trustees, I love those who are ideologically, philosophically and theologically different from me, and I love the Southern Baptist Convention. I will let you know my decision by March 1, 2008.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

198 comments:

Pamela said...

Pastor Wade,

I'm not SBC but have learned a lot from this blog. I plan on praying now. I will also print this blog entry and put it in my church's prayer box. My heart is with you and all of the body of Christ that are sincerely wanting to press forward in the Lord. I have wonderful friends that sincerely pray when I ask. I know you will clearly hear the Lord for His wisdom. I will also pray for His peace when you make your decision.

Dr. Bobby said...

Wade,
I think it is a shame how many of the IMB's trustees treated you and those close to you over the past few years! It is one of the reasons I do not like the denomination very well that I have been a part of for over 40 years... including over 25 as a pastor.

I hope you will be able to heal emotionally from all this garbage you have to go thru, and that it will only make you stronger and even more faithful. Please, from my experience, you cannot let it bother you -- just move on brother and leave the hateful people, their evil words, their sinful actions, and their selfish motives in the Proverbial dust. Godspeed, Texas SCUBA Man

Jack said...

"Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members of one another."

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
How many times I’ve called your name, I do not know, but you’ve always been there.
In the post you took down, my heart rejoiced when you closed it: “I’m not going anywhere.”

I can only guess the amount of glee in one camp and the sadness of this one.

Pastor Mark said...

Wade,

Some things are worth tearing down brother - it's part of the prophetic calling inside you. Take some rest, feed your soul, then get up and fight again.

Jeremiah is an example of the 4:2 ratio of prophetic ministry:

"See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant" (Jer. 1:10)

The 4-part ministry of destruction: (pluck up; break down; destroy; overthrow) - comes before the 2-part ministry of construction can happen (build; plant).

My church and I will be praying for the leadership of God's Spirit to be very clear to you - the same Spirit that defined Jeremiah's calling.

2 Cor. 4:10,
Mark

Kevin Bussey said...

Wade,

I love you and your family. You can count on me to pray for you.

Robert Hutchinson said...

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Num 6:24-26 (KJV)

David said...

Love (the agape type): "to pursue always and unconditionally--despite all costs to myself--the TOTAL well-being of another simply for the prize that one has become to me". This is what God has done for us in Christ.

Does it pursue the TOTAL well-being of IMB trustees or their leaders--wrong but unrepentant as they have been--NOT to write the book proposed, naming their names and detailing their actions? If so, then that is LOVE. If not, then that is NOT love. Does NOT writing the book truly represent seeking the TOTAL well-being of either the IMB as an organization or the missionaries whose lives/livelihood/children, not to mention the lost nations of the world, depend on that organization operating soundly under godly leadership?--If so, then THAT is love.

The Good Book is filled with instances when God warned folks He was about to pursue their TOTAL well-being unless they repented of their wrong-doings; sometimes He was forced to follow-through.

The real question to which 30 days of prayer can provide an answer: should WADE BURLESON be the one to LOVE the IMB trustees if they choose to remain as they've been during the past 2 years. Only Wade Burleson can tell the story . . .

CB Scott said...

Wade,

Good move. I wish I had waited back in October, 2004. I would have done some things very differently. Some things I would have handled the same.

The things I would have handled differently are the things that brought me shame. Yet, it is those very things of which God dealt with me that brought me to repentance and healing.

Go with God, Wade.

cb

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

1-I'm thoroughly confused by what "david" is saying. I hope it is not as rude as I am reading it.

2-I am horrified by the idea that you were reading while driving through the snow storm. I'll assume your friend was driving and you were riding.

3-In all seriousness, i appreciate your honesty and will be praying for you.

Dori said...

Wade -

I will pray for you. I am honored to have gotten to meet you and spend some time dining with you and your wife a few times over the past couple of years. In all that has happened I cannot help but realize how much you love God and the work of the IMB. I see wisdom and compassion in you. It seems to me your resignation bears the wisdom of Solomon ... because of your care for the IMB, you are a man that refused to "split the baby". In this way you will always be a true trustee of the IMB in my mind. Thank you for your service to all of us.

Blessings and prayers go with you and your family on your continued journey of ministering the gospel to those who need to hear it.

Dorcas

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous: the word "fast" in Matthew 6:16 means "to abstain from food".

He's not doing that. You're misusing scripture.

Anonymous said...

I am touched by your humility. I think you are on the right track. Your friend, the seal, will tell you that sometimes it's best to stop and listen to the still small voice of God through all the noise of the blogosphere. Go in peace.

Bill Scott said...

Wade,
In the Army we have a term called "Rearm Refit to Fight." It is where we stand down from full blown operations, do maintenance, rest, shower, do mainteance, draw ammuntion, food, fuel, water. We do these things while we maintain security and situational awareness. When we have received our new mission we form a plan of execution and go put steel on target.

Rearm yourself with God's Word, Refit yourself with full armor of God. All the while you remain vigilant and fight the good fight as you have always done.

When God gives you your new mission, form a plan of execution, take charge and move out again putting steel on target.

To paraphrase an overused quote, "Don't the those Baptists get you down!

Blessings.

Bill Scott

WTJeff said...

Anon,

You should have started with your last comment rather than questioning Wade's character and motives. What eternal purpose did that serve? Your last comment questions the validity of his actions, which is fair game for all of us.

By taking 30 days to pray, by refraining from blogging during that time, and by letting us know what he is doing, Wade has allowed us to play a role in his decision by interceding for him in prayer. It seems to me this type of situation is what Paul had in mind when he told us, "Carry each others burdens for in this way you fulfill the law of Christ." Gal. 6:1.

Try praying for Wade during this time and see where this ends up on March 1. After all he's been through, I think we at least owe him that.

Last of all, I have yet to see a comment which has proclaimed Wade sinless. Don't make sweeping generalizations you can't support.

Jeff

texasinafrica said...

Wish you were with us in Atlanta this week where we're seeing unity in Christ instead of the divisions that have plagued Baptists for far too long. Peace of Christ be with you, Wade.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

I agree with CB Scott.

Good move

Grace to you

Benji

Chad said...

Wade:

I appreciate all that you've done and continue to do for our work in the Kingdom. Please know that you will continue to be in my prayers.

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

I'm having a hard time coming up with any metric to do a cost/benefit analysis regarding your proposed plan to document the malfunctions in the BoT of the IMB.

You are doing the right thing to sit on this for a month.

This is my line of reasoning: Let's say that you do in fact take pen to paper (OK keyboard to BLOG). Let's say the you have iron clad proof -- collaborated by witnesses -- of whatever you expose.

Then what? Are the guys on the other side of the fence just going to step down? Are they suddenly going to hold out an olive branch? I don't think it is likely to be the case. The guys on the other side are just as likely going to continue to operate consistent to their agenda while doing everything they can to marginalize you.

One last thing, based upon what I am able to discern the "majority" of the people on the people on the BoT evidently "agree" or at least "acquiesce" the ideas of Dr. Floyd. If that is the, case your ideas -- no matter how correct -- just don't have enough traction to succeed.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Tom Parker said...

Isn't amazing that the anonymous are enjoying themselves!! Pitiful.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

The day before yesterday I wrote the following words to someone who was concerned that you might face getting angry or bitter because of the events of the past couple of years. I hope you don't mind my saying it now in this public forum.

---------------
"To be taken as seriously as the situation of narrowing and control in our Convention must be taken, there has to be the clear presentation of what was done and who did and said what honestly and factually. This is tough to do.

What he's not wanting is for it to be presented as personal with any anger or any bitterness because there is none of either of those things in him as those of us who know him can attest. I know that but you and others can't know that for sure.

He DOES want to guard against bitterness or any attitude or action that might be detrimental to his life and walk in Christ and to the Kingdom. It not being there now.. doesn't guarantee it couldn't come later. For that I promise you, he, and his accountability group, will be on guard. Thanks for your question.
-----------------

I, nor anyone else, knew ahead of time of your decision to take a post down to guard against wrong actions and take some time to prayfully consider what the purposes of God are for your life at this juncture. But I'm not surprised you did.

Will all understand or agree with that decision? Absolutely not. [The statement about a "fast" not being announced shows how that is not likely since the idea of fast was introduced by the one commenting.] But your purpose in doing this you've clearly shared.

That in and of itself is significant. You and all of us as your family, including your church family, since you've taught them this, know the need for openness. Secrets harbored only provide a continuing atmosphere of unhealthiness. Openness is healthy and is the only real atmosphere where genuine relationships can be developed.

If what I've just said is legitimate at all...it demands anyone attempting to build a relationship in denominational life be open and honest with events and issues sometimes in uncomfortable detail. Whether or not that relationship is to be built may be the overriding decision many of us will face at this time, including you. But were a decision to be made to continue to build that relationship denominationally you would want to say, as you've done in the past, whatever you have to say graciously and truthfully. You've chosen to prayfully think all this through to get more light for your journey and rest assured you have chosen wisely.

DAD

Bryan Riley said...

When we get into battle, Satan will do all he can to ensure that we are battling against flesh and blood.

I pray you will daily put on your spiritual armor and pray in the spirit at all times, depending desperately upon the Father to help you see as He sees.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

I think you are testifying to the fact that we serve a sanctifying God.

Blessings,
Chris

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymouses, :)

Unless you are a missionary in a secure zone and not able to speak freely, please sign your name. Western Civilization is a place of free speech and courageous convictions. All anonymouse (intentional) posts will be deleted.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

The SBC as an institution is of no importance. What the Good Lord has accomplished through it is of the utmost important. There won't be an SBC in heaven. Just saved souls. So if Jesus does not return first a day will on this side of the river when the SBC will be no more than dust in the wind. It is only a tool to make known the gospel message. There have been other tools in the past and there will be different tools in the future. So why sweat the details? If you just keep believing Jesus, loving Jesus, working for Jesus, you'll never be embarrassed.

Charles Stearns

Wade Burleson said...

Charles Stearns,

Thanks for demonstrating for others how to sign a name. Good words as well!

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

Thanks for your concern! I had to remove your comment for security reasons. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I am anonymous because I am a missionary. Please check my ip to verify, but don't give the location if it shows that please. I don't know how all that ip stuff works.

Now, since that is settled, I will make this comment.

I am as certain as I can be that all these other anonymous people that are spewing this garbage are not missionaries and are indeed cowards.

How can I be certain? Because of this "interesting" fact. Every missionary I have spoken to out here in the field supports you. This includes all the way up to RL level.

I suspect all the anonymous people that are cowards are sitting comfortable in their air conditioned America and are content in their "Sunday morning only and the service better be over by noon 'christianity'".

That descriptive also applies to some that seemingly don't care if the blog world knows their identity like Orthaniel and others.

Please take comfort in the reality that, for the most part, the Christians actually doing the labor out here in the field support you.

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

One in mourning... said,

"I truly pray that God would have mercy on you and those whom you mislead and that you would see the error of your way and repent before it is too late."

He/She sounds like the religious Puritan bigots who prayer for the "witches" in Salem as they put the torches to wood around their stakes or like John Calvin in trying to say he was doing God's will in murdering poor, lost Servetus, "Now listen Servatus, I am doing this for God's glory and your good." Give me a break. I say that and I am a Six Point Calvinist.

Notice, I did not say "one in mourning..." is a bigot, but how do you separate the words and actions from the person?

Phil in Norman

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade!?!?!? ,

I think!?!?!?

you make!?!?!?

a great point!?!?!?

about the anonymouses!?!?!?

Benji!?!?!?

P.S. I crack myself up!?!?!?@#$%^&*

LEE said...

I am sad you have to give up the fight, speaking up for thousand like my self. All I can say is; may God bless you as you find new direction for your life. “Old Gray Fox”

Dr. Mark said...

Anonymous (aka the John Floyds),

If your interest was truly to "advance the gospel" then why have you led sheepish trustees to adopt a Landmarkist policy that forces out potential missionary candidates without convention approval?

Accountability is what makes you so irate, that's why you hate Wade's blogging. It allows the whole convention to see and hear what you and your cronies have created.

I'm not buying the "we should all be about the gospel" when you led the IMB to limit the very thing you call for.

Everyone should remember it was the principle of the matter that got Wade involved, not persons, and it will be principles which lead him, not personalities.

Mark

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Because you feel that what you did was right for you does not make it right .
Have a great sabatical

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

Othoniel:

I hope you recognize the symmetry of your logic when applying it to your own posting. And in the symmetry lies the issue: how do we become so assured of our own position that we convince ourselves that disunity is preferable to unity? Or more to the point: how come you are so sure you are right and Wade is wrong?

And if the table is turned, how do you go about convincing someone else that you're right without acting like the jerk that you seem to be when you post? (Said in love, of course, but I don't think it's fair to treat you like anything other than the adult I believe you are.) I'll warn you that I believe that the appeal to the majority is a fallacy. There are too many historical examples where the majority is wrong and needs correction.

Bryan Riley said:

When we get into battle, Satan will do all he can to ensure that we are battling against flesh and blood.

Your comment is profound, Bryan, even though it should be obvious to all of us. When we fall for the trap of warring with our "flesh and blood" spiritual kin, we're twice as mistaken in our intent and in our actions. I argue that the entire conflict we now call the CR was poorly fought because it OFTEN lapsed into destroying people.

Rankin is the latest of a long list of targets that have been attacked through the Boards of Trustees as if the war really is with flesh and blood. Wade stood firm on the principle that Rankin should not be treated that way and exposed the plot.

There is nothing wrong in what Wade did in exposing the plot. Absolutely nothing. He served God in that and on behalf of someone that--while merely a redeemed sinner like we all are--has dedicated his life to international missions.

And the only way we prevent the kind of snipe from cover political destruction that the CR often engaged in is to stand firm against it and decry it as wrong. This, too, Wade did.

Does Wade have an ego? Sure. Were there tactical errors along the way? Most assuredly. Could he have been sufficiently effective without his information campaign through the Internet? Unfortunately, study of history can raise "what if" questions, but they can never be resolved.

Just as dropping the two atomic bombs on Japan is vilified by the Japanese and by those who advocate peace, there will always be those who oppose distributing information in democracies and their republican and congregational "sisters". Those vilifying Wade for doing this need to read Bryan's quote. And to the extent that those who have joined Wade have focused on personalities--including Wade himself...and me, too--we need to re-read what Bryan wrote and try to understand how profound his comment is.

We are not in a war with each other. And when we divide the house against itself, we aren't serving God and we're not furthering the kingdom and we're not being conformed to the "eikon" of Christ Jesus. To the extent that we defend our behavior, we also practice self-delusion: the kind that is a direct result of sin.

The question is not who is at fault. The question is how we commit ourselves to each other as members of the SAME Body, of the SAME Baptism (even the pedo-baptists), and of the SAME Spirit. It's time to declare denominationalism dead and to eschew any sense of superiority that we attach to the name Baptist. That doesn't mean we can't carry forward a central, consensus statement called the Baptist Faith and Message. But it does mean we MUST stop warring with flesh and blood thinking we're doing something helpful.

Oddly enough, in spite of all of the wanderings that Wade has done in his postings, in spite of any mis-steps he has taken, and even in spite of his remaining sin nature and whatever sin comes out of it, I think that has been his point all along.

Of course, Bryan's prescription for continuing to remind ourselves of the target of our "fight" is also, precisely correct:

I pray you will daily put on your spiritual armor and pray in the spirit at all times, depending desperately upon the Father to help you see as He sees.

If we do not appropriate the spiritual protection that is available to us, we will open ourselves to the deception that causes us to shoot our own family in a profoundly sorrowful act of fratricide. May I entreat each of us to take the action Bryan has prescribed so that we do not fall into deception?

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

It seems that Wade and his followers are becoming exactly like the people that they have a problem with. They quickly silence any criticism with Bible in one hand and the other hand wagging a finger.

All rather amusing. By the way, we are ALL missionaries! So we can choose to continue bickering or we can be about the business of shining light in a dark world, whether that is in the 10/40 window, or in the USA.

Terry
Nashville, TN

Wade Burleson said...

Terry,

Last name?

In His Grace,

Wade

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade:

I apologize for my earlier comment. What I basically said was that you are on the right side of the issue but it looks like prevailing with the BoT is quite remote.

I am sorry I slipped into pragmatism -- i.e. you can't beat them so give up.

Upon reflection, a better course is to frame the debate in some venue where it can have a fair hearing while at the same time keeping a Christlike spirit.

I admit I don't know what this would look like.

In this thread, there was a note from a missionary saying that there is a significant groundswell on the mission field supporting the rolling back of these narrow parameters for service. That being the case, I think the their must some mechanism waiting to be tapped to bring this issue to the light of day for discussion.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Jason Epps said...

Wade,

Forgive my curiosity - but when you said "I will let you know my decision on March 1, 2008," what decision, specifically, were you referring to? I hope you don't mind my asking.

Jason

Folk Theology said...

Gandolf to Pippen:

…the calm is the deep breath before the plunge.

ROTK, Jackson

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I love you as my Christian brother!! I have the utmost respect for all you are trying to do. You are a very gracious person.

loveandlead said...

Wade,

I commend you on your thoughtful decision and your humble confession. It is often hard to see the truth about ourselves. Jesus pointed out as much when he spoke of logs/splinters.

In times like these I am reminded of the words of James who wrote: "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry". Too often in the midst of the storm or when the spotlight blinds your eyes it is hard to hear the voice of the Spirit within. Jesus as you know often sought solitude to stay true to His Father's mission. I am confident the Lord will guide you and direct your steps. Dr. Russell Dilday coined a phrase a number of years ago that I believe captures the spirit of many in our day--"constructive conservatives". You are a spokesman for a generation who wants to build up not tear down. We are about His Kingdom not our own.

Thank you for your humility and thoughtfulness in this moment.

David Lowrie

Wade Burleson said...

Jason,

Not bothered by you asking at all. The struggle I have is to write the narrative of the events that have led an SBC agency board of trustees to believe they had the authority to establish 'doctrinal' standards of coooperation that exceed the BFM 2000. I have been sounding like a broken record repeating this mantra for the past two years. The narrative makes the issue come alive, but it involves name, events and perceptions that will place people in unfavorable light. I do not relish telling the story, and will only do so if there is a greater good that can come from it for missions and the SBC as a whole.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Did you feel as Paul when Paul said, “No man stood for me”? In my opinion, when the Executive Committee of the SBC (not from love for you but in fear of a lawsuit) reprimanded the IMB, it gave you the opportunity to leave a winner.

I can understand you taking a month off from blogging to ‘think things over’. I believe you are really pondering the issues. That will make some on the IMB ‘sweat’. It’s like a victim deciding if they will press charges against an ‘offender’.

You said in your deleted post:
“Yet, the same thing was said in 2001 when missionaries on the field were told that they would NOT have to sign the new BFM 2000 and could serve under the old 63 Faith and Message. Later, the trustees broke their promise and terminated more missionaries in one day than any other day in the history of the IMB. Who’s to say those kind of broken promises would not occur again?”

Even though what you said was true, you sounded like a Moderate. Did you realized that and decided not to criticize past actions of the IMB?

I’ve said all along, I wish fundamentalist had organized their own convention instead of hijacking ours by making the Bible a political football. We are tasting their fruits by their control of making ‘walls’ to prevent sin, but making prisoners within.

Jason Epps said...

Wade,

Understood - thanks for the explanation. Will be in in prayer for you toward that end.

Blessings,
Jason Epps

Tom Parker said...

Rex:

I still find it hard to believe that so many missionaries, many with lots of years of service, were terminated. God surely was not pleased by these cold and heartless actions.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

This is so cool. I can think of a thousand applications.
Thanks!

In the Army we have a term called "Rearm Refit to Fight." It is where we stand down from full blown operations, do maintenance, rest, shower, do mainteance, draw ammuntion, food, fuel, water. We do these things while we maintain security and situational awareness. When we have received our new mission we form a plan of execution and go put steel on target.

Joel Rainey said...

Wade,

I have had the pleasure of meeting you personally on a couple of occassions, which always helps one understand the other better, I believe.

You and I have disagreed at points along this two-year road that you have walked.

YOu and I have agreed on the "big picture" of issues that face the SBC.

In all of our conversation, I have never seen you behave in a way that was unfaithful to our common faith, or in violation of your own conscience, and that includes the actions you have decided to take over the past couple of days.

I am saddened that you thought this to be neccesary, but I have learned many lessons from you regarding how to honor consicence and conviction. YOu and your family are in our prayers.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wade, we are praying for you during this thirty days as I'm sure you know. Maybe this is something all of us should do, we need to be sure that God is guiding everything, not us. Not me guiding myself.

I’ve said all along, I wish fundamentalist had organized their own convention instead of hijacking ours by making the Bible a political football. We are tasting their fruits by their control of making ‘walls’ to prevent sin, but making prisoners within.

Rex Ray, I agree with you on this and thank you for saying it as you have. It's as if you reached into my mind and pulled out the thoughts, saying it more eloquently than I was thinking.

Alyce Faulkner said...

Wade, Yours is a difficult task but hard as it may be it is obviously your calling as well.
Mackey and I remain charter members of the 'Burleson coalition' of reformers. We will be praying for you, our church prays for you. Agape

Blackhaw said...

Wade,

i do not agree with how you handled the IMB trustee situation and I do not agree with how you are handling it now. In fact I do not agree with many of your decisions.

But I will pray for you and not out of spite or malice. I think all these controversies have really made the SBC looked very bad. I am not on either side which means I am in a very lonely place on these issues.

CARL

Anna A said...

My prayers go out to up and up for you in this matter. Even though I am no longer Southern Baptist, what has been happening has been breaking my heart. One of the things that I have always admired about Baptists is their missionary spirit.

May you be blessed on this Lenten journey.

Kansas Bob said...

Following our inner convictions often cause us to engage our hearts with courage that is rare. I congratulate you for not supporting this so-called standard of conduct:

"A trustee must publicly affirm a board-approved action, even if he cannot privately support it."

This "standard" seems to be one that comes straight from corporate and political America. Thanks for standing your ground and not caving in.

Blessings, Bob

John Fariss said...

It's alway wrong to apologize for doing something that was right to begin with. Hang in there Wade!

I must admit I would have liked for you to remain as a trustee of the IBM. But then. . . Daniel only had to step into the lion's den once, Meshack, Shadrack, & Abednego only had to enter the firey furnace once, so I should not expect you to go back, again and again and again. Hang tough, Wade. Many of us are praying for you.

Jack said...

If the IMB Trustees persist in their present policies, they had better get ready for a proliferation of organizations for appointing and sustaining missionaries, because if a man is called to foreign missions and the IMB says no, folks are going to find a way to go.

Pamela said...

Jack, my thoughts exactly. I have done some foreign missions work. If it is in the heart of a person to reach the lost in the foreign field there are many organizations other than the IMB that will gladly take them OR they will raise the funds themselves like I have done. This is really sad to me as a Christian. I have contacted ministers at the church I attend and another pastor letting them know that I am sincerely praying about this situation. Some of these ministers were SBC but left because they began to get too restrictive on who is supposedly a good Baptist, not a good Christian.

Wade Burleson said...

Hiram,

Thanks for your thoughts. Let me encourage you to keep your comments brief. In addition, you are one of a handful of people who should be encouraged not to write and attempt to get me NOT to write a book. If you suggest it one more time on my blog, I will guarantee you that it will be the Lord's sign to me to write it.

Blessings,

Wade

Billy Edwards said...

Wade,
Frequent reader, first time commenter. Thank you for seeking God. I know He will honor that. As others have stated on numerous occasions, you have more integrity in your pinky than most have in their entire body. Godspeed.

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
Missionaries were told they would not have to sign the 2000 BFM since they were covered by the 1963 BFM. Yes, it’s hard to believe that promise was broken. Then they were told if they did not sign, they would not be fired. That promise was also broken. Over 100 missionaries were forced from their work into retirement. In one day, 15 who averaged over 20 years of service were fired that would not take retirement.

Another missionary of 24 years, to be fired, was Stan R. Lee of Rwanda who wrote:
“I fully respect the authority of the IMB. To pledge to any other document outside God’s Holy Word violates my beliefs as a Baptist and my integrity before God.
This document reminds me of the golden image Nebuchadnezzar created. I think this pagan king’s objective was essentially the same as those who are pressing this issue…dominance. He wanted control. He wanted power over his people.
You know our history. We have had many terrible events, problems, and trials that have attempted to remove us from our place of service but have failed.
It may be that this will turn out to be the end of my missionary career, but I want you to know that if I go, I go as a true Baptist and a true servant of the SBC, but all for Christ.”

Tom, the devil couldn’t break Lee’s call from God, but his employer could with the excuse they were making the missionaries accountable to the SBC.

If the Holy Spirit does not make a missionary accountable, how will a signature accomplish anything? That signature business failed long ago in signing: “I’m not a Communist” as the first people signing were Communists.

A guideline tells how to understand the content; therefore it’s as important or moreso as the contents.

What was really accomplished by a forced signing of a paper that is tooted as the “guideline” for the Bible? If egos had weight, those that wrote the guideline would need wheel barrows.

Debbie,
Thanks for the kind words.

Come on Hiram, I dare you. smile

Chuck Andrews said...

Wade

When it comes to people and their opinions, if one is trying to win approval, it is a lose-lose situation. I know you and I know that you are not vying for popularity but being pleasing to our Lord. Still, it strikes me as humorous with all the different viewpoints expressed. Reminds me of the list of side effects on a lot of the medications I take.

Warning: Taking this medication may cause constipation or diarrhea, drowsiness or restlessness, high blood pressure or low blood pressure, slow heart rate of rapid heart rate, etc.

1. If you have all this unbecoming information and you don’t share it then you may be contributing to the corrupted system or trying to salvage your reputation, following the flesh or following the Spirit, being misguidedly gracious or being masterfully gracious, have been lying about the information all along or withholding it in order to capitalize on it at a later time, scared or highly-sensitive, etc.
2. If you have all this unbecoming information and you do share it then you may be either bitter or brave, hypocrite or hero, carnal or Christ-like, deliverer of the SBC from bondage or destroyer the SBC, credited for being evangelical and mission minded or credited for causing the lost to stay lost and go to hell, mudslinging or high-principled, etc.
3. If you have all this unbecoming information and you don’t share it on your blog but instead write a book for sale then you may be wise putting it altogether and capitalizing on your experience or greedy and money hungry, providing vital information or pillaging with information, showing godly-character or showing selfishness, reporting truth or creating confusion, etc.
4. If you have all this unbecoming information and you share it on your blog for free then you may be smart or stupid, sincere or scheming, caring or crafty, etc.
5. Regardless, you may or may not be trying to politic for position.

Depending on the outcome you will have a host of new friends or some of the friends you have now will began distancing themselves from you. We Christians can be a fickled bunch, can’t we?

I pray and trust that your only interest is, “Whether it is right in the sight of God….” Acts 4:19

Chuck

Rex Ray said...

Chuck Andrews,
Your comment on Wade’s deleted post was excellent. I wish you would send it again.

But this one…oh boy. You’ve listed more side effects than a heap of medicine bottles.

Wade needs a clear head; and not going in circles. But then, maybe I’m not helping either.

I appreciate your many good comments.

Monte Garrett said...

My dad used to tell my brothers and I growing up: "What's popular is not always right and what's right is not always popular."

Monte Garrett

Steve said...

I will try to pray for you as often as I had been checking your lonely outpost. Maybe Heaven is clearing your writing schedule so you can handle a new challenge in some other pastoral area.

Men who stand on principles founded on God's Holy Word will always be a source of remorse & regret to those who trade away responsibilities for political coziness or empire building. Those same steadfast men, however, will provide reassurance and resolve to those watching from the sidelines - we who want good to triumph and our institutions to remain valid and useful to The Lord.

Truth is a funny thing, and I trust you to handle it deftly. Perhaps those with a small share of error (which they have come to feel badly about) will be open with their story and tell it before someone else does....

I know Jesus isn't through with you, or EBC in Enid, or the SBC yet. May your tribe increase.

Rex Ray said...

Wade.
Did you ever think what you did by helping Sheri Klouda would someday help you?
I mean it broke the almost ‘superstitious rule’ that Christians don’t sue Christians and the Executive Committee of the SBC came to your rescue because they pointed out you could sue.

Some male egos got their eyes open they could no longer break civil law in their treatment of Christians and count on ‘Christians don’t sue Christians’.
I don’t think Patterson saying if anyone sued a Christian they were not a Christian was very convincing.

Ahhh…how far has justice declined with the C/R Baptist morals that they have to be kept in check by civil law, or have they been that way all along?

Maybe someone had a dream and Christians are “free; free at last.”

Mansfield Bob said...

Wade:
What a blessing you are to me. You are in my prayers. I pray too for those "leaders" in the SBC who have no shame, who are abandoning all manner of Baptist practice and will run over anyone who gets in their way. I pray too for the liberation of my alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Tom Parker said...

Rex:

Why do you think that there was not a significant uproar over all these missionaries being terminated? I don't remember there being one.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
You being a pastor should know that Jesus did NOT say a person committed murder if they were convicted in court. He said you were guilty if you only… Yes, you know the rest.

So how can you ask, “Was civil law broken?”

You’re probably more qualified than me to answer Tom Parker’s question of “Why do you think there was not a significant uproar over all these missionaries being terminated?

Would you please answer his question?

Anonymous said...

Roger Simpson said,

"In this thread, there was a note from a missionary saying that there is a significant groundswell on the mission field supporting the rolling back of these narrow parameters for service. That being the case, I think the their must some mechanism waiting to be tapped to bring this issue to the light of day for discussion."

That mechanism cannot come from those of us on the field, we have no voice with leadership or the BoT.

And to the poster that asked why there wasn't an uproar when all those missionaries resigned, it was because the "spin" was that the missionaries didn't sign because they were "doctrinally unsound." And that was not the case at all, most didn't sign because they felt it was creedal, thus anti-baptist no matter what was included.

They were treated like lepers and it broke my heart. That is why so many of us feel the need to be unidentified publically and are afraid to speak out. Being driven out of your place of ministry before you have completed your task is a terrible thing. To be jobless, homeless and penniless is not fun either.

Wade, I will be praying for you during this month. May the Lord grant you wisdom and light for the next step.

Another IMB m

Gary Sweeten said...

Dear Brother, May the peace of the Lord come upon you. For many years I have served as a Coach and Consultant to Pastors and Leaders. I am often called when there are ruptures of fellowship. Fights among Christians in the USA and Kenya are similar. Tribalism is more important than fellowship in both places.

It is especially difficult to follow MT 18:15ff in situations like these. Extra local groups, fellowships, organizations and denominations of Believers have power and conflicts but no ongoing fellowship so differences can be worked out.

I hope you and other godly men and women can show us how to deal with such issues in an irenic manner that dose not tear the family of God into shreds. I am pained to see what is happening on all sides in this situation.

The inability of us Baptists to resolve conflicts is why I am no longer in the SBC. My battle, small group Bible studies were seen as unbiblical so I was asked to leave the church. Such a small thing but we could not agree to disagree agreeably. Our immaturity led us into fights and not faith.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Riley said...

Wade,

I read this Thursday and felt compelled to come back and post a comment. Please forgive the length. My heart is heavy and I feel this needs to be said. I hardly ever comment on SBC blogs because to do so usually results in getting ripped to shreds by fellow commenters, and frankly I've been laid bare by Baptists enough to last two lifetimes.

I've spent my entire life watching Baptists behaving badly. Despite witnessing nasty church business meetings as a child, as a teenager I felt God calling me into the ministry. Just a few months into my first ministry position, my pastor got fired and the church split. I wasn't even 20 yet. It was a harbinger of things to come. My entire time in the ministry the SBC has been caught up in the CR, plus as a worship leader I bear the scars of the "worship wars" in our churches.

In 30 years of service in SBC churches I have met some of the most godly, wonderful people in the world. In those same churches, I have met some of the meanest, most vindictive people in the world. Three years ago, I left full time vocational ministry. Six months ago, I stopped serving a church part time. I am now a member of a wonderful church, and in my job am blessed to be able to work with pastors, staff members and churches around the country. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that years of seeing the worst in Southern Baptists has taken its toll on me spiritually and physically.

Both on the platform and in the pew there are thousands upon thousands of people like me who have similar stories to tell of being chewed up and spit out by Southern Baptists. Can you imagine how it breaks the heart of God to see us trample people in order to stand up for principle? Or when we ridicule, belittle, or question the motives of one who sincerely holds a differing viewpoint on non-essential doctrines just for the prideful satisfaction of proving we are right and they are wrong?

Jesus certainly had strong feelings about adultery, but he treated the woman caught in the act with compassion and grace. And instead of condemnation for her past and present sins, the Samaritan woman at the well received from Jesus an offer of Living Water. Nicodemus was a learned man who should have understood spiritual matters, but Jesus privately, patiently and lovingly taught him about the second birth. Jesus is our model for ministry, but we are failing to emulate Him.

Some attempt to justify their actions by pointing out Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip, but we have neither the divine insight nor the divine permission to judge as He did. The truth is we are far more like the ones who were being driven out than the One who was doing the driving.

The real heartbreak is the loss of our witness to the world because of our prideful actions. We can choose to ignore or deny it, but the tragic truth is the words "Southern Baptist" equate to condemnation, judgment and hypocrisy for a large majority of the people we seek to share the gospel with. They don't see or think of all the good we do. They are convinced we look down on them, we hate them, or that we talk about love but fail to show it with our actions.

The last thing Jesus prayed for on earth was that we would be one so the world would know He is the real deal. We are living in open rebellion to that prayer, and we think we are doing His work and His will in that rebellion.

At some point, we have to reverse this trend. We have to start the healing process. We have to start rebuilding our shattered witness to our world. The question is when? And who?

Wade, I am thankful for your honesty, your openness, and your integrity. I appreciate your efforts to be kind and gracious to all, and I appreciate even more your transparency and humility when you have failed to do so. I am proud to call you my brother and my friend.

I am praying for you, and for the future of our denomination. Despite it all, I am still optimistic that we can and will turn it around. And when revival breaks out among us, our repentance and brokenness will be a powerful evidence of the validity of our message.

Your brother in Christ,
Alan

Anonymous said...

In 1993, my church got a new pastor upon recommendation of Paige Patterson. I was on staff. I was divorced, half-way smart, an independant thinker, kept my nose clean, and was doing my best to raise 4 children alone. And doing a darn good job, i might add..... I was loved and respected by most in my church. Because of abusive behavior on the part of our new pastor, I resigned. Many people were being hurt and families torn apart choosing sides. A typical church split until this pastor began to lie about why I had resigned. I followed Matthew 18 to the nth degree, but the lying continued for 2 more years. I could no longer bear the pain and watch the hurt of others, so I hired an attorney. All I wanted was a letter written to this pastor and a public apology. I was so naive. I truly believed the deacons(who, 21 out of 24 asked for his resignation and he then made them look like fools the next Sunday)or the church as a whole would appropriately deal with this pastor. A long story short, this pastor loved the conflict he generated. I was standing in the hallway of my oldest daughters home, leaning against the wall and crying, when I remembered reading Matthew 18:17-"but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." I slid down the wall, exhausted, and dialed my attorneys number. Slippery slope,I know, but my life as I knew it had ended. At times I didn't want to live any longer. But I did want to try and stop this pastors ludicrous behavior. At the time my mind could not comprehend that my very own pastor could lie about me and not bat an eye. A mess up lie I think I could have handled. Apparently, intentional slander I could not. So I filed suit. If I were the person I am today I might have handled it differently. Maybe gone to his office and knocked him out of his chair? But then again, he'd be able to claim I was a benevolent crazy divorced woman who he would love to help if at all possible. He would, in fact, end up being praised...... Matthew 18:18 gives us the responsibility of "binding up" offenses on earth or they won't get "bound up" in heaven. That's the way I read it, anyway. Cowardly people stand back and expect God to supernaturally fix things. They also sit back with a confident arrogance and tell people like me how horrible I am for doing what I did. I will live for the rest of my life scared of what God thinks about my actions. But in my opinion, those of you who continue to support bad behavior among our spiritual leaders are as guilty as they are. Believe it or not, I am not bitter today. Just a typical woman with a good memory. I am happy and productive and older and wiser. And by the way, this same pastor was the chairman of the IMB board of trustees in 2006. I wonder if Wade Burleson's life would be any different today had a few deacons had any courage a few years back. And believe me when I say I wish only the best for this pastor and his family. God will judge us all. Thanks,
Debi Maestri- Bella Vista, Arkansas-Go Hogs!

Pamela said...

We are seeing in the US where the body of Christ is being judged by the media and the courts because church leaders arrogantly refuse to do so. The Bible says to judge yourselves so that you will not be judged. We have that capability or the Bible would not tell us to. People have quit attending churches because of situations like this. Many love the Lord but refuse to take the mess from corrupt leaders. Others turn from God completely because they equate the foolishness they see in Christians to how God is.

Sad to say stories like this happen all the time. It is a crying shame. There are times when God Himself scattered people from corrupt leaders. He knows what is going on in the SBC and other organizations. This is a time that I hope and pray that every follower of Christ, especially those in leadership, will take a long look at their lives. If not the world that could care less about us will gladly do the judging for us. Of course their motives will not include His mercy and redemption but for ratings.

Again if the body of Christ does not deal with their error the media will. As Pastor Wade prayerfully considers whether he will write the book or not I hope that he will check his heart to make sure there is nothing of revenge. Those that might accuse him of that must remember that the situation has not only affected the IBM BOT but the hundreds and thousands of missionaries on the field and/or those forced out. They are just as important to God as the IBM BOT members are. Those missionaries need to feel secure that someone has their back as well. The longer that things are swept under the rug the gospel being preached in true effectiveness is dimished dramatically.

Only the Lord and brave souls can fix this one.

Anonymous said...

"Ray, Was civil law broken? I didn't know the court found in favor of that yet."

Yes. The question is if SWBTS is under this civil law. Patterson has admitted he fired her because she is a woman. He is quite proud of that fact. There are too many public quotes of that.

Mills

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Paul said...

Pamela-

I think your wasting your time with your valid points - unfortunately, most churches think they are above any criticism and will likely blame the accuser than to even realize what they are doing is wrong let alone doing something about it. THis is why the church is perpetually irrelevant. There are of course a few exceptions to this rule - but overall, they refuse to change.

Pamela said...

Sad to say, Alan, I think you are right. We will continue to watch the media do the judging. I for one will not be happy about it. However it will not be anyone's fault but those that refused to changed when presented with God's word. I plan on being one that will be tenderhearted and change when presented with His loving correction.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't mean anything! Has the court found them guilty?

02 February, 2008

The courts would not find a woman guilty of murder for aborting. So your point is?

Mills

Lin said...

Debi, Some of us understand, first hand, the courage it takes for you to even comment on your past experience.

Blessings to you.

DENNIS said...

Wade,

I think that you have made an appropriate but unfortunate decision. You’ve allowed everyone to look inside of the thinking process of a closed and authoritarian system. While I do not know most of the board members, I assume that they are sincere people who have little understanding of the leadership capital that they have expended.

Many questions need to be asked and answered. Among them are:
• What are the lessons that we can learn through what we have seen in this situation?
• What should concerned Southern Baptists do in response?
• What does this, and other similar situations, teach us about the state of the conviction?
• Is reform a realistic possibility?
• If so, how is it to be affected?
• Who will stand up to be a Luther, Calvin, or Knox?
• What recourse is available to those who are disenchanted?
• What mechanism should be created to bring improvements or take other appropriate steps?

No one likes to be strong-armed or bullied. That is especially true for those who sincerely want to affect positive change. I would hope that even those who disagree with your actions will appreciate the pain you are enduring.

You’ve been a pastor long enough to know how to deal with disappointment and discouragement. Many stand by you and would love to minister to your wounds. Guard against bitterness. As you know, the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Let’s also pray for the board and convention as a whole. It isn’t impossible to reverse decline and regression. We all know that with God all things are possible. However, God normally uses people who will step forward, take risks, and invest themselves to be the instrument of his work.

Dennis Newkirk
Henderson Hills, Edmond, OK

Alan Paul said...

A question for those who are theologians: I am not sure I have seen asked before - I certainly haven't thought much about it... Are there examples in the Bible of dissent amongst a people and that dissent is looked upon favorably by God? I am not all that interested in the tradition of the Baptist church - as we are all aware that dissent among and by Baptists is almost a requirement in order to call yourself a Baptist. But I am interested in what scripture might say about this subject...

Alan Paul said...

Pamela-

I too am sad that the church has become what it is. But honestly, not all that sad. Frustrated and disappointed maybe, but not that sad. I have pretty much kicked the dust off my feet and left town when it comes to doing church-as-usual.

CB Scott said...

Debi,

I never thought I would see what you said here in "open print" as you have put it.

Debi, I want you to know I believe your story. I read the court records concerning all of this.

Debi, set your face like flint and go forward, rearing your children in the admonition of the Lord, keep your head up anywhere you go, and know you did the only thing you could do. You were not wrong. God loves you now as He always has. That has never changed and never will.

cb

P.S. I am glad you did not knock Tom out of his chair. Save that sort of thing for people like me to do for you someday. :-)

cb

Anonymous said...

You know, I have been reading this blog for about 8-9 months and I keep thinking the same thing.

"I've read this book before! I know how it ends! You won't like it."

I am a member of a church that would have been disfellowshipped by the SBC had we not severed our ties with it first. As it was, the local association was threatened with disfellowship for continuing to associate with us. Yes, we are liberal Baptists (not just moderate). And we don't bother to say "liberal for a Baptist" any longer. Some have suggested that we rename ourselves "Not That Kind of A Baptist Church."

We are the Christians who were drawn out of the circle in the earliest days of the so called resurgence. We have since then seen that circle redrawn again and again, ever narrower.

Wade, it isn't easy to speak truth to power, and I admire you for the courage you has shown. I suspect you have known for a very long time that this outcome was very likely. It is clear that you tried to always choose the right path. I am confident that you will continue to do so, and I will pray for continued strength and comfort as you carry out the will of God.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Belief Matters said...

How many are of you are currently in an SBC Church besides Wade's church?

Anonymous said...

"My point is that legally nothing has been decided. SWBTS has broken no law."

If nothing has been decided yet how do you know?

The point is what is legal does not mean it is moral, ethical or Biblical.

And yes, to let a woman go because she is a woman, which Patterson has admitted, is illegal in civil law. The question for the court: Is a seminary above civil law in this situation.

Of course, as Christians we hope to have higher standards than civil or criminal law. It saddens me you are focused on if they broke the law or not instead of how a fellow Christian was treated.

Mills

Gary said...

Mills,

I am. Alameda Baptist Church, Norman, Oklahoma.

Pedigree: ABC, Union Baptist Association, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, SBC. In that order, by the way.

Gary Skaggs
Norman, OK

John Fariss said...

Dear Belief Matters,

I am not a lawyer, but as a former police officer and detective, and later a security consultant, I must tell you your terminology is imprecise. Criminal courts find people guilty or not guilty of breaking the law (and in some countries--but not the US--innocent, guilty, or not proven guilty). Civil courts, however, rarely if ever deal in terms of guilt or innocence. They may find "for" the plantif or the defendent, depending upon the laws involved and the evidence. A criminal act may or may NOT have ever been involved for a civil court to act. And that evidence, by the way, need only establish a "preponderence," i.e., that it is more likely that something happened than that it did not, rather than the criminal standard of something having happened beyond a reasonable doubt. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder because (in the jury's opinion) the state failed to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but a civil court found him responsible for the deaths because the plantifs, the Goldman's, only had to establish that it was more likely that Simpson caused the deaths of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman than that he did not. And this doesn't even begin to get into administrative law! I am not even sure how we can compare modern civil courts to Biblical examples because they function so differently, and are based on Roman law more so than Hebraic.

I am not sure of the line of reasoning/argument between you and Rex, or what contention there is. I just note that the is often a difference between civil and criminal law, and it is easy for us laymen to confuse the two and their terminologies.

Steve said...

To report or not report what Wade knows - that is the question.

I am leaning toward more disclosure by Wade. We will then go from everyone suspecting and the insiders club denying to everyone else knowing and the insiders club denying. That works for me. Jesus didn't wait until the country was watching the Super Bowl before He threw out the
moneychangers and bird peddlers.

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
Have you ever heard? “If a person tells the truth, he doesn’t have to remember what they’ve said to keep telling the same story.”

Allow me to put your comments together and see if you tell the same story. I had referred that civil law had been broken in the case of Sheri Klouda.

You said, “Ray, Was civil law broken? I didn’t know the court found in favor of that yet. Please advice me of their decision.”

Since I believed you knew there had been no decision, I took that as a cut down and replied what Jesus said about guilt.

You replied, “Rex, I am lost. Are we talking about a court rendered decision? Seriously, I have not read every comment, so I am lost…I was just curious to know if the court had already rendered a decision.”

I had to ask myself if you were really lost, or were you trying to wiggle out of your rude reply?

The answer came in your comment the same day; “My point is that legally nothing has been decided. SWBTS has broken no law.”

So I guess the good news is: you’re not lost, and I think you realize the bad news.

Sandor Magyar said...

Wade,

I used to be in the SBC, and hoping to serve with the IMB, but my wife is charismatic, and so now we are no longer members of an SBC church and looking for other ways to serve on the mission field. I read your blog from time to time, and I am saddened by how you have been treated for doing what is right. I too will pray that God will order your next steps. Let your light shine brother.

Sandor

RKSOKC66 said...

Belief Matters:

First Southern Baptist
Del City OK

Regarding the Klouda action. The trial of SWBTS vs. Klouda has not yet happened. As is the case in these types of cases there is a good chance that there will be a settlement before the case actually goes to trial. If the case really does go to trial, then it is likely to be late Spring or early Summer of 2008.

The trial (or pretrial settlement) will determine what civil judgement -- if any -- SWBTS will pay.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Belief Matters said...

Who else is an active member of an SBC church besides Wade's church?

You don't have to give church name, just yes I am.

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
You asked how many of you are currently in a SBC Church besides Wade’s church.
Are you feeling like you're being ganged up on? Has it ever occurred you might be wrong?

I can only answer for me. I attend a small SBC country church (less than 100 in SS) in Bonham, Texas were I was a charter member in 1944. Last week, I helped remodel a room where 60 years ago I sawed the roof to length with a handsaw at age 15.

BTW, I’d still like to hear your answer to Tom Parker’s question. Do you have a different slant than the answer of the missionary?

Can you imagine the heartache of being forced off the field; not to mention the many that bid them goodbye?

I’ve made 13 building trips for the SBC to Japan, and even being there a month, I’ve seen tears on faces where we knew we’d never meet again this side of heaven.

I know how much it hurt my uncle, Rex Ray, to leave even though they let him stay two years over the age limit and his son took up his work. On his last return he brought a lot of orphans from Korea. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans adopted two of them.

So maybe you could explain how God was glorified in removing 100 plus long time missionaries over a piece of paper.

Belief Matters said...
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Belief Matters said...
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CharlieMac said...

BM,
You are looking for answers to questions about who in the SBC is right and who is wrong from a court system which found OJ innocent?
You should probably fluff your pillow and re-assume the position illustrated in your picture.
Mac McFatter
BTW the reverse of your scenario regarding the missionaries we lost is actually the truth.

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
My, my…you’re almost funny. You said, “I am still confused. I had assumed that no court decision had been made, but I thought maybe something happened I was not aware of.”

In other words: “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

If you thought something happened that you were not aware of, how did you suddenly learn that nothing had happened since no body on the blog told you differently?

Now if Roger Simpson (rksokc66) had explained the Klouda vs. Patterson before you made the statement: “My point is that legally nothing has been decided. SWBTS has broken no law”, then you would have a leg to stand on.

But you were anything but confused then. You were certain no decision had been made, and to still claim you’re confused is a waist of time that I’ll not discuss further…and over such a trifle matter. No wonder people don’t know what we’re talking about.

Just read your last comment about you looking for a question from Tom Parker.

The question was from me in my first reply to you. It read
:
“You’re probably more qualified than me to answer Tom Parker’s question of “Why do you think there was not a significant uproar over all these missionaries being terminated? Would you please answer his question?”

And BTW, I could say, you like to assume that I like to assume.
If not 'ganged up on', why ask the question that's never been asked before?


Roger Simpson,
I thought Patterson had refused to settle out of court. Which would mean lawyers would get a lot lot more of Baptist money. Correct me if I’m wrong about either statement.

RKSOKC66 said...

Rex:

So far, Patterson and Klouda have not settled. I don't know if Patterson said he would "refuse to settle" or not.

I have been involved as a juror on a number of civil cases. I've seen a number of various things happen in them. Sometimes, when the prospect of a jury trial is looming the parties will settle.

I've been on cases where a settlement was reached the very afternoon when the jury selection was already in process. My point is that even if Patterson says he "won't settle" he might change his mind at the last minute when his legal council sees the nature of the evidence that the other side is going to put up.

In civil cases there are usually pre-trail depositions and gathering of evidence which outlines what each side is going to present. If one side or the other thinks their chance of prevailing at trial -- in front of a jury -- is risky then they will try to cut a deal.

In the case of Klouda vs. SWBTS it could be that some sort of deal will be reached prior to trial.

I'm not an attorney. However, several attorneys who have commented on Wade's BLOG or on Ben Cole's BLOG have stated that in the type of case Klouda is bringing it is more likely than not that the case will never get to trial because there will be some sort of settlement.

In my opinion, it is "high risk" for Patterson/SWBTS to reject an offer from Klouda to settle. The SWBTS defence team would only reject a settlement if they had a pretty high confidence that a jury would decide in their favor.

RKSOKC66 said...

Rex et. al:

I just became aware that SWBTS / Patterson have asked the court to make a summary judgment to dismiss Klouda's suit.

SWBTS contends that whatever the employment situation was between SWBTS and Klouda that was "protected" because it was "ecclesiastical". Therefore, it is not subject to review by the courts.

The request for summary judgment was filed last week. We will see what happens.

More info can be found at Southern Baptist of Texas and/or Associated Baptist Press websites.

Roger K. Simpson

Anna A said...

Alan Paul,

I noticed that no one has attempted to answer your question about dissent in the Church. I am not a theologian, nor play one. But, I have some ideas to share.

I would consider the things that led up to the Council at Jerusalem to be dissent, in trying to answer "How Jewish do Gentiles have to become as Christians." I am sure that the individual churches followed that teaching, but probably the more Jewish members, the wiser Gentiles would do more to blend in and not cause a church rupture.

I consider all of the theological issues that caused councils to be called as dissent, and really needed to work out expressions of Truth.

(as a Catholic, I tend to look at the whole history of Christianity.)

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
I was right that you were more qualified than me to give a different ‘slant’ than the heartbreaking reason the missionary gave why missionaries were removed from the field.

So forget that I asked you to answer Tom Parker’s question on the subject as you have already expressed your slant as you said:

“I support the decision of the BoT to handle missionary matters. It appears that some needed to go. I don’t have a problem with it. I am sure there were mistakes made, but who doesn’t make mistakes.”

I like the way Mac McFatter (charliemac) replied to your rendition:

“BTW the reverse of your scenario regarding the missionaries we lost is actually the truth.”

What he said is so simple and to the point. But me I’d say something like this as an example:

‘Belief Matters and others with their fundamentalist views were executed by xxx Board’; and then give your ‘slant’ to cover the situation.

Alyce Faulkner said...

SBC blogger, in fact 'your message here is marginalized' because you don't have the courage to post with your real name.
If you would like a forum here, name please
Alyce Lee Faulkner
Friendship Baptist, Sherwood AR

Wade Burleson said...

Alyce Faulkner,

Kudos on your comment. Unfortunately, anonymouse lost his privilege to have his comment stand because he will not sign his name. Maybe the classy lady from Little Rock can teach our anonymouse friend the meaning of courage.

In His Grace,

Wade

Rex Ray said...

s b blogger,
What’s the matter? Are you afraid what Wade may do, that you’re trying to discourage him?

You sound like Sanballat trying to discourage the work of the Lord in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

Some boats not only need to be rocked; they need to be sunk.

Pamela said...

Pastor Wade,

I'm sure you already know the hell you will catch if you decide to write about all of this. However there is a part of me that feels you have so much compassion for the missionaries and how many of them were needlessly hurt AND their works stopped because of the new selection criteria being used. The sad thing is that it appears that they were lied to about whether they would be able to stay or not. What little I know about the SBC it appears that lying and slander are par for the course against those that do not tow the line. I humbly feel that keeping silent about wrongdoing can communicate being complicit, which is pretty clear you are not. The people that would criticize you for deciding to write about this only care about the leadership, not the missionaries that are currently on the field or were kicked off the field. All are important to the Lord.

As I stated I plan on printing this blog entry and putting it in the prayer box at my church. People from my church are already praying for you and the SBC as I sincerely am. This needs to be resolved in a way where the Lord is glorified. The Lord being glorified may not look like some leaders in the SBC desire it to look.

The Lord is examining all of us these days, not just the SBC. May God show mercy on us all.

Gary said...

A couple of things:

Miles,

Roger and I stated our affiliation. You should return the favor. Please note that while there are a number of folks from Wade's church who read, very few comment. They tell him how they feel in person.

For all,

The motions and rulings in the Klouda v Patterson/SWBTS are linked at SBCOutpost: SBCOutpost - Patterson tries to wriggle...

Patterson’s Motion to Dismiss
Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss
Patterson’s Motion to Limit Discovery
Brief in Support of Motion to Limit Discovery
Patterson’s Motion for Summary Judgment
Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
Judge McBryde’s Order on Motion to Dismiss


Judge McBryde denied the Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Limit Discovery. He reminded defendants that they have until Feb 4 to file motion for summary judgement. Since it was filed during the same spate of filing, he will likely rule this week or the next. Trial currently set for June.

Gary

Matt said...

Judge McBryde will not be ruling this week or next on the Motion for Summary Judgment. (There are actually two MSJs. The one previously posted on Outpost is SWBTS' motion. Patterson just filed his a few days ago). Klouda does not even have to file her response to the MSJs until March 6, so there's no way Judge McBryde will rule on it before then.

Patterson's deposition is scheduled for Feb. 25 with Klouda and Paul Wolfe scheduled to be deposed on Feb. 26.

Belief Matters said...
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Anonymous said...

Gary, most of our comments have confused me. I have no idea where you are coming from. Can you help me out?

Mills

Lin said...

I support the decision of the BoT to handle missionary matters. It appears that some needed to go. I don't have a problem with it. I am sure there were mistakes made, but who doesn't make mistakes.

03 February, 2008

It appears? Perhaps it would help to know some personally. Since I do not have their permission to use their names, I will just say my cousin and husband would not sign the paper and were forced out after 19 years in Africa. I guess in your world, that makes them bad people who needed to go.

You also said earlier, you heard no outcry over the missionaries who would not sign a paper. Just where would you expect to hear an outcry? How? I heard it up close and personal. Some of these folks had to scramble back and find a way to make a living. the last thing they needed were more barriers put up as they were seeking to rebuild a life in middle age.

Your compassion for people is scary considering the second greatest commandment.

Belief Matters said...
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Lin said...

"The refusal of your family to sign the BFM doesn't make them bad people, but it did keep them from being IMB missionaries. "

It wasn't the BFM, now was it? It was something additional that the convention never approved. Let us get the facts straight.

Do the Trustees answer to the convention or not? Why not let the convention decide if we needed these additions for our missionaries.

"The reality is that ANY organization can impose standards by which people must submit to. "

That is very worldly thinking for a Christian. We are not IBM. We are a Holy Priesthood. But, it seems the SBC now believes in Levitical Priests.

"I think people should have to signed the BFM, and adhere to any other standards set by the BoT...,"

Any? Good thing you were not a pastor in Germany in 1939.

Belief Matters said...
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Belief Matters said...
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Alan Cross said...

Wade,

I am praying for you. I understand that your decision is huge. Either way you go, there are consequences. The truth is, the decision of the IMB on their new policies is a horrendous one and it destroys the intergity of the BFM and our cooperative partnership in global missions. The fact that they CAN do what they did, does not mean that they SHOULD have done what they did.

At some point, the light must shine on these things. The reason that they wanted to get rid of you is because you were shining the light. If there had been any other reason, they would have backed up their decisions against you with facts. They have never hesitated to do so in other forums against other people. Yet, if you say what really happened, you will be vilified even more than you have been and most will ignore your words. Living well remains the best revenge - in other words, how does Wade Burleson move forward and glorify God with his life and ministry? That might involve turning over the tables, and it might just involve getting on with helping others engage in global missions in different ways. Either way, the IMB and SBC is likely growing smaller in the rear view mirror, not because of a lack of love for them, but because they choose to go in a different direction.

Micah 6:8 says that God wants us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Wade, do those three things and God will be honored. How must justice be done in this situation? What does it mean to be merciful? How do you walk with God in humility in all of this? God will give you wisdom as to how you should proceed.

At some point, justice will come to the SBC. And, when it does, God will be glorified. I am praying that God use each one of us to bring His justice to areas of wrong - wherever we have influence.

Belief Matters said...
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Belief Matters said...
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Chris Harbin said...

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness better than the light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19
Being the bearer of bad news is just part of telling the gospel of truth. Light and truth cleanse, though there may be pain in the healing.
That is why we chose to tell our story as former missionaries.

Chris Harbin said...

And no, I am no longer in the SBC. God released me from that 1 1/2 years ago. I do relate with the local Baptist association, chairing and serving with its committees and work.

RKSOKC66 said...

Belief Matters:

You are my friend no matter what side you take on the issue of "tightening parameters" for missionary appointment. If my only friends were guys who agreed with me on everything I'd have no friends.

Hopefully, we can have reasoned debate around here without having to draw a line in the sand on every issue to use it as a pretext for becoming "enemies".

I'm in favor of more cooperation -- not less. If a guy is proclaiming Christ and living a lifestyle that is consistent with being a Christian then he is my friend. Heck, I have friends who are not even Christians.

I am "friends" with eveyone who has ever commented on this blog regardless of whatever position they have taken.

Specifically, you are my friend and so is Wade.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Becca said...

Praying for you Wade.

"How many are of you are currently in an SBC Church besides Wade's church?"

I'm a life-long Southern Baptist Arkansan, never been a member of Wade's flock, but am a regular listener of his sermans... thanks to the internet.

Lin said...

Lin, What standard do you have for funding missionaries? Can a LDS be a missionary for the IMB?

03 February, 2008

What is the BFM for?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Belief Matters: I believe the reasons Alan gave were exactly the reasons. God allowed it to happen however and it may just be that He is going to let the IMB travel down this path and face the consequences of their own actions. I'm prepared for that to be a possibility. I believe what we have been writing about for the past two or more years may just be coming to pass. I pray not, but I'm open to that being the case.

Lin said...

"Lin, it is impractical for the SBC to run the operations of the IMB, that's why we have trustees."

That has nothing to do with it as you very well know. The trustees added to the BFM. My question was why not take the new requirements for missionaries to the convention for a vote in the first place? We all know the answer.

Besides, the trustees do not 'run' the IMB. Boards do not 'run' organizations. Presidents/CEO's do. Boards can and do make policy but their first allegiance is to the stakeholders. The stakeholders are the convention.

Lin said...

Alan, We do not know why they wanted to get rid of Wade. We have what Wade tell us, we don't have both sides.

03 February, 2008

That is correct. Because it has been behind closed doors.

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
You said, “Alan, we do not know why they wanted to get rid of Wade. We have what Wade tells us; we don’t have both sides.”

My 16 year old grandson is a part-time employee at Kroger’s Grocery Store. This week, he had his back to the door while preventing a shop-lifter from escaping.
A guy came from the outside and hit him in the head with a large wine bottle, and they ran off.

With YOUR stinking thinking, the police would have said, “We don’t know why you have a large lump on your head. We have what you told us; we don’t have both sides.”

Maybe I’m still angry about my grandson.

Alan Paul said...

Thanks Anna - that's a good starting point for me - I hadn't thought about that issue - but of course it was huge for Paul's ministry and the history of the church.

Blessings to you this coming week.

Belief Matters said...
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Stephen Pruett said...

Belief matters,
The missionaries fired had already agreed with the B F & M 1963. Are you saying that they accepted this document and were still doctrinally unsound?

An organization with even a slight amount of compassion would have allowed this policy to be grandfathered in so as not to ruin the careers and lives of dedicated missionaries who had already given up so much to serve. There is also the small matter that the missionaries were lied to about whether they would have to sign B F & M 2000 and about whether they would be fired if they didn't. How anyone who claims to be a Christian could claim that this was the right course of action is absolutely bizarre. A person would have to live in Wonderland and believe up is down and in is out. There is really no rational argument that can justify the IMB action biblically. They broke the 2nd most important commandment for the sake of disputable interpretation of third tier doctrines. They were cruel. This happened repeatedly during the CR, but it will never, never, never happen again, so long as Wade or any other blogger is shining a light in the dark places of the SBC.

Belief Matters said...
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Bill said...

If it's not that big a difference, why have a BFM 2000 at all?

Perhaps some of the missionaries didn't have any real objection to the BFM 00. Perhaps they simply objected to being told "sign this or you're history."

Belief Matters said...
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Gary said...

Mills,

You are not confused, I am. I transposed names in posts and picked up the question about membership from the post above your anonymous-listed comment.

My error. I apologize for not having the correct recipient. Should have been Jeff (BeliefMatters).

Gary

Anonymous said...

When does the 30 days start? You keep writing and writing and writing and...
Mike

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
I feel you’re like a drowning man grabbing at straws. There’s never been a disagreement of what the BoT says and what Wade says. There are no “two sides” of what they have said. They agree what each has said.

The disagreement is which one is right? The BoT says trustees must not express any disagreement with the majority.
Wade says that’s wrong. So stop saying we haven’t heard the IMB’s side of the story.

When you say, “The point is that there are two sides to every story. Some will believe Wade, and others will believe the BoT” IMPLIES someone is lying.

Is that what you mean? Are you implying Wade MAY be lying or the IMB MAY be lying?

If that’s not the case, you need to change your wording.

Lin said...
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Belief Matters said...
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Belief Matters said...
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Steve said...

If I have to be on one side or the other of this question,
and the obviously tainted John Floyd AND
the cruelty involved in the use of the BF&M 2000 as a creed to sign or be fired AND
the obvious unfairness of the treatment of Dr. Klouda
AND the absolute lack of logicsl reason is all on one side -
I find it a solidly Christian decision to be on the other side.

Wade, tell it all.

Wade, do tell it all.

Anonymous said...

W. Treat here, I can't get the blog i set up to work, forgive the anon.

I apologize for breaking ranks with this thread.

I need some help with a past post here.

Does anyone remember were I can find the post with the great thoughts on why the ceasationists (sp?) argument cannot hold water?

Along the thread of 30 days....it seems to me if belief really matters to all called of God, then Floyd and PP might want to get on their knees.

And the real Jusge doesn't care what the human courts say.

grace
wtreat@centurytel.net

Anonymous said...

That would be "real Judge" (yes I am embarrased)

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
I’m beginning to think you pretend not to understand questions so you don’t have to answer.

So I’ll ask this way:

1. Do you agree the BoT basically has said trustees must not express to the public any disagreement with what the majority has voted on? Yes No

2. Do you agree that Wade has express a disagreement with the above statement? Yes No

3. Which do you think is right? Wade BoT


If you pick the first answer of all three questions, then we are in agreement with each other.

If not, then I think I’ve been right all along in my mind where you stand.


You said, “Why not sign 00? It’s not that big of a difference.”

Are you speaking with the authority of one who has analyzed the difference between the 1963 and the 2000, or are you repeating something you’ve been told?

If you’d like a good study on the subject, you could read the archives of the Baptist Standard April 30, 2001 that reports Russell Dilday’s analysis of the 2000, and his 12 troubling factors.

But assuming you are correct (“It’s not that big of a difference”) why would you fire a good long-time missionary for not signing it? Why would you break a Baptist tradition of NOT signing creeds?

Of course the 2000 is not a creed, but it becomes a creed when a forced signature is required.

Webster—Creed: An AUTHORITATIVE formula of religious belief.

Keith Parks: “A confession becomes a creed when others determine the beliefs one is forced to sign.”

The 1963 did not have to be signed, and was not made into a creed. The 1963 was not tooted as the guideline for the Bible.

Belief Matters said...
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truth, not religion said...

TEST

Jon L. Estes said...

By rule, a trustee of the IMB can not go public with anything they disagree with if it is against the majority vote of the IMB BoT.

Yet, the BoT of the IMB are publically going against what the SBC agreed upon by majority vote (Garner motion).

Hypocrisy?

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

:) Good point. However you may be confusing the simple minded here.

I have been told by those who are going against the wishes of the convention in the Garner Motion that the Convention didn't have a clue what it was they were voting upon. That argument is very, very strange to me, particularly when those who spoke AGAINST the motion during the debate DEFINED THE MOTION PRECISELY.

But then, when the vote was lost, now, say they, the Convention does not understand what they did. That is an insult to the intelligence of the SBC. Any seventh grader who can read English can understand what the passage of the Garner Motion at the 2007 means to Southern Baptists

Wade Burleson said...

Belief Matters,

You have commented here over a dozen times on various subjects that have nothing to do with the post. Please write your own posts on your own blog and keep your comments directed to the subject at hand. Blessings,

Wade

Rex Ray said...

Alan Paul,
Sorry for not replying to your question of two days ago: “Are there examples in the Bible of dissent amongst a people and that dissent is looked upon favorably by God?” (Been wasting my time with Belief Matters)

I, like Anna, am not a theologian, but I’ve studied and written for 15 years on the topic that she brought up.

She said, “I would consider the things that led up to the Council at Jerusalem to be dissent, in trying to answer ‘How Jewish do Gentiles have to become as Christians’.”

I agree with her 100% that in short, the Council at Jerusalem answered the question how does a person become a Christian.

The dissent that pleased God arose with Paul, Peter, and the Gentiles when:

1. Men…from Judea…taught the brethren…except you be circumcised…you cannot be saved. (Acts 15:1)
2. Friends of James…who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation. (Galatians 2:12)
3. Believing Pharisees: must be circumcised and follow all the Jewish customs. (Acts 15:52)
4. Friends who think you have to obey the Jewish laws to be saved. (Galatians 4:21)
5. There are many who say all Christians must obey the Jewish laws. It must be stopped. (Titus 1:10-11)
6. James and elders: Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law. (Acts 21:20)

After the private meeting of the apostles and the elders at the Council, Peter gave their conclusion: …all are saved the same way by the free gift of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 15:11) (This was omitted in the letter to the Gentiles while the laws of James were made “necessary”.)

The speech from Peter stunned the multitude and they were silent until James ‘saved the day’ with his speech, and then I believe there were such loud and long cheers for James that all talking was over.

James agreed with Peter: “We should not insist that the Gentiles…obey our Jewish laws, EXCEPT…” (Acts 15:19-20) The “except” made his words ‘double-talk.’ The “except” stabbed Peter and Christ’s teachings in the back. The “except” was based on tradition. (Acts 15:21)

These laws of Moses got the foot in the doorway, and I believe James’ speech started the roots of Catholics, while those that followed Peter’s words of Christ plus nothing were the roots of non-Catholic.

Pamela said...

Pastor Wade, your prayer request has been put in our prayer box. Several friends of mine have already started praying about this.

Even though I am not a part of the SBC the Bible says that we are all a part of His body. Those in the SBC that feel like they are exclusive need to realize that what happens to any 'group' in the body of Christ affects us all.

I would like for someone to explain to me how any so-called motion that tells board members that they have to agree publically while in their hearts they do not agree is anything other than asking them to lie to save face. That fact along would be enough for me to quit. How anyone that claims to know Christ can be forced to agree to something that is clearly against the word of God is beyond me.

ALL OF YOU in the SBC are in our prayers. I sincerely pray that a Biblical solution comes out of this. The choice will be up to the SBC leadership. Lying is a poor foundation.

Belief Matters said...
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tbd said...

Brother Wade,

I read your blog nearly every day for one reason. God is using you to expose injustice and speak the truth. I respect you for your courage and steadfastness. I will pray for you this month as you seek God's will.

Let me say this: we can't withhold the truth b/c we're not certain what the outcomes of exposure will be. Those outcomes will be the natural consequences of the sinful behavior of others, not yours.

May I remind those encouraging you to keep quiet to reread Amos 7:10-17. Wade, the Amaziahs want you to go away (and leave the 'royal residence' of the SBC alone), but speaking the truth is a moral imperative. It is not within God's kingdom principles or within His nature to overlook systemic injustices - He judges it.

Where He gives you opportunity to have a voice for the truth, I encourage to make it known in God's timing, in God's way, and to God's glory. "The truth will set you free!"

Peace in Christ,
Blake Dempsey

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

I would be concerned if I truly thought the IMB BoT did not understand the Garner motion. The debate clearly exposed what the motion was about.

If, the convention did not know what they were doing (I clearly think they did, the argument for such a reason cannot stand simply because they decided. There is nothing written that the SBC has to make choices that make sense - thinking of Dr. Rogers pickles have souls illustration -. Bottom line, the convention has spoke.

But to my original point...

Hypocritical???

I'd say so.

Lin said...

Another example of public dissent that pleased God:

3 John

9I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

Eric Stone said...

Does blogging include commenting on posts?

Robert Hutchinson said...

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on Higher Ground."

truth, not religion said...

All the Brothers and Sisters who came before us were desenters. Millions died so we could have these open religious discussions.

Even Jesus was a desenter against bad, ungodly men and practices.

grace
wtreat

Wade Burleson said...

Eric S,

Responding to comments like yours does not require the the mental energy of blogging, so no, commenting is not blogging.

Justa Believer said...

A few examples of dissent in the Bible:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3)

Daniel to Darius (Daniel 6)

Moredeci to Haman (Esther 3)

Esther to Xerxes (Esther 7)

Naboth to Ahab (1 Kings 21)

John the Baptist to Herod (Mark 6)

Jesus to Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

Apostles to Sanhedrin (Acts 4)

Jerusalem council (Acts 15)

Paul to Peter (Galatians 2)

Paul to Jews (Acts, Pauline epistles)

Alan Paul said...

Thanks to all who responded to my question of dissent in the Bible - I am particularly interested in the question of who may become a Christian and how in Acts as it was an issue between believers as opposed to an issue between believers and unbelievers.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Having been away from message boards and blogs for the past few weeks, I did not know about the recent events at the IMB until recently. I cannot say that I am surprised of your decision, considering the fact that the clear majority of the IMB BoT either supports or is afraid to express any disagreement with the current Trustee "leaders". Whether it is you and/or someone else, there is an ever-increasing need to shine the full light of truth on the machinations of the political power players currently in control of many agencies of the SBC. The fact that they require adherence to theological doctrines that are well beyond the BF&M of the SBC seems to make little difference to them in their attempts to rid all vestiges of anyone who dissents from their arbitrary and unbiblical "rules".
In any case, you are exercising sound judgement to pause and pray about the course you will pursue subsequent to your resignation from the IMB BoT. This Okie joins in the petition that our gracious and merciful Lord will be glorified in your course of action in the future. May He comfort, guide, and grant you His richest blessings during this time.

In His Grace and Peace,

T. D. Webb

Rex Ray said...

Lin,
You said, “Another example of public dissent that pleased God: 3 John: 9.”

I agree 100%, but with a different line of thought.

History records Diotrephes denounced leaders and elders of the Jerusalem church.

To put things in perspective some writers refer to the Jerusalem church as the “mother” church which may have had 50,000 members.

So why would the leader of a small church show public dissent to a big church/SBC/IMB/etc.?

To me, verse 9 tells why ‘Baptist thinking’ would show dissent: “I sent a brief letter to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, does not acknowledge our authority. (New Living Translation 1997)

(Living Bible 1979) “I sent a brief letter to the church about this, but proud Diotrephes, who loves to push himself forward as the leader of the Christians there, does not admit my authority over him and refuses to listen to me.”

I believe Diotrephes showed the same dissent as Wade has against the authority of the BoT when they’re wrong.

happy gram said...

"These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." Acts 17:6

Lin said...

I believe Diotrephes showed the same dissent as Wade has against the authority of the BoT when they’re wrong.

05 February, 2008

I agree and would add it is better thought of as a rebuke. but, a rebuke against a 'leader' in a local church publicly by another leader to that persons 'followers'. No backchannels, or secret meetings behind closed doors. It is all public.

The difference is most see John as an authority over Diotrephes as if that matters. But then we have Paul rebuking Peter publicly, too. If we are so into authorities, doesn't Peter 'outrank' Paul? So, was Paul dissenting or just pointing out Peter's wrong direction? :o)

Rex Ray said...

Lin,
You’ve sent me to the dictionary.
Dissent:
1. To differ in opinion; to disagree.
2. To differ from an established church in regard to doctrines, rites, or government.

When Paul disagreed with Barnabas that was dissent #1.
When Paul disagreed with Peter that was dissent #2.
When Paul and Peter disagreed with “the sect of the Pharisees” (Acts 15:5 NLT) at the Jerusalem church counsel that was dissent #2 just as Wade has done.

I believe this “sect of Pharisees” with their “recommendations” (2 Corinthians 3:1) hounded all of Paul’s Gentile churches to obey Jewish laws. Paul challenged their doctrine: “We do not tell them they must obey every law of God or die.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

I also believe the prophesy of Jesus that John would be martyred. (Matthew 20:23) History records he was boiled in oil long before 3 John was written by John the elder.

I believe Diotrephes believed Paul saying, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved” (Galatians 1:8) and he let elder John have it with both barrels.

Glenn said...

I couldn't read all the comments, but I did see someone (Pastor Mark) already quoted the verse from Jeremiah that came to my mind. All things must go through death and resurrection before they are restored and given even greater glory.

Dear Wade, you should pray that the Lord would see fit to tear down that which has fallen in the IMB and re-build it to even greater glory than it had before it's fall.

May God's grace and wisdom be with you in this time. It is my hope that the IMB's shortcomings will be torn down, but that any death that might come will only result in the glory of resurrection.

Without resurrection it is a sad things indeed. Therefore, I pray for resurrection! Amen.

May God see fit to use you in that process.

stepleton3 said...

Wade, know that we will be praying for you during these days. The sermon series you are in is very helpful to us at this time on the field. Grace and peace, Stan

Anonymous said...

Hi Bro. Pastor..This is Ray Earley from Cartwright, OK. I'm issuing you a PUBLIC invitation for you to come and fish w/me this spring. I look forward to your reply.

Now on to other matters...
My heart hurts for two reasons. The first is I can read and almost hear sadness in your post and that makes me hurt.
Secondly, If I cannot know what goes on to the FULL extent in an IMB board meeting it makes me question what they need to be so private about anyway. I am seriously considering making a motion at this year's convention about such matters. EVERY SBC church (small or mega)and member has the right to be informed; not to be left in the dark. It appears to me (and A LOT of other SBC pastors) that the IMB sure wants us to give, pray, and go, but not to be in the "know". (I didn't mean for that to rhyme, but I think that is was really cool that it did..)

I'm sure someone will make an attempt to correct or disciple me different, but this "appears" to being run as an absolute monarchy. (You say what we tell you, when we tell you, how we tell you, you have the right to know "what" we tell you....blah blah blah!!)

Please Wade don't misunderstand me. I'm not bringing into question any one person's character, ethics, or faith. Neither am I bringing the entire board into question, I am simply bringing policies and procedures into question. I want to know what it is that is so private that you can't blog about it and they won't talk about it?

Where I pastor we have a policy that goes something like this. If you want to know what is being done w/the tithes and offerings then come to a business meeting. We also print out a monthly copy of the budget for ANY MEMBER to review and/or question. They have a right to know what's going in the New Testament church of which they are a part.
In reference to the IMB, everyone and every church that actively participates in CP giving should have that same right. I know, I know, I know..."Ray this is not going to change. This is just the way it is". Well, maybe I'm fed up with it. I know that I'm not alone in my fed-up-ed-ness..

Grace and Peace,
Ray Earley
Pastor..First Baptist Church
Cartwright, OK

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Why do you keep deleting my comments when I write. I do not understand why you deleted the scripture passages I posted. There was nothing offensive in them. Just wondering. This is not the first time you have done so.

Oklahoma Joe

Josh In FL said...

I will certainly pray for you, my friend.
I am truly excited to see what happens next.
"Wisdom is proved right by her actions."
Broken records aren't bad if the song that's on repeat is a good one ;)

Justa Believer said...

Rex Ray said...
I also believe the prophesy of Jesus that John would be martyred. (Matthew 20:23) History records he was boiled in oil long before 3 John was written by John the elder.

I believe Diotrephes believed Paul saying, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved” (Galatians 1:8) and he let elder John have it with both barrels.



Trying to understand this ... are you saying you do not believe 3 John was written by the apostle John? And are you saying that elder John was teaching something contrary to Paul's gospel and Diotrephes was right to oppose elder John? Or did I read you all wrong?

Lin said...

"I believe Diotrephes believed Paul saying, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved” (Galatians 1:8) and he let elder John have it with both barrels."

I don't agree, Rex. But I do see something interesting in it. Dio was in a local church in a leadership capacity. (Elder?) It does not say he was a false teacher. It says:

9I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. ESV

The KJV does not use the word 'authority' in vs 9 but 'does not receive us'. The NASB says. "does not accept what we say." (I find it interesting that the ESV uses the word authority in this verse.hmmmm So far, I have checked 6 translations and only ESV uses 'authority'.)

I think this is interesting because John does not say he is going to throw Dio out, make him shut up or remove him from his position. Instead he says:

"10For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."

Almost all the translations say that John, IF he comes, is going to 'bring this matter up' or 'call attention to his deeds' or 'remember his deeds', etc.

None of them say that John is going to throw him out or censure him, etc. But each translation communicates that John is making his dissent from Dio public and will again IF he comes.

John, himself, is telling us with his words he has no authority over Dio but he sure is going to make his behavior known. He has started with this letter that was probably passed around even though addressed to Gaius.

Sound familiar? Who does Dio sound like? John is dissenting. And it is dissent, because obviously there is a church of some kind going along with Dio's actions. (They are probably saying, touch not thine anointed' in reference to their great Dio) :o)

I don't know why, but this passage has always intrigued me because Dio is not being accused of being a false teacher. But he is accused of being prideful, malicious and authoritarian.

Why didn't John tell Gaius et.al. to remove him?

John was going to 'call attention' to his behavior, when he came because, obviously, his letters/messages were not making it to the entire Body.

Does any of this sound familiar?

(Don't worry, I am not quitting my day job :)

Philip Price said...

You and the IMB Trustees are in my prayers.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Read the post Belief.

The gentleman above you who commented he was praying for everyone shows he understands.

Wade Burleson said...

Ray,

I'll be ready for that fishing engagment! Thanks for your support and prayers.

wade

Alan Paul said...

Belief Matters if you are referring to the discussion about dissension in the Bible - I am surprised you cannot see that it's absolutely on topic...

Rex Ray said...

Justa Believer,
In short…you read me right. But to start, would you agree Paul was the biggest dissenter in the New Testament besides Jesus?

The ‘Trump Card’ is seen as Custer, ‘Where did all those Indians come from?’ In 313 AD, ‘Where did all those Catholics come from?”

Paul was dismayed: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the Jewish laws…have you gone completely crazy? You are following a different ‘way to heaven’ that doesn’t go to heaven at all.” (Galatians 3:2-3 1:6)

“Watch out for those wicked men—dangerous dogs who say you must be circumcised to be saved.” (Philippians 3:2)

I wish Paul had identified these wicked men if they were the ‘sect of the Pharisees’, but all he said:

1. “…with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18)
2. “…I have faced grave dangers…from men who claim to be brothers in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:26)
3. “…false brethren...who came to spy as to whether we obeyed the Jewish laws are not.” (2 Corinthians 3:1)

“Who came to spy” is something to keep in mind.

I believe after all the Apostles, Paul, and James were martyred, this “sect” ran the Jerusalem church and added many a PS to the letter sent to the Gentile churches, and followed up to see if rules were being kept.

I believe the first dissent of this type of process is seen in 3 John 9.

Justa Believer said...

Rex Ray,
Thanks for your response to my questions. Although I think your views on 3 John 9 are incorrect, I appreciate your willingness to explain your position and to do so in a gracious tone.

Lamech said...

I am really proud of you. Thank you for doing as good a job as imperfect flesh can, to embody both humility and steadfastness. Please continue to depend on Christ for everything and please continue writing and speaking the truth as you understand it. It's important.

Rex Ray said...

Lin,
I like the part about not quitting your day job. smile I’ve been sick with a cold or something a long time which gives me more ‘computer time’. I hope I don’t wear out my welcome.

You said only the ESV used “authority” of the translations you’ve checked. (I’ve already noted the Living Bible and the New Living Translation 1997 uses “authority”.)
I find it interesting the NLT 2004 changes “authority” to “refuses to have anything to do with us.”

I believe as you said the NASB: “does not accept what we say” is very obvious. I wish this John had written what Diotrephes disagreed with. I’ll come to that later.

Prominent historian, Papias, listed men he learned the Gospel from: “Andrew…John…and John the Elder. The Elder use to say…” This John was known by Elder as if it were a nick-name. Papias: “Traditions derived from John the Elder…”

Looks like Elder had more traditions for Gentiles.

Strong’s Study Bible: “Diotrephes resisted the authority of the elders in the church. He attacked them publicly, and forbade the reception of John and his adherents.”

I believe Strong shows that Diotrephes is the one doing the dissenting.

Did he dissent against what Elder wrote? in 2 John 1:8-10 (Living Bible)
“Beware of…losing the prize [heaven?] that you and I have been working so hard to get [faith plus Jewish laws?]…if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ [as interpreted by Elder in following Jewish laws?] you will leave God behind [go to hell?].”

Lin, how can you say, “John, himself, is telling us with his words he has no authority over Dio” when we have named 3 translations that say otherwise?

Elder John called his adherents “TRAVELING TEACHERS” verse 10 in the NLT.

Diotrephes could have used some of Paul’s words: “Those teachers…who are trying to convince you to be circumcised are doing it to avoid the persecution they would get if they admitted the cross of Christ alone can save…” (Galatians 6:12-13) by yelling:

‘Keep your bloody circumcision knives to yourselves…you wicked dangerous dogs!’

If he did, no wonder he showed dissent to the authority of the elders.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
I’m sorry I treated you in an unkind manner, and I’m glad Wade removed that comment along with others and yours.

Sometimes he has his hands full trying to keep people apart like you and me that are not as nice as he is.

BTW for a break in our debate of Wade, what do you think of Diotrephes dissent? I’d suggest a review of Galatians.

Wade Burleson said...

Belief,

Rex is right. I deleted his comments that were unrelated as well. Impartial treatment.
I think you also misunderstand. You are welcome to comment as often as you like on this blog ON TOPIC.

Belief Matters said...

Thanks Wade, I must apologize for not praying for you as you have ask us.

Rex, Thanks for your kind apology.

Lin said...

"Lin, how can you say, “John, himself, is telling us with his words he has no authority over Dio” when we have named 3 translations that say otherwise?"

I'll take your 3 and raise you 6:o)

A friend of mine who reads this blog, sent me the Greek on this last night. I will copy it here:

Re: "does not acknowledge our authority" in ESV -- I can't see where they got that. It is "ou epidechomai hemas" (literally "not he himself receives us", i.e., does not receive us, or does not accept us).

"Epidechomai" is the same word for receive that is used in verse 10, "neither doth he himself receive the brethren" (KJV, or "he refuses to welcome the brothers" in ESV). No concept of "authority" is in the text at all.

That's appropriate to the author referring to himself as "the elder" (in keeping with the NT concept of elders as servants and not bosses) -- and it is very interesting if the author is actually John the Apostle (who probably actually could claim authority but does not).


I thought that may be helpful. Going from 'authority' to 'does not receive us' is a pretty big leap and deserves our scrutiny.

In any event, I do not want to be off topic and hope that discussing dissent in scripture is not. I see John as publicly dissenting against a leader in a local church. I see it this way, because John is not using any 'authority' as an elder nor is he calling for his removal. He disagrees with the behavior and tactics of Dio in this church and he is public about the disagreement.

I don't see any 'false teaching' alluded to here except the unChristian tactics that come from Dio's behavior. But then, I am an amatuer at this.

Rex, we are just going to have to disagree on this one. Blessings to you, friend.

Rex Ray said...

Justa Believer,
Thanks for your nice reply even though we disagree. I was beginning to relate to the answer the woman gave Jesus when he asked, “Where are your accusers?”

History and the Bible go hand in hand, but history does not agree with some Christian traditions about the Bible.

History may give the answer to Paul’s question: “Who has hypnotized you…” (Galatians 3:1) and “It takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others.” (Romans 5:9)

Ignatius lived in the time of Paul. He was the second bishop of Antioch. How, why, and who influenced him to be their bishop is not known but I suspect the Jerusalem church got him there to teach Jewish laws.

Ignatius wrote Apostle John that Mary was the lady of our new religion. He also wrote: “We ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would the Lord Himself.”

Some today (not Wade) show the same attitude toward ‘God-appointed’ leaders of the IMB.

The book ‘Birth of Christianity’ page 466 shows dissent that was going on throughout the New Testament:

“James was the authoritative leader of the Jerusalem mother-church, which was operating two major missions, one to the Jews and one to the pagans. In a combined community, such as that at Antioch, Christian Judaism had to prevail over Christian paganism. Peter and Barnabas presumed that kosher regulations were no longer important. Before James’s intervention, they ate with the pagans like pagans.”

I believe the Christian sect of Pharisees did not roll over and die after Acts 15, but their tribe increased until after all the Apostles, James, and Paul were dead, they were running the ‘store’ in 3 John and in 251 AD when they started baptizing babies for salvation. I believe the Christians (named Anabaptist) that dissented had their roots in Paul’s churches like Diotrephes was in.

If anyone has another explanation, I’d be interested in listening.

Rex Ray said...

Hey Lin,
You can’t quit…I call your 6 and raise you 12. (How’s that for a guy that’s never played a game of cards? Smile

I’m glad your friend explained the Greek, but like they teach in Seminaries…it’s not important what the exact words were, but what was the exact meaning.

The 3 translations that said “authority” may have added the attitude of Elder and the dissent of Diotrephes from studying history. How do you like them apples?

Thanks Belief Matters, and hopefully, Wade, we will all stay friendly from now on.

Rex Ray said...

Debbie Kaufman,
For some reason I’ve always had a problem in replying to someone that has said something nice to me for what I’ve done. I usually try to ‘play it down’ instead of saying a simple ‘Thank you.’

You’ve said the nicest thing to me in my two years of commenting on Wade’s post, and I regret not replying.

On February 1, you quoted me saying:
“I’ve said all along, I wish fundamentalist had organized their own convention instead of hijacking ours by making the Bible a political football. We are tasting their fruits by their control of making ‘walls’ to prevent sin, but making prisoners within.”

You replied:
“Rex Ray, I agree with you on this and thank you for saying it as you have. It’s as if you reached into my mind and pulled out the thoughts, saying it more eloquently than I was thinking.”

Debbie, thank you for your eloquent words.

kehrsam said...

As for the matter of Biblical dissent, there are many OT examples, especially among the Prophets. Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah and Jeremiah were all dissenters in their day, together with Amos, Nehemiah, and the unnamed "Man of God" of 1 Kings 13.

It is never wrong to speak the truth, just as it is never wrong to speak the good news of Jesus Christ, even when the Sanhedrin forbids it.

Nonetheless, all truth need not be spoken now. There is a time for every purpose, and perhaps now is not the right time to speak, Brother Wade. I do not envy you the decision that you must make in the coming days.

But I will say this: I was not a baptist at the time of the Conservative Resurgence (I was not a Christian, as it happens), but the infighting, the politics, the anger and the character assassination of the time was one of the stumbling blocks that Stan used to keep me from God's Holy Spirit.

Through the Grace of God (and naught else) I came through to salvation, but I can truly say the CR did not help. It was one of the topics of my Senior Seminar in 1987, and I can clearly remember how even the SBs in the department were embarrassed about it.

Pastor Wade, you are truly in Jonah's dilemma: If the Ninevites repent, then he sees his great enemy uplifted; if they fail to repent, his mission will be abject failure. It would be funny if the souls of countless men did not hang in the balance.

Likewise, if the IMB narrows parameters, missionaries will never reach the field, and who can say what harvest will be missed? If you go forward, however, this will be seen by some as a reason to reject the Gospel.

I have been, and shall continue to pray for you, brother.

Blessings to all.

Kurt A. Ehrsam
Asheville, NC.

kehrsam said...

Satan, of course, not "Stan." Though I never liked the looks of him, either.

Rex Ray said...

Kehrsam,
On the subject of telling the truth; a man asked, “Wou would yo you tel tel tell me me wha what time it is?
The person ignored him, and was later asked why.
Yo you wa want me me to to get get my head head knocked off?

Did you read Debi Maestri – Bella Vista, Arkansas and C B Scott’s comments on February 2?

She said, “I wonder if Wade Burleson’s life would be any different today had a few deacons had any courage a few years back.”

I wonder, besides Wade, how many souls have been hurt. I believe Debi said it all: “In my opinion, those of you who continue to support bad behavior among our spiritual leaders are as guilty as they are.”

I think she means by “support” is just ignoring what is going on. It’s too bad those 21 deacons didn’t have more backbone.
Maybe they should have copied Diotrephes’ (Third John) actions.

It’s been said before, ‘A Christians is in a storm, is leaving a storm, or is going to a storm.’
I believe that’s because the devil specializes on Christians.

kehrsam said...

Rex Ray: I agree with you wholeheartedly! My point was merely that however Wade proceeds from this point, there are those who will criticize. Worse, no matter what his choice, there will be those who will misinterpret his action and use it as a reason to ignore the gospel (and not so many years ago, I would have been among their numbers).

A terrible trait that many of us have is the impulse to see those we agree with as brave dissenters fighting for justice, while those of the contrary position are motivated by evil; unfortunately, this is as true within the SBC as it is in the world of politics or business.

I am quite sure that those members of the IMB BOT who have forced Wade out believe that they are acting in the interests of God's Kingdom; if I believed otherwise, I would not remain a Southern Baptist! Nonetheless, I believe that they are wrong, both on the issue of imposing additional restrictions on missionaries and especially with regard to the gag order on dissent.

I offer Wade no advice, only my prayers and my consolation in his fate that whatever his choice, there will be those who will say he is wrong. There is a time for war and a time for peace. If Brother Wade opts for peace now, I cannot gainsay his decision.

Rob said...

Might there be that a restoration is needed. Not a reformation but a restoration that takes some of us to a place where the fight is nowhere to be found within us. But within us, all we can really see is one accord?

robinbishop@earthlink.net

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