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

Pulling Back the Curtain on SBC Power Politics

The International Mission Board convened this week in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a trustee meeting. The Chairman of the Board for the past two years has been Dr. John Floyd, an administrator at Mid-America Seminary. Dr. Floyd was Chairman of the IMB Personnel Committee that introduced the policy changes for missionary candidates regarding baptism and a private prayer language, and he often publicly chided me for my blog. I felt I was keeping the Southern Baptist Convention informed of events occuring at the IMB, but obviously, he and others viewed it differently. Dr. Floyd believes that ministry matters involving the IMB should be dealt with behind closed doors, and the Southern Baptist Convention at large should not be informed of issues being dealt with by the board until after decisions have already been made. The notion that a blog would inform the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole of the issues, and the debate surrounding them, was anathema to certain trustees. One such trustee. a member of Dr. Floyd's generation, publicly informed the full board that she believed blogging was like 'internet porn,' an obvious indication she had never seen either.

The International Mission Board has been tightly and secretively controlled by a handful of trustees over the past few years, and the politics of getting additional like-minded trustees appointed to the IMB and elected to board leadership was often more manipulative than national politics. It is not widely known that the real control of the Southern Baptist Convention is not through the President of the SBC, but through the trustees who control the boards. I served six months on the International Mission Board of trustees (June 2005 - December 2006) before I ever began to blog. The reason I began to blog is because I saw trustees who were undermining the leadership and vision of the President of the International Mission Board, using power and control to silence dissent on the board, unfairly marginalizing those who dared to disagree, and ultimately attempting to remove anyone from staff positions or trustee positions that they could not control.

I'll give you one example. When trustee leadership, led by Dr. John Floyd, began to propose that new policies on private prayer language and baptism were needed, Dr. Rankin expressed his belief, in writing, that if the proposed policies being pushed by Dr. Floyd and his Personnel Committee were actually implemented they would be "detrimental to the unity and focus of the board." Dr. Rankin wrote a nine page letter on April 28, 2005 articulating his concerns and showing, point by point, why the proposed policies would create unnecessary difficulties for the Board. Dr. Rankin requested assurances that his letter be given 'appropriate consideration" and that his concerns "be communicated (to the board) constructively."

I do not know if Dr. Rankin was ever given any assurances, but his requests were not granted. I and other trustees did not find out about the President's letter till the fall of 2005, six months after it had been written, and it took a motion from this 'rookie' trustee (as Dr. Tom Hatley called me), to get the letter before the Board before the vote on the policies. My recommendation for the trustees to see the letter, a recommendation opposed by trustee leadership, barely passed during a lunch meeting of the full board, and when it did, we were told that we would be given the letter several hours later, after trustee leadership had an opportunity to prepare it for distribution. We did get the letter several hours later, with hand written notes from Dr. John Floyd scribbled all over it. Dr. Rankin's letter may be viewed here, exactly as we trustees received it, with Dr. Floyd's handwritten notes penned in the margins.

The notes that Dr. Floyd wrote speak for themselves. It illustrates the very thing I have said has been taking place for the past few years in the IMB and the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole. Ideological like-minded Southern Baptists are attempting to marginalize, and in some instances remove, those who disagree. To call the arguments and conclusions of the President of the IMB "ridiculous," "unscriptural," "illogical," and the like, is unconscionable conduct, particularly considering the timing of the release of the letter (right before a vote by the board on the policies).

I have a question. What is the difference between a blog that sways SBC opinion after the adoption of a policy, and Dr. Floyd who used his position to keep from the board of trustees valuable information in a letter from the President, only to release it when forced to do so, and then with handwritten criticisms all over the letter? The old way of keeping control by limiting the flow of information, stifling dissent, and ridiculing those who disagree is over. The Southern Baptist Convention needs and demands transparency, the free flow of information, the ability to dissent, and cooperation in the midst of differences on tertiary issues.

Our convention of cooperating churches is harmed over demands for a uniform, homogenous Baptist identity that some seek. In addition, agencies are harmed when there is never any true debate allowed among the trustees. To act as if God is only on one side of an issue, and it is 'our side,' is the heighth of spiritual arrogance. Unhindered and transparent debate keeps all Southern Baptists humble and honest. Southern Baptists better realize that the power of the gospel must not be replaced by the power politics of a Baptist identity religion.

Finally, I believe the letter above proves that the reason some don't like blogs is because they lose control of the both the amount and kind of information they wish released. The IMB President desired his letter to be communicated widely. Southern Baptists operate CHRISTIAN ministries, and Rankin's request for open communication is the mark of genuine, Christ-like leadership. The ability to debate issues among Southern Baptists with civility, cooperate with brothers holding to divergent views, and keep our focus on the gospel is the need of the hour. Hopefully, the new IMB Chairman, Paul Chitwood from Kentucky, will help the board keep the focus on the mission and purpose of the IMB and not digress into narrowing the doctrinal parameters of participation by adopting policies that exceed the BFM.

John 12:42 said that of the many who believed on Christ some "did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." It is high time Southern Baptists become more concerned about cooperative missions than we are our fear of being branded or removed from denominational service by leaders who wish to define Baptist identity according to their narrow beliefs. In time, the SBC will be better because the pastors and churches who support her Cooperative Program speak up and speak out for cooperation and not against it.

In His Grace,


Wade

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post, Wade! Thank you for bringing to light -- through this post and previous ones -- the power behind the scenes.

Here is a question, though: One that keeps me puzzled and truly wondering what to do or what needs to be done. How do we change the leadership? One does not have to look too far before seeing these political forces, but how do we as a convention end them? They seem too well established and good at finding ways to keep operating.

Samuel

David said...

Wade:

Readers here would not know ANYTHING about the actions of the IMB chairman and those who cooperate with him--nor would readers understand how to help in such circumstances--without your blogging them here. A full disclosure of anything done inappropriately seems needed, as the group in question has persisted in its actions and resisted the idea of change. If you do not speak up specifically, who will?--No other IMB trustee, present or past, has said much of anything on the matter.

People cannot help if they do not know what help is needed.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

You put up a good post, and Samuel asked a good question. I don't know that there's a good answer.

But I will throw down my statement that you were on the right side of this. That was, to me, proven when, at Greensboro, I was set upon by a trustee you've previously named here, berating you in absentia and telling me things he should NEVER have revealed to me.

And it was done in anything BUT a Christlike manner.

There's no doubt in my mind you're on the right side of this. But the right side doesn't always win (in an earthly sense).

Wade Burleson said...

Samuel and David,

Information is power. I think we just keep telling the stories and soon Southern Baptists will understand the importance of cooperation and resisting those who seek to exclude.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Bob,

I know the man of whom you speak, since in God's providence I walked upon the conversation of which you mention. Whereas I sought at one time to protect men like this, my goal now is to protect those who have been, or will be, harmed by such tactics.

Blessings,

Wade

David said...

Wade:

The invitation to change can be held out there, while the story is being told in full until the invitation is accepted.

Your blogsite seems truly to have made a difference during its brief existence--I would say at least the same as that made by more established Baptist newsites on the Internet.

It is too soon to quit, and to quit is of no help to Dr. Rankin or effective servants like him who may be hindered by boards functioning in inappropriate ways.

Strider said...

"The old way of keeping control by limiting the flow of information, stifling dissent, and ridiculing those who disagree is over."

In what way? I would like to believe this is true but a sign that a person or people is no longer in touch with our Lord is that they talk more about the past than the future. If we will be Kingdom people then we must focus on Jesus, on the Cross, and what He is creating now in the world. Jerry Rankin never stops saying it, "God is moving in unprecedented ways." This is true but what are we focused on? If we will change we must take our eyes off of ourselves, our pride, our organization, and focus on Jesus and His Kingdom coming. Thanks for being faithful as you have in the face of such hostile opposition. Thankyou for pointing out that we are sick- if we know we are sick we may yet seek a physician. Anyone know a good one?

David said...

I can just imagine a proposal seeking a similar win-win being dissed by someone/s in leadership during the mid-nineteenth century and the result being the formation of the Souther Baptist Convention. What must be next?--Something like "the Southern Southern Baptist Convention"? Part of the difference this time would be that the CP now exists; congregations parting from unnecessarily uncooperative brothers would take their CP dollars with them as they exit, affecting adversely the very efforts uncooperative ultra-conservative brothers sought to "protect". For them to listen humbly is better.

Anonymous said...

After reading the copy of Dr. Rankin's letter with John Floyd's commentary (which everyone should), I was floored. His markup speaks for itself. His own comments clearly confirm the attitude and agenda that you have attempted to tactfully convey for these many months.
Even if you agree with his position (and I certainly don't), his response to Dr. Rankin's letter is inexcusable. If there is any integrity among the IMB trustees, I believe his markup of Dr. Rankin's letter merits his removal as an IMB trustee much more than your blog ever should have.
IM Fletcher

DT Boy said...

Wow! Just wow!

I just do not understand what people are so afraid of when it comes to open and honest discussion/debate on issues. Why is this such a problem. I do not always agree with my Pastor and yet somehow we continue to work together.

For those of you who might be losing hope that Southern Baptist can not seem to play well with each other. I want you to know that those who are involved in the leadership of Collegiate Ministry are doing a wonderful job of working together for the good of the Kingdom. All is not lost my friends. :)

Wade Burleson said...

IM Fletcher,

Thinking through your comment again, I now see what you are saying. You are simply asking that consistency be applied across the board regarding 'removing' trustees. I understand. I'm trying to say that there never should be recommendations for removing anyone for dissenting. We are a denomination of dissenters. What I am proposing is that people respect each other, allow open and free debate, and cease ridiculing someone for disagreeing.

Alyce Faulkner said...

For some time I've read and watched events of this nature. It is often times so discouraging, one could lose faith. I thank God for people like you Wade and my experience with you and your family convinces me that you are an honorable man.
But the point I want to make, that to me is far more important is an observation I have come to note in comments. Missionaries, our missionaries speak with such grace, such love, such wisdom and because I see this, I'm very encouraged. I thank God people with the character of our Lord and Savior are on the front lines.
Some how, some way, we will always see that the lovely feet of those spreading the gospel are equipped to do so. May the hand of God bless, protect and direction them.

K. Michael Crowder said...

One thing is for sure, where the vision of the President and the desires of the BoT's are in conflict, something must give. Either the board needs to replace the IMB leadership, or they need to be more subtle and more Christ-like in their proposals for change.(This is not an endorsement of Wade.) I happen to agree with the new PPL and Baptism guidelines. Additionally, I am not entirely convinced that the vision and direction of the IMB is the most appropriate. With all of our statistics and our programs, and goals, and with the prime focus on the 10-40 window, I wonder today, if we could actually hear the man from Macedonia if he were to call...

Anonymous said...

Exactly! If that had been my intent, I would have likely called for his removal as an administrator at Mid-America Seminary. Sound familiar?:)
Everyone should carefully read Dr. Rankin's letter and John Floyd's commentary for themselves. I sincerely believe that many who share Dr. Floyd's views would cringe at his comments (yes... many would cheer).
I personally find the letter inexcusable in that it is indicative of the manner of discourse that we don't need from our IMB trustees - or any of our SBC leadership for that matter!
IM Fletcher

Steve said...

For shame! The original reason for the formation of the SBC – the sending of missionaries around the world – is being overseen by intolerant hacks disloyal to agency presidents who refuse to allow open debate on pivotal issues. This should be discussed by deacon and elder boards across the convention and the first point of order at Indianapolis this summer.

Ish Engle said...

I am not a Baptist. I grew up around Baptist (most of them like the "editor" of the letter), and that convinced me that being Christian was a bad thing; it was intolerant, arrogant, dogmatic and very UNloving. There were a few (my Aunt, Uncle and cousin (who is a missionary for the IMB) who were different, but they were a DECIDED minority.

It took me years to actually read what Jesus said, to find people who practice His way, and to give my confession.

The Baptists I've seen on this blog have helped me to know that there ARE good, Christian folk who self-label as SBC. Thank you all. May God bless your efforts at restoring agape to faithful living.

Anonymous said...

I am astonished by the mean-spiritedness of the written comments and "we are always right" arrogance they represent. We have precious few Southern Baptists who genuinely love Jesus Christ and know cross cultural ministry as well as Jerry and Bobbie Rankin do, and they are rare indeed. All the while, the Rankins consistently model humble, Christ-like servanthood in stark contrast to some of our famous denominational lovers of luxury and power.

May the Lord protect and strengthen the Rankins and our other able and unselfish servants at the IMB. Without them we missionaries could not do our job. Furthermore, if capable leaders are (or continue to be) replaced with legalistic, arrogant, "know-it-alls" with limited to no experience outside the US, then don't be surprised by the train wreck that WAS the IMB.

an imb m

NativeVermonter said...

I just finished a book by K.P. Yohannan who is the founder and president of Gospel for Asia, a mission organization involved in evangelism and church planting in the unreached regions of Asia. Currently they support over 16,500 church planters in the heart of the 10/40 Window.

While K.P. is thankful for past western missionaries, he sees their time as having come to an end and that the Lord is raising up native sons and daughters for Kingdom work in the most hard to reach lands.

The Native Missionary or Indigenous Church Movement certainly seems worthy of Western support and cooperation. Just curious, does the IMB partner with organizations such as these? I’m sure there is needed a good balance between Western missionaries and those born and raised in the area.

Anonymous said...

As many of you know, John was on the field as a regional leader and then when things were reorganized he no longer had his position. When he was voted in as the new Chairman of the BoT, I cringed. Wade was positive for some reason. It disappoints me that a former IMB missionary has acted in this way. But now, he is no longer leading that board. And with that, we can no longer look back but look forward to what God would have us do.

I've been with the IMB for close to 14 years now and this tactic is not new. People, The CR has taken its tole on the IMB and missionaries. Many missionaries have just basically ignored what has gone on. Some saw what was coming when the 'signing' of the BF&M 2000 came about. Some were able to write their disagreements with the BF&M and continue on. Some left, resigned, took early retirement, or were fired. I hope under the new leadership that things get straightened out. Maybe I can share Wade's positive attitude when John came on as Chairman. One can always hope.

M with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...

AND to KMCrowder... Yes, we hear the call and do so daily...

M with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...

"What is the difference between a blog that sways SBC opinion after the adoption of a policy, and Dr. Floyd who used his position to keep from the board of trustees valuable information in a letter from the President, only to release it when forced to do so, and then with handwritten criticisms all over the letter?"

The main difference: Floyd is (was) in a position of authority granted by God (since all authority stems from God) as the chairman. Your blog is not.

With that said, that doesn't mean you or anyone else can advocate for (much needed) changes. How to do so? Time and strategy.

If your leader asks you to do something (that's not sin), you should submit. By doing so, you submit to God. That doesn't mean you cannot pray for or hope for change. It also doesn't mean you cannot appeal; you do so humbly and rarely.

Those of us on the field are always hopeful for change. I have to echo my collegue above--the Rankins are good to us, so encouraging, and a good model of leadership. We are blessed to have them in leadership.

Anonymous said...

To nativevermonter: (this is in response to something nativevermonter said in his comment; just skip it if you don't have any interest as it doesn't pertain to Wade's post for today)

"Just curious, does the IMB partner with organizations such as these?"

Speaking from my own work and regional stance (East Asia), we recognize that local partners can do the work much 'better', if you will. And because of this, we constantly are seeking after these types of partners, whether it be people we win and train or whether it's local believers that we share our vision with and they agree with and want to partner with us. But we do not pay people to be our partners b/c money has absolutely ruined and corrupted many ministries and good works around the world, including Gospel For Asia.

With that said, KP has done more damage than good from an American church perspective. "Stop sending us your people; just send us your money!" I've heard him say this in a sermon in the US, and you can quote me. "For just $30 per month you can support a local, trained missionary who is just sitting around waiting for funding to go reach the unreached." Just sitting around? So, essentially what he is saying is "you (americans) don't need to obey the Great Commission; just give your money."

What he doesn't tell you is that it's your and 40 other people's $30 per month. They talk about how 'cheap' it is for them to send out local missionaries, and it does seem cheap when all they talk about is $30 per month. They just forget to mention the other part.

Why can't these local missionaries go out and find a job to support themselves in the place they want to serve? Because they've been conditioned to think "the Western brothers and sisters have money; they should support me; they will send it, or I just won't go." And now they are so conditioned that they refuse to do any Gospel work unless receiving support each month; otherwise, they just sit around and don't do any work. That is what throwing money at ministries has done. The American church feels good about itself when we give money to support people to go do a job we don't want to do. I've seen it here in East Asia as well; some foreigner comes in and offers money to anyone who will teach his materials. Of course that local believer is going to have a so-called similar vision when they are getting paid double or more than the local average salary. Money has ruined much good work and good workers. Therefore, we do not pay people to go do the work; it's the local churches responsibility to support their own people, and if they do so, then we would not have as big of a mess as we have today.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, any idea when you'll post the last two of "A Biblical Primer on Women in Ministry" series?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

As another IMB M serving in EA, I would like to say that I agree wholeheartedly with what the other anonymous poster posted at Thu Apr 10, 09:18:00 AM 2008.

You, my friend, have described the situation very well. I first heard KP Yohannan's argument for sending money rather than M's perhaps 10 years ago. At first, I too thought it seemed to be a compelling argument. But experience has taught me that the lost don't need our money, they need Jesus. That goes for the national M force as well.

I know my words may sound selfish and hardhearted to those sitting on a big bank account and imagining what their offering might do in the hands of a national worker overseas. But, believe me, what the first poster said is true.

Personally, before I would advocate us staying home and just sending our money to people who say they will use it to evangelize the lost in their own country, I would prefer that both we AND our money stay home. I honestly believe that God's Kingdom work would proceed faster without the dependence that "rich foreigners'" money engenders.

But regardless what may or may not sound reasonable to us, the Bible clearly commands us to go.

EA IMB M

Tim Dahl said...

Where were you 30 years ago when these guys took over our convention? Well regardless, you're here now. Thanks for taking a stand.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Sorry to write anonymously but if they treat our President that way, how would they treat me, an ordinary M? I find the markings on this letter absolutely revolting, disgusting and even nauseating! (I can think of even better adjectives in the languages I speak but they wouldn't help here.)I couldn't even bring myself to finish reading it! I agree that Dr. Floyd is entitled to his dissent, but this way of expressing it is way-over-the-top, unprofessional, uncouth, not to mention unchristian.

Missionaries have been aware for years of struggles between the board and the staff, but never did I think this kind of disrespect toward Dr. Rankin went on.

Wade, I personally want to thank you for your blog. I've been a reader since your first month, however I've never posted a comment. Please know that Ms appreciate knowing the truth even though it is hard to handle, as this letter is. Also, when I read your posts that stands up for justice for the oppressed within our denomination, I often quote Jesus out loud, "The Kingdom of God is near!"

So, I start out my day angry, embarrassed and very disillusioned with those who make decisions for this great missionary movement which I'm still proud to be a part of. Now, I think I need to spend some time alone with the spirit of God, which will be exactly contrary to the spirit of the handwriting on this letter.

M somewhere in the world.

Pamela said...

If your leader asks you to do something (that's not sin), you should submit. By doing so, you submit to God.

As stated if a leader asked someone to submit to something that is not sin it is good to submit since you have agreed to be in that place. However to say that submitting to a person is the same as submitting to God is a stretch. I'm not a Bible scholar by any means. However I would sincerely like a verse for this one, that is, if you submit to a leader you are submitting to God. You are submitting to God directly. He tells us what is right and wrong. The Word tells us that in 1 John. There is no pope/laity relationship in existence. We all have access to God directly, not through another person.

Whatever dirty tricks that Christians leaders are doing in the dark is being exposed as we speak. This is happening everywhere. I plan to make sure that my heart is right with the Lord and clean up anything that does not line up with the word and His spirit. If anything bad is supposedly exposed I want it to be a lie. We are in serious times in the United States. I want to be in a place where I can be effective in pointing those to Christ. I want no encumbrances in my life. Any one that is trying to hide their mess is wasting their time at this point. Don't let the media get wind of it. They will have no mercy.

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

The Key words in your whole article are:


"The Southern Baptist Convention needs and demands transparency, the free flow of information, the ability to dissent, and cooperation in the midst of differences on tertiary issues."

We may disagree about a whole plethora of different things such as Private Prayer Language or "Speaking in Tongues," Elder Boards, Covenant Theology vs Dispensational Theology, the Second Coming particulars, women chaplains or even pastors, degrees of separation of church and state, "alien immersion," and so forth; however, there is one thing we must have in order to survive as a cooperative Convention which is open transparency in every venue of Southern Baptist life.

There must be a cessation of the so called "Executive Sessions" used to hide personal agendas and ramrod changes down our throats.

What amazes me is that these same "power preachers" like to have a rotating Deacon committee to keep certain deacons in their used to be churches from doing exactly what they are doing.

Thank you for stating this key issue so well.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Phil's last statement. What has drawn me to this site in the last 2 years has not been that I always agree with Wade's positions or theology, but rather that I believe(d) and still believe strongly in his right to dissent and have a voice. Phil hit the nail on the head when he commented that we can disagree on a whole plethora of secondary and tertiary issues, but we cannot have fellowship where there is no communication. We can agree that there are some secondary things on which we disagree, but we cannot tolerate lies, deceit, nepotism, bullying, back-room deals, special favors, and character assassination when we represent the Kingdom of God.

That is why I support the type of changes that Wade is calling for. SBs need desperately to learn more openness and honesty in our dealings with one another. I think that the ole' "exec sessions" and unofficial committee meetings in the lobby and the secret meetings of cliques, etc... are remnants of the CR that will eventually die out as a new generation demands openness and accountability of their leaders. It is amazing how often the NT uses the light/ darkness metaphor to describe truth/ deceit, evil/ good, etc... and yet how many of our leaders think there is something virtuous about keeping people in the dark. Do a NT word study on "light" and you will find that God always commends the openness of the light over the "hidden" things of the dark.

But our leadership thinks we are better off that way, in the dark. It's like their treating us like mushrooms...keeping us in the dark and feeding us the same stuff.

Keep shining the light on corrupt deeds Wade.

Ethan in KY

Landmarker said...

Two thoughts:

1. I married into a landmark missionary baptist church. Bros. Floyd and Hatley would fit in quite well in our denom -- particularly in their inability to even comprehend the idea that two people can read the same passage of Scripture and arrive at two different interpretations. What I'm curious about is whether they affirm the landmark version of church history (Trail of Blood, etc.). The problem is that if you say a baptism is invalid if administered by the wrong authority, the only way you can say your own baptism is valid is by creating a chain of authoritative baptisms all the way back to Christ. If there's any break in that 2000-year chain, your own baptism is, by their doctrine, invalid.

2. Did anybody else notice Rankin's mention of a trustee who mistakenly thought free-will baptists believe in baptismal regeneration? It's astounding that a person that ignorant of doctrinal differences between denoms was chosen to help write a policy on how IMB treats other denoms. It certainly supports the idea that the committee members were chosen on the basis of their loyalty to the leadership and not on their competence.

Anonymous said...

What's the attitude of the regular folks in the churches? Do you think most really care about these power issues. It seems to me that people don't identify with the denomination as strongly as they once did.

DP

Jon L. Estes said...

The hand written comment:

Good news is not to be kept secret

...seems to go against ever having a closed door meeting unless those things being discussed are not "good news" in nature.

Refusing candidates for something they do, which is not sinful, in private is being discussed in private.

Somebody is messed up.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I wish that next time you took a break from your egalitarian agenda you would tell more Civil War stories or share what God is doing at your church, not taking more shots at a man like Dr. Floyd and one of the agencies of this convention.

All of you who are reading an agenda into Dr. Floyd's notes on the letter, you are right. It is to be Biblical. There are seven markings that relate to whether or not something is Biblical or theological. To imply that this was politically motivated is naive and insulting.

If anyone wants to rejoice in the work of the IMB and to celebrate what is going on in our convention, check out Hershael York's blog to read the account from someone who was actually there and which is not stained by the taint of Wade's martyr complex. http://hershaelyork.blogspot.com/2008/04/congratulations-to-southern-baptists.html

Michael

Pamela said...

Pastor Wade,

You are indeed a glutton for punishment:) Even though some may find you annoying many find your candor refreshing.

Anonymous said...

The part that caught my attention is the hand written stipulations for a valid baptism, that they be administered by a church that believes in only male pastors. What does that doctrine have to do with baptism?

I thought a baptism was valid if it were by immersion post conversion and administered by a male pastor during a worship service where only hymns were sung and where no one raised their hands above their elbows. Furthermore, the church must hold to a pre-trib post-mill eschatology, practice congregational governance, give 10% to the CP, call ministers who have only been trained in SBC seminaries, and preach solely from the HCSB. In addition, all of the deacons must be males, they must give altar calls at the end of each service, and they must tightly regulate the private prayer life of every member.

I think that about does it, but I reserve the right to further restrict "valid baptisms" when future issues arise.

Todd Pylant

Wade Burleson said...

Todd,

Trust me. Unless checked, what you are reading in the handwritten notes is only the beginning of a further doctrinal 'purge' in a convention that is supposed to be built on cooperation.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Our brother who said....

If your leader asks you to do something (that's not sin), you should submit. By doing so, you submit to God."....

may have a minor point [a leader asks] but miss a major one if not careful.

We must never forget Matt.20:25ff and other similiar passages where Jesus specifically stated that, while Gentiles might have a "do as your told' mentality, Christians do not.

For non-Kingdom folks Jesus neither denied their political and personal power nor denounced it's abuse. [And there was an abundance of both] But He did make it clear that in Kingdom/Church relationships there was to be no 'Lording it over' by those in charge or blind followship by those being led.

Serving is our badge as leaders. In Church life there is to be a consensual, respectful, mutual leading AND following depending on who has obvious gifted responsibility [a pastor is also one of the sheep] and NO ONE has control or say over someone else so that they are 'told what to do.'

All believers are to test the spirit of leadership and mutually serve when the Head [Christ] is obviously the source of the leadership. There is only ONE Lord.

This is foreign to our culture, impossible for self-centered people with special agendas, [Preachers OR people] imperative if Jesus alone to be our ultimate leader, and essential if we are to really walk after the Spirit.

It is Kingdom-like however.

Rick said...

Michael,

Tut. Tut.

I don't see how anyone can read Floyd's comments and not see that there is am illegitimate agenda going on there. Sorry you see it differently.

Tom Parker said...

Rick:

I think Michael has a pair of rose-colored glasses that he and several others always look through at anything SBC related. May their tribe decrease.

Michael said...

"Serving is our badge as leaders."
very true. unfortunately it has turned into elitism lately, e.g "I know best because of my position"
it would have been better for Mr Floyd to pass out the letter untouched many weeks before hand and if his view was right he would have been validated. Obviously he has no confidence in his beliefs or intelligence of the trustees.

I am saying this as if I believe in those guidelines to enunciate the absurdity.

Another Michael who wishes to distance himself from the anony michael and shall now call himself Michael H.

RKSOKC66 said...

Todd:

I believe you have left out a key aspect of "correct" church practices.

Although you mention that "correct" practice requires an altar call at the end of each service, you have omitted the requirement that the song must be Hymn Number 240 -- which is "Just As I Am" -- in the 1956 edition of the Baptist Hymnal.

Roger Simpson

smithwe said...

Wade,

Why is it that people are so blind, as to not See who has His Hand in this and Who was very devious with ”DECEIT” in the Organization Structure of all the Boards within the SBC. When we ask for accountability of these different Agencies, we are ignored by this very “ARROGANCE”
( contemptuous pride: a strong feeling of proud self-importance that is expressed by treating other people with contempt or disregard ).

In His Name
Wayne

Anonymous said...

Wade, Watch it with saying Trust Me. Many of us trust you because of what we have seen, but Trust Me is what the leaders of the change in the SBC have been saying ever since they started their activities, and, in my opinion at least, they have proved unworthy of that trust. They said, Don't think for yourselves, just trust us; we know God's will. Too many trusted until it was too late to stop what they were doing.

Just let what has happened speak for itself. Events have borne out what you have told us. That is more than enough for thinking people.

Trust in God, but in humans only when they are worthy of trust. God has proved worthy. Many humans have not.

Susie

Kelly Reed said...

Sarcasm Alert!

I'm just glad Dr. Floyd was able to translate and make sense of Dr. Rankin's letter for the Trustees who are obviously not able or not trustworthy enough to do it for themselves.

End Sarcasm Alert!

Here's an analogy (I know you'll be able to find fault in it, but here goes anyway)

One church is taking a long bus trip for a missions effort. Along the way, they drive through the SW United States. Somewhere in the back, someone suggests that they should stop to eat, stretch and go to the bathroom. Immediately a group forms discussing the benefits of particular stops and food (do they sell alcohol in this establishment may be one ;-) ).

Meanwhile, the bus driver calls the pastor to the front and tells him--"the last stop for 200 miles is coming up in just a couple of minutes. It's got a restaurant.--might be important for your discussion."

The pastor sees that the last stop is a Citgo and he has a personal conviction to boycott all of Hugo Chavez's institutions. So he goes back to the group and says "All I know is that I don't want to stop at no Citgo", to several nodding heads, other confused looks, but saying nothing about the last stop coming up.

Finally someone looks out the window and notices the "Last Stop in 5 Miles" sign. "Hey Pastor, I just saw a sign about the last stop ahead. Should we tell the bus driver to pull over?"

The pastor then goes on to explain that he doesn't believe it when he sees those signs because in reality those signs are just advertising gimmicks to get people to stop. How it's illogical to believe there won't be more stops. Besides he's pretty sure the place sells alcohol.

So they decide to wait for the next stop. As they pass, they notice it is a Citgo, but no one notices that a young family who needs to hear about Jesus has the hood of their car propped up and is in need of assistance.

Too bad the mechanic that came with you on the trip didn't get to go to the bathroom in the Citgo.

Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life,

Kelly

P.S.--DT Boy... we're going to have to talk!

David Rogers said...

Wade,

Wow! Just wow! You have been telling us about this all along. Now, we see irrefutable evidence to back it up.

It has been a long time since I have commented here. A number of the issues you have dealt with here in recent months are ones about which I have not been totally convinced, and prefer to withhold judgment. While I still consider you a friend, I think it is perhaps good for people to know that I don't always see eye to eye with everything you say and write. However, the truth of what you say here on this post to me is as clear as day.

I wish every Southern Baptist could read this letter, and the accompanying marginal notes. After reading what Dr. Rankin wrote, I have more admiration for him than ever. He is truly a man of God, for whom I, as an IMB missionary, and a member of the Body of Christ, am very proud. Also, at least as I see it, his reasoning in this letter is impeccable. At the same time, I am very disappointed in Dr. Floyd. Though I also regard him as a friend and a brother, and someone I love and respect in many different ways, for me, there is no excuse for what he wrote here and distributed to the rest of the trustees.

I understand your reluctance to make this public earlier. However, I think that Southern Baptists need to know what's what. Maybe more people will listen now. I certainly hope so.

David Rogers
IMB Missionary

Scotte Hodel said...

The final comment on page 9 is disturbing to me. "...it should be shouted from the housetops" and not "private" makes a good motivational speech, but fails four tests:

(1) If I recall correctly, NAMB and IMB already prohibit public use of speaking in tongues. Hence, shouting it from the housetops would get people dismissed.

(2) The phrase Private Prayer Language (PPL) sidesteps what Paul calls the practice: Prayer In The Spirit. While PITS is an unfortunate acronym, the biblical language implies God is involved - and this we want to stop?

(3) The complaint about "private" prayer vs "housetops" ignores Jesus's teaching on prayer in the sermon on the mount. Those who make a great show he says "already have their reward."

(4) As I've commented before, the ONE time in scripture that the phrase "Do not forbid" is used it is followed by "speaking in tongues."

I'm not trained as a theologian, but it seems to me that something's not quite plumb in this discussion.

Chris Harbin said...

The "obey your leaders" comment seems to forget that Paul stood up to correct Peter, the assumed leader among the apostles at the time.

We are too comfortable with silence on issues, because we lack the courage to face the issues head on and assume the responsibility to speak and demand truth and transparency in grace.

19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Jn 3:19-21.

If Floyd, Patterson, Pressler, et al have served God faithfully, why is there a need to keep so much under wraps?

We are still too worried over stirring up controversy for the sake of appearances.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I am outraged at the handwritten remarks. Keep doing what you are doing. One thought that I am sure you have considered: Did you ask Dr. Rankin know about/seek permission for his letter being put on your blog? Likewise regarding Dr. Floyd?

B Nettles said...

While we can't read his mind, the actions of Dr. Floyd imply that he believes he should have been President of the IMB rather than Dr. Rankin. Some may agree with Dr. Floyd's theological nitpicking, but his forum (the BOT/IMB) was the wrong one. Shame on him.

BTW, those who are throwing down the "authority" gauntlet, the chairman of a BOT is NOT a king. He is a facilitator and should be the most servant-like. All members of a BOT are equal in de jure authority.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

No. I do not seek permission to discuss issues that affect my church in terms of missionary appointments. These matters should be part and parcel of Southern Baptist dialogue, since all Southern Baptists participate in funding the Cooperative Program.

Wade Burleson said...

David Rogers,

I think you, above all others, understand that Southern Baptists should be able to disagree on different matters and still cooperate in terms of missions and ministry. I do not even personally agree with everything I write. I write to stretch - to challenge - to cause Southern Baptists discomfort.

I write to push people off the high-center position of believing any one person or group has all the right answers. And when we fall off that high-center position, we will then be willing to cooperate with people who disagree on tertiary matters.

In His Grace,

Wade

Dave Miller said...

Wade, from what you know about the new chair, is he in the Hatley/Floyd mold?

Dave Miller said...

Another question: Are you sure these notes are Dr. Floyd's? Could they be Tom Hatley's?

I have been told by people what a genuine Christian gentleman John Floyd is, even if I disagree with his views.

If these are his notes, it will certainly change the way I think about John Floyd.

Joel Rainey said...

Wade,
-downloaded the letter.
-printed it.
-read it.
-speechless. Simply speechless.

All of us have made notes in margins of letters we have received before, but the absolute disrespect shown toward our IMB president astounds me, as does the sheer hermaneutical arrogance that is nothing more than epistemological idealism run amuck! Furthermore, that such would be distributed among the trustees is unconscionable.

To be fair, I would like to ask how you know this is Dr. Floyd's writing and not Tom Hatley's. I'd hate to pin this kind of vitriol on the wrong guy, although I've probably missed some "dead giveaway" in the margin notes.

I must admit, I'm very curious as to how the "establishment" loyalists will "spin" this one. Curious that no one from that tribe has yet tried to respond to this revelation.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller,

The new chair, Paul Chitwood, is a nice young man. He is, however, part of what I would call the
'Baptist identity movement.' Ideologically, he would be in the same camp as Floyd, Hatley and company. They have a difficult time believing that a Baptist could interpret the Scripture different than they do on these tertiary issues and want all Baptists to sign and consent to their view.

Wade Burleson said...

When the letter was distributed we were told the notes were Floyd's.

RKSOKC66 said...

The problem at issue is that the BoT in a secret proceeding attempted (successfully so far) to pre-empt the local churches in defining what constitutes "correct" Baptism.

If Dr. Floyd believes that the SBC should more definitively define what constitutes "valid baptism" he should make his proposal in a venue in which all of the cooperating churches of the SBC could participate. Dr. Floyd's idea should be debated in the light of day -- not in secret.

I don't know exactly what the mechanism should be to facilitate this discussion. Maybe it should be a recommendation to modify wording in the BF&M. Or, maybe a simple resolution regarding the "administrator and mode of baptism" would suffice.

In any case, the discussion should be at an annual meeting of the SBC. This way there would be ample notice that the subject was coming up for discussion so people on both sides could weigh in on it.

The government of the SBC is "bottoms up" not "top down".

Anecedotal evidence suggests to me that Dr. Floyd's idea of "cooperation" vis. a vis. "modes/administrator of baptism" is "widely held" in the SBC. Of couse, I don't know if it is the "majority" position of the churches or not.

I don't think this problem is going away by "sweeping it under the rug."

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Dave Miller said...

Maybe, Wade, if all the junk that has gone on in the last couple of years has served any purpose, it has been to protect Jerry Rankin from being fired by the likes of Hatley and Floyd.

It seemed clear to me from the start that they were out for Rankin.

Yet, perhaps, the response to the policies, which has not changed the policies, perhaps slowed down the movement to force Rankin out.

Dave Miller said...

And one more thing - to write those notes to Dr. Rankin in response to his positions would have been acceptable theological debate.

To include them in a public release was tacky, at best.

To refuse to let Dr. Rankin's words come to the Board without his comments - spiritual cowardice.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Paul B.
Ethan I'm proud that you are from KY.

Florence in KY

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Wade,

Even though I’m not sure that either man really ever dreamed that their thoughts on these subjects would be aired to the blog culture, …the information is probably not to much unlike what we all go through when we think about these subjects.

Your comment….. “Finally, I believe the letter above proves that the reason some don't like blogs is because they lose control of the both the amount and kind of information they wish released. The IMB President desired his letter to be communicated widely. Southern Baptists operate CHRISTIAN ministries, and Rankin's request for open communication is the mark of genuine, Christ-like leadership. The ability to debate issues among Southern Baptists with civility, cooperate with brothers holding to divergent views, and keep our focus on the gospel is the need of the hour.”

Hopefully this openness will get accomplished. The SBC can use a huge dose of biblical truth and freedom. I did find it interesting that Jerry schooled John on one subject and then John schooled Jerry on the other. It is just too bad that the discussion was controlled and conducted in such a strange and devious manner.

I too hope that the new chairman will shed light not shadows.

Blessings,
Chris

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I just do not understand the need to be so secretive by the IMB and not to allow open disagreement. These do not seem like Baptist characteristics.

Ish Engle said...

Michael, isn't a spirit of love a sign of Biblical/Theological correctness? This letter oozed with legalistic, dogmatic, arrogant, dismissive, rude, and flat out un-Christlike comments. To ignore that this was anything BUT "politically motivated is naive and insulting."

Clearly, his comments were not "to be Biblical" but to be dogmatic. Any other reading of these comments is biased, slanted and WAY of base (actually, in a totally different ballpark from the base!)

Pastor Hilliard said...

Wade,
I have to strongly echo Dave Rogers comments. I'm not always with you 100% on things but this post really opens eyes. Quite frustrating and disturbing.

I do have to say that Rankins letter really impressed me. I loved his spirit and his reasoning.

But I also have to echo the first few post as well. What to do?

One things for sure, we can't just sit and be quite.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Despite all the negativity toward our brother in Christ--John--I think it is important to know a bit about the distinguished career of a man who will inherit the Kingdom of God with us, a man who has traversed the creation of God, a man who has been used by God to spread the Word, and whose experience demands respect.

John D. Floyd, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Missions
MABTS

TEACHING EXPERIENCE:
Director and Instructor in Pastor/Laymen Institutes in Philippines; Visiting Instructor, Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Baguio, Philippines; Instructor, Professor, Vice President, Chairman of Missions Department, Director of Doctor of Ministry Program, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; Lecturer, European Baptist Assembly; Lecturer, Leadership Conferences and Mission Meetings, Europe.

FIELD EXPERIENCE:
Pastor of Yocana Baptist Church, Mena, Arkansas; Ouachita Baptist Church, Sparkman, Arkansas; Tunnel Hill Baptist Church, Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Corinth Baptist Church, Decatur, Texas; Denman Avenue Baptist Church, Lufkin, Texas; Missionary to Philippines under Foreign Mission Board, S.B.C.; Director of Department of Church Growth, Philippine Baptist Mission; Director of Missionary Enlistment Department, The Foreign Mission Board, S.B.C.; Area Director for Europe, Foreign Mission Board, S.B.C.; Regional Leader for Central and Eastern Europe, International Mission Board, S.B.C.; extensive travel in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Central America; manager for overseas projects for Christian foundation.

WRITINGS:
Training Union series for Philippine Baptists; programmed instruction materials on Preaching for Philippine Baptist Theological Education by Extension Program; edited and published Stewardship Program in four languages for Philippine Baptist churches; adapted and published WIN Lay Evangelism School Program in four languages; Home Bible Study Series for Philippine Baptist Mission; Editor and Publisher of Philippine Baptist Church Growth Bulletin; various articles on missions issues; articles for missionary publications and journals.

HONORS:
President of Men’s Student Government, President of Junior Class, Ouachita Baptist College; Listed in Personalities of the South; Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in the South/Southwest; Who’s Who in the World.

MEMBERSHIPS:
International Association for Mission Studies; American Society of Missiology; National Planned Giving Association; American Management Association; Association of Evangelical Professors of Missions; Midwest Fellowship of Professors of Missions; North American Society for Church Growth.

OTHER EXPERIENCE:
U.S. Army; Manager of shoe store, Fort Worth, Texas; Sales Manager of home improvement company, Fort Worth, Texas.
*****************

What arrogance it is to speak ill of a man with this record. If he has wronged you, the forgive him, 70x7...

...God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. To worry about the state of the IMB is foolish. For God is the President and CEO of the IMB. Not Rankin, or Floyd, or Burleson. Nothing happens at the IMB without God's knowledge. Nothing happens in the SBC without God's knowledge. No one is going to be in hell because someone messed up at the IMB, or because a missionary couldn't drink, or because Wade and John could not get along.

You all can stop worrying. All of the elect will be in heaven I promise you.




If you are worrying that the Gospel is not being spread around the world, then go preach in a mall (women included). Go witness to a bum in a park. Ask your neighbor if they are going to heaven or hell.

God determined the effect of the IMB on the world even before William Carey went to India.

Have a tiny bit of faith that God can use faulty men to do His work. Be satisfied in God.

Most of you on here are NOT.

tomgreene said...

Can we do what was done in 1979 - go out gather up messengers put them on the bus - send them to the convention vote for a president get right back on the bus and go home - hey it worked once before

Tommy

Anonymous said...

KMC - Please don't quote Piper as if the comments are your own. You are not that impressive especially when people like me recognize his quotes. Notations please!

It also makes me ill to realize that you apparently have placed a value in Piper's teachings as he is one of my favorites.

KMC = Piper - Talk about contrast!

Please grab an Osteen book so I can feel better.

If Piper reads this blog and your comments, I'm sure he is ill with this thought as well.

Re: your silly little comment surrounded by Piper's brilliance, try this third grade analogy and see if you can follow it. It was difficult for me to dumb it down, but here it goes.

Man robs bank.
Same man gives $100 to Idol Gives Back charity.
Judge lets "charity-giving / bank robber" man go free.
Judge tells court room observers to calm down because God will sort it out.

Like all your other comments, simply ridiculous.

smithwe said...

K. Michael Crowder,

There are many So Called Christians who think they are among the Elect.
Not all So Called Christians are in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. ESV

In His Name
Wayne

Anonymous said...

So let's see KMichael (I can't believe I am even responding to your drivel...but here goes)...by your logic, because a man (or woman) has stellar credentials, he rises above accountability to the very churches who appointed him to a task? Is that right? Who are we (lowly pastors and "run of the mill SBs) to question those with experience and credentials? Sounds kind of "popish" to me.

Also, do credentials excuse a man's disrespect and intentional undermining of a brother in Christ? Should arrogance and unkindness be excused as well?

Why don't you post Dr. Rankin's resume and list his writings and ask the very same questions?

It is not about "worry" (as you put it) but rather about accountability and stewardship. Holding accountable the stewards who oversee our cooperative institutions and manage the funds that we send them. NO-ONE is above accountability.

Guess I better get busy gettin' me some learning and degrees so I can roll-over whomever I want with no fear of consequences!

Ethan in KY

knnuki said...

None of us knows what the "majority of Southern Baptists" think about this: to claim we do is not reasonable. But I know quite a few SBs and do not know one - not even one - who would agree with Floyd's restrictive view. Despite attempts to demonstrate the contrary, his views are not normative anywhere I know (including in the pages of the scripture).

Gary said...

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

Permit me a bit of an aside, but there is a thread that continues to weave in and out of these discussions over the last 2+ years: baptism.

I openly admit that I am no biblical scholar, but what is it about the two verses above which "we", and that includes the Baptist Identity / neo-Landmarkists, cannot boil down to "it is not about us"? Stay with me here.

If these neo-Landmarkers (OK, I'm still searching for the best phrasing of this) are so terribly convinced that it is so terribly important just who it was that baptized them and how they were baptized, then does that render Eph 2:8-9 invalid? I've asked this before, but...what if the guy who baptized them was not baptized according to their neo-Landmarkish tenets? What if the guy who baptized the guy who baptized them didn't meet their criteria? ARE THEY LOST? I'm asking in all seriousness. OK, so maybe my tongue is just a teeny bit in-cheek when I ask.

Many of us can see how this house of cards collapses pretty quickly. Neo-Landmark baptisms are the one of the funniest caricatures of church life which I can imagine.
This to me is just another one of those things which JUST DOESN'T MATTER! I have been witness all of my life of baptism. Not once, not ever, did I hear a Baptist pastor say that "you must be baptized to be saved". Not once. Not once, not even hinted at Oklahoma Baptist University, not once at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary did I ever hear "you must be baptized to be saved". Baptism is what we as Baptists do to indicate, by example, that we are followers of Christ. But it is of itself not Salvic.

Tell me again just why it is important for me to know who baptized Rev. Lee Perrin, and how?

And finally, why is that of critical-mass for missionaries?

Just asking.

Gary Skaggs
Norman, Oklahoma

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I believe we’re seeing some of the things that will be revealed in your book that you, at one time, decided not to write, and then decided to write but not publish, and then…I don’t know its present status.

I believe your book is much needed to get the SBC back on course without waiting for a lot of ‘good funerals’ as it would prove once more the “pen is mightier than the sword”.

However, I have a problem relating to your saying, “…a convention that is supposed to be built on cooperation.” That’s a good statement, but our present convention was built by C/R leaders who took over by ‘scare tactics’ with a smoke screen ‘battle for the Bible’ which demanded obedience for inerrancy.
They argued the glue that held Baptist together was ‘doctrine’ and NOT ‘missions’.

Doctrine is their god: “We have our ‘Inerrancy’ and no one is going to take it away.” (Said by a ‘guard’ at a SBC.)

Our present vice-president of the SBC, Jim Richards, as far as I know, has not ‘repented’ for saying, “Those who depart theologically will be identified and called to repent.” (Baptist Standard November 18, 1998)

I think they believe you’re free to believe any doctrine as long as it agrees with them.
That’s why “trustee leadership”, John Floyd, wrote all over Jerry Rankin’s letter to cram HIS doctrine into the minds of the trustees. He thought his despicable act would stay secrete but is now being ‘shouted from the housetops’.

Would Rankin have written his letter if he had taken his own advice he gave missionaries in 1997?
He wrote for them to have “a confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree.” Hmmmm


Gary Skaggs,
To answer your question, read the above…because of doctrinal freaks. (No tongue in-cheek.)

Mike Marshall said...

As my grandpa said, "You made your bed son now go lie in it". This is precisely the same meanspiritedness and hatefulness that has been displayed by the fundamentalist group since the Takeover movement began 30+ years ago. Were there some professors at seminaries that should not have been there, most probably. But by getting rid of them we lost TOO MANY good professors and administrators and have replaced them with others on the extreme other end of the spectrum that are even worse because these demand that we believe as they do because they evidently have the only batphone that goes straight to God.

This "ends justify the means" attitude is a part of the Takeover's DNA and it will not change short of true repentance. Those in places of high stature in the Convention, and their appologists, have behaved this way so long it has become second nature. Regardless of the "reasons" for the Takeover, Christ would have NEVER condoned these actions. And what's just as bad as these actions is the inaction of other Believers to stop thus unchristlike behavior.

If that sounds harsh let's review the stats present in the SBC today.

Actual membership: down
Baptisms: down
Seminary enrollment: down (even though the current numbers include homemaking classes and others designed to keep the numbers up)
Convention attendance: down
The only constant is the fighting and meanspiritedness on display for the whole world to observe. My what good witnesses for the Kingdom we are.

Frankly, I don't see God's blessing upon this Convention right now. The SBC resembles Judah and Isreal during some of their rebellious times and God finally would tire of it and withhold his blessing until they did repent.

Wade, they are treating you, JR and any others that will not toe their line the same way others have been treated for over 30 years.

Keep up the good fight.

From the pew,
mm

ezekiel said...

KMC,

The best I can tell, the pharisees were all highly acclaimed, learned men with many credentials.

Do you ever wonder why Jesus chose nothing that resembled that when He chose disciples?

You claim Floyd is a disciple. Maybe you can tell us why he is acting like a pharisee. Better yet, can you tell us how a servant of Christ can write what Floyd writes? By his writings, does Floyd serve Christ, or does it look more like Floyd serves Floyd?

Don Smith

Joel Rainey said...

Many of you have really come down on KMC because of his post, and while I strongly dissagree with his contention that Dr. Floyd's prior resume somehow places him above the need to be held accountable, his listing of Dr. Floyd's past record should remind all of us of something many commenters obviously aren't thinking about.

John Floyd is a flawed man (surprise!), and so am I. Early in my ministry, I can see where I might have done something similar. Granted, I was in my mid-twenties, and I was NOT serving as IMB Board chairman. Nevertheless, my point is that Christians-genuine Christians-even those who have served Christ for decades, mess up big-time.

If this letter is an example of the kind of tactics John Floyd has used, he should be called to account for it. At the same time, "heresay" about his past service record, character assassination, and worst of all, judging the status of his relatioship with Christ based on only one letter, are themselves deplorable actions.

I would humbly ask all of us to think long and hard about what we post here concerning a professed brother in Christ. I believe the tactics he used in presenting Dr. Rankin's letter were wrong. I believe his narrow views are wrong. But neither of these exempts me, or any of you, from our Scriptural mandate to speak the truth in love.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

KMC,

I was stunned at your FIRST post in this thread (Thu Apr 10, 01:42:00 AM 2008). I was actually going to give you a kudos for the nice post.

But then you just couldn't stop yourself.

I was stunned at your statement that "experience demands respect."

Really?

Would somebody post Wade's resume for KMC?

It probably wont match up to Floyd's, but I assume it will trump KMC's. And using his own logic, Burleson will then have demanded KMC's respect with his experience.

Anonymous said...

We need an investigation this sounds like "Baptist-Gate" my faith is in jeopardy heads should Roll I can't take it anymore please help me .
Help is on the way " Dr. Wade will Rise again"
My soul rejoices we are saved at last we are saved at Las

othoniel a valdes sr

K. Michael Crowder said...

David L: I respect Wade. I would even go so far as to honor his accomplishments. I said that “experience demands respect”. Some twisted that to say that I said Floyd is above scrutiny. I did not say that. But while criticizing him, we ought to rise above the opinions expressed by those who may or may not have been wronged.

To the Anon who loves Piper. I love Piper too, but you might want to read the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Confession before you copyright Piper's words.

Love to all,

Kevin

Anonymous said...

It is far past time that elected SBC leaders should receive feedback from contributing churches about their poor performance.

Since the annual Convention is closely controlled and feedback is not welcome, we need to find other ways of making the thinking of the churches known to them.

Withholding contributions as a protest is not attractive to many churches because they are so committed to missions and missionaries. They do not want to hinder the work.

One method that comes to mind is that of PETITION. It is a time-honored method for the people to use in expressing opinions to persons in authority.

Groups of churches and associations of churches need to speak. They need to petition leaders and boards when they disagree with their decisions.

Current SBC leadership is sure that it understands the will of the churches. In my experience, it does not. They need feedback.

Someone start the petitions rolling, please. It is time.

JFritz

Anonymous said...

In reflection,

I am not sure pastors can put themselves on the line with petitions. Laypeople need to lead this campaign. Pastors come and go. Laypeople represent what churches really think, and they give the money.

Rise up, O people of God. It is time to speak.

JFritz

Lee said...

One of the problems we have in the SBC is the complete lack of an independent media. Our media outlets get their budgets from the Cooperative Program, and are under the direct control of trustees. We've seen examples of what happens to people's jobs when they happen to print the truth.

Bloggers are the independent media voice of the SBC. Is that an ideal situation? Probably not, since bloggers are not always governed by the same principles as independent media. But bloggers can build their own reputation for integrity and honesty, and fairness, in relating events. This blog has done that. There should be no fear of open honesty, even in the most difficult of disagreements, when it comes to people knowing what you are doing. Southern Baptists pay the bills for our agencies and institutions, and in so doing, we should be able to find out what every trustee is doing and saying on our behalf if we want to. We can then make an informed decision one way or the other.

Seeing this post has prompted and encouraged me to do my best to be in Indianapolis in June.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Anon,

You do not have access to Google? You do not have internet access?

btw, what is CV?

Information that I have access to which you do not.

Dave Miller said...

There is no way to change the SBC except the one that the CR used. The entities are in friendly relationship with the convention, but are governed independently by the BoT's.

I don't necessarily like it, but that is the way it is.

If you want to change things, you have two options. First, you elect a president who agrees with you viewpoint and will nominate trustees who will enact your agenda. That will take time.

The other option is to go to the convention and move the removal of the BoT and the direct replacement. Or, you can move that money be withheld from the entity until they comply.

The IMB can, from the information I have received, ignore motions enacted at the SBC and continue to do as they please.

The only options for change are to change the BoT or to withhold money to force compliance. The money thing won't happen.

The only workable option is to change the BoT, either over time or more confrontationally.

The only option that has a chance to work is the "CR" method. Elect presidents who will make nominations to the BoT and change the nature of the Board.

K. Michael Crowder said...

cut and paste this url:


http://www.mabts.edu/templates/cusmabts/details.asp?id=23267&PG=Directory&CID=148607

Tom Parker said...

othoniel a valdes sr and kmc:

You guys are like two peas in a pod. You type words that to the majority are a waste of time to read.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

"The notes that Dr. Floyd wrote speak for themselves." I would sure like to hear what Dr. Floyd has to say about his notes, but I am afraid none of us will ever know because I feel sure he feels it beneath him to have to explain things to others. My heart goes out to you for having to put up with someone as vindictive as this man appears.

Anonymous said...

KMC...

When one is published they present a CV, when one is not it is called a resume...

Happy to help you with upgrading your knowledge base...

A 10-40 Windows Missionary

prolepticlife said...

Wade,
After reading the letter from Dr. Rankin and the comments written in the margins I can see why you did what you did in dealing with this issue. Apparently we are headed toward landmarkism.

I found it incredibly condescending toward Dr. Rankin that his views were labeled "ridiculous" and "illogical" repeatedly. For someone who went to great lengths to label you divisive in what you said, he sure didn't treat Dr. Rankin with any due respect in his commentary on the letter.

Thanks for making this letter available to be read it explained a lot.

Anonymous said...

I printed out copies of the letter for WMU and other groups at my SBC church.

BTW: There is never any 'drama' when everyone is afraid to disagree. You were a great example of what happens to those who disagree. It is amusing to see some congratulate themselves on this. Kinda like Hilter bragging about his unified generals.

Lucy

Elisabeth said...

A homogenous Baptist identity scares me. That means priesthood of the believer goes out the window, in favor of the church telling people what to believe.

K. Michael Crowder said...

To one of the earlier anons,

I mentioned the Westminster Confession in response to something you said.....scratch that. The "God is most glorified.." quote is of course from Piper. I guess I thought I had typed the "chief end" quote.

Anyway, its all good stuff.


K

K. Michael Crowder said...

"A homogenous Baptist identity scares me. That means priesthood of the believer goes out the window, in favor of the church telling people what to believe."

Liz,

You seem to assume that the Priesthood of the Believer means that you can believe what ever you want about the Bible. It does NOT mean that.

K


K

Lin said...

"You seem to assume that the Priesthood of the Believer means that you can believe what ever you want about the Bible. It does NOT mean that."

I am not sure how you got that out of her comment. I guess you 'assumed' it.

So are you 'assuming' the Holy Spirit does not teach individuals truth from the Word? Even ordinary, non-seminary educated individuals?

Anonymous said...

KMC does it again!

"To one of the earlier anons, I mentioned the Westminster Confession in response to something you said.....scratch that. The "God is most glorified.." quote is of course from Piper. I guess I thought I had typed the "chief end" quote."

Just as I said KMC.

I was going to humiliate you but I just knew you would point it out yourself. Of course, I was right.

You see KMC, I am learning that you have a foot-shaped mouth. With people like you, others don't need to correct each one of your statements. We just let you keep talking and the rope will get good and tight without any help from anyone else.

I am also doubting that you comprehended my third grade analogy as well.

CmlCros said...

Wade,
Thanks for being a voice of truth. I never really understood what you've been going through until last week. I'm with the IMB in the NAME region and blog anonymously (for security reasons). 2 weeks ago I was told by my SL that I was gossiping by writing about him on my blog. Well, never did I mention his name, his position on my blog. I merely asked questions in a way to help me work through issues. He saw my questions as equal to gossip. This is one of the big issues with the IMB, we don't allow for questions. Bush would love it because with us you're either with us or against us.

Wade, we need a voice. There are alot of us on the field that are struggling, we are under leaders not equipped to be leaders and yet there is no feedback process. There's also accountability. What do we do? I'm discouraged and now my way of processing is seen (as yours is) as a source of dissention.
camelcrossing.net

othoniel a valdes sr said...

Tom Parker:
I love been a pea and wasting your time.

a missionary said...

Being a worker with the IMB I was not suprised with the leaderships response towards Jerry Rankin. I remember when they first asked us to sign our names on the BFM I asked Dr Rankin how much of this is coming from the outside. He indicated alot. I told him that given the amount of pressure he was under I would be in prayer for him. I also mentioned that in signing it "again"
( we all had to sign it in the application process)I felt it like a group of commandos who were out on the front line defending their country. One day their captain shows up and says that they all have to report back to boot camp and sign their names on the declaration of independence because some insecure politicians doubted our loyalty and committment to America.

I told Dr Rankin that I would sign it for the sake of our mission work and if this is what was needed to silence those
"preaching circumcision".
Needless to say most of us felt that it was a slap in face at the time. I distinctly remember asking him if one's private prayer language was next on the list? Well guess what? Four years later it happened.
I am honestly praying for that day when the IMB as well as other entities of the SBC will flooded with trustees who are not locked into the prison of fear, control and manipulation. The Body of Christ is much bigger than just us.
Perhaps it's issues like this that has caused the blessing of God to move on to countries like South Korea and India who has surpassed America in sending workers out to other countries.
I think it time we all do a heart check.

Anonymous said...

(Being a worker with the IMB I chose remain annonymous for security reasons.) I was not suprised with the president of trustees response towards JR. I remember when they first asked us to sign our names on the BFM I asked JR how much of this is coming from the outside. He indicated alot. I told him that given the amount of pressure he was under I would be in prayer for him. I also mentioned that in signing it "again"
( we all had to sign it in the application process)I felt it like a group of commandos who were out on the front line defending their country. One day their captain shows up and says that they all have to report back to boot camp and sign their names to the U.S. Constitution because some insecure politicians doubted our loyalty and committment to America.

I told JR that I would sign it for the sake of our work and if this is what was needed to silence those "preaching circumcision".
Needless to say most of us felt that it was a slap in face at the time. In our conversation I distinctly remember asking JR if one's private prayer language was next on the list? Well guess what? Four years later it happened.
I am honestly praying for that day when the IMB as well as other entities of the SBC will flooded with trustees who are not locked into the prison of fear, control and manipulation. The Body of Christ is much bigger than just us.
Perhaps it's issues like this that has caused the blessing of God to move on to countries like South Korea and India who has surpassed America in sending workers out to other countries.
It's heart check time.

Anonymous said...

(Being a worker with the IMB I chose remain annonymous for security reasons.) I was not suprised with the president of trustees response towards JR. I remember when they first asked us to sign our names on the BFM I asked JR how much of this is coming from the outside. He indicated alot. I told him that given the amount of pressure he was under I would be in prayer for him. I also mentioned that in signing it "again"
( we all had to sign it in the application process)I felt it like a group of commandos who were out on the front line defending their country. One day their captain shows up and says that they all have to report back to boot camp and sign their names to the U.S. Constitution because some insecure politicians doubted our loyalty and committment to America.

I told JR that I would sign it for the sake of our work and if this is what was needed to silence those "preaching circumcision".
Needless to say most of us felt that it was a slap in face at the time. In our conversation I distinctly remember asking JR if one's private prayer language was next on the list? Well guess what? Four years later it happened.
I am honestly praying for that day when the IMB as well as other entities of the SBC will flooded with trustees who are not locked into the prison of fear, control and manipulation. The Body of Christ is much bigger than just us.
Perhaps it's issues like this that has caused the blessing of God to move on to countries like South Korea and India who has surpassed America in sending workers out to other countries.
It's heart check time.

Anonymous said...

for those anonymous missionaries
who signed documents without conviction you may want to find another stream of ministry & income
may the anonymous crowd decline
for ever
anonymous

Anonymous said...

for those anonymous missionaries
who signed documents without conviction you may want to find another stream of ministry & income
may the anonymous crowd decline
for ever
anonymous

Tue Apr 15, 07:44:00 PM 2008

Too bad our overpaid, powerful leaders won't find another income stream besides our tithe dollars. Some are living quite well.

Anonymous, too because I know how revengful they are to anyone who dares question them.

Anonymous said...

to the ononymous that has a problem with others making more money then Her Or Him "jealousy "is not a virtue and you sound bitter .
Always
Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Dr: Floyd comments were private in nature and he has the freedom to do with it what he wants.
Dr Ranking could have written an open letter to all the board but he choose not do do so.
DR. Rankin could have addressed all his concerns about the changes with the full board and maybe he did .
So if you guys & gals have a problem with the new guidelines blame the Board and not Dr.Floyd he only had one vote like Dr.Wade

Anonymous said...

Sad tale. This is what happens when a major denomiation rides the tiger of the extreme far right; and wakes up only when they have been consumed.

The tactics alone of the abusers are a give-away as to their true agenda: and there is nothing Christian about that.