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

Full Disclosure and Christian Integrity in the SBC

ABC News is airing a special series entitled "Fifty States in Fifty Days. " ABC is traveling to the fifty states of our union to film special features that are broadcast during ABC World News Tonight. Last Sunday night, September 28th, 2008, the ABC Fifty States Series focused on Kentucky and what the people of that state think about Sarah Palin's Vice-Presidential candidacy. A portion of the piece was filmed on the campus Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. An official release from Southern Theological Seminary, on Dr. Mohler's blog Monday, September 29th, has Dr. Mohler saying about the three SBTS students who were interviewed:

I was really proud of our students, who spoke so well, so confidently, and so faithfully. This issue doesn't look to go away any time soon. A world so confused about so much can't believe that so many Christians believe that God intends for men and women to have different roles in the church.

I agree with President Mohler's assessment. The three young people and Dr. Mohler were all articulate and bright. However, I find it interesting that the three "students" interviewed are employed by Southern Theological Seminary and report directly to Dr. Russell Moore (see here regarding Miss Courtney Tarter, here about Mr. Toby Jennings, and here for Mr. Phillip Bethancourt). I called Dr. Moore at Southern Seminary yesterday to talk with him about his employees, but have not yet heard back from him. You might ask, "What's the big deal?" Well, maybe I am a little old fashioned, but it would seem to me that a Southern Seminary statement about the ABC News piece would be much closer to the truth if it were to have complete disclosure and Dr. Mohler would say:

I was really proud of our Southern Theological Seminary employees who also happen to be students. They spoke so well, so confidently, and so faithfully. Dr. Moore and I are proud to have on the payroll people who reflect our views so consistently. An evangelical world so confused about our Convention's demand that every conservative Christian interpret the Scriptures the way we do about men and women can't believe that we have students at our seminary who so faithfully hold to our interpretation of Scripture; but our employees showed the world that we do.

Just trying to do my part to keep our Convention honest (wink).

And, by the way, I agree with Southern's views (i.e. President Mohler and her employees) - I just think it is detrimental to attempt to label conservative evangelicals who disagree with us as either "worldly," "liberal," or a threat to evangelicalism, and maybe even sillier to pawn off employees whose future pay is on the line as free thinking "students." We Southern Baptists sometimes act as if truth needs a tight, vigorous defense; but like Spurgeon, I believe truth is like a lion and simply needs to be loosed, not defended. We Southern Baptists need to be humble enough to realize that the more we try to control the presentation of "the lion of truth" to others the more we might need to take a look at whether or not we've simply caged our personal system of beliefs and appointed guardians with instructions to protect her; all the while fearful other Christians might actually ask us to open the cage and prove we really have a lion.

Let her loose. Create an atmosphere of healthy debate. Don't be afraid ABC might actually interview a student who disagrees. And, above all, let's have a Convention where full disclosure is the norm, not the exception.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

137 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are "da" man.

My wife and I thought about leaving the SBC (in seminary at Southern). We are not leaving, and it is because of a rise of people in the SBC who are committed to our Convention, like you, and yet are completely unafraid to speak the truth in love - about us as a Convention - instead of always condemning the world. We feel we truly have a home now and are not simply playing a religious game.

Anonymous for good reasons, but hopefully not for long.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Anonymous,

By the way, I have recommended Southern Seminary to four young people in our church who are now getting their Masters' degrees at Southern Seminary based upon my recommendation. It's a great place to get an education. I also tell them, like I do you and your wife, to keep an open mind and be like the Bereans at all times.

The Southern Baptist Convention will be better off when you do.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to be critical of Mohler because his theology is so right on. He is awesome!

But I do hear what you are saying Wade.

It was probably the best answer we could expect to hear from a president of a seminary that is going to reach a wide and diverse audience.

But again, I hear your point.

Would have loved for ABC to have asked you once they got to OK.! :)

Anonymous said...

It is about controlling the message. There are a few at SBTS who do not agree with Mohler but they would not be allowed to speak.

I have to wonder why ABC allowed them to choose the students to talk.

I know quite a few grad students there who want their degrees and to get out. They see the handwriting on the wall with the whole 'subordination of the Trinity' and the subjection of women and their 'roles'. And the the new focus on Family Integrated Church. SBTS is teaching authoritarian' doctrine instead of servanthood. They are promoting men as earthly priests and teaching the doctrine of 'lording it over'. I do not know how you can recommend that to someone young and impressionable who will follow their professors over cliffs.


Lydia

Anonymous said...

'It's hard for me to be critical of Mohler because his theology is so right on. He is awesome!"

What theology? He claims to be a Calvinist but goes to an Arminian church. He claims to be evangelistic but spends his time at war with the culture instead of evangelizing.

His words and actions do not match.

Lydia

rmkton said...

Wade,

I know our points of view on many issues do not even come close to agreement, but if you had spoken these words (regarding the truth-lion analogy) in the context of a Sunday morning sermon I would have been the first to get up and shout "Amen, Amen, and Amen!"

Mike

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade: Below is what I attempted to e-mail to Ms. Tarter. I wanted for her to try to understand a different viewpoint: one that is not black or white, but clearly somewhere lost in the middle of the controversy:

"Many women today must take up roles because the husbands have not helped or have abandoned the family.
In such cases, the unfairness in the 'market place' does cause some of these women to question the traditional view of women as subordinate, inadequate, weak, meek, etc.

About ten years ago, as a teacher, I received a phone call from a mother. She was ranting and raving about how dare I let her son fail: I knew from her voice, that far more was wrong than just the matter she was addressing.

I asked this mother: "Are you okay? I think you are very distressed. What is wrong?"

She began to cry. She stated that she couldn't take it any more: her husband was unemployed and unwilling to help in any way; she was responsible for earning the income commensurate with its medical benefits for the family. Her boss was 'hitting on her' and she was terrified. She told me she felt trapped and did not know what to do.. She needed the job: another child was chronically ill , so the medical benefits were the issue. Her boss knew her situation and used it to pressure her for sexual favors. This woman was absolutely terrified.

In a case like this, where is the Church that says women should stay 'in their place'. So many women need to work and are heavily discriminated against. If God is a just God, then the Church must not look the other way. And the Church must NOT support a status quo which continues the agony of women like my student's mother."

Wade,
I want my Church to reflect the justice and mercy of God; not to serve a 'status quo' that results in the victimization of women like my student's mother. I am haunted by her pain.

The labels don't work. This woman was a real, suffering human being. The issue is not 'liberal' or 'feminism'; it is justice and mercy. Christians need to be active in changing our world to reflect more of God's mercy.

L's Gran

Lin said...

I watched this and wanted to cry for that poor girl. She thinks it is sin to want to proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ to anyone... including men? She thinks it is sin to want to teach of His wonderful love to ANYONE?

She thinks it is her sin nature that would compel her to desire such a wonderful thing?

elizabeth said...

To Lin: That's not what Miss Tarter said. The exchange went like this -
ABC Reporter: So never in the deepest recesses of your mind have you ever thought, “This is unfair. These guys get to do it [be a pastor], but I can’t.”

Ms. Tarter: Oh, of course I’ve said it in the deep recesses of my mind . . . because I’m a sinner.

Proclaiming the Lord and the message of salvation and serving as a pastor are not the same things. It's possible to do the first without being the second.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Are you a one issue man?..I think we understand your position on women.
Are you broader than this one issue?

Just a question?

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

P.S I would encourage you to keep an open mind to the those in Al Mohlers camp on this issue!

Lin said...

ABC Reporter: So never in the deepest recesses of your mind have you ever thought, “This is unfair. These guys get to do it [be a pastor], but I can’t.”

Ms. Tarter: Oh, of course I’ve said it in the deep recesses of my mind . . . because I’m a sinner.

Proclaiming the Lord and the message of salvation and serving as a pastor are not the same things. It's possible to do the first without being the second."

Elisabeth, we make so much of titles and buildings. What is a pastor? It is mentioned once in the NT as far as I can tell.

So are you saying she could 'prophesy' or teach at church with a mixed group? But being a pastor is not ok? What is the difference?

Anonymous said...

I heard the interview and am not surprised that the students were hand-picked. How many more shoes are going to have to fall before Southern Baptists wake up and get on with Kingdom business?

Florence in KY

Geoff Baggett said...

Wade,

I think this one is a bit of a reach. There are few grad students who live on a campus who are not employed, at one time or another, by their school.

I would venture to guess that these were chosen as some of the "brightest and best" and rewarded with the opportunity to appear.

Lydia ... you claim, "I know quite a few grad students there who want their degrees and to get out. They see the handwriting on the wall with the whole 'subordination of the Trinity' and the subjection of women and their 'roles'. And the the new focus on Family Integrated Church. SBTS is teaching authoritarian' doctrine instead of servanthood. They are promoting men as earthly priests and teaching the doctrine of 'lording it over'."

Bunch of baloney. Sounds more like some talking points from a blog post.

I graduated Southern with my M.Div in 2007. I studied there, on and off, from 2000-2007, both on campus and at the Nashville extension center. I never once ... not once ... encountered anything that resembles the mess that you describe. Indeed, I met some of the most humble, godly, Spirit-filled, servants I have ever known during my time there.

I suggest you check your sources. The ones you have seem to share your axe. Or better yet, weigh your words before you issue judgment upon something in which you are not personally invested.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lin,

I'll quote your quote:
"ABC Reporter: So never in the deepest recesses of your mind have you ever thought, “This is unfair. These guys get to do it [be a pastor], but I can’t.”

Ms. Tarter: Oh, of course I’ve said it in the deep recesses of my mind . . . because I’m a sinner."

Maybe the sin is willfully ignoring that small, still voice in the deep recesses of her mind that might have been a prompting from the Holy Spirit.

Our insights are not all of our own making. Sometimes they are gifts of light in the darkness.

Joe Blackmon said...

ABC Reporter: So never in the deepest recesses of your mind have you ever thought, “This is unfair. These guys get to do it [be a pastor], but I can’t.”

Ms. Tarter: Oh, of course I’ve said it in the deep recesses of my mind . . . because I’m a sinner.

Proclaiming the Lord and the message of salvation and serving as a pastor are not the same things. It's possible to do the first without being the second.

It is so refreshing to see that some people "get it". I mean, it's all pretty clear if anyone will take the time to just read. Thank God for people like Ms. Tarter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

Help me out here. I am not a Baptist. My religion does not permit women to serve in a pastoral position. HOWEVER, I had thought that BAPTISTS believed in something called the
"priesthood of all believers." Am I wrong about this?

If I am wrong, I will stand corrected. If, however, you say that I am right in my assumption, then, I have ANOTHER question:

If all members of the body of Christ are members of the 'priesthood of all believers'; then what is a 'priest' but a pastor? In my religion, some clergy even carry a shepherd's staff to symbolize this.

So, Joe, please help me out with my thinking here. Grateful if you can help, as I am seeing this controversy from a whole 'nother perspective. :)

L's Gran

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Geoff...you said, "I think this one is a bit of a reach. There are few grad students who live on a campus who are not employed, at one time or another, by their school."

I lived on campus for three years at NOBTS...not once was I employed by the seminary. I served as a pastor. Most of my classmates did as well.

I wonder what the percentages are of students who work for the seminary. And, what percentage of campus employees are male and what percentage are female.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert I Masters,

You say to me, "I would encourage you to keep an open mind to the those in Al Mohlers camp on this issue!"

Open mind? Robert, what don't you understand in the following sentence in my post:

I agree with Southern's views (i.e. President Mohler's and her employees)

Your comment portrays that which I believe needs adjustment in our Convention. Let us hold to our convictions, let us speak what we believe is truth, but let us be loving to those who disagree, and let us never fear the articulation of a different position threatens our security.

And, above all, let us realize that the Kingdom of God is not synonymous with people who see eye to eye with us on all doctrines.

Blessings,

Wade

Joe Blackmon said...

L's Gran

First of all, I apologize in advance for the brevity of this response. I'm coming off my lunch and I've got to head off here.

A priest is much different than a pastor. A pastor shepherd's and leads a church. A priest intercedes before God for the people. The idea of the priesthood of all believers is that I, as a Christian, do not have to go to a human being to get access to God (i.e. going to a confessional booth to confess my sins) but rather I have direct access to God through Jesus Christ.

Geoff Baggett said...

Steve,

That would be an interesting question. I just noticed that in the times when I was on campus at Southern, many students were employed in food service, grounds keeping, maintenance, offices, etc... I know that way back in my college days (Union U. in Jackson, TN) I was a lab assistant for a year or two and my wife worked several hours in the bookstore each week.

I rather think that it is an admirable endeavor to provide one's students with the opportunity for employment. The seminary (as most do) also works to connect students with employment opportunities, both inside and outside the church. UPS employs several SBTS students at their hub.

I think the entire premise behind this discussion is simply the propensity to see a conspiracy behind every Southern Baptist bush.

The fact that these three students are employed (in some capacity) on campus does not nullify the fact that they are still students, and thus qualified to render a student opinion.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Students from Emmanuel to Southern=informants.

Do you realize that you are not liked on the campus of Southern Wade? I mean surely you do realize this. And, if their disdain was not supremely justified by your Mohler bashing, your York bashing, your Ware bashing, and your soon to come Moore bashing, their solidarity with their Arminian brother, Dr. Patterson is enough to bolster righteous anger for the destructive force you have become in the SBC.


But hey, way to go on your failed attempt to squeeze blood out of that turnip.


I have to admit dear sir that your jounalistic style has been getting sloppier as of late. We can all see now how much the loss of your research assistant, Dr. Cole, has had an affect. Now instead of tainted data, you simply write with NO data. How does that work?


In Love...really,



Kevin

Lin said...

Maybe the sin is willfully ignoring that small, still voice in the deep recesses of her mind that might have been a prompting from the Holy Spirit.

Our insights are not all of our own making. Sometimes they are gifts of light in the darkness.

Tue Sep 30, 01:53:00 PM 2008

The Holy Spirit would never lead her to something that scripture most definitely allows.

We have scripture to show us that women most definitely can and did preach to men. If you are referring to a few proof texts that are poorly interpreted, I would recommend Cheryl Schatz' DVD on Women: Silent or Set Free that goes through each one and backs it up with incredible research.

greg.w.h said...

I'm amazed that folks take you to task for pointing out an obvious POTENTIAL conflict of interest. It is entirely about appearances when you deal with potential conflicts of interest and there must be very high safeguards.

As you point out, it isn't surprising at all--factoring in that they receive their pay from the seminary--that each of the students are especially on message.

At my place of employment, each time I change managers I hand the new manager a statement of disclosure of a potential conflict of interest due to my brother being employed by a competitor doing pretty much exactly the same work I do. Failure to make that disclosure is an actionable offense against written policy and procedure that could include termination of employment.

Are those who defend against the criticism you raise suggesting that the world SHOULD have higher standards than Southern Baptists? Or should we be transparent about potential conflicts of interest even when we're helping get a news story out there that makes us look good?

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

geoff, I am sure you had an in with the 'ingroup'. :o)

And there is a bit of consternation about this FIC grad school stuff (after your time) and the whole subordination of the Trinity stuff...

Lydia

Tom Parker said...

Robert Masters and Joe Blackmon:

Robert you asked Wade--"Wade,
are you a one issue man?..I think we understand your position on women.
Are you broader than this one issue?

Just a question?"

Robert are you and Joe a one issue man?

Anonymous said...

"Do you realize that you are not liked on the campus of Southern Wade? "

You cannot make that blanket statement. He is very well liked by a few PhD students and even one or two at Boyce that I know. :o)

Lydia

Geoff Baggett said...

Lydia,

Hard to believe that much has transpired in 15 months (after my time).

And I have never been connected with the "in" group in SB life. I've always managed to fall short in the "who you know" category ... which seems to be the most critical element in SB life in most arenas. :)

rmkton said...

To Kevin C:

woe dude...next time drink the decaf...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think that someone who is an employee would publicly express views different from the expressed opinions of the administration where they worked? Not if they expected to keep their job long. Even, or maybe especially, at a Christian institution.

Susie

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade: "Just trying to do my part to keep our Convention honest (wink)."

I'm curious about your use of (wink) above. Seems like in a context like this a wink is usually some kind of hint or signal given that you don't really mean exactly what you say, or that you're being humorous. I'm baffled that you wouldn't really mean that you are doing your part to keep the Convention honest, so I don't think I should take it that way. What do you mean?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Do you realize that you are not liked on the campus of Southern Wade? "

Dear Anonymous:

So this is the price Wade paid for speaking out against the nonsense: a loss of popularity ?

POPULARITY??????? You're kidding.
Hitler was popular with the German people: so what?

If a Christian gentleman weighs the importance of popularity against his own integrity, Wade can tell you which one you must choose.



The SBC still knows for sure that at least one among them is not afraid to pay a price in order to keep his integrity and his honor.

Thy Peace said...

Anonymous said...
"Do you realize that you are not liked on the campus of Southern Wade? "


I believe the above was said by Kevin M. Crowder. Him and his mid-missouri humor.

Sad.

Wade Burleson said...

rl vaughn,

I thought about taking out the wink. It was my attempt to let people know that my post is written with a light-heart. In other words, the point of my post is serious - when you present solidarity and uniformity on a particular position, let the viewers know that everyone is employed by the seminary - but my tone is light-hearted cause I'm a supporter of the SBC.

Anonymous said...

Susie,
If someone willingly and voluntary signs the Abstract of Principles then they have agreed to do just such a thing.

I do know of many companies that do allow such a thing and in fact encourage it. It spurs innovation. The whole Open Source/free software movement is all about that challenge to the status quo.
Google is a prime example.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

If the price to be paid is personal dislike for pointing out the error of Southern Baptists demanding conformity on tertiary doctrines, ostracizing dissenters by calling them "liberal," and clamping down on true debate by only allowing spokespersons who pull the party line - then so be it. I desire to be at peace with every human being, but will not sacrifice the principle of promoting Christian charity for the currying of personal favor.

But there is something else that you might want to consider. One of the better measures of whether or not I am liked, or disliked, by Southern Seminary students is probably best seen in the mail (both email and snail mail) I receive from Southern students and faculty. It is safe to say you have not had the same pleasure as I of reading the mail that comes my way.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Guys:

I will pass on hunting the video down and reviewing it. I am assuming from the context that the students were all well-spoken and that at least one of them said something about affirming gender roles in the church and perhaps outside the church.

Well, my take on this is that I have spent a lifetime watching news organizations go to Baptist meetings, campuses etc. The news people are usually drawn like flies to honey to the most ignorant, unpolished and uncooth among us, (This means they usually talk to me!) or to complainers.

Seriously, every time I see a story featuring "Baptist" anything, I watch in horror - waiting for the portrayal of Christians as stupid, ugly, mean, uneducated, un-hip - you name it. Or some angry person who did not get their way.

I am rarely disappointed.

Now comes a story that actually portrays our flagship seminary as a place where nice, decent, smart and articulate students attend.

Hallelujah! I am thrilled. Let's all pop open the champaign - or sparkling cider.

It could have been worse. It could have featured those guys from Westboro Baptist in Kansas or Indiana protesting Dr. Mohler and Southern with "God Hates Fags" signs or someting like that. (By the way, in case you are wondering, the guy who leads that has essentially his own family and friends in the church, it's not a normal, real Baptist church. Interestingly, he ran as a Democrat for governor about 8 years ago or so. But - I digress).

Anyway, it's just good to hear good news.

Predictably, some are all worked up because their views didn't get promulgated. Others are worked up because they didn't find the handful of students that are dissenters (why in the world is Ben Cole at Baylor when something like this happens?). And others are worked up because Mohler doesn't identify the students as also being part time employees.

Aside from the wonderful news that Baptists are not "wacked out", there is no news here.

It's obvious that students are selected for things like that. The media could have chose random students if they wanted to. They did not.

Also, it's obvious that Southern would want to pick sharp people. Horrors of horrors!

Finally, it's not uncommon for seminaries and other religious schools to pick some of the sharper students for jobs and such.
And at Southern, that propbably means students who agree with the direction of the school.

Finally, Mohler's statement is completely honest - they are students and (apparently, since I did not see it) they represented the school well.

It's a great day for Baptists!

Believe me, for all of you who are disappointed, the media soon will be coming to the national or state convention, or maybe even to a church in your town where something controversial goes down. Get your talking points in order, drink at ton of coffee or gin (depending on where you are coming from on that score), grab the biggest, blackest Bible you own, and start foaming at the mouth. We can watch you on the next news show, and we can actually watch in real time what pollster's would say is the audience reaction. Any small gains made by this piece will be wiped out in an instant.

Just keep all of us posted on this blog as to when you plan to appear so we can watch and cry together as it happens.

Louis

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

I suspect ABC maybe the most slanted of the major networks. Maybe they should get a copy of your post so they can really give SBTS what for.

Your re-write of an alleged more honest answer from SBTS is interesting: "I was really proud of our Southern Theological Seminary employees who also happen to be students."

So the trio just "happen" to be students? Please, my brother. Why over-fry a perfectly good mess of potatoes? Why not just say SBTS is a seedbed of complementarianism in the SBC similar to it being a seedbed of Calvinism in the SBC?

Nonetheless, instead of playing in the sandbox, it's more fun, evidently, to kick sand in people's faces. Accordingly, Mohler & Moore's 3 Students should be renamed to Mohler & Moore's 3 Stooges for their cowardly accommodation to the conspiratorial agenda played on ABC, not to mention the SBC.

Further, Mohler & Moore are cohorts together in being sneaky, not revealing what they were really up to--dealing from the bottom of the deck.

"Is there any evidence for such conclusions?" is a question only the goof would consider. Nope. It's just all in Enid's vivid imagination.

With that, I am...

Peter

P.S. Geoff,

Irony of raw irony--on SBCImpact we rarely agree. In Enid, we agree. Makes me think of the White Rabbit...:^)

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

Perceptive comment and well-taken. My point, however, remains.

When you roll out three articulate spokespersons to present the Seminary's view on an issue - three people who are draw a paycheck from the Seminary - identify them as employees, not students.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Thanks for your comment. I don't think I understand what you wrote (and I read it twice), but thanks anyway.

Your friend,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

You and KMC ought to co-author something. Lots of words but no substance. You can do better.

Anonymous said...

Let me make one point, coming from the perspective of a television reporter:

ABC came to SBTS looking for people who believed Sara Palin was able to serve as Vice-President, but not as a pastor in a church. That's what the story was about. They weren't looking for a variety of views on this issue.

For that reason, it didn't really matter if they were students at the school, or students/employees. They were looking for some young people who would give the "company line," so to speak. They were not looking for a variety of views from people on campus. They didn't have time for that; they wanted a majority view. And what those students said does represent the general consensus among Southern Baptists.

The beauty of television news is that it's visual and has a feeling of immediacy. The weakness of it is that it doesn't really have the time to delve deeply into an issue, especially during a 30-minute nightly newscast, where each story is given two minutes max.

So I don't see any kind of cover-up or lack of full disclosure on this issue. If I was the reporter, I wouldn't have cared that they were also employed by the school, especially if I was looking for people who represented what the school commonly believed.

By the way, I think Dan Harris handled tLet me make one point, coming from the perspective of a television reporter:

ABC came to SBTS looking for people who believed Sara Palin was able to serve as Vice-President, but not as a pastor in a church. That's what the story was about. They weren't looking for a variety of views on this issue.

For that reason, it didn't really matter if they were students at the school, or students/employees. They were looking for some young people who would give the "company line," so to speak. They were not looking for a variety of views from people on campus. They didn't have time for that; they wanted a majority view. And what those students said does represent the general consensus among Southern Baptists.

The beauty of television news is that it's visual and has a feeling of immediacy. The weakness of it is that it doesn't really have the time to delve deeply into an issue, especially during a 30-minute nightly newscast, where each story is given two minutes max.

So I don't see any kind of cover-up or lack of full disclosure on this issue. If I was the reporter, I wouldn't have cared that they were also employed by the school, especially if I was looking for people who represented what the school commonly believed.

By the way, I think Dan Harris handled the story fairly well. It to me, came of pretty fair to both sides.

Wade Phillipshe story fairly well. It to me, came of pretty fair to both sides.

Wade Phillips
Meridian, Mississippi

Anonymous said...

Oops, messed that last line up. I should have said I thought Dan Harris handled the story well. Mistyping.
Wade Phillips

Anonymous said...

Wow, sorry, Wade. I really messed my comment up good, and have to log on as anonymous on this particular computer, so I can't change it.
Wade Phillips

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Where are all these women pastor's that some people seem to be so fixated on? For some one would appear to be too many.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

I understood Peter's post. Allow me to interpret:

Wade,

I suspect ABC maybe the most slanted of the major networks (Peter is saying: "The media is a bunch of liberal pagans going to hell"). Maybe they should get a copy of your post so they can really give SBTS what for. (Peter is saying: "You are a dang liberal yourself, on your way to hell as well, but I'm a SBC pastor and can't cuss so I'm saying it politely.")

Your re-write of an alleged more honest answer from SBTS is interesting: (Peter is saying: "You are dang liar") "I was really proud of our Southern Theological Seminary employees who also happen to be students."

So the trio just "happen" to be students? (Peter is saying: "You are a moron; forget they are employees, drink your koolaid, they are students, and how dare you question SBC authority) Please, my brother. (Peter is saying: "Please, you stupid idiot") Why over-fry a perfectly good mess of potatoes? (Peter is saying: uhhh . . .) Why not just say SBTS is a seedbed of complementarianism in the SBC similar to it being a seedbed of Calvinism in the SBC? (Peter is saying: "Why not just say you hate Southern Seminary") (editorial comment: Peter must not believe what you have written about yourself; a complementarian, Calvinist yourself and like Southern).

Nonetheless, instead of playing in the sandbox, it's more fun, evidently, to kick sand in people's faces. (Peter is saying: "You big, bad, bully.") Accordingly, Mohler & Moore's 3 Students should be renamed to Mohler & Moore's 3 Stooges for their cowardly accommodation to the conspiratorial agenda played on ABC, not to mention the SBC. (Peter is saying: "You try to sound so nice to everybody, but you really want to call people at Southern names like I do you, don't you? don't you? don't you? You big hypocrite)

Further, Mohler & Moore are cohorts together in being sneaky, not revealing what they were really up to--dealing from the bottom of the deck. (Peter is saying: "You two faced lying, sneaking son of a gun - you just act as if you want to keep the Southern Baptist honest, but in reality, you are the liar, you are the thief, you are the problem!")

"Is there any evidence for such conclusions?" is a question only the goof would consider. (Peter is saying (no translation needed): "You are a goof!") Nope. It's just all in Enid's vivid imagination. (Peter is saying: "Liar, liar pants on fire.")

With that, I am... (Peter is saying: "I don't know who the heck I am but I darn sure know who I want people to think I am.")

Peter

P.S. Geoff,

Irony of raw irony--on SBCImpact we rarely agree. In Enid, we agree. Makes me think of the White Rabbit...:^)
(Peter is saying: "You can be my enemy till you tell me you disagree with Wade Burleson and then you are my best friend.")

Hope that helps.

Bill

Wade Burleson said...

Wade Phillips,

Excellent observation. I agree with the point of your comment and have no problem with Southern presenting just one side of the issue - no problem at all.

My point is that it is best to reveal that the people presenting the side are employees of the seminary - that's all. Just say that they are on paid staff and report to Dr. Moore. I would have no problem with that kind of reporting.

It is simply a matter of disclosure on our part. Tell the whole story (full disclosure) and let the chips fall where they may.

Some may say it is not an important point to make.

I say it is - and I'm comfortable with those who disagree with me.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Bill,

Thanks for the interpretation. I'm not convinced that is what Peter was saying. I'll let Peter speak for himself.

wade

Joe Blackmon said...

Wait,
Peter is a pastor? I'm asking that with no intent of being a smart alec-I wanted to add that just in case someone wanted to assume what I meant. The "With that, I am" Peter? I didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Bill. Peter must hate your guts! You nail him on every comment he makes...and on every post!

Please Peter, keep coming back and feed Bill. I love it!

By the way, Lydia said, "What theology? He claims to be a Calvinist but goes to an Arminian church."

You must be an Arminian Lydia and you must have a problem with this. I can tell you that many Calvinists go to churches that are not reformed in doctrine. So what's your point?

I would also add that Arminian's would not be harmed biblically if they returned the favor and visited a few reformed churches. In fact, it may even raise their view of God and lower their view of man.

But that won't happen will it Lydia? Calvinists are heretics...isn't that right Lydia?

You need to read the bible story about THE Lydia. Do you know that story? Read it. Read it out loud and dwell on it. It may drown your traditional thinking...if you let it.

You also said "He claims to be evangelistic but spends his time at war with the culture instead of evangelizing."

And what do you spend your time doing Lydia? Commenting on blogs perhaps?

And you wrap it up with this humdinger, "His words and actions do not match."

I'm sure Al is wishing he were more like you Lydia.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope that the pendulum doesn't swing too far to the right in the SBC. When the far right wing gets done with the SBC, it will be unrecognizable. The powerful right wing will just continue to increase the intensity of its attack on moderate thinking, OR when far enough to the right, the pendulum will swing back with such force that it slices right through the SBC and you are left divided permanently.

Wade is voice trying to speak for preservation of the SBC. I wonder if he is a voice crying in the wilderness?

Joe Blackmon said...

"I sure hope that the pendulum doesn't swing too far to the right in the SBC."

I didn't know there was such a thing as too far to the right.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

For the sake of accuracy, Ms. Tarter is no longer employed by SBTS. She is indeed a student, as were the other two students in the interview.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

The web site states she is on the administrative staff with Dr. Moore. When he calls I will confirm with him whether or not she continues to be employeed by SBTS.

Anonymous said...

Hi Florence,

May I quote you?
"I heard the interview and am not surprised that the students were hand-picked. How many more shoes are going to have to fall before Southern Baptists wake up and get on with Kingdom business?"

Am in total agreement. All the energy being expended in the pull and tug has not led to the growth of the SBC. It's like watching a fire where the inhabitants of a building are arguing about who started the fire rather than take action and put the fire out. Wade is trying to put the fire out so the the SBC survives and can get on about the business of Christians.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade,

is it possible for you to setup for each post, so we can subscribe to Post Comments. This will make it easier for me to follow the comments for each post as they come in :-)

I have seen on some blog posts, where it shows as follows:

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I know that, Wade, that's why I posted to inform you and your readers that she is no longer employed by SBTS. The website needs to be updated.

I don't expect you to take "anonymous's" word for it though. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I shall see.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I do not believe blogger allows subscription to comments. Sorry.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, thanks for the explanation of the wink. Makes sense; I just wasn't getting it.

IMO, your rewriting of Al Mohler's first quoted line, for the sake of honesty, probably should be modified to "I was really proud of our Southern Theological Seminary students who also happen to be employees." Most young people who are employees of their schools are students first and employees second. I know that is the case of daughter (who, for the sake of honesty and full disclosure, attends a state-owned secular school).

And to Wade Phillips, "What are you doing in Meridian, Mississippi?" You'd better get back to Dallas and take care of them Cowboys.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

Well, you have a point. You said:
"I didn't know there was such a thing as too far to the right."

Now I begin to understand. When I was at university, a history teacher drew a line on the board with 'RIGHT' on one side and 'LEFT' on the other. Now he put Communism (Marxism) and Socialism on the left. Here is a quiz for you:

Which phrase do you think he put on the right?
a. Nazism
b. Fascism

You are right. You score if you chose Nazism OR Fascism OR
both. :) Are we on the same page yet?

It all depends on your 'values', I guess. I understand what you mean, though, my god-father is just a little to the right of Atilla the Hun. I'm sure you are a pussy-cat compared to him but you probably would get along fine.:)

LABEL-HATER

Joe Blackmon said...

Label-Hater

I am a Pre-trib Pre-mil cessesionist (sp) complementarian Calvinist who holds to NASB-onlyisim (haa). How's that for labels. As Roy and Buck used to say "SAL-LUTE!"

Anonymous said...

Now Joe, don't be hostile. By the way, who are Roy and Buck and what planet are THEY from? :)
You would really like my god-father. I have NO doubt of it. :)

REALLY HATES LABELS

Joe Blackmon said...

Label Hater

Roy Clark and Buck Owens from Hee Haw.

In all seriousness I wasn't being hostile.

Anonymous said...

Louis, The world is going to hate us no matter what if we are truly following Christ. They are going to lump us in with the wackos no matter what. You are setting yourself up for a huge disappointment trying to play the media's PR game. More pragmatism.

It was not honest to keep the fact they are employees hidden. It is playing the PR game and we have had enough of that from the CR. It has become a way of life.

Miss Tarter describes herself as a 'recovering feminist'. Huh? She looks about 19. Did she burn bras on the high school steps or something? Or maybe she wanted to grow up to be VP? :o) I would certainly like to know what her definition of a feminist is. She works for the I-want-more-Patriarchy Moore so I have an idea.

Your pal, Lydia

Steve said...

We'uns are all so glad to have Southern Seminary right here in our back yard. We have so many folks that switch between Presbyterianism and the SBC that Louisville is a perfect spot for our good Calvinists!

Wade, simply PROMISE me that they all had their shoes on and their teeth brushed! This IS Kentucky, you know!!

Anonymous said...

"But that won't happen will it Lydia? Calvinists are heretics...isn't that right Lydia? "

Chill down, friend. I believe in the Doctrines of Grace. But, I don't believe in 'Calvin' or worship Calvin or talk about what Calvin taught.

"You need to read the bible story about THE Lydia. Do you know that story? Read it. Read it out loud and dwell on it. It may drown your traditional thinking...if you let it."

I agree. We need to immerse ourselves in scripture.

"And what do you spend your time doing Lydia? Commenting on blogs perhaps?"

Well,you are not paying my salary now are you? We are paying Al's. And he spends his time writing and talking about how horrible the culture is, how many children people are not having, etc. I hear him on the radio every day with his culture diatribes. Where is the Evangelism?


"I'm sure Al is wishing he were more like you Lydia."

I doubt that. I think Al thanks the Lord everyday he is NOT a woman. :o)

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,

"Hee Haw" hmmm, sounds a donkey makes. I get the connection.
Hee Haw sounds like code for a Democratic Booster Club. I would probably like Roy and Buck, they sound like my kind of people.

P.S. I know your not really hostile, just somewhere buried under all that pile of labels, I bet you are an O.K. guy. :)

L.H.

Anonymous said...

Wade: the last two days, your blog has been hysterical. Do you think it is a reaction to all the economic trouble? Hopefully, as the stock market rises again, we will all settle down. But, in the meantime, this is good therapy.

Today it was 'Peter and the Wolf'.
Bill was great in the roll of the wolf.

Peter: you are a good sport.

Jon Estes: what can I say, you know how to lighten us up.

GRATEFUL TO ALL OF YOU

Anonymous said...

Hey R.L,

(sarcasm font on)I've never heard that one before! (sarcasm font off)

I think I'd rather work in small market tv any day than have to deal with TO every day.

Anonymous said...

Pal Lydia:

You make a good point. We all know that PR will not save the day, that there are times when we are simply slandered for what we believe, and that sometimes the most humble among us is exactly the right person to be speaking.

So, I get that point.

But sometimes we are hated because we are goofballs, or we put the goofballs on to speak for us.

But we must all confess, I think, that we have those moments when watching someone who has been selected to be our "spokesman" of the moment and thought, "Who in the world picked that guy?"

Plus, all of my Christian friends have their favorite top 5 or so that they wish the media would interview, but never seem to.

Tell, me, by the way. Who would be in your tops on Christians whom you would like to see the media interview as a spokesman for the SBC or the evangelical world in general.

I have not gotten worked up about this because I really don't think that we have the facts. We don't know anything about the conditions of the interview or whether the students' dual role as employee was freely and openly disclosed. We are presuming some failure to disclose that may not either be a failure or that big a deal.

I would feel differently, if the reporter came out and expressed outrage or said that he wanted students who were no way getting a paycheck etc.

I understand the concern, but haven't gotten worked up on this one for those reasons.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"But we must all confess, I think, that we have those moments when watching someone who has been selected to be our "spokesman" of the moment and thought, "Who in the world picked that guy?""

That is what I was thinking when I saw the interview.

By the way, Gushee in USA Today asked a very interesting question of CBMW that would have been interesting to ask the 'paid' employees...er... students:

Do you believe that Palin is under the authority of her husband as head of the family? If so, would this authority spill over into her role as vice president?”

Here is the CBMW response so far:

This helpful question raises a complex issue requiring specific application of the principles expressed above. Gender Blog is pleased to be part of this dialogue and plans to address this question in the near future.

(yep, a bit of a conumdrum. Means that Palin's husband is going to be the true VP as her 'head' or CBMW is going to look kinda silly )


"Tell, me, by the way. Who would be in your tops on Christians whom you would like to see the media interview as a spokesman for the SBC or the evangelical world in general."

I am uncomfortable with the whole idea of someone speaking for me or representing 'Baptists'.

Lydia

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade,

about enabling subscriptions to comments:

How do I change my site feed settings?

Switch to Advanced Mode.
Blog Comment Feed --> FULL
Per-Post Comment Feed --> FULL

Thanks.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"One of the better measures of whether or not I am liked, or disliked, by Southern Seminary students is probably best seen in the mail (both email and snail mail) I receive from Southern students and faculty. It is safe to say you have not had the same pleasure as I of reading the mail that comes my way."


Southern is a pretty big place.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade,

you might have to do this too.

Template tags for site feeds

I am not familiar with all this. I am learning :-)

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

WRT the topic of this post, I listen mostly to NBC News. And I note that whenever they have any sort of news feature with GE, or one of its subsidiaries in it, they always say words to this effect: "In the interest of full disclosure, this (whatever) is owned by our parent company, GE."

I'd hate to think NBC's standards are higher than those of our seminaries, albeit I'm quite sure NBC's hiring and firing practices are.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned Sarah Palin. She's at 'debate school' (no disgrace in that, they all prep before a big debate).

Is anyone concerned about the flubbed interview of Sarah by Katie Couric? I was a little bit disconcerted by it: but willing to give Sarah some slack (she could have been up all night with the baby).

Well, we shall all know soon enough how things turn out.

I'm not voting for her; but I hate to see her flounder and be laughed at. She is a family person, and I can relate to that. Personally, she comes across as a very likable lady.

OBSERVOR

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
Seems to me that Denny did a marvelous job in answering Gushee.

now for a little bit of humour via Denny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-NOZU2iPA8


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

"Seems to me that Denny did a marvelous job in answering Gushee."

What flavor is your kool-aid? :o)

Tom Parker said...

Robby in the Geneva:

Please let me in on the humor in the video clip. I could not find it or maybe I just missed it.

happy gram said...

anonymous (grateful for all of you): you're

Anonymous said...

Tom.
If you want to read why other people think it is funny...check out this comment thread.

http://www.dennyburk.com/?p=2468#comments

a couple of quick mentions!

orange Les Paul

Jesus is like a mounty, he always gets his man...zap

Grace from the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Pa K said...

SBTS? Isn't that a place of Kentucky learnin'?

;)

Anonymous said...

The righteous are bold as a Lyon. This minister in chapel is right on target...we need to learn to die and quit fighting amongst oureselves.

Anonymous said...

I don't think most people in the media understand the concept that no one Baptist can speak for another, much less all Baptists. A lot of Baptists don't understand it, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised. There's an old joke that if you put two Baptists in a room you have three opinions, and there's some truth to that.

I have yet to meet anyone with whom I totally agree on everything. If it seems that way it's only because I don't know them well. That's good. When we agree we grow in fellowship. When we disagree, ideally we learn from each other, either changing our minds or realizing better why we believe what we believe. Of course, that depends on a reasonable dialog with good will on both sides, which doesn't always happen.

Susie

peter lumpkins said...

Dearest Wade,

Gee, my brother. I did not know I was so vague. Perhaps our brother Bill's skills can assist you after all. Just note his carefully constructed criticism; he interpreted every word so perfectly.

I am flattered by his precision, not to mention the encouragement it is to me that my posts are not in vain. Blessed is the congregation/SS class that gets his redaction of Scripture, I'd say.

Bill,

Groovy...

Joe,

I don't think I've said I was a Pastor...at least now...

Anon

I usually don't respond to A's' but to you I'll make exception---Thanks!

With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

"I usually don't respond to A's'..."

So we are all agreed then that you are, in fact, "unusual".

With that, I am...

certain!

peter lumpkins said...

A,

You sound like my wife. With that, I am...

Peter

Joe Blackmon said...

Peter

I know you had not said that. I was asking the question in response to one of the items in the interpretation of your first post. The interpreter said something like "I want to cuss you out but I'm a Baptist Pastor" or something similar to that. I thought perhaps they were being serious and that you were a pastor. I was just curious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susie,

You wrote:
" When we disagree, ideally we learn from each other, either changing our minds or realizing better why we believe what we believe. Of course, that depends on a reasonable dialog with good will on both sides, which doesn't always happen."

I think you hit the nail on the head. It's like we need each other in order to see the big picture. Everyone has a different pair of eyes to see. If we share what we understand, this benefits the next one and they can take another look at their own beliefs, in that new light. Excellent comment, Susie.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on Lydia. I get that point, too, that no one speaks perfectly for you or any other group.

But surely you have some folks in the Baptist or evangelical world that you think speak well, and would rather see interviewed.

My question was not meant to make you nervous. I was just wondering what you thought.

You certainly don't have to answer it. But surely you prefer some over others?

Louis

Anonymous said...

Susie:

I think that you and Lydia went to the same Baptist talking points school.

Of course, no one person can speak for everyone.

But we all recognize the common phenomenon of media selecting people from groups to give statements or interviews.

I will ask you the same question that I asked Lydia. Who are say, the top 5 Baptists or Evangelicals that you enjoy seeing interviewed because you think they are well spoken and make a positive impression for their group?

You don't have to answer this of course, and somehow I have the suspicion that you won't. But it is not a trick question. I am just curious. Any favorites?

Louis

Anonymous said...

Louis,

What is YOUR definition of an 'evangelical' ?

I'm asking seriously, because I have begun to realize that people define it differently.

CURIOUS

peter lumpkins said...

Joe,

Kewl, Joe. No, that was just our Bill's brain bubble bursting out the backside.

I was pastor for 23+ years...

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Joe!

I'm back. (L.H.)
Now, about those labels you are wearing:
"I am a Pre-trib Pre-mil cessesionist (sp) complementarian Calvinist who holds to NASB-onlyisim (haa). "

Very impressive. I honestly have NO CLUE what these mean other than 'Calvinist' may refer to a follower of the reformer Calvin, whose teachings are outside of my ability to understand.

So, in the interest of clarity, and ONLY if you have the time, and the inclination, would you please cast light on your 'labels'? :)

L.H.

Joe Blackmon said...

L.H

Pre-trib: I believe in a rapture of the church prior to teh tribulation.

Pre-mil: I believe in the literal return of Christ to this earth where He will reign for 1,000 years from Jeruselam.

Cessa---oh heck I'm not going to spell that wrong again---I believe the sign gifts like healings, speaking in toungues, etc, were for the apostolic age and with the close of the canon of scripture.

Complementarian-Come on, you're reading this post and you don't know what that is. Behave or I'll stop this car right now.

Calvinist---Ditto to what you said.

NASB Only-isim: A joke on KJV Only-isim which is in and of itself a joke.

Joe Blackmon said...

Ooops

I left something off my last post:

"with the close of the canon of scripture sign gifts became inoperable".

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joe.

As for "complimentarianism" sp? :
all I understand is that it may be the opposite of Christian egalitarianism. I assume I am right unless you correct me. Truth is, I had to look it up on Wikipedia. I don't usually use Wikipedia as a final source, or an only source, just as a 'quick' source to be checked out later.

My problem with labels, and I am no exception here, is that people tend to begin to define themselves narrowly: sort of like putting yourself safely into a box and closing the door to other possibilities. Such as "conservative" and "liberal", as dichotomies: you have to one or the other. It doesn't work.
Too limiting.

Your theology sounds interesting. You must have read "Revelations" literally. My tradition doesn't do that, so your ideas are strange to me. Thanks again, you are helping me to understand. :)

L.H.

Anonymous said...

Curious:

Good question, and your point is right. The lines on this can get fuzzy.

I guess "Baptist" would be anyone belonging to a church calling itself "Baptist" or affiliating with one of several conventions using the name "Baptist", and which would subscribe to a set of doctrines (church autonomy, priesthood of the believer (in the true sense), baptism being by immersion of confessional believers, communion as an sybmolic ordinance only etc. But, as we all know, there are lots of differences among Baptists.

I see Evangelicals as a broader category that includes some Baptists, but not all (for example Baptists who are universalists). Evangelical is broader in the sense of denominational affiliation - Baptists (SBC, Free Will, GARB), Church of God, some Church of Christ, Christian Church (not Disciples of Christ, primarily), some Anglicans (John Stott, for example), Pentecostals, some Presbyterians (all PCAs, most EPC, only a few USPCA), Evanglical Free, Bible Churches, Lutheran Missouri Synod, non-denominational churches - independent Baptists, Charismatics etc.

The common threads for me are an emphasis on evangelism and the need for personal regeneration or a "born again" experience as a confessional believer (and how that looks and is described varies greatly among traditions) - as opposed to church affiliation or performance of sacraments for salvation, basically a reformed tradition doctrinally (post reformation, but not necessarily Calvinistic) or agreement on Christian doctrinal essentials, a generally high view of Scripture.

I may have left something out there, but that's what I mean when I use the term.

I would not put some Baptists in the evangelical camp (e.g. Baptists who hold to a low view of scripture, universalists, or those who reject conservative orthodox doctrines - Trinity, Virgin Birth, Subsitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection etc.)

Foy Valentine, the former director of the SBC's Christian Life Commission, once said that "Evangelical was a Yankee term..." and a bunch of other stuff that made no sense. I hope we are beyond that in SBC life and are not so insular. I have been pleased over the last couple of decades that the Pastor's Conference has invited speakers from Non-Baptist backgrounds. I hope that continues, but I have some concerns about that.

I am comfortable with all sorts of Evangelicals who may not be Baptists and am finding more and more cooperation among Christians whom I think believe the same things on the essentials but may differ in denominational tradition. I would much rather go hear R.C. Sproul, John Stott, Chuck Swindoll, John MacArther, Max Lucado etc. than I would some Baptists - Bill Leonard, Weldon Gaddy (sp?), Cecil Sherman etc.

For me, Evangelical is closer to Christian Orthodox, while Baptist is denominational, and nowadays may not include people who are orthodox.

Of course, I know that the term "evangelical" is not a strict thing either, but I have done my best.

Hope that helps you understand my thinking.

Louis

Anonymous said...

To Joe:

Sorry, forgot to ask. What are ALL of the sign gifts? I had a Pentecostal friend many years ago: she invited me to her Church and I witnessed the 'speaking in tongues'. I had never seen this before. My friend did this also. Joe, I don't know what I was seeing there. All I know, is that my friend was praying. She wasn't the sort to 'make stuff up' or tell lies. I am willing to not judge what I saw, just because "I" didn't understand. God's ways are far above ours.

As for healing: there is a sign at a local religious hospital:

"We bandage the wound; God
heals it."

Thanks again.
L.H.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Peter Lumpkins says my interpretation of his comment is dead on.

Now what say you of Peter?

Bill

Anonymous said...

Dear Louis,

Thank you. I never understand the depths of the term 'evangelical'.

Honestly I always thought 'evangelical' to be a beautiful word because it contains the word 'ANGEL' in it. In my religion, angels were often messengers bringing wonderful news and saying things like: 'fear not' and 'be not afraid'. Beautiful!

You helped me here because last year, one of our faculty resigned to become an evangelical missionary. He was a Presbyterian, a very young man, obviously a good Christian.

Using my impression of the term 'evangelical', as someone sent as a messenger with Good News, I gave my friend a gift of seed money for his journey and wished him well. I prayed for this young man that God be with him on his journey and keep him safe. He seemed so young and thin: but I knew I had made a good investment, and I am not even a Protestant!

So, Louis, I am learning. See what happens when you keep an open mind and welcome new ideas. :)

CURIOUS

Anonymous said...

Curious:

Neat story. I am not sure if you are Catholic or Greek Orthodox or something that I have missed.

In case you are Catholic, let me add that in law school I became acquainted with some very fine Catholic believers. Also, some of the leading legal thinkers from a Christian perspective in the country are Catholic. I am very at home with many of these people and consider them to be fine Christians, even though we disagree on various points.

My exposure to the Greek Orthodox faith is very limited.

Thanks, again, for your kind words.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Hi Louis,

May I quote you:
"Also, some of the leading legal thinkers from a Christian perspective in the country are Catholic."

If you mean Scalia, well he may be a Catholic but is he a Christian?
Even I know that there is a difference. Anyone can wear a label of faith, Chritianity transcends our labels. I can't judge Scalia. We share the same 'label' in religion. but I have difficulty seeing him as a Christian brother. It is just so hard for me, I am not strong enough in my vision to see what may be obvious to others.

Greek Orthodox: when I was at school (Catholic), the nuns told us that, if we were hit by a bus in front of the Greek Orthodox Church down the street; that the priest could come out and give us the last rites of our faith. So, although I know that although there are differences, apparently in practice there is much that is shared. I believe that the Greek Orthodox have a shared belief in God's infinite mercy to mankind.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

I assume that you are different from Curious Anonymous. Let me suggest that you guys use some kind of other name, in addition to Anonymous, so I can keep straight who you are.

I was not referring to Justice Scalia.

But I wonder why you would say it is hard seeing him as a Christian brother? I am sure that most of his public statements and appearances do not revolve around his faith, which is true of most people in the news. But I would not exclude them as brothers or sisters in Christ if they claimed that they were Christian and I had no other information to really question that.

In the course of my many years as a Christian I have met people from many "Christian" faith traditions. I have met people in all of those whom I considered to be Christian based on what they professed and what they showed in the individual lives (not based on their political or policy judgments). Again, that does not mean that I did not have some serious disagreements and concerns with some of the doctrine of those traditions.

I am clearly of the opinion that the Baptist doctrine is the best representation of NT Christianity, and that's why I am a Baptist by choice. I was not raised that way, but made my own decision as an older teenager.

But I cannot buy assuming that people of other Christian faith traditions are all lost (and I know that you are not saying that). Some are. Some are not. Some Baptists are lost.

I am comfortable accepting people as brothers in Christ knowing that I cannot judge their hearts (as you also correctley stated). That is my starting point.

It may be that my time in law school and the issues that one faces there, when so few of my classmates were Baptist - maybe 10 out of 200+, caused me to see and work beyond the differences I had with other Christians in a way that many people may never face. Just a guess.

No, I was not referring to Justice Scalia. I was referring to Catholic scholars and thinkers who have written through the years about many issues. They may have influenced Justice Scalia. I don't know.

Though let me add that I believe in natural law, as I think most Christians would. I would think that most non-Christians in the West (not devout adherents of Islam, Hinduism etc.) would not agree with the concept of natural law.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Hi Louis,

It's me, Curious, or Observor, or many other signatures, most of all Anonymous. I never did think that it was very important that I be recognized as ME, because I knew that readers would probably assign me a label for identity in their minds, where as, I would most like to be seen as
"human", a person, like them, different in many ways, and yet sharing a common humanity.

So I have to sort out what kind of name to sign by. Oh darn, I was having so much fun being a just a person, an outsider, curious, Heidi, Jenn's Mom, Lee's Daughter,
Joel's Very Proud Mom, Anonymous (my all-time favorite), Label-Hater, and the most special of all to me: Lucy's Grand-Daughter or, for short, L's Gran. Oh, I'm Patrick's mom, too.

My most special signature is as L's Gran, because it is my grandmother Lucy, who brings me here to learn of her faith. I wanted to know if television reports of the Westboro Baptist Church had anything to do with my grandmother's faith. So, just by chance, I came across the name: "Grace and Truth to You" and immediately recognized those words as coming from the Gospel of St. John, which, strangely, I have been able to so carefully keep hidden in my heart, if not in my memory. So here I am. Asking questions, learning (very slowly), managing to offend at various times some of the nicest people (sorry); and hoping that I don't get asked to leave. :(

My grandmother was a shining Christian, so I certainly don't want to disgrace her blessed memory by my behavior here. Oh, I have to tell you, how relieved I am that all of you are NOTHING like those Westboro people. How sad they are. So, Louis, I will try to sign as "L's Gran" for your sake. (Unless, I think I might disgrace Grandmother's memory, and then it's back to 'anonymous' again.)

L's Gran

Tom Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To whoever you are.

It's me, Curious, or Observor, or many other signatures, most of all Anonymous. I never did think that it was very important that I be recognized as ME, because I knew that readers would probably assign me a label for identity in their minds, where as, I would most like to be seen as
"human", a person, like them, different in many ways, and yet sharing a common humanity.

So I have to sort out what kind of name to sign by. Oh darn, I was having so much fun being a just a person, an outsider, curious, Heidi, Jenn's Mom, Lee's Daughter,
Joel's Very Proud Mom, Anonymous (my all-time favorite), Label-Hater, and the most special of all to me: Lucy's Grand-Daughter or, for short, L's Gran. Oh, I'm Patrick's mom, too.


Sorry, but Jesus said I never knew you!

Expose evil. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11).

May God have mercy on Your Soul

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank for asking God to have mercy on my soul. I believe in that very much. May the Good Lord in His infinite mercy bless you with peace and compassion for others always. :)

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

L's Gran:

Thanks. You can sign anyway you want as far as I am concerned. I just need to know if it's the same person, so I won't think I am sending one message to one person and another to another person. Just don't want to be confused.

Thanks.

Also, I would be interested in hearing more information about your background and practice with regard to religion. That would be helpful to me, too, as we share. But of course, you can divulge as little or as much as you desire.

Have a great day.

Louis

Anonymous said...

wade,
you said

"Your comment portrays that which I believe needs adjustment in our Convention. Let us hold to our convictions, let us speak what we believe is truth, but let us be loving to those who disagree, and let us never fear the articulation of a different position threatens our security".

It is not that my security is threatened! I just dont believe that those who hold to an egalitarian view are within the bounds of either the Baptist Faith and Message or evangelicalism as I understand it.
I am committed to the idea of driving back those who espouse those ideas.

BTW.. I am not committed to the idea of making baptism a first tier issue(christian-non-christian). outside Southern baptist convention yes....outside evangelicalism no


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

James said...

Wade,

I have 2 questions for you:

1. Did you call Drs. Moore and Mohler and let them know you were going to call them liars on your blog before you published it?

2. Did you let the aforementioned men know also that you would call into question their christian integrity?

Thank you,

JSH

Tom Parker said...

Mr. Geneva:

Please reread your last post. It sounds like a threat. You may try to drive me and others back but i aint leaving.

If you are so committed to your position help the SBC to set up a way to quit taking the money from people who do not believe the right way,

Wade Burleson said...

JSH,

Feel free to email me with your name and personal information so I can respond in more detail.

To answer your question.

(1). Yes.

(2). It is a small thing to not report the students are employees, according to the Seminary. I say full disclosure is needed.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Bill,

I say you seem to be getting under Peter's skin.

I shall not comment on Peter's comment nor his affirmation that your interpretation is correct.

I never quite understand Peter.

wade

Anonymous said...

Hi Louis,

No problem with sharing. Please know that I'm not here to tell about my own religion, although there are many times where I have difficulty understanding what seems so very clear to others.

In religion, I was taken to mainline Protestant churches at a very young age by my mother. When she converted to my father's faith, we were then educated in the Catholic faith.

My mother's background was a mixture of Episcopalian and Southern Baptist. I was never taken to a Southern Baptist church as a child. My grandmother, of blessed memory, was a wonderful Christian woman and a Southern Baptist. If you want to hear stories about a good Christian, I can tell you about Grandmother's care for others.

So, having been quite shocked by those Westboro people, I decided to seek reassurance that Grandmother's faith had not been hijacked! So, what do I find out? It wasn't the Westboro people I had to fear. Don't get me started on the subject: but thank God for Wade and people like him who can help get Grandmother's church focused back on Jesus Christ again. (I think you know, I am very sad about those poor missionaries.) Heartbreaking.

Personal religion: In the Catholic tradition, I am strongly devoted to the service of those less fortunate. My greatest teacher in faith is my son Patrick, with Down Syndrome. This angel child has shown me more of God's love than I could have ever learned without him. And he never had to say a word. :)

I hope that helps you. I think you already knew that I'm strongly into ethical treatment of people as part of my religion.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Mr Parker,
First of all the post was directed to Wade.
Secondly....the Southern Baptist Convention should not be driven by money.
My suggestion would be to take your money and leave!
Like Al Mohler said...the problem is with the Word of God not me.

For a good explanation of that Biblical doctrine I suggest reading Tommy Nelson, a non-Southern Baptist.

Love God, Hate Microsoft
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

"My question was not meant to make you nervous. I was just wondering what you thought."

Does not make me nervous at all. I think the whole idea of having someone represent baptists to the world is silly. We are represented everytime we interact with people anywhere and they know where we go to church. I hope they know us as Christians first who go to a baptist church.

Lydia

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

A couple of years back, this same strategy was attempted toward the posts I make here. I could dig a bit and find them if you like.

Basically, it was a denial that what I wrote was either meaningless--meaningless in the sense that the point made no sense whatsoever to the point at hand--or it took the form of reading me as emotionally frustrated. Neither worked; I continued to comment.

Why, then, you mysteriously think the identical strategy will work now passes right by me. Sorry.

As for 'Bill' "getting under my skin", well let me say it this way: if Ben Cole, DK and Gene, Gene, the word machine did not get "under my skin"--at least in such a way that I lost my composure--whoever "Bill" is, I remain fairly confident that any words he pitches my way will hardly breach my aged, well-worn rawhide. Is this clear enough or would it help if I say it another way? :^)

Ah, but keep encouraging him anyway, if you don't mind. Underneath, he sounds a bit intelligent. I'd rather ignore his banter than dissect his point. The former is amazingly easier the older I get; the latter a bit more difficult for the same reason.:^0

Grace, Wade. With that, I am...

Peter

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

I confess to no strategy but speaking the truth.

Whether what you write is confusing to me is something that I alone can admit, and I have admitted it.

Please feel free to continue to comment and I shall continue to admit you make no sense to me.

The fault of the latter may very well be within me, but the freedom to state my inability to understand you is honest.

Ironically, I understand Bill's interpretation of what you wrote completely, but since it was so derisive and unChristian, I defended you by saying I would let you speak for yourself.

You have spoken and said his interpretation is correct.

I guess I should thank Bill for making it clear.

Blessings,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Mr. Masters:

You said to me "my suggestion would be to take your money and leave!

No, my friend, it is not my money an I want leave.

You sir are a bully and I want be bullied by the likes of you.

It is not your SBC and I'm staying and so is my right to stop you from driving me and others away.

Thanks so much for your honesty about wanting to drive away people that are currently in the SBC.

Not from the Geneva:
Tom Parker

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Most certainly I will continue. Unless, of course, you decide my alleged 'nonsense' must be banished to the blackhole of cyberspace. It's your blog and you may do as you wish, my brother.

On a similar note, you have my deepest respect for allowing dissent when other bloggers flag you. To my recall that's only happened once here (of course, since my dissent is senseless to you, you have no idea what I'm writing anyway!:^).

As for your description that 'Bill''s words were "so derisive and unChristian" I could not agree more, which is precisely the reason I facetiously took it & dealt with it through the backdoor. I have not in the past nor will I start now "defending" my point to someone who makes personality the issue. Period. Lord knows we have enough of that.

As for "no strategy but speaking the truth" I must say, Wade, I am sure you "speak the truth" *the way you see it*.

Nonetheless, my larger point is that there is not one scintilla of hope that any of us can ever know what's going on inside of another of us. Yet you suggest I'm caving into 'Bill' since he's allegedly "getting under my skin". It would be good if we could keep to the issue and not make personality an issue. That is the defunct strategy to which I referred earler.

I'm going to bed. Tell 'Bill' nighty-night for me.

I trust you evening well. Honest! :^)

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

As clear a comment as you have written.

And, I enthusiastically agree.

Wade

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Masters,

You stated, "I am committed to the idea of driving back those who espouse those ideas."

And you said, " my suggestion would be to take your money and leave! "

Mr. Masters:
By whose authority do you speak to these men in this fashion?

You show a lot of judgment and contempt and yet, you wish all to believe you are a Christian person. Once again, I ask you, by whose authority do you seek to drive people out of the Church?

I hope it is not your own. I don,t think that you can be excused by saying you were just following orders.

Sir, the Church is in the business of saving souls, not banishing them. Surely you must agree.

Elisabeth said...

I'm a Southern Baptist, and I guess I don't believe the "right way." I'm a former Pentecostal and I believe in tongues - I have spoken in tongues. I also am an eglitarian. So why am I a Southern Baptist? I know that the denomination is one that believes the Bible strongly. I know the denomination is one that believes strongly in missions and saving souls. And I really hope and pray that the denomination will get off this power trip, saying you have to believe a certain way, Baptist Identity kick it's on right now.

Anonymous said...

Mr anonymous,
You asked ....
Mr. Masters:
By whose authority do you speak to these men in this fashion?
The Authority of the Word of God.

you also say....
Sir, the Church is in the business of saving souls, not banishing them. Surely you must agree.

No sir ...I do not agree. Jesus is in the business of saving souls. The church has Never saved one soul.
Their are times when the church must banish people in order to protect the
flock from wolves.

I think you will find that probably we disagree on theological lines. I hold to reformed theology.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters


Please read/ listen/ watch Tom Nelson
for a clear understanding of what is at issue in this discussion.

http://www.thewelldbc.org/gender-roles-media/

Anonymous said...

To Elisabeth,

May I quote you:

I'm a Southern Baptist, and I guess I don't believe the "right way."

My dear, don't worry about the "right way" as some see it. There is only one Way, and it looks like you have found it. I think the Church is blessed to have you. Stay, and pray for better days. Peace to you,

A FRIEND

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Masters,

Are you telling us that you took the Holy Scriptures, the sacred written word of God, and used it to judge these people? Wow.
No Christian would be impressed by that, Sir.

The 'church' belongs to Jesus. It is His church. On the surface, it may be temporarily fractured into 'denominations' but that is only because of our human weakness. If you separate the 'church' from Him, your church has no center, no authority. Sounds like you belong to a 'church' but not His church. (?)

In judging these men, have you not condemned yourself also to judgment, according to Holy Scripture? I don't understand you, or your thinking. (?)
I just don't understand.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

In line with the theme of the post, is it not ironic that the same kind of thing is being debated concerning the moderator of the VP debate tomorrow night.

Sometimes the simple disclosure of seemingly minor facts keeps a sense of honesty in what is being done or said.

This is by no means a statement that I believe dishonesty was intended by those of whom you wrote anymore than your original post accused anyone of dishonesty. You didn't. What it does show is what you originally stated. Full disclosure removes any threat of a loss of integrity or perception of dishonesty.

I'm of the same family [denominationally] as those interviewed by ABC but because of the subject matter [women leaders in public life] and the group being interviewed [one from a seminary which holds publically to no women leaders-pastors in the Church] even I can see the need for full disclosure of the fact that the ones interviewed were employees and not JUST students to pass the smell test for the general public as to whether they were getting a viewpoint of those who were speaking as students, Southern Baptists or employees of the seminary.

In the spirit of full disclosure I will admit that I am your father and I did teach you everything you know. :)

[Your mother will argue with the legitimacy of the last part of that full dislosure statement of course.]

Anonymous said...

anonymous,
You said...
Are you telling us that you took the Holy Scriptures, the sacred written word of God, and used it to judge these people? Wow.
No Christian would be impressed by that, Sir.

You have not figured out Iam not trying to impress anybody and God does call us to judge people .....please read Duet. If you dont believe me maybe Al Mohlers series on that topic will "impress" you

In Gods Grace
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Masters,

So, you are a disciple of Dr. Mohler and a member of 'his' church.

Then, the men you wish to push out will need a sanctuary.

Here is my wish for them:

from the Psalm 61:
"lead me to the Rock that is higher than I . For Thou hast been a Shelter for me, and a Strong Tower from the enemy."

From that high place, they can be sheltered in His care until the storm in the SBC has passed. And, sir, it will pass.

Anonymous said...

Mr anony
Not a member of Dr Mohlers church

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
(that would be Nashville)
Robert I Masters

p.s can you not scrap up the courage to sign your name...seems rather cowardly of you

Tom Parker said...

Anon:

Don't let Robby Masters bully you. It is his style.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks, yes, I agree. I kind of got it in one.

Dr. Mohler must be proud of him.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. Masters,

It's not a person's signature that is an indication of courage. You were not being attacked.

If you wish to clarify: you do seem to follow Dr. Mohler as a disciple would follow his shepherd.

If you want to see courage, then look at a person's heart: not his words or his signature.

"Coeur" translates to 'heart'
and is the root of the word 'courage'.

Now, here is some advice for you, Sir. Attack the message, if you will; but attacking the messenger is an old far right-wing tactic, and I'm on to you.

ANON.

Anonymous said...

Mr Anon
you said....
In judging these men, have you not condemned yourself also to judgment, according to Holy Scripture?

Sounds like an attack to me!

Now what Scripture says it that we should judge the actions/words of a individual.
An illustration to make my point. If I invite you to come to a strip club I hope you would make a judgement that I was trying to encourage you to sin. That would be a judgement God calls us to make according to His will.

I wish you well on looking at my heart.
That is what Jesus was talking about in Matt 7

Reject the Enid Tyranny
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Mr. Masters,

My comment was:

"have you not condemned yourself also to judgment, according to Holy Scripture?"

You wrote:
"Sounds like an attack to me!"

If you condemn another, in accordance with Holy Scripture, YOU condemn yourself.

Question is: are you at all able to follow that logic?
No, I do not condemn you. You appear merciless in your attack on others: what does your behavior say about your faith?

Your behavior reflects on YOU, sir, not on Him. No connection there.

Anon.

Rex Ray said...

I can't post on todays post, so Ill try this one.

Louis,
Wade Burleson printed “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” by Jeff VanVonderen. In one section it says: “The person who speaks about a problem must become the problem.”

Let’s see if you have made the person who printed Paul Kenley’s history of Baptist, the problem by the questions you asked him:

1. What type of church are you in now, by way of denominational affiliation?
2. What seminaries does your church support?
3. What mission’s agency are you guys connected with?
4. How much do you find that your concern and energy goes into talking and writing about the SBC versus moving on to a new expression and organization?
5. Do you often post things like this in an effort to try to undo what was done 15 or so gears ago, to educate or to express frustration?
6. Do you have any hope that the changes you want to see will occur?
7. How do you envision that change happening?

Lewis, would you agree that over half your questions could be asked Burleson and Paul as he was slapped in the face with (you’ve all heard this before): “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are ALL jealous for the law.” (Acts 21:20)

The law required them to put their sins on an ‘escape goat’. Did that hurt God by their believing the blood of his Son was not good enough?

I believe God feels pain when a missionary answers God’s call but it’s NOT good enough without their signature on a creed.

Paul lost the fight in stopping most early Christians in becoming Catholic, but hopefully, if enough Baptists wake up, Burleson’s cause of stopping legalism will win out, and once again the glue that holds us together will change from doctrine to missions.

And Lewis before you ht me with your questions, I’m in the same small country BGCT church were I was a charter member in 1944.

Last year we were given an award in our county for giving the most to Lottie Moon per person.

Not mentioning local mission trips, I’ve been on eighteen volunteer overseas trips of construction for the SBC.

Since last Wednesday, our revival led by an “Team Impact", has over forty salvations.

All praise goes to Jesus because without Him we are nothing. Out works are as filthy rags, but God can hit a lot of straight licks using crooked sticks.