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

Divisions Reveal Those Approved For Leadership

For the last twenty-five years I have met every Tuesday morning with a group of men for discipleship purposes. These men come from all walks of life and are very astute in Scriptural matters. One of the men pointed out to us this week that the Bible has something very interesting to say about divisions and disagreements in the church, whether they be doctrinal, political or personal in nature.

1 Corinthians 11:18-19

18. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it.

19. For there must (dei - "it is necessary") also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. NASV

The last phrase of these two verses gives us the reasons why divisions and disagreements are necessary in the church. " . . . so that those who are approved may become evident among you."

It seems quite clear that the kind of leadership that is approved of God, the kind of leaders that the church should follow, are those who are tolerant of other views, who graciously and lovingly accept people of different persuasions and opinions, and who place charity as the highest value within the church (I Corinthians 13).

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Joe Blackmon said...


I would agree with you, up to a point. For instance, if someone came in the church I attend and said they held the view that salvation happens as a result of the choice or a man or woman I, as a Calvinist, would disagree but I'm not going to make a big deal out of that. Now if someone came in the church and said that after we're saved we can live any ol' way we want and that becoming more Christlike and holy is NOT something we need to worry about I would most certainly not tolerate that nor would I remain in the church if the leadership did not refute that teaching. Of course, it would need to be refuted in a loving way.

My two cents....

Wanda said...


When I read this post, the first Bible passage that came to mind was Acts 15.

Acts 15:5 states: "But some of the sect of the Pharisees stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses."

There was much debate, and Peter stood up and rebuked his opponents.

I believe Acts 15:10-11 is relevant to what has been happening in the SBC. Allow me to share this passage:

"Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are."

The more the CR crowd enforces its rules and restrictions, the more they appear to be like the Pharisees in this passage.

RULES, RULES, RULES ad nauseam!!!

I'm so grateful that you provide a way for dissenters to have a voice and to share ideas in this forum.



Alan Cross said...

The context of 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 concerns the Lord's Supper and the way that some were pushing ahead of others and eating while others were being left out. Some were getting drunk while others were going without. Wouldn't you see verse 19 in the same way? I take this sarcastically in that their divisions were the result of one trying to show himself to be superior to the other through his arguments. They were trying to show which one had God's approval by being more right than the other, much like the disciples were trying to sit at Jesus' left and right in the coming Kingdom. But, Jesus said that the first would be last. In the same way, all of the disciples already had God's approval because of what Jesus did for them on the Cross, not because they had the right arguments. It seems that Paul is condemning the differences here, not applauding them (again, this is based on the context and the rest of his argument concering the Lord's Supper). Paul often used sarcasm to prove a point and show the absurdity of the actions of those he is correcting. Here is the whole passage:

17In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. 20When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

I do not see how verse 19 can mean what you are saying that it means in this context. I am not saying that charity is not a supreme virtue for leadership, but I'm not getting that out of this text. Could you give a little more explanation as to how you arrived at that interpretation?

Wade Burleson said...


I love you anyway.


Thy Peace said...

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (King James Version)

18For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (New King James Version)

18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (New International Version)

18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.
1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (New American Standard Bible)

18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that (A)divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it.

19For there (B)must also be factions among you, (C)so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

Alan Cross said...

Love you too, Wade.

Since Wade does not want to engage my question, can anyone else shed some light on the background of how Wade interpreted this text? I've never seen this interpreted this way before and I am interested in the implications of Paul affirming divisions within the church in Corinth, especially since he condemned divisions in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, even saying that there should be "no divisions among you." This is really confusing and I'd love to understand better where Wade is coming from here. The implications are important to pastoral ministry, I would think.

Can anyone help? I really am open to seeing this from another perspective.

Thy Peace said...

It seems quite clear that the kind of leadership that is approved of God, the kind of leaders that the church should follow, are those who are tolerant of other views, who graciously and lovingly accept people of different persuasions and opinions, and who place charity as the highest value within the church (I Corinthians 13).

Did Our Lord Jesus Christ do the above?

- who are tolerant of other views [Yes]

- who graciously and lovingly accept people of different persuasions and opinions [Yes]

- who place charity as the highest value within the church [Yes]

Robert I Masters said...

John Piper preached an excellent message on this passage. He was saying exactly what Alan just said...context is key.
I will try to find the archive of it. I have it on CD but not much help here.

In Grace
Robert I Masters

Thy Peace said...

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (The Message)
17-19Regarding this next item, I'm not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I'm reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it.

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (Amplified Bible)
18For in the first place, when you assemble as a congregation, I hear that there are cliques (divisions and factions) among you; and I in part believe it,

19For doubtless there have to be factions or parties among you in order that they who are genuine and of approved fitness may become evident and plainly recognized among you.

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (New Living Translation)
18 First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19 But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (English Standard Version)
18For, in the first place, when you come together as a church,(A) I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,[a] 19for(B) there must be factions among you in order(C) that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

Tim G said...

I do agree with your approach on this one.

Rex Ray said...

I like the meaning of the Living Bible in verse 19: “But I suppose you feel this is necessary so that you who are always right will become known and recognized.”

I almost laugh when I wonder what in the world will ‘they’ come up with next year.

What’s good enough last year is not good enough this year because egos are always hungry. To be “known and recognized” must be fed over and over.

I’m overwhelmed in your reference to Acts 15. In hearing preachers and Sunday school lessons, you’d thing Acts 15 wasn’t in the Bible. Who wants to preach a sermon about Christians warring with each other?

One said, “And now are you going to correct God by BURDENING the Gentiles with a yoke…” (Living)

And one said, “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater BURDEN on you than these NECESSARY things.” ( verse 28 Holman)
[Sounds like C/R making tier ten category into tier one category.]

It seems one Christian used God to back up his thinking, and another Christian used the Holy Spirit to back up his opposite thinking.

Thy Peace said...

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 (New King James Version)

Conduct at the Lord’s Supper

17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[a] this is My body which is broken[b] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Examine Yourself

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[c] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[d] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[e] body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

Alan Cross said...

Thanks, Thy Peace. I can see some of the translations favor Wade's interpretation and it is becoming a bit clearer to me. I still don't see the link to those who are the most tolerant being the ones favored, but I am starting to see that sarcasm might not be the only way to look at this. Thanks again for your help.

Still, verse 17 says that "In the following directives, I have no praise for you," so it seems logical that he is not praising them for dividing just two verses later, especially when he condemns divisions in chapter 1. Of course, we are told to separate from those who are sinful, divisive, and argumentative, so some division in is necessary. I can see that it might have been a good thing in this case.

You learn something new everyday! Forgive my denseness, but can you help make the link to those approved being the ones who are most tolerant of other opinions from this text? Giving the benefit of the doubt, I must assume that I am missing something.

Alan Cross said...


It seems that your use of the Living Bible translation would contradict Wade's interpretation since he is saying that the division is a good thing because it shows who God approves and that translation is saying that it is a bad thing because those who were "always right" were dividing to be known and recognized. It seems that if you take that approach, Paul is using sarcasm to call out those who are prideful and think that they are always right and are willing to divide over it.

This is why I'm confused. Apparently, Bible translators have different perspectives on this as well. If we use the context of the passage though, it seems that Paul's intent in verse 19 was negative, not positive.

This is helpful. Thanks for having the patience to discuss this with me.

Thy Peace said...

You learn something new everyday! Forgive my denseness, but can you help make the link to those approved being the ones who are most tolerant of other opinions from this text? Giving the benefit of the doubt, I must assume that I am missing something.

My feeling is, Pastor Wade derives this from 1 Corinthians 13 (New King James Version)

The Greatest Gift

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Rex Ray said...

I don’t believe you’re confused about the meaning of Paul’s words, but about the meaning of Wade’s words which said:

“It seems quite clear that the kind of leadership that is approved of God, the kind of leaders that the church should follow, are those who are tolerant of other views, who graciously and loving accept people of different persuasions and opinions, and who place charity as the highest value within the church (1 Corinthians 13)

Do you not agree that Wade is telling the truth in this statement?

Wade said, “The last phrase of these two verses gives us the reasons why divisions and disagreements are necessary in the church. …SO THAT THOSE WHO ARE APPROVED MAY BECOME EVIDENT AMONG YOU.”

That last part was a quote from Paul and Paul meant it as critical. Don’t you see that Wade used the same irony that Paul did against those who wanted to be known and recognized?

(1 Timothy 1:6-7) sums up the Scripture that Wade has introduced:
“But these teachers have missed this whole idea and spend their time arguing and talking foolishness. They want to become famous as teachers of the laws of Moses when they haven’t the slightest idea what those laws really show us.”

2 Corinthians is a running gun battle between Paul and their leaders as shown by 3:1
“Are we beginning to be like those false teachers of yours who must tell you all about themselves and bring long letters of recommendation with them?”

“We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die…The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death…” (3:6)

I believe these same leaders in 2 Corinthians are the ones that Paul made fun of in the Scripture Wade talked about.

BTW where did their long letters of recommendation come from if not from the sect of Pharisees in Acts 15 that Wanda referenced?

These guys poured out of the Jerusalem Church like flies that invited themselves, with their recommendations, into the churches that Paul started. Their purpose was to teach them to obey the Jewish laws.

I’ll do some meddling now: Notice the ‘reports’ being sent to the ‘mother church’:
“They have told the church…” “I sent a brief letter to the church…” (3 John 6, 10)
“…traveling teachers…” (Verse 5)

I wonder if these “traveling teachers” were any of the guys that Paul referred to in Galatians.

“Christians…who came to spy on us and see what freedom we enjoyed in Christ Jesus, as to whether we obeyed the Jewish laws or not...” (2: 4)

“But afterwards when some Jewish friends of James came, he wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore because he was afraid of what these Jewish legalists, who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation, would say.” (2:12)

“Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has hypnotized you…Did you receive the Holy Spirit by trying to keep the Jewish laws?” (3:1, 2)

“Those false teachers…” (4:17)

“Who has interfered with you…” (5:7)

“I only wish these teachers who want you to cut yourselves by being circumcised…” (5:12)

“Those teachers of yours who are trying to convince you to be circumcised…” (6:12)

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

“With tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18)

Paul’s problems make our SBC problems look very small.

Anonymous said...

It was a lot of reading, but unless I missed something I think I'm in agreement with what Alan is saying.

It seems to me that the issue should be WHERE to draw the line. Not IF we should draw the line.

Certainly we all agree that a line should be drawn. The question is where exactly. Right?

A church shouldn't universally accept everyone of all persuasions on all different matters and on all different aspects of life etc...

Should they?


NativeVermonter said...

For any disagreement I might find myself in, they usually can be checked immediately if I concentrate on my tone, body language, and demeanor. And even when the line must be drawn biblically at least the other party can clearly see that He has drawn the line, not necessarily me. Maybe we're too quick to draw a line where He has not?

Brent Hobbs said...

Wade, the best commentaries on this passage understand Paul to be speaking tongue-in-cheek, or sarcastically, as someone above stated.

Tom Parker said...


I agree with you in that it is too easy to draw a line where Christ did not. I always struggle to agree with someone that I see things differently than they do. Too many times as human beings we will not even listen to differing views.

Bob Cleveland said...

If the context of the passage is the Lord's Supper, then it seems to me to support Wade's view. We have a specific occurrence .. their conduct when coming together for what we refer to as an ordinance .. and Paul is applying a principle to it.

I don't think the opposite would be appropriate; using a specific action (of the Corinthians) to establish a biblical principle.

And I'm not at all sure about the "tongue-in-cheek" thought, either. It's too easy to explain away things we don't like by using that (barring any concrete evidence in favor of it). There's enough of that sort of eisegesis in the church today without resorting to that.

Paul Burleson said...


I have to agree with you. Apart from the fat that "we old guys have to stick together" I've found through the years that good men have differed as to Paul's meaning here.

One of my favorites, though I don't think of him as having an outstanding theologian, but certainly a great teacher/pastor, was Ray Stedman. He agrees with the young man in Wade's bible study group. Steadman said....

"The cliques and divisions that Paul mentions earlier in this letter had ruined the gathering of the church together, so that he could say, as he does here, "It is not for the better that you come together, but for the worse. You are actually injuring one another and destroying the character of the church by the way you are conducting yourselves at these love feasts which terminate in the celebration of the Lord's Table together."

Now, in Verses 18 and 19, Paul reminds them that it is not wrong to have differences in a church: "There must indeed be factions [really the word is heresies], among you." He is not surprised at that. Everybody does not have the same point of view; everybody does not have the same background; everybody has not had the same training and upbringing, and so there are bound to be points of view that are different, and that is normal, Paul says. In fact, it is healthy, he says, for it allows those who are approved, who are mature, to become manifest.

About a year ago I was speaking to a group of youth leaders in the state of Missouri. We had an open question and answer session, and one of the things they asked me about was our Body Life service. I had told them that we encourage people to share freely, that anyone who wants to can stand up and speak on any subject. Now some of them were rather threatened by that, and someone asked me, "Are you not afraid that somebody will say something that is false, and heresies will spread in the church?" I told him that we do not see it that way. Then I quoted this verse, "There must indeed be heresies among you." "We like heresies," I said. "We encourage them to be expressed because they are great teaching opportunities. How are you going to know who in your congregation is able to handle heresies unless they have some heresies to work on?"

Interesting is it not?

Paul Burleson said...

Make that "fact." [Maybe "fat" is correct to some degree. :)]

Bob Cleveland said...


Thanks .. I always tell my SS class that I LOVE IT when someone disagrees. Not only does that open a teaching opportunity, but it also tells me people are affirming what they DO believe, and that's a good thing. We've got enough people who don't know what they believe, around, that it's good to see someone reinforcing, mulling over, reconsidering, etc, their beliefs.

(And I'd already amen'd the "fat", anyway.)

Alan Paul said...


It's off subject, but I was wondering if you had seen this?


Wade Burleson said...

Bob and Dad,

Well stated. Rex, you too.

Alan, I think my humor was not as effective as I had hoped. I appreciate your comments and I think you make some excellent points. I am not as interested in defending my position as I am in hearing yours.



Wade Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

I did see the article. I commend Dr. Patterson for the invitation to Dr. Everett.

Obviously, one wonders if there is anything SWBTS desires from Dr. Everett, like maybe an exhibit booth at the BGCT to increase enrollment? Maybe, maybe not.

If there is truly a celebration of differences among Baptists at SWBTS, then I would encourage SWBTS to extend an invitation to ________ as a chapel guest speaker, a man with nothing to give SWBTS and nothing to gain from SWBTS.

You fill in the blank.

Anonymous said...

The sarcasm does not come through when you read it in an interlinear.

And I agree with Paul, Bob, Rex, about the 'heresies' because of this:

I Corinthians 14

26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, EVERYONE has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace."

More than one person speaking and others weighing what is said. How can we do that unless we are searching scripture?

Doing this, more people would be in the Word and false teaching would become more obvious. What Paul is describing here seems more like a checks and balances in the Body. It would be impossible to become a leader one is not allowed to question in this scenerio.


Alan Cross said...

Thanks, everyone, for all of the information and the discussion. It is really helpful.

So, we are now saying that it is a good thing to have heresies in the Church so that those who are approved by God will be made clear? Does the presence of heresy highlight those who have an irenic spirit so it can show how tolerant and loving they are and thus, how they are the ones who are qualified to be leaders?

This is a curious interpretation. Paul fought AGAINST heresies and confronted them continuously. If love and understanding trumped correct doctrine, then why was he so harshly confronting those who had a wrong view of the Lord's Supper? Shouldn't he have shown his approval by being understanding and accepting of those who were getting drunk at the Lord's Supper? Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that the role of ministers is to help people mature so that they are not tossed back and forth by every wind of doctrine. Are we saying that heresies MUST exist in the church in order for people to mature?

Bob, I would have to disagree with you here and say that a practice of eisegesis would support the interepretation being promoted here, not the other way around. Context and the rest of Scripture seems to assert that divisions amongst the Body are not to be considered a good thing, but rather, we should come together around the person and work of Jesus Christ.

If this passage is saying that it is a good thing to divide over heresy and sin, then I can understand that (although I don't think it is saying that). But, what is being promoted here is that HERESY is a good thing because the presence of it leads to division along the lines of who is approved (those who are tolerant of other viewpoints and are loving) and those who are not (those who are intolerant of other viewpoints).

Sorry guys. I'm not trying to be one of the disapproved or be disagreeable. I just don't see that. But, I love you all anyway! :)

Alan Cross said...

One clarification:

I should have said, "What SEEMS to be promoted here . . ." This is a good discussion on a difficult text and I am not trying to say that heresy is necessarily being promoted as a good thing. I think that I understand that what is being promoted as a good thing is a loving, accepting spirit regarding those with different views. Heresy is just a means to highlight and promote those with that loving and accepting spirit. Is that what you guys are saying? If so, I appreciate the ultimate goal, but I struggle with the means. It seems that sacrifice, good works, compassion, and the fruit of the spirit would be the most clear means that God gives to promote love, understanding, and acceptance. Since heresy was generally opposed, it seems problematic for it to be accepted as a legitimate means to highlight those who are approved by God by how they handle it.

But, again, I could be wrong and I am enjoying the give and take.

Wade Burleson said...


I think the fundamental difference between the two views of this passage is one is based on "fear" that doctrinal disagreements (by the way, every secondary and tertiary doctrine held by Baptists was once called a heresy by some Christian group) will "hurt" the church, wherase the other view is that loving leadership in the midst of disagreement "helps" the church in the end - by identifying the those leaders approved by God.

In other words, the way to deal with "heresy" or disagreement is not by force, but by love.



P.S. What would have happened if conservatives had loved their Southern Baptist brothers in the 1980's more than they sought to "correct" their Southern Baptist brothers? Just asking.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

Perhaps the emerging of some heresies in the church is what pointed out to Paul, that there were heretics .. functional ones, at least, in the church. If there is error amongst the brethren, how are we to know it?

Kind of like Pain. We're not for it, but when it reveals a fatal problem, we're glad it hurt.

Alan Cross said...


I am with you on the need for loving leadership. But, I don't think that I fear that doctrinal disagreements hurt the church. Disagreements can be healthy because they provide a chance for growth and understanding. You are correct in that. However, I do believe that heresy hurts the church and that is why it has been biblically and historically opposed. That is why Paul was opposing it at Corinth, I believe, just as he opposed their divisions. I am preaching through Galatians right now and Paul forcefully confronted the heresy of the Judaizers because he knew that their teaching was devasting to the Galatian Christians. He was being loving in warning people away from error.

I agree with your overall emphasis on allowing for differences on tertiary doctrines for the sake of cooperation and you know that I have for a long time. I just think that this passage is saying something different. That's okay, though.

I would also caution against a view that says that those who are tolerant and accepting are the ones that God approves for leadership. Everyone seems to have a different definition of what is tolerant and accepting and we can be quite intolerant in promoting our view on this. What is loving and accepting to one (a passion for truth and correct doctrine because they believe that faith in Jesus informed by truth is the only way to be accepted by God) might be seen as intolerant to others because they are not accepting views that they think take people away from God.

Love is supreme. But, you can love sacrificially while still defending the faith. The two are not mutually exclusive, I would not think. I'm not saying that you are saying that necessarily. It is just an observation fueled by this discussion.

Wade Burleson said...


Speaking the truth in love has a way of stifling all heresies in my opinion.



Wanda said...

Wade asked:
"P.S. What would have happened if conservatives had loved their Southern Baptist brothers in the 1980's more than they sought to "correct" their Southern Baptist brothers? Just asking."

First of all, the SBC wouldn't be the laughingstock that it is to so many Christians who are outside of this denomination. What a poor testimony the SBC has had before a watching world.

Secondly, the SBC wouldn't have experienced a hemorrage of members like it has over the last two decades.

Thirdly, many lost souls who are repulsed by the SBC's extremely narrow view of Scripture might actually be Christians today.

The damage has been enormous, and the SBC is definitely on a downward spiral. I believe God is allowing this decline because those who control the SBC are clearly out of God's will.



Alan Cross said...


Agreed. I don't know if it always "stifles" heresy because heretics have a way of ignoring truth no matter how lovingly it is presented, but that is definitely the way that we should handle things.

Anonymous said...



Also those who have lost jobs (with all the problems that brings) for no reason except not agreeing/going along with the takeover, or even for just being women - I understand Sherri Klouda (sp?) even agreed to the BF&M2000 for all the good it did her.


Alan Paul said...

I am as cautious (which is code for cynical) as the next person when it comes to an 800lb gorilla suddenly playing nice... but it would be nice to see this continue... time will tell.

greg.w.h said...

This post reminds me of a comment by the newly hired COO of one company I worked for after he had been on the job for about a month: "I never imagined that the first major problem I would have to solve is who gets to park in the company's reserved parking spaces." When the owners hired him, they gave up their parking spaces since they expected him to run the whole show and he needed them out of the office so he could do that. The jockeying for those spaces began before he was even fully engaged in his new role.

I offer that as a very precise example of what Paul was addressing. Resolving issues like who gets the reserved parking spaces is not value adding for either a business or a church. And those kinds of divisions are the exact same kind that he was addressing in Chapter 1.

Wade's post is from someone who not only was the son of a senior pastor, but also has experienced the decision making responsibilities of the senior pastor role for many years. I'm sure he could spin off a dozen stories like mine where he had to resolve minor schisms and disputes between "heresies" (think sects or divisions or even cliques). When he read the word "dei" I'm sure he translated that into something like this "it's necessary to resolve these political interactions and doing so shows who is really leading in a helpful way and who isn't, and understanding that helps you understand who is approved to lead (by God) and who isn't."

That's the context for those two verses in my opinion. And while there is an allusion to the chapter one major discussion of "strifes", I don't see Paul quite as fired up in these two verses as he is in his intro, which suggests this is a DIFFERENT nuance of a SIMILAR problem.

But even more importantly, these two verses are yet another echo of the general theme of the New Testament. Leading people is very much like herding cats and Jesus took that into account both with "his guys", with the leadership of the early church, with the providence of the Holy Spirit (both providing the Spirit and the Spirit's action to provide forus), etc.

The effort in the SBC to try and narrow the doctrine down to one catechism with no room for variation in any way simply is unrealistic given the varying voices through which the Holy Spirit speaks in the New Testament. As a specific example, the ongoing argument on the eating of food sacrificed to idols threads itself through, what?, Acts and four different epistles?

And what was the final resolution that Paul offered for that controversy? Essentially, if it impacts your conscience to do something like eat meat sacrificed to idols, then by all means don't do it. Then he counsels those who feel more freedom on subjects such as that to not rub their freedom in the face of weaker brothers (and sisters).

That is not a definitive resolution to a problem. That is not "our way or the highway." That's a compromise resolution designed to DOWNPLAY that specific issue in favor of other priorities.

The SBC both as leaders and as a "nation" will one day stand before God and give an account for those that were committed to us by God's plan of redemption. He may listen patiently while we explain the necessity of arguing over all of these "essential" (in our opinion) rules and interpretations. He's merciful to a fault, after all.

But wouldn't it be far, far better if we used Paul's method of compromise with carefully drawn electric fences--built on a combination of personal introspection before God and corporate freedom to permit the Holy Spirit to guide the individual--rather than intentionally expelling fellow brothers and sisters in the faith from the fellowship over what probably aren't the MOST important issues in our faith?

I offer that interpretation because to me the description in that paragraph is the promise of the traditional Southern Baptist distinctive of priesthood of the believer (note the singular.) When the believer goes off the reservation, we need to deal with that. But when the boundaries of the reservation aren't crystal clear, we should simply tolerate the ambiguity and whatever diversity it fosters. And we trust that God can tell the difference between who he agrees with and who he disagrees with and that he will lead the approved leaders to confront those that must be confronted...again through the direct leadership of the Holy Spirit.

That is a very promising framework for cooperation in my opinion. It acknowledges the primary role of the Holy Spirit in bringing about our conformation to the image (eikon) of Christ Jesus and the important human role in discussing in community how the Holy Spirit is leading each individual in creating a community effort through individual leadership and the resulting discipleship and education that necessarily flows from that direct leadership by the Holy Spirit.

How do you avoid the problem of the "downgrade" (borrowing from Spurgeon) if you permit this kind of freedom in the church? The pastor/elders must lead in confronting individuals and not try to simply confront the general congregation when individuals are the cause of the problems. That expectation of leadership boils up to administrators at the Convention level.

Who oversees these leaders? The Holy Spirit and the body at large. In the case of the SBC entities, the body at large is represented by the trustees. They aren't there to serve a specific agenda, but instead are accountable to the rest of the convention for acting for the sake of the body at large, not their specific schismata or 'airisia. ;)

Greg Harvey

Mark said...

Alan Cross,

Both John MacArthur (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, "1 Corinthians", pp268-269) and Gordon Fee (NICNT, "1 Corinthians, pp. 537-539) lean in the direction of the necessity/usefulnes of αἱρεσεις to manifest those approved for leadership. Neither is the most scholarly work available, but both are solid. This is not an endorsement of their interpretations, but wanted it out there that good guys have, in fact, gone in this direction. It's at least worth a look.

mark sims
FBC Perrin, TX

Anonymous said...

The leaders are simply those who serve, not those who rule.

The leaders deny themselves to provide for others.

The leaders provide an example by following Christ in their actions.

Any Church leader will always point to Christ, not to themselves or to their own ideas. Only Christ.

A leader will stand for what is right and what is just, even if they must pay a price for this.

A leader gives permission to follow your own conscience as guided by the Holy Spirit.

A leader is any Christian as they act to serve the Kingdom for the glory of Christ.

A leader never causes harm to other Christians, for any reason.

A leader is humble before the Lord.
And a leader is a humble servant to those he leads.

Elisabeth said...

Anon 1:17 - Well said. I think my own pastor has a lot of these qualities of leadership. I myself have a hard time trusting leadership, having been taken advantage of sexually by a pastor when I was in my early 20's. But when I see a leader that exhibits these characteristics, I can trust.

Anonymous said...

SLIM said,
"It seems to me that the issue should be WHERE to draw the line. Not IF we should draw the line.

Certainly we all agree that a line should be drawn. The question is where exactly. Right?"

Lean not unto thine own understanding, Slim.

If you are looking for a majority rule on something, that is not the Church's way. If you are looking for human consensus, a little more may become clear, if the humans involved pray for understanding and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In the end, there are some things we may not know until we are with Him in eternity. L's

There is a saying in Judaism:
"Man plans; God laughs."

His ways are far above ours. When we are ready, He will reveal to us what we so earnestly seek to know.

Thy Peace said...

Off topic:

Debbie Kaufman has posted an interesting article on her blog:

Watching Sports Is A Sin

I am assuming, Debbie is a sports fan and she loves football. The tag for the article is "humor". So I am assuming it's all in tongue-in-cheek.

Anonymous said...

Who loves the SBC more:

those who would take it over and divide it?

or those who fight so that all may be heard once more?

Remember the wisdom of Solomon.

The one who loved the child did not want the child divided into two parts.

Who loves the SBC the most?

Tom Parker said...

Next year, 2009 will mark the 30 year anniversary of the beginnings of the CR. No one will ever convince me what has happened over the past 30 years has made the SBC a better denomination.

What if instead of taking over, both sides had tried to find a way to come to some understandings on the issues? Sadly, we will never know what would have occured.

Anonymous said...

Wanda wrote: "the SBC wouldn't be the laughingstock that it is to so many Christians who are outside of this denomination"

Some of us aren't laughing. The attack on the SBC is seen by many as an attack on the whole Church. I fear many vulnerable members of the SBC will be harmed the most. People that would laugh might not be Christians afterall. L's

debbiekaufman said...

Thank you for mentioning me Thy Peace. Yep, definitely tongue in cheek. It'd better be, otherwise I would have just condemned by own husband! :)

Wanda said...

The definition I prefer for "laughingstock" is:

"A person or thing made the object of ridicule."

I'm far from laughing over this extremely serious matter that has occurred in the SBC since the 1980s. To be completely honest, my heart grieves every day over the damage that has been done by the CR crowd, and I didn't even grow up Southern Baptist.

Sometimes I wonder why I align myself with a Southern Baptist church because I am so upset by the trends I am seeing. I'm praying for reformation. May it come soon!



Anonymous said...

Hi Wanda,

You wrote, "To be completely honest, my heart grieves every day over the damage that has been done by the CR crowd . . . "

I know that's true. It shows in your concern as you blog here.
I am glad to have had a chance to read what you share here. It has been a blessing for me. :) L's

Anonymous said...

Hi L's.

"People that would laugh might not be Christians afterall."

Well said.

Also L's, you know me well enough to know that I lean so far away from myself that I'm about to fall over. :)

I definitely think there needs to be a line as well. That's what I meant but I think I wasn't clear. It shouldn't be about IF there is a line but simply where does one draw it.

I think we can't go wrong if we draw it where scripture draws it, of course. But then, that opens up a whole 'nother can.

Interpretation of scripture is why we have so many different religions I think. Some take verses out of context to make it say something not intended (perhaps), some use more/other writings than those known as canonized scripture, etc...

It is difficult to NOT enforce this "line" within the baptist circle, I would think? Indeed, I would say we wouldn't have to enforce it as there are so many other options available if a person doesn't agree in doctrine (for example) with a particular circle.

Just some thoughts. What do you think?


ezekiel said...

Alan Cross,

Paul was not being sarcastic. Simply stating what we know and is supported by other scripture. I find it helpful to look at all the references to the particular verse and see how they line up with what was being said and intended.

Truth of Scriptural Knowledge (TSK) references for the verse in question are....

1Co 11:19 -
there: Mat_18:7; Luk_17:1; Act_20:30; 1Ti_4:1-2; 2Pe_2:1-2
heresies: or, sects, Act_5:17, Act_15:5, Act_24:5, Act_24:14, Act_26:5, Act_28:22; Gal_5:20; Tit_3:10 *Gr.
which: Deu_13:3; Luk_2:35; 2Co_13:5-7 *Gr: 1Jo_2:19

Some of these scriptures, I quote below but I suggest looking at all of them. In the church today, we know that there are those that would deceive us, mislead us, that teach destructive heresies. We also have true believers, led by the Holy Spirit at all sorts of various levels of maturity.

The key thing that works is the discussion. The mature teach the younger, less knowledgeable, the heretics are exposed and kicked out and the ones that err are corrected. In some cases even the heretics are brought to repentance. All that happens via the "washing of the word"

Mat 18:7 Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influences to do wrong! It is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes!

Act 20:30 Even from among your own selves men will come to the front who, by saying perverse (distorted and corrupt) things, will endeavor to draw away the disciples after them [to their own party].

1Ti 4:1 BUT THE [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,

Deu 13:3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being.

Luk 2:35 And a sword will pierce through your own soul also--that the secret thoughts and purposes of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed.

Mat 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

That Sword is the WORD.

Heb 4:12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

I think we can all agree that He is sifting the church and washing the church. The idea that this all happens with a bunch of folks smiling and having a good time is not accurate. Paul didn't have it that way, Jesus didn't and I can't think of many other folks that were different and set apart in His service that had communion in unity and peace.

There was division between the original 12 disciples. Paul rebuked Peter....Both of them, as far as we know, passed the test. We will too if we hold tight to the Head.

Thy Peace said...

Amen ezekiel.

greg.w.h said...

Tom Parker said:

What if instead of taking over, both sides had tried to find a way to come to some understandings on the issues? Sadly, we will never know what would have occured.

We can't rewrite the past, but the future can be addressed. Heaven waits in anticipation of the choice we will make with respect to the souls that have been given to the care of Southern Baptists. God Almighty may already know the outcome either because of his strong right hand or because of his omniscience, but the Bible continually illustrates how God works with/through human choices in implementing his plan of salvation for people.

I honestly believe that the intention of the majority of the leaders of what we now call the Conservative Resurgence believed they were doing something that was honorable and necessary. Even the leaders that have since taken it too far were addressing a problem that they believed was real and corrosive.

The mere fact that the entire change was built on political mechanisms allowed by the charter of the SBC is a good hint as to the fact that it was primarily a human-led effort. But for those same Christians--the architects of the Conservative Resurgence and those that provided them with congregational and political support--to have abandoned their beliefs and their principles and simply left the SBC would--as you have hinted--been just as bad of a result.

In that realization is the most hopeful future of our Convention and is the heart of Wade's efforts: that cooperation over the most important issues of our faith necessarily trumps the little stuff. It's necessary by history, it's necessary because of the impact of sin/pride on our reasoning and and our decision making, and it's necessary--taking verses like these into account--doctrinally.

Wade knows that if you took ANY 10 Baptist leaders and put them into a room and told them to emerge with a strict interpretation of all ambiguous passages in the New Testament, that you're likely to have a majority report out claiming the importance of treating the Bible as having a unified voice and 10 minority comments on individual nuances each person perceives.

When we put theologians together to create new translations of the Bible itself, there is always some kind of committee as a MATTER OF CHECK AND BALANCE. The failure to do that results in very interesting paraphrases that simply are unreliable for doctrinal instruction. How can we pretend that somehow our doctrinal considerations written into policies of our entities would work any other way?

Those are necessary schismata and heresies as per this passage. Necessary because God isn't as clear as we would like him to be in his Word (written by the hand of many men, though guided by One Spirit, yet still divided in SOME ways), necessary because we are still impacted by our sin natures (walking dead men and women though they may be), and necessary because God for his own purpose hides things from view that he reveals when he is good and ready.

Greg Harvey

Thy Peace said...

Amen Greg Harvey.

Bob Cleveland said...

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, there are going to be divisions in the church, as we're still all human. Were that not the case, God wouldn't have to tell us to constantly seek unity.

The same is true with lots of biblical instruction; God knows what's best for us and He knows we're not apt to do it on our own, saved or not.

I want to accept it for what it says, but I acknowledge that sin is sin, even where it produces spiritual gain, as was the case with the crucifixion.

Anonymous said...


You said, "Interpretation of scripture is why we have so many different religions I think."

I believe that the problem is more what it is that we see a scripture from different perspectives.

For a long time, now, my approach to the Holy Writings has been one of wonder, as to why I did not see something before. Or why a scripture is more important to me NOW and not so much before.
I am sure that the differences I experience in my own study are a clue as to why people are disagreeing with each other.

Perhaps, we are taught through the writings as our maturity to understand grows and perhaps things are revealed to us, as we need the teaching at a certain point in our lives.
All I know is that for me, the Holy Writings are not a constant in meaning and in application: I see more and more in the Holy Book as my own life has unfolded. And I am grateful for this.
Does this make any sense? If it does, than there may be some latitude for how we approach the Scriptures and what they mean for us as the Body of Christ and for each of us in our own lives. What do YOU think?
Thanks for sharing. :) L's

Alan Cross said...

I want to again thank each one of you for providing a different perspective on this verse in a humble and Christlike way. It is different from how I have read it, but the more that I digest what is being said, the more that I can see this perspective as a valid interpretation.

I am not saying that I yet fully agree with what has been stated (the context of the passage is still influencing me heavily), but I at least am now aware of this perspective and do not have a major problem with it. It definitlely lines up with other teachings on how the church is to function and what we are to do with heresy, so I think that the interpretation presented here is plausible to say the least. When I have more time, I'll give it some more thought.

Thanks again!

Bob Cleveland said...


It's been said that "When the pressure is turned up, on, what's inside is apt to come leaking out".
Kind of resonates, somehow....

Wanda said...

Greg Harvey said:
"I honestly believe that the intention of the majority of the leaders of what we now call the Conservative Resurgence believed they were doing something that was honorable and necessary."


I appreciate your commentary, and I agree with this statement. The reason I came out of a mainline denomination and joined a Southern Baptist church is because I believed the denomination to be doctrinally sound. I take my faith very seriously, and I will not put up with a lukewarm theology.

That being said, I have become very concerned about the growing extremism I am observing in the SBC. Just how conservative does this denomination need to get? My husband always says that extremes are very dangerous, and the SBC is approaching the danger zone.

If the SBC leadership doesn't begin to strive for more unity, I feel certain that the denomination will continue to lose members and perhaps even experience a split.



G. Alford said...

22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. – (2Tim.2:22-26)

I could be wrong, but I think Wade was desiring a discussion about the virtues of a Leadership in the Church/SBC that is “tolerant of other views, who graciously and lovingly accept people of different persuasions and opinions, and who place charity as the highest value within the church” as opposed to the Fundamentalist in the BI movement who desire a one size fits all convention.

Is diversity in the Church/SBC really such a bad thing?

Grace Always

Alan Cross said...


Wade has achieved his goal on this issue, at least in my heart. As a pastor, it is easy to think that we have to constantly fight for the truth. But, God's weapons are spiritual and not carnal. I have given a great deal of thought today about how I handle those who disagree on issues and I am grateful.

The Conventional Wisdom on this puts us in a situation where we are always fighting and we feel like if we are not drawing lines and fighting over everything, we are being unfaithful. In our defense of the faith, however, we need to make sure that we are not violating Scripture regarding how God tells us to act. Love is what protects us. Wade's point was abundantely clear in that regard. I just struggled with is use of that particular passage to make that point.

Anonymous said...

If a Church keeps its focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Living Word, then scripture discussions can be kept in perspective.

If a Church sidelines the Words and Actions of Jesus Christ in the Bible AND puts its emphasis on secondary and tertiary issues RATHER than a solitary CENTRAL focus on Jesus the Christ;
then, the church will suffer. They are steering the church towards the rocks.

The 'conservative resurgence' was neither 'conservative' nor a 'resurgence'. It was a power grab by fundamentalists/political operatives who changed the BF&M to push Christ aside. In their treatment of Dr. Klouda and of the 77 missionaries, they showed the rest of the church that the main focus was no longer on the Christ.

Remember when commercial enterprises at Christmas started calling the holiday X-mas ?
That's what the CR people did to the church. They took the Christ out of the word 'Christian' and in the place of Christ, they put in fear and manipulation and coercion. And they knew what they were doing. It was planned at Cafe du Monde and carefully orchestrated at the convention.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Chuck Colson in his book "Being the Body" says:

"Diversity within the body while it may chafe and bind and even pain provide a healthy corrective..."

He makes a distinction between the Church (Global or universal) and the church ( local or particular).

He stresses that We must celebrate diversity of the CHURCH as long as there is unity in the fundamentals(Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, The Atonement,The Resurrection, The Authority of Scripture, The Second Coming)but then he adds that doctrinal agreement is more important in the local church (particular).

He does not seem to be advocating that everyone in a local congregation must think or believe alike in everything but he does suggest that there must be more unity in doctrine and polity for the sake of worship and discipleship in a local congregation

Obviously, Kingdom work is bigger than all of us so we need to celebrate, explore,respect, love and work with one another in our diversity as the CHURCH.

But by virtue of our human frailty our differences are smaller in the church (particular) because we are influenced by race, culture, personal preferences, etc.

Nevertheless, the principle to love, respect, celebrate and work with one another as Christians still stands...even when we disagree

I should be able to link arms with a Pentecostal, Anglican, and Catholic on some Kingdom project or important social issue...despite some strong convictions on my part on this issue or that one.

However, if I am part of a local church...the congregation (or leadership) decides they want to call a woman pastor, or move to elder rule, or have real wine at communion, or speak in tongues...I am called to love them, respect, them, dialogue with them, and wrestle with my convictions asking guidance from the HS in prayer and Bible study. In general I should have the ability to accept many differences. However, if I disagree strongly enough on any such issue so much that I cannot walk in unity then I will find another place to attend or serve instead of being divisive. That is the most loving thing I can do

Colson quotes Helmut Thielicke who says sister churches(protestant and/or catholic) rather than choosing to fight one another are called by God to "question relentlessly themselves and grow more mature in the process"

Maybe some of the negative consequences of the CR is not just that we refuse to link arms with the others in the CHURCH for Kingom expanding Christ exalting projects...We have stopped questioning ourselves in a desire to mature...and we have stopped working at responding to real differences in a loving manner.

Colson continues...

"Doctrinal issues have been disputed in the church since the beginning and such debates can be healthy. When we do this unlovingly we unleash our own base instincts. We become more strident to mask our own insecurity and we use doctrinal disputes to grab power"

Sadly we all can fall into this trap and Colson believes that diversity (not heresy...which is non-conformity in fundamentals) that is accepted, celebrated and cultivated with openness, honesty, and love will help to protect from what "might otherwise result at the hands of fallen and arrogant humans beings"


davidinnashville said...

That's absolutely ridiculous. The wise men are needed for direction, and the fulfillment of Biblical discipline of which most Churches know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

Hi again L's,

I hear you, and clearly we have a different view of scripture is some ways evidenced by the fact that you are Catholic and I (and most others here, I presume) are Baptist...or at least Protestant.

But I do relate to your statement about learning more and more at each reading of God's Word. That happens almost daily to me as well.

Let's both keep reading!!! :)


Rex Ray said...

You wrote L’s, “You are Catholic and I (and most others here, I presume) are Baptist…or at least Protestant.”

Are you saying Baptists are NOT Protestants? If you are, I believe as you. We started with Christ and separated when the majority started baptizing babies for salvation in 251 AD.

greg.w.h said...


I suspect you misread my defense of the leaders of the CR as license for the worst excesses of the CR. I'm not quite as frequent of a commenter on Wade's blog as I have been in the past (though I seem to be making up for lost time the last week or so!), but I assure you that I agree with your analysis and that I, too, stand against those worst excesses.

It's somewhat more personal for me because my dad has been in seminary, pastoral, missionary, and denominational work for my entire lifetime of awareness. He has gone through times of deep grieving over some of those worst excesses because they weren't just names but his leaders, his colleagues, and his friends in that work. But he also has many friends who have been leaders of the CR as well. So I've seen both sides of the situation rather up front and personal.

Originally I felt called to that work, but God later redirected me to the field I am currently in. I can see lots of reasons in retrospect for that, but one of the things that struck me at the time--circa 1986 at SWBTS--was how it turned my stomach to see the attacks and counter-attacks over the years. So I, again, assure you that I--very personally--agree with your analysis.

Greg Harvey

debbiekaufman said...

davidinnashville: Please tell us what you believe Biblical discipline that most churches don't know about is? I would seriously like your view on this.

Anonymous said...

More thoughts about women and leadership...Wade...I overheard some older women today in a restaurant talk about some church issues on matters that I tended to not agree with.. I did not quite hear everything. There may actually be an older established woman's society in our churches that maybe against women in any type of leadership as well..it may not be just a man thing. I confronted a minister awhile back about a church policy that was not really a biblical perspective on dress and he said that well in church you just have to draw standards. That policy was in dealing with women's perspectives from a few members as well. The leaders had to come to some conclusions. I told him that I thought maybe he could gently correct their ideas but he said in every church era that the leadership had to find even handed approaches.

Anonymous said...

Hi RR,

I hope you don't mind that I call you RR. I do it affectionately.

I believe that I (and from what I understand, all Baptists) are Protestant in the sense that we (a particular group) protested against the Catholic church re: all the issues you and I are aware of. One of which you mentioned. I'm thinking Luther here and transubstantiation, works based issues, penance, authority (Pope vs. priesthood of me :)) and all the rest.

I am certain you have more to add to that and I respect your knowledge. Please feel free to comment further here.

Thank you.


Rex Ray said...

Rodney Sprayberry,
Pastor, I hesitate to say, ‘Dear Brother’ as that was told to Paul in (Acts 21:20) when they gave him the good news and the bad news. (I guess that’s too far off the topic.)

Your comment was a good sermon on how a church should treat one another, but I’m curious if (1 Corinthians 11:18, 19) would be your Scripture reference. In other words what is your interpretation of verse 19?

“But I suppose you feel this is necessary so that you who are always right will become known and recognized.” (Living)

“For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are APPROVED may become evident among you.” (NASV)

“For there must be also heresies among you that they which are APPROVED may be made manifest among you.” (KJ)

“But of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s APPROVAL will be recognized.” (NLT)

“There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that the APPROVED among you may be recognized.” (Holman)

Rodney, I believe the key word that Paul is poking fun at is the “approved”. Who were they? It’s not too hard to see WHO Paul had problems with in First and Second Corinthians.

It was their self appointed leaders with long recommendations who were teaching Gentiles to obey Jewish laws.

Why would teaching “Obey every law of God or die:” (2 Corinthians 3:6 Living) start “divisions” in (1 Corinthians 11:18)?

Maybe some Corinthians believed what Paul wrote in (Galatians 1:8) “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved…if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.”

Hurray for the few that caused divisions with the APPROVED, and for those standing for truth today.

Anonymous said...

That's absolutely ridiculous. The wise men are needed for direction, and the fulfillment of Biblical discipline of which most Churches know nothing about.

Wed Oct 29, 09:07:00 PM 2008

Who decides who are 'wise' men? Is it a man given title of elder or seminary president? Was Patterson practicing wise biblical discipline when he ruined Klouda? (after all, the seminary is a church)

Some of these so called 'wise' men scare me. They are in it for themselves and they love power and glory too much.

I heard church discipline taught at the True Church Conference and all was well except ONE thing. They added to the Matthew 18 text. They ADDED A STEP that was NOT in the text. The step they added was that it had to be taken to the elders before it is taken to the church.

You can argue all day long that is wise and bring in other scriptures to try to bolster that view BUT the bottom line is that the text does NOT say that. The text does not even say the witnesses need to be elders.

I am trusting the so called 'wise' men less and less. Elder means 'spiritually mature' overseer.


Wanda said...


Thanks for sharing your heartfelt comments. I'm praying that this Behemoth, namely the SBC, will change course soon! Far too many Christians are getting trampled, and not just those who have been mentioned in this forum.

We need to come up with a "Joe the Plumber" persona for the average Southern Baptist that is being adversely affected by the not so hidden agenda of the CR crowd. So many SBC members have no voice, such as "Harriet the Housewife".



Cindy said...

Alan Cross wrote: So, we are now saying that it is a good thing to have heresies in the Church so that those who are approved by God will be made clear?

(Disclaimer: This is not to pick on Alan but is an honest question I have!!)

I am confused why the term "heresy" came up when the original term and issue was that of division or differing interpretations. Paul and Barnabus parted, and I'm sure that Paul would not have sent the "son of consolation" on his way to serve God with his blessing if he was an heretic. I'm certain of it.

I see a rush to jump from disagreements over interpretation, particularly on issues that have been intramural ones traditionally, into a labeling of them as heresy. This thread is discussing "Divisions" and not "Heresy" which I think is another matter entirely. And I see this happening quite often today in a wide variety of denominations. What I don't know is whether there is more of this going on today or whether I was just unaware/ignorant of most of it in the past. (???) I'm not as idealistic as I once was.

Is that a big part of our problem as the Church Universal? We are quick to turn intramural issues into essential ones?

Tom Parker said...

I really wish as Baptists we could learn to disagree in ways in which the conversation on the issue(s) could continue. The Lord has revealed to me in the last week that I must do a better job of disagreeing with my Baptist brothers and sisters. With the Lord's help I asked forgiveness of these people the Lord laid on my heart to ask forgiveness and they graciously forgave me. It really was not so bad having to say to someone else that I was wrong and would really try and do better. We may still not agree but the conversation will continue.

Cindy said...

SL1M wrote about drawing the line, and I do agree with him. Being Christian is all about drawing lines -- holiness is to be set apart which requires specific lines.

I think the matter about where to draw the line is partially corporate (we are part of local bodies of believers and the Body of Christ and are to submit to one another). So there are some lines that are clear and appropriate. Here is where iron sharpens iron, more along the lines of the point Paul Burleson made about the process of "heresies" in the church. Part of how we learn is through contrasts. A good way to learn about what something is involves considering what it is not. (We should know what is authentic by studying the genuine article, yet we should also learn by identifying counterfeits.)

If we were all widgets that fit nicely in boxes and were static creatures with all of the same dimensions, that would make the process of aligning with our local body and the Body of Christ much easier. But God threw in individuality for us wherein each man (and woman :)) comes to Christ individually and answers personally for their own sins. We are all each given a conscience and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is also an individual process. But Jesus gave us instructions for this, as did Paul. Paul graciously spelled out Romans 14 for us. Hebrews talks of the law being written in our hearts. We are no longer under the law of sin and death, but are governed by the Spirit of Grace and Love. And John speaks also of our ability to discern in his epistles, too. So as much as our collective groups follow practices and draw lines, God also gives us the perfect, the good and the acceptable ranges wherein we can dwell in freedom as individuals.

So for the general lines of distinction, denominations can definitely can and should do so, yet the personal lines of distinction should remain fluid.

When I look back on my own walk, I believed a many things that I now hold to be outright contrary to what the Word teaches. You could absolutely call some of them heresy. But considering the "aorist" verb tense of the word "salvation," we were saved, are being saved now and will be saved. I am no longer what I was and not all that I will be as God continues His good work in me by His faithfulness. I've got a lot less heresy in me than I did when the process started. And they were not wilfull heresies -- they were what my denomination believed to be the highest and purest reflection of the Word of God. My own (Personal and fluid) process brought me to the place where I was able to change my beliefs to be what I was convicted as more true to the Word, my solid standard, based upon the conviction of the Holy Spirit's work in my heart and mind.

So in that sense, those "heresies" did their own good work in me, actually driving me closer to the Lord because of their inconsistencies.

But that brings up the point I made in my previous comment.

WHAT exactly is HERESY? And do we use the term indiscriminately, given the heavy connotation of the word itself? Would we be better served to use a different term from that which is literally "different from"? Because it connotes outright rebellion against the Word of God, and does not address honest understanding with willful intent to submit to God and the Word.. ? We should and do understand the definition of the word but don't always weigh what it connotes specifically.

NativeVermonter said...


I've noticed in my life that when I've asked for forgivness from folks, it has actually made our relationships stronger as a result.

It tends to diffuse whatever tension may have existed. Although my nature is much like Arthur Fonzeralli on Happy Days--I just have a very difficult time saying the word: Wrong.

Cindy said...

Tom Parker wrote: The Lord has revealed to me in the last week that I must do a better job of disagreeing with my Baptist brothers and sisters. With the Lord's help I asked forgiveness of these people the Lord laid on my heart to ask forgiveness and they graciously forgave me.

This is something I also wrestle with. Search me and know me, Lord.. see if there be any wicked way in me. And we are called to give an account of our faith with meekness and patience. I don't think those traits are learned as easily as others. James said patience comes through the trying of our faith -- through suffering. Meekness, it seems and I don't have a Scripture reference, I would think comes through learning when you are not meek. What would that be? The suffering the consequences for being too self-assured? Getting knocked down a few pegs? Learning to be careful when we stand from the falls we've taken before? I don't think we tend to learn that stuff naturally and painlessly.

We are all imperfect sinners saved by grace, working it out in fear and trembling under the both terrible yet loving hand of the Living God. Not exactly a glib walk through the park.

So we as Christians have to learn what lines to draw, where to draw them and HOW to DRAW them and HOW to DEFEND them. (A boundary is no boundary if it is not maintained.) We are to maintain and defend our boundaries with meekness and patience. All these things seem to me must be learned partly by precious (if not mortifying) experience.

Rex Ray said...

My father was an old time Baptist preacher who served in World War I. As a chaplain, in World War II, he was with Patton’s Third Army and stayed on the front lines till the war ended. The first soldier to die was in his arms telling Jesus had saved him the day before and wished my father would tell his mother he would see her in heaven.

My father had disobeyed the head chaplain’s decision that all chaplains stay 50 miles behind the lines. After the war ended, we kept asking Mother when Daddy was coming home. She said he was needed, but was held prisoner for nine months while many trumped up charges for court-martial failed.

He had made enemies by occasionally criticizing those behind the lines in ‘Chapel Chimes’ that he printed for the soldiers.
One morning he saved a town from being shelled as the army saw an American jeep coming from it. He had spent the night having a German print ‘Chapel Chimes’ and reported the German army had left.

He received the Bronze Star and several other medals. Finally the truth came out what was going on and he was released.

SLIM, I said all that to say he was my hero, and he told me if asked whether Jew, Catholic, or Protestant; I was to say Baptists.

He believed C.M. Carroll’s ‘Trail of Blood’ that traced the ancestry of Baptists back to Christ. Upon Carroll’s death in 1931, his great history library was given to SWBTS where his picture was displayed until the C/R took over.

They disliked the history of John the Apostle being killed by boiling oil, and Carroll’s views that the three John’s were written by John the elder. Also Carroll said Third John verse 9 was an example of large churches running over small churches.

(Verse 9 Living): “I sent a brief letter to the church about this, but proud Diotrephes, who loves to push himself forward as the leader of the Christians there, does not admit my authority over him and refuses to listen to me.”

Carroll wrote of one European town having stakes every few feet for 30 miles with the head of an Anabaptist.

If ancestry blood had a voice, it would cry, ‘please stand for us.’

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to share that RR. I think I see what you mean now.

In my innocence I simply meant "protestant" as I tried to describe. Thanks again for sharing.

Cindy, you said, "Part of how we learn is through contrasts. A good way to learn about what something is involves considering what it is not. (We should know what is authentic by studying the genuine article, yet we should also learn by identifying counterfeits.)"

I understand what you are saying completely. However, this also reminded me of my banking days when we were not told how to recognize counterfeits. We didn't even look any except a few quick crude examples. We were told to know the real thing inside out backwards and sideways. This way the counterfeits would jump out at us no matter it's characteristics.

I also think that this could apply to God's Word.

It has been said that Mormons know more about a lie than Christians (Baptists) know about the truth.

This ignorance of the truth is also why the Baptists are the number one breeding ground for potential new Mormon converts. A Mormon told me that and I think it's true.

Tom - I don't know if you had me on your heart or not when you made your last comment, but I feel like I should have been.

Two things I know for sure:

1. I have sincerely felt mistreated by you the last few posts.

2. I have certainly mistreated you the last few posts.

I ask you to firgive me for anything you may have felt damaged by whether you were thinking of me with your comment or not.

For what it's worth, I don't even know that much about you...i.e. theologically, etc...

I think I have seen you comment at Tom Ascol's blog, so you can't be all bad. :) (Joking!)

I hope we can know each other better over time.

God's grace and blessings to you.


Alan Cross said...


I was responding to someone else's use of the word "heresy" and that is actually how the issue was presented in one of the translations. I do not think that all disagreements are over heresy, per se. But, according to the translation, that is a part, at least, of what was going on there.

Tom Parker said...


I am sincerely sorry for how I have commented to you in the past and ask for your forgiveness. I truly desire to learn from you.


You said to me: "I have sincerely felt mistreated by you the last few posts."

I am very sorry for my commenting to you in such a way that you felt mistreated. My tone was harsh and I know better. I ask for your forgiveness and really look forward to future conversations with you.

Elisabeth said...

Rex Ray,

I am so glad you shared that about your father! He must have been some man. :)

Lin said...

Rex, You need to write a book about all that. Fascinating.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Rex Ray,

I am no Greek scholar but a little word study has been helpful in my understanding of these verses.

Th greek word used for "approved" carries the idea of metal that has been refined and purified through fire"

If Paul was not speaking "tongue in cheek" he was saying that those which are "approved" are those who's leadership qualities have been tested, refined, and clarified in the midst of division and conflict.

In other words Godly leadership qualities are seen the clearest in the actions of a person who is in the midst of ungodly division and conflict.

If Paul was speaking "tongue and cheek" he was saying that ungodly leadership qualities "bubble to the top" in the midst of ungodly division and conflict as well so we are to "watch out" for them

As someone said earlier...when you get squeezed...

This division and conflict was not over who was "in charge" or on the "side of truth" it was conflict that developed because some people in that congregation (maybe even in leadership) were "selfish" and "carnal"

Alan Cross:

Leon Morris writes:

"Philosphically Paul accepts the inevitability of "haireseis" This word comes from a root that stresses the idea of choice. It came to eman the choice of a group of opinions and those who have chosen in a like way. There is at first no necessarily derogative significance attaching to it....(Acts 5,14,17) But it can be one of the "works of the flesh" (Galatians) and that seems to be the sense here. It is the same kind of thing as the "divisions" (Schemata) of verse 18."

It seems that Paul was not talking about heresy as we might define it (departure from the fundamentals)

The issue does not seem to TRUTH
(right belief) at all.

The issue seems to be that there were people in this congregation (maybe even leaders) with selfish agendas and these selfish agendas were causing strife and division.

So, I think that Paul is saying that in the midst of ungodly and nasty divisiveness look for those who are being...or have been) "Tested and Tried" They will be the ones who are (by God's grace and power) in the right place ,at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right motivation (love)

Rex Ray...

Sometimes those who are divisive are right and I say God bless them for standing for and doing what is right.

But...what if the divisive are wrong? Sometimes they are in the pulpit and sometimes they are in the pew...either way God has "the approved" in most every congregation.

They are anyone with Godly leadership qualities that make a difference because they in the right place, at the right time doing the right, with the right motivation (love)


Anonymous said...


You wrote,
"WHAT exactly is HERESY?"

Does it matter? There were so many people tortured and burned and murdered because they were 'accused' of something called 'heresy'.

It must be an excuse to judge and to hate another person because their beliefs are different. Maybe it was a way of controlling people, so that they would try to avoid being accused of 'heresy' and would try to avoid paying a price for their own beliefs? Thousands of people of ALL faiths have been tortured and executed for their beliefs OR just because they were accused of being 'different'.

I know what 'heresy' is:
'heresy' is any judgment that led to the torment and execution of the victims for their beliefs.

This, of course, is my own definition, because it makes sense to me. L's

Anonymous said...


It's me, L's gran,
You wrote: " hear you, and clearly we have a different view of scripture is some ways evidenced by the fact that you are Catholic and I (and most others here, I presume) are Baptist...or at least Protestant."

Well, a while back, I wrote how I felt about the Scriptures, in a moment of reflection. I will share this with you, if you did not see it before:

'God made us all different.'

Point is, we SEE a scripture from different perspectives, so each of us will find meaning in it that is personal. I think this is a part of God's plan.

Nice if we could share our points of view, and so learn what someone else is seeing with the eyes that God gave them.

Also, sometimes we can come to a consensus about a teaching, but history has shown that is a rare, if beautiful, occurence.

Also, we encounter a scripture at different times in our lives. The scripture that has a certain meaning when we are twenty may be much expanded in meaning for us by the time we are eighty.

The scriptures are so rich; so layered with wisdom. The Holy Spirit reveals
more and more of this wisdom each time we read. The scripture that has spoken to you on one day may have a different message after the passing of a beloved parent or a child.

If another has seen something in a scripture that you have not seen, perhaps God has a reason for that.

In short, God knows that with the scriptures "one size fits all" wouldn't work because He chose not to make us all clones of each other.

In His wisdom and for purposes we may not understand, He certainly formed us individually.

Enter the culture wars. Mix them with politics. Add a little bias as to what "the Bible says". What do you get? I really don't think the Holy Scriptures were meant to waved around by partisans.

If you see MY point of view, you will understand that I believe that the Scriptures are meant to be approached with reverence and with prayer for understanding."


Anonymous said...

Dear Rex Ray,

Thank you so much for writing about your father:

"My father was an old time Baptist preacher who served in World War I. As a chaplain, in World War II, he was with Patton’s Third Army and stayed on the front lines till the war ended. The first soldier to die was in his arms telling Jesus had saved him the day before and wished my father would tell his mother he would see her in heaven."

What a great heritage your father leaves to you!

Today, with my niece still in Iraq, I hope that there are many chaplains like your good father there with her. Your father is a saint. I think you know that. Thanks again for sharing about your blessed father. L's

Anonymous said...

Hi L's,

I understand you hold God's Word in the highest regard, as we all do here I think.

Let me offer some food for thought. You said in summary; God made us all different.

I would agree with that and add; yet we are all the same.

Does that make sense?


Anonymous said...


You said, "Let me offer some food for thought. You said in summary; God made us all different.
I would agree with that and add; yet we are all the same.

Does that make sense?"

Yes. In our faith, we call it the 'communion of saints'.
Christ prayed that we would all be one even as He and Father are One. (St. John's Gospel)

We have a communion prayer/hymn:

I think that this is also an Anglican hymn, but I am not sure that all Protestants sing it. (?)

Yes, we call this oneness the Mystical Body of Christ: His Church, united by the Holy Spirit and by the Lord. :)

We have many prayers about this 'oneness in the Lord'.

PLEASE KNOW, I believe that any person who follows the Spirit of Christ IS included. It is my sincere hope that this is a very great number of souls: far more than most Protestants would agree with, I know. But this is MY belief. I realize that you don't share this belief, but I respect that you are at peace with how you see things. That's important.

The reference to being able to see differences in a scripture have to do with my belief that we are all blessed when we read the Sacred Writings. Each blessing is individual for the time and the person and the need. A free gift, a grace, a comfort, a source of strength. :)

For me, when Christians debate the meaning of a verse in an irreverant way, without respect, it IS a sacrilege.

Bryan Riley said...

Great discussion. I think when you consider all that has been said, the other scriptures highlighted, the context, and top it all off with knowledge of God's character, the love argument is most persuasive.

Of course, I'd see this post as having broader reach than just "SBC Cooperation" as you've tagged it, Wade. I see it is one for unity in the entire Body of Christ.

Anonymous said...


I hope I'm not doing anything wrong here, but I clicked on your name and I found this that you wrote and I would like to share this with everyone:

Bryan wrote,
"Christians everywhere need to go, as God commanded. Go, taste, see, feel, understand another culture. Let the experiences of your life expand your heart for others. Start where you are, stepping into your spouse’s shoes from time to time, your employer’s, your teacher’s, your pastor’s, your neighbor’s, and the shoes of the homeless man or hungry child in the other part of town – just as Jesus stepped into each of our shoes. From there begin to step out into other worlds – further away. From Jerusalem, to Samaria, to Judea, to the utter ends of the earth… Go!

Bryan, you sound like a Christian of ancient times: one who sets out to LIVE the faith by serving His less fortunate ones. I was very impressed with the words you wrote. You are wise beyond your years. To go out into the world to love and serve the Lord is a great commission to all Christians. L's Gran

Elisabeth said...

L's Does the rest of the verse go "And we pray that all unity will one day be restored." And then the chorus "And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love."

If yes, then yes, some Baptists and other protestants do sing it; if no, well, then, we have a similar song.

Anonymous said...

Hi L's,

I have read all you have written. As we both already know we have different views on what is required for salvation and how one "acquires" it, but I do appreciate your attitude toward God's Word and wanting to know it better.



Rex Ray said...

Wait…hold your horses. My father was NO saint.

But first, I want to thank, Elizabeth and Lin for their nice words.

Back to the subject: Before we married 51 years ago, my wife had taught school three years and we were ‘deciding’ if we would teach with my parents in a four teacher school in King Cove, Alaska that was 500 miles from the nearest town. (We would all live in the school house.) She had never met my parents, and the deciding factor seemed to revolve around my father who she had heard some stories. In his defense, I said, “My father has never done one thing wrong in his whole life!” After driving 4,000 miles we arrived at their summer home in Fairbanks and talked till after midnight. My father had mentioned that ‘our room’ needed a window. At four in the morning, we woke to a terrible noise as a chainsaw came through the log wall making a window. I thought sure she would catch the next plane to Texas.

Rex Ray said...

I told Mama, "Someone is going to call the police on Daddy, and it might be me."

Rex Ray said...

I asked your opinion of First Corinthians 11:19 and you said ‘if this and if that’.

In essence, you answered as someone else is noted for, you voted “Present.” (Now, that’s said with a smile you know.)

Anonymous said...


You wrote, "L's Does the rest of the verse go "And we pray that all unity will one day be restored." And then the chorus "And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love; yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." "

YES ! That is one of our communion prayer/songs. Maybe it was written by a Baptist. That would be wonderful. :)

Last week, I found out that Protestants sing our prayer,
"Be Thou My Vision" which is a Celtic prayer written by Irish monks over 1200 years ago.

I've been trying to find out if all Protestants say 'The Lord's Prayer' because someone told me that not all of them do? Do you know? Thanks, L's G

Anonymous said...


I do want to 'know' the Scriptures better, but I hope more to keep them in my heart. It's trying to LIVE by the Holy Words that is the greater challenge for me. It may be that way for many of us. L's

Anonymous said...


Your father is an AMERICAN ORIGINAL ! I hope you are writing the 'some stories' down and I hope you get them published so that you can share your father with all of us. I can tell you are proud of him. That comes through in what you write. And thanks for the laugh about the window.
I like your father even more. There is no rule says that a 'saint' can't be a very 'spirited' human.
They don't make them like your father anymore.
I wish they did! :) L's

P.S. I wouldn't mind hearing more about your father.

Rex Ray said...

My father was going to write a book all his life, but never got around to it. He had 300 pages of scattered events in long hand.

John E. Erickson, author of many books and ‘Hank the Cow dog’, took those pages, Chapel Chimes, stories from relatives, and co-authored a 153 page book titled, “The Long Look: The Out-of the-Ordinary Life of David W. Ray”

One chapter, “Dave Ray, the World’s Worst Driver made my father angry. “I never killed anybody!” (He had 27 car wrecks before he married.) My niece moved to Seattle, and her neighbor said, “Your grandfather put me in the ditch three times!” At 90, was his last day to drive: While parked, and unable to hear thunder, he pushed the gas pedal to the floor thinking it was the break, forgot where reverse was, and shot forward over parking slabs, and almost make it between two new cars. The police asked his 92 year-old brother if he had his seatbelt on. “No, but I was reaching for it.” Insurance paid, and my father said in a repentant voice, “I’ll bet that cost them a hundred dollars.”

I’ll send you his book if you email me. It is RexRay@fanninelectric.com

Anonymous said...

From anon 30, 02:09:00 AM 2008
After thought and careful prayer, I have considered that any further contributions to this blog are basically useless. In much observance of male leadership in the SBC, I have observed women that agree, support them, AGREE with them, and feel that other woman in theological seminaries are out of place. It will take another generation before things change.

Anonymous said...

RR - We absolutely love Erickson and have all the Hank the Cowdog Series. We have met him several times and consider him a friend. He is like a Hollywood celebrity with our children.

"No, but I was reaching for it"

So funny!


Anonymous said...


It's me L's Gran,

I found this and am ordering the paper back:

1987 : Paperback
Title: The Long Look: The Out-of-the-Ordinary Life of David W. Ray
ISBN: 0-916941-38-8 /
978-0-916941-38-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Maverick Books, Inc.
Availability: Amazon

THANK YOU for saying you would send me a copy, but my personal policy has always been not to give out my e-mail over the internet. Don't be offended, it has been a family decision between my husband and myself for years.
Please know I am grateful for your generosity. I so look forward to reading all about your father. He sounds like my kinda person. :) L's

P.S. You mentioned Alaska. My father, of blessed memory, came from Canada. HIS father, my p'pere, was, in his youth, a lumberjack. We also have wonderful family stories from those days, but no book to share. L's

Rex Ray said...

Thanks for the reply. My nephew has worked with Erickson his whole life and is now partners with him.

My uncle taught my Dad a lesson at a very early age. My Dad wanted to own their family dog, Fido, so he paid each of his seven siblings money for their share. My uncle walked away and whistled and Fido followed him.

“Hey! Come back with my dog!
“We know he’s your dog, but Fido don’t.

My twin brother and I were carried in our parent’s arms as they received their Master’s degree, and my Dad influenced many people to go to college.

Probably the last person he influenced to quit his job and go to college was a road flagman who had to jump to save his life.

Rex Ray said...

You taught me something. I didn’t know my nephew had made my Dad’s book available.

Maybe you and I both should write a book on memories instead of all this blogging. ha
That’s what my wife wants me to do.

My father had a hard time out-smarting his older brothers. Once he gave a choice of a big piece of pie and a small one. He was left with the small one, where upon he threw a fit about not having manners. His brother said:

“If I had offered you the choice, which would you have taken?”
“The small one!”
“Well, you got the piece you wanted, so why are you gripping?”

Anonymous said...


Good Sabbath to you both.
Thanks for the laughs.

Here's a family story that is told everytime we go to see our folks who live just off the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts:

My Aunt Evelyn never married. She was big and fat and jolly and the best cook in the whole family. She lived at the family home and cared for my m'mere and p'pere in their old age.

All of us LOVED Aunt Evelyn who, on weekends, would take all the cousins up to State Parks around Mt. Tom and all the way up to the Mohawk Trail area. She was a 'natural foods' buff and always brought many containers to collect fresh ice-cold mountain spring water that came out of pipes that were actually drilled into the sides of mountains.

One day, we were with her while she collected water at her favorite location. A forest ranger came by and said, "Evelyn, what are you doing?" (all the rangers knew Evelyn) Evelyn replied, "I'm getting this good, cold water for all the family."
The ranger said, "Evelyn, you don't want THAT water! Hippies are camped upstream and have been peeing into the water for the last three months."

Evelyn had to be revived before she could drive us home. L's

Rex Ray said...

Your story of you aunt is great. It reminded me of what I read in a museum of Sam Houston.

He was baptized in a river late in life. The preacher announced his sins had been washed away, and Houston replied, “God have mercy on the fish downstream.”

Anonymous said...

Sam Houston deserves to have a city named after him. That comment of his took real Christian humility, AND a sense of humor. :) L's

P.S. You could write a book about Sam Houston's pre-Christian life style. You could title it:


Jesse said...

Wade, you said, It seems quite clear that the kind of leadership that is approved of God, the kind of leaders that the church should follow, are those who are tolerant of other views, who graciously and lovingly accept people of different persuasions and opinions, and who place charity as the highest value within the church (I Corinthians 13).

The second post in response to your blog was by Wanda who referenced Acts 15 and the discussion on whether to require circumcision from gentile converts.

Putting your two posts together, perhaps Peter was the divisive one by taking a stand against the Pharisees. Otherwise, he should have graciously accepted the Pharisees' opinion and accepted them.

Rex Ray said...

Jesse, you have tongue-in-cheek; yes?

I believe who is ‘divisive’ is established by the one telling an untruth, whether it be leadership or a pew sitter.

In Wanda’s Acts 15, Peter summed up the decision of the Elders and the Apostles in their private meeting, by saying all are saved the same way by the free gift of Jesus.

James was the divisive one that stabbed Peter and Christ’s teachings in the back with his tradition of three food and ‘being good’ laws as a “small burden” for the Gentiles to endure.

Peter had said to “burden” the Gentiles with laws would be correcting God, but James had an ace up his sleeve by saying it was the Holy Spirit’s decision in Acts 15:28.

And so; the roots of Catholics grew as the roots of the C/R and the BI grow.