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

Personal Opinions Given as Mandates from God

This morning, in response to a question asked by one of this blog's readers regarding legalism in the SBC, I spent forty minutes listening to a message preached by Dr. Thomas White at the October 7, 2008 chapel service of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Two years ago, in October of 2006, Dr. White was elected by SWBTS trustees as the new SWBTS Vice President of Student Affairs. At 33, he was the youngest administrator ever elected to such a position at the seminary. Dr. White received his education, both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy, at Southeastern Theological Seminary while under the tutelage of Paige Patterson. Dr. White is considered by his superiors to be one of the bright, young leaders of tomorrow for the SBC.

I have met Dr. White just one time. He introduced himself to me in San Antonio prior to the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention. He was extremely polite and had sought me out after the Sunday morning service at Castle Hills Baptist Church, a service we both had attended to hear Dr. Frank Page preach. I have nothing but positive things to say about him, his personal charm, and his ability to communicate his views.

The message he preached at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, however, precisely illustrates the trouble we are having in the Southern Baptist Convention. We have SBC leaders, including seminary professors like Dr. White, Southern Baptist agency Presidents, SBC trustees and other leaders who are preaching personal opinions as if they were mandates from God. This type of legalism will destroy not only the fabric of cooperation upon which our Convention was built, it will ultimately destroy the powerful message of the gospel because tertiary matters are elevated to a primary status of debate within the SBC, and people who disagree are excluded.

I listened to Dr. White's message from beginning to end. I would like to say I was shocked by what I heard, but frankly, my experiences these past three years have taken the edge of surprise off. One of our SBC missionaries who had been overseas for several years emailed me his concerns about what he heard Dr. White say in the message. The missionary confessed to me both shock and sadness. He wondered if Dr. White represents the direction our Convention is headed. I honestly believe that unless other conservative Southern Baptists besides myself begin to speak out and participate in Convention matters, Dr. White's opinions will shortly become mandated for the entire Convention.

The message he preached was about birth control. Can you imagine a policy requiring SBC missionaries swearing that they do not believe in birth control before they are appointed to the mission field? If you think that sounds far fetched, I simply remind you of other "doctrinal" policies being passed by Southern Baptist trustees infatuated with pushing their personal opinions on all others. Read carefully what Dr. White is saying about birth control and those who use it. The transcript begins at the 19:10 minute mark of the message.

"Behold children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward . . . Blessed is the man whose quiver is full” (Psalms 127:3,5a).

There is perhaps nothing in America that we have misunderstood as much as the fact that children are a blessing from the Lord. It says right here - “Behold children are a heritage from the Lord: the fruit of the womb a reward.” Think about what we do in our society, though, to undermine this one principle that’s taught here in Scripture. There is an entire industry that is built up on stopping or preventing children. We call it birth control, but we should call it contraception. We do not want to conceive and so we attempt to stop (it). In fact, we do this in so many different ways. We have sex education to teach our kids know how to do it properly. The newest survey was upset because the rising amount of people not on contraception had grown to seven percent rather than five percent. Think about those statistics. The nation is upset because seven percent of our population is not using contraception. We have the pill. We have the patch. We even have rods you can stick in your arm now that lasts for three years. We have all of these things built up to prevent children from being formed or born . . .

I’m not here this morning to go off on you, I‘m here to tell you something because I’ve made the mistake. When my wife and I were married in 1999, whether it was because of my own selfishness or because of improper information, we were on birth control. Birth control, they tell you, is not abortive in nature. But birth control has three functions. I won’t go into detail of those three functions because I don’t know how many kids we have (here), but the third function in that birth control is to prevent implantation on the uterine wall. And if it reaches that third function, that third function does not take effect until the seventh day. The seventh day is seven days too long, and its murder of a life. When the egg and the sperm meet, you have life. If you ask theologians they’re going to tell you that the egg and the sperm meet when the souls implanted. There’s no other time to say that God creates the soul and puts it in than that point in time. And so at that point you have life. You have at the moment of conception life, and yet the third aspect of birth control is to say that life cannot implant on to the wall as it normally would, and so that life is going to be flushed down, and that my friends is wrong.

I made the mistake. I’m not standing here telling you anything other than this: I don’t want you to make the mistake because of lack of knowledge. I want you to know that the third form of birth control known as the pill, that third form that it has is wrong – it is not correct according to Scripture.

Now I learned. We stopped. I also learned this: It was in 1956 that the pill was created by the person who founded Planned Parenthood. It was in 1976 that the definition was changed. And the definition was changed to say that life began not when fertilization took place, but that life did not begin until implantation on the uterine wall took place. That change in definition allows the doctors to tell you that the pill has no abortive feature. That change in definition allows them to print in their literature the pill is not abortive in any way. And so it markets and sells better to our nation. It eases our conscience. But the truth of the matter is our consciences do not need to be eased, we need to recognize that children are a blessing from the Lord. I confess to you this morning the reason that I was on - we were on birth control - I didn’t take it, but I was the spiritual leader of my house and it’s my fault that we did; the reason that we did it was my own selfishness. I wanted kids, but I wanted kids in God’s . . . not God’s timing, but my time. I didn’t want kids while I was in my M.Div. program where I was going to have another mouth to feed and it was going to inconvenience my ability to finish my course work and maybe move on and do a Ph.D. and all these type things. I wanted kids, but I wanted kids my way, my time, the way I wanted to do it so I could plan my family out. Folks, you are not in control of your destinies, God is! And the sooner that we recognize that we are sinning when we say, “I’m going to control every aspect of my family,” and we’re not giving control to God, we don’t trust Him, we don’t believe that He knows better than we do, we think we know better than God does. And just like I did, some of you are involved in that exact same sin!

I thought you could control it. I thought as soon as we made the decision to come off, we would have kids immediately. It wasn’t that way. My wife and I have never had natural children. We were married in 1999. The Lord is the giver of life. It’s not us. I’ll tell you more about that story later.

It continues on here after it says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord and the fruit of reward.” It says in verse four: “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Now I tried to think who in the world around here would have a quiver full, and Dean Nichols came to mind. Dean, how many kids do you have? Three? Four? Five? Six? Seven? Now you can’t afford seven kids. Eight kids? Nine kids? Nine? Or Ten? Nine?

Do you have a quiver I could borrow? (A quiver with arrows is brought to the stage – laughter). How about that? Anybody needs a quiver you just go see Dean Nichols, he’ll take care of you. Now this is an interesting thing. “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full.” Nine kids? And he’s still alive, how about that? (Laughter) You see we joke, but this is the attitude that this verse is against. It’s my attitude too. I think about ten kids running around the house and I think to myself, “O Lord, is that really a blessing?”

That’s what His word says, “Children are a blessing . . .”

(Dr. Thomas White then goes on to explain the characteristics of an arrow and how they compare to our children. He describes how a warrior prepares an arrow by bending and curing the wood, and how that compares to parents training their kids. Dr. White then speaks of the sin of pushing kids off to daycare, public schools or youth groups, when it is our primary responsibility to train our kids, just as the biblical warrior would construct his arrows).

Society tells us that children will make a rich man poor, but the Bible tells us that children will make a poor man rich. And that’s the attitude that we need to have. It is the Lord who controls our life. He is God and we are not. He is the one in control, and we are not. If He gives you twelve kids, twelve blessings you have received. If He gives you three kids, three blessings you have received. It is not for us to plan our parenthood, it is for God to be the giver of life.


(Dr. White closes his message with a story of how he and his wife adopted a child in 2005 and a challenge to "let God be God" and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control).

There are three sobering judgements I would like to make about Dr. White's message:

(1). When SBC seminary professors, SBC agency Presidents, and other SBC leaders preach their personal opinions as if they were mandates from God, then anyone who ever dares disagree or dissent is considered a sinner, or even worse, a liberal who denies the Scripture. This attitude by the legalists causes the pool of Southern Baptists deemed qualified to serve in leadership or cooperative missions ministry to shrink. This legalism also destroys the cooperative Southern Baptist ministry, and it is for this reason that these kinds of legalists must not be allowed to control the Convention. By the way, Dean Nichols, the man illustrated as having a 'quiver full' of kids is head of security of SWBTS and the husband of Mary Nichols, one of the International Mission Board trustees and member of the IMB trustee caucus who forced through other personal opinions as "doctrinal" policies that exceed both Scripture and the Baptist Faith and Message.

(2). Dr. White seems to be unfamiliar with the teaching of our Baptist forefathers on this issue of the creation of the soul. The claim that "all" theologians hold to his view that the soul is created by God at conception is a claim either built on misperception or misunderstanding.

(3). Here's hoping that our preachers are being taught the primacy of the gospel at our SBC seminaries and not the primacy of birth control. What changes lives is not the claim that Christians taking birth control are sinners, but the claim that God sent His Son to die in the stead of sinners.

Thy Peace (one of this blog's readers and commentors), you asked me for an illustration of legalism in the SBC.

I hope this post helps you understand why I write what I write.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Gosh, we Southern Baptists can get really wierd, can't we? I wish that we didn't provide such fodder for the world to use in mockery of us; but alas, we do!

What I wish is that if we are to receive the world's disdain, and we no doubt will, may it be for the gospel...and the fact that we clearly teach the word of God...which no doubt will make us different in perspective on many issues than those who don't know Christ hold.

Good post, Wade. Thanks for speaking against the legalistic mindset of some within the leadership of the convention.

I appreciate you...even if you are an theological feminist (intential jab).

James Hunt said...

Sorry about the anonymous on the first post. Not sure why my name is missing. It's James Hunt.

Anonymous said...

Let's take this view to its logical conclusion. Now we have the right to look around us and see that many of our leaders only have a few kids. Do a few count as a quiverfull?

Mohler has 2. He also preaches this stuff. Now, why only 2? He makes a lot of money, they could afford to adopt many more if they could not have them natually or were they using 'something' to keep her from getting pregnant? So why does he only have 2? Could it be selfishness? Love of material things over children? Even poor kids who need a home?

What about the Patterson's? They only had 3? How did they keep from having more? How come they did not adopt or have more? They could have taken fewer safari's and adopted some poor kids.

So, they are teaching at SWBTS to have lots and lots of kids but their seminary president chose expensive safari's instead. Would Dorothy be willing to tell us how she kept from only having 3?

See, how legalism works?

Lydia

Elisabeth said...

Theological feminist! :-) That's funny!

I said in a comment on a previous post, and I will re-state it here, taht I find such an attitude against birth control frightening. There's several reasons why a woman would want to control the amount of babies she has, and one big reason is health concerns. Pregnancy is hard on a woman, especially the older she gets. Some women can have babies up until their mid forties; six seven, eight, even ten or more children, with no health problems resulting from them. Other women pay the price for the legalistic no-birth control stance with their health. Others pay with their life. How Christian is it to tell women not to use birth control when the price to pay is so steep?

Anonymous said...

As an adopted child, and as someone who experienced infertility, though thank God only temporarily, this is profoundly disturbing. With this line of thought, unmarried celibate adults and infertile couples are dismissed and made worth less than married-with-children. It not only signifies legalism, but points to how much "marriage and family" is idolized among Christians.

(From what you have exerpted, it sounds like the Whites have been unable to have biological children. If that is so, it is understandable that Dr. White would move to this position in trying to deal with his grief around that loss, but this is not a healthy place to land...)

I am glad you resumed the blog, Wade. I have very significant theological differences with the SBC- and I so appreciate your honesty and integrity (and that of many SBaptists I know). Keep on as God gives you strength and your conscience leads.

Dana Ames

NativeVermonter said...

First, it's hard to get past the Southern accent! But I managed to persevere. Also, I didn't need a whole lesson in arrow making, with props included.

Okay, he stated flat out that taking the pill is sin. If it actually kills a life that has already been formed then I can't argue with that. I don't know the science well enough.

Now it's not like Mr. and Mrs. NativeVermonter get a lot of mommy and daddy time :) but when we do, am I supposed to be ready for another addition to the family? And lastly, for everyone who has decided not to have kids, or for folks who have decided not to marry, don't listen because you'll be made to feel guilty.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
I think there may be better illustrations of legalism. I know Thomas and also have struggled through this issue of birth control myself (we believe differently for what it is worth).

I'm wondering though if a person could preach this sermon after coming to the conclusion, which it seems he has, that any form of the pill is actually taking the risk of aborting. A person believing there was a potential of aborting a child would proclaim this as sin...I would...if I believed that. Also, as for the rest of his sermon...it seems he is preaching against an unbiblical attitude toward children, the attitude that says children are not a blessing. That attitude is unbiblical, after all the bible does say they are a blessing. So I think there might be better illustrations to demonstrate our legalism.I know we SBC'ers are legalistic, and I appreciate you bringing light to much of it, but this doesn't seem to make the case.

Robert

Thy Peace said...

Thank you Pastor Wade. Today is a day of celebration for me. For my ScreenName made it on to your post. :-)

I will celebrate by reading and understanding your posts and your readers comments today.

God bless you, Sir and your readers.

Chris said...

Wade,

I agree with you that the sermon is very legalistic, and that it is a person's opinion of scripture being preached, I don't think some of your opening statements are quite called for.

Firstly, I don't see in this sermon where the use of birth control is equated to denying the trinity (as would be the case if he were elevating a tertiary issue to become a primary concern).

Not only that, but I have never heard a preacher (including myself) who did not treat his or her understanding of scripture as the Word of God. Many may acknowledge that their understanding could be fallible, but to preach you must believe that what you are preaching is true and therefore relevant to the listeners. You want them to draw the same conclusions that you do because you believe that your convictions are correct (otherwise you wouldn't have them).

On that note, I think that Dr. White is at once both correct and horribly misguided. I believe he is correct in saying that if contraception is abortive in nature then it shouldn't be used. He is also correct in noting that children should be seen as a blessing. He is still more correct in saying that we should place trust in God to direct our lives.

However, it may be that contraception (which prevents life from being formed, not which ends it) could be God's plan for a family at some time. Condemning the use of contraception outright seems ludicris.

Furthermore, by drawing the picture the way he does, Dr. White will depict both Paul and Jesus as cursed of God. As neither had children (DaVinci Code withstanding) neither received the blessing, much less a quiver full. As noted before, this attitude causes the celibate or the infertile to be relegated to second-hand citizens. Yet Paul called the gift of celibacy a great blessing and wished that everyone could share.

Let us not take one verse and remove it from the context of the whole counsel of scripture. Often times, the paradox which scripture presents us with is far more informative than merely one of scripture's propositions.

Pamela said...

First of all I'm amazed that this would be a topic during a chapel service at a seminary. More and more it sounds like this denomination is not a place for single people at all. Married people with children are the prize. Singles are second class citizens. I as a single female would not have a chance. I would be completely ignored.

Birth control is an issue that I do not see clearly identified in the Bible. It does say that children are a blessing from the Lord. The Bible also says that we are not to murder. I can understand explaining how in many cases the pill does not prevent contraception and the moral issues regarding that. However to say that no one should ever use it because it appears that Dr. White only assumes that people that make that choice are doing so for selfish reasons. That is incredibly narrow minded. Maybe that is why he and his wife used it. However to put that his obviously guilty feelings on everybody else is unfair and uncalled for. He needs to quietly work through those feelings and quit trying to work them out by making others feel guilty needlessly.

I'm not a part of the SBC but from what I have read over the years it is mainly men that are teaching this. I come to this conclusion because it is apparent to me that women have nothing to offer men other than sex, child rearing and someone for men to control and present as eye candy. Women have no brains or anything of value to teach them. I still have not figured out how mothers have any authority over their sons. The fact that men would do this without regard for legitimate reasons why couples may wait or not have children is absolutely dreadful. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests that any woman is called to potentially give her life to birth a child. That is not a calling in the Bible. Men do not have the risks of bearing children, just the pleasure of the act. The women are the ones whose bodies go through the process. It is a wonderful thing when women have children. However that does not exclude all the risks that women go through to carry children. It is apparent that men that think like this could care less about that.

Those men that are willing to say that a woman should risk her life FOR ANY REASON are selfish and have control issues they need to work on.

This is an excellent example of legalism IMHO.

Brent Hobbs said...

Thank God for Dr. White and his courage.

I'm not convinced that contraception is a sin but I respect the views of those who do and think it is a viewpoint we need to hear more often.

Wade, the closed-minded one here is you. He didn't say to divide fellowship over the issue. He's given his biblical and theological reasoning for calling it wrong. If you disagree, then say so. But calling it legalism is silly.

Lin said...

Mr White wrote: When my wife and I were married in 1999, whether it was because of my own selfishness or because of improper information, we were on birth control. Birth control, they tell you, is not abortive in nature. But birth control has three functions."

'We' were on birth control? He was also taking birth control pills?

Beside that little detail, had it not occured to White that there are other forms of birth control besides the pill, drugs, etc. One can be found in 1 Corin 7.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Sounds like just another fork in the road for Baptists. Soon the road to Catholics will be a twelve-lane highway and the Baptist road will be restricted to four-wheelers.

I wish these ‘legalist do-gooders’ would have started their own denomination instead of stealing ours.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Brent Hobbs,

If you are a pastor of a church and you believe people who are on the pill are sinning by murdering babies, as Dr. White states, then the idea that you "do not divide in fellowship" with murderers is laughable.

The ultimate end of Dr. White's view that birth control is murder is to exclude everyone who disagrees.

Blessings to you as well,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, Brent, the legalism is NOT the personal conviction that Mr. White holds - I respect him, as do you.

The legalism is Dr. White's demand that everyone see it the way he does, conform to his convictions, and be labeled a "sinner" if you don't.

If that is not legalism then the Pope is not a real Catholic.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous:

You said, "I wish that we didn't provide such fodder for the world to use in mockery of us; but alas, we do!"

Never worry about being mocked by the 'outside'. Worry about allowing the Church to be used to mock God, the women of the Church, and the missionaries of the Church. That IS something to worry about.

Anonymous said...

I know that there are AID's babies available to be adopted. Maybe the Pattersons would like to help them. They 'talk the talk, but . . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi Rex and Wade,

Well, I CAN tell you this.
When I first married, I spoke with a priest about birth control. This is what he told me to do before making any decisions.

He advised:
1. To learn the Church's teaching about birth control and to consider it.

2. To consider the REALITY of my own family's situation.

3. To pray, and to examine my conscience about what was the right thing to do or not to do.

Where the difference lies between my Church and the fundamentalists of the SBC may be in RESPECT for one's individual reality and one's individual conscience in making any decisions regarding the teachings of a formal Church.

My Church puts the RESPONSIBILITY for my decision back ON ME. They never 'ordered' me to ignore my personal reality OR to disobey my conscience. I had to pray. I had to decide. I made a good decision.

That is what I can share.
I sure see a difference with the Fundamentalists. I don't think they are at all in the same category on this issue as my own Church. Just offering my observation. L's

Anonymous said...

Boy Am I glad that are church is following Godly principles. We have tons of babies in our church.Praise the Lord!

from the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

Just more of why I am no longer in the SBC.

I grew up in a village with two churches--one SBC and one not. I went to both before deciding after I was saved.

I chose the SBC for one reason:

They got salvation right, and they preached salvation.

Now all I see are issues and opinions.

No thanks.

Linda

Anonymous said...

Robert said, "Boy Am I glad that are church is following Godly principles. We have tons of babies in our church.Praise the Lord!"

BOY, for the sake of the babies, I hope they ARE ALL BOYS!

Wanda said...

Has anyone thought through why Dr. White would be mandating such a position from the pulpit? Here's my opinion for what it's worth.

It's all about SBC membership. The number of baptisms is down, as is overall membership. If SBC families begin having a "quiverfull", then membership should increase as these children are baptized into the faith.

Evangelism doesn't seem to be working for the SBC, so a population explosion among the convention's ranks should do the trick. I don't think the membership at large is going to buy this new direction. With the economy in a downward spiral, a HUGE family is simply out of the question for most folks I know.

Blessings,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Dear Elisabeth,

You said, "Other women pay the price for the legalistic no-birth control stance with their health. Others pay with their life. How Christian is it to tell women not to use birth control when the price to pay is so steep?"

GOOD POINT !!!
That's just it. No Christian entity would command a woman to jeopardize her health and her life. Nor would any in the Judaic tradition, which is very protective of the mother's health. These are NOT Christian teachings in ANY of the major faiths. That is why the SBC Fundamentalists will never be accepted by mainline Christianity as respectors of life. L's Gran

Anonymous said...

I believe there have been various theories as to when the soul enters the body, everything from his up to one I believe was attributed to the early Hebrews (I may be corrected on this) that it entered the body with the first breath. I think there were even some teachings that when it entered depended on whether the child was male or female,with it being later for the female infant, of course.

Some of those trying to restrict abortion are trying to define some forms of contraception as abortion. It sounds like he is one of those.

I have heard enough stories of failed birth control (all methods) to believe that if God wants a child to be born that can happen.

Another thing he spoke against was sending kids to daycare, schools, etc. I somehow don't think he was the one he expected to stay with these kids 24/7. But he probably also subscribed to the idea of a wife whose only purpose in life was to do what her husband told her to do, so that solved his problem.

I wonder if he would have supported those who tried to cut welfare spending by limiting the number of children poor people could get aid for. No increase in your allotment for the children you have beyond X(number). Is he willing to use his money to help those who have children they cannot afford to take care of?

I believe God gave us brains for a purpose other than to take up space in our heads.

Susie

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

Wade:

I listened to all of the video. Wow, that was hard. If I had to describe it in one word it is--scary. I only heard one dogmatic side. Once again using the Bible to attempt to enforce a personal opinion.

I pray these young people do not follow his advice.

He has one child, and yet he wants them to have a QUIVER FULL. It sure sounds hypocritical to me

Thy Peace said...

From a layman's perspective or an outsider's perspective, this whole thing is so insidious and so wrong.

First, the Baptist Identity people, tell us that Women have no voices, and that they are to follow their husband's voice or lead.

Second, they tell us that Women's role is in the home.

Third, they tell us that it's Godly to produce children.

Fourth, they tell us that birth control is bad.

All this leads to quiver full of children, which are to be a blessing to a family.

Of course, in all this, the voices of the Women are silenced or not present. Only Men's voices are being heard.

I sincerely pray for the day, when these roles will be reversed.

If technology (bio-) allows men to bear children. That is to become pregnant. Then we will see if these leaders will advocate these ideas.

My guess is they will do the opposite.

Here is a simpler idea. If Men were to have Periods, all this thinking will change. They will be advocating LOTS of sick days for ALL men to cope with these Periods.

I agree, I went overboard with my writing here. But in retrospect, it looks lot saner. Maybe, just maybe role reversal (biological) will do lot of good here.

Matt McGee said...

The sermon is obviously legalistic, but beyond that the logic is poor.

White seems to be saying that it's wrong to do anything that might reduce the likelihood of a fertilized egg implanting successfully in the uterine wall. But by that standard, we would have to ban lots of other things too. There are probably certain foods that if added to/eliminated from the diet of a woman would increase/decrease the likelihood of a fertilized egg implanting.

What about after birth? Is it sinful for me to drive my child in any vehicle other than the safest vehicle on the market? If I drive a sedan rather than a Hummer, doesn't my child thereby have a greater risk of death?

Anonymous said...

Native Green Mountaineer:

You said: "And lastly, for everyone who has decided not to have kids, or for folks who have decided not to marry, don't listen because you'll be made to feel guilty"

The SBC can TRY to make a person feel guilty. But only if a person buys into it. You have to be VERY submissive for them to get away with it.

The HOLY SPIRIT, on the other hand, is a different story. When the HOLY SPIRIT convicts your conscience, YOU KNOW IT. And, there IS NO ARGUMENT!

The problem appears to me to be that the SBC Fundamentalists are trying to do the job of the Holy Spirit. And , I don't think He is going to give up His turf.

Thy Peace said...

"The problem appears to me to be that the SBC Fundamentalists are trying to do the job of the Holy Spirit."

This is the crux of the whole issue with Baptist Identity movement.

Anonymous said...

I do believe children are a blessing from the Lord, however I also think we need to provide for the ones we have and use some common sense. Times are tough and we are doing the best we can financially with the four of us. My husband grew up in a family of seven and we choose to not want a large family. Some of us don't want a QUIVER full. We are content with us four. If we were to concieve we would count it a blessing of the Lord, but we are taking birth control to prevent what we think is best for our family. Also if I were to get pregnant I would be "high risk". I nearly lost my life with my second child. I have lost a baby due to miscarraige, and I have and still do grieve over that sweet baby. I am not a baby murderer. I think every family is different and for some pastor to tell me how many children to have and to tell me what I should or shouldn't do with birth control is none of his business. I am still wondering where that scripture is for not taking Birth Control! If anyone finds it, please let me know. Things like this being preached from the pulpit is turning christians and the lost away. My own family was about to give up on the whole religion/God thing this year because of legalism. Let us not forget why God has called us, to reach a lost and dying world. Thank goodness God did NOT give up on us and he directed us to Emmanuel Baptist Church and through that we have seen and felt Gods wonderful Grace...

Jason Epps said...

Wade,

Kind of ironic that your post was on this the same day I preached on Matthew 15:1-20 (you can listen to the sermon at www.gospelfellowship.com) -- the Pharisees did the same thing! They passed off their opinions and traditions as equivalent to the Word of God! And do you know what Jesus said about that? He said 1) their worship was in vain and 2) that they were blind guides! These were the seminary professors of Jesus' day. How comforting it is to see that little has changed.

Also, before anyone loses their cool, I'm not implying that Dr. White is a Pharisee - I don't even know who he is. I'm simply saying that I agree with Wade's assessment (and Jesus' assessment, for that matter) that when men of God begin to preach "precepts of men as doctrine" (See Matthew 15:9), danger is certain.

Blessings,
Jason

Anonymous said...

wade,
Is your church full of babies?
I really like that about my church...adopted babies, children with special needs, girls and boys, reminds me of that song...Jesus loves the little children.

Something else funny i notice ...muslims are having alot of babies too.ummmmmmmmm
I wonder why Wade would be against this idea?

from the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"The ultimate end of Dr. White's view that birth control is murder is to exclude everyone who disagrees."


NO! You cannot be allowed to say this Wade. This is idiot talk. Stop it. YOU my brother are who is dividing. You are saying that this man cannot preach his conscience. YOU are scary! Get out of our heads with your foolishness.

This message was spot on.

Leave it alone!


K

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said,

"Sounds like just another fork in the road for Baptists. Soon the road to Catholics will be a twelve-lane highway and the Baptist road will be restricted to four-wheelers."

Merciful God, please don't send those fundamentalist people our way! For one thing, they couldn't understand the First Thing about my Church.

The First Thing: JESUS CHRIST.

You know, the One they tried to write out of the BF&M 2000? Yes, that's Him: the One Who called those 77 missionaries that the fundies kicked out of the Church. The fundies just don't get the First Thing about my Church.

Nope. We don't want 'em.

Please arrange Another Road that will take them where they REALLY belong. L's G.

P.S. Am I being just a little bit judgmental here? Well, I hope so. Grandmother's Church didn't deserve them; neither does my own.

Elisabeth said...

Robert,
It didn't seem to me that Wade is against babies; it seemed that he's against that man preaching against his personal opinion as a mandate from God.

Kevin,
If my pastor decided to become a vegetarian because he was recovering from a heart attack from having too high cholesterol, would it be right for him to "preach his conscience" and tell everyone that they are not taking proper care of their bodies (the temple of the Holy Spirit) and, therefore, sinning, by eating red meat?

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

Going back to at least the Tongues & Baptism deal at the IMB, it always has been about making sure people believe the same things that the folks in position to enforce their power, believe. It has NEVER been about practices, as there's simply not been evidence that someone's having been baptized awry, or practicing the gift of tongues, ever interfered with SBC business.

None. At least that I have heard of.

So it has always been about bringing everyone's beliefs into line. I believe that was addressed in a motion at the SBC 16 months ago.

To no avail, I'm guessing.

Wade Burleson said...

Elisabeth,

You are demonstrating an intellect that I could only wish a couple of others in this comment stream could demonstrate.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
quoting Wade: "The ultimate end of Dr. White's view that birth control is murder is to exclude everyone who disagrees."

KMC replies:
"NO! You cannot be allowed to say this Wade. This is idiot talk. Stop it."

Finally it comes out. In the face of reasonable logical truth, the ONLY recourse is to 'shut up'?

Have you no argument that can refute Wade's statement. No. So you want him silenced? It ain't gonna work. Wade has already earned his 'stripes'. Wade is one person you will not silence.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Let us not forget why God has called us, to reach a lost and dying world."

THE PERFECT
MISSION STATEMENT
FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST!

Anonymous said...

"The ultimate end of Dr. White's view that birth control is murder is to exclude everyone who disagrees."


Crowder: NO! You cannot be allowed to say this Wade. This is idiot talk. Stop it. YOU my brother are who is dividing. You are saying that this man cannot preach his conscience. YOU are scary! Get out of our heads with your foolishness. "

Then what IS his end goal? What is his purpose but to say that any birth control (even abstinence?) is sin.

BTW: Did his sermon include any wait time between babies? This has been a problem in the Patriarchy movement with Doug Phillips and others encourging men to get their wives pregnant again right away. Phillips even teaches that surgery to deal with an etopic pregnancy is murder. EVen if it means sparing the mother's life (which is what it takes in 98% of all cases). Is that where we are headed in the SBC, too?

Perhaps White would have more credibility if he had adopted 5 or 6 kids before he gave this OC and Patriarchal sermon.

It is none of White's business what couples decide. That is between them and God. He is trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit for his listeners. Scary.

BTW: No preacher should preach his conscience. (Considering some do not have one) That is a horrible danger. They should preach the Word in context and stick to primary doctrines. What if their conscience is evil?

And the NC is go and make disciples...There is no command in the NC about having tons of babies. By White's logic, Paul and Mary M made very bad choices. So did Patterson and Mohler for not having more babies. Where are their quiverfulls?

I was waiting for some to try and paint it as if we all hate babies. I knew that was coming. Good job, Calvin from Geneva. I wonder if Servetus had kids?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

I am writing this anonymously because this is a personal issue with me.

My own body prevents me from having children. I simply do not ovulate and if I do there is a hormone in my body that attacks the egg.

The only possible means that I might have to have children is to take birth control which stops the bad hormone. Let me explain -- I would need to take birth control (the pill) for about 6 months before trying to have children. At the end of the six months, I would get off the pill and have a limited amount of time to get pregnant before the bad hormone took control of the body once again.

A little explicit and a little more detailed than you might have wanted. However, if Dr. White had his way I would never have a chance to get pregnant. Ironic ... isn't it.

Anonymous said...

This last post brings up a good point...Would White think it is a sin to take drugs to get pregnant?

Wouldn't that be working against God's Sovereignty, too? Wonder what he teaches about that.

absonjourney said...

I think the point that is being missed here is there are forms of birth control that are not abortificants ( I hope I spelled that right): most notably barriers methods and sterilization.

One is obviously temporary, and another permanent. The problem weith sermons like the one referenced is they leave no room for those who fall in the middle. those who believe that kids are a blessing adn who believe that God gives them an understanding of how many children they can financially and emotionally provide for.

I am convinced by OB/GYNs who myslef and my wife have consulted with that the Pill, IUDs, Depo-Provera, and others cause abortions. Therefore, as a believer and a pastor I will encourage those who seek my counsel to use other methods. I am also convinced that waiting to have kids under the guidance of God is not a sin.

I would commend to you an excellent sermon on the matter by a man whp is most definitely not a legalist: http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/religionsaves/birth-control

Anonymous said...

Fundamentalists like Dr. White are not factoring 'reality' in to the equation. In not doing that, they have allowed an element of unreality to pervade their ideas. Put into practice, the obvious is the over-load of pressure onto women who will pay the price very heavily for the folly of the men. Let me define 'very heavily': as in the style of poor Andrea Yates and her five, now, angels.

Women placed under unbearable pressure without a supportive environment, will not raise emotionally healthy children. So everyone loses. Oh, except for the men. They get to sit there and give orders and pass judgment and meet out punishment. Pretty sick world they are going to create. They will be responsible for the fall-out because they do know what they are doing. 'The Bible says' is not going to excuse them before the Living Word.

Anonymous said...

1. In vitro fertilization: the unused embryos are destroyed. What is the verdict on this practice?

2. Are there any stats on how MANY embryos are burned each year?

CURIOUS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Women placed under unbearable pressure without a supportive environment, will not raise emotionally healthy children. So everyone loses.

As a woman I totally agree. For me, two children are healthy. I have friends who can only handle one and on the other side I know some who have 5-7 and they do it beautifully. Didn't God create us all very differently. We are not to all be alike. We ARE NOT ROBOTS...

And I do believe The Holy Spirit can convict me of not taking birth control if he was capable of Saving me! But I do not want a man making up some ridiculous statement about it being a sin when he can't back it with scripture.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Kevin,
If my pastor decided to become a vegetarian because he was recovering from a heart attack from having too high cholesterol, would it be right for him to "preach his conscience" and tell everyone that they are not taking proper care of their bodies (the temple of the Holy Spirit) and, therefore, sinning, by eating red meat?"

We call this the faulty analogy. No wonder why Wade relishes your "intellect." He is the king of this fallacy.

However, vegetarianism aside for a moment, if your preacher preaches on health then you should hope the WHOLE SBC listens. We are a convention of morbidly fat people.

I reject the idea that I must only preach on primary doctrine. I will preach the whole counsel of God. I see no text off limits. God has an opinion on everything in your life. He uses His Word to get this message to you. He uses His ordained ministers to get this done as well as your personal quiet time. Wade, and others are treading dangerous ground tearing down the office of the elder and the pastoral role therein to guide in biblical exposition.

k

Anonymous said...

I would commend to you an excellent sermon on the matter by a man whp is most definitely not a legalist: http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/religionsaves/birth-control

Mon Oct 20, 08:37:00 PM 2008

You have got to be kidding. Driscoll is not a legalist? Why? because he cusses, talks trash about Jesus Christ being a redneck and talks about oral sex in church? His views on women are most definitely legalistic. He even said that if more pastors wives would keep themselves up, the Ted Haggards of the world would not go looking elsewhere. He blamed women! Then he did a typical Driscoll when the outcry was big and apologized (like he aways does about being vulgar and cussing) then does more the same later.

Don't even get me started on his tyrannical take over of Mars Hill and changing the by laws so he and a few other men have complete control.

he is a wolf but very much worshiped by many young men and Piper, of course.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

STEPFORD!

These idiots want to re-make the movie THE STEPFORD WIVES, this time, with a cast of thousands, and all un-paid volunteers.

I never liked that movie much.

Anonymous said...

STEPFORD!

These idiots want to re-make the movie THE STEPFORD WIVES, this time, with a cast of thousands, and all un-paid volunteers.

I never liked that movie much.

Thy Peace said...

Now after reading Dr. White's sermon's partial transcript, he sounds like a reasonable man. I actually sympathize with his travails about his burdens of birth control and then their difficulty of bearing children.

That is how far I would go to support him.

Now the difficulty here and elsewhere (read ALL the Christian persecutions of Other Christians in this light) is people are trying to push or force their thinking onto others.

To me this is blatant SIN.

We have the Word of God. We have the Holy Spirit, who convicts each of us, alone, one at a time, one-on-one, as we read the Word of God.

When men judge or condemn or force their thinking as Universal Thinking, then tyranny results.

Just look at the Christian history as proof of this. Lot of the immigrants who came to this country, came because of religious persecutions in Europe.

Why can't Men learn this? Why do they deny their own history? Why do they insist on repeating history?

By doing all this, so much suffering is caused, so many people are LOST from the Word of God, so many persecutions take place as Men judge other Men.

Do we not have enough suffering as it is in this world, without bringing on more suffering of our own making.

I pray that people's eyes and hearts are opened to see the true suffering this forcing of one's ideas on others causes.

Lord, please have mercy on us, Your children.

Anonymous said...

NO WONDER THEY DON'T WANT WOMEN IN THE MINISTRY !

First, they eliminate women from all responsible positions in the Church. Once the women were no longer empowered, the serious bullying began.

What kind a MAN would want to be a part of this? What kind of MAN would want his wife and children involved in something like this?

Byroniac said...

Separate issue here, but I'm tired of wearing a Scarlet S (for Single) and feeling like a second-class citizen in SBC churches because I'm not married, engaged, dating, or still too young for any of it (the four acceptable scenarios from best case to minimum standard, it seems to me). I also wonder why some SBC leaders dig into the Old Testament to pull out Scriptures originally written for the context of theocratic Jewish Israel and try to apply them to Gentile believers in these New Testament times (not saying that there is no eternal truth in the OT, far from that, but it seems that anything related to family or government in the OT is usually pulled out and trumpeted for use).

debbiekaufman said...

Kevin: How about preaching what the Bible does teach. That the overweight person or even the person who uses birth control is bought with the blood of Christ and is a Saint who is accepted fully, loved cherished, and useable to glorify the Kingdom by God. Then you would be preaching the Bible not legalism.

Lin said...

"I also wonder why some SBC leaders dig into the Old Testament to pull out Scriptures originally written for the context of theocratic Jewish Israel and try to apply them to Gentile believers in these New Testament times (not saying that there is no eternal truth in the OT, far from that, but it seems that anything related to family or government in the OT is usually pulled out and trumpeted for use)."

THANK YOU! Amen

absonjourney said...

How it does not surprise me that you dislike Driscoll, Lydia, based on our previous exchanges in other posts.

You may not like his theology or his vernacular, but legalism is not one of his faults.

Most people who have such a strong reaction to him are frustrated because he just uses the Bible for is positions and not the cultural norm. Maybe there is something for us to learn from there?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Debbie,

I totally agree with you. But can I ask you this question: are we not to preach holiness and sanctification? If your answer is yes, then tell me how we do this.

Are we not to preach to the church that they are to be set apart? To obey all of the laws and commandments of God?

I have chosen not to consider SWBTS for a number of reasons. This message and its theology is not one of them. To understand the Bible is to use the whole of Scripture to allow the HS to help you formulate doctrines and theologies based on the greater picture (including specific contexts and the overall plan of redemption). I do strive to not be legalistic. I very much strive to not preach legalistically. But it is all relative to how much authority one wants to submit to. Even Lydia rejects the truths that Driscoll preaches. If we cannot submit to the teaching of man inspired by God, then how can we submit to God?


It is a great mystery.

Paula said...

But it is all relative to how much authority one wants to submit to.

No, it's not.

It's all about what Jesus did and what we cannot. It's all about motivation. It's the night and day difference between "because the Law says" and "because I love God and want to please Him". Legalism is doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons.

My Authority is God and the written Word. And that Word says "you are no longer under law but under grace." Anyone who tries to put us back under law is someone the apostle Paul would take great issue with. And anyone who thinks their particular interpretations are God's Word is committing blasphemy.

Even Lydia rejects the truths that Driscoll preaches. If we cannot submit to the teaching of man inspired by God, then how can we submit to God?

Whoa! "A man inspired of God", eh? That is one dangerous statement! Does that mean he can write scripture, since the Bible is inspired by God?? Are you actually saying some "special" people are "inspired" in a way the average believer is not?

No! No mere human is to be submitted to as some kind of higher level than the rest. There are no levels of hierarchy between me and my Savior, between me and the Spirit, between me and reading the Word. There are learned people whose insights are of great value, and we would be wise to learn from them. But "inspired of God" is over the top.

The NT, if you check the Greek, never commands believers to obey leaders as rulers, but only to imitate the examples of those who have demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit, understanding of the scriptures, and the love of Christ and his people. What Driscoll does is mangle the scriptures, copy the world, and beat the sheep.

Anybody who aspires to rule over other believers hasn't learn the first thing about salvation: "Not so among you."

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Thanks for the link. I do not think I have listened before to a full sermon by Dr. White. I met him for the first time in Indy and he is as you described him, I found.

That is as afar as it goes, however, when you get into your digress from Dr. White's fine exposition.

First, your very first summary description of his message is unfortunately skewed, Wade. You write: "The message he preached was about birth control." To the contrary, his message was an exegetical exposition of Psalm 127, with two main headings: I.Futile Labor (vv. 1-2; no allusion to childbirth, I assure) and II. Fruitful Legacy (vv.3-5). Interwoven throughout the message was the theme--God is God and we are not.

In addition, the message was just in under 39 minutes flat, a standard staple among Baptist preachers. Of the 39 minutes, approximately 6 minutes were given pertaining to the "birth control issue" and that includes his hefty statement about abortion mills which was a part of his entire focus on preventing children being born.

Six minutes, Wade--six minutes of a 39 minute message--hardly justifies a summary description that Dr. White's message was about birth control. Dr. White's message was about God being God and not us being God, with one of the personal applications pertaining to birth control, all of which was rooted in an exposition of Psalm 127.

Now we may quibble over the exposition's reach--that is, whether or not it legitimately gained footing in its applicability. But to judge this message either as just "about birth control" or dismiss it as the ramblings of a moral legalist toward which many here do, is just plain nonsense.

Nor, Wade, did Dr.White close the message as you indicated: "[with] a challenge to "let God be God" and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control." He did no such thing that I can find at least.

But I am willing to be corrected. Please give me specifically where, in the time-line (which is noted in min/sec on the video stream) did Dr. White close with '...and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control? Four times I listened but missed it.

Finally, Wade, to scorch Dr. White as a moral legalist, making the "message he preached [as] precisely [what] illustrates the trouble we are having in the Southern Baptist Convention... seminary professors like Dr. White...who are preaching personal opinions as if they were mandates from God" stands premature from my view.

Yet you insist that Dr. White represents a "legalism" which allegedly "will destroy not only the fabric of cooperation" but also "ultimately destroy the powerful message of the gospel." A hefty charge, Wade, no one can deny. Of course, that assumes such a charge is demonstrated from Dr. White's message. It is not as I showed above.

You hardly were fair in suggesting that a biblical exposition 39 minutes long, with a fraction of that in application of birth control which you simplistically judge "legalism" constitutes what is destroying the SBC, etc. Chalk up another one for hype and sensationalism--'act like a cult', 'the heretical teaching of Semi-Arianism', and now the old stand-by, 'moral legalism.'

For the record, Dr. White's concern was not birth control methods per se--at least what I gathered from his message. If anything, it would be the foolish idea that we could leave God out of the family planning business--regardless of methods. Who would argue with this central point?

If the Lord and Giver of life is God, is He not to be looked to when thinking of children? Laying aside 'birth control' long enough to answer that question, who, then, could take issue with its overall thrust?

Now that that is acknowledged, is there such a thing as moral means--godly means to BC? Perhaps; perhaps not. There's the debate.

And, one cannot simply wash such a legitimate debate down the sink with the surface slush that it's "moral legalism" to come down on either side of the question.

Dr. White was careful to mention two primary bits of data no one I have read has reiterated: 1) the reason a BC method is flat out refused is that it kills a fertilized egg 2) there are many BC methods.

First, if we believe wholeheartedly life begins at conception--I affirm such--then we must take seriously any threat to such life in a post-conception dilemna. Dr. White's attempt to be morally consistent with such an affirmation of life the thread here has unapologetically condemned as the sleaziest kind of Pharisaical legalism. Again, ethical nonsense. But what the hey--That's the doom of blogs, I suppose.

Secondly, there are many kinds of birth control, including more than one kind of pill. Dr. White was definitively using, for illustrative purposes, the type of pill that primarily blocks the implantation of the embryo to the uterus.

Bioethicists--at least those who believe life begins at conception--are pretty much in agreement in their refusal to accept life beginning at implantation. That said, those contraceptives that are designed primarily to prevent egg release or ovulation are argued by these Bioethicists as moral means because such birth obstruction takes place before fertilization. In short, no human life is destroyed because no human life was conceived.

I do not at all know if Dr. White had in his mind this fine distinction bioethicists make and, if so, whether he would still argue other grounds for his position. That aside, it is the height of presumption to label this man a "moral legalist" because of his ultimate assumption that it is wrong to take a human life. Mistaken about BC? Maybe. Maybe not. Moral legalist? Utter nonsense.

With that, I am...

Peter

Joe Blackmon said...

Alright, I'm gonna say it. Seminary professors need to keep their noses out of other people's reproductive business. Crude? Yes. Tactless? Maybe. True? Yes. Yes it is.

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

As always you use so many words to say absolutely nothing.

Brevity is not your strong suit.

Anonymous said...

Kevin said,
"Are we not to preach to the church that they are to be set apart?"

No.

Instead, send the members of the Church out into the world to love and serve the Lord.

Then the Church will become like a shining city on a hill.

David Phillips said...

Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, has a saying, a philosophy of sorts, which has become a mantra for the team this year. It is simply:

Integrity and accountability has no need for rules

How does that apply? People who live with integrity don't need to complicated by a set of rules. People who believe the Bible don't have to go around saying they believe in the Bible because their actions demonstrate the authority the scriptures have in their lives. People who follow God don't have to be told how to follow God - their lives demonstrate that they are in a relationship - not a set of rules.

Truth is not a set of propositions - it is a relationship. (see John 14:6).

In addition, the 10 commandments? Not a set of propositional prohibitions, but expressions of Love (Romans 13). Love implies relationship.

If the Spirit leads you to not use birth control, great. But just because he has told you not to use it doesn't mean that he has relationally told everyone you know not to use it.

We have usurped the Spirit in our desire to be holy, yet it is only the Spirit who can make us holy and whole.

When we love the Lord with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves, we can then do whatever we want. But loving God doesn't mean keeping rules. Rules do not transform lives or change behavior. Relationship does that. A peace that comes only from a whole relationship with God, with others and with ourselves.

Neither fear nor guilt are reasons to allow ourselves to be constrained by others rules. It is not the expression of Love, nor is it the reality of a life that is whole or holy.

Anonymous said...

Most people who have such a strong reaction to him are frustrated because he just uses the Bible for is positions and not the cultural norm. Maybe there is something for us to learn from there?

Mon Oct 20, 09:45:00 PM 2008

I am glad I did not surprise you. Driscoll does not frustrate me. He disgusts me with his lurid descrptions of our Holy Savior and vulgarity. He is a 'shock jock' preacher and it works to get him plenty of attention. He is a performer.

And he uses the 'culture' excuse to get away with it. So, nice try.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Kevin says: "If we cannot submit to the teaching of man inspired by God, then how can we submit to God?"

You have got it backwards. Why do you have to 'submit' to the teachings of a man when God can inspire you directly?

ANSWER: you were given a Guide. This Guide will tell you if and when a teaching is 'of God' or not. Listen closely, and pray for Guidance. It will come.
It is called discernment, and your Guide IS the Holy Spirit.

Some in the 'leadership' expect total obedience to their orders because they feel they are 'God's Authorities On Earth'. Baptists believe that they left all that hundreds of years ago in a land far away. So, now you must trust the Holy One to guide you. He will keep you safe from harm. :)

Anonymous said...

"But it is all relative to how much authority one wants to submit to. Even Lydia rejects the truths that Driscoll preaches. If we cannot submit to the teaching of man inspired by God, then how can we submit to God?"

1. "Authority" in the Body of Christ is Christ and His Word. But you sound like you want people to submit to you, personally, when you should be pointing them to Christ alone and reminding them you are a depraved sinner saved by grace, too. Many pastors believe this error about themselves.

2. Driscoll is NOT inspired by God. Such vulgarity is not the Holy Spirit in Driscoll as he claims. I am saddened for you that you cannot see that. Perhaps it is because you follow men and think if Piper likes him, it must be ok.

3. Discernment is not just knowing truth from error but truth from part truth. I never reject truth. If Driscoll preaches truth then why does he need the cussing, vulgar references to our Savior and oral sex sermons? Isn't truth enough or do we need the titillating extra's, too?

Here is a very good article for you to consider:

http://www.sfpulpit.com/2008/09/17/john-piper-mark-driscoll-and-harsh-language/

Lydia

Thy Peace said...

Here are some gems from the comments:

Paula writes: "No! No mere human is to be submitted to as some kind of higher level than the rest. There are no levels of hierarchy between me and my Savior, between me and the Spirit, between me and reading the Word. There are learned people whose insights are of great value, and we would be wise to learn from them. But "inspired of God" is over the top.

The NT, if you check the Greek, never commands believers to obey leaders as rulers, but only to imitate the examples of those who have demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit, understanding of the scriptures, and the love of Christ and his people. "


David Phillips writes: "We have usurped the Spirit in our desire to be holy, yet it is only the Spirit who can make us holy and whole.

When we love the Lord with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves, we can then do whatever we want. But loving God doesn't mean keeping rules. Rules do not transform lives or change behavior. Relationship does that. A peace that comes only from a whole relationship with God, with others and with ourselves."


Thank you for these comments. I did not have the time to listen to the audio of Dr. White. I need to make several more passes of this post and comments, to satisfy my understanding. I try my best to understand even opposing view points, especially of Kevin and Peter.

This blog is a blessing to me. This includes all the commentators too :-)

Anonymous said...

I've heard it said - by women who have given birth, of course - that if men gave birth instead of women each family would have only one child.

There are some things that people who have not experienced them should be careful how they speak of them. Not to say they should never speak of what they have not personally experienced, but just that they should not be too dogmatic about what they cannot fully understand.

Susie

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Sometimes I wonder if you can see your own nose in the mirror.

Any rationale human being who reads the verbatim text and listens to the message will know that "To let God be God" is to ABSTAIN from birth control in Dr. White's mind.

I state in the post I pick up the sermon 19 minutes in - but in a thirty nine minute sermon HALF of the sermon is directed toward the appeal to ABSTAIN from birth control.

And, that is precisely appropriate since he had two points in the sermon - not three.

So, the conclusion of the message is "LET GOD BE GOD" and the person who listens to it or reads the text will know what Dr. White means:

DO NOT TAKE BIRTH CONTROL.

Peter, sometimes I think you would argue the Titanic really did not sink just because I said it did.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace said:

"Why can't Men learn this? Why do they deny their own history? Why do they insist on repeating history?"

It is in the nature of man to do what comes 'natural'.

The Christian is asked to be 'natural' but then also to go farther than 'natural' could ever take a human: into the world of faith: and there, to work to heal a suffering world.

Some Christians never get out of first gear. Personally, I think the 'leadership' is stuck in REVERSE. This happened when they kicked Christ and His missionaries
to the curb and tried to run over the Holy Spirit by insisting that 'the Holy Spirit Has Left The Building'.

Problem here is how far in reverse will they drive the Church? Backwards to a time when women were chattel? Or, having done that, backward to a time when a Baptist could not read His Bible and commune with his God directly?

Someone needs to get the transmission fixed so that the Church can go forward again.

Anonymous said...

wtreat here

It is so sad. Legalism is choking the religious and secular worlds and so many seem to want to defend it. For many years I have been traveling and preaching. I have preached in somewhere over 100 churches. Yesterday I was the guest of a wonderful group of people who are trying to break out of DENOMINATIONALLY INSTITUTIONALIZED LEGALISM. After many conversations with the members I preached a sermon titled "GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL". It was on the great work God is doing all over the world and much of it outside any denomination.

After the service, one of the OLD GUARD came up to me and said in a snotty arrogant tone, " where is that in the Bible? That verse that says God is alive and doing well?

Incredulous! This man has been a leader in this church for many years and has run this church to ground.

And we wonder why so many churches and our denomination are not growing, Plenty of legalism, plenty of religion, plenty of extra-biblical rules but little of a ONE ON ONE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST

Sad, so sad

Wtreat@centurytel.net

Anonymous said...

I have seen too many suffering children in this world to TRUST the Christians who 'preach' of respect for life. Words don't feed or nurture or hug sad children.

It's the Christians who help these children that I trust.
They, with their acts of compassion for the children; they have become
silent witnesses for Christ.

Alaskan in Texas said...

Oh my! Is anyone “test(ing) these spirits to see if they are from God”?
Come on, preachers! Pull out your Hebrew lexicons and put a little work into seeing whether or not Dr. White did a good exegesis of this passage, particularly the section of it transcribed by Pastor Burleson.
I am a graduate of Southwestern’s MDiv program as it was run under a previous administration. I am not a pastor, just an adult SS teacher. Also, I don’t have a PhD, know just enough Hebrew to be dangerous (as I am sure you will all soon point out), and definitely would not claim to be a theologian of the caliber of Dr. White. But I was taught just enough at Southwestern to know that a proper exegesis of a passage of Scripture should include, at the start, an examination of the original text in its context.
Perhaps if Dr. White had done that, he would not have incorrectly quoted Psalms 127:3 as teaching that children are “a blessing” from the Lord. In fact, that verse says children are “a heritage” from the Lord. Those are two different concepts. In the context of this psalm of ascents, it makes sense for the psalmist to celebrate this show of strength among the population of Israel; heritage, quivers and arrows fit right in. (That’s something else I learned back then at Southwestern: read the verses in context, and place the chapters in their larger contexts. Maybe they don’t teach that anymore at my alma mater).
What about the original language of verse 5? Dr. White might contemplate that fact that the word translated “blessed” at the beginning of that verse is in the nature of an exclamation that carries the idea of “happy.”My raggedy old Hebrew lexicon gives me the impression that this word translated “blessed” in verse 5 is kind of like singing “O Happy Day.” It is not dogma; it’s celebration! Folks aren’t supposed to read it and get fitted for a sackcloth suit; they are supposed to sing it and slap each other on the back!
In my humble, bumbling opinion, it is something nigh unto sophistry for anyone to conclude from these verses that Christians who use The Pill are killing children, interfering with the Lord’s blessings in their lives and, hence, are sinning. Perhaps other passages, but not this one. In fact, it is not unfair to conclude from Dr. White’s own example that his self-described so-called “sin” of focusing on his seminary studies actually enabled him to be in the position of blessing he now occupies at such a young age!
Psalm 127 is a song meant to be sung in happiness and celebration, not in quasi-mourning and self-flagellation. The verse was written by a celebrating Solomon, not a finger-wagging Paul, for pity’s sake.
Sophistry and legalism are kindred spirits among preachers who see nothing amazing about grace. God help the churches who call to their pulpits the men who swallow the method of eisegetical teaching demonstrated in this message.

Landmarker said...

About five years ago, before I got married, I did some research on birth control, the pill specifically, because of the issues raised here. I found three interesting things:

1.) Almost without exception (*), every single protestant objection to the pill traced its argument back to Randy Alcorn's booklet "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions". While I greatly value his writings on spiritual matters, I am not very comfortable trusting a Bible scholar with what is primarily a scientific question.

2.) In my search, I was surprised by how few doctors endorsed the Alcorn approach. He listed a few doctors as endorsing his book, but none of them were obstetricians, gynecologists, or of any other relevant medical specialty. (The latest version does list 3 ob/gyn's as endorsing it.)

3.) When I looked specifically for opinions from Christian ob/gyn's, all of them without exception rejected Alcorn's aproach.

I think a pastor treads on dangerous grounds when he attempts to argue science, particularly when the science is in dispute and particularly when he is labeling something to be sin on the basis of his scientific reasoning. Does Dr. White have any training in science? Has he read the relevant literature documenting his claims? What about the literature rejecting his claims? Is he qualified to decide this question? And if he is not qualified to definitively answer the scientific question, how on earth can he definitively pronounce this practice to be sin?

(* The one exception was the Torodes' book "Open Embrace". I understand they later recanted the views argued in their book.)

Denise said...

I guess I'm in the wrong denomination for sure as I was prescribed BC for female problems, and am infertile and adopted as the way to "fill our quiver". Talk about making someone feel like a "2nd class citizen". OHHH boy I wonder how many would just have a fit if they realized not only all the above but this "caucasion couple" adopted "GASP" Black children!!!! (but dont tell them or us cuz we see no color in our house!)

I'm appalled at this whole sermon and the way My/Our entire denomination is headed.

I get more and more disgusted.

But then I remember God is bigger...

Love in HIM <><

Infertile Myrtle (i mean denise :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Thomas White's messages construes as legalism as it does in trying to validate God's blessing on a family. Baptists are funny about seeking a particular blessing as fruit of God's grace. If 76 percent of Baptist ministers feel like that the "tithe" is a mandate to the NT church then I fear there is much evidence that the faith/prosperity/blessing message has undermine the true orthodox essence of trust in our Lord. IF everything in your home and neghborhood went belly-up would you still trust the Lord? White needs to experience some grace in his thoughts concerning the pill. I know of couples that never used any sort of contraception and still never had children as well.

Kuya Kevin said...

Wade,
Have you seen the size of most missionary families? I think some of them have already heard this kind of sermon before.

Yes, that's a little joke.

Wade, I've always appreciated my preaching professor at NOBTS. He challenged us to do a thorough exegesis before we proclaim "thus sayeth the Lord."

When Dr. White says the pill is wrong "according to Scripture," I think he has missed the mark.

Anonymous said...

In listening to a message awhile back concerning rightly dividing the word, the minister explained perfectly exactly what that phrase meant. Thomas White is not really a legalist, rather he is not rightly dividing the word and running several ideas together thus distorting some other essential doctrines concerning grace. Reformed theologians are better equipped in this area. Some baptist ministers are nortorious about running ideas together to where they have actually developed a works oriented faith.

Anonymous said...

Adding to last anon:

I have heard it been by some said that Patterson tends to take way too much an Arminianist view. Is this correct?

One Salient Oversight said...

Let me approach this from a different angle.

One thing that White says is that children are a blessing. This is true.

But then he makes a logical and exegetical assumption that to choose not to have children is somehow bad. The thinking sort of goes like this:

"If children are a blessing, then no children is a curse".

Moreover, there is also the assumption that to refuse God's blessing is somehow tantamount to disobedience.

Yet if that were the case, then to refuse any and all of God's blessings is sin.

Psalm 104.15 says that God created wine to "gladden the heart of man". Could it be that it is sin to NOT imbibe alcohol? That is plainly ridiculous since the bible allows for people to abstain from strong drink if they choose.

And if it's okay to abstain from one blessing, then surely it is okay to abstain from others.

Cindy said...

I don't want to blog hog, but the issue of all oral contraception as an abortifacient is actually disputed among pro-life OBGYNS, and I think they make a very good case If anyone is interested in this, there's a thread on another blog where, against the convictions of the blog host, I presented the case that not all oral contraceptives are abortifacient. It includes links to a pro-life organization that accepts the responsible and informed use of certain types of oral contraception. It also discusses the fact that the serious, serious complications associated with OCs are downplayed. What other drug would get past the FDA with such a high incidence of stroke, breast cancer, liver disease and hypertension?

http://thatmom.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/august-15-podcast/#comments

The primary action of effective hormone manipulation is suppression of ovulation -- the release of an egg. Certain pills only alow breakthrough ovulation that does not exceed 0.5 to 2 times in five 5 years. (If that egg fertilizes, that's 0 -2 conceptions as opposed to 20 with no contraception.) For normal sexually active women who do not sustain an viable pregnancy and do not use contraception, it is widely accepted in medicine that she actually conceives 3 to 4 times per year. (Conception is easy and it's the sustaining of pregnancy that is more difficult and determines actual pregnancy.) One could then argue that the effective oral contraceptives actually prevent the loss of these tiny lives that are never realized, dropping their number from as high as twenty down to a rate of 0-2 over a period of five years. The pill then actually could be argued to limit the number of what some others would define as "lost lives" from 20 unborn babies (conceptions with no pregnancy)under normal, healthy circumstances down to 0-2 on certain, reliable OCs.

I think these matters fall under the category of meat sacrificed to idols. If your conscience pinches you, you should do what is conservative, but I think that there is just enough reason under liberty to ascribe to the opinions of the other physicians who do not see particular responsible choices in oral contraception as abortifacient. There are many medical reasons, as some have mentioned here, for limiting pregnancy.

The abortifacient argument is actually about 30+ years old and antiquated. The information that we've learned through the field of in vitro has greatly expanded our understanding of these matters. It is funny that they throw this into the argument as a condemnation factor for some, when their real argument is that it is a sin to avoid pregnancy. (That would make Natural Family Planning also a sin of intent because it is a passive measure and not an active one, but NFP is widely accepted in many of these circles. It seems hypocritical if hatred of one's brother is tantamount to the intent of murder. Active and passive contraception is still an intent to limit God, something that is a new sin under patriarchy.)

Cindy said...

I have heard it been by some said that Patterson tends to take way too much an Arminianist view. Is this correct?

If you believe that God is sovereign over the womb, and God decides to open the womb, I don't think that a person with a healthy respect for God's sovereignty could argue that God can overcome any obstacle. To argue anything other than this is to make an Arminian argument. I have had friends get pregnant while taking the pill, and two of them were nurses who used the therapy responsibly and effectively. That says to me that if God wants open a womb, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop Him.

So it boils down to whether you believe that God opens and closes the womb. Those who ascribe to the quiverfull mentality also seem to assume that when God fails to open the womb that those couples have rebelled against God. Somehow, it does not give to their reasoning that God has chosen not to open these wombs and has kept them closed. (They are the people that make me feel like I need to wear my OBGYN medical records around my neck to offer against their assumptions of rebellion. Frankly, these things are none of their business, IMO, but personal boundaries are not a thing that the QF movement respects very much in my experience.)

peter lumpkins said...

Wade

You write: "Sometimes I wonder if you can see your own nose in the mirror. Any rationale human being who reads the verbatim text and listens to the message will know that "To let God be God" is to ABSTAIN from birth control in Dr. White's mind."

Well, my brother, I guess that settles it--I can't see my own nose in the mirror and I certainly do not qualify as a "rationale [sic] human being." Poor me.

And, while you "state in the post [you] pick up the sermon 19 minutes in" Wade, it does not follow that "in a thirty nine minute sermon HALF of the sermon is directed toward the appeal to ABSTAIN from birth control." I counted approximately 6 min. Dr. White employed speaking your section quoted. That does not make the sermon about "birth control." If you think it does, perhaps we both need to take a look at our old homiletics texbook.

Nor is the conclusion "LET GOD BE GOD", which, for the listener, according to you, is "DO NOT TAKE BIRTH CONTROL." That is definitively not how Dr. White closed his message.

I will ask again: please point me to the time-line (min-sec) where Dr. White closes with, as you originally wrote: "a challenge to "let God be God" and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control)."

You seem to think this is personal, Wade: "Peter, sometimes I think you would argue the Titanic really did not sink just because I said it did."

May I simply say, as honestly as I know how--any challenge I make here possesses no personal overtones whatsoever. I do not "enjoy" virtually always being on the "other side." It actually goes against my grain. I'm basically very quiet and have little to say.

Yet, the boat this blog has decided to paddle questions actions, decisions, beliefs, and directions of SBC leadership, making sometimes, in my view, slanderous claims such as "heretical teaching" or labeling men such as Dr. White as a poster-boy for what's wrong in our convention.

If you are going to make such bold claims, Wade, it seems to me you need reliable evidence to substantiate the claim. I am only looking at the evidence you offer. I do not find the level of guilt there that you so often do.

Therefore, I question it--sorta like you do them. I hope that helps.

By the way, Dr. White's reasoning was that if BC kills a fertilized egg--an egg in which human life has been conceived--then, in the end, there is no difference between such BC and abortion.

And since abortion is believed by most of us to be the taking of human life, such BC that kills a fertilized egg is taking a human life as well.

Granted Dr. White may or may not have reasoned his position out well. But his reasoning of such is not in question on this blog. Heck, you guys didn't even get his point! The lather over BC was too thick to look past and pick up his presupposition--i.e, that human life begins at conception and any destruction of a fertilized egg in which life is begun is the taking of human life.

If you disagree with such, state why Dr. White's reasoning is faulty. But to make him a human pinup for what's wrong in our convention, Wade, itself is dead wrong and you and others need to stop such unsubstantiated charges.

While I am no expert in bioethical issues, I did go approximately half-way through an M.A. in Bioethics at TEDS. The distinction I made between BC methods designed to block an egg from fertilization and those designed more to block the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus wall was common stuff at the Center for Bioethics directed then, I think, by C. Ben Mitchel.

Consequently, to not give Dr. White the benefit of doubt is highly presumptuous on your part and the part of those commenters here who simply dismiss his views.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Paula said...

Glad to be of service, Thy Peace.

Thy Peace said...

Psalm 127 (New King James Version)
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.


Psalm 127 (New International Version)
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to [a] those he loves.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.

5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Anonymous said...

Let me really muddy these waters, and you patriarchialist guys should be warned this is written by a woman.

Is it playing God to use any of the knowledge of medical science? If God wants you to have children don't do anything to prevent it. (Come to think of it, not doing anything would prevent it, but this idea is usually ignored.) If God wants you to be sick, don't do anything; don't take medicine, don't go to a doctor. If God tries to take you with a heart attack, don't dare go to the emergency room for help - your time has come.

I wonder if in an earlier time Dr. White would have been among those who taught that women should not have relief from pain in childbirth because Eve was told she would have pain in childbirth. Women were severely punished if they sought pain relief, even to the point of being killed for it. Of course men had no problem improving the means of farming so that THEY would have less sweat as they did so. I guess since they were men (superior beings) they could work against that curse while still leting women have the full effect of their curse.

Susie

Anonymous said...

Let me really muddy these waters, and you patriarchialist guys should be warned this is written by a woman.

Is it playing God to use any of the knowledge of medical science? If God wants you to have children don't do anything to prevent it. (Come to think of it, not doing anything would prevent it, but this idea is usually ignored.) If God wants you to be sick, don't do anything; don't take medicine, don't go to a doctor. If God tries to take you with a heart attack, don't dare go to the emergency room for help - your time has come.

I wonder if in an earlier time Dr. White would have been among those who taught that women should not have relief from pain in childbirth because Eve was told she would have pain in childbirth. Women were severely punished if they sought pain relief, even to the point of being killed for it. Of course men had no problem improving the means of farming so that THEY would have less sweat as they did so. I guess since they were men (superior beings) they could work against that curse while still leting women have the full effect of their curse.

Susie

Anonymous said...

Sorry I sent twice. Wade, feel free to delete one. Would delete it myself but don't know how.

Susie

Anonymous said...

Dear Infertile Myrtle (Denise):

You said:

"OHHH boy I wonder how many would just have a fit if they realized not only all the above but this "caucasion couple" adopted "GASP" Black children!!!! (but dont tell them or us cuz we see no color in our house!) "

DEAR DENISE,

I have taught children of ALL colors for many years in inner city schools. A child is a child, and a child of God at that.

'My' black children still come up to me in the community and give me a hug. Some of them are adults now with their own children. The Kingdom of God sees no color. I loved all my students and I was blessed by them. God tests us to see if we can get passed our differences. You have succeeded. You serve Him well. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER AND EVER!

Be Peaceful,
L's Gran

Rex Ray said...

Susie,
Your words were worth reading twice, even by a man. Thank you.

Lew A said...

Doesn't he kind of contradict himself?

He said that he wanted children his way... so he was on birth-control.

Then, when they decided it was finally time to have children they went off birth-control but couldn't conceive. So they adopted?

Isn't that the same thing? I mean, I don't have a problem with adoption, if I ever decide to have children adoption will be the first choice my wife and I consider. But what is the difference between doing something to prevent having children when you can... and doing something to have children when you can't (naturally).

God's Glory,
Lew

Thy Peace said...

Susie, you can only delete comments, if you posted it by a blogger account. I do not think it will let you delete Anonymous comments. Though Pastor Wade can :-)

Susie, your comments are very correct. To me, they are worth reading 10 times. If the SBC leadership have their own way, all these will come to pass. They will deny it now, but the logical progression of their thinking is heading that way.

Rex Ray said...

L’s Gran,
I enjoy all your comments, especially of the priest giving you advice in having children. That shows Catholics are becoming more Baptist than some Baptists.

Anonymous said...

The Light reveals
God's winged creatures on a journey through time
Watched with wonder
that God is nigh

The Light fades
God's caged and sienced creatures
search the skies above
seeking Comfort
'Father, help us'

L's

Wanda said...

I have just finished listening to Dr. White's sermon, and it is frightening!!! As Voddie Baucham recently said in an interview on CNN, he's "playing fast and loose with the text."

Dr. White is extremely narrow in his interpretation of Psalm 127. In this laywoman's opinion, all the text intends with regard to children being a heritage or blessing is that children are not meant to be a burden to their parents. They are a gift from Almighty God.

He mentioned that Dean Nichols at SWBTS has nine children! I hope that in years to come the Whites will have a fuller quiver than the Nichols.

Now for my prediction of the SBC's coming agenda. . . I believe they will soon begin promoting homeschooling to the exclusion of all other kinds of education, including Christian education. Why? Because no one with a quiverfull will be able to afford Christian education for their kids! And forget a college education, especially for daughters. This is what patriarchial homeschoolers like Doug Phillips are already promoting. A daughter is to be her father's "helpmeet" (whatever that means!) until she marries, preferably at an early age. Then she is to have a quiverfull. Don't believe me? Do the research yourself about patriarchy and the homeschooling movement. The SBC is quickly heading in this direction.

Vision Forum will be extremely pleased with such an agenda. Its profits will soar as the SBC shames families into believing that any family that doesn't homeschool is living in SIN!

Shame on you Dr. White for your misapplication of Scripture! Married couples using birth control to determine the size of their family is NOT a sin, and you are attempting to play God. Now that's a sin! I have said it before on this blog, and I'll say it again. The SBC is becoming totalitarian. Are we going to cower on the sidelines and watch a few demagogues control the direction of the SBC for generations to come or are we gonna take back our convention for Jesus Christ? I choose to fight!!!

NativeVermonter said...

Our main man in GA said:

"Heck, you guys didn't even get his point! The lather over BC was too thick to look past and pick up his presupposition--i.e, that human life begins at conception and any destruction of a fertilized egg in which life is begun is the taking of human life."

In the sixth comment on this thread, I stated: "Okay, he stated flat out that taking the pill is sin. If it actually kills a life that has already been formed then I can't argue with that. I don't know the science well enough." So I would like to conclude that I did, in fact, get his point. Yipee, for me :)

My wife works in an OBGYN office and she has asked the doctors on staff about this issue. They have stated the pill prevents ovulation, it doesn't cause a death but in fact prevents a life. And one doctor she asked is very involved in the pro-life movement. (This same doctor WILL NOT however insert an Intrauterine Device.) Well take that for what its worth.

Maybe these chapel sermons could focus a bit more on the Gospel because whether you have been redeemed or whether you are lost--the Message needs to be heard.

John in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Lew, good comment.

Sometimes we read of families who, whether they have biological children of their own or not, choose to adopt several children, sometimes having previously taken them in as foster children. This not only helps the children taken in, but if looked at from Dr. White's perspective, provides them a "full quiver". One can quiver to think of it. :-)

Maybe those who preach the "full quiver" doctrine but only have a few children or only one child could be told of this idea so that they could have the full quiver they advocate for others. They probably just haven't thought of it or they would have taken in many. It would bless them and the children.

Susie

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Rex Ray,

It's me, L's Gran

Well, you know, I'm not the only Catholic out there who had a Southern Baptist grandmother!
Grandmother was a huge influence on me. I am so sad to see her Church going through so much suffering. She would have been hurt by all this, I know.
L's

Anonymous said...

OOPS I needed another cup of coffee. Sorry.
Here's the poem with CORRECTED SPELLING:



The Light reveals
God's winged creatures on a journey through time
Watched with wonder
that God is nigh

The Light fades
God's caged and silenced creatures
search the skies above
seeking Comfort
'Father, help us'

L's

Anonymous said...

Just a note to Denise:

Cindy McCain adopted a little child from India (Mother Theresa's Orphanage) and broght the baby home to John and the family. This baby was dark in color. Some people who supported George Bush used the baby's color against John and said that he had sired 'a black baby'. May God have mercy on all of us because we all have such a long way to go towards the Light.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Glad to know that what you write is never personal, only about the issues. Likewise, my rational comment was not directed personally toward you.

Point blank question: The close of White's sermon was "Let God be God" and follows 19 minutes of talk about birth control, so you are saying that the meaning, encouragement and challenge of Dr. White's "Let God be God" is for all of us to take birth control?"

I stand by my statement that his "let God be God" is an appeal, an encouragement, and an exhortation to NOT take birth control.

IF YOU WISH TO PROVE ME WRONG, get Dr. White on the record saying I misunderstand his ending challenge.

Otherwise, and don't take this personal, I am uninterested in anything you write in defense of Dr. White. You act as if you know the mind of Dr. White and I don't though we both listened to the same sermon, and I spent an hour transcribing it.

His exhortation at the end to "Let God be God" is the summary appeal to abstain from the sin of birth control. Connect the dots, Peter, it's not the hard.

If and when you give me, in writing, a statement from Dr. White that I misunderstood him, then I will apologize. Until then, we have nothing further to discuss.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Pro-life physicians statement arguing that some oral contraceptives are not abortifacient

Anonymous said...

Katie says:

Peter,
Thank you so much for the information you added to this discussion! I did not take time to listen to all of the sermon, so thanks for doing that!

I’m glad that Dr. White preached this message. There appears to be nothing inaccurate in what he preached. Our society is so self-centered and we are so intent on being in control of our lives that we need to hear more about letting God have His proper place; and seek His will on these types of decisions. His shares his own testimony – having used birth control and the resulting infertility (whether the one caused the other we don’t know), but I think it is entirely appropriate that Dr. White shares this message with his listeners.

Tom Parker,
Is it your job here to criticize Peter's comments? If you have some rebuttal, please state it. Otherwise, it makes you look small.

Wade,
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you’d like to believe.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Susie,

You warn that we 'patriarchialist guys' should be aware your statement was written by a woman. I do not know if I qualify as a 'patriarchialist guy' or not. But I assure you, because you're a woman does not count against your comment.

Your query struck gold: "Is it playing God to use any of the knowledge of medical science? If God wants you to have children don't do anything to prevent it."

That is precisely the point of those bioethicists who morally distinguish between preventing conception of life on the one hand and preventing implantation of life on the other, the former committing no moral breach against the sanctity of human life and the latter indisputably the taking of human life.

They go on to argue contra BC critics that a) not all BC methods--including some of the BC pills--are designed to block the implantation of embryonic life to the uterus wall, hence the charge of the taking of human life is moot; and, hence the view that all BC is 'immoral means' becomes questionable;

and b) if all medical prevention measures for pregnancy are considered 'immoral means', then the rhythmic method, a widely accepted method even among those who argue against all BC barriers because it's God's sovereign action alone to determine "how many arrows is in one's quiver" also qualifies as "immoral means." That is precisely where the trajectory of your question leads, it seems to me.

The blaring difficulty of this thread is, Dr. White is being charred black and crispy for a view upon which he definitively did not expound. His chief contention was BC that kills an embryo we assume to be infused with human life is dead wrong. That is precisely what the bioethicists under whom I studied asserted.

To reach further and suggest Dr. White meant all BC--denying any validity to a moral distinction between BCs which block conception and BCs which block implantation--is an unproven assumption made here, beginning, unfortunately, with the bloghost's original post.

Consequently, making Dr. White's views out to be what's wrong in the SBC, with Dr. White as the human pinup, is inflamatory and dead wrong.

Thanks again Susie. With that, I am...

Peter

Cindy said...

Question: Are Paige Patterson and the favored faculty at SWBTS Calvinists?

Anonymous said...

Peter,

I am amazed the blog host puts up with your arrogant nonsense. You remind me of a man who refuses to call the fire department because he enjoys the smell of smoke. Not only do you not make any sense, the sad thing is you actually think you do.

Amused

Anonymous said...

"Question: Are Paige Patterson and the favored faculty at SWBTS Calvinists?"

Oh my goodness, Cindy? Surely you jest?

I'm thinking you are up to something sneaky. Surely you know the answer to that question.

I will say this, if PP did get "right theology", I might be willing to cut him some slack though. :)

Anonymous said...

Katie - You better run for the hills! Once some of these ladies get a hold of your comment, you will feel the wrath of con.

Did I mispell "con".

:)

Tom Parker said...

Katie:

Thank you for the compliment. I hope I am doing a good job of being Peter's critic.
I think if you were to read through my history with Mr. I Am I have given him plenty of rebuttal. I am not only small but often invisible--wink-wink.

peter lumpkins said...

Wade,

Thanks. You asked a "Point blank question:

"The close of White's sermon was "Let God be God" and follows 19 minutes of talk about birth control, so you are saying that the meaning, encouragement and challenge of Dr. White's "Let God be God" is for all of us to take birth control?"

Allow me to offer you a point blank answer, Wade: "I not only am not saying that the "challenge of Dr. White's "Let God be God" is for all of us to take birth control" I am saying his final challenge was not about birth control at all.

At 38:14, Dr White sums up and says:

"And so this morning, what I want to get across to you is this: Lest the Lord builds, we labor in vain. Whether it's building a city; whether it's watching over in protection; whether it's earning a living; or whether it's building a family; trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. For He is God, and we are not. Let's go to the Lord in prayer..."

There is not one syllable leading up to his conclusion that comes close to your description, Wade: "[his] challenge to "let God be God" and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control"(embolden mine).

Thus, Wade, why should I feel any urge to contact Dr. White: "IF YOU WISH TO PROVE ME WRONG, get Dr. White on the record saying I misunderstand his ending challenge"? The sermon as it is does a pretty good job of proving you wrong already.

In fact, if it was egg on my face, I'm quite sure you'd have already prepared some nice, juicy rotten ones by giving me the time-line (min/sec) in the sermon which pounds my face really good. You have not.

Nor Wade is it I who seems certain what was in Dr. White's mind: "You act as if you know the mind of Dr. White and I don't though we both listened to the same sermon, and I spent an hour transcribing it."

To the contrary, my brother, I have been clear to point out beginning in the very first comment my uncertainty as to what's in Dr. White's mind: "I do not at all know if Dr. White had in his mind this fine distinction bioethicists make and, if so, whether he would still argue other grounds for his position", arguing it is presumption to suggest one does.

On the other hand, Wade, you incredibly pen this little love note to me: "Any rationale human being who reads the verbatim text and listens to the message will know that "To let God be God" is to ABSTAIN from birth control in Dr. White's mind."(embolden mine).

Interesting--you arguing any rational human being knows what's in Dr. White's mind, me dissenting from such, yet you charging me with "act[ing] as if [I] know the mind of Dr. White and [you] don't" when it's definitively you who asserts any rational human being ought to know. What's a fellow to do! I am so confused in life! ;^)

If real illustrations are forthcoming which demonstrate irresponsibility, incompetence, moral legalsim, etc, etc, illustrations which are handled with care--the same kind of care any one of us would want toward the decisions we make or the statements we make or the beliefs we treasure--there'd be a heck of a lot less dissent on this blog, I'm convinced.

And, I am sorry we have nothing left to discuss, my brother--and that, just when we were beginning to bond.

I trust your afternoon well.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

Katie said:

"Our society is so self-centered and we are so intent on being in control of our lives that we need to hear more about letting God have His proper place; and seek His will on these types of decisions."

So Katie, how full is your quiver?

I have two beautiful Christian daughters who are mighty arrows for Jesus Christ. Are you saying that because my husband and I chose not to have more than two children we are being self-centered?

I would appreciate your response.

Blessings,

Wanda

r. grannemann said...

Regardless of one's position of whether the human soul inhabits a seven day old fertilized egg, it IS clear that a "full quiver" philosophy, if widely practiced, will result in mass human starvation.

We have recently witnessed mass starvation in certain African countries this century, the result when human populations are so near food supply limits that natural fluctuations in crop yield cause malnutrition an death. If human population growth continues at present rates, this will be the situation in every country of the world by the end of this century.

Protestant Evangelicalism has been very slow to incorporate this reality into their ethical equation.

Cindy said...

Surely I jest?

All I know is that there are ties between Doug Phillips and the Pattersons. I just figured they were all Calvinists because Phillips is so "holier than thou" and is a Calvinist. The bedfellows are strange. There's so much of this "grow your quivers to build the church" versus evangelism, I had to ask.

If Patterson is dispensational, then that explains the friction with Mohler.

I need a scorecard to keep up with this stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
Should Emmanuel leave the Southern Baptist Convention? Since they support so many things that are of their own agenda, then what benefit is it to the Members of Emmanuel to be associated with them?
~~~Waldo

Anonymous said...

Peter is doing the same thing to White's sermon that many do with Ware's teachings. It has to be done when they make little sense or teach extra biblical doctrine.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the reality is that most walked out of that sermon thinking that using birth control (any) is a sin and in doing so is not allowing God to be God. And they were probably wondering how many children would be the approved limit to make a quiverfull. :o)

Perhaps they will emulate the Pattersons and have 3.

Lydia

thatmom said...

I addressed this militant fecundity rhetoric in a series of podcasts a few months ago if anyone is interested.

www.thatmompodcast.com

My greatest concern about this movement is how willing some of the promoters are to allow women to be placed into dangerous life-threatening positions for the sake of sake of filling quivers. i am a rabid pro-lifers and I find their reasoning abominable.

Wanda said...

Cindy asked:

"Are Paige Patterson and the favored faculty at SWBTS Calvinists?"

Who knows for sure. . . I can tell you that Al Mohler and Paige Patterson held a debate at the 2006 Pastors' Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina on "Views of Election". I have the CD and listened to it a few weeks ago. Dr. Mohler makes it absolutely clear that he is a five-point Calvinist. Dr. Patterson presents an opposing view, but I'm not convinced that he revealed his true position.

It's obvious that there are ties between Doug Phillips and Paige Patterson, given that Dorothy endorsed Housewives Desperate for God, which was published by Vision Forum. I wonder how many of the college students enrolled in "Homemaking" at Southwestern are from the Phillips crowd. These homeschooled girls caught up in the patriarchial movement are not permitted to attend college because they will become corrupt.

Perhaps Southwestern has created a "safe haven" for them with this new homemaking major. That's the only degree these girls would be given permission to pursue because they would never be allowed to be a "helpmeet" to a man in the workforce other than their husband or father.

As a Southern Baptist, I find all of this very disturbing. I'm grateful that Wade is sounding the alarm through his blog. We need to wake up the masses because they have no idea what's really going on in the SBC.

Blessings,

Wanda

greg.w.h said...

Peter:

At 17:35 White concludes his comments regarding the "fruitful sprinkler system" and segues to comments on building the family at 18:31. He continues with the comments on the third of his three major points until around 38:07 where he starts his summary which he concludes by 38:34. By any system of reasoning about how a sermon is presented the last, longest, and most fervent point is the main intention of the discussion.

He interprets "God is God and we are not" (a phrase I've used since the early '90s so I kind of get the point he is making) as meaning God is in charge of when and how we receive children and we should accept the delivery of children to us as a blessing from God and should take no part in any human action of agency to reject children especially those given to us through the process of pregnancy and childbirth by the wife of the marriage.

In my opinion, if there is a fault in the sermon, it is that he doesn't delve deeply enough into bioethics to support his comments. If he did, he could illustrate several different interpretations of the birth process instead of speculating on only one of those.

But his theology is entirely speculative in this sense: the Bible doesn't go to that level of detail in any way, shape, form, or nuance. And that he would draw from an experience based on personal conviction that HE EXPERIENCED in order to make such a strong sermon point--using 50% of his time to get the entire substance of that point across--suggests he wasn't taught that basing sermons on areas where we are personally convicted by God is fraught with perils of underemphasis, overemphasis, and anthropomorphication (or in this case andropomorophication) of the God-head.

And then you actually demand that Wade use a time-line analysis to refute your points, in other words demanding that he only argue using your "arguing field". As I noted, the last, longest, and most fervent point is usually the primary point. This one is even more so because the phrase "God is God and we're not" isn't a biblical one so it, too, is essentially speculative, though I agree with the content of the speculation (as I said, I started using the phrase even before Steven Curtis Chapman wrote the song about it which went a long way to popularizing the expression.)

But to prove I'm a benevolent debater, I'll offer a counterpoint that no one has brought up: is a hysterectomy sin if it occurs during child production years? Is it a sin if it occurs AFTER typical child production years? Or is God able and willing to restore a removed womb in order to accomplish his will? And what is the "failure rate" of the birth control pill even when used correctly? Are those "failures" imposed "blessings" by God? Does he choose to override our desire to have some sense of control over how our lives work? Or is he so sovereign that he doesn't care what the impact of another child might be on a marriage?

There are all kinds of bioethical conversations in that last paragraph that cannot be reduced the question of the moment of conception. The phrase "God is God and we are not" is best used to remind us of the different perspectives and not as a bludgeon against those that won't accept God's sovereignty in their lives. After all, there IS no further condemnation in Christ Jesus, is there?

Greg Harvey

Cindy said...

Thank you, Wanda.

and

Preach it, Greg!

Wanda said...

Here's the title of an article written by Dorothy Patterson that must have made quite an impact on Dr. White:

Convenient Contraception or Challenging Parenthood:
Personal Agenda vs. God’s Plan

The link to this article which is posted on Dorothy Patterson's official website is:

http://www.dorothypatterson.info/Contraception.cfm

I read this article about a month ago, and I was alarmed! I didn't know anything about Wade Burleson at the time, and I'm amazed that I'm now writing about it on his blog.

peter lumpkins said...

Katie,

Thank you, my sister. And know also I am aware that our brother Tom enjoys pitching little personal barbs my way.

But as you presumably pointed out, they remain harmless since nothing ever really addresses the content of what I happen to write.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Elisabeth said...

I just read your comment Wade, where you said "Peter, sometimes I think you would argue the Titanic really did not sink just because I said it did."
Love your sense of humor.

Elisabeth said...

I just read the paper from the pro-life physicians about the pill that is linked earlier in the comment stream. It presents a really strong case that combination oral contraceptives are not abortifacent. We don't really need people saying that Christians shouldn't use it because it is abortifacent without knowing all the facts. As it is, there is no data saying it is, and data seeming to point in the other direction.

Lin said...

"... is a hysterectomy sin if it occurs during child production years? "

Greg, Excellent question.

peter lumpkins said...

Greg,

Thanks for your response. First, I am not sure what happens at either 17:35 or 18:31 but I take your word for it.

But I am fairly sure Dr. White does not, as you indicate, "continue with the comments on the third of his three major points until around 38:07 where he starts his summary which he concludes by 38:34." Unless I am mistaken, Dr. White had two major points, not three.

And, as I noted in the first comment here: "his message was an exegetical exposition of Psalm 127, with two main headings: I.Futile Labor (vv. 1-2; no allusion to childbirth, I assure) and II. Fruitful Legacy (vv.3-5). Interwoven throughout the message was the theme--God is God and we are not."

Additionally, I think we both agree on what was interwoven throughout: God is God and we are not.

It is not clear, however, that "By any system of reasoning about how a sermon is presented the last, longest, and most fervent point is the main intention of the discussion."

For my money, while I may concede the most "fervent point" made by Dr. White was revealing his personal heart--twice to the point of tears--about his personal circumstances, the other two points upon which you insist--the 'last' and 'longest'--get no such concession as being particularly about BC per se.

Indeed, I gave verbatim Dr.White's final thrust to Wade. Perhaps a redo is in order:

"And so this morning, what I want to get across to you is this: Lest the Lord builds, we labor in vain. Whether it's building a city; whether it's watching over in protection; whether it's earning a living; or whether it's building a family; trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. For He is God, and we are not. Let's go to the Lord in prayer..."

That is a very broad summary, touching various spheres of our lives. Not getting it, Greg. Sorry.

I do (and did) mention a weakness similar to yours when you concluded "if there is a fault in the sermon, it is that he doesn't delve deeply enough into bioethics to support his comments."

My reservation was more in the line of an "unspoken" assumption about BC generally, from which, one has to be guarded in drawing conclusions about Dr. White's full position. That is what I have attempted to do here.

But then again, Greg, if we take your critique seriously that "he doesn't delve deeply enough into bioethics to support his comments" why draw premature conclusions about his full position?

I think that's a good question for many commenters here to answer, not to mention our bloghost for definitively making Dr. White's view the embodiment of what's wrong in the SBC, with Dr. White as a human pinup.

But if Dr. White did not offer enough teasing out of his view, as you seem to suggest, Greg, why not agree with me that to insist, in the face of such a glaring gap, that Dr White IS a "moral legalist" who captures precisely what's "WRONG in our convention" remains as both an unjust and premature claim? Why not just inquire what his view is, instead of making such unwarranted pronouncements as has been repeatedly made here?

For the record, Greg, I speak not of your critique. Your comment indisputably dealt primarily with both Dr. White's view as well as my comments concerning which I am happy to engage, instead of joining in the whipped up lather here.

Nonetheless, is it incorrect, in my view, to judge your summation of Dr. White's theology on this issue as being "entirely speculative" (to borrow your term), perhaps an unwarranted overreach? I think not. You conclude:

"But his theology is entirely speculative in this sense: the Bible doesn't go to that level of detail in any way, shape, form, or nuance."

To the contrary, the Bible is very clear about the taking of human life. And, if I am correct in identifying Dr. White's presupposition as the sanctity of human life, which stood as the moral trajectory barring his embracing the 'third function' (his term) of BC' because it, in effect, destroyed human life, I am unsure how such moral reasoning is "entirely speculative."

Indeed, Bioethicists "speculate" about such on a consistent basis, assisting us, who are untrained in the finer bio-subjects, to think morally, biblically and honorably toward our Lord. Some of these issues are excruciatingly difficult.

Consequently, inquiry into Dr. White's views are more than acceptable; the inquiry is our duty! Who disputes such? I certainly do not. And a starbucks says, Dr. White would be more than happy to discuss his entire position were he queried.

My guess is--but certainly the expectation as well--that the overwhelming majority of the hundreds of students who've passed through his classes would testify similarly.

But to prematurely brand him with an "L" (legalist) like so many cows branded in a pasture, or similarly to some of the Puritans who were quick to burn the "A" on an alleged adultress/adulterer is a despicable thing to do to another human being, not to mention a brother in Christ and humble servant toward which hundreds of God-called students have had a positive experience.

To not give him the benefit of a doubt stands as a mean-spirited, premature conjecture in my view. Now, that's only my opinion, mind you. But it is my opinion, Greg.

Finally, I am confused as to why you seemed so startled I requested such a simple response from Wade: "And then you actually demand that Wade use a time-line analysis to refute your points, in other words demanding that he only argue using your "arguing field" (italics mine).

Why, Greg! I haven't the least objection toward your employing a time-line analysis to refute my points, which, of course, you did in your very first remarks to me. Why then you should be startled that I employed a method you yourself employ is, at least to me, a little bit funny. :^)

What is less funny is the assumption that I "demanded" Wade employ "my" arguing field. Not at all. I used it. He used it. And you use it. All God's children use it! :^)

More seriously, my real point in using it was to nail down precisely where Dr. White made the alleged challenge Wade continues to defend:

"acknowledg[ing] that we are not God by refusing to use birth control"

The location, of which, by the way, neither you nor Wade has yet offered.

Thus, it is not at all unreasonable to conclude, your interpretation was perhaps "entirely speculative" at that point. That's my take on it, anyway.

With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

Peter said:

"Interwoven throughout the message was the theme - God is God and we are not."

This is correct! May I add, God is God, and Dr. White is not.

Dr. White has misinterpreted Scripture by making a personal preference a mandate from God. His position cannot be supported by Scripture; therefore, he does not speak for Almighty God.

Peter, you really need to give it a rest on this topic.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Lydia,

If you have a specific point of criticism about where I have mistakenly interpreted Dr. White, my sister, I'd be more than willing to oblige.

But a general "Peter is doing the same thing" type of corrective offers no assistance whatsoever toward my discovering what may be an eye-opening--not to mention devastating--insight about my commentary here.

Sorry. With that, I am...

Peter

Elisabeth said...

I just read Dorothy Patterson's article against the Pill. Sounds to me like she was writing while skimping on research about the abortifacent effect of the Pill. Interesting - the student she mentioned was married in 1999, and had used the pill for 3 years before becoming convinced it was abortifacent. Dr. White's wife, perhaps?

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

I do wish to publicly apologize to you for my personal barbs towards you. They shall not happen any more.

Anonymous said...

Katie said:
"Our society is so self-centered and we are so intent on being in control of our lives that we need to hear more about letting God have His proper place; and seek His will on these types of decisions."

Then Wanda asks,
So Katie, how full is your quiver?... Are you saying that because my husband and I chose not to have more than two children we are being self-centered? I would appreciate your response.

Wanda,
I certainly am NOT saying that because you and your husband chose to have no more than two children that you are being self-centered. I’m a little puzzled as to how you might have read that judgment into my comment.

My husband and I have been blessed with two sons. Two sons in whom we delight and of whom we are proud. Being a mother of two children has forced me to be a little bit less self-centered. I can only assume that if we had had more kids, I might be even less so!

This is an extremely personal and private matter. Couples ought to raise their children as God leads them. I have good friends with 4, 5 or 6 kids and others with one or two. They are all committed Christians, raising their families in Christian homes. Unlike Wade, I do not feel that a time is coming in the SBC where birth control will be mandated and I don’t think that’s was Dr. White’s point. We SB’s value our autonomy too much! So, it’s good to hear a message like this one, encouraging us to let God be God of our lives and in our decisions. If it’s His will for us, He will enable us to do it!

Anonymous said...

If you have a specific point of criticism about where I have mistakenly interpreted Dr. White, my sister, I'd be more than willing to oblige.

But a general "Peter is doing the same thing" type of corrective offers no assistance whatsoever toward my discovering what may be an eye-opening--not to mention devastating--insight about my commentary here.

Sorry. With that, I am...

Peter

Tue Oct 21, 02:54:00 PM 2008

That's ok, Peter. I am sure some others here 'got it'. And I would rather take the rack or thumb screws than try to slog through your verbose comments. No offense.

People who drink cold buttermilk with their cornbread do not normally converse the way you do. (wink)

Some of us here are just hicks with a little horse sense. We understand perfectly what the young Dean was communicating. We have heard it before from DotPat and others.

Lydia

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wanda,

Thanks for the note. And, you'll be surprised to find out I happen to agree: "God is God, and Dr. White is not."Sweet Georgia Peach! Somebody pass the champagne bucket!

Unhappily, that is the extent of it. It is easy to make assertions, my sister Wanda, assertions like this:

"Dr. White has misinterpreted Scripture by making a personal preference a mandate from God."

There's been a lot said about this. Unless you are specific, I haven't a clue how to evaluate where you contend Dr. White got it wrong, Wanda.

Thus, your assertion is just an unproven assumption that simply cannot bare the weight of your unwarranted conclusion:

"His position cannot be supported by Scripture; therefore, he does not speak for Almighty God."

Nor, Wanda, will I ever give it up when men or women are publicly charged without sufficient evidence.

And, as long as our bloghost continues to be gracious enough to allow dissent here, I intend to hang around; and that, despite my little love barbs I'm pitched every once in a great while. The Good Lord loves us all!

Grace, my sister. With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

Katie said:

"Unlike Wade, I do not feel that a time is coming in the SBC where birth control will be mandated and I don’t think that’s was Dr. White’s point."

Katie, thanks for responding. I'm not sure why you wouldn't think I would take your comment personally. My husband and I could probably have had a dozen children because I conceived so easily. Instead we chose to limit our family.

I hope you are correct in the above quote, but recent SBC history indicates that you will be wrong unless an intervention takes place.

Blessings,

Wanda

peter lumpkins said...

Lydia,

Your unapologetic expose of your personally stated priorities has just rejuvenated my tired and boring afternoon:

"And I would rather take the rack or thumb screws than try to slog through your verbose comments. No offense."

Classic. And, understand: I neither take offense nor criticize your druthers.

What truth you've just discovered, sister. And what blessed belly rolls I just received!

Thank you, my sister (not a scintilla of sarcasm intended). Thanks again...

With that, I am...

Peter

Wanda said...

Elisabeth said:

"Interesting - the student she mentioned was married in 1999, and had used the pill for 3 years before becoming convinced it was abortifacent. Dr. White's wife, perhaps?"

Because Dr. White earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. at SEBTS (I assume while Dr. Patterson was seminary President), your theory may likely be correct.

Anonymous said...

"Is it playing God to use any of the knowledge of medical science?"

My brother: a big, tall, strong man, was with our family in a church family grave yard in Plymouth N.C.

He was looking at the markers of little children and babies that died over a hundred years ago, and he had tears in his eyes. I went and stood beside him, and he said that if doctors in those days had the medicines and knowledge that he as a doctor had access to today, likely many of those children could have been saved.

Four years ago, a young woman in uniform came back to see us, her teachers, before her deployment to Iraq. She, when born, was a 'miracle baby': a preemie of two pounds. The medical care she received at birth saved her life; now she would go and defend our lives.

A hospital near us has a large sign that reads:
"We bandage the wound; God heals it."

God is the God of the Natural World and the God of Science.

How can we turn away from His gifts; and not turn away
from the Gift-Giver? L's

Anonymous said...

Medical doctors have special name for God, they call Him
"The Great Physician"

peter lumpkins said...

My Brother Tom,

Thank you. Consider such a has been, a was, a used to be, a before, a no more...

I haven't a clue where we fell off the wagon, with me pulling you off, or you me.

Nor which of us threw the first barb or when. I wish I knew where, on my part, I flung the sticker. With such recall, I could be more specific. But alas, I come up dry.

That said, I am sorry as well for the negative contribution I created in this ongoing fruitless exchange between us, my brother in Christ.

May our Lord Jesus grant us both the patience to love one another, "warts and all" as my Pastor so wisely counseled me many years ago.

With that, I am...

Peter

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

To paraphrase Martin Niemoeller,

First, they came for the ones who spoke in tongues. I didn't speak up, because I don't do that.

Then, they came for those who hadn't been baptized in an SBC Church (yes I know the real deal). I had been, so I didn't speak up.

Then they came for the Calvinists. I'm not, so I didn't speak up.

Then they came for those who didn't sign the BF&M. I had, so I didn't speak up.

Then they came for those who used birth control. We don't, so I didn't speak up.

Then they came for me. And there wasn't anybody left to speak up.

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

Once again, you absolutely miss the point in your extraordinary ability to obfuscate. The message from Dr. White is clear.

"Let God be God" - and refuse to use birth control.

The inability for you to admit that one of (and I argue "the") primary objective in Dr. White's message is to convince people that they "Let God be God" by refusing birth control reveals more about you than Dr. White.

Blessings,

Wade

P.S. And, if you wonder what it reveals about you, it reveals you have a greater interest in arguing against your perceived opponents than acknowledging reality.

Wade Burleson said...

Bob Cleveland,

Brilliant.

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Peter:

Thanks for your kind response to me. You said it so well, we are brothers in Christ. I look forward to fruitful exchanges in the future.

Anonymous said...

To R. Granneman,

You wrote:

"Protestant Evangelicalism has been very slow to incorporate this reality into their ethical equation."

I am not Protestant, but I have noticed among fundamentalists that 'reality' is not as respected as it is in my own faith.
Is this part of their religious belief, do you think? Or does it flow from disrespect for the natural world?
I have seen some of this; but have not understood the causes for it among fundamentalist believers.

L's Gran

G. Alford said...

Cindy,

I think it is safe to say that Paige Patterson is not a Calvinist. I cannot answer for the entire faculty at SWBTS… there may be a few Calvinist on staff, but I do not believe there to be a many, if indeed there are any. So I do not think this is an issue that has any connection with the Calvinist of our Convention. (Actually I think Wade is Calvinist?)

SWBTS is the epicenter of the “Baptist Identity” movement in the SBC, and Paige Patterson is their poster boy. (“B.I.” is code for Fundamentalist) So if you are looking to discover what ideology lead to this kind of thinking I would have to say it is the “Baptist Identity” movement you are look for.

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

Dear Bob Cleveland,

That was terrific. L's

greg.w.h said...

Peter,

I added his introductory point surrounding the continuing use of "banah" to assert that both labor and family building are connected. That intorduction and the summation of the point concludes around 7:30. But White makes the comment that he is articulating two points, so I'll concede my numbering is "subordinate" to his. ;)

The speculative part of his theology is how he applies God's emphasis on life to the specific problem of building families and his central, illustrative comments on abortion and birth control. The central theme surrounding the discussion of the Lord building the house is that--and this statement occurs right after the Ozymandius illustration--God controls our destinies and we do not.

To juxtapose the control of destiny with the discussion of abortion, birth control, and building of families is--as Wade said--central to his second, longer point. And that he deals directly with the moral decision making implicit in the use of birth control is also to say that it is central to the "God is God and we are not" theme.

I appreciate that arguing the specifics can be used to mislead a listener away from this conclusion. But the message taken as a whole allows very little room to avoid that conclusion in part because--as you noted--the conclusion is so short that it depends very heavily on the content of the last argument that is presented.

Now there is an aspect of what White preaches that I of course completely agree with: faithfulness to God and obedience to him is the central method that White proposes for expressing allegiance to the intellectual speculation "God is God and we are not." (Actually, the speculation isn't the expression but the intepretation of it, because the expression is essentially tautological, so it is essentially meaningless and any attempt to derive meaning is ENTIRELY speculative. As is any attempt to compare the expression in any way with Scripture.)

But that wasn't the "entirely speculative" comment I was dealing with. It was that the Bible does not deal with the specifics of biology other than to note some pretty simple concepts like the sexual relationship between a man and a woman leading to a child (or more), the concepts of spilling of seed (Onan) being used to avoid fertilization, and the acceptance of childbearing obligations as generally admirable and the avoidance of certain kinds of socialized childbearing obligations as being deplorable (again, Onan and the story of Judah/Tamar.)

To the extent that White took the additional step of moving from noting what the Bible actually SAYS about any of these topics to the conclusion that birth control is sinful is legalism. It is taking a biblical concept and creating an extra-biblical, legalistic interpretation which is administered by a rule or set of rules.

Admittedly, that's my reading of the meaning of legalism. I'll boldly claim that it's based on 40 years of relationship to Southern Baptists as a Christian including growing up as the child of a pastor and missionaries (both parents, of course, are appointed by the board.)

So, essentially, you (Peter) generally do not recognize Southern Baptist life as being dependent on legalism so you (Peter) serially deny that claims regarding sin (or less enthusiastic sinful, but still externally measurable moral choices) that are extra-biblical--for example your own comments about the consumption of alcohol--are essentially legalistic. While Wade makes the point that ANY EXTENSION OF SCRIPTURE BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN is legalistic.

I'll be honest with you. Your argument that Wade is wrong to make that claim appeals to me. Perhaps there is a rabbinical responsibility that we have as Christians (or in this context more specifically as Southern Baptists) to create a system of rules that hedges against the biblical standards in the New Testament. It certainly WOULD make life easier if we are permitted to do that, wouldn't it? Then when we impose rules regarding drinking of alcohol--regardless of whether Jesus actually drank wine with alcohol in it or not--we're acting on delegated authority from God to create a legal authorization regarding those rules with respect to the church body.

In fact, the Roman Catholic Church makes exactly that argument based on Jesus building his church on "this rock" and on giving the keys to lock and unlock those things in both heaven and hell. But Southern Baptists have traditionally rejected the position that church tradition is as important as the text of the Bible, so we reject those extra-biblical "laws" of the Roman Catholic Church.

I hope I'm not lecturing you regarding this, Peter, but I feel (self-)assured that you know all of this. And so I return to my previous premise: that you argue against Wade not because he makes no sense or because his arguments are essentially wrong, but because you're a hypocrite who finds it is okay to argue from speculation for yourself, but demand far more rigor in others arguments than you demand from your own.

Or, as Wade put it, you'd argue the Titanic didn't sink if he argued that it did. You're not the only person like yourself that does that. Almost the entire staff from SBCToday behaves exactly the same way. The thing that kills me is that if Wade's arguments are so wrong, there really is very little need--given the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit in verifying truth claims for the believer--to refute what Wade says.

Only in a post-Southern Baptist world where we no longer acknowledge the priestly intercession of the individual believer and the Godly dialogue with that believer led by the Holy Spirit--i.e. the traditional Southern Baptist position--is it necessary to make a scene out of refuting Wade.

What Wade says about White's sermon is essentially true. He attempts to read into modern contraception a moral content that it is difficult for anyone other than a Roman Catholic to arrive at. I'm not even going to claim that what White is saying is wrong. It's simply extra-biblical speculation as to what the Bible actually says on the subject. And that it is posed in the very stark term of sinfulness is to cut off the very conversation that God intends to have with each believer as that believer searches for him and searches for t/Truth (both lower case and upper case.)

That's why Paul makes the claim that all is lawful for him. Because the law is no longer the issue after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's how we permit God to shape our hearts to conform with his. I note "permit" because White makes the claim that GOD controls our destiny. But among Southern Baptists, that claim is provably false to the extent that our hearts are not essentially changed to recognize and acknowledge the power of dialog and discourse between God and us in the effort to bring about that conformation.

Now I realize that those who assert the truth of the doctrines of grace probably will take issue with my last sentence, but Moses provably convinced God to change his mind according to the Bible. That is a "dialog" not a "destiny". And the sum total of the text of canonical Scripture suggests that God desires that dialog more than he desires handing us a pre-wrapped destiny. So even though he is God and we're not, he doesn't use his positional authority to prevent conversation with those that seek him. In fact, he ENCOURAGES that conversation and listens heartily to when we don't understand the guidance he has given us and he provides very specific, individual guidance on how we can specifically conform our heart to him through our attitudes, behavior, and choices.

Does God remain sovereign in all of that? To quote Sean Connery: "absolOOtly". Much in the same way that Jesus condescended. All is still well with the universe even if we can't impose our own sense of what ought to be law on each other. Instead each must make the true moral choice of practicing wisdom without the safety net of legalism.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy of those who support 'full quiver' is only matched by their lack of support for the 'social gospel'.

For them, right to life begins at conception; and ends at birth.
The lack of medical care for newborns, the lack of good nutrition, lack of decent housing and education. Death rates among American infants are higher than in some European countries. By the time these children reach their teens, death rates climb dramatically from gang warfare and gun-shot wounds.

IT'S CALLED "HYPOCRISY" FOLKS.
Some call it sin.

Steve said...

If the Legalists choose to make fellowship decisions with this "full quiver" nonsense, then we are ready to go the next step.

A full range of lifestyle decisions impact one's fertility - what caloric intake one follows, how hot or cold a place in which they choose to live, even one's choice to buy a health insurance plan that does or doesn't offer the easier access to laparoscopic medicine using the minimally invasive procedures. Where does it end?

With medicine's habit of always furthering the envelope of practice, we will always have a border area where some contraception procedure is brand new and hasn't had time to work its way into the sentimental list of saints - oops - excuse me! - list of personally acceptable procedures considered by the legalists.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Bob,

My goodness, my brother. You're so slow to show up to the feast.

The poor piggy was prepared (an SBC employee), the potatoes were peeled (the employee's views) and the iced tea poured (the liquid chatter on the thread). Unhappily Bob walks in when the guests have gone home! Too bad, my brother ;^)

So, let's see if I hear you correctly on your surprising view:

Peter: you are, as usual, dead wrong

Wade: you are, as usual, spot on

Yes sir, my brother. I agree with Wade--brilliant.

With that, I am...

Peter

P.S. By the way, my brother, if you can demonstrate what our brother Wade continues to hopelessly defend--that is, that Dr. White issued the closing challenge, "acknowledg[ing] that we are not God by refusing to use birth control"--know I am all ears. I have to be away for a few hours so I'll check back later to see how you've done...

Wade Burleson said...

Greg,

You have the patience of Job, the intellect of Joseph, and the efficaciousness of Jonah.

Here's hoping Ninevah repents.

:)

Well stated comment.

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

Peter,

Your comment was laced with sarcasm. I don't understand why you choose to do that. But then I don't have to.

Second, the message in the paraphrase of the poem is clear. Having spent time face-to-face with Dr. Klouda, and also with Monte Erwin, I can see the effects of what's happening clearly, IMO.

Third, as Dr. Stetzer's report some months ago pointed out, we're a "Denomination in decline", if I remember the words correctly.

Do the math.

Anonymous said...

To Bob Cleveland:

Good paraphrase, except you left out the women. But then, they always get left out.

On the other hand, I guess they'll keep the women (at least the ones they can bambooozle) for these reasons:

-to have someone to feel superior to. But didn't Jesus tell us to be humble? Maybe they think that only applies to women, to whom such things as following the leading of Jesus rather than a man and following the command of the great commission don't apply.

-to bear all those children they want (see note above that if men bore children all families would have only one) and stay home with them 24/7 to do the teaching, etc. since they have to be out about the important things. (Do any of the men who teach these doctrines do all the homeschooling, etc. they say should be done?)

Susie

Anonymous said...

A full quiver in 1600 square feet? That should get interesting.

an M

Bob Cleveland said...

Susie,

Huh? The paraphrase didn't refer to men or women, did it?

And the follow-up comment, to Peter's comment, did include Dr. Klouda.

r. grannemann said...

To L's Gran

You wrote, speaking of my comment on the consequences of the present world population growth:

"I am not Protestant, but I have noticed among fundamentalists that 'reality' is not as respected as it is in my own faith."

"Is this part of their religious belief, do you think? Or does it flow from disrespect for the natural world?"

I think if flows primarily from theological belief. There is the thinking, on the one hand, that the return of Christ is near, therefore it doesn't really matter what we do to the earth. Sometimes a Bible verse is pressed to its literal extreme and turned into a mandate, like "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full (of children)," regardless of the consequences for the world in its present condition. That is, a personal interpretation of Scripture is given more weight in making life choices than other rather obvious facts (which are often denied for the sake of conscience).

But sometimes disrespect for the natural world flows into Southern Baptist life from secular, conservative, political sources which view environmentalism in general as a liberal plot.

Sharon said...

Someone may have already addressed this as I did not read the 150+ comments on this thread - so if this has already been stated please forgive me.

A birth control pill (Ortho Cept for instance), prevents what is referred to as the LH Surge - the Leutenizing Hormone. Every woman - every month - has a LH Surge - this is what causes one of her oocytes (eggs) to be released from the ovary - to travel down the filopian tube to be met or not met by a sperm. The BC prevents this LH Surge so that no egg is released. So if this were to be seen on a graph, a woman not on the BC would have a sharp increase every month in LH and a woman on the BC would have a flat line.

This is also why women are given the BC for uterine issues or heavy menses - the BC helps to "regulate" the hormones.

By the way, men also have a LH surges.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Bob. Women are included in your excellent paraphrase. Especially the part about birth control which is usually primarily the concern of women who are most affected by the non-use or failure of such. (I'm trying not to get too graphic here.)

The second part of my comment was probably more relevant, that they don't want to throw out women for the reasons I gave: wanting to have someone to lord it over and someone to care for their full quiver. I sometimes wonder if these guys have even changed a diaper.

Digression to lighten things up: On the door to the section of my church's nursery where the youngest children stay is a Bible verse: I Corinthians 15:51 We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.

Susie

Sharon said...

I just watched some of Dr. White's sermon. I expected to see an old man and was quite surprised to see a still youngish man with such misogynist views.

He said that Mararet Sanger is responsible for inventing the pill. Actually, Carl Djerassi is recognized as the discovered of oral contraceptives and interestingly enough (much to my daily relief) antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory agents.

I want to emphasize something else too - when a woman is on the pill, her body is "tricked" into thinking she is pregnant which is why she does not ovulate.

Anonymous said...

Susie, You said,

"To Bob Cleveland: Good paraphrase, except you left out the women. But then, they always get left out."

Sue - You have the uncanny ability to rub almost everyone on here the wrong way. How ridiculous must a statement be to have someone like Bob Cleveland scratching his head? I don't know, but you were able to do it.

Good grief.

My conclusion is that you are nothing more than a Peter Lumpkins in women's clothing.

Assuming you wear women's clothing.

And assuming Peter doesn't.

Bob Cleveland said...

Susie,

Thank you. But I seem also to have heard, somewhere, that a vasectomy is another form of birth control, and mostly guys get them, I think.

Elisabeth said...

I liked where the one article linked in the comment stream mentioned that if a woman does happen to ovulate when she's on the pill, the resultant hormonal surge will overwhelm the pill's hormones and cause the endometrium to build up, making implantation possible. There is just no scientific evidence that the pill causes abortions.

I love the way Margaret Sanger was brought up, the way she always is in the subject of birth control and abortion. Sanger was an activist, to get birth control legalized, not a scientist who invented any of it. Her activism was borne in part out of seeing the health and economic conditions of poor women who had too many children. She also founded planned parenthood's parent operation, the American Birth Control federation, not planned parenthood herself. She herself has been quoted as saying that abortion is murder, that contraception is a better way. Oh, she was, in many ways, a person who did and supported a lot of unChristian actions; she was a racist and used her knowledge of birth control to have many affairs. But let's at least get her story straight here.

Bob Cleveland said...

And, Susie, for the record, I grant my wife honor as a fellow heir of the grace of the Lord Jesus, and I love her as Christ loved the church (as far as that is possible for any human to do).

And to state that, if men had babies themselves, families would have only one child, condemns all men everywhere. I hope that's not your attitude toward men in general. I assure you that statement does not apply to me.

Anonymous said...

Supposition: (very hypothetical)

The SBC was 'taken over' for its structure and not for its beliefs. Structure was kept. Beliefs have been trashed. PROOF: Jesus Christ and His Words and Actions are 'demoted' in the 2000 BF&M

FUNDIES ACTION PLAN

Phase 1: The fundies kick out whomever does not 'play the game' according to their new 'rules'. (PROOF: 77 Missionaries are sent packing in 'disgrace' because they would not bend their knee to the 'leadership' and sign the new BF&M 2000.)

Phase 2: the fundies then purposefully drive away those with ethics and intellect who are able to see what is going on, are able to protest, and, then, are put in situations of great difficulty by the 'leadership'. Some stay, like Wade, for the sake of the SBC as it once was and will be again.

Phase 3: Since the result of phases one and two are a steady loss of membership, new soldiers are needed: loyal fundies who will not dare to disrespect the Authority of the 'leadership'.
And so, phase three will involve an IN-HOUSE MEMBERSHIP DRIVE: as many pregnancies as possible in as short a time as possible, born to 'fundie' women who will do anything they are told by their loyal fundie husbands. (loyal to the'leadership, that is)
This phase is titled:
FUNDIE BIRTH CONTROL: take control of women's reproductive decisions by requiring many births as a result of no birth control, all this, OF COURSE, being 'God's will, or if you will, the 'leadership's will'. If a few women crack up in the prcess: husbands can put them in mental hospitals, divorce them: and MARRY AGAIN ! (got to keep those babies coming)

PHASE 4: Mind Control: all new fundie babies will be 'homeschooled' to 'protect' them from any influences unfriendly to the 'leadership'.

PHASE 5: The 'front' will be dropped. This new far-far-right structure will cease all claim to 'godliness' and assume it's true identity:__________________ .
Yes, YOU get to fill this in.
Blogging is, after-all, an interactive act.

Now: How does the SBC recover itself? You get to decide this.:)

Anonymous said...

Dear R. Grannemann,

You wrote:

"But sometimes disrespect for the natural world flows into Southern Baptist life from secular, conservative, political sources which view environmentalism in general as a liberal plot."

I can agree. That 'secular' conservative extreme force may be what has taken over the SBC. I believe that this is so because of:
l. unethical tactics used to
'take control'
2. unethical and VERY un-Christian
treatment of seminary staff and
missionaries.

May I ask you: what is your understanding of the conservatives' use of the word 'liberal' ? Is it simply a catch-all phrase for anything that doesn't suit their cause? No one has defined it for me in the context that it has been used here on this blog.

Respectfully,
L's Gran

Anonymous said...

Bob, I quoted an old joke/saying among women which obviously doesn't apply to all men, just like the comment about changing diapers - I know many men who do change diapers, and share in other aspects of family life that are often considered, even preached, to be the role of women.

I didn't mean to insult the many who do all they can to share in the work. And there are probably some women who refuse to go through it again if they can avoid it.

Examples of the good ones:
A man in my church worked in the nursery for many years. He said, maybe only partly in joke, that he decided to retire from that when the grandchildren of children he had worked with started coming to the nursery.

I once went to a conference leaving my two children, a two year old and a seven-week old, in the care of my husband for almost a week, to the total amazement of some others attending the conference. They all managed quite well.

Some of the attitude mentioned may be a remnant of the time when men decided women should have no relief from the pain of childbirth and claimed the Bible as the reason.

I just have the feeling that many who preach such doctrines (full quiver, subordination of women) think the duties of taking care of children all fall to the woman, and probably would even have been among those against relieving the pain of childbirth.

I admit to being easily angered by those who have so little consideration for those who suffer the consequences of their teachings if followed.

Susie

Lamar Williams said...

Thanks for your Personal Opinion about what you consider a personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

Does the intrusion of the B.I. people into the private marital decisions of a family rank as dysfunctional?

Healthy boundaries need to be in place between any 'authority' and the private domain of any family.

A 'healthy boundary' is one that respects the couple's autonomy as a union annointed by God. To intrude with secondary or tertiary 'rules' is to violate those boundaries that are so necessary for the health of the married couple's relationship.

Looks like the 'quiver-full' people have stepped over boundaries that protect the privacy of young Christian married people. The B.I. people need to get out of the bedrooms and out of the doctor's offices of these young families.

GOD JOINS: HUSBAND AND WIFE


NOT GOD JOINS:
HUSBAND AND B.I. LEADER AND WIFE

Advice is not crossing that boundary.

Pressure tactics ARE an attempted violation of the healthy boundaries that surround protect the private sanctity of a Christian marriage. L's

molly said...

It's so strange to see mainline denominations adopting what was once seen as fringe hard-conservative stuff.

We "did" the whole "Quiverfull Theology" thing (the no birth control). I had five babies in seven years. I have had two surgeries as a result, to try and repair things that happened when my body couldn't handle that many babies back to back. WHen you add in the, "You have to Homeschool, thus sayeth the Lord," mandate, you REALLY have a recipe for fun, especially if some patriarchal theology is thrown into the mix.

What used to be a bouyant cheerful woman will quickly become a frazzled struggling creature with burden upon burden, figuratively and literally, heaped upon her body.

'Course, she'll likely not question, though---not if she loves God and wants to obey Him. As the Biblical Womanhood books will all tell her, not to mention teachers like the Pattersons, questioning these things is a mark of an Eve-ish rebellious heart. Submit, submit, submit.

Women absolutely MUST learn that submission to deceptive teaching is NOT God-honoring. And we, as Believers, must learn to employ wisdom.

Having babies is GREAT. Babies are GREAT. But not all families are meant to have as many babies as their fertility will allow. And to teach that God's will means no birth control, FOR ALL FAMILIES, is to presume God's will for others based on ones own opinion, and THAT is to be an abusive spiritual shepherd.

Some of us are about ten years ahead of the hyper-conserv. element in the SBC. We've lived it. We made it out of that world only BARELY, with what little strength we had left to crawl.

Believe me when I say, it's NOT WORTH IT.

Antidote to the poison: Galatians. Read it over and over. If you add ANYTHING to Christ, whether it be circumcision or a no-birth-control rule, "you have fallen from grace and Christ is of no effect to you."

Chris said...

Molly,

You're antidote is the best one I've heard suggested for some time. It was the book of Galatians (with some help from I Corinthians and the Gospel of Matthew) that finally drove home for me the definitive rule of Christ in His people over and against any list of rules. If we were more open to hearing the full counsel of scripture, including these books, then I think the SBC would be far better off.

Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,

I read your story and I understood that you were in a situation that was not good for you. But I wonder, is it not also difficult for the many children?

I had only three, but my first child was severely handicapped with many medical concerns. At times, I gave him care all through the night. When two more children came, they WERE blessings. I have loved each child with all my heart.

PROBLEM: The two other children were showered with material things and with advantages most children don't have. But these two children didn't have their mother: only an exhausted shell. The guiltier I felt about this, the more gifts I bought them.

I had to figure out a way to do a better job. I prayed to God. I talked with my husband and we worked up a plan:

Every Saturday, I would take one of the two children (alternating each Saturday) out for the day; while my husband would hold the fort.
This would be a 'Jennifer's Day' or a 'Joel's Day' with Mom.

I saw a difference almost immediately, in myself and in them. They LOVED it.
My confidence as their mother returned as we shared pancakes at the diner, went to 'the mall', the library, roller-skating, the movies, an ice-cream parlor, a toy store, a music store, the zoo, a park, whatever my child wanted to do on 'their day'. Each of my two children tell me that those were some of the happiest days of their childhood. They just wanted to feel 'specially loved' like their dear brother and I so wanted that for them, too.
So, we made it happen. God helps us to find our way sometimes when there are no clear road signs for us to follow. :) L's Gran

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Greg,

Well, my brother, you have now made me dirty-dog mad! I was poised to be Lydia's favorite onion, repelling her otherwise loyal commitment as a faithful contributor to this blog community, because of my self-admitted "verbose comments."

I fear her allegiance will now sway to you, O, thine enemy! :^)

First, we can nicely forego your first paragraph since it is a concession to what I underscored. Given that this concession is just about the sum of any engagement with the remainder of my rejoinder to you, justice dictates I should walk away from an engagement which substantially ignores one's carefully thought-out response. Yet, I am in inclined toward mercy today. So, mercy it shall be...

Secondly, therefore, your second paragraph appears on first glance as a new and improved assertion about Dr. White's theology: "The speculative part of his theology is how he applies God's emphasis on life to the specific problem of building families and his central, illustrative comments on abortion and birth control" (embolden mine).

Again, while it cannot be denied there is a speculative aspect in bridging the canyon between text and circumstances, this is hardly a devastating revelation to the good professor's view, especially because of the connection Dr White makes but which you continue to overlook in your analysis, Greg. This is all the more surprising, since you unconsciously state it in the embolden type above. But you simply ignore the connection.

Let me show you what I mean. You rightly state Dr. White's central, illustrative comments on abortion and birth control." I have repeatedly suggested that Dr. White mentioned various BC methods including abortion, which he unfortunately coiled up into one vague wrapper.

My point was and still is that unless that wrapper is unpacked, we cannot know Dr. White's full view of BC and whether, for example, he allows moral distinctions which Bioethicists make between blocking the conception of human life and blocking the implantation of human life already conceived. He does not say.

Consequently, we would do well, in my view, to not say for him, a beautiful application of the biblical injunction of 'loving your neighbor as yourself'--albeit a speculative and therefore, morally legalistic application, according to you, I'm afraid.

That is not all. When Dr. White speaks of his main thrust about BC, particularly the abortion industry and the "third function of BC pills" (or approximate), he connects--watch this--the denying of the embryonic fetus to implant itself on the uterus wall with the act of abortion proper, abortion which, most of us agree is the taking of human life.

It is specifically that BC which, from my present understanding, is the maximum Dr. White introduces to us. Indeed, it is the same interpretation Bioethicists make.

The question remains: Unlike Bioethicists with whom I am familiar who allow for BC which do not prohibit BC methods designed to hinder conception but only those which prohibit implantation, in effect, killing (aborting) the fertilized egg/embryo, does Dr. White nonetheless insist that all BC reduces to abortion and, consequently, is morally equatable to the taking of human life? This is a consideration, Greg, you have refused to concede, along with the bloghost, instead presuming to decisively answer for Dr. White.

My position is I don't know what Dr. White believes about such; he did not say. And I will be candid and say that if Dr. White embraces the view that all BC reduces, in effect, to abortion and the taking of a human life, I profoundly but respectfully disagree. I do not personally think the moral case for that view can withstand the scrutiny that evangelical Bioethicists have marshaled.

That is presently moot, however. We do not know what Dr. White's view is about such and pretending we do from his sermon is sheer nonsense.

But again, knowing it is a non-negotiable key for concluding what he fully embraces about BC, is fundamental; a key, unfortunately you and most here casually cast to the wind, choosing instead to label this SBC servant a "moral legalist" and make him personally the human pinup of what's "wrong in the SBC" today. Please.

In addition, I am glad to know there is an aspect of Dr. White's view with which you can agree, Greg: "Now there is an aspect of what White preaches that I of course completely agree with." That's just great.

Unfortunately, one is hard-pressed to know what that agreement means, for in the very same paragraph that you state agreement with the "central method that White proposes for expressing allegiance to the intellectual speculation "God is God and we are not", you curiously deny any potency to the claim by going on to deny it in a parenthetical remark!

You write:

(Actually, the speculation isn't the expression but the intepretation [sic] of it, because the expression is essentially tautological, so it is essentially meaningless and any attempt to derive meaning is ENTIRELY speculative. As is any attempt to compare the expression in any way with Scripture.)"

Now, Greg, let me see if I understand: if Dr. White's expression is "essentially tautological" and so "essentially meaningless" with "any attempt to derive meaning" being "ENTIRELY speculative" what the heck are you guys doing, attempting to persuade us you know precisely what the Professor meant when he allegedly issued a challenge, in Wade's words "to "let God be God" and acknowledge that we are not God by refusing to use birth control.?

Moreover, why is it that no one has really questioned what Dr. White meant when he uttered his "essentially meaningless" tautology before you informed us of its "essential meaninglessness"?

In fact, include yourself in understanding it in your first comment, Greg: "a phrase I've used since the early '90s so I kind of get the point he is making" (embolden mine).

Nor does it assist in relieving the absurdity of what is being argued here by saying its not the "phrase", it's the "interpretation of the phrase." How can the "essentially meaningless" offer any semblance of a believable interpretation? When you can interpret a square circle for me, I'll be back with both ears, my brother.

I wish this were all. Sadly, it is not.

You become suspiciously technical, Greg, arguing that Dr. White's "bottom line" concluding remarks were spoken to a hopelessly empty void: "[Dr. White's] conclusion is so short that it depends very heavily on the content of the last argument that is presented." By such, I gather, we are supposed to just roll over and let you scratch our stomach. Woof! Woof!

I must dissent from your diversion into formal rhetoric, including your insistence about its nature and its stated effects, Greg.

Aside for the weird turn into making a technical point about how Dr. White's conclusion was so weak, the audience naturally shifted back to an earlier, stronger argument he made--an odd point given the alleged "common sense" interpretation upon which Wade insisted--I see immediately how such a flawed model assumes too much without proof.

Imagining your model, were I preaching, for instance, an exposition on "The Death of Jesus" (Mark 15), being faithful to the text alone, my focus on His death would leave Him in the cold grave at the sermon's end, no matter how strongly I uttered to the contrary in my "much too short" conclusion that He was raised from the dead.

The people would, in your words, Greg, "depend very heavily on the content of the last argument that [I] presented." Unfortunately for the people--not to mention the damage to the Christian hope--He died. Nice and neat, but such an image chills my backbone. I don't agree with your view of concluding remarks. Flat out.

Enough of that. This is not about such a fine, tuned point. It is about what was said and not said. On the one hand, I offer benefit of a doubt for the unspoken and vague that Dr. White did not address but rolled up in a wrapper; on the other, Greg, Wade and co. insist on dressing Dr. White in the wardrobe of their liking--"moral legalism" and "what's wrong in the SBC today" deducing a view they clearly, at best, assumed he meant. A sad division of the house to be sure; but a clear division nonetheless.

I shall not bite at your little worm over imbibing spirits, Greg, for the simple reason it is not germane to the post here in any form whatsoever.

Nor will I be diverted from a simple issue concerning the unjust treatment and horrible, premature conclusions concerning an SBC servant by addressing something peculiar about my own biblical interpretative conclusions about drink. My views, I trust, are public enough.

I will say, however, your view about moral reasoning in general and biblical ethics in particular, presumably aligning yourself with Wade's apparent interpretative lens which "makes the point that ANY EXTENSION OF SCRIPTURE BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN is legalistic," is one you can take and implement to your heart's content, Greg. I do not think I will be joining you, which, of course, is no surprise.

What is sad about that is, you seem to not even see the sheer, surface absurdity of such a point, glorying in it, and assigning poor hypocritical souls such as myself to the moral ash heap of godless legalism.

But the fact remains, not only would such a lens completely annihilate any relevant connection with modern life, apart from the singularly literal connection one may make with the text proper--all else is up for grabs--neither could I even caution my neighbor to not torture puppies nor poison his wife's cat because such is "beyond what is written" and consequently, "legalistic." I have an ethic of no relevance to the here and now because "an extension beyond what is written" is not possible. I would not be so quick to celebrate such a victory over us poor hyprocrites, sporting such a reductionistic view of moral reasoning, my friend.

Indeed, from my side of town, you just nailed the coffin shut for any hope our modern world can expect that biblical christian ethics offers any relevance to the world.

Why even a kid hooked on crack cannot be legitimately counseled about the morally questionable behavior of such addiction because such counsel is "an extension of Scripture beyond what is written"--without, of course, assumed to be a proud, card-carrying, member of the local, moral legalists' society.

Such is the absurdity of your precious little gem, Greg. I can see its sparkle from Georgia.

And, may I openly confess here that it is no fun being dubbed a hypocrite. Our Lord reserved His most provocative images--images of endless worms and eternal fire and dreadful darkness--for those He charged with horrid hypocrisy.

Yet, I am fully content with such a designation for me, if you are; knowing that only our Lord God is infallibly discerning. He knows what I am; and, therefore, you or another who insists on calling me whatever to your heart's desire, does not make me such.

That is my contentment concerning your charge that I am a hypocrite, my brother. Be my guest.

Grace to live for us all. With that, I am...

Peter

P.S. Wade, two things: first, I deeply apologize for the long comment. I shall now back away for a time, significantly presuming upon your graces for allowing me a very long line.

Secondly, I am sorry to report, Nineveh did not--and most likely will not--repent unless, of course, you finally demonstrate you point

Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Wanda said,

"Are we going to cower on the sidelines and watch a few demagogues control the direction of the SBC for generations to come or are we gonna take back our convention for Jesus Christ? I choose to fight!!! "

WANDA, YOU GO, GIRL !!!

P.S. Bullies count on everyone cowering. As soon as people stand up to them, they run away. Basically they are cowards at heart.

Wanda said...

Molly said:

"Antidote to the poison: Galatians. Read it over and over. If you add ANYTHING to Christ, whether it be circumcision or a no-birth-control rule, "you have fallen from grace and Christ is of no effect to you."

Molly,

My pastor preached through Galatians earlier this year, and it profoundly changed my way of thinking about Christianity, just as you describe. We can so easily fall away from grace when we add anything to the Gospel (and that includes this nonsense being touted by Dr. White, Dorothy Patterson, et al).

I absolutely loved your comments because you are so right!


Peter,

Let me spell it out for you.

You are B-O-R-I-N-G !!!

Enough with the long-winded diatribes.

Haven't you heard of the KISS theory of blogging?

Keep It Short Sweetie!

You sister in Christ,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Christ be on my mind.
Christ be on my lips.
Christ be in my heart.

Alpha


and


Omega

Anonymous said...

They bowed down before the
Golden Calf.

The Golden Calf told them to make sacrifice:
a woman professor
missionaries

They did.

They forget the Holy One in their zeal to please the new god.

They no longer said to the Holy One: "Be thou my Vision"

They bowed down before the Golden Calf.

Anonymous said...

To Dr. White, P. Patterson, et al.
Advice from Teresa:

"Be gentle to all,
and stern with yourselves."

Anonymous said...

"If a superior give any order to one who is under him which is against that man's (or woman's)conscience, although they do not obey it, yet he shall not be dismissed."


Francis

Anonymous said...

To Dr. White,
Listen to the pain of the women on this blog: then judge them no more.



"Silence is not spoken here "
Hilary

Wade Burleson said...

Peter,

You write: Wade's apparent interpretative lens "makes the point that ANY EXTENSION OF SCRIPTURE BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN is legalistic."

Since you seem to believe yelling in print (all caps) gets the point across better I will respond to your error, again, and hopefully for the last time.

MY INTERPETATIVE LENS MAKES THE POINT THAT ANY DEMAND I MAKE THAT OTHERS CONFORM TO MY INTERPRETATIVE EXTENSIONS BEYOND WHAT IS CLEARLY WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE IS LEGALISM.

:)

Anonymous said...

And even Scripture should be interpreted by other Scripture. Otherwise we would still not be eating pork or shellfish or wearing clothes made of blended fabrics. Or for that matter slavery would still be accepted and women would still be second class citizens in the kingdom. Hmmm..., that last item is still being worked through. Oh well, some things take longer than others. At least I think everyone agrees by now that women have souls. :-)

Susie

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"According to American Culinary Federation guidelines, large dice means a 3/4-inch cube, medium dice means a 1/2-inch cube, and small dice means a 1/2 inch cube. A brunoise means a 1/2-inch cube, and a fine brunoise means a 1/16-inch cube. A brunoise means a 1/4-inch square by 2-inch-long strip, a julienne means a 1/8-inch square by 2-inch-long strip, and a fine julienne means a 1/16 -inch square by 2-inch-long strip. When was the last time you saw a recipe call for carrots to be cut into batonnets? And I do not recall ever knowing a chef who followed these guidelines.

What should you do if the recipe author doesn't provide a dimension for how coarse you should chop and how fine you should mince? Look through the recipe to for clues. It is often preferable for all the ingredients of a recipe to be cut into similar shapes and sizes. It may primarily be my sense of aesthetics, but I believe that uniformity is very important when cutting either a single ingredient or a group of ingredients. The finished product generally is more attractive if its elements are uniformly cut. And, if all the pieces of an ingredient are the same size, they will cook at the same rate and be done at the same time. If such uniformity makes sense for the recipe, do it.

Is the ingredient quickly cooked or slow-cooked over many hours? Quick cooking requires smaller pieces than slow cooking. Is the ingredient used for flavoring and then discarded before serving, as in the case of onions or carrots, for example, in a broth? If so, it can be cut larger and uniformity is probably not required.

Is the ingredient used for a decoration or garnish? If so, it should be cut very evenly and probably quite small.

If, on the other hand, the author provides detailed instructions with dimensions, be sure you really know how large an eighth of an inch is. (Assuming, of course, that the author’s measurement guidelines are accurate.) A small ruler is a very helpful kitchen gadget."


I found this to be saddly applicable to this blog. But funny all the same. :)





http://www.kitchenlink.com/cookbooks/2007/0393061787_1.html

Anonymous said...

Take a scripture into your heart and make it a part of who you are: then, you can 'live' Christ, instead of 'talk' Christ.

Undigested scriptures do not feed the soul.

Elisabeth said...

Kevin understands at least a little about cooking. :-)

Elisabeth said...

Seems like most the stuff I can find on the 'net about bcp's being abortifacent was started by one specific man.

Byroniac said...

Kevin, your comment on cooking was very detail-oriented and funny (I mean that in a good-natured way) in its intended effect. But it reminds me of what I see as a problem in what I have observed in some of SBC fundamentalism. It's the opposite of what happened to me back in high school.

I was too much of an artist (or a rebel, truthful) to pay the needed attention and precision towards detail needed in my chemistry class. Knowing that our chemicals were not dangerous and needed less attention and precision in their mixture than what would be required in real-life laboratory settings, I approached chemistry like cooking, which is obviously less than ideal. So, on the flip side, I can remember some scientific types that could not do art to save their lives because they could not grasp the concepts of creativity in expression and fluidity in application, or at least could not translate that understanding into actual performance. Their basic nature involved exacting precision and slow, methodical application, disciplines cherished in scientists but traits generally cursed in artists.

Similarly here, some SBC Fundamentalists are in no way guilty of allowing artists to pursue science (i.e., glossing over or ignoring critical detail or precision), but I think they may be guilty at times of allowing scientists to attempt art (absolute manipulation and inflexibility wielded with austere analytical focus) as if using the scientific method. I'm oversimplifying, but I hope I illustrate my point.

I believe there is beauty in mathematics, but I find more beauty in works of art birthed by a soul who used these analytical tools and a digital medium to contain and reproduce that art (such as artistic organization and colorization of generated fractal data on computers for example). I suppose the phrase, "can't see the forest for the trees" is the best I've heard for an explanation (which is what I see wrong with the Quiverfull movement; it is preoccupied with such a narrowly intense focus on Scripture that it is dangerously unbalanced and eventually de-emphasizes and minimizes in importance the full text of Scripture in context). That is just my opinion, though, which is probably worth $.02 and is always given out at a two-cent discount lately.

Paula said...

I think it's worth pointing out that the number and frequency of children a woman is capable of is as much a part of the general curse as anything else. Not children themselves, but the effects of pregnancy and childbirth.

One way of reading Gen. 3:16 is that God would greatly multiply "your sorrow and your conception". As has been pointed out, it makes no more sense to do nothing to alleviate this as it would be to demand that men never use farm tools or machinery. After all, the Bible says many good things about laboring in the field and the joys of the harvest.

So to the "quivering" crowd, I'd say there's a real simple test: as long as you aren't growing all your own food by the sweat of your brow, you can't demand women crank out baby after baby without limit. And no trying to allegorize "sweat".

Anonymous said...

This is way way way off topic here - but I follwed the link to Dr White's message, then went to the October 15th chapel message by Dr Randall Everett (my former pastor and now Ex Director of the BGCT) To say that the SBC and the BGCT do not like each other very much would be a great understatement. However, Dr Patterson invited Dr Everett to come speak at chapel and to his credit Dr Everett accepted. The message that Dr Everett brought on forgiveness was very heart felt - and the opposite of fundamentalism.

I would hope that under Dr Everett that the rift between the BGCT and the SBC can be healed - Dr Everett set the right tone and gave the right message. My thanks to Dr Patterson for issuing the invite

JIm Champion

Anonymous said...

To Jim Champion,

You wrote:

"The message that Dr Everett brought on forgiveness was very heart felt - and the opposite of fundamentalism."

FORGIVENESS
'the opposite of fundamentalism'

CHRIST JESUS
IS 'FORGIVENESS' PERSONIFIED

Therefore: Fundamentalism is the opposite of . . . . .

Not too hard to know the one who benefits from fundamentalism:
he will be the 'goat keeper' on the Day of Judgment

Anonymous said...

Kevin, Was that from an SWBTS Homemaking course textbook?

Preparing for a candle-light supper featuring the Royal Dalton china with handpainted periwinkles.

Lydia

Wanda said...

Dear Wade,

I have just listened to Mark Driscoll's sermon "Birth Control" delivered on January 6, 2008. It's one of the most encouraging messages I have heard in a long time.

Here's the link:

www.marshillchurch.org/media/religionsaves

Driscoll's sermon is in opposition to Dr. White's chapel message, and I want to encourage you to listen to it. It's awesome!

As a contrast to what is being touted at SWBTS regarding birth control, I believe it would be beneficial for you to share highlights of Mark Driscoll's sermon with your reading audience.

Driscoll openly criticizes the quiver-full movement, Vision Forum, Above Rubies, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss (specifically her new book Lies Women Believe) in this sermon.

He also provides some important information regarding "The Pill".

Driscoll has done his research in preparing his sermon, and it's refreshing to hear a common sense approach to a sensitive issue.

This is a HOT TOPIC and we need to keep the discussion going!

Blessings,

Wanda

Benji Ramsaur said...

"...Galatians. Read it over and over."

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I recently finished preaching through the book and have also been reading it for my personal benefit as well.

Paul does not divide the law of Moses into nice and tidy "lists", but treats it as a package deal [Gal. 3:10], says the law of Moses was "ADDED...TILL the seed should come..."[Gal. 3:19], and reveals we are directed by the Spirit and not the law of Moses [Gal. 5:18].

And the "imperatives" of Christ through Paul start coming:

by love SERVE one another...

WALK in the Spirit...

If a man be overtaken...RESTORE...

BEAR ye one another's burdens...

'Tis sufficient, the law of Christ is.

Wanda said...

Benji Ramsaur said:

"I recently finished preaching through the book (Galatians) and have also been reading it for my personal benefit as well."

Benji,

I have previously commented in this stream that my pastor preached through Galatians earlier this year, and it transformed my life as a Christian.

Is there any way I can hear your sermons via the internet?

It's apparent to me that chapel messages at SWBTS should focus on the Biblical principles found in Galatians instead of Paige Patterson's personal agenda.

God bless you and your congregation!

Blessings,

Wanda

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wanda,

I don't have any of my sermons on the internet, but let me point you to a source that helped me tremendously. See below:

http://solochristo.com/theology/nct/fullness/fullmain.htm

In my opinion, this source above is the best one I have ever been exposed to in explaining the book of Galatians.

John Reisinger is good as well--see his articles on Galatians in the "Sound of Grace" Issues at the bottom of the web page below:

http://www.soundofgrace.com/

Father, please bless Wanda through the precious book of Galatians. In Christ's name, Amen

Benji

Karen in OK said...

To me a basic point that Peter makes in his last, lengthy post is very important. So important that it is a shame that no one addresses it other than Wanda saying KISS.

It is this: Dr. White really only gave a general summary. You can't really tell what he thinks about all birth control or all situations. It is a very general summary of acknowledging that God alone is God. It is unfair to attribute specific meaning that Dr. White does not actually make clear. Yes, he should have been clearer. Yes, it is also wrong to assume he means things that he did not specify.

I have struggled with infertility. I did not have as many children as I wanted. I have had to accept what God has done in my life.
I also disagree with Vision Forum and their overarching philosophy. Yet surely we can investigate Biblical principles without being automatically assigned to their group or called legalistic. Or maybe not.

L's Gran,
I commend the great things your Jewish friend does. But please don't confirm her in any view that her good works will grant her salvation. All our works are filthy rags in God's sight and cannot save us. Only Christ's Work on our behalf can. She needs to trust in Christ just like any other sinner better or worse than she is.

Anonymous said...

Wow,
Curious what Lydia thinks of Wandas new found affection for Mark Driscol. I think I read someone him being called a misogynist.

From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters

Anonymous said...

somewhere

Anonymous said...

To Karen,

You wrote:

"L's Gran,
I commend the great things your Jewish friend does. But please don't confirm her in any view that her good works will grant her salvation. All our works are filthy rags in God's sight and cannot save us. Only Christ's Work on our behalf can. She needs to trust in Christ just like any other sinner better or worse than she is."


But Karen, don't you see. My friend IS DOING CHRIST'S WORK. She is doing His work while many Christian woman turn their backs on these children out of fear of contamination. I cannot judge in this matter, as you can. I will wait on the Day of the Lord with patience and trust. I have hope that He will recognise her. :) L's

P.S. What is greater? The FAITH of a Christian woman who sees the need but chooses to look away. Or the CHARITY of a Jewish woman who will risk her own health to help a sick infant? And do it with a love that Christ, Himself, would understand? She is His helper and He knows it. He will recognise her on the Day.

Faith, hope, and charity?
Which has more power in the Kingdom of God?
Do you know the answer?
I CAN, with good conscience, confirm her charity before the Lord in witness, but He already knows. :) L's

Wanda said...

Dear Robert I Masters,

I don't know that much about Mark Driscoll, but I'm learning. The link I included in my previous comment features the only sermon I have ever heard Mark preach.

Thanks for alerting me to his possible misogyny. I will be investigating Mark in order to discover the truth. I'm sure he is a target for the liberals in Seattle who despise everything he represents.

From what I have discovered so far, it does sound like Mark needs to clean up his vocabulary.

Blessings,

Wanda

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