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

True Baptist Identity Is One of Cooperation

For the past several years some in our Southern Baptist Convention have been leading us down a road of isolationism and separation from the evangelical community at large. For lack of better nomenclature, the Baptist Identity movement has become the name for isolationists and separatists among Southern Baptists. However, the official Baptist Identity movement is not truly Baptist. For centuries Baptists have been known as Christians first, followers of Jesus who would accept no creed but the Bible, and give freedom to others to disagree. The modern Baptist Identity movement, however, has a philosophy that is just the opposite of our Baptist forefathers. Modern Baptist Identity adherents are Baptists first, and if that gets in the way of being Christian, then so be it.

The best example of the identity crisis of modern Baptist Identity philosophy is seen in this comment from a Southern Baptist Baptist Identity adherent on another blog:

If one ever does come to the place were he must, for conscience sake, no longer be able to affirm the BFM, in its current rendering as approved by the SBC, he should resign from his position of service in the SBC.

In resigning he will retain his personal integrity as a believer. He does not have to be a Southern Baptist to maintain his integrity as a Christian. He does not have to affirm the BFM to have integrity as a Believer. He does have to maintain his integrity to maintain a proper fellowship with the Lord of his life, Jesus Christ. That is far more important than being an employee of the SBC.

Think about that comment for a moment. The writer (unnamed) is saying that one should follow Jesus and leave the SBC than to follow Jesus - disagreeing with the BFM in its current form - and staying in the SBC.

I trust one sees the convoluted nature in the comment above. Baptist Identity adherents put being a Southern Baptist BEFORE being a follower of Jesus. That, in essence, is how cults are formed.

The implications of this Baptist Identity philosophy are far reaching and severe. If a change in the SBC bylaws or a change in the SBC BFM occurs, then the Baptist Identity adherents say you should maintain your Christian convictions and GET OUT of service to the SBC, rather than making other Southern Baptists aware of the problem within your conscience and staying in the SBC. Do you disagree with closed communion? Leave. Do you disagree with the BFM statement on war? Leave. Do you disagree with the statement that nobody is guilty of sin until they actually sin? Leave. Do you disagree with ___________ (fill in the blank)? Leave. That, in essence, is the spirit of Baptist Identity these days.

That is also the kind of spirit we Southern Baptists must resist. We are a Convention of cooperation, not conformity.

The true Southern Baptist, confident in his identity as a Christian first, would stay in the SBC, maintain his integrity as a believer by voicing his disagreement with anything he sees as unbiblical and unchristian, and then letting those brothers and sisters in Christ who see things differently know that the disageement will neither affect his love for, service to, or cooperation with, those Southern Baptists of a different persuasion. That is the true identity we need as Southern Baptists.

In His Grace,

Wade

195 comments:

Rick T. said...

It's hard for me to believe a Southern Baptist would actually write something so contrary to biblical Christianity as demonstrated in the quote you give. Who was it?

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Amen, and amen.

Anonymous said...

Suprised there was no mention of Pastors Winters in tonight's posting.....maybe a break from things typically posted would be a good thing

Thy Peace said...

Leave:

I have seen this word used in lot of comments of Fbc Jax Watchdog blog, by supporters of Pastor Mac to Watchdog. I can understand their sentiment, since it was localized to a church, though it was wrong of them.

I have seen this word in Pastor Wade's blog too, asking people to leave SBC, because they could not agree with BFM 2000.

This is the kicker. I have seen this word in debates of republicans and democrats, that people who disagree should leave the country.

Soon, it will be the world or earth. Then where should people go when they disagree? I understand this is a stretch, but in the realm of possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my seminary days when the right winger hard core 5 pointer president told all who disagreed with the Theology Prof to shut up.He said the Prof knows more than us and that anyone who dropped the class would not graduate because he, (the President) would not allow us to take a theology class from any other Prof. Actually, all Profs who didn't lick his boots were removed. He called it "the great flushing"

Great Post Wade.

Helen Jean parks wrote a great book called the "Rope of Sand" about SBC cooperation.

I can just hear the gnashing of teeth from the BI bunch.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Anon,

We should all pause for prayer for the family of Dr. Fred Winters and for his church, FBC, Maryville, IL

Traggic. Dr. Winters was shot this morning and killed by a gunman as he was preaching his 8am service. FBC is a SBC Church.

Pastor's Page at FBC

CNN has the story or our local news at www.kmov.com

Kevin M. Crowder said...

www.kmov.com

Christiane said...

Very tragic.
Pictures of Pastor Winters with his family are hard to look at, knowing that his wife and daughters are in shock and grief.
Our prayers are being said for the family and the faith community. One of the members of the Church said that they are already forgiving the young man who did this. So very sad. L's

B Nettles said...

If one ever does come to the place were he must, for conscience sake, no longer be able to affirm the BFM, in its current rendering as approved by the SBC, he should resign from his position of service in the SBC.

This person seeks to place the BFM(2000) at the level of a covenantal agreement rather than a statement of summary beliefs which are prevalent among Southern Baptists.

Obviously, this person disagrees with the BFM preamble. Should they resign, lest they be branded a hypocrite? Or do they agree with the preamble? And should they then be branded as a hypocrite? Maybe the person is just a confused dogmatist.

Anonymous said...

Again Mr. Burleson reads a statement and assumes the thoughts and motives behind it.

I think you are misunderstanding the statement. Or you are being willfully ignorant.

His statement is no different than someone in the PCA telling you, Wade, that you would need to leave the PCA if you did not agree to their statement of faith.

It only makes since for people who do not hold to the beliefs of their denomination to leave.

Why dont you go to a Presbyterian church, Wade?

Oh because you dont hold to the same doctrinal beliefs... Hmm. Looks like you are not so cooperative after all.

Your logic falls terribly short.

Dwight Schrute

Cindy said...

Correct me if I'm wrong. The BFM is a general statement of agreement, not a covenant. The SBC is not the Spanish Inquisition that lets you walk away rather than requiring execution.

The SBC is a loosely affiliated group which draws its power from its membership (leaders serving at the pleasure and discretion of the member churches) rather than a group of churches that serve the elected leaders (or dictators in some cases?) that got together to pool resources to set up seminaries and optimize missions efforts?

If that's the case, it's the duty of those who are member churches and individuals to contend for truth rather than withdrawing. Don't separate but work it out? It strikes me like the idea that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.

Did I get that right? Pastor Wade is contending that people have a duty to act as the supporting network that it was designed to be in liberty rather than acting like it is an exclusive group governed by a rigid authority?

Benji Ramsaur said...

Dwight Schrute,

Actually there is more openness for disagreement concerning the Westminster in the PCA [they are a "good faith" subscription denomination] than any who advocate an "all or nothing" perspective on the BF&M amongst Southern Baptists.

Grace to you,

Benji

Strider said...

Dwight Schrute- I don't understand your logic. Can you think through your comment again? You accuse Wade of misunderstanding the quote he used and then demanded he leave and join the PCA. Can you not see that your comment justifies Wade's view of the BI? You and he agree completely on the nature and goals of the BI according to your comment.
I will say this Wade, I am not sure that historically SB's have not been as exclusive as the BI crowd make us out to be. The thing is as an SB for over 33 years that is not who I want us to be. It is not who SB's taught me to be. The BI crowd said I was not 'one of them' but where then shall I go? I was baptized an SB, discipled as an SB, graduated from an SB University and an SB seminary. I have served 6 years as an SB pastor and almost 14 years with the IMB. I signed the BFM without caveats but that is still not good enough for some of these guys. This is still a fight for the Bible, not for inerrancy but for the Bible to be our Creed alone- and more than that for it to be lived not just argued.

Anonymous said...

cindy, did you just get off the boat?? where have you been the last 10 years while what you just described has NOT been happening? many IMB folks can tell you that it would have been wonderful if what you just described had happened. it did not and is not.

Joe Blackmon said...

I am sorry, but I read on the Mainstream Baptist Website the comparison between the 1960's BFM and the BFM 2000 (practically the only thing useful on that website). If someone had a problem with what was changed then they have a problem with what the bible teaches because there is NOTHING changed or added other than clear, biblical doctrine. Now, I'm not saying your salvation depends on your agreement with the BFM 2000. You can be wrong if you want to. There are going to be people in heaven who didn't agree with what was changed and there are going to be people in hell that affirmed the changes I'd wager. However, I have no idea why anyone who did not agree with what that document said would WANT to remain in the SBC. I mean, the CBF is always a viable option for folks like that.

Jon L. Estes said...

There are always been and will always be people in the SBC who are bent on removing everyone who is not like them. Words, such as the ones Wade shared mean nothing unless they are words from someone working to move the convention in that direction.

I personally know a hand full of pastors who think the same way as the person who made the quote but their dreams will only remain dreams. Oh, they might publish such thoughts on a personal blog but the ones I know have no one giving them and their thinking the time of day.

Wade,

If this is as important as you state, would not the name of the person who wrote this be vital to our understanding to the depth of such a comment?

Thy Peace said...

Cheryl Schatz: Women In Ministry: Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

The picture above represents not only the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled, but women in the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled. It is a great concern to me that there are many in the body who think that authoritarian control is needed to keep people in line and to keep the unity of the faith. But is the removal of the ability to question those in leadership or to question secondary doctrine a necessary thing to keep the unity of the faith? Some apparently believe that questionable tactics are allowed if the end result is unity but I would like to propose that unity based on an abuse of authority produces artificial unity.

Joe Blackmon said...

Thy Peace

You should have had weepy, sad violin music to play in the background for that quote. Of course, (sarcasm)I see the light now. I mean, women not being allowed to be pastors couldn't have ANYTHING to do with the Bible. It's all just men trying to keep them down. I get it now.(/sarcasm)

Thy Peace said...

NYT: The Little Mr. Conservative
A 14-year-old pundit defines the core values of conservatism.


SITTING in the back seat of his mother’s van as she drives through Atlanta suburbs, Jonathan Krohn is about to sign off with a conservative radio talk show host in Florida. In the 40 minutes he’s been on the air, with the help of his mother’s cellphone, this hyper-articulate Georgia eighth grader has attacked the stimulus bill, identified leaders he thinks will salvage the Republican Party’s image, and assessed the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The show’s host chuckles and asks whether President Obama has called Jonathan “a little fascist.”

“The president hasn’t come after me yet,” Jonathan says chummily, “but we’ve had other people come after me!”

“Jonathan!” his mother hisses from the driver’s seat.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Could you possibly paint with a broader brush? Seriously, this post should have come with a: "Warning: Gross Misrepresentation To Follow" attached to it.

So; Baptists in the past were known as ones who... "give freedom to others to disagree"; and somehow you reinterpret that to mean cooperation. And I guess all those Baptists who died for the "second-tier" doctrine of Baptism should have just cooperated, after all, "We are a Convention of cooperation".

Let's not get delusional. We are a convention of cooperation around shared beliefs (BF&M). If you want to go a different direction; that is fine, just don't rewrite history to do it.

jle said...

Joe,

If this is the direction the SBC is heading, it will be a sad day when you have a minor different belief than the powers to be and you are told you are no longer a southern baptist.

jle said...

Joe White,

If this is the direction the SBC is heading, it will be a sad day when you have a minor different belief than the powers to be and you are told you are no longer a southern baptist.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Where does it end? When is cooperation put to the side for the sake of good doctrine?

You often sound like a Baptist that could fellowship with an atheist.

Joe Blackmon said...

jle

Ya see, the difference between me and Mainstreamers is that if the SBC ever goes to standing for something that I stand against I will be out faster than you can say "Jack Sprat". For instance, as I have said before, on the sad day that the Mainstream Resurrgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] happens and the Moderates gain control will be the day the SBC begins it's leftward drift. It's not going to have to drift towards the left for me to jump ship. If it even moves toward the center I'll be gone. Why? Because if the SBC fails to represent what I believe in I'm not going to try to hang on and "take back the convention" like the Moderates have done and whinned about for the past 30 years. At that point, you folks can have it.

I mean seriously, that's the best arguement you can come up with? You better not tell other people they're wrong and move to exclude them because someone might decide you're wrong and exclude you. That's your best shot? That's weak, man. Weak.

Robert Hutchinson said...

If one ever does come to the place were he must, for conscience sake, no longer be able to affirm the BFM, in its current rendering as approved by the SBC, he should resign from his position of service in the SBC.

for conscience sake, i fully affirm the bf&m when it says it has no authority over the conscience.

Anonymous said...

What LOVE I read in all these comments....NOT.

It's the attitude as much as the action, folks. If you believe this (the BFM, or any other man-made document) is worth dividing over, I guess that's OK. But, it never ceases to amaze me that we Christians speak/write to each other with such bitterness and anger.

Now you can pretend the attitude's not there, or defend it as "misunderstanding", or you can attack me for suggesting it....BUT, if we can't treat each other better than the world, WHY WOULD THE WORLD WANT THE GOSPEL, FOLKS? They look at us and determine that they can do better on their own!

Charles Brazeale,
Neosho, MO

Bill said...

Robert Hutchinson,

As clear a Baptist statement of faith as I have ever heard.

jle said...

Joe,

Though my comments were meant for Joe White and I put a second comment up to that effect, I am glad to know you would be willing to walk away if the convention became something that did not represent what you believe. I would think though it would be fair to say there are beliefs within the convention which do not agree with you yet you remain.

If you say it is a weak argument, no problem. Let me hear from you when you no longer have a denominational body of believers to work with. Something the SBC does have a a benefit to many.

Joe Blackmon said...

jle

Sorry for the "corn-fusion". I thought you were addressing me. Actually, there is nothing in the BFM 2000 that I disagree with. While there are churches who take positions which are totally indefensable from the Bible (FBC-Decatur, Broadway Baptist), those situations appear to be in the process of being dealt with. No, not as swiftly as they should be dealt with but good things come to those who wait.

Further, if the SBC were to cease to operate as an organization my life would go on completely unaffected. There would be missionairies that I could support directly. Hoestly, missions is really the only reason I see for the need of the SBC to exist anyway.

Debbie Kaufman said...

This is still a fight for the Bible, not for inerrancy but for the Bible to be our Creed alone- and more than that for it to be lived not just argued.


I agree Strider.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Joe Blackmon,

You said "I am sorry, but I read on the Mainstream Baptist Website the comparison between the 1960's BFM and the BFM 2000...If someone had a problem with what was changed then they have a problem with what the bible teaches because there is NOTHING changed or added other than clear, biblical doctrine."

Nope, I don't think your statement is right.

This line was "added" to the 2000 BF&M:

"At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ."

I believe the ESV gets the translation of 1 Cor. 12:13 right [i.e., we are baptized "in" the Spirit, not baptized "by" the Spirit]

The passage above and Mark 1:8, Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 11:16 all have the same Greek word concerning Spirit baptism--"en".

For those who might try to say "the confession is 'poorly worded' instead of actually in 'error'" on this point have these three problems in my opinion:

1. This phrase comes in section II.C of the Confession concerning "God the Spirit" and thus is within the broader context of the "activity" of the Holy Spirit.

2. This phrase does not come in section II.B concerning "God the Son" and thus Spirit baptism cannot be seen as something that only Jesus administers in the BF&M.

3. The different functions of the Trinity are important in theology. We cannot say the "Father" died on the cross. We cannot say the "Son" sent the Father. I do not think anybody would say these things are "poorly written". I think people would say these things are "error--maybe even heresy". Therefore, what business does one have saying the "Spirit...baptizes every believer" is merely poorly written and not an error.

Even if we granted, for argument's sake, the explanation that "their 'intention' behind the statement was to guard against the Pentecostal teaching that says one is Spirit baptized at some later time after conversion", then I believe that still does not get around the fact that they ascribed a function to the Spirit that the Spirit does not do [I think] in their quest to guard against that Pentecostal teaching.

Merely asserting that the statement is "poorly written" does not prove that it is merely poorly written.

I have given my reasons why I think it is an error. If folks want to say that it is not an error, then I would like to see some reason(s) behind their statement.

God Bless,

Benji

Anonymous said...

So is it true that not ONLY were the words and actions of Christ in the Scriptures 'marginalized', but the working of the Holy Spirit has also been tampered with in the
bfm2k ?

If true, the 'tampering' needs to be dealt with, especially when people are 'pressured' to sign the damn thing.

John Moeller said...

anon, AMEN!!

I no longer profess to be Southern Baptist. I even feel the need to apologize that I was one.

The SBC is actively pushing people aside who don't align with the new, warped, BFM2000 as well as the dozen other issues that are discussed here.

In these days of desperation, where souls are in need of a savior, the SBC would rather fight and debate and isolate that to realize that God is simply asking us all to love one another, warts and all.

Joe Blackmon said...

"The SBC is actively pushing people aside who don't align with the new, warped, BFM2000 as well as the dozen other issues that are discussed here."

Actually, I think you have a typo or 3 in there. What I think you mean to say was "The SBC is actively standing for biblical morality and doctrinal accountablility". How did I come to that conclusion, you ask? Simple. I used the same powers of "reasoning" that liberals used when determining "voter intent" the first time W won the presidency against Gore.

Only By His Grace said...

Joe Blackmon,
From your last comment I ascertain that you have no love for nor loyalty to the Southern Baptist Convention. I would almost bet my bottom dollar you have a Jerry Falwell, Jack Hyles, Bob Jones Jr, or Lee Robertson background. Any one who believes any of us agree on every interpretation of Scripture or the BF&M lives in make believe land. Take a look for instance in our beliefs concerning the Lord's Supper:

I believe in Closed Communion, no, wait a minute, I believe in an Open Communion, well, that is not exactly true either, I believed in an Open/Closed Communion.

Let me explain.

"My" Closed Communion- Closed to anyone who is not a professing Christian or an unrepentant Christian living in open sin such as disagreeing with me.

My Open Communion- Open to all professing Christians who are repentant of their sins; especially those who repent in disagreeing with me.

"My" Open/Closed Communion- open to all believers in Christ and closed to all non-believers.

Of the Apostle Paul's fourteen letters in our New Testament, nine were written to seven different churches. I wonder to which Church did the Apostle belong or did he have a church membership and did he take Communion with any of those churches. Hmm. Paul could not sign the BF&M nor be a worker in the SBC, but neither could Jesus according to your narrow interpretation.

Phil in Norman

Only By His Grace said...

Hey Wade.

You and I need to get together on the golf course some time. I have never had the privilege of playing with you. I am just really learning the game. We can play for five and holler or we can play a five dollar Nassau with two down automatics coming to get even at the end of each nine and the eighteen .



Just kidding, at least sorta.

Phil in Norman.

Wade Burleson said...

Phil,

You're just kidding about learning the game. :)

You speak the language of the golf course sharks.

Joe Blackmon said...

"...Jerry Falwell, Jack Hyles, Bob Jones Jr, or Lee Robertson..."

Ummm, that would be a big, fat "No". Don't quit your day job to become a professional guesser.

Further, my point is not that "You better agree on everything". I'm a Calvinist but have no problems serving with and fellowshipping with Arminians. I think to partake of the Lord's Supper you have to be a Christian and a Christian should be baptized by immersion but I'm not going to be the communion police at any church.

Byroniac said...

Only By His Grace,

I think I am beginning to understand how the BI movement thinks (kind of resembling the Borg Collective, but I digress). The Apostles are special cases, and cause no difficulty of membership enforcement or Baptist Identity because of their long absence. And though Christ rules all, He isn't here right now, so it's up to us to protect and defend all things Baptist, aka Christian. We simply can't subscribe to the priesthood of the believer, allow God to open His Word to the hearts of any of His children, or to guide them with the Holy Spirit as they seek to obey Christ. Instead, that job is up to us.

Heaven help us.

Anonymous said...

To BYRONIAC: you get it.

John Moeller said...

Joe et al,

You said; "The SBC is actively standing for biblical morality and doctrinal accountablility".

To clarify; Good ground to stand on, bad application. Take BFM2000 baptism.... My dad baptized me in a Baptist church when I was 6. He was close with the pastor and invited to do so; Am I Baptized in the BFM2000's eyes or not?

According to everything stated over the last few years; NOT. I am not acceptable, I am not Baptized.

I am also unqualified to be a SBC missionary; I pray in unknown tongues, I work with other organizations missionaries, I "go ye therefore" on my own dime. I am not a slave to anyone because I am not financed by anyone. TOTALLY FREE!!!

One day the SBC will realize that "actively standing for biblical morality and doctrinal accountablility". by punishing those in their own flock who didn't conform was the thing that crushed the SBC into oblivion.

Joe Blackmon said...

"My dad baptized me in a Baptist church when I was 6. He was close with the pastor and invited to do so; Am I Baptized in the BFM2000's eyes or not?"

My guess would be yes. Others may have a different opinion. To me, it wasn't in the backyard pool after your friend witnessed to you and led you to Christ and you weren't sprinkled as a baby.

"I pray in unknown tongues, I work with other organizations missionaries, I "go ye therefore" on my own dime. I am not a slave to anyone because I am not financed by anyone. TOTALLY FREE!!!

I'll take these in reverse order:
*Good on you. Not many people could do that--finance a foreign mission. Way to go, dude.
*When you say "work" with other organizations, are you talking about planting churches or what. I can see doing some kinds of work with folks that I disagreed with on theological issues but not church planting/evangelism.
*As long as when you start your "tiemybowtieuntiemybowtie" stuff you are doing it in private and you keep it to yourself I wouldn't worry about it. As long as I don't have to know about it I don't care what you do regarding a special prayer language.

Anonymous said...

JOE

Sometimes it isn't at all 'necessary' to APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of others.

Sometimes it is possible to accept them as who they are, just the way they are, like you, only a little bit different. Not so different they need to be hated or pushed away. Just different.
And that's okay.

Then you can learn from them.
And they can learn from you.
And that too, is okay.

Stephen said...

Wade,

Great post! Unfortunately we have a great many Baptists who put their "Baptist identity" before the lordship of Christ.

John Moeller said...

Joe et al,

I really like your replies.... You are logical and are able to divide what is doctrine and what is "other".

I agree with all of your statements, I'm not going to church plant unless I agree totally with their doctrine. I will help an orphanage, school, witness, do construction work, fly a group into a country, and do anything else I feel led to do in the name of Jesus. Also, I am never pushy on spiritual gifts, they are my personal gifts. Lastly, my Baptism was "that moment" for me and can't be taken away.

Joe, I wish we could all dialogue and get along like you and I are.

The problem is that it seems easier to argue the "other" than it is to just work together for the kingdom's sake.

Darby Livingston said...

"To me, it wasn't in the backyard pool after your friend witnessed to you and led you to Christ and you weren't sprinkled as a baby."

And it wasn't in a puddle on the way back to Ethiopia with only a carriage driver as a witness. :)

Joe White... said...

Stephen,

You wrote... "Unfortunately we have a great many Baptists who put their "Baptist identity" before the lordship of Christ."

I asked this question of Byroniac on another blog. I am curious how you would answer it. Was Felix Manz just a Baptist trouble maker who put his "Baptist identity" before the Lordship of Christ? Was he wrong not to recede his baptism (after all, it is just a "second-tier" doctrine)?

Here is his account as Wikipedia describes it... "On 7 March 1526, the Zürich council had passed an edict that made adult re-baptism punishable by drowning. On 5 January 1527, Felix Manz became the first casualty of the edict, and the first Swiss Anabaptist to be martyred at the hands of other Protestants. While Manz stated that he wished "to bring together those who were willing to accept Christ, obey the Word, and follow in His footsteps, to unite with these by baptism, and to leave the rest in their present conviction", Zwingli and the council accused him of obstinately refusing "to recede from his error and caprice". At 3:00 p.m., as he was led from the Wellenburg to a boat, he praised God and preached to the people. A Reformed priest went along, seeking to silence him, and hoping to give him an opportunity to recant. Manz' brother and mother encouraged him to stand firm and suffer for Jesus' sake. He was taken by boat onto the River Limmat. His hands were bound and pulled behind his knees and a pole was placed between them. He was executed by drowning in Lake Zürich on the Limmat. His alleged last words were, 'Into thy hands, O God, I commend my spirit.'"

Stephen, do you think it is possible that some Baptists cherish their heritage and see believer's baptism, not as coming before the Lordship of Christ, but as being obedient to the clear command of Christ?

How many Baptists do you think would die today for this "second-tier" doctrine rather than renouncing the command of Christ?

Darby Livingston said...

"How many Baptists do you think would die today for this "second-tier" doctrine rather than renouncing the command of Christ?"

Christ commands a lot of things that baptists don't obey. Good grief. How many baptists would die today in their belief that the speed limits should be obeyed? How many baptists would die today over the belief that gluttony is a sin? Before we'd die for such a belief, we should at least obey it. We're full of sin. All of us. Let's put off the martyr talk. You guys aren't the new baptist martyrs suffering persecution at the hands of the evil moderate baptists.

Darby Livingston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe White... said...

Darby,

To say that you missed the point would be an understatement.

To make statements like Stephen did... "Unfortunately we have a great many Baptists who put their "Baptist identity" before the lordship of Christ."

Or like Wade... "Baptist Identity movement is not truly Baptist."

Is to fail to acknowledge the command of Christ in the Great Commission, and fail to acknowledge the rich history of Baptists that is stained red because of their adherence to believer's only baptism.

It's just to bad you and Wade were not around 500 years ago to tell Brother Felix that "True Baptist Identity Is One Of Cooperation". He could have just receded his baptism and cooperated with those who didn't believe like him, but who were still "Christians".

Joe Blackmon said...

John Moeller,

There are definitely "lines in the sand" that I'd draw theologically but the things you and I have talked about here are do not fall behind those lines, so to speak. I pray God will continue to bless your ministry as you serve.

John Moeller said...

Joe White;

Your example is a great one. It was worth dieing to do it right.

It's the substance that matters. Did the person believe first, then was Baptized? Does the person understand that it's not the dunk that saves them, It's Jesus who saves and the dunking is a symbol.

I think Stephen's point is; don't do it the "Baptist" way because it's the Baptist way; do it the way in which there is substance in the act. The way that you believe the Doctrine to be. I think this is Joe Blackmon's point as well....

Each, including you, is just saying it a little different I think.

I also am more than willing to die for what I believe. I have been hunted by voodoo priests in Haiti for Baptizing new converts, exposed to Aids, malaria, etc... , flown many miles, did emergency go-arounds while almost hitting horses landing on an island, and so many other things for the Gospel.

None of it was for Baptist, but the Gospel of Jesus. ....

I operate under the Doctrine I believe first hand, and am willing to welcome those whose basic Doctrine is the same, the "other" items are fun to debate, but surely won't make a difference once we all arrive in heaven.

John Moeller said...

Joe Blackmon,

I concur, I have lines as well....

It's not salvation plus works.... Salvation is totally free, I do "works" because I am in love with Jesus and just want to do something to express my love.

Baptism is an outward expression of my inward change.

Communion is a believers ordnance.

The scripture is inerrant, I may not understand all of it though....

I am to love, not judge
I am to witness to all nations

My brain can wrap itself around Calvinism... so I don't try.. There are too many other things to learn.

etc....

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

John,

I agree. I've seen some believers using communion as ordnance. (check the spelling and look it up......)

:)

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that some here have begun to think along the lines of:

what it is that could be 'discarded' and the Church would still be the Church (the Body of Christ) ?

And what is at the CORE of the Church, without which it would no longer be the Body of Christ?

These are questions now being seriously asked by many in the larger Christian community.

Anonymous said...

Dear BOB,

(I'm laughing.) Yes, ordnance is a military term for weapons.

But, given that definition, you are right on.

Lin said...

Joe,

Felix Manz was baptized in a house with other Zwingili students who were rebelling. There was no official local church and no official of that church to administer the baptism.

He would think the BI baptism policy to be like the state churches policy except it is not just babies. (Well, in many cases it is, actually...if you think 5 year olds are still too young)

Christiane said...

JOHN MOELLER wrote this:

"I also am more than willing to die for what I believe. I have been hunted by voodoo priests in Haiti for Baptizing new converts, exposed to Aids, malaria, etc... , flown many miles, did emergency go-arounds while almost hitting horses landing on an island, and so many other things for the Gospel."

GOD BLESS YOU, JOHN, FOREVER AND EVER. L's

Christiane said...

Dear JOHN,

Your words about Haiti reminded me of what my Coast Guard son told us about his Cutter picking up Haitians who were trying to make it to our shores.

He remembers having to bring a whole boat-load of Haitians aboard the Cutter because they faced certain death as their small boat was diabled and sinking.

He spoke of how pitiful they were.
Some were very ill and many in rags. He said they were frightened, hungry and thirsty.
They were given food and water and blankets to keep warm by the Coasties.
My son was very, very moved by their plight. You must have been very moved by their suffering also to go there and to risk your life for their souls. Thank you for sharing this with us. Love, L's

Dave Miller said...

When the IMB rigamarole began a few years back, the mantra was that we couldn't go beyond the BF&M to make policies for ministry and service in the SBC.

Now, it seems that Wade has taken an extra step. No longer are we arguing about going BEYOND the BF&M, now we are arguing about going TO the statement.

I am a "big-tent" kind of guy, but I still want the SBC to be peopled by inerrantists who have Baptist convictions. I have no desire to reverse the conservative resurgence.

I do not want the SBC to follow the BI vision, but neither do I want Wade's vision of a renewed moderate convention to prevail.

Someone needs to start articulating a clear middle ground between the BI extreme on one side and Wade's extreme on the other.

Anonymous said...

Why not replace the BFM with
the Bible ?

Joe Blackmon said...

"I do not want the SBC to follow the BI vision, but neither do I want Wade's vision of a renewed moderate convention to prevail."

I was afraid I was the only person who felt this way. The sad thing is, however, that I'm afraid the Mainstream Resurrgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] is going to succeed. That's why it is imperative that true conservatives (not moderates who have adopted the name) maintain a watch on the denomination to make sure there is no leftward drift.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller,

I have given a Statement of Southern Baptist Cooperation that is based on the essentials of the gospel, a statement drafted way back in 2006.

Nothing's changed.

The problem with what I see currently at work among some (not most) in the SBC is that one man's non-essential is another man's truth to die for.

There is no end in sight if we don't stop the narrowing.

Joe Blackmon said...

Lin

I'm pretty sure, nay I'm positive, that I've not said anything indicating that I'd draw the line in the proverbial sand over baptism. Women pastors, homosexuality, and biblical inerrancy are my bags.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Amen, Amen.

Dave and Joe,

Listen, Listen!

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

The problem is that for some Christians there is NO point at which they will say "Whoa, there. Wait a minute. That's just a little too far outside the bounds of reasonableness". Kind of the Joel Osteen mentality of "Mormon's say they worship Jesus so they must be as Christian as me" or "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe in something". Kind of like that moron that wrote The Shack when he had the character Jesus say "I am the best way anybody can relate to God". "Best" and "Only" are not the same thing and are not interchangable.

However, take heart, as much as it dismays me I have little doubt that a Mainstream Resurgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] will take place. At that point, there will be no limits on what a person can believe and call themselves a Christian.

Lin said...

Women pastors, homosexuality, and biblical inerrancy are my bags.

Mon Mar 09, 07:08:00 PM 2009

Joe, With the way you always write about women pastors and homosexuals in the same sentence leads me to believe you don't think very highly of women.

That you would put a woman preaching the Word in the same category as a homosexual grieves me for you.

BTW: My comment about baptism was directed at Joe White.

Dave Miller said...

Wade,

I read way too many blogs so it is hard to keep it all straight. But I am under the impression that I read a comment by you recently repudiating the Conservative Resurgence.

Am I wrong on that?

I'm in one of my cluster migraine cycles, so it may have been the medicine talking. I thought I read that somewhere.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller,

I have never repudiated the Conservative Resurgence to the extent it helped us define what the Bible is . . .

To whatever extent we shamed, beat up, and excluded Southern Baptists who disagree over what the Bible says . . .

That's another story.

Dave Miller said...

Okay, I must have misunderstood.

But I still think your advocacy has shifted in some way. In the "old days", we argued that we shouldn't go beyond the BFM statement to exclude.

Now it seems that you are arguing that we should not even use the BFM to define Baptist Fellowship and participation.

I have observed a shift there. Am I over-reading you?

Jim Paslay said...

Dave,

Wade has changed his views about he CR. Here is a quote from last week:

"Had I known what some who supported the CR actually wanted, I NEVER would have supported it.

My eyes, as they say, have been opened. The CR was never a Battle for the Bible.

It was not about what the Bible IS -

It was always about what the Bible SAYS -

And now I see that most in the CR will tell you what it says and try to crush you if you disagree.

THAT is what I am against."

Sounds like a change of heart to me.

Dave Miller said...

That's the quote I was thinking of earlier, Jim.

Thy Peace said...

CB Scott said...
Wade,

You say:

"You want to restrict control of the organization to a FEW people who are the elite (i.e. those who think like you), and remove all others from any service or ministry."

Wade, you have no proof for this statement. Actually there is proof to the opposite. I have no desire to restrict control of anything to the "elite" few of anything.

My comment was not between me and Watchdog. It was about my comment and your post. (BTW, it may do Watchdog well to stay "under" as long as possible.)

My comment stated a fact. Nothing more. There was no unbecoming "spirit" on my part. That was your perception. (probably of convenience)

Your post on Watchdog and FBCJax. is what you believe to be fact. It may be. I do not know.

My point is that if my comment is in an unbecoming spirit so is your post.

Or, my comment is what I believe to be fact (it is). Your post is what you believe to be fact (It may be).

And you did support the CR. That is a fact and we both know it.

My point of reference was directed to where Stephan was by persuasion and ideals at the time of the CR. He was in opposition to it as we (you and I) were for it.

That's it Wade. Don't make more of it that what it is.

cb
Mon Mar 02, 01:24:00 AM 2009
-----------------------------------
Wade Burleson said...
CB,

As to your previous comment.

I have NEVER been for the marginalization of people like Stephen Pruett - EVER.

If you ask Stephen if he believes the Bible, he will tell you he does without hesitation.

Had I known what some who supported the CR actually wanted, I NEVER would have supported it.

My eyes, as they say, have been opened. The CR was never a Battle for the Bible.

It was not about what the Bible IS -

It was always about what the Bible SAYS -

And now I see that most in the CR will tell you what it says and try to crush you if you disagree.

THAT is what I am against.
Mon Mar 02, 01:40:00 AM 2009
-----------------------------------
Jim Paslay said...
Wade said:

"Had I known what some who supported the CR actually wanted, I NEVER would have supported it.

My eyes, as they say, have been opened. The CR was never a Battle for the Bible.

It was not about what the Bible IS -

It was always about what the Bible SAYS - "

I was waiting for you to finally say the above, it took you a while to do so. Do you remember the Peace Committee report adopted by the convention back in 1987? Do you remember its conclusion? I will quote them, "the primary source of the controversy is "theological," but there are political causes as well." The core difference is over "the extent and nature of (Biblical)authority."

So, who's right? A Peace Committee made up of people from all theological spectrums of our convention or a pastor 22 years removed fighting his own personal battles. I choose the Peace Committee because I was there when most of these events happened. There can be no revisionist history for conservatives battling for the Bible because we experienced it first hand.

In my opinion, your comments do an injustice to men who cannot defend themselves like Dr. Adrian Rogers. If it was a power grab as you have alleged, what exactly was the prize for their winning? Sorry, Wade, but your comments on the CR won't wash!
Tue Mar 03, 05:55:00 PM 2009
-----------------------------------
Wade Burleson said...
Jim Paslay,

I believe in an inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God.

I do not believe in Jim Paslay's interpretations of this sacred book.

:)

Like you, I have waited a long time to say the above! (wink)
Wed Mar 04, 11:24:00 AM 2009

-----------------------------------

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller and Jim Paslay,

I believe that the Bible IS the infallible, inspired and inerrant Word of God.

I do NOT believe the Bible SAYS what you guys want it to say on several issues, including the eternal subordination of women, closed communion, original sin, etc . . .

BUT, I'll fellowship with you and would hope you would with me.

Anonymous said...

ANY YEAR'S VERSION (1925, 1963, 2000) is REPRESENTATIVE of the personal theological persuasions of almost EVERY KIND OF BAPTIST ever to walk on the planet Earth AND CAN BE THE BASIS FOR COOPERATION AMONG US if we only will cooperate--which is the real QUESTION. Only the ENTIRE HOLY BIBLE ITSELF is exhaustive of the personal theological persuasions of any of us; ask me what I completely believe and I'LL HAND YOU A HOLY BIBLE (New American Standard Bible version ;~] ).

SOMEBODY needs to get over himself (or somebodies over themselves; so-called "CR" folk?) AND LET EACH OTHER Baptist choose for himself which VERSION OF THE BFM to which he will adhere, and then all of us NEED TO GET ON DOWN GOSPEL-MINISTRY ROAD for the sake of Christ in this world!

For Pete's sake: who cannot UNDERSTAND that?!


David

Joe Blackmon said...

"With the way you always write about women pastors and homosexuals in the same sentence leads me to believe you don't think very highly of women."

That sounds like a "You Problem" as in you're reading into it what you want to see. There is nothing resembling anything in one word I've written that says a woman preaching the gospel is the same thing as someone committing sexual immorality. You've directed this sort of statement to me before and I've ignored it. I catagorically and emphatically refute such an outlandish assertion. The fact that you've obviously bought into the lie that is feminism leads me to grieve for you.

Joe Blackmon said...

Oh, Lin, BTW I'll try to do a better job reading your mind next time so I'll know which Joe you were talking about. I try not to use my meta-human powers this early in the evening before my nightly patrols.

Only By His Grace said...

Joe,

I just got back from staff meeting at the Fairfax Country Club where in Edmond where my Youth Pastor and I played for sixteen bucks counting cart. A really enjoyable three hours counting the drive from Norman up to Edmond.

I said what I said to you with tongue in cheek because your words in your comment verged on hyperbole. I really believe that you would not break fellowship with a fellow SB or with the Convention on matters of non-essential doctrines.

There was a broad tent for a hundred years in the SBC encompassing A-Pre and Post-millennialist.. There were always some on the far left fringe like Elliot and on the far right fringe like Crisswell and Patterson, but all lived pretty peacefully together and worked well together until these tests of fellowship came to be. I heard men preach when I was in Seminary from the main center to the fringes without nasty, angry words; however, not any more and that is a shame.

Phil.

Alan Paul said...

Here is what I would like to know from any card carrying BI member:

Is a Christian only a true Christian if they agree with your doctrines?

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

There you go accusing me and calling me names. I am just a babe in the woods trying to take up a simple game in my old age and maybe pick up a little loose change in the process.

Enjoy your articles and comments very much.

Your friend in Christ,
Phil in Norman

Joe Blackmon said...

Phil

I took a golf class for a PE credit when I got my music degree. I made a "C". I could hit the divots quite accurately. The ball....not so much as you could tell it.

Wanda said...

Wade said:
"I do NOT believe the Bible SAYS what you guys want it to say on several issues, including the eternal subordination of women"

This nonsense -- the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father -- is one of the reasons why my husband and I left the SBC several weeks ago. I consider it to be heresy, and I'm letting others know that Bruce Ware and Wayne Grudem have been using it to justify the eternal subordination of women. Once this becomes public knowledge among the average SBC churchgoer, you can kiss many more tithers good-bye!!!

Anonymous said...

The 'eternal subordination of the Son to the Father' is NOT a Christian doctrine.

Where was it first advocated?
Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Is it a re-winding of a portion of the Arian Heresy as reinterpreted by Grudem and Ware?

If so, it's still heresy.

Joe Blackmon said...

Wanda

As much as you'd love it to be true, I'm sure, most comps do NOT believe that all women are eternally subordinate to all men. I'm not familiar enough with Gruden and Ware to know if they do in fact teach that but whether they do or not does not invalidate the comp position.

Joe Blackmon said...

Just to clarify:
Most comps don't beieve in the enternal subordination of any woman to any man. I knew someone would jump on that one.

Anonymous said...

Reflection For Lent

We are invited to make Jesus the complete center of all of our faith.

Jesus is the Son of God, the Son of the Father.

Jesus gives meaning to every aspect of our life.

Jesus invites us to share his relationship with His Father.

Lent is about removing obstacles to our faith but also about choosing to let Jesus be the meaning of our lives.

Let us walk in the light of the Lord. Just as Jesus is transfigured, may we be changed.

Paul said...

The problem with those who use the (now very old and worn out) argument that those who disagree with the BFM should leave the SBC is that they didn't leave the SBC prior to 2000 when we were apparently subscribing to a far inferior confession. If the 1963 document was so bad and dangerous, why didn't you folks just leave? When the seminaries were adrift, why didn't you just leave? Why weren't you telling Paige Patterson and Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley and the rest to just leave?

Answer that question and you will know why people like Wade Burleson and others have not left.

ezekiel said...

"Where was it first advocated?
Does anyone know?"

From what I can tell, it started with Arius and was refuted by Athanasius.

"This line was inserted by way of repudiating Arius' teaching that the Son was the first thing that the Father created, and that to say that the Father begets the Son is simply another way of saying that the Father has created the Son.

Arius said that if the Father has begotten the Son, then the Son must be inferior to the Father, as a prince is inferior to a king. Athanasius replied that a son is precisely the same sort of being as his father, and that the only son of a king is destined himself to be a king. It is true that an earthly son is younger than his father, and that there is a time when he is not yet what he will be. But God is not in time. Time, like distance, is a relation between physical events, and has meaning only in the context of the physical universe. When we say that the Son is begotten of the Father, we do not refer to an event in the remote past, but to an eternal and timeless relation between the Persons of the Godhead. Thus, while we say of an earthly prince that he may some day hope to become what his father is now, we say of God the Son that He is eternally what God the Father is eternally."

The Nicene creed came about in part to refute the heresy. Grudem, Ware, Peter Lumkins and Dr. Yarnell at SWBTS are teaching either the exact thing or something that looks an awful lot like it today.

Read all about it here Nicene Creed

Joe Blackmon said...

Paul

Yes, their desire to bring about a Mainstream Resurgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] is a truly frightening thing. The saddest part is, it's probably closer than any conservatives want to admit.

Anonymous said...

Joe,
In your opinion, what is the Mainstream Resurgence ?

Anonymous said...

There is no 'time' in Eternity, so the concept of 'Begotten of the Father' indicates a relationship within the Trinity.

When Christ speaks of Himself in this way: 'I am Alpha and Omega'
he is referencing that He is from the ages to the ages, in a way that we can understand.

Heresies often get their fuel from ignoring the poetic imagery in the Scriptures. The way to overcome the temptation to do so is to study the NT and its terms in the light of how those terms were used for 3000 years in the OT. This helps, in many cases. The NT must be read in the context of a fulfillment of the OT. The OT makes much more sense, when read in the context of what it foreshadows in the NT. The connections are very powerful and give insight into meaning.

Joe Blackmon said...

Anon

The Mainstream Resurgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon], in my most humble opinion, would be a move away: from complimentarianism, from a belief in biblcal inerrancy (i.e. the Bible contains the word of God rather than it IS the word of God). Those are two things that just pop in my head as I'm winding things down for the evening.

Chris Ryan said...

Paul,

Some didn't leave because they thought that a CR would be the best thing for the SBC. That a clear denominational statement on what the Bible is would be valuable. But not all. Others didn't leave when they disagreed in the 80's because they found a means to power, to becoming the top dogs.

Some won't leave now because they believe that a true Conservative Resurgence is needed to balance out a Fundamentalist Takeover. Some won't leave because there is an opportunity for power.

In the 80's there was a controlling faction who had trouble letting the other side have a voice. They were deposed and replaced by Patterson, Rogers, and Pressler. Now Patterson, Rogers, and Pressler party is in control and is having a great deal of trouble letting anyone else have a voice. It is entirely possible that they, too, will be deposed.

But it is a pattern. The issue is not really doctrine. It is not really what the Bible is or how church should be done. The issue is that nobody is willing to talk to anyone else one they have the upper hand. The issue is really pride. A bit of humility and the controversies could be ended and Gospel ministry accomplished. If we would set aside our biases to let different parties to the table, we would be fine.

I was talkinging to an elderly couple who greatly regretted the Fundamentalist's taking charge and wished they would leave the convention alone. I told them that would solve nothing, imo. Rather, there needed to be a place for Fundamentalist and Conservative around the table the discuss things. Not to talk past each other or yell or overpower. But to dialogue, understand each other, and work together for the advancement of the Kingdom. We don't need to get rid of people, we need to get rid of powerplays.

Only By His Grace said...

Wade and All Who Will,

I would covet your prayers for tomorrow. About two years ago I was able to get three young sisters started to our church. I still pick them up three times a week. They live twelve miles from the church and I live in the church neigborhood.

Last week their grandmother died. Due to a fight between their mother and her brother at the hospital last week, the mother is not going to attend the funeral about two hours from here. I am picking up the 5th, 6th and 9th grade girls to take to their grandmother's funeral.

Their grandmother was a wonderful Christian woman and a tremendous and only good influence on them as far as I can tell. It would be criminal for them not to be able to attend to say their last goodbye until we meet beyond time and place with Him who died for us.

I led all three girls to Christ and baptized all three of them this last fall, but death is hard for them to comprehend. Pray for them and me as we make the drive for the 10 AM funeral. Pray that there will be peace at the funeral, no hate or rancor.

Good night.

Phil in Norman.

Dr. Phil said...

Rev. Burleson,

It pains me to tell you that I can not agree with your post. After reading CB Snott's goofball comments,perusing Peter Bumpkin's banal posts, uncovering Wes Kidney's stupid lies, and experiencing eye glaze from all the other Baptist Identity nonsense floating out there on the NET, there is no way under God's orange sun this Southern Baptist could - or would - ever cooperate with these crazies. Treat them? Of course. Fellowship with them? No. I make my living counseling. People with hangups are profitable to me but not enjoyable. To cooperate with SB's the caliber of Bumpkin, Snott, Wolfman, Yawnell, Kidney, Fostergrant, and the like would be comparable to gasoline cooperating with deisal engines - all you get is sputtering, pain, harm and everyone ultimately comes to a dead stop.

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil said...

Rev. Burleson,

It pains me to tell you that I can not agree with your post. After reading CB Snott's goofball comments,perusing Peter Bumpkin's banal posts, uncovering Wes Kidney's stupid lies, and experiencing eye glaze from all the other Baptist Identity nonsense floating out there on the NET, there is no way under God's orange sun this Southern Baptist could - or would - ever cooperate with these crazies. Treat them? Of course. Fellowship with them? No. I make my living counseling. People with hangups are profitable to me but not enjoyable. To cooperate with SB's the caliber of Bumpkin, Snott, Wolfman, Yawnell, Kidney, Fostergrant, and the like would be comparable to gasoline cooperating with deisal engines - all you get is sputtering, pain, harm and everyone ultimately comes to a dead stop.

Dr. Phil

Byroniac said...

Joe Blackmon,

Where does it stop? Doctrinal parameters are great, but can become a noose. What happens when fellowship convictions exclude YOU as being not good enough? Who do you complain to, then? I am not trying to be unfair, just mentioning that hey, this thing can go too far.

I find it ironic that your (copyrighted?) term includes the word "mainstream" because the same relativism implied in that word also forms its definition. Who's to say the circle formed by the definition will not expand to include both of us? I think that is one of the problems of fundamentalism: it seems to know where to begin, but never knows where to stop. And I think re-reading Galatians at this point is certainly helpful.

Byroniac said...

Sorry, I think I misread your term. But still the point remains, how do you negatively define "mainstream" in order to exclude it? Must there be a hard and fast rule for everything?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I would like to weigh in on the eternal subordination issue. I admit that I am not well read on the subject yet have thought about it in light of passages I have read in my quiet times or those passages on which I have preached over the last year. My present conclusion is that the idea of The Son being eternally subordinate to the Father is NOT heresy and that kind of language toward our brothers Ware and Grudem is not entirely helpful. I have come to conclude that the person of the Son is eternally subordinate to the Person of the Father not out of obedience nor of a requirement but out of a selfless love for the Father. Christ's subordinate functions are completely self-inflicted because He loves the Father that much. At the same time the Father and the Son are eternally equal in thought, purpose and existence.
As to Christ being the "firstborn" over all creation, it would greatly surprise me to see one of the afore mentioned Baptist theologians suggesting that Christ the Divine was in some way created by the Father in eternity past. I believe this concept, though ought to have been settled centuries ago, would be referring to Christ as the Preeminent and Perfect over all creation. He is the Presenter and the Representative of "the physical" for the Godhead and as such is the Incarnate Figure, the Sufficient Sacrifice, and the Redeemer of the Covenant of Redemption. I have no problem with conjecturing that the Father chose this destiny for the Son, in fact Christ himself alludes to this fact. I do not believe however that the Father demands submission of the Son. I believe the Son gives this of His own love. As such, this ought to be the "example" for all husbands and wives. Will it look differently due to a multiplicity of personalities amongst married couples? Of course. And so in order to get it right we must be truly crucified with Christ and stop the marital pragmatics. Submit to Christ first, then submit to one another. How that looks and plays out will be of the Spirit's doing if we are first submitted to the One who placed Himself in the Father's will.


K

Paul said...

Joe Blackman,

So the CR was just a power play? I think Chris Ryan has given a good answer. For some, maybe it was. For others it was about faithfulness and helping preserve something they were not only a part of, but something they loved and were committed to.

Many today won't simply leave because even for them it is a matter of something they have been a part of all of their lives, something they love and something they are committed to. Their resolve to stay and see it through is no less honorable than any who fought those same battles in the past.

By the way, I'm not talking about some Mainstream Resurgence. I'm just talking about loving cooperation that is unified around some common beliefs (without a requirement for absolute conformity), the gospel and a desire to see Christ taken into the world.

Anonymous said...

Subordinationism

Subordinationism admits there are three persons in God but denies that the second and third persons are consubstantial with the Father.

Therefore it denies their true divinity.

There have been different forms of Subordinationism, and they are still very much alive, though not all easily recognizable as Trinitarian errors in which the mind tries to comprehend how one single infinitely perfect divine nature can be three distinct persons, each equally and completely God.

The Arians, named after the Alexandrian priest Arius, held that the Logos or Word of God does not exist from eternity.

Consequently there could not have been a generation of the Son from the Father but only by the Father.

The Son is a creature of the Father and to that extent a “son of God.” He came into existence from nothing, having been willed by the Father, although as “the first born of all creation,” the Son came into the world before anything else was created.

The Semi-Arians tried to avoid the extreme of saying that Christ was totally different from the Father by conceding that He was similar to or like the Father, hence the name Homoi-ousians, i.e., homoios = like = ousia = nature, by which they are technically called.

There was lastly the group of Macedonians, named after Bishop Macedonius (deposed in 360 AD), who extended the notion of subordination to the Holy Spirit, who was claimed not to be divine but a creature. They were willing to admit that the Holy Spirit was a ministering angel of God.

Anonymous said...

If any open minded logically thinking person has read at least a little bit of the Bible, he would definitely know that the Scriptures emphatically call Jesus Christ God.

Now we know that Jesus and the Father are two distinct Persons.


So when the Bible calls Him God, we know the New Testament is not calling Him the Father but is indeed ascribing the title of God to Jesus Christ because He does possess the divine nature.

John 1:1,2 is clearly one example of the Bible calling Jesus "God" and is totally a Trinitarian statement.

Here is a loose paraphrase insofar as my studies in the Greek, "1) In the beginning (or in the origin of time), the Word already was existing—and the Word was with (face to face as an equal with) God the Father, and the Word Himself was Deity, just as the Father is Deity. 2) He was present originally with God the Father."

John makes another very emphatic statement concerning the Deity of the Son in his first epistle, "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" (1John 5:20).

from Watchtower

Jim Paslay said...

Wade said:

"I do NOT believe the Bible SAYS what you guys want it to say on several issues, including the eternal subordination of women, closed communion, original sin, etc . . ."

I'm not sure where you got your ideas on what I think the Bible says. I have commented on your blog on occasion for the past several years. My main gripe is the revisionist historians who NOW say that the Conservative Resurgence was all about power and control. According to these disgruntled moderates, there were no theological problems. It was all made up by the Baptist Boogie Men, Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler. They duped all of us weak-minded pastors into going to conventions and selling our souls to the Patterson-Pressler Coalition.

Well, I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now. Wade, what you are fighting for today doesn't resemble what happened in the 70s and 80s. It is not the same fight. I will not let you and others tarnish the memory of godly men like Dr. Adrian Rogers without saying something. If you want to be the moderate's modern day Winfred Moore, so be it. But don't expect a hero's welcome from everyone.

Besides, Wade, admit it, you wouldn't want everyone in their comments to pat you on the back everytime you post an article. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Jim Paslay,

My main gripe is not power and control. Never has been.

My main gripe is people in leadership demanding we believe what they say BECAUSE they say the Bible says it.

The freedom to interpret Scripture by one's conscience and the leadership of the Holy Spirit is a sacred trust.

That's my complaint and always has been, so I don't know where you are getting the power and control stuff.

Blessings,

Wade

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

I don't have a lot of time to go into it this morning. I would be interested in your comments to this though, later.

Jacob wrestled with God. Then we have John telling us that no one has seen God. There are many other instances of an earthly manifestation of God in the OT, with terminology like Angel of The Lord (Judges 6:22 and 13:22)

We also have 3 men appearing to Abraham on the way to destroy Sodom and only 2 men actuall did it. Who was the 3rd man? Where did he go?

I think the answer can be found in John 1:18. The God that no one has ever seen,(the Father) revealed the only begotten God (the Son). He is the beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega. All these earthly appearances to me, mean the physical manifestation of the Son. He had only been revealed to a few until HE, GOD, became flesh and dwelt among us. God Himself.

Joh 1:1 IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Isa. 9:6.]

No suborination there anywhere.



Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [the face of God], saying, For I have seen God face to face, and my life is spared and not snatched away.

Joh 1:18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known]. [Prov. 8:30.]

1Jn 4:12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!

Joe Blackmon said...

Byroniac

Here's the deal with my term (which is not really copywrited, that's more tounge in cheek) Mainstream Resurgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon]. Wade and other moderates act as though they're fighting this nobel cause to return Baptists back to what Baptists truly believe and free them from the oppressors in the SBC. I believe the CR was a great move to stop the obvious leftward drift of the SBC and I appreciate the work the leaders did to bring that about even though they are merely men and obviously flawed (i.e. Paige "Ain't no thang but a chicken wang" Patterson). This return to "real Baptist roots" and "cooperation" that Wade and other moderates want to bring about is nowhere near as honorable as the CR was. The kind of movement they're looking for would have no problem cooperating with churches like Broadway Baptist or FBC-Decatur. Moderates (who used to be called liberals but now call themselves conservatives) refer to the CR as the Fundy Takeover. I just figure every good movement needs a name and I expect that they'll use Mainstream Resurgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] as the name for their movement after it succeeds so I'm being proactive and copywriting the term (pretending to anyway) because I want to make money on it. I want a quarter evertime someone says it, a nickel everytime it's used on a blog, and $2 everytime it appears in print.

Ron said...

Jim Paslay,

I believe the CR was about power and control. In the words of Jerry Johnson you would have to be blind as a mole to believe that the CR was all about theology. There is a difference between a revisionist historian and those who want to preserve the truth in opposition to the lies spread by the CR propagandists. I don’t know anyone who said there were no theological problems in 1979 and I don’t know what disgruntled moderates you are referring to. I do know many theological conservatives and supporters of inerrancy who recognize there were theological problems but believe the Pressler-Patterson political organization used unethical methods to gain control of the SBC and force many theological conservatives out of SBC life.

You say you will not let others tarnish the memory of godly men like Dr. Adrian Rogers. I will not let you and others tarnish the image of Godly men like Winfred Moore, Russell Dilday, Keith Parks and Herschel Hobbs. Adrian Rogers was a great preacher and pastor for Bellevue Baptist Church but I believe he failed in his responsibility as President of the SBC. His primary failure was in appointing men who harmed our convention to the various boards. Here is a sample of quotes from Rogers that I believe show he had little understanding of the nature or our convention. The cooperative program has become a “golden calf”. The WMU needs to get “hard wired” into the convention structure or it will lose its place in at the table. If we tell our seminary professors to teach that frogs have souls they had better teach that frogs have souls. If those statements do not show that his purpose was power and control I don’t what would. I have also wondered why a godly man would by his own admission work through an ungodly man who was having multiple affairs at the time while serving as a trustee of SWBTS to fire a truly godly man, Russell Dilday, when he was president of SWBTS. Too often we have witnessed adulterers, slanders and thieves in prominent places of leadership in the CR to say this is a conservative theological organization.

I am amused by those who say that the BFM 2000 is a great improvement over BFM 1963 and imply that BFM 1963 was neo-orthodox. Here is what Paige Patterson said about BFM 1963 in a 1980 interview.

Patterson said that he knew of no movement to change the 1963 BF&M. “I wouldn’t change the 1963 statement myself,” he said, “I am perfectly happy with it because, as you know, it says the Bible contains truth without mixture of error. Whether you say inerrant or truth without mixture of error for its matter is inconsequential. “

What happened to change his mind? The 1963 BFM was written mostly by a conservative theologian and great Southern Baptist pastor, Herschel Hobbs. The committee was composed of all the state convention presidents so that the entire convention could be represented. It served us well for almost 40 years. The BFM 2000 committee was a small tightly controlled group who were chosen for the purpose of bringing out a document that could divide us further. Finding ways to divide is always the primary goal of Patterson and other CR leaders. The leaders before 1979 were looking for ways to unite us around the authority of the Word of God and missions and evangelism.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

I both agree with the quote and disagree with the quote that was in this post - at the same time.

I believe the quote is talking about employment at an SBC agency. So my comments are from that understanding.

If an employee at an SBC agency does not believe what the BFM says about the Scriptures, the nature of God or the Christian essentials, I would think it best that he resign his employment.

Other parts of the BFM that are either vague or address the finer points of some systematic theology (e.g. particular atonement, the nature of original sin etc.), ae not deal breakers to me. The employee should state his position clearly and move on. I think that the IMB would be fine to have both people who believe in particular atonement and those who don't.

But I don't think it would be fine to have people who hold a low view of Scripture or believe that salvation is found in anyone except Jesus etc.

Debating the CR is a dull topic by now, especially on this post. None of us have anything new to say.

I am among those Baptists who brought about a great change in our convention through the CR. The CR was over in 1992 or so.

We are now talking about how to move forward. I think that most people on this blog (based on what I have read) can move forward together, while we might disagree about the past.

I even believe that I could move forward easily with the guy who wrote this quote, provided he would give some room to the level of disagreement, as I have mentioned above.

Louis

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

It's me, L's

I read Wade's note about deleting comments that were between members of a certain church, and I read it just in time, because I was going to type a letter to Rev. Sprayberry. And you know me, I don't have much tact. Am very protective of those I care about and probably, at times, irrationally so. (My daughter called from the vet this morning crying, and I said, 'yes, sweet child, I will pay for your dog's hip replacement'
and later realized I didn't ask how much it would cost: that's irrational.)

I was going to ask/beg your pastor to treat you more like a 'grandpa' and less like an adversary. Something like that. Am always trying to make a 'family' out of everyone. Then, they CAN see each other differently.
It's not a 'Catholic' thing: my brother is a Methodist and he does the same thing at his Church. I think he would be a minister if he wasn't a physician. He is a good Christian. He is a great big bear of a man with blond/grey hair and a red mustache. He is a 'chainsaw' person too, REX, as he lives on a river and also owns a farm near Charlottesville. You would like him: both feet on the ground, and his heart fixed on the Eternal One.

It's family week for me: lost a dear aunt and am in grief, and so, rambling. Sorry.

When I read your note about CB calling you while you were 'running a chain-saw', I laughed, but then I realized as I read, that CB is leaving us because of the request of his wife who is ill. I'm sorry he's leaving and, especially that his wife is so ill. That is sad.

At least here, he was able to 'vent' a little, and then almost always asked forgiveness in his way: offering a cup of coffee, or to buy a meal. That's important: that offering of care.

People need to see beyond the 'surface' of the anger and bullying and aggressive abrasiveness , into what lies beneath that needs comforting and healing. That's what makes Christians special, we can do that, and stop the cycle of pain with love. This is a mighty lesson we were given from the Good Lord about how this works. And it does work.

So, REX, how are you holding up?
This trouble too, shall pass. I am encouraged: in the midst of your difficulties, you are more worried about CB than yourself.
You will be fine, Rex.
Thank you for sharing about CB.
It puts so much in a new light.

Must go and get guest room ready for my sister who is coming to stay. She needs nurturing, as she is grieving our aunt, also, and she is a mess, worse than me. :)
So we heal, as we help one another. Will pray for CB's wife.
Love, L's

P.S. Wade says he is going to write about me and another Catholic lady (she used to write 'vampire books' and Wade said I would enjoy the company :). My husband will have much fun with this. So, Rex, maybe it will give you a laugh, too.
Stay encouraged.
God Bless, L's

Kevin M. Crowder said...

EZ,

The "doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son" (ESS) is hardly something which should consume a lot of our time. Neither should it give way to proof-texting. Additionally it cannot be confused with a study of the attributes of God, for it is generally believed that the 3 Personages of the Godhead maintain characteristic equality. But that does not mean that the functionary roles of the persons, and their relationship to each other cannot in some way possess qualities which could seem hierarchical on some level whether self-imposed or imposed by another Personage. The verses which you quote do not in any way imply ESS nor do they deny it or impose eternal equality on the rest of the revelation given in Scripture. If I were to give you one passage of Scripture which I believe shows rather clearly a deep desire of the Son to submit to the Father in all things for all time through love and for the purpose of fulfilling the Covenant of Redemption it would be Christ's High Priestly prayer of John Chapter 17.

If you and Wade desire cooperation in the SBC, you will need to love and accept those who hold to ESS. It is not a 1st tier doctrine as is directly related to the understanding of grace, faith and salvation. It is one of those doctrines whose studies draw us closer to the God who lives within us and give a greater sense of awe and wonder at the glory and majesty of the complexities most of which we will never fully comprehend.


K

Christiane said...

Sorry, meant to leave comment on last post. Sorry. L's

Anonymous said...

Clarification:

When I said "move on", I meant the employee should "get on" with his job and remain an SBC employee.

It's only disagreement about big topics or things that affect the mission of the organization that would cause me to think the employee should not be an employee at an SBC agency.

Usually, that means big topics, or central teaching, in the BFM.

But for me, it can include other things as well.

I think that if the seminaries, for example, want to assemble faculties that do not believe in the documentary hypothesis, that is fine by me. There is nothing even in the BFM about that.

I also think that even though the BFM says nothing about charismatic practices (I am not talking about the so-called private prayer language issue), I would be fine with the IMB and NAMB not accepting people who buy into that. We are starting churches, and we don't want to have those issues come up. I feel the same way about the BFM statements about women pastors. I would not want the denomination's church planting agencies to hire people who advocate women pastors because that could become a problem if those persons truly hold that conviction and want to see that happen in SBC church plants that are started by the IMB or NAMB.

I believe that common sense judgment is really the key to this.

Louis

debbiekaufman said...

Kevin: I would most definitely put ESS as a first tier doctrine. I would also label it heresy.

Anonymous said...

If, as Arius taught, the Son was created by the Father, then Jesus is NOT God, but a creature.

Bob Cleveland said...

When God, Himself, calls Jesus "God" ... in two consecutive verses ... I've got to believe Jesus is God.

ezekiel said...

Kevin,

Thanks for your comment. I get a little frustrated (its ok, I will get past it)when folks throw around proof text accusations.

I try to provide my opinion or what I think and show what scripture that I use to support my opinion and what I think.

I would hope that if anyone sees error on my part or that I am interpreting scripture incorrectly that those that are more learned would step up and simply say..."you are wrong, you are making a mistake. Here is what it really means".

It would also be nice if some of those so adamant in their positions on doctrine would do the same so that those among us who truly wish to know or learn can do so in an environment such as this, surounded by brothers and sisters that truly love God and are willing to share their beliefs, be corrected and purify their own personal view of doctrine.

More or less, find clean water and untrampled grass.

Now there are those that want to say these days that we can't or won't know it all or can't comprehend it all...

" It is one of those doctrines whose studies draw us closer to the God who lives within us and give a greater sense of awe and wonder at the glory and majesty of the complexities most of which we will never fully comprehend."

To this, I say, bunk. I may never be able to comprehend it all but all of us together can. Or at least that is the way that I read Ephesians 1.

With the spiritual blessing that He has bestowed on us and the prayer of Paul, I can't imagine us not being able to figure it out.

Eph 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,

ezekiel said...

Maybe in other words, if folks would tell us why they think the way they do, and be willing to show us the scripture that they are using, we would be depenending a lot less on what one man (Grudem or whoever) and more on the enlightenment, wisdom and revelation of the BODY. The one we see working in
1 Cor 12.

If we want to bring it down to the light of one man, Grudem or Spurgeon then I pick Spurgeon. And He calls ess heresy.

ezekiel said...

That He should have been he, with a little h. Spurgeon wasn't God. Neither is Grudem.

greg.w.h said...

Putting Wade's continuing posts in a much broader context...

DrudgeReport had a link to Christian Science Monitor that has an Michael Spencer essay up on the coming evangelical collapse.

I thought Spencer's comments on the Charismatic-Pentecostal movement were the most insightful as he believes they have the most impactful worship style but that there are questions ranging from biblical authority to heterodoxy that they need to address to lead the charge of evangelicalism.

I also thought the synergy between Wade's thoughts and Spencer's criticisms of both mainstream churches and fundamentalist evangelicals was interesting. Spencer basically felt that the reactionary nature of evangelicals will cause them to withdraw from society and emphasize counter-culture as opposed to engaging the broader culture.

I don't think the SBC is quite that bad off yet, but I worry that many of the things we address have been reduced to sound bites. Discipleship is vastly more important than straining theological and doctrinal gnats. The broad themes of our discipleship and our faith lives should not be able to be boiled down to what we are against. If they can be boiled down to that--if we allow ourselves to engage the culture that way--we lose before we even begin.

That's Wade's point with respect to cooperation. Unless we cooperate, we risk appearing like the only things we care about are the things that divide us. And in some cases, it seems like those ARE the only things we care about.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...

Regarding Wade's point with respect to cooperation. if we cooperate with anyone regardless of their doctrine, we risk appearing like the truth does not matter to us and we'd be willing to sweep aside any doctrinal differences for convenience sake rather than standing for our convictions based on God's word. And in some cases, it seems like convenience IS the only thing we care about.

Ministry is not like an Outback Steakhouse "No rules, just right".

James B. Foyle said...

In response to Ron's comment time stamped Tue Mar 10, 10:55:00 AM 2009: Amen and amen. As one who lived through those difficult days, I can say that I believe you hit the nail precisely on the head.

Jesse said...

The title of this thread states that "True Baptist Identity Is One Cooperation."

What was it long before the Cooperative Program came about? What were the issues at meetings and throughout the year that "Baptists" grappled with?

Jesse

ezekiel said...

Joe Blackmon,

I don't so much as see the problem being no rules but as being who's rules and who enforces them. Seems to be a pretty big argument on both accounts these days.

Anonymous said...

Problem comes when 'somebody's rules' are not alligned with 'His Rules';

then there is a conflict of conscience created for many who are expected to follow 'somebody's rules' and cannot do it.

One Master at a time, please.

Can't serve 'somebody' and 'Him'
if the 'somebody' drives the agenda away from Christ.

debbiekaufman said...

Regarding Wade's point with respect to cooperation. if we cooperate with anyone regardless of their doctrine, we risk appearing like the truth does not matter to us and we'd be willing to sweep aside any doctrinal differences for convenience sake rather than standing for our convictions based on God's word

Joe: I did not ever see this as Wade's point. Could you point to the comment or the post where Wade or anyone else has ever said this?

ezekiel said...

Just for clarity, God's rules are?

Mat 19:16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"
Mat 19:17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
Mat 19:18 He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

But then everything is wrapped up in these are they not?

Mat 22:37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the great and first commandment.
Mat 22:39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

You said "Other parts of the BFM that are either vague or address the finer points of some systematic theology (e.g. particular atonement, the nature of original sin etc.), ae not deal breakers to me. The employee should state his position clearly and move on. I think that the IMB would be fine to have both people who believe in particular atonement and those who don't."

If what you mean by "state his position clearly" is that the employee write down his exception(s) to the BF&M, then I can symphathize with what you are saying.

However, I think the preamble to the BF&M is problematic in relation to this since it declares everything in the confession to be "essential".

"Essential"--An overstatement in my opinion.

God Bless,

Benji

Anonymous said...

Wade,

This is quite off topic, but since you are so down on the direction of the SBC and especially Southwestern Seminary what Southern Baptist Seminary would you suggest a young man wanting to learn how to better serve in church ministry get his education from? Or would you not even suggest any of our Seminaries at this point in time?

Michael Scott

Joe Blackmon said...

Debbie

Wade has said numerous times on this blog that it is unreasonable to not cooperate with a church that has a woman pastor (His posts on FBC-Decatur). That's a pretty big difference to be willing to still be able to cooperate with a church. In fact, I have never read a post which said there was any group Wade would not cooperate with.

Why does my word verification say "fundy"?

RKSOKC66 said...

What is needed now is build on the best of the CR and toss out the worst.

The best: a theological foundation build on scripture that is true and accurate

The worst: artificial polarization resulting in political camps. Insisting that everyone in the SBC must necessarily either be "for us or against us" and if they are not actively for us then by default they are against us.

I really don't think reciting "he said this and he did that" regarding stuff that happened 20 years ago is going to result in any positive change.

Wade Burleson said...

Michael Scott,

I am not down on either Southern or Southwestern. I recommend people to attend seminary at both places and we currently have at least half a dozen members obtaining there degrees at these two seminaries.

I speak out to keep free thinkers from being squashed.

That's all.

I highly recommend both schools if you have the courage to speak out when you disagree.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackmon,

You write: In fact, I have never read a post which said there was any group Wade would not cooperate with.

You must be kidding.

Any group that denies the deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, and the gospel as the only hope for sinners is a group with which I have nothing in common with which to cooperate.

This excludes Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Orthodox Jews and all the cults.

It includes all evangelicals.

Next question.

Joe Blackmon said...

Wade

No, actually I had not read anything where you had said who you wouldn't cooperate with until now.

Wade Burleson said...

This Southern Baptist Statement of Cooperation was written by me almost three years ago and is one of just hundreds of posts on the subject. You must have done poorly on your reader comprehension tests in school.

:) Just kidding you.

Grin

Joe Blackmon said...

Actually, I scored like college level reading in 3rd grade. I think it has less to do with comprehension and more to do with "needing to get out more".

Dave Miller said...

I haven't had computer access, but I want to clarify something.

Above, Wade said,

"Dave Miller and Jim Paslay,

I believe that the Bible IS the infallible, inspired and inerrant Word of God.

I do NOT believe the Bible SAYS what you guys want it to say on several issues, including the eternal subordination of women, closed communion, original sin, etc . . .

BUT, I'll fellowship with you and would hope you would with me."

To clarify, I do not know Jim Pasley, so lumping us together may or may not be accurate. I don't know anything about him.

But, while I believe that the historic church teaching (which has, through history, been the eternal subordinatiion) is biblically accurate.

I do NOT believe in or practice closed communion.

I have no idea what Wade's position on original sin is, so I have no idea if I agree with it or not.

The thing that Jim and I agreed on was that we have both perceived a shift in Wade's views.

that was our only point of agreement.

Painting with a broad brush usually leads to painting outside the lines a little, Wade.

I think Wade was attempting to paint me as some kind of BI adherent, which would come as quite a shock to the BI guys, since I spend most of my time on their sites arguing against their views.

I am arguing for a "middle view" reformation in the SBC. I do not want to go to the extremes that Wade advocates, nor do I want to see the Yarnell extremes win the day.

I think there are a lot of us who don't like some of the things the leaders of the SBC are doing, but neither can we support the radical agenda Wade defines.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Thanks for clearing up that you do recommend our seminaries.

I just got confused because of your posts that were in disagreement with how Dr. Patterson is running Southwestern. I took it to mean that you didn't agree with the decision making that is going on there.

Is Dr. Patterson considered more of a Trustee or a Delegate? This would go for all of the men who sit on our boards? I'm assuming they're are trustees since they aren't actually voted for and since it is called the "Board of Trustees". Anyway doesn't the term by definition mean that they act more based on what they feel is right.

Also in reference to your comment to Joe Blackmon. If you can cooperate with all Evangelicals (which I believe the vast majority of Southern Baptist would agree with) then what is the purpose of even having distinct denominations that separate themselves?

Michael Scott

Wade Burleson said...

Michael Scott,

Cooperation means you are neither afraid of, demeaning toward, or hostile to evangelicals of different denominations.

You love the body of Christ - period.

Separatists and redical fundamentalists of any sect eventually get to the place of believing that the body of Christ includes only those who are part of their sect.

That's the attitude that cooperation prevents.

Beth Suarez said...

Dave Miller,

When you identify "the radical agenda Wade defines" would you enlighten those of us who regularly read these posts as to what that is? It seems you have a gnostic gift foreign to us.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

You wrote... "Cooperation means you are neither afraid of, demeaning toward, or hostile to evangelicals of different denominations."

I am curious, where did you come up with that definition of cooperation?

signed,
"redical" fundamentalist :)

Hiram Smith said...

Wade,

You are wrong again—beginning with your title: “True Baptist Identity Is One of Cooperation.”

No! “True Baptist Identity Is One of” Confession, Conviction and Cooperation around a Confession that is both True and Timely!

When earlier Baptist confessions were written, a statement on what constituted marriage was unnecessary. The definition of marriage was implicit and understood. But, times changed and so our confession was changed. It had to change or lose its significance in our lives, in our nation and in the world. When confessions are thus changed, those employed under them are free to accept the change or reject it and separate themselves from it. This principle is accurately known as “cooperation.” That is–we cooperate with the current doctrinal standards of our current employers, but we do not expect our current employers to continue our employment while we believe, practice or teach the doctrinal standards of others. We do not teach papal decrees or other outdated confessions and expect current Baptists to pay our salaries.

Fisher Body Corporation employees no longer build horse drawn carriages. Carriages are out of date in America’s current auto market. Neither do Southern Baptists employ those who confess only the Abrahamic or the Mosaic covenants. Both of those covenants are still good and valid, but, as doctrinal guides for Baptist employees, they out of date and inadequate. Only one confession of faith is current for Southern Baptists—the one adopted in 2000 A.D.

Wade, your first paragraph’s words on philosophy are straight out of the CBF’s talking points play book, and, as one might expect, completely misleading. In reality, Baptist organizations–churches, associations, and conventions–generally have not historically “cooperated” to employ or give financial support to Communists or Muslims. Neither have they “cooperated” to employ those who dissent from the confession of faith adopted as the minimal doctrinal statement of that Baptist body responsible for paying their salaries.

Your mischaracterization and criticism of the comment quoted from another blog constitutes a despicably distorted accusation and condemnation of a very astute Christian brother. Your words epitomize the essential evil that pervades the habits of spiritually abusive religious blogging, to which you seem so remarkably addicted. Such misinterpretations and misrepresentations clearly do not serve to enlighten, clarify and edify; but, rather, to distort, deceive and destroy.

Do you really expect that open-minded Baptists who are seriously committed to Jesus Christ, to the Bible and to elementary integrity will buy into your intellectually dishonest and organizationally destructive propositions? Your notions about Baptist polity issues remind me of President Obama’s talks about the economy. You and he sound like a pair of “dedicated dissenters,” euphemistically called “community organizers,” who never built a business or gave any real leadership to a significant free enterprise of any sort.

Prattle, prattle, prattle–
Hiram
Psa.23:1

Dave Miller said...

Beth, there is a middle ground.

Some of us want to reform the direction of the SBC, not wither it with unyielding and unending criticism.

Some of us do not agree with all that our leaders are doing, but do not want to see the effect of the conservative resurgence completely undone.

Some of us want a doctrinally accountable denomination even while we reject allowing the personal opinions of Tom Hatley, John Floyd, Jerry Corbaley or anyone else to become law.

Some of us believe that while the CR may have had its bad apples, it was a move of God to restore the doctrinal integrity of our denomination and save it from an inevitable slide into liberalism.

Some of us believe that the historic position of the church in general and the Baptist church in particular on gender roles is actually biblical. I continue to believe as the church has through history is the eternal subordination of Christ to the Father and the headship of men in the home and the church.

I believe in the right to dissent, but think that criticism can sometimes be more about a personal vendetta than about principled dissent.

In short, as I said before, many of us stood with Wade when the IMB came against him, but as his views have shifted leftward (or at least his advocacy has) we have lost enthusiasm for his crusade.

Only By His Grace said...

My approach to the deity of Christ,

"Hear, O Israel, the LORD thy God is one LORD. And thou shall love the LORD thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul and all your might."
Deuteronomy 6:3-4.

Acts 2:36,
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, Whom you have crucified, both LORD and Christ."

Ephesians 4,
4. "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5. "One LORD, one faith, one baptism,
6. "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Romans 10:9,
"That you will confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus (or 'that Jesus is Lord') and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Psalm 23:1,
The LORD is my Shepherd..."


And I find these helpful.
Isaiah 43:3,
For I Am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior:"

Remember there is only one LORD. And according to 43:11 there is only one Savior,
"I even I, Am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Savior."

The only God I know is the Lord, and the only Lord I know is Jesus Christ, and the only Savior I know is still this same Jesus Christ..."And you shall worship the LORD thy God, and Him only shall you serve."

But what do I know. I learned this from those Liberal professors at SWBTS between 1966 and 1970. Those liberal professors like Doctors Tolar, Vaughan, Gideon, McBeth, Estep, Baker, Fish, Grey, Pinson, Garland, Hendricks, Patterson, Drumright, Walker and a few others. I can honestly say that all I ever heard from these "Flaming Liberals" was "the Word of God is our only rule of all faith and practice" or "Missions, Missions, Missions," or "Evangelism and more evangelism," or "Sunday School and Flakes Laws" or "Sunday School according Sizemore" and then "Sunday School according to Piland."

Such a bunch of flaming liberals. I know it was silly, "A million more in 'Fifty-four," but one of those million had much to do with me coming to know Christ. Just a bunch of Flaming Liberals.

Phil in Norman

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller,

I can assure you that my love for the inerrant word, my belief in the authority of the sacred text, and my faithfulness to exegete that text has not changed in 25 years of pastoral ministry.

For some, possibly including you, to speak of my leftward "drift" is a complement.

I have no problem in being called liberal in grace, liberal in cooperation, and liberal in Christian love. If that is liberal, so be it.

Your advocacy of the eternal subordination of the son as the basis for the eternal subordination of women to men is, in my opinion, not even close to being Biblical.

So, it is obvious to me that "liberal" in your mind, involves a view of women based upon your personal opinion - the very thing you accuse Tom Hatley, John Floyd and Jerry Corbaley of doing at the IMB.

Dave Miller, I would suggest you are no different than the men you condemn.

I am willing to cooperate with you, fellowship with you as a Southern Baptist, but will resist your ideology on women as I did the ideology of cessationism at the IMB. And if you think that is liberal, so be it. I wear the badge with honor.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

I just came back from the funeral. I left at six this morning.

Thanks for those who prayed me and the three young girls this morning. There was much animosity at the funeral and the girls ended up hurt as usual, but God ministered in His wonderful loving way to them and to me.
pr.

Dave Miller said...

Wade, I didn't say it was liberal or that I would withhold fellowship from you (we don't really have any anyway).

All I am saying is that your vision of the SBC is not one I want to see succeed. I am hoping a concensus will form somewhere between your agenda and Dr. Yarnell's.

I disagree with you. You don't always seem to be able to handle someone disagreeing with you.

Its okay. Almost everyone disagrees with me and I seem to survive.

Dave Miller said...

Wade,

It is interesting that you do exactly what the BI guys do, except on the opposite side.

When you disagreed with them, they painted you as a liberal.

When I disagreed with you, you tried to paint me as BI and claim I called you liberal.

I didn't. I disagree with your repudiation of the CR. I disagree with your women in ministry advocacy. I think you are defensive at times and relentless in your criticism to the point of giving evidence of a personal vendetta, which I know you deny.

I have no problem with you being Southern Baptist.

I just don't want the extreme visions to prevail in the SBC - yours or Dr. Yarnell's.

Here's to a conservative middle ground.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Miller,

Tons of people disagree with me. What I react to is a spirit in pastors, denominational leaders and others in authority that conveys, "I have the answers, and what I believe is the BIBLICAL position, and your differing position is LIBERAL."

I go hard after such dogmatism, including your dogmatism on the subordination of women, because until people see that one's man conservatism is another man's liberalism, we will never cooperate around Jesus Christ and the good news He brings to broken sinners like us.

We conservatives all believe the Bible. We just disagree on the interpretation of some specific texts that have nothing to do with the gospel - including your pet peeves which you use to define "liberalism."

That's the same mistake men at the IMB made and they ended up not like being challenged either.

:)

In His Grace,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Enjoyed the conversation Dave!

Blessings to you and your ministry. Off to fulfill some ministerial business myself.

Have a great evening.

Wade

Anonymous said...

DM,

I for one appreciate the fact that Wade is challenging you on your position of eternal subordination. I shall remain unnamed because I am teaching at one of our seminaries, and this issue is a hot button. My students have had a great deal of discussion on this subject and the majority have concluded that the body of Christ is equal in terms of race and gender - particularly in the New Covenant and certainly in heaven - and more than one of them has declared if it were not for more high profile people, like Wade, challenging the status quo, they would be afraid to even broach the subject in the seminary class room.

Beth said...

Dave,

You wrote to Wade - "When I disagreed with you, you tried to paint me as BI and claimed I called you liberal."

Earlier in the comment stream you wrote to me and said of Wade: Wade's views have shifted leftward.

Two sincere questions for Dave. Do you actually mean what you write, or do you mean something different than what you write? Do you stand by people like me drawing conclusions through your words, or do you desire people to draw conclusions through reading your thoughts?

Wade doesn't have to "claim" you called him a liberal for us to believe you called him one. We just have to read your words.

Unless you are one of those rare individuals who writes something you don't really mean.


Beth

Anonymous said...

dave miller, lighten up buddy. give wade a phone call and work it out in private. sounds like you are lonely up there in iowa.

Anonymous said...

For LYDIA:

. The Bible describes how women were prominent leaders in Jesus’ ministry and early Christianity. In all four gospels, Mary Magdalene was the primary witness to the central event of Christianity—Christ’s resurrection.
The Scriptures also mention women who led small house churches, including Lydia, Phoebe, Priscilla, and Prisca.

Anonymous said...

Hiram J Smith
4051 Leesway Cir
Pensacola, FL 32504-4306
(850) 477-9360

Are you a member of East Brent Baptist or are you still at your former church, Olive Baptist in Pensacola? I see you are still causing trouble in the SBC. I was hoping when you left our church, you would leave the SBC.

Anonymous said...

Benji:

I don't think that employees should try to find "exceptions" to the BFM. That calls for some level of judgment, for we would not all agree on what should be an "exception" and what should be an acceptable interpretation where 2 might be possible. So, I think it would be better for the employee to state what he believes, if necessary.

I agree with you on the premable, see my earlier statement.

RKSOK: Brilliantly put.

I do not believe that Wade is a liberal. He has said so many things that are completely contrary to that that there is no way I could even get close to that.

Dave Miller, you are being unfairly criticized on this one. I don't think that you have called Wade a liberal. You have used the term "left leaning", but have identified those areas of concern. Whether those are "left leaning" or not is just a judgment call. But you certaily are smart enough to know what liberal theology is, and Wade is not close to that.

What I understand you and other critics to be concerned about is the parameters of cooperation. One fear is that if we cooperate with people who espouse some of the causes and views that Wade believes the SBC tent should be big enough to cover, then we will end up with liberals back in the tent. But that's lot different from you calling Wade a liberal, and I wish people could see that.

I think perhaps that the word "Cooperation" needs a more careful look in this discussion.

I cooperate with non-Christians all of the time. I cooperate with Christians on all sorts of things. I love many different people and churches in different denominations. But that does not mean that I want to run seminaries or plant churches with them. That's what we are talking about in the SBC context.

I have friends, for example, who are Coptic Christians, from Egypt. Their faith predates ours by centuries. The love for God is unparalleled. They have suffered, and continue to suffer much in that country. I love to be with them, hear from them, read what some of them write, and even worship with them.

But, I have different convictions on a number of issues. If I am going to pool my money, our church's money, with other folks to start or run seminaries, agencies and churches, I am going to be more discriminating on some doctrinal points. That does not affect my love and appreciation for my Coptic brethren. They, by the way, feel the same about me.

The question is not, "Is the Christian faith big enough for people and churches to have different ideas and interpretations about many theological points and issues?" Clearly it is.

The question is simply where do Baptists want to draw that line.

I do not believe that today we are much different than we were in, say, 1930. From 1940 through 1980, there were quarters (theological schools) where vigilance was relaxed. This happened on a greater level at the colleges, and that's why Wake Forest, University of Richmond, Furman, Stetson, Mercer, Baylor, Samford, and Belmont (and others) are no longer Baptist colleges.

But for the most part, we have held on to the great theological confessions and Christian lifestyle practice that prevailed in 1930.

Wade, and others like him, are concerned that we don't become more restrictive than our history, and that we loosen up on some issues (e.g. women's ordination).

They have and will advance that cause, and the convention's churches will respond.

As of now, I don't see any great movement of the convention and its churches to change the stance on many of these issues. And that makes sense to me, even though I am sure there are some issues I might like to see changed.

That's all this is about.

I believe that by and large the Baptist people are where they have been. I do not believe they are going to flock to the convention any time soon to, say, remove the BFM position on women pastors. But one day, they might. I just don't get that there is any real movement in that direction.

I don't begrudge anyone who wants to argue for that or other changes, and I certainly don't begrudge those who think we should stay the course on that.

This is just the stuff of denominations working out who and what they are, and this is an on-going, never ending process.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Benji:

I meant "preamble".

Louis

Lin said...

What do the ESS folks do with John 5:18?

The Pharisees understood that Jesus calling God his own Father meant claiming equality with Him... even if they did not believe it.

Dave Miller said...

Beth, there are stops between left and liberal.

My observation is that Wade's views over time have shifted leftward. I never said he was liberal. In fact, I have argued on BI sites that calling him liberal is unfair.

But there is no doubt to me that he has moved leftward from where he used to be. That is an opinion.

Dave Miller said...

Wade,

Can you not see the conflicting logic in your response to me?

You call me on the carpet for saying that ESS is biblical in my judgment. You claimed "Dave Miller, I would suggest you are no different than the men you condemn."

Because I say ESS is biblical, because I perceive a shift toward the left in your views, I am no different from Hatley and Floyd?

Yet, you say this: "Your advocacy of the eternal subordination of the son as the basis for the eternal subordination of women to men is, in my opinion, not even close to being Biblical."

So, it is okay for you to use your judgment to say that my position is NOT biblical, but it is not okay for me to use my judgment to say that it IS!

It seems to me that you are granting yourself a right you are not granting me, to make judgments about what I believe is biblical.

I know when I come on here, that I am going to get flamed by your supporters - everyone knows that if you express disagreement on this site, you are going to get slammed by the commenters. I am able to survive that without too much damage.

But I have agreed with your calls for more openness amongst our leaders and a willingness to allow dissent.

It seems to me that you refuse to give that which you demand.

Why is it wrong for me to say the Bible teaches a view, yet it is okay for you to say dogmatically that my view is "not even close to biblical."

I'm going to keep opposing the extreme views of some of the BI guys on their sites. And I plan to continue to express disagreement with your viewpoint - unless you start deleting my comments as you have in the past.

I plan to keep advocating for a center position.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave,

I press you just a little because there are times it feels you come across judgmental toward those with whom you disagree. I turn up the heat just a little on you because you write the following:

"he has a radical agenda"
"he repudiates the Conservative Resurgence"
"he is defensive"
"he has a personal vendetta" etc . . .

Those words do not seem to be dealing with positions of a Christian brother, but are strangely similar to words I have grown accustomed to receiving from my Baptist Identity friends.

I enjoy dialoguing with you about differing positions, with both of us believing the inerrant and inspired sacred text. I don't enjoy anyone, including you, confusing positions with character.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Take the center all you want.

What's missing is Christian charity.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Dave has Christian charity. The issue is not his lack of charity, it is his positions.

He just needs to get used to realizing that he will be continually challenged if he even pretends to portray eternal subordination of women to men as the "center." Further, it would be good to not be sensitive when his position is called "unbiblical" and "radical." In other words, I am giving him an opportunity to implement his own advice.

Many of us who are Southern Baptist do not believe his position on eternal subordination is in "the center" of anything, nor is it Biblical, and we will call it out for what it is.

:)

(See Dave; it cuts both ways. My goal in blogging is to help people like you see the fruitlessness of saying things like the above).

Blessings,

Wade

debbiekaufman said...

Dave: Which Baptist history are you referring to as believing in eternal subordination? From my reading of church history it was deemed heretical by early Christianity. I may have missed it but I found no Baptist history which would hold to that view. Where have I missed it? In fact this view became most prominent in the 1970's but was introduced earlier in the 1900's. The Nicene Creed specifically notes the deity of Christ in order to refute Eternal Submission.

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie,

You go girl.

:)

Dave Miller said...

Wade,

I am trying to continue conversing without getting angry, but I find your condescending tone infuriating on that last comment.

Putting that aside, I will answer your charges with honesty and without anger - whether you believe that or not.

1) I think you have a problem dealing with people who disagree with you.

2) You accused me of a condemning attitude. I would plead guilty to a critical attitude. If I have been condemning, I am sorry. But I do think that much of what you write is wrong biblically and in tone and spirit. I try to express criticism without condemnation, but I am sure that sometimes I fail.

Your "expose" on SWBTS and its Calvinistic profs - I could not get behind that. I don't know about the facts - there have been none presented yet. But I thought your tone and words were just plain wrong. Fortunately, you don't stand before me to give account. I am willing for you to continue believing you were in the right, but I will continue believing that both the substance and the method you used were not pleasing to the Savior.

That is my opinion. I expressed it. You can listen or not.

2) Wade has a "radical agenda" - I think that might have been a poor word choice. I would say extreme. In my view, you are outside the SBC mainstream. There is nothing wrong with that. In some things, I am outside the mainstream. But your agenda, as I have read your website, is not an SBC centrist agenda.

So, I will stick with the word "extreme" or "out of the mainstream." Again, that does not make it wrong. But it is what it is.

3) "He repudiates the Conservative Resurgence" - didn't you do that? You said, "Had I known what some who supported the CR actually wanted, I NEVER would have supported it. My eyes, as they say, have been opened. The CR was never a Battle for the Bible."

That sounds to me like a repudiation of the CR. "I NEVER would have supported it." "The CR was never a battle for the Bible."

That sounds to me like a repudiation. You once vocally and enthusiastically supported the CR, right? Now, you say you "NEVER would have supported it."

That, by the way, is part of my leftward drift thing.

4) "he is defensive." I stand by that. Whenever your views are challenged, you resort to the kind of thing your last couple of comments did - "Dave, you have a problem."

5) "He has a personal vendetta." Again, I know you don't think that. But I AGREE with much of what you have said about Dr. P and the IMB BoT, etc. But I think they hurt you, and you have become fixated on criticizing them.

Again, vendetta was probably a poor word choice. Fixation? Blind spot? Grudge? Crusade?

None of us is all good or all bad. But in three years you have found almost nothing good to say about PP or other CR leaders.

My understanding is that you put stuff out there for people to read and respond. Often, my response to what you say is negative.

Again, I say, if you have the right of dissent toward SWBTS, do I not have the right of dissent toward Wade Burleson? If dissent is a noble, Christian thing, then why do you insist on making my questioning of you a sign of a character flaw in me?

You have a bunch of people who tell you every word you say is gold. You have others who claim you are crazy, evil or worse.

I am in the middle. I agree with some of your views, but disagree strongly with other parts of it.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Louis,

I said nothing about "trying" to find exceptions. I am talking about employees who might agree with B.H. Carroll that the Holy Spirit does not baptize people [for example] based off their sincere interpretation of Scripture.

God Bless,

Benji

Wade Burleson said...

Dave,

Once again, please know that I consider you a brother in Christ, and a pastor of high character; in short, a blessing for all of us within the SBC. I look forward to meeting you one day, and would consider it a pleasure cooperating with you for the kingdom's sake until Jesus comes.

I also believe some of your views on tertiary issues are not centrist, nor sustainable through sound Biblical exegesis.

But that doesn't make you less of a conservative than me or more of a radical than me. It just makes you a fellow Conservative who loves Christ and sees things a tad differently.

My hope and prayer is that you will overcome any anger you feel (if any) and realize that Southern Baptists and Christians in general should focus more on what we have in common than those things in which we disagree.

Genuinely, I wish you a wonderful evening and God's grace in your ministry and family.

Wade

Dave Miller said...

Debbie,

If you are actually interested in studying this, a fine website is

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3817/is_199909/ai_n8858703

Dave Miller said...

Thanks, Wade,

It is clear you do not want to discuss this or deal with my dissenting view.

so, I will drop it.

Anonymous said...

DM,

It's encoraging to see you acknowledge your anger. Those of us who have read your little exchange with Bro. Wade have sensed the hostility in you. Glad to know you now do as well.

Steve

Beth said...

Dave,

Good grief, Dave. Can't you leave well enough alone?

Got to get in one last parting shot? Sad.

Lee said...

It's a rather long statement, essentially agrees with what you've written here, and comes from what I have been taught all my life about the identity of Southern Baptists, so I'll just put the reference here and if someone wants to click and read, they can.
http://deepintheheart.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/what-is-baptist-identity/

ezekiel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

I am interested in the reference that you provided but it is cut off or something. I can't get it to work. Can you give it to us again?

You can do a link where we can click on it by following the guide

Here

Thanks!

Benji Ramsaur said...

I think if we all end up coming together it will have something to do with chitterlings, but that's just me.

Thy Peace said...

I was just listening to #18. The Power of One's Words to Resolve Conflict (Joshua 22) from the Series on The Long Reach of Your Speech of Pastor Wade's sermons.

Very apt for these discussions. The text below is from that sermon material.
-----------------------------------
In this chapter we have a conflict that arises within the family of Israel. The war with the Canaanites is over; the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh have taken their lands east of the Jordan River. Word filters back to the other tribes that their eastern brothers have built an altar of imposing size (v.10). Israel gathers "at Shiloh" to make war against their
brothers (v.12). The conflict is resolved, without war, using some wise words.

Conflict is not sin, but is necessary to test character.
There are some Christians who think that anything that resembles disunity or division in the church is not of God. However, the Bible teaches something totally different. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must (dei - "it is necessary") also be factions among you, so that
those who are approved may become evident among you
(I Corinthians 11:18-19).

The manner in which you handle conflict is important.
It is ultimately one of the greatest tests of true character and Christian leadership.

When conflict arises see it as an opportunity and not an obstacle.
Conflict arises for purposes . . . "so that . . ." One of the worst things a believer can do is become depressed or discouraged when conflict erupts. Be positive.

Conflict can be resolved for the good of all and the glory of God.
Our text gives a great illustration of some practical steps to take to resolve conflict.

Pursue peace and resist the fighter's spirit
(v.12).Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war. Ironic, is it not, that at the place of peace the people thought of war. "Strive for peace with everyone" (Hebrews 12:14).

Enter into dialogue with those whom you have offense directly
(v.13).The unwillingness to talk with the person with whom you have an offense is a violation of the Lord's clear command (Matthew 18:15). Further, a willingness to talk with others rather than the person with whom you are offended is gossip.

Acknowledge that people have different perspectives (v.24).
Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had built an altar "of witness" to remind their kids that they belonged to Jehovah, and help them avoid the very real sin of idolatry.

Care for what is eternally important (v.22).
"Far be it from us that we should rebel from the Lord" (v.29). Jesus said to us: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another" (John 13:34-35). Relationship are key.

Express love and acceptance of people, only opposition to actions
(v.19)."If the land of your possession is unclean, pass over into the Lord's land and take for yourselves land from us, only do not rebel against the Lord" (v.19).

Conflict sometimes cannot be resolved, and a fracture in relationship occurs.
If rebellion to God is present, then there will be no reconciliation. Just be faithful yourself. "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men" (Romans 12:18).
-----------------------------------
Paul Burleson said...
All,

It seems to me there is a difference between addressing what someone says or a thing done and criticizing a person. For example, I may say someone has said "_________"about an issue and I believe that is a dangerous thing to say. That is my assessment of words spoken and I may be right or wrong in my assessment.

I could say someone did "____________" and I believe it was a wrong thing to do. It is my assessment of an action done. I may be right or wrong in that assessment.

But for me to say You are "_____________" [You fill in the blank with a negative thing] is to attack a person.

When I have done the latter, and I've done it far too often, I have usually found I'm flawed in myself and am too much in love with myself, and, thus, far too lenient with self-judgment to address it. So I often wind up attacking another person by pointing out they are flawed. By focusing my criticism on another it enables me to avoid scrutinizing myself carefully and critically. The key to recognizing this in myself is when I find myself saying to another "You are____________." [As I said, you fill in the blank negatively.]

My suggestion is to all...let's stop the "You are______" comments. [Unless they edify and uplift as a compliment.]

If I speak "you are _________" words they ought to be the same words Jesus says of those who name Jesus as Lord. He says those people are loved, accepted, forgiven, graced, family, friends, members of the Body, needed, special, treasure, and a ton of other things that are to be my assessment of people in Christ who are part of me.
Wed Nov 05, 06:01:00 PM 2008

-----------------------------------

Thy Peace said...

"I am interested in the reference that you provided but it is cut off or something. I can't get it to work. Can you give it to us again?"

From google cache:

A defense of the doctrine of the eternal subordination of the son Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society , Sep 1999 by Kovach, Stephen D, Schemm, Peter R Jr

ezekiel said...

Benji,

I was thinkin tamales...:)

Thanks Thy Peace!

Lin said...

Thy Peace, Thanks for the link to the ETS article Dave mentioned.
It is interesting to note this from the ETS website:

Doctrinal Basis

"The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory."

Benji Ramsaur said...

ezekiel,

I had to look that one up in the dictionary:)

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

I attempted to post this comment earlier in the day, but had the Singing Churchwomen at our church, so I got busy. But I will finish my thought. I will refer to your loyal readers to prove my point and I only needed one post after yours to prove it:

Ron West said:

"Jim Paslay,

I believe the CR was about power and control."

Now I am waiting on you to lecture Ron like you have me over the past few years. But I won't hold my breath. Why? Because Ron agrees with you. Dave doesn't and I don't so you lump us together and say we believe certain things about the Bible. I'm not sure you know what I believe about certain doctrines since you and have never personally met. So I will not assume what you believe if you will do me the same.

Ron West's post on the CR was not helpful and actually denegrated some good men in the SBC that can no longer defend themselves. His attitude makes cooperation hard to achieve.

Wade Burleson said...

Jim Paslay,

Where did Ron West denigrate anyone? I went back and reread his comment and all he did was point out a quote of Paige Patterson affirming the 1963 BFM and then asked the question "Why did he later change his mind?"

Oh well, I guess we just see things differently.

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

Ok, I have read the reference you provided. I come away from the reading with a general impression that the author tries to make his point by more or less saying that ESS is implied and not refuted by Gregory, and Augustine so it has to be true.

In fact, on page 9 the author says....

" Since most theologians have honestly found this doctrine in church history, recent attempts to refute the doctrine of eternal subordination by non-evangelical feminists and liberals (who dislike the implications of the doctrine) have shifted the way the Trinity is discussed."

I think that is where the train jumps the tracks and the ensuing train wreck is what we see happening today. Some are intent on making assertions that the doctrine implies a relation between a man and his wife, others spend all their time refuting that assertion. The implication is what does the damage that Gregory was worried about that we see on page 5.

"I should like to call the Father the greater, because from [H]im flows both the Equality and the being of the Equals (this will be granted on all hands), but I am afraid to use the word Origin, lest I should make Him the Origin of Inferiors, and thus insult Him by precedencies of honour. For the lowering of those Who are from Him is no glory to the Source. Moreover, I look with suspicion at your insatiate desire, for fear you should take hold of this word Greater, and divide the Nature, using the word greater in all senses, whereas it does not apply to the Nature, but only to Origination. For in the Consubstantial Persons there is nothing greater or less in point of Substance.44"

The point some try to make regarding the Son from the Father using begotten or origin, then taking that down to a man and a woman is pretty well refuted by Paul in 1 Cor 11:11. It pretty well erases the origin argument when we try to take this doctrine to imply subordination of woman to man, for there is equality there.

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

Comps make this exact same leap with women today. When you divide the nature of Man (male and female) and imply greater where none exists, only origination. (Woman from man).

Spurgeon tells us Athenius had a very similar concern here.

"This line: "of one essence with the Father, of one substance with the Father, consubstantial with the Father," (in Greek, HOMO-OUSIOS TW PATRI) was the crucial one, the acid test. It was the one formula that the Arians could not interpret as meaning what they believed. Without it, they would have continued to teach that the Son is good, and glorious, and holy, and a Mighty Power, and God's chief agent in creating the world, and the means by which God chiefly reveals Himself to us, and therefore deserving in some sense to be called divine. But they would have continued to deny that the Son was God in the same sense in which the Father is God. And they would have pointed out that, since the Council of Nicea had not issued any declaration that they could not accept, it followed that there was room for their position inside the tent of Christian doctrine, as that tent had been defined at Nicea. Arius and his immediate followers would have denied that they were reducing the Son to the position of a high-ranking angel." But their doctrine left no safeguard against it, and if they had triumphed at Nicea, even in the negative sense of having their position acknowledged as a permissible one within the limits of Christian orthodoxy, the damage to the Christian witness to Christ as God made flesh would have been irreparable."

This doctrine without proper qualifications (and those are very technical and confusing to say the least )is potentially very damaging to the the doctrine that Jesus, The Son as being God made flesh.

Just as there are no safeguards to reducing Christ to a high ranking angel, there are no safeguards to reducing woman to a high ranking servant of man either. If that is, we continue to try to make the mystery of the Trinity fit into our human relationships.

I don't know if I have communicated this very well or not. I would like your thoughts on it though if you care to. Thanks!

Dave Miller said...

Ezekiel,

There are sites which encourage rational and reasonable discussion. I would gladly engage you on another one.

But I think for now I've had my fill of getting beat up on this one.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Debbie,

I find it to be less of a sin for you to walk up to my pulpit this Sunday morning and shoot me point blank in the chest than to insinuate on this blog that my stated position on ESS in any way supplants the deity of Christ. You are sadly mistaken "girl" in your understanding of church history, Arius, and the purpose of the Council of Nicaea. My position is commensurate with the Nicene Creed and is in no way in conflict with the Doctrine of Eternal Equality within the Godhead.

You and Wade can call me and others heretics. But I find that attitude to be contrary to the stated goals and purposes of this blog. I find it to be hypocritical and unchristian. I stated my position regarding ESS in a clear and polite manner. Your attack was uncalled for. I do not understand why hatred is necessary in this conversation. It is almost as if you are saying that you would not cooperate with me in sharing the Good News of Christ to the lost.

Your misunderstanding of the nature of the Godhead in no way precludes me from cooperating with you or your pastor to grow the Kingdom of Christ. It is sad to me that you and your pastor insist on such a narrow set of parameters within which to cooperate. This "narrow tent" approach is destroying the SBC. I will make it my business to speak out against these tactics by those who seek to shut down Southern Baptists by demanding doctrinal conformity above and beyond the BF&M.

In Christ, the Eternal Perfect of Heaven,

K

Anonymous said...

Wade,

You said; "Cooperation means you are neither afraid of, demeaning toward, or hostile to evangelicals of different denominations."

Based on this definition I do not at all see how any of what you are saying is going on in the Southern Baptist Convention differs from this definition.

I don't know a soul who is afraid of, demeaning towards, or hostile to other denominations. Yes, we don't consider them Baptists, but that is because they aren't. They are "different denominations".

Michael Scott

Anonymous said...

Benji:

Good catch. I mean that employees shouldn't list (not find) "exceptions" to the BFM.

I believe that a better way to proceed is to simply explain what one believes.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

I see the old KMC boy is back.

Lin said...

"Just as there are no safeguards to reducing Christ to a high ranking angel, there are no safeguards to reducing woman to a high ranking servant of man either. If that is, we continue to try to make the mystery of the Trinity fit into our human relationships."

Ezekial, Excellent comment. This is exactly what is happening.

Anonymous said...

League: Christian
Team: Baptist

ezekiel said...

Dave Miller,

Thanks for your reply and know that I completely understand.

I would be interested in discussing this further with you. Currently, spring break us upon us and I won't have the time for about another week. So if you want to schedule something we need to be looking at late March. Say later in the week of the 23rd.

As to the place, I would prefer a pretty public place with plenty of opportunity for all that are interested to participate. I have already had a run in over on Lumpkin's blog with Peter and Dr. Yarnell where some posts mysteriously disappeared and others were edited. So I don't know where we do it but I don't have the patience for monkey business and I take my religion pretty serious. If you want to suggest a better place than this, I am open but like you, cautious. My blog doesn't get the readers therefore limiting the participants, I don't know about yours. So let me know what you think.

In the meantime, so that you don't feel that I am trying to ambush you, I want you to be aware of my position. I will follow the lead of Athenius, the Cappadocians, Gregory, Augustine and Calvin as articulated by Kevin Giles.

Here

As well as that articulated by Spurgeon

Here

In the meantime, I very much encourage anyone that would wish to participate to study the references Dave has provided as well as those above and dig up your own. I think this is a very important discussion to have as it seems many well known theologians have worked out and confronted the same error in the past on many different occasions. Grudem has apparently fallen prey to it again. For the health of the Church, let's have this discussion!

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Why did you delete my post? I was just paraphrasing Donald Miller. One of our days most influential Christian writers. Don't tell me we shouldn't cooperate with him.

Jim Halpert