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

A Southern Baptist Religious "State of Play"

My son and I went tonight to see State of Play. We both enjoyed the movie, and afterwards I could not help but reflect on how people are often "played" in order to accomplish hidden agendas. Sometimes we Southern Baptists have a tendency to believe the best in everybody, which is not always a bad thing, but there are times when we should pause for a moment and consider whether or not there is a high level of connectivity between events at the state, national and local levels of the Southern Baptist Convention. In other words, it might be wise for us to ask questions before we just "assume" people are acting in the best interest of the Convention and our local churches. Some feel it is always "sin" to question religious leaders or to hold pastors accountable for their actions; but the Bible is quite clear that nobody is beyond the reach of sin, and all of us, not just some of us, should welcome the accountability that comes with positions of authority.


In November of 2007 the Georgia Baptist Convention passed an "anti-blogging resolution." At the time, a few bloggers and commenters wrote that the resolution was aimed "squarely at Wade Burleson," for my attempts to hold trustees accountable for passing doctrinal policies that exceeded the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. However, I wasn't so sure that the resolution was aimed at me. Frankly, the reason that Georgia used precious Convention time to adopt an anti-blogging resolution has always puzzled me - until yesterday.

Doug Pittman, a former member of Prays Mill Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist Church just west of Atlanta, Georgia, called me at the office yesterday to thank me for my blog, which he said had been a source of encouragement to him. It seems that Doug, a man in his late forties, had been a member of Prays Mill Baptist Church his entire life. Yet in early 2007 PMBC church leaders, led by Pastor Mike Everson, forcibly removed Doug from membership. Doug and his family had been attending another SBC church prior to the disciplinary action, and Doug himself had personally informed Pastor Everson weeks earlier that he and his family would be joining a sister church. Nobody from Prays Mill Baptist Church had informed Doug that he was "under discipline," and Doug discovered that he had been forcibly "removed" from membership when PMBC members called to tell him after the business meeting where the action had occurred.

Doug had been a star athlete at the local high school, a baseball player for Auburn University, highly respected in the community and his church, and had never been one to ruffle feathers or rock the boat. But Doug's conscience had led him to leave his home church and attend another church because he had discovered that church leaders, led by Pastor Mike Everson, were deceiving church members about multiple indescretions involving staff members, church computers and pornography. Doug spoke out against Pastor Everson's decision to cover up the moral indescretions by multiple staff members. Doug had first hand knowledge of the pornography problems because he was the computer specialist at PMBC, and it was he who had performed the forensic tests. He believed the church should know the truth, that there should be full transparency and no cover-up. He spoke his convictions to leadership, including Pastor Mike Everson. When leadership informed Doug that they intended to continue with the subterfuge, Doug made the decision to leave.

Doug believes that the surprise move against him was intended to punish him for daring to speak out against church leaders. It was only after he was informed, after the fact, that he had been removed from the membership at PMBC that Doug began, on May 4, 2007, his blog. Doug told the reasons, in full detail, that led to his decision to leave the church and his shock that he was being "disciplined" for simply following his conscience and speaking out against what he believed to be intentional deception by church leaders. As stated above, Doug had intended to simply leave the church, but the blog was necessary to reveal what he believed to be an ecclesiastical abuse of authority, several acts of deception by church leadership, and a blatant attempt to ruin Doug's reputation for speaking out in opposition to church leadership actions.

Doug signed his name to everything he wrote on the blog. He used the blog to expose the truth and fight the falsehood intentionally being spread. He also told me over the phone yesterday that when he began to write he received multiple threats. But he continued. He felt his home church needed, and Christ even demanded, full transparency, honesty and integrity. But according to Doug Pittman, friends of Pastor Mike Everson, including some large mega-church pastors in Georgia and Florida, circled the wagons to protect their friend who was now "under attack."

Pastor Mike Everson happened to have been serving as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Georgia Baptist Convention. After experiencing several months of PMBC church members reading Doug Pittman's signed posts, informing the church about the truth of what had really happened at Prays Mill Baptist Church, Pastor Mike Everson and his pastor friends, in November 2007, presented for adoption to the Georgia Baptist Convention the The Resolution Against Blogging.

The Resolution included the following two paragraphs:


BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that we reaffirm the historic method of administering our agencies and institutions through elected boards of trustees, and we call upon bloggers to cease the critical second-guessing of these elected leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all Georgia Baptists respectfully request and expect that individuals who disrupt the fellowship through blogging repent and immediately cease this activity and no longer cause disharmony for the advancement of their own personal opinions and agendas . . .

When the resolution "passed," I'm sure that many Southern Baptists thought those evil "bloggers" had it coming. Most Southern Baptists, including me, had absolutely no knowledge of Doug Pittman and the saga at Pray Mills Baptist Church. It is quite possible that SBC agency trustees, contrary to the statement in the resolution, actually need someone to be critical of their decisions. It is also quite reasonable to believe that the "disharmony" mentioned in the resolution is not caused by a blogger following his conscience, but by church leaders following a path of deception.

Pastor Everson resigned his church leadership position in December 2007. Doug Pittman also shut down his blog. The hurt, however, continues. Doug told me yesterday that he has no desire for he or his family to ever again be associated with anything Southern Baptist. I encouraged Doug to realize that there are a great many Southern Baptists just like him. People who know that truth and transparency is always best, and we will not be snowed by any religious "state of play." In short, when any outside agency is used by a local Southern Baptist church to strike back at someone who is attempting to present the truth, then we Southern Baptists have an obligation to not just assume that the church leadership is always acting with integrity.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

115 comments:

Fusion! said...

I hope Pittman is reading this page. i want him to know, that for the many faults within the SBC, there are great things happening. From the great thinkers coming out of our Seminaries, to great Church planters, and pastors, I have hope for the denomination. As for brother Pittman, I know it hurts. And I pray that the Lord will be his defender and peace at this time. You are in my prayers.

John Daly said...

Men fall in private way before they fall in public. Christ would expect no less that we expose wolves. If I were Doug, I would be more afraid if I FAILED to do something. It would haunt me for the rest of my earthly days if I knew what was happening and I simply "walked on the other side of the road."

Sure Doug, you received some persecution...big whoop, you stood for Christ and that is far more important, both now, and eternally.

I wanna be like Mike...I mean Doug :)

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
It’s sad to hear about the ‘persecution’ of Doug Pittman by church authorities because he took a stand against ‘what was going on’.

I know you’re not in sympathy with the BGCT or the 1963 BFM. But I believe what I have to say is on topic.

The pastor and I have ‘locked horns’ on establishing our never before church constitution and bylaws. For over a year, we were the only ‘active’ committee to get them written. Due to our disagreement, the deacons have been added to ‘help’.

In November 2008, the pastor announced the sermon next week would be on Acts 15. I gave a member of our SS class a copy of the ‘Truth of Acts’ that I wrote plus a short email about it before the sermon. He sent the email to the pastor. The pastor wrote an email to the deacons stating: “Answer to questions brought up about Acts 15.”

The email did not say one thing about Acts 15, but was about me. I never replied, but today I will quote part of what he wrote:


Rex’s big issue is that of where authority is held within the church. [Rex believes] Decision making and control are in the hands of the people. They need to “hold the authority” in the local church through democracy. This protects them from prideful power hungry leaders.

[Pastor believes] But the will of the people can be just as destructive and abusive as ungodly church leaders….and they can be just as prideful and power hungry.

In Rex’s theology, God does not speak to the body through leaders. [Rex believes] He speaks to ALL believers through the guidance and direction of the HS within the body. Authority and servant leadership are incompatible ideas. A leader’s job is to preach (not teach) the gospel. A leader’s job is serve/lead the body without having authority over the body. A leader should “influence and suggest” but not “declare and direct”.

When I speak of past struggles from the pulpit, he bristles at that because pastors are supposed to be farther along than the average layperson…because they are called to be examples who “know better”

Wade, one of your post was about the influence of pastors. I made a comment that even though our church is BGCT that accepts the 1963 BFM; our pastor’s influence had removed the 1963 BFM from our constitution.

The pastor emailed my comment to the deacons. An email (not by the pastor) sent to the deacons stated I had “attacked” the pastor.

Since then, the pastor has sent more emails of my comments on your post to the deacons.

Wade, not to hurt your feelings, but the pastor and I are about the only ones from our church that reads your blog.

I wonder if the deacons will get another earful of today.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex

Allow me to point out one HUGE difference between your situation and this post.

Your pastor is transparent. He does not hide. A pastor like that is a gift to his church.

Please Rex, take up your personal issues elsewhere, and not here. All other comments from you unrelated will be deleted.

In His Grace,

Wade

Anonymous said...

I admire Doug for what he did and stood for. I'm just sorry he got burned in the whole process.

There sure is a huge difference between the way Doug conducted himself and Tom Rich and the woman in Memphis. Perhaps they should take note...

pastorricky99 said...

Wow... i dont know what else to say... wow

Anonymous said...

Wade:

What a sad situation. I hope that Doug will find a good church home, and I hope that the pastors of that church have learned something about leadership and being truthful.

I will ask this question about many Baptists. I run into a fair number of people who, when they have a negative experience in a Baptist church, conclude, "I will never belong to a Baptist church or the SBC" or something like that.

I run into very few Catholics or Episcopalians who say similar things, even though they may have been through equally bad things.

I wonder why that is?

Of course, I would tell Doug the same thing that you did. Examples of poor leadership are in every church. And no denomination or church structure is perfect.

Rex:

I seem to remember the first time you commented about the conflict in your local church. Hopefully, the congregation will get to vote on changes to the constitution. Congregational votes sometimes go the way we want them to, and other times do not. I know that you are a blessing to your congregation, and hope things work out.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Tue Apr 28, 09:14:00 AM 2009
- "maybe Tom Rich should take note." I am sure he IS taking note. He sees that even IF a man puts his name on the blog, they still go after him. So Rich was actually correct and vindicated in his reasons for wanting to stay anonymous. He would have been foolish not to have stayed anonymous. And yet, the church still used subpoena power, and church discipline, to "shut em down" and expose him and discredit him. Unfortunately for them, he proved not to be the coward they called him, he is not shut down, and they will be held accountable in the press and in the courtroom.

Maybe future bloggers will know to follow Tom Rich's strategy and NOT attempt to do it the way Doug (or Wade) do it. Those guys were and are easy targets of "hardball."

And doesn't Wade's and Doug's experiences of "manning up and going to talk with person" actually PROVE that method does NOT work? Both Wade and Doug were not "cowards", they confronted people openly, and both have been removed from their leadership positions. And Rich, once discovered, was removed from the church. So please, let's stop the nonsense about Tom "taking note." I hope all SBC members "take note" that the only way to get a response from these leaders is to blog, blog, blog. And do it anonymously unless you wish to be removed from your church.

Go Tom! We NEED a FBC Jax Watchdog now more than ever! :)

Christiane said...

Dear Wade,

I encourage you to go back and to read all of the entries that Rex Ray has made here about his difficulties with the new leadership at his church.

I encouraged Rex to share what was troubling him so that we could pray for him, so I am the one who must bear great responsiblity for what he has chosen to share with us from his point of view. I am sorry. I did not mean to do this to be disruptive, I just wanted to help him , if I could, by getting him to talk it out and then by praying for him that he could find some peace in the midst of all his difficulties. I apologize to Rex and to you Wade. I did not mean any harm. I am a natural advocate for senior citizens, so this came out in full force.

I am very troubled by all of this.
Love, L's

P.S. Hi, Louis.
Perhaps the answer to your 'I wonder why' lies in the concept of 'church' as the Mystical Body of Christ' among Catholics. We know we sin. We know other Catholics sin and cause problems.
But the center of our faith is Christ who is able to make all things new again, convicting us of our sin through the Holy Spirit, and reuniting us with Himself and, in communion, with each other. All is made new. We repent, we forgive each other, we come for healing, and we are reunited to Him and to one another. It is His doing, this healing. BTW, we view ALL Christians as members of the Body of Christ.

Jeff said...

The Bible tells us to go to the person. To say it doesn't work doesn't mean you shouldn't go and talk it out first.

I am not saying that Pittman and others have been treated fairly. I am just saying that I think you go to the person first. Follow Matthew 18 and trust in God to handle it.

jasonk said...

This may be slightly off topic, but I never cease to be amazed at how moronic people can be. Looking at pornography at work? I'm not just speaking of church employees--obviously there is a lot more to it for those who serve on the staff of a church--but anyone looking at pornography at work should be fired just for not being too bright. I don't know about other places, but where I work, everything is monitored, and it would take about ten minutes before security escorted me to the door.
The people on this staff should have been dealth with not only because they were looking at porn while at work, but because they're stupid.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

Rex's example is a living breathing, in-the-moment case study for us all. I wish you would allow some more discussion of it. If he and his pastor are both transparent then this could be a learning experience for us all. I do not agree with Rex on this issue. I for one think he needs to get behind his pastor, forget the constitution (save a minimum statement required for tax purposes that does not include a statement of faith). And that he and his pastor should prayerfully look into history for a creed or confession on which the Spirit would lead them.

As to ecclesiastical leadership: Rex, the crowd is always wrong. Your pastor's belief:

"[Pastor believes] But the will of the people can be just as destructive and abusive as ungodly church leaders….and they can be just as prideful and power hungry."

is spot on! People need led in love. A flock will graze themselves off a cliff if not cared for. Let your leaders lead. You do not give them authority--the Lord does.

At the same time however, I believe God places folks like you in the path of a zealous pastor to slow him down. Just be sure you are not quenching the Spirit.

Try this week giving up something to which you hold dear--let your pastor have a win. Let the deacons have a win. You will feel better for it.


Finally Rex,

I am sorry that Wade has shut you down. It sounds to me like you have a good pastor and that he is using his authority wisely. He has a vision. He is building that vision. He has no intentions of stopping just because you are standing in the road. Sometimes Rex, we have to realize that men are charged with things greater than one man. I pray this all works out in peace.

Let the inevitable happen, and then get busy for the kingdom.

K

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I really would hope that you would rethink your response to Rex Ray. IMO it was way to harsh. BTW I waited 2 hours after I read your comment before I posted this comment.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

It is just not as simple as you make it sound.

Mark | HereiBlog.com said...

It's too bad this was not known about the resolution. (If this was truly the motivation.) Maybe something could have been gracefully and tactfully said from the floor.

Mark

Anonymous said...

I feel very strongly that "The Body" should be ultimately responsible. Our programs are generally committee run and committee members are sought out by the Committee on Committees. The church policies in my church are set up so that the "Committee on Committees" is selected by the membership in an "at large" type vote. It is a bit cumbersome but makes it difficult for any group or individual (even the pastor) to control things. The pastor can (appropriately) influence the details of church operation but does not readily control.

Among the positive things this approach produces is that the feeling of "my church" is spread among many rather than being held by a few.

Our pastor leads (and we generally follow), but he does not control. If you can't lead without having control, maybe you should review your leadership skills and seek training.

Given the fact that the pastor is involved full time in a church's functioning and has the help of a staff (in most cases)--if the pastor can't move the church in the direction he wants it to go, he has problems that need to be worked on and prayed about. And maybe he should also check to see who's idea the direction is. If a pastor is thinking of himself in "God's anointed" terms, he almost certainly is NOT anointed.

Bennett Willis

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I reread my comment to Rex. Maybe because I hear the tone in my own head, I did not consider it harsh. If in any way, it was harsh, I do sincerely apologise.

I do, however, stand by my words.

In His Grace,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

I am neutral here. I truly respect Rex Ray and Rodney Sprayberry.

VTM Bottom Line blog > An Open Heart Of A Pastor.

I'm always challenged with remarks that are born out of a heart that has been humbled by failure and strengthened by the Grace of God. It is that combination that I believe is so lacking in so much of the professional ministry and church life I see on the scene today. It is also that combination that, when seen, reminds us all that there are no super saints in the Kingdom. We all stand equal at the foot of the Cross.

Much is being written on the Internet and other places about what is wrong with the Church and what is needed by Her. Whatever the answer to the question of what is wrong, no change will ever come without the combination of humility of failure and the strengthening of Grace I found in the comment recently put on my blog by a pastor who has given me permission to share those words with you again.

Rodney Sprayberry exhibits the character, hunger, honesty, and conviction to grow in grace that I would want a pastor to possess were he to be MY pastor and the pastor of MY family. Enjoy him as I did as you hear his heart. I will be saying a final word at the end.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"BTW I waited 2 hours after I read your comment before I posted this comment."

Tom, as is my normal practice, I railed right out of the gate. :)

Maybe that is why you got a response and I was ignored. ;)

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Louis,

This church body has the final say on everything :)

L's,

If you have a blog or some other forum that you would like to further this discussion...we can do so.I can assure you that Rex is loved and appreciated here. We all just get crossways at times!

JasonK,

Sin makes one stupid.

You actually decieve yourself into believing that that no one will know

or...

You are so dead inside the "rush of being risky" is addictive

or...

In some way there is a wish to be "found out"

Kevin,

If such a discussion would be fruitful I offer you the same suggestion that I made to L's


Rodney Sprayberry
(Rex's Pastor)

Christiane said...

Dear Rodney,

It's me, L's and I don't have any other forum. I only offer this:
sometimes it is very hard for 'seniors' to absorb changes, even if the changes are 'for the better'. It's just hard for them.
Also, I accept responsibility for having encouraged Rex to share, when I saw he was troubled. I am so sorry for any harm I have done. Rex means a great deal to me. And I once told him that when my friend suffers, I suffer. I am very sad. Love, L's

Anonymous said...

Rodney:

Thanks. I suspected that, but wasn't sure and did not even remember or know that you were Rex's pastor.

If you have read much of this post, I am a supporter of the BFM 2000 and the CR. Rex and I don't see eye to eye on that stuff. But from what I have read from him I know that he loves his church and is strong in his beliefs.

I think that it is good that the church will either support (or vote not to support) the direction going forward. That's the way things work.

I hope that if they don't go Rex's way, that he will be able to continue in fellowship there.

L's, thanks for your thoughts.

I believe, and most Baptists, too, believe that all Christians are members of the Body of Christ.

Louis

Anonymous said...

There's news.
Arlen Specter has chosen to switch to the Democratic Party. There will be a press conference this afternoon.

I wonder if Dick Cheney's continued defense of torture had an effect on Specter?

Linda said...

Back to Pastor Wades blog post:

When I was saved, it was not in a church. I didn't run to a church immediately. I spent time in the Bible and in prayer before choosing a church.

And one of the reasons I chose an SBC church was the belief in openness and in the priesthood of the believer. Soul competency was the main issue.

You see, I had been a church member before being saved. And I KNEW from the moment I was saved that no one could ever come between my soul and Jesus Christ. To allow anyone ELSE authority over my soul would be to deny Christ.

I am no longer in the SBC. It came down to deny Christ and follow a human being as authority over my soul, or follow Christ and reject that authority.

Being thoroughly a Baptist, I am now in another denomination where I can remain a Baptist.

Linda

Rodney Sprayberry said...

L's,

You have such a sweet spirit. I applaude you for being an advocate for those who do not have a voice.
Compassion and empathy a wonderful gifts of God to the Body (as well as to the world)

I agree change is hard. this church was the first church I pastored out of seminary (1994-1999). I left to serve a church in Virginia as an associate...where one of my main responsibilities included pastoral care and senior adults...so seniors are special to me.

But a church has to be intentional about reaching the "next generation" for us we have had some success but there has been a lot of trial and error.

When I came back in 2006 many of the older members (who had been dear friends) had died or become homebound. So this church was already in transition before I got here.

But no one likes change and even when we say we want it...we do not know what we are asking for.

Someone once said that when they had no kids they had several theories and now they have several kids they have no theories!

Pastoring a church is kind of like that. Claiming that you know it all is a clear sign of how little you really know.

One thing I do know it is about relationships. The problem with this is simple. People are not "textbook"

In September of 1994 I preached in "view of a call" at this church.

There were were 27 people there that day. 8 of them voted against me because I did not use the KJV.

I thought to myself...these are not good odds! So I called a wise pastor in the area who made this statement:

The folks in that church will not always agree with you and with each other but if you become thier pastor, they will love you and be supportive

That was true the first time around. It has been true this time.

My prayer has always been that they can say the same of me.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Rodney,

Thanks for the suggestion. I will limit my discussion of the matter to THIS open forum as to avoid the appearance of meddling. Suffice to say I am not a fan of congregation polity. But I will more than likely be subject to it for most if not all of my future ministry. I am interested in the discussion and debate so far as it does not hinder the greater work.

I believe the biblical model is a congregationally approved elder body. Sort of a "Republic of the Kingdom of Christ." :)

Many Southern Baptists are rejecting this. Some pastors reject it because it limits their totalitarian control. Congregants reject it because it limits their totalitarian control.

Someone in an earlier post aptly addressed the issue of control.

I have read the bylaws of John MacArthur's church. You can find them online at the church's website. While I feel they go a tad far--resulting in a totalitarian elder board, it comes closer to a biblical model than do the churches of the SBC. I also (of course) appreciate John Piper's teaching and model of the elder led church.

I guess from my inexperienced perspective, I ask: how long should a pastor wait while his church operates in sin while he preaches and teaches and waits for the Word of God to change the hearts and minds of the congregants?


John Maxwell says there is fine line between leadership and manipulation. Wade Burleson, while all accounts champion him as a fine leader and pastor, and while I have no reason to question all accounts, also know that Wade knows this line all too well. Wade picks his battles wisely, call it wisdom, call it grace, call it a velvet glove on a steel fist--Wade gets his way. However, I am convinced that "Wade's way" is rarely out of selfish ambition or vain glory (though any man would be a liar to deny this in part) but a genuine desire to see the will of the Lord accomplished through the vision the Spirit has laid upon his heart.

And so I challenge Wade's dismissal of the discussion on the grounds that he "exposes" the wrong workings of other pastors while he does "right" what they do "wrong." Funny thing is though; it is not because Emmanuel has all the power.


That's the topic...



discuss



:)

Bojac said...

It is rather amazing what has happened to our concention. Altough our churches are automonous our strenght has been the co-operative plan. I fear that this idea that we all have to march in lock-step or we will be "de-churched" will hurt our mission program and other needed programs as well. Wade, I know u have recieved much criticism for your openness but plz continue to keep all informed.

Alan Paul said...

I don't always agree with Rex Ray or appreciate his tone at times, but I think you should let his comments stand. There is something to be learned about what he is experiencing. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Sprayberry says that the church loves Rex. Rex doesn't interpret their treatment of him as 'love'. There is a disconnect somewhere.

Lydia said...

So, this is the cause for the Ga resolution. How about that. I thought it was against the Outpost. :o)


"Of course, I would tell Doug the same thing that you did. Examples of poor leadership are in every church. And no denomination or church structure is perfect."

Louis, you are the master of understatment. The man was the cause of a resolution passed against blogging in the Georgia state association because he stood for truth. One would be pretty thick not to see there is a huge leadership problem. You cannot even bring yourself to say such 'elders' that deceived the church are not qualified as per scripture. All you can say is that they are not perfect.

Anna A said...

Louis,

You asked why Catholics don't "I'm going to leave my denomination and never come back" after being hurt.

Part of the reason, I believe, is that we aren't as connected to a specific parish as Baptists are.
I can satisfy my Sunday worship at any Catholic church in the world. I could take communion with my brothers and sisters even if we didn't share a language.

I think that it helps, because we can go, if things get too bad. (I've been known to drive 1.5 hours to get to a good Mass one time.)

We also know that pastors (and thereby lay leaders ) change periodically. That means that there is hope for change.

Those who have read church history also appreciate how bad things were, and still the church survived. Like the Medici popes or the one that died right before forcing a very bad translation on the church, etc.

Grin my word verification is "unprot"

Lydia said...

"BTW I waited 2 hours after I read your comment before I posted this comment."

Bravo, Tom. You are a better man than I am. (wink)

Anonymous said...

Anna:

Thanks. Very helpful.

My grandmother attended a Methodist church from 1943 until her death at age 96 in 1998. The ministers at her church changed over, too, every few years. So, if you didn't like the current guy, you knew he would not be around too long.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

You will do better if you read my comments more carefully and write more precisely.

Tom's 2 hour rule might be helpful.

Louis

Lydia said...

"You will do better if you read my comments more carefully and write more precisely."

Nice shot

Anonymous said...

Anna - Can you tell us what is required of someone in order to go to heaven? L's, although sweet and gentle and everything else nice, has made no secret of her works based salvation. Is this your position as well?

Thanks for sharing.

Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous,

Hi, I am L's

I'm sorry but I do not know the meaning of your term 'works based salvation'. Perhaps you have assumed what it is that I believe in? I do not know your term.

debbiekaufman said...

Along with what Christiane has already said, you are anonymous.

Anonymous said...

wade,
This took place in 2007? Let it go...
what is the point of investing time in airing more dirty laundry.
Honestly, why don't you start a blog listing all the great work being done by God through His people.

Anonymous said...

I know there are a lot of things like Mac's dull conscience on materialism going on....but this one is lacking believability. A person is being disciplined because of confronting that churches leadership on indiscretions and claiming that the anti-blogging policy was based on him? It may be possibble but needing futher documentation or something on this one.

Thy Peace said...

From Emily Hunter McGowin's blog (Think. Laugh. Weep. Worship.):

"Pastoral Authority"? Part 1.

"Pastoral Authority"? Part 2.

Anonymous said...

makes one wonder what the rest of the church was up to if something so blatant as doug exposed was pretty much ignored or hoodwinked by the WHOLE congregation??? we dare not support or speak up lest our own sin is exposed...doug, i'm glad you are in a healthier place. wade, you too.

Rex Ray said...

To my pastor Rodney,
As a friend, you know there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you but accept some of your views.:)

From day one, I told you we’d be like a married couple in trying to change the other. Even though you put your head on your desk every time I started one of my ‘constructive criticism’ I believe you’ve appreciated and changed some of your ‘habits’ of preaching.

I was not a member of this church when you were here for five years, but we’d had conflicting views over many letters I’d written the Baptist Standard. You’ve told us you left this church close to ‘pastor burn-out’ which was ten years ago. You were 29 at the time.

There’s an old saying, ‘The ones with the gold rules’. We both know the situation where that ‘control’ applies in our church. We became comrades in standing or enduring that ‘control’.

Do you remember saying to me, “You haven’t said thanks for coming to your aid last night”?

“What are you talking about?”

“When your hearing was being made fun of, I…”

I believe you gave ‘payback’ for what had happen in the past at a group gathering when the same person grabbed my ears. I tried to jerk away, but had to endure a two minute lecture of how my poor hearing caused him to talk louder causing his sore throat to hurt.

As you were sitting, you put your arms in the air and did a ‘war dance’ with your feet, and we both laughed about ‘control’ being put in place.

When I cautioned about you becoming our pastor, the statement was made, “I can control Rodney.”

The deacons agree that our church is of the old convention of Texas (BGCT) and has been since the church started in 1944.

But your paper you gave the church two years ago states: “If I served a church in Virginia or Texas the church will know up front that I would begin the process of moving them over to the conservative conventions. In other states, churches must be in agreement with the BFM 2000.”

For over a year, (and agreed upon at one time by the deacons) our proposed church constitution had something like ‘we are affiliated with the BGCT which accepts the BFM 1963’.

But now, (I believe through your influence) the proposed constitution has dropped the BFM 1963 and in its place TWO pages have been added what the church believes about God, Jesus, etc.

I believe if we were playing checkers that would be a ‘tie’ or ‘draw’.

I believe with you being a faithful reader of Wade’s blog, it has changed your opinion of the leadership of the SBC.

So much so that you stated unless the present leaders are removed, the SBC will die a slow death which I agree wholeheartedly.

Jeff said...

Tom, Its not as hard as you make it sound.

Jeff

Joe Blackmon said...

If I served a church in Virginia or Texas the church will know up front that I would begin the process of moving them over to the conservative conventions. In other states, churches must be in agreement with the BFM 2000.Praise God for pastors like Rex's who have the courage to move churches in the right direction doctrinally.

Wade Burleson said...

What is recorded on the Internet, at least on this site, is a permanent record. What you consider old news is brand new news to me and part of a compilation of anecdotes and writings that will be instrumental in shifting the SBC toward a more cooperative nature.

Joe Blackmon said...

As it stands now, the SBC is and has been sufficiently cooperative. Telling people who have need a PPL that they can't be missionaries is not narrowing parameters of cooperation. Rather, it is standing on the truth of what the Bible teaches.

Oh, as an aside, could someone perhaps explain to me why everyone with a private prayer language feels the need to publically annonce the fact that they have that "special gift". I mean, do they have a different definition of "private" than the rest of the English speaking world?

debbiekaufman said...

Joe: You have said it stands on where the Bible teaches. I disagree, yet I believe the Bible the same as you. Wouldn't you then be narrowing in your view? I believe so. It used to work to simply say that this is what the Bible teaches and if you disagree then you are wrong. It doesn't anymore. I, and others like me, having studied the scriptures for ourselves, knowing somewhat the scriptures, need solid tangible proof. Are you willing to give it?

Question. Where does the Bible say this. Passages please.

Bennett Willis said...

The occasional comments about "Why don't you just leave and find a church where you can be more content," really bother me. My attitude (supported by what has gone on in my experience) is that I was here when the new preacher came and I'll be here when he is moves on. Why should I have to move and leave the organization that represents my largest single investment in both time and money (far exceeding my retirement account and home) to a person who is taking it in a direction that I regard as unstable and inappropriate--and even unscriptural?

I'm willing to be lead, but I'm not interested in being controlled by any other than the biblical Head of the Church. And church leaders (pastors?) who think that they are the "head" need to go to the wilderness for about 40 days and review this idea.

Bennett Willis

Joe Blackmon said...

Debbie

Just believing something is not true does not make it all of a sudden not true.

Further, any denomination that has churches like FBC-Decatur and Broadway Baptist is not only a far cry from being too narrow it is in fact not narrow enough.

Word verfication: URFNDY
As in yoU aRe a FuNDYTo which I say "Thank you".

Joe Blackmon said...

...va person who is taking it in a direction that I regard as unstable and inappropriate--and even unscriptural?...

If the person was moving a church from the BGCT to allign with a more conservative organization, the person is leading in a more stable, appropriate, and scriptural direction. Of course, that may not be what you were talking about when you talked about direction.

Bennett Willis said...

Joe,
Most of the people who I suspect have a PPL were quite content to just keep it private--actually all were. Then the SBC decided that PPL should be one of the questions on the dis-qualification survey and suddenly they had a problem.

Then it turned out that half of us think PPL is reasonable--or something about like that. Now you have a problem. Exercise some flexibility. Read the scripture in light of the possibility--or just deal with it. The links to Emily's blog might lead you to food for thought.

Make some of your comments there. She will very sweetly hand you your head. :)

Bennett Willis

Tom Parker said...

Joe:

Debbie asked for scripture and you did not give them. Where is your support?

Anonymous said...

Chapter and verse of the bfm2k is not considered 'scripture'.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Joe Blackmon,

IMHO

If I were still in Virginia the decision to align with a certain convention is more clear cut than here in Texas.

I am afraid the BGCT nor the SBTC reflect completely who we are as a local church.

The statement that you quoted from Rex does not reflect another statement that was made by me in this church...almost 2 years later as we have worked through multiple issues (and still are for that matter)

We should be open to cooperate with any convention and entity that will help us further what God has called US to do and be.

Any statement of faith we affirm should describe "in general" what this church believes. It should not be used as a political statement or weapon.It should be designed to explain more than exclude

Grady Bauer said...

Joe,
Your argument is two sided...if someone has a Private Prayer Language doesn't that mean that someone in the public has no need to know about it.

BTW, Joe....we're not in decline because we're too liberal....we're in decline because people...young and old...are growing tired of the hypocrisy and in-fighting...and our crazy protests and boycotts. We've lost our focus and our fire!

Anonymous said...

AMEN

Anonymous said...

Joe, stop following after men who you think have 'all the answers'.
Go back to the Word. Read it again, like you were reading it for the first time, and pray for guidance.

You need to follow Jesus.
He was not a 'conservative'.
He came to change the world and He did.

Wally said...

rex

you really take the cake, you need to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ and thank God for allowing you to be able to serve

wally

Robert said...

Grady Bauer,
You said:
BTW, Joe....we're not in decline because we're too liberal..

I would call the fact that Lifeway Christian Resources sells the Shack ample evidence that many Southern Baptist are very liberal.

Anonymous said...

Wally, who do you submit to?
Paige Patterson or Mac Brunson?
or Al Mohler?

if you submitted to Jesus Christ, you would NOT dare to judge Rex

Joe Blackmon said...

Tom

I didn't give them because this would be the exchange.

Me-The Bible says...
Debbie-But what that really means is...

And to be honest with you, I don't know why they started asking the question. If it was me, and it isn't, as long as they kept their PPL in their closet and I never had to know about it I wouldn't care what they did.

Grady,

Dude, who said anything about decline? I sure didn't. The SBC has liberalism in it that needs to be rooted out like a rotten potato. Broadway, FBC-Decatur, and Lifeway shilling The Shack are examples of that.

greg.w.h said...

Joe wrote:

Me-The Bible says...
Debbie-But what that really means is...

And to be honest with you, I don't know why they started asking the question. If it was me, and it isn't, as long as they kept their PPL in their closet and I never had to know about it I wouldn't care what they did.
As to your first comment, you repeatedly present yourself as capable of interpreting what the Bible says as written into actionable doctrine and practice. Yet you also are one of the people on Wade's blog whose comments confirm that you believe abstention from alcohol is a religious issue. Which is it, Joe?

As to the second point: The policies that Wade used a public form to lobby against with the public and with the entire Convention led to interviews where missionary candidates were directly asked whether they had a private prayer language and--by weight of voting by the trustees who traditionally have an up or down vote on a slate of new missionaries--permitted those with a publicly admitted PPL to be excluded from appointment.

Your "don't ask, don't tell" approach failed at the IMB on the "don't ask" half of it. And you've made several comments that lead the observant yet casual reader of Wade's comments to conclude that you agreed with that application of that guidelines/policy to ask candidates and to exclude missinoary candidates that admitted to having one.

Is it fair to assume that if you were applying you would lie about your PPL if you had one if you believed it came from God to avoid the "don't tell" portion of your view on how this should be handled? Or should we assume you simply would not apply because you would RECOGNIZE that you're being systematically excluded and whether or not God gave you the PPL, you should submit to that systematic exclusion by default EVEN if God led you in a very direct fashion to apply as a missionary?

I'm not a big fan of hypotheticals, so I understand if you just reject the questions en toto with that as an excuse. But Joe, you're lack of humility with respect to interpreting Scripture is showing in BOTH situations. I refuse to acknowledge that your interpretation of scripture is infallible. And not a single of the ex cathedra proclamations you have made are even backed up with meaningful exegesis and you do not acknowledge challenges to your viewpoint as having any substance whatsoever.

I admire the fact that your faith is so strong that it entertains no doubts, in spite of my concerns of your lack of introspection. But I don't admire the fact that your lack of doubt appears condescending when you comment to others. It might be just the medium, but I've seen you comment often enough to conclude it's your character as well, Joe.

And, no, my skivvies aren't in a wad as I write that...so don't bother suggesting they are. I just think being direct with you wastes less of everyone's time rather than beating around the bush. Since you write the same way, I assume you'll appreciate the directness.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...

greg.w.h

1) I am quite faliable. Also, I would never ever suggest that anyone take anything I say as having any merit without comparing to what the Bible says. I suspect that when I get to heaven I'll see I was wrong about some things and right about others. I believe I'm right about most of it but it's possible when I get to heaven I'll be surprised. Further, I'm well aware of the fact that there are going to be people in heaven who believe differently about some things than I do.

2) Do I agree with asking the missionary candidates if they had a PPL? I'll have to be honest. I'm not sure. I do like, in theory, the idea of excluding people with charismatic leanings from serving the SBC. Honestly though, I really think I wouldn't have asked generally speaking. As long as they keep their "tiemybowtieuntiemybowtie" garbage to themselves, I don't have a problem with a weak Christian having a "faith crutch" if they need it.

But I don't admire the fact that your lack of doubt appears condescending when you comment to others.

Thank you for the compliment.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that for the most part the anonymous comments get ignored. Very rarely does a decent comment come through from an anonymous.

This anonymous enjoys reading the comments mostly. Please continue ignoring the anony's.

Much obliged.

Anonymous said...

Greg and Joe and others:

I have watched the dialogue between you two, and it brings up a question that I asked a few weeks ago on this blog that I'll ask again.

When I first asked the question, I did not get much of a response. I had some conversation with Bob, who gave me some really good thoughts.

Here's my question, and it is a serious question.

I have not studied that much about so-called PPL. I hear the term used, and I have heard people describe it.

But it seems to me that human religious experience in some people often includes physical and verbal expressions. Some people do not worship in this way. Others do. They hum, chant, rock, sway, and in some places make verbal estatic noises.

I wonder if this is just not a normal psyco-physical expression that some people have. Some people cry more easily etc.

So, my question, especially to you guys since you seem to know more about it, the people who claim to have a PPL - how do they know it is a language?

If one doesn't know what they are saying, how can they make a claim that it is a language?

Can either of you explain what the proponents say about that?

I am not trying to put anyone down by asking this question, but I really would like to know how someone can say on the one hand that they don't know what they are saying, but still call it a language.

And if we can't call it a language, why can't we just say it's an unexplained physical/verbal response to worship that some people have and get on with it. So long as it's not disruptive, it's private, and no one is claiming extra-biblical revelation is being given or received through it, what's the big deal?

I would like to hear your thoughts.

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

So long as it's not disruptive, it's private, and no one is claiming extra-biblical revelation is being given or received through it, what's the big deal?

Louis,

I have little to no knowledge of PPL. I would say your question sums up the issue pretty nicely for me. Keep it to yourself, never suggest that you are recieving any sort of revelation or try to "edify" the body with it and I will have no problem with your private prayer language. You can "shondola, shondola" and "tikiwikiwakitikiwikiwaki" in your closet til you're blue in the face.

That's really all I've got.

Anonymous said...

Where does the teaching come from that God has shut down all communication (revelation) with mankind?

Where?

Is it in the Bible?

Lydia said...

Oh, as an aside, could someone perhaps explain to me why everyone with a private prayer language feels the need to publically annonce the fact that they have that "special gift". I mean, do they have a different definition of "private" than the rest of the English speaking world?

Wed Apr 29, 11:59:00 AM 2009

They asked them, Joe. The question is WHY did they feel the need to ask about a PRIVATE Prayer Language. The IMB made this a public issue.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Joe. You just spoke in tongues.
I will 'translate' your words:

"Joe, this is the Holy Spirit calling Joe. Shape up or I'll kick your tail. Show respect to other Christians. Now. Go and read the Gospels. Over and Out"

Lydia said...

I would call the fact that Lifeway Christian Resources sells the Shack ample evidence that many Southern Baptist are very liberal.

Wed Apr 29, 03:16:00 PM 2009

Robert, Do you not see the disconnect here? We have the IMB narrowing parameters of who can serve but then we have Lifeway selling Joel Osteen and TD Jakes. We are hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Joe! You take the cake! I'm laughing my head off at your last comment. Love from Florence in KY

greg.w.h said...

Joe wrote:

But I don't admire the fact that your lack of doubt appears condescending when you comment to others.Thank you for the compliment.

If you intended to cut and paste my lack of appreciation for your style as a compliment, I'll offer that in my impression that's an extremely unChristian attitude to take. The idea that God will allow complete jerks in heaven when they intentionally treat other members of the Bride poorly actually isn't very well supported by Scripture, either, neither in Matthew 25, John 15, John 17, nor Hebrews in general but especially 6:4-6. Just fair warning with potentially eternal consequences from a biblical perspective since you claim to admire literal Scripture so much.

and then Joe wrote:

I have little to no knowledge of PPL. I would say your question sums up the issue pretty nicely for me. Keep it to yourself, never suggest that you are recieving [sic]any sort of revelation or try to "edify" the body with it and I will have no problem with your private prayer language. You can "shondola, shondola" and "tikiwikiwakitikiwikiwaki" in your closet til you're blue in the face.

That's really all I've got
.

Without agreeing with the abrasiveness of Joe's comment, I agree with the content. Whether it is a language or not is between God and the person praying it. That it should not be used to attempt to prove spiritual superiority is demonstrated first by Paul's "speak with the tongues of angels but have not love" and his claim that other gifts are superior to tongues and admonition to PREFER the other gifts over tongues. In essence, using tongues in any showy way at all--whether PPL or true tongues with an interpreter--proves the inferiority of the gift and the immaturity of the believer. Joe's healthy distance from all things "Charismatic" is consistent with the majority of SBC belief and practice up to and including the Azusa Street revival/renewal.

But I don't think it's the purpose of SBC life to attempt to prove Azusa Street and its results as lacking authenticity. As I've written before, I personally know Jerry Rankin and was privy to a much deeper discussion of this issue on the field when my parents served alongside Jerry and Bobbye. There is NO biblical stance that permits private prayer languge to be disallowed to believers as Paul expressly forbids such a stance. For Joe to take the position that his view of private prayer language is superior to Paul's is unadulterated arrogance and his abrasive portrayal of that stance is unspiritual as well. I personally think he should repent of the behavior, but, hey, I'm not infallible either. ;)

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...

Bah...my attempt to bold what I wrote reversed the intention of the quote. I bolded my comment ("But I don't admire the fact that your lack of doubt appears condescending when you comment to others.") and italicized both my comment and Joe's reply ("Thank you for the compliment.") Sorry for any confusion that causes.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...

Whether it is a language or not is between God and the person praying it.

Since grew w.h. said he agreed with the substance of my comment and then said the above I thought I should clarify and say that I don't believe PPL is anymore of a language than Simlish. I mean, Klingon is more of a language than PPL in my book.

Anonymous said...

Lydia:

I know that you were addressing Joe, but let me suggest an answer.

When the IMB asked that question to candidates, as long as the person isn't claiming what they are doing is a "language", couldn't they all say "No"?

I am not trying to be evasive.

It's just that I can't understand the "language" claim of the so-called PPL issue.

If no one can really know if it's a language or not, then why call it a PPL?

So if someone asks, do you have a PPL, say "no".

I am still sincerly interested in why that would not be a good answer.

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

Louis

I see more the point you're getting at. I'm slow sometimes...

I suspect the reason someone a PPL would not say "no" when asked is they wouldn't want to say "no". I imagine that in their minds (and in reality it is only in their minds) that it is a language. They don't want to admit that it's just a physical/verbal response that they can't explain because they need it to be a "movement of the spirit". I suspect that most of the people who lay claim to a PPL are emotionalists who need an experience to validate their faith.

Anonymous said...

Joe:

If my question (which is really not a statement, but is a question) sums it up, then I think we are done.

If everyone answered "no" to the PPL question because they were not claiming to know whether or not they are speaking a language, what would there be to argue about?

Sounds?

I can't imagine this dialogue:

Q: Do you make sounds when you pray?

A: Yes.

Q: What kind of sounds.

A: Mainly words. Sometimes singing, humming, groans, shouts and other noises.

Q: Do you do this every time you pray.

A: It's not the same every time. I am not in the same mood or praying about the same things or praying in the same place or for the same length of time each time I pray.

Q: Are you claiming that any of these noises that are not spoken or sung words are a language?

A: I am not claiming that because I do not know one way or the other.

Q: Are you claiming that these noises can be interpreted?

A: No. I have never asked anyone to interpret them.

Q: Can you make the noises now for us?

A: No. But I can pray with you.

Q: Can you pray so that we can hear the noises?

A: As I said, I don't always pray exactly the same thing, or about the same thing, in the same setting or for the same lenght of time.

Q: Do you pray in public the same way you pray in private.

A: Yes. But in public, especially if I am leading in prayer, I am attuned to those around me, and am sometimes less expressive and always more cautious about what I pray for, especially if it involves other people or private things.

I mean, where does this type of dialogue go?

Seems like a dead end.

I think the problem really revolves around a real or perceived claim that there is a heavenly language being spoken.

I don't know if the PPL proponents are really claiming that they are speaking a language.

Do you?

Louis

Joe Blackmon said...

No sir, I don't. However, if I had to guess I would say they do claim it is a language.

Anonymous said...

Joe:

You may be right about what PPL claim, but my suggestion to them (if there are any on this blog, would love to hear from them) is this - just don't claim more than you can really be sure of.

It is not a denigration of your prayer closet to simply not claim something that you can't know.

And it is not a denigration of a person to say that they are more expressive than others in some way.


Louis

Lydia said...

I suspect that most of the people who lay claim to a PPL are emotionalists who need an experience to validate their faith.

Wed Apr 29, 06:35:00 PM 2009

Joe, I sure hope God does not have to teach you how to have compassion the hard way. It is an 'emotionally' devestating experience.

Louis, I have no idea about the '
'language' aspect of this. The closest I can come to understand this whole topic is:

26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8

That, I can relate to.

greg.w.h said...

Joe:

As I said very clearly, whether it is a language or not is--in my opinion--solely between God and the person. I have no interest in analyzing it nor in judging it. The part I agreed with was what I explicitly wrote about.

As a general rule of thumb, if someone offers you an olive branch, sticking it through his/her nose and attempting to attach a rope to it so you can pull them along is considered rude. Something to consider when others attempt to find common ground with you in the future.

Greg Harvey

Joe Blackmon said...

Joe, I sure hope God does not have to teach you how to have compassion the hard way. It is an 'emotionally' devestating experience.

Actually, it has nothing to do with a lack of compassion. If someone needs a private prayer language as long as they keep it private, I have no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

Lydia and Greg:

You both are two of the more rigorous writers on this blog, and theologically versed, as well.

There is nothing new under the sun. I know that.

But I do think that the terminology and the language claim is really the place to start.

I cannot bring myself to quite the place the Greg seems to be - that it's between them and God.

I am there, in the real sense.

But if a person is telling me that he is speaking a language, I think that person ought to have an explanation for how they know that.

I would be satisfied with something like, "I believe what I do is reflected in these verses, but since I don't know what I am saying, I can't be sure." I would take that with no problem.

But it just seems contradictory to claim an language but then say I really don't know.

Isn't the real answer then, I don't know?

Sorry, I am not trying to drive this into the ground.

Just enjoying this dialogue because it is staying on a high plain.

Louis

Lydia said...

"But I do think that the terminology and the language claim is really the place to start."

Wonder who coined the phrase PPL?

I would like to consider Romans 8 more but do not want to cheapen something from the Lord

In any event, this whole topic seems to me to be like asking whether you pray on your knees or prostrate. It is none of my business.

The question should not be asked at all.

happy gram said...

right on, grady!

Bennett Willis said...

The only use I can see (for me personally) for a PPL is to be open with God. I have been to meetings where you were "taught" to speak in "tongues" and that seems so inappropriate to me. But being unwilling to make "silly noises" to God indicates to me that I have some serious issues with being open--it is a dignity thing. I have no business trying to be dignified with God. But I can't seem to help it.

I do not claim that this applies to anyone except me. And we have gotten completely off the subject.

Bennett Willis

greg.w.h said...

Louis:

I think our primary method of verification of their salvation is visible fruits as we cannot see their heart the way Scripture says God can (and also notes that we can't). Visible fruits are necessary but not sufficient from a logical perspective. ONLY God can determine whether they are saved or not.

Their response should be as simple as Joe tries to make his: Paul specifically prohibits forbidding a language used to pray to God in his passage on tongues. It is pure arrogance to claim that we have a new understanding of what that passage means. It's even arrogance to claim that certain spiritual gifts--so-called sign gifts--are inactive in the church age. It could be due to a lack of faith on the part of the group of Christians.

That's why I believe it is inappropriate to make it our job to prove that the Charismatic movement is inauthentic. I think the traditional SB arguments against the modern Pentecostal/Charismatic practice of tongues are very biblical, by the way. But if someone showed up in my church speaking in tongues and there was an interpreter present--especially someone who clearly wasn't a shill for the speaker--I'd sit up and pay attention and permit them to speak because that's what the Bible says to do. Our prejudices against "tongues" are irrelevant, though I see no problem with a very deep examination of the gift in private by the elders once it was first exposed to the congregation.

I see no biblical support for changing Paul's direction on the subject of tongues/languages or on the subject of tongues/languages used in prayer. That position arguably is a compromise designed to reduce conflict on the subject of spiritual gifts and reflects Paul's similar resolution of eating meat sacrificed to idols. Paul wanted to authenticate and regulate the process of displaying of the gift of "glossa" but wasn't willing to simply dictate that it was not used. SBs who simply dismiss all sign gifts as not present in the church age are adding to the Bible, plain and simple. They are not conservatives in the same way the Pharisees were not conservatives, no matter what they say.

Greg Harvey

Anna A said...

To Anonymous-Tuesday 9:31 pm,

You asked how do I believe that we get to heaven. Through the saving blood of Jesus the Christ who is the only begotten Son of God, the Father. The Nicene creed sums up my beliefs quite nicely.

You asked about salvation by works.
But before I answer that, I have a question for you.

How can you tell when someone does a deed such as prison ministry that they are doing to get into heaven or if the grace of God has called them to that?

Anonymous said...

The Text of the Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
He came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day He rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.

Anonymous said...

The Nicene Creed was specifically designed to combat Arianism, Manicheanism, Apollinarianism, and Monarchianism (and its variants, Modalism, Patripassianism, and Sabellianism). You can get greater insight into the Nicene Creed by understanding the heresies it was meant to combat.

Thy Peace said...

NASS (New BBC Open Forum) is maintaining this post, which has links of all the media coverage and blog posts related to Fbc Jax Watchdog outing and aftereffects:

New BBC Open Forum > FBC Jax Watchdog: Who's talking?.

You can also get to this link at Fbc Jax Watchdog's site and then in the Watchdog's Favorites, click on Media Coverage Links.

B Nettles said...

As long as they keep their "tiemybowtieuntiemybowtie" garbage JOE,
Leave us bowtie guys alone! What you said is almost as offensive as when someone asks me, "Is that real? Did you tie it yourself?"

HA!

Anonymous said...

That is hilarious Bill.

Hi Anna -

"You asked how do I believe that we get to heaven. Through the saving blood of Jesus the Christ who is the only begotten Son of God, the Father. The Nicene creed sums up my beliefs quite nicely.

You asked about salvation by works.
But before I answer that, I have a question for you."

Side note: A huge pet peeve of mine is asking someone a question and getting a non-answer followed by a question BEFORE they answer the one asked of them.

But I'll play anyway.

"How can you tell when someone does a deed such as prison ministry that they are doing to get into heaven or if the grace of God has called them to that?"

I guess the easiest way to know their motivation is to simply ask them.

Are you doing what you are doing to earn your place in heaven? Or is it an act of obedience along with an outpouring of gratitude based on what was done for you by Christ?

Anna - I am a missionary because of God's call on my life as I attempt to walk a life of obedience.

Being a missionary has nothing to do with my justification. But it has everything to do with my sanctification.

Anonymous said...

easily 'peeved'
condescending
hides behind 'anonymous'

And this person is a missionary?
Please.

Anonymous said...

Thought about being a Lazy-boy tester, but you have the one covered don't you.

And before you even think about trying to look like an obedient follower of Christ and become a missionary, don't do it.

You won't make it.

You see, the leaders look for knuckleheads to reject who interject smart aleck comments for the sole purpose of stirring up strife. And your character flaw is magnified by the fact that it comes in a conversation that doesn't even involve you.

They hate those kind of "christians".

So save yourself the embarrassing rejection to your face and don't even try.

Your welcome.

Anonymous said...

If you are a 'missionary' do you preach Jesus with the same venom?

Go be a mattress-tester.
At least you won't be hurting the cause of Christ.

Everson Example said...

This is such as sad plight against Christians? What was Mike Everson and his Demon Deacons even thinking about?

The guy had been gone from the church 5 months, and they decide that since he brought issues up against Mike ( which I have read to be legitimate), then persecute, slander, defame, castigate, the egregious acts just to remove opposition ?

I heard this guy was the bulldog for the GBC - doing the dirty work - but this is ridiculous!

I heard he threw out the treasurer and his wife for literally and simply standing in opposition of a vote to remove the recent widow (who had issues concerning Mike's son Jarrod Everson and the Music Minister David Barker for being caught by the computer guy for viewing Pornography at the church during working hours)

Just for standing up against his recommendation.

Wade, sir you have only hit the tip of the iceberg with this man and his disciples.

...and then there is his son Chad Everson who did not tell his church about his brothers, Jarrod Everson, Porn incidents while at his dad's church to members at Madison Street Baptist in Starke Fl.

You should go here to see what transpired and get some idea what happened.

http://ministerwatch.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

mattress-tester?

you are a witty one.

original and impressive come-back. :)

Anna A said...

Dear Anonymous April 30 8 am,

I did answer your question, before I asked one of you.

But, you are right. I am saved only by works. The work of Jesus the Christ on the cross, and His resurrection.

I do respect your wisdom in knowing and being able to judge everyone's salvation, from brief comments on a blog.

All I can say is that God loves, and loved, and will love, and that the least I can do to show my love for Him(Them) is to love those whom He (They ) love.

That may look like works toward salvation or works resulting from grace. That I don't care about. I care about the people whom you are ministering to, and hope that you are not a millstone keeping them from salvation. (I can't judge, nor would I. Only God knows their paths toward or away from Him(THEM))

May God never give up on you and continue to mold you into His likeness.

Anonymous said...

Anna - I don't know why you have the attitude or why you are choosing to be sarcastic and insulting. You are following the poor example of the other nosy-anonymous.

Because of a previous comment of yours, it sounded like you leaned towards a "works based salvation".

If you would have refrained from being defensive and a smart aleck and just answered the question like this the first time, it would have been understood immediately that we are in 100% agreement: "But, you are right. I am saved only by works. The work of Jesus the Christ on the cross, and His resurrection."

I don't know why people get so offended so easy with that question. I am not and would never be. I look forward to times when I can make it very clear to anyone that might ask what true biblical salvation is. I don't immediately start calling them names, or condescend, or name call, or insult. How ridiculous.

My advice is to lighten up, be strong in your faith, and be confident in your answer above. It's a good one. Share it without losing your witness because of your attitude. Look for times to share it and don't follow the pattern of insulting and mocking.

Your answer is a good one but it may fall on deaf ears after they witness your attitude.

Anonymous said...

And look at YOUR attitude.
You just demonstrated the attitude that you accused Anna of.
Anna tried to answer you.
And she did.
Then you insulted her.

What religion are you?
Certainly you show no Christian respect for others here.
So don't answer 'Christian'.
Your 'attitude' proves otherwise.

No one owes people like you answers. If you knew about salvation, you would know that people don't answer to you.

Anonymous said...

Once again nosy-anony - please note that I dialogue with you completely different than with Anna.

I am making every effort to insult and mock you because you deserve it, since you feel the need to interject insults in conversations when others are not even talking to you.

You see, it is my goal to insult you, mock you and expose your two-faced life. I wasn't trying to do that with Anna. I asked a sincere question due to a previous reply she had given. After one failed attempt, I got a sincere and very good answer from her.

News flash...I'm only a jerk to jerks.

Get your nose out of other people's conversations as you continue to try and stir stife where there is none, and put your nose back on your face.

Due to a self imposed time restriction that I have in conversing with conflict-seeking nosy anony's, I will not be back to this comment stream. My timer has dinged.

Anonymous said...

Hee Haw !

Anonymous said...

Your 'timer' has dinged?

Something has dinged all right.
You are a bully and bullies need to be called out.
You are a LIAR.
You did insult Anna, who never insulted you.
You are a disgrace to your upbringing: whoever brought you up taught you to mock and belittle, they just forgot to tell you that you make yourself look stupid in the process.
Your timer has 'dinged'.
Anna won hands down this round by her graciousness in the face of the obscenity of your mocking insults.
As for you: ding, ding, ding, ding

Anonymous said...

This is a test.

mini me said...

Mike Everson is one of the worst men in the ministry - bar none! with his son Chad a very close second.

Anonymous said...

I thought this stream was dead but you guys crack me up.

You are all wrong.

Anna didn't answer the question without insulting first.

Anony #1 made that clear, but proceeded to ridicule along the way.

And crooked nose anony does have a wondering nose and on top of that big nose added nothing to the conversation.

You are all wrong and your all losers. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

At no time did Anna insult anyone.

You are a LIAR.

Anonymous said...

You are not going to suck me in to your name calling dialogue. That is obviously all you are interested in. You have a couple of victims of your tongue, but I'm not one.

You read what I wrote. Let your conscience deal with it.

Anonymous said...

YOU read what you wrote.
You own it.
You lied about Anna.
You are a bully and a liar.

Tony said...

Your post on this subject has only hit the tip of the iceberg concerning Mike Everson and his disciples.

You really need to dig into this one.

It is amazing what you will discover about Mike and his hateful and deceitful ministry. - all of you.

Get Doug's site by emailing him and read it thoroughly - it is shocking.

Purifier said...

Saw more post and very informative information concerning Mike Everson while at Prays Mill and Chairman of the Executive committee here
http://www.thewartburgwatch.com

Look for last weeks, 8-10-2009 thru 8-14-2009, series called the Prays Mill Tragedy.

Nice post


Also, we have many issues at our website purifythechurch.com for your reviews concerning this man and his followers actions.

Curious said...

So, what ever happened to Doug and this situation.

Hope all is well with him. I have read many post all over the internet and am amazed at the courage of Doug.

I hear Mike Everson is now with the Georgia Baptist Convention in a high prfile position given to him by his buddies at the GBC and was exposed for lying about having 3 degrees when he did not.

Interesting days, but curious what happened with Doug and if he ever recovered or found a church?

Gary said...

Western society has been indoctrinated with the belief in the reality of invisible ghosts and ghouls for 2,000 years. So if you already believe in the schemes and whims of ghosts, the idea that a ghost man walked out of his grave is not too far out of your range of possibilities.

However, I believe that today, fewer and fewer people accept a worldview that involves ghosts and ghouls, especially among the younger generations. I think that this is why we are seeing steady, year after year, declines in membership and baptisms in all Christian denominations, including the flagship of evangelicalism, the Southern Baptist Convention.

To a growing number of people today, the belief that a good ghost and a bad ghost are battling each other for control of your brain and your "heart" is just silly, ignorant nonsense.