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

On SBC Bullies and How To Deal With Them

One of the ugly truths of modern Southern Baptist politics is the issuance of threats and intimidation against people who happen to disagree with positions held by certain SBC leaders at either the local, state or national level. It is my belief that the only way to root out such ungodly actions is to expose them. Most bullying tactics against Southern Baptists are performed in private, with the perpetrators hoping their intimidation tactics will never see the light of day.

One such example of bullying tactics was made known to me yesterday by Kevin Crowder. Kevin has given me permission to publish his experience, believing as I do, that the best way to stop such bullying tactics is to let Southern Baptists know that they are real. It seems that a Missouri Southern Baptist leader named Kent Cochran read some of Kevin's comments on my blog, comments where Kevin agreed with the premise of my post, and sent Kevin an email expressing his hope that Kevin never be allowed to pastor a Southern Baptist church. Ironically, Kevin and I do not agree on many things, but I really appreciate this young pastor, and am horrified that a Southern Baptist leader in Missiouri would issue what seem to be career threats against Pastor Kevin. Kevin wrote to me:


Wade,

I wanted to pass an email along to you that I received today from a man named Kent Cochran in Republic, MO. I know little about him other than he is part of the Missouri crowd led by Roger Moran. My only goal is to begin and finish seminary at the moment and minister in whatever way the Lord allows. I have already felt negative pressure as a result of my going to Covenant Seminary. This email has sort of hit me hard. For the first time ever I have been confronted with someone who would seek to stop me from ministering solely on the basis of minor doctrine. I only forward this to you as I know you are a walking library of knowledge of such sad affairs and felt it would not be good to simply keep it to myself. I begin seminary in 3.5 weeks and should be less of a pesky presence on grace and truth. :)

For His Glory,

Kevin Crowder
Sullivan, MO


Kevin forwarded to me the following email sent to him from Kent Cochran. The bold emphasis is given by me to highlight what I find most disturbing in what Kent writes to Kevin:

KEVIN:

I read your comments on the Wade Burleson website regarding alcohol(p.104-105).... just as clearly as I can let me share with you that you are wrong ...dead wrong.

What you are promoting is a 'spiritual dead-end'. I pray that you will never be allowed in church leadership or influence with this kind of carnal attitude.

You are letting others influence you away from being obedient and seeking holines and perfection. While we never fully obtain perfection it is God's desire that we always seek it.

You are literally running the other direction...

My hope for you is that you do a 180 degree turn and quit putting your faith in 'methods'...

Let's talk in May 2014 and see how your attitude has changed...

Kent Cochran
Republic, Mo.

Kevin, just a friendly word of advice from one who has learned a great deal over the last few years regarding people who intimidate and threaten.

Expose them and then ignore them. Keep your focus on Christ, and keep doing what you believe is right in your conscience.

Over time, people see through empty threats and real leadership comes into focus for them. I went back and read what you wrote, and frankly, you had some excellent thoughts. You and I have not always seen eye to eye, but know that I am proud to call you a brother in Christ and my prayers will be with you as you enter seminary. If and when you need a recommendation as you seek to enter future SBC pastoral ministry, don't hesitate to put me down as a reference.

I always admire men and women of courage who stand up to bullies.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

122 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

We love your comments Kevin.

Here is the first comment by Kevin, that was made on this post, The Measure of Fundamentalism in the SBC.

Chris Ryan said...

Kevin,

You and I don't see eye to eye that often, either.

But I can think of several pastors here in Missouri that I would gladly leave their church to come and yours. Your concern for Biblical fidelity and ameaningful presence for the church are both laudable.

Moran and his crew have used these tactics of intimidation and smear campaigns for years. I see their influence waning as people tire of their heavy-handedness. You just keep up the good work and enjoy seminary. I look forward to hearing your how your insights and perspectives are developed and affirmed as you further your education. God bless.

Brent Hobbs said...

Funny, I got an odd email as well after posting a 'pro-alcohol' comment the other day. Just mention the fact that the Bible never recommends abstaining from alcohol and suddenly I'm shoving a whiskey bottle into the hand of a recovering alcoholic!

The emailer told me that I 'know in my heart its wrong to drink alcohol.' I told him I prefer the Scriptures to my heart as far as knowing whats right and wrong.

(Necessary personal disclaimer for fundamentalists - I personally don't drink alcohol.)

Jim Paslay said...

I am truly troubled by the email from this pastor in Missouri. What troubles me as well is this supposed "perfection" that is mentioned in the email. My understanding of the word translated in the KJV as perfection means "maturity". Let me say for the record that Kent Cochran is not showing maturity whatsoever. He should immediately apologize to Kevin and repent of his unChristlike spirit.

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

Since carnality is the criteria used in the email, which seems carnal?

A. Stating that Scripture does not prohibit all drinking of alcohol.

B. Stating that one who holds to position A is "wrong...dead wrong", shouldn't be allowed in leadership, incorrectly influenced, and running in the opposite direction of holiness.

I know that cultural values have shaped many on this view, but it is hard to understand how this issue is not more widely viewed as "meat offered to idols."

www.pulpit2pew.com

Byroniac said...

Kevin, all I can say is, may your tribe increase, and if God sees fit, inside the SBC as well. I haven't agreed with you on everything either. But I enjoy the great majority of what you write, and even where I disagree, I appreciate that you take the time to explain your convictions. Wish you all the best!

Robert said...

Kevin,
Kudos to you. Stand up for the truth.
Wade is 100 percent right on this one.
Praying for you!

Robert from the Southern Baptist Geneva

missshunary said...

Right or wrong...coward or not, this guy is "A" reason some folks remain anonymous.

On another note relating to alcohol, I am still not sure what some people think about all the missionaries in Europe that drink wine (the real stuff) when participating in the Lord's Supper.

sigh...what to do, what to do?

Debbie Kaufman said...

missshunary: But if more people would stand up and choose not to remain anonymous the bully would soon loose his/her power. If more would stand up against this kind of bullying, the bully would soon disappear along with the threats either real or not. When jobs become less important than doing the right thing, when trusting God in the face of adversity becomes the center, when people become the most important thing again, then and only then will this see an end. Bullies are nothing but cowards attempting to look and feel bigger than they are.

And even though some have a place at the table right now, that too is fleeting the minute they don't tow the party line.

John Daly said...

As a person living in St. Louis, my first question is this, Republic? Where in the world is that?

Second, Kevin if you're going to get all tighty whitey after one e-mail then brother you have a long road ahead!

And Kent, Kingdom work brother, concentrate on Kingdom work. Might I suggest driving over to Sullivan to take another brother out to lunch and begin a new friendship in the Lord?

BTW, have we changed the name SBC yet, it's 50 years out-of-date!

Daro Rupiawan said...

author to become a reliable indeed difficult, but I already see that you are very powerful in a any posts

Christiane said...

Good Morning, John

You wrote this to Kevin: 'if you're going to get all tighty whitey after one e-mail then brother you have a long road ahead!"

We all have a long road ahead, John, all of us. But comments that support the acceptance of bullying don't help us along the way.

I believe Wade is right: disarm the viciousness by exposing it to the light. In the Light, Christians can see the evil for what it is and it's power to harm them vanishes.

I think Kevin did the right thing by letting Wade know about the e-mail. Goodness knows Wade is the one to come to in a situation like this: he has the credibility and the trust of those who know what he went through and SURVIVED, without the damage to his soul that bitterness would have done.
I think Wade got through the torment by the grace of Almighty God, and that now, he is strengthened by the experience to help and support those in the SBC who become targeted by the vicious bullies who have yet to accept Jesus Christ the Lord and His Ways.

Kevin is embarking on an awesome journey to prepare for service to Our Lord. He is an honest man.
He did the right thing to call the bully's hand immediately. Not to do so would have been to encourage the evil.

There should be zero tolerance for bullies in the SBC. If they are tolerated, even minimally, they will continue and their bullying will increase in intensity, until you get situations like the horrible abuse of Dr. Klouda and her family.

Your comment is revealing. I hope you come to understand that bullying is not of Christ, but comes from a place of great evil and is intended to control people by causing them great humiliation and pain. I'm proud of Kevin for telling Wade about the e-mail. I'm proud of Wade for looking the evil in the face and staring it down without fear.
Love, L's

Douglas Shivers said...

Kevin,

I have "crossed swords" with our friend Kent Cochran several times over the same subject. You have received the same treatment I and others have because you dare to disagree with the abstinence-only position. In Kent's view, I'm a "blasphemer" because I believe Jesus actually drank wine, not grape juice. I gave up on a reasonable discussion with Kent on this issue.

On a related note, John Marshall, pastor of Second Baptist here in Springfield has resigned from "The Peace Committee." I don't know what that means, but I suspect it's not good news.

In Christ,

Doug Shivers

P.S. -Kent is not a pastor.

And to John: Republic is a few miles west of Springfield on US 60.

Jeff said...

Kevin, I too have crossed paths with KC. I like to pull your chain from time to time on here, but keep on keeping on---as far as I can tell---you are moving in the right direction. I have studied at CTS, and its a great seminary. IMHO, KC represents all that is wrong with the SBC.

Jeff

Jeff said...

Perhaps, KC needs to hear some of Wade's sermons on I John 1 about fellowship. I have been very blessed by them.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Hurray for Dr. Marshall! The peace committee was a waist of MBC dollars from the start. Why do CP dollars need to be spent to resolve petty conflicts between a group of grown men??? Jeff Purvis and others need to stay home and minster to the flocks God has given them. It’s all shenanigans. What a waist. The MBC has been like a whore passed around from party to party over the last 15 years. Perpetual whoredom leads to diseases and death.

I believe Dr. Marshall is giving the Convention address at the SBC-AM this year. I enjoy listening to his expository teaching series on Sunday nights via Second's website. I was a member of Second BC during my last year of college years ago. I had the privilege of being there during the interim pastorship of Roy Fish and even got to hear W.A. Criswell supply preach there once. (I kept the bulletin to prove it) :) Anyway, unless for personal reasons and not political, Dr. Marshall’s resignation has signaled that the "peace" has fallen apart. The committee was stacked with Roger Moran's people anyway.


John "3:16" Marshall, Pastor/Teacher, Second Baptist Church, Springfield, MOOne of my heroes in the faith.

frankgantz said...

Doug Shivers comment is helpful in that we should strive for reasonable discussion and there is a time to give up on having such a discussion. I have learned much from Doug about this.

Jesus would not answer some of his questioners when it would have been pointless to do so.

www.pulpit2pew.com

Alan Paul said...

I don't often agree with Kevin either, but that is really besides the point when it comes to this kind of disgusting behavior.

Kudos to you Kevin for standing strong and also to you Wade for exposing this. You are right, truth and real leadership eventually finds its way to the light.

brad reynolds said...

Wade
I constantly get e-mails from those who disagree with me. Moreover, some are not very Christlike, We see this in e-mails, blogs and blog comments (one said he hoped I never taught anywhere again). I deal with such lack of Christian character in my latest post. Nevertheless, to take an e-mail that a layman sent a pastor and use it to imply this is the modus operandi of our Southern Baptist leaders is misleading at best. Further, I think, biblically, that should have been an issue dealt with between Kent and Kevin.

Have a blessed day
BR

Alan Paul said...

Debbie is right... my mom always told me growing up that bullies and cowards are the same thing. All you have to do is turn around, yell "Boo!" and they skitter away with their tails between their legs.

Bullies remind me of those lizards that puff up real big to make themselves look all scary. All show, no go.

Jeff said...

Brad, I disagree KC had no business even emailing Kevin. However KC has appointed himself judge and jury an decided that he is the moral police of the MBC. KC had no business taking that tone with Kevin. Kevin had ever right to expose KC for what he is a bully.

Gregory said...

Am I the only one who doesn't know what's so special about 2014?

brad reynolds said...

Jeff
I was trying to approach it from the angle of what should be done when a brother offends us. Hope that helps.

Christiane said...

Hi, BRAD.

I disagree. The modus operandi is alive and well, and is becoming more and more KNOWN as victims speak out. The evil is very obvious to any Christian person who sees the potential for damage to victims and the the Church.

The more light on the bullying, the better.

A SPOTLIGHT, focused on the evil, can't be too much.

Worried about 'image'? Too late.
Horrific bullying has been seen from 'leaders' and is widely known.

Keeping the 'nightmare' in-house?
I'm sure Patterson, Moran, and Cochran would love to see this.
Part of their strategy is the 'intimidation' and efforts at shaming and labeling their victims.
This hasn't worked for the SBC at all. It is now back-firing on them, as it should.

Light is a 'disinfectant'.
The 'evil' in what was sent to Kevin through e-mail is a threat to all Christians, not just Kevin.

Followers of those 'in power' who practice this evil now have a documented group of 'victims'. These bullies DO practice evil. The 'fruit' of this is the great suffering they have brought on innocent Christians.

Kevin and Wade together might prevent another victimization by exposing Kent. That would be a great act of Christian charity. What's not to admire? Kent Cochran deserves to be brought out into the Light, for HIS sake. There is still time for him to turn to Christ's Way.

Keeping any bullying 'in-house' is a pathetic attempt to 'hide' something that is long overdue for exposure and cleansing by the whole Christian community. This cleansing must be a community-wide effort with a commitment to Christ at its heart, in hopes of healing the need for bullying among those who have gone away from Christ's teachings, so that they may be reconciled to all of their brothers in Christian peace. The SBC deserves to return to the Peace of the Lord Christ among its members, that they may live and worship without fear of persecution from within. Love, L's

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Brad,

I will make this one comment then I am off for the day to shorten my "to do" list.

My email inbox is private and will always remain that way. All who seek to email me can do so without the fear of their email ending up in the public light. Unless they threaten me. I sought counsel before allowing this to be posted. My stipulation was that I not be cast in the light of victim. I have not been harmed in anyway by this email, but I am fully convinced that exposing it will prevent harm from coming to either me or other young SBC ministers who do not tote the party line.


You would very well agree that there are instances where step one of Matthew 18 is not appropriate. I chose not to dialogue privately with Mr. Cochran. I knew this was the right decision after seeking counsel and being made away of the nasty tactics this man has used in his past dealings with MBC and SBC life. You never know when this man might be lurking around the corner and twisting something you say against you. So I took out the corner. And, instead of bringing 1 or 2, I brought 1 or 2 thousand.

My skin is quite thick, but if this is what Christianity is all about then give me something else.

But I know it’s not. So I press on.

K



PS: to John in STL. May WE should have lunch. I really want to see this building you are dreaming about. If this new skyscraper gets built downtown, new churches are going to need to be in place to accommodate the growing population.

John Fariss said...

Kevin,

I have never gotten an e-mail quite like that one, but all pastors--at least that have been in ministry any length of time--have received hurtful communication of one sort or another. I have had deacons fuss at me because of a minor difference of opinion on some issue, a deacon accuse me of alcoholism based on something absolutely innoculous, a church organist accuse of me shirking my job (because she did not see my car at church when the weather was nice, and didn't notice my bicycle behind the church), a minister of music accuse me of laziness because I was not in my office by 8 AM after I had been at the hospital until 3 AM, and in Virginia, General Pinckney kept sending resumes to a church I was called for two years after I arrived. ALso, I've had about three anonymous letters in 22+ years of ministry. Those hurt, and nothing came of the threats contained in them (important to note). The first time, I just kept it and let the pain fester. The second time--this letter mentioned another church member who the anonymous writer cited as supporting the position in the letter--I contacted that member, who I am convinced recognized the writer and went and confronted them. And the third I took to church council, read, then burned in their sight. THAT was satisfying to me, and I believe it effectively exposed it to the light of day too, what Wade recommends.

Try not to let this get to you. Bath the matter in prayer, find the strength to forgive Mr. Cochran (if you don't, the anger and/or pain will consume, NOT him, but you), as rest easy knowing that you have other friends lifting you up and who will gladly be positive references for you.

John

John Fariss said...

In my haste, I failed to mention your most valuable resource: a Father who has access to more hearts and churches than Mr. Cochran has ever dreamt of.

John

Thy Peace said...

I wonder if Kent Cochran had submitted the same letter (comment) to Wade's blog comments stream, if that would be seen as bullying? At least it would be one more comment in the stream and it would be open.

I would encourage readers who wish to challenge the commenters, to post your comments on this blog, than through personal emails.

Ron said...

Wade is correct in saying the best way to fight SBC bullies is to expose them. Most often I have found they will back down when asked to fight in the open where they have to defend their statements and claims. Once in about 1984 I wrote an SBC executive committee member from my home state complaining because they had refused to make a statement condemning the appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican by President Reagan. He said they didn’t want to do anything to hurt Reagan’s relection. He then called my pastor to ask if I was a liberal or something. I had always thought that opposing an ambassador to the Vatican was the traditional Southern Baptist position and represented the conservative theological position. Under the CR many things such as this have been turned around because politics has become more important than theology. Any action that appears to oppose the CR is enough to bring about an attempt at intimidation.

Kent Cochran and Roger Moran represent the heart and soul of the conservative resurgence. There are no two people that better exemplify the methods and the veracity of the conservative resurgence and its leadership. That is why Paul Pressler named Roger Moran a hero of the resurgence in his dead hill book.
As I remember Kent Cochran was appointed to the Midwestern Seminary trustee board by the CR leadership. At the time it was stated they wanted someone who would shake things up and cause trouble. He did.

That being said, I would like to ask some of you Missouri folks about this peace committee business. I consider John Marshall a friend and have admired him since his days at East Side Baptist in Ft. Smith, AR. I was disappointed when I heard he was taking part in the so called peace committee. It seems that Gerald Davidson was okay with Roger Moran’s attacking people and running people off from the MBC as long as it helped Davidson and as long as he was consulted. When Moran started working on his own and not including Davidson in his plans it hurt Davidson’s ego and he began to reassert his control. I thought it curious that they were willing to seek peace between the Moran/Cochran group and the Davidson/Marshall group but no one invited Harlan Spurgeon or the Missouri Baptists he represents. Spurgeon is a former missionary to Taiwan and IMB VP and former president of Southwest Baptist University who is probably more conservative theologically than Moran, Cochran or Davidson but because he was not willing to obey the CR leadership in the SBC or the MBC has been the subject of attacks by the Moran/Davidson team. Just another illustration of the fact the CR has always been about power and control and never about theology.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I left messages with Kent Cochran in two separate places, including his home, made numerous attempts to contact him myself personally, left a detailed message via my assistant to Kent, and sat on this two days in order to hear back from him. No contact. No call. No word.

Your comment is to the point. I am not sure that anyone threatened with physical or ministerial harm has any duty to confront the abuser. It is up to those in the kingdom of Christ to come to the aid and protection of those threatened.

I know you are not the victim. On the contrary, you are part of the needed solution.

Only those with a broken moral thermometer would express angst that the email was published without expressing outrage over the contents of the email.

In His Grace,



Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Brad,

Welcome back. Thanks for your comment. Please know that the preceding comment of mine was not necessarily directed to you because I had not read what you had written when I wrote it. I had only read Kevin Crowder's comment.

That being said, "If the shoe fits, wear it."

Seriously, welcome back! I look forward to your continued dialogue.

Wade

P.S. You seem to have chosen an odd post in which to begin commenting again.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Gregory,

You asked, "Am I the only one who doesn't know what is special about 2014?"That was to be one of my questions to Kent Cochran were he to return my call.

I have a suspicion I know, but will wait to verify before I give you my conjecture.

In His Grace,

Wade

Lydia said...

Kent wrote:

"What you are promoting is a 'spiritual dead-end'. I pray that you will never be allowed in church leadership or influence with this kind of carnal attitude."

For crying out loud. By this, folks would think Crowder was cruising around town swilling a bottle of Mogen David.

But no. The discussion was what scripture teaches as relating to the topic.Believing men and women disagree on a tertiary issue. But that is not allowed.

Oh the tyranny the lurks around a discussion! You become a target if you do not bow to every jot in the Talmud they have written for us.

Now you guys can see how some of us are labeled liberal, feminist, rebellious Jezebels who are pro homosexual ordinations simply because we dare question the interpretations of a few proof texts. This is how it starts.

Look, Crowder and I disagree and even fight on women's roles in the Body, ESS and some other things but I would still listen with rapt attention to his teaching. He has earned that precisely because he has proven NOT to be carnal by his words here.

Kevin wrote:

"I have not been harmed in anyway by this email, but I am fully convinced that exposing it will prevent harm from coming to either me or other young SBC ministers who do not tote the party line."

Amen.

greg.w.h said...

So let's remind ourselves where Kent derives his power: he makes up rules to add to the Bible because...despite being in the Conservative Resurgence...he doesn't believe the Bible is sufficient.

The doctrine of inerrancy doesn't solve the problem of man-made doctrine. Arguably, in fact, the doctrine of inerrancy--especially as expressed as a method of enforcing doctrinal conformity--is itself a man-made doctrine with very loose ties to Scripture.

In its best application, the doctrine of inerrancy undergirds the sufficiency of Scripture. So I think it's fair to say that when you see someone downplaying the sufficiency of Scripture by claiming that alcohol never passed the lips of the redeemer, that you're witnessing one of the worst applications of inerrancy. Or perhaps you're not witnessing an application of inerrancy at all!

Greg Harvey

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA

Thank you for the great 'comic relief': the mental image of Kevin driving around town swilling a bottle of Mogen David is just too funny. Thank you!

Me thinks the 'Lady in Purple' has a great sense of humor. :)
Love, L's

P.S. I hope I get off of these pain pills soon! They work on my imagination. Thanks again for the laugh. :)) L's

Thy Peace said...

Emily Hunter McGowin (Think. Laugh. Weep. Worship.) > William Hunter McGowin.
The McGowin household is slowly adjusting to life with a newborn and Will is slowly adjusting to life with us. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. God is very good.

jasonk said...

My favorite part of Kent's email was, "You are literally running the other direction." REALLY, Kent? Is Kevin LITERALLY running the other direction. You're a maroon.

Kevin doesn't need me to defend him, but I want to say why I would take him as my pastor any day. When he first started commenting on here, he seemed to have an attitude of arrogance, shooting from the hip, so to speak (although not literally). As time has passed, he has tempered his attitude, and everything he writes reveals a humility and teachability. I respect him for that. Many pastors, when first starting out, think they know everything. But it's the good ones who quickly learn that they don't, and reflect the humble attitude that makes a servant of God worthy of the honor of being a pastor. I think Kevin is that way, and I'm proud of him.

Thy Peace said...

Kevin M. Crowder's transformation started here.

Jake Barker said...

Jim,
Your words trouble me....sometime back, did you or did you not come to FBC Holdenville's cabin at Falls Creek and make inquiries about me? I believe it was over some alcohol posts on another blog. I'll ask another question...which is worse...an email or sneaking around behind a persons back checking up on them?

Jim Paslay said...
I am truly troubled by the email from this pastor in Missouri. What troubles me as well is this supposed "perfection" that is mentioned in the email. My understanding of the word translated in the KJV as perfection means "maturity". Let me say for the record that Kent Cochran is not showing maturity whatsoever. He should immediately apologize to Kevin and repent of his unChristlike spirit.

missshunary said...

I agree with the comments by Deb and Alan and others about how we should be dealing with bullies.

My only point was that this guy is the reason that some others remain anonymous.

No matter the bullier and no matter the bulliee. (That doesn't look right, but you get my point.)

It's a lot easier to tell someone to suck it up and take it like a man and stand for what's right no matter the price tag when you are watching from the sideline.

Please don't come back and say again how the world would be a better place if we would all just stand up to those bad bullies.

I AGREE!!!

I'm just saying that I'm not ready to rain on someone's parade for not risking something of great value to them, when I'm watching from a covered patio with my security blanket wrapped around me.

brad reynolds said...

Christiane –
While I agree that there are times when people appear to strong arm – I am not sure I have the spiritual gift to determine at what times an individual is purposely “strong-arming” and at what times they are voicing concern for the kingdom. Let me give you two scenarios:

1) An individual truly believes “homosexuality” is sin and hears of a pastor who does not. So he e-mails the pastor and prays the pastor never pastors in his state again. Is such strong-arming? or legitimate concern? Now don’t misunderstand me – I AM IN NO WAY COMPARING MODERATION OF ALCOHOL WITH HOMOSEXUALITY. NO WAY!!!!!

What I am saying, is if a brother truly believes the Bible to teach abstention than can I be so quick to judge his motives as strong-arming? Is it possible that he honestly is concerned about the kingdom and perhaps is zealous in his defense. Perhaps he is politically strong-arming, perhaps he has legitimate concerns – I do not know his motives.

2) A pastor or two strongly disagrees with things written on my PERSONAL blog so they threaten to (or actually) call the president of the seminary where I teach and try to apply pressure to make me change my blog, or worse to get me fired. Is this strong-arming? or concern? I give this latter illustration to say whether you call it strong-arming or legitimate concern; it applies to both sides. AND IT HAPPENS.

Thus, my point, just because someone, in some instances, voices strong concern about something, this does not mean their mode of operation is bullying. I know many of the leaders of the SBC on a personal level. And to imply that these leaders operate as some kindof SBC police calling pastors who disagree with them on issues is misleading. That is not to say there aren’t times when they call friends, or colleagues and strongly encourage them, but I think we all do that; or else we blog about it:), (which some might argue is a different style of bullying).

My struggle with this post was the apparent connection made between the apparent tactics of a laymen and the modus operandi of SBC leaders.

Kevin
I hate you were hurt.

However, We shall disagree in brotherly love, I have had numerous threats from bloggers and church members but that goes with the territory. The only reason I would ever consider revealing private conversations would be to correct any untruths circulated about the private conversation (and that, only after visiting with the one with whom I disagreed).

It is not that I do not care about you or what took place - I sincerely hate when brothers or sisters are hurt by their family members but displaying our dirty laundry for the world to see seems unwholesome, in my opinion. No amount of council supercedes Matt 18.

As someone who is not involved in this situation I hurt for all involved.

Wade
I would not have returned your phone calls about a matter between me and another brother either. It is between me and him and God, so I humbly disagree – it is not our responsibility to take up an offense for a brother. God gives Kevin the grace to forgive those who offend him, not me.

Further, to imply that if a person does not express public outrage at the contents of a letter (which the person believes should have remained between the two individuals involved) has a faulty moral compass reveals errors on numerous levels: 1) the assumption that since public outrage of the content is not expressed than private sadness is not felt is erroneous. 2) the assumption that public outrage must be the response of “moral” people is erroneous also (in fact I am not sure it has solved anything other than to polarize and heighten emotions, which I am sure was not your intent). 3) the assumption that those who believe this should have remained a private letter are morally lacking is certainly erroneous.

It was good to be back and I would love to communicate more on this but I have two jobs, a wife, two children and a blog of my own to attend to, so I bow out of this – hopefully with grace that honors our Lord. I will be glad to interact with anyone on my blog – interestingly, we are dealing with the use of harmful words.

God bless and may our lives be filled with brotherly love.

John Fariss said...

Professor Reynolds,

Would a viable alternative to not returning a call be to return the call and say, "I am calling you back as a courtesy. However, the matter is between myself and ______, so consequently, I cannot discuss the matter with you." There are times in the church I have made such a cll, and it has served me well to disfuse a potantially difficult situation.

John

Lydia said...

"My struggle with this post was the apparent connection made between the apparent tactics of a laymen and the modus operandi of SBC leaders."

Wasn't Judge Pressler a "layman"?

Jeff said...

Brad, Matthew 18 doesn't apply to Kevin and KC unless they are in a local fellowship together. The reason being how can they take this matter to the church.

Bottom KC was wrong because is tone was wrong.

Christiane said...

Hi BRAD,

It's me, L's

Thank you for taking the time to respond and to help me to try to understand your position.

My religion is Catholic, so my focus may be a little different when it comes to 'sin'. I would think that unkindness towards another Christian person or anyone is a much greater sin that not sitting in judgment on homosexuality. But that is my personal opinion: as there are too many suicides among young teenagers who think they are 'gay' and say 'Why did God do this to me?', so I cannot ever myself judge anyone who is in their position, and so feed into their agony.
As for harming innocent people and using the political clout of church leadership to do it: I'm positive that this is a great sin against the innocent person and against the Body of Christ. The sad thing is that some have become so 'desensitized' as to what is evil that 'bullying' is taken lightly as just another way to 'control' the faithful.
It is not a Christian act. And it cannot be an honorable act for any human being to mistreat one's neighbor poorly.

Well, Brad. That is what I think.
Nice to meet you. I hope I haven't sounded too harsh, but I have such strong feelings over the terrible treatment of some of the SBC's finest people by so-called 'Christian' leaders. It is heart-breaking that people did not stand up to protect the innocent.

The lesson learned? Stop the bullying wherever and however it rears its evil head. Expose it for what it is: an un-Christian and dishonorable inhumane act in an attempt to control others.

And, being a Catholic, I am wondering how anyone can say that God wants complete abstinance, knowing that the Bible records the use of wine by Christ the Lord. I'm sure that people mean well, it's just a mystery how they can rationalize this belief to their purpose.
L's (Christiane)

Jason Epps said...

I do not think this guy is representative of most Southern Baptists. Most SBCers I know (i.e. those not in positions of power) would never send this kind of an email. This guy's off his rocker, for sure.

Kevin, Covenant is a good school. I hope you'll forget this stupid email and go do what God's called you to do. This guy does NOT represent Southern Baptists!

Blessings,
Jason Epps

B Nettles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B Nettles said...

[reposted to correct the name]
Gregory,
May 2014 - the winter olympics held in Feb. 2014 in Sochi, Russia will be over (and forgotten until 2017). Also, Faye's Comet will be at perihelion.

If Kevin goes to the Olympics, he might be accosted by a bunch of drunks (lots of cognac and vodka in Sochi) and totally change his tune. Or maybe the comet will scare him back to true repentence. :)

Bill

Alan Paul said...

missshunary said: when I'm watching from a covered patio with my security blanket wrapped around me.

I assume you are a missionary serving in the field and cannot expose yourself because of security issues related to the country you are serving in?

missshunary said...

Hi Alan,

That is true, but not really what I meant. I'm not really referring to me or my anonymity. (Did I spell that right?)

I just meant anyone in general.

It's easy, I think, for any of us to say to someone else...

"Go on, you can do it. Stand up to that bully. Sure, 'you' may lose your __________, but 'we' have to stand up to these bullies."

...when "we" don't have anything on the line.

In a nutshell, I'm just agreeing with others about the mentality needed to face bullies, but I'm not as eager as others to demand that everyone else sacrifice their _________ if they decide not to.

Thanks for working with me as I make a mountain out of a molehill. :)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

One thing we know for sure, not everyone agrees with me on everything:

"Ironically, Kevin and I do not agree on many things,"

"You and I don't see eye to eye that often,"

"I haven't agreed with you on everything either."

"Kevin if you're going to get all tighty whitey..."

"I like to pull your chain from time to time on here, but..."

"I don't often agree with Kevin either, but..."

"Look, Crowder and I disagree and even fight on women's roles in the Body, ESS and some other things but..."

"Crowder was cruising around town swilling a bottle of Mogen David"

"Kevin
I hate you..." :)





Well, I may have missed a few, or indeed mis-represented a few :), but it is a blessing to know that the Body of Christ is indeed alive and at the end of the day we can unite around what is important because we are united BY the Lord.


A few have mentioned that Kent Cochran does not represent the SBC leadership. My research would seem to indicate otherwise. Some who have been criticized on Grace and Truth before, had as their foot soldier Mr. Cochran. The stories, my friends, keep coming in.

I would also like to thank publically those have emailed me privately and shared support as well as more stories of the same. May this tiny insignificant story suffice to quell the evil so that the REAL stories out there of heartache and pain can be put to rest and healed.

I have been looking into men and women whose heads were severed during the SBC conservative Resurgence. People like the previously mentioned Harlan Spurgeon, Molly Marshall, Russell Dilday, Daniel Vestal, and a host of others (who were considered ultra-liberal, yet the record seems to indicate otherwise to a certain degree). Seems like many of them are doing better than before. Additionally, I am very interested in a group of 12 men who many years ago in the 70's saw all of this coming. I think they were labeled "The Gatlinburg 12" and I intend to research their stories. My research will also include Wade's book as well as a book by Russell Dilday titled "Columns", and many other as I become aware of their existence. LifeWay for some reason doesn't carry them. :)

Since we have previously mentioned John Gresham Machen on this site let me add this: his mother used to get worried about him for attending liberal seminaries like Princeton and a couple in Europe. His response to her was anger that she should think so little of the Bible as to believe that it could not stand on its own. Machen went on to found Westminster Theological Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, the most conservative Presbyterian Seminary and Denomination in their day. Machen was a conservative taught by liberals. (I use those terms in as common a reference as I can and apologize to Professor Reynolds for not having addressed the formation of a new vernacular for such clear differences in theological and philosophical understanding.) We cannot allow a disdain for scholasticism to shut down critical thinking at our seminaries. It may very well lead to a furthering of the biblical illiteracy which is running rampant in our pews.
I have come to discover two didactic approaches in theological education. One is a method which teaches a specific truth. The other teaches one how to find the truth. Both are needed for different reasons in theological education, but a lack of latter leads to cultism. May more academic freedom lead to stronger Christians and more honest ones who respect the truth they learn and then ultimately teach.

k



PS: I promise to stop not toting the party line and start not towing the party line. :)

Alan Paul said...

To each his/her own missshunary as I do not seek to be the Holy Spirit for others, but I believe that in order to be taken seriously - or at the very least, in order for ME to take you seriously, those making accusations and being "pills"in general should come on out into the light and stand behind said charges. As one of my friends has said in the past, "Time to man up!"

If someone can't make their accusations and obnoxious statements out in the open, they shouldn't be made and they shouldn't be given a forum. Just my opinion though...

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I just found this and will cut and paste it here under penalty of copywrite infringement. :)

Link to article on SBCTodayAuthor: Tim Rogers

Stardate: May 27, 2008

Premise with which I disagree: That Dr. Finn, Professor at SEBTS should engage the beliefs of his students who disagree with the SBC's policy on alcohol and encourage them to "stay" and "follow the decisions of the Baptists in the pew" HAH!

Mr. Rogers apparently has never met the people in the pew nor does he seem to have faith in men and women who, having been called to vocational ministry, wrestle biblically (we hope) with these issues each and every day.

The portion of the article:

"Where does this take us? Dr. Finn mentioned these younger leaders are members of his classes that he teaches at SEBTS. It does seem that Dr. Finn would serve the convention well as a professor being paid by CP funds to encourage younger leaders to stay within the SBC and not just seemingly throw up his hands in surrender because of an issue that is heatedly debated, and one where he is not in the majority. I lived through a time when professors, whose beliefs were in the minority, were questioning everything the leaders of the convention enacted. I remember the contentious feelings aroused in some of my fellow classmates when professors openly disagreed with the direction of the convention. I remember the threats issued by professors of leaving the convention if things did not change. I remember beginning my studies and seeing many friends that began with me leaving to go outside of the convention, following their favorite professors. I certainly believe that Dr. Finn would do well to learn from the history he teaches concerning the Conservative Resurgence and how it was made more difficult because professors openly in class stood in opposition to the decisions of the Baptist in the pew. While he has not threatened to leave the convention, he certainly has placed himself in a precarious position. His students are questioning things to the point that Dr. Finn believes they are about to leave. Dr. Finn is on the front lines concerning the young leaders. Why would he not engage these young leaders to remain and follow the decisions of the Baptist in the pew, instead of issuing statements that sometimes come across as threats concerning the future of the convention?"In effect, to all the SBC profs out there, you need to force your students now to sign the BFM2K and support every resolution ever adopted by the SBC. Because this convention belongs to the people in the pews, not you!


*rolls eyes*



K

Christiane said...

Hi KEVIN,

If you are going to do research on the 'Gatlinburg Twelve', you will find help in the references in this book:

"The Struggle for the Soul of the SBC"
By Walter B. Shurden

There is a reference in this book about seventeen men who came together at Gatlinburg to 'counter' the fundamentalist takeover efforts.

Proud of you for exposing that silly bully who tried to threaten you.

To cheer you up, here is a
'Mogen David Wine Story':

I was working as a social worker (real one: Aid for Dependent Children, Aid for the Aged) when I got out of college at age 22.
I had already said to the Good Lord that I thought it was time for me to get married and could He help steer someone poor soul my way. Well, not long after my prayer, one of my co-workers was describing a friend of her husband's in the Navy who was very tall and had a great sense of humor. She asked all of us girls if anyone was interested in meeting him. Well, I thought,
"wow, that was a fast response, Lord."
So I spoke up and said, "I'll take him."
My friend invited both of us to dinner at her home. She was fixing a lovely meal and I offered to bring a bottle of wine. I didn't anything about wine, but I had seen the ads for Mogen-David Wine on television and at least I knew that name. So I come to the dinner and when I brought out the bottle of wine for the table, everyone laughed. Apparently kosher wine was not the sophisticated thing to serve in that circle. My 'future husband' said he fell in love with me at that very moment. What did I know?

A prayer to the Lord for help.
A bottle of blessed Kosher wine.
A 'future husband' with a sense of humor.
And a 'dingbat' who didn't know anything about wines.

We were married some months later.
I remember we served Mogen-David at the reception, along with a few bottles of champagne. My husband and I toasted each other with blessed Jewish Kosher wine and my Catholic marriage has lasted for forty-two years. When we renew our vows at fifty years of marriage, guess which wine I will serve at the reception.
God is good. :) Love, L's

Byroniac said...

Off-topic alert (though loosely related to what we're talking about if you throw in a couple of rabbit trails and a good hunting dog): Kevin, I think that Tim Rogers misunderstands Christian Hedonism in that article.

I find it interesting, because I think I had the same misgivings concerning it, that it sounded like taking something meant for good, our relationship and enjoyment of God, and twisting it to selfish purposes, or at least making it self-centered as opposed to God-centered. So I told my pastor, and he disagreed with me, which shocked me into further study.

So I gave it some careful thought, and came to realize that Piper is not advocating anything sinful at all, or even to have an impure motive about an activity (enjoying God and relationship with Him) which is meant for good. Piper simply means that our ultimate source of pleasure and fulfillment should be God-focused and God-given, and pursued with all of our will, vigor, and determination.

This is the key distinction between the truth of Christian hedonism and the corruption of idolatry. This speaks to the direction of our worship, and our motivation, and ultimately, the fulfillment we find in it. The purpose of idolatry is to worship the Creature/Creation more than the Creator. The purpose of Christian hedonism is to worship the Creator. Period.

Unless and until Tim Rogers comes to understand this, he will suffer under the same misconceptions that I did.

Alan Paul said...

the Conservative Resurgence and how it was made more difficult because professors openly in class stood in opposition to the decisions of the Baptist in the pew.

Oh please... from what I have been able to discern, the sheep were manipulated and led astray. The CR was nothing but a gigantic power grab by a few and it has ruined the convention and robbed it (and is continuing to rob it) of dedicated young people - those who would lead and those who would sit in the pews and serve as lay leaders.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Byron, exactly. Mr. Rogers stands alone in the Neighborhood of Make Believe on that one.

Piper has used his linguistic flare to present perfectly the idea that we ought to lust after the glory and presence of God with every fiber of our being. As believers, our passionate plea for God ought to be an unbreakable passionate addiction that consumes our every thought and desire.


Awesome that you noticed that too. That article had a great many flaws. (I never read the 300 plus comments so they may have been addressed I dunno.)

Chris Ryan said...

Kevin,

You just made my day. After posting in a previous blog that academic freedom may not be the most desirable way of enacting Christian discipleship, here you say that it is a necessary (but not the only) component.

Now, I think we agree.

If it is not present then the student does not learn how to think biblically, they only learn an abstract list of doctrines and principles which they can deductively defend. But that is a faith of the mind that cannot hope to transform the life.

Jeff said...

Kevin, If you like Piper, you got to be ok. :)

missshunary said...

Alan - I hear you and I appreciate the position you take.

The reality that you are not understanding is that your position is my position as well.

The difference between us apparently is that I'm not willing to DEMAND that someone else "man up" by sacrifice something of great value to them (paycheck, family, living location, position, etc, etc etc...) while I sit wrapped up in my secure comfort (paycheck, family, living location, position, etc, etc etc...) with no consequence.

It's much easier to DEMAND that someone else do the "right thing" even though it will cost them dearly than it is for me to DO the right thing even though it will cost me dearly.

I can't be any more clearer than that, so I will stop beating this horse.

Christiane said...

Hi MISSSHUNARY,

You have a good argument.
That is why it is important for the Church to handle bullies as a community, for the protection of the innocent, and for the salvation of the 'bullies' from their abandonment of all that is holy in pursuit of power.

We can't 'expect' to sit and watch the horror of someone being bullied by someone in power, like we were 'observors'. That just makes us 'participants' in the torment of the innocent.

Either the Church works 'in community' or it is not a Church.
There must be a 'response' from the Church proper, acting in the Name of the Lord, to care for the ones who are injured, and to reconcile the 'bullies' to the Church by calling them to repentance for their sins against their Christian brothers and sisters and their reunion with the Body of Christ.

We are no longer 'alone' in our struggles against what is evil.
We must come to the aid of those who are being persecuted. And we must take the responsibility to pray for the abusers that they may return to the Lord.

When "someone else" is in trouble, we are in trouble. When "someone else" is suffering, we suffer. And when 'we', as a Christian community, arise to help one of our own, we are doing the work of the Kingdom.

If we cannot operate 'as a Church', the bullies will multiply and the bullies will increase their torments on the 'someone elses' until the 'someone else' is you. We need to be 'responsible' for our brothers and sisters. We, the Church, ARE our brother's keepers. And no bully can stand, in power, against the witness of the Church with Christ at its head.

Remember, that the 'someone else' is not alone. They have you. And the whole Church. And the power of the Holy One.

The 'bullies' only have the power we allow them to have. As a Church, we are forbidden to allow them to prey on the innocent without Christian intervention.

Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

VTMBottomLine > The Atonement [Penal Or Otherwise].
Much is being made of the idea that William Paul Young, author of the book, "The Shack," does not hold to the penal substitution view of the atonement of Christ. Whether this is an accurate statement of his position on the atonement or not I don't know for sure. I haven't asked him.

Some people say that interviews posted on the Internet show he doesn't hold to the penal substitution view. Some say those interviews are taking a few statements he's made out of context. I don't know the answer to that. I haven't read or heard all the interviews.

Some say his book shows he doesn't accept the penal substitution view. I've read the book twice and can't say that I found a statement that would answer that question at all. Besides it is a book of fiction using allegory. There is a lot in it that wouldn't fit into a systematic theology study. But it sure fits into life experiences and stretches me to view God relationally in ways that I can appreciate having grown to know Him in pain and suffering as I have in my lifetime.

All that said, I have two questions I wish to ask to prompt a discussion.

One question is...is one particular view of the atonement essential for salvation to be real and genuine?. A second one is, does holding a view other than penal substitution make the holder of such a view heretical?

Stephen said...

SBC bullies not only try to intimidate fellow Christians, but the citizenry as a whole. Here in Georgia, "our" lobbyist went to great lengths to try to defeat a Sunday alcohol sales law. He stated that many Georgians observe the Sabbath and so it makes sense to respect that. In other words, we want the laws to recognize our holy day and force non-Christians to accept that their tax money will enforce that. At some point this SBC obsession with alcohol needs to end. A state law saves no one. Lets get back to the business of mission work and living as a witness to a lost world. By the way, I do not drink because alcohol harms my body - the temple of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, I also do not smoke, I watch my diet, and I exercise. But I do not wish the state to bully others into practicing my religious beliefs.

Lydia said...

"We cannot allow a disdain for scholasticism to shut down critical thinking at our seminaries. It may very well lead to a furthering of the biblical illiteracy which is running rampant in our pews.
I have come to discover two didactic approaches in theological education. One is a method which teaches a specific truth. The other teaches one how to find the truth. Both are needed for different reasons in theological education, but a lack of latter leads to cultism. "

Let me give you just ONE example of how lacking in scholarship they are.

This is what they call a 'debate':

http://www.dennyburk.com/?p=4108


They trash a man's book that has not even published yet, who is not present, to Boyce Students who cannot read it. And of course the students have already been taught the adulation of certain men with all the hierarchy doctrines stuffed down their throats. Of course, many cannot think for themselves. They only need to know what thier leaders think.

This is indoctrination, cultism. this is NOT scholarship.

And it is not just at SBTS as we have all seen.

Bruce said...

Which honors God more: the plan of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ shared in a meal over a couple of glasses of wine? Or a legalistic sermon from the pulpit condemning all use of alcohol as sinful? Just wondering......

Alan Paul said...

missshunary: Note I said 'to each his/her own - I don't intend to become anyone's Holy Spirit'. I am not demanding anything and I know we agree, but we will probably differ in that you may listen to those who take shots or expose others' misdeeds from the dark, I probably won't because you can't trust what you don't see/know. Note I said probably... nothing is quite as black and white as we pretend it to be.

I like your take L's (as I usually do). There is always strength in numbers (community) to shut down the jerks. And of course we have plenty of resources to assist those who are blackballed (how many of us are willing to share?).

Oh yeah, I almost forgat: Not to mention we have a God who promises to meet all of our needs. I wonder how much we truly believe that?

B Nettles said...

Alan Paul
Oh please... from what I have been able to discern, the sheep were manipulated and led astray.In your discernment, have you talked to people who were conservative and in the classroom in the 70's? Unfortunately, Russ Bush is no longer with us, but my brother, Tom, along with others like Tom Ascol and Joe Nesom will give you 1st hand information. And they have no hidden agendas.

Lydia said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgat: Not to mention we have a God who promises to meet all of our needs. I wonder how much we truly believe that?

Sat May 16, 12:09:00 PM 2009

So, by using her name and speaking out, you can guarantee her that God will not allow her to lose her job, lose her home, lose health insurance for her children?

Or perhaps you do not think those are needs for folks living here right now? Or maybe if He does not protect her she is really not as pious as you are?

Where do you all get this stuff?

It is one thing to stand for Christ with PAGANS and go the pyre for His Name. But she is protecting herself from PROFESSING Christians who do harm to others who dare disagree.

That should be YOUR real concern.

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

I listened to the strange 'debate' but did not understand very much because some of the terms used are vague and were not articulated in a way that I could grasp (my problem, I know.) But where were the panel members who supported the Wright Book? Where was the point-counterpoint dialogue? How could students who had not had an opportunity to read Wright's book possibly ask logical questions of the one-sided panel?

It was a 'discussion' of one side of an issue only. There was no classic debate. The students were 'in the dark' as to personal engagement with Wright's ideas as revealed in his book.

Seems a waste of time and not in keeping with the best traditions of intellectual pursuit of understanding someone's written work. I agree with you, it is not an academic exercise that Denny Burke is conducting. It is merely the presentation of a one-sided jury, with no rebuttal allowed during discussion by another side.
Love, L's


P.S. Just a thought, and maybe a question re Baptist Identity and alcohol use:

How is it that anyone can claim to speak for Christ and yet deny Him as was in the Scriptures?

Especially when they claim that the Scriptures are the sole authority for their beliefs?

What am I not understanding here?
Do the people of the B.I. think that the word 'wine' does not mean 'wine' in the generic sense: juice of grapes preserved by natural fermentation to include some aloohol which preserves the final product: the wine?

Do the people of the B.I. claim that the Scriptures mentioning Jesus Christ as 'making wine' miraculously and using wine at the Last Supper to be false translations?

How does the actions of Jesus Christ in the Bible pertaining to 'wine' square with the B.I. teaching that drinking wine is un-Christ-like?

I'm not understanding something here. What is it? Love, L's

Alan Paul said...

Lydia-
Do you believe God will supply all of our needs?

Alan Paul said...

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Note the community happening in this passage. God is supplying for His people's needs through people! Reminds me of L's comments.

Ron said...

B Nettles,

I am one of those who was conservative and in the classrooms in the 70s. I was a student at Southwestern in the 70s. Russ Bush was one of my professors. Is he an example of the liberals that we hear about? No! He was like all my professors at Southwestern in the 70s, a theological conservaive. Invite your brother to come on this website and tell us if Cal Guy, Roy Fish, Jack Gray or any of the professors at Southwestern in the 70s were conservative or liberal. Ask him to come on this website and tell us if Russell Dilday was a liberal or a conservaive and if he was fired because of theology or because of politics. If he says they were liberal or that Dilday was fired because of theology then hs is far less of a man than I thought he was. See if he has the courage to speak the truth publicly about the psuedo-conservative resurgence and what it has done to conservative seminaries like Southwestern or conservative professors, pastors and missionaries.
Ron West

Byroniac said...

L's, I don't completely understand the pro-abstinence view in the SBC, so I'll add that as a disclaimer right up front. From what I understand, there's at least three things I remember reading. First, they really did drink alcoholic wine back in those days, but the alcoholic content was extremely low, so the practice was acceptable in that culture and due to the fact that clean water was hard to find (so the argument goes, we have an abundance of clean water, and the potency of our alcohol is unacceptably high). Second, Christ probably made fresh "wine" or grape juice in His miracle at Cana, and not the alcoholic substance (I think the reasoning goes that fermentation is not something God originally created, so what is re-created here resembles the original Creation natural state of the juice of the grape). Third, that drunkenness and strong drink are usually linked in Scripture under a context of Divine judgment. I'm not sure how accurate I am, and I do not hold to the pro-abstinence position, but this is what I understand so far.

Lydia said...

Lydia-
Do you believe God will supply all of our needs?

Sat May 16, 12:40:00 PM 2009

I don't play that game, Alan. Define needs and HOW God supplies them.

We are talking about "protection" FROM professing Christian leaders.

I should have made the point earlier that if you are going to insist on no anonymity from those are in fear of publicly disagreeing with 'Christian' leaders, then you need to put your money where your mouth is and promise to help them when they are fired, etc.

It is too easy for us to say that God will supply someone's needs in such a situation because it requires NOTHING of us.

He works through HIS people to do that as evidenced by the collections taken up to help other ekklesia who were being persecuted.

Christiane said...

Thanks, BYRONIAC

It's me, L's

I appreciate that you took the time to help me. What I am getting from you is that perhaps the SBC leaders support the idea that the miraculous wine made at Cana was grape juice. Where I run into difficulty with this is that the comment is made as to why the 'best wine' was kept for 'later'. So, I suppose people will take from Scripture what they 'need' in order to shore up a 'doctrine' and that appears to be what is happening with SBC leaders.

I do have trouble with the 'external control package of identity' prescribed by the B.I.
It relegates Christians to the role of 'children' unable to make good decisions by the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Then, the 'leadership' is all too willing to tell the 'children' what to believe and what to do.
That's a little scary, because it compromises the work of the Spirit and the development and importance of a person's conscience as guided by the Holy Spirit.

I do try to understand the B.I. position on alcohol. I cannot find support for that position in Scripture, other than to say that Scripture is against the abuse of God's gifts to mankind. No where do I find that we are asked to declare God's Gifts unfit for all because of the risk of their possible abuse by some.

Thanks again for your help.
Love, L's

Byroniac said...

Wow, L's. It's kind of strange (but in a good way) to read someone else write out your exact thoughts on a matter without talking to him or her first. I have not studied the B.I. position on alcohol well enough yet. Since I'm only SBC due to technical church membership, I'm not sure it matters for me (or that I matter to the SBC, other than I wish them the best because some of the finest people I have ever known are and were SBC).

But I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote, "It relegates Christians to the role of 'children' unable to make good decisions by the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives." Exactly. I've heard these people claim Holy Spirit guidance in the lives of all believers, but their actions do not seem to support their beliefs in view (most of the time, with exceptions of course). I personally am guilty at times of a "Lone Ranger" Christianity which is not Biblical. I know I need mentoring and discipleship by seasoned elder saints in the faith, as well as interaction with fellow believers at all maturity levels, in order to grow. But the other extreme is authoritarianism which seems to be a problem in all of Christendom at times.

Christiane said...

Hi BYRONIAC,
(I love your name!)

It's me, L's

One of the finest people I ever knew was in the SBC: my Grandmother, of blessed memory.
I know she is the inspiration for my concerns about what has and will happen to all those fine people in the SBC who do not deserve persecution. I loved my Grandmother dearly and I honor her memory. She is a part of me and when I think about what it means to be a Christian, I think of my Southern Baptist grandmother first. :)

What is a 'Lone Ranger' Christian?
That is a new one for me. :)

As for authoritarianism, the only way I can ever accept that someone has 'authority' in the 'ekklesia' is if they point to Christ in all that they say and do.
For me, that's the test: does someone point the Christ the Lord.
Not just talk, but in their actions towards others. Does the 'authority' make good effort to follow Him and His Way?
Love, L's

Byroniac said...

Hi, L's. By "Lone Ranger" I just meant someone who takes individualism too far and forgets the Church is His body, made up of all believers. That's what I'm guilty of at times. It's kind of difficult in my life, though, because I do not tow the line so some people I talk to think I'm nuts. So, I'd like to claim there's method to my madness, but there's definitely madness to my method. Cheers!

Byroniac said...

L's, I forgot to say: thank you for the compliment.

Christiane said...

Hi BYRONIAC,

The wonderful thing about the 'ekklesia' is that we can be ourselves as individuals and still contribute our different gifts to the support the whole Body of Christ.
What makes us 'community' is that, in spite of all those divisions in formal churches, we can go deep into our faith in Christ and find unity in Him among ourselves. In this unity, we can protect the members who are weaker and injured, and we can confront the 'bullies' in an effort to help them return to the Lord. "Community" or 'Communion" is a concept born of this: that Christ reconciles us, not only to the Father, but also to one another, if we call on Him in faith. :) Love, L's

missshunary said...

Hi Alan,

Hypothetical Alert:

If I were to tell you that it's a 95% probability that you are going to lose your job, house, position, and maybe even friends if you spoke up against "ABC" and proudly exclaimed "ALAN PAUL" for all to see...and you would do this without a wimper of concern because God supplies all your needs...you are a better person than me.

Which isn't hard to do, by the way.

I am here to tell you that I would struggle deeply with that situation if it were me. I would be bent over in prayer, daily fasting, and hurting deeply over what to do.

This is why I will never get in someone else's face and tell them to "man up". And as I walk away tell them I'll be praying the Lord provides another job, paycheck, position, and friends for them.

I am going to let it go and let Lydia take it from here. I think the more we dialogue, the less I think we agree.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I would simply like to make it clear that I believe Southern Baptist seminaries have some of the finest pastor/scholar/theologians in the world. The talent we have today should in no way be diminished as a result of talent that may or may not have been lost. Drs. Mohler and Moore will forever remain 2 of my heroes in the faith regardless of whether I line up with them perfectly on any manner of doctrinal issues now or in the future nor will my opinion of them change based on their opinion of me. Drs. Schreiner and Ware continue to amaze me with their theological prowess and scholarship. Even Dr. Patterson's ability to preach from his Greek NT is the envy of this young theologian. I am a Southern Baptist and quite proud of it. I have no intentions of ever jumping ship for no matter how wide or how narrow the tent becomes there will in fact be that church which the Lord has predestined to be my next flock. Always.

k

Thy Peace said...

EFF > Anonymity.
Many people don't want the things they say online to be connected with their offline identities. They may be concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives. Whistleblowers report news that companies and governments would prefer to suppress; human rights workers struggle against repressive governments; parents try to create a safe way for children to explore; victims of domestic violence attempt to rebuild their lives where abusers cannot follow.

Instead of using their true names to communicate, these people choose to speak using pseudonyms (assumed names) or anonymously (no name at all). For these individuals and the organizations that support them, secure anonymity is critical. It may literally save lives.

Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius," and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.

The right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page. Thus, in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring proselytizers to register their true names with the Mayor's office before going door-to-door.

These long-standing rights to anonymity and the protections it affords are critically important for the Internet. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Internet offers a new and powerful democratic forum in which anyone can become a "pamphleteer" or "a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox."

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"One question is...is one particular view of the atonement essential for salvation to be real and genuine?. A second one is, does holding a view other than penal substitution make the holder of such a view heretical?"

First of all, WPY does NOT hold to the doctrine of PSA. This is documented in his own words. I do not have time to find the link but I think the audio was played on Albert Mohler Live. I 'll look it up tonight if Thy Peace does not beat me to it.

Secondly, of course one's doctrinal understanding of the atonement has no bearing on one's election to salvation. That being said, to be given the ability to get it right and then to not get it right because presuppositions being imposed on the text is nothing short of sin. Of course that is between that person (or me) and the Lord.

After hearing WPY's testimony I have no problem calling him a brother in the Lord. But I fear he has done what so many do and that is to formulate a doctrine without considering the whole of Scripture. Additionally, sometimes out views get "skewed in translation." What we think and what we communicate and then what the hearer hears can turn into one big misconbobulation. WPY may need to hear himself say that 'Jesus did not become sin for us' enough times before he realizes that it simply does not line up with Scripture.

So we pray for him as he enjoys his 20 seconds of religious fame and we love him as Wade and Emmanuel has.

What a witness.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse."

But do they in the church?

Wade preached an excellent sermon on nearly this same subject (see 1 John 1:5-8 sermon).


Besides, anonymous bloggers on this site continue to abuse that right. They spam and fight and argue without fear. Are they living in darkness? At the very least they are blogging in darkness.

B Nettles said...

Ron West,
Russ Bush was one of my professors. Is he an example of the liberals that we hear about? No! I agree. I never said he was an example. However, he did write a book with my brother specifically because of professors they encountered in the classroom whose positions on the sufficiency of Scripture disturbed them.
You apparently didn't have Tom as a professor.

There are plenty of recorded interviews with Tom scattered about. You can find them on your own.

If you want to know about specific situations or people, you can find his phone number in the Louisville book or call his office at SBTS. He doesn't blog, nor does he read them.

Bill

Ron said...

Bill,
I did not say you said Russ was a liberal. However, if you listen to your brother’s colleagues like Al Mohler and Russell Moore you would believe that every professor at ever seminary was teaching the Bible wasn’t true. I wrote that to give an example of how ridiculous the statements of people like Mohler and Moore are.

I am not really interested in hearing anonymous statements he claims to have heard in classrooms unless he names names. I know what I heard in classrooms at Southwestern. Everyone word was up holding the authority and veracity of scripture. No professor I had could be called a liberal. I would like for him to specifically describe the situation at SWTBS when he was a student and where I have some firsthand knowledge.

I would like for Tom to name any professors at Southwestern that were liberals. For example as a church history Ph.D. from Southerwestern were history professors Dr. Estep and Dr. McBeth liberals. As a history professor, I would like to know how he would describe the actions of the trustees at the Sunday School Board when they refused to allow Dr. McBeth’s book on the history of the SSB to be published. Does he think what Dr. McBeth wrote was not true. If not, why does he think the SSB was afraid to publish it.

I would like to know how as a historian he would record the firing of Paul Debusman by his boss Al Mohler. Does he think it was justified? Is telling the truth a good reason for firing someone?

Russ Bush has said that Russell Dilday was a conservative. Does Tom have the courage to publicly say the same? If not, what is his reason? Did he agree with the way Dilday was fired? If not why has he been a supporter of the people who have treated his former colleagues at SWBTS in such a dishonest way.

Anyone can say things that will please the leaders of the CR like Al Mohler when they they don’t have to defend them. I do not live in the US but if I get a chance I would love to call him or visit with him. I have read his book written with Russ Bush. It was good but it did not change my opinion that the CR has always been about power and control and never about theology. I am happy to consider the opinions of others such as Tom but ultimately I have to rely on what I have seen and heard personally.
Ron West

Thy Peace said...

Wade preached an excellent sermon on nearly this same subject (see 1 John 1:5-8 sermon).

#3. Refreshing Honesty Evidence of Real Cleansing (I John 1:5-8), of the series I John: The Christian and Complete Joy.

If you watch the video, it's titled "Refreshing Honesty, Evidence of Real Cleansing", January 18, 2009 - Part 3 of series (1 Jn 1:5-8).

Please do not miss Kelsey Stark's singing. Praise God and Thank You Lord Jesus.

This sermon is very apt for me today. If anyone is depressed or struggles with their faith and questioning of God, and when everything seems to be falling apart, this sermon is for you and me. The music truly blessed me today. Thank you Emmanuel Baptist Church for sharing.

I also would like to thank First Baptist Church Jacksonville, for their music ministry has blessed me tremendously several years ago.

Thy Peace said...

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > Plea Deal Has Been made.
Darrell L. Gilyard will face some earthly consequences this time. It is official, a plea agreement has been reached and signed.

The deal is 3 years incarceration and then 3 years probation.

He will be listed as a sexual predator, so this label will follow him.
...
Darrell L. Gilyard, if you are reading this, please know that I am strong because what you meant for evil against me, God meant for good. He has been my rock and my fortress, whom shall I fear? When I lie down and sleep, I will meditate on HIM in the nightwatch - and praise Him for all the good He has done!! To God be the glory!

Victims/survivors, won't you join me in praises to the King of Kings? He alone is worthy to be praised!

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade's blog > The Sordid and Strange Darrell Gilyard Story and What It Reveals About the SBC [SEPTEMBER 09, 2008].

Pastor Wade's blog > The Problem of a Predator In the Pulpit in the SBC [MARCH 09, 2008].

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Gilyard's Past: You're Telling Me Nobody Knew???? [DECEMBER 22, 2007].

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Gilyard: Text Messages and "Sexual Encounters"...Here We Go Again? [DECEMBER 24, 2007].

Fbc Jax Watchdog > One Bright Spot in the Gilyard Story [DECEMBER 25, 2007].

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Gilyard's Ugly Past [DECEMBER 27, 2007].

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Examples of the Poor Treatment of Women at the Hands of Jacksonville Churches [DECEMBER 19, 2008].

Stop Baptist Predators > Showing posts for query Darrell Gilyard.

Thy Peace said...

New BBC Open Forum > Darrell Gilyard Arrested While Patterson Attempts Damage Control [JANUARY 14, 2008].

New BBC Open Forum > Who's really the sociopath here? [APRIL 09, 2009].

Blount said he had no idea why Hinson looked into two other blogs, tiffanycroft.blogspot.com and newbbcopenforum.blogspot.com.

* Was Hinson acting on his own, or was someone pulling his strings? Ask yourself, who at FBC Jax would most like to see Tiffany Croft's blog and the NBBCOF shut down? It makes no sense unless someone was simply on a phishing expedition to reveal the identity of Watchdog and me. As for Tiffany Croft, what possible motive could there be except to intimidate her? She's always blogged using her real name! While she doesn't seem to have been particularly critical of Brunson, she has been critical of FBC Jax and Jerry Vines for allowing Darrell Gilyard to preach at FBC Jax and for Vines preaching at Gilyard's church after Gilyard's long, sordid past became public knowledge. She has also been critical of Paige Patterson for covering for Gilyard, and we know Brunson and Patterson are buddies. Mac Brunson reportedly approached Ms. Croft's father, who is a member of FBC Jax, and pressured him to get her to take down her blog. It's my understanding Brunson now contends he's "not familiar" with Ms. Croft's blog
.

I still can not believe Det. Hinson could not determine by reading Tiifany's blog, that it was authored by Tiffany and not an alias. Lord help us.

Alan Paul said...

I'm not playing games Lydia. It's a simple yes or no answer. We see Paul struggling mightly throughout his books and Luke's. He still could stand up at the end of the day (which included martyrdom) with joy and proclaim that God had met all of his needs.

Perhaps a little less sarcasm and defensiveness from you. You act as if this is a hill to die on. I myself said from the very beginning that I do not seek to be anyone's holy spirit - and I don't. If someone doesn't want to come out of the dark, then so be it. That is between them and God and that is fine by me as I genuinely and without reserve believe that God can handle them in whatever way He sees necessary - which will most likely be with grace, mercy and patience - just as He does with me.

Sheesh! Can we PLEASE have our own opinions and not be flogged for them? Or called names? Name calling is the first sign of a weak argument and a weak character.

Alan Paul said...

misssunary-

Never said it would be easy and never did I say I would not struggle. It would be hard. But when you live by principles the rest of the time, it's gonna be hard to turn your back on them when the going gets rough. For me, I would have a very hard time turning my back on my set of beliefs and principles. But I also know I am human and therefore prone to do what's easy and will preserve my job. As a matter of fact, when I choose to sin, I do the very thing I say I would have a hard time doing: turning my back on my beliefs and principles.

In the meantime, though I seek never to tell someone what they have to do, I will always have an opinion about what is the right thing to do. Disagreement is not the end of the world and we can still be friends.

Lydia said...

Can we PLEASE have our own opinions and not be flogged for them? Or called names? Name calling is the first sign of a weak argument and a weak character.

Sun May 17, 11:42:00 AM 2009

Alan, I cannot find where I called you a name. I am also a bit puzzled why others cannot have opinions either. I simply presented HOW God takes care of our needs when someone trots out the response "Don't you believe God will take care of you" when chastizing someone for staying anonymous.

Please point out where my position is weak. The Body of Christ in the NT took care of each other. BUT... in the cases we are talking about, some in the Body, in leadership, have harmed others and continue to prove they will do it consistently. In this case we must be wise. Most folks in the pews today have been trained to always believe those in power. They say things such as 'they are God's anointed' and folks are in sin for saying negative but truthful things, etc. And if they help the person being harmed, then they are 'sinning' against God's anointed. So, they usually don't and the victim is further victimized by the Body of Christ.

On the other side of this debate, we must consider that we may be enabling more sin from those that harm others in the Body when they spend much time going after anonymous bloggers using the powers of the civil magistrate, bringing resolutions against bloggers to hide certain heinous sins. Do we enable or even promote sin by being silent?

It is a conumdrum. But the bottomline is that we see that God uses HIS people to help each other in the Body and that was my point about God taking care of our needs. When those that harm claim to be one of those people in the Body, we must be wise because we are dealing with wolves.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why we cannot see that we are dealing with wolves. One can have correct doctrine and still be a wolf.

Kerygma said...

I agree with Wade's comments about bullies, but would take more comfort from them had the bullying done in the name of the so-called Conservative Resurgence been similarly exposed.

missshunary said...

I agree with your last comment Alan.

Thanks for the dialogue and for ending on a good note.

Jesse said...

I guess I did not read Kent Cochran’s signed email to Kevin the way most of you did.

First, Kent sent the email directly to Kevin and signed his name and city to it. Doesn’t seem like he is hiding - he took it straight to Kevin.

Second, what threats and intimidations? The email Kevin posted says, “I pray that you will never be allowed in church leadership or influence with this kind of carnal attitude.” How is this a threat? It is certainly not support, but a threat?

Third, one writer calls this smear and intimidation. Let me say that if you consider a letter such as this “smear and intimidation,” you better get start toughing up your skin because life itself, not to mention ministry, will have some pretty sharp barbs coming your way.

You may disagree with Kent’s email to Kevin, but to imply that Kent is hiding behind corners and threatening Kevin based upon the content of this email is ludicrous. I do not see that the responses on this particular blog are any better than that of which you accuse Kent Cochran!

Jesse

Christiane said...

Hi JESSE,

You see no problem with Cochran's e-mail to Kevin.

Perhaps you might share what you think Cochran meant when he wrote this: "You are letting others influence you away from being obedient and seeking holiness and perfection. While we never fully obtain perfection it is God's desire that we always seek it."

My question specifically is what you think that Cochran meant by the word "obedience".

Obedience to who?
Obedience to what?

Here, we know that Kevin follows Christ and seems to try very hard to be obedient to Christ's Way, even though many of us don't always agree with Kevin's interpretation of certain doctrines.
Is there any other type of 'obedience' than to the Lord Christ and His Way?

Thank you if you can share your thoughts. L's

Chris Ryan said...

Jesse,

Seeing as how you are a MO Baptist, I can't see how you wouldn't recognize the threat in this email. When these people say they are praying you won't find a church to work at, they mean they will be the answer to their own prayers and will do whatever it takes to block you from getting a church staff position.

Of course, if you are a part of Moran's team, then you wouldn't see it as a threat. But I don't know you or your situation to judge that.

Jeff said...

Jesse, You ought to know not all threats are obvious some people have the gift of threats without ever being explicit about it. There was no need for KC to even email Kevin. I see plenty of these non threatening emails and letters sent to people.

Jesse said...

Christiane, I never commented on whether I saw a problem with Cochran’s e-mail to Kevin. I addressed how others mentioned how some people hide and attack – Cochran did not do that with Kevin, he openly emailed him and signed it. I mentioned how others see this email as threats, smears, and intimidations. To address Chris Ryan and Jeff, yes, I agree with Moran’s concern about the use of alcohol as a ministry tool; because of my stance on that, I was personally told by the DOM of the St. Louis Metro Association that he would not recommend me to any churches in that Association because of my “divisive” nature. How can you determine someone is divisive by seeing their name on a statement and then a phone conversation telling them they are divisive? He knows nothing of my ministry history or me personally yet was able to label me as divisive.

I only bring that up to ask this question: does that mean that the St. Louis Metro Association DOM threatened me? Though it may make it difficult should I ever seriously pursue the thought of moving to a church in that Association, I do not take it as a threat. I, and my family, have received anonymous phone threats so I do not consider statements like the one Cochran or the St. Louis Association DOM made threats.

You may disagree with Cochran and not even like him, but to take this single, openly signed email as threats, smears, and intimidations is overboard. That is my perspective on it.

Jesse

Jeff said...

I know if KC email me privately when we had no prior relationship I would find it offensive, and would consider his tone a subtle threat based on his association with Moran in Missouri.

Christiane said...

Hi JESSE,

It's me, L's/Christiane

Thank you for your response.
I must agree with Jeff that it is reasonable to assume a degree of threat in Cochran's e-mail to Kevin based on Cochran's association with Moran.

I have 'researched' a little bit about Moran and he indeed is heavily into pointing the finger at other Christians and labeling them. I would think that he is a part of the B.I. and under the 'influence' of Paige Patterson, a known persecutor of Christians (particularly missionaries and women professors).

This question of 'obedience' troubles me. I can imagine Moran, Cochran, et al. organizing some sort of board of investigators conducting trials to determine the 'acceptability' of individuals as Southern Baptists. I just get the feeling that if Christ the Lord came before such a panel, He would be found wanting because he drank wine, and asked people to celebrate the Lord's Supper using bread and wine, and made wine for the guests at Cana. Their search for 'perfection' does not line up with the Christ of the Scriptures.

These B.I. people are strangely strident, but blind to their own mean-spiritedness and lack of Christian connection with their brothers. One wonders where the politics end and some sort of faith begins with them. And what is the nature of that faith, that treats others so poorly? It's a mystery. These are the strangest 'Christians' I have ever heard of. Thanks again, L's

John Fariss said...

Interesting.

I find it interesting that those who agree the e-mail sent to Kevin was improper at best and a marginally veiled threat at worst are from writers with an amalgum of theological views. They represent individuals who have often disagreed with each other on various theological issues, doctrines, and topics, but find agreement on this issue of practice.

I do not know what unites those who say they do not see a problem with the e-mail, that it was not threatening, that it was no more than an honest difference of opinion, etc., but I am sure something does. Is it theology? I don't think so. I am tempted to suspect (a working hypothesis, if you will) that they are united in the mindset that certain people have the authority to promulugate rules of behavior, and consequently, nothing they say or do can be in error, or beyond acceptable Christian practice. I would be very interested to learn how many of the ones who have no problem with the e-mail might be considered part of the SBC "establishment" or at least heavily influenced by it. The only one I recognize from this group is Dr. Brad Reynolds, a professor at SEBTS. It is intriguing to me that the title of his blog is, "THE GUARDIAN," with as a subtitle, "GUARDING THE FAITH, GUARDING THE FAMILY, GUARDING THE FLOCK." (Please note this is anything BUT a criticism of Dr. Reynolds; in his writing, here & there both, he seems to be disarmingly courteous, and replies kindly to those who disagree with him.) However, a velvet glove is still a glove which covers a fist, and I cannot help but wonder if it does not betray a mindset that certain people are tasked with being guardians--and if so, who or what are they guarding? Why? Is it possible that a nebulous "establishment" within the SBC is what they are influenced to guard?

Well, this is speculation, unless someone knows more about the identity of others defending the e-mail. And if they were known, I might find that my hypothesis is incorrect. I probably will never know; but there must be something that unites them.

John

Jeff said...

I had a deacon in one church who never threaten me but he always worked behind the scenes to get his job done. He was the a master and pulling strings.

I learn to read between the lines!

John Fariss said...

Jeff,

Did we serve the same church? That certainly sounds familiar!

John

Pastor John said...

What must Kent's new pastor be thinking after his first Sunday and reading this Blog? I know I would be looking at who was pulling the strings around there.

The problem is Kent needs to realize God's work is never done through bullying. The biggest problem is that there are a lot more people like Kent running around in the SBC and the Christians faith as a whole. And more importantly God's kingdom will not grow this way. O whose Kingdom is it. I know I'm preaching to the choir.

Pastor John

just want to see Christians act like they have been transformed by Christ.

DC said...

Hey K Crowder...

Let me know if we can ever work together in making the name of JESUS great in St. Louis with His never changing gospel.

...still believing in cooperation!

Darren

Hannibal said...

The BIG bad bully and the poor little preacher-boy.
One says to the other, "You don't agree with me so I'm telling!"

"Lord," the bully says, "Do not let this person work anywhere in your service, not in the church kitchen, not as a SS teacher and Lord, certainly do not allow him to pastor. Amen."

And there are those who do not see this as wrong? Unfortunately buzz words are an important part of the SBC vernacular in today's world and "pray" can be one of them. We could read the "prayer" as implying that if the "prayer" isn't answered, that the desired end-result could be achieved some other way.

When will "they" learn that just because someone disagrees with "them," that does not mean their dissenters are useless to God.

Jesse said...

Darren,

Would you be willing to work with me to advance the name of Jesus in St. Louise? Or should I ask, would you be allowed to work with me?

Jesse

DC said...

I would be glad to talk with you Jesse...
the work is too great, the lostness too vast...

Please call me at the office

Darren

Rex Ray said...

For what it’s worth…copied this from an email:

“A recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon. Kind of makes you proud. Almost feel like a hybrid.”

Bennett Willis said...

I went to "The Pathway" web site (Missouri Baptist Convention paper) a few days ago. There were links to several reports from the "peace committee" which seems to be working to "restore peace among the conservatives of Missouri." One of the items in one of the reports seemed to be dedicated to the "rehabilitation" of Roger Moran.

Anyone who has followed Mr. Moran's activities and influence can appreciate Kevin's concern.

Bennett Willis

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray, I love that.

Rex Ray said...

L’s and Byronia,
I’ve enjoyed the good points you’ve made in your discussion.

Yes, L’s, there are those who believe they are responsible for the ‘guidance’ of the flock as if they are the only one the Holy Spirit guides. Their idea is that God tells the pastor and the pastor tells the flock without the flock having any input.

It seems now that the BI people want to replace God by telling everyone what to do.

Byronia,
Thanks for responding to the joke about golfers getting 41 miles to the gallon and being like a hybrid.

Wonder if drinking can make hybrid Christians…you know, half Christian; half worldly?

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray, I did not fully understand when I read your previous comments. Do you believe drinking alcohol for non-medical reasons is sinful? I personally do not, but I do not have any real desire, either. When I do drink, it is very rarely. Hard to beat an ice-cold Coca-Cola in my humble opinion.

Rex Ray said...

Byroniac,
Not a good day…just lost a file that had years of comments on Wade’s blog. Too late at night to ask my son how to fix it.

Today, I told a man my age I had never cursed, but I believed today I would have enjoyed doing so as I was trying to tape & bed the worst job of sheetrocking I’ve seen in my 50 years of taping. More worse than ignorance is ignorance in action. No wonder the work on this 12,000 square foot church had stopped.

Our church had the yearly County Association Meeting and one of the 38 displays of missions had this church looking for help to tape sheetrock. I said I would help. I can usually hang 5 rolls of tape in 8 hours, but after 30 hours, I had hung 2.

Oh, the work started off great with over 300 volunteers the church was in the ‘dry’ in one week. It’s beautiful on the outside, but…haste makes waste on the inside. For starters good hearted old guys sheet rocked the walls before the ceilings and left up to an inch of space between the two. Starting the third week, 20 rolls are hung with 40 to go and that’s only on the 10 foot walls. (The sanctuary has 20 foot walls.) So far, I’ve been the only taper.

You asked if I thought drinking was a sin.

You’re asking a guy who was brought up not to play cards or even dominoes by my Baptist preacher father, and I quit drinking Coke when the price went to 25 cents.

My beliefs on drinking were established long before I studied the Bible on the subject. If Paul would not eat ‘meat’ to keep his brother from ‘sinning’, how much more should we not drink?

Rex Ray said...

Byroniac,
I might add that ‘not drinking’ lets the devil know which side you’re on.

One morning at Perrin Air Force, I rolled out of bed and ten beer cans rolled to the floor to the tune of a lot of laughter.

I was selected as ‘youth pastor’ at FBC Sherman, TX, and many of the guys came for the first time for another laugh, but one was saved.

Said he wanted to make the decision before his father came to visit. His father believed the Scriptures to the ‘letter’ and later cut off his right hand with a skill-saw. Being a carpenter, he lost his job and became bitter toward God.

Maybe his son would be alive today if I’d not convinced him ‘once saved always saved’. He went back to going to Oklahoma to get beer.

Three years later while visiting my parents, I read the local paper and his name jumped off the page…”killed in car wreck coming from Oklahoma”.

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray, thanks for your response. I feel differently than you do on the alcohol issue, but to each their own (knowing this, I would never drink in front of you, and seldom drink anyway, as I do not really desire it or appreciate the taste. It's basically useless as far as I'm concerned).

I can sympathize greatly with not having a good week, though. Mine's been a lot better than yours, apparently, but sometimes it's full of little frustrations. It makes me wonder if my own life is actually a real life version of Truman but meant as a sitcom with sadistic writers and hidden cameras. There's no sense planning for much of anything beyond having a broad outline, because life happens, and not according to your script either.

I agree that "Once Saved Always Saved" can be (and has) been very harmful. We suffer from easy-believism and rebellion against Christ's Lordship in the SBC (not all people, and not universally, but for false converts certainly). I prefer "If Saved Always Saved." Whenever I hear people gushing over others being led to the Lord and saved, I always want to respond, "Time will tell!" I also like another phrase a good friend told me, "if you can choose it, you can lose it."

And that is a tragic story about that father, but true believers can and do have to face painful, sometimes horrible things. I've been angry and bitter towards God, and I'm still working on some issues in my life in this regard. I'm burn out on religion in general, and have little use for denominational politics, especially from holier-than-thou types. It's a good thing that salvation is a living reality and not based on what you observe and necessarily understand in your own strength, or I almost might as well throw in the towel and call it quits.

Jesse said...

Darren,

That is not an answer to my question, but, yes, I will try to call you at the office. Perhaps the answer could be found there.

Jesse