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

The Problem We Face Comes From Within Us

For several years I have been asking myself a question that has not been easy to answer. "Why is it that some in the Southern Baptist Convention treat those who disagree with them in what often seems to be such a mean and uncivil fashion?"

It's not like we Southern Baptists are not Christians. It's not as if the Spirit of God has not done a work of grace in our hearts. We are all part of the family of Christ. We know Him our as Savior and Lord. Why, then, do we often treat each other with so little civility? That's been the question I've contemplated these past few years.

Something happened this past week that caused me to see a possible answer to my question.

During a meeting with six prominent SBC pastors and leaders, one of the pastors, a friend whom I highly respect, made a statement about another Southern Baptist leader in our state. My friend said this of another SBC leader in the state, "When he prayed at the Oklahoma Governor's Inauguration, he didn't use the name of Jesus in his prayer. I don't know about you guys, but I would never do that in a similar situation."

The SBC leader who prayed at the inauguration holds an earned doctorate from a Southern Baptist seminary, has taught seminary and college level courses in the languages, and has served as interim pastor of several large SBC churches in Oklahoma--his only fault is that he's often identified with the SBC "moderates" in our state, though he himself is very conservative in his theology and his views of Scripture. This man, like the man who mentioned him in the meeting, is a friend to me and also highly respected by me.

As I reflected on the statement about my friend--a statement made by another friend of mine--it began to dawn on me why it is we Southern Baptists often are unkind toward those who do things different than us. It is summarized in the second sentence of my friend.

"I would never do that in a similar situation."

There sometimes seems to be a sense of spiritual superiority within Southern Baptists--a superiority which is the tell-tale sign that God's grace, though preached, is not really understood. Nobody can ever "feel" superior when we believe that everything we are and everything we have are gifts of God's grace. When an understanding of God's grace so fills our hearts, we unconditionally love people who are not like us. We refuse to judge people who act differently than us because we don't feel superior when we honestly believe anything good we possess (i.e. "wisdom, character, fidelity, courage, etc...) is a result of God's grace in us. Graced people find it very, very difficult to condemn somebody for doing something in a manner different than what they would do it.

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he described the Christianity in terms of love by saying, "love it patient and kind... love does not boast and is not arrogant."

It seems to me that we Southern Baptists often lack real love for our brothers and sisters in Christ because we misapprehend God's grace. This misapprehension of grace leads to feelings of superiority and a boasting to others of our ability to not err as our brothers do. Rather than just accepting people as they are and where they are, we look at those in the Southern Baptist Convention (or Christianity as a whole) who are different than us as 'inferior' Christians. It's almost as if we think Christianity is not a walk of grace, but a walk of works, and unless people start working and acting like us, then they need to be "corrected" rather than loved.

I discussed this subject with one of our Sunday School classes yesterday and told them the story of the Vietnam veteran who came to Christ a few years ago in Enid. He faithfully attends Emmanuel, rarely leaving his own house except to attend our church. One of the first services he attended at Emmanuel (shortly after coming to faith in Christ) was a very moving worship time. As I was greeting people at the front of the sanctuary after the service, this man, overcome with emotion because of the worship service and message he had just heard , reached out to shake my hand, tears filling his eyes, and said to me in the hearing of several of our senior adults, "Pastor, that was one hell of a message." I didn't correct him. I didn't instruct him that he shouldn't say that in church. I simply hugged him and thanked him and told him how much his compliment meant to me. I don't know that I did anything different than what any other SBC pastor would have done in my shoes--it just seemed to me to be totally demeaning to "correct" a man who was simply expressing the spiritual fulness he felt in a manner with which he was most comfortable.

What does this story have to do with my post? Well, I tell it to make a point. When a new convert is overwhelmed with grace--and that grace spills over to us--we are often patient and kind. But when we get "professional" in our Christianity we sometimes start making statements that belie any understanding of grace.

In short, the problem we face in the SBC often comes from within us.

Hopefully, in the very near future, my two friends and I can get together for lunch and we can rejoice in how God has made us different--and love each other in spite of our differences.


In His Grace,


Wade

67 comments:

Mark said...

"For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?"
1 Cor. 4.7

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

That was one "hell" of a post!

May we seek to be obedient to our Lord's words in Luke 6:27-36.

Seems as though maybe we were wrong not so many years ago to preach against the so called "love theology." We could prolly use a bit more of it (properly contextualized of course).

;)



(please feel free to correct ME)

:)

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Thank you for this post.

RRR said...

RIGHT ON, WADE!

You know, I disagree and talk bad about Wade AND Jeff all the time to my wife after reading blog entries, even though, thankfully, I don’t write my negative thoughts all the time. (About the only one that I agree with all the time is Lydia!)

But whenever I do talk bad about either of them, or other brothers and sisters that I bad-mouth (in private, fortunately) I don’t feel good. I KNOW it’s a sin. I know it’s of Satan and he’s lovin’ it.

Ever since the SBC holy wars of the 80s when I was in seminary, I’ve wondered about the same things that Wade mentions: No matter what the cause or campaign, can we followers of Christ ever justify the cruel and hateful behavior toward other God-family members?

I don’t think so. Even when correction is needed in the Convention, I cannot imagine God blessing the demonstration of hateful and un-Godly spirits we have, especially toward other followers of Christ.

So, when I'm guilty of an evil tongue, I beg forgiveness from God. (Thankfully, my wife slaps me around and keeps me from saying things publicly or directly to them that might be hurtful or un-Christ-like to others. So I don’t feel I must ask their forgiveness.)

Then I ask Him to help me be filled with and demonstrate the Spirit of Jesus toward my brothers, like Jeff and Wade. Constant struggle for me to be like Jesus but He can do anything.

I do know from the feeling I get that this tendency to be hateful toward my brothers and sisters originates from Satan’s power. For me, and maybe most others that fall into the trap, it does come from my sinful pride.

Christiane said...

We can learn from the One Who is 'meek and humble of heart' how to combat the pride in us that keeps us from caring for one another with compassion and kindness. Christ's example and His teaching will keeps us from our pride-full judgment of one another, that, in the end, condemns only ourselves.

The Holy Writings make a case for the value of humility in the Eyes of Our God:

"Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things in heaven and on earth? - Psalm 113:5-6

For though the LORD is high, He regards the lowly... - Psalm 138:6

Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool...All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are Mine, says the LORD.
But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word. - Isaiah 66:1-2

For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
"I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. - Isaiah 57:15

The Father ignores human grandeur and chooses to associate with the lowly and poor.
"He has regarded the lowly estate of his handmaiden" (Luke 1:47). According to Mary's Magnificat, the "mighty deeds" of God include exalting the lowly and feeding the hungry while humbling and scattering the proud and powerful (vvs 51-53).

It is Saint Paul, who writes that God chose to save humanity through the "foolishness" of the Cross (I Corinthians 1:23). "but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are" (vvs 27-28).

Christ can remove our prideful contempt for others and place in us a compassionate kindness for them, which we cannot summon forth on our own. Like Corrie Ten Boom has said, 'If He asks us to love one another, He gives the love to do it'.

Brent Hobbs said...

Wade, I think you're right. You would have NEVER done what your friend did who corrected another Christian in front of others... Where's your love for this brother you call out in the first story of your post?

I understand you're using it as an illustration, but isn't it an example of the very thing you're talking about?

Moreover, I'm still not sure what he did was wrong. I wasn't there. I don't know in what kind of spirit he made those comments. If it was in a judgmental spirit, then he probably was wrong. But I could see a statement being made like that in true brokenness and lament that an opportunity to exalt the name of Jesus was thrown away by a man who should have been mature enough to know better.

RM said...

That which you talk about affects all Christians and not just Southern Baptists. There is not a snake under every rock in the SBC.

WTJeff said...

RM,

There's not a snake under every rock, but there is pride in every heart. When I read this, it made me think of my own ministry. I used to tell people, "God doesn't need me to lead this ministry, He could use my shoelaces, if He so desired." I haven't used that for awhile. Instead, I've caught myself taking credit for what God has done. This post reminds me of how slowly and subtly sin creeps in. Our own pride could be our downfall. Until we get back to "Love God, love people", the problem won't be fixed.

Wade Burleson said...

Brent

On the contrary, when I am meanspirited, unloving and unkind toward anyone in the SBC it is precisely because I feel superior to that person. My friend is not condemned in this post--simply owed thanks for helping me see the problem in me.

I am responsible to fix nobody but myself.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade this is not the main point of your post. But in your sermon, (if you watch the video) titled "The Christ We Know: The Mighty God", December 14, 2008 - Part 3 of series on Isaiah 9:6. From 37:11 to 41:25, you mention how you were once asked to speak at the Republican State Convention at Tulsa. How a person came to you with a request not to mention the name Jesus Christ, but to use God instead in your prayer.

Is it possible the same thing happened to your friend?

I understand you did not follow this person's advice. And how you have never been asked to pray at the Republican State Convention again. :-)

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Excellent point.

I'm glad you brought out the fact I did exactly opposite of the person being criticized for not using the name of Jesus. I used Jesus name in my public prayer--the person who asked me not to use Jesus' name, however, was just a delegate to the Convention--not the leadership who had initially asked me to pray.

But, as you rightly point out, the point of my post is how we Southern Baptists ought to restrain ourselves from criticizing other brothers and sisters in Christ who do things differently than we do.

Joe Blackmon said...

his only fault is that he's often identified with the SBC "moderates" in our state, though he himself is very conservative in his theology and his views of Scripture.

Well, he must not be too conservative if he'd be willing to be identified with the liberals, err I mean moderates (who, of course, are the true conservatives).

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Two quick questions for you:

(1). Define for me a "liberal" (er, moderate) Southern Baptist in Oklahoma.

(2). Do you anticipate fellowshipping with those you deem "liberal" Southern Baptists in heaven?

Wade

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

When I look up the "in my Name" references, the ones I looked at use the word "onoma", which means name, authority, or character. Asking something in His Character seems a whole lot different from just being a "name-dropper" at the end of a prayer. And, asking things, or praying, in His character precludes mean-spiritedness, to me, unless one finds some bona fide Pharisees or moneychangers (which I haven't seen)in the temple.

Besides, the bible certainly tells each of us what we're to do, but it doesn't tell me what you should be doing. To claim otherwise is to negate the priesthood of the believer, isn't it?

When we live up to God's standards for ourselves, that behavior would include Romans 14:4, thereby precluding our judging the behavior of others.

Including Southern Baptist Leaders or Vietnam Veterans.

Chris Ryan said...

Bob,

I love what you said about praying in His character more so than name-dropping. That sort of sentiment was expressed by by a poster that hung on the wall of an old theatre prof at my undergrad. It read, "The Lord's name is taken in vain most often at the end of a prayer."

If you have been praying for the things Jesus would pray for, for the people whom He would value, in a way that reflects His love for them then I don't see how it is possible for people to not know at the end that it was a Christian prayer.

That said, I served six years at a Boy Scout Summer camp. starting the second year, they asked us not to pray "in Jesus' name" before meals lest some campers who were not Christian feel offended. We had already tried the "just pray in your own tradition and let others pray in theirs" but that apparently didn't work out. That request led me to not say grace before meals where campers were because I felt that such a restriction was wrong (morally and legally). But the staff who were against this rule (even the Jews and Athiests didn't like that rule!) didn't mind if I prayed to Jesus when it was just us.

All that to say, I understand where both sides are coming from on this one. I can see how some say that they don't need to use Jesus' name at the end for God to hear the prayer. I also see how some say that using Jesus' name shouldn't be an issue. I'm certain that in certain situations, either may be correct.

Kerygma said...

Brent, thou art the man.

linda said...

Mixed feelings on this post.

First off, I tend to agree we should be careful about criticizing each other.

But second, to make the point, Pastor Wade is guilty of doing just that, so why bother with the post.

My third thought, though, is this:

Truthfully, I think I have had enough of the warm fuzzy let's all get along and not be offensive to anyone type of Christianity. Tell the truth, and someone is going to be offended. Label sin a sin, and someone is going to be offended. Call a brother or sister on it when they compromise the message of Jesus Christ, and you will be seen as offensive.

If we want genuine, lifechanging eternal destiny securing society redeeming revival, we are going to have to be willing to be offensive.

He is still the only way, and that will always be an offense and a scandal.

You can bet when it is a popular message and the bearers are winning popularity contests beloved by thousands the message is watered down.

I've been through two churches adopting a popular model of church growth that deliberately tones down the rhetoric. No more sinners and lost people--just prechristians. No more calls for repentance, just connecting with our fellowship. Let's do everything in our power to make them feel at home from the first visit.

But when we hit three weeks in a row without the words "Jesus" or "Christ" being uttered, prayed, or sung in the main morning worship service I figured "enough".

We had ceased to be a Christian church even if it did say SBC in tiny letters on the sign out front. We were just another UU type fellowship more concerned with being loving and popular than with sharing Jesus.

I haven't been back.

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

You write:

Second, to make the point, Pastor Wade is guilty of doing just that, so why bother with the post.

Just a couple of thoughts related to your comment above.

(1). I don't normally think in terms of "guilt" so I'm trying to figure out what it is that the man in my post is "guilty" of doing--and I the same thing (from your perspective).

(2). Christianity seems to me to be defined by loving people through treasuring and valuing them as individuals--both men in the post above are close friends of mine, and I accept them where they are.

(3). The first man in this post's illustration does not consider himself a "friend" of the man to whom he refers--and I'm asking "Why?". I don't know the answer, but I'm hoping that a friendship develops between the two of them.

(4). For friendship and Christian civility to occur, it seems to me that any superiority feelings between two people must be absent.

(5). You write: If we want genuine, lifechanging eternal destiny securing society redeeming revival, we are going to have to be willing to be offensive.

No problem, Linda, with the above statement--but I ask, "What does that have to do with the post?" In other words:

(a). I (Wade Burleson) am offensive to many.

(b). What I don't want is for many (if any) to be offensive to me.

(b). is the point of my post, not (a).

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I really wonder why some think we must be offensive. I do not believe in sugar coating the Gospel, but we can be so offensive to people as to drive them away.

Thy Peace said...

My thoughts on Linda's comment.

1. But second, to make the point, Pastor Wade is guilty of doing just that, so why bother with the post.

It might be good to see some examples where Linda thinks the above has happened.

2. If we want genuine, lifechanging eternal destiny securing society redeeming revival, we are going to have to be willing to be offensive.

In my reading of the above, I think Linda is saying that since for some people just mentioning the name of Jesus Christ is offensive, that it is better to be offensive in that regard.

Christiane said...

Dear LINDA,

When you read this, perhaps, you will understand why some may disagree with you:


"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

linda said...

I don't believe we need to be purposefully offensive, and do agree we need to be very careful not to be needlessly offensive.

But that said, there seems to be such a movement afoot to avoid hurting anyone's feelings that we would rather not mention Jesus.

Pastor Wade, you are one bangup preacher when you open the Word.


But honestly, as someone who benefits greatly from your teaching, it is beginning to pall to hear repeatedly what is wrong wih Christians and especially with the SBC. My grandma used to tell me that if we "hunt runners" (a girl term--think nylons) we will find them. But she also taught me that if we hunt beauty we will find it.

The teachers I learn best from (and this is just me, I know) teach from positive examples.

I do read 1 Cor. 13 and I do my dead level best to practice it in my life. But that has to be seasoned with all the scriptures that tell us to tell the truth and be honest with people.

And if we are honest with people we will tell them we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior, will tell them Jesus is that Savior, and how to find Him.

There will be those that find THAT offensive.

I am curious as to why no one has responded with a comment as to a Baptist church going 3 weeks without so much as a mention of Jesus.

It seems to me that is more important than endlessly refighting the battles of the 80's and pointing out that we moderates are so much more loving and kind than those old fundies.

Sorry, but lately just to see what the world sees I have been googling lots of pastors and Christian sites. Pastor Wade is right on that more often than not what you find is infighting and complaining. Sadly, this blog is also full of just that.

I shudder to think how many sites a lost person might have to delve through to find the gospel. If they could find it at all.

But I still am hopeful--if the energy and sheer brilliance (like on this site) are turned from denominational politics to proclaiming the gospel, we just might see the greatest revival the world has ever known.

We don't live in the worst of times, are not defeated victims, do not face worse people, or a greater enemy than people have ever faced.

We live in the time of the greatest opportunity for the gospel the world has ever known!

Bryan Riley said...

Whereas many would also criticize the theology of our brother, Greg Boyd, as it comes to how he discusses the sovereignty of God, he has excellent writings on judgment (Repenting of Religion). It is that statement - "I would never do that in a similar situation" - that results from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We must learn to reject that kind of judgment and embrace the Spirit of Christ.

Michael Ruffin said...

In a Georgia nutshell: thinking, talking, acting as if you are superior to another--whether the other is a Christian sister/brother or a pagan or something in between (which is, I guess, how some of you think of us moderates)--is just plain tacky.

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

Off Topic:

Courtesy of Lydia.

Lydia, that was a classic. Thanks.

"Thy Peace, If you want to know what happened to SBC women before and after the CR, watch this":

Women: Know Your Limits! Harry Enfield - BBC comedy.

Also,

"Come on, guys! Give each other a hug and focus!

Well, if you must hug, at the very least do it properly"
:

How to give the perfect man hug.

Thanks again Lydia. :)

Jeff said...

Wade, There will be no liberals in heaven.

Jeff said...

Concerning Greg Boyd. Clear water may look good, sound good, and taste good, but it can still kill.

Chris Ryan said...

Jeff,

Boyd doesn't get a lot of things right, imo. I think that there are a lot of important things he gets very wrong.

There are a great many things that he says which are dead-on-right and which can stand independent of his open theism. I think that everybody can benefit from a fair reading of his "Myth of a Christian Nation." And if I remember right, not once does he even mention open theism in that book. But it's been a few years since I read it, so that might not be totally correct.

His "Myth of a Christian Religion" has a lot going for it, too. Just finished that one a few weeks ago. It wasn't as impressive, in my mind, but still a worthwhile read. His open theism is only barely discernable in a few spots. And again, I think the same arguments can be made without having to commit to that part of Body's beliefs.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

NYT > Magazine > Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time.

NYT > Saving the World's Women > The Women’s Crusade by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
Amartya Sen, the ebullient Nobel Prize-winning economist, developed a gauge of gender inequality that is a striking reminder of the stakes involved. “More than 100 million women are missing,” Sen wrote in a classic essay in 1990 in The New York Review of Books, spurring a new field of research. Sen noted that in normal circumstances, women live longer than men, and so there are more females than males in much of the world. Yet in places where girls have a deeply unequal status, they vanish. China has 107 males for every 100 females in its overall population (and an even greater disproportion among newborns), and India has 108. The implication of the sex ratios, Sen later found, is that about 107 million females are missing from the globe today. Follow-up studies have calculated the number slightly differently, deriving alternative figures for “missing women” of between 60 million and 107 million.

Girls vanish partly because they don’t get the same health care and food as boys. In India, for example, girls are less likely to be vaccinated than boys and are taken to the hospital only when they are sicker. A result is that girls in India from 1 to 5 years of age are 50 percent more likely to die than boys their age. In addition, ultrasound machines have allowed a pregnant woman to find out the sex of her fetus — and then get an abortion if it is female.

The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls and women are now missing from the planet, precisely because they are female, than men were killed on the battlefield in all the wars of the 20th century. The number of victims of this routine “gendercide” far exceeds the number of people who were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.

For those women who live, mistreatment is sometimes shockingly brutal. If you’re reading this article, the phrase “gender discrimination” might conjure thoughts of unequal pay, underfinanced sports teams or unwanted touching from a boss. In the developing world, meanwhile, millions of women and girls are actually enslaved. While a precise number is hard to pin down, the International Labor Organization, a U.N. agency, estimates that at any one time there are 12.3 million people engaged in forced labor of all kinds, including sexual servitude. In Asia alone about one million children working in the sex trade are held in conditions indistinguishable from slavery, according to a U.N. report. Girls and women are locked in brothels and beaten if they resist, fed just enough to be kept alive and often sedated with drugs — to pacify them and often to cultivate addiction. India probably has more modern slaves than any other country
.

Radical Womanhood [ Carolyn McCulley] > Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Suzanne's Bookshelf [Suzanne McCarthy] > Half the Sky.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff,

You seem to be answering a question I asked of Joe--yet you only answered a portion of it.

Joe has said there are "liberal" Southern Baptists in Oklahoma and I asked him to define "liberalism" for me and asked Joe if he would fellowship with liberals in heaven.

You jumped in to emphatically state "there will be no liberals in heaven." Yet you have not defined "liberals."

I can assure you, in Oklahoma, every Southern Baptist leader I meet, in whatever camp you wish to place them, is a believer in Jesus Christ--and thus will be in heaven.

So, you and Joe must either define liberalism in a manner other than a renunciation of the exclusivity of Christ or the two of you will need to stop the practice of alleging there are liberals in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wade

Jeff said...

Tom, I have not forgot that you refuse to answer my question about the basis of the Bible.

You ask what is our basis for not allowing women to be sr. pastors.

I expose the natural weakness of your argument by asking what is the basis of the bible and really anything.

Why are we so afraid of taking a stand on that which the Bible has spoken? Why allow culture to change our view?

Jeff said...

Wade, Can I respond like Tom? I am not into games. Liberals deny the biblical Jesus and pervert the Gospel.

There are liberals in Oklahoma, but there are no liberals in heaven.

So now you will ask why not fellowship with people who agree on the essentials. Good question

Why do you attack non-essential beliefs in your blogging?

Jeff said...

And I would add....denies the Bible

Rex Ray said...

Jeff said, “There will be no liberals in heaven.”

The day is coming if not already here, that your statement will be considered ‘liberal’ and you’ll be identified as such.

First of all, is a ‘liberal’ worse than a murderer? Will King David be in heaven?

You don’t seem to understand that in heaven we will have perfect bodies; (John the Baptist won’t be carrying his head on a plate.) – That includes a perfect mind.

If Hitler asked Jesus to forgive and save him on the day he died, we will love him in heaven because our ‘perfect’ minds won’t remember sin in any form or fashion.

Lydia,
I’m on your side of proclaiming Jesus. My father always said, “I hate a sermon that does not mention his name.”

“…you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will give you what you ask for because you use my name. Ask, using my name and you will receive…” (John 16:23-24 Living)

I believe asking God in the name of anyone but Jesus, and you might as well ask in the name of a tree stump.

Jeff said...

Bless your heart Rex, I think perhaps only you didn't see that was a set up statement. :)

Think about what I wrote....

But to follow your logic. If one doesn't believe in Jesus as clearly communicated by God...They will not be in heaven.

A murder will not be in heaven either.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Jeff,

By the grace of God you will get to meet plenty of the following people (sinners) in heaven:

1. Those who do not fully comprehend the nature and attributes of Christ

2. Murderers

3. Liars

4. Homosexuals (in practice)

5. Men who do not put the toilet seat down.

6. People who wear athletic sock up to their knees.


:)

Former FBC Insider said...

As Christians, we so many times respond just like the lost. You know, that whole 'sinner' thing.

Those who feel the need to lower someone else is usually doing so to elevate themselves. Teens are experts at this. Their own insecurities cause them to try to 'out do' the other person so that what seems like good attention is focused on themselves.

In reality, to the rest of us looking on, we see it for what it is. It is pride and selfcenteredness. It is a cry for attention and a sign of major insecurities and low self esteem.

It's hard to tell us apart from the world sometimes. We would put down a brother to lift ourselves up.

Jeff said...

Kevin, I will not meet any sinner in heaven.

Joe Blackmon said...

Jeff

Come on, now. You need to just stop this whole exclusivity of Christ business and true saving faith is marked by repentance from sin foolishness. After all, as Wm Paul clearly pointed out in a radio interview, the lake of fire in Revelation is "in the presence of the Lamb". In other words, as he points out, it's for purification. God's going to work it out where EVERYONE is really going to be saved. We just need to remember Matthew 7:1 and get over this idea of "you will know them by their fruits". That's just old fashioned, Vacation Bible School nonsense.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Jeff,

May I say yur theomological smaterings suck?

Crazy thing is YOU just may make it into heaven...only by the grace of God of course.

K

Jeff said...

Wade, Personal attack from Kevin...How about dealing with it, but since he is one of your warriors I doubt it.

Kevin debunk the argument. I will meet no sinners in heaven.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Joe. I am thankful that I quit drinking the kool-aid at this site. :)

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

You said to Wade in the previous post:

"Wade and I have talked and emailed. We are not that far apart. He is wrong 51% of the time, and I am right 51% of the time.

The Lord has blessed our church this summer. We have increased our attendance by 30%. I have lost count how many have joined this summer. In fact we are going to begin a search for another full-time staff person today.

Thanking God for his blessings
Jeff"

In this post you say to Joe--"I am thankful that I quit drinking the kool-aid at this site. :)"

These two statements sure seem inconsistent to me.

Also, if Wade's blog bothers you so much why not just not come over here, I for one tire of your ???????

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Jeff,

I am not a Warrior of Wade, but I could indeed think of many worse things.

While I have no desire to "debunk" you, I will seek to clarify you. Glory (eternity) will see the church glorified to a pre-fall state (or possibly even better). Sin of course will be no more, sin natures will not exist (in the glorified of the age past) and so there will be no sinners in heaven.

I now get your funny little game.

But I am really not sure eternity is going to be that simple. What if we already are in eternity and his second advent is His coming on the hearts of man? His ruling and reigning with the saints taking place now? Heaven is the place where God dwells. That is here--in the church. And there is sin here. What if? what if? what if?

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Think. Laugh. Weep. Worship. [Emily Hunter McGowin] > What's Next: August '09 to ???.
Tomorrow I will begin the first phase of the Ph.D. program in theology in the Religious Studies department of the University of Dayton. UD is a Roman Catholic, Marianist institution, with a well-respected faculty and penchants for attracting a variety of Protestant, Catholic, and Baptist students. (For all the Protestants and Baptists out there, it would be worth your time to take a look at the story of the Marianists. I recommend reading more about them here, here, and here.

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

More attacks Wade!!!! Double-standards abound!

Tom, I am here as a missionary. I am not tired of you! I pray for you.
I pray that our convention will remain loyal to God and to the revelation he has given us via the Bible.

Tom, Are you driven by culture?

Rex Ray said...

Thanks Jeff,
My heart hasn’t been blessed in a long time.

You’re right; I didn’t see you’re “set up statement”.

Kevin nailed it with his: “I now get your funny little game.”

Jeff, you’re not such a bad guy after all. So I hope this blesses your heart also.

Jeff said...

Rex, I am blessed because God is God.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

If we are bound by culture in all issues as you believe what do you do with the issue of slavery? I believe it was the apostle Paul who told the slaves to submit to their masters.

Jeff said...

I can answer, but remember I have questions that you have no answered for me.

My view concerning women in ministry is not bound by culture, but the Bible.

Go back and answer my questions.

Michael Ruffin said...

Tired. Seriously tired.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

You can not have it both ways. I guess your view of slavery is not bound by culture, but the Bible.

Women are to be learn in silence according to Paul--Do you practice this at your church?

Jeff said...

Tom, Waiting for your answer....

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

You said to me:"Tom, Are you driven by culture?"

No.

Jeff said...

Tom, There are questions before that I am still waiting on. You ask Joe about the basis for his stance on sr. pastors. Or something like that.

Your scripture doesn't speak of women being quiet in church.

Alan Paul said...

An honest question offered in genuineness: What if we genuinely would never pray without invoking Jesus' name without a hint of arrogance in out statement.

Having been taught that any grace we receive, any goodness we receive, anything of any value we have received come from receiving Christ's forgiveness - and having been taught that when we ask, we should ask in Jesus' name, I genuinely would never pray without it being in Jesus' name no matter of audience. But I wouldn't be arrogant about it, I would simply graciously decline to pray if I were restricted. I am sure some would perhaps consider that ill-advised or arrogant, but that is my genuine conviction on this matter.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

I said--"Women are to be learn in silence according to Paul--Do you practice this at your church?"

You said:"Your scripture doesn't speak of women being quiet in church."

I am speaking of 1 Timothy 9-12:

Questions:

1. Do you enforce the dress code for the ladies of your church in verses 9 and 10?

2. Do you require the ladies in your church to learn in silence? Are women allowed to ask questions. v 11

3. Do you have mixed Sunday school classes with women teaching men? V12

Steve said...

Lord, just please let me be there when some of these angry dudes realize who all else made it into Heaven!!

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

FROM THE CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH:
BENEDICTUS

"In the
tender compassion of our God,

the Dawn from on high,
shall break upon us,

To shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,

and to guide our feet
into the Way of Peace."

Christiane said...

In order for people to actively seek out and condemn and convict others, they have to first turn their faces away from Christ.

When our faces are turned towards Him, we are able to see into the suffering of others; and also that it is given to us to care for them, in His Name.

Sometimes, the ones who condemn are the ones He gives us to care for. He would want that, I think.

Love, L's

Jeff said...

I know which one you meant. I can't find the word church in there.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I apologize for my back and forth with Jeff. I will immediately stop this unproductive activity. I know better than doing this and will not do this again.

Jeff said...

Tom, Was that necessary? I am sorry if I put you on the spot with my question about where is the church in your verses.

Wade, Was Tom Commenting on the commenter?

Jeff said...

Tom, You and I see things different. we have strong beliefs. I have toyed with you some and try to make some points.

I can respect your position even if I think it is wrong.

I am truly sorry that I have frustrated you to the extend that you will not interact with me.

Jeff