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

Have You Ever Noticed How Easy It Is to Use "God" as the Reason for Doing What We Do?

Back in the 19880's and early 1990's the Southern Baptist Public Affairs Committee and the Christian Life Commission were the targets of some our Conservative Resurgence leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. These CR leaders believed that the aforementioned SBC agencies needed to be purged of the "liberal" leadership they possessed. Two of the people strategically placed to serve as board members on the PAC and the CLC agencies during this time were North Carolinians Sam Currin (pictured here) and Coy Privette. These two Southern Baptists, closely identified with the Conservative Resurgence, were friends and associates of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. They worked behind the scenes, and eventually publicly, to get the Public Affairs Committee and the Christian Life Commission to merge into the an entity that would be named The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The intended goal was to put the newly formed ERLC under the direct control and influence of Dr. Richard Land through getting Dr. Land elected as the President of the new organization.

They succeeded.

But that is not the end of the story. Sam Currin, a former United States attorney was just released from prison after serving over three years of six year jail sentence for fraud. Coy Privette--a politician, director of missions and pastor who was known in all three positions as an outspoken moralist--was himself arrested and charged in 2007 with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution. These were the two men that leaders of the newly conservative Southern Baptist Convention strategically assigned to bring about a change in Washington D.C. regarding Southern Baptist's representation in religious issues, morality and ethics.

I've gone back and read as many quotes I could find from Sam Currin and Coy Privette regarding the merging of the two Southern Baptist entities into the ELRC and Dr. Richard Land's election as President. Not one time did I read either of these men publicly acknowledge that they had an agenda to merge the two institutions and get their friend and like-minded idealogue Richard Land elected as President. The language was all "The Lord has directed. . ." or "We are grateful to God for His leadership . . . " or "This historic day is part of God's plan . . ." etc... One of the reasons the world has such a hard time with Christians, particularly when we Christians end up getting caught in scandals on par with Currin's and Privette's, is that we have spiritualized our language and our actions--attaching God to just about everything we do. Though we are all sinners--every single one of us--we act as if we aren't. We Southern Baptists need to stop speaking as if everything we do is God directed and be humble enough to talk about our own agendas, our own need for control and power, our own decision making, etc... Frankly, if we were brutally honest like that, it might prevent the compartmentalizing of our "spiritual" lives and our "real" lives. Constantly keeping our tendencies to say and do those things that are often selfish and sinful in front of us by being honest enough to talk about our tendencies would keep others from being so surprised--or cynical--when we fail. There's not a person one who should condemn Privette or Currin. But there's also not a person who shouldn't learn a valuable lesson from these men. The only cure from the kind of pride that leads the foot to slide in due time is an honest assessment that God is not always the reason and motive behind doing what we do.

Bottom line: I wish Christian people would simply state the plain truth and stop spiritualizing everything. How many pastors say "God has called me to another church" when it is more accurate to say "I have an opportunity to go to a bigger church that will pay me a larger salary which will possibly enhance the opportunties and influence I have in terms of my ministerial career." I, frankly, would find the latter--if ever said--refreshing.

In this vein, I was genuinely surprised and pleased when I read the following article in the October 8, 2009 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News.

Correction

In the Oct. 8 issue of the Arkansas Baptist News we reported that Chuck McAlister had resigned as pastor of the Church at Crossgate Center to devote full time to his Adventure Bound Outdoors ministry because he felt torn between two ministries that each needed to be full time. Since publishing the article, we have learned he was as one of four defendants in a breach of contract civil lawsuit against a real estate development corporation of which McAlister was a vice president. In a follow-up phone conversation with McAlister, he acknowledged that circumstances regarding the suit factored into his decision, but said he has realized for more than a year that he needed to devote full time to outdoor men’s ministries.

Good for the ABN. How refreshing is that correction?

Chuck McAlister is an International Mission Board trustee. He chaired the committee that took the IMB through their recent (2009) reorganization, a reorganization that I will comment upon sometime next year. I wish Chuck the best in his new venture and his continued service to the IMB. Chuck might not like the honesty of the Baptist newspaper, but I hope he sees that the ABN has done all us Southern Baptists a favor. We got some honesty when others were trying to attach "God" as the reason for a decision made.

It's about time we Southern Baptists agree to stop spiritualizing and simply state the truth. We may find one day God's not quite as thrilled as we think He is about us attaching His name to everything we Southern Baptists say or do.


In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

103 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
I agree that some people like to use God’s name like he was their exclusive adviser.

About 8 years ago, I remember our pastor saying, “You can’t argue with God” for the reason he was moving to a big town, big church, and more pay.

Inside, I was glad but I wondered if the search committee knew what they were getting in this fundamentalist preacher. We had been members about a year when he left.

Within a year, he got rid of the ‘driftwood’ (about half the congregation), and in about two more, there wasn’t enough to pay his salary. You’d be surprised how quick the Lord called him somewhere else. The church was selling the parsonage to pay bills.

Wade, what to you think about a paper describing the role of the pastor that was given to a church that says?:

1. Deacons do not keep the pastor in line. He does not answer to them. That is not their role. An executive committee has that role.

2. The pastor must be able appoint the chairman of deacons, finance, and personnel because they become his executive committee.

3. A wise pastor will seek input from his executive committee about any direction he believes God is leading, but ultimately he must lead.

4. God gives pastoral leadership the vision which in turn must be communicated to the congregation.

Steven Stark said...

Wade,

I like your perspective here. Too many times we all blow up our own personal issues into epic story lines!

Broadening out a bit, I think it's sometimes beneficial to remove all language from quiet times, prayer and meditation - just to focus on awareness and feeling. And temporarily removing religious language in verbally expressing our spirituality can sometimes be beneficial in pinpointing what's the spirit, the essence, of it and what is the details.

thanks for your post,

Steven

Big Daddy Weave said...

The Baptist Joint Committee is not and has never been an agency of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The BJC was organized as a joint effort between Northern Baptists, Southern Baptists and African-American Baptists about 70 years ago.

The SBC eventually defunded the BJC completely in 1990. However, the BJC still exists and is thriving in Washington DC and is supported by (and serves) fourteen different Baptist bodies in the United States.

The Christian Life Commission and the Public Affairs Committee (which is the committee which represented Southern Baptists on the BJC Board) merged to form the ERLC. Not sure of the exact year that the ERLC became the ERLC - 1991-1992?

John Daly said...

To be a hypocrite you must praise God while pretending that God does not see or know the truth of your life.

Wade Burleson said...

Thx BDW. I corrected the post and put PAC.

Bill said...

Wade

I think that you are saying that those in leadership should be held accountable!!

That is going to make you very very very unpopular my friend!!

Some believe that they are above reproach and should never be questioned on anything.

Chalk this up to books like "Experiencing God" instead of "The Devil made me do it", the mantra now is "God led me to do it"

God did give us a brain and yes, we are to use it for His Glory. Unfortunately, most in 21st century Christendom have been told otherwise and to "Let the Spirit Lead You"

Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura

Grace to all

Bill

Romans 5:1

Michael Ruffin said...

Wade,

I feel led to agree with you.

Mike

ART PIERCE said...

Wade

Thanks for reminding me of the passed. Now please tell me what took past at the North America Mission Board with the firing?

"The Old Gray Fox."

Roger D. Lee said...

Wade,

I whole heartily agree!

Thank you for saying what many others have thought for years.

RD Lee

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

I read once, some time ago, that "The Lord told me to....", or "The Lord is leading me to..." are the least fair or ethical things to say, as there is no possible way to disagree with them. Other than "No He didn't", which we can't, really, ever say.

We normally do things we want to do, for reasons which are logical to us. Hopefully, to be doing the right thing. That seems a good enough reason.

Jeff said...

I told someone one time after they told me it was the Lord's will for me to do something, "funny God told me not to do it."

Christiane said...

Good Morning, Everyone
It's me, L's

When I read this post, I was reminded of Debbie Kaufman's reference to Alan Cross's post:

http://www.downshoredrift.com/downshoredrift/2009/10/we-arent-supposed-to-invite-jesus-into-our-life.html

The post is a discussion of the contrast between 'inviting God into our lives' and 'being invited by God to enter into His Life'.

The change in perspective gives birth to a real humility before the Lord that can provide protection from the pride and arrogance we are so susceptible to in our weakened state.

Debbie's post is entitled:
"Changing Our Perspective About Asking Jesus Into Our Life"

For me, it was so wonderful to read what Debbie and Alan had focused on: the ancient Christian belief that WE enter into the life of Christ.
This very ancient Christian view of our 'immersion into Christ' brings with it humility, profound thanksgiving, and the peacefulness that comes from resting in Christ, where we wish no harm to anyone, only love. It may be that within this perspective, we are able to hear and to feel most clearly the great power of the the words of the Lord's Prayer:
'and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.'

Love, L's

Jeanie said...

Thanks for this post. I have long said that we often take God's name in vain when we are so quick to attribute his work to our motivations. I'm almost wishing we could return to a sense of reverence that would keep us from even saying the name of God, it is being abused and misused so much. Those of us who speak about God sometimes forget that we do not speak for God.

linda said...

Excellent post!

It isn't, of course, anything particularly SBC to try to make God the author of our decisions.

As Pastor Wade said, we all have that tendancy. And with all our transfers and experience in different denominations, we have not found ONE where it doesn't happen.

Perhaps the text for our pastor's sermon yesterday is one we should all bear in mind: he that would be greatest among you must be servant of all.

Uh oh. There goes an authoritarian mode of operating.

There goes the idea of aspiring to one of the powers that be.

There comes the towel.

All of which, of course, is why more and more people who are REALLY strong Christians are opting out of formal, organized religion. Why play the game called church when one can walk with God?

They have a point--and if we don't want to see the organized church fold, we better listen.

RM said...

For all those who don't want anyone to be in authority over anything, I have found that those who despise it tend to love it if and when they get it.

Kind of a sad commentary on human nature. But then, I also believe that the Lord set up the church where someone has to be in authority or the thing won't work.

Jeff said...

I also found that people who believe in women pastors use this also. I have heard why would God call me to be a pastor. I feel his call.

linda said...

RM--I'm curious. Why do you believe someone other than Jesus Christ has to be in authority over His church, or it won't work?

I come from the time when we figured He was head or authority over the church. Rather than chasing nickels and noses we sought to see people converted and added to the church.

We trusted that regenerate people honestly seeking the Lord's will on how to run the church would, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, be able to run it by democracy.

What is wrong with that model?

How or when did the pastor or the deacons or some board of this or that become authorities?

Was it when we started chasing church growth rather than conversions?

Scripture warns us not to call anyone our "Father", implying spiritual authority over us.

When was that recinded?

As to whether or not those of us that still believe that would abuse authority were we in it, how do you know we are not in authority. How do you know we abuse it?

Or do you feel the sand eroding under your own power base?

Thy Peace said...

My Utmost for His Highest > October 19th.

THE UNHEEDED SECRET

"My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36

The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the Systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, for lo the kingdom of God is within you," a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life.

We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord's life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as His Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to Himself, not public usefulness to men.

It is not its practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God's Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him what ever happens.

Darrell said...

I always laugh when a pastor's phone rings and it is (of course) God on the other end and he is calling from a church with a bigger pay package.

It never ceases to amaze me how it has to be God since it is a raise.

I recieved such a call some time back and when I said "hello" the man on the other end said, in one breath, "pastor this is Deacon _______ of ____Baptist church on the Lake. We have checked out your resume' and we know you are our man. We offer a big salary and a house right on the water."

I had not sent my resume' to anyone and had never heard of the church.

It wasn't God on the phone.

Fearing Only God
Darrell

Thy Peace said...

Helping L's with some hyperlinks ...

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > Changing Our Perspective About Asking Jesus Into Our Life.

DownshoreDrift [Alan Cross] > We Aren't Supposed to Invite Jesus Into Our Life.

Christiane said...

Dear THY PEACE,

Thank you so much. :)
Love, L's

Thy Peace said...

Wondering if ERLC ever spoke out against the behaviors of Sam Currin and Coy Privette, that led them to be arrested. Or does ERLC only speak out on issues outside of Southern Baptist that address only the outside world but not the internal world of Southern Baptists.

I have always wondered when people say ... God called me to do this ... do they hear a voice in their head that they attribute it to God? or are they making it up? If they do hear voices, how does this conversation take place?

For me this hearing is very faint and lot of times it is more like a "leading". But from my experience lot of times, it gets drowned out from my own worries of what I should have done or should be doing in the future, never being in the present.

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

Jeff:

Where are all those women pastors that you seem to be so concerned about in the SBC?

I can not seem to find very many of them.

Jeff said...

I didn't mentioned the SBC once again Tom your bias is showing.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

I am as biased as you are unbiased when it comes to the role of women in the Church.
Surely you meant women in the SBC.

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

Typo...let's try again,

Tom,

One female pastor in the SBC is three too many.

John Fariss said...

I am in agreement with Wade and generally in agreement with the comments so far. However, there is another side to the story too, regarding those who have commented about "God calling with a bigger pay package." Now I will agree that greed, even the love of money, lifestyle, etc., plays a part in some of those. But the stinginess of some congregations is also a factor, at least in some instances. The first church I served proudly called itself a full-time pastorate. They paid me $18,000 a year (in 1986 dollars), and had a parsonage. Now that 18k included every pen, paper clip, and piece of paper they provided me, and the only thing "on top" of that was $33 a month for retirement. Since all of them (not retired) were "employees" who could not have a "housing allowance" or a "travel allowance" or anything like that, they reported everything they paid me as "salary" on my W-2 form. One year, the Finance committee proposed a small raise, I think it was about $500 a year, and one member stood up in business meeting and shouted, "He already makes more than any of us makes." The shame was that was from a state employee whose salery was listed in the local newspaper--$28K plus state benefits. We easily qualified for assistance, reduced prices lunches for the kids, etc., not that we ever took it. The parsonage was a laugh. It was built shortly after WWII, using some new materials and some stuff they found in their barns and outbuildings (wiring was mostly the old fabric-covered type used in the 1920s and 30s). Water to the upstairs half-bath had to be turned off in the winter least the pipes freeze, and there was a hole drilled in the underpinning so that a spring, which opened up under the house in wet weather, could drain out. The sashes were loose in the window frames, and cold air rushed in at will, making heating--electric baseboard heaters--very expensive. And the roof leaked in so many places we had to put pans all over the floor to catch the water. My wife and kids stayed sick all through most winters, and I believe the house played a significant role in that. But I stuck with the church for four years, because I believed that was where God wanted me.

A pastor-friend told me about going to an interview with a pulpit committee, and being asked by one of the members if he would come for $X. He replied that he made almost that much where he was at, and it was significantly smaller that the church the committee represented. This member replied, "Well I had to ask. I believe it's my job to get us a preacher for the least amount of money we can get one for." At an interview with a committee seeral years ago--at a much larger church than I was serving--one committee member asked me if I would come for the same amount of money I was receiving where I was at. He smiled and said that if I was making ends meet where I was at, I should be able to at his church. I actually felt led to that church (at a small advance over my present salary), only to discover (1) that this gentleman who first asked me about money was worth $12 million, and (2) they were paying the music minister between $10 and $15K more than me as senior pastor, which created some issues in the church.

My point is that we cannot blame pastors alone for wanting to have more, and believing that God is behind it when it is offered. In some instances, stingy churches have enabled and even necessitated such practices.

John

Bill said...

While we are on an integrity issue, is it right to expose someone who claims to be a "former Muslim, and an apologist who has supposedly held over 40 conferences/debates in 11 countries" (I think that I have the numbers correct); yet, when you try to find out who they debated, where, and what issues were debated,no information can be found (there are also no scholarly papers available and no videos or audios to be had as well). Eventhough, the "Powerbrokers" hold these people up to be people who are to be trusted and relied upon.


Just saying!!

Romans 5:1

Bill said...

I stand corrected!!! It is debates in 40 states (as opposed to 40 debates)

Sorry for the confusion,

Romasn 6:23

Bill said...

FYI:


http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3561

Wade, if you need to please delete these last 3 posts.

In His Grace

Bill

Bill said...

http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3565

This was the one that I originally meant to copy

Christiane said...

Hi JOHN FARISS,

It has been a difficult journey for you, I think. The 'something better' you wanted is probably more aptly stated as simple justice and humane decency.

My Church has priests that take the vows of chastity and poverty on entering ordination. But still, we have priests in the Eastern rites of the RCC that are married, with families. They, in accordance with moral law, are given salaries that are just and fair. We are receiving a new group into the RCC: some Anglicans who who wish to continue with their Anglican liturgies and Anglican spirituality. Their leaders will come with them by special arrangement, and will be 'formerly' Anglican prelates who will be accepted into the RCC as priests, and included in the RCC communion in a new arrangement called Personal Ordinariates. These priests are married with families, and according to moral law, they are of course entitled to a decent living wage and accomodation.

John, your willingness to stay in the midst of unfairness and injustice is a testament of your devotion to the Lord. The churches that put you and your family through these trials were wrong to do it, I think. Hopefully, your stay among them showed them a better way to be as Christians. Love, L's

Jon L. Estes said...

So Bill, you don't like Butch. He is a very personable guy if you take time to get to know him. Have you ever conversed with him about your concerns? Have you ever thought his approach to apologetics is not wrong, just different than yours?

It could be that some of the reason he is so used within the convention and beyond is that he has been educated under some of our leaders. They know him so they call him. He presents himself well, is a great communicator, a soul winner and is willing to be laughed at. Something many men who preach, teach... don't have.

Gosh, and I only know him from a distance.

Everything you say may be right on but your post comes off as sour grapes towards someone who gets more attention than you.

2 cents...

Jon L. Estes said...

So when does one know when something is of God or not?

A problem has been exposed but a solution has bot been recommended. Anyone up to the task?

Could Coy have been on target in the early eighties about God's will but wrong about the decisions he made in recent years? Does the latter negate the former?

* From Salibury, NC - home of Coy Privette.

Bill said...

Jon

Thank you for the response.

Couple of Comments:

The fact that "Butch is a soul winner" is immaterial to what was presented. This argument is typically used by those who have no real substance to add. Either James White or Butch is telling the truth; this is an either or ie both can not be right.

As far as me "Not liking Butch". Immaterial to the conversation at hand especially since I have never met him!!

As to whether we mean different things. Perhaps Caner would enjoy the opportunity to clarify his position and the meaning of his "Apologetics Ministry". If we are usuing different words to mean different things shouldn't he be eager to work towards a mutual understanding?

As far as me "not having conversed with him about my concerns" Do you know that for a fact or are you speculating that we have not conversed?

How in the world you make the leap to "Caner gets more attention than I, and that I personally have sour grapes" is laughable and beyond any type of reasonable conclusion. That my friend is a REAL LEAP!! Truly only an SBCer (SBC Pastors usually make these kinds of jumps) could make that leap and I my friend have been in the SBC for over 25 yrs. However, I do seriously want to thank you for reminding me how feeble and frail I am and how prone to sin we all are.

Again, thanks for your response

Bill

Romans 12;1-2

Amy said...

Wade,

I have not commented for a long time because I wanted to see how long it took until you ventured back into SBC politics. I know you will say that you are not; however, you are.

Anyway, I wish to issue a cautionary thought to you. You are quick to criticize those who do wrong (and these men and others are wrong in their actions); however, I am reminded of Jesus' words when He talks of those who see the speck in the eyes of others but are oblivious to the beam in their own.

And this and previous posts about wrongdoing in the SBC strike me as perfect examples of judgmentalism while denying anyone the right to judge you. Are you behaving any better than those you criticize? Could you examine your own heart for the answer?

BTW, I have a feeling that you are laying the groundwork for some grand reveal of perceived misdoing -- probably against Dr. Patterson or someone on that level of the SBC hierarchy. I urge you to reconsider. God will choose His timing to bring sins into the light (i.e., God doesn't your help). In addition, would you appreciate the same amount of scrutiny on your life, ministry, bank account that you heap upon others?

Just something to think about on a Tuesday. Malign if you will but my intentions want to be for the good.

Amy Downey

Jon L. Estes said...

Bill,

I was just sharing some facts I personally know about Ergun (Butch). If him being a soul winner in immaterial, I'll leave that up to you.

You said: As far as me "Not liking Butch". Immaterial to the conversation at hand especially since I have never met him!!

This is how your words, anti-Ergun comes across. Along with your web site when you speak of him.

You also said:As far as me "not having conversed with him about my concerns" Do you know that for a fact or are you speculating that we have not conversed?

Well I think I simply asked a question, no speculation or fact stating in that, just seeking information.

You also stated: How in the world you make the leap to "Caner gets more attention than I, and that I personally have sour grapes" is laughable and beyond any type of reasonable conclusion.

No leaps just observation as to how what you wrote sounded.

Alas, I don't think you are as frail as you want us to think you are.

2 cents

Bill said...

Jon

Hopefully, this will be the last post that I deal with this issue.

1. The fact that Butch is a "Soul Winner" is in no way pertinent to the conversation at hand ie has nothing to do with whether or not he truly has been involved in serious "Christian Apologetics" and to what extent he has been involved. The question still remains Who has he engaged, when, where, and what were the topics. By this I do mean that we are all to be "Soul Winners", but to insinuate that you are involved in serious Christian Apologetics when you are not is something of another color.

2. Please point out "ON my Website" where I speak anywhere of Ergun Butch Caner--Seriously, please do so. I just rechecked and Butch is NOT mentioned nor is he referred to in any way.

3. You specifically ask the question in your original response at 12:47 on Oct 20 "Have I ever spoken with Butch about this and then ask the question of maybe we have a different understanding" For that, maybe we need to agree, again Ergun should be encouraged by all to publicly clear up the misunderstanding.

4. As to how I sound, sometimes the tone of a message comes off as much more direct than is meant on internet posts (those who have posted for any length of time realize this can be confusing). If I offended you or anyone else by coming off as unloving I would ask that you would please forgive me because that was not the intent.

5. For you to judge my motives in your last response with me "not being as frail as I would want others to think that I am". I will have to entrust that response to the Lord.

May God have mercy on all of our souls.

Kindest Christian Regards,

Bill

Jer 17:9

Jon L. Estes said...

My apologies Bill, it was on the web site of James White to which you gave a link. My bad.

As for as your frailness, that was simply my 2 cents worth.

You have not offended me but I simply wanted to address you of these things I was thinking and not some cyber forum where you are not involved. I do promise if I have a question of you and your ministry, I will ask you and not a group of others (known or unknown) about you. Is that fair?

Joe Blackmon said...

BTW, I have a feeling that you are laying the groundwork for some grand reveal of perceived misdoing -- probably against Dr. Patterson or someone on that level of the SBC hierarchy. I urge you to reconsider. God will choose His timing to bring sins into the light (i.e., God doesn't your help).

Hookay, I agreed with much of this woman's comment (i.e. Wade writing about politics when he had said he was not going to do that). And I have goaded, been critical, lambasted, and provoked Wade on more than one ocassion and am not above doing so again. But if, as the commenter above alleges, Wade has the goods on someone he is certainly not bound to leave the bringing of evil deeds to light up to the providence of God. Besides, who is to say that God couldn't use Wade to do just that. If you know something is wrong and you do nothing in my book you're just as guilty as those who did it.

Further, as pro-CR as I am and as thankful as I am that it happened, if someone who was associated with the CR did something wrong I want to see justice done no matter what level they are at currently. The failures of any people who were associated with the CR do not taint the CR any more than any current or future high moral standings of those who will support the upcoming Mainstream Resurrgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon]make that move any less of a erroding of biblical values.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

Do you believe God wanted you to post this information?

If so, how did you know?

If not, why did you post it?

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Alford said...

Joe,

= "...those who will support the upcoming Mainstream Resurgence" ???

Joe, Joe, Joe... Now there you go again with the whole ridiculous Mainstream conspiracy thing. Everyone knows it’s the Calvinists who are at this very moment planning their take over of the Convention, not these “Mainstream” losers…

Has no one else noticed that the initials for the “Great Commission Resurgence” committee (GCR) are also the initials for: “Grand Calvinist Reconstruction”? Can there be any doubt as to what this committee is planning behind those closed doors?

Everything will be made clear in Orlando… Be afraid, be very afraid… (wink)

Grace Always

B Nettles said...

Amy,
I have a few questions:
1) How is listing factual events an act of maligning? Wade uses their past rhetoric as a contrast to later actions to make a point about people saying, "God told me to do this." I see nothing malicious, unless you consider the Bible's accounts of David & Bathsheba, Noah's son Ham, Lot's daughters, Abraham's lying (twice) to be malicious.

2) Is there a log in Wade's eye that needs removing. I'm sure he would gracefully receive an e-mail or phone call from you.

3) Where is he denying anyone the right to "judge" him? Has he removed your comment?

4) Is is possible that your speculation about a big revelation is a maligning of Wade? It reveals that you expect him to do something that you would consider distasteful. You also speculate that if there is something bad, then Wade would definitely not be the one God would use to "bring sins into the light."

5) If Wade is commenting on the theological expressions of leaders, how is that politics? Do you define politics as a comment on a leader of any group?

I really am interested in your answers. If you don't have time to respond, I also understand that. We're all busy. Wade's blog is simply a thought-provoking place. As a scientist once wrote of a colleague, "If I had agreed with him more I would have thought less."

Jeff said...

B Nettles, I thought Wade had said he was working on something.

Wade Burleson said...

I am not ignoring comments. I am in the Rockies and have no Internet reception. In Estes Park getting gas and writing this on my Blackberry. Amy and Jon, thx for your comments. I post what I believe is best. Your advice is appreciated even though it may not be taken.

Wade

Kerygma said...

I could NOT agree more. Enough with the phony God-talk. Just tell the truth. I spent 15 years outside the pulpit before returning in 2007, and I can tell you, nothing turns off "the rest of the world" more than the phony spirituality with which church leaders cloak many of our decisions.

Lydia said...

"Has no one else noticed that the initials for the “Great Commission Resurgence” committee (GCR) are also the initials for: “Grand Calvinist Reconstruction”? Can there be any doubt as to what this committee is planning behind those closed doors? "

I just sent my Burqa to the dry cleaners in anticipation.

jasonk said...

The problem with blaming everything on God is that when it doesn't work out, you have a lot of back-pedaling to do. Then you end up looking like you don't know a thing. I appreciate what you said about just being honest, and saying, "this is what I want to do." After all, doesn't the Bible tells us if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart? So if God is really communicating with us, we can assume that when we do what we want to do, it is because God has placed that desire there.
In my opinion, all this talk of "God told me this," or "God led me to do that" is nothing more than a fancy way to take His Name in vain.

Jeff said...

Jason, It is not wrong nor does it take his name in vain to say, "I believe the Lord is leading or its the Lord will." In his letter James uses the phrase, If the Lord wills. I have no problem with people saying I believe this is what the Lord wants if they say it realizing they could be wrong.

John Fariss said...

Jasonk,

There isn't always "a lot" of backpedaling to do. I have heard some explain it away with a shallow pseudo-Calvinistic stance, "God meant for it not to happen--He predestined it, just to get people's attention, and I'm thankful He used me to accomplish that."

Now I know a lot of the folks here are Calvinists, so please don't think I am criticizing Calvinism proper with this. I am not. Notice, I called such explanations "shallow" and "pseudo-Calvinism," and I did so purposely. Although I am not a Calvinist, I recognize that it is a respected, thoughtful, and deeply rational form of systematic theology. My point is simply that some who begin with the assumption "God made it do it" then end with a form of self-justification that blames God, rather than themselves, when there is a failure.

Christine,

Thanks; I suppose I have, though not nearly as much so as some--and here I am thinking of those who were persecuted for the faith, whether at the hands of pagans 2000years ago or despotic governments more recently. My life experiences teach me that none of us are immune to human failings--which includes ministers (and priests) who surcome to the sins of worldliness and greed, or lay leaders in congregations who think they are god. In conversations with other ministers, priests, and rabbi's, I find that the names change, but the stories remain the same. Let me get all Southern on you: bless yo' little pea-pickin' heart!

John

Christiane said...

Thanks for the blessing, John.
And here's back at you:

Dominus vobiscum.
Love, L's

Christiane said...

Dear JASON and JEFF,

I was reading your comments about people saying that God was 'leading them to do something'.

Jason wrote this: "So if God is really communicating with us, we can assume that when we do what we want to do, it is because God has placed that desire there.
In my opinion, all this talk of "God told me this," or "God led me to do that" is nothing more than a fancy way to take His Name in vain."

And JEFF, you wrote this: " I have no problem with people saying I believe this is what the Lord wants if they say it realizing they could be wrong. "

I am thinking that this much we can all agree on:
God has written His Laws on our hearts and has put them in our minds.
We have an understanding of His Will from the Holy Spirit.
(Hebrews 10:16)

So we know.
We have a good understanding of the Moral Law of God, which HAS been entrusted to us, for our use.

For those who believe in conscience as a guide informed by the Holy Spirit,
God's Will is made known to us through our consciences, when we pray sincerely for direction.

Maybe when someone says 'God told me." or 'God is leading me.'; what they really mean is that their conscience has given them the 'okay' to proceed on a certain path or their conscience has warned them to avoid certain pitfalls.

I would assume the more highly developed a person's conscience is, the more the 'red lights' of caution would go off if they approached actions that were not in accord with the moral laws of God.

But I recently was shocked to learn from someone on this blog that not all Baptists believe in the idea of 'following a conscience'.
Maybe these gentlemen who got into trouble did not believe in 'conscience', but stated what they did to get the approval of others? Who knows? We cannot cynically know their hearts, can we?

In any case, we cannot point fingers at them. If they repent and God forgives them, He will 'remember their sins no more',
so who are we to rejoice in our own righteousness as we stand witness to the tragedy in these men's lives?
We so much need to pray for all of us together. We are to be each other's keepers in that way. Love, L's

Bob Cleveland said...

John,

The real Calvinist would never excuse his wrong, or questionable, doings on the basis of "God made me do it".

Predestination or no. The Roman guards had no comfort coming from claiming Jesus was "slain from the creation of the world."

And, in fact, I don't know that I have ever heard a Calvinist claim God told them to do something. It's more like "I believe God would have me to...". That's the closest I've ever come to claiming it, myself, over 35 years or so.

Christiane said...

Hi BOB CLEVELAND,

I have never understood the Calvinist doctrines. I have tried.

Is this something a Calvinist would agree with:

Maybe evidence of our salvation is that we become able to show the kindness that flows from the Father through us to others, without our human nature getting in the way of it?

Love, L's

John Fariss said...

Bob,

That's why I said, "shallow" and "pseudo-Calvinist."

John

foxofbama said...

Wade:

The story now is Chip Berlet's review of Republican Gomorrah at religion dispatches; easily googled up.
You and Bruce Prescott should be exploring that as well as the discussion on same at baptistlife.com
My Dad new Coy Privette. He sinned but so did David.
Currin's sins of hubris were more evil for the direction of the SBC, while Coy was a sin of the flesh.
Robert Parham has an excellent essay on the chasm between Richard Land and SBC US Senator Lindsay Graham of SC.
That is where the discussion is now; but glad you are catching up.
Do read Berlet at rd.org and catch Max Blumenthal excellent 30 minute interview on NPR Here and Now circa Oct 13
Fodder there for ten good blogs.

No excuses for ignorance here. In 1986 Joe Ferguson was on to Helms and Currin and their nefarious dealings in the SBC in his Chapter The Red White and Blue Bible in his political bio of Helms Hard Right. I was writing about it all at the time in Baptists Today why you were buying the Inerrancy smokescreen for Pressler's secular political designs for the SBC.

Jeff said...

Thinking this applies to pastors who claim to be speaking for God.

James 3:1--- 1Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.(NASB95)

Bob Cleveland said...

Christiane,

I wouldn't say that, as there are loving folks, saved or not, and our human nature gets in the way of showing love for (I would presume) most folks.

It would be more correct, I think, to say that the evidence was they wanted to be saved in the first place, repented of their sin, and asked Jesus to save them (albeit I know we cannot look into their hearts).

Christiane said...

Thank you, BOB

I guess I still haven't got Calvinism figured out. I appreciate your response. Love, L's

Jon L. Estes said...

In first Samuel 17:37, David gives credit to God for what He had done. Later in David's life he committed adultery and had the womans husband killed.

What do we do with a story like this that fits the profile of the men you mention?

Maybe we should discredit David for saying God delivered him out of harms way.

B Nettles said...

Jon,
I think it's always proper to give God credit when we are delivered from danger. We should also be thankful that we aren't physically destroyed every time we sin. It is the kindness and mercy of God acting temporally that allows us (sometimes requires us?) to continue life on Earth.

David's later sin does not destroy God's power of delivery, David's thankfulness, or God's kindness.

The difference in your example of David and these men is their invocation of God. It was not done in the sense of crediting God for granting grace or kindness or endurance in a situation beyond their control, but rather attributing some amorphous "leadership" or "plan" to God. Plus, we Southern Baptists attribute a higher confidence in the truthfulness of the Bible than we do to contemporary statements of "God did this."

Even in Scripture, there are examples of false prophets who claim to speak for the Lord. It was probably difficult for the general Hebrew to determine whether he really did speak for the Lord.

What I take away from Wade's post is two-fold:
1) Just because someone (whether you agree with them or not) says "God wants us to do...." doesn't necessarily mean they are right about God.
2) I must be very careful in what I attribute to God regarding decisions and actions that I take, so it makes me examine my character and God's character. I don't want to dishonor God by saying He's responsible when I'm being headstrong.

Bob Cleveland said...

Christiane,

Side note: please comment on my Blog and we can discuss there.

Jeff said...

B Nettles, Excellent post! I tried to be very careful as pastor not to play that God called me last night and told me to do it card.

Elisabeth said...

L's,

My very first pastor was a Calvinist. On leading people to Christ, he said "So some might say, 'Why try to lead people to Christ, if the ones who will be saved are already elected to salvation anyway?' But how do you know you aren't the one God means to lead the person to Christ?"

The subject of human free will vs. God's sovereignty and omnipotence has always been fascinating for me. I myself am not a Calvinist, but I can see where they are coming from.

Jeff said...

If God knows it will happen in the future, it has to happen. There is a mystery to how eternity intersects with the temporal.

Bill said...

I was not sure whethter to post this or not..so here goes.

I have 2 preacher friends (Barry and Ron). Ron was holding a "Revival Service" and Barry was the guest speaker. Ron told Barry that there was a lady in the congregation which had been hanging around the neopentecostals of the area and to "not be surprised if something happened during the services"

Anyways, one night the lady actually stood up and started speaking in some gibberish and then sat down. Barry asked the congregation if anyone in the congregation had understood what she had said. No one spoke up and so Barry asked the lady herself "Maam, do you have any idea what you just said?". She stated "No, I was speaking in tongues".

Barry said "Maam, you just said that you were going to sell everything you have and give all of the money to this church!!"

That ended the speaking in tongues thing at that church!! True story. It happened about 25 yrs ago.

Kinda on topic, but kinda off topic too

Hope you enjoyed


Everyone have a great weekend

Bill

Romans 5:1

Bill said...

I left out the part where she had said that "God told her to stand up and speak in tongues"

Anyways, have a good one

Christiane said...

Some thoughts,

Thanks to BOB, and to ELISABETH.
My confusion about Calvinism has never been caused by the many wonderful people that have been influenced by it. It has more to do with my own inability to understand it. For me, it doesn't make sense. My bad.

Thanks to Bill for the story. :)
That disconnect between 'words' and 'action' is a classic theme in Christian life. And also, being 'called by the Lord to do His Will', has sometimes become regarded by cynicism because of human vanity.

Think of the missionaries who were called by the Lord to serve and went into the mission fields in response to that sacred calling.
But then came those men who said, 'No. You don't work for Him, you work for us. And if you don't sign this statement, you are gone.'

Maybe, having successfully gotten rid of those missionaries who would not bow to them, those men who raised themselves so high served to encouraged others to be cynical about taking the Lord's Name casually to justify their own actions in the eyes of others?

I mean, there had to be a fall-out from the treatment of the missionaries. The missionaries were just the first ones to suffer.

Love, L's

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
I’m glad you have a heart for those missionaries forced off the field and hopefully those responsible will be exposed for what they did.

http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10113&Itemid=53

will give an idea of what happened and why.

In the above is written:

Will 'legalism' increase or decrease with Chapman's retirement?
written by Rex Ray, September 22, 2009

In a letter to me August 8, 2002, Jerry Rankin wrote in part: “To dispel growing suspicions and mistrust which were threatening to undercut the credibility and support of the IMB, I did personally ask our missionaries collectively to affirm once again to Southern Baptist that they would work in accord with the BF&M and not contrary to it. Where did anyone get the idea that our missionaries are being ‘forced’ to sign something that they may not agree with, or that anyone would be terminated if they did not respond to my request? Neither of those positions has been advocated or communicated by the IMB. I am disappointed that you would presume to attribute motives of ‘enlarged egos’ to those conscientious denominational leaders who are seeking to keep the Southern Baptist Convention anchored to the inerrant word of God. Where does scripture justify such judgmentalism?”


Marv Knox, who do you think was threatening to “undercut the credibility and support of the IMB” that Rankin feared?

The story goes like this: Scott McIntosh, IMB missionary, sent an email requesting to stop sending the Baptist Press as it only criticized ‘one side’ etc. The email ended up on Morris Chapman’s desk Chapman called Rankin and told him he better get his missionaries under control.

This story is partly confirmed in the same letter Rankin wrote me:

“Morris Chapman did not ask me to call Scot McIntosh, as reported: I did so because of my personally concern for one of our effective missionaries I respected who was obviously having a problem due to some unfortunate perceptions.”

Notice Rankin did not deny Chapman calling him and for him to get his missionaries under control, but only about not calling McIntosh.

The bottom line is - who is calling the shots of the SBC? I believe it’s the same person (Chapman) that told the IMB to stop ‘bothering’ Wade Burleson as he could sue them; and the IMB took his advice or should I say ‘order’?

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Another link to show how our leaders have used their power in leading the SBC to do wrong is:

http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10167&Itemid=53

In the comment section is this:

The Executed and the Executioner
written by Rex Ray, October 09, 2009

Is it strange that the Baptist Standard has daughter of Billy Graham and Morris Chapman available for comment? I mean – so close yet so far apart.

Her husband and Chapman were officers in the Baptist World Alliance until Morris, chairman of a committee to ‘investigate’ the BWA and recommended the SBC withdraw fellowship based on the BWA being ‘LIBERAL’ by misquoting a German professor.

When truth came out, Chapman pointed the finger that Paige Patterson wrote the report. To this day, Patterson has never made a comment. The last to speak before the SBC voted was Patterson accusing the BWA of being ‘gay friendly’.

With that ‘judgment’ the Lotz' church treatment was: “Their behavior was despicable”.

No wonder Anne Graham Lotz said, “Religion is, I think, one of the biggest hindrances to finding God.”

She might have been thinking of “Beware of teachers of religion.” (Mark 12:38 Living)

Lotz said, “If they have been burned and hurt by God’s people…”

Yes, strange indeed to be on the same page of the Baptist Standard; the executed and the executioner.


Religious Hatred - Live and Well
written by Rex Ray, October 12, 2009

“Their behavior was despicable - What they did was wicked” was the description by Anne Graham Lotz of her church. Wonder what she thought when invited to speak to 800 pastors and many turned their chairs not to look at her?

Would they have done their righteous indignation of ‘women teaching men’ if her father, Billy Graham had introduced his daughter?

Yes, doctrinal religious hatred is still ‘live and well’.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

One has to feel badly for the way that Anne was treated.
Honestly, it sounds like a 'set-up':
she is invited, surely as a featured speaker;
then all these pastors attended, knowing that she had been invited to speak;
and then comes the 'despicable' act of treating her with contempt.
a direct violation of Christ's Law.

Was it a 'publicity stunt' to garner attention on the Baptist Identity teaching as being revered more by the SBC leadership
than the Laws of Christ which forever must reflect the 'love that never ends'?

An attempt to shame Anne Graham Lotz failed that day.
She was not disgraced.
Neither was Our Lord. Or His Laws.
The disgrace falls on the perpetrators of this incident.

It is said that Anne chooses not speak 'from a pulpit'. Of her needs as a speaker, she says simply 'just give me Jesus'.

And her father?
Billy Graham, HAS introduced her to the Christian world by saying that it is his daughter Anne who is 'the best preacher in the family'.

Love, L's

Jeff said...

Rex, I have a question what requirements would you impose on southern baptist missionaries if you were the big chief in charge.

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

Do you agree with the treatment of Billy Graham's daughter when they turned their chairs not to look at her?

Jeff said...

Rex and anyone, Do you think there ought be some rules for who can be missionaries for the SBC?

Jeff said...

Rex, I thought Rankin said that Chapman didn't call him. Did I miss read it?

Rex Ray said...

From their reply’s, I perceive a Catholic lady is worried about breaking the words of God, and a Baptist preacher is worried about breaking the words of man.

Christiane, I believe you’re so right when you said, “It sounds like a set-up”, and “The disgrace falls on the perpetrators of this incident.”

I’m anxious to know how Jeff will answer Tom Parker.

Jeff, you said, “I thought Rankin said that Chapman didn’t call him. Did I miss read it?”

Yes, you did…read it again: “Morris Chapman did not ask me to call Scot Mcintosh, as reported: I did so…”

Jeff did you not read: “Notice Rankin did not deny Chapman calling him and for him to get his missionaries under control, but only about not calling McIntosh.”

In a 3,000 plus word letter I wrote to Rankin that he replied to was this:

“The background that started the mandate for missionaries to sign the BFM seems to have started from an email by Scott McIntosh, a team leader/strategy coordinator for IMB work in Scotland. His ‘complaining’ email indirectly made its way to the Executive Committee president, Morris Chapman. He asked you to call McIntosh and find out why he had written the email and where he stood on denominational matters. You told McIntosh "Now we have to do some damage control, and this might cause the missionaries to have to sign the Baptist Faith & Message." A year later, McIntosh (no longer a missionary) said, "Jerry Rankin in my opinion is an honest, fair-minded person. I have never had any bone to pick with Jerry." From McIntosh’s perspective, the mandate for IMB missionaries to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message is not the IMB's fault. Rather, he believes, blame for any trouble caused on the mission field lies at the feet of other SBC leaders.”

Jeff, the ONLY thing Rankin denied to the above was:
“Morris Chapman did not ask me to call Scot Mcintosh, as reported: I did so…”

Rex Ray said...

Jeff,
Rankin’s second letter to me gives his final conclusion of ‘WHO FIRED OUR MISSIONARIES?’

His second letter of June 13, 2003, changed from “Dear Brother Rex” to “Dear Mr. Ray” which said:

“It was interesting reading your response to my letter of last August. It is apparent that your perceptions are firmly ingrained, and my efforts to provide explanations were not received. I regret that you must be skeptical regarding my motives and integrity in rejecting the perspective I shared with you.”

Rankin never answered my replying letter that said, “You said existing missionaries would not have to sign the BFM. Your broke your word. You said unsigned missionaries would not be fired. You broke your word. Wonder why I would be skeptical about your integrity?”

Rankin’s letter continued: “It would apparently be futile to try to convince you otherwise. Nevertheless, I am enclosing an article I have written in reflection on this whole process of dealing with the BFM. You will find it interesting reading although will obviously be in disagreement.
Sincerely yours,
Jerry Rankin”

Enclosed was a long article titled:

Southern Baptist Struggling with Post-Modernism
Reflections on Response to Missionaries Affirming the BFM

Rankin’s bottom line was:

“THE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT INDIVIDUALS BEING TERMINATED, BUT IS ABOUT THE CREDIBILITY OF THE IMB BEING DOCTRINALLY ACCOUNTABLE TO OUR DENOMINATION.”

Jeff, do you see that Rankin (just as Pilot) washed his hands and put the blame on you, my pastor, and all those in favor of the BFM 2000?

Jeff, do you think Rankin has a point?

Gene S said...

Man---this one has rambled far and wide. Best I recall, it started with political "dirty tricks" and the tricksters being somewhat immoral in their own lives--right?

I am in NC and some years ago we adopted a Financial Policy which enables the NCBSC to refuse gifts from any church perceived to be affirmative to homosexuals. We kicked out a fine church in Kanapolis where 2 men living together were "supposedly" gay. The church had admitted them to membership without peeking through their windows!

I protested to the NC Secretary of State that an incorporated institution in NC had a major inconsistency in their documents when Autonomy and Financial Policy reside in the same Constitution.

Check this political dodge: the NCBSC's lawyer responded that the Trustees were incorporated and not the Convention itself! This after some 20 years of advising every church in NC to incorporate as a protection against potential lawsuits!

I also requested a meeting with the Constitution and Bylaws Committee of which Coy Privette was chair. His response was that they were working so hard on the new "Articles of Incorporation" they did not have time for me. I could meet them next year after the formal incorporation was concluded.

My response to Coy was that, unless they got smart and consistent, the problem would only get worse. The time to address inconsistency was before a formal document was proposed--nothing happened!

In a couple of years the news hit the public that Coy was indicted for soliciting prostitution and the lady had his check to prove it. So much for political explainations! He was gone from political office and any place in the NCBSC. We always kill our wounded in the Baptist triage tent!

Now we have a new "Document of Incorporation" which buries Autonomy so deep it would take a Philadelphia lawyer 3 readings to find it. Meanwhile, no other big boys in NC cared to join in my protest--they just joined the NCCBF with a smile on all sides.

If they didn't care enough to make sure Autonomy was maintained, why should I wast my time anymore? Now the NCBSC is under-funded and making drastic budget cuts just like the SBC!

When people and local churches get steamrolled, they quit. In the long run the institution suffers for lack of support. The average person knows dishonesty when he sees it. That was the reason our Revolutionary War ancesters dumped tea in the Boston Harbor and started playing Al Quida (who knows the proper spelling), and whipped their redcoat-nicely- dressed-and-good-target- posteriors.

Wade, you make the most valid point: spiritual leaders should act and speak in honesty lest their posterior could end up in jail for fraud or soliciting prostitution.

Meanwhile, their political acumen with it's "ends justify the means" logic gives us the mess we have in NC and the SBC. It was Abe Lincoln who said: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, BUT you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Jesus did it better: they killed him, BUT it's Friday Night and Sunday's coming!!!!

Killing or distorting the truth with crys of "liberal" will never stop the truth to those who have a brain and public exposure to the dark underbelly of political intreague.

I am sure our Baptist and National Forefathers weep from above as they observe how we have ruined the "Golden Dream" of a society and religion where everyone has a chance to vote and voice their conscience!

In 200 years we have recreated exactly that from which they dissented. If telling the truth publically won't change things, then we will join the Romans in political and religious defeat at the hands of the Barbarians.

The Dark Ages are about here if we keep on ignoring the ramming at the gate of Autonomy.

Christiane said...

Good Morning GENE,

You wrote this about Coy Privette:
"He was gone from political office and any place in the NCBSC. We always kill our wounded in the Baptist triage tent!"

How does this mean? Was he just 'removed from authority' in his Church, or was he shown the door?

I am 'L's, the 'Catholic lady' who is REX's friend.
You bring a new perspective to this blog. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Caritas Christi, L's





Hi REX RAY,
It's me, L's

Yes, I have worried that in any postion of authority, in any denomination, when those who are leaders openly flaunt their own rules in ways that deny the Christ, then there will be a lot of fall-out.
I wonder how many people in the SBC mourned the loss of those missionaries?
As for dear JEFF, I wonder if he believes that those missionaries were God-called? And, if he does believe this, as I believe it, how does that influence his faith in those that harmed them?

Praying for you and Belle daily.
And I've asked the nuns for prayers, also.
Love you dearly, L's

Jeff said...

Hey Rex, I hesitate to comment because I probably need to reread everything. But here's my question.

Why would Rankin need to make that denial? In the course of a letter and dialogue sometimes things slip thru and are assumed.

Concerning Tom's question....I'll answer it when you answer my question. I don't play Tom's game. He always does that never answers my questions.

Dr. James Willingham said...

Well, since our churches discarded church discipline back in the 20s & 30s, what else could one expect, but big exercises in hypocrisy and futility. We don't really care anything about what we believe, tho we have a smidgin for inspiration. Try introducing the theology that might bring a Third Great Awakening and behold the chicks flying everywhere as if a stone hit in their midst.

Gene S said...

L's---

You are the sweetest one in all the posts I read. Roman Catholics have a way of being sweet rather than so judgmental.

What I meant relative to Coy Privette was he lost his political office as a Republican representative in Cabarus Couty with the scandal. His "position" was with the NC Baptist State Convention.

He was what we call "a mover and shaker/gatekeeper" with a position of influence representing the conservative side. He was given no place at the Convention and resigned his position as Chairman of the Constitution and By Laws Committe which is very strong. To the best of my knowledge he is no longer recognized on a state Baptist level.

He had no church at the time, but had moved to a State Convention level of influence. Since our Convention has gone conservative, he could have been at the top as President had he kept his personal life clean.

Rex Ray said...

Jeff,
It’s hard to answer your question (“Why would Rankin need to make that denial?) when I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Would you specify what “that” is/means or put in quotes what he did not deny?

Jeff said...

Forget that question.

What requirements would you impose on IMB missionaries if you were in charge?

Tom Parker said...

Rex Ray:

You said--"I’m anxious to know how Jeff will answer Tom Parker."

Please note he did not answer it but that is just the way he plays when he does not want to answer a question.

I believe I know what his answer would be though.

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
I believe you have Jeff figured out pretty good in the game he plays. He can’t answer your question because his ‘porch’ can’t face Billy Graham’s daughter.

Jeff you tell me to forget that question?

What question?

Jeff said...

Rex, Just tell me if you do not want to answer this question.

What requirements would impose on IMB missionaries if you were the head man?

Answer that...I'll be glad to answer your question about Ann Lotz.

Tom Parker said...

Rex:

You are smart enough to know that Jeff is not going to answer your question if you answer his.

I think you know how he plays games also.

He does not have to spell out his views on women, sadly we know.

I think we also know his views on the fired missionaries.

Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
You’re probably right, but I’ll give it another shot.

Jeff,
I believe you would be better informed if you re-read comments you are referring to about ten times…otherwise it would be appropriate to ask you:

What part of English do you not understand?

Tom Parker asked you about Ann Lotz – not me.

Let me copy-paste some questions I asked you:

1. Jeff did you not read: “Notice Rankin did not deny Chapman calling him and for him to get his missionaries under control, but only about not calling McIntosh.”

2. Jeff, do you see that Rankin (just as Pilot) washed his hands and put the blame on you, my pastor, and all those in favor of the BFM 2000?

3. Jeff, do you think Rankin has a point?


You keep asking me, “What requirements would you impose on IMB missionaries if you were in charge?”

You sound like Pharisees asking Jesus (paraphrased) ‘What requirements would you impose on us if you were in charge?’

Well, I don’t have a coin that would answer you, but this is what I wrote Rankin in my first letter:

“You told McIntosh, “Now we have to do some damage control, and this might cause the missionaries to have to sign the BFM…How much more damage is done to force missionaries to sign something they may or may not agree with? What do you have when you have their signature besides enlarging egos of those behind the BFM? As far as damage control, forcing signatures is like putting out fire with gasoline. The advice of old men to Rehoboam: “If you will be a servant unto these people…then they will be thy servants for ever.” You did the advice of young men: “I will chastise you with scorpions.”


Rankin’s requirement email of 1997 for missionaries to have “A confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership, whether we necessarily understand or agree” was the WHIP of Rheoboam’s father.

The pressure Rankin felt from Chapman to control his missionaries caused the requirement of signing the BFM was a SCORPION.

So Jeff, the bottom line I’d required for missionaries is to return the kindness I’d have for them.

Jeff said...

Thanks Rex for your answer. I assumed that Tom has not read Wade's post about how to treat each other. Rex, I think because of Tom's interference it has difficult to dialogue with you.

We agree that there ought to be requirements for missionaries. You indicate that besides being a Christian (I assumed that you want them to be Christians) that they are to be kind.

TO answer your question My requirements would be,

To be a Christian and be in agreement with the BFM.

Tom Parker said...

Rex Ray:

The sad part is that people like Jeff do seem to be cold and indifferent against anyone that might dare believe different than them. And if those missionaries would have just signed that little sheet of paper they would not have been fired is what Jeff would say. Jeff would say we've got to have those rules. And I know I am probably a flaming Liberal in Jeff's mind but that is ok with me.

Jeff said...

Tom, I had intended not to respond to you, but because I count you as a brother in Christ I want to reconcile with you. I think Wade and Thy Peace understand my style, but you don't get it. I like to have fun and pull chains. There are times I cross the line, also I realize that its hard to tell when I am having fun and being serious. So, if I have offended you I am sorry. Please don't take me to seriously. I do not think you are liberal. We do have different viewpoints, and that's ok. Again, please know that most of what I write is just to stir the pot, to present a different viewpoint just so that we are not all drinking the same kool-aid.

If I have offended you I am sorry. I put you in the same boat with Wade, and Rex. :)

Tom Parker said...

Jeff:

Thanks for the offer to reconcile. I accept but I also want to apologize for my blog behavior especially towards you. As of late I have been more cranky than I ever have been.

I look forward to future dialogues with you.

May we both learn from each other as we both share our viewpoints.

Rex Ray said...

Jeff,
You said, “TO answer your question My requirements would be,
To be a Christian and be in agreement with the BFM.”

OK, so you like to be funny. Everyone knows that was not my question, but it was your question to me.

The funny thing about it; is in answering your own question, you answered YES to my second and third question to you.

If you can’t figure that out, ask Tom.

BTW, Thanks for considering me in the same boat with Tom and Wade. :) I’m glad we’re all friendly again.

Jeff said...

Rex, I had to review the discussion. The question you asked me was about Ann Lotz? Correct?

IF, what you have reported is true---I think she was mistreated. I have heard your side of the story.

BTW, I supported the withdraw from the BWA. But I would not support being mean about it.

Rex Ray said...

Jeff,
You said, “Rex, I had to review the discussion. The question you asked me was about Ann Lotz? Correct?”

Do you know how to copy-paste? If you reviewed the discussion correctly, you would have found (Sun Oct 25, 01:53 AM 2009) that I said, “I’m anxious to know how Jeff will answer Tom Parker.”

Also you would have found on (Sun Oct 25, 10:43 PM 2009) that Tom Parker said, “Rex Ray, you said—“I’m anxious to know how Jeff will answer Tom Parker.”

So Jeff, I never asked you directly anything about Ann Lotz. Case closed and as my dad would say, “All the tatters are dug in that field.”


You supported the withdraw from the BWA while my sister and I wrote a poem that I passed out at the 2004 SBC:


Soldiers Down
By Ann Rinker and Rex Ray 2-2-04

Please, SBC Leaders, don’t reject BWA
We’ve loved 99 years. Will you now abscond?
47,000,000 Baptist hearts that lift up Jesus.
Will they become wounded soldiers down?

Persecution from enemies, yes,
But from our own astounds!
You said BWA had drifted left.
Innocent soldiers down.

You accused them of downplaying Jesus;
No evidence could be found.
Your untruth against BWA exposed you.
Should you yourselves be down?

You screamed, “Liberal”, but one falsely accused
Yelled in your ear, so bound,
“Repent and turn from your wicked ways!”
One soldier still not down.

Christ warned, “Teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”
Does His concern, so profound,
Expose “BF&M is our doctrinal guideline”,
Demanding unsigned soldiers down?

You claim your interpretation is God.
Your BF&M is renown.
Others must bow to this decree or become
Condemned soldiers down.

Your name “conservatives” is only a camouflage.
Your creed a mandatory crown!
Anyone questioning fundamentalists is labeled
Despised Moderate soldiers down.

Please, Lord, unite our hearts to lift up Jesus.
This prayer should resound.
“Fire unsigned missionaries!” makes Jesus cry,
Betrayed soldiers down.

You’re only content when you dominate.
You say you don’t want to hound.
But when God speaks to some a different way,
More loyal soldiers down.

You agree with Muslims: “No women over men!”
Though their witness has abound.
Christian women who answered God’s call
Became women soldiers down.

Sorry, BWA, our leaders plan to leave.
You see why moderates frown.
Pray for leaders without a paper-god
Or you’ll join soldiers down.

“It’s only politics…Not my concern.”
This fable has been around.
Awake, dear brother, or you’ll become
Another soldier down.


Jeff, about requirements to be a missionary you said, “To be a Christian and be in agreement with the BFM.”

Do you have the same requirements to be a member of your church? If not, why not?

How about one Sunday you signing it and all the members following your example? As they say, “I’ll double dog dare you.” :)

Rex Ray said...

Jeff,
I forgot to ask what you referred to in leaving the BWA when you said, “But I would not support being mean about it.”

Was it the way Chapman and his bunch marched down to the front of the Conference, took off their name tag badges, put them in a pile, and marched out as if they were ‘shaking the dust off their sandals’?

They announced they left because the BWA was liberal and gay friendly, but that was a smoke screen.

Mrs. Patterson said something like, ‘You could hear them talking behind our backs: ‘there’s the bunch that fired their missionaries.’

But the real reason was JEALOUSY. Why the jealousy? ‘They’re getting money that should be coming to us!’

The year before they announced if the BWA even considered admitting the CBF as a member, they would cut their money given to the BWA in half which they did.

When the CBF was admitted to the BWA, Chapman and company walked out So Chapman became chairman of a committee to investigate the BWA . Their ‘findings’ were just a cover-up based on untruth.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

Good Morning,
It's me, L's

You wrote this: "Mrs. Patterson said something like, ‘You could hear them talking behind our backs: ‘there’s the bunch that fired their missionaries.’"

You have to wonder at her 'surprise'.
Did she not realize that what the SBC had done to the missionaries was a shocking display in the eyes of other Baptist groups?

I wonder if they DID realize at the time that what they were doing to the missionaries was shocking to others. Really shocking.

From all the 'defense' of it by some who comment here on this web site, I would have thought that the perpetrators were proud of what they did.

Mrs. Patterson's comments show either one of two things:
First, possibly surprise that others would be critical.
Or Secondly: Upset that anyone would DARE to comment on their 'righteous' actions.

Which one do you think it might have been? Love, L's

Jeff said...

Rex, I have affirm the BFM as have the members of the church I serve. The problem as I see is not requirements. Requirements are everywhere! It is how the people in power use the requirements. Before the CR there were requirements for the mission field, and if the CR loses power---I think there ought to be requirements at that time.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
I believe you are most correct that Mrs. Patterson’s comment showed she was upset that anyone would DARE to comment on their ‘righteous’ actions.

After the SBC voted to leave, Patterson tried to start up their ‘own’ Baptist World Alliance by traveling over the world seeking those that would partner with the SBC but found none.

Since the SBC gave more money than any one group, they might have thought their threat to leave would keep the BWA from accepting the CBF, but it backfired.

When the SBC left, the old convention of Texas (BGCT) joined the BWA and gave more money than the SBC had given. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong about this.)

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. Did Patterson come see you? That’s all I’m going to say.