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

Perception is Reality: The Continued Slide of the SBC toward Independent, Landmark, Fundamentalism

I couldn't help but chuckle as I saw the picture to the left on MSN. Nick Ayrom, a former high school teacher, is being interviewed for technology-related jobs at the Verdugo Job Center in Glendale, California. I don't think Nick has read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People--at least the chapters on countenance, posture, and giving off the perception you are a positive individual. Nick may be a great guy, but he's got to understand the perception of others becomes your reality.

For four years I have been writing that the Southern Baptist Convention is sliding into a brand of independent, Landmark, fundamentalist Baptist theology that will destroy the fabric of missions and evangelism cooperation.

One of the major historical tenets of our identity as Southern Baptists has been our rejection of creedalism. Confessionalism has been part of our history from the beginning, but creedalism is different. A creed is an official statement of beliefs that a person must subscribe to in order to be a part of the church or evangelical movement. The Westminster, Heidelberg Cathecism, Lutheran Formula of Concord, 39 Articles of the Church of England, are all creeds--even though Westminster carries the title "Confession." Why? Because if you refuse to sign, you CANNOT be identified with the group. The Baptist Faith and Message, like the New Hampshire Confession, et.al., are descriptive summaries of what a majority of Southern Baptists in convention have believed at a particular time, but they are not statements, nor have they ever been statements, to which one must formally subscribe to remain Southern Baptist. Southern Baptists have historically possessed freedom of conscience; there is freedom to dissent from official confessions. But, the BFM 2000 has now become a creed. You either sign it or you are out.

Truett-McConnell College President Emir Caner, and Liberty Baptist Seminary's President Ergun Caner (who seems to personally receive seminary registration fees paid by his friends), are both proteges of Dr. Paige Patterson. These three SBC brothers-in-Christ epitomize the new direction of the SBC. We have become a Convention who demands absolutely conformity on all tertiary matters of the faith, or you are out--fired if an employee, or outcast if not. The continued ridiculous emphasis on "signing" the BFM 2000 is getting out of hand.

I believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, word of God, and because it is "God-breathed" it is 'living and powerful.' One simply has to listen to my expositional messages to know that the TEXT drives the message. I believe in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Apart from God's grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus the Christ, there is no deliverance from the righteous punishment of a holy God in hell. This is the gospel. I also believe that the mark of genuine Christianity is the display of agape love toward one's fellow man, the same kind of love God gave us in Christ. Jesus said, "By your love for one another will all know that you are my disciples" (John 13:35).

I propose it is not loving to fire people who disagree with the BFM. I propose it was not loving to fire Dr. Sheri Klouda. Ironically, Sheri Kluoda "signed" the BFM 2000, but President Patterson's interpretation of the BFM is that a woman cannot teach men (i.e. "Senior Pastors") theology. We are now in the absurd position of people interpreting the BFM instead of the Bible. I disagree with the removal SBC missionaries from the field for refusing to sign the BFM. At the time, I trusted our SBC "leaders" and assumed these missionaries were "liberal." Far from it; they saw coming what has now arrived. These conservative Baptists were not creedal Baptists and lived (and were fired) for their convictions. I disagree with the removal of Dr. Sharon Bullock, the refusal to promote Wendy Norvell, the continued authoritarianism of SBC mega-pastors, the nepotism of SBC leaders and high profile pastors, and the constant alleged battles against "liberals" within the SBC, and the move toward independence--instead of cooperation--of our missionary efforts. These are all tell-tale signs of a move toward the independent, Landmark, Fundamentalist brand of Baptist theology.

I agree with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message on the major doctrines of the faith (salvation by grace, etc...), but there are several places where I disagree with the 2000 BFM, including its advocacy of "closed" communion, its semi-pelagian view of original sin, and its direct contradiction of the Scripture regarding the Holy Spirit's work in Article IIC. (see Example 3 here).

Granted, these are minor areas of disagreement, and there are more. It is interesting to me that my disagreements on minor points of the BFM are MAJOR TENETS of Landmark, independent, Fundamental Baptists (closed communion, arminian, cessationist, etc... theology). I have often stated that there are many people I consider friends who hold to such theology. We have people in our church who come from the Landmark, independent, Fundamentalist brand of Baptist church. I have no problem with them or what they believe when it comes to our mutual cooperation. They love me and I love them.

But for some reason, the fighting independent, Fundamental Baptists in the Convention don't seem to like people like me. They want to rid the SBC of anyone who would dare question their authoritarian edicts. "What I believe," they say, "is gospel."

Not so fast.

We are Baptists, and we have never been creedal. Tell me what you believe, but don't make me sign it. I'll tell you where you may be wrong. You show me where I may be wrong. But let's not separate over human differences. Let's cooperate around our mutual love for Christ.

There are some who may say, "But the SBC is doing great!" I remind you of Nick Ayrom above. The perception becomes the reality. We are narrowing the parameter of cooperation to the point that doctrinal conformity in the form of creedalism is the condition upon which you can be known as a Southern Baptist. Well, I'm here to stay, and until Jesus comes I will continue to speak out of the growing slide toward independent, Landmark, Fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist Convention.

In His Grace,

Wade

151 comments:

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"and Liberty Baptist Seminary's President Ergun Caner (who seems to personally receive seminary registration fees paid by his friends), "


Obviously the ABP article does not say he pocketed the fees. To "personally receive" or in the words of The Palm Beach Post (ABP) "Flockhart paid registration fees directly to seminary president Ergun Caner because Caner personally recruited him..." would likely mean that Caner "collected for the seminary" the registration fees necessary to get his friend enrolled. (A bad practice none the less, even where no impropriety exists.)


Anyway, Wade, thank you for this post. While you and I may disagree on some tertiary issue, the crux of your post is what has always made me have high respect for you. We agree this time 96%, which was an "A" in most of my classes. :)

K

PS: The youth from my church just got back from Winter Extreme in Branson, MO and are still raving over Dr. Ergun's Message. The Associate Pastor of my church did say however that he took a swipe at "election" and "Calvinists."

Amanda said...

One minor point of clarification: at least in the PCA (I cannot speak for other Presbyterian and Reformed denominations), subscription to the Westminster Standards is NOT required for membership. Only elders and deacons are required to subscribe to the Standards. However, all that is required for membership is to show a profession of faith before the session and agree to submit to the government and discipline of the church. For that matter, that was also all that was required in my previous (SBC) church.

One more thing: it may be just me, but I tend view creeds as relatively short, concise statements of core beliefs (e.g. the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds), whereas I think of confessions as much longer, more comprehensive statements of belief (e.g. the Westminster and Belgic Confessions).

Bob Cleveland said...

Merriam Webster Online says a "Creed" is:

"1: a brief authoritative formula of religious belief."

Authoritative seems the key distinction. And I figure the 2000 BF&M was purposely a step toward creedalism as it states it's "an instrument of doctrinal accountability", which prior versions did not say.

That seems pretty obvious to me.

Also, my experience in the PCA and 2 other Presbyterian denominations I've been a member of concurs with Amanda; even when elected a deacon and subsequently an elder, no mention was made of signing, or even agreement with, the Westminster Confession (that I can recall).

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for the clarification Amanda and Bob.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

I, too, find it odd that a President would receive registration funds from a student. The Seminary is the one who reported the matter to the press, so it is not conjecture.

And, remember, the Seminary at first denied Flockhart was a student, but later said, "Oops. He is. We didn't realize it though because the registration fees were received by the President." ? What does that mean?

Finally, it's much more important to live a life filled with Christ's love, honoring Christ in all you do than it is to a singular great, oratical message (over and over again).

Darby Livingston said...

"The Associate Pastor of my church did say however that he took a swipe at "election" and "Calvinists."

Not a big surprise. I've heard him several times in person and no matter what he's speaking on, he finds a way to swipe those two things.

Spurgeon spoke of finding the quickest way from any text to the cross. Caner finds the quickest way from any text to bash election.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Amanda,

"One more thing: it may be just me, but I tend view creeds as relatively short, concise statements of core beliefs (e.g. the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds), whereas I think of confessions as much longer"

They are that way out of necessity. It is impossible to get a consensus (or at least it should be) on a document the length of the BF&M--Therefore a Confession, leaving the conscience to determine belief. Yet nearly all Christians would happily sign the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds for their brevity and economy of words.

Btw, your denomination also requires Baptism in the name of the triune God which I believe is stated so in the BCO. I like that requirement as it accepts all forms of Baptisms be it immersion or sprinkling, or infant or believers, giving greater latitude to conscience in this area of Christian devotion and obedience. Sadly most SBC churches would not accept such Baptisms in return.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

""Oops. He is. We didn't realize it though because the registration fees were received by the President." ? What does that mean?"

Wade,

I have not followed this story as you have and thus thank you again for bringing together the various facts which make it possible for one to "decide" the truth. I am still gonna guess the man did not need a $50.00 registration fee (or 150, whatever it is) bad enough to steal it, but I think we can also safely say that when people take too much ownership in the organizations which they lead, the lines between Purser and Wallet begin to get skewed (cough cough reccord reccord).

K

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Tom Wells has an intriguing chapter on creeds near the end of the book. He worries that creeds may hinder us from engaging in biblical theology, preventing us from seeing new truths in God’s word. At the same time, he acknowledges that creeds play an important role in codifying the essentials of the faith. He rightly suggests that some matters in our creeds are non-negotiables, while others are less important. This is an important word for Southern Baptists after the doctrinal conflicts of the last few years. The essentials of the faith must not be surrendered. And yet there must be some freedom to analyze creedal statements in the light of scripture. Otherwise, the notion that scripture is our ultimate norm becomes useless in practice. Our seminaries must never deviate from orthodoxy, but neither should we allow our categories to become so hardened and rigid that any questioning of confessional statements is excluded. Otherwise, we are saying that we have already arrived at a perfect expression of the truth something rather hard to believe!"

--Tom Schriener

http://www.soundofgrace.com/v10/n7/schreinernctrvw.htm

Darby Livingston said...

"Our seminaries must never deviate from orthodoxy, but neither should we allow our categories to become so hardened and rigid that any questioning of confessional statements is excluded."

Too late!

Elisabeth said...

Great post, Wade!

I myself disagree with parts of the BFM2000, as well as some "stances" that our denomination has made, but I wouldn't want to leave the SBC. I hope that it will come back to the more open denomination it once was.

I saw some Lottie Moon materials last week, and how it is written in one brochure that "because of the recession, Southern Baptists haven't been able to give as much." I think it's also due to the SBC shooting themselves in the foot by disfellowshipping churches and narrowing the perameters of cooperation to the point several individuals have left.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Kevin - about Caner "taking swipes":

Ergun Caner takes swipes at lots of folks. I guess taking swipes at people over doctrinal issues might be understood (if someone is to take swipes), but the guy also takes swipes using ethnic stereotypes, like he did at FBC Jax earlier this year poking fun of black and Hispanic worshipers using stereotypes of "satellite dish" hats and "purple suits", and Mexican screeches. But the church members ate it up and hooted and hollered and seemed to love it. And when he describes himself as a terrible pastor because he "doesn't like anybody" and is a
self-proclaimed "Christian grump"...well, it causes me to be worried a guy like this is the head of a large seminary training the next generation of SBC pastors.

So I don't doubt that the young folks from your church would be talking about his sermon. He can really work a crowd. But he no longer impresses me.

But I guess as long as he agrees with the BF&M 2000 all is well, as that is what is important. :)

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
Btw, your denomination also requires Baptism in the name of the triune God which I believe is stated so in the BCO. I like that requirement as it accepts all forms of Baptisms be it immersion or sprinkling, or infant or believers, giving greater latitude to conscience in this area of Christian devotion and obedience. Sadly most SBC churches would not accept such Baptisms in return.


Kevin,
If I recall correctly, I've seen you affirm a preference for Reformed theology, Coventant theology, the regulative principle in worship, elder rule, and acceptance of infant baptism and sprinkling. Is there any specific doctrine or practice to which you hold that keeps you from being Presbyterian rather than Baptist? Just curious.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Tom Kelley,


Fried chicken! That's pretty much it.

:)

Tom Kelley said...

RevKev,
Ah, yes, how could I forget the KFC for the KMC principle? Very Baptistic! I expect it to be in the BFM2037.

Lydia said...

"Our seminaries must never deviate from orthodoxy, but neither should we allow our categories to become so hardened and rigid that any questioning of confessional statements is excluded."

Too late!

Thu Dec 31, 04:18:00 PM 2009

Does SBTS require an affirmation of the BFM for profs?

Tom Kelley said...

Lydia said...
Does SBTS require an affirmation of the BFM for profs?


Lydia, you sly fox-ette! You know the answer to that one! :)

Gene S said...

Interestingly, the GA based Baptist Today blog is dealing with this very same issue.

You might want to check it out:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4392919244515207056&postID=5224671792943443703&page=1&token=1262294859277_AIe9_BFcx1hpsAYQy5aMjXkr9hf0ojoTOjaodAJtkdQxSbYvkz1-gDffzKW6XQvIucVa_b158ho74XcNhKK3tPfByvOuXe52nQFRb_ZxoiyCmlMe26Nmib37mw0TGK_hcG23clM8xal9r3XYhvD5QckXYx33AA7zex_GjQndhDuNTAQTVMsfGLc5tq-U4KKEpQEqNDZqquqBiNKWVcqh8G6wBQK9QT9Yfk8_b3dcsipkCsFOjuBWitRF-UXy1YBKY6EAJPwvsxSU

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Seriously though Tom,

I ,like even Dr. Caner and Wade, am a Baptist by conviction. I do affirm the Baptist Faith and Message with my own set of reservations and when held to the schtick with none. I am a 5-point Calvinist Kingdom now great commission enthusiast dunk’em for Jesus kind of Baptist! And no, I could not in good faith sign Westminster but in reality affirm more of it than the BFM due to its size and greater comprehensiveness on more biblically germane topics.

But I am mostly a Baptist for another reason and that is what I like to call "pervasive spirit." Partly that is because I have grown up Baptist. I know Baptists. I love Baptists. I love their flaws and their sicknesses and ills and their Pattersons and their Caners and their Mohlers and their Nettles and even their Vestals and Hills and Hobbs. I am not called by the Lord to be a Presbyterian. Honestly I wish I had been. But I am here for better or for worse. And I hope one day Southern Baptists will take me for better or for worse when God finally places me where He wants to use me. Because I have my flaws and my scars and my unique sins that the Lord will use to bring others to Him (its conundric).

I am a Southern Baptist because God wants me to be a Southern Baptist. (you can quote me on that)


:)

Gene S said...

Here is a better locator for the entire article and comments:

http://bteditor.blogspot.com/2009/12/fundamentalist-fence-building-is-never.html

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

Are you related to the Scarborough that works at TMC?

Tom Kelley said...

RevKev,
One can have no better reason for anything than your reason for being SB.

Gene S said...

Don't know. Tell me his full name.

I am distant kin to the famous L.R. Scarborough who stood for non-creedal-separation-of-church-and state Baptist endeavors. He also was so mission minded it isn't funny where our current leadership is more interested in debating theology ad nauseum!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

The name is Taylor Scarbrough, Facilities Manager (National Resource Management). Having spent the summer in facilities maintenance I can assure this guy knows more about TMC than anyone else. :)

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Oops, different last name. Sorry, I just scanned the faculty and staff listings last night to see who worked there. Anyway one of my professors from Missouri Baptist University was is a relative of LRS, Curtis McClain.

Amanda said...

@Bob and others, authoritative is a better, more nuanced way of looking at the difference between creeds and confessions. Thanks.

@Kevin,

"Btw, your denomination also requires Baptism in the name of the triune God which I believe is stated so in the BCO. I like that requirement as it accepts all forms of Baptisms be it immersion or sprinkling, or infant or believers, giving greater latitude to conscience in this area of Christian devotion and obedience. Sadly most SBC churches would not accept such Baptisms in return."

True enough. I was thinking more of the series of questions I had to affirm before the session and church, which essentially deal with the 2 things mentioned in my previous comment. However, yes, as you said, baptism as you stated is also required. Oddly enough, my baptism (by immersion, following conversion, and in a Baptist church) was more readily accepted in my PCA church than it was in my previous (Reformed) SBC one. (Yes, I know the reasoning behind this, but it still strikes me as ironic.)

@Tom, the 1689 London Baptist Confession does adhere to a variation of Covenant Theology, so it is possible to accept some variant and still be Baptist.

@Wade,

"It is interesting to me that my disagreements on minor points of the BFM are MAJOR TENETS of Landmark, independent, Fundamental Baptists (closed communion, arminian, cessationist, etc... theology)."

In my 2+ decades as an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist those very issues in the BFM 2000, and many, many more beside them, most definitely are primary issues and grounds for separation.

Chris Ryan said...

Wade,

Speaking of making swipes, how about you admit that not all of us Arminians are Fundamentalist Landmarkers and I'll admit that not all Calvinists would kill Michael Servetus, deal? :)

Lydia said...

Speaking of making swipes, how about you admit that not all of us Arminians are ..."

Who is an Arminian? I have never understood this Calvin OR Arminian dichotomy.

Was Menno Simms Arminian? Conrad Grebel?

John Fariss said...

Wade,

This article makes me wish even more than we lived within rock-throwin' distance of each other (a Southernism refering to promixity, not a desire to throw rocks at you). If we did, I would love to sit down and compare notes with you, share stories of how each of us grew, and how to move the SBC forward from where it presently sits--at or near the bottom of an anti-intellectual, everyone-who-disagrees-with-the-powers-that-be-are-liberals, my-way-or-the-highway, culture warrior, full speed ahead on confrontational evangelism and damn discipleship barrel.

I too have propblems with the 2000 BF&M; and oddly enough, my problems are much less in the specific articles themselves (especially, like you, those which deal with doctrines of primary importance) and more in the preliminary matters. This includes things moving it toward a creed (such as Bob points out), the dropping of Jesus as the lens of interpretation, and such bedrock Baptist principles as the priesthood of the believer (not believers, which transforms the doctrine into some sort of magisterium or authoritatian based doctrine.

Since we don't live very close, if you decide to vacation some time in Washington, DC, you have a room, and I will take you and whomever to catch the Metro every day. Maybe you'll even invite me to go in with you one day.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Who is an Arminian? I have never understood this Calvin OR Arminian dichotomy."


Ok, here is how the story goes (as I recall it):


There once lived 2 Feudal Lords many centuries ago in a far away land called Europia. One was named Jean the Baptiste Calvin, the Lord of France and Swisherland, and the other was called Flatuas Arminass, the Lord of the Netherworld. Lord Calvin believed his God had given him all of his lands AND all the lands of the Netherworld, but Lord Arminass believed if he worked hard enough and fought long enough, that he could freely choose to take all the lands of Europia. So the battles waged and the wars went on. Arminass had 5 great big mean and ugly
(re)monsters that he used to fight with, but Calvin used 5 points to 5 golden spears which he shot into the air, knowing his God had predestined them to kill all 5 of the (re)monsters.

So Calvin won.


The End.

Tom Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gene S said...

Folks--

What is the problem with just being sinners saved by the grace of God.

All this labeling and going back in history defeats the power of the Holy Spirit to deal with us and guide us today.

I think too much is being made of the past and trying to claim "Paul / Apollos / etc when Paul already said, "we are of the Lord Jesus Christ and let's get along." (loose translation)

This stuff prove that no one reads history and, therefore, repeats it. Also, it says to me we would rather pick sides and fight than to get along in brotherly love so the world "will know we are Christians by our love."

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin,
That's pretty much how I remember the story, also. You'd make a good history prof.

Word verification: wayinsoc -- the current position of our government (way into socialism)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Gene,

You are totally right. You see that is sort of how I feel about Patterson, Pressler, and the CR. It is history. I just want to get along. I have only known a conservative SBC. While I have a few minor liberal tendencies I am for all practical purposes a conservative in love with Jesus and in love with serving Him in the SBC.

Btw, my liberal itch this year is to try to get my church to start using women ushers. :))

The doctrines of fried chicken and women make life better don't they Gene???


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Christiane said...

NEW YEAR'S RELECTIONS
Lord, Bless Your children at the turning of the year . . . .

Some thoughts and scripture and prayer for the New Year:

"Our lives are made of days and nights, of seasons and years,
for we are part of a universe
of suns and moons and planets.
We mark ends and we make beginnings
and, in all, we praise God
for the grace and mercy
that fill our days."
The above is written in the book of Genesis (Genesis 1:14-19):

God said:
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth."

And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.


Remember us, 0 God; from age to age be our comforter. You have given us the wonder of time, blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.

Bless your children at the turning of the year and fill the months ahead with the bright hope that is ours in the coming of Christ.

MARA NA THA
Lord Jesus, return to us quickly.

LORD OF THE NEW YEAR,
BRING US PEACE. :)

Elisabeth said...

Kevin,

Doctrines of fried chicken and women?! Now that's funny!! :-D

And I hope your church does start having women deacons. Phoebe was a deacon; you can't get more biblical than that!

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

"And I hope your church does start having women deacons"

E-Liz,

Slow down flipper, I said "Ushers."



:)

Steve said...

Two thoughts about the brothers Karamaz- uh, I mean Caner:

Everyone says Ergun gives a great speech. Excuse me, but we just made a guy President of the country purely because he gives good speeches - there was and has been nothing else to recommend him for any public office. Good speeches - that's it. How's that working out for you?

These brothers are repeatedly described as having great minds capable of great study and learning.
Yet, they never seemed to grasp the central difference between everyday denominations (God bless 'em) and our peculiar convention with its most necessary allowance for differences of opinion.

That's like me studying the Shias and Wahabbis and not understanding what all the fuss was about with the sons and cousins, isn't it?

Count me as the first one underimpressed with the braniac theory of Ergunism. Sorry.

Although I tend to agree with him on the election stuff. Go Tide.

Elisabeth said...

Sorry Kevin, guess I was reading comments too fast. :-)

Ron said...

Kevin says he has only known a conservative SBC. I don't know how old Kevin is but I am 62 and have been a Southern Baptist for over 50 years. I had only known a theologically conservative SBC until 1979. My church, my state convention, my seminary SWBTS, and the FMB where I was employed were all theologically conservative before 1979 and have continued to be despite carnal political attacks by men like Patterson and Presler and other CR supporters. Unfortunately parts of tne SBC have become less theologically conservative and more politically conservative since 1979. It is always amazing to me that the some are able to take a few liberal professors that had found their way into our seminaries in the 70s and use that to slander the entire SBC as liberal. The reason I have never supported the CR is because I discoverd it was not a conserative theologically as I was and had a lower view of biblical authority than much of the SBC.

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

How are the stories from the ABP found or have they been done away with?

I was interested in this one:

ABP: Missionaries told they can’t return to field without signing statement.

These missionaries were told this by the IMB Vice President.

This happened BEFORE IMB President, Jerry Rankin told missionaries they had to sign the BFM 2000.

I believe Rankin was ‘forced’ into his decision because he saw if he didn’t the Vice President was going to get a promotion.

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

Here's a most amazing thing about the SBC: folks speak of a conservative resurgence as though it was a bad thing, yet claim the denomination was always conservative. If the SBC was always conservative, then why are there so many gripers today?

For proof that the SBC was at least leaning liberal, just read the Broadman Bible Commentary from the early 1970's. The writers spent more time apologizing for believing in God than President Obama does for being American.

Gene S said...

Joe---

It's the New Year man, you obviously did not make any resolutions about being nice and Santa didn't notice how naughty you have become.

I like the prayer of a little girl: "Dear God, please make all bad people good and all good people nice!"

I pray it for you, my angry brother.

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

Darby--

How old are you, son????

Like the comment above, at age 63 I have been a Baptist all my life. I even "preached" to my teddy bears just like my daddy did at the church next door.

When us "old farts" say the SBC has always been Conservative we know whereof we speak. You are being a jerk to use a commentary as your basis of assertion that CR was nice and needed.

It was neither!!!

They lied about professors.

They lied about credentials and proper Roberts Rules of Order procedures at the annual meeting.

They have only one real mantra besides the BF&M 2000: "The end justifies the means!"

They will be surprised one day when they look into the eyes of God and he says, "I never knew you."

They would be wise to love God and love one another so they will know we are Christians by our love. Right now, they are not!

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

"They would be wise to love God and love one another so they will know we are Christians by our love. Right now, they are not!"

"You are being a jerk to use a commentary as your basis of assertion that CR was nice and needed."

I feel your love Gene. "You will recognize them by their fruits." Translation for theologians: "You will recognize them by their commentaries." You're as vicious on this blog as any CR-type you slander on here and you repeatedly pick and choose which parts of the Bible are the real Word of God and which ones can be dismissed. If you claim to be a biblical conservative, then I doubt you know what that means.

Gene S said...

Darby--

I bet the moneychangers at the Temple made the same commentary after Jesus finished with them

Sometimes the whip is more needed than the towel to set and example of humility and love. Jesus used both when needed.

Right now, in my observation, you need the whip and I gave it to you. After the whip there needs to be love and reconciliation.

Are you ready for such yet????

Wade Burleson said...

Joe and Darby,

Then deal with the professor. Don't lump every Southern Baptist who disagrees with you as someone who is "theologically" liberal.

There comes a point where the CR loses credibility because instead of graciously, and with the spirit of Christ, dealing with a person who is truly theologically liberal, there is a sweeping movement that labels everyone liberal who disagrees with anything that the CR leaders pronounce orthodox.

Frankly, the animus spirit of those who praise the CR and denigrate anyone who disagrees, creates sympathy in conservative Southern Baptists like myself for folks on the other side of the aisle from me.

I would much rather be known for being full of "grace and truth" (notice the word order) than one who champions truth without grace. Therefore, when the seminary professor wrote that Adam and Eve were real people, then just handle the matter graciously, and if necessary, terminate him. But don't use a sledgehammer to swat a gnat.

Wade

Darby Livingston said...

"Then deal with the professor. Don't lump every Southern Baptist who disagrees with you as someone who is "theologically" liberal."

Wade,

Since you wrote this to me, I'll ask where I've done this. I agree with your statement. I'm using a very specific definition of liberal as it concerns one's perspective of Scripture, not as a derogatory comment for those I disagree with. For example, Lydia and I disagree on the egal/comp debate. I don't think she's liberal because of that. It's just not a term I throw around.

If I didn't agree with your basic premise of cooperation and Christian liberty of conscience, I wouldn't spend half a minute a month at this blog. I don't spend that long at the "conservative" blogs. I think my commenting has been pretty consistent on this blog, right down to my agreement with you about the dismissal of Klouda. So please don't lump me in with those who like where the "CR" is taking us. I do not and am pretty vocal about that.

As far as using a sledgehammer to swat a gnat, I guess it depends on how big the gnat is. :)

Kerygma said...

Ichabod

Gene S said...

Darby---and I quote: "You're as vicious on this blog as any CR-type you slander on here and you repeatedly pick and choose..."

Is this an admission that your CR crowd is VICIOUS?

Thanks, Wade, for saying in a very gentile way basically what I am saying with whip in hand. I would prefer to be just like you at all times, but for 30 years the nice way never seems to work. They just get more legalistic and vicious and are now turning it on each other.

I have been grandson sitting for the last 4 days with 5-12 year olds (4 of them) constantly picking on one another. I have to call them to my office for some private discussion---then within 5 minutes more tears and screams and accusations resurrect themselves.

Gam is saying, "Just love them." She then starts screaming at them and 2 days ago was in tears because they jumped on the bed and split the side rail totally in two.

I don't debate Gam, but I pulled out the large beach ball paddle and brandished it clearly with licks on pillows to let them know a tail warming was about to happen. Just the brandishing of the paddle was enough for the most part.

The paddling I had to give 2 of them was light and pretend. You should have heard the cries and tears from the middle child main instigater as I looked him in the eye and required he explain his torment of his younger brother? Instead of the burning he deserved, I gave him 3 light licks.

He danced impishly away saying, "It didn't hurt." To which I looked him in the eye and said, "I was just playing--and you will find out what I can really do if I hear one more tussle today.

I didn't have to and all was well at the usually peaceful house by the Pamlico River.

You Conservative guys are just being a little too rambunctious and noisy!!! Look out!

Darby Livingston said...

"Is this an admission that your CR crowd is VICIOUS?"

YES!! Where have I ever said they aren't? As long as we've all been commenting on this blog, you guys don't see that I agree with Wade about the direction the SBC is going? I've been consistent on this.

Gene S said...

Now, Darby---practice what you preach and slow it down to good thinking and reasoning.

As soo as you guy get off "vicious" so will I. Until then, I have my beach ball paddle in hand. It's not quite as vicious sounding as Jesus cracking a whip in the air.

Have you ever had a whip crack about 3" from your ear as a warning to scatter and take the money changing stuff with you???

Debbie Kaufman said...

To compare a missionary to a regular job doesn't make sense to me. First, being a missionary is not a job, it is a calling, the hardships they endure is something many of us could not handle.

To speak in a disrespecting tone concerning our missionaries does not sit well with me. We should give them the utmost respect and support. They are going where many would not want or dare to go, sometimes at the risk of their lives, which I would hardly call a peril in a regular job.

Benji Ramsaur said...

If there is one thing that possibly "nuances" the CR/TO discussion, I think it is possibly this:

Southwestern before and after 1979 might have been fairly/somewhat/strongly[?] conservative whereas I think other seminaries were not. My impression is that there might have been a mixture at that seminary. I would definitely put professors like Curtis Vaughan, Tom Nettles, and Russ Bush in the conservative category.

If what I have said above is true [please notice the "if"] so that the conservatives who went to that seminary knew the conservatism of that seminary, then I could see the CR/TO giving them a bad taste in their mouth.

Now, to give some definition to what I mean by "conservative", let me say this:

1. I don't think someone believing that the Bible is not fully true [even in the realm of history] is holding to a conservative position. Even believing that Adam was made first and then Eve falls into and not outside of the "faith and practice" category.

2. I don't think someone believing [with water tight logic applied] that "Jesus" should be the criteria by which the entire Bible [including the New Testament] is interpreted holds to a conservative position.

I understand that there are probably those who disagree with me. However, at least you know something of what I "mean" by conservative when I use the word.

CB Scott, if you read this, I would like to know your thoughts on this.

Karen in OK said...

I disagree that the SBC as a whole was so conservative pre-1979.
I am in my fifties and first started attending SBC churches at 3 weeks of age. I went to Training Union, GA's, all of it.
I heard a lot of things about the priesthood of the believer, but somehow never in that Sunday School literature or any other literature did I ever hear clearly explained that Jesus is completely God and completely Man. That would have been too creedal, I suppose.
In many ways, I suppose, it wasn't that many churches denied the faith, including mine, they simply did not teach it.
One of my main pastors was from the Louisville seminary, and I do believe it was in need of some changes.

So, Gene S, and others, I simply disagree with you. I was there too.

Wade, when would you draw lines?
As an example, what if a prospective missionary was a modalist? Or what if he denied justification by faith, a la N.T. Wright, claiming that creeds are wrong and that soul competency leads him to this position?
You always posit this in terms of prayer languages, etc. What about denying the basics of orthodoxy?

Wade, I also very much wish you had not posted a picture of that gentleman as well as your comments about him. They were not kind, gracious, or necessary. You really know nothing about him and have unnecessarily held him up to ridicule. It all added nothing to the points you made.

Wade Burleson said...

Karen,

Your offense on behalf of Nick Ayrom is noted. I promise to remove the photograph if Mr. Ayrom expresses dismay over it. By the way, it is on the front page of the business page today.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

You write: I don't think someone believing that "Jesus" should be the criteria by which the entire Bible is interpreted holds to a conservative position.

Benji, that is PRECISELY my position on the interpretation of the Bible and I'm as conservative as the day is long.

Benji Ramsaur said...

"In many ways, I suppose, it wasn't that many churches denied the faith, including mine, they simply did not teach it."

This is key in my opinion.

Let me take this another direction.

I see K-12 Christian schools from Free Will Baptists and classical Christian schools [which I think are coming from conservative Presbyterians].

Why don't we see many Southern Baptist Christian schools [K-12] established before the CR/TO was complete?

I have my theory.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Then I guess we disagree.

Wade Burleson said...

Yep,

And it is no big deal to me.

:)

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Would you mind "revealing" this Jesus criteria you have apart from the Bible by which yout interpret the Bible to the rest of us?

What do you mean by the criteria of "Jesus"?

There have been plenty of people named Jesus in history. I suppose one could make up an imaginary friend/idol named Jesus. I guess one could have a dog named Jesus.

So you have some Jesus that you know about completely apart from the Bible by which you interpret the Bible. Really Wade?

Darby Livingston said...

"You write: I don't think someone believing that "Jesus" should be the criteria by which the entire Bible is interpreted holds to a conservative position. Benji, that is PRECISELY my position on the interpretation of the Bible and I'm as conservative as the day is long."

Okay, now I'm confused. Are we using the same definitions of conservative/ liberal here?

First, Benji, are you saying you disagree with using some vague idea about the person or activity or ethic of Jesus from the gospels to trump other texts.

Second, Wade, are you saying that anyone's notion of Jesus is just fine with you as long as Jesus is the Criterion? For instance, I've read comments where folks put Jesus at odds with Paul and say we need to follow Jesus instead of Paul. Is that what you're agreeing with? If that is so, then you aren't as conservative as the day is long.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

Actually Wade, I'm not going to lie to you. While it might not be a big deal to you, it saddens me.

Charmona said...

Tom says: "The moral of that story is: If someone doesn't want to do what the person who pays their salary tells them to do they shouldn't act surprised when they get fired."

Certainly you have some truth/facts in this. The rub comes in when you add "the person who pays their salary." Who, to your mind, is that person.

Respectfully,

Charmona

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

"First, Benji, are you saying you disagree with using some vague idea about the person or activity or ethic of Jesus from the gospels to trump other texts."

I think you are basically getting at what I am saying.

I don't have a problem saying that the New Testament should be the criteria by which the Old Testament is interpreted.

However, I do have a problem with someone saying that they have some criteria [named Jesus or whatever] by which the entire Bible [Old Testament "and" New testament] is interpreted. Because now we have some criteria higher than the God-Breathed Bible by which the Bible is being interpreted.

I think the "Jesus criteria" [by those who are not merely confused in their thinking, but mean business] is a form of mysticism in which one wants to bypass the objective revelation of God to have "direct" contact with the Divine.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wade,

I must humbly agree with Karen. This man is sitting humbly in a suit wanting to work. No one looks their best in a side profile. I know the book of which you speak, and quite honestly its principles, though pragmatic, are not always biblical. What others think of us does not determine our destiny. God does, through divine appointment. I have to say you have beat this man down in your post. If he DOES see your post I think he would be too embarrassed or humble to ask you to remove it or complain. I think it only serves to beat him down more than he is right now being a man without a job in a depressed economy. Men have shot themselves over less. I do not know if he is a brother in Christ, but your beating him down is NOT building the Body up in love. In fact, as a pastor, your actions only serve to encourage younger minds to do the same and be bullies at school. Wade, there is no difference in this and a girl morphing another girls picture on youtube in sexual positions or other embarrassing shots with mean captions.

I am not concerned with a secular paper's covering of this. I am concerned that a brother in Christ sees nothing wrong with acting like the world.

I asked you to cover this topic. I did not ask you to beat down a man who is clearly a sweet older man in need of a job.

It also reminds me of you and Ben Cole bragging over the color and style of your suits, as if the way you dress actually has anything to do with who you are. I have seen a black heart in a navy chalk stripe 1000 dollar suit with hand-made cognac Algonquin blucher Alan Edmonds, topped off with golden cuff links. And I seen have a heart of gold who gives away every gift and most of the meager salary they earn to those he sees in need. His conscience does not allow him to dress nice, for to do so in his mind would be stealing from the poor.

I have said it many times Wade, you are one of my pastoral heroes. Be Pastoral. Remove the pic, please.


K

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin,

Thanks. It shall not be removed at your request. Only Mr. Ayrom.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Benji,

"It saddens me" ?

No need to feel sad, in my opinion.

All I'm saying is that Christ is the Living Word, and I worship Him, not the written word.

Blessings,

Wade

Jon L. Estes said...

Signing, agreeing with or supporting the BFM2K is no where a move to total conformity. There are many subjects the BFM2K does not deal with so total conformity is a bit much, don't you think.

As I stated on another blog:

When you broaden the mind, how far does one go before it is too broad? Problem is, wherever one stops those broader will say you are narrow minded. The only territory where broadmindedness is truly accepted is when there are no borders set to the mind.

The BFM2k sets parameters for the SBC for areas of those who are paid with CP dollars to work within. I don' think that is too much to ask.

even you Wade are too narrow minded, fundamentalist minded for some baptists left of you... to liberal minded fro some right of you. Maybe you see yourself directly centric in all matters, theologically. Maybe most of us see ourselves that way but because the reality is, we are not... we must work together within a certain parameter, which the body gets to set.

As far as total conformity

Paige Patterson and Al Mohler disagree on one of the major topics of debate within the convention. I don't see either of them being pressured to change or leave. You may know something we don't.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, Kevin, we are not waiting for him to contact us. We are attempting to contact him. The contact is not about the picture, but some possible financial support and a couple of leads on a job in California for him. The picture is public.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

Agreed. You write well. The problem is the BFM 2000 is simply a smokescreen.

I saw, firsthand, that the demands for doctrinal conformity go FAR BEYOND the BFM 2000.

But once you start having people sign the BFM, it only continues down the slide of narrowing parameters.

There's never enough for Landmark, Independent Fundamentalists.

Darby Livingston said...

"There's never enough for Landmark, Independent Fundamentalists."

This is definitely a true statement. But that doesn't make everyone who believes in categories and the importance of theological precision a landmark independent fundamentalist, and that is what I fear some people think.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade,

"All I'm saying is that Christ is the Living Word, and I worship Him, not the written word.

What do you know about the living Word that is not based on the written word?

The way you are talking is like saying "I worship the Living Word that I know about apart from the Bible and by which I interpret the Bible".

If Abraham Lincoln was still living, then he could stand beside me as I read his writings saying "Now, when I said this phrase, what I meant was this in the historical context I was in [or whatever]".

If that were taking place, then yes, I would be interpreting Abraham Lincoln's writings by the criteria of the "living" Abraham Lincoln.

Allow me to be crude at this point: Jesus is in heaven. He ain't standing beside you as you read the Bible.

Now, you might say "But Jesus through the Spirit helps me in reading the Bible".

However, while the Spirit illuminates the meaning of the Bible to us, He does not add additional objective revelation [criteria] by which we interpret the Bible.

In Christ,

Benji

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Because now we have some criteria higher than the God-Breathed Bible by which the Bible is being interpreted."

Benji,

The problem is the word criteria. Both sides are RIGHT in their personal understandings, and both sides are wrong based on the use of the word "criterion" and in light of the understadning of the other side.

This is one my major issues with ALL of the BFM's. No other confession or creed in history, nor even Scripture itself has chosen to deal with an issue of interpretive criterion. We each are FREE to interpret Scripture "in light of" things. Her is a list (not comprehensive) of those things.

We interpret Scripture in light of:

1. Scripture
2. our Salvation (changed heart by the Holy Spirit; Chrsit living within us, etc)
3. historical context
4. linguistic rules
5. visible story lines and theologocal "threads"
6. the "fath of our fathers"
7. our life circumstances
8. our own sins
9. our own needs
10. our own wants
11. our passion for the charisma of a pastoral figure
12. the books we have read
13. our desire to gain knowledge
14. our hunger to learn more about God
15. our desire to be incouraged
16. our desire to be inspired
17. other and various fleshly desires.

and on and on...

But the only TRUE "criterion" for understanding that revelatory logos for which God has determined we should know in accordance with His decreed will is "Divine Election."

But my bold statement above is NOT a creedalistic statement, nor should it be included in a Confession designed to gain broad consensus, but rather should be reserved for napkin imprintation at a theological institution's cafeteria for the purpose of stirring young pastoral minds to think.


The entire debate/acle irritates me so much I say scratch the entire phrase and replace it with this:

If you want to know what the Bible says, just read the damn thing!!!


There,

Startin' the New Year off right!

:)

K

Tom Kelley said...

Awwwwmmm ... KMC said the d-word.

I'm tellin'!

Gene S said...

2 observations:

(1) We need to add another length of pew on the right end to accomodate some of you. You are further than right which usually is called "reactionary."

(2) I wish some of you had gone to a church service last night rather than waking up hung over with a headache and mean streak clearly showing.

Can't we be a little nicer on the first day of the New Year--or does this portend further throat slitting by fundies this year as well?

When will enough be enough for you guys???

Benji Ramsaur said...

Kevin,

Webster's Dictionary Definition:

Criterion: "a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based."

Etymology concerning the word from Webster's:

Etymology: Greek kritērion, from krinein to judge, decide

When anyone brings up the word "criteria" by which we interpret the Bible, they are necessarily talking about some standard that his "higher" than the Bible.

When you talk about interpreting the Bible "in the light of the faith of our fathers" [for example], you get it completely backwards IMO.

To interpret the Bible in the light of the faith of our fathers is to interpret the Bible by the criteria [standard] of the faith of our fathers. I don't even think the Fathers would want us to say that about their faith.

The Westminster [and maybe even the Second London has this exact wording] does a good job in saying something that relates to what we are talking about:

"The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church...it is to be received, because it is the word of God." (emphasis mine)

"Received" is key.

Folks can say "I have a Jesus criteria". However, actually putting out that "standard" on the table for everyone else to see is a different story.

A standard not derived from the Bible itself.

Thy Peace said...

Benji:

You and Pastor Wade are not far apart.

From listening to Pastor Wade's sermons, The Jesus who is the Source for him is revealed from The Bible, and not from other sources.

But what Pastor Wade is saying is The Bible is not the one we worship, it is only a "mechanism", though it originated from God, it points to Our Lord Jesus Christ. But The Bible clearly reveals who Jesus Christ is. No question about it.

But the hidden meanings that are in plain sight, though not all see it, are revealed by The Holy Spirit.

I would have to disagree with you that Jesus Christ is only in heaven. My reading is for a believer The Trinity resides in a believer and make their home within the believer.

Darby Livingston said...

Perhaps it would be better to say we are influenced toward certain presuppositions of interpretation according to some of the things Kevin listed rather than that they are criteria for interpreting. In this way, we give credit to the hard work of those saints who have gone before us while not placing them above the text of Scripture.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Thy Peace,

"I would have to disagree with you that Jesus Christ is only in heaven. My reading is for a believer The Trinity resides in a believer and make their home within the believer."

We really don't disagree here. The Incarnate Jesus is only in heaven in the sense that you and I could not spot Him walking down the street here on earth.

But yes, there is a sense in which the Father and Jesus reside in us by the Spirit. Praise God.

If Wade and I are basically disagreeing over semantics and not substance, then that would make me happy.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"believed and obeyed"

Benj,

Wetminster in this instance is not speaking of interpretation. It is speaking of reliability. Everyone here (Even GeneS) loves the Lord and His Word.

Even most of the so called "liberal" theologians find their faith and practice from Scripture. I stand on my earlier comment regarding "criterion."


Wade,

I think it is wonderful that Emmanuel BC has started a nationwide job locator service. What a truly Christ-like thing to do. Do your services extend to Mid-Missouri? I have several applications out, but with the holidays have yet to hear any responses. But I am working on my posture today, and ironing my undies. :)


K

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Wetminster in this instance is not speaking of interpretation. It is speaking of reliability."

I agree. That is why I said it relates.

Receiving has the idea of humbly receiving something and not having a "higher standard" by which we "determine" that it is true [or what it means in relation to what we are talking about].

"I stand on my earlier comment regarding 'criterion.'"

So what we really should have is The Institutes by Calvin as our "Bible" and the Scriptures as the "footnotes" in which Calvin authoritatively "determines" what the Scriptures mean?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Benj,

No it does not relate. Knowing the truth exists is not the same as being able to find it. If I know the right color is in the box of crayons, and I pick one out at random, I may not have the right color, even though the color is true.

Baptist say they are a "people of the book." Churches hiring pastors put in ads, "must peach the Bible."

Ok, what the heck else you gonna preach???

To say "I believe in the Bible" is the biggest copout since the donut shop ran out of donuts.

God did not reveal a book of mystical doors to be unlocked. He gave us stories to be read and understood in light of language, context, history, and the plot of the story, which is redemption.

In the process we learn about a wonderful creator God who exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To say that any one of those persons is a "criterion" is simply misunderstanding the entire concept of divine communication.

K

Benji Ramsaur said...

K-man,

"He gave us stories to be read and understood in light of language, context, history, and the plot of the story, which is redemption."

I agree. But you are here talking about interpreting the Bible in the light of the Bible. Not interpreting the Bible in the light of Calvin.

Calvin helps. I have been reading in the Institutes in the past few months. I particularly like something he said concerning the Trinity I read lately. Helpful. But he helps. He does not determine. He does not sit above the Bible thundering down edicts by which I must interpret the Bible.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I never mentioned nor had Calvin on my mind during this discussion.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Kevin,

You said "6. the 'fath of our fathers'"

I was giving Calvin as a concrete example of one of our fathers in the faith.

Although I am kind of wondering if that language should be used, but, anyway, that is what I was doing.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Reality Check [Mary Burleson] > Who Told Me?.
Back, way back, at the end of October, I wrote on this blog that there were three things I would like to write about: dishonesty, "God told me," and negative testimonies. I've written about dishonesty and negative or balanced testimonies. Two months later and only two blogs later, I want to write my thoughts about the phrase, "God told me.".

VTMBottomLine [Paul Burleson] > It's Truly Amazing.
The title certainly applies to the Grace of God but my application is to the more mundane--yet still amazing to me--things about my life in recent days and now the beginning of the new year.

Lydia said...

" I don't think she's liberal because of that."

Wow Darby, that is the nicest thing any comp has ever said about me. (Seriously) :o)

Kev wrote:
" think it is wonderful that Emmanuel BC has started a nationwide job locator service. What a truly Christ-like thing to do. Do your services extend to Mid-Missouri? I have several applications out, but with the holidays have yet to hear any responses. But I am working on my posture today, and ironing my undies. :)"

Wade, could you please find one for Kevin with an attractive, young but very smart female boss?

Once he begins, we will start sending him CBMW articles every day. We will start with the one from Piper who says that women who have direct male reports should NEVER give male employees any direct orders. They CAN make "suggestions" to them. It is about the males perserving their natural authority.

(Evil laugh)

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

Kevin Crowder said:

Wetminster in this instance is not speaking of interpretation. It is speaking of reliability. Everyone here (Even GeneS) loves the Lord and His Word.


The stuff since I last commented seems to be enough "hair splitting" to make a whole toupe our of one original strand. Why don't we all do something other than theological hair splitting for the rest of today?

I think Kevin's comment that "Everyone here loves the Lord and His Word" needs expression from each of us. If you don't mind, I'll start with my spiritual testimony along these lines:

I am a preacher's kid and don't really think I have never been a Baptist because that is all I have known. My diaper pens likely had "Baptist" embossed on them.

I attended every study course there was, had 100% attendance at Sunday School, hated going to Prayer Meeting because it kept me from seeing Super Man and talking about it with my friends at school next day. I really hated it when my Peacher daddy made me quit 8th grade football because the coach said I had to be a practice even if it interferred with church.

Daddy wrote a judgmental letter to him and I had to turn in my new cleats and get smart remarks from the coach the next day. I can't say I really blame him. That was just a little too Baptist of my father. However, I did gain the top designation for Royal Ambassadors and loved to go to Camp Pinnacle in the summer.

I am so Baptist that when the HMB wanted to shoot a film strip of my father's pioneering Juvenile Rehabilitation Program jointly sponsored by the HMB/GBSC/Atlanta Baptist Association, I was asked to play the part of the juvie. I was on the front cover of the HMB Magazine which ran the story. Why, I'm so Baptist I became the first Juvenile Delinquent for us and my picture was still shown at Ridgecrest when I was doing the same work for the Raleigh Baptist Assn / Wake County Courts / NCBSC.

Being Baptist is far less important than being Christian. At the age of 8 I began to hear that "still small voice" saying, "You need to go forward and accept me personally during the invitation hymn." Every Sunday I would promise myself I would go forward on the next verse--until the hymn had ended and I had failed myself each time.

After a month of this routine, my year younger brother took the first step and we both went forward, were baptized together, and went home to resume our brother fights. My dad would remind us that if you don't love each other, what you did a few Sundays ago doesn't make any difference. You are still sinful and you a lying to God. He is looking at you every minute!

A couple of years after that baptismal / salvation experience my daddy got fired for telling the truth and not kissing the "right" hinnies among the church leadership. There was really only one of those and it belonged to the Mayor/Lawyer of the community who thought he could run the church and use it's money to make an adversary in a lawsuit give him what he wanted. My father simply said, "NO--and if you don't pay this legitimate bill before next Sunday, I will resign and tell exactly why it is I am doing it."

I swore in that moment I would never be a Baptist Preacher and have my children and family put through what that church did to us.

Gene S said...

(cont.)

I went to Emory University determined to be anything helpful to humanity except be a Preacher! My senior year, with applications in to do a PhD in Psychology after and MS, I was asked a question by my pastor: "What will happen to the church if some of you intelligent young people do not do anything more than being laymen to help her?" How I wished he hadn't asked me that question.

After a week of thinking I walked forward at Decatur First Baptist Church to surrender my life to the Lord and become a Preacher. I applied to Southern and New Orleans, then at the last minute to Southeastern. Because it was closer to Atlanta and I could find employment to work my way through, I felt led to Southeastern. On the way in we stopped by the Baptist Building to meet the Executive Director and to the Raleigh Baptist Association to meet its Director. In both cases they were considering the Juvenile Director position for NC and Wake County.

To support myself during the months it took for paperwork, funding, and consideration I took a position as Nurse's Aide on the Alcoholic Ward at Dorothea Dix State Mental Hospital in Raleigh. With my Psychology degree that was no problem. I went to classes each day and put the keys on going to Raleigh at 3:00 and returning about midnight.

From Juvenile Rehabilitation Director to graduation, and then to 2 Associate Pastor positions in large churches, I went on to become Pastor of the FBC Bishohpville, SC, and 3 other churches.

My time of testing came at a N. Metro Atlanta Baptist church growing by leaps and bounds. The problem there was the same corrupt leadership my dad had faced at his large and growing church. I got fired for living, preaching, and requiring my staff to not be corrupted. 2 were--and they got rid of me because I knew too much and did not choose to expose them to the church. The main corrupter was about to rotate off as a Deacon when he threw the monkey wrench into my ministry with back door / back stabbing / political maneuvering to get me out. Had I had more time, I could have moved gracefully, but they did not even do me that courtesy.

Hence, my dispising of people who claim to be religious, but act otherwise in personal and church business. All the people know, but few have the guts to fire Deacons rather than Preachers.

I served other churches with distinction, then became a representative for Ministers Life Insurance in Eastern NC. Hurricane Floyd wrecked my insurance practice because of flood damage making people pay for repairs rather than buy new policies.

God opened doors for me to become a tree surgeon using the same skills I had practiced as a hobby throughout my life. What was most interesting, was that people now revealed more to me about spiritual needs with a chainsaw in my hand than they ever did when I was in full time ministry or insurance. Southerners are quite pretentious covering their sins so even the Preacher can't find out and help.

I believe in Christ and practicing God's Word as led by the Holy Spirit. It is my witness that God has provided for me and my family even in the worst circumstances of life. I DO love the Lord and His Word and have the scars to prove that those who are authentic and true to the faith usually suffer as did Christ.

No amount of religious talk will take the place of an authentic relationship through faith with our living and present God.

Now, it's your turn if you choose to take it. I think we will profit far more from sharing testimonies than splitting theological hairs which really make no difference to those we meet today on the streets where we live.

Jon L. Estes said...

Agreed. You write well.

I am not sure if I can believe you here Wade. I reread what I wrote and had far to many typos for someone to make such a statement. If you were actually speaking of the content, thanks but I don't think it was so great to make mention.

You leave me confused on this one.

As for the typos, I had just finished taking down the Christmas decoration outside... I had climbed down from the roof fixing a broken shutter and took a quick read as I passed by. I admit I did not take the time to check over my comment. For that I apologize.

Ron said...

Darby, said, “For proof that the SBC was at least leaning liberal, just read the Broadman Bible Commentary from the early 1970's. The writers spent more time apologizing for believing in God than President Obama does for being American.”

Since the original Criswell Study Bible edited by Paige Patterson and approved by W.A. Criswell stated clearly that the Bible was incorrect when it stated that water turned was turned to blood in Exodus 7:20. Would you say this is proof the CR was not only leaning liberal but that it was rotten to the core with liberalism and did not support inerrancy. Would you not also say from the number of CR leaders and trustee chairmen who have been caught committing adultery that in the words of Al Mohler in describing the SBC leaders before his time that the CR leaders have no moral compass. In order to be consistent you must agree with these statements if you are going to declare the SBC leaning liberal in the 70s.

Karen in OK, you said, “I disagree that the SBC as a whole was so conservative pre-1979.” Do you agree with Darby that the whole SBC was leaning liberal before 1979? No one is saying there were not theological problems before 1979. There may have been pastors like yours who were liberal or Sunday School teachers like yours that did not teach the Bible. I am sorry you were surrounded by liberalism. However, the overwhelming majority of pastors were conservative theologically. Before 1979 the SBC was a theologically conservative denomination as anyone with any understanding of theology and knowledge of the SBC knows.

Karen, you ask where would Wade draw the line. What if a prospective missionary was a modalist or denied justification by faith. I can tell you what would happen. He would not be appointed or if he was appointed and voiced those beliefs he would be fired. This was true before the CR and before the BF&M 2000. It has nothing to do with the question of signing the BF&M. I am one of those poor little missionaries Joe Blackmon worries about. We have done everything our leaders and the churches of the SBC have asked us to do and more. We are theologically sound and didn’t need to sign the BF&M to prove it.

Gene S said...

O-o-o-o, I like the Patterson question, but would prefer we share some testimonies soon!

I won't comment more until you guys have a chance with meaningful testimonies. We may just all find out we are, at least, believers with sincerity.

I will doubt the seriousness of any who run from my challenge to share from the heart rather so much from the head--heads used too much often become psychotic!!!!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

While am really not in the mood to give as long a testimony of my life as you did Gene I do want to bring up one point of commonality my life has with yours and offer it as a testament to the grace of our Lord.

I too have gone through periods in my childhood and life where I was simply sick of church as it was. Sick of the hypocrisy, sick of the legalism, sick of feeling angry all the time. But as all of life is cyclical so too has been my emotions toward the church. God has placed me in situations to make me "see" then place me in other situations to help others "see." He has hardened my heart and softened it more times than I can count. But always He has place where He wants me. He has never failed in changing my heart to love what it is I am doing for Him. As I presently sit at a crossroads I am ever more conscience to pray and seek His guidance, lest His silence make me weary. The Lord strengthens those who love Him and lean on Him. This I know for certain.


K

Gene S said...

Kevin--

I understand your reluctance to write out a full testimony, but I think it is more important than just making the fine assertion of God's providence.

Should you want to do your sharing in private, you can reach me at Gscrbr5@redscable.com

I would welcome you or any others to share privately. It would do all of us far more good to do so on this blog right here and right now.

It might just be the most important thing we do on New Year's Day when it is more important to start things on a right footing.

The sun is setting on the beautiful Pamlico as I type. The first of this day started with cloudy skies, but now the clouds and sun make a most glorious and inspiring picture for me!

Kevin M. Crowder said...

A great philosopher once said "'tis easier to give a full account at sunset than at midday."

Tom Kelley said...

Gene S said...
"What will happen to the church if some of you intelligent young people do not do anything more than being laymen to help her?"


Gene,
I think I understand the concerns of the pastor who asked you this question -- he probably genuinely just wanted to see men with intelligence and other gifts serving the church in ministry positions. And its great that God used his remarks to lead you in do His will. But I think his question also reflects an attitude I've seen all too often of those in pastoral positions -- the attitude that serving God as a "professional minister" is somehow a higher or nobler calling than being a "mere layman" I believe there is no higher or nobler calling than that to which each individual is called, whatever is is that God asks of them. That is, if God "calls" someone to dig ditches, and that person chooses instead to pastor churches, he (or she) has missed their highest possible calling. (I also don't believe there is such a thing in the New Testament as a clergy / laity distinction, but that's another matter.)

As to testimonies, mine is simple. Raised without any church or religious background, I first really heard and understood the gospel in college. When I first heard that Jesus died a substitutionary death for my sins, I rejected the notion of a need for personal faith in Christ (or any concept of God). But as I heard and learned more I saw that it all made some sense, for those who felt they had such a need, but I did not feel that was me. God used the preaching and reading of His Word, the testimonies and lives of friends, and personal circumstances to make plain my need for Him.

I was born again at age 19, and my life went in a totally different direction. My devotion to Christ during my college years led others to state on numerous occasions I should go into ministry, but I thought it was strange that people would think that just because I was serious about my relationship with Christ. Seemed to me that was what all Christians were supposed to be. After college I did sense God leading me to serve Him in some way, and I assumed that would be in some form of paid church ministry, as that was all I had ever heard of in terms of a life of service to Him.

So I went off to seminary, got a M.Div, got married along the way, and ended up working in the administration of the seminary for 10 years after graduation. I considered that my primary ministry, and also served in various ways in Southern Baptist churches along the way. But, also along the way, while working toward a doctorate, I came to allow theological knowledge and familiarity with the things of God and following the rules and conforming appropriate external behavior to become a substitute for a deep, abiding, and vibrant personal relationship with Christ. That opened the door for traps of many kinds, and I fell (more like ambled) into one, and ended up leaving the seminary in shame and disgrace.

Since then I have moved into a "secular" line of work, and, like you, I have found more opportunities to minister to people in authentic ways than I ever had in my "ministry" positions. I've had serious spiritual ups and downs, and more failures along the way than I care to admit or even think about, but I've also experienced Christ in powerful and personal ways in my life and seen Him work likewise in the lives of others around me.

Truly, God is good, all the time.
-----
Tom

Lydia said...

When viewing ministry as a vocation, think of something my then 7 year old asked me one day when I was packing for a trip and asked her to fetch my bible:

When the preacher goes on vacation does he leave his bible at home?

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

READABILITY The single best tech idea of 2009, though, the real life-changer, has got to be Readability. It’s a free button for your Web browser’s toolbar (get it at lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability). When you click it, Readability eliminates everything from the Web page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, blinking, links, banners, promos or anything else. Times Square just goes away.

You wind up with a simple, magazine-like layout, presented in a beautiful font and size (your choice) against a white or off-white background with none of this red-text-against-black business.

You occasionally run into a Web page that Readability doesn’t handle right — no big deal, just refresh the page to see the original. But most of the time, Readability makes the world online a calmer, cleaner, more beautiful place
. :Source.

For blogs, it only shows the post and NOT the comments. But very useful when reading websites with heavy flash, ads, blinking and annoying images. Of course, one can also install FlashBlock or Adblock Plus for Firefox or Chrome. But this is a keeper.

Christiane said...

Hello GENE and KEVIN,

Kevin says this, ' As I presently sit at a crossroads I am ever more conscience to pray and seek His guidance, lest His silence make me weary.'

Some advice, dear Kevin: quiet your heart, and be still. You will hear His Voice. Sometimes He speaks to us through Silence.


My son Patrick lives now in a group home on the grounds of Eastern Christian Childrens' Retreat, in Wyckoff NJ., which is run under the auspices of the Dutch Reformed Church.
He does not speak, but I understand him anyway. Always have. Don't know how, but I do.

Patrick communicates in other ways; and in silence, he teaches me about God's love. My son has Down Syndrome with many medical problems. He also has many gifts.

One of God's gifts to Patrick is that he is able to walk.
One day, I watched him get up and walk to a shelf. He chose a musical toy and carried it over to a stretcher-bound resident and very, very gently, laid the toy into his hands. The staff tell me that Patrick will frequently show kindness in this way.

I have two sons: both are Guardians. One is in the Coast Guard and watches over his country. One is in a group home and watches over its stretcher-bound residents. I am proud of both. My Patrick has become his brothers' keeper and Jesus will welcome him into the Kingdom.

Perhaps at some very deep level, we are all called to help others. No one has taught this to Patrick: at least no earthly person.

But still, he knows.

By some grace, some special gift of the Holy One, my son learned to care for another less fortunate than himself.
Now my child teaches this learning to me. In silence.

Be peaceful,
L's

Gene S said...

Tom--

We have both found our place. My initial description should have included my strong protest that "I WAS NOT going to be a Preacher!"

Now that I am an "outside to the public layman," I find so many more opportunities--WITHOUT the pretense involved wearing a suit and tie with Bible under arm. The same was true in Insurance--the suit, tie, and computer made people want to hide their real wealth just to con me into selling them something cheaper which was far below their real financial need.

Now they trust me to take that dangerous tree off from over their house. I do it and prove I can be trusted, then they open up with spiritual needs I would never have guessed.

It proves why Jesus chose fishermen, tax collectors, even the "sons of thunder" to become desciples. They were the real deal. They worked hard. They only sold fresh fish when others sold second class stuff just to make money. Whatever they did, it was with integrity and respect from people who knew them.

Why didn't he choose an educated and theological Pharisee or Sadusee? Sometimes our professionalism gets in the way of our humanity.

At other times it hides under a fancy robe a child molester / womanizer / latent homosexual looking for fresh meat / lyar who covers his lies with fancy positions and titles.

L's--all I can say is thanks for the tear in my eye over your wonderful sons. Mine, too, is in the Coast Guard in Traverse City, MI, on the 45th parallel and frigid Great Lakes.

When an idiot launched the flair last night to celebrate New Year's, they had to launch and search even though they know it was likely an idiot, and a mechanical problem could put them into hypothermic waters where they die in 20 minutes despite all the protective gear they wear under flight suits.

My son flies as the Flight Engineer / Hoist Operator and, more important, makes sure the helo is properly certified for flight so the above does not happen. He is depended on as the last check man to insure a less qualified mechanic did not miss anything.

We are both so blessed and proud of fine children--I add 6 beautiful grandchildren in my thanks, as well.

Now, isn't this more pleasing than discussion on theology and abstractions over which to fuss and fight????

Lydia said...

"Why didn't he choose an educated and theological Pharisee or Sadusee? "

He did. But sent him to preach to the Gentiles. :o)

Opposite of what one would envision.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Now, isn't this more pleasing than discussion on theology and abstractions over which to fuss and fight????"


It is equally edifying. Just in a different way. TomK's testimony rings true in my own life in so many ways, but it is obvious he love to discuss theology with the rest of us. While I deeply respect you Gene, I am not entirely sure I care to have our discussions of late, and over the months and years both here and at other SBC blogs reduced simply pedantic banter. I believe there is real Kingdom benefit.

Like it or not, we live in a postmodern age of hyper communication, and more knowledge than anytime in human history floating to and fro. More than ever we need to practice communicating the Gospel, defining terms, sifting through semantics, and learning logic.

It would also do well for us to affirm absolution to those who willingly confess rather than be eternally skeptical of them and render them useless for the Kingdom. There is no question you have been burned and jaded over the years. That is a shame. My own pastoral experience though it was a wonderful time in my life, showed me that I have a lot to learn about people, control, and how to encourage people to relate their God biblically.

I think the Baptist church lacks the liturgy of "you are forgiven, now arise and serve the Lord your God" because while we may be a people of the book, we are also a people of the grudge.

(You can simply consider all that an extension of my testimony.)


Blessings on you Gene, my brother,

K

Gene S said...

Kevin--

Did you know the favorite pastime of Baptists:

CONFESSING THE SINS OF OTHERS!!!!

John Fariss said...

Gene,

I don't often disagree with you, but this time, I must. You wrote, "It's the New Year man, you obviously did not make any resolutions about being nice and Santa didn't notice how naughty you have become."

On the contrary Sir, I DID notice. And I didn't bring him anything, not even a limp of coal (least he try to use at to burn you or me at the stake).

Santa John

Gene S said...

Now, John---

Let's give him a chance before we start making our list for next year!

Should we start a betting pool to see when we can predict he will sweeten up?

So many betting pools on the Bowl Games--why not make it really interesting with bets on Baptist commentators!

Christiane said...

KEVIN wrote this: 'we are also a people of the grudge'

No more than any other people.

Not to worry: the holy waters of Baptism wash away these sins,
and it is said that, in the Presence of Our Lord, the waters of our baptism are recalled and renewed each time we are bathed in the tears of our repentence.

John Fariss said...

Karen in OK,

Referencing "liberal Southern Baptist churches" of your youth, you wrote, "I heard a lot of things about the priesthood of the believer, but somehow never in that Sunday School literature or any other literature did I ever hear clearly explained that Jesus is completely God and completely Man. That would have been too creedal, I suppose." Just FYI: I went to SEBTS 1984-87, and it was reputed to be the most liberal of the liberal SBC places to be seen (or avoided). And my professors there had no problem stating that simultaneously Jesus was 100% human and 100% divine.

Perhaps you didn't hear that in your church or churches, I have no reason to doubt you. But what you are doing is arguing from silence, and that is always a dangerous approach. At one extreme, I remember a 30ish year old church member and occasional atendee 20+ years ago stating that the new birth from Jesus had NEVER been preached in his home church. That church was over 200 years old, and not only had I preached it (it was my first sermon there), but I am sure someone else since 1772 had preached it; it is possible this fellow had never heard it, but it had definitely been preached there.

At the opposite extreme, please consider that all the preachers and sermons preached over the past 2000 years have yet to exhaust Scripture; and further that the Holy Spirit directs the subject of sermons depending on the needs of the congregation. Is it possible that even if this facet of Scripture has not been preached at your church (rather than you just not hearing it), that the reason is that the Spirit though something else was more needful?

And finally--is it possible that a failure to preach this aspect of the Holy Writ is a human failure, yes, but still not one indicative of theological leaning? We preachers are, after all, all human, and not a bit divine.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"CONFESSING THE SINS OF OTHERS!!!!"

Gene,

If I have by chance confessed any of your's then allow me to also absolve you in the name of Jesus our Lord. You are forgiven my friend.

K

Lydia said...

"I think the Baptist church lacks the liturgy of "you are forgiven, now arise and serve the Lord your God" because while we may be a people of the book, we are also a people of the grudge.
"

I think we do just the opposite. We pour on the cheap grace for bad boy preachers and leaders. After all, they are great men and must be excused for 'mistakes' (really willful sin). Just watch next time some Baptist preacher or youth minister is caught molesting a kid. They show up enmasse in court to speak for him as a great guy who does not deserve a long sentence. Or, they often stay silent and keep such things from the members and when it is found out, they announce that the "minister" was forgiven. (Funny how they ignore 1 Tim 3 when it is NOT about women)

And.. This sounds eerily familiar. Too many preacher boys wanting folks to turn a blind eye to bad behavior in the ranks. This is a new twist for unrepentented behavior: Call it a grudge. Most call it sin, gossip, root of bitterness, etc. Grudge is new. Congrats. Anything to look the other way and not deal with continual sin in the camp.

When the bad behavior compounds over years, Kevin, there has been no forgiveness because there was never any acknowledgement of a sacrifice via continued repentance. By their fruit you will know them. The biggest problem they face is that the rotten fruit was hidden from the masses until a few years ago.

So, what difference do dead bodies lying in the streets matter because they are out soul winning (being paid to speak)

And before you point out all my sins in your position as pastor wannabe, remember, I do not make a living as a pastor or Christian leader who is paid to model such things, seeks celebrity and influence. I already admit I am a scoundral with no good thing in me save the Grace of our Lord. And I do not want your "tithes" or for you to buy a book or ticket to a conference to hear me speak. :o)

Patterson is a junk yard dog and has been for decades. He must repent. I, a nobody, am calling him out as he flicks me away, the gnat that I am in his sphere.

Think back on the post about revival. While I disagreed with the list, I also disagreed somewhat with the premise. Revival comes from above but manifests itself in confession of sin.

Jesus preached: Repent and believe.

If we want real revival in the SBC, look for SBC leaders to give up their celebrity lifestyles, fall on their faces in repentance and admit to the tactics and strategies employed to win total control and preeminance for themselves. Watch them give it all up to be a real servant. NOt the fake kind...oh, look at me, I took a 10% cut in my 250,000 year salary. Or to back off when the media finds out ala Franklin Graham about the money. I am talking about the real thing.

That would be revival.

But it will not happen because they do not think they have done anything wrong. It is business. Pragmatism. They are CEO's who run large organizations and deserve all this.

We have to be convicted of sin before we can truly repent.

When they do such things as ruin people, they explain it away as remaining "true to the Word". When others point out what they did and how it is NOT in the Word, it is sin.

Gene S said...

Folks,

We are about to go once again into the valley of killing one another. Although I enjoy such revelry, I have had to deal with a daughter and children whose drug using, abusive father, caused us to leave under police escort a few days ago.

You can see the story on babyboomlearner.com which is my blog.

For my edification and yours, can we share some more testimonies as to why we are not like the descriptions of Carl Sandburg who lived near Hendersonville, NC on the side of a mountain:


TO A CONTEMPORARY BUNKSHOOTER

You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
Jesus.
Where do you get that stuff?
What do you know about Jesus?
Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few
bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem
everybody liked to have this Jesus around because
he never made any fake passes and everything
he said went and he helped the sick and gave the
people hope.


You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist
and calling us all damn fools so fierce the froth slobbers
over your lips. . . always blabbing we're all
going to hell straight off and you know all about it.


I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't
throw any scare into me. I've got your number. I
know how much you know about Jesus.
He never came near clean people or dirty people but
they felt cleaner because he came along. It was your
crowd of bankers and business men and lawyers
hired the sluggers and murderers who put Jesus out
of the running.


I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into
the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined
up against him the same crooks and strong-arm men
now lined up with you paying your way.

This Jesus was good to look at, smelled good, listened
good. He threw out something fresh and beautiful
from the skin of his body and the touch of his hands
wherever he passed along.
You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
lived a clean life in Galilee.

When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
Jesus--I put it to you again: Where do you get that
stuff; what do you know about Jesus?


Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash
a whole wagon load of furniture at every performance.
Turn sixty somersaults and stand on your
nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
women and kids I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.
I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when
he starts people puking and calling for the doctors.
I like a man that's got nerve and can pull off a great
original performance, but you--you're only a bug-
house peddler of second-hand gospel--you're only
shoving out a phoney imitation of the goods this
Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.

Gene S said...

Contemporary bunkshooter (cont.)

You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it
up all right with them by giving them mansions in
the skies after they're dead and the worms have
eaten 'em.
You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need
is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without
having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of
age, and you tell him to look at Jesus on the cross
and he'll be all right.
You tell poor people they don't need any more money
on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job,
Jesus'll fix that up all right, all right--all they gotta
do is take Jesus the way you say.
I'm telling you Jesus wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers
and lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus
wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with
the big thieves.

I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.
I won't take my religion from any man who never works
except with his mouth and never cherishes any memory
except the face of the woman on the American
silver dollar.

I ask you to come through and show me where you're
pouring out the blood of your life.

I've been to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha,
where they nailed Him, and I know if the story is
straight it was real blood ran from His hands and
the nail-holes, and it was real blood spurted in red
drops where the spear of the Roman soldier rammed
in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

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

" I don't think she's liberal because of that."

Wow Darby, that is the nicest thing any comp has ever said about me. (Seriously) :o)"

Lydia,

You need to get around a kinder crop of comps. :)

Rex Ray said...

I’ll start where I left off. I thought sure Thy Peace would tell me how to find the missing article by ABP:

“Missionaries told they can’t return to field without signing statement.”

The question is why did the Vice President (Avery Willis, former pastor of our church in Grand Prairie) of the IMB have the confidence to prohibited missionaries from returning to the field unless they signed the BFM while Jerry Rankin was saying they wouldn’t be fired if they did not sign?

Rankin was putting his words in writing and that’s what he told my son. In a letter to me August 8, 2002, he wrote:

“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 the did not respond to my request?”

Rankin explained his “request”:

“However, 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.”

WHO WAS PUTTIN PRESSURE ON RANKIN? It was not the BGCT.

I would suspect it was the egos behind the BFM – you know – the guy whose hand-picked committee wrote it and the guy that told Ranking he’d better get his missionaries in line. (Patterson and Chapman)

Rex Ray said...

Joe Blackmon,
There’s NOTHING said EVER on Wade’s blog that ticked me off more than your saying:

“The poor little missionaries--their employer tells them to do something and they have to do it. The audacity. The unmitigated gall!!!

You don’t have a clue in your disgusting statement of the heartache, the tears, and the grief caused by egos if they had weight would require wheel-barrels.

IMB is NOT the employer – God is.

Churches pay missionaries salaries.

IMB is to assist missionaries, but the CR has made the IMB god – thanks to the smokescreen of the ‘Battle for the Bible’ that has you blindfolded.

Joe, our SS ligature has “The 2000 statement of the Baptist Faith and Message is our doctrinal guideline.”

In my opinion, this is nothing but praising Patterson.

If you’d sign the above statement, you’d be putting a man-made paper over the Bible, so why do you keep praising Patterson and HIS CR?

Before Patterson got Dilday kicked out, Patterson said to him, “You’re conservative alright, but you’re not one of us.”

CR was NOT about getting rid of liberals; it was about ‘ONE OF US’ for control and power.

Rex Ray said...

"It takes only one wrong person to infect all the others." (Galatians 5:9 Living)

Gene S said...

Rex Ray--

It's nice to have another outspoken intelligent person trying to deal with Joe.

I made the request we might start the New Year right by sharing our testimony as I have done. Old Joe is doing everything he can to avoid it.

Do ya reckon he might not have one and covers it with the attitude Paul had pursuing and killing Christ's followers until struck down by God on the Damascas Road?

My grandaddy had a name for such hard heads: A 2-2X4 mule!

Translated it means: some mules are so hard headed it takes 2 2X4's broken over their head to make them learn anything--one broken to get their attention, and the second one broken to get the message across.

I think Joe may be the first 3-2X4 mule I have ever met. Check him out on the Baptist Today blog relative to the new "Paige Patterson, Jr." at Truett-McConnel College in GA: same song, just another verse of vengence and hatred with no good sense attached.

Gene S said...

Why don't we add more to the BF&M 2000 so it will actually be complete as it should be:

"We affirm that the Inerrant Word says the earth is flat with heavens above, water beneath, and land in the middle."

"We affirm that all heritics shall henceforth, be burned at the stake and the Executive Committee / Presidents of all Boards and Agencies will be the Court."

"We affirm that all officials of the SBC shall henceforth receive an income no less that 3 times the average Pastor and 20 times that of any Missionary."

"Hereinafter, it will not be necessary to hold an Annual Meeting--not many are coming anyway, decisions are already made by the Executive Commmittee, and we need the money for the new Executive Aircraft fleet--we like Reccord's idea after all!"

"The biblical basis for our decisions and this document is Matthew 23 without Jesus' criticism. Holman has simplified the verse to save reading time to: 'Jesus spoke to his disciples, "The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses' Law. So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do."'"

Do you think some of the bloggers will be happy now????

Rex Ray said...

Dennis is a friend that’s approaching 30 years in Japan. He had the IMB blessings to be an interim pastor for Tokyo Baptist Church, but was told he could not be their pastor because the church had decided to have its services in English.

In our home, he prayed, “We must obey God and not man…”, and accepted being their pastor.

At homecoming, I asked Avery Willis (VP of IMB) if he could prevent Dennis from being fired based on my father’s philosophy of ‘The best thing about a good rule is to know when to break it’.

Willis replied, “That’s interesting but my hands are tied.”

A year later in Japan, (I’ve volunteered 13 times), Dennis told me ‘they’ were not going to bother him. I asked if he got it in writing, but he replied, “No – just by way of the grapevine.”

In my first letter to Ranking, I told him how I had done six weeks work (5 two-story houses and a warehouse) in three weeks and how close Dennis came to being fired.

Ranking replied:

“It was also gratifying to hear of your own involvement in missions, especially in your conscientious devotion to the project in Japan. I cannot imagine anyone considering firing Dennis. I recall his becoming pastor of the Tokyo Baptist Church was at a time of transition when we were moving away from supplying local church pastors for English congregations. Under Dennis’s leadership, Tokyo Baptist Church has certainly demonstrated an effective ministry which the IMB endorses.”

This year, while on ‘state-side assignment’, my cousin had a meeting in Tokyo. (More money spent on meetings)

He said that Dennis was still pastor but no longer a missionary.

I thought he had signed the BFM, but maybe he didn’t. That makes him ‘bigger’ in my eyes, and maybe the Lord’s, but Joe may still be saying, “Poor little missionary…”

Rex Ray said...

Gene,
Just now read your latest comment: smile, smile, smile.

Rex Ray said...

Gene,
Maybe Joe needs to do what my father was told to do when he was a kid

His teacher told him to hold a horses head close to his and maybe some sense would rub off on my father. smile

Gene S said...

The other day my 5 year old grandson, who loves to cry and mope, was doing it royally: head slouched down to where his chin touched his chest. His lower lip was stuck out so much he looked like a 5 year old Alfred Hitchcock / monkey who ate his last bannana / etc.--he could almost step on it!

Instead of busting his butt with the beach ball paddle I started daring him to smile by inviting his brothers to look at the mope of the century. "Come on, boys, lets give him a hand," I said as we clapped.

Yep, he broke into a grin and it was over! I wonder if we can get Joe to smile?????

Day 2 of New Year, Joe---where's the testimony???

Jonquil said...

If you, like me, would like to read Gene's blog, it's at

http://babyboomlearner.blogspot.com/

and the entry about his daughter is
http://babyboomlearner.blogspot.com/2009/12/since-christmas-all-hell-has-broken.html

Gene S said...

Jonquil--please remember us in your prayers. This is serious and we are in a turmoil where God is our only protection and a demon needs exorcising.

Karen in OK said...

Hi John Fariss,
Thanks for your comments. But I don't think they apply to my situation. Also, your first quote is not from any thing I said.

I attended an SBC church all the time in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's: regular services, youth events, youth choir, Sunday School, Training Union, GA's, two week Bible Schools, one to two week revivals twice a year, etc.

I attended, I listened, I wanted to learn. I was not taught doctrine systematically or all that clearly.
This was a conservative church. It was a great church and still is.
They used nothing but SBC literature and materials. Those products were really lacking in clearly teaching doctrine.
I do see it as something that the Conservative Resurgence has corrected somewhat.
The example I gave of Christ being both completely God and completely Man was just one example, not the one oversight.
There was an overemphasis on the priesthood of the believer vs. clear teaching.

No, my personal anecdotes (I could give many more and in far greater detail) are not absolute proof of my position that the Conservative Resurgence was needed. But you seem to object to my personal anecdotes in a way you did not object to your own or to others' on this thread who think the CR was completely unnecessary.

Ron, you and I just see things differently. You are welcome to maintain your position that anybody with any theological knowledge or any knowledge of the SBC would know that the CR was completely unnecessary.
After all, my mother, in her 70's, and a Sunday School teacher now in the above-mentioned church, agrees with me, LOL.

John Fariss said...

Karen,

We agree on some things. We agree that SBC literature tended to be shallow--the difference (apparently) being that I think it still is. When I was in seminary, several of my professors wrote for the (then) Sunday School Board. They said they were required to write at a 9th or 10th grade level for teacher's materials, and a 7th or 8th grade level for adult students. And if they wrote at a higher level, their work would be heavily edited at the SSB, sometimes virtually beyond their recognition. They were told the rationale was that that was the average grade comprehension level for teachers and adult learners in SBC churches. My question then was, "Should we cater to the level that exists, or should we try to raise the comprehension level?" Anyway, when I read through Lifeway material today (only half of our adult classes even use it), it still seems superficial and shallow to me. I would certainly agree that there needs at least to be an additional circulum with greater depth, and I would have no problem if that were organized around the BF&M (any version), the Apostle's Creed, or any other widely accepted confession of faith used in Baptist churches--so long as it were not presented too dogmatically and "as an instrument of doctrinal accountability."

If by my first quotation, you mean "'liberal Southern Baptist churches' of your youth," then you are correct, and I appologize. I meant it only as a general summary and not a direct quotation. But if you mean, "You wrote, 'I heard a lot of things about the priesthood of the believer, but somehow never in that Sunday School literature or any other literature did I ever hear clearly explained that Jesus is completely God and completely Man. That would have been too creedal, I suppose'," then that was copied directly from your entry.

And let me assure you, I was not objecting to your use of "personal anecdotes." I was simply trying to suggest that like any personal anecdote (my own included) there may be a larger picture that they do not include. I believe it was Harry Emerson Fosdick who said something to the effect that preaching "is the art of putting out fodder that both the theological lion and the theological lamb cam partake of and walk away satisfied." When we preachers fail, it is not necessarily because of theological bias (either way), but at worst, a failure of the human vessel that we are.

Blerssings,

John

John Fariss said...

I looking over Wade's article and the comments, I noticed one item that I must somewhat disagree with. He writes that the SBC continues to "side . . . toward Independent, Landmark, Fundamentalism." If by "Independent," Wade refers to the mindset and attitude characterized by independent Baptist churches, maybe. But I do not see the slide being toward greater independence for the churches. On the contrary, I see it moving toward greater centralization and control by the SBC, the Executive Committee, or some other yet to be crystalized agency. This makes the SBC into somewhat of a neo-Landmark, neo-Fundamentalist entity. It has similarities to the theologies of classic Landmarkism and Fundamentalism, but also some significant differences in terms of ecclesiastical structures and organization, and thus attitude. I have to wonder if this is what the architechs of the CR intended in 1979--or if the forces they unleashed effectively acquired a life of their own.

John

John Fariss said...

By the way, Karen,

You said, "There was an overemphasis on the priesthood of the believer vs. clear teaching." Maybe it is just the way you worded it, maybe you did not mean it as I took it, but I would argue that the priesthood of the believer IS a clear teaching of the Bible as well as a bedrock distinctive of being Baptist. Of course, that, as well as anything else, can be overemphasized at the cost of something else.

John

Rex Ray said...

Gene,
You wrote, “…and a demon needs exorcising.”

I’m wearing long-johns that have a rip in one leg. They had only a drop of blood but that’s how close a chainsaw came this year while I was clearing trees for a lake.

Do you remember a Jerry Clower story how Marcel was refused soda-pop because they didn’t like his looks? He came back with a chainsaw, ripped his way through a screen door, whacked the legs off a table, and they gave him the place.

Well, on this ‘exorcise deal’, if you revved up your chainsaw and asked what part of his body needed removing to solve his problem, he might change his thinking.

Yes, I know it's easy to talk tough for some other person, but I really pray for a good outcome.

Gene S said...

Rex--

I have a T-200 climber's saw by Stihl which is the strongest saw for it's size in the industry.

Sharpened properly, it will rremove any part of anyone's body in a single stroke and they won't know it before blood gushes!!!

I am always prepared to "exorcise deamons!"

happy gram said...

missions vs theology debate: no-brainer!
gene vs. anyone - no-brainer!

Karen in OK said...

Hi again John Fariss,
I agree with you very strongly both that SBC literature needs a lot of additional work, along the lines you suggested.
Also, you are right that priesthood of the believer is a key doctrine.
I have, though, seen it abused many times to mean that objective doctrine isn't as important as someone's subjective feelings.
Thanks for your additional points.

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

Karen,

You quote my position as the following. "You are welcome to maintain your position that anybody with any theological knowledge or any knowledge of the SBC would know that the CR was completely unnecessary."

That is not what I said. I said, "Before 1979 the SBC was a theologically conservative denomination as anyone with any understanding of theology and knowledge of the SBC knows."

I was not saying anything about whether the CR was necessary or not. I said the SBC was theologically conservative before 1979. Would you agree or disagree with that? We can give personal anecdotes of our church or friends being conservative or liberal but as a general rule would you say the SBC was theologically conservative? I say it was. Many CR supporters on this blog have said the SBC had no moral compass, was filled with liberals, was going the way of the sodomites and much worse. Is this the SBC you knew in the 50s, 60s and 70s? It wasn’t mine. Does your mother think the SBC was liberal? I am 62. Does she agree with me?

I do think there were liberal elements in the SBC before 1979 that needed to be dealt with. I do not believe the CR and it leaders were the right people. I think they were more interested in power and control than theology.

Karen in OK said...

Ron,
Thank you for clarifying.

I would agree that the denomination as a whole was conservative.
I am not as convinced as you that the CR was led by the wrong people, although they made many, many mistakes.

Ron said...

Thanks for that admission Karen. Many CR supporters would choke before they would admit that. They will resort to all kinds of slanderous attacks against our missionaries, seminary professors and anyone who dares to speak the truth about the SBC before 1979 or the carnal political activity of the conservative resurgence leaders. I would challenge you to read "Columns" a book by Russell Dilday and how he CR attacked Southwestern Seminary if you want to see the true workings and motivation of the conservative resurgence. I am a theological conservaive and an inerrntist. That is why I canot support the conservative resurgence.

Lydia said...

"They used nothing but SBC literature and materials. Those products were really lacking in clearly teaching doctrine.
I do see it as something that the Conservative Resurgence has corrected somewhat.
"

Seriously? I find the materials now extremely shallow.

Gene S said...

I am now 63, going on 64 in March. My ENTIRE life the SBC has been conservative, but in 1979 there were new tems introduced like "skunk" and "liberal" which were just smoke-and-mirrors epithets average church members took to heart and believed.

The literature was making significant strides forward in 1970-80 when highly trained educators began to use the latest teaching techniques alongside a deeper and more exposing intellectual investigation of biblical and archeological discoveries. These discoveries were popping up almost monthly and are still available on the History / Discovery / National Geographic Channels.

When one looks at these programs compared with current SS Literature, our stuff pales in content comparison to a tragic point!

We used to allow for Autonomy and difference of opinion which made any SS class intereating and a growing experience. MOst classes had people of all stripes attending.

H.L. Menkin described Conservatives at "our contemporary ancestors." We are proving it well these days under BF&M 2000, in my opinion.

We even had 3 different series of literature: Convention Uniform / Life and Works / I forget the 3rd title. Anyone wanting a more conservative approach and traditional could use Convention Uniform with smile on face--no longer.

When dictates come "from above" (and I don't mean from God) we are turned into little controlled automatons who must follow the leaders of CR.

I don't think it is for the best and continues to make us look like fools in the eyes of those who just turn on the above channels. This partly answers the question why many churches are taking "Baptist" off the sign out front.

Wade said...

John Fariss,

In looking over Wade's article and the comments, I noticed one item that I must somewhat disagree with. He writes that the SBC continues to "side . . . toward Independent, Landmark, Fundamentalism." If by "Independent," Wade refers to the mindset and attitude characterized by independent Baptist churches, maybe.

I agree with you. I mean the "Independent mindset and attitude (fighten Fundamentalists)."

Thanks for the comment.

C W M said...

a much needed slide