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

Christian Liberal Ideology and Christian Fundamentalist Ideology Are Brothers from the Same Mother

Classical Liberalism and classical Fundamentalism within Christianity, at first glance, seem to have nothing in common. The former makes figurative the historical narrative of Scripture while the latter makes literal the figurative, poetic and apocalyptic language of Scripture. Classical Liberalism denies, or removes from, truth in the sacred text, while classical Fundamentalism affirms all, and adds to, truth in the sacred text. Classical Liberalism turns salvation into something not needed, while classical Fundamentalism turns salvation into something not heeded. Classical Liberalism affirms the Bible to be sufficient for next to nothing, while classical Fundamentalism affirms the Bible to be sufficient for absolutely everything. At this moment, the Southern Baptist Convention is overwhelmed by the latter group (classical Fundamentalists). Grateful as I am that classical Liberalism is not at home within the SBC, it behooves us all to recognize the similarity between classical Liberalism and classical Fundamentalism in order to focus on a Gospel Resurgence within our Convention. We have no hope of the gospel being our priority if we don't see that Liberalism and Fundamentalism share the same DNA.

Both ideologies find it difficult to allow the freedom to express disagreement.

Or, to put it more bluntly, classical Liberalism wants only Liberals to be heard, and classical Fundamentalism wants only Fundamentalists to be heard. Adherents to both ideologies remind me of weak, insecure Chief Executive Officers who can't let their boards ever question their decisions--out of fear they may move in the wrong direction. Of course, the wrong direction is any direction opposite of the views of the CEO. Rather than being open to dissenting views, all dissent is ridiculed and stifled. Stifling and silencing opposing views is as prevalent in the university, institution, classroom or church controlled by classical Liberals as it is by those conrolled by classical Fundamentalists. Since classical Fundamentalism is the struggle within the SBC at this moment, allow me to show the danger of Fundamentalism silencing all dissenting views on various subject matters. We have seen Fundamentalists remove missionaries who disagree over the cessation of spiritual gifts, professors who disagree over women being able to teach men in a classroom setting, and a host of other examples of silencing and removing dissenting viewpoints in the SBC these last few years; but now the SBC is being given another example of the prevailing ideologists clamping down on any opposing view.

An Attempt to Remove Professors Who Do Not Teach Storehouse Tithing

An excellent biblical presentation on the Old Covenant practice of "storehouse tithing" is found in an article entitled “Will a Man Rob God?” This study on tithing in the Old and New Testaments by Andreas J. Kostenberger and David A. Croteau, who at the time the article was published served as professor and Ph.D. student respectively at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an excellent argument for pastors and teachers to cease their emphasis on "the tithe" and encouraging their members to give "cheerfully, generously, and regularly" as led by the Holy Spirit. Dr. Kostenberger remains a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. David A. Croteau is now a professor in the religion department at Liberty University.

I received information that Southern Baptist pastor Les Puryear, a small church pastor who ran for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008, contacted the supervisors of these men at the respective seminaries where they are employed. I was told Les was seeking their termination for teaching giving and Christian stewardship in a manner contrary to "storehouse tithing" and the practice of the Jews in the Old Testament. I contacted Les to ask if this was true, and he both called and wrote a written response which he published in the comment section of his blog. He wrote:

-- "Thanks for your email. I returned your phone call as well but your assistant said you were in a staff meeting.

First, I don't know who your seminary contact is, but rest assured that I will raise the issue of private information being leaked to you, to seminary officials.

Second, your source is wrong. I have not asked for anyone to be fired, nor will I ask for anyone to be fired.

Third, I appreciate your concern with tertiary issues, however, I believe that this issue goes beyond tertiary and to a foundational issue of our convention and that is the role of Holy Scripture in the life of the Christian. That is the issue I am addressing. If you think the validity of scripture is a tertiary issue, then we have a true disconnect." --
I took Les at his word and thanked him for not seeking the termination of the professors who disagreed with his views on "storehouse tithing."

But then, after my conversation with Les, I was given excerpts of the letter Les sent. Pay close attention to what Les writes to the seminary supervisors:

1) -- "It has come to my attention that one of your professors has written a document that is available online in which he states that the biblical command to tithe is no longer applicable."

2) "I do not believe that (professor’s name) position is the typical position among SBC pastors. My concern is the influence which (professor’s name) may have upon future pastors who may teach this unbiblical position."

3) "I am completely shocked and surprised that in the years following the Conservative Resurgence, (school name) would employ a professor who teaches that tithing is not necessary."

4) "… do you think it is helpful to the SBC to keep this professor on the faculty of (school name)?" --
I will accept that Les didn't mean what it sounds like he meant. Asking the supervisors of the respective professors "is it helpful to keep this professor on faculty?" may not, at least technically, be a call for the professors' terminations. But let me turn the phrase around to maybe help Les understand the signficance of such a letter from the perspective of those who are being pressured to be silent about their beliefs in order to continue as seminary faculty members. Suppose one of the members of the church where Les pastors wrote to the chairman of his deacons and said the following:

"Do you think it is helpful to our church to keep Pastor Les on the payroll when he is publicly teaching (blank)?"

I would think that the impression given by the letter would be, "Les, stop teaching (blank) or you may be fired!" I honestly don't believe I am the only one who believes the letter Les sent is indicative of an inability for Fundamentalists to handle dissent. There are some people in the SBC who still don't seem to get the problem we are facing as a Convention. The struggle within the Southern Baptist Convention is no longer over the Bible. We are in as much trouble today as we were years ago when Southern Baptists were shouting "Liberalism! Liberalism! We must throw out the Liberals!" Though some doubt the extent of Liberalism within the SBC in the late 1970's, there can be no doubt the spread of Fundamentalism in the SBC in the early 2010's. We have substituted one ideology for another ideology--and the brother of the former has the same DNA.

Both can't stand dissent or disagreement.

Well, if we threw out adherents to the Liberal ideology in 1979, then we better get ready to throw out the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology of the present or apologize for what was done to the people we Southern Baptists called "liberals" in the late 1970's.

In His Grace,

Wade

180 comments:

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

It sure sounds like Les is asking for someone to be fired to me.

Tactics like this by Les are right out of the CR playbook were someone's livelihood is on the line simply because he does not believe the way someone (in this case) Les believes.

This whole issue raised by Les is nothing short of divisive and short sighted.

Wade Burleson said...

"Love believes all things" and so I am choosing to believe Les did not intend to seek their termination.

This post is to convince those who heard from Les, and may have misunderstood him, that they can't terminate or remove professors for teaching on Christian stewardship in a manner different from the doctrine of "storehouse tithing" without being held accountable for removing people over doctrinal matters that exceed the BFM 2000.

Of course, backroom insistence on doctrinal conformity over matters that exceed the Baptist Faith and Message has now become standard practice.

I'm trying to break the practice, and public awareness is the only way I know how to do it.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

When the letter says--" "… do you think it is helpful to the SBC to keep this professor on the faculty of (school name)?""

What other interpretation than being fired can their be?

Wade Burleson said...

The only other possibility is that Les is being les than forthright.

Lydia said...

"Third, I appreciate your concern with tertiary issues, however, I believe that this issue goes beyond tertiary and to a foundational issue of our convention and that is the role of Holy Scripture in the life of the Christian. That is the issue I am addressing. If you think the validity of scripture is a tertiary issue, then we have a true disconnect. "

This makes no sense at all. If he is concerned about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian then why teach the 10%? That may not be the Holy Spirit guiding but the pastor proclaiming a standard which is not even the full tithe of the OC.

If I am listening to Les, I could easily miss the Holy Spirit guiding me to sell my home and give it to some brothers and sisters in need instead. I could feel smug in my obedience of 10% to a church building and salaries when I might actually be in sin.

I fear too many pastors are trying to take on the role of Holy Spirit for their sheep.

Thy Peace said...

Amen. Excellent post.

So this was what Les Puryear was up to when he said all this raised red flags and would sound the alarm that will reverberate throughout the SBC.

For readers who do not wish to download the pdf file but view it directly in the browser:

“Will a Man Rob God?”.

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

I fear too many pastors are trying to take on the role of Holy Spirit for their sheep.

I agree. We pastors depending on the Spirit to guide the people require a great deal of faith and confidence in Him. Demanding conformity to a law we establish on people to bring about "appropriate behavior" requires a great deal of confidence in ourselves to convince people of the validity of our law. The former (the Holy Spirit) brings power and spiritual life. The latter (the law) ultimately brings spiritual death.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

I think you are correct. The red flags raised and the alarms sounded were calls and letters to seminary heads saying, "Do you realize you have a person who teaches (blank) on your faculty? Is it wise to allow them to continue to serve on faculty?"

I'll answer the the last question for us all.

"Yes."

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Are Seminary professors, church members, etc, going to have to sign off on something that states they believe in Storehouse tithing and actually practice storehouse tithing.

This current scenario raised by Les is outrageous.

Wade Burleson said...

I think the more we talk about these issues and reveal what is going on behind the scenes, the more freedom we have from demands for conformity.

For those who only hear "no tithing," from us, I think we should be clear:

We believe EVERYTHING we have is God's--and we are simply stewards. Therefore, we will listen to Him and invest, save, give, and manage His money as He leads.

My wife and I give regularly, cheerfully and generously to our church--and if we were to put a percentage on it (though we never do), it would be 100% of what He tells us to give.

:)

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade,

Guess we'd best be tearing out some of the Baptist Faith & Message. Like the paragraphs about Priesthood of the Believer, and the paragraph concerning Stewardship .. which does not even mention "tithe" (nor does any of the BF&M).

I think I can make a case out of scripture for the local church keeping 10% of the tithes and offerings paid in, to feed the poor, but I can't make a case for that obligation falling on the individual believer.

I can, however, imagine several circumstances in which a pastor might "beat that drum", so to speak.

Lydia said...

Thy Peace, Thanks for the link to Kostenberger paper. It was very good.

Finally, something I can agree with him on! And he even said that pastors are not the Levite Priest since we are now a part of the Holy Priesthood with no mediator between us and Christ.

I just wish he would carry over that truth over to women!

Lydia said...

One more thing...what about scholarship and intellectual integrity at our seminaries? What Les is proposing means that interpretations cannot be debated.

We know that exists already at our seminaries on other issues that are non salvic.

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Once the rubicon is crossed from Old Covenant thinking to New Covenant thinking on issues like stewardship, it's not long before the biblical New Covenant teaching of the equality of women is understood.

Steven Stark said...

As a very liberal spiritual person, I do not see how your labels are meaningful here.

Although there are some people who enjoy seeing themselves as occupying an extreme wing of an ideology, I think most people consider themselves moderate.

It seems your idea is - "people who are right of me and left of me are too intolerant". I think we all think that - regardless of where we fall on the spectrum.

Perhaps the real difference is not tolerance, but rather beliefs about what is fundamental and what is tertiary.

Lydia said...

Once the rubicon is crossed from Old Covenant thinking to New Covenant thinking on issues like stewardship, it's not long before the biblical New Covenant teaching of the equality of women is understood.

Wed Feb 10, 01:06:00 PM 2010

Perhaps, but when you look closely enough, there is no prohibition on women teaching men in the Old Covenant.

It is now a new man made law for the New Covenant.That is even a wider abyss to cross over! :o)

Wade Burleson said...

I think the concept from the Old Covenant is that "priests" were all male. "The Temple" is the modern "church." Tithing supports both.

linda said...

The unsaved world must think we all have multiple personalities, or some sort of split mind.

On the one hand, we teach we are not under OT law.

But on the other hand, if it is convenient for us, we teach we are under it.

I've never been to seminary. Most likely never will.

But I can read......and Galatians is still in my Bible.

So we trust God to be all powerful...unless He uses a woman to teach us or speak to us?

Unless He tells someone to give their money in a way that might impact our career?

We trust Him as Lord over each individual, as long as we agree with the marching orders He gives?

Much of what is being said sounds like the old "Lordship Salvation" debate.

Except this time, we don't REALLY trust Jesus to be Lord of the church.

We just want Him as the big stick we use to punish those who disagree with us as we exercise "lordship".

You know, the Bible also teaches something else.

It teaches judgement will begin with the house of God.

May God have mercy on us.

Christiane said...

"rest assured that I will raise the issue of private information being leaked to you, to seminary officials."

More trouble.

What is it with trying to get people fired and using the Bible as an excuse to harm them ? Is there no awareness of the damage that may come to these individuals and their families, when they lose their source of income and benefits?

The Judaic tradition teaches that 'to take away the livelihood of a person, it is as though you had murdered him.'

The Baptist Identity program seems to rely rather heavily on intimidation and control, without compassionate regard for the negative impact on the lives of those they target.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

In Dr. Kostenberger's papers he concludes the following:

The evidence from the period prior to the Mosaic Law suggests that no system of tithing was in
place.
The BF&M support their Stewardship statement with Genesis 14:20

While 2 Chron 31 did not add significantly to our discussion and Amos 4 was found to anticipate
the thrust of Jesus’ words in Matt 23 and Luke 18, Neh 10:32–29 raised some issues that are
indicative of the problems that occur when the Mosaic Law is brought into the new covenant era
without adequate consideration being given to the question of how the Law was used and what
its purpose was. The discussion of Mal 3 surfaced similar problems and, at the least, demonstrated that the passage cannot legitimately be used to argue for the continuation of tithing into the new covenant.
The BF&M states clearly that Malachi 3:8-12 is a source scripture for their statement on stewardship.

Of the three passages that mention tithing in the New Testament, none can be appropriately used to argue for the continuation of tithing in the new covenant period. The BF&M clearly provide more than three NT texts for a basis in its statement on Stewardship.

Does the BF&M mention the word "tithe"? No it doesn't. But it points directly to scripture that speaks does mention "tithe". Thus, anyone that argued the authors intent of the BF&M was not speaking of a consistent giving of the tithe, is at least teaching contrary to the BF&M.

Oh, your connection at SEBTS should be revealed.

Blessings,
Tim

Tom Parker said...

Tim Rogers:

I hope you enjoy the freedom to come post at Wade's place, because you do not extend that courtesy to all wherever it is that you post.

And you said"Oh, your connection at SEBTS should be revealed."

I do not hear you denying what is stated in this blog just that you did not want it revealed to the world.

And Tim just what would you and others do to the source or sources.

You guys are beyond extreme!!

Lydia said...

I applaud Kostenburger scholarship on this issue for another reason, too. He would directly benefit with more job security if storehouse tithing is preached and commanded.

But because he believes the 'tithe' is not commanded for the NC, he must rely on believers being led by the Holy Spirit for his income as a prof at one of our seminaries.

Who wrote the BFM? Pastors and other Christian professionals who rely on a 'tithe' system for their income.

Seems it would take more faith for a pastor to NOT teach the OC tithe system. He could only model joyous giving and depend on the Holy Spririt.

Tom Kelley said...

Wade,
Excellent post. Thanks for pointing folks toward the work done by Kostenberger and Croteau to elucidate this issue. Additional valuable resources are the writings of Russell Kelly and John MacArthur's sermon, "A Biblical Model for Giving, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

I do think it is important, though, to note that the use of the term Fundamentalist (with a capital F) is appropriate to those who adhere to the Fundamentals, as part of a historical reaction to Classical Liberalism. Many, if not most, bible-believing evangelicals would affirm those basic doctrines, and they aren't properly associated with either legalism or adding to the Scriptures. Personally, I prefer to use "fundamentalism" (small f) to refer to those who have gone beyond the basic tenets of the Fundamentals and developed their own set of rules, regulations, and standards that go beyond the teachings of Scripture, or that elevate tertiary doctrines to primary status.

Nonetheless, I concur with your assessment that liberalism and modern fundamentalism share the same DNA. Both arise from attempts to elevate man's reasoning capacity to the level of divine revelation, and from the difficulty humans have with living in God's grace.
-----
Tom

P.S. I think that perhaps some pastors are obsessed with the doctrine of "storehouse tithing" because they are afraid that, if they didn't require their sheep to give at a specified level, they might end up earning Less PerYear.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Rogers,

When we begin exegeting and interpreting the BFM and telling people what the original authors intended on matters of which they themselves were silent, we have out-Phariseed the Pharisees, out Mormonized the Mormons, and out Jehovah-witnessed the Jehovah Witnesses.

Thanks for the interpretation of the BFM on storehouse tithing, but I find little worthy of discussion and dialogue over whether or not the BFM actually teaches it.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I always wonder whether or not to capitalize Fundamentalism--particularly because I believe in the fundamentals of the gospel myself. I am trying to differentiate between a belief in the fundamentals of the gospel and the Fundamentalism ideology that adds to the essentials of the gospel for cooperation, fellowship and brotherly love.

Tim Rogers said...

Tom Parker,

Private emails to a President of a SBC Entity from an SBC pastor should not be made public. As it stands, because this email has been leaked for public consumption, the teaching of this prof cannot be explained or questioned in a private manner. No one is calling for anyone to be fired. It is merely a question being asked because the prof signed a statement saying he would not teach contrary to the BF&M.

As for my freedom to comment over here. You have the same freedom at SBC Today to comment on issues. You do not have the right to castigate anyone that does not agree with your point of view. Now, I have violated a personal policy of mine but I did it only to tell you, not to address me again.

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I have found that the only ones who desire the cloak of darkness are those who don't like the way they look when the lights are turned on.

Tom Parker said...

Tom Kelley:

You said:"they might end up earning Less PerYear.:

I agree and thanks for the humor if you meant it the way I think you do.

Wade Burleson said...

And, Mr. Rogers, you have now included "storehouse tithing" into the doctrines taught by the BFM.

Pretty soon, forbidding women to wear pants to church, cessation of spiritual gifts, the demand for authenticated Baptist credentials of the baptizer, the forbidding of women teaching men Hebrew in a seminary classroom, and a host of other "doctrines" will become a test of fellowship due to your exegesis of the BFM.

Oh, wait, that's already happened.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Thanks for the interpretation of the BFM on storehouse tithing, but I find little worthy of discussion and dialogue over whether or not the BFM actually teaches it.

That is the reason you were censored at the IMB.

Blessings,
Tim

Tom Parker said...

Tim Rogers:

You said:"You do not have the right to castigate anyone that does not agree with your point of view. Now, I have violated a personal policy of mine but I did it only to tell you, not to address me again.

Blessings,
Tim"

Tim, I believe you are the pot calling the kettle black and I will address you again anytime I want to.

I stand by my comment:"You guys are beyond extreme!! You twist and turn things at every opportunity.

I'm glad this email found the light of day.

Why are you and others always afraid to do things out in the open?

Tom Parker said...

Tim:

You said to Wade:"That is the reason you were censored at the IMB."

Tim, you said to me"You do not have the right to castigate anyone that does not agree with your point of view."

Sure sounds to me like you just castigated Wade.

What do we need to do to censor you and the others that cause so much division in the SBC?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Guthrie,

No sir, the reason I was censored at the IMB is because I pointed out that some, in a similar manner and approach you are taking, began demanding all other Southern Baptists comply to their "doctrinal" edicts. This demand for doctrinal conformity, over issues which the BFM 2000 was silent, led to the removal of missionaries who didn't believe in the cessation of spiritual gifts or that the credentials of the baptizer required Baptist ordination.

People who were demanding conformity didn't like the challenge.

And, as is the custom of those who find themselves in an insecure ideological position, they began to attack the character of the person issuing the challenge.

By the way, Tim, I wrote a book about it.

Smiling,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

Thanks for the defense, but it isn't needed. I learned a long time ago when people begin to assault my character, it is because I'm making an impact on the way other people think.

I take the character slams as a badge of honor now.

Blessings,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Maybe we could donate a copy of your book to Tim Rogers.

Tim G said...

Wade,
I have not commented on here concerning this.

I read your book before many others :) Which is why I will ask you this:

Why is it ok for you to post parts of an email and yet NOT alright when someone else does it about you?

TG

Tim Rogers said...

Mr. Burleson,

Lest you do not understand my last response, allow me to elaborate. If a preacher wanted to get a prof fired it would not be a personal email to the president, but an email copied to all of the trustees. Then it would be a private phone call to the trustees, and then a personal meeting with the trustees. Thus, the prof would be fired by the president because of the pressure coming from the trustees.

Of course you would know this because you were taught it by the best. Why did he leave again?

Tim

Inkling said...

My opinion is that this question -- and the larger question of whether the OT law is binding -- was definitively decided by the Jerusalem Council. Luke tells us in Acts 15:

"But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, 'It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.' The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter."

In other words, the Jerusalem Council wasn't just concerned with circumcision; the larger question before them was whether the new Gentile converts should be required "to keep the law of Moses." And how did the Council answer this question?

"For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality."

Had the Council thought that tithing was required of Gentile believers, they undoubtedly would have said so. But they did not, and they were explicit that they would impose "no greater burden" beyond the three things mentioned.

I agree that the validity of Scripture is a foundational issue. What I don't see is how those who claim the continuing validity of the law can overcome the plain language of Acts 15.

Mark

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

I am not sure I understand your last comment, but if you are referring to Ben Cole, the reason he left Emmanuel is because he fulfilled the one year contract he signed with our Personnel Committee before he ever came on the field. Our church was a bridge for Ben from the pastorate to Washington D.C.--a place where he always desired to work. And, by the way, he seems to be doing quite well.

As far as "being taught" something by Ben, again, I'm unsure to that which you refer. He has some great stories, but my experiences with ideologues preceded any knowledge or relationship with Ben.

I think, Mr. Guthrie, your attempts at changing subject matter indicate a huge weakness in your arguments.

The issue before us is whether or not we will let people like you demand everyone in the SBC believe like you.

I am here to ensure THAT never happens.

Smiling and enjoying our conversation,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

Feel free to retype your question. However, please have the courtesy to allow me to answer your previous one before you type another one.

Thanks,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Guthrie,

My humble and sincere apologies for my faux paux. This is not the first time I have confused you and Tim Rogers.

Again, please forgive me.

Folks, my responses should be addressed to TIM ROGERS and not Tim Guthrie.

Blessings to you both.

Wade

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tim Rogers: Ben has visited our church since he has left for Washington and is in good standing. I haven't called him or emailed him as much as I would like because I respect his time and my time is short now days, but he has never refused a phone call to him from me and I love Ben Cole. I miss him, but I am happy that he is doing what he feels God is leading him to do. Just for the record.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I will accept that Les didn't mean what it sounds like he meant."

Wade,

You old antinomian, you! I say this in all gentleness. You are either (1) incredibly naive, (2) literarily-challenged, or (3) filled with much more grace than I. It must be the latter because it says what it says, and as the rest of your post implies, you know it does, too.

;-)

Louis said...

Tim: You said, "No one is calling for anyone to be fired. It is merely a question being asked because the prof signed a statement saying he would not teach contrary to the BF&M."

The posted excerpts from Bro. Puryear's letter say nothing about adherance to the BF&M; his stated concern is that the professor's position is not "the typical position among SBC pastors."

First of all, how would he know what is typical or atypical among SBC pastors? I don't recall having participated in any survey asking my opinion on the matter.

Second, are the opinions of pastors the only ones which matter, when we are deciding what ought or ought not be taught by our seminary professors? What about spiritually astute lay persons? Are professors bound to submit all of thier writings to all SBC pastors, so that we (but not the laity) may vote on their validity--majority (or, to use Puryear's word, what is "typical") rules?

Wade Burleson said...

TimGuthrie (not Tim Rogers),

You write: Why is it ok for you to post parts of an email and yet NOT alright when someone else does it about you?

? Scratching my head on that one. What I write is open to the world.

By the way, having served as the official parliamentarian for many organizations, including the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, I understand assembly rules, including confidentiality rules, and always abide by them.

What should not remain confidential are those secret, hidden attempts to subvert Southern Baptists in order to promote a specific ideology.

Unless it involves human safety considerations or legal matters, all ministry conducted by Southern Baptists should be open for the world to see.

Wade Burleson said...

Louis,

You write to Tim Rogers: How would he know what is typical or atypical among SBC pastors?

Great point, Louis. That is exactly the tactic I saw played out as the trustees of the IMB, led by Tom Hatley and Jerry Corbaley, triumphantly declared that 95% of all Southern Baptist pastors agreed with their position on the cessation of spiritual gifts.

Then, LIFEWAY came out with a poll stating over 50% of Southern Baptists believed differently than Corbaley and Hatley.

Guess what they wanted to do?

Um hum. They wanted to fire the LIFEWAY people responsible for the poll.

Wade Burleson said...

New BBC Open Forum,

Duly chastized.

Smiling.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Now, I have violated a personal policy of mine but I did it only to tell you, not to address me again."

Blessings,
Tim
[Rogers]

It just blesses my heart (not) when I see supposed Christians speak to fellow Christians in such an ugly way and then sign it "Blessings." Is that not oxymoronic? Or simply disingenuous?

New BBC Open Forum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

New BBC Forum,

In all fairness to Tim Rogers, I think he was telling Tom Parker not to address him again.

Though, I agree with you BBC, it sounds silly to bless the man (Tom Parker) that is not to address him again.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"In all fairness to Tim Rogers, I think he was telling Tom Parker not to address him again."

Um, well, he addressed it to you, not Tom Parker. I quoted it in its entirety.

So... uh... how 'bout them Saints!

believer333 said...

""Love believes all things" and so I am choosing to believe Les did not intend to seek their termination."

Are you really sure that is the right application of the relevant verse in 1 Cor. 13? Does godly love mean that we don't believe what is evident by word, action, and implication. Or does it mean something along the lines of mercy in spite of?

Tom Parker said...

New BBC Open Forum:

Aint it funny that Tim Rogers thinks he can tell me not to adress him and I am just to automatically stop.

He does not have that kind of power over me.

I'm really glad he has no power over me because he just might abuse it. Power is a tricky thing.

Lydia said...

"As it stands, because this email has been leaked for public consumption, the teaching of this prof cannot be explained or questioned in a private manner."

Uh, hello! The teaching is PUBLIC.

What is there to 'question' or 'explain' in a private manner? Can you give us a clue?

Wade Burleson said...

BBC Open Forum,

Um, well, he addressed it to you, not Tom Parker. I quoted it in its entirety.

So... uh... how 'bout them Saints!


Please refer to the comment time stamped Wed Feb 10, 02:50:00 PM 2010. It is written by Tim Rogers and addressed to Tom Parker.

Is that not the comment from which the "don't address me again" comment comes?

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Snap.

(That's the way my kids tell me I'm right on).

Smiling.

Tim G said...

Wade,
I think your use of an email from a person that was given to you via another person etc. raises an issue that you of all people should know and be careful about:
Any one of us can and should be able to ask questions of leaders. When asking those questions is then turned into a public "jumping of conclusions" when the intent was NOT to have anyone fired, how can you expect anyone to feel free and safe to ask questions?

You are defeating that which you champion. And you are doing to Les what you claim was wrongfully done to you.

Wade, I think you are better than this. It would be nice for you to reveal your source since that is a request that you have repeatedly asked for over the past few years!

Wade Burleson said...

believer333,

Good point.

What about "love covers a multitude of sins"?

When sin harms another person, it would seem to me that love does not "cover" it.

If sin harms me, in my love for the person who has harmed me, I may choose to cover it.

Tim G said...

Wade,
P.S. Thank you for correcting the comment stream as to whom was askign you questions at that time!

Bryan Riley said...

At the foundation of every effort to control things is fear. Fear is the opposite of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7. And fear stems from a lack of faith. Fear is a promotion of self to god-status; and the oldest error of Lucifer takes over - the desire to usurp authority and control things.

It is so much easier to rest in the Lord than to run around trying to be God's defender. All He asks of us is to love Him and one another; we don't have to do the Holy Spirit's job, too.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim G (not Tim Rogers),

You think it would be nice to reveal my source.

I think it would be nice for Fundamentalist Southern Baptists to stop seeking, both actively and privately, the removal of people in SBC leadership who don't conform to every ideological jot and tittle of Fundamentalism.

I will do the former when you and others do the latter.

Of course, by then, the sources won't be in fear for themselves or their friends and won't have to resort to contacting me.

Wade

New BBC Open Forum said...

Tom Parker,

Whether Tim Rogers was addressing you or Wade (I'm still not clear on which it was), he was telling one or both of you to shut up, but I guess by "politely" asking you to not "address" him, he was trying to "stay sweet." Signing statements like that with "blessings" is the height of hypocrisy IMO and make any future wish for blessings moot. I've noticed several of the most caustic of bloggers regularly do that. I'm reminded of this story I read somewhere:

A Southerner can get away with the most awful insult, just as long as it is accompanied by the words "Bless her heart" or "Bless his heart." [Or in this case, "blessings."] As in, "If they put his brain on the head of a pin, it'd roll around like a BB on a six-lane highway, bless his heart." Or, "She's so bucktoothed, she could eat an apple through a picket fence, bless her heart."

There are also sneakier ones I remember from tongue-clicking types in my childhood. "You know, it's amazing that even though she had that baby seven months after they got married, bless her heart, it weighed ten pounds."

As long as the heart is sufficiently blessed, the insult can't be all that bad. At least that's what my great-aunt Tiny (bless her heart, she was anything but) used to say.


And yes, power is tricky. In its absolute form, it tends to corrupt... absolutely.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim Guthrie,

You wrote: You are doing to Les what you claim was wrongfully done to you.

Uh, from my viewpoint, this is not about Les--it's about the two people Les went after.

And, most assuredly, I never went after anyone. I PROTECTED Southern Baptists, and that is when some unhappy folks went after me.

I can assure you from the bottom of my heart, were Les DEFENDING the two professors, he would have my utmost respect and support.

In His Grace,

Wade

Tom Parker said...

New BBC Open Forum:

To be told to shut up and to actually do it would let people like him win, but they are truly bullys and when you don't back down they can not handle it.

Chris Riley said...

So are we beginning to see what E.Y. Mullins, Herschel Hobbs, et al. warned us about when we take a cooperative document, turn into a creed, and demand denominational conformity? To whose conformity will we adhere? The obvious answer is: MINE. {insert whoever's name you wish here}
Have we lost our Baptist identity in the trivial rather than being known for people who sought to change the world through missions?

Wade Burleson said...

Chris,

Yes.

Scott said...

Um...

Were the sources of the whole BGCT flap ever revealed?

Or were they conveniently explained away?

I can't remember...

Amy said...

Wade,

I believe the term which popped into my head as I read your post was "sandbagging". I also believe the question which popped into my head was "what did Les Puryear do to Burleson?" For it does seem that some of your close allies into the past are not present anymore (i.e., Puryear and C. B. Scott).

So would you mind answering a couple of questions -- (1) did you forewarn, as it would have been the Christian action to do so, Les Puryear about this post?; (2) did you provide him the courtesy to respond beforehand to your allegations and presumptions?

Just questions.

Wade Burleson said...

BBC Open Forum,

It's no big deal, but you misread Tim Roger's comment. It was addressed to Tom Parker.

See comment time stamped Wed Feb 10, 02:50:00 PM 2010.

Lydia said...

I wonder if Kostenburger will be "allowed" to respond openly about the BFM and his teaching on tithe? Would he revoke his position to keep his job? Will he have to?

You know, it really bothers me that a professor...a scholar (even though I disagree with some of his scholarship)is being railroaded behind his back by going over his head to the bossman. Nevermind the scholarship position here for disagreement on a non salvic issue, what about basic professionalism? Go to that person first?

They could even arrange to debate the issue publicly. Like gentlemen.

Stop with the backhanded secret stuff, guys. And when you get caught you sound like Charles Emerson Winchester the Third with your arrogant retorts and pompous insults that make NO logical sense. It is ruining your credibility.

I call for a public debate on 10%tithing in the New Covenant by Puryear and Kostenburger.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

I spoke with Les by phone and via email exchange after my source initially contacted me about Les's contact of supervisors of both professors. Les told me he did not seek the firing of anyone.

Then, after that initial exchange, I received the actual letter which could definitely be read as if Les was seeking the removal of the professors--and that is the way my source read it.

Thanks for you questions Amy.

Now, one for you.

Are you as concerned for the two professors as you are me contacting Les?

Wade

Christiane said...

"Does godly love mean that we don't believe what is evident by word, action, and implication. Or does it mean something along the lines of mercy in spite of?"

Sometimes we don't 'understand' all that we 'know' that people tell us :)

My vote is for the mercy shown by bringing something out into the light so that Les' words to Wade, which Wade accepts,
may also be seen by the Seminary authorities who might have 'misunderstood' Les, and acted in secret to 'discipline' the professors (or terminate them, perhaps)

Mercy shown all around.
Everyone wins here. Even Les becomes more understood and accepted.

What is that teaching from St. John:
'the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it'

And may we say 'Amen' :)

New BBC Open Forum said...

You are correct, Wade. Apparently when I went back the second time to copy and paste the comment I copied a subsequent one that was addressed to you. My apologies to Tim Rogers for the mix-up. I have deleted my 3:41 p.m. comment.

Mr. Rogers, I know my opinion means nothing to you, but you were still out of line in the way you spoke to Tom Parker, and my subsequent comments stand. If you're going to tell someone to shut up, don't insult him further by signing off with "blessings."

Scott said...

Lydia,

You can't allow public debates in the Southern Baptist Convention. The sharing of ideas and information is dangerous and best left alone to only those of a certain faction which have obviously been ordained by God because only they have the correct doctrine and interpretation. Such ideas contrary to their way of thinking is clearly heretical and immediately cheapens the inerrancy of scripture, the example of Jesus' ministry, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just ask them, they'll tell you...

Amy said...

Wade,

I am concerned about sandbagging of anyone. You sandbagged Puryear perhaps like he did to the SEBTS profs -- except we don't know the whole story because Puryear's position post email has not been explored. Did you ask Puryear for clarification post-email reception or did you just "run with the story" for whatever reason you might have?

If it is wrong for Puryear to make blanket assumptions without all the facts in evidence, it is wrong for you. Bottom line -- you should have asked Les for clarification after you received the email before you posted anything. My opinion.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

One other item of interest. I consider all Southern Baptists my friends and part of the family of Christ. You mention close "allies" in the past, as if they are not "allies" now (i.e. "Les," "C.B." etc...). One thing you need to be clear about.

I write out of a concern for historic Baptist principles, not to stroke allies or to attack enemies. Baptists have always believed in the freedom of conscience, soul liberty, and cooperation of autonomous churches for the purpose of missions.

When one writes on the basis of those principles, when a violation of them is seen, it matters not who violates it, the issue is addressed.

Tikatu said...

"Third, I appreciate your concern with tertiary issues, however, I believe that this issue goes beyond tertiary and to a foundational issue of our convention and that is the role of Holy Scripture in the life of the Christian. That is the issue I am addressing. If you think the validity of scripture is a tertiary issue, then we have a true disconnect. "--Les Puryear, as quoted in the OP.

"This makes no sense at all. If he is concerned about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian then why teach the 10%? That may not be the Holy Spirit guiding but the pastor proclaiming a standard which is not even the full tithe of the OC."--Lydia, from the comments.

I wanted to point out that Mr. Puryear's concern is not the role of the Holy Spirit, as Lydia concludes, but role of the Holy Scriptures. Of course, our Father has given us the Spirit so we may better understand the Scriptures.

Overall, I agree with you, Wade, that the fundamentalists, like the liberals, cannot abide dissention. Not just in the SBC, but in other Christian arenas that apply the term to themselves.

Word verification: "ypent"... I'll let you all figure that one out.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

Thanks, again, for your opinion. I can assure you that after my personal conversations with Les I understood completely where HE was coming from--he did NOT intend to call for the firing of anyone. I have already stated I choose to believe him.

However, that is NOT how his communication was received. It LOOKED AS IF he was calling for termination.

I am making public the email to protect the two professors.

Were Les to be concerned about how he might be perceived by others because his email has been made public, he might should have never sent it.

My greater concern is that professors who see "storehouse tithing" differently than Fundamentalists be allowed to teach, write and publish freely their views.

That's the Baptist way.

Wade Burleson said...

Tikatu,

Amen.

Amy said...

Two more comments -- (1) I might have written email when it was a letter but I think my concern is clear; and (2) I agreed regarding the SWBTS decision to close the counseling program but disagree with your handling of this issue.

True honesty comes from those who strive (as I try) to be objective. True constructive criticism comes from those who are not afraid to be honest in all areas.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

We all appreciate your true honesty and constructive criticism.

Wade Burleson said...

To All,

I am a multi-tasker and writing comes very easily to me.

I have completed Sunday's message, next Wednesday night's message, and the 24 texts and titles for the next series at Emmanuel which begins in mid-April--all while enjoying my conversation with you via the Internet.

Now, however, I am off to ministry away from the computer. I'm not sure when I will be able to respond to any questions or comments.

The comment section, like always, is open and unmoderated.

Be civil and responsible in what you write. It's permanent.

In His Grace,

Wade

Gene S said...

Since when has education at a Masters level become a matter of never saying in the classroom anything other than what the BF&M dictates?

I think we are far too full of fear that someone might carry the name of Baptist without standing constantly on his soap box to deride the issues we decide are important. To me, a well-rounded and educated person should have learned there is more than one way to look at any issue.

From our denominational beginnings on this continent it is pretty well documented that we had at least 2 traditions: Sandy Creek / Charleston. You can check out the differences with a little research so I don't have to babysit anyone on this.

These 2 approaches put aside their differences in favor of cooperating on missions and cooperative giving. The trouble I see is that one group is far more inclusive than the other. No amount of debate seemed to get group 2 in a frame of mind to be cooperative.

It was much like us being quiet while Hitler and the Nazi system took over Europe. We tried to sign treaties and be kind, but it finally came to putting an M-1 rifle touching between their eyes and saying, "1 more step on freedom and I am forced by you to pull the trigger and blow your brains out!"

This is sad and harsh, but with some people who have little or no respect for others, it can become necessary. When parents don't teach children respect, finally another kid on the school playground must punch the bully out and teach him a lesson. That stage being missed means a police officer will likely put him in cuffs one day.

Perhaps, what we mostly have is spoiled brats thinking whatever they say must be followed. That as opposed to competing businessmen helping each other if one has a piece of equipment stolen or broken.

There is a place and time for competition, but there are others when cooperation gets far more accomplished for mankind than wasting time to determine who is going to be the boss.

Tim G said...

Wade,
"going after..." is extremely strong when the motive was NOT to get anyone fired!

Lydia said...

"I wanted to point out that Mr. Puryear's concern is not the role of the Holy Spirit, as Lydia concludes, but role of the Holy Scriptures. Of course, our Father has given us the Spirit so we may better understand the Scriptures."

This IS the debate. Whether or not the NC teaches the tithe system. Good honest people and scholars disagree on this point.

My concern is with Les's bizarre "over reaction" to this issue being discussed.

He is on record calling those of us who do not believe the NC teaches an OC tithing system as "antonimian" and has been placing that accusation on several blogs that are discussing "Storehouse tithing".

He has even indicated that we are not being led by the Holy Spirit if we are not tithing 10%. (The tithe system is much more in the OC and the NC teaches us to sell our possessions if need be and help others in the Body, so 10% might be sin for some)

Now, we have him going to a seminary president over a professor who wrote a paper on whether the OC tithing system is carried over to the NC.

So, let's debate the interpretations. No problem. I say that you or Les cannot make the case for an OC tithing system in the NC. I believe Jesus Christ raised the bar because He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us in giving. I fear your and Les' position actually hinders giving.

But Les has over reacted big time on this issue. Why?

Lydia said...

"going after..." is extremely strong when the motive was NOT to get anyone fired!

Wed Feb 10, 04:41:00 PM 2010

Tim, Tell us, for what other reason could Les have written this line:

"… do you think it is helpful to the SBC to keep this professor on the faculty of (school name)?" --

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage readers to read this post and comments, especially by Russel Earl Kelley.

Joining God in His Work [Les Puryear] > Dangerously Close to Antinomianism?.

Tikatu said...

Lydia,

I was attempting to point out (without imputing any lack of diligence toward yourself) that you may have glossed over the word "Scriptures", reading that particular word in Mr. Puryear's quote as "Spirit", and this was why his statement "makes no sense at all" to you. To me, it was important to make that distinction, as it clearly shows where Mr. Puryear's bias lies.

I happen to agree with you and Wade and most of the other posters on the Scriptural insufficiency for tithing in the New Covenant. I particularly agree with Inkling's comment on the Jerusalem council in Acts 15--as well as the account of how Paul withstood Peter on the matter of the Judaizers.

I hope this has made both my prior comment and my own position clear.

Thy Peace said...

I am copying Byroniac's comment from an earlier post that is relevant to these discussions.
-------------------------------------
Byroniac said...
Les Puryear's comment surprised me and causes me concern for the SBC. What also concerns me in relation to this is a fact that Dr. Russ Kelly on his website brought up: the existence of an official SBC policy document mandating that its employees endorse the pro-tithing position. Not to be a Chicken Little on this topic, but I'm guessing this could have major shakedown potential. I'm concerned for my friends in the SBC on this issue (and others) for future tests of fellowship and potential division.

SBC Position paper.

FRI FEB 05, 11:59:00 PM 2010
.
-----------------------------------

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"To All,

I am a multi-tasker and writing comes very easily to me. [FOR THE PEOPLE OF EBC]

I have completed Sunday's message, next Wednesday night's message, and the 24 texts and titles for the next series at Emmanuel which begins in mid-April--all while enjoying my conversation with you via the Internet. [FOR GOD]

Now, however, I am off to ministry ...[FOR ENID]"



It amazes me how a preacher can begin a sermon with a title.

1. Text and title....check

2. Secretary can print bulletins now...check

3. Exegete the passage...oh, I'll do that later, but now I am bound by my title. Now exegesis become eisegesis in light of the title.

Any preacher wanna stand up and be counted who spends 20-30 hours a week ripping apart the text, forming a sermon from what the text says instead of what makes a cool "series?"

4. Failed sermon prep.

Lydia said...

"I was attempting to point out (without imputing any lack of diligence toward yourself) that you may have glossed over the word "Scriptures", reading that particular word in Mr. Puryear's quote as "Spirit", and this was why his statement "makes no sense at all" to you. To me, it was important to make that distinction, as it clearly shows where Mr. Puryear's bias lies."

Thanks for pointing that out. I had in my mind his comment on other blogs about the role of the Holy Spirit in the 10% so I read it wrong.

" I particularly agree with Inkling's comment on the Jerusalem council in Acts 15--as well as the account of how Paul withstood Peter on the matter of the Judaizers. "

I agree with this, too. It would make total sense that tithing would have been in the forefront of issues in the Council if it carried over as many teach.

"I hope this has made both my prior comment and my own position clear."

Yes! My apologies. And a hearty DUH for myself. :o)

Lydia said...

Crowder, Or they can listen to John Piper and Al Mohler for what to think and believe. :o)

Cindy said...

I must have missed the prerequisite for this somewhere...

So far as I know, "classical liberalism" is a political and moral philosophy of limited government and liberty for its citizens. As a libertarian in terms of civil politics, this is what I understand as my own political position. Christianity holds up very nicely under a political system of classical liberalism, supporting the practice of traditional orthodox Christian theology quite well. I really liked Milton Friedman, and Robert Nozick is interesting. In terms of classical liberalism's "laissez-faire" concept, government should allow complete religious freedom and shouldn't be passing any judgment on matters of theology as a principle. I was taught classical liberalism as a pre-Enlightenment concept, one of the fruits of the Reformation.

Is there some version of classical liberalism as a Christian theology that I never heard of? Some of the advocates for political liberalism had some negative opinions about Christianity, but they still advocated that all men had the right and freedom to follow what they would. So is the classical liberalism referred to here based upon the writings of a specific person who addressed their opinions about Christianity?

Any references to support how you've defined classical liberalism here? I've never heard it described like this with seemingly authoritative statements that I don't accept, unless you are relying upon the writings of certain individuals that are not made readily known in this post.

In other words, to me, classical liberalism has not been a "dirty term" as it seems to be described here. What did I miss? Or are you just using this term in a manner that differs from the way I identify it?

Christiane said...

If a 'tithing' program of an enforced ten-percent is taught as Biblical, there is this problem:

There is favoritism shown to the Church members who are wealthy, simply because they will not be impacted by their donation to the extent that a poor family would be.

So the system punishes and oppresses the poorer members of the Church. I fail to see how a 'tithing law' could ever over-rule the Commandments of Christ that would forbid Christians to oppress the poor.

?

Thy Peace said...

I highly commend Pastor Wade for coming up with his own sermon series and titles. After all, in most mega churches the senior pastors get their sermon series from Maurilio Amorim.

Scott said...

Kevin,

You clearly have no idea how much work goes into forming not only one sermon, but then to form a series of sermons based in a common theme OR to build a series of sermons based on a common passage and/or scripture.

Also, you fail to grasp the effectiveness of a clearly defined, well made series and how it can be used as a great ministerial tool to the believers and a great outreach tool to nonbelievers. Of course, to make such a sermon series requires excellence, which is usually a cuss word.

Then again, you probably believe that expository preaching is the ONLY method for delivering God's word even though both empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.

I'm so glad that you made your appearance known here today. Did you find your friends at Walmart like I suggested?

Humbly submitted,

Scott

Scott said...

Thy Peace,

There are a number of Mega Church pastors who, with the assistance of others on their staff, come up with and develop their own sermon series.

I point to Ed Young, Jr., Andy Stanley, and Rob Bell as prime examples though Rob Bell does far and away the most solo work in sermon prep.

Bill Brown said...

Cindy,

Pastor Burleson is using "Classical Liberalism" in a manner different than you understand it. Within Christianity, a "Classical Liberal" is one who denies the atonment of Christ, the virgin birth of Mary, the deity of Christ, the resurrection of Crhist, etc... in essence, the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Your definition of "classical liberalism" is that of a political and moral philosophy of limited government and liberty for its citizens. It's an appropriate definition for government and politics, but within the SBC, "Classical Liberalism" stands for the denial of the Christian faith.

Chris Riley said...

Kevin, your comments fit the same pattern as some in the SBC have followed in the past years...if I have nothing constructive to discuss or add, I will just character assassinate with a blythe comment that has no merit and is frivilous to the conversation. If the conversation can be diverted from the topic at hand, I win.

Scott said...

Bill,

There also overwhelming evidence that painting people as "Liberal" was a common tool to also dispose of a outspoken rival or critic in addition to those who did, in fact, fit the description that you aptly indicate.

Think McCarthyism and apply it to our denomination.

Bill Brown said...

Mr. Crowder,

I don't know you, but I listen to Pastor Burleson regularly. You might wish to check out his 22 week exposition of I Corinthians 13 sermon titles and texts before you spout off and show your ignorance to us again.

Robert said...

Louis,
are you the same Louis that has always used the name Louis.
Silence usually means you have something to hide.
Rob from Nashville

Cindy said...

Bill Brown,

Thank you!

Let me go on record as saying that I think that the SBC needs to choose a better term for the sake of clarity for those of us, both Christian and American, outside of their limited subculture! (Not that I have any delusions that anyone in the SBC values my opinion very much.)

Thomas Hobbes advanced his thesis that individuals could be self governing in the 17th Century, and I understand that he is seen as the father of classical liberalism followed after by guys that the SBC ought to like (Adam Smith, Bastiat, Edmund Burke, Tocqueville...).

But thanks. Someone needs to develop a lexicon for the SBC's redefinition of terms. It would help me out quite a bit.

Tom Kelley said...

Gene S said...
From our denominational beginnings on this continent it is pretty well documented that we had at least 2 traditions: Sandy Creek / Charleston. You can check out the differences with a little research so I don't have to babysit anyone on this.

These 2 approaches put aside their differences in favor of cooperating on missions and cooperative giving. The trouble I see is that one group is far more inclusive than the other. No amount of debate seemed to get group 2 in a frame of mind to be cooperative.


The Sandy Creek / Charleston streams are well known to Baptist historians, though there is a too common misconception that the Sandy Creek Separatist Baptists were not Calvinists, as were the Charleston Regular Baptists. Though the Charleston group was more confessional and spelled out more specifics in regards to Calvinistic doctrine, the Sandy Creek group's confessions and other documents demonstrate that they were quite Calvinistic as well.

I have encountered caustic statements from both Calvinists and non-Calvinists about the positions of those on the other side of that debate. But, in my opinion, it is the Separatist strain remaining in Baptist life that tends toward lack of a cooperative spirit, not the Calvinistic strain. I see more calls to separate from others in the name of "doctrinal purity" from those Baptists who are non-Calvinists or anti-Calvinists (like the Landmark, Baptist Identity folks) than I have seen from the Calvinist Baptists.

Louis said...

Robert--

I have used the name Louis all my life. That is also the same name by which I always comment here--which makes perfect sense, since that is my name.

As to your second sentence: What are you talking about?

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

Or John Gill.

Scott,

You'll have to identify yourself before I communicate with you. My pastor's name is Scott and well, I would clearly have a different answer for him than I do for you. ;)


Bill Brown,

I have praised Wade's preaching enough, and heard him enough to know that even while he may use a different method than I think is...umm...shall we say... appropriate, I will add for your benefit that Wade usually always manages to hit the nail on the head. But, being a great pulpiteer and saying good stuff does not always mean we are expositing all that the Lord intends.

I am all for sermon series preaching. Calvin did it, Lloyd-Jones did it, many of the great preachers did verse by verse right through the Bible. Nothing wrong with that at all.

K

Joseph P. Mathews, OSL said...

All this is simply FASCINATING to me! I grew up Southern Baptist and left when I was 16-17 looking for common worship (though I didn't know that term at the time). I had no idea that all these kinds of discussions happened at convention. I'd never heard of the BFM until my brother moved his membership to a church from the one in which we grew up and was given one. Now reading about the IMB and censoring and professors' academic freedom being challenged/revoked, I'm just fascinated. I knew about the Book of Discipline from my United Methodist grandmother's bookshelf, but had no idea how really hierarchical (and based on some comments here, clericalist) the SBC as an organization is. Note that neither of those things is said with barbs; my tradition is plenty hierarchical and has far more clericalism than most of us are willing to admit.

Abide in peace, and pray for me, a sinner,
JPM, OSL

Scott said...

Kevin,

Keep dodging.

Truth must hurt.


By the way, I have identified myself to you. My name is Scott. My middle name should be sufficient for you.

I don't expect you to communicate with me, after all, I'm calling it like I see it.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

dodging what?

Ron said...

Tim Rogers,
Paul Pressler was once criticized for making public a secretly recorded phone conversation he had a with a student. He said no honest person should object to his words being made public. How does that correspond to your statement the Les's email to a entity president attacking a professor should be kept secret.

Robert said...

Louis,
Are you an attorney because the other Louis was an attorney...your views are the complete opposite of his views....seems to be deceit happening.

dont you have a last name.

such as Robert Masters
or Wade Burleson

Louis said...

Robert: I am not now, nor have I ever been, an attorney (although I have claimed one or two as friends across the years). I seem to recall having read comments posted by the gentleman to which you refer, but I am not him. (Or should it be "I am not he"? Aside from not being an attorney, I also am not an English teacher.)

Your comment reminds me of the old Elvis song, "Suspicious Minds." Believe it or not, it is possible that more than one person of the same first name might read--or comment on--a given blog.

As to whether I have a last name--Why, yes I do. Thank you for asking. :-)

Steve said...

Les, you lied.

Lies don't come from Heaven or from Jesus.

The world has been working on many men for far too long.

Clue: How's you anger level doing these days?

Bill Brown said...

Ron,

(To Tim Rogers) Paul Pressler was once criticized for making public a secretly recorded phone conversation he had a with a student. He said no honest person should object to his words being made public. How does that correspond to your statement the Les's email to a entity president attacking a professor should be kept secret.

I bet Mr. Rogers ethics would be situational. If he likes what is being revealed, "Praise you Jesus, Hallelujah for THE TRUTH!" But if he doesn't like what is revealed, "YOU HAVE SINNED AGAINST GOD!!! REPENT!!!!!!!!"

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

You can read more by Croteau at:
http://wipfandstock.com/store/You_Mean_I_Dont_Have_to_Tithe_A_Deconstruction_of_Tithing_and_a_Reconstruction_of_PostTithe_Giving

Michael Ruffin said...

My advice: forgetaboutit.

Because so it is (since 1979) and so it will ever be (since 1979).

Tom Parker said...

KMC said about Wade:"But, being a great pulpiteer and saying good stuff does not always mean we are expositing all that the Lord intends."

Let's see WB has over 25 years of preaching experience and Kevin has? and he is critical of Wade's preaching.

Wow and pitiful!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Below is my link to an article I wrote in November 2009 where I discussed the Croteau and Kostenberger papers:

A Look at the Doctrine of Storehouse Tithing

Thy Peace said...

I remember in one sermon, Pastor Wade mentioned that he made a policy long time ago to always discount either positive or negative comments about his preaching.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Tom,

That was really meant as more of a general statement, but you can take it however it makes you feel the best. The fact is I am not a fan of sermon titles period. One of my favorite preachers to listen to, Dr. Russell Moore has become the king of fancy sermon titles and it drives me crazy. Why put parameters on the text before we hear the exposition. I prefer to let the Spirit do what the Spirit does best. But a title begs a question and so my mind listens to the sermon looking for the answer. Some right now are saying "duh Kevin, that is the point."

I just humbly submit that it is the wrong point. Works for the newspapers and cable, but ought not find its way in the pulpits.

K

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Pastor Wade mentioned that he made a policy long time ago to always discount either positive or negative comments about his preaching."


Now just to remember which one...

Thy Peace said...

One of the sermons from Series on The Long Reach of Your Speech.

Byroniac said...

Kevin,

There are as many different ways to preach a sermon as there are preachers called by God to preach them. Yet there is still just one Word. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, which is not the same as thinking outside the Word. And, I admit, I do have my favorite preachers and favorite styles to listen to (perhaps this is God's way of "programming" me). I think we all do.

John Notestein said...

Well, as in most of your posts, what started out as a great topic has degenerated into rabbit chasing and name calling. While I have never believed in 'storehouse tithing' and was never exposed to that concept in over 50 years of SBC life, I was taught that I am a steward of everything that God has given me and am responsible to Him only for how it is used. I have found that those who emphasize the OT tithe usually do so for their own ministry's benefit. I guess talks to them more than He talks to me. Either way, I too am very disturbed by the way Fundamentalism trust to stifile any dissenting opinions or really any debate. They resort to name calling, witch hunts, or declaring that anyone who disagrees with them 'liberals'. If the we just sits back and let's them keep doing it, then we get what we deserve.

Thy Peace said...

Series on The Long Reach of Your Speech > #9. Flattering Speech (Psalm 5:8-9).

around 19:30. To get the context, it might be better to listen from 18:00 to 22:00.

believer333 said...

Thank you for answering Wade. And I quite agree. Love covers a multitude of evil.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"So this was what Les Puryear was up to when he said all this raised red flags and would sound the alarm that will reverberate throughout the SBC."

Might have been.

Byroniac said...

I think what we need are honest, thorough discussions on these issues from the Scriptures. This is what Fundamentalists (not those who believe in the fundamentals of the faith) fear most, or should, because knowledge and ideas threaten their control structures and hierarchies of power. Want to get ultraconservative religious people fighting mad? Challenge their man-made traditions from the Scriptures, and even do so respectfully and honestly. It is almost a forgone conclusion what will result.

The terrible flip side to this is that we all hold to traditions in some form, sometimes layers of them, and this has only been too true in my personal life. Then, when the Holy Spirit frees you from bondage you did not even know you were in (and feel at least uncomfortable without), you try to show others your liberty in Christ. Without the Holy Spirit also teaching them, the result can at times be only rejection and the increased popularity of buzzwords such as Antinomianism in an improper and undeserved context which are designed to shut down the conversation and appeal to the emotions rather than to Scripture and proper interpretation.

Yowza! In 20 years, I hope the SBC will not be having casual Burqa Fridays, with another group condemning as Antinomian all the exposed ankles. Yes, I am overreaching here, but I am trying to make a point: where does it stop?

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

Just a thought I'm having as I read another complete comment section here.

I'm aware your blog started in an atmosphere of confrontation out of necessity. That will probably always remain as a fact here and rightly so because you've become a voice for so many who have no voice otherwise. That's different than so many other sites.

I'm also aware no one desires confrontation to always be in a spirit of love more than do you.

It is for this reason I am encouraged as I remember that particular promise of Jesus when He said where a few are gathered in His name there is He among them.

I've used that to encourage those part of a low attendance on a Sunday night but this morning I am grateful it is REALLY in the context of confrontation. His presence is promised to those willing to love enough to confront.

So I am prayerfully reminded of that in regards to you and your blog. [I'm assuming His powerful ability to fulfill it via the internet or in any way He chooses.] And I will continue to pray FOR that to be realized by all who comment here.

I can't say I enjoy all the comments but can say in the mess that often happens many people are refreshed and healed by your posts and the comments of many. [Not all..but that's for the Lord to know which is which.]

Just a Dad's thoughts as he begins a new morning.

Christiane said...

There is a prayer that many Christians no longer say regularly. It has a line it that may apply to some of the difficulties of the present time:

'Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on Earth . . . .'

What this does is to focus people of faith, not on the difficulties and trials of the present moment, but on a time when seeking God's will under the guidance of the Holy Spirit may 'renew the face of the Earth'.

I think that focus brings hope and encouragement. Christians have more power than they know in the Holy Spirit, they just need to take themselves a little less seriously and become humble before the One who will then be able to work through them.

The healing times will come when the sin of pride loses its hold, and humble hearts allow the Lord to rule the ways of His children.

Gene S said...

Daddy Burleson--you sound so much like my father, now deceased. Daddy came out of a tenant farmer / depression background and knew what true religion can do to get you through life's toughest times.

One of his constant reminders to me was the importance of getting along. As he put it, "Do your best not to burn any bridges with anyone. Even your worst enemy might be needed for help one day!"

Another thing hs said was, "Maintain your integrity. You know what the Bible says for better or worse. Preach it clearly and know where a line needs to drawn, should people slip and slide their way into a rationalized religion of the Pharisee. It is far too easy to go for safety and popularity rather than integrity in the pulpit."

I think we have crossed the line of the faith when we put on the airs of fundamentalist perfection, yet treat one another with total disrespect.

I cited the Sandy Creek / Charleston initial strands of Baptists in the South. Being a life long resident of NC/SC/GA, I have been in both places literally. I have talked with both kinds of Baptists and found most churches I served to be a combination of both the strands. That is why most preachers walk a tightrope in the pulpit trying to preach a message which is both intellectually worthy and emotionally touching.

The CR folks pretty much represent the Sandy Creek Tradition to the point PP called his annual revival series at SEBTS by that name. He even rode a horse the first day and got thrown off in front of the Binkley Chapel (which represents the Charleston tradition). It could have been a cultural clash which generated enough spiritual vibes at SEBTS to spook his horse!

I just wonder if he said, "Praise the Lord OR Holy crap that hurt!" The latter would be far more honest!

The Charleston Tradition has never feared education and a reasonable difference of opinion. The Sandy Creek has been so busy jumping and shouting and making people do what the preacher says. It was the thinking of the mill village and tenant farmer where a whip was the only thing used or understood. Charleston promoted people seeing the wisdom of one way or the other and making up their own mind where they fit. It's down side

A Charleston approach was what enticed divergent and argumentive Baptists to put down their pamphlets and Calvinism so that, together, they might send missionaries out under general support rather than from each church. In the "each church sends them" approach, it was necessary for the one being sent to raise his/her own funds and consuming 50-66% of their time on fundraising--rather than spreading the Gospel at home or overseas.

Wade has seen our Sandy Creekers up close, and behind the closed doors of Executive Session. He has had the Charleston wisdom to analyse and share the self-serving drama in this blog. He keeps encouraging peace and love--dispite those who would rather argue in ignorance.

Gene S said...

(Cont.)
I like the subjects he broaches and, therefore, choose to spend some time bloging here. Remember, I don't sit in an office all day supported by the "storehouse tithing" blinded members of the congregation. These kinds of people usually pay the preacher well for entertainment and making them feel good (emotional excitement is a requirement of the Sandy Creek Tradition).

I try to take safely down large trees near or over houses. To stay alive and avoid property destruction or injury to my workers, it is necessary to use your head and analyse that tree before putting a saw to it. It is also necessary to leave the yard as I found it and not leave a rutted mess requiring a landscaper and quite a few more dollars than the homeowner has already spent.

Right now I view the CR folks as the "lowest bidder" who is cutting down our tree of the SBC without regard to who gets killed / what property gets damaged / how much of a rutted mess in the yard is left.

This is why our reputation suffers to the point many churches are taking "Baptist" off the sign.

When we were nice to one another. When we kept the Sandy Creek yellers and screamers in a reasonable perspective, we grew and prospered. Our current crisis in growth and mission giving is the direct result of Sandy Creek exhortation and frothing with a fruitless Calvinist argument going at all times.

If we focused on an attitude of "love one another" even if we don't agree totally on the words of theology, we might just find a way to come back to grace and ministry for the lost multitudes searching for more than a "right theology." They want to be saved from turmoil and not drawn into it.

Life is hard enough these days without a narrow bunch of hostile leaders destroying more than they can possibly fix in the next 3 decades. In the last 3, they have pretty much made a glorious mess!

Gene S said...

My comment on the Charleston Tradition got distracted trying to crank my diesel truck on a cold morning so my men could start working.

Complet the last sentence:

"The down side of Charleston Tradition is a cold intellectualism more of the head than the heart. Both head an heart are required to properly serve God."

LL's--I love what you just said. It is a short version of exactly what I am trying to convey. It is "Sola Scriptorum" thinking with the heart of a true lady of faith and love stating it!

Thanks!!!!!!

Joe White... said...

Wade,

I have a question. Were you given a copy of the entire letter? Or were you only given "excerpts of the letter"?

Personally, I would like to read the comments in their original context before passing judgment. You do us all a disservice by publishing cropped and emboldened statements absent the original source. As Dr. Carson said... "A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text."

Wade Burleson said...

New BBC Forum,

You, kind person, are too funny.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe White,

After I called and spoke with Les about whether or not he was seeking termination, he told me over the phone he wasn't. I then responded on his blog, publicly, thanking him for NOT seeking the termination of anyone for teaching something contrary to what he alleges most Southern Baptists believe.

It just so happens, that after that public exchange where Les denied seeking the removal of faculty members, the person who original informed me of Les contact of the supervisors of the two professors wrote me back and said, "What? How is what Les written NOT seeking removal of the professors? Have I misunderstood or is Les being less than forthright with you?" and included the email that Les sent to the supervisors. Not all of it, just the pertinent parts where Les asks if it is wise to allow professors to continue to be on faculty if they teach something contrary to what the majority of Southern Baptists believe.

Why don't you ask Les to publish the entire email, Joe?

Joe White... said...

Wade,

I ask you and not Les to produce this email because it is you have taken the unenviable position of publishing and spinning a partial sentence from a private email. You have gone to press with this story and are under the weight of the code of ethics. You are duty bound to follow the journalistic principles of "truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability". Therefore, it is you who must produce the goods or be dismissed as simply a rumor mongering blogger.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Were I to present the sun at your front door you would insist it was still night.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

Nice one. (:

However, the burden of proof rests with you. Simply saying that someone will not believe the proof if you provided it is not sufficient. At this point, you are morally obligated to provide evidence for your position.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

On the contrary, the evidence is crystal clear.

You are blinded by ideology.

Wade

Tom Parker said...

Joe White:

I don't get it, it is plain in the email that Les was questioning whether these two professors should have a job in the SBC.

Nothing else really matters.

But, once again you and others want to blame Wade.

It is a tactic that has not worked in the past and will not work this time.

Tom Parker said...

Joe White:

Do you not have a problem with Les talking or emailing these two professor's supervisors?

Would you want people in your church looking for a way to fire you.

I bet you would not.

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

Tom,

Neither you, I, nor Wade Burleson has even seen... let alone read the email. So pray tell, how is it "crystal clear" and "plain in the email"?

All we have read is a select few snippets and part of a sentence that begins "..."

You know… the Bible says that Judas hung himself. It also says... "go and do thou likewise" and "that thou doest do quickly".

Context is King! Let's see it.

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

Is an old story about a rabbi who was placed into prison in a very dark dungeon. No light entered there.

After a while, he heard a voice. It was another prisoner who told him this: 'Don't worry. After a while you get used to the darkness.'

The rabbi responded:
'That is what I fear the most.'

Mr. White, do not condemn the light that Wade has shone onto the plight of the professors.
You need to fear the darkness that people of faith 'get used to';
and which they think may provide them an opportunity to hide their deeds under the cover of that darkness.

'Getting used to the darkness' is much to be feared.

Tom Parker said...

Joe White:

Les P said the following and I quote from his blog

"You can rest assured that action is underway to address these issues at every level of the SBC.

Regards,

Les

February 4, 2010 4:59 PM"

Sounds to me like the email to address these two professors is a part of Les's plan to address this issue.

Seems pretty clear from where I sit.

Darrell said...

I just knew this post would rattle some cages. Up in our neck of the woods we call the radicals "fred phelps theology" that covers so much of the ongoing things in some circles.

Darrell said...

A small, tiny breeze begins its huff throughout the world. It crosses a small lake and picks up some strength. It crosses a small hill and picks up some more strength. It then crosses a larger lake and startes thinking it is really something. It becomes so strong it blows hard enough to sink a small boat.

Then the wind begans to think more highly of its self than it should. It begans to blow against all other winds that comes along and starts thinking it has become as strong and as smart as all other wind. In it's recklessness it blows its self out.

3-4 who write on wades blog remind me of this wind each time they blow.

rebuke not an elder:

never think more highly of yourself than you should

pride comes before a fall

If a person cannot control their tongue, there religion is in vain.

LIVE WITH GRACE!!!!!
darrell

Byroniac said...

I probably shouldn't have posted my previous comment, as I was venting more than anything else.

And I appreciate Wade's post: it made me think.

Thy Peace said...

You are duty bound to follow the journalistic principles of "truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability".

Who among the current SBC Leadership even does one of the above?

Truthfulness ?

Accuracy ?

Objectivity ?

Impartiality ?

Fairness ?

Public Accountability ?

God will surely judge this generation by their own words.

But I do understand what Joe White is asking of Pastor Wade. My personal opinion is Pastor Wade has been above board and open.

Rex Ray said...

Late reading Wade’s great post.
Before reading the comments, I’ll quote Wade telling what Fundamentalist yelled:

“Liberalism! Liberalism! We must throw out the Liberals!”

This was the battle cry that deceived honest Souls.
This cry was the SPIDER WEB that fooled the majority of Southern Baptists.

There desire for control of the mind of men is shown by their first SBC president:

“If we say pickles have souls, pickles have souls!”

Wade wrote: “Fundamentalism affirms the Bible to be sufficient for absolutely everything.”

This is brought out by the same SBC president saying, “Scripture cannot be set against Scripture.”

His statement would mean all Scripture stands alone without studying other Scriptures on the same subject. That would mean since 'we' interpret ‘Women are not to teach men’, then “Pickles have souls”.

In wars there’s usually a ‘body count’. WHAT WAS THE BODY COUNT OF LIBERALS? Patterson had a list and they could all ride in a Volkswagen.

A seesaw that balanced liberals and fundamentalist would be twenty yards on one side and one inch on the other.

Or a shallow ditch on one side of the road and the Grand Canyon on the other.

Wade says: “…we better get ready to throw out the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology of the present…”

Well, throwing out those in the Volkswagen or filling up the shallow ditch was easy compared to the job of filling up the Grand Canyon.

Where do we start? Maybe right under our nose? More later.

Christiane said...

Hi REX RAY,

It's me, L's

You wrote this question to Wade: "'where do we start in throwing out “the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology?”

Maybe the time has come for Christians to 'keep the people'. Ideologies come and go. But people should be kept. In any case, 'throwing away' people seems to be part of the extreme fundamentalist ideology:

those missionaries,
Dr. Klouda,
the churches that were disfellowshipped,

so many good people were 'got rid of'.

An idea: keep the 'fundamentalists' in your midst, and show them the care that they would not have given to others.
Or how else will they know there IS 'another Way'?

Caritas Christi,
L's

Andrew J. Nicewander said...

Something I realized recently is that Paul was a Pharisee.

It sounds ridiculous, but like it or not, the Church's greatest and foremost theologian and missionary was formerly the best Pharisee that there was in his day.

I remind myself of this when I start feeling hatred in my heart for pharisees and pharisaism. Then, I must remember that I'm often no better. I can be just as judgmental, hateful and enslaving as the Pharisees were in Jesus day. As Matt Chandler so eloquently put it once, "I'm Ned Flanders".

Wade Burleson said...

Sorry Rex,

One comment is appropriate, the other not appropriate. Keep the issues you have with your local church within the confines of your local church.

The subject of this post involves a COOPERATIVE MINISTRY supported by ALL Southern Baptists. Let's keep our discussion Convention wide and not focus on any one local church.

Rex Ray said...

L’s,
Nice of you to reply.

I agree about not throwing people away, and keeping fundamentalists in our midst is fine.

But what Wade is referring to, and I agree, that we should NOT keep fundamentalists as our rulers over us.

We should ‘throw off their yoke of rules, and reestablish our priesthood of the believer.

They are not to be our Holy Spirit in telling us what to do. They are not our popes.

We are Baptists that don’t sign man-made creeds. Our only creed is the Bible.

I believe you pretty much believe the same.

Wade,
You said, “Let’s keep our discussion Convention wide and not focus on any one local church.”

There have been many individual churches and people discussed on your blog. Why is ours too insignificant when it fits the post. Must we drink kool-aid to be eligible?

Thy Peace said...

Joining God in His Work [Les Puryear] > A Statement From Dr. Danny Akin Regarding the Unauthorized Release to Wade Burleson of My Private Email.

Thy Peace said...

I would encourage Les Puryear to publish the entire email, so the whole context can be understood by everyone.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Les P. started this firestorm and it is his responsibility to put it out.

So far, it rages on and he continues to not look very good in this whole episode.

Many shall be watching Les to see how he handles himself in this situation. So far he is just spinning this story that he initiated..

Wade Burleson said...

No Rex, you don't have to drink the kool-aid! :)

And, if MY post is about an individual church that hires a sexual predator, or files criminal charges against a member because they don't like the questions he/she ask, or some other local church matter that has ramifications for us all, then feel free to post in the comment section about that local church.

My blog, however, can only be hijacked by people who choose to rip into me. I will not allow it to be used to rip into others that are not the topic of the post.

Thanks for your understanding.

wade

Lydia said...

Joe, How do we know Akin's e-mail was posted in it's entirety over at Les' blog?

I don't blame Les a bit for not wanting to speak of it anymore.

I, for one, would like to hear from Kostenberger. But my guess is that he has been told to stay quiet and even if he does speak, I would have to question it based on knowing how the big boys operate when it comes to image.

I guess we will know if his tithing papers disappear from the internet.

"ou have gone to press with this story and are under the weight of the code of ethics. "

So, the code of ethics means hiding backhanded dirty dealing to you? That figures.

You talk about context but what on earth could change the context? Perhaps Les saying Just kidding! at the end?

Les has made it very clear by his actions over the past week. He went on several blogs calling folks who do not believe in storehouse tithing, "antominians" then he announces boldly on his blog that he is not just a talker but he is going to "take action". He has been furious that folks have been discussing the fact that storehouse tithing is not for the NC. He over reacted. And not once did he ever make a biblical case for his view. He just attacked.

The burden of proof is on his shoulders at this point.

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Well stated.

I've learned from experience that dysfunctional relationships are characterized by people who have a problem making the person who exposes the problem become the problem.

Make sense?

I would encourage you to craft a response similar to this comment for the blog that Les will post tomorrow. I think you will find in his post a real life example of what I mention above.

C W M said...

Bro. Burleson,

This is off current subject, but . . .
I have been perusing your blog for some time now, and cannot help but notice something that ought to be mentioned.

I am one of the "Landmarker" "idealogues" that you have often made mention of. I am not a "mean spirited" fundamentalist, or try not to be, but I do hold tight to the fundamental doctrines of the scripture.

Aside from any perceived "doctrinal" issues that we may have, I believe that there really is just one issue that is a dividing line between "moderates/liberals" and "conservative/fundamentalists". And that is the issue of "Doctrinal Certainty."

It appears to me, that I "Landmarkers" are just more settled on what is the truth than you or other "moderates." I am sure it is unintentional on your part, but the result of what I've read is that the number of doctrines I should teach my church as settled fact is zero.

It appears to me that you want more things "left open to interpretation" than really are. I completely concede that there are areas of teaching that there is no settled knowledge. However, those areas aren't nearly as broad and wide as some would have the world to think.

When I preach, or you preach, or any God Called preacher preaches, he is to be preaching "Settled Fact" not "possibly maybe it's up to you . . ."

My point is that not everything we preach is a matter of opinion or personal interpretation. There are settled scriptural facts that determine the doctrine that we teach.

As one philosopher said, "Truth is . . . and all else is a lie." That being said, everything is either fact or fiction, and fiction has no place in the pulpit masquerading as "possible truth." If I know something to be an error, then I have no business conceding it as a possibility.

We can be dogmatic about the truth without being arrogant. My fear is that what most people reject about "idealogues" is really the often accompanied air of superiority, which really has no place. However, truth defended arrogantly is still truth, even though arrogance has no place in preaching or teaching.

The reality is that more issues of doctrine are "settled" and "undebatable" than many want there to be. As long as things are "merely interpretations" then everyone can have their way, and there is to be no "repentance or conformity" to Bible doctrine.

I agree that truth and opinion are not always differentiated from pulpits, or posted articles. However not all "idealogues" or "Landmarkers" are arrogant idiots that think the whole world ought to fall in line with them. Some of them are just "doctrinally certain of the truth" and will not legitamize well intended errors, by conceding them as possible truths.

For what it's worth - I do enjoy your posts and articles. Even the ones that I disagree with. :)

Lydia said...

"I've learned from experience that dysfunctional relationships are characterized by people who have a problem making the person who exposes the problem become the problem."

This happens all the time. It is part of our victim culture... but the conservatives won't like that. But it is true. They have simply adapted it for their own use.

It is a 'means to an end' mentality. Make the wrong doer the victim and paint the person who exposes the problem the true evil one.

I expect this from the world but have seen it all over Christendom for too long now. (Did they ever stop to think this could affect 'tithing')

Expect to hear lots more spin on how he was not trying to get anyone fired.

Wade Burleson said...

CWM,

Trust me on this one.

Some of my best friends are Landmarkers with a sweet spirit.

:)

Welcome to the circle.

CB Scott said...

It might be meaningless as to the content of this post or comment thread; but John R. Rice also disavowed Storehouse Tithing as a biblical mandate for NT Believers.

I thought I would just mention that since my name was mentioned in this thread after having been absent for so long.

Nice to be remembered. :-)

cb

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

Les says to Joe White:"Joe,

Thanks for your support. I am preparing a response which will be released on my blog tomorrow. That statement will be my final word on this incident.

Les"

The only thing that I will say is that unless Les P. comes clean with this incident he might give his final word, but it will not be the final word.

There is something in the Bible about reaping and sowing and this applies to Les also.

When you start messing with the livelihood of people that is very serious business and Les does not seem to understand the implications of his actions.

He also seems to have forgotten that the truth will set you free.

Kerygma said...

I believe Les just might be a liar.

Thy Peace said...

I do not think it would wise to call Les that. He is firm in his belief of the Tithing position. I just wish he would agree to disagree that Tithing can not be justified in the New Covenant. In retrospect this appears to have shaken his foundational beliefs as regards to Tithing. Whenever a framework is shaken, then one questions and wants to rearrange the universe to fit their understanding.

Gene S said...

We are getting very fierce on this one. It's time for a little humor:

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability -The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

5. Law of the Alibi - If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

7. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters -The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will..

10. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

12. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

15. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

17. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

18. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

19. Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.

By the way, I can't wait for the explaination of things argued about the email until tomorrow. It will probably be to the benefit of the one accused in proper CR fashion. Those boys really know how to placy "CYA." If you don't know the meaning, consult with anyone formerly in the military!!!

ForTruth said...

Being that the legalists thinks that storehouse tithing is of utmost importance to please God, how do they explain God's oversight in not making that requirement one of the ten commandments or the eleventh commandment?

Tom Parker said...

Gene S:

I look forward to the "explanation" also.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Good – I never did like kool-aid.

I thought your topic was summed up in your last sentence:

“Well, if we threw out adherents to the Liberal ideology in 1979, then we better get ready to throw out the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology of the present or apologize for what was done to the people we Southern Baptists called "liberals" in the late 1970's.”

My question to you that you deleted was and I quote: “Where do we start in throwing out “the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology”?”

I’ll ask another question in light of the first one. Should Southern Baptists churches throw out pastors who are adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology?

CB Scott,
Nice to hear from you and know you appreciate being remembered.

Stephen said...

As a church planter that is trying to teach our church God's perspective on giving, I was encouraged by this paper (the one in the link). As I read the article, it seemed like there was another section that was missing (probably Paul's writing on "generous giving"- this is what our church calls it).
Does anyone have the link to the second part of that article? I would love to learn more.
Thanks

dave woodbury said...

Second part of the article:

http://www.biblicalfoundations.org/pdf/pdfarticles/bbrtithing2.pdf

dave woodbury said...

Or, if you go to the first part of the article, just change the "1" at the end of the web address to a "2" in and it will take you to the second part.

Lydia said...

If you have not read Les's explanation, I certainly recommend reading it.

He quotes the paper:

"The article concludes that none of the Old or New Testament passages can legitimately be used to argue for the continuation of tithing in the new covenant period."

Then Les responds with this:

"I was shocked at that statement. What I was hearing the authors say was that neither Old nor New Testament teaching on tithing was valid. Since the bulk of the paper's argument seeks to deny the validity of OT passages regarding tithing, I took, and still take this as an issue bigger than the issue of tithing. To me, the authors are attacking the authority of the Bible itself. "

What a crock of disingenuousness! Does he have a reading comprehension problem?

He read the same paper I did? He comes away thinking the authors said OT tithing passages were not valid FOR THE OT? Is he serious?

He cannot make the case from their paper they do not believe in the authority of the Word so he tries to make the case they do not believe the tithing passages for the OT are valid!

Les is NOW trying to make this more serious than the issue of tithing for the NC because of his own silly over reaction to a secondary doctrine of a 10% tithe in the NC.

No wonder Kostenberger declined his offer to respond. Les makes things up and misrepresents folks.

And, No wonder he refuses to engage on this any longer. He could not possibly explain himself.

Thy Peace said...

Sorry. Forgot to post this link in the proper post.

Joining God in His Work [Les Puryear] > A Statement on My Email to SEBTS and Liberty University.

Gene S said...

Well, well, well--the drama finally has a solid source. My conclusions:

(1) The higher the monkeys climb the tree, the more you see their tails!

(2) The dirty tricks played in the ouster of Randall Lolley and other professors--instigated by Paige Patterson--continue with their own kind now totally present at SEBTS.

(3) Only the fundies eat their young to avoid competition--as do lions & tigers!

(4) A monotone Bible with all parts equal has, long ago, proven to be a stupid man's Bible.

(5) Any ideology has a common source: man trying to figure out God with a good fist fight thrown in---so those watching these present day disciples are asking, "If this is Christianity, do I want any part in it?"

(6) That was when Jesus picked up a child and placed him on his knee and spoke of anyone hurting a child (new follower / small one) he would be better off having a millstone tied around his neck and cast into the middle of the sea. That was equal to the electric chair in our day.

I think we need to listen again to Jesus on these matters--and start acting a little more like him, if we want anyone following us!