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

Preventing the SBC from Becoming the One View Baptist Convention

In my library I have several books that cover various viewpoints regarding tertiary doctrines over which Christians have historically disagreed. For example, I have read and enjoyed The Meaning of the Millenium: Four Views, and taught the people at Emmanuel all four viewpoints during a Wednesday night study. I taught each of the four millenial positions as if I believed it, and only at the end of the entire series did I give the members of Emmanuel my personal views on the subject of the millenium. I also admitted I could be wrong in my personal view and told those in the Bible study they should search the Scriptures for themselves to arrive at their own conclusions. Predestination and Free Will: Four Views of Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom is another book in my library. We have used it in various small group studies in our church. There has never been a demand that people at Emmanuel hold to one particular view on this subject. Interestingly, all four viewpoints on God's soverereignty are represented by different Sunday School teachers in our fellowship. But all of our members understand that we are never to make disagreement over this tertiery doctrine a test of fellowship. Another book, entitled Are Miraculous Gifts For Today? Four Views , is an excellent summary of the different viewpoints Christians hold regarding spiritual gifts. Again, all four views on the gifts of the Spirit are held by various people within our 4,500 church membership. I'm excited that an agreement has already been reached with Broadman and Holman for another four view book to be published in 2011 called Perspectives on Tithing. A Southern Baptist will serve as the main editor and there will be three other contributors, with Southern Baptist Ken Hemphill providing one view on the subject. There are a number of other books that take handle biblical doctrines by presenting four views on the subject in question. The ability and freedom to learn, discuss, and debate various views on tertiary doctrines is a sign of health and strength for any church or convention. Demands that everybody believe the same thing on tertiery matters is a sign of dysfunction.

Unfortunately, some within the Southern Baptist Convention would like to demand that all Southern Baptists conform to ONE VIEW on every tertiary doctrine. This week one Southern Baptist went so far as to write administrators at our cooperative seminaries and suggest that any professor who taught a different view on "storehouse tithing" than that held by "the majority of Southern Baptists" should be removed from faculty. The International Mission Board trustees removed from prospective missionary service any missionary who believed that "a private prayer language" was a legitimate spiritual gift. Certain Southern Baptist ideologues who believe that a woman cannot teach men in a classroom setting, and wishing to push that singular view on all Southern Baptists who cooperate in the support of our agencies, removed Hebrew professor Dr. Sheri Klouda and Dr. Karen Bullock from their classroom responsibilities at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Southern Baptist pastors and leaders should feel the freedom to hold firm convictions on tertiary issues. They should believe, preach, and defend their views with conviction. But nobody within the SBC should even begin to think about threatening, ridiculing or seeking the removal from leadership or service any Southern Baptist who believes, teaches, or publishes a contrary view. Once we Southern Baptists allow ideologues with intentions of demanding doctrinal conformity to proceed unchecked and unchallenged, our Convention will lose all sense of true Baptist identity. We Baptists, out of all the Christian people in this world, should cherish and protect freedom for our people to hold to various views and interpretations of tertiery Biblical doctrines.

Each of us who care about the future of cooperative mission effort should take a collective stand to prevent the Southern Baptist Convention from becoming the One View Baptist Convention.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

98 comments:

Byroniac said...

SBC

Singularity
Baptist
Collective

Wade Burleson said...

Good One.

:)

New BBC Open Forum said...

This week one Southern Baptist went so far as to write administrators at our cooperative seminaries and suggest that any professor who taught a different view on "storehouse tithing" than that held by "the majority of Southern Baptists" should be removed from faculty.

I knew all along you knew that!

:-)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

These multiple views books are some of the best reading theologians and laypeople alike can read. My Systematic Theology book for my undergraduate degree by Wade Grudem takes just this approach, granted he makes no bones about which views he personally subscribes, the format is helpful none the less. Another book I might recommend was required reading at Covenant Theological Seminary.

Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification ed. by Donald L. Alexander.

This book covers the Reformed, Lutheran, Wesleyan(Methodist), Pentecostal, and Contemplative(mystical) perspectives. The book is essentially broken up into 25 sections. An overview of the particular view by a theologian of that tradition, followed by a response from each of the other four views.

This book is truly "iron sharpening iron." Alexander reports: Reader decides.

hint: Sinclair Ferguson got it right. :)

K

Andrew J. Nicewander said...

Wade,

In reading these posts, as well as listening in on the many other disagreements that occur in Christianity, it seems to me that one of the primary issues seems to be that of how people categorize beliefs into the primary/secondary/tertiary scheme.

I suppose part of it is a question of what beliefs are held as primary vs tertiary and how much emphasis one should put on the secondary and tertiary issues.

Even the most liberal of theologians seem to have beliefs that they won't waver on, they're just vastly different (oftentimes) than those that conservatives (or moderates, for that matter) hold to.

Would you say that this is a fair assessment?

Joe Blackmon said...

Two posts ago, you wrote:

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

In this post you write:
This week one Southern Baptist went so far as to write administrators at our cooperative seminaries and suggest that any professor who taught a different view on "storehouse tithing" than that held by "the majority of Southern Baptists" should be removed from faculty.

Why don't you just man up and admit that you're now calling him a liar? oh, wait, that would involve you having integrity. Nevermind.

Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

You are breaking your promise about not coming back to this Blog and that is also called lying. What you accuse Wade B of you have actually done.

I am confident Wade is not lying.

John Fariss said...

Bouquets to Wade, Byroniac, & Kevin. Brickbats to. . . well, wild horses could not make me write even the initials of Joe Blackmon--whoops!

Actually Joe, I do enjoy your comments. When they deal with the subject, I enjoy your wit and your mind, even though I may disagree. And when you attack and get into personalities and such, I enjoy the rush of adrenalin it induces.

And actually, I have taken the same approach that Wade has done in teaching Biblical doctrines and materials. It has been well received, and I find that most Christians welcome the opportunity to explore and really understand other perspectives, rather than just taking "person A's" word for what "person B" believes. That is what cults do. Presenting perspectives honestly and fairly makes for stronger believers, or so it seems to me.

And Andrew, I don't think the issue is whether or not one passionately believes a certain perspective. Rather the issue is whether or not one can say, "I believe so-and-so, but I can respect other positions and perspectives, and not draw my OWN line in the sand over it." But you are right: different people think different issues are primary, secondary, etc. Classic fundamentalists tend to make everything primary, because of the system of logic they have at a presuppositional level. It is essentially a "ladder," and every issue is a rung on the ladder; miss one, and you can go no further. I expect others have similar presuppositions too, I just am more familiar with that one.

John

Fri Feb 12, 09:50:00 AM 2010

Rex Ray said...

Joe Blackmon,
How convenient for you NOT to print the “BUT” that Wade said after you quoted him.

The “But” reverses your quote of him.

Why don't you just man up and admit that you're a trouble maker? Oh, wait, that would involve you having integrity. Nevermind.

Bob Cleveland said...

One might also observe that Southern Baptists entities wouldn't be able to spend all the money they'd be swimming in, if "the majority of Southern Baptists" believed in "storehouse tithing".

It seems to me, generally, that if you "believe in" doing something, you ought to be actually doing it.....

Rob said...

I agree with what you have written Wade, but unfortunately I believe that the SBC is a lot like our US Congress, the power is concentrated in a few and it is very difficult to change the status quo. Until there are satellite convention sites where more SB's can participate, it will still be the kingmakers and other old men that still hold the power and the status quo will remain.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I wonder if Les will call for the firing of Thom Rainer after this new B&H book on the views of tithing comes out.

cheerfuldougg said...

Well said again as usual. You are sounding an alarm in our Convention that we ignore at our own peril. Wade, are there other influential voices in our Convention who are sounding the same alarm? If so, who are they? I want to throw my support behind them, so that they are not drowned out by the much noisier fundamentalist minority.

Thy Peace said...

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

Rex Ray said...

Joe Blackmon,
On the other hand, I’m jealous of you stealing Wade’s time when I can’t get him to answer:

1. Where do we start in throwing out “the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology?

2. Should Southern Baptists churches throw out pastors who are adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology?

You see, Wade said, “…we better get ready to throw out the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology of the present…”, but he didn’t tell us where to start!

As far as you being a trouble maker – it takes on to know one. :)

Tom Parker said...

Thy Peace:

Les, can spin till the cows come home he was way over the line in his actions and he was asking for these professors to be fired. It really is that simple.

Thy Peace said...

Amen.

It is healthy and scientific for many "differing" positions to be taught in theology.

Wade Burleson said...

Dave Woodbury,

Thanks. I knew that, but typed her wrong name. It's been corrected.

waden

Wade Burleson said...

Dave,

Accidentally erased your comment. Please recomment if possible. I particularly want others to hear what you said about sitting under Karen in the seminary classroom.

C W M said...

First, I would ask what constitutes a "tertiary" issue.

Are there differing levels of what is TRUE and what is NOT TRUE, or is it different levels of what is KNOWN and NOT KNOWN.

If somethings is KNOWN to be FALSE, then the only right response to it is outright rejection.

I fully understand what Bro. Burleson is trying to say, but the reality is that not all "doctrines" are "points of view" Some are settled facts that many merely do not want to be settled because they do not like them. Sometimes men want to debate what is not really debatable.

I am not in the SBC, but I do know this, if in fact a professor in one of the seminaries of our Associated Work were teaching something that is in fact NOT TRUE, then he would need to be let go.

As a matter of fact that has happened in one of the seminaries of our work.

There is a place for "views" no doubt. But it's not nearly as big a place as the place for "Settled Truth."

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I really apologize to you. I did not intentionally ignore you or your questions. I missed them. Here are my answers.

(1). Where do we start? At the Convention level--since we are a COOPERATIVE Convention and demands for conformity are opposite of cooperation. Were I in a church that had a Fundamentalist pastor, I would leave, particularly since the church CALLED the pastor. In the Southern Baptist Convention, 99.9% of the SBC never shows up at the Convention. WERE THEY TO ASK FOR FUNDAMENTALISM TO BE IN CHARGE, I would leave the Convention.

(2). See my answer above. The direct line to calling a pastor is far, far different than the INDIRECT line of the appointment of trustees at SBC agencies. If a church calls a man, and someone doesn't like it, then the man who doesn't like it, it seems to me, is out of step with the majority of the church.

Blessings,

Wade

P.S. Rex, please, do not go into your local church matters here on this blog. I will have to delete your ocmments if you do. WE are discussing the CONVENTION.

Wade Burleson said...

Cheerfuldoug,

There are many more in Convention leadership who think the way I think. They are just not quite as vocal--and for good reason.

dave woodbury said...

Wade,

I will gladly affirm that Karen Bullock was one of the most gifted, passionate, knowledgeable teachers that I ever had the privilege to sit under at any level of education. I remember people, dates, names, and events in Baptist history that I may not otherwise. It was obvious to everyone that she loved the Word, she loved the Lord, she loved her students, and she loved to teach.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Welcome back! You are always free to comment on this blog.

When I conversed with Les he told me verbally he was not seeking professors removal from faculty. I chose to believe him. I chose to believe him even when I had excerpts from his letter. Then, I read the whole letter.

I believe Les has been les than forthright about his intentions. Having been exposed, he now is backing off.

Mission accomplished.

Blessings,

Wade

Lydia said...

Les, can spin till the cows come home he was way over the line in his actions and he was asking for these professors to be fired. It really is that simple.

Fri Feb 12, 10:33:00 AM 2010

You know, he may not have wanted them fired at all. Just to make sure they swallow the party line on ALL secondary doctrinal postions. A little warning that one could lose your position and your income in danger usually does the trick.

If Les were Paige Patterson or Al Mohler, then Kostenberger would probably be gone by now.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Tom,

I just read Les's post that Thy Peace linked and quite honestly I am satisfied that his "final" word on the matter is probably exactly what happened. I am even convinced that in his mind right now he was not seeking the firing of the professors. But I am also convinced that his email to Dr. Akin, and the questions he asked him BEG the question: If you agree with me, is it prudent to keep him? That BEGS the question: If it is not prudent to keep him, will you fire them? (And that is the nuts and bolts)

But here is the deal, certainly Les has a right as a SB pastor to have a private phone conversation with a seminary president. But the conversation was not initially private. It included at least the following in terms of all of Les's communications on the matter:

-Les Puryear
-Danny Akin
-Ergun Caner (?)
-Dr. Andreas Kostenberger
-Dr. Akin's assistant (maybe not to content)
-Dr. David Croteau (?)

First of all we see a serious breakdown of Matthew 18. Les, being a man of The Book ought to have sent a letter (snail mail) to Dr. Kostenberger (Dr. K) requesting a meeting or luncheon to discuss the implications of his paper. But that was not the case. Les, in my opinion, forfeited his right to privacy by circumventing the Word of God, as if it did not apply in this instance--a more serious charge I might add than his against Dr. K.

Dr. K. was more than correct at this point in redirecting Les's complaint back to his paper--being sufficient to communicate his view. In others words (if I can put words in Dr. K's mouth): "Les, we disagree, that is ok. but you did not come to me. You went to my boss with bold accusations. Now I have no interest in discussing theology with you. I am a Southern Baptist too and have every right to hold to my personal convictions. As a professor I have every right to teach the Bible as I see fit in accordance with the BFM and AoP. Which I have done."

At least that is what Les should have read into Dr. K's reply.

I tend to think I have an above average theological understanding on most matters, but even I, while reading many scholarly papers must sit back and take an Advil for my head begins to hurt.

To Les:

Do not think that by reading Dr. K's paper that you are in any way to be compared with Patterson and Pressler of the 60's for "catching it early" and squashing it. No, your reading, understanding, and subsequent actions made you "lookin' like a fool witcho pants on da ground."


And THAT is MY position paper,

Kevin M. Crowder

Wade Burleson said...

CWM,

Good thoughts.

Your question about "essential doctrines" upon which we base our cooperaiton is answered in A Southern Baptist Statement of Cooperation.

Wade Burleson said...

Kevin Crowder,

Amen.

Wade

P.S. A miracle has occurred. Kevin and "Amen" in the same sentence. Laughing. :) Wink.

Wade Burleson said...

Andrew Nicewander,

Your assessment is both fair and accurate.

Wade

Tom Parker said...

KMC:

Excellent last comment!! and I sincerely mean that.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

If I am interpreting Les's last response he is not taking public comments on his blog.

Unbelievable. To me this shows he can dish it out but he can not take it.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Awe shucks guys stop it! Yur killin' my reputation. :)

I too call things as I see them. When I call them wrong I have no problem re-calling them.

K

Russell Earl Kelly said...

SBC, Selective Bible Censorship.

I gave away over $200 worth of my book on titing to LIfeway just to show that it would sell and 20 copies sold in less than 2 months. Then they had no interest in actually seling the book for me.

I have also been asked to leave many SBC churches after they discovered my book favoring grace giving.

We really shoudl present all views and not resort to name-calling.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
www.tithing-russkelly.com

Thy Peace said...

I am copying Lydia's comment here.
-------------------------------------
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.

FRI FEB 12, 11:07:00 AM 2010
.
-----------------------------------

Lydia said...

Kevin, I have to disagree with some of your comment. Kostenbergers's teaching is in the public domain. Why should he have a private conversation with him about public teaching?

Les has not once made a biblical case for his view that Old Covenant tithing is carried over to the NC. (Obviously he does not believe the WHOLE tithe system was carried over because he mentions 10% only).

Who go after folks? Why go to his boss? Why not engage in a public blog debate or even blog about why Kostenbergers article is wrong?

Because it looks foolish, now Les is making the whole thing about the authority of the bible and is even accusing the authors of saying that the OT tithing passages are NOT valid for the OT! Did you catch that in his blog post today? I was blown away.

Then he maps their view of OT tithing in the NC to this: "We continue to see liberal Christians saying that the Scriptures are not valid for teaching that homosexuality is a sin."

What? We have gone from Kostenberger not believing in the validity of the tithing passages even for the OT to him not believing in the authority of the Word to homosexuality is not a sin?

I am starting to feel sorry for the guy even though he would probably like to see me in a burqua.

All because Kostenberger MAKES THE CASE VERY WELL that OT tithing system does not carry over to the NC.

And folks wonder how the CR went too far. It just makes sense it would eventually come to us eating our own.

The bottomline is that Les wanted to censure or punish in some way those holding differing views on a non salvic issue.

Why wasn't he willing to respond with his own teaching to refute Kostenberger? That would have been the mature, scholarly and gentlemanly thing to do.

Lydia said...

"Awe shucks guys stop it! Yur "


Well, you can always count on me. :o)

Wade Burleson said...

Russell Earl Kelley,

Please send me a copy of your book with an invoice to:

Wade Burleson
Emmanuel Baptist Church
2505 W. Garriott
Enid, Oklahoma 73703

I will pay you for the book, and if I think it reads the way I believe it will (after reading your incredible writing abilities online), we will make your book the standard gift for people who have questions about the subject at Emmanuel.

:)

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

You, madame, are spot on in your analysis.

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

Well, I have learned two things so far. 1) Arguing that tithing is no longer valid for the NC means it was invalid for the OC as well, and 2) if I argue against tithing at all, I must not believe the Bible and must be using the same methods of argumentation used by homosexuals and pro-choicers (I'm not gay, but am I pro-choice on tithing now?).

Wow. Just wow.

Thy Peace said...

“Will a Man Rob God?” (Malachi 3:8): A Study of Tithing in the Old and New Testaments by ANDREAS J. KÖSTENBERGER AND DAVID A. CROTEAU.

Reconstructing a Biblical Model for Giving: A Discussion of Relevant Systematic Issues and
New Testament Principles by ANDREAS J. KÖSTENBERGER AND DAVID A. CROTEAU
.

Thy Peace said...

You can download free Dr. Russell Earl Kelly's book "Should The Church Teach Tithing" here. Also it has links to bookstores too.

Thy Peace said...

ESSAY - TITHING IS NOT A CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE : An Essay by Russell Earl Kelly, Ph. D.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

In Les's defense, he did not attribute a less than orthodox view of homosexuality to Dr. K. He was making an analogy to those who dismiss OT legal code as valid arguments in proving the legitimacy of homosexuality. Not a good analogy for Les to use as the NT stands quite clearly on its own in that matter--maybe more so in fact than the OT. I found it to be a bad and overly done analogy, but in no way disparaging to Dr. K.


Please understand that at the end of the day I affirm the teaching of a tithe as a "good" thing and pleasing to God and beneficial for the Kingdom of Christ. Please understand that I in no way dismiss any of the law. There are various implication to be had and understandings of God to be seen by studying the law. But as a matter of "list keeping" and sanctification, tithing is of NO merit to the Kingdom of Christ. Grace giving is literally the only NT principle given and thus should be our prima facie understanding. But make no mistake; the teachings of the OT tithes ARE very helpful in knowing God and His will on the matter.

"Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead...Jesus"

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

Kevin, I think your reply concerned my comment, not one of Lydia's. I am not suggesting that Les Puryear is accusing Dr. K of being less than orthodox on homosexuality. What Les Puryear DOES seem to be doing is accusing him of not believing in Biblical authority, and possibly also using the same methods of argumentation (based on disbelief in the Bible) that homosexuals and pro-choicers use, unless I am misreading him. By extension, I take that to include anyone else who agrees with Dr. K against the modern-day belief of tithing. Reading Les Puryear's comment, I was simply incredulous. I had no idea he has apparently such a low opinion of non-tithers. I hope I'm mistaken in thinking that.

Bojac said...

Amen Wade. Autonomy is not only for the church but for the individual also.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Byron,

No, my comment was in reference to the quote that L's just posted.

Les was wrong to question Dr. K's standing on biblical authority for this is not an issue of biblical authority but application. That, in fact, and you are right to point it out, is likely Les's biggest mistake and deserving of the "pants on the ground" line.

G. Casey said...

On this issue I sort of agree with you, but when one takes the position of support for the storehouse tithe it does not stay in the storehouse at all. It goes to a bank and only 10 percent stays there.

Christiane said...

Hi KEVIN,

I'm sorry for the confusion.
I posted a comment based on my own misunderstanding of the original authorship of some other comments,
so I removed it. I will be more careful in future, and will also go get some more coffee. :)
Sorry to be so much trouble.

Love, L's

Bob Cleveland said...

OK, a shot from the cheap seats.

I am far from a bible expert, but even from what I know the bible does say about giving, I'm completely in accord with the Baptist Faith & Message's stated beliefs on giving:

"According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth."

Were I a pastor and fearful that my congregation would see this as a means to just keep "their money", I might try to establish a standard of giving, like 10%. If, on the other hand, I expect the congregation to act in accordance with the biblical examples of generosity and depending on God for our supply, and also believed in the principle of priesthood of the believer, then I wouldn't have to tell them how much to give.

I've seen other areas in SBC life wherein our shortcomings, denominationally, are laid (at least partially) at the feet of weak preaching. Might this whole matter be evidence of the same thing?

Dr. Michael Kear said...

Some days it just pays to be a dispensationalist, where OT tithing is a non-issue. *smile*

In a quasi-related OT/NT subject, I noticed today that Wiley Drake is taking credit for the death of John Murtha through the use of OT imprecatory prayer. *grimace*

Blake said...

Wade,

What are the four views of free will/predestination? I can only name three (predestination, free will and open theism) although there are more when one starts including variants (Augustine vs. Calvin and Wesley vs. Finney). I'd applaud you if you did allow open theists in your congregation as I think they've been unjustly villified in the Church.

Not to derail the topic, but I read Brian Kaylor's most recent post about Wiley Drake's impreccatory prayers and it suddenly dawned on me that there are plenty of heretics serving within the SBC. Heresy isn't just limited to liberal theology, but can include conservative as well (e.g. the Donatists). Yet wasn't it amid allegations of heresy within the Baptist World Alliance that we left it early in the last decade? If other Southern Baptist pastors and churches think they shouldn't be cooperating with heretics should they feel obligated to leave the convention or demand some code of ethics be enforced among SBC pastors and personnel?

J.I. Packer says it's heresy not to preach repentance of all sin because repentance is a part of the Gospel. Why does the SBC tolerate other forms of blatant sin like sexual immorality, hatred, bigotry, etc.? Wade you've done your fair share to document the moral and spiritual abuses of people within the SBC. If you agree with J.I. Packer's definition of heresy (and maybe you don't) would you then need to consider cutting ties with the SBC?

Wade Burleson said...

Blake,

The fourth view is a modified view of "predestination" -- not free will or open theism, but not total sovereignty either.

Wade

Timothy Snider said...

On some of these issues in this post, I feel like I'm at the ground floor of a 17th floor debate.

Could someone post a link to the comments and context of Les Puryear?

Most specifically, I don't have the context to understand Byroniac's comment of noon Feb 10. I perceive that what he said is quite significant, but I cannot figure out in what way.

Also, I'm most interested in the discussions on tithing, and wanted to chime in. The Kelly PhD work/site looks good. I have been in a SBC church that was grace giving/non-tithing - of course, they were dispensational, too. I have also been in an SBC church that has said those who give 9.9% and below are 'robbing God.' It's this latter example that I think is so very very dangerous to Southern Baptists...even all Christians.

Me personally? I'm in a mixed household where my wife believes in the tithe of Mal310. Meanwhile, I tend to agree with KellyPhD and DTS scholars on the tithe. We compromise by giving monetarily around 10-11% to our church with some additional to parachurch ministries. She calls it a tithe with some giving. I just call it a gift-we both agree it is returned out of God's blessing to us for His work.

I think it's also very instructive to remember the giving testimony of one of the Wesley brothers. Off the top of my head, Wesley set a monetary amount for which he believed he could live and NEVER changed it during his life. As his income grew, his giving proportion grew to somewhere north of 90%.

Finally, Randy Alcorn has a book entitled "Money, Possessions, and Eternity" which is very good. He takes what I perceive to be a very balanced perspective on the grace giving vs tithe camps. Though he comes out more on the side of tithing, it's a very instructive and very charitable reading. His message hits a 'home run' in my estimation because of the integrity he brings to other giving and monetary issues: including 'ghost writing' books,superstar CCM musicians plugging for Compassion or World Vision while getting 4- and 5-figure financial packages to carry their message, and other similar ethical quandaries.

I'll continue to follow this interesting thread closely, and would appreciate some contextual links.

Lydia said...

"In Les's defense, he did not attribute a less than orthodox view of homosexuality to Dr. K. He was making an analogy to those who dismiss OT legal code as valid arguments in proving the legitimacy of homosexuality. Not a good analogy for Les to use as the NT stands quite clearly on its own in that matter--maybe more so in fact than the OT. I found it to be a bad and overly done analogy, but in no way disparaging to Dr. K."

Kevin, it is the same old tired worn out arguments used over and over. And you missed a big portion of it: Les did, in fact, accuse Kostenberger of believing the OT tithing passages were not valid in the OT! (Read that again). Then he went on to map his beliefs to one who does not believe in the authority of the Bible and then mapped THAT to the homosexuality issue.

This has been a PERFECT example, in black and white, how this tactic has been used for 30 years.

The thing that really bothers me about this is that if it had been Mohler or Patterson, Kostenberger would be gone before we had even known what had happened.

Wade Burleson said...

Had it been Mohler or Patterson, Kostenberger would be gone before we had even known what had happened.

Yes. You are correct. Les' use of the Internet kept us informed about his intentions. Others are far too sophisticated to make known their intentions over the Internet.

However, if you feel the principles upon which you stand, lead you to flesh out the love of
Christ to which you are called, you have no problem declaring to the world what you intend.

Please note, the call for the removal from faculty was SECRET.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Timothy,

Follow the links in my post. They will take you where you want to go.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

Are you reading anything written by many of those who post against anyone who supports the tithe (referring to watchdog's blog mainly)?

You want to slam Les and anyone who disagrees with you on this. You say you want to cooperate but you are drawing a line in the sand yourself. You are saying that you welcome all to join you in your belief system and you want to define what are tertiary issues and what are not. How does this jive with your call to work with those who believe differently? It doesn't.

You have pushed several good men, in words, under the bus because they differ from you. This is sad. You are playing the same game the trustees played but you are doing it on the internet disguised as being gracious. You are building your group of supporters. You are playing King and I pray you see it before God deals with it, personally.

Go ahead and pour the grace words out and make it seem you are the victim or the one trying to save the SBC world of evil.

Sir, it is my opinion if you keep following the road you have taken you will do more damage, in time, than you think the leaders in the SBC have done over the past years. maybe not in the convention but in the kingdom.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

I can assure you that if I ever feel damage is being done to cooperation within the SBC through my efforts, I will stop writing about those things I perceive are needed in our Convention.

I am unsure I comprehend your comment in terms of me drawing a line in the sand, but I will definitely think through some things you raise.

The only line I am aware of that I've drawn is to stop anybody who bullies, intimidates or seeks to remove from SBC ministry or service those who disagree.

I can assure you that if a Fundamentalist, Landmark, Cessationist was nice, kind and cooperative with those who disagree with him, I might very well vote him for President of the SBC.

Oh, wait, I did.

:)

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade did not throw anyone under the bus here.

Les Puryear did the damage to himself, all by himself.

Tom Parker said...

Jon Estes:

Am I to take it you support Les. P.'s actions to get these two professors fired.

I've not been able to get anybody to admit on record that they support his action's yet. Maybe you can be the first.

That is exactly what he was trying to do, go behind these men's backs and get them fired.

What say you?

Lydia said...

"You are saying that you welcome all to join you in your belief system and you want to define what are tertiary issues and what are not. How does this jive with your call to work with those who believe differently? It doesn't. "


Jon, exactly does one cooperate with those who make drive by comments accusing them of being antonimian? And dosen't even stop to make the biblical case for such? Just hurling insults with a 10 dollar word? How does one 'cooperate' with backhanded deceitful attempts to do away with those who disagree on the doctrine of tithing in the NC?

Or is this just 'cooperation' for those with the title of pastor?

"You want to slam Les and anyone who disagrees with you on this. "

Jon, that is what you do to lay folks who disagree with you.

"You have pushed several good men, in words, under the bus because they differ from you. "

Name names, Jon. Let's take a close look at it. How, exactly are they 'under the bus'? Were their positions and income destroyed by Wade? Tell us the facts.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Thanks for the reply.

You said, “Were I in a church that had a Fundamentalist pastor, I would leave, particularly since the church CALLED the pastor…If a church calls a man, and someone doesn't like it, then the man who doesn't like it, it seems to me, is out of step with the majority of the church.”

As old as I am, I’ve never know anyone to leave a church when a pastor was called. Most of the time people don’t leave until they get fed up with something over a period of time.

When a person leaves, it doesn’t mean they’re always out of step with the majority because the church doesn’t vote every month or year to keep the pastor.

The majority also may be ‘gritting their teeth’ but for various reasons haven’t left.

For example, let’s look at a church that’s been in the news for its controversy.

In a speech by their pastor: http://www.gofbw.com/news.asp?ID=5210
He said: “Ego stands for ‘edging God out’. Pride says that I don’t need God—I’m independent.”

Sounds good from a person who got his PhD from SWBTS in the shortest time ever. You’d think it would be good if some could detect pride in people, but hear him:

“He warned to be leery of pride spotters in the church, which he said can be a haven for mean-spirited, critical people.”

Ut Oh, looks like he said, ‘If you see pride in me, then you’re mean-spirited critical people.’

The rise and fall of this church from about 5,000 to half that much, include four ‘pride spotters’ being kicked out by him.

Within the next year, one of the ‘pride spotters’ was chosen citizen of the year while the pastor was fired.

Wade, in throwing out the adherents to the Fundamentalist ideology, I have a problem with you saying:

“At the Convention level”; and not the local level.

As the Bible as our example, I believe after Paul and Peter failed at the ‘Convention level’ (First Church Counsel where Paul spent the rest of his life fighting the rules given), Paul took his battle to the local level where Gentile churches were being bombarded by Legalists (Fundamentalists).

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Why is Kostenberger getting all of the credit for supporting grace giving only? http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id129.html

Dr David Black at SEBTS did it two years earlier. http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id113.html

D. Daniel Akin himself did it in November 2007
http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id126.html

Even Martin Luther did it in 1525 http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id78.html

The word "tithe" does not appear in any SBC Faith and Mesage and tithing texts were not added until 1963. It was first proposed in 1895 and rejected. That is SBC history. http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id105.html

Jon L. Estes said...

If anyone reads Les' comments with Dr. Akin you will see clearly he does not disagree with grace giving but he clearly states, in agreement with Dr. Akin --- it begins with the tithe.

Les support both as they work with each other, some here discard a portion of scripture to support their majority of not giving to God the minimum of the tithe.

Do I support Les in the firing of the professors. Well, since Les has stated that was not his intent I om OK with that.

Would I vote to have a professor removed if he taught or wrote something against scripture. Absolutely if chose a position which is not biblical and refused to adjust his thinking and life to the word.

To do less is to chose man over God.

Is tithing a tertiary issue? For those not wanting to tithe, it sure seems to be. For those who see it as God's law, still in force would see it the opposite.

Is there a place for both? I don't know but a future WBC might be the answer.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Jon, that is what you do to lay folks who disagree with you."

Only in your world of blogsphere where there are no rules and too many people writing in their darkened corners, afraid to show themselves.

Byroniac said...

Jon, can you just acknowledge that those here who disagree with the belief that tithing is for today, at least seek to justify that position using the Scriptures (and not desiring to be contrary to them)? Even if the non-tithing position is unbiblical (and it's not), it would be from a faulty interpretation of the Scriptures, and not a desire to oppose or minimize the Scriptures. Though we oppose tithing as a religious constraint, we acknowledge that those in the pro-tithing position do so in obedience to their interpretation of the Scriptures. We simply try to point out that the interpretation is wrong.

This is a key idea you need to grasp.

Tom Parker said...

Jon:

You said:"Would I vote to have a professor removed if he taught or wrote something against scripture. Absolutely if chose a position which is not biblical and refused to adjust his thinking and life to the word.

To do less is to chose man over God."

Simple yes or no question--In your biblical view were these two professors writing against scripture.

I await your two letter or three letter response.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

To John L Estes:

Read what Dr Akin said in the Baptist Press article from November 2007. http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id126.html

The SBC Position Paper instructs those receiving checks from the Convention to teach tithing as a minimum expectation. See http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id98.html. That is why Akin's first statement made the mandatory statement. But none of the others even refer to the Old Testament for validity.

You said "Some here discard a portion of scripture to support their majority of not giving to God the minimum of the tithe."

This is aimed at those who disagree with you. It has no place in the open theology of the SBC which promotes local church autonomy. In fact the SBC's own survey published in Facts and Trends in March 2006 says that as many as 20% of SBC pastors do not teach tithing. They are the ones you say are "discarding a portion of scripture." http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id101.html

You wrote: "Would I vote to have a professor removed if he taught or wrote something against Scripture. Absolutely if chose a position which is not biblical and refused to adjust his thinking and life to the word."

Again you reflect your own opinion as to what Scripture teaches. As long as tithing is not a salvation-essential doctrine, why cannot churches teach all viewpoints and leave the conclusion up to the priesthood of every believer?

You wrote "Is tithing a tertiary issue? For those not wanting to tithe, it sure seems to be. For those who see it as God's law, still in force would see it the opposite."

Tithing aside, the New Covenant after Calvary clearly teaches "sacrificial" giving. That means MORE than 10% for many but less for those who have huge medical bills. I am convinced that "sacrificial" giving is far superior to "tithing" without making many feel unwelcome who are in financial stress for legitimate reasons. 1 Tim 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Jon L. Estes said...

" Byroniac said...
Jon, can you just acknowledge that those here who disagree with the belief that tithing is for today, at least seek to justify that position using the Scriptures (and not desiring to be contrary to them)? Even if the non-tithing position is unbiblical (and it's not), it would be from a faulty interpretation of the Scriptures, and not a desire to oppose or minimize the Scriptures. Though we oppose tithing as a religious constraint, we acknowledge that those in the pro-tithing position do so in obedience to their interpretation of the Scriptures. We simply try to point out that the interpretation is wrong.

This is a key idea you need to grasp."

If this were the case in how the non-tithers were treating pro-tithers I think the discussion would be different.

Not so much on this blog but two others are slamming their pastor (or former pastor) for preaching the tithe. They are calling those who sit under these men, kool-aid drinkers. This is just the calmer things. They are labeling these men as false prophets (this goes way back prior to the tithe discussion). You tell me Bryoniac, where is the out cry against those who take an ugly stand towards those who differ in theology or ideology?

I do appreciate your tone on this but your tone is rare in this discussion.

Jon L. Estes said...

" I am convinced that "sacrificial" giving is far superior to "tithing" without making many feel unwelcome who are in financial stress for legitimate reasons."

How does this apply when Jesus praised the woman who gave out of her poverty and not her abundance?

How does one really sacrifice something when they are doing it out of obedience? Is it a real sacrifice to be obedient? Especially if the obedience is to the One who gave His life for them.

I guess it makes us feel good to think we have sacrificed anything for the One who owns everything.

Scripture teaches that if we love Jesus we will obey Him.

Byroniac said...

Jon,

I agree that there is too much name-calling on both sides of the issue. However, I do not think the situation is quite as cut and dried as you present it to be in your last comment. More is going on here.

You said, "Not so much on this blog but two others are slamming their pastor (or former pastor) for preaching the tithe. They are calling those who sit under these men, kool-aid drinkers. This is just the calmer things. They are labeling these men as false prophets (this goes way back prior to the tithe discussion). You tell me Bryoniac, where is the out cry against those who take an ugly stand towards those who differ in theology or ideology?"

That opens a real can of worms. I am not familiar with all that has been said on this issue, so I can express an opinion on it but not well enough to satisfy anyone except myself. You are talking specifics here. Just because something is going downhill specifically does not mean by itself that things are going downhill generally. You would have to cite several examples before asserting that case.

Now I want to express my opinion on the specific matter you are referencing. Your statement was very one-sided, presenting these pastors as victims of an ugly treatment for their theology. In real life, things are usually not quite so neatly one-sided. If positions of power are being abused, or excessive tithing obligations are being mandated, or any sort of other pastoral abuse is occurring or being thought to occur (and I have no idea whether it is or not, as I can only read the blogs that talk about it), then it is not surprising that people rebuke such wrongs with the degree of intensity that is felt to be deserved in the situation. Whether the rebuke itself is right or wrong, there is usually a reason for the feeling behind them. And, if someone like me comes to a discussion and reads as objectively as personally possible (admittedly not possible with perfection) and finds an argument persuasive, then the perception is not one of an "ugly stand" but a "necessary corrective" even though there may be reservations concerning the language used.

That's just my $0.02 on it though, and you got it for free.

Lydia said...

"How does this apply when Jesus praised the woman who gave out of her poverty and not her abundance?"


Jon, seriously. Who was Jesus pointing this out to? And this was before the Law was nailed to the Cross.

Are you claiming the church is a temple instead of our bodies being the temple? Are you claiming that YOU are equivalent to a Levite Priest? If you are, I hope you do not own any land or have any deformities or body sores. Because, according to the law, that would disqualify you.

So, you may have no problem pounding little old ladies and single moms with a mandatory tithe in order to please God... . The duty of the Body is to give to brothers and sisters in need. Not pound them to give toward your salary.

Jon, you get upset that anyone would dare question the storehouse tithing pastors who are claiming folks are driving stolen cars if they do not give 10% to the mega church FIRST. Do you really agree with that?

This ridiculousness falls on many death ears when they are raking in large salaries while accusing folks of driving stolen cars or giving to Haiti first. And then you come on the blogs with your condescending and arrogant rebukes. Sort of like how you responded to Gaines and the pedophile minister scandal: Touch not thine anointed...you warned the bloggers.

You are puffed up with the title of pastor. And in God's economy you are just another depraved sinner saved by grace. You do not have a special anointing. Although you think you do.


Physician heal thyself.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

To Jon L Estes

You asked "How does this [sacrificial giving] apply when Jesus praised the woman who gave out of her poverty and not her abundance?

Other than Jesus' death on the cross, the widow's mite is the best example of sacrificial giving in the Bible

(1) She was not tithing because tithes were always only food from inside Israel and I doubt that she was a farmer or herdsman.

(2) After giving her "all" she had nothing else to give. How many churches would be glad to let her join when she had nothing at all left to give?

(3) The problem with tithing is that many can give only tithes out of their "abundance" and think that they have given enough. Their spirit would not be so easily quenched if they had not given even more sacrificially.

You asked "How does one really sacrifice something when they are doing it out of obedience?"

How many "tithe" out of obedience? Levitical tithing from Numbers 18:21-28 is cold hard law. Sacrificial giving should be motivated by a desire to see souls added to the church of the living God. The problem in our churches is not a failure to preach tithing. Rather it is a failure to preach soul winning out of love.

You wrote "I guess it makes us feel good to think we have sacrificed anything for the One who owns everything."

I sense sarcasm. How many "tithe-payers" go home from church "feeling good" when they have not dented their bank account? When a member asked J Vernon McGee why he did not preach on tithing, he replied "You problem is that you STOP at 10%"

You wrote "Scripture teaches that if we love Jesus we will obey Him."

When we "rightly divide" the Word, we strive to distinguish between what Jesus taught as "matters of the law" and what he taught for the church. Before Calvary he was expected to teach full obedience to all of the law.

Jon L. Estes said...

"You wrote "Scripture teaches that if we love Jesus we will obey Him."

When we "rightly divide" the Word, we strive to distinguish between what Jesus taught as "matters of the law" and what he taught for the church. Before Calvary he was expected to teach full obedience to all of the law."

So are you saying that our obedience to Jesus is a matter of law and therefore no longer applicable?

From earlier in your comment in reference my thoughts on sacrifice, it saddens me that you think anything we do out of obedience to our Lord would be considered a sacrifice. As a believer, we have no personal sacrifice. When we have done that which is required of us to do we are to say we have done our duty.

But then, many Christians, it seems, like to get their pat on the back for a job well done. I call it hero worship, where we become our own hero.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Jon, you get upset that anyone would dare question the storehouse tithing pastors who are claiming folks are driving stolen cars if they do not give 10% to the mega church FIRST. Do you really agree with that? "

If tithing (10%) of our gross is the beginning and most Christians are giving much less, then yes they are living above their means and robbing God. I believe the local church is todays storehouse.

"This ridiculousness falls on many death ears when they are raking in large salaries while accusing folks of driving stolen cars or giving to Haiti first. And then you come on the blogs with your condescending and arrogant rebukes. Sort of like how you responded to Gaines and the pedophile minister scandal: Touch not thine anointed...you warned the bloggers."

Our starting with the tithe has nothing to do with what anyone makes (much or little), it has everything to do with obedience.

Lydia, Your selective memory is noted. I have stated on more than one occasion that I knew nothing of the pedophile stuff at BBC, when I made the comment. I will though go on record and say I believe the passage which deals with this subject (anointed) is still biblical. This is another passage I still have in my bible.

"You are puffed up with the title of pastor. And in God's economy you are just another depraved sinner saved by grace. You do not have a special anointing. Although you think you do.:

You think I am puffed up with a title? Shows how little you know of me and my ministry. Most of my church members call me Jon. Even the kids. No title used or asked for.

Byroniac,

Thanks again for your comment. Let me simply say there is no correction going on because they are talking about their pastor and church members, not to them.

This is the ugly that concerns me.

Lydia said...

"So are you saying that our obedience to Jesus is a matter of law and therefore no longer applicable?"

Jon, where you miss it is the "sent" Holy Spirit that dwells in a believers heart.

We are now to be led by the Holy Spirit IF we are really saved. That is the problem with obeying an OC law. The Holy Spirit may be leading me to give to a sister in need INSTEAD of to the church building fund or a pastors salary. According to you, that is sin unless I give to the church building and salaries first.

Tom Parker said...

Jon:

I think I hear you saying yes to the question I asked you earlier and you chose not to answer. You like Les would have sought to have these two professors fired.

Wow!

Jon L. Estes said...

"Jon:

I think I hear you saying yes to the question I asked you earlier and you chose not to answer. You like Les would have sought to have these two professors fired.

Wow!"

Tom,

I did answer. Les has gone on record as saying it was not his intent or desire to have anyone fired.

I thought you could read better than this, I guess not.

WOW!!

Jon L. Estes said...

Lydia,

"We are now to be led by the Holy Spirit IF we are really saved. That is the problem with obeying an OC law. The Holy Spirit may be leading me to give to a sister in need INSTEAD of to the church building fund or a pastors salary. According to you, that is sin unless I give to the church building and salaries first."

Gosh Lydia, I did not say that. Let me say it again.

The local church (Christian) is God's modern day storehouse. The moral law requires that His children give 10% to Him, through the local church. The giving to Him is not to be looked at as salaries and buildings but Kingdom ministry. maybe that is the problem, we want to say where the money goes when it doesn't go as we like it where we serve.

Let me ask a question. Stay with me.

The Holy Spirit leads Christian A to understand and interpret scripture that the tithe is still a part of the law.

The same Holy Spirit leads Christian B to understand and interpret that the tithe is no longer valid.

1 - Does the Holy Spirit do this?

2 - If so, can you biblically support such a confusion or conflict?

3 - If not, who is right (if either)?

4 - If one side is right, which side is standing on the printed word for their conclusion?

I think it fair to say,one group is arguing from silence and the other is arguing form scripture.

It wasn't long ago I had a debate (online) about the historical reality of Genesis 1-11. The Christian fellows I was debating this with cared not what Genesis 1-11 said, their myth interpretation was right in their own eyes.

I am concerned, and you probably think it is foolish, that a generation of Christians are going to be taught by those who continue to clip and cut things out of scripture. This decade it will be the tithe and your side will probably win because we all want to keep our money.

Soon we will have a no gospel bible. But that's ok as long as we don't have to tithe, because it is not in our modern version (prophesying for 2025).

Some people will fight for peoples jobs but the fight for the bible is one worth fighting.

I think it was Les who clarified his intent was due to the move away from biblical authority. Something which I don't blame the non tithers from wanting to debate.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

To Jon L Estes

Kelly: When we "rightly divide" the Word, we strive to distinguish between what Jesus taught as "matters of the law" and what he taught for the church. Before Calvary he was expected to teach full obedience to all of the law."

Estes: So are you saying that our obedience to Jesus is a matter of law and therefore no longer applicable?

Kelly: I thought tithers taught it was a matter of law per Malachi 3:10. Did I not say "before Calvary"? Obedience to tithing "before Calvary" was expected as a "matter of the law" per Matthew 23:23.

Estes: … it saddens me that you think anything we do out of obedience to our Lord would be considered a sacrifice.

Kelly: It saddens me that you are attempting to twist me words. The topic is not "anything we do." The topic is "tithing" compared to "sacrificial giving" which I think is a superior principle of the New Covenant.

Estes: As a believer, we have no personal sacrifice. When we have done that which is required of us to do we are to say we have done our duty.

Kelly: In my opinion your statement reeks of legalism. The "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" is a principle empowered by love, not law. Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Estes: But then, many Christians, it seems, like to get their pat on the back for a job well done. I call it hero worship, where we become our own hero.

Kelly: "It seems"? Condescending comment. You engage in cute remarks while complaining about name-calling. How many tithers expect blessings, extra money and pat on the back for a duty well done? Your remarks go both directions.

Lydia said...

" I believe the local church is todays storehouse."

So, the local storehouse would have been Lydia's house? You think they trusted her with the money? :o)

"Our starting with the tithe has nothing to do with what anyone makes (much or little), it has everything to do with obedience.
"

That is certainly what they hope we believe so we continue to fork it over for their luxury lifestyles and pastry chefs.

So, Jim Jones' sheep were being obedient? being obedient has everything to do with being a good steward. One should never support a wolf.

For example: Why would anyone buy new carpet when someone in the Body is in financial trouble or lost their job? When budgets are tight, why didn't the leadership of SBTS take cuts instead of laying folks off? Why spend the money on campus beautification when you are laying off dads with kids and stay at home moms?

I think we will answer for continuing to fork it over to the local business enterprise that masquerades as a church.

"I will though go on record and say I believe the passage which deals with this subject (anointed) is still biblical. This is another passage I still have in my bible."

So, you are like King Saul? God was angry with the Israelites for begging for a king... still he gave them one. He was the king of a theocracy. Is that what you are, Jon? King of your local church? And so you are telling folks not to touch the other anointed kings?

"You think I am puffed up with a title? Shows how little you know of me and my ministry. Most of my church members call me Jon. Even the kids. No title used or asked for."

Huh? I have not met a pastor in 20 years who isn't called by their first name. I am not sure why you think that is a big deal for you. I am speaking of your attitude...as in touch not thine anointed king of the local church.

"Thanks again for your comment. Let me simply say there is no correction going on because they are talking about their pastor and church members, not to them."

I had to chuckle at that one. Members waited 6 months to get a private audience with a local mega church pastor. Had to catch him between speaking gigs. Besides, considering how you think of the 'laity', most of you guys do not listen well to the sheeple.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

Russel Earl Kelley is explaining clearly, directly, logically, cogently, understandably, biblically, and directly why the New Covenant church is not "God's storehouse" and that "tithing" to the local church is NOT GOD'S LAW.

I pastor a church that has a 2.5 million dollar budget. We have exceeded our budget for the past 18 years, every year, with Christians never once being told they "obey" God when they "tithe."

We express our need, encourage people to seek the direction of the Holy Spirit in their giving, and tell them that whatever they give to Emmanuel, to do so cheerfully.

Our experience is that God's people who understand the person and work of Christ give generously and regularly--but there are times when some of God's people at Emmanuel can't and don't give to the church. They receive as much love, are given as much grace, and are used by God just as much as those who give half their income to Emmanuel.

I don't know why it's hard for you to understand this.

By the way--I RESPECT THE FACT YOU TEACH THE PEOPLE AT YOUR CHURCH DIFFERENTLY.

I would never ask you to teach what we do---just don't dare try to remove the professors at our COOPERATIVE SEMINARIES who teach what we believe--

AND WE WON'T SEEK TO REMOVE THOSE WHO TEACH WHAT YOU BELIEVE.

Deal??

Jon L. Estes said...

"Estes: As a believer, we have no personal sacrifice. When we have done that which is required of us to do we are to say we have done our duty.

Kelly: In my opinion your statement reeks of legalism. The "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" is a principle empowered by love, not law. Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.""

Let's see... Jesus said:

Luke 17:10 (KJV)
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.


Who is being legalistic? I was quoting Jesus.

"So, you are like King Saul? God was angry with the Israelites for begging for a king... still he gave them one. He was the king of a theocracy. Is that what you are, Jon? King of your local church? And so you are telling folks not to touch the other anointed kings? "

Talk about twisting words.

"It seems" = My personal opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Nothing condescending about them unless you twist them that way.

Lydia said...

The Holy Spirit leads Christian A to understand and interpret scripture that the tithe is still a part of the law.


Christian A depends on a tithe for his income. And is scared to death it won't be there so preaches a tithe as obedience to God. Has skits, talks about blessings, etc.

I have done the numbers in a mega church, Jon. I know what a mere 2% brings in.

Christian A would never preach that you should give it to a brother in need BEFORE you give it to the non profit corporation first.

And all the sheeple believe Christian A because they do not study and have been taught he is an anointed king and God tells him what they must do.

Has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit unless you want me to believe the Holy Spirit wants Ed Young to buy a plane and keep it secret from the sheeple.

" am concerned, and you probably think it is foolish, that a generation of Christians are going to be taught by those who continue to clip and cut things out of scripture. This decade it will be the tithe and your side will probably win because we all want to keep our money."

That is just it. If led by the Holy Spirit, folks are NOT keeping their money. You just do not like that you do not control it.

Jon L. Estes said...

"So, Jim Jones' sheep were being obedient? being obedient has everything to do with being a good steward. One should never support a wolf."

Were Jim Jones followers evangelical Christians?

Are you putting certain mega church pastors in the same category as Jim Jones?

Jon L. Estes said...

"Christian A depends on a tithe for his income. And is scared to death it won't be there so preaches a tithe as obedience to God. Has skits, talks about blessings, etc"

I have never met a pastor who preaches the tithe because he depends on an income. This is where you falter when you start proclaiming the heart of another who is not here to share his heart and you won't go there to seek truth.

"That is just it. If led by the Holy Spirit, folks are NOT keeping their money. You just do not like that you do not control it."

I control what? The money which comes into the church I pastor? We work within budget parameters. I don't set the budget, the church does. Not a select few but a strong group of men and women who support the church and the vision God has given us.

I write no checks, carry no credit card, I am reimbursed for most expenditures (within the budget framework). Personally I have not taken about 6500.00 of my budget package for this year since we are financially strong but watching carefully the lesser dollar coming in due to may losing their jobs in our community.

I have been here three years and preached on tithing, once.

Believing in the tithe does not mean I preach it all the time. I do when it shows up in scripture, as I preach through a book.

I believe in all the scripture and do not believe tithing has been removed.

Wade,

I would not ask for a persons resignation but if I had a vote and they were teaching men that Malachi 3:8-10 is not relevant to todays church then my vote would be to remove them.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

To Jon L Estes

You wrote: "If tithing (10%) of our gross is the beginning and most Christians are giving much less, then yes they are living above their means and robbing God."

Kelly: Why don’t you quote any texts to support your conclusions? That is where the discussion should really go. Tell us how self-employed businessmen and farmers can tithe gross! And tell us where the Bible says that 10% was the "beginning" minimum giving standard for other than food producers who lived inside Israel. And then tell us how you can accuse New Covenant believers of "robbing God" when God only commanded tithing to support the Old Covenant priesthood who, in turn, was not allowed to own property.

Estes: I believe the local church is today's storehouse.

Kelly: Don't just say it; defend it with a Bible text. Read Nehemiah 10:37b-39. The OT tithes were brought to the Levitical cities and only the Levites and priests were commanded to bring them to the very small Temple storerooms. The Temple could not possibly hold all the tithe of the whole nation. And how could the church be a storehouse was not allowed to legally have buildings until after AD 324.

Wade Burleson said...

"I would not ask for a persons resignation but if I had a vote and they were teaching men that Malachi 3:8-10 is not relevant to todays church then my vote would be to remove them.

That Jon, is why I will do everything in my power, and ask God for His help, to keep you and those like you from being in SBC leadership.

You, sir, will destroy any cooperation among conservative, Christ-honoring Southern Baptists with differing interpretations of the sacred text.

I pray God will change your heart. Thanks for your honesty!

Wade

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Estes: Luke 17:10 (KJV)
"So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
Who is being legalistic? I was quoting Jesus.

Kelly: Finally, an actual Bible text to work with. It really WAS the "duty" of Old Covenant farmers and herdsmen to tithe! It was also their "duty" to kill disobedient children as in Exodus 21:15,17. Have you killed your disobedient children and called it your "duty"? Of course not! Because you have rejected Old Covenant DUTIES and STANDARDS and have replaced them with New Covenant standards --except for tithing.

Rex Ray said...

Jon Estes,
There’s a man in a small church that gives well over 10% to God’s work.

DO YOU BELIEVE A CHURCH WITH ATTENDANCE OF SIXTY SHOULD RECEIVE A MILLION DOLLARS?

Case closed. I’m tired of your arguing.

Tom Parker said...

Jon:

I asked you whether you would fire these men and you danced all around my question:

but you said to Wade:

"Wade,

I would not ask for a persons resignation but if I had a vote and they were teaching men that Malachi 3:8-10 is not relevant to todays church then my vote would be to remove them."

That sure is a long way of saying yes to my question.

In this you are EXTREME!!! just like Les P.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom Parker,

Amen.

Lydia said...

Were Jim Jones followers evangelical Christians?

Are you putting certain mega church pastors in the same category as Jim Jones?

Sat Feb 13, 06:21:00 PM 2010

Ted Haggard claimed to be an evangelical Christian WHILE he was getting massages. So, what is your point?

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Wade

Please email me or call me.

Russ

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Les Puryear Censorship Blog

Les Puryear has just changed his blog to allow only authorized team members.
http://lesliepuryear.blogspot.com/2010/02/quotes-from-christian-leaders-on.html

He has posted a number of those who agree with him.

In order to be fair he should also publish my long list of about 50 who disagree with him.
http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id2.html