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

The Southern Baptist Convention: Where Liars and Embellishers Condemn Homosexuals to Hell?

I believe same gender sexual activity is a sin. The Bible calls it such. What I can't figure out is why we Southern Baptist pastors continue to single out and target homosexuality as a sin that supercedes all other sins. A decade ago messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention changed Article III of the SBC Constitution by adding the following sentence (in bold letters):

Article III. Membership: The Convention shall consist of messengers who are members of missionary Baptist churches cooperating with the Convention as follows:

1. One (1) messenger from each church which: (1) Is in friendly cooperation with the Convention and sympathetic with its purposes and work. Among churches not in cooperation with the Convention are churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior. And, (2) Has been a bona fide contributor to the Convention's work during the fiscal year preceding.
I think I might propose a constitutional change to Article III at this year's Southern Baptist Convention that actually might be more appropriate in terms of the sins with which we as Southern Baptists struggle. It might go something like this:

Among those churches not in cooperation with the Convention are those which act to affirm, approve or endorse any of their pastors embellishing their educational accomplishments through the use of diploma mills and/or purchase of unaccredited theological degrees. Any SBC pastor that fraudulently uses the title "Dr." and any SBC church that approves and/or endorses such activity by any member of their pastoral staff will be deemed out of fellowship with the Southern Baptist Convention.
When we passed resolutions condemning homosexuals--while at the same time boycotting Disney--I thought things were becoming strange in the SBC. But at the time, I couldn't quite put my finger on the problem. Now, I feel like I understand. We have allowed a culture to be created within our Convention where we deem certain sins "heinous" (homosexuality, abortion, imbibing alcohol, women preaching, etc...), while other sins, the ones with which we Southern Baptists struggle (lying, pride, selfish ambition, etc...), are either quietly ignored or explained away as "platform charisma," "bold leadership," or "powerful preaching."
A diploma mill, also known as a degree mill, is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies. Websters defines a diploma mill as "An institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or because of the lack of proper standards worthless." Such organizations are unaccredited, but they often claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved organizations set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity. Pastors who use fake degrees or "doctorates," and churches which care more that their pastors be called "Dr." than they are their pastors display character, have fallen into the kind of sins that negatively impact our Convention.

Remember Steven Flockhart? His resume contained not one, but two fake degrees. Yet, at the bottom of Flockhart's fraudulent resume, was this amazing statement:
"I have been accepted to Liberty University Seminary to begin working on a second Doctorate."
Huh? Liberty, would you explain? How can a man with two fraudulent degrees be accepted into your seminary? Liberty first denied that Flockhart was a seminary student at Liberty, but then corrected their mistaken denial. The Palm Beach Post then questioned Liberty about the peculiar circumstances surrounding the admission of Flockhart into their seminary. An accredited theological school doesn't "admit" a new student until official "transcripts" from GAAP accredited schools have been filed for the applicant. According to reporter Jane Musgrave, Liberty gave this official response to her questions about Flockhart's admission to Liberty Seminary:

"The pastor is enrolled and has paid in advance,” said Ron Godwin, executive vice president and CEO of Liberty University. “I love those kind of students.”

He said Flockhart did not turn up in university records because Caner apparently recruited him. A Turkish-born Muslim, Caner converted to evangelical Christianity, then set off a firestorm in 2002 by describing the prophet Mohammed as a pedophile possessed by demons.

“Dr. Caner has a wide outreach to church leaders all over the United States and, as president of the seminary, enrolls a number of pastors individually,” Godwin said.
I've posted before about the connection between Flockhart and Liberty. Others have written about the tendency of SBC leaders to use fraudulent degrees. Certainly it has been easy for SBC pastors to embellish in order to be a mainstay on the Southern Baptist speaking circuit or to climb the Southern Baptist national and state leadership ladder. Southern Baptist pastors seem infatuated with the title "Dr," even to the extent of asking others to use it of them before they've earned it. Take a gander at the Pastors' Conference line-up. Does every single speaker really have an earned doctorate? It would be inappropriate for some to single out one man for questioning without the rest of us demanding that all be held accountable.

It's time that we Southern Baptists quit pointing our finger at the sins of the world and for us to start getting serious about our own sins. The picture at the top of this post comes straight from the site of Cambridge Theological Seminary International, "the minister's best friend." Several SBC pastors claim "degrees" from this diploma mill. As long as churches and leaders of the SBC are more interested in condemning homosexuals than we are about truth and integrity in our leaders, we will never make an impact for Christ in this world. Would to God we debated our own sins of pride, lying, cheating, embellishing and selfish-ambition at this year's Convention and refrained from condemning homosexuals or talking about another boycott of Disney.

In His Grace,


Wade



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88 comments:

Blake said...

As long as you don't include gluttony in your list of sins. They'll roast you for that. :-D

Tim Rogers said...

Wade,

"An institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or because of the lack of proper standards worthless."

So, according to your definition, it seems that you would agree that James White is a fraud.

Tim

Tim Marsh said...

I wonder if this is the beginning of the demise of the Southern Baptist Convention?

Diploma Mills, embellishing sermon illustrations and biography, lying on resumes, covering for sexual predators, intimidating opponents, lavish lifestyles and perks - the media will have a field day with all this.

If it damages the SBC, then good! In my humble opinion, the Kingdom of God is better off without such frauds.

The sad thing is that this hurts all those who have supported such ministries for years, who were in it for God's Kingdom, and not the perks some of these celebrity preachers have gone after.

I am angry and believe that I have a right to be. I believe all those who have supported the SBC at some point in their lives have every right to be.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

On the contrary, it is you with the attitude that is the problem. You have ridiculed, berated and mocked me for having an accredited degree in finance. Were I concerned in the least with opinions like yours, or if I felt gospel intellectualism even required an accredited degree, I might be driven to the diploma mill route because of your attitude. I am suggesting that the SBC is filled with people with attitudes like yours -- people drawn to celebrity not integrity, titles not character, and pomp not substance. And a bunch of insecure men who serve as pastors try to impress by getting titles without the scholarship. It used to be we Baptists cared about scholarship and didn't give a rip about honors or titles.

Now to James White. He is a scholar of the old school--similar to Gill, Keach, and Surgeon. I wish he would not insist on the title 'Dr.' but he may wish to impress people like you.

He impresses me with his work and writings. Even if he had a fourth grade education he would be a scholar in my mind. But do I question why he feels the need to be called 'Dr'? Yes. Could it be the culture of formal debates sparks in him the need for the title? Of course.

So it is in the SBC. We fawn over titles and would not recognize true scholarship if it were in our midst. Gill, the greatest Hebrew linguist in history had NO formal educational degrees. Were you alive his day Tim, you would ridicule him, as the dons of Anglicanism did, only to be embarrassed when their work and writings were compared with his.

Baptists used to value substance over pomp. I am asking that we return to those days. Don't misunderstand me. If a Southern Baptist has a truly earned academic doctorate such as an accredited Ph.D then certainly call him 'Dr.' Otherwise, we are all playing prideful games.

Anonymous said...

i just want to say how much i appreciate you. as someone who has struggled her entire life with homosexual tendencies, i have often wept at how the church views this particular sin. as a member of a southern baptist church, i didn't feel like i could talk to anyone about it. i suffered in silence. we say we love the sinner but not the sin but it isn't true. just listen to a group of christians when they get together. listen to how they joke about gays. watch the disgust on their faces. and then you will see why so many of us don't feel like we can be open. and trust me, without complete transparency this issue will never be properly addressed. God began to bring healing to me when i finally felt safe enough to open up. "looking bad in the presence of love" literally saved my life. God used it to transform me. when will that be the response of the church and not just that of a few individuals?

i know that wasn't the point of your post. i just get so frustrated that my struggle is demonized by 300 pound pastors. our sin is killing us. i think satan loves that we have a hierarchy of sins that make us oblivious to the cancer in our own souls. thanks for being a voice in the wilderness.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for the meaningful comment

Tim Marsh,

Well stated ! Obviously, my comment above was to the other Tim - Tim Rogers.

Anonymous said...

Tim

You are quite misled!

It is the the quality one possesses in his written works which determine his scholarship NOT vice versa!

Case in point, MABTS has turned out many with the title of "Dr" which have no legitimate claim to the title. It was well known what "Major" to declare in order to get admitted to the Doctoral Program (there was actually 2 of them IE Evangelism, and Missions).

The Admin at MABTS could only wish that all of their former Doctoral Students had the scholarship of James White.

One Doctoral Student actually got his "Dr" by listening to tapes of Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, and John Mac Arthur--just sayin! Yeah, it is very political at points.

Yes, there have been some great great men complete their Doctoral Studies at MABTS, but that was not necessarily the norm.

A Doctoral Program is whatever the student wants it to be (students know which professors to take in order to accomplish their ends--and yes it does matter. For example, in the MDiv program, few students would take T V Farris or Larry Walker back in the day because they might not get an A and jeopardize their chances of getting into the Dr Program, especially if they were going into either Biblical Languages or Hebrew).

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
You said, “Southern Baptist pastors seem infatuated with the title “Dr,”…”

Ah, the term ‘Dr’ has such a high fluent ring and prestige to it.
It reminds me of those that “enlarge the borders of their garments.” (Matthew 23:5)

Maybe some of the ‘respect’ comes from the carryover of medical doctors where their training gives them wisdom in solving our medical problems.

Which of these titles have the highest ‘rank’?
1. Interim pastor.
2. Pastor
3. Senior pastor

Once, I was in a church where the new pastor on his first sermon made a point that the bulletin had him listed as ‘Interim pastor’.

“I’m sorry; I forgot to change it.”

Instead of thanking the elderly volunteer lady for her work, the pastor said, “Have that changed before next Sunday.”

I’m afraid sometimes our egos veto our brains.

Michael Ruffin said...

Wade,

When I was a young whipper-snapper preacher boy I asked my good mentor, who had both an earned Th.D. from Southern Seminary (awarded in the 1940s) and a D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) from Mercer University, what the "D.D." stood for and he answered, "Didn't Do it." That's funny (not to minimize the value of awarding an honorary doctor of whatever degree to someone as a kind of "lifetime achievement" award--"Dr." Billy Graham comes to mind, for example).

Sometimes I look at the three diplomas hanging on my wall (B.A. Mercer, M.Div. & Ph.D. SBTS) and wonder why I spent 10 years of my life going to school full-time to earn those degrees when I could have gotten three nice pieces of paper with a lot less trouble.

One answer, I guess, is that there is more integrity in the way I and many others did it. Shortcuts are almost always problematic.

By the way, I'm not "proud" of my degrees--I'm just grateful to God for God's call, for God's guidance, and for God's gift of perseverence--and for the opportunity for education that I had and of which I chose to take advantage.

Thanks for your post.

Lindsey said...

Tim Marsh,

The “beginning of the demise!?”

That demise began with the words, “going for the jugular.”

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Ruffin,

You, sir, deserve the title--particularly because you earned it, don't flaunt it nor desire the recognition from it. That's why you SHOULD be called Dr. Ruffin.

:)

Tom Chantry said...

Rex Ray,

Great Story!

My father took a pulpit in Pennsylvania upon his graduation from seminary at the age of 25. He was named "Interim Pastor." When he retired 39 years later no record could be found in the church archives of his position ever having been made permanent, so they celebrated the conclusion of a successful interim of nearly four decades!

That seems to fit the theme of this meta: the reality matters more than the trappings.

Pastor Bobby T said...

WADE,

I say this is all sincereity and with no tongue-in-cheek attitude at all -- they ought to elect you as President of the SBC THIS YEAR in Orlando and allow you and a few selected others to staighted this mess out. I've been a member of a SBC pretty much all my Christain life, and I have attended one for 9 months longer than my 51 years -- my mom told me she was in church from the time of my conception. But, I keep hearing about so much stuff going on in the SBC that stinks. WADE -- Go for it and keep up the good work with your incredilbe blog!

Louis said...

This string of conversation reminds me of when I was in college at Hardin-Simmons University, and a buddy of mine and I carpooled from our church fields 50 miles away to the HSU campus. On one of those rides, we were talking about all the time & cash we were spending in pursuing our education, and were jokingly brainstorming about educational shortcuts. The result of that conversation is that there in the front seat of his Plymouth, the two of us constituted the International Bible College and Theological Seminary of Nolan County, Texas. (School motto: "Vestri viaticus est usquequaque bonus nobis!" [rough translation: "Your money is always good with us!"])

Upon said constitution, we immediately awarded ourselves doctoral degrees and then elected ourselves to the faculty.

Silly, I know. But is it really any sillier than the methods some individuals use to acquire the title "Dr.," for no other apparent reason than to increase their marketability or appearance of credibility?

Incidentally, if any of the readership lacks a doctoral diploma and is interested in acquiring one, I can help you out. I still hold a tenured faculty position at IBCTS of Nolan County, Texas. In fact, I recently elected myself president-for-life. ;-)

Wade Burleson said...

Bobby T.

Thanks for the kind words, but there is not even the remotest interest in me for any kind of denominational leadership or office. The Baptist Identity crowd wants to convince others differently. But it should be obvious that the subject matter of my writings, and my uninterest in offending current leadership is not the manner in which someone "runs" for office.

Christiane said...

On the last post, which celebrates Rachelle Burleson's wonderful achievement, was a comment that I loved.

Here it is:

"Jeff Rogers said...

Way to go Rachelle...You honor our Lord with your excellence!
Thu May 13, 08:53:00 PM 2010"


Those words of Jeff's to Rachelle:
'YOU HONOR OUR LORD WITH YOUR EXCELLENCE' are so true. And when I read the present post, about the men who need to 'embellish' for the sake of their 'images', I am wanting to point those men towards the example of Mrs. Burleson.

I imagine the nuns of St. Mary's Hospital adore her for her example of hard work and commitment to her profession . . . AND, in the words Jeff has spoken, I am so sure that the nuns would agree with his evaluation of Rachelle's accomplishment: 'YOU HONOR OUR LORD WITH YOUR EXCELLENCE'.

For those men of God who 'need' the title of 'doctor' so much that they would go to a diploma mill and 'buy' that degree, I can only hope that they will re-think their priorities. It's not 'about them', it's all about honoring Our Lord. No short cuts there to that end.

P.S.
Sigh . . . if only those men had been educated by a bunch of kick-tail nuns, those men would never have even THOUGHT about phony doctorates. The nuns would have dealt with any gaps of character formation from the get-go. There are two known fierce types of disciplinarians that don't play: military drill sargeants, and the nuns. Whew! I am NOT kidding.

Lindsey said...

Wade, Now that we know Frank Page is going to be the new head of the EC maybe you'll get an appointed position. (for smiles only)

Steven Stark said...

I realize this is not ultimately the subject of this blog post, but I will still put out the point of view that there are not any good enough reasons to characterize homosexual acts as "sin".

Homosexuality was condemned in the Jewish Holiness Code, along with wearing clothes made of different fibers and eating pork. Paul doesn't like homosexuality probably because he was raised under the Jewish Holiness Code. Plus Paul isn't God.

We owe it to gay people to think reasonably before condemning their actions, which are quite natural to them. Their homosexuality is most likely due to genetic factors and in utero experience. We cannot subject them to a "Bible command theory" which is certainly, certainly not a properly basic belief from which to decide morality.

And what would conservative Christians ask of gay people? To live a celibate life? Not to seek a family? If you value your own family, then you know this is a terrible cruel thing to ask of someone.

Douglas said...

"Which of these titles have the highest ‘rank’?

1. Interim pastor.
2. Pastor
3. Senior pastor"

None of them.

Pastor is not a "title," it is a ministry designation, an affirmation of what a particular person is called to do. Not so much about what they are but rather about what they do. What their role is within the church. Pastor literally means "shepherd." A shepherd of God's people. You don't hear people saying; "here comes shepherd so and so" or "hello shepherd so and so." The title "Shepherd" is never used. I have never heard anyone use “shepherd” as a name or title.

I think many that are called by the title pastor love being called "Pastor." It puffs and fluffs them up. They should be saying to those who call them 'Pastor,' "no, no, no, my title or name is not pastor, my name is 'Joe Bloggs'" or whomever. "Just call me 'Joe' is sufficient, thank you. Joe will do just fine."

Ephesians 4:11
And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.

"The tasks of a Near Eastern shepherd were: - to watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep - to defend the sheep from attackers - to heal the wounded and sick sheep - to find and save lost or trapped sheep - to love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust."

Lydia said...

"So, according to your definition, it seems that you would agree that James White is a fraud."


Perhaps you should ask your SBC buddies because he teaches classes at Golden Gate. He even teaches one on Islam.

Perhaps Caner should take it. :o)

But I have to agree with Wade that it is strange that White insists on being called Dr. I am afraid I am no fan of White's but then what does that matter...facts and truth stand alone outside of Khan or White.

gary dilworth said...

"...sins, the ones with which we Southern Baptists struggle (lying, pride, selfish ambition, etc...), are either quietly ignored or explained away as "platform charisma," "bold leadership," or "powerful preaching."
How many times have we sat listening to someone and hung our heads in disappointment (and for me even shame) because we knew we were hearing the flesh and not the Spirit?
So let's encompass plagiarism with this issue too.
Several Sundays back a pastor of my church told the "My Philosophy professor gave us the one word "Why?" exam, I answered "why not? and got an A" story from the 1st person, naming his philosphy professor in the process. I don't know what his intent was, because my mind had left the building. My first thought was, "I heard this story about 17 years ago (as an urban legend with no historical basis in fact)." The professor imitated an urban legend on a wieghted exam. But my next thoughts were of memories of how I taught and spoke to others, using material that I directly quoted without ever citing the actual author of that material, and reveled in the praise I was given as if it had been my own. I have questioned whether or not I was actually saved back then. Today I work very hard to cite my sources, and to never bend a truth or reword a story or quote someone out of context to cast myself or my arguments in a "better" light. I find when I am writing, as I focus on being as honest as I can, I discover imprecision, and colorings of the truth the Spirit does not approve, because I was letting my flesh rule the page.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for a really good article. I've seen far too many men of good character, put through the shredder, their lives and effective ministries, destroyed, because of the tendency to see degrees of sin.

At the same time, purchased qualifications have enabled others to glory in their shame.

SWBTSgrad said...

Wade, I've talked with you about this before and you were probably a little more kind than I was about this topic. But I had a real hard time at SWBTS with many of my professors being obese. I'm not talking about "big-boned" or anyone genetically predisposed to being wider than another. I'm talking about being overweight because of the sin of gluttony. You cautioned me to be careful since gluttony looks different in everyone and is hard to see concretely, and you were right. I feel like I struggle with this sin, though most people would not think so since I don't "look" overweight.

My main issue is the same as yours. I would have been kicked out of seminary (and maybe I should have) for viewing pornography - which is a sin - or imbibing alcohol (which isn't). But I had to listen to professor after professor with a 50-inch waist teach the Word to me. Or prideful, materialistic preacher after prideful, materialistic preacher "exposit" God's Holy Word in chapel. One particular time, the pastor of one of the highest-profile SBC churches preached in chapel with his flashy jewelry and VERY high-dollar suit, and was complimented as he left the stage on how he dressed. He should have spent less money on his jewelry/dress so he could give more to the poor. So we congratulated him for materialism.

I honestly don't feel I'm casting stones, because the sins of pride and materialism (and a million others) are disgusting in my own life. But with the help of my brothers in Christ, my pride, gluttony, and materialism are actually called sin instead of explained away. I just thought it brought reproach on Christ's name to allow certain sins to run rampant in our leaders, but others be explained away and even glorified. We don't see it, but the world does and hates it. And it misrepresents our Christ.

The anonymous lady above said it so well: "i think satan loves that we have a hierarchy of sins that make us oblivious to the cancer in our own souls."

Former FBC Insider said...

Pastor Bobby T said...
"WADE,

I say this is all sincereity and with no tongue-in-cheek attitude at all -- they ought to elect you as President of the SBC THIS YEAR in Orlando and allow you and a few selected others to staighted this mess out."

I can't agree with you more. But of course, Wade, even the reasons you wouldn't run for such is more of why our respect for you continues to rise.

Ever think about your own party?
I'd hop the fence.
Much respect here.

Gary said...

I have often said, and firmly believe that most of us consider the sins with which we are not tempted to be the most horrible, and those which we are tempted to be small sins. At the same time, there are those who speak most loudly against the sins with which they struggle. Let us all find the grace to realize we are all sinners of equal filth and proclaim together a Savior of unequaled mercy!

Bob Cleveland said...

Steven,

Is it "too much to ask" to state that unmarried people should refrain from heterosexual sex? Is it too much to ask that I, as a man, must submit my sexuality to God, repent of my tendency toward sin, and live according to His word?

If asking heterosexual men and women to act in accordance with scriptures is not "too much to ask", then neither is it, for homosexual persons.

If asking singles to refrain from having children, (so they can have a family) is not "too much to ask", or is "terribly cruel", then the same must be said with reference to heterosexual unmarried men and women.

And "doing what is natural" is certainly not any kind of excuse. God has plenty to say about our nature, and it is no excuse for anything.

Tim G said...

Bob,
Well said! Great perspective!

Jeff Rogers said...

As I was preparing to retire from 21 years of military service, my family and I took a family trip to camp at Camp Carson, adjacent to of Fort Knox, Kentucky, we took an excursion trip to Loisville, KY to visit the campus of Southern Seminary. WOW!!! What a rush. As I was touring the Boyce Library, (James P. Boyce is one of my hero's), I was filled with a deep sense of, "This is where I belong". I could picture myself in the seminary arena, writing papers and having them read and critiqued by the great theologians of our day and I could see debate forums where I could finally show those doubters how well I knew God and his word.

What PRIDEFUL HEART I had, and I still battle. I had the G.I. Bill. Sure it would be a sacrifice for the family, but isn't that really where I belonged.

As we drove away from the seminary, I caught a hitch in my spirit, telling me very clearly. "If you go there, you will be lost to any usefulness to God." I think the reason for those thoughts were because somewhere deep inside of my soul I was being just a little honest about my own heart.

I recognized even against my huge pride, that if I attended the seminary, my ego and pride would have been so exalted that there would have been no recovery.

I still like to daydream about the scholarly environment and how much I would have loved to be there, but I know that I belong somewhere in the trenches with real people dealing with real problems. I am still not sure I spend enough time in those trenches, but that is where God has led me.

As a consolation, while I was working part time in the nursery at our local farm supply store, "Atwoods", My wife came by and had the camera with her, I was moving some yard tools and she took my picture with a "Post-Hole Digger" in each hand. She took the picture and gave it a caption...
"Jeff Rogers...Holder of Two PhD's"

So I have all the PhD's I need, and I will let God be in control of my education. And yes every once in a while I need to dig a hole and bury my pride under a sturdy post.

Jeff "Miztah" Rogers

Steven Stark said...

"If asking heterosexual men and women to act in accordance with scriptures is not "too much to ask", then neither is it, for homosexual persons."

I think this is very unfair - a false equivocation. Asking unmarried people to refrain until marriage is quite different than asking someone to refrain forever.

Of course, I don't think it is necessarily sinful to have relations before marriage or for single people to have children, but that's another subject.

God and nature - did God create the homosexual tendency? If he didn't, then why did he get to create the "good" things like people's talents and personalities?

This is a form of divine/bible command theory that uses Scripture as a source of morality regardless of reasons. I can quote you organization after organization that has looked into homosexuality and has found no compelling reason for them not to live "normal" lives, as families raising children.

.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to call anyone by their title unless I'm required to do so (addressing a judge as 'your honor').

I've had numerous speakers obviously flinch when I greet them by their given name rather than their desired title. It throws them for a loop in some cases.

More than one has tried to correct me to which I reply we're all equal in front of God.

I love their facial looks after that.

Grosey's Messages said...

Dr.Burleson, when I did a search of your blog for the term "Dr.Burleson" I dioscovered that you allowed yourself 6 times to be called "Dr.Burleson" without clarifying to folks that you do NOT have an earned doctorate. Don't you think you are just a tad hypocritical Dr.Burleson?

Anonymous said...

My six year old daughter asked me two nights ago. Why are we all sinners. I responded because Adam sinned we are all separated from God. We talked of how God tells us this in Romans. She said something to the effect of but Dad I have lied and sinned 100's of times. Why was his so bad? It hit me like a ton of bricks, I don't appreciate how bad sin is and how holy God is. I pray I can impart that truth to my children and our next generation will be preaching, teaching and living it.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, Mr. Grosey, since you know I don't have a doctorate, and yet call me Dr. Burleson, I shall forsake correcting you and obey Scripture's precept and answer a fool not in his folly.

Anonymous said...

"but I know that I belong somewhere in the trenches with real people dealing with real problems. I am still not sure I spend enough time in those trenches, but that is where God has led me.
"

Amen. These are my kind of spiritual qualifications for shepherd or elder.

Laura said...

Steve Grose,

I just went to your Baptist Identity website in Australia and read a few of your writings. I don't mean to offend, but I'm glad you aren't Southern Baptist.

Grosey's Messages said...

And which site would that be Laura?

Grosey's Messages said...

I note that you have my website as the link on your name Laura (really Wade?) My Website endorses:
FAITH evangelism…are you glad its not Southern Baptist Laura?
Will Graham..are you glad Billy Graham’s grandson is not Southern Baptist Laura?
New Tribes Mission are you glad that sacrificial missionary work is not Southern Baptist?
The Navigator’s ministry of Gene Warr? I guess they are all fruitcakes huh Laura?

Sarah T. said...

Pastor Grose, or is your name or is Steve Grosey? Tim Guthrie just wrote a blogpost on SIN and you wrote in a comment.

Wow good word Tim.
I looked over at Dr.Burleson's attack on those who claim the name "doctor" without having odne (sic) the hard (sic) yards (sic) of formal scholarship. I then did a search for the term "Dr.Burleson" on his blog and found that 6 times he allowed people to call him that without clarifying that he is not in fact "Dr.Burleson". He then went on to attack those who have got (sic) earned doctorates and said that true scholarship is NOT having a piece of paper, but agreeing with him! I think this may be the very thing you are talking about here!
He is a sad bad man.


I have a question. Where did Pastor Burleson write as you claim? Pastor Grose, though I am just a laywoman, and someone that you might not take seriously, I wonder if your congregration would consider your comment a form of lying and slandering?

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous (11:48 p.m.)

Great story about your six year old daughter. Good analogy.

Grosey's Messages said...

Umm here "Sarah" B
"So it is in the SBC. We fawn over titles and would not recognize true scholarship if it were in our midst. Gill, the greatest Hebrew linguist in history had NO formal educational degrees. Were you alive his day Tim, you would ridicule him, as the dons of Anglicanism did, only to be embarrassed when their work and writings were compared with his.
Baptists used to value substance over pomp. I am asking that we return to those days. Don't misunderstand me. If a Southern Baptist has a truly earned academic doctorate such as an accredited Ph.D then certainly call him 'Dr.' Otherwise, we are all playing prideful games."

Rex Ray said...

Tom Chantry,
You have the GREATER story. I’ll bet your father preferred to reach for a towel rather than reaching for a throne.


Douglas,
You’re right; of Interim Pastor, Pastor, or Senior Pastor, none of them have a higher rank in the eyes of God.

But in the pride of some preachers, ‘Senior Pastor’ is better than Dr. as it establishes a pecking order.

I believe you’re right again IF preachers love to be called “Pastor” as it “puffs and fluffs them up.”

I have a problem with “Shepard’ as there is a big difference between a flock of dumb sheep and a congregation of priest.


Anonymous,
I believe when Jesus said to call no man ‘father’, also implied Dr. or man-made honors.

You mentioned addressing a judge as ‘your honor’ reminds me of my brother telling a judge he was making a citizen’s arrest as she had broken the law by swearing in a court room. It was the only time he fought the law (verbally) and won as she later apologized for swearing and said “case dismissed.”


Jeff Rogers,
I just love your two PhDs…they’ve put many blisters on my hands.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Grosey,

I have no problem commenting to you or anyone else and signing my name to what I say. Laura may be someone other than who she says she is, but she is not me.

Grosey's Messages said...

Sarah, it would seem extremely strange that your name links to Mayfield baptist church where my name is VERY well known.
Strange that you don't know it.. or is it a form of lying to imply that you are from that church when you are not.

Anonymous said...

"He is a sad bad man"

And to think, that is a PASTOR commenting.

Sarah T. said...

Pastor Grose, I know both you and your church quite well. I asked about your name because I've found it puzzling that you go by Grosey on the blogs, as in Grosey's Messages. I thought you might explain. Forget it though. Your answers for your aberrant behavior are quite embarrassing to us Aussies who read Pastor Burleson regularly.

Grosey's Messages said...

really Sarah. funny no one from Australia has visited my website recently... only from Enid. Tell me more.

Sarah T. said...

Pastor Grose,

There's no need for me to visit your website. I work for Sydney University and though I may lose my job due to the proposed cuts, I'm near retirement and will be fine. I don't do much on Saturday afternoons except catch up on reading the blogs. My brother is a pastor in Georgia and considers Pastor Burleson his mentor. Try as you might you will not be able to blame someone else for my words. I'm ashamed for what you have written.

Grosey's Messages said...

I have never heard of any proposed cuts in unoversities in Australia.. in fact i was approached just recently to be a univesity lecturer.

Grosey's Messages said...

Dear Sarah.. .... I know of no Aussie pastors serving Baptist churches in Georgia. Could you please explain.

Anonymous said...

Sarah T, you GO GIRL!

Laura said...

Sarah T.

I tell my husband the same thing (and we live in Enid; sorry for the subterfuge Pastor Burleson). The blogs are like soap operas to me. Complete with villains- heroes- plots- subplots- gossip- fights- and the like. You kept me up an hour after my bedtime. It was worth it though.

Grosey's Messages said...

I guess Laura/Sarah T. has had her fun.

Anonymous said...

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/sydney-uni-looks-at-slashing-intake/2009/09/06/1252201132512.html

"in fact i was approached just recently to be a univesity lecturer."

"Liar, liar pants on fire" is a little ditty that comes to my mind.

Grosey's Messages said...

that was 2009... as of 2010 there has been a shortage of University lecturers in Australia. I was approached by Professor Laura (as have 2 other memebrs of my doctoral class) to teach at the university.

Douglas said...

"Now to James White. He is a scholar of the old school--similar to Gill, Keach, and Surgeon. I wish he would not insist on the title 'Dr.' but he may wish to impress people like you."

Wade (or anyone else that can help me), where does James White "INSIST" on the title 'Dr.'? Can you please point me to where he actually insists on the title 'Dr.' That people must call him Dr. I have not seen it in print or ever heard him say it on any of his audios or videos, so far to date. I have not studied all of James White's materials but I would like to know where he insists on the title 'Dr.' Thank you (and others) in advance, Bro.

I for one have never seen where James White is sinfully boastful or arrogant. Bold in the face of false teaching, yes, but arrogant, no. I see him as one who speaks the truth in love and that love is not a wishy washy humanistic sort of love. I believe he speaks with agape.

ps
I'm not a disciple of James White. I am a cracked in the head Kiwi slowly plodding away here in Christchurch, NZ.

"...and Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all dreadfully cracked about the head and desperately in need of mending."
Herman Melville Moby Dick

pps

"We must have the full message. . . 'deliver the whole counsel of God'. . . . It starts with the Law. The Law of God ... the demands of a righteous God, the wrath of God. That is the way to bring men and women to conviction; not by modifying the Truth.... We must confront them with the fact that they are men and that they are fallible men, that they are dying men, that they are sinful men, and that they will all have to stand before God at the Bar of Eternal Judgement....And then we must present to them the full-orbed doctrine of the Grace of God in Salvation in Jesus Christ. We must show that no man is saved 'by the deeds of the Law', by his own goodness or righteousness, or church membership or anything else, but solely, utterly, entirely by the free gift of God in Jesus Christ His Son. . . . We must preach the full-orbed doctrine leaving nothing out-conviction of sin, the reality of Judgement and Hell, free grace, justification, sanctification, glorification. We must also show that there is a world view in the Bible ... that here alone you can understand history-past history, present history, future history. Let us show this great world view, and God's Eternal purpose.... Let us at the same time be very careful that we are giving it to the whole man ... the gospel is not only for a man's heart, that you start with his head and present Truth to it ... Let us show that it is a great message given by God which we in turn pass on to the mind, to the heart, to the will. There is ever this danger of leaving out some part or other of man's personality... Let us be certain that we address the whole man-his mind, his emotions and his will."
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones The Weapons of our Warfare pg. 21-22

Rex Ray said...

Mr. Grosey,
Instead of repenting for saying Wade is a “sad bad man”, you have attacked in any direction to avoid doing so.

Anyone can see that you are trying to do a ‘cover-up’, but you are making matters worse.

Tom Parker said...

Steve Grose:

You said on Tim G's blog:"Wow good word Tim.
I looked over at Dr.Burleson's attack on those who claim the name "doctor" without having odne (sic) the hard (sic) yards (sic) of formal scholarship. I then did a search for the term "Dr.Burleson" on his blog and found that 6 times he allowed people to call him that without clarifying that he is not in fact "Dr.Burleson". He then went on to attack those who have got (sic) earned doctorates and said that true scholarship is NOT having a piece of paper, but agreeing with him! I think this may be the very thing you are talking about here!
He is a sad bad man."


What a nice little comment. Proof please or do you just throw out charges and not prove them.

How christian of you.

I myself wonder who is a sad bad man.

Douglas said...

"The blogs are like soap operas to me. Complete with villains- heroes- plots- subplots- gossip- fights- and the like. "

Maybe, maybe not. It can seem like that at times.

Most blogs deal with real human beings, in real time situations. Human beings that laugh and cry, live and die.

For me, the blogs are like a platform for the voiceless to voice their very real concerns about the evil and sinful corrosion of false teaching, Scripture twisting, lying and dishonesty that goes on within the visible church, around the world. For once in their live they can now finally speak out about the abuse going on and be heard instead of it being brushed aside.

The blogs also teach me many truths and I learn heaps from them. Comments can be just as informative as the lead posts. And that's all I have to say about that (for now). :-)

Douglas said...

"I have a problem with “Shepard’ as there is a big difference between a flock of dumb sheep and a congregation of priest.

O I don't know about that. There are plenty of dumb people within the walls of the visible church. Have a quick peek around you. We should pray God un-dumbs them, a?

Michael Ruffin said...

At the risk of sounding judgmental, I must say that this comment string validates Wade's decision sometimes not to enable comments on his blog.

I must also say that he has been gracious to allow some of this discussion to go on.

It's like I sometimes say during the political advertisement season leading up to a big election: "Welcome to silly season."

And it's a shame since his post is a substantive one about some serious matters.

Cap Pooser said...

Brother Wade,
Maybe a look at Spurgeon's catechism q.66 would shed light on the present discussion. All sins are sins against God, but all sins are not equally heinous because of the several aggravations i.e. lust is sin, but acting on the lust is a greater sin because of the effect it has on the family, etc. Homosexuality practiced has great aggravations on the society and therefore has been particularly condemned because of its effect on society. Note how it affects health care, insurance rates, movies, churches, government schools, the military, families, politics, free speech, free association, free practice of religion. I could go on but I think you get the drift. This may have been the reasoning behind the cooperation statement. Regards, Cap Pooser

Tom Kelley said...

Anonymous Fri May 14, 10:34:00 AM 2010 said ...

Case in point, MABTS has turned out many with the title of "Dr" which have no legitimate claim to the title. It was well known what "Major" to declare in order to get admitted to the Doctoral Program (there was actually 2 of them IE Evangelism, and Missions).

The Admin at MABTS could only wish that all of their former Doctoral Students had the scholarship of James White.

One Doctoral Student actually got his "Dr" by listening to tapes of Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, and John Mac Arthur--just sayin! Yeah, it is very political at points.

Yes, there have been some great great men complete their Doctoral Studies at MABTS, but that was not necessarily the norm.

A Doctoral Program is whatever the student wants it to be (students know which professors to take in order to accomplish their ends--and yes it does matter. For example, in the MDiv program, few students would take T V Farris or Larry Walker back in the day because they might not get an A and jeopardize their chances of getting into the Dr Program, especially if they were going into either Biblical Languages or Hebrew).


No need to single out MABTS ... the same things could be said of the Ph.D. programs at any of the SBC-owned schools. Ph.D. grads of Mid-America were and are no more and no less likely to be lacking in scholarship than what is typical at the convention-owned seminaries.

By the way, MABTS does have a "Missions" Ph.D. major, but not one in "Evangelism". Perhaps you were thinking of the Practical Theology major. Both of those majors are generally more pastoral and thus less academically rigorous in nature than majors in, say, Theology or New Testament & Greek. So one could more easily graduate with a Missions or Practical Theology major demonstrating less "scholarship" than with some other majors. I suspect the same is true at many seminaries, due to the nature of the subject matter.

Research from primary sources, such as listening to sermons, is a completely valid form of scholarly research, particularly for a Practical Theology major. Prior to the late 1990s, no one ever got a Ph.D. at MABTS without completing the required coursework with at least a B average, 20 hours per week in academic research per seminar, plus their dissertation (which very rarely gets approved on the first submission), plus comprehensive exams. And, of course, weekly practical missions and witnessing requirements, and at least two years of pastoral or church staff experience. The requirements have become even more stringent in subsequent years.

While a few (very few) students might have avoided profs like Walker and Farris in M.Div classes to increase their grades in hopes of entering doctoral studies, such was not the norm in the days that those men were at MABTS. Those few students who might have do so were not Biblical Languages or Old Testament and Hebrew Majors -- there would have been no sense in doing that, as they could not have avoided having quite challenging doctoral seminars led by those same men.

As you indicated, the level of scholarship in a doctoral program can be up to the student and his major professors. The same is as true of pretty much any school.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

One thing that bothers me is the number of pastors who complete D.Min. degrees and then refer to themselves (or allow others to refer to them as) "Dr." As a practitioner's degree, the preface of Dr. for a D.Min. grad is not appropriate, as it is with an academic's degree, such as a Ph.D., Th.D., or even Ed.D.

It's appropriate, if one sees a need, for a D.Min. to follow their name with their "letters", just as a lawyer can follow their name with J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence). But one should no more call a D.Min. grad "Dr." than one would call a lawyer "Dr." This is because the purpose of both degrees serve as terminal degrees in the practice of one's "craft"; the degrees are not intended as scholarly qualifications.

In fact, a pastor with a Ph.D. should not be called "Dr." in reference to his position as pastor, only in his work as a professor or theologian. Even someone with an M.D., a profession notorious for insisting on being called Dr., would be out of line to think his mechanic should call him "Dr." when he gets his oil changed.
Context is key.

-----
Tom

Tom Kelley said...

Steven Stark said...
This is a form of divine/bible command theory that uses Scripture as a source of morality regardless of reasons.


Hi, Stephen, hope you are doing well.

My response to your comment -- yup, pretty much. I'd say most of us commenting here have the perspective that the Bible is God's Word and, as such, is the supreme and final basis of our morality.

Would you have us reject a fundamental tenet of our faith (the sufficiency, reliability, and transcendent truth of Scripture) in favor of your personal opinion?

:)

-----
Tom

Glen Alan Woods said...

Howdy. Long time reader of this blog; infrequent commenter. I thought I would try to contribute to this conversation as it pertains to pastors and DMins. I just completed my DMin last Spring. I am a volunteer children's pastor in my local church. When people ask, I request that they call me Glen. Or if regulars of my church feel so inclined, Pastor Glen.

For me, the letters and titles of any of my degrees have been irrelevent to why I pursued formal education. I am a lifelong learner, and seminary happened to be one of the ways God allowed me to explore the questions I struggle with regarding the Bible, theology, and ministry praxis. In short, education should be about learning, not ego-building. And one of the key things I have learned in all my years of seminary is how much I do not know. Hence, the need for life-long learning, in or out of the academy.

The Squirrel said...

Stephen Stark said:
"Of course, I don't think it is necessarily sinful to have relations before marriage or for single people to have children, but that's another subject.
"

Of course you don't. But you would not be able to support any of the positions you've stated from a rational reading of the Bible.

"and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:32 NAS77)

Stephen, I would urge you to repent, and turn to Christ.

Squirrel

Anonymous said...

Liberty University awards Glenn Beck a Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree

I introduce to you Dr. Glenn Beck


Video

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

That comment, kind unkown one, is funny.

But before Glenn Beck will be called "Dr." he will have to become a Southern Baptist pastor.

Grin.

Steven Stark said...

Hi Tom Kelley! Good to interact with you again.

"Would you have us reject a fundamental tenet of our faith (the sufficiency, reliability, and transcendent truth of Scripture) in favor of your personal opinion?"

Yes I would. Remember, your view that the Bible is God's Word, "the supreme and final basis of our morality", is your personal opinion.

If we stick to the specific issue of homosexuality, I would ask us to test whose opinion is better, based on agreed upon "first principles" of what is good and right. I believe in striving for equality and supporting families, both in our private lives and in the recognition the public sphere can offer (marriage).

You believe that homosexuals should live lives of celibacy, alone, with no "partner" relationships or children (I am assuming). Since family is widely considered one of the very foundations of a life well-lived, this is a serious thing to ask of someone. And you offer no good, compelling reasons except that the Apostle Paul and the ancient Jewish Holiness Code (which hardly any Christian obeys) says so.

This is an obsession with the details (gender of partner) instead of what really counts (love,companionship and support).


Squirrel,

"Stephen, I would urge you to repent, and turn to Christ."

I think words like "Christ" ring hollow when it leads people to damage the lives of others.

Douglas said...

"If a Southern Baptist has a truly earned academic doctorate such as an accredited Ph.D then certainly call him 'Dr.' Otherwise, we are all playing prideful games."

Wade, do you think Rick Warren plays prideful games? I think he does. From all that I have read and heard and seen of the Purpose Driven® gospel and Rick Warren, I have no doubt.

Where did Dr. Rick Warren earn or obtain his doctorate from? Is it "a truly earned academic doctorate?" On that page about Rick Warren, there seems to be a fair amount of pride going on? Look at all the accolades from the world Warren has up. He must be proud of himself and his achievements for God. He sure beats me, hands down, slam dunk.

Glen Alan Woods said...

Rick Warren's academic credentials are listed here: http://www.saddleback.com/aboutsaddleback/ourpastor/ He has a DMin from Fuller.

Wade Burleson said...

Douglas,

I try to refrain determining whether or not there is "pride" or "arrogance" in the heart of another man. If I had a nickel for everytime someone on the internet called me arrogant and prideful I'd be a rich man. I much prefer others look at their own heart, and I mine.

However, to your point about being called "Dr." with a D. Min degree--I have an entire post on that very suggest going up sometime next week. Without saying there is "pride" in any one individual, I am proposing the SBC recognize such pastors as Rick Warren, M.Div, D.Min. if such recongition is needed and refrain from "Dr."

kencolson50 said...

Thanks Wade for standing for the truth. Yes, it hurts and we need to continue hearing it.
Ken

John Fariss said...

I have an earned (not honorary, and definitely not from a diploma mill) D.Min., and occasionally people try to call me "Dr. Fariss" or "Dr. John." I tell them my name is "just John," and if they are not comfortable with that, use "Pastor," as it is more accurate to what I am and what I am called to do. Occasionally--when signing something as official as a marriage certificate--I sign it as "Rev. John H. Fariss, D.Min." I'm not stuck up, at least I do not think so, but on the other hand, I gave a lot of sweat, tears, and sleepless nights to earn that degree. Not to mention $, as it was not an an SBC institution.

John Fariss

Philip Miller said...

Back to the opening sentence of this post: " What I can't figure out is why we Southern Baptist pastors continue to single out and target homosexuality as a sin that supercedes (sic)all other sins." And the further into the post you mention women preachers and abortion. At the same time you acknowledge that homosexual activity is sin in the eyes of God. Even a layman like myself can see that these three are all related in a very real way. Surely we are all aware that there is a brazen revolution going on in our country and culture that is wreaking great havoc on many individuals and institutions. Biblical truths that were largely understood to be ideal by both professing Christians and non-professing Christians alike, even if not always practiced, are being attacked and outright rejected. Even to the point that the ones who professes to believe in what the Bible says about these areas of human experience are now the "bad guys" and those who deny the validity of biblically informed ethics are the "good guys". All that to bring me to a quote attributed to Martin Luther that I often am reminded of when these subjects are be discussed. “If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.” With that in mind I can't see how we can't single these sins out to proclaim the Truth of God and the consequences of a abandoning these Truths. I don't think there is any organized effort to deny the reality of sin in "lying, pride, selfish ambition, etc...)" in SBC circles, or elsewhere,but I also don't see that there is any organized effort by the world and the devil to deny that these are sins with consequences. So the reason we proclaim the devastation of sexual sins is that these are the truths that are being most loudly denied at this point in history. So kudos to any pastors, SBC or otherwise, that boldly proclaim God's truth in these areas.

Anonymous said...

If Beck becomes a SBC pastor, I will NEVER return to the SBC- seriously. Highly unlikely given he's Mormon, but who knows with the sheeple that follow him. He actually has people believing that Jesus is, like, so totally against social justice!

Now I gotta go delouse my computer by watching vids from someone intelligent. I wonder what Colbert, Stewart, and Maddow have to say today.

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Dear Wade,

There are many very good schools that are unaccredited. Learning can be an expensive proposition and one who desires a guided program of study who can't afford to move or to pay 300+ dollars a credit hour can be well served by an unaccredited school offering distance learning. There are good unaccredited schools out there offering proven methods of learning; however, with alternative education the greater burden is on the learner and not the school. People having such degrees should be up front about where they got them and how it was done: I see no sin in that. If it is simply a title someone is after for the purpose of impressing somebody else then it doesn't matter what school you go to- the motives are wrong. CH Spurgeon never went to college or seminary yet he was an extremely educated man worthy of the title doctor. Webster's College Dictionary defines doctor as a) an eminent theologian declared a sound expositor of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church. b) a learned or authoritative teacher. c) a person holding one of the highest academic degrees conferred by a university. Under Webster's second definition no one should have a problem referring to you as Dr. Burleson.

Elastigirl said...

Steven Stark,

Your thoughts are a breath of fresh air. I am so grieved by how Christians treat those of an alternative lifestyle. The constant condemnation, mocking attitude, avoidance, or simply keeping quiet instead of providing a voice of kindness in this vitriolic climate thereby condoning the hateful rhetoric. These are human beings, with dignity and worthy of respect, with the same desires and vital needs for family and relationship as every commenter on this blog, with the same feeling heart as every commenter on this blog that bruises and bleeds when rejected. I don’t know of the right word to communicate the grief and disgust that I feel in seeing that it is the Christians who are committed to keeping the heavy, oppressive lid of rejection on these valid & valuable people (and doing so with a good dose of meanness). It’s as though many in the Christian community (certainly the loudmouths) have become drunk on religion, no longer able to sense and feel beyond their party line. I am a Christian, and this unfortunately is the subculture to which I belong.

thatmom said...

I have wondered something for several years: If someone claims to have been ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention but refuses to give any particulars, such as the church this was supposed to have happened in, is there any way at all to find out if it is true? Is there any central place for records? I know it is sad to have to even ask, but if anyone knows the answer to this one, I would really like to hear it.

John Fariss said...

thatmom,

To my knowledge there is not really a central place for such records, as it is all based on the actions of the lcal churches. However, you can check the annuals of either your state convention or the more infrequent SBC annuals. Virtually every church and associational office will have paper copies (and I think they are available on line, but have never had occasion to check). They have listings for ordained ministers by staff position (pastor, youth minister, music minister, denoiminational employees, "other," etc.). Some association annuals even have a section on newly ordained ministers, or at least the report of their Ordination Councils. It is probably not infalliable, as they base it on information supplied by the churches and(I think) without verification, but it is at least a starting point.

John

Doug Hibbard said...

To "thatmom:"

Nope. You could potentially try to find out what state the individual was ordained in, and then check to see if the info was published in the state Baptist news, but you'd need an approximate date. And it would be hit or miss. I know I was legitimately ordained and I also know it wasn't in the state Baptist press. It's in the church's records, and I have the certificate.

Now, if you could get approximate info, you could check with the Associational Missionary from the area at the time and see if he remembers, but he may not.

Nor is there any real mechanism to go back and adjust or revoke someone's ordination. Technically, I believe, the ordaining church could do so, but many people were ordained in churches that don't realize they can do that and lack the resources to adequately research the people that have been ordained there.

If he refuses to give any particulars, I'd be extremely concerned about what else is being hidden. Unless he's been through a major head trauma, he should at least have a general recollection, so memory shouldn't be an issue. There's not much reason to be evasive about the details if he's straight up on everything else.

Sorry there's no real definite solution for you.
Doug

F Y I said...

I recently went to take my mother to have Cancer test at that wonderful college DUKE University.

As I walked in with my mother in the atrium, I looked around at all the medical staff and DOCTOR who were chatting, walking, discussing situations concerning patients.

I even went into the Theatre and heard Doctor's discussing Cancer and their treatments.

As I walked with my mother to her appointment for the scans, I began to think......

What if all these truly educated and trained doctors were a part of the Baptist Conventions. It really madde me so angry that all thoise so called DR have decieved soooooo many into really thinking they are something that they are NOT!

Fake Dr titles need to be expoloited more today than ever...

I even found some who have position that "REQUIRE" degrees to hold these positions, but when I uncovered them...it was/is status quo! I exposed one man in GA who said he had 3 degrees from Colleges and other Seminaries and who had the FAKE DR title too....

and put it in the Christian Index newspaper for all GA Baptist to read.

Right Mike Everson, Robert White, Gerald Harris....

I have exposed many who have fake doctor degrees only to be ridiculed and mocked....but after my experience at DUKE, I now am more determined now than ever to expose those who are using these FAKE DR degrees to further their personal causes and power...

Need I say more?

Following Christ, Not Man;
Doug Pittman

doug@dougpittman.com

Tim Marsh said...

That mom,

Exactly! Ordination is a local church matter and there is no denominational oversight. Some churches take ordination and candidates seriously, while others know nothing of how to hold an ordination council.

I am not on board with total autonomy of the local church. Accountability is needed for so many reasons.

Doug Pittman,

I understand your anger at pastors who claim Doctorates from diploma mills. I hate it too. It's obvious that, as you say, many factors lead pastors to seek and/or claim Dr. degrees, including self-promotion or the requirement of churches.

It is worth noting, that though good PhD programs have never been easy, competition for PhD programs is greater than it has ever been. Churches do not realize that PhD's are research degrees, not degrees intended for serving as a pastor. Pastors who have PhD's or ThD's probably aspired to a career in teaching, or at least considered that possibility.

The DMin is a degree earned while in full-time ministry. If someone was able to do a PhD and pastor full-time, with all due respect, I would question the quality of the program.

With that being said, it is worth considering what would happen if our physicians and researchers got their degrees from diploma mills.

terriergal said...

Odd... I don't remember "thou shalt not imbibe any alcoholic drinks" in the Bible. It is in the Koran though... I wonder if the SBC allows people to take NyQuil?

Thanks for the great post! Stand strong!

thatmom said...

Thanks for the comments re: ordination in the SBC.

You confirmed what I thought was the case as well as my concerns.

Jim said...

I think the key difference is the fact that homosexuality represents a lifestyle of sin. One cannot confess and repent/turn away from a sin while continuing to live in it. We all sin and fall short of His glory, but we mustn't choose to live in sin. Indeed, homosexuality is unnatural, perverse, and an abomination to our Lord and Savior. Granted, sin is sin. Fake diplomas serve to underscore the common view of the denomination's hypocrisy. But such should never water down nor negate the seriousness of a lifestyle of rebellion against Christ, whether it be homosexuality or any other sinful constant from which one refuses to turn.

Peacemaker said...

In responds to the writing and the various blogs I read, the WORD OF GOD says,

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. “ Mt. 23:1-12 niv

Jesus also said, “I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame]. …I have come in My Father’s name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe, you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?” Jn. 5:41,43&44 amp

“When the Feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple [court] and began to teach. The Jews were astonished. They said, How is it that this Man has learning [is so versed in the sacred Scriptures and in theology] when He has never studied? Jesus answered them by saying, My teaching is not My own but His Who sent Me. If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority. He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. [He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory. [But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him.” Jn.7:15-18amp

Peacemaker said...

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom.3:23 kjv

Let ALL who love the Lord repent, turn away from sin and strive earnestly to keep His Word as dear children of God. Let us neither give occasion for weaker siblings, in Christ, to stumble in their faith, nor give occasion for the enemies of God reason to mock or blasphemy. And as the body of Christ, let us with an attitude of humility strive to love, serve, and build each other up in the Lord rather than destroy one another. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph.6:12 kjv.

Jesus also said, “So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jn. 10:7-10 nas.

“Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’” Jn 21:20-22 nas

God is above all. And, His Word is self-explanatory. God choses whomever He chooses to use whether great or small. I encourage everyone to read 1 Cor. Starting from chapter one. God bless you!!!