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

A Tribute to Debbie Kaufman

Debbie Kaufman, Southern Baptist blogger extraordinaire, is laying down blogging. Her last post at Ministry of Reconciliation explains the reasons, all good ones,  for her decision to quit blogging. Debbie has been a tenacious writer in uncovering deception in the SBC, including corruption and cover-ups in child abuse cases and the sexual exploitation of women, as well as being a bulldog while confronting a host of other issues. Many problems that would not have seen the light of day have actually been addressed and resolved because of her penchant for truth. She has been called names by those whom she has exposed, ridiculed by friends of those whose true character has been revealed by her writings, and has paid a high price for wanting to see truth and righteousness in the kingdom of Christ. She is a modern prophet.

She also happens to be a member of the church I pastor in Enid, Oklahoma. Our church is stronger because of her presence among us. Debbie ends her last post by writing:

"Something I have yet to see in my church are any of the unhealthy things I have dealt with while digging deeper into the SBC. I would like to concentrate on my church. There it is a place of sanctuary. It’s a place of spiritual health. A place of integrity. Something I need right now. Women are thought of highly and their talents are used as God gives them. Children are precious and people to be protected from harm. There we can disagree on things non-essential and it is taken seriously while treated with respect. You will hear no name calling or labeling because we disagree. I can feel safe sharing ideas, concerns, things I see in scripture, without retribution or without dictating one’s life. We also stress the Holy Spirit bearing fruit, which is patience, love, truth telling in all things, aiding people in need. Missions is a big part of who we are. We believe in people being Holy Spirit lead. All this is in response to the Holiness of God and that we are accepted by God because of what Christ has done not anything we have done. We are accepted by God. Period. It’s a great place to be, and where I want to spend all my time and talents."



See you in worship Sunday, Debbie.

We are glad you are a part of our family, and we will miss your writings.

25 comments:

Sue Richardson said...

I have read Debbie for a long time now and have admired her tenacity and courage. I've learned a great deal from reading her writings, including a discovery that one can always tell the true character of a man by the way he addresses a woman with whom he disagrees.

A lack of decency and respect for a woman seems to always indicate the presence of moral corruption in the soul.

Anonymous said...

Debbie's blog was great. I will miss her.

shadowspring said...

Lolz @ Anonymous 9:30 Telling a prophet to stop looking at injustice immediately brings several OT prophets to mind.

Eljah shouldn't have always been confronting Ahab and Jezebal, then he might never have wound up sitting under that broom tree. Habakkuk bummed that God seemed to always "make" him look at injustice? Why didn't he just look at the good in life?

I don't know Ms. Kaufman, but I know from studying God's word, and reading the description of living a Spirit led life, that it would be wrong for anyone to assume that a) she was not led and used by God to expose injustice or that b)the fact that He is leading her into a season of refreshing means that she was not being Spirit led earlier.

Silly assumptions, Anon, and not at all in keeping with the example and teaching of scripture.

Thy Peace said...

God bless you Debbie Sister in Christ. I am hoping Debbie's break from blogging would be temporary. I can clearly see why at times blogging would be stressful, especially when one is trying to recover from surgery.

I am also grateful to Emmanuel - Enid for the clear teaching of the Gospel.

Darrell said...

Debbie, this is one seminary graduate, southern redneck, okie boy, Southern Baptist Male who has been learning from you since you started blogging.

Your heart and your spirit is something to be admired.

I hope someday to make it to Enid to visit your church and meet you and Wade.

In His Service
Darrell

Darrell said...

one more thing, I hope Debbie will leave her blog up for further study, eduction and resources.

grace
darrell

Anonymous said...

I did not frequent her blog often, but am glad that she expressed herself and spoke about things that were dear to her hear. I wish her well.

I believe that most people who attend churches that contribute to the SBC feel about their church, as Debbie feels about hers. I am glad that she will be able to give herself more fully to her local congregation.

Louis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - thanks so much for this post. You are expressing the sentiments of so many that admire and respect Debbie.

God bless you, Debbie, for standing as strong as you have! Hope to see you still engaging in discussion out there in the blogosphere!

Greg Alford said...

Debbie,

The only praise that truly matters is in hearing the Master say "Well done my loyal and faithful servant..."

I am praying for your speedy and full recovery... and I trust that you hear the Masters voice in withdrawing from blogging at this time, and that if He should call you again to enter the fray of blogging you will not hesitate to answer.

Rest, and be at peace...

Grace Always,

Bennett Willis said...

I thought it was a classy departure from the blog work. A good post that allowed no comments. Enjoy the time that you suddenly have been given back.

Christiane said...

I want Debbie to have some peace and complete rest from the abuse thrown at her by some of the bloggers who commented on her site. Especially now, after her surgery, that rest is needed.

For that reason I am in sympathy with Debbie's decision. What she had to deal with is astonishing, when you go back and look at some of the worst of it. But she wasn't intimidated or deterred from trying to do what she knew to be the right thing.

I am the better for having had Debbie as a Christian teacher and as a role-model.
Perhaps some time in the future, the Good Lord may prompt Debbie to post again, when the time is right for her. She will know it, if that happens. I hope it does happen some day.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

You are privileged to have a lady of Debbie's calibre.

I must say I feared for her well being for some time, because of the political machinations and obvious lack of spiritual maturity of some who used her comment section to publicly display their lack.

I trust her courage and forthrightness will be an example to your congregation and fire them to be careful for the honor of Christ and His Church.

Gene S said...

Thanks for the input. I have sensed in Debbie a truely loving spirit attached to a razor sharp mind.

When those of CR are questioned too much, they always try to belittle you. Debbie and I both know the pain.

I think it is tantamount to the NT description of the "unpardonable sin." When read in context it speaks of how the Pharisees, not being able to destroy Jesus, simply started to say "his works are of the devil." The Bible says it grieves the Holy Spirit when such thing occur.

Don't worry about God. He is still in charge. If they killed Jesus and he rose again on the 3rd day, it's an easy task to keep some of us in the loop of being Prophetic.

Thanks, Debbie, for all you have done. Hopefully, when you are better you can resume your blogging once more.

I love her description of the spirit of you church, Wade. Just keep up the good work. Many of us are glad to see you back at blogging once more.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wow. I am speechless. Unusual for me but speechless. Thank you. I hope there will be others that will continue to speak but for now I feel peace at my decision but I am truly overwhelmed by this post and the responses, emails, messages. I hope to find the place God has for me at Emmanuel. I truly love the people there. Again, thank you so much.

Byron said...

Good bye Debbie! I will miss you. You are one of the few people on Earth I felt I could talk to and who truly understood. I believe that is a gift. Isn't there a Spanish saying, "Vaya con Dios"? Go with God? And what Greg Alford said. Maybe one day God may lead you to return to blogging. Until then, God Bless!

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

I've just returned from several days in Mystic Conn. without the use of the internet and have just read your post. I'm one of the many who join you in expressing love and appreciation to Debbie for all she has meant in these difficult days in Baptist life.

A Prophet is not usually appreciated it is true. I've also learned that spiritually there are sometimes builders [Solomon] and then there are battlers. [David] It is seldom that one is able to be both. Debbie has been a female David to our Convention it seems to me.

I do believe the same heart David had for building the temple, though he was not able to see it done, is in our sister Debbie for our Convention. That heart of David was testified to by our Father when He said "It is good that it is in your heart" and that is what can be said of Debbie's heart also.

Whether a Solomon for Southern Baptist arises is yet to be seen but a David with a heart after God we've seen in Debbie.

I know it is generally unwise for any of us to compare people or events to scripture but I'm really free in this as I reread and checked what I've chosen to write about this sister of ours.

Debbie...I love you and your husband. Your are treasures to the rest of us. Thank you.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Louis: I am going to be limiting my time on the internet for reasons already stated in my last post, but your comment caught my eye and I wanted to sincerely address it. The truth is many do not see their churches in the way I described. It's one thing that has been a burden to me. The emails I received describing clergy sexual abuse in their church, the non-ability to report it, or if they do report it the abuse and forgive and forget speech they received. This has not just come from strangers who read my pieces but from friends I've known for many years. It broke my heart. It's breaking my heart. So while there are many good churches and people are blessed to be in them, there are still many that are not as I described my church to be.

It is a fact that broke my heart as I heard and read the stories. One from a very dear friend of mine who've I've known almost all my life. It still affect this person to this day, as do the stories of others in this situation. They are so representative of the Michael W. Smith song "Leave", which is why I post the song to my blog.

I do not regret anything I have ever written in the five years I've been blogging, but my husband seemed to confirm for me what I had been feeling since my surgery. That it was time to stop. It's hard dealing with people who have been hurt, and it's harder yet when nothing is done to help them. I pray that changes, but as of now that is just not happening. I would never make a good counselor or psychiatrist or even minister. The stories are sometimes just too hard to bear. People looking for healing and forgive and forget or just trust God is not the answer these people need. They need action. So I think churches like I am privileged to be a part of are rarer than people think. In most churches the type of church I describe happen if you agree and walk in the same steps. It is breaking my heart. But those are the reality, the facts.

Sorry, but your comment has been on my mind since I read it Louis and I had to address it.

Paul: Thank you. Your words mean so much as does this post and comments. I will be praying for you during your surgery on the 19th, knowing you will have a longer road to go than I have. I couldn't have accomplished what I have with out the support of my husband, my minister and you, Mary, Dr. McKissic etc.

Strider said...

I couldn't let this post go without chiming in and saying a big THANK YOU to Debbie for all her good writing and hard work. I will miss her insights.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Byron and the rest: The comment to Paul is meant for you all too. Sorry, I am truly overwhelmed by this post. I am grateful for all of you. I will be praying and glad to get back to anonymity. It's the right thing to do. :) I am leaving my blog up. Too much information to want to delete. :) Thank you again.

Christiane said...

"I would never make a good counselor or psychiatrist or even minister."

But Debbie, don't you see, you HAVE been a person who made a difference.

The fact that it broke your heart means that you put your heart out there for the sake of others. That's a sign of a Christian person who follows Our Lord's own example.
You made a difference when it really mattered. We know it wasn't easy for you.

We love you, Debbie. Be well.

Steve said...

I will miss Debbie's stuff, and also hope she will leave her posts up on the net, although I'd close off all the comment sections ... to "keep the mice out of the hay."

Those who abuse their positions or crave political support from those who do will never be reconciled to brave truth-tellers. Hurry King Jesus!

Dee said...

Debbie

We will miss you over at TWW. Years ago, I was a public health nurse and over 50%of my caseload was child abuse and neglect follow up. After 3 years of seeing awful situations and feeling quite helpless in most, I decided to leave that job and do some discharge planning in a hospital to recuperate. It was a much needed change.

I want to extend an offer. If you ever feel the need to post something, please let us know. The Wartburg Watch would be happy to let you use our site if the need arises.

Rex Ray said...

I wish our church and every church had a Debbie Kaufman.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Dee: Thank you so much for the offer and if I feel led in that direction I would be honored to be a part of your blog.

You guys are all so great. Strider, you know we met through blogging, and you, Guy Muse, David Rogers, are just some of the missionaries that I was so privileged to get to know. I love missions still and will be praying for each of you. You are the models I think the SBC needs to use in their Convention and in the GCR. It's not politics, although it seems this GCR may be, I haven't quite decided, but it should be modeling you three and other missionaries. Guy just went through a COO in his place of ministry. The country went mad for a little while. These are the dangers that missionaries face. Yet, you all love the people and the country. That is the type of heart we all should have. That is the Gospel lived out.

I didn't have comments on my blog because I was just to say I was leaving and go quietly into the night, but I guess I have more to say than I thought. :) There are some good people in our churches and you all are testament to that. I will miss blogging from time to time to be sure, but I have to know that I can lay it down easily in response to my husband's asking and believing God telling me it's time. I have to know I can do that without regret.

Anonymous said...

Debbie:

Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts down about my comment.

I know that you will be a help to many people.

I especially hope that you will have great success in encouraging people to report sexual or other types of abuse to the authorities and to get out of bad situations.

Take care.

Louis