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

The Underlying Problems with Educating Observant Muslims and Mormons at SWBTS

Since I posted last Friday about the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary changing the admission requirements to exclude faith in Jesus Christ in order to receive a Ph.D. from the School of Theology, many people have opined about my motive in writing. Some who've read what I've written seek to dismiss it by calling it a 'personal attack.' Ironically, people who ignore what is being done wrong at SWBTS (i.e. "a violation of a principle") for the sake of loyalty to the person who is doing the wrong, are the ones making it 'personal.' I am not. In fact, I didn't even wish to write it when first contacted. Below is a private email I sent several days ago to those who contacted me requesting my help on the problems at SWBTS. These people are too fearful to speak up or to speak out on their own. Pay attention to what I tell them about my desires (two weeks before I posted last Friday).

Dear ______________,
I appreciate your emails. I've read through them, and I can definitely tell you all are inside 'sources.'
I probably need to clarify something for you. I never have had (in my previous writings on SWBTS) an intention to remove Paige Patterson from SWBTS. I write on issues, and if any problems arise at SWBTS or come Dr. Patterson's way because of them, they are the results of his own doing, not my writing.
For that reason, I am going to prayerfully consider whether to be involved with writing about SWBTS again. Honestly, there are two things that cause me to lean toward not writing to expose what Dr. Patterson is doing regarding admitting professing non-believers (i.e. Muslims and Mormons) into the School of Theology.
(1). I've lost most of my former interest. I'm way too different from traditional, modern SBC'ers who focus more on religion and tradition than Christ and the kingdom.
(2). I'm very, very busy and am not sure the 'time' I can devote to such a writing project.
(3). I must find a 'principle' which 'lights my fire,' for I have no desire to write against a person.
So, let me think through some things, and if I feel like writing about SWBTS or Patterson.
Wade Burleson 
Last week two things convinced me to write. First, I found out that the Director for the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement had been released from his duties by Paige Patterson. This is a pattern I've seen over the years. I've written about Sheri Klouda. I've written about John Cornish. In fact, I wrote a book about tactics Patterson used to get rid of Jerry Rankin. I'm not unfamiliar with moralistic fundamentalism that has more in common with Mormons and Muslims than historic Christianity, which uses people (or gets rid of people) for personal gain or the advancement of friends (watch carefully who takes over the RLC). Those words may seem harsh, but when multiple people who used to work at SWBTS (and some who still do) continue to write me with their horror stories, and ask me to write because 'its time to remove Paige Patterson,' then something is wrong. As the old saying goes, "Where's there's smoke, there's fire." I discovered a long time ago that people with careers in the SBC are too afraid to speak up or to speak out. I don't care what people think of me in the Southern Baptist Convention because I have no personal goals in the SBC. I just don't like those who bully other people in the name of God.

Second, last week I began to hear from many more people who had deep concerns about the presence of Muslims and Mormons on the campus of SWBTS. I only wrote specifically about one Muslim to draw out an admission of its truth, but if necessary, I will write details about more people later. I would much prefer to keep the issues about principle, but in my experience, most people respond to stories, not principles.

Nevertheless, I will write this post on principle, not people, and seek to point out the main problems with people who deny faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior being allowed to enter the theological training ground of the SBC.

(1). The secrecy and lack of transparency is a problem.

When the President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary takes great pains to make sure that Southern Baptists as a whole do not know what is being done, then something is not right. Transparency should be the number one character trait of men (and women?) in leadership in the SBC. Stand up and tell the Southern Baptist Convention, "I will be changing the admission requirements at SWBTS so that it will no longer be a requirement that prospective students at SWBTS profess personal faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They must only accept 'our moral code.' They must promise their faithfulness to never drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, swear, etc....." If you can't tell the people the truth, then maybe you ought not be doing what you are doing. We Southern Baptists want and need transparency from our leaders. If some argue that 'exceptions' to the policy are not that big of a deal and the President should be allowed exceptions without reporting to the SBC, then I would say the following....

(2). The giving of a Presidential Scholarship to a non-believer is a problem.

It has been argued by some that the Muslims and Mormons "are paying full tuition." Really? What about the Muslim of whom I wrote. Is he the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship? No, you say? Prove it. What? What do you mean you can't? The recipients of the Presidential Scholarships at SWBTS are "secret" and known only to administration? Hmmm. Like I said, Transparency is a problem. When you give a Presidential Scholarship to a non-believer, you are withholding a Presidential Scholarship from a Southern Baptist. When people know the truth, they aren't real happy, are they? That's why we must keep things locked up tight. Don't make the reporters ask how the student is getting his tuition paid.

(3). The giving of a campus job to a non-believer is a problem.

"Listen, Wade, lighten up! Paige Patterson is trying to lead this Muslim to Christ! You are not showing him the love of Christ!" I don't need a lecture on loving Muslims. I am friends with the leaders of the largest Muslim organization in the nation. They ask me to speak at their gatherings. I lead in prayer at their banquets. I eat dinner with them, and they with me. They've asked me to go to Turkey with them. Muslims are my friends. This isn't about the Muslim on the campus of SWBTS. This is about the secret and intentional violation of a policy by the President of SWBTS. Most Southern Baptists would not appreciate that a landscaping job on campus, usually reserved for dads who are attempting to get their degree and have to support their families while doing so, has been given to this Muslim, excluding help that would otherwise be given to a Southern Baptist training for gospel ministry.

(4). Using the seminary as an evangelism center for non-believers is a problem.

All of us want to see our Muslim and Mormon friends come to faith in Christ for their salvation and deliverance. The place for evangelism to take place is not the seminaries Southern Baptists have set aside to train gospel ministers and missionaries. We are far more effective fulfilling the polices of the Southern Baptist Convention and the charters and policies of our seminaries by training Christians for gospel ministry and then sending them to places where Muslims are, than we are by violating policies and bringing Muslims and Mormons to where our gospel ministers and missionaries are being trained.

(5). Ignoring the violation of policies for the sake of the non-believer is a problem.

To defend Dr. Paige Patterson and the admissions office of SWBTS for allowing Muslims and Mormons and other non-believers to enroll at SWBTS, an act which intentionally (and until the post Friday secretly) violates the written policies and the will of the SBC,  emphasizing that what is more important is "the salvation of the Muslim man who is watching how we deal with this issue," is for Southern Baptists to ignore the real issue. We have all heard the phrase "the ends justifies the means," right? Well, admitting professing non-believers in Jesus Christ to SWBTS violates the mission statement of SWBTS and the policies of the SBC. If, in the end, the Muslim comes to faith in Christ because he is at SWBTS getting his degree, you can't justify the violation of the school's charter (the means) for the salvation of a Muslim man (the end). That would be like saying, "I'm going to break my marriage vows because I believe I can win this good looking girl I work with to Christ if I'm more intimate with her." It doesn't work that way.

If it is important to get Muslims and Mormons on campus at SWBTS in order to 'evangelize them' during the time they are getting degrees from the School of Theology, then get the Southern Baptist Convention to change the charter of seminaries to reflect 'evangelism of non-believing seminary students' as a stated purpose for seminary training in addition to "the training for gospel ministry of Christian students."

It's not a current stated policy of the Southern Baptist Convention, and I think there's good reasons why it never should be - but that's another matter.

More to come...


69 comments:

RRR said...

I understand when non-Christians defend Mormon beliefs and when non-Southern Baptists defend the practice of allowing non-Christians to acquire theological education from Southern Baptist seminaries. Why would we expect otherwise?

What baffles me is when Christ-following Southern Baptists defend such use of Southern Baptist resources. Whether the non-believing SWBTS students are receiving scholarships or not, it disturbs me to learn that my Cooperative Program offerings are being used to pay the seminary light bill and pay the professors and staff serving at Southern Baptist seminaries to train and equip Mormons, Muslims or other non-Christians.

Patrick Mead said...

Wade,

The corruption in the SBC is heartbreaking. It saddens me to see so many prominent leaders do nothing. Lord, have mercy.

I had the privilege of studying alongside Sheri Klouda at Criswell. David Allen and George Klein played a big part in helping her succeed. I can't understand why they didn't speak up for her.

Wade Burleson said...

Patrick,

Sheri Klouda's situation remains one of the most heartbreaking in the SBC since 1979.

Sad tale to say the least of men in positions of power doing nothing to help a brilliant Hebrew scholar fend off efforts to remove her because she's a female.

Crazy sad.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

These are important things for people to know, but I don't think it tells the whole story.

For example, there are SEVERAL Muslims studying in the SWBTS prison extension program.

My guess is this will get a mention at the SBC in Baltimore.

I cannot sign my name due to my connections to SWBTS, but just know that everyone is reading your blogs on this and people are concerned.

Anonymous said...

How strange Dr MacGorman is not allowed to teach at SWBTS because he did not sign the BFM - taught for over 40 years - the Chapel is named after him but a Muslim or Mormon can be a PH D student? I have friends that were not allowed to serve because one was baptized in a NON-SBC church? Can someone explain this to me?

Victorious said...

Wade, I am not a Southern Baptist, but I so respect your ability to get to the "heart of the matter" in nearly every post I've read on your blog.

Thank you for using your gift for believers who benefit by maturing in their walk and learn how to handle difficult issues with grace, honesty and love.


Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

You ask questions that require some fortitude and some logic to answer. Good luck.

Todd said...

Wade,
Do you suspect that opening up colleges on our Seminary campuses and offering degrees not specifically for professional ministry careers without changing their respective charters inadvertently created the situation that causes your current concerns? I understand after looking at SBTS and SWBTS college sites that the majority of their degree plans intentionally train for ministry but there are two degree plans as well as the statement, "for whatever God calls to" that indicate not all students admitted to the colleges of the seminaries will eventually pursue or participate in professional ministry. This would seem to be a structural, institutional move that initially targeted an increase in student population that may have a bearing on the decisions you are calling into question. No?

Wade Burleson said...

Todd,

Excellent point.

Possibly.

I think 'seminaries' are far different than undergraduate programs, but I'll have to mull over your question about the connection between the two and how both are now on campuses of our seminaries.

Anonymous said...

Divine Coincidence:

Since 2010 EVERY professor (10 or so)who held to the doctrines of grace (Calvinism) has left SWBTS. Craig Mitchell is the last. They have "legitimate" reasons for his departure, but his theology is at the heart of Patterson's last crusade to rid the SBC of the growing tide of Calvinism.Where have you gone, Dr. Mudliar? Dr. Yeats? Dr, Berry?

Todd said...

Wade,
I agree that seminaries are different than undergraduate degrees. But, if the same charter governs the institution as pertains to the college, then it could be argued the groundwork was laid, maybe unintentionally, for the admission of those not particularly pursuing Christian vocations and therefore not of necessity required to be Christian. Said practice would then pave the way for such a policy across the institution's spectrum.

Frankly, I was against the whole idea of seminaries offering college degrees. I see it as a move to shore up numbers, gain CP dollars, and find another means to support the institution in the face of declining enrollments.

One quibble, insignificant as it is, I think what we witness is the utilitarian pragmatism admitted to by the President of SWBTS long, long ago. Long before he arrived at his current position. The subscription to this ethical structure created the success of the CR with the unintended consequences we now reap.

Anonymous said...

This is unbelievable. There really are no words.

I believe that the seminaries can have an impact on non-believers.

The seminaries could host inquirer type classes for anyone who would want to come and learn. Many private high schools and colleges now do this.

I think it would be fine if any of the SWBTS profs would want to teach such a course at night and open it to the community, either free of charge or for a small, nominal fee.

I feel the same way about the prisoners. By all means let them study Christian truth. But don't admit them to the seminary as degree students.

Admission to the seminary and degree programs are for Christians. That's the purpose of the seminary.

I am not an enemy of Dr. Patterson. I appreciate him, so I am not trying to attack him or the seminary, as I have friends who teach there.

But there is no excuse or rationale for this.

I am not sure how this procedurally can get before the Convention. The Convention has traditionally taken a very strong stand against directing one of its agencies to do this or that.

The Trustees are the ones to whom an appeal should go, and if it goes unanswered, then the next step would be for the Convention to remove the trustees and elect trustees who will act.

My thinking on this, and it is quite preliminary and not thought through at length, would be for someone to ask Dr. Patterson at the SWBTS why non-Christians are being allowed into the degree programs of the seminary, and/or perhaps to move to form a committee to look into this and to report back to the Convention next year with recommendations.

The other option, and this is a REAL doozie, is to move the amend the budget to strip the funding from SWBTS. Adoption of the budget is the first agenda item. The person proposing this would get to make his motion and give a long explanation as to why. Someone would have to defend it. That discussion would be interesting.

I doubt that the budget would be amended, but it would set the stage for later discussion and action.

And the motion would not be ruled out of order because it does not attempt to get the Convention to direct SWTBS to do this or that.

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Is Patterson trying to make martyrs out of our missionaries and their children, not to mention national believers associated with them? This is extremely dangerous and ignorant. Patterson should be fired.

Anonymous said...

My high school government teacher writes a blog, ( he's retired) and he discussed the situation....


http://thegovteach.blogspot.com/2014/05/baptist-seminary-educating-muslim.html

SWBTS Alumnus said...

Dear Pastor Wade and everyone who reads or who may read this blog. I was one of the students that contacted Pastor Wade on this matter and have been concerned about this for some time. I did not contact Pastor Wade because I was afraid of the repercussions and treatment I would receive at SWBTS. I support Pastor Wade and agree with his ministry and believe he is both a man of God and a man of courage to stand up against the corruption in the SBC. I, on the other hand, am a coward and did not say anything about this because I was not a man enough to say anything. I am just concerned about unbelievers attending an CP and SBC funded school. I am just not convinced this is the right thing. In life sometimes a man has to take a stand, and my stand was contacting pastor Wade. I agree with his ministry and support this stand he is taking,

Anonymous said...

We can all express our feelings and be indignant over what is happening at SWBTS but unless the trustees act, nothing is going to happen. All of the power lies in the trustees. That's why they had to be taken over years ago but rest assured that the takeover is complete in Ft. Worth. I doubt seriously if any trustee would actually oppose anything Patterson wants to do.

The blog is good and raises some awareness and even at motion at the convention might raise a little ire or even some ridicule but never forget--the power is in the trustees and the trustees alone.

We need the list so we can begin to write.

Blake said...

The list of trustees is easy to find. They listed all the trustees in the graduation program they handed out during spring graduation.

Robert Hutchinson said...

SWBTS Trustees:
www.sbc.net/pdf/trustees/2013SouthWestern.pdf

Ron said...

Wade,
It is good to see you posting again on SBC issues. I have also pretty much ceased making comments on SBC blogs for the last couple of years. I have felt there was a change in the direction of the SBC under the leadership of Fred Luter but there are still plenty of the old conservative resurgence warriors still around.

I think this issue is worthy of bringing up at the convention in Baltimore. What do you think would have been the reaction of the trustees and SBC leadership if Russell Dilday had enrolled a Muslim or a Mormon during his presidency? He would have been fired immediately.

During Dilday’s presidency politically conservative trustees were chosen specifically for their willingness to oppose Dilday and fire him along with the theologically conservative professors at SWBTS. The present trustees were chosen for the willingness to give Patterson a blank check.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

Paige recently tried to get the trustees to allow him to live in the President's home the rest of his life; when they refused, he then tried to get them to build him his own home on SWBTS property.

I have also heard that there are some finances that need to be investigated as well.

Unknown said...

Even if the individual in question has paid full tuition for his Ph.D. studies at SWBTS, it's still unlikely that his education has not been underwritten to some degree by Cooperative Program dollars. For the budget year 2011-2012 (the most recent figures I could readily locate), SWBTS received a shade over $9.3 million from the CP. The "but he paid non-SBC tuition" argument only works if every dime of those millions received by the seminary was applied to SBC student scholarships.

kevin said...

What is sad is that the tentacles have spread to Cedarville Ohio as the conservative movement has regained a stronghold there and Paige Patterson sits on the board for that university as well.

Mark J. said...

Pastor Wade, here is the post I just put on "SBC Voices," I am not sure if they will publish it, but here is why we contacted you last week:

To Pastor Wade Burleson and the entire SBC Community

Part 1

As one of the SWBTS students and alumni that spoke to Pastor Wade Burleson last week about our grave concerns about Muslim and LDS students attending SWBTS, I can dispel any rumors as to why in fact we contacted Pastor Wade. Being part of this cadre of students, I have first hand experience as to why my compatriots and I did this very thing.

First of all, I want to put to rest that Pastor Wade has any ill motives in doing this. Secondly, there is no bad motive (Please note this volfaan007) in pastor Wade, revealing this information now.

For some time, several SWBTS students have had a grave concern about having this individual on campus. We are concerned, not because we do not love this person, on the contrary, because we love him and our beloved seminary, we decided to act now in contacting Pastor Wade.

It just seems contrary to the stated mission of SWBTS to have non-Christian students enrolled in classes and degree programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Many of us are also concerned that the hard earned money of the rank and file members of the Southern Baptist Convention are being spent, on the education of non-Christians who are part of religious groups that are antithetical to the essential doctrinal core of the Baptist Faith and Message. We are not certain that the stated charter of the SWBTS convention entails the education of Muslims and Mormons. It just seems wrong to many of us.

Another determining factor in why we contacted pastor Wade, is that many of us feel that the Southern Baptist Convention and SWBTS is bigger than just one man. The long held and cherished Baptist doctrine of “soul competency” argues that each Southern Baptist is accountable before God. And in keeping with this long held Southern Baptist distinctive, many of our consciences were violated in allowing a non-Christian to be a Ph.D at our beloved seminary. Contrary to some Baptist’s opinion, the Southern Baptist Convention is not owned by the leaders of the “conservative resurgence” and many of younger Southern Baptists, while still very conservative socially and theologically, have grown tired of being told that we are forever indebted to those who steered the convention away from the moderates.

Mark J. said...

Part 2.

Almost every day in chapel at SWBTS, we are told how much the resurgence leaders sacrificed for us to get a conservative education, and while we are grateful, the conservative resurgence or takeover happened before many of us were born.

Many of us younger Southern Baptists are part of the “young restless and reformed” movement that is transpiring throughout the convention and American Evangelicalism and do not appreciate the constant anti-Calvinist attack that the leaders of SWBTS have engaged in from the chapel pulpit and others venues at our seminary. Many of us feel that our faith is under constant siege and attack and many of us have grown weary of this.

SWBTS and the SBC is (gasp!) bigger than the conservative resurgence. We believe every member of the Southern Baptist Convention is to be accountable to one another and for this reason, we have decided to contact this godly man named Pastor Wade Burleson to hold SWBTS and its leadership accountable for its actions. We simply do not agree with the notion that Cooperative Program and other SBC monetary resources should be spent on the education of non-Christians. We feel this is very unwise course of action and want this to be debated at the annual convention in Baltimore.

We have no personal ill will towards Dr. Patterson and the other leaders of SWBTS, but just feel we have the right to question, without the threat of punishment and expulsion, whether our seminary should start giving degrees to avowed non-Christians.

There are so many problems with allowing non-Christians to attend SWBTS and other SBC funded schools. We know it has been stated recently, that this is a unique thing, but we we have also heard that more unbelievers are on their way! We agree with the old adage, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump, but a lot of leaven blows up the entire oven.” We question this decision to allow non-Christians to attend SWBTS for any reason, because it violates the stated intention and charter of the school founded by the great B.H. Carroll in 1908.

Who decides whether or not non-Christians attend SWBTS and other SBC schools or not? The president of SWBTS? The trustees? We want clarification as to whether or not the enrolling of non-Christians into the degree programs at SWBTS will now become commonplace? Who decides this course of action?
Lastly, we feel the education of non-Christians at our SBC seminaries is so serious that it should be THE topic of debate and discussion at the coming SBC convention in Baltimore. The SBC is bigger than just one man, irrespective of how many people love him for his work on inerrancy and the resurgence. The SBC and its five seminaries are for all the called out people of our great Southern Baptist Convention. The time has come for all the voices in the SBC be heard and not just one man.

I am and other SWBTS students and alumni are taking a stand like Martin Luther did in nailing the 95 thesis’ on the Whittenburg castle door, we believe that our SBC seminaries are for the education of Christians called by God alone. Here we stand, so help us God, we can do no other.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait....
I think I missed something the first time I read your blog....
There is/has been more than one Muslim student that has attended SWBTS?
Am I reading this correct?

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

There is a father/son Muslim family either enrolling or enrolled.

Anonymous said...

As an alumni of SWBTS, I keep saying, " when it can't get any worse.....it does."
I am seriously thinking about not telling people I went to school there....

Anonymous said...

The conservative resurgence did not occur for things like this. It was to stop things like this.

Anonymous said...

Hey Craig M,

You already knew what was coming, but you only did not know it would come so soon. You said to your colleagues several times that the only reason you were not fired (and would not be fired easily) was because the color of your skin. You knew he did not like, but you did not know he could afford to let you go even taking all these risks.

I am just so sorry for you, my friend, right now. You are a fine professor and a good friend for many, but I am very sorry that people "inside" cannot really support you openly on this matter. You know why.

Anonymous said...

A resolution on seminaries from the 1853 meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, held in Baltimore, Md.

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/975/resolution-on-seminaries

Tom Parker said...

Someone who I would consider a very strong CR supporter made the following comment at a well known Southern Baptist Blog--"I do not have a problem with our schools admitting non-Christians. The faculty ought to be inerrantist, high-view of Scripture, Baptist folks, fully and enthusiastically supportive of the BF&M. But having non-Christian students is not threatening to me."

The key sentence--"I do not have a problem with our schools admitting non-Christians."

Unbelievable!! Surely this is not what the CR was about was it to allow non-Christians to attend the 6 seminaries.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 4:52 am

Good stuff. Thanks for the link.

ALL -

Outstanding comments. I've learned a great deal.

yeoberry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Yeoberry,

I respect the fact that you have taken the time to write and comment on my blog.

Let me encourage you to do something. Go to the 'Search This Blog' box at the top left corner of the home page of Istoria Ministries Blog and type in words like

"Ergun Caner"
"Alcohol"
"Seminary not a church"

And read what I've written on any number of subjects over the past 10 years.

It will save me time responding to your questions and will answer every question you have.

yeoberry said...

First, you've repeatedly insisted some "policy" is being violated? Which one? That the main purpose of the seminary is to train men for the ministry? Explain how allowing non-Christians to take classes incapacitates the seminary from fulfilling that purpose. That is, clearly describe how having non-Christian students prevents a Christian seminary from training Christians for ministry. In other words, you seem to be implying that SWBTS is now no longer capable of preparing Christians for the ministry because there are Muslims and Mormon students on campus. How so?

A SBC seminary allowing non-Christians to study there no more undermines the purpose of the institution than a medical school (for training doctors) allowing nurses to take some classes. It doesn't mean their purpose has changed. You can keep saying that it does but that doesn't make it true. Maybe they are making money off of having non-Christian students (which they can use to fund their main purpose) and maybe they think having non-Christian students to interact with makes for a more interesting environment so that people know what Muslims and Mormons are like first-hand.

You have not answered the question of whether the non-Christian students are being charged an unsubsidized tuition. If they are and the seminary is making a profit off of their attendance (thus helping to fund SBC students) how is that not good?

You absurdly claim that we're supposed to assume that Muslims are getting scholarships until it is proven that they are not.

Do you object to the unBiblical prohibition against "beverage alcohol"?

Do you insist on the practice of church discipline in SBC churches (including trimming the membership roles to represent only those who actually faithfully attend), the enforcement of church covenants, and the historic Baptist goal of a regenerate church membership?

Do you understand that a seminary is not a church?

How much have you protested the Ergun Caner debacle: the hiring of a proven, unrepentant liar as the president of an SBC college?

yeoberry said...

Unless I overlooked something, your posts on Ergun Caner were dated in 2010. You don't appear to have written anything about him becoming the president of an SBC college (Brewton-Parker). Isn't that a far more serious issue -- an unrepentant fraud as the president of a college -- than a few non-Christian students at a seminary?

Good for you on the alcohol issue. In my opinion, SWBTS unBiblical stance on alcohol is more serious than allowing a few non-Christian students. That policy would exclude Jesus and Paul!

Jon L. Estes said...

Interesting post and comment thread. Policies... Procedures... SBC way of doing things... Evangelism is not meant for our campuses - training is... Muslims on campus are going to destroy the school and its mission...

WOW... 6,000,000 words (Ok, just a crazy number but I think you can get the idea being made) and not one word from scripture. Not one word of what God's word would say about bringing a lost person into our midst even if our man made documents say "KEEP THEM OUT".

We have one group who previously said - Keep out the women... and the other group who fought that very war now saying - Keep out the lost...

I guess one of these persons Christ died for had a value worth fighting for and the other doesn't.

One can call it a fight for principle and that may actually be the heart of the matter for them but in the middle of all this principle is a man who needs to know that he has more value than a man written document... No matter who wrote it.

Final thought... If this man gets saved by the awesome grace of Jesus what will he long to tell his family? If he gets booted what will he be telling hiss family? May we carry the banner of Christ and put people before any principle that can not be supported by scripture.

Chris Riley said...

There are 3 main reasons why having nonChristians enrolled at SWBTS is a problem.
1)The role of a seminary by definition is not evangelism, but training of the "chosen". It is an opportunity for those going into ministry to receive higher level training and education. A professor at a seminary is to able to safely assume every student is a believer and focus on the theological education.
2) As has already been pointed out, many students at SWBTS are training to go to cultures where preaching is not safe. Their ability to enter, live, and work in countries anonymously is of utmost importance and is endangered when "opposing players from the other team" are invited to be a part of the strategy planning and brainstorming that happens in a seminary classroom.
3)It is a clear violation of the SBC's reason for creating seminaries. It was done in violation of rather than in consultation with. If the body has chosen to make the change, the issue is mute. But because it has been done by one person circumventing the convention, it is a violation of trust, position, and calling.

Jon L. Estes said...

I incorrectly stated...

"We have one group who previously said - Keep out the women... and the other group who fought that very war now saying - Keep out the lost..."

What I needed to say was...

We have one group who previously said - Keep out the women... and the other group who fought against that very war now saying - Keep out the lost...

My apologies.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

We Southern Baptist trained a God-called, Spirit-gifted woman in Hebrew, Dr. Sheri Klouda, gave her the plumb assignment to teach ministers and missionaries the language of the Old Testament to prepare them "to give an answer for the hope within them," at a SEMINARY charted and designed to train CHRISTIAN MINISTERS and she is fired because the new administration deemed she was 'a woman in a man's job.' Then, that same administration surreptitiously subverts the charter of Southwestern Seminary and the will of the Southern Baptist Convention and enrolls a man who renounces Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and intend on giving him a degree in Biblical Studies -- only after being assured this practicing Muslim non-believer in Christ 'accepted' the moral code enforced by SWBTS administration of not smoking or drinking -- and you think that there is something odd about opposition to both actions of SWBTS administration?

Would be very interested to know your background.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

Although I have not kept up with or been involved with any sbc issue / I hate my pastor / church type blogs for a couple of years I have gone back and forth with you on some issues. Mostly agreeing with you but challenging you and your positions at times. Discussed through email, if I remember the means of our chat, the IMB move to fire a missionary who reported something which needed to be reported.

My background... SBC raised... PK... Heavily involved in SBC matters from 79 to around 2009. Went to Criswell College, graduated from DBU, Masters SEBTS.

I know less now than I did 5 years ago but still know enough to make it interesting. Visited 1st Enid many years ago when Ed Ferlazzo (sp?) was minister of music. Saddened that day by the SS teachers comments on the 10 commandments. I know a little about you and your ties (using the word loosely) to the Hampton Roads area in VA.

As far as where I am at onthe SWBTS thing.

1 - Klouda should not have been fired. I have thoughts to why this happened beyond the female issue.

2 - The Muslim should be welcomed.

Having a Muslim on campus should not change the focus of any teaching unless it is in a positive way. The theological position of the school is not being compromised, as far as I can tell. In spite of the wording of some of your other posts, SWBTS is not becoming a training ground for Muslims. Whether a student is lost, Muslim, Mormon, we are still training future pastors and anyone else the great truths of scripture and nothing I have seen is compromising that in the classroom.

Now Wade, can you tell me why you chose not to comment on my thoughts concerning the lack of (translated none) scripture in your post or the flow of comments? Shouldn't that be the basis of our decisions as to if or if not a student at a Christian school must be saved?

Now to the moral code. I think we can agree that we cannot make anyone become a Christian but we can enforce a certain level of behavior if they choose to be in our home... school... church, much like you do on your blog.

Christiane said...

Hi WADE,

inviting a young practicing Muslim to a Southern Baptist school in order to study archeology would only work IF the institution had RESPECT for this young man's devotion to his faith.

Religious institutions that RESPECT the dignity of the human person to worship God in accordance with their consciences, that is the kind of institution that can honestly handle bringing in students of other faiths.

My question is this: has a miracle happened, where those at the SWBTS have accepted the rights of individuals to follow their consciences in matters of faith? Or is it 'same old, same old' with the 'truth in love' excuse of condemnation to hell if a person does not believe exactly like those who condemn his soul?

Mainline Christian universities have students and faculty from other faiths as a matter of course,
and this practice grows out of AND fosters understanding and trust and RESPECT.

But, knowing what I know about Dr. P, I have trouble trying to sort out his agenda here.

Many questions in my mind as this venture into inclusion on the part of SWBTS sounds strange to me.

?

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

Christiane said...

As to what happened to the good Dr. Klouda, there are no words to describe the evil treatment she and her family received.

How could Christian people treat this good woman so brutally?

For all those who helped her and defended her, I have the greatest respect.

SWBTS is haunted by that whole episode . . . they can never escape the taint of how they treated her. And no way can they justify it. Or excuse it.

And the court system that let her down? Appalling.

'crazy sad' were good words, WADE, and I have to blame the patriarchy doctrines of male idolatry for leading Christian people into such sinful acts.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

For Scriptural reasons for why Christian women should be treated equally to men, type in "Women" in my Blog Search box at the top left corner and a plethora of Scriptures, writings, and the like will magically appear.

For a Scriptural reason for why Muslims should be 'admitted' to Southwestern Theological Seminary, I have none, because you can't even find in Scripture that seminaries existed.

I argue the non-admittance of Muslims and Mormons on the basis of charter, policy and mission statement.

It's a matter of integrity, not Scripture, and until the Southern Baptist Convention changes the charter in the light of day, the admission of a practicing Muslim in contradiction to the charter for our seminaries is a matter of integrity, not Scripture.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

I do not need to look for your position on women. Been there and done that with this blog as I was involved in your blog during those days.

I agree with your comments that there is nothing directly tying scripture to seminaries. I do believe that since scripture does not speak directly to the details of everything we face and deal with in life, especially concerning how we work deal with others (yes even the lost), a biblical position / principle can be made. But hey, that's just me thinking that.

I do thank you for letting me know that you are willing to support a non-biblical document which governs our Baptist school (something you were unwilling to do at the IMB when new policies had been made). Man, I wish we could make our governing documents biblical... Until then our integrity remains firmly planted in sinking sand.

Alaskan in Texas said...

In comment to Mark J:
Your enthusiasm and courage are laudatory. But, as a grizzled old victim of the "moralistic fundamentalism" of SWBTS leadership, I will venture a prediction: You are about to find out that even though the SBC is larger than one man, there is one man in the SBC who is seemingly immune from accountability from the SBC. Paige Patterson has faced adversity much more potentially crippling than what is being discussed here. And he has survived not only to serve again in SBC leadership, but to serve again and again and again at its highest levels. The other SBC bishops and cardinals will rally around him and preserve his ministry, again, as they have done so many times over the years.
Also, remember that Martin Luther's stand against the Roman Catholic Church resulted in his expulsion from his ministry in it and his being hunted down with a death penalty hanging over his head. You will find a great many cowards and spies willing to smile at you, pat you on the back, and even agree with you, all the while helping the Red-Haired Bishop of Southwestern undermine your ministry in the SBC. If you are going to fight the big dog, make sure you are ready to get bit; and make sure you aren't somehow tethered to the same tree as the big dog.

yeoberry said...

I realize I'm probably wasting my time because you've been challenged twice already on this key question (and the tuition question) and simply ignore it and go on insisting without ever proving.

Just saying that admitting non-Christian students is contrary to the mission and policy of the institution doesn't make it so.

One more try:
Explain how allowing non-Christians to take classes incapacitates the seminary from fulfilling its purpose. That is, clearly describe how having non-Christian students prevents a Christian seminary from training Christians for ministry. In other words, you seem to be implying that SWBTS is now no longer capable of preparing Christians for the ministry because there are Muslims and Mormon students on campus. How so?

yeoberry said...

Hi "Alaskan in Texas":

Martin Luther's stance did not result in his "expulsion from his ministry". He was officially excommunicated from the RC Church but simply burned the bull of excommunication and continued as the professor at the university and as the pastor of the local church. The authorities around him would not enforce the Papal policy. His ministry continued until he died.

Wade Burleson said...

Yeoberry,

How old are you? Seriously, are you a student? Do you have a career? Have you ever had to live by a contract? Have you ever had to keep your word, facing consequences if you broke it? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm seriously asking.

Your inability to comprehend that the issue is one of integrity and the VIOLATION by fiat of ESTABLISHED policies and procedures is a SERIOUS matter.

Go to this link: http://catalog.swbts.edu/graduate/admissions-policies-and-procedures/

Notice the title - POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR ADMISSION TO SOUTHWESTERN

Notice what is REQUIRED (I quote):

Who can (or should) attend Southwestern?

"In its admission policies the seminary assumes the student has been identified as a prospective minister by announced intent, proven conduct in accordance with Christian standards set forth in the Bible, active church involvement, and unqualified approval from the church where they are currently members. Some of the required credentials include:

•a mature Christian character
•evidence a desire for Christian ministry (shown through the application process)
•a record of active church service
•a record of academic achievement
•promise of continued intellectual and spiritual growth
•a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 2.0, is prerequisite to all graduate degrees. (Persons who do not have a baccalaureate degree may apply to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts program through the College at Southwestern.)
•proficiency in English or the language in which the program is taught

As a Southern Baptist educational institution, the seminary is redemptive, but not rehabilitative, in nature. Therefore, a person should not come to seminary with serious family, health, emotional, or financial problems. The pressures of study, church participation, family, finances, and other such factors weigh heavily upon the seminary student and the student's family. These pressures can be a vital factor affecting the physical and mental health of the student."

If after reading all of the above you still insist on MISSING THE ISSUE (i.e. "Explain to me how non-Christian students prevents a Christian seminary from training Christians for ministry") then there is nothing I can do or say that can help you understand (please close your ears, I'm going to shout)...

THE ISSUE IS THE PRESIDENT OF SWBTS VIOLATING THE WRITTEN CHARTER AND MISSION OF THE SCHOOL BY FIAT, WITHOUT AUTHORIZED APPROVAL!!

There, open your ears.

Jack said...

Wade, thank you for taking up this matter. I know you are no great fan of Dr. Patterson and that leaves you open to charges of an ulterior motive. Regardless, this is a watershed issue. My concern is that not only is Dr. Patterson way off the reservation for so many reasons, but where are the professors? Christians in Muslim countries risk losing their lives speaking out for truth but professors are not willing to risk their jobs? I don't have much respect for the professor, either. Silence in the face of evil is itself an evil act.

Scott Smith said...

yeoberry- Please explain how allowing a Muslim on campus does not (at least potentially) compromise missionaries, their families and contacts within the country they serve?
I ask this sincerely, as I have loved ones in said places.

Jon L. Estes said...

THE ISSUE IS THE PRESIDENT OF SWBTS VIOLATING THE WRITTEN CHARTER AND MISSION OF THE SCHOOL BY FIAT, WITHOUT AUTHORIZED APPROVAL!!

Hmmmm...

1 - Are you sure he did not have approval?
2 - Does he owe you an answer just because you want one?
3 - If an answer must be given to a question asked, should it not come from the floor of the convention to Patterson and the trustees as they sit their during and after their report?

--

1 - I doubt you do.
2 - No.
3 - Yes but it is fun whipping the crowds into a "burn him at the steak frenzy" knowing nothing is going to happen until the convention, even if it does. And if or when nothing happens, the whining about how bad things are (not theologically or biblically but operationally).

We sure put a good face on living for Jesus.

Maybe I'll start a blog and call it...

"Exposing the first Stone Casters." - John 8:7

Online life among the gracious but disgruntled SBCers

Wade Burleson said...

Jon Estes,

The trustee chairman of SWBTS and the board of trustees had NO knowledge and had given no approval. Yes I'm sure.

Rex Ray said...

Jon Estes,

You probably don’t know me, but I’ve commented on Wade’s blog for many years. I’ve received many ‘Appreciations’ from the IMB for the 13 mission trips I’ve made to Japan.

You asked if Patterson had permission from the trustees. In the conversation below will answer that.

A relative of mine (I’ll use “relative’ from now on) phoned SWBTS about the Muslim. Relative said their daughter and other relatives had graduated from Southwestern and their business was planning to make a financial endowment to the school but not if the school allowed Muslims to attend as told on Wade Burleson’s blog.

Relative said SWBTS was so strict about being a Christian their daughter was denied enrolment because she had been paid for her work in churches. The daughter had to work in a church without pay for one semester before being allowed to enroll with her husband. Now they’re missionaries in Guatemala.

The person taking the call said he didn’t know anything about it but would read Burleson’s blog and call back.

He didn’t call but Paige Patterson did. Said Burleson’s blog was nothing but lies. He did admit there was a Muslim “But we’re going to convert him.”

Patterson said, “We agreed to admit him…”
“Was there a committee that did this?”
“No.”
“Did the trustees vote on this?”
“No.”
“Well, who is “we”?”
“It was me.”

When Dilday was fired the enrollment was around 5,000. It’s been brought out the decline in students to spread the gospel was so embarrassing other subjects and degrees have been added.

I’ll change ‘Give a man enough rope…’ ‘If a man TAKES enough rope…’

I think there’ll be a showdown at the OK Corral in Baltimore.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

I am glad you have the facts. 2 out of 3 for me isn't bad in making speculations. I still know less than I did 5 years ago.

Rex,

Great comment. I'm not surprised Patterson didn't ask for permission or get permission, whichever way you want to state it. Such a decision by Patterson should be expected (does such a decision surprise anyone?) if it is going to bring people into the school, under the word of God.

I know Dr. Patterson and have reasons to support him and reasons to frown as a result of him, being him. Yet, even beneath the big ego, hopes to intimidate and rough ways, his heart is to see a lost world reached.

As a SBC pastor who teaches a SS class he loves dearly, I would love to have a slew of Muslims sit in and be taught the Bible on a regular basis. I wouldn't even mind giving them perfect attendance pins at the end of the year if they earned it. I would never want my church to create documents which restrict what a person needs to believe before they can sit in my class or attend our worship. I think it goes against the nature of being Christian at all times.

My comments on this post are not intended to be for or against Patterson and his decision but to speak to the words of the one who wrote the blog and those who make comment.

Thanks again for the comment to me.

Jack said...

This issue is not going away. As bad as I think the decision Dr. Patterson made is, I am even more concerned by the arguments made to support it--particularly, "it is evangelism." What SBC member would be against that! Yet, it promotes a new form of evangelism heretofore foreign to the mainstream of SBC life--"Compromise Evangelism." This has been practiced by many in evangelicalism but now it is sanctioned by a seminary president. Compromise Evangelism rides the back of a fatally flawed ethical premise--the end justifies the means. If ever there were a buttered incline (slippery slope), this would seem to be it. Patterson has created a "lose-lose" situation that can only hurt others as this plays out in the media, on the Net, and on the floor at Baltimore (hey! I'm a poet and didn't know it.)

Curious Thinker said...

Although I can understand your concerns of Muslims, I'm curious to why you add Mormons as non-believers. I'm not an expert in the Mormon faith but they are still Christians under another denomination. Can the Southern Baptist Seminary admit Christians from different denominations? Do they consider them non-believers?

Mandy said...

Curious Thinker, as one who lives among Mormons in the heart of Mormon-land, you would do best to read for yourself what the Mormons believe. Compare the writings of their founders to the Bible. See if they match up. You might be surprised by what you learn.

From the Mormon standpoint, my Mormon friends consider me as a potential convert even though I have professed my belief in the salvation of Jesus Christ and have been baptized. They do consider me a non-believer and continue to "evangelize" to me on a routine basis. Some of them would consider admission to a Baptist seminary as an amazing opportunity to witness to nonbelievers and share the "true Gospel".

Rex Ray said...

Jon,

You said, “I would never want my church to create documents which restrict what a person needs to believe before they can sit in my class or attend our worship.”

AH! Your thinking is as old as the hills…goes back to “James judgment” in Acts 15:19 where James ‘switch’ the requirements for Gentiles to be saved to requirements for Gentiles to be ACCEPTED by Christian Jews. BIG difference!

You cannot make a seminary a church; nor should you make a church a seminary. Their goals are different. One practices the Great Commission to all and everyone, but the other prepares to practice the Great Commission.

Jon, you said, “…his heart is to see a lost world reached.”

Was his heart trying to save a lost world or was his heart trying to please his listeners (Gun Club)? when he said, “The greatest need in America is for every boy to have a dad, a dog, and a gun.”

In 2004, the SBC had a ‘trial’ to withdraw from the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) because they were lax in Christian conduct. The BWA was not allowed to attend, but some spoke in favor of them saying, “Some countries didn’t even allow women to wear lipstick.”

The real reason the ‘powers that be’ wanted to withdraw from the BWA was jealousy. Even after the BWA was warned, they let the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) join.

The CBF said the glue that held Baptists together was missions, but the CR argued it was doctrine.

When that happened, Patterson was on a committee to find ‘dirt’ for reasons to withdraw. Transcripts proved Patterson wrong when he misquoted a German professor.

Patterson was the last speaker and I heard him make a new accusation that the BWA was “Gay friendly”.

Before the vote, I had passed out this poem:

Soldiers Down
By Ann Rinker and Rex Ray 2-2-04
Please, SBC Leaders, don’t reject BWA
We’ve loved 99 years. Will you now abscond?
47,000,000 Baptist hearts that lift up Jesus.
Will they become wounded soldiers down?

Persecution from enemies, yes,
But from our own astounds!
You said BWA had drifted left.
Innocent soldiers down.

You accused them of downplaying Jesus;
No evidence could be found.
Your untruth against BWA exposed you.
Should you yourselves be down?

You screamed, “Liberal”, but one falsely accused
Yelled in your ear, so bound,
“Repent and turn from your wicked ways!”
One soldier still not down.

Christ warned, “Teaching as doctrines the commands of men.”
Does His concern, so profound,
Expose “BF&M is our doctrinal guideline”,
Demanding unsigned soldiers down?

You claim your interpretation is God.
Your BF&M is renown.
Others must bow to this decree or become
Condemned soldiers down.

Your name “conservatives” is only a camouflage.
Your creed a mandatory crown!
Anyone questioning fundamentalists is labeled
Despised Moderate soldiers down.

Please, Lord, unite our hearts to lift up Jesus.
This prayer should resound.
“Fire unsigned missionaries!” makes Jesus cry,
Betrayed soldiers down.

You’re only content when you dominate.
You say you don’t want to hound.
But when God speaks to some a different way,
More loyal soldiers down.

You agree with Muslims: “No women over men!”
Though their witness has abound.
Christian women who answered God’s call
Became women soldiers down.

Sorry, BWA, our leaders plan to leave.
You see why moderates frown.
Pray for leaders without a paper-god
Or you’ll join soldiers down.

“It’s only politics…Not my concern.”
This fable has been around.
Awake, dear brother, or you’ll become
Another soldier down.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Then, that same administration surreptitiously subverts the charter of Southwestern Seminary and the will of the Southern Baptist Convention and enrolls a man who renounces Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and intend on giving him a degree in Biblical Studies -- only after being assured this practicing Muslim non-believer in Christ 'accepted' the moral code enforced by SWBTS administration of not smoking or drinking...

I have a question. IF a Muslim is indeed enrolled in a program at SWBTS which puts him on track to receive a degree in Biblical Studies, are women excluded from enrolling in the same degree program unless they choose the Homemaking Concentration? The Biblical and Theological Studies Concentration requires courses in Hebrew and Greek which, of course, as we all know, cannot be taught by a woman, so I would not think they could be taken by a woman. But it's okay if you're a Muslim as long as you're a man?

That information is from the undergraduate college which may, if I understand correctly, not be part of the seminary per se. However, that's the only "Biblical Studies" program I see.

It would be helpful to know in exactly which school (undergrad or seminary) Muslims are enrolled.

"Alaskan in Texas" has it right.

You are about to find out that even though the SBC is larger than one man, there is one man in the SBC who is seemingly immune from accountability from the SBC. Paige Patterson has faced adversity much more potentially crippling than what is being discussed here. And he has survived not only to serve again in SBC leadership, but to serve again and again and again at its highest levels. The other SBC bishops and cardinals will rally around him and preserve his ministry, again, as they have done so many times over the years.

Like a phoenix from the ashes, old Paige will just shake off the ashes and soar again.

How can one man have that much power?

I'll answer my own question. It's because people let him have that much power. If the entire faculty protested en masse, what's he going to do? Fire them all? If SBC churches stop sending money to the CP or at least designate it not to go to SWBTS (if they can even do that), will Paige and Dorothy continue to occupy Pecan Manor? Will they have to let the pastry chef go and cut back on some of the Christmas decorations? He's surrounded himself with a barrier of yes-men over the years, and he does whatever he wants. I think a lot of the things he's done were done "just because he could."

Does anyone remember the 1981 movie Taps? Paige Patterson reminds me of George C. Scott in that movie.

Captcha: Patterson dang (I couldn't have made that up!)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Quoting myself:

"Does anyone remember the 1981 movie Taps? Paige Patterson reminds me of George C. Scott in that movie."

And Patterson's defenders remind me of the little boys in that same movie.

Tom Parker said...

BBC:

You said:"And Patterson's defenders remind me of the little boys in that same movie."

That is so true!

BTW, this summer is the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the takeover years.

The two PP's were the main orchestrators.

The SBC is drifting away into irrelevance IMO and these two men should not be honored for what they did.

I have said on multiple occasions that Paige Patterson should be fired, but he has created the livelihood for many men and they dare not speak against him. Yes, BBC they are boys.

Jon L. Estes said...

Rex,

Be reminded that my comments here are not to support Patterson but to demonstrate that no one is giving any Biblical foundation as to why:

1 - A Muslim should not be enrolled at SWBTS.
2 - That the Bible trumps any and all operating documents which speak to this matter.
3 - That if there is a biblical principle which trumps the documents at the school, it is not an issue of integrity to dismiss the document.

So far I have been told (nicely) that there is no biblical principle or teaching that addresses this matter since the bible does not speak of seminaries.

I'm okay with the bible not speaking about seminaries but I think we can all agree that the bible does not address all subjects directly. In this case can we learn anything from the bible which speaks to the following?

1 - How would God want us to respond to and deal with a lost person (Muslim or not) who would like to attend one of our Christian schools?
2 - Is becoming all things to all men so that we may win some an appropriate precept to consider in such a situation?
3 - Are the documents of the school more important the than the life of this lost person?
4 - If we ask him to leave what does he tell his fellow Muslims?
5 - If he finds Christ what will he tell his former Muslims family and friends?
6 - If we let him stay and he chooses not to follow Christ, what could he tell his fellow Muslims?
7 - If we would have rejected him because he is not one of us, what does that say to Muslims.

There are tow thoughts on the church, in my previous post, I referred to the one most commonly accepted. The church being an organization. Yet the Bible is clear that the church is much more than that, though many seem to be clueless to that fact. The church is the "body of Christ. Eph 1:23. Where we are, what we do, how we behave, who we love or choose to spend time with, who we will invite into out Christian organizations should always display he glory of Jesus. God has put us on display as Christ's body so that the world will see Jesus (our head).

It might be possible that we can find at least one example of Jesus going against the man made written documents to touch lives, some who ended up following Him, others who did not.

Quickly to your comments.

The gun comment needs to be taken into context of who he was speaking to and the reason for such a comment. The list of dumb things Patterson has done is long and probably longer on God's list if we could see it but there is a list of accomplishments for Christ which also can be noted. Whether we like what He did or not is not really the issue. The issue action needs to be sought out before God, on our knees seeking what Jesus says.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

You wrote: "It might be possible that we can find at least one example of Jesus going against the man made written documents to touch lives, some who ended up following Him, others who did not."

(1). How do you feel about the 'man made document' called the BFM 2000 that advocates "closed communion" and at least four others 'doctrines' that could be argued are anti-biblical? Are you now advocating that Southern Baptists should not be forced to 'sign' the BFM 2000 in order to cooperate with each other? Your 'man-made document' argument sounds like you've changed your mind about the BFM 2000. Just asking.

(2). I'm all for Muslims attending SBC seminaries - IF THE CONVENTION APPROVES IT and changes the charter and policies and procedures of the seminaries (through the trustees).

Just asking for some consistency on your part.

Jon L. Estes said...

Wade,

WADE: (1). How do you feel about the 'man made document' called the BFM 2000 that advocates "closed communion" and at least four others 'doctrines' that could be argued are anti-biblical? Are you now advocating that Southern Baptists should not be forced to 'sign' the BFM 2000 in order to cooperate with each other? Your 'man-made document' argument sounds like you've changed your mind about the BFM 2000. Just asking.


JLE: Several things...
1 - I am not sure if I ever came down, one side or the other on the "must sign" the BF&M 2000 in order to cooperate with each other.
Everything I remember seeing (and that was some time ago and the memory isn't as clear now) stated that if there are differences please share them. I do know I never agreed with the closed communion portion of the document.

Let me also add that there are man made documents which I can fully support if the document is fully under-girded and built upon scripture. Much like a sermon. Man delivered but when biblically sound works no matter the style but preaching a non biblical message may have some good points and may be well accepted but the bible trumps it every time.

Not sure I am being inconsistent. If I stated preciously about people must sign the BF&M 2K to get a job or role in the convention I would not agree with that now. I would agree that they must sign an allegiance to God and His written word.

WADE: (2). I'm all for Muslims attending SBC seminaries - IF THE CONVENTION APPROVES IT and changes the charter and policies and procedures of the seminaries (through the trustees).

JLE: That is not the issue, all who read your blog know that. What I am saying is that if the charter and policies and procedures go against or cannot stand up to Gods word, then I choose God's word to follow even if there items have not been or are not in the process of being changed. I would hope all Baptists would choose the Bible as the primary source by which to make all decisions.

Jesus did and boy did He often get called on the carpet.

Rex Ray said...

Jon,

You asked 3 questions of WHY:

1 - A Muslim should not be enrolled at SWBTS.

Because it breaks the good rules that have guided many thousands to spread the Great Commission for over a hundred years. Patterson took his job in good faith to uphold those rules, but he was dishonest and threatened people if they exposed his sin.

You answered the next two questions yourself.

You mentioned the Bible trumping. Regardless of who Patterson was speaking to, I believe the Bible teaches salvation is the greatest need for every boy and NOT having a gun.

You asked 7 more questions:

1 - How would God want us to respond to and deal with a lost person (Muslim or not) who would like to attend one of our Christian schools?

God would want us to rejoice in a Muslim attending our Christian schools, but NOT a Seminary.

2 - Is becoming all things to all men so that we may win some an appropriate precept to consider in such a situation?

No.

3 - Are the documents of the school more important than the life of this lost person?

I’ll play your guessing game; two years and he’s still lost, but even if he gets saved, his being there has turned SWBTS into a joke. Will these results make the devil sad in loosing one soul and winning thousands?

4 - If we ask him to leave what does he tell his fellow Muslims?

He tells them he has learned a lot at the expense of dumb Christians.

5 - If he finds Christ what will he tell his former Muslims family and friends?

He won’t talk long before he’s dead. My son was a missionary. He lived in a Muslim village. All Muslims go to the same school. It was reported to a father that his daughter was seen talking to a boy for a short time after school. The boy was a Muslim but NOT in her tribe. The father locked her in a small shed and burned it…restoring honor to his family.

6 - If we let him stay and he chooses not to follow Christ, what could he tell his fellow Muslims?

Same answer as #4.

7 - If we would have rejected him because he is not one of us, what does that say to Muslims?

It says we are honest in obeying our rules.

Jon, in comparing this Muslim situation would you condemn Abraham for denying the man in hell pleading for his five brothers? (Luke 16: 27-29)

Jon L. Estes said...

Rex -

It seems we will have to disagree on much of this.

I hope you are not conveying that seminary is equal to heaven. The rich man had his opportunity while here the story you reference takes place in a different place where it is too late to choose Christ.

As far as Muslims are concerned, not all will take the life of their family member(s) who come to know Christ. Just as all Muslims are not terrorists.

Your example of the Muslim family sadly has and will continue to happen but it is not inclusive behavior of all Muslims.

I too worked with Muslims. Some were working for me while others were and are friends. Although I do not get to go visit them as often as I would like, I can assure you that no one was killed, maimed, ostracized... for me sharing Christ with them - spending time in bible studies with them - having them attend worship services where I had the opportunity to preach the gospel - holding their hand and praying with them... The list goes on. None of these people were in a life threatening position because of my time with them. Not willing to paint all Muslims with that brush.

If this young man thought he would not convert just... going to the seminary would be life threatening to him in the family mentality you speak of.

Alaskan in Texas said...

Yeoberry,

Either you suffer from a reading disorder or you have intentionally selective vision. Clearly, I wrote: "remember that Martin Luther's stand against the Roman Catholic Church resulted in his expulsion from his ministry in it..." I'll repeat that final little phrase again in case you missed it again: "IN IT." Just for an abundance of explanation, what little phrase refers to Martin Luther's expulsion from his ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. Goodness.