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

Patterson, Pressler, Cole, and SBC Fundamentalism

I am the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, grandson of an SBC evangelist, and have pastored the same SBC church for over a quarter of a century. I'm an SBC insider.

And I feel like the Southern Baptist Convention has dodged a bullet. 

Fundamentalism.

In 1979, at the beginning of the SBC Conservative Resurgence, I was about to enter my senior year of high school in Fort Worth, Texas, but I remember my parents coming home from Houston ecstatic that Adrian Rogers had been elected President of the SBC. My family was friends with the Rogers' family, and Adrian's election was "a surprise" to many. 

1979 was the first time I heard Paige Patterson's and Paul Pressler's names mentioned.

During my time at Baylor University (1980-1982), I was called to be on staff at a small SBC church just north and west of Waco, Texas. By the time I was 22 and living in Oklahoma, I spent eight years pastoring two churches (Holdenville and Tulsa) before being called to Emmanuel Enid, Oklahoma in 1992 at the age of 30.

I've been in Enid since.

When Paul Pressler came to Oklahoma in the mid-1980's rallying support for the Conservative Resurgence, I drove him around Tulsa and introduced him to pastors. When SBC Conventions convened every summer, I was part of "platform security." 

I truly thought the SBC was in a fight "for the Bible."

I thought that through the time I was elected Vice-President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 1994/1995. I served on the Search Committee that nominated Dr. Anthony Jordan to be the next Executive Director of the BGCO.

In 1995 I served as the last Chairman of the Denominational Calendar Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, giving the denominational report at the 150th annual Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

After the Southern Baptist Convention in 1995, I took a break from denominational service for seven years. I would sporadically attend Southern Baptist Conventions, but I didn't serve on any state or denominational boards for those seven years.  

There was one occasion when I spoke out during that time. When Southern Baptist leaders proposed the Family Amendment (1998) to the Baptist Faith in Message, I wrote a letter that the Oklahoma State Baptist paper published, a letter in opposition to that amendment. I explained it was "unwise to add tertiary statements of faith and practice to a primary doctrinal document."

Privately, I told people that the Family Amendment was poor doctrine, ignoring the text of Ephesians 5 and the command for "mutual submission" in a marriage. 

Then in 2004, I was the surprisingly elected as the President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. After two years of service on the state level, I was nominated and elected at the Nashville Southern Baptist Convention to serve as a trustee of the International Mission Board.

I began my IMB service in the fall of 2005. 

Ugh. 

My how things had changed in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I had not been active during the years Paige Patterson was President of the SBC (1998-2000). I had not been around during the time of forced signatures of missionaries and faculty on amendments, new doctrinal standards, and a host of other demands. 

But I saw it with my own eyes in 2005 at the International Mission Board. I won't repeat the story, you can read it for yourself.

In early 2006, I received a call from a man named Ben Cole. I'd never heard of him, but Ben wanted to fly to OKC so we could meet. It was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted to this day, through thick and thin. 

We met at a local restaurant not far from Will Rogers International Airport, and Ben showed me a very thick file of astonishing things that had been done and were being done in the Southern Baptist Convention, things that were harmful to the cause of Christ.

Everything began to make sense. 

The reason I was considered a "troublemaker" at the IMB is that I was thwarting a secret agenda to remove any conservative, Bible-believing Christians who dared disagree with the direction and demands of two power brokers in the SBC.

Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler. 

Ben Cole knew them both intimately. 

These two men had been my heroes. Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler deemed friends. I couldn't figure out why I was in trouble at the IMB. I was just following my conscience and the Scriptures.

But I was in the way of an attempt to remove President Jerry Rankin, women from positions of IMB leadership, and anyone else who dared to speak a word of disapproval or disagreement with the power brokers of the SBC. 

What Ben Cole showed me convinced me that Fundamentalism was the real enemy. 

Then I watched the video below. It made me sick to my stomach. The video, made in 1999 when Dr. Paige Patterson was President of the Southern Baptist Convention, gives Southern Baptists a peek into where Patterson and Pressler wished to take the SBC.

The only sane people in the video are those formerly called liberals, the very people Patterson and Pressler called the devil.

Now Paul Pressler is going on trial in Houston, Texas. Paige Patterson has been fired and stripped of all benefits as President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

What is it you are looking to see in the video below? 

A cock-surety about formulaic Christianity, which is the tell-tale sign of Fundamentalism; a tone-deafness to relational Christianity, and a rule-born religion more interested in numbers than people, laws than love, and a spirit of Fundamentalism that will make the skin crawl.

I told Ben Cole he once out-Fundamentalized the Fundamentalists.

If Ben can change, so can you. 

The SBC has dodged a bullet. If only that stray bullet had shattered some stained glass windows in Fort Worth, Texas.



(Note: Ben Cole feels this post needs clarifying. Specifically, Ben feels I conflate his views of Pressler and Patterson instead of keeping them distinct. "Pressler was always courteous and kind (to me), and didn't allow my critique of Patterson to end our relationship. Pressler wasn't an ongoing militant."  I felt it necessary to add this edit to prevent readers from wrongly believing that Ben Cole has a similar view of both men. Others might feel Patterson and Pressler are similar methodologically and theologically, but Ben does not). 

131 comments:

Anonymous said...

At about the 31 minute mark, Ben's mom is asked to name some people he would not be critical of. Her list was short: Pressler and Patterson.

Color me liberal, but Doug Dickens was one of may favorite people on the SWBTS campus during my time there. It is sad to see how he was treated by the fundies.

Anonymous said...

Color me gone from the SBC. Wherever you stand on Calvinism, for or against, one thing should I believe offend:

our recent church search had us encounter an attitude of both celebrating being "chosen" (ok with that if that is your thing but how it can hurt those who have always felt not chosen--for stickball, for dates, for jobs, etc. might just think if not saved yet that God did not choose them.)

the other we found at churches and in some of those women teacher rock stars out of lifeway: again, a celebration of "chosenness" that borders on or is down right in your face neener neener neener sounding.

would seem to me a real Calvinist would be on their face in awe and thankfulness God chose them, not bragging in a way that shouts "I am one of the in group with God and you are not."

ugh.

linda

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You sort of remind me of Saul after he changed his mind and became Paul.

I learned of Ben Cole from his comments on your blog. Once, he called me. I asked how did he get my number and he said, “I’ve got my ways.”

You stated you answer questions, so I’ll ask one: will you read this link?

http://www.baptistlife.com/flick/screwup.htm

It’s about 8 pages that list 30 people, 2 Boards, 4 Seminary trustees, 2 committees, and 1 News Service who messed up the SBC.

(Paul Pressler is first on the list of people and Paige Patterson is third.)

Anonymous said...

Rex Rey: There is a similar list at SWBTS, etched in glass. Lots of the same names, including the first five.

Anonymous said...

Here’s a question Wade...

With all of your accomplishments and standing against wrong... why was everything so quiet about a great missionary fired who did no wrong but did reveal another missionary doing some very wrong things (who kept his job)?

This was during the time you were at the IMB. I mentioned this a few years back and you knew of it. I dropped it then but I will admit all of your sharing of all you have done... this was one worth sharing and as an insider, you had the platform. For me, all of the other self accolades mean nothing when one of our finest was mistreated on your watch.

Jon

Romycat Black said...
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Deborah Kaufman said...

I was raised in a Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church. It is a rough existence for a kid who is now allowed to be a kid. If anyone will take the Bible and begin reading for themselves, maybe starting backwards to the New Testament and then the Old, begin using the New to interpret the Old, Fundamentalism is seen for what it is. A take a passage here and there doctrine without regard for all the scriptures as they say they do. It is a non-feeling, mean, abusive doctrine which allows no questioning, just obeying the interpreter. It sees women and children as objects of ownership to be manipulated. No thinking on their own allowed. It could be defined as a cult, except the damage I believe is worse.


And yep. The SBC dodged a 20 year bullet. A bullet that I hope we never have to confront again.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I know David Flick. He's a good man. I've read the document.

History is written by the victors. Flick's document has more truth than victorious CR leaders will admit.

Wade Burleson said...

Jon,

At my first IMB meeting, I officially became persona non-grata. Anything said by me from that day until my departure in 2008 was not only received, it was rejected.



Christiane said...

so far I'm at 3.13 into the video and I had to pause it . . . something tells me that this is going to be very hard to watch indeed

I will watch it all, but likely push 'pause' from time to time

Anonymous said...

Where would the SBC be today if the 30 on Flick's list had done nothing?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @5:59:

My guess is that it would be a kinder and gentler denomination. Evangelism and missions would still be integral parts of the life and work of the local churches within the denomination.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

A very good Question if the 30 on Flick’s list had done nothing!

I believe there would be many more Christians in the world, and my daughter would still be a Baptist.

Christiane said...

so far, I've made it to 13.something and paused again for an aspirin . . .

question: is Ben Cole during the first portion of this film ACTING ??? Or is the film a genuine presentation of an encounter between a Jewish journalist and Ben?

if young Ben were acting, it would make more sense maybe that this was some kind of a satirical parody of a cult-type religion . . . .

(?)

I'm going to finish watching, but it's a hard thing to watch.

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

The devil is hard at work these days,

The newspaper this week reported sexual adult against a miner in my daughter’s church by their youth leader. His rational was she is 18. But it started when she was 16.

Romycat Black said...
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Bob Cleveland said...

In my relatively uneducated opinion:

1) The SBC focus for many years was on budgets and buildings and numbers. That generated a denomination largely populated by church members who knew little beyond John 3:!6, the sinner's prayer, the invitation and the membership cards. Hardly true disciples.

2) As some drifted toward liberalism and possibly apostasy, few church members were prepared to recognize it, or deal with it.

3) Much as God ... told in Habakkuk ... raised up the Babylonians to deal with the wickedness in Israel, He raised up Messrs. Patterson and Pressler to exact some justice among His people.

5) As a result of all this, the SBC is now appointing an "Evangelism Task Force" to address the SBC's current situation.

6) I've been in an SBC church for 37 years and we have always evangelized the community.

8) On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were saved, when I doubt more than 150 or 200 people could have heard Peter's sermon.

9) The Great Commission is to make disciples. If we have not done that job with the 30 or 40 thousand God has sent us, why would He want to send us more?

Bob Cleveland said...

I'll think of #4 and #7 in a minute. (Did I mention uneducated?)

Amy Downey said...

What is saddest to me about this video is that the Jewish man needed Jesus, he played along with Ben Cole for documentary effect, and BC was not better trained in Jewish evangelism to see through it all. I wonder what is the spiritual condition of the Jewish man today.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

The Jewish man did need Jesus, but he was play acting more than anyone, so I’m not as sympathetic. He’s a used car salesman today.

Christiane,

BC is not acting. Sure, he knows a camera is present, but he’s being what he thinks he is and should be.

Bob,

Spot on.

Amy Downey said...

Wade,

You should be sympathetic whether he was playacting or not. He is a lost soul.

David said...

Wade, a couple of questions for you?

What was in the packet that Ben showed you in 2006? What was the purpose of that meeting?

What does Ben do today?

With the information revealed through Ben's blog, why did it take so long for Patterson be removed? It seems even Hollywood acts before so called evangelicals act.

Amy Downey said...

I don’t believe it matters what he does for a living. Do you?

Evangelistic training is important ... Jewish evangelism. I have spent 18 years doing this calling. My criticism was not at Ben but at those who mistrained him and continue to do so today. An observation should not be seen as a criticism.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

Yes, God used Babylonians to punish the wickedness in Israel so they would return to Him.

You said, “He [God] raised up Patterson and Pressler to exact some justice among His People.”

Does that imply Patterson and Pressler by their evil brought good to the SBC?

I can understand their evil, but I’m dumbfounded if it was good for the SBC.

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

"You should be sympathetic whether he was playacting or not. He is a lost soul." I understand your logic. However, if you carry over the principle you advocate, that would demand from you sympathy for every child abuser because the abuser is "a lost soul." There are some things that don't garner sympathy from me, and pretending to want to be saved when making a mockery of the Savior is one.

David,

What is in the packet? Information that confirmed the attempted removal of men and women from positions of leadership in the SBC over tertiary doctrinal disagreements was indeed active (the very thing I had been saying at the IMB and attempting to prevent).

What does Ben do today? Ben has his own consulting firm and is doing well.

Rex,

I tend to agree with Bob. I think good is coming in the SBC. Time will tell.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Having known the Ben of the video, I have always wondered 'what turned him around'?

The Baptist Blogger said...

Shawn:

There was a very clear moment when I realized who I was becoming, and whose terrible example I had been emulating. It happened in June 2000 in Orlando, FL. Sure, it had been building for some time, but that was the moment I said, "No more. This is not who I am. And this is not who Christ wants me to be."

My book will give the details.

What turned you around?

Shawn C. Madden said...

Book? That should be interesting.

Turned me around? I haven't, always been this way. I am a convert from Catholicism so never been a denominationalist and, though I liked Paige, I was never a blind follower, which drove him and his VPs nuts (with the exception of Russ Bush-he and I knew how to work together). He hired me, I am convinced, more to say that he had a Marine for a librarian than for whatever questionable library skills and experience I possessed. Problem was I operated like a Marine and fought for The Library's place in the budget and its place as a campus entity. Danny and his crew didn't like it either. He too likes blind followers who don't mind a Driscollesque environment. So, here I am, persona non grata in SBC circles, which does not bother me in the least, and getting really good at taking pictures of dirt with a drone. A nice form of tent making.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex Ray:

The Babylonians' day was coming, as God said to Habakkuk. And it did, of course. The overall result: some of the evil had been purged from the land.

If we apply that same pattern of God's actions ... that perspective seems to be missing from most of what I see about the recent upheaval in SBC life ... it all makes a lot of sense, to me at least.

What Messrs. Patterson and Pressler did was a militaristic and subversive solution to a primarily Spiritual problem. It worked, but so did the Babylonians' actions WRT Israel.

That's my take, at least.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Concerning too many aspects of 'Denominational Leadership', especially what I personally encountered, this was a sad realization:

https://conanlibrarian.com/2013/12/20/no-greater-love-and-servant-leadership/

David said...

I want to thank you for your reply, Wade. I, too exposed some dirty politics in a large state convention and it wasn't pretty. I didn't intend on being a prophet that day but my questions exposed the darkness. I honestly don't how you think good is coming to the SBC. There has been no response, brokenness, or even a glimpse of a return to God. I'm glad that you have a more optimistic view than I, but I believe that something groups, including Baptists believe that God needs them some how and will turn a blind eye like some forgetful old man.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

My wife calls me the eternal optimist so there may be more truth in your views than mine, but "I will be who I will be" (Hebrew). :)

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I thought you believed Patterson and Pressler were the bad guys. Do you now believe they brought good to the SBC?

Sure the SBC is headed for better times because when they took it to the bottom of the ocean by making women second class Christians and twisting the teachings of Christ, there’s no way but up.



Bob,

You said, “What Patterson and Pressler did was a militaristic and subversive solution to a primarily Spiritual problem. It worked…”

To me, that sounds like no logic at all.

I’m 86 and I know you and I are coming to the end of life, and I’d like to leave with as much truth as I can.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Can I change my mind about at the bottom of the ocean there’s no way but up? You see, the center of the earth is lower. :)

After thinking about Tom Parker’s comment: “Patterson may be gone but there remain thousands of Pattersons…”

I think back to a pastors’ statement, “I’ve been trained how to run a church, (got his degree at SWBTS) and I’ll run this church.”

His name was Frank Harbor. I was ‘escorted out of his church (passed a policeman) to my car and told, “If we see your car here again, we’ll have it towed.”

How many pastors and those in authority of ‘Baptist decisions’ have been trained by Patterson?

I’m thinking of a missionary friend of ours that was told by his bosses to stop evangelizing and plant a church. He is no longer a missionary.

In conclusion, I believe the SBC has a long way to go before it gets better.

Shawn C. Madden said...

'I’ve been trained how to run a church'

Need folks trained to 'serve' a/the church.

Scott Shaver said...

A salient question to Ben Cole, Wade Burleson and all former acolytes and foot soldiers for Paige Patterson and the SBC "conservative resurgence" is simply this: Why should any of the thousands who opposed the CR and took our lumps early on be willing to believe that their opposition to "fundamentalism" in the now crumbling SBC hierarchy of entities and institutions is anything other than a self-serving move at a moment of opportunity in this moment of the denomination's history.

It's like trying to convince Holocaust survivors that the wardens of their concentration camps are now benevolent, repentant, and compassionate fellow travelers.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:
I am with you. Now that Patterson and Pressler have been neutered many that were a part of the CR feel brave to attempt to say that Fundamentalism is over and that they are "sorry." Were was this concern for the SBC the last 40 years?

I do not believe them for one second.

They took the SBC over-ran it into the ground-and it is all theirs.

Scott Shaver said...

Wade ran "platform" security for Patterson and Ben Cole was the "kind of student they liked" according to Paige. Just sayin.

Scott Shaver said...

Reminds one of the Renaissance Popes taking up the slack by adopting the vestiges of the shattered Roman Empire only with a pseudo-baptist western nuance.

Scott Shaver said...

Nameless multitudes of life-long Southern Baptists never needed a "turning around" point Shawn. They saw straight through the CR and the motives of Pressler, Patterson, Rogers etc from the onset as demonic distraction. They opposed the demogugues from the outset and paid for it both in their professional and private lives. These up and coming new SBC heros continue to enjoy the spoils of war after having played both sides of the fence.

Romycat Black said...

Comments are super interesting.

I don't believe for a moment that all this is going to cause too much of a shaking.

From what I can see the SBC convention is ingrained in itself, and whatever is happening is just surface to recover the image.

Francis of Assisi comes to mind. Now that is radical insight and change.

Rex Ray said...

OFF- TOPIC

Yesterday, I attended a Presbyterian Church for a funeral of “Beth” who was 90 years old. She was a friend of my wife. Her husband’s first name was Cob.

There was a microphone on a high stage. Many spoke of her Christian life. Her son told several funny stories but broke down and couldn’t talk.

I’ve never seen a more touching moment when Cob, with faltering steps walked from the audience, and without saying a word, put his arm around his son and walked away together.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott Shaver, I agree with you. My question to Ben was specific and directed only to him, having known only, until of late, the old Ben.

Does your looking askance at the efforts of Wade and Ben indicate that you doubt that someone can recognize error, even when they have been involved in it themselves, and then turn around? In mehumbleopinion, the direction the SBC was headed (like so many mainstream denominations) was very bad and very dangerous and, though badly done in many aspects, what P&P and others did was a corrective in the right direction. Unfortunately, in my observation of history, those that it takes to step up and take a stand for change often possess some potentially dangerous flaws as we now see being played out.

From what I have read of Wade, he applauded the needed course correction but then recognized the line that was being crossed at the helm and did his part to get his world of responsibility headed back towards God. Ben was young and full of vinegar. Would I rather that they were still fighting hard as apologists for the personality of Patterson? No, I am glad that they are making the stand that they are. What benefit they derive from it I don't know - Wade has his church that he always had and I don't see him running for higher SBC office; Ben has a totally separate endeavor from what I understand. My hope and observation is that they are doing what they are doing as a corrective from former insiders and not as part of a personal vendetta. I hope I am correct.

Me? Like I said, I came out of Catholicism (pre-Vatican II Latin Mass Catholicism) and came to the Evangelical/Baptist world having already recognized that the Church of Christ has little to nothing to do with denominations and so I have never seen myself as a Southern Baptist per se but rather as a Christian who attended a Southern Baptist Church and who worked for a Southern Baptist Entity. I was at SEBTS serving as the Seminary Librarian and Associate Professor of Hebrew and OT. I am now taking (rather good) pictures of dirt with a drone.

Wade Burleson said...

Shawn,

Excellent comment and response to Scott.

Spot on in my opinion.

Scott Shaver said...

Good for you Shawn. I speak as a life-long Southern Baptist who graduated both from SBC related university and seminary never ran across the boogie man "liberalism" that prompted the rationale behind the CR. I agree with Hendricks (from video) about the purely egotistical and shallow, temporal nature of the CR and its supporters among Southern Baptists.

Sure people can recognize error and change their ways. Applaud that, but any effort to convince myself or thousands of other SBCers that God needed Patterson, Pressler, Burleson, Cole or others to uphold either the integrity or power of His Word falls on deaf ears.

The very fact that many now who condemn Patterson et al while maintaining that the CR was needed is a red flag.

You don't "defend" a lion. You simply turn it loose and it will defend itself with our without human assistance or intervention.

I'm reminded of the testimony from Scripture which states heaven and earth will pass away but God's Word forever and eternally stands.

Scott Shaver said...

Feel free to respond directly there Wade.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott, have you read the original vol. 1 Broadman Commentary? It makes the case that change was very much needed. You may have a more benign view of Bultmann and Wellhausen than I.

As far as God needing anyone, no he doesn't but my perusal of Holy Writ indicates that he chooses to use folks many of who were very flawed; read Hebrews chapter 11.

Call it what you want but getting back to the recognition that the Bible is the very Word of God was a very much needed fix. I don't know what seminary you went to but what I saw of the old crew at SEBTS indicated the need.

Tom Parker said...

Shawn:

How many "liberals" at SEBTS? How many folk's lives were destroyed to "fix" what happened at SEBTS"

Scott Shaver said...

Not only have I read it, I am of the opinion that Ralph Elliots commentary on Genesis was a beautiful example of liberty within The Spirit to think outside the box. Shawn, your influence under Russ Bush Jr. Is glaring. I pastored in Hattiesburg MS years back while Russ Bush senior was at Main Street. Dr Bush used the same tactic with me over the Broadman commentary Vol 1. Even he came to the place where he admitted to me that human perspectives are always "benign" when it comes to fully understanding or interpreting either the mind or ways of God this side of the veil. The CR was fueled by an irrational fear that earthly academics could neuter over time the power and integrity of Scripture.

I enjoyed a good and friendly relationship with Bush Sr. for my entire tenure in Hattiesburg.

Scott Shaver said...

If what was "happening" at SEBTS was, in the eyes of God, was what was REALLY "happening".

What did the CR actually "fix". The SBC in the aftermath of the "needed course correction" looks more today like a rudderless ship taking on water with passengers fighting over lifeboats in order to bail out.

Sure looks anything but "fixed" or "corrected" from my observational perspective.

Shawn C. Madden said...

'irrational fear that earthly academics could neuter over time the power and integrity of Scripture'

Which of the mainline denominations whose churches are emptying do you want me to name?

'liberty within The Spirit to think outside the box' to the point of denying the authorship that Jesus affirmed?

The irony at SEBTS was that no one of the old crew was fired. Those that left did so by resignation or retirement to such a scale that it appeared to be an attempt at scuttling the ship.

My 'influence' by Russ Bush was as an administrator; he was my boss in administrative issues, many of which we very much disagreed with each other. But we talked to each other.

Scott Shaver said...

We can start with the SBC if thats where u want to go Shawn. If you are of the belief that human "denial" of the Bible's authorship in anyway detracts from its inherent "truth" and power then you must see it as as a pretty lame and co-dependent tool...subject more to the minds of men than the heart Spirit of God.

I will have to disagree with such a low view of Scripture

Scott Shaver said...

Wellhausen and Bultman never scared me, never caused me to question my faith in the testimony of Scripture as to its source and nature and was thankful for professors who exposed us to the world of theological inquiry and criticism outside the sheltered walls of your local baptist church Sunday School. So I would say yes...my view of those critical theories is more "benign" than your fear of them

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott, thanks for demonstrating the issue. For a human to teach to others (be it pulpit or seminary lectern, or, these days, social media) the "'denial' of the Bible's [divine] authorship" legitimatizes the position in the eyes of very many, including church goers and preacher wannabees and presents to the world, not the Word of God, but the manufactured lie of human agency bent on an agenda, as is the foundational teaching of the document hypothesis and related positions. The Word of God indeed remains what it is and ever has been with all of the power and glory of its Author but to negate or ignore the harm done by presenting it as a entirely manufactured lie of man as is done by countless pulpits of all denominations and by far too many seminaries and divinity schools is to turn your back on a far too entrenched issue with no desire to correct it and bring us back to the recognition of who the author is and what he had written.

Scott Shaver said...

Without employing your verbosity and affinity for confusing theological terminology, Shawn, we end up still at the same fork in the road.

The Word of God is capable of standing on its own or it cannot stand or continue without human assistance and shibboleths.

I understand where you line up. And, as Tom Parker earlier indicated, Patterson may be gone but the spiritual paranoia and distrust of other believers (his stock and trade) remains deeply entrenched in a disjointed denominational mindset shared by many like yourself.

Everybody wants to be the Sheriff of Nottingham on "God's behalf".

And that's what's been killing Southern Baptist effectiveness and cooperation for the last several decades

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott, a story from when I was activated for Desert Storm (but, sadly, ended up in Norway). I am an infantry officer but I was attached to an artillery battery - Bravo 1/14. We were called the 'Brain Battery' because just about all of we officers had graduate degrees - masters, JDs, (working on), Ph.D., and an MDiv from Princeton. As we were finishing up and getting ready to head home, as we were want to do, we discussed - theology as it fell out on that day. As I and the MDiv from Princeton were discussing he said, 'you conservatives are so narrow minded.' My BA is from Texas A&M and at that time I had my MABS from Criswell College and was working on my PhD from UT-Arlington. I responded to my interlocutor by first naming all of the liberal writers that Paige Patterson ensured that we had read (Wellhausen, Bultmann, Schliermacher, et al) in our masters work. I then asked him to name to me all of the conservative authors he had read at Princeton. He could name none. I then asked him, 'who is the closed minded one here?' He admitted that he was as he never read nor considered the other position, which Patterson had ensured that we had, and in your words 'exposed us to the world of theological inquiry and criticism.' If you want to see something extremely interesting and entertaining and this issue, look up the debate between Patterson and Hauerwaus. In the middle of the debate Hauerwaus said to the crowd, 'just like a Texan, invite you into his house and then kick your ass.'

Wellhausen and Bultman don't scare me either. But I see them as thoroughly in error and have taught that after my students had read them. What does scare me and give me grave concern are those who teach them as legitimate representations of biblical inquiry. Such is being done and the result of that are churches who don't see Scripture as the very Word of God but only as any other man made document with no more value than a poem of Whitman or Poe and as easily dismissed.

Scott Shaver said...

Am familiar with the debate you mention between Hauerwas and Patterson. Hauerwas was correct about the kind of Texan he encountered in Paige Patterson. However, the negative stereotype of Texans he employed does not hold true for ALL Texans.

I live in Texas.

Scott Shaver said...

Can you name these "churches" and Southern Baptists who are or were teaching that The Bible is NOT the Word of God? Or is this an "educated" assumption from a Non-denominational former SBC seminary employee reared in the Roman Catholic tradition?

Scott Shaver said...

As for ass-kicking, I cannot picture Patterson coming out on top in such a physical scenario unless his opponent was required to be blindfolded with his or her arms lashed and tied behind the back.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott, though not born in Texas, like Davey Crockett, I got here as fast as I could. Living again in Dallas.

Hauerwaus's words, not mine. Brief 'Hat' note - she had the word 'ass' erased from the tape, which, by the way, is at SEBTS's library.

As far as naming folks, the notes of several of the old crew SEBTS profs are in the archives for perusal and they attest to the teaching of the documentary hypothesis as legitimate.

Thanks for the personal negation. I always appreciate when a discussion heads in that direction.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Debate wise, Patterson very definitely kicked Hauerwaus's ass. I was there. At intermission, noting Hauerwaus's position and argument I asked him why he did not just become a Catholic to which he replied, he could not, his wife was an Episcopalian priest.

Scott Shaver said...

At least he was honest with you. I'm having trouble, however, piecing together how Hauerwas, Episcopalians or Catholic scholar/priests lend credance to the shoddy treatment of Southern Baptists by other Southern Baptists. Would still like to know which Southern Baptist churches or pastors are declaring that the Bible is NOT the Word of God.

Scott Shaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaver said...

"Legitmate" teaching as divine truth or "legitimate" content as human theories in a theology or hermeneutics course in a seminary?

Scott Shaver said...

Thanks for the interesting dialogue Shawn. Have a great day friend.

Scott Shaver said...

When has God's Word ever in the history of mankind and a fallen creation not been countered or confronted with both lies from the devil and lies from men.

Nothing new to see in this area.

Wade Burleson said...

Scott,

You make some excellent points. I think Shawn accurately portrays a feeling within the hearts of many SBC'ers that we did not want our CP dollars to fund institutions that denied the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God.

Otherwise, I hear where you personally are coming from in terms of your experience. Where it gets dicey is assuming our experience is (or should be) the experience of others.

Thanks for the dialogue.

Scott Shaver said...

I know I am eaten up with pessimism Wade but I do feel that you are a person of integrity. Thank you. To both you and Ben Cole for your work

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

You said;"Would still like to know which Southern Baptist churches or pastors are declaring that the Bible is NOT the Word of God."--I wonder why no one will answer this question?

I would like this same information and also a definitive list of all the "liberals" removed from the SBC and the criteria for removing them.

But Patterson and Pressler are gone and therefore the SBC will be great again-really??

Christiane said...

There IS some wisdom to this saying: 'Preach the Gospel. If needed, use words'

Now if people want to consider WHO it was who did NOT preach the Gospel, then examine the behaviors of 'leaders' who knew the Royal Law of Christ and yet trangressed it openly and brutally as they bullied innocent people.

If you want to know the truth: look at the fruit.

Scott Shaver said...

Tom,there was a point in history when established religious power brokers who were defending against "error" burned other believers alive, publicly disemboweled them or lashed them to dunking stools until drowned for for the crime of accepting the biblical practice of baptism by immersion. I have a real problem with "The Bible" being used as an excuse for so-called believers to perpetuate the same murderous spirit in modern times. If they can't point out which SBC churches or pastors who did or who are teaching The Bible is NOT God's Word,perhaps they can point us to any biblical injunction requiring human "defense" thereof. We are instructed to "rightfully divide the truth", to "contend for our faith", and to "proclaim the Word, but not a single jot or tittle about "defending" or "battling" for God's Word as it has been forever and eternally established. I fear Paige and others of his ilk would have burned down half the continent of Europe had they been around centuries earlier.

Scott Shaver said...

Use of "Cooperative Program Dollars" is a lame excuse for retreating to behavior of the dark ages of church history.

Scott Shaver said...

No. The SBC has not"dodged the bullet". The SBC took multiple shots to the chest as a result of the CR. Whether or not the rounds can now be extracted in such a manner as to preseve the victim's life is the pertinent question.

Ron West said...

Wade,
Thanks for sharing your journey to recognize the true goals and motives of the conservative resurgence. I will try to send you the paper I wrote and you asked about in Dallas last June. I need to update it, but I may just send it as is since it relates to what you have written.
Most people serving in local churches and in state conventions heard stories from the conservative resurgence leaders of liberalism and were shocked as they should have been if all were true. As you said when you were selected to serve as an IMB trustee, you were able to see first hand what we at the IMB and others were experiencing at the hands of conservative resurgence appointees and leaders. You said there was a, “a secret agenda to remove any conservative, Bible-believing Christians who dared disagree with the direction and demands of two power brokers in the SBC.” The same thing was taking place at SWBTS. It was no secret to us at the IMB and at SWBTS or to anyone else watching their actions and listening to there words. I am thankful for the fight you fought for us and to revel the truth of what was happening at the IMB under the leadership of those trustees.
I served with the IMB through the 80s and 90s and can testify that the same actions were true then. Trustees such as Ron Wilson, Bill Hancock, Tom Hatley, Pressler and Patterson did great harm to the work of the IMB in carrying out the Great Commission. Theology had nothing to do with their attacks. We were conservative and in line with Southern Baptist beliefs.
The two institutions attacked most ruthlessly by the Pressler-Patterson coalition were the IMB and SWBTS precisely because they were solid theologically and could only be taken over by slander and lies and appointing trustees who would obey orders.
To say there has been a conservative resurgence or course change in the SBC is a little misleading. No SBC institution I have been associated experienced a conservative resurgence because they were already conservative. That includes my church, association, state convention, Baptist college, SWBTS and the IMB. How can there be a conservative resurgence if the largest entity and the largest seminary did not experience one?

Ron West said...

Shawn Madden, thank you for your service. I was also called back on active duty as a retiree recall during the Global War on Terrorism. I served in DC which although there was no danger of being shot it was a combat zone of another sort.

Russ Bush was my teacher in Philosophy of Religion at SWBTS when it was still a theologically conservative seminary. He was also in my Sunday School class at Gambrel St. Baptist. I remember he and his wife brought us a meal the day before we left of orientation with the FMB. One of the big mistakes in the SBC was when he was not named president of SEBTS instead of Paige.

Your knowledge of the SBC seems to be from you time at Criswell and SEBTS. There is much more to the SBC than the biased view you would have received there. Patterson and his side kick Keith Eitel were launching an attack on the IMB from that vantage point. I think Ben Cole was one of their foot soldiers at the time. It was totally without merit.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Scott,

'Would still like to know which Southern Baptist churches or pastors are declaring that the Bible is NOT the Word of God.'

'If they can't point out which SBC churches or pastors who did or who are teaching The Bible is NOT God's Word'

'shoddy treatment of Southern Baptists by other Southern Baptists'

Not sure if you were directing these questions to me or not, but just in case you were and you are looking for an answer, then off the top of my head I could name no SBC church. But I never claimed to be able or willing to. My comments and warning concerning the teaching and advocacy of the documentary hypothesis etc. was directed to the church as a whole, and not to the SBC specifically. I do know that it had been taught at SEBTS as I had read the profs notes. As an academic endeavor anyone is fine to teach it, as weak as it is. But, as Wade noted, not many folks were happy about their cooperative fund dollars being spent on it being taught as legitimate and efforts to correct that were headed in the right direction. As was the effort to correct the SBC's light view of abortion.

As far as defending the Word of God I think that there is enough precedent in Scripture and history to warrant that as a worthy endeavor. Jesus did it against the Pharisees all of the time. Sola Scriptura embodies it. I left Catholicism after coming to recognize, contra Rome, that the authority of God's Word trumped any teaching of man and such teaching was and remains in error where it negates or goes counter to Holy Writ.

As far as 'shoddy treatment', my secretary in The Library noted that the conservatives had a habit of 'eating their own.' As I have mentioned, this I well know.

Tom Parker said...

Ron West:

My belief is the CR-(and I greatly dislike those two letters side by side) was just a smoke screen to take over the SBC.

Also when you repeat a lie often enough people will start to believe it. The big lie was there were all these 'liberals" in the SBC and they needed to be removed.

Shawn you say--"conservatives had a habit of 'eating their own.' As I have mentioned, this I well know."

IMO, the conservatives surely destroyed more lives of 'liberals' than they ever did of conservatives. I am sorry you got eaten by fellow conservatives.

Anonymous said...

It is now my turn to answer my question about Flick's 30. The drift would have accelerated as it did in all the other mainline denominations until the floor gave way. Termites work like that. To see how it was done with the Presbyterians read Gary North's (theonomy, anyone?) Crossed Fingers. Get the schools, get the students. Get the students, get the pastors. Get the pastors, the rest follows.

Reference has been made in the comments to Broadman Commentary vol. 1. That this got past the editors is evidence of how weak was the floor.

Arguments have been made about the wording of the Baptist Faith and Message. Okay, but unenforceable documents are useless if not deceptive. Fix this.



Scott Shaver said...

I will need scripture and verses that support the idea that Gods Word needs human defense.

Shawn C. Madden said...

He answered them, "Why do you break God's commandment because of your tradition? (Matt. 15:3 CSB17)

he does not have to honor his father.' In this way, you have nullified the word of God because of your tradition. (Matt. 15:6 CSB17)

I see that as a human (par excellence) defending God's Word, something I find worthy of emulation. For some reason I suspect you won't find these meeting your challenge.

Scott Shaver said...

Jesus was in fact "fully human"...but (unlike any other human) was "fully divine". Beyond that, these passages you reference Shawn in no way indicate that humans who are less than fully divine have a mandate to defend that which is established by God (His Word) and through which all of creation was brought into existence. Jesus in these verses appears to be attempting to get those who claim to know the authority and power of God's eternal truth to live, act and think according to that truth. Is this really the best you have to offer for perpetuating the old fundamentalist mindset of riding herd over one's brother or sister in the faith?

You will have to better than this IMO.

Such comments with haphazard references only reinforce my position that "The CR" was the greatest mass display of human ego and spiritual immaturity that "Southern Baptists" have ever produced in their history.

Scott Shaver said...

Here is an appeal that never gets repeated enough..."context, context, context".

Shawn C. Madden said...

Yep, about what I figured. You demonstrate what you purport to be fighting - absolute adherence to a narrow definition that only you determine.

Take care brother.

Scott Shaver said...

Perhaps, but now I also better understand Paige Patterson's choice of cowboy boots and black hats for SWBTS faculty as required regalia for commencement ceremonies. Student were being taught to RIDE those sheep as as opposed to pastoring, feeding, and seeking out the lost within the context of their flocks.

I'm surprised that spurs were not added as part of the faculty's required dress for such occasions.

Shawn C. Madden said...

Ron West,

Russ and Cindy took and active interest in The Library - Cindy brought baked goods often and visited moreso.

You are right, my introduction to the world of the SBC came through Criswell and SEBTS. Having been saved well into my teens and not attending any evangelical church until I started at Criswell, my discipleship began there. But, as I hinted at, I am no dyed in the wool SB. Neither before Criswell nor during and after SEBTS. Keith Eitel was and is a friend and he is the one who got me to SEBTS as he remembered that I had worked at the library at Criswell. My favorite profs there were John Burns and Ray Clendenen; neither of whom could be described as members of the 'battling baptists' as Ray called them. I learned enough from my crossing of the Tiber (thanks to my then girlfriend and now wife of 44+ years) of the importance of the Word of God, its authority and power, and the importance of recognizing that and defending it - I have done so many times on Catholic blog sites. I remember the white paper that Keith wrote - he showed it to me before they published it. I remember thinking to myself, 'these guys don't know where to draw the final line and stop.' Some issues, such as the high view of Scripture do need to be fought out and defended as it is too dangerous not to, but the narrower and tertiary issues that more severely define (in any number of ways) 'Southern Baptist', in my opinion, can/have drag/ged folks in to bad and unchristian waters. I posted a disagreement on the BF&M that tied baptism, church membership, and church discipline together and got roundly beat down and warned. My understanding of what the Bible said precluded what I was reading in the BF&M.

Russ and Cindy Bush (as well as the Alexanders) are the unsung heroes at SEBTS for what they endured. The Bush's, as the embodiment of the CR, were severely maltreated by the liberals when they got to SEBTS and endured it long before Patterson showed up. He would have been a more than worthy candidate for the presidency at SEBTS at that time.

Scott Shaver said...

I think the heartbeat of the post upon which this thread is attached is that Fundamentalism is characterised by inflexibility and the need to find and root out the "enemy"...both saved and unsaved alike. The Bush's who "embodied" the CR were also "tools" in the hands of Patterson et al. Paid to be such.

Shawn C. Madden said...

You know nothing of Russ and Cindy Bush.

Scott Shaver said...

Know what he has written, Shawn, knew his dad. Enough for me in the context of Southern Baptist history.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

The sad part is folk like Shawn will never ever admit the CR was a very bad thing. The people left in the SBC who damaged so many lives will never admit it. They will cover their deeds with rejoicing in the CR.

It is very sad.

Scott Shaver said...

Tom, on the basis of Shawn's comments in this thread, how are we to come to terms with a "non-denominational" ex seminary employee under the watch of Paige et al who now sees his role as one of biblical "defender" and agent of correction for both Southern Baptists AND Roman Catholics alike? For someone who makes out as if he has no "dog in the fight" he surely seems to be working the spectrum all the way from magisterial to evangelical poles. The SBC without Patterson and Pressler remains filled with God's junior G-Men I fear.

Scott Shaver said...

"Liberals" or blood-bought believer's who disagreed with the CR dogmas?

Shawn C. Madden said...

Never 'rejoiced in the CR.' Applauded the reason, returning a high view of Scripture to the seminaries; never rejoiced in the way far too much of it was done and have said so many times, especially here. But, you Scott and Tom, have labeled me as a dyed in the wool member of their rank and will see it no other way. Not unlike Patterson et al have done with others that you are roundly criticizing. I weep at the damage that was done to folks and know that those responsible will face their Lord for it. I beg forgiveness for what hurt and harm I may have caused in the little circle I was in. But, unlike you two, and Patterson and Pressler, I choose to see more than one side of someone. I pray that one day all of you will release the swords in your hands and start treating people as the Lord that we confess did.

Scott Shaver said...

The difference being,Shawn,is the thousands (myself included) who stood in opposition to and REFUSED to be participants or facilitators of the accursed "CR" from its onset in 1979. A position, I might add, which stands in stark contrast to your continuing insistance that the CR was needed and continues to be needed for "DEFENSE" of that (Gods Word) which is eternally estabished and without need of human defense.

Scott Shaver said...

A "high view" of Scripture is not one where the inherent power of God's Word can only be upheld by machinations and shibboleths of religio-politics which was the CR in a nutshell.

Scott Shaver said...

The "faith" that falters before Wellhausen and Bultman had a flaw from the first, IMO. God promised to uphold his church, not parachurch institutions like seminaries. If 100 students attend a seminary and only 1 makes it out with his or her faith in tact, the power and authority of God's Word in concert with The Holy Spirit is not lessened or diminished in the least.

Scott Shaver said...

Wrong. I have not labeled you. You've labeled yourself by insisting on the need and importance of an extremely human and destructive movement carried out in "God's Name" among Southern Baptists. I like you and appreciate the exchange...albeit tense.

Christiane said...

Hello Tom Parker,

did you ever find out who those 'liberals' were that the 'Conservative Resurgence' supposedly 'got rid of'? Their names and what positions they held?

What WAS the understanding in those days of what a 'LIBERAL' was? A definition?

When people want to 'take control', they might use 'labeling' to mark their enemies and then 'sell' the hatred to their followers so that it takes root and also creates a sense of 'fear' of being 'labeled' . . . . .

I was watching an old political video recently, and instead of 'liberal', the term 'communist' was used by Joe McCarthy. I believe the term for people who denigrate others using labels and who rise to positions of 'authority' is a 'DEMAGOGUE'. Apparently, these 'demagogues' are give full reign to attack and belittle and persecute others and are not held accountable for their destructiveness . . . at least for a time, sometimes a very long time . . . . and when enough damage is done, these bullies begin to look ridiculous even to the crowd that gave them the go-ahead to hurt people . . .

I have begun to wonder:
what is it that causes good people to follow a 'demagogue' like Patterson or McCarthy?
Is it 'keeping silence' that is the problem? That speaking out instead of flying under the radar may turn the ire of the demagogue on to those who question him???
So is FEAR the problem? Or is it something far worse: that people who would not themselves bully anyone hand over the control to bully to one who will do it 'for' them, in 'their' name?

I don't know the answers.

But there are beginning to be a lot more 'demagogues' in this world who prey on the fears and prejudices of other people in order to come to power. The result: nothing good can come from such darkness. Even when the 'demagogue' is someone who ends up on a stained-glass window in some place that allowed him to bully so many.

I would appreciate your thoughts, as I know you have been in the middle of these discussions for some years now. And thanks, if you can help.

Christiane said...

"Oppressors do not get to be oppressors in a single sweep. They manage it because little by little, we make them that. We overlook too much in the beginning and wonder why we lost control in the end."

(Joan D. Chittister)

Rex Ray said...

The BF&M 2000 became a creed when it became a ‘paper god’ (sign or be fired).

Texas Baptist Committed printed a letter from Stan R. Lee, a missionary for 24 years in Rwanda, Africa, why he could not sign the BF&M 2000. He was fired in April 2002.

“I fully respect the authority of the IMB. My allegiance is to God’s Holy Word and that alone. To pledge to any other document outside God’s Word violates my beliefs as a Baptist and my integrity before God.
This document and the way it has been introduced, to persecute, and pressure those who seek to follow and honor Christ reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar Golden image. I think this pagan king’s objective was essentially the same as those who are pressing this issue…dominance. He wanted control. He wanted power over his people.
You know our history. We have had many terrible events, problems, and trials that have attempted to remove us from our place of service but have failed.
I am very disappointed in the way this has been approached, not only by the leadership in the SBC who seem to have a great mistrust of us but also by the leadership of IMB.
It is immaterial to me whether I serve Christ in Rwanda or in Texas as long as I know within my heart that I am pleasing to Him.
It may be that this will turn out to be the end of my missionary career, but I want you to know that if I go, I go as a true Baptist and a true servant of the SBC, but Christ first.

Tom Parker said...

Rex:

No one to this day no SBC leader will admit that it was very wrong to make the SBC missionaries sign this man made document.

I applaud these missionaries for not signing the 2000 BF&M but lament what these seasoned missionaries could have offered to the SBC.

IMO it was the SBC's loss.

Scott Shaver said...

What a great example in Stan Lee. Thanks for sharing.

Scott Shaver said...

The BFM 2000. More useful in an outhouse than a church house.

Tom Parker said...

Rex:

I am still waiting for a real explanation for the recalling of 1,000 SBC missionaries.

I still want to know the severance packages of Patterson and Page and does it involve CP funds.

SBC members deserve real answers to these questions.

I will hold my breath.

Bob Cleveland said...

Rex: The recalling of missionaries seems simple enough. The IMB had invested, many years ago, in a lot of property on foreign fields ... such as Japan ... that had appreciated greatly in value. When income to the IMB was insufficient to cover expenses, they started selling off the properties. Sooner or later, they ran out of such property to sell. The only possible remedy was either to increase income, or decrease expenses. They could not control income, and hence ...

That's what I heard, at least; it does seem to make sense..

Tom Parker said...

Bob:

I think if the SBC leaders had let us know in the pews that they needed money to keep these missionaries on the field, SBCers would have gladly given more.

What about SBC leaders taking pay cuts to keep these missionaries on the field?

No, they just call them home without any heads up for us SBCers and then for these people to receive their settlement we were told they had to sign a NDA.

Sorry, but for me what you are saying does not make sense for me. I do not mean this a personal put down to you.

Bob Cleveland said...

Tom:

But what I said is what happened.

Does it seem logical that IMB heads did not want to divulge they were short on money and had to sell property to cover expenses? Particularly if they anticipated income might increase in the future? It does, to me. The might have feared all the mean things SBCers would say, (just like is happening now).

Just as the financial conditions at SWBTS were broadcast for all to know.

Just as waning attendance there was told SBCers, so they could be praying.

Oh. Wait.

Not to mention the tendency amongst the SBCers not to reveal pedophelia or abuse in its ranks.

My take seems very logical to me.

Tom Parker said...

Bob:

You said:"does it seem logical that IMB heads did not want to divulge they were short on money and had to sell property to cover expenses? Particularly if they anticipated income might increase in the future? It does, to me. The might have feared all the mean things SBCers would say, (just like is happening now)."

Yes, I am cynical when it comes to the SBC but I never thought that the IMB heads would withhold information from us in the SBC when they were selling property to cover expenses instead of allowing SBC members to give money to keep the missionaries on the field.

Call me really cynical now if that is the case.

Romycat Black said...

I am disgusted.
How can anyone stand by the SBC ? This is not the church of Jesus Christ. This is a den of idolatry, greed, pride and other sin. Then you throw in the sexual immorality, the sexual abuse and all the other unseen sin.

Does anyone in the SBC even know God?

Jesus must weep over the church, or he has given them over to their sins and a depraved mind , because it all sounds futile.

You have a dedicated man to Jesus Christ as a missionary who obviously serves Christ and they fire him.

It is repugnant.

Rex Ray said...

“The rest of the story” of why missionaries were forced to sign the BF&M 2000.

Rankin had ASKED missionaries to sign, and told my son that signing was for new missionaries only.

I believe ‘high-up people’ that stay ‘out of sight’ but ‘call the shots’ is the SBC Executive Board. Their President was Morris Chapman.

Do you remember him? He was president of a committee to search for faults of the Baptist World Alliance. When an untruth told on a German professor was exposed, Chapman pointed the finger and said it was Paige Patterson that did it.

David Flick explained how the Baptist Press messed up the SBC: “The BP has a 25-year history of spreading fundamentalist propaganda, printing so-called news stories design to destroy the credibility of moderate Southern Baptist.”

A missionary, Scott Mcintosh, wrote a letter to the “Baptist Press” to stop sending him their paper because it was one-sided for Fundamentalists.

His letter ended up on the desk of Morris Chapman. He told President of the IMB, Jerry Ranking, to get his missionaries in line and insinuated if he couldn’t, they’d get someone who could.

This forced Rankin to require all missionaries to sign or be fired.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

You’re right, after World War II, the IMB bought a lot of land in Japan when it was really cheap. To make money from that land, they built houses for rent. Bill Walker was the missionary in charge of building. Some of the land was for churches, but most was for houses. The land for a house was more valuable than the house. House were small but two-story because the extra story didn’t cost anymore for the foundation and roof.

Japanese Christian, Motsomota, was president of the ‘building company’ that bought all supplies (except concrete) from Home Depo in Washington. Since he was Japanese the materials were tax-free. The first house we built, rented for $5,000 a month.

Cost for everything in Japan was extremely high. A carpenter had to made $300 a day to get by. Therefore the IMB paid for all our expenses and came out money ahead. I made 13 trips that adds up to about a year in Japan. A crew was usually 6 men and 2 wives for cooking and washing clothes.

MY wife went two times (first and last). :) She had told me, “We’re not going to work those 15 hour days you work. We’re going to see the country.”

But the job was many houses. The crew was 12 men and three women, until one woman went home for an emergency. By the time men got up, they had breakfast and sack lunches made. The men took the two vehicles that left them to walk. They pushed their cart uphill from the grocery store that was over ½ a mile. Had a two burner stove and a 12 inch oven. Did the laundry in a basement, and dried it on a clothes line on a flat roof of a three story building. Three pastors required fresh cloths every day. They had brought beach towels.

Deborah Kaufman said...

Shawn Madden: I believe you and want to thank you that you came forward on behalf of Megan Lively and other women. You are a hero in my eyes. I think you helped set a precedent. Thank you again.

Rex Ray said...

I’ve exchanged three letters with Jerry Rankin. He learned through these that Mark Ray, a missionary in Australia, was my nephew. Mark told me he would trust his life with Rankin.

Years ago, my first letter to Rankin complained about our Sunday School material having, “The BF&M 2000 is our guideline.” I said the Bible is our guideline, but he said, “We can’t say that because that’s what the Church of Christ say.” (Thank the Lord it doesn’t say that anymore.)

The last nail in PP’s pride coffin would be to replace his BF&M 2000. The old conventions of Texas and Virginia never did accept it. Hooray for them.

At one time, the IMB made rules that only those that were Baptized in a Southern Baptist church could be missionaries, and they couldn’t ‘speak in tongues’. Some thought they waned to get rid of Rankin because it was well known he spoke in tongues.

Wade was upset because a member in his church was rejected of being a missionary because he was not baptized in a SB church but in a river in Africa by a missionary. (These guys were one step ahead of Pharisees.)

Shawn C. Madden said...

Thanks Deborah.

Rex Ray said...

Romycat Black,

Yes, it’s disgusting how some religious leaders want power and control. Some think that ‘appointed by God’ means they can act as ‘appointed God’.

Adrian Rogers is #4 on David Flick’s list of 30 people. David quotes Rogers wanting power and control on the subject of hiring and firing Seminary professors, by saying: “If we say pickles have souls, they better teach that pickles have souls.”

In 1979, I went to the SBC Convention in Dallas where Rogers became the first president elected by Fundamentalists. I didn’t get inside the building because I met a guy I had worked with in Japan. He had written a paper on “What’s wrong with Fundamentalists”, and was passing copies out in the foyer. I helped him until a guy demoted us to the public sidewalk. (I was 47 years old.)

In 1995, I was in a group of “Volunteer Christian Builders” that heard Rogers preach at his church (Bellevue Baptist) in Memphis, Tennessee. We remodeled their youth retreat buildings. I left a copy of my 34 page “The Truth of Acts” with his secretary to give him. I wasn’t surprised there was no reply.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellevue_Baptist_Church

This tells the life of Adrian Rogers. He was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee from 1972-2005. The church membership grew from 9,000 to over 29,000. He died in 2005 at age 74.

http://sbcec.org/baptist-faith-and-message/introduction

This link states: “President Paige Patterson appointed our committee by authorization of the Convention as it met in Atlanta last year…Sincerely, Adrian Rogers, Chairman”

This was a small committee of 15 people (five are on David’s list) Adrian Rogers, Albert Mohler, Richard Land, Jerry Vines, and T.C. Pinckney. They met behind closed doors. The only thing Churches knew before the Convention met was the committee said, “We can’t tell you what we’ve written, but you’re going to like it.”

Compare Patterson’s hand-picked friends to the committee that wrote the BF&M 1963 which was made up of the presidents of the State Conventions that met with open doors and welcomed suggestions.

Scott Shaver said...

Rex, these snippets you provide across 3 decades or better of SBC history reinforce the idea of PattersonPresslerRogers "spiritual" DNA still rampant among q quarter-century of pastors (those who swallowed the kool-aid), seminary students and existing faculty, administrators etc.now hiding this stuff under their regalia while continuing business as usual.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:
I do not expect the SBC to change. The last 40 years has baked into the SBC something dreadful that can not be changed by mere words.

Rex Ray said...

Scott Shaver,

You ‘nailed it’.

Our pastor was at SWBTS and had no problem with Dillday being fired. His attitude was revealed by him saying, “my ushers; my deacons; I have a convert etc.” He failed to create a Board with him being the leader that would led the church in any direction the Lord revealed. Once he asked the deacons to make a motion that he be removed from the church, and if that failed he’d make a motion that I be removed. (Didn’t happen.) After years, he choked up the ‘Kool-Aid’ and got his head on straight. His sermons are less about ‘information’ and more about Jesus. We’re friends.

Rex Ray said...

Before he came, our pastor held an office in the NEW convention of Virginia which was Fundamentalist. He was honest in telling the church that he would lead us to switch to the NEW Fundamentalist convention in Texas, and switch from the BF&M 1963 to the 2000. I need to clarify “We're friends” to we became friends after several years.

Scott Shaver said...

I believe the SBC CAN change. However, as long as we keep hearing "the CR was needed" we can judge how far we have left to go to see the change. Nobody has yet provided a convincing argument to my satisfaction that God needed or desired the CR within the denomination.

Scott Shaver said...

The Ethiopian eunuch would have obviously been disqualified from service on the mission field.😂

Scott Shaver said...

I agree with "baking in" Tom. On the bright side,the sloganeering of and deification of the CR and its leaders has been losing popularity with SBs and other Christians who don't do group think and who are sick of it.

Scott Shaver said...

The stained-glass in honor of the SBC cartel is among the last straws which broke the proverbial camel's back.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

The FUNDAMENTALIST used the CR and innerancy and the issue of women in ministry to TAKEOVER the SBC IMO. It was horrific, wonderful Christian people were treated. These people were scared for life.

Scott Shaver said...

I agree. A lot og great teachers and pastors were swept completely away by this arrogant fratricide. To hear pastors and denominational "leaders" now who still maintain it was needed...frankly makes me wanna dip snuff.

Tom Parker said...

Scott:

I wonder what these "loving" people would have said if they have received this type of treatment?

Scott Shaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaver said...
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JDV said...

Wade, just a comment prompted by the "I will be what I will be" reply at the Fri Aug 31, 12:34:00 PM 2018 mark, to prayerfully consider the issue with using His name in a play on words context.

Rex Ray said...

JDV,

I doubt anyone else will reply to your comment. I traced back to what was said and couldn’t find logic in your saying to Wade, “…consider the issue with using His name in a play on words context”, but then I’m getting old.

But it did remind me of a discussion two very young girls having:

“Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over God’s green earth for you.”
“You’re not to take the Lord’s name in vain.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
“I don’t either, but you’re not supposed to do it.”

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