Thursday, January 19, 2006

My Problem as Others See It

I have heard from a few people who have talked to trustees who voted for my removal from the IMB and there seems to be a common refrain. It seems that I am perceived by some as arrogant, bullheaded, uncompromising, and difficult to work with.

I promise you I can see their perception, and frankly, were I in their shoes might think the same thing about me.

I do think though, there is a misunderstanding.

I am a passionate person. I also live by priniciples (some might choose to say logic or truth). I could give you many instances when I thought a certain thing and passionately defended my position, only to change my mind on a dime (that means quickly) because the person with another view showed me the illogic of my position, or where my position violated the truth.

I absolutely love the IMB and the work of our Southern Baptist Convention in the area of missions and evangelism.

I am a Southern Baptist because of our cooperative efforts to reach the world for Christ.

But I have personally witnessed events in the business approach to the IMB (i.e. the trustees), that seem to violate stated policy of our convention and the IMB, and in some instances, the truth of God's Word.

I have sought to address the problems I have witnessed behind closed doors. There seems to be an unwillingness to do so among trustee leadership.

I think we sometimes lose our compass and sense of direction as Southern Baptists. Rather than staying focused on missions and evangelism we are tempted to enter into back room politics and personal agendas that ultimately hinder the President and staff of the IMB from doing their work effectively. As a trustee I beleive I am accountable to the convention as a whole to make sure we are fulfilling the Great Commission through the IMB and are not wasting our time on anybody's personal agenda.

Me thinks I hear a chorus of "Amens!"

Having said that, let me get to the point.

I really would like for the trustees to publicly state where I have "slandered" (distorted facts), "gossipped" (said things behind closed doors), and "lost trust" (to the trustees or the SBC?).

Those are the words in the offical recommendation for my removal.

I have always sought to disagree with principles and take the high road regarding people. I do not want to hurt anyone.

Yet, I have received nothing in writing for the basis of the recommendation for my removal, though I have requested it numerous times. I need to know where I have distorted facts. I need to know where I have said things in secret. I need to know why there is a loss of trust.

I am willing to address the concerns I have in private (as I have sought to do for the last six months), but I am coming close to the time when I will need to make my concerns public.

As a trustee that answers to the SBC, and not the IMB, is there ever a time that I should make public my concerns

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