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

Sunday Morning Sermon, January 15, 2006

I have been pastor of the greatest church in Oklahoma for the past 14 years. It was standing room only yesterday as I spoke with them regarding the recommendation for removal from the IMB Board of Trustees. We had fifteen hundred in worship, and the broadcast you will be hearing is from the second of two morning services.

Click here Living by Principles and Integrity and find either the MP3 audio format or the Real Audio link.


Bill Smith said...

I was there. All I can say is


W ade's

O ratory

W wonders

are unsurpassed!

Wade, seriously, I really do appreciate your humble spirit towards people, who for whatever reason, seem to have really wronged you.

I wish all of us could stand up under fire with as much grace as you.

The world would be a better place.


Anonymous said...

Wade: I stephen fox, posted this morning. David Flick read the post; but apparently it has come down. As a Man of truth wherever it goes, why did you take it down?

Wendy Q said...

If this Board of Trustees has chosen to ban missionaries who have not been baptised in a Southern Baptist Church, it has chosen to ban our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If I recall, He was baptised in a river. And this is only one of many discrepancies. These men need to read their bibles. Who better to emulate than Jesus?

You speak with common sense. Thank you and God bless you.

Wendy Q

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,
I totally agree with your stand. I too have grave concerns for the future of our fellowship over what indeed does seem to be a power struggle. Legalistic scrutiny of the ordinance of baptism and the "approved" validity is a dangerous and slippery slope to traverse. Accentuating these minor differences will indeed narrow the field and potentially drive qualified candidates elsewhere. The cooperative program model for commissioning, equiping and sending missionaries into the harvest fields is unrivaled in the evangelical world. I hope that this coming tempest doesn't drive our fellowship off course. My family and my church family are praying for you, your family and our fellowship as these winds of change begin to blow.
Bill Scott

Barbara said...

Stephen, this is Pastor Wade's secretary Barbara. He is out speaking today. I have been instructed to let you know that no post which personally attacks trustees by name can remain on this site.

Tom said...

I was personally blessed in listening to the sermon that you preached yesterday, though I just listened to it on the link you provided. The Lord is obviously working through you in this matter. This Okie knows you are not seeking the "favor of men". However, as we continue looking to Him, His written word, and the Holy Spirit to guide us in all things, this Okie trusts that you will not be offended as we pray for you in this cause concerning the direction of the SBC and for the glory of God. May He continue to richly bless you with His grace and peace.

Tom D. Webb

Anonymous said...

Stephen Fox: This morning, I read the paragraph/s you posted at Wade's blogsite. The part of it that I could understand, I thought, was a little over-the-top and not really gracious. I've blown a gasket or two about all of this during the past few weeks, too; hopefully I haven't sounded like it. Suggestion: try retyping the previous thoughts more concisely and coherently.

Kevin Bussey said...

Great message Wade!

I actually spoke from Gal 1 last night. I wish I had heard you first it would have saved me study time :)

Anonymous said...

I want to think Barbara, Wade's secretary for clarification on the removal of my post. I do hope you saved it so Wade can take a look. I am trying to remember what I said. I think Wade can put most of it back up as lot of info there for all of us.
Among other things I related an email exchange between myself and Mac Brunson's wife Debi, an IMB trustee and places where our Pilgrimage had intersected; among others Furman, Mac was 5 years behind me; and mutual acquaintances like Rocky Purvis and his Father, former SCSBC President who once took WMU's Delanna O'Brien to task in a session in Richmond that was taped. I have the video.
Then there is George Truett. I got saved in the same church as George Truett, the one for which he is named, his Birtplace in Hayesville, N.C. Historical Marker on HWY 64 there saying he went on to become FBC Dallas where Mac is there.
Then I referenced an incident from 1956 involving WA Criswell, another predecessor of Mac, and a letter my Atticus Finch, my Baptist hero, STewart Newman, wrote Criswell in 1968.
As that as background I recommended Barry Hankins Uneasy in Babylon and an incident similar to Wade's, Carey Newman and David Gushee faced with Mohler at SBTS in early 90's.
The rest you can pretty much put together from my comment in today's Enid OK News about Wade's sermon yesterday.
Barbara Hope you and Wade can let this one stay up as we all pursue the Truth in this matter.
More to follow.
Thanks for a second chance.
Stephen Fox
Collinsville, Alabama

Anonymous said...

Powerful sermon, friend. I'm with you. Keep standing for what is right.

Travis Fleming

Kyle1216 said...

Wade, I predict that something great will come from this controversy. Those who hope you will resign, don't know you. The simple fact that some people want you removed from the IMB is a great sign that you are doing the right thing. When there is full agreement, that is a sign that honest debate and dissent aren't allowed. Your dissent should be considered healthy.

I remember being the only person who voted against a recommendation in Church, and as I recall, you treated me with respect and we continued in fellowship. I will continue to pray for you, your family and the IMB.

Anonymous said...

When you are in Enid, OK and at the church; you and your family are home. We support your efforts 110%.

In reading your messages it would appear that the trustees felt that you had violated the confidentiality clause with the media...or am I mistaken? I've tried to make sense out of this.

What are all of the trustees trying to accomplish when they hold their meetings? When you said what you did, did it go against what you were all trying to accomplish or just upset a select few who have been there longer than you?

Wade, I am a member of Emmanuel and I enjoy your sermons very much. Have you tried to talk to any of the trustees and come to some type of agreement or meeting of the minds?

I feel badly for you and your family. But I also feel badly for those who feel you have wronged them. You taught us and showed us in the Bible where we should pray for all of those involved. I will do just that in the coming weeks.

Just know that you are home now with your extended family who support and love you and your family.

Charlene George said...

Wade, Marc and Radona are always #1 on my prayer list...you and your family are #2. Thank you for being the best pastor anywhere. When other people insinuate or make negative comments....just remember what they did to Jesus and he did not back down either. Just keep preaching the BIBLE and God's Grace....HE will take care of the rest in HIS time.
God Bless You,
Charlene George

Alan said...

Wow what a great word! God bless you Wade!

Grace to you

Steve Lynch said...

I figured out why Tom Hatley is the "go to" guy in this matter.

Only a Texan could defend the exclusivity of water rights from the Deity.


ryan said...

Wade, I listened to your message and read some of your blogs and I have a couple concerns. First, if, as you say these policies are "non-esential doctrines" then why are you so passionate about them. If they are nothing more than in-house disagreements why not let the older trustees have thier way on these issues for the sake of unity. I have not heard thier side but they must be as passionate about this matter as you. I am just asking questions and trying not to sound mean spirited because that is not my intent. Sencondly, in your sermon you mentioned that even before your nomination to the board that you were approched by members of that board in an effort to assertain if you were "like-minded" with them. I have to ask, how did you know thier intentions? Is it possible that they were actually just trying to get to know you and where you stand biblically? Supposing this were true, if you misrepresented thier intentions with out proof, I would say that the statements in your sermon could be considered gossip.
Trirdly, (again, I'm not trying to accuse) I was just wondering why you found it nessesary to mention how many people were in attendance at your church on Sunday in your blog. I believe it came off sounding prideful.(but that's just me speculating on your intent)
Please trust me when I say that I am in no way validating the other board members actions. I'm just thinking that if someone doesn't turn the other cheek, that this type of "stuff" is great fodder for the libral press to use in an effort to discredit our god driven association.

God bless you, and forgive me if I offended you.

Kent Pitman said...


Hello from South Carolina. I just want to say that you and our church family in Enid are constantly in our hearts and prayers. We miss you all so much. I know that you are one of the most passionate teachers of God's word that I have ever met. I am so sorry for the treatment you are getting for standing up for your believes, which are based on nothing else but scripture. Keep winning souls! We wish we could bring the entire church here to South Carolina! God Bless You!

Kent Pitman (Mom & Dad, too)

Anonymous said...

To Barbara and Wade:
Do continue to check the comments on the Enid News and Eagle site in the big story on Wade in Jan 16 paper.
I made another lengthy one this morning. It is quite peculiar the semantic gymnastics some of Wade's supporters are playing with BFM 2000, how they are as selective in their interpretation of that creedal statement, as the takeover SBC fundamentalists were with their definitions of inerrancy in the early 80's
SFox of Alabama

Anonymous said...

And Barbara and Wade:
You are making big news in the wider baptist world this morning. Take my word for it, this one for sure and all who see it will want to see. Maybe you know the trick to make this link just a click away from your readers here

Wade, would love to see your response Blog to that online oped piece by Baptist communications director and blogger of Missouri, Brian Kaylor. sfox

Wade Burleson said...


Those are very good questions:

Please remember this:

(1). My passion is that we are EXCLUDING Southern Baptists like Miss Bertha Smith and Jerry Rankin and a host of others who have a PRIVATE prayer language. The problem is the EXCLUSION of great, conservative Christians from the mission field. We are EXCLCUDING Yacouba Seydou because he was baptized Scripturally by a lay evangelist in a river rather than an ordained minister in a church. My problem is the EXCLUSION of conservative evangelicals over non-conformity to minor Biblical interpretations. Whose next?

If those trustees who voted to remove me are as PASSIONATE about their decision, GREAT. Passion vs. passion equals the playing field. Truth wins in the end.

(2). When I was approached by a fellow trustee prior to the Nominating Committee approaching me it was not regarding doctrine. He knew where I stood on the Bible, Christ and the Kingdom. It was a matter that had nothing to do with missions and one that caused me great concern about the appropriateness of sharing this information in order to "vet" a potential nominee --- to see his reaction. At some point, in the appropriate setting, I will reveal what that matter was.

(3). I mentioned attendance simply because you can't pastor a church for forteen years and have the kind of character I am accused of having in the public press release from the chairman of the trustees which states I have a "resistance to accountability," "lack of trust," "slander," and so on. My church family knows me. It would seem that the proof of a man's character is what is said of him by the people who know him best.

Thank you, however, for your expressing your concern. They are well received. I particularly appreciate the spirit in which you give them.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Anonymous said...

I'm a missionary who has been following this with prayers and tears. Thank you for your courage in Christ.

Anonymous said...


Keep in mind that Christianity has struggled with several theological issues for 2,000 years. Each generation has its "camps" which proclaim they know the "right" answer. The issue of tongues and signs is one such controversy.

People who try to leave room in the middle are often subject to more wrath than those on the other side of the issue. You are standing in the middle, trying to leave room for both sides. I applaud your willingness to take a stand.

One well-respected person who also stands in the middle of this issue is John Piper. He struggles to resolve this issue, but sees both sides as having valid points.

Here is a link to his sermon about gifts and signs.

When it comes to missions I agree with Paul's approach.
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Kris Ewbank
Fairview, OK

krisewbank said...


Keep in mind that Christianity has struggled with several theological issues for 2,000 years. Each generation has its "camps" which proclaim they know the "right" answer. The issue of tongues and signs is one such controversy.

People who try to leave room in the middle are often subject to more wrath than those on the other side of the issue. You are standing in the middle, trying to leave room for both sides. I applaud your willingness to take a stand.

One well-respected person who also stands in the middle of this issue is John Piper. He struggles to resolve this issue, but sees both sides as having valid points.

Here is a link to his sermon about gifts and signs.

When it comes to missions I agree with Paul's approach.
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Kris Ewbank
Fairview, OK

Anonymous said...

"If I am in the habit of continually holding God’s standard in front of me, my conscience will always direct me to God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do."

Pastor Wade,
This is my favorite C.S. Lewis quote, and I have it posted on my own blog. I struggle so much with allowing the opinions of others dictate my actions, and your message could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. I'm dis-heartened by the situation resulting in your giving that message, but I am grateful that we have a leader that stands by God's principles. I would have been disappointed had you resigned, embarass us all you want. :) We are truly blessed to have you as our pastor. You say that you have the greatest church, but we have the greatest pastor. Thank you for your testimony.

Katie Weatherford

Anonymous said...

I echo Katie's post. The attendance at church to support you speaks loud enough. We support you and we will stand with you in this matter.

Too many are excluded from other churches and missions due to extra Biblical rules which hurts the cause of Christ. As one mentioned earlier, Christ himself would be excluded from the mission field with the SBC because he was baptized in a river by a lay preacher.

For all the current missionaries and future missionaries who would otherwise compromise their beliefs in this area or be excluded this issue is important. Hang in there and when it gets tough remember that we as a church family and family are holding you up in prayer. All 1500 plus of us.

Merrill and Debbie Kaufman
Emmanuel Baptist Church members
Enid Oklahoma

ColinM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Cobban said...

I have been watching your blog for a few weeks now, alerted by the ABP website. I can completely understand your shock and hurt at the recent revelations of the inside workings of the IMB/SBC. You are walking the path that thousands of us walked beginning in 1979--unfounded accusations, careless tainting with "liberal" and other names, and silent victims of "I heard about someone in a seminary classroom who said _____" (you fill in the blank). I am glad to read you call the movement for what it has been since 1979--power and control.
But I am amazed that you haven't yet connected the dots to see you are another casualty in an un-Christlike war. Welcome to the margin. You will find, like many of us have, great joy in being freed from the need to identify with one denomination to the exclusion of all of conservative Christendom. If you would be willing to reconsider from the perspective of your newfound understanding the victories of 1979, you would find yourself in the company of some Godly men and women who are serving the Lord without the need to defend a denomination that said we are no longer welcome.
May God grant you the peace that passes all human understanding.

Anonymous said...

Hello Bro. Wade,
I just wanted you to know that you have friends in Tulsa that are thinking of you & praying peace and grace over you & your family during this trial. Although I am no longer a Southern Baptist (I am a self-proclaimed "charis-baptist" & go to a conservative, non-denominational church), I could not agree with you more on principle. Please continue to press on with all diligence and humility for that which you believe is just.

I saw this quote on another blog once, and LOVE it:

"Tolerance is the virtue of a man without conviction." ~GK Chesterton

Playing on the same team,
Carrie (Robb) Wilkinson, former member of Sheridan Road Baptist

Misshapen Perfection said...

Rev. Wade,

I see you've really taken a stand worth taking. I'm praying for you.

Patrick Schibi said...

Brother Wade,

My prayers are with you, your family, and all who are willing to stand for what they believe God drives them to do rigardless of the cost or attack on one's character. I have watched you for several years as a former member of EBC when we would visit Enid and attend the services there. Each sermon had the heart of God and contained what I believed was truly God inspired. I watched you respond to very difficult issues within the church at the early part of your ministry there and I saw unbelievable wisdom, love, respect, and desire to correct the errors while loving the ones involved. I can only believe that you have used this same approach on the issues with the IMB. Though I have not had the priviledge to witness your ministry on a daily basis, I truly believe that your heart is the same today as it has been for the last fourteen years; to serve God in whatever capacity He chooses for you to serve; in humility, in accuracy, and in reverence to the high calling you accepted many years ago. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I can't imagine a better place for you to be during this period than EBC. Thank you for continuing to stand for what you believe is right in the eyes of God and loving all the support and oppose you. IN CHRIST
Patrick Schibi

Bruce said...

Brother Wade,
I am with you. We as Southern Baptists are losing ground. We must seek answers in the bible and not in the traditions of man. May God bless you and your family. I will be praying for you.