Wednesday, January 11, 2006

To My Friends, Family, Church and the Southern Baptist Convention

The Chairman has just read a statement into the record that the Southern Baptist Convention is being requested by a 2/3rd majority vote of the trustees of the International Mission Board to remove me as a trustee of the IMB. I hope reporters were present since the doors had been opened and the public invited in. I had several questions about the basis for the motion to remove me, but after the Chairman read his statement, my request to read a statement into the record was denied.

Because I am returning to a family, a church, and a state I love, I believe it is essential that I issue this statement. They told me I am to continue to be a trustee until the Southern Baptist Convention votes, and I will attend Plenary Sessions open to the public, but with such serious charges against me, charges of which nothing has ever been given to me in writing, I have chosen to remove myself from any future Executive Sessions of the Board. The following is my statement.

Dear Southern Baptist Family,

I am deeply grieved by the action of the trustees of the International Mission Board in recommending to the Southern Baptist Convention that I be removed as a trustee of the IMB. This is a very difficult day for me, but I wish to express my love to the missionaries, staff and particularly President Jerry Rankin for their outstanding service in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. This recommendation is not from staff, but rather it is trustee initiated.

Before you make a judgment regarding the basis for their recommendation to the convention, I invite you to thorougly read the articles that I have posted on my website at or I have consistently maintained that a growing problem within our convention is the removal from leadership and service those who do not conform to specific interpretations of the Bible. We Southern Baptists have already fought the battle for the Bible, but I sense that the new battle that must be waged is for the freedom of Baptists to disagree on interpretations of difficult texts in the Bible, and to always remain in fellowship and cooperation with each other in our mission.

My desire has always been to capture the interest and commitment of what I believe is a critical mass of conservative SBC members in general, and a younger generation of SBC pastors and leaders in particular, who are increasingly feeling disenfranchised because of attempts to demand conformity to interpretations of the Bible with which even reasonable, conservative innerantists may disagree.

I am very uncomfortable with the knowledge that for the next few months of my life, my wife and children will probably have to endure an attempt by a few to discredit my character or to disparage my integrity. I place my concern in God's hands, knowing my own heart in this matter. I have sought to be gracious with others, and even though it may not be reciprocated, I am committed to always speak the truth in love.

As you probably know, a trustee is elected by a vote of the entire Southern Baptist Convention and a trustee can only be removed by a vote of the entire Southern Baptist Convention. The vote to remove me as a trustee of the International Mission Board will be June 13-14, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

I simply ask that you vote your conscience. As for me, here I stand. I can do no other.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

P.S. To my beautiful wife Rachelle, I thank you for your trust in me. I love you. To my kids, Daddy would never do anything to intentionally hurt anyone. I know you believe me. To the greatest church I have ever known: You know me. I'll see you all soon.


Anonymous said...

Wade, know of our support for you as your church family. This will be a difficult time for you and know that we stand with you through it all. Those of us who have worked closely with you for the past 14 years know your heart and believe that God will indeed use this bring about His good.
We Love you and support you through this time of trial.

Anonymous said...

I cannot speak for Rachelle and the kids, but I would venture to say that they have the same feelings that I have: I have never been more proud to say that you are my big brother. And if your character does come under attack, you might take a quick look again at Matthew 5: 10-13. As tough as it is to go through, persecution is good, even if it is uninvited and unsubstantiated.

I love you and will say again, have never been more proud to claim you as my brother, not only from our earthly mom and dad, but as my brother in Christ.

From the looks of this blog and the four or five others that I have read, you will have many prayers on your behalf.

God is smiling.

Steve McCoy said...

Wade, I will be praying for your family. You knew this was a real possibility and you took a stand. Many of us appreciate that very much, brother.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry! I've been a target by those in the inner circle before but never at this level or this publically. I can't imagine the pain.

I'm also saddend by the in action of those trustees who supported you. Why did they not stand with you? I pray that they will take courage from you and stand firm and speak out.

Anonymous said...

Wade, you don't know me, but I've been following your blog for sometime now. First of all, you have conducted yourself in a Christ-like manner. Your congregation should praise God for your leadership. I was saved in a independent fundamentalist baptist church. I was told that I wasn't "ministry material" a year after my salvation. Today I lead the apartment ministry for a baptist association in West Texas. Since, I'm in Texas, I will withold my name. My greatest fear for the SBC, is that I see the same elements of conformity and control that I saw in the independent fundamentalist church I was a part of. You're absolutely right in standing your ground. Thank you for your integrity, and most of all, for your desire to keep our Lord's name from being dragged through the mud during this time. May the peace of our Lord flood your soul.

Todd said...

I am saddened.

Praying for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

I am a young church planter in OKC. I have followed your blog, the blog of Rick Thompson,and others through this entire mess. I want you to know that I voted for you twice as president of the BGCO and I will make every effort to be at the SBC this summer to vote for you to remain a trustee. My prayers and the prayers of my church are yours.
Ryan Abernathy

Anonymous said...

Wade, Know that those who know you best and have seen the grace (AND truth) of our Lord Jesus in your life support you and love you. Certainly you can humbly remember how the religious right wing treated Jesus because of his supposed unorthodox views. You now get to identify with Spurgeon, Luther, Wycliff, and many others who have stood their ground against religious tradition and paid the price for truth. We're proud of you.

The Browns said...

Wade, we will be there in Greensboro.

David Phillips said...


know that I will work to keep the high quality of your character evident as long as I have a voice.

I appreciate our time together yesterday and know that I will be praying for your and your family.

By the providence of God, people were together yesterday and last night, and by his providence he will carry you.


Anonymous said...


You are in my prayers.

Hebrews 12:2


Anonymous said...

You and your family will be in my prayers, and the prayers of my congregation. I appreciate your efforts, and I will be there to support in Greensboro.


Anonymous said...


You don't know me but I am a pastor very involved with CBF. I realize from your 95 thesis that you and I probably disagree about many things, but I want to tell you that you are in my prayers. I take no glee from these difficult days of the IMB, I want the IMB to succeed even if I have gone a different way. I applaud your taking a stand, and I know that the God we share will bless your faithfullness.

Craig Lee said...


My prayers will be with you.

I have yet to join my church start with the SBC after over 20 years as a SB pastor. I am sincerely praying for diretion in this area. We did however ask our people to give to missions this Christmas through the Lottie Moon offering. We did this because we believe in those who have left all to serve our Lord. We will send our offering, but will consider doing so in the future based on this weeks events and the outcome of the Convention in June. I would suggest to you guys, one move that would get the attention of the EC, money. I realize for churches to cut funding would mean the missionaries suffering, but this is probably the only language many of these leaders can understand.

You have taken a stand with grace and love. If they are successful in removing you it will be a statement of condition for a Convention in trouble.

God bless you and your family.


Rod said...

I know this has to be a heavy time for you, and I'm praying that God will be your all-consuming focus.

I'm not an expert on church history but didn't Luther do some of his best work after being declared a heretic?

I'm not sure I share your concerns about the specifics of the IMB policy changes, but I agree with your point of COOPERATION. The trustees refusal to read your statement into their record is case in point of their dissent-fearing, information-squashing demeanor. And this insane thirst for conformity is what's killing our convention and what be must be freed from.

Go home soon, your wife, kids and church family who know you best and know you rightly. Let them love on you and rest from an ugly battle.

But rise to fight again!

David Flick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kevin Bussey said...


I really don't know what to say. I am heartbroken for you. I have never met you but feel like I've gotten to know you over the last two months thru your blog. I feel as sick right now as I did when the trustees at Southwestern fired my President, Dr. Dilday. I'm so sorry you and your family have to go thru this. I will be there in Greensboro and want to meet you. I am still praying for you.

Kevin Bussey
Charlotte, NC

David Flick said...


I know the feeling. Been there. Experienced that. Opposing headstrong upper echelon SBC leaders is tough. Being excluded by the same is exceedingly painful. I applaud your courage. I am praying for you.

Rod said...


I'm praying for you, brother! I know this has to be a grueling, hurtful and exacting experience.

I'm not an expert with church history, but didn't Luther do some of his best work once he was officially declared a heretic?

I'm not sure I agree with your issues about the policy changes at the IMB, but I do agree 100% with you having the freedom to raise them. And I fully agree with your points about cooperation.

The trustees decision not to allow you to read your statement into their record is a clear point of their dissent-fearing, information-squashing mentality. The frequent "Executive Sessions" are clear attempts to hide from their bosses (average Southern Baptists who elect them) information about their decisions.

Go home soon, brother, to those who know you best...wife, kids and church family...receive love and healing from them. Let some smoke settle. Then rise to fight again!

Anonymous said...

Wade, I heard sermon this past Sunday,and the question was asked if we have praised God for finding us worthy to go thourgh the trials that He allows in our lives. Surely God has found you worthy and I praise Him for your life and the stand for Grace and Truth that you have taken. Our Prayers are with you and your family at this time.
Jim and Francis Atkisson

GeneMBridges said...


Actually, that would be libel. If they can't get the definitions of the terms correct, they shouldn't make the accusations. I hope somebody points that out in Greensboro. Slander is oral. Libel is written. To be a valid charge, you have to have told an untruth.

"Gossip"--What hypocrisy! Men and women who hold secret meetings to undermine the President of the IMB have the nerve to accuse you of "gossip!?" Why do I have a feeling that certain former trustees are going to stand up and name names of those individuals if this goes forward?

I'll pray for you, Wade. I have a feeling this will be ugly. On the other hand, it will bring the IMB situation to the floor of the Convention.

May I suggest now that folks start putting together a resolution against Landmarkism. It should reaffirm the repudiation of it by the Convention a century ago and any attempt to promulgate it now. This would address, albeit obliquely, the IMB policies themselves.

Led said...

Stand firm! Return home with grace, humility, and confidence. Keep your chin up. You were not defeated, and the Lord was not suprised by the outcome. You have done what He has required of you, it is in His hands. By providence you may have have just begun a much needed reformation.
abiding in the vine,
Leo Heppler

Anonymous said...

Wade and Bloggers,

I am not sure I know what to say. I am glad to see the support that Wade is getting. That is awesome, necessary, and needs to continue.

But to my fellow bloggers there is more we can do. We need to support Wade verbally but we also need to stand with him and walk with him through this process. We need to voice our opinions, in a loving and biblical way, to trustees and others who are leading this charge.

To my CBF brother, this in my opinion, is not the same battle as before with the CBF. There were some basic tenets of the Christian Faith that some were totally ignoring or distroting and we needed to have a shift toward conservative theology. That shift, as painful as it was ,was necessary.

This is not truly theological but instead is about control. Control of the IMB.

Wade thank you for putting this out there and again fellow bloggers, I hope that we will not only go to Greensboro but pray, continue to talk about the issues and not the people, and ask God to raise up some more leaders that will take a humble but firm stand with Wade.

Anonymous said...


I knew the actions that the board took yesterday to remove you were certainly a possibility when you first chose to respond to a question concerning a quote the press attributed to you from the last board meeting in Pensacola. To say that I am surprised at the board's actions wouldn't necessarily be correct since their actions continue to be consistent with how they have chosen to respond to any questions that have been raised concerning any of their actions.

As your wife and one who has had a front row seat of the events of the past six months, I want to say that I applaud the manner in which you have conducted yourself -- with honesty and integrity. You have shown great courage in refusing to quietly stand by and be a "rubber stamp" for a suspect agenda. I am proud of your committment to the IMB, its staff, and all of our missionaries who sacrifice so much. They have had a passionate advocate in you.

Wear the action of the board as a badge of honor and march on. I walk beside you with my head held high.

Thankfully, our trust is not in the actions of men, but in a Sovereign God.

I love you!

Clif Cummings said...

What has been done is wrong. Absolutely wrong. I am filled with questions and will not wait until Greensboro to ask them.
I encourage all who stand with Wade to do as I did early last week. Call the IMB and obtain a mailing list of all the Trustees. Yes, they can email it to you.
Then, call the Executive Office of the SBC and obtain a list of all Executive Committee members.
If we wait until Greensboro to voice our dissension, it will be mute. Those who are in charge are far more familiar on how to crank up the political machine to get their way than those who have not had to be in the battle.
To my dear friend Wade. You are loved and admired by mutitudes untold on this earth. But what is so great about this all is that I know that is not what is suprememe to you! You are loved by our Sovereign God!!
I join the chorus of those who know you and say with tears welling in my eyes: "Stand firm my grace full brother! And having done all to stand, STAND! And we will stand with you!"

Derek said...

Honestly, I'm stunned. We finally get someone who is gracious to missionaries and to the trustees and is eaten alive by those who would further their own agenda. Where is the prayer, love and grace in all of this?

For what it's worth - Wade, I and many others are grateful to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service thus far. It aint over till it's over! Let's pray, hope, believe that the messengers to the SBC will send a clear message to the IMB Trustees and the SBC leadership that enough is enough.

In the mean-time, I encourage you "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." (Eph 6:10,11)

I know you and know that you have fulfilled the exhortation of the Southern Baptist hymn writer B.B. McKinney:
1. While passing thro' this world of sin,
and others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within;
Let others see Jesus in you.

Let others see Jesus in you,
Let others see Jesus in you.
Keep telling the story, be faithful and true;
Let others see Jesus in you.

2. Your life's a book before their eyes,
They're reading it thro' and thro'
Say, does it point them to the skis,
Do others see Jesus in you?

3. Then live for Christ both day and night,
Be faithful, be brave and true,
and lead the lost to life and Christ.
Let others see Jesus in you.

We pray the other Trustees will do the same.

Honored by your friendship,


Anonymous said...

1 Peter 2:20
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

I know that you are mentally and emotionally suffering because of these events, but if you suffer for doing good (which you have) and you endure is commendable before God.

Also 1 Peter 5:7 says:
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

Kiki Cherry said...

Wow. Rachelle, you are an amazing person, too. It was not an accident that God placed such a godly woman in Wade's life.

We are praying for your whole family as you stand strong together.

Toby said...


I'm a non-CBF voice at a Texas Baptist Seminary. I formerly pastored a SBC church in Utah and hope to again one day....

I had much to say here, but instead of venting let me just say....

I am praying for you and your family and for they future of the IMB. I have close friends who serve in Asia, so IMB issues are close to my heart. Any actions by the trustees that could potentially cause issues for my friends and loved ones is truly important to me. Thank you for standing and fighting. You have my prayerful support.

Anonymous said...

This is a travesty, but it is typical of the good-old-boy backroom network that runs the SBC Machine. As a seminarian it is further evidence to me that my future in the Church may lie elsewhere. You are fighting bravely and fighting well and, in part, you have said you are fighting to keep people like me in the convention. But who needs all of this junk? Is it really worth it?

Anonymous said...

Stay strong. We are praying for you and your sweet family. I am also praying for the IMB with the hopes that NOTHING will slow the spread of the gospel. Hopefully all of this is a wake up call to SBC members to take a look at what they believe and stand up for truth! I love what you have said in this blog concerning cooperation. The Christ-life is indeed costly. Praise God, His mercies are new every morning. We love you, brother!

Kevin Bussey said...

Anonymous (the seminarian)

Don't give up yet! As you can see from this list there are a lot more of us cooperating conservatives than the "bullies" think. (thanks for the term , Wade) Keep fighting the good fight!

Alex F said...

Wow. This is disheartening. I for one appreciate your honesty, candor, and gracious attitude.

I saw it mentioned briefly, but did I read correctly that the trustees also enacted a policy where any official communication by the IMB must run through the chairman?

Anonymous said...

Put me down as one of those "cooperating conservatives" from Missouri who is deeply saddened by these recent events.

I've grown up in SBC ministerial life after the conservative resurgence was basically over.

I sure hope this isn't just an issue of some needing something to fight about.

Anonymous said...

Wade, Because we're your mom and dad we know your heart and character pretty well. We know of your love for and commitment to the SBC. It is your HERITAGE...Mom and I have, as you well know, pastored SBC churches for forty years. Your grandfather an SBC evangelist, your uncle and aunt retired career SBC missionaries to Chile, your cousin and his family presently serving in Chile with the SBC,and your father and mother-in-law presently serving overseas for the SBC speak of that heritage. It is in your evidenced by your own ministry and mission hearted church in Enid. No one could be more proud of a son than we are of you. You have been TRUTHFUL, GRACIOUS, and RESPECTFUL in all your writings and reporting.
Thank you for being open to things that need addressing and your courage in being part of the solution. Whatever the price you, Rachelle, the kids, and your church may pay, know there are those of us who are aware of what has really happened and love you deeply for your commitment to the KING OF KINGS and His rule over your life. We wear the Badge of Honor Rachelle spoke of with you.

Dad and Mom
Paul and Mary Burleson

Anonymous said...

A few years ago it was stated that once the ultra-conservatives in the SBC won out they would begin to tear each other apart. Sad state of affairs when there is such a mind set to control. SBC was formed because they wanted to send missionaries who had slaves. They were wrong in the beginning 1845 and were wrong to fight the moderates in 1970s-1980s. The rug was pulled out from under me. I now am of the Baptist heritage, no longer a Southern Baptist.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking/praying for you down in Waco,TX. I support you to the fullest and I am so proud of you!

Anonymous said...


You do not stand alone. Neither will you in Greensboro. Thank you for making this about principle, integrity, and faithfulness to Scripture, not politics, winning or losing, and position.

Tim Sweatman said...

Your grace, love, and courage under the most unfair of personal attacks is an example for all of us. If anyone has been libeled or slandered in this ordeal, it is you.

This is a dark day for the Southern Baptist Convention. But with God's grace it can be the beginning of our best days. We have either taken the first step toward becoming a fundamentalist dictatorship, or we are on the painful path to becoming a people known for our love and unity, even if we disagree on non-essential doctrines or interpretations of difficult passages of Scripture.

I know that these are difficult days for you and your family. We are praying for you. Stand strong, brother. I hope to meet you in Greensboro.

RMc said...

Rachelle - Thank you for speaking truth into the heart of your husband. I know that when my wife does that for me, I feel I can take on hell with a water-pistol. Wade is a blessed man because God has placed you two together.

Wade - It is encouraging to me to see your history, the family to whom you belong. Stand strong with their help. In spite of it all, the cranberry juice and Heather (I hope I remember her name correcctly) are the main thing. History tells us that this kind of thing will never go away until we stand in His presence......

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bro -

Been praying for you and following through your blogs. I pray that I can follow the same path of graciousness in standing for truth that you demonstrate in your words and actions, although my natural instinct is to speak out in angry and cynicism toward those who have been entrusted with our spiritual leadership.

My heart is heavy for you and your family and yet expanded by the grace and strength that is demonstrated in your willingness to be transparent and vulnerable as you strive to live and lead scripturally through grace.

Thank you for being my brother, my spiritual brother, my friend and one of my spiritual leaders.

Your grateful sister,
Cherri Moxley

Anonymous said...


Praise God for your spirit! I will be in Greenville Lord Willing!

To Him Be Glory in the Church

Anonymous said...

Wade: I oppose the Fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, but feel some of your pain. I was voted out of a congregation in Collinsville, Alabama that claimed as fellow products three U Virginia graduates, a Duke Grad, a Baylor Staffer and the likes. Was run out by some provincials and a family whose history on Racial issues in particular is abominable.
This heresy hunt loosed on the SBC by Pressler, Adrian Rogers, Mohler, Paige Patterson and company is now coming home to roost amongst you. I hope you have read Barry Hankins Uneasy in Babylon and can now see what Carey Newman and David Gushee meant when they Said God is not in the conservative resurgence.
Though with some I agree you are reaping what you helped sew, in the wider Brotherhood of Christ our Saviour I wish for you sanity, much grace and a modicum of the comfort on Jesus in this ordeal.
Collinsville, Alabama

Evangelical Orthodoxy said...

Wade, although we do not know one another and have never met, I wish to express my disappointment in your fate. However, take heart in knowing that you join a long-line of traditional, conservative Baptists who have fallen to slander (and libel), character assasination, backroom "illegal" politicing, and other non-Christian means at the hands of the SBC leadership since 1979. Your blog posts read like a number of comments written by non-fundamentalists since 1979. The SBC has been the loser in these battles. Thank you for having the courage to stand up for your convictions. Grace and Peace. ~Kyle

Tim Sweatman said...


Kiki Cherry made a suggestion over at Missional Baptist Blog that we should all take to heart. She suggested that we devote this Friday to prayer and fasting for the SBC.

We definitely need it.

Anonymous said...

I read on sbcoutpost blog that there would be a press release from the board. So where is the press release supposedly coming out at 3PM? Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

if you haven't contacted your state's trustees regarding all that is going on, you should. past and present trustees claim they listen to the people.

contact info can be found at

Anonymous said...

I must stand with the rest of the family and say as your sister how proud I am of you Wade!

On October 31, 1991 when our son Cody was born you gave him something that has become very special. This is what you wrote:

"On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis on the door of Wittenburg Castle and The Reformation began. Martin Luther was excommunicated for his beliefs and was in constant danger of being burned at the stake. In 1521, when brought before the Diet of church officials at the city of Worms and called upon to renounce his beliefs, Martin Luther humbly replied, 'My conscience is held captive by the Word of God. Therefore, I cannot, and I will not recant. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.'

On October 31, 1991, Cody Aaron Lenox was born. By God's Providence, Cody's birthday will always be a vivid reminder of the price our Christian forefathers have paid for their commitment to the Word of God and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May Cody's life be a testimony to the grace of God, and may he too, like Martin Luther, stand for truth and righteousness. As the reformers were often heard proclaiming the rallying cry of the Reformation, may Cody Aaron Lenox also, in the fullness of time, be heard to cry: 'Sola Scripture' which is to say 'Only Scripture!' 'Sola Gratia' which is to say 'Only Grace!' 'Sola Fide' which is to say 'Only Faith!'"

You wrote that 14 years ago, and today it is obvious that your life IS that testimony to the grace of God and that you are standing for truth and righteousness! Thank you for being such an example!

I love you!

Micah Fries said...


I am a proud supporter of the IMB and a proud supporter of your faithful stand against the policies of the IMB Trustees. My church will be praying for you and I will join with you in Greensboro this summer. I look forward to the opportunity to take this stand for scriptural fidelity. God will honor your faithfulness and the Kingdom of God will grow because of that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I will make every effort to be in Greensboro to support you. While I know that the events of the past few days cause you great heartache, the call for your removal could be the cause that brings hundreds of young ministers to the convention meeting next summer.

I pray that God will sustain you and give you peace.

Inman Houston

Anonymous said...

To those who have "heard" the IMB's decision - satan has masterminded such attacks before. But, that does NOT mean we should wring our hands and abandon Wade's fight. Let's pledge anew to pray and witness fervently before the SBC that the grace of Christ will prevail and reverse such abuse. Pray that those invested with such high positions of leadership will wake up to the responsibility they accepted to carry high the banner of Truth and Grace to a lost and condemned world.

Anonymous said...

I to would like to offer you my prayer and support.

Also, for those interested the Baptist Press has posted their article at:

Anonymous said...

Don't lose heart. Stand fast in the Lord.

There is much irony that self-labeled men and women of God are fearful of letting the light of day (truth?) be shined on their actions.

This is not about liberalism or conservatism. There are innerantists who do not accept landmark theology or cessationism.

The trustee chairman is incompetent at best (he has to have known about the caucasing going on outside of official board meetings, yet chose to do nothing; or he himself is complicit), or malicious at worst.

This is simply about a trustee board who expects lock-step acceptance by trustees to the point that disagreement verbalized is deemed verboten.

Sled Dog said...

Wade, I've been in your shoes.

You have been right on target regarding the IMB policies. Non SBCers such as myself have seen these whole thing play out with disbelief.

Thanks for being a man willing to take a stand.

Anonymous said...

Stand firm, Wade. My husband has been following your blog for quite some time and sharing with me the events of recent. We are behind you 100%. Truth must prevail and I'm so thankful that you have taken a stand. Thank you, Brother Wade. We're praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Wade -

You have the support and love of man of your fellow brothers and sisters. You are not alone, and Jesus Christ stands with you.

Remember - you are the Pastor of a local church, and no trustee board can EVER taken that away. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only institution of real importance here - certainly not the IMB and its ridculous politics!

Press on in Jesus' name. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ and preach His gospel.

In Christ alone -

Anonymous said...

I was just praying for you Wade, and looked over at's verse for the day. It seems very appropriate as a word of encouragement for you. The emphasis is added.

5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting me free.

6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:5-6 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

Anonymous said...


As we were sleeping, the Baptist Press released the news.

This is a sad day in the IMB, but there is hope and faith on the horizon. 'This is the day the Lord Hath Made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.'

As we learned at MLC..'It's about Him and not about us.'

We continue to keep you Rachelle and our wonderful grandchildren in our prayers and thoughts.

As always, love
Don and Nancy
Masters serving in East Asia

Shawn Skaggs said...

I was shocked to hear the news today, but I'm really not sure why. This is consistent with the mentality of those who would pass such terrible and arrogant resolutions as the one that started this mess. May God grant you strength and perseverance as well as peace.

Anonymous said...


My pray during the next several months for the members of the Board of Trustees of the IMB is that they consider, study and understand what God said twice in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:23

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death"

I know most people think of this as meaning it is the penalty for not making a decision for Christ.

Could this also means decisions we make today lead to the same results for today's lost?

In His Honor

Rachelle's Dad

Marty Duren said...

Hey Bro,

You know I am with you and that God certainly will prevail.

Anonymous said...


As a carreer missionary with the IMB who has been following your blog I wanted you to know how grateful I am that you had the courage to speak up and bring these issues to light. Please continue to pray for our personnel around the world because I know how discouraging this will be for them when they hear the news. Our trust remains in our Sovereign Lord who reigns over all.

The real issue is not private prayer languages and baptism requirements. We already have stringent policies in place to insure that missionaries were baptized in a biblical manner by immersion and that public speaking in tongues (or any other misuse of spiritual gifts) on the field is already forbidden.

The real issue is whether or not we can cooperate with other conservative, Bible-believing Baptists for the sake of the Gospel. This has been what you have been trying to say all along. The Cooperative program only works when Baptists cooperate! If we don't cooperate with each other pastors and churches will get fed up and send out their own missionaries, bypassing the IMB. I believe this would be a great setback to Baptist missions. Events like the Asian tsunami and hurricane Katrina have shown what we can do if we work together. I still believe we can do more together than we can do seperately. But we are now at a crossroads that will determine if we can cooperate for the sake of the Gospel or become ultra-fundamentalist seperatists working alone and isolated from the larger Evangelical community.

These issues are important to the future of the SBC and world missions. Please keep writing, blogging and speaking on this important issue. Maybe God has brought you to this place for such a time as this?

To my fellow brothers and sisters back home, I would ask that you pray about going to Greensboro and supporting our brother by your prayers and vote in support of him.

I'll be praying for you and your family Wade. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the way you have maintained a humble and submissive attitude while others have sought to slander you. I very much want to be the kind of Christian leader you have shown yourself to be when the pressure is on. Keep a song in your heart and a smile on your face!

God is still in control!

Love ya!

Pastor Joe Voga said...

Wade, you are a man of integrity. You are a shining light of integrity and truth...and of reformation. The IMB has gone from liberalism-to conservatism-to legalism, and the pendulum swing shall hopefully end here. I urge you not to become disheartened and continue your stand into the convention this summer. The Convention can move the pendulum back to the conservative point it ought to be. You have awakened many of us to the ugly truth we need to see in those we have blindly placed our trust in.

May God bless you and your family richly in the days ahead!

Anonymous said...


I've pored over your blog, links, the IMB site, Morris Chapman's 2004 Indy message, etc., and it's been quite a day. I've been angry, I've hurt for you, I've cried at heartfelt comments from family and friends, and now I have to weigh-in.

I don't know if any member of the IMB has known you for 22 years, as I have; if any has watched you raise four fantastic children, and love your wife more and more each year, as I have; or if any has watched your ministry's breadth and depth grow and positively impact people year-after-year, as I have. Based on what I've read, it's obvious the majority don't know you, and have voted against one of the most Christ-like people I know.

I do not not know anyone who has greater integrity in his life, greater love for Jesus and his church, or greater desire to live life to the full and bring others with him than you do.

What a travesty that this group which has known you less than a year would question and now reject God's choosing you as part of their group. That they would recommend to remove someone truly after God's own heart. That they would dismiss a time-tested Christ-follower because you challenge a couple non-essential, interpretational qualifications, and attempt to hold the group to its own policies? I just don't get it...

I understand politics, and see them daily in the corporate world; but, is it too much to expect something different, something loftier from those who name the name of Jesus, particularly those selecting and working with precious missionaries?

Not growing up in the church, I have no ties to the SBC, other than my baptism after conversion, and marrying into the Burleson family; but, I respect you and your love for it, and commit to pray for you, and stand by your side, figuratively and physically (if possible), in support of your desire to serve the missionaries who have left or will be "leaving all they have" to follow Jesus.

Your willingness to seek God's face, and then courageously stand for what you believe is right, regardless of the repurcussions, is an example to us all.

I love you, and am proud to be your brother-in-law.


Anonymous said...

Reminder: there are two Baptist conventions in Texas--the members of one of them (its initials are not "C-B-F") aren't very welcome anymore on boards such as the IMB; this is the convention which can sympathize with Wade about what he's experienced this week. That convention is the as-theologically-conservative-as-the-day-is-long AND willing-to-cooperate convention. Blessings to you, Wade. It looks like maybe only the Red River divides us after all.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected as to a previous blog. They may be worse than J.R. Graves.

In a spiritually abusive system what is called "broken trust and resistance to accountability" would be translated by Jeff VanVonderen’s The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, as "you broke the ‘don't talk’ rule."

You’ve exposed the “power posturing” of some.

I support Rick Thompson and others who have decided to stay on the IMB. I pray they will not yield to the “unspoken rules” of this totalitarian regime.

Totalitarianism is a typology employed . . . to describe modern regimes in which the state [religious system] regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior [baptism and prayer language]. Totalitarian regimes mobilize entire populations in support of the state and a political ideology [Landmarkism], and do not tolerate activities by individuals or groups . . . that are not directed toward the state's goals [the authority and interpretation of the Bible]. They maintain themselves in power by means of secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism [i.e. blogs], and widespread use of terror tactics. [if you speak out against us we will do to you what we have done to Wade Burleson] [Underlines and Emphasis mine]
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (

Wade, Rachelle, and Family
Estella and I know how it feels to be the scapegoat of an abusive system. We intercede for you with knowledge and “with groanings too deep for words.”

I leave you with this encouragement:

E. T. Winkler, one of the most intellectual, scholarly, and conservative men whose names adorn the annuals of Southern Baptist ministers, and who, on several memorial occasions, had antagonized and defeated extreme propositions introduced by J. R. Graves, wrote in the Alabama Baptist, of which he was editor, and just after one of those direct conflicts had occurred in the Southern Baptist Convention held in St. Louis in 1871―"extreme as the views of Dr. Graves have by many been regarded as being, there is no question but that they have powerfully contributed to the correction of a false liberalism that was current in many quarters thirty years ago."

Graves led in the Landmark movement from its beginning in 1851 and sought to make its ideology dominant in Southern Baptist life. During 1854-58, when Amos Cooper Dayton was corresponding secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention Bible Board (Nashville, 1851-62), Landmarkers were in control. Dayton resigned under pressure in Apr., 1858. Growing out of the conflict that developed, the Southern Baptist Convention in 1859 appointed no Landmarkers from Nashville to serve on the Bible Board.

It may be the beginning of the end for another resurgence of Landmarkism.

I pray it is.


Anonymous said...


My first thought was, "What the...?"

My second thought was that every Bible believing, clear thinking Southern Baptist in the world should thank God for the stand you took this week. They could not have been better represented.

My fear is that whatever comes of this the broader mission community will look at this squabble, shake its collective head, and feel even more alienated from the IMB than ever before. That is indeed a tragedy for the convention.

Dig in bro.

Your friend,
Jay R.

Anonymous said...

Wade,Keep on course. The trustees don't realize how big a mistake they have made. They will though. I will do my part to see to that. For the sake of our missionaires and the Kingdom stay on course.

Paul said...

Wade, just wanted you to know that the folks at Faith Baptist Church in Sapulpa were praying for you in our prayer meeting tonight.

Anonymous said...


I wanted to take a moment to thank you and encourage you in the stand that you have taken. As a life-long Southern Baptist, and as someone who has hoped to someday serve with the IMB, I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the politics and extremism of which you appear to be a victim. Such manipulation and narrow ideological posturing only mocks the heart and purposes of Christ. I appreciate your example of humility and boldness - something that we could all stand to better emulate.

Anonymous said...


As an active IMB missionary, I can only greive with you and pray for you. For myself, I must now "count the cost" of serving with the IMB or leave the IMB for another agency.

God calls missionaries to serve Him, not an agency. That agency is only a vehicle by which people serve God. What happens once that vehicle is no longer trustworthy to serve? If it were my car, I would not hesitate to trade it in. I wonder how many of my fellow serving IMB missionaries are now re-thinking their vehicle?

Thank you for being a "STAND-UP" person of integrity and conviction. I only wish there were more like you.

Anonymous said...

I am an IMB Missionary and have been greatly affected in the past six months by the trustees doing the same thing to some of the leadership on our team. (Without ever talking to our team, the trustees took very limited information and removed from leadership a friend. To add to that he was never asked to answer the allegations.) There is a very distinct problem of the trustees not having any accountability and being very political. In so many ways rather than strengthening the work that our IMB is doing, they undermine it. I don't want to be more specific in fear that someone may be affended by my comments. The reality is that in the last 6 months I have come to the realization that our IMB is not some Holy Sacred Organization, but simply just another bureaucracy run by a set of untouchable politicians in the pursuit of power rather than God being glorified.

Anonymous said...

Question: will messengers elected by their congregations to attend the SBC annual meeting during the summer of 2006 arrive there fully-apprised of these issues and, thus, able to cast an informed vote regarding the matter?

The reason I ask is this: during the 2001 annual meeting of a certain state Baptist convention, it took only about 2 minutes for the fundamentalist speaker standing at a floor microphone to explain-away the biblical mandate for Christian brothers NOT to take each other to court over issues dividing them. The majority of messagers attending that meeting either did not know their Bibles, or did not care what it says. They certainly did not know the issues--they had been "informed" of them by the fundamentalist group seeking its complete will regarding the matter. I am told that reporters assigned by their secular news services to cover that annual meeting also could not believe what they were witnessing take place (the fundamentalist trustees later followed-through with what clearly was their plan, but I resigned the board that day).

Recommendation: (1) somehow get the word out to local churches--and persist until it is understood; (2) take the full number of that kind of messenger--spiritual, informed, courageous--to the June meeting of the SBC; (3) stay at the floor microphones seeking clarification until the motion, when it is made, is fully-understood by each messenger present (wierd as it sounds now: if possible, have a trained parliamentarian standing beside you at your microphone to answer the rulings of the platform's parliamentarian that probably will be encountered; and do not leave your seats during the meeting, so as not to miss the vote when its appointed time arrives in the possibly-changing agenda); (4) know the names of IMB trustees and, from floor microphones, call on them individually to stand publicly to defend their votes of this week's IMB board meeting (if they cannot do this intelligently, then they should not have voted as they did); (5) pray fervently, but be ready for anything to result--including the totally irrational and illogical and unscriptural.

Anonymous said...

. . . (6) nominating Wade for an SBC officer position (president, vice president) during the June annual meeting also will make a clear statement--isn't he is the latest shining example of the character and commitment of spiritual Southern Baptists?

Anonymous said...

I think that you have misunderstood the Convention's battle for the Bible. You argue that tongues is a matter of your private/different interpretation of the Bible. Let me ask you, how many interpretations of the Bible should we allow? That is exactly how the trend toward liberlism begins. Biblical passages have one interpretation with many applications for truth. The meaning of the passage is found in the author's intention (as moved by God) and not how you seek to apply it to your context. You are in error and whether you realize it or not you are a man under the authority of the convention as you serve in a office of the convention; this is not a local church matter exclusively. If you are asked by those have been entrusted by the convention to step down, you ought to do so and not cause more schism. Care more about biblical unity than your agenda. Feel free to respond at

Anonymous said...

Wade, I am an IMB missionary. My heart grieves over the actions of many of the trustees. Thank you for taking a stand. I would encourage you to stay involved, be the voice of truth - keep standing. It is sad how much the actions of the trustees resemble the dictatorship of the country in which I serve. Anyone who disagrees with government policy is quickly silenced. Truth is irrelevant - control is ultimate. I would sincerely appreciate your recommendation as to how those of us on the field can best voice our disaproval of the new policies and the censoring of both you and the IMB.

Anonymous said...

In 1996, I thought Jim Henry was an idiot for suggesting that the architects of the conservative resurgence start taking a backseat, or go home altogether, and spare our convention the inevitable disaster of succession when the tyrants of old would not relinquish their thrones as the hour of their disusefulness arrived. Henry cited the Roman consul Cincinnatus as paradigmatic for wise heads of the conservative juggernaut, but I sat alone in a room after Henry's address with Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler, both of whom chuckled at Henry's suggestion. At the time, I chuckled too. Time, however, has afforded me the perspective to see the wisdom Henry's proposal illumines. Would that Southern Baptists had listened to him then.

What we have here, brother Wade, is a classic case of Old Macbeth killing and killing again in order to maintain the throne, to keep his secrets safe, and to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for power of that dear Lady Macbeth, who is the really dangerous one. Seized by ambition, frustrated by the unwashable blood of those he's murdered, and driven insane by the apparitions that haunt his bedroom at night, Macbeth keeps plotting, and killing, again and again. When he can't do the dirty deed himself, some rube of ignobility is always at hand to wield the bloody dagger. You, my dear brother, are the latest target in a denominational drama of Shakespearean proportion.

The saddest part is that we are all watching good men who have led our convention in days gone by succumb to the follies of King Saul who beheld the rise to power of an unknown shepherd who had received the prophetic anointing. The counting of thousands versus ten-thousands slain will ring deafeningly in their ears, and the Lord will perhaps send unto them a disturbing spirit. And there is nothing we can do to stop it.

Be strong, brother Wade, for the Lord will fight your cause if it is just. Take shelter in the shadow of the Almighty, for in good time the King may need to relieve himself in your cave, and you will be able to cut off a piece of his garment and thus remind him how lightly that lofty crown rests upon his head.

Anonymous said...

I came across an article about all that has been going on. Thank you for approaching the situation with humility and grace.

I don't know you but you have my support. I hope that the convention will wake up and realize they are putting faithful followers of Christ out in to the street. God bless!

Laura said...

Brother Wade, I don't know you, but I pray that God will bless you, strengthen you, and give you courage as you take a stand for the Gospel.

In essentials, unity.
In nonessentials, diversity.
In everything, love.

God, grant victory to those who expose themselves to ridicule and censure on your behalf!

Anonymous said...

I read your comments and I must take issue with your words. First of all, Wade serves as a trustee of the IMB at the will of the convention not the IMB trustee board. Since the trustees didn't "hire" him, they can't "fire" him. Of course, they are recommending to the SBC that the convention remove Wade from this position. I do not believe Wade is trying to usurp IMB trustee authority. He has stated that he would enforce the policies as a board member even though he disagreed with them.

Secondly, you infer that Wade is saying that the biblical texts on tongues have different meanings to different people. I think this is a misunderstanding of his position. Wade understands, as you correctly state, that a text only has one meaning. It is the meaning intended by the author. However, different Christians (and scholars) with a high view of Scripture and using proper exegetical principles have arrived at differing conclusions about the one meaning of these texts. Wade is saying that we must allow some latitude regarding such texts among Christians who have an equally high view of Scripture and promote sound principles of interpretation.

You accuse Wade of opening the door to liberalism because of his view. This seems extreme to me. You ask "how many interpretations of the Bible should we allow?" It sounds as though you are suggesting that there is only one acceptable interpretation. On some doctrines, you would be exactly right (Bible, salvation, person and work of Christ, Trinity, etc). But on doctrines which are secondary, such a narrow approach is unacceptable. Would this not be a path to legalism? Do you insist that everyone take a certain view of the rapture/millennium question in order to be considered loyal Southern Baptists? Do you insist that everyone take your view of the Calvinism/Arminianism debate to be considered loyal Southern Baptists?

I respect your right to disagree with Wade or anyone else over the IMB policies. I respect your right to hold strong convictions on the interpretation of Scripture (as we all should). But to suggest that a door to liberalism is being opened because someone recognizes the possibility of differing interpretations of secondary doctrines is to set the parameters of fellowship in far too narrow a fashion. I think we must be very careful in our efforts to stem the tide of liberalism that we do not open the door to legalism.

Finally, you accuse Wade of pushing his own agenda rather than caring about biblical unity. In my opinion, this misrepresents Wade. I don't know him personally. I've never met him. I have read his comments in the blog. It seems to me that he asking for biblical unity against a narrow agenda on secondary doctrines. You have heard, I'm sure, the words of Augustine - in essentials unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things love. Wade is arguing this approach in IMB policy. He is simply seeking to point out that too restrictive a policy will block some very genuine, conservative, baptistic men and women from entering the mission field through the IMB.

Kelly Randolph

Anonymous said...

I am also an imb missionary. Thank you Wade! I echo the request above; what can we on the field to do help counter this? What action can we take?
I also echo the other imb missionary in saying that I, too, am rethinking this "vehicle" I'm traveling on. Isn't God so much bigger than the IMB?

Anonymous said...

You NEVER sacrifice the truth for the sake of some so called unity.
Wade has been gracious, humble, and forthcoming.

I'm sure that one of the things that angered the majority trustees so much was how well Wade articulated his point. i.e. the Bertha Smith story.

If these leaders have their way and Dr. Rankin is forced out, and Landmark cessationist theology is brought in as the sole interpreter for issues in the past where some disagreement had been allowed under the big tent of cooperating conservatives; then the SBC will suffer greatly.

Just because a majority of the trustees felt this way doesn't make them right...

Stay strong Wade...

Anonymous said...

Wade, I applaud the Christ-like stand you are taking. Unfortunately, you have been thrown into the lion's den and will probably be faced with "Judge Alito-type" hearings. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!

Anonymous said...

From the trustees' statement:

“This difficult measure was not taken without due deliberation and exploration of other ways to handle an impasse between Wade Burleson and the Board. In taking this action, trustees addressed issues involving broken trust and resistance to accountability, not Burleson’s opposition to policies recently enacted by the board.

Oh the irony and the HYPOCRISY!!!

angie said...

We are praying for you, and our convention. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for supporting those of us on the field, and standing by Dr. Rankin. How can we help from this side of the ocean?
For a moment I considered just signing this anonymously (out of fear, I admit). However, I am not ashamed of my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Liberalism begins with a low view of the text of Scripture as in...."you can't trust all of scripture to be God's Word"....NOT disagreement over the interpretation of a text.
we fought that battle and won. The SBC holds to the belief that all scripture IS the Word of God.

Legalism begins with a closed view of an interpretation of a text of scripture as in...."my view on the meaning of tongues/women deacons/divorce/wine/tithing/etc. is the correct one and you must agree with me or you're wrong and out".... This is the battle we're now in and it must be won for the SBC to remain strong in reaching a world with the gospel.

Liberalism OR legalism will be the undoing of the SBC. Our fellowship is around the Person and Work of Christ as Paul said in The First Corinthian letter and not on agreement over lessor doctrines of scripture where good and godly men and women can hold to a different understanding of meaning. This is what makes it fun to be a Baptist....TOGETHER.......
Paul Burleson [Dad to you Wade]

James Hunt said...


Thank you for your display of integrity and courage. I'll be praying for you and for this situation.


Anonymous said...

Do what Jesus would do. Leave the politics to politicians and preach Jesus. No need to drag it on. You and your family will be beaten up. Maybe not at home, but outside yur area. Jesus offered no rebuttal to his accusers. Why would you want to be on a board where all desisions are already made when you attend? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Wade, you sound like an "old time Southern Baptist." You don't seem to be comfortable with the "new type Southern Baptist." My Dad told me a wise man changes his mind, a fool never does. Look inside! said...

A personal word to Angie,

I am willing to take the heat for you as a missionary to serve Christ fearlessly. I am attempting to bring freedom to you and others to spread the gospel of Christ in a manner consistent with your culture, people group and mission plan.

Not many Eastern people are like those of us in middle America and us trustees from the south better give some freedom in how we do church and theological education overseas.

Christ is bigger than our Landmark churches.


Anonymous said...

Brethren, be ye faithful unto death for His own glory and praise.

Anonymous said...

Jason Lee: I asked, ". . . will messengers elected by their congregations to attend the SBC annual meeting during the summer of 2006 arrive there fully-apprised of these issues and, thus, able to cast an informed vote regarding the matter?"

It's an important question--if the matter blogged about now for 60 days in cyberspace by who knows how many folks truly will be dealt with to resolution in June. A couple of days ago, I directly inquired of 2 state Baptist newspaper editors and 1 ABP reporter whom I know/know of--and several others indirectly (religious and secular)--about getting to the heart of this situation, to dig out for people like us the things that Wade can't tell. Everyone's busy, and maybe more is coming, but so far only the ABP has followed-through with a fairly balanced/descriptive report (the BP's reporting has been lopsided, as expected; the secular papers' editors probably chuckled)--but definitely more is needed.

Messengers going to Greensboro are going to need the jist of what happened in Richmond this week, access to more details if they want it, the biblical basis for why what happened is wrong, and why personalities shouldn't be allowed to play a role in their decision-making (i.e., Wade vs. Whoever--Dr. Board President, Mr. Disgruntled Board Member X, Mr. Whoever Is Behind It All To Start With Z, etc.). You can be sure that the trustees will be telling their version of the story, which will sound like the press release they read, and gathering their messengers to attend/vote (2/3 vote required = get many messengers there).

Here's my deal, though, at least since 1999 or so: overnight, SBC leadership changes the denomination's "location" so that, when the rest of us wake up the next morning, we're being yelled at to "get over here where you're supposed to be! What happened to you?--Where've you been, anyway?!". What's wrong with where we were?--it was being called the right/best place to be, before the night-time move (i.e., changes to BF&M once, then again resulting in current statement; now additional/more-restrictive policies--what's next in the name of orthodoxy?). Is this not why some state denominations have split, because theologically-conservative-but-still-thinking-for-themselves-Baptists finally said, "We're not moving again! We're very cooperative right where we are!" I KNOW (caps for emphasis) that it WASN'T (again caps) about THEOLOGY--the candidate I know personally nominated to oppose one of the actually-elected presidents of the convention during the 1980's is more conservative theologically than the grandmamas of every reader of this blog--but, POLITICALLY (caps again) he couldn't agree that making people have to believe or act a certain way was scripturally correct (I think he didn't want to face God one day with that against him; this--voting ones conscience--now is called being "moderate," except it's used to smear a person's reputation theologically today). Somebody tell me this isn't what's happened (if anyone's still following this thread)! said...

Mr. Anonymous,

It's happening.

I will make you a promise though.

Before Greensboro I will release full details. The details I have are first person accounts and do not involve violation of Executive Session rules.

I am holding back to protect.

I am waiting for wise men to help others see the light.

If the darkness is impenetrable, the convention deserves to be fully apprised before the vote.

I am waiting for a phone call today from someone I highly respect and who has the ear of those trustees in charge.

Depending on that conversation, my church will be the first to hear details (excluding names) that will help people see the problems I have articulated in my blog.

Again, I am standing upon principles, and seek to correct the direction we are moving as a convention.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for having the moral courage to take a stand for what's right! This new IMB personnel policy is an embarassment for those of us who are proud to consider ourselves lifelong Southern Baptists! What were the other trustees thinking? I say we call for the removal of the trustees who put this policy into motion! You're been gracious with them Wade. This summer we have no other choice than to bring the buses to North Carolina! It's time for the convention to review the personnel policies at the IMB and NAMB concerning "prayer language". We didn't address these issues in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message for a reason!

Anonymous said...

Wade Burleson for SBC President!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous here. Wade, my hope is that you've been able to rest some since Wednesday; senior pastors have huge responsibilities on Sundays (not like ministers of education, but still big . . .).

I believe the Lord Jesus only was gracious in His interactions with others--it's probably what really ticked-off the errant religious leaders during the time of His incarnation: they saw themselves looked at by Him with such genuine love, and heard Him tell them, "What's been going on right here and now--that's what we're NOT doing anymore!" Jesus set the ultimate example for putting ones foot down (remember?--at a point, He wouldn't even let folks use the temple courts as a shortcut to elsewhere anymore; the place was to be a place of prayer).

Be gracious, be right (in the sense of "accurate; correct with the facts; non-wrong"), be noble, be strategically-timely--but don't be timid about standing on principles. It isn't truly loving others--IMB board members, your congregation, bloggers at, etc.--to be timid in a matter such as this and of this proportion. You'll be in great company as you take the stand you mention.

Thanks for loving the SBC this week. The bloggers have said it: the SBC loves you, too.

Anonymous said...

Helen and I just came home from the 8:30 service. Your message and presention on the events was very explicit and gracious. We are not SBC but fully support your view of conservative cooperation. That is why we feel very comfortable worshiping with you at Emmanuel from time to time. Keep your focus on Christ and continue to preach the Word. We love you and pray for you and your family.
Melvin & Helen Warkentin

Anonymous said...

Here is what I am curious to know about the new IMB policy on prayer tongues. On what scripture is it based?

A current IMB missionary.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I am wondering why you would disrespect the IMB by publishing the meetings. It appears to me you have a responsibility to respect the wishes of your peers. It seems selfish and self righteous to be the "whistle blower". Think of all the negativity this has put on all Southern Baptists. Where is the patience. Where is the love. It seems to me Satan is the only one that benefited from all this. Proverbs teaches all quarrels come from pride. If you would like to email a response to me please do: said...


I would ask that you reread the blog that explains my reasons for blogging.

Also, please remember, I have said repeatedly that if blogging was a violation of principles or policy, I would stop. Or, if my fellow trustees officially asked that it stop, by passing a policy recommendation, I would abide by policy and stop.

I do believe that transparency is needed in all our business as Southern Baptists unless confidentiality is required by law or matters of security. In everything I have written I have sought to positive about the people involved, while at the same time, expressing my concerns.

What is good shines brighter under the light of day.

Thanks for your comment.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...

Rev. Burleson:

To quote an old addage, "All I know is what I read in the newspapers." I read of your stand in a recent issue of my local paper, The Kentucky New Era.

First of all I am a Methodist but I have quite a familiarity with the Southern Baptist Church. I married a Southern Baptist and many of my family members and friends are Southern Baptists. It is a great demonination doing some wonderful work for Jesus Christ.

Let me get to my point. I applaud your stand on the intolerant spirit in the SBC. I understand the stand the SBC has taken on Biblical inerranccy and their views on private prayer language. It is a shame that demonincations lose site of the fact that exclusivity and intolerance is such a turnoff to people who seek a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am also not an advocate of pluralism, an "anything goes" lay theologian, but I do advocate a balanced approach to such matters. The more intolerance that one sees in denominatioal matters the more people get hurt in an area where today we need to grow, not hurt--our Christian spirituality. I can't help but imagine that Jesus would be so disappointed that we have missed the point of his life here on earth.

Dr. David Carter
St. John United Methodist Church
Hopkinsville, Ky.

Anonymous said...


After reading of this conflict in our local newspaper, I decided to read the blogs to try to decide where I stand on the issues involved. I admire you for taking a stand on what you think is the will of God on these issues and I believe that however the Board feels about the rightness of their cause,their handling of this issue was badly done.

I can understand that the Board and many conservative Baptists do not want to send missionaries to represent us who do not believe as we do scriptually. Nor should we support them financially if they are of some other persuasion. But, their lack of expressing the facts of the case and of giving you a chance to defend yourself is inexcusable. But, I am also aware that there are usually two sides to every story and I would like for them to be open with their opinions--too much secrecy in the church is not helpful.

Perhaps the answer in sending missionaries is that each case should be determined on its own merits. Under the Board's new rules, I would not qualify because I happened to be in a Methodist church revival when the Holy Spirit drew me forth to accept Christ as Savior. But having been brought up in a Baptist church, I requested baptism by emersion. I was a teen at that time and later realized that I didn't believe as they did, especially about eternal salvation. A local preacher insisted that I be rebaptized in a Baptist church. I did so under duress--I was already a baptized believer. As far as I was concerned I could have been baptized in a cornfield-I was a Christian!

Also, twenty years later, alone and in a stressful situation, I began to pray for relief and found myself praising God over and over until I had run out of words and found myself, to my surprise, praying in words that I did not understand. I realized that the Holy Spirit had starting praying for me. Peace that passes understanding filled me. I suppose I was using an "unknown tongue". Another disqualification.

I believe my only problem with your view, Rev. Burleson, is your definition of the "nonessentials" of the faith. The belief in eternal salvation is not a nonessential to a Baptist. Also, according to Paul, we should keep our prayer language (if there is one spoken by the Holy Spirt, not by my effort)in our prayer closet.

So I find myself somewhere in the middle. We don't want to support those whose beliefs are opposed to what we hold to be true, but we also don't want to be rigid and controlling in every detail. Decernment from God is necessary to make those choices, treating each case independently. However a missionary prays privately is between him and God. How dare someone ask about his private prayer life! But they are responsible not to teach that to others if the Baptist church requires it.

Perhaps when more information comes forth, we can see more clearly. I do worry that the CBF group is using this division to further their cause. But, maybe more cleansing is necessary. May God give us all the gift of discernment.

J.C. Story

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but your dad was my Pastor while I was in seminary. I am reminded of the deep hurt when I read that Farah Patterson was being removed from his teaching position at Southwestern for standing up for the conservative resurrgence before it became the power structure. He and T. W. Hunt were my favorite professors at Southwestern. Your dad of course still is my example as I strive to preach the Word and live it.
My advice- stand firm- do not move toward self doubt- the Lord saw it coming and He prepared you. In fact- Rest in Him now, for the battle is the Lord's . Thank you for stating publicly what is really going on at the IMB.
My family and I will be praying for you and yours.
God Bless,
Mike Leininger
Pastor- Ives Dairy Road Baptist Church, North Miami Beach, FL

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade, it has been a number of years since I have sat under your teaching, but I have never forgotten much of what you taught about grace. I know how hard it is to maintain "grace under fire" but am confident you are just that! I will always remember you telling those of us who have moved on from your fellowship that we will always be ambassadors of one of Emmanuel's mottos "expanding God's ministry of grace". I have always remembered that and whenever I am tempted to react to situations in a way that is less than gracious, I remember you and your message. Thanks for having made such a difference in my life! I love you and I'm praying for you. Stay strong!

hopelesslyhuman said...


Because there are at least two sides to every story, I have emailed the IMB trustees from my state (Georgia) to request their side of the story regarding their decision to request your removal from the board and will reserve judgement until they have had opportunity to respond. I will, however, be surprised to hear from any of them, as it appears the issue they have with you is your public disclosure of what they did and intended to keep secret.

Regarding the policy change - I don't need to hear their side of the story to draw my own conclusions. The IMB had to draw the line somewhere, but they didn't have to draw it in a stupid place. I've always said it is safer to be a heretic in the SBC than a "charismatic." If the IMB wants to draw the line at excluding Jesus loving, Bible believing men who pray in private in a "prayer language" - the SBC is not where I belong and not what we claim it to be - a people of the book - and that is hard for me to say - I'm a third generation Southern Baptist that was educated at a SBC seminary and has faithfully served SBC churches as a pastor since 1988.

Praying for you,

Greg Hicks