Friday, February 03, 2006

Political Conservatives vs. Cooperating Conservatives; The Struggle for the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention

One year ago, in February of 2005, I was told something that greatly troubled me as a Southern Baptist. Over the next several months I received written material that was clear evidence a problem existed within our convention. I have chosen not to make the written information public, but I have recently shared it with people who are in a position to do something about my concerns, and they have agreed to help work toward a solution.

However, without going into details, and without naming individuals, I chose to write a post last December 10 entitled Crusading Conservatives vs. Cooperating Conservatives: The War for the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In hindsight, I regret some of the word choices in that post. I stand by everything I said, and will never apologize for saying it, but I just wish I would have said it softer. The secular media and others pick out what they want, and rarely pay attention to the context of the words they choose to use. Anyone who has read all my other posts knows I have a love for all my Southern Baptist friends, even those with whom I disagree.

I am writing a new post to replace the old one, using words that aren't quite as militant. It says the same thing as the previous post, just a little softer. Again, I regret my choice of words, but I do not apologize for making public my concerns. I believe self-criticism is healthy.

"Political Conservatives vs. Cooperating Conservatives: The Struggle for the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention"

Twenty years ago marked a turning point within the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas, as 45,000 messengers set the course of our beloved SBC for the next millenium. We are all grateful to the leaders of the conservative resurgence including my friend Paul Pressler, current Southwestern Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, and the late Adrian Rogers for their foresight, courage and wisdom in charting our course as a convention for the decades to come. The Southern Baptist Convention and her agencies now have an unapologetic adherance to the inerrancy of God's word, a firm belief in the sufficiency of Christ's work, and an evangelical missionary zeal which reaches every continent of the world.

I have stood side by side with my fellow conservatives in our convention over the years. When the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship organized in Oklahoma I nailed on the door of their organizational meeting "95 Theses Against the Formation of the CBF," an act which marked me forever as an opponent of the CBF. I consider everyone involved in the CBF a brother or sister in Christ, but I nailed the thesis on the door because I believed if someone is truly an evangelical conservative, then he or she should cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention and not separate. Otherwise, separation from the SBC because of a denial of the inerrancy of God's word is both appropriate and needed.

My forefather, Dr. Rufus Burleson, was President of Baylor University and twice served as President of the Baptist General Convention of Texas in the late 1800's. I myself recently completed a second term as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. I am a Southern Baptist to the core.

I am glad and I rejoice over the conservative resurgance because of the needed doctrinal course correction. Some might consider me naive regarding the tactics used in the resurgence, and that may be, but I can honestly say I rejoice that our convention is considered conservative (Bible believing) and evangelical. I love the Southern Baptist Convention.

But sadly, a new struggle is occuring within the SBC. It is a struggle initiated by some of my fellow conservatives; conservatives who somehow have forgotten that a strong belief in the Word of God should unite us in cooperation for the purpose of missions and evangelism. This struggle technically may not have just begun, but it simply may be the residue of the conservative resurgence. Some conservatives may not know when to stop being a "doctrinal watchdog."

A few conservatives who sought to remove the denominational political powers of the past, have now themselves become the polical powers, and have fallen victim to the belief that nothing can happen within the convention unless they give their approval. This control and political posturing is the antithesis of ministering and working in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

A clear understanding of how this struggle is proceeding may be seen in the recent actions of the International Mission Board, an agency that I now serve as trustee. New policies were recently approved by the Board of Trustees of the IMB regarding the appointment of missionaries. The new policies forbid the appointment of any missionary who uses a private prayer language or one who has not been baptized by a "qualified administrator" of baptism.

I personally and publicly opposed the proposed new policies of the IMB not because I do not believe we need standards for our missionaries -- we do! I opposed the new policies because we already had excellent policies on the books regarding tongues and biblical baptism. My objections to the new policy on baptism are well documented, so I will not go into them here, but I will use the new policy on "glossolalia" to show how some policital conservatives are damaging fellow evangelical conservatives.

The former policy of the IMB regarding tongues stated that if you practiced tongues publicly on the mission field you would be fired. But the new policy narrows the restriction to preclude a private prayer language. Our own Bertha Smith of South Carolina, one of the finest missionaries we have ever had as Southern Baptists, professed to be gifted with a private prayer language. Dr. Jerry Rankin, before being hired to be President of our International Mission Board, made known he had experienced a private prayer language, but agreed contractually to abide by the policy of the IMB as President and to never publicly practice "glossolalia." Some of the greatest men and women of God throughout the centuries have disagreed over the issue of a private prayer language, but have cooperated in the work of spreading the gospel.

Why have some conservative now insisted on new policies at the IMB regarding tongues? Again, it seems clear to me that some of the trustees, not by any means all, have used the new policies as a "shield" to protect the SBC from doctrinal heresy. Some of these trustees seem to have placed an emphasis "doctrinal purity" rather than expanding our efforts to take the gospel of Christ to a world in need of a Savior. Instead they have focused on rooting out "charasmatic heresy."

I have been told by an authority in this political effort to cleanse our convention of doctrinal impurity that there are some trustees who will settle for nothing less than Dr. Rankin's "head on a platter." Allow me to be clear; many trustees who voted for the new policies did not even consider how it looks for the President of the IMB to now be disqualified from "representing the Southern Baptist Convention" as a missionary on the field, as the new policy states, but a few clearly understood that the new policy places our President in a very awkward position.

Some conservatives seem intent on pointing out the doctrinal heresy of fellow conservatives. What a shame. These "heresies" have are in reality just different interpretations of minor doctrines, and Southern Baptists have cooperated with each other for the past 161 years even though there has been a wide range of interpretations of non-essential doctrines. We are united on the essentials, but Southern Baptists must be carefully of making judgments that other conservative Southern Baptists are now "disqualifed" to represent the Southern Baptist Convention because they don't conform to a specific doctrinal interpretation of the designated "doctrinal watchdogs."

It is not my intention to defend Dr. Rankin. The issue is much larger than one man. This is not about Dr. Rankin, Dr. Draper, Dr. Chapman, or anybody else in leadership of the SBC.

The issue is much more. The future of our convention is at stake.


If we are not careful we are going to lose a younger generation of pastors that are disillusioned with the SBC because all they see is the continuing narrowing of the parameters of fellowship within our convention. These young pastors don't see eye to eye with the politics of our convention, but they themselves are conservative, seeking to reach their generation with the gospel. Where, they are asking, do we fit within the SBC?

Again, I think if people are not careful they will see arguments against the new IMB policies on tongues and baptism and believe the problem is simply a theological one. If that's the case, the real issue at hand, the issue that is so disturbing to many of us, will never be grasped by SBC laypeople at large. The Southern Baptist Convention, through trustees of boards and agencies, is narrowing the parameters of fellowship and cooperation to the point that real, genuine conservatives are being excluded as unfit for service in the SBC.

Our convention stemmed the tide of liberalism twenty years ago, but at this hour we better guard against creeping legalism and Fundamentalism as much as we did the former liberalism or we will find ourselves so fractured and fragmented that we no longer have the ability to cooperate about anything, including missions. We all agree on the inerrancy of Scripture and the nature and work of Jesus Christ our Lord, but we must not be Fundamentalists when it comes to our convention. Fundamentalism with a capital F is known for her independence, separation, schism-making, and her "I'll do it my way without your help because you don't qualify to work with me" attitude.

I believe if God does not intervene in the Southern Baptist Convention by raising up men and women in the SBC who are more concerned about conservative cooperation than we are conservative conformity, we are headed down this road of religious Fundamentalism.

In closing, allow me to explain what is happening in our convention in crystal clear terms.

The struggle that is now taking place with among fellow conservatives is following the same plan conservatives used to defeat liberalism.

Trustees of agencies are being "vetted" or cleared by men and women who are of the opinion that no conservative is worthy of leadership that does not toe the party line. That line is no longer the nature of Christ and Scripture, but has moved rapidly toward a specific interpretation of Scripture related to eschatology, ecclesiology, soteriology, missiology, etc . . .

Political conservatives are using private meetings at trustee meetings, an unethical violation of all agencies' guidelines, to strategise their agendas through the Boards on which they serve, even if it violates the vision and direction of the President of the agency. Political conservatives are influencing nominating committee members of various states to place on the different boards and agencies of the SBC those who are in lock step with their goals. Agency heads who are not the appointed leaders of the doctrinal watchdogs of the convention are being forced to resign or simply removed.

Politcal conservatives gather to elect chairmen of the boards and appoint committee chairmen. They have an agenda and if anyone steps in their way they can become very difficult. Ask someone who has spoken out against power politics within the convention.

Conservatives throughout the centuries have had differing interpretations regarding what Scripture teaches, but have been, and are today, united regarding the nature of Scripture. Our cooperation historically has been built upon our belief in the inerrant word of God and the person and work of Jesus Christ, and we have joined hands in cooperation to advance the kingdom. But sadly, the Southern Baptist Convention is now moving toward a time when everyone must look the same, talk the same, act the same, believe the same on the non-essentials of the faith, or else you will be removed as "not one of us."

God forbid.

I am a Southern Baptist. I will be a Southern Baptist until the day I die.

I am a conservative. I will cooperate with other conservative evangelicals until the day the Lord calls me home.

As concerned I was twenty years ago about liberalism within our convention, I am possibly even more concerned today with what seems to be the spreading legalism without the Southern Baptist Convention.

I, and others like me, are now being isolated by political conservatives who want to rid our convention of fellow conservatives who don't interpret Scripture like they do, or express dissent with the power politics of the SBC. These political conservatives refuse cooperation in favor of conformity, and I really think it is because they have forgotten how to minister in the power of the Spirit through prayer, humility and cooperation.

I do not want to fight with my fellow conservatives. I want to cooperate with every conservative to win the world to Christ. I don't want to even argue, I just want all of us who call ourselves Southern Baptists to realize our convention is big enough for different interpretations of the non-essential doctrines of Scripture. Let's accept the Baptist Faith and Message, but let's not demand conformity on doctrines that are not even addressed in our 2000 confession of faith before agree to cooperate with each other.

I promise you I will ask the Lord for grace and mercy for us all. But I cannot stand by and watch our convention continue to decline. Today it is "glossalia" vs. cessationists and the "proper administrator" of baptism vs. biblical baptism. Tomorrow it might be Calvinism vs Arminianism or Dispensationalism vs. Amillenialism. Where will it end?

Why can't it end NOW. We need cooperating Baptists instead of political Baptists.

I believe, as did Spurgeon, there is a time to draw a line in the sand for the cause of Christ.

That time has come for the Southern Baptist Convention.

My line has been drawn. How about yours?

Wade Burleson

Dr. Morris Chapman's convention message at the 2004 Indianapolis Convention should be read by every Southern Baptist who is concerned about the future of cooperating conservatives reaching our world for Christ. He is far more eloquent than I, and his words spoke deeply to my own heart. The message may be found in audio and print form at The Fundamentals of Cooperating Conservatives.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Chapman could not have said it better!
..."This Convention deserves to be led by trustees who listen to God’s Spirit on the way to making decisions, not trustees who are susceptible to political agendas. Politics for the sake of control by a few is not how our forefathers envisioned the operations of our Convention. But I must warn you. Politics do not die easily. Do you know why? It is because the death of politics in a spiritual environment only comes after we die to self."

Bill Scott

Anonymous said...

Wade, Read your new blog post and also just finished reading the article in the Saturday Oklahoman. Good article. As your Mom, whose name is also Mary, I find myself relating to the scripture, "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." I appreciate your honesty and your courage to take a stand against incredible odds. No advice from this parent, just a word of encouragement and love: I am proud of you and am praying daily for you to have strength and wisdom. Mom

Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade

I happened across a news article about the SBC situation on the website This is one of my favorite news sites; it is frequented by thousands of people each day. Most people on the site so far seemed interested in arguing the semantics of the situation. I posted a link to the church and your sermon outline as someone else had previously posted a link to your blog. I would seem as though this situation has moved from small blogs to large news sites. FYI, people on were responsible for breaking the case regarding President Bush's National Guard service memos during the last election.
Good Day
Chip Litchfield

Anonymous said...

For many years I kept a distance and have chosen not to be involved with a local body of believers, choosing instead to worship here and there with friends and family while enjoying family and coworkers as my fellowship and "when two or more are gathered in my name."

Having joined a church one year ago and slowly becoming involved with a local body once again, I still have kept an emotional distance from the operatings of the church concentrating on getting to know different people in the church and beginning to enjoy corporate worship with a church family again.

Wade, THANK YOU, for your blog and your stand. Your candor and clarity in revealing some of the inner workings of our denomination has renewed my passion and interest in being a part of this body of believers.

Thank you for your heart, thank you for your wisdom, thank you for your passion, thank you for your humor.

I know from personal experience your actions back your words both in principle and the spirit of love that is evident in these blogs. You have ALWAYS stepped forward in times of need - my family being the recipient of that several times.

Thank you for doing the same with our denominational family. Those who come behind you will find you faithful. May they say the same about me.

Knowing your other sister has committed to praying for you and your family daily, I have joined her in that.

You are loved and appreciated,

Cherri in Norman

Kevin Bussey said...


Thanks for graceful stand for those of us who have been silent for too long. I can't keep quiet anymore. There are a lot of us younger leaders who are conservative, but we are tired or being pushed around and told everything is for our good. When do we get a voice?


Anonymous said...

The article in today's Oklahoman can be accessed on line through:

I continue to be convinced that the Lord is using your witness concerning these issues for the good of the SBC and the Christian Church as a whole. I continue to ask His richest blessings on you and this cause to His glory and praise.

In His Grace and Peace,
Tom said...

Tom and KDawg,

Tom, I owe you an autographed copy of my book "Happiness Doesn't Just Happen" for your wonderful defense of me on BaptistLife. Email me your address and I'll send it ASAP.

KDawg, it is vital that you and others be present in Greensboro. The SBC needs your involvement.

Anonymous said...

You wrote, "I believe, as did Spurgeon, there is a time to draw a line in the sand for the cause of Christ."

Wade, that line in the sand was drawn by the SBC long ago, when y'all purged the ranks of "liberal" pastors and members...and it wasn't for the "cause of Christ," it was for pure human power.

When you and your fellow Pharisees took harsh and condemning stands against anyone who didn't toe the conservative line, my wife and I and our sons left the SBC church in Tampa, and we'll never return as long as the "whited sepulchres" reign supreme in the SBC.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. You have no one to blame but yourself, Wade. You joined the Brown-shirts, helping them chase away all of us who didn't buy into every doctrinal word issued from on high...and now they're coming after you, and we're not there to help you.

You made your bed, Wade. Lie in it.

Richard Kelly
Tampa, FL

Anonymous said...

Wow! I wonder what it means about your impact when people start calling you a Nazi?

Funny, I thought the SBC Storm Troopers were asking people to conform to "every doctrinal word issued from" Scripture. That's what I get for thinking. Us dumb fundamentalists aren't used to using our brains...

Kevin Bussey said...


I will be in Greensboro and look forward to meeting you!


Anonymous said...

White sepulchres..brown shirts..pharasees? Such vehement ranting is hardly constructive.

"... for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45

Bill Scott

Anonymous said...

Many of the people who have posted comments at this website over the past 2 or 3 months have no remaining happy emotional connection to the SBC as a denomination, though they continue to attend churches affiliated with the SBC. In their hearts if not with their feet, because of the political--let's be honest: not spiritual--dealings of the convention's leaders and majority of messengers during the past 27 years, they have given up on the SBC and feeling that it best represents the truths they themselves also understand from the Scriptures. It appears that none of the people this paragraph describes above should allow themselves now to believe that when the current matter of discussion is resolved--if it ever is--the SBC will be changed enough for them to call it "my convention" again. The SBC will continue to be a fundamentalist Baptist convention after its June 2006 annual meeting, no matter what is decided about IMB policies and its trustees. Plain and simple.

A recap of how it truly was and is, and then I plan no further postings to this site. Wade's repetition of sentiments posted several weeks ago aids me in knowing that my time--and that of others who have posted during the past couple of months--has been wasted at; I have come to like Wade, but an exclusive fundamentalist mentality persists despite the amen's some others of us have received:

1. The person of Christ never has been seriously question in the SBC;

2. The work of Christ never has been seriously questioned in the SBC;

3. There were not 1000 theological liberals in the SBC before 1979--and no need for the mean-spirited take-over which was engineered and continues today (the CBF is not liberal in its theology, though it may be "moderate" ["cooperative" is a synonym] in its practice; I am not affiliated with the CBF, but have enough sense to recognize this);

4. The Bible cannot be "infallible" unless it is "inerrant";

5. A "moderate fundamentalist" group has emerged among the fundamentalists who now make-up the SBC (or, its leadership)--Wade is one of these, at least from the perspective of those who disagree with his present stance;

6. The frustrations Wade feels now are shared by tens of thousands of other theologically-conservative Baptists who disagreed with the fundamentalist position of the SBC over matters of politics during the past 27 years; these people, though, are called "liberals" and "moderates" by the SBC's leadership today and are excluded;

7. The current situation regarding the IMB only is representative of the reality of #'s 1-6 above, and the outcome, I predict, will be an increasingly fundamentalist convention; before it is done, Wade also will feel the need to cooperate with other evangelical believers, his words to the contrary notwithstanding.

The solution is so simple: everyone, permit everyone else the freedom to choose one version of the Baptist Faith & Message statement (from any year) as a representation of his or her personal theological persuasion, and begin cooperating for the sake of the world dying around us. Baptists who have left the SBC--either actually or in their hearts--could come back to a convention like that. If this is not done, however, the SBC only will have shown itself as standing in need of both revival and intelligence.

Best wishes for you, brothers and sisters in the Lord.

GeneMBridges said...


Some wisdom on speaking publicly as a trustee. In my research for this little booklet I'm writing, I ran across some information about B.H. Carroll. I think he's a name with which you may be familiar.

When the Whitsett Controversy broke out at SBTS. Carroll was a trustee. He disagreed with Whitsett privately but did not voice his concerns. Only when pressed by his TX constituents did he speak out. He asked the trustees to review Whitsett's thesis at the Wilmington Convention of 1897. The board, probably knowing a majority of the faculty believed (as they later stated they did) Whitsett's thesis about Baptist origins, glossed over the controversy.

Now, at this time Baptist the Baptist successionist thesis was very popular, not just among Landmarks but among many rank and file Baptists. The controversy proved divisive within the Convention. Fearing that the controversy would threaten Convention unity and result in schism, Carroll spoke out against Whitsett's thesis, believing he should be reprimanded or resign in the name of unity.

Because the board had been unresponsive to him, he went public to the Convention with his opposition. Within a year, Whitsett left SBTS, and Carroll became known as the one who led the anti-Whitsett party.

==Notice, he did this to keep the unity in the Convention. He went public to the whole Convention as a trustee . when his fellow trustees were non-responsive. This was a matter of principle. It wasn't about his opposition to the thesis (for Carroll was subscribed personally to Baptist successionist historical theory), but about solidarity within the Convention.

During the Hayden controversy, Carroll opposed Landmarkers like Hayden and Crawford, seeing their ideas as seriously undermining missions. Again, he was public in his calls for unity around missions. We all know how that one turned out.

So, consider, Wade, you aren't the first sitting SBC trustee to "go public" because a board has been non-responsive. In your case, they have over-reacted. At the turn of last century, they didn't consider Carroll's move worthy of removal or cry foul. How things have changed indeed.

Like Carroll, your concern is clearly for missions and for solidarity in this Convention. This will go down as another historical event. May you be remembered as another Carroll. said...

Three quick comments:

Gene, thanks a million.

Former M and Charles, I can't post your comments. I appreciate what you say, but I am attempting not to allow my blog to be a personal attack on anyone. Dissent is fine, but acrimony is not. I hope you understand.

Savage Baptist said...

I will never figure out how so many people can characterize getting out-voted as being the victims of a "take-over."

It's simple, really: if you want your views--whether they be on scriptural inerrancy, cessationism, whatever,--reflected in official SBC policy on any board, ultimately you have to have a majority of the messengers who vote at the Convention on your side. If you fail in persuading people to vote with you, it may be a tragedy or it may a triumph, but a "take-over" it ain't, from any perspective, and certainly doesn't merit talk of brown-shirts.

Hitler's brown-shirts used physical force and intimidation. Getting out-voted just ain't in the same category.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information and food for thought. I am not surprised at the activity of political conservatives or liberals. Cooperation doesn't exist in an atmosphere of suspicion and power plays for control. It is my prayer that this situation will be resolved quickly for the sake of our Convention and missionaries.
Charles Womack

Anonymous said...


I appreciate your comments and agree totally. I'm the son of a Southern Baptist who is the son of a Southern Baptist, who took a covered wagon from Kansas to Oklahoma and homesteaded during the early part of the 1900s. I also graduated from Baylor and Southwestern Seminary. And, I'm no longer Southern Baptist and happy not to be! The reason I'm so glad not to be is for the very reason you are articulating.

Unfortunately, I agree with previous posts in that I think the wheels were set in motion for this during the 'convervative takeover' of the late 70's and early 80's. I've sat in meetings with Paul Pressler as he recruited young Baylor students to join in the fight. It was clearly a political move couched in inerrantist language. I've watched up close how things have devolved over the last three decades.

Unfortunately, I don't think this will stop any time soon. I believe the SBC will split up and die before this will be taken care of. In the early 1990s, a friend of mine who is a historian predicted that state conventions would begin to leave the SBC and start to go their own way. He predicted that this would eventally result in a severly fractured and essentially dead convention. So far, he's been right on the money. And (unfortuantely), I think he's going to be right about all of this in the end.

It saddens me to see this happen, but I think it is inevitable due to the root of sin that was planted many years ago.


Anonymous said...

Sorry that came across as acrimony. That was not my intent. When one states that something is "usually ungodly," I take that as meaning that there are times when it IS ungodly. The tactics used against "liberals" over the last 30 years were very often ungodly. It is not time to stop them now, it was time to do that 30 years ago.

No need to post this or my previous comment. Just understand that I don't accept Chapman's words to the depth that you seem to. I have lost trust due to the way I have seen people treated and felt the brunt of it myself. Christians behave like Christ. This is discipleship. Theology and doctrine are wonderful, but they must be applied to life or they are empty words of no merit.

My 2 cents worth. BTW, thanks for allowing me a chance to gets a few things off my chest. I wish the missionaries still on the field had the same opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I believe Dan Paden missed the point of a writer who stated there was a take-over of the SBC. Dan said being out-voted was not a take-over. Dan said Hitler’s brown-shirts used physical force and intimidation.
We agree that Hitler did a take-over of Germany. We agree that he won by his opponents being out-voted.
Dan is right that out-voted is not a take-over, but the way votes are obtained determines a take-over.
If votes are obtained by truth, that is the Christian way, but if they are obtained by untruth that is a take-over.
Its all been said before so I won’t repeat it…trying to be friends.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

To see a really different prophecy piece, type in "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" on Google or Yahoo. The author of it, BTW, had had many top scholars endorse his research of several decades (type in "Scholars Weigh My Research"). Thanks for your good blog.

Anonymous said...


I just found out about what was going on at IMB. It is really ashame. Wade, I hope that you can live through this with everything you hold dear intact. Those guys coming after you...won't be pretty. Good luck.

Oh, and so you know. I'm a young pastor of an SBC church in Texas. I self-idetnify as a "moderate" in circles that care about the distinction. What our baptist fore-fathers did 20-30 years ago saddens me. I may hope that the SBC won't fall into irrelevance, but I won't be suprised if it does.


Anonymous said...

Those who are typified as "Politically conservative" have made a terrible precedence. They used the methods of the world, convincing themselves by conniving and guileful behavior they could take over the convention (as they did). Words like conniving and guile belong with the actions of the world - not with those of us who belong to the Lord. By managing the take over of the convention in such a way, they separated themselves from the attitude of Christ and identified with the ways of the world and that evil entity who controls the world. Why are we surprised when those who have power, love the implications of control and power, using it no matter who and what is hurt if it does not absolutely
mirror their thoughts and actions- as if they had a special line directly to God..and only they were right? Arrogance and unlimited use of authority do not match with the picture Christ left and Paul amplified of the servant pastor, the slave of Christ.
When those actions were taken in such a way and hurt so many fine people, it was set in motion the destruction of our Convention as a body of Christ.
The only way to turn the tables is for the leadership, the trustees who are feeling so powerful to repent, to put aside their pride and arrogance, and crawl on their faces before God.
There is no place for ego and machinations before God Almighty.
He knows our very thoughts before we even think them...
I am a lay person, but one who can think for herself, who has become increasingly distressed as events have unfolded during the last 30 or 40 years. God help us all. I love my church, but I am embarassed at the kind of attention our leadership gets in the world news. We are an embarassment to God. That God would be willing to give us all another chance would be more mercy than we deserve, but that is what I pray for; I also pray for a deep spiritual awakening among both our ministers and the laity. Let us be united in purpose - to represent Christ on earth; and let us put away pride and self serving.