Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I Have a Dream for the SBC

My dream for the Southern Baptist Convention is a threefold vision or desire:

(1). Liberty for the People within the SBC. . .

One of the basic tenets of Baptists throughout the ages is liberty. Baptists in America, including the brilliant Isaac Backus, were very influential in establishing the constitutional freedoms we enjoy as United States citizens.

I have a dream where we have a convention that is characterized by liberty; liberty of conscience, liberty of dissent, liberty of the soul.

The privilege of dissent is especially vital for the health of our convention. It is possible for the majority to make decisions that are not healthy for the convention in the long run, but through patient, loving dissent, there is the very real possibility that unhealthy decisions may be reversed.

Many are aware of the majority decision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the elders voted to accept into membership those who had been baptized as infants. Not as many are aware that only one elder of the church opposed the new membership policy in the beginning, and that through the liberty granted that lone elder to dissent, even after approval of the policy, Bethlehem Baptist Church elders have since reversed the previous action and remained committed to the Biblical view of baptism.

It is liberty of dissent that sharpens us. It is the liberty of dissent that strengthens us. I have a dream that we have a convention that is not fearful of dissent, but embraces it as part of our heritage, welcomes it as a vital member of our Baptist family, and sees it as a blessing and benefit in the longrun.

Frankly, that is why I love being a Baptist. I can disagree with my brother on the interpetation of non-essential texts (non-essential as it regards the salvation of the soul), and still fellowship and cooperate with my brother with whom I disagree on the mission field and through the Cooperative Program as we seek to reach our world for Christ.

Yes, we need our confessions. However, let's be slow to tamper with our confessions. And we must absolutely not allow anyone to narrow the parameters of fellowship and cooperation beyond our confessions. And let's hold sacred the principles of liberty so that we do not become a creedal people, a denominational sect, and in the end, a people more concerned about jots and tittles than God and people.

(2). Love for the World outside the SBC . . .

The Kingdom of God is bigger than the Southern Baptist Convention. God's kingdom includes all the elect from every nation, tribe, kindred and tongue, and it transcends any one denominational boundary.

I have a dream that Southern Baptists see the hand of God at work in other evangelical venues, and where possible, join in the efforts of those of like faith to win the world for Christ. In many cases we will be the forerunners of the gospel, reaching into nations, peoples and lands where the gospel has little presence. Where we lead the charge, I pray that we will welcome the support of other evangelical witnesses who follow. The world is too big, the time is to short, and the lost are too many to believe that we Southern Baptists can do it alone.

I look forward to the day when a missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention can minister to his people group without concern of what others say of his partners, without fear of some looking over his shoulder for heresy, and with the singular aim, seared into his heart, of reaching his people group for Jesus Christ.

Great Commission Churches and like minded missions organizations are those with whom we can, and should, have great partnerships. When our missionaries are on the fields of the Far East, Middle East, Near East and all lands in between, we must empower those missionaries to find like minded evangelicals and work together to reach their people group for Christ.

There is a generation of Southern Baptists who are being raised up in an evangelical culture different from their father's generation of Southern Baptists. These young, evanglical men and women not only want to support missions, they want to do missions. And frankly, they are more concerned about a mission partner's love for Christ than they are their denominational affiliation. To the extent we capture and mobilize the hearts of these young Southern Baptists is the extent to which we further expand our reach into a lost and dark world.

I have a dream that when we speak of evangelizing the lost and winning the world for Christ, it is not simply the slogan of a new program, but it is the passion of the hearts of thousands of Southern Baptists being heard and felt as we join our hands together in cooperation to acccomplish our task.

When we as Southern Baptists are more concerned for the lost than we are that we get the credit for the new church plants, then we will truly be Kingdom minded. When we are more concerned for the lost than we are that we separate from any other evangelical who is not called a Southern Batpist, then we will be truly Kingdom minded. God has called all his disciples to be Great Commission disciples and to the extent that we participate with other Great Commission discipoles all over this world to fulfill our Lord's command is the extent to which we will be fulfilling that Commission given to us.

(3). Loyalty from the churches in the SBC . . .

I have a dream that every Southern Baptist Church will be loyal and faithful to contribute to the Cooperative Program, and all our agency offerings, particularly the Lottie Moon offering.

I am of the opinion, however, that to demand loyalty without allowing freedom to dissent or exhibiting a love for others outside the SBC will be like putting the cart before the horse.

Loyalty to the SBC from the younger generation must be earned. It doesn't happen automatically.

I believe we have been given the opportunity to attract thousands of young leaders and new church starts in the United States. I am praying we do not squander that opportunity.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Villa Rica said...

Brother Wade,

I hope to see that dream of yours in my life time. If not I hope and pray you see it in yours. You are a good guy Nobel Lion. God will give you peace and grace.

Daniel 12:13

Villa Rica

Anonymous said...

In the interest of charity (and clarity) would you kindly check your facts concerning the reference to Bethlehem Baptist Church? A visit to their website should help clear up the matter. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wade,

Do you think our statement of faith is too long? I like the one we have, but I do wish that it were a tad shorter and didn't feel the need to be used for cultural commentary, as opposed to timeless doctrinal truths about God, Man, Sin, Christ, Salvation, Church, etc.

Picolo Mondo

Bob Cleveland said...


For a down-to-earth, realistic person, you're quite a dreamer.

I did check the link Nick mentioned and they have now posted the .PDF document.

The document mandates that you speak in positive and supportive terms as you interpret the actions of the Board. I'm going to print it out and study it a little more carefully, as I'm aware that the prior documents required that you do, in fact, "report back" to your people.

It may well be that the new document mandates that "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" is not an option.

Proverb 29:18 says where there is no vision, the people perish. As I read it, "vision" includes the ability to see what's happening now. As most churches of the SBC are congregational in governance, I hope and pray that they really do see, and care, what's going on.

I repeat: this entire matter has shed a lot of light on the pharisees. They may have been properly motivated, after all. And we all know what Jesus said about them.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very good, Wade. But have we gone too far in our battle for temporal power to hear the call of the Holy Spirit that this entails?

I pray not.

But when I read the stories coming out of the recent BOT meeting, I do quail that not many in that august body share this vision, but instead, insist on perks for being "trustees". Not a criticism, just an observation.

Man, do we need revival. Lord Jesus, please bring it!

Anonymous said...

It is great that the IMB meeting went well and that 45 missionaires were appointed. Great to hear that you were "reinstated".

But I have a question about what Bro. Hatley stated in article..

From article on IMB web-site:

While the earlier board action was rescinded, Hatley said he would continue not allowing Burleson to serve on trustee committees. The concern of trustees, he said, was that trustee relationships with Burleson would be built over a period of time and he could be brought back into committee involvement.

I thought you were reinstated. Hear goes "politics" again.


Kevin said...

That is a fantastic vision, Wade! I hope that at the next SBC meeting, these last three decisions of the BOT will be rescinded (the decisions made about tongues, baptism, and dissenting opinions).

Anonymous said...

OK, previously you compared your plight to Martin Luther, and now you are taking the tact of Martin Luther King. No offense, but this is officially getting out of hand.

steve w said...

Until Nov 2005, I thought your dream described current reality within the SBC. Then my eyes were opened to reality. My heart has been broken. I would like to say more here, but will not at this time. Suffice it to say we have some very serious problems that need to be solved. I am committed to doing what I can to help make your dream a reality.
- Steve Walker said...


I agree.


I went to the website and could find nothing. If you point me to the exact link I will publish it here. My information comes from John's close personal friend and the man filling his pulpit for the next two Sundays. I may have misunderstood him, or my facts may be wrong, so I will gladly correct them if you can show me the link where there is a different explanation for the reversal of policy at Bethlehem.


I think we must be careful that we do not place into our confessions non-essential doctrinal interpretations. When I say "non-essential" I mean doctrines that are open to different interpretations, but don't play a role in the essentials of the faith (justification, the deity of Christ, salvation by faith, Holy Scripture, etc . . . are essential doctrines). To draft confessions for the purpose of demanding conformity on non-essentials will fracture the convention.

Jay R.

You are funny :) !

P.S. To all readers, Jay R. is a friend and former staff member. Don't rag him (unless you really want to :) ).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your dream. Many of us share that same dream. I would hope you share these three points when you speak at Greensboro to the young leaders. One thought that struck me as I read it was that this sounds much like the SBC I knew before the conservative resurgence. I have heard many on these blogs speak as if the conservative resurgence was responsible for many positive changes in our convention but I haven’t seen it. My church, association, state convention (Arkansas), Baptist university (Ouachita), and Baptist seminary (SWBTS) and SBC entity (IMB) were solidly conservative theologically before 1979 but that has not kept their liberty that you speak of from being threatened.
I also think dissent presented in the right way is healthy. Unfortunately any sign of dissent today will cause you to be labeled a moderate or a liberal by leaders of the resurgence or labeled a fundamentalist by some on the left.
Fortunately for the 27 years I have served with the IMB in my field we have had great freedom to partner with other evangelicals in areas where we can and the freedom to work separately where we disagree. We still support each other with prayer and encouragement.
We have no fear of trustees looking over our shoulder for heresy. That way they could know the truth instead of spreading innuendoes and gossip. When resurgence leader James Merritt was president of the SBC, he made the statement from the podium at the convention that when he became president like many others he had a stereotypical view of missionaries that they worked a couple of hours a day, had no accountability, lived in luxury and were on a paid vacation. He admitted that he had discovered he was wrong. How many of our trustees begin their service with mistaken stereotypical views? If they would come out and look over our shoulders they might discover the truth.
I share your dream that every Southern Baptist Church will be loyal and faithful to contribute to the cooperative program. When we speak in churches, we always encourage this. Unfortunately the leaders of the conservative resurgence, especially many of the SBC presidents, have been the poorest examples in our convention of cooperative program giving. It is difficult to ask churches to give when they know our leaders are not willing to lead their own churches to give. An SBC taskforce has recommended that our leaders be chosen from churches that give to the cooperative program with a goal of each church giving at least 10%. Why not ask our trustees or at least the officers to also share what percentage their churches give to the cooperative program?
You speak of earning the loyalty of the young leaders. A lot of us are waiting to see if their loyalty will be to self-serving political programs or to the truth of the Gospel.
I also have two dreams for the convention in Greensboro. One is that President Bobby Welch would ask forgiveness from God and apologize on behalf of the SBC for the pastors, seminary professors, missionaries and others who have been slandered and ostracized from the convention for the last 25 years because they would not endorse the political goals of the conservative resurgence. My second dream is that we would elect a convention president who has the courage to appoint theologically conservative, qualified supporters of missions and the cooperative program to positions of leadership and not just the hand picked political candidate.

art rogers said...

Great post. I think you nailed the "young sbc" exactly.

The hope for accomplishing these things finds its first breath in Five Themes for Greensboro. Maybe it is time to revisit these themes.

Bob Cleveland said...

The document setting forth Trustee Responsibilities states, on Page 3 thereof:

• to work together as a collegial body to establish policies, strategies and standards to govern the global operations of the IMB.

According the Mrrs. Merriam and Webster, "Collegial" means:

2 a : marked by power or authority vested equally in each of a number of colleagues b : characterized by equal sharing of authority especially by Roman Catholic bishops
3 : marked by camaraderie among colleagues

With reference to 2 a: this doesn't seem to be the case, where one trustee operates under certain prohibitions as to his duties with reference to committees.

Having listened to your home-church sermon, in which you detailed actions within and without the meeting where this all started, I'm not real sure about 3 either.

You do show a spirit of camaraderie toward your fellow trustees. I hope and trust they do the same.

In fairness, I'll also point out that God will use imperfect folks (I may be the best example of that group) to do His work, so I fully expect God will continue to use the IMB and the BoT in His work. I don't think turmoil is going to stop that.

Principles should never bow to expediency, though, and this is about principles and comformity thereto. And, not about numbers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wade. Look under "About Us." Then click on "What is the present status of the baptism/membership issue?" Your point (the value of principled dissent) is understood, I just didn't think you would want to implicate an entire congregation in a decision that 'they' in fact did not make. Perhaps the means through which the two elders expressed their dissent would be interesting fodder for discussion.

Micah Fries said...

Wade- After doing some research, you are correct regarding Bethlehem Baptist. The information can be found by going to the main page and then going to the "About Us" page. There is a link at the bottom of the page that is titled: "What is the present status of the Baptism/Membership issue?"

Hope this helps

Micah Fries said...

Wade, because of the nature of Bethlehem's web design, the link you provided won't work. It simply sends you to their front page. said...

Thanks Micah, said...


Thanks for the clarification. The congregation did not vote, only the elders. Initially only one elder opposed the new policies, but then after the free expression of dissent, several elders who initially supported the policy, changed their views.

The link is Bethlehem Baptist Church. Click on the left side column "About Us" and go to "What is the Status of the Baptism/Membership Issue?"

Kevin Bussey said...

Great post!

Sounds like a great campaign speech! :)

Bob Cleveland said...

There may be a bigger point that needs to be raised.

I think we're really in the end times. I believe that because I see evidence that God is calling "His Church" out of "Our Church". IMHO, that's necessary preparatin for the Wedding Ceremony.

Why do most churches struggle to get 10% of their members to come to a pure prayer meeting, when Promisekeepers and similar groups fill football stadiums?

Our SBC church has had somewhat of a partnership with an AoG church in an adjacent community, for years. They took an offering for our building program and gave us $10,000 one evening. We responded by giving them 10% of the proceeds from the sale of our building, some years later.

Said all that to say this: previous postings mentioned "young leaders". We have plenty of them, good ones, but as time goes on, they have less devotion, or "loyalty" to the SBC, and perhaps more to the Living God and His living Word, than ever.

I hope and pray that someone at the SBC is studying all this, with an eye toward making sure the SBC is as loyal to scripture and to the Living God, as the young leaders are. Otherwise, if & when it becomes too obvious to ignore, it'll be too late.

God is going to do His thing. This is part of it.

All of it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments.

My problem is that the SBC’s organizations (IMB and NAMB both have policies on tongues) are implementing policies that are ostracizing a younger generation of pastors and church planters (including myself). We feel as if we have been pushed outside a convention which we were once loved, and accepted. Our loyalty is to our King and His Kingdom, and if our loyalty to Him brings us in conflict with the powers that be in our convention, then what should our response be? How can we avoid the "nuclear option" which is leaving the convention and making our own networks to further Christ's Kingdom Agenda?

- Ron

Anonymous said...

As an emeritus IMB missionary I have appreciated everything you have written, but I especially appreciate your blog for today.

We spent our last term in a "creative access" country with lots of young "m's". We cannot do what needs to be done without these young saints, but their ranks are thinning. Something has to change!

Neither can we do what needs to be done without our GCC's--great commission Christian co-laborers. An example: We needed to do a CD about our city. I had ample budget to produce it, but had not the faintest notion of where to begin with it. Among our contacts was a young man with another sending agency who had done most of the research for a CD but had no funds to produce it. Voila! and PTL!

I am praying that you maintain your sweet spirit--but keep the pressure on.

Anonymous said...


As a young minister myself i cannot help but think that your dream has already been shattered. After attending a baptist university (Hardin Simmons University) as an undergrad and completing my masters at the same instition during the conterversy of the 2000 faith and message i have realized or at least seen that Baptist no longer allow liberty. It is now a Convention that requires the pastors, professors, and members to beleive exactly as they do or they will be removed, just look at the way that you have been treated over the last few months. I have encountered men and women from the seminary that i attended who were labeled as heretical, and fired after years of faithful service at both SWBTS and Southern Seminary. So explain how dissent and liberty are being preserved in our current convention.
To add to the discussion even further how are we as Southern Baptists working together with other christians when we cannot even work with other Baptists. The reference i am making is to the withdraw from the BWA last year. This action defied your very dream and has crushed my dream of unity for southern baptists. I may be extremely off but why would i as a 25 year old pastor who has started one church and currently am now on my second pastorate want to continue to associate with the SBC when every person that i have witnessed dissent the majority either be removed or they have attempted to remove. said...


Hang in there.

No comment from me on the approved IMB policies on tongues and baptism.


I need an officer's position in the SBC like I need a hole in my head.

If I were "running" for office I guarantee you I would go about it a different manner.

I'm not concerned that people like me or vote for me. I am concerned for our convention. Period

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you caught the spirit of my comment. Good to see you the other day.

Anonymous said...


You have mentioned that you have a 6th grade child. I strongly recommend purchasing a copy of a book entitled "Red Scarf Girl." It is written for young teens (though adults will enjoy it as well) and is about a young girl growing up during Mao's cultural revolution. It is a very good lesson on how liberty is lost when everyone is afraid of being labeled a "landlord."

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your article on your dream for the SBC. I’m warning you to be careful. Remember what happened to the last preacher that talked about having a dream. He was shot by a fanatic. Well, you are probably safe because in the SBC the fanatics just censor you instead of shooting you. I should take that back, they will also call you names and try to ruin your character.

Since this whole IMB thing has been going on I have tried to figure out why the IMB trustees continue to limit who will serve. I have some theories. The first is they are bored. It gives them something to do by creating a controversy. If anything we have learned that conservative and controver go hand in hand.

Then I thought, maybe I'm just frustrated with all the fighting. Maybe the real reason that the trustees are doing what they are doing is because they are a bunch of pastors who have never served on a real mission field a day in their life. Then I thought you don't need to have been on the mission field to have common sense.

So maybe it is another power play by fundamentals wanting to fire or force out Jerry Rankin. Anyone more concerned about people being saved than denominational politics can't be any good for the convention. Anyone who has listened to the president of SWBTS will realize that the move to fundamentalism is the direction he is "fighting" for. Then again maybe this isn't a power play.

Maybe we have just gone so far away from the Lord and have so little of His Spirit's power that we have to work up and make up stuff so that the members of our convention will actually think they are doing something.

Stop the madness and get busy following the Lord because we are losing a world for Christ.


Anonymous said...


Glad to read you're not running for office. You had me worried for a moment.

Wade, although I'm not as young as the anon. young pastor above, I do share Ron's concern for the young leaders' attitude about the Kingdom vs the SBC. The attitude of my folks is probably best summed up by a statement one of my elders made in business meeting this past month..."I don't care what is on the sign outside" of the building as long as we meet with Christ on the inside.

While I'm not ready to give up on the SBC as an agent of service yet, we do need to realise that our first--and really only--loyalty is to Christ the King alone. "Servant leaders" who do not follow Christ, but seek power for themselves are bearing bad fruit, and we are warned against them. There is a great need in the SBC for repentance and revival, especially among our "servant leaders" if their fruit is any indicator. We need Christ at the head of this Church, not the best baptist we can find. A servant leader is NOT someone who thinks they have all the answers, but one who knows he does not, and is sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit in the lives of his flock--AND LISTENS. The scripture warns leaders against strong arm tactics--that is not Christ-like. Someone out there able to give me a scripture authorizing punitive action against a brother in Christ who disagrees with you? Even for deliberate continuance in sin, we are only to remove ourselves from fellowship, not punish. Punishment implies judgement--again this is against the direct command of Christ. If we are going to be Christian leaders, we must be Christian first. Pride and self-centeredness are the devil's fruit. Is this our version of the falling away that so many other protestant denominations are suffering? Sin is sin, whether it be homosexuality or power grabbing or unforgiveness. All lead to death.

And Jesus Christ saves from sin to the uttermost--if we turn to Him, make Him completely Lord and King of our lives and all we are.

art rogers said...

This talk about Young SBC leaders and their loyalties reminds me of an incident while in Seminary.

Bill Clinton was running for President, for the first time, against George H W Bush. A Professor Emeritus, still teaching one class per semester, just for kicks, said something interesting about the election.

We asked him who he favored, and he said Clinton. We were taken aback, somewhat, and asked about the professor's views on some of Clinton's politics, ie abortion and the like.

His response? Well, he is Southern Baptist, though.

Bob Cleveland said...


Jay used the term "getting out of hand".

Is that like the sea parting when Moses held up a stick?

Or fire consuming Elijah's sacrifices, the altar, the water, the dirt?

Or 3000 people getting saved after a 2 minute sermon by Peter?

Or perhaps like I envision the enemies of the Lord, all falling dead at the battle of Armageddon?

Oh, if only wishing could make it so.

Joseph Garlington once said "I prefer wildfire to no fire, at all".

Amen. said...


Nobody read my blog till the attempt to remove me because of it.

A wise man once told me, "A dog don't holler lest its been hit."

I will continue to be gracious with my fellow trustees, but I wonder why all the fuss over my little blog?

Kevin Bussey said...


I know you aren't running. I for one like how you handle the SBC politics. We need men like you. You are a great example for many of us. said...


Had to remove your post. I considered it simply an observation, not a personal criticism of someone in leadership. However, I received two anonymous comments from people offended with what you said, and they themselves weren't too nice about it. I refused to post their comments, but to be fair have removed yours. If you could send the comment without mentioning names I will repost it.

Anonymous said...

'And dipped himself,' says [the Scripture], 'seven times in Jordan.' It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: 'Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' "
Irenaeus,Fragment,34(A.D. 190),in ANF,I:574

Anonymous said...

What about NAMB?

Brother Wade,

I know you're focused on the IMB, but have you been following developments at NAMB? I'm afraid the IMB issue will be overlooked because of the severity of the issues facing NAMB. The Christian Index (a very Conservative state paper) has an excellent article on the NAMB issue. Unbelievable that Dr. Reccord spent nearly four thousand dollars of missions money to see the premier of a movie in London.

I've visited our NAMB missionaries and know first hand that many are living and ministering in near-poverty conditions. Your thoughts? said...


From what I have seen at NAMB, the problems have been handled with openness and transparency, the very thing that builds trust.

Bob Cleveland said...


Never did comment on your dream. It's a good one. Something to be aspired to.

You asked why everyone was paying attention to your "little blog". I have one idea why that may be.

We seem to enjoy talking about these things. It might even be more fun if we were to hash over what the Bible says about unknown tongues, and baptism; I do agree that might seem to be criticism and thus I won't.

But the plain fact is that this seems to be things that folks want to talk about. But haven't had the opportunity to, before now. Oh, I know folks are free to talk about this in church, but I never hear our pastor do that other than to explain the general Baptist interpretations.

Same can be said for hierarchies and political structures. That this is news, is news.

You've heard the secret to business success: "Find a need, and fill it".

You've done that, here. It's interesting that the need was there, at all.

OKpreacher said...

Don't worry about posting this as a comment. My first comment today was to share my view, I did figure that it would be to controversal to put here so I posted it on my blog The second post was just for your benefit. What is going on at IMB with the trustees as been going on at SWBTS and probably other seminaries as well. Sorry to have offended anyone.

OKpreacher or RDB

Tim Sweatman said...


If we can get through the next several years without a mass exodus of younger leaders from the SBC, then this dream may very well become reality. You make a valid point when you say that the SBC cannot expect young people to be loyal to the convention if there is an atmosphere of forced conformity and isolation from other groups of believers. Conversely, though, if there is a spirit of openness and liberty within the SBC and a focus on the Kingdom rather than on the convention, then us younger leaders will be deeply involved in the SBC. (Of course, all of this is assuming that the SBC will remain committed to the clear biblical doctrines on the essentials.)

I'm starting to think that all of this IMB mess may be God's way of getting us younger folks to get involved in the SBC process to lay the foundation for this dream to come true.


I was excited when I read about your partnership with the AoG church. That sounds like two churches who are committed to Kingdom ministry rather than kingdom building.

Of course, a year ago I would have thought you were bordering on heresy. If God can change my perspective on working with others, He can change anyone's.

Anonymous said...

Wade, You said, "I have a dream where we have a convention that is characterized by liberty; liberty of conscience, liberty of dissent, liberty of the soul."

How does this dream stack up next to Jerry Rankin's latest admonition to his missionary force when it comes to blogging? said...

Just Plain Bill,

I have not heard of his Dr. Rankin's admonition and would be very interested in reading it or hearing it.

Anonymous said...

Wade, this is the paragraph in question..."Some of you have expressed disagreement with these new policies. As I shared in a chapel message with staff, we each are under a Biblical mandate to respect and submit to those in authority. We serve under the authority of trustees, who are accountable to the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole. Our trustees are Godly men and women who serve conscientiously and have a heart for missions. I would encourage you to be sensitive as you express your concerns in public forums. Some have interpreted the dissent expressed by IMB personnel as evidence that we do, indeed, have doctrinal problems among our personnel. Several of you have asked how you can express your concerns and I have suggested that you might consider sharing your thoughts with leadership, writing your regional committee and praying for those who have the responsibility to set policy."

LivingDust said...

Brother Wade,

I have a dream too. It is that the current leadership of the SBC, IMB and NAMB resign their positions and take a sabbactical. Go back home and work within a congregation and help disciple believers. Forget about the workings of the "machine". Let the SBC, IMB and NAMB "lay fallow" for a year. No meetings, no decisions, no policies, no dictums, no arguments, no votes. Let the administrative staff support the missionaries in the field to keep them going for a year. Let the churches continue to support each of these entities as they see fit. After one year, let churches send their representatives to a Southern Baptist Convention with a refreshed vigor for the cause of Christ in America and the world. Everything I read on this blog points to one thing - executive "leaders" who have the audacity to bicker and fight like backroom politicians and then tell the world about the love of Christ with a straight face.