Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Last Post as an International Mission Board Trustee?

I enjoyed visiting with several missionaries, trustees and friends who have come to Tampa for the International Mission Board meeting. The day passsed quickly but the evening plenary session seemed to last an eternity.

Dr. Jerry Rankin's Report

The plenary (public) session of the International Mission Board was held at 7:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa, Florida. The session began with a report from President Jerry Rankin. Dr. Rankin showed a video of a message he gave to his staff during "President's Chapel" at the Missionary Learning Center a few weeeks ago. The message was one of the most humble, challenging and inspiring messages I have ever heard.

Dr. Rankin spoke candidly to his staff of the recent trustee approved policies on tongues and baptism and the administration's opposition, as well as his own personal opposition, to those same policies. However, he beautifully articulated his belief that God's grace is given to those Christians who submit to the authority that is placed over them by God. God is on His throne, and even if the authority He places over us acts unreasonable, submission to that authority brings grace. Dr. Rankin stated that though he opposed the implementation of the new policies, and saw no empirical evidence that they were needed, he still would follow Scripture and graciously submit to the authority of the board.

It seems that one trustee had requested a copy of the tape of Dr. Rankin's message but he felt he had been prohibited from obtaining it, and so, Dr. Rankin decided to show the video of his message to the entire board and guests in order to avoid any suspicion he was hiding things from the trustees.

Kudo's to Dr. Rankin. I appreciate his transparency and his candor.

Other trustees did not. For the next thirty minutes Dr. Rankin was mercilessly, and publicly accused of undermining the trustees, intentionally keeping information from trustees, not telling the truth about doctrinal errors on the field (the exact quote after Dr. Rankin said he had never been shown any evidence of charismatic problems on the field that the administration and staff had not dealt with under the old policies was "That's not true!"), and a host of other things.

I was absolutely embarrassed at how our President was treated publicly by some of my fellow trustees. One trustee spoke up and said how much they appreciated Dr. Rankin's humility and transparency, but other trustees spoke at length of their opposition to our President's remarks.

I do admire Dr. Rankins demeanor under fire, his grace to those who alleged he was not telling the truth, and his overall deportment while under verbal assault. We would all do well to model his spirit.

The Proposed New Trustee Policy Manual

After a report from all of our missionary regions through the Overseas Committee, the Orientation Committee of the Board of Trustees presented a four page paper entitled International Mission Board, SBC, Trustee Responsibilities.

The chairman of the Orientation Committee stated that this document had been in the works "two years" (I heard yesterday there was not certainty the document would be ready in time, so it seems the two years ended in a rush). He also stated that this document was to replace the fifty page trustee manual entitled "Ordered of God; Manual for Trustees" which is commonly called "The Blue Book." He also implied no trustee pays any attention to the "Blue Book" because it is too voluminous.

Unfortunately, he mispoke. I have read the Blue Book at least five times from cover to cover. I have posted about The Blue Book and some of the excellent policies it contains. The Blue Book was adopted by the IMB trustees in 1987 and for the last two decades has been the manual for trustee accountablity at the International Mission Board. The evening session ended with a motion made to table the vote on the new four page policy manual until first thing tomorrow morning.

I am praying that this proposed four page policy manual will not be adopted.

I am a trustee who abides by policy. I have repeatedly stated in my blog that I will abide by every single policy adopted by the Board of Trustees. In fact, when some trustees tried to get me to stop blogging last January, I simply said I would only stop if the Board approved a policy that forbad a trustee from blogging. The current Blue Book does not address blogging, nor does it forbid a trustee from expressing criticism toward majority decisions of the trustees. I believe the Blue Book wisely gives room for public criticism of majority decisions. Frankly, if criticism of boards was not allowed by minority dissenters in the 1970's and 1980's the conservative resurgence would have never occurred. Criticism can be healthy and drive an organization to excellence. In essence, appropriate criticism is good. And of course, appropriateness is in the eye of the beholder.

I have on several occasions criticized the reasoning and logic that led to the adoption of the two new policies approved by the majority of trustees last November. But again, I have intentionally complied with every single policy of the Blue Book, and in fact, the attorney for the IMB has stated clearly that a trustee who expresses minority dissent is well within proper protocol of trusteeship. But some trustees don't like me speaking out in dissent. Let me illustate.

Infamous Gossip and Slander

A trustee told me that it is not my blogging that is the problem, but the content of my blog that is the problem. I have chosen, for conscience sake, to disagree with trustee leadership and the majority of trustees on the two new policies. I am disagreeing with the need for the new policies and have stated my interpretations on how, and why, these new policies are being introduced at the IMB without Presidential or staff support. Some trustees think, since I lost the vote, that I should be quiet. I am saying that I am following all proper policies of the IMB Blue Book by expressing my dissent and my interpretation of events to the SBC at large. EVERY trustee has the responsibility to speak out to the people who elected him, always supporting the work of the IMB, but making clear one's interpretation of decisions to those who have "entrusted" him to care for the institution. I just happen to be one who actually does it.

Again some trustees have not liked what I have said. In fact, at last January's meeting, just one month after I began blogging, I was recommended for removal from the board for "gossip and slander." For heaven's sake, it is one thing to not like disagreement, but do you call it "gossip and slander?" My removal must be approved by the Southern Baptist Convention in the June meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I stand ready to provide a vigorous and documented defense. The only problem is, I have never officially been given the evidence.

I have repeatedly asked the trustees who are accusing me of gossip and slander to "show me the gossip," and to "show me the slander." Usually when someone makes such a public accusation they will provide supporting documentation. To this day, even though I have repeatedly asked for the evidence of gossip and slander, I have not received one piece of written material highlighting the alleged gossip or the alleged slander. Neither has any of the trustees received supportive, written evidence that substantiates the charges. I have one absolutely hilarious story of a trustee who verbally accused me of lying and slander, only to be embarrassed when he sought to make me "repent." You see, I proved him wrong. One day I'll tell the story, if necessary. I repeat, again, and for the final time to my fellow trustees who are accusing me of gossip and slander, please make public the basis for the charges --- I am ready to vigorously defend any and every statement on my blog.

It now seems that rather than produce substantiation for the charges, which means a vigorous defense, the tactic is to attack my character. One of these days I may list the names I have been called by some of my fellow trustees. Some trustees are now saying, in a failed attempt to produce any evidence of gossip and slander, that it is my "deportment and conduct" as a trustee.

I am being called a liar because three trustees say they practiced "Matthew 18" to me. I have a six part series on church discipline that expounds Matthew 18, and I can assure you, Matthew 18 has never occured in this situation. Period. I think some trustees use Matthew 18 as code for "We went to him repeatedly and he absolutely refused to change his mind!"

I have argued passionately about the policies with my fellow trustees. Some trustees have sought, even more passionately, to change my mind, but not ONE TIME DID A TRUSTEE EVER COME TO ME AND SAY, "Wade, if you don't change this sentence, or this post, or this word, or this paragraph, then I am going to recommend you be removed as a trustee of the IMB." The first time I ever heard about the recommendation for my removal for gossip and slander was when it was presented to the full board. I was shocked.

I stand ready to produce every single blog I have written, a fifteen page sworn affidavit, two notebooks of materials that document the entire issue with me and the board. My defense is ready. Where are the charges? It has been two months. Will someone please officially present to me the charges?

Hmmmm. My dad used to tell me if people can't win the argument then they begin to attack the messenger. I have attempted to be gentle while unbending, gracious while resolute, cheerful while principled, and always ready to share a good laugh with my brothers and sisters in Christ who serve with me. I am passionate about my arguments, but anybody will tell you who knows me, that if you can logical, Biblically, graciously defend your position over mine, I will change my mind. However, I can live with anyone, and everyone, who disagrees with me. I don't need you to agree with me, but don't even try to get me to agree with you if you can't support your position.

The new policies are illogical, unnecessary, and some would even say completely unbiblical. Why are you demanding I agree with you? Why are you demanding others agree with you? Can't you love, serve and fellowship with others who don't agree (Remember it is only the ADMINISTRATOR of baptism, and only a PRIVATE prayer language with which we disagree). The Baptist Faith and Message is silent on these two issues. You want me to sign the Baptist Faith and Message? Fine, I will. But wait! I can't be a missionary? What in the world is happening to the Southern Baptist Convention?

My patience is running thin.

As anyone who has read my blog will tell you, I have expressed my opposition to the new policies, while attempting to not make things personal. I have never mentioned any names, I have focused on the principles. I have publicy criticized the majority actions of our board in these two new policies. A vast group of trustees, what some call the "middle," are very naive about the issues at play. They will have a tendency to follow the leadership of trustees who chair major committees and have years of service, surely not a new trustee who doesn't have enough time to understand the dynamics of the work of the International Mission Board.

Some will ask, "But why did you go public with your dissent?" I only went public after I went through every appropriate internal policy and procedure of the IMB in order to attempt to stop the adoption of the new policies that exceeded the authority of the Board, undermined staff and leadership, and seemed to be a culmination of an attempt by outside forces to force a narrow agenda upon the IMB. And yes, I have documentation. I stand ready to defend my every statement. I am abiding by the Blue Book and fulfilling my role as a trustee of the IMB, appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention at large to guard the institution. It is a sacred trust that I do not take lightly.

The Old Policies Within the Blue Book

The Blue Book states that "The International Mission Board's power can never exceed that of the convention itself." We have adopted doctrine that goes beyond the convention approved Baptist Faith and Message. We have exceeded our authority. I am abiding by the Blue Book.

The Blue Book states that "Trustees are expected to support the president in the effort to build a quality institution known for its excellence . . . (page 10)." As is evidenced by tonight's actions, and a host of materials in my possession that I have chosen to not yet make public, some trustees seem to have a hard time supporting our president. I am abiding by the Blue Book and am holding others accountable to do the same in this area.

The Blue Book states that "The board never does its work in secrecy, but through openness. Baptists abhor hidden corners in its denominational operations. They expect a constant flow of communications and interpretations. The only times executive sessions of the board should be held are when human life is at stake, or tedious personnel problems must be handled. Instead of a secret approach, Baptists demand a program of information and want it to be kept up to date." (Page 22). I am abiding by the Blue Book.

The Blue Book states that (Trustees) must feel and act on their own best judgment (page 26). Yet my experience has been that when I act in what I believe to be my best judgement, I am told that I am being resistant to accountability. I am abiding by the Blue Book.

The Blue Book states "A trustee is to bring (his/her) voice to the meetings when serving, but is to also take (his/her) interpretations back to the people after adjournment" (page 33). Yet, I have endured a both a withering private and then very public attack because I have dared to bring my interpretations of events to the people of the SBC. Any fair reading of my blog will tell you I have been supportive of my fellow trustees, have spoken graciously of everyone involved, but I have held to my convictions and have not bowed to pressure. I am abiding by the Blue Book.

Tomorrow the Blue Book May Be History

If the trustees adopt the new policy manual proposed by the Orientation Committee, the Blue Book will be history. On the back sheet of the proposed policies this statement is in brackets and in bold letters {Note, this policy supersedes the document, Ordered by God, Manual for Trustees, which now becomes a reference document}.

I could give many illustrations as to what this means, but let me give you just one . . .

The new proposed manual states on page three . . .

"Individual IMB trustees must refrain from public criticism of Board approved policies."

Hmmm. Interesting to you? Is there a reason for this? Could not Baptists learn from dissent, and if dissent is without merit, aren't Southern Baptists smart enough to ignore it? Hmmmm. Interesting.

A proposed motion to add the word "Individual IMB trustees must refrain from public criticism of Board approved policies, and staff, and fellow trustees" was being debated quite vigorously when the motion to table until tomorrow was approved.

Implications for Me

I have sought in all of my posts to be positive about the work of the IMB, even when I have criticized Board approved policies. Tomorrow the Board will address two motions in relationship to me. One is regarding the approval of the minutes of the last Board meeting. That was on the agenda last night, but it was skipped.

There is also the expressed desire by the Executive Committee that the recommendation for my removal for "gossip and slander" be removed from the Southern Baptist Convention's agenda, and the IMB trustees handle it "internally." It could be a possibility that the IMB trustees will censure me and then reprimand me, while at the same time, possibly taking away committee assignments, not allowing me to attend forums or Executive Sessions, and at the discretion of the Chair, not allowing me to speak.


I don't know what recommendation is forthcoming, because I have not been officially told, but all I can say now, whatever it may be, if the proposed manual for trustees is passed tomorrow, I cannot by new policy, and I will not, publicly criticize the action of the Board regarding me.

I want to be very clear for one final time. This is my final opportunity to speak firmly and critically to the SBC at large about some majority actions of my fellow trustees. For those of you who have read my blog regularly, I have waited patiently, holding back from such firm talk.

You will not hear one word of criticism from me tomorrow regarding the majority decisions of the Board if the new trustee manual is approved tomorrow morning.

I pray to God it is not.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

P.S. On a humorous note, I intend to ask if the new trustee manual is "retroactive." If it is, I'm toast. :)


Anonymous said...


We woke up in CA to shock and discouragement. Yet we know that He inhabits the praises of His people. We will confidently wait in prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving, as we see Him use this situation to bring about His glory. We continue to ask that He will "cross reference the truth" exposing the lies and work His "due process" so that all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues shall see the Glory of our God!

DB in CA

Anonymous said...

Wade, we're praying for you. Stand firm, brother.


David Phillips said...

Dr. B,

This may well be a very sad day in our convention. You have shown grace and you principle under some horrible circumstances.

This is all the more reason that we need to have turnover in the IMB trustee board. I think Ben Cole needs to send his letter to the trustees again.

If the BoT have their way, this will have such impact on our missionaries - I can't fathom the impact. It will turn my generation away. We will work directly with missionaries instead of with the IMB.

It's a shame when I can't trust those who lead the denomination I love.

Clif Cummings said...

Having just returned from Central Asia and spending time on the field with our personnel there - I can say with authority that the current actions of the IMB are a great discouragement to them.
This is issue is so much more than just "blue books", "policies" and "personality conflicts". It is about people! MASSES of MILLIONS of people who are blinded by the darkness. Over 5,000 PEOPLE who serve on the mission field who are paying a far greater price than any IMB trustee has been asked to pay to spread the gospel. PEOPLE on the IMB board who have lost sight of PEOPLE and have chosen that CONTROL is the issue. I must stop - again I'm in tears. (reference my blogspot!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wade,
for standing in the gap. Our prayers are with you & Rachelle this morning as you both continue to serve HIM graciously & transparently here in Oklahoma and today in Florida.

Thank you both for standing firmly in truth with such grace while the cost must be draining. We are ALL benefiting and MANY of us have been refueled by your words and actions.

Wade, whatever happens today, whatever decisions you make, whatever words that spring from your heart, know that you are loved and respected and prayed for.

We are ALL better people as we follow your example. Glad we are family.


Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like we have serious violations of First amendment rights here. Can you imagine any corporation telling its board members something like this? OR, CAN YOU IMAGINE any SBC church adopting the same policies?

Anonymous said...

kyrie eleison

Anonymous said...

Most interesting reading. My quick thoughts: 1. What goes around comes around. In the 70's it was them--now it is us!

2. True facts are not needed nor welcomed when power is at stake. It is very eveident that then and now it was not and is not a spiritual battle...Look how the Bible is being used.
Power Power Power!!

3 Remember the Alamo!..Dissent was against God, Bible, Denomination, and in land our country!

Let the behind close doors keep on rolling....

Villa Rica said...

Brother Wade,

Be not weary in well doing. We are praying for you out here.

Things must change within the IMB. If they will not listen to you in Tampa we will all have to address them in Greensboro.

Continue to be nobel and honorable before our Lord, my brother. Help is on the way. If the Lord tarries and the convention in Greensboro becomes a reality an army shall rise up and stand for that which is right and long over due.

Villa Rica

Anonymous said...

Heaven weeps and hell rejoices. The number one reason missionaries quit the mission field is conflict with peers--this is across all sending organizations, including the IMB. Is it any wonder, seeing what is modeled for us by our denominational leaders?! I find the reference to Matt 18 hilarious and incredibly sad at the same time. If that process is followed properly, eventually an objective third party is brought in to help resolve the conflict so that God is honored and relationships are redeemed. It sure does not look like that is happening. Wade, I am sorry this is happening--to you and to us field M's. I pray you will be able to maintain your gracious attitude through this. I can only imagine how difficult that is. We field M's really appreiciate you standing up for us. It looked like we had stepped back from the brink of crisis, but now we are right there again. If this is not resolved in satisfactory way, there will be serious repercussions on the field. I would heartily recommend that a biblical mediator be brought in. I highly recommend Peacemaker Ministries (www.peacemaker.net).

Anonymous said...

From a CA M


I have read your report and Marty's report and I am incredulous (actually shocked). The report was so unbelievable that it actually crossed my mind that you guys are feeding us propaganda for your side of the argument(much like communist governments did/do). Not true I know, but how else to explain the unexplainable policies and logic the trustee leadership is dreaming up. How can Godly men go so far down this path without seeing the error of their ways. The only explanation I have is one word: POWER. I know that is obvious to everyone, but I thought I would say it anyway.
Blessings on the rest of your meetings.

Psalm 1


Anonymous said...

Wade, if the BoT jettisons "The Blue Book" in favor of this new "Policy Manual", you should not be the one who is "toast". Rather, the Greensboro meeting must determine if the IMB BoT will be allowed to overrule the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. Moreover, will the IMB BoT be allowed to usurp the submission of its Trustee members to itself rather than to be accountable and inviolate to the trust of the SBC?

When and if the IMB BoT passes measures which constrain the exercise of "free speech" and peaceable "dissent" regarding BoT actions and policies, the BoT has betrayed its accountability and trust to the SBC.

Let's be clear. Any and all Trustees who participate in such a power play must be removed from the IMB BoT at the meeting in Greensboro in June, or there is imminent danger to the ability of the SBC to continue to have a viable International Missions initiative in the world, thus betraying the SBC's committment to Christ and His Great Commission.

Wade, the principle of your accountability to the SBC as opposed to the IMB BoT cannot be compromised by a new "Policy Manual" designed to protect the current majority of the BoT from legitimate scrutiny, criticism and accountability. Respectfully, Wade, submitting to such tactics would be a violation of your trust and accountability to the SBC. In short, if you submit to the provisions of the proposed new "Policy Manual" which supercede and, in effect, overrule the expressed 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, you place yourself in the position of violating the principle of your accountability and trust to those who elected you to the position of IMB trustee. Please, do not let that happen.

I continue to pray that the Lord will graciously grant you renewed wisdom and courage in this controversy.

In His Grace and Peace,

Taran said...

Dr. Burleson,

I am curious. Does the new policy prohibit Trustee caucusing?

Anonymous said...

We've been keeping up with your blog since January, though we've never posted. There's not one IMB m over here that agrees with the new policies or is supportive of the board's actions toward you. The trustees must know this. Surely they can't think that the majority of IMB m's are behind them? Are they simply out of touch? Do they not care? It grieves me to say that I don't have much faith in our trustees, nor can I trust the majority them. We've been praying that God would support and strengthen you, that He would give you wisdom and courage, and that He would be glorified through this. Somehow He will get the glory. But at what cost? What will it take to turn this situation around? How long are we going to keep our eye off the ball? Can't we get it together and refocus on the Main Thing? God will reach the nations. People from every island and corner of the globe will one day bow before Him as Lord. God doesn't need the IMB to get the job done. He is God. I just hope we wake up to that fact while He's still willing to use us.

May God work a miracle in the IMB trustees and may the Truth set us all free.

Praying with you and for you,
IMB worker in PacRim

Kiki Cherry said...


We are praying muchly for you today. Stand strong.

Tell Dr. Rankin that we are proud of him and that we love him, believe in him and are praying for him.

Anonymous said...

"By this they will know that you are my disciples: if you love one another."

"There is not fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear."

What happened to following the One who commissioned us to love the world? This is not conservative ressurgence, this is a grasp for power by whatever means.

Bob Cleveland said...


It's easy to encourage from afar, when my dog's not in the fight. But don't you dare give up on patience, brother. If they boil you off the BOT, then I'd have to think it's not a group you'd want to associate with, anyway. I resigned from a deacon body once, when it became such.

There's a saying in law: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. When neither is on your side, attack your opponent. I'd say the same thing applies, tragically often, in the spiritual world, too.

I will repeat what I think I posted once before:

John 16:2: They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (KJV)

If what you post is true, that seems to fit a good portion of the IMB BOT. How big a portion will soon be determined.

I also must speculate that it might be a small vocal group which is instigating this action, backed up by a group of good hearted folks who are afraid to speak up. If that's the case, then shame on the folks who don't. The BOT is no place for "politically correct".

Were I not irreversibly committed to paying our tithe to the church to which we belong, I'd certainly pay it somewhere else, outside the SBC.

Do you hear that, BOT? THAT is how egregious your actions are!

But that's just my old nature leaking out. The new one reminds me that if satan was the unwilling servant of God, at calvary, then the BOT is, too, in all this.

I am familiar with a wonderful Baptist Church in my old home town, that had a huge bus ministry 45 years ago. The church is gone, now. They bowed their back against the Government and God took them down. They served as a really good bad example. Who's to say God isn't doing the same thing with the BOT and the IMB, and perhaps the SBC, as they bow their backs now.

Hang in there, Brother. He who endures to the end.....

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. B,

If the new KGB-style policy is passed, it will only be temporary. The leaders who pushed for it will be faced with 10 times the opposition that they have seen since January.

Praying for you and the board,


Anonymous said...

None of this is surprising. I have following such doings for the past 25 years. The CBF and BWA have helped to preserve my sanity.

Dear, gracious Wade, I'm afraid you are fighting a losing battle, but I pray that God will continue to give you grace to remain standing for the truth. My heart goes out to the faithful missionaries in all of this, and may God somehow receive glory through what you are trying to do.

I am so sad and near tears over the actions of the BOT.

Former Missy

Kevin Bussey said...


As I read your post I was shaking. I am angry! I try to have fun with hypocrisy but this is not funny! I agree with David, this is a sad day in SBC life.

What are they trying to do? I am more and more convinced that Greensboro is going to be ugly. I am praying for you and the BOT's. God help us!

Anonymous said...

How do we feel?
Shocked. I've got tears in my eyes right now. Does anyone now wonder why we m's won't speak up publicly?
Wade, we're praying for you. Praying that people will stand up for what is right and true. More than that, we pray that God's will be done in and through this.
What does this mean for the future of the IMB? What does it mean for our service with the IMB? I don't know, but I do know that the IMB is not our God and that we have to be faithful to Him and His call on our lives; even if it means leaving the IMB. I pray it doesn't come to that, but God has been dealing with us over trusting in man vs. trusting in Him to provide for us. God can and will provide for us without us having to work under un-Christlike men/women. If this is the direction the majority of the BoT wants to go, then God help them. We know He's there for us.

God Bless You,
From East Asia

Anonymous said...

Wade, call me if you need me to keep your arms raised in battle!

art rogers said...

Hang in there, Wade. We're praying for you.

From the sound of it, this is a done deal. Many may recall that this was the subject of my "open letter" to the trustees and posted on my blog not long ago.

I will be going back through the numerous responses dismissing my worries and asking them personally whether or not they were lying to me.

Anyone that wants to read that post can find it here: Open Letter to the IMB BOT".

Chuck Andrews said...


We are praying for you, Rachell, your family, Dr. Rankin, his family, the IMB satff, and the IMB BoT. Last night's meeting sounds a lot like the business meetings in the first church I pastored. It's amazing how un-grace-like people can be, all the while claiming "saved by grace; serving by grace."

It has been my experience that once someone or a group like that gets a burr under their saddle the only way to remove the burr is to take the saddle off. It appears to me that, these trustees undetered by the multiple responses they have received over the past 6 months, need to have their saddle removed in Greensboro.

May revival breakout in today's session.



Anonymous said...


How is this possible? How can the IMB direct a trustee to not criticize policy? Is this a spiritual 1984 or what? Is this what the SBC is coming to? Can't someone DO SOMETHING about this? This is wrong! Our convention will not stand in the long run through this! GOD PLEASE INTERVENE!!!

A Partner in Fulfilling the Great Commission.

The Browns said...


Anonymous said...

Wade -

I am shocked and saddened to hear all that is taking place -We are on our knees with you, dear brother.

C in CA

Anonymous said...

I was visiting with a prof of mine at Columbia who I thought would have a unique opinion of these happenings. Dr. Jones is a missions and evanglism prof, a former missionary, current president of a sending agency and a Southern Baptist. I gave him the rundown of this situation back in January and he relayed a interesting story that Dr. Rankin told when he was visiting one of Jones' classes. It was the story of a visit to Idonesia in which a man stood up in a church service and began to speak in a tongue. Amazingly, Dr. Rankin could understand what the man was saying, but for fear of losing his job, and compormising Baptist ideals he remained silent in the service. Now, I know this opens a flurry of doctrinal and practical discussion on tongues, bib. interpretation, etc..., but that's not the point. The point is Rankin is not a loose cannon needing to be checked by a bunch of trustees who have never even met a muslim, much less shared the gospel with one. As you have said he is a valuable and respected leader by the missions community at large, which is exactly what the IMB needs...not new policy.

On another note: It's just like a cheater to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Adam said...

i almost want to weep. this is truly disheartening. thank you for your example of courage and integrity. we will miss your blogging if the new mannual is approved. praying for you and all the imb trustees to discern god's direction...

David Wilson said...

Wade, I'm sorry you had to go through this period of time, and I am like others grieved at what it means. But we've got a missionary precedent for being "hard pressed" and that turned out alright.

Praying for revival in the SBC.

David Wilson
New Hope, Valparaiso, FL