Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Approved Minutes and the Actual Motion to Remove

Last February a Southern Baptist by the name of Scott Bridwell, a man whom I have never met, asked if he could see the minutes of the January 11, 2006 International Mission Board meeting held in Richmond, Virginia. It was at this very meeting that trustees recommended to the Southern Baptist Convention my removal as a trustee of the IMB. Minutes of IMB meetings are only distributed by hard copy, and only after the Board has approved them at the following Board meeting.

Two weeks ago in Tampa, Florida, the Board approved the January minutes while in Executive Session. Scott Bridwell once again asked that a copy of the January minutes be mailed to him. He received the minutes earlier this week and Scott has posted the entire 28 pages of official minutes on his blog.

There have been some who have alleged that the January motion to remove did not include the words gossip and slander, but you will find those very words in the recommendation on page 27 of the minutes. Others have declared the motion to remove was for some other reason than my blog. Any rational, honest person who reads the minutes will see the issue has always been the "content" of my blog.

The reading into the official record the motion to remove me from the International Mission Board was done during the final public session of the January IMB meeting. As you will read below, the request to place my response into the public record, alongside the very public allegations of gossip and slander, was denied. I trust that if the Lord tarries, any future historian will read the minutes and, Lord willing, take a look at my blog for my vigorous and persistent denial of any gossip and slander, and an even more passionate request to be shown the basis for the charges.

Frankly, I am quite comfortable letting the Southern Baptist Convention decide the merits of that which I have written. However, I gladly follow the desires of the Board in this matter and support their desire to handle matters "internally" to work through "issues of trustee accountability." I welcome such accountability and will seek it diligently for all trustees. We are bound by policy and my desire from the beginning has been to abide by all policies of the IMB, and likewise, insure that all other trustees do so as well.

The motion to remove passed in a closed-door Executive Session during the afternoon of January 10th. Eighteen hours later the motion to remove was read into the record during the final public session, but only after repeated and unsuccessful attempts by individual trustees to get me to resign. The section in the approved IMB January minutes regarding the motion to remove reads as follows (page 27):


The chairman read into the record action taken at the Executive Session on Tuesday afternoon, January 10. Motion made by Jerry Corbaley and seconded.

I move that the trustees request the Southern Baptist Convention remove Wade Burleson from the International Mission Board as soon as possible;

That the trustees reprimend him for gossip and slander that hurts the work of the board;

That the chairman make public the nature of the reprimand in the manner of the chairman's choosing;

And that Mr. Burleson be removed from all trustee committees until such time as the Southern Baptist Convention rules.

Motion carried by a 2/3 majority vote.

(This action was rescinded without objection at the March 22, 2006 meeting.)

Request by Wade Burleson to read into the record his response was ruled out of order by the chairman.

Motion was made by Lonnie Wascom and seconded to move into Executive Session. Motion carried.

Following Exectuive Session the meeting adjourned with Chuck McAlister, trustee from Arkansas leading in prayer.

I express my public support of the unanimous decision by my fellow trustees to rescind the recommendation to remove me as a trustee of the IMB.

Since that Board action at Tampa rescinding the recommendation to remove me, I have been asked countless times by people why I am not being allowed to serve on any committees of the IMB if the motion to remove was rescinded unanimously.

I do not know the answer to that question. I am not criticizing the decision :) I just honestly do not know.

I am prepared to make public before the entire SBC all relevant and pertinent materials that go to the heart of my concern for the SBC and the IMB. The Executive Committee of the IMB, under the leadership of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, has requested that the matters be handled internally.

I continue to await the opportunity to address the Board to review the materials that serve as the basis for my concerns. If there is a continued attempt to keep me off committees, a refusal to allow me to address the Board, or any attempt to characterize the problem with me as something other than my blog, I will make appropriate decisions based upon what I believe is best for the SBC at large.

Until then, I will continue to serve at the pleasure of the Board and the Southern Baptist Convention.

I would like to point out that only 68 trustees of the 89 on the Board were present in the January meeting for the vote on the recommendation for my removal, and not all of the 68 even voted. In addition, not everyone who actually voted did so in the affirmative. One must be careful assuming how trustees voted. Further, even though it was my blog which caused the consternation, I am very grateful for my blog because it has enabled me to point to a consistency, from the beginning, of that which I have written. The following four articles are posted to help you understand the timeline of the resolution to the motion. I will be offering no further comment on the Board's action for my removal unless circumstances demand I do so.


January 11th - My account of the last Plenary Session in January: To My Friends, Family, and Church.

January 11th - The official statement to Baptist Press from the Chairman regarding the motion: Mission Board Seeks Removal of Trustee Burleson.

January 14th - Puzzlement expressed by me regarding the motion to remove:
Five Salient Points.

February 15th - The Executive Committee announces their intention to rescind the motion: IMB Chairman and Oklahoma Trustee Report Accountability Dialogue.

March 22nd - The Board adopts new policies to prohibit criticism of Board actions: Trustees at IMB Meeting Adopt New Policies Regarding Public Criticism.

I close by expressing my support for the IMB and the work of our missionaries world wide. I look forward to serving the convention for the next seven years, Lord willing, as an IMB trustee.

God bless Dr. Rankin. God bless our missionaries. God bless the SBC. God bless the IMB trustees.

And may God bless you.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...

Continue your sweet spirit my Brother! That form of dissent is Biblical and effective! When an action has been rescinded, and those who supported the original action just simply defer to unresponsiveness, where I have been, that has usually implied that all rights and privileges are restored unless definitive charges are stipulated. I personally believe that failure to restore you to committee work still radiates as censure, and if someone else doesn't, I will personally ask the Trustees during their report to explain their actions to the Convention! I will do so lovingly but insistently, I believe they have a responsibility to keep us informed when questions are raised in a spirit of Kingdom Purpose and clarification for maintaining unity and cohesiveness as a cooperatively deliberating Body! Blessings.....

Villa Rica said...

Brother Wade,

You have stood for truth. The grace of our beloved Lord Jesus will carry you through.

Villa Rica

Bob Cleveland said...


Several questions do come to mind.

1)Has any entity within, or official of, the SBC, asked you for the relevant information you mentioned being available?

2)If not, why not?

3)What would have to happen for you to be able to present the relevant infomation to the SBC?

4) What mechanism or procedure is in place for the "hoi polloi" to raise issues such as this, to the SBC?

5) In the corporate world, anybody can be dismissed by actions of appropriate authorities, up to and including the corporate officers and directors. In politics, people have to run for re-election every few years. As to the SBC, is there any method to get rid of people in positions of authority whose actions have been egregious (other than their cohorts)?

Perhaps this part is the most frustrating of all this. The "hoi polloi" out here feel powerless when we see a board of people accuse someone of gossip and slander, and subsequently, steadfastly refuse to justify to anyone other than themselves, what they did.

Held up against Biblical models, and worldly models, it's not hard to pick which one this is most like. said...


The relevant information I have is not publicly 'available' because I am choosing not to make it available publicly.

I have, from the beginning, sought to deal with these matters internally.

I continue to believe the best approach is internal, but I am saying I am prepared to go public with all relevant materials, but only if it becomes necessary for the good of the convention.

To say "the matter is being handled internally" means it is best that the matter be handled internally. Until it actually is, all privileges as a trustee might need to be restored.

Why? There is the very real possibility everything I have written in my blog can be verified. :)

That's my point.

I have shared a portion of the informaton with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board.

These two men led in the recommendation for the rescinsion of the motion to remove. said...


I gently disagree with you here.

I think the trustees are beginning to think clearly on this matter.

They seem to be listening and I am hopeful that good decisions are made in May.

Besides, my wife will be with me at the May meeting in New Mexico. She's sweeter than Georgia tea and even more beautiful. Here's hoping! :)

Anonymous said...


I am glad that the public record of what has happened to you is being released and I hope you will continue to work to put your response into the official minutes of the IMB.
I was surprised to find my dialogue with trustee Jerry Corbaley over his claim that there have been doctrinal difficulties with our missionaries posted on your blog in the April 3 “Yes! Finally the dialogue that is needed” and “Zeroing In.” I have no objection to that but since your blog is far more widely read than his, my name has been noticed by a few more people. As you know, I am still employed by the IMB but I am one of those old time Baptists who believe that dissent and public discussion of issues is part of our heritage and should not be feared. We will see what happens.
Since Brother Corbaley has been the source of both of our dialogues concerning gossip and slandor, I thought I would take advantage of this thread to add some context to what I have said. You can place it at some other place or delete it if you think it not appropriate.
I know some of the young pastors get tired of we old guys saying this is not new, but that is a fact. In 1991 another IMB trustee from California wrote a letter to the FMB trustee chairman that was passed around to the trustees and later to many missionaries on that field claiming our missionaries had been controlled by liberals and for over a generation we had appointed neo-orthodox missionaries who were responsible for spreading heresy all around the world. I challenged him in private letters and the Intercom publication of the FMB to prove his charges and give me names of any missionaries who were spreading heresy. Since it had been occurring for over a generation, there must be hundreds if he spoke the truth. His only reply to me was that he would not give me any proof or names. Three years ago another IMB trustee spoke in an open trustee meeting and stated our missionaries had worked under “don’t rock the boat” policies and showed cowardice and lack of faith. Again when I asked trustees if they believed this and what was their proof, they were silent. I am not surprised that Brother Corbaley has not answered my two questions even after a third request.
I asked Brother Corbaley, “Why is it so important for you to keep telling Southern Baptist at large that there are theological problems at the IMB?” I understand why he could not answer. In the country where I serve, the people’s worldview is that there are many gods and these gods must be feared and worshiped in order to keep them from punishing you. When we tell them there is only one true and living, creator God who loves them so much he sent His Son to die for their sins, this contradicts everything they have ever believed. Usually no amount of logic or debate will convince them this message is true. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit can they repent and be brought to salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. With many of those in our convention we face the same situation. Their entire denomination life they have been taught there are doctrinal problems everywhere in our convention not directly controlled by their leaders. To admit otherwise would be so overwhelming that it would undermine their whole belief system and the faith they have placed in their leaders. That is why it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that they can recognize the truth and repent.
Their organization has no reason to exist if they cannot find doctrinal problems. If these problems cannot be found they must invent or exaggerate problems. According to their logic when someone speaks against policies developed by their leadership, it must be that he is guilty of gossip and slander. If there are missionaries or other denominational officials who were not appointed by their leaders, their doctrine must be suspect.
I understand why many keep insisting that the trustees should apologize to you in the same public forum where you were accused. I also feel that our convention leadership should apologize to all those pastors, missionaries, seminary professors and others who have been slandered and unjustly ostracized from participation in our convention for the last 25 years. I have asked Bobby Welch to do this from the convention platform this year in Greensboro. If any agree with me, I encourage you to contact him. He has had the courage to admit problems in our convention no other recent president has been willing to do. He might have the courage to do this also.
I cannot be in Greensboro because I will be 12 time zones away but I will be in prayer that we can recapture the spirit of unity we had when Bold Mission Thrust was adopted a generation ago.
I apologize for the length of this comment.
Ron West

Kevin Bussey said...


Where is the apology? You and your family deserve one--today! said...


Thanks for your spirit!

I look forward to meeting you.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Wade,

As you know, I have been a policeman in various forms for 15 years, so I am very familiar with the "shake 'em till there teeth rattle" approach that justamoe spoke of. :)

I have learned in my few years of actively walking with the Lord that that approach does not work on some with strongly held beliefs. Sometimes you can't get people to see things your way no matter what you do, you only expose yourself to anger, malice and vicious assaults--the "swine" turn and rend you.

Now, I don't mean that as an insult, and I believe with all my heart that our Lord didn't either; it was simply an example that His audience, common people, could readily understand---vividly.

I know what I am about to say is hard, but--with grace--we must all accept that sometimes people will never accept what we know to be truth...

(Mat 13:14-15 ASV) "And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them."

This has always been a bitter pill for me to swallow--I can't win the whole world over to my way of thinking. There will always be those who cannot see the truth--or who do not choose to believe it. There are those who think that the only REAL church is an SBC one. That appalls me. But I can't change that by rattling teeth, or any amount of talking.

I had to learn that God is sovereign over all. Jesus Christ is Lord over all. His will is ALWAYS done. If not by me, then by someone else. There are stumbling blocks set before us. Some will overcome. Some will fail. Those that overcome will do so through the power of Christ ALONE. Those that fail will have tried to get along on their own strength, no matter what evidence is staring them in the face. I ache and weep over this truth. But I can't do anything about it but pray...Lord, if You cannot use me to reach them...please send someone who can.

There have been many times that I have been the swine. When I "came to myself" like the prodigal son, I had to go running home with the attitude and prayer..Lord, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES, make me usable again, and forgive me for the souls I have harmed.

No matter what it takes. That is a difficult prayer. What if it takes the death of your spouse or child? What if it takes losing your health or mobility? What if it takes a life of pain? Is serving Jesus worth that much? Count the cost. For some the cost is too high, so they compromise, seek ways of building their own self-esteem, become worshipers of self in some areas rather than God, and thus limit their usefulness to Him.

The cost is high. I can tell you that. But the knowledge that King Jesus found you usable to reach a lost soul, relieve the pain of someone's suffering, carry someone's worth far more than any price I have had to pay. That smile on the King's face, that "Well done, my good and faithful servant" is more precious, more worthwhile than any joy, love, thing, or person this life has to offer. That eternal smile is the goal at the end of the race. I must have it--no matter the cost.

Enough preaching--I kind of got carried away, I'm sorry this is so long. God bless you and keep you in His grace...

Greg said...


You make me proud to be a Southern Baptist.

Your motto:

Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit.

"To boldly go where no man has gone before.'

Thanks your absolute clarity, your persistent call for accountability, and your obvious transparency.

Your willingness to lovingly debate the issues, sign your name, and stand by your comvictions is a sign to me of health for our convention.

May your tribe increase. said...


I agree.

The beauty, however, of the historic Baptist position is that we DON'T have to agree on the non-essentials of the faith.

Baptists have advocated liberty.

So . . .

To be a true Baptist means you don't demand conformity.

And I guarantee you I am not interested in people believing the way I do on doctrines not addressed by the BF&M.

I am simply interested in cooperating with my fellow Southern Baptists to reach the world for Christ.

In His Grace,


art rogers said...


You state that you don't know why the motion to remove was approved unanimously, yet you are not reinstated to the full responsibilities of a Trustee by being allowed to serve on committees. Let me take a stab at answering - and everyone mark, my words are my own -

1) By rescinding the motion, the Trustees avoid what was beginning to look like a complete train wreck in Greensboro - the ultimate consequence very well could have been that the entire BOT was vacated. That action, proposed publicly by Pastor Ben Cole, was rapidly gaining momentum and still has its supporters.

2) By keeping you off of committees, the Board leadership can effectively accomplish the end result of the original motion, but without the interference of the SBC. To clarify: the motion to remove required a discussion on the floor of the SBC and a vote which looked like it would go badly, with the aforementioned substitute motion as a possible result. By removing you from the committees, they take away your responsibilities, but do not offer the SBC the wide open door through which they might be chastised.

The flaw, here, is that they do leave a crack in the door. If they restore you to full activities and service, we will go back to focusing on the three policies: authorized bapitzer, private prayer language and the new one governing public dissent.

Maybe they don't want us focusing on these policies.

Maybe just a little interest in your situation is enough to keep us distracted.

They may think they are not weak enough in their position for us to mount an effective strategy that would cause the to reform or be dislodged, especially if we are distracted.

Still praying for you.


NG said...


Thank you for how you are handling this situation. I appreciate that you are not releasing all of the information that you have because if it can be, it needs to be done internally. Thank you for seeking to handle the situation appropriatley. Thank you for the love you have and still show for your fellow trustees in addressing these issues. You are an encouragement to me. I tend to be a bull in a china shop, so I have learned much from your example in this situation.

Is there anything you can share about what is going on the west africa missonary family, the "D's"? Has the process of the churchplant they are involved in ceased due to the questions about them at this point in time? If you cannot answer this, who can?

Know I am praying for you and the entire IMB family as you continue to seek and do the Lord's will in these tough situations.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Dr. B,

Some of the items included in these minutes were very inspirational and exciting regarding mission work and support for missions. Of course it is great to see the names of those newly commissioned for service.

I was sad to see several missionaries being terminated for conduct unbecoming a missionary. In the past, I would have trusted that the trustees had judged these cases correctly, and I have no qualms about missionaries being terminated for good cause. But now that the trustees' recent conduct has so eroded my trust in them, I wish there could be some independent review of these cases, to make sure that no missionary is being terminated simply for crossing the board, rather than for anything really worthy of dismissal.

Is it typical of the history of the IMB for so many missionaries to be resigning, including those who have served only a few years, or is this a new trend? There were more than twenty resignations, plus three terminations, with only twelve new appointees. Being good at math, I have determined that this rate of exchange cannot be sustained indefinitely!

What does it mean that the resignations of some missionaries are being accepted "with appreciation of service," while others are simply being accepted? It can't be because of length of service---resignations of missionaries who had served ten and twenty years were simply being accepted, while resignations of missionaries with only three and four years' service (and many with service much longer) were being accepted "with appreciation." Does acceptance of the resignation without appreciation equal a "less than honorable discharge" or something like that?

Love in Christ,


P.S. I still can't believe I read the whole 28-page minutes from an IMB BOT meeting---more proof that God is using this controversy to stir up interest in the IMB among those of us who have previous neglected to become involved.

P.S. I tried to post a few moments ago, but I think Blogger ate my post. If it came through, and this is a re-run, I apologize.

Anonymous said...


I hope you weren't offended by what I said. I know this has been a frustrating, seemingly unending nightmare for you and your family. I just wanted to offer some words that might help us all understand some of this, in my small way.

Since, however you have given me another opening to say something, ;), I would like to respond directly to something you just said---personally, that is.

As do you, I have a long Baptist heritage. My grandfather and one of my great uncles were/are SBC ministers. Rarely in my family tree does the ministry skip a generation. My wife is a Clarke, a direct descendant of John Rogers Clarke, who started the first Baptist Church in America, and was the first official colonial governor of Rhode Island, and worked with Roger Williams to start that colony.

All that said, I don't give a hang about the BF&M. (Gasp, shock)

What is Christianity? A confession? A creed? Faith in mere words? No, it's a relationship, with a living Lord--Jesus Christ.

What, am I some wacko that talks to God? Yes, aren't you? ;) And God talks back!!

What is a call to the ministry? A career decision? A man just decides that he likes the glory of standing in front of people shooting off his mouth? My call still scares me--I must fulfill it. I know what I am called for and what I am supposed to say. I'll tell you all about it someday, if you want--maybe over a cup of coffee?

The basic truth is...Jesus Christ is Lord and King. He is master over all. He is the remedy for sin. His glory is stunning, more than words can express. His love is deep, I have never known anything this world has to offer that even comes close. Oh, Lord, give me the words! How mighty, how majestic, how awesome!!! And people can know the Great Creator God in a personal relationship through Him, in Him! The wash of His love over my soul is like the greatest crashing waves of the sea, terrifying, beautiful, fulfilling, glorious! To see His mighty love and grace change lives is the most awesome sight. He can! He will!

Now, look at our squabbles after reading the last paragraph and remembering the experience of Christ. Don't seem like much, do they? And they aren't much. Very, very small. (Isaiah 14) Jesus, the Lion of Judah, will take care of them.

Do I agree with the BF&M 2000? Yeah, pretty much. Are they the basis for my faith? Not hardly. I know Jesus Christ in a real and living way. That is the basis for my faith. HE is the Author and Finisher. His Word is true! His promises are statements of fact! I HAVE FOUND THIS TO BE TRUE. On these points, do we all agree? Then let's go forward! There's a lost world that needs to hear and see and meet Jesus Christ our King! Not by 5th Avenue marketing techniques, not by modern sales practices, not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD. We can't fight the Lord's battles with the world's weapons. And we need to check our egos at the door.

Maybe oversimplified, but if we agree on this, then we can cooperate. You see, we're not in charge of anything...Christ is in charge of everything! When we seek Him, and then follow without question, He takes care of the battle.

Anonymous said...

Greg, I agree with and appreciate what you wrote--both times! I'm tired of hearing about the BF&M2000. I can live and serve without it! "My Faith Has Found a Resting Place not in device nor creed. I trust the Everlasting One, His wounds for me shall plead. I need no other argument, I need no other plea, IT IS ENOUGH THAT JESUS DIED AND THAT HE DIED FOR ME."
May God be praised!
Florence in KY said...


No comment :)

Tell "Bill Murray" I said hello. said...


I took down my post on Marty Duren's blog because I am doing everything I can internally to seek to deal with this situation adn am attempting not to enter the public forum on this one --- yet.

What Marty, Pastor Jason, the D's church and others are doing in making this issue public is well within their rights. In fact, I would hope other churches would take the same approach, simply because the IMB faciliates missions, but the churches authorize missionaries (some seem to forget this).

I believe I can be of better service to these two wonderful missionaries behind the scenes, and trust me, I am doing EVERYTHING I can.

Today I heard from a pastor in Texas who has partnered with this couple for years, whose wife is currently in the foreign country where these missionaries work, and his love for the two missionaries and their work brought tears to my eyes. His church is one of the largest Lottie Moon and CP churches in the convention. He is dumbfounded that this may be happening.

I also saw a brilliant, humble, articulate letter today from the D's explaining the reasons that they cannot, and will not resign.

I am sure if this progresses to termination things like this will have to be made public. Until it is absolutely necessary for me to go public (prior to the vote for termination) I am choosing

I am hopeful that administration and others make the right choice in this area for the sake of missions and the cause of Christ.

Let me reiterate.


Missionaries, trustees and administration is bound by policy.

Period. said...


You ask some very interesting and valuable quesitons.

Personnel issues are very sensitive to the IMB for legal and ethical reasons.

I would rather not speak to these issues right now, but encourage you to call Missions Personnel at the IMB (phone 1-800-999-3113) and ask staff for the definitions of the terms you cite.

If you need further help I will be glad to assist you.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

Anonymous said...


Am I missing something? You seem to be very supportative of the current IMB leadership, and much less supportative of IMB BOT leadership. Or, at least those in power that represent a more fundamentalist side.

I don't fault you because you have every right to feel this way. You dared to disagree and to stand your ground for what you believed. The result was that you were treated unfairly.

You made public the shameless treatment you were receiving, and the Christian community responded as it should have with a demand that what was wrong be made right.

What has confused me is that the unfair treatment you received from those you questioned, is the same kind of treatment that many missionaries receive from IMB leadership, but yet you never seem to waiver on your support for the current IMB administration.

All you have to do is look at your own blog site, and Marty's blog site, and all the other blog sites to realize that the majority of missionaries posting have received the same or similiar treatment from the IMB administration that you have received from the trustees.

Are you for fair treatment all-the-way around, or only for those that stand on the same sideline as you? The situation that the "D" family finds itself is not a direct conflict with the trustees, but a conflict with their RL. The RL cannot be doing what he is doing without the consent of Dr. Rankin.

What is happening to Wyman and Michelle is not an isloated case, it has been happening on the field for a long time to a lot of missionaries who were called by God to share the gospel to a lost world. However, at some point, they fell out of grace with their IMB leadership and have suffered dearly.

Jeff Richard Yound raises some good points, and "Mixilmash" on Marty Durens blogsite does too when he states;

"As an M on the field, I have seen on numerous occasions language proficient, effective colleagues GUTTED by leadership as a result of expressing principled dissent to a fiat decree issued from on high. The operative paradigm at the field level is actually "my way or the highway" or as another leader put it, "you have two choices if you don't like it....aisle seat or window" (on the plane back to the USA)"

In 9 years on the field I have heard IMB leadership make the statement, "You have the right to leave and serve with a different agency if you want to". I have even been told that recently by Dr. Rankin.

Missionaries are at a major disavantage when threatend by leadership. Some have signed documents they didn't believe and some who have added "under duress" below their signature, simply because they were not in a position to be terminated and go back to America with no job, no house, no car, etc.

Yes, you were treated unfairly. But so are a lot of missionaries, by the very group that you constantly praise and support.

Is Dr. Rankin and the rest of the IMB administration godly men? Yes. Are they perfect? No.

Are the trustees that have opposed you godly men? Those that know them best would probably say, yes. Are they perfect? No.

So I ask you again, are you for fair treatment for everyone, even if it means correcting or disciplining those standing with you on your side of the field?


PS. I have one idea to throw out. Power always corrupts. Perhaps no one should serve longer than one four year term in an executive position with the Board. Anyone serving as a trustee, executive position in Richmond, or an executive position with regional leadership should only serve for one four year term and then go back to the field (except for trustees). After a term on the field they could be re-appointed to an executive position but would never serve in an executive position for longer than 4 years at a time.

This way our leadership would not become so disconnected from the real work and ministry on the front lines. Perhaps they would be much better leaders if their mission experience was not so far removed and limited to reading up on the latest fads. We would also be developing many more leaders. said...


You will simply have to trust me on this one.

When I see abuse of power, whether it be BOT or administration, I will be soft as velvet on the outside and tough as steel on the inside.

Remember. I have only been a trustee for 9 months.

Administration will understand I live by principle, and if missionaries are living by principle and policy, and people in "authority" over them are removing principled people because of "politics," then the same steely resolve from my heart will be present against administration.

I don't pick favorites. BOT and administrative leaders already know this.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson said...


Each agency is autonomous, so the IMB needs to deal with the issues within.

However, I have received some very wise counsel from many godly leaders in the SBC.


Anonymous said...

Wade, I love you and appreciate your willingness to be so open with your blogging. However, I'm afraid the powers that be are not pleased and will "tend to you" yet! Also, to Ron!
Florence in KY

Anonymous said...

I am in sitting in my living room listening to "Allah Hu Ekbar!" being blasted all over this city and into my home. There is a dieing, hurting world out here that JESUS IS PURSUING. Thank God it doesn't all just depend on us! Praise God for the authority to preach the gospel and encourage the growth of the church among people who have never heard of such things. Mr. B, I'm very unnerved today by the accusations, whether direct or implied, upon the missionaries here on the field. I don't read all the "stuff" out there, but I am following these issues because they affect me in some ways. I am just sad because it seems there is an idea that things on the mission field are bad—that missionaries are not devoted to the Bible and that our beliefs, practices and procedures are driven by the secular world or unBiblical theology. I have been an IMB missionary for a longer period of time than I have done anything else in life, longer also than some of the people who are sending their accusations this way, and I have seen quite the opposite spirit among our personnel as that described in some documents written in the past several years, and especially recently. I want these issues within the convention and the Board to be resolved, but tonight I am just praying for God to vindicate the reputation of His laborers who risk their lives, and the lives of their children, in these harvest fields. Laborers who have a deep love and conviction about Biblical theology and church planting methods. Laborers who, rather than being influenced in a negative manner by “GCC’s” (as some have assumed), are GIVING positive and Biblical influence to other realms of evangelical work. I’ll end with a vs. that is encouraging to me tonight: “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is there to condemn? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather, who was raised! Who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Rom. 8:33-34