Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Debacle of Donut Dissension

My friend Rod Harris is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the church which hosted me this week for revival services. Last Wednesday morning Rod desired to take me to his favorite donut shop in Tulsa for a time of fellowship, but he asked that I read something he wrote before we went.

"…Wade I am really excited. This morning I’m taking you to my favorite donut shop. This place is incredible. It’s an institution. It’s a land mark in our community. They make the best donuts – hands down. I’d put them up against any donut shop anywhere on the planet. There is one problem I should make you aware of. I had a little run-in with the management and things might be…well…cool when we get there. I love this donut shop. I remember going there with my dad and my granddad – I’m a third generation patron of this shop and as you can tell by my chiseled physic I love donuts! Long story short - I came in one morning to find they had changed the recipe. They had a recipe that had served well for generations. Why change it? I pled with them to reconsider. “If it ain’t broke why fix it? Remember new Coke?”

It seems some of the bakers determined that the flour was not refined enough. “You must insure that all the impurities are removed,” they demanded. (One of them knew a pastry chef who had written extensively on the subject.) They now had a strict policy wherein they would refine their own flour. Nothing was to be made with “alien flour”. It must be made in their own back room or not be used at all. I did not agree with their decision. But what could I do? I said, “Well I’ll be back in a minute I’m going next door to QT and get a cappuccino.” That’s when the other shoe fell.

I was told I could not patronize the shop and drink cappuccino. “But it’s not been a problem in the past,” I responded. Wade, I knew that the donut shop sold just plain coffee. None of the fancy blended stuff. This was not a $4.00 cup of coffee type place. Their coffee was black, strong and hot, just the way the owners liked it. I understood that and I was willing to go along. We could just disagree but enjoy the donuts. Keep in mind, I have never advocated cappuccino. I didn’t urge anyone else to drink cappuccino, it was a non-issue. “Fine I’ll just drink my cappuccino at home.” Then I was informed that would not do either.

It seems they had decided cappuccino drinkers would not even be aloud in the shop! If I wanted to drink cappuccino I must take my business elsewhere. I could just go to one of those other donut shops that relished their cappuccinos and did other weird things like cannoli, biscotti and beignets! I had to do something. I wrote a letter to the editor of our community newspaper that was critical of the new policies. It caused quite a stir. There was talk of banning me from the shop. Due to public outcry they did not ban me. I’m still allowed to come in but I am not to criticize the donuts. Once they are made – I’m to encourage their consumption and speak well of their quality. Wade it’s difficult, but I can live with it as long as my love of sugar and craving for donuts override my conscience. But I can’t help wondering…today it was donuts and cappuccino. What will it be tomorrow…maple bars and chocolate milk?"

With Pastors like Rod in the SBC we have a very bright future.

Pastor Rod's messages can be found at Bulldogs and Piggies.

Have a great day.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said... allegory worthy of CS Lewis. Being a cop, I appreciate a good donut story. ;)

Anonymous said...

Your pastor friend should get Marty Duren and Dorcas Hawker and Art Rogers to blog about the new donut and coffee policies.

Maybe after enough protest grows, the head donut-maker will write position papers to clarify the new donut and coffee policies, though it's unlikely they will be very persuasive.

Of course, you'll always have to deal with the converted donut makers who used to make Turkish delight( even it was just for a few days), and who will attack all cappuccino drinkers with a vililfying intensity.

And you'll also have to remember that the only reason your donut shop has changed their recipe and forbidden cappuccino is because the big donut maker down the street has convinced them that the old recipe and the new coffee are really un-donutish by sending all the donut shop employees letters and emails and white papers to that effect.

And you'll have to come to terms with the fact that franchising will occur, and anybody else wanting to open a donut shop will have to call it a Donut Shop and not a Donut-istic Shop.

And don't expect your Donut Shop owner to answer questions about why he has forbidden the drinking of cappuccino when everybody in town knows that his number one employee secretly sips it at home. Or is the cappucino policy retroactive?

Oh, and did I mention that your Donut Shop is only going to hire donut-makers from certain donut-training institutions?

And it might be possible that your Donut Shop will have to deal with clandestine donut-makers who get hired by the Donut Shop to make sure that all the other donut-makers are making donuts the same way?

And one final question:

Will your pastor be free to eat donuts from Krispie Kreme at the annual convention in Greensboro? Or does your Donut Shop owner suggest that any donut not made with his flour is not a true donut, and should, therefore, not be eaten?

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,
I am laughing so hard I can hardly type. I even wonder if you typo'ed "aloud" for "allowed" on purpose? Such a good satire. Or is it a parable?

Anonymous said...

Cute story. It fits.

There's a syndrome that arises when people oversee an operation they are not involved in at the street level. And it's particularly evident when the operation runs smoothly without their doing anything. I call it the "Inspector Syndrome."

When a Health Inspector visits a restaurant, they seem always to find something. It seems almost as if they're fearful of reporting that everything is fine, as somebody will think they didn't do their job.

When an insurance inspector reports on a house, I've even seen some reports say things like there was a street nearby and a car might hit the house, or a tree next door that might fall on it, etc.

Could it be that the BoT looks at the field and thinks everything is going well, but goodness we can't just say that, or people will wonder why we came all this way on their nickel to not find anything.

So the I.S. sets in and the task becomes to find things rather than oversee them.

On the other hand, someone might have seen a problem ... one that wasn't just some "sour grapes" from some isolated source ... and said "HEY ... problem ... right over here!"

I'd be interested to know what started this

Anonymous said...

Bob Cleveland: Few thoughts on what could start

There are those who don't know the difference between ownership & stewardship. That being the case, they also don't know the difference between overlord and overseer.

Sometimes it's a commentary on the OPERATIVE corporate value; security outpaces progress.

It may also be a commentary on the OPERATIVE leadership paradigm; SERVANT leaders serve whereas leaders operating out of the "GENTILE" overlord syndrome HAVE to find something wrong in order to keep the "little dogs" in their proper place...and keep the "big dog" in the place that he/she has fought so desperately to attain.

Anonymous said...

Just saw your picture on the piggy place. Do you look like Elvis? said...


Don't think so, but thank you, thank you very much.


Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

May Jesus grant your church a picture of the risen Lord this Easter Sunday as you preach.

Villa Rica said...

Thank you Villa.

The same to you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Wade,

Humor is the best medicine. Tell your friend, "Thanks!" for us.

Love in Christ,


Anonymous said...

Fe, fi, fo, fum. Somebody crashed my audio server. Well, that is what it's there for. Thank you, Brother Wade for the plug for Pastor Rod. And thank you for coming and preaching this week at Trinity.

God Bless you,
Wayne Hatcher
Bulldogs and Piggies said...

Your welcome!

You all were super hosts!


John Moeller said...

On this "Good Friday" my thoughts and prayers go out to the missionaries on the front lines of this world who are teaching the truth of Jesus Christ. Those who have been called to this good work and have been graced with special gifts by God, some of which our Baptist leaders do not understand and thus condemn. Even though that grace was given them by our Holy Spirit to perform the work they were called to do. You are not alone, our original missionary Paul said; "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! (Acts 7:51) These words were true then and are true now. Focus on what God has called you to do, resist the devils schemes, and he will flee from you. God bless each one of you!

Isaiah 32 comes to mind this morning;

1 See, a king will reign in righteousness
and rulers will rule with justice.
2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
3 Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
4 The mind of the rash will know and understand,
and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
5 No longer will the fool be called noble
nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
6 For the fool speaks folly,
his mind is busy with evil:
He practices ungodliness
and spreads error concerning the LORD;
the hungry he leaves empty
and from the thirsty he withholds water.
7 The scoundrel's methods are wicked,
he makes up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just.
8 But the noble man makes noble plans,
and by noble deeds he stands.

Stand noble today Wade.

Bob Cleveland said...

Mixilmash: I'm in the insurance business and in the property & casualty end of it, there's a thing called the "proximate cause". That's what I was driving at.

In this case, some person saw something somewhere, made a decision that something needed to change. They had to then talk to others about it and presumably make a motion at some meeting to look into, start, investigate, check, whatever. That started the whole thing.

Things can always be "changed back" but unless someone finds out what the proximate cause of this was, the real problem won't go away.

If there have been wrongs committed here, the Christian spirit of no one wanting to assign blame surely doesn't serve the
King's purpose.

It's surely not biblical to solve problems in a manner which leaves wrongdoers unrepentant, is it?

Anonymous said...

For a better picture of Wade Burleson click on the link. said...

I'm just glad I tweezered my nose hairs that morning! :) said...


I know "the proximate cause."

I would have to resign from the BOT to produce it.

I think I'll stay on and change it from within.


I have eight years.


art rogers said...

It seems that Rod is joining the high ranks of prose writers Dorcas and Villa Rica.

Dissenter just has too much time on his hands. ;)

Anonymous said...

The offering is to be of fine flour
Leviticus 2:1

Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees
Matthew 16:6

It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.
Matthew 15:11

Sorry, I could find no direct references to coffee or donuts in the Bible. (A few “do nots”, but I guess those don’t count.) Don’t know the theological significance of that. However, there is a place in the Bible that could refer to the fact that only men should make coffee: He brews, though the Bible spells that as one word rather than two. (Makes as much sense as some of the other things only men are allowed to do, but that’s for another discussion.)

And from that great theologian Pogo: We have met the enemy and they is us.

Susie :-)

Bob Cleveland said...


Good for you.

'Nuf said.

God bless. May the real importance of the meaning of Easter ooze out of you tomorrow morning. My prayer is that everyone under your preaching will not only know Jesus is alive, but will realize it, too. said...


I do not know of that which thou speakest.

I am not sure of the post to which you refer.

Feel free to resend it.

Shoshana L said...

SBC still "fiddling" around ...

Have any of you ever seen the "Fiddler on the Roof" movie? I mean, lately?

In this movie, a small, poverty stricken Russian village of Jews holds to its religious traditions—right or wrong--with a death grasp. The children of the main character, Tevye, bring the plot into focus as they challenge their father's beliefs at every turn. The oldest daughter fires the first shot, so to speak, by pledging her love and herself in marriage to a Jewish man who has been her friend from youth. Her transgression was that she did not adhere to the customary Jewish tradition whereby the "papa" chooses the groom--usually after the recommendation of a matchmaker. The daughter desires to marry for love, and pleads with her father not make her marry the old butcher with whom he has made a marriage agreement. In the face of his daughter's heartfelt cries, the papa relents, and allows the love match, although it stretches his boundaries to the limit.

The second daughter becomes infatuated with a Jewish "outsider" with revolutionary tendencies. Young and idealistic, this newcomer introduces new thought into the community with joy and passion. But he takes daughter number two away when she accepts his marriage proposal and agrees to follow him far away, joining in activism against the backbreaking policies of their Tsarist overseers.

Daughter number three falls in love with a Christian. He is gentle and kind, and feeds her imagination and creativity with his passion for books and learning. She asks her father's blessing on the marriage, but Tevye has stretched as far as he can, and refuses to give his permission. When he finds out the couple has run off to the village's Orthodox priest to get married, he disowns his daughter for violating the tenets of his faith, and will not even allow the other members of the family to speak to her. She is "dead" to him. "I have no daughter," he says.

This movie is what I think of when I read about the SBC’s use of the BFM as a creed or a “test of faith” for missionaries on the field. These religious edicts being handed down are putting these faithful servants of God in the unfathomable position of having to decide between their personal integrity and their life’s work. This is unconscionable, cruel, and Pharisitic. In some cases, the RL’s are using deception to remove the targeted missionaries, or a kind of religious blackmail to keep the M's silent about what is happening to them.

My advice to these embattled servants is: get out. Leave. Because the SBC is a stiff-necked and proud denomination that will never change its traditions. You are the transgressing child, and you are expendable.

I was raised Southern Baptist, was saved at the age of 12, and was baptised in the Holy Spirit when I was 19. And yes, I speak in other tongues. Do you know what happened when I let it be known what a wonderful thing had happened to me? They began teaching against it in my church. My Sunday school teacher taught that speaking in tongues was "of the devil." A woman came up to me -- in church -- and said she heard I was attending a Satanic church in a nearby town! (I was actually attending monthly public services of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship to learn more about the "Pentecostal" experience.)

At the Southern Baptist college I was attending, my Bible teacher (who I had formerly so admired) passed out a 4-page treatise to all his classes against the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Suddenly, another professor who taught my college class on the book of Romans started giving me failing marks on all my papers and test essay questions. I barely got out of there with a C, because I had to make straight A's on anything (multiple choice, T-F) that couldn't be subjectively graded. When I left that college, I was reduced to a 3.8 GPA, mainly due to this professor’s vendetta. This same "Bible" teacher proclaimed me a Jesus freak in front of everyone at my campus hangout as an intended slam. I took it as a badge of honor.

Meanwhile, a “tongues-speaking” elderly friend of mine who attended my Southern Baptist church for over 55 years, was set upon by members of her SS class one Sunday and told to "get out" after she merely offered comment on the gifts of the Spirit when they were studying the book of 1st Corinthians. She was later told by one class member that she’d been ambushed. Set up. She was so shook up, she never returned. Then, when our SB PASTOR received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with his resulting prayer language, he shared the news with the church on a Wednesday night. Before Sunday, he was gone. The leadership had had an emergency meeting, and wouldn't even allow him to preach a final sermon or say a good-bye. They kicked him out, and then passed the rumor that he had had a nervous breakdown!

Quite a few years later, when I was PR director for my old Southern Baptist college, the editor of the state Baptist newspaper called up the college president, saying he was impressed with my writing and wanted to hire me for his staff. The president of this wonderful Christian college, who had often commended me for my PR work, told the state editor, "Oh, you don't want her...she's a charismatic."

Through the years, I've had Baptists call people like me divisive, exclusive, even demonic, while we were the ones being kicked out of ministries, excluded from fellowship, denied our vocations, and ridiculed for our biblical stances. And now, when I read of what the SBC is trying to do to its missionaries on the field and the trustees who support them, I decided I just couldn't keep still.

My advice for Southern Baptists who diverge in any way from the lock-step of the BFM edicts is -- to get out of SBC service and seek out ministry through churches or organizations who support your gifts. That’s what I had to do. You may, at the outset, have to give up good friends, churches or ministry investments...but it will be worth it.

The sad thing is, the SBC will be losing a cadre of genuine, committed Christians who — when unleashed -- could change the world! Not the SBC, maybe...but the world. (And isn’t that who Jesus sent us to, anyway?) Meanwhile, like Tevye's little peasant village, the SBC mission effort will be all the more poverty stricken for the loss. Hmmm -- I wonder if its trustees will even notice?

steve w said...

I keep seeing this word dissension. We have "Donut Dissension." There was an interesting discussion about dissention in Welcome to Wade's World (click here). It has been a prominent subject in many blog discussions of late.

Then today I read these words in Acts 24:5 -- "For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes." (NASB95)

Interesting. Paul, doing exactly what God wanted him to do, was considered a real pest and one who stirs up dissension "throughout the world." hmmmmmm.....

Is it fair to say that God's truth sometimes causes a great deal of dissension? And being the spokesperson of God's truth sometimes gets us branded as a real pest and troublemaker (NIV)?

A badge of honor, perhaps?

Dori said...

Art -

I agree ... I think SBC Dissenter needs to get himself a day job. What is that about an idle mind? :)

Wade -

Great story. I haven't commented here in a while, so just stopping by to say hello. Have a great Easter! said...


I would gently disagree.

I think we all should stick it out in the SBC to seek to change it for our children. said...


I have received the information you sent. I cannot discuss personnel matters on this blog unless it is a matter to be dealt with by all the trustees, and unless the missionaries give their permission for the matter to be public, and unless it does not violate any security policy.

A ton of restrictions.

All I can say about your specific situation is I am unaware of it being dealt with by the full trustee board at this time.

The best email address is the one attached to my profile.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Soshana at the cruel treatment she has received by ‘good’ Christians. This is the same treatment animals give each other. When a black cow is added to a black herd, she is accepted fine, but when a white or red cow is added to a black heard, she will not mix with the herd for a long time.
Soshana said that she was reminded of a move (where the father said of his daughter that she was dead to him) when the SBC used the BFM as a creed or a “test of faith” for missionaries on the field. She stated: “These religious edicts being handed down are putting these faithful servants of God in the unfathomable position of having to decide between their personal integrity and their life’s work. This is unconscionable cruel, and Pharisitic.”
For prove of her words, I will quote a missionary who fought the devil trying to remove him from God’s call for 24 years, but was removed by his own by being fired. This is part of his letter (printed in the Texas Baptist Committed April 2002) to his regional leader why he cannot sign their BFM.
___“I fully respect the authority of the IMB. My allegiance is to God’s Holy Word and that alone. To pledge to any other document outside God’s Holy Word violates my beliefs as a Baptist and my integrity before God.
___I am reminded of... Chariots of Fire. Eric would not run on Sunday. One of the older lords said, ‘Don’t be impertinent, young man!’ and Eric replied, ‘The impertinence, Sir, lies with those who seek to influence a man to deny his beliefs.’
___I suppose that would be my response to those who seek to ‘encourage’ me to sign a pledge of allegiance to the BFM.
___This document and the way it has been produced and used to persecute and pressure those who seek to follow and honor Christ reminds me of the golden image Nebuchadnezzar created. I think this pagan king’s objective was essentially the same as those who are pressing this issue...dominance. He wanted control. He wanted power over his people.
___You know our history. We have had many terrible events and problems and trials that have attempted to remove us from our place of service but have failed.
___I am very disappointed in the way this has been approached, not only by the leadership in the SBC who seem to have a great mistrust of us but also by the leadership of the IMB.
___Signing this will not protect us from charges of heresy behind our backs. It will not disarm those who are trying the divide the SBC.
___You said you might pick out statements from missionaries to read to the Board...and in such a way they would not know which missionary had said what. My request is, if you choose to use this...state it is from Stan R. Lee of Rwanda.”
___It is immaterial to me whether I serve Christ in Rwanda or in Texas as long as I know within my heart that I am pleasing to Him.
___It may be that this will turn out to be the end of my missionary career, but I want you to know that if I go, I go as a true Baptist and a true servant of the SBC, but Christ’s first.”
ALL FOR CHRIST,___Stan R. Lee, D.V.M.___Rwanda, Africa
Wade, I cannot say anymore than this and I like your response to stick it out for our children, but it could be grandchildren. To Soshana I will say I have not left the SBC because I do not want to abandon my brothers who are being led down a Catholic road.
Rex Ray