Friday, April 07, 2006

A Stack of Emails at My Door

Yesterday I received a large stack of hard copies of emails received by the IMB and sent Southern Baptists to the IMB TRUSTEE email address advertised in Baptist Press. The Chairman of the IMB requested that Southern Baptist weigh in on their feelings regarding the new policies.

I want to commend the staff and Trustee John Russell from Florida for insuring trustees were given these emails for study and perusal.

Remember, the new policies forbid the appointing of Southern Baptist missionaries who speak in tongues in their private prayers (the old policy already forbad speaking in tongues publicly on the mission field), and they forbid the appointment of a missionary who was baptized by immersion, after trusting Jesus Christ alone for salvation, but was NOT baptized in a Southern Baptist church or a church that believes in eternal security. This is simply an observation of the new policies, not a criticism.

I have read through every email sent by Southern Baptists to the IMB TRUSTEES. Those opposed to the new policies run about 10 to every 1 who has written in favor of them.

As a trustee who seeks to fulfill my duty to respond to everyone who has written to the IMB Trustees requesting a response, I would be delighted to write you back with my thoughts. However, due to the new policy restriction that a trustee cannot publicly criticize Board approved actions, I will not be responding to your requests for a reply. I continue to have no comment regarding the two new policies.

I am assuming that this packet of emails was sent to every trustee, though I heard several trustees publicly say they did not want to receive them. Hopefully if you wrote and asked questions (which many of you did), you will have those questions answered. If not, let me know.

By the way, I am grateful and encouraged that the SBC was asked to weigh in on these matters. That is really good progress.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...

Thank you brother for your humility in this situation. I would have walked away frustrated and angry much quicker than you if I had been falsely accused and been treated in the manner that you have. I will continue to pray to the Lord in hopes that these decisions will be overturned.

Anonymous said...

How many emails did you receive in the stack?

Tim Sweatman said...


Thank you for taking seriously your accountability to the SBC as a trustee. While the Board of Trustees is not a representative institution in the sense that Congress or a state legislature is, one would expect that each trustee would be interested in the views of Southern Baptists on such important issues. The fact that several trustees do not want to look at these emails, which were requested by the board chairman himself, strikes me as "resisting accountability" to the SBC on the part of those trustees. Perhaps the board vote to recommend that they be removed on those grounds. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Anonymous said...

10 to 1...hmmmm

Here's hoping for progress in Greensboro

Anonymous said...

This morning during my meditation time I ran across this quotation by a wonderful Christian servant:
"No good ever came from evil means."
FY in KY

Anonymous said...

Bro. Burleson,

Please keep in mind that these e-mails you are reading that are 10:1 against the new IMB policies are not reflective of Southern Baptists as a whole. As I have said before my own association is 10:1 in favor of the new policies, but I don't believe any of the pastors have contacted the trustees. Many Southern Baptists pastors are not online or are just too busy. Probably less than 5% of Southern Baptists pastors have sent in e-mails.

Anonymous said...

I did not see anything about writing in our "thoughts" about the new policies. Would you please print that in this "comment" blog? Thank You for standing strong for the truth of God's word. We are still praying for you. DW said...


I loved the letter. I did not have it, and have filed it for my use.

I am unsure about being able to post it because of various reasons --- at this time.


wade said...


That's great! The men in your association, I'm sure are good, godly pastors and leaders.

I look forward to working with them in the future, cooperating with them in winning the world for Christ.

Do they have the same thoughts toward those who disagree with them?

I hope they do.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...


Is it permissable, under the new rules, to put the e-mail address you mentioned? I do not often log onto BP, and they have taken down the e-mail address for us to send a note to trustees.

Anonymous said...

Concerning this statement by Wade: "I would be delighted to write you back with my thoughts. However due to the new policy restriction that a Trustee cannot publicly criticize Board approved actions, I continue to have no comment." As Darren would say; "Hummmmmmm. That's saying a lot without saying anything. Sounds a little like the little boy who was sent to sit in the corner and said, "I may be sittng in the corner on the outside but I am standing up on the inside."
I know this is sarcasm but I don't mean to be. Say what you will but I think good men approved by the body behind closed doors can avoid parading dirty linen to the masses. Modern inventions are not always used for good.