Saturday, May 27, 2006

In the Counsel of Many There Is Great Wisdom

Throughout my year long service as a trustee of the International Mission Board I have sought the counsel of many people who have helped me work through a few problems that have risen as I sought to fulfill my duty to the Southern Baptist Convention as a trustee of the IMB.

At the request of these counselors and advisors, I continue to work on a succinct post that will detail events that eventually led to repeated attempts by certain trustees to remove me from the IMB either by force or resignation. Through last Wednesday morning, May 24, 2006, I was content and satisfied to quietly serve on the IMB, work through any problems with other trustees internally, as I have sought to do from the beginning of my service, and to focus solely on supporting the direction and vision of our President and IMB administrators as they lead our IMB by keeping the grassroots constituency of the SBC informed. I also expect all trustees, including me, to fulfill all our duties and abide by policies prescribed by SBC and IMB governing documents.

My relationships with trustees have solidly improved over the last two months. At this Board Meeting in Albuquerque I enjoyed breakfast with Bill Sanderson from North Carolina. My wife and I had great conversations with David Button of New York. I laughed with Bill Sutton from Texas and he and I talked about how we could move forward as a Board. Kevin King from Colorado is a wonderful guy who laughs easily as well and enjoys my company as I his. Though these four men and I would not see I to eye on some of the issues, I KNOW I can work with them because we know how to talk, fellowship and work together.

There are many more men and women like these four on our Board. The issue is not whether we all agree, but rather, "will we as trustees abide by policy; will we follow the vision and direction of our President, and will we allow full and free debate on all issues." I believed that we were headed in the right direction since March. These issues were now on the forefront of every trustee's mind.

That is why I was absolutely shocked at the allegations from Tom Hatley at our last meeting. I assumed we as trustees were moving in the right direction. I was very hopeful about the future of my relationship with every single trustee. I have some VERY solid relationships with about thirty trustees, but I was excited about building relationships with the others.

What Went Wrong Wednesday Morning in Albuquerque?

Chairman Hatley issued an Executive Committee report on the "Wade Burleson Issue" Wednesday morning. I knew a report was coming, but I did not know what was in the report. After the Trustee Forum on Monday, Tom Hatley, the IMB Attorney Matt Bristol, and I sat down to discuss "the report."

Tom began reading the intended report and he got no more through the first paragraph when I stopped him and said, "Wait a minute Tom, I am confused. You talk about "reconciliation" and "healing" that is needed as if I am the one in need of these things. Tom, I'm fine with every single trustee. I'm ready to move forward."

Tom relayed to me how the problem was in other trustees who were not fine with me. These trustees felt that my blog had disparaged them. He then began to read from my blog posts that were written prior to the effort to remove me during the January Board meeting in Richmond. He said I should "apologize" for the things I wrote or allowed to be written by others in my comment section. I reiterated to Tom that I will apologize ONLY IF I AM SHOWN WHERE I AM WRONG. I won't apologize to make people feel better.

To this day I can't understand how there is a motion to remove me in January, a unanimous rescinsion of that motion same motion March, AND I NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR ANYTHING. Either you have the goods to support the removal of a trustee and you do it, or you don't. Why would the motion be rescinded if the trustee in question never apologized. I have issued an expression of regret on my blog that the tone of my December 10th blog was too militant, but I have never apologized. On Monday Tom pleaded with me to apologize in order for other trustees to be able to "work with me." I told Tom for the umpteenth time that I stand by everything I have written. Again, let me reiterate, I will always apologize when and if I am shown what it is that I have written is wrong, but I won't apologize just because people want me to in order to feel better about their situation.

In Albuquerque things went out of control Wednesday morning because I refused to "apologize" -- again. I constantly stand ready to defend what I have written if and when given the opportunity. In fact, in an ABP story released last night, new Chairman Dr. John Floyd says that if I had simply apologized the first time discipline would have ended. It is difficult for me to understand how some can't understand these simple words, "I will not apologize. I will not apologize for "gossip." I will not apologize for "slander." I will not apologize for "resistance to accountability." I will not apologize for "loss of trust." I will not apologize for "multiple breaches of confidentiality." I will only apologize if I believe that what I have written falls under these categories, and I categorically deny anything I have written falls underneath these charges.

Please don't misunderstand. I have no HESITANCY to apologize to my wife, my kids, my church, my friends, my enemies, anyone to whom an apology is owed, and yes, even to the Board of Trustees, but I apologize when I am shown what it is that I have written that is factually wrong. I won't apologize just because I expose a problem that needs exposed.

When we were flying home from Albuquerque my wife said to me, "Wade, since you have tried to present the proof for what you have written on your blog to the trustees on various occasions and have been denied the opportunity, and because you continue to come under attack regarding your character and integrity, I think it is time for you to make public the basis for your concerns regarding the behavior of certain trustees and you should give details."

The Proof

Do people desire to know how I know that some trustees (a diminishing number because of recent events and attrition) are violating Board policy and trustee accountability guidelines by seeking to subvert the leadership of Dr. Jerry Rankin and his administration? In other words, do they want proof that stands as the support of my December 10th post?

I'm happy to give it. However, from the beginning, I have believed the best environment in which that information is to be released is the trustee environment.

I wrote at least two emails to every Board member and Chairman Hatley prior to the attempt to remove me in January, 2006, requesting permission to address the entire Board, uninterrupted, as I laid out my concerns. These requests were denied. Since the decision to rescind the recommendation for my removal, I have requested, again, to address the entire Board with the information. This request was denied as well.

Dr. Hatley stated to me in March, after the vote for my removal was unanimously rescinded, that he would not appoint me to a Board committee. When I asked him why, he said, "Because we still have issues with your relationship with some of our trustees. They are offended with you." In an attempt to bring "reconiliation and harmony" to the Board, he desired for me to meet with three people from the (former) Executive Committee and they would hear the information I had gathered to give to the SBC in my defense against the original charges of "gossip and slander," and then they would issue a report to the full Board. I was not to be allowed to address the full Board myself. I was as comfortable with Dr. Hatley's suggestion as an Eskimo lighting a bonfire in his igloo.

I told Dr. Hatley, again, that I would only speak to the entire Board as I had requested. I also volunteered that he could choose to let this "Wade Burleson Issue" end, and I would continue my work as a trustee. But for the latter to occur, he would have to assign me to a committee, and we would forget those things which were past, and move forward into the future. Unfortunately, Chairman Hatley bowed to the wishes of a few very vocal trustees and stated he would not allow me to serve on a committee of the IMB.

I think at the time Chairman Hatley felt that was a very reasonable thing to do (though I and others thought it very UNreasonable) because a few trustees, typified in one particularly angry trustee, who will be named in the near future but not now, tried to make it so that I would (1). Never serve on a committee for my entire tenure as a trustee, (2). Not be renominated to serve a second term because a letter would be written to the Nominating Committee members of the SBC from Oklahoma urging them to not reappointed me for my second term, (3). Never be allowed to speak in a microphone during business meetings (ding!), and (4). I would have to pay my own way to all IMB meetings. I received a phone call from a SBC member not associated with the Board who told me of the desires of this trustee, and of course, I can confirm them as well.

So, I guess Chairman Hatley thought I should be happy that the motion to remove was unanimously rescinded in March, and the Chairman simply refused to place me on a committee because in his mind, others wanted much more "punishment."

Of course, in my mind, I'm thinking true leadership stands on principle and not the fear of rejection by a few vocal trustees who pat you on the back as the leader and constantly praise you for your actions. Chairman Hatley could not give me a reason for not being on a committee, except that to be fully restored would "anger" some on the Board. Again, the implication to me was that I should be grateful I was back on the Board!

Ok, I thought to myself in March when told I would not serve on a committee, fine no problem. I knew the Chairman had the perogative and the authority to do as he pleased when it came to the appointments for committees, and if he felt this would pacify those few trustees who were having mild heart attacks at the very thought of Wade Burleson being on the Board because the Board refused to follow through with the motion to remove, then I'll live with it for the sake of peace. I am learning quickly that ANYTHING you do for the sake of peace rather than principle ultimately does more damage than good. (P.S. The consitution and bylaws do not grant the authority to the Chairman to bar any trustee from offical trustee meetings where the entire full Board is invited, that privilege lies with the SBC alone. The Chairman only has the authority over committee assignments for individual trustees).

So with the actions to restore me in March without a committee appointment, the next question became, what would it take to get me back on a committee? I was told by Chairman Hatley in response to this question either an apology from me, or the revelation of the facts that support what I have written and a corresponding report exonerating me for what I have said on my blog would give my back my trustee privileges of serving on a committee. Since Oklahoma becoming annexed by Texas is more likely than me apologizing for the content of what I have written, then I chose to not complain about my lack of committee assigment and simply wait things out for the opportunity to defend my words on this blog or allow everyone to press forward and forget the past.

The Debate for the Procedure for a Fair Hearing

Tom called me in April and asked if I would meet with the Executive Committee in Dallas to lay out before them all the information I had which would justify my blog entries (particularly the December 10th entry). I thought to myself, "Isn't this reversed of the way it is supposed to have happened. Wasn't Chairman Hatley supposed to come to me in January, PRIOR to the motion for my removal, and ask for substantiation for the things I had written?" But of course, as you know, nobody EVER approached me with ANYTHING remotely associated with the basis of support for my removal from the IMB in January. The charge then was gossip and slander, but NOBODY ever showed the basis for the charge. It's like everyone just assumed that Board leadership should be trusted.

Initially I consented to Hatley's request to meet the Executive Committee in Dallas, but then after seeking counsel, I reconsidered and said I did not believe this would in the best interest of anyone involved.

Instead I told Chairman Hatley, through IMB counsel, that I would share the information to an ad hoc committee composed of new trustee Andy Johnson, seasoned trustee Bill Hickman, fellow trustees Wayne Marsall and Rick Thompson. This group could then issue a report to the full Board regarding the information they received and any appropriate action in response.

This request was denied by the former Chairman Hatley. He said only the Executive Committee would be allowed to see my material. Again, please remember, it is not I who is seeking to meet with anyone. I was completely willing, as Bill Sutton suggested to me, to "Put the Wade Burleson issue behind us."

But for reasons I do not fully know (but have strong suspicions regarding), Chairman Tom Hatley did not want to let "The Wade Burleson Issue" die, and wanted "resolution" before he gave up his chair in May at Albuquerque.


This brings us to our meeting in Albuquerque.

I refused to apologize for what I have written on this blog as Dr. Hatley requested.

If you read Dr. Hatley's offical statement from his report on Wednesday morning regarding "The Wade Burleson Issue" you will notice he says, "Wade apologized on his blog" and then makes a statement to the effect "That's a good start." I laughed and told my wife when I heard him read that, "Well, if he can't get an apology out of me, I guess he'll make one up for me." The "apology" he mentions from my blog was simply a statement saying I feel very sorry that "unnamed" trustees are hurt that they have been lumped into a class of trustees who have violated Board policy by seeking the removal of Dr. Rankin. Notice, I did not apologize for saying certain trustees were doing this.

Dr. Hatley selectively reads from my blog. I have said often that my blog is my salvation. I have been consistent --- I will not apologize for anything I have written.

A Funny Story from the PUBLIC Board Meeting

To show you the how common the knowledge is that certain people have been out to get Dr. Rankin since he was elected President, let me tell you a funny story from the Tuesday afternoon Board meeting when my friend Trustee Johnny Nantz from Nevada was recognized for his eight years of service. Johnny was one of several trustees who were attending their last meeting. Plaques were given to all --- but Johnny. It seems his name was accidently left off the list and he did not get a plaque.

After making some very light hearted comments about being forgotten, Johnny went up to Dr. Rankin and gave him a big hug and said, "That's the only thing I need at my last meeting." Dr. Rankin retorted, "But Johnny, you can't nail me to the wall" (as you can a plaque), to which a trustee hollered out, "It's not like some haven't tried."

Everyone died laughing. You don't laugh unless there's truth to the statement.

Why then are people offended when I simply say what everyone knows to be true? Could it be that I have thwarted the very thing intended?

I think I have, and because of that, I am ready to move on to focus on the important issues of SBC missions.

Blindsided Again

Last Wednesday things changed for me tremendously. I was blindsided, again, with charges that were unsubstantiated. The charges this time were "multiple breaches of confidentiality." When I asked for the rationale for not following Christian protocol and IMB policy by making public very serious charges WITHOUT coming to me in private with substantiation for the charges, the former Chairman refused to even talk with me. What kind of organization do we have when leadership picks and chooses what rules they wish to follow?

It was very evident to me, my wife, Pastor Clif Cummings and other trustees who have contacted me and are writing letters to the Board themselves, that I was the target of a public attempt to discredit my character, disparage my reputation, and in general, cause people to question my integrity.

Where Things Stand Now: Three Options to Consider

I close by sharing with you my perspective of where things are with me now and I am going to ask you to participate in my decision process. There are three options that the Board of Trustees can take in correcting wrong I have seen on the Board of Trustees.

Option (1). I am of the opinion, as well as at least two other trustees who voted to remove me in January, that we should "forget" about "The Wade Burleson" issue, reinstate me to full trustee privileges and work toward the future together. The past is past, the future is the future. This has been my desire ever since the trustees rescinded the recommendation for my removal --- until last Wednesday.

Option (2). The unwarranted, ill-advised attack last Wednesday morning has led me to to seriously consider the decision to publicly reveal names, dates, and events that prove a pattern of behavior of certain trustees that reveal a disrespect for IMB administration, an intentional violation of Board approved policies, and an agenda that is contrary to our President's. Unlike charges that are publicly made against me, I have chosen NOT to reveal names at this time, and you can rest assured, that when this decision to reveal names is made, every single person named will have heard from me privately before it is posted. Everyone except two persons have already heard from me at least once.

The reason I have not quickly made all this public already is because I want to make double dog sure this is the absolute best decision for the SBC as a whole and I am not doing anything to "defend" my name. This is tough for me determine by myself, and that is why I am seeking counsel, praying, and not moving hastily. If there is even an iota of desire to defend my reputation I do not wish to choose this option, but if this is the only way resolution of these of "The Wade Burleson" issue can occur, then by all means, it must be done.

Option (3). A pastor friend who is aware of the situation has composed a recommendation that he would like to present to the SBC that the Executive Commitee appoint an Ad Hoc Committee of people who are not a part of the IMB to investigate the internal trustee workings of the IMB for the last five years to determine whether or not undue influence has occurred, whether or not intentional and willful violations of Bord policies and procedures has occurred by individual trustees, and whether or not there is reason to believe certain trustees are promoting an agenda contrary to the desire and vision of the President. The wording on the motion is being worked on as we speak, and he has requested my permission to be able to make this as a recommendation.

My question for you is simply this: Which option do you like best?

I personally like Option (1) best.

I feel compelled that Option (2) may be needed for the good of the SBC.

I wonder if Option (3) might be the most effective way for this to be handled.

All three options have strengths and weaknesses to them. I would like to know which option you think is best for the SBC at large.

You have till Monday to give me your opinion.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

In the context of accountability, and with the apparent fact that the BoT (and perhaps the IMB in general) seems not to have anything within it that will mandate accountability, I believe #3 is the only choice.

I have no idea how that can be implemented to assure fairness, but if it fairness cannot be guaranteed, then the SBC is without hope.

Option #1 is not an option. We all know what happens to a wound when it is sutured up with infection still present.

Option #2 should be carried out in full, but with the Blue Ribbon Committee, and not publicly.

I presume the Committee, or the establishment which forms it, will be prepared to take some action on what is revealed, if action is appropriate.

No other option that I can see (I'm not a creative thinker) will get it all out there in a manner which will instill confidence among Southern Baptists.

Even more important, the actions must be pleasing to God, or He'll show us dramatically that He really IS the source of supply for the SBC and the IMB.

May 27, 2006

scott bridwell said...
You know Wade, I don't have a clue as to which one would be best. I do know that many more people are interested in the future of the IMB then say 5 months ago and that can't be a bad thing. I do know that many more people are getting involved in ways that they never dreamed and that too can't be a bad thing.

My favorite passage in scripture is where Joshua tells his brothers..."those things you meant for evil God used for good". (that's a rough translation).

Anonymous said...

You know Wade, I don't have a clue as to which one would be best. I do know that many more people are interested in the future of the IMB then say 5 months ago and that can't be a bad thing. I do know that many more people are getting involved in ways that they never dreamed and that too can't be a bad thing.

My favorite passage in scripture is where Joshua tells his brothers..."those things you meant for evil God used for good". (that's a rough translation).

Anonymous said...


Here are my observations regarding your options.

1) This would be the easiest option, and it would probably do the least damage to the board. However, it would also fail to address some of the underlying problems of the board.

2) This would certainly address the board's underlying problems. It might be the alcohol that would disinfect the wound so healing could begin, but it would also burn like the dickens. This option has the potential to devastate the board, but I'm starting to think that only something radical can deal with these problems. For obvious reasons, this option should be employed ONLY if there is irrefutable evidence to support your claims.

3) Maybe it's just me, but I don't know if I would trust such a committee, not in the sense of integrity but in the sense of objectivity. Perhaps if this committee were made up of people who have never served as a trustee of any entity (or have not done so over the past several years) then I might trust them to be more objective. I would also be more inclined to trust a committee that Morris Chapman played a major role in appointing. One thing that this option would do is reinforce the concept that the boards of our entities are accountable to the convention. So maybe this would set a good precedent.

I'm not sure which option I like best. But maybe I have given you some other useful things to consider in making your decision.

Anonymous said...

I think option 2 is scorched earth, but may well be the only alternative. Unethical behavior has occurred, and you are attempting to handle the matter as per Matthew 18 (have you gone with a brother/sister trustee to them to confront the matter?).

So though it would not be easy I seem to recall the Apostle Paul referring to a "difficult letter" he had written to the Corinthian church, and so it may be that you have to choose the difficult path.

Option 3 would be an acceptable option if the information you have points irrefutably to parties outside the IMB BoT. If that is the case, and I pray it isn't, then the matter is for the SBC as a whole to be aware of. This is doubly true if individuals outside the BoT include agency heads or denominational employees (whether IMB missionares, or seminary professors).

Option 3 would be acceptable if Morris Chapman is tasked to appoint the committee and not the current or future SBC president.

BTW, I think all of this came up last Wednesday because they fear your possible influence on the SBC meeting in Greensboro.

Anonymous said...

vote for option #1 as long as you continue to blog in "grace and truth". Southern Baptists have historically been congregational churches rather than a hierarchical organization, so the blogs have proven a great way to involve and give voice to people in the pews as well as frontline missionaries.
The other two options have the huge potential of escalating conflict unnecessarily and the real issues will get lost in the process. True biblical peacemaking draws people together rather than driving them apart. We are meant to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor 5) to a lost world, but how can we do that if we can't be reconciled with each other?
Wade, I would encourage you to seek formal Christian Conciliation through a trained and objective conciliator rather than seeking legal counsel. Just because something is "your right" does not necessarily make it right. We answer to a higher authority. First Corinthians 6:1-8 says,

"1If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
7The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers."

You have to ask yourself what is best for your missionaries and our witness? You have been the lightening rod for these issues because you have been bold enough to speak up. Your missionaries are grateful to you. Don't lose the plot and make it about you at this stage. Stay on the high ground.

Anonymous said...


Option 2 is the only one to resolve this and bring your innocense to the public. As Baptist we should be well informed in the true direction of our IMB. #1 will never happen. # 3 has already been denied many times. The new chairman may be more tolerate but the festering hatred, and that is what it is, is not going away. Some good men may resign but it shouldn't be you. As you know in my responses I am again announymous entrys. I understand if it's missionaries protecting their positions, but bot people who just disagree with your stand. I know that if you and I had a disagreement and went face to face with prayer, GOD, would have us on the same page immediately. I have been hurt in my 67 years on this planet only to find out that the other person misunderstood what I did or said and once approached me were reconciled with me. If that opportunity had been granted to you, this issue would long ago been resolved and we lay people would have never heard of it. All the names we need for you to release have already been forgiven by us. We ask from them to return this forgiveness back to you for their unGODly action. We. lay people are not out to disband the IMB. We want it stronger as the day approaches when CHRIST will return. Time is of the essence...Love to all, even the past chairman

Charlie from Gainesville

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

Can we choose Option 1 & 3? Notice I said "Can" instead of "May".

I really do want to see this put behind and you restored to full status. I cannot for the life of me see how anyone can serve a board they are not allow to attend the meetings of.

Also, you raised a point that I have a serious concern about. Did you have to pay your way to New Mexico? If you did and everyone else had their trip funded by the IMB--I HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH THAT!


Bryan Riley said...


My opinion is impaired by a lack of knowledge of the facts that you are keeping privately, but I do think we can discuss principles of wisdom generally in relation to the three options you have provided (there are other options).

#2 will always be problematic, if for no other reason than your ability, as a human being, to be truly objective will always be questioned and anything you share will be viewed through that lens. And, frankly, I would find it very hard for you to be objective and not be, at least in part, interested in defending your reputation, even potentially at the cost of God's reputation. That is no ding to you... simply an observation of humanity and subjectivity.

#1... while you may be able to, for the most part, put the "Wade Burleson issue" behind you, others appear to be making it painfully obvious that they cannot. Thus, for you to do so doesn't help us resolve this conflict.

#3... this is really the option that provides the opportunity for some objectivity to occur and thus it is the option that may result in better acceptance of its final conclusion, whatever that may be.

Now, having said all that, we all will do well to remember that it really doesn't matter what we do. This drama is not about me or us. It is about Him and Him alone. To God be the glory.

Bryan Riley said...

Another thought... You should be focused on God's reputation above your own or the SBC's. You ask for counsel as to what would be best for the SBC... May you receive counsel and follow direction regarding what is best for the Kingdom.

Anonymous said...


I have always been for you letting the names out there to show people that you are not just saying these things based upon zero evidence. There is a reason that people have opinions and positions. Yours did not come in a vaccum.

I was wrong in my desire to see you do it in January. I think you did the right thing in allowing the caucus group time to turn it around and stop their activity. They appear to be refusing to do that. Some seem to be willing to fight to prove you wrong. Me thinks they protest too much!

Pride goes before destruction. I cannot understand the continued hardening of hearts and a refusal to turn from illegal caucus activity. I am sure they just want it to go away so they can continue their activity and their agenda. But they cannot continue and this must stop.

You do not need my advice because I am sure you have great men advising you, but since you asked.

Before names go out maybe you should seek out those "names" about this first, and ask them to repent. Then, if no repentance, you must go to the body at large, the SBC convention in this case, to help those who refuse to turn repentance. If you have already done this then public is the way you must go with their names. But that is my uninformed opinion.

Savage Baptist said...

Option three sounds very good, with the proviso that the investigating team must be chosen very carefully! I would expect a fight over the team members, to say the least.

Ultimately, I have a very hard time seeing how it will be possible to keep any documentation and evidence you possess out of play, so to speak. I'm not there, not directly involved, and may be speaking out of my hat, but if everything I've read so far is accurate and unbiased, it would appear to me that many of the actions taken against you have been taken on the assumption that you either do not have or will not use "smoking gun" proof, and this mentality will continue until you use it.

Phillips Lynn said...

Pastor Wade,

As I have stated many times in your blog I am praying for you and your family and greatly appreciate the stand you have taken.

When you were originally threatened by removal from the board at Greensboro, their intent was for you to resign or back down to avoid the embarrassment of censure.

However, that plan did not work and caused an even bigger problem for them. People who heard of your plight were outraged and others who have seen this scenario happen before begin to speak up and "the good ole boy" network was confirmed by many.

Hatley and others on the board had to quickly stop this from reaching Greensboro so they decided that the "Burleson problem could be handled in house" and removed you from committees, etc.

I believe that as long as the "powers that be" have control of the board there will never be complete reconciliation or an apology to you, your family and church because that might make trustees on other boards be willing to stand against similar things that happen in their institutions and agencies on their watch.

Intimidation has always worked in the past.

Again, I thank you for standing and I thank your family and church for standing by you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post, Wade. And thank you for your accountability and your graceful stand on principle. I see wisdom in all 3 and hope that Option 1 can be effective so that we as a convention can move forward toward the passion of your heart - missions!!! This comes through clearly in your words and actions - at least on this blog to an outside family member (both bloodline and church association). Thank you for your willingness to bring issues to the forefront with an eye toward sharing the gospel. You have encouraged us as a family to keep our eye on the prize while getting rid of every weight. THANKS!!!

Your sis down in Norman,

Jim Shaver said...

Number 2 is the only alternative that the "power brokers" in the SBC understand. Anything else is viewed as a victory for their side.

This "rabid skunk" is already out of its cage and needs to be exposed and destroyed before it spreads its disease to other agencies and boards.

I fear for the future of the SBC if this kind of secret manipulation of our most sacred trust can remain secret and powerful.

As John the Baptist publicly pointed out Herod's sin so must this also be revealed.

Phillips Lynn said...

Bryan Riley,

Because God is God, His Kingdom will stand.

We as Christians are supposed to be the salt and light of the world and stand against sin and sinful actions not only in the world but also those within the camp.

JUSTAMOE said...

Option 1: been done by you for 6 months now, and meeting opposition all the way (we are to seek to win our brothers, not our cases against our brothers--but our brothers are responsible for being "win-able"--ours have not had this attitude);

Option 2: realizing I'm subject to the same, the better choice in my opinion; a smattering of this will be known by many--but not all--messengers of the SBC in June, but no ability to resolve it will be possible unless the full truth is known; at this point, name the names and tell the full story--the "un-win-able" brothers themselves essentially have chosen this course (but probably really, really are hoping this option won't be chosen; if they were repentant, they'd be phoning you this weekend before a disclosure takes place);

Option 3: means how many more months of utter frustration, unfocused attention, and lack of progress in an eternity-impacting ministry called "international missions"?--which would you rather have on your conscience: the healing of the SBC or the loss of souls in the meantime? That's not a hard one for me.

Jamie Wootten said...


God will lead you to the right decision. You will find much support for whatever you decide.

But since you asked,

#1- I think is the best. Forgive and move on. It will take more power for you to holdback than it would to tell everything. I think that would continue to speak highly of your character.

#2- To borrow a line from "Lost" the other night..."Are you ready to pull your finger out and let the dam blow up?" I certainly don't know all that you know but I have an uneasy feeling that your report could send shock waves through the SBC that may never be reconciled.

(If you choose to do this just be prepared for whatever the consequences are)

#3- In a perfect world this would be a great option, but in our SBC world I see this one getting bogged down in politics and red tape. It would likely take years and whatever they find would be too little too late.

May God bless you and guide you as you work through this, Wade.

Anonymous said...


I served with the IMB and have family members on the Board of Trustees currently. The events you are seeing on the Board were also at play in the leadership on the field. I want to guard agaisnt a response from the flesh, but I have long thought the truth had to be aired. I have attempted to share the truth with those in positions of leadership but you are the only one I know with the opportunity of bringing about change. That is why I see option 2 as the only one to bring about deep change. Consider the current problems at NAMB: we have great need for real change in every aspect of our bloated beaurocracy.


Tony Gulbrandsen said...

Brother Wade,

I believe option 3 is the best. I also agree with those who have said Morris Chapman should appoint the ad-hoc committee.

As I see it, this has ramifications that are far broader than the IMB-BoT. It could very well be the way all of the BoTs are operating and, as such, should be looked at from some non-BoT Baptists with servant hearts.

I think we are exactly where Jimmy Draper predicted we would be. The "good ole boys" are ruling the roost and the rest of us are supposed to cowtow to their wishes. It is a deplorable state, but not without hope.

Option 3 is the only one that has the ability to expand beyond the IMB into all of the SBC agencies. This ship can have a course correction. Of course, we all need to be on our knees and seeking God's intervention first and foremost.

Blessings my brother. I will be praying for you and our beloved SBC.


Luke said...

Dear Wade,
I regularly read your posts. I appreciate your integrity and the spirit with which you seek to strengthen the work of the convention. I am hesitant to offer any answer to your specific dilemma other than to keep you in prayer. I hope that whatever course you choose there will be more light shown on the decision making process within the convention.
Luke Smith

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

I fear that the only option is #2. It seems to me that a committee is not the best option because we need to stop having things handled behind closed doors. The Cooperative Program dollars come from the sacrificial giving of average Southern Baptists, and Southern Baptists deserve to know whether there is systemic inappropriate behavior on the board. I fear that if this remains behind closed doors, there will always be a suspicion of a cover up, and it will only provide the opportunity for vicious gossip (which may not be true) which runs the risk of undermining the integrity of the IMB in the long run.

I understand that option #2 is by far the least palatable, and I know that you wish to preserve as much grace as possible in your actions. Nevertheless, there comes a time at which further grace must be sacrificed on the altar of truth. I believe you are approaching such a time.

As an outsider, even knowing what little I know about the whole system, I have little to no faith in it. I wish I did not have to feel this way, but when I hear bits and pieces of information (ATTN IMB Trustees: I'm not referring to what Brother Wade has ever written), I realize I'm not hearing the whole story. I feel like I cannot trust these organizations when everything is kept in the dark, and though I still do so, I find it increasingly difficult to support the CP when I know it is shrouded in secret.

Bro. Wade, I don't want it to be this way. The only way to end the gossip and suspicion is to clear the air, no matter how painful it may be in the short run. Don't be tempted to go with option 3 alone--I fear you may only have to resort to option 2 anyway, just later on down the road.

You have previously invoked the famous words of Martin Luther, "Here I stand, I can do no other." What would have happened if Luther had merely kept his objections inside the official church structures? We need to solve the problems, Bro. Wade. You are one of the few in the SBC in a position to do so, and there are even fewer who are willing.

This is your Worms. Take the action you can while you still have the ability.

God be with you,

Stefan M.

Anonymous said...


Having discussed with fellow missionaries the recent BoT decisions that both tighten parameters (and go beyond the BF&M) and prohibit open dialogue, I (we) feel that a change needs to be made. I think that option #3 would provide the most constructive means of change. Also, in that it would be supported by a committee rather than just one individual, I feel the findings and recommendations would have a more solid foundation. However, I also realize that option #2 may become necessary if option #3 proves to be ineffective.

An IMB missionary in Asia

Bro. Ray said...

Option #1 seems to be best, but will it correct any problems? I agree with Tim Sweatman's comments on this option.

Option #2 appeals to a side of me I don't like. However, I echo "tl"'s comments on this option.

Option #3 is probably necessary regardless of which approach you take.

My question is which option will bring the most glory to Jesus Christ? Which option will allow Southern Baptists to fulfill our mission in a greater way? Which option minimizes Wade Burleson, Tom Hatley, et al and Maximizes Jesus Christ?

Til Jesus Comes,

WTJeff said...

All the commenters have made such strong cases for each option. Personally, I'd like to see option 2 put on hold until we see the reaction from other trustees. There was such a backlash to your removal, the same may occur with the current situation. If there is a negative reaction to Dr. Hatley's recommendations, the board as a whole may be open to option 1. However, if this doesn't happen, option 3 seems to be the best recourse. The information presented in option 2 could be presented to this panel and, hopefully, an objective, Christlike response would be issued. This, of course, would be dependent on those appointed to this panel. If they are too closely attached to the power brokers, they'll have an agenda going in. It's a tough call, Wade. Option 1 is best, option 3 works if option 1 is not implemented, and option 2 should be considered a last resort. When you begin to name names, it will become about Wade Burleson and not issues within the IMB BoT.

Jeff Parsons

Tim Batchelor said...


Before I can offer a suggestion I need to be refreshed with regard to the charges. I remember 1. Caucus groups (has this already been addressed by leadership in the new policies. Is it still a problem) and 2. Folks want fire Rankin.

Are there others.

Right now, the biggest problem seems to be bitterness. Some of these folks are acting like a couple of old ladies I have known. I do not believe there is any way to fix that no matter what you do.

Anonymous said...


I don't think #1 brings the desired long term change. I think that #3 is necessary because it pre-dates your time on the board. However, I don't know that #3 will happen from the floor of the convention without #2 taking place beforehand. Messengers that are unaware or "on-the-fence" will defer to trusting status-quo or the opinion of some "knowledgable" other unless there is sufficent cause otherwise.

It seems that #2 will be very messy and painful but the goals of supporting current personnel and staff as well as stopping the narrowing of who may serve or with whom we may partner for mission makes it necessary.

I'm committed to pray.

Paul Fries said...

Wade, I write this with a certain amount of fear and trembling.

Option 1 is the easiest but puts all "under the rug." This is what has often happened in church and SBC life, to our detriment.

Option 3 is loaded simply because of a general sense of distrust Who would decide who is on the committee? This makes a huge difference.

Option 2, while being the most difficult may be the best solution to stop all of the name calling and innuendo. That said, all information must be accurate and able to defend or the situation escalates rapidly to the detriment of all.

One last comment. You can tell me if I am way off base here but, in my mind, 1 Timothy 5:19-20 applies. "Do not receive an accusation against and elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear."

Don't do this unless their are 2 or 3 verifiable witnesses. If those witnesses are there it is time to shine the light of truth on this matter in order that we might move on.

Praying for all,

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,
The NAMB had some very big problems. These were publicly exposed, handled and we have moved on. There was some moaning etc but the NAMB and the SCB are better for the stand that was taken by the Christian Index.
The powers that be, will in the future control as they have in the past, any option except number 2. Do not use a Blue Ribbon Committee. A committee will be hand picked going in and the majority will oppose you.
You must make a very hard choice but our God will see you through and the SBC will be better.
I pray for you and yours.

NG said...


I think you have tried the first option and we see what good it has done. I am weary of option two, but I think it is biblical and may be the best option. I think the reason I am leary of you using option two is that it can hurt not only those named, but also the SBC. But it is for this reason that I think God gave us the proper process to follow when addressing sin in Matt 18. It is never a nice experience for anyone to have to see this carried out in full. However, it not being nice does not mean that it is not the most loving thing to do for all the parties involved because its purpose it to bring about repentance and reconciliation rather than rejection and destruction. Its purpose is to bring our brothers back into proper fellowship and that is what needs to happen whether it be you or those who will be named by your evidence.

I like option three, but I don't know that it is the most biblical option. If what you say is true, I don't know that our misguided brothers or you would be appropriatley disciplined depending on the validity of what you have to say.

Let your accusers be seen in the light and the truth will be known, whatever that may be.

I pray God's wisdom and the Spirit will guide you in whatever you do.

Anonymous said...

I would advise you to seek wise legal council prior to employing option 2. These guys are already using the word “slander,” they might decide to use the court system against you. A good lawyer might be able to help you with your wording in order to avoid that charge.

Tom said...


I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you have outlined these options. I have no hesitation in encouraging you to pursue the second one. As you have made clear and as has become increasingly obvious, the issues behind the "Wade Burleson issue" are much, much bigger than you. From my vantage point they appear to be issues of truth and righteousness. As distasteful as it may be for you personally, and as susceptible as it will make you to having your motives questioned and your character impugned, I believe you should simply tell the truth and show the documentation.

Many SBC bloggers have recently made comparisons between blogging as a new source of news vs. the old and established source of the denominational press. One of the watchwords of the baptist press has long been to "tell the truth and trust the people." I think that is what you should do.

No doubt you would much prefer not to be the one making ugly truth known, particularly when so much of it swirls around how you have been treated. But as Claude Thomas said 6 years ago when he was chairman of the Executive Committee of the SBC, "The truth is the truth regardless of who is speaking. A committee or person should not fear accurate information communicated in a clear way."

God has enabled you to communicate in precisely this way. I believe He will be honored as you continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

Wade, as much I wish you success, I personally believe your options are gone. If you have been to SBC, you know everythng about agencies, et..are referred to the agencies. And, if you have been to SBC, you know this seldom if ever does anything. I know since you were on the board, you were in the in group...and to turn on them leaves no options. Asked folks like Richard Jackson from Az. etc...Check on who is to be new chr. of Committee on Boards, etc...this will tell you about options....Been Southern Baptist long time and have watched it work. Blessings you during these day....One final thing from me: to tell the truth is not the issue....wayne

Bill0615 said...


I appreciate so very much your patient, prayerful consideration regarding which option(s) to exercise in order to move the IMB forward in its global mission agenda.

It seems to me that if Option 1 is exercised then those who have run rough shod over IMB policies will be emboldened when (not if) they have another opportunity to sit on the board of an SBC agency.

Therefore I earnestly believe that Option 2 and Option 3 should be exercised in tandem so that the credibility of the trustee structure in the SBC can be restored. There presently exists a huge credibility gap and a growing number of Southern Baptists are growing weary of what seems to be the new definition of "cooperate" that has been set forth by the leaders of the "conservative resurgence." This new definition of "cooperate" is as follows: "we'll operate and you cope."

Timothy George made one of the most keen and insightful observations regarding the SBC "conservative resurgence" when he said, "The exchange of one set of bureaucrats for another set of bureaucrats doth not a reformation make." My prayer is that the Lord may be pleased to use you and many others like you to bring a true and much needed reformation to the SBC so that we can get on with the business of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Bill Ascol
Bethel Baptist Church
Owasso, Oklahoma

Dori said...

Option 2: Public revelation of names, dates and events.


It is with much humility that I even dare to suppose I am wise enough to provide counsel in any way to you in this serious and grievous matter. As I considered the viability of the above option my mind first went to possible accusations of libel that surely would be forthcoming from those whose deeds were found out. However, a defense to libel is the truth of the matter, and because I believe you would only publish the truth, I would hope any accusations of libel would be found groundless.

Next I thought about various commenters on the blogs who will say something to the effect of "what will the non-Christian world reading this think? Will this turn them away from Christianity?" This question I believe you have asked in the nature of "what is best for the SBC?" and others have commented above asking "what is best for the kingdom of God?". Hard questions to be sure. The Bible clearly states that they will know we are Christians by our love. The Bible also clearly states that the truth will set us free. Therefore, we must speak the truth in love. I believe you have so far made it your goal to do just that. I believe Option 2 can be done in a spirit of love as illustrated in Proverbs 27:5-6.

Jesus is the Truth. Let us consider how he handled a similar matter in dealing with religious leadership that had lost their focus on Him. The entirety of Matthew Chapter 23 is hauntingly familiar to the current situation. Note in verse 1: "Then spake Jesus to the multitudes, and to his disciples." I would point out that Jesus in his admonition of the Pharisees was speaking before an audience of believers and unbelievers. In verse 3 it seems to me Jesus is careful to distinguish the right Biblical teachings that some would have learned from the leaders and that which was incorrect in their actions. So too it would be wise for you to be careful to distinguish the good work that the IMB is doing and the positive impact it has, from the errant acts of a few who have lost focus. I believe you have done a good job of making this distinction on your blog. In verses 4 through 32, Jesus sets forth by my count at least 10 separate instances of specific wrongdoing by the scribes and Pharisees. He gave the detail of their actions before the people.

The irony of Matthew 23:34 was not lost on me when I read it: "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city." From city to city ... Richmond, Tampa, Albuquerque ...

The cry of Jesus in verses 37 through 39 at the end of the chapter is a haunting reminder to us all. I believe this also illustrates how any blog posts about the specific details of wrongdoing should conclude. With a call to unity, a willingness to come together under the sheltering wing of Jesus, and all of us in one accord crying out ... Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

I apologize for the length of this comment. It was necessary ... in summary:
- Open rebuke is better than secret love.
- Jesus rebuked the Pharisees before the believer and non-believer alike.
- He started by distinguishing the truth of the teachings from the actions of the religious leaders.
- He gave at least 10 specific wrongdoings of the religious leaders.
- He ended with a reminder of his love for them and a call to repentance.

I believe this is the essence of what you have outlined as Option 2.

My prayers go with you as you make this difficult decision.

Dorcas Hawker

Bowden McElroy said...

What "Wade Burleson Issue"? This has never been about Wade Burleson.

It has been about two poorly developed policies that narrow the parameters of cooperation. It's about determining who are the real stake holders of the IMB. It has been about openness and transparency (or lack of) in the way Southern Baptists do business.

There is no Wade Burleson issue to be resolved.

Option # 1 - in my mind - makes no sense: how do we forget an issues that was never an issue.

Option # 3 has no teeth. My understanding is that the SBC votes on IMB trustees and funds the IMB; beyond that, each of our entities are independent. I believe the relationship of our entities to the SBC is unique: these are not "wholly-owned subsidiaries". Any SBC committee appointed to investigate would have to work with the information given them by the IMB executive committee. You may want to check with your legal advisors, but the way I'm reading the SBC by-laws, the IMB would be under no obligation to cooperate with a SBC Ad Hoc committee. (The SBC could threaten to stop funding the IMB - but no one wants to do that.)

That leaves option #2.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that Option 2 is the best proposal at this time. My view is based uppo a larger conext. For years now,in many of our agencies and institutions actions and pseudo-policies similar to your experience at the IMB have been occuring Convention wide. This problem is not isolated to the IMB. It is systemic and evidence of a nature that has infected the way we do business as the SBC.
Without addressing these issues at the IMB there is no hope for God's continued blessings. Without addressing these issues at the IMB there is no hope that the larger problem of secrecy, king making and politics of destruction will ever be addressed in our SBC family.
It is time for what has been don in the dark to be shouted from the roof tops.
Wade, trust the Lord and tell the people!

Tom Bryant said...

With human nature being as it is Number 1 won't happen. The toothpaste is out of the tube.

As ti said, Number 2 is a scorched earth policy but the only people who are hurt are those who have to stick around afterwards.

So personally, I think number 3 is the best but with the Ex Comm of the Convention appointing the members

Anonymous said...

I am not even going to pretend I am as educated or as wise as some of these others that will advise you. However I do have a few things to say.

I feel that option 1 is not an option at all. If there reaction to confronting the truth is 'I will not talk about it' I for one do not see how you can carry out your duties on the board.

Option 2 seems to be one step in the right direction. If you word your allegation with the most respect possible and just stick to the facts. I think those of us who are not privileged to the golf course meetings or steak dinner discussions need to know the truth about those we are allowing to lead in such an important role.

Option 3 seems to me to be a long shot. I am no expert but my guess is that the IMB is not the only board that has these types of issues crawling around it. I am sure that the idea of an outside group investigating the problem would seem to many to be a sort of 'Internal Affairs' thing. I would love to see Option 3 be the solution but I am afraid that many would fear the same sort of committee being turned lose on their tower of cards.

Anonymous said...

You know what, Wade, none of the options sounds good to me. I have been a huge supporter of you since the beginning of this and I believe you are a man of integrity. The problem IS that trust has been broken. Our trust in the leadership of our convention has been broken, whether it is the BOT of the IMB or the "power brokers" that seem to unduly influence our agencies. Will any of these options restore that trust? Will there just be more political posturing, hiding, and name calling? Will it be all out war? We've been there before and I don't see the benefit.

I call on the LEADERSHIP to repent of actions that have hindered the ability of conservative baptists to cooperate for the purpose of reaching the world for Christ. I call on them to rescind the two new policies at the IMB on private prayer language and baptism. I call on our "leadership" to repent of secretive actions that create an oligarchy type of leadership situation within our convention. Until these things happen and the door of participation for INERRANCY BELIEVING CONSERVATIVES is widened through openness and humility, I do not have much hope that any of this will be of much effect.

That being said, I am praying for you to have wisdom. Count the cost of your actions. While they may bring some things out in the open and create some movement, is it movement in the direction we all want to go? Or, would we be better suited to keep doing the work and just go around the leadership and the agencies? I, too, want to see the SBC put back on the right track. I'm just not sure you can get there from here, and I questionn if any other goal is worth it.

Praying for you Wade.

Anonymous said...

I hope that one of the members of your personal counsel is Jerry Rankin. Since this involves him EVEN MORE THAN YOU, because it is his character and missional direction for the IMB that is at the heart and crux of the matter. If he is not in your counsel please ask him. He probably better than anyone would know what would best serve the IMB.

That is my spiritual thought because I admit from a personal (perhaps even salicious) perspective, #2 is the most personally satisfying. I am tired of the growing sense that the SBC as a whole is on the verge of implosion. I am disheartened by the possibility that it needs to happen in order for the SBC to once again be all that it needs to be. But again from a spiritual side, I ask myself (and you) is this the right time for an implosion? I don't know ... what about you?

But most of all, keep Wade Burleson the human out of this decision. If there is an iota of personal satisfaction to be found in #2, run in the opposite direction.

Arkansas Razorbaptist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wes Kenney said...

Several have suggested that option 3 is the best choice only if Morris Chapman appoints the committee. While I understand this sentiment, and share the admiration for Dr. Chapman from which it springs, I think objectivity would require that the new president of the convention be the one making the appointments.

Dr. Chapman is good man, but he is an entity head, and call me crazy, but I seem to sense something of an aversion to entity heads being seen as meddling in the affairs of other entities. The president of the convention stands in a unique position to deal equally with all entities.

Anonymous said...

I also wanted to express my agreement with Bro. Tim Rogers in having a problem with one of the trustees being made to pay for there way while the others sit back and enjoy the ride.

josh king

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,
Pray and fast one whole day. I know you are hurt by the actions of others, but prayer is the best thing you can do. Pray for your enemies. Even Paul was attacked by friendly fire countless times. You need to press on with what God wants you to do for His Kingdom. You can't worry about what men think. Only what you do for Jesus is important. It's the Holy Spirit's job to deal with these people and they are kicking against the goads. Make sure you are in God's will. I'll be praying for you. May the Lord be with you!

SavedandSure said...

I have read with considerable interest all the bits of advice you have received....

I don't know the brother but JIM SHAVER's opinion is excellent!

Ultimately, the decision is yours and GOD will make it clear and plain which He wants you to do!

HE has not failed you in the past and HE will not fail you now!

Anonymous said...


As a creative thinker, I am of the opinion that you have a sequential ordering of potrential both/and options in front of you. See if this makes sense:

- You offer Option 1 to the newly-constituted Executive Committee of the IMB BOT and insist on full reinstatement to committee service and other Board responsibilities, including, if they have really have nothing to fear from you, the opportunity to present what you have in the right forum to "get the skeletons out of the closet," or...

- You will request (Option 2) for the SBC Exec Committee to undertake an even-handed (i.e., no "stacked deck" group appointed to cover up by higher-up pressure) ad hoc committee investigation in which you will present ALL your information (names, dates--the whole enchilada), and...

- Then, if the Exec Committee refuses, you go public with EVERYTHING in the most visible situation which you can find (Option 3), so that the story cannot be sanitized and propagandized by SBC in-house reporters who have an agenda to make you look bad.

If you were to be accused of "making threats" in Option 1, it will not be true if you say, "This is not a threat, because it is a FACT that this information is going to be heard at whatever level of the SBC, in order for thr truth to be known and healing to begin."

In all this, you need to "be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove." But, the fact of the matter is that, to "keep secrets" is to act like a dysfunctional family. And--as I'm sure you have noticed--as in any relationship, it is only when the "secrets" come into the clear light of day that forgiveness and healing has any real chance of taking place. That, of course, does not mean it WILL take place. But, that is their choice, not yours.

You see, THEIR unwillingness to deal with their anger/"hurt" over time is not YOUR fault. But, clearly, Hatley's ongoing reference to hurt feelings and offense reflects that it has led to bitterness and its evil cousin sins (see Eph. 4:26-27, 31), which, tragically, has opened up for the Devil a remarkable opportunity to do his thing (4:27) among those members of the BOT who are still "offended" at you.

In my 30 years in ministry, my biggest regrets come from two areas: 1) failing to confront power brokers whose motivations were fleshly control, especially on two occasions in which I was urged not to do so "to keep the peace" (and it didn't work for more than a few weeks in either case); and 2) keeping "secrets" which did not protect innocent people, but guilty ones, because I had been sworn to secrecy.

In your case, if I recall correctly, the previous guidelines for the IMB BOT did not, so to speak, "swear you to secrecy," but they quickly changed the Trustee guidelines pretty much to muzzle you. If, in fact, the other guidelines were still in place when the bulk of the violations you are aware of took place, and the guidelines are not retroactive--how could they be?--then, it would seem that there is no legitimate reason not to release the material from that time frame.

If you did so, you could expect that one of two things will happen, or both: 1) there will be some of the most bizarre attempts to explain/shift blame ever seen, coupled with whatever/whoever they think they can discredit by the guilty parties, especially the ring leaders; and/or 2) if the innocent trustees are people of integrity, there will be a rapid demand by them for all the rest of your information, in order to go public and make quick examples of the guilty, in an attempt to salvage some small modicum of respect for the integrity of the IMB BOT and to be able to move on from this whole overreaching (i.e., beyond BFM 2000) control-based mess.

For whatever it is worth,
Praying for you

Bro. Rob said...

As you said, option 1 may have been the answer until last Wednesday. But I have an uneasy feeling about option 1. It closely resembles sweeping unresolved issues and unethical behavior under the rug. Without these things being resolved, they will most likely rear their heads again at some point in the future. I think as a pastor, Wade, you know there are few unresolved past issues that just fade away without specifically confronting and addressing them.

I'm afraid option 3 will just be more of what's already going in now. Isn't it the closed door, private meetings and discussions that have brought us to this point? Not that there aren't many, many people within the SBC that would make competent Ad Hoc members. It's just the appearance of more of OUR business being conducted and decided by just a few selected people. If this is the option, I'm sure you could jump over to Dorcas' and Villa Rica's blogs and see a list of potential Ad Hoc Committee members.

Since I'm in favor of denominational accountability to the churches that make up and support (read FUND, GIVE MONEY, PAY THE WAY) the denomination, I prefer option 2. If someone is serving in any official capacity, if they are officially responsible for making decisions for guiding the denomination, and they are using that official position to carry out agendas that are harmful or irrelevant to the work of the denomination, they should be exposed and held accountable.

As has already been said in other comments on other posts, I can't help but think of Paul's public confrontation of Peter in Galatians 2. Peter's actions were having a negative influence on others and on the mission. Paul called him out "in front of them all" (Gal. 2:14). Wade, do the things that you know and have yet to make public have, or have the potential to, negatively influence others or the mission of the IMB, and ultimately the SBC? I think there is good scriptural reason to choose option 2.

Anonymous said...

You've already received 25 commentaries that cover the spectrum!
I would opt for #1 until we observe SBC Messenger response!
But, I believe ultimately #2 will be required because present status indicates that there is still IMB BoT members unwilling to "suck it up and move on....." and for your sake, I hope your documentation can have multiple witness support to substantially affirm your position!
I am confident that much of this will be "aired" in the SBC sessions.... and there may arise other alternatives?
Prayerfully supporting.....

Anonymous said...

I vote for option two & three. Option one, the preferred option, has obviously not worked.

I am not one for unnecessary confortation, but this has gone on long enough. The cards need to placed on the table; Publicly.


Clif Cummings said...

Unless option # 1 falls under the verse of "love covers a mulitude of sins".. I do not believe there is much more Biblical support for option # 1.

Combining Option # 2 & Option 3 follows the Matthew 18 principles -as you have and continue to strive to fulfill your responsibility to gracefully confront (Galatians 6:1-5) every individual who is involved personally and privately. However before it is made public.... Option # 3 comes into play if they refuse to acknowledge their involvement and repent, some form of Option # 3 should be implemented.
I would suggest that perhaps even a solid conservative Biblical mediation minsitry such as PeaceMaker Ministries with Ken Sande be considered. This would eliminate all concerns of who appoints whom.
I know some would say: The SBC ought to be able to solve it's own problems... but obviously there is serious doubt among many that enough unbiased; non-influenced; non-power seeking; non-controlling;non-hidden agenda; individuals could be found among the leadership of the SBC or IMB.
It would do the SBC good to perhaps humble itself and admit it can't always solve its own problems and seek the wise counsel of PeaceMaker Ministries.

ABOVE ALL - you must remain Biblical - taking the time to site Scripture and verse in anything that proceeds in written form that exposes the sin of others - and loving.
If only Option # 2 is followed take all necessary means and even beyond necessary means to make sure that it does not come out as retaliation.
To those who may think that to expose the truth is not loving -- I refer you to 1 Corinthians 13:6-7... "love rejoices in the truth."
Continue to share the truth with grace and love and no matter how this ends... those who matter to you most (your family, your church, and your "graced" friends) will remain by your side.
You remain in my prayers and I remain by your side.

GGIEZ said...


The real problem is not so much the conflict itself with regard to the IMB, but rather, what has been the force behind the conflict (the proximate cause). From the beginning of your troubles on the Board, I have seen the conflict as a classic example of the historical, ongoing, ecclesiastical debate that began in the 1800s, even before the convention was formed.

The root of the matter is that Landmarkism, in whatever form, has once again found its way to front and center stage in the convention, and is acting as if some persuasion of the Landmark viewpoint is held by a majority of Southern Baptists. It just so happens that they found the door to the stage through the IMB.

Unfortunately, most Baptists today have no clue what their denominational history is & have no proper context in which to place this most recent conflict. The most recent conflict in our convention was, of course, the conservative movement's victory over the entrenched liberal (moderate) leadership and, thus, the direction of the convention. That far-reaching conflict was theological in nature. The conflict you have had with the Board is ecclesiastical in nature & makes for a very bad contextual comparison with the conservative resurgence, if for no other reason, because the enemy (liberals) was easily identified and was clearly "them." This present generation of Baptists have little in their ecclesiastical background to be able to readily discern or identify the enemy in this matter. This stems back to the fact that the matter of ecclesiology has yet to be "sewn up" in the SBC. The open question, as to what a church is, how it operates, etc.... has gone on now for over 160 years, but has been mostly dormant in this generation.

To this point in the present conflict, it seems to me there has been little public resistance toward the Landmarkist claim (apparent by their positioning/posturing) that a majority of the convention now agrees with their view of what a church is, what a church does/doesn't do & how it should cooperate with other churches. The IMB's adoption of policies outside the BF@M 2000 was the shot heard 'round the world (certainly, missionally speaking!) and should have given notice to the convention that there was now going to be an attempt by the Landmarkist persuasion to "sew" the matter up, once and for all. The cooperating spirit that has been the strength and hallmark of the convention for over 160 years is now threatened. The cooperating spirit of the convention, after all, largely exists because we have agreed, at least until now, that it is not necessary to have the same view as our brother in matters of ecclesiology, in order to work together for the advancement of the Kingdom (how loaded can a word be in this particular matter, than the word Kingdom?!).

The point I am making is that those with a Landmarkist perspective have drug the convention back into the age-old argument of ecclesiology, whether the convention wants the argument or not or even recognizes it for that matter. To what degree the SBC leadership is willing to expend their stewardship equity, will determine how successful the resistance to a Landmarkist takeover will be. If the SBC leadership is a no-show in regard to the IMB conflict at this year's convention, it will be a sad day for the convention and generations forward of SBCers can mark time as to the decline of the health and effectiveness, Kingdomwise, of the convention from June 2006.

The time is now to bring this matter to the very forefront of the convention, well ahead of who should be the next president! It seems that the leadership in the SBC is distracted, if not split, at the moment. Recently, the Executive Director's words went unheeded, ostensibly because there is fear that the convention could fracture if we don't all rally behind a man, being the next president. Ironically, it won't matter who the next 10 presidents are, if we fail to cut off now what will grow like cancer throughout the convention, i.e., the further continuation of the narrowing of parameters of fellowship/service in the SBC. By default, we will give the Landmarkist what he wants if we do not confront, as the full SBC at this year's convention, the change in IMB policy beyond the BF@M 2000. If we do not confront the policy change NOW, front & center, it will reinforce the Landmark notion that they speak for a majority of Southern Baptists and will make the effort to eventually overturn the policy all the more difficult.

Wade, we need the discussion to be public NOW. Frankly, we need to be reeducated on this matter, ecclesiology, & again, what it means to truly cooperate for the advancement of the Kingdom. Since the Landmark view of the word Kingdom is so narrow and so different from the historical SBC cooperative view, I doubt status quo (preservation and unity in this case) will remain for long, if that is all the convention strives for this year. They will not stop narrowing the parameters, they will not stop being fixated on who belongs in the church and who serves, and will hold the entire convention hostage until their demands are met.

They missed their last best chances at control of the convention at least twice before. There will be many that side with them not because they agree necessarily, but because it will serve their need for control. I am praying this generation will not be asleep at the wheel this time & give them the opportunity they have been looking for.

I am not sure if I could identify the best of the 3 options you provide. #1 does nothing really, and keeps the real issues behind closed doors and in the blogosphere only. I like aspects of both #2 & #3, but neither will have the desired affect unless the powers in the convention give them a fair shake. This needs to be in the wide open somehow and NOW. I suggest that if you feel sufficient leadership is behind you, that a combination of #2 and #3 would have the greatest impact. Disclosing what you have now would make certain the entire convention gets to see the clear picture it desperately needs to see right NOW.

Greg Giezentanner

Anonymous said...

Hi Wade,

I greatly respect and appreciate all the suffering you have endured for the sake of Christ and the good of the SBC, particularly the IMB. You and yours are in my prayers.

Options 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive. I believe both are now necessary.

Based on what you have written here over the previous six months, you have focused exclusively on option 1, to no avail, through no fault of your own. If the individual IMB trustees involved will not give you a hearing, and the IMB trustee board as a whole will not give you a hearing, based on Matthew 18, it is now time to "tell it to the church."

Based on what you have written the last few days, I think you have an obligation to follow through with option 2. Like the trustees, you have made public broadbrushed statements regarding sinful behavior on the part of some trustees. One of the complaints we have consistently made to those who have leveled such charges against you has been, "Show us the evidence or apologize." I think you have an obligation to do the same. You have attempted to deal with these folks privately to date, and they have not been willing to give you a hearing. You cannot now level such allegations against members of the IMB trustees publicly and not follow through with the specifics.

Option 3 should be a response to the exercise of option 2. Make the specifics public, then allow the Executive Committee of the SBC to appoint a team that can be trusted to be impartial (if such a group exists) to check out the facts. In the end, this has the best opportunity to produce the resolution and healing we all desire.

And lastly - my greatest fear is that this becomes, at least in appearance, about personalities, not about the ultimate issues of control, accountability, and the narrowing of parameters of cooperation by a few out of control folks. How can we keep the spotlight from being focused on a sideshow instead of the real issues?

Anonymous said...


Let me give one illustraation of what is wrong with this blog and why trustees continue to be uppset with you. You publish without rebuke an irresponsible comment from arkansas razorbaptist referring to the board as jerks and suggesting that they be disembowled. Wouldn't that offend you as a board member? Do you assume no responsibility for comments on your board?


Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Wade,

I wish I could write my opinion as well as Dorcas has already written it. So I'll just second her motion.

Love in Christ,


Anonymous said...

Was it even neccessary to dissent publically with the new policies by airing your frustrations on this blog?

You say that you will abide by the BOT decisions, except it seems that is qualified by things going your way?

If you are so convinced that what you wrote is absolutely justified, then would you ever see the much broader implications of your posting?

While I find secretive politics and power plays deplorable, isn't it much more damaging to air private converstations between individuals?

One final question, do you not think that people would naturally hesitate before sharing anything with you for fear that it would become a blog post?

Perhaps you have become a little too zealous in your crusade (Matthew 7:3-5).

Micah Fries said...

wow, I read all the comments and I'm a little overwhelmed. I have no idea how you will sort through all the advice Wade. I'm not sure mine will be any more sound than anyone else's, but here I go.

I would imagine that Option #1, as previously mentioned, is no longer an option. The public nature of the BoT's exclusion of you would not allow for it.

I, like others, enjoy (in theory) the idea of #3 but I also have little to no ability to believe that the Ad Hoc committee won't in reality simply be a unit used to sweep the issue under the rug again, but this time under the guise of accountability.

That leaves #2. I'm not a huge fan of this option because of the pain and loss of trust that will ensue. I hate to think of those ramifications. What I hate even more, however, is the very real loss of trust, and voice, that the church has in the community because for far too long we've allowed sin to go undealt with in our churches and organizations.

Having said that I would recommend that you proceed, cautiously, with #2. Provide support and documentation that is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt and remain resolute in your conviction - though I'm not too worried about that not happening! :-)

In all things, as you go, and as we support your efforts, we must all remain unified, remain loving, remain biblical and above all, remain committed to honoring God. Let's pray that these moves will cause pain, but not division, and in the end produce much fruit, much holiness, for the kingdom of God.

Dave Miller said...

My curiosity would love to hear the details of Option 2. However, the best thing might be to let it drop, if the new officers are willing to do so. Hatley is gone. Perhaps you can forge a new relationship.

I can already see the reaction if you elect option 2. "Burleson defends himself, blasts his foes." "Burleson on the attack." I am afraid that would play into the hands of those who wish your destruction. I see no reason to believe some of these folks will start playing fair now.

I think a motion like that in option 3 would be a good thing.

However, I think option 3 might be good as well.

I think a lot depends on what kind of man the new chairman is. If you think he is reasonable and you can work with him, Option 1 might be the best thing. If he is like Hatley, that complicates things.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to see how you could take "door #2" without it seeming more "personal" than you would intend. It would also seem that resigning as a trustee (which I would HATE to see happen) would be required to choose #2, given the narrow parameters of dissent dictated by the new trustee guidelines. As an IMB missionary, I'd hate to see you leave!

Phillips Lynn said...

Bro Ray,

God will always be glorified. Let me remind you that God was glorified when Jesus cleansed the temple with a whip. For Jesus always glorified the Father.

dlfj said...

Option 1- Too late.

Option 3 - Would be a whitewash. No committee can resolve these issues. The committee would undoubtably be stacked against you and the conclusion would be forgone before the first meeting.

Option 2 - Not pretty, but the only thing that may wake up those who think they can run ruffshod over the entire SBC. If they have done wrong and refuse to apologize or repent, then they must be exposed and held accountable for their actions. No one is above following clear guidelines just because they are convinced that they are right. Some of the most dangerous men in history were totally convinced that they were right in their actions. The rest of the world suffered because of their mistakes.

Doctor's often make their patients sicker before they can make them better. Sometimes there is no other choice. Pray, pray, pray, pray and then pray some more.

Bob Cleveland said...

I had another thought on this.

The question that popped into my mind is what SHOULD the SBC and/or the IMB do about this? What's the RIGHT THING for them to do?

There's no doubt in my mind that Option #3 is what ought to be done. The SBC SHOULD BE very concerned for all this. So should, of course, the IMB.

There's considerable sentiment expressing the thought that they'd "Whitewash" the matter; that they'd never appoint a fair and impartial panel to investigate it. I think (personal opinion) it is immoral to condemn someone or some group for what we think they would or wouldn't do, when we never asked them. That's simply not fair, regardless of history.

That's remniscent of the "Farmer and the Jack" story we all laugh about.

What SHOULD they do?

That's what you should aim for, IMHO.

ps: Someone no doubt mentioned this above. There are so many posts that if I'd read it, I would've forgotten it by now. If so, consider this a second witness.

John Fariss said...

I appreciate you asking for counsel. I also appreciated Dr. Hatley asking pastors to input a month or two ago re: IBM policies--and am disappointed that went nowhere (or so it appears). I choose to believe that you will listen. Granted my opinion and 82c will buy you a cup of coffee at Hardee's, Mickie D's, etc., but here it is.

All three of your options are viable, or would be in a perfect world. So much for that.

Option #1 isn't going to work--it is essentially what you seem to have pursued for the past few months already, and things have gone from bad to worse. It is the option to follow if you are ready to "fall on your sword" (which is what a few bloggers seem to suggest), forget the right and wrong of the whole matter, keep sending in your offerings, and whenever they say "JUMP!", you only ask "How high, sir?"

The only way that #3 even might work would be if that ad hoc committee were appointed on some non-partesian basis. The 1963 BF&M was done that way--the committee writing it was composed of the presidents of the state conventions (I'm at home and all my resources are at the office: were the presidents of the seminaries involved? Seems like they were, but am not positive right now). That pretty well insured that there would be voices heard from all parts of the SB spectrum. In our polarized Convention right now, I just cannot see that happening. A hand-picked committee is going to be without credibility even if they manage to be fair.

That leaves Option #2; and while I can justify it personally, Biblically, and humanly, what bothers me about that is that I want to hear what all these mean-spirited souls have really said and done--and I want to hear it just a little too much. In other words: I don't trust my own judgement.

So I ask: one, is there an option #4, or two, are are you really ready to go with 1, 2, or 3? If a church member came to me for counseling in a similar situation, I would first ask if they had confronted the other party privately, with a witness or two, etc., as we are told in Scriptures to do. I would ask if they had prayed about it. I would ask where the Spirit was guiding them--and I know you are way past all that, Wade. So I think I would next talk with them about forgiveness and peace. And I would point out that (1) overlooking the problem or the persons concerns, "considering the source," forgetting about it, etc., are all nice things, but they are not forgiveness. (2) I would point out that forgiveness has four parts (or "stages" or "events"): hurting, hating, healing, and finally reconciliation. I would also say that reconciliation does not always happen--because there are times when the other person is not interested in reconciling. So Wade, I think the real questions you have to ask yourself are:
"Have I admitted that it has all hurt me, deeply?", "Have I admitted that I felt hate, whether towards those who did it, or towards the acts, or whatever?", "Have I worked through all that to the point of healing?", and now "Am I ready to go ahead with what I know is right--regardless of the consequences, whether or not reconciliation takes place?" Because as you know there will be consequences. Right now, our convention is a dysfunctional family, and regardless of how good and Godly this person or that one may be in terms of their personal relationship with Jesus, we are acting towards one another dysfunctionally. And even dysfunctional families attempt to maintain equilibruim, which means that attempts to change it (even for the better) will be be met with hostility, anger, sabatoge, and so on. Are you (and your wife, family, and church family) ready to endure that? Only you can answer that for Wade. Have you in my prayers.

Phillips Lynn said...


Jesus called the Pharisees "a brood of vipers and children of the devil." I am almost certain they were "very offended."

David Miller,

The reason we now have the current "behind the scenes" power structure is because through the years too many people have "let it drop."

Each time we continue to "let it drop" we help strengthen their power and hold.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here is my 2 cent worth in this discussion.

Forgot doing #1. Its too late to move on without resolving the issues.

Option #2 is needed. I expect the trustees on this Board to demostrate wise Holy Spirit led leadership.

Option #3 is also needed with full pubilc reporting to the people in the pews. It also be linked with some committee that will listen, weights the evidence, and come to a just decision.

But I do not have much hope that this will happened. It will be dismissed, blocked, put off, etc... and in time no one will do anything about it without be labelas a rebel or troublemaker.

Paul said...

I like Alan Cross' solution and will pray for that to happen. Lacking that here are my thoughts.

I think all three are options worth exploring, but I might do so in this manner:

A combination of #s 3 and 1. You should be fully restored to your position as a board member including appropriate committee appointments until #3 gets to the heart of the issues. #3 could be safeguarded in the way our current jury selection process works - all parties on the committee must be agreed to by both sides. That way the committee is not stacked in favor of any particular "side." The reason I favor #3 is because I suspect that these issues transcend just the IMB and to what extent we need to know. #2 only deals with the IMB issues.

Then, if, in your prayerful opinion, justice has not been done #2 remains an option. But once #2 is out there, it's out there. There's not taking it back.

Jack Maddox said...

I have to agree with "Skipper" in regards to the tone of this movement and much of the language used. If you folks want the high ground (and you may need to be called to represent it) YOU MUST STOP WITH THE NAME CALLING AND MUD SLINGING) Disemboweled? Jerks? Come on guys. Please don’t give the reply that their actions are no better, it has nothing to do with your response and attitude. I am as concerned as any of you with the current climate and the actions of the 'old guard', however I am just as concerned with the 'party spirit' and the tone of this movement. God help us all to REPENT and to FORGIVE one another.

I heard Chuck Swindoll say "the chief sign of spiritual maturity is recognizing that I don't have to be right, I don’t have to respond and I don’t have to prevail...that there is a reckoning and I trust in Him who holds the end in His hands"

Wade...#1 is the only way that I can see with perhaps #3 coming into play.

#2 Smells of the world and its tactics.

My prayers are extended as you continue to seek GRACE along with TRUTH as you have attempted to do thus far.


Brother Wade

I write this with a heavy Heart. GOD’S WORD is GRACE and TRUTH. When we sinners do not abide in HIS TRUTH, he lets us know by the HOLY SPIRIT. When we sin we need to repent, ask for forgiveness, before the sun goes down. We all need to SEARCH our HEARTS each day and renew it with PRAISING THE LORD. We are to guard HIS WORD, not add to or take away from it. We are to be united in one BODY of CHRIST. The SBC has a problem in understanding this. We inflate our membership any way we can by numbers rather than believers. My small town has 12 Baptist Churches with a population of 10,000 people. Our SAVIOR defended the TRUTH because he was the TRUTH. It has been obvious that some in LEADERSHIP have overlooked or FAILED to LEAD LIKE JESUS LEAD. By the way that is a good book. I support what ever option you take after much praying and fasting. Some people are afraid of your OPENNESS to allow POSTS to this BLOGl. I wonder how open they are to sinners? This is not about Wade Burleson, it’s about GOD’S WORD and our narrow minds. I vote for option # 2.

p.s. That Dorcas Hawker is some LADY

Sandee said...

As I've stated before, I'm simply a layperson, but I have some experience with a similar situation. In my opinion,

You cannot go with Option 1. Unless all of the trustees who were behaving inappropriately have rolled off, you will continue having these problems and will eventually have to deal with it. You can't allow things to fester.

I don't think Option 2 is really a good idea. No matter the sin of these trustees, they are still our Christian brothers and sisters. They should be treated with respect, given the opportunity to repent and not publicly humiliated. In following scriptural guidelines, after going to them individually, I believe you are to take two or three others with you. If they continue in their sin, then take it to the authority in charge. I suppose the SBC would be that entity in this case.

Hopefully the SBC will do something similar to Option #3 - but with an independent moderator (or panel) that can look at the by laws, hear what happened, and tell those parties in the wrong that they need to stop their behavior. If those parties refuse at that point to comply with established rules and support Dr. Rankin, then they need to be removed by the processes in place to remove trustees. (I'm sure it's outline somewhere in the bylaws.) They clearly aren't doing their job, and it has been affirmed by an independent party.

Even though they have hurt you and certainly haven't extended to you the above mentioned courtesies, you need to be careful that you don't hurt them in return, if at all possible.

Just my two cents.

Buford, Ga.

J. Guy Muse said...

How about option #4, "none of the above"?

I know most are leaning towards #2 as the only viable way out of the matter. We all want to see the truth come out and "justice done." But since all that can humanely be done has been done, it now rests in God's hands, not yours.

Keep blogging, but abide by what God has allowed to take place to date. Don't try to take things into your own hands. I know that is hard, and I am not sure I could follow my own advise, but if He is Sovereign, and has permitted things to lead to this point, it is because He has yet to reveal ALL that is in his perfect plan for the good of His Kingdom and glory of His Name.

Why not turn everything over to Him, and just "wait upon the Lord" and see what He does in response to prayer and sincere waiting upon Him.

To fight "fire with fire" someone will get burned, and I am not sure God wants any of his children burned.

Instead, rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him and He will lift you up in due time in an honorable way to the Glory of His Name.

Pray about option 4, and may God's will be done.

texaspreterist said...

If #2 can be done in "light not heat" manner, then I think that is the only option. I agree with most of the others on the problems with 1&3.

I do think the best advice you have recieved is "listen to your wife." She has the intimate details but also the best intrests of you in mind. I would trust her views and advice on this.

What is the best choice for the SBC in the year 2020?

Anonymous said...

I have a 4th idea, maybe you have already attempted it. Is it possible that those 10 or so individuals who you are speaking of, could be given the personal opportunity to repent of their actions after you with another brother or two in the Lord approach them with the evidence you have and give them the opportunity to do so?

Sometimes there IS a log in the eye, maybe the light of day is getting through. I know you have tried to discuss this, have you gone with a brother in the Lord, maybe a 3rd party not connected with the IMB or SBC as Clif mentioned? Reconciliation is the goal for God's glory. Matt 18 may need to be tried in a few more formats.

I pray option two is not needed, but that is also part of Matt 18 if there is not an open door to discuss this face to face with those trustees who are also brothers in the Lord. Keeping the tents broad is not as easy in practice when we can not agree to disagree agreably. Blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the Kindgom of God.

Just J

Glen Alan Woods said...

Dear Wade,

I understand if you choose not to allow this post. In fact that would probably be for the best. I am not an SBC church member. I am a follower of Jesus who works with folks from a variety of perspectives, especially people in my city and online who have had no previous exposure to the gospel.

Honestly, after having read your blog for the past few weeks, as well as catching up on past posts and comments, I admire the way you have conducted yourself. I scratch my head at some of the anonymous posters who take issue with you, wondering why they do not go public and reveal who they are. But then that is between you and them. I am sure something redemptive will come of it.

I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you and all that are involved in this situation so that a solution that honors the Lord will occur. I dare not attempt to add my own counsel because I perceive you are already receiving plenty of that. :)

I would like to remind your readers and fellow bloggers that many non Christians are reading this blog. Look at the upper right hand corner of the blog. See where it says "Next Blog?" That means that users can randomly land on this site. With the amount of hits it is receiving daily I can guarantee you some of them are non church people. Kinda makes us want to take a gracious approach such as demonstrated by Wade and a number of the other users doesn't it? :) Just a thought.

Although my own background precludes the SBC from having much to do with me (I am a charismatic believer and ordained charismatic pastor), I am grateful for the impact your denomination is having internationally for the cause of Christ. I pray for many years of fruitful ministry to come for the SBC, the IMB, for your readers and especially for you and your family.

Sincere prayers and blessings,

Glen Woods

Anonymous said...

Could your threat be interpeted as blackmail or extortion?

Assuming you have really juicy dirt on specific people, could it not be said that this post is intented to get these people to call the chairman old or new and get them to drop the whole thing and maybe even apologize to avoid personal scandal?

I'm on your side, but I thought I'd give you an example of the worst possible interpretation of your post, cause this will be a likely interpretation.

Food for thought.


Anonymous said...


You may not remember my dilemma in a town (in Garvin County situated on I-35) in which the pastor was holding "good-ol'-boy" political court every day in our staff and ministry dealings. It had matured into Biblical persecution by the time I felt God leading me into the pastorate and away from there. Even in that process, his "good-ol'-boy" influence reached to certain associational Directors of Mission across the state.

What I'm trying to say is: politics can never be Christ centered, have no place in doing the work of Christ, AND MUST ME STOPPED, NO MATTER WHAT LEVEL THEY ARE ON. The good people in that town are still under a pastor who ignores servant-based authority, and leads with an iron fist. I regret not being able to do anything about it when I served there, and am finding it difficult to help now that I'm removed.

Politics, even in the church, are wrong, dangerous, self-destructive, hinderences to sharing the Gospel, and FAR-REACHING. Therefore, option 3 is shaky at best.


Again, grace to YOU,
Jeff Brock

Anonymous said...

I think that option #1 is no longer an option.

Option 2 is painful, but may be necessary.

Option 3 is certainly viable. However, like many others, I share a concern about the committee that is to be appointed. Even if they could walk on water, they are subject to disparagement and politics. Instead of an ad hoc committee, I suggest it is necessary to hire an independent consulting/auditing firm that specializes in non-profit administration. An audit of the entire trustee system may be needed. The findings of this audit should be reported to the entire convention, not a select group. If there is corruption at the trustee level, the whole SBC has a right to know. If trustees are overstepping their authority, the entire SBC needs to decide how to proceed.

In his book "Good to Great" author Jim Collins teaches that in order to move forward, one must face brutal reality. The brutal reality is that many are losing (or have lost) trust in our national leaders, thus affecting our cooperative efforts to reach the lost. No amount of spin will change this. People will simply walk away.

euroclydon said...


The IMB is owned and operated by Southern Baptists. Owned and operated by our free will offerings. If there is impropriety, underhanded actions and general disregard for proper procedure and accountability,then 2 and 3 are not options, they are OBLIGATIONS. If we are to accomplish change in a system that obviously needs some re-direction, then good people (ie. you) must make tough, unpopular, MONUMENTAL, future altering decisions. Some things need to be changed. Wade, you may be God's man 'for such a time as this'. The scenery never changes when you just follow. Lead us in a better direction.

Jim Stuart

Bryan Riley said...

A few more thoughts after reading the 60 comments currently showing:

1. Dorcas's comments are very compelling and full of wisdom. The underlying issue that you alone, through the Spirit, can answer, however, is whether you can speak the truth "in love." I like what one anonymous commenter said: If there is one iota of personal satisfaction in option #2 then you should run from it. As you noted, if it is at all about defending yourself then it is questionable at best. Another writer said you must be about minimizing you and maximizing Him.

2. Alan Cross's statements were great.

3. The call to pray and fast was very good.

4. I felt like the comparison the pointing out Herod's sin was misplaced as he was a secular King.

5. Ultimately, we can't make our decisions by polls or by what others think, whether they be all of our comments or our assumptions as to how those who oppose you or the world may think, but we do have to consider all of that when we consider what is the loving thing to do...what would best reflect the actions and attitude of Christ. All of the comments that remind each of us to look to the Audience of One and to maximize God's reputation and minimize our own is the appropriate path. Knowing which path fits that mold is the difficult choice you will have to make. And, although we can't let what others think guide our decisions, I do worry that option #2 will be about Wade, whether in fact or simply in the public's eye, as one writer noted what probable headlines will be. This doesn't, standing alone, make option #2 the wrong choice, but it, combined with whether you gain personal satisfaction from choosing option#2, would be strong considerations to find a different option.

6. The writer who said make sure whatever choice you make is completely clothed in scripture is right on. Please do that. Those who don't trust you or oppose you will call you pious or decry it (as we all have likely experienced), but you must do it nonetheless.

7. As i mentioned earlier, there are other options, whether it is as others say to combine the options, or whether it is to do something not yet mentioned. Don't hem yourself or God in to fit a single mold. And, don't let what anyone might think is best for the SBC be the ultimate decisionmaker...God may have a different plan.

Wade, I am praying this for you, but I won't put it in the form of a prayer here: Proverbs 24:1-20.

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

The apostle Paul named names when it became necessary to rebuke unrepentant people. Paul even reluctantly defended himself. However, he made it clear that it was not about him, but about Christ and His kingdom.

Whatever you choose to do, do under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and in agreement with Biblical guidelines. Make sure you have exhausted all efforts for reconciliation in private before making any charges public.

I believe option 2 will be the only effective solution. Just do it to defend the cause of Christ and not your reputation.

IMB Missionary in South Asia

Anonymous said...


It is evident that there are some deep seated problems with the BoT that have preceeded your tenure on the board. You could hypothetically take a years' sabbitical starting Monday and become a hermit in Tibet. This might create a superficial calm. But it would not solve the underlying problems with the disfunctional BoT.

The locus of the problem is not you vis a vis the BoT. There is something deeper going on. However, you are the agent that is allowing the problems to percolate to the surface.

A previoius poster broached the idea of bringing in an outside agency specializing in audits of non-profits. This group could examine the extent to which the BoT is disfunctional.

In my prior experience as a manager in Silicon Valley I have seen that such audits sometimes can help by looking at the situation objectively by an disinterested third party. However, I don't know if an audit firm would have the right tools deal with some type of theological and/or ecclesiastical divide.

Right now I vote for #3.

Arkansas Razorbaptist said...

Okay, the language was strong; Batgirl told us we needed to tone it down.

We prefer option No. 1, but that doesn't seem likely unless you let the (((not so nice people)) on the IMB, and elsewhere, know that they are about to be (((revealed for what they are))). If we are correct, this goes much deeper than the IMB and cuts into the sacks of poisonous venom used by the “powers that be.”

This particular blogger is sick of you being personally disparaged, but, I realize, they have attacked you because you challenged them. Wade, I fear that if something drastic isn’t done, this crew will only be strengthened and they will continue to steamroll anyone who steps in their way.

On the other hand, I am worried about the harm that this could do to you. Frankly, I want what I think is best for you and your family (No. 1 or 3) and not what is best for the SBC (No. 2). I say that with my limited knowledge.

My advice is this: Trust your wife. She has been with you at every turn of your ministry and knows how you have been prepared for this.

myleswerntz said...

what has been done in darkness shall be shouted from the rooftops... I think Jesus said that.

Stephen Pruett said...

I favor option 2. I see this as a turning point for the SBC and as absolutley necessary for changing our denominational culture. If secret agendas and caucus group politics remain the norm, there is little hope that the SBC will fulfill its potential. Unless we establish a "corporate culture" in which prayer and the leading of the Spirit and open debate and reasoning from the Bible form the basis of our agendas, the SBC will not be as useful in the cause of Christ as it should be.

Options 1 and 3 will not change our SBC culture as effectively as option 2. I have noticed that some recent posts indicate that others are seeking to remind you of these concerns and to disuade you from option 2. However, it seems to me that you have searched your own motives on this matter and I do not believe you would consider proceeding if you were motivated by selfish concerns.

I would like to suggest that simply moving on and avoiding new confrontations (Option 1) is not likely to either promote peace or to act as a catalyst for much needed change. It is obvious that some trustees are angry with you, but your efforts and their refusal to specifically identify the ways in which you have wronged them, indicate that their anger will not be assuaged by your repenting of specific sins. They seem to want a blanket, "I was wrong you were right" type of apology. Obviously you cannot give them that and still maintain your integrity. I do not believe these persons will ever be satisfied until they "win".

Option 3 has merits, but it seems to me that the more biblical approach is to deal with these issues yourself rather than through a panel. If you cannot reach a resolution in private with witnesses, then I suggest option 2 is most consistent with the biblical model.

I understand your reluctance, but I think the benefits of option 2 will be substantial. It will demonstrate the extent to one of our key SBC entities has been influenced by private caucuses. I am no SBC insider, but in correspondance with several SBC leaders, I have been shocked at how some have been quick to broadly characterize people who they did know as liberal or theologically suspect. This characterization was used to conclude that these people no longer deserved to be treated with love or even a basic level of fairness that would be expected in a secular organization. This attitude is toxic, it is rampant, and if not forcefully conftronted, it will not go away. However, if forced into the light and exposed for what it is, it will suddendly be less appealing to be an "insider". I believe option 2 will accomplish this.

In contrast, option 3 will more likely end up like the report of the "peace commission". Its conclusions may be valid, but it could lack the spiritual and emotional power associated with one person taking a stand and offering specific examples of an informal system of governance within the SBC that is causing great harm. Good conclusions may result from a panel, but accountability will probably not be achieved and little will change.

Having said all this, of course I need to say that I have no clearer picture of what the future holds and how any of these three options would play out than anyone else who has posted here. My thinking and praying about this has led me to the conclusions I have described, but I could be wrong. My prayer is that you will be able to sort through the advice and that God will clearly show you that which He wants done.

Anonymous said...

Wade, this Okie has confidence that you are submitting these options to the Lord in prayer, and searching the Scriptures for verification as to what a Christian must do when faced with such an important decision. While there is sage advice and spiritual wisdom in several recommendations that have been shared in this comments section, it is the will of God, and His will alone, with which you want to be in accord. Free advice is often worth every penny you pay for it, but I am fervently praying that the Lord will lead you to do that which is right, with no worries as to what may be the popular thought on the matter, what those who oppose you might say or do, what your well-intentioned Christian friends may advise; or, what the secular world's take on the issue is. If you are in His will, you may go through more trials and trouble. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that He, who knows the end from the beginning will surely bring to pass that which He prepared and planned in His own infinite wisdom and power from the foundation of the world. Be confident that the good work He is doing in you will, in no way, be for naught!

In His Grace and Peace,

JUSTAMOE said...

. . . Another (long) thought:

Years ago, while serving in another place and position, a fellow staff member knowingly made an extremely unwise choice to misbehave BIG TIME and then attempted a bit of a cover-up--only two other people knew besides himself. However, I was responsible to know--and when I was told (by one of the other two), I confronted the staff member. The staff member confessed the actions and understanding of the consequences, but didn't intend any immediate steps toward correction. I simply replied that what I'd learned about the matter I couldn't know alone; I said that I had a moral/ethical responsibility to tell others but that I couldn't be responsible for what they would do with the information. The fellow staff member then chose a more immediate corrective step than he had planned, and the matter ended there; to this day, no one else knows the details--but I certainly would have told others needing to know if the correct subsequent choice had not been made by the staff member. The matter had reached that place for me: I would have joined the misbehavior had I failed to report what I'd learned if the staff member hadn't chosen the correct course of action--and I wasn't willing to become a party to the wrong.

I think Wade is at that point now. From what he's indicated so far:

(1) he has learned of improper/unethical behavior on the part of ones being trusted to behave otherwise by all of the SBC (and whose expenses are being paid, essentially, to continue to misbehave)--not to mention that Wade is completely correct about an unnecessary narrowing of policies/procedures at the IMB, for which he has received nothing but further improper behavior in his discussions about it;

(2) Wade has indicated already dialoging privately, directly, and repeatedly with ones involved in the misbehavior--to no avail so far: no repentance, no explanations, no cooperation at all; instead: resistance, sanctions, slander/libel, and spin;

(3) innocent families other than the Burlesons also are involved, and probably have attempted corrective action similar to Wade's over time but also to no avail; some of these families are in more precarious positions for attempting anything further in order to bring the matter to resolution--they dare not say more;

(4) good, hard-working SBC families with no clue at all about any of this taking place still are headed to and from work everyday, and bringing their tithes and offerings with them to their churches on Sundays--a portion of which goes to continue to fund a system that is partially broken and liked that way, apparently, by the brothers who won't choose to cooperate and correct themselves;

(5) 5000 SBC missionaries are watching from their places of service around the world, probably hoping earnestly that the organization for which they work truly will reflect the character of the God whom they serve--and not be "Christian" in name only, defying everything they're telling about the gospel on the foreign field.

At this point, it would seem that Wade can't continue to know what he's indicated knowing alone anymore. Whether the option chosen is #2 alone, #3 alone, or a combination of #'s 2 and 3 (option #1 already has taken place during the past six months), I think the actions of the IMB trustee leadership demonstrate it sneered arrogantly when it stared an opportunity for repentance and reconciliation face-to-face earlier this week in NM--and I think that that's enough now. Almost every one of the millions of other SBC'ers among us is capable of leading the IMB trustees better than what was witnessed there this week.

Reformed Mama said...

Hi there.

Tough decision.

Option number one would be nice, but it would just put a band aid on a wound that needs stitches. If violations are taking place, then they need to be dealt with. Period. Otherwise, not dealing with them would make you guilty as well.

Option 2 sounds like the best, but I would not name names publicly yet. Take it to the next level. If that fails, take it to the level after that and so on until you reach the very top and have no other choice but to name names publicly.

Once number 2 has been carried out, then I think you will be able to move on.

Job 23:10.

Writer said...


I believe Option #1 is what has a lot of our churches in trouble today. We tend to avoid issues which only take root and fester and eventually blows up in our face. I don't believe a response of avoidance is biblical nor practical.

I vote for Option #3. The information intended for Option #2 can be provided to the committee and evaluated without airing in public "dirty laundry."

Personally, I don't need all of the details to discern that something is amiss with the IMB board. Based on the information from your blog and other sources, it sounds like the IMB board is better described by Gal. 5:19-21 instead of Gal. 5:22-23.

Jim Lehman said...

Dear Wade:

I am a young pastor of an extremely small SBC church in Florida. I grew up in a SBC church, experienced salvation in an SBC church, responded to God's call to the ministry in an SBC church, received an MDiv from an SBC seminary, and have served in pastoral positions in SBC churches. Yet, I am reluctant, maybe even embarrassed to call myself a Southern Baptist over precisely the "good ol' boys" club the SBC has become.

Jimmy Draper and others in the old guard have lamented the lack of involvement in SBC leadership among young pastors like myself. The reason is precisely what you have described as the situation you have faced in the last year. The only hope I see is for accountability.

I believe that only option #2 provides that kind of accountability on both a scriptural and pragmatic level. From the biblical perspective, it appears that you have attempted to take the steps outlined in Matthew 18. I am also reminded of the adulterer in 1 Cor. 5 whom Paul "outed" for the reconciliation of his own soul. As others have pointed out, if these leaders of our convention are living unbiblically, it is with the sincerest hope that a public revelation would lead them to repentance and reconciliation.

On a pragmatic level, someone needs to open the doors and let some fresh air into the convention. There is too much acceptance of business as usual. As disgusting as it might be, we need someone to show us how the sausage is made, brother. A public declaration, based as you claim, on the truth will provide the appropriate accountability of the actions of trustees and leaders so that the SBC as a whole can take appropriate action.

While option #3 is also a tantalizing choice, I, like others, feel that there will be too much politicization of the committee and its aims will not be completely accomplished. For the sake of future accountability of our leaders and for the future of the SBC, PLEASE(!) come forward.

Jim Lehman
Pastor, Antioch Baptist Church
Tallahassee, Florida

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

I have been following this discussion for some time. You are a fascinating and talented individual. If you were in the business I am in, I would be delighted to have you as a partner, associate and friend.

Although I believe that you are right as a matter of principle, I believe your responsibilities to God, your family and the church to which you are employed to be its minister demand that you resign, immediately, from the IMB.

I am sure you don't want to hear this. But I give you this counsel: Step back. Review your blog since last Fall. Put yourself in the position of a loving friend whose job it is to evalute how effectively you are performing your responsibilities as a husband, father, and church minister.

Then ask yourself: Has my effectiveness in these primary roles been hampered by the inordinate time and attention I have diverted towards my efforts to work as an IMB trustee?

The leaders of the IMB and the working majority of your fellow IMB members have made clear to you that your presence and membership is not respected.

In hurtful reaction, your blog reflects that you have turned inward to self justification and the expenditure of vast amounts of time on petty recriminations. You have even engaged a lawyer to advise you. Ye Gads!

Wade, you are a talented, principled, individual. Your fellow IMB members have taken unfair and unwise actions towards you in their clumsy efforts to tell you that they don't want you to be a part of their important enterprise.

Clearly, you are a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

Why force a resolution on all these issues you insist on raising? You can never win with people who have decided they don't want you in their organization. Walk away.

Spend the next month of your precious few days on this earth working for the interests and concerns of your wife, your family, and the members of your church -- these are the people to whom you owe the primacy of your time and efforts.

Give up, for a month, this obsession you have fallen into to blog these hyper-analytical expositions of "he said, she said" which have now even caught the attention of the press.

Years ago, in the U.S. Marines, I learned the Truth in the old saw: "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

For whatever reasons, your fellow IMB trustees have emphatically told you in a very public and collective way that they don't want your leadership. In fact, they don't even want your membership.

Leave them alone. Pursue your dreams with different people in a different venue. You owe this to yourself.

This advice to you is made by one who is in sympathy with you.


Anonymous said...


Sorry, but I'm not going to tell you "what" to do. I do, however, want to encourage you on "how" to do it.

1. Don't stoop to their level.
2. Treat them as you wish to be treated.
3. Be above reproach in all aspects of this "stuff".
4. Try to not let it be "personal".
5. Don't do anything that will ultimately harm missions.
6. Do all for the Glory of God.

Hey, I know these aren't brainbusters. I know that you know all this.

Praying for you in "the window".

Bob Cleveland said...


I happened across the April 27, 2006 Issue of the Alabama Baptist, our state Baptist Weekly. For some reason, I'd not read Editor Bob Terry's Commentary, until this morning.

I gained some understanding I did not have, before. If you deem it appropriate, I recommend readers here go to the site, and read it, too.

Thanks and God bless.

Here's the URL:

Elizabeth said...

First of all, please do not resign. Maybe this is why more trustees are afraid to speak out.
The leadership are trying to make an example out of you so that in the future, no one will dare to challenge anything done or said.

Concerning Option #2, who would receive all of this evidence and all of these names? Is it someone who could deal with these matters in a firm way? I'm afraid if it was just posted on your blog it would create a firestorm on here for about a week, then fade away into oblivion. It's time to deal with these matters firmly even if it means cleaning house at the IMB.

Tom Hatley cannot understand our indignation. Why weren't the caucus group members disciplined as severly and publicly as you were? Why did he go against the new recommendations in publicly accusing you once again without providing evidence? Why is he still a trustee for another year? Can any of this be dealt with at G'boro?


What kind of CHRISTIAN would walk away from defending JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD?

Anonymous said...


Evil thrives (in whatever setting at whatever level) because of the power of the secret. When the secret is revealed, the power of evil is broken. It is the ones who are doing evil that are responsible for the damage, but a key method of perpetuating evil is to point to the one who reveals the evil as the person responsible for the damage.

IF the world is watching (which some have indicated is the case - personally, I doubt the world is all that interested) how we handle this issue matters. Trust in the Roman Catholic Church eroded not just because priests were abusing children, but even more so because the church worked overtime to cover it up. The cover up is often worse than the act itself; those who participate in the coverup become participants in the evil themselves. We are people of the truth, not people of the lie; we cannot fix what we do not acknowledge.

Anonymous said...

Dear WJF,

I guess that would be the easy way out, that is, to walk away. Martin Luther could have walked away. Martin Luther King could have walked away. Paige aPatterson in the late 70's could have walked away. Many over the years have walked away to an easier life.

But, is easy always right?
What is right can come with a cost. So far no one else has been willing to count these cost as an IMB trustee. This is not to critisize the rest of the BoT but to my knowledge the rest have kept silent allowing a relative few to push their narrow agenda.

Wade does have to decide what the Holy Spirit is saying and I for one would never, I mean never, criticize him if he did walk away. He must follow the spirit not our advice.

I understand what you are saying but please understand I think Wade's view is the majority of SBC people, not the minority. The BoT may not want his leadership but understand that group of trustees as a whole may not reflect the SBC as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I think option 3 is the best for now. Problems such as these are not fixed overnight and option three remains a peacemaking response, while praying for option one to occur.

Option #2 is not a peacemaking response - regardless of the justification it will lead to the taking of sides. Option 3 may work it may not - but it will effectively lead the way towards another set of options - official arbitration may be necessary.

I don't think option 2 is immoral - but I do not think it will lead towards the desired end. I am also not saying peace at all cost -but geniune peace and resolution is the goal.

I trust that God will lead you through the mire of all this advice, to a wise choice. Thanks again for taking a stand on these issues.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Wish I’d thought of Wade resigning. That’s the best idea brought up yet. That puts the ball in IBM’s court.

My brother resigned over a conflict. His boss accepted his resignation, but the next day, the city counsel told him to get my brother back on the job or they would give my brother his job.

Like most organizations, there is a silent majority, with loud voices running the show. (Cut off his mike.) But at showdown, the majority votes. If Wade resigns for a vote of confidence, let the majority speak. If the vote rejects his resignation, the ones doing the complaining will be put in their place.
If Wade loses the vote, the Lord has bigger plans for him—like being president.
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Because of who you are dealing with and their tactics to rub you into the ground, I think you only have one option. #2

Anonymous said...

Option two would have to preceed option three. The convention would have to be convinced that such a measure is necessary, and then choose a committee carefully. We are far past option 1.

CJAYA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
myleswerntz said...

don't play games with resignations and such. that's silly--if what has been done is both a power play and unethical, then it should be exposed.

i'm categorically against doing "what would be best for the SBC", because no one knows what that would be. that option assumes that you know 1) all the variables and 2) what the outcomes will be of your action. rather, be faithful to call a spade a spade, state fairly and evenly what has been done, and then, trust the results to the providence of God.

Anonymous said...


As an IMB M, I feel you have the best interests of SBC missions and its personnel at heart.

But after reading several times over the past months about "documentation" of serious offenses, there comes a time when people begin to discredit you or simply lose interest, unless you "put up or shut up."

My advice would be to either expose the evidence in the most Biblical, Christian manner possible or quit bringing it up until that time comes. Otherwise, your tactics begin to look more like manipulative threats and your motivation more personal than for the Kingdom.

So I pray yiou would have clear direction on how to proceed.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Wade,

From a missionary on the field I would say #2. Why? Because as others have stated, the behind the scene goes on at the BoT and at the regional levels as witnessed by us.

If these people do not worry about doing these things why should you worry about exposing them. They are the ones that made their decisions and it is not up to you, the BoT, the IMB or the SBC to continue the coverup but to expose it before it completely destroys that what they believe they are protecting by their actions. If they are blind to what they are doing a prophet Nathan is needed to make them see the error of their ways. It is Biblical to confront but never to whitewash and/or cover up. Blessings.

Batchap67 said...

Bro. Wade,
Option two is the correct action to take. I am currently a NAMB endorsed military chaplain who worked very close with IMB missionaries in Far East during my last assigment. WOW! The things I had been taught (in regards to foriegn missions) vs. reality on the field have left me wondering how IMB missionaries can actually accomplish anything for the Kingdom.

I fear the resurrgence is taking on Inquisition-like characteristics and it should be stopped. I have many dear friends being restrained in several areas by IMB and my very best friend and his family were just commissioned last week by the IMB. Options one and three sound very Chamberlain-like and in the end will hurt, if not destroy, the work of so many of our IMB missionaries.

Remember, the war is not against flesh and blood and ultimately, all the redeemed involved in this situation will be reconciled.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps #3 should be carried out, not by non-IMB personnel, but by a panel of trusted IMB field workers? It seems like they may be the ones directly affected by the upheaval and impropriety that is currently taking place on the Board.

Anonymous said...

This has gone to far to simply do nothing in regards to what has happened behind closed doors in recent years. Option 1 is not a good option in my opinion. Option 2 is the least desirable for the obvious reasons you stated. Option 3 is my choice.


Mephibosheth said...

When I left my former church, there were leadership problems that should have been corrected and those problems continue to exist today. I should have done more to expose the dark side. Don't leave any boogers under the rocks. I say go for #2. Problems like this must be addressed.