Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This Really Gets Old But In The End It Will Be Worth It All

This morning Chairman Tom Hatley read into the public record a report from the Executive Committee of the International Mission Board regarding the "Wade Burleson Issue." The report was a blistering indictment of my personal character and integrity. I'm used to this approach in an attempt to discredit me or silence me, so I will do the only thing I know to do and give you the information as I remember it with comment. I am grateful that my wife Rachelle was present with me and these things happened in a public forum so that I can discuss them.

(1). Tom Hatley read statements from my December 10th post "Crusading Conservatives vs. Cooperating Conservatives" and said I had not repented of the things I said.

He is only partially telling the truth. I have expressed regret on multiple occasions before the Board and on this blog for the militant language of that post, but I stand by the content and facts of what I wrote. I rewrote the post toning down the rhetoric and I continue to be baffled by the refusal to quote from the new post. I would urge you to read the posts yourself and draw your own conclusions.

(2). Tom read some comments from my posts, written by other people, and held me responsible for what was said because I was the "administrator" of the post..

I have attempted to maintain a high standard on my blog site, but people must realize I try to keep an open dialogue and do not monitor or moderate comments. The quotes Tom read were not my words, but Tom felt I should be held accountable for them.

(3). Tom said that I could not be trusted because of "multiple breaches of confidentiality" and said he was not going to bring this up except for a specific breach of "confidentiality" that occurred in Monday's post.

I am usually a calm, mild mannered person. My blood pressure went through the roof on this one. I became angry. My wife patted my knee and told me to be gracious. I appreciated her counsel and I believe I was as I tell you what I did in a moment.

I knew because trustee leadership does not like what I am posting on this blog I was susceptible to this charge. They would go over everything I wrote with a fine tooth comb trying to find a "breach of confidentiality." This is why I have been fastidious to make sure I only give information that is available to the public.

What infuriated me was that, once again, charges were being made in public without ANYONE EVERY COMING TO ME IN PRIVATE. That is not only unethical, not to mention anti-Christian, it is a violation of the new policies on trustee accountablity voted on at our last meeting.

I was stunned.

(4). Tom Hatley then said he was recommending as Chairman that I not be allowed to serve on any committees of the IMB and attend any forum or Executive Session of the IMB for the next year.

He then closed his report and sought to move on with the agenda. I went to a microphone and said this, "Mr Chairman, could you please explain to me the basis for these very public charges of breach of confidentiality. This is the first I have ever heard of this. If you tell me what it is I have done, and if it is a true breach, I will repent on the spot"

The Chairman then said (the following words are my paraphrase) UPDATE: May 25, 6:00 p.m.--- It seems reporter Tammi Leadbetter either had a tape recorder in the forum or transcribed the words with shorthand so I am going with her exact quotes from Dr. Hatley and not my paraphrase: "I appreciate that and I think repentance is due, but I would not, even after revealing this, I would still not change my recommendation even with repentance because of the pattern of the breach of confidentiality demonstrated. Repentance needs to be shown by action and not just by words. Matters that were shared only in forum, not in plenary session, about the intent of the executive committee to make a recommendation and the purpose of that was mentioned on your blog. It had not been mentioned in this session, so that would be a violation of confidentiality.” Dr. Hatley never read from the blog the alleged breach, never quoted for me or others the offending words, never gave any specifics to the charge and happened to forget he mentioned "multiple" breaches without supplying me or anyone else with evidence. Policy and Scripture states that I am to be approached privately first. That never happened --- again. First it was "gossip and slander" then it became "resistance to accountability and loss of trust" and now it is morphed into "a pattern of breach(es) of confidentiality. Would some one make up us his mind?

I was clueless for a moment trying to remember what I said. Then I said, "Mr. Chairman, I don't understand, could you please explain . . . "

Dr. Hatley rudely interrupted and said, I’m sorry, you’ll have to close that microphone

I left the microphone and sat down beside Rachelle and said, "Sweeheart, was I gracious in my tone?" She said, "Of course." I said, "Was I respectful?" She said, "Absolutely." I said, "Then why in the world is the microphone shut off by the Chairman when I am trying to figure out what it is I have done."

She said wisely, "It's because they don't like what you are saying."

After The Public Session

I went up to Dr. Hatley and said, "Tom, will you please tell me the basis for your charges." He said he would not talk to me. I asked him, "How could you make such public charges and not come to me privately?" He reiterated, "I will not talk with you." Unbelievable.

I left the podium area and waited to visit with IMB attorney Matt Bristol.

Matt very graciously pointed out that the Executive Committee was upset with this paragraph from my blog on Monday, "By the way, I am grateful that the Executive Committee of the IMB is recommending that a blue ribbon panel, including people from outside the Board, take a fresh look at the appropriateness of the new policies. I have specifically chosen NOT to speak out against the new policies, and this post is not criticising the new policies at all, it is simply trying to explain why some trustees may be "hurt" by my blog."

I told Matt that I had discussed this particular course of action by the Executive Committee with Tom Hatley via phone after the EC met in Dallas. In additon, I have had several convesations with denominational leaders in Nashville, Tennesse and with other trustees about this approach in anticipation of how to deflect criticism that will be directed in full force at the IMB for the adoption of these new policies by the Convention in Greensboro.

However, Matt said that this blue ribbon panel idea was discussed in a confidential Forum and it was the first time some trustees had heard about it, and though it was the subject of considerable debate by me privately with others, and in the PUBLIC business session this morning, it was confidential prior to the public business session in the eyes of the EC.

I pointed out to Matt three things:

(1). It never dawned on me that something I had discussed for at least three weeks prior to the business session with many people was stamped "confidential" simply because it was discussed in Forum. However, to whatever extent the EC felt there was a breach of confidentiality, I am deeply sorry and would have removed the offending paragraph immediately if asked!!

(2). I then questioned why in the world nobody ever approached me privately about this offending paragraph in fulfillment of Matthew 18 and our new trustee accountability guidelines, and why my microphone was shut off when I was attempting to ask the basis of the charge. Attorney Matt Bristol said he did not know and regrets that I was not approached before the meeting. My wife wisely said to Matt, "That's not your job, it is the Chairman's." I wholeheartedly agree. Even if the meeting has to take a break for five minutes, find me and ask me personally.

(3). I asked Matt what the other breaches of confidentiality were in the eyes of the Executive Committee (who by the way are rotating off), and he said he did not know. He conjectured that the vote total for the Chairman's election published on my bog was offensive to some, but I argued that a public vote should always be made public and I received the information by just asking in the hallway.

By the Way the Debate On This Issue Needs to Occur

I think last year's Executive Committee led by Dr. Tom Hatley and the new Chairman Dr. John Floyd who was the Chairman last year of the Personnel Committee that established the new policies, are all extremely sensitive because of past, and potential further, criticism related to the two new policies within the convention.

I think Dr. Hatley's and Floyd have a great deal to be concerned about.

Why in the world are we establishing doctrinal parameters at the IMB that exceed the BFM 2000? Does every agency have the authority to determine what they will and will not believe? Can the IMB be Landmark? Can the IMB be anti-reformed? Can the IMB refuse to appoint godly conservative missionaries who affirm the BFM 2000 but don't agree with new doctrinal requirements established at the whim of trustees without support of IMB administration?

The convention better hold the IMB accountable in this area. This trustee is trying but I sure get whacked at every turn.

In Conclusion

I will not abide by the recommendations of the Chairman and will attend Forums and/or Executive Sessions in the future. Counsel for the SBC has informed me it is illegal for a trustee to be barred from meetings at which all trustees are present. Frankly, we should abandon 90% of those meetings in order to let Southern Baptists know what is going on. Things done in the light of day are always better for organizations like ours.

There was the novel approach by Chuck McAlester from Arkansas that nobody blog about PUBLIC meetings.

Sorry Chuck, this trustee will not attend forums or Executive Sessions, but I guarantee you I will blog about what goes on at the IMB in public meetings. If the Board holds Forums next year I very well may hold a forum of my own at the same time and just get to know our missionaries a little better. Everyone is welcome and blog your heart away! :)

Way too much is at stake for the future of our Southern Baptist Convention to not discuss the issues freely.

My wife and I are going out for a little shopping trip. After this morning she deserves some attention.

Let me close with a good word about the IMB. We are doing some great things around the world! Missions is NOT suffering. My goal is to insure the next 100 years are years of cooperation, progress and world evangelism.

I will persevere.

In His Grace,



art rogers said...

I am so sorry that I couldn't be in NM. This kind of thing is just ridiculous.

How often do we fail to finish well?

Anonymous said...

Stand firm in your faith and rest on the Beloved. You represent many, many grassroots Southern Baptists who are indeed tired of the creeping legalism, fundamentalism, and good old boy watchdog approach. Thank you for blogging the truth.

Dori said...


I am praying for you and Rachelle.

Anonymous said...

The mistake that seems to have been made in this saga is that people want to "win" when there is conflict.

John Maxwell wisely says that the goal of conflict is to come to a better understanding.

How is that "better understanding" ever going to be accomplished without communication, dialogue, and above all else LISTENING.

I'm very sad today about the actions of the IMB BOT.

Praying for a better understanding.

David R.

Bob Cleveland said...


As Winston Churchill once said to a graduating class of collegians, "Never give up. NEVER Give up. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!"

Observations: Is the IMB doing great things, or is God doing great thing through the IMB?

God will use anybody to accomplish His purposes. God used Pilate to paint a sign, which he subsequently refused to change when challenged by a guard, that led to a thief on the cross next to Jesus getting saved. If God accomplishes much through the IMB, that is NOT a reflection of the Godiness of the IMB.

It's a reflection of His love for souls.

All this turmoil is a reflection of His love for you, too.

At the risk of getting long winded and rambling, consider this: If you're in an auto accident and get all sore and stiff, and the doctor says to stay in bed a week, you'll stay there a day. Maybe. Next morning you'll move to the couch. Next day the recliner.

Then you'll be up and around and taking it easy. For day. Then back in full swing.

If, on the other hand, the doctor says "If you move out of the bed in the next 7 days, you will NEVER WALK AGAIN: ... you're probably going to stay put. All 7 days.

Why? Because in the second example, you'll see the value.

Same goes for taking the high road. Always doing the right thing. Always doing what Jesus would do. Following the rules. Every time. Striving for holiness. For purity.

The value's there. Who else sees it, I don't know. But you do, and you must not lose sight of it.

Go read Psalm 126:6 anhs 2 Thessalonians 3:13.

Anonymous said...

My Brother,

Let me remind you of something written in a wonderful book entitled "Happiness Doesn't Just Happen".

In chapter 9, on page 136, the author quotes Puritan John Flavel when he says, "fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt". I assume that if conscience is clear, no tax of fear is due. I know you, and I am sure that your ledger is clean! However, there is still the burden of truth that has rested upon your shoulders, and with so few present there to help carry that load, it is exhausting.

In Luke 8:48, when Jesus sends away the woman who is healed through touching Christ's garment, He tells her, "go in peace". He is saying "shalom". You know as well as anyone that He is not saying "go, be free from conflict and disorder". He is saying "go, have peace IN THE MIDST of conflict and disorder"!

All I can do is pray that for you right now. Know that there are many in Enid, Thomas, and abroad that are in accord with you scripturally, philosophically, and emotionally.

As Isaiah 50:7 says, "but the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame".

God's grace to YOU,
Jeff Brock

Anonymous said...

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

A Fellow Southern Baptist pastor

Rob Ayers said...


Did the chair actually make this statement - "I don't know if your repentance will be accepted."? Was it made in terms of "your going to get this anyway irregardless of if you are granted forgiveness or not" or was it meant to be conveyed as written. As written (or so stated), it is a blasphemous statement - (of which I don't believe was the speakers intention - or I don't want to). Our very existence in Christ is based on Him granting us forgiveness in the face of our repentance - and we are told that we should grant forgiveness to others irregardless of their repentance because Christ forgave us more. Otherwise, to "not to receive repentance" is akin to blasphemy of Christ's blood - for it is insufficient to us to forgive others in their petty indescretions. Maybe this is too much for you to ascertain the mind of Brother Tom. I do beleive that this trivial matter ought to brought to the floor of the convention to settle once and for all.

Rob Ayers

CB Scott said...

Mrs. Burleson,

I do not know you, but I know my wife. She stood by me with grace and honor in my hardtimes.

Yet, I know she was hurt greatly by heartless people emotionally and in the end physically.

I want to thank you for calming the fire in a man's heart today. It was by the Hand of God you were there with him.

Wade, many men are cowards. I have known many. Today you were with some fine men, no doubt, but you were also the victim of the work of cowards. Be strong and rest in the love of Jesus.

I ask you to let the statement stand. I take full responsibility and know exactly what I am saying.

" I cannot help but remember the thoughts of my friend Ben Cole:( 1 kings 19:18 comes to my mind.) My thoughts exactly".


Tony Gulbrandsen said...

Brother Wade,

May God bless you richly for bringing these underground, good-ole-boy networks into the light of day.

I am encouraged that there are people in SBC life who have the courage to stand up for what is right even when it is hard.

I will be praying for you as persevere.

Thanks for being the voice for so many of us conservatives who are tired of the cliques.

Jamie Wootten said...

Ecclesiastes 9:15-18

"Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered the poor man. So I said, 'Wisdom is better than strength.' But the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good."

Hang in there Wade. Continue leaning on God's wisdom. He will use you to make a difference. I think He already has used you as a model of Godly wisdom in many of our lives.

Anonymous said...

Today's events remind me of an old, old story. In this instance I believe it can be allegorical in nature.
Goliath: Certain IMB Trustees
David: Pastor Wade Burleson
Five smooth stones: Truth, love, courage, grace, and the Word of God.
I Samuel 17:46, "As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him."
So many people are praying for you, Pastor Wade.
In His Service,
Your secretary Barb

Anonymous said...

From First Time to write:

More of our controversial issues need to be raised in a public meeting instead of in closed
Janice Finnell

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Burleson,

There are two approaches to discipline in the New Testament.

Matthew 18 concerns private offenses, and must proceed from a private to a public forum.

1 Corinthians 5 concerns publicly reported offenses, and immediately goes to a public forum.

Your blogging comes under 1 Corinthians 5, since it is public material.

The Chairman of the Board has acted correctly in this matter.

A Southern Baptist from Texas

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Burleson,

In response to your questions,

Why in the world are we establishing doctrinal parameters at the IMB that exceed the BFM 2000?

The board has not exceeded the parameters of the Baptist Faith & Message with the policies on baptism and tongues. They have only clarified important issues which had to be addressed. Moreover, the IMB's ultimate authority is the Bible and where the Baptist Faith & Message is silent, the board must naturally turn to Scripture.

Does every agency have the authority to determine what they will and will not believe?

No. They must submit to God's Word.

Can the IMB be Landmark?

What do you mean by Landmark?

Can the IMB be anti-reformed?

Baptists are not Reformed. Presbyterians are Reformed. The IMB doesn't have to be anti-Reformed, but it doesn't have to appoint the Reformed either.

Can the IMB refuse to appoint godly conservative missionaries who affirm the BFM 2000 but don't agree with new doctrinal requirements established at the whim of trustees without support of IMB administration?

Are you saying that the administration governs the IMB?

A Southern Baptist from Texas

LivingDust said...

Brother Wade,

Tomorrow is another day. You'll probably feel better after a good night of sleep. The important thing is that you and Rachelle have a safe journey home from New Mexico.

This will probably not be the last time that someone seeks to silence you. Just chalk it up as one of the many attempts.

This post regarding today's meeting reminds me of Peter and Paul. How many times did various "authorities" tell those two fellows to be silent? Probably more than is documented in God's Word.

Just like them, you are paying a price.

Just like them, you will persevere.

Todd said...

nothing surprises me anymore ... when the history of this is rewritten by the group in power it will read nothing like what you wrote ... archive this piece for posterity ... it may be unbelievable when studied by future generations ... and maybe by some southern baptists ... if there are still such a people ...

Anonymous said...


It is this kind of high handed sit down and be quiet attitude ( thatyou and your dear wife had to endure) that is wearing very then for many Potential leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention.

How sad that those intrusted with leadership can willingly and woefully ignore Matthew 18.

Then when you seek clarification, abruptly turn away from you rather than seek mutual forgivness and understanding.

It must be hard walking into those trustee meetings, just know you are not alone....untold thousands of people are praying for clearer and more Godly heads to prevail.

Praying for you!

Pastor Mark
Philippians 1:3-6


This grieves MY SPIRIT that THEY WHO ATTACK do not display TRUTH or GRACE. This was not handled Biblically and is not Biblical. GOD has a way of showing HIS TRUTH in every thing.
Bob Cleveland and Jeff Brick said it Best.
I Love You and Yours, and I know your HEART.
Your Brother in CHRIST


Sorry, that was Jeff Brock instead of Brick.

Anonymous said...

While it is frustrating, to put it mildly, for you to endure such abuse, I am praying for you, your wife, and family that God will enable you to bear such ridicule for a much greater cause. Your work to shed light on the attitude of the work of some Trustees at IMB has invigorated many of us to become more informed and more involved.
Remember the words of Paul, "when you've done all you can to stand, stand firm".

Anonymous said...

I read with much interest your comments. Wade, thanks for helping to inform us. It is clear to me that you have stepped on some feet! Having been in the conventions for a number of years nothing here is surprise. Mikes are ignored by people desiring to speak. And, time is seldom given to anyone who wants to raise a question about control and power found in boards, etc....Blessings on you for seeking to inform and challenge. The flow of money will ultimately decide some things. Power is now in control....and silence is mandatory for power to stay in control...we have no checks and balance. Should not need them if Holy Spirit is alive in our midst...What goes on behind close doors will be evident in Greensboro...good luck Wade...wayne

Kevin said...

Wade, keep blogging. As you've said from the start, you are serving Christ with a clear conscience. Nothing will change that.

Clif Cummings said...

Art & others:
I was there. I just landed @ Love Field after an hour delay in Albuquerque and am waiting on my flight to OKC.
On the plane ride to Dallas, I kept going over in my mind this morning's plenary session.
In many ways, you just had to have been there to see it first hand to believe it. (And Wade said this one was mild to previous sessions! A thousand woes!)
let me affirm that in every observable way, Wade's manner and tone was humble and polite. Subtle attacks had been made for two days - and Dr. Hatley's last volley as Chairman of the board absolutely apalling.
I had thought that perhaps Dr. Hatley's behavior was just directed toward Wade, but when I approached him after the meeting and began to kindly and graciously ask questions, his behavior toward me drew the same results as Wade. (Unfortunately, my wife wasn't there to verify my behavior.)
I am still putting my thoughts together and will blog them later tonight or first thing tomorrow.

However,let me close by saying that the stories I heard today of the work of our missionaries on the field and the persecution, the near death experiences that they suffer, along with the hard fought victories - these stories and thousands more like them - make me proud to be a Southern Baptist and of the work of our missionaries around the world! Ultimately, they are the reason I was in Albuquerque these past 3 days!

WTJeff said...

I have to admit, Wade, my temper would get the best of me in this circumstance. I can be very rude and sharp with those who offend in this way. Your graciousness is definetly beyond me.

As I've said before here, the direction the IMB board has taken and the methods they sometimes use are of no surprise to me. My experiences with fundamentalism have left me jaded and suspicious at times. When positions are questioned, those with no biblical foundation resort to attacking one's character. It happened to me on an extremely smaller scale.

All that to say this -- Wade it may continue, but because of the way that you have conducted yourself, you have been above reproach. The Lord will handle this in His own way and will bring glory to His name.

I sincerely hope that it's His will to publicly vindicate you as well.


Jeff Parsons

Scotte Hodel said...

I grew up near Chicago, and so the late Mayor Richard Daley and his machine came to mind as I read about the microphone.

My temper flares easily, and so I am impressed with your self control.

Anonymous said...

Wade, I'm very sad that the exiting trustee exibited a very unkind attitude toward you. Also, I'm am in tears because of the words of the former chairman. I should not be surprised at the high-handedness; they have learned it from the "powers that be" over the past two or three decades. As my late husband used to say, "They show no sense of propriety."

Yesterday during my devotional time I was impressed and moved by the following prayer written by Calvin Miller:

Lord Jesus,

I would not confess myself as adequate, my needs are too great.

I would not confess my friends as adequate, they have too often been unable to meet my needs.

Nor would I confess my church as adequate, for sometimes when I've needed them they've forgotten me.

So here and now I cry, "Thou art the Lord!" I hide my life in thee, Incarnate Word. Amen.

(From "Until I Come" by C. Miller)

May God bless you always and supply all of your needs each day. God is able!

I hope to run into you at G-boro.

Florence in KY

Marty Duren said...

The house of cards will not stand the wind of the Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking these hits brother. You've got a ton of people behind you in the SBC! Thoughs and prayers are with you and your wife tonight.

"Why in the world are we establishing doctrinal parameters at the IMB that exceed the BFM 2000? Does every agency have the authority to determine what they will and will not believe? Can the IMB be Landmark? Can the IMB be anti-reformed? Can the IMB refuse to appoint godly conservative missionaries who affirm the BFM 2000 but don't agree with new doctrinal requirements established at the whim of trustees without support of IMB administration?

The convention better hold the IMB accountable in this area."

How do we it Wade? I'm going to my first convention in a number of years.

Lead the way brother...keep leading the way. said...


Yes he did.

I am requesting the recording for posterity. said...


Come prepared.

Many motions will be brought.

This year is absolutely critical.

Anonymous said...

What a travesty. All they've done is awaken the sleeping giant, just a couple of weeks before the convention. God was in this to bring to light things that have been kept hidden. His will will prevail. Keep going Wade, for all of us - you're in my prayers tonight - for strength and courage. I pray for the SBC and IMB Board of Trustees as well.

Anonymous said...

As I read your most recent post, I was saddened by how the chairman of the BoT conducted himself in regards to you at his last opportunity to speak as chairman. As I read, I wanted to understand why he conducted himself in this manner. As I see it, this was just way too weird. Was he having a bad day? Was he at a weak moment? Has the Burleson issue become too much? For me, this almost appears as 'rage' and that can't be justified as Christ like behaviour. I am baffled but at the same time have seen a lot of similar behaviour in the last 5 years in our organization. It seems to be spilling over as people 'take sides' in these issues. Unfortunately, it started with the BF&M signing of field personnel. Those that stood up for certain issues at that time were treated much worse than to what you have barely experienced.

The incident that took place yesterday will truely 'outshine' all the other good stuff that took place. Maybe that's what Tom wanted. Who knows his motivation behind his actions. I hope that he was truely in a weak moment and doesn't think he was justified in this. Our prayers go out to the both of you. May there be reconciliation in this matter and God to receive the glory.

You may want to remove Chuck Andrews comment.

12 Year M in 10/40 window

Anonymous said...

Any chance Page will step down and let you get back in.

Anonymous said...

Behind every good man is a good woman. Now we see what the woman is like behind this man. I'm praying for both of you. Continue to be strong and walk in His Spirit!

Ginny B

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry that you had to endure such a vindictive diatribe today. Our prayers are with you and your family.
It may--or may not--comfort you to know that you were not the first to have such an experience. This sort of thing was common in the days of "The Takeover". Dr. Russell Dilday at Southwestern Seminary, Dr. Lloyd Elder at the Sunday School Board and countless others who deserved it no more than you did were attacked, vilified and humiliated.

I take no pleasure in the knowledge that many of those who were leaders in these attacks have themselves been exposed and disgraced. They bore the names Christian and Baptist just as I do.

"Do not fret because of evildoiers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and he shall bring it to pass. HE WILL BRING FORTH YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS AS THE LIGHT, AND YOUR JUSTICE AS THE NOONDAY. (Psalm 37:1-6 NKJV)


Ellis said...

Dear Wade:
This is my first blog ... ever. But I just had to write to let you know I'm praying for you and your wife. I admire you more than words can express. I've been a Southern Baptist all my life, but I don't feel like I can be one anymore. There's no room for me. I feel very sad ... and alone.

Bob Cleveland said...


Atributed to the man for whom our town is named:

"With heart and mind and conscience clear,
Fear God, and know no other fear."

I know you don't fear man, but then we do need more often to be reminded, than informed.

Kevin Bussey said...


Do these men and women understand missions? They need to have your next meeting in New Orleans and see how Edgewater is doing real missions. The arrogance of the BOT's is unbelievable. (I SAID THIS NOT WADE!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Southern Baptist from Texas

Maybe I am a simpleton, but when I read Matt 18, I don't see anything that says one way or the other about private or public offenses. As I read it, Matt 18:1 says: "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone." In context of Matt 17, it seems to be that Jesus feels that healthy, loving relationships within his body are very important to Him. From the little I've read of this blog, I believe Dr Burleson is a very intense and intimidating man, and I would not want to go toe to toe with him in a debate. But he is a "brother" and therefore, as I see it, should be treated according to Matt 18.

In your second post you stated: "The board has not exceeded the parameters of the Baptist Faith & Message with the policies on baptism and tongues. They have only clarified important issues which had to be addressed." I don’t see how you differentiate between “exceed” and “clarify”, but I don’t want a debate your every word either. Instead, I would like to take issue with your comment, "…had to be addressed." I’ve read this blog and another (which is on the other side of the fence) for a while now and I still don’t understand why the BoT felt these issues “…had to be addressed.” As an M on the field for the past 5 years and knowing a few fellow IMB M's who have a private prayer language (I don’t), and knowing from leadership sources that this has not been an issue in our region, I doubt the claim that these issues "had to be addressed." These few people I know who have claimed to have a private prayer language are representing Christ excellently (better than me, no doubt), not because they have a private prayer language, but because they are mature, Godly people who love God and their fellow man, and faithfully share His Word. I don’t see them as dangerous or less than the “the best qualified candidates” (in the words of one Trustee). Personally, knowing my own sinfulness and weaknesses, I wish God would call me home, and keep them here. Also, a side note regarding baptism issues. If these similar policies were carried out here on the field, we would quench most if not all the Church Planting Movements that are happening throughout the world. I think “the priesthood of all believers” is a better model.

Blessings, Derek C

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, this Okie came to the realization that one's character is frequently best revealed when he feels empowerment and liberty in doing or saying whatever he wants. Ironically, the outgoing Chairman of the IMB, in attempting to assassinate your character, did much more damage to his own character in the process. . .for the world to see!

It is all the more readily apparent that the tactics and practices of the IMB BoT must be severely dealt with in Greensboro. Otherwise, there will likely be irreparable damage to SBC mission initiatives and the denomination as a whole.

Not allowing you to even question the basis for his personal attack on you further established the current double standard being enforced in the IMB BoT. His order that your mic be turned off was, in this Christian's opinion, a cowardly act of a man who is fearful of being held publicly accountable for his personal attack on a fellow Trustee.

Moreover, how your fellow IMB Trustees could just sit there, listen to Dr. Hatley's litany, and make no vocal objection to his personal attack is beyond this Okie's comprehension. Even with the realization that Dr. Hatley is "done" as chairman of the BoT, he should not have been allowed to engage in the unchristian act of disparaging a fellow Trustee in direct violation of a BoT guideline that he personally sponsored.

That said, Wade, I am fervently praying that the Lord will continue to grant you grace, peace and comfort in the endeavor to confront the unethical practices of power politics from an IMB BoT whose current leaders apparently prefer to do their deeds in a shroud of secrecy while attempting to destroy anyone who expresses dissent with their methods or policies. It is to their shame that they have committed such deeds. It will be to the SBC's ultimate shame if such deeds are allowed to continue.

In His Grace and Peace,

Reformed Mama said...

WOW! I happened to "stumble" onto your blog this evening. I wasn't expecting any of what I read.

I am a 2002 graduate of SEBTS and, like you, a Southern Baptist to th core.

The political "stuff" I saw as an employee at SEBTS opened my eyes to a whole other side of the SBC; a side that I really did not want to see.

Events that have taken place over the past year in my personal life and that involve local churches combined with things I have read here and elsewhere are troublesome, at the least, for me.

We, as individuals, should be above reproach. Certainly those in positions of authority (trustees like yourself, board members, etc) should be so even more.

The lost are watching us. Our actions, individually and collectively, speak volumes.

I know I took the long way around, but I'm trying to say that I am with you on your stance against legalism. I personally am heartbroken over things I see that could seriously split the SBC in two.

I am praying for you and for the SBC to be united..


Anonymous said...

Pastor Burleson,

The only reason I still believe in the Southern Baptist Convention is that I know that there are people like you in it its midst. Stand firm in your convictions.

Stefan M.

Anonymous said...

Bro Wade,

I am so sorry. Sorry that you had to endure this nonsense and sorry that Tom chose to end his chair on such a bizarre and sour note.

I still think we need more trustees like you.

Hang in there, bro.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear "A Southern Baptist from Texas,"

Your ideas probably will not get a serious hearing unless you identify yourself.

Dear Brother Wade,

I was concerned that some of the other trustees would use this meeting to throw every stone at you that they could throw, sling every mud pie they could come up with. I think some of them were ready to do so and hoping for a chance. Although I do not think some of the comments directed at you were kind or Christian, I do thank God that He did not let it get any worse, which it could have.

You should have blogged about the blue ribbon panel idea Monday night after the trustee forum. I understand that it had already been discussed outside the trustee forum, but in that you have already been accused of breach of confidence, I wish you had just kept that idea under wraps until the next day. (Hindsight is always 20/20, and armchair quarterbacks always call the right play!)

I firmly believe in the truth of the cause you are championing, and will continue to help lead the prayer effort on behalf of these ideals. I hope for a chance to vote on motions and resolutions to that effect in Greensboro.

Love in Christ,

Jeff said...

Derek C,

You have asked THE question that needs answered by the anonymous commentator from Texas.


I am sick and tired of hearing trustees in leadership say, "Administration and staff wanted them!"

Due to the actions of the Executive Committee and Dr. Hatley today I feel impressed it is time for me to make public everything I know.

It is not pretty. I never intended to share it, but when trustee leadership sought to remove me because I questioned the reasons the policies were being pushed when President Rankin and staff were against them, I prepared a fifteen page affidavit, and collected appropriate information for my defense before the SBC.

Unfortunately, the manipulation and manuevering that occurred by sitting trustees to get me on the Board to fulfill their agendas backfired.

I have stubbornly resisted making this information public, but I am very close to doing so. If I do it will answer your question quite clearly.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Burleson,

My prayers are with you and your family.

Mrs. CB (Karen) Scott

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. The behavior of Hatley et. al.

I just can't let this nugget slip by:

"Baptists are not Reformed. Presbyterians are Reformed. The IMB doesn't have to be anti-Reformed, but it doesn't have to appoint the Reformed either."

Sometimes you just have to laugh at this stuff I guess... but it sure makes you wonder about the future. said...

Bro. Jeff,

I think you meant "you should (not) have blogged about the blue ribbon panel."

I don't necessarily disagree Jeff.

If I had even considered for a moment I was violating confidentiality I would never have posted it. Frankly, I have been extra cautious on this very point.

It's interesting that I just received an email from Paul Littleton where he gives me a website where this blue ribbon panel was discussed on a blog of a VP candidate LAST WEEK. I don't know the man and have never spoken to him, but Paul's email is confirmation to anyone who needs it that this issue has been discussed much more widely than the EC would have people believe.

Having said that, I am happy to agree with anyone who believes that I should NOT have blogged about the Blue Ribbon panel Monday and would have apologized and removed it immediately if asked.

However, when people are looking to destroy your character they aren't wanting to work with you, they are attempting to remove you.

It's not as easy to do with me as they first hoped.

Alex F said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cyngun said...

Dear Reformed Mama,
The SBC has already split in two. As a former IMB missionary, forced to sign or resign, I was only one of many casualties of that split. With mean-spirited, un-Christlike fundamentalists in control of every Board and Agency, we can only expect more splitting, splintering and division. They will always have an enemy. Opposition cannot be tolerated. Those who don't conform to their narrow conditions have to be cut out. It's always been their mode of operation. The SBC will continue to split until it totally fractures. I wonder who will be the last one standing!

Anonymous said...

Wade, why don't you just resign. You are not helpful to anyone. You cause problems. I hear you believe in election. Baptists believe in free will. I hear you approve of tongues speakers. You are a charismatic not a Baptist. You don't know doctrine and it shows. Nobody is truly part of the church unless they are baptized in the church started by the true Baptist, John himself. He did not touch alchohol. You say Jesus turned the water into wine! He DID NO SUCH THING. HE turned it into Grape Juice and we drink it to this day to remember his death. How dare you call yourself a Baptist! Dr. Hatley should be President of our convention for shutting off your mike.

A Southern Baptist Conservative from Texas who loves the Longhorns and REAL SOUTHERN BAPTISTS --- everyone else go join another Wade in another denomination. said...


I can't post your comment, though you make excellent points.


Nobody spoke up for me because they did not have a chance. A true friend told me after the meeting that he was shocked at what occurred but the tension was so thick in the room he felt everyone just wanted it to be over. I also have been told that Chairman Hatley was told that he would be making a huge mistake if he did what he did --- by someone to whom he should have listened. He did it anyway. said...


I politely disagree. The SBC is galvanized. Over 20,000 have already registered for Greensboro.

Things are changing. No more splintering because people like me will not leave. said...


Thanks for your thoughtful post. Because of its length and personal comments I have copied it for me and my wife to meditate upon and decided not to post it. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Southern Baptist from Texas who said,

"Baptists are not Reformed."

Ever hear of Charles Spurgeon?

Anonymous said...

To all readers:

Motions regarding the IMB BoT will have no effect in Greensboro. Convention bylaws state that all motions regarding specific agencies are to be automatically referred to the trustees of those agencies. In short, the Committee on the Order of Business will just refer any motion, and it will take a 2/3 majority from the floor to override their decision to refer.

If you bring a motion asking the seated messengers to act on an issue, the Committee on the Order of Business will rule it out of order because it is in the form of a resolution, asking the messengers to express their opinions on an issue. Again, a 2/3 majority will be required to override the ruling of the committee.

I don't believe the messengers will vote to override the Committee.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, there are times when I don’t think I like Jesus. He’s really harsh with the Pharisees, even down right mean. Sometime as I read the Gospels and cringe (I guess, knowing myself, I identify with the Pharisees a lot). But then he is the Lord, never sinned, and knows and always does what is perfect and beautiful (even when it got ugly).

I will be praying for you that you will patiently do what is right in His eyes while keeping yours fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Derek C

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear "A Southern Baptist Conservative from Texas who loves the Longhorns and REAL SOUTHERN BAPTISTS,"

In the Baptist Blogs, it has become customary for people with strong convictions such as yours to document them carefully from the scriptures, so everyone can evaluate the biblical basis for what you write. It is also best to identify yourself, rather than remaining anonymous. If you were to re-write your ideas in this way, you would at least get a fair hearing.

I, for one, am not entirely unsympathetic with every idea you expressed, but I am unsympathetic with the way in which you expressed them.

Love in Christ,



A Southern Baptist Conservative from Texas who loves the Longhorns and REAL SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

I think you should reread your HATEFULL post and ask GOD to search your HEART. Read Ecc 7:22 Your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others.
PRIDE seems to be a problem with people.

Fanchettes said...

Coming late to the party I guess, but I'm just becoming familiar with these issues at IMB. Boy, and I thought NAMB was in bad shape!

I was glad to read that IMB missionary work is flourishing; I just hate that it is doing so DESPITE this BoT soap opera.

For those who would ask how/why these "good Baptists" would behave badly, one need only look to the local church. A church whose status quo or power base is challenged simply runs out whoever the offender might be. This has in many ways become the "Baptist Way." At the mission board level, with all that power, prestige and money on the line the stakes get that much higher. So if you don't tow the company line you'll either be intimidated into submission or run out of town.

I'm thankful for your stand. You're a better man than I, because there is no way I could endure this foolishness.

Unknown said...

Evil deeds completely reveal their ugliness when the glare of sunshine falls upon them. I wish you had not suffered personally, but am glad that the spotlight is shining on Hatley's oafish and unchristlike manner. Faithful Southern Baptists, like me, must be disgusted and ashamed by his behavior. Hopefully, this darkening of the kingdom will lead to brighter days.

Rob Ayers said...

To A Southern Baptist in Texas:

It saddens my heart that you come here to sling mud. You do not even choose to do so with your name attached, which is really really sad. You do not even have the courage to place your name to your convictions.

I find it sad that you do not trust the convention or it's people with these issues. Why can't the convention speak to these issues openly and decide? Do we and have we not gotten it right?

When the liberal/moderates were in power, they took the same attitude you obviously do: that the "elites" (them) could and would make all of the right calls, and no one else could - no one else could question their motives or choices. Ask us in the Missouri Baptist Ccovention the consequences of such prideful thinking. For the past five years we have been fighting it out over institutions that Missouri Baptists placed in stewardship to the MBC - and when the control of the MBC went to Conservatives through our polity, these power brokers fled and changed institutional charters in the dead of night to self-perpetuating trustees. There may be some here reading this blog who agree with these "elites" - but they don't recognize what you don't recognize either - that our polity demands democratic governance for ALL BELIEVERS ARE PRIESTS. It is not for a small group or oligarchy to "clarify" what our confessional statement says and means - it is for GOD'S PEOPLE ALONE who represent the LOCAL CHURCH concentrating together in a small segment of the UNIVERSAL CHURCH to make that call. Not the elected servants of that body caled the SBC - BUT THE BODY ITSELF (SBC) ALONE!!!!

It is and should be assumed then that when the BF&M confession is silent, IT IS ON PURPOSE. It is then up to that entity to seek clarification from the BODY of whence they came if there is a question that arises. Trustees are caretakers only - they are not the Master. The Convention is the Master. I have a feeling that the Convention will speak loudly and forcefully in Greesboro on this manner. My question to SB in Texas is this brother - will you follow when the convention speaks? I will, even though I may disagree with it. I will disagree or leave, that is my choice. What will you do my brother?

I am a Pastor of Camp Branch Baptist Church, a church started by a stalwart group of farmers in the 1870's in rural Missouri who immediatly became connected by their own voalition to be Southern Baptist. Our roots go deep in both SBC and later the MBC. We have been a cooperating local Southern Baptist church for over 130 years in our Cooperative work and in the giving towards missions. We have a place at the table, and a right to speak just as much as you - more than you because you would hide from us behind a wall of subterfuge. I challenge you, brother, to come to our church. You can contact me through my blog and e-mail directly if you wish. You can come and tell the saints here how you don't want us or need us. Look us in the eye - tell us directly. Do so in the Love of Christ. I await your reply, friend.

Rob Ayers, D.Min., MAMFC, MRE
Pastor, Camp Branch Baptist Church
Sedalia, Missouri 65301 (there - I am flushed out in the open for all to see)

Anonymous said...

I read the 65 comments posted. You are more gracious than I ever have been. Chairman Tom is heading for a stroke. Such hateful attitude toward you. ( you are a chained slave to anyone you dislike) I, for one, am glad his tenure is over. Unfortunately he probably is still on the board.
The poor soul from Texas needs salvation in Christ not the baptist church. What a pitiful response. He seems to be a baptist who goes to a christain church, Not a christain who goes to a baptist church. He is so gutless that he signs annouymous as his identity. I am secure in my savior to let the whole world know I am,,,,

Charles Peele, Tongue speaking baptist, praying for our beloved convention and our beloved Wade Burleson, from Gainesville, Florida

Rob Ayers said...


I will pray about your coming choices in the next few days. As a Counselor, I would strongly recommend that you hold back from any visereal emotional impulse, and pray about when to release information at your disposal.

At the same time, I think the die is cast - your path is set. Will the SBC be a conservative evangelical body of churches who wish to "rescue the perishing" or just another cult with dogmatic fetishes? This "group" in the IMB BoT should have seen the light of day a long time ago. Who is to say that you were brought along for this eventuality? Are there coincedences in the Providence of God? I think not (and I am not a Five Pointer!)

This cannot be done by a person with a political ax to grind or with revenge on his mind. It must be done lovingly, yet firmly, so that God alone will get the glory. I know He provide a way for you to do this His way.

You may never serve on another institution in SBC life ever again. But you will go down as a Righteous man who loved his God, his church, and his mission more than life itself. I would rather be known for this - wouldn't you?

Your Servant,

Rob Ayers

Anonymous said...


The individual who claimed that 1 Corinthians 5 allows the right to go straight to public church discipline in this situation is mind-boggingly short-sighted. The only reasons why Paul says what he does there are: 1) the man in question is totally unwilling to repent of his behavior (certainly not the case with you, as you have repeatedly offered); and 2) the church had arrogantly refused to do anything previously, and now the situation had gotten to the crisis point, where Paul had to require extreme measures.

In your case, you wished to repent and do so publicly, but Chairman Hatley would not accept it. So, that being the case, from a church discipline perspective, it is completely the Board's failure biblically from two angles: 1) for not handling the situation according to the guidelines of Matthew 18 by coming to you privately earlier; and 2) for not accepting your expressed repentance and FULLY restoring you, as 2 Cor. 2:6-11 requires.

Sadly, as 2 Cor. 2:11 warns, the failure to handle such situations rightly (i.e., full forgiveness and restoration) allows God's people to be taken advantage of by Satan. Now, I am neither a Charismatic or one who sees a demon under every bush, but that is what the passage says will happen as clear as a bell. So, in this case, the BOT's lack of forgiveness and restoration is virtually begging the Devil to drive a Mack truck through this chink in the spiritual armor and execute his "schemes" and cause the maximum amount of destruction in the work of the IMB.

If the BOT is at all serious about handling such disgraceful behavior in a biblical manner, at least Dr. Hatley--perhaps more--should immediately come under the early stages of church discipline himself, unless he rapidly repents.
If we are candid theologically, what is motivating his behavior(e.g., "enmities, strife... outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions..."), and that of others on the BOT, is nothing more or less than the flesh (Gal. 5:19, 20)? By contrast, you are exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, notably "love... patience, kindness... faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (5:22, 23). Continue to "walk by the Spirit" (5:16, 25) and be "led by the Spirit" (5:18).

Praying that you may remain gracious and principled in the face of such insults and aspersions,

A Longhorn who CAN take a joke

Tim Sweatman said...

If any trustee needs to be removed from the board, it is Tom Hatley. Such an attitude is unacceptable for someone in a position of leadership in a Christian entity. Apparently Hatley has no understanding of the concept of free and open discussion. Thus, he assumes that everything that is said on your blog reflects your position, just as he makes sure that everything that is said at IMB meetings reflects his position.

Wade, you're a much better man than I. If I had been in your shoes, Hatley would have been picking up his teeth. OK, not really, but I would have been tempted to make him do so. And I definitely would have gotten my point across to him, mic or no mic.

Jack Maddox said...

Maybe it is just me but with Southern Baptist from Texas I smell a troll. I find it hard to believe that anyone who holds to even a differing view and takes a completely different view that the majority on this blog would be so dare I say "ignorant" to express their views in such a way. However, If I was trying to make those who do hold a different view look utterly ridiculous then perhaps one would try to pass in such a way.

Oh well, either way it does not matter.

First of all Wade let me, as one who has tried to gently contest not your views or positions for I share many of them , but one who has been concerned with many who attach themselves to your cause, thus using you trial and travail to perhaps gain their own agenda, say that the actions and the attitude of the chair is absolutely inappropriate and out of line. Any Pastor who ahs been attacked knows what you have gone through. I intend on contacting both the Chair and the current IMB leadership to express my outrage at this kind of behavior.

I to believe that we should be careful not to demonize anyone who are among our SBC brethren. This is very well a case similar to Paul and Barnabus and John Mark. My prayer is that you Wade and the Chairman and others would be reconciled. I know you are willing, I pray others will also be.

I will be in Greensboro. I cannot afford it, I will have to drive it (1271 miles one way) I do not have the time to do it, and I do not even have a supply as of yet for that Sunday. But very clearly the Lord has prompted me to go. I have met with me men and sought their council and they have said overwhelmingly that I must go. What will I find there? I hope the truth...

for I know this to be true and many of you will bear witness with me...our church's in America are sick, our people are floundering, and what we have seen in these days regardless of ones position is simply the symptoms of the disease. Perhaps in Greensboro we will see, or perhaps the words of our Dear Adrian will come to pass

"God does not need the Southern Baptist Convention..."

I pray it is not so. I pray that we of the resurgence era of the SBC will seek the truth and act upon it accordingly...

Even if the truth hurts


GeneMBridges said...

I hear you believe in election. Baptists believe in free will.

According to the BFM we believe in election. The BFM makes no distinction between libertarian free will and compatibilist freedom. On the other hand, we find that Baptists DO believe in election.

I know Wade, like myself, affirms the LCBF1 and 2. I believe you will find that these historic Baptist Confessions are very clear about election and include a lengthy discussion of free will. If you don't find that to be "Baptist," then I strongly suggest you remember there are General and Particular Baptists. If you don't find that "Southern" Baptist, then I suggest you explain why all the signatories of the SBC Charter itself came from churches that held the Philadelphia Confession, which is the LCBF2 in a slightly altered form. While you're at it, please look over the Abstract of Principles at SBTS and SEBTS, and be sure to head over to to read over John L. Dagg and especially James Boyce, who's Abstract of Theology should be most enlightening for you.

I hear you approve of tongues speakers. You are a charismatic not a Baptist.

Charismatics are not a denomination unto themselves. To say that Baptists are not charismatics is like saying "Baptists are not blue." Charismatics exist across many different denominational identities. Since you believe in free will, I could say that you are an Open Theist since Open Theists believe in free will too and happen to be the most obvious, glaring error the free will tradition has ever produced, just as the Word of Faith people are just about the worst the charismatics have produced. Wade is no more a charismatic because of his stand on the tongues issue at the IMB than you are an Open Theist for believing in "free will."

For the record, many Baptists in history have been semi-cessationists, including a great many of the Puritan Particular Baptists like Hanserd Knollys who seems to have affirmed the perpetuity of healings. You have "heard" wrong about Brother Wade. Brother Wade does not see this issue as definitional for Baptists and is comfortable with the former policy on tongues himself, which already has strong prohibitions of this activity. The new policy, however, extends into the private prayer closet. This is what he finds objectionable. Rather than addressing what you have "heard" why not actually deal with what he has said?

When you can find some time away from the Longhorns to study Baptist history and theology to make accurate and informed statements about both please, drop by again.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that this will get buried in the Wade dispute, but there is a since that the whole focus of the meetings for most of you was derailed,giving the Evil One success in his agenda. My heart hungrily jumped at the crumbs of reports on the Lottie Moon offering, on Bill Hogg's report, on the over 100 newly appt. Please!!! Feed me more!! Anything else of merit happen that you can keep us informed about.


GeneMBridges said...

There are two approaches to discipline in the New Testament.

Matthew 18 concerns private offenses, and must proceed from a private to a public forum.

1 Corinthians 5 concerns publicly reported offenses, and immediately goes to a public forum.

Your blogging comes under 1 Corinthians 5, since it is public material.

The Chairman of the Board has acted correctly in this matter.

A. The IMB chairman is not the pastor of the IMB, and the IMB board is not a local church, so you are proceeding under the assumption the IMB board funcitions the same way.

B. 1 Corinthians 5 assumes that Matthew 18 has not been followed correctly; it is therefore predicated on Matt. 18. Matthew 18 says to act if your brother sins. Where is the limitation to private offenses? Even John Gill says that they can be private, but he does not restrict them so. In the other passage, the sin was public and was being talked about in such a manner the other members were guilty of approving of it if they did not act. This isn't just any public act; it is an aggravated act that was bringing disrepute on the Body of Christ. Are you saying that Brother Wade is in gross sin and bringing shame on the whole church?

C. As an elder on a board of elders, multiple witnesses are required to bring a charge vs. another elder. Notice carefully, that when asked, the trustees have never disclosed the specific nature of their complaints.

D. The board has a covenant that governs its behavior, and it states very plainly that they are to follow Matt. 18 in such matters. Chairman Hatley was out of order and functionally broke a covenant vow.

E. Technically, those Scriptures are discussing sins. What sin has Wade been committing in posting on his blog? Policy violations or mistakes in judgment about the appointment of a blue ribbon committee are not necessarily sins that rise to the level of public discipline within the church. They certainly are not gossip. If he's libeled anybody, they haven't charged him, and he's blogged public material as it is.

F. Discipline is to be redemptive, not punative. It is meant to teach other Christians at large not to sin unrepentantly. There is nothing in Chairman Hatley's actions that demonstrate a redemptive attitude toward Wade, nor is there any hint he is remotely concerned about the Body of Christ at large in this matter.

G. The irony here is that this is reflective of the general reality about church discipline in this Convention. Since the vast majority do not practice it consistently, they dont' know how to go about the process.

H. Let me point you to some history on trustee dissent. Public dissent occurred in the 19th century first with P.H. Mell and then B.H. Carroll. Their trustee boards did not act in this manner at all. In fact, both Mell and Carroll acted to make the deeds done by their trustees quite public. They were not threatened like Wade has been threatened and their character was not dragged through the mud as this board has done.

The board has not exceeded the parameters of the Baptist Faith & Message with the policies on baptism and tongues.

The BFM does not rule one way or the other on the acceptability of baptisms from Free Will Baptist and other credo-baptist communions which deny the security of the believer. As such, the Board has exceeded the BFM 2000. That is a matter for the local church to decide, the IMB is not a local church and has no authority to require a person whose credobaptism has been accepted for upwards of 3 years be rebaptized because they were originally baptized in a Free Will Baptist church or the Assemblies of God upteen years ago. I strongly suggest you read John L. Dagg on baptism, as he addresses this right on. Less forgiving Baptist confessions like the LCBF 1 and 2 recognize the validity of General Baptist baptisms. The BFM is a recapitulation of the New Hampshire Confession, which is drawn in part on the Philadelphia Confession, which in turn is nearly 100 percent LCBF2. Ben Keach was not rebaptized, and John Gano and the Philadelphia and Charleston Associations did not require Free Will Baptists to be rebaptized when their churches were disbanded and reconstitutied under Regular Baptist Principles. You are hard put to deny Free Will Baptist baptisms validity under the BFM while denying Baptists are Reformed, when Reformed Baptists have accepted General Baptist baptisms as valid from the beginning.

As to tongues, what section of the BFM even addresses that issue?

Can the IMB be anti-reformed?

Baptists are not Reformed. Presbyterians are Reformed. The IMB doesn't have to be anti-Reformed, but it doesn't have to appoint the Reformed either.

How many category errors can you make in one statement? There are Reformed Baptists; and they've been with us since 1644 or slightly before. See the LCBF1 and 2. The LCBF 2 is 95 % of the Westminster Confession, and it affirms the three main elements of Covenant Theology itself, including the covenant of redemption, the covenant of grace in at least 2 administrations, and the covenant of works. Covenant theology underwrites what most consider Reformed theology and practice. In addition, the progenitors of this Convention were all Reformed Baptists who stipulated to the Philadelphia and Charleston Confessions when the Charter was signed. Presbyterians are Reformed, but paedobaptism as a seal is not a Reformed distinctive. According to the Reformed, the sacraments are not only signs, they are seals. Sure. RBs reject this view. But the view being rejected is not a Reformed distinctive. Roman Catholics also believe that baptism is a seal. So RBs are not rejecting any Reformed distinctive. RBs reject this view. But the view being rejected is not a Reformed distinctive. Presbyterian church government is not a Reformed distinctive either. There are several ways to determine if a group is "Reformed," generally these include an affirmation of the 5 Soli and/or the "5 Point Calvinism" and even Amyraldianism, since Amyraldians agree with Calvinists on each point except the 3rd. All Baptists get their doctrine of the Lord's Supper from either Zwingli and Bullinger or Calvin, so to accept either is to be reformational anyway.

Since Reformed doctrine is constituted by many, many doctrines, then being "Reformed" comes in degrees. The RBs, to their credit, have nailed their colors to the mast for all to see, and openly confessed that they disagree with others in the Reformed tradition on some matters of baptism. They don't claim to hold to the Reformed tradition in every respect. But I think they have a better case for their status, then that of some of their detractors against their status, who seem to think: if you don't agree with the Reformed tradition on everything, then you can't be Reformed at all. This is, in effect, a denial of the substance of the Reformed tradition, reducing it to a few shibboleths, which is sad. It overlooks the fact that the 1689 LBCF agrees with at least 95% of the WCF, verbatim.

The IMB if they don't appoint Reformed Baptists had better have a good reason, since RB's are, on the theological scale, further from Rome than the 4 Point Arminians that run the SBC are on the state of man, election, the nature of the atonement, and regeneration's place in the ordu salutis and they can certainly affirm the BFM 2000 since, on the main issues that would be considered controversial, you'd be hard put to say that they don't affirm the BFM since many of them affirm the New Hampshire Confession, the BFM's own mother confession.

Register your name like the majority of us here, friend, and post your views for us all to see and identify you. Come, live in the light where Jesus commands us to live.

Anonymous said...

20,000? said...


Nobody really knows. That is what I have been told because of the pattern of hotel reservations.

We'll see. It could be more. It could be less.

Anonymous said...

To my brothers concerning Southern Baptist from Texas and Dr. Hatley,

Hey guys let the Southern Baptist from Texas and Dr. Hatley talk. I say let them spew forth.

The more they talk the more they prove our points of narrowing cooperation and agendas that seek to control the SBC. We do not have to say a word. This could be God's ironic way of allowing the caucus group and those with control minded agendas to shoot themselves in the foot.

Actualy we should help some of these guys with their own blog and link it to all that we can. They have and will make our case for us!

OKpreacher said...

I am in shock at what happened to you tonight. I know that you are disappointed and you feel like you have been backed into a corner. Before you release any documents that prove everything you have been saying, I challenge you to take some time to cool off and just pray through the effect that it will have on you and the convention when you post that information. There will be no going back after that point. With that said after your time of reflection, I hope you post it. The way you deal with darkness is be bring the light. I believe it is time to bring everything into the Light.

Since Dr. Tom is a regular reader of not only your blog, but our comments then I have something I'd like to say to him, "Dr. Tom, many of the people that comment on this blog aren't just angry bloggers, they are people that will be messengers at the convention. Wade has given us a voice and at the convention it will be heard. I'm sorry that you don't like what you read, but you need to understand how many people don't agree with you and why they don't agree with you. I chose to believe that you are doing what you feel is best, but instead of trying to bring peace to the situation, you have caused a firestorm. I'll be praying for you because the next several weeks won't be easy for you. One last thing, before you do anything else as a trustee, I would publically repent of your unforgiving spirit."


Travis or P.T. said...

You know, I know next to nothing about you, who you are , or what you do, and all this stuff with the IMB. I've just stumbled upon your blog. But if what you say is true, then I'm very disappointed at the unbiblical and ungodly way that some of our top leaders in the SBC are behaving. It just goes to show that just because someone has a Dr of Theology or some other degree, doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they are in fact "godly."

Bryan Riley said...

Father, may we all be one, as Christ and You are one, and may we all be one in You, that the world may believe that Christ was sent of You...Christ in us and the Father in Christ, that we may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that the Father sent Christ, and loved us all as the Father loved Christ.

Oh Father, thank you that we have been called to liberty, but I pray you protect us all from using liberty as an opportunity for the flesh; instead, show us the grace that we might be empowered through love to serve one another. Because, Lord, you taught us that all the law is fulfilled in one word: Love. That we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. And you warn us that if we bite and devour one another we should beware because such conduct will result in us consuming one another. Lord, please help us.

And Father, forgive us for making this a denominational thing. It isn't. It is about You, not any one denomination or set of beliefs. May all who believe and confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Jesus from the dead unite and be as one just as Jesus prayed for us. And may we refuse to proclaim ourselves and simply proclaim You, humbly, in prayer and thanksgiving. May we repent of our sins of pride and lust and selfishness and turn to You. Heal us and heal our land, Lord.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you have been treated in this way, particularly when you have acted so graciously. I will pray for you and your wife to have the strength and wisdom to continue conducting yourself in a Godly manner.

As a layperson, I have watched from a distance at how seminary professors, presidents and other leaders have been treated over the last 20+years. And I have been saddened. Unfortunately, their example has begun trickling down into the local congregation. Now, I see church members treating pastors, ministers and other church members in a similar (unloving) fashion. This type of behavior has become accepted in many Baptist circles. It is not only tearing this convention apart, but many local churches as well.

Buford, Ga.

Anonymous said...

So sorry this happened to you. I know you will relive it emotionally many times over. While the pain is real, the event speaks as much of your true character as to your attacker's shame. I have often been told that one's character is best seen in how we treat those under us. That message shines clear in this scenario.

As I read it, Matthew 18 is not so much about discipline as it is reconciliation. We tend to overlook that the intent is for the one offended to seek out the offender to restore fellowship. "Where two or three are reconciled in my name, I am the bond between them" is my paraphrase for one of the concluding verses in the passage.

It is obvious that the chair did not desire reconciliation, fellowship, or unity. "You did not so learn Christ."

Thank you for your stand. May you remain under the care of the peace of Christ Jesus.

When there is a bad smell in the room, many want to use air freshener or clothes pins on their noses. It takes more courage to confront the source of the stench.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you had to go through that, even if you are a Sooner. Go Longhorns. I will pray for you and your family and I will pray for Tom as well. I have been in similar situations and with out exception it seems the one that will not talk about it except to attack or belittle is very afraid of the truth and more afraid of losing some perceived power. Again, I am sorry - Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I am also a Southern Baptist from Texas

Chuck Andrews said...


Thanks for removing my earlier post. It was a raw expression of the way I still feel but it was not graciuos. I repent for the way I expressed it and apologize to the power posturing pious pharisees.

Thanks for keeping us informed and being willing to stand on the front line. God bless you and Rachelle and your family.

Still Ticked,


Anonymous said...

Every man reaps whatever he sows. Pity the pastor who has sown the future Tom Hatley now faces... God is not mocked.

Greg Hicks

Bob Cleveland said...


You don't need to publish this but I stumbled into something that I simply had to share, and share right now. In fact, I was resting in the middle of my rehabilitation exercises (knee replacement 7 weeks ago today) when I read this.

If you have or can find a copy of "My Utmost for His Highest", please read the Devotional for yesterday May 24th. Please please PLEASE.

I know you are strong in the Lord. But what Oswald Chambers said is pointed nonetheless and something that might speak to you when you turn off the lights and pull up the covers at night.

If you cannot find a copy soon, I'll scan and email it to you.

God bless you. You're in for some really, really special times.

LivingDust said...

Anybody who has ever been in a leadership position, maybe even something similar to that of the IMB Chairman, may know that among the list of duties are the following:

1) Defending and perserving the integrity of the institutions bylaws and constitution.

2) Defending the thoughtful decisions of the leaders of that institution.

3) Dealing with with those persons, insiders or outsiders, who might challenge the authority of the leaders and members of the entity.

These may not be in writing, but they are commonly expected duties of the top person within the entity.

With these three things in mind and knowing the current climate of the SBC and IMB, should it surprise any of us reading this blog that Brother Wade was admonished publically by an outgoing Chairman?

Had another person been in Dr. Hatley's position would they have shut off Brother Wade in his line of questions at the microphone and moved the meeting forward?

If a member of the SBC Executive Committee woke up tomorrow morning and decided to start a blog about the activities of the EC would that person be treated any differently?

Anybody who is a trailblazer (the guy who is hacking away at the jungle growth so as to help the group reach their objective) is going to face hornets, wasps, snakes, slips, falls and sometimes angry natives. It comes with the job.

I don't know Dr. Hatley, so I will not judge him. He is a brother in the Lord and I will love him. He did what he did thought was right at that moment in time, nobody can turn back the clock and Brother Wade will have to continue being gracious, patient and sometimes forgiving as he faces those who will confront his positions on IMB and other matters and his blog.

My hope and prayer is that those who are uncomfortable with Grace and Truth to You will come to understand that this blog, and many others, can be constructive to the SBC and help to strengthen the body of Christ.

While I have not studied the history of it in detail, I would surmise that their were plenty of church authorities and leaders who were mighty upset with Brother Gutenberg when he decided to use his new tool to start printing up those Bibles. However, we all know that what he did helped to strengthen the body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the Chairman has the authority to exclude any member of the board from executive sessions or forum meetings. To do so, he would have to have specific authority for that action given in the by-laws. Under Robert's Rules of Order, all members of the board have equal rights of participation. You can always appeal the decision of the chair. After a second, you, as the maker of the motion, have the right to be the first to discuss the motion. Then a simple majority vote will either sustain or overrule the order of the chair.
I hope this is helpful.
God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Just an observer. This is the only blog I read and I need to break myself from it. As I see it pretty much the same people fuel your engine to press on with your campaign to draw the SBC further toward ecumemism than it is already. I would love to see you run for president of SBC that surly would tell where the SBC is in this world of compromise.
Think on this, how many Southern Baptist's are there and how many particitate on this blog We do not know the feelings of the majority. One thing I know; God does not want your Churches dirty linen broadcast,(that is why you have a Deacon board), neither does he want the SBC airing there's, so they elect qualified men to make decisions. This is madness, one example is your secretary liking you to certain IBM Trustee's as David and Goliath! You certainly do not have to post this but you say you screen these comments and yet I see people using God's Word to to say things God would not approve of. Technology is wonderful but we have a way to abuse these avenues. What if one of your Deacons started a campaign against something the Deacon board proposed, voted on and passed? How would you react to that? A multitude of counselors does not mean the BLOG NATION!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Don't be surprised if it turns out that Tom Hatley has never seen this blog. He may well have been handed some carefully selected quotes from this blog and its comments section. Such maneuvering has happened before in IMB history.

Bryan Riley said...

May we be unified around your love, Lord!!!

In my experience when we start needing to refer to constitutions and Robert's Rules, something is rotten in Denmark. May we all keep focused on Christ.

Anonymous said...


When coals are heaped onto someones head, either their heart melts or they explode in anger.

Keep on being gracious with those who oppose you!

Some you will win over and some will self-destroy.


Anonymous said...

Ref: Commentator Anonymous, #57, Southern Baptist from TX.

Where's the "love of Jesus" in your comments? said...


I agree and disagree.

We should ALL love each other without question, but I INSIST that all conduct of trustees be within policy.

The parameters for our work as trustee is to be always WITHIN policy.

That's why changes in policy should be taken very, very seriously with very, very good reasons that can be stated clearly, defended Biblically, and implemented practically.

Bryan Riley said...

Wade, I do not mean to say that rules and policies aren't important. I am simply noting that in my life experiences when people begin to focus on procedure more than substance it is evidence of a deeper issue. The biblical example would be the Pharisees who focused on their extended rules to the point of neglecting love (e.g., Jesus performing healing on the Sabbath).

Rod said...


Wow! I hurt with you and am praying for you and your family.

Mr. Hatley clearly demonstrated the conservative resurgence is far from over. We've dealt with liberals who take away from the Word; we must now deal with religionists who add to it.

Tom Hatley and others refuse to reconcile. This is a huge threat to the work of the IMB board and Southern Baptists in general. I hope he will soon repent of his un-Christlike behavior or be removed.

I also hope he'll quickly learn about chivalry. One would think he would have at least respected your wife enough not to have made these personal attacks.


Since we are debating his remarks in light of Matt 18 and 1 Cor 5, could I add Eph 4:32 and Matt 6:14-15 ( I'm not suggesing Wade has "trespasses" but that Mr. Hatley is not demonstrating forgiveness--or anything in the ballpark for that matter).

The silver lining is that this has moved the IMB issues back in the spotlight just a couple of weeks from Greensboro.

Finally...sorry this is long, Wade...I'll give you my favorite Teddy Roosevelt quote. You probably already have it in your preaching arsenal, but I wanted to encourage you.

"It is not the critic who counts--not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause...Who, at the least knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while doing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt. said...


I agree.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Burleson,

It would be helpful to hear from you personally as to how you have been dealing with the scriptural texts of Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5. Please study these carefully, and pray for the Holy Spirit to illumine the text for you.

Also, do you not think it is better to conceal a matter like a trustworthy man(Proverbs 11:13)?

Dear Mr. Bridges,

Indeed, you are correct, Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5 are directed to the local church. Again, you are correct that the IMB Board of Trustees is not a local church. However, the principles which govern the local church surely are better principles to follow in non-ecclesial Christian gatherings (such as in a trustee meeting) than are worldly principles, are they not?

Gene, according to your logic -- that in some ways Baptists agree with the Reformed, therefore you wish to call them Reformed Baptists -- then we must all be Catholic Baptists because we also affirm the Trinity and orthodox Christology.

Finally, when you post comments about Baptist identity, would it not also be helpful if you informed people that you aspire to attend a Presbyterian seminary (Westminster), as you have stated on your own blog?

A Southern Baptist from Texas (At least the first one self-identified as such)

Bryan Riley said...

wow, Rod, love your quote:

We've dealt with liberals who take away from the Word; we must now deal with religionists who add to it.

I'm not nuts about calling anyone liberal just because the term means totally different things to different people, but i like the msg behind your words there. I'd put it like this: we must confront people who make anything other than God (the Father, Christ, and the Spirit) god. Whether it is self, doctrine, rules, self-righteousness, a drug (actual or figurative), whatever anyone makes an idol in one's life.

Anonymous said...

Freedom is our heritage. No one has the right to silence you or any other Baptist. Our convention and the IMB have gone way too far. I do not know who they are, but they are not Baptists. Fight on. Speak out. Mitch

Anonymous said...

The future of the Southern Baptist Convention?
Is that really the important issue?
Boards and committees are not whom we need to please.
"Love God and do what you want," were Augustine's words. Good leadership is not equal to total control.
Truth is not in any danger.
And God can handle the implosion of a top heavy man-designed denomination.

Anonymous said...

From Rex,
This post has many good comments like ‘cyngun’ informing ‘Reformed Mama’ that the SBC had already split in two by fundamentalists in control.

‘Teachers of religion’ with their doctrine of ‘our way or the highway’, have made the SBC what it is today. Christ would say, ‘You have lost your first love…’ The first love was MISSIONS. Missions has been replaced by DOCTRINE.

Missions had been the glue that held Baptists together. Non-essential doctrine does NOT hold Baptists together—it divides—making the circle smaller and smaller.

Doctrine by hi-ups runs into rules and rules runs into LEGALISM and legalism runs into Catholicism and so it goes. Why is it every year the ones in control come up with some new rule based on some new Bible interpretation? Do they want to become known and recognized as great thinkers? Do their egos demand it? Why??
I mean, Christians have been spreading the Gospel for 2,000 years without their help, but what was good enough yesterday in their minds is not good enough today.

With that said, I disagree with the statement of Rod and Bryan Riley agreeing with him. Rod said. “Mr. Hatley clearly demonstrated the conservative resurgence is far from over. We’ve dealt with liberals who take away from the Word; we must now deal with religionist who add to it.”

His “liberals who take away from the Word” were shadows that never existed. This was the ‘conservative resurgence’ fake battle cry to win over opposition. “If you don’t believe the Bible the way we do, you don’t believe the Bible.” This was the start of “Our way or the highway.” The results of making the Bible a political football is being felt today.

Rod, don’t you see the “religionist who add to it” are the same people of the ‘conservative resurgence.’ They are NOT a group outside of the SBC, but are the backbone of what the SBC is today. The persecution you see done to Wade is the same persecution done to Moderates who by the way, love the Bible as much as anyone and believe it cover to cover.

It is past time to return to the glue of Missions. It’s like Bobby Welch said in 2004 when he became president, “There is not one controversy in the SBC that cannot be resolved by agreeing to save souls.”

Why didn’t it happen?—BECAUSE THE BLIND ARE LEADING THE BLIND. The powers that be still want more control—more dominances. (TURN OFF HIS MIKE.)
I pray Greensboro will be a start of getting Baptists to where God wants us to be.
Rex Ray

Bryan Riley said...

Rex Ray, thank you for your comment and clarification regarding Rod's and my post. Having not been a part of SBC politics historically or generally, I didn't really understand the context of what I quoted in the first part of that sentence. It wasn't so much the first half of the sentence that I was highlighting, but the second. I loved the portion about religionists. I agree with your comment on the first half of the sentence and appreciate you making it. I also would add that anytime the terms liberal and conservative are used it makes it very difficult to know what an author means because the terms are overused, contain a million meanings, and are generally unhelpful.

Anonymous said...

Where can we read the IMB charter? I would like to read it for myself. Has it or can it be made available online?