Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brief Reflections on the SBC

Rachelle and I will be leaving the Sheraton in the next hour and traveling home. Before we walk out I thought I would give a few brief thoughts regarding the Convention.

(1). President Frank Page . . . will do a wonderful job as our President. He is a conservative and an inerrantist. He is soft spoken and gentle. He will appoint good people to the various committees over which he has appointing privileges. He will represent us well.

(2). The IMB Board of Trustees . . . will meet in July in Richmond. There is new leadership, new trustees and a new sense of direction. I would love nothing more than my concerns to be addressed internally. Dr. John Floyd, the new Chairman of the IMB, spoke with me in the hallway and we mutually agreed that we could work through the issues. I believe we can. I also believe certain trustees know that I will never back down until my questions are answered. It is appropriate to take corrective measures internally, and if that happens, the report to the convention can simply be "All is now well."

(3). The Resolutions Committee . . . is a very important committee, handpicked by the President of the SBC. Three of the most well written resolutions on dissent, narrowing the parameters of cooperation, and integrity in church reporting did not make it to the floor for a vote, kept from the floor by the Committee itself. Tom Ascol, the author of the excellent motion on integrity spoke eloquently for overruling the Resolutions Committee's decision and allow the convention to vote on the resolution, but as is true at most Conventions, the messengers will usually follow the recommendations of the Resolutions Committee. The messengers supported the Committee's recommendation to kill Ascol's resolution so we were not allowed to vote on our desire for integrity. Had we voted it would have passed easily. It doesn't look good to be seen voting down integrity :).

(4). The Importance of Nomination Speeches . . . the Presidential election was decided on the first ballot based upon the nomination speeches. All three were good, but Forrest Pollock's speech on behalf of Frank Page was superior by far. He was relaxed, spoke from the heart, used no notes, and cadence, eye contact, and style were brilliant. I told him when he left the platform he won the nomination for Frank on the first ballot.

The Second Vice-Presidential nomination speech by Bill Dodson on behalf of Wiley Drake will go down in history as the best nomination speech ever given at the SBC. Give credit to the Bill Dodson for a brilliant delivery --- just the right amount of pauses --- a masterful performance of drawing the messenger's in through humor. Comedy is all about timing, and Dodson's timing was impeccable. However, the entire speech was scripted, as well as the (pauses), by the erudite Ben Cole. Anyone who wants to be elected to convention office needs to hire Ben to write his speech.

(5). Depth . . . the SBC may very well be turning a corner in terms of substance. I commend the leaders of our Pastor's Conference for actually dealing with important issues. The SBC has not been know as a paragon of exegetical brilliance, but through some of the seminars I attended, the debates I heard from the floor regarding resolutions, and through personal conversations I am beginning to see that people in our Convention are beginning to think Biblically about matters in ways Southern Baptists, above all people, should be thinking.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Kevin Bussey said...

Wade and Rachelle,

I had a blast hanging out with you! You both are wonderful people. Your dad is awesome! Thanks for allowing me to get to know you. See you next year.

Brian Hamrick said...


I didn't know you from Adam before the convention. I had read your blog once before, and of course had come across your name in Baptist press releases.

Sir, you won my deepest respects at the Convention for the manner in which you handled yourself before the body. You were humble. You were patient. You were clear. You were there to express concern, without making personal attack or inflammatory rhetoric. It was clear you were not there to cause trouble, but arrive at the truth. All that to say God was greatly glorified in you. I believe your response to the difficulties that Southern Baptists face did much good to bring us together and deal with such things in kindness.

I did not get to meet you in Greensboro, but perhaps the Lord will provide such opportunity at future conventions.

Your brother in Christ because of Grace,
Brian Hamrick, Virginia

Brett said...

Fine assessment, Wade.

I left this convention very hopeful about the future of the SBC.

My prayer is that Dr. Page will lead us into a new era of cooperation under the umbrella of inerrancy.

There is still much work to do. You give a fine example with the Ascol motion. I'm afraid that too many pastors are trying to climb denominational ladders and accurate reporting of numbers would potentially hamper their ascent. Also, accurate numerical reporting might reduce the "mega" in some of the megachurches.

Praise be to God, the elephants in the room are getting increasingly difficult to ignore. And blogs like yours and Dr. Ascol's are helping our convention by being bold and honest enough to point straight at the pachyderms.

Kelly Reed said...

Thank you, Wade, for standing tall over the last few months. No doubt it was not always easy despite the stubborn streak you refer to ;-).

I was unable to attend the Convention, but I was able to keep track of many things via the unruly internet. Overall, I am encouraged by outcome of the convention. Not everything occured as I would have liked, but they never will. I trust that you and others will keep everyone informed and be a good watchdog for the SBC. We should all welcome a little scrutiny to help maintaint our integrity.

Again, thank you and have a safe trip home.

Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life,


Anonymous said...

Wade I feel I know the cannadates and the issues this year even better than when I used to attend. Thank you and the other bloggers. Agent Tim was wonderful Thank you Dennis Treat

Anonymous said...

Forrest Pollock’s speech for Frank Page was great. Even a tap on his shoulder went unnoticed as the importance of his message demanded his full attention. Afterwards, he had a big smile when I congratulated him on his delivery, but he had big hug and thank you when I told him I had driven 1200 miles to vote for Page.

I left Greensboro Tuesday afternoon feeling mission was accomplished. Would liked to have joined you in the meeting that night, but my hotel was the car and Texas was calling. The next afternoon, my wife came home and found me asleep in front of your blog. I told her I hadn’t been able to read it yet, but she reminded me what was important by saying, “Hello, Rex.”

I did not know the three men running for president, but I knew the three men who were recommending them. I went to Greensboro not so much to vote against but to vote for a man to lead the SBC in a new direction.

That ‘new’ may be what the ‘old’ used to be. I hope to see MISSIONS once more being the glue that bring Baptists together.

Morris Chapman had tears rolling down my face as I also remember my father’s last words, “I love you too.” But the greatest sermon I heard had the main words, “WITH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY TURNED THE WORLD UP-SIDE DOWN!” The sermon consisted of about ten things early Christians didn’t have and then what they did. Over and over until the messengers knew what was coming and rejoiced in it. He must have said it 20 times.

One preacher begged for more missionary applicants, and I wondered if he and the SBC believe in restitution. Maybe someday, those missionaries forced and fired from the field may be asked to serve again with a simple ‘we’re sorry.’
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...


You wrote, "It is appropriate to take corrective measures internally, and if that happens, the report to the convention can simply be 'All is now well.'"

I hope that everything can be worked out for the good of the IMB, but the report should indicate what problems (if any) were identified, what (or who) was the cause of the problems and what steps were taken to correct the problems. Returning to the convention in '08 and simply reporting 'all is well' continues the pattern of closed meetings leaving the messengers in the dark and shut out.

You have raised important issues publicly, and the answers need to be made public too.


Michael Harrison said...

Wade -

It was an honor to see you once again while in Greensboro. I remember our conversations at Sheridan Road well, me as a high school student headed to Criswell and you as pastor fielding questions from every direction.

I further want to commend you on your clarity, integrity and conviction through the past months AND in Greensboro. Your example goes a long way.

This pastor is indebted to you for now 17 years of learning ...

May your tribe increase and may our cooperation lead to endless growth for our Father's kingdom!

Anonymous said...

So proud of you Wade. Taking on the "power brokers" is an act of courage.
Edward Morrow took on McCarthy who called everyone he did not like a communist Like the word liberal is used today.
They made a movie of Morrow recently. Lot of people did not like him then, but he is a hero to this generation

These "Enron Boys" eliminated all agency heads, and raised salaries and travel expenses beyond good sense. The agencies will not let the grassroots people know what they make.
They hide it the budget with the secretaries, janators. and all staff salries in one budget item. Find it if you can. When you have to hide anything, makes you wonder, does't it?

They are using the money given by good Baptists--who trusted them. Dr. Page mentioned there were 46 churches in his association, and his was the only mega-church.The rest ere small. Truck drivers, teachers, farmers plumbers, electricians, and such people make up the membership of our more than 30,000 small churches.
It'not too late to return the SBC to servant-leaders, is it?

Wade, do not get weary in well doing, but watch your back.

The climate today has a lot of characteristics of war,, One thing about war is people shoot at you.
Not always facing you.

Greet the Emmanuelites for Wanda and me.

Bobby Sunderland

Anonymous said...

I find it hypocritical of you, Frank Page, and all other Southern Baptists who proclaim a new error of openness and acceptance in the SBC while shutting out any traditional Baptists who don't believe in the changes in the Baptist Faith & Message. Lest we forget, those changes were only made 6 years ago. They shouldn't be considered bedrock for Baptist belief. There are plenty of other Baptists who subscribe to the 1963 version and call themselves free and faithful Baptists, yet are shunned by good open Baptists like you. Remember that it only takes one more change to the BFM to shut the gate doors in Nashville behind you as well.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Burleson,
I read the Daily Oklahoman each day
and I never read a thing about SOUL WINNING, IT WAS ALL ABOUT MONEY. THIS IS WHAT IS TURNING PEOPLE OFF. This is what is happening in all denominations. I
am dissapointed.
Ed Jantzen
Lawton, Ok

Paul Burleson said...

Wade, I want to tell you how grateful and proud I am as I have watched you and many others who hold to the same convictions work toward a goal you believe in. I join you in that belief. A debt of gratitude is owed to you and to all of those young men and women for what you have accomplished. I know you are aware of the fact that there are no enemies in this debate we're having as I've often heard you say when we have talked privately. I would only encourage us further in our remembering of that fact. As Baptists we're family no matter the side of the issues we fall on. As Christians we're brothers to everyone who names the name of Jesus as Lord. I've watched as you have lived that out and am praying for all of us that that spirit will continue.

I promise to not comment often but just had to say your post just before this one is as clearly stated, thoughtfully presented and scriptural sound on that particular issue as any I have EVER seen. Well done on that too.

By the way, be sure and listen to Kevin who commented above. I met him and it was obvious to me he is a great guy. Very perceptive too. :)


Anonymous said...

Burlesons all,

I, and the entire Sanders clan, really enjoyed spending time with Enid's finest family. Kevin, ditto on Paul Burleson, what a wondeful man.

Our prayers are with all of you.

Anonymous said...

Wade, this Okie is an unabashed admirer of you for being used of God who is blessing the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ, the SBC, and the unequivocal support of IMB Missionaries through the sacrificial contributions you and others have made in the past several months.

The calumnies and mean-spirited attacks on your character have their basis in the fact that you have called to account the "trust us" secret machinations of those who have had their way far too long in dictating policy at the expense of adhering to the guidelines expressly outlined in the 2000 BF&M without allowing rank and file Southern Baptists little input, much less knowledge of what has been going on behind the scenes. . .that is, until you came along.

May the Lord continue to bless you and those who identify themselves with the initiatives of openness and transparency, with unselfish service to the Lord's work sans the establishment of personal political kingdoms run by intolerant king-makers. May He shower you with the grace of unbridled cooperation among all Southern Baptists who subscribe to the essentials of the faith, though there is disagreement in individual convictions concerning secondary areas of Christian doctrines.

May the Lord richly bless you and yours!

In His Grace and Peace,

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed getting to meet you and Rachelle at the Convention. I was glad to see that half of what Marty says about you isn't true! And also, your wife is so very kind! It was great to get to spend a little time talking with her on Tuesday night.
And I can't leave out your Dad!
What a great guy!
You are a very blessed man to have such a great family.

Deacon Dentist said...

All in all, I think it's been a good week to be a Southern Baptist!

Rzrbk said...

Thank you for your news from the convention and your attempts to bring issues up for discussion. You reflections on the convention are well spoken and I would like to comment on a few, one in particular.
1. I agree with your assessment of Frank Page. Many of us are hopeful that his appointments will truly open up leadership positions to those who have been ostracized in the past for speaking the truth about the conservative resurgence political agenda.
2. I was disappointed that John Floyd did not speak more clearly on the questions on dissent and that fact that you had been not allowed to serve on committees.
3. It is hard to get a resolution presented that is not in line with what the resolution committee supports.
4. The importance of nominating speeches. This is where I have to disagree with you. Forrest Pollock’s nominating speech was excellent. I have a different interpretation of Bill Dodson’s speech. I think people were laughing at him because they thought he was not serious. It was a stumbling speech that said nothing of importance. His two reasons to elect Drake were that he really wanted to be given some sort of recognition and that he had voted for the conservative resurgence through the years. That means he had supported those who have placed Paige Patterson, Tom Hatley and others in their positions of leadership. I think people were tired and didn’t know the other candidates and thought why not elect the poor guy if he wants it so bad. Maybe it will be good for a few laughs next year. I was an indication of how little importance they placed on the VP positions. Wade, I cannot rejoice over his election unless you and a few others who were at Memphis tell me if he truly repented of his past actions. He spoke in favor of withdrawing fellowship with our Baptist partners in the BWA but in the past he has had no problem with partnering and working alongside Sun Myung Moon, a man who claims that Jesus was a failure and he is the true messiah. This is an example of his judgment. Did he repent of this? He has said parents who put their children in public schools are endangering them and should pull them out. Did he repent of this? His church only gives 1% to the cooperative program. Did he speak of increasing that? Last year he said he would not be lulled into believing the liberals have left and said there were wolves in sheeps clothing in our convention and that he was going to carry out a war on these Southern Baptist style terrorists. In other words he is describing those of us who are theological conservatives but have spoken against the political activity of the resurgences as terrorists. Wade, did you see any liberal wolves in sheeps clothing at the convention? Is Wiley gong to use his position as 2VP to carry out this war he has declared? Do you see why some of us are not as overjoyed at his election as you and Ben seem to be.
5. I agree there was more depth and I was pleased that the executive committee made some good recommendations. Maybe we are starting to think more Biblically and less politically.
Ron West

Bob Cleveland said...


I'll be writing you an email about my experiences at the convention, as your encouragement to come was the major contributor (that and my Mastercard) to our even being there. So you have a right to know the fruit our attendance seems to have borne.

The purpose of this comment is to state publicly that everything I saw from and about you at the convention was consistent with the character and principles you've shown here. That is worthy of thanksgiving by your friends.

JUSTAMOE said...

The meetings were absolutely terrific this week--I mean the ones I attended. This week, I participated in meetings with born-again, theologically-conservative, evangelical ministers from a variety of denominations (including SBC--the 2001 variety) in a Midwest state. Most of these Christians have heard of the Southern Baptist Convention, some of them know specifics about the convention, and a few of them care. None of them believes that the SBC "has a lock" on how to get to Heaven, and there is no good thing that any of us is doing in his or her church/ministry that those Christians aren't doing in their churches/ministries. I walked away from so many conversations this week thinking, "I can cooperate with that brother/sister in missions and evangelism!" I suspect that the bloggers posting comments here--with a few exceptions (we all know who they are)--would think exactly the same thing if you also had a chance to meet these fellow-believers.

This year's SBC meeting probably was the best one in many years, judging from the reports (I helped Art Rodgers' mom run-up the hit-count at his site this week). But I'll say it again, then I'm done (I'm hoping this idea will catch-on before the 2007 annual meeting of the SBC): ANY YEAR'S VERSION--1925, 1963, 2001--OF THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERSONAL THEOLOGICAL PERSUASIONS OF EVERY KIND OF BAPTIST EVER WALKING ON THE PLANET EARTH, AND CAN BE THE BASIS FOR OUR COOPERATION IF SOUTHERN BAPTISTS WILL COOPERATE FOR THE SAKE OF MISSIONS AND EVANGELISM. EVERYONE, NOW, PERMIT EVERYONE ELSE TO CHOOSE HIS VERSION OF THE BF&M STATEMENT AND COOPERATE.

Thanks, Wade and others, for holding correct theology, standing solidly on your convictions, and leading in efforts this week. God will bless.

David "Justamoe" Troublefield
Minister of Education and Administration
Lamar Baptist Church
Wichita Falls, TX
office: 940-723-4371

Stop in to visit.

Anonymous said...

This was my first SBC convention ever and you were instrumental in my decision to attend.

When I heard of the issues regarding missionaries being denied appointments due to exercising their God given "private prayer language" I was stunned. This led me to do my homework and take a look at the SBC.

After catching up with what was going on at the SBC by checking out the official web site as well as yours and others I was determined to have a voice. It was beginning to sound like a denomination that I could no longer support.

I went to Greensboro thinking I am only one vote, why is God sending me. I continued to ask myself that question all during the convention as well. I am not sure if I know all of the why I was sent but I wanted to share this with you.

Please know that I will never forget the image etched in my mind of you standing at the microphone accepting the referral of your motion back to the IMB committee. I saw the face of humility. I wish I could write as eloquently as some of your other posts to describe exactly what I saw but my words just don't do justice. Your example goes way beyond just modeling how business should be handled but how we should respond in all of life's battles. Bravo for taking the high road.

I have spent the last two years seeking to understand God's spiritual gifts, at least the ones that southern baptists don't recognize. I want to share a dream that I believe God gave me in answer to my questions regarding the extreme positions on gifts of the spirit.

I saw a beautiful flowing river and I saw the evangelicals on one river bank and the pentecostals on the opposite river bank. What I believe God allowed me to see was that both extremes were in the shallow water, Jesus was in the middle in the deep.

I have been forever changed by that dream and God has taught me many wonderful things since then.

Denominations do much damage to the kingdom when they squabble over these non-salvation issues. We are just as quilty when we deny God's spiritual gifts as others are for saying that you must have certain gifts.

I have one question concerning the use of private prayer languages. Are we saying that what our mind can think of and pray is more important or relevant than what the Holy Spirit might pray through us? If that is what we are saying, that is scary.

Blessings to you.

Karen Anderson - NC

Jason Robertson said...

Getting home late from teaching church history to a group of seniors in my church, I decided to read your blog. This post made my day. Tonight I had taught on the ebb and flow of Biblical integrity in the 17th century church. We ended with discussion and prayer for a revival of theology within Baptist ranks. Your post gave me hope that a flame is burning. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wade and Rachelle,

1:30 a.m. Friday. Just arrived home from Greensboro. First things first--read the blog!

The only word I can think of to best describe our experience at the SBC Convention is "awesome". We are especially proud of you and Rachelle and realize how fortunate we are to have you at Emanuel as our pastor and friends.

Thank you for the opportunity to meet the "bloggers", Frank Page and the other SBC leaders and missionaries personally--for me, the highlight of the convention.

Get some needed rest and perhaps take Rachelle shopping. She needs a special something after this week!!

See you soon.

Carolyn Hamm (and Sherman too)

Shoshana L said...

For weeks, you have been talking about the need for change. Bloggers have been writing in about change. Now the Southern Baptist Convention has come and gone, and -- big surprise--no change.

I was unable to attend the convention this year. (That's a joke.) In fact, I've never been asked to be a messenger, not even when I was a SB member in good standing.

Now that a "tongues-speaker" like me is persona non grata with the denomination, the SBC certainly wouldn't hear what I have to say.
In fact, it looks as though they're trying to shut out you and anyone whose voice they don't want to hear.

Wade, being told by a new IMB chairman that you can "work on the problems internally" is just a euphemism for keeping you under control. You're being micro-managed.

Think about it, they've turned off your mike, taken away your committee appointments, and tried to get you dumped entirely as a trustee. And now that the convention won't accept your resolutions or do anything that even remotely looks like it's taking these issues seriously, their work is almost done. Now it's just a simple matter of "finessing" the hold-outs.

It's all about control. Narrowing the parameters, kicking the tongues-speakers out, manipulating what constitutes an "acceptable" baptism...

Control, control, and more control.

Never mind that all of this is unbiblical. While you guys are patting yourselves on the backs for being gracious and humble and "hopeful," maybe you should consider how these acts stand in light of the Word of God.

By choosing to submit to error-ridden policies that warp the very message of the Word, you are--in effect--taking no stand at all. In fact, it could be said that those in your position would rather be wrong Southern Baptists than not be Southern Baptists at all.

The glory of God has departed.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I picked up the link to your blog from Andrew Sullivan's. Reading it, I was reminded again of why I left the Southern Baptist Convention many years ago. Offshore, looking on, it is amazing that a discussion would even occur about whether or not a senior leader in the Church should or could blog. No brainer, folks! If it's true, ethical, and loving, say it. Sadly, a church which was founded, among other things, on the inviolability of the priesthood of the believer, has become as hierarchical as the Roman Catholic Church in its desire for theological purity. I would love to be a Baptist again, if I could find the strong, loving, church of my youth, without the incessant quibling and judgements. You appear to be the faintest glimmer of light shining through the massive hulks who are the public face of the SBC. I wish you luck.

Anonymous said...


Did you ever reveal the Southern Baptist in the riddle you posted earlier? It's driving me crazy.

Anonymous said...

I grew up a "real" Southern Baptist! My grandfather, father, uncle, and other family members were all Southern Batist ministers. Our coffee table had the latest issues of the "Sword of the Lord" and other great baptist periodicals espoused by Dr John R Rice. I was taught the "Baptist Way" in Training Union. So with my credentials out of the way, let me give you the official baptist version on this "drinking issue".

Baptist have long held to the belief, and it was strictly taught in Training Union, that "baptist don't smoke, drink or chew, or go with girls who do." Now, for all you young theologians who don't know your baptist history, this is fundamental to the Baptisit Faith & Message. It is so fundamental that we did not have to state "the obvious" in printed form. But since we have gone liberal as a convention and no longer have "Training Union", I feel compelled to enlighten you new and young baptist to the rest of the unprinted, but thoroughly accepted baptist dogma. We have long debated that, "Baptist don't dance!" Baptist not only don't chew, but we also don't "spit". In the sixties we had to add, "Baptist don't dip." Also, because modern technology is upon us, baptist don't subscribe to HBO, known as Hell's Box Office, or any other such movie channels.

These things listed are all understood by loyal baptist as bedrock, fundamental core beliefs. No one serving on any of our boards, serving in any of our seminaries, missionaries or employed by a Southern Baptist agency should practice any of these things. That is the "Baptist Way" and should be re-voted into convention policy for all boards and institutions!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an "R" rated movie that I rented from Netflix that I must go watch.

Pastor of the Pharasee Baptist Church,

PS This is only meant to be thought provoking and humorous. It is not meant to be a attack on anyone. said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I have described a Southern Baptist man that you will readily know. Unfortunately, he asked me if it was he, and when I said yes, he said, "Please don't tell anybody." I laughed and told him I wouldn't. I hope you are not driven crazy much longer.

Dori said...

Wade and Rachelle -

I miss you guys already! Thanks for sharing part of your week with me.

Dave Samples said...


Just a quick, "thanks", for all that you've done to help bring the light back into our denomination. I truly feel hopeful and encouraged by what is taking place in the SBC. I had grown quite cynical (sp?). I have not attended a convention since Salt Lake but absolutely nothing will keep me away from San Antonio next year. Also, I had never read a blog prior to reading of yours in Baptist Press. Thank you very much!!!

volfan007 said...

the convention was one in years. it was very spiritually uplifting.

some strong statements were made at the convention this year from the voting on everything, we are not reformed...and dont want to be. two,we want our churches to give to the cp. three, we need to major on the main things..the essentials of the faith, and let the lesser, more unclear doctrines, be left to personal preferences and opinions.

fourth, we took a stand against drinking alcohol. by the way, in proverbs, it says that a fool drinks the fermented grape juice. what Jesus drank was watered down grape juice. study it.

and lastly, we elected a president outside the power loop. but, let all liberals know that he is a conservative. the tent he broadens is about minor issues, not on essential doctrines.

overall, i came away from the convention very encouraged and uplifted. it was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that SBC messengers had the good sense to pass the resolution against alcohol said Bob the Baptist . I can not believe all these folks running around saying that drinking aint a sin! Why four generations of Baptist Bobs have fought the great sin of alcohol and we all know what the Bible meant even if it don’t say it! Now where are we eating I am starving all I have had today is the breakfast buffet 4 chili dogs 7 cokes 3 orders of dippen dots I think the Olive Garden sounds good they have unlimited salad and breadsticks I need some health food I know they have a bar but we will not drink good thing the Bible does not say any thing about gluttony

"I want to hate what God hates and love what God loves. And this I know beyond the shadow of a doubt: God hates legalism as much as he hates alcoholism. If any of you still wonders why I go on supporting this amendment, after hearing all the tragic stories about lives ruined through alcohol, the reason is that when I go home at night and close my eyes and let eternity rise in my mind I see ten million more people in hell because of legalism than because of alcoholism. And I think that is a literal understatement. Satan is so sly. "He disguises himself as an angel of light," the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 11:14. He keeps his deadliest diseases most sanitary. He clothes his captains in religious garments and houses his weapons in temples. O don't you want to see his plots uncovered? I want Bethlehem to be a place Satan fears. I want him to be like the emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes." And we will be the babes (not in thinking! 1 Cor. 14:20) who say, "Look, he thinks he is clothed in white, but he is naked and ugly."
Listen as I uncover one of his plots. Legalism is a more dangerous disease than alcoholism because it doesn't look like one.
· Alcoholism makes men fail; legalism helps them succeed in the world.
· Alcoholism makes men depend on the bottle; legalism makes them self-sufficient, depending on no one.
· Alcoholism destroys moral resolve; legalism gives it strength.
· Alcoholics don't feel welcome in church; legalists love to hear their morality extolled in church.
Therefore, what we need in this church is not front end regulations to try to keep ourselves pure. We need to preach and pray and believe that "Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, neither teetotalism nor social drinking, neither legalism nor alcoholism is of any avail with God, but only a new creation (a new heart)" (Gal. 6:15; 5:6). The enemy is sending against us every day the Sherman tank of the flesh with its cannons of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. If we try to defend ourselves or our church with peashooter regulations we will be defeated even in our apparent success. The only defense is to "be rooted and built up in Christ and established in faith" (Col. 2:6); "Strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy" (Col. 1:11); "holding fast to the Head from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together … grows with a growth that is from God" (Col. 2:19). From God! From God! And not from ourselves."
John Piper

Anonymous said...


So Paul told Timothy to take some "watered down" grape juice for his stomach?

Jesus turned water into "watered down" grape juice?

Answer a question please, when did
alcohol become an issue with Baptist?

Anonymous said...

A fitting lyric for the New SBC

A New Law by Derek Webb

don’t teach me about politics and government just tell me who to vote for

don’t teach me about truth and beauty just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man just give me a new law

i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy so just bring it down from the mountain to me

i want a new law i want a new law gimme that new law

don’t teach me about moderation and liberty i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit just give me a new law

what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep for one you can that cannot get you anything do not be afraid do not be afraid do not be afraid


Anonymous said...

Commendations for your Godly deportment and thoughful responses! Some are cynical, other's doubtful and some thoughtfully expectant!
Personally, I was "Blessed" to see that though there was almost equal balance between those who cling to the present process and those who were advocating change..... I saw evidence of thoughtful deliberation and considerable Soul searching!
I was glad to see you use microphone #1! Since my wife had recently spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and we were forced to stay close to that area with wheelchair access and it gave me opportunity to observe your thoughtful demeanor between trips to the "mic." Had we not had time expire on the IMB report.... I had intended to ask if you would be restored to Committee assignments since no charges had been established to justify your being treated like a rebellious "pledge" at some fraternal function.... rather than request an extension of time, and knowing that Bobby Welch probably had the kind of activities planned which were later evident, I decided to follow your prompt to see what the IMB will do. . . Should the Lord tarry..... and they "stall" as some have suggested..... I am confident that the Messengers next year will demand accountability!
I would respectfully differ with "Shoshana I"
in several areas.... God has continued to Bless SB's and that's in spite of the variety of "interpretations"
expressed under our convened
assembly. Some of the folks who get upset with our "local autonomy" obviously do not understand that even "decisions" while they may affect those church's relationships in places of service at the Associational, State and National level are not really binding if it has not been articulated in our Constitution and By Laws at each level (Assoc.,
State & SBC) and consequently relate to the qualifications for each church's membership and the form of "Messenger" rather than "Representative" participation! My point; Resolutions only reflect the general concensus of those participating and voting. They are NON-BINDING on the churches whose messengers may even construct the document. But, when motions or "stalling" tactics affect the resouces provided by the supporting churches then the Messengers need to be there to "speak" for the interests of their "Family of Faith" (Their Church) as it's perceived by the Messenger! It would appear in the attitude of some that unless their particular interests prevail, it must be concluded that something ungodly has occured? That doesn't give much credibility to efforts at working in spiritual harmony! Thanks for TAKING THE "HIGH ROAD"! But for those who feel the SBC is talking too much about money? THAT'S WHY WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE! THESE ARE BUSINESS SESSIONS ORGANIZED TO CHANNEL KINGDOM RESOURCES FROM SUPPORTING CHURCHES! SURE, THEY NEED TO BE SPIRITUALLY SENSITIVE...... but, this year we were dealing with gifts from churches totalling $385,678,256.42!
That should demand the stewardship representation of messengers from supporting churches!

P.S., I was glad to see that other's noted, as I, there were NO RESOLUTIONS ON SBC GLUTTONY? :)

Carl Mayo said...

Gotta hand it to you . You argue your position well. I am not by education or experience a wordsmith but I hope you will bear with me to share my thoughts on beverage alcohol. First I was raised in a dry state many years ago, and saw very few of my contemporaries exposed to drink as I was later in the military. In this environment I saw few of my friends drink as youngsters. This all changed for me in the military where drinking was the norm. What began for me as a social drink became over the years a problem drink. I made the decision as a Christian to, as God made possible, to forever abstain. From excessive to nothing was to me evidence that God removed this addition from me, and i thank him for it. May I make this analogy? Every top Sergent the army has received basic training as an enlistee, but not every enlistee becomes a top Sergent. Just as not every social drinker becomes an alcoholic, every alcoholic began as a social drinker. Some just progress faster.
The association of drunkenness and gluttony is flawed for one reason. Food is necessary for life, recreational drugs such as alcohol and marijuana are not. While both excesses are wrong, the start of one in mandatory, theother choice is optional.
Every parent should ponder this one fact. What the parents do in moderation , the child will do in excess.

Anonymous said...

It was a joy to meet you in the hallway before and after the elections and to talk with you about the concerns that we as IMB missionaries have with with the trustees. I really pray that there will be a change in the direction they are going. I have had to tell two students that have a personal private prayer language that were in the process of applying for the jouneymen program that they need to look elsewhere if they are wanting to go overseas to work in the harvest. I hope and pray change is in the wind.
Jerry Cadenhead

Anonymous said...

It breaks my heart to read the following from Ronnie Floyd's blog which can be found at:

SBC Is Over, Let’s Move Forward
June 15th, 2006
Thanks to all of you who have prayed for me over these past 35-40 days. With all of the flurry and warfare, it feels like an eternity, but the announcement to be nominated was only made on Sunday, May 8. I am emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. Your prayers and love for us during this time has been and is so appreciated.

This we know: God did not will for me to be President of the Southern Baptist Convention. In a three-candidate race, I came in second; with the third candidate deciding to get in eight days before the race, which split the strong conservative vote. I do not and will never understand the logic of any of that, but leave it all in the hands of God. I know that I obeyed God, took the high road, honored Christ, this church, and others above all. I lost, will work through it, and above all, spend my time here in what God has anointed me to do: pastor and lead this great church.

Any regrets? I have been asked that along the way. I have one, but this is neither the time nor place to discuss it.

I love you, dear people. We rest in the will of God.

God is moving.

volfan007 said...

proverbs 20:1 and 23:29-35 teach that a person is foolish to drink grape juice when it's fermented. foolish.

Jesus was no fool.

also, if you will study about the way they prepared what is called wine in the kjv, they diluted the grape juice with three parts water to one part grape juice. that way if it did ferment it would be so watered down that you would not get high on a little.

today, our alcohol is so strong that just a little will get you high. i used to be a drinker and a dope smoker before i got saved.

also, i have this question for you...if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, why do you need alcohol?

man, i dont need alcohol. i have Jesus and His blessed Spirit.

Paul said...

I'm currently serving in Thailand as an IMB summer volunteer, and I am hoping and praying that God might reform IMB policies through your actions and the actions of others so that my conscience may allow me to serve as a career missionary in the future.

God bless you brother. You're something of a hero of mine.

Unknown said...