Monday, June 12, 2006

The Day of Decision: Help Has Arrived

Today the course of the Southern Baptist Convention for at least the next two years, and possibly the next ten years will be set as the SBC in session in Greensboro, North Carolina will make several important decisions.

The Decisions That Will Be Made Today

The Presidential Election . . . There are at least three candidates with Frank Page leading the way. Frank Page's large church gives twelve percent to the Cooperative Program and he is a leading conservative in South Carolina

Jerry Sutton, another candidate, went on record yesterday saying that “Southern Baptists need a level playing field.” Sutton, citing the new policy against a "private prayer language" for missionaries, and acknowledgeing the IMB president holds to the practice said, “This is going to have to be addressed in the Baptist Faith and Message. I think there will have to be an amendment to it.”

Do you hear what Sutton is saying? I was absolutely, positively shocked.

A vote for Jerry Sutton is a vote for the continuing of the narrowing of the parameters of the Southern Baptist Convention. If Jerry Sutton were to be elected President the exclusionary, isolationist practices of the SBC will become more entrenched.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd is a good man and a good pastor. However, this is not a good year for Dr. Floyd to be running for President. His church's lack of support for the Cooperative Program (.27%) means he will not be elected President.

My prediction is Dr. Frank Page is elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Executive Committee Report . . . without going into detail today, there are some recommendations from the EC of the Southern Baptist Convention that are outstanding. Issues of conflict of interest, cronyism, and recycled nominations are all addressed in a bylaw ammendmant that will be presented to the Convention.

I predict this report and the address from Dr. Morris Chapman will be the talk of the day tomorrow, right behind the election of the President. I attended the Executive Committee meeting of the SBC Monday afternoon and there was a great deal of debate over the Ad Hoc Committee's report and recommendation on the Cooperative Program. Look for the debate to spill over onto the floor.

Various Motions and Resolutions Introduced . . . at 8:45 there is the first introduction of new motions from the floor of the convention. I expect that there will be several very interesting motions presented that the convention will be dealing with in the next 48 hours. Tonight I will blog extensively on my opinion of the motions presented.

Help Has Arrived

There are three quick reasons why I believe this convention could very well be a convention of significant change.

(1). Joyce Rogers . . . the wife of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers spoke tonight during the Pastor's Conference. She eloquently and passionately said what I have been saying for the last six months. She then said that if her late husband were alive he would be against "the narrowing of the parameters of cooperation within the Southern Baptist Convention." Her words were powerful and very meaningful. When she spoke, people listened.

(2). Ed Young . . . Though half the pastors left before the last message of the Pastor's Conference by Dr. Young, this erudite gave a RINGING endorsement of the IMB and Dr. Jerry Rankin, with facts in hand, vocalized loud and clear. Though I would not agree with all of everything else he said, he did speak courageously about key issues confronting us.

(3). The bloggers . . . The words of these men and women of the SBC are making a difference. People are reading (and listening).

It is 1:00 A.M. Tuesday morning. I must get up at 5:00 a.m. for an early morning breakfast. Today will be an eventful day.

Tonight I will post on what could be a very historic day in the life of the SBC.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


GeneMBridges said...

This does not bode well. Do they really want to go there with the BFM? If they do it and then attempt to make it retroactive onto Dr. Rankin himself, what does this say for the Executive Committee's reforms on trustee service which should, if made effective retroactively, result in the ejection of particular IMB trustees?

If a question can be asked about a nominee from the Congress, this needsd to be asked, if only to draw the Congress' attention to the quote.

Anonymous said...


Is it possible Sutton's comments were sufficiently vague on the need for a BFM amendment so as to "prod" you into an excited reaction, thus paving the way for him to say "Oh of course, I did not mean that. You should not have jumped to conclusions."?

Kevin Bussey said...

Wow! That's all I can say about that comment by Dr. Sutton. Are some of the leaders trying to shrink the SBC because adding more and more amendments will only drive us away.

pastorob said...

I'm just stopping by for the first time. I'll look forward to reading your report in the evening.

pastorob said...

I just stopeed

pastorob said...

Thanks for reporting. I'm looking forward to what you have to share. This is my first time at your blog.

jgsy3kids said...

Is it possible that Jerry Sutton meant that the BFM should have an amendment that would keep the parameters of cooperation from getting narrower? I think that the way he addressed the issue, makes it hard to know exactly what he meant.
I agree there is a huge concern if his meaning is that we need to specifically address prayer language in the BF&M.
But, my vote is for Page regardless!

Anonymous said...

Wade, may our gracious Lord, in His will, richly bless you and those who are with you in this pivotal day of the Convention. May we always call to mind that it is He who knows the end from the beginning in His sovereign will.

In His Grace and Peace,

Bob Cleveland said...


I auppose that the Convention can make, and has the right to make, any changes it desires. In our human folly, we can't be expected to get it right all the time. And we're all very fond of saying it's the Lord's church, and all, but we still vote for stuff rather than doing what God says without exception.

I remind my self of the 12 spies who voted overwhelmingly not to take the promised land.

But one thing strikes me as absolutely incongruous. Prayer Language: This is either a biblical gift, or it isn't. Period. And if a candidate has one, currently, they cannot serve.

The decisions heretofore say that the "prayer language" is not biblical. It's not "unknown tongues" as desribed in the bible.

If that's the IMB's conviction, where on earth do they get that it's ok to "grandfather" anybody? ANYBODY?

My conclusion is that it really IS about narrowing, and not about purity, obedience, conformity to the Word, or anything else.

"Our way or the highway" incarnate.

Brian said...

I agree with Youngs endorsement of the IMB and Dr. Rankin. I also thought his message on the side streets were very timely. Thanks for all your doing. Yes this could be a very Interesting day.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like the desire to open the parameters in the SBC is just another way of saying let's be more ecumenical.

Anonymous said...

The web is amazing! My husband and I just listened to you present your motion to the convention....from halfway around the world!
We're praying for you.

SavedandSure said...

Please persevere, stay the course and continue to inform Southern Baptists.

Please continue to work to keep those things that are important to Jesus Christ before Southern Baptists.

Please do not allow ANONYMOUS critics more than their 15 seconds of fame on your blog.

scripturesearcher said...

The outstanding statesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention at this time in history are MORRIS CHAPMAN and WADE BURLESON - men whose wisdom is sometimes neglected by other leaders.

Scotte Hodel said...

Having done some landscaping in the last couple of weeks, I recognize the difference between setting a level surface and erecting a fence.

I watched your video interview. Thanks for the encouragement to "stay in the fight." At my church, many active members come from the Charismatic/Pentecostal tradition. We have served in many ways over the past years.

A key example is a friend of mine who manages our food pantry. With the help of a few volunteers, she shops, bags, and distributes more than 1 ton of food to the poor every week, using space under a stairwell that would otherwise be unused in our church. Our food pantry often has more professions of faith than our evangelism program. This is the kind of person, service, and results that the NAMB and IMB are deliberately excluding from their purview.

That hurts, personally and deeply.

When the IMB policy first came out, many of my friends were crushed. When I read Dr. Sutton's comment, I nearly thought about packing up and leaving as well. But "my kids" in the youth group need me. The food pantry needs my friend and her volunteers. This is a subject worth fighting for.

My pastor has said, "If it's in the Bible, it's Baptist." I'm grateful for him and for your encouragement as well.

Scotte Hodel said...

Error in my facts: our food pantry distributes an average of roughly 1000 pounds of food per week, not one ton.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates, Wade, and thanks for the encouragement you gave on Micah's vlog interview.

Anonymous said...

Half a ton instead of a ton of food for the poor? I think we will let you slide.

Tom Parker said...

I think what is going on presently in the SBC is not really that shocking. When the "conservatives" ran off the "liberals"; that is when "they" took over (early on many of the convention votes were in the 51% to 49% range in favor of the "conservatives" , many good born again christian men and women were shut out of the convention. The "liberals" were allowed no place at the table after the takeover. Very few if any "conservatives" seemed to be concerned with how ruthlessly these "liberals" were treated in purging them from any involvement at all in the workings of the convention. Now with the "liberals" gone, the "conservatives" only have each other to fight and some have and will do to them exactly what was done to the "liberals." What goes around comes around. I believe Jesus was displeased with how the convention was taken over. I believe he is also displeased with what is currently going on in the SBC. As Baptists fight against each other the main issues go unaddressed. May we be willing to do unto others as we would have them do to us and also allow differences.

Tom Parker said...

My blog was initially added to the site, but no longer is being shown. Is there a reason? My thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Urshe Thalor; Why don't you encourage your pastor to rename your church. Community Church or something like that because I don't think your pastor knows what a "Baptist Church" is. True Baptists do not, hear me do not speak in tougues. Jim Sadler

Spunky said...

Thanks for your posts on this. I am not a Southern Baptist but I am watching all the details of this convention. It is nice to read first hand accounts not just news briefs.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the election results over the not-so-streaming video provided by the SBC.

Wade, did you catch what Bobby Welch said after the results were announced? From my point of view, it sounded like a threat to President-elect Page to not rock the boat since the vote was “so close.”

Did you take his comment that way?

Anonymous said...

the winner is Frank Page and it wasn't close. over half the vote.

Anonymous said...

Excellent videos! Frank Page is the new SBC president! The voice of the majority Southern Baptists has been heard loud and clear.

It's gonna be a new era for the SBC!

It's time for a new name that doesn't restrict our identity to a very specific region in the United States.

johnmark said...

ha, what about Frank Page. Is a rank and file follower of the politicians running our convention or is he really serious about change?

Baptist Church members are not stupid just uninformed keep up the good work Wade.

Anonymous said...


Interesting answers to todays blog. I feel compassion for Jim Sadler who had rather be a baptist than a christain who believes the entire bible. The SBC convention is not my director. GOD and HIS holy word is. I think at least you have made the convention think. If the ones who follow your writings would read without pre concieved preducices they would learn a lot.
Christ has set us free in HIM. Free from man made restraints in contrast to GOD's word. I do believe that we baptist will be stronger when the smoke and mirrors fade away.
My prayer for you is to continue under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Charlie of Gainesville

Anonymous said...

I watched about 80% of the convention "live" via the internet. There were some droupouts as evidently the SBCs server was overloaded.

I am very optimistic about the future and proud to say that I am a Southern Baptist. Notwithstanding some differences in views this convention shows we can work together to spread the Gospel.

The Patterson / Mohler "non-debate" set the stage for the type of irenic sprit in which those with differing viewpoints on secondary matters can work together.

I believe you took the right step this evening in agreeing to have this morning's motion referred to the IMB trustees.

There is a new wind of fresh air blowing. Wow, 104 out of 106 nominations are "first time" appointments to the boards.

President Welch is a master statesman in presiding over the business of the convention.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Glen Alan Woods said...

Dear Wade,

I could not sit by and let Jim Sadler slam Urshë Thalór without some sort of response. Feel free not to post this. I will understand:)


Glen Woods

Jim Sadler,

Is it just me, or are you being condescending toward Urshë Thalór and his church? If ostracizing people on account of having a charismatic or pentecostal background is your idea of being baptist then that goes to prove what many non-believers tell me turns them off about church-- the politics and elitism that seems prevalent in many churches and denominations. Wouldn't it be more constructive to show a gracious attitude toward Urshë Thalór, rather than posting what appears to be a smart mouth comment about his pastor and church? Frankly I find your comments offensive, unbiblical, and contrary to the spirit of most of the posts on this blog.


Glen Woods

Anonymous said...

I think Glen could have been a "bit" more gentle in his response..... but, I do believe there is accuracy in his response.
I pray that there will continue to be a "working effort at diplomatic and gracious disagreement" as we continue our deliberations!

Glen Alan Woods said...,

Your point is taken and well received. Such is the disadvantage of text based communication. Thank you for pointing it out.


Glen Woods

Bro. Rob said...


Thank you for what you're doing. Thank you for your character and integrity. Whether you like it or not, you are the face of the younger SBC generation. You have the influence to move people. Many people are looking to you. I'm thankful for who they see now. I pray that they will continue to see it in the future.

I have to admit I'm very surprised at all of the events of today. I'm convinced the blogs had a lot to do with it. If you, or any of the other primary bloggers, didn't see the influence before, I'm sure you do now.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:48, NIV).

I'm looking forward to the future!

Anonymous said...

Wade a question for Charlie of Gainesville---When he says God and His holy word is his director is he refering to the bible or Jesus Christ as the holy word of God? Charile if you see this you can answer since I am sure Wade can not really answer that for you. In the beginning was the word and the word ----------------------

Anonymous said...


In answer to TomGreene.. Jesus is the Word. Thru the Holy Spirit He gave us the written word. I personally am "king James". I believe that Jesus is alive and HIS written word is alive. I am not a fan of some of the newer versions as I do believe they have been weakened down. Thy Word I have hidden in my heart

Charlie of


Anonymous said...

I'm not Charlie from Gainsville, but according to the Bible Jesus is the Word of God (John 1 and Revealtion 19:13) and the Bible is the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12 and others)and both are Holy (Luke 1:35 and 2 Timothy 3:15).

Anonymous said...

Charlie of Gainsville said,

"... He gave us the written word. I personally am "king James".


Anonymous said...

He gave us the Living Word--I have a lot more to say about this--but I really don't want to get started---He died for me and I accept his death and resurrection by faith and I know I am His---I am not King James or any other--the Holy Spirit led me to Jesus Christ--the written word is a guide for me to follow in my life---but Jesus Christ is my becon.

Cally said...


I wondered why it was only alcohol on the resolution and not tobacco or overeating? The latter would have been more easily monitored.