Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sutton Ain't Right

I am amazed that in the most public venue possible, the Associated Press, Jerry Sutton made two unbelievable statements that every alert and wise Southern Baptist should not let go unchallenged. Tim Whitmire, the AP reporter who interviewed Jerry, is a professional, and I'm sure the quotes are accurate, since I know Tim's style, having answered questions he sent to me this afternoon via email for an article he is writing this weekend.

Statement #1 from Jerry Sutton's AP Interview

{Begin Quote} " . . . a lot of people are concerned that he (Frank Page) really hasn't identified himself as a strong conservative over the years," Sutton said. "There's a suspicion and a concern there." {End Quote}

Unbelievable. It reminds me of the time I was refereeing a basketball game and saw a horrible foul and thought to myself "Somebody ought to call a foul!" when I realized I was the referee and I needed to call it myself.

I'm not a Southern Baptist referree, but if I were, I would throw a bright red flag and assess a fifteen yard penalty for unchristianlike conduct.

Suspicion? Of what? Liberalism?

Concern? Over what? __________ (Fill in the blank).

If you read my blog you will notice the theme from the beginning (December 2005) is that we must get to the place where Southern Baptists quit calling fellow evangelical conservatives -- who happen to disagree with our methodology or ideology -- "liberal."

Is this foul against Dr. Frank Page deliberate or unintentional? We might need to ask a Judge.

Statement #2 from Jerry Sutton's AP Interview

In answering a question about dissent Sutton said,

{Begin Quote} "Is this dissent meant to bring a correction or is this dissent meant to stir up trouble?" he said, adding he worries the confidentiality of trustees is violated when statements made in closed meetings are repeated on the Internet.

"There are some things that trustees need to keep confidential when they're working through issues," he said. {End Quote}

Jerry, what in the world do you mean? Do you know for yourself that statements made in confidential meetings are put on the internet?

Where? How? When? What?

No need to turn off the microphone. Just answer the questions.

Show the statements made in closed meetings that are repeated on the internet. I think you will find you can't prove your statements.

Confidentiality has not been breached.

Southern Baptists have a right to know what is going at their Boards and agencies. We all better get used to more openness because the SBC demands it.

Well, I couldn't go into Bible study tonight as we look at the prophet Jeremiah without challenging the public statements of Dr. Sutton. I would encourage you to read up on all the issues for yourself.

The convention needs informed messengers.

(UPDATE THURSDAY: It seems that some are saying the Dr. Sutton was only saying Dr. Page was not a "strong" conservative but a conservative none the less. Then please answer these two questions. (1). What, according to Sutton, is there to suspicion about Frank Page? (Notice how the word suspicion is used in the Brainy Dictionary under the definition of character: Possessing a moral quality; the principles and motives that control the life; as, a man of character; his character saves him from suspicion. ). (2). What, according to Sutton, is there to be concerned about in Frank Page? If Frank were saying Page were a conservative there would be no need for suspicion or concern).

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...


Thank the Lord there is someone like you who is fearless of the powers that be, conservative in your theology, and articulate in your arguments.

This is why you are feared.

Those in charge can't control you, intimidate you, or silence you.

You are my hero!

Pastor Steve

Clay said...

Nice. I think it is interesting that they put your link is at the bottom of the article.

The more I read about this kind of stuff, the more frustrated this makes me as a lifelong SBC member.

I have been increasingly more concerned over the years how the conservatives throw the "liberal" tag around too often. Even if it is just to raise suspicion it is enough to draw the ire of hard line fundamentalists.

I wonder if Sutton means that because Page has not been one of the insiders then we are to be suspicious of his theology. After all, if you differ from us you must have something wrong with you.

Bob Cleveland said...


Many, many years ago, Johnny Carson had a show in which George Gobel, George Burns and Dean Martin were all guests. It may have been New Year's Eve.

Burns and Martin were going back and forth bigtime, while Gobel was mostly silent. Finally, in a slack moment, George Gobel said the following (with his droll look, at the camera):

"Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo, and you were a pair of BROWN SHOES?"

If it weren't for the blogs, I'd ask if you ever felt like that, in reference to the SBC & the IMB.

If you ever do, you aren't. I know that for two reasons. The blogs & the Bible.

No wonder the establishment isn't happy with the ready spread of information formerly known only to the chosen.

Hallelujah! It gets more and more interesting.

Hang in there. See you next week.

Gabriel Snyder said...

Wow, I can't believe Dr. Sutton would imply that Dr. Page is a Liberal. If Dr. Sutton is quoted correctly than he reached a real low. You expect these kind of politics in Washington but the SBC? Amazing...

Jack Maddox said...


WOuld you also call a foul on some bloggers who have accused Dr. Patterson of nepotism and gross, unchecked political power, and under radar leadership and influence... among many other things?


Matt B said...

Wow!!! Hang on a minute! I just read the AP article. Not only does Sutton NOT call Page a liberal, the word "liberal" is never even mentioned in the article. Before anyone starts casting stones at Sutton for insinuating about Page, it might be wise to make sure that you are not insinuating about Sutton.

Sutton merely said, as Wade quoted, "a lot of people are concerned that he really hasn't identified himself as a STRONG [emphasis mine] conservative over the years."

I think Sutton may have a point there. Some conservatives are indeed more conservative than others. Would anyone on this blog not admit that both Sutton and Floyd are the favorites among conservatives while Page is the favorite among moderates? HMMMM... If Page were not more moderate, why would he be the favorite of the more moderate crowd? Could it be just as Sutton said, that "a lot of people are concerned that he really hasn't identified himself as a strong conservative?" said...


You are right.

Would you be so kind as to differentiate between "strong" conservative and "moderate?" said...


It seems to me anything is foul unless there is evidence provided. I'm not sure to which blog you refer, but if there is no evidence, yes, it would be foul.

Kevin Bussey said...

That is sad. If you don't agree with someone, just call them a liberal!

Anonymous said...

Wade, I have had much sympathy with your plight at the IMB. But you are guilty of misstating the position of Dr. Jerry Sutton. This brother is not calling Frank Page a liberal and a moderate. Sutton is rightly pointing out that Page has no record of support for the conservative resurgence. Sutton only mildly challenged Page.
You owe Jerry Sutton an apology.

Unknown said...

There's nothing quite like initiating unsuported suspicion about someone. Actually, he may have done Page a favor. This means he has not identified himself with the reigning elite, which only makes me like him more.

Matt B said...


I assume you are asking for my personal definition of "strong conservative" versus "moderate." As we are all well aware, these terms mean different things to different people. My point was simply that there are differing degrees of conservative. How you label it really doesn't matter.

For instance, I personally would say that for the most part you are fairly conservative. I'm sure that is at least part of the reason the CBF of Oklahoma isn't too fond of you. As much as the CBF members on this sight have encouraged you, I have to laugh to even think about you being a part of a CBF assembly. So, yes, from what I know about you, I would say that according to my use of the word, you are indeed a conservative. On the other hand, your views about speaking in tongues, drinking alcoholic beverages, and even alien immersion are at odds with what most Southern Baptists have traditionally believed to be Biblically conservative. I can't imagine most people who call themselves conservative being too thrilled about their Cooperative Program offerings going to support missionaries who drink alcohol and speak in tongues. I am not disputing your right to believe differently, I'm simply saying that you are more moderate on some issues than other conservatives. I look at Sutton and think "strong conservative," I look at you and think "moderate conservative."

Some folks want a strong conservative president, others want a more moderate president. This year we will obviously have a choice.

abaptiste said...


The differentiation in strong conservative versus a slightly more moderate conservative is a distinction that is in the eye of the beholder.

To give you an example how this works, take a look at your wife (or just about half of all women for that matter). They have fairly light hair color (wether naturally or not is not at question). I would suspect that you would claim she is a blond. You compare her hair color and tint with 100 other "blondes" and you will see that there is a farily broad spectrum of what it means to be blonde. Now if you were to take one of those ladies who has had extremely white/light hair since birth and had her identify those that are "blonde", the ones that she would consider blondes would be much smaller then us guys, or those that were dusty blondes, or just very light brown haired brunettes.

An ex girlfriend of mine from grad school had darker hair then mine during 7 months of the year and I am very much a brunette. However, she chewed on me for 10 minutes one night when I suggested that she was a brunnette. She had a far different context then I did of where does one go from a light a bit darker blonde, to a dusty whatever.

In the context of conservatism, I wouldn't get overly charged over such statements that are not important in the grand scope of things. So what if Sutton believes someone is more conservative...or less conservative. I don't believe anyone has a nice mathematical formula that determines where one stands on the "conservative scale".

The only thing that should really matter is those very few core values that makes you a Christian. Everything else is man made artifacts of what the world calls religion.

Does the Bible even mention the word conservative? So why is it such a big deal when someone says something about that word or the word "liberal". All it really means is that I think your are slightly more blonde or slightly more brown then my view of blonde. It doesn't have to have any objective reasoning behind it.

Anonymous said...

Wade said: "Anything is foul unless there is evidence provided..."

Not to belabor the point, but by making a public charge with absolutely no evidence provided (as you did in yesterday's blog entry, and with a sweeping generalized claim that you've been a "target" of "CBF hatred") are you not doing the same thing?

By doing so, you're tossing around a collective indictment of such giants as Richard Jackson, Paul Powell, Keith Parks,
Frank Pollard, and others who've actively participated in CBF or "moderate" Baptist life. These individuals have been a source of blessing and personal encouragmento me and to many others, as we all strive to "be the presence of Christ on this earth."

Anonymous said...

So now the implication is if you vote for Page you're a moderate?

Saying that Page is not a strong conservative (thus implying he's moderate) is OK? There is proof of this?

The inner circle will do and say anything they can to discredit those outside the circle.

On a side note: make sure you really do have a place to stay during the convention. Seems that SBC housing has cancelled reservations made back in February...cancelled them in May and didn't even bother to tell my parents! They found out because my dad felt prompted in his spirit to call about the reservations.
So what is this about? Cancel reservations for those who aren't a "known" entity? Make sure someone who will vote on the side of the "inner circle" has a room?
This is ridiculous!

I'm praying for all who will be at the convention!

steve w said...

Matt B,

I'm very curious ... to which moderates are you referring?

Speaking of insinuations, that's quite an insinuation you make. Please, tell us who these moderates are. If you know something I don’t, you owe it to us all to enlighten us. Until then, a label + a generalization = an insinuation, in my book. said...

Mr. Killian,

Sorry. If anything, Dr. Sutton owes Dr. Page an apology, but I didn't even ask that. I simply voiced my objections to his statements, and whether or not Sutton perceives it that way to be seen, and whatever he feels needs to be done is up to him.

I don't apologize just because people don't like what I have said. I apologize if what I have said is wrong. Dr. Sutton question Dr. Page's conservatism.

He is proving the point I have been making on this blog for six months. said...


I agree. That is why labels should be avoided. said...


Sorry. Only comments pertinent to this post. A few of your thoughts were, most were not.

Scotte Hodel said...

Terms that often seem meaningless:
- Conservative
- Moderate
- Strong conservative

These labels are useful for labels and sound bites, but they seem primarily used to say "You are (or are not) one of us."

The truth is in the details. said...

Matt B.

That's silly. There have been for years policies against missionaries publicly speaking in tongues publicly and against missionaries drinking alchohol.

You are arguing straw men. You would be penalized and debate and lose.

The issue is a "private" prayer language. Further everything else you mention in your post to define "conservative" is not BIBLICAL but cultural.

Do you not see you are proving my point? Southern Baptists better start getting our doctrine from Scripture and not from culture.

Tom Bryant said...

"suspicion" - what a wonderful word. It gives plenty of wiggle room like, "Not that I'm saying it but ..." That way he can say Dr. Page isn't really a conservative without ever having to say it. The message gets out and Dr. Sutton doesn't have to take the blame.

But when Wade points it out, he can get the blame for reading things into his words.

Matt B said...


You are right. I am familiar with the current requirements for IMB missionaries regarding alcohol and tongues speaking, but I don't think I am arguing straw men. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to say that many who sympathize with this blog, would love to see such restrictions rescinded. After all, "If it goes beyond the Baptist Faith and Message, why should we enforce it?" is a theme we've heard repeatedly.

My whole point was simply to say that there is a broad range of belief amongst people who call themselves Baptist. As ambiguous as the terms "conservative," "moderate," and "liberal" are, I don't know how else to describe the difference between groups like the Southwide Baptist Fellowship and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Could anyone honestly say that these two groups are not at opposite ends of the spectrum in Baptist life? One end of the spectrum prides itself on exclusiveness the other on inclusiveness. One side incessantly attacks the current SBC leadership because they are too inclusive while the other side complains that they are too exclusive. The real issue falls into just how inclusive or exclusive one wants to be.

When it comes to cooperating in missions, most people want their financial support to go to likeminded mission endeavors. Otherwise we would just randomly send a check to mission agencies of the Methodists, Presbyterians, or Episcopalians, etc. every month.

You are absolutely correct about this idea of narrowing or broadening parameters. We all have a line somewhere. It all comes down to where you want to draw your line of inclusiveness when it comes to cooperation in missions. I honestly sat at a conference table of an historic First Baptist Church of a major southern city as the pastor of that church said that we ought to be so inclusive as to work together with our Muslim and Buddhist "brothers." That pastor obviously drew the line of inclusiveness at a different point than most of us.

Again, we all have a line somewhere. It all comes down to where you want to draw it.

By the way, there may not be many on this blog that would take issue with you concerning whether the issues of drinking, tongue speaking, and alien immersion are cultural rather than Biblical, but there are many in our convention who would. I'll admit that you have room to argue your point, but there are Biblical arguments on the other side as well.

Anonymous said...

"Tim Whitmire, the AP reporter who interviewed Jerry, is a professional, and I'm sure the quotes are accurate, since I know Tim's style..."

He may be a professional, but he surely is not infallible. Did you confirm these quotes with Whitmire and Sutton before writing this entry?

Anonymous said...


I never thought the day would come when I would be considered a "moderate." By my definition I'm not, but By Matt's definition I am.

Matt Said:
"On the other hand, your views about speaking in tongues, drinking alcoholic beverages, and even alien immersion are at odds with what most Southern Baptists have traditionally believed to be Biblically conservative."

The problem with Matt's definition is that it is based on tradition, not the Bible. Therefore, I am a strong conservative.

Patrick Mead said...

Ms. Smith,

Did not have to confirm because the reporter emailed me asking me for Frank Page's phone number, wanting a response to the very quote I have blogged about, believing it a statement that cast Frank into a negative light, and though Frank might not be surprised by it, the reporter wanted to give Frank an opportunity to respond. So, yes, Ms. Smith, it is confirmed.

W said...


I too have been accused of calling Page a liberal...but for the life of me, I can't find where......Wade, it really is rude, dishonest, and not very becoming when you assume on someone's words.


Anonymous said...


One more thought. I thought that if you affirmed the BF&M 2000 you were a strong conservative! I thought we got rid of the moderates with the BF&M 2000! Then how in the world did I end up a moderate?

Thanks for the fight!

Patrick Mead

Bluegrass Endurance said...

This is all interesting information but at the end of the day how many people know anything substantial about the candidates, who as I understand it, are not officially nominated until the convention. This means that in the end people will vote by name recognition and probably not out of any firm understanding of where each person stands with regards to Theology and to Methodology.

I know this whole process will not change this year and I also realize we do not want people running around campaigning for the position of president but there has to be a better answer than show up and vote for the name you recognize. This is the first year in the 12 years I have been a SBCer that I have known much about the candidates myself other than name and I attribute this to the internet/blogosphere. The internet is far from perfect but information, both good and bad, is available and it is this information that is making people think more about what is going on. We, however, need to make sure that it is not any one persons blog or web site that drives our decision but God’s Word, prayer and more prayer. The information by itself is just words but with prayer we can seek out God’s man.

While I can not go to the Convention I am praying that real substance is dealt with as much as it can in so short a time and that people leave knowing that change has to come. We can not simply keep propping up numbers and claiming largeness as out mantra but instead we would seek after a mantle of Godliness. Would it not be great if the when the SBC was mentioned it would be in reference to spirituality and not numbers or some other issues? There may issues ahead but when the smoke (and mirrors) clear I would hope we would be transformed from a denomination of programs to one of mission.

Anonymous said...

How conservative is Frank Page? Well, in my mind he is as conservative as Jimmy Draper, Bobby Welch, L. Russ Bush, Danny Akin, and David Dockery. When he pastored at Warren Baptist in Augusta, GA, it was and is a strong, conservative church. The man who followed him is David Fleming, who came from First Baptist Daytona, and who was tapped to succeed Bobby Welch. So, I would think that the church connection would show how conservative he is. Also, on my bookshelf is a commentary on Jonah from the New American Commentary series that appeared in the late 80's. It was the SBC and Lifeway's attempt at conservative scholarship, and Frank Page was invited to contribute Jonah. Who is he linked with in this project? Draper, Dockery, Akin, etc.

Jerry Sutton has no basis to question how conservative Page is. It is a weak attempt to split the vote, and cast doubts, and I read it as Sutton questioning the character of Page. All the more reason I'm voting for Frank.

I'm thinking about wearing a button at the convention that says, "Page Me."

Anonymous said...

Why are "labels" so wrong. When I go to the grocery store I am really glad for labels. Labels identify don't they? I want to know if a person is a liberal, fundamentalist, calvinist, moderate (whatever that is), or something else. Pastor Sutton is my Pastor, and yes we need revival at Two Rivers, and so does the SBC, no question about it. I hope it begins in Greensboro.


Terms that often seem meaningless:
- Conservative
- Moderate
- Strong conservative

Which term would you use to describe JESUS.

A Brother in CHRIST


I would vote for Dr. Page as he is the furthest away the Present Mindset.


I would vote for Dr. Page as he is the furthest away the Present Mindset.

John Fariss said...

Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to be President, and had wanted it for years. To achieve that office, he followed "Cousin Teddy's playbook" in working up the political ladder, or did until polio intervened, at which time, he had to begin creating his own "plays." Aren't we seeing the same thing? The current "inner circle" created (or adapted or adopted, whatever) a playbook 20+ years ago, and it worked then to disparage their opponents: insinuation, guilt by association, etc. George Wallace was defeated the first time he ran for governor of Alabama, and said the reason was that he was "out segged" (referring to segregation), and that he would not allow that to happen the next time--and he didn't. Imply your opponents are less (segregationist)(conservative), which an articulate politicial or preacher can do without actually saying it, so that allies can defend you, and you appeal to those who see themselves as the most (segregationist)(conservative). NB: I am not accusing anyone in SBC leadership, or aspiring to be in leadership, of being a segregationist. Neither am I implying a connection between theological conservatism and racism. My point is that the ploy works regardless what favorite word/label is substituted--it is the use of a "playbook" that has worked in the past. Machiavelli anyone?

Thye opposite pole of castigating opponents is that of idealizing allies. And I would caution all of us about idealizing "giants of the faith." Admire, fine; take as a role model, OK; just remember, whether it's Keith Parks, Paige Patterson, Richard Jackson, Paul Pressler, or whoever--they all put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us do. They all have their warts--just as we do.

Anonymous said...

So are we now redifineing the labels. The moderates and liberals are gone!!!. Last time I lookes there were not any moderate pastors giving 12% to the CP. They are all scraping the bottom of the barrell and leaching from SBC churches over at CBF headquarters.

If Frank Page is a true moderate, than Sutton is a Radical Fundamentalists. Maybe the post-modernists are right - words have very little meaning - we just throw them around however we want when it serves our purposes.

Bryan Riley said...

Not only do we all define broad tag words and stereotypes like conservative or liberal very differently, but we also sound like secular politicians when we throw them around. One could even go so far as to say that throwing around such terms, whether your own meaning is innocent enough or not, with the knowledge that the hearers will interpret such words a certain way, it tantamount to lying, gossiping, slandering, etc. It truly is sad. What would be relevant is to say, factually, what an individual's self-reported stance on a given issue is (without a label) or to state the facts of CP giving, etc. Regardless, it seems sad that we mirror our society in the selection of leadership within a Christian organization. said...


You used the nomenclature " . . . Closet Liberal?" in the title of your blog describing Frank Page.

You are naive if you think people can't see through your purpose in writing that post.

Bryan Riley said...

Tad, my point exactly... even thought i typed it horribly. People use labels for their own selfish purposes... just like secular politics.

GeneMBridges said...

alien immersion

The operative definition of that concept on this blog is accepting immersions from churches that do not adhere to the security of the believer but are otherwise credobaptist. Considering that John Gano did this, and many of the early 18th century Particulars did this, and that most of the SBC does this, and that most who do not are located in Arkansas, KY, and TX, states with links to those affirming successionism, it is most certainly a cultural, not a biblical norm. It is certainly not the practice of the majority of the Convention at this time.

If you are going to argue otherwise, it is incumbent upon you to produce the evidence and not simply assert it without argument.

Anonymous said...

Hey, W.
I thought Wade’s reply to your accusation of being falsely accused of calling Page a liberal was right on target. By the way, you whine just like Brad.

Bobby Welch stated in the Baptist Press on June 6: On BAPTISM he said, “We live by the board. They make the rules and that’s the way it works…we elect those trustees to be trusted people.”

Welch said he believes the IBM’s trustees should work to resolve their difficulties and not bring these issues to the convention floor of the SBC annual meeting in Greensboro.

“The convention is not equipped, in my view, in a general assembly, to deal with all these circumstances. That’s why we have the trusteeship,” Welch emphasized.

“It is a disservice to the convention, because the convention is not best equipped to deal with these things as a whole.” “…That is tantamount to sending a man with a splinter in his eye to ask the 1,000 people to get it out all at the same time. You are going to end up losing your whole eye with good-intentioned people trying to help you.”

On the other hand, messengers to the annual meeting can bring any issue before the convention, Welch said. If, however, messengers must guide trustees ‘from the floor of the convention,’ that defeats the purpose of electing responsible trustees except in “EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES,” he concluded.

Wade, Welch did not accidentally bring this up under “baptism.” He knows the friction on the subject and has announced his decision. He knows your motion for a committee does not ask a thousand people to operate on an eye, but that’s his politics.
He nails his decision down with, “If, however, messengers must guide trustees ‘from the floor of the convention’, that defeats the purpose of electing responsible trustees…”

Wade, I’m not saying to drop your motion…it’s worth a try, but have another motion that will have “EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.”

What has the IMB done that is extraordinary? Welch was wise in avoiding private prayer language of speaking in tongues. He could handle baptism but not tongues.

Just imagine asking a person who the Holy Spirit gave a private language, to agree that the gift was NOT from God. That would be asking him to “insult and outrage the Holy Spirit.” (Hebrews 10:29)

Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:28, Luke 12:10, “Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.”

For the IMB to decree Paul’s private prayer language is NOT Baptist, is the same as saying it is not from God. That is contributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the works of the devil. That is speaking against the Holy Spirit.

How EXTRAORDINARY can you get?

The BFM2000 changed “individual priesthood” to “priesthood of believers.” That means you go along with whatever the majority says. My priesthood does not “live by the board”; it does not live by “policy”; it lives as the Holy Spirit directs me, and I pray all Baptists would also.
Rex Ray

Savage Baptist said...

I just liked the title. I often wonder why people ain't usin' perfectly good Oklahoma words a tad more often. said...


Say the title out loud.

You'll catch the pun when you do.

Cliff4JC said...

Look, Lets face it. Bottom line for the conservatives is: Will Frank Page be very careful to appoint people who are conservatives to key positions of leadership. Their fear is that "the CBF crowd" will find a way back to important positions of leadership. Period. THAT is the issue! Tad reported about this on his blog

For the establishment; it's all about appointments. They don't really care about his theology; they only care about who he will appoint. Read tads blog; it's very insightful on this.

When Sutton says Page “hasn’t identified himself as a strong conservative;” read “we don’t know if he will be careful not to appoint CBF sympathizers. Page is in a catch 22. If he does come out and say he will broaden the tent to include CBF folks, he will alienate many conservatives who won’t feel comfortable with that. If he says he won’t appoint CBF folks; the “moderate” support that everyone is talking about will leave him. He must have significant support from disgruntled non-CBF conservatives AND from CBF folks alike. So we are left to guess about the “strength” of his conservatism. Enter Judge Pressler with a “safer” (read tad’s blog) appointment that is more electable than Floyd. Here we are. See you in Greensboro.


SBCTulip said...

To make this a Calvinism issue, one must support the 1 of the 3 that best reflects the SBC Calvinistic viewpoint. That is Sutton, by far.
An endorsement of him by the owner of this blog would end speculation of the real issue here... is fairly obvious that the owner of this blog and CBF/ABP reporters (Hannah Elliot and Greg Warner) are on each other's speed dials...

Anonymous said...


As others have stated Sutton did not say that he believes Page to be a Liberal, he simply stated that others called him with concern regarding how conservative Frank really is. I must say that I was greatly discomforted when I heard about Frank Page's support of Dilday when he was at Gambrell Street. I believe that this has raised "suspicion" in many conservative Southern Baptists.

Pastor Brad said...

Stumbled across all this in a search. For all those pastors who posted: how do you guys, Wade included, have time to devote yourselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer while spending what must be hours blogging and posting comments?

Do your church members have any idea?

I blog, but it is for the sole purpose of encouraging my flock.

Darn it! I just realized that by posting this I'm guilty of that which I've accused you. Oh, well. God bless you all, my brothers.

Hyker01 said...

I know Frank Page. He is no liberal, moderate, or even a weak conservative. I can tell you of one instance where he had to stand toe to toe with a president of an influential university president (affiliated with a state convention) over issues stemming from a heretical book the scholar had written. He stood alone to call a spade a spade (or in this case a heretic a heretic). Sutton needs to get his facts straight before he castigates one of his conservative brothers.

I am proud to be a member of TFBC (You see, Dr. Page winces at the thought of TFBC being called "Frank Page's Church"). I have known him for nearly six years and have personal conversations with him often. He is a man of deep conviction and love for Jesus Christ. I have seen him stand firm for his beliefs and become emotional at the thought of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, giving His life for us on the cross. I cannot understand how anyone would make a veiled inference thinking to gain political points. Why else would Sutton make such a statement? He knows why - he did it to cast doubt upon a man of God without making a direct attack on his integrity. I think a public apology is in order - in front of the masses a Greensboro would be a good place.

Is Dr. Page a conservative? Tell Sutton to go ask Danny Akin, Jim Henry, Forrest Pollock, Richard Land, Ken Hemphill, Thom Rainer, and Johnny Hunt. Each of these men will tell you Dr. Page is an unwavering conservative.

I think if Dr. Sutton would search his heart, he would admit he made a mistake by attempting this political tactic.

Anonymous said...

What is a private prayer language and where is it taught in the Bible? There is much teaching in the Bible on prayer, but never any instruction concerning a private prayer language. If it's not taught in the Bible then it should be avoided and those who oppose it should not be called fundamentalists (speaking of pinning lables on folks).

Hyker01 said...


Have you ever pastored a church before? If so, then you would have to understand that if one of your flock is hurting you don't just ignore him - or do you?

Dilday was a member of Gambrell Street when Dr. Page was pastor there. I wonder if you knew that? We cannot fall into the trap of insincerity for the sake of "the cause" can we?

Maybe it is politically incorrect to comfort those who are indeed hurting? If so, I hope Dr. Page is never on the correct side of the fence. He is a pastor first and foremost. Politics is not his game. He is in this morass to help bring clarity and devotion to what we as Southern Baptists agree is our greatest work of cooperation - spreading the word of Jesus Christ around the world.

I think it is a travesty to try and look for chinks in the armour of a man without considering his heart. To be sure, some of you who consider yourself to be of a "more conservative" stripe are hammering away at him, but in the end you will see the heart of the man - a heart beating for the message of Jesus Christ. But you know what? Dr. Page doesn't want us looking at him. The other night at church when he was dealing with a problem, he stood there and said, "never look to a man for your hope and security, men always let you down. Look to Jesus Christ...Jesus will never let you down."

When will we quit looking at men and look to the mission? I believe that is exactly what Dr. Page is trying to do - point us to the mission.

It seems to me that everyone else is looking to the conservative ideology for answers, when we should be looking to Christ, "the author and perfector of our faith."

Thanks Bro.Wade for the space on your blog. you are doing a wonderful thing here.

Anonymous said...

To Pastor Brad,
You make a good point on the time it takes to read and write blogs. I believe that effort is well worth it as it touches many lives—more than just one church. In fact, if church members read the blogs, pastors would hear a lot more a-men’s.

By the way, your word “darn” is the only slang I remember on Wade’s blog. I was taught that slang words were modern ways of using words they replace such as ‘dam.’ Our youth director preached once a month and it was a while before he learned to stop using such words as they made the members cringe. It has something to do with Jesus saying let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Wade, the new format or whatever leaves off some words on the right side of the comments when I try to print them.
I’ve had three computers and they all do the same thing. I have to copy paste your words in order to print, and now the comments. Can anyone tell me what I could do to correct my problem, or do you have the same problem too?
Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

Dear Craig,

I don’t have “a private prayer language,’ but I believe those who do would say that a “private prayer language” is a gift of the Spirit, not a command. We are to “pray in the Spirit,” but I hardly agree that Paul is speaking of a “private prayer language.” Those who have this gift will argue from 1 Corinthians 14 and some Romans 8.

I often wonder how much is truly an experience of the Spirit or something psychological. I have come to the conclusion whether it is truly a spiritual experience or psychological, if it draws them closer to Christ, is centered on Christ, and glorifies Christ, then I don’t have a problem with it.

How detrimental is a “private prayer language” to the cause of Christ? I would say that a crusade to stop it is worse than allowing believers in their prayer closet to have a “private prayer language.”

Craig, I believe the fundamentals and affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, but I am not into the spirit of fundamentalism that says we all have to have the same interpretations to cooperate together for the glory of Christ. The BF&M 2000 allows a rich diversity of interpretations and experiences to work together to further the kingdom of Christ.

For Christ’s Glory

Patrick Mead


The text size you are using can cause this. In internet explorer top use view and select text size to select what size you want. Or you need new glasses.


Anonymous said...

I used to be a member of Dr. Sutton's congregation. His intent is usually good. The basic problem is that his world, the SBC, is a very political organization. He has an agenda. His agenda, political views, and comments often times over-ride what everyday christians, Baptists and others view as in touch to the real world. It's unfortunate and these issues, along with others, have caused alot of turnover in his church over the years. Bottom line, he wants to be a "major player" (his words, not mine) in the SBC but I question whether he's really got what it takes to do that.

His comments are unfortunate.

sfuller said...

I know Jerry Sutton and, in his defense, he calls them like he sees them so to speak. Dr. Sutton is not concerned with what others think about his biblical position on issues we face in this world we live in. He is only concerned with what the scriptures say about the issues we face. In line with this, he, like many others, believes that the only way our country and culture will survive the onslaught of passivity towards sin is if we stick with the biblical fundamentals that made this great nation what it has been for over 200 years. Jerry, unlike others, does not drift with the "destructive" winds of change. Change is good, if it furthers the kingdom. However, change that only decays a society is worth fighting.