Thursday, September 07, 2006

Just Exactly What Does the Faculty of SWBTS Teach? There is Room in the SBC for Disagreement and Debate

The following is a letter I received yesterday from a current student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The author of the letter gives permission to post his letter, but requests that his name be left off in order to avoid any possible retribution that might come his way. He seems to have taken a great deal of time and effort to show that in the conservative, academic environment of SWBTS faculty, there is room for people who disagree on the issue of a private prayer language.

After you read the letter and the supporting footnotes, I would like you to ask yourself three questions:

(1). Why is there a movement by some within the SBC to narrow the doctrinal parameters of cooperation and participation beyond the BFM 2000?

(2). Why was a public statement made by administration of SWBTS that what Dr. McKissic taught in chapel regarding a private prayer language was "harmful" to churches, and not the position of the "faculty" at SWBTS, when the published writings of several faculty members seem to support the very thing Dr. McKissic was saying?

(3). Why does anyone in the SBC need to "take sides" on this issue, when in reality, Southern Baptists should be able to fellowship and cooperate with each other in spite of different views on third tier doctrines such as this one?


Dear Rev. Burleson:

I have been following your blog for many months now, and I really appreciate what you are doing to address the issues surrounding the IMB policies on tongues and baptism. Thank you also for posting the chapel sermon of Dwight McKissic so that people could read his words for themselves.

Many students have been following the way that our seminary president handled the situation. Some students don't ever think Dr. Patterson does anything right. Other students, like myself, think that he is a godly man who is able to make mistakes, as I believe he did when he chose to censor Rev. McKissic's sermon.

I was discouraged when I saw the press release from Southwestern because it is misleading, if not an outright lie. The press release gave the impression that Rev. McKissic's view about tongues and private prayer was inconsistent with the views of the faculty and staff. But I know of at least five professors in the school of theology who would share Rev. McKissic's view, and have done so openly in class. Other faculty members have taught that his view is a legitimate view for Southern Baptists.

The press release also gave the impression that Southwestern Seminary would not "disseminate openly" views that are consistent with Rev. McKissic's view because such views are "harmful to the churches."

I was curious if this claim was factually accurate so I looked back to old copies of the Southwestern Journal of Theology to see if the seminary had "disseminated" such views "openly." You can imagine my surprise to discover that current faculty had written views consistent with Rev. McKissic's and that those views have been published and/or recommended by Southwestern Seminary.

I am writing you in confidence because I still have some time left before I graduate and I don't want to do anything "openly" that might be "harmful" to my graduation. ;)

Feel free to use my letter and the quotes I have included on your blog if you think it will be helpful. I am also forwarding this material to Rev. Dwight McKissic so that he knows that his views are not quite as "harmful" as our president said. If you choose to use this email on your blog, please do not publish my name.

In Christ,

Name Withheld by Blog Administrator

Supporting Documentation:

Schatzmann, Siegfried. Southwestern Journal of Theology. Vol 45, No. 1. Fall 2002, pages 60-61. Current New Testament professor at SWBTS.

"Does the gift of interpreting tongues represent a more circuitous venue of prophecy? Nowhere does Paul even come close to intimating such. Rather, he insists on rendering intelligible what the tongue-speaker has expressed in his prayer, praise, and perhaps even his petition. In other words, the interpreter, under the Spirit's guidance, formulates in a prayer-form what had previously been uttered as a mystery, that is to say, in a manner inaccessible to anyone apart from the tongue speaker. Paul attaches the gift of interpretation to the gift of speaking in tongues because of his overarching conviction that in the community public speaking in tongues without interpretation is inadmissible because it is not intelligible.

This does not mean, however, that Paul does not also affirm a place for speaking in tongues to oneself, in the believer's own devotional practice, for instance. Thus he is able to say, "I desire for all of you to speak in tongues" (14:5) and "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you" (14:18). It is important to note, however, that the affirmation in v.5 is followed by the contrasting "but rather" (mallon de) and the testimonial in v.18 gives way to the superordinate "but in the church" (alla en ekklesia) of v.19, thereby indicating that his own personal practice, however beneficial, is not the criterion for the gift's public use."

Schatzmann, Siegfried. A Pauline Theology of Charismata. Hendrickson Publishers, 1987.

"What did Paul believe glossolalia was? His interpreters differ widely in their answer their answers to this question. Some have proposed that, true to the basic meaning of the term 'glossa,' Paul thought of tongues as 'speaking in other languages,' either human or angelic. Perhaps even 'geno' (different kinds) means a variety of either or both.

Others have concluded that Paul must have conceived of 'glossa' as 'the unbroken speech in religious ecstasy,' which was, therefore, unintelligible. The apostle's counsel in ch 14, as well as Paul's allusion in 12:2 to the Corinthians' former pagan practices, would support this view." (42)

"It is noteworthy that Paul did not overreact to the Corinthian abuse of glossolalia by eradicating it altogether. Recognizing its value as one of the many enabling graces of God, he sought to correct and rechannel the gift for its orderly incorporation into their gatherings (14:16). He thanked God that he spoke more in tongues than they (14:18) and wished that they all spoke in tongues (14:5). Paul also affirmed that the one speaking in tongues speaks to God, thus edifying himself (14:2,4)." (43)

"The debate over the permanence or temporariness of charismata has ranged along two lines of argument. One, it is claimed, primarily by some scholars outside the classical Pentecostal and charismatic movements, that certain charismata were never meant to be permanent but, instead, proved to be temporary and ceased after the first few centuries of the church. Two, charismata as equipment for service are said to be given as the believer's permanent possession and not temporarily, as some assert. In the case of the latter, charismata are given to a believer only for a specific ministry at a specific point in time and in a specific place.

The first argument is generally not advanced on the basis of thorough exegesis, but receives its impetus from presuppositional and historical biases. Scriptural evidence is brought to bear more in terms of prooftexting than in terms of contextual interpretation. The second line of argument deserves a closer look since it seeks to understand the Pauline concept of charismatic service for the church's upbuilding." (77)

"Nothing in the text of 1 Cor 13, or in any other Pauline passage concerned with charismatic endowment, permits the conclusion that certain gifts of the Spirit were to function for a limited initial period only. For Paul, all Spirit-bestowed charismata were given for the upbuilding of the body. There exists no reasonable exegetical warrant for denying that the same gifts which equipped the church for service then should fulfill the same purpose today." (78)

Garrett, James Leo. Systematic Theology Vol II. Bibal Press, 2000. - Retired emeritus professor of theology at SWBTS. His systematic texts are the main texts for Malcolm Yarnell's courses on theology.

"Exegetes and theologians are not agreed as to the nature of the occurrence described in Acts 2:4b. When 'they began to speak,' did they do so 'with' (KJV) or 'in' (RSV, TEV, NEB, NIV) 'other tongues' (KJV, RSV, NEB, NIV) or 'other languages (TEV) or 'different languages' (Phillips) or 'foreign languages' (JB) (erxanto lalein heterais glossais)? The oldest interpretation, the accepted one among the Church Fathers, understands the tongues to have been intelligible foreign languages (xenoglossolalia). But present-day expositors also hold to the foreign-language view.

A second interpretation of Acts 2:4b understands 'other tongues' as reference to 'fiery eloquence' or linguistic persuasiveness. Willibald Beyschlag opted for fiery language, and William Barclay took the phrase to mean speaking with great or convincing persuasiveness.

A third view interprets the text as referring to rapturous or ecstatic speaking in which the miracle consisted of acoustical certainty about the Holy Spirit. According the hearing was supernatural. But the text emphasizes speaking.

A fourth view consists of a critical theory that alleges that Luke, as he had done with the birth of Jesus and the ascension of Jesus, 'invented a myth,' using the Jewish feast of Pentecost, to provide a setting for ecstatic utterance through the Spirit. . .This view contradicts the historical reliability of Acts.

A fifth view, a critical view involving the use of electronic computers, has posited that Acts 1:15-2:47 was not included in the original Acts of the Apostles (called Proto-Acts) and instead came with a later redaction. Hence 2:4b is downgraded as a source. This theory contradicts the textual integrity of Acts.

A sixth, common to but not restricted to Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals, takes Acts 2:4b to mean the same kind of supernatural utterance, that is, glossolalia, that Paul mentioned in 1 Cor. 12-14.

A seventh interpretation understands 'other tongues' to refer to intelligible utterance, either 'mysterious' languages, though not necessarily foreign languages or intelligible speech in the sense of understandable language.

The fourth and fifth interpretations by their critical presuppositions deny any extraordinary speaking, and the second and third interpretations by shifting to eloquent persuasiveness and to miraculous hearing, respectively, do in essence the same. Hence only the first, sixth, and seventh interpretations are of major importance in any effort to correlate Acts 2:4b and 1 Cor. 12-14." (227-29)

"We approach this question of correlation on the assumption that in 1 Cor 12-14 Paul, by referring to the 'ability to speak in different kinds of tongues' (NIV) or 'various kinds of tongues' (RSV) and to 'one who speaks in a tongue,' alluded to a Spirit-given utterance more likely to be described as ecstatic than as a foreign language. We also assume that what happened according to Acts 10:46 and Acts 19:6 was not markedly different from Paul's reference in 1 Cor 12-14."

(229) "Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals continue to insist that tongues-speaking is the single and sole evidence of baptism in or with the Holy Spirit, the baptism being post-conversional. Moreover, they place great emphasis on tongues-speaking while affirming that all the other gifts listed in 1 Cor. 12:8-10 are being given and exercised today. How ought non-tongues-speakers to respond to these claims?

First, they can recognize that the gift of tongues is seemingly a present-day reality and abandon [B.B.] Warfield's apostolic cessation theory. Second, they can take note of abuses of tongues-speaking and of other gifts, as Donald Gee acknowledged. Third, they can recognize that both Neo-Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal authors have identified present day tongues-speaking as a 'special language,' different from any known language but expressive of meaning. Fourth, they can be aware that leading exponents of tongues-speaking make the practice almost identical with praying with the Holy Spirit. On both sides of the tongues issue authors have emphasized that tongues-speaking can lead to the 'enrichment' of one's prayer life or 'personal devotional life.' Fifth, they can respectfully ask tongues-speakers not to elevate the gift above all others, so as to contradict Paul, or to look on non-tongues-speakers as inferior or second-class Christians. Sixth, they should refrain from efforts to exclude or disfellowship those who exercise tongues-speaking within the Pauline perimeters. Seventh, they can express thanks to Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals for their clear witness to the dynamic agency and the sovereign lordship of the Holy Spirit in today's world. Eighth, they should make certain that their own use of known languages is for the witness of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit." (233-34).

______________________________ (End of Letter)

Bottom line people, there should be room in the SBC for disagreement over this and other issues that some seek to divide us over.

In His Grace,



Kevin said...

I wrote a paper on the baptism of the Holy Spirit back in my seminary days (NOBTS). Here are my concluding remarks (sorry if this is long):

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a glorious promise of empowerment for the church. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost united various groups of people in the common experience of salvation. The tragic irony is that this very doctrine divides the Christian community today. Perhaps there is both good news and bad new when considering the ongoing discussion of this doctrine.
The bad new is that a few extreme views will probably never be reconciled among various denominations. First, some members of the charismatic community believe tongues to be the primary evidence of the baptism/filling of the Holy Spirit. This belief is unsubstantiated in both the biblical witness and the historical Christian experience as a whole. There are also those who believe that tongues and other such evidence of the Holy Spirit passed away after the New Testament. This view also lacks a firm doctrinal foundation. Both of these views will continue to be divisive and alienate believers whose experiences do not perfectly match.
Extreme views regarding a post-salvation experience will also continue to cause problems. As stated, some Christian movements have developed a doctrine of “the second blessing” as a norm for all believers. Since Acts chapter eight is the only clear biblical account of such an experience, this view will always be on weak theological grounds. Others argue that any post-salvation experience (especially those with supernatural manifestations) are invalid and non-Scriptural. These two extremes will most likely never find a common doctrine or experiential point of relation.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, thanks for posting this letter from a student from SWBTS....Your conclusion is correct, there should be room in the SBC for dissagreement over this tongue issue. As for an answer to your 3 questions, I believe you can find on this blog about a week ago. There a some who believe that when they read the Bible ,that what they have read is not an interpretation but that it is THE can not discuss anything with them, so its a waste of time.(Titus 3:9).....This is what I believe is happening here also....Its should not be a WEDGE issue........If someone has a prayer language, Praise God, if they dont, then thats fine.......

Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks for sharing the letter. I pray that there will be more room in the future for disagreement. I agreee with the student that Dr. Patterson is a Godly man who is trying to do what he thinks is best. This incident could have been avoided. My prayer is that there will be more room for discussion in SBC life.

RM said...

Great post today! There were professors who felt the same way when I attended/graduated from SWBTS. There wasn't an issue of fellowship/censorship back then but then times have changed haven't they? Perhaps it is time for the trustees to give a little "loving direction" to Paige Patterson.

dwm III said...

Jonathan K.,

That is a large assumption about Dr. Patterson. Do you have any proof?

He was pretty loving towards my friends who are not white.


Anonymous said...

The evidence in the "case for cooperation" in the SBC continues to mount with posts like these. said...

dwm iii

Good point.

However, as I read Jonathan's post, I heard only a question which he raised because of a concern he felt, and one he read elsewhere.

I am sure thoughtful posts in response could ease his mind of this concern.

One additional point. Jonathan is only raising the same concern Dr. McKissic raised in his letter --- black Baptists coming to the point of feeling disenfranchesed from the SBC because we don't accept as valid their prominent use of a prayer language.

Pastor Brad said...

Very interesting point of view.

Here's a question though: If this student really thinks Patterson is a godly man, why would he have reason to fear retribution? I don't know about any of you, but I would not call someone like that godly. So, it seems far more reasonable to assume that he simply says that he feels that way about Patterson to make his actions seem unmotivated by personal dislike. Otherwise his definition of "godly" is far more loose than mine.

Second, doesn't the fact that such points of view are allowed at SWBTS prove that Patterson is not opposed to disagreement and debate but that his reason for removing the message from the website is truly what was stated:

"neither do we feel that there is wisdom in posting materials online which could place us in a position of appearing to be critical of actions of the Board of Trustees of a sister agency. Any trustee or faculty member is free to communicate his concerns to the boards of sister agencies, but it is difficult to imagine a circumstance that would merit public criticism of the actions of a sister board."

I know some of you will argue that the release said such views were harmful, but if you read the context it is plain to see that they are harmful in the context of being posted on a website and harmful because they appear to be critical of the IMB, not because they differ from Patterson's view and the view of most SBCers.

You may disagree with the action as I do, but it is not a squelching of debate. It looks to me that for many in the baptist blogging world simply have an axe to grind against Patterson.

Maybe I'm naive, or a secret soldier of the conservative good-ol-boys network, or maybe I don't start from the assumption that Patterson is a manipulative SBC facist. You decide. said...

Pastor Brad,

Good thoughts.

A question for you.

I have not brought up the IMB policy in any of my posts.

Dr. McKissic never mentioned the IMB by name.

However, if nobody at SWBTS, if nobody at any "sister" agency, or nobody affiliated with the IMB, or nobody in leadership in the SBC can think critically about actions like the passage of a doctrinal policy that exceeds the BFM 2000 --- who can?

If the policy has merit, it should be passed.

If the policy is short on merit, and keeps God-called missionaries off the field, it should be freely debated.

I long for the day when people in the SBC can debate the issues, maintain a gracious spirit, and not be accused of personal attacks or attacked personally themselves.

We are getting there.

irreverend fox said...


Once again I find myself beating my drum for a "confession" or "creed" that will bind and seperate, bring together and discriminate.

WE need to decide how large the circle of fellowship should be...the pastors and missionaries of the SBC.

The days of double standards must end. The blogs will see to that I'm sure.

I vote that the BF&M be our creed. If it need amended first to make the circle smaller or larger, then do so. Then simply use it to cut both ways. If you agree with this doctrine, welcome. If you don't then goodbye.

It is not right for any agency or seminary to go beyond the BF&M or ignore it's liberty.

We need something that says: THIS IS WHAT THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS TEACH. That statment, however it looks, should be THE ONLY standard of discrimination in all our agencies and seminaries.

I vote for a circle that most conservative evangelicals could fit in. That's my vote. said...

I am entering the second day of our staff retreat.

Great job yesterday, one and all, of debating the subject with Christian decorum.

Let's keep it going. said...

Pastor Brad,

I should have been clearer. I have not brought up the IMB in those posts related to Dr. McKissic.

Alycelee said...

First, I would like to comment about the racial insinuation. It's just that. No one who is racist admits it, unless they belong to the KKK, in fact, most who are racist don't even know it. I'm not saying Dr. Patterson is, I am however saying it is still rampant in the church of Jesus Christ.
Considering the SBC had to repent of such actions some time ago, the possibility that it still exits in some measure is more than probability and we should all ask God to search our hearts.
My husband and I have worked with multi-cultural churches and unless you've been there, you have no idea what they face. Racial division in the body of Christ is sin-pure and simple if we are not actively trying to solve that problem, then we participate in it.
As for the question at hand-
1. I believe it is about control.
2. As the President of the seminary, I'm sure he was confident that the faculty members would not disbute him via a press release.
3. Because we all have our viewpoints.
a. viewpoint 1 is to be inclusive to all in SBC life
who may hold differing views doctrinally as
long as those doctrines don't compromise the
pure gospel.
b. viewpoint 2. to only include those in SBC life
who believe exactly as I do and therefore limit
those who can participate in any government
or authoritive way.

Rex Ray said...

Our country church (about 60 in SS) teaches the Bible. Last year, you can imagine my shock when I visited Frank Harber’s church of about 3,500. It was not the size but what was said for the preaching. I thought why would Christians listen to this?
And I remembered—frogs stay comfortable in water till it boils.

The church bulletin had a picture of a historical man of great thinking, but it wasn’t Jesus. In fact, there was little said about the Savior as Harber very entertainingly covered seven laws of health.
I learned a lot about Harber. He sleeps on his stomach, causing a stiff neck, causing his head to jerk, causing his golf ball to slice. But he had a healing balm…a chiropractor who demonstrated, at the end of the service, with Harber lifting weights how she had helped his neck.
That went on so long, I thought Jesus might appear with his whip saying, “You have made my Father’s house a Y.M.C.A.” But I looked around and all the frogs were smiling.

It’s been said—“those that live by the sword, shall die by it.” Harber created a “Board’ of seven men to run the church, with him having great authority.
They removed four members who questioned the ‘moving of the church to another location, the new bylaws, and requested a financial report.
Last month, the ‘Board’ asked Harber to resign after seeing the great decrease in membership and a ‘shady’ land deal on building his million dollar home.
Harber plans to start another church, and probably many ‘frogs’ will follow.
And all of this from a former professor at SWBTS who got his PHD in the shortest time on record.
Rex Ray

Pastor Brad said...

How is it not being allowed to be freely debated? I agree it should be debated and I believe it is. The rub is that some seem to think, like you seem to, that removing it from the website is an act of killing debate. As you and this student have shown, debate over the issue is allowed under the Patterson regime at SWBTS.

True, McKissic does not mention the IMB by name, but how many of those students or the average person listening to the web broadcast would it not have been obvious to? Also, true you have not mentioned the IMB, but I fail to see how that is relevant to the discussion since it is an issue between McKissic and SWBTS, and further, it is the 500 pd. gorilla even if we don't name it.

May God bless your staff time. Staff retreats used to be such a blessing to me.

Thanks for encouraging debate and disagreement in a brotherly way. I will strive to do so.

Also, I am thoroughly impressed with your dad. Even though we disagree, he is the model of a Christian gentleman.

For His Glory said...

Pastor Brad,

My concern was not so much with the press release, but Dr. Patterson's letter to the which he wrote, "We certainly do not use our resources to promote views that we believe to be unbiblical."

1) Dr. Patterson appears to be speaking for the seminary, not just himself

2) He doesn't say that these views are "not traditional SBC views", (which I could have accepted)
he classifies them as "unbiblical views."

I certainly do not hold to some conspiracy theory, nor do I have an axe to grind. I simply read what Dr. Patterson wrote. I deeply appreciate Dr. Patterson and all conservative scholars, professors, theologians, and leaders in the SBC.

But what I would like to see, is for Dr. Patterson and others to recognize that while yes, most Southern Baptists are not charismatics (like myself), there are many, many Southern Baptists who are conservative theologically yet not cessationists.

And back to the IMB policy, conservative SB's who are continualists with regards to spiritual gifts are not going to do harm to our international mission strategy. The bot needs to rescind the policy and trust/rely upon field personnel to deal with any unbibiclal abuses or practices concerning spiritual gifts.

This is my hope for our great convention...

For His Glory said...

oh yes, and I very much appreciate the letter this Southwestern student sent you Wade.

And to other matters: can my Big Ten Buckeyes win in Texas tomorrow?! There's a good question for everyone!

Have a great weekend. :)

Pastor Brad said...

I find the insinuation of racism completely out of bounds. I realize racism exists in churches in the south. Back in the 80s, my dad was almost fired from a church in LA for witnessing to and bringing African Americans into the church. However, racism has nothing to do with the issue involving Dr. McKissic. Talk about trying to censor debate. That is the tactic of silencing debate by making your opponent out to look evil. In my years at SEBTS, there was a wonderful, godly AA professor who was loved by all, especially Dr. Patterson.

Let's keep the discussion above the belt!

Pastor Brad said...

For His Glory,

I was unaware of the newspaper quotes. I will certainly chew them over thanks. At first glance, I feel inclined to agree that it was a poor choice of words to say "we" if he was going to call it unbiblical.

While I personally agree that Dr. McKissic's views are not supported by scripture, I would not personally have spoken for an SBC entity and called it such since it is not a primary doctrine of the faith. By the way, that doesn't make me a cessationist. I believe tongues have not ceased, I just don't see anyone using the biblical gift of tongues today.

I am not adequately informed to determine if the problem is out of control to require the IMB policy, but I don't think missionaries supported by CP giving should be promoting views that most CP givers would consider unbiblical.

Thanks for the info.

Matt Snowden said...


Thanks for posting the letter. I think this conversation is healthy and appreciate the student's work.

davidinflorida said...

for his glory, the answer to your question is NO................... HOOK-EM HORNS !!!!!

v domus said...

How are issues like this settled without a teaching authority? It all comes down to what a person thinks the Bible says to him or her. Is this statement consistant with the BF&M? If so, where can we find regulation on these debated points?

Laura said...

Pastor Brad, you better believe that students at the seminaries fear retribution if they step out of line. You should have felt the frustration and heard the silence at last year's forum about alcohol.

I love my professors -- more passionate and more pastoral men you might never find, despite their disagreements, and the classroom environment fosters debate and deep consideration of the issues of our faith. But other issues, political and bureaucratic, sometimes leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Besides which, our consideration of "sister agencies" needs to stem from a reluctance to cause sin, not from a fear of people getting their knickers in a knot.

Bart Barber said...

James Leo Garrett is the smartest Southern Baptist alive today. I disagree with him on this issue, but I do so with fear and trepidation. You'd better have your stuff straight if you're going to contradict Dr. Garrett.

On the other hand, that demonstrates how strong I take the case to be against the idea that the phenomenon we are discussing today is actually the same thing as the biblical gift of tongues. I do not lightly differ from one of Southern Baptists' great super-geniuses.

Pastor Brad said...


I went to SEBTS under Dr. Patterson's administration and I had absolutely no parallel to the feelings and fears you are describing. I cannot tell you how to feel, but I can't imagine Dr. Patterson has the time to stand over you all at SWBTS waiting for one of you to disagree with him so he can squish you like a bug. Can you give me a reason that you feel that way?

I think you trivialize the debate by saying it is an issue of someone's knickers being in a knot. I think it is far more than that.

dwm III said...


While this may not be the main point of his argumentation, what I am taking issue with is this statement:

My first question is something not really being addressed by any of the blogs, except for Bowden McElroy's blog, and that is the race issue. Speaking in tongues within black Baptist churches is a cultural issue, and is part of the black Baptist faith practice. Perhaps I could be wrong, but I suspect there could be a secret racial prejudice perhaps among Dr. Patterson's administration at SWBTS. Does anyone share this concern, or am I and Dr. McElroy the only ones who have this concern???

What is he calling for here?

Jonathan K- would you like to shed some light on the subject?

I probably won't be able to dialogue about this until tomorrow so please be patient.

Also, my tone is not combative. I just simply would like to see a clarification of what is meant.

Thanks again for being so free about letting everyone post here. I appreciate that.


dwm III said...

pastor brad,

I too was at SEBTS during Patterson's presidency (you know back when certain baptist bloggers couldn't get enough of Dr. Patterson). Anyways, I never found him to be that way.

I have a friend I know who believes in women deacons and he found Patterson--"nothing but gracious" in their dealings. He's not connected with the seminary but he had a lot of dealings with them.


Tim Cook said...

Why is it that we are so concerned with missionaries in the field being doctrinally incorrect? I mean, this may be off the subject, but I was just thinking: if it is true that many of our missionaries have PPL's, then instead of banning them...maybe we should be praying for the gift. This is a situation that reminds me of the TV and movie cliche of the desk sergeant making policy for the beat cops when he has forgotten what it is like to "be out there". Maybe we would be better off if we let mission work, guided by the Bible and the Holy Spirit, set our policy. That's just my two cents.


Alycelee said...

The prejudice is not that they culturally may or may not speak in tongues, the prejudice is in our thinking that because they may "speak in tongues"
or "worship" in a way that is perhaps uncomfortable to our "white" brethern who can't clap on the off beat, that we somehow assume their doctrines and practice in expressions of worship are somehow inferior to ours, both intellicually and spiritually, the result of which I believe are rooted in both prejudice and pride.
I see this first hand-every day, it sounds like this,
"well, they enjoy their worship and we just don't worship the same, so it's ok that they worship in their churches and we in ours. I still love my black brothers."
Let's just call a duck a duck-shall we?

Alycelee said...

Sorry, Wade
I'll get off my prejudice high horse now.
It's getting cold up here.
Needless to say, I am passionate about unity in the body-which is why I am here.
Red, yellow, black and white.

dwm III said...


With the exception of one person, all the people I know who speak in tongues are white or asian.

So, from my experience as I have seen it, it is not a racial issue but a theological one. Nor, have I ever in my seminary studies had it introduced as such.

Really, I mean it this time, I won't be able to comment until tomorrow.

Through Christ,
a non-cessasionist

dwm III said...


Sorry, we were posting at the same time. I did not see your second comment.

SigPres said...

Jonathan K.,

Interesting observations.

I'll agree that Dr. Patterson is in one "Baptist tradition" camp, and clearly, through his efforts and others who have led the SBC in the past 25 years, they have attempted to use the power structure of the convention to influence the entire body, and if not that, at least control the seminaries and mission boards to make sure that those who are preparing for careers to influence Baptist churches are under their influence for a while. I don't think that there are many who would deny that, even among Dr. Patterson's supporters. Nor would there be many who would deny that this did indeed disenfranchise a lot of churches and individuals within the SBC, a few of them "liberals," but many others as well. I think your first point is right on target.

You may have a point about the issue of racial prejudice, though I really think at that level of education, it is probably not the real issue. Basically, African-American Baptists tend to be more accepting of doctrinal differences among their own people. They are willing to use the conservative terminology in describing their view of the Bible, but their doctrinal tent of cooperation is much broader. They are really "moderate Baptists" in the true sense of that term.

SWBTS and DBU are not run by the same group of Southern Baptists. SWBTS trustees are elected at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which gathers messengers from churches across the country. DBU trustees are elected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which is comprised of Southern Baptists within the state. It tends to have a broader view of ministry and missions cooperation than the SBC. It doesn't have a seminary, but it has a Bible department with a reputation of seeking to be solidly Biblical, and open to any discussion that seeks the same.

I don't see this issue as a threat to Christian orthodoxy or to Biblical authority, or to missions and ministry cooperation for that matter. I think the debate is heating up because people are making it into something more than it should be. There are those on one side who see it as a challenge to their authority and a threat to their control. There are some on the other side who are using it as such. It only becomes that when one side or the other insists that their view is the Biblical one, and the other view is wrong.

John Mann said...

For those who are thinking racism... do any of you know that Dr. Patterson has an adopted brother of Middle Eastern dissent?

For those who are calling him a cessasionist... he is not. He made that very clear in SWBTS chapel last semester when he did a series on the Holy Spirit. There seems to be no reason that Tongues must be interpreted as a heavenly language.

The truth is, if Rev. Mckissik wanted to disagree with Patterson, he should have done so behind closed doors, not come into Dr. Patterson's venue of service [of which his authority has been given by God], and started preaching views that everyone knows are different than what Dr. Patterson has taught. Debate is an issue for the Church, not the Ft. Worth Star Telegram or 10:00 news. The issue should not be about whether Dr. Patterson has the right to remove the chapel message, but rather if Rev. Mckissick had the right to preach this particular chapel message. Dr. Patterson has said on many occassions that when he goes into another preaching venue, he does everything he can to encourage the congregation to honor and respect their pastor, even if he disagrees with the pastor on some issues. For example, in one chapel message, it was stated that a divorced man could not be called to be a pastor. At the conclusion of the message, Dr. Patterson came to the pulpit, said he agreed with what was said, but then said, "Although I do not agree with divorced men serving as pastors, I will not destroy someone elses congregation. If a divorced pastor asks me to come and preach at his church, I will do so." He went on to explain he would 'stand under the authority of the pastor' and would do nothing to question that authority. That sounds to me like conviction, not condemnation. The bottom line is, Dr. Patterson publicly stated he submits to the authority of other pulpits. Should he require no less from those that preach from the pulpit God has entrusted him with. Yes, even a Seminary pulpit. said...

Pastor John,

I have not heard anyone call Dr. Patterson racist, and frankly, if that were the case, the comment would be removed and the one who commented thus reprimanded.

I think people are simply wondering if any of us understand fully the religious and spiritual culture of our black brothers and sisters --- the majority of whom believe the Bible word for word and see a private prayer language as a gift from the Holy Spirit.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Mann said...

Brother Wade,

I understand the comments regarding the spirituality of our black brothers and sisters. However, Jonathan K's comment was, "Perhaps I could be wrong, but I suspect there could be a secret racial prejudice perhaps among Dr. Patterson's administration at SWBTS. Does anyone share this concern, or am I and Dr. McElroy the only ones who have this concern???"

I was simply addressing his concerns with a fact... Dr. Patterson's adopted brother of Middle Eastern descent.Therefore, if there is a "secret racial prejudice" within the faculty, it is erroneous to lay that on Dr. Patterson.

Alycelee said...

Mackey and I spent a year working with an African American church start. (2 white families, 1 hispanic) We went so Mackey could help with discipleship and we made lasting friends.
We were amazed the first week the amount of Word they knew. Huge blocks of scriptures memorized.
Not just the text, but chapter and verse and usually in more than one translation.
Once the pastor preached from Hebrews 12 "Let us run the race" and quoted from memory the entire text, both KJV and New International.
After that year, we were inspired to memorize the scriptures. We were inspired to be more open and expressive in our worship. It was and continues to be liberating.
This group of 35-40 people had ongoing ministries to 2 local nursing homes, a weekly Bible study at the compassion center, worked with the Katrina evacuees, and active youth group, give to the cooperative program, pray fervently, believe God, minister to unwed mothers, minister to prisioners in the county jail. They are busy about God's business. God so blessed us to join them for a time.

Dad said...

In light of this post one would question whether all of the faculty or most of the faculty would agree with the SWBTS chapel speaker from September 6. Dr. Forrest Polluck - Pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Brandon, FL delivered a sermon about how Islam is the enemy of the United States and Israel is the "miracle nation" even to this day and deserves all of our help.

It was very disturbing, lacking much scriptural content, political, discriminating against Muslims and Arabs, and sad.

Writer said...


When I was at SWBTS (late 90s), my Theology of Paul professor taught that there is no Hell and the wicked would be annihilated. My Evangelism professor taught Arminianism. My Pastoral Studies professor was an ardent Calvinist. My Baptist History professor was a supporter of women pastors. My Theology of Worship professor advocated the benefits of Anglican worship. I never heard any of my professors communicate a view on tongues.

I guess my point is that my experience in seminary was not one of indoctrination. Each of my professors encouraged me to examine what I believe and why I believe it. All of them encouraged me not to believe something just because my parents or my pastor had told me what to believe. They encouraged me to base my beliefs on Holy Scripture.

That, to me, was the greatest benefit of my seminary experience.



Paul Burleson said...


Since Bart Barber has graciously spoken to the theology and character of one of the professors mentioned in the young man's letter, permit me to speak of the other one if I may.

Dr. Siegfried Schatzmann and his wife Mattie are dear friends to your Mom and me. I had the privilage of being their pastor for three years during one of his earlier teaching assignments.

Siggy and Mattie [I'll not call him that from here on out of respect for his accomplishments and position] are rock solid baptists out of conviction and research not family history.

As was so well said of Dr. Garrett, if you disagree with Dr. Schatzmann on a point of theology, he will be extremely gracious, but you better have your ducks in a row as to the meaning of the text and confidence in the inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture because he sure will.

All this is really reminding me just how broad and wonderful our SBC family really is and I'm glad to be a part. I do want to address certain issues that I feel strongly about however. That's part of what makes me proud of us. We can and do.


craig from Georgia said...

I figured my previous post would be deleted because if its length, but at the same time I wished folks would’ve been allowed to read it because it was an excellent Biblical exposition on tongues. It appears people are more concerned over SBC policies and procedures than they are with what the Bible says. As I’ve stated before there are many things in the Scripture that are “hard to be understood”, but tongues (especially PPL - private prayer languages) is not among them. In the Bible, signs and wonders are primarily for the Jew (1 Corinthians 1:22). They began during the time of Moses and Joshua and then tapered off. They re-appeared during the time of Elijah and Elisha and then tapered off. Again they re-appeared during Jesus’ earthly ministry and were carried on by the apostles. Signs and wonders usually appeared because of Israel being in captivity, apostasy, or both. After the stoning of Stephen, God started dealing more with the Gentiles and the sign gifts started tapering off. During the time of the apostles the sign gifts authenticated to the Jews that they (the apostles) were representing Jesus. Once the church started becoming primarily Gentile and with the completion of the Scriptures there was no need for them. There are not different kinds of a gift of tongues. Signs and wonders will not re-appear until the Tribulation when God’s two witnesses perform God given signs and wonders and the anti-christ and false prophet try to counterfeit them. The Biblical gift of tongues was speaking in known languages. Speaking gibberish was a counterfeit of the true gift. You are given a spiritual gift to edify the body, not yourself. There is no Biblical or logical reason for PPL. If you use a PPL, you don’t know what you’re saying. God doesn’t need for you to use a PPL because He can understand the language you were born speaking perfectly well. This is not a lengthy post so if it is deleted I will assume the moderator is more interested in religious activity than the true faith that has been delivered to us (Jude 3).

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,...I know that this is off of the main text but, the point has been brought up for a while now and I need to ask this; why do we have black baptist churches or white baptist churches?.....Does this sound ridiculous or what?

Paul Burleson said...

I do want to give a caveat to what I said a moment ago because of what you're facing and battling in regards to the discussion of issues. While we can and do discuss things as baptists, there is no guarantee of that opportunity automatically remaining.

Keep up the good work [that's not easy for me to say knowing the difficulty you face] of reminding all of us that the squelching of free and open discussion must not happen. It is often painful and misunderstood when weaknesses are looked at but integrity and real health demand it. Thank you for your committment to SBC healthiness.


Laura said...

Hey, Pastor Brad, thanks for your response, brother. The "knickers in a knot" comment wasn't directed at you or your comment -- sorry for the misunderstanding!! -- but comes from my general frustration with people who play "offended" as the trump card in every church dispute. "Well, I'm offended (or our brothers or nonbelievers will be offended) by X, Y, or Z, so you can't do it."

With the alcohol issue at SBTS (where I'm a student -- just realized I didn't include that in my last comment), the administration seemed to approach it from the standpoint of preventing offense in the community. Fine (and be gentle, Greek scholars, I've only had a year of it), but I understood the issue in Scripture not to be a "getting your knickers in a knot" type of offense but rather being drawn into sin.

The focus should not be whether or not some people (or agencies) are offended by tongues but on loving and honest discussion of the biblical text. And I agree with Wade that there IS room for disagreement -- in seminary classrooms. But in the administratons' PR departments? I don't know about that.

My feeling of trepidation even in posting this comment stems, I think, from a smaller-scale version of what holds SBC leaders back from making public statements against recent decision -- namely, the fear that the powers that be will do to them what they tried to do to Wade. There is too much politicking in the SBC, and that, I think, is too often reflected in the administration of its agencies.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Pastor Brad. And my apologies again for the miscommunication -- durned computers just don't let my tone of voice come across very well!

Pastor Brad said...


You owe me no apologies. God bless you in your time at Southern. Seminary is an incredible time that is stressful, yet you look back at it with fondness.

I am just always curious when I hear this idea perpetuated that Patterson especially, but others as well, are unkind to their opponents. I am by no means an expert on Patterson or any of the others, but it seems so opposite of my experience of him. I often wonder if it isn't the result of one particular Baptist blogger.

Truly, if you have some experience to the contrary I would like to hear it, or is just an idea you have picked up on the internet or from others? I'm just wondering if we should have a little episode of myth busters.

Johnny Grimes said...

I'm not sure why anyone would want to go to SWBTS. NOBTS is the best. I'm joking guys. NOBTS is not the best Southern is. Maybe NOBTS is second best.... said...

Craig from Georgia,

I have no idea what you are referring to regarding deleted posts.

I don't moderate comments and have deleted no posts.

Please be cautious about making assumptions. said...


To me it is sad. said...

Pastor John,

I would agree. Thanks for the clarification.

Blessings to you for both asking the important question and the spirit in which it is asked.

Alycelee said...

I should know better but.....

"He who speaks in another language edifies himself"

Obviously God thinks it's ok for us to use this gift to edify ourselves, one may also do so by singing hymns and songs to God while alone.
I promise I won't go here again, Wade

Pastor Brad said...

Alyce Lee,

1 Corinthians 14:20-22 20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, "BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME," says the Lord. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

The verse you quote from the beginning of ch 14 makes no sense in light of the verse I just quoted unless you understand the context.

Speaking in ecstatic utterances was common in that day in pagan religions. Over an over Paul tells the Corinthians they have become too much like their surroundings. The only way Ch 14 makes sense is if Paul is speaking about two different ideas of what tongues are (1) ecstatic utterances in an otherworldly language or (2) the supernatural ability to speak in a language you don't know for the propogation of the Gospel as we see in Acts 2. So Ch 14 is contrasting true tongues with false tongues.

Justin said...

I truly think that this is part of a much larger issue: that of conformity and absolute censorship. I am afraid that the further along that baptists allow the SBC leadership to censor, the less freedoms that baptist's have.

I know that history teaches us that the BF&M was formed so that baptists were defined. However, the current trend has gotten so far away from baptists (traditionally speaking) that The SBC and those who lead it should truly come up with a new name that doesn't include baptist.

This is just one example of the forced conformity in baptist life. Unfortunatly, this is not a stand-alone example. There are many others. Debate and disagreement is something that historically has helped Christianity (and arguably the baptist denomination) thrive. It allows for diversity, acceptance, and a check and balance system. Yes, some people are too far right for my tastes, but there may be some that are too far left.

The truth is, is that it shouldn't matter. If the Leadership of the SBC and our theological schools like SWBTS and most notably SEBTS, with which i am more familiar, continue on this path, then being baptist is going to be an unhealthy life for individuals.

There is more that churches should be teaching than Christ, God, sin, and salvation! Don't get me wrong, these things are important, but don't we owe it to our baptist heritage to teach people to think critically about their faith, views, the Bible, and their path in life? Critical thinking skills are going down the tube in more and more baptists. Fewer people are thinking for theirselves and analyzing what they believe. How can anyone have a TRUE faith, if they've never questioned it? How can anyone be truly Baptist, If they've never considered being something else. It is the difference between an inherited faith and an owned faith.

But the inherited, and shallow faith seems to be fine with the SBC. Who cares if people are challenged and grow to have a deeper relationship and understanding of their loving and saving father, as long as they think what we tell them to think. Priesthood of the believer seems to no longer be a Baptist belief anymore. I think Roger Williams would frown down upon his spiritual children today and with a shake of his head in dissapointment at the route that Baptists have taken.

Baptists have taken the easy route. It is easer to censor someone into conformity than it is to actually give creedance to new and challenging ideas about God. That is truly sad to me, because it is those who challenged the status quo of christianity that have gotten us to where we are today.

We hail people like martin luther, Augustine, and barth for helping us to challenge our formerly held beliefs into a new and better understanding of our faith. Yet we Baptists are guilty of doing the very same thing that our christian heros faught against. No we arn't selling indulgances, we are just devaluing the soul.
I hope that eventually enough people will vocalize their questioning about the leadership and trends of the SBC. I understand completely why this young man asked to be held ananoymous, i would have asked the same in his situation, but too many of us hide behind anonymity. I hope and pray that Somehow more people who arn't afraid of the SBC, arn't afraid to think for theirselves, and arn't afraid of being named will come together and be outspoken about the censorship and conformity in the SBC. Somehow this has started to feel like the red scare and Mcarthy all over again!

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade... Now we have come full circle back to where we were a week ago.....Guess what folks...Some Baptist have a prayer language and some dont!!!!! Is it biblical? Some say yes and some say no....This blog isnt going to change anyones preconceived thoughts on this subject....Does it hurt the cause of Christ? I believe that it does not.....Get over it and move on...Spend all of that mental energy, find a lost person (I am sure that there are a few around you ) and tell them about THE SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!!!!!

Alycelee said...

Excellent post Justin.
Thanks- by the way I was just referred by a friend to read " A new kind of Christian", I noticed it on your blog too.
Amen Amen to your post, thanks

James said...

Very good post (thanks to the author of the letter) and good questions. They get at the heart of people's motivation and are difficult to answer. I'm chewing them over, trying to answer without automatically assigning bad motives to those you describe. Almost everyone believes they are acting in God's name.

When a culture has been so affected by an "us vs. them" mentality (like the SBC in the past 25+ years), it is difficult to ever rid yourself of that attitude--when the "them" are gone, you have to find a new "them".

Perhaps its a reverse Godfather premise...a wartime consigliere doesn't necessarily make the best peace time one.

James said...

I was not aiming the Godfather analogy at anyone in particular. said...


A very interesting thought indeed.

Something for me to chew on.


Alan Cross said...

This position being allowed mirrors my experience in seminary as well. I had professors who were cessationists and professors who were continuationists. I was able to interact and discuss both views, and DISAGREE. I am surprised that this student is so fearful of retribution from a seminary. I am interested as to the basis for this.

Not pointing out this student directly, but I would encourage students at SWBTS and other seminaries to speak their minds. The last thing we need are a bunch of pastors who fear retribution. I have been at that place before in my life, and it is miserable. We should be bold about what we believe and trust God, while exhibiting a spirit of love and meekness at the same time. So, I would encourage vigorous debate. Trust God with your future and be honest about what you know to be true. If you start compromising now, where does it stop? Your job is always on the line anyway.

Some people don't seem to want it to be so, but the SBC is big enough for both positions on this issue.

Steve Davis said...

After reading so much about the divisions in the Southern Baptist Convention, I am reminded of Christ's words to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7. They were committed to the truth and testing those who claimed to be apostles but left their first love. Many commentators say that their first love was for God. This may be true, but in verse 3 they are commended for enduring "for His name." That does not sound like someone who has lost their love for the Lord.

Perhaps they lost their love for each other. It comes so easy to do so in contending for the truth. We move from standing up for the fundamentals of the faith to arguing over second and third tier issues. I would agree whole heartedly that we need to stand for truth and the fundamentals of the faith. I believe that we all need to have convictions grounded in the word of God about secondary issues. But our personal convictions on third tier issues should not be a test of fellowship in the convention.

If we fail to change the present course we are on, I could imagine the Lord saying to our convention, you have left your first love. But even more devastaing, he could be saying, I will remove your lampstand.

Bart Barber said...


How confident are you that these are Dr. Garrett's views? Have you been in contact with him?

In Christ,

Bart Barber said...


I'm not sure that conventions have lampstands to begin with.

Unknown said...

Does Dr. Schatzmann have to be in fear of losing his job since Dr. Patterson will now know his viewpoint on a private prayer language?

I think the answer to that is obvious. He knows the views of many of the professors. In fact, as indicated, professors speak openly in class about disagreements. For those who are taking the hard line against him, that he is an authortarian ruler of SWBTS insisting on conformity and not allowing debate, doesn't this disprove your stance? Your issue is how he handles the SBC and IMB, not SWBTS.
Further, I am glad laura chimed in, b/c no one seems to be singling out Dr. Mohler for his insistence, Godly and biblical IMO, on conformity to SBTS's creed- firing all who disagreed THEOLOGICALLY with it. HOWEVER, I will say that it is entirely possible that students and faculty fear retribution for certain things they may say at SWBTS- but on the surface and in the class, it doesn't appear to be that serious. At the very least, debate (in the classroom) is active and ongoing. I want to assure each of you that our education is full-orbed-- we are not coming out of SWBTS as mindless drones walking lock-step. Please be mindful of the students and aculty when you broadbrush SWBTS.

(1) Just show us proof without disparagement, and I believe you will have multitudes supporting you.

(2) Unfair- he said "Rev. McKissic’s interpretation of tongues as “ecstatic utterance” is not a position that we suspect would be advocated by most faculty or trustees." Hardly the same thing as what your question posed. Five professors, even though I love and agree with some (prob. all) of them, hardly puts a dent in "most".
Why "harmful"? I don't know.

(3) Now your getting back to the real issue. How can baptists know which issue to take issue with and which ones not to? As Jason Robertson put it a while back, your third tier issues are not everyone's third tier issues. So, are second-tier issues ok to take sides on? And, does taking sides on third tier doctrines really hinder fellowship and cooperation?

The fact is that polarity on these issues reside in the front and back 10-20% of the SBC population. Our audience is the middle 70-80%- they are the undecided. This particular issue, I fear, pushes some of those away b/c IT APPEARS to be an attack on Patterson, with the real issues in the periphery.

Curious, how does everyone think the students should respond? Second, on the issue of open speech and people speaking out- are these guys suppressed: Mark Dever, Al Mohler, John Piper, David Dockery, Russell Moore, Bruce Ware, Jerry Falwell- I know, very diverse-? If not, why are they not interested in joining the debate?

Bart Barber said...

It seems to me that, since both of these men are living, they should have some opportunity to confirm whether their views are being represented accurately. Dr. Garrett is retired, so there should be no fear of reprisal on his part. Besides, he is too strong a man to be bullied (and I don't think anyone is doing any bullying, anyway). Perhaps it would have been really responsible to have confirmed these ideas with these men before posting them in this context. Maybe Bro. Burleson could get in touch with them soon and then let us all know what they have to say?

James said...

I don't believe you have to seek permission to quote published material. Am I missing something?

They were cited and quoted at length in the post. If you feel they were taken out of context, then it is your responsibility to show that.

Bart Barber said...


If I were cross-examining a witness in a court of law, that would indeed be the way to do it. But I think it might be gracious to allow our host an opportunity to double-check for himself before someone showed up and tried to show him up. I can call Dr. Garrett myself, if that's what everyone wants, but wouldn't it be more polite to let our host do that?

In Christ,

John Mann said...

As an SWBTS graduate under Patterson's tenure, I can honestly say that students fearing retribution for a belief of this particular doctrine is totally unfounded. As a pastor [and those of you who are] how many times have we been faced with a specific decision, yet we feared the consequences with regards to the church. After having made the decision, it was amazing how much cooperation was received from the congregation over the very same decision that brought us fear to begin with. In other words, sometimes our presuppositions become the very basis of our fear, which is a fear of our own making.

jthomas899 said...

I am been reconsidering my support for Dr. Patterson on this subject (I rarely support on anything else). Could it be that Dr. Patterson would argue that it was preception of the "attack," not the doctrine itself that is underfire.


Jonathan K. said...

WOW... lots to comment...

Let me start off by saying that I am Caucasian, but I have a friend who is on staff at a black Baptist church, and he wants to be a Senior Pastor one day, which means he'll have to attend the seminary of his choosing (don't know which one, but that's his decision).

If he had an inkling to go to SWBTS, my concern is he might be, in Dr. McKissic's words "alienated" because this particular person speaks in tongues, AND because speaking and praying in tongues is part of his faith practice/tradition, as a black Baptist.

What I am writing about is the vast cultural differences between what we might call "black Baptist" churches, and "non-black Baptist" churches. The "non-black" variety might have a mixture, but Caucasian is probably the dominant race. The fact is, speaking in tongues is common practice in the "black Baptist" churches, while much less common, but not necessarily rare, in the other, "non-black" or mixed Baptist churches.

dwm and others left me several comments. I'm going to try to respond to these in order.

First, I'm not alleging a secret racial prejudice by Dr. Patterson, or anyone else at SWBTS. Rather, I am highlighting the possibility this might exists. Only God can search the heart of man, I cannot do that, so I'm not alleging anything.

However, as Dr. McElroy and I have done, I believe the race factor needs to be examined, at least from a "faith practice sensitivity" angle, because just like in any other setting, we need to be conscience that cultural factors influence people's faith and practice. It just so happens that speaking in tongues is a practice found in "black Baptist" churches, and so Baptists ought to be sensitive not to alienate their African-American brethern.

What alycelee said is correct. No one who is a racist admits it, at least publicly. As for Dr. Patterson, of course he is going to openly love non-white students at SWBTS. That's why we call it a POSSIBLE (not definite) SECRET (not open) prejudice.

And dwm, I hope the above clarifies your confusion.

Lee made some comments... Thanks for your thoughts on DBU. That might explain why so many CFNI grads, including some famous ones, go there to complete their college education.

Finally, just to add something here, I received an e-mail today from my Charisma Daily online service. As a charismatic, I subscribe for free to Charisma News Service daily, a free daily e-mail that comes out with news, etc., published by the same people who publish Charisma magazine. This was an editorial by Charisma magazine's editor, J. Lee Grady, on the controversy with Dr. McKissic. Apparently, Mr. Grady received the "baptism in the Holy Spirit" along with a PPL at a Baptist church, and so he had some thoughts to say about this matter. I'm not sure if the article is available online, but I'll try to track it down, and then post a link here.

Bart Barber said...

I will not shape my theology around racial sensitivities. Some allegiances are just higher than others. Let us shape our theology in the mold of God's word, and if we are rejected for that, let us remember what good company that puts us in. said...


Thank you for your kind request that the host contact the two Dr.'s in question, but I respectfully decline.

Their PUBLISHED writings speak for themselves. They are accomplished, academic authors, and I have no desire to contact those who write in the SWBTS Theological Journal to see if the articles, penned by their own hand, fairly represent their views. I would assume the words THEY penned represent themselves quite well or else they would have not published their articles.

If you have that much time on your hands (which I doubt), go for it.

If their views have changed, they can always publish again.

But I think people are MISSING the POINT.

This is not about "Which view is better?" or "Does he still believe THAT?" but rather, this post is about, "There is enough room in the SBC for TWO viewpoints on the gifts!"


irreverend_phlox said...


If that is your point, then question #2 you pose is off the mark, and #1 should be a separate issue.

But, your point stated in your comment is completely correct. There is plenty o'room.

Question: Is there room in the SBC for someone who wants to strike an entire book from the Bible?

tl said...

As I look at those from the cessationist camp, it seems to me that their arguments are spoken from a very naturalistic world-view, one which dismisses the supernatural at every level.

It seems to me that Bultmann has managed to demythologize the Scripture for some--at least those who read into Scripture their own preconceptions and read the Holy Spirit completely out of the Holy Bible. said...


Keep it on the issues and not personal.

On the issue of striking a book out of the Bible, the answer would be an emphatic "No" you can't do that and remain in fellowship in the SBC because it violates the our confessional standards of 28, 63 and 2000.


Bart Barber said...

It's not that I'm sitting around with a lot of time on my hands. As I commented very early on, I have a profound respect and warmth in my heart for Dr. Garrett. I have never had a conversation with him in which I did not learn something...several things. These are important questions, and it is worth me making time to get in contact with him about it. It has been too long since I've spoken with him, anyway. I'll give him a call this weekend and see what he has to say. I'll give a full report on my blog when I've spoken with him.

Bart Barber said...

By the way, here's something that I've learned through blogging: My published writings are sometimes miunderstood or misconstrued. I find that I'm constantly having to word things another way, tell people that I didn't really mean it the way that they read it.

In fact, the article I posted just this morning already has two changes in the article just to address misreadings of it. That's what is so wonderful about these comment logs: You get the opportunity to ask the author what he meant, and a dialogue ensues. There's this wonderful atmosphere where we can all make ourselves absolutely clear.

That's usually helpful for me, isn't it for you?

Pastor Brad said...


I actually would like to draw us back to the point of your post as I understand it as I think it is a good question.

You state that there is room for disagreement and debate. I agree. I see room for disagreement and debate all over the SBC. One only need look back at Greensboro for that. One also only need look to the very point of the student's article - there have been and are currently those teaching at SWBTS who disagree with Dr. Patterson...with no retribution from the latter toward the former. I happen to agree with Dr. P. that private prayer languages is an unbiblical concept, just as I believe 5 pt. Calvinism is an unbiblical concept, however there is room in the SBC for both.

My point is that since Patterson allows the teaching of differing viewpoints, that answers his point of view on your second question, does it not?

However, personally I wish that those who want to disagree and debate would do so from sound exegesis of the scripture rather than from experience or human logic.

irreverend_phlox said...

The point I was making is that he may have prejudicial tendencies, but who doesn't- just like gluttony, lying, cheating, pride, etc.

It was a direct response to Jonathan's post, and I am truly suprised you yanked it and not his.

Bob Cleveland said...


I've tossed this out before, maybe even here. But in case I haven't:

My pastor, Dr. Mike Shaw, is as Baptist as Baptist can be. He does not have the gift of unknown tongues and is far from being a Calvinist.

I, on the other hand, am the opposite in each point above.

My pastor and I are absolutely fine with each other. And I teach a class for young married couples and he's fine with that, too.

In fact: some of my comments in Greensboro were picked up by the press and quoted; 2 times there and in the Alabama Baptist too. That caused somewhat of a stir among some church members, and he was behind me 100%. Not that he agreed with me about Calvinism, but that he said I was a messenger, not a delegate, and free to express my views. And he expected me to.

Sure wish it could all be like that.

And by the way, my own experience with speaking unknown tongues is nothing like "ecstatic utterances", other than those times when I'm ecstatic about something and that gift is manifested.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Pastor John who hit the nail right on the head, and les, I cannot believe conservative SBC"ers supported those teachers with their hard earned cooperative program dollars!!!!! I don't think they would do it today for which we can only Praise the Lord!!!!!

Steve Davis said...

bart barber,

I agree that a convention does not have a lampstand but it does need the favor of God on it to succeed and that was the point I was making. As a denomination we face losing God's favor(even though indvidual churches may be blessed). After all Jesus said, This is how all men shall know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.

Jeremy Green said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlie said...

Almost more fun than the comics. I scanned the blogs. Some indicated not giving money through the cooperative program if any missionaries had a PPL. I have found(myself included) that people who have experienced the baptism of the HOLY GHOST have freely openned their pocket books to give back to GOD thru the church. In could become so personal in that one pastor says the PPL is unscriptual. He needs to examine his own walk and see if he is totally satisfied with his own life. Oh for a thousand tongues to praise our wonderful SAVIOR but we run out of words in english. I have a PPL but never insist everyone should exercise it. GOD, the ,HOLY SPIRIT, changed my life
and I'll thank HIM for ever as HE allows me to worship JESUS with love and devotion like I never did before. I do thank GOD that I'm not so educated that I can completely block out his simple magnificent words of life for me.
I take HIS word as He reveals HIS plan for my life/

Praise HIM


davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade....... What Charlie said, DITTO....AMEN

Bart Barber said...

Note to self: Never say anything bad about DavidinFlorida...he may be issuing a clearance for me someday...."N3628H, Cleared to Taylor, hold south as published, expect further clearance when you repent of what you said over at kerussocharis...hope you brought a lot of fuel."


jthomas899 said...

Forgive the bragging, I make an A in Dr. Garrett's System I class. But then I must confess I abandon my esteem prof, for greener pastures or so I thought. I took Burt Dominy...and dropped to a B. Dr. Dominy was to be the easier of the two. I love the man, and respect him. I'll have to reread his writings on that one.

Wade as for your question, I blv there is room enough in the convention for those who think the Bible teaches PPL. I disagree on that aspect.

I think I have reached the point that Dr. Patterson shouldn't have pull the chapel service from the web, but I also blv that Dr. Mck, shouldn't have been so direct on matters regarding PPL and SBC policy.

I would feel the way about about Calvinist speaking on Calvinism. I tend to desire my chapel services to be more encouraging.


Jonathan K. said...

As promised, here is a link to J. Lee Grady's editorial from today's Charisma News Service...

Jonathan K. said...


That's not the right URL. That should work!

Rex Ray said...

What does SWBTS teach? Tongues have been covered to the nth degree.

How about the ‘Role of the pastor?’ Baptist churches seem to practice many answers.
Many years ago, our church had a half-time pastor. That’s about all they could afford. Usually it was a student from SWBTS that drove down on week-ends and stayed overnight with one of the church members. In those days, the ‘deacons led the church with the vote of its members.
Many churches have accepted that the pastor is to be the ‘ruler of the church.’ This became well know by Criswell.
There are several ‘branches’ from that root—like do the church members vote or do the have a ‘board’ or elders that rule the church.
Patterson supports the congregation to vote with the pastor being the ruler. How much he has ‘pushed’ or ‘not pushed’ this idea, I don’t know.
Rex Ray

SigPres said...

I don't think J. Lee Grady really comprehends the difference between the tongues experience that he claims to have had as a sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and tongues as a private prayer language. He misses Dr. McKissic's point.

I'm having trouble comprehending that there are Baptists out there who think that Dr. McKissic stepped out of line by addressing this issue in chapel. I've always been taught that Baptists are champions of the concept of freedom of conscience. When I am invited to preach, I immediately begin to pray and ask God to speak to me through the Holy Spirit, and give me the message that those who are listening need to hear on that day. Dr. McKissic, as a trustee of SWBTS, an invited pulpit guest, and a pastor, surely should have been trusted to say what the Spirit led him to say. What other Baptist has the authority to say otherwise?

Dr. McKissic is pastor of a church that supports the SBC's Cooperative Program. Why should he, or any other member of his congregation, be restricted from being critical of actions of trustees or denominational employees related to the enforcement of a policy, especially one as vague as the issue of private prayer language? In fact, why should any member of any SBC congregation not be allowed to be critical (appropriately and in good taste without personal attacks) of anything the SBC or its agencies might do, since they are the ones helping to pay the bills?

Jonathan K. said...


First, I was surprised to read J. Lee Grady's comments... I didn't think that Charisma magazine would have covered this occurrence.

However, I also don't think Grady misunderstood anything about Dr. McKissic. I think J. Lee Grady's perspective is actually rather accurate, and what he conveys is correct. I say this not only as a charismatic myself, but as an observer of what happened at SWBTS.

irreverend_phlox said...


That reminds me of a story I was told by a pastor. He had a wealthy couple in the church that offered to buy the church an entire set of new pews But there was a condition, that they get to pick the color. The pastor declined the offer, unless they removed the stipulation.

He was wise. When we give, it is not under stipulation, nor pretense, nor is it to a specific entity or for a specific agenda. We give out of obedience to God. When we participate in the SBC programs, we do it because God has told us to. If He has, then we must trust His leadership. Isn't that being a humble servant?

Cliff4JC said...

Pastor Brad said;

"there was a wonderful, godly AA professor who was loved by all, especially Dr. Patterson."

Pastor B...Leave "THE WHEEL" out of this! (anybody got a cupcake?")

roebuck said...

I guess this means that the prohibition to question the direction and decisions of any trustee board of any SBC agency cannot be questioned by any SBC'er after it has been voted on and passed by said board. Scary. Look out for the thought police next...


Rex Ray said...

Yes, Rex, I think you have brought up an excellent point on one big division in the SBC that is taught by SWBTS in the ‘role of the pastor.’
It is too bad that no one else agrees with you or least enough to make some comment.
The BGCT believes the pastor should be a ‘servant leader’ like the advice old men gave Rehoboam: “If you will be kind to these people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

The president of SWBTS believes the pastor should ‘RULE’ the church. That’s sort of like the advice young men gave Rehoboam. They like the way James handled his church in popping the whip: “My judgment is…”
Likewise, if there is ever a debate on ‘security of the believer’ or ‘once saved always saved’, one side goes overboard on quoting James for loosing salvation. Also, in Catholic reasoning, it’s Saint James this and Saint James that.
Oops, didn’t mean to get started on James, but he does have a way of influencing Baptists.
Hope Irreverend Fox didn’t have too good of a shirt on as he may have ripped it from top to bottom. Sorry Fox, couldn’t resist. Enjoy your comments.
Rex Ray said...

Cliff and Tim and anybody else.

The question being asked is "Does admistration of SWBTS or the SBC really understand the culture and identity of our black Baptist brethren who believe the private prayer language is a God-sized part of their lives, and to question their experience, which THEY BASE UPON THEIR BELIEF IN THE INERRANT WORD OF GOD, or worse, to call their gift of the devil, and not of God, which is what one does if they say it is not of God, causes ALL of us in the SBC very, very difficult problems in our relationships with our sister congregations."

I would appreciate integrity by not trying to make it out as if an individual is called a racist.

Thank you. I am leaving for the OU/Washington game. I would urge everyone to please be kind in comments.

I will not be home until late tonight.

What proceeds out of the mouth, or from the pen, is an indicator of what is in the heart.

Remember that. said...

Though the author of the second post on this comment section has repeatedly given evidence, in further comments, that he was not, in any form or fashion, calling any person a racist, I have deleted the comment because of people who have a tendency to twist honest, sincere questions into statements the author never intended.

Please everyone, be Christian.

davidinflorida said...

Dear Tim, Yes I see what you are saying. Those pesky Pentacostals, they can really be a nuisance. Getting excited about God and all. Next this you know we will have people raising hand and dancing in those IMB church plants........ I am sure that someone oin this blog can show me how raising hands and dancing before the Lord has ceased........Here is a question for you Tim, Why do you believe that those church plants that you descrbed (Baptist/Pentecostal) went more towards the Pentecostal way? What side do you think that they are on? Are we not all Christians? Isnt it all Gods money? Are people getting saved?

Greg P said...

One professor is hardly "several faculty members." How many professors are there at Southwestern Seminary? A hundred or so, right? One current professor documented as believing in a "private prayer language" is not a very significant portion. And I seriously doubt Patterson would have hired him if he hadn't already been there, but he obviously couldn't fire him because he affirms the BF&M of 2000.

That Garrett's systematic theology texts are still used by the seminary is no indication at all of the actual view of the professors using those texts. I attend a decidedly cessationist school, and yet, we use Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology for one of our texts because it is so good on theology proper.

The more I read on these things, the less I want to be involved with an SBC church, not simply because of the controversies, but because of the lack of unity and accountability that comes with something as big as the CP. It is, unfortunately, a religious bureaucracy. I could give money to the CP, but I have absolutely no real effect on the choice of professors at the seminaries my money would be funding. And wasn't that almost the entire reason why this whole "conservative resurgence" happened anyway?

The reality I'm discovering is that if you want people to do exactly what you want with the support that you give them, the SBC is not the place for you, because by its very nature, support is spread over a wide range of people. If that's okay with you, great, but for someone who believes that "second tier" issues are critical not necessarily to be a Christian, but definitely for *more effective* service for the spread of God's glory, I'd prefer to support people who are going to be more faithful stewards.

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...


I know this is TOTALLY off of this post, but wanted you to know that I am praying for you as you prepare to go to the IMB BoT meeting next week. In fact, I pray for all of the BoT, regularly. My prayer is that each trustee would reflect Christ in all that they do. Unfortunately, from public record, we know that there are humans, who are frail on the BoT. But, I pray for each of you, anyway.

One prayer that I have for this (and other)BoT meetings is that the trustees would come to the field and speak to missionaries. Find out what we think. One very weak area in the trustee system, at least from the IMB point of view, is many of the trustees are out of touch with what is happening on the field. How can people make policy if they do not know the present situation?

irreverend_phlox said...


Fox or Phlox? Who's comments are you referring to?

In the past, you have represented the BGCT, not as submitting to the authority of elders, but as not submitting to anyone at all in their churches.

cameron said...

I see that I am a bit of a latecomer to this conversation. Allow me to catch up.

First, to my fellow SWBTS student who chooses to remain annonymous while speaking about specific individuals: Shame on you. Men and women who have gone before us have bold risked and lost their lives at the hands of other Christians because they were not ashamed of their own convictions, yet you can not put your name to this letter for fear of retribution from SWBTS?

Secondly, to Laura and the annonymous SWBTS student: While I can't speak for SBTS, I for one can say that the thought that students at SWBTS need fear retribution from the seminary for their convictions is ludicrous. The absurdity is great enough that it doesn't even warrant a defense.

To Paul Burleson: Your comments about Dr Schatzmann are well spoken. In my own experiences with him, he has proven to be a godly man with great character.

My dear brother Bart, you have been both highly astute and naive. Astute in that how, indeed, can we ever hope to know what someone truely believes until after we call them up and build a personal relationship with them. To comment on them without having done this is simply inappropriate on our part. Naive, in that you should have understood by now that questioning an individual as to the exact meaning of his words does not necessarily lead to dialogue. In fact, more often than not it leads to a mockery of your question and the immediate dismissal of the topic as irrelevant.

Wade, no doubt you seek the betterment of the SBC by posting this letter. How exactly do you see it working to that effect?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Davidinflorida,

Your comment clearly defines the differences. What you took as statement of fact, Tongues is a doctrine of Pentacostalism, and sarcastically jumped to emotion in worship is not the issue. While I affirm my Brothers and Sisters in the Pentacostal movement (by the way my biological sister is a member of a Charismatic church)I do not believe SB's should be footing the bill. You ask "why do you believe that those church plants went towards the Pnetecostal way?" I spoke with FIELD Personnel.

Brother Wade,
I do not know if it might be a cyber glitch or not, but I cannot find the comment I posted. Is there something wrong with my computer? Or did you feel a need to need to censor it?


irreverend_phlox said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

I am very interested in this fear of reprisal or retribution. If anyone has first-hand knowledge of this being the case, or of it not being the case, or an astute opinion on the matter, I would love to hear about it. Maybe it will "open up" the campus discussions.


cameron said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bryan Riley said...

Is this comment problematic to anyone?

The reality I'm discovering is that if you want people to do exactly what you want with the support that you give them, the SBC is not the place for you, because by its very nature, support is spread over a wide range of people.

It struck a strange chord in me. I think when you give it is to be a gift, not a way to control or a source of power. Do we serve God or do we let money control us? Who is God for the most of American culture? The Spirit of God or the spirit of Mammon? The Almighty God or the Almighty Dollar?

Cliff4JC said...


For context sake: I have never been critical of you before and do not desire to be so now. I have defended you on more than one occasion. I have supported what you were trying to do throughout most of this controversy. (Though I will admit that I have had some reservations lately.)

I am not an apologist for Dr. Patterson. I believe him to be a good, but flawed man. I am tempted to point out many things I see in him that I wish were not there. I am also tempted to point out much that I admire. I don't want anyone to perceive me as being on a "side" here.

I am thankful that you removed the second post. However, I don't understand your reasoning for this statement:

"Though the author of the second post on this comment section has repeatedly given evidence, in further comments, that he was not, in any form or fashion, calling any person a racist, I have deleted the comment because of people who have a tendency to twist honest, sincere questions into statements the author never intended."

First, while the author may have stated that he didn't intend to call Dr. Patterson a racist; the comment still said what it said. He said he believed racism was present in Dr. Patterson's administration at SWBTS. I take him at his word that he didn't mean it the way it appeared. But it still said what it said. To leave it up would be a violation of what you wrote in the later comment saying you wouldn't allow anyone to call Dr. Patterson a racist. Maybe I'm missing something. It was very late when I was up reading all of it last night. Please show me how I was "twisting" his meaning. The statement called the admin racist. Please guide me here in my perception.

BTW: I hope you had a ball at the game!

To All;

While Dr. Patterson opens himself to much criticism on many topics, I honestly believe racism is not one of his major faults. Theology and not race are at play here. I disagree with how Dr. P has handled this whole thing with Mckissic. But let's not just assume that since Dr. M is black that this is racial. Do you honestly think that Dr. P would have handled it differently if a White trustee had done the same thing? Be critical...but be fair.

By way of personal testimony: I spent 3 years at SEBTS under Dr. P's leadership. You would be hard pressed to make a case that any student ever faced reprisal for disagreement on a matter of this level. For that matter; there were many faculty from previous administrations that openly criticized Dr. P and the conservative resurgence who never faced reprisal. I'd like to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge of something like that taking place. If it did/does; I'll fight it to the last drop of Baptist blood in me!

Man I'm a geek! It's Saturday afternoon and I am here instead of watching football!


cameron said...


My comment was in response to someone else's comment. They have removed theirs, so I have removed mine, since without the original, the response makes no sense.

And actually, I'm not on campus on Mondays.

Greg P said...


If you were giving your money to a seminary, would you give to one that was like-minded with you or one that taught people things you didn't believe?

Giving to entities such as the CP is not just charity. It is an *investment*, and we ought to be wise stewards of our money. If we are to "serve God" the best we can, we ought to invest it in ministries that we believe to be the most effective in being faithful to him and his word.

It is the furthest thing from sinful to be wise with your money.

Rex Ray said...

To Irreverend Phlox,
I was talking to Fox, but talking to a ‘wrong number’ can sometimes be interesting; especially if it’s the only time the phone rings.
I read your comments again, and agree with most of what you wrote.
We may be in the same boat on getting our comments deleted. I cannot ‘judge’ yours because I didn’t read it and now I can’t since it’s gone. So you are found ‘guilty’ just I was found ‘guilty’ of calling Patterson a Pharisee when I only said he ‘acted’ like one. It seems I can protest forever and still the one that accused me and the one that agreed will not say they are sorry. (It takes a bigger man to say he is wrong than to never admit it.)

I believe Wade’s 3 point are really good.
When a comment is made it should stand alone. If not, since they are scattered so much, it’s like listening to someone talk on a telephone.
You told Wade, “If that is your point, then question 2 you pose is off the mark.” You didn’t reference Wade’s point. You didn’t say why or an example of why his #2 was off the mark. That’s the only thing I can find picky about your comments.

Yes, it’s my belief that members of the BGCT KEEP their INDIVIDUAL priesthood by not SUBMITTING to anyone in their church but only the Holy Spirit.
If I’m in the army, and the General says, “The grass needs mowing”; I would say. “Yes Sir”, but if my pastor says the same, I might say, “But I mowed it yesterday.” Do you see the difference?
BTW, I mowed it today (knee high) after fixing the mower, after hauling lumber, after fixing a door lock to keep small kids from possible drowning in the baptistery (baptizing tomorrow), and after Awanas school. You would think at 74, I shouldn’t have to look for time to squeeze in ‘blogging’ time. (Yes, I know—not complaining—just the facts man—just the facts.)

The reason I picked on Fox, is we go way back. He is interesting to me because we are completely opposite in so many ways. Look at his only comment on this post. He wants a creed for Baptists to go by. Well, he has one in the BFM 2000. He wants a circle not for evangelicals to fit in; but CONSERVATIVE evangelicals. He may not realize it but half of the word ‘conservative’ in reality has become politics.

Phlox, thanks for the reply.
Rex Ray

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

From Colin,
aka Irreverend_Phlox (today only), aka C Reverend Chilifry


We go back, but I guess not way back. I tell you, though, brother, I would be happy to mow your lawn for free if I didn't live so far away.

Unknown said...


I just figured out you can use the same display name under different login names- (beware of Blogger BETA).

I was posting as phlox. I was bustin your nuts like I was the rest o' these folks (can I say that and not be considered emergent?). I removed that particular comment b/c it implicated other folks in conversations I have had, and I didn't want to do that. Holler if you see me on campus.

On being racist, there is a prominent student on campus who is black, and he is angry at McKissic because he claims Pastor McK is using the race card to try and turn it into a race issue. Different spin, eh?

Got to get back to "Ready for Reformation" by Nettles- interesting in light of recent events.

Rex Ray said...

Tried three times to comment on your blog as it was off the subject before I read that you wouldn’t mind mowing my yard. (It’s two acres.) I am sorry you got the ax in teaching a SS class because you didn’t agree with women not teaching men.
So, thought I’d give you my thinking on the subject.

The Inerrant Word of God is TRUTH. Anything else but truth recorded in the Bible is not ‘breathed’ by God. This is said NOT to tear down the Bible but to build it up.
All the words of Paul are not breathed by God as shown in (1 Cor. 7:12) “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.”
And again in (1 Cor. 1:14, 16) “…I didn’t baptized any of you except Crispus and Gaius.” “Oh, yes, I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember ever baptizing anyone else.”
And again in (Acts 28:18-19) “The Romans gave me a trial and wanted to release me…but when the Jews protested the decision…I appealed to Caesar.”
Paul appealed to Caesar before Agrippa’s private decision, which had no protest. Paul probably learned the decision by way of the grapevine.

1 Timothy 2:12-14 “I never let women teach men…Let them be silent in your church meetings. Why? Because God made Adam first…and it was not Adam who was fooled by Satan, but Eve, and sin was the result.”

The key word in Paul’s statement is “I”—NOT God.
Why did the BFM 2000 committee use only half of Paul’s statement? If they believe it was God’s command, wouldn’t they be afraid to discard half of it? Skipping half the Scripture makes them hypocrites. Allowing women missionaries to teach men in foreign countries proves it.
So if the committee only chose half of Paul’s words, I don’t think they believed either of them coming from God, but used his statement for their own personal egos. Women not teaching men is pure fallacy and is based on men’s egos.

If Paul believed this was a command of God, why did he use human reasoning in telling us “Why?” If his “Why” was because the cow jumped over the moon, we would question his statement. Right?
Paul gives two reasons:
1. “God made Adam first.”
When did God ever go by seniority in picking a leader or a pastor?
2. “It was not Adam who was fooled by Satan, but Eve, and sin was the result.”
This was the same reasoning God rejected from Adam. Why would He now accept it from Paul?

God preserved the Bible so man would need faith and the Holy Spirit to teach him, but begrudging men twist it to lord over women.
Oh, the depth of man’s ego that tells God who can teach him.
Good luck in school.
Rex Ray