Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Truth Never Loses In a Free and Open Encounter

From John Milton's Areopagitica, 1644.

"Though all winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let truth and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worst, in a free and open encounter?"

Dr. McKissic is asking Dr. Page for such a free and open encounter as Milton describes.


Dave Miller said...

I think Dr. McKissic is right. The only way to handle this is for the convention to speak authoritatively.

If the SBC votes to be a cessationist denomination, that is fine. We will lose some good people, but at least everyone will know who we are.

If we adopt a more open view - leaving this to the conscience of the believer, then the IMB and others would have no choice but to fall in line.

An issue this divisive and this important needs to be determined by the convention and no one else.

For His Glory said...

I wonder if when the IMB BoT adopted those policies on PPL and baptism, if they thought out the potential long term ramifications?

What if the convention does speak to this? And what if the decision is made to me a cessationist denomination? Not only would churches leave the convention, but in many cases there would be individual members would leave those local SBC churches that remained.

This is such an unfortunate shame. There should be room within this great convention for folks who love the Word and love missions and appreciate the tool of the C.P., to have different views on this issue (PPL)without allowing it to divide us. The trustees need to move swiftly to rescind.

yugaidemeht said...

I believe David is correct. However, the Bible clearly states that these gifts are gifts of the spirit, who are we to limit God? If I had a vote in the matter, I would vote more towards the open view because I believe that God can do anything through a willing vessel. If we are going to take a stand on this issue, then a clear definition from the convention will need to be given and ALL entities that fall under the umbrella of baptist would have no choice but to step inline with what ever decision is made. Provided Dr. McKissic is even allowed the meeting to speak his mind.

Kevin Bussey said...

I agree with David. I'm afraid we might lose my church. Some of the most Godly people in my church have PPL. I'm not one of them though.

wadeburleson.org said...

I do not know that I am for a change to the BFM 2000, but I am hopeful something will be done to let everyone know there is room in the SBC for all folks.

Kevin Bussey said...

That is I don't have a PPL! LOL!

I've just set myself up for abuse, go ahead!

David Montoya said...

Dr. Burleson,

Thank you for your integrity, your courage, your love for our Lord and for our convention.

I have no doubt that history will judge you as being a benchmark for our Baptist heritage in a time that such a standard was sorely needed. You are in the prayer of the church I serve and myself.

Scotte Hodel said...

I agree that amendment of the BFM is not appropriate here. In fact, I don't think such action would do anything but further inflame existing divisions. However, I would like to see some form of clarification and, in turn, accountability of the issue. How one can achieve "clarification" without de facto amending the BFM is a tall order. Unfortunately, without such clarification, we will lost, and in fact are losing, many good people who are unwilling to enlist as "Baptist, 2nd class."

My primary concern is not for myself. Rather, I want to see that our missionaries are not left vulnerable to abuse by inappropriate exercises of power. These who have given their lives for the gospel should have effective management that enables, not inhibits, achievement of the great commission. Scripture, not the traditions of the majority, needs to be our standard.

Hmm. Maybe I did get something out of watching the movie Luther last night.

Winston Caperton said...

Wow....how well stated and documented. Should not be dvisivie....but then the BOT knowingly or unknowingly hoed up a snake!

wadeburleson.org said...

Thanks David,

I appreciate you and your ministry.


Alycelee said...

Looks to me like another "Luther" just stood up, this time his name is Dwight.
I can't help but get encouraged when I see men of God stand up for their convictions in spite of what seems to be "popular" opinion. They stand in the good company of Joshua and Caleb and many more.
I know, I'm the eternal optimist, but it's is exciting :)

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Stop the presses in blogtown! Call APB, BP, MD,AR, and CB we agree. While you and I disagree on the tier levels of this, I agree with your statement; "I do not know that I am for a change to the BFM 2000".

I now choose not to make another statement on this subject with you in fear we may agree on something else.;>)


wadeburleson.org said...

That's funny Tim


craig from Georgia said...

Scotte Hodel said...
“Scripture, not the traditions of the majority, needs to be our standard.”

Quotes from Dr. McKissic’s letter to Dr. Page
“I’ve only been given explanations of private entepretations of scripture”

“Exegetics 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 ‘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)?


What the Bible says,

6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in HIS OWN LANGUAGE.
7. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

No private interpretation here.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Seriously, I hope you and I agree this is not something that needs to be on the floor of the convention. It truly will cause huge pain and deep division within our fellowship.

As Brother Kevin has alluded we certainly will lose Sister Churches that practice these gifts. However, think about the churches we will lose that do not practice these gifts.


wadeburleson.org said...

Good point Tim.

To bring this to the floor of the convention with the possibility of causing deep division and losing several good churches would almost be as bad as bringing this up in an agency and causing division because we are excluding God-called missionaries from serving the . . . oh, wait, has that already happened or am I dreaming?

Tim Dahl said...

I'm also afraid that this would cause a schism within the convention if it hit the floor. People don't vote what is right, they vote what is popular in where they are at. If they are "cessationalists," then they will vote that way. Scripture will have little to do with it. Fear of "being like them-there pentecostals" will.

It saddens me that we are looking for the "ok" from a convention that the majority of people don't attend, to make rules to govern all the people. I long for the days when the baptist watchword was "freedom." May we see it again.

Tim Dahl

Pastor Brad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pastor Brad said...


In reference to your tongue-in-cheek response to Tim:

Here is the difference between excluding certain churches with a change to the BFM and what the IMB did: the autonomy of the church. Missionaries are under the employ of the IMB, whereas the IMB and SBC are under the authority of the churches, not the other way around.

Also, if I correctly understand the reasoning for the IMB policy (which you would certianly understand better than I, so correct me if I am wrong) was that missionaries who might not necessarily reflect the typical SBC theology, were signing on through the IMB to take advantage of our good treatment of our missionaries (I wish I could say the same for NAMB!!). Wasn't that the impetus for the policy?

I would think from what you have previously said you would be against what Dr. McKissic is suggesting. We both know realistically what would happen if his request were granted, the further narrowing of parameters, which you have argued against.

miriam plowman said...

I get confused. I understand the autonomy of the church. And the comment "Missionaries are under the employ of the IMB, whereas the IMB and SBC are under the authority of the churches, not the other way around." Okay. So just for clarification the SBC is a tool of the local churches, it does not order them to sign the BFM any version, it can't tell them what to do? It is simply a servant? Just as the BoT is a servant as well? And both are under the authority of the local churches?

And Pastor Brad - so really the PPL became an issue because the IMB was afraid to let "others" from not SB denominations on the mission field? It wasn't really about SB's who have PPL or what I guess we could call charismatic tendencies?

So we're wonderful to our missionaries, which we would hopefully be and others wanted to join us to share Christ. And that's a bad thing when they're not the "right" type. Interesting. It's just strange.

Pastor Brad said...


I can't tell if these are straight questions or not, but I will treat them as straight:

No the SBC cannot order a church to do anything. The SBC is essentially a big partnership of churches united around doing missions through the Cooperative Program. It is not a denomination in the sense that other denominations order their churches to call a certain pastor or to close down, etc. A Baptist distinctive is the autonomy of the local church - that means there is no higher decision making authority.

The BoT represent the voice of the churches in overseeing the different agencies. Each trustee is elected through the convention and therefore the churches.

I cannot say I have first hand knowledge about the reasons for the PPL policy, only what I have read and heard, which is why I stated that Wade would know better than I as a trustee of the IMB. I am but a lowly church planter with NAMB.

It's not as if we oppose certain people being on the mission field, but I for one certainly am not in favor of our CP giving supporting missionaries with other theological leanings when there are many waiting for support who do represent the theological beliefs of the majority of those giving to the CP.

Pastor Brad said...

Also, please someone set me straight. And before anyone jumps on me too hard, I don't know what others have done in the past, and further, I am not making a judgement of Dr. McKissic personally, but does this whole thing seem orchestrated to anyone else? Why release these statements on your church website? Does this help the world see how unified we are or otherwise advance the gospel? Shouldn't these discussions be conducted out of the public eye? Just curious.

Pastor Brad said...

Sorry...one last comment.

This whole discussion about tongues is beginning to sound like the argument between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. If you are not a five pointer, then you are an Arminian. If you do not belive scripture supports a PPL, then you are a cessationist. I believe all the gifts continue to this day, I just don't see anywhere in the Bible where PPLs are revealed as one of the gifts.

Am I off-base?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Your tongue in cheek comment makes me want to...but no I am not going to jump. Let me just deal with it straight forward.

You are correct. We may have missed some good, God called men and women that would do a wonderful job on the mission field. This more restrictive policy possibly could have made us lose some. However, if I believe in the Sovereign will of God--and I do--and if I believe MOST of our Trustees are Godly men following God's direction in their individual lives--and I do--then I have to surrender to the truth about God's sovereign will. Could it be that maybe is was not God's will for those we have missed, to serve Him through the IMB?

I certainly do not desire to see anyone miss an opportunity to serve our Lord. However, once they are on the field I will do everything I can to make sure they remain on the field. As I believe you feel the same way concerning my last two sentences.


Stephen Pruett said...

Pastor Brad, What about 1 Corinthians 14:28? "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." Sounds like a PPL to me. Notice also that Paul not only doesn't forbid it, he say LET HIM speak to himself and to God!

Bob Cleveland said...

I agree that God's sovereign will is going to be done. The part I don't know is whether that's to bless the IMB incredibly for all that they've done, or bring it down like a house of cards for all that they've done.

Time will tell. Meantime, all good men can do is to do the right thing all the time, every time.

Tim Batchelor said...


I am not sure that private prayer languages is a doctrine to begin a reformation on. I for one have looked backon my ministry with sorrow that I caused great trouble in two churches that I served by "principled dissent" over issues that really weren't really all that important after all. You folks need to let this one go and let the Holy Spirit change hearts it if he is really in it before harm is done to churches and this convention over this issue. I fear that it may be too late.


miriam plowman said...

Pastor Brad - Thank you, they were indeed straight honest questions. Sometimes it seems in the bureaucracy of talk or rather what I see in denominational life causes me to lose the distinction of what I learned of Baptist Heritage - the autonomy of the local church. I appreciate your answering.

tim rogers - Although I too believe in "the Sovereign will of God" that doesn't negate humans are sinful, at times easily deceived, with blind spots and just wrong at other times. So even though Most of our Trustees may be godly men seeking to following God's direction I don't surrender to the idea it's okay for those who've missed it to all being considered as if it was God's will for them not to serve through the IMB. I think the further away authority, power or decisions move away from the local church the more room for break-down.

wadeburleson.org said...

Pastor Brad,

You said,

"Missionaries are under the employ of the IMB, whereas the IMB and SBC are under the authority of the churches, not the other way around. "

You are part right and part wrong.

Right in sense that the IMB facilitates the pay checks, but wrong in that the IMB works for the churches, not the other way around.

It is hammered into us repeatedly that are what we are called to do at the IMB as trustees is to FACILITATE the mission work of churches.

The CHURCHES send us (the Board)the people. The churches send us the money. The churches support Lottie Moon. The IMB ONLY facilitates the work of the CHURCHES.

We have already effectively excluded many churches from participating.

Tue Sep 19, 10:35:30 PM

SigPres said...

I think we need to be really careful about adding specific interpretations of passages of scripture to the BFM2000. As Baptists, historically and traditionally, we have left these matters up to the local church. If we begin to adopt specific interpretations of passages of scripture, we're narrowing the parameters of cooperation and excluding more people. There are already points in the BFM2000 that have been criticized as being to close to a prescribed interpretation.

Trustee boards shouldn't go further than the denominational statement of faith in imposing policy. That's what creates the friction and difficulty. Majority rule in deciding doctrinal issues isn't biblical. Consensus and unity is. That's why these kinds of matters are best left alone.

If Southern Baptists can't work with each other because of differing views on cessationism vs continuationalism (are those words??) we are in major trouble. Why does a difference of opinion on this issue make people so angry with each other?

Pastor Brad said...


Thanks for the response. I apologize, but I don't quite understand. You say that I am wrong that the churches do not work for the IMB. How do I square the idea that the churches then work for the IMB with the fact that you are hammered into that the IMB's job is to facilitate. One who facilitates is working for the one who is being facilitated. Perhaps I have misunderstood.

One last question: how have we excluded CHURCHES from participating. I see how we have excluded INDIVIDUALS. As I understand it, any church is free to support the CP.

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your point of view.

Pastor Brad said...


IMHO, you make my point for me very well. This notion of PPL is birthed out of poor exegesis, especially in light of the whole of scripture. I would invite you to read all of ch.14, as it seems clear, at least to me, that Paul is setting up a comparison of the tongues of the Corinthians and the true gift of tongues - otherwise it is full of contradictions.

The text you cite is a good argument for prayer, but not private prayer languages. If God intended to give PPLs to help us grow deeper in our walk, then why are we never clearly instructed to use them?

I don't want to be rude to everyone else by beating a dead horse, so if you would like to dialogue further, I would be glad for you to email me.

God bless.

Jay Fleming said...

I fail to understand what Dr. McKissic hopes to accomplish by pushing for such a discussion/vote. As I posted (way too late) in a previous discussion on this matter, McKissic used his position on the BGCT Executive Board a few years ago to present a motion affirming the inerrancy of Scripture. Of course, the BF&M 2000 doesn't even use the term 'inerrant', but McKissic refused to alter or withdraw his motion. You can read the Baptist Press article at the following link:


RKSOKC66 said...

I have been reading all the comments here for the last week or so. My computer hard disk crashed and that is part of the reason that I've not commented for a while. Now I have a new computer system -- this time with RAID1 dual copy (mirrored) redundancy on my system "C" drive.

Over time I have gradually come to the conclusion to "leave well enough alone".

I don't think the "PPL problem" raises to a serious enough level to justify trying to "formally" solve it. It is my judgment that any attempt to "solve" the problem by pounding out a codified position in either the BF&M and/or IMB documents will bring up more problems than the problem we already have on the table.

While not minimizing the problems raised currently by trying to unduely narrow parameters, I think that any effort to correct this through some type of "formal" decision of the SBC-at-large or by the BoT is using a sledge hammer to kill a fly. It would stir up a hornets nest that would take on a life of its own and serve to be a catylist to polarize people into camps.

Any one reading these BLOGS can already see the camps lining up.

Many of you are saying, "What's wrong with Roger Simpson? Isn't he just recommending sweeping stuff under the rug in an attempt to portray a phoney facade of cooperation?"

I just don't think the importance of winning this battle is justified by the number of casualties on all sides.

If I was backed into a corner and had to argue the case on its merits I'd say, "Hey, what's the big deal, if a guy uses PPL that's up to him".

I'm just a ex-Silicon Valley software guy. Compared to most of you guys I just too pragmatic. I'm probably not "pure" enough to pass muster to be in any SBC camp. I'm thankful that God has invited me to be in His kingdom even though I don't diserve it. I'm thankful that he has allowed me to attend 1st Baptist Del City where I can fellowship with like minded Christians.

Unknown said...


What is “Principled Dissent”? Does it mean division within the body based on principle? If so, which biblical principle?

RKSOKC66 said...


I guess "principled dissent" is raising objections in a formal way because the issues at stake are so critical that it is worth fighting over them -- or stated another way -- taking a stand on them.

Unknown said...

Sounds very American...

Based on what biblical principle?

RKSOKC66 said...


I hope you aren't asking me the question. I am not dissenting in a principled (or unprincipled) way.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade et all,

Would you agree with Roger Simpson's definition of "principled dissent"? I have been trying to clearly understand what that term means. I believe he has stated something we can all agree on. If he has, and you and I agree--look out we will have to stop the presses again. ;>)


Paul Burleson said...

To all,

I hope that in our attempt to weigh the importance of a minor doctrine like a PPL, [minor only in relation to salvation issues which are the greater] or adding a belief in eternal security as a necessity for baptism to be biblical, we don't forget the real issue.

No one doubts, I'm sure, the legitimacy of an entity of the SBC forming policies and procedures. But when that policy imposes a doctrinal standard that is not addressed in the BF@M you do have a problem that requires someone to dissent in a principled way, it seems to me, whatever definition you use. The question becomes where does that imposition of doctrinal viewpoint of entity leadership stop? Who has given the right for that kind of doctrinal oversight heretofore personal and private on issues like these to be a requirement? If questions like these are not permitted, and they haven't been without accusations of disloyalty and being a troublemaker, principle demands some one dissent. And it needs to be a whole lot of someones IMO.

It seems to me the simple answer is for the IMB to admit overstepping here and for the Convention to leave the BF@M alone. Whats wrong with leadership saying "We thought we were doing the best thing, but we don't think it is best after all"? I can't count the number of times I've had to do that as a pastor.

Let's be careful of allowing these lessor doctrines, third tier or whatever we call them, to become an arena of control in Baptist life. Let's be careful of control being an issue at all. There is only One Lord and His name isn't any baptist I know including me.

Paul Burleson

For His Glory said...

Mr. Paul Burleson writes, "Whats wrong with leadership saying "We thought we were doing the best thing, but we don't think it is best after all"?

There wouldn't be anything wrong with that in my book and would provide a humble, gracious way out of this difficult and increasingly divisive situation.

As you infer Mr. Burleson, effective leadership does have to admit it's mistakes, otherwise we stop learning and growing as leaders.

wadeburleson.org said...

Amen to the two men above.

Don said...

A personal prayer language is a third tier doctrine only if it quietly remains in the background. The practice of glossilalia current in charismatic churches is out of the third tier and is fundamental to their practice. The vast majority of Southern Baptist churches would not see the practice of a PPL or glossilalia as normative. The problem is that people who believe that they possess this gift rarely leave it in the background. (Evidence of this is Bro. McKissick’s insistence that the Convention deal with the issue by way of the BF&M.)

This issue is not limited to our rather old convention. It is an issue faced in new work areas all over the world. Want to blunt the advance of the gospel? Start emphasizing a “third-tier” doctrine over the essentials. The trustees are right on this one. There are a great number of factors taken into account at IMB level that prevent people who feel that they are God-called from reaching the field via our Southern Baptist cooperative effort. Many of these factors are extra-biblical.

RKSOKC66 said...


I also agree with the Paul Burleson "simple answer".

This thing should not take on a life of its own. I don't think anyone gains by "brinksmanship".

The IMB should just rescind its recent stance on PPL and let this die a natural death -- returning things to the status quo ante.

This thing is turning out to be a platform to debate "cessationism" vs. "continualism".

What's next, an IMB memo outlawing the use of "praise songs" which would serve as a launching pad to bring up the whole "worship wars" debate?

When it comes to this issue "peace" is more important than "principal". Implementing the "simple answer" brings peace.

Alycelee said...

Tim B,
As for "you folks" I'm not exactly what group you cast me into with that broad defination in one post, however I think Dr McKissic has every right to ask the question he has asked.
As for the grouping, I do not speak in tongues, however I am not a cessationist, I do affirm broadening the camp to include all people who hold firmly the essentials of the gospel and aren't so concerned about the rest.
As for PPL, I believe this needs to be addressed NOT so people who practice this gift can be affirmed, (I suspect, the likes of Dr McKissic and others don't feel a need to be affirmed by you or me), however this line was drawn by the IMB concerning missionaries on the field, (wrongly so, I believe) and consequently, It needs to be addressed.
Simply my opinion-I could be wrong. I'm open to God changing my mind.

Tim Rogers said...


I use the plural because it is too many of you to list. While you make great points and on the surface it appears it would be the thing to do in order to diffuse this situation, there is one problem--NAMB!

The NAMB BoT's issued a policy on this before the IMB did. (Which by the way, is more restrictive than NAMB's) Brother Wade, I concede to your insight on this, I understand the IMB used the NAMB policy in order to draft theirs. Am I correct? (Please do not answer if it will appear that you are disclosing confidential info.)

Also, if leadership is responsible, I understand the issues before the IMB BoT's came because Dr. Rankin placed them before them in an effort to deal with some abuses on the field. Should we not look to Dr. Rankin to begin this process at the IMB?

Just my HO!


wadeburleson.org said...


I will not, nor have I ever, divulged privileged information. Thanks though for the helpful reminder. :)

I was asked on a couple of occasions why I didn't protest NAMB'S policy, which is similar.

Two reasons:

(1). I did not know about it.

(2). I was not a trustee.

Finally, Dr. Rankin did not, in any form or fashion, place these policies before the board to deal with abuses in the field.

Dr. Rankin opposed the policies. He and I both felt that the Personnel Committee does not have the authority, according to the bylaws, to establish policy. The IMB attorney agreed. Thus the entire Board had to vote.

You ask, "Should we not look to Dr. Rankin to begin this process?"

What process? To rescind the policies?

Tim, you must be joking.

Dr. Rankin was never in favor of the policies in the first place. On what basis do you think he has the authority to reverse the policies?

wadeburleson.org said...


I personally agree with you.

PP language is a third tier doctrine.

But the out of Scriptural boundaries practice of "tongues" in charismatic churches is not only an abuse of the gift, it is a viiolation of Scriptural commands.

Under the old policy if there were abuses on the field, they were dealt with swiftly.

We are not talking about speaking in tongues publicly.

We are talking about a PP language.

Tim Rogers said...

Sister Miriam,

I am sorry, I did not mean to not answer your question to me. I just have spotted it.

You said; "I think the further away authority, power or decisions move away from the local church the more room for break-down." We certainly cannot have every local church's congregation convened into conference to deal with every Agency's issues, thus the need for Trustees. This is my understanding of the need for BoT's. While I agree to some extent, I would disagree with the concept of "break-down". Truly, we have Godly men and women serving on the BoT's of our agencies. The problem with your view, IMHO, we have 89 men and women on the IMB BoT and another large number on the NAMB BoT. (Forgive me, I cannot remember an exact number at NAMB, but I believe IMB has the most Trustees of any agency.) Here is the problem. A majority, and I believe it was an overwhelming majority (Brother Wade would have more knowledge about the vote than I) voted to implement these policies. Also the NAMB passed more restrictive policies than the IMB about the Gift of Tongues. Their policy is clearly a cessassionist theological point of view. We have two BoT's, being overseen by Godly men and women, seeking the Father's direction in their proceedings, implementing these policies.

You seem to imply that we have two agencies, led by Godly men and women, who have missed God's leading. I just cannot get there.


Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

I will have to double check my sources on how the issues ended up in the Personnel Committee. But, I will get back with you.

Also, could Dr. Rankin in the position he holds not go back to the entire BoT's with his concern of the policy causing irreputable harm to the convention?


Tim Batchelor said...

Brother Wade,

It interesting to note that the "narrowing of parameters" by baptists in the north led to the formation of the SBC.

Linked below is an interesting article to read in light of the current discussion.


A question to consider is how are the issues which led to the beginning of the SBC in 1845 different and how are the same as the ppl issue? What happens when a third tier issue becomes a higher level concern in a majority of churches? What can be done to preserve the rights of a minority while aleviating the concern the majority concerning charismatics?


Unknown said...

I had a pastor tell me one time, in regards to paying for seminary, "Do you preach that God is sovereign?"
"Yes," I responded.
He said, "Do you believe he is? Then live like it."

I still do not follow your biblical basis for "principled dissent." It seems to be a philosophy for going against policy, that policy being intrinsically right or wrong, through complaint and argument even though you agreed to the mechanisms that control that policy from the beginning. I am not saying that all dissent is wrong. But, seeing the fallout of what is going on, I would want BIBLICAL support for my position, given this is an evangelical Christian entity among a culture that makes a habit of demanding rights for itself.

I can, however, find biblical support for God placing leaders into positions He wants them, and guiding their leadership, be it good or bad. I also see a biblical basis for praying to God for change, and trusting in His sovereignty to bring about change if needed...or, if it be His will.

I can't, conversely, find biblical precedent for creating an atmosphere of distrust for leadership based on principle, as opposed to sin. Nor is their precedent for airing sin of a brother publicly for the purpose of retribution, revenge, or to give momentum to a movement.

Does this make sense? Is it naive? Is it realistic...biblically?

David Rogers said...

Tim Rogers,

You say:

"You seem to imply that we have two agencies, led by Godly men and women, who have missed God's leading. I just cannot get there."

This, to me, sounds very much like the Roman Catholic argument on the College of Cardinals. Yet, we both know that, throughout church history, otherwise godly men and women have made unwise and unbiblical decisions, on certain occasions. At such moments, it is up to individuals, such as Luther, to speak up, and say "the king has no clothes."

craig from Georgia said...

1 Corinthians 14 (21) In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto THIS people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. (22) Wherefore TONGUES ARE FOR A SIGN…,

Tongues were for a sign and signs were for the Jews (1 Corinthians 1:22). The early church didn’t have the New Testament so God laid the foundation for the early church through His apostles and prophets,

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:20)”

Signs authenticated they were representing the Lord Jesus.

“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds (2 Corinthians 2:12)”

We have the completed Scriptures. We have the Holy Spirit on the inside and pastors and teachers on the outside to help us understand the perfect Word of God. We don’t need signs and wonders. We “walk by faith, not by sight”. (2 Corinthians 5:7) “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Spiritual gifts are still operational today (Romans 12:4-8), but they are not for our self edification, but for the church.

“forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12)

Tongues are not for today. There’s no Biblical reason for them. Hopping around to multiple Bible versions and quoting various “scholars” to try and justify them serves to cloud the issue only for those who no longer hold to the authority of Scripture. The thought is if you can’t convince a person of your viewpoint then at least cause them to doubt theirs. However the average layman who actually believes the Bible is the Word of God and hasn’t been tainted by seminary is not fazed and sees right through the smokescreen.

For all practical purposes the modern day ecstatic utterances – tongues – PPL is nothing more than spiritual masturbation.

Unknown said...

Mr. David Rogers,

Sir, with all due respect. To use the Protestant Reformation: we can agree that with all Luther's and Zwingli's shortcomings, they can be considered radical biblicists. Thus, their dissent came because Rome missed the boat, as it were, and fell short of biblical doctrine. They couched their dissent and separation in thoroughly biblical principles because Rome was espousing a thoroughly unbiblical theology.
I can agree with speaking out against unbiblical positions, as you stated, and as I cited above. But an unwise decision, as this entire debacle seems to be based on, should be handled within the given structure; or, at least, not in such a publicly divisive way, correct?

Alycelee said...

I can't even begin to tell you how that post grieves me, but I also know discussing it with you Craig, is not useful.
I'm so sorry.

craig from Georgia said...

"Alycelee said...
I can't even begin to tell you how that post grieves me,...."

Not near as much as Dr. McKissic's letter grieves me.

David Rogers said...


I was mostly responding to Tim's comment that seemed to imply an almost tacit infallibility to the majority decisions of SBC Boards of Trustees. By the way, I'm sure Tim didn't really mean this. I was just pointing out the inconsistency of what he was saying.

As far as handling an unwise decision in "such a publicly divisive way," I think, given the way the SBC operates (by democratic principles), it was "fair game" to bring this issue to the attention of the folks out there in the churches, and on the mission field, and let them have a more informed input into what was going on. The BoT exists, as I understand it, as representatives of the churches, and members of the churches at large. Whereas there are issues the BoT deals with that are confidential, and security issues are compromised by open discussion, there must obviously be some discretion. However, I believe this to be an issue of interest to the Convention at large, and thus, does not necessarily need to be dealt with only "behind closed doors."

At the same time, we must always, of course, avoid promoting division in the Body of Christ, and, by extension, I suppose, in the SBC as well. Regrettably, the attitudes of some, at times, have fallen into this trap. However, I do not think that voicing "principled dissent" can fairly be equated with "promoting division." As a matter of fact, I think it more reasonable to say that squelching "principled dissent" in the long run, promotes more division.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother David,

What ColinM said.:>)

No. I agree if we are depending on men to tell us what the Bible says, then we do not depend on majority rules. It would be like the Jesus Seminar where the majority would be correct in determining if the Bible were true or not. However, I do believe you have pushed the envelop on your logic here.

As Southern Baptist there needs to be parameters within which we operate. Really, I believe that we are debating your analysis of third tier doctrines vs mine. I would say that we as SB do not advocate Pentecostal practices and would place these doctrines on the 2ne tier. Before anyone jumps and says I am against raising hands and getting excited in worship, emotionalism is not a Pentecostal doctrine. Emotional worship is as Baptist as the SBC. Remember it was two streams of worship that formed this SBC river. One a stream out of Charleston which was more high church with educated clergy, and the other out of the God Blessed, most precious state in America to live, North Carolina. It was the Sandy Creek association with Shubal Stearns that advocated exciting worship centered around evangelistic preaching and had uneducated clergy. These two streams formed the great river called Southern Baptist. Also, when estatic utterances did come about in the Sandy Creek church they splintered out and began another church not of the Baptist persuasion.

David, what I was saying was I believe that our system set in place with Godly men and women following God's leading and two agencies come to the same conclusions for policies, I am not ready to say they are blinded by the sin of ego, as some have alluded.


wadeburleson.org said...


I would like you to be nominated for President of the SBC in 2008.

I'm serious.

wadeburleson.org said...

That's not a political ploy.

You are articulate.




And always civil.

A true SBC leader.

wadeburleson.org said...


You said,

"I am not ready to say they are blinded by the sin of ego, as some have alluded."

Would you be kind enough to show me where someone has written that trustees are "are blinded by the sin of ego"?

I'm serious. I would like to know who said that, alluded that, or even implied that.


Groseys messages said...

You said,
"Right in sense that the IMB facilitates the pay checks, but wrong in that the IMB works for the churches, not the other way around. It is hammered into us repeatedly that are what we are called to do at the IMB as trustees is to FACILITATE the mission work of churches. The CHURCHES send us (the Board)the people. The churches send us the money. The churches support Lottie Moon. The IMB ONLY facilitates the work of the CHURCHES."

Maybe I don't understand you Wade.
If you are stating that there is no denominational authority over the IMB, aren't you actualy stating the basic tenet of Landmarkism as displayed in the Missionary Baptist movement?
If you are stating that the IMB and the SBC are the servants of the churches, well that corresponds to the Baptist view of the autonomy of the local church.
However, you have challenged Brad's statement that, as servants of the churches (together in cooperation) the IMB is bound to the BFM2000 ( my words not his).
Your resoning appears to be that the BFM doesn't apply to IMB missionaries becasue they are servants of the local church, then this is Landmarkism isn't it?
I undserstand that Landmarkism's missionary policy is to have a broad missionary sending agency that sends missionaries as missionaries of the LOCAL church, not as missionaries of the larger cooperating body, and as missionaries of the local church, they are then only bound by the local congregation's statement of faith, not the broader organisation's statement of faith.
In effect, every man can do what is right in his own eyes.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

wadeburleson.org said...

I never said, Grosey, that missionaries should not be held to the BFM.

I am saying that the BFM should only reflect foundational, first tier doctrines which are the cords of our fellowship.

wadeburleson.org said...

By the way, why does a man in Australia care about the SBC?


Groseys messages said...

Wade, you ask why a man in Australia should care about the SBC? Isn't there a bond of fellowship among likeminded Baptists? Surely you do not subscribe to the doctrine that the elect are from only the glorious South?

wadeburleson.org said...

Point well taken

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Forgive me if it appears to you that I am speaking of this present stream of comments. I am not speaking of such. However, what I was referencing was a stream on another blog to which many referred to the egos of people that blinded them from doing what was right.

If you feel I was trying to throw something out there, I was not. I am sorry my comments cause such paranoia.


wadeburleson.org said...

No paranoia at all Tim.

Just holding you accountable.

I would love for you to point out the blogs to which you refer that I might read them.


Unknown said...

Mr. David Rogers,

I concur with Wade on your gracious words and ability to articulate, though his skills at the same are by no means amatuer.

I fully agree with what you articulated about dissent. When dissent is over policy, that is completely different than when dissent is over decisions or capabilities of present leadership. Much like in your churches, it takes one man with moderate to little influence to dissent from your leadership and foster division in the church. But like I said ealier, if I was to dissent, I would want Scripture leading the charge so those responsible for the policy would see the error of their ways.

With the current movement, however, the dissent seems to have become a charge to remove the strongholds of the present "authoritarian rule" of the SBC. This is certainly unbiblical, unless they are in unrepentant sin. With this current movement, one would be naive to assume that no division has occurred. Marty was right in saying light divides. However, we all have witnessed in our lifetimes that dark often masquerades as light. As such, especially considering the deep divisions that are ever widening, we must carefully examine and discern in light of specific Scripture what it is we are fighting for, or against, and how we go about doing it.

Michael Sattler, to his credit, announced he would rather take up arms alongside the Turks, who were of the flesh and ignorant of the depth of their sin, against so-called Christians who brought reproach on Christ for knowingly fighting against their brothers. Much the same, it would be easier to support taking up arms with those who make unwise decisions based on their desire to glorify God and hold fast to correct doctrine than taking up with those who bring reproach by subverting and removing leadership because of bad decisions or assumed motivations- i.e. not sinful behavior. The point is what I am driving at, not the characterization of sides, please.

Therefore, with those you have aligned with, it is clear that there is dissent that takes the form of personal vendetta, political statement, and some other factor I am trying to pinpoint because I am slow in absorption.

What concisely are you dissenting of in principle? And, for the benefit of those who would make the charge with you, what is your biblical support?

David Rogers said...


You reference those I have supposedly "aligned with." I am trying to figure out exactly who you mean, and on what basis you say I have "aligned" with them.

It is true, I guess, that some of the views I have espoused, both on my own blog, as well as commenting on other blogs, line up with the views espoused by certain others. At the same time, I doubt there is anyone out there with whom I am going to "line up with" 100% of the time on everything. (Though some of the things Alan Cross has been saying lately are so close to my own way of thinking, it scares me sometimes :-).

Or perhaps you are referring to the fact I sent in my name as an "adjunct signee" of the Memphis Declaration. For me, the fact that I sent in my name does not mean that I necessarily "align myself" with a supposed "movement" or even with the other signees, as much as that, upon reading what the declaration actually says, I felt myself to be in agreement with it, to such an extent that I thought it was a good thing to add my name to the list of signees.

Thus, in regard to what you say about "a charge to remove the strongholds of the present 'authoritarian rule' of the SBC," "personal vendettas," and "politcal statements," I personally plead innocent on all counts. If others happen to be guilty of these charges, they will have to answer for themselves, since I do not see how I have necessarily "aligned" myself with them.

As to what am I "dissenting" from "in principle," there are potentially many things. But what I am specifically addressing in this comment string are the issues that others (namely Tim Rogers) brought up regarding the IMB BoT, and the way they have handled the new policies regarding PPL and Baptism. On a somewhat related issue, I have also in other places expressed my dissent to the narrowing of parameters of cooperation with other groups of evangelical Christians on the mission field, as evidenced by the Wyman Dobbs situation last Spring.

On my own blog, and on various others (Jerry Corbaley's, Baptist Theologue's, for instance), I have gone into quite a bit of depth regarding the "biblical support" for the views I have taken. Therefore, I will desist from rehashing all of that here.


David Rogers said...


Thanks for the compliment, but I sincerely believe God has cut me out for other things than that.


Unknown said...

Mr. David Rogers,

Forgive me for my lack of clarification. Those questions were intended for Wade and those above who made a stab at defining principled dissent. I have [had] no idea what your leanings were. But, I will look at the blog you mentioned.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

I will play along only to show I am not making it up as I go. However, remember my statement; "what I was saying was I believe that our system set in place with Godly men and women following God's leading and two agencies come to the same conclusions for policies, I am not ready to say they are blinded by the sin of ego, as some have alluded." I am not referencing just the IMB, I am referencing our leaders as a whole.

Check out Art Rogers' June 16, 2006 comments on Ronnie Floyd's response to Dr. Page's election win. Also, look at Marty Duren's post on June 15 and see what Comment #29 implies. And If you do not desire to go that far back, look at Marty Duren's latest post and you will see it alluded to that "ego" is what is driving those who leads us now. Also, one can deduce from your father's comment; "Whats wrong with leadership saying "We thought we were doing the best thing, but we don't think it is best after all"?" on this very comment stream, that he does not believe they will do such a thing, which IMHO at the least says pride is the cause that will stop them from saying something like that. The last I checked pride and ego go hand in hand.

I just do not know what this type of "holding me accountable" does for things. I just stated something that many people in the blog world have eluded to time and again as to the reasons those leading the IMB BoT tried to put you off the Trustee Board.


wadeburleson.org said...


No need to be offended.

The comments do not allude at all to trustees of any agencies.

Nobody is accusing them of having ego.

Thanks for showing me. The pattern of making allegations without substantiations must stop.


wadeburleson.org said...

Principled dissent is dissent that is based on the principles of the Word of God.

As Luther said, "My conscience is bound to the Word of God. Here I stand. I can do no other."

Colin, until you admit that those who have the gift of a PP language base their views of the gift on the Word of God, and until you can admit that there are some who see Scripture to teach that baptism is identification with Christ, and not an initiation rite into the local church, and those who believe this way base their beliefs on the principles of the Word of God, you will not see how dissent on these issues principled> dissent.

I do not have the gift of tongues and do not desire it. But I sure am not going to tell somebody their gift is of the flesh, or worse, of the devil. Would I not be violating the Word of God?

Every person who joins our church must have confessed Christ as Lord through baptism by immersion, AFTER having come to faith in Christ. It is a prequisite to membership.

However, on the basis of Scriptural principles, we do not demand that the baptism must take place at the hands of an ordained minister, and we do not demand that it take place in a SB church or one that believes in eternal security.

Opposition to both policies are based on PRINCIPLED DISSENT.



craig from Georgia said...

The sign gifts have ended, but the error lingers on. It is conservatively estimated the 75 percent of those who claim to have the baptism, tongues and other sign gifts today, are women. Such a situation calls for the drawn line of the Word.
"Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak" (1 Corinthians 14:34). The context and content of this verse primarily concern the gifts of prophecy and tongues. In the midst of detailed instructions, which Paul stated were "the commandments of the Lord" (v. 37), we find this admonition concerning women.
Later, with regard to church procedure, Paul wrote, "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" (1 Timothy 2:11, 12). It is certainly permissible and intended that women teach under proper circumstances, but not to exercise authority over men.
MEN ONLY -- The Holy Spirit is not giving sign gifts to anyone today--male or female! It is evident that the gifts mentioned in the Corinthian church were given only to men. There is no record in the Word that a women ever received the gift of tongues.
Some insist that the ban was against tongues-speaking within a church building, but there were none of these at that time. Actually, the church is represented by any two or three who are gathered together in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether within or without a church building.

Unknown said...


I really appreciate your time in responding.

I agree those who have the gift of a PP language base their views of the gift on the Word of God. I agree that there are some who see Scripture to teach that baptism is identification with Christ, and not an initiation rite into the local church. I agree that those who believe this way base their beliefs on the principles of the Word of God.

I have myself prayed for the gift of tongues or their interpretation. I have not received that gift. My theology has not led me to a cessationist view. I have had more charismatic influence than anyone I hang with at seminary. A charismatic presented me the gospel; a charismatic spurred me on to discipleship and seeking God's face. I have spent countless hours studying and listening to charismatic pastors and theologians.

But you don't understand why I disagree with aspects of this movement. I am trying to draw on Scripture to bring my point to bear because I feel as if it can benefit those involved, not because I take EITHER SIDE. In fact, there is a host of students here that agree with your principles, but have lost the desire to relate to this movement. Why? Principle. I was trying to tell you and Mr. Burleson (senior), IMHO, why it is more people are not speaking out, since he expressed suprise at that.

The consensus of those I have talked to is that there are two sides. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. ANd, they both represent the same agenda-pushing, power-struggle division that the moderates have claimed since the 80's. This is not my opinion necessarily, but the consensus of those I have spoken with which includes faculty, students, pastors and laymen.

wadeburleson.org said...


I do understand.

Thanks for making yourself crystal clear.

I respectfully disagree.

If good people don't stand up to those who seek to exclude from Southern Baptist life good people who disagree on third tier doctrines (see the comment immediately above your last one), we will one day wake up and ask, "Where have all the people gone?"

We will become an isolated, narrow, sect within Christianity with fewer, and fewer, and fewer people.

That need not happen, but if people don't speak up it will.

By the way, I really respect you for taking the time to write and explain your position. I really do understand it now.

Also, if you honestly think I am after a position of influence within the SBC then I realize I need to communicate better my desires.



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

Craig from Georgia,
I’m not one to attack a person, but for your Wed. Sep. 20 3:35 PM comment:
You need to wash your mind with Scripture, your heart with love, and your mouth with soap.
Rex Ray

craig from Georgia said...

I certainly don’t take your response as an attack. I want to learn and understand the Word of God and I want to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. My mind is being washed with Scripture and my heart with love. I try to make it a point to not attack people. I try to see the best in people and remember that many are hurting and struggling. I try to keep my posts centered on the issues and not people. I’m just surprised more people aren’t grieved at how the Word of God is handled so flippantly by many Christian leaders. There are certainly many issues in the Bible that are hard to be understood, but the place of tongues is not one of them. The Bible is clear what their purpose was and why we no longer need them. Propating the idea that tongues is for today is an attack on the sufficiency of the Bible. Everything we need for our Christian growth is contained in the Word of God. If you’ve got the Word of God why do you need gibberish? God doesn’t need you to pray in some unknown gibberish and if you don’t know what you’re praying then why do it? The modern day tongues movement is unscriptural and is a player in the end-times ecumenical movement which will culminate with the anti-christ and false prophet deceiving people through signs and wonders. It’s sad that we’re raising up a generation of people who think that preaching only has to do with conquering your problems and having a good life which is why they are attracted to tongues; for their own self-gratification which is what masturbation is.

Tim Cook said...


You must be very careful what you say about the Bible; there is such a thing as holding the Bible in too high a place.

"Everything we need for our Christian growth is contained in the Word of God"

While I agree with you on the face of that statement, I am concerned about what you mean when you apply it to tongues. Do we not need prayer? What about musical worship? Do you, in your private devotion life, not worship God in prayer at least? I spend quite a lot of time in personal worship and prayer. At the time, I must confess that I am primarily concerned with "re-charging my battery", so to speak. I need to be built up by the Lord Himself if I am to be effective at ministering to others. This includes all facets of my person - mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Am I guilty of "self gratification" (I will NOT go to the other description with you)? Jesus died for you; God extended grace to you. The Bible is ONLY improtant because it is the revelation of Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. If we do not have an active relationship with Him, we can read it until the cows come home, and we won't be saved.

In Christ,
Tim Cook

Rex Ray said...

If the shoe fits,
I’m sorry I gave you the excuse to use your filthy word again. Besides that, you are contributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit that Christ said would not be forgiven in this world or the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
I will not comment with you again until you have apologized to the people that read Wade’s blog expecting to hear clean language.
Rex Ray

Unknown said...

Thank you, Wade, for disagreeing respectfully, and understanding my goal is Christ's reknown in this mess- nothing more, and nothing less. I do not think you are after a position of influence. BUT, given McKissics recent letter to force every southern baptist to take sides, as it were, on the PPL issue; and Ben Cole's outright admission that (speaking about Patterson):

"and I have sworn on the altar of God almight eternal hostility to every effort of his that threatens to undermine and compromise his legacy as a godly reformer and supplant it with the testimony of a power-hungry, insatiable witch hunter,"

(ouch) it does appear as if a power struggle is in the works.

You have aligned yourself closely with these guys, and from an outsider's perspective, what they do and say, you do and say.

Rex Ray said...

Our comments are rubbing elbows, but miles apart. Sort of like our conversations on the Baptist Standard long ago.
I agree with you that there is an attempted change coming. Whether successful or not only time will tell.
You’re right that Wade is in the big middle, but you are no means an outsider because you think too much.
Leaders that got their position on shaky ground don’t like ‘thinkers.’ They like keeping their authority with popular slogans like ‘we’re fighting liberals.’ Any opposition to their thinking and you become a liberal—right, Wade?

Colinm, the way you presented McKissic’s and Cole’s goal, makes you an insider.
Here is something on email you might have read—it’s easy to see where I added my 2 cents.

A mouse warned the farmyard, "There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken said, "That’s no concern of mine."
"I’m sorry", said the pig, "but there is nothing I can do.”
The cow replied, "Like wow; am I in grave danger, Duh?"
That night, in the darkness, the farmer’s wife did not see a snake in the trap.
Bitten, she returned from the hospital with a fever.
Fever is treated with chicken soup.
Friends came to sit with her. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife died, and so many people came the farmer slaughtered the cow.
So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
Oh yes, the farmer killed the snake and the mouse is just fine.
By not signing the commands of men, seminary professors, missionaries, and 47,000,000 hearts of the BWA were fired. When will it be our turn?
Rex Ray