Tuesday, December 12, 2006

'Spooky' Fundamentalism

Words, when well chosen, have so great a force in them that a description often gives us more lively ideas than the sight of things themselves. - Joseph Addison, The Spectator No. 416

The expositional teaching of the Word of God is central to my life and ministry. I unapologetically believe in the sufficiency, authority and power of the Word of God, for it reveals the power of God to save sinners through the Person and work of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Some might wish to call me a Fundamentalist because of this. If properly defined, I accept the tag. I believe in the fundamentals of the faith. I will defend the faith against all challengers. To deny the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ is to deny the faith. To deny Christ's substitutionary death for sinners, His resurrection from the dead, and His gift of eternal life to all who are in relationship with Him by grace through faith is to deny the faith.

Spooky Fundamentalism

I have recently used a term to describe a philosophy held by a handful of people in evangelicalism which goes beyond the traditional fundamentals of the faith, or even official Fundamentalism, and tagged the philosophy 'spooky Fundamentalism.' 'Spooky' Fundamentalism is to be distinguished from regular 'Fundamentalism' by the characteristics of the spirit and temperament of the persons holding to the tenets of Fundamentalism, as we will see shortly.

It is only fair to define 'spooky Fundamentalism' in order that people know what it is to which I refer. So, I will first give a definition of 'spooky Fundamentalism' followed by two descriptive statements, then three additional descriptions for official "Fundamentalism," which must be differentiated from 'spooky' Fundamentalism.

The Definition

Spooky Fundamentalism is the uncanny or eerie practice of speaking on behalf of God to other people, identifying what God desires, says or feels, without reliable, exegetical support from the all sufficient Word of God, and then being unpredictably excitable (angry, bitter, and intentionally slanderous) when someone challenges what is said.

The Identifying Marks of Spooky Fundamentalism

(1). A personality and temperament bent toward anger

A spooky Fundamentalist is an angry person. He is angry with those who disagree. He is angry with those who won't listen. He is angry with those who 'don't tow the line.' He is full of anger and he can be identified by his anger.

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly (Proverbs 14:29). A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27). A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Proverbs 29:11).

When Frank Page was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention he was asked what kind of people he would be appointing to Boards and Committees. He responded that he would continue to appoint 'conservatives' but he would not be appointing people who were 'angry about it.' Thus, the term 'irenic' or 'peaceful' conservative came into our lexicon as Southern Baptists.

(2). Intentional and purposeful attempts to slander those who disagree

A spooky Fundamentalist will identify everyone who disagrees with him as a theological liberal or 'moderate' and will do all he can to attack his opponents character, often by making things up. This slanderous attack is to seek to marginalize his opponent in the eyes of the general public.

Slander comes from an evil heart, Luke 6:45. It often arises from hatred, Psa. 109:3. The Bible says the wicked are addicted to it, Psa. 50:20, as well as hypocrites Prov. 11:9.

Those who hold to Spooky Fundamentalism have begun rumors of adulterous affairs, mental breakdowns, theological heresies and other 'problems' in the lives of people who simply stood up and disagreed with the tenets of a 'spooky Fundamentalism.' It serves no purpose to be specific with the details, but I have spoken to at least three individuals personally who have been the target of the above slander, and they themselves will tell you the damage this type of tactic brings to one's family.

This type of rumor mongering is now being directed at Southern Baptist pastors like Rick Warren. Other pastors who are seeking to reach the world in new, creative approaches -- while never compromising on the fundamentals of the faith -- are also the target. We Southern Baptists must be ever vigilant against this ungodly use of the tongue and the pen.

The ABOVE TWO DESCRIPTIONS ARE DEFINITIVE --- without these characteristics nobody can, or should, be called a spooky Fundamentalist.

Three Additional Descriptions of "Fundamentalism" without the 'Spooky' part

Below are three additional descriptions. One may disagree with the following descriptions, not get angry that they have been offered, and seek to work and cooperate with the person who offered them --- that person COULD NOT be considered an adherent to 'spooky' Fundamentalism. Maybe a Fundamentalism, even irenic Fundamentalim, but not a spooky Fundamentalism. :)

The difference is extraordinary --- many of us could vote for anyone who disagrees with the next three points, and has a good spirit about it, as President of the SBC -- but we will adamantly resist anyone who seeks to destroy the character of those who disagree.

Thus, the word "Fundamentalism" replaces the phrase 'spooky Fundamentalism' in the next three descriptive points.

(3). A small belief in God's sovereignty and providence in the affairs of men

Fundamenetalism has little understanding that 'God has established his throne in the heavens and His kingdom rules over all.'

Rather, Fundamentalism teaches the world is under the dominion of the evil one, and all 'evil' in this world is orchestrated by the devil as he often successfully subverts the will of God.

Thus, culture is the enemy. Culture is controlled by the devil. Rather than seeing God building His church by taking people who are 'in' culture and transforming them by His Spirit and power, the Fundamentalist must express his hatred of those 'in' culture and tell them that God condemns them as well.

Fundamentalism mocks those in culture rather than seek to win them by a lifestyle of kindness, goodness, compassion and love. For many there is an inordinate trust (emphasis on the word 'inordinate') in the personal, visible, future, culture-changing second coming of Christ that will transform the world, rather than the modern day good news that Christ died for sinners which transforms culture today -- one life at a time.

(4). An emphasis on a 'pure' and 'holy' church as defined by man made traditions.

Fundamentalism teaches the church's success revolves around his efforts to keep it 'pure.' There is very little understanding that God guarantees the purity of His body by His own work, and that the church is cleansed of sin and peoples' lives are transformed by the power of God's Spirit through the Spirit's application of the Person and work of Jesus Christ to the individual soul. Fundamentalism advocates the church must be transformed by shaming, demanding and ultimately forcing others into a like-minded doctrinal conformity on tertiary issues that are not essential to the faith.

As a result, religious tradition will eventually supersede the believer's identification with Christ in Fundamentalism. A 'pure' ecclesiology becomes far more important than a persistent missiology. The church of Jesus Christ is not so much a body of universal believers united by their Head, but an institution of ecclesiological hierarchy, where the priests hear from God and the lay people receive the blessings of God through His official, authoritative representatives. And if, God forbid, there is NOT a pure and proper 'church,' then there cannot be pure and proper 'evangelism.'

(5). A fear and skittishness about anything that begins with the word freedom.

Whether it be free debate or free dissent . . . Whether it be freedom of conscience or freedom of expression . . . Whether it be free praise or free worship . . .

Freedom is a curse word to Fundamentalism.

Nobody is free to do, believe, pray or say anything that is not on the 'approved' list. Rather than trusting in the Spirit of God to perform His work of sanctification in the lives of His people, the Fundamentalist will let you know by his desired tight control of your life, even your prayer life, whether or not you are progressing in holiness.

Baptists historically have been the great defenders of freedom. We must never sacrifice our cherished views of freedom on the altar conformity in a denomination controlled by Fundamentalism.

In Conclusion

In order to correct what many believe is wrong in modern evangelicalism it is necessary to define the spooky Fundamentalism which is slowly infiltrating our convention, and unfortunately that is impossible without words that help us understand our dilemma.

Let me also, again, be clear about something already said within this post--- a person in the Southern Baptist Convention can disagree on descriptive points (3), (4) and (5) and NOT participate in (1) and (2) and he could NOT be considered an adherent to spooky Fundamentalism ---

Spooky Fundamentalism is only 'spooky' when anger and slander saturate three, four and five. You can disagree with three, four and five and be an irenic "Fundamentalist" and many of us could vote for you as President of the Southern Baptist Convention!

As there are those who are adamant that 'liberals' should not have leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention, there are others of us who believe there is no room in leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention for 'spooky Fundamentalists.'

Stick with your Fundamentalistim --- but give up your spookiness.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

Well said. You have displayed a great deal of courage mixed with compassion. 'Batten down the hatches boys! Here it comes.'

Scotte Hodel said...

I wish my mom had lived long enough to see this post. She had great disdain for what she called fundamentalists - and she'd met her share of the "spooky" variety.

When she'd complain about me being a fundamentalist, I'd always answer, "Who do you think put the 'fun' in fundamentalist?" Like you, I'm not sure I liked the label, but that was the starting point in our conversation.

It's important for us to know what we know and, sometimes more importantly, what we don't.


A S Hodel

Rev. said...

Nice post, my friend. You have summed up the issue well. Of course, I'm sure that we can expect all the Spooky Fundamentalists to be outraged over this.

Paul Burleson said...


I have never read anyone who is better at cutting through the murkiness of language and ideas to a crystal clear concept that turns out to be foundational. You have done that before and you have done it again.


WTJeff said...

Well said and accurate as a Swiss watch! Since your blogfast, there seems to be little patience on your part for "beating around the bush". Your statements are directly to the point. However, I fear the 145 comments you received two posts ago will pale in comparison to what you'll receive in response!

Jeff Parsons
Amarillo, TX

wadeburleson.org said...

wtjeff and all,

Thanks for the comments. I find it difficult to see how anyone can disagree with this post. No Christian supports unbridled, evil anger or intentional slander. The comments may be fewer than we think

RKSOKC66 said...


I think the term Fundamentalist has been hijacked over the years.

I have only heard the term "spooky fundamentalist" in the last weeks on BLOGS so I don't know what the historical baggage is for the use of this term. It may be that there is enough shared understanding for the term "spooky fundamentalist" such that the term conveys information and is useful in describing a person's views.

I consider myself a "fundamentalist" -- at least in terms of how I understand that definition: i.e. one who holds to conservative theology as espoused in the tracts THE FUNDAMENTALS that were written around 1915.

Unfortunately, the term "fundamentalist" has taken on a life of its own and for some just means "a person who has very narrow views from my perspective and these are view that I disagree with". The meaning on the term "fundamentalist" varies quite a bit depending upon who is using the label so I don't think it is useful to use the term. The term is not really descriptive as much as it is derisive.

I think a lot of self-described "fundamentalists" would resist being associated with (3), (4) or (5). I know I do. Regardless of the meaning of "spooky fundamentalist" I don't think there is consensus on the meaning of "plain old non-spooky fundamentalist".

I'm totally in favor of freedom and I hold that everyone should be able to share their opinions and I readibly admit that I don't have a corner on any special knowledge. Yet, I still think I'm a "fundamentalist".

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City

wadeburleson.org said...

Nice comment. With your definition of fundamentalism, include me as a fundamentalist!

Pastor Brad said...

Not sure if you will post this or not. I hope you will.

I agree that "fundamentalist" has taken on many of the meanings that you describe and there are certainly "spooky" Christians of all stripes, as you describe the term spooky.

However, as Roger has pointed out that is not a true understanding of the term as it is intended, but rather its connotation outside fundamentalist Christianity.

I first saw you use the term in your post about Dr. McKissic, where you labeled those who have opposed Dr. McKissic's views (not him personally) and those trustees who have adopted guideline you disagree with. Please correct me if I am wrong.

One could easily use your points 1 & 2 to describe some who associate with your point of view in how they belittle and thereby slander those you would likely label "spooky fundamentalist."

Points 3-5 inaccurately portray the fundamentalist I know, though I am sure it is true of some somewhere, as it could be true of all Christians. It seems you have adopted the negative conotations the world has assigned to the term.

What I am trying to say is that these traits could be applied to some fundamentalists and some "irenic conservatives" as well as some in all areas of Christendom. By defining who you think "spooky fundamentalists" are and later defining the term in this way, you broadbrush those who differ with you as angry, slanderous, legalistic, etc. That is itself slanderous.

Pastor Brad said...

Another thought:
A fundamentalist, as I understand it, is not afraid of freedom. He cherish the freedom he has in Christ. A fundamentalist fears freedom that is not bridled by responsibility. This is not true freedom, but license. Paul clearly speaks of the difference in 1 Corinthians 10.

Alycelee said...

You are right when you say the very defination of the word 'fundamentalist' has taken a life of it's on. When i hear the word I think of fingernails on a blackboard, add to that mix 'spooky fundamentalist'

It seems the problem we have is opposing sides believing they have a mandate from God and a scriptural basis on which to stand. Discussing that is good. Methods is where the rubber meets the road. That's where is might get 'spooky.'

Methods will determine madness, will it not? A method of reaching out, trying to do so in love and inclusiveness, or a method of anger, slander, and making unfounded accusations against the brothers.

wadeburleson.org said...

Pastor Brad,

I don't think you read my post very carefully.

Read it again. I said that those who believed in 3, 4, and 5, (points with which I disagree) but were irenic and gracious I would vote for President of the SBC.

Only 1 and 2 make a person spooky.

And by the way, you are dead wrong about me identifying anybody as a spooky fundamentalist. I have not done so. I always let people figure it out for themselves.

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade: The first two things I recall about the Bible, at all, were my Dad saying....

1) It is all true.

2) It's the biggest selling book in the world.

Now, in 40+ years of pursuing the matter in church, I've learned it's also authoritative. That is, it has jurisdiction over me. Period.

That's as fundamental and spooky as I'm gonna be.

Pastor Brad said...

If I misread your intentions on your previous post, then I apologize. When you identified "spooky fundamentalists" who have spoken out against Dr. McKissic's views, I assumed you were speaking of those you had previously discussed - the SWBTS trustees and possibly the IMB trustees over the baptism issue. Please forgive me for reading into your intentions
I still feel that the points you made, all good points and all to be avoided, extend beyond the fundamentalist camp and, while they may at times be present among fundamentalists, they are by no means exclusive to fundamentalism or characteristic of it.

Pastor Brad said...

Did I misread that you said 3-5 speak of fundamentalists, but not necessarily spooky fundamentalists? I would obviously disagree.

wadeburleson.org said...

Pastor Brad,

Apology accepted.

Stephen Pruett said...

Wade, Number 3 rings true to me. I know some people who believe the fundamentals do not feel a need to conquer the culture through laws or appointment of judges, etc, but many do. The only way to "win" the cutlure war is to convert a majority of the people in our culture and watch the Holy Spirit transform them. I agree we should engage our culture in thoughtful discussions about moral issues, but most of the people I know who fall into category 3 regard those who disagree to be enemies and treat them and speak about them as such. Shouldn't we view them instead as potential converts? The bottom line for me is that using secular political methods to force our moral preferences on our culture may be good for our culture, but it is merely treats the symptoms not the underlying disease, and it distracts from the only real solution, evangelism.

Bryan Riley said...

I hate to say simply "spot on," Wade, but, really, this post is so well written and thoughtful and "spot on" it is spooky. I hope that it took you longer than five minutes to write this post (unlike the few minutes I'm about to spend commenting), because I'd hate to think you could have just turned loose your keyboard on this one and, "POOF," a masterpiece appeared (again unlike this comment will likely be). But, to God be the glory regardless, because He alone gives us our gifts.

Point 1 humbles me because I struggle with anger- anger with myself, with my children, with others. I all too often hide away my emotions only to have them erupt on me at the most unseemly of times. And, I once was truly a fundamentalist, without much thought about it, and could become angry.

Your definition of the term itself is fabulous. And, it doesn't say that it is crazy or spooky to be prophetic or to have the Holy Spirit reveal hidden or future things through an individual Christian who is filled with the Spirit; instead, it identifies as spooky those who try to tell everyone else what God is saying and lacking love when challenged. Clearly, someone who truly has a word from the Lord need not get excitable about being challenged on that word because it isn't their word... it is the Lord's. Also, someone who is submitting to the Lord won't lack love in his or her response to questions or a testing of the spirit behind such words.

This, of course, ties into point #3, dealing with God's sovereignty, which I think often is the difference between an irenic conservative, to borrow your term, and a fundamentalist. People who have too small a picture of God and too large a picture of themselves often spend a lot of time worrying about what they can do to keep their view of God on prominent display.

Anyway, this is you blog, not mine, but if it isn't obvious, I agree wholeheartedly and hope that those who may not have understood where you were coming from previously have a clearer picture of who God is through your writing.

Thank you for your example in Christ.

Nomad said...


Spot on. (a neat little phrase I learned overseas)

I have been acused of being spooky, or at least angry, but only when actual false doctrines come into play. I think it is alright to be angry, but only in a holy anger, like when Jesus cleansed the temple. Of course, that is often hard to do, but a zeal for the Lord is nothing to be disdained. I do understand the difference in that and the anger you are posting about.

Does Emmanuel have a missionary furlough home? If not, why not? You would sure be good for some of us burned out missionaries who need re-charging!

jasonk said...

I would agree with your dad, that you have a way of putting things so that we can understand them. Didn't Forrest Gump also say that?

The only problem is that people will not know that they are the spooky ones. They're like the grandfather whose grandkids put stinky cheese on his mustache. He thinks the whole world stinks, and never considered it might be him.

Beautifully put.

Robert Hutchinson said...

Cooperation is kinda crazy
with a spooky little convention like ours.
Spooky, Spooky, Spooky, Oh-whoa, all right,
I said Spooky!

sorry, could not resist. :)

Cally said...

You speak of this as if it were a new issue. "Spooky" fundamentalism has been around in the SBC for several decades. It is classic Fundamentalism (capital "F"). I didn't know there were folks left who could see it objectively.

Glad to see you've come up with a new moniker for it.

Steve said...

Hey Roger Simpson,

Maybe the fundamentalism we all adhere to is harder to appreciate because the culture, or popular media, have made the term a political cariacture, a catchphrase. Our fundamentalism is based on a celebration of what Jesus says and continues to be, whereas Islamic fundamentalism begins with anger, hatred, and violence. Can't the media come up with better terms?

Hey Stephen Pruett,

You're right - evangelism will cure culture!

A liscentious writer of our day loves to say that fundamentalists are never happy with the other fundamentalists, that groups in agreement turn around and whittle their numbers down through minor, inconsequential disagreements until their group disappears. Maybe those who watch from the culture will be amazed by our forgiven/forgiving perseverance - or will they be justified in cackling at our disappearance as a force for salvation?

Liam Madden said...


Boo! You're spooking me, so I thought I'd try n spook u back. The organizations that you spoke of in connection with Rick Warren can hardly be characterized as New Age. You're adding kooky to your spooky, my friend. What would you prefer--to eliminate all non-governmental agencies except for the International Mission Board? That would leave the world in a pretty sorry state considering thatunder the New Directions emphasis at the IMB, SBC missions have pretty much pulled the plug on healthcare, agriculture, and most other social ministries.

Does Rick Warren's willingness to socialize with or even partner with organizations whose concern is the health and well-being of the world's peoples make him an instrument of Satan? I've heard some conservative bloggers stating that, and I am embarassed by such people. Let's not forget that Jesus spoke of a time when people who said "Lord, Lord" would not actually be doing what he wanted them to do. He also spoke, in a parable, of one who said he would not do the will of the Father, yet later repented and did it anyway. These parables and sayings teach us not to judge by appearances but to judge with right judgement. These parables tell us that faith is important, yes, but moreso if it bears fruit in right deeds. Only time will tell whether Rick Warren, and for that matter, Barack Obama, will be favored in the big scheme of things. Let's not forget that many derided Abraham Lincoln for not being fundamental enough, but his blend of faith and tolerance were just what was needed to re-unite the nation.

Rex Ray said...

I believe you have a hard time admitting a mistake. When I’ve corrected you before in using the wrong word, you replied it was a typo. On May 3, I corrected you for saying, “Today I am extremely grateful to be a follower of Jesus Christ who also happens to be a Southern Baptist.”
Over 10 comments said I was wrong. You did not even correct one that called me an ‘idiot’. The closest you came to admitting a mistake was saying “Sometimes the written word miscommunicates one’s intentions.”
See, you blamed the “written word” for you not writing your words correctly. That’s almost like Moses blaming the people for him being prevented from going to the Promise Land.

You could have made a typo on your post on Tuesday Dec 12 by using the wrong word ‘offered’ instead of ‘offended’, but you did it again in the next sentence.

I said all that to say this. I’ll bet everyone saw this mistake but WHY did no one mention it? WHY have you not explained why you did not keep two of your “Yes, Yes, Yes” when you stopped posting for 40 days? WHY has no one asked you about it? Are they afraid to get on your bad side?

Jasonk made a great statement we all should heed, “The only problem is that people will not know that they are the spooky ones.”

Wade, do you have any ‘spooky’ in you? Let’s examine some of your words. You said, on Dec 5, “Separation from the SBC because of a denial of the inerrancy of God’s word is both appropriate and needed.”
Would you agree with the paraphrasing of those words: “Anyone who denies the inerrancy of God’s word, as defined by the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, should be removed from the SBC”?

Does that sound a little spooky since the definition of the Chicago Statement is ‘wishy-washy? I say “wishy-washy” because ‘Chicago’ has 7 definitions. The SBC picked one definition and rejected the other six. Some rejected this wishy-washy statement and have been slandered as moderate/liberals.

Does your definition of a liberal on May 8 sound spooky?
“One who denies the deity of Christ or
Denies salvation by grace through faith or
Denies the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures.”

I have made the last 6 comments on your post of Dec 5 without any replies. I started to make another, but I think I will post it here as it illustrates what I’m trying to say.

The question arises:
Why am I in this lonely conversation with myself? Am I saying anything? Is their sound if no one hears? It’s a cell of isolation—excluded from the thoughts of men. Is it because I don’t love or weep for the souls of men? Ah, but I do. Is it because my sins have not been forgiven? But Jesus paid it all. Is it because I don’t believe God’s Word? I do from cover to cover. What’s the answer? But I know the answer. I signed up and looked forward in agreement with the Roundtable, and was accepted, but later I was asked not to attend because I had been labeled a liberal by the ‘inner circle.’

Who is the center of the inner circle?—is that you Wade?
Rex Ray

wadeburleson.org said...


I honestly do not understand a thing you are saying.

Are you angry with me because I consider some people liberal in theology?

wadeburleson.org said...


We do have a missionary home.

Please call and inquire about it.

We would love to help if we can.

volfan007 said...


what's that? oh my goodness, it's a spooky fundie!


ps. forgive me for such childish attempts at humor.

Liam Madden said...


When you said Rick Warren and Osama, were you actually referring to Barack Obama?

There is nothing in Senator Obama's distinguished record of public service that deserves any comparison with Osama bin Laden.

Barack Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and served as president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

As a state senator, He also worked for legislation that would cover residents who could not afford health insurance, and helped pass bills to increase funding for AIDS prevention and care programs.Later, he pushed for legislation to require insurers to cover routine mammograms (to prevent breast cancer). He was elected senator from Illinois with the endorsement of Illinois' Fraternal Order of Police.

I think it would be better to hold back on criticizing Obama until you know more about who he is and what he stands for, rather than just rolling him into a whole host of trends and movements that you consider to have had a negative impact.

Jack Maddox said...

Osama Bama mama hama suma cum lada

Oh NO!!!!! I just spoke in a PPL!!!!

"I am ashamed"


volfan007 said...


a couple of questions about obama before the love fest begins. one, is he not pro choice?

two, is he not pro gay agenda?


Jack Maddox said...

Seriously Wade...whats with all the labels? I am just a Bible Believeing Christian who believes every bit of it (even that I dont understand)Loves Jesus, Loves the Church, Loves the Lord, Loves the Houston Texan's and Hates the Dallas Cowboys!

All of this "Tier Doctrines" Level 1, 2 or 3...Doctrines...BFM2000, BFM2008. #1 or 2 Fundamentalist vs. number 3, 4 or 5 fundamentalist...

DUDE! It is all very confusing, if not somewhat subjective


Jack Maddox said...


Why you asking me...

YES..he is pro gay...YES he is pro abortion and NO...I would never let him preach or speak in my church but he would be welcome to come hear the preaching of the gospel...

But he would probably think I am 'spooky'


Jack Maddox said...


I think you intended for your question to me to be directed to David

He is not nearly as 'spooky' as I am.


volfan007 said...


no, i am sorry. my questions were for william maddox.
are you and william kin, btw?


volfan007 said...

here's a quote worth reading from charles spurgeon:

"i have heard of ministers who can preach a sermon without mentioning the name of Jesus from beginning to end. if you ever hear a sermon of that kind, mind that you never hear another one from that man. if a baker once made a loaf of bread without any flour in it, i would take good care that he should never do so again; and i say the same of a man who can preach a christless gospel. let those go and hear him who do not value thier souls; but dear friends, your soul and mine are too precious to be placed at the mercy of such a preacher."

let's preach Jesus, my friends.


Liam Madden said...

Jack and Volfan,

I have a couple of gay friends. I got to know the first one in a Bible study during my freshman year of college. I got to know the second when I personally led him to faith in Christ. During those years, I never knew that either was gay. They were both very sincere Christians and were admired by their fellow students at our Christian college for their good character and academic ability.

Some years after graduation, each came out of the closet. The first told me directly about his situation. With the second, I learned thru a friend. In both cases, these men had struggled with their sexual identity, but ultimately realized that, simply put, they were gay, and there was no use in fighting it.

Because the Lord put me in a situation to be friends with two good people who later turned out to be gay, I have ended up taking a different view of the issue than most conservatives.

I know the Bible says that we should condemn homosexuals, but it also says that we should stone adulterers, and last time I checked, we are not doing that.

Even after knowing these men for many years, I still do not understand the nature of homoerotic attraction, and don't concern myself with what they do in private. But I do support full civil rights for gays, including the right to form civil unions, if they desire.

My question to you is: what does it mean to say that Obama is pro-gay? The way you say it makes it sound like Obama just loves homosexuality, when in fact he just takes a live-and-let-live approach that fits my understanding of how America is supposed to work. The last time I checked, we were still a nation of civils laws in a system designed to protect the rights of minorities, even minorities whose lifestyles with which we may disagree. Or would you rather the U.S. be like Iran where two gay men have been publicly executed by hanging last year just for being gay?

volfan007 said...


first of all, you cant be gay and be a christian. the two dont go together. the bible teaches very plainly that homosexuality of any sort is sin against God, and those who can live in this sin are going to hell.

secondly, i understand that some men, or women, are attracted to the same sex....for whatever reason. they must fight that temptation just as men must fight the temptation to commit adultery.

thirdly, obama is for the gay agenda. he is for making homosexuality an ok thing....or as approved...in our country.

fourthly, abortion is wrong. he is pro choice. that's not right.


Jack Maddox said...


I will respond to your post however I suggest that we go no further than this on the current thread for that would be highjacking...

First of all sir, you assume to much about me. My comments were directed to VOlfan007 and I will address them, but to your first question.

Pro-Gay was VOlfans term however I understand Senator Obabma endorses and advocates several issues that deal with the homosexual agenda that I believe is contrary to the Christian worldview...however I do believe that he is not in favor of Gay Marriage.

As to your other question. well yes William...as a bonafied spooky fundamentalist I am in favor of all Gay people being put to death. A firing squad would be fine but I much prefer stoning. While we are at it I would also like to see all women in burkas, disobedient children killed...and any young girls who can read will need to have their eyes put out. I certainly do wish that our Nation was like Iran...that way all us spooky fundies could rule the world.

Yes William...your just to smart and enlightened for me...you figured me out.

BY the way sir...since you are so smart and enlightened...I guess you can presume that those of us who may hold to a more conservative view than you simply have no dealings with homosexuals...If we did we would be enlightened like you are.


Jack Maddox said...

By the way William and Wade

I presume you would dexcribe yourself as a "Bible Believeing Christian"?

Wade, would William's view fit into your description of acceptable parameters for leadership and cooperation in the SBC.

I guess what I am asking is this...is his view a teir 1, 2 or 3 doctrine?


Bryan Riley said...

You can't be gay and be a Christian? homosexual lust and homosexual acts are sin, yes, and I'm a sinner (in many other ways, praise the Lord not in that way, but unfortunately lust hits me quite often) and I'm a Christian. At least I thought so until volfan pronounced that God's grace can't overcome sin.

you sound like a jayhawk fan, not a volfan (reference to a church that uses the baptist name...)

Bryan Riley said...

Lest we get too far distracted by a single issue (all too often it seems the only issues for "conservative christians" are homosexuality and abortion), I just wanted to remind everyone that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Good news! God so loved us that He sent Jesus to live and die for us as the perfect sacrifice for our filthy rag lives. Wow. I can't get over that. I hope you can't either and I pray that all of us who have tasted the grace of God will not return as the Galatians did to preaching a gospel of works but instead will proclaim the good news that God has a gift for all who will believe! PRAISE THE LORD!

Liam Madden said...


You've got a point, and I do apologize for the know-it-all tone. Perhaps knowing more about my history will help you understand my sensitivity to this issue. When I was a candidate for journeyman service with the International Mission Board, a fundamentalist administrator tried to block my appointment as a volunteer missionary simply because I admitted to having ministered to gays. He argued that I must be gay myself in order to want to have anything to do with gays. Up until that point, I considered myself a fundamentalist, and really I still do, since I think I believe in the fundamentals. But the administrator's attack was very personal and it offended me deeply. As a single heterosexual male who was trying to remain a virgin until marriage, I couldn't exactly "prove" that I was straight, so I had to rely on character witnesses and endure a lengthy drawn out process, during which I was kept in the dark about the proceedings most of the time, which was extremely frustrating.
At one point, I was asked to withdraw my application, which I refused to do. In the end, my name was cleared, and I was appointed to serve as a journeyman in Thailand (1990-1992).

When I see other people (like Obama) being attacked for simply treating gay people decently, it gets my back up. It's ironic--I wasn't a gay rights activist before being persecuted by a fellow Southern Baptist. But after I was nearly shut out of a job (with the IMB) just for having maintained ties of friendship with gays, I decided to take the issue of discrimination against gays more seriously.

Bryan Riley said...

Observation: Wade's point is being made my some comments. :)

Bryan Riley said...

argh... BY SOME COMMENTS. NOT MY SOME COMMENTS. now i have like four comments out of the last five. sorry.

the other day my computer glitched and let me post 3 times the same comment.

I again apologize for my lax editing.

Liam Madden said...

Hey guys,

Wade and I can't really be tied together on this issue because I am way over in Georgia and have had never had the pleasure of meeting Wade personally, although he allows me the courtesy of posting on his blog.

I know from many previous exchanges with him that Wade is more conservative in his views than I am on several issues. I respect Wade for his convictions and think him to be a thoughtful Biblical interpreter.

I probably come closer to fitting in with the moderates who are now discredited in the SBC; that means that I am already used to being accused of being "fuzzy" on my Biblical beliefs. Under those circumstances, I don't think there's any danger of my going up for offices or positions of leadership in the SBC, that would be funny.

I belong to a church that is dually aligned with CBF and the SBC. I designate part of my missions giving to the SBC out of respect for missionaries that I got to know during my journeyman service, most of whom have retired now. I still believe in the work that they were doing and want to support its continuity. I want to see the SBC survive and thrive without going to extremes of either the left or the right.

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

Lots of food for thought here, lots of things you wrote that prompt me to examine my own heart.

It sounds like the core of your entry is that the spooky variety of fundamentalism is:
1. either a lack of trust in the Lord to take care of his church or 2. an unhealthy desire for people to be in control.

Am I reading you wrong? Sobering ideas at any rate. Thank you for writing.

Rex Ray said...

Didn’t know I was speaking in ‘tongues.’ Maybe there’s an interpreter out there somewhere?

If someone was in a car wreck, would you ask them, “Are you angry?” (You said, “Are you angry with me because…?”) Wade, the correct word is “Hurt.” Hurt and more hurt.
Don’t conclude I’m angry. That’s your first identifying mark of being Spooky.

I thought the more present at Roundtable would influence the IMB to reconsider their latest Pharisee ruling of telling God they would not allow anyone to be missionaries that had received His gift of PPL.
It HURT to be told my presence would hinder the cause since the inner circle had labeled me a liberal.

Who is the inner circle?

The heart of the matter of me asking you, “Do you have any ‘spooky’ in you?” is answered by your reply, “Are you angry with me because I consider some people liberal in theology?”

“I consider some people liberal in theology” is your second identifying mark of Spooky—“Intentional and purposeful attempts to slander those who disagree.
A spooky Fundamentalist will identify everyone who disagrees with him as a theological liberal or ‘moderate’ and will do all he can to attack his opponents character, often by making things up.”

I agree you don’t attack people’s character or make things up. But when you “consider some people liberal in theology”, that is all the slander needed to remove them from the SBC.

Do you agree?

Do you consider the old conventions of Virginia and Texas liberal in theology? (They will not accept the word ‘inerrancy’.)

Sometimes it’s a lot easier to not understand the question than to answer.
Rex Ray

Jack Maddox said...

After reading Rex Ray's comment, I do believe that baptist life is more confusing than the situation on the ground in Iraq!

Rex...what in the world are you talking about...I am gonna have to start calling you "Fox from Texas!"


Rex Ray said...

Jack Maddox,
Somehow I think you’re pulling my leg, but I’ll answer anyway.

On Wade’s post on Sat Oct 28, he announced he was going to leave for 40 days. I asked him:

1. Will your present blog stay available for reading?
2. Can any new comments other than yours, be added?
3. If new comments are added, will they be ‘screened’ by you?

Wade replied;
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

History shows the answers should have been:
1. Yes
2. No
3. No

So far, Wade has made no explanation, no one has asked him why except me, and he tells me, “I honestly do not understand a thing you are saying.”

I could go over the rest point by point so a third grader could understand, but I believe I’d be wasting my time. If you really want to know more, read the last six comments on Wade’s post on Dec 5, 2006.
Rex Ray

Jack Maddox said...

Oh...thanks Rex...that cleared everything up!!!!!



wadeburleson.org said...


I'm so sorry.

Now I understand.

First, allow me to say that I should have originally answered your questions.

(1). Yes
(2). No
(3). No

I apologize. I humbly seek your forgiveness. I repent in sackcloth and ashes.

No excuses. However, what happened was simply this:

I started my blog fast intending to let people comment. After two days I realized that I would have to moderate comments simply because things were being written that needed a response. Therefore, I made the decision to not post any comment for the forty days. It allowed me to be truly free of the blog --- and I enjoyed every minute!

But you are correct. I should have explained.

My sincere apologies.


wadeburleson.org said...


Go easy on Rex. :)

Rex Ray said...

Thanks for your kind explanation. Glad you enjoyed the rest of not blogging those 40 days.

After your contest (‘If I were president, I would...’), do you remember saying my idea was crazy (or something like that), but if it happened to count you in?

Well, I still think it would be good. I’ve stated the idea below that I wrote on your post of June 19.
If the subject was inerrancy, we could change it from “Chicago” to ‘Blogger's Statement on Biblical Inerrancy’.

If I were president of the SBC, I would have Wade Burleson start a debate to settle each difference that divided the SBC. (Tongues, baptism, 1963 vs. 2000 BFM, inerrancy vs. infallible, Baptist World Alliance, etc.)

Each side would have a ‘staff’ to make comments. At the end of each week, non-partial debate judges would score each side from 0 to 100.
(This score is only based upon the skill of debate and not who is right or wrong. That will be settled later in ‘more to come.’)

The public would be invited to join. Their comments would be printed but debate judges would not consider them unless the ‘staff’ added them to their debate material.

Debate comments of one side would be on one column with the other side’s comments next to it in another column.

Debate judges would have to arrange statements, questions, and answers so they related to each other.

The reader would be able to read like they were hearing a conversation.
(“More to come”)

Churches are to be notified of these debates and asked to take part as each convention will ask their churches to send the number of votes for side? and the number of votes for side?

This way, every priesthood of the believer will have an opportunity to be heard. [counted]

The time allowed for the debates would depend upon participation and announced later.

Side effects: More Baptists would know the ‘what and why of their beliefs.’

The title of these debates could be, “The SBC hears its members.”

Rex Ray

volfan007 said...


gay people can be saved....thus, they would be ex gay people. they would be former homosexuals.

those who live in the sin of homosexuality are not saved....those who can continue in it. 1 corinthians 6:9-11, and i could quote many other verses.

btw, please dont put words in my mouth. i never said that God's grace cannot overcome sin. of course, the grace of God can overcome sin.


Liam Madden said...


I know you like a great quote, so here's a good one to wrap up this thread, from one of our great founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton:

"So numerous indeed and so powerful are the causes which serve to give a false bias to the judgment, that we, upon many occasions, see wise and good men on the wrong as well as on the right side of questions of the first magnitude to society. This circumstance, if duly attended to, would furnish a lesson of moderation to those who are ever so much persuaded of their being in the right in any controversy. And a further reason for caution, in this respect, might be drawn from the reflection that we are not always sure that those who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution."


Bryan Riley said...

volfan, I'm saved and i'm still heterosexual. i'm not an ex-heterosexual. By God's grace i will confine my sexual orientation, desires, and, yes, unfortunately even lusts, to my marriage.

I wanted you to clarify what you said or see if you really meant how it sounded. Just because someone has homoerotic desires does not mean they cannot be a Christian. And, they might even have those lusts after becoming a Christian. They may even fall into temptation and act on them, just as you or I might fall into temptation and tell a lie or lust in our heart.

Again, I'm thankful that God's grace is sufficient for me and for all who will believe. I wasn't putting words in your mouth, volfan; I was trying to illustrate how your words sounded, even to someone who isn't gay. God forbid someone who is struggling with those issues and who is either considering becoming a Christian or who already is read your language as it was written.

volfan007 said...


of course we all still fight with temptations after we get saved. some struggle with drinking alcohol, others struggle with lusting after women, and some struggle with thier homosexual temptations. but, to call someone a gay christian is not right....it almost sounds like someone is saying that you can live a gay life and still be right with God.

i know that that was not what you were saying....or, at least, i dont think thats what you're saying. but, i dont think its good to call people a gay christian. also, i dont buy into the born that way stuff. you know, i was born that way so i just cant help it. i dont beleive that no more than i would believe an adulterer saying that he was just born that way and cant help it.

now, i know that we are all born with a sin nature, and that sin nature just oozes out of us in different ways...thru different sins. and, when we get saved, we are changed, but we still have to fight with the flesh. i know that. but, we are changed. and, whereas i might struggle with pride, or lust, or weed smoking; someone else might struggle with homosexual desires. thats true. but, i am a former drinking, weed smoking, woman chasing fella. i am an ex-hedonist.

also, i have no connection with that church in kansas...none whatsoever. and, i really dont appreciate you insinuating that i am like those wackos.


wadeburleson.org said...

William Madden,

Nary a better quote to be found in the blog world.