Monday, April 02, 2007

Alert: Fellow Southern Baptists Are Not The Enemy

Roger Moran, the Southern Baptist layman from Missouri who orchestrated the has been called the 'takeover' of the Missouri Baptist Convention, was was profiled yesterday in the St. Louis Dispatch. There were several interesting quotes attributed to Mr. Moran.

First, Roger says Journey Church, which is a Southern Baptist church in Missouri, is part of the emerging church movement which Moran calls . . .

"one of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life."

I find it reprehensible and unconscionable that someone would call a Southern Baptist Church in Missouri, one that is reaching people for Christ and now running over 1200 in worship, 'deceptive' and 'dangerous.'

I am reminded of a comment I heard recently during a news report of the peace agreement signed by long term foes Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland. The agreement states that the two will share power in the government of Northern Ireland beginning next month. A native of the country was asked by the reporter why he felt peace had finally come to the Catholics and Protestants of Northern Ireland. He said, "We finally figured out that who the real enemy is, and it's not us." This may have been an oblique attempt to warn of the growing Islamic influence in the British Isles, but his point has validity - ultimately both political parties in Northern Ireland have too much in common to consider one another the enemy.

So it is with Southern Baptists. Why in the world do we waste our time trying to identify the 'deceptive' and 'dangerous' within our convention? Could it be that the real enemy is being ignored and those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ and part of the Southern Baptist Convention are being unnecessarily attacked?

Second, the the St. Louis Dispatch article states,

In December (2006), Moran began publicly questioning The Journey's loyalty to Baptist doctrine.

Most Southern Baptists oppose the consumption of alcohol, and Moran has seized on the issue of beer in the emerging church as proof that a younger generation will compromise established doctrine to attract souls."

It is unbelievable to me that a man who is a two or three time divorcee is associating 'poor doctrine' with holding evangelistic events in a local brewery. Maybe I could understand Roger if he were questioning the 'morality' of Journey Church holding evangelistic Bible studies in such a location, but to associate 'poor doctrine' with reaching the lost in a brewery is as silly as associating 'poor doctrine' with a man who has been divorced and remarried. It just doesn't make sense.

Finally, the article states

During his revolution, Moran ensured his allies were strategically positioned to appoint other, like-minded Baptists to positions of influence within the convention.

For those who have a hard time understanding how certain decisions or actions can be taken by trustees, which seem detrimental to the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole, one only has to remember that if those orchestrating the takeover or appointments wish to do something, regardless of the majority feelings of the people of the SBC - or more importantly what Scripture states - then they can do it by using those they have placed in leadership.

Bill Leonard, Dean of Wake Forest Divinity School, makes an interesting statement when asked by the reporter regarding his obversations.

"The Southern Baptist Convention is growing increasingly terrified that they've spent all this time recreating the denomination in this (conservative) image, and now nobody cares," he said. "Young seminarians are challenging them on issues and saying, 'Your vision of reality is not ours.'"

Dr. Leonard may, or may not, be correct. One thing I do know to be true is this:

We must get to the place where we no longer see fellow Southern Baptists as the enemy. There is room in my convention for everyone who holds to the fundamentals of the faith and seeks to cooperate for the purpose of missions and evangelism. I can't figure out why some wish to continue to narrow the parameters of cooperation and exclude fellow, Bible believing Southern Baptists from missions participation and convention leadership.

Maybe it's just that they have not yet learned that our fellow Southern Baptists are not the enemy.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


CB Scott said...


It is my earnest prayer that Mr. Roger Moran nor Dr. Bill Leonard speaks for the vast majority of Southern Baptists.Surely there is a more balanced voice among us somewhere. Hopefully there are many, many more balanced voices among us. May God have mercy on us if such is not the case.


Bill Scott said...

Like your example taken from N. Ireland politics, peace will never come to the SBC unless the greater enemy is perceived to be from without and not from within. Consistent cooperation will not take place until we face towards those outside of our circle. We must not continue to turn our back on those outside of our circle (the lost). When we have our focus inward we invariably will not be able to concentrate on what is going on outside of our circle.

Bill Scott

Trigun said...

I think Bill Leonard is partiallly right.
As a young seminarian, it's not that I don't care. On the contrary, I'm very appreciative that we brought things back to Scripture.
I think what has happened in some cases is we young seminarians are told, "THIS is doctrine," and our response is, "What does Scripture say about that?" or "I don't see this in Scripture at all."
Personally, I care. I'm highly appreciative. However when those same people try to impress something as Scripture when it isn't...well, they start to battle a monster that they themselves created =P
Praise God we're reading the Word!

You're absolutely on target, Wade. The enemy isn't a SBC member. I would go further and say its not a Presbyterian or a Pentecostal. Paul had much to say about the enemies we truly fight in Ephesians 6. I think he may have been onto something ;)

Anonymous said...

And neither is Roger Moran the enemy and I think you have not cast him to be so, although some who will comment will say that you have.

I was just thinking of the parable of the wheat and the tares. No one went through and tried to pull out the tares one by one or to separate therefrom. Rather, it was not until the very end when the Father took care of the tares, not individuals within the church.

I know you are addressing the SBC, but this post trnscends the SBC. Humans simply aren't the enemy. They are potential disciples. God is the judge and the Spirit is the one who will draw men unto God. We simply must be about loving, making disciples, giving and forgiving, and the like.

Kevin said...

Great post.

On a related note, I find that blasting the "emerging church" is a bit pointless because the label is given to so many different types of churches. Maybe I'm dense (I'll blame it on being overseas), but no one has clearly defined what "emerging church" means to my satisfaction.

When there is unsound doctrine we should correct it, whatever the church style or model. This does not seem to be a case of unsound doctrine or non-biblical practice with this church. Seems they are simply reaching out to the unchurched. Remember--The Wesley brothers were considered vulgar for preaching outdoors.

Perhaps "emerging church" will be a new label, like calling someone a "liberal." Just label them when you don't have a sound biblical argument.

ml said...


One of the issues that we evangelicals need to grapple with is our tendency to define ourselves more by what we are not rather than what we are. Since this becomes so habitual in response to culture, sadly it also shows up within our fellowship, too. So, we are constantly warring and looking for those things that we are not and end up sounding incredibly negative and divisive. We hammer on these issues that we disagree with and articulate it from a negative perspective rather than clarify the positive change that we are pursuing. Consequently, the inevitable perception is incredibly detrimental to the world that God has called us to reach.

jasonk said...

At church Sunday, I was chatting with a lady who said that like me, she had been a Southern Baptist before. When I asked her what made her change denominations, she said, "I just got tired of people fighting all the time."
Obviously, the SBC is not the only group of Christians that fight with one another over issues not central to saving faith. But once you get a little taste of what it is like to cooperate in love with people who don't always agree with you on every single point, it is so refreshing, and liberating, and yes, Christ-like.

Anonymous said...

1. Any year's version of the Baptist Faith & Message statement (1925, 1963, 2000) is representative of the personal theological persuasions of every kind of Baptist ever walking on planet earth--and can be the basis for our cooperation if we will cooperate. (This may be a "moderating" comment, but it's one made by a biblical/theological conservative--me!)

2. Everyone, permit everyone else among us to choose the version of the BF&M to which he will adhere, and then move forward cooperatively together in missions and evangelism.

3. Where the MBC was before the "take over": on its way to reaching the state of Missouri for Christ through new stategies/etc., and ceasing to be a dying and irrelevant state Baptist convention (I was there as a conscious-voting, not Project 1000 agenda-voting, member of the executive board at the time).

4. Where the MBC is today (copy/paste/follow link):

5. A miracle will have occurred if the people needing to read/heed this blog posting actually read/heed it. I'm ready for "days of miracles" to happen in that sense today!

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Kaylor said...

Wade: Very well put! Thanks for reminding us all of this. There have been too many Baptists that have been wrongly attacked over the past few decades, and sadly some wish to continue the purge. We must refocus on what really matters—sharing the love of Jesus

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

How about not only are fellow Southern Baptists not the enemy, but fellow Christians are not the enemy either.

peter lumpkins said...


I trust your are well. I have no acquaintance with Mr. Moran. Nor do I reject outright the emerging/emergent movement (e/e). Like most "movements" it no doubt possesses some positive strengths but some negative as well.

I am also aware that Mr. Moran's critique of e/e is not the most scholarly kid on the block. But other critiques written by able scholars (D.A. Carson, e.g.) have weighed e/e in the balance and their judgment stands similar to Mr. Moran's. Consequently, e/e may be "dangerous and deceptive" after all. Time will help us see.

What I find sometimes disturbing about posts here, Wade, is that the theme pursued is negated by the content.

Granted you rightly conclude that "We must get to the place where we no longer see fellow Southern Baptists as the enemy." However, you appear to get to that destination via a questionable route. First, Mr. Moran did not "call a Southern Baptist Church in Missouri ['deceptive' and 'dangerous.'
]". Rather he spoke of e/e being such. Thus, to wrongly label what Mr. Moran did as "reprehensible and unconscionable" is itself suspect. If we're headed up the high road, Wade, we need to keep our cirticisms accurate, at least from my point of view.

Even more disturbing for me is, why you penned the following words. You write: "It is unbelievable to me that a man who is a two or three time divorcee is associating 'poor doctrine' with holding evangelistic events in a local brewery." What does Mr. Moran's marriage failure have to do with his judgment on e/e?

In addition, Wade, is Mr. Moran a two time divorcee or a three time divorcee? Which is it? It does make a difference it seems to me and if one did not know which it is, it is odd--not to speak of suspect--that it would have been mentioned at all. Unless, of course, one desired to grease the water bucket so that we'd all possess a distaste for this "two or three time divorcee."

The challenge you offer is worthy, Wade: we are not enemies. But the words you sometimes post offer more hindrance than help in meeting that challange.

May our day be filled with grace. With that, I am...

Peter said...


Rule of thumb. When the comment is longer than the post, it's worthy of a post on your own blog. :)

I do not know whether it is two or three times, and for me it makes no difference. However, if it makes a difference for you then you ought to ask him.

My point stands. To lecture on 'morality' under the guise of 'sound doctrine' makes no sense. said...


I would agree. A balanced voice is needed among us. said...


You were correct on what some would do. Just one so far. Hopefully that will be all.

OC Hands said...

Very interesting post. I agree that our fellow Baptist are not the enemy, neither are our fellow Christians. The sad thing for me is that the "struggle" for true doctrine among some folks never seems to end. While it is important to have correct doctrine about the essentials, continuing to quibble with fellow believers over minor issues is not the way to advance the kingdom of God.

While I do believe that there is a danger in basing our unity with any group solely in the areas of belief that we share in common, or only on the common goals that we share, there is much to be gained by co-operating with fellow Baptists in the tasks of evangelism and missions. Others have voiced their opinions that agreement on even the "third tier" doctrines are essential to any cooperative efforts, and would not consider working with those who disagree with their interpretation of scripture at any point.

Yesterday I had a thought that both amused and troubled me. I thought of the future, and pictured a doctrinally correct believer (call him a five point Calvinist--I confess I don't have a clue as to what that means, but use it as an example of someone on one side of the theological spectrum) and let's say a liberal CBF member sitting down together with Jesus. I wondered what they would possibly be talking about--cessationism, continualism, predestination, free will, etc. After I had a chuckle or two at that scenario, I became sad, thinking to myself "Whatever they might be discussing in heaven with Jesus in their midst, why could they (and we) not be discussing that now?" I know some would say "love" is too soft a word, but in my opinion that would be a relevant topic for us to discuss, if it is "Christ's love" we are talking about.

It would be wonderful to see us rally around Christ's love for the whole world, rather than erect barriers between our fellow believers in Christ.

Anonymous said...

twice divorced. three times married.

Kevin Bussey said...

I have no problem with their methods. I just wonder what "interdenominational" means. Are they an SBC church or not? No stones just wondering what that means. $200,000 is a lot of money.

Steve said...

I may be utterly naive about how Baptists come together to organize themselves to do state-wide and convention-wide things, but the actions of Roger Moran seem to be those of a Paul Pressler-wanna-be.
I'm glad he paid attention to Missouri state affairs but it looks like he doesn't trust the state Baptist leaders to do what they've been chosen to do. Have we not learned anything about political crusaders and the damage they are capable of?

Isn't the lure of political power rather like porn or an addiction to chemicals, in that one becomes blinded to how things could/should be without this undue influence?
Mr. Moran simply seems to reject what and who he cannot control.

I trust the emerging church movement to head in the right direction. If God is in it, it will flourish; if not, it will dry out like the plant Jesus pointed us to. The young adults in our modern American culture take one look at Baptist strictness and infighting and moral imperiousness and shout, "No thank you!" I guess I must agree with Dr. Leonard.

Mr. Moran seems to want the deck chairs arranged "just so" as Titanic heads racing off into its cold April night run.

Anonymous said...

You need to do your homework before you judge Roger Moran based on a St.L.P+D article. Talk about DUMB!!! Probably the most liberal paper in the state! Have you forgotten MATT. 18?
Why not pick up the phone and see what Roger's real thoughts and research has shown. I notice you didn't quote the paper when they did an article on the Journey which included drinking beer at a "brew and chew" (Bible study)session. Neither did you mention that they keep denying being an MBC/SBC church even though we loaned them $200,000.00. Does that fit into your 'ethics' pattern?
Those who see a coming problem in its "emergent state"(pun intended) are often castigated. Anybody can determine a problem after its here and festering.
A WORD OF WARNING: When you see "EMERGENT" "EMERGING" "PDC" for your life and protect your flock!

Anonymous said...

To summarize the article you pointed to;

1. Roger Moran, is cited as a political person multiple times in the article.
2. It’s OK for him to “take over” the convention since he has “found the truth” and wants all others to do it his way or the highway
3. He had 19 churches thrown out last year because they dared to support missionaries not appointed by the SBC.
4. Moran has never been to Journey Church nor spoken to anyone from the church, but has condemned the church on hearsay.
5. Moran states; "What we've got now is a church where you can drink beer in the bar, you can talk about rock 'n' roll, you can watch R-rated movies on film night.”
6. Moran believes that some in the emerging church may be theologically sound but that its leaders are caught up in the culture that is leading most Americans astray.

So It’s OK for Jesus to go out among the “sinners” and preach/teach unto salvation, but we are sophisticated now, so the sinners must come to us, sing our songs, act “proper” and then maybe we will tell them about Christ? I went to the Journey web site and read about their outreach. I applaud them for their willingness to do as Jesus commanded and GO unto all the world and not WAIT for the world to come to us….

I see no doctrinal issue, no reason to spew politics, and no reason not to support a church who is reaching the lost right where they are.


Pastor John said...

When asked to define "interdenominational" The Journey's pastor Darrin said that they use that phrase instead of "Baptist" because St. Louis is a very Catholic city & when people hear the word Baptist, they think "snake handler." Growing up just south of St. Louis, I can say that his assessment is correct. The church is MBC/SBC.

John D.

OC Hands said...

I am becoming less and less tolerant of those who post on this blog who are so critical and seem to know it all, yet continue to hide under their "anonymous" titles. Just my opinon, of course, but I would take them more seriously if they would identify themselves.

Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks John,

Are they contributing back to the convention? I understand what they are doing, I just wonder if they are giving back to the hand that fed them so to speak. I'm not being critical just wondering. Thanks again.

Paul Burleson said...

Robin and Peter,

I appreciate both of you as I've expressed on your blogs at other times, but I must say, without Wade needing my defense at all, that I find what you both have said in this comment section rather odd.

I, too, would want quotes given correctly and would desire to be quoted correctly. But for you to say Mr. Moran was misquoted doesn't fit my understanding of what he said.

I'm not addressing the validity of what he said or of your's or Wade's opinion of it, just your comments that stated he was misquoted by Wade.

I read the whole article twice and this is what I read and would have quoted him as saying.

I quote Moran, "The emerging church [singular] is one of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life."

I read that he said, "Moran acknowleges that what emerging churches [plural] offer is attractive to young people."

I quote what he said, "what we've got now is a church where you can drink beer at a bar, [Journey church] you can talk about rock n roll, you can watch R-rated movies on film night." [Other churches of the movement perhaps.]

Now, my reading is that the emerging church movement is dangerous and deceptive as stated and Journey church is one of those churches. [Spoken of with specificity] So, in my thinking, were I the pastor of Journey church, or an observer of language and it's usage, that Journey church has been labeled as dangerous and deceptive. I would quote Mr. Moran as having said that very thing. If one were to say I'm wrong in doing so I would say, "I respect your view of what I've done...but I completely disagree with your view of what I've done.

I agree with you, Peter and Robin, and with Wade's post, we are not enemies. But we sure do see things differently often. As friends we may disagree with views and words, but motives we'll leave to the Lord of the heart. [This references all the "why's people tend to give for what is said for everyone except themselves so often. Excluding present company in this conversation.] :)

I also agree with Wade that a comment the length of your's OR mine [Peter/Paul] should probably be a post on my own blog. Sorry Wade.


Anonymous said...

No need to draw out the moral failures of others to win an arugment. If you argument is strong enough then you don't need shots below the belt. Just state your perspective with biblical evidence and not with the weaknesses of others.

Oklahoma Joe

peter lumpkins said...


Thanks for the return. As for your funny about my comment being longer than your post, I did not get it. My comment was barely over 300 words--way less than half of your OP.

But wait! Being inaccurate with numbers (two or three divorces) was my original point. Thanks for substantiating my concern further, my brother Wade.

As for it not mattering about whether Mr. Moran has been divorced twice or three times depends, Wade, to whom one is speaking. I care because I happen to care about accuracy. I suppose Mr. Moran cares too as well as his present wife (assuming he's married) and children.

The worst of it, Wade, is that, apparently from your words, you don't. This confuses me immensely. Dismissing anyone's view by labeling them "a two or three time divorcee" is ad hominem at its unglorious heights.

Finally, to imply such a hard dichotomy as do you between morality or the one hand and sound doctrine on the other seems the view that qualifies for the least amount of sense. That's my take anyway.

With that, I am...


p.s excluding this p.s., there are 186 words. I trust I'm not over my limit :)

texasinafrica said...

Wade, you really should read "Exiled: Voices from the Southern Baptist Convention Holy Wars," edited by Kell and Hill. Reading it helped me to recognize that most of these patterns of behavior have been present in the SBC for a long time.

Dave Miller said...

I am in basic agreement about this situation. I am finding it increasingly difficult to feel good about the men I supported in the conservative resurgence of the 1980's.

However, there is something in your article that gives me pause. I know we do not share a similar view of the end times, but scripture repeatedly warns that as time draws on, deception would increase within the church.

From that, I draw two conclusions. First, it would be silly to believe that there are no "false brethren" among us - wolves in sheep's clothing.

Second, we are obligated to confront them. Paul called the Judaizers "enemies of the gospel." They were within the church.

I am all for a spirit of openness. I voted (enthusiastically) for Frank Page last year. Would do so again this year if my schedule allowed me to be in SA.

But we must also not give up the concept of biblical discernment, of identifying heresy and false teaching where it exists, and even of confronting it.

I am not saying we should call someone an enemy of the cross because they imbibe or any silly issues like that.

But I have done some research on the emergent church movement, and there are some serious doctrinal compromises being made by SOME among movement. I have confronted those issues from the pulpit.

I have not consigned them to hell or called them my enemies, but I have identified trends of theological compromise that I feel are dangerous to our faith.

Dave Miller said...

I hate when I click the send button too soon.

Here's my point. We should not call someone an enemy because of minor points of disagreement.

We should also NOT assume that just because someone is a Southern Baptist, he is a friend of the gospel or the truth.

We should use gentle but firm biblical and theological discernment to test and approve new movements and trends (as well as the ongoing behavior of older movements).

Unknown said...

Oklahoma Joe,

I do not find Wades mentioning that this man would not be qualified to serve as a Pastor or Deacon in the “VAST” Majority of Southern Baptist Churches as shot below the belt at all… Mr. (Not Pastor, Not Elder, Not Deacon) but Mr. Moran has taken it upon himself to set the “House of God” in order… I think it very proper to ask the question is this man qualified (or called of God) for this task?

"For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1Tim.3:5)

Grace to all,

Anonymous said...

My heart is grieved when I see Kingdom work by fellow brothers in Christ, committed to the gospel, referred to as "junk."

I can tell you that the Journey gives generally to the St. Louis Metro Association. They are a friend and a partner for doing mission in St. Louis.

I agree that Matthew 18 should be used in principle when we have questions and disagreements rather than going to secular media outlets to deal with "family" matters.

Darren Casper
Associate Executive Director
Church Planting / Acts 1:8 Partnerships
Saint Louis Metro

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks Darren for the info. I'm glad God is using the Journey to reach people who would be going to hell if they were not reached.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I think that the fact Roger Moran has been divorced more than once would make him a more tolerant man, not less. God forgives as should we, so the divorces alone are not the issue, his intolerance using a magnifying glass is. Again as has been said, other Southern Baptists are not the enemy and I find it interesting that the same people who have commented, are fighting against one who has a PPL or has not been baptized accordingly, even wishing to exclude from serving in the SBC, yet they proclaim Roger Moran fit for duty. This double standard is the part I am scratching my head about.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Paul,

I appreciate your words. You ever speak with grace. I also agree that we all see things differently.

To be sure, Mr. Moran may very well believe what both you and Wade indicate. I do not grant less. Yet, from the evidence offered in the SLD article, to make such a case goes beyond the actual words.

To collapse what Mr. Moran said about e/e "as a movement" into what you think he said about The Journey "as a church" is simply unfounded in my view, Paul. It would be like arguing that because one is a member of a Liberal church, one is a liberal.

It is for that reason that, from the SLD post at least, he alluded to e/e as "dangerous and deceptive" specifically, not a specific church.

And, even further indicating that there are positive goods to be found, he evidently concludes that their lack of leadership capabilities notwithstanding, "some in the emerging church may be theologically sound..."

Thus, from my view--and, not at all questioning Wade's motives and surely not yours--this post simply does not accurately portray the SLD article about Mr. Moran.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter said...

Peter and Paul,

Frankly, both of you are two of the better writers in the blog world, and if you add my mother Mary, the three of you could form a singing group.

Good words Dad. I like Peter, though I disagree with him on many issues, I consider him a brother in Christ with whom I am honored to cooperate with in the SBC. I say the same things about Mr. Moran.

My effort is to try to stop others from identifying fellow Southern Baptists as the enemy. Neither Peter or Roger are my enemy. Never have been, never will be.

I sure don't wish to be an enemy in their minds either, or for that matter, I don't wish anyone else in the SBC who disagrees with them to be considered an enemy as well -- We are family.

I think Peter desires this, but from Roger's own words, I'm not sure he understands the principle.

Gary Snowden said...

I suppose that as much as I'm concerned about the attacks on other Christians who are seeking to win the lost to Christ, I was also distressed (but not surprised) by what the Dispatch article reported about Moran's blatant political manueverings. The writer says, "Moran also is worried that his promise to conservative Baptists during his rise to power is beginning to show some wear. He promised his allies they would enjoy a prolonged era of control."

The promise of a prolonged era of control underscores once again that the basic issues in the struggle all along were not doctrinal concerns but political power and its exercise through carefully orchestrated appointments.

Paul Burleson said...


I obviously disagree with your assessment of the article and of my comment. I certainly agree with Wade's assessment of you. And, if Mary is willing, we could give a measure of creedance to the idea of "resurrection," at least of singing groups.

Excellent statement in response Wade. Your longing is shared by many of us.

Dad said...

Bro. Robin,

See Paul's comment.

LivingDust said...

Ephesians 6:

11 - Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

I am sure that somewhere, on a weekly basis, there is a Southern Baptist Pastor/Preacher who is standing in the pulpit and preaching false doctrine and a watered-down Gospel to the elect and unconverted. But, isn't it the duty of the local congregation to confront that issue, locally, in accordance with instructions provided in the Scriptures? said...

Bro. Robin,

I much prefer an environment where there is a refusal to spiritualize away the direct meaning of one's communication. It is obvious to anyone who reads Mr. Moran's resolution to the SBC or the article in the St. Louis Dispatch, or any other written materials that are in the public domain, that Roger Moran believes Journey Church - and churches like her - are deceptive and dangerous. I respect you Robin, and appreciate your ministry to the people of your community, but I wonder why you cannot see the obvious. We as Christians should be people of our word, and we should say what we mean, and mean what we say. I accept Roger's words at face value, and have written a post to disagree with his assessment. Journey Church and churches like her are not our enemy. Nobody else but you and Peter seem confused about Roger Moran's intentions to identify the 'dangerous' and 'deceitful' enemy 'creeping in through the back door' in the SBC, and I am doing my best to not beleive that your comment in this stream, as well as Peter's, are not attempts to avoid the real issue by raising unnecessary ones.

Anonymous said...

G. Alford,

I see no where in Wade's article the issue of Roger being unfit to pastor. I may be wrong but it seems that Wade is addressing Roger's view of the emergent church movement. Because of that I see no reason to point out a persons particular moral failure as support to a point of view. One thing that I learned in seminary from Dr. Robert Stein was not to use personal attacks to win an arugment. I wrote a paper refuting an argument of a particular author's interpretation of a text and did poorly because of this such thing. Dr. Stein told me that my arugment was right but gave me a poor grade only because I used a personal attack. We can debate and argue whether Roger Moran is right or wrong (I agree that he has gone about this issue in the wrong way) but that gives no one the option of using moral failures as a weapon. This seems to contradict what Wade is writing about when he says southern baptists are not the enemy. So why then use a tactic of moral failure against someone else. That is what enemies do. Win a debate by good reasoning and bibilcal support not by making public other individuals failures. That is what politicians do.

Oklahoma Joe

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade & Paul,

It was “Early in the Morning” when I first read this post being “500 Miles” away from home. The flight had been canceled due to “Early Mornin’ Rain.”

I was losing patience when the Delta supervisor told me as he laughed “Don’t Think Twice. It’s All Right.” You’ll be “Leaving On a Jet Plane” soon enough. I told him “Don’t Laugh At Me”! “If I Had A Hammer,” I’d knock your “Stewball” clean to “El Salvador.” He began to laugh harder, so I called for “The Great Mandala.” When she got through with him, he looked as if he’d sucked a week on a “Lemon Tree.”

Once we took off, we were “Blowin’ In The Wind” and I was finally headed home “For Baby.” As I was relaxing, the stewardess came by and asked if I desired to “Puff, The Magic Dragon.” I informed her that “Times, They Are A-Changin’” There’s simply just too little time and “Too Much of Nothing.” She rolled on by muttering she’d be glad when this “Day is Done.” I wondered “Where Have All The Flowers Gone.”

Despite “The Cruel War” our SBC has experienced over the last three and a half decades, “This Land is Your Land,” Southern Baptists. Therefore, just “Weave Me The Sunshine.” should be our prayer. We together should hear Jesus when He says “Follow Me” as we thank Him “For Lovin’ Me.” I simply can’t wait for the “Wedding Song” at the Lamb’s Marriage Supper!

Grace Guys. Surely a chorus we could sing. With that, I am…


P.S. If anyone—especially in mid-twenties--does not recognize the words in quotations above, don’t even ask. I guess Wade, Mary and, of course, Paul and “I Dig Rock And Roll Music” and you guys don’t…:^)

Anonymous said...


Well put. It seems to me that Baptist history is filled with those who point to the "enemy among us" and who then turn out to be hiding more grievous sins in their own lives.

Seems like Mr. Moran should be worried about his divorces more than the "emerging" young folks in the convention who are serving the Kingdom well.

I see the same thing here at Southern Seminary. The young folks are beginning to question the traditional approaches. But I have to admit I do not sense open hostility among the faculty toward those who do raise legitimate questions.

Paul Burleson said...


Fortunately/unfortunately I knew every song and literally could sing them as I read your comment. What a hoot that was. Superb.


My statement was about how so many comments DO degenerate into questioning of motives so often. I was not and do not now think either you, Peter or I did. My funny remark about excluding present company, while intended for humor, was sincerely my opinion of the three of us. You are correct. You did not question anyone's motives. Keep it up my friend. said...


That's too funny. said...

Oklahoma Joe,

As those who know me will tell you, there is not one bone in my body that judges a man for moral failure. Period. Roger can be married and divorced five or six times if he chooses, and even then, there will not be one ounce of condemnation. His life is the Lord's, and I am not his Lord. I'm also not the one questioning the morality of a church that is seeking out the lost by hosting a Bible study and discussion in a brewery -- calling that 'dangerous' and 'deceptive.' I'm not the one judging Journey Church's motives and methods -- Roger is. I'm simply pointing out that when a man enters the realm of becoming moral authority and moral judge regarding another's motives and intentions, he better have a spotless moral record himself -- otherwise his attack reverberates back onto himself with a hollow echo.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade

Ah, man. Why'd you go and bring me back into it? And I was fixin' to tuck-tail and run.

First, just because Robin and I are apparently the only ones blowing the whistle does not mean no foul has been committed.

Secondly, Wade, to suggest that we're throwing out false scents by raising unnecessary questions gives me a good old-fashioned belly-roll. Please stop! :^))

You're raising, my Brother, the very question I raised in the beginning about the unnecessary statement of Moran's marriage failure. If unnecessay winds are blowing, they are not coming from Georgia or even an hour or so southeast of you as I can tell.

Granted I am confused sometimes. But Hun has given me the O.K that I definitively am not confused today. With that, I am...


Anonymous said...


I agree and disagree with you. I agree that Roger Moran wrong is his actions. I agree that some type of accountability should be brought to him. I agree that from the way Journey Church's doctrinal statement reads they have a good grasp on the teaching of scripture.

However I still disagree with you about including his marriage problems as a reason for him to be wrong about Journey Church. You seem to be doing exactly what you are accusing him of doing. You say he has no right to claim "poor doctrine" when the issue is not about doctrine but his view of morality. But then you turn around and argue that he is just as wrong about his political maneuvering because of his moral failures. Do you see what I mean?

Your statement “he better have a spotless moral record himself attack reverberates back onto himself with a hollow echo" does not make sense either because we are all sinners and all have moral failures. If what you say is true then no one would be able to debate, not even yourself. Again my point is that I agree with your point of view about Roger Moran's actions, but I disagree with using his personal failures to strengthen your argument. Again enemies and politicians find a weak point and exploit it. I just do not want you to follow such a path because it may reverberates back onto you with a hollow echo. Keep your arguments based in the truth and from the scripture and not in emotions.

Oklahoma Joe

Anonymous said...

Please forgive my bad typing skills. That is why I got a B in typing class back when they used have typing classes on...Huh, typewriters.

Oklahoma Joe

Unknown said...

Oklahoma Joe,

Do you examine the moral character of Pastors and Deacons in your church?

Why or why not?

Should a man be allowed to serve on the x-com, and thereby be given a platform from which to voice his personal views about and heap criticism upon churches throughout the convention, when he is not qualified to serve as a Pastor or Deacon in these churches?

Joe I do not know if you can answer this one so perhaps Wade can answer it for us… What are the qualifications that x-com members are expected to have? Or better yet what will disqualify one from serving on the x-com… PPL, Alien Baptism, Divorce, etc?

And can a Divorced person serve with IMB or NAMB?

Grace to all,

Anonymous said...

G. Alford,

My point is not about Roger Moran's qualifications for church or convention service but about Wade's argument. Roger is not a member or on staff at my church and it is not the issue at hand. The issue is about his comments and perspective about Journey Church and the emergent church movement. Sorry you misunderstand what this discussion is about.

Oklahoma Joe

ml said...

Divorce is a disqualifier in all cases with the IMB

Anonymous said...

Every now and again I really enjoy Peter's comments. :)

I'm only coming back to repeat one thing, because others have semi-repeated it but stopped short of what I said (thanks, Davidinflorida and OC Hands). It's not that SBC-ers aren't the enemy; it's not even that Christians aren't the enemy; it is that no human is the enemy and only Satan and his minions are. Living Dust quoted Ephesians 6. Heed it and stand firm and love humans, whether they be believers or not because we alone are the ambassadors of Jesus here on this earth.

Wade, the count went up, unfortunately. Did they read what you wrote carefully? I think not, or they simply read it to fit their prejudices.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a reformation. There were those who stood in direct opposition to Luther, believing him to be a heratic, unorthodox, dangerous and deceptive.

David said...

What is x-com, and does anybody actually know how many times Mr. Moran has been divorced?

Unknown said...


I have not misunderstood what this discussion is about at all my brother…

I get your point… I do not agree with you, but I get your point…

However, I do not believe you get my point…

Who is Roger Moran that his opinions should be printed in the BP and should cause such a stir in the SBC? Just how does one with his background rise to such a position of political power within the SBC when Missionaries whose only sin is to have been Baptized according to the Scriptures are disqualified from service?

Do you not see the double standard that the “Ruling Party” uses when measuring its friends verses its foe’s? There is a word that Jesus used to describe the Pharisees for their use of a double standard… I think it is 10 letters long and starts with an “H______”.

Grace to all,

Anonymous said...

I have spent too much time reading this blog session, and must spend a bit more to add my two cents...or perhaps it's worth half that much. Wade has brought to light an issue of growing concern in relation to the so-called emerging church and the SBC. I am part of, what I expect is a growing group of young (rapidly approaching middle-aged) SBCers (specifically seminary grads) holding on to the denomination by our fingernails, and who are frankly, becoming ever willing to let go. It is ironic that we were so well instructed (growing up) in "sola scriptura," the priesthood of the believer, etc. and now watch, jaws in hand, as the SBC implodes and many who are trying desperately to convince us that we need more than the all-sufficient grace of Jesus. "They" camp on frighteningly peripheral theological issues, and yes, Wade, unnecessarily and tragically isolate Bible believing (Bible doing) leaders emboldened and appointed to reach the lost with truth. There are elements of the emerging church that appear to be moving away from biblically sound teaching, but other individuals, like myself, are lumped in with the "heretics" when we express sympathy for their movement or when we adopt elements of the movement which are scripturally sound. Perhaps core to these issues are: failure to trust fellow believers, fear of what may result from fresh thought and approaches, and I think, a need to fight with someone...since by all indications in N. America, we are losing the real battle for the souls of the lost.
And I, too, have far exceeded the alotted word count. What is it again??:)

P.S. I regret I must remain anonymous.

peter lumpkins said...


The direction toward which this thread continues to drift stands as the precise reason Mr. Moran's marriage success/failure offers no hope in providing sober understanding of the issue at hand.

Ironically, given Mr Moran now wears the shameful, unbecoming "D" (double or triple we do not know) on his forehead, the poor old guy looks more a prospect for the very type Church he criticizes--a Church for those whom mainstream Baptists shun and even condemn.

I predict next we'll be arguing that the reason Mr. Moran is like he is is because he's not Reformed.

With that, I am...


p.s. Bryan,

I am honored I give ocassional pleasure. Some is better than none. I also know that I am prejudice, I am biased. Granted. But, for the record, I have no reason to be biased in this particular dispute--at least biased toward Mr. Moran's cause. Yet, I am biased toward fairness.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter said...

Peter and Joe,

Read G. Alford's comment. Well said.

G. Alford,

I confess the only time I feel frustration is when I sense the SBC is being controlled through political appointments rather than through a deep, genuine dependence on the Holy Spirit. I realize our body politic is structured in such a way that politics cannot be avoided, what saddens me, however, is when good men and women, like those in Journey Church - or their philosophies - are classified as 'deceitful' and 'dangerous.'

They, and their ideas, are NOT our enemy.

Unknown said...


(x-com = SBC Executive Committee)

Grace to all, said...


The x-com is the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which Missouri has three representatives, Roger Moran being one of the three. Roger has been divorced twice and married three times. Some argue that if you disqualify missionaries from service for the sake of divorce, that Roger should be disqualified. I am consistent in believing that divorce should not necessarily disqualify either missionaries or Roger (though it is by policy that missionaries cannot serve if divorced). Whether or not Roger's divorce should disqualify him is not the issue --- the issue is whether or not Roger has the moral authority to question the morality and motives of the pastor, elders and leaders of Journey Church. I say he does not.

David said...

Thanks, Greg.

David said...

And, thank you as well Wade.

I think I understand where you were coming from, although when I first read your original post, it did seem like a bit of an underhanded attack. I appreciate your stance.

peter lumpkins said...


I did read G. Alford. I agree with Joe.

Our Brother G. Alford not only misses the point to which we've alluded--that is, unfair use of Mr. Moran's words, but more importantly, oddly exploiting Mr Moran's alleged multiple divorces--he unfortunately tosses in a few ad hominen chips of his own about Mr. Moran: "is this man qualified ..."; "Just how does one with his background rise to such a position of political power..." (The answer, of course, lies with the H_____ in charge). How the H_____got Mr. Moran into the St. Louis Dispatch and not just the BP remains a mystery, however.

I hear your frustration, Wade. Know I'm just as frustrated when when movements like e/e get totally plastered as "heretical", etc without enough time to soberly weigh it out.

But from my vantage position, there is no honor in publicly plastering a guy having multiple divorces (2 or 3, who knows?) and, that being so, pronouncing him as ineligible to comment on either theology or moral issues stemming from theology. The Apostle Paul, if that logic prevails, is bled out of any platform upon which to make moral judgments.

And for a community that feeds on compassion for justice to all SBs, there seems to be a heck of a lot of lofty moral pronouncements drifting from here (e.g. "The H_______ of the 'Ruling party'").

Oh, well. There's always tomorrow. Want to get together and sing? :)

With that, I am...


Anonymous said...

Criticism of this nature is usually not over doctrine, it is over control. The kind of ministry that the emerging church, Acts 29, The Journey and others are doing is reaching a segment of the population, and might I say a very important segment of it, that Southern Baptists are not reaching. Why can't we work together? I think we would only be better off if we doubled or tripled the number of emergent churches in cooperation with the SBC.

Bob Cleveland said...

I'm for tolerance and stuff, but Mr. Moran's words and actions speak for themselves.

In wars on other soil, we hear of "collateral damage" and soldiers who die from "friendly fire". I suppose a certain amount of that is unavoidable, in a war between nations.

How much should be tolerable in God's work? Perhaps we got so hardened to those things, in the conservative resurgence, that we no longer see it.

From what I read, baptisms are on the decline or are not multiplying, but friendly fire casualties seem to be on the rise.

Guess who's happy about THAT.

Anonymous said...

Are emergent/emerging churches really friends of the Gospel. Here is one attribute of God that emergent churches will never preach.
Your right some of us do consider them to be an enemy of the Gospel....Southern Baptist or not!
Robert I Masters

peter lumpkins said...

Brother Robin,

I completely understand. No problem at all. And, I fully agree; sometimes it is best to bow out of a conversation rather than contribute to an exchange through which you perceive neither one's self or others are edified.

May your encounters this evening lead a soul in our Lord's direction. With that, I am...


Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Just examine quickly the political climate in the US. I would say that many conservative Baptists vote for the GOP.

Now think of how many people - like O'Reilly or Hannity - portray the Democrats.

They are the "enemy". They want to "destroy America". They "hate freedom".

I saw a picture of a conservative protester with a sign that read "Pelosi backed by Osama".

If this is the type of political discourse in the USA, then it stands to reason that in order to get one's point across, a person just needs to yell obscenities and insult those who oppose him.

Our enemy is Satan. Satan does work within mainline evangelical denominations and it is important for people to take up a prophetic voice and call out Satan's influences. These may be within the Pentecostal movement or even within the SBC.

The error of people like Roger Moran is that, while they are rightly concerned about Satan's influence in the SBC, they are aiming at the wrong place. Moran obviously has done zero research into the issue of alcohol and Christian faith and shows no ability at all to engage with the various arguments.

And yet he doesn't spend time disparaging the Presbyterians or other denominations that do permit responsible drinking of alcohol (or maybe he does...)

Bob Cleveland said...


For the record, if there is even SOME truth to what's reported of Mr. Moran, someone doggone well ought to be speaking up. That sort of political wrangling ought not to be. Period.

Thanks for speaking up despite the inevitable naysayers who'll find fault.

Don't stop, brother.

Anonymous said...

Bob Cleveland,
What in the world is wrong with political wrangling? Maybe that is one of those extra-biblical commands like "thou shall never drink alcohol".
Is that not what we are doing here...political wrangling? Mr Moran's vision of the SBC is different then Mr Burleson.
Robert I Masters

Unknown said...

Dear Brother Peter…

Is it possible for someone to get your point and still disagree with you? Your insistence that someone who does not agree with you is not capable of understanding you is “more than a little insulting!”

Let me be clear on this… I’ll go slow… “I get the point you and Joe have been trying to make.”

However, I do agree with you and Joe… is that ok?

I stand by my comments on this post… even if you do not agree; I believe the Biblical qualifications for leadership in the Church found in 1Timothy and Titus both important and relevant to this discussion.

So I ask you… Should there be any moral standards for those who serve on the x-com? What should those moral standards be? Do you believe it is “Hypocritical” for the SBC to allow x-com members to serve who have been divorced yet disqualify all Missionaries who have been divorced?

Perhaps Mr. Moran would do well to remember that “those who live in glass houses should not cast stones…”

Oh… Wade stated that --- the issue is whether or not Roger has the moral authority to question the morality and motives of the pastor, elders and leaders of Journey Church. I get this… do you?

Grace to all

Anonymous said...

1. I believe Wade's point in writing this blog post today was:

"We must get to the place where we no longer see fellow Southern Baptists as the enemy. There is room in my convention for everyone who holds to the fundamentals of the faith and seeks to cooperate for the purpose of missions and evangelism. I can't figure out why some wish to continue to narrow the parameters of cooperation and exclude fellow, Bible believing Southern Baptists from missions participation and convention leadership.

"Maybe it's just that they have not yet learned that our fellow Southern Baptists are not the enemy."

2. I think that this has been Wade's point for quite some time so far this year--and it is a valid one.

3. Some above are side-tracked by Wade's illustration of his main point (have all the feelings you want about the illustration--it isn't the main point), when they simply could agree with that point's truthfulness--and discuss constructive ways to move forward having changed it or despite it.

4. What I said earlier today, #'s 1 and 2--and 5, especially.

David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Unknown said...


Show me you really mean this and go post on Ben Cole's blog what you said here, that we must get to the point where we realize that Southern Baptists are not the enemy. I am stunned by the fact that fellow bloggers do not rise up in censure and rebuke to the spirit he manifests there.

Matt Brady said...


I would like to think that your use of an ad hominem attack on Roger Moran is way beneath you. His marital life previous to his salvation has absolutely nothing to do with the debate concerning the emergent church or The Journey. If fellow Southern Baptists are not the enemy, then lets deal with the merits of the issues and not the past/repented of moral indiscressions of the personalities. We should deal with the merits of their argument.

Of those who know much about Mr. Moran, who would begin to question his current stance on family life and values? I think you owe Brother Moran, his wife, and their nine children an apology. Then you can move on and discuss the merits of the Journey and/or the emerging church movement.

I personally think that Brother Moran has a good point. Should we be using Cooperative Program money to support church keg parties, or would it be better to use that money to start churches that engage our culture without conforming to it?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Wade for commenting about something NOT in your post. But I get a little upset when people say incorrect things about the IMB in your comment stream.

galford said "And can a Divorced person serve with IMB or NAMB?"

ml responded "Divorce is a disqualifier in all cases with the IMB"

This is only true in the case of serving as a Career Missionary. Other programs are open to divorced people.

It also bothers me when people commenting refer to the IMB as the ones that initiated these 2 new controversial policies. It was not the IMB. It is the BoT of the IMB and only they who are responsible. I have yet to hear anyone within the IMB that support these 2 new policies.

Thank you Wade for your little space on your blog.

BTW... It was good to meet you, Wade, in SA on your last trip here.

M with YOUR organization said...

Matt Brady,

Let me say it again, for the tenth time.

I don't care if Roger Moran has been divorced ten times. I will love him as a brother, cooperate with him as a Southern Baptist, and be honored to stand beside him for kingdom causes.


Roger Moran is attacking Journey Church. What you see as an ad hominem attack on Roger is simply a defense of Journey Church and their pastors and methods of evangelism, and I am simply saying of Roger, "Who made you the moral authority over Southern Baptists and my brothers in Christ at Journey Church?"

That's all. I am asking my fellow Southern Baptists to not consider each other the enemy.

Roger is surely not mine.

I wish Journey Church weren't his. said...

Dr. York,

I'm not sure why you think I have any influence over Ben Cole, but let me assure you quite vigorously that Ben Cole has his own mind and does as he darn well pleases.


P.S. I have told him, as I have others here, that fellow Southern Baptists are not the enemy. It sounds like you may be surprised to learn that he has said told me he wholeheartedly agrees.

Unknown said...


I bet Mr. Moran would agree with you as did Ben Cole.

I get the feeling that Dr. York knows this.

I am sure Dr. York would also agree that Mr. Moran has his own mind and does what he pleases. And certainly, he would probably agree that you have no influence over him either.

However, that did not prevent you from dedicating a post to delineate his actions as an attack on fellow Southern Baptists.

The question, I think, is whether you perceive Ben's blog posts as an attack on fellow Southern Baptists. And if so...well...

peter lumpkins said...

Dear G.Alford,

Good Morning, my Brother. Know it is my pleasure to answer your inquiries though, at the same time, I must say I lug a little reluctance. The last thing I desire to do is breed "insistence that someone who does not agree with [me] is not capable of understanding [me], thus becoming “more than a little insulting!”

Gosh, both our Brothers Wade and Paul clearly disagreed with me. I can only trust they did not leave our conversation insulted.

Before I forget, my G. alford, if my suggesting that you may have missed the point we were making bore insult to you, perhaps you need to check in with our Brother Joe and see if he also has been insulted. You wrote to him: "However, I do not believe you get my point…"

Now, be assured that, at least to me, that does not sound insulting in the least. However, one can never tell how touchy some folk are. Were I you, I'd check in just to be sure.

Nonetheless, I do feel risky today. So here goes: yes, it is possible for others to disagree with me while clearly understanding my point.

Further, you ask: "Let me be clear on this… I’ll go slow… “I get the point you and Joe have been trying to make...However, I do agree with you and Joe… is that ok?"

I appreciate you going slow for me, G.Alford. We in West Georgia have been accused of needing slowness to survive in today's world. However, while it is perfectly O.K for you to agree with me and Joe, for some reason I don't believe you. Just kidding...(Sadly, I know all too well what it's like to unintentionally leave a word out and my intended assertion turned on its head).

Lastly, you inquire: "So I ask you… Should there be any moral standards for those who serve on the x-com? What should those moral standards be? Do you believe it is “Hypocritical” for the SBC to allow x-com members to serve who have been divorced yet disqualify all Missionaries who have been divorced?"

Here, G. Alford, I count three questions--and very good ones I might add. The first and third are easy: Yes and No respectively. Granted the middle one is a little bit trickier.

Nevertheless, while I wholeheartedly commend you for standing by your comments that "the Biblical qualifications for leadership in the Church found in 1Timothy and Titus [is] both important and relevant to this discussion." I must register--for the first time I might add-- my profound disagreement.

If the Inspired Apostle was speaking to all leaders in general then he was speaking to no leaders in particular. But if he was speaking to no leaders in particular, it seems so darn odd to me that he specifically mentions "Bishops" and "Deacons" as the particular ones to whom the specific criteria is to be applied.

Frankly, I always took the passage literally. But, I guess taking the passage at face value only applies in passages like Romans 9-11. What do you think?

I trust your morning well, G. Alford and I hope for you a great Bible Study this evening. With that, I am...


Anonymous said...

Matt Brady,

You wrote:
"I personally think that Brother Moran has a good point. Should we be using Cooperative Program money to support church keg parties, or would it be better to use that money to start churches that engage our culture without conforming to it?"

What proof do you have that CP dollars were used to support church keg parties? Is this a reference to the Journey Church?
Or are you just repeating something you heard and if so, from whom?

I know that the Journey Church does not teach that the only Biblical interpretation regarding alcohol is total abstinence, but I have attended this church and have for over a year and I have never heard anything about keg parties.


Darren Casper

Rex Ray said...

Old friend—about a year now, you’ve caused me to grow in the Lord by your example.

There are two kinds of people in the world—those that admit their mistakes and those that don’t.

I believe those that admit their mistakes (either small or large) can laugh at themselves and their words can be trusted more than those that hid their mistakes in their hearts.

Some sermons can seem forever and some pass quickly depending upon how a person likes it. I believe you didn’t like Peter’s first comment and it seemed long and you said his was longer than your post.

It has been pointed out that his was shorter (yours 731 words and his 380 words), so why haven’t you admitted you were wrong?

Maybe you thought it was unnecessary, but I’d like to know you can still laugh at yourself.
Rex Ray

Matt Brady said...


I was indeed referring to The Journey, but I was not commenting on something I heard, but rather something I read. You can find it in the same paper that Wade cites, The St. Louis Post Dispatch. Here is a quote from the March 11 edition:

Every month, dozens show up at the brewpub to drink beer and talk about issues ranging from racism in St. Louis to modern-art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research...For nearly two years, the beer ministry has brought new members to the church. Now it’s being called unbiblical. The Journey defines itself as an interdenominational church, but it has a working relationship with the Missouri Baptist Convention. That confederation of Baptist churches is the state arm of the largest Protestant denomination in the country, the theologically and socially conservative Southern Baptist Convention.
In 2005, The Journey borrowed $200,000 from the Baptist organization to help buy and renovate a former Catholic church in St. Louis.

You can find the full story here. said...

Peter and Rex,

I freely, without hesitation, offer a heartfelt, sack-cloth and ashes, unqualified apology for my statement that Peter's comment was longer than my post. I was wrong. I seek your forgiveness Peter, and Rex's as well. Peter's comment only seemed longer than my post as I read it. Rex has scientifically and forensically demonstrated the fallacy of my statement. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope you realize my immediate willingness to apologize when proven wrong, and only apologize when proven wrong.

:) said...

By the way, my actual quote was:

"Rule of thumb, when the comment is longer than the post, it is usually worthy of a post on your own blog."

Since I did not mention Peter's blog by name, or even specifically said that his particular post was longer than mine, one must infer from my words the meaning -- and you would be correct.

I rest my case about the meaning of the article in the St. Louis dispatch. The meaning is clear.

:) said...

Matt Brady,

The pastors and elders are not drinking the beer. Those they are reaching through sharing the gospel are the ones drinking the beer. These brewery folks drink beer and see nothing wrong with it. Some probably get drunk and see nothing wrong with it, though the Scripture is clear in defining drunkenness as a sin. Possibly one of the verses used in evangelism is 'be not drunk . . . but be filled with the Spirit." Who knows how Journey Church reaches those in the brewery who need the Lord.

But I have a question for you Matt.

Should we attempt to distinguish the lost's ability or desire to drink beer before we present the gospel? Do we divide goats into 'beer-goats' and 'tea-totaling goats' before we ever share Christ?

The article says nothing about the pastor or elder drinking beer, and one of the church members of Journey Church is telling you that you have misrepresented Journey Church. I find it rather odd you believe I owe Roger Moran an apology for simply stating what is known fact, while you infer from reading a newspaper the character, morality and intent of pastors of a church you have never attended.


peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

Good morning. I will not at all forgive you unless you repent in DOUBLE sackcloth and TRIPLE ashes.

With that, I am...


P.S. My posts seem long only because I write like I preach.:^) Perhaps there's a connection between my sermons of 25 years and people's perpetual complaint that they're bored... said...


I do appreciate a man with humor.

Thank you for your forgiveness, Peter, and I shall truly try to never err again on word count.

Feel free to comment at any time, and for any length of time.



Oklahoma Joe said...

I am not sure why my post was deleted and do not know why people keep insisting on me identifying myself over and over.

My name is Joe, I live in Oklahoma with my lovely wife and children, I grew up raising beef cattle in the Ozarks of Arkansas, I run heavy equipment such as bulldozers, trackhoes, smooth drum rollers, backhoes, frontend loaders etc. often, I love music and reading, am an avid hunter and outdoorsman, and I love the Lord and his church.

I am not sure why that makes my comment more relevant or not but I hope that helps.

Here is my previous post that was evidently deleted even though I have had permission from Wade not to go through the trouble of setting computer account stuff to comment but never the less I have agreed to the policy statement. :)

G. Alford and Peter,
I am sorry that my absence from this discussion may have caused question of offensive or indecisiveness to respond but neither is the case. I have been busy caring for the bereaved, giving direction to our church about building issues and vision casting, spending time with my precious family, and making some much need connections with members in need of a pastoral touch. I want to make clear that the only reason I entered this discussion was to call to question Wade’s method of argumentation. This is not the first time I feel Wade has used a poor attempt at illustration which then overshadowed his main point. I agree with his main point but disagree with his method. He seems to have done this before with other poor examples such as Nazi Germany and the current debates in the SBC, his subtle implication that Calvinists make better parents, his subtle implications that Mullins, Broadus, Manly Jr., Robertson, Carroll and even contemporary examples such as Dr. York are “unbiblical” in their understanding of believer’s baptism, his comparison of some as “crusading conservatives” and others which I will not bore this audience with. My point is not that I so much disagree with Wade’s main points but much of the time how he often uses poor if not offensive illustrations to win an argument. I commend Wade in his effort to bring what he thinks is a needed balance to the SBC but I think he hurts his credibility when he uses a poor illustration or comparison. I am not here to debate Mr. Moran’s qualifications to serve on a board or in a church but to ask Wade the question, why not argue from the text without making this personal. The rest can discuss these other issues but my point was if fellow Southern Baptists are not the enemy then don’t attack character. With that I am on my way to do more ministry and will ask to excuse myself from this discussion with the clarification that my absence is not due to offense or avoidance.

Oklahoma Joe said...

Oklahoma Joe,

How I wish you could see that the only people being attacked are the leaders and pastors of Journey Church. To draw a line in the sand and tell a convention spokesperson he neither has the moral authority or position to public castigate a fellow Southern Baptist church or pastors of a fellow Southern Baptist church is not only proper, but necessary. said...

Off to do hospital visitions. Changed my mind about anonymous comments. Feel free to write. Character is seen through words, whether identity is revealed or not. People may judge for themselves the character of the one who writes, particularly those who continue to attack fellow Southern Baptists like those pastors and elders at Journey Church who are reaching St. Louis with the gospel. May God remind us all of the greatest commandment, and the very identifying mark of His true disciples -- love for one another.

Matt Brady said...


I have no idea whether or not Darrin Patrick and his fellow leaders at The Journey drink, but they are inviting people to a churh sponsored event at a brewery where they can drink while talking about contemporary issues. Yes, Jesus befriended tax collectors and sinners, but he never encouraged their tax collecting and sinning. I admire befriending the lost in order to seek their salvation, I just think we can do it without encouraging negative behavior.

Anonymous said...

Characterizing what The Journey does with it's "theology at the bottleworks" as a "church keg party" is a completely unfair, and grossly inaccurate description and is obviously being made by someone who knows nothing about what transpires either at that event in particular, or in emergent churches in general.

My objections to Mr. Moran have much more to do with the political maneuvering he has done, and the characterization of him by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of the "most powerful" Missouri Baptists. The kind of "do it like the world" methods he has employed are not Biblical, and do not speak well of either the SBC or MBC. Why we have tolerated this kind of political maneuvering is beyond me, but it is certainly inconsistent with the claim of belief in the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God.

Wade is right. We must stop seeing other Southern Baptists as the enemy. We know who the enemy is, and I think The Journey is doing the right thing by confronting him on his own turf.

Matt Brady said...

John Farris,

You better be careful admitting to moral indiscressions before you were saved. Someone might throw that back in your face to say that your arguments are not valid :-)

I, however, will concede and admit that what The Journey is doing is not exactly the same as a high school or college keg party, but both are encouraging folks to attend an event because their will be a "good time" centered around drinking.

Cecdaddy said...

Robert I Masters,

Thanks for the link! I am extremely glad to read this information, because it is proof that I am not postmodern - although that is what I considered myself to be these past few years!

I suppose there are pastors out there who erroneously consider themselves to be leading emergent/emerging churches, who would be interested to find that they do not fit this mold.

Of course, the people I am most concerned about are the pastors who do not have any idea about the emerging/emergent church movement, who preach in otherwise "traditional" churches, and yet who, based on the criteria of a lack of preaching about the wrath of God, find themselves actually being emergent/emerging pastors!

I truly did enjoy visiting Mr. Camps' blog and reading that post and others.

David Cecil

Unknown said...

You said:
I, however, will concede and admit that what The Journey is doing is not exactly the same as a high school or college keg party, but both are encouraging folks to attend an event because their will be a "good time" centered around drinking.

I hate to bring this up… but didn’t Jesus do the exact same thing at the Marriage in Cana of Galilee?

Grace to all,

Matt Brady said...

G. Alford,

That would be a great discussion, but I fear it would take Wade's post completely off topic. For now I will just have to agree to disagree with you.

Maybe when we have more time and a post on that topic we could get into a discussion about wine in the Bible. Until then...

I'll be away from a computer for a while, but will check back later.

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,

Thanks for your response...

Brother I can assure you that the "Theology at the Bottleworks" has been sorely misrepresented. Really, the only issue I can see here is thatthe church does not teach that abstinence for a believer is the only Biblical interpretation regarding alcohol.

I would encourage anyone interested in the Journey Church to go to their website at and listen to Pastor Darrin's sermons as well as some of the other elders. Darrin has been graced to become a strong, God-centered brother who preaches the gospel expositionally. I find that the elders are doing an exemplary job of contending for the gospel while engaging culture.

I also wish that folks could see the depth and theological meat of the eight week Gospel Class material which is required for membership.

Darren Casper

btw - It's way too cold up here today in St. Louis, even for Cardinal baseball!

Anonymous said...

I come back after a couple of days and my pointed posts are eliminated!!!
I guess my stating that WADE has 'selective grace'(only for those who agree with him) and for WADE to do MATT. 18 with Roger Moran before excoriating him were just tooooooooo much!
WADE, one more admonition, quit judging a man's intent. Jeremiah clearly states we don't know our own can you know the heart of another?
Read me quick....I'll soon be gone!

Anonymous said...

The same spirit which made enemies out of fellow christians in the SBC in the 70s and 80s in the so called "battle for the Bible" continues and will continue to make enemies today and tomorrow in the SBC. Today there is just a different target for those who are so insecure in their own faith that they have to attack others to attempt to prove their own righteousness. Seems like Jesus had something to say about the self-righteous spirit of the pharisees. Many Baptist pastors and laymen like Roger Moran should have lived in Jesus day. They would have made excellent Pharisees. While the SBC is arguing over doctrine and continues to fight within, the world just continues to observe our hypocrisy and assume that our faith is not real. God help us all.

ml said...

Matt [and all],

I sympathize with the sentiment when you observe: Yes, Jesus befriended tax collectors and sinners, but he never encouraged their tax collecting and sinning. I admire befriending the lost in order to seek their salvation, I just think we can do it without encouraging negative behavior.

I am not sure how comfortable I would be [well, honestly, I would not be comfortable at all] with the "ministry" endeavors described at Journey. But we also have to recognize that our tendency is to push back and say OK if offering beer encourages drinking what if we just meet in the brewery but have no beer. TO which someone might say, "but that is encouraging drinking because we are being sympathetic to a brewery." OK then what if we don’t organize an actually meeting but just show up there and speak to people. To which someone might say, "Oh no, you can't go there because physically being there could be considered encouraging to their behavior." OK then what if we just put up posters inviting people to another place. To which someone might say, "Oh but then we might be inviting whoever is assigned the task of putting up the posters to be encouraged to drink by going into the brewery." And on and on it goes until we revert back to let's just invite them to our church and we will have met our obligation.

To All,
Instead of coming up with artificial lists of holiness, boundary markers, based on the fear of what might be [See Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted pp. 27-35] wouldn't it be better to equip people under our ministries or around us with better discernment to allow the Spirit and Word to guide their steps? Why say do not go or do when the better thing might be to equip them to go and do under the discernment and guidance of the Spirit and Word in their life? Then the issue is not about culture and sub-culture but about a personal relationship with Jesus that guides our decisions as opposed to a maintenance program of do's and dont's ordered around a God who is essentially a category. Then we would not see people as insiders or outsiders of our little sub-culture group but as fellow journeyers [all puns intended] in our pursuit to become more like Christ. Chuck Swindol is right—grace is a dangerous doctrine. said...


Mighty well said ml. said...


Thou knowest not what thou sayest and we knoweth not who thou art. Even steven.


Anonymous said...

So, anonymous and Peter, Do you agree with Mr. Moran's comments about Journey Church? If so, how is it that you have greater insight than Darren Caspar, who probably knows more about the whole situation than any of us?

I agree we have to be careful to not support sin while seeking to interact with sinners, but it seems to me that not just criticizing but berating a growing church that has decided reaching people is their top priority is counterproductive. Is it not possible to discuss this in a rational way in which the disadvantages, advantages, and ways to improve this method would be the focus? Certainly, Mr. Moran has chosen not to approach the issue in this way. He could have expressed his support for their zeal and his reservations about their methods in a civil manner, and Wade's post would not have been needed.

I did not get the impression that Wade was jumping on the bandwagon to start a similar ministry in Enid. Thus, he must not think it would be the best approach there. However, St. Louis is quite different. Unlike most Baptists, these folks are trying something. Most Baptist churches have no room at all to criticize Journey, because they are doing NOTHING to reach people.

Paul went so far as to act different when he was around non-believers in order to get to know them and influence them for Christ (1 Corinthians 9:22). Now, if we analyzed this to the extent we are analyzing Journey, we would tell Paul he is guilty of dishonesty and he needs to repent and quit trying so hard to reach people who are weaker (presumably spiritually) than him. Sadly, I don't think most Baptists need any encouragement at all to have that attitude; it is pervasive. It needs to be changed, and if Journey is moving in that direction, more power to them!

Anonymous said...

Two Christians stand before The Lord on Judgement Day:

The first Christian reports that he has spent every moment possible at Church in worship, that he has avoided becoming "like the world" and that he has never consumed alcohol nor set foot in a bar.

The second Christian admits spending more time among sinners than saints and that he has spent more time among the lost than the saved -- in bars and taverns, fellowshipping with them as alcohol is consumed and speaking to them about The Gospel.

Which is the better Baptist?

Which is the better Christian? said...

Two of the better questions ever asked on this blog.

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Stephen,

Glad you read the thread. It was informative, at least from my view anyway. Unhappily, I do not know how to answer your question. I've made it clear beginning with my first comment that, pertaining to e/e's value, the jury is still out. That's my take. Nor have I placed myself in a position as you seem to suggest where I know more than Darrell Casper about The Journey. I most definitely do not.

Even more, Stephen, I do not place myself in a position as you evidently have done to judge that "Most Baptist churches have no room at all to criticize Journey, because they are doing NOTHING to reach people."

Frankly, I know of no Baptist church with which I am familiar that does "NOTHING to reach people." All of them do at least something to reach people in their own way. They may not do it like The Journey is doing it or like I think it should be done. However, that does not mean their ministry is spiritually vacuous.

Grace. With that, I am...


Anonymous said...

I am a M living in the middle of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Animists. I have picked up my bags and moved to the middle of this to reach the lost. There are very very few Christians here. There are NONE in the immediate block of my house. (Attention, sarcasm to follow) So, I guess this makes me guilty of 'encouraging' this behavior of worshipping false gods and all that goes with that. I also run the risk of falling into these pagan practices. Please help me from this tumble into this culture...

Really, the problem is not going and meeting people in places (another culture) like bars where there is alcohol consumption or their perception of you coming and 'encouraging' their behavior. The problem is the perception within the church of this act and the engrained Baptist church culture of alcohol.

I hope that my Christian family would not discourage me to be here in the midst of all this 'unchristian' activity thinking I would fall victim or thinking I am encouraging this culture or the behavior. Probably, most of my Christian family would not want to come and be a part of it either. God called me as sure as he has called those going places in the US that others are not going.

Stop raggin' on the Christians trying to go and minister in areas where others are not going or don't want to go.

M with YOUR organization

Debbie Kaufman said...

M: I am so glad you wrote the post you did as I was thinking the very same thing. Thank you for articulating so well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying your position on Journey Church. I suppose I forgot that your main criticisms have been that Wade called Mr. Moran's comments to our attention. You don't like it and you see it as inconsistent to disapprove of treating fellow Baptists as enemies while at the same time criticizing a fellow Baptist for doing that.

I understand the thought process, but I do not agree. Wade did not suggest that Mr. Moran should be removed from his office in MBC or that he should be censured or that he was dangerous or that he should be shunned. He said nothing about Mr. Moran that caused me to think he viewed him as an enemy. He criticized Mr. Moran's rahter vigorous attack on an SBC church that is reaching people for Christ and is willing to take chances to do so. Would it be appropriate to discuss their methods and disagree with them? Sure. But Mr. Moran chose not to do that, but rather to characterize them as an example of the emergent church, which is dangerous and has slipped into Southern Baptist life. By pointing this out, Wade is not being inconsistent, because he has not declared Mr. Moran to be an enemy. On the contrary, I am not sure how anyone could read Mr. Moran's comments and not get the idea that he regards Journey Church as an enemy of MBC/SBC.

My statement about Baptist churches doing nothing comes partly from a few churches I knew something about, including one of which I was a member many years ago (it it no longer in existence, which is likely related to the fact that nothing was done to reach people). Even in my church, and probably in yours, the ratio of people who attend on Sunday morning and people who go out to visit prospects is about 50:1. That's better than nothing, but it would hardly suggest that reaching people is a clear priority for the Body as a whole. Similarly, the often stated predominance of SBC churches that are either not growing or declining suggests that if we are doing more than nothing to reach people, we are not doing it very well.

peter lumpkins said...


Thanks for the return. But we've squeezed about as much juice as we can expect out of this one. I do encourage you to scan my comments again, for the way you have characterized the concerns I raised bears little, if any, resemblance to what I actually wrote.

I do not recall implying Wade asked for Mr. Moran's resignation, nor brought up Wade viewed him as the enemy. Even worse, I never mentioned Wade's inconsistency. I think you will search in vain for references that I did.

Rather, my concern was twofold: a) Wade collapsed Mr. Moran's critique about e/e as a whole into explicit reference to Journey in particular. The latter does not follow the former. Consequently, Wade illegitimately jumped to conclusions. b) The remark about Mr. Moran being a "two or three time dicorcee" was totally inappropriate. It had nothing to do with the issue at hand. Those two concerns and those two alone have been the crux of my comment series.

From my perspective, both concerns I raised were weighed in the balance here of vigorous exchange and, I firmly believe, both still stood when the dust had settled.

That said, Stephen, there is little else to say. If you disagree with them, that is fine with me.

Let's move on with Grace. With that, I am...


Jesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesse said...

Two questions regarding moral authority:

One, does anyone have the moral authority or position to question someone else's morals or actions?

Two, if so, must such a person be free from moral failures at any time during his/her life?


child of grace said...

Those who feel it unfair to point out the three marriages of SBC Ex-Com member Roger Moran, might want to try explaining away THIS, as reported in the Baptist Standard:

"When Southern Baptist public policy spokesman Richard Land sizes up the Republican presidential pack and factors in whether a candidate has been divorced, he thinks of marriage mathematics, not just morals.

“The progression from two to three ... wives is not an arithmetic progression for evangelicals; it’s exponential,” said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Three is at least one too many.”

Anonymous said...

Ooops, I am a little disturbed by the lack of mention of Joel Gregory's messy divorce in Wade's short history of the former SBC leader in another article--but his focus on Moran's (before Christ) divorces as further ammunition against him.

Wade, Moran's position to be able to lead and speak on moral issues is supposed to be more glaringly obvious than that of your new hero, Joel Gregory, whose self-absorbed and negligent book you promote?

child of grace said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous:

Mr. Moran's "Before Christ" divorces aside, do you condone his "After Christ" attacks of fellow-Christians who he judges to be fulfilling The Great Commission in a manner that displeases him?

Anonymous said...

If trying to be a prophetic voice about an ill-defined movement that has turned a lot of heads, but by its own definition is not too sure of what its adherents believe--is wrong then evidently you should have joined Nancy Polosi on her recent trip to Syria in order to go out of your way to make sure to make peace--at whatever the cost.

Moran has stayed involved, educated himself about the issues and, goodness, ventured forth to sound a warning--knowing his warning would probably be unpopular. Are we to now get along at all costs--be a people pleaser to the extent that we are liked and respected by all--even when we hold deep convictions? If that's the truth then Wade and others have no more right then to speak their disagreements with other trustees (and retain their respect) then a fellow Southern Baptist and former member of the executive committe (by and for Southern Baptists).

Divorces aside (like we seem so willing to do with others) Roger deserves that same respect and civility Wade asks for from his fellow trustees and Southern Baptists.

Sound the warning! Sound the warning--but only if YOUR message is the warning our itching ears want to hear!

child of grace said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous:

I have read and re-read Mr. Moran’s “prophetic” (your words, not mine) warning to the SBC Executive Committee about the “Emergent/Emerging Church” as well as his recent statements to the media.

"The Southern Baptist Convention is growing increasingly terrified that they've spent all this time recreating the denomination in this (conservative) image, and now nobody cares," Moran tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "Young seminarians are challenging them on issues and saying, 'Your vision of reality is not ours.'"

That statement gets to the heart of Mr. Moran’s concerns as well as his attacks against Christian pastors, churches and the church planting efforts of SBC’s North American Missions Board.

Moran is fighting a battle not for The Gospel but for control of The SBC.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprise, but no overly so, that you would base your opinion of Moran's remarks and then his intent from the statement he has made to the media.

Quoting the St. Louis Dispatch and trusting them to get to the heart of what the issue is--would be like taking a trip to Hawaii and asking someone up in Alaska what to take on the trip.

We have come a long way in Kingdom work when we give any credence at all or judge a man's heart or intent, by what we read into the local media's spin on an issue they can hardly appreciate.

Sad, really.

Anonymous said...

Please know that Michael Knight's spin on my involvement was a complete distortion. No way are his "points" "based on" the article I distributed to the committee or my comments to the committee. The Pathway has agreed to print an op-ed by me in the next issue. You can see what I intend to send them on my blog.

Also, Christianity Today called me yesterday. They see Missouri as a bell-weather and are doing an article.