Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Final Post on Grace and Truth to You on the New Tongues Guideline at the IMB

Unless providentially shown otherwise, today's post will be the final one on this subject at Grace and Truth to You. I will move on to other issues related to the SBC. The words of Dr. Boyd Luter, former dean of Criswell College, a New Testament theologian and currently a Southern Baptist pastor, shall provide the benediction. If you would like background to Boyd's comment, you might wish to read the comments at the end of Friday's post.

Wade and All,

As I said in answer to a question on the panel at the Holy Spirit Conference at Arlington, the way people interpret biblical passages (regarding tongues) today is going to be significantly affected by at least the following areas:

- Cultural Leanings (Are you still a Modernist with a closet anti- supernatural suspicion, if not bias, or are you young enough to where you grew up with at least a mild Postmodernist bent, even if you didn't know what it is?)

- Colored Lenses (Did you come to the text having been taught by your highly respected pastor/ mentor/professor/"hero" [or all the above] that a certain view was true, and who are you to think otherwise?)

- Comfort Zone (Are you fearful of change or being "out of control" or even scared of the Holy Spirit?)

- Controlling Passages (They function this way: "That passage can't possibly mean that, because I've already made my decision on this doctrine from this other passage [or passages], which fit my preconceived notion.")

Bottom line here: You guys, all of whom I really like, and all of whom are passionately convinced of your positions, are not going to change the other's views... at least not much, unless something shifts significantly in one or more of the four categories above.

I wish it wasn't so, but it is.

Here's the only other thing I think is worth saying here: Alan, (who is a continuatist) I think you are wrong that a tide is turning against you. If anything, I think there are signs the opposite is happening, though slower than you would want.

Here's what I think you are reacting to: You didn't hear this argument played out at Golden Gate, and you didn't become really aware of things until the recent IMB controversy. In that regard, these "guidelines" sound ominous to you.

But, the other side of the story is that the SBC has been heavily Cessationist behind the scenes right on along, although almost no official stances were taken (either because nobody wanted to mess with the BFM for so long, or because it was not thought that anything even needed to be done).

Now, however, the issues--although I would agree with Wade that they are 3rd tier doctrinal areas--are front and center because of the IMB BoT's 2005 decisions and because evangelical Christianity in many parts of the world, which is unquestionably growing much faster than in North America, is also unquestionably Charismatic. And, what has just happened?

Was it a setback? Yes, but nothing at all like the type or number William Wilberforce et al had to absorb on the way to their final victory in the British Parliament.

You see, after the first CR generation, in which many, if not most, of the leaders and lieutenants were left-over Cessationists more or less of the Criswell variety, things have now BEEN changed, first slightly by the recognition in 2005 that there may be such a thing as legit. tongues, then this week by the elimination of the previous statement "The majority of Southern Baptist churches do not practice glossalalia." W.A. Criswell and his followers would have been scandalized even by the quasi-Semi-Cessationist wording in 2005 and completely dumbfounded by the elimination of the "majority" statement in 2007 (which adds up to Semi-Cessationist/Semi-Continuationist exegetical conclusions, even if the application of them is Dogmatic Cessationist, due to the narrower Fundamentalist desire to hold the fort.

It would appear that the IMB Trustees are smart enough to see the writing on the wall long-term.

The make-up of the SBC is clearly getting less Cessationist with every passing year and even the new BoT policy at SWBTS is unlikely to change that much, given how many other SBC educational options exist and SWBTS's trending decline in numbers and impact for some time now (Does anyone remember not that long ago when SWBTS was considered the SBC flagship and the idea of her enrollment [which did not then include the College] dropping below 4,000 seemed totally ludicrous?). Thus, the IMB trustees' ad hoc committee definitely had their job cut out for them: 1) Put their finger in the dike in the face of of an increasingly less Cessationist and more Continuationist (though not necessarily Charismatic) SBC; 2) while facing the facts that the only even partly Cessationist position they can still make a straight-faced case for exegetically is Semi-; 3) but having to "save face" with those who got them their appointments by maintaining what appears to be a hard-nosed Cessationist practical stance (and even that has moderated somewhat).

We must face this fact: Meaningful change is almost always hard and very seldom quick. But, from a "big picture" standpoint, the glass is half full if, for no other reason than, the IMB BoT, representing the SBC, a people of "the Book," have updated their exegesis reflecting a generational reality and toned down their negative implications and practical outworkings. And, for that same reason, the glass is half empty for the shrinking Cessationist ranks in SBC life. They no longer have the unquestioned large majority of the churches and they no longer have a prevailing, if unofficial, "close the door completely" exegetical stance in their favor. And, frankly, with the virtual admission that there are no real problems on this front in the missionary force on the field, they do not have a whole lot left there either. And, if the new "guidelines" were only passed by a 3/4 majority on a seemed to be a fairly well stacked board, there would appear to be reason to hope that this is not the last time these issues will be heard by this Board in the foreseeable future.

Just let the heat (it's only "righteous indignation" if short term [Eph. 4:26-27]) level die down and the light [loving wisdom] level gain its equilibrium and things may look at least a tad different.



davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

It is good that this is probably the last post on the New Tongues Guidline.

While discussion is good, some more intense than others, this is not the venue for one`s view to change on this subject.

Only an encounter with the Holy Spirit can change the heart of the believer. Also, as Dr. Boyd mentioned, not getting out of one`s " comfort zone" will restrict some from seeing clear or having faith.

Although I will miss reading comments from "experts" who know all about tongues, it`s time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
I bet you can’t guess which day (Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday) I copied Luter’s comment:

“…and SWBTS‘s trending decline in numbers and impact for some time now (Does anyone remember not that long ago when SWBTS was considered the SBC flagship and the idea of her enrollment [which did not then include the College] dropping below 4,000 seemed totally ludicrous?).”

Since no one has answered, I’ll guess the decline started after SWBTS president Dilday was fired and took a nose dive when Patterson took over.

Also the ‘glue that held Baptists together’ was changed from MISSIONS to DOCTRINE.

The continuing addition of third tier rules by the IMB NOT covered by the BFM is still based on doctrine.

How long will it be before someone writes: ‘Does anyone remember not that long ago when the SBC was the largest denomination and the idea of her enrollment dropping below others seemed totally ludicrous?’

Anonymous said...

I appreciate Dr. Luter's comments on this. Perhaps he is right and I am wrong about the tide that I sense. Maybe it is just a short lived blowback to the inevitable swell of a more open SBC to this type of thing. Or, maybe it is the beginning of the end of the SBC as the old guard digs in their heels and tears the house down rather than give it up. Only time will tell. But, I leave it to them and the Lord to decide how this will end.

While I am glad that Dr. Luter and you, Wade, are optimistic, I do not take a long term view of this so I have no idea where this is headed. I am a local church pastor, not a prophet or a denominational leader. All that I know is that before November 2005, people who had a private prayer language and who were baptized by immersion as a believer in non-baptistic churches were still allowed to be missionaries if everything else was in line. That situation is no longer the case. That is why I have prayed, written, labored, and fought to see these policies overturned.

Perhaps a long term view of this is appropriate, knowing how instutions slowly change course over years and decades. I will inevitably be caught in the wake of whatever direction the SBC takes because I have no intention of leaving the denomination unless I am forced out. But, I also have no intention of sitting back and not fully engaging with global missions through sending, serving, giving, and going. My allegiance is to the Kingdom of God and not the SBC, although I care for her deeply. Thus, I am able to accept defeat on this matter, even if it ends up being temporary as Dr. Luter seems to think, or permanent. I am able to accept it because it will not change my day to day life or ministry a single bit and I trust ultimately in God and not man. I will continue to serve and be engaged in God's plan to spread His gospel to the ends of the earth. I will just find another way to do it besides the mechanisms of the SBC when necessary, and when it is still beneficial to work with the IMB or NAMB, I will do that as well. That makes me very sad, as I have been a big proponent of cooperation for mission through the SBC, but alas, God's ways are higher and bigger than the tools we construct to do His will. This is His program, not ours. I'll just work where the doors open, and where they are closed, I'll shake the dust off my feet and move on.

For each one of us, our mandate is to rejoice in the Lord always and to look to God who knows all things. That is good advice for myself as well. Thanks, Wade, for your leadership throughout this time of great distress and upheaval. I pray that all of this ends positively. Now, I take my case to San Antonio in sincere prayer that the SBC still cares more for cooperation over essentials than uniformity over every tertiary doctrine. The answer will be forthcoming, it appears.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I made a few comments about Dr. Luter's four controlling presuppositions on the thread Solid Food For Thought from Drs. Luter and Storms. I'm not going to repeat all that here, but do have a couple of further comments.

First, I think he has made a contribution of thought that is useful. But we also should not become cynical about the power of the Spirit to change us, overcome our presuppositions and guide us into all truth.

Second, I think his list of presuppositions reveals some of his own.

RKSOKC66 said...

I don't think, even in principle, it is possible to do any type of "scientific test" to prove or falsify either the Continualist or Cessationist position or find a place anywhere along the spectrum and objectively test it vis. a vis. any other position.

Holding the Bible text as innerrant and using it as the source for the debate only nuanced inference and interpretive "understandings" leads one to either position.

I agree with Stephen Pruett. This whole thing is taking on a life of its own which is tragic considering that there is no way short of agreeing to disagree to resolve the tension and considering the continued Balkinization of the SBC is at stake.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

David Phillips said...

I am thankful for Dr. Boyd's comments and perspective. He appears to be a wise man with much grace and optimism.

But here is the problem I see: if it is going to take another 10 years, then count me out. I see and hear that from a lot of younger pastors. The kingdom is more than the SBC and our responsibility is to the kingdom.

I would agree. I don't have 10 years to fight for her, at least on the national level. I've met more than enough folks that I can cooperate with to do work locally, regionally and internationally to offset any missions issues in my church. Our church will take advantage of them.

We will work hard in the state convention and association, but will stay out of stuff in regards to the national stuff.

If at some point in time the convention makes that turn and becomes less fundie, less landmark, less cessationist and more open to cooperation and true sola scriptura, then I might consider getting involved again. But until then, I don't see much value there. And being in Delaware, where we just don't talk about being SBC because of it's reputation up here, our people could care less.

RKSOKC66 said...

I apologize for my run-on sentences in my previous post. If I knew how to grab a previous post and edit it and re-post it I would.
I am a (former) Silicon Valley software/firmware engineer.

If the design and validation of hardware, firmware, and software systems used the same set of criterion to evaluate various optional "implementations" that you guys use we would still be using abacuses. (abaci?)

I think you pastors, theology professors, etc. would have to acknowledge that there are number of nuanced aspects in your fields of endeavor that are not subject to any robust test or falsification.

My grasp of the Bible text is an order of magnitude less than you guys so I can't even pretend to be able to weigh in on the debate. However, I think that the nature of the debate is such that all of you are viewing the text through a particular "interpretive scheme" which you have "learned". The "learning" is a function of background, training, mentoring etc. The problem with Theology is that there are no emperical tests that I know of that allow any of this "learning" to be tested so that the "junk"
can be tossed out.

The reason that we are not using bubble technology today (rather than magnetic recording on disks) is that even though it looked promising as a research project in the 1970s it never "worked" in practice and could not be scaled up for production and even be remotely "competitive".

The trouble with the area at issue is that "dead end" stuff can be perpetuated ad-infinitum since there is no criterion for "correctness" except "how many people accept it".

Put another way, this whole argument is NOT OBJECTIVE. No wonder, there has not been any solution. Nor is any "solution" likely.

Could you guys agree to disagree for the sake of progress?

Most of you arguments on either side boil down to: (A) We have a certain tradition so that informs what we do and/or (B) Here is my nuanced interpretative understanding which trumps yours so therefore until you hit me with a preponderance of evidence (which is impossible for either side) I'm sticking with my position.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

WTJeff said...

I've stood on the sideline and watched this series of post since the decision became public. As Dr. Luter noted, people's opinions are entrenched and likely won't be changed through discussion on a blog. I wish I could share Dr. Luter's optimism regarding the future of the SBC. As the dad of three college students, I can tell you their generation values obedience over doctrine, cooperation over theological prowess. As with any generation, there are inherent flaws with such a philosophy, but there are virtues to it as well. The bottom line for the SBC, however, will be declining numbers and diluted loyalty if visible progress isn't made soon. My kids generation just won't stand for the posturing and fighting when there's work to be done.


Jeff Parsons

Anonymous said...

This past year, a SB pastor from a traditional FBC "Small-town, SC" came to China on a vision trip. The M who coordinated the trip, took the visiting pastor and team to a Buddhist temple on part of a prayer walk. They encountered a women and her pre-teen daughter praying and burning incense to Buddha. The women noticed the group praying and approached them and asked if they would pray for her daughter who had been mute since birth.

Before the group prayed for the daughter they told the women that they were not praying to Buddha and that they would like to share some good news with her. The women responded postively to the gospel message and then they all laid hands on the young girl and prayed that her mouth would be opened and that she would be miraculously healed and speak.

Initially nothing happened. The group was still excited that the women said that she wanted to believe in Jesus and arranged to put her in touch with local Christians and they left the temple.

Before they could get down to the bottom of the hill, the young girl came running out of the temple and for the first time in her life was yelling "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus" in her native tongue.

This cessationalist pastor was completely taken back and returned home with his dispensationalist, cessationist theology completely challenged. He said that if he had not seen and experienced this, he never would have believed it. He has only cautiously shared this story with certain people in his congregation for fear of retribution.

Before coming to the field as an IMB missionary eleven years ago, I came out of a dogmatic-cessationist, dispensationist church. Even after I graduated from a SBC seminary, my views were still firmly planted in that same theological position.

But soon after arriving in China and started hearing testimonies from many different Chinese believers from all over China, the foundation of my theological position began to crack. I found that I could no longer contain God to my tightly-formed theological box.

SB's have had a long love affair with China and we all love to marvel at what God has been doing in this country, even during the 40+ years that it was closed to the west. In my conservative estimate, I would say that 90% of all Christians in China would hold to the Continuationist view.

If dogmatic cessationists hold to their view consistently, then most of what has happened in China is NOT from God, but from the devil himself and the world's most populist country is more lost than ever imagined! 80 million people are being decieved and are in desparate need of theological correction! (said with a bit of sarcasm in my voice).

My collegues and I have MANY MANY stories to share just like this one, but when we return to the states, we find ourselves toning down our stories for fear that the people will think that we are no longer Bapist missionaries.

Cautious-Continuationist, Bapist to the core, IMB M

Anonymous said...

whoops! That should be signed

Baptist to the core, IMB M :)

Anonymous said...


I don't know if you're talking to both sides of the debate here, but I have agreed to disagree from the very beginning. Asking for co-existence and cooperation in spite of differences on tertiary doctrines has been the foundation of my argument. I have only discussed the doctrinal points to show that the continuationist side is valid, not to win an argument.


As we all move on from this because there is nothing more to be gained, I do think that it is important to remember why this happened. It was not because continuationists were trying to push their view on others or gain a place at the table. Things were going quite nicely and there was no real reason to discuss the issue outside of our local churches. Co-existence was fine with most of us.

I have learned, however, that fundamentalism/cessationism/semi-cessationism does not exist in a vacuum, but it is defined often by what it is not or by what it is against. To be of this persuasion requires that you are not able to co-exist with others who disagree with you. A cessationist cannot, by definition, work with a continuationist because the perspective of the continuationist is irregular to him. The continuationist must be stamped out or silenced. Peaceful co-existence is not a possibility, at least from what I have seen. Now, this is not true on a personal level, as everyone involved are very nice people, but it appears to be true on a ministry and cooperation level.

Please note that exclusion or victory in a theological debate is not my perspective. That is why, in reading calls for both sides to just get along and stop fighting, I realize that many have missed the point. One side is looking for complete uniformity while the other side just seeks to exist. That is hardly a fair fight and the motives are completely different. For me, to stop fighting, means that I not only concede the point, but that I concede existence in the national structure of the SBC. That is a far different proposition from what you are asking of the fundamentalist/cessationist/semi-cessationist camp. So, before we revise the history of this debate to suit present opinions, we need to remember what this was all about.

Tony Gulbrandsen said...

I choose not to enter the theological debate because I don't know how fruitful it is. I would like to say something about the IMB guidelines. Like many here, I feel like these increasingly narrow lines are beyond the scope of the BF&M2000 and therefore probably not appropriate doctrinal standards. And that bothers me.

However, no one, especially the IMB BoT is telling people they can not be missionaries. If someone is genuinely called of God to go to a particular mission field and they can not fit under the IMB guidelines, then they must find another way to go. That is all. Now, being that the IMB is THE premier missions sending agency in the world by my estimation, it is a little disappointing that their guidelines would exclude you.

But I was excluded from IMB service for non-doctrinal reasons. If I thought God had indeed been calling me to go and not taken the IMB's refusal as a time to evaluate God's call, I would have found another way to go. No one is being told they can not go and share the gospel in a cross-cultural context. They are being told they can not go with the IMB. It is that simple.

And if the BoT has decided that the "semi-cessationalist" position is the best fit, we need to trust that they are operating in the best interests of the IMB and the SBC. That is the definition of the position, TRUSTEE. We trust them.

Ok, I got a little long winded. My people tell me I do that from the pulpit occasionally also. Please forgive me.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Tony,

Very well said. I too am not in total agreement with the supposed "need" of these new guidlines in our company. However, I do think the Trustees are sincerely trying to carry out the duties that have been assigned to them.

An IMB m who must remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
Alan Cross,
As I review what you wrote May 1, I realized the greatness of one statement you made: “What Scripture experientially promotes we should believe and experience.”

This puts to shame the ‘theory’: “We shouldn’t base our relationship with God upon experience, but upon the Word.”

Alan, to illustrate what you said would be the command of Jesus to Thomas.

The “Word” was: ‘Christ has risen!” but the ‘interpretation’ Thomas believed: “Sure, at the resurrection, but NOT today.” (The IMB says, “Sure there were miracles, tongues etc. but NOT today!”)

Jesus told Thomas to have an EXPERIENCE—“Put your hand into my side.” (The ‘experience’ gave the Word the right interpretation.)

The IMB can argue the Word forever as long as it ignores EXPERIENCE. (Don’t confuse me with facts; our minds are made up.)

My uncle was a missionary to China for 30 years until a gun was put to his head and he went to Korea where he supervised the building of Bill Wallace Memorial Hospital. Years ago, babies of royalty had their feet ‘bound’ to give them ‘prestige’ of being carried by servants because their feet were ‘nubs’. Upon hearing of ‘healings’, one such lady attended a revival for her first time and brought shoes to wear home. After much preaching, she began to complain to those around her that here feet were still the same. A group of ladies prayed for her. Their cries of joy caused the preacher to ask what was going on. They told him her feet were normal.

So pastor Tony, add this to the list like Cautious-Continuationist, Baptist to the core, IMB M told of that went in one of your ears and out the other.
You said, if the BoT has decided that the ‘semi-cessationalist’ position is the best fit, we need to trust them because that is the definition of the position, TRUSTEE—we trust them.

Tony, you can take me and many others out of the “we”, because WE have not parked our brains, our priesthood, our knowledge, and our experiences in the hands of TRUSTEES, but still believe in listening to the Holy Spirit.

volfan007 said...

cautious continualist m,

i am a cautious, open cessationalist, and i have no problems whatsoever with my theological beliefs and the story you just shared. why do you think that cessationalists dont believe that God can heal the sick? every cessationists that i know believes that God can heal the sick today. so, your point is not well taken. we too believe that God can heal, and that He can heal in answer to our prayers. so, why would what happened in china to that little girl challenge anyones beliefs?

david phillips and rsk66,

i hope that yall would reconsider your thoughts about leaving the sbc due to it not being like you want it to be. but, if you feel that strongly about leaving...well, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.


Anonymous said...

Dear Volfan007,

I attended Wednesday night prayer meetings at my church, well almost every Wednesday night growing up and we prayed for a lot of sick people. But as I recall, most of the prayers went something like...."Guide the hand of the surgeon and give wisdom to the nurses and comfort to the sick and to their family". Occasionally some did request that we pray that God would heal....but NEVER do I recall that we EVER laid hands on a sick person in the church and ask God for healing.

Cautious-continuationist M

RKSOKC66 said...


I am certainly not broaching the idea of leaving the SBC. There is no Continualist-Cessationist debate going on here in Central Oklahoma that I am aware of. To my knowledge no one in our local church here is "wasting time being polarized" over this. I have never heard a word on this in the three years my wife and I have been here in Oklahoma -- and, of course, I have never brought the subject up.

I don't think that the issue is "leaving the SBC", or "being kicked out by the SBC".

Nor do I see the issue in any local SBC church.

The problem is that with the continued bickering on "third tier" stuff -- which I maintain is not subject to any objective argumentation -- slowly and incrementally the SBC will become so Balkanized that there will be no SBC left for me either to leave or be kicked out of.

As it relates to me this is no big deal. However, given the huge benefit we have seen historically by cooperative work in missions, etc. it is tragic to watch things slowly disintegrate over time.

All this due to some "principled" stand regarding PPL? How tragic that "Baptist identify" [to quote the comittee] trumps cooperation.

Things are changing in the evangelical church all over the world. If the SBC doesn't adjust to cultural/social trends in various locals all over the world [while holding solid on bedrock Christian doctrine] it will look back decades from now and wonder "what happened?"

Debbie Kaufman said...

volfan: Your responses will always continue to amaze me.

Bob Cleveland said...

I hear talk, here & there, about basing one's theology on one's experience. As a continuationist, who's been given one of those continuing gifts, I don't think I do that. What I have experienced is not outside what I see the boundaries of scripture are, at all.

But one thing I DO know for absolute certainty: while I don't think I base my theology on MY EXPERIENCE, I'm definitely NOT going to base it on someone else's LACK OF EXPERIENCE.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Amen Bob.

Anonymous said...

cautious m,

i know of cessationists who not only lay hands on them while asking for the Lord to heal them, but i also know some who annoint them with oil as well. i personally have had altar calls at my church as we all laid hands on the sick person and asked the Lord to heal that person. i have seen the Lord heal them as well. glory to God!

and, i see no problem with me being a cautious, open, semi cessationists and praying such, and the cessationists that i know really dont see this as a problem with thier theology either.


Anonymous said...


i too agree with you that we shouldnt base who is a sb, and who aint, or who gets to be an sb m, and who doesnt, based on minor, gray areas of the bible. i agree with you that third tier doctrines, if you want to call them that, shouldnt separate us, or make people feel like they dont belong anymore.

but, of course, i feel that there are some second tier doctrines that sb's must stand strong on. and, while they are not essential, first tier, doctrines, they are still very important doctrines for us to believe in order to stay true to the bible. many call these baptist distinctives. i feel like these are important, and some are very important.

but, what i am tired of hearing is not so much about whether we will accept ppl's, or not, or whether we will accept contiualists, or not....what i am growing tired of is people using the "young people" as a weapon. you know, if we dont do this, then the "young people" will leave. if we dont believe that, then the "young people" will leave. and, while i agree that we need to make some changes in the sbc and in our churches, i'm tired of hearing about how the "young people" are gonna leave if they dont get thier way. well, if they dont like being a sb, then maybe the best thing is for them to leave. i mean, if one day the sbc goes away from the bible, after i've done all i can to get it back to the bible(as in the cr), and the sbc will not come back but strays farther away. then, i would leave it, and go where the bible is believed. or, if i was charismatic, then i'd go to the pentecostals. or, if i was into infant baptism and five point calvinism and elder rule, then i'd join the presbyterians.

i aint trying to be ugly, nor mean, just plain spoken and clear. like, i grew up a methodist. my family left the methodist denomination due to liberalism. we joined a sb church. we loved the way they preached the bible and believed it. i'm still a sb today for that very reason, and for the way we do missions. but, if the sbc ever goes away from the bible, then i will leave. i will go where they do believe the bible.

if some "young people" dont like what sb believe and how we do church and missions, then maybe it's time for them to do something else, somewhere else. i hope they dont leave. i hope that nobody leaves. i hope that we can all find the common ground and stand strong on it. but, some people wont settle until all the ground is like they want it. and, none of us can ever have the ground fixed exactly like we like it.


ps. debbie, i'm glad that i amaze you. i do hope to meet you in san antonio. :)

Alyce Faulkner said...

David, you went from a caucious cessationist to a semi-cessationist in two post.
A few more post and you and I might actually be in unity :)

All kidding aside, the only thing that keeps me from being upset about all this is the knowledge that God is on His throne and no one-no entity-no power-no person can thwart His purposes and in His purposes are where by confidence is.

WTJeff said...


Don't worry, bro, they could soon be on their way for the very reason Alycelee stated. God's purposes won't be limited by BoT rulings. I continue to be confused how some can advocate a simple reading of 1 Tim 2 to limit the role of women in ministry, but a advocate a much more involved process to deal with the gifts of 1 Cor. 14. I've never spoken in a tongue that I'm aware, yet have no problem with being a cautious continuationist. I fail to see any inherent danger to the IMB or the SBC at large in sending missionaries meeting pre Nov. '05 standards.

As I stated earlier, the young people of today value obedience over theological debate. As they mature, I'm sure this will be tempered somewhat, but I hope they never lose the kingdom perspective God seems to have planted in this generation's heart. Unfortunately, I'm afraid many will do so with the SBC in their rear view mirror...with volfan's blessing of course.


Anonymous said...

To Whoever Said It (I don't have enough time presently to look back and find it):

What I laid out previously in explaining about presuppositions does tell a great deal about me (although I doubt very seriously whether anybody cares that much about me). But, a key point here is that EVERYBODY has presuppositions that speak volumes about them. It's just that some people don't want to own up to their presuppositions and try to act as if they are much more "objective" than is actually the case. Frequently, it is because they do not want to honestly admit to others where they are coming from. However, especially when a person has a great deal of pride, the hardest person to honestly admit your presuppositional starting
point(s), and, even moreso, WHY you hold those tinting presupposed perspectives, to is YOURSELF. That is one among a number of hard lessons I have learned from being broken by the Lord for "sneaky pride" (i.e, pride of which I was unaware, until the Lord lovingly, but forcefully, pointed out the log in my eye, among other things).

Blessings, Boyd

Anonymous said...

i hope that we will never lose sight of doing what's right....whether any group of people like it, or not.

i hope that we will always be concerned with obeying God...obeying His Word, whether anyone agrees with it, or not.

i hope that we will always be concerned with doing what God wants us to do, rather than on how many numbers we have.

i hope that we will always be more concerned that we please the Lord, rather than with if the "young people" will leave, or not. that also goes for "old people" and "middle age people" and any other group.

whatever happened to just plain ole doing what God wants in the way that He wants it done? whether people like it or not?

i submit to you that we should do what we do as a denomination based on what we believe to be God's will and not on whether the "young people" will stay with us, or not.

jeff, i dont want anyone to leave, my bro. but, if someone feels that they cant abide by the sbc beliefs and practices, then they should leave. if they dont want to be sb's, then why do they stay? i mean, really?

my family left the methodist denomination due to the liberal teaching coming out of the leaders. we felt that we could no longer stay in the methodist church. if the cr had not happened, then i would probably not be in the sbc now. but, thank God it did happen, and i'm glad that i was able to play a small part in it.


R. L. Vaughn said...

Dr. Luter, I made a post above about your presuppositions, to which you evidently refer (although someone else may have made one as well). Nowhere in my post in this thread (or the other one) did I make any denial of myself or anyone else having presuppositions. So I must assume that my comments caused you to want to post some further thoughts about folks denying that we have presuppositions, or that you read into my post something that is not there. My intent in that post was threefold:

1. To point out that we can run amuck with this and become cynical and unjust in our assigning motives of why our brethren believe what they believe.
2. To point out exactly what you just pointed out -- EVERYBODY has presuppositions, including you.
3. To keep it rather short since I had posted on the topic in the "Solid Thoughts" thread.

In the post in the other thread my thought was to point out that while we all have presuppositions, we may erroneously assume the wrong presuppositions when we are supposing the whats and wherefores of why some of our brethren believe what they believe.

Finally, two more things. First, if I have communicated poorly what I have tried to point out, I will be glad to attempt it until I get it right. Second, I have a great deal of pride that I struggle with everyday, and rejoice that the Lord has broken yours. Pray for me.

WTJeff said...


They ARE leaving, bro. Just look at the predominant hair color at your next associational meeting, state convention meeting, or in San Antonio. The "young" pastors we look to for leadership are mostly in their forties. I'm 43 and not feelin' all that young. There are exceptions of course, but for every Joe Thorn or Steve McCoy, there are many more that have left the SBC behind. All is not lost and there remains hope, however, the voices of the young need to be heard and taken seriously. Your attitude of "my way or the highway" meets the stereotypical perspective most have towards those perceived to be in power and does little foster cooperation. Rather than continuing hijacking this post, let me just say that the young are finding opportunities to serve and will continue to do so. It's just a shame the SBC has chosen to exclude many of them.


Anonymous said...


i do not, nor have i ever had, a "my way or the highway" attitude. i guess i'm just not making myself real clear.

oh well.


Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
David 007,
You said, “If someone feels that they can’t abide by the SBC beliefs and practices, then they should leave. I do not, nor have I ever had a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.”

Maybe if you read what you wrote real slow…you’d see the contradiction.

Anonymous said...


i'm not the sbc. i cant make anyone get out. i simply said that if people dont want to be sb, then maybe they need to go where they fit best. i did. i left the methodist church. i became a sb. i'm glad that i did.

there's no contradiction there...even as i read it veeeeerrry slooooowwllyy.


Bob Cleveland said...

Hey I LOVE presuppositions. They reflect that we've studied stuff.

On the other hand, I love having them shot down. I mean, unless I am perfect, how else am I to grow in areas I have opinions on?

This is why I've tried to tell God to sweep out all the conclusions I've heard from others, on biblical matters, when I approach scripture. I want the Author to speak, not some clear but distant human voice from the past .

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
David 007,
It’s true you can’t make anyone get out of the SBC; you just make them want to get out. HA…couldn’t resist. I love you way down deep. (That’s waaaaaaay dowwwwwn deeeeeeeep)

Wade, in your paper to the CBF you said, “All true reformers never seek to withdraw, but rather are made to leave.”

Not so with the Anabaptist who withdrew from the majority when the majority started baptizing babies for salvation. They believed ‘enough was enough.’

I believe CBF felt the same way when the SBC changed the glue that held us together from ‘missions’ to doctrine.

The president of our executive board is pleading for us to trade off doctrine for cooperation.

He didn’t dare say missions for fear some would think he agreed with the CBF. (Strictly my opinion of course.)

It’s easy to see that history has proven that doctrine and rules are not the answer.

Anonymous said...

Great words, Boyd. From what I'm seeing, it's an interesting note that charismatic practices are not much of an issue for the Church outside of the U.S. except where people from the U.S. try to make it one.

Bob C, as is often the case, your wisdom is great. I'd add to your words on experience that all too often people are walking by experience, not by faith (or by faith in their own personal experiences). They are building doctrines out of how they have factually gotten to know God rather than getting to know God more intimately and realizing that He is infinitely more imaginative and creative than their head beliefs about Him will ever be.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Brian, I also think Bob C. makes a good point. If we're never learning, never changing, that seems to imply one of two things -- either we're perfect and already know it all (not) or we're not learning anything (more likely). I guess other options could be that we are learning and our original presuppositions were right (true sometimes), or that we are learning but we're too stubborn to change (also true sometimes).