Monday, July 23, 2007

Those Who Say 'Slam Dunk Stomped' Spin - :)

Christianity Today has posted an article entitled Reasonable Cause: Southern Baptist Debate the Role of the Message in Hiring and Firing. The article, written by Collin Hansen, considers the effects of the Garner Motion, passed by the the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio.

The article quotes SBC President Frank Page as saying,

"By and large, the messengers were saying, 'Let's be careful not to become too narrow, too legalistic."

The article continues with this very interesting section:

Richard Land disagrees (with Dr. Page). As president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Land said he still plans to hire and fire for reasons outside the BFM, offering divorce and alcoholism as examples. Other interpretations of the motion are merely the false bluster of bloggers, Land said. Commonly credited last year with electing Page as president, prominent SBC bloggers such as Wade Burleson failed this year to elect their candidate for first vice president, David Rogers.

"The bloggers are desperate for a win, because their candidate for first vice president got slam-dunk stomped," Land said. "They are desperate to spin this motion."

I find Dr. Land's remarks surprising. In my experience, those who go over the top in their adjectives are usually weak in their subjects. In other words, to accuse those with whom you disagree of 'false bluster' is a telltale sign that something is amiss in one's ability to articulate his or her position with strength.

For a balanced, fair, and insightful review of the Garner Motion, I invite you to read Dr. Boyd Luter's The Theological Capstone of the Conservative Resurgence. Dr. Luter's own personal blog is entitled Agree to Disagree Agreeably, and I am hopeful that his tribe in the SBC is increasing. Go check him out.

In His Grace,



William said...

I was not at San Antonio and had to catch up a couple of weeks later. From that distance ehe motion seemed to be clearly less than the bloggers say was intended and will accomplish far less than they wish, call it 'spin' or whatever.

If it was so clear would you explain why you didn't put the IMB trustees on record by making a motion at their recent meeting that their 'excessive' polices be rescinded?

At this stage, you and your fellow bloggers will have to win at least one clear vote on the issue, either within a trustee meeting for one of our institutions or agencies or at next years annual meeting.

The argument may be valid that it is unwise to go beyond the BFM. Let's debate and address it directly rather than relying on the innocuous motion whose passage was clandestinely planned and manipulatively managed at the annual meeting. Other concerned SBCers and myself may be persuaded and join you.

William Thornton

Bob Cleveland said...

William: I find it curious that you used the term "clandestinely planned and manipulatively managed" when you started by saying you weren't there. I disagree with the term, and I was, indeed, there, and a witness to all that went on.

That highlights one of the problems in the SBC. People who will make pejorative statements like that, without first-hand knowledge. said...

William Thornton,

Welcome to this blog Mr. Thornton. I would encourage you to read Dr. Luter's excellent posts. As to your question, 'Why you didn't put the IMB trustees on record by making a motion at their recent meeting that their 'excessive' polices be rescinded?

Answer: There are eighty nine trustees. There are only ten new trustees this year. The convention has spoken, but the trustee board is autonomous. The trustee board cannot be instructed, directed or controlled by the convention. The convention can only replace trustees. You don't ask the same trustees who wrote, pushed and passed the 'excessive policies' (as you called it) to 'rescind' them. You wait until the convention has replaced them.

As my favorite Kung Fu televsion actor used to say, 'Patience, my little grasshopper.' :)

Also, Bob Cleveland's remark demands a response from you. William, if the motion is as innocuous as you claim, then your allegation that it was 'clandestinely planned and manipulatively managed' is over the top. Your accusations are antithetical. Of course, since you were not present, I find it remarkable that you have such keen insight into the planning and promotion of the Garner Motion. How do you know so much?

Perhaps you have received your information from the people who promoted the motion.


Doesn't sound to clandestine to me.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else bothered that one of our agency heads has made such a negative comment regarding the opinion of about a third of the messengers of the convention that voted for David Rogers (I don't remember the exact vote tally)? I don't think it is one our agency head's role to rejoice that this messenger's opinion was "slam dunked stomped." If I made that same statement in the church where I pastor about a minority group who lost an important vote, I would be posting my resume and looking for work. That is not the kind way to deal with differing opinions, and he should know better.
Todd Pylant

William said...

To answer Bob and your request for me to address the 'clandestinely planned and manipulatively managed' Garner motion, I merely point to Ben Cole's account of the same. It was cooked up in a private meeting (the admittedly provocative 'clandestinely') and floor-managed (an innocuous presenter, microphones stacked) according to plan. I believe both of those allow me the liberty of using the two adjectives. Call it provocative but it is manifestly not untruthful.

I would add that neither of those are unknown at SBC meetings (we've all seen far worse) but I thought that the new generation of blogging SBC reformers objected to such things.

Thanks for answering my question on the IMB trustee meeting. I thought that was the case.

I agree that Land need not make such comments on the election. The result was obvious.


William said...

Todd Plylant,

To me, it is revealing of an 'us vs. them' attitude that is the very opposite of a 'convention' mentality where disagreements are welcome.

You give an interesting analogy.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider an election for a secondary office of the SBC, held in a poorly attended afternoon session during which fewer than half of the registered messengers participated to be anything but what it was. Dr. Land's characterization of it as a "slam dunk stomp" not only smacks of a triumphalism that has no place in an organization that exists to glorify the Lord, it looks like they are grasping at straws. With a larger crowd in the evening session, the Garner motion passed with as much of a margin as there were messengers in attendance at the session in which Jim Richards was elected second VP.

This is exactly why there is a growing lack of respect for some of the leaders of the SBC. It's not about theology. It's like they are saying, "We don't care what the convention says, we're going to do what we want to do." Because of the way the trustee selection process is set up, and the fact that each of these leaders has used their influence, and the lack of participation of churches in the SBC to hand pick their own trustees, they know they can continue to do so.

That's why an increasing number of churches are distancing themselves from the convention. They don't think anyone is listening. They may be right.

Writer said...

So, did Richard Land say in essence that he was going to do whatever he wanted to do no matter what the convention said? Is that the essence of his statement or am I seriously mistaken?


Anonymous said...

I've been researching this quite extensively and am working on a post detailing the exact relationship between the SBC and it's entities and the role of the BFM in that relationship. It is NOT what these people are saying, and I think that they know it. If you go back to their words in 2000 and in 2002-2003 when the debate over signing the BFM and sole membership was happening, they sang a different tune. Here is what Richard Land thought about the autonomy of SBC entities when it came to sole membership in 2003:

ERLC President Richard Land said Southern Baptists are used to applying the term “autonomy” to the local church, but not in reference to Southern Baptist entities. “No Southern Baptist entity is autonomous in the way that the local church is autonomous. An entity of the Southern Baptist Convention is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. Trustees are elected [by the SBC messengers] to exercise oversight on behalf of the SBC, not on behalf of the entity.”

That was from a Tammi Ledbetter article in the SBTexan from Monday, October 13, 2003. Also, if you listen to Dr. Land's comments during the BFM2000 debate at the SBC in 2000, he rarely dealt with the point, was populist to the extreme, and continually tried to whip up the crowd. Dr. Mohler did the same thing. Objections to the passage of the BFM2000 in it's present form would be raised again and again, and instead of dealing with the objections, Dr. Land, and Dr. Mohler as well, would sidestep, raise their voice, and make the objections seem ridiculous. People would cheer and yell in affirmation. Some of the objections were ridiculous, but I would hope to expect more from our seminary presidents and entity heads.

What happened in San Antonio is not new behavior. When challenged, it is how these men seem to respond.

davidinflorida said...

Brother Wade,

Just to make sure, I looked the word "desperate" in .

I don`t see it on this blog or any others.

Can someone show me the desperation that Mr. Land is describing?

irreverend fox said...

I know that I'm desperate for a win...I've lost sleep since we got run out of San-tone...

do people really think like that? we are brothers and sisters in Christ...just because I think the parameters are getting to narrow does not mean that I don't respect or love those who I don't see eye to eye with...sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Land's false bluster in his statement was inspirational reading, especially his labeling his opponent's reactions sa "false bluster." Frustrated politicians tend to make every disagreement a political fight, even when they say they're serving the churches in the SBC.

Our learned friend uses the word "desperate" much as Saddam's press spokesman would have as he swore the Americans were defeated, not flooding into Baghdad even as he stood there.

Perhaps one day the SBC will be served by everyday pastors and laymen who come into service agencies for a while and then go back home, not making a life of living off of stranger's tithes and offerings. Perhaps we will see agency heads' loyalty reserved for the width and breadth of our varied rainbow of churches, not an inner circle of table-slamming, puffed-up potentates.

I know not what our dear brother Land will do in that blessed day, but there will always be politicos and lawyers in Washington looking for another operative to carry briefcases and mouth pleasing words for them.

Steve Austin
Hoptown, Ky.

Tim G said...

Your comment above is refreshing. You said to William "The convention has spoken, but the trustee board is autonomous. The trustee board cannot be instructed, directed or controlled by the convention."

Thank you for admitting this and writing it. On this statement I agree with you :)!

TG said...

Tim G.

I'm not sure why you thank me for 'admitting' what I have said from day one. It would seem to me that if trustees do no listen to the SBC, then the SBC has an obligation to elect Presidents who will appoint trustees that will listen.

It would seem, Tim, Aslan is on the move.


DL said...

Conflict brings out the best and worst in otherwise loving and reasonable people. Naturally, everyone involved thinks they're doing God's bidding. I'm so thankful that Christ is sovereign and gracious! BTW - will the last one in the SBC please turn out the lights?

R. L. Vaughn said...

"got slam-dunk stomped" sounds like the words of someone too caught up in politics and not caught up enough in "love thy brother". I figure I'm right on the first count and hope I'm wrong on the second.

Anonymous said...


You said to William,"The convention has spoken, but the trustee board is autonomous. The trustee board cannot be instructed, directed or controlled by the convention." TimG agreed with you.

But, here's my question: Where is that rule stated in SBC life? I am not disagreeing with you. I just want to see some documentation, because I have read quite a bit of documentation from SB history that says the opposite. I quoted some of that in my previous comment, from Richard Land himself. Is that in the SBC Bylaws? The Constitution? What does sole membership do to that premise? I know that the SBC entities are autonomous from the EC and each other, but are they autonomous from the Convention? Is our only recourse to replace them?

I am beginning to wonder.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Alan, a link to what Allan Blume (parliamentarian) and Augie Boto (VP for Convention policy) said can be found here. Perhaps that will help.

Anonymous said...

I know that I am going out on a limb here, but I am still looking for where it says that our entities are autonomous. There is a great deal written in the history of the SBC that seems to say that our entities are only autonomous from one another, but not from the Convention. They are to be directly accountable to the churches. That was the whole argument that was used in the Sole Membership debate.

The combination of Article IV and Bylaw 11 is quite curious indeed. The fact that our entities are separate corporations to protect the Convention is also interesting. Where is this in our Constitution and/or Bylaws? Is this something that lawyers came up with later? Has an interpretation of Article IV and Bylaw 11 been prescribed to create the current situation? It makes no sense whatsoever, unless you are looking at it from a legal sense. It is clear that our entities do not function as separate corporations. Where do they get their money from? Their employees? Their trustees? Their mission? Are people really saying that a legal definition has been used to the keep the Convention from being able to direct our entities in regard to their fidelity to our Confession of Faith? Does no one see the lunacy of this?

Unless I see further evidence (which I am very open to, because it appears that EVERYONE in the SBC understands this except me), I will have to conclude that things are not as they appear. Can someone help a brother out? I am very confused. I need a bit more than the interpretation and words of Allan Blume and Augie Boto, as much as I respect them. I need to see it in print.

Anonymous said...

"got slam-dunk stomped" sounds like the words of someone too caught up in politics and not caught up enough in "love thy brother".

Well, sir, you are correct. It comes from fame, celebrity, being invited to the White House, having the press call for YOUR opinion which breeds an expectation of power and 'rightness'. It is intoxicating and everything becomes 'spin' to hold on it.

It is our own fault. We have become followers of men and 'movements'. said...


A simple answer:

The convention has bylaws.

Every agency has separate bylaws.

The convention is incorporated.

Every agency is separately incorporated.

Legally the convention and each agency is autonomous. There is no 'ascending' liablity.


Blackhaw said...

What i find interesting is that everyone is mad at Dr. Land for something Ben Cole does all the time on his blog and he does much worse. i am not giving an apology for Dr. Land but one has to be fair in these types of things. Also I think William is correct in his assestment of what went on. Atleast if what Ben deescribed in his blog is true.

Anonymous said...

Which of the following 2 Southern Baptist do you feel is following Jesus as to what he taught in The Sermon on The Mount and the Great Commission.. Give your reason for your selection.

Richard Land president of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Wiley Drake, second vice president of SBC.

Anonymous said...


I understand the legal answer. I understand "ascending liability." The autonomy of the entities exists to protect the SBC from incurring ascending liability because the Convention does not unduly interfere or control the operation of the entity. We do that indirectly through trustees. But, if an entity had failed to adopt the BFM2000, what would the convention have done? Is our only recourse to recall all the trustees? That does not seem to fit historically, since no trustees have ever been recalled. And, when NOBTS did not want to accept sole membership, Dr. Chapman was prepared to ask the Convention to basically force them to do so. Dr. Kelley acquiesced after that. My point is that I think that, in some instances, the Convention has more rights that we are being apprised of when it comes to our basic relationship with our entities. Their relationship with our confession of faith seems to fall within those basic rights, otherwise, the document is quite worthless.

Dr. David E. Hankins, in his paper, "The Relation of the Southern Baptist Convention to Its Entities" says,

At the organizational meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia in 1845, William B. Johnson who was elected the first president proposed an entirely new structure. Rather than the societal method with autonomous organizations for each benevolence, he suggested:

“One Convention, embodying the whole Denomination, together with separate and distinct Boards, for each object of benevolent enterprise located at different places, and all amenable (emphasis added) to the Convention. (Baker, p. 165).
It is obvious by his choice of words Johnson intended the entities to be under the direct authority of the Convention. The word “amenable" means: "liable to be brought to account; answerable (citizens amenable to the law); capable of submission…(as to judgment or test); readily brought to yield or submit.” (Webster).

Dr. Hankins goes on to present a perspective that saw SBC entities as "standing committees" of the Convention by the early 20th Century. There was actually a move to bring them all together under one entity, but the Executive Committee was birthed as a compromise to coordinate the affairs of the Convention when the Convention was not in session. My question is, when did this arrangement change? Was it just for legal purposes? If so, it seems that a violation of the ministerial relationship between the SBC and her entities has occurred just so that we would be protected from legal liability. At any rate, for trustees and entities to claim autonomy from the direction of the Convention in regard to our confession of faith, just because they are legally separate, is a gross distortion of the spirit of cooperation that has existed for over 160 years.

I wonder, has the legal definition of the relationship between the SBC and her entities superseded the actual relationship that has historically existed. If so, it happened unbeknownst to all of us. Or, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm sure that's the case.

At any rate, as I showed in my first quote, Dr. Land seemed to have a different view of the relationship about 4 years ago when he said, “No Southern Baptist entity is autonomous in the way that the local church is autonomous. An entity of the Southern Baptist Convention is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. Trustees are elected [by the SBC messengers] to exercise oversight on behalf of the SBC, not on behalf of the entity.”

If that is the case, I do not see why our interpretation of the Garner Motion is wrong.

Wayne Smith said...

It appears the Paid or Hired Leaders are dictating to the ones that pay their wages and we have apathy, with no accountability or representation. When I was on the farm as a child I watched the proud banty roosters strut around the barnyard. I have also observed some SBC Leaders when they preach.

Embarrassment or Pride
Numbers 22:21-36
“Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel demanded. “I have come to stop you because you are headed for destruction.” (Numbers 22:32, TLB)
Embarrassment is a signal our pride has been hurt. The donkey saved Balaam’s life but made him look foolish in the process, so Balaam lashed out at the donkey. We sometimes strike out at blameless people who get in our way because we are embarrassed or our pride is hurt. Lashing out at others can be a sign that something is wrong with us. Don’t allow your own hurt pride to lead you to hurt others.

In His Name
Wayne Smith

R. Grannemann said...

I believe I recall reading in Ralph Elliott's book, The Genesis Controversy, that it was Herschel Hobbs' opinion that the Convention could instruct the trustees to take a certain action. The convention did instruct the trustees at Midwestern Seminary to fire Elliott within the next month, and if they did not then all the trustees would be considered terminated and (maybe) the Convention president was to appoint new trustees. This was in the early 1960s. The trustees in this instance fired Elliott in accord with the Convention's will, so what would have happened if they had not done so has never been tested. I'm giving this from memory, but it is in the book Ralph Elliott's wrote late in life about the controversy that got him fired.

R. Grannemann said...

About the same time I read Elliott's book I read Duke McCall's book: Duke McCall an Oral History. It is possible I read the above account in McCall's book, but I think it was in Elliott's.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Steve Austin and Martin, I think you both assessed the situation well and I agree.

Paul Burleson said...

Alan Cross,

I don't have any insight or answers to offer you, but I hope you keep asking your questions and doing your research.

I'm not sure the legal separation, as Wade correctly detailed it, is sufficient to explain to me the seeming unwillingness to hear what the Convention has said by way of motion. It certainly doesn't explain WHY the BOTs were not viewed the same by many SBCers who now want the right to do as they please on BOTs in spite of adopted motions AND, in the past, in discussions, have wanted BOTs and leaders to OBEY even resolutions of the SBC that everyone knows have no binding power on anyone.

I'm not sure but what our major problem may be an attitude being displayed by some that is much like the Commanding Officer in that movie "A Few Good Men" where he, when questioned under oath, became enraged and launched into a "we're the protector, you ought to be thankful, we know what we're doing and you have no right to question us" speech that ended with that line that has become the stuff of movie lore "you can't handle the truth."

I believe, as I'm sure you do, in the SBC, we don't need protecting, we have a right to some answers, it's alright to even ask penetrating questions and it doesn't mean I'm desiring a leadership position when I do. I'm not even sure THEY [those in leadership positions] know what they are doing sometimes, and, having come to the truth about my own need for forgiveness and Grace, I can handle anything that resembles truth, even if it's messy because I can forgive and be gracious in doing so.

Let's just be open about what we do as BOTs, allow the Convention to know and participate with that knowledge. And let's be truthful and open all along the way about ALL things whether it's requirement for missionaries, use of money OR number of members.

[No one is suggesting or forgetting that some privacy in missionary matters in restricted places is necessary, but, come on, that's NOT what is being addressed here at all.

Rex Ray said...

Wade has suggested we read Boyd Luther’s blog, but is it forbidden to comment on what Luther said? I think not. I believe people, so far, think it’s like a good sermon that’s made for someone else.

In my opinion, Luther’s thoughts are outstanding on how pride influences us to miss the mark in doing God’s will—we confuse our will to be His.

I’m sure someone can use Luther’s thoughts on me, but for now, I’d like to apply them to the BFM 2000.

1. Luther: “- When a Christian begins to think he/she is smarter than everyone else, they begin to equate their desires and decisions with God’s will.”

People began to think they were so smart that they decided to change the BFM 1963 and made the BFM 2000 “Our Doctrinal Guideline” instead of the Bible.

2. Luther: “When you are challenged to be open and above board in your dealings, out of paranoia, you go behind closed doors and demand confidentiality of all involved.”

To avoid being challenged, the hand picked—small committee, went behind closed doors and demanded all involved to secrecy—“We can’t tell you, but you will like it.”

3. Luther: “ When anyone seeks to hold you accountable, they are automatically viewed as in opposition to God, because, in your mind, you are God’s representative who is beyond questioning.”

When a missionary requested his SBC newspaper be cancelled, his email ended up on the desk of the President of the SBC Executive Committee. The President called the President of the IMB and told him to do something about keeping his missinaries in line.

4. Luther: “When a threat to your “power” is perceived, the defense of power becomes more important than anything else, since power is the “throne” for your ego.”

The defense of power was more important than God’s call of over one hundred missionaries and they were removed because they would not bow to egos by signing a man made creed.

Rex Ray
Bonham, Texas

Rex Ray said...

Oh, BTW, much of Luther’s statements could be said of the people that discovered the word ‘inerrancy’ in the early 1900s.

But I won’t go there as probably there will be no replies to my first comment and it would be a waste of time. You know how people are—won’t touch truth with a ten foot pole when it’s pointed at them.

This is being said from one of those disgusting moderates who is in those 5,000 BGCT churches of Texas that have been excluded from leadership positions in the SBC because they refuse to accept the BFM 2000 and egos are still in power.

Bob Cleveland said...

Gee, I didn't know Boyd Luter was quoting Martin Luther......

Scott Gordon said...

Hello Wade, et al.,

While I in no way would condone anyone's vitriol I have one question. Why is it that those whose views differ from the majority presentation here are called on the carpet for statements they make while those who espouse the position found here are often left unaccountable for escalating the ad hominem or hyperbolic attacks? Things only appear to be lauded as 'fair and balanced' when the 'others' position is down trodden in favor of this 'new' movement within our convention. Both sides appear to have enough characters which could do damage to their position by the tone and language they use. I would think that the issue is what is true rather than the fact that I can point out one of the other guys who has no tact or deference in his tone.

I am new to the blogoshpere and am amazed by the controversy which stems from a convention meeting, etc., which I thought had gone relatively peacefully. Now I'm not a 'can't we all just get along' kind of guy. I just feel the discussion should stay focused on those issues that matter, not 'did you hear what he said...'

DL said...

I happen to be preaching through James. This week I'm coming up on 3:13-18. In light of that text and its application to these issues, I pray for "wise and understanding" men who work "in the meekness of wisdom." I pray that no one in these discussions has "bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts" that causes them to "be false to the truth." James said it so well. "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." (vitriolic straw man and ad hominem arguments?) However, "a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." I pray all those who put their good name on the line in these discussions would fall on "the wisdom from above" that is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." I agree with Scott, and pray we would all make charitable judgments about those with whom we will spend eternity, even while trying to rightly serve him with finite minds in history. Just my two cents. Or is it four now? said...


Feel free to point out ad hominem attacks and escalating hyperbole. The net has a way of policing itself. General questions serve no purpose. Specific challenges are corrective.

DL said...

I believe it would be wise to go on record in saying I agree with the view taken on this blog concerning the direction the SBC should be going. I also should make clear the part of Scott's post I agree with: "I am new to the blogoshpere and am amazed by the controversy which stems from a convention meeting, etc., which I thought had gone relatively peacefully." That statement is what fueled my previous post, and my prayers for both sides. I think Wade tries to be charitable, while informative. That's what keeps me coming back.

Paul Burleson said...


It was said...

"I would think that the issue is what is true rather than the fact that I can point out one of the other guys who has no tact or deference in his tone."

I would hope pointing out "one of the other guys" or "who has no tact or deference is his tone" would NEVER be the purpose for debate or discussion as you repeatedly say it should not be. I join you in wanting to always remember we are brothers in the Grace of God.

I do, however, believe that what is being addressed by you and others is that while "what is true" is important, as scripture indicates repeatedly, a desire on the part of any of us for being the ones who DECIDE "what is true" for all others in every issue may be the major problem we are facing.

It is THAT ATTITUDE that seems to me to be what any and all of us MUST repent of and be willing to work through as a Convention for there to be a shared ministry to further the GOSPEL being preached to this world so desperately in need of it. It is also, IMHO, what is being addressed repeatedly on this and other blogs.

There is a tight rope to be walked in discussing attitudes and actions without degenerating into pointing out a person by shaming, condemning, or attacking them. That walk is not easy. It can be done by being guided by principles not vendettas. Thank you and so many others I read for walking that rope effectively from my perspective. I will always try to guard my own words as well.

John Mac said...

One of the primary reasons we see controversy after controversy in the SBC is due to a basic misunderstanding of who represents whom.

When Richard Land or any other denominational voice speaks, people tend to believe he represents some widely held view. The problem is that in reality, he ONLY represents himself.

Even if Mr. Land was quoted in a way that I completely agreed, I would still take his words with more than a grain of salt.

At the end of the day, I am responsible to my Lord, my family, and the church where I serve. Richard Land and all our denominatinal "authorities" don't even show up on my radar screen...

John Mac said...

It seems to me that one of our main problems in the SBC is the tendency of the average Southern Baptist church member to believe men like Richard Land represent us in ways they actually don't.

When Richard Land is quoted, it is vital that we remember that he speaks ONLY for his point of view and no one elses. That same deal is done each time I speak as pastor of my church, or a recently elected SBC president issues a challenge to the larger body of Southern Baptists. We each represent ourselves, exclusively.

At the end of the day, I am responslible to the Lord, my family, and the church where I serve. Richard Land, Morris Chapman, and so forth are not in that loop...

Kerygma said...

Thank God Land didn't announce his intention to "go for the jugular." That would have been really bad.

Debbie Kaufman said...

john mac: To me it doesn't matter who he speaks for, the statement still surprises me and to those who are not Southern Baptist, he does speak for all in their view. In his position there is responsibility.

foxofbama said...

Alan Cross is excellent in his analysis of how Land plays the populist card. I would say the SBC History of the last 30 years is a dark mastery of the populist card.
Here is a link that can be easily googled up where Land said the BGCT charge of creedalism was nonsense. It gives evidence to Cross's assertions.
I would invite all of you to see how this is playing in progressive Baptist circles as I have linked it to the Coke Stevenson Senate Campaign of 1948 against LBJ for those of you who want to see all this in larger perspective.
As I imply there and this fits in with Cross's Populist thesis--I might add Chandler Davidson of Rice has done wonders with the idea in his mid 90's Race and Class in Texas Politics--it mighta not been so much Jack Flanders and Bob Crapps at Baylor that inflamed Pressler to crusade in the SBC, as it was James Dunn's activity organizing Texas Baptist Pastors for Jimmy Carter from 74-76.
And then Carter hit the oil industry with a windfall Profits Tax.
The Bible is one thing but you get to the underbelly of the Texas Regulars and the Birch Society with a windfall profits tax, then Look OUt Jesus, it's Paris Trout--see the movie.
All this inerrancy and Creedalism stuff is just part of the populist trump card Lee Atwater mastered and Richard Land continues to artfully play his role for Karl Rove in this great Drama of National Implications.
Come and join me, William thornton and others at

Rex Ray said...

I AM AMAZED THERE ARE NO COMMENTS ABOUT DR. BOYD LUTHER’S REASONS WHY MAN’S EGO LEADS TO SIN? It seems no one wants to use his wisdom to see what has happened to the SBC.

If his wisdom applies today, did it apply to early Christians?

Luther: “When a Christian begins to think he/she is smarter than everyone else, they begin to equate their desires and decisions with God’s will.”

“Certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, ‘Except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1) James said these men were: “Certain which went out from us…” (Acts 15:24) and Paul said: “Certain came from James…” “Friends of James…” (Galatians 2:12; K.J. and New Living)
After arguing with Paul, these men probably went back to Jerusalem confident they would be proven right, and were probably these men: “But some of the believers from the PARTY of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!” (Acts 15:5)
These men belonged to a “party of the Pharisees” who thought they were smarter than Peter and Paul.
Let’s name this party ‘do-good convention’. This convention believed the Bible backed up their ideas 100% as shown by: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.” (Acts 21:20)
Peter shocked the ‘do-good convention’ into silence when he said if a burden was put on the Gentiles, it would be correcting God, and all were saved by the free gift of Jesus. (Acts 15:10-11)
This silence probably changed to cheers when it was pointed out four laws were necessary for Gentiles by: “And so MY judgment is…” (Acts 15:19)
Luther’s wisdom is really brought out when “MY judgment” changed to “For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things.” (Acts 15:28 Holman)

BTW, why did the Holy Spirit put a burden on the Gentiles when Peter said to do so would be correcting God?

Oh well, that’s the ‘do-good convention’ that later on, started baptizing babies for salvation. Peter and Paul fought a good fight but lost to the majority that were smarter and thought their decisions were God’s just like Luther said.

Rex Ray
Bonham, Texas

Anonymous said...

These people who equate President Bush and his advisors with the origin of evil in the modern world will always amaze and sadden me. Frustrated political anger is a rust in the soul that has to be cleaned out or the person's whole spirit is useless for service.

Steve Austin