Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brad Pitt and the Guilt Christ Bore for His People

It is always interesting when Hollywood actors begin to speak theologically. They usually give us insight into culture's collective thinking about God. Actor Brad Pitt was born December 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the same town and hospital where my daughter Charis was born. When Brad was a kid his family moved to Tulsa, then to St. Louis and, by the time he was in kindergarten, the Pitt family lived in Springfield, Missouri where Brad spent his growing up years. Brad's father was a trucker and eventually owned a trucking company and though he came from a very poor background, he made sure his family was never in need.

In the mid-1980's Brad enrolled at the University of Missouri, but in 1986 he decided to leave the University of Missouri before graduation and go to Hollywood. In an interview with Parade Magazine Brad mentions a girlfriend he met his first year at Missouri who helped straighten him out in terms of "religion."

“She was a Methodist preacher's kid. She wasn't that into me, truthfully, although we were together for a semester. She was tough, man, although really cool. She had an older brother who was killed in a four-by-four accident, which was not uncommon out there. She was a hardcore realist. She called me on so much bull—about any romantic ideas that I had grown up with about life. It was my first year in college and I was pushing back against the religion thing."

The Parade Magazine article says that Brad was raised a Southern Baptist and then something Brad said to the reporter raised my curiosity regarding which Southern Baptist church he actually attended. Brad said . . .

In my eyes religion was a mechanism of guilt, this engrained system, used to keep the flock in servitude. Guilt is the thing I find most evil about (religion). It's the thing I rail against the most. She helped me in defining what I believed.

I think the reason guilt bothers Brad Pitt so much is because he doesn't know what to do with it. The gospel is not good news to him because He doesn't comprehend it. If I could, I would help him understand that guilt is to sin what pain is to injury. It is not the problem - only the symptom and consquence of the problem. The problem is sin.

When my eldest son was little I taught him a Keach's catechism that defined sin as "any transgression of the law of God." Before I could help my own children understand guilt, I had to help them understand what sin and transgression against God are all about. What does it mean to transgress God's law and be found guilty in the eyes of God?

Transgressing the law of God is a little like trespassing on the property of a man. The boundary is established by someone other than the trespasser. The breach may or may not be in the conscious awareness of the offender, but the owner has every judicial and legal right to hold the trespasser accountable. The guilt of trespassing is real whether or not the offender feels it.

God has established boundaries and erected a fence we call "God's law." This law is often called "natural law" by philosophers and "the moral law" by theologians. It is a boundary, and for the most part it is innate in the senses of man - but God has codified it in the Ten Commandments. When a person transgresses the law of God, he is guilty - and except for those whose natural consciences are seared, every individual created in the image of God will feel an inward guilt because of sin.

There are only two ways to deal with the guilt of sin and transgression against God's laws. (1). You can either pretend it is not there by denying there is such a thing as the law of God - and rail against anyone who speaks of the law and guilt associated with trangressing it, or (2). You can believe that Christ died for the guilty, and trust that your guilt was borne by Him. The first, exemplified by Brad Pitt, is simply postponing the day of reckoning when the transgressor will stand before God. But the latter manner of dealing with guilt brings joy unspeakable and love unbelievable to the sinner who trusts that Christ has removed sin's guilt at the cross.

The greatest weapon against sin is not a law prohibiting it - but a love for the One who gave the law and provided the means for sin's guilt to be removed. Anybody who breaks God's law is guilty before God - except the one who trusts Christ. The believer in Christ realizes that all the guilt of his transgressions and sins has been borne by Christ. Eventually, it is my love for Christ and what He has done for me that will keep me from even desiring to sin against Him. The law of God provides no means through which I may avoid the desire to sin. In fact, as the apostle Paul stated, the law increases my sinfulness.

In other words, it is my love of Christ that constrains me from sin – not guilt. For Brad Pitt, it is the dismissal or ignorance of the law of God that keeps guilt at bay in his heart. Yet, he is guilty. I am not. He is guilty because he bears his sin and guilt. I am not guilty because Christ bears my sin and guilt. We both live our lives without guilt in our consiences - but Brad Pitt bears his guilt before God and I do not.

I would much rather believe that the Law-giver died for me than that there is no Law-giver. The good news is so sweet to my ears. My prayer today that my fellow native Oklahoman Brad Pitt may have his eyes opened to the beauty of Christ. I also pray for my fellow Southern Baptists that we would avoid using guilt as the tool to keep the flock in servitude. Guilt for us is gone. Christ bore it. It is the comprehension of what Christ has done to rid us of our guilt, and our subsequent love for Him, that compels us to serve Him.

In His Grace,



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

Wade - I have never ever expressed a desire for a blog to ban anyone, even for things they should probably be banned for. However, for all the IMB missionaries in the field that enjoy your blog, would you please ban Crowder.

And yes, I do speak for all of us! :)

Regardless of your intentions (ignoring Crowder's idiotic rant here) this post is right on. I would also submit that the fact that guilt exists points to a "higher judge" that will one day judge all of us. If a "natural demand for justice" didn't exist, then why the guilt?

I know Brad didn't say he was an Atheist, but he might as well be it seems.

We all have a conscience. We are all with (con) knowledge (science) that we are guilty, and he (as well as all of us) better do something about it...CHRIST!!!

Thanks for the reminder today of the importance of God's law.


Anonymous said...

Look Crowder! A comment after yours without using a swear word!!!

It's great to not only say I'm a Christian, but for it to revealed in the words I use as well. Although I am hypocritical in some ways, it actually feels good to not be hypocritical in the language I use.

You should try it. Or do you feel so snug in all your theology verbage and the use of symbols like a @ that you don't need all that messy Christianity life altering behavior nonsense?

It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an arrogant, foul mouthed, "book smart only" theology student to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Rex Ray said...

If his words (that will be gone as soon as Wade sees them) do not grieve the Holy Spirit within him, then I doubt he has the Holy Spirit.

His ego resembles his picture that cries for attention. I’m sorry I read his comment as it ruined the good feeling that Wade’s post had given me.

I promise myself never to read his trash again.

tnchurch said...

Great post. I needed that today. After reading it, I opened God's Word to Romans chapter 6. Thank you Wade. These are the posts I keep coming back for.

I love a quote I heard from Mark Driscoll. "Freedom in Christ is denied by many traditions and theological systems because they fear that some people will use their freedom to sin against Christ. But rules, regulations, and the pursuit of outward morality are ultimately incapable of preventing sin. They can only, at best, rearrange the flesh and get people to stop drinking, smoking, and having sex, only to start being proud of their morality. Jesus' love for us and our love for him are, frankly, the only tethers that will keep us from abusing our freedom, yet they will enable us to venture as far into the culture and into relationships with lost people as Jesus did, because we go with him."

Chaucer said...

To all:

I just got off the phone with Wade Burleson, who took a day of vacation to spend time with his wife after a long but fruitful week of conference with Sam Storms at Emmanuel.

Wade has asked that K. Michael Crowder's comment remain. He's quite certain that his words will be judged for what they are.

Neither will K. Michael Crowder be banned, nor will his comments on this post be moderated. Wade regrets that missionaries are offended by those comments, but trusts that charity and patience prevail in the hearts of Southern Baptists' finest.


Now as for me.

I read K. Michael Crowder about the same way I read the SBTexan: with a wry grin and a quick glance.


Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I believe Crowder is seen for who he is. Wade Burleson has been seen for who he is by his writings these past two years.

Give us more of Wade. Somebody PLEASE ban Crowder.

When it comes to Christianity and the Southern Baptist Convention may God help us if people like Crowder control our future.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Wade. KMC, your comments do a good job of furthering Wade's post and point. You may well represent what drives men and women like Brad away from God, not toward Him.

I don't think Brad chose to believe in no God because of anything God did (conviction). I believe Brad chose to believe in no God because those who supposedly had the answers to his conviction at a young age taught him the answer was to follow the law better rather than to know God. As I read his comments, his hatred for religion and for condemnation is the result of religion and legalism.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...


What a silly, little comment.

You grossly over-estimate your importance and Wade's. Perhaps its not so clear to you in your world of conspiracy theories and "faceless riders," but this is God's world. Any "goons" and plots to "dominate" are well within his ability to punish.

With as much respect as I can muster for a goofy comment like yours, let me recall for you your own words: Frankly, Crowder, we don't give a d@mn.

I hope you can find more edifying uses for your time and energy and expensive Southern Baptist education.


Anonymous said...

For the first time in a long time, I was actually enjoying your post. A nice little comparison between the emptiness of Pitt's soul and the joy our soul can find in a relationship with Christ.

And then I was disappointed by this sentence -- "I also pray for my fellow Southern Baptists that we would avoid using guilt as the tool to keep the flock in servitude."

Could I suggest that you take this sentence out so that the overall tone is not lessened by this not-so-subtle slam at others?

Anonymous said...


It's nice having your regular site back. I enjoy reading it.

I didn't see where Brad Pitt said that he was suffering from guilt. He said that his girlfriend had helped him. But he apparently does have a problem with the way organized religion beats people up with guilt. Who wouldn't?

Who knows? Maybe his girlfriend led him to a saving relationship with Christ? He says she helped him define what he believes which implies that he is confident in his current perspective. He doesn't elaborate as to what that is in quotes you give and I don't know him well enough to conclude anything otherwise.

Unless there's something else that I missed, I didn't see anything that suggests he has a different outlook than yourself. I suspect that you also "rail against" those abuses by religion when it uses guilt as an instument to beat people into submission. I think this is what you were also saying in your comments. You clearly pointed out the redemptive nature of a relationship with Christ.

As far as his saying that "religion" is being a mechanism for guilt, that's nothing new and is practiced in many, many churches every Sunday. For instance, I've listened to sermons that demonized homosexuals in a vicious way when a homosexual was present and had come seeking to be healed. Instead of hearing about redemption and power to heal, they were driven from the fellowship by a sermon which focused on them being the worst of sinners.

Usually, those sins that are demonized the most in sermons are those that the majority of the congregation does not practice! For instance, homosexuals, in most Southern Baptist churches, are pretty safe sermon targets. (Kind of like Democrats. One doesn't see many Democrats in SB congregations these days. At least not many that are bold enough to "come out"! Bless their hearts.)

So homosexuals are more often demonized in sermons while divorce, obesity, smoking, alcohol and even "heterosexuals living together outside of wedlock" are avoided, I think, due to the risk of offending a large section of the audience.

The pastor (especially obesity)and many in the congregation live in the midst of some of these sins without repenting! (Hmm. I wonder if that makes them "unrepentant sinners", like those Pentecostal types??)

Although you use the occasion to point out some wonderful truths, it seems to me that you are jumping to a lot of conclusions about Brad having personal guilt problems. That is not apparent in the quotes you used from him. Did I miss something?

"In my eyes religion was a mechanism of guilt, this engrained system, used to keep the flock in servitude. Guilt is the thing I find most evil about (religion). It's the thing I rail against the most. She helped me in defining what I believed."

Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks for the link Wade.

I'm still recovering from legalism. Thank God for Grace!

Ish Engle said...


First off, let me say I love your blog. I've been a lurker here for quite some time and appreciate your practical theology and its application to life.

As to this post, while I agree with your conclusion, I must say that guilt drove me from the church for many years. Why? Because all I heard preached was guilt, not the love of Jesus.

I was not taught the love of Jesus, or freedom in Christ, I was taught that I was a sinner, God was ticked, and I was going to Hell. I was taught that I was evil, that's the way it is, and there is nothing I can do. Jesus was always an afterthought to the conversation. The centrality of His love was not present. What was central was my sin and the guilt it should bring me.

That caused me to leave the church. That sounds like what Brad got in church, too. Fortunately for me, God smacked me upside the head. Hopefully for Brad, God's raring back now! :-)

Again, I love your blog. Thanks for the interesting insights and conversation.


Christa Brown said...

Like Rick in Thailand, I don't read Brad Pitt's comments the same as you seem to, Wade, and I find myself wondering if there was something more to the quote's context that would help explain. I don't think he's talking about guilt over going against the laws of God but rather guilt over going against the laws of religion. That's very different.

Religious leaders all too often heap guilt for all the wrong reasons, and for reasons that have no real connection to God's laws but that simply serve their OWN ends. Of course, it happens in many contexts, but in the clergy sex abuse context, what I see... tragically and endlessly...are religious leaders who heap hurtful, hateful, and undeserved guilt on the innocent victims in order to silence them so as to cover their own horrific sins. They heap guilt to cover, not only the sins of the perpetrators, but also the sins of themselves and other religious leaders who choose not to rock the boat and to stay in their comfortable anesthetized status-quo church-world rather than confront a difficult problem. When people actually open their eyes and see this sort of system, and how it works to keep the flock in servitude to false leaders, false rules, and false truths....yes, it seems very evil indeed. The false guilt-based rules of religion wind up blocking out the rules of God. I think that's what Brad Pitt saw.

david b mclaughlin said...

Maybe Brad Pitt went to KMC's church? That might explain a lot.

Wayne Smith said...

Welcome back with your Good News Post. I want to share my Daily Devotion on the Good News. This shows the difference between what your stand for and the Likes of people like K. Michael Crowder.

BEAUTIFUL FEET October 11, 2007

Scripture Reading: Luke 7:36-50

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news . . . . Isaiah 52:7

Centuries before Simon's dinner party, the prophet Isaiah wrote, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news." Isaiah envisioned God returning with love to rescue his people after their rebellion and punishment. Isaiah celebrated the good news by pointing out the steady feet of those who would someday bring that news to God's people.

Centuries later, Simon and his fellow Pharisees refused to see that Jesus was the messenger and embodiment of God's good news. Simon had likely invited Jesus to this dinner party to observe him and look for a reason to accuse him (see Luke 6:7). Simon's refusal even to provide water for Jesus to wash his feet is a picture of the contempt he and his fellow Pharisees had for Jesus. These experts in protocol wouldn't even show the courtesy of washing the dust from their guest's feet!

Then along came the dirty woman with the dirty past. She silently "crashed the party" and lovingly cared for Jesus' feet. She was celebrating in her own way the feet of him who was the good news. She understood her desperate need for the One who came to forgive sins.

If you were there that day, how do you think you'd react? Would you sit back looking with disgust at Jesus? Or would you weep, with your head lowered over Jesus' feet? Take note: there is no middle ground.

Loving God, you have sent us a Savior, but many do not recognize him. It makes us wonder if we see our own desperate need for him. Remind us that we too may have peace. Amen.

TODAY is a ministry of The Back to God Hour

In His Name

Dave Miller said...

I usually only comment on this blog when either I have a question or a disagreement with something Wade or another said.

I read the blog today and then opened up the comment stream wondering, "How many comments will it be before someone finds a way to tie this to the Conservative resurgence or the SWBTS struggle, or women in ministry, or something else?"

I probably would have placed the over/under somewhere between 5 and 8. Take the under.

I have taken a slightly different position than Wade on several issues. But it is hard to imagine any Christian taking issue with what Wade wrote. Pitt's words mirror exactly what we see and hear so often. Religion manipulates guilt. Wade's position is simple gospel; we ARE guilty before God, but we do not just condemn, we proclaim a solution to guilt. We do not deny it, we deal with it. Jesus paid it all...

Crowder's comments here are obscene. Rick in Thailand's was a little silly as well.

Wade, give us some red meat for the next blog. Women in ministry. SWBTS. IMB politics. Paige. We will aim our rifles and start firing (all in the spirit of healthy Christian dialogue and brotherly love).

But for the love of God, when Wade writes something like this, why don't we just put away out weapons, reflect a minute and say "Amen!"

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Dave and Wade,



Wayne Smith said...

K. Michael Crowder,

IMHO, You bring SHAME on the VERY name of your Blog,

What Would Jesus Do Today.

I don’t know what GUILT you are under, I just Pray that God forgives you and sets you Free.

In His Name

foxofbama said...

DAn Vestal and I were talking about you couple days ago in the larger context of the ironies Christian Pilgrimages take.
I don't have face to face conversations with Vestal often. He implied a great deal of respect for you. We were considering your recent notions on Mark Noll and where that may take you.
Distinct from my conversation with Vestal, was my fascination (now with you) with this Parade Profile of Pitt.
The movie a River Runs Through It is part of Pitt's testimony and we both should remember that.
Here is something I have been taken with last couple years. It is the musings of Luc Sante, a consultant for the Movie Gangs of New York. Google up the text of his Museum of God and Museum of Crime and the intersection he sees that resonates with his thoughts on river baptism and Revival Crusades of Billy Sunday.
Something to think about.

Dave Miller said...

One more thing. I wrote that I thought Crowder's message was obscene, and I believe it is. To turn a simple gospel statement into his kind of ranting is profane.

However, a guy like that probably thrives on the attention he is getting. When people write scathing rebukes, he probably basks in that.

Our best response is just to ignore him. In this comment stream and in future comment streams, let him rant and ignore him. Do not respond.

Wade has chosen to let his comments go unmoderated. Its Wade's blog; Wade's right. But all of us who read and interact here also have the power to just ignore people like him. Do not respond to his comments. Do not excoriate him for his idiocy. Just ignore him.

I tried to enter into a dialogue with one of this guy's predecessors (a certain young Texas Pastor). I emailed him privately to confront what I thought were unfair accusations he was lodging against others.

All I got from him were wild accusations about my liberalism. I am a lot of things (fat, hard-headed, old-fashioned...) but those who know me seldom use liberal to describe me.

I realized that arguing with him was like trying to convince Sooner fans that they are overrated. You just can't talk logic to them.

I learned an important lesson years ago from the menu at PO Folks restaurant.

Never 'rassle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

Craig Smith said...

Dave Miller

Why do you have to write such trash about the Sooners? They work hard and do everything right. They are only kids.

You want to talk about that stuff, talk about me. I am 33 years old. I am a MAN. This is why I don't read blogs...

Anonymous said...

Grace Southern Baptist...

I would like to know where that quote was heard. I really enjoyed it and would like to find where it came from. Thanks.

Dave Miller said...


Brilliance in commenting must be acknowledged.

::Dave claps loud and long::

Dave Miller said...

I wonder how many folks will get that?

david b mclaughlin said...

YOu would have loved the Fowler Toyota commercial running here recently.

David Mc
(Woa, woa, woa, falling down...picking self back up.)

Steve said...

We have so many Brad Pitts around; so many young adults coming from families - even good families - who look at the "churchy" Sundays-only play-acting of milk-fed believers; who've had podiums thumped at them by angry stormers.
How many times did Jesus appear to be angry and judgmental - once? Yet, so many "leaders of flocks" often act so angry, standing in judgment, almost gleeful in pronouncing various forms of, "Boy, are YOU gonna get it!!"

Anonymous said...

Hey I know! Maybe Wade could call K. Michael Crowder an imbecile again! After all Wade talked to his Daddy, sis, and three church members and name-calling by a Pastor was just fine by them! Hey children of Emmmanuael Pastor Wade says calling someone who disagrees with you an imbecile is ok! where's Wade's Rottweiler Debbie lately - I'm sure she's got some other great names that Saint Wade could use for all those who disagree with him!

Anonymous said...

hehe - me thinks "whatever" is also KMC

Anonymous said...

This is sooo not gonna be pretty when the Wade groupies login. Of course "Saint" Wade (love that!) will probably just delete the little ol' reminder of his hypocrisy!

Hey Anony #1 it's ok for us to post anonymously because of that one infamous anonymous letter over at Ben Cole's place right! LOL! ROTLOL! What a hoot! Ol' Wade's always good for a laugh!

Anony #2

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

"A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly."
"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."
"A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul."
"Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words."

In light of this truth, I'll let wisdom do the talking:

Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square...

"How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

"Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,

"When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently
but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.

"For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Anonymous said...

#2 - I have no idea what your talking about.

I simply posted anonymously because I had nothing of value to say.

Kinda' like you.

jasonk said...

If you ignore it, maybe it will go away.

Wade, I agree that guilt is to sin what pain is to an injury.

I can't speak for Brad Pitt, but I think I understand what he is driving at. Many churches try to keep people wallowing in guilt. Rarely do we hear preachers talk about the joy we are to be living in. Often it seems that churches lean toward making people feel guilty over sins they have already been forgiven of, rather than encouraging them to live in celebration of the grace that saved them.

Anonymous said...

Awe, come on ya'all. Are we a bunch of hard-shell Baptist's today? Wade got (and understood) the post--as it was for him and him alone. This is why he kept it. Wade and I communicate on a deeper level. We each anticipate the others move. I know not when my Lord may come, but I what Wade's up to. ;)

As for the last line of my fantastic's a most famous line from "Gone with the Wind." It appears that only one of you got that. (Inappropriate? Yes, I admit that it was, but it rhymed, and I took the poetic license and ran with it. I was trying be culturally relevant *rolls eyes*) Wade was smart by keeping this post. It is a masterpiece filled with rhyme, jest, and a much deeper hidden message just for dear ol' Wade.

To the Anon M---YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR 5000+ missionaries. Maybe 5 if you are lucky. They would be the only 5 who actually read this blog.

To Ben Cole--it'll be dear boy. But hey, I really would like to have access to the outpost again. At least unlock my main IP. Since I have your attention, let’s talk about Emmanuel's Video On Demand---you really need to add a camera--and the lighting is all wrong. And seriously, cover those monitors with the grey carpet; the state is just too busy. The orchestra members are distracting, and get Wade a Bible with a flexible cover.....he has creased the front of his irritates me.

Wanna know what the funny thing is? If I really just wanted attention, I would comment on a blog that actually had a large and diverse following.

Peace Out Homies!

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that a post containing nothing controversial is taken as controversial just so people can argue. Do you not have anything better to do?
Guilt should not be the driving force behind our desire to be like Christ.
And we're arguing about that????

The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.

Anonymous said...

As for the last line of my fantastic's a most famous line from "Gone with the Wind." It appears that only one of you got that. >>

I think we all got it.
A big "duh" is screaming thru my head. It had to get out.

Anonymous said...

"It had to get out."

...and now nothing remains.

Anonymous said...

k mickael crow der,


Exo 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me. ESV

Mohler my Idol!
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in yet another fantastic display of genius. (one day this man will hand me a diploma) :)

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Steve said...

Once again, Emily has just the right words, the simplest message, and a heart of peace. Thanks again for sharing the verses with us.

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller,

I wonder what you meant when you wrote, "Rick in Thailand's was a little silly as well."


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Ooops, wrong site. Didn't mean to click on the "let's make Wade Burleson our God blog!" Anything and everything out of that man's mouth and typed by his hands is the Gospel Truth ya'll! We've implemented a new policy with our children about which names are acceptable for the kids to call each other. Waiting for the list from Wade - we know the ever popular imbecile is at the top of the list. Hey Wade does your Daddy sit at your right hand and your sis at the left????

Oh and for all the "Why does anyone wanna mess up such a beautiful post by Wade" - it might have been a nice lil' post if some of us were still blind to the heart of the man behind it.

greg.w.h said...

Pitt's comments might be essentially deflective in nature, but to the extent that he has a meaningful point, I believe we Christians should pay attention to it.

And I think that point is this: the reason God uses sinners to be ministers of Grace is because we are sinners and can relate to other sinners. It's hard to see us relating to other sinners when it SEEMS what we are doing is emphasizing we are more righteous than they are.

I also think Wade's point is valid: many of the nonbelievers I've had as close friends relate stories of forced faith, Christian self-righteousness, and concerns about God's fairness ("what about the cannibals in Papau New Guinea?") when they push back from accepting Jesus as Savior. Those are rationalizations used to avoid admitting both sinfulness and the need for salvation.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Brother Wade,

Having grown up in a "hell and damnation" "guilt" church, I truly do understand your thoughts on this post.

I have spent many years trying to help heal folks with the same problems as Mr. Pitt.

Religion kills.

Your post was so refreshing.

I sat back, took a deep breath and thought (peacefully and quietly) wow, what a hearfelt belief in our Saviour.

Jesus paid it ALL. period.

The first response on the comment board reminds me of my childhood preacher. It has been a 40 year struggle to thrown off the legalism.

To David Mclaughlin, your thoughts on Brads membership...........AMEN!

What can wash away my sins?


D Treat

Anonymous said...


in my post, I wrote hearfelt and it should have been heartfelt

gotta use that darn spellchecker more often.

d treat

kehrsam said...

I was raised in an atheist home in the middle of the Bible Belt (North Carolina). All I knew about Jesus when growing up was that He hated me and I was going to hell for not believing in Him. Worse, these horrid views were forced on me over the intercom at school every morning and at every sporting event I played in or attended.

As an adult, I deeply wanted to believe in something, but it took me years of wandering before someone started telling me about Joy rather than Evil. Yes, I am a sinner, but I already knew that. It simply is not what lost people need to hear. They need to hear they are loved; about Joy! with capital letters and exclamation points!

This was a post about Joy!, and somehow the comment thread is about Evil!. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. Emily, beautiful and simple post. Thank you.

k.michael: There are Vogon Construction Fleet Captains who would kill to possess your poetic "talents."

Wahoo! I can do pointless pop culture references too!

Sorry that slipped out. Back to your regularly-scheduled flame war....

DL said...

"Oh and for all the "Why does anyone wanna mess up such a beautiful post by Wade" - it might have been a nice lil' post if some of us were still blind to the heart of the man behind it."

Could you explain this? I seriously want to know. I don't understand what you mean. Jesus said, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." I'm a regular reader of Wade's blog, and do not see where he is disingenuous or self-aggrandizing. I see him make points that many may disagree with (including myself at times), but I don't see the danger that some commenters keep bringing up. In fact, it seems to me the commenters are showing more about themselves than Wade if taken in light of the above quote from our Lord.

CB Scott said...


Why did you let K. Micheal in on the purpose of this post? Or was it Ben?

Now the whole world will know Brad Pitt is going to be cast as you in the up coming movie "THE SAN ANTONIO 14"

Is it yet settled as to who will play Ben Cole, James Woods or Sean Penn? My vote is for James Woods

Maybe K. Micheal blabbed because he just found out the remake of "GREMLINS" has been cancelled. I guess he is hurt about that because he had a lead role as one of the Gremlins. :-)


Anonymous said...

""" but I don't see the danger that some commenters keep bringing up"""

First thing you gotta do is put down the grape kool aid.

Dave Miller said...

Rick in Thailand,

I referenced your comment as silly only in that questions the obvious. Brad Pitt was clearly saying pretty much what Wade said he was saying. Your theory that his girlfriend led him to a saving faith in Christ runs counter to pretty every piece of evidence in his life and his words.

I was frustrated with the practice of making mountains of disagreements over simple statements of gospel.

I have freely challenged Wade and others when I felt they were off-base. In my opinion, when you put your views out on a public blog, you invite comment - not just fawning praise (there are plenty of cheerleaders out there) but also scrutiny and critique. I have, for my efforts, received some scathing rebukes of my own from Wade and others. It is all part of the process.

But when someone posts a simple gospel story like this one, I think it is a little profane to pick it apart like several comments did.

How can we find disagreement over the premise that Jesus bore our guilt on the cross, so that guilty sinners like us could not just deny our guilt, but be freed of it?

It makes no sense to me that anyone would nitpick and challenge a blog that makes that simple but glorious point.

I did not mean to offend you. That Crowder fella got me worked up and if my ire for his comment spilled into how I read yours, I apologize.

Plus, dude, that stuff about obesity - that was meddling!

Emily Hunter McGowin said...


"A prudent person keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of a fool blurts out folly."

"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."

And, Darby,

"Do not speak to a fool, for (s)he will scorn the wisdom of your words."

And, to all,

We are a group of fools. What an embarrassment.

DL said...

I ask a simple question, and can't get a simple answer. Maybe some think the "grape kool aid" line is cutesie, but I think it's evasive. I've seen commenters try to corner Wade on several issues. I hope someone can answer my question, rather than sound like a adolescent.

Anonymous said...

Alright Darby, here ya go if you're willing to take off those rose colored glasses and read between the lines. This was not just a nice little post about the atonement of Christ. It was a post about the atonement of Christ that ol' Wadie used to put a couple of jabs at those whom he hates (and yes hates is the word for someone obsessed with bringing down a few men in the SBC)

Wade says:

"""The Parade Magazine article says that Brad was raised a Southern Baptist and then something Brad said to the reporter raised my curiosity regarding which Southern Baptist Church he actually attended"""

Interpretated means "I know an SBC Church is Springfield that's nonCalvinist, full of people who don't drink, wouldn't allow women to preach and who support Paige Patterson, I bet they had Brad Pitt in their church and they messed him up becaue they're not like me!!!!

Wade also said:

"""I also pray for my fellow Southern Baptists that we would avoid using guilt as the tool to keep the flock in servitude."""

Interpretated means "We need to get rid of those good ol' boys who "use guilt as the tool to keep the flock of servitude" so me and my buddy Ben can be in charge and then we can use guilt as the tool to keep the flock in servitude and the means to get rid of the good ol boys is we'll use guilt as the tool to bring the flock into servitude.

Those statements of ol' Wadie served no purpose to this post and if his motives were pure statements like that wouldn't have found there way into a post like this. Also see above for Wades ideas regarding calling K. Michael Crowder an imbecile - his daddy told him it was ok!

Now ya'll just blow this off with your self-righteous quoting of Proverbs and pretend like there's only a couple of people who aren't on the Wade and Ben Rock bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

k. michael crowder,

You said "Plus I wanted to send a coded message to Wade--mission accomplished."

I think you're right.

Maybe just not the one you might have intended.

Anonymous said...

KMC, I don't want to get in a spitting contest (for lack of a better word.)

however, i walked the isle at 9 years old because i was scared to death. i was preached to 3 times a week that God was gonna strike me with lighting. i finally made the expected trip to the front and when I left i knew i had covered the base.......i was not gonna get struck by lighting.

a few days later, i told my dad that God wanted me to be a preacher but "I WOULD NEVER PREACH ABOUT A GOD WHO WAS SO ANGRY ALL THE TIME."

In his wisdom Dad showed me galatians 5. I asked, "why doesn't the preacher preach this and my dad (who knew most of the Bible by memory) said that the preacher would when he matured some but that the preacher had only been taught that one thing. By the way, dad was a deacon in a fundy Baptist church for 50 years, the treasurer and the SS teacher/director. he raised 5 boys and a girl who have all thrown off that guilt and love Jesus and are active in church. Dad is now with his Prince of Peace. (notice, not Prince of Guilt?)

when I was 22 years old, i made another trip down the isle. this time from a clear understanding of galatians 5 and the difference between fearing God and being afraid of God, ("the beginning of wisdoom is fear of the Lord")

"Fear the one who has the keys"

The Saviour I follow did not tell me to fear Him and go tell others, He told me to love Him and my neighbors and tell everyone that He loved them."

However, you can believe what you want, it's ok with me because you don't have the keys or final say.

d treat

Anonymous said...

KMC, there is a difference between represent and be, but you are correct about who is the King.

DL said...

Thank you very much for the response. I wasn't defending Wade. He does that very well by himself. I was genuinely curious as to the apparent hostility. I think I understand it. That being said, I have a question. Couldn't it be that Wade has no diabolical motive other than good old fashioned application when warning against "using guilt as a tool"? in the SBC? Wade primarily writes about SBC issues doesn't he? So wouldn't we expect an SBC application? Doesn't he have a point?

david b mclaughlin said...

I think Wade could post about the sun rising in the east and some of the eisegetes here would see it as a not-so-subtle attack against the SBC.

greg.w.h said...

Hey folks...repeat after me:

"Don't feed the troll(s)."

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

"Don't feed the trolls"... :)

Bob Cleveland said...

As I sit and daydream, I can't help pondering the fact that KMC's profile says he's 32 and a student, and his industry is religion. So ... one day he will graduate and one might speculate whether potential employers might be blog comment-stream-readers.

Oh, boy! Something about chickens coming home to roost.

Anonymous said...


You bring up a good point. If KMC would take two seconds to think about what you just said in the light of that comment he made about Dr. Klouda some time ago, he should see that it was an act of M E R C Y that Wade deleted his comment [even if Wade was only thinking of Dr. Klouda].

In fact, I believe that if KMC later regretted putting some other comments on Wade's blog and e-mailed Wade to ask him to delete them [so that MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO READ WHAT HE SAID BACK WHEN HE WAS 32], I think Wade would mercifully delete them.


Because I believe Wade's "that kinda guy"

Anonymous said...

um...I, as Wade 9to his own posts and comments), stand FULLY by everything I have said on this blog.

Besides, I would never accept an invitation to preach or interview with a church whose beliefs were such a man should continue in the office of pastor after orchestrating a deviant takeover of the SBC by TRAHING the character of Drs. Mohler and Patterson. Pastors have lost it all for less. Maybe I will be wrong and Wade is NOT the mastermind behind it all. I am not God, nor His son, nor do I have the powers of the Holy Spirit (as some have suggested) I do, however, have a sixth sense about such things. I am like the guy who was putting the puzzle together, and as he placed the last piece, he realized that the picture was that of the window behind him...only this picture had Wade in suit with too much shoulder-padding, winking, and holding the SBC gavel......or maybe that was a dream I had.

Who knows...really I think it is all quite funny...and sad...all at the same time.


Lin said...

"If you are not preaching does not lead to guilt then you are not preaching repentance and sanctification. Woe to THAT man who starves his flock!"

Without love and brokeness for the flock, this turns into self righteousness and arrogance expeditiously.

I have a general question: Is K Michael the archtype of the Al Mohler partisan? Or is he a bete noire?

Emily Hunter McGowin said...


I don't care what you think or say about Wade. He's a grown man and he's not my problem. But, your "sixth sense" and detailed pipe "dreams" have become redundant and boring. Obnoxiousness is not a spiritual gift. Impetuosity is not a calling. Surely you didn't enter seminary in order to be a buzzing gad-fly on Wade Burleson's blog. Please give attention to your impertinence and consider sharing your opinions elsewhere.


P.S. Sorry, Greg.

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller,

I appreciate your taking the time to explain things for me. I understand.

rick in t

Emily Hunter McGowin said...


I don't know the answer to your question, but I hope I wasn't the only one who had to look up bete noire: "a thorn in one's side, a pest, or a pain."


greg.w.h said...


It's a general principle. At times a response like yours might help...I just haven't found that people who insist on behaving that way stop short of therapy.

Greg Harvey

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Maybe if we pool our resources, we can offer to pay for it... :) It might just be worth it for one quiet, un-controversial comment thread.

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May Concern,
If I were the President of a SBC Seminary and I had a Student like this K. Michael Crowder attending my Seminary, I think I would alert the Authorities as to His unstable Mind Set. We read about people like this after they have really gone off the deep end and carry out their Hatred on innocent people

Bill Scott said...

I wonder if Kevin Michael Crowder's pastor knows that he spews such vitriolic babblings in his free time...he has after all shared his pulpit with him. Pastors are (and should be) very careful about who they allow to stand in their stead.

He is a member of Temple Baptist Church in Sullivan, MO as is noted in his blog.

The contact information for his church is:

It would be interesting to know?

Anonymous said...

Bob said, "As I sit and daydream, I can't help pondering the fact that KMC's profile says he's 32 and a student, and his industry is religion. So ... one day he will graduate and one might speculate whether potential employers might be blog comment-stream-readers.

Oh, boy! Something about chickens coming home to roost."

My thoughts exactly Bob. KMC should be old enough to understand this fact as well. In his arrogance, he does not care it seems. He will care one day, I'm sorry to say.

It has been said that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that is true. But with KMC I have a feeling He will work in a very obvious way with this young man. One day it will hit him right between the eyes and cause a season of regret in his life. I don't wish that on anyone, but sometimes it is it is with him.

I lived my season of regret to be sure.

Also, Bill thanks for the info. After reading KMC's nonsense the one thing I have NOT been inclined to do is go check his blog. Now I don' have to. Before this comment, I sent an email to Pastor Perry and copied Pastor Aldridge on behalf of a host of IMB missionaries who are sickened by KMC and everyone of his comments. I implored them both to take up their responsibility to protect the congregation at Temple by reviewing KMC's comments, many of which I supplied for them, and to act accordingly as they see fit. I asked them not to reply to me, but to direct their energy toward the one that needs it.

I hope they take this seriously for KMC's sake, but also for the sake of that congregation's witness.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but be reminded of the song "They will know we are christians by our love..."
I do believe KMC just said that christian witness has no relevancy in who is saved. I sure hope he doesn't do the 2+2 program (which I think he can't do any way because of his age) because it would be a waste of money.

KMC if you did not say this please think about your posts before you post them.

Wayne Smith said...

Kevin Michael Crowder,

I do believe you need to reread Proverbs 16:1-17 and ask God to Search Your Heart. Then ask God to Forgive you and apology to Brother Wade for all this rubbish you have posted on these Blogs.

Sermon Podcast 06/10/07 Wyoming Trip
Sunday, June 10th, 2007
This week: The Three P’s of Missions and Ministry (Proverbs 16:1-17) delivered by Kevin Crowder.

In His Name

Anonymous said...

Rubbish? Is is? Are you sure?

This just proves that you folks will stoop to the level of Wade and Ben. If you feel you need to tattle on me then by all means go ahead. My pastor is not all that impressed with the blogging world anyway. But by all means share your concerns. Maybe I can get my poem posted in next week's bulletin. (Minus the last line of course) ;)

You call it rubbish, I call a more correct theological interpretation of the topic of guilt. Plus, feel free to pull up the podcasts of my old sermons (there are only 2). I am sure many of you could give me plenty of pointers. But then many of you have decades of experience. I preach tomorrow for the 3rd time on a Sunday morning. (Not at my church).

Maybe once I have preaching as long as some of you, I might be as good as some of you. I will allow God to grow me and use me when and where he will.

Some of you need to get a life!


PS: It is really disingenuous to speak on behalf of missionaries with whom you do not know or have contact. It is ME who you should be emailing, but as of yet, not a single missionary has emailed me. The issue here is that a few missionaries are looking to Wade to be their "savior" from the world of NO ALCHOHOL. THAT my friends is RUBBISH. You do not need to drink to be effective. Learn the local language--you might even try emulating William Carey or Lottie Moon. Or maybe try being a missionary for Christ TO the people instead of being hell bent on emulating the "culture." The culture is ALWAYS sinful. Forus on the needs of the people. They are the ones who need Christ. I do not feel the call to missions, plus I AM too old for the 2 plus 2 and 2 plus 3 programs. I feel the call to preach and teach. and I can tell you that if Wade gets his way in the IMB, I will no longer support the IMB. Missions is not a game. William Carey Broke rank with the Baptist Missionary Society for just such a thing as Wade--"widening the tent."

It is sad that Wade is allowed to exert this much influence. Soon, the people will vote. And let me tell you something. A small group of missionaries WILL NOT hijack the IMB. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but Wades view on "correcting" it will only make it worse

Anonymous said...

I think we got his goat!!!

Anonymous said...

People do not flock to Wade to allow them to drink. They flock to Wade b/c he preaches the Word and doesn't add to it.
We need to get a life? I read Wade's blog b/c I like what he has to say. I would never waste my time and energy reading it just to cause trouble.
That would be indicitive of a poor lonely soul with nothing better to do.

child of grace said...


I submit that your ministry will prosper when you no longer boast, are no longer proud, or rude, nor self seeking, or easily angered, keep no record of wrongs, and have ceased delighting in evil.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you pray to receive better understanding of the spirit of the teachings you profess to follow?



Anonymous said...

Jack wrote:

I submit that your ministry will prosper when you no longer boast, are no longer proud, or rude, nor self seeking, or easily angered, keep no record of wrongs, and have ceased delighting in evil.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you pray to receive better understanding of the spirit of the teachings you profess to follow?

Jack addressed these words of admonition to KMC. After reading this post's comments, I would say this is a good admonition to more people than just KMC, including me.

EA IMB M said...

K Michale Crowder has deleted his post with profanity, and has promised me never to comment again on my blog.

The Lord does exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think.