Monday, November 05, 2007

IMB Meeting, Monday, Nov. 5, Springfield, Illinois

After departing Enid, Oklahoma at 6:00 a.m. Central Time on Monday morning,Ben Cole, Great Commission Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, Oklahoma and I arrived in Springfield, Illinois, hometown of President Abraham Lincoln, at 3:15 p.m. I met with the Trustee Executive Committee of the International Mission Board at 3:30, and after various discussions that lasted until 6:30 p.m. we went to have a sandwich at the local Subway.

I am unable to report on anything that occurred in the Executive Committee meeting or the Trustee Forum (closed door meeting) on Monday night. The Plenary Session (the public meeting) of the Intnernational Mission Board of Trustees will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening and I will seek to give a full report on Tuesday's proceedings in tomorrow's post.

It was a joy to visit with several of the 82 missionaries that are being appointed Wednesday night at the Illinois Baptist State Convention Commissioning Service. Several fellow Oklahomans are among the missionaries being assigned overseas, a few are dear friends of mine, and I look forward to being part of the proceedings. I also thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I had with three of our Regional Leaders of the IMB. I am absolutely convinced that Southern Baptists have some of the finest missiologists in the world on our missionary staff. I have several additional appointments tomorrow and look forward, as always, to fulfilling the role that Southern Baptist have given us as trustees.

I would like to close tonight's post, at this very late hour, with a great quote I recently discovered by the great Czeck dissident Vaclav Havel. I hope this might be an encouragement to my Southern Baptist friends who are on their way to paving the future of missions work among Southern Baptists. Havel reminds us that to stand on principle sometimes costs dearly. However, the principled person is able to keep the thing which can never can be stolen by others, but only lost by him - integrity.

You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Anonymous said...


Through your quote you have spoken volumes, and have perhaps said more than you possibly realize. God's mission is so far beyond what we qualify as merely Baptist missions. Thank God for those who have stood historically on principle and conviction, who have been willing to forge on in God's plan of redemption, seeking only His favor, His plan, and His purposes--not men's.

Bob Cleveland said...

I wonder what happens when the "society" mentioned in the quote wakes up, and see that it's in fact on the wrong side of the fence, Spiritually and perhaps numerically.

R. Grannemann said...

Trumped up charges, a raging opponent, a divided parliament. Bhutto returns to Pakistan. Musharraf or Democracy?

david b mclaughlin said...

Nice quote. Here is another from Eddie Veder of Pearl Jam. It aint exactly scripture but...

A dissident is here,
Escape is never the safest place, oh...

Hiram Smith said...



This is for you, not for publication. In the past you have refused to publish my comments. Please handle this one the same way.

The last paragraph of your first Springfield post begins:

"As I have repeatedly said, we, the International Mission Board trustees, are doing our job on behalf of the thousands of Southern Baptist missionaries around the world. It is a joy to work with them all as we support our missionaries abroad...."

Wade, are you so out of touch with reality that you do not understand what your singularly special status–“trustee on the shelf”– means? It renders the first sentence of this paragraph utterly incoherent? Actually, only the rest of the IMB trustees are “doing our job on behalf of the thousands of Southern Baptist missionaries around the world.” Do you still not realize that trustees do their principal work in committees, from which you have been totally absent for over a year now?

Because you are never present when all other trustees do their principal work, your “joy to work with them all” suggests an even more serious and bizarre departure from reality.

Your “reporting” strongly suggests that you are overdue for a reality check. Maybe you should ask the IMB staff to administer some of those psychological assessment tests that are administered to missionary candidates. The experience might help get you back in touch with reality, enough that your reporting could be freed of such bizarre incoherence.

Hiram Smith



Your second Springfield post suggests that your fellow trustees finally got your attention. Did they also win your respect. I sincerely hope so. Maybe you can become an effective supporter of decisions of the IMB trustees and even other respected SBC leaders again.

This is the most encouraging post you have done in a long time.


Rex Ray said...

Hiram Smith,
Just as you put your comment on the wrong post, your comment is more wrong.

Have you ever put yourself in Wade’s shoes?

His gracious rule of not criticizing someone prevents me from telling what I think about your hateful words. They remind me of someone who used to insult Wade.

No wonder your blog does not tell who you are.

You make Wade an example of his November 7 post in his quote of Vaclav Havel: “…You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.”

You seem to dislike Wade because he has not conformed to your society.

Keep up your good work, Wade.

Paul Burleson said...


When rules are created that have the appearance of being an attempt to keep decisions made by "respected SBC leaders" from being reported or questioned by some elected leaders who are charged with serving the SBC people, someone had better have the character required to question them and pay the price for doing so. That kind of character does take a willingness to be identified with one's words and comments however.

We [you and I] would obviously define "leadership" differently.

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to read mean spirited, hateful words coming from so called christian folks and then they follow it with a scripture passage.

Kind of like this:


Dear Sir,

I hate you, your work, and everything about you and it wouldn't disturb me a bit if you were crushed by a bus this evening because then you would be out of the way of what I want, when I want it, and how I want it.


Oh brother!

Even if the passage is directed toward the recipient or the writer is applying it to himself as a signature, it is a gross mis-use of God's word in my view and the
writer should be ashamed.

Lord, have mercy.


Wayne Smith said...

Hiram Smith.

You bring Shame on the very name Smith, as well as the Name Baptist.
You don’t even have the GUTS to post or provide and ID. I Pray your last Name isn’t Smith.

In His Name

Karen Scott said...

Brother Paul B,

You are so right!

New rules were created to cover up and protect "the good old boy system" because that is the only way those who are trying to control the various entities can continue manipulating the system is to maintain secrecy and orchestrate back room meetings.

I appreciate Brother Wade for his character and willingness to stand for integrity.

It is shameful and sorry when the BOTs who are elected by SBC are not willing or able to share with the SBC anything other than the "fluff" that is presented as news by the PR dept of the agency or institution to Baptist Press.

We as Southern Baptist have become too complacent and apathetic.

A lot has been said of late in Baptist life about the condition of the public school system and we wonder how our public schools got into the shape which they are in today. It is largely because parents became complacent and apathetic about their children's education and allowed others to decide what and how their children were to be taught.

As Southern Baptist we are doing the same thing. We send our money to the CP (which began as a good thing) and we allow Trustees to maintain the oversight of agencies and institutions which are supported by our finances but then the system which should work well became very convoluted by handful of people deciding who they wanted to serve as trustees and nominating and re-nominating the same people over and over so that they would be able to have insight and control over what was happening in the various places.

We need a better accountability of the trustees to our convention.

Karen Scott