Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Russia Arrests Kasparov for His Public Dissent

The Wall Street Journal reports:

A Moscow court on Saturday night sentenced Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who leads a coalition of opposition parties, to five days in prison for leading an "unauthorized" demonstration in the capital. If forced to serve out the term this week, Mr. Kasparov would be out of the picture in the lead-up to Sunday's parliamentary elections.

The charges against Kasparov were trumped up by the authorities, and when questioned by Kasparov's attorney about the false allegations, the court was closed to both public and media scrutiny. A blog published the information of the trumped up charges through an interview with Kasparov's attorney.

The Journal further reports:

(Kasparov) is denied access to the media and prevented from freely campaigning and assembling, and is finding no relief from the judiciary. Mr. Kasparov, a contributing editor to the Journal's editorial page, isn't surprised, calling his conviction Saturday "a symbol of what has happened to justice and the rule of law under Putin."

Kasparov has been a consistent critic of the Russian government's authoritarianism, has repeatedly faulted Putin for poorly devised and ineffectual government policies, and has publicly called for investigations into the disappearances, false arrests, and murders of fellow dissidents. Larisa Arap was forcibly detained in a mental asylum and medicated against her will because she dared speak out against those in authority. The still-unsolved murder of journalist and Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya was followed by regular physical and verbal attacks on the president's opponents.

John McCain recently wrote an opinion piece against President Putin's authoritarianism entitled Why We Must Be Firm With Moscow. McCain believes . . .

A firm and unified response by the world`s great democracies to aggressive Russian behaviour abroad could mellow the belligerent elements.

There is trouble in Russia. The only way the authoritarian Russian regime will be dismantled is when firm, consistent pressure is applied to Putin and other Russian government leaders against the immoral and unjustified persecution of critics of the Russian government. Those who cherish freedom in this world better wake up and do something about what is happening in Russia before it leads to an even tighter axis of totalitarianism with Iran and North Korea that will lead to our world into despotism not seen since Stalin and Hitler.

Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Jack Maddox said...


Let me the first to comment and the first to say...

You have gone and done it now Bro!

(Sitting back and eating my popcorn, waiting for the show to begin)

'Comrade' jrm

Tyson Wynn said...

I move that the blog owner be censured.


wadeburleson.org said...


A couple of lines from another of my other favorite individuals named 'Jack' seems appropriate:

You want the truth?

You can't handle the truth?

This post is about Russia. Every word is true. Any comparison drawn has come from your own mind. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times - nor I - haven't made any.

In His Grace,


Jack Maddox said...


Then let me the first to thank you for this wonderful report on World events and the growing totalitarianism in the former Soviet Union.

It is a welcome retreat from the politics of the SBC. Very refreshing.


Ps -34-27 (That’s not a scripture verse brother!)

wadeburleson.org said...

Your welcome Jack.

Please pray for our two church members who are currently in Moscow ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ.

They are quite concerned over the growing tide of anti-American sentiment, the threat of removal by the government, and for the safety of their children. I shall not mention the organization our members are affiliated with, but it is one near and dear to my heart.

In His Grace,


Major B said...

Speaking as a retired military officer with a M.S. in International Relations, this fits historic American foreign policy which is usually a day late and a dollar short. In 1992, we should have began bombing the former USSR--with Fords, Chevys, refrigerators, and VISA cards.

The real problem for Americans is that we really think democracy is a plant that can grow anywhere--it isn't.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Mr. Putin's response to other countries who try to influence him will be the same as Mr. Bush's response when other countries tried to influence him before going to war with Iraq.

- Scott

Paul Burleson said...


Whether President Bush's response to other countries is the same as Mr. Putin's or not one would have to decide for themselves. But the fact that inside our country we CAN say what we believe about Mr. Bush's execution of the war on Terror, for good or bad, and we CAN replace him in an appropriate manner and time is not lost on me.

I rather think one should not lose sight of that major difference and be able to appreciate the fact we live in THAT kind of country as opposed to the one described i Wade's post. I do. If I were a betting Baptist, I'd bet you do to. [I DO disagree with some of our policies by the way.]

Scott Shaffer said...


You might want to check out this USA Today article today about religious bloggers. It even mentions you!


Rex Ray said...

Emily McGowin has on her post a story of a Saudi gang rape where the victim was sentenced 100 lashes for being in an unrelated man’s car.

How this relates to your post is that she was sentenced another 100 lashes for showing dissent by trying to use the media to influence them.

On being in the ‘wrong’ car reminds me of Moslems in Israel. While visiting my missionary son near Beersheba, I criticized my son for not responding to a woman waving for a ride. (My son was driving a vehicle that looked like a taxi.)

He said, “Daddy, you don’t understand. If she had gotten in our car and realized who we were, she would have jumped out regardless how fast I was going.”

Bryan said...


Anyone who has followed your blog of late will draw the same conclusions that Jack has made. This post comes off with the air of you comparing current SBC leadership to the leadership in Russia.

I must take you at your word that "This post is about Russia . . . Any comparison drawn has come from your own mind." But I believe that you are smart enough to know what kind of comparisons your readers will make.

I enjoy reading your blog and admire your convictions. I believe the SBC needs more men and women like you who are transparent and who offer courteous dissent. I, however, believe you have crossed a line with this post.

If this post is only about Russia, preface your post with that statement so that your readers won't make foolish comparisons.


Steve said...

Of course, there is no comparison between, say, the Georgia Baptists or the Int'l Mission Board Trustees and Uncle Vlad in Russia.

In Russia, men out of power were all for everyone being upset with existing leadership until the moment they were able to seize control, at which point dissent changed and became a terrible crime.

In the IMB B of T as well as with Georgia Baptists, men out of power were all for everyone being upset with existing leadership until the moment they were able to seize control, at which point dissent changed and became a terrible sin.

Why, ANYONE could see the difference!!!

Anonymous said...

So I guess it's purely coincidental that this post is about someone being punished for his public dissent?

greg.w.h said...

Ever do the optical illusion where you stare at an American flag for 30 seconds and then look at a blank wall? For those that haven't tried it lately, a flag that is the chromatic opposite of the red, white, and blue of the stars and stripes tends to be seen as an after-image.

That's roughly akin to the process by which Wade was censured by the IMB: they stared at their own opinions of him for so long that the only thing they could see when they actually read his blog was the lie they THOUGHT he wrote rather than the truth he actually wrote.

The same is true with Putin and with all other tyrants. When you surround yourself with people who only agree with you, you can only see the lie in everyone else.

God always uses the dissenter to hold in check those in power. Always. If there is a dissenter, assume God has brought him on the stage on purpose. The fewer the dissenters and the more powerful the tyrant, the more likely God's direct involvement.

I'll offer the calm reasoning of Kasparov in the pages of the Wall Street Journal over the past few years as an excellent comparison to Wade's blog. Note the similarly calm response by each set of leadership in separate cases. Yes...that's right...trumped up charges based on pure fiction.

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with those who are rightly assuming that you are making a not so subtle comparison to yourself and the IMB censure. However, I will let that go because there is a bigger picture issue regarding Kasparov.

The bigger picture is the rampant anti-Semitism which exists in Russia. Kasparov comes from a Jewish background and this has as much to do with governmental opposition to him as anything else.

This story should remind us not about censure and the SBC but the continuing sin of anti-Semitism and the dangers which can come about because of it.

wadeburleson.org said...

I find it silly to not talk about what is going on in Russia because of the danger of comparisons.

Our church members emailed us with their prayer requests. The articles in my post are easily obtained by Kasparov and Russian Opposition

If conclusions are drawn so be it, but they are being drawn by the readers of the Kasparov arrest articles. Not one iota of comparison has been made on this blog.

Lin said...

I hope the Russian Bloggers have Hide-My-IP or we may not get much more direct opposition news.

Batchap67 said...

You made me laugh today! I can imagine this AFGM scene in my mind...

IMB BoT: You want answers?

Burleson: We think we’re entitled to them.

IMB BoT: You want answers?

Burleson: We want the truth!

IMB BoT: You can't handle the truth! Son, we serve in a convention that has walls. And those walls are guarded by MEN with infallible decision making skills. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Ben Cole? We have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Klouda and you curse the IMB BoT. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know: that religious liberty’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And our existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...our own as members of this board. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at potlucks, you want us on that wall. You need us on that wall.

We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words with double meaning; as the backbone to a life spent distorting and spinning our actions to protect our own. You expect us to use them as a way of life. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the leadership we provide, then questions the manner in which we provide it! We'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you apologize for exposing the truth and submit to our complete, infallible authority. Either way, we don't give a darn what you think you're entitled to!

Burleson: Did you order the blogging to stop?

IMB Bot: (quietly) We did the job the fundy’s sent us to do.

Burleson: Did you order the blogging to stop?

IMB BoT: You're darn right we did!!


wadeburleson.org said...


There is a screenwriters guild strike in Hollywood. You ought to think about jumping the picket line.

Jeff said...

That is one of the best and funniest things I've read. I'm with Wade, you should cross the picket line in Hollywood!!! Of course, they couldn't handle the truth either!

david b mclaughlin said...

Is there some way to give batchaps like a 5 star Review or something!

I am laughing so hard I cant breathe!

greg.w.h said...

Oddly enough...I think I've watched that movie already. ;)

The compelling part about Nicholson's speech actually is that it reverberates with a comment a friend of mine made who served as an intelligence specialist alongside special forces. Many years after completing his service he refused to offer even a single operational detail other than the fact that he always offered to pilot the boats because the springs in the seat helped keep him from getting seasick.

But he did offer this comment: there are things the military does that must be done that aren't explainable to and probably aren't acceptable by the American public--and certainly by the world--at large. It's why we have a civilian who is the commander-in-chief and why a civilians sit in leadership of the Pentagon through the Secretary of Defense and his assistants. It's also why the Congress has oversight responsibilities for the actions of the Pentagon. We must make sure that we do not give the DoD license that we don't intend to while permitting the protection of our nation.

Having been on the other side of the work of the IMB (on the field with my parents alongside folks like the Rankins, the Willises, and the Meadors), I'll offer that no such thing should ever happen on the field. The Board of Trustees, therefore, deserves no shield and uses it only at the expense of its own credibility. The only details that deserve such a shield have to do with Ms in areas where we put lives in danger by ministering the Good News.

Even then: I wish we had the boldness of the New Testament and would accept persecution for the sake of openness and put our full trust in God to bring about the implementation of his own sovereign will. But it is a hard thing to do to ask people to serve under those conditions and to ask them to go into harm's way without at least the protection of secrecy.

Greg Harvey

Jack Maddox said...

Hey!!!! Wait a minute!!!!

Wade has said that there is to be no comparison in his post. What’s wrong with you people. If you read this post and draw a conclusion and assign motives, it is you who has done this, not Wade. Wade NEVER posts or says anything even remotely slanderous or offensive. He is WADE BURLESON, Dissenter extraordinaire, champion of truth, defender of all that was once free in the SBC. SO GET OFF HIS BACK! You assume only that which your carnal minds can conjecture.

This is a post about Russia. Wade says so!

You guys are acting like a bunch of trustees from the IMB.


Jack Maddox said...

(the comments above do not necessarily represent the opinions of people who have the capacity to read and draw obvious conclusions)

Jeff said...

Let's just give BATCHAPS "two thumbs up!"

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Though I would not even attempt to draw parallels between Kasparov and Wade....I will not hesitate to point out (after BATCHAPS "two thumbs up" post)that Wade does look like a young Tom Cruise!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Bryan's statement;"anyone who follows your blog of late will draw the same conclusion that Jack has made." Is because most realize that you have an obsession toward dissent, so you have those who read your blog regularly programed to see it in most anything you blog. That's too bad. I wonder what thoughts crossed your mind when you read the items concerning the chess champion?
Jim Sadler

Lin said...

Mr. Maddox, Is there a place where I can engage John Floyd personally and publicly as to his thinking behind certain decisions and ask questions on the timeline and process of the censure. A real interaction of opinions and ideas...like here?

david b mclaughlin said...

...Wade does look like a young Tom Cruise!

He looked awfully handsome in his picture in the Oklahoma Gazette too. I was going to suggest he use it for his picture id here but figured he would want to keep his wife in the picture.

Anyone who comments in this thread relating to dissent and the IMB follows your lead. Your view that we are doing it because of the content of the post maybe a little misplaced.

Or as my kids say, "He did it first!"

Debbie Kaufman said...

Both this story and the story that Emily linked to on her blog plus other stories I could share show me how countries without Christ think and operate.

Dave Miller said...

Kasparov is just a pawn in Putin's evil plan. Did he think that because of his dissent, he would become a knight? Does he feel rooked? Putin believes he can become a king.

Maybe Kasparov could get some celebrities to come over and endorse him - perhaps Queen Latifah or Joey Bishop.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone here has ever read the Peace Committee Report on the de-funding of the seminary in Switzerland by the SBC.

In the report, a European trustee (who was in WW 2) made an interesting statement that would fit some of this conversation of this post………………

w. treat

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

The discussions about dissent have been interesting, especially in regard to dissent among brothers and sisters in Christ. Dissent was fairly common in biblical times. Paul and Barnabas had “great dissension and debate” with other men teaching the brethren at Antioch (Acts 15:1-2), and Paul and Barnabas also had a “sharp disagreement” between themselves (Acts 15:39). The first conflict was resolved in a meeting, but the second was not, and Paul and Barnabas separated from each other.

Dissent is sometimes necessary, just as anger is sometimes necessary. In fact, the two often occur together. Ephesians 4:26 is a direct quote from Psalm 4:4: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (NASB). The Greek scholar A. T. Robertson called the construction in the verse a permissive imperative. The verse is not a command to be angry; rather, when we are angry for good reasons, we should carefully avoid sin and be careful in how we express our anger. Using wholesome words “according to the need of the moment” is edifying (verse 29). The correct expression of anger is a temporary phenomenon (verse 26) and doesn’t become a long-term obsession or grudge. God is described as being angry at times, so we can obviously be angry without sinning. Ephesians 4:31 states, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (NASB). How we express anger is important. I see more and more of this type (verse 31) of poor expression of anger in America, especially involving public figures such as football coaches and pastors. People seem to be obsessed in this regard. They don’t “put away” their anger, and they thus have a problem with malice. They accumulate ammunition (gossip, etc.) to use against people with whom they have become obsessed, and they don’t stop to verify its accuracy or to consider the wisdom of using even verified information against another Christian. I am amazed at the number of churches that I have heard about recently that are torn with dissension. In most cases, at least in my neck of the woods, non-Christians are not pointing at churches and saying, “See how they love each other.” Just as it is not necessarily a sin to be angry, so it is not necessarily a sin to dissent. Dissent, however, should be expressed correctly just as anger should be expressed correctly.

Years ago I served as vice chairman on the board of trustees of an interdenominational Christian institution. An important issue came before the board. I thoroughly researched the issue and put together what I considered to be a strong, logical argument based on biblical principles. To my surprise, none of the other trustees voted my way. My immediate reaction (which I tried not to display) was anger. I felt very strongly that my position was the correct one. I began to wonder about the motives and spirituality of the other trustees. How could they really be good Christians if they disagreed with my biblical argument? At that moment, I was tempted to go public with my dissent. I thought about sending an email to all the people who financed that entity, and I thought that maybe the people with the money would pressure the other trustees to do the “right” thing. Something, however, stopped me. I realized that the trustees were entrusted to make decisions like that one, even if their decisions were incorrect. Even though I could have made my dissent public, I realized that I shouldn’t do so. My public dissent would have hurt the institution more than it would have helped it. I knew that the issue would eventually be made known to the public without my help. The trustees were entrusted to make such decisions, and my dissent had already been expressed in the proper context. With hindsight, I now realize that those other trustees were and are very good Christians. I still believe they were wrong about that particular issue. My term was about to end at that time, but I had one more scheduled trustee meeting to attend. I knew that other votes needed to be taken based on the previous vote with which I disagreed. I knew that I would not be able in good conscience to vote positively, and I resigned before that last meeting. I believe that my dissent was expressed correctly.

Here’s how Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines “trustee”:
“One to whom something is entrusted: one trusted to keep or administer something. . . . a member of a board entrusted with administering the funds and directing the policy of an institution or organization (as a school, hospital, philanthropic foundation).”

Mike Morris (aka BT)

Jack Maddox said...


I am not the one to answer your question. John Floyd would be, however, you will have a hard time interacting with him here since I do not believe that he is on this blog nor has he interacted with it. Maybe he is Hiram? I really do not know. I do not know John Floyd. Wade may be able to give you some information on how to contact and dialogue with him.

Jack Maddox said...


I am not sure I understand your comment to me. I have simply stated haqving been corrected by Wade, that he (wade) has done us all a great servcie by keeping us up to date on the political infighting that is taking place in the former Soviet Union. I have even thanked him for it. I did think at first he may have been drawing a comparison between the dialoque concerning dissent these past few days and his latest post, but he corrected me. I am thankful that Wade has posted on this timely and needed subject in Baptist life.

So again, I really do not have any idea what you mean?


david b mclaughlin said...

I enjoy your sense of humor.

Batchap67 said...

Is it possible that Putin secretly wants a place on the IMB BoT and is trying to show he knows how to be a team player? :)


Jack Maddox said...


I researched it and Putin is Russian Orthodox, not a Baptist.

also he speaks in an unknown tongue

He cannot serve.


greg.w.h said...

Oh...I meant to comment on the quote at the end of your post that is one of many variants often attributed to Edmund Burke. Borrowing from Wikipedia:

This is probably the most quoted statement attributed to Burke, and an extraordinary number of variants of it exist, but all without any definite original source. These very extensively used "quotations" may be based on a paraphrase of some of Burke's ideas, but he is not known to have ever declared them in such a manner in any of his writings. It may have been adapted from these lines of Burke's in his Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents (1770): "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Whether or not the actual writing from his Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents is the original variation of the "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing", I think that quote illustrates the necessity of not just of dissent but also of political action to combine efforts in dissenting.

And given Russia's proclivities towards feudalism and tyranny, you have to admire world chess champion Kasparov's willingness--similar to the cricket player Imran Khan in Pakistan--to suffer deprivation for the cause he believes in and in opposition to governments licensing harsh control in the name of security and safety.

Greg Harvey

P.S. Not exactly sure why I feel motivated to post three times today, but thought each comment would be helpful in the ongoing conversation.

Anonymous said...

BT, Great comment! The issue comes down to a judgment regarding cost vs. benefit. You decided the "cost" of going to donors with your case was greater than the potential benefit from having the board approve your proposal. I don't know, but I would guess that your judgement was correct.

I have not seen any posts by Wade that directly address this issue, but I assume he made a similar analysis. Perhaps it was not explicit, but he seems like a person who thinks about the consequences of his actions. I think he also judged correctly. I think the "cost" of his public dissent was less than the potential benefit associated stopping the current trend toward a narrower, smaller SBC.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I confess that seeing anything about SBC in this post comes from me and was not implied by Wade! I assume the e-mail from his church members in Russia caused him to think about this issue and it seemed worthy of mention in a blog.

farmboy said...

The founders of these United States were very wise men. One thing they saw clearly was the danger of centralized power. Entrusting fallen men with too much unchecked power never results in a good outcome. The founders checked power in two ways: 1) At the federal level, power was divided amongst the executive, legislative and judicial branches. 2) The powers of the federal government were to be only those enumerated in the Constitution. Thus, most power was left to the states individually. What any state government could do was limited by the ability of people to vote with their feet. It's amazing that this system of government has functioned as well as it has for as long as it has.

The founders of the Baptist stain of Protestant Christianity were equally wise men. They avoided construction of any sort of church heirarchy, leaving power decentralized at the level of the local church. This has important parallels with the American system of government, and it's probably not coincidence that the founders of both the American system of government and the Baptist strain of Protestand Christianity trace their roots to England and the English worldview, which in many important dimensions is a biblical worldview.

While the Constitution is primarily a procedural document, the Declaration of Independence is more of a theoretical document. In the Declaration of Independence one finds another check on power: Right and wrong is not based on the preferences of the majority. No, right and wrong has the objective benchmark of the Creator and His character. It is here that the American and French revolutions have their most critical difference. The American revolution was based on the Creator and the objective standards implied in His character. The French Revolution was based on the preferences of the majority as witnessed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Thus, the American experiment of limited government under law is a democratic republic, not a pure democracy. The French Revolution showed all too clearly what pure democracy could bring about.

Burke has been mentioned previously in this thread, in that light I would recommend his "Reflections on the Revolution in France."

Here's the question, then, has the bureaucracy that is the Southern Baptist Convention and its constitutent entities ignored the wisdom of the founders? Has it concentrated too much unchecked power in the hands of too few men?

Disclaimer: None of the above implies that the United States is a perfect nation. Such a nation does not exist on the face of the earth. Nor does the above imply that the founders of the United States were all evangelical Christians. Such was obviously not the case. None of that changes the fact that there is much we can learn from and appreciate about the American experiment of limited government under law. The flag that flies in my office is the original Betsy Ross version showing that the America I most identify with is the America that embodies the ideals of its founders.

foxofbama said...

Wade: I have issued a challenge at my blog for David Gushee to be a shining light for you and Ben Cole as you take a close look at Garry Wills latest book.
Check my blog.

I share your concerns about Russia. I recommend to you and Ben Cole a Holiday viewing of the great Russian Movie Andre Rublev; and take a look at my acquaintance James Wood recent Review of Tolstoy in www.newyorker.com
Do read Wills Heart and Head; Mark Noll endorses it. Take a day off blogging if need be. Wills will do a lot for you and Cole as he has for me.

Unknown said...

Can there be any doubt that, unlike the SBC, Russia finds itself in great need of “A Few Good Men”…

Unfortunately, unlike Russia, the SBC finds itself under the absolute domination of “A Few Good Men”…

It is not the tyranny of evil men that we need fear in the Southern Baptist Convention, I have little doubt that the Baptist Churches and the Baptist People of the SBC will never tolerate the conduct and actions of evil men within our Convention.

No… it is not the tyranny of evil men that we need fear in the Southern Baptist Convention, it is the tyranny of Good men within the SBC that we should fear the most. Good men are respected, trusted, and followed… sometimes without question, and that is where the greatest danger of all lays… We start to think that because they are Good men and because they are “Our” Baptist leaders that their opinions and their will is Gods will.

This can lead to blindly approving policies (such as those approved by the IMB) that disenfranchise lifelong Southern Baptist, and pass bylaws (such as those passed by the Florida Baptist Convention) that actually say Wine is a "Recreational Drug”, which would make Jesus and the Disciples Recreational Drug Users…

Too much power in too few hands (no matter how good those hands are) is a very dangerous thing, for Russia, and for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Grace Always,

Baptist Theologue (Mike Morris) said...

Stephen, thanks for the compliment. Not only did I weigh the costs and benefits of going public, I also had a nagging feeling that going public would take me out of my proper role as a trustee. As I said in my earlier post, “The trustees were entrusted to make such decisions, and my dissent had already been expressed in the proper context.” If I go public after losing a vote, then it seems that by doing so I would be implying that the trustee system is broke and needs to be fixed by the public. The trustees are normally entrusted to make such decisions, but my action in going public could be interpreted as meaning that the trustees cannot be trusted to make such decisions. Also, if I go public as an individual trustee, the disagreement becomes much more personal than when a mere vote total is reported. Unfortunately, the public may focus more on me than on the issue.

I experienced some type of informal orientation as a new trustee, but I don’t remember seeing any written code of conduct. Many boards of trustees do utilize written codes of conduct. I have not heard about any commonly-accepted, standard code of conduct for boards of trustees, but such a code may exist.

Unknown said...

g. Alford,
Caffeine is a "recreational drug"
I guess that makes us drug users also.(as I take a sip of my hot chocolate) I would guess those who want to serve in florida have to abstain from chocolate, tea, coffee (and decaf), Excedrin, and may other things.


wadeburleson.org said...

Stephen Pruett,

Your analysis of Baptist Theologue's comment is spot on. I did make a similar 'count the cost' assessment before going public, just as Baptist Theologue did.

I respect Baptist Theologue's decision and affirm him in it. I arrived at a different conclusion as far as my personal decision is concerned.

I believed a greater good would come to the convention as a whole by going public with my dissent. Others may have taken a different course, but it is not a matter of 'sin' or morality - it is a matter of what is best for each person in unique circumstances.

In His Grace,


Anonymous said...

I would like to think that Wade included this piece because he is even more concerned with international issues than SBC issues. My doubts arise from the relative lack of other material on this subject in this blog. Kasparov has a profile and a lawyer; not things the inmates of Guantanamo Bay, the Christians in Iran or the Karen people in Myanmar enjoy.

I may be alone in this, but it seems to me that proper analogy is from lesser to greater whereas this is the other way round. Many of the responses here take a serious, life-threatening global issue and immediately place it as a picture of the 'more significant' SBC political disputation.

Isn't that like someone looking at the scene of Calvary and saying all that shouting and mockery is like what happens to a losing football coach? We would be horrified at the (albeit accurate) analogy because it lessens the greater by mode of comparison.

Rex Ray said...

To anyone,
Excluding Jesus, what was the one event that was the greatest dissent among Christians?
If you took the squabbles of the SBC, IMB, SBTC, SWBTS, etc. and rolled them into one, it would pale in comparison to the importance of what three men did in opposing thousands (multitude.)

The argument: What Did God Do at Calvary? The multitude said salvation by Jesus plus works; while three men said Jesus plus nothing.

God’s laws and blood sacrifices were life jackets on a sea of sin for Jews until His Son became the real sacrifice. Christians were on dry ground but the ‘Jesus plus works’ kept their life jackets and insisted the Gentiles wear one. ‘Life Jackets’ were:

1. BELIEVING PHARISEES: “...must be circumcised and follow all the Jewish customs.” (Acts 15:52)
2. “..FRIENDS OF JAMES...who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation.” (Galatians 2:12)
3. MEN FROM JUDIA “...taught the brethren...‘Except ye be circumcised...ye cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1)
4. “FRIENDS who think you have to obey the Jewish laws to be saved.” (Galatians 4:21)
5. “MANY who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Philippians 3:18)
6. “THERE ARE MANY who say all Christians must obey the Jewish laws. It must be stopped.” (Titus 1:10, 11)
7. “YOU ARE BEING FOOLED by those who change the truth about Christ.” (Galatians 1:7)
8. THOUSANDS OF JEWS, JAMES AND ELDERS: “Thou seest, brother, [Paul] how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” (Acts 21:20)

A probably conversation among the ‘multitude’ of Life Jackets:

“Can you imagine our leaders wanting us to decide if Gentiles can be Christians? We’re God’s chosen people. Not those pagans. They’re dogs!”
“But they say God’s Spirit has been given to everyone.”
“Well, they will have to obey all of our laws!”
“Paul and Peter say anyone can go to heaven by the gift of Jesus.”
“Outrageous! That’s what you can expect of a man who lives with Gentiles. Paul helped kill Stephen and put us in prison, now he’s blaspheming God’s laws. We ought to stone him. James’ men got Peter in line until Paul brainwashed him. Lets get James’ men to object to this nonsense.”