Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Contaminated Pulpit and Other Weird Things

Prior to the vote for adoption of the BFM 2000 I had written a couple of open letters that were published in our state Baptist paper.

The letters articulated my feelings that the proposed confession contained a couple of tertiary, non-essential doctrines - including the prohibition of women 'Senior Pastors' - that should never have been placed there by the BFM committee in the first place.

I explained that the Baptist Faith and Message, the only statement of doctrinal consensus that defined the parameters of our missionary cooperation, should only focus on the essentials of our faith and Baptist identity.

There is no position of "Senior Pastor" mentioned in the Bible. There are hundreds of Baptist women who teach, shepherd, and disciple both men and women, particularly in overseas cultures where Christian leadership is all about humble service and giftings and not gender. The Bible does not prohibit women from teaching men the Scriptures.

The BFM 2000 prohibition against "women serving as Senior Pastors" seemed to me to be very Western (cultural) and extra-biblical requirement. Nevertheless, when it came time to vote for the 2000 BFM I voted for its adoption, believing that the prohibition statement was really not that big of a deal.

Little did I realize at the time that there was a movement beginning in the far right of the SBC to exclude women from ALL ministry in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Some Southern Baptists leaders like Paige Patterson believe that any ministry conducted by women that involves 'teaching' men (over the age of 12) or having 'authority over men' should be universally prohibited.

 The BFM 2000 was used as the basis for this removal of women from their God-called, Spirit-led ministries, even though the BFM only prevented women from serving as 'Senior Pastors'.

Illustrations of the Effects of the SBC Move Against Women

In 2004 Dr. Karen Bullock, a conservative scholar and an acclaimed author, was removed from her position as Professor of Church History at Southwestern Theological Seminary.

At the time, Dr. Bullock, a member of the SWBTS faculty since 1994, was one of the more popular Southwestern professors and also served as the Assistant Dean of the School of Theology. Dr. Bullock was removed from her position only because she was female. It is widely believed that Dr. Bullock delivered one of the greatest chapel talks (i.e. 'sermons') in the history of Southwestern Theological Seminary. The tape has since been removed from Southwestern's archives, but we intend to post the audio in the next few weeks.

Here's where it get's bizarre.

The pulpit from behind which Dr. Bullock spoke was eventually removed from Southwestern's chapel under orders of the new President of SWBTS, Dr. Paige Patterson.

Dr. Patterson explained to those he had to remove it because "it had been contaminated by a woman preaching behind it." 

Though the rumor persisted that the historic pulpit had been taken out and burned, the truth is far less dramatic. It remains hidden behind stacks of supplies in a closet at the seminary's library, never having seen the light of day since its removal.

The forced exit of Dr. Bullock had been preceded in 2001 by the removal of Dr. David Crutchley from his position as the Dean of the School of Theology. Crutchley was the man that had recommended the trustees hire Dr. Bullock.

In addition, Dr. Kenneth Hemphill, President of Southwestern Theological Seminary, was eventually forced out when he saw the handwriting on the wall. A Tenure Review Committee, formed by SWBTS trustees and VP Craig Blaising, opposed Dr. Hemphill's Presidential recommendation that Dr. Karen Bullock should be given tenure.

Though Dr. Hemphill called his eventual departure an 'early retirement', it is obvious through his correspondence to the Tenure Review Committee that there was a sharp disagreement over the denial of tenure to Dr. Karen Bullock, and of course, Dr. Hemphill went to work for the Executive Committee in Nashville making for a very short 'early' retirement.

When Dr. Paige Patterson was hired to replace Dr. Hemphill one of his first acts was to hire David Allen (who just happened to be the SWBTS trustee who chaired the board meeting at which Patterson was hired).

The chairman of the search committee, Dr. Denny Autrey, was also elevated to a top post in the Patterson administration.

Of course, it is now a matter of sworn testimony that Dr. Patterson also orchestrated the removal of Dr. Sheri Klouda, the Professor of Hebrew in the School of Theology at SWBTS, solely because of her gender. Dr. Patterson says he believed he was simply fulfilling the wishes of the Southern Baptist Convention and the BFM 2000 'prohibition' of women pastors by removing Dr. Klouda.

To believe this, you must overlook the fact that Southwestern itself trained Klouda in the Hebrew language, awarding her the Ph.D.. And for you to accept her removal as justified, you must agree with the statement that her being hired to teach Hebrew was 'a momentary lapse of parameters'.

The real issue is that men who are now in charge at Southwestern don't want women around.

As recently as the fall of 2006, a professor at SWBTS refused to allow three female Master of Divinity students to 'preach' with males present. All male Master of Divinity students were told not to come to the class the day the females were to 'preach,' and even the professor himself sent his wife to 'listen' to the women 'indulge in the exposition' of Scripture.

It has long been known that there have been attempts by trustees at the International Mission Board to remove any woman from a 'position of authority' within the organization. It is a known fact that there is not one female Regional Leader and that there are less than a handful of Strategy Coordinators at the International Mission Board who are female - and their positions are in jeopardy. In addition, there is no female on the Executive Team at the Administration Offices - except the secretary who is there to take notes.

Not all IMB trustees have been involved with the effort to minimize roles, and maybe IMB Executive Staff should share the responsibility for the reduced role of women within the IMB, but I find it hard to fault them because of their fear of reprisal for going against trustee leadership desires.

In early 2006 I confronted a small group of male trustees led by Bill Sutton, the hunting friend of Paige Patterson, and Bob Pearle, the pastor of Paige Patterson, who were discussing how to remove the woman who was the acting Vice-President of the International Mission Board. I overheard a late night meeting between these men and another eight to ten trustees in the lobby of the hotel where we IMB trustees were being housed.

This 'informal' caucus of men was discussing how to remove the Vice-President from her position and the steps needed to accomplish their goal. The sentiment was expressed that a woman had no place being in this particular position of authority. After listening to just a minute or two of their discussion I went upstairs to get a couple of friends to act as witnesses. I then came back down to the lobby and confronted the trustees. I let them know, in no uncertain terms, that not only was their meeting a violation of our 'Blue Book' which stated that during regularly scheduled IMB trustee meetings no trustees shall meet in 'caucus' sessions, either formal or informal, to discuss IMB business and that the opinions I had overheard expressed in that caucus meeting about women were a violation of Christian charity, not to mention Scripture.

The morning after the late night confrontation, I went to the female Vice-President and Dr. Rankin and told them that there might be a move designed to either publicly humiliate or remove the Vice-President from her 'acting' position.

I told them both that if it came in the plenary session, as I had heard discussed, to not worry - I would not let her be mistreated. It was in that particular January trustee meeting in 2006 that the motion came to move into Executive Session (closed doors). I was seated on the front row and asked the Chairman, Tom Hatley, why we were moving into Executive Session.

He did not answer me, and so I turned to my friend Rick Thompson, pastor of Council Road Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, and said, "Rick, get ready, they are going after Wendy. I'm not going to let them. This could get heated.".

Once the doors were closed I heard the motion . . . "I move that Wade Burleson be removed from the International Mission Board for . . .". Rick and I looked at each other in disbelief and shock.

Then I knew.

The system established years ago for the appointment of trustees enabled our boards and agencies to be filled with only like-minded Southern Baptists who would elect trustee leaders that had a particular ideology. I don't know if it should be called 'Fundamentalism'...maybe not.

One thing is for sure; in this closed system, no dissent or questioning is allowed. We must find some way as Southern Baptists to end our narrowness on certain issues or we are going to lose the blessing of experiencing the gifts and talents of the women in our convention who are filled with the love of Christ.

The Issue Is Not About Women Senior Pastors

In a convention where a macho President can carry shotguns onto the lawn of one of our seminaries and fire rounds at squirrels in trees (as happened last Friday), and in a convention that often resembles the soap opera 'Dallas' where gas wells are being drilled in the old RV parking lot to supplement seminary income (as it is at SWBTS), and in a convention where the indoctrination of future pastors includes the teaching that the only rightful place of women is in the home as a homemaker, and in a convention that continues to fund degrees in homemaking for women at institutions that used to be known for great classical, pastoral training, and in a convention that sometimes seems really scared to simply let the sisters function, it is time we took a very hard look at the direction we are heading. And, it has nothing to do with 'Senior Pastors' being women.

For a long while, I have justified my participation in the Conservative Resurgence as a desire to keep our convention committed to the sacred, infallible word of God. I really did believe we were battling for the Bible. And though I could not see in the Bible where there was any direct 'prohibition' against women pastors, I was willing to let that slide because I am not personally bothered by the prohibition.

To me, there were more important matters, and I was not interested in making the removal of this prohibition an issue. However, now that I have seen that the SBC is moving further and further to the right by trustees adding ADDITIONAL restrictions and ADDITIONAL prohibitions THAT ARE NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE, I now know that something needs to be done and I cannot be silent. If it seems to you that I am advocating women pastors, you are dead wrong. I am speaking out because I am seeing the prohibition against women pastors as a smoke screen for other activities within the SBC that are both unjustifiable and illogical.
Women are being removed as SBC professors.
Women are being removed from the SBC classrooms.
Women are being removed from serving as SBC administrators.
Women are being removed as SBC strategic coordinators on the mission field.
All this under the justification that the BFM says women shall not be 'Senior Pastors'. What? How do the above positions fall under the category of 'Senior Pastor'? The BFM doesn't say women can't serve in these areas!

I have an observation: to remove women from being SBC professors, students, missionaries, and administrators, all because the BFM 2000 says they can't serve in those positions is as dishonest as someone acting as if the BFM 2000, the only consensus doctrinal statement of the SBC, prohibits people from serving as missionaries who pray in a private prayer language. Oh, wait, that's already being done.

Wake up, people.


Anonymous said...

From a missionary in the field...


Anonymous said...

Thank God, my prayers are answered. Finally, a man who is not afraid, does not care for the praise of men, lives by principle, and protects the down trodden. I'm not sure the SBC status quo knows what to do. By the way, you write, unlike others, with no grudge. I like that. I also like the fact that you are making a difference. KEEP IT UP!

Anonymous said...

Get ready for the attacks Wade by the you know who of the blog world. But remember this: For everyone who twists your words and calls you every name they can think of, my wife and I and hundreds of others who read your blog and do not usually comment think you make PERFECT sense. Thanks for being a conservative, Bible believing evangelical who refuses to let people get run over.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, David Crutchley wasn't terminated, but was removed from the role of dean. He continued to teach at Southwestern for another four years I believe.

Ben Wheaton said...

Just a point: it is historic Christian doctrine (and it is arguably biblical) that those in authority in the Church (elders) are to be men. The positions in a denomination are a little sketchier, but the same principle may be applied, I believe, to all positions of authority in the Church.

If you do not believe that women are forbidden the office of elder, just say so, and don't continue to affirm that you are a complementarian in these matters.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking of this question: how are these actions consistent with the nature and character of God?

Anonymous said...

1. The BFM2000 does NOT say that Christian women cannot serve in those capacities; Fundamentalists personally interpret the BFM2000, and Scripture the article in question is based upon, to mean that--clearly NOT a view held by the average member of the SBC;

2. ANY year's version of the Baptist Faith and Message WILL suffice for the purposes of our cooperation for the sake of missions and evangelism. Compare the versions--there is not enough difference between the three to have resulted in the absolute foolishness which has arisen in the SBC since 2000 (how adults of the age, years of salvation, and experience that the committee proposing the 2000 version had at the time could make the proposal they did with as little wisdom or foresight as exhibited is baffling);

3. See the Missouri Baptist Convention (where a fight is renewed this month by ultra-Fundamentalists, despite overwhelming opposition by last year's MBC messengers)--and the last two SBC annual meetings--for what to do about this matter. Whose convention is the SBC, and what will those folks do about it--and when?

John Daly said...

While I too affirm the office of Elder is solely reserved for a male, I would support a female for the SBC presidency. In fact, out of all the positions available on planet earth, the elder/pastor role is the ONLY one that should be filled by godly men. So there’s still time, someone get to work on nominating a godly woman for Indy.

And just a quick aside: If I had a blog, I would find it somewhat difficult to either post, or allow posts in which I found myself in disagreement. In fact, if it made my blog then it would have my support. And that’s how I read blogs…unless the author has a strong disclaimer up front. In other words, you post it…you own it.

John in the STL

wadeburleson.org said...

Mr. Ben Wheaton,

Help me with a little exercise as I review and answer your question.
Question: If you do not believe that women are forbidden the office of elder,j ust say so, and don't continue to affirm that you are a complementarian in these matters(?).

Since when is a Professor of Hebrew an elder?

Since when is a Professor of Church History an elder?

Since when is a Vice-President of the International Mission Board and elder?

Since when is a woman in a an M. Div degree program an elder?

Since when is a woman missionary strategist an elder?

Since when is a woman missionary an elder?

Get my point?

The only people who would be foolish enough to say those positions are 'elder' positions are those who are foolish enough to say a seminary is a local church and needs a baptistry, or the world is one big church and needs men ruling.

Don't buy it, sorry. The absurdity of such actions is causing me to push back in the other direction. If people don't like it, they shouldn't bave been doing what they've been doing.

Finally, on a more serious note. When people will let local churches practice their local church autonomy, the ultimate answer to the question you ask is ONLY answered in the local church.



Jon L. Estes said...

Although I believe the position of elder and deacon are the two offices in the local church and these two offices ought to be filled by godly men (that's another topic for another day), to make our entities churches is dangerous and when the courts think such it is even more dangerous.

I also agree the bible does not specifically prohibit women from teaching but when we look close at the qualifications of pastor and deacons it clearly flows with language that these positions are to me men.

I have spoken with some over the years who want to make this passage in Timothy a cultural passage and not relevant for us today. Of course that opens a lot of other dangerous doors. Possibly to the point that we can all join Oprah's crusade and say Jesus is no loner relevant, He was a cultural phenomenon.

Just some thoughts early in the morning.

Gary Snowden said...

Thanks, Wade, for your continued struggle on behalf of the minorities and the oppressed within the SBC. It was some of the very issues that you raise that led my family and I to resign from the IMB after 16 years of service. We loved our ministry and felt fulfilled in what we were doing, but even the IMB had come to reflect the stranglehold of fundamentalist control that had earlier swept through the seminaries and other entities. The requirement to sign the BF&M 2000 was the final straw for us.

I'm personally thankful that Paige Patterson doesn't have a voice in what goes on in our local church, or our pulpit might well have suffered the fate of the pulpit that Karen Bullock used when she "preached" in chapel. At the annual meeting of the BGCM a couple of years ago, we had the privilege of hearing Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, as she preached to a packed house in our sanctuary. We were very comfortable with her doing so. I seem to recall something in the NT about the daughters of Phillip being prophetesses and as best I can figure out, a prophetess is a proclaimer of God's Word who just happens to be of the female gender.

Anonymous said...

I saw on CNN the other day were the lightning was very bad in your City. Did it hit your Church or home? Please stay safe, we need your input to keep reminding us Baptist, of what is taking place in SBC. I thank you for the time you take, to tell us the truth.
Fox from Virginia

OC Hands said...

I want to echo the first two out of three who posted: "Wow" and "Get ready for the attacks." But that has already happened, hasn't it?
To be perfectly honest, I am saddened, but not surprised. Some of the tactics used during the CR were not spiritual, but designed to gain control. The thinking seemed to be that the end would justify the means. Well, sadly we sow what we reap. When we begin to be driven and influenced by the world's way of thinking, we have left our first love.
We continue to pray for you and for many others like you who will stand in the gap for the truth and for the right no matter the cost. It is the only hope for the SBC.

Ben Wheaton said...

Before I answer the questions you posed, allow me to put a little background into the conversation.

I believe that in a seminary context, the professors should have the qualifications of elders in the church. I am aware that seminaries such as Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia do this, and I believe that it is a good rule to follow, as seminaries are specifically training facilities for pastors.

I also believe that denominations, whether they are hierarchical (as Presbyterian, Anglican) or cooperative (SBC, BGC) should be led by people who are qualified to be elders. I think that denominational leadership, while not quite the same as church leadership, is similar enough in its exercise that the same rules should apply. In a denomination such as the SBC, which has as one of its defining characteristics the rule that women are not to lead a church, this means that women ought not to lead the denomination. In a denomination that does not make that stipulation, it would be different (although I believe that it would raise issues of ecclesiology that would make such a course unwise).

Now, to respond to your questions:

Since when is a Professor of Hebrew an elder?
All professors at a seminary should qualify as elders (I think).

Since when is a Professor of Church History an elder?
Same as above.

Since when is a Vice-President of the International Mission Board and elder?
That's a more nebulous issue, but I would think that it would be appropriate to make that position also equivalent to elder.

Since when is a woman in a an M. Div degree program an elder?
As I understand it, an M.Div degree's purpose is to equip people for the office of elder. If a denomination has decided that that office is barred to women, it should not be training women to hold that office.

Since when is a woman missionary strategist an elder?
She's not, and I do not think that missionary strategists should be held to the standard of elders.

Since when is a woman missionary an elder?
Same as above.

I think that the above restrictions are logical outcomes of complementarian theology and ecclesiology.
Keep in mind, of course, that I am not in the SBC and so do not fully understand the denominational structures and mindset behind them. But I am from a congregational and baptist background, in a denomination similar in many ways to the SBC. But it may still be different.
And I'm also younger than you, Wade, with none of your experience in these matters, so don't take this as the profound conclusions of a learned divine, but rather the speculations of a simple university student.


Anonymous said...

. . . And the BFM2000 technically isn't a consensus convention document; it was a document approved by majority vote of a few thousand messengers representing a minority number of congregations affiliating with the SBC. It was, by necessity I suppose however, acted upon thereafter as a consensus document by agency heads and others. I can live with that without too much intellectual anguish. It is the extremes to which that document has since been taken via personal interpretation either of the document or the Scriptures upon which it is said to be based--or both--with which I struggle most. Apparently, others do as well.

Again: ANY YEAR'S VERSION OF THE BF&M WILL SUFFICE for cooperation among us for the sake of missions and evangelism (again, compare the documents). Everyone permit everyone else to choose the version (1925 briefer, or 2000 more exhaustive) upon which he or she will stand as best representing his or her theological persuasions, and everyone take two steps forward for Christ into the lost world with the gospel message!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burleson,

You have always been, are and will continue to be a small fish in a big pond. Time to pick up your toys and go home.

AB Johns

wadeburleson.org said...

AB Johns,

I agree, I am a small fish in a big pond.

However, small fishes don't have any toys to pick up, and are always at home in the pond in which they find themselves.

So, I'm here to stay! But right now, I'm off to a conference and some ministry!

Lin said...

"President of SWBTS, Dr. Paige Patterson, who explained to those he had remove it that it had been contaminated by a 'woman' preaching behind it."

I find it not only ironic but disconcerting that gifted women are considered 'dangerous' to the Body when we are witnessing unethical and juvenile behavior from those who are supposed to be 'above reproach'.

Anonymous said...


You wrote... "Again: ANY YEAR'S VERSION OF THE BF&M WILL SUFFICE for cooperation among us for the sake of missions and evangelism (again, compare the documents). Everyone permit everyone else to choose the version (1925 briefer, or 2000 more exhaustive) upon which he or she will stand as best representing his or her theological persuasions, and everyone take two steps forward for Christ into the lost world with the gospel message!"

This statement, that you have made twice, is not an accurate statement. There are not 3 Baptist Faith and Messages, there is only the one BF&M that has been amended twice. That is why it is called "THE" Baptist Faith and Message.

To say... well, we are going to go by the 1925 BF&M or the 1963 BF&M... is simply a bad misconception. It is like saying... some people here in the USA are under the 1778 Constitution, while others operate under the newest one.

There is only one Constitution, amended several times. Likewise, there is only one BF&M, twice amended.

Wade, I am beginning to see your point, I think. ;)

However, as is often the case, in trying to correct the pendulum be careful you do not swing to far the other way. These questions... "Since when is a Professor of Hebrew an elder? Since when is a Professor of Church History an elder?
Since when is a Vice-President of the International Mission Board and elder? Since when is a woman in a an M. Div degree program an elder? Since when is a woman missionary strategist an elder? Since when is a woman missionary an elder?"... are much better questions than the ones you have been asking. IMHO

Again... you know where I stand. Just be careful in correcting one problem, that you do not create another. Search for the middle ground, I do not think you have found it yet.

Joe W.

Anonymous said...

They came to prohibit women from being senior pastors and you said nothing because it made sense from from what you had been taught as the correct interpretation of scripture.

Then they came to prohibit Christian women seminary professors but you said nothing because you could see where they could be considered elders or senior pastors

Then They came to prohibit women serving in senior executive roles but you said nothing...again

Then they came to prohibit women from being in ANY position where she seemed to have authority over a male and you said nothing

Then They came to prohibit women from teaching scripture to any male over 13 and you said nothing

Then They came to prohibit women from being ministers in the Holy Priesthood to children and you said nothing

They came to prohibit women from being called ministers at all and denied them as part of the Holy Priesthood and you said nothing

They came to prohibit women from having any input into the Body of Christ and sharing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and you said nothing

Then you got sick and your wife needed to work but there was no where she could work within Christendom and make enough money to support the family. And since she only had a homemaking classes, she had to wait tables.

And no one said anything.

Anonymous said...

Of course if you are going to fire the women proffs in the theology school, to be consistent the female proffs in the schools of education need to go - there are many men that go through the EM school and become pastors and youth ministers.

By the way, Dr Bullock is now at BH Carroll Theological Institute with DRs Corley, Smith, Ashlock, Hedin, Spivey and Moore. Check out the school at www.bhcti.org

Mission Statement

B. H. Carroll Theological Institute is a graduate-level community of faith and learning that equips men and women called to serve Christ in the diverse and global ministries of His church.

Vision Statement

Through an integrated network of Fellows, Teaching Churches, and Learning Centers, the Institute seeks to mobilize the priesthood of believers for service in society. It provides, through appropriate media, theological education that is both biblically based and praxis oriented. The Institute develops Christ-centered leaders who are committed to academic excellence, life-long learning, and transformational ministry. The Institute works collegially with other evangelical Christians. Its confessional basis is the consensus of opinion concerning those articles of the Christian faith and practice that have been most surely held and expressed in historic Baptist principles and practices.

Jim Champion

CB Scott said...


It is a fact that there is no position in Scripture such as Senior Pastor (that term has certainly caused its share if theological garbage).

It is also a fact that the Scripture does not prohibit women from proclamation or various other public ministries.

Yet, for anyone to say the Bible does not prohibit women from the role of local church pastor would be a stretch to justify.

The fact that there are hundreds all over the world is not Scriptural justification for that argument, or for anything else for that matter.

Such a statement as the "Scripture does not prohibit women from serving as local church pastors" may very well be as extra-biblical as to say "they cannot teach Hebrew in a seminary."


Lin said...

"Again... you know where I stand. Just be careful in correcting one problem, that you do not create another."

Joe, Just a thought. We are where we are today because some men 'overcorrected'. They eventually allowed the culture to interpret scripture for them. And it moved way past denying the Trinity or Virgin Birth to what we are seeing today: Patriarchy.

The 'overcorrection' is where we are today. I do not think you should fear a monsterous regiment of women. :o)

But I have noticed some inconsistencies in this position such as Dorothy Patterson serving on some committees and Boards that are over OR teaching men, women professors in departments that surely include scripture in seminaries and women trustees.

When one takes a close look, some of these women in these positions are the wives of those who would deny the rest of us even though most competent. So, it seems this issue has more to do with who you are and interpreting the prohibitions thusly so.

Writer said...


Dude, you need to give this a rest. You're becoming a caricature of yourself. It's time to move on to reaching the lost instead of forcing your opinions on everyone else.


CB Scott said...


You used the term "overcorrected" very well here.

We agree to the max on that comment.

Therefore, you, me, Wade and many more must be careful not to fall into the same trap.

It is very possible and just too easy.


Anonymous said...

Joe W.:

Please read my statements again (I have been typing them at this blogsite for longer than a year).

I have said there exist three versions of THE Baptist Faith and Message statement--and that each of us affiliating with the SBC should permit all the rest of us to choose the version of the three that he or she states best represents his or her theological persuasions. Again, the current version of the document was not adopted by anything like a majority of the SBC--and hundreds of thousands of faithful Southern Baptists (start counting with the BGCT) have said that that version does not represent a theological stance they are willing to share in its entirety, for whatever their reasons (not mine)--yet those Southern Baptists continue to support faithfully the Cooperative Program and its objectives with much of their time, talents, and tithes (again, start counting with the Southern Baptists affiliating with the Baptist General Convention of Texas).

As a Baptist by theological persuasion, I--for one--still choose the 1963 version of THE Baptist Faith and Message statement as best representing my biblical stance. Furthermore, my theological persuasion causes me to permit you the freedom to choose your version for adherence, both of us realizing that your Eternal Lord is Jesus Christ and not someone you do not even know named "David".

Bill said...

Is the "contaminated by a woman" story documented? If so, how does any human being, let alone Christian, let alone complementarian justify that? I'd really like to hear it.

Does the seminary not have rules about the possession and discharge of firearms on campus? Can anyone say Virginia Tech?

Dr. Patterson's website proudly displays him posing with a Zebra he has killed. Why would anyone kill a zebra? Or a giraffe? I'm an avid hunter but why kill anything you aren't going to eat? Just because you can?

I'm trying to strike a reasonable response to PP. The Outpost crowd is frankly so over the top that I think they have little credibility. But I'm also very tired of the kneejerk CR reaction of defending PP because he is "Godly." Never mind what he says, he's "Godly". Overlook what he does, he's "Godly."

Moses was "Godly". He was also a deceitful murderer. David was "Godly". He was also a lying adulterous murderer. Solomon was "Godly" and he was also an outrageous polygamist and idol worshiper.

Paige Patterson should not get a pass for bad behavior because of the CR. He should not get a pass because he's "Godly".

Is Dr. Paige Patterson's vision of the SBC what we, as complementarians or egalitarians, want?

Alyce Faulkner said...

Wade, let me encourage you NOT to give it a rest.
While 'stirring the pot' incites anger, outrage and takes us all to task to see if our opinions are indeed opinions, prejudices, traditions of men or solid doctrine, what should be done is that we all lay down our opinions at the feet of Jesus and let Him teach us.
Since often, we refuse to do that, God send us a reformer, a person who stirs our pot.
Anyone who thinks destroying a pulpit because a women stood behind it and spoke about God is so far to the right, reaching them will probably be impossible.
Thank you Wade, keep on keeping on.

Steve said...

Dr. Patterson had the PULPIT removed? A piece of furniture - what, Paige, did it have Evil Spirits in it then or now? Should you have ceremonially burned feathers and chanted instead?

That takes the cake as the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard of happening in a supposedly religious institution. Patterson has gone from crusader to politician to a rather limited seminarian to an utter fool.

Was it just jealousy because she was obviously indwelled with the Spirit while you were chasing the momentary smiles of worldly men?

Wade, please do what you can to get this mess cleaned up before God just chucks the SBC in the fire.

Anonymous said...


Let's not forget that God can make big stretches. It's not ours to justify anyway. :)

Bart Barber said...


I've learned a good bit of self discipline over the past two years with regard to coming over here. But today I abandon all discretion.

1. Dr. Karen Bullock is one of the kindest, gentlest, most profound, godliest, most gracious, most intelligent, most compassionate, LEAST CONFRONTATIONAL people inhabiting this planet today. She is quite simply everything that you (or I, for that matter) are not. If you have invoked her name in this blog mess without her explicit consent, you ought to be horse whipped. Today.

2. Dr. Stookey met precisely the same fate at precisely the same time in precisely the same manner from precisely the same people while teaching in precisely the same department. Has Steve had gender reassignment surgery while I wasn't looking? The last I knew, he was a wonderful, godly Christian MAN. Was he denied tenure simply for being a woman? And if not, doesn't it stretch credulity to offer an entirely different theory for his story than for hers?

3. A few posts ago you categorized complementarians as racists. In your last post you lampooned complementarians for alleged INconsistencies, suggesting that they don't follow their beliefs through completely enough. Today you lampoon complementarians for alleged CONSISTENCIES, suggesting that they DO follow through to actions like having only females present to hear female preaching in preaching lab. One gets the distinct impression that a complementarian can't do a thing right in your eyes.

4. The remainder of my day will be better than its beginning for several reasons, but two that I'll highlight: 1) I have gotten this off of my chest. 2) I'm not coming back here today to read whatever more tripe is served up in this thread.

Lin said...

"Therefore, you, me, Wade and many more must be careful not to fall into the same trap.

It is very possible and just too easy."

CB, If we are on the narrow road being sanctified and led by the Holy Spirit, then over correction in the other direction will not be a problem. That is why I would love to see the convention forgo making rules on these secondary issues and focus on the meat of the Gospel.

Let us focus on not only the Great Commission but to examine ourseleves to make sure we are in the faith, being sanctified and walking in the light.

In any event, I doubt you will see an overcorrection anytime soon. There is now 30 years of intense teaching that women are not really a part of the Holy Priesthood and have an earthly priest between them and their Savior. (Yes, that is what it basically amounts to)

There has been 30 years of books, sermons, seminars and a regiments of young pastors coming out of seminary who love Grumden, Mohler, Moore, Ware and Patterson and revere them as something akin to Popes. They even have websites dedicated to what roles for women are Biblical. Complete with instructions for how a woman can give a man driving directions without seeming to 'teach' him or have authority over him.

There is big money to be made in this issue as I very well know first hand. People love rules, checklists, etc instead of the hard work of an intimate relationship with their Savior. They want to be told what scripture says and what their 'role' is in Christendom so they can check the box and feel like they are being 'good Christians'.

There has been 30 years of focusing on roles instead of the Holy Priesthood and that all believers have anointing.

That is where we are 30 years later.

That is almost a generation.

So when you fear 'overcorrection', tell me, where is this monsterous regiment of women who want to lord it over men? Who are they?

Please understand, I am not trying to be contentious, I am seriously concerned with just how Patriarchal/legalistic we have become. Every single bit of it is taking us AWAY from a focus on our Savior.

It is not stopping. It is getting worse. Not just from Patterson but from Moore and his call for more Patriarchy to Grumden and Ware who teaches that women are made in the indirect image of God to the teaching of the insidious heresy of an eternal sonship as if there is a chain of command structure in the Trinity instead of a united will. All this is being done to try and PROVE a 'natural' authoritarian structure on earth.

It is getting down right scary. And very few seem to see it.

CB Scott said...


That is my point. Only God can make stretches. He has already done that. His revealed Word is complete. We are not to stretch it.

It is not justifiable when we do.

Therefore, if my comments, your comments, Wade's comments or anyone's comments cannot be justified by the revealed Word we are making an unjustifiable comment which can only be categorized as opinion.

Naturally, any of us who make thinking a habit will have personal opinions. Therefore, we should qualify such statements that cannot be justified by the revealed Word as simply personal opinions.

Bryan, I hope you see my point.

I do hope to visit with you in person one day. Lunch is on me.

Now, it is my "opinion" that I had better hit the street and earn my bread. :-)


Anonymous said...


You wrote... "I have said there exist three versions of THE Baptist Faith and Message statement--and that each of us affiliating with the SBC should permit all the rest of us to choose the version of the three that he or she states best represents his or her theological persuasions."

I do understand your point. However, my point is that there are NOT 3 BF&M's. There is only 1 BF&M that has been amended twice by the SBC. To say that the BF&M as adopted in 2000 was... "the current version of the document was not adopted by anything like a majority of the SBC" is simply not true.

Here is a link that may help remind you of the facts... http://www.sbc.net/redirect.asp?url=http://www.sbcannualmeeting.org/sbc00/news.asp?ID=1927611432

Note the title of the article... "Southern Baptists overwhelmingly adopt revised Baptist Faith and Message". The article points out that debate lasted less than an hour, Dr. Rogers was continually interrupted by applause, and that about 90 percent of the messengers in the hall at the time of the vote favored adopting the statement.

If you don't like the revised version of the BF&M just say so, but please stop trying to rewrite history or go back in time. At least Wade acknowledges that he voted for it and the convention is guided by it.

Joe W.

Chris Johnson said...


If nothing else,…the pulpit thing is weird and comical at the same time. Is that story really true (I mean did Patterson really give that reason for its removal.)?

I witnessed a similar event about 7 years ago in a church where a deacon had made a nice oak pulpit many years before a certain Pastor came to their town. The Pastor, after a little tiff with the deacon had the pulpit removed and replaced it with a nice big white one…..said he needed more space and it was time for the old one to go (I laughed). It is truly sad the pride that wells up in our hearts at times.

I personally carry a pulpit with me in the back of my little Toyota Tacoma truck. It comes in handy. I try not to attach to much sentimentalism to the piece of wood.


CB Scott said...

One more before I go,


Do you ever simply read and accept a comment at face value without "overcorrecting? :-)


Lin said...


How could a woman ministering/teaching/preaching in the Body with the power of the Holy Spirit be 'overcorrecting'?


wadeburleson.org said...


Please, don't call me dude.

(My son's favorite line in the new movie 21).


Anonymous said...

Ditto, Sharon. Thanks.

Florence in KY

wadeburleson.org said...


Of all the posts that you and others have written 'invoking my name' (your words), not one time have you ever called and asked 'my permission.'

You don't need to. That's silly. I am writing about the events surrounding the removal of Dr. Bullock. It is documented and true. I would agree that Dr. Bullock is non-confrontational. The post is not about Dr. Bullock. It is about the men who removed her.

I would suggest that you get your ire raised about the poor treatment of our Southern Baptist women who have been educated to do a job and removed for gender reasons.

That is the injustice.

I would write more, but I believe you to be a man of your word and you wouldn't read it since you said you weren't coming back.




wadeburleson.org said...


You are correct about Crutchley. Thanks for your comment. His removal as dean of the school of theology was not voluntary, but your comment makes clearer his continued employment at SWBTS after his removal from that position.

Anonymous said...

The statements about women in the BF&M 2000 were a big deal to many (along with some other statements in it), which is why some have refused to accept it.

The previous BF&M was written by a committee consisting of presidents of the state conventions (if I remember right) - a much more representative body. The 2000 BF&M was written by a handpicked group. Big difference.

Restrictions on women may be secondary or tertiary for men but not for women, especially those called to ministry.

The changes in the SBC have always been about power. And now those who said it was about other things have the power and can do as they please, because enough people believed them when they said it was about other things and they scared people into going along with them and giving them the power they wanted.

Maybe the senior pastor restriction was just to reduce competition for jobs. Anyway, is there such a thing as a junior pastor?

The story about the pulpit would be funny if it didn't show such a sick attitude. It makes me think of the restrictions in Leviticus about touching certain people or things making a person unclean. It seems Jesus didn't let this slow him down when he wanted to help someone, but I guess some are still stuck in this mentality.

Could it be fear that God might use women to make a difference instead of them?


wadeburleson.org said...


You make a good point, but I would remind you that some conservative, evangelical scholars of the infallible, inerrant text - men like Dr. Gordon Fee - do not believe it to be a stretch to say about women what you claim to be a stretch. All I'm saying is that we must all display humility about our ability to be in error in our interpretations of the text that is never in error.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade,

I do not know if this post reflects some new awareness of the situation and its implications in the SBC, or if you have held this belief for some period of time, and simply felt (believed, whatever) that the time was not right until now to share it in so public a way. Some of your detractors would no doubt say you are "like an old refrigerator," meaning you cannot keep anything (confidential), but I have long suspected that you knew much more than you were willing to say. Either way however--I commend you for this post.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I will again suggest that we are suffering from a system which has become dysfunctional. It became dysfunctional because the CR was pursued in a dysfunctional fashion (now I will also admit here, that for all I know the SBC was dysfunctional before 1979, but having become a Christian only about that time, I have no personal experience of it). Frankly, I am one of those (and I am still SBC, by the way) who believe that many of the leaders of the CR were more interested in control than anything else, and that theology was a convenient vehicle for control. However, as that implies, it also means some of the CR leaders--and I would say many or most of their "soldiers"--were genuinely concerned with theology. And I mention this only to say that I therefore do not condemn the CR, but only the dysfunctional baggage it brought into the system. Dysfunctionalism can be overcome, but only with deliberation, with resources and energy, and with time. I suggest that being "against" something--in this case the end results of the dysfunction such as this exagerated patriarchy--is not sufficient. If that is the course you adopt, it will only continue the pattern of continual opposition to something, an army forever in search of a new enemy, a new boogeyman. In order to correct the dysfunction, it is necessary to define a positive value or goal. Have you defined what that goal is, at least for yourself?

My prayers are with you, brother. And anything else I can do too.

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

In your article you stated several things about several people. I trust that you did your ground work to cross check the things that you may of heard from secondary sources.
Personally for me the "Bonanza" picture of the SWBTS "elders" in front of the rotunda summed it all up.
Two things I wish were mandetory for all seminary students,pastors, and sbc personel, 1. That they read the children's tale of The Emporer's New Clothes
2.To watch the movie What About Bob?
...from a missionary

Anonymous said...

"All I'm saying is that we must all display humility about our ability to be in error in our interpretations of the text that is never in error."

I would never hold to a biblical doctrine which I believed might be in error. How foolish!

"Mr. President: I move for the immediate unseating of messengers of all SBC churches which have on staff ordained women, and the immediate dis-fellowshipping of said churches. The Church of Jesus Christ is to be in unity insofar as the Holy Spirit directed interpretation of Scripture. Those who cannot see their way clear to use the Holy Spirit in such matters must be removed from fellowship until such time as they repent from their heretical errors."

~KMC, Pastor, Messenger, DBC

[lol...btw, Wade, each time you expose the actions of your former fellow trustees at the IMB, or each time you attempt to smear Dr. Patterson, you only succeed in showing your immaturity and ignorance on many biblical and ethical matters.]

Anonymous said...

K Michael

Please please make that motion, and can only pray that the resolutions committe allows it out and let the SBC vote.

I made the same challenge to Vol Fan over on his blog. Bring each and every "Baptist Distinctive" ie narrowing of parameters up, let the SBC vote on them then lets see where we stand. Volfie wont answer my challenge to him, I dont really expect you or him or any of your compadres to actually put your feet to your words...

I have two predictions - 1 - you dont have the courage to actually do it, and 2. The resolutions commitee is too smart to actually let this type of resolution see the light of day.

but I say make those resolutions and lets let the churches decide!

Jim Champion

Anonymous said...

There appear to be at least several groups in the SBC with differing positions on the issue of gender and ministry.

1. One group believes that whatever the Bible says about this is irrelevant, because Jesus, Paul and the other apostles, their disciples and the church after them were ministering in a male dominated society. The Bible is not inerrant, especially on these matters. (I'm not sure how many folks like this still hang out in the SBC, but I am sure there are a few Baptist Churches that don't have the imagination or leadership to strike out on their own or form a new denomination). I have no sympathy for this group, and don't believe that Wade or most of the people here do either.

2. Another group believes that the Bible is inerrant, but doesn't believe that the Bible says anything that accounts for gender differences in ministry. The references that the church has believed for 1900 years do appear to create gender distinctions, are interpreted, strained and stretched until they almost don't appear in the text. If it was all this clear all along, how come our ancestors missed it for 1900 years? I love this group for the biblical fidelity, but discussing this issue with them is tedious. It's like debating how many angels can sit on the head of a pin, or whether wine in the Bible is really wine or is it grape juice. The capacity for these folks to debate rivals old time church of christ preachers after 2 Venti espressos at Starbucks. There are a good number of these folks in the SBC. They are the minority, but not so much so that their views are "fringe." This group is probably growing, in my opinion, but not at a break neck pace.

3. Another group holds that there are no gender/ministry distinctions, but admits that there were in NT times, Jesus', Paul's and other's ministries, and the church certainly reflected that. They just don't believe those instructions are mandatory for moving forward. I am actually more sympathetic to this group. They are not into what seem to be modern textual and historical gynastics, but simply make the argument that as culture changes, on non-essential matters, the church should change. (Like head coverings in Corinthians). These folks are nice and usually well-balanced, so long as they do not develop a crusade mentality. Most are not. This view is represented in the SBC, but because of our reverence for the text and the CR battle, I don't think that the views of this group will increase. Their arguments are unfairly categorized in group 1. So, in SBC life, it's better to argue and argue about the text than to make an argument from cultrue.

4. Another group is what may be called the "Pastor Only" group. Women can do anything but be in senior pastoral leadership, or elders (if your church has an elder-led polity). Beyond that, women can do anything - get degrees, teach in church, seminaries, lead in agencies, serve as trustees etc. This group is the most numerous in the SBC in my opinion. There are a lot of variations on this position in many quarters.

5. Then, there's the most restrictive view that would see women as being prohibited from doing many functions in church and denominational life based on the scriptural admonitions. It is this group that Wade is arguing against, I believe. I believe that this group in SBC leadership is larger than in the SBC as a percentage, but not by much. This view is not as big as 4, but probably is second in overall support, but not by a whole lot. This view is popular because the people who hold it can point to the BFM, and say (in some cases) that they are only practically enforcing the BFM. This group is also popular because they are seen as the protectors and guardians of the gains of the CR. People will vote for these folks, especially if these people are attacked by elements that the larger group distrusts.

These are all my opinions, of course. I believe them to be correct, in the main, but I am sure that there are others on this blog who disagree, and can cite good support.

The real questions are (1) How can these groups continue to work together? (will groups 2, 3, and 4 continue to stay in a denomination with a policy that is dominated currently by group 5).

And, (2) How can groups who don't agree with group 5 make changes.

I have some suggestions:

1. Don't tie one's theological position to current events. Many feel that Dr. Klouda was treated wrongfully. Many others feel that Dr. P and SWBTS have been treated wrongfully by being sued and lampooned. I am not arguing for who is right, but I will say that if moving the ball forward on this doctrinal issue is dependent on getting people to sympathize with the positions of one or more litigants, it is more difficult.

2. Don't get too anxious. The SBC is a large ship. You can't steer it in a new direction overnight. This might take 10 years.

3. Don't, don't, don't be ugly or too loud. There is never a time to be ugly. Others may be ugly. Don't respond in kind. Be accurate, fair and kind - even if others are not. The mercurial personalities of the likes of the Sherman brothers, Ken Chaffin and James Dunn, and Dr. Honeycutt's declaration of "Holy War" from the pulpit at Southern and a host of other events did more to bolster the conservatives in the CR than just about anything.

There are times to be loud, but be careful and make sure you have the ears of the people. Rogers and Criswell were respected by an entire generation of SBCers across the country for many years for their faithful biblical exposition. When they got loud, it meant something. They did not make their reputations on controversy.

4. Remember history. Remember that the SBC when through a 20 year fight in the CR. Any new "fight" or initiative needs to consider this. Some people want to fight the CR again. (I know from his posts that Wade does not). Most people in the SBC do NOT want to fight the CR again. Recognize that the BFM changes were part of the CR (even though the Women part was not part of the CR).

5. Start at the local church and build from there. If local churches who believe in ordaining women, in whatever positions, begin to do so, and that continues, there will be a natural constituency for a change. If that does not happen, that may be a true measure of the desire for change at this time.

Trying to force a change from the top down is just more politics. This could be successful, but at a price. I would caution against aggressive political tactics at this time.

Discussing the issue, and seeing local churches act are things that can be done now that could have benefits for the future.


Anonymous said...

You said: "In a convention where a macho President can carry shotguns onto the lawn of one of our seminaries and fire rounds at squirrels in trees (as happened last Friday)"

was this reported to the police? it is against the law to possess firearms on campus much less to fire them. i can't remember the penalty but when i go to the library today i will check the sign outside.

a simple student @ swbts

p.s. this is serious. when a person thinks that laws don't apply to them, then things really get scary. i am starting to wonder if the reason why he has drivers is so that he doesn't get speeding tickets.

Anonymous said...

""Mr. President: I move for the immediate unseating of messengers of all SBC churches which have on staff ordained women, and the immediate dis-fellowshipping of said churches. The Church of Jesus Christ is to be in unity insofar as the Holy Spirit directed interpretation of Scripture. Those who cannot see their way clear to use the Holy Spirit in such matters must be removed from fellowship until such time as they repent from their heretical errors."

~KMC, Pastor, Messenger, DBC"

Well there goes all of our mission efforts in China! I know, I know, what we do in the comfortable, rich USA is so much more important to God and all, so I guess its ok.

You can be the one to deliver the message to the millions of believers risking their lives for their faith overseas that they are now "dis-felloshipped." As for me, I'll just go serve and let God work it out.

Anonymous said...

Jim Champion,

You are correct in that I will not be making this a motion. For one, I am a messenger of my church. I am not certain they would allow me to make such a motion. (And I would of course seek their permission to do so.) Secondly, I would not submit it as a resolution but as a motion from the floor, which would only have effect for one year, as subsequent Conventions could choose to seat such messengers (?) Lastly, I do not think this is the will of the Convention. And I respect that. But I do feel the Convention is against women as pastors, yet as you say, they are not at the place where they can put "feet to their words." In this regard, the Convention exhibits a wider cooperative spirit than Wade would give them credit.

This whole issue has not reached critical mass in the convention. This issue is a witch hunt against Dr. Patterson, by Wade and Ben.

Ben has an ax to grind, Wade needs a political ladder. Their new collaboration works perfectly for them both. I fear, however, that Emmanuel will ultimately be the victim.


Craig said...

Thanks Wade for sharing your journey into the Spirit's work to redeem and unleash both men and women for the Kingdom of God and the Son He loves. My wife and I both graduated from SWBTS in 1993 with an MDivBL. Even then we observed the bewilderment of our peers that she continued her education after we married, that she delivered sermons in preaching classes, and that she volunteered as a chaplain in the juvenile detention center without me. I think we got out just in time. The trend to exclude women from the ministry of the Word to any and all people has a long history and seems to me to gain momentum when power and position is highly valued. Blessings, Craig O'Brien

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

After reading this and some of the comments I am tongue tied. :)

This is why relying on our history for our Baptist Identity is so scary. I have researched and written on our history concerning women, and it is and was bleak. A seminary is not a church. Yet, now that it has been declared the same, I believe things will get worse for women unless God decides to step in. He may however choose to let some in the SB go their own way and the consequences be suffered, and the SBC will be the worse for it in the end, if they will even exist.

Anonymous said...

"...if they will even exist."


Does your use of the 3rd person pronoun "they" indicate that you do not consider yourself a Southern Baptist?

If that is the case, I hope you will not be voting in Indy.


wadeburleson.org said...

She'll be there.

We will pay for hotel room and transportation. I would also extend to you, K Michael Crowder, an invitation to have dinner with Debbie and her husband. She may teach you a thing or two.



Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that Wade allows his opponents to come here and make fun, rebuke and insult him?

These are the same people who support those who operate in secret, behind closed doors and did all they could to try and gag Wade from sharing information about what is going on in the convention?

I think they owe Wade a thank you for NOT being like their heros.


Bob Cleveland said...


I think some of the best arguments in favor of an increased role for women in the ministry is what's being said here by people opposed to an increased role for women in the ministry.

Anonymous said...


Are you boasting that your church is able to pay for your messenger's travel expenses? I will be paying for my own. That is unless your church would care to assist in the matter....you know....in a spirit of cooperative giving. :)

I do believe I shall pass on the meal offer. But thank you. As this will be my first Convention to attend, I shall be doing some detailed observing and note taking for the future. I may not have time to eat. :) I plan on blogging heavily during the Convention. If you do anything spectacular, I will be sure and give you props...such that might be due.


ml said...

Wade and Ben Wheaton, here is where I take umbridge with the strand: "As I understand it, an M.Div degree's purpose is to equip people for the office of elder. [Ben Wheaton]"
Isn't it the local church that ought to be equipping saints for service and calling out leaders? Maybe, the continual moving of pastoral staff is based on geographical issues that could be avoided if a local church developed its own leadership.
I suspect that the underlying issue is not whether woman can/cannot or should/shouldn't teach in a seminary or serve on or in a denominational/convention post. The better question that may end the power play over denominational money is whether or not a formal convention and all her agencies is necessary from a biblical perspective. The way I read Ephesians, our culture and the western academia guild is driving and informing the way we equip and raise up leaders more than, say, Ephesians 4 and the Pastorals. Erradicate the seminary concept all together and likely the issue begins and ends at the local church where most people seem to want it to be anyway? AND btw, I am not an anti-education as I possess a PhD from a southern baptist seminary. I believe that the education at the college and seminary levels ought to be taking place on the local church level. We might see greater impact into our communities and a greater missional emphasis from our laity than with this professionalism vs laity structure inherent to the western cultural structure we currently possess. It would also end the good old boy network that is the SBC, too. Like Ken Hemphill being essentially forced out of a presidency due to the watchdog eye of Blaising and then, magically, inserted as Empowering Kingdom Growth specialist by the Executive Committee. Now we have a man drawing a paycheck from Cooperative Program money when he was essentially deemed not qualified as president but his buddies set him up with another position. When Dr. Crutchley balked at such a scenario at SWBTS he was relegated to a small office and knew the writting was on the wall. Power does funny things to people. I wonder how much money could be redirected to missions endeavors if the majority of SBC agencies were scaled back and the focus became local church endeavors and national and international missions? hmm . . .

Anonymous said...

Regarding Bart Barber's points1-4:

1. inconsistently silly
2. materially irrelevant
3. logically inept
4. gutlessly ad hominem

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bob: I agree. :)

Bart: What of any of this "tripe" is not true?

Les: Either you agree with this, or someone you like does. It's the only time you seem to disagree. And removing a pulpit because it's contaminated? You don't find that mean spirited and discrimanatory. I'm tired of women in ministry being thought of as sinners. I'm tired of women being thought of as sinners for having a brain and speaking against such craziness.

And I don't even have the guts to call Wade or any other minister "dude." And I am sometimes too gutsy.

These things need to be brought out and I have thought that for more than 30 years. I bet some don't want this to come out but I second what Alyce Lee has said.

Anonymous said...

Joe W.:

I really believe that, as you continue to work at it, your reading comprehension level will improve.

It is objective, historic reality that THE Baptist Faith and Message was written once and revised twice. An Internet link is here if you would like to view all three versions at one time side-by-side; you (or someone who reads well) can read each, and even compare them for their similarities and differences: http://www.baptiststart.com/2000_1963_1925.htm.

What simply is not true is that a majority of affiliating Southern Baptist congregations was represented by the messengers who attended the annual meeting when the BFM2000 was adopted. A minority of those churches was represented, even if a majority of the messengers attending approved the documents adoption.

As I mentioned earlier, my preference is for the 1963 version of THE Baptist Faith and Message statement. When--as you suggest--I decide not to like the current version, you'll be one of the first I tell, OK; I promise. In the meantime, be a bit more mature as a follower of Jesus Christ, with a grasp of the Scriptures as He would desire of you as His disciple, and ease up on the arrogant accusations, brother.

Debbie Kaufman said...

K.Michael: I'm sure you will get a seat at the table. Your actions are just radical enough to have a seat with your name on it reserved. I just hope years from now you do not regret it because meanwhile, people will keep getting hurt as those who leave are replaced by those such as yourself. I also second what Jim has said.

Anonymous said...

When it became politically "incorrect" to discriminate against African Americans, the racist heart of too many SBC'ers simply moved on to another group- women. The apology to blacks recently given in Convention did nothing to change the hearts of the racists.
Things changed regarding race in the SBC only when a few with courage took a stand. Many have paid dearly for it. Wade, you are one taking a stand and I know you are "paying" for it. I have little to no influence in the Convention, but I pledge to stand with you on this central and vital issue. In my little SBC church, I will not allow discrimnation of any form. This is where the transformation will begin.

truth, not religion said...

Lottie Hoon had the role of pastor, preacher, teacher.

So did Josephine Skaggs, (who I knew personally)

Ahhh, Jo Skaggs, the first white woman to actually go to the jungles of Nigeria and set up a church, and a pastors school, and a medical clinic.

She had to get permission from the British and the FMB. When the FMB refused, she was going to resign and go anyway BECAUSE GOD TOLD HER TO! The Board relented and this SOUTHERN BAPTIST WOMAN led thousands to the Lord and is said to have trained or help train about 1700 pastors.


Did Christ fit the Baptist Faith and Message?

Does Christ need our permission?

Don't waste your time hollering and growling at me, I heard it before but what I said is a fact.

Many MEN through out the last 2000 years have tried to change the history of what our Creator has done, BUT HE IS STILL ON HIS THRONE. YOUR INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATIONS WON'T CHANGE THAT.

praying, (as always) for the knuckleheads of the world.


Anonymous said...

I am awake and I don't plan to go to sleep or agree with your conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Truth not Religion:

My understanding of the tolerance toward women as missionaries was based on the rascist reasoning that it was fine for women to lead "inferior black men", but not to have authority over white men. This, I believe, is how racist trustees reason regarding women missionaries today. Racism takes many forms.

Bryan Riley said...

CB, no, we shouldn't stretch His word, but are you prepared to tell me you understand all of it? Even the stuff that looks pretty straightforward? Like - a woman will be saved by childbearing. And there are a lot of places where we really do not know if the words were meant to be to the audience then or normative - and then we have to determine what aspects of the words are normative - principles, etc. So, what I'm saying is that sometimes God stretches us to help us see that His ways are way bigger and different than we even imagine them being. Surely you have developed in your doctrine over time. And, at one time you probably would have been dogmatically certain that your current position was right biblically. But somehow, someway you were stretched!

Hey, I would love lunch, whether you bought it or I did, because I would love to eat with you.

ed said...

Thank you for your blog Wade. I don't get to read it as often as I would like, but always find it helpful. I am a person that believes in the Bible. It is my one and only source of authority. I did not nor would I ever vote for the 2000 BFM for the reasons that you stated. It has stepped outside of clear Biblical teaching.

I knew Karen Bullock in my seminary days. I had an unusual illness and she was a true friend to me and my wife. She remains one of the finest people I know. Authority was never an issue for Karen and should not be for us.

This is my wish and hope. Though we differ in some ways we now find ourselves on the same side of the fence more often than not.

I refused early on to endorse the conservative resurgance. I have always felt it was a battle for power and control. I never believed that it was a battle over the battle. The issues of which you have written so powerfully now echo that sentiment. Whetehr they be prayer language, women in ministry, or mission boards the issues always come back to control and power.

I look forward to the day when you and I will be in full fellowship. As I read your blog and others like you there is always the disclaimer, I supported the conservative rsurgance, but...

It is that resurgance that has divided us. You and I believe in the same Bible and the same God. Our goals are the same. It is the resurgance that keeps us apart.

Are you ever tempted to say aloud:
"I no longer beleive that the resurgance was necessary?"

Just a thought.

I admire your courage, tenacity, impressive intellect, wit, and integrity if only from afar. Perhaps we can meet some day. I pray that you will continue to fight the good fight.

Ed Hogan

Anonymous said...

Who will speak for the lack of any minorities PERIOD in any leadership role at the IMB, or any level of Regional Leadership across the board. When will minorities only be hired to "minister," to their kind instead of integrating any church staff position? This topic is rarely touched and so many of us suffer the consequences.

Bill said...

The 1925 document is IMO the best. Less is more. Plus the switch from elders to pastors is less biblical, not more.

Anonymous said...

I saw the invitation to Mr. Crowder for dinner, and thought that there are many people who comment here that would make interesting dinner companions. Some would be unbelievably tedious and pedantic (and you know who you are), but a good number would be quite fun, I'm sure.

Wade, perhaps Grace and Truth to You can rent a hotel suite like they do at various convention meetings and invite all of us over for hors d'oeuvres and libations at this year's SBC.


CB Scott said...


I am not prepared to say I understand all of the revealed Word of God. I have read it over and over. I study it. I listen to it.
I think about it. I meditate upon it.

Yet, I must say I do not understand all of it. I do believe it stretches me. I know it has broken at least twice in my life.

Yet, I do not understand all of it. Its content has changed my thinking and my actions. I know more of it than I did. I do not know as much as I want to know. I am never satisfied with what I do understand. I depend on it more today than in the past.

I have always believed it is inerrant. I am learning more and more that it is completely sufficient.

Yet, I cannot say I understand all of it.

I do believe it was for its original readers and for us at the same time.

I believe its instruction is timeless. Seeking a proper application for right now is not always easy, but seek we must.

We agree that we cannot stretch the Scripture. We also agree the Scripture must be allowed to stretch us. It is somewhere in between all of that we will both have our struggles.


Anonymous said...

I suggest you make a public apology for your work in assisting Patterson-Presler in their taking over the SBC. You have admitted that you were a worker in their efforts. Repent of your error. The same methods and tools are now being used that were used in the Patterson-Presler takeover.

wadeburleson.org said...


I will bring the hors d'ouevres. I'll leave the libations to you and Ben Cole. :)

david b mclaughlin said...

Wow. A few comments:

1. Dr. Patterson explained to those he had remove it that it had been contaminated by a 'woman' preaching behind it.

It has already been asked if this is documented and Wade says it is. That would be interesting reading. If this is true, this is one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard. And I have heard some pretty pathetic stuff.

2. Be careful what you affirm with your signature.

3. I think Grudem is a theologian of the first-rate. I just disagree with him on a few things.

4. The best way to make a point about women in ministry re: 1 Tim 3 is every time someone brings it up is to also INSIST that every overweight, in debt, or otherwise self-control lacking pastor be IMMEDIATELY expelled from the ministry.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. (Or is that the other way around?)

This point must be made repeatedly and consistently.

Anonymous said...

I think that the contaminated pulpit should be used as a required shotgun practicum target for the lovely ladies in the MRS degree program.

I am impressed at least by its removal. Conviction is a dying attribute. Besides, big bulky pulpits are way over-rated.


Tom Parker said...


Do any of your church members know that you "comment" on blogs?
Your comments show a very low IQ.

Anonymous said...

I know Bill Sutton, Bob Pearle, and Paige Patterson personally and have worked and fellowshipped with them on numerous occasions--and what Wade said sounds absolutely true to their personalities and beliefs. This is only the beginning of what you are going to see in the days to come...

Anonymous said...


Serious question.

Aside from your very strong roots, what drives you to stay and contend for your beliefs in the SBC?



Anonymous said...

Anonymous just above:

Which part of what Wade reported about the three is true, and can you be more specific about your expectations (from the three?) in the future? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wade, after reading your latest blog, I am so sad for the students at SWBTS. This stuff just can't be happening! How can the trustees stand for this junk? I am equally sad over the sarcasm and venom that spews from the fingers of some of those who have posted here. Sad, sad, sad!

By the way, Dr. Hemphill is coming to our little church in Central Texas next September....I can't wait to hear him teach and preach again. Wade, it would be great if you and Mrs. Burleson would take a little vacation and join us for that event!

Unknown said...

You know, in a wierd way, this gives me hope. Hope things will change. True, things aren't good right now, and a lot of injustices have been done. And some of the comments show that some people are narrow. But most of the comments show that people can see an injustice and people are willing to say "Hey!" It might take a lot of "Heys!", but with people like Wade, and people like his backers, we could get change done. Keep on keeping on. Change usually doesn't happen quickly.

Ron said...

For writer of Truth not Religion,
I also knew Josephine Scaggs personally and all you say is true except that we claim her as being from Arkansas also. In addition to what you said she stood before the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1950s during the FMB report and preached to the pastors and others in the SBC on their sin of racism. She asked why they would send her and other missionaries to Africa to share the Good News with black men and women but would not allow them in their churches. This was at the same time that W.A. Criswell was preaching that religious and social segregation of the races was Biblical and those who supported integration were heretics. I think Jo Scaggs had a much better understanding of the scripture than Criswell and much more courage than all the pastors who were more afraid of losing their jobs than not preaching the inerrant Word of God.
There are many contradictions here. Besides Lottie Moon and Jo Scaggs, Bertha Smith whom the leaders of the CR claim as one of their heroes also had authority over men, preached the Bible to men and taught in seminary. Cal Guy used to invite her to speak to his seminary classes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she spoke from and, in Patterson’s words, contaminated that pulpit in the auditorium as well.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Burleson,

Not too long ago someone asked me if I ever read your blog. I was not familiar with it, but since that time I read it often. I have never responded to your blogs but have often shouted an inward "thank you Lord" that someone sees what is happening in our convention when it comes to how women in ministry are treated. I am one of those "females in ministry" and choose to remain anonymous because of the repercussions. Another area the SBC has discriminated against women in is chaplaincy. A decison was made a few years back that women would no longer be endorsed as military chaplains. Many dear friends left the SBC because of that decision. I have heard several male chaplains say this was a shame because the women are needed. This all came about I believe because of the BFM 2000. I have never been on the bandwagon fighting for womens rights; I am not ordained; but I am called by God to serve. I have been through some things when it came to interviews with churches which were not pleasant. I have been treated by some denominational agencies as a nobody. But no matter what, I have remained true to my calling all these 29 years. By the way I am not a military Chaplain; I am just aware of what some of them went through.

My prayer is more Godly men will come forth and help right the horrible wrong to women in our convention.

Blessings, anonymous

Debbie Kaufman said...

Wasn't it Condoleezza Rice and Mrs. Adrian Rogers that spoke at the 2006 Souther Baptist Convention in Greensboro?

Only By His Grace said...


If you are reading this blog, how about a comment on the comments made about Wade so far. I will list them out to you if you missed them. I do not know where these men come from but if they hate Wade so badly, why in the world do they keep coming back to look so silly?

Bart Barber,
"I've learned a good bit of self discipline over the past two years with regard to coming over here. But today I abandon all discretion."

K. Michael Crowder:

"[lol...btw, Wade, each time you expose the actions of your former fellow trustees at the IMB, or each time you attempt to smear Dr. Patterson, you only succeed in showing your immaturity and ignorance on many biblical and ethical matters.]"

"This whole issue has not reached critical mass in the convention. This issue is a witch hunt against Dr. Patterson, by Wade and Ben."

"Ben has an ax to grind, Wade needs a political ladder. Their new collaboration works perfectly for them both. I fear, however, that Emmanuel will ultimately be the victim."

AB Johns:

"You have always been, are and will continue to be a small fish in a big pond. Time to pick up your toys and go home."


"Dude, you need to give this a rest. You're becoming a caricature of yourself. It's time to move on to reaching the lost instead of forcing your opinions on everyone else."


I included yours because that is just exactly what all us young preachers were told in the sixties about Vietnam and especially about the Civil Rights Movement under Martin Luther King. Thank God we did not and will never give wrong a rest.

Phil in Norman.

John Daly said...

I stated this towards the beginning of the thread and I've seen precious few comments that have led me to conclude otherwise.

Office of Elder: Man
Every other position on earth: Either man or woman

(Not sure why this has become such a stumbling block to us.)

And maybe it's time for a few posts regarding fiscal responsibility and health because I'm sure there are elders/pastors who are over extended in both categories.

In Awe of His Grace,
John in the STL

Bart Barber said...


The difference between you, me, and Dr. Bullock is that you and I have gotten involved in blogging of our own free wills (or, maybe you were predestined to do so before the foundation of the world, but I digress), while she has, apparently, freely chosen NOT to be involved. Surely she knows something of your activities for the past two years. If she wanted to call you out to her defense, she's had every opportunity to do so. If she has not done so (and I do not know whether she has or has not), I'm suggesting that you ought to have respected her decision.

But you're not going to do that, and there's nothing that I or anyone else can do to see any other outcome. Perhaps it would be hard for you to understand, but there are people in this world who really don't want to be the center of everyone's attention, but who live to pursue quietly what God has given them to do where God has placed them to do it.

I will not say that those ARE Dr. Bullock's sentiments, because I have no desire to put words into her mouth. I'm merely suggesting that they MIGHT be her sentiments, and that I would not write a post about her until I KNEW that they were NOT.

Anonymous said...

I just have a couple of comments:
1. I am a conservative, by choice.

2. I endorse the BFM 2000, by conviction.

3. I do not believe that women can serve as teaching elders, as per the biblical prohibition found in 1 Tim 2. I didn't write it, I just believe it.

4. I do NOT believe that the 1 Tim 2 admonition is binding outside the church or that it relates to professors, administrators, missionaries, Vice-presidents, etc...

5. I do believe that if the SBC continues to move in this ridiculous direction that PP would have us move, it will only serve to destroy our unity even more and hinder the work of the Kingdom.

6. I do believe that positions like this one of PPs regarding women, make us look like absolute fools before the world for all the wrong reasons. I'm willing to look like a total fool for the gospel and even for convincing truths of the Word, but not for a tertiary interpretation issue like this one.

7. I lament that there are no other good options besides the CBF (with which I have some major problems) for conservatives to align themselves for the cause of missions. As long as the fundies continue to usurp their control and the 'good ole boys' rule the roost, the SBC is not an enjoyable place to minister. It saddens me.

8. The hypocrisy of these same individuals disgusts me. If SWBTS is indeed a 'church' and its employees are ministers, then fire all of the female professors, including your wife Paige. Pastors being trained at seminaries are required to take classes from outside the school of theology, right? So why limit the prohibition to the school of theology? Be consistent and fire all the women profs! In my time at SBTS (grad 07) I had a wonderful woman teach us research writing and proofreading. She was great. But I was a pastor, and an MDiv student...ergo...shouldn't we fire her too? Absolutely ridiculous.

9. In spite of what the CR supporters and PP flamers will come on here and say, Wade Burleson is not the CAUSE of division. The CAUSE lies with those who are hypocritical and unjust. If their actions are wrong, then someone NEEDS to stand up and hold them accountable. Wade does that, and in spite of the fact that I dont' always agree with him, I truly appreciate his courage to do just that. All of you who wish he would go away, and just shut-up, SHAME ON YOU! You have no desire to know the truth about what goes on. You would be more content if no-one rocked the boat and you didn't know that your heroes were such hypocrites.

Wade is not the "problem." Go to the source. The "problem" in the SBC today is not that Wade Burleson whines too much, NO, the problem is that there is far too much hypocrisy from power-hungry autocrats who want to make the SBC in their own image, forgetting that it belongs to the 42,000+ churches that comprise it, not the 2-3 dozen "big-wheels" that want to run it.

Keep fighting the fight Wade.

Ethan in KY

wadeburleson.org said...


Were I desiring to defend Dr. Bullock, I obviously would be in communication with her. My post is not about Dr. Bullock - it is about what men felt and thought that would lead them to remove her from a prestigious position on the School of Theology at SWBTS. My post was no more about Dr. Bullock than your comment is about Dr. Bullock, and I would venture to guess that you no more felt the need to call Dr. Bullock before you posted your comment than I my post.

When, Bart, will you be as concerned about removing women from jobs we trained them to do than you will the revelations they have been removed? When, Bart, will you be more concerned that the Convention is being seeing a systematic removal of women from places of responsibility than you will the revelation that they are being removed?

IF you don't like this post - wait till tomorrow's and the next day's post on military chaplains and the ridiculous mess we have gotten ourselves into because of the absurd attempts by some Southern Baptists to remove women from chaplaincy.

In His Grace,


wadeburleson.org said...

Ethan in Kentucky,

I shall award you with the prize for one of the better comments on this site in the nearly two and a half years I've been blogging. With the exception of your comments about me personally, I find the post as reasoned, logical and to the point of any I have read in a long time.

Blessings and Thanks,


Anonymous said...

Wade, I thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from you, someone I respect.

I did not intend for any of my words about you personally to be derogatory. I only said that:
1. I don't always agree with you (but who does, right?)
2. that OTHERS SAY you "whine too much." I do not think you do, as my post makes clear. I'm just tired of hearing the flamers characterize you that way. It angers me that they resort to ad hominem without addressing the substance of what you say.

I hold you in high regard and hope to be able to have a hot tea with you some day (I don't drink coffee anymore!).

Again, many thanks.
Ethan in KY

Bart Barber said...


Leave Dr. Bullock out of those posts, and I'll leave tomorrow's post and the next day's alone. I never comment at Bruce Prescott's site, for example, so you needn't worry that my ire will be raised simply by the theological perspective from which you guys blog. Sometimes you simply run over people about whom I care, and then I feel compelled to comment.

truth, not religion said...

Hi Doug,

Thanks for the input. I had not heard the racist angle, but with these types of men, nothing would surprise me.

However, Lotti Moon was preaching and the leaders (men) back home didn't like it so she told them to come on over and do it themselves.

She had no takers.

With Jo Skaggs, many white MEN from different nations had gone before her as explorers, hunters and preachers and died!

Yep, one way or another they all would up dead. This was a major concern for the British who ruled there. However, in God's mind, HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING. NIETHER RACISTS OR ANY OF THE DANGERS COULD STOP WHAT GOD WANTED. PS 33:1 " the plans of the LORD stand firm forever."

No matter what Boards, trustees, presidents, preacher’s etc will scheme........

(Ps. 64:5 " They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares;")

God's Will always prevails.



PR 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."

God used these 2 ladies and thousands of others throughout the centuries and He doesn't need permission.




Anonymous said...


You said "Leave Dr. Bullock out of those posts...Sometimes you simply run over people about whom I care, and then I feel compelled to comment."

[Scratching my head]

Could you please quote where Wade "ran over" Dr. Bullock?

I think I missed that one.



Anonymous said...

I have to relate an event that was ONE of the things that started my parents thinking the CR had gone in the wrong direction. It was about the late 80's or early 90's when my parents came home from some national baptist meeting and were talking about Criswell having small busts of himself made to sell at the event. They were appalled at the pride, arrogance and idolatry of doing such a thing as they were adament about the priesthood of believer being the baptist way.

Only By His Grace said...

Ethan in Kentucky.

I started out in Pike County, Ky. We were considered one of the most poverty stricken areas in the world back then. I can remember going to bed crying because there was no food in our house. It was just my grandmother and my aunt who was nine or ten years old. We lived twenty-seven miles from the nearest town with no car or transportation.

Thank you for you comments. They are almost exactly the same way I feel.

As long as "things are done in secret meetings with an agenda to destroy people's lives," I will call those who do so abject sinners and totally outside the will of God. I hope we can bring them out into the light to see what kind of mess they have made while changing the procedures and methods they have put in place.

I claim Lamentations 3:40-41 for all of us.

"Let us search and try our ways, and turn again unto the Lord.
"Let us lift our hearts with our hands unto God in the Heavens."

Phil, used to be in Ky as a child, now in Norman, Oklahoma.

Anonymous said...

I read this and was floored "no trustees shall meet in 'caucus' sessions, either formal or informal, to discuss IMB business." Yes, legalism is a problem in the SBC. By-laws need some serious revamping as well. I wonder how many times the apostles would be in violation if this was the standard.

Bart Barber said...


My point all along has been that I strongly suspect that Dr. Bullock would rather be left out of all of this. She's a very irenic person. She may very well agree with Wade (such things are not a test of my friendship), but I'll not put those words into her mouth, either. She's just the last person in the world to show up on a blog, if I know her at all.

Ironically, every time I respond, I further the very thread that she's probably wishing would go away. I officially cease and desist for that reason.

John Mann said...


Ed Hogan's comment above seemed to escape without notice [Tue Apr 01, 05:24:00 PM 2008]. I, as well, am curious. Do you believe the Conservative Resurgence was necessary?

Only By His Grace said...

Forgive my inadvertant use of limited universals, "almost exactly." Sorta like wet water, burning fire, nearly round and about perfect.


Only By His Grace said...


Since you are her close friend, why do you not call her and ask her? Does she fully understand your support of PP and agree with her and Dr. Klouda being forcibly remvoved from SWBTS because they are women?


Bart Barber said...


I'll persist into one more.

One large difference I would observe between Dr. Patterson and you is that Dr. Patterson, knowing full well the warm and strong regard that I have for Dr. Bullock, has never made a big deal of it...has never made mention of it.

He, I perceive, is a man with the wisdom to know that my friendship with her and our respective theological differences is none of his stinkin business. Nor yours.


wadeburleson.org said...

John Mann,

I believe that the Word of God is inspired, infallible, and have no hesitancy saying it is without error. If the resurgence brought that about in the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole then it was needed. However, I am not convinced that those who constantly hold the banner of the Resurgence have been loving, kind and gracious, and in some cases, conservative, Bible believing, Christ-loving men and women of God have been falsly maligned and ridiculed. Further, if the Resurgence brought into power people who are now ADDING to the Bible, then a Resurgence the other direction is as needed now as the Resurgence in 79 was needed then. I am voting for a Gospel Resurgence or a Great Commission Resurgence in the SBC. It can't begin soon enough.

Lin said...

"Forgive my inadvertant use of limited universals, "almost exactly." Sorta like wet water, burning fire, nearly round and about perfect."

My personal favorite: Sorta pregnant.

Phil, I was going to suggest the same thing to Mr. Bart. Although I did not see that the post was about her per se, but more about how events have been handled by others. Events usually include actual people.

I am a bit amused by the accusation that Wade does this for attention. There are more dramatic ways to get attention. Like a president shooting squirrels on a college campus with a rifle or taking his huge dog to the school cafeteria.

But then, I have to wonder why the personal accusation at all? Is that the best they can do? Try to destroy the messenger's reputation? I guess that still works in some quarters.

Why not engage in content?

wadeburleson.org said...


I did not see your words as personally derogatory, but rather as too complementary. It is for that reason I used the exception.

My rule of thumb is to always acknowledge and remember the criticism from friends and ignore, or if not possible, forget the complements from them.



Anonymous said...

"Do any of your church members know that you "comment" on blogs?
Your comments show a very low IQ."

I am not sure. Feel free to ask them.

As to your comment. How so? Feel free to admonish....even attack. But please be specific.


Anonymous said...

"Dude, you need to give this a rest. You're becoming a caricature of yourself. It's time to move on to reaching the lost instead of forcing your opinions on everyone else."

Are you inferring that by commenting on Wade's blog, a person is not reaching the lost in real life? How can you make this assumption? Or is this your way of silencing those with whom you disagree?

And how am I forcing anything? You have made 2 false accusations in your post. You too need to be specific instead of lobbing general lies and deceit.


Unknown said...

I like what you said about the CR, Wade. I too think the Word is infallible and without error.

I don't consider myself a conservative, for my interpretation of the Word tends to differ from the conservatives, particularly with regard to women's roles. I am totally an egalitarian.

I agree with you; we do need a Gospel Resurgence (or something along those lines) in the SBC.

Ethan, even though I don't agree with your point #3 in your comment, I do agree with the rest of it. We need more like you in the SBC!

wadeburleson.org said...

Uh, K Michael, the quote you highlighted above was addressed to me, not you, by a man named Les. I realize that you thought it was addressed to you, and took offense. However, I would encourage you to remember that, even had it been addressed to you, there is no need to defend yourself. Just keep on going about the ministry God has called you. God has a way of silencing one's critics in time.

Anonymous said...


"the Baptist Faith and Message, the only statement of doctrinal consensus"

This is a little tangent, but most Baptists have never considered any statement of faith to be a doctrinal consensus. The SBC existed for decades with no statement and the churches were OK with that.

But other churches constantly wanted to know what SBCers believed. The statement of faith is a help to none SBCers to assist in identifying who we are biblically. It is a general attempt to get a sketchy picture of what the churches hold dear who cooperate with the Convention's work.

Until the CR, the BF&M was never viewed as a document of accountability, and is still not seen so by most SBC churches and pastors. It is simply a feeble attempt to convey who these churches are who cooperate.

Less than 4,000 churches were registered to participate in the approval of the BF&M 2000 in Orlando. And all of them did not vote for it. To think that all of the articles are held by the majority of SBC churches is a major stretch.

If Lifeway wants some credibility in its research efforts, it could poll SBC pastors and members about which BF&M articles they support. Then we could stop guessing and have a basis for what is being claimed. My guess is that will never happen. If facts are known, pet positions would be threatened. For most SBC leaders, the truth about all this does not seem to be desirable.

Therefore, to claim it to be a statement of doctrinal consensus is a very hollow claim. There is a lot of wishful thinking going on in SBC leadership about this. And they choose not to pursue any factual input.


greg.w.h said...

An anouma commented:

I read this and was floored "no trustees shall meet in 'caucus' sessions, either formal or informal, to discuss IMB business." Yes, legalism is a problem in the SBC. By-laws need some serious revamping as well. I wonder how many times the apostles would be in violation if this was the standard.

So are you saying that the apostles would have intentionally violate a rule they imposed on themselves in order to exercise apostolic authority? Or are you saying that there should be no rules that we follow for the sake of order?

Or are you commenting against the rules anticipating that people might use the Board of Trustees roles to forward private agendas and require them not to use private caucusing to do that?

Since you've chosen to be anonymous, should I assume you are positing anarchist viewpoints since you didn't sign your name? And that the apostles would also follow anarchist viewpoints and also not sign their names?

I guess your overall argumentation leaves me believing you're not interested in discussion and that your only interest is using Wade's blog to try and belittle him. Can you explain why you would do that to the rest of us so we can understand your obviously private agenda?

Perhaps then we can compare the two viewpoinsts and approaches and seek to conclude which seems wiser. So far your approach seems to be losing.

Greg Harvey

Bob Cleveland said...


I think the word you meant was "implied" and as Wade pointed out, the answer to that would be "no".

Anonymous said...

I had the impression that you loved history. It must hurt you very much when you are reminded of how Paige Patterson forced Dr. Bullock out of her job. Why do you not have angrier toward Paige Patterson for what he did, instead of bro Wade Burleson who is telling the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.


Rex Ray said...

I agree with Abraham Lincoln: “I care not for a man’s religion if his dog is not the better for it.”
I believe also: ‘I care not for a man’s religion if women are not the better for it.’

And please don’t think I’m implying women are dogs, even though there are some who treat them as such if they think they’re not in their ‘place’.

Such was the case when one of the churches I was in; voted to do something that I was against. Afterwards, I was discussing my views with the pastor who was in favor of the motion. His secretary was in the next room with the door open. All three of us were good friends, and she walked in and told why my view was incorrect.
He yelled at her, “GET OUT OF HERE AND SHUT THE DOOR!”

She left like a whipped puppy dog. I was shocked, embarrassed, and other things. I opened the door, and told her, “You didn’t ask my permission to leave.”
“What did you say?”
“Oh, I’m just trying to make a joke”, and closed the door.

The pastor had been talking in a normal voice, but afterwards, he could have been heard through many doors. I think his pride had been hurt that he needed a woman to help him.

Weeks later, I asked her if he had apologized. She said no but she was in the wrong. It gave a new meaning of the pastor telling the church, “I can work with anybody, but not everyone can work with me.”

I’m surprised Patterson didn’t put the pulpit behind the squirrel, and get two with one shot.

Anonymous said...

"Uh, K Michael, the quote you highlighted above was addressed to me, not you, by a man named Les. I realize that you thought it was addressed to you, and took offense. However, I would encourage you to remember that, even had it been addressed to you, there is no need to defend yourself. Just keep on going about the ministry God has called you. God has a way of silencing one's critics in time."

Ah, yes. I was thinking to myself that that quote fit you much better. Anyway Wade, you give good advise. I indeed agree that Dr. Patterson's critics will one day be divinely silenced.


Anonymous said...


I am a "fundamentalist." By that I mean that I hold to historic, conservative, orthodox theology. Usually I disagree with you and Ben and some others, and usually I agree with and defend Dr. Patterson. But this time I have to agree with you. Prohibiting a woman from teaching at the seminary from which she recieved a ph.d. (not to mention her education at conservative criswell college, where i am a student) just because she "indulged" in the exposition of scripture is beyond belief and definitely crosses a line. My prayers are with the Klouda family and I hope that somehow this extremist view of women can be brought into a more consistent view with the scriptures.

wadeburleson.org said...

K Michael,

I laughed out loud when I read your last comment. You chastise the person who wrote the 'dude comment,' falsly believing that it was a slap at you. You were offended and expressed your offense by writing to the author of the comment:

(Are you implying that I am )not reaching the lost in real life? How can you make this assumption? Or is this your way of silencing those with whom you disagree? And how am I forcing anything? You have made two false accusations in your post. You too need to be specific instead of lobbing general lies and deceit.

Then, when I told you that the 'dude comment' was directed at me, not you, instead of taking offense that it was directed at me, you affirm that the comment fits me much better and own it as something that you would say about me.

Thanks, K Michael, for the laughter this afternoon. Please keep commenting on this site. I need the comic relief.

Tom Parker said...


I agree KMC is a great comodian!!

Anonymous said...

"Thanks, K Michael, for the laughter this afternoon. Please keep commenting on this site. I need the comic relief."


I am not impressed with your laughter. I might be impressed if you can tell me who said this:

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”

That person also said this:

"Every dog must have his day."

I think that person might have had a premonition of a certain "Grace and Half-Truth to You" blog owner.

Or he was thinking of Ben, or Tom, or Paul, or Debbie, or Dwight, or any of the other FOW's. (friend's of Wade)

In fact, that pretty much describes the 2 clases of folks within the SBC......friend or fow.

"Prudent people are very happy; 'tis an exceeding fine thing, that's certain, but I was born without it, and shall retain to my day of Death the Humour of saying what I think." ~MWM

Anonymous said...

One of your best posts yet. I'm sure that the time it takes to maintain the blog and the constant criticism take their toll, but I hope you know that are having an impact on a generation of biblically conservative people who are struggling with their Baptist identity because of the extra-biblical positions held by the political hierarchy of the convention.
After the results form the recent Lifeway research conducted on views on private prayer language and alcohol consumption, I don't think that study willl be coming anytime...well, ever! :)
-IM Fletcher

Only By His Grace said...


Here I am with my nose again.

I would say, "Temper, Temper." Sounds like your tail got caught under the rocker again.

As for myself, I want to stay in PP's good graces. I have seen the man in action. The trail of blood leads all the way from South Ft. Worth to Waco, and now to Indiana.

To keep in PP's good graces, I began by taking only male profs for Church History while at SWBTS. I did not want any women Pastors over me. I knew PP would get me for that. I only took Drs. Robert Baker, Leon McBeth and William Estep.

Since I was starting out in the ministry, I did not want to make PP mad at me. I might not have been able to climb the denominational ladder; he might even have taken the ladder away. He has control of such things.

The denominational ladder is sort of like the corporate ladder, but a little more like Jacob's Ladder, but headed the wrong direction and without the angels.

Bart, be careful of that temper. PP may take your ladder away, too.

Remember PP said, "He who controls your temper controls you."

Maybe, that wasn't PP after all, come to think of it.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...


I couldn't have said it better.

Thank you for pointing out again that the adoption of the current version of the BFM statement was not unanimously done either by those present in that annual SBC meeting or since by SBC congregations. To insist then--almost (?)--that to be a good SBC church/member is to adhere solely to the BFM2000 document is folly. As you indicated, the SBC existed for over 50 years before any version of the BFM was printed--and we seemed to cooperate very well during that time. I believe that we can do so again--when the BFM statement is understood for what it is among those who believe the Scriptures as Baptists historically have: as a confessional statement, not a creedal one.

Rex Ray said...

I like your words of praising JFritz for what he said about the BFM 2000. (Wed Apr 02, 02::04 PM 2008) I have made the following comment on Wade’s post of “Those who make the BFM say what it doesn’t” on Friday, April 4, but no one has replied. I will reprint it here:

Is this a confession of faith? “The office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

Since it is in the BFM 2000, it must be a confession of faith or it wouldn’t be there. Right?

Has it been imposed on any churches in the SBC? Yes, over and over. The Baptist Standard reported a professor working on a SBC mission’s project overseas was offered a positing to teach at a school if the SBC would give him a recommendation. His recommendation was denied because while he was overseas, the church he was a member of, called a woman for their pastor.

Is the SBC a religious authority? Yes.


I am not a lawyer, but how much ‘wiggle room’ can two conflicting statements have? I would like to hear a resolution presented to the SBC to remove one of these opposing statements for clarity.

You know which one I’d want to get the ax.

Thanks David, I hope you and JFritz will read this. Maybe if enough us agree, something will be changed on the BFM that is causing so much trouble, and we can get on with the Lord’s business.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray:

And thank you for your great concern for all things "Baptist" and that done right and well.

While I prefer the '63 version of the BFM statement, I actually am "BFM no particular year's version"--believing that some theological confession is necessary to identify Southern Baptists from others (including other Baptist groups) and that to narrow that confession much is dangerous (as it has proven to be since 2000, it seems) and to make it a creed changes who the confession states that Southern Baptists are, but otherwise that any year's version is a suitable basis for cooperation by all Southern Baptists.

Aside from the apparent intent in the article mentioning wives and husbands (in my view, representing the interpretations and impositions of Baptists among us of ultra-Fundamentalist theological persuasion), the BFM2000 statement remains a broad-enough document that, if you chose to adhere to it as representative of your views while I chose "BFM generally," I could cooperate with you for the purposes of missions and evangelism. (Others would include the article with changed references to interpretation of the Scriptures and to Jesus.)

To have argued as we have over the few hundreds of words' difference between the 1963 and 2000 versions of the BFM statements points out, I am afraid, the shallowness of our likeness to Christ and of our sense of urgency for ministry to a lost world. What a waste.

Rex Ray said...

You wrote: “…the BFM2000 statement remains a broad-enough document that, if you chose to adhere to it as representative of your views while I chose ‘BFM generally’, I could cooperate with you for the purposes of missions and evangelism.”

It’s obvious I gave you the wrong impression if you think I favor the BFM 2000. I have printed on my blog “76 Letters, by 59 People” that were printed by the Baptist Standard that were NOT in favor of the BFM 2000. Of those printed, I had 12.

My son was a missionary with the IMB for 7 years. He was told he would not have to sign the 2000. Then he was told if he did not sign, he would not be fired. Both of those promises were broken. (My son left before the removal of more than 100 missionaries.)

To make myself clearer, I will add what I have written on Wade’s April 4 post:

Why has no one replied to my quoting the BFM 2000:

The ‘Good’ of the BFM 2000 is made a fool by imposing on all our churches: “The office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” (I’ll refer to this statement from here on as ‘Hypocrite’)


I know Wade believes ‘Hypocrite’ should never have been added to the BFM 1963, and is showing how ‘Hypocrite’ has been abused to make women second class Christians.

Why can’t we get to the root of the problem and eliminate ‘Hypocrite’?

I’ll answer my own question: If we removed ‘Hypocrite’, it would show C/R leaders made a mistake and their pride can’t admit that. Besides their pride, maybe it was their plan all along to make ‘Hypocrite’ a means of putting women in ‘their place’ as THEY interpret Scripture.

David, thanks for replying.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman about to begin an MaTH at SWBTS, giving up acceptances to some of the finest law schools in the country. However, I'm becoming very nervous after reading numerous blog posts outlining the harsh realities of SBC politics.

I am going to seminary because I crave God's word and feel I have an academic gift - I am nervous about attending because of human politics ruining the spirtual hunger of people - men and women alike. I pray I can get over this, but I pray even harder that I can spread the word/love of Jesus Christ despite the in-fighting that seems prevalent in the SBC.

And just for the record, I do not believe women should be senior pastors, but women are children of God too and are granted spiritual gifts - what a waste of God's delightful gift to shut us up in a closet!

Anonymous said...

Dear Student,

You said 'You said: "In a convention where a macho President can carry shotguns onto the lawn of one of our seminaries and fire rounds at squirrels in trees (as happened last Friday)"

Maybe, the macho President was only shooting the FEMALE squirrels. That might be, under the circumstances. Perhaps this President feels that the females have no right to stand on tree branches above the male students. Who knows? Maybe the President has been given a Revelation from God about getting rid of ALL females on campus.