Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Free Flow of Information in Christian Ministry

In the comment section to yesterday's post regarding the resignation of IMB Regional Leader Rodney Hammer, IMB trustee Hershael York wrote the following comment:

Hershael York said,
"When are you going to publish Dr. Rankin's letter to you?"
Tue May 06, 11:58:00 PM 2008

I was completely oblivious to the letter to which Dr. York was referring, but assured him that I would be happy for any correspondence between Dr. Rankin and myself to be made public. When I arrived at my office on Wednesday morning, May 07, 2008 after a three day staff retreat, behold, there was a letter from Dr. Rankin on my desk. I read it and immediately called IMB trustee Hershael York at Southern Seminary and asked a question:

"Hershael, how did you know about Dr. Rankin's letter to me when Dr. John Floyd was the only person listed as cc'd on the letter?"

It does not upset me that Hershael York is privy to private correspondence to me, particularly since I believe all ministry of the SBC, including correspondence of trustees should always be available to the SBC public. However, it is ironic to me that some complain there are 'breaches' of confidentiality on SBC blogs, when in reality, blogs simply make available the information that has been held tight and secure by a select few who have been privy to it for decades. I am of the firm conviction that unless safety of missionaries is in question, all information regarding debates, motions, business, and other matters involving SBC ministry should be made public. The free flow of information, transparency and Christian openness should be the norm for Southern Baptists.

Dr. Rankin's letter to me, dated April 25, 2008, was written to call my attention to two comments on my blog, made by someone I do not know, that misrepresented the truth about Dr. Floyd's tenure at the IMB. I had not even read the comments until John Floyd himself called me on April 14th, 2008 and informed me that they were inaccurate representations of the facts. Again, I was unaware of the comments in question until Dr. Floyd called me to ask me about the author who made them. You can read the details of how I handled the matter with Dr. Floyd in my response to Dr. Rankin's letter to me below. What is odd to me is how and why Dr. Rankin would write to me about those comments nearly two weeks after they were deleted? Obviously, someone had to print them, keep them, and show them to Dr. Rankin, and others - well after they were gone. It seems that the motivation for showing them is not the restoration of a reputation, but the denigration of a medium through which the comments were made.

When I called Hershael York yesterday and asked him how he knew about Dr. Rankin's letter to me, I informed him that I would happily comply with his request that I publish Rankin's letter, and I also told him I would also publish my response. I then called Dr. Rankin's office and left a message informing him of Dr. York's request that his letter be made public. To that end, below is Dr. Rankin's letter to me, made known to me by Dr. York before I even received it, and my response.


April 25, 2008

Dr. Wade Burleson
2505 W. Owen K Garriott Road
Enid, OK 73703-5224

Dear Wade:

I haven't been following your blog closely since your resignation from the board in January, but it was called to my attention recently when you released the position paper I had written on the personnel policies that was subsequently distributed to the board. I am not writing to comment on that subject and your commentary, as I choose not to engage in this channel of public communication.

Although you are not responsible for the comments others post on your blog, I feel that you should be responsible for correcting inaccurate and slanderous comments that enter the public domain through your site. Therefore, I am writing to correct two erroneous facts.

(1). Dr. John Floyd was not fired as regional leader for Central and Eastern Europe nor was he asked to retire or resign. This was a personal choice of Dr. Floyd when he became eligible for retirement and chose to return to teaching. In fact, I personally tried to persuade Dr. Floyd to continue in his leaderhsip role on the field with the IMB at the time.

(2). It was also mentioned that Dr. Floyd was known to abuse or harass a woman during his tenure on the field. One may not agree with Dr. Floyd's personal position on various issues, but no one could accuse him of anything other than being a person of impeccable character and integrity. There is absolutely no record or awarenes of anyone who knew Dr. Floyd during his tenure on the field of inappropriate actions toward women on the field.

I don't know if you will choose to correct these inaccurate perceptions generated on your blog, but I did feel obligated to write and express my disappointment at these mischaracterizations of someone who served our board faithfully over the years.

Sincerely yours,

Jerry Rankin

cc: Dr. John Floyd


Dr. Jerry Rankin
The International Mission Board
3806 Monument Avenue
P.O. Box 6767
Richmond, Virginia 23230-0767

May 7, 2008

Dear Jerry,

As you affirm in your letter to me of April 25, 2008, I keep an open, un-moderated blog where people can comment without my knowledge or my approval. I, too, grieve over any comment that misrepresents the truth. The only thing worse would be official statements to Baptist Press or other news agencies that intentional distort the truth. I was unaware of the two comments you reference in your April 25, 2008 letter that misrepresented the truth about former Trustee Chairman John Floyd's career at the International Mission Board. I was unaware of them until John called me on April 14, 2008. I have hundreds of people who comment on my blog and I have neither the time nor the will to read or respond to every comment. John called desiring information about the author of the two comments. I informed him that not only did not I know the author, I was unaware of the comments. He directed me to where they were located on my blog, and I told him that I would immediately remove them.

He stopped me. He told me not to remove them because his attorney was looking into the comments and when they found out who wrote them they would then address how to correct the matter appropriately. I asked him to clarify what he just said by asking, “Dr. Floyd, are you telling me that the two comments that offend you, that misrepresent the truth, and that are located deep within an un-moderated comment section of this blog should remain so that you can sue the person who wrote them?” I assured him that I was not unfamiliar with public statements about me that were distortions of the truth or outright lies, and because of my own experience, I was sympathetic to his dilemma and would be happy to correct the matter for him immediately. But, I said, I would do as he suggested. After a momentary pause, John said I should delete the comments.

I tell you this because your letter is dated nearly two weeks after my conversation with John and the deletion of those comments. Further, the author of the comments, a Southern Baptist layman, had phone conversations with Dr. Floyd the very day I deleted those comments, and called me to apologize for making them. I told him my concern is that he resolve the matter appropriately with Dr. Floyd. He assured me the matter had been resolved satisfactorily. Again, I am unsure of the reason why you chose to write your letter to me dated April 25, 2008, or why trustee Hershael York requested me on May 6, 2008 that I publish your letter to me, a letter that I did not even know existed until my arrival back in Enid on May 7, 2008 after a three day staff retreat. I can assure you that I believe the desire to protect the reputation of John Floyd is admirable. I am pleased to publish both your letter and my response at Dr. York’s request.

While I find it admirable to protect the reputation of the former trustee chairman, so too, I find it just as admirable when all of us seek to protect the reputation of our missionaries. So, too, it is praiseworthy to come to the defense of people like Regional Leader Rodney Hammer. So, too, it is admirable to fight for those God called young men and women in the Southern Baptist Convention who are disqualified for missionary service because of two doctrinal IMB policies that exceed the BFM 2000 and even, in some minds, the Word of God. So, too, it is worthy to correct any trustee who publicly makes the absurd claim that using the Arabic word for God (Allah) is a sin, and Jehovah or Yahweh should be the Arabic substitute word for God used by our missionaries in Arab lands. So, too, it is praiseworthy to refuse to allow trustees who have never set foot on a foreign land to correct our professional missiologists and their methodologies in reaching unreached people groups with the gospel of Jesus Christ through books they write. So, too, it is an honorable action to ensure that the International Mission Board abide by the wishes of the Southern Baptist Convention and implement the Garner Motion. So, too, it is wise to stand up to trustees who are turning the International Mission Board into an agency that silences dissent, demands conformity, and threatens the termination of anyone who dares question trustee or Richmond directives.

I respect you, Dr. Rankin, and appreciate your service to the Southern Baptist Convention. I, like you, desire to do everything I can to protect the reputation of the former Chairman of Trustees, Dr. John Floyd. I am ashamed that someone would misrepresent the truth about this man. Likewise, I am ashamed that our missionaries are subjected to the heavy handed, obstructive policies of a small, but powerful Landmark, cessationist, and very political group of trustee leaders who are harming the work of the International Mission Board. We need a Gospel Resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention. We need to restore the freedom of God’s people to dissent over tertiary matters, but to love each other enough in order to cooperate to reach the world for Christ. Since 1992 I have been uninvolved in any political processes of the Southern Baptist Convention. My appoint in 2005 as a trustee to the International Mission Board opened my eyes to the some incredible, negative changes that have occurred at the IMB. As you know, I sought to correct the problem for six months behind closed doors. After being treated in a manner that defies Christian logic, I am sympathetic toward anyone who receives similar treatment, particularly those whose employment and careers are on the line.

I do hope that our communication by letter has given Dr. Floyd and other trustee leaders satisfaction that any misrepresentation of the truth concerning Dr. Floyd's tenure at the IMB has been corrected. I enjoy my fellowship with Dr. Floyd and his lovely wife, and I consider them friends. I do not enjoy, however, his and others’ desire to exclude those from the SBC who do not think, act, talk, believe or practice faith the way they do. His admission to me that the new policies were ‘doctrinal’ in nature, and there was no anecdotal evidence from the field that they were needed, nor was any evidence necessary, is enough for me know that a narrow, ideological group is attempting to direct our convention. I cannot be silent about the efforts of those who are changing our convention before our very eyes, and I commend Dr. York’s desire that this communication be made public. I hope the matter with Dr. Floyd is considered resolved satisfactorily, and I trust the other matters mentioned will also be dealt with in as satisfactory of a manner as that which precipitated your letter.

In His Grace,



Matt said...

I truly dont understand some of these people. I am praying for you Wade. This "Young Leader" is nearing the tipping point with the SBC. I love with all my heart the IMB missionaries that I have built realtionships with, but I would much rather go through a different organization or raise my own support than go through the IMB myself. That is really disappointing to me since I have been in a great Southern Baptist Church for 26 years. I am holding on as long as I can, but it is beyond frustrating when people are dying without a chance to hear the Gospel.

Matt in Birmingham, AL said...

Hold on Matt. I promise you the SBC is changing. The FIVE known Presidential candidates is evidence that things are changing. It takes a little longer for it to filter down to the boards. But it is coming.

Steve said...

Just one tiny point: since (correct me if this is wrong!) people of that part of the world had been calling God "Allah" even before the time of Mohammed, how could our use of "Allah" be anything other than a logical use of a foreign word, like "oui" or "nyet?" We Americans do love to put our stamp on everything, don't we?

We have GOT to make these selfless disciples feel free to serve God to the best of their abilities without having to play games with an administrative missions apparatus that WAS originally put in place to make things easy for them. said...


Interestingly, the same trustee who made the absurd statement about Allah in a public session of the IMB, was recently in the Middle East when he joined hands with a Muslim who had received a formal theological education in Islam, only to be converted to Christ, complete his Christian theological education and is now working with our SBC missionaries to bring the gospel to fellow Muslims. The former Muslim was asked by the trustee to pray in his native Arabic and every other word was 'Allah' during the prayer. The time of prayer was moving for everyone, including the trustee, who commended the Arab for such a wonderful time of intercession. Just shows you the problems that can be created via sterile policy decisions made by pastors and laypeople from FBC's of Southern USA - trustees who have never been overseas. For those trustees to attempt to dictate policy, methodology or tenets of missiology to those serving on the field is ludicrous. It ought to be a requirement that every trustee take at least five missionary trips overseas before he ever speaks at an IMB trustee business or committee meeting.

Anonymous said...

Are you really Dr. Wade?

I do not recall ever seeing that before. If so, another apology might be in order for the whole Ph.D. biz some time ago. If not, then my comments stand. :)

Bob Cleveland said...


There is an unfortunate consistency between (A) Dr. York knew of the letter from Dr. Rankin before you did, (B) Dr. Rankin's letter to you was well after the occurrence and removal of the comments (and all that means), and (C) Dr. Floyd's initially telling you to leave the "offensive" comments up until his attorney advised him.

If you want to know how far from the Bible such highly-placed people in the SBC have gone (not referring to Dr. Rankin there), you need look no further.

Robert Hutchinson said...


i'm so glad you're a southern baptist. said...

K Michael,

No, I am not and have never presented myself as such. I simply duplicated the actual letter.

Anonymous said...

Wade, funny how the sneaky ones must have also known about this letter before you did.

Look at Wes Kenney’s Blog post


California Director of Missions and IMB trustee Dr. Jerry Corbaley Blog Post.

Anonymous said...

OK... I'm trying to determine why Dr. Rankin wrote this letter to you Wade. Did someone ask Dr. Rankin to do this? If so, why would anyone drag Dr. Rankin into writing a letter to clarify someone's comment on a blog on the internet? Would this same person feel free to ask any of the other heads of other SBC institutions to do something like this? I'm just confused to why Dr. Rankin is suppose to be the peacemaker here. Couldn't this be handled in another manner?

Another comment about Ms remaining anonymous. Now you all know why... someone was thinking about court action over a comment. Don't you think they would make life a little rough for a M that is in disagreement their policies they put in place? Just a thought.

M with YOUR organization

M with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...


Thank you for promptly removing the false accusations made against Dr. John Floyd on this blog. He is indeed a wonderful Christian gentleman who I believe, like you, tries his best to live and serve by his convictions. Whether his views on PPL and baptism are in agreement with others' or not, he has served faithfully on the mission field for many years and deserves much better, imo. He and his wife have also been a wonderful example of what a godly Christian couple should look like to those of us who have known them for many years. It especially breaks my heart when people who call themselves brothers and sisters would slander a man of God by insinuating that he abused a woman while serving on the mission field.

As you have correctly stated in so many words many times, personal accusations, regardless of who's right or wrong about the issue(s) at hand, have absolutely no place in any forum populated by redeemed men and women. As you know better than most anyone, since you are often the victim of such attacks yourself, such tactics say more about the person who utters them than they do about their intended victim(s).

Thank you for your consistency in loving those who disagree with you -- or even those who show little evidence of loving you back. I am reminded of Romans 5:8. Thank God for His love for the "unlovely" like me!

In brotherly love,


Anonymous said...

Wade, thank you for addressing this issue in a dignified and open way. I think you disarm your critics by doing such.

What I want to know is...what did Dr. York hope to accomplish with this? His comment in yesterday's thread came across almost as smug, as if he finally thought he had you...What gives? I really am at a loss to understand, after all the whining these guys did when you were reporting the BOT activities, how Dr. York (and seemingly Corbaley, from his blog) got ahold of such sensitive, personal info that was not intended for them. To me, this just underscores my suspicion that there is a lot of secrecy, networking, and cajoling going on within the BOT. All the more reason for Southern Baptists to begin demanding openness and integrity and an end to the secrecy and politics of a few with power.

Thank you again, for handling this matter.

Anonymous said...

Well, I thought about it and I think I've answered my own questions. No one asked Dr. Rankin to do it. He just did it because he is a man of integrity. A true leader to follow.

M with YOUR organization said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Having traveled in these circles before, I would guess that some trustees wanted more redress for Dr. Floyd than simple removal of comments provided.

Normally, a letter like this would be written by a trustee because it is a trustee matter. I suspect that Dr. Rankin was instructed to send the letter to Wade for whatever reason. It may or may not have been written by him. I am sure that he has plenty of work to keep him busy without fighting battles for individual trustees. I seriously doubt that he initiated the idea of sending the letter.

Thanks for handling the matter in a gracious manner, Wade.

Jim Fitch

Michael Ruffin said...

For a little historical context on how this sort of thing has worked in the past, go to and remind yourselves of what happened to the gentle and kind librarian at SBTS Paul Debusman after he wrote a personal letter to an SBC president. There is nothing new under the sun.

Anonymous said...

who are the five presidential candidates?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Herscheal York jumped the gun. I guess he did not figure in your 3 day retreat when he posted. He must have known when the letter was mailed and watching the blog to see if you mentioned the letter and when you did not, thought he had you! Isn't he paid too much by the SBC for such things?

Oh the plotting!

Thus the whole mentality of these highly paid, so-called 'Christian' leaders. (by CP dollars?)

They are not used to guys like you who are open communicators. Wouldn't they love to stop the free flow of communication and control it once again for themselves.

But now we know they read the blog religiously. And, once again, plot behind closed doors to try and 'get people'. But to ask you to keep the comments up so he can sue? Oh yes, such fine Christian examples. More worried about their reputations than they are how they treat others. It is ok for them to ruin others but don't dare touch the anointed ones. That is the definition of a Pharisee.

It is funny to see such highly placed men conferring over such matters. It was an opportunity for Christian men to respond in a Christlike manner and the opportunity was lost...once again. And it certainly did not warrant Floyd to have so many involved. I guess that was to scare you and show solidarity against Wade.

But, I agree with you...they have an official mouthpiece with which to ruin people and advance their cause. By the way, how is the BP funded?

I have long thought York to act arrogant, sneaky and mean. Looks like he jumped the gun on this one.

Why Rankin agreed to do Floyd's dirty work for him, I will never understand. This had nothing to do with him. Why the letter AFTER you talked with Floyd. I think we know why.

So, Klouda is sinful for filing a lawsuit? But Floyd NOT for threatening one?

You think they will demand my IP address and try to ruin this single mom in the SBC? I certainly hope you never give up names to them. Even from jerks who post questionable comments. These guys have the choice to respond Christlike and be role models to us all or act like tyrants. They have made the choice. Questionable comments can be deleted and it should have stopped there with your conversation with Floyd. But they were trying to make it much more. I sure would hate to see someone fall into their hands to be ruined.

These guys are ruthless. We have just one more example of their tactics.

They WANT people to fear them.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

In order of appearance:

Wiley Drake
Billy Waggner
Frank Cox
Avery Willis
Johnny Hunt

Anonymous said...

Is it possible and worth the effort to fund our IMB missionaries strictly through the LMCO? Sending less and less to the state side operations portion and the bulk to be used for the missionaries and the field needs to win lost people to Jesus.

I don't want to hurt the missionaries but send a message to the trustees that it is the missionaries who are our heroes, not the law makers.

Michael Ruffin said...

(Just in case the link I mentioned above doesn't work, here's the article about the 1997 firing of Dr. Debusman after he wrote a personal letter to an SBC president.)

Longtime Southern Seminary librarian fired after challenging SBC leader
By Mark Wingfield

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) — The longtime reference librarian at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was fired Sept. 26, apparently because he wrote a personal letter questioning statements made in a chapel address by Southern Baptist Convention President Tom Elliff.

Paul Debusman, a 35-year employee of the seminary in Louisville, Ky., was 10 months away from retirement. He was given one month’s severance pay and immediately dismissed.

As a result of the “involuntary retirement,” Debusman, 64, will lose some retirement benefits he otherwise would have received.

Seminary President Albert Mohler did not return a phone call seeking comment on the firing. Seminary spokesman David Porter said Mohler would not comment because of the confidential legal nature of personnel matters.

Friends and colleagues of Debusman described him as one of the most “gentle” and “mild-mannered” people they know. “Paul is the kindest man in all the world,” said his pastor, Ron Sisk. Debusman reluctantly spoke about his situation, noting that he still has “a lot of positive feelings for the seminary” and that he’s “not trying to recruit any people” to his side of the firing dispute.

SBC President Elliff, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Del City, Okla., spoke in chapel at Southern Sept. 16, as part of the seminary’s Pastor Appreciation Day.

According to seminary-produced news reports, Elliff lauded the changes toward conservatism that have occurred at Southern under Mohler’s administration. Debusman said in that context Elliff suggested he would not have been invited to speak in chapel under previous moderate administrations.

“At least the tone of what I felt he was saying was that in the former days he would not have been invited,” Debusman explained.

That prompted the librarian to write Elliff a personal letter in which he attempted to correct what he perceived as historical inaccuracies in Elliff’s comments. Studying and working at the seminary since the 1950s, Debusman has witnessed the administration of three presidents: Duke McCall, Roy Honeycutt and Mohler.

“I reminded him that [in the past] we had heard SBC presidents and other ranking members of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Debusman said. “Chapel as I remembered it from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s was a time when we heard everyone. There was a deliberate strategy to bring in different points of view.

” “That’s no longer true,” Debusman said he pointed out to Elliff. Under the Mohler administration, “some people will not be invited,” he explained. “My pastor will not be invited.”

Debusman is a longtime member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, the Baptist church nearest the seminary. In the past, the moderate congregation was closely linked with the seminary. In recent years that relationship has faded, as moderate faculty and students were gradually replaced by conservatives during the 1980s.

“The ironic thing to me is I was attempting to be conciliatory,” Debusman said. “I’m not naive, and I don’t mean to sound Pollyanish. But I closed my letter by saying my heart had been broken since 1979 by the way we had sniped at each other and I would to God that we could unite around the larger mission of sharing the gospel, discipling and equipping believers.”

“Although critical, I was intending to be in my little tiny way some kind of conciliatory spirit and expressing the fact that I’m brokenhearted because we can’t find bigger objectives and unite even through our differences,” he added.

Elliff declined to comment on Debusman’s letter and firing. “This is, apparently, a matter concerning the personnel policies at Southern Seminary. I have no statement to make,” Elliff said in a faxed response to an interview request.

However, Debusman said it was obvious to him that Elliff had communicated with the seminary. Debusman did not receive a personal reply from Elliff until the Monday after he was fired.

Debusman said seminary administrators told him his actions had been “harmful” to the seminary.

In April 1995, in response to controversy over Mohler’s firing of Carver School dean Diana Garland, seminary trustees adopted a new “policy on constructive relationships.” That policy originally stated: “Faculty members and staff of this institution are not to act in ways that are injurious or detrimental to the seminary’s relationship with the denomination, donors or other constituencies within and without the seminary community.”

In April 1997, after extensive consultation with faculty and staff, the policy was amended to state that faculty and staff “should seek to relate constructively to the denomination, donors and other constituencies.”

News of Debusman’s firing shocked and angered his fellow church members at Crescent Hill, Sisk said.

“He is held in enormous respect in our church,” Sisk said. “He has been elected term after term to our board of deacons, frequently heads our nominating committee because of his knowledge of the church and sensitivity to persons. You won’t find anyone to fault his character or suggest he would ever be guilty of indiscretion.

“We announced his firing and the basic terms on Sunday morning. The congregation rose as one and gave him a prolonged standing ovation in celebration of his integrity.”

Sisk said Debusman has been “unfailingly helpful” to generations of students doing research at Southern.

At Crescent Hill, he sings in the choir and “visits in the nursing homes more than I do,” Sisk said.

“He is a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and in my mind is a sterling example of the very best of Baptist faith. He is simply a gentle man who spoke his mind in an ungentle venue.”

October 1997

Scotte Hodel said...

Regarding missions offerings:
I am friends with many missionaries around the globe. It is they and the people they are trying to reach, not trustees, who would suffer if we stop supporting them. Don't let them down!

"Economic sanctions" are a popular thing politically because they are easy to do and they make us feel like we're at least doing something. Doing something practical will be more complex and more personally costly to those of us involved.

Dr. A S Hodel

Anonymous said...

I remember when this happened.

To fire that poor man 10 months before his retirement was nothing less than hateful and revengeful. They made an example of him. It was cruel. Certainly not Christlike.

Such are the antics of the CR. But it worked. Everyone dug in. Bunker mentality. Don't correct the Generals or your head comes off.

Anonymous said...

Avery Willis, when he served under Jerry Rankin as senior vice president for overseas operations , was the one who called on missionaries who refused to sign the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message, as if it were a creed, and told them they would not be allowed to continue to serve their fields. This was not a "termination," as signing was "voluntary." Not volunteering to sign, however, would lead to consequences. Thus, not volunteering to sign was equated with resigning. Much about these escapades can be read in the book Stand With Christ: Why MIssionaries Can't Sign the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.

So exactly how is the candidacy of Avery Willis a sign that things are changing for the better in the SBC?

Anonymous said...

"The free flow of information, transparency and Christian openness should be the norm for Southern Baptists."


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who things he’s watching a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. The coyote is so scheming and thinks to himself, "Finally, I've got the roadrunner!" When, in reality the trap he ploys is ALWAYS the very thing that sends the coyote reeling off the cliff’s edge...and all that was left was a puff of dirt some 5000 feet below.

WTJeff said...

I think one thing we all need to keep in mind is that those who are guilty of strong arm politics, manipulation, etc. are doing so because they honestly believe this is the only way to prevent liberalism from rearing its ugly head again. I'm not saying its right, in fact, I disagree with it. I'd rather have freedom and deal with the issues it brings than what we have now. My last two comments on this blog have had to do with people reading motives into Wade's post. I think the Lord wants me to understand that these men are following their convictions. They see the their brand of Landmarkism/control as necessary to maintain doctrinal purity. Unfortunately, they seem oblivious to the harm they are doing. The only way the SBC has a future is by her churhces, staff members, and lay persons submitting themselves to God, humbly seeking His face, repenting of our sin, and fulfilling the Great Commission through living out the Great Commandment. We all are sinners. Our only hope is in God's intervention.

He seems to be protecting most of the work on the mission field for now. His continued intervention is needed there as well.


Jeff Parsons
Amarillo, TX said...

M with YOUR Organization

You wrote: "I thought about it and I think I've answered my own questions. No one asked Dr. Rankin to do it (write the letter). He just did it because he is a man of integrity."

Couldn't have happened M. Dr. Rankin wrote the letter long after the situation had been resolved, the comments had been deleted, and it was impossible for him to have known about it. He was asked to write it.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, but first time commentor. It is obvious to me that Trustee Jerry Corbaley, Trustee York, and Trustee Floyd collaborated in an attempt to 'get Wade' - again. What is so ridiculous about their conspiracy is that, as said by someone above, it reminds us all of the old Wiley Coyote cartoons. The coyote springs the trap only to get it back himself ten times what he intended to give. These guys will one day learn you don't deal with WB like they would someone who is like unto themselves. On second thought, I vote they resemble the Three Stooges instead of Wiley Coyote. Four if you count Corbaley's self confessed brother from another mother Wesley Kidney. Anybody else think it strange these guys fire up their own blogs with posts that are supposed to make this blog look bad, discussing the same subject matter of Rankin's letter? Jeesh.

Anonymous said...

To think that Mr. Elliff did that to Mr. Debusman and is now our senior vice president for spiritual nurture and church relations.



Michael Ruffin said...


I realize that the Debusman firing was a long time ago and that some would say that there's no use crying over spilled milk. But your response articulated exactly what I was trying to say in reminding us of that sad event. More of us should have spoken up then. The machine has operated this way for quite a while; I surely hope that it can be changed.

Anonymous said...


If you were responding to my post, I was not advocating to stop funding but to fund strictly through the LMCO. It might mean that what we give through the Richmond office would need to be designated for missionary salaries.

Just trying to figure out a way to get our message across to the trustees who we support. It is not them but it is the missionaries.

Anonymous said...

The machinations of York, and Floyd in a futile attempt to "control" communuication is almost funny - if it were not so serious. It demonstrates how out of touch they are about modern communications forms and means. They do not seem to understand that if they simply ignored the two posts, the posts would have been virtually lost and unknown in the sea of communication that passes through the internet every day. I do not suppose that even a few people will read this particular post nor make note of it. It is good to know, however, that at least two people are reading and noting every post! I wonder where they find the time! said...


I took down my Paul Debusman comment out of courtesy to him. I will call him later today to inform him of my intentions to write a comment about him. I found him to be a very Christian, courteous gentleman in our discussion, and I wish to express my intentions to him before I leave up my comment.



Tom Parker said...

I think Hershael York shows his true colors in this situation- sneaky, behind closed doors, dishonest, trying to destroy somebody--I could list more but I have said enough. I can not imagine working in an envirnoment with men like him.

Anonymous said...

You never gave Hershael York's reply as to HOW he knew about the letter. said...

I do not know. I left a message on his voice mail. He has not yet returned my call to inform me.

ml said...

Totalitarianism is a concept used in political science that describes a state that regulates nearly every aspect of public and private sectors. Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, personality cults, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, single-party states, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics.

I just finished reading Animal Farm with my son and the similarities to what you have been writing and the antics on that farm are amazingly, ironically quite similar.

OC Hands said...

Again, I am extremely sad, but not surprised. Because of my longevity with the SBC and the IMB, I have personal knowledge of statements and actions by a number of those being mentioned in today's post.
If it is true that the "leaders" feel that control is necessary to preserve pure doctrine, then that can explain some of the actions and attitudes we have seen displayed. "The end justifies the means."
What it says to me is that there is a fear of open discussion and reporting on what takes place in certain meetings. I do recall that editors of state Baptist papers were barred from some of the meetings in the CR because they reported on what went on.
If what is done behind closed doors and in secret is so denigrating or shameful that it can't be reported to those in the pew, then in all likelihood it is something that should not be done at all.
It appears to me that certain Christian graces (honesty, integrity, grace, humility)are lacking in some of our leaders. This is a tragedy, as our leaders should be setting an example of Christ-like grace and humility for the rest of us. What it appears to me is that some have adopted the ways of the world in dealing with those who disagree with them.
I am redoubling my prayers for these men because I believe God will hold them to a higher standard of conduct than what we have seen, and His judgments are swift and sure.
I will say again, withholding funds from the IMB in any form will not get the trustee's attention as much as letters advising them of our disagreement and displeasure for their behavior and actions in recent days.

Anonymous said...

"If what is done behind closed doors and in secret is so denigrating or shameful that it can't be reported to those in the pew, then in all likelihood it is something that should not be done at all."

Mr Hands sir, you have hit the nail on the head. The reason I keep coming back to this site is not that I am a theological liberal bent on the destruction of the SBC (as some imply of G&T readers) but rather because even as a conservative, I agree wholly with what you have said. Our institutions are run by an unhealthy system of hierarchialists, bent on the preservation of a "system" that encourages secrecy, plotting, undermining others, manipulating truth and the words of others for their own causes, and then handily seeing to it that close friends and family members are appointed after them to "keep the legacy alive." And they do it all while hoping the masses are kept in the dark. That's why I'm interested in what Wade is doing. I would much rather hash out my theological differences on tertiary issues later with gracious, open individuals that I can trust than to be devoured by those with whom I share all the same theological convictions simply because I won't "play ball" according to the rules. And devouring appears to be what a certain group in SB life are most concerned about today.

Excellent words.

Rex Ray said...

Mike Ruffin,
Thank you so much for telling why Paul Debusman was fired. His pastor tells it best:

“He is simply a gentle man who spoke his mind in an ungentle venue.”

As Tom Eliff turned the reins over to the new President of the SBC, Paige Patterson, was Eliff thinking of Debusman when Eliff said, “…all barnacles and parasites had been removed from the ship of Zion”?

How long will it take Southern Baptists to realize if they speak their minds (dissent), they become “barnacles” in the eyes of the powers that be?

In 1996 ?, I was in Tokyo and a retired missionary told me he had volunteered to be a ‘guide’ for dignitaries of other countries.

The IMB told him he had to be paid by them to represent Southern Baptists. He took their pay, but advised them to stop throwing money away by hiring ‘Daniels’ (of the Bible) as missionaries since they would get ‘fed up’ with rules and quit.
He told them to appoint only ‘yes sir’ people who would take their orders.

Obviously, they did not take his advice with Rodney Hammer.

Anonymous said...

When I began reading at this blogsite shortly after Wade started posting it many months ago, the on-going collusion and conspiracies he reported observing to take place among IMB trustees--in definance of clearly-stated IMB trustee policies regarding meetings--was astonishing. That that type of behavior persisted, though known about by more Southern Baptists, was confirmed by Wade's later reports about board meetings--not to mention what was said/done about/to him--was even more astonishing! Now this type of behavior (Floyd, York, et al)!

Members of the Missouri Baptist Convention put an end to similar behavior last year by elected an opposing slate of candidates for important leadership positions. Short of the same in upcoming SBC annual meetings, I can't see an end to this type of activity. The effort certainly got the attention (though not surrender) of MBC folks who had been in control. The 2008 SBC annual meeting is not too soon to start, imo.

At the Judgment Seat of Christ, nothing said--or blogged here--will be secret anymore. Since all our activities and attitudes will be known someday, why not be honest today and make things right between each other? Dr. York, would you like to start?

B Nettles said...

Wade said It ought to be a requirement that every trustee take at least five missionary trips overseas before he ever speaks at an IMB trustee business or committee meeting.

I'd make it even tighter. At least 5 before they can get appointed, and at least 2 where they aren't the trip leader. "Preaching" and "vision" trips don't count.

Rick Boyne said...

Bill Nettles,


Anonymous said...

To the Debusman case:

Reading about this event on this blog is indeed the firwst I had hear about this. Of course in 1997, such things were of little concern to me. But I will say this: people are not typically fired over singular events. Additionally, those who are vocal in their political and ideological views, typically do not express their view singularly either. If I were a betting man, I would bet that Mr. Debusman siumply did not fit in with the general tone and demeanor of the new SBTS under the leadership of Dr. Mohler and the BoT's at that time. As a non-achedemic staff member, Mr. Debusman would have been out of line to question a speaker speaking at chapel under the invitation of Dr. Mohler. The more appropriate action? A letter authored to Dr. Mohler expressing his views while at the same time either pledging his loyalty, or offering his resignation. Or could have continued in his time honored role of helping students find books. (one which he, by all accounts did very well.)

If I were in Dr. Mohler's shoes in 1997 I too would have been gun shy of such descent and would have done the same thing. Dr. Mohler has been though more than his share of grief for the Convention and SBTS and any attempts on here to degrade him should be met with fierce resistance.

In typical Baptist life, we have let committees rule my majority rule. This to me, is not Biblical. I beleive in the concept of ministry teams. Ministry teams do all things with unanimity. This unity comes from the Spirit. Mr. Debusman was not a united member of the Ministry Team at Southern and thus could no longer be expected to functional for the greater good.

and so, here we are today...

Anonymous said...

Michael, your comments are so absure and so lacking of any real grasp of this situation that they are not worthy of a response.

I will say that I however, am "gun shy" of listening to anyone who does not know the difference between "dissent" and "descent."

Anonymous said...

type-o...should read "absurd"

Michael Ruffin said...

K. Michael,

I was not at SBTS in 1997 when Dr. Debusman was fired. I was there, though, from 1979-1986 and I can testify to his Christian spirit and loyalty.

Should he have handled the matter differently? I don't know. I would think that, as Christians, it is always best to deal with concerns face to face or at least person to person. I suppose that is what he was trying to do. I would hope that, as pastor of The Hill Baptist Church, if I received a personal, private letter from a staff member at a sister church where I had spoken who had a question or concern about something I had said, I would respond to him or her with a personal, private letter and would feel no need to tattle to the "senior" pastor about it. Chances are, if I handle it that way, with Christian love and grace, it's all over and brothers are still brothers.

Anyway, I only posted that article to remind us that this is not the first time that personal correspondence has been used for poltical ends. The case of the Rankin to Burleson correspondence is different, of course. Dr. Debusman's letter was a personal letter from him that I'm sure he never intended to be made public. Dr. Rankin's letter to Wade may have been intended for eventual public viewing.

Anonymous said...

K, Thanks for letting us know how you agree with a man 10 mos away from retirement being fired and losing part of the benefits he worked a lifetime for.

I can feel the love, forgiveness and compassion you lack from here. Traits that are always evident if one is saved. Yes, this is a rebuke.

Keep in mind I happen to KNOW firsthand that conservatives preached during chapel in those years. I heard some of them preach with my own ears. It never occured to us conservatives we were never represented.

Debusman, in his position, would know the truth, too.

So, Debusman had no right to present truth to his equal brother in Christ, who he thought did not know the facts? And he should have gone through the Pope to see if he was allowed to tell the truth?

What is wrong with this picture you painted?

The question is: Did Eliff lie or did he not know facts? That is the REAL question. And why wouldn't Eliff WANT to know the truth?

You do not represent Christianity, K. You represent the Catholic religious structure. You love the structure, the hierarchy and power more than you love truth and therefore Christ.

Where was the forgiveness? Shouldn't our leaders model Christ in that respect? Let the poor man serve out his term at the very least?

I think you are too young and ignorant to understand what you are saying on this blog.

Maybe you are hoping the current leaders will recognize your loyalty and reward you.


Anonymous said...

Someone could have informed him about before the comments were taken off and he 'just got around to it' later in the week. I'm sure he has more on his mind than your blog.

But, I am not ruling out that he could have been 'told' to do it. And, he would have done it to protect an individual who served with the IMB under his leadership. That's what makes him so easily to respect. Even though it appears at times that some are 'out to get him', he is always loving and respectful to whomever.

M with YOUR organization

Anonymous said...


I think it odd that you claim to have an un-moderated blog yet often have chosen to delete comments that I have posted that have in no way promoted inaccuarate or slanderous material but serious questions and concern. Yet you now claim that you don't moderate and that whoever made the comments spoken of in this issue did not get deleted because you do not moderate them. So my question is how did the slanderous commentor not get censured in the comment stream yet I have found several occassions when you have censured my comments by deleting them? Just wondering?

Oklahoma Joe

Anonymous said...


"Mr. Debusman would have been out of line to question a speaker speaking at chapel under the invitation of Dr. Mohler. The more appropriate action? A letter authored to Dr. Mohler expressing his views while at the same time either pledging his loyalty, or offering his resignation."

Um, your words directly contradict the commands of Jesus. If he felt the speaker was in error (sin), his obligation was to follow the commands of Jesus (not man). Matthew 18:18-35 make it quite clear how he was to handle things.

Bob Cleveland said...

The Conservative Resurgence was a political (some might say military) solution to denominational spiritual problems. When God did that to Israel, it was somebody like the Babylonians that carried out the solution.

The difference then vs now was God's solution was designed to bring Israel to repentance. I don't think the CR was similarly oriented.

Why would we expect less from all this now, than just what we're seeing?

Gary Snowden said...

Speaking of the free flow of information in Christian ministry and the converse--its suppression--I thought I'd pass along the following illustration of controlled news reporting here in Missouri. While an earlier commenter applauded (rightfully so I believe) the election of a less restrictive and controlling slate of officers at last year's Missouri Baptist Convention, the dissemination of news continues to be tightly controlled. When Word & Way and the other 4 institutions were sued by the MBC for changing their charters, Word & Way (the historic Baptist state newspaper) was banned from covering meetings of the executive committee of the MBC. Word & Way has continue to report news of interest to all Missouri Baptists, including positive articles about the work of churches affiliated with the MBC and the SBC, but the Pathway (the newly formed news and information agency of the MBC) has consistently attacked Word & Way, the other 4 institutions being sued, the Baptist General Convention of MO, and CBF of Missouri.

An article in the most recent of Pathway contains the following paragraph:

"A reporter for Word & Way attempted to cover the Executive Board meeting and it appeared Davidson was going to break rank with previous MBC presidents and allow the reporter to stay. Purvis, however, made a motion directing the reporter to leave as has been customary since the legal fight between the MBC and Word & Way began. Purvis’ motion passed without opposition and the reporter left."

So much for the free-flow of information.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade and All,

Just read the Blogs and I think you will find that there are 2 Groups of People, they can be seen by their way of showing their Heart. There are the ones that came out attacking Wade and there are the ones that have a Compassionate Heart. I don’t always agree with Brother Wade and I also sometimes remain silent in some matters. I do find it Sad that some of the ones with Blatant Comment are what we us to say are Men of the Cloth. Just take a look at Peter Lumpkin’s Blog and compare the posts to K. Michael Crowder comments. Do either one of them bring any Glory to God?


Anonymous said...

Wayne, the answer to your question (which I know you already know) is NO! There is no glory to God's name when men or women speak to each other this way. There is no glory to God when we are mean-spirited as K. Michael tends to be. Gentle rebukes, loving comments to him, and suggestions to tone down the language, doesn't help, nor does it help.

Steve said...

Oklahoma Joe,

At times while serving as a trustee there were occasions when I moderated my blog, and your comment could have possibly been deleted during those times. There has been no comment deleted from this blog, except for vulgarity, in over one year. So, without cussing, comment to your heart's desire.

And sign your name, for a comment without a name is the real oddity.


Anonymous said...

Time and time again we have been through this process.

I have never used vulgarity or cursing, and have been censured because of a difference in ideologies on certain issues, and I have defended who I am on several occassions and do not feel the need to further. There is amply evidence in the last two years of commenting on this weblog to find out my information. But for the record, my name is Joe, I am a pastor in Oklahoma who was raised in the Ozarks of Arkansas raising beef cattle and operating heavy equipment before my calling into ministry in the late 90's. Any further information about is not relevant to questions that I ask about issues raised on this weblog.

I just do not understand the spirit of your correspondance with my comments. I do not comment regularly as others who comment daily or weekly(usually once or twice every couple of months where questions arise), so I still can't see why censureship in some areas and not in others.

So thus the difficulty in understanding what is going on with this blog. You must admit that in some ways this blog is moderated which still begs the question why the slanderous material was not censured.

Oklahoma Joe
Southern Baptist Pastor in Oklahoma, before that Southern Baptsit pastor in Arkansas and Kentucky

Anonymous said...

Hey all,

Don't forget that this motion was made last year and should be reported this year.

Lee Saunders (TX) presented a motion: Developing a Convention Policy Regarding the
Gift of Tongues.
“That a task force be appointed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention to
develop a workable solution to the difficulties that have arisen as a result of policies
adopted by trustee boards concerning the practice of the spiritual gift of tongues generally,
and as a private prayer language specifically. This task force would be charged with the
responsibility to develop a policy that is consistent with the Baptist Faith and Message
2000, and which allows Southern Baptists who hold differing interpretations regarding
this practice to be full participants in the cooperative ministries of the Convention. The
president of the Convention will determine the number of members on the task force and
will make every effort to appoint an equal number of individuals who hold cessationist
and continualist views regarding this spiritual gift.” (Items 50 and 93) said...

Oklahoma Joe,

No offense intended. I think humor sometimes doesn't come across clearly on the blog, so I apologize.

I do, however, encourage you to type your full name, your church, etc . . . 95% of the people who comment here, other than missionaries use their real names. Those who do not have a link on their moniker that you can click and read their profile. It is not for my knowledge in your case, it is for others who read what you write.



Anonymous said...


I was present in the MBC Executive Board meeting when the idea of a new state convention newspaper was introduced following the Word and Way board's decision to alter its charter and elect its own members. Not every executive board member spoke during that meeting; the ones I recall speaking were at semi-rage almost concerning the matter. The W&W was NOT replaced with a better news journal--nor a more fair-and-balanced staff of reporters ("Investigative reporting?--What's that?!")--in my opinion (and that of another state newspaper editor or two with which I am acquainted). But MBC's public face (the Pathway) seems to have been a real reflection of its in-house inner workings (the executive board) in recent years, so no surprise.

John Moeller said...


I am crushed, you don't read EVERY comment? Wow, and I though my comments were changing the SBC...

(the comments contained herein were verified as truthful and not biased in either direction. Wade is not responsible for my comments or actions since I am a big boy and can stand on my own two feet. Any comments may be directed back to the comment section so long as they have been biblically verified as truth and are not biased towards the cessationalist point of view. Tax, title and license are extra)

Anonymous said...

In his letter to you Dr.Ranking handle the issue well and wise.
He understands that once the systems decides then we must follow or move on.
The missionary who resigned needs to be commended for his convictions and his resignation. .He is not a victim nor is the system a tyrant.

Rex Ray said...

I agree with all who gave you good advice to stop tasting shoe leather.

You said, “…any attempts on here to degrade him [Mohler] should be met with fierce resistance.”

Do I get “fierce resistance” if I explain Mohler’s rational for firing Debusman?

Mohler stated: “Conservatives are the party of truth while moderates are the party of freedom.” (Baptist Standard)

Mohler couldn’t fire Debusman for telling the truth, but he fired him for using the freedom to do so.

david b mclaughlin said...

As a non-achedemic staff member, Mr. Debusman would have been out of line to question a speaker speaking at chapel under the invitation of Dr. Mohler.


I cannot stop laughing. This one sentence sums up your problem with Wade.

You dont think people have the right to question those in "authority." Wade does. So do I.

POTUS works for me. The leaders of the SBC work for Christ and if I understand things correctly serve on behalf of us little people in the SBC. I'll sit down and write either of them a letter anytime I choose.

In what ways were his actions detrimental to the seminary?

Christopher B. Harbin said...

When will we recognize that the means are the ends? They are the way we operate and live. Isn't that why the gospels spend so much time on Jesus' teaching about what life and love in the messianic reign look like?

Too much of our emphasis on "correct doctrine" flies in the face of Jesus' doctrine: "love one another as I have loved you," "bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them," "by this shall all know that you are my disciples, that you love one another."

Where did Jesus ever teach that we should instill a system of fearing reprisal? After a while, the means become the end ("those who live by the sword will die by the sword"). said...

John Moeller,

Now, that is funny. I am forwarding your comment to Bob Fargason of Fargason and Brook, Attorney's at Law, Memphis, Tennessee, who graced me with a letter today that holds me responsible for the comments made on this blog by other people, including the two in question referred to in this post. Allow me to quote from York's . . . er . . . Corbaley's . . . er . . . Floyd's . . . er . . . Attorney Bob Fargason's letter, dated May 6, 2008, and received at my office at 3:30 p.m. today.

"I assume you have received by now a letter from Dr. Rankin . . . I would request that you publish Dr. Rankin's letter to you, acknowledge that you have made a serious mistake, and state your desire to make the matter right to the public.

I would also request that you write Dr. Floyd an apology and send it to me to be delivered to him."
Robert Fargason

I called Bob and told him I thought he and his client had made a tinsy tiny mistake. I'm not sure why they think I wrote the comments, particularly since John personally spoke to the Southern Baptist layman who did write them. I suggested attorney Bob talk with his client again to get their facts straight, and make the suggestions above to the man who actually wrote the comments. While he's at it, he might also want to put in a call to a few other trustees who seemed a little too anxious for me to receive Dr. Rankin's letter.


Bob Cleveland said...


Is there some way in which someone telling Dr. Rankin about those comments, which didn't involve him .. and telling Hershael York about the letter, which did not involve him .. are different from gossip?

At least Dr. Rankin did (IMO) the right thing and contacted you. I guess one out of three is pretty good these days.

Anonymous said...


You said "I would much rather hash out my theological differences on tertiary issues later with gracious, open individuals that I can trust than to be devoured by those with whom I share all the same theological convictions simply because I won't 'play ball' according to the rules."

I think this is a line that can provoke some thought.



farmboy said...

"As a non-achedemic staff member, Mr. Debusman..."

Traditionally librarians have held faculty status.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bro. Wade,

First let me say that I think you are doing exactly what needs to be done to bring openness and accountability to the whole of the workings of the SBC.

As I read the blogs and comments from the last few days and especially this one about the letter correcting some misinformation about John Floyd, I have had a question come to mind.

I wonder if the missionaries in the CEE region thought as much about John Floyd during his tenure as regional leader of Central and Eastern Europe as the missionaries in that area think about Rodney Hammer as expressed in the comment section of the HAMMER HAS FALLEN blog? It is just a thought that keeps coming into my head. I wonder if any dare to respond. I sure there are none who would care to commit “employmental suicide.” ( I just made up that word)

My experience on the mission field has been one of relief when a less than great, no less than good leader has moved on for whatever reason. More often than not he has moved up the supervisor ladder in our region or even to another region.

I can sympathize with the unidentified missionary you posted about just a few days ago. We have been there and had that done to us. The problem in our little speck of the world, where we live and work, is that not only are the younger missionaries leaving, BUT so are the missionaries with 15-30+ years of service. In the past few years we have seen a real drain of the best of the best in our country. They know the language, culture and have thousands of contacts and gate keepers who will facilitate the Gospel going into a community or town where it has never been able to go before. We know this, because we have gate keepers also and they have been absolutely necessary for the first step into a new area.

I am so sorry that you keep catching the flack. In doing some study and reading (Matt 5:10-12 and other passages), I came across several reminders that when we are harassed, persecuted it is not the people doing it, it is Satan. Satan cannot hurt God, so he goes after God’s children. The reason why you are harassed is because those harassing see God in your life. They can see the Holy Spirit working in your life and I really think they are jealous.

I really feel sorry for those commentators who are so harsh in their comments to you and others who may post a comment. There seems to be no joy in their lives. Maybe they are not seeing any results, professions of faith, new Christians growing in their faith and sharing their faith. Maybe deep down they want to have the joy they see in your life and the lives of the missionaries who comment when they see another person for their people group make that wonderful life changing decision to follow Jesus, knowing full well that in may cultures where our missionaries are working, they have sealed their fate. There is no greater joy here or in the states when lives are changed.

Oh, that we could see each other as Jesus sees them. Thanks for the post about the young man and the beer t-shirts. I shared that with some fiends and we all had to stop and think what we would have done. We had to examine our motives and our hearts. We decided that we wanted to be more like Jesus, period! You may never know this side of heaven how you have help this missionary.

Thanks for all you and your church does for missionaries around the world. May there be more in SBC who would take a hint from you and your church.

An IMB missionary

John Moeller said...


Sorry to hear you received legal documents.... Seems someone has been waiting on this moment to arrive....(I envision a smoky room with dark suited men saying; "aha, we finally have him")

Dr. Rankin states it was not your fault that the comment was made... and you have done the right thing, you removed the comment as soon as you discovered it, published the letter as requested and responded that it was not your views.... I see no reason for lawyers.....

From now on, I'd put a disclaimer in comment 1 everyday.

(The IMF Director will disavow any knowledge of my actions in the event I or any of my IM Force are caught or killed. Wade has never been part of the IMF nor did Tom Cruise play him in a movie of the same name.)

Michael Ruffin said...


You got a letter from an attorney about this? Seriously?

Unknown said...

I can't believe that anybody would want to sue over a blog comment?! Don't people know that the comments are just what people say, and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt until verified? Jeez!

Frank (or Chip) said...

stHoly Smokes! I miss one week of "As The SBC Turns" and I need a cheat sheet to get caught up.

Rammerjammer, If you need to go with another organization, do it, but go. God does great things all over the world and a few of us are privileged to witness it.

Do not forget the lost and dying, like the 100,000 who died the other night in Myanmar. Go anyway you can.

Anonymous said...

You mark my word... The very same folks who absolutely lambasted Dr Klouda over her "lawsuit" will now defend the right of these guys to threaten a brother with a lawsuit. Get ready. They'll be here shortly. It'll probably begin w/ some lame-brain comment from KMichael.

These guys on the IMB BOT are so transparent its unbelievable. Its like they're not even trying to hide their antics anymore.

"why not rather be defrauded" Paul said... but I guess cries of "inerrancy" are only good for frothing up the masses when you need their votes. I guess we don't actually have to LIVE OUT the Word of God.

I admit I am disappointed at the individual who made these comments in the first place, but I am as disappointed in the BOT guys who threaten with lawsuits and seek to bully and intimidate with lawyers over blog comments. Is this where we have gone in SBC life?


Monte Erwin said...

IMB missionary,

I was in CEE during under the leadership of John Floyd, and the beginning of Rodney Hammer. I can tell you that their style of leadership was very different. I know that under John's leadership, we moved from the mission structure that I had always known, where missionaries had voting rights at mission meetings, to a top down administrative approach. John's preferred style of leadership was pretty autocratic, and it wasn't a stretch to see that he liked it that way. I remember our first mission meeting there (in Finland), he took a young missionary couple to task in the middle of one of our business sessions, and his demeanor towards them had us all pretty slack-jawed. As transfers from another region, we were not used to being brow beaten like that, and it got our attention, immediately.

I also remember a time when he sat across from the General Secretary of our national Baptist Union in the country where I served, and tried the same approach on him. Fortunately, our General Secretary was no wimp, and he would not be intimidated by such as John Floyd. So, all of the rest of us just sat in awe as words flew. One of our missionaries leaned over to one of our associates and said, "Would you please make him stop?" referring to John. We knew that in the long run he was not winning points for a Southern Baptist presence in our country or region.

In all fairness to John, he was more than gracious to my wife and I when she was having serious health issues and needed to be transported out of the country for medical treatment.

I no longer work for the IMB, so I can't be fired. My comments are also not conjecture, because I was present each time. I can only tell you what I observed. I can't say that I ever bumped into John, nor would I have wanted to. He was an intimidating figure, and seemed to like it that way.

Anonymous said...

Took about 10 minutes for the Bible's instruction about brother not suing brother to be explained away from the floor during the 2001 annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention--right in front of secular reporters present to cover the convention's proceedings. Six years and 10's of thousands of dollars later, things are even worse for the MBC.

Where are we all headed--and why, when there's so much more important things to do?

Anonymous said...

Well, its completely understandable why you'd want to retain an attorney to threaten your "enemy" (my word) since he:

1. Wouldn't talk with you about it
2. Refused to remove the offensive comments
3. The commenter wouldn't apologize.

I completely understand why Dr. Floyd would be upset under those circumstances and ask his attorney to write a threatening letter to Bro. Burleson...

But wait, Wade DID talk with him, the comments WERE removed, the commenter DID apologize.

So why would we need an attorney...unless we're just trying to INTIMIDATE. What other reason could there be?

Charles Brazeale
Neosho, MO

Tom Parker said...


To be sent a letter by an attorney over blog comments. These guys act like a bunch of school yard bullys. I say stand up to them.

R. L. Vaughn said...

An anonymous and disgusted commenter wrote: "You mark my word... The very same folks who absolutely lambasted Dr Klouda over her 'lawsuit' will now defend the right of these guys to threaten a brother with a lawsuit. ...'why not rather be defrauded' Paul said"

I don't exactly fit the above category, since I have never lambasted Sheri Klouda -- though I did disagree with her lawsuit.

But as one who believes Christians should not sue one another before the secular courts, I just wanted to pop in to say "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" or "what is wrong for Sheri Klouda IS ALSO WRONG for John Floyd." He shouldn't even consider legally threatening the man who wrote the comments, much less a man who provides a forum for folks to make comments on SBC issues (and I often disagree with the comments)!

Anonymous said...

My, My. The timing of all this since Yor's comment yesterday has been interesting. Too bad you were not out on a week long retreat. :o)

And to think us little nobodies have helped to pay his salary all these years.

They thought you were ignoring the letter. They had to get that published so they could follow up with the attorney letter. Seems it did not matter how you handled it, they already had this planned. They seem to have been waiting for any opportunity.

The unChristian tactics are staggering.

'Christian' leaders? Perhaps behind closed doors they changed it to SBC, Inc. and failed to mention it to us...the stockholders.


Anonymous said...

Blogger Elisabeth said...

I can't believe that anybody would want to sue over a blog comment?! Don't people know that the comments are just what people say, and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt until verified? Jeez!

No, many people do not know that. (Just like many do not know that exclaming "Jeez" is shorthand for yelling "Jesus". Some would consider that using the Lord's name in vain.)

Words have power, which is why each of us will be held accountable for what we say, and judged accordingly. And not only, I believe, for their accuracy, but also for what we hoped to accomplish by uttering them.

Anonymous said...

FargaRson and BrookE (

Anonymous said...


I agree with you. I think they lawsuits between Christians are wrong also.

My comment was intended to point out this hypocrisy. Apparently, threats of lawsuits are OK when you are the on wielding power and defining the argument, but not for anyone else.

Anonymous: being accountable for your words involves admission, confrontation and apologies. All of which have taken place. Since when does accountability= intimidation and legal posturing?

bogust reasoning.

Debbie Kaufman said...

No, many people do not know that. (Just like many do not know that exclaming "Jeez" is shorthand for yelling "Jesus". Some would consider that using the Lord's name in vain.)

And Easter is a result of pagans. I know I know. You have just proved Tony Campolo's point. If you do not know what I am referring to, check out the comments in another post that relays the story. It's quite good.

I am sure the poster(if what you say is true) did not know or mean it in this context. It is like I learned growing up that using darn was wrong as well as gosh. It is not the intent of the usage and I find it terribly disturbing that this bothers you more than the context of this post.

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


Thank you for your honest reply, especially since you were actually present at these meetings you described. I had a very strong feeling that times were different when Mr. Floyd was the RL. I did not think coming back to the states would have made him like he seems to be today. I think it is just “business as usual” with Mr. Floyd. That is the sad part of all of this.

Gee, I hope we do not get letters from the F and B law firm. : )

IMB Missionary

Anonymous said...


Best wishes for completing your training and for your ministry--both now and in the future.

End the fight by not joining it--in any way, including posting comments such as those typed above. Do think for yourself, but spend less time reading anyone's blog and much, much more time doing what extends God's kingdom to the next heart and home. You won't be sorry for it in the end.

OC Hands said...

Amen, I agree that usually the means are the epitome of what people stand for, and though they achieve their goals with these means, that does not mean they achieve God's goals.
In earlier years, new trustees received an orientation that helped them to understand what our goals were and what methods were used to achieve them. Since the IMB and overseas missions are quite different from the churches and the areas from which these pastors came, it took some time and orientation in order to prepare them to deal with the challenges of overseas missions.
Apparently this type of orientation is no longer in use, or if it is, then it is not being effective. Sending these would-be trustees to the field may not be the answer. Some who came to our area had their minds already made up as to what was the proper way to do missions and did not hesitate to give advice and tell us where we were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...
I find it terribly disturbing that this bothers you more than the context of this post.

Explain, please? Did I say it disturbed me, or just use it as an example of how unawareness of other's motives can create confusion and suspicion?

Why are you so "terribly" disturbed by my post? I don't understand at all. Please be as specific as possible in your explanation, and include your biblical bases whenever possible.

You're not making assumptions about me, are you???

Rex Ray said...

My, my, did your wife write the first part of the comment, and you the last part?

They are as different as night and day. If that’s not the answer, then you must have DID (Different Identity Disorder…? I think that’s the words.)

I’m sick of hearing “Both sides are wrong.” One side is shooting arrows, and the other side is complaining of getting hit.

Does that make both sides wrong; unless you think the wounded souls are to turn the other cheek?

As one pastor said, “Every moment, a Christian is in a storm, leaving a storm, or going to a storm.”

It sounds as if you want to work for God in a perfect world. We will not find one until we see what my 5 year old cousin saw before she was buried in China as her last words were: “Mama, which one is our house?”

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

All this stuff - people quibbling over blog comments and making threats about letters everyone but the supposed intended recipient knows about - would be funny if it were not so sick. I just hope that non-Christians (and those Christians weak enough to turn away) do not see or pay attention to such goings on by some people who are set up as leaders. Treating people bad in the name of Jesus! Isn't there a commandment about not taking the name of the Lord in vain? I don't think the main idea of that is cussing (though I suppose that's included).

I'll admit to being far from perfect, and the reason I am reluctant to have a Christian bumper sticker on my car is to avoid being a bad witness if I cut someone off in traffic or some such. I know it's hard to be good all the time, but can't we at least try harder?

As for a librarian being non-academic, in any educational institution I know of librarians are considered academic, and often with full faculty status. To be a librarian in an institution of higher education one much have at least a master's degree. (Even in public libraries, at least most of the larger ones require a degree to be called a librarian rather than a clerical worker.) Even when they are not called faculty or given full faculty status in all ways I suspect it is more a matter of money than anything else. Their work certainly has a major effect on the education of the students.


Christopher B. Harbin said...


Yeah, taking the Lord's name in vain was originally about claiming to belong to YHWH, but not serving YHWH. It seems it is much easier to worry over the words someone chooses to use than whether we live by the Word of God.

The tenor of Dr. Floyd's actions cause others to wonder about the appropriateness of his claim.

I don't care too much for the bumper stickers, either. It is too easy to slap on a sticker and forget its supposed meaning.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

During college, I stopped at a redlight behind another car. On the back bumper of the car was a sticker that said, "Honk if you love Jesus." Well, not knowing any better, I took the sticker at face value and honked.

Little did I expect to see a one finger salute as I later passed the car!

When our actions don't match our advertisements, which one speaks loudest?

May God help our words and our actions line up far better than they are currently doing.

ezekiel said...

Lawyers and intimidation tactics, profaning the covenant and profaning his name. Just what we have come to expect from our leaders. Just goes to prove that there really is nothing new under the sun.

I just wonder if God has changed and now takes a different stance or has a different attitude toward this type of stuff. He certainly hated it when leaders in Israel did it.

Malachi 2:2 1 And now, O priests, this command is for you. 2 If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.

Matthew Henry has a rather extensive commentary on Malachi. It looks like Israel suffered from a similar leadership if Matthew Henry is anywhere close to correct.

Read it all here

Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

John Daly said...

I find by having a bumper sticker or wearing a Christian-shirt, I am much more conscious of my role as an ambassador. That my walk better watch my advertisement. I find that I drive safer and I put a little more thought into my day-to-day activities. Now if I can just figure out a way to do that all the time.

I have no problem wearing NIKE items or advertising for other sundry projects, so why not display what means the most to me? For example, I have this one t-shirt with a picture of Spurgeon on it. When I go running at lunch the question usually comes up: “Who’s that guy?” And thus the door is opened, “Well my friend, let me tell you.”

Needless to say running downtown in one of the most dangerous cities in America has improved my speed somewhat

John in the STL

Monte Erwin said...

IMB Missionary,

I really take no pride nor pleasure in sharing the things I observed about John Floyd. On the other hand, it is wearisome to read other's descriptions of people like John, referring to them as "godly", when their momentary words and actions might describe them to be, but their day-to-day actions indicate anything but--always hearing about what they are doing in standing against people, rather than standing in love for them.

My heroes in the SBC include godly men and women who have taught and stood upon conviction, tried, and tested in their daily lives, whose convictions, though you might not agree with them, did not serve to oppress people, but lead them to redemption. These would include people like: Dr. Russel Dilday, Dr. Keith Parks, Dr. Roy Fish, Dr. Don Kammerdeiner, Henry Blackaby, Drs. Bill and Delanna O'Brien, and Dr. Rebecca Naylor. From my perspective, these are and have been godly people who wear that description with authenticity. These are the people who have made me proud to be Southern Baptist. It's interesting that although some have been shoved aside, none of them are representative of the present, oppressive leadership in the SBC today.

Bob Cleveland said...

I just have to say something.

I have Jesus stickers on the back of my cars, and "Jesus" license plates on the front. There are scads of cars here that have U. of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia etc. plates on the cars so why shouldn't I boast about the Lord?

Also .. when I'm in sitting in traffic and someone needs to get out in front of me, I want him to know I'm a Christian, as that encourages me to act like one. I need all the encouragement, that way, that I can get.

Anonymous said...

My family has recently resigned from the IMB, we were previously in CEE. Our resignation was due to family needs. We are saddened by the resignation of Rodney but respect him greatly for his stand. While overseas we were visited on several occasions by trustees. The last visit really was disheartening. The person that visited was the head of the committee for our area. He did not know that our people group were Muslim. He asked us why we were working with them and not going to a harvest area like Ukraine.(SHOCK) Fortunately, there was a man traveling with him that had been a missy in Brazil. He stood up and said that he had been there before the harvest and there is always a need for the ground breakers and seed planters. Our question was, how do these trustees get appointed and become our leaders. My opinion goes a little further than Wade's. I think that the church culture in the states and the evangelical culture overseas is so diverse that the trustees should be required to spend at least a year on the field where they will serve. My family took several week long trips before we were appointed. They were used by God but did not prepare us for what was the reality of day in day out life in our country. How many of the trustees are former missy or emeritus missys? There is a sizable pool in the states that could be used as a resource for first hand knowledge of life on the field. You were correct in saying that the men that have no idea what is going on overseas should not be making policies. I am praying for change for the IMB. We loved working under the IMB. It is a needed agency. The care we received enabled us to concentrate on the work and not raising support. We saw many a friend that work for other GCC agencies leave the field to go home and raise support. God help our convention !

Wayne Smith said...


I couldn’t resist saying, some people would misunderstand your pointing that this is the WAY.
Remember the sign One Way in our day and point to Heaven.

Love You


R. L. Vaughn said...

Anonymous who recently resigned from the IMB wrote, "I think that the church culture in the states and the evangelical culture overseas is so diverse that the trustees should be required to spend at least a year on the field where they will serve."

This is not directed to anyone mentioned in this post, because I don't know any of them. But I know some religious leaders, Baptist preachers, etc., who are quite far removed from the "culture" in their own country (particularly the US). They often have no idea how the "ordinary people" live day-to-day.

John Daly said...

Good point Mr. Vaughn,

I tend to a have a soft spot for the bi-vocational guys and relate to them a bit better too.

Anonymous said...

It seems it is much easier to worry over the words someone chooses to use than whether we live by the Word of God.

Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. It seems like a simple enough point, but let me try again:

Elisabeth said...
I can't believe that anybody would want to sue over a blog comment?! Don't people know that the comments are just what people say, and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt until verified? Jeez!

Thu May 08, 07:04:00 PM 2008

"Words have power, which is why each of us will be held accountable for what we say, and judged accordingly. And not only, I believe, for their accuracy, but also for what we hoped to accomplish by uttering them."

"Don't people know that the comments are just what people say"

Now, to repeat myself one more time, "EACH OF US WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT WE SAY".

Claiming that someone can say whatever they choose, true or false, right or wrong, malicious or ugly - just because it's written on a blog - is wrong. The Bible says to put off falsehood and speak truthfully to one another since we're one body. Justifying lies is not something I'd expect any Christian to do.

Is that clear now, debbie and chris? You can cuss till your ears turn blue for all I care. I just wish you'd have enough respect to understand what I'm saying.

david b mclaughlin said...

Robert M. Fargarson

Born in Aransas Pass, Texas, February 23, 1932.

Admitted to bar in 1958, Tennessee and Texas.

Education: Southern Methodist University, B. A., 1957. Cumberland University, LL. B., J. D., 1957. Law Clerk, Federal District Court, 1958-1959.

Well here is the problem folks, Mr. Fargarson attended SMU! Doesnt SWBTS have a law degree? Maybe the SBC should be cranking out attorneys instead of ministers.

David Mc

Monte Erwin said...

I was reading a little while ago, and had a thought. I'd like to share it as an illustration:

Wade's blog posts, along with my own experiences in the middle of SBC life have helped me see a large tower: a wooden structure that is big, and bulky, and stands tall, and is painted with a metallic paint, giving it the appearance of being made of steel.

On the tower's platform, way at the top, sits "tyranny." With each passing year, the tower has stood taller, adding tiers, and layers, becoming more oppressive and overpowering in its overall appearance. The tyranny is such that it is extremely legalistic and becoming more so. It claims to hold truth in its hands, apart from those below. Yet, there is one fundamental difference: The tyranny doesn't seem to understand the most basic premises of the Kingdom of God, realizing that God's Spirit is fluid, and not static; that His Spirit moves freely, as we read in the Book of Acts. Tyranny also does not seem to understand that what is impossible for man is possible with God. Thus, it needs to control, and hold to the letter of the law and remain above those below, keeping them in their "proper, and rightful" place, because these are simply and sadly uninformed, or misinformed (it really doesn't matter), non-believing, or in the eyes of tyranny, untruthful.

It's interesting, though--dangling from the the four posts and rafters that support the towering structure are ropes--many of them. One-by-one, a few people manage the courage to step up to the ropes and tug at them, ever so gently. Strangely, the tower seems to give and move a little. Not expecting this, a few more step up to the ropes and take hold of them, pulling a little harder. Then, more people, and harder tugs. With amazement, these people discover that the tower is really not made of steel at all, but of wood. Now, many gather at the ropes, and with one grand "Heave Ho", it comes crashing to the ground!

Grab hold of the ropes, folks. It's time for the tyranny to end.

Christopher B. Harbin said...

"Is that clear now, debbie and chris? You can cuss till your ears turn blue for all I care. I just wish you'd have enough respect to understand what I'm saying."

I didn't realize that I had made any comment in regard to anything you posted. My comment was in regard to "taking the Lord's name in vain," originally referring to claiming to belong to God, not in regard to "cussing".

I agree that we should hold ourselves accountable for what we say. (That begins by pinning one's name to one's comments.)

As to the issue of accountability for our words, I agree with you in essence. I don't use terms like Jeez, Gosh, etc., but my rationale is not an Old Testament commandment, but respect of the One for whom it is shorthand. It seems this emphasis on the terms as cussing, however, is akin to making mountains out of molehills--essentially Elizabeth's comment.

Christopher B. Harbin said...


I like the illustration. There is another way, however. Several have pointed out that fundamentalism needs an enemy to maintain power. What those who began the CBF tried to do was simply stop fighting and get on with serving Christ. The wind will eventually cast the tower down without no need that others resort to violence.

The way of Christ is not to pull down towers. It is to cast light on the darkness of the world and call people to leave the darkness for the light of God's love.

If I stoop to the means of others, I give up on the tactics of Christ.

Unknown said...

Boy, some people are getting a little off track by my last comment. I didn't, in any way, shape, or form mean that we shouldn't be accountable for what we say. I just meant that people in comments will say stuff that is goofy, or not true, or whatever; and that people need to let some of this just kind of roll off them. Threatening legal action against the owner of the blog, when he didn't write the comment, didn't see it until it was pointed out to him, and didn't even agree with it is especially pointless.

Unknown said...

As far as my saying jeez - I don't call Jesus jeez; do you? So is that taking the name of the Lord in vain, or is that just saying "gee" with a z on the end? Or is "gee" taking the name of the Lord in vain, too, or is that just a statement that maybe we should turn, like when you want a horse to turn you should tell him "gee?" Maybe I was just saying we should turn. Or maybe I was just using it as an exclaimation to use an exclaimation. Or maybe I was meaning Jesus, but if I was, was that taking his name in vain, or was that saying "Jesus help us?" I've seen some posts ended with "God help us" and nobody gets upset about that.

Believe me, I was not being disrespectful to our Lord and Savior. said...

To All:

Bob Fargarson, attorney for IMB Chairman John Floyd, called me this morning as I was making hospital rounds. He was returning my call from yesterday, and we had a pleasant conversation. When I explained to him the situation - that someone made a couple of inaccurate comments about John, that I did not write them, that as soon as they were pointed out to me, I deleted them - and that his letter implied I was responsible for the comments, he responded, "I'm really sorry, I just sent the letter based upon what I had been told."

I told him that it was no problem, that I had explained to John Floyd weeks ago that I did not know the author of the comments, that I did not even know the comments were on my site, and that I was happy to immediately delete them and help in any way I could to correct the situation. I encouraged him to carefully explain to his client why the letter should not have been sent to me. I then thanked him for his call, particularly since he was a busy attorney, and requested he relay our conversation to John Floyd.

Bob then asked me about my dad, whom he had met when Bob was Chairman of the Deacons for Bellevue Baptist Church in 1980. It seems Adrian Rogers was sick and in the hospital and Charles Stanley was scheduled to speak to Bellevue's deacons, but a calendar mix-up had occurred, and it was not on Charles Stanly's calendar. They called my dad and he accepted their invitation and flew to Memphis to spent the weekend with the Bellevue's deacons. My dad was hosted by Bob Fargarson and his wife. I told Bob my dad was doing well and I would pass along his greetings.

So, the little legal drama has ended. The only question left is why IMB trustees, including John Floyd, Jerry Corbaley, and Hershael York would imply or communicate to others (including Jerry Rankin and even a naive attorney), that I was responsible for something that any first-grader could see I was not.

Oh well, I'm used to it. And I thank God for the ability to communicate with Southern Baptists in an open forum that is not controlled by those who wish to convey something that is not true.

Transparency is to truth what wax is to shoes - it makes it shine.

In His Grace,


Tom Parker said...


We will now wait for these men to spin this sad situation that they created.

greg.w.h said...

Their actions speak louder than their spin.

Greg Harvey

Shane "George" Lambert said...


Speaking of Adrian, how do you think he would react to what's going on right now with the IMB BoT. I know what Joyce said a couple of years ago in Greensboro, and I wish Dr. Rogers was still with us to weigh in on these issues in our convention.

Even though he was one of the heroes of the CR, I get the feeling he would not approve of the extra-Biblical, extra-BF&M nonsense that we're seeing today.

Any thoughts?

John Moeller said...

Good News Wade,

(the statement contained herein was reviewed by the law offices of Canwy, Suem and Winn, for accuracy and has been verified as an innocuous statement which can not be used against the submitter of this comment nor the host of this blog)

Anonymous said...

Good to see the contact between the attorney and Wade, and the appparently civil way it was handled.

I think it was fine for Dr. Rankin to send the letter. Of course he was asked to, but that has no bearing. Any organization has an interest in protecting its own reputation by protecting the reputation of former supervisory employees or board chairmen.

It is no surprise that Dr. York knew of the letter. I would not be surprised if the entire board was not made aware of the libel directed at Dr. Floyd.

Personally, I would prefer that Dr. Rankin's letter not be made public, despite Dr. York's feelings. I feel the same way about Wade's response. Wade's response was unnecessarily defensive because it brought up all sorts of topics that were not germane to Dr. Rankin's letter and request. A more straightforward, simple response would have been most effective.

When it comes to openness, I believe that sometimes it's good not to publish personal correspondence and communications. All of this should have been handled privately by and between the various correspondents (Dr. Rankin to Wade; Wade to Dr. Rankin; lawyer to Wade - Done) - Except one!

Differences of opinion are one thing. That's what blogs are for.

Libelous accusations of immoral sexual conduct and job termination, especially in the religious world, are dynamite and very destructive. I would not hesitate to advise any minister to approach such accusations seriously, especially if the person would not agree to back off.

If this were my blog - and it's not, I would not have any faith in a person who would post such a thing. And to protect the reputations of others, myself - as the host of the blog, and the commenter himself/herself, I would place a permanent ban on that person ever placing a comment on the blog again, subject only to a full and complete apology from that commenter to Wade and the people who comment here. The person obviously got carried away, and started reporting rumors that he/she could not know were true. That person should post an apology to Dr. Floyd that is as broad as the original charges AND that person should use their real name.

That's the real issue in all of this - not who wrote whom, when, or when some library worker at Southern was fired in 1997 or whatever.


Anonymous said...

Anon said:

"Keep in mind I happen to KNOW firsthand that conservatives preached during chapel in those years."

Ok, no one is denying this. The pre-Mohler SBTS was trying to become more than a liberal seminary; it was attempting to widen its tent to include all POV's. Admirable? Maybe, but foolish to their liberal cause. There is ONE truth. Believers do NOT have the freedom to cherry pick truth. I will never allow a teacher of the Word to teach doctrine contrary to Scripture. Nor will I allow them to compete with my interpretation thereof on 1st and 2nd tier, and some tertiary doctrines and issues. There is one truth. I am the Pastor of a Mohler's case, he was/is the Shepherd of SBTS. The BoT's hired him to Shepherd the flock, and keep out the wolves.

Pastor H,

Sorry, you cannot use Matt 18 in this manner. Biblical commands and principles are not blanket statements to be used to defend your position at your fancy. Debusman was not wronged by the speaker in any manner. His issue was a larger one. Debusman needed to follow biblical principles which deal with how to treat one's earthly master or employer.

"Word & Way has continue to report news of interest to all Missouri Baptists, including positive articles about the work of churches affiliated with the MBC and the SBC"

Word and Way is nothing more than religious smut. Bill Webb, its editor is a leftist radical, abortionist loving, homosexual affirming New Covenant juggernaut. I would have his thieving tush arrested for even standing on the side walk outside the MoBap Building.

How's that for name calling? :)

"Speaking of Adrian, how do you think he would react to what's going on right now with the IMB BoT."

To respond to this question would at the very least be inappropriate.

K. Michael Crowder

Michael Ruffin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, I mentioned in an earlier comment that (according to my view of Christians and lawsuits) John Floyd shouldn't consider legally threatening and taking action against a man who provides a forum for folks to make comments on SBC issues.

I think it is good for a blog to provide a free forum for speech/opinions. One cannot be responsible for every comment that it made. Nevertheless, I do think that we can and should be aware that certain topics will likely incite certain kinds of responses. So, for example, a blog that takes on personalities such as these will wind up with responses like "I think Hershael York...," "Looks like Herscheal York...," "I have long thought York..." It would be good if we who have blogs would be aware of this, and better if commenters (when it comes to talking about people) would post what they "know" rather than what they "think" or "feel". (And it's not always necessary to post all of what we know).

Michael Ruffin said...


As the one who brought the Debusman firing into this discussion, let me say again that I did so only to illustrate that "private correspondence" has been used before by some for their own purposes. Some involved in the so-called Conservative Resurgence did whatever they had to do to further their agendas.

Also, that "some library worker" was a human being with a name and with a life, a ministry, and a family. Along the way "some professors" and "some administrators" and "some denominational servants" and "some pastors" and "some missionaries" got chewed up in this mess--and some still are and will be in the future. They all have names, familiies, and ministries. They are all people--God's children, no less.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should make a clarifying statement as to my comments regarding Bill Webb so that Webb's Lawyer does not have to send Wade a letter.

By liberal I mean quite simply, he does not agree with me on all biblical issues.

By leftist I mean to indicate which direction his PoV is compared to my own.

By radical I mean "new" but he is not new, has always been a leftist liberal.

By abortionist loving I mean he loves to report on Jimmy Carter who loves to vote for women's rights which allows them to kill babies which allows Doctors to kill said babies.

By homosexual affirming I mean he supports the CBF, MGCM, MMB, and BWA which each in some small way accept or affirm said practice.

By New Covenant juggernaut I mean he supports the New Baptist Covenant and may or may not like to eat a jug of peanuts.

By thieving tush I really meant to say something to the effect that if John Tesh were singing outside the Baptist Building that we should have him arrested. :)

Any other interpretation of my post than that which I have just explained in my clarification is to be disregarded for legal reasons. But, in a world where lawyers did not exist, things might be different. :)


Anonymous said...

Louis, Spoken like an attorney who does not see the difference between the secular culture and the Body. That is how you make your living so it is easy to see how you cannot help but marry the two cultures together.

Nice 'subtle' jabs at Wade under the guise of lawyerly advice and worldly wisdom. You are good at that. Problem is, it is always from a worldly, secular point of view.

Here is what you are missing. Floyd, York and others are the ones with power and influence. And, for some reason, you did not mention anything about this being taken care of several weeks before the letters from Rankin and the attorney arrived. Of course I can understand why you would support strong arm legal tactics by the powerful. You agree with them about behind closed door decisions and control.


david b mclaughlin said...

Nor will I allow them to compete with my interpretation thereof on 1st and 2nd tier, and some tertiary doctrines and issues. There is one truth. I am the Pastor of a Mohler's case, he was/is the Shepherd of SBTS. The BoT's hired him to Shepherd the flock, and keep out the wolves.

You continually amaze me. So your interpretation of a tertiary doctrine is the one truth and anyone with a differing opinion is a wolf in sheeps clothing?

Marcus Brody said...


On Thu May 08, 01:55:00 PM 2008, you said, "Reading about this event on this blog is indeed the firwst
(sic) I had hear (sic) about this. Of course in 1997, such things were of little concern to me."

Why? Just how old were you in 1997?

Then, let me say this to you, young man:
1Tim 4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

Don't allow your youthfulness (inexperience, immaturity) to cloud your witness. Take a moment to really reflect before you hit "enter" on your reply.

The blog world is watching.

M. Steve Heartsill said...


I have never responded to you and your comments and maybe I shouldn't this time; however, there comes a time to get off the bench and speak up.

I am greatly offended by your recent post. Sir, I would beg you to rethink your comments and anger that you unleash on people you neither understand or know. How can you, as a minister of the Word, espouse such vile and angry words?

In reading through what you said, here are the things that concerned me most:

"I will never allow a teacher of the Word to teach doctrine contrary to Scripture. Nor will I allow them to compete with my interpretation thereof on 1st and 2nd tier, and some tertiary doctrines and issues."

Are you the final authority on all things in Scripture? Are you the final authority on how to translate a passage? How can you be? That attitude is either arrogant or foolish, at best.

"Word and Way is nothing more than religious smut. Bill Webb, its editor is a leftist radical, abortionist loving, homosexual affirming New Covenant juggernaut. I would have his thieving tush arrested for even standing on the side walk outside the MoBap Building."

Sir, you profess to be a believer, to be a minister of the Word. If those things are true, I would challenge you to reconsider the language you are using. Whether you know this person or not, whether the statements you have made are true or not, is secondary to me. But, using such language is vile. I cannot comprehend describing anyone, much less another believer, using such terms.

"Speaking of Adrian, how do you think he would react to what's going on right now with the IMB BoT. To respond to this question would at the very least be inappropriate."

So, now, you are worried about being inappropriate? I would submit that you were inappropriate from the very beginning of your comments.

Sir, I have no doubt that you will tell me that I have misunderstood you and that other comments haven't understood your humor and comments. I'm afraid we understand all too well.

Please take these words as words of love and correction. Rethink what you have said and how you have said them. All of them are inappropriate.

M. Steve Heartsill

Anonymous said...

The pious narcissism of
K. Michael Crowder, by which
he defines terms in relation
to his own views is simply astounding!

Nevertheless, his definition of 'liberal' as any view that
he perceives as being less conservative than his own, has been widely utilzed by many 'Conservative Resurgence' people.


Anonymous said...


"The blog world is watching."

I should hope so.

But as to the rest of your post, you totally missed what I was saying. My age had nothing to do with it. If you want to attack me please be direct like the noodle noggin before you, only less of the noodle and more of the noggin. So let's see: your point was totally out of context and completely mistaken, so did you just post to expose a few of my typos?

You totally do NOT personify your Roman Imperial namesake.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Heartsill,

The elders of a local congregation are ultimately responsible for ALL that is taught in the pulpit and teacher's lectern. You can disagree with me. But please, do not concern yourself with me.

Bill Webb is a crook, a liberal, and a yellow journalist. This I know. As to his relationship with Christ? This I do not know save for his testimony written over the years. He must be held accountable, sir, for the thousands upon thousands of CP dollars he has wasted on SBC slamming, and thousands upon thousands he and his board have stolen from the MBC. This will not be resolved soon enough, but I promise to continue exposing the evil he has done. Because my comments were truth, I will not apologize. You say: "I would challenge you to reconsider the language you are using."

And I would challenge Bill Webb to return my stolen property.


Marcus Brody said...

Perhaps, but you certainly did prove my point, didn't you?

(my point was that you are showing yourself to be immature and inexperienced and are allowing THAT to cloud your witness)

Typos? Is that what you are worried about? My goodness, man!

Never in my life have I asked someone to look up this verse and see how it applies to your life. You are the first.

Romans 1:22.

Generally speaking, I always tell folks "It isn't about you.", but in this case, sadly, Rom 1:22 is about you.

Get off your own pedestal before you fall off or are knocked off. (It will indeed be God who does the knocking off, if you aren't willing to do it yourself) (Prov 16:18) There is a place for humility, even in the blog world.

M. Steve Heartsill said...


And this entire time, I thought God was the final word in the local church...not the elders. Silly me! But, then again, my understanding of Scriptures matters not to you because you refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees with your interpretation.

I'm assuming you have sat down with Bill Webb and shared your concerns (as Matthews tells you to do)...and then took some other godly men with you to address the concerns. I know you did all of that before bringing it to a public forum. Or did I interpret that Scripture wrong as well?

Anonymous said...


I couldn't disagree with you more. The circumstances of this situation prove, once again, that Floyd, Corbaley and now York, desire to do everything they can to tarnish the reputation of Wade Burleson. Unfortunately, for them, Southern Baptists are now onto their game.

Shame on all of them.

The fact of the matter is, IF Floyd said something to the entire board, and IF the trustees were told that Wade slandered John, (those are your IF's), then it proves exactly what many of us have believed for two years. Those in power at the trustee board will resort to ungodly tactics in order to GET those who disagree or threaten their power.

These boys have been caught with their pants down.


Jeff said...

David, Who decides what it tertiary?

Steve, Do you deny that the elders/pastors are commanded in Scripture to shepherd the flock? To provide oversight?

Its ok to slam Floyd and York, but you all ripped into others when the slam the editor of the Way or whatever it is called in Missouri--_CAN WE SAY DOUBLE STANDARD?


Anonymous said...


I frequently just share my opinions on this blog. That's all they are - opinions.

You may be right in this case. Given my profession, if I write a letter to someone, it is meant for them. Who was it that said, "Gentlemen don't read other people's mail."

But having said that, I don't find some inalterable command in scripture that everything is for public consumption.

Good relationships can be severly damaged when people don't use good judgment about what should be open, and what should be private.

Again, in my opinion, I believe all of this could have been handled in private much more effectively than in public.

Wade is an adult and can handle himself. I feel certain that he doesn't think that I am jabbing him.

The only exception to my preferene that these things be handled privately, is the apology for the libel itself. The libel was public. The apology should be also. The scope of the apology should match the scope of the offense.

Mike, meant no harm to the former Southern employee, and understand your reason for mentioning him. Just seems that was a tenuous connection that took off, as often happens in the blogging world. I am sure he is a nice guy.


Anonymous said...


I think that all Dr. Rankin's letter asked Wade to do was remove the comment. I read it again, and didn't see anything in the letter that accused Wade. The bad actor was the person who libeled Dr. Floyd.

So, I guess I am missing what Wade did wrong here and how Dr. Rankin's letter would have been used against him more if had remained private than someone might try to use it now that it has become public.

If I were Wade, I would not have risen to the bait to post it. I would have simply dealt with the posted comments and been done with it.

Again, I am not Wade. This is just what I would do.

Wade certainly did not slander or libel anyone.

I don't know if a person can be libel for operating a blog where anyone can post anything.

I don't know if that changes if the blogger is put on notice that there is at least one person who would do something as has been done here.

Also, I don't know the responsibility of bloggers to monitor their blogs. Wade reads the comments from time to time, and is usually prompt to correct information and such. I am sure that he doesn't read all of the comments, so I assume he did not see the libel when it was posted.

I know that there is a comment somewhere on here that says the author can remove comments, so I guess if I let out a string of obscenities, it wouldn't be posted for long, but I have no idea.

Again, the point is the commenter was the bad guy. Wade acted.

The only question I pose is whether Wade is really served by posting Dr. Rankin's letter, and then sending a letter in response that, to me (again, only my opinion) goes into whole bunch of stuff that seems unnecessary, and thus, defensive.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Typo alert: Liable, not libel.


Michael Ruffin said...


Thank you.

I apologize if I overreacted.

It's just that I remember Dr. Debusman very fondly from my years at SBTS; I hold others who have been harmed in high esteem as well.

Again, thanks, and blessings to you.

Shane "George" Lambert said...


Perhaps my question regarding Dr. Rogers was inappropriate, and for that I sincerely apologize to you, Wade, and all the readers of this blog.

That being said, I find it ironic that after all you've said in the last 48 hours, you of all people would find it inappropriate to respond to my question.

Anonymous said...


No problem or need to apologize. Just didn't want you to misunderstand.

I remember folks like that, too, from my years in school.


Gary Snowden said...


I've faithfully read your blog for the past two plus years and strongly support the efforts that you have made to bring to light the actions of some who are intent on squeezing out Baptists who don't cross their "i's" and dot their "t's" exactly like they do.

I know that your policy of unmoderated comments invites potential abuse and I suspect that a few folks along the way whose comments no longer appear have crossed the line one time too many.

As a brother in Christ, I'd appeal to you to exercise that same disciplinary action with K. Crowder. His most recent diatribe against a friend of mine and a true Christian gentleman, Bill Webb, long-time editor of the Missouri Baptist newspaper Word & Way, has clearly crossed the bounds of all decency--not to mention Christian conduct. In the name of all that is holy, please ban Crowder from further comments on your blog. His recent words made me physically sick as I read his attack on someone who exemplifies Christian character in all that he does.

M. Steve Heartsill said...


I did not say that pastors or elders are not to shepherd the flock. Please don't put words into my mouth. I said that pastors/elders do not have the final word in the church--God does.

As far as commenting about what KMC said about the editor of his state paper, reread his words again:

"Word and Way is nothing more than religious smut. Bill Webb, its editor is a leftist radical, abortionist loving, homosexual affirming New Covenant juggernaut. I would have his thieving tush arrested for even standing on the side walk outside the MoBap Building. How's that for name calling? :)"

I haven't seen words like these used of any other person on this blog. These are vile words and if they had been used of someone else, I would have said the same thing.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Gary...Amen Brother!

Jeff said...

Steve, God has ordained men to be leaders in the church and has entrusted them with authority. They essence are held accountable for the welfare of the church.

Alan Paul said...

K. Michael knows nothing of grace, humility or meekness. He knows only that he is right and the rest of us are wrong. His corner possesses truth, the rest of our corners possess none. This is his world.

Though I understand what you are saying Gary, it is better for him to continue to be able to post here. This has and will continue to show anyone who has the misfortune of viewing his nonsense what kind of person he is.

"Know thy enemy" is a good catch phrase when it comes to KMC.

Anonymous said...

"george" said:

"That being said, I find it ironic that after all you've said in the last 48 hours, you of all people would find it inappropriate to respond to my question."

The point is, that the answer would be one of conjecture for he is dead. My opinion of Bill Webb, the rag Word and Way, Associated Baptist Press, CBF, BGCT, Daniel Vestal, Dilday, and a host of other satan inspired souls and institutions is based on the principles of Scripture which have recorded before the world began all that is and all that is not "of God." Brother Hank said it best recently at

"...[Dr.] Moore continually connects sin with “Satanism”, which tracks right back to what sin originally sprung from in the Garden - its a challenge to us to see sin for what it is - as well as doctrine. Bad doctrine is not just unhelpful and unbiblical - indeed, it is Satanic."

So my friend, may the grace of our Lord be with you as you seek to discover that which is "Satanic" in and amongst the Church. And may you hold your tongue as I seek to expose that which clearly is. Best to not pitch one's tent toward liberalism.


Anonymous said...

Louis, you forget that Herschel York is the first one to mention, in the comment section on this blog, a letter from Rankin...publicly and why it was not mentioned.

Ironic, how you ignore the set up. But then, they are 'your' heros. It is much easier for you to overlook their 'wrongs' becuase they have the right titles.


Anonymous said...


Your "friend" should not steal.


I would gladly once again impose upon myself a moratorium from posting on your blog......just as soon those who have made similar comments about Dr. Patterson, Dr. Van McClain, Dr. Mohler, Judge Pressler, Dr. Floyd, several other Seminary Professors, SWBTS, the SBC and to start another and lesser group of just, will do the same.

Oh, and you must use your powers to shut down the smutBlog SBCOutpost.

I have a very busy weekend and week to come, so I shall leave you all to your Kevin bashing.



Paul Burleson said...


Consider the greetings from Bob Fargarson passed along. I remember the time well. Unfortunately for me, I can't get a face with the deacon who hosted me after all these years, but all those men and women were top-notch as I recall with fondness.

As to what you're attempting on your blog, I do long for the time when our differences in minor theological points will be diminished [Not the doctrinal truths as we understand them but the need to agree on every one of them.] so the fellowship of the gospel can bind us together as God's people. This would enable us as a Convention of churches to go about Kingdom building by sharing the gospel here and around the world again.

As you well know I have never been one for building a denomination or Baptist entity, convention or otherwise, without recognizing it is expanding the Kingdom of God which includes more than the SBC. A Baptist Bride was not the longing of my heart nor the hearts of my friends in ministry in years past and I shared that friendship with many who have now gone to be with the Lord, such as Oscar Thompson, Ron Dunn, Manley Beasley, Curtis Vaughn and others.

We were, back then, grateful for the fellowship of being Southern Baptist but that is not what captured our hearts and attention. The Lordship of Christ and the gospel did.

Many of my friends who are still here and preaching are not taken with the direction things are going in many ways today. But as I talk with them, and I do so regularly, we DO find great joy in the openness to new methods and the confidence in the scriptures, [their truthfulness and sufficiency] that many [not all by any means] of you young bloggers/leaders are showing. It is the spirit we saw in so many just a few years ago when the SBC was in a measure of revival. [the late sixties and early seventies] That was a time I will never forget.

When you add to that our freedom as New Covenant priests [men and women] to examine those scriptures for a fresh word in so many areas such as the work of the Spirit in gifting, women as Kingdom contributors, leaders as the greater servants whether home or churches, all the time searching those trusted scriptures [without fear] to see if those things be so, and you have an empowered Body to take the gospel to all nations.

I do not deny there was a bit of a need to return to a full confidence in the scriptures as trustworthy during that time. That truth WAS lost in a few strategically placed people in our Convention. I do not believe it was as widespread as some have tried to present it and you know I pastored for years three minutes from SWBTS in the seventirs and eighties and spoke in chapel seven years in a row. Enough to address? Yes. But a scorched earth policy ceated many unnecessary wounds IMHO. And that worthy original agenda will have been an abject failure if the sufficiency of those scriptures is not our foundation now.

I apologize for the length of this comment but I've waxed nostalgic remembering my time at Belview. I've also just returned from several days of meeting in a church where a 74 year old pastor [many would know were I to call his name] is the interim and I did a four day conference. We talked a great deal about the issues facing us as a convention. His son and family are ministering in a place through our IMB that must remain secret because of the danger. Needless to say, we need to pray for our people ministering over the world. I know you and your people do. For that he's grateful and so am I. I will e-mail you the names of his children. You probably know them.

Thanks for passing along Bob's greeting and I hope you don't mind my addressing this to a few people beyond you and me.


Only By His Grace said...

KMichael Crowder,

All words except those in brackets are yours,

"Hypocrite," "liar," "religious Baptist News paper is smut," "liberal," "liberal slime," "liars and Generals out of Hell" (Dr. Dillday, Daniel Vestal and others), "professing Christians (Dillday and Vestal) so evil it shames the cross," "continuationist gobbledygook," "the heretic Joyce Meyer, shelf marked 'CRAP' in your local LifeWay Store," "the money they are wasting on stupid research," "Wade you are becoming a most liberal and evil force in the SBC," "I promise to author a resolution condemning you for treason before God and man against the SBC," "You (Wade) have lost all your scruples," "Simmer down flipper," (on research into predominant opinions of SBC members) "Blog fodder.........that is what it has become.......utter crap!," "Heck, even Wade considers himself a Con-evan-istian." "Thus proving........not a doggone thing," "no I have never planted a church," "No I have never been overseas," "I truly find the CBF to be a work of the Devil," "Wade, that you sound so much like him" (Daniel Vestal). "I am afraid that you are turning to the dark side," "I cannot answer that. The Gospel is for the elect." (of those with no written language) "I do not doubt that orality has a place," "But apart from the reading of Scripture, I find it (orality) to be a tool which lacks faith in the Spirit to do His thing," "I never said one must read. But one indeed must HEAR the Gospel."

Phil "the liar and hypocrite" in Norman

Joel said...

I've never posted a comment on this blog, though I've read it regularly for the past year or so. After reading Pastor Crowder's earlier comments concerning Bill Webb and Gary Snowden's response, I felt the need to speak up. I know Bill Webb from his days as editor of the Illinois Baptist. I have nothing but respect for him as a brother in Christ. Pastor Crowder's words go beyond the pale. I agree with Mr. Snowden that action should be taken to prevent such nauseating statements in the future. They serve no redeeming purpose and certainly do nothing to further real discussion.

Only By His Grace said...


One thing for which I am thankful that these events, and especially the correspondence in this article, have brought about is that the spotlight is shinning brighter than ever before into the dark corners of the political rooms where decisions are made as to content and method to control all churches within the SBC and all SBC organizations. These events are eye-openers to many of an average church member, and I would venture to say they are not happy with what they are finding out about their very own organization.

As some have talked about the missionaries ("polysyndeton" intentional) and the members and the employees supposing to kowtow the line before their superiors without any questions, I hope they remember that the members in the local churches are the ultimate authorities on earth in the SBC and not the officers and board members elected by the Convention. We are BAPTIST before we are Southern Baptist.

I predict in my lifetime or shortly thereafter the local church will be brought into the vote as never before through the medium of the internet. It is just a matter of time. I have five fifteen year old bypasses, and three heart attacks, so I am not talking about a long time when I speak of my life time. I just hope to see when the vote for an issue such as the BF&M has four million votes instead of a few thousand.

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...


I don't know what in the world you mean about my heros.

Also, if you will look at my first post, I clearly state that Dr. York brought this up. In a later post, I mention that Wade was "baited" into publishing this.

Speaking of ironic!

You were in such a rush to burn me that you didn't see that I made the very point you try to poke at me for not making!

Now that's irony. Don't you agree?

But I will make the same error someday, so don't worry about it.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Only By His Grace said...


Please do not censure KMichael. We are big boys and girls and need to hear and see his ranting for what it is.

To censure him is to give those who want to live in the corners of darkness just another dimly lit corner called "the ban" to excuse how they love to silence those who disagree with them. Brother Webb would be the first to say, "Let him, speak on."

He is not too far from where I was as a freshman at OBU in 1961. I praise God to this day for professors who were so very patient with me as they dealt with my opinionated narrowness. I ended up with two majors: History and English and a minor in Philosophy. A little knowledge helps a lot.

I am still pretty ignorant, but I am studying.

Phil in Norman.

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

“I know Bill Webb from his days as editor of the Illinois Baptist. I have nothing but respect for him as a brother in Christ. “

Excellent, then could you or someone shed light on why this brother in Christ has so mistreated his fellows brothers and sisters in Christ by walking into our living rooms and stealing out T.V's? Mr. Webb HAS been confronted. By man men and women of the MBC. He has ignored requests to repent of his sin of theft. He is continuing in his sin to the shame of the cross and to the detriment of souls. Satan is indeed pleased with his action. As a follower of Christ, I am not.

Maybe he would respond to Christian arbitration through you.....his friend and one who respects him. Have you considered offering help to your brother who is snared by the tempting of Satan? I do truly desire reconciliation in this matter. Maybe your unique relationship with the defendant could be some help which would bring this to a close and bring glory to God.

Jeff said...

KMC, What do you mean he stole your TV's?

Jeff said...

Phil, So you attended Ouachita Baptist or was it that minor league school Oklahoma Baptist. :)

david b mclaughlin said...

You asked who determines what are tertiary doctrines?

The answer is simple.

KMC does.

And I quote:

Nor will I allow them to compete with my interpretation thereof on 1st and 2nd tier, and some tertiary doctrines and issues.

He clearly has them all lined out.

david b mclaughlin said...

Has anyone else picked up on the irony that this post originated regarding comments made in the comment secton of Wade's blog that were derogatory of someone and ended up in attorneys being involved.

Is it possible that attorneys representing Bill Webb could be whipping up some paperwork as we speak?

Anonymous said...

"KMC, What do you mean he stole your TV's?"

What's the difference. 2000 TV's is likely equal to the net worth of badWord & wrongWay. Both are communication devices. The idea is germane, as the theft was not a coy event, but liken walking into your living room and just taking your TV.

Thou shalt not steal. I am so baffled at how anyone can stand back while these men in Missouri are allowed to steal.


I have a great idea. Per your promise to help those who have been trodden in the SBC, would you and your church please begin a fund for the people of Missouri who have been taken advantage of? Please send the donations to:

Agency Restoration Fund
Missouri Baptist Convention
400 E High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101-9968

Or, you may desire to purchase fire-proof suits for the following:

Bill Webb
Jennifer Harris
Margene Neuhart
Ken Satterfield
Jan Conley

Word&Way Board of Trustees:

Michael Olmsted (chairperson)
Scott Harrison
(vice chairperson)
Paula Jackson
Mark Conyers
Glen Haddock
Suzette Heiman
Kenneth Horn
Keith Huffman
Tim Kelley
Don Kirkpatrick
Leland May
Debbie Miller
Wade Paris
Deana Webb
Carole Zahnd

Rex Ray said...

You said in reference to a person making comments that were not true,

“If this were my blog…I would place a permanent ban on that person ever placing a comment on the blog again, subject only to a full and complete apology from that commenter to Wade and the people who comment here. That person should post an apology to Dr. Floyd that is as broad as the original charges AND that person should use their real name.”

My, my, you sound like Absalom telling the people what he would do if he were king.

How much difference is there in the slander of Floyd and what you said about Russell Dilday in reference to the clip that Debbie Kaufman linked?

You said, “Dilday’s statements are ALL disingenuous…” (Wade’s May 3 post on May 6, 04:04:00 PM )

Thesaurus of ‘disingenuous’ is insincere, untruthful, hypocritical, deceitful, devious, and dishonest.

After discussion on the subject, the last comment (#77) proved your ‘slur’ is not true. You failed to reply.

It’s not too late to apologize, and could your name be Lewis Haman?
Maybe that’s not nice but I think you had it coming.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see here is that Wade's blog is moderated. While he may claim it isn't.... it is. I myself have had comments pulled by Wade because they disagreed with the majority here. Or because they were critical of Wade.

When you go down the path of pulling some posts and not pulling otheres you open yourself up to legal scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Other than the fact you are a liar, I see nothing else wrong with your comment. I have read this blog faithfully for years, and the only comments that I have EVER seen pulled are those that denigrate others unjustly, are vulgar, or use the Lord's name in vain. Look at Crowder as an example of the free, open, unmoderated blog comments section. Your comments are not being pulled either SBCblogger, so I would suggest you quit lying.

Anonymous said...

Wade resigned from the BOT. Why are these guys still engaging with him? Why do they keep up with his blog? Do pastors and members of churches answer to SBC leaders or are SBC leaders the ones who answer to pastors and members?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Anonymous... but I'm not lying. Wade has pulled my comments before.

I think you should be careful about calling people a liar without really knowing. It's not Christlike.

Anonymous said...


It's obvious. They believe Wade yields tremendous power in the SBC and they must do everything they can to discredit him. Like SBCblogger feels the need to lie, disparage and so on . . .

Only By His Grace said...


I graduated from OBU, Oklahoma's Best University and the Only Baptist University. I think I heard of Ouachita baptist university. I hear they have a fish catching training school somewhere near the Lake Ouachita.

I just had another convert last month: my youth pastor is switching to OBU this fall from OU, the OBU you can spell. His conversion has been slow; we led him to the Lord out of our Mission Norman Apartment Ministry when he was an eighth grader.


Jeff, I have been to both OBU schools, and both have outstanding programs. Ouachita Baptist University along with Lake Ouachita are two of the best kept secrets in the world. I think I read somewhere Lake Ouachita is rated by the EPA as the cleanest lake in the US.


sbcblogger said...

This isn't about my needs. But it is a fact that Wade has pulled some of my posts. And I'm fine with that. It's his blog and he can do what he wants to with it.

But it's not accurate to then say this blog is unmoderated.

Only By His Grace said...


You are not giving the qualifying statement Wade made. I think he said he has not pulled a comment since he resigned from the IMB BoT.


Anonymous said...

"Also, if you will look at my first post, I clearly state that Dr. York brought this up. In a later post, I mention that Wade was "baited" into publishing this."

Louis, You are never 'clear' on anything. I think you learn that in law school. Keep it all on the fence and options open....just in case.


Lin said...


I think it is a good thing you were not born in Geneva in the
1500's into a powerful family of magistrates. :0)

Rex Ray said...

SBC Blogger,
I think there may be two solutions in your thinking your comments are being ‘pulled by Wade.

1. I usually have to ‘send’ my comments two or three times for it to be printed. So the question is: “Do you ‘send’ your comment until you SEE it on the post?
2. Sometimes I can’t find my comment because I’m on the wrong day, or there are so many I forgot where to look. That problem can be solved by writing down the post date, and the day and time it was printed on the post.

I disagree with anonymous calling you a “liar.” I think you believe what you say, just as Lewis believes what he said about Dilday.

Lewis wrote to me on May 6, 11:16 PM : “If you cannot read the very quote that you took the time to write down word for word, and not see that the statement is untrue, then we are just not seeing things the same.”

When I corrected Lewis’ selective hearing and reading problems by explaining Dilday’s statements in more detail, Lewis has not replied to this date. More than likely, he will use Patterson’s favorite response: silence.

(Lewis, here’s your chance to prove me wrong. Most think a person’s bigness is based on how right they are, but real ‘bigness’ is when they admit they’re wrong. As my dad would say, "If that's not in the Bible, it ought to be.")

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the legal letter sent to Wade. Seems it came from John Floyd via this attorney, Farguson. However, it seems his law firm also represents MABTS.

I would like to know if Floyd will be billed personally for the production of this letter or if it was done on MABTS' dime (Floyd works there, right?) as part of their overall retainer?

Would this be an ethics violation if Floyd does not pay for this personally? It gets very complicated when they use the same attorneys as where they work.

Perhaps Louis knows how such things work.


Anonymous said...


I think it is a good thing you were not born in Geneva in the
1500's into a powerful family of magistrates. :0)"

No, it's a good thing some of my detractors were not born into the peasantry of that age. :O)

GeneMBridges said...

If this were my blog - and it's not, I would not have any faith in a person who would post such a thing. And to protect the reputations of others, myself - as the host of the blog, and the commenter himself/herself, I would place a permanent ban on that person ever placing a comment on the blog again, subject only to a full and complete apology from that commenter to Wade and the people who comment here. The person obviously got carried away, and started reporting rumors that he/she could not know were true. That person should post an apology to Dr. Floyd that is as broad as the original charges AND that person should use their real name.

That's a nice sentiment but unrealistic given Blogger's system. Simply put, Louis, you cannot institute a permaban unless you moderate each and every comment and unless you have the IP of the person commenting, because that person can use multiple ID's.

I know, we've tried this at my blog with 3 or 4 people in recent history. One of them keeps reposting. We have 3 admins, and the only way we have to keep them off is by reading every comment. On top of this, he uses aliases. Sorry, Louis, can't be done unless you want Wade to change his software and hire a professional IT consultant to admin his blog. said...

o1961Well said Gene.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the good explanation.

That's why i don't run a blog - not smart enough to know this stuff.

I wish Dr. Floyd would out the guy. Apparently he knows his name?

But there's nothing Wade can do, apparently.

Think of all the stuff that can be said and probably is on blogs that is completely untrue - and apparently, nothing can be done about it.

I certainly don't expect Wade to hire an IT person. Heck, he's already got Ben now, and that must be driving him crazy!


Anonymous said...


I'll take that as an admission, even though strained.


If you will read more carefully, I think that you will understand. I am sorry that we are not communicating well.


Rex Ray said...

Well, you did answer, but was it an answer or were your 21 words only an assault? (You accused me of not reading carefully.)

How can I read carefully when you do not give anything to read?
You’re trying to put the blame on me when it’s you who is not communicating.

Your “sorry that we are not communicating well” is shown to be fake by you’re not answering questions.

What can I read since you will NOT reply to Dilday’s words that I put in quotes that refute your saying, ““Dilday’s statements are ALL disingenuous…”

On Tuesday May 6, 11:16 PM, you tried to ‘wiggle’ out of saying “ALL.” You said:

“I did not say ALL that he said was untrue. He said that his name was Russell Dilday for example. That was true.”

Ah, someone said, ‘What a twisted web is weaved when one sets out to deceive by untruths’ (Or something like that.)

Lewis, even your example is untrue. Dilday never mentioned his name. He was introduced by the interviewer.

Your example is an example how you’ve fabricated “Dilday’s statements are All disingenuous.”

You even said, “I found Dr. Dilday’s statements in this tape just as disingenuous today as they were in 1990. Thank God that the vast majority of the SBC rejected his prescription.”

Lewis, we have corresponded about 14 times with each other, and from the very first, I’ve asked you to put in quotes what Dilday said that you disagreed with. All you do is say from memory what you think he said.

I will repeat what I’ve asked you before

From the clip, here are some of the beliefs of Dilday:

1. Does Dilday believe in ‘inerrancy’? Quote: “…great truths of Biblical inerrancy,…”
2. Does Dilday believe in Biblical authority? Quote: “…great truths…Biblical authority,...”
3. Does Dilday believe in the basic doctrine of the faith? Quote: “…great truths…basic doctrine of the faith...”

And I will ask again will you explain your disagreement with these three beliefs?

BTW, you wrote: “Think of all the stuff that can be said and probably is on blogs that is completely untrue, and apparently, nothing can be done about it.”

Well, I’m trying to something, but I’m finding it hard to have good communication when there’s little cooperation.

Steve said...

Oh, my!

I made a big mistake and JUST found out about it. Since it involves people we talk about I HAD to get over here & straighten things up on the spot! Not because of lawyers and old political guys and process & procedure but just because I can not STAND to be wrong about something, and to be wrong in PUBLIC is just theworst.

So anyway, I got our esteemed Chairmen of the IMB Board of Trustees mixed up. I assumed something and got it wrong. It was Tom Hatley who went to a church in Arkansas in 1993 and put a wonderful lady and her church through an awful experience, NOT Dr. John Floyd. As far as anything to do with females and John Floyd, I got nothin’! No big mess here in a church and no mess in Europe explaining his departure there as was insinuated on another blog which I, of course, picked up and ran with.

As a matter of fact, knowing how people think, with my mistake out on the public venue, there has been NO follow-up from other reporters here in Blogtown, no Amens, no echoes - so that is about as clean a vindication of him as we can get without checking all the snitched FBI files at the Clinton library.

As far as the extra-Biblical adding of rules and general over-bearing attitude toward missionaries and making people like Mr. Hammer feel put upon, John Floyd is still as culpable before Christ as he ever was. He’s reported by some to be a much nicer guy than, uh-hum, at least one other recent IMB Chairman. I will let others decide whether a “my way or the highway” attitude is what we need at the leadership level in the IMB, but hopefully things, as Wade keeps saying, will improve.

So, anyway, with the women thing, I was wrong, it was another guy, not Floyd, or no one at all - but Dr. Floyd STILL gets to explain to Jesus why the ideas he has supported at least SEEM to be hurting our missions efforts and, of course, I would LOVE to hear that interview, because I reckon He takes very short presentations up there on His throne of Glory.

Steve Austin
Hoptown, Ky.

Anonymous said...

"I'll take that as an admission, even though strained."

You just proved my point about your being 'vague' on purpose. :o)

Rex Ray said...

“…no man stood for me.” As the words of Paul are sad, am I the only one that tries to stand for a great man that has been smeared on Wade’s blog by a smooth talking lawyer?

Why is everyone letting Lewis get by with what he said about Dilday? Is it because the C/R has labeled Dilday worthy of being fired? Are people afraid of not being on the side of “one of us” group? Do they think if they take up for Dilday, they will be called a moderate? (‘Moderate’ in my opinion is the real conservative.)

Let’s examine some facts. Gene Bridges and I ‘jumped’ on Lewis’ statement: “If this were my blog…I would place a permanent ban etc.”

Whereas I said he sounded like Absalom, Gene said, “That’s a nice sentiment; but…” and explained why it was not possible.

Wade wrote: “Well said Gene.”

Lewis wrote: “Gene: thanks for the good explanation…I certainly don’t expect Wade to hire an IT person. Heck, he’s already got Ben now, and that must be driving him crazy!”

People use slang (Heck…for Hell) to add support to a weak statement. (I believe Jesus was against slang by him saying, ‘Let your yes be yes and your no be no’ or words to that effect.
In my opinion, by Lewis saying “….he’s already got Ben now, and that must be driving him crazy”, a slick talking lawyer was passing judgment on both men.

Since the Bible says to know of a crime and not report it, makes us as guilty, how about trying your luck with Lewis by listening to the tape and see if you think Lewis is correct in his statements of “Thank God…etc”

Anonymous said...


I am truly glad that I am not a member of a church such as yours. Grace obviously is not a word that you are familiar with.
You remind me of a SB preacher (from a church I once attended) that stood in my driveway and told me I was going to hell because I chose to leave his church and transfer myself an my family's membership to a new SBC church. He also knew nothing of Grace.

I find it hard to believe that you (as a preacer) would not welcome open discussion involving scripture. Wade not only welcomes but, encourages it. He expects his congregation to come to him with biblical explanation and argument (for lack of better term) and discussion ensues. If he is wrong he admits it openly and kindly (he has done so here as well). If he is right he does not gloat.

I, too, call on you to reread your posts several times before posting and consider the ramifications of your words. Perception of typed words can only be assumed.

James Sissney Jr.
Waukomis, OK

P.S. Yes I am a member of Emmanuel Baptist of Enid, and no I am not biased in my opinion because of it.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought about clarifying terms so that a reader "gets it". I have noticed how many Christians use "code" words and phrases. If a reader is not "one of you", I'm afraid assumptions may be made and misunderstanding may occur. Sooo, instead of the short-cut "codes" which only the initiated comprehend, please remember that many of your readers are looking in from the outside and are seeking to understand what you are going through. I remain, a confused, but respectful, "outsider". Try synonyms, examples or "parables" to help those of us who are not "one of you". I'm not sure if it's a religious or cultural divide I am asking you to bridge, if you can. Thanks for your consideration.

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