Sunday, May 04, 2008

Where Are All the Young Leaders in the SBC?

The following email was received from one of our missionaries on the field. I do not know this person, nor have I ever correseponded with him before. The email is unsolicited, unedited, and offered without commentary:.

Mr. Burleson,

I am not a big blogger, partly because I am scared to see what the next new law is that others may be trying be pass and partly because it is overwhelming. The reason I am writing you is to encourage you, I hope.

I am a young missionary on the the field with the IMB and I am staying here because I feel that there is hope for the SBC and missions. Unfortunately, many of my young colleagues are resigning by the droves and it is not because of what is usually toted in the States "the mission field is tough and some can't cut it". Rather they are "choked out". They can't take take the politics, laws on top of laws, hypocrisy, and the "BIG COMPANY" mentality anymore. The room for diversity in the IMB and SBC is very narrow and is becoming even narrower. That is so sad to me.

The fact that some Southern Baptists are not "Southern Baptist" enough... where will it end? The funny/sad thing is we keep hearing from the leadership "where are all the young leaders? Where are the supporting churches?" The answer is the leaders are on the field being supported by the churches that don't want to deal with it anymore.

When we here that trustees are coming to "visit" our ministry it brings a constant anxiety,shouldn't that be joy and not anxiety? Anyway, I digress. I say all that to say THANK YOU, for having the guts to stand up for the Bible, and for freedom of speech (which by the way is almost non-existent in our organization).

It is people like you that keep people like us on the field. You give us hope. I am here for the long haul, I am here to spread the Gospel, obey my Lord and do it with SBC churches along side of me. We are here, we exist (we just can't speak up or we will be fired)!

So on behalf of all of us who are praying for change and leadership that is not scared of open discussion and diversity, thank you.

*If you share this with anyone please remove my name and email address.

Grace and Peace,

An Unidentified Southern Baptist Missionary


Only By His Grace said...


Sometimes you and I preach a thousand words over and over again while it takes just one good picture to illustrate what you are trying to encapsulate on this blog and what illustrates what we fear is happening throughout SBC Life.

Missionary brother or sister in Christ, you are in my prayers and on my churches weekly prayer bulletin under the unspoken requests. All information to contact me is in my profile on this blog.

I Thessalonians 5:24,
"Faithful is He Who calls you Who also will do it."

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

"many of my young colleagues are resigning by the droves"

I'm not sure what to say

Rex Ray said...

Oh, No! No!
Now you’ve done it.
You’ve put a missionary’s email of complaint on the WEB!

Don’t you know missionaries are not free to dissent?
Don’t you remember what happened when a complaining email from a missionary found its way to the president of the most powerful committee in the SBC…the Executive Committee?

Don’t you remember that president called the president of the IMB telling him to get his missionaries under control which led to the forced signing of the BFM 2000 which led to the removal of over 100 missionaries from God’s call?

I can hear the phone ringing off the wall of the president of the IMB all the way from Texas… ‘How dare a missionary say he’s afraid of being fired! If you can’t stop that complaining we’ll get someone who can!’

Here’s a tip for finding that person: Find someone named Rehoboam. (“My father disciplined you with whips, but I, with barbed whips.”)

Oh I forgot, that policy has already been established by fundamentalists of the C/R.

Steve said...

This doesn't sound like anything Jesus would associate Himself with. Drs. Hatley & Floyd, you were the two people most trusted to keep situations like this from arising. Welcome to your legacy.

John Daly said...

If one served in a bi-vocational capacity, coupled with self-sacrifical support from their local fellowship, perhaps...ahhh, it would never work, would it?

Anonymous said...


This letter illustrates the most profound change that has taken place in the SBC in the last thirty years. It started in 1979 with criticism and attacks on sitting leaders and anyone who would support them.

Criticism, conflict, and fear became a way of life in the annual meetings and in between. The spirit of the Convention changed from being positive and accepting to being negative and condemning.

We stopped celebrating victories and began to magnify shortcomings. We stopped being Christlike and began to be Pharisaical.

All of this happened under the banner of a Battle for the Bible. In reality, all of the methods used and spirits demonstrated violate every clear teaching of the New Testament. How can something be of God when it is devoid of his spirit?

Interesting, John spoke to this in 1 John 4 when he said to test the spirits of those who claim to be spokesmen for God. He didn't say test the doctrine. He majors on spirit.

Then he spends a whole chapter explaining the primacy of agape as the spirit of God. The conclusion being that if one does not demonstrate agape in their actions, they are not speaking for the Father.

It is very difficult to find expressions of grace and agape in the workings of Convention leadership today. That leadership more commonly incites fear and hatred.

This letter also illustrates why many churches who do not support present leadership continue to support the CP. They cannot let the missionaries down. They assume that there are persons like this missionary on the field doing the work of God, and they cannot desert them.

Blessings to you, Wade. You do demonstrate the grace and agape of God in your spirit and attitudes. One testing your spirit will find you indeed are speaking for the Living God. (Even when you are wrong in some of your positions, occasionally. :))

Jim Fitch

Anonymous said...

Every time a small group attempts to define what it means to be "Southern Baptist" in non-negotiable doctrinal terms, a larger group falls outside the definition. Our younger leaders represent the future. What will that look like if they are seeking to serve and lead on the mission field without applying through our own IMB?

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but that is not what I am hearing from the field. I am hearing things quite different.

I am hearing there are changes for the good and that people are happier now.

Remaining anonymous for a reason.

Anonymous said...


I'm not "calling you to task." I'm just saying that is one perspective and I have heard others.


Anonymous from above.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but that is not what I am hearing from the field. I am hearing things quite different.

I am hearing there are changes for the good and that people are happier now.

Remaining anonymous for a reason.

Anonymous, please share with Wade your story, as the missionary on the post did. I'd really like to hear your "positive" stories. That way, we can see the better story you believe is out there.

David Phillips said...


Be careful, Hershel York with write a post about this.

I was in Western Europe earlier in the year with over 80 missionaries from that country. Then a few discovered who I was, and from them on when we met other missionaries we would get, "They're one of us". We knew what that meant.

Sadly, I have now learned that in the past month 28 missionaries, some I met and some I didn't, resigned.

They resigned because they were not allowed to do ministry in a way they felt would best reach people in Western Europe. They were fed up with how they were criticized by trustees. So they are doing something else.

These were fantastic people and we had great discussions on how they were able to reach people in Western Europe. Interestingly, it was corresponding a great deal with the time and energy and actions I was doing in Delaware. I realized very quickly that we are becoming like Western Europe very quickly, and our denomination is not ready for it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Heartsill,

Most of my stories come from Central Asia nad East Asia. Now, I remain anonymous because I remain in contact with several of these missionaries. If I gave the impression I am a missionary I apologize. I am not...yet (at least in the way we use the term missionary).

Anyways, the stories I am hearing are good ones. People are happy with their current leadership. While they don't agree with everything that comes down (usually not related to the "laws" that are being spoken of here) they do overall enjoy the fact that they are with the board.

I am friends with several who are stateside right now who are happy. One is from S. Asia and plans to go back. But I don't want to talk to much about them again because it is their lives and not mine that would be affected.

That doesn't mean that everything that the board does I agree with or they agree with. But, all I wanted to show is there is a good portion of people who are happy with the board (especially in CA).

Anonymous friend of missionaries

Anonymous said...

I had to write the above quickly, I'm off to a meeting, my apologies.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to this young missionary. I believe his thoughts and words are correct.I don't expect every missionary to be of the same mind as we all analyze things differently.

I have just completed the first form for the IMB, my spouse will complete their's this week. I know this is a long process but we are diligently praying for God to show us His will concerning foreign missions.

One of the reasons is, we are tired of the local Southern Baptist church in America. The rules continue to tighten as we work hard to win lost people to Jesus. Have you ever been asked to resign because to many people were being baptized and joining the church? We have. Have you stared into the eyes of 100's of apathetic believers, week after week? We have.
Have you had a person of different color attend church and be ignored by the majority of the members. We have.

I want to be in the middle of God's will and I am not convinced splitting a church where 100's of other SB churches sit within a stones throw is the answer.

The trustees at the IMB have their problems but they are no less authoritarian than many, if not most, SB churches in our beloved convention.

Anonymous on purpose since we are not ready to say we have applied with the IMB.

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

I really want to believe this post as well as the words of David Phillips above. I want to believe it because I am critical of the direction of the IMB BOT and the authoritarian nature of the SBC in general right now.

Problem is, without any substantial evidence (i.e. real names and testimonies of the resigned missionaries) it is tough to believe. BOT member York posted recently on his blog that the rumors of the resignations were NOT true, and asked for names, to which no-one replied.

I realize that this Missionary wishes to remain anonymous. I respect that totally in the current climate. But what about some names and stories from those who are (supposedly) leaving the field in droves. Can you obtain any of these? It would be really helpful.

Perhaps a series of blog-posts telling their stories so that today's SBC can really see that the problems are more than just sound and fury.

Ethan in KY

Anonymous said...


We left the field in 2004. We were relieved when we felt like the Lord was directing us to return to the states - relieved because of the very things that the letter author wrote. We also witnessed more than a handful of young missionaries leave, completely chewed up by "the system."

I don't know if it depends on what region of the world you are working in as to how "the system" is working. We were in the Central Asia region. That is as far as I can identify myself - not because I want to remain anonymous but because we worked in an area of the world where even now, I have to remain anonymous (with regards to our missionary activity) for the protection of the people we worked with in country and for the protection of the missionaries we worked with who are still there. We knew from the beginning that our work there would forever be anonymous. We were never on the prayer calendars, churches never printed our full names when we came to speak, etc..

Before we headed overseas and were at MLC (that was what it was called then), we heard from a missionary who had been working with the underground church in China. Once when he was in the states, he spoke at a church and a regional Baptist paper wrote an article about him, without his knowledge or permission. Of the five pastors he had been working with in China, two were put to death, 1 disappeared and 2 were able to flee the country. News travels that fast.

I offer this as one possible, very good reason that not many people are willing to be named.

Alan Paul said...

Anecdotal evidence is always suspect - because you don't know if it represents the majority of what is going on. Maybe more missionaries will write to Wade of their stories - both good and bad. Then maybe we can see a pattern.

ezekiel said...

Jim Fitch,

"All of this happened under the banner of a Battle for the Bible. In reality, all of the methods used and spirits demonstrated violate every clear teaching of the New Testament. How can something be of God when it is devoid of his spirit?"

The answer, I think can be found in Zechariah 11 and Matthew Henry commentary on the same found


If we read this passage and understand what Jesus did to the Nation of Israel for rejecting Him and put it into the context of what we see happening today, it answers your question.

God is not "in it" but it certainly begins to resemble His judgement on the Nation of Israel. Now, if we remember that "judgement begins at the House of the Lord" 1 Peter 4:17 and other key scripture such as 1 Cor 10:11 and Hebrews 3:12,19 and Romans 11:21-23

21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

Israel the Nation was broken off. Zechariah 11 explains why. We have a whole generation today that has heard nothing but "peace, peace" Grace and Mercy which is much the same message that Israel heard as Titus crushed Jerusalem the last time.

The real question we should be asking is if we as a church, denomination can do the same things Israel did and avoid the same rod of correction?

I don't think so and looking at our current situation in light of Zechariah 11 doesn't bode well for the religious establishment today. What we seem to be seeing is more of His judgement.

I know the MCH notes are long, but just read it and see if you think any of it fits in the SBC right now.

Anon 9:34

"One of the reasons is, we are tired of the local Southern Baptist church in America. The rules continue to tighten as we work hard to win lost people to Jesus. Have you ever been asked to resign because to many people were being baptized and joining the church? We have. Have you stared into the eyes of 100's of apathetic believers, week after week? We have.
Have you had a person of different color attend church and be ignored by the majority of the members. We have."

Take a look at the above. God, I think is tired of it as well.

David Phillips said...

Ethan in KY...It is not my right to give you names. Here's a link to one in western europe who just resigned:

The reason I know this is because I have been working with many of them on some projects.

Anonymous said...

Anyone willing to have your reputation ruined? Have powerful people claim you are a liar and have no references for future job?

If you are willing to do that, then please tell your story and use your name. As you have ample proof how you will be treated as can be seen by how Wade has been treated. And, of course, some of you have seen how some on the field were treated. Dissent is dangerous to your future and unlike Wade, you are beholden to these folks for your living and future opportunities.

Never mind those kids you need to feed, house and cloth. Where is your bravery? We know the world always believes those in power over the nobodies who stand up for truth.

So what is your problem?

Why is it, that no one can see how stupid it is to ask for names. Why don't you just ask people to ruin their future? It is the same thing.

Christopher B. Harbin said...

We were told that if we did not sign the BF&M2000, no church in the US would hire us. While on Stateside assignment, we felt a need to be guarded in our comments, as we found there were those here looking to "expose" those missionaries who were not loyal to the system.

When missionaries stood up to say, "We will not sign the BF&M2000," they were marked for termination. Many felt forced into resigning to avoid being terminated.

In that context, how do you propose that missionaries give their names along with criticism of the system? Only those willing to be cut out of the system are in a position to do so.

Anonymous said...

I currently serve in Western Europe. I met David earlier this year when he was here. I sat with him in a living room, along with 10 or so other young pastors from the States as we talked through what ministry looks like here in W.E. If David says he knows of 28 m's that have resigned, or shortly will, then I believe him. I personally can't account for 28, but I can account for 6 or so. And like David, it's not my job to name names.

There is a change happening. For the most part it's going largely unrecognized.

Ethan - Dr. York's post about resignations within the IMB was slightly misguided. The stats he represented said what he wanted them to say. And he was looking at data that's not current.

I'm saying all of this to point to this conclusion: Young m's are leaving the IMB, and young leaders are leaving the SBC. Instead of figuring out "why" it's happening let's just recognize that it is and look for new ways to partner together. There are too many individuals that are not in a relationship with Jesus to spend time trying to figure out why all of this is going on.


B Nettles said...


My family and I served as ISCers in a frontier region, and through contacts at MLC/ILC, friends from college and from church, I know many people who are and were working in all the regions that the IMB services.

Taking their responses and our experiences together, it is generally NOT "Richmond" that sets the tone for those wonderful servants that are at the front line, but the regional admins/area directors. Some regions have gracious, servant-minded people who interpret the Manual of Procedures (MOP)in the most accomodating way for the M's, and others have rules-oriented, inflexible beancounters who can't see the ministry mindset that was behind the MOP. And from time to time, these conditions change. Various regions have had their ups and downs, and M's have transferred from horrid admin regions to much greener pastures, all within the IMB.

Richmond generally takes the area directors at face value and won't talk to the front line M's, and that's a shame at times, for it allows power hungry admins to lord it over others. On the other hand, having a good, service-minded area director frees M's from a lot of paperwork and interference, and lets them develop effective Gospel ministry for the culture they work in.

Basically, when people are put in charge of something, it can function well or poorly, depending on the pride of the leader.

BTW, I rejoice every day for the leadership I serve with at Union Univ. Grace and trust are actions, not just words, here.

David Phillips said...

Let me rephrase, so that I can be more clear...I know several who resigned. There was almost an entire team of a major city in Europe who resigned. I say almost because I was told most of the team would be leaving.

There were 28 people in a rented home somewhere in Western Europe working on plans for some really cool stuff. I don't know if all of them were missionaries or if that was missionaries and their families.

Please forgive the (possible) mischaracterization of the number, as information has been sketchy lately due to the beginnings of the departure of m's.

Anonymous said...

Whoa everyone... I think at best some folks have misread what I said and at worst are misreading the spirit with which I wrote my earlier post.

I AGREE that there is a problem and want to know more about it. I am not a flamer or a BI-type guy here to discredit Wade's post. I also stated in my post that I UNDERSTAND why many remain anonymous and will continue to do so. I am not asking anyone to jeopardize their work or sabotage their career by telling their stories. BTW...have you not guessed that I remain mostly anonymous for a reason? I know the current climate of SB life and care not for teh reprisals that would come with revealing my full identity. So I understand this. David Phillips, thank you for the response brother, but I was not challenging you to produce names. I know why you cannot.

Let me try again to restate my point in better language. Because I do believe there is a problem, I believe that it will only be addressed if and when we can convince the mass of SB pastors/ concerned laypeople that such a problem exists. The BOT is going to continue to produce "white papers," blog-reports and press-releases telling everyone everything is OK. They silenced Wade (which I lament) and will not make the mistake of allowing a non-loyalist into the club again in the future. So how do we get out the message that there really is a problem?

Keep letting former Ms (or current) tell their stories, either anonymously if they must, or if they can afford to identify themselves, letting them have an outlet to tell their stories, where people will listen and take up their cause. Do we know for a fact that there are NO former missionaries who will tell their tale?

In statistics, anonymity is about some numbers as to how many M's have left the field in the last 2 years, 5 years, etc... and what their age was? What were their reasons, as given upon exit? Etc...

And above all, pray for truth to prevail.

There's enough fighting and dissension on these boards already from those who think there is no problem, it would be ironic if you all were to rip-apart someone who agrees with you. and I do.

Ethan in KY

Anonymous said...


I am curious as to why you would post an email from someone you do not know and have never correseponded with... and do so without commentary.

Could it be that this furthers your "cause"? Could it also be that this young man's opinion runs contrary to facts? Where are the numbers that support the claim that missionaries are "resigning by the droves"?

I think it wise that you have not commented on this email. I also think it would be wise for anyone reading this post by Wade, to try to see through the fog, and try to overcome this apocalyptic attitude.

Anonymous said...

Joe W. makes a very good point. If so many are resigning from the IMB, then why doesn't the numbers from the IMB match? Dr. York did do a fairly good piece about this in his post found here:

Somebody's lying here. Since Dr. York has presented his evidence instead of just giving his opinion, I'm tending to think that its not him.

Jeff said...

Not trying to be difficult, but I have heard language like that in churches. Pastor, they don't...or they won't. They think. I have no reason to doubt the person is honest, but perhaps they are overstating the case. I would like to see stats to back up the claim. I imagine some have left the field because of politics. I imagine the same argument could have been used in the Pre-CR days.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...

Joe W.
I was wondering how long it’d take you to make your usually critical comment. Your advice to be wise in seeing through fog has been used throughout history to prevent truth.

I guess you didn’t demand names because that’d make you a hypocrite.
Would you mind explaining “apocalyptic attitude”? Couldn’t find it in the dictionary.

For you guys that want stats, try to find out how many career or long time missionaries there are compared to years in the past. Of the 5,000 missionaries, they keep their years on the field as if top secret.

Christopher B. Harbin said...

Joe W.,
My folks were on the field as missionaries for 28 years. I was 2 years in Mexico, and 7 in Brazil. My experience says you are refusing to recognize where the fog is coming from.

BTW, you won't see numbers from those taking early retirement. You also won't see numbers from those completing their initial term and not returning to the field.

Christopher B. Harbin said...

Rex Ray,

A few years back, the IMB changed the way they count long-term missionaries to include 2-year assignments. Payroll makes a distinction, but somehow they cannot give a number of how many checks they write for missionaries in a career category (i.e., receiving annuity contributions).

Jeff said...

Chris, Why won't we see these numbers? I must confess I am at a lost to figure all these things out. My point is not to call the person a liar who wrote the email or to call Dr. York a liar. I believe both have firm convictions and there are times our convictions cloud our judgments. It has happen to me. I have a feeling no matter what evidence is present many are going to see what they want to see.

Bob Cleveland said...


I had a cousin who was absolutely smothered by his parents. I surmise they were so desperate for a child that when they finally got my cousin, they just never gave him a chance to develop into who he might have been (in my opinion and the opinion of others who knew them).

His father did his homework for him, went out to find him now and then when he was out on dates, and my uncle even practiced the trombone for him (and learned how to play it pretty well in the process). When he was in his mid-20’s, he and I discussed this many times; the frustration he felt and how his mom and dad had made him feel as a child.

But the point of the comment isn’t my cousin, it’s the rest of the family. The family sat around saying "aint it awful" and predicting all the bad effects they were going to have on my cousin. The only thing they DIDN'T do was to say it to my aunt and uncle.

Thank you for saying this stuff to the people who need to hear it. When the SBC comes down like a house of cards, or morphs (which may be a minor change anyway) into an irrelevant religious club, at least your hands will be clean, along with those of folks who've gotten involved because you refused to sit down and shut up.

Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts and observations.

First, over time it would be natural that those who are "on the field" will think/accept the style/approach of the BOT of the IMB simply because the selection process will be skewed in this direction naturally with the current BOT's, rules, etc.

So, those who do not find this acceptable will leave over time, either because they feel the squeeze of change or over time their thinking changes. Some, of course, will agree with the IMB approach and remain, over time this will be more and more of those appointed.

Second, I live in a university community that is conservative in all respects, including theologically and has 55,000 students. Many are followers of Jesus who are eager to be on mission. A large missions fair is held on campus each year where literally several thousand attend. More students from this university go to seminary than any other university in my state, including all Christian universities in the state and without regard to which denomination. With this background, here are my observations that reflect trends over the past 10 years:

1. Students who would in the past have gone to seminary now believe they can be more effective as followers of Jesus in a so-called secular job. This includes seeking international employment. They view each person as a missionary and believe the freedom to minister without arbitrary restrictions is more in line with both scripture and the praciticalities of being on mission. These students also are very comfortable working with other followers of Jesus who are not SBC.

2. Those who do seek out international or US missions positions are more likely to seek it with an organization other than the SBC or, in some cases, through the local state convention. In the last couple of years this would be the majority consciously choosing not to seek mission opportunities with the SBC.

3. Particularly, among young SBC women who feel called to missions I see a trend to go to seminary at non-Baptist or non-SBC seminaries because they fear being unable to fulfill their calling if they do take this path. This is true even of those who are complementarians in their views. This is based on a belief they may not be able to finish their degrees at an SBC seminary if the rules are further tightened. (I would note that I also see many young men unwilling to to to SBC seminaries as well but for different reasons, mostly related to the narrowing of the parameters Wade continues to raise on his blog.)

Most young people I encounter in SBC churches view the SBC (national organization) as out of date, out of touch, and essentially irrelevant to their ministry or lives.

Anonymous said...

I find it laughable at best, and offensive at worst, that there are those (John D) that would call others liars because stats weren't provided to back up a claim that m's are leaving the field.

Dr. York's number are only valid up through 2007. He has nothing from 2008 in the post that was linked by John D.

I'm sitting here, on the field, speaking with other m's on a regular basis. I've spoken with some of those that are resigning. I've spoken with some of those that are completing terms with absolutely no intention of coming back (even though they would have had their times here turned out differently).

And again, I wonder why so much time is being spent on finding out why. You will never know all the reasons.


Anonymous said...

Apparently we haven't been exactly truthful over the years in making statements concerning how many members the SBC actually has. Because of this, it is relatively easy to believe that maybe we also haven't been truthful with how many missionaries we actually have on the field at any given time.

What it seems to boil down to is:
inflated numbers = inflated egos.
No one in leadership would really want to admit that missionaries are leaving in droves.

That would mean having to admit that there MIGHT be a problem.

Anonymous said...

This may be like asking a man how much he makes and for that reason you may not with do disclose this, but I'm wondering how many IP addresses come regularly to this website. Do you have a count, or any way of determining the scope of readership? This may be a card you wish to hold close, but if not, I'd love to know!

The reason I ask is because I see reality in many of the comments. The reality of a desire for change and a feeling of dispondency among many. I cannot help but think that those who read this blog and do NOT comment are being affected as well.

I'd like to know how many minds are being enlightened to some of these issues that are being discussed. AND I understand if you wish not to share.


Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

The sad thing is, you really believe I am the one who is being critical.

Apocalyptic Attitude? -

I run into people weekly, if not daily, who have what I call the "last days syndrom" or an "apocalyptic attitude". These people feel like the sky is falling, everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and God has forsaken us in these last days. I hear them say... "People won't go to church anymore, it must be a sign of the times" ... "People aren't getting saved anymore, it must be because we are living in the last days." It is easy to feel this way, and it is easy to have this attitude... however, one should not let statistics, emails, or blogs give us this attitude. God has not changed... God is still God, He can still save, He can still add to His church... He can... ... ... you get the idea.

Chris Harbin,

If you will follow the link above provided by John D., you will find that retirements, early or timely, are included in the numbers (and these are from 2007).

Anonymous said...

Joe W.

I am not at all apocolyptic about what is going on. Indeed, I am very excited about what is going on in the "church". I see God's Spirit at work in magnificent ways. However, what many in the SBC are missing is that where the Spirit of God is at work tends to be increasingly outside the SBC. There is a dramatic revolution going on that is on the scale of the Reformation of 500 years ago.

At that time our Baptist forbears were in the forefront of the Reformation. Today, the SBC is at the forefront of resisting the current reformation using most of the arguments that the RCC did then.

Anonymous said...

I am an SBC pastor and my brother is an IMB missionary. I can't reveal his name becaue of where he is. And I can't reveal my name because that would reveal him.

He is on state-side leave now, but is really struggling about going back. He has a very strong call to missions and a paraticular people group. He has been working with that people group for years, since he was a journeyman.

He knows he is called to work with this group, but just can't stand the envornment in which he works. He actually feels that the supervisors in that area make his and other missionaries work nearly impossible. There is little support and mostly cricism.

I don't know what he will do, but there certainly are problems on the field as far as where he serve.

I don't know that I'm considered a young pastor anymore. I'm in my early 40s. But I can tell you that most of the people in my church my age and younger have given up on the SBC. I'm talking about the people in the pew and those who are serving.

I have been Southern Baptist all of my life, but I will not be told we have to do what Nashville tells us to do.

Life is way too short. We will do God's work with or without the SBC.

By the way, I am a fourth generation pastor. All SBC as well as educated at an SBC university and seminary.

Debbie Kaufman said...

And anonymous above, we had better start listening to you, your brother and the author of the email in this post, they of anyone should know what they are talking about. This greatly concerns me.

I also wonder if it's just church membership rolls that have been inflating the numbers or are our missionary numbers inflated as well. It seems that all is not well in the mission field. I hope I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

Way to support the IMB! Call them liars and accuse them of inflating numbers. That is the way to "reform" the SBC. I would like to hear Wade weigh in on these accusations. He at least has set foot on the IMB's campus as a trustee. Surely he would defend the administrators of the greatest missions sending agency in the world against these baseless and ridiculous accusations. If a stat report from the IMB was not enough for some of you to believe (because from your computer desks you know better than those laboring in Richmond) I would imagine a word of support for the validity of the numbers previously published by Dr. York from Wade would quench this fire.


Tim G said...

When has Nashville ever told anyone what to do. Baptist never let anyone tell them what to do. Nashville never tells a church what to do.

Could it be that your brothers situation is simply a "working" situation and not a SBC issue?

We are not and have never been a denomination. No one tells any church what to do.

david b mclaughlin said...

Anonymous Pastor with M Brother,
There were no stats in your email so you were clearly lying. (wink)


I have a feeling no matter what evidence is present many are going to see what they want to see.

Isn't that called "eisegesis"?


Re: Last Days

Didn't Peter say the "last days" began circa Acts 2?

david b mclaughlin said...

While no one may tell any church "what to do," they clearly influence those who wish to minister within the SBC by approving or not approving various projects and people for various projects. And how do they do so? By who tows the "company" line.

Anybody who doesn't see this has their head firmly planted in the sand.

Let me say this however, the SBC is no different in this respect from any other denomination. (yeah, yeah, yeah, try to convince yourselves we are not a denomination all you want, if it walks like a duck...).

Not only are younger M's leaving the missions field (anectdotal) but younger people are leaving denoms in droves as well. For all these reasons we have discussed.

People are sick of the kind of political bs they see here and elsewhere in the name of religion.

While we are holding meetings about our Committee on Committees young people just go buy food and feed hungry people. While we scream and holler about whether someone should be dunked or sprinkled, young people just go tell people about Jesus.

The Committee on Committees can indeed leverage a great deal of time and money that eventually outpaces the shotgun efforts of those disenfranchised young people. Whether someone should be dunked or sprinkled is fairly important.

But when we argue about this stuff to the extent that we call each others liars and lunatics (myself guilty as charged) we are running off the next generation of baptists, methodists, lutherans, and christians.

Tim G said...

I have been in the SBC all my life and my parents all of theirs. No one has ever stopped me or them from anything ministry wise. I am not sure where the connection comes in.

Is it not the local churches that have the issue?

Anonymous said...


You asked... "Didn't Peter say the "last days" began circa Acts 2?"

Yes, and I believe we are in the "Last Days". However, my point was that this fact should encourage us to do more, not less as we look for the glorious appearance of great God and Saviour.

Also you wrote..."People are sick of the kind of political bs they see here and elsewhere in the name of religion."

I was wondering... does the the "bs" in the sentence you wrote stand for "Back Slid" or something else? Surely a man with your education can find words in the English language to articulate his opinion without cussing.

Anonymous said...

I have been in the SBC all my life and my parents all of theirs. No one has ever stopped me or them from anything ministry wise. I am not sure where the connection comes in.

Is it not the local churches that have the issue?

Mon May 05, 05:15:00 PM 2008

This is true and as soon as we stop sending money they will be forced to stop micromanaging missionaries and narrowing paremeters that most churches would be against anyway. No wonder they do it behind closed doors first. They can implement it before it becomes too widely known!

Lin said...


It stands for "Barbara Streisand". :o)

Bruce said...


I think it was more descriptive than profane, but maybe that's because I agree with David Mc's post. :)

Unknown said...

I read the Stop Baptist Predators website and other websites for victims of clergy sexual and other church abuse. The reason why is because I was taken advantage of sexually by a Southern Baptist minister when I was in my early 20's.

I left the denomination for awhile, but came back and am now happily in a new church that is pastored by a former missionary.

The reason why I bring all this up is because I see a common thread between clergy sexual abuse, other kinds of abuse committed in the name of Christ, and the problem written about on this post. The problem is people misusing their position of authority, and others being unable or unwilling to see this.

Anonymous said...


I do not mean to ignore your question posted this morning. I have been out of the office all day.

Perhaps you are correct in your assessment, I am not sure.

I do know that Jesus told the Samaritan woman that they that worship God must serve him in spirit and truth. (Worship and serve are interchangeable words in Greek.)

Too often the part about spirit is ignored and the part about truth is limited to doctrine rather than lifestyle.

God must get very frustrated with us for our picking and choosing of which of his pronouncements we will pay attention to.

I do not think he leaves us. We simply distance ourselves from him and his work. His work continues as it always has. He just has to find more willing instruments to use. We simply get passed over.

My conviction is that God is flowing through the world like a great river of grace and agape. Some people, churches and denominational structures get on board and flow with him. Others try to flow at odds with him, and others try to swim upstream against him.

God is not dependent on any of us to get his will done in the world. It is our job to discover what he is doing and get with the program. Otherwise we are on our own.

Jim Fitch

Jeff said...

Elisabeth, I am sorry for what happen to you in the past. I do believe some abuse their power,however, there are some in power who have firm convictions that are different than yours, mine, and others. They are humble servants who are sincere in their beliefs. Please do not throw all in boat.


Anonymous said...

"They are humble servants who are sincere in their beliefs. Please do not throw all in boat."

Why don't the ones who are humble and sincere rebuke the ones in sin publicly? Ever notice how that NEVER happens?

oc said...

For some, "bs" stands for Big Show.
It's time to stop acting like "Christians", with all the right words, the right theological terms, and all the right doctrine, and also knowing and following all the right men who have said all the right things and have all that right doctrine...when instead we just need to be like Him. No one else.
Develop you own personal doctrine, it's part of being a Berean, you and the Holy Spirit. You don't have to label yourself Calvinist, Arminian, comp, nor egal. Nor anything else. Learn from the Holy Spirit. He points to Jesus. That's is who we are to follow. I want to have His label.

It's easy to talk about Him, it's so easy to demean others who don't use all the right theological words. When is the last time that we gave a cup of water in His name, or visited someone in prison in His name?
Or defended a beaten woman from her boyfriend, and then gave her the Gospel? Yeah, they were living in sin, so should she and her child have deserved the beating? Some would say she
deserved the beating. I thought not. It is easy to talk about Him. But it's hard to be like Him.

To me, there is a whole lot of "bs" going on. And it's with Christians who would rather be "right" rather than be righteous. And I think at least part of being "righteous" means spending my life for others. And not being so worried about proving myself right.


Rex Ray said...

You said, “I am sure from reading your email…”

What email? Do you mean ‘my comment’?

You said, “I am sure that you like Dr. Dilday…” yada, yada Is that supposed to make people believe I’m prejudices and cannot fathom what Dilday said? I’ve never met Dilday.

How many times have you listened to the clip? In writing down what was said, I played it over ten times

Louis, you have done has been done by the C/R from the very start. And that is ‘guilt by association’.

Your latest comment said, “I do think on that clip that he said they had some professors at SWBTS who were not comfortable with the term ‘inerrancy’.”


What you said he said was said by Moyers, and that is guilt by association.

Play the clip again, and we’ll see if you’re big enough man to apologize.

Only By His Grace said...


Do you support and defend Jerry Rankin?

Phil in Norman.

truth, not religion said...

It really does amaze me, all the folks with their heads in the sand. Just because the "numbers" don't show it, you think it must be a lie.

I remember Vietnam, the U.S. would report 1000 enemy killed and three Americans and the enemy would say it was a lie that 1000 Americans were killed and non-of theirs.

Since 1979 not only have many resigned, many more have quietly served under great pressure.

Do your homework, which region of the IMB got a new director a few years ago with ABSOLUTELY NO BACKGROUND IN MISSIONS OR CHURCHWORK. Not even a deacon in his church.

He was self employed, rich and connected.

When he arrived on the field, he called a regional meeting which cost tens of thousands of CP money just so he could tell them that he was in charge and that APPRENCES WERE ALL THAT MATTERS.

He said (and I quote) "you will be careful who you talk with, who you are seen with, even who you drink coffee with."

Some in that meeting are now serving the Lord in other mission serving agencies. Some churches dropped the amount of funding.

Don't have you head in the sand, do you own research.

Some live in jungle rivers on a MEDICAL BOATS, SOME IN REFUGEE CAMPS IN TENTS. NOT SBC ANYMORE, but doing what God says.

Just because you don't know the facts and someone you want to agree with writes a book, paper or statistics, does not change what is going on.


david b mclaughlin said...

Joe W.,

Thanks for pointing out my vulgarity. BS stands for exactly what you think it stands for.

However, in doing so, you may have unwittingly (or wittingly) made my point for me.

It reminds me of my favorite Tony Campolo quote. I will edit it so as no to offend you:

"I have three things I'd like to say to you tonight. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a s***. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said s*** than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."

truth, not religion said...

Nice one David,

I was at seminary when that happened. I thought it was one of the greatest quotes of all time!

However, the seminary press said that he said "d_mn"

Didn't matter to me, so many of the self rightous were in a twist about it.

I once helped write a song which said "you keep building your steeples in the sky, but there are people starving nearby"

and "send me five dollars and we'll pray for you, we take visa and mastercard to"

thanks, I need a good laugh


ml said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.

Jeff said...

Yes, anonymous both sides need people to stand up and rebuke.

Anonymous said...

All the younger SBCers are going to the ABC and CBF!

Only By His Grace said...


By the way, do you think that Dr. Patterson was out of place for not supporting Dr. Dilday even to the place of getting him fired?

You know the ole' granny truth: "sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander" but granny was not a complementarian like me. She was an eastern KY mountain woman whose husband was shot and killed leaving her with ten kids to feed on a run down rock farm, ninety nine percent hillside, all four foot ten inches, eighty-five pounds of her; but we Hatfields in Pike County were like that until I came along; been softies ever since; its why they ran me out of there in sixth grade. I still know how to make "shine" and "home brew."

Phil in Norman.

Anonymous said...

I have been in the SBC all my life and my parents all of theirs. No one has ever stopped me or them from anything ministry wise. I am not sure where the connection comes in.

You have been raised in the southern baptist church all your life. You would probably have no problem signing and agreeing with the baptist faith and message. You've probably been baptized by immersion by a baptist minister.

Your experience is different than people coming to be baptist missionaries from other denominations, expecting baptists to support them, even if their beliefs may be different.

Anonymous said...

OC and David,

I continually hear this false dichotomy espoused on this blog... that you would rather by righteous than right. As if the two are diametrical opposites, as if this is the only two choices we have. May I remind you that the name of this blog is "Grace AND Truth to you"... that we are to preach the truth IN love... and that is possible to do both. This is not an either/or proposition. People do not have to make a choice between sound doctrine and love for sinners. A person can have both!

Why is it when we speak of being "Great Commission Christians", people always leave out the last part. There are three parts to the great commission... Evangelize, Baptize, and Stabilize.
It is my opinion that Baptists do a fair job on the first, worse on the second, and terrible on the third.

Anonymous said...

Phil in Norman,

I support Dr. Rankin. I support all those at the IMB and that is why it bothers me to see people accusing them of inflated egos and inflating numbers. I am amazed that Wade has not stood up and said, "Disagreements aside - One thing the IMB is not guilty of is falsifying numbers."

Phil, do you think the IMB inflates numbers?


Anonymous said...

Has the author of the material "A Biblical Primer on Women, parts I-VII" been revealed yet?

Jeff said...

sbcblogger, Your statement is what scares me about missionaries. This is why I believe we must have standards by which we accept or reject missionaries. This is why I believe missionaries ought to be require to sign the BF and M. I am not for standards beyond the BF and M.

ezekiel said...

Joe W,

Stabilization as you call it, seems to be what a lot of the conversation has been about lately. Maybe the reason we Baptists have such a problem with it has something to do with the commandments of men....

Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matt 15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8
This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Maybe if we spent more time in the pulpit pointing people to the WORD and His authority and rule, showing them how to "abide in Him", turn again to being a people of the "Book" and being earthly examples of loving God, loving neighbor, we would do a better job in this area.

Anonymous said...

Is Johnny Hunt running for SBC president? this will impact young leaders for sure and the IMB too.

david b mclaughlin said...

Joe W,
What truth have I denied?

Anonymous said...

One man's opion does not reality

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


I never said you had denied truth. I did however, point out that you and others often present a false dichotomy.

You wrote... "While we are holding meetings about our Committee on Committees young people just go buy food and feed hungry people. While we scream and holler about whether someone should be dunked or sprinkled, young people just go tell people about Jesus."

OC wrote... "It's time to stop acting like "Christians", with all the right words, the right theological terms, and all the right doctrine, and also knowing and following all the right men who have said all the right things and have all that right doctrine...when instead we just need to be like Him."

Both of you have presented a false dichotomy... (ie. Some people love doctrine and truth, while others love sinners). People do not have to make a choice between sound doctrine and love for sinners. A person can and should have both.

Please, stop trying to paint with such a broad brush... all of our young people are not leaving the SBC, all of our young missionaries are not coming off the field, and not all conservatives love doctrine at the expense of people.

Tom Parker said...

othoniel a valdes sr:

Could you be a little more specific--I do not understand your comment.

david b mclaughlin said...

With all due respect Joe, you clearly did not read my entire post. While I pointed out that the "Committee on Committees" (heretofore referred to as C2) meets and young people go feed people, i ALSO pointed out that the same committee can leverage time and money and OUTPERFORM those same young people.

My point is that it is the bickering that turns them off.

And I never said that "all of our young people are not leaving the SBC".

And you are accusing me of painting with a broad brush?

And please in the future address me individually. OC is a big boy and can defend his own comments. I will only defend mine.

david b mclaughlin said...

Oh-and I did not present a false dichotomy in my statements.

]If so please show me in quotes where i did.

David Mc

Rex Ray said...

Belief Matters,
I agree that we must have standards to accept missionaries, but signing a paper?

Years ago people were required to sign, “I am not a Communist.” The requirement was soon dropped because the first people to sign were Communists.

Did bowing before the statute of Nebuchadnezzar show the heart of the individual? Did it increase the people’s respect or only uplifted the ego of the king?

How does a signature insure accountability? Does a signature make a missionary a better missionary?

When a person is forced to sign a BFM that BFM becomes a creed.


david b mclaughlin said...

Joe W.,

As I stepped away from my desk I started thinking about you and me. Ithought to myself that we are probably not very far aprt in reality on what we believe. So in the spirit of reconciliation I thought I would offer some statements to which I believe and see if you would agree. Some of them you have already stated so I am sure you will agree.

1. Sound doctrine is important.
2. Grace is important.
3. A believer can and should have both sound doctine and grace.
4. Some items are presented as sound doctrine that are actually extra-biblical or at least subject to interpretation.
5. Some people attempting to minister in various situations are prevented from doing so because they do not adhere to one groups interpretation of sound doctrine.
6. Some of the people in #5 might be in the SBC.
7. Some young people are turned off by bickering among people in religious and political leadership.
8. Some older people are turned off by bickering among people in religious and political leadership.
9. Healthy debate is good.
10. I am guilty of sometimes engaging in unhealthy debate.

David Mc

Jeff said...

Rex, I don't have all the answers, but I simply believe that we can't just let anyone in the door. I simply believe that signing the BF and M is the way to go. I imagine that missionaries had to sign things before the CR so I don't grasp the big deal. Just because you sign something doesn't make it a creed.


Tom Parker said...


Just asking--are you sure that before the CR missionaries had to sign anything?

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that some of you are "hearing things quite differently"! because that gives me hope! the same time, you need to know that what you hear isn't always what is happening on the don't always hear the whole story... It's very easy to tell trustees and others who are visiting for a few days what they want to here...
I don't know who sent this email, but it sounds like something I could have written and have started writing many times, but never sent out! I am one of those young people serving on the field who has wanted to pack my bags many times not because it is too hard here, but because of the hypocrisy, the lies, the jealousy, the backstabbing, and many other hateful things going on here...but I believe the Lord has me here for this season and continue to do what He has called me to do here.
I thought it was going to be different, but now I can hardly wait for my term to be over so that I can go home and somehow move on from what I have seen here. I am so sad when I think about what it could and should be! God forgive us all!

Thank you Wade for standing up for the truth and being a voice for many of us who cannot speak yet.
Please pray that the Lord will give us the wisdom to speak when needed...if there is anyone willing to listen left out there...

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rex, I don't have all the answers, but I simply believe that we can't just let anyone in the door. I simply believe that signing the BF and M is the way to go. I imagine that missionaries had to sign things before the CR so I don't grasp the big deal. Just because you sign something doesn't make it a creed.

Jeff: What would you call it?

anonymous above: And these are things that we in the SB churches do not know of and should.At least I didn't. The more I hear the more I am personally concerned. This year's Convention I find to be very important and the more informed messengers are the more informed voting there will be.

John Moeller said...

Dude, .....Wade.....

Great picture, I am so glad you were able to get that thing updated.....Also glad you were able to round up a white shirt and left your Budweiser shirt at home that day.....Good move, don't want to make a brother stumble...

Thoughts on today's topic;

It seems to me that I'd hire a missionary who toiled over the BF&M 2000 and had questions over someone who willy nilly signed it. It's better to have someone with sincere convictions than someone who didn't read the document and thought, yea, whatever, I'll sign anything and then get out of here.

My job entails hiring employees for a Christian health organization. I always hire the person who gives me the thought-out honest answers over the "yes" man. I want a passionate person, one who is willing to sacrifice the job opportunity because of a conviction.

I've never been disappointed, the convicted person always is a better employee.

Jeff said...

Young Tom Parker, Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. I do not know, and I was not referring to the BFM---I simply was thinking surely they had to sign something!

John: I agree with much of what you write. I think signing the BFM is just part of the process. I don't think signing is the only answer.

Debbie: I call it a confession of faith. We all agree there must be standards, or at least I hope we do. Signing a statement of faith doesn't make it a creed; it is simply an affirmation of beliefs.

I don't think we want a JW on the IMB do we? So there has to be something.

Anonymous said...


I apologize for lumping you in with OC. In my mind, your arguments were the same. But after reading your latest post, it is clear that assumption on my part was faulty.

You wrote... "And I never said that "all of our young people are leaving the SBC"."

Not in so many words, but you did write... "Not only are younger M's leaving the missions field (anectdotal) but younger people are leaving denoms in droves as well."

I am willing to concede that some are turned off by fighting and bickering. Are you willing to concede that an apocalyptic, sky is falling, attitude also hinders the Kingdom?

I agree with you on points... 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9, and 10.

On point number 4, if you are referring to the BF&M; then I would disagree that there is anything in it that is "extra-biblical".

Would you agree with these statements?

1) The Bible is truth without any mixture of error.
2) Truth/Doctrine should never be forsaken or sacrificed for unity.
3) Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and always voluntary.
4) Doctrinal Accountability is warranted for representative individuals and/or entities.
5) Good stewardship requires doctrinal accountability.
6) The trustees of any agency have the right to set any policy they desire.
7) There will always be dissenting minority viewpoints on any topic.
8) Dissenters will sometimes misrepresent the facts to prove their opinion.
9) We all have been guilty of #8.

Bruce said...


Wouldn't we find out during the interview process if someone is a JW? I just don't understand the paranoia.

Jeff said...

Bruce, that was an extreme example. I just think there needs to be an "official" John Hancock.

Bruce said...

Do you make your kids sign something so you will know that they love you? Does forcing them to sign something saying they love you really mean that they love you? Maybe the analogy is too far reaching but you get my point.

John Moeller said...


Let me add, I do believe that the BF&M should be read, and signed by a missionary since they represent the SBC and are being paid by the SBC.

My issue is that, as Joe W. states;
6) The trustees of any agency have the right to set any policy they desire.

NO, The trustees should support the BF&M and not write policies which are not in keeping with the BF&M.


Article VI; The Church; autonomous local congregation, exercising the gifts.... Are missionaries who establish a church in some far off country allowed autonomous, exercising the gifts, or did policy change that?

Article VII; Baptism; ...immersion of a believer in water....; policy changed that too, it's way more complicated now and depends on who, what, when and where.

Article XI; Missions; ...It is the duty to endeavor to make disciples of all nations....; policy is inhibiting this too.

If it was as simple as standing firm on the BF&M, then I'd agree, but policies contradict the BF&M now.

david b mclaughlin said...

Joe W.,

See how much we agree on?!

Apocalyptic attitude bad for the kingdom? Sure. I don’t think I have been apocalyptic.

BFM extra-biblical? Well, by definition, yes. I’m sure you are not suggesting it be canonized. I know that is not your point. But I think it makes my point.

I agree with your 1,5,6,7,8,9

2-Agree with the statement as it refers to “Truth.” Agree with the statement as it refers to “Doctrine” insofar as the doctrine is true and correct. I’m sure you agree.

3- Not quite sure what you mean on this one. It is voluntary in the sense that nobody is forced to be unified. I may be struggling with the rest of it because I am a musician. Unity is not harmony. I always squirm when these terms are used because I am not sure of the meaning people are pouring into the words. This is my problem. It is not your fault. I would just need more clarification. None is necessary though.

4- Ahhh, this is the crux of the matter. I would agree with this statement to an extent. It depends on #2 in that the doctrine being enforced (thus the required accountability) is true and correct. It also depends on the doctrine’s level of primacy/importance and the level to which the accountability is being enforced.

I think your #4 is the heart of where 99% of the debates on this blog take place. There are good people on both sides of each issue. But the rhetoric has been taken to a high degree. I am as much to blame as anyone.

david b mclaughlin said...

After making my last post and then seeing Joe Moeller's, I would have to agree with his point on #6. That is presumed in my answer.

Anonymous said...


I find it interesting that you and John would take me to task over point #6. All I was doing was quoting what Wade Burleson said in his blog post titled... "Conversion to Christ over a glass of wine" on Wednesday June 14, 2006.

See link...

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:
The missionary belives that missionaries are leaving the IMB service due to the reasons he stated to Dr.Wade in his email and just because he thinks this is true does not make it so.
And I have a problem with the fact he gave his name to Wade but asked to have it deleated if Wade decided to post it.What"s wrong with this picture ?

Anonymous said...

Here is Wade's quote... "The trustees of any agency have the right to set any policy they desire, even extra-Biblical requirements for trustees, and though I will seek to prevent the adoption of any extra-Biblical policy during my tenure on the IMB, were the abstinence policy to be adopted, I would abide by it."

Jeff said...

Bruce, Apples and oranges.

John, I think I agree, but reserve the right to change my mind. :)

Kevin Bussey said...

nothing to add, just wanted to be #100.

david b mclaughlin said...

Joe W.,

Do I have to agree with Wade?

And I wouldnt say I took yuo task over it. My point in agreeing with Moeller is this-
They have the right to set any policy they desire (remember, i agreed with you on this) however, that policy should also agree with other policies that govern that body.

My response to #6 is in regard to a hypothetical entity. If that is then applied to the SBC, or IMB, or whatever, that is the criteria I would use in determining whether they were responding appropriately.

david b mclaughlin said...

Btw, I am finished with this discussion. I am too tired trying to agree with Joe.

Only By His Grace said...


Sorry to get back to you so late but I caught up in an emergency yesterday.

I do not believe they (IMB) inflate numbers in most cases; however, I think some do.

I know of a mission compound in South America that had all missionary homes within a wall; all journeymen and new missionaries were told not to make friends of maids and anyone outside the compound. When any church in the area that was planted by the SBC baptized a convert, it was reported by that SBC mission area as one they had baptized. The twelve missionaries that were there were basically doing nothing; yet they were reporting the results of indigenous churches as if they were their own numbers.

One of my church members came to that mission work and left after a year in disgust to work on her PhD (biology) in Canada. It was because of her that three missionaries were fired directly and four were relocated.

Here is the telling question on your seemingly blind submission to authority:
"By the way, do you think that Dr. Patterson was out of place for not supporting Dr. Dilday even to the place of getting him fired?"

As a Southern Baptist who supports IMB and NAMB with all my heart and have all forty-five years in the ministry, I cannot say how upset it makes me to know of all the intrigues and secret meeting and the going beyond their authority in passing regulations which I would oppose that are not in the Baptist Faith and Message or in the Bible.

The only thing that makes me more upset is this blind effort to keep me in the dark by not allowing BOT members to discuss IMB BOT closed door executive sessions. They are beginning to sound like Mormons, Masons and the KKK in their secret rituals. What in the world are they afraid of anyway if their work is honest and holy before the Lord? Do they not trust the Body for which they serves?

I do not speak in tongues, but how a person prays privately is no one's business but theirs and Gods, and this argument on Baptism is ridiculously silly. I was baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one Body of Christ long before a sinful man ducked my head below baptismal waters. Water baptism is a testimony and nothing more.

Phil in Norman.

Michael Ruffin said...
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Michael Ruffin said...
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Crdean1 said...

The title is surely fitting. Maybe I can offer a different perspective. I am a member of a large SBC church in Texas (First Baptist Euless), am in my early 30's, and have served in leadership positions since I was in my early 20's (Sunday School Director, Deacon, Building Finance Comittee, Special Projects). I also have close relatives and friends who are serving in SBC roles as pastors, IMB personnel and missionaries, and convention employees. Through these experiences and personal research, I feel like I have a good understanding of the faith statement, much of the Southern Baptist history, and some perspective on the direction of the convention.

I am wondering as well what is happening to our numbers and leadership. Voddie Baucham, who has spoken at various convention events, might say that the parents of the SBC are lacking in home teaching and worship (and example), therefore leaving our youth ministers with the tremendous responsibility of 'parenting' our youth. This might breed a lack of solid leaders. It is no secret that the 'upbringing' of our kids today is not the same as it was yesterday (computers, ipods & video games vs. family time at the table, drawing & reading stories). That could have something to do with it.

I might raise the question for this blog, Are many of the good, young leaders we have in the SBC simply 'Yes Men'?

What I mean by this is, yes men aren't really leaders. They simply reiterate the company line (even when it might conflict with the mission statement). In many cases, like one pertaining to the goal of a corporate project, this could be somewhat of a good thing. "Do it the way we want it done and you'll be fine."

Where this Yes Man mentality becomes dangerous is when it is directly related to our faith. We need leaders that are effective. Do we have them? Yes, I believe we have some (you can see their fruit very clearly.) But we don't have near as many as we need to continue to grow as a convention (as shown by even our most recent numbers.)

I, for one, based on leadership decisions (read: some leaders that are 50 and older) regarding the past several years in my own church, have no desire to lead alongside the principles of these men where those principles might challenge what the Bible says. That doesn't mean that I don't want to lead, or haven't been called to do so.

The problem here is, that if/when those my age have disagreed based on biblical principle, we have not been invited to a round table for further discussion, rather yet, we were disregarded as being young (not verbally, that is just my opinion based on overall response and conclusions of situations).

So, the email raises a good question. And I don't have the answer but to say that there are those that want to lead but feel that their leadership might be a futile effort when it comes to decision making time.

Anonymous said...

jedtxOnly by grace,
Your last comment was dead on.
To the person who asked why the missionary was's the answer.....fear of losing job. The BOT is controlling through fear. When they come to town we're told to not complain, only speak highly of local leadership, don't joke around and don't be sarcastic about anything.

I'm serious about this warning. Why?
Because some on the BOT are on a power trip and now see themselves as keepers of the door. If they don't keep watch those evil PPL and people baptized post-conversion in a non-SBC church will take over and then everything goes to hell. Why do I blog anonymously? For the same reason. I want to keep my job.

Anonymous said...

CmlCros-- you speak the truth. The "ruling class" in the BoT have created a climate of fear and intimidation. Creativity, team work, love in action, friendship cultivation and discipleship are all seriously hampered because we are so worried about the future---of our careers, the IMB and the work we have poured ourselves into. Some may dismiss this, but they are not here on the field. I am on the field and in 2008 there has been a steady stream of resignations-- from top level leaders to field missionaries. I don't have stats, I have experience and I can tell something is going wrong. Even resignations due to health and family things are usually related to the stress we have on the field, which has increased because of the BoT and their endless rules.

If the SB Convention does not bring some real change (meaning hope), I'm not sure how many more good people we will bleed out. Then the BoT will have accomplished their purpose of a mission board of squeaky clean, irrelevant 1950s retro SBs who can not even befriend much less influence 21st Century Europeans, Asians, Africans or Latin Americans.

writing from the mission field

Don said...
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Anonymous said...

This letter actually made me cry just a bit. I grew up and came to Christ in a SB church, in grad school in Indiana was a member of a wonderful Christian Church that I miss very much (beliefs nearly identical to SBC, including on baptism unlike the stereotype), and after 18 months, no joke, of searching in the northern Virginia area have finally found my church here, Centreville Baptist Church. I know this is the church that is "right" for me, the church God would have me be a part of. But reading things like this really make me miss the fervent non-denominationalism of the Christian churches -- imagine, annual conventions with only preaching and teaching, not a vote in sight! I am way out of touch with Baptist "politics"...and I think I'm better off that way. I still haven't figured out the "administrator of baptism" thing -- so the litmus test is on the guy who does the dunking? You know, I wouldn't care in the slightest if I found out the person who baptized me was a heathen Druid-worshiper pretending to be a Christian. He said some words and he dunked. But I believed, I willingly was baptized in obedience to God's word, and more importantly, *God* saved. This is so tragic, so tragic...why is this going on (and the closed door meetings etc.)? Is it just about power? I really can't fathom it.

Anonymous said...

What a small god is served by the "leaders" who attempt to create fear and control among Southern Baptists. I do not believe that any self-respecting Christian would allow themselves to get caught up in something that does not receive its inspiration from our loving Father. Remember, often our merciful God has sent angels to men with messages of "Fear not." and "Be not afraid." Remember who is the REAL Leader of your church and do not forget His words of strength and encouragement. You are being tried and tested to see if you can overcome something unwholesome in your midst. Think about the real source of your faith and strength and power to serve and then, "Be not afraid." This trouble, too, shall pass. Be peaceful.