Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't Just Sit There in Church: Do Something

Bob Cleveland is my kind of Southern Baptist. Bob is seventy years young, having spent fifty years in the property and casualty insurance business in Alabama. Bob and his wife Peggy have raised two boys, Brian (48) and Brad (45), pictured here with their father, who each now have families of their own.

Bob is a teacher and leader at his local Southern Baptist Church. He also has a blog called Eagles' Rest. Bob made a decision a few years ago to be involved in the Southern Baptist Convention - not just on the local level, but at the national level. He has spoken to the Southern Baptist Convention from the floor of the Convention in each of the last three years, including providing one of the clearest articulations for why the Southern Baptist Convention should adopt the Garner Motion. His persuasive reasoning led our Convention to pass the Garner Motion by an overwhelming majority vote. It is because of people like Bob that the Southern Baptist Convention is now turning toward more of a cooperative attitude and away from an isolationist, separatist spirit that has characterized our Convention actions these last ten years.

Bob recently wrote me to explain why he decided to become involved in the Southern Baptist Convention and the necessary politics that go along with involvment at the national level of the SBC. His email should be mandatory reading for every Southern Baptist who is concerned about our future. I print it here with his permission:

I read a story nearly 50 years ago in Reader's Digest that I think you may find interesting. It explains a lot of things, one of which is why I speak up (even though I am, by nature, shy and insecure).

They ran a test, in NYC as I recall. The premise was that it would be helpful for people to be able to share their fears, vices, etc, anonymously in a group, without fear of reprisal, but just to know that others didn't think them weird etc. The format was to call volunteers in and give them a number and show them to a soundproof booth with mic & earphones. Then they would, in turn,by the numbersm share what it was that concerned them. They had groups stated from two people to ten people.

#1 was always a guy who'd had a gambling problem and got terribly in debt and had a heart attack. He'd recovered; the doctor said the next one would be fatal. The guy then said he'd gotten out of debt and settled down but had gotten back into debt, stole from his employer, was sick the auditors would catch him, hed' been having chest pains lately... then he starts screaming and they hear a thud. Then silence.

Now .... the kicker was that there was only ever ONE guy (at a time) in the experiment. Some of them thought they were in a group of two, some three, some four, etc on up to ten. Here's what they found out:

When a guy thinks he's in a group of two .. him and #1 .. he ALWAYS comes out of the booth yelling for someone to help guy #1

When he thinks he's in a group of three, him, #1, and someone else, he comes out of the booth one out of FOUR times.

When he thinks he's in a group of four or more, he NEVER comes out of the booth.

That's why more people will volunteer in a small group than in a big one. Why it takes longer to get a second in a meeting of 1000 then in a meeting of five.

And why ONE guy is carrying the visible load in raising the issues that are threatening to destroy the SBC.

There are, if course, what CB calls "baloney-eating boot-strappers" who will always defend the status quo powers. Others are intimidated by rank and power, etc.

In my case, I have known the thing about group response for so many years, it's second nature to get involved as I do. Knowing what I know, I cannot now hide in anonynimity. Even if I'd far rather do that. I had a chat with your father about that a couple years ago, in fact.

Thanks Bob.

May your tribe increase.



Anonymous said...

Bob truly brings a lot of wisdom and clarity to a great many things. Thanks for writing this based on his counsel and thank you for noting the importance of speaking up and taking action. I just pray that more people wouldn't simply speak up and take action; instead, I hope they hear from God and then speak up and take action based on what they have heard from God.

Scotte Hodel said...

Bob is also active on a local level, coming to visit the sick in Birmingham AL while being treated himself.

I am both humbled and grateful to know him.

Anonymous said... anyway, how 'bout those Rams? Anyone see that 11th hour kick? We're Back!!!

Anonymous said...

The SBC 'leadership' is counting on:

Bob is trying to save those lambs.
Bob, you rock! :)

Lin said...

Bob, Thanks for speaking out and supporting the Garner motion.
I appreciate you very much!

BTW: Love the beard...very Patriarchal even though you aren't :>)

Anonymous said...

To Bob and Wade:

There was a story that wanted to be told.

No one had the courage to tell it until Wade spoke out.

Bob said: "And why ONE guy is carrying the visible load in raising the issues that are threatening to destroy the SBC."

Now there are two guys telling the story.
Soon three,
then four,
then five.....

And someday when the story that wanted to be told has had its effect: the church will be healed again.

And then, in this healed Church, the REAL Story can begin to be told again of the Coming of our Savior. :) God Bless You Both

Anonymous said...

Bob Cleveland,

I heard somebody quote that Edmund Burke fellow somewhere recently...

What was that about evil prevailing when good men do nothing?

Thank you for being a good man who did something.

Anonymous said...

Scotte said: "Bob is also active on a local level, coming to visit the sick in Birmingham AL while being treated himself. "

Coming to visit the sick
While he is being treated himself

Wow. Is there any doubt that this is a man, who with his last dying breath, will pray: 'JESUS' ?

Unknown said...

There is still a lot of hope...

Anonymous said...

Wade, please take a few minutes and read this wonderful story in the San Antonio Express that I believe is the fulfillment of men like you pushing for us to work together to build His kingdom!

Appreciate you!


Anonymous said...

P.S. I also read Bob's blog and it is great! Thanks Bob!


John Daly said...

It's encouraging to see Saints who refuse to allow their blades gain rust. In fact, I would much rather wear out than to rust out. While not ever Believers battle is going to be SBC related, these words serve to strenthen our resolve too.

And K-Man, I don't think the Rams are really back. They're just going to give you some hope and then squash it once again. Although I do hear them singing in the Lone Star State this fine morning. And alas, the Cowboys are singing as well.

Rex Ray said...

I’m thinking of putting the following on our church bulletin board. I’ve changed some things in hope of making it (my opinion) clearer. I’ve always admired Bob Cleveland. Notice I ‘stole’ his words in your previous post in comment 227 about ‘two recipes producing the same cake’. Any suggested revisions or additions to this ‘Bulletin Board Paper’ would be welcomed.

On Wade Burleson’s Blog
Don’t Just Sit There in Church: Do Something

Reader’s Digest ran a test. They had two soundproof booths connected together with a mike and earphones. They lied by saying they also had three and up to ten booths connected together the same way.

They asked for volunteers from the street to share their fears, vices, etc, and no one would know anyone. One at a time, they were given a number (two to ten) that represented the number of booths they ‘thought’ they were in.

The connecting booth had a Reader’s Digest actor who had a gambling problem, got terribly in debt, and had a heart attack. The actor said he’d gotten out of debt and settled down but had gotten back in debt, stole from his employer, was afraid the auditors would catch him, had been having chest pains…then he starts groaning and a thud is heard. Then silence.

When a guy thought he was in a group of two, he ALWAYS yelled for help.

When he thought he was in a group of three, he yelled one out of four times.

When he thought he was in a group of four or more, he NEVER yelled.

That’s why more people will pray or volunteer in a small group than in a large one.

That’s why there are few that speak out against issues that may hurt the Southern Baptist Convention or the individual church.

Of course, there’s always ‘baloney-eating boot-lickers’ who always defend the status quo powers, and others are intimidated by rank and power, etc.

Every Christian should speak as the Holy Spirit leads them.

peter lumpkins said...


I appreciate the story. I do have a question since at least one alluded to it.

Recorded is: "And why *ONE guy* is carrying the visible load in raising the issues that are threatening to destroy the SBC" (emphasis mine)

Who was/is intended as the identity of the guy who carries the load in raising the issues for the SBC?

Thanks. With that, I am...


P.S. Perhaps that coffee will be a possibility in the near future! :^)

Tom Parker said...


Maybe I will help the readership of your blog. Since September 27, 2008 until October 13, 2008, which is 19 days, almost 3 weeks you have used Wade Burleson as a punching bag at your "Blog", but you now have an item that does not include Wade.
I'm proud of you. I knew you could do it.

Unknown said...

There are definitely two different factions in our convention. Wonder if this will end in another convention split?

I remember when we withdrew from the world alliance. Many in my church were unhappy about that. The pastors said they didn't like it either, but "Our denominational leaders know what they're doing."

John Moeller said...

I have read Wade’s blog since it was reported about in Charisma magazine.

I have also read most of the comments. I have to say that I identify with Bob and agree with all of his comments….

I have also read the comments from the Scholarly, theological types… Most of the time I think you miss the whole point.

Wade gets the point, that’s why I read his blog. What you must never forget is that every one of “those” sprinkled, tongue talking, TD Jakes loving women professors who taught men will be standing beside you “pure bread Baptists” in heaven someday and there ain’t nothing you can do to stop that.

You are spending too much time fighting your version of doctrine and forgetting that hurting people need Jesus. You forget that missionaries need cooperation and help, not force-fed doctrinal views and headaches.

With that, I am not and will never be….. Peter!

Anonymous said...

Good post, Wade.
I admire the courage and perseverance of you and Bob and others who are still fighting the good fight. I wish you well, but I wonder how you can fight those who bring busloads to the meetings just for voting sessions and register children as messengers unless you lower yourselves to their tactics, which I think you are too principled to do.

I agree that the denominational leaders who pulled the SBC out of the BWA (Baptist World Alliance)and did other such things knew what they were doing. I do not agree that they should have been doing those things. (Just because they knew what they were doing does not make it right - I could give examples but would either be accused of political views or of comparing SBC leaders to such as Hitler, who certainly knew what he was doing though it didn't make it right.) I understand the unhappiness in your church. It is a real dilemna when the denominational leadership does things the people in the churches strongly disagree with. Do you stay with the organization as Wade and some others have done and try to change it (a losing battle, in my opinion) or do you seek out others who are more compatible with your views even though it is a painful break. Either choice is painful. I hurt for you.

Susie said...

Tom and John,

Both you guys are funny. Thanks for your comments.


I like it! Go for it.

Suzie, Elisabeth Brian, Scott, Lin

Thanks for the kind words about Bob - I wholeheartedly agree.

Anonymous said...


You are my hero! Silence is not golden, and I appreciate your speaking up for those of us who have been silent for far too long!!!

I will be praying for you and Wade. I'm also doing what I can to educate others about the totalitarianism that now pervades the SBC.

God bless you!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susie,

I spent some time thinking about what you said:

"Do you stay with the organization as Wade and some others have done and try to change it (a losing battle, in my opinion) or do you seek out others who are more compatible with your views even though it is a painful break. Either choice is painful. I hurt for you."

Maybe it has become too easy for all people to leave difficult situations: troubled marriages, difficult jobs, a broken church, a community in crisis.

Staying and trying to 'repair' is so much harder. I am convinced that, if one's commitment was strong enough in the beginning: that trying to work things out maybe the Good Lord's way of helping all of us.

Whatever it takes to make it right again is painful, difficult, and can be very character-building and a blessing in disguise.

Everyone can think of a time when they 'left'. Sometimes we walk away from our own 'cross', instead of taking it up, and following Him. Wade has taken up the good fight for a lot of decent people. I hurt for him, too. And for them.

But I KNOW something: that somewhere we MUST take a stand against the evil that is hurting Wade's church. Not just the people doing wrong things; but the evil that leads people to do wrong.
The battlefield for Wade was made clear to him when he learned of the plight of the missionaries. From that moment, I think he knew what he had to do.

Run from this fight and you will meet the Enemy again. Just on a different battlefield.

Wade fights an Ancient Enemy.
But he does not fight alone.
Not alone.

L's Gran

Anonymous said...


Well stated.

Anonymous said...


If you don't know the answer to your question, you are dumber than you look.

Better stop eating that corn bread and buttermilk. It's killing your brain cells. said...


Sign your name. Also, your comments are out of order.

What one writes may be true, but either let others figure it out for themselves, or have the courage to sign your name. said...


Your link would not work. Is it complete?

Tom Parker said...


I hope you notice how Wade takes up for you as compared to your using Wade for almost 3 weeks as "Blog" topics. He shows class and you show ????????.

Anonymous said...

Wade maybe this one will work...this is so cool!


Anonymous said...

Wade I will try again!


Anonymous said...

One more time!http://www.mysanantonio.


Ramesh said...

Gift of a church lifts two flocks

Unknown said...

Is this the link you were trying for, Ron?

You're right, it is cool.

Unknown said...

Oops, my link didn't work, but Thy Peace's does!

Ramesh said...


Preventing Unwanted Comments and Comment Spam

How can I learn some basic HTML?

greg.w.h said...

Ron's Link to "Gift of a church lifts two flocks" article

John Daly said...

I can think of a few dying fellowships here in St. Louis that would do well to follow this gentleman. They're in a vibrant part of the city, booming with potential and their deadness bears a silent witness that the enemies foothold reigns supreme here.

I may not have the resources to purchase your tomb but I have the fire to see Christ glorified in that area and if you're not going to lead then maybe God is telling you to get outta the way!

Denise said...


Bob and your father are two men I would have liked to be my father. Both full of wisdom, love their families and spiritual leaders in and out of their homes. My family lacked that growing up.

He hit the nail on the head in that letter to you and hit me between the eyes too. I need to stand up and take action on some things I tend to be complacent about in my beliefs.

I sure hope I can meet my blogging buddies this side of eternity but if not we'll meet up in the "blogging room in heaven.


Cynthia Kunsman said...

Denise wrote;Bob and your father are two men I would have liked to be my father. Both full of wisdom, love their families and spiritual leaders in and out of their homes. My family lacked that growing up.

I agree. (I need to 'fess up and say that I did make an anonymous comment but it was one that was very complimentary of Bob, so I thought that would be okay.)

Cynthia Kunsman said...

Oh, to my family's great credit.

Let me specify that my parents were always trying to get me to go with the flow and to not make waves. Though my family lacked that wisdom concerning when to make a stand against injustice when that might come at a price, they imparted much wisdom in many other areas. My father did not receive Jesus until I was a older teen, but he borrowed much wisdom from the capital of what was then a good Christian culture nonetheless. I find these to be strong traits in both Bob and Pastor Wade, and would have been blessed by such wisdom.

God was so good, however, to send me a mentor in the form of school teacher and youth pastor whose last words to me before he went to heaven were to "Never stop being a Daniel." So where my parents were weak, God faithfully provided. It would have been nice if it I'd also had that encouragement and guidance from my beloved parents, however.

Anonymous said...

Brother Bob, I will give you the best compliment I can, you remind me of my dad.

The day he went to be with the Lord I looked at my 4 brothers and said "now who do I ask"

He had memorized 3/4 of the Bible, had only a high school education and was a deacon from the age of 19. Loved the little country church and kept me on track and balanced all through seminary and the baptists battles.

God Bless You, your writings always touch me

In His Service

Anonymous said...

L's Gran and Susie,

thank you for adding your thoughtful comments to this discussion. I agree that one must stay the course when one is called to that course - e.g., to a marriage. The question for many may be, however, to what organization are they called? Are they called to the SBC or to the Body of Christ - the Church with a capital C?

What do you think? I am honestly asking. Do I think someone could be called specifically to the SBC? I believe God calls individuals to all sorts of places, but I also think at the end of the day His first thought would be toward the Church, not the SBC.

Anonymous said...

And, please forgive me if that comment is read to be an attack on the SBC or a slight to it. I do not and didn't mean that comment in that way. I wouldn't appreciate anyone attacking the SBC generally.

It is simply a question about priority and the object of the question L's gran raises - about commitment to an organization and seeing commitment through. Our commitment is to God and His leading in our life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryan Riley,

It's me, L's Gran.


How about HONORABLE commitment to do that which is RIGHT and JUST ?

The 'battlegrounds' I speak of are all through our lives: our ethical conduct is integral to who we are and how we live.

It's not the ORGANIZATIONS we commit to; it's the honorable pledge to try to do what is right in ALL our interactions, sometimes at great personal costs.

For those who believe that the ends justify the means, any tactics will do, no matter how brutal or cruel or unjust: in pursuit of their goals.

An ethical Christian could NEVER be persuaded to use tactics that harmed others.

The ACTIONS of ethical Christians would be the kind that give honor to Christ; not the kind that make other Christians cringe.

God does not ask for us to 'look away' when missionaries are harmed, or women are abused, or someone like Dr. Klouda is treated so unfairly.

Each 'man' has to decide for himself just how far he can let such things happen without an HONORABLE response, and still hold his head up.

The women on this blog already 'get it' because they understand the price to be paid when unfairness rules the day.

Some things are worth fighting for in this world. The worst atrocities happen when we look away and do nothing: that is what Bob Cleveland is teaching.

We ARE responsible for our neighbor, our spouses, our children, the missionaries, the church members, and even for those who would harm the others. For them, especially, standing up and saying to them 'Enough' may be the beginning of their redemption.

Thomas Aquinas might have explained it this way:

'For those who understand this, no explanation is necessary.

For those, who do not understand, no explanation is possible.'

L's Gran

Ramesh said...

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Monte Erwin said...

Nothing is better than sitting at O'Charley's over lunch with Bob, listening to his stories of life and wisdom. I love and respect this man--my neighbor--quite literally. Thanks, Bob, for who you are in the lives of SO many people. You and Peg are treasures.

Anonymous said...

"Knowing what I know, I cannot now hide in anonynimity. Even if I'd far rather do that"

Those who hide and do nothing:

That IS their response.

Anonymous said...

"Not to answer, is an answer."

Anonymous said...

L's Gran, I think we understand one another. My questions really wasn't so much for you. Commitment to God and His people is the key - which jives perfectly with what a great teacher once said about loving your God and your neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryan,

We are on the same team, I think.
L's G.

Rex Ray said...

L’s Gran,
I’ve enjoyed your comments so much! I’m afraid you could never be a Baptists since you’re so nice. HA

I wholehearted agree with your comment. I’ll quote some words you said to introduction my comment:

“The battlegrounds’ I speak of are all through our lives…it’s the honorable pledge to try to do what is right…God does not ask for us to ‘look away’…standing up and saying to them ‘Enough’…Thomas Aquinas: For those who understand this, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.”

My file of Wade’s post has 264,826 words, and my comments have 198,371. I would guess over 90% of them agree with Wade. Here’s one that we have more or less agreed to disagree. I’m not expecting you to reply or take ‘sides’, but for the record I’d like to discuss the word ‘Inerrancy’ that the old convention of Texas will not use. Dr. James Denison, a former professor of SWBTS writes his thoughts on Inerrancy. They can be found on Google by typing:

“eight definitions and twelve qualifications of inerrancy”,

then click on the first reference which is “Untitled Document”.

No one has answered this question: ‘How did the Gospel survive nineteen hundred years without the word ‘Inerrancy’?

God’s existence is based on faith which is a foundation of solid rock.

In the early nineteen hundreds, atheists said God did not exist because the Bible was not perfect. Their statement has no value because its foundation is sand.

The backlash of the atheists’ statement was by fundamentalists saying the opposite; that God existed because the Bible was perfect.

Excuse me, but God’s existence does not depend on the Bible being perfect.

Therefore the fundamentalists’ statement is built on a foundation of sand because if one Bible word was proven wrong, God would not exist.
Why is it so hard for people to see this?

For fundamentalists to keep the Bible perfect, the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy says any ‘wrong word’ in the Bible is an “illusion”.

Well, la de da, we’re right back to square one in knowing which words are true and which words are “illusions”.

That’s why the BFM says, “We believe the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any MIXTURE of error, for its matter and that all SCRIPTURE is totally true and trustworthy.”

“Mixture of error” means truth and untruth.
‘Untruth’ is found in the words of men and the devil, while “Scripture” means the words of God.
Both are recorded in the Bible. It takes the Holy Spirit (not a committee) to teach us which is which.

L’s Gran, to some, like you quoted, “no explanation is possible.”

Tom Parker said...


One word caused more harm during the CR takeover than any other word in my opinion and that is the word--"inerrancy."

People were and are treated as if they do not believe the "Bible" if they say they do NOT believe in inerrancy or that it is not just a simple yes or no question, when as you said there exists-"“eight definitions and twelve qualifications of inerrancy”

PP and others ruined a great organization, the SBC, by pitting Christian against Christian.

Now look at what is happening as it relates to women in the SBC.

God will hold them accountable.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker,

I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written. Paige Patterson has ruined a Christian denomination, and I fear that the SBC will never recover from the damage that has been done.

As I write this, Dr. Patterson is addressing students at SEBTS in their chapel, and today the seminary is dedicating a building in his name.

The good ole boy network is alive and well in the SBC. . .

Tom Parker said...


PP and others are like humpty dumpty, they fell off and fell apart and now there is no way to put back together what once was.

A lot of fear still exists in the SBC and people are going to have to be willing to make their voices known and understand how viciously they will be attacked if they take the non-party line.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rex Ray:

Although I am not 'of your faith', I think I must be inspired by my Southern Baptist grandmother's spirit. I think she helps me to think about her Church. And to care about it.

I have never heard of 'inerrancy' before learning of it here.

My own relationship with the Holy Writings has always been one of blessing. The Scriptures have given gifts of comfort and peace to me. Recently, my dear father went on ahead. I miss him terribly. I know he is safe and with God, when I read the Holy Writings.

Words on a page? No. The Holy Writings impart to us such comfort and peace. In my faith, we pray before reading them. I pray during my reading of them (all the psalms are prayers to God.) I pray in thanksgiving after closing the Holy Book.

Some of what comes through to me in the 'inerrancy' argument is something that is NOT reverence for the Holy Writings. It is something ELSE. I don't understand what that 'something else' is, but it offends my soul.

L's Gran

P.S. Rex, I enjoy your comments, too. I am grateful to have learned from you. L's G

Anonymous said...

Tom and Wanda,

I'm curious

Setting the term "inerrancy" aside, do you disagree with any of the Chicago Statement articles that you can find by clicking on the link Wade provides on his October 8, 2008 post?



Anonymous said...

Wanda said,
"I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written. Paige Patterson has ruined a Christian denomination . . . "

He had a little help. All those 'good people' who let him do his thing, and then, when they found out the truth, kept their mouths shut.

He had a little help.


Someone Else is going to have the last Word, here.

Stay tuned for Act II. Things are about to change. :)

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Bob,

I trust you read the encouraging comments you received at the thread's beginning. Unfortunately, such encouragement could not last.

The thread now, veered completely from the radar, is taking up the ruination of the SBC by, of course, Dr. Patterson. Who else?

Also, the old can to kick--Inerrancy--just got booted right out of christian experience, by being "offensive." For me, that's a new one.

I wonder who will receive the punch when the bell rings for round three? It's anybody's guess.

Sorry, my brother Bob, that a inspiring post about the strengths our Lord bestowed upon you has turned so endemic.

With that, I am...


Anonymous said...

Hi Rex Ray,

I looked at your reference re: Dr. Denison. Here are some quotes and my comments:

"For these reasons, I do not use the word “inerrant” to describe my personal understanding of God’s word. I do, however, believe that the Holy Writ is exactly what it claims to be: “God-breathed” in its entirety (2 Tim. 3:16). "

COMMENT: I like this part. It resonates with 'inspiration': 'to put the SPIRIT of God 'IN' ; to INSPIRE. :)

Dr. Denison says:
I personally believe that every word was given by God, through men. In a mystery akin to the Incarnation, I believe that the Bible is both divine and human. The words of Scripture bear the characteristics of both their Author and their authors. They are absolutely trustworthy as the words and word of God."

COMMENT: I disagree with seeing the Bible as divine and human in itself.
I do NOT reverence the Holy Writ as a collection of words and phrases; but I do revere the Spirit of God that comes to me THROUGH it.

A book, of itself, only words. Read the words reverently, and the Holy Spirit comes to you, not FROM the words themselves,
but flowing THROUGH the words,

Dr. Denison:
"I further believe that God has preserved his word in the texts we possess today. Our copies of the original autographs have been given to us through a process which God has protected. I therefore reject the implication that since only the originals are “inerrant” our copies are somehow less acceptable. I have given my life to preach, teach, and seek to live by the word of God I have today."

COMMENT: I was told that the Bible was written by men who were 'inspired' by God. Men, in translation, can make changes: sometimes in delicate shades of meaning, sometimes less subtle. Do men or churches put their own spin on the translations? Is there evidence of this?

I read my grandmothers KJV. I also read the scriptures of my faith. I do not feel ill at ease with either translation.

I am studying Judaism, also, to learn more about the Scriptures. I am learning a very great deal about the rabbinic commentaries on the O.T.
One thing stands out: absolute reverence, even in areas where rabbis have disagreed over the meaning of a text. Eventually, a third rabbi will come along and resolve the conflict to everyone's satisfaction. A fascinating approach to Scripture scholarship. Always reverent.

In the Christian faith, if some lacks reverence, these people begin to abuse the Bible: to 'use' it to control others, to manipulate them.

Kind of like a politician who might promote topic that is sacred to people just as a way of getting their votes. This seems very cynical to me; and yet it happens.
L's G.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I can hardly wait for Act II !!!

I'm praying fervently about this matter.



Tom Parker said...


Glad you showed up and hope you read all of the comments. Notice the class wade had in someone saying something offensive your way. But you on the other hand used Wade as a punching bag for 18 days. I've mentioned that to you several times to give you an opportunity to think how hypocritical it is of you to come comment on the person's blog you have attempted to demonize, but Wade let's you keep commenting. I'm sure you would not do otherwise.

You may not like it but PP and others did ruin the SBC and one of the boogy men was "inerrancy."

Tom Parker said...


You said to Bob--"I appreciate the story." in post #14.

You said to Bob"that a inspiring post about the strengths our Lord bestowed upon you has turned so endemic." in post #56.

Peter, did you feel the need to add more to your first comment as I just see very little encouragement in your first comment.

BTW what does endemic mean?

Anonymous said...


Judging by his use of the word, he doesn't know.

John Daly said...

"When he thinks he's in a group of four or more, he NEVER comes out of the booth."

In terms of allowing folks the opportunity to be born, I think we're still in the booth. Didn't we have a pro-choice speaker at a recent annual convention? I think that was my "Check Please" day.

In terms of suffering persecution for the Gospel, in terms of sacrificially serving others, in terms of risking all for the cause of Christ--we're still in the booth.

I think we're more comfortable there anyway.

Anonymous said...

I believe in The Father ,The Son & The Holy Spirit
What does that make me

Anonymous said...

Dear Benji,

I don't need to set aside the term "inerrancy" because I absolutely believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. What's your point?

I have scanned The Chicago Statement on Bibilical Inerrancy as included on Wade's October 8 post and have printed it out so I can read it very carefully this evening. I'm certain that I won't disagree with any of it.

I think you are misunderstanding my position with regard to the SBC. I have a problem with the extremely narrow interpretation of Scripture by the ultra-conservative kingpins in the SBC. They have their own agenda and use Scripture to justify their selfish desires.

I believe they are misrepresenting what God intended through His Holy Word, and one day they will have to answer to Him for that.

I highly doubt that anyone is left in the SBC who does not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Why would they put themselves through this torture if they didn't believe God's Word to be inspired by the Holy Spirit? No, those who would fit into that category have either moved to a different denomination or renounced their faith.

It seems that whenever someone disagrees with the ultra right-wingers of the SBC they are challenged about whether they believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. I can assure you that I have a very intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I am His bride, and I cherish Him above everything else!



Tom Parker said...


The ultra-right wingers of the SBC are not used to having any one stand up against them. They are bullies who only function well in groups and when they have the power.

Unknown said...

A comment on a site for survivors of spiritual abuse, in regards to Christian "leaders" misusing scripture to accomplish their own ends: "The Bible is a very good book - and it makes a terrible weapon." (By terrible weapon, she meant that the damage done to people by using the Bible as a weapon against them is terrible.)

Anonymous said...

Something puzzles me.
How do people decide if something in Scripture is to be taken literally? Does the word "inerrancy" mean that every single verse is to be literally interpreted, or is there room for parables, poetic images, symbolic meanings? If there is room, who gets to decide the meaning?

Anonymous said...


Not to quibble with you too much, but when you said you agreed "wholeheartedly" with Tom, part of what Tom said was not about interpretation.

Tom said "One word caused more harm during the CR takeover than any other word in my opinion and that is the word--'inerrancy.'

People were and are treated as if they do not believe the 'Bible' if they say they do NOT believe in inerrancy or that it is not just a simple yes or no question, when as you said there exists-''eight definitions and twelve qualifications of inerrancy'

PP and others ruined a great organization, the SBC, by pitting Christian against Christian."

Anyway, I understand your position and I thank you for sharing it.

I suppose I was wondering if there might be any/some/alot of validity to the idea that some believers might disagree over the term inerrancy, but not the meaning of the term.

God Bless


Anonymous said...

I think very highly of Bob and Peg. My husband and I had the privilege of meeting them last April in Texas and what you read on the blogs is how he is in person. At least in my opinion.

Anonymous said...


Genesis 1:26
"And God said, 'Let us make MAN in our image, after our likeness: and let them have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over ALL the earth, and every other creepy thing that creepeth upon the earth."


foxofbama said...

Two things
I hope you and Bob will click over to my blog to see what I have said about Rick Bussey who will be speaking to the Bama Baptist Convention this year
2) Would love for both of you to weigh in on the new book by Jerry Vines former member at West Rome BC on women and BFM 2000
It's a shocker, quite provocative coming from a PHD now teaching at Oregon State and raised in Vines Church.
See a review at

Anonymous said...

Dear Benji,

Thanks for your kind response. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "wholeheartedly".

I'm just extremely upset that those whom I would label as fundamentalists have become stumbling blocks to our evangelistic cause in the SBC. We should be concerned about sharing the Gospel with those who do not know Christ and making disciples.

Unfortunately, the kingpins keep moving the SBC further and further to the right. I'm getting to the point where I am almost embarrassed to bring a new believer into what is becoming a cultic organization.

I have made this a matter of fervent prayer. I just hope it's not too late to correct the mistakes that have been made in our denomination. As Wade said in a previous post, the takeover wasn't really about inerrancy of Scripture. It has become apparent in recent years that it was a power grab!



Byroniac said...

MAN is a generic term for humanity in general. That should be obvious, especially from the context. Just look at the word "them" in your quote: doesn't make much sense if only Adam is being referred to!

I do have a serious question though concerning the very next verse, which reads (ESV): "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created *him*; male and female he created them." Someone brought it to my attention that it says in reference to being made in the image of God "he created him" not "he created them". This would seem to agree with 1 Cor 11:7, which states, "For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man."

Full Disclaimer: I am a complementarian so that is my perspective (however, I disagree with that CBMW article's perspective of eternal gender roles, because it seems impossible in light of Gal 3:28 which speaks of spiritual realities in Christ). Perhaps I am a light complementarian.

Anonymous said...

No such thing as a:
"Complimentarianism Light"

Plenty of

Anonymous said...

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Genesis 5:2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

8 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Gal 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

1 Cor 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Spiritually, there is no difference between male and female and that is all that matters. Those that would tell you that there is a difference and requires different roles or different duties within the body of Christ are set on the flesh and not the spirit.

Anonymous said...

What is SO strange: debates between Christian 'scholars' who try to use their finite minds to understand the structure of the infinite God.

We may have been made in the image of God, but we do not share all of His powers: our minds are not big enough to hold the great mystery of the Trinity.

Little children trying to play "Beethoven" on tiny toy pianos makes more sense
than a group of self-important theologians who claim understanding of the structure of the Trinity.

Have a little humility before the majesty and mystery of God!

Anonymous said...

Stan said:

"Spiritually, there is no difference between male and female and that is all that matters. Those that would tell you that there is a difference and requires different roles or different duties within the body of Christ are set on the flesh and not the spirit."

I really appreciate your comment and the Bible passage you shared! In my humble opinion, you are right and those who disagree with you are wrong!!!



Rex Ray said...

Tom Parker,
You said in a nutshell what hurt the Gospel more than any one item:

“One word caused more harm during the CR takeover more than any other word in my opinion and that is the word—“inerrancy.”

‘Inerrancy’ became a battle cry. At one SBC, I heard a man yelling, “We have our inerrancy, and no one’s going to take it from us!”
He sounded like the people, yelling, “Long live our God, Dianna.”

‘Inerrancy’ also became a defense. When Paige Patterson attacked the IMB for having ‘women over men’, Jerry Rankin was puzzled, and said, “Why, everyone in the IMB believed in ‘inerrancy.’

‘Inerrancy’ became a ‘code’ word. If you ‘accepted’ you were ‘one of us’, and if you didn’t, it was the highway for you.

In the past, the Bible has been used to burn people at the stake, drown and hang witches, and even fire missionaries; and all in the name of God.

The BGCT has 5,000 plus churches, and they believe the Bible is ‘Infallible and will NOT accept ‘inerrancy’. ‘Infallible’ is defined by the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy (referenced by Wade) as:

“Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe and reliable rule and guide in all matters.”

Pharisees (my opinion) say, ‘Oh, but Infallible is not good enough unless you also believe in Inerrancy. If you don’t believe Inerrancy, you don’t believe the Bible.’

You said you would read the Chicago Statement on Wade’s October 8 post very carefully, and “I’m certain that I won’t disagree with any of it.”

I wrote the problems I had with it on the next to the last comment. I will repeat them briefly:
1 Page 1. Inerrancy has been used as a creed (mandatory), but the Statement said it was not to be creedal.

2. Page 5. Inerrancy is vital to sound understanding and conformity to the image of Christ.
[Is that saying us ‘non-inerrancy people’ cannot understand and cannot conform to Christ?]

3. Page 5. If inerrancy is rejected, there will be grave consequences.
[Does that mean the firry-furnace, fired, booted out, or the highway?]

4. If no solution, trust to be an illusion.
[Self explanatory]

Once again, Tom, I agree that no other word has caused so much harm, and I will say as I have before:

“I wish inerrancy would go back where it came from…the SMILING lips of the devil.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,

I'm giving your comments some serious thought. These are unchartered waters for me, and I'm learning how to navigate them on Wade's blog, along with the help of Christians like you.



Anonymous said...

To L’s Gran (and others who question)
There is such a thing as choosing one’s battles. I am old enough to have learned that. Jesus did that when he walked away from those who would have thrown Him off a cliff.

I attended one SBC meeting, the one in which I voted with the minority against removing SBC support from the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. At that meeting I saw busloads being brought in just for meetings at which there would be votes taken and small children registered as messengers. That helped me realize that there was only one viewpoint that would prevail in the organization.

While at that meeting, in a session about missions in which participants were asked to gather in small groups to pray for missionaries I found myself in a group that included a missionary couple. We prayed together and later visited and I got to know them and learn of their work. This same couple were among those later fired for refusing to sign the BF&M200, possibly partly because she was ordained to the ministry and served as a chaplain at a school. Not surprisingly in light of all that has happened in the SBC, the session on missions was sparsely attended.

Anyway, I have learned that the battle for control of the SBC - that’s what it is and it has nothing to do with the Bible except that the Bible is used as a weapon - is not one in which I can play a useful part, other than possibly encouraging those who still think it is possible to do anything. So to Wade and to Bob and to others who still think they can do something, and possibly can, I say, Go for it.

There have been times in my life when it seemed God was calling me to beat my head against a brick wall. In at least one case I succeeded. But the SBC is one brick wall I no longer feel called to beat my head against; I know that’s all it would be for me. I am female and have no power base such as Wade has. If God can use my abilities elsewhere it would be a waste of time and energy to work at something that has no chance of accomplishing anything useful. I guess the same could be said about all our discussions on blogs, but such can clarify our thinking and therefore serves a purpose.

I don’t consider myself to have wimped out, just moved on.


Anonymous said...


You may want to look at your power base again.

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Act 11:17 If then God gave to them the same Gift [equally] as He gave to us when we believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I and what power or authority had I to interfere or hinder or forbid or withstand God?

Rom 15:1 WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2 Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
Rom 15:3 For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; but, as it is written, The reproaches and abuses of those who reproached and abused you fell on Me. [Ps. 69:9.]
Rom 15:4 For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
Rom 15:5 Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Rom 15:6 That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Anonymous said...

Dear Susie,

What you wrote is a testimony:

"But the SBC is one brick wall I no longer feel called to beat my head against; I know that’s all it would be for me. I am female and have no power base such as Wade has. If God can use my abilities elsewhere it would be a waste of time and energy to work at something that has no chance of accomplishing anything useful."

You HAVE fought the good fight, Susie. In your discernment, you recognized the Enemy. You have been discouraged, for a while, by the evil you have seen. Don't hit your head against the wall: faith can bring the wall down.
"and the people shouted with a
great shout, and the wall fell down. . " (Joshua 6:20)
Your faith and your out cry and the power of the Lord is what brings these walls down, Susie.
In trying to protect the Church, you serve His cause,

"Hast thou not known", Susie, . . "He give power to the faint, and to him (and her) that has no might, He increaseth strength."
"And they that wait upon the Lord shall RENEW their strength, they shall mount up with wings a eagles: they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40: 28-31)

Susie, if you are weary and need to rest in Him for a while, ask Him for a sanctuary:
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for Thou hast been a shelter for me; and a strong tower from the Enemy " Psalm 61

You said, " I am female and have no power base such as Wade has."
Susie, your 'power base' is the same as Wade's: it's not other people, it's not money, nor politics, nor any person's authority. You KNOW from whence your power comes. And He will not fail you.

I worked many years as a teacher. Often, I did not know if I had done any good for some of the troubled children. Years later, in the community, a young adult would come up to me and recognize me and tell me that I had made a difference in their life.

Susie, we plant seeds. Our faithfulness waters them. We may never see them bloom. But they will. Be encouraged. L's Gran :)

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray: your opinion on inerrancy is your opinion (I have my own as well). That is neither here nor there. But your original comment about inerrancy that you refer to here had a tone of anger to it, not an openness to dialog about it. Though I disagree with you, I am sorry if you have been mistreated by people.

Anonymous said...

I guess I should have said I have no power base that could make a change in the SBC. Nothing I either have the resources to do or are willing to do can change it since those who rule are willing to use any means to stay in power.

I do have areas of influence (power base may be the wrong term to use)and hope I use them wisely.
Not that I claim to be wise, but part of wisdom is wise use of resources/abilities and fighting the SBC (other than telling those I can speak to that their teachings do not represent God's opinion of women)is not that for me.

An analogy would be that my musical talents are limited (I do play in a handbell choir) but I can be an encourager for those who can do more, but leave singing solos to them.


Tom Parker said...


Yes, some of us are angry the way inerrancy has been used in the SBC.

I believe there are at least two of us Rex Ray and Tom Parker.

I'm sure there are more.

Alyce Faulkner said...

I've been lurking for some time, this one I couldn't pass.
Like Debbie, I met Bob and Peg on two different occasions and immediately liked them. While I certainly concur with what you have said about
Bob, you should met Peg. A gem, and Bob knows it.

Kevin, bless your little heart.

I'm so glad you're back Wade and also thankful for some of your new bloggers who are now commenting.

Rex Ray said...

Bryoniac; whose name is Bryan Smith,
You said, “I am sorry if you have been mistreated by people.”

I’m curious why you suggested I may have been mistreated.

Oh, I was included in the name-calling of barnacles and parasites by Tom Eliff talking to Paige Patterson, and called “skunks” by Criswell on the radio, but that’s not “mistreated” as Dr. Klouda, Russell Dilday, or fired missionaries.

Bryan, you said my comment had a tone of anger, and you disagreed with me, but you avoided answering any questions. You did not debate anything I said, but you brought in question my reason for writing.

You used the old rule, ‘if you can’t refute what is said, attack the person’. Your ‘attack’ was so subtle it almost sounded Christian.

Tom Parker,
Thanks for all the truth you have revealed.

Rex Ray said...

Does Paige Patterson believe what he preaches about Inerrancy, or did he make the ‘Battle for the Bible’ a ‘smoke screen’ for the CR to gain control and power?

In 1975, Criswell, hero of fundamentalists, sought to prove every word in the Bible true with his ‘Criswell Study Bible’. Patterson wrote its forward:

“Harmonization of apparent discrepancies and explanations of passages thought by some to contain error are afforded the reader.”

When the mega church of Prestonwood, Dallas, TX was debating to stay with the old convention of Texas or join the new, Patterson, present President of the SBC, preached.
After the service, in a line of people, I showed him his ‘Forward’, and asked if it meant “all errors or just some of them.”

He shouted, “It means ALL of them!”

I asked, “What about the ruler’s daughter being dead in Matthew, and alive in Mark and Luke?”

He said in my ear, “We got all we could.”

The SBC has adopted the Holman Christian Standard Bible, and it’s strange how it’s the only translation that has the girl alive in all three Gospels.

Prestonwood left the old convention (BGCT), and their pastor became the President of the SBC at the next convention.

“It takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others.” (Galatians 5:9)

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray:

Sir, I did not notice your message to me earlier (and I did not notice Tom Ray's either).

First, my name is not Bryan Smith.

Second, I plead guilty to disagreeing with you, but I did not attack your person. I do not know why you thought that. I also did not avoid answering your questions, because that was never my intent in the first place. I was addressing the tone of your original reply, and stating I disagreed with your view, and that's all.

I think it is funny that you accuse me of using an old rule I never heard of before, and for subtly attacking you. I did not do either one.

Byroniac said...

Tom Ray:

I believe you. That's about all I can say, though. I've technically been SBC for the last several years, but I'm not very involved at all in SBC politics.

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray:

I guess I should say that my opinion was (and still is) that your original tone was angry and lacked willingness to dialog. I could be mistaken though. How that equates to attacking your person, I am not sure.

However, I'll withdraw my opinion on the matter if that helps.

Rex Ray said...

I will reply to your words in your comments in the order you’ve made them.

Your first word “Sir” is used most of the time NOT as respect, but as a ‘put down’.

Your next words, “I did not notice your message to me earlier (and I did not notice Tom Ray’s either)”
makes me wonder since you replied after mine (the only one I’ve addressed to you) and no wonder you didn’t notice “Tom Ray’s” because his name is Tom Parker.

Your “My name is not Bryan Smith” gives me the choice of two conclusions:

One: You forgot who you are.
Two: Your blog name, “Bryan Smith” is a lie.

You saying, “I also did not avoid answering your questions, because that was never my intent” makes as much sense as telling a guy with an arrow through his head, ‘I did not shoot you because that was never my intent’.

That kind of reasoning makes me think my replies are useless; causing me to lean toward conclusion “One”, so I’ll end my response with ‘Thanks for making my day’.

I did enjoy your blog asking if you were a wrestler, what would be your finishing move, and you replied: “I’d use the Family Bible to whop my opponent over the head, which usually guarantees a knockout.”

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray:

Fine, I will avoid calling you sir then, if that is what you wish.

I usually become more respectful in my social address right before I am drawn into a gun battle, especially one I did not expect, want, or intend to be in.

It was late last night when I replied, so that is my mistake. His name is Tom Parker. I was not thinking straight.

But my name is still not Bryan Smith. The last name is indeed Smith, but the first is not Bryan. It is spelled differently (my blog profile page has the correct spelling). My first name is commonly misspelled, so that is no real concern. But I do not see why you needed to state what you thought my name was or address me as that name when my blog nickname would do.

And again, it was not my intent or within the scope of my comment to you to address your questions in your original comment on another thread (which in my opinion, you did not really desire answers for, but only positive feedback from those who agree). I was simply trying to be nice by disagreeing agreeably, and I admit, trying to probe as to why your comment had the slightly hostile tone in it. Now I have had it thrown right back in my face.

Fine, but I do not appreciate it.

I have not wronged you that I know of in any way, and I said as much. Can you not simply accept someone stating they disagree with you and leaving it at that? I do not have the time or the patience to have everything I say shot down and skewered simply because it does not agree with your worldview or approved protocol for expressing it. If your replies continue to be of this same nature, then I am inclined to agree on their apparent uselessness.

If this does not resolve things to your satisfaction, then that is fine. I tried to be nice, and then I tried to explain. I am unwilling to accept this from you, and I will not lose any sleep over it either. Again, you are welcome to your opinion, even if I disagree.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Rams are really back. They're just going to give you some hope and then squash it once again. Although I do hear them singing in the Lone Star State this fine morning. And alas, the Cowboys are singing as well.

Auto Parts

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray:

I apologize for being rude towards you, and disrespectful, and not caring about your concerns like I should have.

Let's start over, please, and perhaps we can talk about something else.

Rex Ray said...

byroniac (Byron Smith),
Please stop writing such nice comments; I’ve got enough egg on my face for breakfast. I’m bald, so coals of fire hurt even more.

My son’s name is Bryan, and when I looked at your blog profile, I misread the spelling. When you said it was not your name, I thought you were using a fake name. I made such a big deal about it; I’m ashamed of myself. I am the one that should and is apologizing.

OK, let’s start over. What shall we talk about? Wade’s post? I forgot what it was; had to go back and look.

You may be right that I’ve been hurt, and I could be taking it out on Wade’s blog.

Sixty-four years ago, I was a charter member of our church. I’ve worked on every expansion project whether I was a present member or not since my parents lived here.
Six rooms and a fellowship hall have been added to the original building. Three years ago a million dollar facility was added mostly by volunteer labor.

The SS school attendance has always been less than one hundred, and still is.

Fifteen years ago I was writing a lot of letters to the Baptist Standard while living ninety miles from here. The church pastor liked to discuss/argue with my letters as he was a fundamentalist and agreed with Criswell about the pastor being the ruler of the church.

He left after five years and before the new facility; was on staff of a mega church in Virginia for eight years. He was an official in their new break-away convention.

During that time we retired and came back to the farm. Our pastor resigned after his wife died. I was on the last pastor-search committee and volunteered again, but was replaced by a fifteen-year-old girl on the basis it would help her learn.

I should have smelt a mouse, and sure enough, the previous pastor was chosen again. He told our BGCT church he would lead us to join a new convention that accepted the BFM 2000. After two years, last Sunday, he started using the word ‘inerrancy’.

Byron, maybe that’s the reason I sounded angry when discussing ‘inerrancy.’

Anonymous said...

Hi Rex Ray,

What a story. You could call your mouse tale:


You really got burned. L's

Byroniac said...

Rex Ray:


I'm not sure what to say, except that your horrible experience explains a lot, and I cannot imagine going through something like that.

Now it's my turn to feel ashamed. I'm a fundamentalist for the most part, I must admit. I'm hard-nosed on some things, and not very open minded. But I have learned, and changed my mind on some issues, and I learned a very useful lesson about learning itself: learning not only influences your mind, but inevitably changes it due to the natural effect of acquiring knowledge and eliminating error.

I said that to say this. Fundamentalist as I (think I) am, I would never fit into some Baptist circles. I do not believe in total alcoholic beverage abstinence, always voting a straight Republican ticket (someday I just might break that learned habit!), tithing, the necessity of church membership (what good is membership on paper if there is no Spirit with it?), almost total avoidance of movies and TV, or mandatory church attendance. I especially do not believe in dictatorial pastor-kings of church mini-empires like you see sometimes on the church landscape these days. I do believe in inerrancy, but only in the original manuscripts as a faith position (and hoping in the accuracy of textual criticism of variant manuscripts to glean scriptural truth). No doubt some of the extreme fundamentalist stripe will be doubting my salvation now, but that is not really anything new I suppose. But I can empathize with you at least at some minor level, though frankly I have never experienced anything like that. My beliefs are not the same as yours, but the process of acquiring them has granted me a hard-earned wider perspective on things. Unfortunately, I did not display courtesy or this wider perspective in my previous comments to you.

I do not know if we will ever agree on everything. But a lot of what you say is indeed interesting, even if I do not really understand where you are coming from yet. Perhaps in time I will understand better.

Last word: that pastor ought to be given the left foot of fellowship out the door and told not to return until he repents, if ever.

Anonymous said...

Dear Byroniac and Rex Ray:

The fact that you both have tried to listen to each other and to try to understand each other is a great testament to the working of the Holy Spirit among two Christian men. Wonderful to see this! L's G.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted 100 comments for my brother Bob.


Byroniac said...

Well, he can have 101 comments. I might not always agree with him but I always learn (and almost always agree; isn't that scary?). Bob Cleveland deserves the positive blog post in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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