Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Best to Never to Bite the Hand that Feeds Us

The Woman's Missionary Union has always been the backbone of missions both globally and domestically in Southern Baptist life. It is a little known fact that the WMU legally owns the name and the right to use both the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, but WMU never sees a dollar of the money collected through Southern Baptists who give to our Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong Offerings. The monies collected through these offerings are always sent directly to either the International Mission Board or the North American Mission Board. These two organizations thrive because the Woman's Missionary Union leads the way in the promotion of their respective missions offerings. Historically, the WMU has never backed away from their passion to see Southern Baptists involved in missions both through the prayer and financial support, and through mission mobilization.

The Woman's Missionary Union has always been there for Southern Baptists. During the Great Depression, Southern Baptists nearly lost the Home Mission Board to bankruptcy. It was the WMU who stepped into the gap and bailed Southern Baptists out of the embarrassment of losing the Home Mission Board. The WMU has been at the heart of our Southern Baptist missionary efforts. Until last year, the International Mission Board provided the WMU with a sizable monetary gift as a means of showing them gratitude for their support. That gift was eliminated last year, and this is the first year that WMU has had to make up the difference. Though the WMU said nothing publicly when the IMB announced that they would no longer be giving monetary support to WMU, there was a sense that the next year would be tough.

It has.

Day before yesterday, the employees of the Woman's Missionary Union were called to a meeting to announce difficult but preemptive measures that were being taken due to the economic down turn. The WMU is short two million dollars in revenue. The executive director of the WMU, Wanda Lee, is working very hard to keep all of the WMU's employees in place, not wanting to lay anyone off. To accomplish this, the employees of the WMU are having to take what amounts to a four week furlough, spread out over an eight month period, without pay. Obviously, these furloughs hit Southern Baptists employed by the WMU pretty hard. But my concern is not so much for individual employees as what it says about the SBC if we do not do something to help the agency that promotes our mission efforts.

During the difficult times of controversy in the SBC, the WMU has at times been caught in the middle, yet it has struggled to quietly maintain their place of influence in missions. Not one time has the WMU ever wavered from their original purpose and intent--to remain faithful to God and to Southern Baptists in keeping missions on the front burner.

I imagine the WMU will not publicly wave a flag, asking for Southern Baptists to step into the gap for them. However, in my opinion, this is a true test for those of us identified as Southern Baptists. Will we now turn our backs on WMU when they are at a low point, financially? The WMU's intention is to forge ahead so that Southern Baptists will continue to keep their focus upon the lost people of the world. Is it not time for Southern Baptists to stand in the gap for an old friend, who has proven itself over and over to be faithful to cooperative missions?

I call upon the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board, as well as all of our Southern Baptist agencies to place the WMU within their annual budgets in appreciation for the support these agencies receive through the Woman's Missionary Union. I also call upon our 45,000 Southern Baptist churches to consider placing financial support for the WMU within our local church budgets.

It's best to never to bite the hand that feeds us.

In His Grace,



Anonymous said...

Hi Wade. I have read you regularly since your beginning as a blogger. I trust you and appreciate your courage and I admire your usual understanding and judgment. On this WMU piece however, you sound as if you do not grasp the reason WMU is in this situation.
I agree that churches should help but the first step should be to reestablish mission education thru the type of missions organizations that worked so well through WMU for a hundred years before certain SBC leaders decided that if they could not rule it they would destroy it. To think that they would now try to save it is laughable.
The most current leaders at the IMB and NAMB, (and I have served one as a trustee and the other on a task-force,) realize that they need all the help they can get and have been reaching out to the ladies. The convention depleted the income of WMU partially by taking over the printing of missions material that had been the main source of revenue for WMU. Direct and deliberate competition with unlimited CP money to complete the task.
Many churches under their pastor’s direction backed away from WMU because that is what the leaders of the CR wanted. Dig deeper into this story and you will find more dastardly deeds than you will want to believe. What was done to WMU falls into the category of being on a par with the latest IMB scandal, I believe. Maybe worse. The ladies deeds were pure, their treatment an abomination. But thanks for trying.

Anonymous said...

Aw, Wade (wink, wink, nod, nod)... the WMU is just a bunch of women. They're expendable (shrug).

Anthony, good points. It all comes back to "control" and "money."

Jack Maddox said...


A lot of church's have departed from what was once the norm in having an active WMU in their local congregation. Much of this has been in my opinion due to many WMU's not adjusting with our culture and the modern working woman. For example, the typical WMU would historically meet on say a Tuesday afternoon. With the advent of the working wife and mom being employed outside of the home, This time slot was spoken for. Many WMU's refused to change and their membership has literally died off. Also, many WMU's have failed to recognize the shift towards hands on involvement that boomers desire vs simply a educational paradigm which stressed curriculum, education and tradition over actual missions involvement. For this reason many younger women 'opted' out of the traditional local WMU. Because of this the base has been greatly harmed. Now throw in the WMU's political involvement, on the most part passively resisting the conservative resurgence, on a national and a state level, and you have the problem on both ends. The local church and the national convention.

Wade, do you have a active WMU which meets at your church and what have they done to deal with these types of issues?


Anonymous said...

Wade & fellow brothers & sisters in Christ:

Please pray for Bart Barber & his family. They have been through a terrible ordeal today.

Please also pray for another family that grieves the loss of their son.

In His Service,


Anonymous said...

If the WMU is so valuable then make them an SBC agency funded by the CP and elect their trustees at the Annual Meetings.

I can get my LMCO and AAEO materials through my State Convention and cannot see the benefit of placing within my budget the national WMU. It can be costly to rally the churches for funds. But that is why we have the CP.

I'd rather see the IMB use the 2 million (or whatever the amount actually is) and send a few more missionaries.

And in the words of Ed Stetzer.

['Dat Be] What Lottie Would Do!


Jack Maddox said...

even is exactly right! Yet WMU would resist this to the bitter end...which may be what this is...

Jack Maddox said...

woops...I mean KEVEN is exactly right said...

I personally believe there is a healthy balance when not everyone affiliated with the SBC has boards elected in the same manner as everyone else. Otherwise, just a handful of people control everything.



Anonymous said...

But Wade, that's the idea: a handful of people controlling everything and then, one person controlling the handful. And guess who is in charge.
Hint: His intials are not J.C.

CB Scott said...

Just passing through on to other things, but I just can't resist.

Back when the WMU had oversight of the "Royal Ambassadors" ministry, it thrived like like a fat tick on a Bulldog's ear.

After the Brotherhood of the SBC took over the oversight of RAs it was roasted, eaten and boned cleaner than a Christmas Goose.

There is a major political history with the current situation surrounding the WMU that would take a month for even Wade to record.

SBC history will verify that the WMU is responsible for far more missionary endeavors of the SBC being successful than many would like to admit.

Also, were it not for many good WMU ladies in the congregations of local Southern Baptist churches there would be a many a preacher who could not even afford to buy a Christmas Goose.

For that matter they would not even be able to buy a hunting license to go out and shoot a "Wild Goose" for the table at Christmas.:-)

Of course, most preachers can't shoot well enough to hit a goose anyway:-)


What happened to your dog?


Joe Blackmon said...

Now this is the best blog post of yours that I've read, Wade. Thank you.

Jack Maddox said...


I guess you missed my question. Does your church have an active WMU? Do they have the oversight of missions education and involvement in your congregation? said...

Yes. We call it Women on Mission, but they are active and use Woman's Missionary Union materials as well as state materials.



Ron said...

Thanks for bringing this important issue up for discussion. Anthony is right in saying this story goes much deeper than it seems. Was it a coincidence that both the NAMB and the IMB cut their annual gifts to the WMU at the same time? For many years these gifts were given in appreciation for WMU’s contribution to missions education, missions support and missions involvement. Mark Terry reported last year that since1888 WMU had raised more than 2.5 billion for the IMB through the Lottie Moon Offering. During that time the IMB’s gifts to WMU have totaled $9.5 million. Offerings for the NAMB Annie Armstrong offering have been over $1 billion and NAMB’s gifts to WMU are about $8.5 million. In both cases it has been a pretty good return on investments. The Lottie Moon offering now makes up over half of the IMB budget. I believe that is true for the NAMB as well. Studies have shown that churches with active WMUs give about 4 times the amount to Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings than those without.

The true reason for lack of support for the WMU from the IMB and NAMB is the desire to control that is the driving force at the heart of the conservative resurgence. This is another indication that it has never been theology.

The WMU leadership is not elected or appointed by the SBC. This has worked well for over 100 years and has not been a problem with convention leadership until the recent CR leadership took control. WMU has been traditionally given a seat on the SBC Executive Committee and have been part of many state convention mission education organizations.

A few years ago in a meeting with IMB staff members and missionaries Adrian Rogers threatened that the WMU would lose their positions on SBC policy making bodies unless they were “hardwired” into the convention structure. This meant that he was demanding that the same people who put Paige Patterson as president of SWBTS and John Floyd and Tom Hatley on the IMB trustee board should be the ones to select the leadership of the national WMU organization. CR leaders have been working since then to either control the WMU or marginalize its participation in the SBC.

I admit I am not unbiased. I was an RA and my mother has been a leader in WMU my entire life. When the mission boards cut their giving to the WMU, I began making personal contributions to the national WMU organization. I also support Wade’s call for local churches and possibly state conventions to put the WMU in their budgets. As a missionary with the IMB for 30 years, I recognize the importance of WMU to my being able to serve. No other group supports us so unselfishly as the WMU.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

With all the crooks telling accountants to keep 'hands off' investigating how funds are handled and, then go mission, maybe the IMB is now bank-rupt in more ways than just morally.
How many fingers were in the till?
Is there any 'disinterested' oversight protecting mission funds at the IMB?

Could be this is a sign that the wolves have fed recently and the till is drying up.

Anonymous said...

This post and all of the comments make good points.

There is no doubt that the WMU has a great history and has done some great things.

I would not be for the IMB or NAMB sending money to the WMU because it simply does not make organizational sense for agencies that are SBC agencies, with SBC elected trustees, supported by SBC churches to take portions of their budgets and re-route them to an independent agency. This is not a commentary on the history or worthiness of the WMU. It is simply an organizational point.

The better plan, in my opinion, would be for churches to send donations to the WMU to keep it in the black or better yet, to the employees to get them through the crunch. That keeps the funding from being confused.

Now, I will say that I have not cared for the WMU's role in the CR. I have been a member of several baptist churches since 1977, and none of them had a really active WMU.

But the bigger point, that I think someone has hit on earlier, has to do with the vision and mission of the WMU and how it fits in today's local congregation.

I really hate to say this in many ways because the WMU does have a fine history. But the question is whether the entire concept of a WMU is out of touch with 2008 and our going forward. Would any denomination today create an agency for women for them to do creative things to support missions? Wasn't the WMU started in a society that had the women at home and it was a way for them to be involved? I believe that today, most churches would favor a missions emphasis that involves men and women. I don't claim to be an expert in WMU history, but I wonder whether it has simply run its course as the paradigm for missions support. Kind of like home economics majors at colleges. Oops! Almost forgot.

But at any rate, I digress.

As I said, I have never been in a church that had a really active WMU. My wife, who is an MK, deeply appreciates what the WMU did for her family 20+ years ago. But she has absolutely no interest in starting a WMU chapter or attending WMU meetings. She remembers some involvement related to WMU in hear first year of college, and her thoughts even then were that the WMU people seemed out of touch and culturally awkward. I just kills me to say that, but that is the truth.

Our church, which was founded in 1992, has no WMU, and we don't plan to have one. We are very active in missions. Our pastor has preached at IMB regional gatherings for over a decade. Dozens of our members have been on missions trips. The IMB has hosted a conference at our church. Many of our members have become missionaries with the IMB.

But we have zero interest in the WMU.

That is not a commentary on the worthiness of the WMU and those who want to support it. It is simply a reflection of where are church is and how we want to do missions.

I feel similarly about RAs and Girls in Action (Acteens?). I have nothing against them. We just don't do that because it doesn't fit the culture or vision for how our church does missions education.

Finally, this reminds me a lot of the proposed U.S. auto bail out. Would it be better to bail them out and hope they retool and get better, or will that just perpetuate systemic problems with structure and vision in those companies?

Or is it better to let the auto companies file Chapter 11 and get reorganized in the U.S. Bankrputcy Court system like other companies.

I still hurt for the employees and hope that something can be done on the church or individual level to help them.

I just think that's it is unwise for the SBC to fund a bailout. Especially when the bailout might simply postpone the inevitable that is coming due to cultural changes. Also, we might need to bailout some of our own agencies if the economy doesn't improve.


Anonymous said...

Louis wrote 'I just think that's it is unwise for the SBC to fund a bailout.'

No, we would on no account want to help them, seein' as it is unwise.
God is in control.

Anonymous said...

The WMU was a fine organization, but I have to agree with many others that a bailout may not be what is best. WMU has lost its cultural relevance and its sociological base. I would love to see it stay around, if for no other reason than PP and AM aren't huge fans of it, but vindictive reasoning like that is far from appropriate. If, however, the WMU is willing to restructure its organization and re-vision its purpose, we could talk of this again.

Anonymous said...

I am involved in our churches WMU or as it is known now Women on Missions. I think it to be very vital to both the church and missions.

Women on Missions not only gets to hear and meet missionaries that are stateside, but we have many projects going on that we ourselves donate supplies for. We make sure that each month missionaries receive personal supplies that we each individually purchase to donate, we hear and know what is going on all over the world with missionaries, tell others of this, and pray for missionaries daily. We correspond with missionaries, keeping in constant touch with their needs and burdens. We are a needed and vital group.

My thought is if WMU disappears, it's going to be felt through out missions. We are much more than ladies getting together, made to be felt useful. We are useful and I believe strongly a backbone to missionaries and their families.

Jack Maddox said...

Louis - Dead on and AMEN!

Chris - Amen - kind really, your points are valid also


Dave Samples said...

I'll preface my comments by sharing that my church does not have a WMU. Many of the churches that I have been associated with did have an WMU organization however. As a former HMB MK, I am familiar with some of what the WMU has done in the past. My honest question at this point would be what exactly does the WMU do these days? It appears that quite a bit of dough was being channeled into the organization and so I'm fairly certain that there are some awesome things going on that I have perhaps been missing. Just so you know...My church gave a little more than $9k last year to Lottie Moon without a WMU. We commissioned our first career IMB missionaries last year without a WMU. We take multiple mission trips every year without a WMU. The Lottie Moon promotional kit (dvd, etc) comes from the IMB. The envelopes and prayer guides come from the state convention (I don't know who prints them). I've no doubt that the WMU "has always been the backbone of missions". I'm just not so sure that they still are...

BTW...I realize that you can only write that last sentence if you don't have a WMU in your church (smile).

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie - likewise, AMEN! However it sounds as if you ladies have made the cultural shift to hands on vs simply meet and greet type ministry. I would venture you are somewhat diversified in your approach to ministry. In the Baptist church that runs 11 or less (about 70% of our church's in the SBC) you will not find that this is as prevalent. My point is this, if the National WMU is to survive, there must be wholesale change in the local congregation the represents the typical SBC church. Younger leadership is needed. SOme of you are spouting off about control...have you ever had an entrenched WMU leadership in a small membership church that is uninterested in change? Now thats Baptist politics that even PP and AM would have to bow to!


Jack Maddox said...

sorry gang...that should have read "the Baptist church that runs 100 or less"

dang keyboard : )


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your comment.

It is great to read about your work with WMU and I am glad that your experience is a good one, and I have no doubt that you all are aiding the Kingdom of God.

Keep it up!


Anonymous said...

The ORGANIZATION of WMU/Women on Mission is not as important as the OBJECTIVE of WMU/WOM: to teach/promote missions activity in the local church. Take away the WMU, and missions promotion/education virtually comes to an end (pastors and staffs are barely able to promote/educate due to other priorities and other activities already in place). Without WMU, we've had to find other ways to promote/educate about missions--and are seeking, not having found either the way or the motivation that women have had for it. Of course, the women of a church have to rise up and take on the task--it's about the only area of church ministry that I, as a 20+ year vocational minister, haven't served/been permitted to serve in.

Go get 'em, ladies!

Anonymous said...

The WMU is indeed 'out of date'.
Since when does an organization contribute to bail out a distressed group these days, like the WMU did when they bailed out the IMB during the Depression? Those times are gone. Those kinds of Americans are gone. And, WMU is a WOMEN'S organization. God doesn't want women in control in the church. This is a good time to put an end to the nonsense. I say, let 'em drown. They are very out of touch with the modern Conservative Resurgence.

Anonymous said...

"I say, let 'em drown. They are very out of touch with the modern Conservative Resurgence."

I believe the WMU might not be the only thing that's drowning.

Anonymous said...

Kevin M. Crowder,
I want to congratulate you for your change in Heart.
I was not one of your admirers here on these Blog’s. I did see a Young Man of Intelligence, but with out a heart for the Lord. I Praise the that he has convicted Your Heart and Cleaned you up(So to Speak).

Wayne Smith

Anonymous said...

I might also add that we have two meeting times, morning and evening to accommodate most people's schedules including working women who wish to be involved. This has worked well for us.

Anonymous said...


Let's don't get too lathered up here.

It seems that many of the comments that question what the proper response to Wade's plea should be are criticized because of a belief that God wouldn't want us to take or not take a certain action.

Let's all agree that God has not given us a certain word on this. So, we try to apply various principles and reason and make a decision.

I would never suggest that because people don't take my advice that they are not doing God's will. That would be wrong and it would be unhealthy from a relational standpoint. (Note: I have seen this argument used in church business meetings before. It has a polarizing effect).

WMU certainly can cast a vision for whatever role it wants to play and the various churches that want a WMU can do so, whatever it's called.

It's just that the WMU should stand on its own and raise its own support, govern itself, appoint its own leaders etc.

My comments about the culture and direction of the WMU are simply my own thoughts. The WMU is the one at the end of the day that has to set the course for its own organization - who leads it, how it gets funds etc.

But I do disagree that if a plea is made to churches to give to the cooperative program, IMB, NAMB, Seminaries etc., but then the money is routed to the WMU, that is not a straightforward way of operating. And I also believe it is a awful idea to put someone on a Board of Directors for a company who is from another company that has not been elected by that Board or the shareholders (which is basically the SBC system).

But if people want to make the case that my ideas are not correct, fine.

But I am not going to start suggesting that people who disagree with me just aren't really listening to God or their heartless etc.

It's usually better to try to make a more convincing or pleasing argument.


Anonymous said...

I hope that the women of the church learn something as they observe how the WMU is being treated. There are some lessons here that should not be ignored.
Women make up fifty percent of the church, give-or-take, and do have SOME influence over the shenanigans that have gone on. Maybe this will move them to exercise their influence in positive ways.

Anonymous said...

Louis doen't want people to get excited. I say 'fire up'. Get excited and do what needs to be done. Too much relaxin' going on has led to a lot of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, not so very long ago an IMB missionary walked to the mic to address a state-wide gathering of Baptists. With a smile he asked, “Where do missionaries come from?” There was a short silence and then the audience responded, almost in unison, “GAs!” With laughter he acknowledged that they were right and then went on to tell impressive stories and statistics about the influence and importance of WMU- related work that has been so helpful to missionaries and missions around the world in general.

No matter about any of the points that have been made in these comments, I cannot believe that God is pleased with the treatment that WMU has received from the Southern Baptist Convention

Tom Parker said...


You said--"It's just that the WMU should stand on its own and raise its own support, govern itself, appoint its own leaders etc."


My thanks in advance.

Bob Cleveland said...


I'm sure WMU could generously support itself with the money that they raise via Lottie and Annie. But they seem to support SBC missionaries with that....

Anonymous said...


That is what got them in trouble with the CR leaders to start with.

CB Scott said...


Louis is right. He is right just like Ron West is right. I wish they were both liars. I wish they were both wrong, but they are not wrong and they are not liars.

Tom, if the WMU is ever "hardwired" into the SBC it will soon cease to be the WMU.

Saying stuff like this is always going to be what keeps me living on an island in the SBC. But truth is truth and we know what we know.

Wade, Really, what happened to the dog?


Tom Parker said...


What I don't understand is the WMU now being asked to raise their own support? What has changed to make it necessary for them to raise their own support? Can you help clarify that issue for me? My thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is going to argue that the WMU has not been influential over the years. Nobody is going to argue that the goals of the WMU are laudable. Nobody should (but some will) argue that women should have places of leadership in church and mission activities.

The question is whether or not the WMU is still the best means of accomplishing these goals. With no disrespect intended for women or the wonderful history of this institution, I posit that that may no longer be the case.

The WMU may own the names for the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon offerings, but people give because it is going to the IMB and the NAMB, not because of the WMU. Missions education can and does take place outside of GA's and RA's. As some have noted, it is the hand's-on, actually going on missions form of mission education that is effective now. The WMU can change to accomodate that (and it sounds like some chapters are changing), but WMU is not essential to accomplishing this.

They are helpful, but not essential. No more than the IMB is essential in carrying out the Great Commission. The work could be done without either institution, even if both are have been/are extremely useful.

Anonymous said...

Anony wrote, 'No matter about any of the points that have been made in these comments, I cannot believe that God is pleased with the treatment that WMU has received from the Southern Baptist Convention'

Of course God is not pleased, but then, He is not the one who is consulted by the leadership of the SBC, is He? Get real.
You know what is going on here.

Tom Parker said...


I would not disagree with anything you had to say, but why the change now? If this was not a women's organization would people posting here say the very same things? Just asking?

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace,

You do things to cause conflict among Baptists. You are not of us yet you post comments as if you are concerned. That seems to smack with hypocrisy don't you think?

Your comment about Frankie Schaeffer is actually old news to most of us. It had nothing to do with this thread.

Your motivation here is questionable to say the least.

Recently you ran like a dog after a bone burued in the woods seeking imformation about me relating to Ben Cole that is really non-existent. Your only motivation was to cause more dissension. You say you do not go to church. Yet you speak as one who has knowledge of spiritual things.

Do you simply not have a real life? What you present as informational is actually some kind of sick need you have to bring discord to a people you are not part of. Or, maybe you are just evil.

You should call yourself; Thy Busybody. it fits far better.


Anonymous said...

"I just want to say that the things that are being said about CB here are ridiculous and wrong."

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:15,

See the comment right above yours. I don't know why this was reposted or why it's being dredged up again. Unless it was deleted, "Thy Peace" hasn't posted in days.

Unknown said...


“ Saying stuff like this is always going to be what keeps me living on an island in the SBC. But truth is truth…”

Might add that speaking truth will also get you “Censored” and “Banned” over at SBC Today… So be careful where you speak truth!

Grace Always,

CB Scott said...

Anony from behind the Anony tree,

Like I said in my last comment above:

"Saying stuff like this is always going to be what keeps me living on an island in the SBC. But truth is truth and we know what we know."

I said it. I meant it. I will stand by it, just like I will stand by what I have said relating to the WMU in this thread.

Anony, at least if I fall over dead today, you will remember me. That is more than anyone on this thread will be able to say for you if this were your last day. And seriously, I hope it is not, but I do hope you are ready to go if it is. I am.

Wade, I will leave it here for now. This has been a good post and comment thread. My presence may hinder it and that would have a negative effect on what I think you are trying to here. Also, we already support the WMU so I hope others will hear what you are saying.

See you when I see you. And again, what happened to the dog?

Greg Alford,

Were you not around when I got threatened with being banned over there last year over Wade and the IMB?:-)


Anonymous said...

I guess I was one of those culturally irrelevant ladies--the traditional daytime WMU/wife/mother. When the meetings went to night to accomodate the employed (sahm's also work) ladies, many of us refused to walk off the job (family time).

Our WMU sputtered and died--not enough support from the employed ladies. And now, many years later, that whole church has sputtered and died.

Maybe being culturally relevant is not so good.


Anonymous said...


Thy Peace is not anonymous. Did you really say to him, "What you present as informational is actually some kind of sick need you have to bring discord to a people you are not part of. Or, maybe you are just evil.

You should call yourself; Thy Busybody. it fits far better.

And in the comment just above, are you saying that you stand by what you said to "Thy Peace?"

Asking for a purpose said...

To RK and Anonymous Above ,

I would encourage everyone to please ignore any cutting or inappropriate remarks CB makes on other blog sites. It is a waste of time to post them here, for it takes away from a good discussion of the post. I tolerated it in the last comment stream, but will tolerate it no further.

I will delete any inappropriate posts CB makes on this site, or any comment anyone else copies and paste of CB's. Your feelings may be hurt by what this man writes, but I am frankly uninterested in what CB says elsewhere or how you feel about it.



Anonymous said...

All right. Fair enough.

Unknown said...


Were you not around when I got threatened with being banned over there last year over Wade and the IMB?:-)

CB I must have been on vacation when that happened… Wow, how many people have they threatened or actually banned for not agreeing with them? I guess I am just surprised by this kind of behavior coming from Southern Baptist who are supposed to cherish “Freedom of Religion” and the “Right of Dissent”.

Sorry Wade, I know I’m off topic… and I do agree with you that we need to support “our” WMU.

Greg Alford

Jack Maddox said...

Please be in prayer for Bart Barber and the Family of Nicholas Scroggs

Anonymous said...

Tom, I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that I would be saying the same things. If it were men, I may even be more ready to let an organization die because there are plenty of opportunities for men to work within the SBC. I cannot explain why the IMB or NAMB would suddenly take away its support of the WMU. But I would wager that by not giving the WMU funds, that doesn't change a lot for a great many SBC churches. For those churches, the change would be giving to WMU.

Linda, by cultural relevance we simply mean that the women, in general, aren't there to support the WMU any longer. Most SBC churches don't have WMU meetings, and fewer still have truly active WMU chapters. If the support for the organization isn't there, the money spent to bail WMU out doesn't solve anything. It only allows for one more year of service before we have to spend that money again. Or, that money could be used directly for the missions which the WMU have promoted all along.

Anonymous said...

The lack of understanding of WMU is probably the fault of WMU because for so many years there was no need to have a defence. There still should not be but in the age of creating an enemy where there is none, the ladies were not prepared or willing to enter into such an unChrist-like struggle. The very language used in these comments demonstrates a lack of knowledge and the use of rhetoric indicates the repeating of propagana-speak.

Why do you guys keep saying that WMU "owns" the rights to LM and AA? Only partially. The phrase that says that IMB and NAMB "give" money to WMU is at best misleading. The circumstances that lead to these perceptions are in themselves political.

Spouse is calling me to dinner.

Anonymous said...

The value of the WMU, in my opinion, was the edcational component that they brought to the church. Out of this component came a staunch commitment to supporting missionaries through the Cooperative program as well as the holiday missions giving. The impetus for giving to mission causes remained with the congregation and was not subject to the whims of the pastor.

Where I live (in California's Bay Area), the influence of the more traditional Southern Baptists has waned. As missions education evaporated, so did the general knowledge of the Cooperative Program, Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. If a new pastor comes and decides that he wants to cut CP giving, or not promote LO or AA, there is no pushback from the congregation.


Anonymous said...

Wade: I would encourage everyone to please ignore any cutting or inappropriate remarks CB makes on other blog sites.

Reply: Anony 4:36 here. Ummm, Wade? CB posted that comment on YOUR blog at 9:09 a.m. on December 10th. I don't know if he posted it anywhere else or not. It's near the end of the comments in your December 8th BIM article. I don't know why it was necessary for him to post it again, or for that matter the first time. It was ugly and uncalled for, but you let it stand without comment or rebuke. The only rebukes came from someone named Luke, another signed "Cowardly Anon," and one other poster, "DespizdNRejectd." The "anon" poster was then attacked for being (gasp!) anonymous.

CB: Anony, at least if I fall over dead today, you will remember me. That is more than anyone on this thread will be able to say for you if this were your last day.

Reply: Sorry to burst your bubble here, but in reality I wouldn't remember you because I don't know you from Adam or even if "CB" is your real name. All I know of you is the opinion I've formed about you from the ugly things you've said to others. (In case you're wondering, it's not a positive image at all.) If you come across in person anything like you do here, I'm really glad I don't know you. Wade would delete my comment if I said here what you are. Suffice it to say you seem to exist just to stir things up. You're a _____-stirrer, sir, a label I'm sure you'd wear proudly. I could make up any name I pleased and post under that name, and you wouldn't know the difference. Why should I care if you or anyone else here "remembers" me or not? In the end, it's not whether YOU know me. It's that HE knows me.

Observation: I think aliens must have abducted you and replaced you with an imposter at 11:03 this morning, but alas, I see they returned you by 4:50 this afternoon. (sigh)

David A. Johnson

Anonymous said...

Luke 21:1-4

21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the ladies of the Church working through the WMU have donated EVERYTHING they raised from Christmas and Easter offerings to the IMB and the NAMB.


AND, during the Great Depression, the WMU bailed out the HMB.

So now, what goes round will not be coming round. NO HELP.


More employees suffering.
It's beginning to sound familiar, isn't it?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


The ability to give to others is, in itself, a gift.

The IMB and the NAMB have lost this gift. That is sad.

It is not how much money we have or how much money we make that is important.

It is how much of that money that we choose to share that is important. L's

CB Scott said...

David A. Johnson,

I did not repost the comment at 4:02 pm to which you must be in reference.

You have made a mistake here.

For your sake and for the sake of others who have posted in this comment thread along with the author of the original post, I apologize for making the comments in this thread I actually did make.

Wade has posted a good and needful post here, especially in the present climate of politics in the SBC.

I agree with him in this post and was simply making that known.

I also agree with Ron West and Louis. I know Ron was around in the old days and I think from much Louis says he was also.

They are right in what they say here and I was affirming that to Tom.

Whoever made the repost at 4:02 was on their own and without my knowledge or persuasion.

Again, David A. Johnson, I apologize to you for causing you harm by my presence in this thread. Obviously I have truly harmed you for you to be so sorely offended and be so quickly positioned as to think I had reposted the comment.

I trust this corrects the matter for all here and especially do I apologize to Wade that my initial presence in this particular comment thread has caused this problem resulting in hurting what I had considered a very good post and excellent comment thread.

I also hope all who read this post will heed Wade's admonition and do what you can to help the WMU. Southern Baptist pastors owe the WMU more than can be written on a blog post and so does the SBC.


Ron said...

It seems most of those saying the WMU is out of touch or their vision doesn’t fit today’s congregation are in churches that do not have an active WMU or have pastor’s who do not support the mission or goals of WMU. For example, Louis says he has never been a member of a church with an active WMU yet he has strong opinions on its worthiness to exist. I would ask Louis to ask his MK wife or her parents to comment on whether they think the WMU should continue as a vital force in SBC life. His wife may have no desire to be a part of WMU but I doubt if she is opposed to WMU. I give a lot more weight to the comments of those like Debbie who are actually active in WMU.

As for those who say that WMU should not have a seat on the Executive Committee because they are not part of the power structure or their trustee are not elected by the SBC, many corporations have board members who are not elected shareholders or have been part of the organization. They see the importance of having independent voices involved in the decision making. Unfortunately, in the SBC today our leaders fear nothing more than having independent voices they cannot control with oversight over their actions.

One other problem is that we have a generation of pastors who have had as models those super church pastors who view the church as their own kingdom and want no rival for control of the money or programs of the church. For example, Kevin says, “I cannot see the advantage to having within MY BUDGET the national WMU.” It true there is probably no benefit for Kevin.

I don’t want to seem to be picking on Louis because I enjoy reading his comments but he says, “our church has no WMU, and we don't plan to have one. We are very active in missions. Our pastor has preached at IMB regional gatherings for over a decade. Dozens of our members have been on missions trips. The IMB has hosted a conference at our church. Many of our members have become missionaries with the IMB.” Your pastor speaking at regional gatherings and having members make missions trips and hosting conferences are all wonderful things but may not have the impact that comes from keeping long term missionaries on the field and providing the support they need for their families and their ministries to plant churches, train leaders, and evangelize the lost. That is the goal of WMU. I am thankful that many of your members have become missionaries but I would guess that the majority of the financial support to keep them on the field comes through the Lottie Moon offerings of thousands of churches where the WMU leads the way in promoting the offering. This is the same WMU your church has no plans to support. I would love to sit down with your pastor and help educate him on the WMU and the importance of missions education for your youth.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

I can think of a few reasons to help the women of the WMU:

They are human beings made in the image of God and they are in need so that they can pay their employees. Not a bad reason at all, is it?

Here's another one:
All the money entrusted to the IMB and the NAMB comes to them ultimately from God. God has a way of INCREASING our blessings to one another, for BOTH the giver and the receiver. It IS more blessed to give than to receive.

Things happen for reasons in the Kingdom of God. The WMU needs help. Why? Many monetary and social and cultural reasons have been mentioned.
But there is always another reason.
The ultimate reason: that this is a test to see the RESPONSIBILITY of those who can help towards those who are in need.
Will they respond? It's HIS test.
He is watching. You can 'count' on it.

Final good reason to help the WMU:
this is the season that we celebrate the Greatest Gift Ever Given: the coming of the Savior.
'And God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only begotten Son . . "

the IMB and the NAMB can help the WMU , in honor of this holy season of the celebration of God's love for us: A Christmas Gift!

The timing is perfect, I think. :) L's

Anonymous said...

CB: Obviously I have truly harmed you for you to be so sorely offended and be so quickly positioned as to think I had reposted the comment.

I was not "quickly positioned." I happened to drop in, for the first time since yesterday, right after that comment was posted. If you're implying I posted it or know who did, you're wrong. It shouldn't have been posted the first time, and I was sorry to see it dredged up again, regardless of who posted it. Thank you for correcting the record though. The comment did appear to have been posted by you, and I remembered reading it the first time you posted it.

It's not your presence that I find offensive. It's your words, your attitude toward people with whom you disagree, and your continuous harping on people posting anonymously. Are my words any more important because I signed my name? I think not.

You wrote a very reflective, cogent comment at 11:03 this morning. It would be a pleasure to converse with the man who wrote that, but that's the only time I've seen "that" CB. Normally you're abrasive and just plain mean.

You don't owe me an apology. After all, I'm just some nobody whose only sin, at least according to you, was "hiding behind the anony tree." You do, however, owe "Thy Peace" a big one.

I agree this was a good article by Wade. The second poster in the thread summed it up well. It's all about two things - money and control. For years the WMU was one of the few visible opportunities women had to serve in Baptist churches. Now the SBC wants to take that away, too. At the risk of venturing off topic, this all reminds me of the Sheri Klouda situation, just on a larger scale.


CB Scott said...

David A. Johnson,

You were also not the "Anony behind the Anony tree" of my reference.

That was directed at whoever posted at 4:02.

Keeping up with Anonys is hard around here:-)


CB Scott said...

One more thing, David,

It is far more about control than money.

Of course, you have to have been around the SBC for a long time to know that.


Anonymous said...


I've been around the SBC longer than I'd care to admit. Sadly, at the rate it's going, I don't plan to be around much longer. I never thought I'd see the day when I would be ashamed to call myself Southern Baptist.


Anonymous said...

When Christ was born, all time was sanctified.
We even name our years after Him:
2008 A. D.
“ Anno Domini” is Latin for “ in the year of Our Lord “
And so it is that, in the Year of Our Lord 2008, we come
to the Season of the Giving of Gifts: Christmas.

Give freely, give often, give with a whole heart, give in His Holy Name.

I can think of a few reasons to give to the women of the WMU:

They are human beings made in the image of God and they are in need so that they can pay their employees. That’s important.
Not a bad reason at all, is it?

Here's another one:
All the money entrusted to the IMB and the NAMB comes to them ultimately from God. God has a way of INCREASING our blessings to one another, for BOTH the giver and the receiver.

Things happen for reasons in the Kingdom of God.
The WMU needs help. Why? Many monetary and social and cultural reasons have been mentioned.
But there is always another reason.
CB is right. It is not about the money. It is never about the money. .
The reason I speak of is a spiritual one: that this is a test to see the RESPONSIBILITY of those who can help towards those who are in need.
Will they respond?
Will they care?
It's HIS test.
He is watching.
You can 'count' on it.

Final good reason to help the WMU:
this is the season that we celebrate the Greatest Gift Ever Given: the coming of the Savior.
'And God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only begotten Son . . "

the IMB and the NAMB can help the WMU , in honor of this holy season of the celebration of God's love for us:
As A Christmas Gift!

Why not?
The timing is perfect,
I think. :) L's

CB Scott said...

David A. Johnson,

I do understand your shame.

But let me ask you a question if I may.

If everybody who has had shame about various "events" in our history leaves; who will be left to correct it?

Anonymous said...

"One other problem is that we have a generation of pastors who have had as models those super church pastors who view the church as their own kingdom and want no rival for control of the money or programs of the church. For example, Kevin says, “I cannot see the advantage to having within MY BUDGET the national WMU.” It true there is probably no benefit for Kevin."


The WMU and BMEN in my church has nothing to do with "control" and acts as no rival whatsoever to this kingdom I am supposed to have. I happen to be a pastor who believes in the CP. Apart from local and Associational missions work, the CP is the ONLY method of giving I will support. The church which I am blessed to serve as pastor has not seen the desire to press a different path. Infact, they have been very receptive to my desire to see our CP percentage increase and thus 2009 will see a 2% increase. Additionally, I have moved the AAEO and LMCO from a budget item to a love offering as it was intended and have seen during my short tenure a doubling of these offering as a result. As most churches have just completed their 2009 budgets, I too have just completed the budget of the church of which I am privileged to be pastor. You will have to forgive me for calling it mine. One tends to take deep personal ownership of something one spends 6 months and many many man hours working and reworking and researching. 2009 will by the first year a fully functional budget has been implemented at the church of which I am privileged to pastor. One of the CP percentage increases came from reducing Associational giving by 1%. I/We cannot see the benefit of cutting them by another percent to send money to the national WMU. As a church we support Southern Baptist Missions (CP), Associational Mission, and local missions through our Ministerial Alliance and local Pregnancy Center. After that, its pay the lights, the gas, Lifeway Literature and....oh ya, the pastor does get a few bones each week.

So, if the WMU wants more money, tell them to line up behind this pastor, The FreeWay Foundation, the Food Pantry in the next city over, The Association (after they hear I cut them 1%), the BSU, and on and on and on.

We are an autonomous local body who will decide for ourselves who we will and will not support.

Besides we already give WMU enough money. We get 10 copies of On Mission Magazine from NAMB for free each month. But, the WMU charges 20 bones a year PER PERSON for Mossiac Magazine. What's up with that?
I went to the WMU website to find out the things that they do. I found some basic resources for local WMU chapters, but other than that, the WMU Foundation appears to fund most of their charitable work. I have no clue as to how that group solicits funds.
Lastly, it is not the national WMU which bolsters the pride in giving to Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. It is the faithful ladies groups in our churches across the convention who spearhead giving using materials available through the state conventions. My lovely ladies at DBC could use any material they choose in their meetings. National WMU does nothing for them either except for “own” the name. I think it is time we get real. As pastor, I have spent most of my time over this past year eliminating anything and everything in the church I pastor which does not fit our vision of ministering…for His glory…for His People...for the World. National WMU may fit the vision in your church. It does not for us.

If I had my way Founder’s Ministries would be a line item. :)

But this is not my kingdom. ;)


Rex Ray said...

Let’s see if I’ve got this right?

If people earned two dollars for ever dollar they were paid that would be a good business.

But if they earned 263 dollars for every dollar they were paid, the IMB fires them because they won’t submit to having their name changed, having their leaders furnished, or in short—bowing to the egos of men.

Besides the money, WMU leads people to love Jesus and to spread the gospel.

I am a stranger here; in a foreign land
My home is far away; on a golden strand
I’m here on business for my King.
This is the message that I bring
Oh be ye reconciled to Him.

I learned that song sixty-six years ago as a lost ten year-old boy, and I’ve thought of it many times on the eighteen overseas trips I’ve made for the SBC.

Will the last ‘shoe’ ever fall from the Conservative/Resurgence?

“By their fruits, you will know them.” Should their real names be Liberal/Rebels, Watchdog/Bullies, or Pharisee/Legalist etc.?

Anonymous said...

By golly, Mr. Ray, I think you've got it!

Ron said...

I apologize for using your name. I do not want to judge you and I accept your explanation about the use of the term my budget. I do not know you or your church. I have been in churches however where the pastor does use the budget as his personal treasury and has a paranoid fear of the WMU. I am thankful for your support of the CP. I do not try to tell people how to organize their budget. My church also does not have the LMCO or AAO as budget items. I am happy to have it as a love offering.
I do think the National WMU does have a lot to offer the local state, association and church. If not for the national WMU, there would probably be very few local WMUs doing the work they do at least as effectively. Some Baptist churches feel the same way about the national SBC. If not for providing a way to support our missionaries, they do not see any benefit to supporting those who use CP to carry out their personal vendettas.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that there are many missionaries who would not have a house to live in when they returned to America for a few months to see their families and friends every 3 or 4 years if it were not for the WMU.

But then again, I suspect the old saying is true. Most people living in America forget about missionaries after they are gone.


Tom Parker said...


It appears to me the men in power in the SBC will use any tactic necessary to get rid of women--be it firing them like they did Dr. Sherri Klouda, firing missionaries--not funding the WMU when it is in a financial crisis.

People can tell me all day long that the CR was necessary, that changing the BF&M was necessary, but the tactics to gain and consolidate power continue from the CR.

I ask myself quite often where has the SBC that I grew up with gone?

I also ask myself if Lottie Moon would be allowed to serve as a missionary today.

I agree with Wade we need to financially help the WMU.

Anonymous said...


In fairness, it was the change in funding which caused the current "financial crisis" am I not correct? Additionally, and please help me if I am wrong, I was under the impression that the IMB BoT's (save about 20 who remain of the Good Ol' Boys) and Dr. Rankin were moving the IMB back to where Wade, et al would like to see it. Is everyone saying that Dr. Rankin is part of the SBC establishment who desires the CR move further to the right and thus is spearheading the demise of the WMU? I do not recall ever hearing about a WMU financial crisis before the IMB ceased its funding. And so, I am unclear as to how the financial problem came about and who actually is to blame. Certainly no one is suggesting that Pecan Power extends past the boarders of Texes? It would also seem strange to me that 2 men with so polar opposite views of PPL's would cooperate on such an undertaking. This type of cooperation is just well.....not the Baptist way. ;)


Tom Parker said...


Thanks for the response. My question is why was the funding changed? Why now?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wade, for a good post. I appreciate your support of WMU. I suppose the majority of our missionaries received God's call while members of R.A., G.A., Y.W.A., WOM, or at some other WMU sponsored event. In our church, our Christmas offering includes Lottie Moon and CBF Global Missions. Call us free & faithful!
I'm sure both groups are serving in a fine way to win the lost.
Florence in KY

Anonymous said...

KMC said, " I do not recall ever hearing about a WMU financial crisis before the IMB ceased its funding. And so, I am unclear as to how the financial problem came about and who actually is to blame."

IS IT KNOWN how much warning was given to the WMU that the IMB was withdrawing its annual support?

Point being, was the WMU blind-sided? Was that contribution depended upon as a part of their operating budget?

It might make a difference in understanding what happened there, to know the time-line of events, especially as to the MOTIVATIONS of those in the IMB who decided to abandon the WMU.

What motivated this action?
Whose decision was it?
How much warning was given to the WMU people about what was coming?
Can the people be identified behind this action?

The answers to these questions will reveal a great deal about the direction of SBC leadership.
AND provide some heads-up for who is next in line for targeting and why.

Anonymous said...


That is indeed the 64 million question. Until the IMB gives a detailed reason, I am not sure that a simple streamlining of the budget and a desire to get more cash to the field should be ruled out simply because the victims are women who do not support the 21st Century effects of the CR. But you can just call me an optimist. Or young and naive.

I am preaching on love tomorrow. John 3:16 to be specific.

I promise to say a small "save a WMU lady" prayer tomorrow as we light the pink Advent Candle. :)


Ramesh said...

Here's some info from WMU website.

What Is WMU?
In 1888, a handful of women dedicated to the cause of missions founded Woman’s Missionary Union®. Since that time, WMU® has become the largest Protestant missions organization for women in the world, with a membership of approximately 1 million.

From the beginning, WMU’s main purpose has been to educate and involve women, girls, and preschoolers in the cause of Christian missions. Throughout its history, WMU has been an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention, which means that it acts as a "helper" to the SBC. The auxiliary status also means that WMU is self-governing and self-supporting.

National WMU receives no funds from the Cooperative Program allocation budget, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®, or Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®. National WMU is supported through the sale of magazines and products, and from investments.

Since its beginning in 1888, WMU has become the largest Protestant missions organization for women in the world, with a membership of approximately 1 million.

WMU's main purpose is to educate and involve adults, youth, children, and preschoolers in the cause of Christian missions. Although originally geared towards women, girls, and preschoolers, both genders are active participants in WMU organizations and ministries today.

WMU is an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention, which means that it acts as a "helper" to the SBC. The auxiliary status also means that WMU is self-governing and self-supporting.

Short History of Woman's Missionary Union, SBC

WMU Core Values

Wiki: Women's Missionary Union

Woman's Missionary Union, Southern Baptist Convention
WMU Watchword -- "For we are labourers together with God" (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV).

Woman’s Missionary Union challenges Christian believers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God.

The Tasks of Woman’s Missionary Union:

* pray for and give to missions
* do missions
* learn about missions
* develop spiritually toward a missions lifestyle
* participate in the work of the church and the denomination

In 1888, a handful of women dedicated to the cause of missions founded Woman’s Missionary Union. Since that time, WMU has become the largest Protestant organization for women in the world, with a membership of approximately 1 million. WMU also was the first and remains the largest body of organized laity in the Southern Baptist Convention.

From the beginning, WMU’s main purpose has been to educate and involve women, girls, and preschoolers in the cause of Christian missions. It accomplishes these purposes primarily through age-level organizations.

Financial support of missionaries has always been a priority for women involved in WMU. When the women founded the national organization in 1888, one of their first items of business was to accept the request to raise money for the two mission boards. Within the first year, the women contributed over $30,700 to the two entities.

The women’s efforts to raise money for the two mission boards are known today as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. The Christmas offering originated in 1888 and was named for Lottie Moon in 1918. The Easter offering originated in 1895 and was named for Annie Armstrong in 1934. The two offerings remained women’s offerings until 1956, when WMU agreed to promote the offerings churchwide. By the end of 1998, WMU had helped lead Southern Baptists to contribute nearly $2.5 billion to the two offerings.

Anonymous said...

If an organization loses about a half million dollars and then loses it the second time by refusing to collect on their insurance so as not to reveal their dirty little secret and then when the story is finally revealed they lose lots more in gifts because they have been shown to be inept and without sufficient integrity----well, you gotta cut back somewhere.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply. I'm just not sure why you addressed me. Anyway...

Everyone - Please forget about politics this holiday season long enough to drop your loose change into the bucket for the LMCO!!!

All the missionaries appreciate you all that support us so very much. And most of us are too busy to know too much about a lot of the politics.

Thank you!


Ramesh said...

Trademark Search for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
Goods and Services IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: charitable fund raising, namely, fund raising for missions. FIRST USE: 19180000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19180000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75315620
Filing Date June 20, 1997
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 13, 1998
Registration Number 2215957
Registration Date January 5, 1999
Owner (REGISTRANT) Woman's Missionary Union, Auxiliary to Southern Baptist Convention NON-PROFIT CORPORATION ALABAMA 100 Missionary Ridge Birmingham ALABAMA 35242
Attorney of Record William B. Stewart
Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20080129.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20080129
Other Data "LOTTIE MOON" does not identify a living individual.
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Trademark Search for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
Goods and Services IC 036. US 100 101 102. G & S: Charitable Fund Raising, namely, fund raising for missions. FIRST USE: 18880000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18880000
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75462966
Filing Date April 3, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition December 29, 1998
Registration Number 2234298
Registration Date March 23, 1999
Owner (REGISTRANT) Woman's Missionary Union, Auxiliary to Southern Baptist Convention NON-PROFIT CORPORATION ALABAMA 100 Missionary Ridge Birmingham ALABAMA 35242
Attorney of Record William B. Stewart
Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20080620.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20080620
Other Data "ANNIE ARMSTRONG" does not identify a living person.
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Tom Parker said...


My apologies for using your name. I had just read your comment and must have lost my train of thought and put your name in the comment.

I'm sorry for associating your name with my comment and I truly mean that.

Ramesh said...

Sorry, the links to trademark searches expire after awhile, so try this.

If the above does not work, go here.

Bob Cleveland said...

I gotta say this: I have an SS class member who works for WMU; I also know that having one's job in jeopardy is a cruel master for a man.

And I have another good friend and neighbor who is one of the more prominent and visible employees at WMU. With college-age kids.

Put some faces you love into all this theoretical discussion and it becomes a much important matter than fuel for arguments.

Anonymous said...

Tom Parker:

Thanks for your question. I think that someone has just posted a bunch of info in one comment from the WMU website that says they are self governing and self supporting.

That makes complete sense to me. I believe it would be best for WMU, or any organization like it, to raise its own funds and direct how they should be spent. I suppose they can do that through literature sales, gifts from churches. I don't think that is an unusual way to operate.

Again, I don't believe that CP funds should be given to the IMB so the IMB can turn around and support WMU. That is a very convoluted and indirect way of operating. I am for a more direct and up front approach.

I certainly think that WMU, since it controls its own budget etc. can make a adjustments to what it gives out, and if WMU handles missions offerings from churches (I am still not clear on what their role it there) they could charge a fee for that.

Again, my point is that I am not out to get WMU. It is just not an organization, despite its noble purpose and history, that I am excited about relating to. If the Brotherhood Commission were still around, I'd feel the same way, even though it was an SBC agency.

Also, I will repeat that I am not in favor of any corporate board putting people on the Board of Directors that do not answer to the shareholders. That is an organizational principle for me. I don't think that WMU has any business being on the SBC executive committee any more than, say, Morris Chapman and the chairman of the IMB should be on the WMU board. I don't know if they are, but if I were to counsel the WMU board, I would say to get them off. As a partner in my law firm, I would not put a partner from another law firm (even if the firm was friendly to ours and worked hand in glove with ours) on our management or executive committee.

I may be wrong about this, but I seem to remember someone in a comment saying that the WMU had not been political. That person has a short memory. The WMU was not in favor of the CR, and Ms. Weatherford-Crumpler actually ran for the SBC Vice President on sort of a "ticket" with Dan Vestal. She was very hostile to the CR for many years before that foray into being a candidate for SBC political office.

Finally, Ron West, let me respond by saying that you always right really clear, responsive and respectful comments, and I enjoy very much corresponding with you in this way.

As to our church and my pastor, what I have tried to communicate in my comments over the months is that our church, while SBC affiliated, operates under a different paradigm than many older, traditional SBC churches. I am not against the older places that have lots of history and am grateful for them. Also, I believe that such churches should try to maintain their history and culture, and am saddened when it is not honored and trashed by the younger generation or a new pastor who comes in, wants to disband the choir, get rid of the organ and install a mediocre praise band and other such things. Change can happen, but everyone should be on board and respect should be show toward tradition. Every church does not need to be the same.

I carry those same feelings through to issues like the WMU. I am sure that WMU can be helpful to those churches that enjoy their programs etc. Our church was simply founded on a different cultural and organizational paradigm. Neither is morally or spiritually lacking.

I feel very confident is saying that the missions program in our church is extremely strong, especially given our size. But it is not organized around WMU missions education and involvement. We don't have RAs, GAs etc. We started the church with 10 people in my living room in 1992. The church has developed with its own personality and a programming that fits who we are. Much of the SBC culture, including WMU, is simply not a part of who we are. We would not import that into our church culture now for any reason.

If fact, we don't take up Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings. We have missions month where missions and our support of missions organizations are highlighted and a special missions offering is taken. Our church then passes part of that offering on. We also give 10% of everything that we take in to missions causes, with the vast majority being SBC causes. We have done that since our founding. We would like for it to be more, but we did not have a building for 12 years, and we just bought our first land and built our first building 3 years ago. So, we are in our really early years.

Organizationally we are different as well. We have a board of elders, or plurality of leadership, one of whom is the full time paid pastor. The rest of the staff, even if they are ordained, are employees and serve under the authority of the elders, who are confirmed by the congregation.

So, again, I am sure that WMU is helping some churches that have a different set up, and I would not want to stop that. The statements in my earlier comments are more along the lines of thinking out loud about the WMU, and whether it will be effective into the future because of our changing culture, not just in churches, but in society as a whole. I think that the churches that support and use WMU should do whatever they can to rescue it. I am sympathetic to the employees at WMU, but I don't think that the churches that use WMU and are connected to it should feel that they have to participate in a bailout or rescue.

Finally, you ask about my wife and father in law. My wife would tell you as I have stated in my earlier comments. My father in law would be very grateful for the WMU, but I think he would acknowledge the issues I have raised. He is in his 70s, and is clearly of an age to remember the old Baptist paradigm. But even he sees the issues. In fact, he attends one of the state's largest Baptist Churches. If they have a WMU, it is not particularly active. Their missions programs, from what I have seen, are promoted along the lines of what our church does, but with more of the Baptist programming flavor.

Ron, I hope that gives you a picture. Even though we are doing things differently from you and your church, I want you to know that I support 100% what you guys are doing and I hope that it is wildly successful for you and the kingdom.


Ramesh said...

Below is the link of the post in Bart Barber's blog:

Praisegod Barebones:In Memory of Nicholas Scroggs

Anonymous said...


"Write" not "Right".

And I meant to say that churches that are NOT using or relating to the WMU should not feel pressured to fund a rescue or bailout. Not churches that are relating to the WMU.

Bob Cleveland, as usual, raises a good point. The plight of the employees. Unless the economy turns around, this is going to be more common. I ran with a guy this morning who is losing his job with a nationally recognized company.

Benevolence to those who will face tough times is a great cause, and frankly, it is something that churches and groups of churches should do, whether it involves workers at religious or secular companies.


Anonymous said...


I saw the tragic story about the boy who was hit trying to cross the interstate.

I saw the post on Bart Barber's blog, but am apparently dense because I cannot figure out the specific relationship to Bart. Is it extended family or a church member?

Thanks to anyone who can let me know.


Anonymous said...


Bud Gillett GRAND PRAIRIE (CBS 11 News) ―
Counselors were on hand Friday at Grand Prairie High School after a student was killed crossing Interstate-30 Thursday afternoon.

Nicholas Scroggs, a 14-year-old freshman, was trying to get home when he was hit by a car, and another student watched all of it unfold.

CBS 11 News spoke with friends of the victim, and school officials as they cope with their loss.

For some reason, instead of using an underpass down the road, Scroggs decided to cross I-30, near 7th Street. "It's really sad, 'cause he doesn't deserve that, he's too young; and I hope his family recovers from that," fellow Grand Prairie student Stephanie Lopez said.

The Scroggs family was still in seclusion Friday, trying to cope with the loss of their son.

The teenager was reportedly taking a shortcut home to prepare for a swim meet when he was struck by an SUV while crossing the interstate.

Friday, fellow students, who also walk to school, felt the weight of the loss. "It makes me feel kind of bad because another person lost by a traffic accident is kind of horrific," student Colby Culbertson said.

Administrators at Grand Prairie High provided counselors for any students or teachers who felt a need to talk things out. "We did have a crisis team, or do have crisis team, here onsite that will be here throughout the day as these kids begin to process the information," GPISD Spokesperson Sam Buchmeyer explained.

The driver of the SUV, Dr. Christopher Barber of Farmersville, was not at fault and not charged. But his wife and children were also in the vehicle. Through his church, Barber released a message to the Scroggs family, saying in part, "The Barber family mourns with them. We are reminded that life is fragile and love is precious."

Anonymous said...

Absolutely heart-breaking about the accident.

A few years ago, a family in our area was driving to do some shopping for Christmas. It was a divided high-way. A car lost control, crossed the dividing strip, struck the family vehicle and killed their daughter. Every Christmas, someone comes and puts a cross on the side of the road in her memory.
When I see it, I will pray also for Bart, his family, for Nicholas, and for his family.
In Christ's arms, we find peace.

Ramesh said...

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBS 11 News): Family & Friends Dealing With Death Of GPHS Teen

Anonymous said...

"We started the church with 10 people in my living room in 1992."

Thanks, Louis. This helps me to understand where you are coming from when you comment about your church or the way things are done in the SBC.


Anonymous said...

"...anonymous Bloggers to post without any policing as to verify if they Missionaries in unsafe Countries.
You do understand that Wild Geese make a Lot of Noises and tend to eat the corn,
Wade have you checked Brother Bart’s Blog of late and Lifted His Family up in Prayer?"

I suppose you don't see the irony in your comment. (sigh)


Anonymous said...


You are welcome.

Hope things are well with you.


Anonymous said...

wtreat here:

20 years ago a beloved pastor told me that all the dirty politics and the takeover would end if the WMU would ever decide to stand up and make it happen. He also said that the WMU would not do that because "THE WMU IS ABOUT MISSIONS AND WILL NOT DO ANYTING TO HURT MISSIONS EVEN AT THE COST OF BEING HURT THEMSELVES".

Now we see it. Do any of you remember when the WMU was slandered and called an "ADULTROUS ORGANIZATION"?

Maybe we should all send out CP money and all other mission funds directly to the WMU headquarters and let the ladies dole it out as they see fit.

I wonder if the good ol' boys would refuse to take.

In His Service

Anonymous said...

missed a mis-spelled word. It should have said to send OUR CP MONEY not "out cp money.


wtreat said...

Please, stay on topic, Wayne. The discussion is about the WMU. said...

Sorry Lydia, to be fair, I needed to delete your response to Wayne as well.

Thanks for your understanding. said...

Out for ministry.

Blessings, to all.


Bob Cleveland said...

Louis, if nobody answered you, Bart was driving the SUV, and his family was in the car with him.

Ramesh said...

Articles about WMU [based on comments of WTREAT]:

Subjugating Women in the SBC by Dr. Bruce Prescott & Dr. Rick McClatchy

One Nation, Divisible By Mark Silk, Andrew Walsh : Page 74

Religion and Public Life in the South By Charles Reagan Wilson, Mark Silk: Page 119

Chronology of the SBC Takeover

Tale or Truth? The Da Vinci Code by Dr. Edward Erwin

Somebody stand up for WMU
By Tony Cartlege

Anonymous said...

Bob, thanks. Somebody posted a story and it said Christopher Barber, not Bart. I was worried they might be two different people.


Anonymous said...

Thy Peace:

I have enjoyed your comments from time to time on this post.

I reviewed the link which you posted to the Chronology of the Conservative Resurgence. That site does not do justice to your typical web presence.

I believe the years are correct. Beyond that, the link is the most partisan of events I have ever seen. I am guessing it was put together by Cecil Sherman, Bill Sherman, Ken Chaffin (RIP), Kirby Godsey, Bill Leonard etc. or someone heavily influenced by them.

You are certainly entitled to link whatever information you deem worthy, and people are free to describe events in their own terms.

But I still do wonder why people think saying the Bible is inerrant is a bad thing, or why people insist on describing everyone who doesn't agree with them as being a "fundamentalist."

I do not believe that most moderates are liberals. So, I don't run around calling the former SBC moderates SBC liberals.

Plus, I think it is proper to call people what they would like to be called.

I think that 'moderate' is a perfectly awful term, but that's the term they chose. It is certainly shorter than "free and faithful Baptists" which is even more horrendous, and actually sounds like it might have come out of the BI movement.

It's just too bad that the other side cannot resist using a 'fundamentalist' slur, even when it doesn't apply to most Baptist Conservatives I know, especially Judge Pressler.

I guess they feel that the incessant labeling helps the cause.

And, if one is looking strictly at the voting numbers, I guess whoever wrote the chronology is saying, in essence, that the SBC was made up of more fundamentalists than moderates, which raises the following question:

If the SBC was made up of a majority of fundamentalists anyway, why should the moderates expect to control the SBC?

BTW, I still don't get the deal about being unwilling to call the Bible inerrant. But maybe I already said that.


Ramesh said...

Louis: Thanks for your comments. I did a "biased" search based on WTreat's comments in google and I ended up with those links.

I honestly do not know if they are accurate. But I posted them, if viewers are interested in perusing and challenge/agree with them.

I do make a sincere attempt to read ALL comments and try to understand them.

Thanks again for your comments.

Tom Parker said...


You said--"If the SBC was made up of a majority of fundamentalists anyway, why should the moderates expect to control the SBC?"

There is that word control in your own statement. Why does it always have to be about control? I believe your statement says more than you might think it does.

You also said--"BTW, I still don't get the deal about being unwilling to call the Bible inerrant."

It is a very big deal. It is a litmus test as to who is in and out in the SBC. It was a fantastic ploy to takeover the SBC and it worked very well.

Inerrant is not easily defined and some Baptists do not feel as if they have to say they believe in inerrancy when they believe the Bible and find that sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Lydia, to be fair, I needed to delete your response to Wayne as well.

Thanks for your understanding.

Sat Dec 13, 05:34:00 PM 2008

No problem.


Ramesh said...

This is not directly related to the post, but has some bearing on SBC and literal belief of the Bible:

Land: Bush not 'theologian-in-chief'

Bush talks of belief in God, evolution

Bush the religious moderate?

Anonymous said...

Louis, Which translators are you implying are inerrant?


Anonymous said...

To Louis and Tom and Thy Peace,

I have always wondered about the term 'inerrant' which I believe is not in 'the Bible' and what 'inerrant' means.
Does it mean that you must take everything in 'the Bible' literally?

I do realize that the term is divisive among SBC members, but I haven't an understanding of why.

What original ancient texts of Holy Scripture do Baptists draw from to form their 'Bible'?
What group did Baptists trust to establish the canon of books acceptable in their 'Bible'?

In cases where literal meaning is taken, why?
In cases where meaning is not literally taken, why?
Who decides and why?

Are Baptist people taught about the history of the 'Bible' and how it was formed and transmitted through the centuries and translated?

What translations are acceptable to Baptists and why?

Are there any known 'obsure' passages in the Bible that Baptists find difficult to understand? Or any passages that appear to conflict with one another?

I never did understand WHY the 2000 BF&M was changed in reference to Jesus' words and actions. All the explanations so far haven't made SENSE, but then, I'm not Baptist, so I may be misunderstanding what I was told.
If the words and actions of Jesus cannot stand on their own for instruction to Christians, why is that? What could be better or more important or more sacred?

Many questions. Sorry. L's

P.S. What Bible verses are important to Baptists concerning the supporting of missions and missionary work? Can any of these verses be used to help the WMU receive assistance?

Anonymous said...


word 'obsure' should be spelled
'obscure'. :) L's

Ramesh said...

inerrable: not liable to error;

Of or pertaining to inerrancy. Without error, particularly used in reference to the Bible

Wiki: Biblical inerrancy

Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible

Inspiration & Inerrancy

Ramesh said...

SBC reformation: ‘the work is not yet done,’ Nettles writes

Ramesh said...

In Response To ... Tom Nettles on Inerrancy

Ramesh said...

Sorry for making too many link comments.

Mohler, Draper: TNIV controversy makes HCSB translation even more important

"When I first heard about the Holman Christian Standard Bible, I was not excited about it," Mohler said. "I think in many ways there are too many translations, and having one more translation is not necessarily a great thing. [However,] the changes in the last several months have convinced me that in the end this is an important thing for Southern Baptists to do -- if for no other reason than that we will have a major translation we can control."

Rex Ray said...

Dallas—National WMU Foundation gave WMU of Texas $10,000 November 19, 2008 to be used for the continuing relief and recovery effort following Hurricane Ike.

Warning to IMB, don’t mess with those who take on hurricanes.

BTW Wade,
What do you think?:

It's Best Never to Bite the Hamd that Feeds Us.


It's Best to Never Bite the Hand that feeds Us.

(Just being a legalists)

Rex Ray said...

Mohler: “…we will have a major translation we can control.”

In (Matthew 9:18) the Holman Translation controlled the ruler’s daughter to being alive.

Halleluiah! That’s a Bible that can do what Jesus did—raise the dead.

Sorry Wade—the devil made me do it.

Anonymous said...

THY PEACE quoting Mohler
regarding the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

' [However,] the changes in the last several months have convinced me that in the end this is an important thing for Southern Baptists to do -- if for no other reason than that we will have a major translation we can control."


Oh my goodness.

So, it seems a 'correct' Bible is now being produced by Mohler and 'we' to replace all the 'uncontrolled' translations and even the original ancient texts that span 1900 years of Christian history. !
Somehow, after all I have heard, this statement does not shock me, but it is, of course, very telling.

'CONTROL'. I think that says it all. No need for the Holy Spirit's guidance here, for sure.
I wonder who 'we' include. (Maybe this is one reason Dr. Klouda got removed: she had integrity in her Hebrew scholarship and would not have allowed inaccurate or biased translations to stand without comment. Just a thought.)

Thanks, Thy Peace, you should be researching the CR movement for a major thesis: you seem to be able to pull forward some very revealing sources. As always, I appreciate your help. L's

Ramesh said...

L's: Please do not take the links I posted as truth. I do not know the validity of those articles. They need to be vetted with readers comments.

It appears, that inerrancy is central to SBC and they are attempting to integrate this into believers life and the application of it. This from Nettles article.

I do not know how all this plays a role as far as WMU is concerned. I will wait for the readers to illuminate this.

Please read the article by Bruce Prescott. It's somewhat damning. Maybe this is old new to others. But I am coming across this for the first time. Also he is not in SBC. He is the Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. I do not know what the differences are. I am sure I will find out as time unrolls.

Tom Parker said...

Sadly for those in control of the SBC it comes down to one word-"control" and IMO it has since the CR.

Ramesh said...

Please also remember almost everyone in SBC believes in the inerrancy of the Bible.

Including Pastor Wade.

Maybe there are disagreements of the interpretations of the Bible within SBC, though they believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

Tom Parker said...

Thy Peace:

I have been a Christian and a Southern Baptist for 34 years. When people say they believe the Bible is inerrant I'm still not sure I know what they are trying to convey. Inerrancy seems to have come along and made prominent by the CR. If you said you believed in inerrancy you were conservative and welcome in the SBC and if you said no or were not willing to say yes it was the kiss of death, you were a Liberal and not welcome in the SBC. There are just too many definitions of inerrancy to make it a simple yes or no question.

Anonymous said...

REDACTION as a tool for possible resolution of apparent conflicts within Scripture:

"Sometimes the source texts are interlaced together, particularly when discussing closely related details, things, or people. This is common when source texts contain alternative versions of the same story, and slight alterations are often made in this circumstance, simply to make the texts appear to agree, and thus the resulting redacted text appear to be coherent. Such a situation is proposed by the documentary hypothesis, which proposes that multiple redactions occurred during the creation of the Torah, often combining texts, which have rival political attitudes and aims, together; another example is the Talmud.

Redactional processes are documented in numerous disciplines, including ancient literary works and biblical studies. Much has been written on the role of redaction in creating meaning for texts in various formats. For example, in the field of biblical studies, see John Barton, Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 5: 644-647; or Odil Hannes Steck, Old Testament Exegesis, 2nd edition (Atlanta: Scholars Press), 74-93.

Ramesh said...

Tom: I agree with you about its effect in SBC. It appears that lot of pastors in SBC profess inerrancy, but their interpretations of the Bible differ.

Examples: Please check out the John 3:16 Conference and the "opposition" of the Calvinists within SBC. All the struggles were based on interpretation.


Proverbs 18:17

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.

Proverbs 18:17

Anonymous said...


I did find this on one of your references:

"And just what is it that Tom Nettles so long desired for the SBC?


You know, the controversial view of the Bible that claims the original written biblical text is textually perfect in every manner, including in matters of science, geography, astronomy, and all other areas of human knowledge."

COMMENT: I had been waiting for some EXAMPLES of 'inerrancy' and this does help provide some. But is this consistent throught the Baptist world? This belief in total literal interpretation even in areas scientific?

I'm afraid that if we did this in my own faith, it would be considered to mock God, who is also revered as the God of the natural world. My religion does NOT take the Holy Writings to be literal in every aspect, although, I must say we take certain scriptures literally that Baptists would not accept literally.
So it is somewhat subjective according to denominational interpretation, I suppose.

I think, as a retired science teacher, I was always conscious of children's confusion over certain curriculum items, and I tried never to put a child in the middle of a debate between theological and scientific concepts.

Are there any other interpretations of the concept of 'inerrancy' in the Bible which might put Baptists a little more on par with mainstream Christianity and Judaism?

Ramesh said...

I was exposed to SBC Church preaching for about 14 months.

This belief in total literal interpretation even in areas scientific?


SBC is advocating in the literal belief of Genesis. There are some apologists who advocate this within SBC.

I have some difficulty with this. Mainly because my science/engineering background and work. For now, I believe in it (but with some grain of salt). Though this is not good, theologically. I guess I am like George Bush here.

Anonymous said...


It's me, L's

I found a quote from a sermon by St. Augustine, one of the early Church fathers about the possible confusion of 'dead' or 'sleeping' regarding the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue. It may resolve some of your concerns about the apparent scriptural differences. :)

"He raised again the dead daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, for whom when she was sick petition was made to Him, that He would deliver her from her sickness. And as He is going, it is announced that she is dead; and as though He would now be only wearying Himself in vain, word was brought to her father, Your daughter is dead, why do you weary the Master any further? But He went on, and said to the father of the damsel, Be not afraid, only believe. He comes to the house, and finds the customary funeral obsequies already prepared, and He says to them, Weep not, for the damsel is not dead, but sleeps. He spoke the truth; she was asleep; asleep, that is, in respect of Him, by whom she could be awakened. So awakening her, He restored her alive to her parents. So again He awakened that young man, the widow's son, by whose case I have been now reminded to speak with you, Beloved, on this subject, as He Himself shall vouchsafe to give me power. You have just heard how he was awakened. The Lord came nigh to the city; and behold there was a dead man being carried out already beyond the gate. Moved with compassion, for that the mother, a widow and bereaved of her only son, was weeping, He did what you have heard, saying, Young man, I say unto you, Arise. He that was dead arose, and began to speak, and He restored him to his mother. He awakened Lazarus likewise from the tomb. And in that case when the disciples with whom He was speaking knew that he was sick, He said (now Jesus loved him), Our friend Lazarus sleeps. They thinking of the sick man's healthful sleep; say, Lord, if he sleep he is well. Then said Jesus, speaking now more plainly, I tell you, our friend Lazarus is dead. And in both He said the truth; He is dead in respect of you, he is asleep in respect of Me."

from St. Augustine's sermons

Anonymous said...


I found this for you. L's

It's from an article by
Gerald Schroeder.

"Only in 1965, with Penzias and Wilson's discovery of the radiation remnant of the big bang, did that fundamental paradigm change. Science had discovered the echo of our creation, and in doing so had validated the opening phrase of the Bible. There had been an "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1) to our universe. The overwhelming scientific evidence is that some 15 billion years ago, the time space matter and laws of nature that make up our universe came into being from what appears to be absolute nothingness. Ussher and Kepler may have erred in their interpretation of the biblical calendar, but conceptually they were infinitely closer to the truth than the scientists of that 20th century survey.

2) How could the world be created in six days?

Genesis chapter one recounts for us, day by day, the key events of the six days of creation. But the Sun does not appear till day number four. All ancient commentators, those referred to as the Sages, tell us that the term "day" refers to a duration of time, and that duration was 24 hours, regardless of whether or not there was a Sun. Those first six days, they said, "were no longer than the six days of our work week, but they contained all the ages and all the secrets of the universe."

Days containing ages sounds strange. Nevertheless that is what we twice read in Genesis: "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the Eternal God made heaven and earth" (Genesis 2:4). And again "This is the book of the generations of Adam in the day that God created Adam" (Genesis 5:1). It took an Einstein to discover how ages could be squeezed into a day. The laws of relativity taught the world that the passage of time and the perception of time's flow varies from place to place in our most amazing universe. A minute on the moon passes more rapidly than a minute on the Earth. A minute on the Sun passes more slowly. The duration between the ticks of a clock, the beats of heart, the time to ripen oranges, stretches and shrinks. Where ever you are, time seems normal because your body is in tune with your local environment.

Only when looking across boundaries from one location relative to another very different location can we observe the relativity of time. If you can not understand how this can be, do not despair,. The other approximately 5 billion inhabitants of the Earth are in a similar quandary. We look back in time, studying the history of the universe. From our vantage we find, correctly, that billions of years have passed. But, those same Sages told us, the Bible sees the six days of Genesis looking forward from near the beginning, from the moment that stable matter formed from the energy of the big bang.

Viewing the six days from that beginning holds the answer as to how our generations fit into those days.

The universe we live in is not static. It is expanding. The space of the universe is actually stretching. If we took a mental trip back in time, sending our information back to the moment from which Genesis views time, the effect of our mental trip would be to pass to a time when the universe was vastly smaller, in fact a million million times smaller than it is today. Space would have shrunk a million million fold. This huge compression of space would equally compress the perception of time for any series of events simply because as the string of information that described those events traveled back in time, the space through which it was passing was shrinking, squeezing the data ever closer together. In the jargon of cosmology, the data were blue shifted (blue because of the relatively short wavelength of blue light).

To calculate the effect of that million million compression, divide the 15 billion years we observe looking back in time by the million million. You'll get six days. Which of course is just what Genesis chapter one has been claiming for the past 3,000 years. Genesis and science tell the same account, but seen from vastly different perspectives.

3) Has the Bible missed on evolution?

The Bible is well aware of evolution although it is not very interested in the details of the process. All of animal evolution gets a mere seven sentences (Genesis 1:20-26). Genesis tells us simple aquatic animals were followed by land animals, mammals and finally humans. That is also what the fossil record tells us but of course with much more detail than these few biblical verses provide. Not withstanding the claims by misguided clerics, the Bible makes no claims as to what drove the development of life and science has yet to provide the answer.

In case you haven't studied biology in a while, let me provide a brief update on paleontology's record of life's evolution. First came the discovery that life appeared on the Earth almost 4 billion years ago, immediately after the molten globe had cooled sufficiently for liquid water to form. This contradicted totally the theory of life's gradual evolution over billions of years in some nutrient-rich pool. The rapid origin of life remains a mystery. Then we learned that some 550 million years ago, in what is known as the Cambrian explosion, animals with optically perfect eyes, gills, limbs with joints, mouths and intestines burst upon the fossil scene with not a clue in older fossils as to how they evolved. It is no wonder that Darwin, in his Origin of Species, repeatedly implored his readers (five times by my count) to ignore the fossil record if they were to understand his theory.

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence tells us that something exotic, unexpected, and as of yet unexplained, happened to produce life as we know it.

4) Just which rib did Adam have to spare for his mate, Eve?

The 1500 year old Talmud commentary on the Genesis asked the same question and presented a variety of answers, with no clear conclusion. Here are two of the replies. The Hebrew word usually translated as rib (tslah) at the making of Eve (Genesis 2:21,22) appears repeatedly throughout the Bible. It never means rib. It always means side. Based on this, the Talmud suggests that Adam and Eve were both fully formed beings, joined at the side and God separated them. This is in line with Genesis 1:27 and 5:2, where we are informed that God "created them male and female and blessed them and called their name [their name!] Adam in the day they were formed." Only later did they have separate names.

The other Talmudic suggestion is that the entire building of Eve (Gen. 2:22) is God taking a fully formed Eve aside, braiding her hair and then presenting her to Adam. This opinion stems from the use of the word "build" in villages by the sea to mean "braid hair", as the waves braid one upon the other as they reach the shore.

5) The Bible's calendar puts the creation of Adam at about 6000 years ago.

Science says the number should be closer to 60,000 years. Let's not confuse man with human. The biblical creation of Adam, humankind (Genesis 1:27), relates to the creation of the human soul (in Hebrew, the neshama) and not the human body. The Talmud is replete with descriptions of hominids having the same shape and intelligence as humans. But they were not human. They lacked the neshama. Recall that the Talmud was redacted a millennium before paleontology raised the scientific question of pre-human hominids. The Talmud learned of hominids from nuances in the text of Genesis. Science has confirmed the ancient predictions of Genesis.

Museums make the break between pre-history and history at about 6000 years ago, marked by the invention of writing and the appearance of large cities. Necessity is the mother of invention. The sudden expansion of clan-sized towns and settlements such as ancient Jericho, into cities necessitated commerce and administration, which in turn required record keeping and hence, writing. Was it the creation of the neshama that enabled clans to reach out and join together into cities? That is a question unanswerable by science.

6) If God is omnipotent and merciful as the Bible claims, why do bad things happen to good people?

It is true, not withstanding the bad we occasionally see around us, that the God of the Bible is described as merciful and long suffering, filled with righteousness and truth (Exodus 34:6). Equally confounding, at the end of the Six Days of Creation we are told that God saw all that was done and "behold it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). Not just good, but very good. Still young children get MS and earthquakes shake down buildings to crush the innocent. The same God that streaks the sky with a rainbow of red at sunrise and produces the beauty of a flower must also take credit for these horrors.

If we were gods, there would be no crippling diseases. Disasters would be unknown. But we are not running the show. And though we may see it as unfortunate, bad things happening to good people is consistent with the biblical description of God's role in the world. By chapter four, Cain has murdered Abel. According to the Bible, Abel was the good guy. God had accepted his special offering while rejecting Cain's run-of-the-mill sacrifice. God had the power to prevent Abel's murder, but chose not to. Isaiah hints at why.

"I am the Eternal, there is no other. I make light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil" (Isaiah 45:6,7). God, the infinite source of light, creates darkness by withdrawing some of the light. Similarly, God, the infinite source of peace, creates evil by shielding a portion of the peace. The biblical definition of creation is the partial withdrawal of God's presence. God pulls back, and in doing so creates the universe with its laws of nature. For the most part, nature takes its natural course. Only when events get way off course does the Bible recount that God steps in and overrides nature.

A natural looking world is an essential part of the biblical game plan of life, namely, the exercising of our free will. "I call to you witness today the heavens and the earth, I have placed life and death before you, the blessing and the curse, therefore chose life that you may live, you and your progeny" (Deut. 30:19). If humans are to have the will to choose freely, the world must look natural. A natural world has radiation producing crippling mutations and earthquakes crushing the innocent.

7) If God is omniscient and knows the future, how can we have free will? God knows the end already.

God knows the future but not as a future. Having created time, God is outside of time. In such a dimension, future and past and present are meaningless. They are simultaneous. The four lettered Hebrew name of God sometimes written as Je/ko/v/ah is a composed of the letters that spell in Hebrew I was, I am, I will be. The three tenses folded into one, an Eternal now. We, however, live in time and for us the future has not occurred. Nature has given us a hint of what it means to be outside of time.

The laws of relativity have shown us that at the speed of light time does not pass. To our perception, light travels for eight minutes as it moves from Sun to Earth. But if we could move along with the light, at the speed of light, in its journey from Sun to Earth, we would record that zero time passed. Here on Earth, being inside time, those eight minutes afford us the opportunity to choose among a variety of activities. But all those activities, their beginnings and endings, would appear as occurring simultaneously from the perspective of the light. In this sense, although totally outside of human experience and so difficult to comprehend, God knows the ending even at the beginning.

8) If God wrote the Bible, why doesn't it mention dinosaurs?

In a way the Bible does mention dinosaurs, or if not dinosaurs, then large reptiles. In Genesis 1:21 we learn that God created the big taninim. This is the only animal in entire creation account with a size attributed to it. Taninim is occasionally translated as whale, crocodile, lizard, even dragon. The confusion over the meaning of taninim is surprising since it is a word known elsewhere in the Bible to mean reptiles. Genesis 1:21 reads "and God created the big reptiles." Dinosaurs were certainly the big reptiles.

9) Who started this battle between Bible and science?

Many people discard the Bible's teaching because it seems scientifically incorrect. Ironically, it is the theologians who started the Bible/science conflict. Clerics with the scantiest scientific knowledge were, and still are, willing to trash every scientific discovery that seems to encroach upon their imagined sacred turf. First Copernicus in the 1500's had the audacity to suggest that the Earth moved around the Sun. This was unacceptable to the religious establishment not withstanding that the opening sentence of the Bible places the heavens before the Earth. Copernicus was a believing Catholic.

The discovery didn't shake his faith.

Then a hundred years later Kepler shook the religious world by informing that the Earth moved in an ellipse around the Sun. This humiliated the clergy. Wouldn't a perfect God produce a perfectly circular orbit? The next century brought Newton and the laws of inertial motion. It must have come as a bolt out of the blue for him to learn that the church felt his laws were "subversive to revealed religion." With inertial motion, the planets could keep moving by themselves without God's constant push. One would have to search far and wide to find a cleric today who is against the laws of motion. With each stage, the popular impression was that science had proven the Bible wrong, not withstanding the fact that the Bible had made no claims in any of these fields. Still the controversy persists, though the topics have changed.

We are all the losers as this needless dispute continues to erode biblical credibility. For millennia, the Bible provided a measure against which we might consider our deeds. We would do well to re-establish that measure. "

New JWR contributor Gerald Schroeder earned his BSc, MSc and PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with his doctorate in the Earth Sciences and Nuclear Physics. He is the author of Genesis and the Big Bang : The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible; now in six languages; and The Science of God : The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom

Wayne Smith said...

As the saying goes, you sure have a flock of wild geese.
Why did you delete my comment in regard to a Band of Brothers???


Anonymous said...

wtreat here

By the way, I don't mind saying the Bible is inerrant, good grief.

Now, about my WMU post...."When the WMU refused to submit to the wishes of the Pressler-Patterson coalition, it was targetted for attack. In 1995, in a letter mailed to 40,000 pastors, Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board (IMB) and appointee of the Pressler-Patterson coalition, publicly denounced the WMU for publishing mission education material for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) — even though the WMU had done such things for other groups in the past. The chairman of the trustees of the IMB likened the WMU to an adulterous woman for producing mission education resources for the CBF. WMU also learned in 1995 that the IMB had secretly applied to trademark the name “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” — the name WMU has used for decades to collect mission offerings."

I was at seminary when that qote on "Adulterous" was 1st used and it was tossed around quite a bit by some on campus, even from the pulpit by a visiting higher up. I guess they were just repeating what a higher up had said.


Anonymous said...

Who is "Wilson",1965?
Is it E.O.?


Anonymous said...

The story is that a young man who had a Baptist background was researching copyright material for another case when the words "Lottie Moon" caught his eye. When he realized what was happening he informed WMU. After legal involvement and negotiations the generous ladies agreed to share rights to the use of LM & AA names for promotion although they did not have to. After all, they actually believe that all progress for missions is gain. IMB and NAMB now share with WMU the names, with permission from WMU. This now contributes to the financial distress of WMU.

Ron said...

There has been a lot added to this blog since your post responding to Thy Pease but I wanted to respond to a couple of things. I live 12 time zones away from you so my responses are out of sync sometimes. I had not seen that chronology of events before but even though it is put together in a partisan way the dates, events and basic descriptions are accurate. You give a list of names including the Shermans, Godsey, etc. and wonder if they had something to do with preparing this list. The people I know who oppose the CR are just as opposed to the beliefs of the Shermans and Godsey and would resent being linked to them in any way. They were never key leaders in the SBC before the CR. The CR leaders always try to use guilt by association whenever they can.

I appreciate your saying you do not believe that most former SBC moderates are liberals. I assume you mean by moderates anyone who opposes the CR. This gets us to the problem with labels. I agree with you that the term moderate is a terrible term. I do not want it applied to me. If some do, that is their problem. I am by academic training a mathematician. We have to have precise understanding of the terms we use before we can have any meaningful discussion or solve any proofs. There can be no ambiguity or disagreement. As a lawyer you should understand this. That is why it is so difficult to have a helpful discussion with supporters of the CR and reach any understanding of the facts. They rely on labels with no relationship to the facts. Terms such as liberal, conservative, moderate, neo-orthodox and Calvinist are used with completely different meanings depending on who is using them. In 1990 when my friend Mike Huckabee was nominated for president of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention against the CR candidate they began referring to him as a moderate. He quickly corrected them and said he was not a moderate. He was a conservative. I do the same when people call me a moderate just because I oppose the pseudo-conservative resurgence.

You said, “It’s just too bad that the other side cannot resist using a 'fundamentalist' slur, even when it doesn't apply to most Baptist Conservatives I know, especially Judge Pressler. I guess they feel that the incessant labeling helps the cause.” Louis, anyone who knows the history of the CR knows that it was the CR that introduced incessant labeling into convention politics. They began by using the term liberal or heretic against anyone that opposed their movement. When it became obvious that in 99% of the cases those labels were a lie, they switched to moderate or neo-orthodox. The CR cannot function without the use of labels because otherwise they would have to resort to making factual statements of truth. Despite the writings of James Hefley the greatest enemy of the CR is truth.

One time a leader of the CR who happened to be chairman of the IMB BoT at the time spoke to a group of us missionaries and said how hurt he was that people had called him a red-necked fundamentalist. I told him that where I come from in Arkansas being called a red-necked fundamentalist was considered a compliment. If someone called me on I would just say thank you.

You ask why some are unwilling to use the word inerrant. I am willing to use it and consider myself an inerrantist. I do not care whether others use that word or other words as long as I can tell what they believe about the Bible. Louis, why is it not good enough to say the Bible is truth without any mixture of error or is totally true and trustworthy. That is what the BF&M says. Why don’t you ask the writers of the BF&M why they didn’t use the word inerrant when they wrote the BF&M if that word is so important? Besides inerrant is a double negative and difficult to understand. You are actually saying something is “not not true”. Does that make sense? Another reason is because of the way the word has been used by the CR. Some do not want to use it because it would associate them with certain people. Some CR leaders who have been the most vocal about using the word inerrant have been men who slander, commit adultery and steal. What does that say about the meaning of inerrant when it is used by members of the CR? The word Gay used to be a word with a good meaning but it has been ruined by those who use it to describe their lifestyle and belief. Would you want anyone to describe you as gay today?
Ron West

Ramesh said...

L's: Thanks for the info.

If you wish to do Hyperlinks, here is how.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace:

I didn't think you wrote that post. It was so unlike you.


Have a good day.


Anonymous said...

Tom, L's, Lydia, Anony:

I will do my best to gather up your questions and respond briefly.

Inerrancy is not a foreign concept in the theological world. You guys are pretty savvy, so I am surprised that 28 years after the CR officially started and about 13 or so after it ended some of you in Baptist life still do not understand this term.

I believe it means without error. Not errant. The BFM says without mixture of error.

A really good description of the theological term can be found on the web when one looks up The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, which was put together by a group of theologians years ago.

I like the term verbal and plenary inspiration also.

L's, Baptists do teach the history of the scriptures and such. The debate in Baptist life was what to do about those, particularly in the Baptist academy who held to a lower view of scripture. The moderates generally deferred to academic freedom and the priesthood of the believer to say that even if a professor did not believe that the Bible was without error (and the other terms used by the BFM), that was his business. And Baptists could not and should not seek to replace a professor who taught such things. Also, I should say that a good number of them just did not believe that any professor in Baptist life lacked doctrinal fidelity. Too many Baptists who had attended the seminaries apparently believed otherwise.

Conservatives, on the other hand, believed that all denominational employees, including and especially professors in the academy, should subscribe to the denomination's statement of faith.

So, again, with that background, after any of you read the BFM and the Chicago statement, and have a problem with them, I would be interested in hearing that. If you don't, you would be described in theological terms as an inerrantist (even though for SBC political reasons, you might not care for the term).

And someone really needs to have a broader understanding of biblical publishing before they misread what Dr. Mohler has said.

I suggest that you talk to people in the biblical publishing area. You will find a couple of concerns that drove the creation of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. One was the fact that the copyrights to lots of different Bible translations are owned by different groups. For example, the NASB, is owned, I believe, by the Lockman Foundation. These various owners set the terms of publishing Bibles in the translation that they owned. The owners can be very capricious about things, even to their own detriment.

The other concern is that Bible translations can be updated or revised on the decision of the owner. So, for example, when the owners of the NIV decided that they would publish a gender neutral version, there was a great deal of concern, not just in the SBC, but across many Christian denominations. In translation there is always a tension between formal equivalence (word for word translation) and dynamic equivalence (concept translation). In the new version, the NIV owners opted for more of a dynamic equivalence, even if it meant ignoring the words that were spoken. So, for example, when Jesus says "Sons" of God, the translators of the new version opted to write that Jesus said "Children" of God.

Now, if I were preaching the passage, I would read it as Jesus spoke it, but later explain that the use of "sons" had theological significance, and was not meant to be gender restrictive. The New NIV chose the other direction.

At any rate, whether you agree with me is not the point. The point is that Lifeway was having to live with these and other tensions. Sometimes the owners of certain translations would restrict their publication beyond what Lifeway wanted. And other times, e.g. the New NIV, the owners made changes, or could make changes, that many Baptists would disagree with.

Dr. Mohler was saying that it would be good for the SBC to commission its own translation, so that the SBC would not be subject to these problems.

I realize its a much better story to believe that Dr. Mohler and Dr. P want their own version of the Bible, so I am not sure if anything I said will help you. It probably will not. But I tried.

Also, I have not heard anyone really say that the Holman Christian Bible (or whatever it is called) is a bad translation. That should really be the issue. And, by the way, I believe that Dr. Mohler really prefers the ESV. That's what I have gone to using.

Ron West, as always, you write well. Glad to hear of your math background.

I believe it is not accurate to say that all leaders in the CR called everyone who did not agree with them "liberals." I and many of friends did not. Just as I know that many moderates did not call all people in the CR "fundamentalists." They point that I was making in my comment is not who shot John, but when are we going to get over this? How long are some people going to throw around terms inaccurately to make points? And it won't do to say, "well, 20 years ago, the other side did it."

It is 2008. The CR is over. Baptist chose the direction that they wanted to go. It was not monolithic on either side. But we are where we are.

And, by the way Cecil Sherman and Kirby Godsey were moderate leaders. I am glad that you disassociate yourself from their opinions.

And, again, the issue was what to do with concerns about a lack of fidelity to the common confession of Baptists, a wide variance on the meaning of inspiration and other related concerns. The Conservatives were concerned that there was a problem in these areas, especially in the academy. The Moderates did not, and further charged that the Conservatives were not really concerned about theology, but only about personal power. The Baptists heard the arguments and made their choice.

Again, I think the first rule of civility is to call people what they want to be called. I am pleased to call moderates by that name if that is what they want to be called. I hope I live to see the day when "fundamentalist" is used only for persons who are such.

And finally, I think that we can both agree that humans are humans. I am sure that you can pile up wrong doing on the part of some conservatives. I can assure you that I can pile up wrongdoing on the part of many moderates. But what good does that do? We each will have a stack of examples, but that doesn't address the matters at issue or the positions of either party.

I am perfectly willing to hear from anyone on this blog say why they think that denominational employees, including professors, should not have to believe and teach the truths in the BFM. If a professor needn't believe in the inerrant or verbal, plenary inspiration of the scriptures, or major doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection etc., then I am all ears.

But I don't believe it is productive to suggest that because some people who would hold that standard for denominational employees are not charitable or have some personal moral failing, that the position they hold is wrong. It is like saying that because Jack Kennedy was immoral, that his idea of going to the moon or his support of civil rights (even though it was lukewarm) were wrong.

Some of the nicest and most consistent people I know are theological moving targets. I admire their piety, and believe they will be way ahead of me in the kingdom. But I would not give them the responsibility of drafting a doctrinal statement or administrating an institution.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Louis, I know what the word means but am not that happy with the way it is 'used'. :o)

I personally know some scholars who have been on translation teams and have friends who translate for certain tribes and dialects around the world so I am a tiny bit familiar with the challenges of translating. And am even familiar with a few of the problems with certain translations including the ESV. (GASP)

The challenge comes when folks use the word 'inerrant' to FORCE a translation onto others as the only one that is "biblical"when there are other scholars who disagree. Especially when the areas are secondary. Not to be pedantic but the slavery issue comes to mind. As does the interpretation that there are specific 'roles' for women. Or the presuppostion that there is a 'creation order' that proves hierarchy. Or even the newer problems with ESS.

Too many are calling those who challenge these interpretations as those who do not believe in the inerrancy of the Word when that is not true at all. It is a strawman word.

Personally, I do not believe the Bible can be understood in a spiritual way unless the Holy Spirit is illuminating truth as we study and pray. Without the Holy Spirit, it is a history book or a club for some.

That is the beautiful thing about Jesus Christ. He is now our High Priest and promises wisdom to those who ask and do not doubt. EVen an ignorant peasant like myself who is not of noble birth. :o)

Remember, gay used to mean happy. Word meanings change over time because of how they are used or misused.


Ramesh said...

Louis: Thanks for your comments.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

The Baptist Faith and Message [2000]

Lydia: Thanks for your comments. I fully agree with your comment here:

"Personally, I do not believe the Bible can be understood in a spiritual way unless the Holy Spirit is illuminating truth as we study and pray. Without the Holy Spirit, it is a history book or a club for some."

Anonymous said...

I must admit a couple of things: first, I got tired of trying to read all the comments, and gave up about half way through, with a bit of scanning afterwards. So I may not be up on all the comments, jabs, and arguments used. My appologies.

Second, I gave up on some of the long comments, even the ones I think I agree with. As has been pointed out to me: when the comment is longer than the original post, you loose readers.

Third, I will probably get on a couple of my favorite hobbie horses and diverge somewhat from the topic. Such is life.

OK, THE MEAT: I have mixed feelings about the WMU and consequently about the attempts to use names that they "own." As far as the heritage of the WMU goes, they should own those names. They have pulled the fat out of the fire for Southern Baptist missionaries more than once--actually quite frequently. And as much money they raise that goes straight to missionaries, the SBC "brass" should think twice about cutting funds historically sent to them--not that I expect them to do so, since they don't send $$$$ to anything/anyone they are unable to CONTROL. So for this side of it, I am firmly on the WMU's side.

Someone made a comment that regardless of who "owns" the names, LMCO & AAEO, people were giving to missionaries rather then to the WMU, and I suspect they are right. For years the WMU made itself synonamus with missionaries, and now it is working to their detriment. Also to their detriment is (what I regard) as the fact that they and the missions education/National Geographic model they espouse are almost as much a dinosaur as is VBS, and for the same reasons. The church I now serve had a WMU in name until a year or two ago, but had not had a viable organization for years before that. Here in the DC suburbs, people--the women of the church, including my wife--just do not have the time for the traditional WMU structure, even if (and this is a big IF) they are attracted ti it. WMU, like many churches, is structed to provide a community. However, today, in most urban and suburban areas (and many rural ones too), people have as much community as they can stand and have time for. Even in the very traditional church I previously served, that was the case. We had three WMU circles, two of which were composed of ladies all over 65(actually quite over 65!), and the third was a small and struggling group of 50ish year old ladies, unable to attract anyone younger than that. Bottom line: either the WMU's day has passed, OR they must find a different, more hands-on model to pursue. And failing that, they should give or SELL the names to the SBC. How about an auction? Maybe the CBF would be interested in bidding, or at least running the price up. Maybe the ABC, or some of the state conventions like the BGCT would even put in a bid. That would be a riot!

John Fariss

Anonymous said...

L's said ...
Are there any other interpretations of the concept of 'inerrancy' in the Bible which might put Baptists a little more on par with mainstream Christianity and Judaism?

So now Baptists aren't mainstream Christians? Wow!

Rex Ray said...

Ron West,
I enjoyed your comment so much I put it in my files. But I don’t understand you’re saying:
“Besides inerrant is a double negative and difficult to understand. You are actually saying something is not not true.”

Webster says: “Inerrant: Exempt from error; free from mistake; infallible.”

To me, Webster is saying ‘inerrant is true without error.’ Of course, that was too simple for Bible Scholars, so in 1978, three hundred met in Chicago and came up with a ten page definition of inerrancy.

You said, “After any of you read the BFM and the Chicago statement, and have a problem with them, I would be interested in hearing that.”

Article 9 of the Chicago Statement: We affirm that inspiration, through not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterances on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write. We deny that the finitude or falseness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God’s Word.

Lewis, how can writers have “true and trustworthy utterances on all matters”, and write “falseness”?

Article 14: We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved violate the truth claims of the Bible.

Lewis, is the following an example of the above? The error of (Ecclesiastes 1:5) saying the sun travels around the earth, does not disprove John 3:16.

Article 19: We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

Lewis, is this saying if a Christian does not believe in inerrancy they cannot understand the whole of Christian faith, and cannot have increasing conformity to the image of Christ?

More on Article 19: We further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.

Lewis, does “consequences” mean burned at the stake, rejected from SBC, or snubbed?

Exposition; C; page 9 says:
“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been ILLUSIONS.”

Lewis, is this saying parts of the Bible are not inerrant today, but one day they will become inerrant—that today they are illusions? Hey! That’s like the king having a perfect suit until someone said he was naked!

Lewis, how can a person that sees “apparent inconsistencies” as illusions, condemned another that sees them as discrepancies?

Both conservatives and moderates have their own recipes for believing the Bible. So like Bob Cleveland said, “Why argue which recipe has to be accepted when they produce the same cake?”

Ron said...

One last response to Louis and Rex.
Louis, I agree with you when you say, “I believe it is not accurate to say that all leaders in the CR called everyone who did not agree with them liberals." However I believe that most leaders of the CR did call those who disagree with them liberals and they knew the label was usually inaccurate. I did say it was the CR that introduced incessant labeling into the SBC political arena and stand by that statement.
The Shermans and Godsey may have been leaders of the moderates, whoever the moderates are, but they were never leaders in the SBC.
You say that, “Conservatives, on the other hand, believed that all denominational employees, including and especially professors in the academy, should subscribe to the denomination's statement of faith.” Are you saying that all denominational employees must agree with every part of the BF&M?
The BF&M says the only scriptural officers of the church are pastor and deacon. Should those who are members of churches with elder boards separate from pastor or deacon not be allowed to serve as a denominational employee?
The BF&M says “Church and State should be separate.” W.A. Criswell the guru of the CR said the separation of church and state is a figment of the mind of some infidel. Therefore do you believe W.A. Criswell if he were alive should not be allowed to be a denominational employee or officer or trustee? In addition members of First Baptist Dallas should not be allowed to serve since their pastor has such beliefs.
Louis, I believe we can show mistakes on both sides but I do not believe the SBC will be healed and a healthy organization until its leaders repent of the sins of our past leaders and the dishonest labeling the leaders of our denomination have used in past years.
Rex, I was just going by my understanding of the meaning of inerrant not the dictionary definition. Errant to me means not true. If you put an in before errant you are saying it is the opposite of errant therefore “not not true.”

Ramesh said...

Online Etymology Dictionary: Inerrant
1652, in ref. to "fixed" stars (as opposed to "wandering" planets), from L. inerrantem (nom. inerrans) "not wandering," from in- "not" + errans, prp. of errare "to err" (see err).

Merriam-Webster: Inerrant
Etymology: Latin inerrant-, inerrans, from in- + errant-, errans, present participle of errare to err
Date: 1837
: free from error

Jim Shaver said...

If the WMU would do one little thing it would restore that agency to it's former prominence and see missions offerings soar.

What, you ask?

Simply this - Sponsor and spearhead Pastor Appreciation Month among Southern Baptist Churches during the month of October.

Rightly or Wrongly - the majority of Pastors in the SBC do not see the WMU as a missions partner but as a para-church organization more interested in their own organization and agenda than the local church and its ministry.

Anonymous said...


I know that Wade has moved on to another post, but since you read the statement on inerrancy and asked some questions, you deserved a thoughtful response (even though most people have moved on and won't read this).

I will respond by giving you my understanding, though I did not participate in the drafting of the inerrancy statement. Many of the authors are probably still living and could be contacted if you wanted an semi-official response.

Also, I detect in your questions that the areas you raise may be places where you disagree with the statement. It's not that you are too dull to understand the statement, and need my help. It's that you don't agree at these points, I suppose. So, with that background, I will do my best.

Article 9 - I believe the statement means that even though the writers were finite and human(sinful, capable of making and having made falsehoods in their existence) those problems with the writers did not make it into or affect the text of Scripture.

Article 14 - alleged errors and discrepancies, also following up at the end, you ask about apparent contradictions. I am not sure if the verse you mention is what they had in mind (Ecc. 1:5). I have no more of a problem with that verse than I do someone writing about the "setting of the sun." I think that this reference deals with things like the charges that 19th century liberals used to raise, e.g. That Moses could not have written any of the Bible, because Moses could not have written (they had not found earlier archaelogical finds that showed writing was older than they thought) or that there were no Hittites because they couldn't find them in the archaelogical record. Years later, they found records of Hittites.

There are also what appear to be internal inconsistencies. I remember reading about one in the Old Testament where the buying of a field is recorded in two different books, and some of the details are different (can't find the reference now).

I believe what these articles mean is that even though we may see things that appear to be contradictions and discrepancies, that they are capable of explanation and resolution, even though we may not have all of the facts now at hand. The writing and Hittite controversies above are good examples. The Bible appeared to contradict the archaeological record. However, over time, the discrepancy was resolved due to new discoveries.

The writers are saying that believing the Bible is true without error is the tack to take, even if there appear to be unresolved discrepancies or contradictions. They will be resolved in time - here or in the hereafter.

A good book on this subject is by Gleason Archer, Bible Difficulties. He used to be the President of Trinity Divinity School outside of Chicago, I believe. You might find that book helpful.

Article 19 - Believing the Bible to be truth without mixture of error is vital to a sound understanding of the Christian Faith and should lead to conformity with Christ - is a true and sound statement.

What kind of confidence could a person have in the Bible (which is where we learn about God, Christ, our salvation etc.) if they thought the Bible had errors in it? And how could one decide where the errors were, and where they weren't?

If, for example, someone believed that the claim that Christ was born of a virgin was an error or untrue myth inserted into the text to prove a point (as I was taught in a Baptist college in 1979), then a person would not understand the whole of the Christian faith. He would believe that Jesus had a human father, and that sections of the NT were clearly myth. And, if a person thought that the sexual ethic contained in the NT was not an inerrant revelation from God, then a person could believe that a different sexual ethic would be permissible, and that would not lead a person to conformity to Christ.

Article 19 - rejecting the concept of the Bible being truth without any mixture of error does have grave consequences. If a person questions God's Word and says that it has error, that person will have a warped view of whether God has communicated His will to man at all. Jesus affirmed the OT as then written, and said that his followers would record his teaching. The first followers of Christ recognized this, and Christians for centuries thereafter did, too.

It is never healthy to claim that God's word is erroneous. That is a grave error that can lead to losing out on what God has for us.

Your last statement is very instructive. You believe that conservatives and moderates have "different recipies" for believing the Bible. I have never heard it put so straightforwardly.

I know the Conservative "recipe". Conservatives believe what the BFM says. The Bible is infallible, truth without any mixture of error or inerrant.

The moderates, according to you, have some other recipe. I don't know exactly what that recipe is and won't take on the task of describing that.

I would very much enjoy hearing you describe the moderate "recipe" for believing the Bible and how it differs from the Conservative recipe. If you are willing take that on, please feel free to post it.

I will say that most moderates believe, however one describes their "recipe" for believing the Bible, that denominational employees, including professors in the academy, have a right to believe what they want and that Southern Baptists have no right telling any SBC employee or professor what they must believe.

I am interested in hearing what you think the moderate recipe for understanding the Bible is.


I know that you believe Conservatives used "Liberal" before Moderates used "Fundamentalist."

I do not agree with that.

At any rate, these debates go back decades before the CR and I think you will find them going back to the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversy of the 1920s.

Insisting that the Convention start apologizing because Criswell called some moderates who were not liberals, liberals is not really a productive thing or necessary in my view anymore than I would insist that some moderates go back and apologize for calling some conservatives, "fundamentalists".

And it's not productive to refuse to do right and make amends only if someone else will first.


Anonymous said...

To someone:

I can't remember who, but someone asked a question about the BFM and "Pastor" and "Deacon" being the two offices and such and how that related to elders.

We have elders at our church and I can tell you how we see things.

We believe the term for pastor and elder are the same term and same office. We just have a plurality of elders, and not just one. And only one of the elders is paid a salary by the church.

Also, I should say that the elders at our church are not just business people in the church who were popular enough to be elected. All of our elders have had years in Christian ministry and many have had some formal theological education.

Our elders are selected by a unanimous secret ballot by the existing elders and then confirmed by the congregation by a secret ballot vote. We do not have a business meeting, so this occurs during the service. People can vote at a table that is set up in the lobby before, during and after the service. If one were a visitor, one would probably not notice that a vote is taking place.

The elders serve for life, unless they move, resign or are removed with a 2/3 vote of the existing elders.

We have deacons, male and female, that direct the servant teams at our church.

In addition, our elders serve as the legal Board of Directors of the Church, which is a corporation. Many churches establish a "Trustee" Board or something like. The spiritual and legal authority for the congregation is vested in our elders.

So, we do not see a contradiction with the BFM, since the only difference is the use of the latin term "pastor" vs. the greek term, "bishop".

And we don't see a contradiction in the fact that several of us are not paid. Baptists are always frugal.

And we don't see a contradiction in the number of elders - now we have 6 or 7 vs. 1. Even First Baptist Jacksonville had a co-pastorate - two elders.


Rex Ray said...

December 15, 2008
Hi, L’s,
It’s me.

Sorry so long in replying to your good explanation of Jesus referring to death as sleep.

The controversies of (Matthew 9:18) vs. (Mark 5:22) and (Luke 8:42-52):


Matthew quotes leader of the synagogue [Jalrus]: “My daughter has just died…”

Mark quotes Jalrus, “My little daughter is dying, please come…so she can live.”

Luke quotes Jalrus saying, “His only daughter who was about twelve years old, was dying.”


Matthew contributes great faith to Jalrus: “…but you can bring her back to life again…”

Mark contributes great faith to Jesus:
“Messenger…told him, ‘Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.’ But Jesus overheard them and said to Jalrus, ‘don’t be afraid. Just have FAITH.”

Luke contributes great faith to Jesus:
“Messenger…told him, ‘Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.’ But Jesus overheard them and said to Jalrus, ‘don’t be afraid. Just have FAITH.”

Let me repeat that only the Homan Translation has changed the dead girl to being alive in Matthew 9:15, “…”My daughter is near death, but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.”

That’s why I said Holman now had the control of Jesus to raise the dead. Smile

I appreciate your sincere thoughts.

Rex Ray said...

Your explanation of inerrancy in being “not not true” makes sense now that you’ve explained: “If you put an in before errant you are saying it is the opposite of errant therefore “not not true.”


Rex Ray said...

You’re right in that I disagreed with the Chicago statements that I listed except for Article 14.

With your explanation of Article 9, I see my point of view was wrong in connection the writer’s faultiness to their writing when the article was referring to the bad part of their lives.

An example would be Moses was at fault in his life for lying to the people that God was angry with him because of them, but we don’t throw Numbers and Deuteronomy out the window because Moses lied.

But Moses wrote his lie for truth in the Bible. Ut, Oh, that brings me back to my original statement. Now, I’m confusing myself. Smile

Overall, I see that Article 9 is a true statement as they intended, and I was wrong.

Article 14: We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved violate the truth claims of the Bible.

Lewis, I agree with Article 14. I asked you if the sun traveling around the earth was an example of an alleged error. (Ecclesiastes 1:5)

You replied, “I have no more of a problem with that verse than I do someone writing about the setting of the sun.”

I agree there is no problem with saying sunup or sundown. And like a good lawyer, you ignored the discrepancy part of the verse: “The sun rises and the sun sets, THEN HURRIES AROUND TO RISE AGAIN.”

You go off chasing rabbits without admitting this verse is NOT true. Would you believe Patterson’s explanation/approval of this verse in the notes of Criswell’s Study Bible? The note says:

“1:5-7 These verses show the harmony of Scripture and the sciences.”

Yep. That’s all the note says. Just like you, Lewis.

Article 19: We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility and INERRANCY of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

Lewis, again like a lawyer, you omitted ‘inerrancy’ to make a true statement in the BFM (“Believing the Bible to be truth without any mixture of error…”)

You did the same with ‘More on Article 19’: We further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.

Why do you quote the BFM when the article says “inerrancy”? Rabbit chasing the BFM does not defend inerrancy.

Hey! What about Exposition: C, page 9: saying:
“Apparent inconsistencies…will be seen to have been illusions.”?

Was that too embarrassing to discuss? Does not the BFM cover illusions?

To make this no longer, I’ll comment later on the ‘recipes’ of conservatives and moderates, and also on the BFM.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply.

I have no problem with the later part of the verse that says the "sun hurries around to rise again" for the same reason as the sun sets and rises part. They are human descriptions of the sun's movements.

With all due respect, I think that you cannot reconcile them because you are parsing them too tightly. If I say my wife is "wound up tight", my wife is not literally "wound up."

You apparently see some sort of mistake here on the part of the writer which I do not see. That certainly is your right. I just don't have the same problem.

Also, since I see "without mixture of error" and "inerrancy" as the same thing, I don't get caught up in a feverish effort to distinguish the two.

I also believe that I understand what the statement says about "illusions", apparent contradictions, Bible difficulties etc. However, even after an explanation, you still seem confused about this concept. Again, Dr. Archer's book is excellent. I think that you would enjoy it.

I cannot help you any further with your understanding and interacting with the statement on inerrancy or the concept in general, but did my best to answer your questions.

Finally, please not that you also create an unnecessary confusion when it comes to my name.

My name is LOUIS (as typed on all my comments), which is a French derviation.

You keep using LEWIS (which is an English derviation).

I am not offended by your use of a different name for me, but after seeing it a few times, thought I should let you know.

Not saying anything is kind of like letting a person walk around with his fly open.

I sincerely look forward to reading your belief about the moderates' recipe for understanding the Bible.


Anonymous said...

Rex and Ron:

Well, isn't a double negative a positive?

Not, not true - means "true."

Ron, you have just gotten Rex even deeper in the mental morass.

I think we should just acknowledge Websters and the other cites that Thy Peace or somebody else posted and move on.


Anonymous said...


Hi, it's me, L's

Sorry for offense, but I am not aware that the SBC was considered a 'mainstream' Christian entity. I was thinking along the lines of mainstream meaning denominations such as Anglican, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, and Methodists.

I am VERY sorry for having given offense. I did not realize that Baptists considered themselves in that 'mainstream'.

I DO consider Baptists to be members of the Mystical Body of Christ. That is ever so much more important than being in any denomination category, don't you think?


Anonymous said...


Thank you for your information about 'inerrancy' and the Holman Bible.

I think my misunderstanding often comes from terminology and from references to sacred texts which are taken literally, when I do not do so, OR taken as symbolic, when I read as literal.
Trust me, this alone would lead to a very great deal of confusion.

Once again, thank you for your good help. L's

Anonymous said...


It's me again, L's

You are correct about a double negative being a positive. I taught this in 'test-taking' skills last year, so I am very up on it. It is frequently used to 'trick' and 'confuse' those who do not read carefully and do not know basic rules of grammar: in short, most people. :) L's

P.S. The choice of the word 'inerrant' may not have been the best choice as the English language is so richly endowed with suitab;e synonyms that might have been more easily understood.

Am I not incorrect? :) L's

:) L's

Ron said...

As we discover more things about your church I am concerned you might come under attack from the CR leaders as a liberal church. In the early stages of the political takeover Pressler, Pinckney and others said that one of the marks of liberal church was women deacons. Some churches were disfellowshiped because they had women deacons. Also I believe Paige Patterson at one point crticized the use of Elder boards and said they are a violation of congregational polity that we Baptists have stood for. I may be wrong about Patterson but it was one of the leaders of the CR.
I am not asking the leaders of the CR to apologize for Criswell's remarks. I am asking the to apologize for their own misuse of labels. Many of the present leaders or the CR did and still do use labels dishonestly.

Ron said...

A proponent of congregationalism, Patterson said he believes some churches adopt elder rule to fix unbiblical forms of congregationalism. One "abhorrent" form of congregationalism, he said, views the pastor as the slave of the church. Instead of shifting to a biblical model of congregationalism, some churches move toward elder rule. Patterson suggested that this "fix" may be worse than the problem. "I do not like the 'elder-rule' proposition. I think we are going to lose one of our great distinctives as Baptists if we throw away our congregational church polity," Patterson said. "I do not have a problem with multiplicity of elders within congregationalism."

In 1984 the SBC passed a resolution stating that women were excluded from being deacons or pastors.

Anonymous said...



I can't believe how much time you spend on this blog as a non-Baptist, but your presence is welcome.

Who knows how "inerrant" came to be used in theological circles. I am comfortable with it, and not confused by it.

Now, prologonema (sp?) - that's a word that should not be used.


You pose an interesting question about how some would view elder rule. I know several folks in SBC circles that might not like it - on both the conservative and moderate side.

Here's a scenario to show you how much things are shifting in the polity area.

There is a large church here in town. It is now our City's most influential Baptist Church, in terms of presence, money and numbers.

The pastor was called to the church in the late 80s or early 90s. He studiously avoided the SBC controversy and came to the church at the end of it, so he could do that. He has VERY connected state Baptist leadership in his congregation, who are moderate, and VERY connected SBC leadership who are conservative, as well.

The church has only men deacons.

About 2 or 3 years ago, he came to the congregation with a polity change proposal. The church would elected a Board of Trustees. These Trustees, along with the pastor, would lead the church in business and spiritual matters. They function as a Board of Elders, but they called them Trustees because it did not raise as much concern. Of course, Trustees aren't in the Bible, and neither are committees.

There are women on this Board of Trustees, who are vested with the financial and spiritual direction of the church.

So, you would think there would be something for everybody to hate, right?

Both the moderates and the conservatives in the church were not thrilled. The moderates said, "It's not the Baptist way", but everyone went along with it, and there was no fuss.

Isn't that a scream?

I really believe that our church fits in the BFM. The only part that some might find unusual is that once the congregation votes on the elders, the elders do most of the church business and the spiritual oversight. And the elders are self perpetuating in the sense that they recommend future elders, but those are confirmed by the congregation.

Again, the elders in our church are not just a board of business people, but a plurality of pastoral leadership, and the paid pastor is one of the elders.

Will some people come after us? It is possible that they might. But I think that they will really have a hard time finding true fault with what we do if they dig down beyond the nomenclature.

If a well connected church like the big one I talked about can do what they did (they are about 3 miles from us), then our little fellowship can certainly do what we have done.

My overall view on this is that in the area of polity, the Bible is not so specific to address many questions. So, I believe that there are lots of forms that may fit different congregations. I am fine with that.

As I said in previous posts, however, the history and tradition of a congregation should be acknowledged and respected before any polity changes are tried. This pastor of the large church that I mentioned was very sensitive to that, and I give him great credit for that.

Take care.


Rex Ray said...

Hi, L’s,
You thanked Louis for giving information about the Holman Bible. Can you help me with the time of his comment as I can’t find it? I’d like to see what he said.

Rex Ray said...

Sorry about the spelling and thanks for your concern of it causing me embarrassment.

In my opinion you’re saying, “I see ‘without mixture of error’ and ‘inerrancy’ as the same thing” is worse than having your fly open.

No wonder you don’t understand what I’ve been saying about the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy.

Let me ask you, do these statements mean the same?
1. Without mixture of error.
2. Without error.

If you think they mean the same, why does the first have “mixture”?

For many years “mixture’ bothered me until I asked Michel Whitehead, lawyer for the SBC to explain ‘without mixture of error’.

He replied, “Those words means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue.” He continued, “That’s why we added, ‘and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Louis, can you see the two different words used in his explanation. One is “Bible” and the other is “Scripture”.

Scripture is God’s Holy Word that is true; period.

The Bible contains Scripture PLUS untruth which are lies, ignorance, stupidity etc.

It takes the Holy Spirit to teach us which is true and untrue.

If you have a problem with that then that’s your problem.

It’s getting late, so I’ll make this short.

The recipe for conservatives is ‘inerrancy’, while the recipe for moderates is ‘infallible’.

Please don’t say they mean the same thing.

Ramesh said...

"Hi, L’s,
You thanked Louis for giving information about the Holman Bible. Can you help me with the time of his comment as I can’t find it? I’d like to see what he said."

Louis referenced Holman Bible here in this comment

Rex Ray said...

While you are thinking, let me read between the lines.

The BFM does not have ‘inerrancy’ which means:

One day, we’ll see everything in the Bible is perfect because God would not allow untruth in his Word. So the ‘untruth’ we see now will be seen as illusions.

The BFM has “…without mixture of error” which means there is truth (Scripture) and untruth in the Bible.

In conclusion, the BFM and inerrancy oppose each other.

The irony of the present ‘rulers’ of the SBC is unless you DON’T believe “…mixture of error” and believe in inerrancy you cannot be a seminary teacher, a missionary, or be an employee of the SBC. This warning is shown in the Chicago Preface:

“The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God's own Word that marks true Christian faith.”

I’m glad we don’t live in the Fifteenth Century or the old Conventions of Texas and Virginia would be roast beef on a stake.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Due to the disruption, distraction, hard feelings, harm among Christians, and their witness, I wish inerrancy would go back to where it came from—the SMILING LIPS OF THE DEVIL.

Thy Peace,
Thanks for the refference.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the reply. I know that you spent a great deal of time on it, and that you are trying to communicate.

I do not agree with some of your points, nor do I think they are defendable or commonly shared by most people, let alone most Baptists. This is not directed toward you personally, it's just the ideas you have expressed do not, in my opinion, follow simple English word meanings and such.

Here are my thoughts:

1. Without "mixture of error" and "inerrant" are different words, but they mean the same thing. I think most people would understand that. If Baptists are so complicated that we confuse these two terms to mean different things, our grammar, syntax and idiom rival the complicated Chinese language.

2. The BFM terms from 1925, 1963 and 2000 have not changed when it says the Bible is without mixture of error. "Without mixture of error" is a phrase that goes back to 1925. It was simply carried forward in later versions of the BFM. I have never read any contemporary recollection or recording of E.Y. Mullins (or others that worked on the 1925 statement) that said they chose "without mixture of error" because it had some different meaning from "inerrant."

I have never heard an inerrantist complain about the term "without mixture of error."

The committee that worked on the 2000 BFM (which was composed of inerrantists I think you will concede) saw no need to put the word "inerrancy" in the BFM because the BFM already said "without mixture of error."

3. I just re-read the BFM. In the article on the "Scriptures" (which also references the "Holy Bible" or "Bible" in the text). So, the term "Scripture" and "Bible" are used interchangeably in the BFM.

4. The term "infallible" is not used in the BFM to describe the Scriptures or the Bible. The term "infallible" has never been used in the BFM in the article describing the Scriptures or the Bible.

5. I have no problem with the term "infallible." Websters says it means, "not capbable of being wrong; unerring." Unerring is synonym for inerrant and is another way of saying "without mixture of error."

I have not found a common dictionary that says these words have different meanings.

So, with all due respect to you and the lawyer source upon whom you relied for a definition (by the way, I don't know who that lawyer is. Jim Guenther has been the SBC's lawyer for years. I know Jim. We are not close. Did Mr. Whitehead preceed Jim as the Convention lawyer?), I cannot see any real difference between "inerrant," "without mixture of error," or "inerrancy" or "infallible."

6. Remember, the Convention has spoken on "inerrancy." It has passed resolutions on this subject, one of which has sort of an interesting place in SBC Convention history. The Convention passed a resolution on inerrancy, I think in 1985 or so. The then Recording Secretary, Martin Bradley, did not put the Resolution in the SBC Annual showing it had passed at the annual meeting. This is a huge error, as any corporate secretary would tell you. It would be like the corporate secretary at the annual shareholders' meeting for GM forgetting to acknowledge that the sharheholders voted on the Board of Directors.

At any rate, for his monumental goof up, Mr. Bradley was dispatched and replaced in a subsequent election. Unlike Lee Porter, whom, despite his moderate affiliation, remained on as Registration Secretary for many years because he did such a thorough job.

So, it's not as if the convention has not ever spoken to inerrancy. And as I said, when Adrian Rogers and the other committee members came to the BFM 2000, they did not alter "without mixture of error" because they did not need to. As inerrantists, they were happy to agree with "without any mixture of error."

7. I really do not understand what you mean by the untruths in the Bible. If you could give me an example that would be helpful (unless you are talking about the "sun" thing in Ecclesiastes).

Rex, thanks again for setting out your thinking on this.


Ron said...


I had not intended to say anything else on this blog but I need to correct a factual error in your last post. You said, “The Convention passed a resolution on inerrancy, I think in 1985 or so. The then Recording Secretary, Martin Bradley, did not put the Resolution in the SBC Annual showing it had passed at the annual meeting. This is a huge error, as any corporate secretary would tell you. It would be like the corporate secretary at the annual shareholders' meeting for GM forgetting to acknowledge that the sharheholders voted on the Board of Directors.”

Martin Bradley DID put the resolution in the SBC Annual and showed it had passed and named all of those who spoke in favor or against. He treated this resolution just like he treated the other resolutions and the same way resolutions are treated today if you want to look in a recent annual. If you do not believe me you can read about this incident in Pressler’s book, A Hill on Which to Die, on pages 105-108. The reason Pressler got upset was that he wanted Martin to put the discussion in the annual. That is never done. That should be done in BP or in the newsmagazines reporting on the convention. The reason Bradley and eventually Porter were replaced was because they both did their jobs fairly and professionally. Pressler and the CR leaders wanted people who would follow their orders . This is an example of how the mythology of the CR distorts facts to prove their inaccurate charges. Martin Bradley would not and could not fail to put a resolution in the annual that had passed or failed. They report all the proceedings. This statement is a slander against his good name.

Louis you continue to use labels like moderate. You said Lee Porter had moderate affiliations. I guess that means he is supposed to be a moderate. You need to put a disclaimer at the beginning of your writing that the terms moderate or conservative as used in your post have nothing to do with theology or anything else. If you want to, instead of moderate you could say “not a CR apologist”. Lee Porter is as conservative theologically as the person who replaced him.

One last statement on inerrancy. I think you have fallen into the CR trap of thinking it is necessary to say inerrancy to prove you believe the Bible is true. Under CR leadership in our convention it is not important what you believe about the Bible or that you life actually reflects a belief in the Bible. All you have to do is throw out the term once in a while and call others liberals or heretics and you can rise to a place of leadership in our convention.
Ron West

Anonymous said...

I think the comment by Mohler about "control" is in regards to printing control. Because of the HCSB version Lifeway no longer has to pay NIV for use of their translation in their literature. I'm sure that is a huge cost saver.

Anonymous said...


Just read this. I will follow up on the Martin Bradley incident and get a clear understanding of this. Your memory is better than mine, apparently. If I have mispoken, I will correct it.

Moderate is a term that the moderates adopted for themselves. I cannot wipe it away. I will certainly not call you that, as you do not prefer it. But apparently a bunch of Baptists did during the CR. Again, it is not a term that conservatives made up.

I don't think that I have fallen into a trap when it comes to the Bible. If a person tells me, look, "I believe in inerrancy. I did not support the CR, so I don't like the term because it connotes support of the CR" then fine. Or they can say that they have read the Chicago Statement, don't disagree with it, but in using the term, don't want it to imply that they were involved in the CR, fine, too.

But the BFM does say "without mixture of error."

The BFM does not say "infallible." But I like that term, too, as it is used and defined in the English language generally.

I believe that my thinking here is clear.

I am still confused on Rex's Moderate Recipe for understanding the Bible, but, again, that is not for me to figure out. I am going to leave that to Rex, and read his future posts.

Thank you for your efforts to correct the Martin Bradley thing. I will look into this and get back with you. I will have to say that if you say Judge Pressler complained about it (I haven't gone back and re-read the book, read it years ago), I would give some credence to what he would say. Judge Pressler had a distiguished career, decades practicing law and on the bench. It would not be like someone with that background to make a statement that could be easily knocked down, as you have suggested. I believe there is more to it than Judge Pressler unreasonably suggesting that something be put in the annual that never gets put in there anyway. That just seems like too simple an answer. But that doesn't mean that I distrust you. I just think it needs some fleshing out.

Dr. Porter was a moderate. I served with him on one occasion, but I really cannot go into it other than that. I will have to leave it at that. That does not mean that I don't think he, himself, was not conservative biblically, or that he was an immoral person or anything like that. I know that he certainly loved his job as Registration Secretary, and that he worked hard at it for many years, and Baptists recognized that (even a lot of CR people). That's why he was re-elected so many times before.

Mr. Bradley, on the other hand, was defeated years before Dr. Porter, and it had to do with the incident that we are discussing. There was something that moved Baptists to replace him, but leave Dr. Porter in place for several years after that.

Ron, thank you for the direct, factual way that you communicate.

Take care.


Rex Ray said...

My apologies for not understanding your “enjoy”. I owe you a big thanks for asking me to explain “without mixture of error” and the moderate recipe for believing the Bible.

You still believe, ‘without mixture of error’ and ‘inerrant’ are different words, but mean the same thing.

You would probably agree that ‘without error’ and ‘inerrancy’ means the same thing.

If you do, then you would agree that ‘without error’ means the same as ‘without any mixture of error’?

Louis, do you see where I’m going with this? If they meant the same thing, why in the world was ‘any mixture of’ put into the sentence? It sounds like ‘double talk’, and that’s exactly what it is by saying the Bible is true and the Bible is untrue.

Using the philosophy of the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy a person would see “any mixture of” as an illusion—one day, and I guess that’s the way you see it or should I say ‘don’t see it’?

Why would Moderates name themselves Moderates when they hate the name because they consider themselves true conservatives?

It’s true ‘Conservatives’ didn’t name them. To get the history of what happened, the press wrote of these two groups fussing with each other. Since one group called themselves ‘Conservatives’, the press identified the other group as Moderates. And so the name stuck to those that were not “one of us”.

Louis, the recipe of moderates have for believing the Bible is in the word ‘infallible’.

To understand Webster, consider the word team. (Our new pastor has led the church in changing committees to teams.)

“TEAM: 1. Two or more horses, oxen, etc. harnessed to the same plow.
2. A group of people working or playing together.

So in reading Webster, we have a choice to pick a definition that pertains to us.

With that said, Webster—“Infallible:
(1.) Incapable of error.
(2.) Dependable; reliable.”

So, Louis, like in TEAM, I take the recipe of Webster’s second definition of ‘team’ and ‘infallible’ while you take his first definition. (not Team ha)

Louis, my estimation of you went up when you said you cleaned toilets. Also in your comments to Ron, you show the attitude of someone not so set in their ways they can/will change their mind when they see truth.

We had a former pastor that announced he did not do manual labor.

What you said the other day got me in trouble. I liked it so much; I sent it to the pastor.
You had written about some new pastors doing away with the choir etc.

Right now we’re doing something that has been done in our church for sixty plus years—bylaws. Sort of what happens when two worlds collide? That’s why I’ve been too busy to comment

Rex Ray said...

Oops, I should have said, "...has NOT been done..."

BaptistPlanet said...

No help for the WMU thus far?