Monday, May 25, 2009

An Example of a Genuine Christian Apology

Someone over at SBC Today crafted an apology for posting an inaccurate allegation that the Baptist General Convention of Texas was eschrowing Lottie Moon funds. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the unnamed author of the apology for writing one of the finest examples of what a Christian apology should actually look like.

First, it was honest and transparent - to the point of even naming two men on the SBC Today team who insisted that the inaccurate post should remain up even after it had been discredited by people in the know, bringing disrepute on the entire SBC Today team.

Second, there were no flowery, super spiritual phrases in the apology - just a simple, easy to understand confession of wrongdoing and a sincere expression of regret.

Third, there were no "but"'s - as in "We are sorry, but . . ."

Fourth, there were no additional shots at the BGCT in the apology - frankly, and refreshingly, there were phrases that placed all the guilt on SBC Today, and an acknowledgment that the BGCT's heart "beat for missions."

Finally, there were clear statements as to what SBC Today should have done - which is evidence that a similar mistake should not happen in the future.

Well done, and everyone to whom SBC Today apologized would be wise to forgive them. As for me, I will never write about this particular gaffe by the SBC Today team again.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson


Ramesh said...

It was a refreshing apology that is easy to read and understand.

I would have preferred SBC Today to issue a retraction, more as an addendum or postscript to the original post, rather than deleting it. Someday WayBackMachine, and possibly search engines and legal issues will make instant archiving of all internet materials to resuscitate even deleted blog posts and comments. Or better yet, blogs will do versioning (keeping track of changes) of edits on blog posts and allow to do the same for comments. Just a thought.

kehrsam said...

Much better than Dr. Barber's "apologia." Jesus may yet get around to making decent Christians of that bunch. Once He gets done with me.

Jeff said...

Wade, I am not sure I agree with your viewpoint. Why did it take so long for a simple apology to be written? What wait days? I'll reread it, but for me its just a little bit to late. said...


In my opinion, you don't ask "Why so long" when someone apologizes - you simply accept it.

But, I find it absolutely fascinating that the SBC Today team would write this:

The (discredited) article remained in place at the insistence of Wes Kenney and Tim Rogers.To me, that is the majority of the SBC Today team saying, "This is why it took so long to remove the post and apologize - two of our own wouldn't let us."

Well, I can't think of anything more embarrassing for Tim and Wes than to be identified by the SBC Today team in the manner in which they were.

It would seem that Tim and Wes have some explaining to do.


John Fariss said...


And yet, wes was first to reply to my e-mail, and with a simple, "Thank-you."


Jeff said...

Perhaps your right, but I wouldn't count on getting an explanation from Wes or Tim.

Bennett Willis said...

I thought the apology was reasonable, however you clearly like it better than I do--but I'm from Texas.

Part of the apology, copied from SBC Today:
"To all of our readers: We do apologize that we went against the advice received from some of you. We were told to take this down and even among ourselves we could not agree. The majority of our team was not resolute that this article remain after the facts from BGCT became public. This article remained in place at the insistence of Wes Kenney and Tim Rogers."

I have read this several times--and it still is confusing. I don't understand why you would leave something of this ilk up when it is incorrect if you could take it down. Although my personal preference (in this case) would have to have left the original post up but added a paragraph that said that it has been shown to be incorrect. "Twisting in the wind" is a phrase that comes to mind.

Bennett Willis

Christiane said...

HE CHANGES THE FACE OF THE EARTH: one heart at a time

"Your Spirit changes our hearts: enemies begin to speak to one another, those who were estranged join hands in friendship, and seek the way of peace together.

Your Spirit is at work when understanding puts an end to strife, when hatred is quenched by mercy, and vengeance gives way to forgiveness. "

And I thought Baptists didn't know how to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. I was wrong. WOW. You guys did great. :) Love, L's

Denn said...

Earlier today when I read that last paragraph somewhere without the other parts, I thought that Wes and Tim actually wrote it. Really what I thought was "Well, Wes and Tim finally got the memo." "Cover Bart.Hang the IMB."

If Rankin gets booted over this, they will consider it worth the hulabaloo and Bart will be even more highly rewarded.

I have become such a cynic over the past thirty years. (maybe that is "sin-ic") Shame on me. What if I am just a realist?

Ramesh said...

I just found out that the picture Pastor Wade posted on the top is an animated gif. Try it!

Ramesh said...

You have to click on it to try it.

Jeff said...

Denn, You might have just uncovered the real reason for Bart's post. It was intentionally misrepresented to get rid of Dr. Rankin.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The question remains:

Who was the IMB source who spread the lie to SBC Today?

Alan Paul said...

I love the social networking and blog world. No more backroom, backwoods, backstabbing meetings and not hear about them...hopefully this will teach some lessons all around. said...

Alan Paul,

I agree. Transparency, communication and networking brings accountability.

Alan Paul said...

I am hoping these two (Kenny and Rogers) will be as gracious and forthright in their respective apologies as was their organization's. Does Pastor Rogers have a blog? said...

Yes, but he has posted only once since Christmas.

RKSOKC66 said...

Alan & Wade:

I agree that the SBC blogging sites expose stuff to the light of day that might otherwise be hidden. Sometimes things are a little "rough and tumble" on these blogs (to say the least) but at least things that would not otherwise see the light of day are exposed.

To me, blogs that espouse diametrically different viewpoints are of equal value. They both share the same purpose of serving as a check and balance on official SBC news sources which often don't cover what is going on behind the scenes.

Through the give and take of the bloggers and commentors eventually a picture arises that is much clearer than would be the case if blogging didn't exist at all.

I think that the new transparency that is STARTING (maybe only starting) to be going on in the SBC is a good thing. The fact that our president, Johnny Hunt, is putting stuff out on the internet for the broadest possible buy-in --and interacting with feedback more or less real time (i.e. within a matter of days or weeks) bodes well for a more open, flat, and participatory convention.

This dinosaur of having a meeting for a couple of days each year is not suited to effective government of the convention since it results in very few know what is going on and/or being able to shape policy. These blogs are a step in democratization of the convention.

Here is what I'd like to see. How about some guy who went to the various PUBLIC portions of the BoT meetings for the agencies and blogged what was going on.

Wade, if a guy walked in the door with a laptop and said he wanted to "record", say via tape recorder, what is going on at the BoT for the IMB could he actually do it -- assuming he was willing to travel all over the country multiple times a year at his own expense? If a guy did this do you think it would have any effect either for better or worse?

Say a blogger was present at the BoT of the IMB last week when the purported comment was made regarding the CP money from the BGCT?

I've been thinking for a few weeks about becoming a circuit riding blogger going to BoT meetings. Maybe this is just idle dreaming but I guess it has to start somewhere.

The situation with the people on the BoT now is that they don't seem to run in channels where information is readily distributed to the guys in the pews. There evidently is an "implicit" (maybe explicit) code of silence about what is going on -- even in PUBLIC meetings.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

sameoldstruggles said...

While I think that blogging can definitely be misused (and even lead to horrible misunderstandings), I have truly benefited from following SBC blogs here in the past year or so. I think that it brings to light the good with the bad so that as a convention we can start to see where we falter and work together. Sometimes seeing the disunity in comment streams leads me to desire and seek more unity with brothers and sisters in my day to day life and that has definitely been beneficial (I just blogged myself on a similar though concerning unity/disunity among Christians).

As for this issue, I was very upset to find the BGCT being libeled in the manner that took place. However, SBC Today did a fantastic job of finally owning up and delivering an honest and earnest apology that won back some respect from me (especially compared to Bart Barber's "apology"). It is nice to see such humility being shown after such a contentious few days.



Dave Samples said...


Perhaps your idea could be enhanced by simply publicizing the dates and locations of trustee meetings and encouraging bloggers to attend events near them and then to report what they see and hear. For example, the IMB was in Denver and I could've attended the public sessions had I known they were meeting.

Ramesh said...

Fbc Jax saga continues ...

Jacksonville News > Ancient discipline in modern times
First Baptist says it had Scripture in mind in dealing with a critical blogger; he says the process was un-Christian, raising questions about ...

Fbc Jax Watchdog > A.C. Soud Chimes In.
In this article you'll be able to read how A.C. Soud is calling me a "coward" in the newsaper. "The coward that he is...." says Soud. Soud has certainly taken the cue from his pastor, Mac Brunson, and decided the best way to answer questions is to be sure to call the blogger names. I hope all of Jacksonville is taking this in. First, the Senior Pastor Mac Brunson calls me mentally unstable and a sociopath in the paper, and now the President of the Trustees of FBC Jax calls me a coward. Can we next get Jim Smyrl on the record? Perhaps he would be willing to call me a few names.
Not only does Soud engage in name calling, but he gives a lame excuse for the trespass papers being issued to me and my wife as the first step of their unbiblical church discipline processes. Soud says that I was having somone "watching a Brunson sermon in Tennessee" and suggested people disseminate the blog in their Sunday School. Having someone watching a sermon? Recommending that people tell others in their Sunday School about a blog that discusses church matters? Those are threatening? Unbelievable.

Then Soud offers this gem:

"Our purpose was: 'You are staying off campus until we know who you are, we can see you face to face,' " Soud said. Their goal was then to reconcile with Rich in a "Christian fashion," he said

Jon L. Estes said...

don't know how to do a blue clickie, so if the blue clickie below does not work cut and paste this link and enjoy the cartoon.

church unity

RKSOKC66 said...


I've been thinking about the idea of attending a few IMB BoT meetings for a week or so. I believe I'm going to actually follow through on this idea.

I'm going to try to work from the "bottom up" on this. I'm going to find out who the BoT members are from Oklahoma and then contact them and get some guidance.

Wade used to be on the BoT. I also know that a pastor here in the OKC area was on the BoT but that was several years ago.

I have time and a few bucks so I think logistically I can bring this off if I pursue it.

It must be the case that the members of the BoT are on some public list but a cursory glance at the IMB site didn't reveal this list.

In the next few days, I'm going to call the IMB and ask for the "communications department" or whatever and see if I can find out who the BoT members are in Oklahoma.

My problem is that I'm a total greenhorn at this stuff.

My background is a firmware engineering consultant and a manager of microcode design groups in Silicon Valley. I'm not retired.

I'm pretty far afield from what is likely that normal constituiency of the BoT. I have a BSEE and MBA with a few courses tossed in on the side from seminary -- some of which were only on an "auditing" basis and not for credit.

On a scale from one to ten my knowledge of Hebrew does not exceed a two.

RKSOKC66 said...

My previous post should say:

" I'm NOW retired . . . . . "

Jon L. Estes said...

P.O. Box 6767
Richmond, Virginia 23230
Jerry A. Rankin, President
Paul H. Chitwood, Chairman
Ex-Officio Member

Convention President: Johnny M. Hunt,
11905 Hwy. 92, Woodstock, GA 30188

State Members
Term Expiring 2009

Colorado: Kevin L. King, 40650 Anchor
Way, Steamboat Springs 80487

Florida: Kenneth C. (Ken) Whitten, P. O.
Box 44, Lutz 33548

Georgia: Douglas W. (Doug) Merck, 3268
Helen Hwy., Cleveland 30528

Hawaii: *Kenneth I. (Ken) Kuwahara, 1100
Ward Ave., Honolulu 96814

Illinois: *Harold C. Booze, 109 Fawn Haven
Dr., East Peoria 61611
*Joyce E. Stevens, P. O. Box 327, Carterville

Kansas-Nebraska: John Click, 11725 W.
Alderny Ct., Unit 41, Wichita 67212

Kentucky: Timothy I. (Tim) Alexander, P. O.
Box 456, Florence 41022

Louisiana: * Richard E. (Dick) Landry, 101
Melrose Ln., Lake Charles 70605

Michigan: Rochelle Davis, Jr., 15845 W.
Chicago, Detroit 48228

Missouri: James W. (Jim) Barnhart, 117
David Dr., Sikeston 63801

North Carolina: William R. (Bill) Sanderson,
1421 Marshburn Rd., Wendell 27591

Richard A. (Rick) Byrd, 6008 Early Trail
Rd., Summerfield 27358

Northwest: Samuel W. (Sam) Morgan, 1128
Cedar Pl., Creswell, OR 97426

Oklahoma: Michael A. (Mike) Butler, P. O.
Box 665, Purcell 73080

Doyle R. Pryor, 24 Trail Ridge Rd., Sapulpa

Pa‑So Jersey: Kenneth P. (Ken) Cademartori,
117 S. Shaffer Dr., New Freedom 17349

Tennessee: *Joe S. Washington, 2722 Varnell
Rd., SW, Cleveland 37311

Charles A. Fowler, 1050 Union University
Dr., Jackson 38305

Texas: William Michael (Mike) Smith, P. O.
Box 949, Jacksonville 75766
Michael A. (Mike) Gonzales, 2708 Fox
Glenn Ct., Hurst 76054

Utah‑Idaho: John W. Keith, 4817 N. 2300
W., Cedar City, UT 84720

Virginia: Thurman R. Hayes, Jr., 6 Channel
Walk Dr., Poquoson 23662

Alabama: Raymond (Ray) Jones, 1231
Fortner St., Dothan 36301

Arkansas: Charles E. (Chuck) McAlister,
3100 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs 71901

California: Jerry Corbaley, 1890 Cliff Ave.,
McKinleyville 95519

Florida: *Waylon B. Moore, 906 W.
Candlewood Ave., Tampa 33603

Georgia: *J. David Baxter, 5914 Love St.,
Austell 30168

Gene M. Williams, P. O. Box 2310,
Covington 30015

Kentucky: Paul H. Chitwood, 1029 Equinox
Blvd., Mount Washington 40047

Mississippi: *A. Keith Heartsill, 150 Shadow
Wood Cv., Grenada 38901

Nevada: *Kathleen R. (Kathy) Kelley, 3221
S. Heritage Way, Las Vegas 89121

New England: Jesse R. Smith, 20 Sherman
St., Rochester, NH 03839

New Mexico: *Sharon D. Tillery, 1602 W.
Centre Ave., Artesia 88210

North Carolina: Robert H. Jackson, 705
Ostwalt Amity Rd., Troutman 28166

Ohio: Willis C. (Will) Pollard, 5897
Northcliff Blvd., Dublin 43016

Oklahoma: Winston Curtis, 1603 Terrace Dr.,
Duncan 73533

South Carolina: *Henry L. Holland, 2630
Goldeneye Rdg., Sumter 29150

Tennessee: *Brenda M. Jicka, 1003 Richards
Tr., Orlinda 37141

Jon L. Estes said...

Texas: Nathan Lino, 18000 West Lake
Houston Pkwy., Humble 77346
Stephen (Steve) Swofford, 610 S. Goliad,
Rockwall 75087
*L. Todd Edwards, 633 N. Town East Blvd.,
No. 316, Mesquite 75150
Jimmy D. Pritchard, P. O. Box 97, Forney
William B. (Bill) Sutton, 1200 Beech Ave.,
McAllen 78501-4606

Alabama: James W. (Jamey) Pruett, 12 Silver
Pointe Dr., Elmore 36025
*Linda Jean Applegarth, 608 Wiltshire Dr.,
Montgomery 36117

Alaska: *William C. (Bill) Milewski, 36395
Pingo St., Soldotna 99669

Arkansas: *Joseph W. (Joe) Hewgley, 10
Fitch Cir., Rogers 72756
Stuart Bell, 239 W. Centerton Blvd.,
Centerton 72719

California: *Juli Anne Callis, 6231 Running
Springs Rd., San Jose 95135
R. Blake Withers, 24270 Adams Ave.,
Murrieta 92562

District of Columbia: *Andrew F. (Andy)
Johnson, 525 A Street, NE, Washington,
DC 20002

Florida: *Debora D. (Debbie) Brunson, 7623
Hollyridge Rd., Jacksonville 32256

Georgia: *Martha H. Wilson, P. O. Box 626,
Millen 30442
*Jana T. Brown, 415 Lakeshore Cove, Fort
Oglethorpe 30742

Kentucky: Hershael W. York, 212 Shelby St.,
Frankfurt 40601

Louisiana: *Kathy T. Towns, 202 Northgate
Dr., Arcadia 71001

Maryland‑Delaware: *George Jack, 1216
Cedar Corner Rd., Perryville, MD 21903

Mississippi: Charles E. Smith, Jr., 2466
Oglesby Rd., Sturgis 39769

Missouri: William D. (Bill) Curp, 2211
Carlton Dr., Festus 63028

North Carolina: *Michael (Mike) Penry, 100
Marigold Pl., Garner 27529
Keith L. Stephenson, 198 Hosanna Ridge,
Rutherfordton 28139

South Carolina: D. Allen McWhite, Sr., P. O.
Box 1892, Tigerville 29688-1892

Tennessee: John D. Floyd, 2533
Brotherwood Cove, Collierville 38017

Texas: Marshall D. Johnson, 8001 Mustang
Dr., Irving 75063

James T. (Jay) Gross, 1855 Longmire Rd.,
Conroe 77304

Virginia: *Charlene D. Hahn, 309
Bridgeview Cir., Chesapeake 23322

Alabama: Robert E. Jackson, 2306 Diamond
Pointe Dr., SE, Decatur 35603
G. Lance Hogan, 302 N. Main St., Enterprise

Arizona: Simon H. Tsoi, 5139 E. Pinchot
Ave., Phoenix 85018

Florida: Richard A. Powell, 3750 Colonial
Blvd., Fort Myers 33966
*H. Marvin Pittman, 665 S. Wilson Ave.,
Bartow 33830

Georgia: Roger L. Henderson, 3203
Washington Rd., Augusta 30907

Indiana: *Mary H. Fullhart, 2800 W.
Memorial Dr., Lot 184, Muncie 47302

Kentucky: Norman W. Coe, 7711 Fegenbush
Ln., Louisville, KY 40228

Louisiana: Vacant
Mississippi: Charles L. (Chuck) register,
516-A Courthouse Rd., Gulfport 39507

Missouri: John M. Edie, 3111 East
Battlefield St., Springfield 65804

New York: *David T. Button, 56 Park St.,
Canton 13617

North Carolina: *Donna L. Nealy, 765
Fieldstream Dr., Boone 28607
*O. G. (Tim) Locher, 1911 Country Club
Rd., Hendersonville 28739

Oklahoma: Richard H. (Rick) Thompson,
2900 Council Rd., Bethany 73008

South Carolina: Ronald N. (Ron) Bryan, 620
Cold Branch Dr., Columbia 29223

Tennessee: Roger P. Freeman, 435 Madison
St., Clarksville 37040

Texas: Robert A. (Bob) Graham, 1215
Hilltop Dr., Cleburne 76033
Byron V. McWilliams, 3928 Hadden Dr.,
Odessa 79765
*A. C. Halsell, 2722 N. Colfax, Plano

Virginia: Ronald K. Wade, 7246 Otey Dr.,
Lanexa 23089

West Virginia: Vacant
* Indicates non-church/denomination-related

Ron said...

I am glad that the folks at SBC Today have made an apology. If this is starting a trend of CR supporters apologizing for presenting inaccurate and false information, can we expect the former trustees of SWBTS to apologize for stating that Russell Dilday was “dedicated to berate, misrepresent and assail those who hold the Bible to be God’s inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word.” Can we expect those IMB trustees who have claimed our missionaries were neo-orthodox, liberals and spreading heresy to apologize? Can we expect Roger Moran to issue multiple apologizes for all of his misleading charges. I could go on and on giving CR leaders opportunities to apologize.

We need to remember the situation that brought about the need for an apology is nothing new and has been repeated over and over for the last 30 years. The thing that makes this different is the fact that it took place in the blogging community. That is why blogs have been so frightening to the CR leaders ever since Wade began blogging about the IMB. The statements by Bart Barber and SBC Today were out in the blog world for all to see and provide feedback and comments. In the past the CR leaders could make statements like this and have no fear of accountability. They could ignore those who spoke the truth and demanded an apology just as SBC Today tried to do for several days. Ultimately they had no choice but to admit they were wrong or lose all creditability as a blog site.
Ron West

Christiane said...

Good Morning JON ESTES,

What a small world we live in.
I was looking over your list of trustees of the IMB and noticing all the locations that they come from. Then I noticed my zipcode and the familiar name of a street in my neighborhood.

Surprisingly, although I do not know this individual, one of these trustees lives within walking distance of my house! :)

Jeff said...

Ron wrote, "They could ignore those who spoke the truth and demanded an apology just as SBC Today tried to do for several days. Ultimately they had no choice but to admit they were wrong or lose all creditability as a blog site."

This was the point I was trying to make to Wade and others about the delay in their apology.

This is just my opinion, and I do now know their heart, but it appears to me this was a political apology not one from the heart.

In fact if I had to choose between Bart's and SBC Today's---I would choose Bart's because it was written from the heart, not the head.


Gram said...

i've been involved in several situations at church where a simple "we're sorry. we made a mistake" would have resolved the problem. but when they refuse to assume responsibility, then begin to deflect that responsibility to the victim and bring up things that have nothing to do with the original mistake, the incident snowballs and blows up into a huge conflict that could have been prevented.

Joe Blackmon said...

Yes, some sort of appology was needed because the information was incorrect. However, it was really not that big of a deal. Oh, of course some people wanted to make it a big deal but it was a mistake. The CBF crowd needs to follow the advice of a song by the Eagles on one of their albums and "Get over it". If they were really so concerned with their reputation they wouldn't take the doctrinal stances that they do or hold to positions that are not only unsupported by scripture but are flatly contradicted by it. Growing a doctrinal backbone would give them much more legitimacy to Christians.

Christiane said...

It is important to notice the title of this post: "An Example of a Genuine Christian Apology"

I was just thinking that this reinforces my opinion that although Wade has been put through hell by the B.I.;
yet he remains without bitterness and is willing to rejoice in the nature of this apology.

This tells me that his discernment has weight here.
Because it is by the grace of God that Wade has no hatred in his heart for those who persecuted him in the past.
And the source of that grace is the Holy Spirit.
So I trust Wade's take on this apology.
He, above many, having been so persecuted, could rightly have rejected the author(s)' intent.
But he did not.
His acceptance of this apology is filled with a hopefulness and a forgiveness that is born from the same Source of
Grace that saved him from bitterness in the past.

I believe this to be true.
Love, L's said...


You wrote: This was the point I was trying to make to Wade and others about the delay in their apology.

This is just my opinion, and I do now know their heart, but it appears to me this was a political apology not one from the heart.

In fact if I had to choose between Bart's and SBC Today's---I would choose Bart's because it was written from the heart, not the head.
I understand what you are saying, but politely disagree.

It is, at least to me, incumbent upon all Christians to forgive someone when someone simply says "I repent." If we were to try to evaluate motive, intent or genuineness of the apology, we would all have varying opinions.

Jesus said in Matthew 18 - "If your brother says 'I repent,' you are to forgive.'"

I have found a great deal of heartache is prevented when Christian people simply accept apologies without questioning whether or not they are sincere. said...

Ron West,

You are, again, so right. In the old days the "speak and burn" tactics would have been unchallenged. But with the internet, blogs, etc . . . people are much more accountable for what they say. said...


Go for it! I for one would LOVE to have you follow the IMB trustees at ALL their meetings and blog your insights.


Alan Paul said...

Wade I have to think that Jesus cares more for what's in the heart than for what comes out of the mouth. An apology without the right motivation is no apology at all. Surely Jesus wasn't ignoring the motivation of the heart when he uttered that command.

TIme will tell if this was genuine I suppose...

Jeff said...

I'm been praying about this and I would gladly do it for a small fee and perks.

1) 500K a year base salary
2) Plus 250K in retirement
3) Private jet to travel
4) Personal chef
5) A staff of at least 5-10
6) Membership at Augusta and Colonial Country Clubs
7) And other things as needed

Any takers ;)

ml said...

Wade is this remorse or repentance? One thing to call foul on yourself over being grieved that relationship is ruptured by actions as opposed to rats I was caught and now I have to grovel to lessen the impact that my actions have brought upon me. What say you? Repentance or remorse? Barber's is obvious.

Clif Cummings said...

For Alan Paul,
There is a clear blblical mandate as to why we are not to measure another man's heart or motives. It is because of our own heart: Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Thus we are to take a person at their word, until their fruits prove them either right or wrong.

RKSOKC66 said...


Thanks for the encouragement.
I will not swamp your blog with comments any more. When I get back from Jacksonville, I'll send you an email about my experience.

I called up the IMB this morning "cold". I asked the phone receptionist for the "communication department" or whoever it is that handles communication with people on the "outside". I said I'd like info on how someone could attend the BoT meetings. The receptionist said just a minute. In five seconds I was talking to the office of the President. I chatted for a few minutes with Fonceil Blake -- who evidently is on Dr. Rankins' staff.

I said I'd like to show up to whatever portion of the BoT meeting is "public" with a laptop and take notes and publish a blog about my experience. I said I'm a layman from Oklahoma who is a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Del City OK.

She told me (rough paraphraise),

" You are definately welcome to attend the 'plenary' session. When you arrive come down to the front and introduce yourself. The meeting will be at 1PM in Jacksonville FL on 16 Sept. We always have a commissioning service also and it is open to the public. "

I told her that I'm just a guy in the pew and I think there is a virtually no information flow between whatever it is that is going on during the BoT meetings to people in the rest of the convention. The members of the BoT evidently just keep what is going on to themselves assuming, probably correctly for the most part, to no one else is interested. That was in the "old days".

This is a new age of openess where we have "instant" communications. For better or worse, we have Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, e-mails blazing all over the place.

Johnny Hunt is reaching out far and wide by publlishing his GCR document to everyone DIRECTLY by using the "new" medium of the internet. Mass communication to the "guy in the pew" is the wave of the future. Podcasts of Dr. Hunt's interviews where he directly interacts with various real or perceived "problems" are widely available.

I got permission from my wife to go. She doesn't want to go herself because she says, "She doesn't want to be in a room where a bunch of liberals and convervatives are yelling at each other" [that is an exact quote]. I told her that my aim is to show though firsthand observation that her perception is wrong.

Jon Estes, thanks for the list. I'm doing a cut and paste and saving it. As it turns out, it was an order of magnitude simpler than I thought to "get permission" to show up at the IMB Bot meeting. So I may not need this list right away.

I am a member of the American Radio Relay League. It has about 100,000 members in the USA who are ham radio operators. The ARRL has a board of directors meeting every year that is open to the public or a least open to any ham who wants to show up. The ARRL publishes detailed minutes of everything that happened in the annual Director's Meeting in QST (our magazine). We in Southern Baptist life need to emulate this without wasting valuable money printing mind-numbing stuff that only .001% of the membership of the SBC would read. Well, I guess that is going to be my niche for a while -- at least on a trial basis.

We don't have to print a bunch of stuff at high expense that is going to line trash cans. All it takes some guy who is there and recounts what happened.

I'm on my way. See you in Jacksonville.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK said...

Roger Simpson,

Allow me to speak a word that may be a little stronger than encouragement.

I believe you may be called by God to this task. I will do whatever I can to help you get started and will direct people to your website as best I can.

In addition, I will read everything you write to help us Southern Baptists understand what is taking place.

Fresh eyes always help.

Ron said...

Joe Blackmon wrote,
"Yes, some sort of appology was needed because the information was incorrect. However, it was really not that big of a deal. Oh, of course some people wanted to make it a big deal but it was a mistake. The CBF crowd needs to follow the advice of a song by the Eagles on one of their albums and "Get over it". If they were really so concerned with their reputation they wouldn't take the doctrinal stances that they do or hold to positions that are not only unsupported by scripture but are flatly contradicted by it. Growing a doctrinal backbone would give them much more legitimacy to Christians."

Joe, I believe it was Bart Barber and the SBC Today crowd that made a big deal of this. It was much more than a mistake. It was an attempt to harm the reputation of fellow Christians. What has CBF got to do with this. Neither Wade or I or most of the people asking for accountability have anything to do with CBF. This is just the usual attempt to deflect criticism from the CR crowd and avoid accountability by yelling about CBF. Wade and I and most people on here are happy to back up our doctrinal stance by scripture. What doctrinal stance did Bart and the SBC Today crowd use to make their unsubstantiated charges against the BGCT? Almost nothing done in the name of the CR has doctrinal backbone. It is based on a desire to control.

Ron said...

I have enjoyed your website. I could not find an email address. I would like to contact you and share some thoughts and some information.

I am sure most people at the IMB and our missionaries would love for people such as yourself to attend the open sessions of the IMB board meetings and report the happenings. The more openness and transparency the better.

Introduce yourself to Paul Chitwood and John Floyd also. They are the present and past trustee chairmen. It will be interesting to hear their response.
Ron West

RKSOKC66 said...


Thanks so much.

You are really the guy who led me into this -- even though two years (or more) ago I didn't realize where this was going.

I am sincerely interested in having cooperation trump everything else (as long as it is within the parameters** of SOME version of the BFM) in the SBC. We can't keep fighting and have "death by a thousand cuts".

As to any specific issue that is in the mix, I admit I'm not "up to the task" of getting into a polemic discussion on most of the stuff that has been "in the air" of late.

I guess forty years of "being out in the wilderness" is coming to fruition for me in some crazy way. I don't have a whole bookshelf on the CR -- from all angles for nothing. I'll tell you this, I don't think we can re-inact even a mini-version of something like the CR fight again (but on a different subject) because there will be no one left when the battle is over. If there is any "goal" I have in going into this, it is that I'd just like to allow more open communication to short circuit, at least in SOME SMALL WAY, estrangement between camps that would otherwise fester.

Wade, you exposed a lot of stuff about workings the IMB BoT. Your book has chapter and verse of the stuff that went on. I'm not going to weigh in on the specific issues of PPL and "re-baptism". However, reagardless of the merit of the argument on either side, there is no doubt that the mechanism to resolve conflicts at the BoT was (maybe still is) broken.

At the age of 18, I felt I was called to preach and was licensed at the First Southern Baptist Church in Downey, California. For whatever reason, I became a computer nerd instead and got into microcode development in Silicon Valley. Now there are 40 years of water under the bridge. Who would have ever thought that I'd be doing the crazy stuff that I'm setting off on now. I remember playing the part of the "boat captain" in the Lottie Moon pagent. Now I'm going to be sitting in the room where Lottie's messengers are commissioned and dispatched. It is a long way from Downey California to Jacksonville Florida.

**I'll let guys smarter than me argue about whether those parameters are Maximal or Minimal.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

RKSOKC66 said...

Ron West:

I really appreciate the chance I've had to "lock horns" with you over the last year or so on various BLOGS such as Wade's.

It turns out that I shot from the hip a couple of times in my comments for which I apologize again. We are 99.9999% in agreement.

Continue to hold my feet to the fire. I don't have a PhD in math. Just an MBA.

my Email address is:

My website (which now consists of the Simpson Family photo album is)

I "only" have 150MB of "bandwidth / month" on my site right now since the audience is just my kids and grandkids who are still on the West Coast and my wife Donna's extended family in Iowa. If my server allocation runs out of gas be patient and I'll sign up for more bandwidth.


Joe Blackmon said...


You had a few typos in your response to me. Allow me to correct them.

"Everything done in the name of the CR has doctrinal backbone. It was not based on a desire to control."

As to why the CBF was brought up: Those who ally themselves with the BGCT are generally of the same theological mindset as the CBF. I am fairly surpried that I would have to connect the dots on that one.

Paul Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

I think I understand what you're saying but I can't get away from what Jesus said about forgiving 70x7. The idea in the text is that the same person is involved.

I know it's not speaking of keeping tract of numbers so I have to think it is saying I'm not to keep track of their sincerity or motivation for asking for forgiveness and to keep on forgiving when both may be in question.

My responsibility is to grant forgiveness as I've been forgiven...with the generosity of abundant grace. [Redundant I know.]

Forgiving one their actions on the basis of a request that may not even be sincere [only God knows for sure] does NOT keep us from measuring their further actions with truth and love. It just means we won't hold over their heads anything for which they have asked for forgiveness.

Just some thoughts I've had.

Christiane said...


It's me, L's

I didn't know what CBF was so I looked them up their main website. I did some reading there and I wondered what they believe in that is so doctrinally different from the beliefs of some in the SBC? Can you help me to understand some of this? I appreciate it if you can. Love, L's

Ron said...

There were no typos. I repeat, almost nothing done in the name of the CR has doctrinal backbone. Show me the doctinal backbone in this failed attempt to smear the BGCT. Show me the doctinal backbone of CR leaders Ron Wilson and Jerry Corbaley who said our missionaries were liberals and heretics and when I challenged them to put up or shut up they refused to be accountabile for their words. I have connected the dots and they lead to cowardice and fear of accountability.

Again you are seeking to avoid the issue here by invoking the name CBF which has no connection at all to this issue. Where is the doctrinal backbone in that.

Ron said...

Sorry, I had to leave for a minute. Lets continue giving you an opportunity to tell us about the doctrinal backbone of the CR. Where was the doctrinal backbone when Paige Patterson circulated a letter to the IMB trustees criticizing Jerry Rankin and our missionaries? Where was the doctrinal backbone when Al Mohler and Danny Akin fired Paul Debusman for speaking the truth? Where was the doctrinal backbone when Danny Akin fired CB Scott for asking questions about cargate at SEBTS?
In each case doctrine had nothing to do with it. It is always about keeping power and control for the CR.

RKSOKC66 said...

Wade et al:

I am trying to setup my blogger account now. I had a latent "placeholder" for a blog account but I never really used it for anything.

I may make a few comments here and there in the meantime on your blog (or other people's) but I'm not going to start up a blog my own until after the September IMB meeting.

Alan Paul said...

Clif I did say "time will tell I suppose..." - I understand what the Bible says about forgiveness and judging a man's heart. In my opinion, I have already seen fruit that tells me this apology is "because I have to" as opposed to genuine repentance. As I have said though, repentance means to turn away from and go the other way. We'll see...

Alan Paul said...

I generally agree Paul. I would not hold anything over anyone's head as I do not have the authority. I just think that people sometimes make forgiveness easy. Too easy - and people, as usual, try to dictate to you how and when you should forgive (I am not saying you are doing this at all - you aren't). In situations where I have been sinned against personally (this is not one of them), I can certainly forgive because Jesus told me to and also so bitterness does not set in. But I can also take measures to make sure I am not placing myself at the mercy of that person again until I see whether or not their repentance is worth their words. There is a broken trust there and it always takes time to heal.

John Fariss said...

Dear Joe,

I'll ask you the same questions I have asked Robert Masters recently, and others in the past, and have yet to receive an answer: what does it take to be a "conservative" today? What all would I have to agree with, sign off on, etc.? Conversely, even if I agree with some/most/all of whatever that is--what would then make me a liberal? And finally, is there any middle ground between the positions of "conservative" and "liberal"? I am not trying to be argumentative, nor am I trying to set anyone up for any kind of smart reply; I honestly want to know your perspective. I guess what has prompted this is that these parameters seem to have changed since I was in seminary, in fact just in the past year or two.



Wally said...

wade and paul burleson, one thing we do know is that wes kenney and tim rogers had harden hearts on this blog post and not wanting to remove it from spctoday.

Wally said...

peter lumpkins latest post attacking wade and this is his closure.

Fellow Southern Baptist bloggers: it’s time we draw some lines. And I assure you, my marker is in place.
With that, I am…
The Passion That Pushes Me

from whacko wally

Gram said...

i agree with roger simpson's wife.

Paul Burleson said...

Alan Paul,

I genuinely appreciate your struggle voiced here and certainly understand from where you're coming.

I do think there is a difference in granting forgiveness____ which can be a journey to that place of granting forgiveness depending on the depth of the pain the wound has caused____ and the ability to trust which has to be earned by the offender. That may never come.

Even when arriving at the place of being able to genuinely forgive, someone has said that we always have to remember forgiveness does not have a period but a comma after it. The depth of the pain often determines the length of time and commas. [Sometimes I have to forgive and forgive and forgive each time I think of the person.]

I've experienced this journey in several experiences such as the criminal assult of my grandchild [daughter's child] twelve years ago.

Forgiveness, far from easy, is the most difficult thing I've ever been called upon to do as a christian. It does take the power of the Spirit, a heart committed to Jesus as Lord, and the passing of time often.

I've found all of this, however, to be dependent upon the one giving forgiveness NOT the one who is or ought to be asking for forgiveness. We are not at their mercy at all.

This means I am free in grace TO forgive NOT at the mercy of the willingness or sincerity of the offender to ask forgiveness.

The bottomline is we are told to forgive AS we have been forgiven and our forgiveness cost a pretty penny in terms of struggle and pain for Jesus as He endured the Cross to being it all about. It will be no less for us in terms of cost. But by His Grace we can and do.

Please excuse me for this wordy comment but you can see I've faced this thing of the need to give forgiveness many times and have had to do a bit of study biblically and personally while in the middle of the struggle of it all. Still on the journey often.

I also see you are on that journey too and am thrilled you don't pass it off glibly. Most on this comment section do NOT see it as a glib thing. I'm glad.

Tim G said...

You might be really surprised if you actually knew what you were talking about.

Try email or use the phone. You may learn much!

Alan Paul said...

Thank you for your insight Paul. I too have experienced similar issues - a couple of members of my extended family were abused at the hands of one who was suppose to protect them. Up until that happened, I assumed forgiveness was an easy thing. After all, did God not command it clearly in black and white? Then so be it! Right? Well not so fast...

How gullible I am in my arrogance sometimes. I learned that forgiveness was not easy and really, I am still sifting through my feelings about not only forgiving such a horrible thing, but that God even allowed it to happen. Suffice to say, though none of the rest of my family members have come to that place of forgiveness (and I really don't blame them), I have. Yet there will not be a day that goes by that I don't remember what happened and not be angry and sad about it to some extent. You are correct, there is much grace involved in forgiving - because you get nothing for it in return, other than maybe a semblance of peace of mind. And the offense, well, it's always there no matter how hard you try to act like it's not - the consequences of it are ever-reaching and seemingly never-ending. Thank God for his mercy and grace though in teaching me how to deal with that fact. Perhaps my family members will one day come to that place as well.

Jeff said...

What do you mean Tim G? Which post are you talking about concerning Wally? The one in which he reveals the hardness of Tim and Wes's heart because it was REVEALED on their own blog group---they refused to do the right thing at the right time. If so that doesn't take a telephone call, its out there for us to read.

Alan Paul said...

The crickets are chirping in response to Ron's questions to Joe.

Joe, are you going to let the crickets defend you or what?

Joe Blackmon said...

Alan Paul,

Proverbs 26:4


Alan Paul said...


I can either play scripture wars with you or you can answer his questions. I vote for the latter.


Joe Blackmon said...

Alan Paul,

Proverbs 26:4


Word verification: olfnd--as in olD fUndY

Yes. Yes I am.

Alan Paul said...

I'll pass on even looking your scripture up Joe. But Hey! Thanks for the non-answer anyways.

Joe Blackmon said...

Proverbs 26:4 (New American Standard Bible)

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.

Bill Poore said... Wade,Chadwick got your goat??