Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Personal Confession, A Public Challenge

Rachelle and I spent our 26th Wedding Anniversary (August 6) at the Embassy Suites in Norman, Oklahoma, attending the Midwest Regional New Baptist Covenant Conference. 

My message closed out the conference, and it begins at the 1 hour 30 minutes mark of the video. Several people have asked me to provide a transcript of the message, which I will do (below).

Here are a few of my impressions on the two-day conference with a transcript of my speech to follow:

 (1). I was refreshed by the humility of all those I heard speak, sing or share testimonies. There didn't seem to be any ego, any agendas, just a simple desire to honor Jesus Christ.

 (2). I was personally blessed by some powerful messages and testimonies. I've already mentioned my new friend Ellis Orazco's message (previous post), but Kim and Brad Henry's testimonies spoke very deeply to my heart. In addition, I really enjoyed hearing Pastor Major Jemison of St. John's Baptist Church speak, and Sarah Stewart share her testimony of being called to ministry.

 (3). I am writing a post about Jimmy Carter for next week, so I will reserve any comments regarding the former President until then, but for anyone who would question the man's genuine Christian character or sincere desire to serve Christ and His people, I offer this one little anecdote about the former President's trip to Oklahoma - he had to leave immediately after he spoke in Norman because it was his turn as deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia to mow the church yard on Saturday morning. He doesn't pass this job off on others. Mr. Carter, now 84, mows it himself. 

(4). While listening to the speakers at the Conference, my wife leaned over to me and whispered, "I've heard more about Christ and what it means for us to honor Him than any Convention I've attended in a long, long time. These folks aren't either heretics or infidels like we've been told." I agree. 

(5). I enjoyed making new friends and enjoyed fellowshipping many Southern Baptist Convention friends who attended the Conference. 

 (6). Everything was very professionally done, including the hiring of the same production crew who produced the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Celebration at the Ford Center in November of that year. 

 (7). The diversity of the people attending was refreshing for me as well: Blacks, whites, hispanics, Indians, men, women, young, and old - there was a good mix of Baptists from various backgrounds. 

 (8). A gripping and award winning video on the history of Baptists and racism was shown at the Conference. I look forward to using the video in my own church. 

 (9). Never in my personal history of twenty five years of preaching ministry have I had a more personally moving and fulfilling time than the thirty minutes after the Friday night message when many people waited to speak with me personally. Their stories, their tears, their encouragements will never be forgotten. 

 (10). I preached primarily for those not present at the Conference, but those Baptists of future generations who will be looking back at this first decade of the new millenium with a historical perspective. The transcript of the message, in its entirety, is below: __________________________________________________

A Personal Confession – A Public Challenge
By Our Love Shall All People Know We Are His Disciples

"Shortly before His betrayal, Jesus gathered His disciples around him and said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By (your love for one another) all people will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).

 On July 4th, 2009, Baptist pastor Rick Warren spoke at the 2009 Islamic Society of North America Conference in our nation’s capital. Over 40,000 Islamic believers gathered in Washington D.C. for this conference, considered to be the largest annual gathering of Muslim Americans. 

Pastor Warren challenged the gathered Muslims to join Christians in modeling for the world what it means to:

  • First, respect the dignity of every person by not merely tolerating people but valuing them.
  • Second, restore civility to civilization by disagreeing without being disagreeable, and 
  • Third, reinforce the protection of the freedoms of speech and religion for every individual within our respective cultures.

 Warren proposed that in this very diverse world, when Christians and Muslims model this mutual respect and love for each other, while protecting the freedoms of the individual, an even greater common good will arise–-peace. 

Warren pointed to the 60,000 different kinds of beetles as evidence that the God of all peace loves diversity. As for me, I believe that God’s love for diversity is irrefutably proven by the 60,000 different kinds of Baptists God has created. Rick Warren--a family friend since the late 1970s when he attended Southcliff Baptist Church, a church which at the time was pastored by my father–-acquited himself and all evangelicals quite well in his speech before those 40,000 Muslims. 

Some Baptists have expressed surprise that the Muslims issued Rick an invitation to speak. Other Baptists have expressed regret that he accepted. 

My disappointment is that the different kinds of Baptists like those of us represented here at the New Baptist Covenant Conference, and others who are not here, were not in the audience in Washington D.C. to hear the speech ourselves. 

 For it seems to me that we Baptists can never really value Muslims, treat them with civilility, or grant them the freedom to speak and believe as they see fit until we first learn to treat our different kinds of Baptist brothers and sisters around the world in the same manner. 

In other words, until I can treat all my Baptist friends with dignity, value them as people, and respect their views-particularly those Baptists who disagree with me- it will be impossible for me to treat Muslims in the same manner. 

Likewise, until my liberal or moderate Baptist friends experience Christ’s love in their hearts for me, a theologically conservative Baptist, and until they value my personhood, respect my views, and work with me toward a greater common good, it will be impossible for them to do the same for Muslims. 

The greatest barometer for how well we Baptists understand the importance of agape love, which Scriptures call the distinguishing mark of followers of Jesus Christ, is our treatment of each other. This evening I would like to make a personal confession to you, my Baptist brothers and sisters, who do not see eye to eye with me either theologically, socially, morally, spiritually or politically. I come from a long line of Baptist preachers. 

The Burleson family settled in Texas with one ancestor, Dr. Rufus Burleson, becoming the first President of Baylor University. My branch of the Burlesons moved to Oklahoma at the turn of this century, and and several of the Burlesons would eventually become pastors or missionaries. We like to talk about the Baptists in our family, but don’t often mention the Burleson who is the only person to ever escape from Alcatraz (smile). 

 I have served two terms as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and now I pastor a large church in northwestern Oklahoma. Tonight I speak for myself only.

My confession and corresponding repentance is personal, spoken with a heart that genuinely desires to do my part to build bridges between all Baptists who name Christ as Lord. 

 The people I pastor know what kind of Baptist I am-–Calvinistic in my soteriology, partial-preterist in my eschatology, open communion in my ecclesiology, conservative in my theology, inerrantist in my bibliology, and continuationist in my pneumatology--( I know that sounds like a medical diagnosis, but they are the proper labels for my theological views).

 I held these views when I began pastoring over a quarter of a century ago, and I hold to them unto this day. I have not changed what I believe, but I myself have changed in one very critical area over the past few years. 

 I now believe deep in my heart that Jesus is more concerned with how we Baptists treat each other than He is what we Baptists teach each other.

 The people loved by Christ–-particularly those who differ with me--are to be far more precious to me than any finer point of theology believed by me. Jesus did not tell me that it would be by my “truth” that all people would know that I am one of His followers, but by my “love.” 

The only description ever given of our Lord was that He was a person “full of grace and truth.” Word order is important in Scripture. Grace should not just precede truth, it should permeate it. Or as our host Jimmy Allen so brilliantly puts it: “Our love should reach beyond our theology.” 

 A few years ago, Pastor Julie Pennington Russell held the hand of her seven year old son Taylor as she walked through the picket lines that had formed outside Calvary Baptist Church, Waco, Texas. The picketers, Baptists from surrounding churches, were there protesting Julie’s call to become the pastor of Calvary. As she walked through the picket line her little boy squeezed her hand, pulled his mother down where she could hear, and then asked, “Mommy, who is Jezebel and why are they calling you that?”

It has been said that when the old Irish immersed a babe at baptism they would leave out the babe’s right arm so that it would remain “pagan for good fighting.” I have sometimes wondered if it is our custom as Baptists to plunge all but the convert’s mouth into the baptismal waters to keep the Baptist tongue “pagan for good fighting.” 

I confess that in years past, it has been easier for me to stand behind a principle and say something negative about the character of those who disagree with me than to simply love my fellow Baptists who do not see eye to eye with me theologically.

 I have not changed what I believe, nor have I moved away from a conservative view of the infallible sacred text, but what has changed is the need to point out that people who disagree with in interpretations of the Bible are less Christian, less “spiritual,” less loved by God than I. This is simply not true. The love of God for His people never changes or wanes, regardless of our actual or imagined theological unfaithfulness. 

Or perhaps it should be stated by me more precisely. God’s love for His people never wanes or abates regardless of my fellow Baptists actual or imagined theological unfaithfulness. Jesus warned us that we tend to focus on the speck in our brother’s eye while ignoring the plank in our own. 

I am now committed to follow the commandment of my Lord and to display total and unconditional grace, kindness and love to all my Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our theological differences. You are more important to me – more so than even my principles–-and this is both biblical and Christian. To me, this is the peculiar mark of real, genuine Christianity. 

 This, of course, does not mean that we should not speak out when we perceive an injustice against God’s people. It is often the wise and prudent course to graciously keep silent when we hear fellow Christians voice interpretations of Scripture that are contrary to our own interpretations, knowing that we are fallible people dealing with a sacred text.

 But when a fellow human being, ESPECIALLY a believer in Christ, is personally being abused or mistreated, our silence or non-action can never be justified or condoned by Christ and His sacred command to love one another. Those who risk everything to correct injustices against Christ’s people, who diligently protect the powerless in God’s kingdom, who defend the downtrodden in this world, who rescue the abused, and who care for the needy are expressing the love that Christ mentions as the peculiar mark of His followers.

 It has come to my attention these past few years that my sisters in Christ within the Baptist faith are often in need of such defense. The parallels between the modern American Baptist woman and the 19th century American Baptist black are numerous.

 To defend a gifted Baptist woman today is considered by some Baptist men as an unbiblical act. To call any mistreatment of Baptist women today “un-Christian” is tantamount to treason in the eyes of some Baptist leaders.

 Many Baptists believe, particularly in the Southern Baptist Convention, that to defend Baptist women and to attempt to set them free to serve to the full extent of God’s call and giftedness in their lives is a denial of the faith. But I propose that any action taken to prevent the mistreatment of Baptist women in ministry is the most loving thing that can be done to both the victim and the one who is oppressing. 

In my opinion, the protection of a Baptist women who minister is the fulfillment of Christ’s biblical command to love each other as Christ has loved us. 

 In 2004 Dr. Sheri Klouda was terminated from Southwestern Theological Seminary’s faculty as the distinguished professor of Hebrew because the seminary’s new male administration held to a principle that a “woman should never teach a man.” 

Sheri was released from the job of her dreams and forced to relocate to Indiana, taking a far less paying position at a Christian college. Sheri’s husband, Pinky, whom administration knew was suffering from critical cardiac problems at the time, had to leave his medical care in Fort Worth because of the forced relocation. 

Sheri’s daughter also had to leave her much beloved high school where she was to graduate the very next year. Sheri and her family were forced from a house in Fort Worth that they had purchased just a few months earlier-–all because of administration following a perceived “theological principle.” When our church contacted Sheri a few months after her termination, we discovered she was selling pints of her own blood to help meet medical expenses for her husband.

 Regardless of one’s views regarding women “teaching” men at Baptist seminaries, the question each Baptist faces is whether or not the treatment of Sheri Klouda fulfills Christ’s commandment that we love one another as Christ has loved us. If it does not, then something must be done. The God who shed his blood for us would not want us turning a blind eye to His people selling their own blood for the sake of others.

 Over several months our church helped raise over $20,000 dollars for the Klouda family. Christ’s command to love one another precludes silence or indifference when injustices occur. We are not even allowed by our Lord to hide behind our principles when it comes to loving His people. Our love should reach beyond our theology. 

 For this reason, it seems to me that if we Baptists are serious about loving one another in the manner that Christ has loved us, then we cannot, we must not, remain quiet or silent when we see our Baptist sisters in Christ suffer. 

Baptist women in ministry, believers like Sarah Stewart, from whom we heard a testimony tonight, are women we are called to love, support and protect. These women profess a call from God, show real evidence of being set apart by Christ, and have experienced the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified to the world–-yet many of them are being subjected to abuse, and that by Baptists.

 When our Baptist women in ministry experience such personal mistreatment, ridicule or harm, we are commanded by Christ our Lord to bind up their wounds-–and sometimes we must even take the weapon of abuse out of the hands of the perpetrators of those wounds. 

 In 2004, during the last business session which I moderated at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, an extraordinary, godly woman from Quail Springs Baptist Church, OKC was elected second vice-president. I will never forget the sight from the platform as several men throughout the auditorium stood and literally turned their backs to the platform as they voted “against” the first woman to be elected to general office within the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. 

That moment was an awakening for me. I realized that any cherished principle that would ever CAUSE a Christian to be uncivil, unkind or unloving toward a sister in Christ is a principle that should be thrown out for the sake of obedience to the command of Christ to love one another. I am not offended by those who wish to argue with me over this point for your argument is not ultimately with me, but with Jesus Christ. It is His command, not mine. 

 History will one day look back on how we Baptists in the 21st century treated our women who were called by God to minister. It is my prayer that conservative, Bible-believing men will not make the same mistake our Southern Baptist forefathers made when they remained quiet two centuries ago as another minority experienced abuse. T

he ground at the foot of the cross is level so that there is no supremacy of whites, no supremacy of males, and no supremacy of the rich--the wall of partition has been removed, and we are called to love every believer in Christ the way Christ loves us. 

 I will never forget the email I received from one of the young ladies in our Baptist seminaries who wrote me, confiding that she typed with tears in her eyes, having just come from her “preaching class” where the professor allowed all the “men and boys” in the class to remove themselves from the room so they would not be subjected to hearing a woman teach the Word of God. The young lady found herself preaching to the walls and wondered whether or not she had a place in Baptist life. 

I reminded the young lady that she was not preaching to the walls but to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit who were One in her midst as she preached. The prophet declares that God sings over His people with joy (Zephaniah 3:17) and I guaranteed her that the Father sings all the louder over a woman who unashamedly and boldly declares the glories of His Son! 

 One of these days we Baptists will get to the place when we realize that publicly censoring women preachers like Julie Pennington, firing Baptist women professors like Sheri Klouda, walking out on women preachers like that young seminary student, or turning our back on women Baptist leaders--acting as if women don’t have a place in the kingdom of God--says more about our lack of love and grace toward all the followers of Jesus Christ and our own disobedience to Christ’s great commandment than it does our “love for truth.” 

 Last week National Public Radio religion editor Barbara Bradley-Hagerty interviewed me for a piece she was doing entitled “Baptist Leaders Face Challenge On Women’s Roles.” She quotes me in the radio interview saying “Jesus treated women as equals” and that I believe “there is a quiet underground movement within the convention to rethink women's roles.” After my quote you can hear slow laughing from a deep voice in the background–-“Ha..Ha..Ha…” 

It was the Director of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in Washington D.C. He then tells the radio audience, “Burleson is dreaming.” 

I reflected on this the Director’s statement. He is a brilliant man, capable of playing three dimensional chess and formulating his rationale with cogent logic. He, like I, believes in an inerrant Bible. 

Upon reflection of his statement that I was dreaming, I came to the conclusion that he is right. “I have a dream . . .” I have a dream that a woman like Wendy Norvelle, former acting Vice-President of the International Mission Board, will be promoted to a permanent position of leadership among Baptists because of her qualifications and gifts–-and not barred from promotion because of her gender. 

I have a dream that a Southern Baptist woman like Major Paige Heard, the Regimental Army Chaplain at the historic West Point Military Academy, will be heard preaching the gospel at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday at the historic Cadet Chapel, and we Baptists will all know and believe that Major Heard is honoring Christ in her proclamation of the gospel and be proud to call her one of our Baptist chaplains. I have a dream that Baptists will one day make much over the gospel that women like Sarah Stewart preach and absolutely nothing over the gender they possess. 

 I have a dream that unlike slavery in the 1800’s, Baptists in the south will realize the Bible speaks against patriarchal homes where wives are slaves to their husbands, autocratic churches where women are servants to leaders, and authoritarian societies where women are subservient to men. I have a dream that young women in our Baptist Conventions can follow great women missionaries of the past and travel overseas to share the gospel with both men and women, baptizing converts in the name of Jesus Christ and nurturing them in the ways of Scripture–- just as Lottie Moon did over 150 years ago. 

 If some Baptists would say to me that my dream is simply capitulation to the agenda of radical feminists, I respond with loving, but firm words: “No, setting Baptist women free to serve is not relenting to societal or cultural pressures, but rather, it is fulfillment of the commandment of Christ Jesus Himself.” Regardless of whether or not my fellow Baptist conservatives agree with what I believe the Bible teaches regarding the real equality of women in Christ’s kingdom, there is no wiggle room when it comes to the commandment of our Lord. Every Baptist is obligated to love our Baptist women as Jesus has loved us. 

 I do not know of one time when Christ has ever withheld from me any good gift, has stifled my expression of any praise of Him, or shut me up from proclaiming His Word – so logically His commandment to love my sisters in Christ as He has loved me should negate any and every attempt to withhold from our faith community a Baptist woman gifted by Christ. Our obedience to His command should preclude any attempt to stifle a Baptist woman compelled to publicly praise Jesus Christ. It should lead us to resist any effort to shut up or censor any Baptist woman called to preach Christ and Him crucified. 

It is impossible for my Baptist brothers to point to any text – let me repeat this–-it is impossible for my Baptist brothers to point to any text, that is properly understood in its context, that ever compels Baptist men to suppress Baptist women in terms of ministry. 

On the contrary, we are called by our Lord to support and love those women of faith just as our Lord has loved us. Black Mesa is in the far northwestern edge of Oklahoma’s panhandle. Its summit is 4,972.9 feet above sea level, just under a football field of being one mile high. It is the highest point of elevation in Oklahoma. People come from all over the world to observe the stars that “kiss your nose” at night on Black Mesa.

 This past June, on a sunny afternoon, I hiked to the top of Black Mesa. As I rested and reflected on the plateau before my descent, my eye caught a passenger jet flying east to west above me. I could clearly see the plane’s fuselage and the long, white crystallized cloud the jet formed as it crossed the blue sky. I thought about the couple of hundred passengers heading west. Then I looked down and saw a Burlington Northern - Santa Fe train snaking its way west as well. Beside the train was a modern state highway where a handful of cars were also heading west. 

Just a few miles south of the railroad tracks and the highway, easily seen from my position on Black Mesa, was the Old Santa Fe Trail (Cimarron Cutoff). Most travelers and traders heading west in the 1800's took this trail by horseback, wagon or foot. As I was thinking about all this, I pulled out my Blackberry Curve and saw that I had missed a couple of calls. And then it hit me. For the past 200 years the mission of every person who traversed the land before me was simple–-go west. Their mission never changed and was the same-–west, west, go west! 

But the methodology of going west has changed over the years – from foot, to horse, to wagon, to train, to car to plane! How foolish would it be for someone today to use the same methodology that was being used in the 1820’s to fulfill the mission of heading west. For Baptists our mission has not changed for the past 200 years–-nay, for the past 2000 years. 

Our mission is to proclaim Jesus, to preach Jesus, to publicize Jesus, to present Jesus, to give Jesus to a lost and dying world. Our mission is all about the story of Jesus. Men and women of faith are called by the One who commissioned us to support and love one another as we seek to fulfill that mission. It is time we Baptists see that the methodology by which we share Jesus must change, or we will die a slow death without ever accomplishing our mission. 

Whenever institutions crystallize their methodologies rather than their mission, the institution becomes brittle and dies. Jesus commands us to love each other–-love those different from us, love those on mission with us, love each and every follower of Jesus. How we fulfill our mission will continually change. 

The walls are down. Our methodologies should be fluid, but our mission shall never changes. You may not like the fact that women are now being called by God to preach, or called by God to do missions, or called by God to teach. You may even consider it a violation of your principles for a woman to teach a man, or preach Christ to a man, or baptize a man, or lead a man, but there is one thing that you and I cannot--we must not--forget. You and I are called to love each and every sister in Christ who feels called to ministry. 

We are called to affirm the dignity of every Christian woman called to minister. We are commanded to treat them with respect and civility. We are also called to love, respect and affirm the autonomy of local Baptist congregations and denominations that utilize these gifted women in ministry as they see fit. To censor them, reject them, abuse them or condemn their character is a sin of the first order. 

 The principles Rick Warren gave to the Muslims one month ago are just as relevant to all us Baptists today and for the years to come. The only way we will ever have peace between Christians and the Muslims in this world is when we Baptists first begin to value the dignity of our sisters in Christ who are called to minister, to respect those churches that call them to serve, and to protect the individual freedoms of our fellow Baptists to think, believe and act as their conscience leads them in obedience to Christ and His Word. It is only then that we will we display the kind love that Jesus says will distinguish us from the rest of the world. 

 May the God of all peace give us the grace to live in this manner before all people for Christ’s sake. Amen." _________________________________________________ END TRANSCRIPT


Jason Epps said...

Happy Anniversary, man! Roanne and my anniversary is ALSO AUGUST 6th! How cool! We are celebrating in Portland, OR this year.


Ellis Orozco said...


I don't need to hear it or read it ... I experienced in person and it was wonderful. Thank you for your courage and grace. I pray that you continue to be used by God to make a powerful impact on Southern Baptist life and beyond. Your love for the SBC is truly remarkable. If the SBC can't work with men like you ... we are ALL in big trouble.


Ramesh said...

Amen. This speech will become a classic. Hope someone can post this on YouTube for a wider dissemination and for posterity. said...

Jason, Thanks! and same to you and your wife!

Ellis, blessings tomorrow as you preach to your people. Look forward to continued fellowship.

Thy Peace, thanks for your kind words. Also, I really appreciate your links this week. It helped me and many others. I thought about emailing you to see if you knew how to cut a "flash" video into a jpeg for posting on other sites. You are a brainiac with computers, and I am a neophyte!! :)

Chris Ryan said...

What a wonderful message of both grace and truth.

I am continually awed by the ability of some like yourself to see the Gospel as an equalizer and the ability of others to use the Gospel as a means of promoting themselves above others. But you are correct: until we can love equally even those who we believe to be missing the boat in practice and theology we can never expect to be as effective in our work with others.

I don't quibble with Warren that Baptists and Muslims could together work for a greater good. Could we work together for the greatest good, the establishment of God's Kingdom in the rule of Jesus Christ? Probably not. But as we find our commonalities our differences will become that much more clear also. And then we can better dialogue about those differences, and who knows but that by loving somebody enough to join them in pursuing God, they might just find Jesus and fall at His knees in thanks for His mercy. And we may fall at His feet in thanks for His grace and His truth which are inseperable from each other: for the truth of all Gospel reality is grace.

Ramesh said...

Pastor Wade, I am assuming you meant to convert this video to a flash video to mpg, either to be uploaded to YouTube or hosted somewhere else. Is this correct? I will research this and let you know.

Also, New BBC Open Forum (NASS) is also good at this. NASS has some experience with this. said...

Thy Peace,

That is correct. Frankly, I wished to upload to this blog different portions of the conference for future posts - but I did not know how to trap a portion of a flash file. I thought if it might be possible, you would be the one who would know.

Also, Thy Peace, do you do any free lance design work for internet web sites? I am thinking about possibly redoing - moving away from blogger - but needed someone who could help me in design work. If you don't, no problem, just asking.


anon on purpose said...

Tomorrow I am preaching at a church that is going through a split. It is a heartbreaking time for all concerned and they are looking at me as the next Pastor. God's will be done.
I have been notified that another church is sending a pulpit committee to hear me. That church just had a Pastor arrested a few months ago so they are in shambles.
I have been doing a lot of praying about what to preach that might help both congregations in this moment of hardship and broken hearts.


Thanks Wade, Your message was just what I needed. Only a Loving God could have laid that message on your heart. Only a Loving God could let me hear it at this time.

Ramesh said...

Sorry Pastor Wade. I would love to help you, but my experience is not in this regard. My specialty is in database systems for large businesses and in computer networks and securing them. My internet experience (web sites design and maintenance) is only theoretical. But I will research this flash video conversion. I know YouTube will automatically convert videos from all types. BTW Blogger is very good and you can customize it easily. Just my opinion. said...

Thy Peace,

Thanks for the info!

Wade said...


Have already prayed for your situation as I type this comment! Have a great Lord's Day!


Ramesh said...

Some thoughts on blogs. From my experience, simplicity is the key for a well designed blog or website. Also for scaling for bandwidth and number of users, Google is the way to go. In this regard Blogger and Google Apps (Sites) are well positioned for their simplicity, scaling for large number of users and bandwidth. When combined with YouTube for hosting videos, it can not be beat.

Currently, the trend in blogs and websites is moving away from proprietary systems to open sourced and scalable cloud computing centers. My belief is that Google is becoming well positioned in this regard. With Google Apps, one can combine databases, sites, videos and blogs and all be integrated dynamically. Also redundancy and backups are builtin. The user does not have to worry about upgrading their website servers operating systems or their hosted apps. So this is the trend at present.

In 10 years from now, the trends will move away from cloud computing to node computing. Where each and every device on the internet/network will host websites and share data with other devices and users. It is coming.

Christiane said...


You wrote, ' But as we find our commonalities our differences will become that much more clear also. And then we can better dialogue about those differences, and who knows but that by loving somebody enough to join them in pursuing God, they might just find Jesus and fall at His knees in thanks for His mercy. And we may fall at His feet in thanks for His grace and His truth which are inseperable from each other: for the truth of all Gospel reality is grace."

Be hopeful. In the Book of Genesis is a much overlooked, rather obscure reference that has the estranged brothers, Isaac and Ishmael, coming together to bury their father, Abraham.

Reconciliation. It is the work of the Lord. We may be used by Him but we cannot do it alone. If Isaac and Ishmael could make peace over the grave of their father, then who is to say that the sons of
Father Abraham who descend from them spiritually cannot find peace together in the Presence of the Holy One. Be hopeful. Love, L's

Genesis 25:8-
"8 Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.

9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, 10the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites."

Lydia said...

Well, you have crossed the rubicon, so to speak. Speaking to the 'liberal' CBF about women in ministry.

But a part of your message made me uncomfortable and I must deal with that. I believe we must evangelize the Muslims but I am not so sure It is possible to work toward peaceful ends without compromising the Gospel. I have read the Koran so that makes me suspicious of what Warren is doing.

There are very few points of agreement with Muslims even in governing. I realize not all Muslims are orthodox but I had an experience on 9/11 that led me to believe that even peaceful non practicing Muslims who are citizens would love to see the US fall. It led me to believe they would use our freedoms against us for power.

I am not questioning our need to love them.

What Warren is proposing actually goes against what the Koran the second part. So, is it realistic?

Christiane said...

Dear WADE,

I am overjoyed by the signs of healing among Baptists. Christ is truly the 'healer of the breach'.
Your sermon was inspired, as was the sermon by Ellis Orozco.

God is merciful.

Love, L's

Chris Ryan said...


Is it about the United States? It's not like the United States and the purposes of the Gospel have anything to do with each other. Muslims may want to see the US fall, but does that mean that we can't cooperate with them in other endeavors? To confuse or meld American politics with the message of the Gospel is damaging to both.

Debbie Kaufman said...


Lydia said...

To confuse or meld American politics with the message of the Gospel is damaging to both.

Sun Aug 09, 01:53:00 AM 2009

Then what was Warren advocating?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Wow Wade, that was a very powerful message! I would like to use a quote from your message in one of my upcoming posts where I am having a friendly debate with complementarian Pastor Mike Seaver.
Our current debate post is here:

I can't thank you enough for standing up for women in the body of Christ who have been called by God to minister their gifts for the common good.

Chris Ryan said...


I don't know what Warren was advocating. I am not familiar with his speech beyond what was mentioned in Wade's speech.

However, there is far more to either Christian or Muslim beliefs than how one rules. In Warren's three proposals, only the third of those may even have anything to do with how a society is ruled. They are more about how to treat people, even people of a different society. Warren, it seems to me, is emphasizing human kindness and decency as viable alternatives to violence in inner-faith dialogue rather than anything political.

Ramesh said...

Women In Ministry [Cheryl Schatz] > Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 4.

Suzanne's Bookshelf [Suzanne McCarthy] > Wade Burleson on women's ordination.

Here I Dwell [Rick Anthony] > Progress.

Bob Cleveland said...

Something is drastically wrong, somewhere, when people who profess a common faith seem to have assembled into two disparate camps:

Those united in, and by, a common faith in Jesus, and...

Those divided in, and by, a common faith in Jesus.

I cannot imagine Jesus condones that. said...


Just a slight modification of your understanding of New Baptist Covenant: It represents dozens of Baptist Conventions in North America, including many African-American and Hispanic, so to speak of it as CBF would be like speaking of the Southern Baptist Convention by calling it the Georgia Baptist Convention. The NBC would be more akin to the Baptist World Alliance. said...


In addition, there is no structure of a Convention for NBC - and intentionally so. Nor will there be one. It is a network, alliance or fellowship of conventions, churches and people. said...


Amen. said...


Feel free to use anything you desire from the message in any way you see fit. Thanks for your ministry!

Michael Ruffin said...


It being Sunday morning and given that I'm sweating bullets over my sermon series on Revelation I have not yet had time to read your transcript or to listen to your sermon.

But I do want to note the insight in your good wife's words: "I've heard more about Christ and what it means for us to honor Him than any Convention I've attended in a long, long time. These folks aren't either heretics or infidels like we've been told."

You said you agreed; I say amen to both of you. I was not at the Oklahoma NBC meeting but I was at the national NBC meeting and such was my impression, too.

At Baptist meetings over the last three decades I've heard a lot of preaching about the Bible but not too much on the Jesus to whom the Bible bears witness.

Perhaps we disparate Baptists can rally around Jesus. That would be good.

Christiane said...


You wrote this:

"Perhaps we disparate Baptists can rally around Jesus. That would be good."

Michael, God has taken the initiative to call all those in distress to Him.

There is record of this in the Gospel of St. Matthew 11:28

'Come unto me all who are weary and burdened, I shall give you rest.'

And later, it was said this:
'Lord, to Whom shall we go?'

I agree with you, Michael.
'That would be good'. :)
Love, L's

Christiane said...

Good Sabbath Everyone,

My favorite part of Wade's sermon is here:

"I am now committed to follow the commandment of my Lord and to display total and unconditional grace, kindness and love to all my Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our theological differences. You are more important to me – more so than even my principles – and this is both biblical and Christian. To me, this is the peculiar mark of real, genuine Christianity."

When Wade says this: 'you are more important to me than . . . '
he resonates with my beliefs in the value and dignity of the human person made in the image of God.
To honor that dignity and to embrace the person in unconditional love 'where they are at' is a teaching from the heart of Christianity.

I am reminded of that famous poem by Edwin Markham:

"He drew a circle that shut me out;
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in."

Peaceful Sabbath to all,
Love, L's

Paul Burleson said...


What you said with these words...To confuse or meld American politics with the message of the Gospel is damaging to both," needs to be shouted from the housetops in American churches IMHO.

In regards to the "peace" that we could produce along with Muslims, I'm sure Rick Warren was addressing the much needed peace that citizens of a nation are to have TOWARDS one another as a result of those three attitudes he mentioned.

Our gospel will ALWAYS divide between believers and unbelievers as Jesus said when He reminded his followers He came "not to bring peace but a sword." There will never be peace in this realm with Muslims or others.

But there is to be a lifestyle with other believers that will have "no divisions" among us. [1 Corinth. 1 since our unity is to be around our Christ and His gospel.]

That said, we are also, as HIS followers, to "as much as in us is, live at peace with ALL men." It is that spirit Rick was calling christians to and inviting Muslims in America to join us in it seems to me. [Neighbor to neighbor.]

Whether they do or not, that peaceableness described by Rick with those three ideas of respect, IS ours to share with Muslims and others in living as citizens of this great country.

This thing of "peace" is a work of God since Jesus said "My peace I give unto you." [This includes far more than neighbor with neighbor but doesn't exclude that either.] And, have you noticed, it DOES show up in the most unusual places it seems.

May those described attitudes of respect be so with all the people that make up Baptists regardless of specific group, race, or gender, is Wades' message it seems to me. Peace WILL result.

anon on purpose said...

Wade, it was a blessed morning of preaching to the broken church. Truly a sweet spirited bunch of people. A non denominational church.
The pulpit committee of the other broken church came. They were from an SBC church.
My impression of the committee members was that they must have held their mouths above water. :-)

Chris Ryan said...


Thank you for saying what this bumbling idiot was trying to say.

Steven Stark said...

I appreciate Wade's speech which seems to value Christ as spirit - acknowledging that the phenomena that Christians label "Christ" is present when we love one another.

Two issues are interesting to me:

1. What is love? I believe that Wade's attitude in his speech is a good example of love (towards women here), which I define simply as "viewing another person as yourself". Too many times the word "love" is thrown around with an attitude of "you are way different than me, but I feel pity towards you". Pity is the near-enemy of compassion in Buddhist practice.

2. Who is Christ? Is He Spirit or Name? If the spirit of love is primary - the true identity of Christ- then does the auditory utterance (name) or mental concept (imagination) we have concerning this spirit so important? Here is a better way of thinking saying it (hopefully):

John 14:6 "I am the way and truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

One Christian might look at the Dalai Lama and think - he is not a Christian, therefore he does not know the Father.

Another Christian might look at the Dalai Lama and his life of teaching loving-kindness and non-violence. They might think - this man clearly knows the Father, as evidenced by his love, therefore he must know Christ - but perhaps by a different name.

Is God primarily spirit or name?

3. Third issue ( I added one! Sorry, but it's related to women in Scripture). I believe that 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35 is most likely a later scribal interpolation into Paul's original letter. It would not make sense for Paul to describe how women should prophesy and then for him to forbid a woman to speak, at the gathering, a few verses later.

Thanks for a very interesting speech to consider! Once again, I appreciate the emphasis on the spirit of love as primary.

Tim Marsh said...

Pastor Wade,

This was the best post I have read of yours by far! Thank you for the courage to speak the New Baptist Convenant. I am impressed that you felt, as an 'inerrantist' and 'conservative,' that you had a place at the table. (So-called 'moderates' and 'liberals' and others can also be close-minded).

As for women in ministry, I agree with your position so what follows may not make sense. But, I don't have as much of a problem with those who limit women's roles in ministry when done so on honest interpretations of scripture. How one expresses that disagreement is very telling. Obviously, what Julie Pennington-Russel experienced was not the proper way to disagree.

Thanks for this post! It really is a blessing! said...


I, too, have no problem with my brothers or SISTERS in Christ who seek to limit women in terms of ministry. The difficulty is when they wish to force their view on those who disagree by censoring, condemning or removing from cooperation and fellowship those who disagree.

Then, they must be confronted with their unloving spirit.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lydia on concerns about Rick Warren. Nobody wants to hear negative things about "America's Pastor", but I've read enough of his quotes, books, and activities to have grave concerns about him.

As for cooperation with other faiths, we must not forget Paul's rule against being unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14-15). I too have read the Quran and several history books by Muslims and former Muslims. It is NOT a religion of peace, but of deception and treachery and lies and hatred. It is not tolerant of any other religion, as their leaders often say to their own people. And it cannot be separated from politics; there is no such separation in Islam.

I have learned to view with suspicion any sort of celebrity or influential leader, political or religious.

Ramesh said...

This comment is not in support of Islam. But balancing it.

It is true, as per the Quran, their goal is to form a system of governance that meld their beliefs in their government. Unlike, uniquely american tradition of the separation of Church and State. Which by the way was based due to innumerable abuses done by the State at the behest of the Church against people who disagreed with the State and Church.

During the Middle Ages also knows as the Dark Age, Islamic Golden Age flourished. Also in India, Mughals in 15th to 18th centuries, allowed Hinduism to flourish side by side with Islam.

Here I am not arguing what is in the Quran. But just stating what happened in the past.

Sadly lot of the current Islamic extremism in my view seems to parallel Christian extremism of the past and some currently.

Yes, there are moderate Islam practitioners. For some reason we do not hear from them. Either they are being silenced due to fear or thuggery from their own extremists.

Tim Marsh said...

Pastor Wade,

I reread my comment. It sounded as if I was comparing my position to yours and that was not intended.

I think that you have expressed your views with tact, with concern for those who do not share your opinion, and for finding a positive way forward.

What I intended is that cooperation is possible. I have said in more moderate circles that moderates who support women in ministry must do a better job of showing that their position is from the text. I think that moderates give the impression that they support women in ministry regardless of what the text says. I do not agree with those who take that position, but with those who believe that the text permits a worldview in which God calls women to ministry. It is by the text that we must converse with Baptists who do not share our opinions and agree in the end that we will disagree.

Again, thanks for this excellent post!


Lydia said...

"It is not tolerant of any other religion, as their leaders often say to their own people. And it cannot be separated from politics; there is no such separation in Islam."

This is what I was trying to say. There is an dichotomy in Islam that is hard for us to get our heads around. One principle is hospitality while at the same time lying is considered honorable with infidels but shameful with other Muslims. Therefore one may not be able to wrap their head around the fact they are listening to a very generous and gracious liar who believes in their heart they are doing the right thing and being 'peaceable'.

As one who has entertained many Muslims over the years...since childhood, actually, there is great danger in not understanding how they think and what they have been taught.

To live 'peaceably' together could mean to them we must accept sharia law within their communities. But that would not be peaceable to us since it violates basic rights of our civil law. But I believe we are headed in that direction in the name of peace. This would be horrible for Muslim women in the US.

That is why I question Warren because the state and religion cannot be separated in Islam.

If anyone thinks I hate Muslims because of what I write, they would be very wrong. I have been around Muslims since I was about 8.Many have stayed in our home for many years and my mother witnessed to Muslim students far from home through the university for 20 years. I have seen the dichotomy played out in real life.

My prayer is for them to be saved. And I have been overjoyed to read about some of the things God is doing in Islamic countries to draw some to Him. They are in great danger and we must pray for them constantly.

Ramesh said...

I would like to add one important argument against middle east Islam.

Once the Oil disappears, and the funds deposited by the middle east monarchs in western banks are dwindled, then middle east Islam will not have any legs to walk.

Unless the current regimes there understand the importance of people as more better resources than oil under the ground. They need to develop and encourage their own people and their minds to expand and question. It is for their own sustainability.

Otherwise they are doomed. Same with us.

In my case, I would add as per my personal belief and faith, that without Our Lord Jesus Christ, I too would perish in this life less world. What the world calls life, leads to death. Only Our Lord Jeus Christ gives life eternal. And His Way to life.

Anonymous said...

Once the Oil disappears, and the funds deposited by the middle east monarchs in western banks are dwindled, then middle east Islam will not have any legs to walk.

Which is exactly why they want "dialog" with the US. We have oil which our leaders refuse to use. We have vast natural resources and plenty of land. We have been bought out by foreign entities such as China, and the rapid acceptance and spread of Islam here is no accident. They are preparing for that day when their wells run dry. By the time the west grows a backbone and opens its eyes, it will be too late. The Muslims will have our oil too.

Side note: why do you see node computing as the next thing after cloud? Wouldn't that mean every computer has to be online 24/7, or is that not how it will work? Just curious.

Ramesh said...

With IPv6, and more synchronous bi-lateral speeds in internet access, devices ... each and every one of them will all be networked in groups and clusters as per their design. The flow of information that resides in each device will be redundant (just as it in each computer in a cloud environment as in Google's implementation) and the cost of information flow will be zero. So in these cases, just as in peer to peer computing, data will be replicated and stored across different devices spread everywhere. So even if one device is powered down, others will fill in take it's functions and data sharing roles.

Also this will decentralize the internet truly. Currently, it is mostly consolidation taking place by Comcast/Google/Microsoft and others. Truly disruptive technologies are coming. Then YouTube will be irrelevant.

Though this dream might take a while. The biggest bottleneck is the internet carriers in US who are stifling this development. They are doing the same for cell phone industry too. The carriers think they have covered all the bases. But disruptive technology always comes where they least expect it. And this time, they will truly die. Not as the old phone carriers morphed to current internet/cable behemoths.

Ramesh said...

I must add currently the internet implementation is heavily centralized. Though the original goal of internet is decentralization in all aspects. From internet backbones, to data centers, end user or last mile wiring or transmission of data. I understand big money and businesses prefer consolidation so their minds can work around it. But oddly here the hackers (bad ones), spammers and pirates are truly using the internet or leveraging it for nefarious uses in their original intent. Oh the irony! In my view, I am deeply distrustful of big businesses here too. Especially to consumer privacy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks ThyPeace. So basically you're saying the nodes are more like "little clouds", that will in turn be connected all together?

Yes, the monopolies on lines and technologies will have to fall or get with the program. Lately I've been concentrating on making sure I've got the best of both worlds, technically speaking. Setting up remote apps but also making sure I keep regular copies of my data and apps on my own computers. The latest "fun" has been learning to install and live with openSUSE / GNOME. :-)

Ramesh said...

BTW, interesting comparison was made by Ellis Orazco in his speech about the internet, open source communities sharing ideas and work for free Vs. baptists and their independence. About barriers falling down.

So in that regard all my comments above are on topic. Kind of. :)

Ramesh said...

Sadly Paula, I have bought into Google cloud computing. At least in the next 10 years, this is where the action is. This frees the end user from worrying about maintaining computers, operating systems and updating apps. So in some ways the user and data is liberated. Also from backups and redundancy. One can do quite bit of sophisticated work using Google Apps. Truly portable.

But all this too will evaporate as time (and technology) progresses.

Anonymous said...

I know, I too have a love/hate thing with Google. But they have had the foresight to build slowly and deliberately to where they are. Their patience has paid off royally.

And someday, I'm going to respond to their "don't be evil" slogan with, "Define evil."

Paul Burleson said...


I've never read a word you've ever written that I would define as "bumbling" and you're as far from an idiot as Lucifer is from heaven. That is my humble but accurate opinion. :)

Chris Ryan said...


You are far too kind.

Paul Burleson said...


I am going to hear your words and give them some additional weight in my future thinking about this whole discussion... which is very good by the way.

Anonymous said...

Curious why you choose OpenSuse over Ubuntu especially considering Novell's relationship with Microsoft.
Novell owns Opensuse.


Anonymous said...

This was more of a "stumbling backwards through life" thing. :-)

Where my husband works they want him to start getting familiar with linux, and that was their choice. They're big into M$ and Novell. I wasn't really thinking about learning it myself at this time, so it was a spur of the moment decision.

Besides, if I boycotted every "bad" company out there, I might as well live in a grass hut and farm my own food. Here we are on Blogger, owned by Google, who isn't above censoring things for repressive governments.

Anyway, my choice of linux would be made more on the basis of articles like this one.

Christiane said...

There are those who feel that the Christian far-right sect called the Dominionists have similarities to the extremist terrorists among the Islamic world.

One of the 'similarities' which causes concern is the ability to allow the end to justify the means.
There are other 'similarities'.

Something I have learned:
An interesting insight that I have been given by my friends in the Jewish community is this: they are aware that some extreme factions in Christianity are openly anti-Islamic, and express support of Israel completely in the Middle East;
yet, these 'factions' are not fully trusted by the Jewish people. Considering the history of the Jewish people in the last century, one can understand their concerns about any group that with extreme far-right leanings.

Bridge-building between Christians and the Islamic World is seen by some as a way to help Israel;
it is seen by other Christians as the opposite.

What core beliefs in Christianity are operating in the two Christian approaches to dialoguing with the Islamic world?

I would like to study the constrasts between the two, in order to understand this better.

Anonymous said...

Paula that is an old article .2007.
Most Linux users do not like MS as many New Covenant Baptist do not like SBCers.

Tom Kelley said...

Paula, Thy Peace, & Robert,
Knock off all that divisive talk about operating systems and technologies! It's one thing to beieve that Christians can have civil and gracious discussions about such minor matters as Calvinism/Arminianism, complementarianism/egalitarianism, liberalism/conservatism, etc. ... but no one can reaistically expect a conversation about Microsoft/Google, Linux/Windows, etc. to end up as anything but an ugly fight!

You said, "Considering the history of the Jewish people in the last century, one can understand their concerns about any group that with extreme far-right leanings." Does that mean you think of Fascism as being right-wing? If so, why? Serious question -- I've never understood what would be considered right wing about it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Tom Kelley:
Wow feel the love.
My livelihood depends on those conversations so frankly I will ignore your comment.
Did you not hear what Ellis said re that in his message?


Ramesh said...

Tom Kelley: You are funny.

Christiane said...


You wrote this:

You said, "Considering the history of the Jewish people in the last century, one can understand their concerns about any group that with extreme far-right leanings." Does that mean you think of Fascism as being right-wing? If so, why? Serious question -- I've never understood what would be considered right wing about it."

I do believe that the Nazis of Germany were an extreme form of Fascism.

When I was at university, a professor (who had a degree from Oxford, England) drew a long line on the board.

At one extreme end (the right side) he wrote 'Nazism':
at the other extreme end (the left side), he wrote 'Communism'

He explained that these two philosophies were at opposite extreme ends of a political spectrum. The further you went from center to the 'right', the closer you came to Nazism. The further you went to the left of center, the closer you came to communism.

In short:
Nazism was the extreme right-wing.
Communism was the extreme left.

Both 'extremes' opposed freedom, the rights and dignity of the individual, and democracy as we know it in our country.

Tom, what is your understanding of Fascism ?

My Jewish friends, some of them, have few cousins or relatives as a result of the Holocaust, which only a few of their ancestors survived.
They understand extremism.
They understand very well what it can do.

Love, L's

P.S. Tom, you may want to study Hitler's contempt for the individual and his institution of 'Das Volk' united by their common Aryan blood.

Extreme Fascism, with all the Nazi bells and whitles, is as far to the right as you can go on the extreme right wing of the political spectrum.

It is good to learn of the results of extreme Fascism in history, so that 'never again' will such atrocities be repeated.

Tom Kelley said...

I was just attempting humor.

Lydia said...

"At one extreme end (the right side) he wrote 'Nazism':
at the other extreme end (the left side), he wrote 'Communism'"

He was wrong as most professors are on this subject. Both of the above are a form of totalitarianism that nationalize, to different degrees, banking, industry and even religion.

For example: Would you call Iran's government right wing? The media does YET The economy is based on oil revenue distributions. A completely nationalized industry and about the only one taht produces anything of value. The educated middle classes are mostly unemployed because of this.

Would their economy and government structure be right wing or left wing?

Left is the answer. It is totalitarian and nationalized. Government control of the economy with more power to the government is left wing.

Tom: Don't you find mac users uppity? :o)

Tom Kelley said...

Yes, the German Nazis were extreme Fascists. What I was asking was, what, in your view, makes Fascism "right wing". I have seen folks make the illustration your professor did, with Communism at the far left, and Fascism at the far right. But, from all I have read about Fascism, I cannot see what about it is "right wing" at all. Both Fascism and Communism are totalitarian, both involve government control of the means of production (communism by government ownership of business, fascism by government orchestration of privately owned business), both are typically hyper-nationalistic, and both typically supress individual liberties while asserting the rights of certain classes or groups over those of others (while claiming to champion "equality").

Seems to me a more apt illustration of the opposite ends of the political spectrum would be Anarchy at the right side (representing absolute individual liberty) and Totalitarianism at the left side (representing absolute state control). In this scale, a government like a representative democrary or constitutional republic would be a little to the left of Anarchy and both Communist and Fascist governments woud be close to the far left.

I'm just having trouble seeing where Fascism has much in common with other movements typically labelled right wing (such as American political conservatism), but I do see it as having a lot in common with Communism, Socialism, and American political liberalism.

Christiane said...

A 'POLITICAL SPECTRUM' was the subject of the illustration.

Tom Kelley said...

Don't get me started on the heresy of Mac-ism!

Anonymous said...

Tom Kelley:
Sorry as someone who worked for Microsoft licensing at Dell I can get pretty passionate about that topic.

See this discussion with Aaron Linne at Lifeway.

BTW----Although the discussion centered on moral issues I would have much preferred it go into the technical merits of Ubuntu Linux over Microsoft.
Also Bruce was myself!

BTW2---Lifeway/the SBC has tons of systems that run on Windows servers imagine that money used instead for the GCR.(that is the licensing money). Tim Vineyard did not seem to intersted in moving to Free Software


Ramesh said...

It is all a matter of definition and not consistency.

Wiki > Left-right politics.
The terms left and right are often used to describe two globally opposed political families with the Left described as "the party of movement" and the Right described as "the party of order".

Ramesh said...

Don't get me started on the heresy of Mac-ism!.

Mac-ism: Sayings of Pastor Mac Brunson, that are unique to his preaching.

Examples: Ha!.

For others you can watch his sermons. There are many. If I list them, it will offend lot of readers. :)

BTW, Macs and PCs are old fashioned now. This is the era of NetBooks with Linux/Firefox Browser. The whole computer is just a firefox browser now! Thanks to Google Apps and Microsoft Live! Sun company labored under the belief that the network is the computer. But sadly, it got absorbed by Oracle, and the saying is now being fulfilled.

Christiane said...


The paradigm of the 'political spectrum' was a 'construct'.

It reflected the opposition of communism to fascism:
representing them as models of the opposite EXTREMES in political orientations.

Tom Kelley said...

Thanks, Christiane. I still don't get it -- I just don't see a connection between "right wing" and "fascism". But maybe that's just due to where I'm currently standing along the line.

Tom Kelley said...

Thy Peace,
I knew when I said "Mac-ism" someone would make that connection!

Steven Stark said...

"Seems to me a more apt illustration of the opposite ends of the political spectrum would be Anarchy at the right side (representing absolute individual liberty) and Totalitarianism at the left side (representing absolute state control)."

I think in the event of "anarchy" a "tough guy" figure will inevitably take over and dominate. A lack of balanced governance will lead to tribalism and gansterism - fascism.

Extreme right or left wing governance will most likely both end up in a totalitarian state.

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Lydia said...

Extreme right or left wing governance will most likely both end up in a totalitarian state.

Mon Aug 10, 12:36:00 AM 2009

Like the mob rule of democracy the Founders were concerned about? Again, we have to define right wing vs left wing.

What I do not understand, like Tom, is why communism and facism are not on the totalitarianism end of the spectrum. Nazi Germany was not the polar opposite of the USSR.

Left wing is more government control over the individual and his/her choices. The distribution of wealth and resources. Both fascism and communism fit that description. Communism and facism are not polar opposites. They are in the same category, on the same end of the spectrum, with different degrees of the above.

Anonymous said...

excellent video about forms of government.

Christiane said...


Here is some info on the ORIGENS of the terms 'right wing' and 'left wing'.

Apparently the terms got their start in France before the French Revolution in the 1700's:

"Word Origins tells us the terms date back to pre-revolutionary France. In 1789, the French National Assembly was created as a parliamentary body to move control of issues, such as taxation, from the king to the citizenry.

Inside the chamber where the National Assembly met, members of the Third Estate sat on the left side and members of the First Estate sat on the right. The Third Estate consisted of revolutionaries, while the First Estate were nobles. Thus, the left wing of the room was more liberal, and the right wing was more conservative. In the next few years, the revolutionaries would take over and countless noble heads would roll, but that's another story.

Word Detective corroborates the idea that "left wing" and "right wing" date to the seating arrangements of the 1789 French National Assembly. The Mavens' Word of the Day also confirms the phrases' origin."

Love, L's

Anonymous said...

Debbie Kaufman said...

And once again, I am disappointed that the comments are veering off into left field. Loving those who we disagree in theology is the topic and I for one would like to see discussion on that. Thoughts on the words that Wade spoke at the conference. It's an important topic and I think is the heart of Christianity.

Don said...

Thanks for your courage in speaking out. God confronted me a few years ago that love was more important that being right.

Alan Paul said...

Thanks for sharing this message Wade... you give me hope that one day the SBC will wake up and see the damage they are doing and repent of it.

Christiane said...


You are right. Sorry for 'bird-walking' away from topic.

When Wade spoke for Dr. Klouda at the Conference, I rejoiced that her story is being kept alive and 'out there' for the wider Baptist audience.

What happened to her is something that was the result of abandonment of the Law of Christ's Love: the Law of Charity.

Her suffering should never be forgotten. Maybe, someday , the next generation of leaders in the SBC will formally acknowledge that a wrong was done, ask her forgiveness, and try to make amends to her and to her family.
When Wade helps keep her story alive, all things are possible.

Love, L's

Lydia said...

And once again, I am disappointed that the comments are veering off into left field. Loving those who we disagree in theology is the topic and I for one would like to see discussion on that. Thoughts on the words that Wade spoke at the conference. It's an important topic and I think is the heart of Christianity.

Mon Aug 10, 01:41:00 PM 2009

But you still love us, right? :o)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Ha ha ha Lydia, believe it or not yes. At least I'm praying that I do. Sincerely.

L's: I am too. I don't think it should be forgotten. 2 years ago was emotionally raw for me as I knew of Sheri Klouda, Dwight McKissic, and even the events with Wade and the IMB all going on at the same time practically. I personally knew 2 out of the three. I was wanting to stop those who were treating beyond badly but sadistically in my opinion, but there was not anything I could do. I don't want to see anyone else go through that again. Ever.

Tom Kelley said...


Rex Ray said...

Did you really have an ancestor in Alcatraz?

Let’s play like the Midwest Regional New Baptist Covenant Conference was a comparison of the first church council in Jerusalem.

The goals of the two meetings were different:
1. How is man saved?
2. How should Christians treat one another?

The attendance at the first was a “multitude” of Jews represented by a party of Christian Pharisees who demanded Gentiles were to follow the laws of Moses to be saved.

Whereas, at Norman, Oklahoma the opposition did not dignify the Conference with their attendance. The choir showed up but the ones that should have ‘learned’ from the Conference were too satisfied with their status-quo.

You said, “Sheri [Klouda] and her [daughter] were forced from a house…all because of administration following a perceived ‘theological principle’.”

Dr. Van McClain, SWBTS trustee Chairman, told the Associated Press that Klouda’s hiring was a “momentary lax of parameters”.

Paraphrasing his words would be:
‘You see, we didn’t know Paige Patterson was going to be appointed President of SWBTS with his thinking about women NOT teaching men. He appointed most of us as trustees and in a way we felt obligated to him and his theology so we backed him when he fired her because she was a woman.’

Her lawsuit was thrown out of court NOT based on the wrong of being discriminated against because of her sex; but based on ‘Separation of Church and State.’ Duh? That’s an example of the operation was a success but the patient died.

Wade, you said, “You may not like the fact that women are now being called by God [when did He ever stop] to preach, or called by God to do missions, or called by God to teach.”

Could you not say, ‘or called by God to pastor’?

Are you afraid of the BFM 2000 like Peter was afraid of the friends of James who belonged to the party of the circumcision?

All in all, I enjoyed your sermon very much.

Natalie said...

Thank you for this. I am a woman and a former Southern Baptist, who at one time had my sights set on seminary, but the wounds were just too much. I'll fulfill my call to the ministry as an attorney who provides legal services to an under-served, low-income population instead. Sad how I had to take the "secular" route...

Kelly said...

Pastor Wade, thank you so much for your words. They give me hope for change in the SBC. Many times I have considered leaving the Baptist church due to its treatment of women, but at least for now, I continue to persevere. How can change occur if those of us who support it run off to different denominations? I was moved to read about the fine Baptist women you mentioned and it really saddens me that such hatred has been shown them under the guise of "following Jesus." Thanks for what you do.

M.J. said...

Thank you. Thank you for your stand on how women should be treated.

A friend just told me about this message and after reading it I felt greatly encouraged. It is great to know that there are men out there who see the problem for what it is.

I am a baptist woman and I have been involved in ministry for a long time. I have had great opportunities in ministry. Yet there are also numerous times when I have been "blocked" from doing a ministry because of my gender. And it hurts. It hurts a lot. And at times it's hard to keep going.

Thank you for standing up and boldly proclaiming that women in ministry need to be loved and respected. You have made a difference.