Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Independent Fundamentalism in the SBC

The pastor featured in the video below is from Oklahoma and his church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. My forefathers, men like Rufus Burleson, have been Southern Baptists since the mid-1800's. My grandfather was a SBC evangelist, my father has been a SBC pastor for over five decades, and I am now in my third decade of pastoring a church affiliated with the SBC. Tom Ascol brought my attention to the video below on a Facebook comment he posted this week. I'm sure the pastor in the video is well-intentioned in his actions, but I must confess that after watching the video (twice) I am reminded how far some in the SBC seem to have fallen into a brand of fundamentalism with which I am unfamiliar. Further, were more SBC churches and SBC pastors to exhibit similar behavior, I would lead our church to leave the SBC faster than a Usain Bolt runs one hundred meters. Watch at your own peril.


Anonymous said...

Wow! It's hard to watch this and imagine where the good intentions were. Maybe this pastor was going through some hard times; we should pray for him and his family. It's scary thinking what must be going through the young minds in there as they listen to this.

KBH said...

I don't know the context,it would be very enlightening to know if this were a pattern for this guy or a break from the norm.

If it is a break from the norm, I suspect that what is going on here has very little to do with with Fundamentalism and a lot more to do with a mental break or being simply eaten up with bitterness stored up after a lifetime of ministry, or some personal battle this old man recently lost in the church that has driven him over the edge.

Anywho, I suspect this is not a upcoming trend in the SBC. But why let an opportunity to whack at fundies pass by.

I will pray for him and his church tonight.

ao said...

Wow. Just...wow. Doesn't really reflect the Jesus Christ we know...and want the world to know. Wow. Lord, we trust You.

Christiane said...

I got almost two-thirds of the way through, and I had to stop, WADE.

A question: is this a meeting of the congregation
is this THE Sunday worship service?

my first thought was:
'do they know how to pray as a community of faith together, or is this kind of thing the focus of their gathering?'

I'll try to go back and watch the ending,
and I do think this pastor wants what's best for these people, but he is not reflecting Christ to them, only his own lack of patience and frustration with their weaknesses. He could use a break and a time of renewal. He needs some time alone with Our Lord, I think in a place of peaceful prayer. I, too, will pray for him.

Wade Burleson said...


I'm not sure which service it was. The video was posted by the church on You Tube

Wade Burleson said...


The only whacks Jesus took were at fundies. Honest.

Tom Kelley said...

What an exemplar of humility and grace. He must be related to this guy:


Victorious said...

Looks like Brother Cox in the video room isn't the only one who needs "an attitude adjustment."

How in the world can people stay in a church like that??

Garen Martens said...

I'm so mad at this guy, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I hope his church building is empty next week.

Donny Rockwell said...

Looks like this pastor is creating his own kingdom while preaching against the kingdoms of others. Nor is he practicing biblical discipline according to Matthew 18. He may say he loves these folks, but all I seem to hear is a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. Thanks for posting. It's a good wake up call.

Anonymous said...

Before lynching this brother in Christ, maybe we should look a bit further than this video clip.

I don’t know the context in which the video was taped but after checking the church website and listening to Dr. Stanridge’s sermons I can see where the video may be a distortion in portraying the true heart of the man.

If you want to hear an outstanding message on “The Doctrine of Law and Grace” listen to his sermon on the Evening of June 9, 2013 on the website for his church, Immanuel Baptist Church. Go through the entire hour sermon and you will be blessed, uplifted and rejoicing. (It’s best if heard in its entirety but if time prohibits at least listen to it in a couple of sessions).

In contradiction to this video that message and others reflect a man who has deep insight into the Word of God, is articulate in his communicating it and has a heart of love for his congregation and compassion for the lost of the world. It doesn’t justify the gruff behavior seen on the video but this message at least, makes one proud that this is a Southern Baptist Pastor. It also causes me to wonder if we may have been duped by whoever is circulating the video.

John said...

Expository Preaching at its finest!! Seriously, after 41 years of ministry I have never seen anything like that. The gentleman is not well.

John Wylie said...

I know it's your blog and all and far be it from me to offer correction, but Jesus took whacks at the Sadducees as well who were far from being fundies.

Adam G in NC said...

Ummm, sorry to say this, but if I was one of the victims here, you probably would have had to call the cops. We would be reading about his on the court docket.

I know, thats horrible, and I'm sorry.

Adam G in NC said...

Note the bald guy looking for loose change whenever Rev. Fussypants gets near.

Wade Burleson said...

John Wylie,


Wade Burleson said...


That's funny were it not so sad.

Anonymous said...

This "hissy fit" clearly had something to do with the theme of the message in Leviticus. Some messages are harder to deliver than others... And as I remember from my piloting days, "if your approach ain't right, DON'T LAND!"... Just go around and try again.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Wade, I thought I posted earlier but I must have been halfway asleep and didn't follow through properly. If it shows up some time later, I apologize for double-posting.

I watched the video all the way through. This, unless it is a set-up or some kind of comedy, is really bad ministerial behaviour. Nevertheless, I don't see anything in what I watched that connects it to "fundamentalism". Maybe you are familiar with this specific church and know they are fundamentalists, but I didn't see anything "fundamental" in what I watched. I saw bad behaviour.

Further, it is not an example of "independent" anything, since by your own testimony this church is in the SBC.

JW said...

His opening statement is ridiculous but after that he is doing what most people are scared to do. Call people out. He is trying to wake hearts up. People have a choice, either leave the church and fall asleep or remember what this preacher just did and be attentive.

It may be a low blow to say a specific person is a lowsy Christian but how many of these people will be on their toes now? I think mature people will take this and use it for wisdom. Immature people will use this to complain and their spiritual life will be the same as well.

side note, Landmark Baptist in Haines City, Fl, has a similar pastor. Mickey Carter. He doesn't come in the audience but he will make mention of things like guy's with long hair and women in jeans if he spots them. He will include it in his message without pointing a physical finger.

JW said...

Does our reaction to this guy reflect the state of the church and why it is so anemic? I think so and I think they guy is starting with his church to get people to sit up straight and if they believe in God for themselves than SHOW IT in their lives or be called out. Who is it better to be called out by- the Shepherd or the world?

Rex Ray said...

The big guy in the blue shirt missed an opportunity to hug the pastor until his face turned purple.

Once, I was going to reply, “That’s between me and the Lord”, but I didn’t get the chance when a pastor walked almost to the back asking questions.

He put a microphone in three people’s faces and waited for their three responses to “Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever had immoral thoughts?”

One was a man who had just seen his son baptized, and one was a teen-ager. The last was a woman whose husband had recently died. (She left the church.)

Then from the pulpit, he said with a laugh, “We see we’re all just a bunch of liars, thieves, and adulteries.”

The pastor had held an office in the new SBC Convention of Virginia.

Rex Ray said...


A long time ago, I had a pastor that preached against women wearing jeans, but he resigned after being caught in adultery.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, this guy is actually a professed Calvinist. He doesn't easily fit in any fundamentalist category.

Istoria Ministries said...


Nomenclature is all in the definition.

Now way this pastor believes in grace--pure, unmerited and unconditional grace. He may be Reformed (law oriented), but he is not a grace man.

Unknown said...

Wow, my chest hurt watching that, brought back memories. I had a pastor like that as a teenager, it drove me away from organized religion for years. I would have walked out of that service, apparrantly they are used to it. Strange how he thinks acting that way is biblical...that made me sad and agry at the same time, his arrogance is appalling!

Tom Parker said...


You said:"He doesn't come in the audience but he will make mention of things like guy's with long hair and women in jeans if he spots them. He will include it in his message without pointing a physical finger."

You are kidding us--right? Guys with long hair and women in jeans--what a travesty to have such people in church. Why not stop these people at the door.

He will include it in his message--yea, I'm sure the Holy Spirit would tell him to point out such trivial things.

Sounds to me you support this kind of fruity preaching.

JW, you can have it because I will not tolerate such nonsense.

Victorious said...

He'd have to include me in most of his messages, then, because I practically live in blue jeans.

Many years ago, a church acquaintance gave me a pair of jeans after a service. She said the Lord had convicted her that they were a sign of rebellion. I don't think she quite understood the message that sent to me, but I never forgot her and the "revelation" she had received. :)

Another very funny memory was when the pastor offered an altar call for those who wanted a closer walk with the Lord. My girlfriend and I started up the aisle, when he added, "if you have a problem with pornography, come up and let us pray with you." We were halfway down the aisle and stopped dead in our tracks and started laughing so hard we had to return to our seats. We figured the Lord got our message even though we never reached the front of the church.

Jerry said...

Burn out?

Debbie Kaufman said...

"I'm important, I'm somebody." This is abuse at it's worst. Would I come back to a church like this? No, and I hope no one in this video goes back either.

JW: You are so wrong. So very wrong.

Debbie Kaufman said...

If this ever happens to anyone reading this, get up and walk out right then and there. Do not stay another minute. I don't care if the preacher comes after you and attempts to physically hold you there, get out.

Christiane said...

watching this video,a line from one of our hymns comes to mind:

'and we'll guard each man's dignity'

the title of the hymn?
'They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love'

Victorious said...

I agree, Debbie! I know that's what I would o.

Anonymous said...

Wade said: "Now (I’m guessing it’s a typ-o and would be “no”) way this pastor believes in grace--pure, unmerited and unconditional grace. He may be Reformed (law oriented), but he is not a grace man."

As compared to who? Whew! Wade, I love you as a brother but wouldn’t want you on the jury at MY trial!! Where’s the “Grace” in such a statement?

My interpretation of “Grace” is that it forces someone to pursue all avenues to understand someone before making such a general and strong conclusion. “Grace” compels someone to even talk to someone or visit them in an attempt to know their heart and motive before condemning them. How many of this man’s entire sermons have you listened to? Have you listened to any of his testimonies related to his past? Do you know about the sacrifices he and his wife made to plant new churches? Do you have any idea of the sacrifices he has made in service to God? Have you read his book on Hebrews? Have you talked to any of his current church members asking why they continue to attend this church? Are we taking a video clip of 10 minutes extracted from a one-hour sermon and distributed by someone whose motives we don’t have a clue and using it to paint the picture of this man’s entire heart, life and ministry? Where’s the “Grace” in that?

Please take the time to watch his full June 9 Evening Service "Doctrine of Law and Grace". Even listening to the entire sermon from which this short video segment was extracted will be quite revealing. I see plenty of sincere grace portrayed in his sermons as he affirms and encourages his congregation and how valuable they are in the heart of God. Granted, this pastor does seem eccentric and almost like two personalities when you contrast his complete sermons with brief outbursts like the video but your statement above leads me to believe you are allowing a blimp on the radar screen to conclude the sky is falling in. But I'm not going to allow this one statement to cause me to think that Wade is not a man of "grace".

We can correctly say “This video does not portray Grace.” but I’m convinced that this video is not adequate to come to the conclusion that "no way this pastor believes in grace--”.

Wade Burleson said...


Good point.

Again, it's all in the definitions.

Rex Ray said...


I once walked out of a service when a recorded song was played with the words on a screen: “I’d like to have a beer with Jesus.”

You keep telling about the ‘good’ in this preacher’s life/preaching makes me wonder it he has a bipolar disorder.

"Bipolar disorder is characterized by up-and-down episodes of mania and depression. ‘Mania’ is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood—to be mad, to rage, to be furious. It is the opposite of depression."

Have you heard of a preacher in an argument with his wife; raise his mother-in-law’s antique chair to the ceiling and smash it to pieces, yell at his secretary “Get out of here and shut the door”, or start crying in the middle of a service because no one said ‘amen’?

"When they are in a manic phase, people with bipolar disorder can have an inflated self-esteem."

Notice Standridge said, “Son, don’t go to sleep when I’m talking. Don’t lay your head back--hey, hey, hey—I’m somebody, I’m important.” “I can fix your attitude adjustment.” “You don’t care what I want to do right.” “If you submitted to me…”



Anonymous said...

Thank you for your consideration and not taking offense. Absolutely none was intended.

Rex Ray,

I wondered about the “bi-polar” possibilities but I'm not informed enough about that disorder to suggest it as a possible explanation when I commented. I’m glad you did. I'll have to read the sites you referred to.

He may not be receptive to listening or getting some help but if I was in his situation I would appreciate someone that I trust suggesting that I do. I think he does have some gifts but this situation is probably diminishing some of the impact that he could be having. Some good counsel might help him kick it up a level or two in connecting people to the Lord!

Anonymous said...

"Shepherd" or "Shreader??" ??!!

Christiane said...

Hello RRR,

you wrote this:

“Grace” compels someone to even talk to someone or visit them in an attempt to know their heart and motive before condemning them. "

well, most of the great sites in the Holy Land are in Christian hands, many guarded by the Franciscan custos, since the time St. Francis went out alone towards the armed camps of Muslim armies and visited with their Sultan.

Someone must have got to know someone and someone must not have been condemned in that encounter, because the Sultan arranged for those holy sites to be given over into the hands of the Franciscans for safe keeping.

strange things happen when grace DOESN'T condemn, but only allows someone to share the Presence of Christ with those who do not know Him . . . St. Francis didn't come to the Sultan bearing the spirit of condemnation, and the result is that many of the sacred places of Christianity were not destroyed which might have been.

The gift of holy grace involved in a lack of condemnation opens a door for Christ to enter in, which is something the less-than-patient among us often have difficulty understanding.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

In my professional opinion, this man is quite ill. The rapid blinking and delusions of grandeur could be a tip-off. I have been reading Andrew Murray's book on Humility. He might do well to do the same......

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

The pastor featured in the video below is from Oklahoma and his church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

And "the pastor featured" is now famous all over the Internet because "the video below" has gone viral.

And as for possible bipolar, that's plausible. A lot of prominent historical figures have been; their manic phases gave them the confidence and energy to get themselves in the history books.

Or at the very least, the guy might just have lost it on-camera. Big-Name Preachers, like any CELEBRITY(TM), have to live up to an impossible image (Absolute ManoGawd Spiritual Perfection), and they don't dare let the real them show to anyone. Do it long enough and something's gonna crack.

glenn said...

Unfortunately a good number of southern baptist pastors feel and have the same attitude this guy does - they are just a lot better at tactical deception. They have developed ways to run you off, especially when they know you know what kind of person they really are. They dont mind humiliating you and your family if that becomes necessary to get you out the door. There should be no wonder about why the SBC is going down the tubes.

Danny Wright said...

I don't know, I see a lot of buzzards in this post and many of the comments. It looked like a nice church for a preacher who would abuse his congregation on a regular basis. He might actually be a rotten preacher, I wouldn't know, but this video doesn't prove it. It gives us only a narrow glimpse inside another body of believers on a given day. If a select video of something that happened in your living room went viral, would that then define you? Is grace a one-way street from others to you, or does God intend for us to extend it also to preachers who might blow it; who might have actually reached a breaking point because of the growing worldliness in their congregations?

Nicholas said...

Standridge remains completely unrepentant:



Mark said...

I think this kind of preaching is more common than not in the Southern Baptist Convention, particularly within more conservative churches. And preaching isn't always supposed to make people feel good it to convict people. Biblical truth isn't always a pleasant thing for an audience to hear. I have attended both Southern Baptist and BBI and IFBC churches. I have noticed some SBC churches are more into hell fire and brimstone than an BBI church, and that the BBI church was more irenic in how it related to secular culture. The only difference was the KJV, and in there are some SBC churches that are KJV only.

Regarding Calvinism versus Fundamentalism: Neo Calvinism can be more strictly complementarian and militant and separatist than fundamentalism. If the SBC ever goes Calvinist, women won't be allowed to work outside tge home, particularly if the secular work involves women having authority over men. I bring this up because this gentleman is supposedly a Calvinist.