"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Southern Baptist Convention's Major Problem

SBC Executive Committee (Morris Abernathy/Baptist Press)
In 1840, five years before the creation of the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptists from across America met in New York City and listened to an Address to Southern Baptists by Elon Galusha, a lawyer by education and a Baptist minister by vocation.

Mr. Galusha appealed to the Baptist ministers of the American South to give up the institution of slavery. The Southerners who listened to Mr. Galusha would five years later break away from the loose association of American Baptists called The Triennial Convention and form the Southern Baptist Convention (1845).

It's obvious Southern Baptists didn't accept what Mr. Galusha said in his address by their reaction to it. Here are the highlights of Galusha's appeal given to Southern Baptists on Saturday, April 18, 1840, at the McDougal Street Baptist House of Worship in New York City:
"It is our firm conviction that the whole system of American slavery, in theory and practice, is a violation of the instincts of nature, -- a perversion of the first principles of justice,--and a positive transgression of the revealed will of God."
"We believe that God only has the right to take away the health, the wife, the children, or the life of men guilty of no social crime. When man, single or associated, uses his power for such ends through slavery of another, he appears to us to arrogate to himself the prerogative of the Almighty, and to assume a responsibility under which an archangel would stagger."
"We behold, in all Scriptures a virtual and total condemnation of American slavery."
"American Calvinistic Baptists have been hitherto regarded by the Christian world as responsible for the sins of Baptist Slaveholders, and the sufferings of one hundred thousand slaves." 
"And if we fail, as many do, to testify our abhorrence of a system that allows a fellow-Christian to sell his brother, or his brother's wife or child, or to dissolve the marriage tie at pleasure, we see not how to escape the merited contempt of mankind, the reproaches of conscience, or the displeasure of God." 
"Finally, --if you should, (which Heaven avert!) remain deaf to the voice of warning and entreaty, --If you still cling to the power-maintained privilege of living on punpaid toil, and of claiming as property the image of God, which Jesus bought with His precious blood,--we solemnly declare, as we fear the Lord, that we cannot and we dare not recognize you as consistent brethren in Christ.
"We deplore your condition; we pray for your deliverance."
Five years later in Augusta, Georgia, Southern Baptists dissolved their alliance with Baptists who held to Mr. Galusha's convictions about slavery and formed the Southern Baptist Convention, a Convention which supported their pastors, missionaries, and leaders being slave-holders and deemed the institution of slavery as "God-ordained."

America fought a Civil War from 1861-1865. The North and the South fought, often brother against brother, for the future of the Union called the United States of America.

After the South lost, Northern Baptists sought to reconcile with their Southern Baptist brothers. In May of 1888, 23 years after the end of the Civil War, the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia. A few days later, Northern Baptists chose to meet in Washington, D.C., just outside Richmond, in order to "perfect a more perfect union" with the "brethren from the South."  In other words, Northern Baptists wanted to reunite with Southern Baptists.

The union attempt utterly failed, with great satisfaction of leading ministers of the Southern Baptist Convention. Six months later, in November 1888, the Baptist Congress met at Richmond, Virginia to take another step toward reconciliation of all Baptists in America. Even though it was the Southern Baptists who broke from Northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, the Northern Baptists continually sought reconciliation "like our Lord did, the aggrieved going to the offender."

This final attempt at Baptist union was met with "stern rebuff at the hands of Southern brethren." What was the cause of the rebuff? According to the Richmond Herold, the newspaper which reported on the Baptist Congress, the Southern Baptist rebuff of Baptist reunification"could be traced to its source. Far behind all the trivial and petty differences will be found the insurmountable --- the Negro."

Fast forward one hundred years.

In 1988, I was a young Southern Baptist pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Southern Baptist Associational Missionary who supervised Southern Baptist Churches was known for a statement he would make for the "standards" he expected in the Tulsa County churches he led. I quote:
"No slacks, no tracs, no blacks."
The Tulsa Baptist Associational Southern Baptist Missionary believed that women should wear dresses, music in churches should be live, not recorded; and attendees in Southern Baptist churches should not be African-American. It was my observation that SBC had not changed much in 100 years.

The writer of the country song  Take This Job And Shove It,  David Allan Coe, once made this observation.
"It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time."
The foundation of the SBC was built on the corrupt soil of authoritarian racist theology.

I've been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention my entire life. I've served as President of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (2002-04). I've been a pastor of the same SBC affiliated church for the last 27 years. Southern Baptists have done, are doing, and will some great things.

But we cannot hide from our past, nor should we excuse our present. The SBC was built on a fractured foundation. We will not stand the test of time. We'll collapse.

Unless we remove the foundation of authoritarianism, racism, and patronism.

Its time for some corporate repentance in the SBC.

On Monday night, February 18, 2019, SBC President J.D. Greear spoke to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, proposing a 10-step strategic plan to address sexual abuse within our ranks.

The next Saturday, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention rejected J.D. Greear's impassioned plea that the SBC change regarding its past silence and cover-up of cases of predatory sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Similar to Southern Baptists in 1840 who separated from the Northern Baptists who were advocating for the cessation of slavery among Southern Baptists, the 2019 Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention distanced itself from the SBC President who advocated for transformational change in how Southern Baptists deal with predatory sexual abuse.

Why?

What's similar between Southern Baptists in 1840 and 2019?

The answer is found in Mr. Galusha's phrase from 1840. Southern Baptist leaders then - and today - cling to "power-maintained privilege."

SBC leaders, which include pastors, denominational employees, institutional presidents, Executive Committee members, board trustees, and a host of other Southern Baptist people in positions of leadership must boldly and unequivocally distance themselves three unbiblical and corrupt practices:
Patronism, which is defined as a practice or a culture in business and society that is based on personal relations for advancements in position, income, and exposure. Under a system of patronism, prominent or powerful people determine or influence decisions based on their own criteria or interests.
Racism, which is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
Authoritarianism, which is defined as a form of radical, totalitarian leadership, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and the strong regimentation of followers.
Abuse thrives and abusers hide in organizations built on the cracked foundation of patronism, racism, and authoritarianism.

It's time the Southern Baptist Convention repent of our unbiblical and harmful views of racial superiority, gender inferiority, and spiritual authority in the church, the home, and society.

This patronism, racism, and authoritarianism of the past SBC form the systemic problems we face today.

The Southern Baptist foundation of power-maintained privilege must be changed.

51 comments:

Andrea said...

Stunned at your honesty... thank you. There is hope.

Anonymous said...

Gender inferiority and authoritarianism being huge lynchpins in the current sexual abuse exposé. The vast majority of the male leadership influencing the SBC churches ascribe fealty to the CBMW, who insists on male authority and female submission in church and home. Abuse will not be minimized until God's kingdom is realized in church and home through humble love and service, not through power mongering and control. These men have preferred to maintain control and not bring abuse before the legal justice system. Interestingly enough,most of these men also are trying to restore a version of the SBC's Calvinistic past. All these threads are tied together. Unless they begin to undo these wrongs, lay prostrate in repentance, and seek Jesus alone, God will remove their lampstand.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Good Post!

In telling the history of Southern Baptist, you list many wrongs its done. I think your wish would be conveyed better if your last words (“…must be rebuilt.”) were: ‘…must be changed’ because “rebuilding’ usually means restoring something to its original.

Tom Ross said...

Wade

Is your blog's sentence what you really meant?

"The SBC's foundation of power-maintained privilege must be rebuilt."

or is this the message that you wanted to convey in your last sentence: -

The SBC's foundation of power-maintained privilege must be replace with God's foundation of love and grace and openness and every thing that shows God's true character.

Or words to that effect.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex and Tom - both great points.

I have taken Rex’s suggeston. Appreciate the comments.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

If I remember right, at a SBC, I voted for Frank Page to be President. You’d convinced me he was a ‘good guy’.

“Page led the Executive Committee almost eight years, previously serving as vice president of evangelization for the North American Mission Board in 2009-10 and nine years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. He was the 2006-08 president of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

But today, I ran across this link.

https://www.baptiststandard.com/news/baptists/sbc-executive-committee-elect-search-committee/

“In a March 27, 2018, Frank Page’s immediate decision to step down was precipitated by a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past.”

With no other explanation, I ask with a heavy heart, would he be on a proposed list of sexual abuse?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

It’s a legitimate question.

Sadly, I think the answer is “Yes.” Any person in a position of “authority” in an institutional religious SBC structure (church, denominational entity, etc.) who crosses appropriate boundaries for the purpose of sexual gratification would be listed.

My heart is heavy too.

Scott Shaver said...

Good post. Might as well start at top where SBC leaders do have the authority to investigate and call their own elected convention president and seminary and agency heads into account.

Mohler, Moore, Akin and Greear should explain their promotion of and relationships with CJ Mahaney and SGM in light of the 2013 SBC resolution about avoiding relationships with individuals and organizations that cover up sexual abuse.

Even Alice in Wonderland knew to "start at the top and when you get to the end,stop..see?"

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I gave everyone a copy of this post at our prayer meeting last night and took the liberty in replacing the last word to “changed”.

Now, I’m thinking of what you said: “Any person in a position of “authority” in an institutional religious SBC structure (church, denominational entity, etc.) who crosses appropriate boundaries for the purpose of sexual gratification would be listed.”

Our uncle in World War I was a conscientious objector. He was in a hospital from poison gas, but since he had sex in the hospital with a nurse, his fiancé refused to marry him.

I was present at their 70th anniversary celebration after our father told her, “Don’t condemn my brother after God has forgiven him.”

Long ago, a person of authority in your church shared a kiss with a church member. He asked the Lord to forgive him and told his wife what he had done. She also forgave him.

We’ve heard there’s no fury like a woman scorned. After he refused to kiss the woman again, she came to you and complained he’d kissed her. The church was told since he had relations with someone other than his wife, he was being removed for one year. Of course, the church thought the worst. I believe if the case had gone to a jury, they’d laughed her out of court.

What I’m trying to say is we need a list but Southern Baptists shouldn’t become Pharisees in having 39 laws not to do on Sunday. Top of the list should be church leaders that are pedophiles and anything of a sexual nature that a civil jury would find them guilty.

Or should the list also include people like Paige Patterson’s brother-in-law who swindled thousands of dollars from people?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I wholeheartedly agree with you. A non-profit board would set the parameters to ensure "we don't become Pharisaical." You raise appropriate questions that those with more expertise than I can answer.

And, for what its worth, that gentleman you mention should be on the list.

Wade Burleson said...

Just because you're on the list doesn't mean you can't give an appropriate explanation of repentance, confession, and restoration. It means you can't hide.

Jacque's Blog said...

Thank you Wade for addressing the problem historically! I am ready to not be Southern Baptist if the change does not happen. I am a just tired to the bone with all of it.

Anonymous said...

SCOTT SHAVER

https://dailycaller.com/2018/06/12/paige-patterson-southern-baptist-convention-scandal/

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

"Similar to Southern Baptists in 1840 who separated from the Northern Baptists who were advocating for the cessation of slavery among Southern Baptists, the 2019 Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention distanced itself from the SBC President who advocated for transformational change in how Southern Baptists deal with predatory sexual abuse.

"Why?"

Because predatory sexual abuse has become a de facto Privilege of Rank (just like owning "certain animate property"), it's own "Peculiar Institution". And they don't like giving up (or being called on) their Special Privilege. Adding "GAWD HATH SAID!" to get Cosmic-level Justification.

Come to think of it, under that previous "Peculiar Institution", didn't Massa have sexual rights to his "animate property" like a Roman Paterfamilias?

Bob Cleveland said...

It says .... SCREAMS, actually ... a lot to me that you tried to address the problem, of sexual abuse, 10+ years ago, and were met with explanations why we/they couldn't. BUT ... now that the media has revealed the problem to a mostly non-Christian world, everybody in the SBC wants to do something about it.

Apparently the public holds more sway with the SBC than God does.

Did I say "SCREAMS ....."?

Christiane said...

Hello Headless,

you know, I never did connect the treatment of female slaves by their 'owners' together with the dire situation of patriarchy that has bred so much misogyny among those who clung to it to the point of abusing women terribly . . .

maybe Wade is right to take the 'sin' of what needs to be repented in the SBC all the way back to the original source of misogyny: when the 'leaders' of the SBC in the beginning thought it was 'okay' to 'own' human persons, and for many, this included 'rights' to the females that were no better than the rape of any innocent person . . .

so the treatment of women in the SBC who were victimized can be seen as a reflection of a much worse misogyny ingrained in the abuses of the 'slaves' of the earliest SBC leadership and members . . .

'the sins of the fathers'

wow, like a curse from a time when the victims were considered 'less than human' come down to the present time when women were to be considered 'subserviant' to fathers, then husbands . . . a great sin embedded and never fully repented or let go of, just taken to a different level, even to the extreme of changing doctrine to support it: the ESS debacle

Former SWBTS Student said...

"The SBC was built on a fractured foundation. We will not stand the test of time. We'll collapse."

Perhaps this is what we're witnessing. Over one hundred years is a good run. After seeing what our executive committee is doing (and who SWBTS trustees installed as provost) it appears the best thing to do is give them what they unknowingly want - let the whole thing burn to the ground.

What does one do when there is no trust in the trustees and denominational leadership? Quite frankly, I'm there. I have been there for a while, and it makes me sick.

The local church is still wonderful and beautiful. Jesus dwells in the hearts of those who worship him in Spirit and in truth; however, I think they need us way more than we need them.

I love my local SBC church and serving her is a pleasure and honor.

Beyond the local, I don't want our name connected with this garbage. If the Word of God and the voices of 700+ sex abuse victims is ignored by them, what hope is there? What can I do about a dumpster fire beyond my control except distance myself and let it burn?

Anonymous said...

SWBTS naming a leader from the complementarian CBMW as Provost is a major step in the wrong direction. Bad optics if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

"Over the course of the past three years I have written a few times about The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). Southern Baptists, including Dorothy Patterson, Al Mohler, Danny Akin and others, serve on the Board of Directors of the Council. Randy Stinson, Dean of Church Ministries at Southern Seminary, has served at times as either the Executive Director or President of the CBMW. I have written about CBMW teaching various forms of patriarchy, calling Irving Bible Church elders' decision to allow a woman to teach the Bible "a grave moral concern" (comparable to homosexuality), advocating the eternal subordination of women to men, encouraging abused women to merely "pray for their husbands," and stating that opposing "male authority" is the same as opposing Christ's authority."

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2010/02/council-for-biblical-manhood-and.html

Former SWBTS Student said...

Years ago I officiated a funeral for a young man who wrecked his car while intoxicated. He was under 21. He had gone to a party with some high school friends and they provided him all those attending with all the alcohol they wanted. The funeral turned slightly awkward as the two guys who threw the party showed up late to the funeral. We proceeded to the graveside and ended the service shortly thereafter. A seasoned pastor walked up to me with an observation I have never forgotten:
Losing this young man was a tragedy, but perhaps even the greater tragedy is how the majority of his young friends attending were making plans to go out and excessively drink in his honor. The very thing that just put their friend in the ground is what they intended to do for the rest of the day. You see, they didn't make the connection. They didn't stop, think, reflect, learn, and grow.

To be fair, those guys and girls were between the ages of 16 and 21.
What's SWBTS's excuse?

Callie M said...

Wade,

Wow. I couldn't make it through this without tears. I had no idea the SBC was founded because of support for slavery. I really have no words about that right now.

As for the JD's initiatives being voted down, what is the next step? This can't be allowed to continue. Something has to happen.

Scott Shaver said...

An autonomous church can not only "hide" from the SBC (especially if they have acted in accordance with the laws of both God and man in the wake of scandal) they can laugh, scoff and show absolute contempt for the SBC apparatus as the ball-fumbling clowns they insist on being before the eyes of the nation.

Scott Shaver said...

So why do some of these same standards for liability and action not apply to Mohler, Moore, Greear and Akin?

Scott Shaver said...

I am afraid JD's exuberance has caused him to ignore American law, local church autonomy, and biblical precedent for initiating "action".

Not to mention the governing documents of the parachurch denominational apparatus over which he currently presides.

Not only can it continue....Nothing will "happen".

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

"We believe that God only has the right to take away the health, the wife, the children, or the life of men guilty of no social crime. When man, single or associated, uses his power for such ends through slavery of another, he appears to us to arrogate to himself the prerogative of the Almighty, and to assume a responsibility under which an archangel would stagger."

Mr. Galusha's comment shows a grasp of 'humility before the Lord' in his understanding of the dignity of the human person as made in the image of God.

Well, he tried. And there is a saying that what good men do lives on after them, and sometimes, seeds planted come to fruition in the future, God willing, and for the sake of Mr. Galusha's intent of good will, may it be so.

Tom Ross said...

Please allow me to present the following: -

I was involved on the management committee of a “Church” based sporting association and we were often confronted with the following dilemma.

The rules stated that the cut off date to register a new play was a set date within the year as set out in the rules of association for the sporting association. However, churches who had teams in the sporting fixture would often apply for this rule to be set aside when a new family had arrived at their church who had a child who could play within their club but was excluded because of the “rules.”

The argument used was that they wanted to show love to this one child by having the association’s management team turn a blind eye to the rules and allow the child to be register.

I would object to the request on the grounds that the same argument should also be used in showing love and consideration to the children already registered with the association. If the management committee can revoke one rule to help a club register a child outside of the set times as laid out in the rules of the association, then every other rule was also null in voided and could be ignored by the association’s members.

As a church-based club what was the message of the church associated with that club to the child. Can God’s law of association with him be just as flexible. You can ignore the “laws” of association with God if you want to and still be acceptable to God.

The other club members of the association saw the application as cheating the system to win. In their eyes it had nothing to do with showing “love” to this one child.

What was the management committee’s message to the other clubs? Rules of association are not rules of association and as such all can be broken.

Sometimes, showing love, is difficult because we must stand our ground on what is the right thing to do. What possible impact does a little blurring of the line matter in the overall scheme of things with respect to God’s purposes for mankind? It matters a lot for those who are impacted by the blurred lines. Both the victim and the perpetrator are hurt by the blurred lines. For the victim they feel devalued, whereas for the perpetrator they are encouraged to blur the line further and increase their disregard for the “rules.”

In this comment, I have illustrated the issue that in every aspect of life, where the lines are blurred, even for a noble purpose, the outcome is the complete opposite as the actions undermine the purpose of the church to be God’s means of reaching all of the people around them and to be a complete blessing to the nations of the world.

God has put in place the means of protecting ourselves from ourselves, but we must have a heart that listen to God and not the one who speaks deceptively in our ear also, often at the same time.

Freedom is a consequence of our righteous relationship with God, and God has set down the boundary conditions for our relationship with Him that we should not cross. If our response to God’s terms of peace does not match all of God’s terms of peace, then there is not peace between us and God, and our life will spiral downwards out of control unless we repent of our sin(s) and restart the process of redemption again.

As Wade has previously blogged, the SBC needs God’s revival processes to begin working within the SBC. The starting point is to begin repenting of our sins, inherited and personally committed and then listen for God’s direction on how to proceed further.

An outward showing of the honest repentance of the SBC for all to see is a good place to start.

Shalom

RB Kuter said...

This is THE best post you have written that I have read.

I propose that you NOT change "re-built" to "change".

To "Change" implies an attempt to establish a sound structure that is based upon its former corrupt foundation. Try that and you continue to form a structure that is not "square" or able to withstand the weight of what you intend to build it to accomplish. Our foundation must first be rectified and then "re-build" our structure upon it.

The current elements in control at our upper hierarchy cannot be expected to rectify itself. The contaminated portions cannot be weeded out because the current regimen of like-minded authoritarian power players will not remedy their own mess. THAT ain't gonna' happen!

Why was J.D.'s proposal rejected? Because it would shine the light either upon those who are most likely to have been involved in behavioral improprieties or their being implicated in the cover-up of such. It could be that J.D. is another example of an "outsider" seeking to "drain the swamp". (Ask Wade how that went with the IMB!)

All of this indicates that an entirely new beginning must take place with new inspirational leaders coming from a different theological culture and spiritual insight. It will have to be an act of God with His "ordained" (can I use that term?) person leading the people to form a new Convention culture based upon those Christ-characteristics that result in His power blessing us.

If that occurs, the "old rags" would fade away and the remaining remnants of the Convention would flourish and a huge spirit of relief, joy, freedom and Godly power would prevail. It would shift off its former foundation, much of which was not "rock" but "sand", extract those portions consisting of crumbling sand, and replace them with new segments of hard rock elements. THEN we would have a foundation worthy to be built upon. A base meant for Kingdom growth.

Scott Shaver said...

Don't want my daughters hanging around these guys.

One thing I am sure of.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,

I didn’t think I could have any lower opinion of Paige Patterson, but the link you gave Scott Shaver:
https://dailycaller.com/2018/06/12/paige-patterson-southern-baptist-convention-scandal/
took it to the bottom of the ocean.


RB Kuter,

Well Old Friend, we seem to have a different definition of “re-built” vs. “changed”.

The English language is hard because a word can have different meanings. I looked at one of the definitions that Google gives for “re-built”: “Restore to a previous position”; whereas you see “re-built” as changing ‘straw’ to ‘bricks’.

What do you think of a “re-built engine”? Doesn’t that mean its been restored? Now if you “changed” engines you might have changed from gas to diesel.

Anonymous said...

nobody was fooled


"Meanwhile, alt-right figure Richard Spencer tweeted his support.


Richard ⛄️ Spencer
@RichardBSpencer
So apparently the Southern Baptists Convention *didn't* denounce the Alt-Right after all. Interesting development!
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCPVWGnXsAAwIXV?format=jpg&name=small

Sarah Posner
@sarahposner
Replying to @sarahposner
This, essentially, is what the SBC decided not to denounce. Wow. https://newrepublic.com/article/140961/amazing-disgrace-donald-trump-hijacked-religious-right …

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According to several attendees, once people realized what had happened, a number of leaders started lobbying to get the motion reconsidered.

“A group of us gathered around McKissic, and resolved that we were going to see what we could do with this,” said Dave Gass, the white pastor of Grace Family Fellowship in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. As they worked behind the scenes, the Convention’s top leaders were apparently also in crisis mode trying to fix the situation. The committee’s problem with the resolution was apparently “a few key phrases that left a few things unclear,” Gass said. “It wasn’t that they didn’t like the resolution. It’s that they didn’t like the wording of the resolution.”

Even if the committee’s decision was based on rhetorical nitpicks, it looked like the denomination had refused to condemn the alt-right."

RB Kuter said...

Well, Rex Ray, I believe we have the same concept but are stuck on the terminology.
Looking in my old Websters, it defines "re-build" as 1. a."make extensive repairs to: RECONSTRUCT (war-torn city) b. to restore to a previous state (inventories) 2.to make extensive changes in: REMODEL (society) vi: to build again (planned to-after the fire)"

I write verbatim including CAPS. I think "re-build" comes closest to what I was attempting to express. Like a bombed out city, a house razed by fire, start over and re-build.

There must be a removal of the existing, basic, ideology with its priorities and its process for forming and addressing agendas, and its adherence to what qualifies one to influence such. These are the basic identifiers of an institution.

I know, sounds ambiguous and too elusive to even pursue, but my intent is to suggest that those Convention power players who select who will be the administrators of "their" agenda, must be ousted. Control must be taken from them. They are the ones who choose and announce who will be President of the SBC. It certainly is not the "messengers".

The Presidents these power players choose ultimately determine who will serve on The Boards of all SBC institutions. Any challenge to their agenda is brushed away like a pesky fly, as with Grear's proposal. It is similar to a dictatorial government regime. They have "elections" but only allow candidates to be considered who conform to their interests and continuation in power. They allow people to "vote" but only for their candidates, issues, and resolutions.

We cannot "change" anything until this structure is removed and replaced. To me, an attempt to "change" the situation would be to strive with what is currently in place. That won't work, in my humble opinion.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

My ‘rebuttal’ could be ‘read your comment’. :)

“…b. to restore to a previous state…”

“…a house razed by fire, start over and re-build.”

Scott Shaver said...

Agreed

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, at any rate, I think it will take an act of God to steer this big elephant of a Convention back to be in alignment with His path. I can't see it happening unless He decides to intervene, which He could do. You know how He sometimes operates.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, and spot-on with every point you made. I'm curious about the Association Missionary you mentioned (and I'm fairly sure I know exactly who he is) - at the time, did anyone call him into account for the garbage he was spewing? I'm guessing that no one had a channel for that back then, and also guessing it was the very kind of thing that made your blog necessary in the first place.

Scott Shaver said...

With the current fracturing and division within the SBC ExCom over Greear, the SBC's lack of authority to set foot in an SBC church without invitation or permission, and the council of biblical man and womanhood taking over at Southwestern, looks like the elephant could wind up a hedge hog.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous,

I tried - and got in some pretty serious trouble myself as a young pastor for "not submitting to God's authority by obeying my leaders." :)

Ron said...

Wade, I wrote an article on women in leadership roles lately and included this part of ours history.

In 1957 Southern Baptist missionary Josephine Scaggs was not allowed to bring a Nigerian Christian with her to a large Southern Baptist church when speaking on missions. A few weeks later, she spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis. “I didn't speak on the subject I was given," she said ruefully. "I pled with our Southern Baptists, “Don't just give your millions to send your missionaries with the gospel to the black men in Africa with the message of the same Savior who died for them as died for us and then not be willing to worship with them the same Savior in your church in America." At that time, few Southern Baptist pastors had the courage to take the stand this woman missionary did.

Women have taken the leadership in many issues when male pastors were too timid to speak out. They same happened last year at our convention I was the women who forced the trustees at SWBTS to get rid of Patterson or he would be sitting in retirement home on campus now probably.

Ron West said...

That was Ron West

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

I thought about giving you the last word, but you know me. :)

You wrote: “…at any rate, I think it will take an act of God to steer this big elephant of a Convention back to be in alignment with His path.”

Let’s see, does “back” mean when the SBC was OK with slavery, or to when the SBC was highjacked by Fundamentalists? Maybe when it supported Patterson’s ‘paper God’ the BF&M 2000 that makes women second class citizens? Oops, the SBC still does.

RB, there’s no-way to get around that the SBC needs to CHANGE to get in alignment with His path.

RB Kuter said...

HA! You got me there, Rex Ray. I don't want to "go back". Another bad choice of words. I should have said, "take an act of God to steer this elephant to be in alignment with His path" and left off the "back to be in alignment".

I guess we would just about have to start a new SBC.

Which brings to mind; You know, as much as I hate to admit it, and I don't go along with their position on things, but CBF seems to come close to doing what we're thinking of here. They saw the SBC as being outside the limits of what they could tolerate, so they "semi-left".

I think the mistake they made was for some weird reason, they tried to remain associated with the SBC. Never could figure out why they did it that way. Why do you think they formed a semi-separate Convention, named it Conservative Baptist Fellowship, but did not leave those existing SBC churches where they were but stayed as members of them?

Hmm...maybe we're getting closer to an answer here. Maybe they didn't have the resources to simply leave SBC churches and plant all new CBF churches!

Guess that's my attempt at answering my own question. I have been accused of doing that a lot. But in this case, I really don't know the answer because I have not talked to a CBF person. Maybe they have some CBF churches now, but I think they are still mingled.

Wonder if they are pro-homosexual marriage/minister minded? I admit I have totally lost touch with them over the years. Bet some read this blog, but this stream is getting kind of stale so Rex and I may be only ones using it.

Rex Ray said...

RB Kuter,

I like the way you roll with the punches. :)

http://www.mchorse.com/sbcchronology.htm
The link above tells history of the SBC; including:
1991 -- Southeastern Seminary published a new statement of purpose and the doctrine of inerrancy became official policy. Moderate Sunday School Board President Lloyd Elder was forced to resign due to a hostile board of trustees. Fundamentalist leader Jimmy Draper became President of the Sunday School Board. FMB voted to defund Ruschlikon Seminary in Europe because of moderate professors. 6,000 Baptists in Atlanta formally organized the Cooperative Baptists Fellowship (CBF). Moderates no longer offered an alternative candidate for President of the SBC.

1992 -- Paige Patterson became President of Southeastern Seminary. Career missionary and President of the FMB, Keith Parks, resigned in protest against a hostile fundamentalist board of trustees. Parks became missions director for the CBF.

RB Kuter,
Keith Parks argued the glue that held Baptists together was MISSIONS, but Fundamentalists argued it was doctrine, and it became ‘our-way or the highway’.

At one time I lived about 15 miles from Parks’ home. There was a large meeting that had newspaper reporters. I argued with Parks who wanted to take a calmer resistance about something. The newspaper printed only my statements.

Years later, the wife of Parks asked a member of their church if I knew Rex Ray.
“Yes, he was my uncle who was a missionary to China.”
“No, I’m talking about Rex Ray the blogger.”
“He’s my cousin.”
“I believe every word he writes.”

So, there you go, RB, nothing modest about me. :)

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray, I lived through all the account you give and it's totally accurate. Keith Parks "Commissioned" my wife and me in 1988 to go serve in Zambia with our 5-year-old son. It broke our hearts to see him treated the way he was but we were let down when he went with CBF, though I can understand it. He seemed out of sorts with that move, to me anyway. But it was the best place to serve for him I suppose.

I was disappointed with Elder, Honeycutt and many of the seminary professors we knew who were collateral damage of the war. We attended Southeastern BTS during the height of it from 1984-88. It was demonic with only Satan being able to pit brothers in Christ against each other in such wicked anger and hatred. It was not one-sided wickedness either, in my estimation. It was vicious, and my wife and I were totally blind-sided and naive hicks from Georgia when we entered SEBTS.

Still, why do you think, Rex, that CBF folks did not make a clean split?

Anonymous said...

RB,

I told a Southern Baptist Convention Guy, the CBF was preaching the Gospel and winning the lost for Christ, so why were they so disliked.

BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING MONEY THAT SHOULD BE COMING TO US!

By Rex Ray

Anonymous said...

RB,

You may already know this, but when Castro cut off money from America, our missionaries could not be paid. We gave money to the Baptist We gave money to Baptist World Alliance (BWA), and they gave it to our missionaries. When BWA was thinking about letting CBF joining them, Patterson's group reduced some money that was always given to them as a warning NOT to let CBF join.

BWA accepted CBF and at the next SBC a vote was taken and withdrew from the BWA. Patterson was the last to speak before the vote was taken. I heard him say that the BWA was "Gay friendly". Afterwards, the OLD Convention od Texas supported the BWA with more money than the SBC ever gave them. Patterson traveled the World to start a new BWA that would agree with the BF&M 2000. He got NO takers. Rex

RB Kuter said...

I remember. Sometimes we followers of Jesus sure do get off path.

Rex Ray said...

RB,

You said, Sometimes we followers of Jesus sure do get off the path.

When was Patterson ever on the path? No Joke.

When he spoke to a gun club, he said, “The greatest need in America was for every boy to have a Dad, a dog, and a gun.”

He wrote the Forward in the “Criswell Study Bible”. The Forward states in #3 “Harmonization of apparent discrepancies and explanations of passages thought by some to contain error are afforded the reader.”

I asked, “Does that mean ALL the discrepancies were explained or only SOME of them?”

In a loud voice he said to the crowd, “We got ALL of them!”

I said, “What about the ruler’s daughter is dead in Matthew, but only near death in Mark and Luke?

[Matthew 9:18 vs. Mark 5:23 and Luke 8:42]

Patterson whispered in my ear, “We got all we could.”

My father taught me if a person will lie about something small, they’ll lie about anything.

P.S.
Back home. Good to leave the snow in Seattle. My brother, Hez, is over the crisis of not being able to receive dialysis. They use a ‘lift’ to get him in and out of a wheelchair. His daughter texted: "Hez said,I’m sure going to miss Rex.”

Anonymous said...

Great post...you nailed it. I had argued this with others concerning SBC foundations. I was arguing with someone that the SBC had to clarify WHERE it went wrong not simply apologize for its early support of slavery. From your article, I had no idea that the Northern Baptist tried to unify with them some years later. There needs to be a lot more dialogue on this and the issue of landmarkism as well. In noticing the timeline on Carroll's little book, it came out during the reconstruction period. It is obvious that there are grudges there still need to be resolved. Perhaps, it is time to come together!

Lex Rex said...

"It was my observation that SBC had not changed much in 100 years."

Brother Wade, this is quite an indictment. Such truth, if seriously followed, is the way to healing. Thank you for declaring your conviction on the basis of scripture.

Rex Ray said...

Lex Rex,

Well said.