Thursday, June 06, 2019

The 2019 SBC Pastors' and Founders' Conferences

Yonat Shimron and Adelle Banks are a couple of really fine reporters who write for the Religious News Service (RNS). I've spoken to them on a number of occasions. Adelle will be at this year's Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama to work on articles that both women will be contributing to RNS throughout the Convention. 

Yesterday, Yonat and Adelle co-authored a piece on Beth Moore and the SBC entitled Beth Moore's Ministry Reignites Debate Over Whether Women Can Preach.

It's a fair, balanced article. I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Yonat.  We discussed the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, parliamentary procedures at the SBC, and the issue of women in leadership at the SBC. 

But there was one topic that took Yonat by surprise.

I mentioned to her that there would be TWO Pastors' Conferences at the SBC this year, both being held simultaneously on the same day, Monday, June 10, 2019. There is the official Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference and then there is the Founder's Conference for SBC pastors being held in the Convention Hotel ballroom at the same time and on the same day (Monday, June 10, 2019).

Yonat didn't know there were two competing conferences. Holding a competing "pastors' conference" at the same time as the official SBC Pastor's Conference is unprecedented in modern times.

The Founders' Conference, a Calvinistic assembly of SBC pastors have held breakfasts and luncheons during the Southern Baptist Convention, but now they are hosting a competing pastors' conference. 

The official SBC Pastor's Conference looks like one of the best ever! The line-up is diverse, there are "roundtables" designed to discuss difficult issues, and I commend this year's leadership, Dr. Danny Wood, for thinking outside the box to equip SBC pastors. Well done.

Here's a description of this year's Pastors' Conference:
"The theme, Kingdom Character, calls us to examine our lives in light of the beatitudes. This year’s conference will include a variety of formats including sermons, roundtables, and videos. There is no cost to attend, and the conference is open to the public."
The Pastors' Conference sounds very interesting! Well done!

However, the simultaneous 2019 Founder's Conference has a surprising theme.

Here are the speakers for Mature Manhood: Tom Ascol, David Miller, Owen Strachan, Josh Buice, Tom Nettles. 

Dwight McKissic will be debating Tom Ascol at 4:00 pm on whether or not women should be allowed to preach/teach on "the Lord's Day" in SBC churches. 

So, Southern Baptist pastors have a choice this year.

Attend the official Pastors' Conference and learn in a creative way how to teach and live the beatitudes to develop men and women of Kingdom character. 

Or attend the unofficial pastors' conference and learn how to be a mature man. 

As an aside, my friend Dwight McKissic's picture is the only one not in the line-up of speakers for the Founders' Conference. Granted, he is only "debating" Tom Ascol, but even a man of color (or a woman?) in the line-up of speakers would communicate something different than this photo line-up.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think that that Southern Baptist Convention is only composed of white, upper-class males (landowners). Oh...wait...I'm thinking back to 1845. Just a minute... Oops.

The SBC has changed since 1845. Thank the authoritative Scriptures for the change. Let's not revert back to something unbiblical. 

I have multiple other questions about this year's Founder's Conference.
1. Is the time and date for this Founder's Conference intentionally set to send a message of displeasure for the topics and speaker line-up for the official SBC Pastor's Conference?
2. Is it a coincidence that most of the men (not all) chosen to be the featured speakers at the Founder's Conference were the same ones who started the social media blitz against Beth Moore on Mother's Day?
3. Is it possible that Mature Men in an Immature Age a euphemism for "biblical men in an unbiblical age?" 
4. Are those who choose to attend the official SBC Pastor's Conference, or allow Beth Moore to exercise her gift of teaching at their church, or believe the beatitudes are more important than the mature manhood all "immature" or "unbiblical" in your minds?
5. Is it possible that you may be taking a page out of the old Conservative Resurgence playbook to lable people who disagree with you on tertiary doctrinal issues as "liberal." or without a belief in "biblical authority"? 
I recently received an email from a divinity student in one of our SBC seminaries. He told me about a large class he took with fellow Southern Baptist males at this seminary. He wrote:
It was easily 95% strict complementarian with only two of us identifying with the equality of women. I'm shocked to see the fear behind many SBC pastors at the thought of empowering women.
This week, I received a comment on my blog from a Southern Baptist pastor who holds to the strict complementarian viewpoint.

Ed Dingess' comment is difficult to read.

Though it would be "condemned" by every speaker at this year's Founders' Conference (I imagine a few of them contacted Ed Dingess and asked him to take it down), it does reflect the logical conclusions of those who exalt Male Maturity in an Immature Age over the beatitudes.

The final part of Yonat's and Adelle's Religious News Service story yesterday on Beth Moore is below:
The Founders' Conference daylong conference (is) on “Mature Manhood in an Immature Age.” And for some Southern Baptists, that conference itself is intended to do just what the president of the SBC (JD Greear)  has tried to steer clear of.
“Why in the world are they holding another conference” the same week, asked the Rev. Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., and a frequent SBC critic. “It’s almost like they’re driving a wedge in the SBC over the issue of women.”

One thing appears certain: Beth Moore won’t be at the Founders Ministries conference.

But she just might tweet about it.
Sorry, Yona and Adelle. The two edits in your story are mine alone. I'm not a "reverend." I have the gift of teaching and exhortation and I shepherd, lead, empower, and encourage others in Christ's Kingdom. I have no "office of spiritual authority" over anyone else.

Second, I am not a critic of the SBC. I can tell you more history of the SBC, share more anecdotes about the SBC, and recite my SBC heritage of father, grandfather, great-great-grandfathers and their families (including years and service of each).

I love the SBC.

I criticize those who wish to hijack the SBC and turn it into something other than a broad-based cooperative convention of Christ-believers who hold to the authority of Scripture and seek to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nations.

In other words, I'd rather teach someone the beatitudes and the glories of biblical human equality in Jesus Christ than have people force me to teach people Western Civilization cultural norms that have included the supremacy of males and the suppression of women, both of which are completely unbiblical.

So guess which Conference I'll be attending this year?

I've already sent in my $20 to attend the Founders' Conference ($30 at the door).


Because somebody wanting nothing from the SBC needs to let others in the SBC know the demands for conformity that are being issued by the theological descendants of one who burned Servetus at the stake.

And I will be tweeting too.


Christiane said...

Wade, that comment WAS 'difficult': it was at the end, terrifying. If that comment doesn't open eyes to what is needing healing than I don't know what can.

Thank you for all you have done to highlight this issue. Ed is a 'victim' too, of a terrible teaching that in the end, leaves even the perpetrators less able to realize their own wrong.

That comment: a window into something unwholesome indeed

Anonymous said...

There are essentially the same people vilifying "Social Justice" in a G3 Conference panel discussion on the "Dangers of Social Justice in Evangelicalism" later that same day. I've read several of their posts to try and figure out what their gripe is with the concept of social justice. The only particulars I could find were that they really despise women being treated with equality and deny that any kind of white privilege exists. They were cautioned several times in social media that their ad banner, displaying the raised fist of black power, was racially insensitive but refused to change, apologise, or otherwise show any kind of grace in their responses.

Anonymous said...

I get confused. How is women writing on spiritual matters different than them speaking on spiritual matters? Can I read Beth Moore as long as it is not on a Sunday in church? Am I allowed to read the article since it was written by two women? Can I read it as long as today is not Sunday? Where can I find out if they were properly under a male's authority while writing? Should I have my wife read it first to make sure that it doesn't speak in a way that could be construed as authoritative or offending my maleness? Does the fact that they spoke to Wade provide sufficient evidence of male authority? If I'm reading their article and the Holy Spirit instructs or convicts, should I ignore His voice? So confused.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Or attend the unofficial pastors' conference and learn how to be a mature man.

Problem is, for a lot of these jokers/GAWD's Anointed running the SBC, "a mature man" means the attitude of a spoiled three-year-old who's in POWER. ("His Majesty the Baby", type examples Caesar Caligula, Kim Jong-Un, Joffrey Baratheon.) Especially when it comes to female animate property. "ME MAN! ME WANNA! GAWD SAITH!"

Anonymous said...

It's sad to read these comments and this article. Truly sad. Straw man arguments and appealing to emotions over against biblical exegesis, church history, and the over-whelming evidence of Scripture is revealing enough. On a personal note, Dr. Nettles is a deacon in my church. That's correct a deacon, one of the most respected Baptist historians in the U.S. and he has no interest in being an elder at my church (which we have) rather he chooses to serve the body as a deacon. Perhaps the rhetoric about power in this article and in this thread should subside, perhaps if any of you served alongside any of these men your perspective of them would change. Also, we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ, calvinists and arminians alike, egalitarians and complementarians alike. While these issue and convictions do not separate us into believer/non-believer camps they may well separate us as Southern Baptists and perhaps that is a good thing although things like evangelism and missions would certainly be negatively affected. Some secondary issues are important enough to divide over. It's not cyber-bullying, it's not making power plays, etc. it's the way the church has functioned throughout history (take for instance the Reformation). To misrepresent that is foolish, ignorant, or immature, or perhaps even something else.

Wade Burleson said...


Dr. Nettles has been to my church. I love and respect Dr. Nettles. I have manuscripts, signed by Dr. Nettles, given to me.

But loving Dr. Nettles doesn't mean he can't be wrong on a biblical issue.

I know he's a deacon/servant/humble man.

What does that have to do with a conference that that has an unbiblical view of women - or more importantly, a conference that seeks to PRESS others into doctrinal conformity on their unbiblical view of women.

All conferences, all pastors, all speakers (including this writer) don't have a corner on truth. And, I COULD BE WRONG about the equality of women and that leadership in Christ's Kingdom is based on Spirit-giftedness (regardless of gender) and humble character (I don't think I am, I think I'm biblical on this, but can admit my interpretation could be wrong).

What the SBC does NOT need is a demand for conformity.

Let's cooperate in our disagreements.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Are girls allowed at either Pastor's Conference? Asking for a friend.

Tom said...

After reading Wade’s blog, I then turned to the “news” in my part of the world and read the following: -

In an Australian Channel Nine news article titled Men must call out sexism too: Gillard - - I thought it appropriate to highlight below what she is quoted as having said in the discussion she was involved in.

Quoting from the link it states: -

That shouldn't dissuade women from speaking up about unfair treatment, but it did mean there was power in observers saying something too.

"So my advice to the woman would be if she can she should call it out; if she can't and she knows she's going to be in those environments a lot, try and reach out to the best of the male colleagues and encourage them to do it."

Ms Gillard says the process of writing a book about her time in politics proved a cathartic way to work out some of the residual anger and bitterness about the treatment she received.

"I've never been someone who's thrown crockery or screamed out loud or decided that the best way of treating your staff is to yell at them because they'll work harder," she says.

But she makes the distinction between "righteous anger" that can power one's work and an obsession about moments when a person feels they were unfairly treated.

"Any time you spend kind of mentally grinding an axe about someone or something is wasted time."

I particularly liked the last line above as it applies to both males and females. It is also very true.

The spill over from the secular world into the “Church” world with respect to our attitudes in living this life always needs to be assessed in the light of Kingdom Living. How we live our lives reflects our relationship with God and our acceptances of God’s values for our lives.

How well we do this is reflected in how “perfectly” we fail as we live out our lives in Christ in repentance for our failures.


PS: "Vengeance is mine says the Lord." How often do we leave it up to the Lord to work out.

Rex Ray said...


Google states the SBC will meet Tuesday and Wednesday on June 11 & 12.

This is your ‘free typo checker’. :)

1.women vs. owman. (“It was easily 95% strict…identifying with the equality of owman…”)

2.the vs. their. (Ed Dingess said…they would put wives in the place and toss…)

3.For speakers for Mature Manhood, Josh Buice is listed twice.

I believe the SBC is still suffering from:

Christiane said...

Misogyny in any culture results in the brutalizing of women as human persons, and this ranges from 'casual' comments, to decreased pay for women, to emotional abuse, to physical abuse, and on into all the parts of a society that misogyny has infected, including religious practices.

Our Lord told the Magdalene to announce the Resurrection to the Apostles, so she became known as the 'Apostola Apostolorem', The Apostle to the Apostles, a title give to her by the Church that today still denies the priesthood to women. Some things take time in the Church to change. Grace is relentless in bringing light into the darkness. Has the Church allowed women to teach? Yes. There are women 'Doctors of the Church', strong voices that are celebrated for their contributions to the Church's understanding of Christ's message.
So there is hope. Hope anchored in the One who sent Mary Magdalene to tell the boys. Why Mary? Why was SHE chosen for this mission worthy of an Apostle?

N.Bolz-Weber has a thought about this: that in the Bible, we are told that demons had fled from Mary when Our Lord healed, and that when 'the boys' looked into the tomb, all they saw was 'laundry'; but Mary? She looked in and saw ANGELS. Good on Pastrix Bolz-Weber for this brilliant observation. :)

Hope is a good thing. A Christian thing.
Mary Magdalene WAS an Apostle. All the patriarchists in this world cannot belittle her Christ-given mission. It is hers eternally, this honor above all honors.

Anonymous said...

I personally know Tom Ascol and have known him for many years. What Mr Ascol needs is to focus on getting his life in order before he points his finger at others.

Anonymous said...

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 ESV

Rex Ray said...


It’s interesting how Jews prepared a person to be buried.

“…Nicodemus…brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment… Following Jewish burial custom, they WRAPPED Jesus body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.” (John 19:39-40 NLT)

If ointment had the weight of water, it would be nine gallons which would take a lot of cloth to soak up that much ointment.

Christiane, I believe Jesus did not unwrap himself, but passed through the cloth as he did in John 20:19: “…disciples were meeting behind locked doors…Suddenly Jesus was standing there among them…”

Christiane, you quoted Bolz-Weber saying, “when 'the boys' looked into the tomb, all they saw was 'laundry'.” DUH

Big difference in the beliefs that Mary and disciples had when they saw the empty tomb.

Mary: “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him.” (John 20:2 NLT)

“Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed; for until then they hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.” (John 20:8-9 NLT)

“Then I went in too, and saw, and believed for until then we hadn’t realized that the Scriptures said he would come to life again!” (John 20:8-9 Living)

Christiane said...

Hey there REX RAY

How are you feeling these days? Have you been able to sleep better or is the pain still bad?

Question: do you have the capacity on your computer to hear 'audio' on videos?
If so, here is Bolz-Weber's sermon, so you can hear HOW she explained her thoughts as I might have messed it up, so better you should hear it for yourself:

Rex Ray said...


“…saw and believed…” (John 20:8 NLT)

What did the decuples see in the empty tomb that made them believe Jesus was alive?

The cloth must have had the shape of Jesus, but northing was inside.

Rex Ray said...


I found a hundred people and events on your link, but nothing about Bolz-Weber.

I tried Google and found this:

Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor living in Denver, Colorado, where she serves the emerging church, House for all Sinners and Saints.

Google also gave many of her sermons that made fun of what church people did. She blasted Easter eggs, rabbits, and lady’s hats.

I have no doubt she called the Disciples “boys”.

Thanks for being concerned about my health. New doctor started new medicine with so many side effects I’ll paraphrase: ‘Stop medicine if you start dying. :)

Christiane said...

"New doctor started new medicine with so many side effects I’ll paraphrase: ‘Stop medicine if you start dying. :)"

praying for you tonight

give the medicine a chance, but report any and all side effects . . . keep a journal and take it to the doctor with you

free advice, but good advice if heeded :)

Rex Ray said...


Thanks for the advice.

The heart touching story below may put tears on your face as it did mine; even if you don’t have a twin.

Minnow76 said...


I found your excellent blog (through Twitter) during last year's SBC Annual Meeting, as you appeared to be one of the most thoughtful and rightfully-critical voices during the whole PP debacle. Frankly, I still struggle with how so many people could so vociferously defend a man who so arrogantly led a seminary and at least influenced the SBC to a great degree. Having stained glass windows of yourself installed in a chapel seems to me to be an immediate disqualification of any type of Christian leadership, much less the more heinous (easily believed) accusations for how he treated female students.

While that situation isn't what this article is about, I would say it may have helped expose some beliefs and attitudes that are causing this debate to rage now. It truly saddens me to see people who proclaim their faith fighting to make their interpretation the only way that Scripture could possibly be interpreted, rather than respecting differences in non-primary issues of faith.

I read your tweets regularly, and sometimes think, "Boy! He sure stirred up a hornet's nest with this one!" That thought is always followed by another: "Thank you, God, that he is willing to stir up a hornet's nest when it's needed." While none of the bullies seem to be intimidating you from your role of outspoken defender, please be encouraged that those of us you are defending recognize and appreciate you taking the message to your tribe in a way that we could not.

My great-grandparents and grandparents founded the Southern Baptist church that I grew up in, where I participated in GAs and Bible Drills; I was part of the Baptist Student Union (now Baptist Campus Ministry) at my university; and I still go to a Southern Baptist church today. I don't mention this to indicate I am, in any way, "more Christian" or even "more Southern Baptist" than anyone else - merely to show that I have been around Baptists and Baptist theology for pretty much my whole life (of 43 years).

I love the church that I grew up in, and I love my current church. I have had the great good fortune and blessing to know and be related to many servant-hearted Christians who love Jesus and express that consistently. I've also had the opportunity to learn from excellent pastors and other teachers who have encouraged my own biblical study. And in none of my encounters have I ever heard anyone passionately assert the ideas these "manly men" are promoting. And certainly not the idea that all SBC churches must adhere to this one interpretation of one passage of Scripture, rather than cooperating through our disagreements. It nearly makes me ashamed to be a Baptist.

I also don't understand how the interpretation of strict complementarianism aligns with the generally-accepted concept among Protestants of the priesthood of all believers. If the Holy Spirit gives me (a priest to God) a revelation because I am directly connected to God, then why must I - a woman - restrict that revelation only to other women or children? I'm sure some would say that it's okay to share that revelation as long as it isn't on "the Lord's Day" from a pulpit. To that, I have to wonder when we made the Church a place instead of God's people gathered together. And why we restrict "true" revelation to one day out of seven.

I look forward to your tweets from the Founders' Conference (founders of what, exactly, though?), and appreciate you continuing to call out unbiblical behavior masquerading as holiness, as well as your defense of victims of the ungodly shielding of ungodly predators. Thank you, Wade for using your position/platform "for such a time as this." God bless.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Beth Moore & Mother's Day Preaching / Ask Doug

Wade Burleson said...


You are indeed welcome and thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Masters,

I watched the video.


"When you tie an animal to a tether, it will know the length of it by morning." A quote from Cotton Matther used by whoever the heck this guy is in the video to justify tying women to a stake and forbidding them from doing anything beyond the length of their rope.

Sick. Sick. Sick.

And, to even attempt to justify such perversion with Scripture is close to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Actually Wade... Doug Wilson said no such thing. He was arguing that is what you, the liberal, do in allowing women to preach. See you extended your leash out to let Beth Moore in your circle.Its all over your writings.
BTW-----I see your friend, Paul Young, agrees with Douglas Wilson on Pretism and Post millennialism. No matter your view of him he has a HUGE following especially in the classical Christian area.

Anonymous said...

I have seen this leash extended to include an ever longer, wider circle in my own church. Grace Community Church in Nashville which is also the home church of Russell Moore. When I first joined the church I asked Scott Patty several different theological questions among them were very specific ones regarding the role of women in the church. I was satisfied that the church was Biblical based on the response of Scott Patty, the senior pastor/elder. Fast forward to the present I was told Marshall Allbritton that the Church has taken no official position on this issue and he blogged on SBCVoices that our church is Soft Complementarian. Never mind the Sunday School classes taught by women only and the leadership positions that are really pastoral positions occupied by women. Along with a myriad of Elders who never teach
but are very adept at Ruling from their closed session meetings.

Christiane said...


Yes! that story about the brothers is a tear-jerker . . . but it brings hope also that in eternity, if not in 'time' as we know it, we will be re-united to our loved ones in 'the world to come' by the Hand of Our Redeemer.

The boys were so young. So young to die like that. It is very sad, this is true.

Rex Ray said...


For those that haven’t read the story of Louie and Henry Pieper, this a brief account.
I thought the story was almost a miracle in that a 2015 research project by a Nebraska high school girl, Vanessa Taylor, led officials to identify Henry through dental records.

They were killed when they were 19 years old while serving as radiomen aboard Landing Ship which struck a German mine off the coast of Normandy 13 days after D-Day on June 19, 1944.

Louie was buried at the American military cemetery in Normandy, but Henry's remains weren't discovered until 1961 and was buried at a military cemetery in Belgium as unknown.

He was re-buried last year next to his brother's in Normandy Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. The last letter written to their mother said, “Don’t worry about us we’re together.”

Christiane said...


The ways of God are merciful, even in times of trouble. One wonders what inspired a young high school girl in Nebraska to do that research, and one wonders how that research was able to connect with the right people to get Henry's remains identified, and then how we could gratefully reunite his remains next to those of his brother, in keeping with that last letter to their mother.

I don't think there were any 'co-incidences' here. I see the Hand of the Almighty at work.
Some stories touch on eternal themes of God's mercy to us, and this is one of them. Thanks for sharing, Rex. We need more stories like this. Especially these days.

Christiane said...

I wonder what patriarchists say about Our Lord who sent a WOMAN to announce the Resurrection?

Was Our Lord 'liberal'??
Or was He sending a message to the ones who ran away and hid while He hung on the Cross?

By what measuring stick is He to be measured? That word 'liberal' is derived from the Latin 'liber' (free), so it is one word that NEEDS to be defined carefully so that you don't end up with 'libertarian' meaning 'conservative' and with 'liberal' meaning something else entirely.

So it is not a curse-word. Was Our Lord free to send Mary Magdalene as the Apostle to the Apostles????? Or not? And by whose judgement do you say this?

Maybe it's time to re-examine the deep meaning of this verse:
"Galatians 3:28 King James Version (KJV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

a 'liberal' statement? or a 'biblical teaching'? From the writings of Paul to the Galatians? Paul? a liberal?

:) come on people, it is time to stop with the labels and focus ON CHRIST, because when Paul does, he is clear in his meaning

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Douglas said...

That Ed Dingess excerpt could have been penned by Mark Driscoll... in fact I wonder if he didn't plagiarize it from ol' Mark.