Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Chilling Crisis of Power, Control, and Authority: An Open Letter to the Southern Baptist Convention

Wade and Rachelle, Valentine's Day, 2020
I am a third-generation Southern Baptist preacher. 

I have been pastor of the same Southern Baptist Church for the last 28 years and married to Rachelle for almost 40 years. 

I voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and I intend to vote for President Trump again this year. 

I was the driver for Paul Pressler during the early 1980s as we went from church to church, recruiting Southern Baptist pastors to show up for the Southern Baptist Convention.

I was part of the platform security team for Paige Patterson. I believe in every word of the Bible! I have no hesitation calling the Bible inerrant and infallible, but I also fellowship with many Greek and Hebrew scholars who have a problem with the word inerrant.

Anybody that calls me a liberal hasn't met a liberal. I'm conservative in theology, politics, and lifestyle. 

But I am deeply troubled by what I see in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Demands for conformity have overtaken a desire for cooperation.

Conform, David Uth, Or Else!

Dr. David Uth, Pastor of the historic First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida, has been pressured and bullied to conform by the Southern Baptist Executive Committee. They've demanded that a woman David chose to speak at the Pastors Conference not speak. This woman, Hosanna Wong, has blessed the people of David's church, FBC Orlando, through an original spoken word she performed during their worship services. David wanted Hosanna to perform a Christ-exalting spoken word at the 2020 Southern Baptist Pastors Conference

The men in power, the men in authority, the men in control, the "SBC PAC men" is what I call them, said "No!" to David Uth. 

They played a game of Hardball Religion with the Pastor of FBC Orlando.

This past Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Mike Stone, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the SBC, violated the Executive Committee's tradition of transparency and moved the Executive Meeting behind closed doors where secret sessions soar as silent and supreme sanctuaries for saints in sin. 

The Executive Committee came out of the darkness, where democracy dies, and declared that no
woman will speak at the Pastors Conference.

Goodbye, David Uth.

He will voluntarily no longer serve as President of the Pastors Conference.

Could you ever imagine the day when the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida, the historic first church in the host city of the Southern Baptist Convention, would be marginalized, humiliated, and blackballed by leaders of the SBC?

David Uth is out as President of the Pastors Conference because he will not violate his principles for the sake of conformity.

But it gets worse.

Conform, Russell Moore, Or Else!

That same Executive Committee, behind closed doors, created a task force to investigate the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. That's a polite way of saying they are going after Russell Moore's job. Members of the Executive Committee don't like that Russell Moore has spoken truth to power, and they want Russell to conform to their demands and be silent about Trump.

The Southern Baptist Convention needs Russell Moore. No leader should have absolute power. All leaders, whether religious or political, should tremble at the thought of accountability to people. That's true liberty.

It's a dark day when a Convention allegedly built on cooperation around missions demands conformity on political views. The Fundamentalist Forum has been advocating an "investigation of Russell Moore" since 2017. The FF is not even SBC, it's an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Forum.

But guess what? The finest independent Fundamentalist Southern Baptists have ever produced, Paige Patterson, is back in the limelight. He opened his newly built home to help film the video announcing the new creation of a right "wing" of the Southern Baptist Convention called the Conservative Baptist Network

Patterson's protege, Scott Coulter - husband of Sharayah Coulter - filed the digital application for the Conservative Baptist Network.

Fundamentalism is all about power, authority, and control. 

In that kind of environment,  sexual predatory behaviors are allowed to fester because those in power will deal with the problem themselves, not involving law enforcement. It's not needed, they believe. They are God's vicars on earth.

Thus, the sexual abuse crisis in the Southern Baptist Convention during the last 20 years.

Conform, Beth Moore, Or Else!

Is it possible for you to imagine that the most recognized and most popular woman in the Southern Baptist Convention is marginalized, denigrated, and excluded by men in leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention? 

When SBC male leaders make out Beth Moore to be the enemy, then we have a historic problem in the SBC. 

It is because of men like Russell Moore and David Uth, women like Beth Moore and Rachel Denhollander, and other people with the courage of convictions, people unafraid to speak what they believe while cooperating with those who disagree, that make our Southern Baptist Convention great. 

We need people who are unafraid to express truth to power, exalt Christ to the nations, and encourage churches to love people and follow Jesus. We need them.

Conform, Wade Burleson, Or Else!

I believe the infallible and inerrant Scriptures teach shared leadership among gifted men and women. I've seen attempts at the national level to remove women from every position of leadership by using the age-old unbiblical doctrine of "male authority." 

The Bible teaches that leadership in Christ's Kingdom is based on gifting, not gender; character, not control; and a spirit of service, not a position of power. 

Of course, I'm declared to be a liberal for this belief.

Oh, my soul.

I'm a biblicist who loves Jesus and His people and chooses to obey God rather than men. I'm humble enough to know that my interpretation could be wrong, and I'm smart enough to know that yours could be too. 

Let's dialogue. Let's cooperate around the major purposes for which we exist.

Let's be a Cooperating Convention. 

Cooperation, by definition, requires two or more groups of people who disagree on secondary and tertiary issues to come together for the purpose of fulfilling more important purposes.

People who know no better think that "to be a Southern Baptist," you must agree with everything the 2000 BF&M teaches. 

Not so. Not even close.

Very few realize that the 2000 BF&M teaches "closed communion," meaning, your church must dismiss all guests and Christians who are not members before serving the Lord's Supper (see The Absurd Notion that a Church Must Affirm the 2000 BF&M To Be Southern Baptist, an article I wrote a dozen years ago). 

Baptist confessions were never intended to be instruments of conformity. The Committee who wrote the 2000 BF&M had this to say about your disagreeing with their Confession:
The sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.
A confession is a statement of religious conviction, drawn from the Scriptures, and is not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.
That's why we call our missions emphasis the Cooperative Program.

When men in positions of Southern Baptist Convention leadership, hold offices of power, authority, and control, without checks and balances, they'll begin to marginalize those who disagree with them.

Something needs to be done. 

These SBC men of power, men of authority,  (PAC men, I call them) must learn some humility.

You can do something about the marginalization of good, solid, Bible-believing Christians in the Southern Baptist Convention.

What is the Southern Baptist "Convention"?

It is a gathering of Christians who are members of Southern Baptist churches for two days out of the year. To attend the Southern Baptist "Convention" this year, June 9-10, 2020, you must go to Orlando, Florida, where the gathering will take place.

There are three things you can do to stop the PAC from demanding absolute conformity:
1. Ask your church to be a messenger at this year's Southern Baptist Convention.
2. Show up and resist any demands for conformity by anyone, at any place, at any time.
3. Be prepared to vote for only those trustees or leaders who resist demands for conformity, which means replacing potential nominees with better ones, or potentially existing leaders who've let power, authority, and control go to their heads in a demand for absolute conformity. That would include paying close attention to those men running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
You'll be given a choice, I promise.

You have a voice.

We belong to a Cooperating Convention.

We won't survive if we acquiesce to demands for absolute conformity.


Matt Cartwright said...

I don't agree with the secrecy in how they handled the SBC PC issue, but you never mention the main reason people opposed Hosanna Wong was that she is the Teaching Pastor at a church. Even Beth Moore does not claim that title in a church.

By not mentioning that, it mischaracterizes people's concerns.

But on the rules of their decision, the EC has control over the space, not the PC. I may be wrong, but is there any legal contract that the SBC has to provide space to the PC? Although it is a bigger move than I can remember in the past, the SBC has sought to influence the pastor's conference in the past. Think of the Peace Committee trying to combine the SBC PC and the SBC Forum in the late '80s.

Wade Burleson said...

Matt Cartwright,

Though I am concerned about your unbiblical view of "the authority" of a pastor (see my book Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek To Rule Over People, I can cooperate with you.

Lead Pastor, Teaching Pastor, Senior Pastor, and even "Office of Pastor" are man-made constructs and are nowhere found in Scripture.

Men and women have the gift of teaching. Men and women have the gift of prophesying. Men and women have the gift of exhorting, and "pastoring" or "shepherding" is a verb of service, not a noun of status.

Thus, Acts 2:17 says, "And in the last days, I will pour out My Spirit, and your SONS and DAUGHTERS shall prophesy."

Though I am concerned that your actions of forbidding a woman to speak who has the gift of prophesy because you have a screwed up definition of pastor - based on authority - and an even greater concern that you are violating the Holy Spirit's direction and the clear teaching of the inerrant Word ...


The question, can you cooperate with me?

That's the question of this open letter, and if you say "No! Wade, you must believe the way I believe," then unintentionally and possibly even embarrassingly, you are proving my point.

Thanks, Matt.

Derek said...

Good morning Wade,
As I always I appreciate your due diligence in your post. I share your concern over the demands for conformity versus a more casual form of cooperation for missions and advancing the Gospel.

After reading your post this morning, there are two issues I'd like you to unpack a bit more. For the past few years, I have heard several leaders in the convention discuss the secondary or tertiary issues you refer to above. As a matter of fact, I believe Dr. Greenway shares your sentiment when his desire is for Southwestern Seminary to be a "big tent" institution. TO help cast more light on this discussion can you list several of these secondary issues? You provide a great example with closed communion, but historical, what are others? This may help fellow Southern Baptists better understand the beauty of theological diversity.

Secondly, is it not concerning the same meeting in which Dr. Floyd offers a vision to boldly focus on the Gospel for the next fives years and Dr. Greear calls for unity in service the Executive Committee then does the opposite? This resembles a church where the staff and deacon body are at odds. It is obvious Dr. Greear and the EC are not on the same page. However, is Dr. Floyd and the EC out of step with one another?

Wade Burleson said...


A thoughtful, well-worded comment. Let me think through the last paragraph and make a couple of phone calls before responding.

As to the primary, secondary, and tertiary doctrinal matters. COOPERATION of SBC churches should be around primary doctrines only, and AUTONOMY and LIBERTY, should be granted to CHURCHES who disagree with any secondary or tertiary tier doctrines.

Here's an example of a wonderful primary doctrinal statement:

"We affirm the authority of Scripture, the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Christ, the spiritual lostness of the human race, salvation through Christ alone, the judgment of the wicked by God, and the gift of everlasting life to those in Christ."

Everything else in secondary and tertiary and should not be used as a DIVING POINT as CHURCHES. The second category may have more distinct Baptist doctrines like "believer's baptism,' etc... and might need required for institutions, but women in leadership is definitely a tertiary doctrine that no Southern Baptist should separate in fellowship over.

See The 2000 BFM and the Theological Triage Tragedy

Matt Cartwright said...

Wade Burleson,

First, I never said I agreed with the view that a woman pastor was wrong. What I said is that by not referring to the main controversy surrounding her speaking, which was not that she was a woman but a woman pastor, was a mischaracterization of those who had concerns.

Three questions related to your response.

1. Of course the position of "the office of pastor" is a construct. However, does the Bible say nothing to the leadership structure of the church or who can teach when?

2. I agree that men and women do have gifts as listed in the Bible, but doesn't the Bible also place limitations on the appropriate use/application of gifts?

3. Lastly and most importantly, what is the limit on Cooperation? Can Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, be Southern Baptists? (according to your response to Derek, could not many of those churches in those groups also be in the SBC? Would your response to Derek not also allow for LGBTQ+ "pastors"?)

Wade Burleson said...


I apologize for misunderstanding you. Thanks for the response.

1. Of course the position of "the office of pastor" is a construct. However, does the Bible say nothing to the leadership structure of the church or who can teach when? Answer: Of course. Jesus followers, gifted by Him (and there are no 'render by gender' gifts), Spirit-led, of humble character, "older" (eg 'elder') in maturity if not years, who have been an example in character and word for the entire church. There is no authority but from Christ and the gentle persuasion of a Christian who's character and words exemplify Christ. Anyone with the gift of teaching can teach. Anyone with the gift of prophesying can preach. Anyone with the gift of exhorting can exhort. Etc...

2. I agree that men and women do have gifts as listed in the Bible, but doesn't the Bible also place limitations on the appropriate use/application of gifts? Answer: No. Never. The few examples that you might point to (I Corinthians 14; I Timothy 2, etc...) may seem at first glance to limit appropriate use/application of gifts, but any prohibition established in Corinth or Ephesus (Timothy ministered in Ephesus) was only a temporary restriction due to a specific problem in the church (a problem with a desire for a position of power, control, and authority), and those things are never to be the focus or desire in Christ's church. The body ministers as He gifts.

3. Lastly and most importantly, what is the limit on Cooperation? Can Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, be Southern Baptists? (according to your response to Derek, could not many of those churches in those groups also be in the SBC? Would your response to Derek not also allow for LGBTQ+ "pastors"?) Answer: Christ separates his people from their sins. That's why He's named Jesus (see Matthew 1:21). A church member practicing sin (as in a practicing homosexual or practicing adulterer or practicing gossip, etc...) is a church member who should be loved, but spoken to strongly about forsaking their sin. Being a woman is not a sin. Exercising your Christ-given, Spirit-endued gift is not a sin. The homosexual issue is an important one. I have friends who attend Emmanuel and "identify as homosexual" but they are not members, nor are they in leadership. Why? Because practicing homosexuality is sin according to the Scriptures. But a woman serving, teaching, leading, according to her giftedness is not. So, if you wish to put homosexuality in a level-two tier of cooperation, do so! However, why is it we point out the sin of homosexuality and are silent on the sin of gluttony and gossip and greed? We are a 3G denomination who likes to point a finger at the world. Let's figure it out before we put it in writing.

Matt Cartwright said...


Thank you for your response and answering my questions.

1. Not going to lie, your description sounds like spiritual anarchy. HOWEVER, I do appreciate you responding. I believe the bible says more to regulated worship than that, but that brings me to point 2.

2. I disagree with your view on all of 1 Corinthians 14 as temporary, 1 Corinthians 4:28,& 14:26-33, 39-40. Paul does not use any language that expresses temporary, and the idea of orderly worship is not based solely the situation In Corinth, but instead on the idea in verse 30, that the Lord is not a God of confusion but of peace. Even if you believe his specifics are just for the church of Corinth, the the restrictions on the use of certain gifts at certain times in regulated worship for there to be order and peace, not confusion, is applicable to all churches.

3. Your response to the LGBTQ question is why I think this is a larger issue right now, and why you can say it is secondary, and other's say it is not. According to Calvin, Spurgeon,and and many Southern Baptist, their interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14 and 2 Timithy 2 is different than yours, and that a woman operating in ordinary service of teaching/speaking in regulated assembly would be in violation of scripture. Violations of the scripture are sin, therefore she would be practicing sin. I believe that is why we have seen this response from many Southern Baptists about the PC line-up compared to the standard outrage about Beth Moore speaking anywhere. Although "pastor" is a construct, the function of her title makes many southern baptists believe that she is operating in sin.

Again, according to your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14, she is not. But to many other Southern Baptists interpretation she is. That is why it is a secondary or tertiary issue for you, but not for them. That is why it is hard for people to ignore and cooperate on this issue.

I do want to reiterate that I do not like that they operated behind closed doors to come to their decision.

wayworn wanderer said...

"Demands for conformity have overtaken a desire for cooperation."

Good one! Breaking news from 1979, as they say.

And, by the way, Vote for the Layman.

Norman Jameson said...

As a man who was embraced by the outreach of a Southern Baptist church while I was in the Army, and who proudly worked for Baptists at state and national levels for over 30 years, I say simply I am no longer a Baptist in large part because of the ridiculous hair splitting, navel gazing, name calling, and credentials comparing shenanigans of those who would be kings. Every argument, every declaration that I'm further right than you, and thus MORE right than you, every proclamation against the half of the population that is without a penis, is another nail adhering the proclamation to the wall of the SBC Executive Committee building in Nashville that publicly and loudly declares "This organization is no longer relevant." And it's a damned shame. Oh, and now someone on the Executive Committee staff must have been going through the archives because i see Ronnie has discovered Bold Mission Thrust. He's just calling it something else so the minions think it's new and creative. It will be met with great tumescent huzzahs in June and then completely forgotten because they want to replay the 1980s again.

Bob Cleveland said...

Thinking way back to the Conservative Resurgence, I recall feeling it was a subversive and militaristic response to what was a Spiritual problem. Viewing that along with the statement by Jesus, that He would build His church, I wondered how long the "peace" the CR seemed to have brought, would last.

I think we know, now. Especially in light of Habakkuk 1:6: "I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth, to seize dwelling places not their own".

I think that describes the CR. So, now, what do we expect?

Jennie said...

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a wonderful place to be. As a group of Cooperating Churches, we have agreed to affirm women. We may disagree on some issues, but we all work thru those on the local church level and the Priesthood of the Believer. I believe the CBF is more true to historic Baptist beliefs than the SBC has been in 30 plus years and this new Conservative Baptist Network is only going to make things worse. When introducing myself to someone new and explaining that I'm Baptist, I always have to say, "Not that kind of Baptist".The SBC has become a terrible place of power, secrets, and hatred of women.

GladsomeHeart said...

It's come to the point that I no longer trust the leaders in the SBC. Nor even most of the individual pastors, given the far-ranging abuses within the church, and their cover-ups. In just one SB church which I attended and served in for years, one married male staff member was grooming young women in his college and career class. Another married staff member was stalking a member of the community and rating young girls in the church on Facebook as "hottest" and "most kissable". The pastor knew and allowed them to move on to similar positions elsewhere when it all came out. My husband and I went to that same pastor for help with a serious sin on my husband's part, which was swept under the carpet and my husband allowed to continue to serve and occasionally preach. The pastor told my husband he was "a good guy", and said not one word to me about being a faithful, forgiving wife. It was just found out recently that this pastor plagiarized his sermons for many years, and also practiced habitual deception. I suspect other serious sins remain uncovered. I will be so bold as to say that it is the women of the church who do the work. It is the women who "preach" the Word with their servant's hearts. It is the women who open the household wallet to give. It is the women who fix meals, who visit the sick and elderly, who pitch in and help when they are already exhausted from jobs and children. And the women are waking up to the fact that the SBC would not function without them. We will speak with our voices, and we will speak with our pocketbooks. The fortress these men have built for themselves, high and lifted up as only our Savior should be, is crumbling, and these men will fall far. Some of them, I suspect, all the way to Hell. It can't happen too soon for me. Something beautiful may arise out of the rubble.

Christiane said...

this is a difficult comment for me to write, because my intent is not to be 'critical', but to be helpful in sharing from another point of view, and I do not excuse myself, as I also am 'conflicted' in ways that long for a resolution that honors Our Lord.

is this a time meant to 'compartmentalize' values or to 'integrate' values for those evangelicals AND all Christian people with regards to supporting religious and political entities where there may be conflicts regarding the open discrimination (and abuse) of one sex by another within both the political and the religious power structures?

In my view, many people are 'conflicted' and this has led to some soul-searching in attempting to find some way of dealing with the disparities of values among political and religious beliefs. . . . and we all deal with this, sometimes painfully, sometimes patiently and hopefull, and sometimes, well, we speak out . . . about these struggles that are not easy for any of us to sort out:

For example, the reaction of MANY Christian women and many women of other faiths following the parental-separation of the border babies and installation of the infants and toddlers into 'tender-age' camps which led to court battles about sub-standard hygienic and nutrition provisions for these very small innocent beings. Here is one view:

"In barn-red Texas, some white evangelical women have had it with unquestioned fealty to Republicans. Galvanizing them are Trump administration actions like separating immigrant children from their parents at the southern border, a policy they deem anti-Christian. “I care as much about babies at the border as I do about babies in the womb,” Tess Clarke of Dallas told a New York Times reporter."

There comes a point where people get confused about the witness of the Church and in our time, this is become a terrible problem for Christian people, I'm afraid.

I do not know what to think myself. I remain hopeful for good to come . . . but those little ones are suffering NOW. And yes, we remember: Jeremiah 31:15 and St.Matthew 2:18
We remember to our shame.

The quote about Texas is from this article:

bunkababy said...

Rolling my eyss here Wade. So you support women inside the church but not the unsaved ones outside the church.

It's pretty simple. Advocate for women who are up against dishonorable, sexist, dirty men inside a christian context but vote for a guy who openly states he grabs women by the pussy, Lusts after them openly and uses them for his own purposes. A man who upholds men with even worse intentions.

Women are women, girls are girls saved or lost and the one thing we all have in common are men who take advantage, abuse, demoralize, and subdue us.

Jesus advocated for women inside the church and outside the church. It is that simple. It's not rocket science and I find your stance for women inside the church void simply because you stand by a man who is all of those things you proclaim you abhor inside the church. So clearly you can't dislike the behaviour that much. Or you have a double standard. If you can't stand up for righteousness sake why stand up at all?

Pondering Place said...

I only comment out of complete brokenheartedness. This is all so ridiculous I hardly know what to say. Most likely I should say nothing at all. But I have some serious concerns. All this labeling of people and presuming of others motives. Serious business! We wonder why people are not coming to our churches and why people are leaving, well I think wonder no longer. No doubt standing for truth will always bring division. WE can't not stand for truth just to avoid conflict. I don't have the credentials of the post author but I was a pastor's wife for many years. I have been in the trenches of being misunderstood and mistreated by many churches we served. I am concerned about all this women empowerment talk. Remember Eve? We women can teach and preach as well as any man and i have taught many times myself. The point is do you believe women should be ORDAINED? Is that a man made thing as well? I have no problem with the Wong woman. I feel sure she is a godly woman. But i do believe if the INTERNET is true she is an ordained pastor. So with that being said why would anyone if their right mind invite her to speak to a bunch of Southern Baptist Pastors? Apparently Pastor Uth isn't a man of discernment. I don't know him but really. Satan loves this stuff. It just wasn't necessary. I can't imaging she will come. This all sounds like the fight between Republicans and Democrats. Twisted and divisive. The bottom line is does the SBC want to affirm and begin Ordaining women as Pastor's of the churches. That is what is in question here. You are asking them to affirm this by allowing an ordain woman teaching pastor to come to the SBC. So is that ok with you? Beth Moore was mentioned about. I love her. She doesn't believe that is ok. Then what next. Learn a lesson from the United Methodist. Very sad day. The reason it matters about the Christians view of Trump is if Trump bashing continues then Christians will not vote which is a vote for abortion, socialism, same sex marriage etc. A lot is at stake here. So please before you jump on just any bandwagon pray and discern what the big picture is. After 42 years I am leaving the SBC. Not because I want to but just sick of all this. i don't consider myself conservative or liberal or traditional or contemporary or any of the other labels put on people. I am just a plain simple woman who loves Jesus. Be careful of criticism of people who are trying to not conform to the world. It is a slippery slope!

bunkababy said...

I have been thinking about this all day and am quite irritated at your lack of compassion , or abundance of cognitive dissonance to the plight of women outside the church.

You seem to play the advocate for women and yet easily seem to leave a whole segment of women out of it. What bothers me is you can and stand up say your words, on a public blog that reaches who knows how many women. Women who can possibly be unsaved looking for help in the area you appear to be advocating and yet state right at the beginning you stand up and have a will vote for a man who goes against the very things that hurt women the most.

As a sexual abuse survivor from many men including clergy your lack of ability to see the enormous log in your own eye takes my breath away.

I was a gymnast, had my girls in gymnastics and am an avid fan of gymnastics. I have followed the Larry Nassar case from the minute it came forward, even when Jeanette Anatole and Jamie Dantzscher were victims was just a hunch.

Then came Rachel Denhollander. Grace beyond measure, composure, stood for all women and girls who had been victimized by Larry. She stood for all victims of abuse.

What if she being a Christian, had only chosen to represent Christian gymnasts? What if? Do you really think the impact would have been the same? Do you really think she would have been able to bring those terrified girls and women into her fold and empowered them to speak if she had just chosen a few who were like her? And segregated the rest by standing up for other coaches like John Geddert and by letting him off the hook?

What Rachel did was embrace all women who were abused by Nassar and USAG. What she did was embrace all little girls and all women no matter whether of not they were saved. She embraced all little girls coming up through the system of sport. She embraced all women marginalized by men and their filthy minds and actions. IT didn't matter.

So by you voting for Trump and unequivocally stating that you would again is the same as if Rachel Denhollander only chose to represent a few of the girls who were Christians.

The problem with the American church is that it is immersed, swallowed up in politics. You can't see straight even if God were standing in front of you.

Does it mean anything to me that you only supposedly support women in the church against vile men? No. Because right from the get go like a loud trumpet you flagrantly support a man who uses women to his advantage, he grabs them by their pussy, and God knows what else he does and endorses. Not only that he is a liar.

This is hypocrisy at it's finest. I thought Christians were to be the ones offering up refuge, setting captives free but clearly it is only for those inside the SBC and not millions of other unsaved souls ravaged by men like the president whom you openly support. What you are saying is screw those women, I only care about the ones that affect me and my life.

You yourself said people already called you a liberal, why not actually be one and do what Rachel Denhollander was brave enough to do and stand for all of those marginalized and abused by men in authoritative power and influence. What have you got to lose? Oh the horror if you lose your reputation.

She has more balls than anyone. You know why? Because she herself was marginalized and abused to the core of her being. And until you actually understand that , You will vote for Trump and just be that pastor that had a blog that picked and chose whom he supported. And quite arrogantly stood for a president that contradicted everything he said he stood for.

Yah I'm mad. Because you just don't get it.

Rex Ray said...


The title of this post states: “…An Open Letter to the Southern Baptist Convention”, but I only see words written to Southern Baptists.

At our next Convention messengers will vote on motions, but what motion will change the SBC view on women being pastors etc.?

Below is a link that I tried to find out how to make a motion without a response of: “YOU’RE OUT OF ORDER.”

Without the right motion to be voted on, there’s no value of being a messenger.

Rules for making a motion at the SBC
“Procedure for Motions of Messengers Concerning Entities: Motions made by messengers dealing with internal operations or ministries of an entity shall be referred to the elected board of the entity for consideration and report to the constituency and to the next annual meeting of the Convention for action with the exception that the Committee on Order of Business may be instructed by a two-thirds vote to arrange for consideration at a subsequent session of the same Convention, subject to provision of Bylaw 21. Boards, institutions, and special committees dealing with matters of general importance and interest shall have in the hands of the press representative of the Convention, at least one (1) week in advance, copies of digests of their report to be submitted to the approaching Convention.”

Unknown said...

Wade you have almost always been at war with some group or individual as long as I have known you. If your always going to be unhappy with the SBC why don’t you pick up your ball and glove and move on and be happy.

Wade Burleson said...


Laughing out loud! Thanks for the advice! Obviously, you don’t know me at all!

Wade Burleson said...


Southern Baptists ARE the Southern Baptist Convention (if they register and vote, and they can’t register and vote until June).

Wade Burleson said...


I understand you are mad because I voted for Trump. I accept your anger. But realize that the same principle I’m advocating for our Convention applies to you. Any country that demands everyone conform to voting for a particular person (or against a particular person) is not a democratic republic. Liberty for all.

Thanks for your comment.

Wade Burleson said...

Pondering Peace,

We don’t ordain men or women because “ordination” has turned into “spiritual authority or power’ and ordination is not a practice found in the Bible. It’s an accomodation for the state, which accepts ordination or licensing. We license for the state, but anybody can service the ordinances in our church (communion) and every disciple can baptize any person they lead to Christ.

Pondering Place said...

So, help me understand and clarify your comment. Southern Baptist aren't ordaining men or women anymore? Such as pastors and deacons? That ordination isn't a holy set apart issue but a tax benefit?

bunkababy said...

You missed the whole thing altogether. I knew you would. It is really pointless to raise any points about voting when speaking to an American Christian. They think they are right. But that would get lost on you too. My wish for all Christian Americans would be to take them out of their myopic strongholds of brainwashing and deprogram them. You included. Christianity is not American and it is not based in your weird political world view but again you can't see it nor do you want to. Which was no surprise. You know what is funny? Is you really have no idea how arrogant you really are. But again, you won't even look at that because you don't think you are.

Wade Burleson said...


To be candid, I'm not sure I can follow what you're saying. I get that you believe I'm arrogant. I accept that, but since we've never met, you ought to know that I rely more on those who know me to help me see my weak spots and my blind spots, not strangers.

It seems to me as if you are saying that because I don't vote the way you wish me to vote politically, I am brainwashed, myopic, and arrogant.

I accept that those charges are your perception of me. I have no desire to change your perceptions of me by voting the way you wish.

I'm encouraging everyone to be civil and accepting of one another, even if you have different views.

Methinks my plea is falling on deaf ears.

Wade Burleson said...

Pondering Place,

Our church doesn't ordain anyone. We license because the state requires it.

We consider "pastoring" a verb of service, not a noun of status, and every member is a gifted minister in the Kingdom of Christ.

Some ministers get paid a salary for their work at our 501 C-3 non-profit and the state wishes to know who they are.

That's what I'm saying.

Christiane said...

No, your words are meaningful to me, WADE.

I have seen you stand against people before who abused women and they played 'Hard Ball' and it was difficult for you in those days . . . but it mattered to many people and gave hope to all Christian women who wait for that day when we will be seen as 'fully human' and deserving of respect because our dignity as human persons comes from Our Creator . . .

women are not 'lesser' beings, no
and we are called to serve according to our gifts and talents

since those gifts and talents come to us from Our Creator, we cannot throw them aside and say that 'only men with gifts are allowed to serve in certain ways',
so we wait and we hope for better to come and it is on that hope that we endure for now

you have suffered because you stood up for people who had been abused . . . so I look at those who would put you down and I want to tell them to not judge because of the Trump thing, as in my view, our country is divided because you can go on major television networks like CNN and MSNBC, and then you turn to FOX News and it is like you are on a different planet . . . people are getting different information from which they make decisions. . . .

But it is a time to ponder the great moral questions about our responsibilities as citizens of 'this country' and also as citizens of 'another country' and try to see if we can make some sense of where we are at and how we can best do both without being 'conflicted', and I know I cannot 'get there' now myself, so I cannot judge anyone. But I am fearful.

This has meaning for me now:
"“And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
(1 Samuel 8:18)

People will judge us when they don't know us. This is true, but it is none-the-less another human burden to bear in this 'parched and weary land'. And the Royal Law tells us to help one another 'bear our burdens', even when we may not see things in the same way.
I cannot, I will not abandon those I care about who vote differently from me, as they are more to me as human persons than any political choices. It has taken some time for me to come to terms with my own conflicted self, so that I could see what was really more important in the end.

Wade Burleson said...


Thank you for the kind words!

bunkababy said...

Wade It's not just you. You vote the way you vote because of a system of belief that is all you know.

It isn't really that you won't or wouldn't vote the way I want, it's that you are steeped in a world view about politics that is neither biblical or in truth. You and others can't see it because it's all you know. It is ingrained into the fabric of America. The only thing I can kind of help you understand is like a person from any middle eastern country steeped in muslim culture and belief. The belief is steeped inside them and they cannot see anything else other than what they know already. Unless they are removed and educated. But there has to be a willingness and humility to even contemplate that their culture or belief is detrimental to the health a well being of it's members.

It is quite well known elsewhere in the world that there is a systemic brainwashing among American's and especially American Christians.

You just can't see the forest from the trees and what is obvious to the rest of us will be rebuffed.

Politics and Christianity are so enmeshed it is to the detriment of the church. Unless one is willing to be honest with themselves and admit that traditions and teachings they were brought up to believe could possibly not what they thought it won't change.

Your country is falling apart at the seams. There is an elephant in the room and everyone is choosing to believe it's not them. Your SBC is a symptom of your whole country. I never thought I would witness what is transpiring on a daily basis, and you the church in America is like the blind leading the blind into a pit. What you face, with your SBC is magnified 100 fold in your politics and you can't see it. You won't and don't want to.

And because of it the church is weak, and falling apart. So yeah, right now you are the target of my angst but you are a symptom of your system. A broken, man made mess, that is reaping what it has sown.

And it's not about abortion, no prayer in the schools or whatever else you wanna blame it on. The church is following other gods and it isn't Yahweh. Shoot the messenger, and dismiss me. But if you ever got out from under your red, white and blue rock you would see what the world sees.

Ken F said...

"You and others can't see it because it's all you know."

Do you think your statement does not apply to you as well?

Ken F said...


Looks like you struck a nerve.

Wade Burleson said...

Ken F.

Fascinating side-note. When Pulpit and Pen cyber-bullied a young man to the point of the young man committing suicide (according to the boy's father), I reached out in compassion and grace to encourage the pastor who runs Pulpit and Pen. Working as a Police Chaplain for many years, I've seen the devastating toll - emotionally and spiritually - on those who have been fingered as the principal cause of a suicide. That was a few years ago.

Now the Pulpit and Pen is attempting to bully me. What they don't realize is that I'm used to bullying tactics, and truthfully, I thrive on them. It's part of my DNA. I go for the underdog, encourage the disenfranchised, and resist the bullies.

As a parliamentarian, I understand how dis-fellowship at the SBC works. They would give me the largest platform in America to speak in defense of the biblical qualifications of leadership, which have everything to do with gifting, character, and humble service, never gender, control, and haughty status.

I welcome the attempt! Bring it on.

Rex Ray said...


Are you going to make a motion we can vote on at the SBC that will make it better?


The exception of the rule “…can’t fool all the people all the time” may be Obama fooling the majority in getting elected President for TWO terms.

When Judy and I visited Israel with Wade’s church group, I told Wade I was glad Trump had corrected the ‘damage’ Obama had done to Israel so 15,000 Jews wouldn’t be angry with us.

Now Obama is trying to take credit for what Trump did in getting America back on its feet.

In my book, Obama will go down in history as America’s WORST Muslim President. He was raised by Muslim grandparents. In every country he visited, he apologized for what America had done. He said the most beautiful sound was the ‘Muslim call to prayer’. He bowed to a Muslim King, and referred to the Koran as “The Holy Koran”. Also, his Vice President, Joe Biden, didn’t help him any.

Christiane, I’m sure you remember, “Walk softly but carry a big stick”. Well, Obama walked ‘tippy-toe’ and carried a toothpick.

bunkababy said...

Ken F.

I have zero allegiance to any political figure. I don't vote because I AM a ________ and have been one my whole life. My IDENTITY is in no political party. My life does not revolve around FEAR of a particular party getting office. Nor do I think God will punish me because I didn't vote the right way and am responsible for others decisions. My beliefs are not being undermined by a party who I think is going to threaten my experience with God. That whole concept is ridiculous. Christians can and will thrive under the most extreme regimes.

A political party does not make a nation Christian or not. And to feel threatened by that is ludicrous.

A political party or it's members of parliament are not loyal to God, they are loyal to the system that got them there and the money that drives them to stay. Don't fool yourselves.

And contrary to what you think there is far more to politics than abortion, gay marriage, and Israel and to vote for a party because of those three key points is extremely narrow minded and ignorant. A country cannot run and interact with other nations on those ideals alone and yet it is all you think that matters.

Ken F said...

Now you have Flounders also highlighting your efforts:

Ken F said...

"And contrary to what you think...
...and yet it is all you think that matters."

You write like a fool because you have no idea what I think. Your writing drips with arrogance and contempt. You appear to come here to lecture rather than to engage in meaningful dialogue. If you hope to persuade you would be better off not being so caustic.

You appear to assume that there are actually morally righteous politicians out there. But in reality, every politician (without exception) is morally corrupt by one religious standard or another.

I agree with you that Christianity and politics should not be friends. At the same time I believe that all Christians have a duty to determine their level of civic participation. Some believe their best option is to abstain from voting. Others believe they should vote for candidates who either best represent their viewpoints or, who will do the least amount of damage. Who is the presidential candidates that best reflects your views?

Rex Ray said...

Ken F

“But in reality, every politician (without exception) is morally corrupt by one religious standard or another.”

That ruffled my feathers until I realized Abe Lincoln was thought morally corrupt by Muslims.
Is that what your statement meant?

Ken F said...

Yes. There is no way to get everyone to agree on the morality of a Candidate. For example, I have heard some claim that Lincoln was immoral for being way too slow in abolishing slavery. But in reality he very likely would have lost the cause if he had rushed it. And was he not considered morally corrupt by all those good Christians in the South?

Ken F said...

You were called out by P&P again today:

You must be making a difference. If not, they would simply ignore you.

Doug said...

This is the face of fundamentalism - continuous division and striving for power. These people CANNOT be reasoned with. Indeed, the more you attack them, they more they are convinced of the righteousness of their cause. The SBC may never literally "split" over these issues - instead there is a "slow (but fatal) leak" going on in which more progressive thinking churches like FBC Orlando will simply stop funding and then eventually go independent. More and more churches these days - old and new - are opting out of affiliation with any denomination precisely for this reason. Soon the fundamentalists will have what they want - complete and utter control - but when they lift their heads from the battle - their adversaries will simply have moved on.

bunkababy said...

Ken F.
I think the problem I have is watching the hypocrisy. Christians wear the name of Christ,they take on that name but they do it in vain.

You accusingly point fingers at those who abort, but kill the spirit of those wracked with poverty,and despair because it might cost you more tax dollars. You build big huge stadium sized churches worth millions but are threatened by social programs that help the destitute right under your feet to walk into these great idols of wealth and greed.

You are threatened by homosexuality and gay marriage, but tell abused christian women it isn't okay to divorce. God hates it. It's better for a woman to be pounded to death than to have some person in some state marry someone of their own kind. You are more threatened by that, than sexual rapists of women and children in your pews and pastorates.

You say you advocate for women, but vote for a man who abuses them with sex, power, and words.

The worst part? The politicians know this. They know they can count on your hypocritical images of yourselves. They know if they can get your vote they just have to say the right things that tickle your ears and won't threaten the things that you hold dear. It has been historically documented even on film that this is a strategy for your vote. And it doesn't even matter what party is clamoring for your vote.

You know what that means? The church doesn't care unless it gets what it wants. As long as it suits your own needs, feeds your own egos, and the lies you tell yourself your happy.

The church is asleep. She is selfish, greedy and happy being lulled asleep in her sin. AS long as those politicians do your bidding you are happy.

So why did Wade's statement make me hopping mad? Hypocrisy.

The worst thing? Outside your borders the world can see it. Those outside the church can see it. You wear Christ's name in Vain. Your talk is cheap because you labour for your own rights and not those who are naked, poor, thirsty, and hungry. The church is an enterprise, a tool to garner votes for whatever political party that needs her.

Right now a liar, womanizer, greedy, slovenly selfish man, who makes no bones about where he stands wants your vote and you will fawn all over him, call him a christian, as long as a selfish church gets what she wants in return. To stay asleep in her greedy, hypocritical quilt all cozy and warm and safe where nobody can threaten her.

What a shame. You put the apostles to shame. I am not inside the church I can hear and see her. I can hear and see what the world thinks of her. When the outside world has more morality than the church she is in trouble.

And that is what makes me mad, That is why I am angry. That is why I appear arrogant. Maybe I am , which is completely possible. I don't want to be a part of the church who is like that. I am not.
WAKE UP. It's not all about you inside the church. You think people are blind and can't see this? You have been made fools. You threw out your discernment and wisdom and traded it for complacency.

And if I had a US vote, I would not vote for Trump. I would vote for a person who could stand on a world stage and justly, cohesively work with her allies, and trade partners. I would vote for a person who could make change so there was not such huge gaps between the haves and the have nots. Be it , gay or otherwise. IF they could get the job done where life could be a little more just and fair that is who I would vote for. Not one who is willing to lie more times than he can utter truth.

The US is a laughing stock because Trump is ill equipped to deal with other leaders on foreign issues. He gloats over dictatorships and calls them great guys. When other nations can't stand dealing with you because your president is an irrational idiot who doesn't understand you can't just buy another nation you as a country are in trouble.

But that's okay because the church gets what she wants. Right?

Rex Ray said...


I read what you wrote and decide your words were not worth replying to.

Ken F said...

You sound a lot like some of my European in-laws. I don't know where you get your information, but you are grossly mistaken if you think that American Christians are homogenous. Or that American Christians are fully supportive of any particular candidate.

Since you appear to think you are so much smarter and wiser than all of us, who do you recommend we vote for? Which candidate would please a person like you? What would it take for you to change your mind about American Christians?

Scott Shaver said...

Trump 2020

anonymous said...

I think your comments are spot on. Please keep posting your views. Your comments helped me to verify my own views ..

The childish comments directed at you are responses to the cognitive dissonance caused by your comments . again, I appreciate your postings

Rex Ray said...


Unless you identify yourself, I believe you are bunkababy.

Christiane said...

Hey out there REX RAY, it's me, Christiane

I was reflecting on your comment about Israel, and I was thinking that on the surface it looked like Trump was helping Israel out with his latest plans,
but I wonder if undercutting the Palestinians is such good policy for any permanent Middle East peace? The Palestinians were not even invited to meet with Trump and the Israelis in order to discuss the latest developments before they happened, so the tone was set right there that the Palestinians were not being 'considered' in any positive way as 'neighbors' to Israel for some kind of long-term peace.

Just thinking that the current moves might be short-sighted and not conducive to peace in the region. Yep.

I'd like to see the Palestinians treated with more respect and with dignity and I think it is time to consider some justice for them, as they have had a very difficult time these many years since 1948. They deserve better in my opinion. It is not a 'zero-sum' game where one 'side's benefit must come at the 'expense' of the 'other side', no. Time for some real peace-making efforts. President Carter still lives, but I guess he is not an advisor these days, sad to say. He understood better about bringing people together, I think. Good man, Jimmy Carter. A blessing to our country and to the world.

bunkababy said...

Rex Ray

Why would I need back up on my comment? I am confident enough in what I have to say I don't need to do that.

I am actually surprised someone agreed with it. I was speaking in broad terms and am educated enough to realize there are some in the church who are not like this. I have friends who are American Christians and would fully endorse my opinion. But I don't come here needing a pat on the back.

I come here because there is a little club mentality going on where you just all pander up to each other and no one seems to have balls enough to go against the status quo.

Which is kinda funny because you all blame "the fundamentalists" and yet the majority of Christians in the US who anti abortion is the top of the voting priority list for a candidate is not fundamentalist. Oh the irony.

And by the way I take that European comment as a compliment. Maybe your in-laws are proof the world thinks you people are nuts and I am not alone in my thoughts. Which I am not.

About who to vote for? Anyone but Trump.

You have who knows how many to choose from. The only other guy who I wouldn't vote for possibly is Bloomberg because He would try to run the presidency like a corporate endeavor in which it isn't, and it hasn't worked out that well for Trump so far.

You have a lot of capable individuals to run your country. Right now you have a clown, so anyone is better than that.

I am still laughing about the notion that you think I would pad my own comments. hahahahaaa. I am not that desperate. Besides, can't you ask Wade where my IP address is coming from?

bunkababy said...

Ken F.

"What would it take for you to change your mind about American Christians?"

What a great great question!!

My biggest beef would be for the church to stop blaming others for the sin in America. America isn't falling apart because you took prayer out of the schools. America is not falling apart because LGBTQ has an agenda, America is not falling apart because it's turning away from it's forefathers values. What a load of crap.

The church is so busy blaming everyone else. BLAME YOURSELVES . Take ownership of the state of the church.

CLEAN HOUSE. REPENT. OWN YOUR OWN CRAP. Quit blaming the fundamentalists, the poor, the LGBTQ.

IF THE CHURCH ISN'T RIGHTEOUS HOW DO YOU EXPECT ANYONE ELSE TO BE???? Where is that shining light on a hill?

Acknowledge the facts. Educate yourselves on the amount of pastors who are convicted daily on rape, molestation charges. Educate yourselves that the church has turned into ravenous den of sexual depravity for one. Educate yourselves that you have turned the church into a corporate enterprise and pastors worship themselves in their auditoriums of wealth while the poor suffer. Evangelicals are no better than the Catholics and yet you love to rag on them and their sin.

And for heavens sake repent that you have made the church into a money making god. You cannot serve God and money.

. You all sit on here and rant about the SBC. OH the irony. The church is exactly the same as the SBC, why in world you think you are any different is beyond me.

Instead of sitting on this blog ranting and raving over the SBC, own your sin. Repent for blaming everyone else but yourself. The church is INFESTED with the worst kind of sexual depravity, greed, selfishness and you wanna blame everyone else.

Blame planned parenthood,blame the democrats,blame CNN, blame the UNSAVED, THE U-N-S-A-V-E-D for sinning. Blame them for being ignorant of the state of their depravity. Oh the audacity they have to offend you and sin?

So what do ya do? You call them on it. Oh you stand with your whitewashed tombs blazing in the sun blaming the unsaved for being sinners. Matt 23:27-28

When the church of America admits to her pride, depravity, wickedness, monumental GREED, and giving herself over to the HARLOT,( “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Rev 18:40) I might change my mind. Until then, you are what you are.

Rex Ray said...

Ken F,

The remarks of bunkababy remind me of Jesus saying, “…I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18 NLT)

Rex Ray said...

Ken F,

I mean in the disguise of ‘improving the church’, he is really trying to destroy it.

Ken F said...

You did not answer my question on which candidate you recommend. Why not? Also, to what church/denomination do you belong?

Rex Ray said...


You said, “I was reflecting on your comment about Israel, and I was thinking that on the surface it looked like Trump was helping Israel out with his latest plans.”

Yes, according to the link below, Israel got the gold mind and Palestine got the ‘shaft’.

Jennie said...

Bunkababy, thank you for speaking up. You have righteous indigation, which I think is justified based on all that has happened the last 4 years. The SBC is a mirror of all that is wrong in our politics. It's all about power, no thought for the fruits of the spirit.

Anonymous said...

Bunkababy said about Wade: " You know what is funny? Is you really have no idea how arrogant you really are."

Well, I've been reading this blog for eight or nine years now and never thought Wade was ever close to being characterized by arrogance, and if he was - I wouldn't bother spending the time to read his thoughts. I've never had the privilege of meeting him, but from what I can tell he loves Jesus without a doubt, and has a humility that only comes from knowing Him. Quite the contrast from dealing with the elders at Covenant Life for sure!!

You probably are confusing arrogance with patriotism of which Wade has much. Patriotism blinds people for sure - heck, I quit saying the pledge of allegiance in the mid seventies and am still sorting out and letting go of all the baggage. :)


Rex Ray said...


Since Philistines at one time were the enemy of God, and Jews were His People, could history be repeating itself?

bunkababy said...


If I had to pick it would be Biden. He has experience at the top. At least he knows how to run a country. And be diplomatic to your allies and world trade partners.

Does that make you feel better? Or in a fantasy world it would be Bernie. But he will never be able to implement what he wants because fear drives your beliefs and that fear over- rides what would be best for all Americans.

There is no way in this day and age people should have to rely on and line up in the wee hours of the morning to go to third world type medical emergency tents to receive treatment for dentistry, and medical conditions such as cancer and chronic disease. Because that is the only treatment they can get, because it's free. All doctors, and medical personnel are volunteer.

So in my fantasy world America would not have to resort like that for her poorest of the poor. Everyone would have the same opportunities like my country and others who have universal healthcare.

Denomination? I was baptized into the Mennonite Brethren Church at 12. It is not Amish or conservative like that at all.

At 19 I joined the Vineyard church, and at 30 quit going all together. I don't go to church. I don't identify myself or my beliefs in any denomination.

But I do study online and my latest area of interest Is Dr. Michael Heiser's work.

Which by the way REX RAY you might find His work on MT. HERMON interesting considering this is the verse you chose to quote.

The remarks of bunkababy remind me of Jesus saying, “…I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18 NLT)

Maybe getting a scholarly approach from a guy who speaks and reads Hebrew might help your translation of that.

I dare you all to consider listening to the Naked Bible podcasts.

He has an M.A in Ancient History, from the U of Pennsylvania, an M.A. and Ph.d in Hebrew Bible and Semantic Studies for U of Wisconsin

And is currently a Scholar in Residence at LOGOS Bible Software.

My views do not reflect him at all. I don't know what he thinks about politics or how dirty the church is. It isn't his focus. And don't be fooled by his alien headlines. He is reaching a different subset of people using that approach.

My views are from my years of experience in the church and more than that years of observation and study that don't involve a particular denominations worldview. I prefer to listen to preachers who don't come from the states and have other values and perceptions because they tend to have a more balanced approach and are not tied up with America's political landscape.

bunkababy said...

Rex Ray

Just in case you need further proof that your interpretation Matt 16:18 might be off, you might consider Mike Heiser's credentials and study his material a bit more before you fire off some lame response. Just a thought.

Michael S. Heiser
Dr. Michael S. Heiser is a former Scholar-in-Residence for Faithlife Corporation, the makers of Logos Bible Software. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Awakening School of Theology and Ministry at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida. His varied academic background enables him to operate in the realm of critical scholarship and the wider Christian community. His experience in teaching at the undergraduate level and writing for the layperson have both directly contributed to Logos’ goal of adapting scholarly tools for nonspecialists.

Dr. Heiser earned his PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages and holds an MA in ancient history and Hebrew studies. He is the coeditor of Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology and Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations, and can do translation work in roughly a dozen ancient languages, including Biblical Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Ugaritic cuneiform. He also specializes in Israelite religion (especially Israel’s divine council), contextualizing biblical theology with Israelite and ancient Near Eastern religion, Jewish binitarianism, biblical languages, ancient Semitic languages, textual criticism, comparative philology, and Second Temple period Jewish literature. In addition, he was named the 2007 Pacific Northwest Regional Scholar by the Society of Biblical Literature.

Christiane said...

It seems to me that what might help EVERYONE these days is 'widening' their sources of information. I see people stuck in their 'bubbles' and yet wanting to end the divisions in our land that our enemies have fomented in social media.

It's a suggestion. But after a lot of thought, and the realization that an effort was made starting many years ago to 'limit' people to only watching certain news sources, that if Americans can begin to expand their sources of information beyond their current 'comfort levels',
then we have a chance to at least understand where we are all coming from.

I see this as a healthy suggestion.
We need to examine BOTH SIDES of a media coin: you want to watch a favorite pundit on Fox News? No problem, just also the same night take a look at a pundit on MSNBC. And in general, CNN does try to include some from 'both sides' of the divide, although it is usually a free-for-all and voices are raised; but hey, maybe we need that.

Anything to break these bubbles before we lose our country's unity. If we remain divided as a nation, the only winners are our enemies.

I hope people will try my suggestion. It is made in good faith, with good intent. I believe it will help greatly.

Christiane said...


no, I don't see it that way at all.

What I see is a group of politicians trying to benefit selfishly from an age-old tragic problem between peoples who share a part of the world and who need to find a better way to live with one another. They have similar roots: these are 'Abrahamic' peoples. They descend from the patriarch Abraham and there is a history of them coming together at peace with one another that is recorded in sacred Scripture in the Book of Genesis, this:

"The Death of Abraham
…8 And at a ripe old age he breathed his last and died, old and contented, and was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 10 This was the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites. Abraham was buried there with his wife Sarah....."
(from Genesis, chapter 25)

So, in sacred Scripture the sons of Abraham came 'together' to bury him and I believe that this telling asks of us, can the sons of Abraham not today gather and find peace with one another in this land also? We have the biblical record. What does it teach us?

Yes, there is a great history of trouble. But there is also another history unless we fail to recognize it's importance for our own time, and it also is recorded in the Bible.

my thoughts? yep
I see it happening again. Jimmy Carter knew that verse, I'm sure. And I like think that he also understood something of its significance for our own time. :)

Anonymous said...

"I see this as a healthy suggestion.
We need to examine BOTH SIDES of a media coin: you want to watch a favorite pundit on Fox News? No problem, just also the same night take a look at a pundit on MSNBC. And in general, CNN does try to include some from 'both sides' of the divide, although it is usually a free-for-all and voices are raised; but hey, maybe we need that. "

Sadly, the answer goes far deeper than such a naive approach, Christiane, especially since we're dealing with a GOV that has been duplicitous about too many things for far too long. Good thing I didn't entrust my health to CDC standards over twenty years ago. Many of the folks who did that I have spoken with or knew about are either dead or crippled. I am grateful to the docs who actually honored their oath, but got their licenses pulled by GOV.

Like it or not, the CIA meddled in foreign affairs when created, but now it has a hand in most, if not all, of the major news networks. Do the research. At least watch the first TEDx talk and hear testimony of someone who was in the system explain how it works (hint - the system loves the term "conspiracy...."). Too many people are in love with Google and Wikipedia. There is a reason behind Hannity wearing a CIA pin on his lapel.


bunkababy said...

I agree with Ken, don't trust media to lead you to Christ or political gain.

And this is precisely why you don't bring politics into the church. While it being another, biting truth on why wisdom and discernment left the church the minute she engaged with the great harlot, politics.

"In Jesus time, the Sadducees had entered into an unholy alliance with Rome. They were given sovereignty in the practice of their religion and governance of the temple, money, and influence. In exchange they were to keep Israel subjugated to the Roman overlords. The High Priests and rulers of the Temple were all political appointees by Rome from the party of the Sadducees. It was this adulterous relationship and political expediency which led directly to the crucifixion of our Lord (John 11:49-50).

This brings us to the USA in 2017: Many Christians and churches are again establishing a relationship between the state and the church. The government needs the votes of the church and the church needs the protections, “legitimacy” and esteem that comes from such a relationship. However, these are things that only the true Head of the true Church can provide. Only Christ can protect, legitimize and bring honor to His bride. But, because He is delaying His coming (Luke 12:45), she is turning from Him to another.

We have been deceived into believing that the government will help us, protect us, police morality in society and create an environment in which the church can grow and flourish. That is exactly the relationship that has been in existence in the USA for 250 years and for 450 years in the UK and Europe, and what has it produced? The church is declining spiritually and numerically at an unprecedented rate and is at an all-time low while immorality in society (and the church) is at an all-time high. 250 years of adultery has produced nothing except illegitimate children and false churches and cults. Yet many believe that the current American government is the savior of the church and that it will save the church and America (and even the world). It has not happened in the past and it will not happen in the future. When will we learn that endlessly repeating the same mistakes will not produce different results and that there is only One who can save, protect, keep and give legitimate offspring?

By the way, whether a politician is “pro-Israel” seems to have become a litmus test to divide the good from the bad. In the process we have forgotten that the Antichrist will also (initially) be pro-Israel and will sign a peace accord with her!

“Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly… For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!” (2Corinthians 11:1-4)."

Quotes and excerpts from Anton Bosch's sermon,

I have almost zero faith that this might cause any of you to think other than you already do, but education is key. So while if what Ken posted holds real truth, in which yeah there is a little bit of truth in stuff. Take note. Put it on the back burner and let it simmer. Then , instead of looking at the news agencies to sway your thinking, why not heaven forbid try someone else who is wise and diligent with scripture and isn't swayed by any political leanings, but relies on Christ alone.

Christiane said...

The FIRST thing a dictator does when she/he gains power is to get rid of the free press.

And some time ago, a campaign began on one media site to discredit all other sites and they garnered quite a following.

I'm always cautious about any entity that wants to harm the free press in this country, sure. Whether it is by discrediting it or by other means, I see it as 'problem' in its 'intent'.

A free press in a free country is as necessary as the rule of law in maintaining freedoms.

In our country the rule of law is now heavily under attack, so I am grateful that we have a free press still operating in order to help us keep informed.

Our social media is now under attack sin 2016 and the intel head (who was replaced) let Congress know that this attack is still going on strongly. So our social media is going to be filled with those who attack our norms and what keeps our country united and what we value AS A PEOPLE (all of us) in this country, and the attack will mostly play both sides and try to encourage fighting between those 'sides'. . .

My own opinion is that when a media site claims it is the ONLY ONE that is trust-worthy, I would take ANOTHER LOOK at it closely;
because in a free press, for the media sites that value freedom, there is NO NEED to manipulate people by telling them 'oh, don't pay attention to so and so, just to us'

In short, it's a time for Americans to be vigilant. Watchful. Not for 'conspiracy theories', no. But for those who say 'don't trust the free press anymore'.

Ken F said...

How do we know you are not a government agent planting false conspiracy theories in order to keep us from discovering the real conspiracies?


Ken F said...

Now that you have explained your views better I think you would be surprised by how much I think I agree with some of your positions. The problem is you came to this site making sweeping generalizations and accusations that are demonstratably false. You came across as just another clueless abusive accuser of fellow Christians. Among all the other things that displease God is false accusations. You really should be more careful and more humble.

Is suspect that if you tone down your rhetoric you could be a valuable contributor to conversations here.

bunkababy said...

Ken F.

Sweeping generalizations are there so that they fit a whole lot of people. And the accusations may not be false at all depending where you stand and what you see. Meh, I don't need to be a regular contributor it makes me too agitated too hang around, these good ol boy types of places.

I will go back and stick my nose in a book, read stuff by Michael Heiser or watch gymnastics. I just momentarily forgot why I don't like this stuff and got all hot under the collar all over again.

But thanks for the nice comment.

Anonymous said...

Trump calls for Muslim ban on Day 1 of office.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump brags about sexual assault.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump’s racist rhetoric has led to more deaths and homegrown terrorist from the right than ever.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump mocks a disabled person.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump kills children in cages.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump racks up the highest deficit in American history.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump destroys both farming industry and taxes consumers with tariffs.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump abandons allies to die.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump routinely insults and trashed the military: “just headaches””,” belittling disabled veterans, and opposing decades-long leadership.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump calls black countries “shit hole countries” and proceeds to ban brown and black people from the country...
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump deports military veterans who lived and fought for this country their entire lives.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Trump kills more civilians than ever before in the Middle East.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

Then refuses to let anyone in fleeing from our bombs, sending them back to guaranteed death.
“I intend to vote for President Trump again this year.”

But none of that’s a dealbreaker to you.
At least you receive your wealthy person tax break.

Have you ever considered YOU are part of weak church leadership that continues to reaffirm why people belief the church is nothing but hypocrites?

You, and all Trumpkins, will not end up on the right side of history.
It’ll be like the German people post-WW2.... “oh, I voted for him but didn’t REALLY know what I was voting for.”

bunkababy said...

Hey Anonymous!

WAy to lay it on out there!!

There isn't much to say after that is there? Unless you live in a giant world of denial.

bunkababy said...

Oh, and I don't think he thinks he is apart of the leadership that continues to reaffirm why people believe the church is nothing but hypocrites, because he keeps trying to tell everyone how wonderful his own church is. Ironically, what he doesn't understand is the impact his stance on Trump is or the devastation in the wake of his vote.

That comment is gonna fall on deaf ears, cuz he doesn't have ears to hear.

Ken F said...

Have you studied much early church history? The problems you describe have plagued Christianity from its earliest years. It appears that Christians have long struggled with finding the appropriate level of civil involvement. You might find inspiration from the Desert Fathers.

I still don't know where to land in all of this. But one thing I believe is that close frienship between church and state ruins both.

Rex Ray said...


You said correctly, The FIRST thing a dictator does when they gain power is to get rid of the free press.”

That’s right, but there’s another twist today. Some ‘free news’ is “Fake News”. How can CNN and Fox both be true when they report the opposite?

For instance, if a person believes CNN, they’ll hate Trump; if they believe Fox, they’ll love Trump.

Obama hated Fox. I rest my case.

BTW, it’s easier to fool someone, than it is to convince them they’ve been fooled.

bunkababy said...

Ken F

NO not formally. I am certainly aware of bits and pieces. Enough to know that what is happening now is not the first time. The current situation will not get a pass from me though because the church has such wickedness in it.

If you know more you do better. WE mere humans tend to not think WE could possibly doing the same things we swore not to.

I just recently read an article about slaves being owned by the church and being rented out because they were property of the church. This is America, those founding it is close to home. Washington himself had 300 slaves. 9 of the first presidents had slaves.

People still don't get a pass. With all that rich history at our fingertips, like I said the church is asleep and has given herself over to the harlot. There will always be those who refuse to believe this.

I am just digging Michael Heiser's work at the moment. It is completely over the top fascinating. And has answered so many questions I have had. The approach to scripture is like duh of course. I am forever grateful for men like him.

My thing is, the Bible speaks of praying for those in authority over you, pray for your leaders and pay your taxes. End of story. I do vote. I never think expect a Candidate to be Christian or act like one should. Some do better than others.

God's kingdom is spiritual. It is not an earthly kingdom (politics) We were meant to be a part of HIS kingdom. His family. When you read Heiser he reaffirms that. There is no more to say really. Except when you align yourself with the earthly kingdoms it doesn't end well.

Common to all the minor fulfillments of the False Prophet and false wife is an alliance with the political powers of the day. This alliance gives the political entity power over people that would not normally submit to an evil potentate. In exchange, the false prophets receive recognition, fame, money and influence. Here are a few of many examples:
Balaam entered an illicit relationship with Balak the king of Moab and led Israel into physical and spiritual adultery for money. (It is also significant that the nation of Moab was born out an illicit / incestuous relationship).
Israel rejected the Lord and His prophet (Samuel) and turned to a political system of kings for their answers, protection and help (1Samuel 8:7).
Solomon married Gentile women who undermined his relationship with the Lord and seduced him to worship idols.
Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel, a Gentile woman, thus entering into a forbidden relationship. Jezebel used this unholy alliance to lead the people of Israel into idolatry and, true to the spirit of the false prophet, persecuted and killed the true prophets.
Many times Israel was seduced to enter into unholy alliances with Gentile nations in order to win military battles (Isaiah 30:1-7; 31:1; Ezekiel 17:15; Hosea 11:5 etc.). This is the same spirit of adultery in that they forsook the Lord and put their confidence in the arm of flesh, yet the Lord says “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5).

_Anton Bosch.

The other thing is the church has turned into lovers of self, You just have to open social media. When you do your good deeds don't let your left no what your right hand is doing kinda goes down the drain. The church is too busy tooting their own horn, even Wade. He might do "great things" but why should I really know about this? It goes against scripture. Whatever.The church is a business and has to SELL herself. To me Wade is just giving a sales pitch for his work.

Anonymous said...

How do we know you are not a government agent planting false conspiracy theories in order to keep us from discovering the real conspiracies? "

Ha, good question....I'd like to see at least one check in the mail if I was. My labor shouldn't be free. :)

I definitely get the feeling most folks that read this blog probably think I'm a bit crazy or paranoid with my ideas of how GOV works, but my POV comes from having lived and worked in the land of GOV for too long.

Here is part two of an interview of a woman with whom I possibly did work for in the 90's. Cant remember if it was her and her husband, or friends of theirs.

Like many of my customers - she worked for NSA, had a top secret clearance, thought her GOV was basically good, until she started reporting criminal behavior within the department. She eventually lost her position, sued NSA and was harassed by NSA in a host of differing ways to include electronically via the use of DEW's (directed energy weapons).

BTW - she also thinks, like I do and many others, that most of the mass shootings are engineered GOV, though I do not subscribe to her biblical views/ideas of the USA.

Most don't realize or comprehend the extent to which all of the departments in GOV are corrupt - and no President can effectively eliminate it.


Anonymous said...

Bunkababy said " When you do your good deeds don't let your left no what your right hand is doing kinda goes down the drain. The church is too busy tooting their own horn, even Wade. He might do "great things" but why should I really know about this? It goes against scripture. Whatever.The church is a business and has to SELL herself. To me Wade is just giving a sales pitch for his work."

Don't forget about Matt 5:16 "Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and. glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Seems like there is an interplay between the secret or private and public display of good deeds.

I've enjoyed reading your comments. :) Ken

Ken F said...

The theme you are hitting on is authentic Christianity. The real question is who gets to define what is and is not authentic Christianity? There are many many different people/groups who claim all others are wrong. What makes you more right or wrong than anyone else? Historically, Christians united around the Nicene Creed as the bare-bones minimum for what Christians must believe. But even that Creed is not universally accepted. One can claim the Bible as the ultimate authority, but there are many competing interpretations, and many question whether or not all the right books were included. So in the end there is no airtight case for anyone to make that they represent true Christianity. I think the best we can do is humbly accept that none of us are completely correct and none of us are in a position to condemn other people who claim to follow Jesus.

Wade Burleson said...


I sure do understand how you see my writings as tooting my horn! I think you may be referring to the things our church has done locally and globally in terms of missions. Motive is difficult to know (if not impossible) in another person.

So, let you tell you my motive for saying things that sound to you like "tooting my own horn."

Southern Baptists will not listen to a person like you. You are not a member of an SBC church, you know nothing about the SBC, but you are critical (rightfully so) of the direction the SBC is going. The reason I say things that sound self-serving to you is to let the people know who are reading what I'm writing that I am not being critical from the outside.

I'm an insider being critical.


Ken F said...

"I definitely get the feeling most folks that read this blog probably think I'm a bit crazy or paranoid with my ideas of how GOV works..."

Ahh, but isn't that just exactly what they want us to think? Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

"Ahh, but isn't that just exactly what they want us to think? Hmmm..."

Shhhhhh!! You're blowing my cover!

"They" have now directed me to sign out using a different name.

Akbar :) ;) ;)

Ken F said...

"'They' have now directed me to sign out using a different name.
Akbar :) ;) ;)"

What?!? That's exactly the same "different" name "they" told me to use!

This reminds me of a story written by GK Chesterton where all the leaders of a secret anarchist group were detectives who had secretely infiltrated the group to defeat it, and did not know the other leaders were also detectives. See

Christiane said...

“The silent colossal National Lie that is the support and confederate of all the tyrannies and shams and inequalities and unfairnesses that afflict the peoples—that is the one to throw bricks and sermons at.” — Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain).

I rest MY case. :)

Anonymous said...

A good example of the problem:

Wikipedia says of Natural News: "Natural News (formerly NewsTarget, which is now a separate sister site) is a conspiracy theory and fake news website."

If that's true, why have they been three weeks ahead of mainstream news in reporting about Coronavirus?

Okbar confused

Srikanth Jatharakonda said...

I feel happy to bring my personal clinical experiences regarding the Natural Penis Enlargement Treatment. I have been practicing for the last 11 years both modern medicine as well as herbal medicine in different cases. So far, I have not come across a product like DR Osagie Penis Enlargement Treatment, until i contacted Dr Osagie which has shown very encouraging results in improving both sexual desire and function. I tested these products with diabetic patients particularly in whom sexual impotence is quite common. I found very good results in those diabetic patients who enjoyed increased sexual function and improved orgasms with the Natural Penis Enlargement Treatment. The herbs used in this formula have shown a positive effect on male sexual functions in terms of increasing desire and offering strong sexual enhancement. In addition, I found that product have shown a considerable increase in the tissue size of the penis and long erection irrespective of age. I feel that this formula can be recommended for those who need real sexual enhancement and better orgasms with a safe and natural effect. Contact him on Email: { or whatsapp him on +2348034778129

Unknown said...

Wade, I think you are dealing with a very powerful institution whose roots, traditions and loyalty are are not based upon sound Biblical doctrine.