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

Friday, January 01, 2021

A Heartfelt Apology to My Fellow Believers in Jesus

It is New Year's Day. 

New Year's Resolutions don't move me as much as they did Jonathan Edwards

But I am making one very important New Year's Resolution for 2021. 

I will never again publicly post a critical word about a fellow believer in Jesus Christ. Period

That is my 2021 New Year's Resolution. You may not understand it. You may not agree with it. But it is not necessary that you agree. This is my New Year's resolution, not yours. 

For the past fifteen years, I have been at doing all I can to ensure Christian women are recognized for their gifts, and never diminished because of their gender. I have been sometimes labeled (wrongly) a heretic because I believe in the biblical equality of women. I have not - and will not - change my opinion about the Scriptures, for I see them to teach that leadership in the church, home, and society is based on gifting, not gender; character, not control; humility, not honors.

For the past fifteen years I also have been at the forefront of stopping sexual abuse in the institutional church. I will continue that righteous fight. But my tactics are changing.

I repent. I do not repent of my biblical principles. I repent of my brazen practices

I will never again speak a negative word about any person who claims Christ as LORD. I don't care if they hammer me verbally, condemn me publicly, and label me falsely. 

A Jesus follower is my family member.

Christians are my family. Family members sometimes disagree, but we're part of the same  family.

I have spent the last 48 hours deleting vulgar, profane death threats directed at me from people who do not name Christ as LORD because of a post where I declared transgenderism is "a lie" that harms society.

Though my Christian friends have been furious with me over my views on the equality of women over the past fifteen years,  they've never stooped to death threats, to vulgar and profane comments, and to the kind of vitriol I've received the last few days on social media.

Christian friends are my family.

Though we as Christians may not agree on every "jot and tittle' of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, I covenant to never again say a negative word about Christians who disagree with me - no matter what they may say of me - because they are my family members. 

Welcome, 2021.

I love those who love the LORD Jesus Christ. 

Amen.

11 comments:

Creek County said...

That's a good word. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should all commit to this, in speech as well as writing.

Ephesians 4:32

Christiane said...

Hello WADE,
if you have received threats to you or to your family or your Church, please report this to the police and ask for investigation, if possible.

Call the authorities. It's the right thing to do.

Sue Dempsey said...

Circumstances that break my heart have taught me through the years to love those who love Christ. I am silent at many times even though my heart may be breaking. I am reading through the Bible again this year, day 1 includes the creation story. That is my belief and until God shows me differently, I will believe one man and one woman is His plan. I only answer for myself as do you. Happy New Year.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

To be honest, Social Media is not representative of what actually happens in the real world.

Non-Christians who are supportive of transgenderism and its process will naturally disagree strongly with Christians over this issue. But speaking with them directly - IRL, "in real life" - about it, and speaking to other members of society about it, will give a more accurate depiction of what is going on.

The people who have sent Wade death threats and profanity might not even represent accurately those who support transgenderism. The use of bots and sockpuppets to create a disturbance is ultimately "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing" (Macbeth).

Social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, cannot ever accurately represent what society thinks. They are too vulnerable to being exploited and to being misunderstood and misread.

The best way top understand an opponent's point of view is not through an internet discussion, but by speaking to them IRL. It is only then can we understand their point of view, and they understand ours. It won't necessarily lead to a resolution, but it will lead to seeing your opponent as human.

Lissa Roberson said...

Happy New Year, Wade,

Your column is very helpful for those of us that regularly pray for you.

When the Holy Spirit moves one to speak a word against sin, He convicts those that are guilty of the sin. We squirm when we fall under conviction, and it's easier to malign the messenger rather than reckon with the message. The anonymity of social media makes it that much easier to "let loose" the deadly poison of the tongue.

It's no secret that the Lord places messages within you that burn in your heart unless/until you proclaim them. Your words are critical; they wake us up to modern-day matters that are steadily damaging our Christian witness, our culture, and our nation. May He continue to use you as a willing messenger. May He give you the grace to suffer gladly whlie fulfilling your resolution for 2021.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

I appreciate your concern, but it's unnecessary to involve the police. These are mostly really pagan people who don't like my Christian viewpoints.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks for your kind words Lissa!

Rev. Vera Porter said...

Pastor Wade,

I so respect you and I am humbled by your position as one of God's chosen vessels. Please continue to let your light shine. You and yours are in my constant prayers.

Rev. Vera Porter

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I believe America needs to apologize to the relatives of Oswald.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’ve had the book “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing” by James Tague over six years but I’ve never read in small print on the back cover until tonight:

“More info at jTague.com”

It’s about 7 pages with pictures. One is an areal view showing a sharper corner than 90 degrees under the ‘Sniper’s window’ where Kennedy could have been hit with a rock. View marks spot where Kennedy was shot which was 200 yards from the sniper’s window. Also, the spot where Tague was when injured by a bullet knocking curb chips into his face.

“There were at least three shooters. Two shooters names are known; Malcolm Wallace whose finger prints were found in the ‘sniper’s window on the east, and Loy Factor who was in the west window. A third shooter was seen by Ed Hoffman behind the fence.”

“The attacks on the facts has to stop. First, Lee Harvey Oswald was not the assassin. How could he run down 4 flights of stairs and be seen calmly buying a coke in the lunch room 75 seconds after the assignation. He’d had to pass other people in front of him, but they saw no one.”

Sandy said...

I admire your resolution. However, there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. The apostle Paul rightly criticized the apostle Peter (Galatians 2:11ff.) when Peter acted hypocritically. Perhaps a more nuanced resolution would be to speak directly to the person being criticized before speaking to others.

Rex Ray said...

Sandy,

AH, the Scripture you used to tell Peter acting hypocritically is like a red flag used in ‘bull fighting’ to me. The next verse tells WHY he acted as a hypocrite: “…when some friends of James came…these people who insisted on the NECESSITY of circumcision.”

James told Paul: “…Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.” (Acts 21:20 KJ)

There’s two kinds of Christians in this world: Jesus plus nothing and Jesus plus something. Also, at times we’re like Peter ready to die fighting for Jesus (cut off a man’s ear) and yet the rooster crowed.

Wade,

Also in “More info at jTague.com” is written: “The Russian KGB’s 1965 investigation report shows that Lyndon Johnson was behind the assassination of President Kennedy. And guess what? My hours and hours of work match the Russian KGB report to a tee, Lyndon Johnson was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”

CHRISTIANE, I still believe in my riddle. 😊