Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Vignette that Says it All

I was sitting on an aisle in a relatively unpopulated area of the convention hall this morning during the Southern Seminary report. Discussion and questioning followed the report. While the discussion was ongoing, I noticed and made eye contact with one of the only other people in the section, a man who appeared to be in his sixties—older than me, but not old by any sense of the word. I smiled at him, but he had a troubled look on his face. He got up and crossed the ten-foot distance between us. Arriving at my seat, with a voice of grave concern he bent down and said to me, "What have I missed? All we did last night was reaffirm the BF&M, right?" I said, "Sir, somehow two different interpretations of last night's vote have emerged." "But all we did was reaffirm the BF&M, right?" "Well, we reaffirmed it as a guide for our agencies." "But all we did was reaffirm the BF&M, right?" He grew more insistent the longer we spoke, and in his concern this simple sentence was all he could say. I couldn't even get his name from him. It is clear to me what HE meant when he cast his vote last night. That makes two of us.

34 comments:

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

It seems others are complaining that Dr. Mohler was too loud.?!

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

Bart,
The man that you talked to represented the majority of messengers in the room last night. Everyone seated around me was in utter confusion. No one wanted to vote against the BFM and I was trying to explain the sin that these guys were going to put on it. The vote seemed like a lose lose situation to many people. Isn't that what liberalism does? Muddy the water? Notice that I have not and do not plan on calling any individual the "L" word yet, but this convention has been a real eyeopener for me!

Bubba Sims

Anonymous said...

Bart,

I faced the same situation as the vote was being taken last night. I was having to explain the ramifications of the intentionally misleading language of the motion to the person to my right. As I was doing that, the couple sitting in front of me was saying, "The '63 is good enough." Interestingly enough, they cheered for both sides during the debate.

One thing that must be said, there is NOBODY that questions where Drs. Mohler and Patterson stand. At least they stand. Praise God for them.

John B.

PS -- I am the guy who spoke to you today after you spoke to the reporter in the lobby area. You said, "have we met before?" I said 'no' then. Now it is my pleasure to say 'yes'

Anonymous said...

Bart -
What you experienced was similar to a conversation I had with a pastor-friend of mine who has been coming to conventions for many years, and he had no clue what the discussion was specifically about. He abstained due to confusion. There's no telling how many confused messengers were in the room.

Jeremy Roberts

James Heffington said...

Bart,
I think it unfortunate and downright shady for those who presented this motion to do so in language intentionally misleading. However, the question remains...Just how far do our trustees have to go before the convention acts to limit their ability to shape Southern Baptist theology? We can say what we want about the BF&M but much of our statement of faith is being written apart from convention approval in the trustee meetings of our various agencies.

Our seminary presidents can make light of the seriousness of this matter by making jokes about cross-dressers if they like but the decision about what is and is not a theological test of fellowship (or employment) should rest with the convention not a board of trustees.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy,

Hopefully next year someone can present something a little more intelligible for the convention and watch it pass with flying colors for the conservative faction.

Pretty sad that these liberals and moderates have to use trickery to get their way. They do this, though, because it's the only way they can get anything passed.

It's sad, really.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I didn't see where it was hard to understand at all. Was Dr. McKissic confused too? I hardly think so. :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

But carry on. Also Jeremy Green did great speaking against it.

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Debbie, bless your heart. On an earlier post, you cry dirty politics before Mr. Rogers was defeated in the vp election, in basically just a temper fit pointing shame shame shame. As you have read here, a good reason many messengers did not vote was confusion. You elude to the fact some picked up on that spin ... "Jeremy spoke great against it."

On your blog, an earlier post expressed you didn't know whether you want to be a part of the Southern Baptist Convention anymore. Then, you wrap up convention news with "I believe God to be working and working deeply and mightily."

However, I enjoy the music you have on your blog ... and likewise the tip to hear specific speakers. I took that advise and enjoyed it.

dwm III said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I too was confused as were the messengers I was with. Had I not seen one of my seminary profs a few rows ahead I would still be wondering what happened. But then again according to some I am stupid for not understanding. One question, does this mean the BGCT now has to affirm BF&M 2000 inorder to cooperate?

Jason

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rebecca: A temper fit? No Rebecca, you mistake firmness for temper. You mistake speaking out for integrity and responsibility as temper. Bart is a good man but he was wrong in posting what he did. David answered all and was transparent. It should have been left at that. David did not deserve this at all. It was God's will that he stay on the mission field for now, so I have no problem with Jim Richards as I have said on my blog more than once. But this is off topic isn't it.

As for the rest Rebecca, you are misinformed. I believe your facts are terribly skewed but you can alleviate that by going to the archives and watching it for yourself. Dr. McKissic spoke for this using the parent analogy. Was he also confused? Hardly. Neither were those who voted for it's passing. Jeremy spoke against it. He claims confusion and I claim he interpreted it correctly. No spin just fact.

I'm glad you enjoyed the music and the speakers I recommended. This was a more Christ centered Convention. May it continue.

selahV said...

Bart, my heart goes out to that gentleman who was so disturbed and questioning his own vote. I've been in that boat in ballot boxes on many occasion.

Given how the convention voted for the 1st VP, I would think the convention was trying to vote in like manner for the BF&M. I wasn't there, but that's how I'm reading it.

I don't understand why more time wasn't given to explain exactly what the EC meant with it all. I don't understand why, if the simple interpretation that Wade gives (which is very clear) is what the EC was trying to say, then why the motion wasn't worded in that simple form.

My only deduction is that it wasn't as simple as Bro. Wade says it is. And that the way it is interpreted by him is not what the EC wanted to convey. Otherwise they would have written it that way.

Personally, I just want to everyone to begin cooperating so everyone's CP money is acceptable to collect and distribute to our vast needs within the convention for the outreach of ministries, education and missions.

I join my brother, DWMIII, in calling for our brokenness and God's Holy Spirit to be poured out among us.
May God's grace be sufficient to meet our needs and abound. sincerely yours, selahV

Rebecca Illingworth said...

The only thing transparent about Rogers came after he left "Microsoft Track Edits" open and the gig was up. Bart didn't do anything wrong, Debbie, he kept people informed. That's all. It's only off topic when you don't agree.

It seems you can't make up your mind that's all I was saying. One day you wonder whether the SBC is for you, the next, you believe God is working in a mighty way. Leaves me scratching my head. It certainly explains your frustration, though.

Colin said...

Does anyone know who (what group, affiliation, etc.) was so intent on calling for the vote?

Strider said...

Rebecca, I was determined not to comment anymore and then you attacked my friend and colaborer David by saying,
'The only thing transparent about Rogers came after he left "Microsoft Track Edits" open and the gig was up'
You are making it sound like his disagreements with the BFM were secretive or something he hoped no one would bring up. This is wrong. The only reason anyone knows that he has disagreements with the BFM is that he has told us. Openly and honestly. He has never sought to deceive anyone on this and has offered to resign if our leadership feels that these opinions are not compatible with employment. David Rogers is an honorable man period. If others thought that Jim was the better candidate then that is great. His CP support speaks much for him in my eyes and I pray that the convention is strengthened by his service. But to slander David is wrong. It was wrong for Bart to post what he did, the way he did. It did look to me like an attack on David's integrity and I will not sit silent and allow that. David belongs to Jesus, my friends. If you attack David your brother then our Father will not bless us. He will correct us. Passionately discuss the issues but let us equally passionately love our brothers and sisters. This alone would cure much of what ails us.

Rebecca Illingworth said...

No attack on Mr. Rogers was ever my intent, Strider. I simply responded to my disagreement with Debbie's description of his "transparency." I may be guilty of being a smart mouth in the process, but it was simply a disagreement with her statement. Disagreement is not an attack. If so, then you just attacked Bart by disagreeing with him about his post.

Good grief, man, I've said in this forum, missionaries have my respect. Mr. Rogers does a good work. However Southern Baptist employed him. We expect something from our employees. We expect nothing less than full affirmation of the BF&M. It's that simple. That is not an attack. That is a huge disagreement with one of SBC employees on the foreign mission field, sir.

I do hope you have a good day :)

Pastor Mike said...

Bart,
It was great seeing you at the SBC. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was also serving one up for Dr. Mohler. But I am still amazed at how Dr. Rankin avoided my question to him, on SD-21, completely. Keep the faith.

Serving Him,
Mike

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Personally, I just want to everyone to begin cooperating so everyone's CP money is acceptable to collect and distribute to our vast needs within the convention for the outreach of ministries, education and missions.

Amen Selah

Debbie Kaufman said...

BTW Rebecca: IF missionaries deserve your respect, Strider is a missionary and another one of the highest caliber.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rebecca: Strider answered you and much more graciously than I would have. I wasn't going to dignify your remarks with a response. I am praying for you however.

Thank you Strider, good words.

Debbie Kaufman said...

And it was an attack Rebecca. Let's be honest here. You have no idea what you are talking about in that statement. Enough said or I will say something I regret or not regret.

CB Scott said...

Bart,

I just got home a few hours ago.
It was good to meet you and all of your family.

cb

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Strider,

I am not getting into whether Brother David was transparent or not in his miscue on the edit tracks. I admire Brother David and have the utmost respect for him in his service to the Kingdom.

However, in defense of our Sister Rebecca, would you not agree that the spin given at the convention in the nomination speech was that David Rogers was the son of Adrian Rogers? That spin in itself reveals a level of Brother David believes like Dr. Adrian Rogers. When Brother David himself has disagreed with areas of the BF&M2K, the very confession that Dr. Adrian Rogers championed as a confessional statement that stated; "Our hope is that a rising generation of Baptists will recognize the significance of our biblical doctrines, embrace our Baptist heritage, and own this confession of faith for themselves."

I just feel that Brother David was placed before the convention as one that believes like Dr. Rogers, when in fact his writings reveal otherwise.

Blessings,
Tim

Strider said...

Tim, I understand your comment and where it is coming from but it does not let Bart and Rebecca off the hook for attacking David's charactor. Rebecca said that she respected David but
'my disagreement with Debbie's description of his "transparency.'
To me- and I may be over reaching here- if someone is not transparent they are deceptive. To be dececptive is not one of the fruits of the spirit. It can be quite an evil thing in fact. Bart's post was written before there ever was a nomination speech and David was not even present for the nomination speech. I am not prepared to call him deceptive. I am prepared to defend him from anyone who would make such a foolish charge. As for being A. Roger's son- well, he is. A. Rogers taught him longer and more than he taught anyone else. As far as I know Adrian Rogers was glad to have his son as an IMB M knowing what he believed. So should you. Which brings me to Rebecca's last reply. I signed the BFM like everyone else a few years ago but you should know that when we were hired 12 years ago the BFM 2000 was not a standard we had to follow. We were forced to signed it or go home. We are here because we have been called by God to be here and I- nor David- will allow political infighting to keep us from doing the will of God. David signed it but out of integrity wrote where he disagreed. It was a pretty minor point. The difference theologically between David's semi-open and closed communion is hardly something someone starts a new denomination over. In fact, I was given a booklet explaining the BFM 2000 written by Southern Seminary professors and in the section on Communion the prof never even mentions closed communion. He emphasised the rite and did not even think the 'closed' part worth bringing up. So, if you want to fire David over that then go ahead and start your coalition but there wont be very many of us left out here to talk about Jesus if you do.

Rebecca Illingworth said...

Tim, you have voiced my sentiment exactly. It appears there was a spin in the nomination speech, however well written it was. The spin makes it less transparent. People can tell the truth and not necessarily be transparent.

After the BF&M message passed, many in this forum spoke of the spin that would be placed on that resolution. For me, it appears the spin began before the resolution was ever made. But that is simply my opinion. For me, that makes the resolution, less transparent.

For me, whether Mr. Rogers disagrees with minor points or major points of the BF&M is not really important. It's a disagreement. In my opinion, employees of the SBC should confirm what has made baptists "baptist" all along.

I do appreciate the fact that you are praying for me, Debbie. Surely I need it. I try to stay informed, I do my best to know what is happening in my church . . . in my denomination ... in my state. Pray for me that I do better speaking truth in love. Pray that I minister in my community far more than I spend on this silly computer. But the biggest prayer need in my life ... if I admit it ... leaves me admitting that I am not always transparent either. Please pray for me, ask God to help me as I am seek God's face and relinquish two of my kids to him totally. My daughter and son-in-law served two years on the foreign mission field in a dark part of the world in the apprenticeship program of the IMB. My grandson was born there. I was able to visit and watch them work with the Baptist house church under conditions that made me appreciate what our foreign servants contend with. Now home, they work hard had finishing seminary as required by the IMB, then applying for a lifetime appointment overseas. I'm getting to know my two year old grandson and we are great pals. My knew grandson, Corban, is three months old. However, my heart at times seems heavy, although I know God's hand is on their lives. Once their mom and dad finish their required studies, they will be leaving. How proud I am of their commitment to our Lord Jesus. How proud I am of their commitment as Southern Baptist. How proud I am of the IMB and the care they give our sweet servants. However, if I am honest, I am not transparent about all that I feel, even with those that know me best. I am proud that they have answered God's call on their lives. I am proud that they are willing to sacrifice. My face smiles as I watch them grow in the Lord Jesus. My friends comment on their commitment and I smile. And then inside, my heart breaks. The place they feel called is dangerous. Will they be safe? Will my grandkids forget me? Will they remember? Will great-grandparents ever see them again? Will holidays ever be the same?

Yes, I need prayer in a mighty way.
Whether we agree on the issues or not, indeed, I covet your prayers.

volfan007 said...

i wonder who really wrote that nomination speech for david rogers? hummmmmm? :)

david

Tripp said...

Bart,

Thank you for your comments on this. It is very clear that confusion existed. I find it very concerning the trickery that was used regarding this motion.

Debbie,

You said:
"I didn't see where it was hard to understand at all. Was Dr. McKissic confused too? I hardly think so."

Allow me to ask you a question. Is Dr. McKissic the only Southern Baptist that exists?

I hope you can realize that MANY...MANY messengers were confused with this motion. This has been shown numerous times.

Would you agree with me Debbie that we need to address this confusion next year in Indy...and clear up the confusion?

Anonymous said...

Tripp,

And when the confusion is cleared up, the result will be very similar to the election results of Richards vs. Rogers.

Tripp said...

Anonymous,

I agree. That is why I believe some don't want the confusion cleared up.

At least, that is what I see from where I sit.

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

I enjoyed meeting you and spending some time with you. Although we disagree about BFM2K, I respect you.

I was also impressed by your coordination of the microphone blockade during the SWBTS rant...uh, "report." You have served your President well.

Les

Bart Barber said...

Les,

Meeting you was among the highlights of the week for me. Blessings upon you, brother.

Bart Barber said...

Strider,

I have NEVER questioned David Rogers's character.

I have questioned the wisdom of electing as one of our officers someone who has publicly disagreed with our statement of faith. David's disagreements are honestly arrived at and honestly revealed. I wanted his political entourage to display the same measure of character in the way they presented him in San Antonio.