Friday, January 25, 2008

On the Fate of the Trusteeship of Wade Burleson

I am not in support of Hiram Smith's motion to remove Wade Burleson as an IMB Trustee. I will vote against it if it comes to the floor.

Reason One: Burleson and His Cause Thrive Off Of Such Actions. A thousand posts on his blog could not do for him what one stunt like this does to help him. My father-in-law likes to quote a movie about Gov. Huey Long in which the Governor purportedly says, "It's our enemies that make us and our friends that break us." Never has this statement been any more true. Burleson's affiliations with the Jimmy Carters and CBEs and CBFers of this world reveal his preferences and hurt his cause. For whatever my political analysis is worth (and I do not pretend that it is disinterested or objective), I think that Burleson has committed a large number of missteps that have hindered the movement that he has tried to birth. Were it not for his enemies, Burleson's movement would be dead and gone already. Burleson as a one-term trustee who loses every vote and then ends his trusteeship by natural causes—what's wrong with that? I'm quite satisfied with that resolution of things. But people discontent with that outcome continue to pack wadding for the Grace-and-Truth cannon at regular intervals. Burleson ought to put them on the payroll if he has room. They generate everything for his site that is worth reading.

Reason Two: Smith's Motion Gives All the Wrong Reasons to Remove Burleson. If I were inclined to see Burleson's tenure end prematurely, it would never be because he has differed with trustee actions or published his views on the Internet. Burleson has suggested that the Conservative Resurgence would not have taken place if people like him had been able to employ the Internet thirty years ago (a statement that shows clearly where he stands vis-à-vis conservatism, by the way). I believe that the Internet would only have hastened the Conservative Resurgence. Actions like Smith's motion, had they been employed during the Conservative Resurgence by the liberals who were in charge, would have worked against the greatest turnaround of a denominational structure in modern history (of course, the big difference is that CR trustees were elected BECAUSE of their agenda to change the institutions, while Burleson's agenda remained hidden from the Southern Baptist people until after his election to the board was secure). Public dissent on the Internet may someday very well be an important safeguard to prevent our institutions from settling back down into liberalism, and we ought not to act in some Draconian manner toward it now simply because it is being abused.

The situation reminds me of the novice hunter holding another man at gunpoint, trying to keep him from stealing the deer that he had just shot. The frightened target, hands high in the air, said, "You can have your deer! You can have your deer! Just let me get my saddle off of it first." The aim and discernment of this motion is no more accurate, and the ability, à la B. H. Carroll's advice to L. R. Scarborough, to take a case to the Southern Baptist people must not become an innocent casualty of this misguided action.

If I were inclined to press for Burleson's removal, I would do so on the grounds of Burleson's ever-growing list of public items of disdain toward the Baptist Faith & Message. To affirm Smith's motion would be to affirm the idea that a trustee could and should be removed simply for being a troublemaker. I cannot affirm that proposition. I could affirm the idea that a trustee is eligible for removal if he propounds changes in his personal theology after his election that put him at odds with the clearly expressed doctrinal will of the convention.

Other Miscellaneous Observations

It will be a cold day in El Azizia before I consult with the Executive Committee on anything I wish to keep confidential. Great people work there, I'm sure (and know from personal exposure), but this situation is Exhibit A for the case that someone in Nashville likes to let Burleson read his mail.

When Smith's motion loses, Wade Burleson will spin it as vindication of all that he has ever written or said. Instead, rather than the SBC saying that there is no Wade Burleson problem, it will merely be the SBC saying that Bro. Smith's motion represents the wrong remedy.

Historically speaking, Smith's motion is probably a predictable outcome. Southern Baptists went so far as to expel from the convention such scofflaws as S. A. Hayden and Ben M. Bogard. With J. R. Graves, the SBC was able to achieve reconciliation. The statistically likely outcome for people who stage insurrections in the SBC is either to vanquish or to be expelled. At the present juncture, such action toward Burleson is premature, and I don't know that it will ever be appropriate, but in the light of history it is not all that surprising.

A great host of bloggers will portray Smith's motion as the carefully orchestrated machinations of some SBC ruling clique. Rather, it is a demonstration of the fact that there is not now and never has been such a clique. Rather, there is a fragile consensus of independent Southern Baptists who have agreed upon enough things over the past three decades to accomplish remarkable and greatly needed change in our convention. The vast majority of conservatives in my acquaintance cringe at Smith's motion, yet ours is a convention in which Hiram Smith has the liberty to step up to a microphone in Indianapolis and move whatsoever he wishes. This is one of the great things about our fellowship, in my opinion.

My thanks to those of you who have wondered what has become of me. Tracy's maternal grandfather, Elwin Tracy (my wife was named after her mother's maiden name) passed away last week. I've made yet another trip to Missouri since my last post. The trip marked my fifth funeral to attend and fourth to serve (my brother-in-law preached and I led the singing) in the past three weeks. I've been a little busy. But thanks to all who wondered where I went.

44 comments:

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

I've been wondering about something since Wade's post on all this. If Mr. Smith brings a motion to remove Wade, what's to stop others from bringing motions to remove others such as Jerry Corbaley or John Floyd?

Sounds like it might degenerate into a free-for-all to me.

Les

Bart Barber said...

Les,

I affirm Bro. Smith's right to bring the motion and the right of the SBC to dispose of it as the body wishes. If the SBC wishes to clean house in a free-for-all style, so be it. But let it be upon principles and not upon personality traits.

Ron P. said...

Bart,

You have convinced me. I think it is better to let his ecumenical movement die a natural death. Making Wade a martyr only exacerbates the problem and adds fuel to a dying ember.

I have to admit, that I would like to see him no longer serve as a trustee, but not for his unrepentant and acrimonious attacks on fellow trustees. That is for the IMB BOT to take action, which they have taken appropriate measures to rebuke said behavior.

You state correctly, IMHO, that the only reason to remove him, would be his doctrinal infidelity with the BFM, which the SBC states is the minimal Biblical doctrines that we hold most dear.

However, with his behavior, comments, and doctrinal views, he is a "one and done" trustee, if we just leave him alone. There is no way he could be elected dog catcher in a conservative SBC. If we just let him keep shooting himself in his own foot, he will.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Jon L. Estes said...

Bart,

Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared (baptism and PPL)?

I think we would be further in the dark about two issues which I am glad I am now aware of. Whether or not Wade has taken the right steps or had the right motives, is for someone else to decide, not me.

Anyone with a problem with PPL or the baptism issue (or both) would not like the idea of Wade bringing it to light. I would think that the silence on these two subjects are better for those opposed to the practice of them in Christian or the churches life.

The question I had to address, for myself, is... Are these two issues important to me, to the point that making them a public issue is best?

I answered, yes. These two issues should not be parameters for service if the convention has not made them such. I agree with Adrian Rogers concerning his "if pickles have souls" comment.

I will let the SBC decide what it will do then I will respond appropriately, for me.

Anonymous said...

Bart,

My deepest regret to your wife and family for the loss...

Pertaining to the possible motion to remove Mr. Burleson, who among many of us has not had a thought of such, ever how fleeting it may have been? I am stunned, however, Mr. Smith's motion which once existed as fleeting thought, found traction in the outer world. I presently am trying to process it.

I'm not so sure, Bart, citing as valid reason for voting against a possible motion to remove Mr. Burleson as trustee is because it will empower the other side or give them a platform, so to speak. If it is right to act, then act.

In this case, if a motion is right to remove Mr. Burleson, it should not matter if he gains 10,000 new readers. Right is right. Make the motion.

I know nothing of Mr. Smith, including whether he is a IMB trustee. If not, my chief objection with his motion is that, at least theoretically, it circumvents the very structure we've argued for elsewhere.

Mr. Burleson is, like it or not, a duly, appropriately elected trustee by Southern Baptists. As such, he relates significantly to the trustee body and is, in many ways, accountable to them where he is not accountable to me. That's why they could, as a body, censure him, without consulting or gaining my permission to do so.

Whether Brother Smith or another convention messenger possesses a right to make a motion for Mr. Burleson's removal from the Trustees is not in dispute. Messengers possess such rights.

For me, however, such a motion swats our Trustee body to whom Mr. Burleson is accountable. And, it is not like the Trustees have overlooked the situation.

To the contrary, Mr. Burleson is censured and, from my perspective, since his censure, he has not relented from the actions which led to it in any positive way as to expect he will not remain censured by the Body. The Trustees are dealing with it.

So, if a motion is brought, it seems to me it may very well default into a motion criticizing the Trustees for ignoring a problem or at least for stalling in dealing with a problem.

In the end, I think we agree. My view is leaning toward leaving it to the Trustees to handle. To take it to the floor of the Convention subtly shifts the focus away from a solid system that works not perfect but well the way it is.

Grace, Bart. With that, I am...

Peter

volfan007 said...

i, too, wish that bro. smith would drop this action.

david

Bart Barber said...

Jon Estes,

I suppose, were it not for Wade Burleson's blogging, you would still know everything about the baptism and PPL policies that you know today, since Baptist Press openly reported all of the details of the policies without the assistance of Bro. Burleson. Can you identify a single detail of these policies that Burleson revealed that was not revealed in Baptist Press? And if not, will you retract your insinuation that the God-called servants representing us at the IMB are keeping us "in the dark"?

Bart Barber said...

Peter,

Perhaps one might amend Smith's motion to make it call for Burleson's censure by the convention at large rather than for his removal as a trustee. The convention would thereby be supporting the actions of the board without doing violence either to my concerns or to yours.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I enjoy my conversations with you in person, and I appreciate the fact that we can communicate with each other with civility even in the midst of minor differences.

I would like to challenge the veracity of a statement you make in this blog. You write . . .

Burleson has suggested that the Conservative Resurgence would not have taken place if people like him had been able to employ the Internet thirty years ago (a statement that shows clearly where he stands vis-à-vis conservatism, by the way).

I can overlook the common and overused tactic which you seem to employ in this post of attempting to label people liberal with whom you disagree, but I can't overlook the outright misrepresentation of my views. Would you please supply support for your statement from my writings? Good historians and writers always are able to supply when requested their source material. I look forward to being pointed to your source material, particularly since you allege I am the author of it.

Further, you are totally misrepesenting Hiram Smith, whom I am sure you have not spoken with personally (as I have). You say he is bringing the motion for removal because of 'personality traits' rather than principle. He emphatically states to me he is bringing hte motion for removeal for 'principle' reasons (he does not like the direction the convention is going) and he is not bring the motion for removal because of personality traits (he does not know me).

It would seem to me that you might very well be opposed to the Hiram's motion because, like the Garner Motion, it will be presented on the basis of principle --- And you and others may very well lose the vote.

Sorry, Bart, you can't shape the motion the way you wish it to be presented. It IS a matter of principle.

Blessings,

Wade

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Do you recall writing: "I regret . . . that blogging was not available 30 years ago at the beginning of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. I truly believe that had blogging been available then, some of those who were hurt, disenfranchised and falsely accused of major doctrinal or theological error could have shown through their writing that they were in reality theologically conservative."? You'll find the source here.

Regarding Smith's motion, he would remove you simply because you have caused trouble at the IMB. He can call that principle all that he wishes, but that don't make it so.

By the way, how did you come to know about his proposed motion?

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

By the way, as far as the squeamishness that you have alleged on my part regarding a clear vote on the matters at hand, while you guys were putting together vague tripe like the Garner motion, I was offering a resolution that very clearly framed the issues at hand. You'll find the text of that resolution clearly expressed here. I don't think that I minced words. And it was contrary to my efforts that the resolution did not come to a vote.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

How what I wrote about people NOT being falsely charged as 'liberal' is translated by you into Burleson has suggested that the Conservative Resurgence would not have taken place if people like him had been able to employ the Internet thirty years ago (a statement that shows clearly where he stands vis-à-vis conservatism, by the way) is absolutely beyond me. To say I said the 'Conversative Resurgence' would never have occured in the statement you claim as your source, when I don't even mention the 'Conservative Resurgence' is complete misrepresentation. And, any impartial reader will see I am 'DEFENDING' true conservatism in what I write, not expressing regrets over it.

Finally, I knew of the impending motion because Hiram Smith carbon copied me in the email he sent to the Executive Committee, just as I stated in the post where you found out about it. Further, the Executive Committee of the SBC, by bylaw, must inform Baptist Press, which they did.

I do not understand what it is that you have against the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, but your bias is clear, and possibly inherited from the President of the institution where you serve as an adjunct.

Blessings,

Wade

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

No, you never said "Conservative Resurgence." What else, would you tell us, was going on thirty years ago in Southern Baptist life to which you refer?

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I am absolutely positively one hundred percent for the Conservative Resurgence in terms of conserving the essentials of the faith.

I am absolutely positively one hundred percent against people labeling 'liberals' those conservatives who simply disagree with them on tertiary or non-essential issues.

In this post, you have either intentionally or unintentionally misprepresented me. I am not angry, nor am I asking for an apology. I simply point out the misrepresentation so others can see the politics of distorting another persons position in order to discredit his influence.

Blessings,

Wade

Anonymous said...

Bart,

You wrote, "Burleson has suggested that the Conservative Resurgence would not have taken place if people like him had been able to employ the Internet thirty years ago (a statement that shows clearly where he stands vis-à-vis conservatism, by the way)." Then, when asked, offered this as your proof, "Do you recall writing: "I regret . . . that blogging was not available 30 years ago at the beginning of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. I truly believe that had blogging been available then, some of those who were hurt, disenfranchised and falsely accused of major doctrinal or theological error could have shown through their writing that they were in reality theologically conservative."?

It is my understanding that you are a faculty member at SWBTS. If any of your students tried to offer an argument as ludicrous as this to any premis, what would your response be? I can see me trying to slide something like this past Dr. Guy, Dr. Gray, Dr. Bennett or Dr. Drumright.

I hope that I am wrong, but this seems to be stretching a point in order to meet presuppositions.

A 10-40 Window Missionary

Jon L. Estes said...

BArt,

I'll offer the following change in my remarks...

1st stated: Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared (baptism and PPL)?

Restated for clarification: Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared persistently (baptism and PPL)?

Thank you Wade...

Thank you Bart for allowing me to clarify.

Jon L. Estes said...

Bart,

Let me rephrase what I stated...

1st said: Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared (baptism and PPL)?

Restated: Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared, persistently (baptism and PPL)?

Thanks Wade for not letting this slip by.

Thanks Bart for allowing me to clarify.

Bro. Matt said...

Bart,

Could you further explain (or email me if possible - you can go to www.ebenezermbc.com if my name will not take you to my email) to this quote in your post?

"Historically speaking, Smith's motion is probably a predictable outcome. Southern Baptists went so far as to expel from the convention such scofflaws as S. A. Hayden and Ben M. Bogard. With J. R. Graves, the SBC was able to achieve reconciliation. The statistically likely outcome for people who stage insurrections in the SBC is either to vanquish or to be expelled."

I would like to find out some more information on your views, historical understanding, and assumptions on Bogard and Graves.

Thanks!

Bro. Matt said...

Bart,

Just to re-introduce myself, I'm sure you don't remember any of my previous comments, I am a fellow pastor. I pastor Ebenezer Baptist Church (fellowshiping with the ABA), in Henderson, TX. Anyway, thought you might like to know who you are talking to!

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Jon,

I am not Bart, but allow me to take a stab at your question. Where do you think the convention would be without the information Wade has shared, persistently (baptism and PPL)?

Wade publicly blogged about a motion that he lost back in Dec 2005. The motion that he lost was after working behind the scenes for four months to get it changed. He presented a legal rendering and was affirmed with that legal rendering by the lawyer for the IMB. As a result Dr. Rankin asked that the issue come before the entire BoT for their decision. The entire BoT voted by (many say) 3/4 majority to affirm the policies. Wade then posts a "Crusading Conservatives" post making various charges against many of the sitting trustees and also other leaders in the convention. From that time forward the policies have not been the issue. The issue is that every time he tried to get something done with the IMB BoT he would lose a vote. Every time he lost a vote he would then blame the "narrowing of parameters" for his loosing the vote.

In all due respect to your question, and to Wade himself, all Wade has exposed to the SBC is the wrong way to go about getting something changed in the BoT.

Blessings,
Tim

Anonymous said...

Tim Rogers,

You hit the nail on the head!

"The issue is that every time he (Wade) tried to get something done with the IMB BoT he would lose a vote. Every time he lost a vote he would then blame the "narrowing of parameters" for his loosing the vote."

That sounds quite similar to the reason the founders of the CBF gave for starting their "convention like" fellowship in competition with the SBC.

The utilization of proper channels to advance a cause is the Southern Baptist methodology for implementing change. Once the recommendation has been dealt with by the 'powers that be' (i.e. BoT's) the one seeking change either accepts the outcome or begins to attack in a more non-traditional fashion. Hence, Wade Burleson. I refer not to blogging as being bad by very nature. It is not. Rather, I refer to the digruntled attempts of one individual to subvert the authority of the entire SBC trustee system that has been in place for far longer than he has been alive. Good thoughts, Tim.

Bart, good to have you back. I'm with you on the Hiram Smith issue.

B. McWilliams

Alan Cross said...

Bart, you claimed that Wade was saying that the Conservative Resurgence would not have taken place if the internet had been around when he said,

"I regret . . . that blogging was not available 30 years ago at the beginning of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. I truly believe that had blogging been available then, some of those who were hurt, disenfranchised and falsely accused of major doctrinal or theological error could have shown through their writing that they were in reality theologically conservative."

Are you claiming that the success of the Conservative Resurgence was dependent upon people being "hurt, disenfranchised and falsely accused of major doctrinal or theological error"? If so, maybe that is why we are in the mess we are in today. Wade was clearly saying that blogging would have been a corrective to the abuses of the CR, not something that would have kept the CR from happening. Every participant in the CR that I have ever heard from admits that there was a great deal of collateral damage that took place and most have said that they regret that aspect of it. According to your reasoning here, you are claiming that the CR was dependent upon these abuses or it would not have happened. In other words, it seems that you are saying that to be against the abuses would mean that you are taking a position against the CR.

I don't believe that you mean that. Truly, we don't live in a SBC where the ends justifies the means, do we? But, you seem to be so Anti-Wade that perhaps you don't realize that your choice of a quote by Wade made no sense whatsoever in light of the point that you were trying to make.

Jon L. Estes said...

Tim,

Actually I am of the position that what Wade has shared consistently has kept a very important issue in front of the people,whether you agree or not with his position. He has shown those who might have missed it in the BP that the IMB trustees have stepped beyond the BF&M2K and are refusing the appointment of some very godly and conservative men and women to serve among the powerful ranks of our mission force.

My stand...

1 - AA PPL is between the person and God, not some trustees who fear such a thing. If scripture condemned it, then so should we. Here in lies the problem. Scripture does not condemn and a strong case could be made it condones it for those God chooses to pray in such a way. PPL is not synonymous with speaking in tongues, though to make it so helpos fearful SB's.

I believe in believers baptism not baptist baptism and I think my position can easily be supported by scripture.

To make these to secondary, at best, subjects cause for non appointment is wrong until the convention speaks on it.

of course we saw this past year what some of our convention leaders think about what the convention decides. And some want one of these men to be our next convention president.

If you want a leader to subvert the convention voice, then follow the leader. Not me.

joerstewart said...

Isn't it interesting that there is a distinction between believer's baptism and baptist baptism? Hubmaier and others DIED for the right to baptize believers through immersion. It's simply incorrect to suggest that biblical baptism, believers' baptism, and a historical view of Baptist baptism are somehow different.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Jon,

I think you have rightfully stated something when you said, "PPL is not synonymous with speaking in tongues,....". I believe your right on target, because it isn't and not supported in scripture. The only private prayer language I am aware of is the one Jesus Christ taught his disciples and the PPL He prayed to His Father. Those are great PPL's, very instructive, and within context for the teaching of sound doctrine.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson said...

Jon,

meant to say....

I believe your right on target, because it (PPL) is not supported in scripture.

Blessings,
Chris

Debbie Kaufman said...

Chris: Wouldn't it be more accurate to say PPL is not supported in scripture in your view? Those who believe in PPL have supported their view with scripture and quite well, just as you have supported your view with scripture and quite well. It's why it should be an issue to agree to disagree and both views treated the same both by Southern Baptists and the SBC, IMB.

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Debbie,

I am glad you are in the blogsphere!!

You do bring up a good and valid point. But, I do believe there is a distinction in scripture and a good contextual definition of a PPL. The private prayer language of Jesus is clear, purposeful, and instructive to the benefit of the entire church. The definition of a PPL is best defined by the direct question that was asked of Christ….and He was gracious to provide the answer on how to pray in private. Then we see Him teach us the language He used as he prayed privately with His Father. This is powerful and instructive! It is also clear doctrine on prayer that can easily be taught with authority.

I do believe that the reason that fear is associated with the “other” definition of a PPL, is because it lacks the contextual support from the very passage it claims (1 Corinthians 14), and it lacks any clear directives on prayer as provided by Christ in the gospel accounts.

The distinction, on the other hand, does not diminish the doctrine of ‘speaking in tongues’. The Spirit has given us a very clear view of tongues and how tongues have operated to declare the gospel of God. So, if one prays in a tongue, it would not be different than what God has presented concerning tongues.

If we are to teach people the power of prayer, then I believe the PPL of Jesus Christ and His instruction concerning prayer is a profitable place to begin.

Blessings,
Chris

Jon L. Estes said...

Joe,

Its not the historical view of baptist baptism I am speaking of. It is the view that states one of our very own called out baptists can not serve as a missionary within the SBC unless baptized in a condition approved by a board of trustees.

As a pastor I have received into our fellowship many people who have been baptized by other denominations but not by "baptists". Should this disqualify them for missionary service in the SBC? If the local autonomous church recognizes their baptism as authentic, should not the mission board? Or does the SBC church answer to them?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Jon,

You say; "As a pastor I have received into our fellowship many people who have been baptized by other denominations but not by "baptists". Were these baptisms, to which you refer, baptisms by immersion after salvation? Also, were they baptisms performed in the Mormon church? Were they baptisms performed in proxy? Are you saying that you have received people in membership and accepted any of these types of baptisms? Are you saying that you have received people into membership who were sprinkled, but they personally believed that was a baptism?

Exactly what are you speaking of?

Blessings,
Tim

Alex said...

Tim,

By immersion after salvation I take it you mean baptism after profession of salvation?

Before we Baptists get too arrogant about our baptizing we do well to reflect that we regularly baptize unbelievers who are professing belief.

Jon L. Estes said...

Tim,

One good example is a young man I led to the Lord a few year back. He was attending a methodist church and was a regular at our student breakfast. I shared further about his responsibility as a believer to be baptized by immersion. He went to his pastor (where the young mans family attended) and asked to be baptized by immersion. The pastor agreed and set it up in our church on a Sunday afternoon with people from the Methodist church attending.

I did not drill this man on doctrine but was there when he got saved and witnessed the real fruit of the Spirit in this man.

A few years later the man graduated and moved into his own home. He started coming to our church (the Methodist pastor had relocated) and asked if he could attend. I said, "Of course."

After about six months he joined by statement of faith. We did not baptize him again because he was baptized as a believer, by immersion.

Would you say he would have to be baptized again to be a missionary for the SBC if God called him to missions?

I contacted the Methodist pastor

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Jon,

I just wanted you to answer my question. :^)

For you to place such an example seems that you want to try use it as a standard. I do not believe that is the standard by which the IMB is speaking when they set the guidelines.

Blessings,
Tim

Jon L. Estes said...

Tim,

I'd be interested in how you interpret the IMB standard.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS said...

Looks like your Hiram's wish has been granted before he even got to publicly ask for it: Wade has stepped down. I am sure that your post on this news will be met with dozens of comments that are full of glee.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS

volfan007 said...

simple student,

if you dont like swbts to the degree that it seems on your comments, then why do you stay there? why dont you leave and go somewhere else?

david

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Jon,

As I understand the reasoning behind the guideline, it had more to do with closing a loophole than prohibiting M's. It seemed that the IMB was being viewed as the M's dream job, because the M's do not have to worry about funding once they are on the field. It seemed to be a standard practice of some to go to SB churches from other denominations, only to then apply for IMB M status. Once on the field the M then would be able to teach doctrine contrary to SB. The Baptismal guidelines were put in place for the simple reason, some church's pastors were more excited to say they had a M serving on the International Mission Field, than hold to correct doctrine.

I am not saying this is the best solution, but I am saying the IMB saw this as a solution and I can affirm their decision.

Blessings,
Tim

A Simple Student @ SWBTS said...

david,

so just because i disagree with the swbts leadership's modus operandi, i need to leave?!? sorry, that's not my style. btw, this institution is much larger than the current administration.

a simple student @ swbts

Jon L. Estes said...

Tim,

Thanks for your response. Being that we are a local church down denomination I find it odd that the trustees of our churches (SBC) are telling the churches what type of baptism is required.

I accept the need to make sure we don't bring in people who distort our doctrinal position but running it through the baptism way seem the wrong way to address broader doctrinal questions.

If the scenario you describe is happening (and I don't deny it), the ethics of such a person is at stake and all they would need to do is not only join a SBC church to become a SBC M, they would now just have to get wet. Not a major step for folks willing to side-step the fund raising stuff of their own denominations.

If this is the best our trustees can do to deal with such an issue, our trustees must have a problem thinking through problematic issues. This concerns me.

When one of our own missionaries was abducted this past Saturday (released yesterday) in Afghanistan and we don't get the news till almost a week later...

Got to run

Anonymous said...

Tim Rogers, please provide evidence of one IMB missionary that is NOT teaching according to Baptist doctrine?? I don't know anyone that has been accused of such a thing. I believe that Wade Burleson also asked for evidence that PPL language was an issue on the field and never received it.

Chris Johnson,
please read I Corinthians 14:39 "Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues. This comes at the end of Paul's long discussion on the gifts of prophecy and tongues & orderly worship.

Is this not a Biblical command? Is the IMB BoT not in direct violation of a Biblical command.

an imb m

Bro. Matt said...

Paul was speaking to a group of believers during a time when speaking in tongues was still occuring. That gift is no longer manifested as it was during the times of the Corinthians. So how exactly is a Biblical command being broken today?

Chris Johnson said...

Brother an imb m,

You have precisely illumined my contention with an errant definition of PPL. Paul’s long discussion is about the abuse of tongues and errant experiential teaching among those at Corinth. There is not any scripture, that I am aware of, calling for the cessation of tongues,… nor is there any scripture that calls for another definition of the tongues established by the Spirit other than what we see in the book of Acts. Paul is clearly stating that if you speak in a tongue pray that you interpret. Paul is not redefining tongues, …he is correcting the Corinthians where that had began to practice and establish something different than what the Spirit had so clearly and previously established as doctrine for His body the church.

My point in the earlier blog, was that we have an excellent example of what our Lord and Savior taught on the language we use as we pray in private. The definition for tongues is not based in someone’s experience, it is based upon the Spirit and the clear understanding of the gospel. Although the Spirits work of speaking in tongues has never been normative in the life and ministry of the church, since the time of Christ and afterward, …the doctrine of tongues nevertheless is a powerful sign to unbelievers testifying that Jesus is Lord.

The gift of tongues is not required to cease, yet it must be taught correctly whether we believe we pray in tongues or not.

Blessings,
Chris

Tim Rogers said...

Brother/Sister an imb m,

I do not have evidence of the practice occurring on the field. Why? Because the administration deals with it before it is made public. If one were able to view the personnel records, I am certain that you may find such cases. Dr. Rankin has expressed his heart break of having to deal with open charismatic practice with former colleagues after he became Pres.

As for your response to Brother Joe. The IMB is not forbidding the speaking in tongues. Hebrews 2:4, in the context of the Scripture, provides an excellent case for the cessation of the sign gifts. It seems that the author of Hebrews, presents an excellent case here that the signs were the Holy Spirit's confirming authentication of the apostles' ministry.

Blessings,
Tim

Chris Johnson said...

Brother an imb m,

There are several places within scripture that move us to believe that the signs, miracles and tongues are not center stage any longer, 1 Corinthians 13 and Hebrews 2…one of which Tim as brought to our attention that point to the power of the God being demonstrated to us by God at the Pentecost meeting and at various points along the way during the ministry of the Apostles.

There are some that find it necessary to argue for the cessation of tongues, (yet scripture has no death blow). I continue to understand the works of God will be displayed as He sees fit. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to argue for cessation, but rather that God’s will be done. I do not necessitate the removal of tongues from the stage… but as Paul teaches us in the Corinthian letter, tongues do get moved to the back. God does not leave us wanting though, because there is clear evidence in scripture given by Christ as how to pray in private proved to be greatly more instructive and beneficial for His bride.

These days, what has been shuffled up to center stage by God is our obedience to the commission of spreading the good news of the gospel. Paul makes that clear as he scolded the Corinthians about their selfish view on baptism. God has seen fit in these days to demonstrate His power through His gospel. We should be obedient with Him to join in the task of putting it center stage, and not be concerned with those things of lesser importance. The maturing Christian will recognize the importance of the gospel and the lesser importance of signs.

Blessings,
Chris