Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Open Proposal to Wade Burleson

Dear Bro. Burleson:

In the aftermath of last year's Garner Motion, a tiresome debate has ensued over the meaning and implications of this vaguely worded motion. I don't like the resulting confusion, and surely neither do you.

Nobody benefits from our continuing in the same unresolved conflict and languishing in confusion. Therefore, I propose the following:

Let us put together a bipartisan panel to join, if you consent, in the drafting of a joint resolution on the role of the Baptist Faith & Message. To the best of our efforts, we will seek to craft a statement that characterizes our differences of opinion with clarity and, so far as we can manage it, neutrality. Let us attempt to draft a resolution regarding which we can both agree publicly beforehand that a vote one way necessarily vindicates your point of view and a vote the other way necessarily vindicates mine.

Then, let us submit the resolution in Indianapolis this year and let us await and abide by the results.

74 comments:

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

Are you suggesting a Bloggers Peace Committee? If so, will Brother Wade be James Flanning and Brother Ben be Cecil Sherman? You can be Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Jeremy Green will be Dr. Bailey Smith.

:>)

Blessings,
Tim

Bro. Robin said...

Bart

I will send a personal invitation to Wade to come to our Baptist Distinctives Conference. Might be an opportunity for you two to discuss the details, face to face.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I believe the Garner Motion speaks for itself. Feel free to bring any motion to the floor at this convention to attempt to reverse the Garner Motion. I think you will find your effort unsuccessful. I feel no need to do anything further than what the convention has already adopted.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Does that mean that your are content for the convention to be in a state of confusion over this motion?

Blessings,
Tim

Bob Cleveland said...

If I didn't like the Garner Motion and the effect it SHOULD be producing among SBC entities ... given the substantial passage of same ... this is exactly the proposal I'd make.

It seems to be an effort at nullifying the effects the Motion should be having, and would be, were it not for recalcitrant leadership who doesn't want to acknowledge the authority of the Convention.

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

The only people allegedly 'confused' are those who don't like that the Garner Motion passed by a clear majority of the SBC.

When Jeremy Roberts, the Midwestern professor, and others spoke AGAINST the Garner Motion BEFORE the vote - they seemed to be very clear and lucid on why the convention should vote AGAINST it.

Only after the convention voted FOR the Garner Motion - by an overwhelming majority - did we hear that messengers were allegedly 'CONFUSED.'

It's not confusing to state, again, the facts. The Garner Motion CAME FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the SBC. Dr. Chapman described eloquently in his message to the Convention what the Executive Committee intended. The debate over the Garner Motion was both lengthy and lucid.

The convention adopted the Garner Motion. It's now time for agencies to abide by it.

Matt said...

First, why shouldn't texts (such as the Garner motion) be interpreted in light of authorial intent? We jump all over theological liberals for interpreting passages of Scripture in ways that are inconsistent with authorial intent, but then we feel free to do the same thing with one of our own motions even though the author is still living and his intent can be easily ascertained.

Second, assuming for the sake of argument that some of those who voted for the motion were confused, so what? They still voted for it. If I vote for Bill Clinton because I'm "confused" about his policies, my vote still counts and it still helps him get elected. I'm not free to disregard the results of the vote just because I was confused at the time I voted.

Perhaps those who do not fully understand a motion or have doubts about what it means shouldn't be voting on it in the first place.

The Garner motion means what it means, and it means what it meant. What it meant must be ascertained by looking at the author's intent. Why don't you ask Dr. Garner what his intent was?

volfan007 said...

wade,

baloney.

david

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

The agencies ARE abiding by it.

Again, someone is reaching out to you to end the confusion and arguing. It is astounding how often people reach out to you and you reject the offer of cooperation. I thought you were always available to sit down and talk with someone to work out differences.

You have an opportunity to build a bridge. I pray that you take it.

Wade Burleson said...

Matt,

There is no need to ask Dr. Garner his intent. HE STATED IT TO THE ENTIRE CONVENTION BEFORE THE VOTE.

You can the entire transcript of the debate over the Garner Motion on my blog. For the sake of convenience I am posting Dr. Rick Garner's comments to the entire convention on the intent of HIS motion.

___________________________

President Frank Page: Bro. Rick, are you at microphone nine?

Pastor Rick Garner: Yes, sir.

President Frank Page: You moved. (Laughter)

President Frank Page: Would you like to speak to your motion sir?

Pastor Rick Garner: Yes, Mr. President.

President Frank Page: All right.

Messenger Rick Garner speaks FOR the motion now called 'The Garner Motion'


"Mr. President, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 stands as the doctrinal capstone of the conservative resurgence. It is the only consensus, and therefore, the only sufficient basis for doctrinal accountability among Southern Baptists. It is the privilege, it is indeed the sacred responsibility, of this convened body to inform our entities, agencies, and institutions of our continued and firm commitment to this instrument of doctrinal accountability.

The question before us this evening is this: Is the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 sufficient in its current form to guide the Southern Baptist Convention and all its agencies, entities and institutions? An affirmitive vote is for its sufficiency. A negative vote is a vote for its insufficiency and will effectively render the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 anemic to accomplish its purposes. I believe it is sufficient. My church believes it is sufficient. The Executive Committee report affirms it is sufficient, and this Convention believes it is sufficient.

If the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is sufficient for the Southern Baptist Convention at large, then it should be considered sufficient for all Southern Baptist entities, agencies, and institutions.

Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together unless they are agreed." We have all agreed that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is our convention's confession of faith. The only remaining questions is, 'Will we walk together?'

Mr. President, thank you."


End Quote

David, want some Pepsi with that baloney of yours? :) Seems as if Dr. Garner informed the Convention PRECISELY what the motion means - and it is exactly what I commented earlier that caused you such indigestion.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

There is no confusion and I'm not arguing. As you can read for yourself the above comment by Dr. Garner - the convention knew PRECISELY what they were doing when they voted. The issue is not one of building bridges - the issue is you and others need to cross the bridge the convention already built.

volfan007 said...

wade,

i do like pepsi. :)

i'm reading what dr. garner said and i still dont see it clearly spelled out as you see it.

i'm being very serious right now. i dont see that as a clear statement that it should be a maximum statement. none of my non blogging, pastor friends understood it either. when he talks about it being sufficient, many took that as a vote of affirmation.

now, some of the 42% who voted against it believed that dr. garner was trying to do what you say it means. i was one of them. but, i only thought that after i saw who was speaking for it, and who was speaking against it. many in the crowd at san antonio, who dont blog, didnt have the info i had. :)

but, to bart and matt brady's credit. they told me that it was just an affirmation, and they had voted for it. they saw nothing about it being a maximum statement.

thus, why dont you make it more clear as bart suggests? then, we will really see how the sbc feels about it? when it's clear?

btw, wade, fried baloney is the best, imho. slap some mayo on it, and man, your really living.

david

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

Please, snappy comebacks that seek to embarrass will not win the day. Bart offered an olive branch of cooperation. Let's address this to gain understanding.

I believe, as do many other bloggers, that the majority of people were voting to affirm the BF&M 2000. This is especially true after the women spoke as to how the 1963 confession did not need to be changed. It is not clear as to whether they voted to say that the IMB or any other agency cannot address doctrinal issues outside of the BF&M or they were affirming the BF&M.

Wade you have said to me and others that you are willing to sit down with anyone to cooperate. Remember Jerry Corbaley and the cafeteria incident? At least sit down with Bart and fully see what he is proposing.

I got an idea. Why don't we get specific this year with a motion such as this:

"I move that the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention desire the agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention to cease making doctrinal guidelines and policies, such as those that address charismatic practices as tongues and praying in tongues, that are not addressed in the Baptist Faith and Message as passsed in 2000."

Put it forward Wade. See how the convention reacts to your interpretation of the Garner motion.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Wade,

You must be living in the same land of fallacy that former President Clinton lives, as he cannot remember his meeting with Dr. Ed Young. You cannot remember the debate and have used Dr. Garner's argument to prove exactly what we are trying to say.

Dr. Rick Garner said; A negative vote is a vote for its insufficiency and will effectively render the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 anemic to accomplish its purposes. He went on to say;Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together unless they are agreed." We have all agreed that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 is our convention's confession of faith. The only remaining questions is, 'Will we walk together?'

A negative vote would make the BF&M2k anemic? I thought we did not believe in creeds. The argument effectively exalts the BF&M2k to the level of creedalism. However, its veiled reference to the division of the '63 BF&M crowd and the BF&M2k crowd, along with the plant that you all placed there with that woman made this one of the most confusing motions I have ever experienced in all of my years of coming to the convention.

Oh, as for the confusion. Bart and I were on opposite sides of this issue. He argued that it was a motion he could support along with the reasons he could support it, before the debate on Tuesday evening--read his blog.

Blessings,
Tim

Alan Cross said...

Tim,

You keep accusing people of planting that woman. Do you have proof of that, or are you just making an accusation? If you have proof, I'd like to hear it. If not, I would kindly ask you to stop saying this. The reason I am asking you that is because, to my knowledge, no one had any idea who she was. I was privy to how a whole lot of this went down, and I can tell you, unless there were things going on that I didn't know about (which is always possible), a lot of what you think happened is not what happened at all - Your conspiracy theory about this woman being another example.

Bart Barber said...

Let the record reflect, and let the people of the Southern Baptist Convention know, that I have tried.

I'm betting that the trustees of the IMB tried, too.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Allan,

Today you will stop to get gas at a convenient store. While you are filling your tank a man will come behind you and say--it never rains in California. Do not turn around. Do what he says. He will direct you to an isolated location and then search you to make certain that you are not wired. Once he is assured of his anonymity he will tell you my source.

;>)

Blessings,
Tim

Matt said...

I think many of you are missing the point. Please answer this direct question. For purposes of this question, I'm assuming for the sake of argument that the text of the Garner motion and Garner's speech are ambiguous.

When a text is ambiguous and the author's intent can be ascertained (by asking him), is it acceptable to interpret the text in a way that is inconsistent with authorial intent?

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

Nice try. When you are prepared to present a motion to the effect:

"I move the Southern Baptist Convention continue to affirm the Executive Committee's, the Convention's and Dr. Rick Garner's intent in the 2007 SBC adoption of 'The Garner Motion.' While some have expressed confusion over the intent of the convention over the passage of the Garner Motion, this 2008 Indianopolis Convention reaffirms the 2007 San Antonio decision to acknowledge that the BFM 2000 is the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and such is sufficient in its current form to guide trustees in their establishment of policies' and urge our agencies to resist the temptation to establish narrower doctrinal parameters than the BFM 2000 which are then used as a basis to exclude from cooperative mission work otherwise qualified Southern Baptists.'

If that is your intent with such a motion in Indianopolis, I am delighted to 'climb on board' with your effort. If it is not, then your intent is to reverse the Garner Motion and I will not be a part of it - nor will the convention.

You get nowhere Bart, with snide comments.

Blessings,

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Matt,

Absolutely. Good point.

Robin,

Your comment and proposed 'recommendation,' besides bording on absurdity, lacks both merit and foundation. Were you to make your recommendation with the following words, you would far more accurately represent the truth of what is occurring in some SBC agencies:

I move that the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention express their desire that the agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention be urged to continue making doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM 2000, without Southern Baptist Convention approval, and thereby doctrinally excluding otherwise qualified Southern Baptists from cooperative missions and ministry service. Examples of demands on conformity for such doctrinal policies would be those passed by the International Mission Board that include the prohibition of a 'private prayer language' and effectively excludes Dr. Jerry Rankin from missionary service and hundreds of other Southern Baptists were they to seek a new missionary field appointment. Another example would be the recent proposed policy presented to the board of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that would exclude from Southern Baptist leadership anyone who held to 'reformed' doctrine, which would effectly exclude Al Mohler and hundreds of other Southern Baptists fo 'doctrinal' reasons if passed. This 2008 Convention in Indianopolis expresses her dissatisfaction with the intent of the convention approved 2007 Garner Motion and urge our agencies to continue adopting such doctrinal policies that exceed the BFM 2000. "

Tell me Robin - is this what you wish? If so, I cannot be a part of any so called 'roundtable.' The Garner Motion speaks for the desires of the convention.


Blessings,

Wade

Jason Morrison said...

I am a pastor in the SBC, trained at SBTS, and have been keeping up with the IMB policy additions (tongues & baptism).

Personally, I am not for the policy changes that were made and am glad Wade Burleson made them known publicly and challenged them.

I also think the Garner motion was not clear as to its intent, specifically as to how "sufficient" should be interpreted.

My wife, who is pretty smart, asked me about the intent of the motion at the convention before we voted.

There are people out there who are sympathetic to those who are being rejected because of the new policies at the IMB who also think the Garner motion was confusing and not the proper way to address the policies before the convention.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

At this single point you are correct—it was a snide comment born out of frustration. I should not have added the part about the board of trustees. I apologize.

Jason Morrison said...

I meant to say Private Prayer Language, not tongues.

Bart Barber said...

Matt,

Rick Garner is not the author of the vague wording. Morris Chapman is not the author of the vague wording. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention is the author. I doubt that a blunt statement of Wade's interpretation of the statement could pass at an Executive Committee meeting. Sometimes in any committee a vague statement is the only thing around which you can build enough support to gain passage of your motion.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Your lack of interest in any good faith effort to gain a clear statement from the Southern Baptist messengers on this issue is, in and of itself, a clear statement.

But, contemplating the situation this morning, I want to beware the presumption that you speak for everyone. There are other men of good faith on your side of the issue, and if resolution of this conflict cannot take place with you, perhaps it can take place around you.

I open my invitation to other leaders on your side of the issue. Alan, are you still out there? Others?

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I appreciate your apology for the snide comment and accept it.

Please express clearly and unambiguously what it is you wish to accomplish with your 'invitation.' I have an opinion regarding your intentions, but I will refrain from giving it until I hear from you. If you desire to truly put a stop to backdoor doctrinal policies that exclude otherwise qualified Southern Baptists from 'cooperative' missions and ministry service - all WITHOUT SBC approval - then I am interested in cooperating with you.

In His Grace,

Wade

Paul said...

Tim,

When the Garner motion came to the floor in San Antonio I was sitting with my brother Todd just down from Ben Cole and just across the aisle from Wade Burleson and Dwight McKissic. I believe Alan Cross may have been there as well. When that lady got up to speak we all looked at each other and asked "Who is she??" Nobody knew. She was speaking from a mic on the other side of the convention center from where we were. When the mic in front of Wade came open he (graciously?) :D pushed Dwight to the mic.

If there were some conspiracy involving this woman someone there would have known who she was and we would have been sure to have all of the mics covered (much as the friends of Dr. Patterson did for the SWBTS report).

Tim, you really need to. quit making things up about people that are no more than wild speculations that you repeat as fact. It's getting to be an old and ugly habit.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

My intention is to remove any ambiguity about what the Southern Baptist Convention is saying. Put before the people a vote on a question that all parties agree beforehand to be a clear statement of the issues, and then let the people decide.

Wade Burleson said...

Jason Morrison,

I appreciate your comment. You wonder the meaning of the word 'sufficient' as it applies to the BFM 2000. The word speaks for itself.

Suppose you said to me.

"My wife is sufficient for me."

What does that communicate? I believe your answer defines the word 'sufficient' for the BFM 2000. Follow the analogy further: If an unscrupulous man were 'unsatisfied' with his wife, he might - in secret - pursue somone else that better satisfies him, and then react with horror when exposed. The husband who has publicly declared his devotion to his wife knows he should not be mating with mistresses in secret. That, in effect, is what happens when an agency approves a 'doctrinal policy' without convention approval - and that is the meaning of the word 'sufficient.'

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

Fair enough. I accept. AND, I'll go a step further. If we can agree on a motion that states the issues clearly and it present it to the 2008 Convention - AND IF the Convention expresses her intention in Indianopolis 2008 to exclude Southern Baptists from cooperative missions and ministry by DEMANDING conformity to agency 'doctrinal policies' that EXCEED the BFM 2000 - and are not CONVENTION approved - then I will lead my church to partner with other likeminded Southern Baptist churches and pull out of the Cooperative Program because it has now become the Conformity Program.

Blessings,

Wade

volfan007 said...

wade,

and, if the people of the sbc decide to make the bfm2k a maximum statement, then i will "gladly" abide by the wishes of the majority. i've always said this. i mean, if that's the way everyone wants it...then, so be it. let's vote on something that clearly says that.

but, my concerns about us sliding backwards and down into charismatic tangents and into liberal, unbiblical views, and losing doctrines that we baptists hold dear would still be there.

david

Wade Burleson said...

That will not happen, Bart, because our Convention has already spoken and they realize what is at stake.

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

Whether my motion is absurd, I will leave for God to decide. But what it does is bring the full measure of what you are proposing to light.

Again, Bart has offered an olive branch. Whether this is snide or not, I too wonder how many olive branches were offered to you at the IMB BoTs?

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Very good. Do you have an opinion as to the size of the panel?

John Mann said...

Wade,

Over the past couple of years I have followed the conversations from afar, staying informed, yet staying silent in most cases. However, there is something I am not clear on and I was wondering if you could help me to understand. Please know that this is an honest question.

You argue for the sufficiency of the BFM, yet you yourself have publicly expressed disagreements with certain elements of it. Is it logically possible to argue for sufficiency of a document, and then ignore certain aspects of it? From my standpoint, it seems that the only possible attribution to your motives is not only to "minimilize" the document, but it is to eradicate the document altogether. The only other option I can think of is that your arguments are revealing contradictions within your own thinking. Would you mind helping me to understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish? Thank you.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I would urge you to remove yours and Robin's offensive comments, and respectfully request that Robin refrain from future attacks on character and stick to issues. I have accepted your apology Bart, but it seems that Robin does not yet understand the difference betweeen debating issues and attacking one's character. We are in need of statesmen who can articulate their positions without denigrating persons of opposing views. Debate can be tough - but the toughness ought to surround the position one holds - not the character of the one who holds to it. If you choose to remove the two comments in question, feel free to remove this one as well.

Blessings,

wade

Wade Burleson said...

John Mann,

You ask a solid question. My disagreement with the BFM on 'closed communion' and the 'impartation of Adam's sin' is simply to show that the BFM is not a creed - and according to some is not even a disagreement. I absolutely, positively do not disagree with the BFM in any major article or doctrine. I wholeheartedly affirm that the Southern Baptist Convention needs some sort of confessional statement that articulates THE MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE BAPTIST FAITH.

Where we get in trouble in a convention based on 'cooperation' is when anybody wishes to NARROW the consensus of doctrine to a point that those who disagree on TERTIARY issues are excluded from cooperative service.

KEEP OUR CONSENSUS DOCTRINAL CONFESSION FOCUSED ON THE MAJOR DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL - and do not demand that people 'conform' on tertiary doctrinal issues.

Interestly, I have been assured by a couple of people on the BFM 2000 Committee, however, that my disagreements on communion and the impartation of the sin of Adam are NOT disagreements because the BFM DOES NOT TEACH, according to them, ONLY closed church communion - nor does it teach that babies are NOT considered by God to be sinners because of Adam's sin. Therefore, I am told that I am NOT in disagreement with the BFM 2000 on these MINOR issues.

The trouble is that we have to INTERPRET any doctrinal confession when it includes MINOR doctrines instead of only major gospel truths. Let's keep our CONSENSUS doctrinal statement as BROAD as possible so that the most possible Southern Baptists can cooperate to win the world for Christ.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

My policy for the past nearly-two-years of blogging has been to remove comments when (a) the person who made the comment requests that it be removed or (b) the comment contains foul language. I strayed from that policy once and regretted it afterward.

I will not remove my comment because there are other ideas in that comment by which I stand and which I wish to have remain in the record. Blogger does not allow the editing of comments; it is an all-or-nothing proposition. I have apologized for the portion of that comment that we are discussing.

Robin is a good, godly man and will be guided by his own conscience on the matter.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

The Baptist Faith & Message states that life begins at conception. You have stated your disagreement at that point, have you not?

Wade Burleson said...

Ministry responsibilities necessitate I leave this comment stream. Blessings to all.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

Life begins BEFORE conception. Life is in the sperm. Life is in the egg. The question is 'who CREATES the soul.' Only GOD does that. When? At the time of His choosing - and if my brothers and sisters in Christ believe GOD CREATES the soul at conception, I have absolutely NO problem with their view - however, DON'T TELL ME MOM AND DAD created the soul (or scientiests in the test tube). That is, according to the prophets, the sole creative act of GOD Himself. Sorry, couldn't leave without responding! Gone!

Blessings,

Wade

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

Blessings to you, as well. Don't forget to minister to your wife this Valentine's Day, and that goes for all of us.

When you are able to return, will you give me your opinion as to the size of the panel. Also, we have many more details regarding the panel to determine.

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

You're right, I have focused on attacking character rather than debating the issue at hand.

I apologize to the IMB BoTs for "wondering" what they did to try to reach out in the fiasco that has been pushed on them in the last two years. Knowing the character of the current board members, I should have trusted that they did all they could behind the scenes to resolve this issue without trying to embarrass anyone. Again, my apology to the IMB Board of Trustees and may God continue to bless them with wisdom as stewards of their calling to the board.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart, thanks for the encouragement, I will. Same to you and your wife . . . and Robin and his.

Greg Welty said...

"My wife is sufficient for me."

Clearly, spouses are sufficient to meet the needs they were *designed* to meet, but they are not sufficient to meet needs they were never designed to meet. Does it follow from the sufficiency of my spouse, that she is sufficient to get me a mansion? A new car? My daily bread?

"Sufficiency" is a teleologically-oriented term. Nothing is sufficient *simpliciter*, that is, all by itself, for any and every purpose. Rather, the question to ask when that word is invoked is: sufficient *for what*?

A Ford Explorer is sufficient for driving on the freeway. It is not sufficient for driving on the moon.

Likewise, the Scriptures are sufficient in providing guidance in all those areas they actually address. But the Scriptures do not provide guidance in areas they do not address. The Scriptures do not tell me how many SBC seminaries there are, or who will win the upcoming election, or where Oklahoma is.

Thus, calling the BFM "sufficient" does not in fact resolve the issues that are before us. Some have interpreted the sufficiency of the BFM as implying that the BFM guides us in all the areas it addresses, but it obviously does not guide us in any areas it does not address. For that, we need guidance from other sources (the Bible, convention resolution, prudential decisions based on a wide-variety of common-sense factors, etc.)

Of course, this all could have been cleared up if the original Garner Motion had actually included a specific clause on forbidding doctrinal policies in areas the BFM does not specifically address. Unfortunately, that was not added.

So in the end, the example of "My wife is sufficient for me" illustrates all the more the need for the kind of statement Bart is proposing in this post.

Bart Barber said...

Indeed, Greg, I almost asked whether it was a violation of the sufficiency of one's wife to have a mother, a banker, a golfing buddy, a pastor?

Bart Barber said...

Sorry...hit return too soon.

To conclude my previous comment, there is a difference between sufficient and all-sufficient or "only sufficient." The latter two are language that we reserve for God and the Bible.

Bart Barber said...

Thanks, Wade.

I am greatly encouraged by your consent to this proposal. I do hope that we will be able to act quickly. I further hope to encourage you by expressing my commitment that the proceedings of this group should take place with utter and complete openness and transparency, with the process of developing a clear and neutral statement occurring in the full view of everyone. A person who views the issues from your perspective (I'll let him take credit if he wishes to do so) has proposed that we create a new blog solely for the purpose of letting the panel work on the proposed resolution. I think that might be an excellent idea.

Tim Rogers said...

To All,

I have been in contact with Brother Allan Cross. He has assured me that he did not know this woman and would have never been involved with this motion had it been derived out of confusion and placed before the convention in order to create confusion. I must take Brother Alan at his word as he is an honorable man.

Blessings,
Tim

joerstewart said...

I concur.

Bart Barber said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I depart the thread for what will probably be the remainder of the day...I think.

CB Scott said...

Greg Welty,

CONSUMER REPORTS has just rated the new FORD EXPLORER as an above average to better SUV.

Therefore, accordingly it is now "sufficient" for faculty use and pastoral visitation transportation.

I thought you might like to know that for your next comment. :-)

cb

Greg Welty said...

CB Scott,

Thankfully, the new Ford Explorers are not "necessary" for faculty use, since I'd have to go in debt to get one. My 1999 hailstorm-ravaged Ford Taurus works just fine, though, so all is well :-)

BTW, great post on Ed Young on your blog yesterday.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother's CB and Dr. Welty,

I must disagree with you both as to the sufficiency of the Ford Explorers.

There is no way a Ford is sufficient for anything other than being hooked on the back of a wrecker. If you sit on the front porch on a quiet night you can hear a Ford falling to pieces.

Blessings,
Tim

Wade Burleson said...

Greg Welty,

You say, "Clearly, spouses are sufficient to meet the needs they were *designed* to meet, but they are not sufficient to meet needs they were never designed to meet."

Agreed.

Tell me, please, in terms of the BFM 2000 and cooperative missions and ministry in the SBC, what are the 'needs' sufficiently met by its signing, and what are the 'needs' NOT sufficiently met by its signing to necessitate 'additional' doctrinal policies.

That, I believe, is the heart of the issue.

In His Grace,

Wade

Bro. Robin said...

Lord help us. Now we are arguing about whether the Ford is a quality vehicle or not. Maybe some are correct in that Baptists aren't happy unless they have something to disagree on. :-D

Tim

BTW, have you had a good steak lately? I hear there are some good spots in Texas.

Bart Barber said...

Looking once again at this post's title and thinking about the date, I have a new headline to spice up Baptist rumormongering this season:

"On the Eve of Valentine's Day, Bart Barber Proposes to Wade Burleson"

:-)

Alan Cross said...

All,

I am in favor of Bart's proposal. Actually, I wrote a resolution last year and submitted it to the resolutions committee that was anything but vague. It was based on the EC Statement that came out in February of '07. After reading about that statement, I printed it in totality on my blog, downshoredrift.com, on Feb. 22, 2007 and provided this analysis: "The Executive Committee of the SBC basically said that they did not think it wise for SBC entities to draft theological and doctrinal positions that go beyond the Baptist Faith & Message." That is how I read the statement the very first time I read it before I had every spoken with anyone about it. That view inspired my resolution. What Bart is proposing is what myself and Les Puryear, who wrote a similar resolution, were trying to do. When you read the resolution, please note that my use of the word sufficiency was clear. I believed that "sufficiency" meant that the BFM was the guide that we were to use in establishing doctrinal policies. I did see the BFM as a maximal statement. So, I object to any insinuation that the Garner Motion was a cleverly designed ploy to be intentionally vague to lead the Convention astray. I was involved in all of the discussions to create and bring forward the Garner Motion and I can tell you that no deceit was ever mentioned. To a man, every person sincerely believed that the EC Statement spoke to a limiting of the ability of entities to create doctrinal requirements that exceeded the BFM. Dr. Chapman spoke to this during his address. As to authorial intent, that is absolutely what Rick Garner believed. We were all in agreement as to what the word "sufficient" meant and we hung our hat on that. When the motion passed, we felt that we had won a very clear victory. We had no idea that it would be interpreted and dismissed the way it has been.

The actual plan was to adopt the EC Statement as a motion so that it would have more impact. If that failed, we were hoping that my resolution or Les' would make it out of committee. Failing that, we would have tried to bring one of them out of committee. In all sincerity, I believed that all three statements said exactly the same thing. It was only when I came to Bart's blog on Wednesday morning did I hear another perspective on it. This use of the word sufficiency is nothing new and did not arise in a cleverly crafted plot at the Convention. Bart interacted on Les Puryear's blog with me over this issue on April 10, 2007. Here is the link:

http://lesliepuryear.blogspot.com/

2007/04/dr-boyd-luters-response-to-

executive.html

Les' resolution is on April 14, 2007.

My point is that these ideas were being bandied about publicly BEFORE the San Antonio Convention and I never heard the argument that the EC Statement was just a reaffirmation of the BFM. That is why I was so shocked to hear that as the explaination for it's passage. I believe that Dr. Mohler fully understood the implications of the Garner Motion when he made his address. That is why he gave the examples that he did. He did not see it as simply a reaffirmation of the BFM. I believe that the Convention understood the debate as well.

So, basically, I would be in favor of going down the same road that I went down last year. I fear nothing in that. If the SBC denied my position, I would accept that. I do not pin my hopes on the Garner Motion, because if the SBC truly believes what they expressed in San Antonio, it should stand up to another vote.

Here is the text of my resolution. It is long, but I believe that you will see a desire for clarity:

ON THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE BAPTIST FAITH & MESSAGE 2000 AS A DOCTRINAL GUIDE FOR CONVENTION ENTITIES

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith & Message, 2000 is the only consensus statement of faith regarding the doctrinal beliefs of Southern Baptists and is therefore our agreed upon doctrinal statement of cooperation; and

WHEREAS, The entities of the Southern Baptist Convention are the arenas where cooperation practically takes place on a national level; and

WHEREAS, All entities of the Southern Baptist Convention have adopted the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 as their doctrinal guide; and

WHEREAS, The entities are owned solely by the Southern Baptist Convention and are therefore accountable to the Convention; and

WHEREAS, The addition of further doctrinal requirements and/or restrictions beyond the BF&M2000 for employment by our entities de facto alters our agreed upon doctrinal basis of cooperation without due process or deliberation by the SBC through consultation or amendment to the Baptist Faith & Message; and

WHEREAS, The addition of further doctrinal requirements and/or restrictions by the trustee boards of our entities beyond the consensus statement of faith of the SBC has the potential to detrimentally affect the trust, cooperation, and participation of autonomous Southern Baptist churches and individuals with said entities, as well as the solvency of the Cooperative Program; and

WHEREAS, The SBC Executive Committee in its February 19-20, 2007 meeting in Nashville, TN declared that it "acknowledges the Baptist Faith and Message is not a creed, or a complete statement of our faith, nor final or infallible, nevertheless we further acknowledge that it is the only consensus statement of doctrinal beliefs approved by the Southern Baptist Convention and as such is sufficient in its current form to guide trustees in their establishment of policies and practices of entities of the Convention”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-13, 2007, agree with the aforementioned Executive Committee statement and declare that the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 is a sufficient doctrinal guide regarding the establishment of policies, practices, and we would add, guidelines for the entities of the Convention; and be it further

RESOLVED, That it is also sufficient to establish the doctrinal parameters that inform the hiring of employees and ministry personnel for SBC entities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we do not desire to see SBC entities go beyond the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 by creating additional doctrinal requirements and/or restrictions regarding the establishment of policies, practices, and guidelines in relation to personnel decisions or theological parameters; and be it further

RESOLVED, That if there is any need for further doctrinal requirements or restrictions that go beyond the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 (our only consensus statement of faith), we request that those items be brought before the SBC's Annual Meeting for deliberation and affirmation from a larger representative body of Southern Baptists with warning of the doctrinal change given at the previous year's Annual Meeting.

Alan Cross said...

One other thing: It must be noted that this resolution never made it out of committee on Wednesday. Is that because they believed that the issue had already been addressed through the Garner Motion on Wednesday night? Is it because it was too specific and we cannot direct the entities? Was there a political reason? I do not know. I ran it by quite a few people before the convention who knew about such things and I was not told that it was out of line since it made suggestions and was not directive. At any rate, the Resolutions Committee did NOT want this going forward, yet they could not stop the Garner Motion. That is not the fault of this pastor or the others who proposed the Garner Motion. That was a decision of the Resolutions Committee.

So, can we at least shelve the language that states that the proponents of the Garner Motion were being intentionally vague? That is a subtle assault on our character and it is not supported by the facts. Thank you.

I also support a public blog solely dedicated to resolving this issue according to what Bart has recommended. I was the one who suggested that. I believe it would be a fascinating discussion and I would have no problem submitting and defending my position.

Greg Welty said...

Wade wrote:

"Tell me, please, in terms of the BFM 2000 and cooperative missions and ministry in the SBC, what are the 'needs' sufficiently met by its signing, and what are the 'needs' NOT sufficiently met by its signing to necessitate 'additional' doctrinal policies."

Good question.

Answering it is way above my pay grade.

However, I can offer you some help here. I believe the trustees of our SBC entities have been regularly answering that question since 1845.

Their answers may surprise you.

:-)

P.S. I'm still amused by the quaint notion that the recent IMB policies were "doctrinal" policies. Strange, that...

Dave Miller said...

This comment stream has probably run its course. But I would make a couple of observations.

1) I wish Wade would accept Bart's invitation and work this out, because this issue needs to be settled.

2) I can understand why Wade doesn't. He has been the subject of relentless attacks on his character and ethics (note Robin, Bart and others on this stream). He has no real reason to trust the goodwill of some of these bloggers.

3) We need discussions that stick to ideas and leave the slander alone. I am absolutely amazed that "men of God" in the blogging world resort to the kind of conversation that is so often displayed.

Where does the Bible say that when you disagree with someone, the teachings on gossip and slander no longer apply.

Bart Barber said...

Dave Miller,

Thanks for stopping by PGBB. Feel free to comment any time.

I have apologized for my remark because it was out of place in this context and obviously an expression of my frustration with Wade. However, it was not an attack on his character. Indeed, if you consider it to have been a false statement (viz., if you believe that the trustees of the IMB did not try at all), then wouldn't THAT be an attack upon THEIR character?

Bro. Robin said...

xDave

I have not questioned Wade's character in this comment stream. In fact, I have repeatedly asked him to cooperate with Bart. You don't question a man's character while trying to be a peace maker.

Bro. Robin said...

Dave

Sorry about the "x" typo.

CB Scott said...

Vol,

You are right. Why attack him when you can just X him out.

Is that some kind of new Tennessee cussin'?

Sorry, Dave, I just could not help myself. It is a Tennessee-Alabama thing. :-)

cb

Anonymous said...

As a complete outsider, a layman, reading through these comments I certainly agree with Dave Miller. It is nothing short of astonishing to me to read the comments of some of you 'men of God'. I've heard much worse of course in the military and business world. However, I am surprised to hear less than gracious terms between brothers in Christ. I would think the church should be the one place where discussions and disagreements could be conducted openly, friendly and graciously. There are a couple of individuals here who should not be considered as members of your panel.

That said, I think perhaps the panel can be a wonderful opportunity IF each of you will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Nothing will be gained if you are going with the clear intent to 'put down' your brother and his presentation. I see nothing wrong with the original motion. However, since so many of you insist I and others do not really understand then maybe you can help us with our fog. I say maybe since this post and others has created a loss of confidence in me toward individals called out by the Lord as undershepards for His flock. Please prove me wrong.

Blessings,

mel spencer

Bart Barber said...

Mel Spencer,

My brother, I note two things that I hope will accrue to your edification:

1. Peter and Paul would not meet the criteria for your "undershepherds" pedestal. They tangled up a time or two, you know.

2. Most of the folks blogging on my side of the issues took up the medium only to offer an answer to the harsh, vitriolic, and bitter diatribes hurled before we ever typed our first word. My very first blogging series addressed the baseless negativity of the Memphis Declaration.

volfan007 said...

mel,

did you ever read how robin and tim and me and others were severely attacked in very personal ways on comment streams in wade's, ben's, marty's, art's, littleton's, and others blogs? that's why i've quit going to many of those blogs. i was tired of being called names for disagreeing with them.

mel, you side with wade and his gang all the time. dont you think that you and dave are just a teeny weeny little bit prejudiced in your comments?


cb, i'm not following what you said to me about the x thing. where did i x someone out? can you help me? you know about us slow tennesseans? bout the only people were smarter than are alabamans.

david

Anonymous said...

Brother Bart,
I am unable to discuss things with those two gentlemen. However, my aim is to discuss with all of you learned pastors the need to be civil and gracious to each other. That is not asking so much is it?

You seem congenial most of the time. Can not you and 'your side' agree with WB and 'his side' to approach all issues with prayer and brotherly love letting all previous issues fall by the way side? If you are going into this panel reminding others how you have been mistreated then what will be gained?

I have a great deal of confidence in many of those of you who I read commenting. There are a couple on this thread who will most likely never be able to be objective. That is truly sad coming from a group such as you gentlemen.

I am an old coot within the SBC. It is only in the last year that I have been following blogs and have been surprised and even shocked at some of what I have read. Surely we need more brotherly love, more working together and far less animosity. Is disagreement the grounds for such apparent dislike and personal attacks? Do not all of you serve the same God and preach from the same Bible? Is the same Holy Spirit alive and well in all of you? IF the answer is yes for those questions then I see no reason why everyone is not able to eventually get along. I said eventually. I believe our Lord is the God of order not disorder. If both sides are tuned to His Will and His Leading then
success is on the way.

There are some good laypersons in the SBC who could contribute to the panel. It does not have to be strictly pastors. I believe you would be well served to have layman representation on the panel.

Brother David,

I had on my Tenn jacket today (go Vols). Hopefully my comment will address your concerns.

Blessings,

mel spencer

Dave Miller said...

Dave (Volfan),

I want to make it clear that I do not believe I am prejudiced in Wade's favor. You might, if your memory serves, remember a time on Wade's blog when it was you and me against everyone.

I agree with Wade that this convention is narrowing the parameters of fellowship too much. So, in that sense, I am probably part of the reformer group.

On the other hand, I was horrified that some of them were okay with the NBCC meeting and Jimmy Carter et al, so I guess I am a traditionalist.

If you will read SBC Outpost, I have written several comments similar to my last one here chastising them for unkind words about Paige Patterson (someone I am not a big fan of).

I am not a party-line man. I was a conservative party-line man during the CR, but no more.

Now, I have two agendas on these blogs.

1) I think we need to be careful about narrowing things down too much. Inerrancy? Yes! Basic baptistic doctrine? Absolutely! But I think some of the recent issues are silly.

2) I am disgusted with the rhetoric and character assassination on both sides of this little fracas.

You said you got attacked on Wade's blog. I saw it. You did. But you also said some fairly unkind things to others as well.

How can any of us expect God to bless our convention or our cause if fail to conduct this conversation with kindness?

I have no authority and no one has asked my opinion. But I am going to keep throwing the flag whenever I see unsportsmanline conduct on either side.

Dave Miller said...

By the way, Mel Spencer for SBC president.

And David (violating my kindness rules above), I am looking forward to the Millennium when only the Big Ten will exist and the New York Yankees will win the World Series 1000 straight years.

volfan007 said...

dave,

yankees?????!!!!

those are fighting words down here. :)

mel,

i'm glad that you're a vol fan, too!

david

Dave Miller said...

David, now you see through a glass, darkly...

Debbie Kaufman said...

Robin: I really hope that God decides to convict your heart for beating below the belt.You should lose a high position for such a purpose. I personally hold my head high in the fact that people such as Wade and so many others I could name are standing for those other than themselves. It's time those being destroyed by so called Baptist Identity or Doctrinal Purity have a voice. I hope you realize just how jerky your comment was Robin. Twice. I swore I would no longer comment, but that one got my blood pressure up so high I don't know if a cuff could have read it. I also believe the Garner motion was clear as I blogged on it at the time of the Convention, watching it on Internet and I got it. Remember I get no outside information, what I hear is the same as everyone else, by reading and listening closely.