Monday, April 14, 2008

More Good News from the IMB; Bad News for Her Critics

For a data-packed Hallelujah story about what God is doing at the International Mission Board, as well as a pointed rebuttal of doom-and-gloom naysaying, I commend to you all Hershael York's latest post. Reading it will be time well spent.

29 comments:

Scott Gordon said...

Very True! Kudos to Dr. York!

Sola Gratia!

CB Scott said...

All hail the new chief. To York be the glory. May his reign be long and prosperous as he ushers in the salvation of the IMB from the barbarous hordes who have so blindly followed those who drink blood, dance on graves and howl at the moon. They are all liars, one and all. There were never caucus meetings. There were never any plans to overthrow Jerry Rankin. No one ever stacked the board to carry out a private agenda. The IMB is a perfect picture of cooperation between trustees and administration and always has been.

Long live York and his political aspirations to climb the SBC ladder of glory. May all who would disagree with him die on the rack, their bodies be burned, and their ashes scattered to the four winds, awaiting the judgement of the damned.

cb

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

Thanks for pointing us to Dr. York's post. It brought out some very positive things about the IMB. I appreciate that.

Les

CB Scott said...

Very presidential there, Les. Very presidential indeed. :-)

cb

Tim Rogers said...

Brother CB,

Thank God you are coming around. I am glad the veil has been removed.

:>)

Blessings,
Tim

Dave Miller said...

CB,

I read your first comment above. You might want to switch to decaf.

In the picture, which one is you?

Dave Miller said...

Bart,

I guess I would credit the great work of the IMB to the fact that God blessed us with Jerry Rankin leading us.

I would quarrel with one thing you said. The title makes it appear that those of us who have criticized John Floyd, Tom Hatley, Jerry Corbaley and others would rejoice if the IMB were having problems.

Maybe there are a few. But I think 99.9% of us who think those policies were a horrible mistake rejoice that the IMB is doing well.

Regardless of the good news, I still think Hatley and Floyd made a mistake.

CB Scott said...

Dave,

My switching to "decaf" or my not drinking coffee at all will not change certain things about the IMB.

There has been trouble "brewing" at the IMB for years, especially since 1993.

There was most definitely a plan to rid the board of Jerry Rankin.

Trustees were recruited accordingly.

Wade Burleson was one of those trustees.

There were caucus meetings focused on that plan.

Wade Burleson did not lie about what was going on among trustees of the IMB.

Anyone who has true knowledge of the workings of the IMB since 1993 knows Wade is telling the truth.

Anyone who has true knowledge of the IMB is a liar if they say Wade is not telling the truth about the board during his time there. Those people would include, but not be limited to: John Floyd, Tom Hatley, Jerry Corbaley and several others not on the board of trustees who had great imput upon the board's activities during that time.

Naturally, there are good and loyal SBC folks like some of the men who blog on the many "Baptist Blogs" who are not liars, but refuse to believe the truth of the IMB for a variety of reasons.

One reason is that even though Wade is not lying about the IMB he is in diametric opposition to some of them (me included and greatly so) on theological issues. They have determined that if he is so wrong about those things, he must be lying about the IMB.

Another reason is because such infamous characters as Ben Cole and cb who have such suspicious pasts and obvious lack of character that they cannot be trusted have supported and well confirmed what Wade has said. Naturally, Ben and cb must be lying for their own vile and misguided reasons of which are so dark no one can understand.

Also, there are many nuts and flakes who have, for whatever reason, attached themselves to Wade's cause. Yet, they (these good men) will not hear a great number of strong, theological conservatives like you, Dave, who have recognized there may be some real problems with the IMB and that Wade may very well be telling the truth.

Ultimately, these good men cannot believe that an icon of the CR as is Paige Patterson could possibly be involved in anything so wrong as to manipulate the trustees of the IMB for his own plans and purposes.

Dave, Wade Burleson did not lie about the IMB and no matter what glowing the reports Hershael York may give; nothing will erase the truth of that. Nothing, not now, not ever.

I won't be around for a while, guys. Play fair. Peter, arrange an interview for Ole Les. He certainly deserves it.

cb

Steve Young said...

I confess that I do not know most of the people that blog about the IMB. I do know Dr. York. We were in Seminary together, went to the same church for a while, rode to school in the same car frequently. I respect and believe Dr. York. Did he say there were No problems? Did he say the IMB trustees were perfect? I am glad Dr. York is there.

Paul said...

Let me add to Steve Young's comments. CB's riducule of Dr. York is both inappropriate and hurtful. Dr. York has never projected "political aspirations to climb the SBC ladder of glory." He is a pastor and seminary professor who has, in fact, passed up political opportunities for the sake of being faithful to God's call on his life. With that said, I would be pleased to see a man like York leading in any role in our convention. He is sincere, committed, and Christ-like. CB offers yet another example of a blogger making personal, hurtful remarks about a brother whom I would guess he has never even met.

Dave Miller said...

Scott, Tim, Bart - anyone on the so-called Baptist Identity movement side of things:

I have a question. CB says "There was most definitely a plan to rid the board of Jerry Rankin."

Do you believe that to be a true statement? Or do you dispute that one of the purposes of these policies was to drive out Dr. Rankin?

I have heard many on the "reform" side make that statement as if it is an established fact. It was my first assumption when I heard of the policies, knowing about Dr. Rankin's PPL.

Is the factual basis of the statement disputed?

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Dave,

You ask; Do you believe that to be a true statement? Or do you dispute that one of the purposes of these policies was to drive out Dr. Rankin? I will answer your question with a question. Would that be a problem for you if you knew there were caucus groups meeting and one of them had for their goal to get rid of Dr. Rankin? Which would you be more concerned over; the fact that some felt Dr. Rankin should not be in his position, or the fact that caucus meetings were taking place?

Sorry, that was more than one question. :>)

Blessings,
Tim

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

Bad news for anyone who has been saying things that aren't true...who have been making the specific false criticisms that York refutes. The bad news is that their falsehoods have been exposed.

Dave Miller said...

Tim,

Please understand, I do not ask leading questions. I am not a lawyer and you are not on my witness stand.

I am actually just trying to figure out if that is a fact or not. Was there a movement to fire Jerry Rankin?

I asked Tom Hatley that by email after it came out, and he said he knew of no plans to oust Dr. Rankin.

However, people say on the blogs that Hatley, Floyd et al were tryign to get rid of Dr. Rankin. They say it like CB said it - as if it were established, undisputed fact.

I am hoestly just trying to get information. Does everyone accept that people were trying to get Dr. Rankin fired?

I have no agenda other than seeking information.

In the interests of full revelation, I am a big fan of Dr. Rankin.

volfan007 said...

dave,

would it bother you just as bad if a group was meeting and trying to get rid of dr. patterson?

david

Dave Miller said...

David,

Yes, especially if it were the head of another agency.

I am very thankful to Dr. Patterson for his leadership of the conservative resurgence. I have been less thrilled with his leadership at SWBTS.

Can anyone answer my question?

Dave Miller said...

Another question:

Is anyone willing to identify the site or the author who made the statements that everyone is criticizing?

I think I remember seeing them somewhere, but I can't remember where. If they are on Outpost, I couldn't find them.

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

Pretty hard to prove a negative, my brother.

Ron P. said...

Dave,

I too have spoken with IMB Trustees who were not aware of any effort to remove Dr. Rankin.

Ron P.

Strider said...

The attrition rate at the IMB is a real tribute to IMB leadership. Dr. Rankin is a great man of God who has led us well. I was an SB pastor in 1993 and I heard about the trouble right away. Dr. Rankin had a ppl and many of were not happy about it. I am tired of hearing those who wanted Dr. Rankin out continue to deny it. It's like denying there is a God- the evidence is so overwhelming it is tiring to keep talking about it and yet some persist. The better question is how are things now? I know Dr. Floyd did not support Dr. Rankin when he presented Dr. Rankin's letter with his own vitriolic scribbling on it but what about now? Dr. Rankin himself has said that when Dr. Floyd took over the chairmanship from Tom Hately the whole spirit of the BoT changed. He is encouraged about our direction and our fruitful cooperation. Deny the past if you must- it is childish but irrelevant. The truth is that right now we have a great IMB doing God-sized things. There are serious missiological issues to discuss and we ought to be prayerfully seeking the answers to these things instead of trying to find someone to blame for our petty personality conflicts.

Tom Bryant said...

I too am a fan of Dr. Rankin. But I think it is incredibly bad taste for Dr. York to post logic and statistics that show the "protectors" of our Baptist freedoms to be incorrect. Facts are just so pesky. :-)

Another thought came to me... If the enemies of Dr. Rankin are so powerful, why haven't they been successful?

Bart Barber said...

Here's another question.

I hold a decidedly negative view of The Camel for reasons that I have made abundantly clear. Dr. Rankin's endorsement appears right on the book. That puts me and him at odds, I suppose, on a pretty prominent matter of IMB policy and mission.

If I were on the IMB board and we had no President. If someone were to put forward as a presidential candidate a person who appeared on the flyleaf of The Camel as an endorser of the book. If I were voting in such a situation, I'd vote against. Surely, in my mind, there's somebody on the planet with better judgment about such things who could lead the IMB.

But I'm not on the board and Dr. Rankin is the president right now and my disagreement on this particular issue does not mean that I disagree with him in totality. Thinking that he might rank on the list "Best People in the World to Preside over the IMB" somewhere other than #1 is not the same thing as thinking that he is the spawn of Satan. None of the people in this blog discussion rank in the #1 spot, either, in my mind.

And what's more, Dr. Rankin's election is stare decisis, a decision already made.

C. B. is a man who has consistently argued that trustees need to be more courageous and more independent in the exercise of their duties. In a world in which trustees achieve this ideal, wouldn't it be likely that a board would not always be unanimous as to who ought to be the CEO? That question is, after all, within their area of responsibility.

So, a group of people allege that there was a plot to remove Dr. Rankin. The most we've seen in real evidence up to this point is a disagreement between trustees and Dr. Rankin on the baptism and PPL policies. No evidence has emerged from the other side to show that there was not such a plot, but how do you prove a negative?

Was there or wasn't there? I don't know. Really, I don't. Why have I not moved heaven and earth to find out? Because even if it is true—if some of the trustees of the IMB have held a different opinion of who ought to lead the IMB—they it is evident that (a) they are not, at this point, in the majority, and (b) they are simply doing their job.

When we get to the point that blind loyalty to the head of an entity is a test of effectiveness of the trustees (and that seems to be EXACTLY what some people are saying about the IMB), then we are in a dangerous position.

Before you misread me, I'm not saying that tension with the CEO is necessary. I'm merely saying that a lack of such tension is not necessary, either. If all of the trustees agree with the CEO and are happy with his leadership, then praise the Lord. But there is nothing nefarious about the oversight body of one of our entities evaluating the CEO with something other than high marks.

CB Scott said...

Well said, Bart, well said, and it is still true that many had the goal to rid the board of Jerry Rankin.

cb

Dave Miller said...

Two things, Bart,

1) My dad was on the FMB (pre-IMB) just toward the end of the Keith Parks era. One of the points of tension as Dr. Parks' era came to a close was the role of the trustees. When the trustees began to assert their authority and Dr. Parks was asked to come in line with their authority, it caused trouble. He was used to the BoT accomodating his will.

I do not think the IMB BoT should just rubber stamp Dr. Rankin.

2) Let me be even more direct. If some wanted to see Dr. Rankin go, fine. They should be direct in their dealings.

But, I guess my biggest concern is the accusation that the moving force behind this was Paige Patterson.

That would bother me. In fact, that is probably the genesis of my less than favorable opinion of Dr. Patterson. Supposedly, he worked through another man (Malcolm Yarnell??) to rile up board members against Dr. Rankin.

Please, I am not making this accusation. I am saying I heard it and believed it. Now, I am wondering if it is true. If it is false, I have probably been unfair in my opinions to Dr. Patterson. If it is true, I consider that an abuse of power and process by Dr. Patterson.

Am I opening a can of worms? Sorry.

Alex said...

I agree with your latest (7:59) comment, Bart.

Feel very free to distribute that comment to the trustees and CEOs of any other Southern Baptist entities with which you are connected . . .

Anonymous said...

Dave

I think the person you are referring to is Keith Eitel (dont know if I spelled his name correctly). He wrote a "white paper" that called into question many practices of the IMB that I think was distributed to the trustees. At the time Eitel was with SEBTS, and I think he is now with SWBTS

Jim Champion

David Rogers said...

First of all, let me start by giving a big amen to Strider's last comment. He captures well the essence of my opinion on this particular question.

Next, though I count Dr. York as friend, and regard him as a good man, in general, I think the implicit point in his post is a bit of a straw man argument. Yes, there may have been one misguided comment about IMB workers resigning. But, I, for one, have only heard that particular line of argument used on this one occasion. It seems that a whole lot of "blog-ink" is being poured out in the last couple of days, with the intention of getting all the mileage possible out of the refutation of this one isolated comment.

Next, I think, as Bart himself recognizes here, there is an obvious difference between some of the missiological views of Dr. Rankin, and some on the BoT, past and present. I make no bones about my personal preference for Dr. Rankin's perspective on the majority of these issues. As long as it is all handled in a spirit of Christian love and dignity, I think that there is probably (and most certainly, potentially) a certain healthiness involved in open debate over these issues. If some in the BoT (and within the SBC at large) disagree with Dr. Rankin on certain issues, fine, out with it. Let's open up our Bibles, put on our "thinking caps," and try to determine who is right and who is wrong, and who is somewhere in between. But let's not do it all behind closed doors, trying to shield rank-and-file Southern Baptists from what is really going on.

CB Scott said...

Dave Miller,

Let me echo Jim Champion. Malcolm Yarnell was not involved in the origins of seeking to remove Jerry Rankin.

There is no valid evidence of Malcolm's involvement in the present or the past.

Malcolm is a brother who has gained my respect over the last two years as a stand up guy. He is consistent in his theological convictions and loyalty to the Scripture. I may not agree with him on all things, but I have come to respect his grit and steel under fire.

cb

Dave Miller said...

Jim Champion - yes, you are right. It was the guy who wrote the white paper.

I don't really know any of these guys.