Saturday, May 23, 2009

International Mission Board No Longer Maintains that BGCT Is Escrowing Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Funds

After publishing my most recent post, I completed a revival that I was preaching and then swung by to see my surviving grandparents-in-law in far rural Missouri. For the past forty-eight hours I have been blissfully oblivious to the ongoing discussion generated by that post. As I pen these words tonight, I still have not read any of the comments that took place after my latest comment in the thread.

I have, however, received numerous telephone calls and emails, some of which I have read. Through these conversations I have learned something of a summary of what has ensued in that thread. I will read it when I have opportunity (but not before I preach tomorrow…priorities always), but there are well over 100 comments, and it may take a while.

I apologize for contributing to this imbroglio. A couple of telephone calls before clicking "Publish Post" and I could have helped to right a misunderstanding of someone else's making rather than becoming an unwitting accomplice. I candidly offer an explanation of why I did not do so, not as an excuse, but in an effort to allow others to learn from my mistake:

  1. Because the source of the information was credible.

    The direct source of my information is immaterial. I did not go out of my way to publish this story. I was asked to put it up, and I was willing to do so. The essential data of my previous post was part of the information presented by the staff of the International Mission Board as it hosted its most recent trustee gathering. The exception, as I understand it, is that the BGCT was not identified by name in that presentation as being one of the three conventions. The BGCT's explanation makes it clear that it was indeed one of the conventions in question, even if the entire scenario was a misunderstanding. In discussing presentations at the trustee meeting, I am not talking about secret Executive Session data, but about information presented at a meeting that any of us could have attended had we wished to do so. I took that fact as all of the confirmation that I needed. Call it naivete on my part: I presumed that the IMB both knew what it was talking about and was prepared to stand behind whatever it told its trustees. At least one of these presumptions was demonstrably false.

    I still think that the International Mission Board is a credible source, just not an infallible one. As I was driving home today, I considered the location not far from my route where the I-40 bridge over the Arkansas River collapsed in Oklahoma. I still believe that our Interstate highway system is well-constructed and safe. I trust it well enough to drive over it without any apprehension that it might collapse under me. But we all now know that it happens on rare occasions.

    Likewise, the International Mission Board is staffed by good people trying to accomplish an important task—the important task. I will continue to trust what they say to their trustees and to the public. I consider this episode, inflammatory as it has been, to have been a fluke. Somebody either misunderstood something or made something up. It wasn't me. It wasn't anyone with whom I spoke. We bought it. And with the weight of the IMB behind it, I wasn't in "verify" mode; I was in "publish" mode. I should have verified.

    And then I repeated it, although I did so in a careful manner that remains factually accurate. I accurately reported someone else's inaccurate information, and in doing so was careful to represent the information as someone else's data and not as my own first-hand knowledge. Nevertheless, I threw some measure of my credibility behind it. If you believed it because I reported it, then I have done you a disservice. And for that I apologize.

    And if you ever write or speak in public as I am doing, then perhaps you can learn from this situation that you can never fact-check a story too much, no matter how good your sources are.

  2. Because the scenario was believable to me.

    I imagine that some portion of the comments on the previous post questioned my motivation in reporting about the Baptist General Convention of Texas. I could write that I meant the BGCT no harm and was just dispassionately reporting what I heard from others.

    You wouldn't believe me, nor should you.

    Whatever the comment thread says, it would be unlikely for anyone to have placed into my mouth a lower opinion than I actually hold regarding the BGCT. Because they forward as little CP to the SBC as they can possibly get away with (they keep 80% and forward 20%), because of their ongoing animosity and hostility toward the SBC, and because they are reportedly struggling financially, the scenario seemed to me to be precisely the sort of thing that the BGCT would do. My opinion about the BGCT long predates the events of the past two days and arises from air-tight, publicly declared, verified data. Some of you will hold a different opinion of the BGCT. I have not shown you the disrespect of pretending that I don't hold regarding the BGCT precisely the opinion that you think I hold. My church's opinion of the BGCT was expressed in our actions when we determined not to cooperate with the BGCT any longer.

    That being said, I am in no way obsessed with the BGCT. Out of 537 posts on this blog, I only find 10 (now 11) that have to do with the BGCT, and of those 10, some actually say positive things about the liberal SBC denomination in Texas. I'm no Math major, but that constitutes less than 2% of my posts. I'm hardly playing Ahab to the BGCT's Moby Dick.

    But the lesson here deals with our human tendencies, when we see exactly what we expect to see, not to look too closely. Magicians depend upon this strongly ingrained feature of human intelligence. The story not only came from a credible source, but it matched up precisely to the reality that I could imagine to be most likely. Thus I posted without performing more research.

    And the entire situation puts me in the bitter-tasting situation of having somewhat wronged an institution that I dislike and owing it an apology. So, to the BGCT, I apologize for not taking greater care in reporting damaging information about you. I will endeavor, whenever criticizing you in the future, to exercise greater caution to stick to the many publicly verifiable items on which we disagree.

    And, although I believed the story, I am glad to learn that this is merely a situation of lackadaisical inattentiveness toward Lottie Moon money on your part rather than deliberate withholding of these much-needed funds from our missionaries. While we were still affiliated with BGCT, we designated around the convention budget for several years. We never had any reason to suspect that the BGCT did anything other than honor our wishes for our donations.

  3. Because the subject matter was very important in my estimation.

    This, I think, is the reason why the trustee meeting was reportedly abuzz about this topic long before I posted my little blog entry. The slow pace of CP and LMCO funds coming to the IMB is reportedly jeopardizing our board's ability to appoint missionaries. I was in a hurry to report what I found to be a credible and disturbing story because I did not want our convention to fail in the funding of a single qualified missionary candidate.

    On this question, I hope that we all agree. The large number of comments is evidence that we all consider this to be a very important question. What I hear about the inflammatory tone of some of the comments is, if accurate, further evidence. We all care about this subject a great deal. Faced with a credible story of such magnitude and importance, I published it in a careful manner that remains to this moment generally factually accurate.

    But, I only achieved that level of enduring accuracy by employing weasel words to cover my limited research into the matter. As a result, I have contributed to a scandalous forty-eight hours that have accomplished precisely the opposite of my intentions—I have brought to the convention's attention a discredited story that will not motivate any Southern Baptist to do anything with regard to missions. And now the fact that our International Mission Board needs a renewed commitment among Southern Baptists to fund this ministry of paramount importance—that story has been lost in the shuffle. The story that I presented, if it had been true, would have been more important in my estimation. As a discredited story, it is obviously of much lesser importance.

    And because of the importance of the topic, I owe it to our missionaries to close out this episode and do my part in moving us all forward to the verifiable and pressing matters of the day. Toward that end, and to contribute to a speedy resolution, I will try to reply promptly to any person with questions to present on this post. I have closed the comments on the other post, not to stifle conversation, but to allow us all to have one place rather than two places to submit comments and to look for replies. I am not going to reply to any of the comments on the other post, but will make a good faith effort to converse in this thread with each and every person who wishes to inaugurate a conversation in this thread. I do not commit to an unlimited conversation with any individual, but I promise to try not to leave anyone out entirely.

I'm a bit embarrassed for whoever got this wrong to begin with, although I hold no ill will toward whoever that was. Furthermore, no matter what caution I exhibited before, I'm a bit embarrassed to have been at the center of it all. A blogger contacted me shortly after I posted my last article rueing the fact that I put it up before he did. Nobody has expressed that regret today!

Nevertheless, as a strong believer in Romans 8:28, I'm glad to do my part to try to bring something good out of it all. As I see those opportunities in this comment thread, I will try to avail myself of them.

119 comments:

Dave Miller said...

You confirmed my assertions that when you returned, you would respond in an honorable fashion.

Wow, you picked a great time to disappear in the Ozarks!

Tim G said...

Bart,
Very well written! Trust the Revival went great!

TG

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

Any time is a great time to disappear in the Ozarks. I would have gladly stayed longer, although the six ticks I just removed from my person inexplicably labored hard to leave that pristine wilderness with me.

Bart Barber said...

Tim,

Time will tell. Thanks for the words of affirmation.

Anonymous said...

Do "I apologize." and "I'm sorry." mean the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Point of fact

The BGCT is NOT liberal, they support great causes and any BGCT church is free to designate to the BGCT and the SBC what they wish - they are not tied to the BGCT proposed funding.

Jim Champion

Anonymous said...

Jim the BGCT leadership does not reflect the average person in the pew under Wade the BGCT pushed strongly cbf causes. They also pushed the BWA while talking down about the SBC. The average BGCT church member does not believe in women pastors or homosexuals but the leadership has pushed strongly to support those who do. I would agree with you the layity are not really liberal but would disagree with you on the leadership
Kevin H

Anonymous said...

Kevin

Go call and set up an appointment with Randel Everett - tell me then if you think the leadership of the BGCT is liberal.

I have heard these lies for years, they are just not true. False witness has already been spread for the past 48 hours about the BGCT, this is just one more in a string of false witness about the BGCT.

I'm fine with Bart being happy with the state convention of his choice - just dont libel the other.


Jim

From the Middle East said...

Brother Bart,

Thank you for promptly taking care of this. You remain a man of integrity in my eyes.

Peace to you brother,
From the Middle East

Anonymous said...

Brother Bart,

You are right about the bigger story getting lost (at least for some) in this issue. Baptist Press, while reporting about the funding constraints facing the IMB and the trustees' decision to cut back on appointments, reported this:

“A number of trustees had tears in their eyes as they approved the recommendations to suspend and reduce missionary sending.”

I appreciate your honesty and desire to set the record straight.

Katie

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

Lexically, one might be able to wrangle out a slight difference between "I apologize" and "I'm sorry," although in general usage we employ them to mean the same thing. I did not, upon writing this post, think it necessary to repeat both phrases upon every usage of one or the other, but I stand ready to clarify:

At every place in this post where I say one, I mean to include the other as well. For every place in which I have apologized, I am sorry. And vice versa.

Bart Barber said...

Jim Champion,

Place 100 Texas pastors in a room and ask them to identify which is the liberal convention and which is the conservative convention. The number identifying SBTC as the liberal convention will approach 0.

The two conventions simply do not occupy the same position on the theological spectrum. They are not identical, and SBTC is not to the left of the BGCT.

I have no desire to play make-believe—neither with regard to the mistakes I made in the preparation of the previous post, nor in reference to the serious and substantive issues that separate the BGCT and the SBTC.

Bart Barber said...

Katie,

Those are words well spoken. As things stand now, we still have not heard anything with regard to the two other state conventions whose LMCO funds were perceived by the IMB to be escrowed or tardy. Did we have three "clerical errors" take place this Spring? Possibly.

But the facts are these:

1. Our missionary enterprise needs all of the money that has already been given to support the spread of the gospel to come promptly to our missionaries.

2. Once every penny of that money arrives, it is still not enough money. This important cause requires that many of us consider additional giving in the months to come.

Bart Barber said...

Kevin H,

In your comment I find sentiments similar to my own. Thanks for joining the conversation.

Bart Barber said...

FTME,

Thanks for stopping by and participating.

Bart Barber said...

Jim Champion,

To amplify a bit.

The measure of an institution's theology is not found solely in the words that one might hear in a meeting with one man who works at the headquarters. The most compelling and concise statements of the BGCT's theology are found in its actions:

1. It keeps 80% and forwards 20% of its CP money. This fact demonstrates the priorities of the BGCT. You correctly note that many of the BGCT churches do not share the same priorities as the BGCT, and for that I am thankful. I will further stipulate that many of the BGCT churches do not share the theology of the BGCT, either. But the fact remains that the official priorities of the BGCT are to keep 80% of CP money in Texas and try to reach the remainder of the planet with a paltry 20%.

2. The BGCT's relationships with ERLC and the Texas Christian Life Commission reveal something profound about the theology of the BGCT.

3. The BGCT's earlier budgetary efforts to cap and prevent BGCT churches from supporting SWBTS say something about the BGCT's theology.

4. The presence and influence of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, in light of Broadway's position on homosexuality, says something about the BGCT's theology.

For these reasons, and more yet to be discussed, there is nothing that Randel Everett could say in any meeting with me that could overcome the volume of the BGCT's institutional actions.

Anonymous said...

Once again Bart, you made your choice and are happy with it. The vast majority of churches in the BGCT are conservative. It is just as wrong to call the BGCT a liberal organization just because they are to the left (PTL) of the SBTC, as it is to call the SBTC a Landmark organization just because they are to the right of the BGCT. My guess is that we will find many more churches in the SBTC that would identify with Landmark views in the SBTC than in the BGCT - does that make the SBTC Landmark?

Both the BGCT and the SBTC do what they feel the Lord is calling them to do, both support ministries.

Just drop the incendiary labeling.

Jim Champion

Bart Barber said...

Jim,

I think that it is important, in this post, for people to see the precise opinion that I hold regarding the BGCT. I can see at least two reasons for this:

1. It is instrumental to the lesson in all of this. In the areas where you hold deep convictions and cannot keep silent, there is also an increased need to verify your data before you speak. My differences with the BGCT are pronounced and passionate. Knowing this, I should be all the more careful when I speak or write about the BGCT. Stating plainly my objection to BGCT liberalism is an important component of making this point.

2. It is a facet of dealing honestly with you and others. As I stated in the original post, I could put up a facade of impartiality toward the BGCT and attempt to steal ammunition from you or anyone else who would attribute anti-BGCT bias to my remarks. Rather than do that, I'm being honest about my observations and allowing you and everyone else to evaluate them fairly in that regard. Because I believe that the BGCT's actions clearly indicate its disposition, I'm confident in my characterizations of the BGCT in this post and content to let the reader evaluate them against the facts.

Bart Barber said...

Part of the disconnect here has to do with the relationship between words and actions. Our decision to walk away from a century-long relationship with the BGCT, IMHO, is far more severe a statement about the BGCT than is my employ of the adjective "liberal" to describe them. The fact that hundreds upon hundreds of churches have done likewise is a demonstration that my observations do not solely exist in my head.

Anonymous said...

Bart:

I am the BGCT (and the SBC, for that matter), in a sense--and so are my parents, in-laws, siblings and their families, and all the friends I have. If you stand sinfully against the BGCT--and certainly if you slam it as your posting clearly did yesterday for all the "reasons" you mention today--then in that sense you stand against me and us and the informed choices we have made to remain affiliated with the BGCT despite its self-inflicted wounds and other flaws (the SBTC, as another example, also is not perfect, fails at important points theologically and practically, and is at least equally irrelevant to the world today--particularly because of how its members choose annually to forward almost all of its CP funds directly to the SBC, rendering itself quite useless for ministry in Texas).

In the past, and I feel fairly certain in the present, NO STATE BAPTIST CONVENTION IN THE U.S. has done/does more for or with the SBC than the BGCT. We can cooperate with anyone who will cooperate with us for the sake of evangelism and missions; however, when push comes to shove as we all know that it has over the previous 10-15 years, and when it is a matter of Fundamentalism/ists versus freedom, we will choose biblical freedom as we have.

Please save any reply until after you have done all the soul searching that posting your previous comments--and the revival sermons you preached--require, brother.


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Ben Macklin said...

Bart -

Did you delete my post, or can I not join this conversation? My comments were there early this morning. What happened?

Ben

Ben Macklin said...

Here's last night's post, just in case:

Bart -

I found your apology to reflect more sorrow that the story wasn't true, but God is your judge, and mine.

One question: would you find joy in the demise of the BGCT? If so, I would ask you to examine your heart.

Bart, you know the crises that face our society and our churches. Regardless of how culpable you believe the BGCT to be (or to have been), make sure that Psalm 19:14 is true of you when you are directing your energies toward damaging an organization that might very well be an instrument of God for His Holy use. I hope you and the SBTC well in your efforts for the Gospel.

God Bless,

Ben Macklin

John Fariss said...

I appreciate your apology. I hope that you will apologize not only through this venue, but also directly to the EC and the BGCT (at least their officers who commented on the earlier blog entry).

I feel impelled to make a couple of comments, however. One, in places your apology comes close to, "I'm sorry, but. . . ." As I tell people who come to me for pastoral counseling, when you follow an apology with a justification for why you did whatever hurtful thing it was, it ceases to be a real apology and becomes an excuse to repeat the hurt. I will leave it between you and God to determine whether or not you crossed that line. Two--and I am sure you recognize this--in view of your stated animosity toward the BGCT, greater vigilence (and fact-checking) is called for rather than less. I do not expect you or anyone else to be utterly neutral, but the statement, "I did so in a careful manner that remains factually accurate" is a disservice, and some rather tight parsing of words. It somewhat reminds me of, "The operation was a success, the patient died." Third, I believe you present a false dichotemy in the use of the "liberal convention" and the "conservative one." There is no doubt that the SBCT is more conservative, and that the BGcT is less conservative, but to waive the buzz-word "liberal" without defining it or allowing for the possibility of it being "less conservative" without being "liberal" is a disservice to all concerned.

Blessings.

John

volfan007 said...

Bart,

I knew that you would "man up" when you had the chance. You did not disappoint. I appreciate you, and I love you in the Lord, Brother.

Also, when you read the comments in the previous posts...and some of them in this post...just let them run off your back like rain on a duck's back. They aint worth keeping in your mind. Stand strong as you continue to fight the good fight.

David

Bart Barber said...

David Troublefield,

I do not equate the churches of the BGCT with the institution itself. You may enthusiastically identify yourself as "being" the BGCT, but many of those yet affiliated with the BGCT do not do so.

Whoever falsely created this story should repent of having done so. Play "shoot the messenger" all you desire, but I will not concede wrongdoing beyond the point where I actually did wrong.

But, of course, I did wrong in not pursuing the matter further before publication. For that I have apologized.

I do not apologize for occasionally being Jeremiah toward the Jehoiakims in the BGCT. In that matter it would be sinful for me to recant, and I will not do so.

Bart Barber said...

Ben Macklin,

Your post teases out something of the difference between "I apologize" and "I'm sorry." This gives us an occasion to think more clearly, and for that I am thankful.

To say "I apologize" is not only to be "sorry" about something, but further to take personal responsibility for that about which you are "sorry." I am sorry that Al-Qaeda exists, but I do not apologize for their existence.

Likewise, I only apologize that those who reported this story to Southern Baptists, including to me, could not substantiate it to be true. For therein lies my culpability—that the story I repeated cannot be substantiated as being true.

Am I sorry that the story was created to begin with? Yes, but for that I do not apologize. I did not create the story. I am sorry that it was created, but it was not my fault. If any of you were deluded by it, so was I.

So, if you misread the post, it is because I am apologizing solely that the story wasn't true, which you have erroneously taken as my being sorry only that they story wasn't true.

What are my feelings?

I'm sad and embarrassed that I was used to spread a discredited story.

I'm happy that the BGCT is not presently escrowing LMCO funds.

I'm sad that there is no cache of additional LMCO funding sitting around that BGCT might shortly be forwarding to the IMB—they could use the money.

I'm thankful that God has used my publication of this story to correct it. Otherwise, the people at the Denver IMB BofT meeting would doubtlessly all have gone home convinced that BGCT and two other state conventions are escrowing LMCO funds. For not only was I not the origin of this story, but I also was not the first to spread it. I was merely the person who spread it the most publicly, and the one whose publication of it led to further research into the matter. This does not exonerate me, but it does give glory to the God of Providence.

I'm frustrated that my repetition of someone else's discredited story will inevitably erode my credibility in speaking about the real theological problems in the BGCT.

I'm amused that some people who brag about their commitment to transparency in our agencies are so angry at my having published abroad what was presented at one of our agency meetings. I find that stunningly ironic.

I'm saddened that the story of the financial needs at the IMB has been overshadowed for a time by this sequence of events.

There you have it, Ben. Those are my feelings.

Bart Barber said...

John Fariss,

As to your points.

1. What I am trying to do rather delicately is take responsibility and apologize for the mistakes that I actually made without taking responsibility for the actions of others. The "but" after the apology is simply a factual reminder to people that some of you are shooting at the messenger.

2. Here you are echoing the theme of my post. I can only agree with you when you are agreeing with me! But the statement that my earlier post remains technically correct is not a disservice; it is the truth. The truth cannot be a disservice. See #1 to learn why it has been included. I will gladly fall on my sword. I have no intention of falling on anyone else's.

3. See my discussion with Jim Champion. I stand by my comments.

Bart Barber said...

Ben Macklin,

I meant to say this, but got caught up along the way and forgot:

Unless you employ foul language or chant some sort of incantation to the Prince of Darkness or do something similar, I will not be deleting your comments. This has been the consistent policy of this blog. There are plenty of people in this forum who have vehemently disagreed with me through the years who will, I hope, testify to this fact.

How Blogger may have swallowed up your comment, I know not. I can tell you that I received no notification that you had commented last night and I never saw your comments listed in the thread. Thanks for persevering to place your comment anew.

Wade Burleson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

Why do your posts continue to make it seem as if the International Mission Board administration is at fault? You yourself even state that the IMB never directly stated that the BGCT was eschrowing funds, right? Why are you throwing the administration at the IMB under the bus?

You may choose to ignore the above questions, but I would simply like to ask you to answer one question:

Who asked you to post the story that names the Baptist General Convention of Texas as the Convention that was eschrowing funds? Was it an IMB administration? I think not. Was it trustees? Who was it Bart?

The fault lies with whomever is urging you to post the article in the first place. You have already apologized for posting inaccurate information, and your apology is accepted.

I believe you should help all of us hold accountable the people who pushed you to begin this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

The TITLE of your post is confusing.

You write this:

'International Mission Board No Longer Maintains theat BGCT is Escrowing Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Funds'

Are we to understand that the IMB formally, as an entity, made this charge against the BGCT ?

Who is in charge of the IMB who authorized this public accusation?

Is the IMB to now to be held formally accountable for spreading the falsehood originally?

Or was it you, Bart Barber?
Who came out with it formally?
You? or the IMB?

Please clarify.
And please, do not, under any circumstances state that 'an
un-named source within the IMB spoke formally for the whole IMB'

No organization operates that way.

Either there was a formal spoikesperson who broke the news from the IMB, or not.

If not, why don't you accept responsibility.

What's the truth?

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

I do not mean to mislead you. Nobody asked me to name the BGCT. I was given the opportunity to tell Southern Baptists about the fact (now at least partially disputed) that, in a season of great need at the IMB, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering money was being held in escrow at state conventions and was not available to fund missionary appointments. I was given this opportunity by IMB people whom I will not name.

After that initial contact, I learned that BGCT was one of the conventions involved. It was my decision alone to name BGCT. Nobody else was involved in my decision to specify that BGCT was involved. Ironically, I confined the post to the BGCT because it was the only convention for which I had learned exactly which convention was involved, and I believed that I was on more reliable footing in naming a specific convention rather than publishing a murky reference to "some state conventions." When someone else mentioned the three state conventions in the comment thread, I acknowledged the data that I had initially held out.

Does that clear things up? I do hope so.

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

The International Mission Board did institutionally make this claim, although it did not do so to the press in a press release. As I have plainly stated in this post, the IMB made this claim to its own trustees in a public session in Denver this week.

Anonymous said...

The fiasco created by the blog posting regarding LMCO funds, the BGCT, and the IMB should serve as a GREAT reminder to readers or bloggers everywhere for ALL OF US TO MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS and TO STOP TRYING TO SOLVE EVERYONE ELSE'S PROBLEMS OR PERCEIVED ONES. Else, we each may wind up having to make similar apologies--and even do as poorly at it.

Folks who have gone off to some other state Baptist convention should stay there until/unless the Lord leads them back--assuming He actually led/leads them anywhere to start with. Everyone leave everybody else alone to do the ministry God has for each of us; if we need help with that, let's agree to ask for it. I don't answer to you--and am most thankful that none of you answers to me.


David Troublefield

Alan Cross said...

Bart,

I am grateful that you are working to clear this up as best as you can. You and I have disagreed before (I have no real interst in the BGCT or attending controversies surounding it), but I would be overstepping bounds if I used this as a chance to address other areas of disagreement that might not be related to this. You have humbled yourself and it is very encouraging to see you act with integrity here. My view of you has gone up, not down.

Of course, other questions as to the source of these accusations arise. Now that this story has been made public, I would think that whoever made the allegations at the IMB needs to explain what happened. If you are able to help us uncover what happened, that would be helpful in putting this to rest, but since you reported what was said in a public forum, I do not hold you specifically responsible beyond what you yourself did. And, for that, you apology is accepted.

This has been a sobering lesson for all of us.Thank you for demonstrating how to handle these things. I hope that we will all deal with one another with increased grace in the future.

Jeff said...

Bart,

Is Broadway in Fort Worth a member of the SBC?

Jeff

Wally said...

GOSSIP AND SLANDER

Bart what would you do if one of your deacons added to a rumor in the manor in which did here?
wally

Anonymous said...

Because someone asked at Wade's blogsite (where I usually have posted anonymously, not desiring to take the time to created a blue name), as if--after well over 100 years--it's really necessary to say it:


What We [believers who are the BGCT] Believe

Christ is head of the church
The BGCT affirms the biblical teaching that Christ is head of the church. This means, among other things, that churches are under the authority of Christ not of the BGCT or any other body.

In the Bible
The Holy Bible was written by divinely inspired authors and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to humankind.

In the virgin birth of Christ, that He died for our sins, and that He was resurrected
The BGCT, by its affirmation of the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message, demonstrates belief in Jesus’ virgin birth, His death on the cross, and His resurrection.

In the Priesthood of each believer and of all believers
The Old Testament contains two passages that prophesy a coming time when all of God’s people will be priests (Exodus 19:5-6, Isaiah 61:5-6).

Salvation comes from Jesus Christ alone
“Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.”

In reaching a lost and hurting world
The BGCT has a passion for continuing to reach the lost and hurting in our world.

In helping churches connect with ministry partners
The BGCT provides many ministry resources itself, but it also connects churches with the largest grouping of ministry partners of any Baptist body.

In distributing BGCT cooperative program funds as directed by each church
The Texas Adopted Plan, which churches are encouraged but not required to use, directs 79 percent of Cooperative Program receipts from churches to the missions, ministries and institutions in the BGCT Cooperative Program budget as listed on the back of the giving form. (Personal example: last summer--and in 2007--flooding in our city affected hundreds of homes; the morning after in 2008, I personally notified this area's BGCT Congregational Strategist about the matter--and the next day he was in town having members of our church filling out paperwork for direct monetary assist provided to them by the BGCT the very next week; our DOM contacted the SBTC about the same kind of assistance--none was offered or apparently even possible, unless it could be gotten back via NAMB somehow; moral: WE ALL SHOULD PUT OUR MINISTRIES WHERE OUR MOUTHS ARE!)

In the sanctity of human life
Messengers to BGCT Annual Meetings have clearly stated their position regarding the issues involved in the sanctity of human life.

Homosexual behavior is sin
The BGCT position expressed at its 1982 Annual Meeting has never changed: “The homosexual lifestyle is not normal or acceptable in God’s sight and is indeed called sin.”


Follow the weblink (http://www.bgct.org/texasbaptists/Page.aspx?pid=5947) to read even more in each category above--and know that, for lack of a better way to state it anywhere in print, the BGCT is theologically-speaking as conservative as Bart Barber's grandmothers' bloomers (so to speak; no offense intended). Politically-speaking, however, the Baptist General Convention of TEXAS will not be made by any other state Baptist convention OR all of them together to do or say anything. At judgment, each reader here also either will wish he hadn't or be glad he didn't.


David Troublefield

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

We will know the answer to your question in a few weeks.

Bart Barber said...

Wally,

Well, if one of our deacons sat in the gallery of the House of Representatives, heard a government official state something as fact, came home and repeated that fact, and then learned that the government official addressing Congress had made a mistake, then I would feel no ill will whatsoever toward that deacon.

Indeed, if someone came along and hurled insults at that hypothetical deacon as though he had made up the story himself, I would tell the accuser that his sin is greater than that of the man who honestly erred in believing what some credible person had told him.

Jeff said...

So what your saying that now they currently a member of the SBC. The same SBC that you are member of currently.

Why haven't you done something to remove this church from the SBC sooner?

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

Since your question presumes this knowledge, why don't you tell us all precisely what it is that I have done about it up to this point, and precisely what more you think I could have done? You are arguing from a position of ignorance here (not to insult you, just to suggest that you have no idea what I might or might not have done in this regard).

Broadway's situation became known to me when the DMN ran stories about their church directory controversy. The first opportunity for the SBC to address the question came at last year's annual meeting. Someone made the motion that we declare them not to be in friendly cooperation. I voiced my approval of that motion. The Executive Committee will make a recommendation on this matter in Louisville.

At that time, I will be doing everything that I can do to ensure a biblical outcome.

So, as far as the SBC goes, everything that can be done has been done as quickly as it could be done.

How has the BGCT addressed this question?

Bart Barber said...

David Troublefield,

Go to most of the BGCT universities, sit in freshman Old Testament class, and announce that you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. See what happens to you.

Or, just give me a call, and I'll tell you what happened to me when I did so.

I respect Aaron Weaver. We've had what I regard as some good conversations. We're clearly at different poles theologically within Baptist life. Aaron would not be comfortable in the SBTC. I would not be comfortable in the BGCT. The SBTC would not be comfortable with Aaron. The BGCT would not be comfortable with me.

Spend all the time that you wish declaring to me that the sky is not blue. So long as I have vision, you will not convince me.

Anonymous said...

So Bart, you did not get to sink the BGCT this time.

So they will move you aboard a bigger boat with bigger guns:
a post as a 'trustee' at, guess where?, of course, Patterson's
SWBTS. (sold yer soul didja?)

Now yer gonna 'get um' :
Trustee Barber: really important, very respected
BIGGER GUNS

Watch out you don't shoot off something more than your mouth.

Justa little friendly advice.

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

I find very little friendliness in your "advice." I do find a great deal of disdain and a good bit of conspiracy theory.

I also find an incredible irony. Let me explain.

My only conversation with Dr. Patterson about this entire matter took place yesterday. I contacted him, having learned of these developments and this controversy, and asked him for advice as to the right thing to do.

He said (and I quote him without permission here...I hope he doesn't mind):

"You know as well as I or better, but my approach would be something like, 'My sources were not correct. However the fault is really mine for not checking the report out before I passed it along. I hope that I have learned a good lesson and that the folks at the BGCT and anyone else affected adversely by this will forgive me.'"

So, the only involvement that Dr. Patterson had in this whole episode was to tell me that I had wronged the BGCT and to encourage me to make a full, unqualified apology and ask for forgiveness.

I did not take his advice. I apologized, but at greater length and with some level of qualification. And now you have (from your comfortable and cowardly little perch of anonymity) accused of being behind it all the man who most forcefully encouraged me to apologize and had nothing else whatsoever to do with it.

I didn't meet Paige Patterson until a few years ago. Here's one reason why I love him so much—for two decades I heard him demonized by people like you spewing forth your garbage. And then I met him and found him to be nothing of the sort of a man that his detractors make him out to be. And because he is the kind of man who would contritely and tersely apologize in this situation—a better man than I am—your snide comments make me love him all the more.

Come back when you have the spine to put your name under your words.

Jeff said...

So you have done nothing! The question is not what others have done, what have you done?

Anonymous said...

Bart:

I absolutely have no clue who Aaron Weaver is.

You can believe anything about the sky that you want to; I'll keep telling you what color I believe the evidence demonstrates that it is--over lunch, at church, via the Internet, etc.--but, in the end, what color you say it is is between you and the Lord who made it. It's Fundamentalists who will try to force you say "It's blue!"

What would happen to me in a college/seminary classroom where I or the truth weren't treated publicly in a way that is right/correct: that professor (you or another) would have it given right back to him either in the classroom in terms of friendly debate or in his office in terms more serious. I'm a bit too old to be willing to take the kind of stuff some people will dish out like I did when I was younger--and I didn't take it well then either. My parents raised a person who knows what he believes about the Bible--before he got to college/seminary. Life is too short, eternity is too near, and death is too real to take any other view.

Either cooperate for evangelism and missions--and for the Jesus who made us real brothers in Himself--or part company disagreeably. One way or the other, stick to your own business where you've landed--and deal with the very real problems existing there. If God doesn't bring judgment on us before then for our obstinance, we'll settle it later at home. But I choose cooperation.


David

Bart Barber said...

Well, Jeff, that's just a silly question. I have done something. I seconded the motion at the convention. And then I'll vote for it.

If the SBC fails to act, then you'll have a point. Make it then.

If the BGCT does act, then you'll also have a point. At that time, write a letter about it, and send it to me by one of the flying pigs that will abound at that point, and I'll be glad to post it for you. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Correction: part company AGREEABLY.


David

Bart Barber said...

David,

Yours are wise words, they just don't quite apply. At the state level, I'm more than happy to focus on the SBTC and forget about the BGCT. But we remain in connection with one another at the national level, at which point the issues that I raise are still relevant to us all.

From time to time I will continue to write about the BGCT. It will not be the major focus of my writing, but it will come up occasionally. I will not shy away from it.

Jeff said...

Bart, I went to SWBTS in 87-91 even at that time it was obvious to some that Broadway was "different." How long have you lived in Texas? Its not silly! What's silly is how you responded to the entire matter that prompted this blog post? I'll take that back its not silly, its sad. Sad, that you have such a horrible attitude toward a group of churches in Texas. Sad that you want them to do what you have not done for years concerning Broadway.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I do sincerely appreciate you answering my question - "Who asked you to post the story that names the Baptist General Convention of Texas as the Convention that was eschrowing funds?"You responded: I was given this opportunity by IMB people whom I will not name.Then you ask me a question: "Does that clear things up? I do hope so."No, Bart, it does not. I understand you are busy, and so am I, so I will leave this discussion with a statement for you to consider.

I believe the "IMB people" you mention are not employees of the IMB, any administrators of the IMB, or anyone else who receives a paycheck from the Southern Baptist Convention. The "IMB people" to whom you refer are TRUSTEES from Texas, all highly connected to the SBCT and your friends - the same ones who are bringing you on to the board of trustees. You gentlemen (and at least one woman) are filled with animosity toward the BGCT and in my opinion, you are causing damage to the cooperative mission efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Was it IMB trustee Skeet Workman?
Was it IMB trustee Stephen Swofford?
Was it IMB trustee Paul Chitwood?
Was it former IMB trustee Bob Pearle?
Was it a fairly new IMB trustee from Houston?
Was it another one of the many trustees with whom you have a close friendship?

Dave Clippard, the Church Relations Administrator at the IMB would never ask a blogger to post a swipe at the BGCT, or he would risk losing his job for unprofessionalism.

What I find very, very sad in this situation is that you continue to blame the administration of the International Mission Board and very blatantly lay blame at the IMB's feet, when in reality there is not ONE administrator, employee, or missionary from the IMB that would ever make an unsubstantiated allegation of eschrowing funds against the BGCT.

But I know several people who would make such an unsubstantiated statement, particularly after looking at a sheet of paper that incorrectly has "zero" by the amount listed for Lottie Moon offerings from the BGCT, and they are all trustees.

Now, you are set to join those trustees, and the attitude of animosity that is displayed toward the BGCT is, in my opinion, unhealthy and harmful for the SBC as a whole. I think it wise to blaming the IMB administration for a problem that has a source somewhere else. This particular controversy, like most that have occured in the SBC over the past two decades, was begun by people who harbor an agenda to purge from the SBC those who don't meet the a very narrow set of doctrinal parameters that go far beyond the essentials of the faith.

It's time we loved people who are different from us rather than wishing them ill.

In His Grace,

Wade

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

I am not responsible for acting upon what YOU knew in 1987. I have never lived in Fort Worth. I became aware of the situation at Broadway when the Dallas Morning News ran the articles on the directory controversy. Period.

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

It was none of the people you mentioned. You are barking up the wrong tree. You are also accusing me of lying. Not of having made a mistake, but of lying. Not of reporting a story that I wrongly believed to be true, but of lying.

Not only did none of those people ask me to run the story, but I haven't even spoken with any of those people about this matter. Not one. Not once.

Stop fishing.

Now, are you claiming that the IMB did not tell the trustees in any meeting that three state conventions were escrowing LMCO funds?

Bart Barber said...

Wade,

One further thing...Am I being appointed to the IMB Board of Trustees? Somebody should have told me.

Bart Barber said...

I will say this, however...as to the ultimate source of this confusion, I do not know who it was. I only know that I was in communication with multiple people who all reported the same thing.

RKSOKC66 said...

Dr. Barber:

I think a key missing link to getting to the origin of this is a transcript (hopefully an audio recording or podcast) of the public portion of the IMB trustee meeting.

I know you are NOT the person to ask about whether or not such a transcript or podcast exists.

Possibly, someone at the IMB communications department reads this blog that can provide a transcript. Alternatively, maybe one of the nearly 100 IMB trustees who was present will step forward and clarify what was said.

We have already received official statements from the BGCT and the Executive Committee. These clarify a number of facts.

But if it wasn't for the purported "errorous information" being diseminated from the IMB BoT meeting this whole fiasco would not be going on.

As a layman, I have a problem if it is the case that BoT meeting of any SBC agency, supposedly public, is taking place but yet there is no record of who said what. That would imply people can say whatever they want in a public forum with no accountabililty.

A collorary is that the only way to really know what is going on the these "public" meetings is to go there, in person, yourself.

I wasn't there of course. But it could have been the "information leak" that gave rise to this was some "off the record remark" by some employee of the IMB to a small subset of BoT in idle hallway chatter.

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

Or, even better, we could provide a website at which any Southern Baptist could view an up-to-date record of all of the financial transactions among all of the state conventions, the Executive Committee, and the various agencies.

That kind of thing would prevent such a misunderstanding from taking place again.

Bart Barber said...

That would be "Roger" rather than "Dave"

Sorry

Jeff said...

Bart, What are you responsible for?

Bart Barber said...

The really funny thing that just happened is that Wade Burleson just did in this comment stream exactly what got me in hot water here.

He just asserted a hypothesis about what has happened, doubtless after talking to somebody from the IMB or the board. He just named a whole string of names and clearly accused them of running some sort of a conspiracy to make this whole misunderstanding happen.

And yet there's not a shred of truth to it. I haven't spoken with a single one of those people he named since all of this started.

So, Wade, you have comforted me more than any, for you have shown me how common is the mistake that I made and how hypocritical some of my accusers are in their accusations.

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

I'm responsible for acting upon what I know according to what is right.

Bart Barber said...

For example, Jeff, it would be wrong for me to record a telephone conversation with you apart from your consent. If I knew that I was recording you, knew that you didn't consent to the recording, and recorded you nonetheless, then I would be knowingly violating your trust and would be responsible for my actions.

Jeff said...

You are correct! Implications are not as good being crystal clear BTW. When the water is downstream, its already in the ocean.

But you catch my drift just as I caught yours.

So you want to be held accountable for the things you know!

Can you list for me any others churches or leaders who are not in good standing with the SBC or your state convention of choice?

Don't answer that...I do not want to burden you---you know and God knows. That's enough for me.

Sleep soundly tonight Bart....

Anonymous said...

Bart:

One thing you've shown about yourself in your posts of recent years: you aren't shy--not always correct, either, but not shy! It's a blessing, and a curse, brother.

Some good friends of mine are SBTC-affiliated. I let them be, and they let me be. Unless all of us are stupider than stumps, we still ought to be able to figure out a way to cooperate for missions and evangelism (again, in terms of theology: more conservative than Grandma's underwear, brother; politically: as un-Fundamentalist as the day is long--you're on your own with the Lord about what you believe, so you'd better get it right; let me/us know if you need some help). We all used to be GOING TO HELL AND DESERVED IT; the Savior who took the cross for us and then graciously came into our lives anyway PROBABLY has enough power left over after all of that to help us get along--and to help you get over whatever gripes you have about the self-inflicted wounds and other flaws I already mentioned the BGCT obviously has had (in recent months, I've had my own problems with personnel serving on the paid staff of the BGCT--and I let them know personally what I thought of them and their mess-ups and what they ought to do about it; and, get this: we're STILL together--can you believe it?!--sort of like "a team"). On the national level: what issues?--few BGCT folks go to annual SBC meetings anymore, and 'way fewer get appointed to any SBC committees. You know that--but the BGCT still forwards its (i.e, my family's) CP dollars (when my daughters give me the SBC's "just give me the dollars, Dad, and then butt out" attitude, we have a "little talk" at our house; the SBC likes the BGCT's money, having never returned any of it that I know about--even to Texas/ns).

I served in Missouri for 5 years and served on the MBC executive board for 3 of those years--and was present for all the public board meetings and private executive sessions prior to that conventions stupid splitting. I think there's little you can tell me about convention politics at this point--I've seen it in Texas and in Missouri. History will show: we never split for godly reasosn--and, in Texas, we never came back together for godly reasons either.

But, again: everyone minding HIS OWN BUSINESS. There's enough of that to keep all of us busy. Some other wise advise if you want it: shut down this blogsite and serve your congregation like it needs you to. I'll do the same.

Anonymous said...

Sorry--


David Troublefield
Wichita Falls, TX

Jeff said...

Bart, Will you make a motion to have the IMB return the money that has been collected by the BGCT?

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

I am on no rampage to make any radical purge of the SBC. I do think that we ought to live in agreement with our governing documents, which state that churches in affirmation of homosexuality are not in friendly cooperation with the convention.

I believe that the greatest responsibility for the Broadway situation lies with the Tarrant Baptist Association. Somewhat lesser responsibility lies with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Last in the list is the Southern Baptist Convention.

These things ideally ought to be addressed on a local level.

But the SBC does have some responsibility here, as you have rightly noted. Thankfully, the SBC is in the midst of pending action on this front. It is the only one of the three that can make that statement. As I stated before, if the SBC fails to act, then your criticism is 100% on the target.

Anonymous said...

You know, Bart, you can do what you are told and you can curry favor from 'on high' and advance in that way.

But some day, and it will come, you will be asked to do something that not even you can handle..
By that time, you will in so deep with this crew, that you won't be able to get out, or to say 'no'.

The die is cast.
Your fate awaits you.
Try to remember somewhere long ago and far away, you might have believed in another Leader, who would not have enslaved you, but would have 'set you free'.

And under His leadership, you would not have wanted to slander your brothers, not for any 'reward'.

We feel sorry for you, but there it is.

Jeff said...

Bart, Will you make a motion to deny students admissions to SWBTS who are members of the BGCT?

RKSOKC66 said...

Well there you have it!

Dr. Barber is claiming what is in essence "a confidential source" as a "journalist".

From a list of potential "deep throat" informants proffered by Pastor Burleson, none on that list are, in fact, the source of the leak.

This is a close one, and I had to stop a while and think this through. However, in my judgment Dr. Barber is right for not revealing his source.

However, given the "tempest" that this thing has blown up into, I think that it is incumbant for someone on the IMB BoT and/or an officer of the IMB to make a statement "on the record" just like the EC and the BGCT have already done.

Then this thing could "go to bed".

Roger K. Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

And now I know that I have the pity and sympathy of somebody, somewhere, who, never having met me nor knowing whereof he or she speaks (or is that true? who can know the situation of the coward unwilling to own his or her words?), nevertheless somehow knows the depths of my soul and is moved to compassion for me.

I can't tell you how comforted I am.

I disagree with Wade, but he has the courage to put his full name right there under everything he posts. I disagree with him, but I respect him for not hiding.

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

I will not.

That Lottie Moon money does not belong to the BGCT. The BGCT didn't earn it. The BGCT didn't give it.

It started with believers who wanted to give to the Lord and His work. It went from there to local churches, many of whom disagree (or would if they knew) with exactly the same things that lead me to differ with the BGCT. A great many of them (as Jim Champion reminded us earlier), although they are affiliated with the BGCT, are deliberately and actively circumventing the adopted BGCT budget.

My opinions of the institution do not extend to all of its constituent churches.

Bart Barber said...

So, Jeff, to state it more succinctly, I do not know of such a thing as "BGCT money" or "BGCT students."

Jeff said...

Bart, Are you saying its ok to keep the money from state conventions that support homosexual churches? Can I put that on my blog? Should I check my source? O wait you are the source... :)

Bart Barber said...

Roger,

I'm ready for it to "go to bed" right now! I'll get it a glass of warm milk and a cookie.

Jeff said...

Bart, I am thinking of you as I prepare for my Wed. Night Sermon which is on James 1:2-4.... :)

Bart Barber said...

I'm saying that the money is not FROM that state convention.

Anonymous said...

You are what you are: if you hadn't broadcast all this mess around, regardless of where you got the wrong poop, this would not be happening.

You have blamed everyone but your poor self. That took courage?
Nope. But the B.I. don't require courage, just the ability to dish out some of the meanest-spirited garbage going on to innocent people.

Yes, we feel sorry for you.
Who wouldn't?

Bart Barber said...

Roger,

I'm not asserting any sort of a "shield law" legal right. My conversation with you folks has nothing to do with being a "journalist." We're having a conversation in which I am not obligated to reveal confidences. Your wanting to know and my being obligated to tell you are two different things.

Bart Barber said...

Anonymouse,

I'm sure that, in your own mind, it all makes perfect sense. It must be comforting, I should think, to be blessed with such omniscience.

Bart Barber said...

David Troublefield,

Not a problem. I knew it was you. After a few posts, you get to where you can often identify a person's "voice" in commenting, whether the name is there or not.

Dave Miller said...

Bart,

Again, thank you for handling this situation the right way.

You are answering hostile (and in some cases hypocritical questions) with grace.

That is why even some of us who often see convention issues differently than you do trust you and your integrity.

In an old and decidedly non-PC cliche - you are taking it like a man.

RKSOKC66 said...

Dr. Barber:

Fair enough!

Independent of your not asserting any role as "journalist" the bigger question remains.

It is still the case that the only likely way to gain complete information as to the source of the confusion is for someone at the IMB BoT and/or IMB to speak up.

I honestly don't think the "book is closed" on this unless the there is a direct statement from the SOURCE of the confusion. You are not the source. Therefore, the onus is not on you.

I agree with you that you are under NO moral, legal, ethical, or any other kind of obligation to reveal your source -- especially if the information was, as you say, given in confidence.

Bart Barber said...

Anonymous,

That last comment (which I deleted) took the conversation in a direction in which it didn't need to go. No sexual innuendo here, please.

Big Daddy Weave said...

David,

Aaron Weaver here.

I thought everyone had heard of the big daddy weave, aka BDW, B. Diddy, etc.

While I disagree with Bart regarding his views on the BGCT, I think he's handled himself quite well here. He's been more than honest on his feelings towards the BGCT. You don't see that type of honesty in these situations. Most would sugarcoat things.

Two criticisms: Bart should have contacted someone at the BGCT. Also, the timing was terrible. Bloggers should not open up a can of controversy if the are unable to stick around and interact with commenters and issue corrections or make updates, if needed.

My complaint is not with Bart really but with the guys at SBC Today. Those guys weren't in the Ozarks. They watched closely as denominational employees from the BGCT and SBC Executive Committee left comments debunking the accusations made against the BGCT. Updates were made and later removed. Those guys failed big time. Poor Tim Rogers - who I like - just couldn't take the heat, so he literally left the kitchen. Their responses ("sketchy at best..." etc. ) were weak - I'm being quite charitable here. I'll leave it at that but I'm pretty sure that a number of you share my exact sentiments towards how the SBC Today guys handled the situation.

Those guys really thumbed their nose at David Lowrie - the BGCT President who is very interested in better relations with the SBC - who asked that the post on SBC Today be removed.

I do think that these discussions about what is right, what is ethical and how to respond in such situations have been polluted by anonymous comments and commenters with particular agendas who need a little "candid self-examination," Hardball-style.

Jeff,

What are you doing to that water fountain in your profile pic?!? And, what's up with Broadway? What's Broadway got to do with anything?

Oh, and one more comment to David,

I surely hope the BGCT is not as conservative theologically as you say it is. I don't think they are - at least the leadership is not. It's not a progressive convention by any means. I'm much more comfortable among moderates on the East Coast in states like North Carolina and Virginia than I am with moderates in Texas. The BGCT surely is not liberal. Bart the historian should know better.

Bart Barber said...

Aaron,

The guys at SBC Today trust me. Them I have wronged more than anyone. While I was out of contact, they continued on, confident (in my estimation) that I would return and vindicate my post.

Their faith in me was poorly placed. The fault is entirely mine, and not theirs at all.

volfan007 said...

Bart,

A good passage to read at times like this is Psalm 3.

Hang in there, Brother. You're doing fine. Those coming against you can seem to multiply at times like this. But, they're just a bunch of loud mouthes, who holler loud to sound like more. Kind of like dogs barking to scare away someone. They may seem loud and many, but they arent. And, even if they were...God is bigger than all of them.

And, some of the people commenting in here ought to be repenting for thier attitudes. How pitiful! How sad! It's truly eye opening and showing the rest of us some things about you that's not too good.

David

Bart Barber said...

I've given all afternoon to this, and I'm beat! Not that it isn't of my own making. But the duties of family and church ever continue to call.

I won't be far from a computer (I'm not going to the Ozarks or anything), but I'm stepping away for a few.

RKSOKC66 said...

Bart:

One more thing. I've been hanging around various SBC Blogs for a while. The ones that are most valuable to me are the ones that blow the cover on stuff that is going on behind the scenes.

I think any attempt to pull away the vale into the Holy of Holies of SBC operations is needed. Especially by layman like myself who are financing all of this.

There are three capitals of SBC Blogdom that are tied for first in my book. They excel in of opening up the SBC. One is Farmersville TX. The other one is Enid OK. The other one(s) are in or near Wake County NC.

Keep up the good work.

You and Wade are working together for a common purpose! I support it!

The guys who hang around Memphis and Jacksonville do their thing in a supporting role as it relates to specific topics in specific geographic contexts.

Jeff said...

David, At least most have not reported something that is false. It is indeed eye opening to hear someone say---I hate to apologize to an organization I don't like.

Indeed eye opening no apologizes from the SBC Today folks.

Indeed eye opening.

jasonk said...

Bart, why does your post remain up? I would think that as part of your "apology," which did not read like an apology to me, but a defense of why you did what you did, you would take down the post that impugns the BGCT. It is false information, yet it remains for people to see. A person who just peruses the headlines would still be misled by the post, right? So why not take it down?

Anonymous said...

I think there comes a time in a discussion such as this one that as Christians we must stop and acknowledge the power of God. He does not need the SBC,BGCT,nor any of the other initialed organizations mentioned to carry out His work. He has commissioned us a Christians, not as members in a specific group, to do His will as set forth in the Bible. I am not as educated as this group so maybe I am being simplistic, but it is very distressing to me to listen to the great minds of our Church engaged in what sounds very much like baiting and bickering.
Bart has explained, apologized, and acknowledged the effect this may have on his credibility in the future. He has stated his position. If you don't agree with him pray for discernment for both of you.
I hope that everyone who contributed to this stream will read every post and then ask his/herself, "Is Christ reflected here?"

Lois Sterry

Bart Barber said...

Jeff,

I have always appreciated plainspoken people with whom you know exactly where you stand. My statements about the BGCT tell you exactly what I think about the BGCT. They also tell you that, when I say that I have enjoyed our conversation this afternoon and am growing to like conversing with you, you can rest assured that I mean precisely that. If I held a low opinion of you, I would say so plainly, whether I thought you would like it or not.

Bart Barber said...

Jason,

To take the post down would be to try to sidestep my responsibility for what it says. But you have a point about the headlines. I'll modify the headline.

As it stands, the very first line warns people that the report has been discredited.

Les Puryear said...

Bart,

Thank you for clearing up this unfortunate situation. I appreciate your transparency and your willingness to answer questions from critics.

Good job.

Les

Bart Barber said...

Lois,

Wise words, and ones that I need to heed as much as anyone here.

Bart Barber said...

There, Jason. Headline officially modified.

John Fariss said...

Dr. Barber,

As I said earlier, I disagree with your story, your judgement in making it public, your interpretation of the BGCT, and the nature of your apology. That has already been said, and I have no intention of revisiting it. I am writing now to say:

1) I appreciate that you put your name to your opinion, even when I disagree with it. While occasionally I can understand a need for anonominity (such as with missonaries serving in security areas), I find very little justification for that in the current situation. Maybe--I can do no more than speculate--maybe some of the anonymous commentators work for organizations or institutions where their comments would be unwelcome, I don't know. What I do know is that almost 30 years ago (in a different situation altogether) I had to decide whether to keep my mouth shut or voice what I thought was the right thing to say at the risk of my job (when I was employed in a secular business, before I heard my call into the ministry). I agonized over this, then realized, "Hey! I was looking for a job when I found this," so I spoke up. And God honored my decision. These anonymous commentators should make the same decision, would sleep better at night for it, and I think be better prepared for judgment with it.

2) Anonymous or not, there is no value in low blows and potshots. I you agree with Dr. Barber, compliment him. If you disagree, say that and tell him why. Iron sharpens iron after all, you know. Neither prophesies of doom, implications about Dr. Barber's salvation and/or his relationship with Christ, nor the way he lives his life will help the situation. And if it makes you feel better, then brother, you need to have some counseling or a little talk with the Holy Spirit, or both.

So there it is. And maybe, just maybe, when we get to heaven, we won't start rival conventions up there.

John

Robin Foster said...

Bart

In all this, remember those who know you best will remain with you. You're a dear friend and I am proud that you have stepped forward in this fashion.

Alan Cross said...

Bart,


I know that you have taken a lot of heat here but I want to reiterate that I am proud of you for being a stand up guy over this. The attitude that you are showing here is commendable and is worthy of emulation WHEN (not if) we all find ourself in a similar situation. You and I have disagreed a lot in the past but I have no disagreement with how you are handling this and I am proud to call you my brother in Christ.

brad reynolds said...

Bart

Thanks for both your humility and your sincerity. Please know I have been praying for you through this. Keep praying for those who persecute you my brother.

Let me also state publicly, that I find it incredibly hypocritical for others to do the very thing of which they accuse you.

Three years ago when the IMB policies came to light and Dr. McKissic spoke in SWBTS chapel Wade Burleson was one who blogged about these items as well as honesty in blogging, and yet I had to correct his misrepresentation of the facts - which, interestingly, he never apologized for: You can find the relavent posts here:http://guardian-ministries.blogspot.com/2006/09/imb-dr-patterson-dr-eitel-and-truth.html and http://guardian-ministries.blogspot.com/2006/10/legitimate-concerns-with-sb-bloggers.html

Finally, I was a member of a church which was a member of the BGCT years ago and we pulled out long before the SBTC was ever formed because of the LIBERALISM which had crept in...I am not sure where some of these who say the BGCT is not liberal were in the 80's and 90's but their denial of inerrancy affirms they are liberal. Let me quote Wade Burleson "anyone who says there was an error in the original autographs is a liberal."

Truth is always enlightening.
BR

Anonymous said...

The thought arises: was Bart the guy they chose to 'put this out there, and then to 'take the heat' if it fell through?

Let's face it. These guys have no shame: the list of bully's victims includes women and missionaries.
Some former 'adjunct' professor who doesn't make much money and is ambitious enough to want to 'rise' in the 'organization' might just be the one they chose for this little latest jab at another comvention. The carrot on the stick: a trustee's position at SWBTS, if only you go along with this. Mighty tempting.

No one is dumb enough to do what Bart did orginally. Not even Bart. Something else happened to get this going.

Are we ever going to find out. No.
The guy behind the shenanigans never gets too close to any kind of accountability. Not when he's got all these ambitious toadies, with hopes of 'rising high in the SBC' and no scruples about trashing innocent Baptists on their way up the ladder.

Sad story. Hope it's not true.
But at least it would explain some of this ridiculous latest brouhaha.

Anonymous said...

"BART, BART,

WHY PERSECUTEST THOU ME ?"

Jeff said...

Bart, Three things I am thankful for about you. 1) You actually allow people to post on your blog some bloggers in the SBC today do not allow that. 2) You at least attempted to apologize for the post some bloggers in the SBC today have not done that at this time. 3) You don't sign your posts with that I am....

I am learning much from you.

Wade Burleson said...

Bart,

I do appreciate the way in which you have sought to answer every question. Just a little point of clarification. I asked you if it was an IMB trustee with whom you conversed, saying that I believed it was an IMB trustee, but I am more than ready to change my belief upon you identifying the source within the IMB who asked you to post the false allegations against the BGCT. Your reticence to name your source only confirms what I believe to be true. As far as saying I have accused you of lying, I have no idea what you mean. Either it was a trustee or trustees with whom you conversed or it was not. I don't ever recall accusing you of lying - at any time or any where.

Finally, I realize you are being nominated to serve as a trustee for SWBTS, but in my experience, there was a very, very close connection between administration and professors at SWBTS and trustees of the IMB. I should have been clearer in my references regarding your nomination for trusteeship, that it was for SWBTS and not the IMB.

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Brad Reynolds,

I would be delighted for every Southern Baptist to read the blogs to which you have linked.

They will see that not only would I never apologize for that which I have written regarding Dr. Dwight McKissic's censure for his chapel message at SWBTS, but on the contrary, I stand by every word, sentence and paragraph ever written on the subject and every single post still stands. The censure was stupid, and frankly, after going back and reading your comments playing word semantics, your defense of SWBTS is borderline silly.

If I am not mistaken, you were told by administrators at the Seminary which employed you at the time to cease your blogging becaue it reflected poorly on the SBC instution from which you drew your paycheck.

Glad to have you back in blog land. You must know that anyone receiving a paycheck from churches like mine are held to a very high standard of accountability.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

brad reynolds said...

Wade

Facts are facts. The semantics on your attack on SWBTS and misrepresenting their statement.

Further you are FLAT WRONG - I was NEVER told "to cease your blogging because it reflected poorly on the SBC instution from which you drew your paycheck." Let me state again NEVER - I am not sure where you got such baseless rumors but it is sad you repeat them.

Once again you misrepresent the facts. Actually you don't even misrepresent them - you are just wrong about them. You are forgiven, but please make sure what you state is factual before you write it:):):)

Have a great night brother.

Jeff said...

Dr. Reynolds, Was it a written warning?

brad reynolds said...

Jeff
What warning?

Wade Burleson said...

Dr. Reynolds,

I will accept your word that you did not receive a warning to cease your blogging from an administrator at SEBTS. I will, just like the man you admire (Dr. Barber), issue an apology modeled after his to the BGCT.

"Dr. Reynolds, I apologize for writing you received a warning to cease your blogging because it reflected poorly on the institution which employeed you at the time. The source which gave me the information, whom I shall not name, was either lying or mistaken. However, I reported accurately precisely what I was told by the person employeed at SEBTS in 2006."

Have a great night as well.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

P.S. Think through, very carefully, Dr. Reynolds, before you choose to respond.

brad reynolds said...

Wade

I honestly hope you have a good evening. Somethings need no response.

While I certainly wouldn't call your posts "silly" I do think your attack on Bart seemed a tad duplicitous. You may not believe it to be and so be it.

Nevertheless, I have no ill-will at all toward you. In fact I hope you saw souls come into the kingdom today. I hope you had a wonderful Lord's Day.

brad reynolds said...

PS - One need not think through carefully what to say when one speaks truth:):):)

Perhaps the question of whether to say it is a different story, but if I always speak truth I need not worry:)

volfan007 said...

I have a question for all of those in here defending the BGCT. Do yall not find it amazing that the BGCT is actually arguing that they wrote a check for $3 million that went unaccounted for? What about that? Just wondering?

David

Jeff said...

I have neither defended them, nor condemned them. But it happens.

Now can you explain why SBC Today still has not issue an apology.

Anonymous said...

If everyone posting on this blog is a pastor they could be more effective if they would stop using their time on this meaningless chatter!

Reading God's word would be far more productive than reading these remarks. Or praying would also be more productive.

Jeff said...

Did someone say something? I'm not sure. No name was given.....

Anonymous said...

"I have a question for all of those in here defending the BGCT. Do yall not find it amazing that the BGCT is actually arguing that they wrote a check for $3 million that went unaccounted for? What about that? Just wondering?

David"


Precious Lord, here we go again.
Has no one learned anything here yet?

This is not Christianity we are seeing here. What is it?

Bart Barber said...

This comment stream has evoked powerful emotions and has even drawn one comment that was pretty crude...crude enough to cause me (generally quite lenient in this regard) to remove it from the thread.

I don't want anything showing up on here and sitting all night long just because I'm asleep and not paying attention. Therefore, I'm shutting down the thread. To all you late night owls who wanted to pursue the conversation into the wee hours of the morning, I apologize for the inconvenience.