Burleson: ‘We are at a crossroads’

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    http://www.baptistmessenger.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=244&Itemid=32

    January 26, 2006
    Burleson: ‘We are at a crossroads’
    Monday, 23 January 2006
    by Bob Nigh
    Managing Editor


    TULSA—“We are at a crossroads as a convention,” Wade Burleson told about 80 persons gathered for a Tulsa Metro Association luncheon Jan. 16 at the Radisson Inn.

    Burleson, pastor of Enid, Emmanuel and president of the Baptist General Convention from 2002-2004, is the central figure amid a growing controversy among Southern Baptists. While he was elected by messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention last June in Nashville to serve a four-year term as a trustee of the International Mission Board, Burleson now finds himself virtually a pariah on the board after he spoke up concerning new guidelines for the appointment of IMB missionaries. On Jan. 10, the IMB board voted to recommend that Burleson be removed as a trustee at this year’s SBC convention in Greensboro, N.C., June 13-14.
    Passage of that recommendation will require approval by a two-thirds majority of SBC messengers. The missionary personnel policies Burleson objects to involve baptism and a “private prayer language.” Under the new policies, missionary candidates who admitted to using a private prayer language or missionaries not baptized in a Southern Baptist church or one which teaches “eternal security” would not be approved for appointment.
    “The issue I am attempting to address is an issue that is not personal, but I believe is an issue that will determine the direction we will go; it will chart our course for decades to come as the Southern Baptist Convention,” Burleson said. “The issue is not tongues. The issue is not a new policy on baptism. It is not Wade Burleson.
    “The issue is, when will we as a convention cease narrowing the parameters of cooperation for evangelism and missions?”
    He explained further.
    “What I mean by that is this. We as Southern Baptists are all conservative, we’re evangelical; we’re Bible believing Christians, but many of us disagree on interpretation of minor, non-essential doctrines,” he said.
    “When can we come to the place of realizing that we are all conservative, evangelical people who love the Lord Jesus Christ and are concerned about winning the world for Christ, and when will we stop saying, ’You must interpret Scripture the way I do in order for you to cooperate with me on the mission field?’
    “The Baptist Faith & Message is a great fleshing out of those essential doctrines that we hold to, and I support it. I am afraid that we are now moving beyond the Baptist Faith & Message, and these new policies on tongues and baptism are just an illustration.
    “I am fighting for us as a convention to cooperate even though we disagree on the minor, non-essential doctrines of Scripture.”

    Burleson said he feels there is a small group of IMB trustees trying to control the entire board.
    “I believe there is a subset of trustees attempting to set direction,” he said. “I believe with all my heart that is happening at the IMB. And that direction is contrary to the leadership of (IMB) president Jerry Rankin and staff, who are doing, I believe, a fine job in leading our convention in the area of missions.
    “I asked them if they were aware that Miss Bertha Smith, the greatest missionary we have ever had, a missionary to China who lived to be 100 years old, died in 1988 and led thousands of people to Christ, had a private prayer language? Are you aware that Rankin, before he was hired, told the board and search committee that he had a private prayer language?
    “The old policy stated if you spoke publically in tongues on the mission field, you would be fired because the missions agency is determined to make sure the Gospel is shared with clarity. That’s a policy I can live with.”
    Burleson told the Tulsa-area audience that attempts were made by IMB trustees to keep him silent on the issue.
    “I believe because I was new they felt like I should be silent,” he said. “As a result, I was squelched in ways I’m not yet free to tell you about at this time. I went to those who squelched me, which is always my policy, to see if it could be worked out. It could not be worked out.”
    As for the issue of tongues, or a private prayer language, Burleson said, “I don’t have a private prayer language. My mission as a pastor is to preach the Word of God. But, what you do in your prayer closet is your business.”
    He said he especially disagreed with the new policy on baptism.
    “The one policy that really bothered me was the new policy on baptism, which essentially said this, ‘you can not serve unless you were baptized in a Southern Baptist church or a church that teaches eternal security,’ Burleson said.
    “There are three things that bothered me about the new policy on baptism. First, it goes way beyond what Scripture and the Baptist Faith & Message teach concerning baptism. Second, it places emphasis on baptism identifying you with a certain church or doctrinal teaching rather than baptism identifying the convert with Jesus as a follower of the Christ. Third, the IMB is now telling local Southern Baptist churches that a baptism good enough for them is not good enough for the IMB. This violates the autonomy of the local church.
    “I am shocked that the IMB is now telling me that a baptism—good enough for our church—is not good enough for them.
    “I think they see me as a troublemaker. But, this is a matter of conviction; it is a matter of policy.
    “For weeks, I spoke out, and I was not alone. Others did, too. What we were trying to do was to convince the trustees that this was going way beyond the parameters of Scripture and the BF&M.
    “I was not even trying to convince them that I was right. I don’t care if they believe that way. I just don’t want them telling me that I can’t cooperate with them on the mission field because I don’t believe like them. That’s the bigger issue.”
    IMB trustees reportedly were upset when Burleson eventually took his concerns beyond the board room and began a Web log (blog) or online diary.
    “So, persistently, passionately, graciously to people, I spoke up,” he said. “And I think they saw me as a person who was rocking the boat.
    “They ended up voting for the new policy in November and here’s where the rub comes . . . since my accountability is not to my fellow trustees, but to the Southern Baptist Convention; since my responsibility is invested in me not by my fellow trustees but by the SBC, I have the privilege to take this issue to the SBC.
    “I did, through a blog—every day for several months, never using names, never attacking people. It’s all been (a matter of) principle; we have to see where we are headed, draw a line in the sand and say ‘no more.’
    Burleson said he knew going public would not be well received by fellow IMB trustees.
    “I knew there would be some discomfort over me going public, but I believe I have a responsibility to the convention, so I continued,” he stressed.”
    Burleson expressed dismay that the board’s new policy put Rankin in an awkward position.
    “This put Rankin in a very difficult position,” he pointed out. “You now have the president of an organization not qualified to be a missionary within the very organization over which he presides!
    “I believe if I just let this thing slide, I’m afraid 10 years from now, it will be the death knell of our convention.”
    On his Jan. 11 blog, Burleson said, “I have consistently maintained that a growing problem within our convention is the removal from leadership and service those who do not conform to specific interpretations of the Bible . . . . my desire has been to capture the interest and commitment of what I believe is a critical mass of conservative SBC members in general, and a younger generation of SBC pastors in particular, who are increasingly feeling disenfranchised because of attempts to demand conformity to interpretations of the Bible with which even reasonable, conservative innerantists may disagree.”

    Copyright © 2005 Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma. All rights reserved.
     
  2. Shiloh

    Shiloh
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this where the expression "Went South" came from?
     
  3. Salamander

    Salamander
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Messages:
    3,965
    Likes Received:
    0
    The SBC is still advancing into politics. :rolleyes:
     
  4. shannonL

    shannonL
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    God never said anything about the SBC prevailing against the gates of hell but he did say the church would.
     
  5. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    14
    As I stated earlier on another thread, you’ll have a hard time finding a better Bible teacher than Wade Burleson. He addresses the issue in a sermon from a week ago and you can also read his blog that chronicles this event. In one blog it states the old positions on baptism and private prayer language and also states the new positions. He explains the problems he has with the new positions. It is a necessary and good debate to have.

    http://www.emmanuelenid.org/sermons/Principles.htm

    http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/
     
  6. atestring

    atestring
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is nice to know that there is a man with a backbone and a conviction.
     
  7. Salamander

    Salamander
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Messages:
    3,965
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would suggest he come out of the SBC and get busy about God's business.
     
  8. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the fact that he is in the SBC and busy about God's business!
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    We will see how long that lasts. Hopefully it will cause an uproar and get rid of the liberals who call themselves conservative and do nothing but fight.

    Those kind of conservatives will get the results of the scripture which says, "But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another."

    [ January 24, 2006, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: gb93433 ]
     
  10. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    GB - I concur with your argument. It could be that Burleson will be marginalized by those in power of the SBC - in fact I would bet a dollar that the executive board of the SBC is saying that he will never serve as a trustee or be elected to an office in the SBC EVER!

    I think however that we are in the beginning of a shift in power from the old guard or Pressler,patterson et al(the battling conservatives) - to a younger generation that dr. Burleson has called the cooperating conservatives. The problem the battling conservative have, is that they dont know when to quit battling - the conservative resurgence happened, they won the war. In order to keep battling they are now having to turn on themselves. Two recent examples - the battle over sole membership of New Orleans Seminary, and now the drive to have Rankin fired at the IMB - using private prayer language as a smokescreen.

    The question is, how soon can the younger generation realy start taking control? The blogosphere is helping - many of these younger pastors are being informed first hand and quickly about the behind the scenes issues. They wont go blindly into the SBC and vote the way someone in a skybox directs them. On the other hand the Pressler/patterson group is not going to let go easily - they love the power.

    I have wondered if Dr Mohler would comment on the issue - he seems to cover just about eveything else in his blog, but so far has been silent.
     
  11. atestring

    atestring
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that someone should nominate
    Wade Burleson
    as President of The SBC. He is a man that follows conviction, integrity , and a committment to The Word of God.
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Just a few years ago SWBTS did a survey of the theology students and found that only about 1/3 wanted to be pastors. The other 2/3 wanted to either start or work in a parachurch organization.
     
  13. atestring

    atestring
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is very interesting.
    Are their reasons stated for this?
     
  14. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    That is very interesting.
    Are their reasons stated for this?
    </font>[/QUOTE]There were not any reasons stated.
     

Share This Page

Loading...