Should Jerry Rankin resign from IMB?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Associated Baptist Press

    November 30, 2005

    Southern Baptist agency nixes controversial charismatic practice for new missionaries

    By Robert Marus

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (ABP) -- The International Mission Board will no longer appoint Southern Baptist missionaries who use a "private prayer language" -- a controversial practice related to speaking in tongues and previously practiced by IMB president Jerry Rankin.

    The Southern Baptist Convention agency already excludes people who speak in tongues in public worship from serving as missionaries. But IMB trustees voted Nov. 15 to amend its list of missionary qualifications to exclude those who use a "prayer language" in private.

    The restriction of "prayer language" -- widely understood as a private version of the charismatic practice of tongues-speaking -- was approved by a vote of 25-18, according to the IMB's website. Some trustees did not vote on the issue during their Huntsville, Ala., meeting, the agency reported.

    The policy guideline, which applies only to new appointees, states: "In terms of general practice, the majority of Southern Baptists do not accept what is referred to as 'private prayer language.' Therefore, if 'private prayer language' is an ongoing part of his or her conviction and practice, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC."

    The policy interprets New Testament passages dealing with glossolalia (the Greek word for speaking in tongues) as talking about a spiritual gift enabling the bearer to speak a language that "generally is considered to be a legitimate language of some people group," and adds that a "prayer language as commonly expressed by those practitioners is not the same as the biblical use of glossolalia."

    It also notes that the apostle Paul's "clear teaching is that prayer should be made with understanding."

    This is not the first time trustees of the agency have addressed tongues-speaking. When Rankin was elected in 1993 as president of the agency (then known as the Foreign Mission Board), there was a small controversy over reports that he had engaged in such private prayer practices.

    At the time, Rankin reportedly acknowledged he has "prayed in the Spirit" privately. He also interpreted, or translated, a message spoken in tongues at a public worship service in Singapore, where he served as a regional missions director for the agency prior to his elevation to the top spot.

    In 1995, two years after he was elected, Rankin and the IMB fired missionaries Charles and Sharon Carroll of Singapore for promoting charismatic practices -- despite the fact Rankin condoned the Carrolls' speaking in tongues when he was their Singapore-based supervisor.

    Rankin said in 1995 that the Carrolls' practices -- which grew to include being "slain in the Spirit" -- simply went too far. The Carroll's termination was considered an early test of Rankin's leadership and his openness to the charismatic movement.

    IMB spokesperson Anita Bowden declined Nov. 29 to comment further on Rankin but said the new policy was "obviously not connected to him in some way." She said Rankin was on vacation and likely not reachable for comment.

    Bowden added the prayer policy will not apply to IMB missionaries appointed before Nov. 15. It also will not apply to Rankin or other non-missionary personnel at the agency's Richmond, Va., headquarters, she said.

    Another agency spokesperson told Associated Baptist Press that a full copy of the new guideline was not available Nov. 29 because it had been adopted as a framework. "A work group was assigned to work on the final wording of the policy," Van Payne said.

    According to an ABP report on Rankin's election in June 1993, trustees fully aired the issue of Rankin's prayer practices in an executive session before voting on him. "He spoke forthrightly on the charismatic issue and convinced a majority of trustees that he is not charismatic and is opposed to the modern charismatic movement, but is very interested in being filled with the Holy Spirit," said Leon Hyatt, a trustee from Louisiana at the time and a member of the search committee that picked Rankin.

    Hyatt, who is currently pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Pineville, La., confirmed that account Nov. 29 as "accurate," but said he would not elaborate because the committee's discussion of Rankin's prayer practices "was confidential, and I don't think that even after this period of time I should comment on it."

    Hyatt said he had not spoken to Rankin about the issue in the 12 years since his appointment.

    Joel Gregory, who was chairman of the search committee and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas at the time, said Rankin had convinced the panel that his past prayer experiences "would not fall into the category of unknown charismatic utterances."

    Gregory, who is now a visiting professor of homiletics at Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, confirmed that account Nov. 29. He also noted that the 12-member search committee "represented quite a spectrum, really, at that time -- from very moderate people from Virginia to people on the other side of the aisle" -- and that all members were satisfied with Rankin's answers on his prayer practices.

    Also on Nov. 15, IMB trustees elaborated on their policy for the forms of baptism acceptable for missionary candidates.

    The new policy declares that candidates must have been baptized in SBC-affiliated churches or have received believer's baptism by immersion in another denomination or non-denominational church. If the candidate received baptism in another tradition, it must be viewed as symbolic rather than sacramental or regenerative. Also, the church or denomination in which the baptism took place must adhere to the doctrine of the "security of the believer," or the belief that one cannot lose one's salvation.

    The vote to approve the baptism policy was approximately two to one, according to the IMB website.

    [ December 02, 2005, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: blackbird ]
     
  2. Kiffen

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    I must admit I have problems with this BUT not because I support Charismatics (Believe Me! [​IMG] ).

    I have no problem with removing Missionaries who are in disagreement with the [email protected] 2000 But from my own knowledge I do not see where "private prayer language" (whether you agree or disagree) is in opposition to this and would seem that in order to inact this it would require the [email protected] 2000 to be amended.

    The most disturbing part of the statement was “"In terms of general practice, the majority of Southern Baptists do not accept what is referred to as 'private prayer language.' Therefore, if 'private prayer language' is an ongoing part of his or her conviction and practice, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC."

    Well the Majority of Southern Baptists do not accept “Amill, Postmill, Posttrib, Midtrib, Calvinism” Using that logic only Premill, Dispensational Fundy Southern Baptists would be qualified to be a IBM missionary and Amill, Postmill, Posttrib, Midtribers, Calvinists are not qualified for the Mission field.

    There must be better reasons based upon a written Confession. Good Topic! [​IMG]

    [ December 02, 2005, 01:47 PM: Message edited by: blackbird ]
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Based on what I read, I see no reason for Rankin to resign. Do you think he should resign based on this article and why?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. gb93433

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    At the time, Rankin reportedly acknowledged he has "prayed in the Spirit" privately. He also interpreted, or translated, a message spoken in tongues at a public worship service in Singapore, where he served as a regional missions director for the agency prior to his elevation to the top spot.


    If they are going to have a man who speaks in tongues and not bring on new missionaries who speak in tongues isn't that hypocritical? I always thought leaders were to be the primary examples.

    The policy guideline, which applies only to new appointees, states: "In terms of general practice, the majority of Southern Baptists do not accept what is referred to as 'private prayer language.' Therefore, if 'private prayer language' is an ongoing part of his or her conviction and practice, the candidate has eliminated himself or herself from being a representative of the IMB of the SBC."


    Bowden added the prayer policy will not apply to IMB missionaries appointed before Nov. 15. It also will not apply to Rankin or other non-missionary personnel at the agency's Richmond, Va., headquarters, she said.

    According to them their doctrine only applies to new appointees. Should it not also apply to all leaders? What does that say about their practice and proclamation of what they believe? Did they change their doctrine? What happened to their interpretation of scripture?
     
  5. Kiffen

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    I think gb93433 point is that Rankin himself has engaged in private prayer language in the past and may still do. (BTW, I like Jerry Rankin)

    My point is that the [email protected] 2000 should be what the IMB uses not personal opinions of IMB trustees.
     
  6. gb93433

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    I agree. Doesn't the SBC seem much like a chameleon-always changing its appearance to match their surroundings?
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

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    At the time, Rankin reportedly acknowledged he has "prayed in the Spirit" privately. He also interpreted, or translated, a message spoken in tongues at a public worship service in Singapore, where he served as a regional missions director for the agency prior to his elevation to the top spot.


    If they are going to have a man who speaks in tongues and not bring on new missionaries who speak in tongues isn't that hypocritical? I always thought leaders were to be the primary examples.
    </font>[/QUOTE]According to the article, he no longer abides by those practices:

    He further was able to convince a search committee that his practices were acceptable and that he rejected modern day charasmatic practices:

    I am, therefore, left to wonder why you think he should resign based on this article. Do you have some evidence of a current charasmatic event involving Mr. Rankin, or that he is pushing a Charasmatic agenda within the NAMB?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. gb93433

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    I am, therefore, left to wonder why you think he should resign based on this article. Do you have some evidence of a current charasmatic event involving Mr. Rankin, or that he is pushing a Charasmatic agenda within the NAMB?
    [/QUOTE]

    Personally I have no problem with him staying on. I do have a problem with them not accepting new missionaries who claim to have the same experience as Rankin. Such things are not stated in the BF&M. Wheer was that done by a vote of the chruches they are supposed to serve? The SBC claims to believe the Bible but they have changed doctrine in their own time. What does that say about their interpretation? Always changing? Do they have some evidence they are not telling anybody about?
     
  9. Aaron

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    It appears somewhat inconsistent to make an issue of "private prayer language" when other charismatic practices have been swallowed wholesale by SBC churches, e.g. exhibitionism, jazzy music, dancing, swaying with raised hands, etc.
     
  10. webdog

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    "Jazzy music" is charismatic? [​IMG]
     
  11. guitarpreacher

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    You left out taking up offerings, amplified sound and electric lights.
     
  12. Kiffen

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    I think there are some problems with the way the Baptism guidelines are written.
     
  13. blackbird

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    The ban probably doesn't have much to do with the decision being "solely" Rankin's---the Trustee board---the Trustee Board---the Trustee Board establishes policy and the Trustee Board votes on policy---the ban was probably not Rankin's idea!

    BUT I can add this

    Regardless of whos idea it was---it was the best idea that has come along in a long time!!!

    Blackbird
     
  14. rsr

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    Wade Burleson, IMB trustee and former two-term president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, has spoken out against both changes; he specifically mentioned the Rankin situation. He was, however, more irate about the change in the requirements for baptism.

    BURLESON'S OPEN LETTER
     
  15. gb93433

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    I was baptized by an IFB pastor in a non-denominational church. My wife was baptized by an EFCA pastor in the Pacific Ocean because the baptismal was not functional. When I attended SWBTS somebody brought it up in class about becoming a member at Travis Avenue Baptist Church and that they require a person to have been baptized in a Baptist church. When I brought up the fact that I was a member at TABC and was not baptized in a baptist church and my wife was baptized in the ocean the class busted out laughing.

    Since becoming a Christian I have discipled a few hundered people, worked with the Navigators for 7 years,planted two SBC chruches, replanted one (SBC)and pastored another(SBC) but somehow I would not be good enough today for those who sit around in churches and have not discipled anyone.

    Does that make sense?

    What we should be asking is for the leaders of the SBC to give us the names of the people they have personally iscipled in the last 10 years. I think one would be surprised at what they would tell us.
     
  16. Psalm 100

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    I'm just wondering why they would not recognize a baptism in an church that didn't adhere to eternal salvation. I didn't think that was a baptist distinctive, nor a necessary belief for salvation.
     
  17. bapmom

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    Psalm 100.....

    It is a historical baptist distinctive to require believer's baptism. Many believe that if you think you can lose your salvation than you are believing in a "works salvation".....and a works salvation is not a Biblical one.

    I imagine this reasoning is behind the policy.
     
  18. Psalm 100

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    I understand what you are saying, but doesn't this requirement infringe on church autonomy?
     
  19. bapmom

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    well if you want to go there..... :D ........I think the entire idea of having an SBConvention at all infringes on the autonomy of the local church.
     
  20. gb93433

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    The first Christian was not a Baptist. The first Baptist did not come from a Baptist Church and was not baptized in a Baptist Church.
     

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