Vote tally dispute points to internal IMB disagreement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Posted: 12/16/05
    Vote tally dispute points
    to internal IMB disagreement


    By Robert Marus

    Associated Baptist Press

    RICHMOND, Va. (ABP)--Conflicting reports about the vote totals for a new International Mission Board policy on speaking in tongues are focusing public attention on what may be a deeper disagreement about the agency's leadership.

    Associated Baptist Press reported, in a story published in the Baptist Standard Dec. 5, that trustees of the agency had voted 25-18 to establish a new policy banning the appointment of new missionaries who had practiced a "private prayer language."

    The controversial prayer practice, related to glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, had previously been practiced by mission board President Jerry Rankin.

    Wade Burleson, a mission board trustee from Oklahoma who opposed the policy change, said the tongues policy puts the missionary-sending agency "in the absurd position of having the president of our International Mission Board not qualified to serve as a field missionary. This does not make sense."

    Burleson issued an open letter to the Southern Baptist Convention opposing the tongues policy, as well as a new set of guidelines for missionary candidates regarding what qualifies as an acceptable baptism. Some Baptist bloggers went further, suggesting the trustees' vote was a "nefarious" attempt to embarrass and get rid of Rankin.

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

    The vote count reported by ABP originally came from a Nov. 30 posting on the International Mission Board's website. As of Dec. 9, that story had been altered to remove the vote tally.

    The vote was taken on a show of hands, rather than a ballot or roll call. However, a report of the vote that appeared in the Southern Baptist Texan used a tally of 50-15. The newspaper is the organ of the fundamentalist Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

    Louis Moore, a mission board trustee from Garland and former board executive, said the 25-18 vote total, as reported by ABP and the Standard, was inaccurate. Moore said the total was actually 50-15 in favor of the new policy.

    "After the vote was taken, my wife and I were with Tom Hatley, IMB trustee board chairman, so I asked him what the actual vote had been," Moore reported. "Tom said the vote was 50-15. He should know, since he assigned counters and then tallied the vote himself. More than anyone else in the room, Tom was the most authoritative."

    Hatley, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Rogers, Ark., was returning from an overseas trip and unavailable for comment.

    The IMB employee who wrote the initial story on the meeting disputed the 50-15 total. Mission board spokesman Michael Chute, who was seated in the back of the room, said the 25-18 figure was reported by another trustee counter and, from Chute's observations, was much closer to the actual vote total.

    Chute and another IMB spokesperson said they determined there was "no official count" of the vote, and that is why the original posting on IMB's website was revised.

    However, the operators of several Baptist weblogs have seized on the discrepancy to illuminate what they say are deeper controversies at the IMB.

    Marty Duren, a pastor from Georgia and proprietor of the SBC Outpost blog (sbcoutpost.blogspot.com), reported on the vote question in a posting. Duren, pastor of New Bethany Baptist Church in Buford, Ga., said he believed the tongues vote was the result more of a vendetta against Rankin on the part of the Texas trustees than any doctrinal concern.

    "It seems that this had less to do with missionary guidelines and more to do with insulting Jerry Rankin," Duren wrote.

    "If you truly believe that this is an unbiblical practice, you should have fired him outright rather than this nefarious, insolent move. It is a shame that a vocal minority of trustees, representing an even smaller section of the country, who have a personal dislike for Dr. Rankin would stoop to such a level of using an obviously confusing charismatic practice to further their disdain for the president of the board."

    Duren said he had interviewed several trustees who agreed with that assessment. He quoted one. "Trustee Johnny Nantz of Las Vegas was willing to go on record, saying, 'The issue is not doctrinal; the issue is the removal of Jerry Rankin. This is being used to end his tenure,'" Duren wrote.

    http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=4351
     
  2. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,250
    Likes Received:
    0
    I followed a couple of the links - Marty's and then went over to Wade Burleson's Blog
    http://kerussocharis.blogspot.com/2005/12/crusading-conservatives-vs-cooperating_10.html

    Wade Burleson is an IMB trustee, leader in the conservative group of OK and past president of the OK baptist convention. to say that he is upset over the IMBs actions is an understatement. What these folks seem most upset about is that the same methodology to accomplish the "conservative resurgence" is being used on fellow conservatives - vetting of candidates, private meetings to assure compliance etc.

    Dont look for Pastor Burleson to have many more leadership roles in the SBC!
     
  3. Kiffen

    Kiffen
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent article, Jimmy C! I supported the Conservative resurgence and have no regerts about it BUT it does seem that the Conservative Resurgence now is starting to resemble more the French Revolution.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Many good, conservative, evangelical Southern Baptists are leaving the SBC because they are tired of the infighting. The church I attend which is BGC has a music minister who is incredibly talented and doing a great job who just a few years ago was in a very large SBC church. Both his dad and grandfather were SBC pastors.


    "An empty bag makes the most noise."
     
  5. larry9179

    larry9179
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what is the Baptist take on a personal prayer language?
     

Share This Page

Loading...