Tuesday, March 28, 2006

YPSBC

Brother Kevin L

I have responded to your questions on my blog. I truly hope you understand my motives if you choose to read it. God bless.

Villa Rica

5 Comments:

Blogger Kevin said...

Villa
I thank you for answering my question and my concerns. I have been in the ministry for about 19 months and I have been to my state convention twice and came away very glad that their seem to be openness and men who served did so in my opinion humbly and with much grace "Wade Burleson was president my first year". When I first heard the issues at the IBM it was at the Pastors meeting at my local association and every man there voiced their concerns. Ever since that time I have done my best to keep up with it though Wade's site and then I found other sites I also investigated what happened in past SBC meetings and fond it to nether be gracious nor Christ like. I really don't think that the issues then are even close to the issues today but some of the rhetoric is. I can tell you after the Tampa meeting I was vary angry and almost sent a e-mail to the trustees and told them I was going to but in a motion to have all of them who voted for the new polices removed and I think I also was going to ask that they never be allowed to serve in the SBC again. I did not send it but I think I did save it. Some of my comments on some of the sites that discuses this were not very gracious either so God kind of tapped me on the shoulder and calmed me by reminding me they are his kids to. I am going to Greensboro and I am going to be as gracious and also stand firm on what I believe hoping that there will be others there that agree and vote that way. The IMB has made the comment about being in the majority that approved the issues but right now I truly think they are afraid of the ground swell that is coming to Greensboro. I do not want to go and come back disenchanted with the SBC or the IMB. My hope is that we will hear why they have voted for the policies and that with that information we can fix the problems.

In Him

Kevin

8:51 AM  
Blogger Villa Rica said...

Brother Kevin L,

You are right in saying that the issues are different now as from the old days (my days). The root problem is the same though. We still need to repent of sin. We repented of our sin against African Americans and that was a great day. We need to call a day of repentance during the Convention without the preaching,the singing and political games. All people equal and all repenting and making restitution for sin. A day of repentance and forgiveness. What a day that would be.

Villa Rica

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Pastor Joe said...

Until a couple of weeks ago I knew what a blog was, but had never read one much less posted on one in my life. I am an older timer. I was attending the SBC annual meeting before most of the emerging leaders were born. I had never heard the term “missional” before I began reading these blogs (I think I am for it, just the truth is, I had never heard it). I remembered when Morris Chapman had started the young leaders group, but I knew nothing of the group, the blogs; had never heard of Marty Duren or any of the rest of them. I have become increasing concerned over the last two or three weeks as I have begun to read the blogs, and have previously posted twice. While I am of another generation, I do remember and was very involved in the Resurgence—only as a foot soldier not a leader, but I lived it. My poor wife graciously agreed when I told her that we could not go out to eat for 6 months to save the money to go to the SBC. I arranged more than a few speaking opportunities for candidates, and did a little bit of speaking to groups myself. I do have a lot of years of experience in this bald head and I think I do have a perspective. I hope that you young preachers will permit this old guy to give his perspective.

I had seen the brief news story in Baptist Press on January 11 stating that the IBM trustees had voted to ask that Wade Burleson be removed at the annual meeting of the SBC this June. This is an extraordinary thing, like removing an elected official. My first thought was that I probably disagreed with Brother Burleson on the policy, but that was certainly no reason to remove him. Removing a trustee elected by our Convention is like impeaching and removing an elected official. It is one thing to vote against them at the next election, quite another to overturn an election and removed a trustee before his or her term is finished.

I assumed that the trustees were good and Godly men and women and figured that they must have had very strong reasons for this action and that Wade Burleson must had done something very evil or have fallen into some serious doctrinal error, and that in Christian charity they were not giving the details. Indeed, to seek to remove a trustee for anything less would itself be evil, a naked power grab to eliminate the opposition. The BP story listed Dr. Burleson’s blog name, so I went to it. I read it carefully. I did not agree with his position entirely. I probably would vote for the private prayer language policy if I were a trustee – well I wouldn’t, but only because I think the intention was to embarrass Dr. Rankin. However, as I read through Brother Burleson’s blog twice, I was struck by his irenic, kind, fair and balanced words and tone. He acknowledged that others could disagree, but told why he thought it was unnecessary. Immediately I knew that something was seriously wrong. If this very soft-spoken explanation of one’s views by a trustee could get him removed, the SBC had a real problem.

A member of my church told me about www.sbcoutpost.com. I checked it out and then some of the links, and then the links on the next page. I now try to read Marty Duren, Villa Rica, Phillips Lynn and Art Rogers every two or three days. I do not have a blog, do not know how to run on, and am too old to learn, so I cannot post on the blogs that only permit other bloggers to post.

My observations:

1. Let’s not deceive ourselves. The IMB trustee majority and those persons behind them won. We are worse off than before Tampa. When there was a request to remove Brother Burleson that had to come to the floor. The whole issue would have been aired. Now, it will not come to the floor. One can try to make a motion, but under the SBC bylaws, it will just be referred to the IMB BOT. There is a way around this, but “straight is the gate and narrow is the way.” Moreover, the BOT got what they want. Wade Burleson is on no committees, which is where most of the work is done. Much more important, neither he nor any other trustee can express any disagreement with any board action. Again, less be honest. Tampa was a disaster. The anti-Rankin forces are in a much stronger position now than they were before Tampa.

2. Regardless of what one thinks about the policy, it is undisputed that Wade Burleson was publicly slandered and falsely accused of “gossip.” Whatever the merits of the BOT’s other actions, members of the BOT made public, undeniably false accusations against Brother Burleson. Since the slander was public, the apology should be. Perhaps the BOT policy on dissent is good, perhaps it is bad. That can be argued. What is beyond cavil is that there has been no repentance for the public trashing of Wade Burleson’s reputation. Until there is, there is a major spiritual problem on the part of the IMB majority. Until an apology is forthcoming, I will not attach any credibility or merit to anything the BOT does.

3. Wade Burleson is not being removed. However, he is excluded from all committees. Instead of the death penalty, the prosecutor agreed to life to avoid a trial. He is still being adjudged guilty and punished. If he has done nothing wrong, why is he not being allowed the same rights and privileges as all other trustees?

4. The new policy forbidding any expression of any disagreement with any board policy once adopted is far worse. As several have noted here and elsewhere, there would have been no Resurgence if trustees in the minority could not have disagreed with a decision of the trustees. It was reported to me that one trustee stated that it was this way in the business world. If that report is correct, he is wrong. Employees, even the CEO, must “toe the line” when a board decision is made. However, trustees, or in the business world directors, not only are not required to do so, they are forbidden to so by their fiduciary duty. A director’s (or trustee’s) loyalty is to neither the organization nor his or her fellow directors (trustees). The duty of a director is to the shareholders. The trustees are the trustees of the SBC. We elect them to run our agencies in trust for us. Just as Disney had a duty to voice his belief that the majority of the Board of Directors was taking Walt Disney, Inc. in the wrong direction, so our trustees have a duty to inform us. Now disparagement is a different issue. Attacking a trustee personally is certainly grounds for discipline. However, a trustee, has a fiduciary duty to inform the membership of churches in fellowship with the SBC of his or views. Also, the fig leaf that the trustee can do this before the policy is adopted is a canard. Most issues are introduced, debated, and decided at the same session. Usually, there is not opportunity to share with the people prior to BOT action. If there is prior discussion, it is almost always in committee, and Wade Burleson is excluded from committee participation.

5. This is the most important of all of these and the reason that I decided to go public with my concerns. A young pastor named Steve has worried that trying to deal with this situation is not missional. He wonders if we would not be better off doing something else. I understand his point. I agree that to make politics, or Wade Burleson, or the SBC or anything else our purpose would not be good. However, the attitude that I am too busy ministering to worry about such things is, in opinion, wrong. If our wonderful missionaries can be supported, encouraged, and made more effective, then 2 days spent in Greensboro will accomplish far more than extra time building relationships at the coffee shop or in a staff meeting. I personally heard the great W. A. Criswell say that his presidency of the SBC had been mostly a failure because he had simply signed whatever he was given and appointed whoever he told to appoint. He said that his wrong was in just assuming that the folks in control were right. I have been to a lot of SBC annual meetings. Boring, boring, boring! However, if I understand missional, it is very missional to give up two days to insure that the SBC, which expends well over $300 million dollars per year, does it in the way that most accomplishes the mission. Moreover, God will not honor sin. I believe that our true need is holiness. The SBC now has doctrinal integrity. It did not when I was involved in the Resurgence. However, I fear that there is a lack of genuine holiness. Clearly, the situation at the IMB is about power and control, and that is pretty much antithetical to holiness. My greatest prayer is for repentance, and yes let it begin with me. I hear you Brother Steve. I understand your desire to walk away from this. Frankly, I was with you. I thought I had done my share. However, the IMB controversy, and the other things that have appeared on various blogs have caused me to repent. I will be in Greensboro. I hope to meet you there. For those who are still with me, thanks for letting an old man rattle on.

7:54 PM  
Blogger steve w said...

Pastor Joe,
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have said for a few months now that if older Southern Baptists ever found out what has been going on, they would be just as grieved, disappointed and (you may add other descriptive words as applicable) as the younger Southern Baptists that are blogging. I think you illustrate what I believe about the SBC. We need you and others from your generation to inform those that don't read blogs about what is really going on. We want to bring as much healthy and needed change in Greensboro as possible.

Regarding, Steve McCoy, many people have misunderstood what he is saying (including myself). Through more communication, I think I understand what he is saying. He is not saying don't go to Greensboro, and don't be involved beyond the local church level. He is just saying that the greatest way to impact the SBC is through vibrant, missional churches. What if we had 43,000 vibrant, missional churches in the SBC -- would this mess have occurred? I seriously doubt it. We need to be involved beyond the local church, but more importantly we need to make sure our churches are vibrant and missional.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Phillips Lynn said...

Steve W,

Amen!

We do need to go to Greensboro because what is happening in our Convention is wrong and we should never choose to ignore wrong doing for the sake of being peaceful. That is an apathetic approach and apathy is sin.

But, you are correct, we must never forget that our greatest mission as an individual or church is to reach the lost around us for Christ.

I feel that the problems we are seeing in the SBC are because the "powers that be" have become more interested in controlling the convention and gaining more power than sharing Jesus with those around them.

I appreciate you and other young men like you who are committed to reaching the lost.

9:47 AM  

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