Monday, March 9, 2009

Cooperation, Burleson style?

Wade Burleson Believes in Cooperation in the SBC

In his ongoing protagonist ax-grinding deprecation of the "Baptist Identity Movement," Pastor Wade Burleson of Enid, Oklahoma, is taking a very strong stand for "cooperation" in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wade is opposed to what he describes as "a road of isolationism and separation from the evangelical community at large," a road he believes is paved by the Baptist Identity advocates. Wade likes a multi-lane freeway, a "differ and let differ" cooperation . . . but how wide is this freeway?

Wade says on blog:

"The implications of this Baptist Identity philosophy are far reaching and severe. If a change in the SBC bylaws or a change in the SBC BFM occurs, then the Baptist Identity adherents say you should maintain your Christian convictions and GET OUT of service to the SBC, rather than making other Southern Baptists aware of the problem within your conscience and staying in the SBC. Do you disagree with closed communion? Leave. Do you disagree with the BFM statement on war? Leave. Do you disagree with the statement that nobody is guilty of sin until they actually sin? Leave. Do you disagree with ___________ (fill in the blank)? Leave. That, in essence, is the spirit of Baptist Identity these days.That is also the kind of spirit we Southern Baptists must resist. We are a Convention of cooperation, not conformity.

The true Southern Baptist, confident in his identity as a Christian first, would stay in the SBC, maintain his integrity as a believer by voicing his disagreement with anything he sees as unbiblical and unchristian, and then letting those brothers and sisters in Christ who see things differently know that the disageement will neither affect his love for, service to, or cooperation with, those Southern Baptists of a different persuasion. That is the true identity we need as Southern Baptists."

Very well, Brother Wade, let's fill in the blank and ask if Southern Baptists ought to be in cooperation with those in the Convention who would disagree with fellow Southern Baptists on the following points of doctrine and practice:

Baptism of infants.
Administration of baptism by sprinkling and pouring.
Adding baptized infants to the church membership roll.

Teaching that children born to believers are regenerated in infancy.

I wonder if Wade would encourage cooperation in the SBC with churches and/or pastors who favor and implement the foregoing teachings and practices?

This is hardly facetiousness on my part, for after all such cooperation with such churches and pastors is apparently what is being approved by the Flounders and "Great Commission Resurgence" promoters. It has long been the practice of the Flounders (aka "Founders Ministries") to cooperate with Pedobaptist churches/pastors which hold to the foregoing beliefs and practices.

We have "filled in the blank," Wade. Do you approve of this type cooperation within the Southern Baptist Convention? If so, would it perhaps be appropriate to change the name of the SBC to the "Southern Bapbyterian Convention"?

This would seem to be cooperatively appropriate as a descriptive name, and the SBC would not even have to change its initials!



    In an email to me, a brother observes,

    "Brother Bob,

    In going back and perusing the quote on Wade's blog one would find that at the end of the quote the person is speaking about employees. This is not about booting churches to the curb, but it is about removing employees from positions if they do not affirm the BF&M."

    Bob's reply:

    While what you say is obviously the case, my approach was to meet Wade on the basis of his own concept in regard "cooperation" -- calling on him to face the fact that his concept implies cooperation with Pedobaptists despite all their contrary teaching and practices.

    Wade's case in regard to the SBC appears to be that he "blew it" awhile back in regard to the SBC Board he was on, and his ongoing fault-finding is basically a simple case of backlash, like the dismissed employee who seeks solace in deprecating his former employer. He also reminds me of a "jilted lover."

  2. Bob said, "Awaiting Wade Burleson's comment."


    I would not hold my breath for a reply from Mr. Burleson. A month has passed and we are still waiting for his "gracious and civil comments" which "refute your conclusions" in the other post. Might this be the silence of being swatted with the flyswatter of sound argument?