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Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Fundamentalist Attack on Wade Burleson

Wade Burleson - A Flaming Liberal?

No, not quite.

But according to his detractors, Wade Burleson is Liberal.

In a discussion thread at Marty Duren's SBC Outpost, Wade Burleson listed a few telling quotes from SBC Bloggers who explicitly or implicitly dropped the liberal-bomb...

It is with a heavy heart that I ask your forgiveness. You see, I’ve been duped. . . . his true colors have finally been revealed. He is a closet CBFer. Our IMB board does not need men like Wade Burleson. I repent of my support for Wade Burleson.
-Les Puryear, Pastor of Lewisville Baptist Church, NC (August 19, 2006)
Fellow Southern Baptist to assume there are no liberals amongst us is a most naive and dangerous assumption. There are. And they would like nothing better than for us to lower the standard of inerrancy under the guise of widening the tent.
-Dr. Bradley Reynolds, Professor of Christian Education, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (August 2, 2006)
“While Wade Burleson has not said anything like that, just because he nailed the 95 Thesis to the Moderates doors does not really affirm anything for me. While I knew this before now, it just affirms for me his antagonistic tendencies...from my reading of Wade’s blog, he has never advocated anyone being named to a board or as a trustee who is not willing to sign the BFM 2000, and I don't recall him ever saying anyone that is in the CBF should be allowed to serve.” Go back and read his posts again. He tacitly encouraged bringing Dan Vestal, Winfred Moore,and others back to the table. Also, if someone signs the BF&M and then says they do not agree with certain elements of it, is that not the same as not believing and supporting it?
-Tim Rogers, Pastor in Statesville, North Carolina (Sept. 13, 2006)
-Please see UPDATE below concerning Tim Rogers quote.
It appears that the disgruntled moderates and liberals within the SBC have simply regrouped and revised their strategy. Now, it seems that they have cloaked themselves under the veil of conservativism.” They say that they are conservatives, that they believe in inerrancy, and that they were for the Conservative Resurgence. Then, they turn around and say that they want the SBC to become more “cooperative” with other “conservatives” that do not affirm inerrancy; they are constantly criticizing the SBC, the IMB Board ofTrustees, conservative leaders in the Resurgence, the BF&M, and they portray the Conservative Resurgence as some kind of “denominational takeover,” etc., etc., etc. Obviously, the “handwriting” appears to be identical to that of the moderates and liberals from the past – those that want the SBC to take a “leftward” turn theologically. It appears that they want to sew discord within the SBC and either “widen the tent” or burn it to the ground! I, for one, am fed up with the antics of these liberals and moderates – BTW, this includes those who refer to themselves as “conservatives” in a very “liberal” sort of way — within the SBC.
-Jeremy Green, Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church, Waco TX

Admittedly both "disturbed and perturbed," Burleson proceeded to lash out at these Fundamentalist Bloggers.

I have chosen not to post in response to their comments because I refuse to dignify remarks like theirs with a comment on their respective blogs. I am absolutely ashamed that my brothers in Christ would stoop so low to call me a liberal.

I have sought to point out that when any of us call those men and women who have chosen to separate from the SBC names, we are acting like lost people without a Savior. Our Christian friends of OTHER denominations are not our enemy.The CBF is another denomination. Anyone affiliated with the CBF should be encouraged to support their denomination, not the SBC, and we should pray for them and love them. Nobody is asking the CBF to rejoin the SBC. For me to seek to be gracious to men like Dan Vestal, WITHOUT asking him back to the SBC — which neither he nor I WANT — is the Christian thing to do.

Furthermore, he who calls me a liberal in my view of the Word of God and the fundamentals of the faith is himself lying. All one has to do is listen to my sermons which are all exegetical, expositional and reverent of the text. I believe everyone of these men named above have sinned against me, my family and my ministry.

Later in the thread, Burleson states that he upset some folks in Virginia by visiting FBC Richmond while at a meeting of the SBC's International Mission Board. Apparently, these Virginians allege that FBC Richmond's pastor denies the virgin birth. Burleson continues...

For heaven’s sake. I went to the church to see their historic courtyard bell, the Pastor’s secretary gave my wife and me a tour of the church and we ran into the Pastor in the hallway.I do not know him. I do not know if he denies the virgin birth. Obviously, if he does, and since I don’t know he would be a theological liberal. I do know this. He was nice to me.I was nice to him. If I was nice to a liberal, so be it. I did not ask him any questions except about THE BELL. For heaven’s sake people, if we still have an environment where conservatives are called liberal when they are civil and Christian to liberals, then we are a long way from a convention that reflects Christ.

Wade Burleson's response to his Fundamentalist Detractors is commendable. Burleson could have joined in on the CBF-Bashing. Instead, he took the high road and offered his respect for Daniel Vestal and declared that Fellowship Baptists and other Christians are not the enemy! Well put, Mr. Burleson!

Moderate Baptists know all-too-well the tactics of Fundamentalists. It begins with being called a liberal. Of course as a liberal, you don't believe the Bible. Next comes the false virgin birth rumor. Moderate Baptists deny the virgin birth especially CBF-sympathetic pastors. Yep that's the rumor. Moderate Baptists have their own version of the Bible as well. The CBF Bible. I've heard that lie as well. Finally, we come to the "So-And-So denies the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ." Still today, Fundamentalists make the erroneous claim that Moderate Baptists deny the Resurrection. WHO? Name Names! Yet another unanswerable question...

As long as Wade Burleson remains kind and courteous to other Christians especially Moderate Baptists - the vicious rumors, lies, and accusations will not cease-and-desist but instead get worse.

So sad but oh, so true.


UPDATE: On this blog and the said discussion thread, Tim Rogers has denied that he explicitly or implicitly called Wade Burleson a "liberal." Rogers wrote "I do not know whether you are a liberal or not. I do not know where you have seen me say you are a liberal." In the same discussion thread, Burleson wrote "there are other very specific comments where you called me a liberal (remember Scott's blog with Don Hinkle?). No need to post them here." Nonetheless, this has become a He-Said He-Said situation. Please take these factors into consideration concering Mr. Rogers quote. In the case of Reynolds and Green (and others) - it is quite obvious that Burleson has and is being accused of being a liberal. Please see Burleson's latest post concerning these accusations.

2 Comments:

Anonymous jeb said...

its nothing like getting into a group and feel that "pack" mentality starting to surge within,to realize you have found an enemy and now you have someone to fear and fight. you have to hand it to fundamentalist they love to have a certified enemy and expecially to think maybe they have one and then go about "certifying" him. oh the mental sound of those boots walking in lock step keeping the fear at bay and to "know" with certitude that you are needed to "protect" the Bible(as if it needs protecting)All those liberals!..its never been about scripture but rather power and so it still is today

8:48 PM

 
Blogger Monk-in-Training said...

Hm. As an outsider, I just don't understand all this, but see it as just sad.

7:46 PM

 

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