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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them!!!

Bruce Gourley at A Baptist Perspective has an excellent critique of Gregory Tomlin's latest CBF-Bash piece.

Gourley asks...

So just what is the real story behind this latest “we hate the despicable CBF” piece from SBC liars and spinmasters? Why do SBC leaders continue to feel compelled to lash out in anger at little ole’ CBF? Why are these fundamentalist Baptists infatuated and infuriated over how CBF functions in the first place?

Are SBC leaders really as insecure as their actions indicate? Does berating CBF allow a little bit of a distraction from their own growing choruses of lament over the historically-unprecedented decline of baptisms and evangelism within the SBC, not to mention the leadership scandals? As the failures of the SBC fundamentalist leadership mount, will CBF be the brunt of ever greater anger and rage?

It seems to me the SBC is dying. And if it is not, the leadership sure is intent on blowing it to smithereens.

Gourley also notes that the SBC counts among its member churches ALL Churches aligned with the Baptist General Convention of Texas "regardless of whether the individual congregations contribute to the SBC or not, despite years of requests from some non-SBC local Baptist churches to the SBC to take them off SBC roles." Talk about Dishonesty!

Speaking of dishonesty, I wrote a post last month which demonstrated that the SBC.net website (SBC Church Search) still lists CBF/BGCT aligned churches such as Waco's Calvary Baptist Church and 7th & James Baptist Church as Southern Baptist congregations. In the comment section of this post, two bloggers suggested that the SBC Church Search gets the contact information from the churches themselves and unless a church takes the time to ask to be removed, the assumption is they are still SBC churches. This "spin" is inaccurate. SBC Church Search lists multiple NEW Churches which are CBF-only as Southern Baptist. These Churches have NEVER been affiliated with the SBC but yet are still listed as Southern Baptist!

Are all Churches listed on SBC Church Search included in the SBC's annual profile? Why does the SBC include ALL Churches aligned with the BGCT??

Talk about fudging the numbers....

Clearly "spinmaster" Gregory Tomlin and Les (Burleson is a Liberal) Puryear have an axe to grind with the CBF. Just how long will Tomlin's silly charade continue???


Blogger PBill said...

We have already covered this ground elsewhere but perhaps, BDW, you might offer a justification for the CBF counting as a "partner" church a church that has never sent them a dime but who has a member who mailed the CBF a check. Go figure.

I presume that the CBF has some genetic predispositions from their SBC days that cannot be shaken. :;

1:18 PM

Blogger Les Puryear said...

Big Daddy,

I just found your blog and you can bet I'll continue to read it.

Just to set the record straight, I do not have an "axe to grind" with CBF. I just don't want them identifying the church I pastor as a CBF church.

BTW, I never said that Wade Burleson was a liberal. I said that he was moderate.



8:03 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

When I was in New Orleans I really didn't know anything about the CBF. I honestly had no opinion. One church I joined in the city had some CBF ties and the pastor, who I basically joined the church to hear preach, eventually left to take a position at a CBF-affiliated church in MS. But my opinion began to change when I started reading Baptists Today magazine. Every month, it seemed, the editor, John Pierce, found some way to bash Southern Baptists. More than once I wanted to write in and express my distain for such juvenile behavior (and often such poor journalism). I became an avid reader of the magazine and thus turned away from a neutral opinion of the CBF. I saw it as the opposition Baptist party who cared more about belly-aching over the SBC than establishing itself as a legitimate denomination and carrying out the Great Commission. And all of this transpired without any mention of the CBF by any of my professors, friends, or pastors.

Now, it seems the SBC has begun to attack back. I don't commend this attack, nor do I care to engage in silly backyard gossip tactics. But, let's be honest -- the CBF is no saint here. Baptists Today has been responsible for a large measure of the fiery rhetoric that exists between the two groups. So, when you attack the SBC for attacking the CBF, remember that.

10:20 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I find it interesting that no person has addressed the content of Gourley's post. Why? Perhaps because the big-bad SBC is a wee-bit hypocritical in how they reached that 40,000+ number??

Don't act like SBC students and professors abstain from attacking the CBF. Two administrators from SBTS (Mohler and Moore) take every available opportunity to attack a "denomination" which is 25-times smaller than the SBC.

How often has a CBF employee gone on record bashing the SBC in the way Moore/Mohler has????? Vestal refused to comment on the latest CBF-bash piece.

You seem to forget that the Takeover did not end in 1990. Johnny Pierce was fighting the Takeover in Georgia just three years ago.

Johnny Pierce has earned his right to "belly-ache." Did you lose a job because of fundamentalists? Was your family forced to move because of fundamentalists? The careers of Parham, Pierce and others came to a screeching halt because of Fundamentalists. I think they've earned a free pass to criticize the fundamentalists. I know that I've earned my right...

10:06 AM

Anonymous Truth for Baptists said...

Okay, first of all, how do you know Tomlin wrote the lastest article? It says "By Staff," and he, as near as I can tell, has signed every other piece about the CBF he's written. The latest pieces do seem a bit uncharacteristically uncharitable, compared to the others. But maybe there is some reason for him to do it. Why doesn't somebody ask him ... he can't be that hard to find.

On the listing of churches by the SBC, there are only about 16,000 churches listed on the sbc.net site. I asked, and according to folks in Nashville, the thing hasn't been cleaned up in a while. But the churches that got there got there because they asked to be -- at one time. Maybe they should have been taken off, but if they haven't asked to be, then why would anybody know to take one of 16,000 churches off?

Finally, I'm a little tired of all the moderate/liberal panty-waist belly aching about the poor little CBF. There are some good folks in there, but they are not served well by the leadership. Dan Vestal is a nice guy, but he is so non-committal on every theological inquiry its confusing to people trying to feel CBF out. And the CBF wants to be left alone, they shouldn't include people as their partners who aren't. For example, Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock is also listed on their site. Park Hill doesn't participate with CBF. I've lived in North Little Rock for nearly 25 years.

There are big problems with CBF, and you guys can keep living in your little parallel universe all you want.

7:27 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Truth for Baptists,

I think this is the second time you've posted. Do you have a name? All others sign their name - you don't? Why's that?

Why doesn't someone ask Tomlin? He's been contacted but never responded (by multiple people).

I don't know who you talked to in Nashville - but they sold you a bill of goods. Several churches listed are NEW (5 years or less). None of these congregations contacted SBC.net and asked to be added to the engine. These Churches have never been affiliated with the SBC (never ever).

The likely reason they are included stems from the accusation that the SBC counts ALL BGCT Churches. Wonder how they get that 40K number? They include Churches that don't have a dang thing to do with the SBC. Address that issue? Don't ignore it...

Why does it seem that SBC employees are constantly attacking the little CBF (i.e. Russell, Moore, etc) but yet Vestal and other CBF employees aren't out bad-mouthing the SBC. Think about that.

You said Vestal is non-commital on every theological inquiry. What is your involvement with the CBF? Do you attend CBF Assembly's? Or perhaps you just get your CBF news from the SBC-run Baptist Press?? Give me a break.

Also, I can't speak for Park Hill Baptist Church. Are you a member? How do you know that Park Hill doesn't allow members to designate their Tithes to CBF-missions???

8:54 PM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Someone told me that my picture was up on your blog. I have never been contacted by anyone about why I have written stories about CBF, as you allege in your comment here. If they tried to contact me through BP, I have never received a forwarded e-mail from them. If they tried to contact me through SWBTS, I don't work there anymore. No one's asked me why the last couple of stories were more "hit pieces," as you allege, than what I've done in the past.

Let's make it clear. In five years of covering the CBF, I have never been unfair or reported inaccurately what happened there. Lance Wallace at the CBF knows this.

I have been cursed, cussed, and had everything written about me under the sun. But this you can take to the bank: I never lie. As an example, you may ask David Currie. I have never written anything he said that he didn't say. I've never written anything that didn't happen. Again for example, compare my report of Tony Campolo's address in Charlotte, N.C., and those from ABP and the CBF. I reported what was said, unfiltered, after which Campolo apologized and I accepted that apology. We had a nice e-mail discussion for a few weeks afterward. I've never written anything that didn't come out of a CBF meeting.

In the large sessions of the CBF meetings for the past two years, nothing has been said negative about the SBC. I will grant you that. But in the breakout sessions and in hallway conversations, you can bet there's been plenty of SBC bashing. Everything I've written has been confirmed, reconfirmed, and based on multiple experiences and conversations. If anyone wants to contact me, my phone number is in the book.

So that leaves me with the question:

"Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?" That, of course, is not original to me.

Greg Tomlin

6:44 AM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

And the phone calls just keep rolling in! Really? No. Not a single one.

This is sort of a typical response to any challenge to name calling. Name calling is always the last ditch effort when losing an argument, but when challenged, no one follows through for a conversation with the person they've deemed a liar.

I await contact from the progressive camp, if there are any willing to do so.

Greg Tomlin

7:30 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Speaking for myself only, I did contact Baptist Press immediately after your first "hit piece." A month passed without a response and then I read the latest CBF-bash piece - so I posted this blog entry. I've said all I plan to say. I did email Baptist Press through the email address listed. The email address is aaron_weaver@baylor.edu. Perhaps you should check with your employer and find out why this email was not passed along to you?? I have a time-stamped email as proof.

The phrase I chose to use "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" was the title of a popular Al Franken book. Franken use of the phrase was snyonymous with "spinmaster." Due to the popularity of the book and the hatred of Fox News among many who read my blog - I'm sure they got the joke.

However, I never called you a liar but instead a spinmaster.

Perhaps you should consider writing a piece on how the SBC reaches that 40K number? And why (as has been alleged) does the SBC count ALL BGCT Churches??? As of yet, no Southern Baptist has addressed these concerns. Or maybe a piece about how the SBC inflates the baptism numbers?

But you can't do that...because you're not an independent press.

Have a good day Mr. Tomlin - and ask your bosses to pass along emails to you. I wonder how many other emails like mine were chunked in the trash?? If you don't believe me, please list your email address and I will forward my time-stamped email as proof.

2:50 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

BDW, I got the joke about the Franken book, but I still thought you were calling Tomlin a liar, even as Franken was really saying that those he addressed in his book were liars (he's outright said these people were liars numerous times, including on his visit to the David Letterman Show). If you intentionally deceive, which is what you allege Tomlin did, then you are a liar. I think you should either change the title or admit you think he is a liar. Otherwise your explanation is lacking and quite a spin in and of itself.

9:23 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Like I said, the title was a reference to the book, what Franken has said on Letterman (etc.) is not relevant. Liar was not a word a used. No, spin is not lying. A difference also exists between dishonesty and outright lying.

I do hope Tomlin will respond to future emails from his readers instead of portraying me as a liar who never sent an email.

1:10 PM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Mr. Weaver:

I never said you didn't send one. I said I didn't get it (or them). I have not received a forwarded e-mail from BP, and don't have the ability to get them from SWBTS anymore, since I no longer work there. When I wrote my response, I made no assumption that you were the one who had tried to contact me. Your post did not say that; it only said I had been contacted but never responded.

I don't insinuate. If I was going to call someone a name, I'm man enough not to beat around the bush about it. However, I don't do that -- period.

And by the way, there is no difference between outright lying and dishonesty. It's all the same in the Lord's eyes.

7:33 PM


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