Saturday, January 28, 2006

Just what were they thinking?

Concerning the IMB issue with Wade Burleson: How does one deal with disagreement and dissent on governing boards? We all realize that there will always be disagreement and sometimes it will become heated. When it does, why not let a person in the minority speak his mind until he finishes? The result is that he will either change the board’s position or finally realizes that nobody is going to change his opinion? If the person takes too much time you can always limit the time of discussion or have the board vote to not revisit a topic until all other business is completed.

When the IMB trustees recently voted to remove a fellow trustee you just gotta ask, “What were they thinking?” I suppose the leadership felt justified (but I'm not sure why) in asking the entire board to ignore 161 years of SBC history and ask for the removal of who they considered a bothersome trustee. However what will be the unintended result? It is almost certain that two-thirds of the messengers at the annual meeting will not vote to remove a duly elected trustee. Those IMB trustees who wanted to suppress dissent will find themselves facing a more formidable foe once Wade is reconfirmed in Greensboro as a trustee of the IMB. I imagine that more than a few trustees will rally behind Wade after that happens. Then what will those who wanted to quell a “troublemaker” do when he returns ready to stand again on principle? Oops, that might be sticky!

I do believe that Burleson was right to stand on his principled beliefs. It seems that he has pursued this matter of conscience properly. In my opinion the board should not have voted to remove him. Unfortunately they did. So now what can be done to resolve this? I have several opinions that I will expound on later but for now let’s all pray for a good and godly resolution to this situation, whatever that may be. Pray for the board and Wade to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what He desires.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Exercising caution

Like Wade Burleson, I am a younger minister in our denomination. I am presently serving as a trustee on one of our SBC boards and over the last seven years, I have yet to see any instance of hidden agendas being foisted upon us by powerful outside interests. Yes, I have heard differing points of view expressed and listened to suggestions, but I have never felt pressured or bullied. Honestly.

By nature I am cautious and a bit suspicious of motives at times. I try to be discerning and to keep my eyes and ears open. Yet I am reserving final judgement on this matter being discussed concerning Wade and the IMB trustee board until later. I might be wrong but after reading many of the comments and blogs, it sounds like most have already made up their minds in spite of not having been a part of the problem nor solution.

May I encourage us all to be a bit more judicious in the days to come? Good people often do disagree. Witnesses of the same accident usually give differing accounts of what happened without any attempt at duplicity. A good rule of thumb would be "love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

My experience as a trustee has been extremely positive and has made me rejoice in all that is right and good with the SBC. At least with my board. I have grown to love and trust my fellow trustees. I urge all younger SBC ministers to not assume the worst about our SBC trustee boards just because of a few bad apples.

Cooperation is still the best way to reach a lost world for Christ.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

First Shot

This is my first contribution to the blogging world. I'll be experimenting with this method of communication over the next few weeks. Whenever a stray thought hits that seems worth developing, I'll try to do it here. Be patient and we'll soon see if this forum is for me. Until next time, Dr. T