Wade Burleson recently posted two posts on his blog that I wonder if, by looking at the comments section, they were really understood by the readers. Far be it from me to put words in Wade's mouth but, since I'm his Dad, I'm going to take some liberties in writing that he can correct me on later if I miss the boat.
Those two posts were about two entirely different subjects. [Or were they?] One had to do with the BMI [read that -body -mass- index] requirement for missionaries appointed to the field under the auspices of the International Mission Board of the SBC.
The other post was about a comment made by the Editor of the Missouri Baptist magazine, Pathway, concerning his attributing the apparent position on the part of some to not holding to the "sufficiency" of the scripture while, at the same time, holding to the "inerrancy" of those same scriptures, to being "orchestrated by Satan."
The comments ranged from denigrating Wade for not holding to the sufficiency of scripture or otherwise he wouldn't have disagreed with Hinkle, to not being prudent with monies since the BMI will keep medical costs down thereby wisely using SBC dollars. Now I'm not going to presume to defend Wade, he's perfectly capable of graciously doing that with precision and integrity as he has shown time after time in the past several months. But I do wish to add a "connect the dots" kind of statement to his two posts that are my thoughts and mine alone, hence, the willingness for Wade to correct me later if necessary.
Let's take the "sufficiency" thing first. I believe the following statements would be true statements about what Wade believes.
Wade believes the scriptures are sufficient as a guide for life in christ. Whatever they say and mean you can trust will never guide you astray. [I do too.]
Wade agrees that there is a move in the SBC to not allow the scriptures to stand sufficient on issues where it speaks. I do too. [Although it may be that the more fundamental brethren of the SBC are the ones guilty here by allowing Baptist traditions or personal views to speak with as much authority as scriptures.]
But what Wade is saying is...let's be willing to disagree without attributing to the other side [whatever the issue and which ever side you might happen to be on] the "orchestration of the devil" as their driving force.
What I'm saying is "amen." Someone is going to remind me, I'm sure, that Jesus said to Peter "get behind me Satan" because He knew his heart and saw Satan energizing him. I say when I can get my next tax payment out of the mouth of the next bass I catch fishing I might be able to know what's in the heart of another, but til then, Jesus is the only one qualified for stuff like that.
The point is , for us to have a big convention there will be disagreements over meaning of scripture, [not the integrity of the text] but we must honor brothers/sisters with respect in our language toward them. Without this respect of those who differ in understanding of issues we will never link our walk with our talk and we will never see real unity which centers around the person and work of Christ and His cross.
The other post was about the Body Mass Index requirement of the IMB for appointees. Again, let me make some statements I believe Wade believes. [If in error he can correct later.]
Wade does not believe it is wrong for the IMB to have standards for qualification that are extra biblical such as the BMI.
Wade believes the IMB has a right to require appointees to hold to the BFM 2000 as a confession of faith since they are under employment to the IMB. [But adding to that confession of faith without good debate and input from proper channels all done with openness and respect is not healthy AND they must have freedom for caveats since the Faith @ Message is not infallible nor inerrant.]
Wade does believe the IMB has the right/responsibility to create standards that enhance the health of appointees and that are best for getting the most out of Cooperative program monies.
Those statements are a reasonable assumption of his positions, I believe, after reading his blog consistently.
However, the point of his post on BMI is, [again, he can correct me here if needed] if the idea ever comes about that the IMB-BOARD of TRUSTEES should/must abide by the same standards as required for appointed personel there must be consistency. It can't be "we pick this one but not that one" mentality.
For example, while he believes and teaches abstinence is a good, perhaps even the best, policy for christians in general. And, while it may be the best policy in most cultures, though not all. And while it is the established policy for IMB appointees, to make it a requirement for the IMB-BOT because it is for missionaries sets up a conundrum, a riddle if you please. Which standards will be required of all board members? No wine--No private prayer language--Proper Body/Mass/Index---? Where does it start and stop?
So, at the beginning I said his two post were, perhaps, saying the same thing. Let's be christian and let's be consistent. So whether it's disagreeing over an issue, minor point of doctrine, or presenting our view on a debateable topic, let's be christian and consistent. To put it another way, let's be consistently christian is what both posts are saying IMHO.
Now, if he says "dad you missed it, that's not what I meant at all." Then take it as what I believe and mean.[ I'll get with him later and show him the error of his ways. ;)