Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE PRESENT DAY WORLD

It is not often I suggest you read something that is scurrilous, sick, and shameful. But I do ask you to go to Wade's blog here..http://www.kerussocharis.blogspot.com/..and read an e-mail which is all the above. [I don't know how to link correctly right now so copy and paste I guess..Sorry.]

Since my blog is mentioned in the e-mail [along with I'm assuming Debbie Kaufman's blog] I felt it appropriate that I link this whole shameful thing. I have to say, this does give new meaning to our Lord's command that we "love our enemies." Somehow, however, I just never thought they would be from inside the faith.

The truth be known, they're probably not, but we'll leave that, as always, for the Lord of Lords to sort out.


Paul B.

UPDATE..

Read the first comment and find the link embedded there. Thanks Thy Peace.

29 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Grace and Truth to You [Wade Burleson] > My New Book: Hardball Religion II -- A Sequel.

A very sad indictment against the practices of some in SBC.

Living Water said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky Dietz said...

That just makes me very sad.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

I struggle with a range of emotions as I read Wade's blog, to which you referred, as my wife, family and myself have been through the course of events which result from such false accusations.

For what it's worth, I have great admiration for your son, and the position he takes on these matters.His stand says much about his parents as well.

My great concern with the ignorant, misguided people,who perpetrate these acts, is that, even if the accused and family are mature enough to not respond in similar vein, unrelated others, as a general rule, receive serious wounds.

We found that new believers, becoming aware of such behavior,are often the casualties of such miserably misguided behavior. I weep when I think of several whose words were similarly voiced: "If this is church I don't want it!"

They were true to their word and, apart from my wife and myself, avoided those claiming to be Christians, one, until he passed away.

Strange thing is that it is often these babes in Christ who are able to discern the difference between a genuine relationship with Christ and His Church, and simply being religionists!

I have many doubts about those who claim to be Christians, but forget that when they point one finger at others, there are three pointing back at themselves!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

Your words are always and encouragement and a source of insight in response to just about everything I've ever put up as thoughts in a post on this blog.

I now have to say you've said some of the saddest words I can remember reading when you said this...

"We found that new believers, becoming aware of such behavior, are often the casualties of such miserably misguided behavior. I weep when I think of several whose words were similarly voiced: "If this is church I don't want it!"

"They were true to their word and, apart from my wife and myself, avoided those claiming to be Christians, one, until he passed away."

I'm just grateful that in eternity future, with Him, things will be as God intended and will be that for which we've been redeemed. Until then we'll keep trusting and sharing life. I'm glad we're brothers.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

The certainty of your last paragraph is my own as well, "in eternity future, with Him, things will be as God intended and will be that for which we've been redeemed."

Ditto for the remainder!

Christiane said...

Why the children ?
What kind of individual(s) would want to threaten the young people in any way?
I will be praying for Wade's son and daughter, in the way of my faith.

Paul Burleson said...

Christine,

The only answer is to hurt Wade.

That said, I appreciate you remembering the kids. They are two mature young adults who are fighting mad but willing to work through to forgiveness I believe. [Their two siblings are the same kind of fine human beings. You see I have the thirteen GREATEST grandkids in the world. ;)

I suggest we join together to pray for the person/people behind such an asinine thing. When will these guys learn they are poodles barking at the heals of a bulldog of the faith?

Bob Cleveland said...

If there's any truth to Wade's implication about someone "inside the faith", this certainly doesn't dampen my conviction that God has turned His back on the SBC.

Bob Cleveland said...

And .. the Word Verification that shows up here, now, is "CATIVILE".

Bingo. On both counts.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

You have a knack for commenting when the verification words are 'on target.'

Seriously, I do believe we're [SBC] in worse shape than most church members would ever guess.

Paul Burleson said...

Christine,

I got a kick out of my "heals" comment when it should have been "heels." Maybe I was thinking they needed "healed." No..it was just a stupid mistake in spelling. I know better. :)

Christiane said...

Hi PAUL,

I always thought this sounded 'harsh':

Proverbs 25:
21 If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;
   and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;
22 for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,
   and the Lord will reward you."

Until I read this:

From Isaiah 6:
"5 And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph* touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ "

Paul, you may have 'thought heel', but your heart typed 'heal'.
That's the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart.. deep calls to deep

Rex Ray said...

Paul,
Your saying, “Somehow, however, I just never thought they would be from inside the faith” reminds me of what a missionary said.

When they left America he was told their support would be like a rope they could hold. When he refused to sign the BFM 2000, he said he felt that rope was used to hang them.

In 2004, my sister and I wrote a poem ‘Soldiers Down’. One verse said:

Please, Lord, unite our hearts to lift up Jesus.
This prayer should resound.
“Fire unsigned missionaries!” makes Jesus cry,
Betrayed soldiers down.


I believe there’s a lot of truth in a letter printed in the Baptist Standard, April 8, 2002:

Wooing another's wife
___I am a widow in my 80th year, and I'm so distressed over what has
happened in our beloved convention.
___The letter written by SBC Executive Committee President Morris Chapman and sent to churches in Texas to suggest they decrease the amount given to the Baptist General Convention of Texas and also to persuade them to join the rival convention reminded me of a man trying to woo a wife away from a faithful husband and not caring at all how she also would be deserting all her many children--ministries of the
BGCT.
___I'm so convinced the takeover by the fundamentalists has come
about because the average person in the pew is either blissfully unaware or uncaring about what is really happening.
___ W.I. Sparkman___ Kopperl, Texas

Another verse of that poem:

“It’s only politics…Not my concern.”
This fable has been around.
Awake, dear brother, or you’ll become
Another soldier down.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Paul: I agree with Bob. I didn't. But I do now. I do believe in a God however who does miracles. Will he do one now? I don't know. But I can't forgive. I am not like Wade in that I am not even fair game, but to go after the children was not anything I thought possible. Not once. I'm in shock I think and just speechless.

Chris Ryan said...

Paul,

I read that email. And I cried. And I read Wade's response, and I cried some more.

It is tragedy that anyone who is Christian, SBC politics aside, would feel compelled to wage war via children.

I know that is often how it works. I've been drug into these fights like this - so have many of my friends. There is no feeling worse that when you find out that the rumors are that a Youth Minister you loved dearly and who mentored you was "asked to leave" because he was having adulterous relations with both you and your best friend. I don't think either of us have ever recovered, truly, from the sickness such politics stirred up in our souls. During all that, I had to fight very hard to remember that I had a high view of the church because I had a very, very low view of Church members. Forgiveness came, but very slowly. But those memories are things I will never lose.

My heart grieves to hear of other children being used in these fights. I detest the fear, the hatred, and the down and dirty sin that allows things like this to happen. Like you, I look forward to when those problems are no more and we can look on Jesus and each other with pure love.

Please know that my prayers, as always, are with you and all your family in this time. As tough a skin as you have all developed, I know that this stuff hurts.

Paul Burleson said...

All,

I appreciate you stopping by.

I do want to say a few things that are just rolling around in my head.[Heart?]

One is..I really don't know how many this e-mail actually represents. It could be one kook who is just mad at Wade and is striking out. [It could be a small group.]

I DO think it DOES reflect, however, an attitude that is present in the SBC and, as Dwight McKissick has eloquently written about racism in the SBC, needs to be dealt with in true repentance. There are too many who fostered this mentality of angry control. [My way or the highway.]

Another thing I know is that hurt people hurt people. [Peter Lord.] To try to cause this kind of pain in someone else reveals something about the e-mail writer [writers?] more than anything.

Something else I really believe is that God is shaping us all with every event good and bad. I'm not a fatalist [What will be will be.] because I believe in purpose. I believe greater purposes will come to pass than a perpetrator could ever imagine and will wish one day they hadn't done what they did. [Either because of repentence or reaping an unintended harvest.]

Finally, I do believe forgiveness is on it's way in all of us. [As that is what grace produces in our lives.] But the journey to forgiveness is usually to the depth of the pain that has been created.

When Jesus cried out "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" it was after the garden and bloodsweat he went through.

If someone pokes me with an elbow in an elevator and says 'forgive me." I say "sure." If someone crushes my toe and apologizes I say I will but man don't do that again. If someone does what they did to two of my grandchildren, it takes a little longer journey to forgiveness. If someone assaults one of my other granddaughters sexually, [which happened several ears ago.] I will be called upon to forgive again each time I'm reminded of it. The journey to forgiveness is a lifetime in coming.

I've found 'forgiveness doesn't have a period after it. It has a comma. [Seventy time seven] You have to keep on forgiving according to the depth of the pain. That is the journey.

So no one can say to another "just forgive them." Our Lord has said we are to forgive and then is with us in our journey. Each journey is unique to each believer is my experience.

But people like you make it a little easier. Thanks.

Paul Burleson said...

Chris,

I just read your comment again and cannot but repond to you personally. I knew there was a depth about you that is beyond merely years. Now I understand better the creation of that depth.

Believe it when I say there are tears in my eyes for your journey. I'm glad to be called your [elder, much elder] brother.

Chris Ryan said...

Paul,

It is brothers like you, with both wisdom and grace, who remind me day in and out that Jesus does good things to people, too. Thanks. I'm blessed to have you as a brother, too.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Paul: I know your rules of comment, but I would ask that you give me a little exception here as I am honest with the father of my minister. I want this to be put publicly, and maybe I should have done it on my blog, but I am taking a chance here to a small degree.

This is nothing Wade doesn't know but more than anything I wish to be transparent, and right now I may be sinning by not forgiving. It's that I can't. Not now. It's just not there. When Wade resigned from the IMB, a little piece of me died that day. A lot of the love and respect I had for the leaders of my denomination and the even the trustees of the IMB died that day. I may put this in a post someday. Then Dr. McKissic. The same ones I continually bring up. No one but a handful came to their defense. I do not understand this from Christians. I understand the world doing this and I can forgive that. It's those who are Christ followers that I don't understand. It's as if my own family were to turn on me instead of protect and love me. What if when one was a kids there parents didn't show love to them, in fact did everything they could to throw you out of the family. That is what it felt like. That is hard for me to understand, let alone forgive. This latest makes it even harder.

Paul Burleson said...

Debbie,

First let me say you are one of a very few who are free to say whatever they desire on this blog.

Then I want you to know I would NEVER say "you need to forgive and you're sinning if you don't." That is your journey and whatever that journey contains [anger, time, struggle] is your journey and yours alone and is to be respected by all believers. [I'm trusting you didn't hear me saying anything otherwise in my previous comment.]

I remember when I personally was where you are in forgiveness just.."not being there"..in that event I referenced that happened some years ago. I shared with a men's prayer group about it to their stunned silence and told them I was angry and felt like killing him. [The perpetrator] Then I just wept.

Not a man there [about 30] said a word. No one shamed me, condemned me, tried to fix me, or told me I needed to practice what I preach.

Instead, they all got up, gathered around me and begin to pray. The deputy sheriff was standing behind me an leaned down and whispered.."Bro Paul, you want me to kill him for you?"

I have to tell you..what he said helped me at the moment as much as the praying did. I knew he didn't mean it. But he sure knew how I was feeling. My journey continued and does to this day.

You, my sister, are on your journey and I am nothing but WITH you on it, not as a judge, prophet, teacher, or example. But just as a brother.

I love you and yours.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

word verification "Valley"


Even though I walk....


Just sitting here listening to a favorite band and thinking.


"Looking back at the road so far
The journey's left its share of scars

Mostly from leaving the narrow and straight

Looking back it is clear to me
That a man is more than the sum of his deeds

And how You've made good of this mess I've made

Is a profound mystery

Looking back You know You had to bring me through

All that I was so afraid of
Though I questioned the sky, now I see why

Had to walk the rocks to see the mountain view

Looking back I see the lead of love"

Caedmon's Call
"Lead of Love"


The far flung effects of the fall used to surprise me. Then I looked inside and saw the far-flung effects even there!

Now nothing surprises me (makes me sad and breaks my heart but does not surprise me)

Maybe an awareness of the pervasive influence of sin coupled with an awareness of the power, love, and grace of God is the only way to make sense of it all.

Nevertheless, I am sitting here at a computer being philosophical and you and your family are the one's "walking through rocks"

Praying.

Paul Burleson said...

Rodney,

Great lyrics.

Great words of encouragement.

Great honesty.

Great truth.

Great appreciation for it all and for you as another internet friend.

I agree with Debbie when she says "Who can't make real friendships via the internet!! I have...[she said.]"

You are one of those.

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems to me that when we say "vengeance is mine, says the Lord", it's normally with the idea .. or teaching point .. in mind, that vengeance is NOT ours. But the other side of that is true.

He will repay, and it won't be pretty to the guilty or to us, when He does. Of course, the perpetrators can be forgiven, but even forgiveness exacts a big toll upon folks who are forgiven of much. Putting something like that anger or bitterness or bile on the altar is an unpleasant, if rewarding, thing to have done.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

Since my family suffered the struggles which ensue from the mouth of false accusers, I've been made very sensitive to such matters,and, I'm often reminded to check the veracity of my thoughts about someone.

Prior to the accusations,we had many friends, in similar ministries, whom we loved as brothers, and who regularly phoned for support when problems (occasionally sin)entered their experience.

When the mud was thrown at me, the dust cloud was immense, as they ran in the opposite direction. That hurt more than the actual accusation.

I've long held the view, and still do, that genuine followers of Christ, when made aware of the SUPPOSED sins of a brother/sister, would,out of sheer love, seek out the brother/sister to personally ascertain the truth.

IF THE ACCUSATION IS TRUE, out of sheer love, they will recognize the sinning brother/sister is WOUNDED. Genuine followers of Christ would lovingly surround them,prayerfully helping them to repentance, AND supporting them until they are restored to spiritual health.

Genuine followers of Christ, will NEVER shoot the wounded, whether wounded by false accusations or by their own sin.

Am I being a mindless idealist. I think not! A relationship with Christ DEMANDS such extraordinary love.

I'm so glad that my Savior Christ, didn't have the attitude prevailing in that email, but gathered me to Himself, and even when I've sinned, holds me safe, and still, now intercedes for me before the Father!

Christiane said...

Hi AUSSIE JOHN,

You know, a parent instinctively wants to 'protect' their young (of all ages) and the pain of seeing them hurt is searing. But I learned something once, from one of my children.

There was park near us, where moms would gather and talk while our children played, as we watched over them. I brought my Down Syndrome son to be with the children. The first time we came, another child may fun of Patrick, came over, and shoved Patrick down really hard, drawing blood. I got up to come and help, but, before I could, something else happened.
Patrick got up, went over to the other child, and HUGGED HIM, and smiled at him. My child didn't understand.

We were all amazed. Some of the moms were in tears. I was proud of my child 'who didn't understand' enough to strike back, but gently hugged instead.

Sometimes I wonder if we are the ones who really understand.

Rex Ray said...

Christiane,
Your child was an example of love in (1 Corinthians 13:5 Living) “…hardly even notice when others do it wrong.”

No one can make us angry unless we choose to be angry. Jesus did not show one ounce of anger on the cross, nor do I think he felt anger – “forgive them for they know not what they do.”

But the question arises, ‘What if they KNOW what they’re doing?

I think that’s the situation Debbie found herself in.

As far as the threatening email to Wade’s children there is another possibility that someone pointed out – someone impersonating SBC leaders wrote the email to hurt the leaders.

It’s an old trick that’s been used many times. A talk show radio said today that the TEA PARTY was going to be joined by their enemies with such outrageous signs it would show the TEA PARTY as nothing but a hate group.

Paul,
Today, I talked with our county association director – Jerry Christopher. Found out he was a member of your church when Wade was about 14. He praised you a lot. A few years back, I went with him and a group on a mission trip to Kirkastan.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult issues of the Christian life for me. I tnink it's one I'm still having to study a good bit. And, I'm sure the future hold more learning about it for me. On both sides of the coin.


Aussie J,

This is great..."Genuine followers of Christ, will NEVER shoot the wounded, whether wounded by false accusations or by their own sin."...and is true of genuine friends also.

Christine,

We, like you, have learned a great deal about REAL life from our 22 year old granddaughter who will never be out of her wheelchair, never bear children, never win prizes for athletics or academics, but knows more about life than most will ever learn.

By the way, her MOTHER is my hero.


Rex,

I genuinely had the thought you've expressed about it possibly being someone pretending to be an SBC leader. But I've heard too much about a small group of pastors who think of themselves as the protectors of their 'heros' from guys like Wade and Debbie and others who they think are relentlessly pointing out facts that hurt their heros's images in SBC life.

They even have a name for themselves that I won't honor by mentioning.

Jerry Christopher is one of the genuinely GOOD guys. Tell him 'hello' for me.

All, I'm going to be out of pocket all day today but will get on-line thi afternoon late.

Bob Cleveland said...

I remember about January 18, 1977, I was in Minneapolis on business. I went to sleep with the TV on, at the motel, and woke up to the Today Show news the next morning. The first words I heard were that Gary Gilmore, a famous killer, had been executed.

His case was pretty famous and I followed it in the news. As a death penalty advocate, I was glad to see him receive that sentence at trial. But there was a moratorium that had been declared by the Supreme Court, and Gilmore's execution was the first such after the lifting of the moratorium.

Said all that to say this: I was swept by a profound sorrow upon hearing that news. And that really puzzled me, at least until I found that I really should feel that. Ever since that day, I've had a different attitude about being wronged (when it really is that), knowing what the Bible says about God, His children, and His vengeance.

Maybe that was the root of my reaction to the lawn mower incident, which I blogged about. And it came right yesterday, or at least will, when Charlie delivers the stuff later today.

Good, thought-provoking post, friend.