Monday, May 10, 2010


Most of you are somewhat aware of the Southern Baptist IMB [International Missions Board] controversy that heavily involved our son Wade Burleson over the past five years or so. That controversy eventually led to his resignation as a board member as you know I'm sure.

I have no desire to go into the causes or details of the controversy but do need to remind you of it to set the stage for what someone has said that I want you to hear. That someone is a person who comments as "Christiane." I can only assume that is her real name as I do not know her at all. But, according to her comments, she is Roman Catholic and, as such, has taken a degree of verbal abuse as a result of some who doubt her genuineness as a true believer and believe they are, therefore, responsible to give her the gospel.

I must say, she has heard the gospel [Some efforts were blatantly manipulative and false in my judgment.] more times than I can count as I've read the blogs and, in fact, she's shared a message of Christ herself quite well. I have no desire to try to ascertain the genuineness of her faith however. I will leave that to the Lord who is the only one who knows the heart.

Another friend, Debbie Kaufman, wrote on her blog a post attempting to deal with the nastiness of some who attack those with whom they disagree and the pain they cause some people. She mentioned specifically Wade Burleson, Dr Klouda a former Professor at SWBTS, and Dwight McKissic and then asked "where are they now that they've been so maligned? They are certainly not in leadership positions unfortunately for all of us." Debbie was certainly expressing some of my own feelings about that subject when she wrote those words.

Christiane responded with a comment that I've asked permission to share with you. It is only a portion of the comment but is worth the reading. I encourage you to listen to her words carefully. They are potent spiritually. Here's what she said in part...

"It isn’t about who’s ‘recognized by the world’. It’s about who you can count on when you need to have someone to ‘bear your burdens’ and help you. It wasn’t about the ruler that condemned Our Lord to the cross, it was about the man who carried the Cross when Jesus fell. It’s not about the ‘powerful’, or the ‘leaders’, it’s all about who you can go to and count on when you need their help.

Where is Wade now? He is the one people turn to for help when they are fearful for their friends. In the Kingdom that makes him a great servant of Lord Christ. In the Church people sometimes get a little bit lost about ‘who is important and who is recognized.' But when the burdens become too heavy to bear, the ones they turn to are ‘where Wade is now’, the servants of the Lord and His people, the most trusted of the keepers of the Royal Law. That’s where Wade is now. Not a bad place to be in THIS world, Debbie. So don’t despair. God brings much good forth in the midst of trouble. You can be at peace."

I would say that is worth all of us remembering. It captures a truth of the Kingdom that is missing in much of the discussion in blogland. My friend Debbie and I still share a disgust about the nastiness of some, but we're reminded to view it and measure it differently with Kingdom eyes. Thanks, Christiane, for the reminder.

Paul B.


Chris Ryan said...

Christine (L's) has a wonderful way of reminding me about the Kingdom every time I take my eyes off it - and that is often. I think that she, better than anyone I know, understands that God's wisdom and our foolishness often walk close at hand and that weakness is where to look closest for God.

Paul, thank you for bringing this comment to our attention. May God bless you both!

Bob Cleveland said...

She's certainly on target, and thanks for posting this.

If you think about it, what all the SBC has faced, since and including the 2006 Convention, and what all has transpired, you'll see why I think God's instructed me not to be involved in it. Why I'm not going to Orlando.

Jeremiah 7:16 in living color.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I got such comfort from Christiane when she wrote this statement. It's just hard to see this and I so long for this type of ministry to be among our whole denomination. I want it so badly, that sometimes it's hard to see the truth you have laid out here. But I'm starting to. Thanks Paul.

Paul Burleson said...


You said..."It's just hard to see this and I so long for this type of ministry to be among our whole denomination. I want it so badly, that sometimes it's hard to see the truth you have laid out here. But I'm starting to."

I say...I'm starting to too. At least you and I are on the way. ;)

Debbie, words could NEVER express the gratitude we ALL owe you for your heart and passion for truth and real accountability. Stay by the stuff. There are a ton of us with you in it.

Aussie John said...


As I've observed from the other side of the world, I've often felt sad that, in my long for obvious reas church experience, I've never found such as Christiane, yourself, Wade, Debbie, and a few others whom I can confidently say are truly my brethren,whom I appreciate very much, and who reveal the reality of being indwelt by the living Christ.

I won't name some of the names that impress me in the opposite direction, but they are very obvious on Wade's and Debbie's blog, reminding me of warts on the witches nose pictured in a child's story book. I mean THAT ugly!

As a matter of fact, I read about them yesterday: "The Pharisees knew their Bibles; were disciplined in prayer; fasted twice a week; gave about a third of their income to their church; were moral (very moral); many had been martyred for their faith; they attended ‘church’ regularly; they were evangelical/orthodox; and evangelistic (Jesus said they’d even cross the ocean – a fearful thing for Jews – to win a convert)."

Aussie John said...


It's rather interesting that Pharisees were not interested in such things as love and justice.

Hmmnn! I wonder why such words don't get into statements of faith and doctrine?

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

As I read your first comment my thought was.."It can't be said any stronger than these last two paragraphs say it."

Then I read your second comment...and it was.

Christiane said...


I am in full agreement that a host of witnesses are in support of Debbie's quest for the truth in the Caner situation. I am in awe of Debbie's strength and courage.

Well, just now, I looked on her blog's current post and at number 16 comment, I found this from THY PEACE:

"Christianity Today LiveBlog > Liberty Forms Inquiry Committee about Seminary President Caner.

“Liberty University does not evaluate personnel based upon blogs. However, in light of the fact that mainstream media have recently raised questions, the Provost of Liberty University is appointing a committee to look into these matters. A Decision as to the efficacy, or or lack of same, is expected by June 30.”

Comment by Thy Peace | May 10, 2010"

I have a 'very strong feeling' that parents of students have made inquiries. And for their sake, and for the sake of their children, the innocent students of Liberty University, I hope that the University will make an effort to do what is right:
not because 'the mainstrean media' has begun to ask questions,
but simply because 'doing the right thing' honors Christ,
and THAT is reason enough for any Christian or for any 'community of the Risen Lord'.

So proud I am of Debbie. It hasn't been easy for her. Some good will surely come from her efforts to see right done.

DEBBIE has put herself out there in spite of all the criticism and hateful rhetoric aimed towards her and others, and she has stood strong like Deborah of the Bible, whose own general would not go into battle without her. Who said Southern Baptist men couldn't learn from a woman? |

Paul Burleson said...


It could not have been said better about Debbie than you've said it. Thank you.

And, again, thanks for the comment and the giving of permission to publish it on my blog.

I think the truth about the Caner issue will come out and, tragically, the outcome COULD have been different had remorse, repentance, and the taking of responsibility been there.

But regardless, I feel for him and will be praying for him as it unfolds.

Rex Ray said...

Ahhh, what a pleasant post! And who should deserve it more than those that show love in their writings like Christiane and Debbie.

While a lot of us guys get on our high horse to prove the facts, these two women speak from their hearts that cannot be argued with.

They remind me of that song: “Lean on me, when you're not strong. And I'll be your friend. I'll help you carry on.”

Once when I was feeling low, Christiane told me “Don’t react.” I’ll remember that advice always. Thanks.