Monday, August 21, 2006

Let's Be Christian and Consistent (Satan and the BMI)

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. ;)

Paul Burleson


Kevin Bussey said...

In the words of Rodney King:

"why can't we all get along!"

Paul said...

Paul, if that's not what Wade was saying it should have been! ;)

Great thoughts.

Paul Burleson said...


I've noticed the main problem is we're so much like the original twelve. Is it not a fact that people are the weirdest human beings in the world? ;)


I know the next time I see him he's going to say, "dad you said it exactly as I told you to especially the part about being graceful, intellegent, goodlooking, wait, you did leave some out." lol

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.

Paul B.

Bob Cleveland said...


Good. Very good. In fact, it's a lot like the post I just put up on Eagles' Rest.

No wonder I liked it.

If God didn't use sinful imperfect folks to do His work here, He wouldn't use us. In fact, He wouldn't have anybody to use.

Except His Son, and He's up there with His Dad.

Last: if "getting along" had been natural for us human beeenz, Jesus wouldn't have had to tell the Apostles to live in peace with each other, and to live in unity. So, rather than a lifestyle to be attained to, perhaps it's a commandment to be obeyed.

Hmmm..... never thought of that before.

Brett and Kelly Burleson said...

Dad - I want to be the third Burleson to say "Amen".

Love my dad and big bro immensely. I'm still learning and soaking in.

In the meantime, I just wonder when the focus will get on "life" - Jesus. Isn't that enough?

Wayne Smith said...

As the father of 3 Boys Wade's age or older I say ANEN!!!

Wade you Don't only have God looking out for you, You also have a Father that knows and Loves the Lord, and he walks the walk.

A Brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

While you are considering the application of current missionary policies for IMB trustees and staff to adopt or self-impose for the purpose of "identifying" with the personnel they make and administer policies for, here are a couple to consider:

Live in a maximum dwelling size of 1600 square feet, regardless of the number of people in your household. And don't forget to adapt your office somewhere into that space.

While you are at it, sell all your cars but one.

Anonymous said...

Good morning. Since you are clarifing what Wade means by what he says, please tell me exactly what a "dead level" is. All the other I get loud and clear. "Be ye kind, one to another."

Paul Burleson said...


I have a feeling you and I may think a lot alike. But I don't know whether I've just complimented us or condemned us. :)


If it weren't so self serving and prideful I'd write a post on how great ALL four of the Burleson kids are, but since that would reveal too much about my personal flaws in the area of pride, I won't do that. [Could this be my way of getting it said anyway?]


In His Name,

You probably know my feelings shown in the previous comment.


I'm certainly not qualified to clarify Wade since he so rarely needs it, if ever. My post was my attempt to use him as a springboard for what I wanted to say. It may well have been a blatant attempt to connect me with someone people are actually reading. ;)

But I do know "dead level" means the same as phrases like "bottomline", "straight as an arrow", or such. It is taken from a Level used to mark lines in the building of a house, for example, and means the very best, can't get any more correct than that, ect. So, "dead level best" means your "very best".

Now, if you were playing with me, excuse my gullibleness. [Is there such a word.] lol

Paul B.

Paul Burleson said...


Your comment certainly reveals the folly in trying to match up with anyone else's walk or calling.

Paul B.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Paul,

I applaud your efforts as you stand up for your son. I do miss my father and believe he would do the same for me if he were still living. I also pray for my brothers salvation as I do envy Wade's younger brother as he sings his praises. I do appreciate you and your family.

In all due respect, I do not see the disagreement you posted about coming from the BMI and the Get thee behind me Satan post. I am hearing others disagree with Wade on the "Map back to the Past for the Future" post. It appears in that post that Wade advocates opening the SBC back up to the very ones that led in the split of the SBC. Wades very statement was; "Now I realize I was fighting for the wrong thing. I should have been fighting for Southern Baptists to TALK to each other, to PRAY with each other, to COOPERATE with each other, to LOVE each other, rather than to divide into sides and conquer one another. True, classical liberals need to be removed from any positions of authority in the SBC, but it should be done in a proper manner, following all protocol and procedures established for such an event."

As a "bottom line" kind of person myself it seems the bottom line is not about cooperating with other denominations, but opening the SBC up to allow other denominations to invade.


Paul Burleson said...


Thank you for commenting. I'm afraid my post was not as obviously "tongue in cheek" as I intended. I really just used Wade's great posts as a launching pad for my own thoughts. But it is apparent that he is a lot clearer in his writing than I am in mine. :)

It is certainly true that he doesn't need me to explain him and I won't even try. And the only invasion I see Wade advocating is one of love and respect.

Paul B.

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul: The answer is yes, you have.


Anonymous said...

I am doing my dead level best not to be insulted that you insinuated that I was teasing a preacher. Until this morning "dead level best" was not part of my vocabulary but now I am going to use it and do it. (little smiley thing)

Marty Duren said...

I just don't understand what you're trying to say. hehehe

Paul Burleson said...

Bob, I find myself in agreement with you...again.


Using "dead level best" will make you a true Okie if nothing else.


I think I'm giving up on this "tongue in cheek" posting. Nobody understands me. :)

Paul B.