Friday, June 26, 2009


I, like many of you, had just about given up on the SBC. Then about four years ago Wade Burleson, our son, was called upon to serve on the IMB and to represent all Southern Baptists, especially those of Oklahoma, on that BOT. He did that much to the chagrin of many in leadership. When refused the legal and ethical ability to adequately discuss and research some decisions being made by that leadership that affected many future appointees of the IMB, Wade began to report the situation to those who had entrusted him with the responsibility of being a trustee, the Southern baptist people themselves. The proverbial fat hit the fan. I got interested in the SBC once again. The rest is history as the saying goes and can be found quite accurately recorded in the the book "Hardball Religion" written by Wade as a result of the controversy and well documented as to accuracy.

Four years later we have received word that Wade is laying aside writing anything of a political nature. Don't hear that as laying aside anything controversial because his theology will be that thank you. But he will be refusing to write anything that addresses the political state or condition of the SBC for the next year. I have not spoken to him since his announcement and am writing my thoughts without him knowing anything about what those thoughts might be. But I do have some thoughts.

In my humble but accurate opinion, [:)] Wade has been operating under a real calling of God for these past four years. He has suffered rebuke, revilement, questioned motives, and has been called too many things/names to begin listing them here. But the truth is, he could care less because of a belief that he HAS had a calling of God for what he has done. It has always ONLY been a principled thing for him like him or not.

A few months go when he chose to step aside as a trustee to get the focus back on missions I wrote this to him..."To stop short of a calling...because of fear or of pain... is a lack of character," someone has said. Mark Twain reportedly said, 'Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of it.' Wade you've courageously never stopped short of your calling."

"Someone also said, 'To go beyond a calling...because of an agenda or pride.' A.W. Tozer once wrote 'Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulations.' Wade you've chosen to not go beyond your calling."

I can write those words to Wade again. So I do.

But that leaves us with a bit of a personal dilemma it seems to me. What do those of us, like me, do now? I was ready to give up on the SBC a while back. I got encouraged. Some say there is more reason for encouragement now than ever before. Maybe. I don't know. Fool me once...fool me remember that? I'm thinking and I'm watching.

It may be that I have only a couple of options that are legitimate for me personally anyway. I can't go back to just pretending the SBC can go her way while I go mine with a nominal connectedness to her. That isn't fair to anyone.

I certainly can't let happen again what happened when there was a move to recapture a confidence in the integrity of the text of scripture, with a perhaps legitimate need for that correction, but then it became a conservative movement that did great personal damage to far too many with far too little restraint.

Following that was the accumulation of power which became far too seductive to far too many. We wound up with what we've got and that's unacceptable to me.

So, maybe I will stay with the SBC. But I will have to voice my concerns and viewpoints when they are there to whomever I must. I will expect to be heard, respected, and answered. I don't have to agree with the answer but to be ignored or told it is none of my business will not do anymore at all. I will respect the leaders of the SBC but will under no circumstance receive as legitimate something they say BECAUSE they say it. I will need to know WHY they say it.

If for whatever reason the above cannot be accomplished I would have to opt out with my integrity intact and find other Kingdom avenues to follow to do ministry and to share relationships therein. The Kingdom of God IS, after all, quite big and diverse.

To facilitate the hope of the first option I'm going to talk to Wade and get a list of people, blogs, and organizations he would suggest I stay in tune and in touch with during this next year. When I get this list I will publish it, with his approval only.

All this said, who says you can't be proud of, learn much from, appreciate the example of, and just generally like your own kids? I do.

Paul B.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?

7. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?

8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game"
when we are already there?

10. Why are they called " stands" when they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called "after dark" when it really is "after light"?

12. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?

13. Why are a "wise man" and a "wise guy" opposites?

14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?

15. Why is "phonics" not spelled the way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

20. Why is bra singular and panties plural?

21. Why does a person press harder on the buttons of a remote control
when they know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated is such a long word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?

25. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the glue bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?

27.Christmas - What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Thought you would like this. A picture and a prayer.

Nope. Wasn't Billy who prayed this. So I've removed the prayer. But the picture is worth seeing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I've posted nearly two hundred times on my VTM blog. Some have been pretty good and others have been otherwise. Some I might think of as my personal favorites and I'm going to repost a few of those in the next couple of weeks. Let's see what you think.

Here's the first one... I'm not into name dropping...but here I go.

T.W. Hunt. That name is well known in Baptist life. I know that name well. I know the man who wears that name. He wears it well. Laverne. Another name. That's the woman married to the man who wears the name T.W. Hunt. She's as fine a human being as he is...maybe most husbands in saner moments will confess of their own particular wife. T.W. does. So do I.

The reason I know T.W. and Laverne is because I was privilaged to be their pastor for several years of his tenure as a Professor at SWBTS when they were members of and I was Pastor of the Southcliff Baptist Church in Ft. Worth. Laverne still calls me "Pastor." She always told me she thought I was the best preacher she had ever heard. I told her I thought she was the smartest person I had ever met. Just kidding. [She said that..but I think she says it to all her Pastors.]

The purpose of my dropping T.W.'s name today is to give a final small follow-up on my post addressing worship. But before I do, I want to press the envelope personally and tell you of one of the more significant spiritual moments in my life that involves T.W. Hunt. It really is personal and I do not wish to diminish it for fact....I've just changed my mind..... Maybe some other time.

But the follow-up has to do with a morning I sat with T.W. in a Dairy Queen in Ft. Worth. He and I were eating ice-cream and talking. [Who says you can't eat ice cream in the morning?] Before long I was writing on a napkin. It usually wound up that way. Something he would be saying was always of the nature that I must not forget it. So....write it down I did.

T.W. said that he was a student of revival. He had, in fact, studied every known revival in history beginning with the Old Testament events going right through Acts and into the Awakenings, as well as the "Charismatic revival, as it was being called in that day in which we were living and conversing.

T.W. said that every genuine move of God that he had studied had produced it's own music. The new music of those moves of God were new, not just in lyrics, but in meter, rythmn, notations, and a whole bunch of other stuff that didn't then and doesn't now mean much to me. But I kept listening.

He said that those involved in the revivals usually wrote and produced this "new music". His example was Charles and John Wesley. He reminded me of the many songs written by the Wesleys during that Great Awakening of which they were such a major part. "The Church's One Foundation" was one of those.

T.W. said there were several odd things about the music being produced during each revival. For one thing, it was not only different, it was rejected by the religious establishment. Wesley sang his songs with the crowds on hillsides but was not permitted to do so in the churches. He was shunned.

Then, T.W. said, after a while, the religious powers that were, gradually accepted the music, by now being sung by the masses. Finally, that music was "the music" and was "the music" until another revival came along producing it's own music which was rejected as ungodly by those singing "The Church's One Foundation" and, again, the new was not permitted in the churches. So, again, the masses had to sing in isolation from the religious establishment.

You see the pattern I'm sure. That's why, according to T.W. Hunt, the Charismatic movement was in his opinion, while not agreeing with it's theological excesses at all, a real movement of God. The music evidenced it.

I finished writing. He'd finished talking. We finished our ice-cream. But I've never forgotten that day and what he had said. I wrote it down remember. I think time has shown the validity of that view of the history of revival. Look at the music we're singing now. I wonder where revival will happen next? I know it will have it's own music. I know some won't like it. For a while anyway.

Paul B

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


My good blogging buddy Guy Muse, IMB-SBC missionary in Guayas Ecuador, posted this on his always thought provoking blog. You could enjoy him regularly here... I use his material here with his permission. I'm wondering what you think!!

*Victor Choudhrie's 15 essential steps for changing traditional churches into New Testament churches.

1. Replace professional clergy with Priesthood of all Believers with authority to baptize, break bread and equip fishers of men. (1 Peter 2:9)

2. Replace Church building with "House of Peace." (Luke 10:5-9; Matt. 10:11-13)

3. Replace programmed Sunday service with daily informal gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day and not just for a couple of hours a week lest she become unfaithful. (Acts 2:46-47; Hebrew 3:13)

4. Replace tithing with sharing the enormous financial resources and goodwill available in Christian homes. (Deut. 8:17-18; Acts 5:32-34)

5. Replace the "Crumb and Sip" Holy Communion with simple "Community meals" eaten together with gladness from house to house. (Acts 2:46; 1 Cor 11:20-23)

6. Replace loud music with speaking to each other in psalms and spiritual songs making melody in your heart. (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16)

7. Replace the spectator church to participatory, interactive, prophetic and Missionary sending church. (1 Cor 14:26-31; Acts 13:13)

8. Replace organizational and denominational churches with citywide network of house churches. (Romans 16:3-15)

9. Replace barren church with multiplication. The Bride must not remain barren, but reproduce and fill the earth. (Acts 1: 8; 1 Cor 9: 19-30)

10. Replace submitting to one man - by submitting to each other. We must encourage, comfort, exhort, edify and serve one another. (Galatians 5: 13; Eph. 4: 2, 15)

11. Replace purposeless church with a goal oriented mandate to disciple nations. (Romans 15: 20; Matt. 28: 19)

12. Replace powerless and fruitless church with militants who heal the sick, raise the dead, expel the demons, bind the ‘strongman’ and plunder his possessions. (Matt 11:12, 12:29)

13. Replace all presidents, directors, chairman, secretaries and all the other non-biblical titles with apostles, prophets, and the fivefold ministry gifted elders. Change from a dead organization to living organism. (Eph 4:11; Titus 1:5-9)

14. Replace all Sunday schools, Bible schools, and prayer cells and cottage meetings and call them full-fledged churches. So that they can disciple, baptize, break bread, equip and send missionaries. (1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15)

15. Replace all selfish goats who are members for hatching, matching and dispatching with sheep who take care of the hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, sick and the prisoners. (Matt. 25:31-46)

*Victor Choudhrie is a cancer surgeon by profession. He is a senior Fellow of the American and British colleges of surgeons. He quit his job as the Director (CEO) of the Christian Medical college, Ludhiana in Punjab, India in 1992 to take up full time Church planting ministry in central India. His wife Bindu is also in full time church planting ministry, equipping women to be house church leaders and trainers.

God has blessed this ministry abundantly. Large numbers of grassroots level leaders have been trained who have planted thousands of house churches all over India as a result.

Interesting, wouldn't you say? Thoughts?

Paul B.