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2008.05.21

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selahV

David, what you describe is similar to what most any person who wholeheartedly serves the Lord in ministry experiences. I dare say the single most considered day of resignation is on Sunday mornings for most pastors, too. And much of their trials and assaults come from a handful of folks on the inside of their churches and a multitude of cultural pressures from outside their churches.

I empathize with missionaries who are so discouraged that they want to resign. But the truth is, those who are God called to the mission for which they've surrendered will persevere in the face of discouragement and trial. I'm pretty discouraged myself when I read that the good reports we hear are manufactured. I'm discouraged when I hear nothing but negativity about our IMB and the SBC. But I will not despair unto death or to give up.

May God give strength and endurance to all who read this today. May His power fill them and give them renewed hope. We serve a mighty God. He is able. He has overcome the world. selahV

peter lumpkins

Katie,

Thanks for your input. I think Dr. Barber's point was toward David's specific words, which, the way I read them, indicated this was the missionaries, not the directors exclusively making the decision.

Somewhere, somehow, if this is as bad as David Phillips and Debbie Kaufman--via Enid--continually assert it is, something on the order of Dr. Corbaley's scenario is going to have to take place.

Also, it would do us all good if the Information given to the missionaries from their superiors would surface. Those are hard, tough things to insist upon.

Yet, if I am going to be asked to accept that 90 Trustees of the SBC are conspiring to cover up their failed policies; are cooking the books on numbers and failure to make them look better; that trustees continually threaten jobs for almost ridiculous departures from "acceptable practice" etc etc ad nauseam, ad infinitum, then I must have substantially more than "Well, somebody told me" or "I got the email from a missionary" or "I talk to missionaries all the time" or "Missionaries hide their best, most successful creative ministries from irrational trustees."

Of course, Katie, I'm not suggesting you are saying or not saying any of these thing. Instead, what I am saying is if we don't have tangible proof we can sink our teeth into, no real action and/or solution is forthcoming.

Most of us are not going to buy into the anonymously driven-conspiracy jargon. I can't do that.

Some interpret that as "head in sand," "stubborn," "company dedication," "naive," "ignorant," "sinful and wicked," just to name a few.

Frankly, I'm willing to live with all of those labels. I will not act on what I perceive to be a non-evidential situation. For me, it is principle I cannot forfeit.

Grace, Katie. I know our Lord blesses your ministry. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

All,

I am out for a spell. Please play nice in my backyard.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Camel Rider

This is true...
When the trustees came to town here a few months ago we were gathered by our SL and given a list of rules:
Don't joke around about anything ministry related
Don't be sarcastic
Don't say anything negative about budget or anything else

Out of the 3 that I met, 2 were very genuine and personal. They truly wanted to know what was going on...good and bad....but because of our previous instructions no one opened up. And they asked everything in front of the SL. With my former company we did "skip-levels". I would meet 2x a year with my bosses boss to talk abotu what he/she should: keep doing, start doing, stop doing. They were then coached and developed on that. But it's not possible to have honest dialogue when we're coached on what to say and when were asked in front of local leadership.

I would love to see the wall come down between BOT and missionaries. It takes a different mindset. Throughout the candidiate process we're coached on what to say and what not to say. We write out our beliefs and then have them tweaked...why....to please the BOT. From day one they're viewed as keepers of the gate that should be feared. It's hard to change this mentality especially when we can see what happens when some are crossed.

I want it to change because most that I've met have been authentic and genuinely interested....but I'm still careful around them.

Alan Cross

Peter,

Thank you for hearing my frustration last night. If I read you incorrectly and attacked you, I apologize. I really do care about the SBC and the IMB. I am just growing weary of not being able to discuss issues because we constantly do it from opposing viewpoints. It profits us nothing.

I do not know who is to blame for the problems and I am not accusing the trustees. My information does not go that far and what information I do have actually points to the administration. But, I have direct accounts from missionaries in our Asian regions that numbers are being doctored and enlarged. I spoke with one missionary that was actually in regional leadership and travelled throughout his region and he told me stories for hours about what is happening. It was heartbreaking. I cannot share his name or region, obviously, but I assure you that I tell the truth. I have known this missionary for many years and trust his integrity implicitly. He tells me that the problems are endemic throughout the IMB.

You can take my story as anectdotal if you like. You can accuse me of lying. I have been involved in baptist blogging for over 2 1/2 years and have tried to do so with integrity. Before my Lord I assure you that I am not lying. Sadly it seems that much of this information will be ignored.

One other point: I can support at least part of David's assertions because I have independently conversed with one of the Western European missionaries and he supports David's story to the tee.

Bart Barber

Katie,

I speak merely by analogy to what I do in my ministry. Anything I would hide from my congregation (except for counseling information where the confidence belongs to the counselees rather than to me) is necessarily one of two things: (1) Something of which I ought to be ashamed and ought to quit doing, or (2) The primary reason why I ought to be in ministry somewhere else.

But if I'm in ministry and being paid by my congregation, I'd better not be trying to pull the wool over their eyes about anything. That is a lack of integrity. "Payday" is relevant here, because the fact of the financial support that my congregation provides to me undergirds my obligation to honor the spiritual accountability that motivates my transparency in ministry.

I take the act of deliberately concealing things from IMB trustees as an analogous situation.

Tim G

I find the path for making the concerns known as presented by Corbaley to be exactly that which the Bible commands. Why has this not taken place? Why are we seeing a culture of ignoring the Biblical process for handling issues and problems?

Beats me! And I am hearing this week that the problems are NOT as widespread as a few lead us to believe. Could it be we are dealing with Personnel issues and not missionary issues?

peter

Alan,

No problem at all, my brother. I sit where you sat--in great frustration sometimes staring at a computer monitor rather than human eyes. That said, my deepest sorrow as well my comments to you were taken as greatly condescending.

If I do not project the apostolic admonition to 'count others better than ourselves' it is not because I fail in desire.

Nor does the style writer I am lend itself happily to conversation in especially provocative circumstances between two differing sides. So often I think in images and allusions to illustrate rather than concrete propositions. I can do the latter but they are so darn boring.

That said, I think sometimes folk concern themselves with my style of writing more than the point I'm trying to make. I wish for others' sake I could say I am going to change. Not only can I not say that, I must say the contrary--I do not desire to change the style penman I am and have become, mainly because I am not only content with it but I believe my Lord affirms me in it. Enough of my personal ramblings!

Alan, I do not think you are dishonest anymore than I think David is or Debbie is. For me, it's not about dishonesty--unless there is forthcoming evidence that somebody has been (that may be closer than some think!).

I do think somebody is at minimum mistaken in their assessment. I don't know who. But someone is.

Nor do I think our missionaries are making stuff up because they are intrinsically anti-trustee. I think with Dr. Corbaley, they by and large make sober, mature decisions on what they've been told.

And, Dr. Corbaley makes a point that is still not fully appreciated. He asks: "So just what have they been told from their non-trustee superiors? Where do they get their information?" We need answers to this with documented data.

That is, letterhead stuff or records from meetings with superiors such as Camel spoke about with the missionary's name(s) attached.

The way ahead is paved with total confusion, contention, frustration, bitterness and misunderstanding with good people leaving our IMB short of some type of tangible documentation appearing.

One final note: Our Trustees, in my view, are not totally innocent in all this hullabaloo.

My deepest respect to Dr. Corbaley and the 89 other trustees with whom he faithfully and prayerfully serves all Southern Baptists in overseeing our international missions thrust is no way shaken by what I am about to say. For me, our trustees need our prayerful support for what they have to accomplish.

Not to mention our Sovereign Lord holds each one of them particularly accountable as either good stewards or bad in employing our missions personnel and spending our missions monies over seas--"it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." No one of us needs to 'covet' their role, in my view. In a real way, they--the trustees--receive the greater judgment.

How then may we question our trustees wisdom in what's been going on? In this:

the trustees definitively do not release enough pertinent information directly to our missionaries. I'm talking about all kinds of info including factual info that could squelch much of the internet gossip and misinformation that may exist.

They say too little, too late. Dr. Corbaley attempted to assist with this on his blog but the dissenters were much too numerous and much too powerful. His voice was one alone crying in the wilderness. I wish I could have been on the scene much earlier so I could give him a helping hand.

Blogs are definitively not going away. The Trustees must consider having some type of site--even a private site exclusively for missionary personnel alone, if need be--that will get the corrective info out to everyone at once. This admittedly bypasses Richmond. For my part, I'd simple say "So?"

I'm only thinking aloud now. But if the pervasive distrust from missionaries exists toward out trustees, our trustees cannot expect to apathetically say "Richmond. We have a problem." The Trustees must act themselves.

So where do the missionaries get their info? The RLs? At risk of ruining a thread, I can tell you where I think much of it came--Enid, Ok.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

P.S. I'm in a coffee shop. Signal's in/out. All--be nice!

Katie

Hi Dr. Barber,

First, let me say that I agree with you about accountability and transparency in ministry. Those who hold the ropes and support overseas ministry ought to have access to any and all information about what is going on related to that work. I’m not in a field leadership position with the IMB; I’m a front-liner. Maybe if I was in a regional leadership position, I could give you a better explanation for the decision to conceal something from the trustees. But, since I’m not I can’t and I feel that what we read in David Phillip’s comments about the creative stuff being hidden from trustees is unfortunate and possibly wrong.

But I offer this to make your analogy a little more to the point. If the youth minster is told by the pastor not to give details to the deacons about some possibly controversial issue related to the youth ministry of the church, would you still criticize the youth minister for hiding details, but showing up to collect a paycheck? Like the youth minister, front-line missionaries are under authority of their local leadership. If they are told by their supervisors not to talk about certain things with trustees, should they be insubordinate and seek out the trustees to tell all? Hopefully this situation would not happen. But, if it did, it’s probably the pastor’s actions that are more questionable than the youth minister's. That’s why I think your comment was a bit harsh.

Katie

Camel Rider

The end of the world must be near....I agree with Peter. Pinch me, is this really happening.

IF, the only info flowing out about the BOT is from "Enid" (is this kind of like Oz?)then we can't really complain about "Enid's" influence. For too long Republicans complained about the "liberal" media then came Fox News and everything changed.

We on the field want dialogue, we want a voice. I would love if the BOT would engage in real, honest dialogue with us. But we need to be able to trust them....and right now some don't. A private blog between trustees and m's....I think would work. I mentioned this earlier....a survey on various issues including job satisfaction and leadership issues would be great. It would help us and would help the BOT get a true sense of what is going on. Maybe then there would be a greater sense of partnership between the two. But the trust issue is key...right now that is missing. And I personally won't sign my name to anything or speak out to anyone until I know I won't pay for it with local leadership, regional leadership or BOT. A policy of no penalty for speaking out needs to be in place and trust built. I believe the majority of the trustees I've met would be on board with this....and I know I would from my side.

Still can't get over it.....I agree with Peter :-)

::: Camel Rider

Bart Barber

Katie,

Of course, I agree entirely. Whoever made the decision to hide is most at fault. There's also an obligation, when ordered to do something, to determine whether it is a "lawful order." But I think that we can all sympathize with the position into which such requests put someone.

Alan Cross

Peter,

I agree with you as well. Much of what has gone out IS from Enid. My missionary friend who gave me the information told me as much. He says, "Wade has no idea how much influence he has had on the missionaries on the field." But, then he told me, "Wade doesn't know the half of it." He then proceeded to tell me how he knows first hand that numbers are being doctored to give a more substantial view of our work. Also, the fact that we have over 5,000 missionaries is masked by how many of them are 2 year ISC/Journeymen.

Anyway, you are right. Wade has had great influence. More information would be helpful.

Dave Miller

Peter, just to clarify, the "Baron of the Blogosphere" comment I made a couple of weeks ago was not directed at you. The Baron who criticized me was your buddy from "Enid" who chastised me pretty severely.

If you wish, I will title you the Bard of the Baptist Bluster Brigade, but the Baron of the Blogosphere title belongs to someone else. At least until we know for sure if he is really gone.

Dave Miller

Peter, have you ever heard the song, "You're so vain, you probably think this blog is about you."

If I was not morally opposed to emoticons, I would include a smiley-face at this point.

With that, I am

Dave

M N NowhereLand

On Behalf of a Group of 7 Veterans on the Field:
1. We would encourage Dr. Corbaley and the BoT members with the power to reverse themselves on the new policies or to simply resign. You have betrayed the trust of your missionaries and of Southern Baptists. The SBC does not know it yet, but are coming to realize it. Some thoughts on how that will happen below.

2. Those trustees and RVA leaders who are in disagreement need to speak up in public. Part of your trust and responsibility is to defend that God-given charge of our sending agency. It is one thing to submit to authority, it is another to disobey God's Word while doing so. Is the "King the Law or the Law the King?" Enough of going along to keep all at peace. Those days are done.

3. Southern Baptists, please contact your executive and BoT members to let them know of your wishes and thoughts about the fact of new policies that mean God called missionaries from their Southern Baptist Churches, who are in complete agreement with the BFM 2000, are fine church members, and who have been acceptable missionary candidates at any other time in IMB history, are being turned down or discouraged from even applying by the SBC sending agency. May God delay his discipline for that sin.

4. M's, we are the last people who should be taking care of this, however, it seems to have come to that. While many M's will be of the "peace no matter what" camp and some will agree with the new policies, many others find what is happening to be very demoralizing to a once vibrant and effective agency. It is time to speak. The IMB has a whistle-blower web-site and service and you should try it out; talk to leaders that you trust, not those who are going to torch you, your family and your ability to stay and follow the call of God upon your life. Most importantly, begin to network with family, friends, and Southern Baptists in the States and ask them to take back the IMB.

There is a group of us who had hoped, and still hold some small sliver of hope, that these things might work. We are prepared to disclose the facts and details Dr. Corbaley wants but that is the nuclear option. We don't want to go there, but are prepared to go public and anonymous. In fact, we had rather put our head in the sand, ignore the SBC world and just reach the people and begin new churches. That is appealing and is what all of us have done for many years. It is finally to the place where we can no longer in good conscience continue with that approach.

Dr. Corbaley wants details? He wants them signed, notarized and with full proof of evidence and resignation letter attached I am sure. Something about a 150 page, or something absurd like that, attachment to get Wade kind of works against that strategy.

While I would not trust that information with Dr. Corbaley, many have faithfully worked through the system to deal with the difficulties that exist now. Every step being suggested, short of anonymous disclosures, have been tried for the better part of a decade. Simply put, the message from leadership, Richmond, and the BoT is "Be silent or leave. Your disagreement is not welcome." This has been done in person and ignored. It has been via an internal "whistle-blower" system and ignored.

Do not be surprised that as we see our organization being damaged by those called to protect and guide it, and that as we find no proper avenue for attempting to protect it ourselves, we begin to network outside of normal channels. It is for survival and the very ability to stay and follow the call of God upon our lives. Many M's will simply ignore the whole thing; some of that is because we really have our hands full just making it and doing what we came to do. Some of it is personality; m's are the nicest people in the world and they will usually turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. Some of us have come to believe that if we do not find a way to be heard, permanent damage will be caused to the IMB. If it has not already been done.

The IMB is being silently (except for Wade and one RL) stolen from the people of the SBC and the most worrisome thing is that SBCers do not know and don't seem to really care. That is why there are teams resigning, forming independent networks, and one region with an almost 33% resignation rate amongst regional and field leadership since the beginning of this year.

Dr. Corbaley wants details? There are a group of us prepared to provide them, however, not for the purpose Dr. Corbaley would use them for. We don't want to be railroaded, tarred and feathered, the; we want our organization to be all God wants it to be - to be healthy and vibrant in its spirit and witness as we take the gospel to the corners of the earth.

Taking this step is a big one, because there are things we are not allowed to speak of that need to be known. Dr. Corbaley wants details? We really hoped to simply inform Southern Baptists and ask them to take back their sending agency for the glory of God's kingdom. We hoped even to "encourage" dissident trustees to stand up, as Wade had done, and be counted publicly among those who were going to say enough is enough. But if Dr. Corbaley is representing the way the BoT wants it, then we will consider the challenge but with a few changes to the method.

Noodles McGee

Everyone should read David Phillips' comments twice. He knows what he is talking about. I'm an IMB M and Phillips is dead-on.
Interestingly enough, Peter Lumpkins does not call out Jerry Corbaley for evidence that all is well on the field. Notice that Corbaley questions Debbie Kaufmann's assertions because he has been told otherwise. Seems odd that Corbaley would get a pass, but Phillips does not. Yes, I am aware that Corbaley's evidence is low attrition, churches planted, and baptisms. Those numbers can't be manipulated, can they?
Morale is very low on the field. M's in my region are dropping like flies. Many more are thinking of resigning in the near future. I know of one region where many resignations have already taken place over trustee issues.
Here's the rub, I have not met one missionary currently serving on the field that believes the "guidelines", implemented in November of 2006, were/are necessary. Not ONE. They MAY(very few do) agree with the guidelines, but do not believe they were necessary.
Did you know that many missionary kids are baptized in Baptist churches that do not hold to security of the believer? Will these MK's be able to serve with the IMB? How can people carry on when they wonder if their own children will be forced to be RE-baptized, or find another way to the field.
IMB trustees will not appoint someone who they feel has not been baptized properly, but they will accept church planting and baptism numbers from Baptist denominations overseas that do not hold to security of the believer. Does anyone have a problem with this?
Mr. Corbaley, you stated that missionaries should come forward. That sounds like a good idea, but we’re all convinced that voicing dissent only brings a ticket back to America. It may seem odd to you that IMB M’s don’t trust their trustees, but all we need to see is a 150+ page diatribe coming directly from you against Wade Burleson and that pretty much seals the deal. I’d rather not have a target on my back at this time.

Jerry Corbaley

To M N Nowhereland,

Be holy, and go for it. Jesus will build his church and glorify his name, and it isn’t always pretty.

To All, in regards to a new rumor,

Now it is being asserted that the IMBoT is behind skewed statistics.

The Trustees answer to the National Convention, the President of the IMB answers to the Trustees, the entire administrative structure of the IMB answers to the President. The individual missionaries are part of the administrative structure.

The IMBoT receives the statistics from various departments of the administrative structure. The Trustees do not “adjust” the statistics, we receive them as facts. They are passed on to the SBC as facts. Any trustee, or group of trustees, that “adjust” the statistics are sinning, and should be held up to public shame.

Field statistics are second only to the Word of God in our deliberations. If the departments of the IMB administration are skewing statistics, then they have forfeited their entire integrity, are indulging in criminal activity, and that department should be swept clean and built again from the ground up.

The IMBoT, at the recommendation of President Rankin, adopted a method whereby missionaries can anonymously report such activities so that our integrity can be protected, and that was done last year. I encourage our missionaries to take advantage of this in-house method of protecting our integrity.

How is it that the missionaries do not already know this? What have they been told, and who did/did not tell them? Do we need an information audit?

Skewing statistics is lying. Such lies, if they are lies, are used to inspire our fellow Christians to give money to the cause. I want absolutely nothing to do with such a scheme. I would consider any Christian who would cover-up such behavior to be absolutely untrustworthy. They are unworthy to be a trustee, and they are unworthy to be a missionary.

Will the missionaries who are aware of this behavior report it?

Will the missionaries who are aware of this behavior make absolutely certain that Dr. Rankin hears about it so that he is not blind-sided? It is his responsibility to deal with it.

Will the missionaries who are aware of the skewing of statistics cover-up the sin because they are afraid for their jobs?

Is this all a godless rumor that slanders the integrity of the IMB Administration?

What does this kind of blogging do for missionary morale?

The trustees do not gather the statistics.

Alan Cross

"IMB trustees will not appoint someone who they feel has not been baptized properly, but they will accept church planting and baptism numbers from Baptist denominations overseas that do not hold to security of the believer. Does anyone have a problem with this?"

That is exactly right. We are accepting baptism and church plant numbers from groups that are not even Baptists, just because we worked with them in some way and can see that we have influenced them. The 600,000+ number is not correct. The low attrition rate number is not correct. We are seeing dozens appointed to the field at every trustee meeting, but overall numbers stay the same. Many of those appointed are 2 year people that are obviously only on the field for a short time. What is the attrition rate for career missionaries? We do not know. All of the numbers are jumbled together.

Does it bother anyone that we are claiming numbers from indigenous believers who do not hold to Baptist theology and/or are in violation of the new policies? Does that not seem like a major inconsistency? Our SBC missionaries DID NOT baptize 600,000+ last year. How many Southern Baptists think they did?

Alan Cross

Dr. Corbaley,

The problem is that the trustees have been the cause of so much devastation, but you cannot see it. I never blamed the trustees for lying in this case because I know the real story. I know where this is coming from and it is actually not from the trustees. But, it is a direct result of the climate of fear and control that has been created by many within the IMB, including the trustees. The story is getting out and it is not all coming from Wade. The truth has a way of emerging and what is so sad is that you are blinded to what you have done because it has been going on for so long. In this case, it appears that everyone is guilty, so shifting blame to the administration will not serve you well in this case, unless you want to admit that the trustees have been derelict in their duty the past several years. If that is so, then there is more than one area that needs to be cleaned out.

I applaud your call for integrity. I do not think that the trustees have been lying, at least directly. But, creating the environment that you have it should not be surprising to any outside observers as to what has happened. However, what saddens me is the idea that you will use this as a reason to clean house, not ever realizing your own duplicity in the matter. When people are intimidated and controlled, all types of things happen.

I just ask that you act in accordance with Godliness before something is done that will cause great shame to the name of the Lord. If there is widespread fudging of numbers, the question has to be asked, "why?" and what type of corporate culture exists to promote that? It is never the fault of just one individual. You can blame the administration, but you are the trustees. How about if you take responsibility for the climate instead of just for cleaning house? That would be the Christian thing to do. Try ministering to people.

peter lumpkins

M N NowhereLand et al,

This is a stimulating conversation. And, I believe beneficial (Camel is correct: with his and my track record for disagreeing, when we do, water is practically made wine).

However, if there is another comment for the trustees to resign, it will be deleted and that person will go away. Sorry. That's just the way it is.

We're talking about attempting to build some respect, not ask for resignations.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Jerry Corbaley

Fellow Missionaries,

I am also a Southern Baptist missionary, serving in my 15th year (NAMB).

My wife says, rightly, “Every group is known by their loudest, most obnoxious members”. I regret that this is often true.

Regardless of what you think of me, how do you want the group called, “Anonymous Blogging Missionaries” to be known to the trustees?

Will you at least curb the excesses of your own ranks? How do you even know if they are one of you? How are we to know?

I’m leaving now. How do I know which aliases are real missionaries and which are “God only knows what?”.

Alan,

Let’s talk. Peter has my email. We’ll set up a time.

peter lumpkins

Dear Noodles

You lament my 'not calling out' Dr. Corbaley. May I suggest to you I am in no position to call out anyone. Period. Indeed nor are you if we are gut level honest about the matter.

As for your claiming you are an IMB missionary and Phillips is dead on, I must agree with Dr. Corbaley: "says who?" You place a generic email and a goofy website link as "proof" you are who you say you are. The goofy website speaks volumes of possible baggage at play which could very easily grease the bucket for the rest of your comment.

For me, though I was born on the "wrong side of the tracks" in Tennessee hills and not too brite growing up, that just does not cut it.

From my perspective, this falls into the very same category with which the notorious 'anonymous professor' lampooned Dr. Mohler at SBTS. I did not accept his/her information as actually factual, nor will I take it as such on non-tangible evidence from mystery writers from the missionary field.

Someone can call that ignorant, head-in-sand, etc etc. I am prepared to live with it until we get hard evidence from real people.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Dave Miller

Many years ago, my dad was a trustee of the FMB. He was sent to various Asian nations to discuss things with missionaries.

It seems all the BoT has to do is grant a "waiver of immunity" which would let missionaries speak their minds and hearts without fear that anything they say would be used against them.

It works in churches. When we are going to do something controversial or difficult, we put it out there to the church and have a time of comments - a town hall meeting if you will. People are allowed to tell us exactly what they they think.

We enforce a certain standard of Christian communication as to style, but we do not control substance.

This much is clear to me:

1) There seems to be a problem with missionary morale, to some degree or other.

2) There seems to be a distrust of the current leadership, for reasons I cannot establish.

So, why not give them the opportunity to express their feelings with the board's word that nothing they say will be used to harm them or shorten their careers.

volfan007

Peter,

I, too, wonder who these Noodles and Nowhere, anonymous types really are? Are they truly missionaries? Or, are they someone playing a little game of attack the IMB BOT's? It's hard to believe anonymous disgruntled's.

David

M N NowhereLand

Dear Dr. Corbaley,

1.Thanks your admonishment and encouragement to proceed in a way that pleases God. It is our only desire, as we know it is yours.

2. Stats – a longer response to this later; all that can be said now is that there are questions but even on the field we do not know the answers as to how our Annual Reports are used. We ask but never seem to get clear answers. It has gotten better over the years. Alan Cross has said that he knows and it would be interesting to find out what is the whole story. We do not believe that there is any attempt by anyone along the administrative chain to doctor the books. The integrity of the stats needs to be looked at but we do not question the integrity of those gathering and compiling the stats or of the trustees who have asked for the reporting. It is reasonable to want to know what is going on. It is our hope that you are getting what is needed from our monthly and annual reporting.

3. You ask, “What does this type of blogging do for M morale?” I would answer that this type of blogging gives some of us hope, discourages some, and is mostly ignored. For those who find hope, it the hope that we found in the courageous blogging of Wade; hope that we are finding in the courageous blogging of an RL who has resigned from that position so that he is free to speak against the policies; hope that what has been held in darkness will come to light. Hope that we now plan to give, since these have been largely ignored or silenced altogether.

4. Last, in a later comment and volfan007 has expressed a similar thought, you question whether or not we can be believed since we are coming at this anonymously. It has been a great struggle to know what to do. We admire Rodney Hammer, who has resigned as regional leader so that he can speak out against the policies. We think Rodney may not have as much freedom as he thinks, even though he is no longer RL. The Overseas Office of Operations at the IMB (this would be the offices of Dr. Rankin, Dr. Meador, and Dr. Fort) sent an email to all M's since the new policies became public, explaining what we could and could not say in response to policies we disagree with. Public dissent was strongly discouraged. You will have to make the decision about whether to believe us or not. We are all Southern Baptists and want to stay M's through the SBC sending agency. We are prepared to come forward with who we are, but at a later time when we can no longer stay with the SBC sending agency. To preserve our ability to stay on the field we want to give this a chance. While you can state ,and I know believe, that we are safe to come forward with an email to the Bot, we don't feel that is the case; we did not create the current climate of fear that exists, though we do live in it. We have seen retribution handed out to others who have been outspoken about these issues and prefer to take this step first.

M N NowhereLand

Dear Alan,

You say that, “I never blamed the trustees for lying in this case because I know the real story.”

Please come out with the information. While we found hope in Wade's declarations of “knowing something,” he never came forward with the information. It is time for what has been hidden to be exposed.

M N NowhereLand

Dear Peter,

We will not make the request again out of honor for you as the moderator and, more importantly, out of honor for you as our brother and because you are right. It was not intended as a personal slam against the trustees but a grasp for some way through these policies. However, it was too harsh and for this we are truly sorry and repentant. We will amend the 4 action steps accordingly. Thank you for your comment on this as it will help us proceed in a more gentle and kind way. Here are the newly worded actions steps

1. We would encourage the BoT to reverse the new policies and to use the BFM2000 as the doctrinal guideline on these issues and former IMB policy for how to handle any problems.

2. Dissenting trustees, RVA leaders and regional leaders need to speak out if they truly do oppose these policies. You have been admirable in your following of the BoT as your authorities; there comes a time when following and trusting that change is just beyond the horizon is not enough. It is time to speak out on the behalf of several thousand M's.

3. Southern Baptists, talk to your state convention office and get the phone numbers, addresses or email addresses of your IMB Board of Trustee members; then, contact them and your state's executive director to let them know of your wishes and thoughts about the fact of new policies that mean God called missionaries from their Southern Baptist Churches, who are in complete agreement with the BFM 2000, are fine church members, and who have been acceptable missionary candidates at any other time in IMB history, are being turned down by the SBC sending agency. This is your agency. Those of us on the field have to assume you don't know, don't want to know, or agree and it us who are out of step.

4. M's, we are the last people who should be taking care of this but it seems we must have some part in the solution. While many M's will be of the "peace no matter what" camp and some will agree with the new policies, many others find what is happening to be hurtful to a once vibrant and effective agency. It is time to speak. The IMB has a whistle-blower web-site and service and you should try it out; also, talk to leaders that you trust. Most importantly, begin to network with family, friends, and Southern Baptists in the States and ask them to take back the IMB.

M N NowhereLand

Dear Tim G.,

You said in an earlier comment, “I find the path for making the concerns known as presented by Corbaley to be exactly that which the Bible commands. Why has this not taken place? Why are we seeing a culture of ignoring the Biblical process for handling issues and problems?” Three things come to our minds as we consider this:

1.Thanks for your call to Biblical integrity. We are all committed to the Word and want to obey it, practice it and live it. This, we all share in common and we are not casting doubt upon that. We would hope you are not casting doubt upon whether we believe the Word.

2. You do not say which command you are referring to but our assumption is Matthew 18:15 – 17. If not that, please post a comment on which one. We do not believe the trustees, RVA leaders or field leaders have sinned against us. We do believe the decision, especially on the baptism policy, has led Southern Baptists into sin by having a sending agency which does not send their God called missionaries.

3. Last, every step available to us has been taken. This includes talking to our supervisors and later regional, Richmond and trustee leaders. We have been listened to, but ignored and, in one case, sidelined from full effectiveness.

Katie

By the way, one last thing, Dr. Barber. The missionaries in my region raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $80,000 for the Lottie Moon offering at our annual general meeting last year. So, we're not only benefiting from the gifts of Southern Baptists, we're contributing as well.

Katie

Bart Barber

Katie,

Praise the Lord for that.

I do not think it a shameful thing for missionaries to be paid. I am not a Sandy Creek Baptist in that sense! I only think it a shameful thing to hide details of your work from your supervisors. I am glad to support our missionaries and would love to see us do so even better.

Debbie Kaufman

However, if there is another comment for the trustees to resign, it will be deleted and that person will go away. Sorry. That's just the way it is.

Oh Peter, if only you would have felt that way last year, and the year before that and even the year before that.

Noodles McGee

Peter and Dr. Corbaley,
I understand your hesitancy to believe a person using an alias. Thanks for allowing me to post here, Peter.

Do you have a problem with IMB M's partnering with Baptist denominations and churches that do not hold to security of the believer? In your opinion, are these legitimate baptisms that we are a part of?

Do you have a problem with IMB M's partnering, in some fashion, with Baptist denominations and churches that do not embrace the BFM2000?

volfan007

Noodles,

Is your real name Noodles?

Are you anonymous due to your not being an "m" and you want to try to talk like you are to make some point from your personal agenda?

David

Jerry Corbaley

Noodles,

Several years ago the IMB adopted the 5 Levels of cooperation with Strategic Relationships.

For one who is actually a missionary with the IMB, this should be common knowledge.

How is it that you have to ask?

Why aren't other IMB missionaries calling attention to this?

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