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Ron P.


Excellent post. I am sure the barbs will be coming your way. Either that or you will be entirely ignored since you are right.

I sincerely hope that Wade will both publicly and personally apologize to Dr. White.

The incessant exaggerated "heresies" "problems" "legalisms" etc. only solidifies the view that at best, Wade is imprudent and at worst, fatuous. I do not think he realizes that he really is his own worse enemy.

To be fair to Wade, I believe that his presuppositions on issues like liberal egalitarian theology is driving the train here. He has to make a square peg fit into a round hole. In order to make it work, he has to attack those that hold to classical conservative Biblical views. That is why I think he is fixated on Dr. Patterson and anyone even remotely associated with him. As the leader of the CR, he is the most obvious target. He will pounce on anyone or on anything that can give him leverage on those in any leadership position within the SBC or her entities. Through osmosis, he then lays it at the feet of Paige Patterson. Barack Obama is doing the same thing as Wade in this regard. Trying to tie John McCain to George W. Bush. It is a valid political tactic. It is not a valid Biblical one though. Where I think Wade errs, is that even if he and Ben were somehow able to "bring down" Dr. Paterson, it is not he that we have been following. It is the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Again, I am convinced that Wade believes that by hanging all on Paige Patterson that he somehow is given leverage. This seems to be the case for all the issues he advances (like praying in tongues, woman preachers, drinking alcohol, suing fellow believers, and so forth). If he succeeds at painting people as spooky fundy's, Landmarkers, or whatever the phrase of the month is, he can then get a crowd lathered up to go after such Biblical outdated beliefs.

Therefore, I want to thank you for taking the lead in defending against such un-Christ like attacks against a fellow believer. We must continually be watchful of such, as I am sincerely convinced it is part of a much larger and deliberate calculated scheme.


Ron P.


Interesting article Pete.

Did you ever consider that perhaps there *IS* actually something amiss with the SBC (and organized religion)?

A great deal of effort has been spent defending the various controversial SBC positions, but stopping to reflect on the validity of the growing criticism of the SBC might prove to be a helpful exercise.

Opposing views don't = wrong views, do they?

wade burleson

Peter, you seem misinformed on at least three issues in your post:

(1). The courts did not decide the charges by Klouda against SWBTS were "baseless." Please cite your source. The courts decided that SWBTS should be considered a church, and the state cannot, per the laws of the land, intervene in church matters. The federal judge said the only people who could hold SWBTS responsible, if in fact wrong was done to Dr. Klouda, was the Convention herself. I took the judge's encouragement to heart and will do all I can to continue to hold responsible those who would remove women from leadership in the SBC because of a faulty interpretation of Scripture and the BFM.

(2). The men you mentioned above - Drs Ware, Mohler, Patterson and/or myself - are not heretics unless we hold to Arianism - that was the point of my post. If, as you allege, nobody in the SBC is holding to Arianism or semi-Arianism, then nobody should be considered a heretic - upon that we agree.

(3). You say Dr. White "clarified" his views on birth control. You claim Dr. White does not believe birth control is "immoral" and never said so in his message. Could you please explain the basis for your allegation that Dr. White is being misquoted in light of the following, which was taken straight from Dr. White's message by the Associated Baptist Press:

In his Oct. 7 sermon, however, White seemed to suggest that all birth control was contrary to God’s plan. He said the root problem is that American society views children as a hindrance rather than a blessing from God.

White confessed that, after getting married nine years ago, he and his wife made the mistake of using contraceptives "because of my own selfishness."

"I wanted kids, but I wanted kids in not God's timing, but in my timing," he said. "I didn't want kids when I was in my M.Div. program, when I was going to have another mouth to feed, and it was going to inconvenience my ability to finish my course work and maybe move on and do a Ph.D. and all these type things. I wanted kids, but I wanted kids my way, my time, the way I wanted to do it, so I could plan my family out."

"Folks, you are not in control of your destinies -- God is," he said. "And the sooner we recognize that we are sinning when we say, ‘I am going to control every aspect of my family’ and we're not giving control to God, we don't trust him, we don't believe that he knows better than we do -- we think we know more than God does, and just like I did, some of you are involved in that exact same sin."

Dr. White is not talking about "abortion." Dr. White is not talking about "the sanctity of human life." Dr. White is talking about using birth control, and he calls the use of such "sin."

It seems, Peter, that in your attempt to attack the messenger, you have missed the message - once again.

In His Grace,


peter lumpkins


Thanks my brother for the support. And, I do realize a few barbs are the price.

Grace. With that, I am...


peter lumpkins


Thanks for logging on.

Of course, this post is not whether "perhaps there *IS* actually something amiss with the SBC." I am sure, Michael, we may find lots if we look hard enough. The question is, has Wade Burleson revealed such in his repeated attempts and employing the methods he has adopted. The answer I offer is obviously negative.

As for things amiss in "organized religion" I have no comment since it is irrelevant.

It may be true that some of us have spent "a great deal of effort...defending the various controversial SBC positions" but you won't find that here, Michael. I am attempting to challenge those who think it's alright to criticize unfairly.

Nor is your assumption that there may be "growing criticism of the SBC." To the contrary, the criticism to which I committed to challenge comes almost exclusively from one source. And, there is no evidence that it is "growing." There is only evidence that it continues to be unfair.

Finally, you'll be glad to know that I agree presumably with your final supposition: "Opposing views don't = wrong views.

Thanks again. With that, I am...


peter lumpkins


First, to spin such a clear judgment for the defendants, SWBTS & Paige Patterson, is surprising, given it is consistent with the very charges continued to be made against your repeated twisting of sources. It seems you would be extremely careful, Wade, on a post which demonstrates your premature use of sources. Why do you punish yourself so much by continuing to misread the obvious? (By the way, the sources I cite were the judge's words themselves).

Secondly, you are the one, Wade, that charged Drs. Ware and others with "heretical teaching" (your term, Wade). If you'd like us to believe you did not say such, I am afraid you'll have to pull that post down.

Third, my source is definitely not the ABP. Why would I cite an ABP stroy when I could:

a) listen to Dr. White's words
b) read Dr. White's position online
c) and get Dr. White's views through personal exchange? (all of which I did)

Nor is it relevant that you should bring up the ABP story. Neither you mentioned it in your original post, which is what this present post is about, nor did I cite it here. Thus, it is irrelevant.

My point was and still is you simply filled in the blank for Dr. White's fully stated position, without the least bit of caution that he may have been speaking about only BC that prohibits implantation of the embryo on the uterus wall.

Consequently, your mistake is closely related to the alleged "Semi-Arianism" or "heretical teaching" by completely ignoring a fundamental distinction these scholars make. And, overlooking such, is, in my view, either a) ignorant b) naive or c) dishonest.

Unhappily, Wade, neither of the three is something to write home about.

With that, I am...


Dave Miller

I think I have a slightly different position on this one than you do, Peter.

But I am guessing you will agree with points 1 and 2 I make, if we diverge later.

1) It is right and just for us to hold public figures (even public SBC figures) accountable for their actions and words. There is nothing wrong with publicly saying "I think that Dr. White is wrong in this view" or "I think Peter is wrong" or "I think Wade is wrong." To say, "Dave is wrong" - no one would want to go there, would they?

2) It is wrong to twist and publicly misrepresent the views of a Christian leader to make a point, to assign motives to their actions or words, or to denigrate character or integrity (in the absence of overwhelming proof and private, prior confrontation).

I have to believe we agree on that part, don't we? Holding leaders accountable is a biblically acceptable and even desirable thing. Slandering them, committing character assassination or twisting their words to make a point would be wrong.

Where we might disagree is what actually happened here. I have not studied this one as in-depth as you have. In fact, I have relied largely on your synopsis of the sermon for my information (and your forthright answers to my questions about it.)

I present the following scenario as a middle ground between your interpretation and Wade's. I might point out that standing between you and Wade may not be the best place in the world to be at all times. (That was a joke and an emoticon would be appropriate but I refuse to use them.)

Theory 1: Dr. White presented a passionate defense of an ethic of life, but (by his own admission) he was not careful in some of his wording. He was thinking (this I get from your interpretation of his sermon - I've got to get around to reading it) of those specific forms of birth control that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg and can therefore be seen as abortions. But, in his sermon, he carelessly (or passionately) left open the interpretation that he was speaking of all forms of birth control and was criticizing all Christians who use any form of birth control.

2) Wade interpeted these comments in the broader sense, which may not have been Dr. White's intent, but to which his careless wording opened the door. Wade has a innate suspicion of SBC leaders, especially those with ties to SWBTS, and took offense at the implication that Dr White SEEMED to be making.

3) Wade, coming from his outsider/maverick position, took Dr. White's words as part of a pattern of legalism. He may have over-stepped the intent of Dr. White, but the words Dr. White used opened the door to this intepretation.

I think this is a thing in which people viewed Dr. White through their own sunglasses and saw it with completely different tints. Supporters of SWBTS and Dr. Patterson chose to view the situation in a sympathetic way and give Dr. White the slack to amend and clarify his comments. Those who are anti-SWBTS and anti-PP viewed things in a more ominous way - seeing this as part of a broader pattern.

Here's where I come down. Dr. White was not careful in his words (which he pretty much admitted in his later comments), but his intent and his meaning was honorable.

wade burleson


I am providing the exact words of Dr. White in this comment stream for you to see.

He says "my wife and I made the mistake of using contraception" (not the mistake of abortion) and encourages others not to make it.

He says "not giving God control" of the number of kids we have (not abortion) is a sin.

He says seeking to "control every aspect of family" by planning the number of kids in the family (not abortion) is a "sin."

Peter, I don't know why it is difficult for you to acknowledge what it Dr. White is saying in his message. It is clear for anyone who reads or understands English.

If he is now backing off of his message that birth control is a sin, and saying that is not what he intended to say - then more power to him. His clarification is appreciated. And frankly, the ability for Southern Baptists to hold accountable SBC leaders for what the say and do is the beauty of the internet.

What was said in his message cannot be disputed. But his previous legalistic demand that all other Southern Baptists conform his view that birth control is a "sin" is forgiven, since it seems he has backtracked from such a view.



peter lumpkins


Thanks greatly for the time to offer a very good analysis. And, I have to say there is little in its entirety to bicker over. Well, perhaps one thing. You twisted my arm. :^)

While granted "Wade interpreted [Dr. White's words on BC] in the broader sense, which may not have been Dr. White's intent..." in my view, this very fact nevertheless stands at the crux of the matter, here. If a position one is critiquing is either vague or ambiguous, nothing follows absolutely until the vagary or ambiguity is settled. And, if I am correct in this, Wade Burleson's post may be legitimately viewed as mostly an exercise in futility. Allow me to explain.

For example, if I stood in the pulpit, preaching on the theme of truth-telling and at one juncture making application, I said:

"I tell you the truth, it's plain flat wrong to lie to policemen who come knocking on your door! And not only is it morally wrong, it is a criminal act! Listen! God is against lying!"

Now that's pretty clear, I admit. But I must also concede it leaves a hefty gap for someone with a mind inclined, to rapidly crawl right into my cellar and, based upon the way I framed that, to suggest I possess a deficient appreciation for human life.

Was I in denial that Corrie ten Boom lied to the Nazi police, for the sole reason she loved the Jews? Was God against that? Was it morally wrong for her to do so? Should we condemn her in doing so?

Heck, why not just put up a post proclaiming "Peter Lumpkins is "anti-semitic"? After all, Peter condemned Corrie ten Boom for lying when all she was doing was protecting Jews. But God was against such because God is against lying! (Which, for the record, is precisely what was done with Dr. White--just substitute "moral legalist" and "what's wrong in the SBC" for "anti-semitic")

Now this is not identical to Dr. White's situation I admit; however, I think it possesses enough similarities to show what I mean.

My point, therefore, is simple: since my wording was vague, not accounting for situations dealing with conflicting absolutes--in this case the value of human life vs.the value of truth-telling--for someone to definitively conclude otherwise, arguing I did not appreciate human life, etc., apart from either:

a) solving the ambiguity or;
b) showing that either way the ambiguity is interpreted makes no difference to the conclusion; hence, making me guilty of the charge no matter the interpretation proposed

...in my view, barring the demonstration of either of the above, this constitutes a total disrespect for getting at the truth, blatantly ignoring acceptable canons of legitimate argumentation, and utterly destructive to just plain old-fashioned courtesy we owe when we are critiquing one view and stating another--and that, especially when we're talking of brothers in Christ.

This is even more important, it seems to me, when one can so easily tarnish the reputation of a public person--in this case, Dr. White, who is respected by hundreds of students all over the world--by making premature accusations against them. I go back to a statement I made in my post: "Why not raise questions rather than make charges, ask instead of accuse?

Had Wade raised questions about Dr. White's views, this present post would not exist. Period. I would have been on his blog perhaps in the exchange over what the implications of his view were, if they were valid, etc. etc. But I would not be remotely suggesting Wade Burleson is out of line simply for raising questions about ambiguous positions that need clarification.

To the contrary, however, Burleson made bold proclamations about the certainty of Dr. White's position, and without hesitation concluded Dr. White a "moral legalist" who stands for "what's wrong in the SBC" when, in effect, the jury was still out.

Grace, Dave. And again, thanks for the analysis. I appreciate the even hand. With that, I am...


peter lumpkins


We've been over this on your blog about the "raw words" in which I offered comment. Unfortunately, Wade, you are convoluting Dr. White's tearful admission of sinfully leaving God out of his life, his family, his studies, his ministry, his career, and yes--when to have children and not have children and the number of children, none of which I contest--with the sin of BC, which prohibits the implantation of the human embryo to attach to the uterus wall.

It is the latter that is, in effect, abortive in function, and therefore a morally questionable approach to birth control.

Had you unwrapped his point, Wade, noting that it was the sanctity of human life that drove his moral trajectory about stating birth control measures were immoral, you probably would not have missed that he was referring to those measures which are ipso facto abortive which were immoral.

Your mistake was to wrongly conclude Dr. White left no room for moral means to birth control.

Once you dribbled that ball a couple of times, you went in for the score, my friend, wrongly concluding Dr. White both a "moral legalist" and "what's wrong in the SBC."

Now I grant Dr. White may be a moral legalist. I don't know. I know little about him or his position, only shaking his hand once in Indy. He seems like a fine Christian gentleman, an able scholar, and surely a great family man.

Again, one may be all of those and still be a moral legalist. What I do know is this: Dr. Thomas White is not a moral legalist based on the weak, terribly skewed reading you offered his comments.

In addition, your analysis in your post possesses every flag that one would expect in reading an agenda-driven piece. For example,

-attempting to grease the bucket by making long-term ties to Dr. Patterson;
-giving the entire exposition of Psalm 127 the theme--"the message he preached was about birth control";
-tying the message to qualifications of missionaries when no such hint was made anywhere in the message about the wrongful policies of the SBC on birth control and how we must change them;
-lumping Dr. White in with all the other "legalists" which we cannot allow to be in control;
-making Dr. White "what's wrong" in the SBC

On I could go, Wade, about the raised flags that your analysis simply could not hide. Tie all of this to your repeated habit of provocatively suggesting the horrors of the SBC--'act like a cult,' 'heretical teaching,' 'firing Dr. Klouda' (when, of course, she resigned), etc.--and one has the perfect recipe for an agenda-driven analysis. One cannot be 100% positive it's there, however; but the ingredients are certainly there, I assure.

With that, I am...


Ron P.


In your dialog with Wade at his site, he stated that: If and when you give me, in writing, a statement from Dr. White that I misunderstood him, then I will apologize. Until then, we have nothing further to discuss. Dr. White released, in writing, a statement on his blog that clearly shows that Wade's presupposition was just that, presupposition. Where is his apology? I wonder if he is going to be a man of his word on this one.

Wade's post and his comments there and here, have provoked my interest in his view on life. Does he agree with the BFM that life begins at conception? Does Wade believe as Dr. White stated (in the sermon as well as his blog clarification) that some methods of birth control work after conception to prevent implantation? Does he affirm that those that do such are abortifacient and takes the life of a child?

One other thing. After re-reading Wade's post on this, and your comments in this thread, I was struck by the statement he makes concerning Dr. White's message. I think you are too generous. The first sentence of the 5th paragraph of his post is at it's worse, blatantly false. At it's best it is intentional embellishment. Wade states that: The message he preached was about birth control.. Emphasis mine. No believer could come away from listening to Dr. White's 39 minute message and conclude that the message was about birth control, unless, as you stated, one has an agenda. Which is the point I made in my first comment in this stream. He does have an agenda.


Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Brother Ron,

I had not forgotten Wade's words to issue an apology and was patiently waiting for someone to recall such. It would have been better for Wade to have remembered what he said without our reminding him, but I'm glad you did, brother. If he's still on the thread, let's see what will happen.

Also, your questions about life are good ones and that Wade has apparently not stated throughout this entire exchange answers to them as you've pointed out is fascinating.

Grace, Ron. With that, I am...



G'day Peter,
You have spoken very asutely and very wisely in dealing with the problem of slander and abuse directed at godly men by power hungry folks.
Your well considered and well developed writing demonstrates God-given ability matured through grace.
The Lord continue to bless you as you stand by God's people.

Debbie Kaufman

Power hungry?? It seems pointing out errors in the teaching of SWBTS professors would not be the thing to do if one is power hungry. Ask Sherri Klouda.



It appears to me that some have forgotten the lessons of interpretation- Look for the original author's intended meaning. Many blogs I have read as of late have gone and interpreted the meaning while ignoring their own flawed lens of personal presupposition. While I agree it is impossible to ferret out all our presuppositions, I think you rightly point out that we ought to attempt to try, try by asking for clarification. Your argument of the content here is a good lesson in how we as readers can weed out our own presuppositions and stick with the objective facts. Rightly you show that Dr. White is a humble man in that he has clarified what was lacking in his explanation. I might add your title also waves a flag to the readers here as to what example we who claim Christ Lordship are to follow.

Truth indeed stands challenges. Error, well it really does get exposed to truth seekers.


Ron P.


Which errors? Do you not agree with Psalm 127 and Dr. White that God is God and we are not (which was what the sermon was about)? Do you not agree that God should be God in all areas of our life? Do you not agree that life begins at conception? Do you not agree that some birth control pills' third function works after conception to prevent implantation and thus becomes abortifacient?

Please enlighten us as to the errors.


Ron P.

cb scott


You are a good warrior and a very able opponent to Wade. You usually trump him in all debate which rapidly becomes evident as he begins to "split hairs" with meaningless rhetoric which hold little valid substance other than to draw in his groupies to defend him and advance his personal agenda.

Yet, you so often leave yourself to legitimate criticism by the employment of needless statements of things that (it seems) you really do not grasp an understanding of the whole of the issue to which you address to use as cannon fodder in your war with Wade.

Yes, you are right. I am talking about your reference to Sheri Klouda. Peter, a little mercy and common sense would go a long way to help you as you deal with the issues Wade brings forth in his vendetta against (seemingly) all things SBC for not anointing him king.

Brother, employ the weapons in your arsenal that have the greatest effect on your chosen enemy and leave the women and children out of it.

Peter, Sheri Klouda has paid enough no matter which side of that issue you were on. It really is time to let her alone.

Wade has chosen to continue his vendetta and gather his groupies for whatever reason only he knows. You have chosen to counter him and expose his game. You do that rather well. But you do not have to use those who have become collateral damage to make your point. Wade gives you enough valid ammo to fire back at him without strapping explosives around the waists non-combatants and sending them into the fray again and again.

Leave Sheri Klouda out of it and face your foe man-to-man. Many will respect your efforts far greater if you do so.

Like I told a mutual friend just recently: Remember, If you are going to fight monsters you must not become one.


peter lumpkins


Thanks, my brother. I honestly, under God, desire never to place at another's threshold, something they do not believe. Admittedly, there is a fine line there when we are convinced a view is either contradictory and we are pressing such contradiction upon someone or if we are pressing what we see as the necessary implications of a view.

I hope fairness and never obsession guides me as I attempt to challenge others.

Grace, Chris. With that, I am...


peter lumpkins


Thanks for logging on, my brother. And thank you as well for the gentle yet substantial & biblical admonition in making sure those rotten tomatoes which I myself detest do not find their way into my own basket.

You are correct, my brother: The Klouda tragedy should have long ago rested in peace. And, while it would be easy to rationalize the continued exploitation by others being the impetus for continuing to set the record straight here, such evidence against them--no matter how strong and real--offers no relief to the pounding hammer on my conscience: Tu quoque

From such, I now turn away with not one reservation, asking both our Lord's forgiveness and only the empowerment He can give to avoid this matter firm.

Grace, CB. Have a good afternoon.

With that, I am...


Tim Guthrie

You really crack me up!

Debbie Kaufman

Sherri Klouda herself speaks of the incidents that happened.

You can find Sherri's statement just made within the last few months on FBC Jax Watchdog here.

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