A bit of breaking news. The Florida Baptist Witness is reporting that the executive committee of the IMB's trustee board, "will recommend at the board's March 20-21 meeting in Tampa that trustees reverse a Jan. 11 motion asking the Southern Baptist Convention to remove Wade Burleson of Enid, Okla., as a trustee."
IMB trustee chairman Thomas Hatley of Rogers, Ark., told the Southern Baptist TEXAN the committee determined the matter of disciplining a trustee could be handled internally. Burleson has vocally--and allegedly improperly, according to the trustees--opposed the board's action to establish new missionary candidate criteria.
Misinformation disseminated through informal weblogs caused confusion in the minds of some Southern Baptists, Hatley said. He said he hopes a detailed accounting of the timeline and rationale for those standards will help separate those issues from the matter of Burleson's personal conduct as a trustee and answer questions that have arisen.
Since November, Burleson’s blog and several others have maintained frequent discussion of the issues. Many of the blogs include feedback from online readers rallying to the embattled trustee’s defense and calling for a large turnout at the annual meeting of the convention in Greensboro June 13-14 to vote against his proposed removal.
With the initial wave of e-mails and letters opposing the action against Burleson subsiding, Hatley told the TEXAN that he was beginning to receive many letters expressing appreciation for the stand taken by trustees.
The policy on private prayer language regards the habit to be outside the norm of Southern Baptist practice and states that candidates holding to the conviction or practice eliminate themselves from consideration. The guideline--not a policy--related to baptism expects candidates to have been baptized in a church that practices believer’s baptism by immersion alone, does not view it as sacramental or regenerative and embraces the doctrine of the security of the believer. In contrast to the misinformation circulated by critics, both the policy and the guideline feature an exception clause that allows for review by appeal.