The Pen

Conservative? Prove It – Disfellowship Wade Burleson

If conservative Southern Baptists are truly serious about retaking their faltering Convention then one of them will surely and immediately take the first step towards disfellowshipping outspoken liberal blogger Wade Burleson.  Burleson serves as the “lead pastor” of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma.  That church lists two females, Marisa Sauls and Lori Westfall, as “pastors” on the leadership page of its website.  The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, which is the “standard of faith and practice” for the Southern Baptist Convention, states:

“(The Church’s) scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

The evidence is plain and clear, Emmanuel Baptist Church does not meet the standard to be in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention.  Yet, Emmanuel Baptist Church has continually been allowed to seat messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention.  Literally anyone can report Emmanuel Baptist Church to the credentials committee so that its heresy can be investigated.  It takes less than 5 minutes to do so online at the link in the preceding sentence. Where are you conservatives?

Wade Burleson is a third-generation Southern Baptist preacher.  He wrote a book on his participation in Conservative Resurgence.  He drove Paul Pressler around.  He believes the Bible is inerrant.  So what? He’s still an egalitarian and a liberal and his church doesn’t belong in a Bible-believing and doctrine-enforcing convention.  This man has continually and publicly opposed the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 for years.  If there truly is a new conservative resurgence coming in the Southern Baptist Convention, Emmanuel Baptist Church won’t seat a messenger at the next Convention on Orlando.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

**Technically, there are no Southern Baptist individuals, only Southern Baptist Churches. Wade Burelson cannot be disfellowshipped from the SBC. His church must be.

***Some might argue that the female “pastors” in question are only women’s or children’s pastors and are therefore not in authority over men or the congregation in general as “lead” pastors. This isn’t relevant to the question of SBC standards as the text of the BFM 2000 only specifies requirements for the “office” of pastor. Specific job functions (youth, lead, children’s, women’s, etc…) are not addressed.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant