Well, I’m finally jumping in!

by

I have resisted the thought of joining the blogging brigade.  The thought that anyone really wanted to know what was on my mind every day, seemed a little ridiculous to me.  I don’t always want to know what I’m thinking about every day, myself.  Furthermore, the idea that someone could have unlimited space to say whatever they think, without an editor, without the constraint of time or space, without having to meet any standard of accuracy in what is said, seemed vain and, potentially, very irresponsible.

I guess, however, I am changing my mind.  I have thought about the history of media in the 20th century.  When silent movies moved to “talkies” formerly great actors with box office appeal could not make the transition…their voices did not seem to match their “image,” or the expectations of their fans.   Politicians complained with the advent of TV that their campaigns had been reduced to sound bites and to the photogenic quality of their appearance.  Substance was being sacrifice for style.   So I have begun to think, although I only have three months left in this work with the BGCT, that maybe I shouldn’t complain about bloggers and simply recognize that this is the “democratization,” of information and opinion.   Any person can be heard from.  There are no editors to get in the way.  There is no space limitation which governs what newspapers and magazines can deliver, nor time limitations which controls TV and radio reports.

So, it is time, maybe way past time, for me to “jump in” to the blogosphere.

 Another thing happened to me.  I realized that although I have to be responsible to the EXBD of the BGCT, to the churches of our convention, and to my staff and there are some things I cannot talk about because of both honor and law, and that I have a responsibility to promote the unity of this family of faith, still there was much that could be said.  Then, last week a person from one of our churches in Midland, emailed me and asked me a question.  After I responded, he wrote back to tell me that it really helped him to get the updated information.  He had not been reading the reports in the Baptist Standard or they had left him somewhat confused and my response was appreciated and helpful.   Clearly, people who have heard falsehoods, really want to hear truths.  So I decided that perhaps blogging could be a great way to be in conversation with our Baptist people across Texas…and anyone else who wants to join in.

 I plan to be on vacation next week, but I am going to take my laptop with me.  If it gets to be too much…we’ll just have to catch up on the conversation after I get back…but I’m one of those people who doubts that anyone will want to read this, much less have much comment to make…but we’ll see.

 My plan is to post tomorrow the answers I sent to the brother in Midland.  Perhaps they will be interesting and helpful to you.

We will try to keep this in mind:  “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  Eph.  4:15-16

 We’ll talk another time about what it means to be a member of the church.

 We are loved.

CRW

39 Responses to “Well, I’m finally jumping in!”

  1. Eric Guel Says:

    Any person can be heard from. There are no editors to get in the way.

    So true, and that means it’s up to each individual blogger to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when trying to decide what to throw out there for public consumption.

    Welcome to the blogosphere, brother Wade.

  2. spiritualsamurai Says:

    What is being done about the money Jon Becker took? Have you done anymore to see you friend Otto Arango brought to justice? Why did you make Texas Baptist go through the pain of your long resignation?

    Maybe if you blogged on the truth from the beginning we would not be in this situation.

    I hope you enjoy you retirement Charles. I will.

  3. spiritualsamurai Says:

    Also, Dr. Wade,

    I do invite you to comment on my blog. Your comments will always be posted without editing. You have my word.

    There are many people who still love you and respect you. I have tried to remember why I did. Dr. Wade, I really want to know why, why you let things get as they are. Please tell us what E.B.’s role in this whole mess really was. Tell us the part TBC played or didn’t play in this. Tell us your side and tell it as a story if you must to get past the legal stuff, but for the sake of the last 7 years, tell us!

    Thank you for blogging.

  4. My Comments to Dr. Charles Wade « Spiritual Samurai Says:

    [...] http://texasbaptists.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/well-im-finally-jumping-in/#comment-2367 [...]

  5. Charles Wade Says:

    Thanks for your comments.

    Eric, when the Holy Spirit is counted on as an editor, he makes everything better. But that is a reminder that has to be renewed every few minutes or so, don’t you think.

    My post today will, I hope, give some help to the questions you have raised, David. Thanks for your prayers.

    CRW

  6. Mindlr Says:

    I still have a problem with the mean spirited attitude you have on this blog. You ask Mr. Wade, who I admit I know nothing about, to join in and when he does you still insult him. The world does that. A Christian pastor should not. You want the truth, fine, but as a pastor you are held at a higher standard and should let the truth be told without the tacky comments that a modern day tabloid would use.

    Jon Becker is another person you have allowed to throw under the bus. Okay, he is there, but do you have to keep running over him? God is his judge, not us. That “cheer” was hateful and served no purpose except to show how the Holy Spirit really does not lead this blog. You should be a little more mature than this.

    This has nothing to do with me defending either person, but rather when other people read this blog, I would hate for them to believe that this is how Christians treat each other.

  7. concerned Baptist Says:

    Jon Becker has hurt so many people in two Churches that I know about. why is he getting away with taking so much money and doing so much harm? and “not tithe”.

  8. Lee Says:

    I don’t think of blogging as being so much the thought that people want to read what is on my mind as it is a means for dialogue between people with common interests. I blog about things that happen in my life, my ministry, the BGCT, the SBC, the scripture that I am reading or studying at the moment, things that trouble me or bring me joy. In writing, I can organize my thoughts and develop my ideas. In response, I have time to think about what I may have said, how I want to respond, and can develop a respectful, gentle response whether I intend to agree, disagree, or simply get more information.

    There is a danger that unlimited space, the lack of an editor, or the lack of an objective, accountable standard of accuracy could be abused. On the other hand, blogging has opened the door to hear from people that the limitations, restrictions and natural biases of other media outlets have previously ignored. It is changing the perception of what the “grass roots” people are thinking, and helps keep “public opinion” from being manipulated. Like just about everything else, it will have its good and bad side.

    Being a fallible human being, I have not always lived up to my own ideals and standards when blogging. But I try to let the scriptures be my guide, to be respectful and gentle when disagreeing, not to attack the person with whom I am disagreeing, not to be sarcastic or arrogant, or come across as if my opinion is the only one that matters, and to let God be my editor.

    I believe a blog is a good thing for the executive director of a state Baptist convention. Welcome to blogging.

  9. dhl Says:

    I believe a blog is a good thing for the executive director of a state Baptist convention. Welcome to blogging.

    Amen, Lee – welcome Dr Wade.

  10. dhl Says:

    Just read all the comments – who is MinDLR and what is she talking about?
    This blog is not lead by the Holy Spirit? The BGCT blog? What cheer?
    I am confused.

    Anyway – again – welcome Dr Wade.
    And Samurai – try to be nice.

  11. David Lowrie Says:

    Dr. Wade,

    I appreciate your move to engage others in the conversation. I too am new to this world of blogging. I have found it quite challenging, and at time rewarding.

    Much like the proverb that says “a gentle answer turns away wrath”, I have found that when we listen to each other, and respond with “the truth in love” we can raise the conversation rather than being dragged down into the mud.

    One of the realities that shocked me was the numbers of people who read these blogs often on a daily basis. In many ways you touch the lives of many people who never sign on.

    Knowing you I suspect you will make a significant contribution to this new wave of communication.

    David Lowrie

  12. David Says:

    While blog-use reminders are being typed above, just this one: go straight to the source for information needed before airing bad feelings in a forum such as this. To do so not only is “good Bible,” it is good manners. God will have bloggers here behave (behave well, that is) as the brothers and sisters in Christ that Jesus permitted Himself to be hammered onto a rugged wooden cross to make us.

    Again: go to the source first.

  13. wackypreacher Says:

    One of the problems that blogging can present, is that facial and voice expression cannot be conveyed. So words can be hurtful. The old adage about words not hurting is painfully wrong. I very much appreciate Dr. Wade jumping into the blogsphere and taking the risk of being taken out of context on everything he writes. I agree with David Lowrie, good manners ought to be the order of the day. Dr. Wade is a brother in Christ and should be treated as we would want to be treated. God bless you Dr. Wade.

  14. dhl Says:

    Dr. Wade is a brother in Christ and should be treated as we would want to be treated.

    absolutely.

  15. David Says:

    “Amen!” to those sentiments, Wackypreacher and DHL. Keep those kinds of blog responses coming at http://www.texasbaptists.wordpress.com!

  16. Brady Says:

    Dr. Wade,

    I would like a very simple answer to the question: Did you tell Jon Becker that you were giving him the money to bring FBC, McAllen back into the BGCT fold?

    I find it nearly incredulous that you think its ok for $1.3 million dollars be given to a fraud like Otto Arrango and then say it went to 2 preachers who were doing a good job. I’d like for you to give me half of $1.3 million to start a new church in Dallas. I’d sure make better use of it than a bunch of fake churches.

  17. David Says:

    Best Brotherly Blogging Tip #1 (again):

    “While blog-use reminders are being typed above, just this one: go straight to the source for information needed before airing bad feelings in a forum such as this. To do so not only is ‘good Bible,’ it is good manners. God will have bloggers here behave (behave well, that is) as the brothers and sisters in Christ that Jesus permitted Himself to be hammered onto a rugged wooden cross to make us. Again: go to the source first.”

    Brady, try here, brother: charles.wade@bgct.org (or better, in terms of the organizational structure: paul.atkinson@bgct.org).

  18. Brady Says:

    Thanks for the address David. I will write him tonight and ask him in person. I do however think a lot of people would like to see his answers to my questions in a public forum since the business of the BGCT is public Baptist business.

  19. David Says:

    Brady:

    I don’t disagree about the public (at least somewhat) nature of the work of the BGCT. The difficulty comes in asking questions in this forum of people who may not even be reading here (it’s hard to believe: not everyone reads blogs—even Baptist blogs). The best way: always go straight to the source. And, again: no one with the answers is hiding.

  20. Brady Says:

    David,

    Sorry but I just assumed that Dr. Wade was reading this blog since he writes it. I can’t think of a better place for him to answer the question I asked. There are sure a lot of people that thing he is hiding though…

    When something involves $1.3 million Baptist dollars then I think it is and should be open to the Baptist public. When it involves Baptist money and deals with another BGCT church then I surely think it should be public. If noone is hiding anything then they should be more than willing to answer in their own public forum.

  21. David Says:

    Brady:

    The church I serve is a BGCT one, too. When we want to find out how our CP contributions are spent by state convention staff (or anything else about how that staff is functioning), we don’t mail an open letter to the Baptist Standard and/or post such a letter at your congregation’s favorite post office to ask our question. We get on the phone or send an email to ask for answers. To us, it just seems like a more mature—and much more biblical way—to do things. If the leaders of cooperating Baptist churches in Texas can’t agree with that approach, then I’d say the future of this convention looks fairly dismal—how about you?

    And, if you think that Dr. Wade is avoiding folks, then you don’t know the man that I know. Actually, the thought you note above says more about the people who think it than it does about Dr. Wade—what it says either is that those folks fail to obey the Scriptures at every point (e.g., Matthew 18) or that they are otherwise immature. Again, I don’t disagree about the status of $1.5 million, but the days of passive-agressive responses to people or things that displease some Texas Baptists—and calling those kinds of responses OK—need to end now for the sake of gospel-telling in Texas, in my opinion.

    Do what’s right, brother, not what other folks think is right.

  22. Ferrell Says:

    Charles has been reading this blog, but he is away from the office this week and his access to the blog will be limited.

  23. VB Says:

    Ferrell:

    Thanks for that.

    David (and others):

    I have a problem with the continued Matthew 18 application. To me the scriptures read Matthew 18 as a guide for how to handle difficulties with a fellow brother (sister) in Christ. Charles Wade is the ED, Jon Becker was on the Ex. Com. and the pastor of two sizeable Texas churches. The questions people are asking affect many, many people. No one is personally accusing anyone of personally offending them (ie Matt 18). The questions are about who is responsible to a LOT of people.
    Would you suggest that every laid off employee of, say Enron, personally call up Ken Lay? Or every wounded soldier personally contact George Bush to complain about the atrocities of war? This isn’t personal. These are just questions that affect all of us at one level or another. Dr Wade happens to be the man in authority with a lot of the answers. I have respectfully submitted questions to him and patiently await his insightful responses.

  24. dhl Says:

    Thanks Ferrell. It helps to know that he isn’t avoiding us.

  25. David Says:

    VB:

    You are as aware of the principles of reconcilation within God’s family which are the basis for Jesus’ statements in Matthew 18 as I am; the reference to that Bible passage—and the need to follow it by some, in my opinion—still stands. There appear to be many who seek to win their cases, but few who seek to win their brothers as Christ said. If you are the latter, that’s great; if not, your matter is a spiritual one to take up with the Lord Jesus who spoke the words, and not with me.

    Again: go to the source—and keep going, as Christ also commanded—either for answers or for resolution.

  26. Brady Says:

    Even though I sent my own personal email to Dr. Wade, I have good personal friends who have asked the same questions and have not received answers from him. Sometimes things that are done in public should be answered in public. Dr. Wade works for the BGCT and should respond publicy when it involves a financial matter of that organization.

  27. VB Says:

    Brady:

    Exactly.

    David:

    Thanks for the lecture.

  28. David Says:

    VB:

    You’re welcome. Feel free to respond in kind. We’re better together.

    Brady:

    I don’t disagree with your reference to “public”. The question is about you: before posting your question and comments here, did you inquire directly of Dr. Wade so that you wouldn’t judge him or his staff unfairly? Simple as that.

  29. VB Says:

    Asking a question whose answer may place the respondent in an unfavorable light is not judgement. Expecting honest responses to sincere questions is not unfair.

    Dr. Wade came to us: “So I decided that perhaps blogging could be a great way to be in conversation with our Baptist people across Texas…and anyone else who wants to join in.” I assumed that he WANTED us to ask him questions here in this format rather than calling or emailing him directly, as per his own pronouncement.

  30. VB Says:

    The last post is directed to David’s immediately prior

  31. Brady Says:

    David,

    I loved VB response and think it pretty well answers my feelings about the whole issue. I think you may be a bit over the edge always trying to make us feel guilty for asking questions about a very very public matter. Have you personally written Dr. Wade and asked him? If so, you can just email me your answers so I don’t have to bother him.

  32. David Says:

    VB:

    I agree with your the content of your first paragraph; I disagree with the content of your second one. Going directly to the source removes the difficulties which can result when things are “assumed”. I don’t understand what you’re afraid of.

    Brady:

    Same as above to VB. Why are you afraid to interact directly with the BGCT’s staff? I can forward to you email notes that Dr. Wade and I have exchanged, but why not function like a grown up and interact with him yourself? Not trying to be offensive to you here—just confused about why you can type several blog responses at this site but not do the courtesy of emailing one to the Baptist Building . . . seems strange to me.

    VB and Brady:

    I’m done with this thread. God’s blessings to all 4 of us—you 2, Dr. Wade, and myself—as we continue to grow in complete Christ-likeness, and in usefulness in God’s kingdom, and in our relationships as brothers in the Lord.

  33. dhl Says:

    CW: I’m one of those people who doubts that anyone will want to read this, much less have much comment to make…but we’ll see.

    What do you think now Dr. Wade? Lots of people look forward to hearing your thoughts on these matters.

    Enjoy your vacation.

  34. Brady Says:

    David,

    I have to admit your condescending attitude is growing a little old. I’m quite grown up and can definitely handle myself properly. I get the sneaking feeling that you are on here simply to take up for Dr. Wade or diffuse people who want him to answer some hard questions publicly. When he puts a blog out there then he needs to be willing to answer things publicly. Go ahead and send me your responses so I can look them over before I write the Baptist building My email is: brady_jock@yahoo.com

  35. VB Says:

    Brady:

    I agree with you. Try not to let it get to you.
    The bottom line is that Dr Wade invited this discourse. He came here for us to ask these questions. If he received any counsel on the dangers and snares of blogging I’m sure they included “tough questions with expectations of real answers”. It’s like a press conference. He says something, we ask a follow up and then we wait for him to answer. Just standing there is not an option. Don’t let someone make you feel rude or out of line for simply following Dr Wade’s lead. I believe we have kept a respectful tone toward the ED and I intend to continue.
    If you feel like sharing, I’d be interested to know your connection to the Valley. Just curious.
    God bless.

  36. Ferrell Says:

    My experience with Charles is that he never has a problem with tough questions, and he will ask tough ones in return. Charles loves the give and take of exploring issues. His vacation this week has taken him out of the flow of this conversation, but I’m sure he will read it; and he will probably comment via a new post.

    Since this thread has pretty much run its course, let me basically close it with this thought. Blogging is a means for good conversation, and part of that is the asking of questions and the giving of answers. It is more public that your average conversation, so each of us should be sensitive to that fact. Some questions should be asked and answered in a public environment, and some should be done in private.

    I think it’s OK to disagree with one another in a public environment, as long as we do so respectfully, dealing with positions and not making personal attacks. Jesus himself obviously asked and answered questions in very public environments; and, as always, He should be our guide.

    We kick into the Matthew 18 territory, I think, when we feel a need to challenge someone’s personal actions. By going to them privately first we enable the person to make changes without embarrassment or we find our own conclusions were in error.

    Those of us in the Baptist blogging world have an opportunity to do this right, and by that I mean in a way that reflects our Lord’s example.

  37. David Says:

    “Done” means done, but . . .

    Brady, read above again: I’ve been directing you TOWARD Dr. Wade, the BGCT’s staff, and personal interaction with each—NOT “diffusing” you or others from them—and otherwise only providing apparently-needed reminders of your biblical responsibility to do so before publicly questioning a brother’s integrity as you essentially did in your first posting on this site.

    As to my emails: I double-checked so that I can report, there are over 80 emails in my inbox/sent box to and from the Baptist Building and staff there—including Dr. Wade; again, I’m encouraging you to try it yourself, brother, so you won’t be reading any of mine.

    As to the “condescending” and “handling” yourself comments you mention: it surprises me that you’d type such statements, but take mine any way you like. I know how they were intended, and that’s enough for me.

    Now, I’m done.

  38. VB Says:

    Thanks Ferrell.

  39. John Says:

    In just a bit, we’re going to turn off comments for this post as we feel it has run it’s course. As Ferrell said, Dr. Wade has been reading the commentary and will look at addressing the questions in another post.

    Feel free to comment on any of the other posts. Thanks for stopping by.

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