(Email from a SBC Pastor regarding this controversy)
“Andrew, . . . You pointed to the SBC controversy with baptism and speaking in tongues policies in the IMB on your blog a while back. I don’t know if you have kept up with this any, but it is really heating up and is being driven by blogs (especially Marty Duren at sbcoutpost.blogspot.com. The trustees of the IMB pushed ahead with their agenda, but a trustee named Wade Burleson (pastor from Oklahoma who was the former state convention president) opposed them. They thought that they could just overpower him, but he started blogging (kerussocharis.blogspot.com) and exposed what was happening to the larger convention.
The trustees then voted to dismiss him (this had never been done in the entire history of the SBC) and the controversy roared. Information keeps getting put out there by bloggers who are exposing what is happening and the trustee board seems to be in shock. They thought that they could just push this through like they have everything in the past, but the blogosphere has changed all of that. Instead of a slam dunk for the new policies and against Wade Burleson at the convention in June (I talked to Wade on the phone, by the way, and he seems to be doing the right thing), things could go either way as light is shone in dark places.
I am not writing you this to get you involved in any controversy. I just thought you would be interested in another example of how blogging is changing everything, even denominational politics, power struggles, and theological debates. By the way, it seems that what drew the ire of the IMB trustees has been teaching on Church Planting Movements at the Missionary Learning Center in Richmond. Follow that discussion here (sbcoutpost.blogspot.com). So, the source of the struggle goes to our ecclesiology (what is a legitimate church and who is in control).”
Hey – Thanks. When i get the time i will follow up the links. The SBC and IMB have some GREAT people on board and a BIG God , who I pray will guide them through this one into the place they need to be.
Its true that the blogosphere adds a lot more visibility to conversations. What we whisper from an inner room might be shouted from a rooftop. The challenge is to be integral and open as Jesus was.
UPDATE: Here is an overview of SBC policies from Joel Rainey