Tuesday, October 10, 2006

RETRACTION

In a previous post, I wrote that the new head of BIM, Reid Trulson, is a "supporter of AWAB." This was based on the remarks of a usually reliable source. Checking again, I have no basis to make that statement and thus the posting has been altered. My apologies.

21 comments:

Dennis E. McFadden said...

Glenn,

Prudent retraction??? Who knows? It sure would be nice to know how first hand reports from pastors saying that he supported some very peculiar things during his tenure in Wisconsin fit with comments by conservative leaders who believe in him. I have modified my own posting to include both sides of the discussion.

art jaggard said...

Reid's window of opportunity to get moderates and conservatives on board is beginning to close. He needs to speak up and speak clearly VERY quickly.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody personally contacted Reid to express their concerns? If he doesn't read this blog, he can't reasonably be expected to know that his window of opportunity is beginning to close, can he?

Jeff Stegman

art jaggard said...

Well that depends on whether he has any leadership ability or not. As a leader in the midst of "the mess" of an imploding denomination, he can not claim ignorance. If he does not get things sailing pretty soon, it will signal that he is just part of the pathetic system trying to save the ivory tower and not part of the effort to build the kingdom.

It may be less caustic to observe that Reid will either affirm the entrenched VF forces that have brought this denomination to the brink of ruin, or he will chart a new course more in tune with his constituency. The first few steps of a journey will demonstrate the direction of the trip. Silence would indicate a direction that does not rock VF's boat. We need a better boat than than.

baptistlikeme said...

Is anyone else as concerned with issues in regional leadership as with the [insert your own term here] goings on in Valley Forge? Maybe it's my nature, but I remain concerned that for many local members, regional leaders act as gatekeepers of information (and perspective) with regards to national. That is (or can be) as much a problem as whatever entrenchment exists in VF.

If it's true that our polity has failed at the national level, it's not too hard to imagine the existence of similar problems with leadership across the regions. Regional declension/entrenchment might look the same as what national has been accused of, but breaches of leadership in the regions are just as problematic where they exist, perhaps even more so considering the way our polity is supposed to function.

baptistlikeme said...

Meant to say "Regional declension/entrenchment might not look the same as what national has been accused of..."

Dennis E. McFadden said...

After PSW withdrew from the Covenant of Relationships, Dr. Salico made sincere efforts to cobble together some agreements with VF in order to facilitate some continuing partnerships. Not only was he rebuffed on some of the more significant initiatives, but even initial agreements have been down graded to memos of understanding missing some of the key elements formerly accepted.

Indeed, Art is correct. Reid's window of opportunity is beginning to close.

baptistlikeme said...

Hi Dennis,

I understand that perspective on VF's reaction to PSW (and I understand some of the counters) but I am not entirely following how that relates to what Rev. Trulson will need to do at IM.

It's late...a little help, brother?

pax

Dennis E. McFadden said...

Hi BLM,

PSW/TM did not want to pull out of BIM. PSW, after all, was the largest giver to BIM in the entire ABCUSA! Charles Jones and Dale Salico entered into good faith agreements to "partner" together even after the withdrawal becomes legally effective on Nov 1. Charles announced this somewhat triumphantly/reassuringly last fall when the top brass (Medley, Grant, Wright-Wriggings, Woods, and Jones) met with groups around the PSW.

Evidently, BIM has backed away from the language and the particulars of that agreement (Jones probably took some heat for continuing to work with PSW). As you know, many in leadership feel that it SHOULD be an all-or-nothing arrangement (e.g., IFF PSW/TM leaves, then take your cursed money with you. We don't want you manipulating the process with your so-called largesse). Now, the agreement has morphed into a tepid "Memo of Understanding" leaving out several items believed to be key to TM and PREVIOUSLY committed to by Jones!!!

Continued relationship with TM (which we both agree may NOT be in the best interests of ABC), will be determined to a large degree by how Reid responds to Dale now. What will his attitude be towards TM? Will he be willing to cooperate in receiving money or would he rather forego it for all of the obvious potential control reasons?

Incidentally, even now in our "not quite in, not exactly out" time prior to November 1, our people have been confused by the lack of VF willingness to bring missionaries to our largest giving congregations to promote the WMO. TM picked up the tab to bring a missionary to one of our top-giving churches when BIM refused. They will get ALL of the money from that offering in that congregation. Weird?

Does this fill in some of the blanks in my obviously too cryptic post?

baptistlikeme said...

Hi Dennis,

Do you meant to say that conservatives in regions still fully "in" ABC (ie, Dr. Salico's EM peers in the PVA regions) will be watching (and reacting) to how Rev. Trulson responds to the situation you've described? Are you sensing that a failure on his part to act as they see fit will be taken as a breach of trust etc?

Dennis E. McFadden said...

BLM,

Again, your questions are more probative than my answers!

Two sides: for TM, there are several churches still wanting to participate in BIM. Trulson's demeanor will be watched carefully by mission boards and pastors to see how they should respond.

Then, Reid has a signal opportunity to establish himself as being in the "orthodox center" as you describe it. If he appears to cater to AWAB, he will lose the support of the center-right congregations. Already, numerous larger churches in several regions have announced their plans to disengage from ABC. Trulson will either hinder or hasten that process.

Frankly, a couple of years ago, I advised Roy (in his hotel room) to allow BIM to carry out its then secret intention to dismiss the previous ED and to use his bully pulpit to see to it that a conservative was appointed. Since the left often identifies with Aidsand, it would help balance Roy's image to bring an outspoken conservative into the role of BIM head. My thought was that such a generous move would help quell discomfort over the AWAB issue and keep the denomination intact.

Anonymous said...

You guys kill me. Reid's window is closing? He hasn't even been approved by the GB. I would imagine that for the same six people who read this drivel the window is closing. Give the guy a chance. In fact I would hope and pray that if anyone who writes about Reid has the professional courtesy to contact him by phone personally. Get it straight from the horses mouth!

Dennis E. McFadden said...
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Dennis E. McFadden said...
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Dennis E. McFadden said...
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Dennis E. McFadden said...

Tonight I watched a mission board in one of our better mission giving congregations vote unanimously to redirect all of their BIM money next year.

I guess they must be part of the six people reading this drivel that anon speaks of in his comment.

baptistlikeme said...

Anon,

I'd agree that anyone with deep concerns should contact Reid personally. Hashing out some thoughts with people with different perspectives before doing so seems like a good idea, don't you think?

More to the point, I don't know that anyone of the 6 people reading this have the kinds of concerns that would warrant that kind of contact. I for one don't have any concerns about him, but continue to be very interested in the perspectives of others. If our polity was as transparent at regional and inter-regional levels as it should be, we'd have little need for any of this. Let's all pray together for that day, too.

Dennis E. McFadden said...

Anon,

Incidentally, the casually dismissive tone of your anonymous piece captures the basis for why the ABC lost TM in the first place. If there had been mutual respect expressed between the leaders of ABCPSW and ABCUSA, we wouldn't be in this lamentable (at least as far as this Baptist of more than 50 years is concerned) place. Personally, I thrive on dialog with people who disagree with me. But, when there is no respect it sounds more like a "give me your money and shut up, you embarrass me" attitude.

The "six people" who read this "drivel" include people who have been loyal American Baptists for decades. One of the people on this page pastored a congregation that set records for giving in the ABC. Dismissing the half dozen of us as of no account is a perfect way to "grow" the ABC down to the remnant that some of my friends on the left have been asking for during the past couple of decades.

Anonymous said...

It just seems to me that you should contact the person directly rather than be an armchair quarterback. After I went thru a couple of these missives I wasn't sure but I thought that I was on the National Enquirer's web site. Its pure gossip and it certainly isn't edifying. I can't imagine that this stuff helps the kingdom. I can make the same case for strong churches who have upped their missions giving. Believe it or not I am more on your side but this stuff has gone way too far for my taste. And guess what I don't have to read it either. See ya.

baptistlikeme said...

Anon,

I sincerely apologize to you and everyone here for the extent to which I have fallen into gossip. I will endeavor not to do so in the future and thank you for reminding us. Likewise, I want to do a good turn by you and suggest with all charity that you reconsider the tone with which you addressed the posters of this blog -- it was as unbecoming as any gossip. May we all repent of our hand in any downward spiral here.

Dennis E. McFadden said...

BLM,

The sensitivity of your conscience was sincerely touching. Due to my growing respect for you, it prompted me to go back and review my own words lest a mocking spirit had taken over them (that is why there were a couple of deleted posts in this section; my language appeared uncharitably unchristian toward anon and were dropped before they could cause offense).

Frankly, the comments we both made were more of the nature of political-ecclesiastical analysis, much as a policy wonk would perform. You NEVER (and I try not to), engage in cheap name calling. So, I guess the complaint is lost on me. Besides, he said that he would not be reading this "drivel" any more; so how will he know of your apology?

My own blogging and message board postings came as a result of frustration over the sanitized version of news coming out of ABNS. It is almost as if there were a conspiracy to keep the peeps from knowing what the leadership was planning, contemplating, and doing. SBC has its share of problems. But, at least they have a few outlets for news, analysis, and the expression of informed opinion.