Published November 22, 2007
(RNS) — The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board has censured board member and blogger Wade Burleson, saying he “repeatedly failed” to follow the board’s standards for appropriate conduct.
The unusual move came during an executive session of the trustees at a meeting in Springfield, Ill., on Nov. 6. Burleson was accused of using his blog to disclose private communications with other trustees, speak disparagingly of fellow trustees, and speak in ways that did not support the board and its actions.
“Wade Burleson is hereby officially suspended from any active involvement with the Board of Trustees for at least the next four IMB trustee meetings,” the censure concludes.
Burleson, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., wrote in response on his blog that he respects the trustees that voted for his censure but “I also know that we simply have two different worldviews and two different perspectives on the need for freedom of dissent and complete transparency within the SBC.”
In 2006, the board dropped an effort to oust Burleson, who had defended the right of missionaries to speak in tongues despite a board policy that prohibits missionary candidates who embrace the practice. A board ouster would have required a vote at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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