Southern Religion

Lost Shepherd Ted Haggard’s lessons for SBC leadership

Wade Burleson is able defender of the faith as he reviews Newsweek’s profile of Ted Haggard

It is when he turns to leadership that the Oklahoma Southern Baptist pastor is most eloquent:

We Christians should take an honest look at what it is we think qualifies a person to lead. I sometimes wonder if one of the problems of modern Christianity is that we have created such a false sense of super-spirituality that we succumb to a certain mode of pretending that we never struggle. Christians, especially we who lead, sometimes try to act as if we are perfect. We have pastors who bully those who question them, denominational leaders who call those who oppose their decisions “liberals” and other actions that lead me to believe we have a God-complex among some of our leaders. This false sense of moral invincibility has led to a climate where transparency, honesty, and personal integrity are no longer a part of our corporate faith. … .

Southern Baptist International Mission Board inflated, sometimes fabricated statistics of missionary accomplishment certainly raise those issues. Former IMB Trustee Burleson is expert on those matters. But his point is more general.

Burleson concludes:

The SBC church, institution or agency that believes the “leader” is beyond simple accountablity will find that leader has the capability to ruin the organization. When and if that happens, the fault will reside not only with the leader, but those laymen who were unable to see that a lack of transparency is the first indication that something is wrong.

Will his call to Southern Baptist reform be answered?

January 10, 2009 - Posted by | Religion | , , , , ,

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