October 6, 1999

Report of the Committee on Baptist Integrity ___
___In February 1999, Pastor Dan Curry of South Oaks Baptist Church in Arlington proposed to the Texas Baptist Executive Board that a committee be authorized to respond to "misleading and slanderous attacks on our leaders." The Executive Board approved appointment of such a committee by Chairman Clyde Glazener.
Thirteen persons were named to the committee, which chose "Committee on Baptist Integrity" for its name. The panel has been chaired by John Wilkerson, lay member of First Baptist Church of Lubbock. Other members include Curry, who proposed the panel; Howard Batson, pastor of First Church of Amarillo; Doug Dillard, public relations consultant and member of First Church, Richardson; Toby Druin, retired editor of the Baptist Standard and member of First Church of Duncanville;
___Robert Jenkins, retired director of missions for Smith Association and member of First Church of Tyler; Dan Malone, attorney and member of First Church of El Paso; Bob Newell, pastor of Memorial Drive Church of Houston;
___Carol Parker, homemaker and member of First Church of Sonora; Lorenzo Pena, director of missions for El Paso Association and member of Vista del Sol Church; Barry Peterson, attorney and member of First Church of Amarillo; Brad Russell, pastor of First Church of Gonzales; and John Cash Smith, attorney and member of First Church of Orange.

___The committee has held two meetings in Dallas and has reviewed much material. A subcommittee was appointed to respond quickly to charges made against the convention and its leaders and has done so. The committee currently is considering a statewide media campaign and direct mail response to counter charges being made and to present the truth about the Baptist General Convention and its leaders.

___Many charges have been made in pastors’ columns in newsletters, in public meetings and in mailings sent to pastors in Texas. These charges, attempts at guilt by association and innuendoes usually deal with the following topics:
___The BGCT relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship;
___The BGCT view of scripture;
___The BGCT stance on homosexuality;
___ The BGCT as a "full-service" convention;
___The BGCT position on women in ministry, particularly women serving as pastors;
___ The BGCT position on the so-called Family Amendment passed by the Southern Baptist Convention in June l998;
___ BGCT budget allocations for the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs;
___ Cooperative Program giving options provided by the BGCT for churches;
___The role of persons who have served in BGCT leadership positions and who have also participated in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Texas Baptists Committed;
___Support for George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University and the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University;
___ The BGCT position on abortion.

___ There is no confusion among people of good will about where the Baptist General Convention of Texas stands on various issues. Positions of the BGCT are set forth in public meetings, usually resulting from committee processes that encourage participation from a broad cross-section of Texas Baptists. The rationale for a given action is given wide publicity, particularly any to be considered by the convention in annual session. Convention action is a matter of public record. The BGCT is not responsible for actions of other Baptist groups, and the actions of other Baptist groups have no bearing on positions taken by the BGCT or vice versa. To suggest that the BGCT stance on a given issue is related to the action of another Baptist body because a person in a BGCT leadership role might be involved in both groups is fallacious and certainly the publishing of such is comparable to spreading graffiti, writing on restroom walls or malicious gossip. Any serious student of Baptist polity knows Baptist bodies are autonomous.
___The following briefly details BGCT action on the items in question:

___1. BGCT relationships to the Southern Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

___ The Baptist General Convention of Texas is an autonomous Baptist body that over the years has voluntarily cooperated with the Southern Baptist Convention in a variety of endeavors and continues to do so. The BGCT has agreements with the SBC Annuity Board concerning retirement plans, with the SBC North American Mission Board concerning mission funding and strategy; and with the SBC International Mission Board concerning Texas Partnership Missions. At no cost to the SBC the BGCT promotes, collects and distributes Cooperative Program funds and mission offerings. The relationship of the BGCT to the Southern Baptist Convention has not changed. While the percentage of Cooperative Program gifts sent to the SBC was reduced in l996 to provide funding for new churches in Texas, the change was prompted by the urgent need to respond to the growing mission field under our feet, not because of denominational controversy. The change was about redeeming people, not about relationships. Texas Baptists remain the largest contributors to the SBC. Including gifts to mission offerings, almost half of the missions dollars given by Texas Baptists and channeled through the BGCT offices in Dallas goes to the Southern Baptist Convention.
___ Neither the Southern Baptist Convention nor the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is included in the BGCT budget. Churches make decisions how their money is to be spent for missions and designate how their offerings are to be divided. Most direct their support to the SBC while some direct theirs to the CBF or to such entities as the Baptist World Alliance, Criswell College, Logsdon School of Theology, Truett Seminary and Woman’s Missionary Union of the SBC, all of whom qualify as Cooperative Program recipients. How the offering plate dollar is distributed is a decision made by the local church, not by the BGCT or its leaders. The fact that a church’s missions dollars are channeled through the BGCT to these entities does not imply that everything done by them is affirmed by the BGCT, nor that they affirm everything done by the BGCT. It is done in a spirit of cooperation in the conviction that cooperation is the best way to achieve the missionary mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ.
___There has been no "distancing" of the BGCT from the SBC nor of "getting closer" to the CBF. Such opinions and statements imply a heirarchical authority that is inconsistent with historic Baptist principles of local church autonomy. The BGCT is messengers from the local Baptist churches of Texas. BGCT administrators have no authority that is not granted them in convention by messengers from local Baptist churches. Any charges about changing relationships with other mission and denominational entities must be made against local churches instead of scapegoating BGCT administrators.
___ There apparently are some in Texas who want to change the relationship with the SBC and some who do not. However, Texas Baptists always have been a diverse people who have trusted God to work out His will through the consciences of local churches. Slander and misinformation are political tools that seek to undermine this spiritual process of discerning God’s will.
___Though the purpose of this committee is not to defend the CBF against slanderous attacks, the charges against the relationships of BGCT leaders with the CBF necessitate comment. This committee has observed an intentional campaign being carried out against the CBF that is characterized by gross distortions, guilt by association and outright misrepresentation. We caution Texas Baptists against letting anyone other than CBF define or interpret the organization or its mission, policies and practices, just as we caution them against letting anyone other than Texas Baptists define or interpret the BGCT or Southern Baptists define or interpret the SBC.

___ 2. The BGCT view of scripture.

___ The Baptist General Convention of Texas always has given reverence and respect to Holy Scripture, believing it to be divinely inspired and authoritative for faith and practice for Christians and churches. In 1980 the BGCT passed a motion that affirmed the Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 as the guideline for doctrinal beliefs. It is noted that the preamble to the 1963 statement states, "the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over conscience."
___ The first statement in the Priorities portion of the Texas 2000 plan is "To share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Texas, the nation and the world." Belief in the saving efficacy of Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection, the central message of the Bible, guides everything the BGCT hopes to accomplish. The first item listed under Values in the Texas 2000 plan is "Biblical Authority." The BGCT is committed to the truth of the Bible. The statement about the Bible in the l963 "Baptist Faith and Message" is as follows: "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is a record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error for its matter." Charges that the BGCT lacks commitment to biblical authority are unfounded.

___ 3. The BGCT stance on homosexuality.

___ The Baptist General Convention of Texas has spoken very forthrightly on the matter of homosexuality.
___ In l982 the convention approved in annual session the statement, "The homosexual lifestyle is not normal or acceptable in God’s sight and is indeed called sin."
___ In l996, the convention approved a committee report on homosexuality that declared, "The Bible teaches that the ideal for sexual behavior is the marital union between husband and wife and that all other sexual relations––whether premarital, extramarital, or homosexual––are contrary to God’s purposes and thus sinful. Homosexual practice is therefore in conflict with the Bible."
___ In l998 the BGCT Executive Board subsequently approved a recommendation from the Administrative Committee that financial contributions from a church that had endorsed a practicing homosexual as a deacon be declined.
___ The BGCT, while advocating ministry to homosexuals, has stated clearly "the homosexual lifestyle is not acceptable behavior for Christians."
___ Convention action stating that homosexuality is "sin," is "in conflict with the Bible," and "is not acceptable behavior for Christians," clearly shows the BGCT position on the matter. Although a committee or conference sponsored by an organization with which the BGCT cooperates, might be construed to be supportive of homosexuality, the BGCT position is clearly opposed to homosexuality and homosexual practice.
___ Several Texas Baptist leaders have been maligned through guilt by association tactics. The views of these men are readily available with a telephone call or letter. They are as follows:

___ Jerold McBride, pastor of First Baptist Church of San Angelo; president, BGCT, 1994-95: "God’s Word strongly condemns homosexuality as a sin. Both Old and New Testaments make it crystal clear that such conduct is unacceptable to God. Our Christian response should be one of uncompromisingly opposing homosexuality while at the same time unquestionably loving the homosexual and unceasingly seeking to lead the homosexual to Jesus Christ who alone can rescue that person from this sin.
___"I firmly believe that a person chooses this lifestyle rather than being a helpless victim of circumstances, genetics or any other factor. I do not believe one who follows this lifestyle should serve in any place of leadership in the church, be it pastor, staff member, deacon, Sunday School teacher or any other place of service. I also hold this view in reference to any person who is living in such a manner as to bring reproach to the cause of Christ.
___ "With all my heart I believe that ‘the things that are impossible with man are possible with God’ and that ‘if the person (homosexual or heterosexual) is in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away and all things become new.’ Christ alone is the answer to this problem and to every other problem!"

___ Russell H. Dilday Jr., president, BGCT: "According to the Bible, God’s ideal for sex in marriage is one man, one woman in a monogamous relationship for life. Any divergence from ideal is contrary to God’s will and therefore sinful. Homosexual practice is a perversion of God’s plan and is described in the Bible as an abominable sin. Of course, there are other perversions, such as adultery and premarital sex, which the Bible also condemns as sexual sins.
___ "Churches are to be commended for witnessing and ministering to gays and lesbians, but should never condone homosexual lifestyle or behavior as legitimate. Churches should offer hope to homosexuals and all sinners that there is forgiveness, restoration and new life through faith in Jesus Christ. The scripture says, ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God...’ but ‘thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.’"

___ Herbert H. Reynolds, chancellor, Baylor University: "I believe that each of us has various propensities that are sinful, unwise and unhealthy. An individual may have homosexual tendencies, but he or she has a choice to either repress those urges or give expression to them. Their decision will determine their destiny. In other words, I believe that if an individual chooses to be an active homosexual that he or she is acting in a sinful, unwise and unhealthy fashion; whereas, if an individual does not give active expression to his or her homosexual urges, then they have acted wisely and are without sin in this area of their lives."

___ James R. "Dick" Maples, coordinator, Office of Minister/Church Relations, BGCT; president BGCT, 1992-93: "I believe all homosexual practice to be outside the will of God and unacceptable in both male and female relationships. It clearly violates the teachings of Scripture and should be identified as a sin against God. I reject completely the notion that homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle and believe it to be a perversion of the gift of God in human sexuality.
___ "There are individuals who are latent homosexuals who chose to remain sexually chaste, just as there are heterosexuals who have made similar commitments. The sin is not in having sexual thoughts or urges, but in the practice of immoral behavior. Being physically attracted to others is not evil, but sexual relationships outside of the marriage relationship of one man and one woman are clearly forbidden by the Scriptures and should be rejected by all Christians.
___ "We must never lose sight of the basic truth that Jesus died for all, and it is our responsibility to share the gospel of salvation with all people, both heterosexual and homosexual, and to seek to lead them to redeeming faith in Jesus Christ."

___ Charles R. Wade, pastor, First Baptist Church of Arlington; president, BGCT, 1996-97: "The statement that we approved in 1996 while I was president of the convention fairly states my position. I have preached and believed that homosexual behavior is sinful. I believe in a gospel of forgiveness and in the power of God’s Spirit to give courage to overcome temptation and in the power to change. Christians must always reach out to those who do not live by scriptural standards, which includes us all.
___ "Our church has opened our facilities to Living Hope Ministries, which is affiliated with Exodus International and is led by a dedicated core of men and women who are strugglers in their bout against homosexual behavior. We are convinced that even as we identify homosexual behavior as sin we also want to create a safe, nurturing environment where those who struggle with these temptations and isolations it brings can have a place to recover and to find strength and courage to live full and confident lives."

___ W. Winfred Moore, director, Center for Ministry Effectiveness, Baylor University; pastor emeritus, First Baptist Church of Amarillo; president, BGCT, 1984-85: "My preaching from the pulpit of First Baptist Church of Amarillo was, I think, clear and strong against homosexuality––that it is a sin. I take the Scripture very seriously (for example, Leviticus 18:22-23; Romans 1).
___ "At no time have I ever held or expressed a different view on homosexuality. At the same time, I have always believed and so expressed in sermon that God forgives this sin as He does all other sins; and in sermon I offered help from professionals in my city to anyone who wanted it and would call for the names of the professionals who would help them.
___ "I believe that homosexuality is, according to my understanding of scripture, a sin. I believe these sinners, like all others, are the objects of God’s love and He will forgive. I have never held or stated any other view."

___ David Currie, director, Texas Baptists Committed: "Homosexual activity is sinful as I understand the written word of God. All persons are sinful as I understand the written word of God. Practicing homosexuals should not be elected leaders nor should persons practicing greed, hatred, anger and prejudice (as a lifestyle) be church leaders. The church must balance Christ’s call and example of treating sinners with grace and love while affirming biblical morality and the truth that things are clearly right and wrong."

___ Phil Lineberger, pastor, Williams Trace Baptist Church of Sugar Land; president, BGCT,1990-91: "I do not believe homosexual activity is natural or biblically acceptable, but I do believe people who have these tendencies need to be treated with respect as human beings created in the image of God."

___ Phil Strickland, director, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission: "I believe that the Bible teaches that homosexual practice is inconsistent with Christian living. The Bible teaches the same about adultery, vengefulness, greed, self-righteousness and an unforgiving spirit. This is to say that while homosexual practice is sin, it is not the only sin, but one sinful practice among many which estrange us from God. We follow Jesus as we welcome all sinners to repent, to receive the forgiveness of God and to enter into the fellowship of God’s people."

___ 4. The status of the BGCT as a so-called "full service convention."

___ The Baptist General Convention of Texas is an autonomous Baptist body. As such, it always has been free to follow God’s leadership, as are all Baptist conventions, including decisions to publish literature, the establishment of theological institutions or the sending of missionaries. It always has been a "full service" convention, although it has chosen, from time to time, to partner with other conventions, notably the Southern Baptist Convention.
___ The BGCT has relied on other Baptists to publish literature, to educate ministers beyond the college level and to send missionaries. However, the increasing demands of a growing state, whose population now exceeds 20 million, more than half of them unchurched, have forced some rethinking. Establishment of a publishing house is not anticipated, but supplemental literature is being produced to help educate Texas Baptists to the unique demands of sharing the gospel in Texas.
___ Two Texas Baptist universities have established seminaries to help provide educated leadership for the explosion of new churches necessary to minister to the burgeoning population. The BGCT funds scholarships for students enrolled in these programs. The total amount budgeted for these scholarships last year was $378,000. The BGCT’s coordinator of theological education is working with interested Texas Baptist universities to develop a program of theological education for those who are called into ministry but have not had the opportunity to obtain a college degree. The Texas Baptist Laity Institute will provide educational opportunities for laypersons.
___ Historically, Texas Baptists have partnered with other state and national conventions. This is the focus of the Texas Partnerships office. In light of greatly expanded opportunity and the increased need for lay, volunteer and partnership ministries, many Baptist associations and conventions in recent years have resumed the practice of sending missionaries to mission fields, both in the United States and abroad.

___ 5. The BGCT stance on women in ministry, particularly women serving as pastors of local Baptist churches.

___ The BGCT has not taken a stance on women serving as deacons or as ministers, particularly as pastors. Traditionally that has been considered a matter for local churches to decide. Local churches must be free to make those decisions without interference from the state convention.
We recognize that some Texas Baptist churches ordain women as deacons while the majority do not. We also recognize that a few Texas Baptist churches have called ordained women to serve as pastors and as staff ministers and chaplains. While critics interpret the lack of exclusion of these churches as a BGCT stance "for" women’s ordination, respect for the autonomy of the churches in this ecclesiastical matter precludes excluding these churches from participation in the life of the state convention whether we all advocate ordination of women or not.

___ 6. BGCT action on the Family Amendment to the Baptist Faith and Message.

___ While the Southern Baptist Convention in 1998 chose to pass an amendment to the Baptist Faith and Message underscoring the subservience of a wife to her husband, the BGCT, also in l998, passed a resolution noting the mutual subservience of husbands and wives in Christian marriage based on Ephesians 5:21: "and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ."

___ 7. Funding through the BGCT for the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

___ The BGCT provides $63,000 in its budget for the work of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. Texas Baptists have been strategic in the work of the Joint Committee throughout its almost 60 years. Its founder was a Texan and former editor of the Baptist Standard. Three of its five executive directors have been Texas Baptists. The agency remains a staunch supporter of religious liberty for all people and its corollary, the separation of church and state. The work of the Joint Committee and its staff continues to uphold traditional Baptist values and positions. The BGCT provides no funds for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

___ 8. Giving options for local churches to contribute to Texas and worldwide missions.

___ Churches always have been free to direct their gifts as they choose. Over the last several years, the Executive Board and messengers to the annual convention have approved several changes in the way contributions in support of missions can be considered Cooperative Program gifts. Most of the opposition to the changes has been directed at any system that does not automatically apportion funds to the BGCT and the Southern Baptist Convention. However, Executive Board and annual convention actions have acknowledged the churches’ freedom to give as they choose and now five options are available. Churches may give in a variety of ways, including dividing their funds between the BGCT and SBC, or between the BGCT and other approved ministries and excluding up to five line items of the adopted BGCT and/or SBC budgets and still have their gifts considered "Cooperative Program."
___ We applaud the development of giving options as a method to maintain unity and mutual respect among Texas Baptist churches during this controversial era of our ministry together. Such options provide a means: (1) to avoid excessive polarization; (2) to preserve the freeedom and foundational authority of the local church; and (3) to challenge any presumption of entitlement by entities beyond the local church, and are in keeping with the history of the Cooperative Program.

___ 9. The role of BGCT leaders in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Texas Baptists Committed.

___ Over the last 10 years, many of the elected leaders of the BGCT have held leadership roles in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Texas Baptists Committed. Both organizations grew out of opposition to changes that have occurred in the Southern Baptist Convention. Texas Baptists often are recognized by other Baptist bodies for their leadership skills, and historically Texans have provided guidance for Baptist enterprises within and beyond our state. Countless Texas Baptists have served in leadership roles in the Southern Baptist Convention. Individual Texas Baptists must always remain free to accept the positions of service to which God calls them.

___ 10. Support for George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University and the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University.

___ The George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University and Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University were begun by the trustees of those universities to meet the growing demands for trained leaders in Texas Baptist churches. They are not "CBF seminaries." They are Texas Baptist schools, whose actions are governed by their individual boards. The CBF elects none of their trustees. The CBF has no seminaries, although it provides a small amount of support for each school.
___ These two seminaries provide a theological education within a university setting. The BGCT funds scholarships for students enrolled in these programs. The total amount budgeted for these scholarships currently is $378,000.

___ 11. The BGCT position on abortion.

___ Texas Baptists are opposed to abortion.
___ In 1980, the convention passed a resolution reaffirming the "view of scripture of the sacredness and dignity of all human life, both born and unborn, and...that we favor appropriate legislation prohibiting abortion except to save the life of the mother or in cases of incest or rape."
___ In l982, the convention reaffirmed the l980 position, adding, "and that we also support and will work for legislation which will prohibit the practice of infancticide."
___ In l986 a convention resolution encouraged "all Texas Baptist institutions, cooperating churches and members to work diligently to support counseling, housing, adoption placement services and appropriate health care for women in crisis pregnancy, emphasizing a reconciled relationship with Jesus Christ...."
___ In 1991, a resolution stated, "...the messengers of this convention urge Texas Baptists to oppose the practice of elective abortion; and...that we urge Texas Baptist individuals and members to communicate effectively the Biblical instructions concerning sexual responsibility and sanctity of life."
___ In 1996, a resolution stated, "Whereas abortion as a means of birth control violates the sacredness of human life; and...Whereas more recently the procedure of partial birth abortion and the development of new drugs that will induce spontaneous abortions compound the tragedy of abortion as a means of birth control; Therefore be it resolved that we strongly urge this convention and Texas Baptists to continue to publicly oppose any type of abortion as a means of birth control."
___ In 1997 a motion was approved to "condemn partial birth abortion."
___ In 1998, the convention approved a resolution on parental notification, stating, "Whereas under current Texas law...abortions can be performed on children without their parents’ knowledge...Be it therefore resolved that the Baptist General Convention of Texas...express support for legislation which would require parental consent 48 hours before any abortion could be performed on a minor child; and...Be it finally resolved that Baptists teach our children the values and biblical mandate of chastity before marriage, the sanctity of life and the tragedy and sin of elective abortion."
___ A statement approved by the Christian Life Commission, clearly states its firm opposition to abortion. The statement, which is not official policy of the convention, states that biblical teachings:
___ "...convey a deep reverence for life and particularly for the most vulnerable lives among us. In the context of thinking about abortion, the biblical narratives teach us to reverence every life involved in a crisis pregnancy: the unborn, the mother, the father, the extended family, the whole of society.
___ "Reverence for life of the unborn means that we as the body of Christ are to nurture developing life. It should be a major concern to the Christian community that most of the 1.5 million abortions performed annually are performed for reasons more related to birth control than urgent medical therapy. Abortion as birth control is not compatible with the gospel’s call to reverence life."
___ The CLC statement notes that "Aborting a developing life should be regarded as an extreme act undertaken only under extreme circumstances. Reverence for the life of the mother helps to define these circumstances. The most obvious case is the pregnancy which threatens the mother’s physical survival. Other cases in which abortion might be contemplated include pregnancies which result from rape or incest. When carrying pregnancies resulting from rape and incest to term is so traumatic as to destroy the emotional health of the mother, abortion might be considered as a regrettable alternative. Abortion might also be considered in cases of severe and chronic mental illness in which pregnancy imminently and severely threatens the life of the mother for reasons not related to rape or incest but which are equally devastating to her mental and emotional stability.
___ "Reverence for the life of the mother, father, and larger family may mean that pregnancies involving fetal deformity and disease incompatible with life are not carried to term. In the rare condition anencaphaly, for example, the fetus fails to develop a brain and is doomed to eventual death. In these and other cases of extreme fetal deformities, abortion might be chosen as the lesser of tragedies...The raising of the exceptions describe above should not be interpreted as encouraging abortion even in the face of extreme circumstances...."

___ The Committee on Baptist Integrity has examined the various charges above and has found that the Baptist General Convention of Texas adheres to traditional Baptist beliefs and positions on the matters cited. The Baptist General Convention of Texas and its leaders are true to the foundational moorings established when the convention was organized in 1886.
___ It does not serve the cause of Christ for its critics to make unfounded charges about the convention to further their own causes or ambitions. Such statements are detrimental to the unity of God’s people and to the cause of missions and evangelism. It would serve the cause of unity among Baptists if some entities would clarify their positions on homosexuality, but the BGCT’s opposition to homosexuality is clear.
___ Valid criticism of any organization, including the Baptist General Convention of Texas, is healthy. However, the use of accusations with no basis in fact, innuendo and guilt by association to serve political ends raises barriers to unity, damages our mission cause and is detrimental to reaching the lost people of Texas for Jesus Christ.
___ BGCT leaders and the convention itself have been unjustly maligned. These leaders give a significant portion of their lives to serve the cause of Christ through this convention. They deserve better than to have their motives impugned by irresponsible critics who are pushing political agendas.
___ The Committee on Baptist Integrity urges that this criticism cease and encourages all responsible Texas Baptists to reject it and to call these critics to task for it. Responsible Texas Baptists should examine statements that may be distorted or taken out of context, and if they have questions they should go straight to the persons involved for answers.
___ The Bible is plain about what is to be done when someone has a problem with a Christian brother. He is to confront the brother with the problem, not publish statewide mailings. That is cowardice and unworthy of people called Baptists who should be committed to becoming more like Christ.



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