Where Do We Go Apart from Reconciliation?

To All:

Most SI readers are aware of the huge flap in IFB circles over the message by Dr. Dan Sweatt and the three responses by Dr. Kevin Bauder.

Several SI members have suggested that reconciliation may not be possible. Examples in the From the In Box thread include:

Anne wrote, “I don’t think people are wanting reconciliation right now. I don’t think either party is apologizing . . . are they?”

Bob Nutzhorn, articulated the same sentiment you did when he wrote, “Let me also say that I am not sure there can be reconciliation yet.”

BryanBice wrote, “Is he (Bauder) calling for reconciliation? That may be an underlying desire, but probably not a realistic expectation. My guess is Kevin’s trying to do his part to explain the rift. If that explanation serves as a catalyst for reconciliation, well & good....but I’m sure he’s astute enough to know it’s not likely. If nothing else, his in-box makes that abundantly clear.”

What if these sentiments are correct, in that there can be no reconciliation? If, as you say, no one is seeking reconciliation where does the IFB/FBFI go from here?


1923 reads
Becky Petersen's picture

Actually, people could just ignore the whole controversy.

Not everyone lives and breathes the internet and blogs. Wink (Yeah, right! Even though we here at SI can't imagine such people!)

There will probably be people who arrive the FBF conference completely unaware of this whole thing.

Larry's picture


If, as you say, no one is seeking reconciliation where does the IFB/FBFI go from here?
How about we go make disciples? Does anyone really think that making disciples in your community is somehow tied to this "reconciliation" (whatever that means)?

Jay's picture

It's no big deal to me. If I was a member of the FBFI and they drummed me out for something, it doesn't change the church's mission or purpose one iota. The FBFI may die, but Christ still builds his church.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Becky Petersen's picture

Larry ][quote wrote:
Does anyone really think that making disciples in your community is somehow tied to this "reconciliation" (whatever that means)?

I don't think so. Maybe some do, though?? I really think some of us should get off the computers and go and deal with some drunks or drug addicts or something.

MarkClements's picture

This may sound rather simplistic but it's the level I work on. Smile I don't think "reconciliation" will take place because there really aren't parties that need to be reconciled. Pastor Sweatt's comments may have been offensive to some (I certainly took issue with some of them) but I don't know anyone that he "PERSONALLY" offended to whom he would need to make apology. I could see someone saying that he should RECANT some of his statements, especially those regarding who is and isn't on the right "side of the Biblical position." It may be that reconciliation to those parties might be appropriate. BUT, that's really a matter for Bro. Sweatt and those men.

Those of us on the outside looking in (those who heard in person, have listened to the recording, or read the transcription) may be bothered by what he said, we may be distressed at the use of a straw man, or disappointed that he blew a great opportunity to emphasize the good things that he did say at the meeting. However, there isn't any cause for RECONCILIATION. My disappointment, embarrassment, disgust, or whatever emotion is just that--My response. I know Pastor Sweatt and he's a fine gentleman. I don't agree with him and, although what he said bothers me, I don't feel the need to be "RECONCILED." He didn't offend me in that manner; nor did he offend anyone else in a manner which calls for RECONCILIATION. If guys have a problem with what he said, AND they have relationship with him that has now been harmed, by all means they should go to him and seek that reconciliation. But outside of a relationship there can't be and doesn't not need to be any kind of reconciliation. What you have are parties that disagree (something we fundamentalists are unfortunately good at).

I don't know that Dr. Bauder and Pastor Sweatt are in need of reconciliation or not. I don't know if there is a relationship there. If one or both has a problem with how things have been handled, I trust as brothers in Christ that they'll deal with it.

I applaud Dr. Bauder for speaking out on the matter. IMHO, it was necessary. However, the whole issue will not die down until after the FBFI meeting and Dr. Bauder's session. I don't know that he was invited to speak on that subject--I kind of doubt it since his invitation was issued before the meeting at the WILDS. If Dr. Bauder is true to form, he will stick with his topic and invite discussion about this issue on the side.

This strikes me as the same thing as separation from Billy Graham. So many of us said we have separated from Billy Graham, etc, etc, etc. Yet I doubt any of us were every related to him through any mechanism to warrant separation. We disagree with him and his methods and we can warn folks but there isn't any real separation. Many of us disagree with Pastor Sweatt but there really isn't any need for reconciliation.