“To Whom much is given much is required.” The sovereign God was responsible for your almost three year appointment to the IMB Board. I believe that God had a strategic purpose for your time served at the IMB. You already have been greatly used of God to gain the admission that there was no anecdotal or any other evidence to suggest that there were abuses of missionaries speaking/praying in tongues on the field. Therefore, there was no need for the new policies forbidding missionaries to speak in tongues which as you know directly contradicts the Scripture (I Cor. 14:39). This admission alone made your service on the board purposeful and impactful.
The modification of the “tongues” policy that moves toward making a decision about missionary candidates on a case by case basis as it relates to private praying in tongues would not have happened without God using your voice and keyboard to nudge the IMB Board to this position. The revised policy was a step in the right direction and we have you and other board members to thank for that.
Some of us are still members of the SBC because of your voice and others on the Board who opposed the unbiblical policies of the IMB. God used you to encourage and promote missionaries around the world and to take a meaningful trip to China. I believe the Lord will say to you one day face to face (specifically concerning your tenure at the IMB) – “WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, WELL DONE.” The future of the IMB, and the “tongues policy,” Dr. Jerry Rankin –(who admittedly prays in tongues in private)- and the many missionaries who also pray in tongues as well are in the hands of the same sovereign God who appointed you to the IMB. The baptismal policies (that I know are even more important to you) you also addressed biblically, tactfully, and courageously. I will simply trust God to do what He wants done in His timing as it relates to any changes toward these policies.
Because of your wonderful service to our Lord, the IMB and the SBC, when I think of you Bro. Wade, I’m reminded of what the Apostle stated to Philemon, “I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you brother” (Philemon 1:4-7).
Brother Wade, I’m sure you will follow the leading of the Lord as it relates to writing a book about SBC issues. This Scripture came to mind as I am pondering your decision and praying about the book: Mordecai said to Esther, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” If you choose not to write the book, I know you’ll be driven by a pure heart, determined to do what you believe is the will of God. If you choose to write the book, I know you’ll be driven by a pure heart, determined to do what you believe is the will of God.
God has given you much, you have given the SBC and the IMB much. Know this that your labor has not been in vain.
You Are a Brother Beloved,