Dwight McKissic resigned from the board of trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on June 20. The announcement follows a series of conflictsmostly about private prayer languagesbetween McKissic, seminary president Paige Patterson, and the other Southwestern board members.
"My involvement as a trustee has been a huge distraction from my ministry priorities for the past nine months," McKissic explained in his letter of resignation. "I've devoted too much mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual energy to matters resulting from the aftermath of my [August chapel] sermon I simply want to return to the place I was prior to being a trustee."
While the Baptist Faith and Message does not contain any policy on speaking in tongues, McKissic caused a stir in August 2006 when, during a seminary chapel sermon, he discussed his personal use of private prayer languages. According to The Dallas Morning News, Patterson did not have the sermon posted on the school website because he did not want to imply that Southwestern approved of McKissic's views on the issue.
In his resignation letter, McKissic continued to express surprise at the reaction to his sermon. He referred to a Lifeway poll that indicated most Southern Baptists accept the practice of private prayer languages. Many Southern Baptists have traditionally refrained from speaking in tongues, a belief reflected in the SBC mission board's policy of not accepting candidates who use 'ecstatic utterance as a prayer language.'
In response to McKissic's sermon, the board of trustees adopted a statement at their October 2006 meeting to ensure that the seminary would not "endorse in any way, advertise, or commend the conclusions of the contemporary charismatic ...1
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