Saturday, September 30, 2006

For the "Saving Bellevue" leadership

It appears you're done.

Your collective behavior has crossed a line, now using Scripture (specifically Ezekiel 34) to openly judge and threaten the members of the Bellevue staff with whom you disagree.

Rather than working for mutuality, healing, and moving forward as a church family, you have consistently engaged in tactics which can most generously be described as unfortunate.

Enough, honestly, is enough.

--Mike

18 comments:

Anony Moose said...

This could go down as the Bellevue Baptist Witch Hunt, 2006.

There are new records being broken daily, specifically in the categories of "Most Outlandish Allegation" and "Biggest Interpretation of Scripture."

Mr. Savingbellevue (we all know your name, but I'll attempt to spare you excessive embarrassment by not referring to it): You have proven yourself to be irrational and eager to latch on to anything that hints at controversy. You flirt with danger when you distort God's word to fit your agenda. I would advise you to cease stirring the pot of rancor and Take Down Your Online Trash Heap.

David said...

Mike,

I agree enough is enough. Anti-Bellevue folks if you can come to grip with the fact that you are wrong then move on.

I am tired of your gossiping and slander.

My heart is sick,

Dr. Gains.... I am sorry and embarrassed at their behavior.

David

Pastor Mark said...

Mike,

Great site! I am a Colorado Pastor and have long admired Bellevue, and Adrian Rogers who I believe was the greatest Pastor, Preacher, statesman, and church builder of our time!

That said it is a new day, Dr. Gaines is God's man for Bellevue. These attacks on his character are astounding...until one realizes that the "enemy of our souls" will do all he can to divide God's wonderful church called Bellevue!

The same Dr. Gaines who was so dearly loved in Gardendale, who led with strength and conviction and love and anointing has not changed...I will continue to pray for him, and know that God has wonderful plans for Bellevue and her Pastor Dr. Gaines.

Dr. George W. Truett, long time pastor of First Baptist Dallas said it so well:

God moves the workman

God buries the workman

But the work goes on!

So it shall until our Lord returns!

Thankful for you!

Pastor Mark Hensley
Mountain View Baptist Church
Lafayette, Colorado www.mvsbc.org

Anonymous said...

What happen to Rob Mullins? What about the 400 dollar meal? What about the country cluub membership?Did he leave and what is the truth on the other two questions.

Mike Bratton said...

1) Rob Mullins, from what he said yesterday morning (October 1st), has felt led of the Lord to take on other ministry opportunities involving youth, including starting up a ministry to work with church youth departments in need of help. He is departing on the best of terms, and there will be a fellowship in his honor next Sunday night, October 8th, if memory serves. I consider Rob a friend, and he considers me a goofball--although he has been nice enough to give me free ice cream, which is a good thing.

2) I'm sure the meal was delicious, since it was at Ruth's Chris. A transcript of the Sunday night meeting is on this site, and if my failing memory serves, credit card use was addressed.

3) I don't know that the membership has been touched upon specifically--but if you disagree with it, go right ahead. Only, try not to turn a potential molehill into a mountain, all right?

--Mike

Anonymous said...

I can address the Colonial Country Club Membership first hand. (If you are wondering that means its not gossip, rumor or hearsay.) The church has had this membership for a long time. It was for Dr. Rogers and then passed on to Dr. Gaines.

The leadership at BBC has decided to cancel the membership because of some of the griping and the fact that Bro. Steve does not care for golf.

Sorry to disappoint you anti-Bellevue folks. No story here!!

I guess you will have to keep digging to find something.

I found some interesting dirt over at http://www.savingsavingbellevue.blogspot.com/

onlyamember said...

On Rob Mullins, you said: (departing on the best of terms, and there will be a fellowship in his honor next Sunday night).....sorta like Dr. Whitmire?
The truth will come out after he leaves. Just funny that that is what everyone that has left has said. Too many coincidences. We love Rob and will miss him, no matter why he is leaving. We are just very sad to see him go and wish him all the best. It just hurts to see all these dear men of God that have served Belleve and her people for so long are having to leave.


Yes, Credit Card issue was addressed; but I am sorry $400 for three couples to eat, seems to be a bit much for the church to pay for. Just my opinion. Just doesn't seem to be wise use of our church's funds.

As far as the membership, I don't have a problem with that. That is really not important. It is just another step in showing his unwise use of resources. We have a great facility that several of our pastors use, and I would just think it would be good enough for Steve. I am not making a mountain out of a molehill, I could care less about the membership, let him go and enjoy, we gave it to him. If I posted anything about it, it was in response to another post; which is what I thought this was for.
I don't know why you feel like it is your job to attack me or anyone else that is asking for answers to the questions Steve seems to not want to answer. You are missing the boat on this one. I can't speak for everyone else; but for me and my family, we don't see this as taking sides. We have friends and family that are on both ends of this and we love them all. This shouldn't be about dividing the church or telling those that don't exactly agree with you, to leave. This could all be easily ended if Steve would just set-up the meeting that Mark Sharpe asked for with equal witnesses and only the people with first-hand knowledge that can ask and answer all the questions. Most of the people that are questioning or looking for the full truth, are not in this to attack Steve Gaines. They just want confirmation that he did not do what he is being accused of. Forgive us for wanting to make sure we are following the truth. I am sorry your side doesn't want to ensure that.

As far as Mark Sharpe, if you knew him or his family, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Mark is one of the most level-headed, loving, caring, Godly men I have ever met. He loves his church and loves the Lord with all his heart. I have NEVER seen or heard him do anything questionable. He would NEVER bring these accusations if there were not questions that needed to be addressed. If it had been someone I did not know and trust bringing these accusations, I probably wouldn't even be listening to them and would be ignoring them like everyone else; but I know this man and trust him to know that there has to be something to it for him to put his family on the line.

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Since you are in the choir,what is the staus of the organ? We have heard that it is going to be sold.
what is the truth it was stated on the anti-bellevue site it was going to be sold.

Mike Bratton said...

Let me address my responses not just to you, On Lyam, but the entire Ember family--and anyone else following along.

"On Rob Mullins, you said: (departing on the best of terms, and there will be a fellowship in his honor next Sunday night).....sorta like Dr. Whitmire?"

Truth be told, there are similarities. Both men left on excellent terms, both men continue to minister, and both men have things said about their departures that are based entirely on hearsay and third-hand information.

"The truth will come out after he leaves."

Unless Rob lied to several thousand people yesterday, the truth came out yesterday. And I don't think he would mind me telling you that I spoke with him today (October 2). He made it a point to tell me that no one had twisted his arm, or made him feel in any way uncomfortable.

Rob Mullins is going elsewhere because God told Rob Mullins to go.

"Just funny that that is what everyone that has left has said. Too many coincidences."

Couldn't be that it's the truth, could it?

"We love Rob and will miss him, no matter why he is leaving."

Yet you don't love him enough to take him at his word--is that what we're supposed to understand?

"We are just very sad to see him go and wish him all the best."

Trust me--I'm sad to see him go, as well. Around Rob, I feel even taller...

"It just hurts to see all these dear men of God that have served Belleve and her people for so long are having to leave."

Well, when God says you need to take on other ministry opportunities, I would say that's "having to leave".

"Yes, Credit Card issue was addressed; but I am sorry $400 for three couples to eat,"

Ever eaten at Ruth's Chris?

"...seems to be a bit much for the church to pay for. Just my opinion. Just doesn't seem to be wise use of our church's funds."

Again... did the church end up footing the bill?

"As far as the membership, I don't have a problem with that. That is really not important. It is just another step in showing his unwise use of resources. We have a great facility that several of our pastors use, and I would just think it would be good enough for Steve. I am not making a mountain out of a molehill, I could care less about the membership, let him go and enjoy, we gave it to him."

Actually, if you'll read up on it, the Colonial membership's been around awhile.

"If I posted anything about it, it was in response to another post; which is what I thought this was for.
I don't know why you feel like it is your job to attack me or anyone else that is asking for answers to the questions Steve seems to not want to answer."

I have examined and dissected (and will continue to do so) opinions, viewpoints, and behaviors; I have attacked no one personally. You might have noticed that not everyone who's had a say in the discussion places the same emphasis on discussing the issues, not disparaging the individuals.

"You are missing the boat on this one. I can't speak for everyone else; but for me and my family, we don't see this as taking sides. We have friends and family that are on both ends of this and we love them all. This shouldn't be about dividing the church or telling those that don't exactly agree with you, to leave. This could all be easily ended if Steve would just set-up the meeting that Mark Sharpe asked for with equal witnesses and only the people with first-hand knowledge that can ask and answer all the questions."

If I may be so bold, Mr. Sharpe does not set the agenda. People have asked questions which have been answered, so some are finding new, even-less-credible questions to ask.

"Most of the people that are questioning or looking for the full truth, are not in this to attack Steve Gaines."

What percentage of the "Saving Bellevue" group would you suggest isn't looking for the full truth, and is in this to attack Steve Gaines?

"They just want confirmation that he did not do what he is being accused of. Forgive us for wanting to make sure we are following the truth. I am sorry your side doesn't want to ensure that."

Mr./Ms. Ember, I don't have a side.

Honestly.

And I was unaware that God's people got to "choose sides." The idea is that we are on His side, not that He is on ours.

"As far as Mark Sharpe, if you knew him or his family, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Mark is one of the most level-headed, loving, caring, Godly men I have ever met. He loves his church and loves the Lord with all his heart. I have NEVER seen or heard him do anything questionable. He would NEVER bring these accusations if there were not questions that needed to be addressed. If it had been someone I did not know and trust bringing these accusations, I probably wouldn't even be listening to them and would be ignoring them like everyone else; but I know this man and trust him to know that there has to be something to it for him to put his family on the line."

So, at the end of the day, you rely upon your faith in an individual to inform your opinion on an issue of this magnitude?

That is endlessly fascinating, Mr./Ms. Ember.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

"Mike,
Since you are in the choir,what is the staus of the organ? We have heard that it is going to be sold.
what is the truth it was stated on the anti-bellevue site it was going to be sold."

Here are three of the most difficult words for me to write, and yet I write them:

I don't know.

The best information I have is that the organ is an integral part of the music ministry, and that it stays where it is.

If that changes, I'll be sad to hear it, because I really enjoy organ music.

Where, by the way, is there such a statement made?

--Mike

Josh Tucker said...

At what point does it all end for those who "only want the truth"?

Call it a "check in your spirit", but a pervading sense of bitterness
and undue cynicism or skepticism is being broadcast from those who are inclined to listen and agree with both Mark Sharpe and Jim Haywood. Mark may have started out honestly raising questions, but I believe that he has now taken the issue too far after it was not resolved to his complete satisfaction nor in the manner of his own choosing.

Trust is a major issue here. Suspicion and doubt are being constantly thrown at the actions and words of the pastor, staff, and deacons. Part of the problem with conspiracy theories is that the "truth" lies hidden and the gatekeepers to the hidden "truth" cannot be trusted because they were hiding something in the first place. It's a self perpetuating problem. If your only access to the truth is through these gatekeepers and they cannot be trusted, how then do you find the truth since you can never believe the information you are given?

When you've made up your mind that you do not trust someone, everything they do will be perceived through a filter of negativity. There have been more than a few individuals that are reading into everything that Steve Gaines. For lack of a better term, the Saving Bellevuers are making comments that suggest they find it difficult if not impossible to worship at church while Steve Gaines is in the pulpit. One person (on the Bellevue Truth blog) even suggested that the pastor had individuals planted in the audience to clap at opportune times during his Sunday night address.

Furthermore, Jim Haywood is publishing, on his site, anything at all he can find to cast a negative light on Steve Gaines's actions or character. Mr. Haywood has now stooped to questioning Steve Gaines' travel itinerary on Wednesdays and the marketing material for i2.

Moreover, Mark Sharpe himself has insinuated that Chip Freeman came back to Bellevue as the result of some sort of financial incentive. I quote, "In light of the past several weeks, what is Chip Freeman making now compared to what he was making when he left two weeks ago?"

These types of insinuations have crossed the line. I could give many more examples of this line of questioning from individuals who generally fall in the category of those who "only want the truth", but that might be overkill since I think everyone gets the point I'm making.

Where are the Saving Bellevuers distancing themselves from this type of behavior? You don't see it, and the silence says plenty.

So I ask again, at what point does it all end? When is the deacon body, with all of its protocols, reviews, checks and balances in place going to be trusted to oversee church matters? When is Steve Gaines and the administration going to be trusted at face value?

I'm not suggesting we fly blind, but where's the finish line? Clearly, Marke Sharp is not going to get the meeting setup exactly the way he wanted, so what then? Do the Saving Bellevuers continue to cast doubt and suspicion on the actions and character of the pastor? Are we left with a situation where a group of church members will never be satisfied nor happy with their church?

Where does it end?

Andrew said...

If I may...


Eph 5:1-21
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and {there must be no} filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light {consists} in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
14 For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise,
16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
(NAS)

Anony Moose said...

Josh T.,

Excellent observation.

Handling this is just as much the responsibility of the congregation as it is the pastor/administration. Granted, we can't get up in the pulpit and dismiss them from church membership, but we can (1) pray, (2) tell them to stop spreading their seeds of discord, and (3) tell them to leave if they don't like it.

No one is "better" than anyone else; some have just chosen to act out of self-obsession, that's all.

Check out today's post on http://savingsavingbellevue.blogspot.com.

AM

Anony Moose said...

Andrew,

Great reminder. We do need to be careful how we address these issues.

Thanks brother,
Moose

RightKnight said...

I just read the accusations that my personal friend, former boss and favorite minister, Rob Mullins, may have been forced to leave and blew my top! How dare they promote such a lie! I have first hand knowledge (unlike the anonymous dissenters) that Rob was not forced to leave and that, in fact, Pastor Gaines asked him repeatedly to stay! Rob is a man of integrity and would not lie to me or to the church! That accusation makes me sick. How dare you slander the leadership by insinuating that Rob was forced out and how dare you slander Rob as a liar by not believing what he said publicly Sunday!

To anonymous and onlyamember: You want the truth? I just gave you the truth but you can’t handle the truth!

Patrick Patterson

IWTK said...

On the $400 dinner..it was Mr. & Mrs. Gaines, Dr. David Jeremiah and a member of his staff, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Street and Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Parker and if I am not mistaken Mr. & Mrs. Mark Dougharty.

Where do you people get your information? If you keep reaching for anything to hang Steve on you will finally discover that Steve Gaines is planning to go from 1-ply toliet paper at Bellevue to 2-ply. The extra cost is well worth it in my book.

Are we going to start counting paper clips and pencils?

pbmax said...

As one who knows Rob Mullins well, he has too much class and too much wisdom to "go out shootin'."

How would he help his family by doing that?

God bless the Mullins' in their new endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Mark, your site would be much easier to read if you put it on a lighter background instead of the black. Just a suggestion.