Thursday, November 09, 2006

Beyond the pale

The mentality of the so-called "saving Bellevue" mindset was put on full display this morning--if only briefly. A friend e-mailed me about a disturbing image he found on their website, an image meant as commentary for a resolution which members of the Bellevue deacon body will be able to sign showing support for Pastor Gaines.

The attached, nonsensical, straw-man article about "preacher rule" would've been bad enough by itself; it's still there, if you choose to peruse it. But the page detailing the resolution also contained a vile image on it, an image that puts to rest any notions that "saving Bellevue" is interested in "saving" much of anything. Yes, they yanked it down, but not quickly enough; the mere fact that they used it in the first place is, undeniably, beyond the pale.

You determine for yourself whether or not you want to be part of a group that views others in such a hate-filled way. The image in question:



I pray that it is, indeed, possible to dialogue with such people. I also pray that they will, first, openly repent of such a mindset. We will see what the coming days have in store, and how God will work in the situation.

--Mike

EDITED TO ADD: The November 19th worship service in which the deacon body is scheduled to show support for Pastor Gaines has now been labeled by the anti-Bellevue faction euphemistically known as "saving Bellevue" as the day for a "Showdown." I have no words to describe the sadness I feel, waking up to such bile from those who say they want to "save" Bellevue Baptist Church.

EDITED TO ADD SOME MORE: Just for clarity's sake, let me say that I viewed the image directly on (and captured it directly from) that site, not from the e-mail I received. And with regard to the "Oh, they took it down, now you take it down" crowd, that's not the point. The point is that, whether it was up for five minutes or five months, that is how they view people who disagree with them.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just curious Mike, what do you think about the loyalty oath?

RM said...

That picture is just indicative of the blackness of their hearts and motives. After reading their blogs and comments I can assure you that nothing good will come from them or their efforts.

I was watching tv on Sunday night and came across Adrian preaching. He preached on the "root of bitterness" and it described these people exactly! I would recommend anyone going to the website and buying his "Best Messages of 2006" and that specific message is in the group.

It should be required listening for all Bellevue members.

Good luck Mike...

Mike Bratton said...

Anonymous said...
Just curious Mike, what do you think about the loyalty oath?

9:36 AM, November 09, 2006


Because the word "loyalty" is included in the document, you have mislabeled it (for whatever reason) as a "loyalty oath." No oaths are being sworn, but positions are being made clear.

If I may ask a question in return, why do you falsely represent the deacon motion as a "loyalty oath," yet ignore the hate published by the deceptively-named "saving Bellevue" group this morning?

As I noted elsewhere, the focus of your first response was revealing. Your second respose will be even more so.

--Mike

Derrick Calcote said...

Greetings Mike,

The photo speaks for itself so I will refrain from commenting on it.

Allow me to address the motion that was passed by the deacon body, and share my thoughts and opinions on it.

What we are doing as deacons is publicly reaffirming what we have already agreed to when we first signed on as deacons, and reaffirm when we come back on after being inactive.

Here is are two quotes from a document called "Qualifications For a Deacon" that all deacons have affirmed for many years

"The deacon is one who is to help create and preserve harmony in the church."

"He should see that his duty is to lift up the hands of the pastor and to work with loyalty under the pastor’s leadership. He is to free the pastor to do the work to which God has called the pastor to do.

The fact is that there are some deacons who have slandered our pastor by making false statements against him. I know this because an active deacon tried to convince me that there were financial improprieties related to the Pastor's credit card. These slanderous allegations have been proven to me to be false.

So we have some active deacons who through their slander have:
1) Created disharmony in the church.
2) Created disunity in the church.
3) Tore down the pastor with disloyalty.
4) Tied the pastors hands making it more difficult for him to do the work God has called him to do.

Honestly I don't know how any of the above can even be debatable at this point.

Knowing this has gone on, it is important for all deacons to reaffirm that they still meet the qualifications that we have always asserted that we meet.

Any deacon who has questions or concerns that they feel need to be addressed has ample time between now and then to meet with deacon leadership, church staff, the communications committee, or whoever between now and then to get answers.

We do not show loyalty to or submit to Pastor Gaines as a man. We show our loyalty and trust to our Lord by placing ourselves under the man that He has placed over us.

As I've told many people. If there were a legitimate sin issue, I would be the first in line to address it with the pastor. (In a proper way of course, but that is another conversation.)

But absent legitimate sin issues, I believe the Bible teaches us follow the men He has called to lead us.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

Kevin Furniss said...

Thank you Mike and Derrick for you Godly example through this tough time. As Derrick said, the picture definitely speaks by itelf. Makes me very sad that we have men and women that are trying to tear the body of Christ apart. Continue to stay strong in the Lord!

Your Brother in Christ,
Kevin Furniss

Anonymous said...

Mike,
The picture was wrong, and I assume someone pointed out that fact, which is why it's gone. That point has been made ad naseum, so I don't know why I need to discuss it futher. I've only seen it on your site, so I guess it wasn't up long.

Now, the "pledge" I read appears asking for loyalty to the Pastor. I admit I haven't been following all the comments today. Too much more important things to do, but i am familier enough with your involvement over the past couple months to seriously be interested in what you thought about this "loyalty pledge". Some have suggested that this is tantamount to treason against God. Quite frankly, I"m on the fence. I see their point, but I'm not convienced, reading the "pledge" that it reaches that level. I remain curious as to your thoughts on the issue of the deacons being asked to sign a document that pledges loyalty to a man, even though he is the pastor.

Mike Bratton said...

Anonymous said...
Mike,
The picture was wrong, and I assume someone pointed out that fact, which is why it's gone. That point has been made ad naseum, so I don't know why I need to discuss it futher. I've only seen it on your site, so I guess it wasn't up long.


It was up long enough for a friend of mine to get a screen capture, and for me to capture the picture itself. Since you believe it to be wrong, you might want to directly mention that fact in an e-mail to the "saving Bellevue" website. As of yet, they have not repented of their attack.

Now, the "pledge" I read appears asking for loyalty to the Pastor. I admit I haven't been following all the comments today. Too much more important things to do, but i am familier enough with your involvement over the past couple months to seriously be interested in what you thought about this "loyalty pledge".

Thank you very much.

Some have suggested that this is tantamount to treason against God. Quite frankly, I"m on the fence. I see their point, but I'm not convienced, reading the "pledge" that it reaches that level. I remain curious as to your thoughts on the issue of the deacons being asked to sign a document that pledges loyalty to a man, even though he is the pastor.

My friend Derrick (and yes, we've been friends for quite awhile--we were the best pitcher-catcher combo in the history of Bellevue men's softball) summed it up quite eloquently, actually. The motion of affirmation (not an "oath," not a "pledge") is for Pastor Gaines as "God's appointed and God's anointed," not a pledge of loyalty to Steve Gaines over and above one's relationship with Jesus Christ.

The focus of the affirmation is God, not Pastor Gaines.

--Mike

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I speak as a Southern Baptist pastor who, like thousands of other pastors across the convention, has kept up with the circumstances at Bellevue. Just to let you know, as well as the majority of the membership at Bellevue who support Steve, the pastors and leaders of the SBC support Steve as well. It is common knowledge that the group of people at Bellevue- 'saving bellevue', 'newbbcforum' etc., that are voiceing oppostion to brother Steve, are using slander, innuendo and libel against him to stop change at Bellevue. We are praying for this wonderful church and this wonderful man, and what a gracious and bold act of support the deacon team has taken. Change is never easy, but wickedness and mean spiritedness from a group of disgruntled members should not go unchecked. SBC leadership is behind Steve Gaines, his leadership team and the great opportunity that lies before BBC.

God Bless,

James

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response. Perhaps that is correct.

Unfortunatly, the following language:

"We publicly demonstrate our loyalty to Pastor Gaines by signing our name to this motion"

is too easily misunderstood as calling for loyalty to a man. Perhaps this "affirmation" should be rewritten, ot that line dropped to avoid misunderstanding?
Your thoughts?

MKW said...

For what it's worth, I saw the picture on the SB site this morning, too. It was there before 5 a.m., as that was when I left home, and it is now gone. But it WAS there, and I was appalled. Of course, there's no place for contact on the SB site to let them know, so I had decided to wait and address it when I returned home. I'm grateful that this was brought to light, Mike. Thanks so much.

And thanks, as well, to our last anonymous poster, the pastor who reiterated that our denominational leaders support our pastor, as do we. That means a lot, and as a BBC member, I am very grateful to know that you dear brothers are standing behind Bro. Steve and with our congregation in prayer.

M. Wilmoth

justthefacts said...

"The point is that, whether it was up for five minutes or five months, that is how they view people who disagree with them."

Mike, I'll ignore for now the entire issue of how this is you projecting one man's attitude on an entire group of people, judging people's hearts, assigning people motives, etc etc.

If I recall correctly, I read somewhere that it was the Pastor who first called the deacon at the center of this the "Hezbollah". From this and your many comments and posts, it actually sounds like this is actually how the SB crowd is viewed by you and the Pastor.
Just my opinion, to which you've already told me I'm not entitled to.

jt said...

But,
Dr. Gaines has denied calling the Deacon "Hezbollah".

Mike Bratton said...

justthefacts said...
"The point is that, whether it was up for five minutes or five months, that is how they view people who disagree with them."

Mike, I'll ignore for now the entire issue of how this is you projecting one man's attitude on an entire group of people, judging people's hearts, assigning people motives, etc etc.


Whoever you are, people who share your mindset have had (at this writing) half a day to distance themselves from the hatred published this morning and to publicly condemn it. The person or persons responsible for posting it have had half a day to publicly apologize and repent of that action.

How much of that has happened?

If I recall correctly, I read somewhere that it was the Pastor who first called the deacon at the center of this the "Hezbollah".

Were you to recall that Mr. Sharpe accused Pastor Gaines of this name-calling, you would recall correctly.

I would not be at all surprised to learn that Pastor Gaines did use the term in a conversation with Mr. Sharpe, but in reference to behaviors and mindsets, rather than as a personal insult.

From this and your many comments and posts, it actually sounds like this is actually how the SB crowd is viewed by you and the Pastor.

I wouldn't dream to speak for Pastor Gaines, but since you asked, I view the "SB crowd" as fellow church members who have violated the Biblical template for dispute resolution.

Over, and over, and over again.

And in ever-more-creative ways, the most recent of which is on display here.

Just my opinion, to which you've already told me I'm not entitled to.

An inaccuracy, and I'm sure you're aware of that. People are always entitled to opinions that have substance behind them; people are not entitled to opinions that are completely subjective in nature.

--Mike

MKW said...

I posted this on the NBBCOF blog, but thought it might be worth repeating here:

Brothers and sisters,

I feel compelled to leave one comment, even though I had decided earlier in the week not to post here (on NBBCOF) anymore. It's merely an observation on my part, but Sunday evening during the meeting at which Harry Smith spoke, knowing that many suspicions still would not be laid to rest, I turned to my husband and said, "I wish they had given the deacons an opportunity to stand up in support of the pastor."

The letter from Chuck Taylor, asking the deacons to take a public stand, reaffirming that they will do what they were elected by the church to do, is a marvelous opportunity for God's church to move toward a resolution of the issues that both side have. I do not see it as heretical, nor do I see it as forcing Koolaid down someone's throat or some clandestine maneuver to morph us into a New Age church -- I see it as a golden opportunity to set aside some of the duplicitous behavior and perhaps even cowardice that have been displayed to this point. I honestly do not believe that standing or failing to stand says anything about these men spiritually one way or another ... and I pledge personally not to judge any of our deacon brethren if they act on Sunday morning according to their convictions. After all, just because a man doesn't stand up on this issue, I cannot read his heart and do not know his personal struggles, nor would it be right to cast aspersions thereupon. By the same token, there may be men who in good conscience DO sign and DO stand who still have misgivings. However, we are hurting for strength, leadership, and truth. Must we shoot ourselves in the foot every time we take a step in the direction of healing?

M. Wilmoth

youpeopleshouldlightenup said...

So, in good humor, I referred people to the following website for a "picture" of you...

Apparently, I offended someone since they removed my post; however, in spite of the fact that you and I disagree on most everything, I still think there is a self-deprecating part of you that will find the humor in my post...

http://youpeopleshouldlightenup.blogspot.com/

Also, I have NO doubt that you will enjoy this link as well...

http://heritage.stsci.edu/gallery/gallery.html

"The heavens declare the glory of God!" Ps. 19:1

Mike Bratton said...

youpeopleshouldlightenup said...
So, in good humor, I referred people to the following website for a "picture" of you...

Apparently, I offended someone since they removed my post; however, in spite of the fact that you and I disagree on most everything, I still think there is a self-deprecating part of you that will find the humor in my post...

http://youpeopleshouldlightenup.blogspot.com/


I'm sorry, but I must sum up your post in one word.

That word is "hilarous"!

Looks like your camera caught me bringing it home at the end of "American Trilogy"!

Heh heh...

I'm glad that's a pre-surgery shot, though...

Also, I have NO doubt that you will enjoy this link as well...

http://heritage.stsci.edu/gallery/gallery.html

"The heavens declare the glory of God!" Ps. 19:1


You would be correct again. A collection of Hubble images? I've already added it to my Favorites list.

Thank you.

--Mike

Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

As I have stated before I have a deep love and respect for the Lord's Church that is called Bellevue. I also have deep love and admiration and appreciation for Dr. Rogers. As a Pastor I have had my share of conflict and hurt.

I know what your experiencing is so very hard. Warren Weiersby once wrote that: When we go through a testing time God holds in one hand a thermomater and in the other a stop watch! When it gets to much He will end it.

You must wonder Why are we going through this? I don't know fully, I will say that we know "the trying of our faith is more prescious than Gold"

As a Pastor may I say that the Deacons support and affirmation is critical.

I don't see it as blind affirmation, but rather the collective deacon body after examining concerns, finds the Pastor to be a man of integrity and are standing in support of His leadership... but not in deference to their supreme loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the absence of a Business Meeting it appears the only course of expressing concerns is through the Ad hoc committee.

I have been suprized by the relativly few concerns recived by your ad hock committee.

Does that mean that that those in opposition to Dr. Gaines are a small number...just inflated because of blog access. Not that each concern should be treated with careful and Godly consideration.

Please know that I firmly believe that a Pastor should be in his own Church on Wednesday nights. It is not to much to ask and expect that staff has only so many aloted days to be away in revival and other ministry settings.

I further believe the Finance team should not only know what staff makes but be in charge and control (Granted from the Congregation) to approve of rases. Accountability is a good thing! And truthfully after being founded in 1903 and with the unprecendented growth Bellevue has experienced, strong and detailed and updated by-laws are essential.

Bellevue, has always been a wonderfully generous people, and must understand the particular challenges in Pastoring a Church of your size.

Dr. Gaines should be well compensated, and I hope you agree...but I believe there should be more openess about the finances.

I would schedule a full business meeting, get it all out in the open, let the vast majority of God's people affirm Dr. Gaines...and those not satisfied and who refuse to abide by the will of God expressed through the body and leadership should move on!

Derrick Calcote said...

I was not going to comment on "the picture," but now feel compelled to.

At the dinner table I was telling my wife about "the picture" not really thinking about the fact that my kids were there.

My daughter heard the word "terrorist" and it caught her ear and she asked what I was talking about.

She is only about 8 but, very mature for her age. In the past we've discussed with her that there are some people who don't like the pastor and we have been praying as a family for them. I told her that the guy who runs the computer site that says mean things about the pastor put up a picture of terrorists and that is what mommy and daddy were talking about.

She looked a little sad and said, "They are calling Pastor Steve a terrorist?"

I thought for a second and figured that even at her age she deserved to know the truth.

"No honey. They are calling daddy a terrorist; your daddy, and the other deacons who support Pastor Steve."

Her lip began to tremble and she started to cry. It was tough that is for sure. I consoled her and shared scripture with her about forgiving others when they sin against us.

Much is said about how we need to empathize for those who are opposed our pastor and are hurting. I do feel badly for them, and I pray for them daily.

It would be nice to hear even half as much about showing a little empathy for the scores of Godly men who are wounded daily by the attacks on their character.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

RM said...

I just read their blog site this morning and now they are attacking the love offering and missions giving (even during the time that Adrian was pastor.) I'm totally convinced that there is no end to what they will say and do. It is absolutely unbelievable to watch this situation and I have been a Baptist pastor for over 40 years and thought I had seen it all!

Derrick Calcote said...

RM,

Frankly I hope they don't give to the Love Offering.

As Dr. Rogers taught us for years, "What is not freely and joyfully given, God neither needs, nor wants."

As for my wife and me, we are indeed freely and joyfully giving. It is a great opportunity to demonstrate our love for our Lord, and our trust in Him.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

A_Peasant_in_the_Pew said...

"The Picture" Yes, I agree that it was in poor taste, if it was actually on the SB web site. I didn't see it there and therefore, I have a choice. I can, one, simply believe you. Or, two, I could refuse to believe you and accuse you of slandering the SB web site. Now, if I knew you well and knew your character, and if my knowing you and your character caused me to believe that you were a man of integrity, then I would say, it must be true. If I didn’t know you or your character, then I might be lead to believe that what you are saying was just a hoax, especially if I believed that you had an agenda. Hummmm, I recall a similar situation.

But back to the picture. Mike, if you were so repulsed by the picture, then why do you continue to leave it up on your blog. If a teacher showed your child an inappropriate photo, once you had finished pounding the poor scoundrel into the ground, would you then post the photo on your living room wall for all to see? I think not, yet that is exactly what you are doing by leaving the photo on your blog.

Apparently the SB web master soon realized that the photo shouldn’t be there and he promptly took it down, that is, if it were ever there at all! So Mike, show a little forgiveness….it is what we as Christians are supposed to do.

Once you have taken that first step of forgiveness, you’ll feel a lot better and maybe then you can even offer a little more forgiveness by listening to some of the people who are actually hurting at Bellevue, rather than espousing your own brand of arrogance toward the wounded. It’s not about credit cards, it’s not about dreams, it’s really not about money………it’s about people….. people who have been wounded by the sharp sword of arrogance. Souls are bleeding while we perpetuate our war of words where each of us looks for that one liner that will zap our opponent. I am sure God is impressed!

headoutofthesand said...

Okay, Mike, you again have crossed the line, along with Derrick "In His Service" Calcote...

Now that you and your group have added mind-reading to your repertoire, you obviously have determined through some idiotic interpretation that No honey. They are calling daddy a terrorist; your daddy, and the other deacons who support Pastor Steve..

Wow! "They" is such a big word, isn't it? "They" is so easy to throw around at everyone who rejects your blind devotion to a human who has had dozens of flaws brought to light since he was "called" (and, yes, I use that word facetiously--I am still waiting for the scripture to show where a group of 7 or so men "call" a fallible individual without the consultation of the congregation he is to serve) but you and Mike and mkw and Josh Tucker and your ilk can only point to procedure (oh, my, where is Robert's when we need him????) to criticize those who offer valid criticisms against a man...

Hmm...in spite of the fact that the picture is gone and in spite of the fact that only a handful of people saw the post (which was quickly removed), you have the arrogance to interpret the whole event (and continue its existence) by bringing your daughter into this whole mess by claiming that you personally were one of the targets of that briefly displayed photo. Honestly, there is not one ounce of intellectual or spiritual honesty in your posting.

You are absolutely textbook of the type of person that personifies "hypocrisy" in the dictionary and who turns away innumerable people from Christ by your self-righteous, sanctimonious, display of "persecution" and exploitation of your own child.

Pathetic.

Mike Bratton said...

Imagine the things I run across when I have to stay up late...

A_Peasant_in_the_Pew said...
"The Picture" Yes, I agree that it was in poor taste, if it was actually on the SB web site. I didn't see it there and therefore, I have a choice. I can, one, simply believe you. Or, two, I could refuse to believe you and accuse you of slandering the SB web site. Now, if I knew you well and knew your character, and if my knowing you and your character caused me to believe that you were a man of integrity, then I would say, it must be true. If I didn’t know you or your character, then I might be lead to believe that what you are saying was just a hoax, especially if I believed that you had an agenda. Hummmm, I recall a similar situation.


E-mail me with an e-mail address, and I'll be more than happy to send you a copy of the screen capture.

But back to the picture. Mike, if you were so repulsed by the picture,

"Were"? I still am.

then why do you continue to leave it up on your blog. If a teacher showed your child an inappropriate photo, once you had finished pounding the poor scoundrel into the ground, would you then post the photo on your living room wall for all to see? I think not, yet that is exactly what you are doing by leaving the photo on your blog.

No, that is your attempt at an analogy of what I am doing. Exactly what I am doing is putting Exhibit A of the so-called "saving Bellevue" mindset on display, and praying that others will see it for the hate that it is.

And praying that the person or people responsible for such hate will openly repent of it.

Tell me, whoever you are--how can there be dialogue or even the hope of healing when the "SB" group engages in such visual violence, and labels a Sunday morning worship service as a "Showdown"?

Apparently the SB web master soon realized that the photo shouldn’t be there and he promptly took it down, that is, if it were ever there at all! So Mike, show a little forgiveness….it is what we as Christians are supposed to do.

We as Christians can bank forgiveness, as I have and as I pray others have, but until that forgiveness has been called upon (which, to date, it has not) it still resides in the "bank."

Once you have taken that first step of forgiveness, you’ll feel a lot better and maybe then you can even offer a little more forgiveness by listening to some of the people who are actually hurting at Bellevue, rather than espousing your own brand of arrogance toward the wounded. It’s not about credit cards, it’s not about dreams, it’s really not about money………it’s about people….. people who have been wounded by the sharp sword of arrogance. Souls are bleeding while we perpetuate our war of words where each of us looks for that one liner that will zap our opponent. I am sure God is impressed!

Actually, I can save you the keystrokes, the next time you want to summarize what "SB" is all about. Their own actions show them to be about two things: hate, and confrontation.

I don't know about you, but in all this nonsense, I have no "opponents." There are people in our church body, grouping around the oxymoronic name "saving Bellevue," who have taken great pains to shred the Biblical guidelines for conflict resolution.

In love, there are people who stand up to them, and tell them they are wrong to relentlessly assault the lay leadership and senior staff of our church, and pray for them to stop.

War, whoever you are, must be declared. The only people who have done so post photos of masked men giving Fascist salutes and speak of a "Showdown." Have you addressed similarly eloquent remarks to them?

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

headoutofthesand said...
Okay, Mike, you again have crossed the line, along with Derrick "In His Service" Calcote...


And you are...?

Now that you and your group have added mind-reading to your repertoire, you obviously have determined through some idiotic interpretation that No honey. They are calling daddy a terrorist; your daddy, and the other deacons who support Pastor Steve..

Whoever you are, I would love to hear an alternate explanation. Are you privy to what the "SB group" really, really, really meant by comparing the deacons who support Pastor Gaines to Fascists giving an old-fashioned "heil" salute?

Wow! "They" is such a big word, isn't it? "They" is so easy to throw around at everyone who rejects your blind devotion to a human who has had dozens of flaws brought to light since he was "called" (and, yes, I use that word facetiously--I am still waiting for the scripture to show where a group of 7 or so men "call" a fallible individual without the consultation of the congregation he is to serve) but you and Mike and mkw and Josh Tucker and your ilk can only point to procedure (oh, my, where is Robert's when we need him????) to criticize those who offer valid criticisms against a man...

Marvelously bold talk from the shadows of anonymity. Why do you attack others in such a way? Is that loving, open, or even polite?

Hmm...in spite of the fact that the picture is gone and in spite of the fact that only a handful of people saw the post (which was quickly removed), you have the arrogance to interpret the whole event (and continue its existence)

Hatred doesn't usually enjoy light, unless those who indulge in it have grown so comfortable with it that they don't flinch at the light. The fact that the "SB" person or people responsible for that nauseating photo withdrew it isn't a bad sign.

However, the fact that they refuse to openly repent of the behavior--and still continue to refer to the worship services of November 19th as a "Showdown" are both bad signs.

As is the fact that other anti-Bellevue individuals go to great lengths to either rationalize, or minimize, or else completely excuse the "SB" behavior.

by bringing your daughter into this whole mess by claiming that you personally were one of the targets of that briefly displayed photo.

You've meant to address this to my friend Derrick Calcote, who--as a member of the deacon body--was one of the targets of that bit of hateful propaganda. I'll let him address your comments to him personally.

Honestly, there is not one ounce of intellectual or spiritual honesty in your posting.

Again, you are...?

You are absolutely textbook of the type of person that personifies "hypocrisy" in the dictionary and who turns away innumerable people from Christ by your self-righteous, sanctimonious, display of "persecution" and exploitation of your own child.

Pathetic.


I'm thinking that you meant that more for my friend than for me. Nevertheless, when you verbally assault my friend and brother in Christ, you assault me. And, presuming that you are a Christian, you assault yourself as well.

Thank you for reinforcing my previous observation. The anti-Bellevue coalition runs on hate and confrontation.

Tell us, whoever you are--what are your plans for the "Showdown"?

--Mike

Derrick Calcote said...

If there is some other reasonable interpretation of what I was supposed to take from that picture, I'd be very happy to hear it.

When they (whoever runs the SB website) put a picture of a bunch of terrorists (or whatever they are) making some sort of Nazi salute and use it to reference deacons who have voted on a motion to support our Pastor... well I really can't come up with a more charitable interpretation.

Al said...

Swanee how I love ya, how I love ya
My dear old Swanee
I'd give the world to be
Among the folks in D-I-X-I even know my
Mammy's waitin' for me prayin' for me
Down by the Swanee.....


I know, I should be shot.

Anonymous said...

you said, "People are always entitled to opinions that have substance behind them; people are not entitled to opinions that are completely subjective in nature."

--Mike

3:08 PM, November 09, 2006



Mike

This seems a bit odd on the surface and frankly a bit arrogant - even if you are correct. Help me out here...can you further explain this concept..."not entitled to."

Are you saying it is wrong, dangerous, sloppy...?
Thanks

Mike Bratton said...

This seems a bit odd on the surface and frankly a bit arrogant - even if you are correct. Help me out here...can you further explain this concept..."not entitled to."

At the end of the day, subjective opinions--yours, mine, anyone else's--are ultimately worthless. Objective facts are what matter; when opinions are substantiated by objective facts, there's nothing wrong with having them. However, too often people hold opinions to which they are not entitled, since those opinions are based on either incomplete or wholly insubstantial information--or are based on nothing more than personal predilections.

Are you saying it is wrong, dangerous, sloppy...?

I'm saying it's poor form to hold an opinion that cannot be objectively substantiated. Depending upon the opinion, and upon the individual holding the opinion, the result can be wrong, dangerous, sloppy... it can be any number of things depending upon how the individual wields the opinion in question.

Thanks

Thank you for asking! I'm hope you agree that a desire for objectivity is neither odd nor arrogant.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Let me expound a bit further, if it's all right. Let's say I hold the opinion that a given NFL team will make it to the postseason, and will have a successfull playoff run, culminating in a blowout Super Bowl win and a world championship.

If it's the preseason, and there are any signs at all that the team will do well, I'm entitled--at least to a degree--to have that opinion. However, if the team in question has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, I can no longer credibly insist that my opinion be considered legitimate.

--Mike

Anonymous said...

I guess that makes sense but what about spiritual discernment?

Do you believe it possible to know something in your spirit that other people don't seem to know or recognize?

Mike Bratton said...

Anonymous said...
I guess that makes sense but what about spiritual discernment?


Spiritual discernment is a mark of maturity in the life of a Christian. It is wisdom, but it is not necessarily for it to be logical. To others, spiritual discernment in a given area may even seem counterintuitive, but it is the wisdom to listen to the prompting of God the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe it possible to know something in your spirit that other people don't seem to know or recognize?

Absolutely. However, the "something" in question will never be contrary to God's revealed will or His revealed Word in Scripture. If a woman says she "knows in her spirit" that she is being led to divorce her faithful, loving husband and run off with the pool boy, for example--obviously, that is at odds with what God had already had to say on the subject of marriage, and is not at all discerning.

Marvelous questions--thank you for asking, and I pray that I've answered them in a way that registers with you.

--Mike

Derrick Calcote said...

http://presenter.316networks.com/links/BellShoalsBaptistChurch/20061115.htm

Mike,

The above link is not even remotely on topic, but I thought you might enjoy it anyway.

I've got no idea how the above found its way into my e.mail in-box, but it did somehow.

(And before anyone starts casting stones at me... no... I'm not calling anyone a "fool." Don't go there.)

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

Anonymous said...

Me again, ("not entitled to")

Thanks Mike for your thoughtful reponses. They do register well and I think I agree with you.

Here's another thought. I imagine that someone who communicates a personal revelation, from the Holy Spirit, might be seen by others as having an unfounded opinion. I mean, if the Christian were able to discern something that was not apparent to others in the same setting do you think the Christian might be seen as having an unfounded, completely subjective opinion? And if so, how is he and the others that he has communicated it to handle it? Or perhaps you think his statement should be considered legitimate. What do you think?

Thanks for discussing this with me. I think it is kind of interesting.

Mike Bratton said...

Thanks Mike for your thoughtful reponses. They do register well and I think I agree with you.

You're welcome--thanks for asking.

Here's another thought. I imagine that someone who communicates a personal revelation, from the Holy Spirit, might be seen by others as having an unfounded opinion. I mean, if the Christian were able to discern something that was not apparent to others in the same setting do you think the Christian might be seen as having an unfounded, completely subjective opinion?

I hate to say "it depends" but, nevertheless, it depends on the particular revelation in question, and whether or not it conflicts with existing revelation in Scripture. God never works at cross purposes with Himself.

Let me give you an example. More and more these days, we hear of women being "called" to the pastorate. (I use this example because, apart from the Biblical mandate, I have had no problem with the notion of women pastors; I am against it only because God does not approve of it.) If a woman looks you in the eye and says God's called her, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, to be a pastor--well, it would take a lot of guts to say back to her "No, He hasn't" unless you can point to what God has already said, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, on the subject in Scripture.

And if so, how is he and the others that he has communicated it to handle it? Or perhaps you think his statement should be considered legitimate. What do you think?

Discernment never turns someone into a one-man (or -woman) band. It may decrease that person's popularity within a particular group, but God never leaves those of us who are His children out to dry.

Thanks for discussing this with me. I think it is kind of interesting.

Likewise.

--Mike