Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Curiouser and curiouser

"Saving Bellevue"

"Never sacrifice truth for unity"

"The Lie Headline has been removed. After talking to Jim Barnwell there appears there is a logical explanation and a communication problem that caused this. One of the parties involved will be back from Chicago tomorrow to set the record straight. This is very damaging to Steve and it is only right that this web site give you the truth where it falls even if this information was wrong on our part. This will be addressed in the next few days."

"Jim Haywood"


Reads like an apology at first glance, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it falls into the "mistakes were made" category of political-speak in lieu of an actual "I made a mistake" apology.

And what were the ramifications of the "Lie Headline"? How many people saw that who won't see a retraction, modification, or apology? For a number of weeks, truth has been getting sacrificed for an agenda of hate and confrontation by the anti-Bellevue coalition. However, I don't want my pragmatism to devolve into pessimism; if Mr. Haywood and those with a similar mindset can take this first step, there may yet be hope.

Consequently, I prayerfully hope for further apologies, particularly with regard to painting the worship services coming up Sunday morning as a confrontational "Showdown," and for depicting deacons supportive of Pastor Gaines as masked Fascists.

To the principals: Please stop using websites and forums to foment dissent. You only injure yourselves and those who get caught up with you in the anti-Bellevue wave of belligerency and negativity. We have a Commission that the so-called "saving Bellevue" business does nothing to fulfill.

--Mike

18 comments:

Ken Thomaston said...

Mike,

I just wanted to say thanks for offering a rebuttal to the wave of trash that is being spewed. I know that calling it "trash" will certainly ruffle the tender spirit that some seemingly have, but enough is enough! I am sure when Christ went into the temple and drove out the money changers he didn't use sweet words. I have read attack after attack against Steve. I have seen threats, I have seen unfounded accusations, I have seen people that profess the name of Christ acting as if they should profess the name of Satan. I don't mean that as a personal attack, just a matter of fact. I have seen all of this done in the name of "Beloved Bellevue". If you all love Bellevue so much, then get on your knees and pray for it and pray for your pastor! I have heard a lot of things said about Steve that is second hand. Here is some first hand information. He is one of the finest men I have ever met. He is a man of integrity. He loves the Lord with all of his heart. He loves his family. He is a man of the Word and a man of prayer. Those are things I know, not things I hear. For those of you who would say this is none of my business, alas, you have made it my business by first attacking my friend, and secondly doing it in a public forum. I pray that God will stop this onslaught, change the hearts that can be changed, and move on those that can't.

MKW said...

Amen, Bro. Ken. Thank you for loving our pastor and standing by him in friendship and support. I am encouraged by your honor.

RM said...

Mike,

While you guys are praying be sure to remember Steve's children. They are always the ones that are hurt the most when people act as ungodly as these people are acting. I thought they had gone the full limit but after reading today's posts I realize I am wrong. They still sink deeper and deeper.

Anonymous said...

I was a messenger at this week's Tennessee Baptist Convention from a church in Middle Tennessee and must say Steve Gaines' messages were anointed by God and some of the most Spirit-filled sermons I've heard in quite some time. There is no question he is God's man to lead Bellevue.

I want you to know that I am praying for you at Bellevue and Pastor Gaines - and I am also praying for those making all these accusations - that the truth will come out and whoever is making up lies will be exposed for what they're doing.

To God be the glory through Bellevue Baptist Church and our cooperating churches of the Tennessee and Southern Baptist Conventions - led by Godly men like Dr. Steve Gaines

Mike Bratton said...

Thanks to all for your supportive statements for Bellevue as a whole, and for Pastor Gaines and his family in particular.

Mark Sharpe has made a few posts on the "New BBC Open Forum," and I left him a letter in response. On the off chance there's a glitch and the comment gets lost in the ether, here it is in its entirety. I quote myself thusly, and like so:

Mike Bratton said...
And as I live and breathe... an actual comment from Mr. Sharpe?

You know, after I got over my initial surprise, I took the opportunity to read what you wrote. After you posed a question to another poster, yet didn't give that poster a chance to respond, I came across this:

What other things have you publicly stated that are untrue?

Mr. Sharpe, is that a question you should be asking any other human being?

I couldn't help but note that you mentioned, in passing, that Pastor Gaines personally apologized last week for hopping your fence to come visit you, and for equating your actions with those of Hezbollah.

We hear about the supposed evils of Pastor Gaines, of the Bellevue senior staff and of lay leadership. We read that Pastor Gaines has LIED... or, uh, well, maybe not. We see Sunday morning characterized as some sort of Sergio Leone "Showdown." We see the deacons who are willing to do what deacons do--support their pastor--compared to Fascists in masks, complete with Hitleresque salute.

Yet we don't get to see a headline here, at the so-called "saving Bellevue" site, or in the local media that Pastor Gaines apologized personally to you? Why in the world would you keep something like that under wraps? We presumably know every other peeve you have with the Bellevue staff--what could possibly have kept you for a week from actually sharing a bit of what would presumably be good news?

You, Mr. Sharpe, are part of a nascent movement that uses hate and confrontation as its main tools. Whether you meant it to be so or not does not matter; it is time for you, Mr. Haywood, and the other principals to pull the plug before the movement does more damage. It has come to the point where otherwise good-hearted and gentle people are being duped into passing along lies about Bellevue being "investigated," and wondering what the best way might be to protest during a worship service.

You can reach me privately via e-mail if you so choose, or you can respond here--or not at all. Nevertheless, you and yours need to pack up this so-called "saving Bellevue" business once and for all; closing up your shop is something that's long overdue. It injures many, and benefits no one (although that depends on how you define the word "benefit").

--Mike

11:36 PM, November 15, 2006


--Mike

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Mike, mkw, and rm (from Dallas--uh, make that Rowlett, actually) all in one place. What a surprise. I'm only shocked that "david", the mysterious know-it-all pastor from who-knows-where isn't here to join you all as you pat each other on the back and congratulate each other for your--oh wait...you haven't actually done anything to advance the cause of Christ or Bellevue--what was I thinking?

5 posts in 15 hours! Wow, Mike, you are on the cutting edge of blog relevance, aren't you? I'm sure it can't be your open, loving speech or humble attitude that keeps people away, so it must be everyone else who is wrong, as usual.


P.S. If any of you guys (or girls) really believe Matthew 18, why don't you try making your "counter-arguments" in private to the person who offends you--otherwise you become hypocrites and pathetic.

P.P.S. Don't think I don't know that this post will be lumped in with that whole "personal attack" or "hate-filled" labels you love to use when you don't or can't actually respond to criticism.

Mike Bratton said...

Anonymous said...
Ahh, Mike, mkw, and rm (from Dallas--uh, make that Rowlett, actually) all in one place. What a surprise. I'm only shocked that "david", the mysterious know-it-all pastor from who-knows-where isn't here to join you all as you pat each other on the back and congratulate each other for your--oh wait...you haven't actually done anything to advance the cause of Christ or Bellevue--what was I thinking?

5 posts in 15 hours! Wow, Mike, you are on the cutting edge of blog relevance, aren't you? I'm sure it can't be your open, loving speech or humble attitude that keeps people away, so it must be everyone else who is wrong, as usual.


And just why would you believe people aren't stopping by? I have a surprisingly diverse and steady amount of traffic--though it might please you to know that I'm not "all about the numbers."

P.S. If any of you guys (or girls) really believe Matthew 18, why don't you try making your "counter-arguments" in private to the person who offends you--otherwise you become hypocrites and pathetic.

P.P.S. Don't think I don't know that this post will be lumped in with that whole "personal attack" or "hate-filled" labels you love to use when you don't or can't actually respond to criticism.


Then try in the future, whoever you are, not to hatefully and personally attack those with whom you disagree. In such a case, no lumping would be required.

Oh, and if you're referring to my letter to Mr. Sharpe, I have tried numerous times to privately e-mail him, and his cohorts. I have yet to receive a response. Perhaps you could help me out with them?

--Mike

MKW said...

Anonymous, would you care to elaborate on why you are personally attacking me?

Anonymous said...

Mike,

You're right on!

I find the absolute hate directed at anyone who has a different view than the anti-Bellevue crowd amazing. They demand anyone who does not hold their view leave. If they are known by fruit, what does their fruit bear? Well: The fruit of gossip, fruit of a bad witness to the world and the fruit of slander (not to mention the fruit of disobedience to church leaders). Their refusal to obey or consider ways to fulfill Matthew 18 shows their true colors.

In my opinion the deacons and pastor have dealt gently with them, even going to the church to give a full account. The deacons took time from their ministry to review pastor Gaine's credit card statements, all to discover no inproprities. But still this group will not submit to their leaders, even calling them lyers.

Anyway, the posting by this group on the www demonstrate that they do not desire reconciliatio, they desire to grow their group of comlainers.

RPM said...

I loved Dr. Rogers as much as my own father. He was my pastor for 30 years. I was saved through his ministry.

I saw him in the hallway at Bellevue, fairly soon after he announced that he was retiring.

He also saw me,reached out his arm, and beckoned me to come over and hug him.

Without thinking,(as I am prone to do), I said to him something like:
"Pastor, you're going to have to pray for me, I'm going to have a hard time accepting a new pastor."

The look on his face made me realize I had said the wrong thing. It was as if I had wounded him.
He quickly recovered, understood what I meant, smiled and said,

"I know, it's hard for me to let go too."

My pastor of 30 years taught me how important it was to love and support the pastor God has sent you.

Without excusing or condoning anything that has been said, not said, or done or not done,

I think that to dishonor Dr. Gaines is to dishonor
Dr. Rogers

Anonymous said...

Billy asks how many have been turned away from Christ because of this bantering? Does that matter to any of the egos that need to be stroked because their itty bitty feelings have been hurt?
I am relieved that God is our judge and not me or some of my brothers and sisters.
May God forgive us all.
Billy Clark

Patrick said...

Good stuff Mike. You probably don't get as many comments because you speak the truth and the truth is self evident, it needs no props. These malcontents are getting more and more desperat and shrill and it shows a sever lack of truth and an abundence of hate, For whatever reason.

Patrick Patterson

RM said...

Mike,

I'm glad to see by being your friend I have finally incurred the wrath of "anonymous." Like all my other pastor friends, when I get something that is unsigned I just throw it away and consider the source.

I'm hoping you learn to do the same. A real believer would at least have the integrity to sign their name when they make accusations. By the way, I would welcome "anonymous" to come by for a visit anytime he/she is in Rowlett.

Anonymous said...

mike,
it's being said that the commication committee is meeting with the choir in small groups. Is this true? What's being discussed? I've heard that some sort of acknowlegement/apolgy/something is being made for the way Dr. Whitmire was removed. Since you are you the choir, I thought you might have some first hand scoop on that.
Thanks

RM said...

Mike,

At least there is some more prayer help on the way. I mentioned your situation in my blog and asked people to pray (www.sbobserver.blogspot.com) and now Tim Guthrie has called on people to pray for your pastor and church (www.sbcinterruption.blogspot.com)

I am confident these prayers will begin to turn the tide against these evil deeds.

Anonymous said...

www.bellevuecommunicationcommittee.org

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Are you going to answer the above question from anonymous?
I'm curious as well.

Mike Bratton said...

Anonymous said...
mike,
it's being said that the commication committee is meeting with the choir in small groups. Is this true?


Yes, roughly in groups of twenty people.

What's being discussed?

I don't know. I haven't heard from anyone who's met yet, and it hasn't been my turn to meet yet.

I've heard that some sort of acknowlegement/apolgy/something is being made for the way Dr. Whitmire was removed. Since you are you the choir, I thought you might have some first hand scoop on that.
Thanks

8:41 PM, November 16, 2006


Then you're much more in the loop than I am. Dr. Whitmire seems to be very much enjoying himself these days, though.

--Mike