Wednesday, February 07, 2007


One of the links in the list below is to what is oxymoronically called an "Open Forum."

Currently, it is not.

It used to be, to its anonymous moderator's credit, but the over-the-top behavior of a poster who didn't share the predominant mindset was excuse enough to restrict input. As a result, the invective flows in a much more uncontested manner--including remarks directed at your friendly reporter.

Don't share the mindset of the "regulars"? Why, then they can question your salvation, and do so with barely a word of protest! Then, they can use your support of Pastor Gaines and blame him for someone else's poor behavior.

The banned poster, Cary Sidhom, indeed made numerous mistakes, including duplicitous behavior with a family friend he knew frequented the Forum. Cary was condemned by one poster for--and I quote thusly, and like so--"collecting info on [someone else], like a spy, (to use against [that someone else] in public)." Yet notice that Josh Manning, another young man who is also guilty of making numerous mistakes in this situation, is lauded for surreptitiously recording a conversation with Bellevue's Administrative Pastor, David Coombs. Collecting info, if you will. Like a spy. To use against Mr. Coombs. In public.

Double standard, anyone?

When I attempted to reply to Mr. Manning's defense of his poor behavior, my observations don't make it past the moderator's mouse-clicks. And when I attempt to respond to lies specifically told and retold about my own self on that forum? Same song, second verse. It's nice to see the occasional rebuttal to the insubstantial accusations, rebuttals such as this (again, I quote thusly, and like so):

"I wouldn't group Mike Bratton in the same group with Ace. Unlike Ace, Mike Bratton has, to my knowledge, been honest and has not tried to cause problems. Bratton on numerous occasions in my opinion has brought forth solid and legit points. And when there has been a disagreement, instead of attacking, he's had good arguements (sic) for and against various things."

That's from a young man using the fine Klingon pseudonym of "Koragg." Q'apla, honorable brother! (It's a Star Trek thing; you might not understand.) But I digress.

Unlike the anti-Bellevue cadre--and with each passing day, they illustrate their growing antipathy for healing, mutuality, and sober discussion--this site cites divergent viewpoints, so readers can make their own decisions. However, I must strongly caution you that the "Open Forum" is, by and large, "open" to those who just cannot abide opposing viewpoints. Which is to say that, nowadays, the Forum is hardly Open at all. Visit it at your own risk.



david S said...

Hi Mike,

I did challenge the thinking that Carey "must not be saved" if he doesn't display the kind of fruit becoming of a Believer. Such a challenge is met with accusations that I must be a "warren" follower.

Mike Bratton said...

david S said...
Hi Mike,

I did challenge the thinking that Carey (sic) "must not be saved" if he doesn't display the kind of fruit becoming of a Believer. Such a challenge is met with accusations that I must be a "warren" follower.

I'm surprised--pleasantly--that you're still able to get your comments past the moderation.

This is the reason I have stressed for months the need for everyone, regardless of viewpoint, to focus on behavior and viewpoints. Behavior and viewpoints can, and actually should, change with maturity. Nevertheless, some are wholly bent on bifurcating the church body, rather than soberly working to knit the body more closely together.

Perhaps we should be glad that Nathaniel Hawthorne didn't have anything to do with the "Open Forum." He might be of a mind to brand someone permanently for... oh, wait.


bepatient said...

Hey Mike!

I tried to defend Cary as well, but I see the same problem there as with each of the administrators they don't agree with-

A man could do good works and be a person of integrity in every other way, but all they will ever see is the actions they don't like, they do not take into consideration the whole person.

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