Monday, March 26, 2007

Post-game analysis

Bill Buckner.

Chris Webber.

Jean Van de Velde.

These three athletes have one thing in common: Each had the opportunity to achieve, yet wasted that opportunity in memorable fashion. (And as I'm not a fan of the word "choke," I will refrain from using it in the balance of this article. Let's put you--or me--in their situations, and see if you--or I--could have done better.)

For Mr. Buckner, an otherwise tremendous baseball career was forever asterisked by his role in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, when he allowed a ground ball from Mookie Wilson to trickle between his legs. Mr. Buckner's error gave Mr. Wilson's New York Mets the win and forced Game 7, which the Mets won.

Mr. Webber, a standout collegiate and professional basketball player, made one of the most colossal mental errors in the history of basketball: calling a timeout in the waning moments of his Michigan squad's 1993 NCAA championship game against North Carolina. Had Michigan had any timeouts remaining, it would've been a good idea; since they did not, the resulting technical foul gave North Carolina the ball and the championship.

And then there is the case of Mr. Van de Velde. While I saw all these events live, on television, this is the one that is most vivid in my mind. Perhaps it is because there's no Red Sox bullpen to blame, or because a moment's distraction in a basketball game is something I can relate to. Perhaps because I enjoy golf so much, or perhaps because it happened nearly in slow-motion. In any event...

At the 1999 British Open, Mr. Van de Velde went to the 18th hole with a commanding lead. All he had to do was nudge the ball down the fairway, and he would have won his first major championship; but, like a hacker on a driving-range tee, he pulled his driver from his bag. Seven shots later, after finding the rough, the sand, the grandstands, and the water, Mr. Van de Velde ended his round in a three-way tie for the lead--and lost the ensuing playoff to the dumbstruck Paul Lawrie.

Now what does all that prologue have to do with yesterday's business meeting at Bellevue?

It's simple: The Bellevue contrarians pulled a Buckner, to use the vernacular. They Webbered their opportunity. They Van de Velded.

They seriously, seriously Van de Velded.

From what I understand, the contrarian game plan for the business meeting was not followed, whatever it was supposed to be. And from what I knew, the contrarian group's performance didn't catch anyone in Bellevue leadership by surprise.

A motion to keep the television cameras from "scanning" the congregation? A motion for a secret ballot? Please. It's one thing to hide behind pseudonyms while posting anti-Bellevue epithets on the Internet, but wanting the luxury of hiding during a church business meeting is absurd. What was next? A motion to allow contrarians to address the congregation from behind a curtain? While scrambling their voices? If you don't have the courage of your convictions when you have the opportunity to (literally) stand up and be counted, I would encourage you to reevaluate just whether you hold a conviction--or a grudge.

Which reminds me of a suggestion for the next business meeting: If my failing memory serves, people speaking at a microphone are supposed to identify themselves. This did not happen yesterday, and should not happen in the future. (And I understand that the meeting was adjourned with a motion on the floor, but adjourned to when? If the next business meeting won't be within the next ninety days, it's a moot point as I understand it, but some clarification would do wonders.)

There were actually (gasp!) some good things presented, such as a call to codify conflict-of-interest procedures in committee selection, but those measured proposals were in the minority, particularly when it comes to the recipient of the First Annual Van de Velde Award.

And the winner? The action that equated to pulling a driver from the bag when only a long iron was needed? To going for the green instead of chipping out of the rough? To firing an approach shot into the water?

This year's winner was the absurd, well-nigh-antagonistic notion of trying to force the congregation to vote on two disparate matters with one vote, particularly since the Bellevue leadership offered to have both measures considered separately. A quarterly business meeting just like what we had yesterday? Fine, let's talk about it, and vote on it. A resolution against sexual immorality? My, but that's a novel concept--is there anyone at Bellevue Baptist Church who thinks it's a bad idea to be against sexual sin, much less sin of any type? Obviously, no.

Attempting to force Bellevue into quarterly business meetings by the "two-pronged" approach, attaching it to a motion no member would consider opposing, was too clever by half. It precipitated a quick end to the business meeting, and squelched the single opportunity the contrarians had to legitimately speak to the membership.

In short, you folks blew it.

Over and over again.

(A note to Josh Manning, since you don't make an e-mail address available: You insulted everyone who had anything to do with yesterday's meeting with the aw-shucks comment "I wish I had shaved this morning, but I had zero intention of speaking when I left the house this morning." You made sure you were in Memphis for the business meeting, and you just happened to have a prepared motion with you, but you had no intention of speaking? Nonsense. That disparity flushed any credibility you might have had.)

And what's the rest of the talk in the anti-Bellevue locker room? Why, let's check some more highlights:

"Mr. Angel.... I hope you are reading this! Do you understand how hard it is going to be to sit in that bema seat when you get to heaven? Answer for your decisions! I know Joyce Rogers would like to hear your 'real' explanation for calling to adjourn the meeting! I guess you guys were beginning to feel the heat! I wouldn't want to be you, that has to answer for all those your turned away from the truth yesterday dear sir!"

"they will never give you the tools needed to reach the 3,000 Bellevue members. But, I am sure the media would."

"It reminds me of the jews lining up and going to the slaughter in Germany..a real tragedy!!"

"I am praying that God will remove SG by whatever means necessary if the members will not do so as they ought."


Does that last one sound like a veiled wish (with rather a "Malcolm X" flavor to it) for Steve Gaines' death? It's not the only one. Here's one with a different flavor--this one wielding the Bible as a baseball bat:

"I hope all of you see the parallel between Steve Gaines and company of false prophets saying good things are happening to BBC and Hananiah's false prophesy that good things were going to happen to Israel. Here is the account:

...

"[17] So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month."


Let's have a couple more glittering highlights:

"We love you, CW and JM. We RESPECT both of you for your love for The LORD Jesus and for your love for The Word and for your love for His Church. It is for this love, however, that both of you meet the conditions of a wolf, his hirelings, and his lukewarm and compromising audience for hatred and punishment at BBC (and also by a handful that blog here). After all, the one they serve (satan himself) hates both of you, is burning in jealousy towards you".

"You REALLY dislike Josh. And it is obvious why. He has done nothing but rip the veil from the putrid decay that has begun to eat away at our church and you want it to stay covered."

"AS YOU SAW with your own eyes, MANY of the members of Bellevue are 100% behind Brother Steve and the leadership and are thrilled with the direction Bellevue is going. REPLY: Yes, there were TOO MANY, members that were affirmative for leadership & SG. If you were honest with yourself and others you would admit that the vast majority of the membership is clueless as to the many "issues" surrounding leadership & SG. They were voting blindly and clueless, voting without knowledge is dangerous."

"Once we were 'one in the bonds of love'. Now we are 'one in the bonds of love only if you agree with me and show blind faith in leadership'."

"And this Sunday, important business is cut-off by Miller after -- yeah -- 45 minutes, after more than an hour of "Celebration" filibuster."


To recap the post-game anti-Bellevue chatter:

Church is a "filibuster."

Most in the Bellevue membership are idiots.

The business meeting was the equivalent of the Holocaust.

Neither the pastor nor anyone in Bellevue leadership can possibly be a Christian, because the pastor and church leadership all serve Satan.

If the church doesn't do as the contrarians wish, Pastor Gaines should die.


Obscene. Is it any wonder what precipitated the "anti-Bellevue" label for that group?

To the folks in that group: I love you all with the love of Christ, and challenge you out of compassion. For months I have pleaded with you to stop attempting to bludgeon those with whom you disagree. I was confident the day would come when you would have the chance to air those of your objections that are legitimate, and your negativity and hate-mongering would only work at cross purposes with the presentation of any serious concerns. I was hoping you'd take the opportunity given to you to voice your concerns in a measured, responsible way. You didn't. Instead, you've chosen to further antagonize those who aren't in lockstep agreement with you.

This has to stop. You injure yourselves with your behavior, and contribute nothing to the distribution of the Gospel. If you have concerns about Bellevue, lay them at Jesus' feet as you would any other concerns, and leave them there. Is God deaf to the petitions of His children? Will He not move as He sees fit for our benefit and for His glory?

The Easter season is a time when the unsaved are more open to the message of Christ than they might be otherwise. Please, I beg you: Take the energy you invest in negativity and contention, and reinvest it in the only thing that has eternal consequences--sharing the love of Jesus as He gives you the chance.

--Mike

EDITED TO ADD (AS IF THIS ARTICLE WASN'T LONG ENOUGH): I see that the Closed Forum is open enough to continue to allow more obscenity, in the form of another post that lusts for the death of Pastor Gaines. I'll be interested in seeing whether or not that post (along with the others) are condemned and eliminated, or even complained about, or if there's even a mild objection.

129 comments:

Finance Guy said...

Mike,
You err when you paint all "contrarians" with so broad a brush.

Your post would lead one to believe that in your view, anyone on the "contrarian" side believes the following:

Church is a "filibuster."

Most in the Bellevue membership are idiots.

The business meeting was the equivalent of the Holocaust.

Neither the pastor nor anyone in Bellevue leadership can possibly be a Christian, because the pastor and church leadership all serve Satan.

If the church doesn't do as the contrarians wish, Pastor Gaines should die.



Explain how your post doesn't make you just as guilty of hurling invective as you accuse the "contrarians" to be? How can a handful of comments from a handful of people (interpreted as you see fit) suddenly become representative of the views of everyone who has concerns about what’s going on at BBC?

If you have concerns about Bellevue, lay them at Jesus' feet as you would any other concerns, and leave them there.

Is this your advice to anyone who sees things going on that as a matter of conviction are wrong?

So the people at Jonestown were correct to just follow Jim Jones every teaching, even when they had reservations, and just "tell Jesus?"

The ordinary people in Nazi-ruled Germany had no responsibility to act when Hitler was doing his dirty deeds ?(btw..denying to his death until confronted with the evidence that there were any death camps) They should have just "taken it to Jesus", and then gone on about their daily lives like nothing was wrong? Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrong to speak out and oppose what the church-of-the-day was insisting was "God Ordained leadership?"

Was Martin Luther wrong to actively oppose the Religious leaders of his day?

Was Jesus wrong to verbally oppose the Religious leaders of his day?

Was the Apostle Paul wrong to violate the law and oppose the Religious Leaders of his day?

There must be an environment that allows disagreement and debate without it being considered treasonous. There are Godly people on both “sides” (which I hate that there are sides) of this issue. It’s wrong for you to use a broad brush to paint everyone on one side of an issue. It makes you look as bad as those you are “calling out”.


I do not believe that the Pastor and the leadership are “of Satan” and have Marvin the Martian-esqe “diabolical plans to take over the world”. I believe they are honest people who at the end of the day, want to do the right thing. However, I do believe there has been a pattern of behavior and decision-making that calls for examination by the congregation.

Unfortunately, by trying to suppress and such discussion for so long, the Leadership, ( exercising anything but) have fueled a lot of the “conspiracy theories” that have unfortunately led to some people seeing Rick Warren hiding behind every fiscus tree in the building!! What could have been dealt with months ago was not. Subsequent behavior on the part of the church leadership continues to give traction to the “contrarians”, and as a result of another poor decision yesterday (starting with the decision to have a 30 min meeting at the end of the Sunday morning service, and then Jim Angel motion), we (BBC) left more divided than at any point over the last year.

Mike Bratton said...

Mike,
You err when you paint all "contrarians" with so broad a brush.


Have I, or have I not, consistently indicated that there are legitmate points to be raised?

Obviously, I have, even in this most recent article.

Do I suggest that everyone who raises a legitimate point is a "contrarian" or "anti-Bellevue"?

Of course not, and I've made that clear over time.

FG, not everyone who has an objection is a contrarian, or otherwise anti-Bellevue.

Your post would lead one to believe that in your view, anyone on the "contrarian" side believes the following:

Church is a "filibuster."

Most in the Bellevue membership are idiots.

The business meeting was the equivalent of the Holocaust.

Neither the pastor nor anyone in Bellevue leadership can possibly be a Christian, because the pastor and church leadership all serve Satan.

If the church doesn't do as the contrarians wish, Pastor Gaines should die.

Explain how your post doesn't make you just as guilty of hurling invective as you accuse the "contrarians" to be?


Again, not everyone who disagrees is part of the angry mob. You yourself have made the same distinction I've repeatedly made--why is it that you don't allow for it now?

How can a handful of comments from a handful of people (interpreted as you see fit) suddenly become representative of the views of everyone who has concerns about what’s going on at BBC?

They're not.

They're representative of the anti-Bellevue bunch.

When those people and those attitudes start getting shouted down by the anti-Bellevue bunch, and when places like the Closed Forum and the SavingBellevue/IDC/ACT melange distance themselves--even condemn--such remarks, then progress will have been made.

If you have concerns about Bellevue, lay them at Jesus' feet as you would any other concerns, and leave them there.

Is this your advice to anyone who sees things going on that as a matter of conviction are wrong?


Yes, but it's obviously not my only advice. Are you suggesting that those of us who are Christians shouldn't take our concerns to Christ?

So the people at Jonestown were correct to just follow Jim Jones every teaching, even when they had reservations, and just "tell Jesus?"

You do realize, do you not, that the Jonestown/People's Temple group was a non-Christian cult?

The ordinary people in Nazi-ruled Germany had no responsibility to act when Hitler was doing his dirty deeds ?(btw..denying to his death until confronted with the evidence that there were any death camps) They should have just "taken it to Jesus", and then gone on about their daily lives like nothing was wrong?

FG, are you comparing what's happening at Bellevue with the Holocaust?

Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrong to speak out and oppose what the church-of-the-day was insisting was "God Ordained leadership?"

Because it appears you're moving in that direction.

Was Martin Luther wrong to actively oppose the Religious leaders of his day?

I'll have to check and see where Luther compared those who disagreed with his theology to Satan's minions. My failing memory can't remember any verbiage like that in the 95 Theses.

Was Jesus wrong to verbally oppose the Religious leaders of his day?

Your hyperbole has now left the playing field.

Jesus knew hearts, minds, and motivations beyond the shadow of any doubt or peradventure. He knew pasts, presents, and futures.

We don't have that luxury.

Was the Apostle Paul wrong to violate the law and oppose the Religious Leaders of his day?

And how did he violate the law? By playing fast-and-loose at business meetings, by blogging death threats, or by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ?

I quote myself thusly, and like so: "The Easter season is a time when the unsaved are more open to the message of Christ than they might be otherwise. Please, I beg you: Take the energy you invest in negativity and contention, and reinvest it in the only thing that has eternal consequences--sharing the love of Jesus as He gives you the chance."

There must be an environment that allows disagreement and debate without it being considered treasonous. There are Godly people on both “sides” (which I hate that there are sides) of this issue.

The only legitimate side is the Lord's side. Do you think that referring to Christians with whom one disagrees as Nazis, demons, or any other pejorative benefits the Lord's side?

It’s wrong for you to use a broad brush to paint everyone on one side of an issue. It makes you look as bad as those you are “calling out”.

I quite agree--if that's what I had done. Obviously, that's not what I did.

There are a number of people who disagree about the current Bellevue situation without invoking Hitler. I thought you were one of them?

I do not believe that the Pastor and the leadership are “of Satan” and have Marvin the Martian-esqe “diabolical plans to take over the world”. I believe they are honest people who at the end of the day, want to do the right thing. However, I do believe there has been a pattern of behavior and decision-making that calls for examination by the congregation.

Have we not been doing just that?

And did we as a church not have a golden opportunity to advance that dialogue--until your friends blew it?

Unfortunately, by trying to suppress and such discussion for so long, the Leadership, ( exercising anything but) have fueled a lot of the “conspiracy theories” that have unfortunately led to some people seeing Rick Warren hiding behind every fiscus tree in the building!!

Hey, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yes... "We regret the consequences of their actions."

What could have been dealt with months ago was not. Subsequent behavior on the part of the church leadership continues to give traction to the “contrarians”, and as a result of another poor decision yesterday (starting with the decision to have a 30 min meeting at the end of the Sunday morning service, and then Jim Angel motion), we (BBC) left more divided than at any point over the last year.

The meeting could've, and I believe would've, gone on much longer had Mr. Coggins, Mr. Manning, and their associates not shown themselves to be disingenuous in their behavior.

Again, they blew it.

--Mike

Finance Guy said...

Mike,
First of all, you know I'm not comparing what is happening at BBC with the holocost. I'm simply pointing out that it is a false argument to tell people who's convictions are disturbed to simply "take them to Jesus". By the way, (Jim Jones was a pastor of a church in the mainline denomiation mainline Christian denomination, Christian Church/Disciples of Christ.)

I again take offense to your attempt to tie me to "my friends" when you have no idea about what relationship I may or may not have with any of them.

I've been one that calls for calmness, and not for namecalling. I'm not comparing anyone to Hitler. But while we are talking about it, there are those on the "pro-Leadership" side who have stated that to oppose the Pastor and Leadership are to oppose God. Therefore, those people are of the devil.

Unfortunatly, we are at the point where "my side" can do no wrong, and "your side" can do no right. You are guilty of this yourself when you go looking for "extremes" in the other "side" and trumpted from the mountain top as "See see?" I do not identify with a side. I hate the lables. I just sooo wish that we could disagree, that things could be discussed without all this.

Tell me, do you believe there would have been a business meeting Sunday without the pressure brought by the "blog"? Do you believe I am wrong when I state that the Leadship has not been exercising leadership, but has in fact been in a "reactive" mode for the past year or so?

The meeting could've, and I believe would've, gone on much longer had Mr. Coggins, Mr. Manning, and their associates not shown themselves to be disingenuous in their behavior.

Again, they blew it.


You understand the logical inference of what you said here is that as long as you "as long as you do it exactly the right way" (as defined by me), then you can speak. Whatever Josh's motive (I don't know Josh from Adam's housecat) as far as I can tell, he was within Robert's Rules of Order as ruled by the Parlimentarian, (The stated rules of the meeting), he was being respectful, and was simply exercising his right's as a church member in a business meeting.
Much of the invective that's been hurled at him the past two days really appears to be motivated from a fear that he might have been succesful on his motion. Thus, we must work hard to discredit him.

"What is your response to this?"

(Sorry, couldn't resist since it's that time of year again!)

Finance Guy said...

Unfortunately, by trying to suppress and such discussion for so long, the Leadership, ( exercising anything but) have fueled a lot of the “conspiracy theories” that have unfortunately led to some people seeing Rick Warren hiding behind every fiscus tree in the building!!

Hey, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yes... "We regret the consequences of their actions."



Mike,
Do you disagree with this? If so, why can't you do so without attacking me personally? How else am I to interpret your response than an attempt to tie me to "your friends" and by implication that I'm calling for the Pastor's removal as a minion of Satan? And yet you insist that you aren't trying to paint us all with a broad brush. I resent your putting a lable on me, as it doesn't fit. I'm not on "either" side. I just wish that the debate could 1)take place and 2)be civil.

aslansown said...

Have I, or have I not, consistently indicated that there are legitmate points to be raised?

Obviously, I have, even in this most recent article.


Mike,
I have reread your comments twice and I fail to see what you are specifically asking of the leadership? Could you enumerate your "points to be raised"?

Mike Bratton said...

aslansown said...
Have I, or have I not, consistently indicated that there are legitmate points to be raised?

Obviously, I have, even in this most recent article.

Mike,
I have reread your comments twice and I fail to see what you are specifically asking of the leadership? Could you enumerate your "points to be raised"?


I appreciate your diligence.

As I noted in the article, the business meeting was adjourned without a specific time at which the meeting would be called back into order. As I understand parliamentary procedure, and as things stand now, if the church is called back into session within three months, Mr. Manning's misguided motion would have to be the first thing to be addressed. If the next meeting is more than three months from now, Mr. Manning's motion will die on the vine, to coin a phrase.

The leadership's ambiguity on this point should be addressed immediately, so there will be no question as to how this point will play out.

If you mean to say that you've read more and not found anything I've referenced, allow me to quote one example thusly, and like so:

Monday, February 05, 2007
The waiting is the hardest part

So, that was it?

Months of Sturm und Drang about what might or might not have gone on at Bellevue Baptist Church with regard to the presence of a sexual predator on staff result in reports from the Personnel Committee and the Investigative Team--reports which used to be on Bellevue's website, but don't appear to be anymore. If I hadn't picked up a hard copy, I wouldn't have access to it; even attempting to Google it in a cached state trips a request for a password.

In a nutshell, we received a "Mistakes Were Made" report, something that was already obvious. Other than the dismissal of Paul Williams from the staff, there were no reported censures of those who erred in their handling of the matter. From my perspective, and after hearing the thoughts of a great number of people, we must be missing something.

Be clear--I'm calling for no one's job, no heads on pikes. Were I in the position of being one of those named as being at fault, that in itself would be censure enough, mortifying as it would be to me. However, I find myself still waiting. Waiting for the substantive consequences. Waiting for the "new Bellevue," if I may use such a term. Waiting for the Bellevue that holds two-way, open business meetings so that members can voice concerns directly and freely. Waiting for something more than a reference to "uncharted waters" and training which should be unnecessary, if not downright offensive. (Again, if I may, the "waters" were "charted" by the Catholic denomination quite awhile ago, if not properly navigated. Uncharted? No. Unfamiliar? Very much so.) Waiting for the Bellevue that goes further than one- or two-deep on its bench, distributing responsibility in a less-concentrated manner among more brothers and sisters in the congregation.

The fact that none of this appears to be happening gives fuel to the small group of people who do want to see careers destroyed--since they can continue to veil their bad behavior behind a presumed Quest For The Truth. Pastor Gaines, and Bellevue staff and leadership, I urge you to take the wind from the sails of those people, by responding to the legitimate complaints which tend to be obscured by their hyperbole and misguided actions.

Please, don't make us wait.


Hope that helps.

FG, I haven't labeled you, and I've seen that you're a rare voice that actually asks those who are patently anti-Bellevue--those who are contrarian--to ditch the hyperbole.

Having said that, I was concerned that some of your comments were in danger of crossing a line you yourself had rightly drawn.

Bonhoeffer worked to assassinate Hitler. Referencing him when the anti-Bellevue types compare Pastor Gaines to Hitler, and also advocate Pastor Gaines' death, is something you might have considered before making your analogy.

Jim Jones can in no way be said to have been a Christian. Since anti-Bellevue types have been insisting Pastor Gaines is not a Christian, either, that's another analogy you might have wanted to reconsider or at least clarify.

Since it appears I read more into your remarks than you intended, I apologize for imparting the perception I was attacking you personally. Such was not the case.

--Mike

Bepatient said...

FG,

Everyone loves to spout out that phrase about "would it have happened without the blog?" I think that is as unfair as wondering about what Dr. Rogers knew. We just can't know (although I will state again just in case that I believe with all the certainty in me that Dr. Rogers did not know).

I agree that they blew it. For months and months the "pro" side has been listening to the rants of the extremists, and when they got the upper hand, they took advantage of it. Right or wrong, those are the consequences of their actions.

Finance Guy said...

Apolgy accepted.
Before I leave the "Jim Jones" thing, I need to clarify the point.(BTW, while it's true he was no Christian, it's also true that he was an ordained minister in an established mainline Church.)

There was recently a documentary on the History channel about the Jonestown affair. After watching it, Mrs. FG turned to me and said "How in the world could people follow such a obviously false cult leader all the way to the "white night" drills? How could they have believed the obvious lies that were being told? "
There is a lot to say here about human physcology, but one lesson here for us as Christians is that
we should always be vigilant, and hold our Spiritual leaders accountable to scripture so that it doesn't happen. You know as well as I do how tricky the Enemy can be, and will mix a little lie in, so that one day you are in a Suburban church, and in just a few years, you are drinking cynide in a south american jungle.

DO NOT misinterpret that I'm comparing Steve Gaines to Jim Jones. I only defend the responsibilty we have to be "on guard".

As far as Bonhoffer, once again I feel you are trying to plant a seed in the reading public's mind that I'm calling for Steve Gaines assaination, when I made no such call. I don't even say that Steve Gaines is worthy of removal.

I make the point that Christians have a responsibility to act upon their convictions, as well as take the action that you correctly state in that they should"take their concerns to Jesus".

If you refuse any analogy based on every single element of a person's action/history/statements/etc, then there is no analogy to make, as no one is perfect.

If you are going to be an honest participant in the "blog flame-wars", then you will call down specific people who make inappropriate comments, such as those who refer publicly to DG as a "plastic face", and not infer that the entire "contrarian crowd" feels that way.

As a matter of fact, the bloggers have called down the one person who made anything that could even remotely be a call for the death of anyone, and you appear to have ignored that in your "broadbrush" comment

If the church doesn't do as the contrarians wish, Pastor Gaines should die.

I would support your holding individuals responsible for their comments, but I don't support anything that sounds like lumping everyone in the same bucket. Maybe it would encourage people to be more measured in their comments.

Finance Guy said...

bepatient,
How is that unfair? I'll listen to any other evidence that the Leadship was planning this other than the pressure that was being brought by the blogging community? Do you think that it would have been commonly known that we weren't following our own bylaws except for those who've been behind the websites?
I'm open to opposing thoughts, but they have to be more substantive than "that's unfair". That sorta sounds like sour grapes than an honest intellectual arguement.

aslansown said...

Mike,
From your post it appears that all that you were doing was waiting for a certain unnamed 'something" to happen. The only thing that I can acertain is that you were only asking for a business meeting. Please illucidate us with a bullett point list of items that you were specifically asking for.

Mike Bratton said...

Finance Guy said...
Apolgy accepted.
Before I leave the "Jim Jones" thing, I need to clarify the point.(BTW, while it's true he was no Christian, it's also true that he was an ordained minister in an established mainline Church.)

There was recently a documentary on the History channel about the Jonestown affair. After watching it, Mrs. FG turned to me and said "How in the world could people follow such a obviously false cult leader all the way to the "white night" drills? How could they have believed the obvious lies that were being told? "
There is a lot to say here about human physcology, but one lesson here for us as Christians is that
we should always be vigilant, and hold our Spiritual leaders accountable to scripture so that it doesn't happen. You know as well as I do how tricky the Enemy can be, and will mix a little lie in, so that one day you are in a Suburban church, and in just a few years, you are drinking cynide in a south american jungle.


I would suggest that it's spiritually impossible for a born-again child of the living God to be spiritually deceived to the point of willfully committing suicide. Can a Christian do such a thing as a result of mental illness? Absolutely.

Comparing the Guyana tragedy to a church spat is stretching the analogy beyond its breaking point.

DO NOT misinterpret that I'm comparing Steve Gaines to Jim Jones. I only defend the responsibilty we have to be "on guard".

I couldn't agree more.

As far as Bonhoffer, once again I feel you are trying to plant a seed in the reading public's mind that I'm calling for Steve Gaines assaination, when I made no such call. I don't even say that Steve Gaines is worthy of removal.

It was the first thing that crossed my mind. Thank the Closed Forum participants who do compare Pastor Gaines to Hitler, and who do call for Pastor Gaines' death, for providing the links to suggest such an association in the first place.

I make the point that Christians have a responsibility to act upon their convictions, as well as take the action that you correctly state in that they should"take their concerns to Jesus".

Splendid. I completely agree.

If you refuse any analogy based on every single element of a person's action/history/statements/etc, then there is no analogy to make, as no one is perfect.

Every analogy has a breaking point, FG. Every analogy cannot be adequately employed under every circumstance. For example: If the topic under debate were anti-Semitism, appealing to Martin Luther might not be the best analogy for having the courage of one's convictions, since Mr. Luther said some things about Jewish people that were more than a bit unsavory.

If you are going to be an honest participant in the "blog flame-wars", then you will call down specific people who make inappropriate comments, such as those who refer publicly to DG as a "plastic face", and not infer that the entire "contrarian crowd" feels that way.

First off, please do me the honor of replacing that "If" with a "Since," unless you'd like to imply I'm something other than honest.

Secondly, when the crowd as a whole does not condemn something, the crowd as a whole condones it by default, regardless of what "crowd" is in question.

As a matter of fact, the bloggers have called down the one person who made anything that could even remotely be a call for the death of anyone, and you appear to have ignored that in your "broadbrush" comment

Were the remarks deleted? Honestly, I don't spend that much time there these days.

If the church doesn't do as the contrarians wish, Pastor Gaines should die.

I would support your holding individuals responsible for their comments, but I don't support anything that sounds like lumping everyone in the same bucket. Maybe it would encourage people to be more measured in their comments.


There's not exactly a wild rush to step out of that bucket, FG.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

aslansown said...
Mike,
From your post it appears that all that you were doing was waiting for a certain unnamed 'something" to happen. The only thing that I can acertain is that you were only asking for a business meeting. Please illucidate us with a bullett point list of items that you were specifically asking for.


Blogs are searchable. In the interest of time, please search mine for the phrase "business meeting" and go from there. If you do, here's an example of what you'll find--quoting myself thusly, and like so:

"We must convene an official business meeting (not a one-way "informational" meeting) as soon as physically possible. It must not be held after Sunday night church, but at a more accessible time, perhaps a Sunday afternoon; cancel the evening service if necessary, but every single Bellevue member who has a significant question must be given the opportunity to speak, whether "anti," "pro," or otherwise. Direct, honest, open, Christ-honoring communication is the key to healing--because the lack of it is at the heart of the problems we're facing as a church body."

Thanks in advance.

--Mike

Finance Guy said...

I would suggest that it's spiritually impossible for a born-again child of the living God to be spiritually deceived to the point of willfully committing suicide. Can a Christian do such a thing as a result of mental illness? Absolutely.

Setting aside the fact that you just called any Christian who is deceived by a cult as mentally ill, I'm just going to disagree with you and say that I believe that the right person could take a Christian who is not discerning down pretty much any road. It's said, although no way to know for sure, that the Morman's and JW's are full of former Southern Baptists. We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this point.

Comparing the Guyana tragedy to a church spat is stretching the analogy beyond its breaking point.

I don't know why I keep having to clarify, but I in no way compared the BBC "church spat" to this tragedy. I used it to make the point of why Christians should constantly be "on guard", and should always test their preachers against the Word of God. A point you agreed with. Anything else is to believe that "a Jim Jones would never be able to become pastor of 'our' church, and thus there is no need to even be on guard." A position I don't believe you take.

Finance Guy said...

Mike,
I have to say, reading your exchange with Aslansown, the only thing you are calling for is a meeting.
What issues do you think should be discussed at such a meeting is the question.

Support Brother Cakes said...

"When the crowd as a whole does not condemn something, the crowd as a whole condones it by default, regardless of what "crowd" is in question."

The body of Bellevue Baptist Church condones the irresponsible behavior of Pastor Gaines and some half-dozen other ministers regarding a pedophile on staff and that no consequences should be levied against said ministers, according to Bratton.

Support Brother Cakes said...

Bratton,

That small explosion underneath you was you own petard.

solomon said...

I'm somewhat amazed by what I've seen this day. I've never been a fan of Steve Gaines, but I've tried to criticize the mistakes instead of the man. I was furious after the meeting yesterday.

It's been an embarrassment to be identified with the conspiracy kooks, but I know where to draw the line.

Someone posting as 'James Sundquist' posted on the NBBCOF in no uncertain terms that the Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church deserved to die. Make no mistake, we all deserve death for our sin, but this was a true desire to see Gaines killed.

I requested that anyone posting under the 'JS' screen name or the sometimes used 'libertyinchrist' name be banned, only to have 'karen' and 'imaresistor' swiftly defend this man's actions. Everyone else remained silent. I guess once you wander off the path of God's will, you can't easily distinguish good from evil.

As of today, I will no longer be yoked together with anyone from the NBBCOF who does not publibly condemn this twisted man's post. Also, I will never again visit any website that contains such an unchecked abomination against the Lord.

After I post this, I'm going to the petition site to give my qualified support to Gaines. He's made colossal blunders and I don't think he should be our pastor until he truly repents, but at least he's never hungered for anyone's death.

Or bragged about it.

aslansown said...

Mike,
I think I see a problem here. You seem to be so enamoured of your own quotes that you refuse to openly discuss your thoughts. I asked you what you specifically wanted from the leadership of Bellevue and all that I get in return is a recital of "thus and so".
To what are you holding the leadership accountable? Surely you wanted to see more than an open discussion. To have an open forum to just discuss thinds is much like the Greeks meeting in the Agora to discuss the newest ideas. It was a great way to pass the time, but not very productive.

I ask you again for specificity, without which niether of us has any hope for a true conduct of exchange of ideas.

bepatient said...

FG, you are missing my point- by saying that none of this would have come about without "the blog" and "saving"bellevue implies that it is the only solution. You are saying that there were NO other paths to lead us to this place. And that is just not true. I could make up 10 scenarios that could have the same potential outcome... That is all I am saying- this was not the only choice and perhaps with some patience we could have found a better way.


I would venture to say that most everyone has come across a teacher or parent or person in their life that desired to gain a certain behavior from you and their method to achieve that behavior was to belittle, force, ram down your throat, and basically demean and shame you into it. I would also venture to say that most people do not respond well to this type of treatment.
And that is something I would like both sides (and visitors)to think on, not just the "antis".
To those of you that believe Jim was a "plant" and they had a whole system for ending the meeting when they wanted and on their terms, if so, perhaps it was due to the behavior that has been exhibited up to this point. Maybe instead of blaming others it is time to turn the microscope back on themselves and see how they contributed to things degenerating to this point. After all, all the blogging and complaining in the world can't change the actions of others- the only person you can control is yourself.

Finance Guy said...

bepatient
FG, you are missing my point- by saying that none of this would have come about without "the blog" and "saving"bellevue implies that it is the only solution.

First, I'll make you a deal. You don't put words in my mouth, and I won't put them in yours.

Second, You are wrong. I didn't state nor imply that. What I did state is that in my opinion, the pressure brought by the websites over the past year have brought about these results. 1) The resolution (of sorts) of the PW situation and 2) the Business meeting. Where there other, in your words, "solutions"? Probably. However, I can't think of any at the moment.
I'd like to hear what you think they were/are.

Memphis said...

FG, I can agree with you on that. I do believe that the business meeting was forced by the blog, the savingbellevue and IDC.

I do however believe that were better ways to get the business meeting than using these avenues and having the membership go after one another like they have.

Finance Guy said...

Memphis,
I ask you as well, what those avenues are, and as far as the membership going after each other, have you every heard the phrase "it takes two to tango"?

And in any event, the way the leadership handled the business meeting, that will just get worse.

Cary said...

Great post, Mike. I couldn't agree with what you've posted more than I currently do...

I also agree that I thought the meeting was going quite well until Josh crossed that line and attempted to "trick" people with his "two prong" motion. And about the motion to turn off the cameras... I guess it's hard to express how you feel when you have to show your face. All of your confidence and "tough talking" seems to go down the drain. At least for some folks.

The "Closed" forum is now a joke in my mind. They don't really discuss the issues anymore but rather attack people constantly. They have so much bitterness that it truly breaks my heart. It really is sad for me to read what is going on over there.

I read a quote recently...I think it was by Eleanor Roosevelt

"Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people."

I think people can see where I'm going with that quote so I'll leave it at that.

bepatient said...

FG, you are missing my point again...

I know it is hard without tone and everything, I am not being argumentative, I just think if we were having an actual conversation I could explain what I mean much better.

The pressure is what brought the meetings, and the resolutions that have come, not the blog or websites. Do you see what I mean? I agree with you on that point, that the pressure is what made it happen, I am just pointing out that I believe there has to be another way of bringing about that pressure. So my point is that the word "blog" should be left out of it.

I hope that clarifies what I mean.


I really don't know the answer, but I believe with patience and prayer we could have found a way to bring that pressure and work on these problems in a way that glorifies God- I think it would have been a beautiful tribute to Adrian Rogers and mostly to the Lord for "the world" to watch us handle these problems with grace, humility, compassion and not getting down and dirty like the rest of the world.

Mike Bratton said...

Support Brother Cakes said...
"When the crowd as a whole does not condemn something, the crowd as a whole condones it by default, regardless of what "crowd" is in question."

The body of Bellevue Baptist Church condones the irresponsible behavior of Pastor Gaines and some half-dozen other ministers regarding a pedophile on staff and that no consequences should be levied against said ministers, according to Bratton.

Bratton,

That small explosion underneath you was you own petard.


Evidently, you're fond of the word "petard," but we all have favorite words and/or phrases. One of mine is "Great Googly-Moogly!"

Their behavior wasn't condoned, just for the record--but don't let the record stand in your way. :)

aslansown said...
Mike,
I think I see a problem here. You seem to be so enamoured of your own quotes that you refuse to openly discuss your thoughts. I asked you what you specifically wanted from the leadership of Bellevue and all that I get in return is a recital of "thus and so".


Asked and answered, to use another of my favorite phrases.

Church members wanted a forum to air their grievances.

I thought giving them a forum (in a business meeting) was better for the church as a whole then not giving them a forum.

Turns out, it was better for the church than anyone might have realized.

--Mike

Finance Guy said...

bepatient,
I understand your point. I don't disagree with it. However, the vehicle that the pressure is being brought to bear on the Leadership is the blog and the website. If it was just a few people making a few phone calls, it never would have happend. As distasteful as it's been for us all, I believe God has worked it for good.

"But the blog is evil and full of hatefilled bloggers with ax's to grind" you might arguably say. (And I agree that there are those types in the "anti" crowd. I've tried to call them out on several occasions, but of course they don't listen.) To that my only response is Joesph's brothers and the Pharoh of Egypt were arguable evil and hatefilled in their motives, but God used them to save the known world from famine, as well as set the stage for the Exodus and the rest of the Old Testement. If I hear you correctly, you disagree with the website approach, and don't want to give it a lot of credit. That is a valid thought(for lack of a better word), but what's done is done. You can't unscramble eggs.
In my opinion, the best way to have avoided the blog was for Al Gore to have not invented the Internet. Like it or not, the Internet has become the telephone of the last century. However, the leadership reacted poorly, and failed to see the scope and depth of "dissenters", or the power of the internet to unite them in a way not possible in anyone's lifetime before now. Even yesterday I was told by a staff member that the dissenters are "a few hundred people at best". They still don't get it. As long as the Leadship keeps trying to play this like a numbers game, the numbers will grow. There are Godly people out there with some very serious Scripturally based concerns that are NOT being allowed to address them to the deacons or the congregation. My comments and feelings all along are that I don't know if they are right. I just think it is Biblically wrong, and spiritually dangerous to refuse to give such people a "consequence free" forum to air these concerns.

People like me will watch this, and become more and more grieved at what has happened to this Fellowship that has meant so much to me/us as well as the rest of the community and the world. I don't know what to believe. There are Godly people that I respect on both sides of the issue(s).

Finance Guy said...

cary,
I like your quote, but as I read Mike's post, it really seems to be all about 'people'. Aslansown has been trying to discuss ideas with him, and he continues to dodge.

I suppose one man's "idea" discussion is another man's "People" discussion.

Bepatient said...

FG said:

I just think it is Biblically wrong, and spiritually dangerous to refuse to give such people a "consequence free" forum to air these concerns.

I am afraid that I don't understand why they should be free from the consequences when they are the "consequences" crowd- they expect SG and others to step up and except the consequences they have deemed appropriate, and they should be willing to accept the consequences of their actions.

And besides, we have seen evidence of how responsibly they have handled the "open" forum they have now. If you are proven responsible with the small things, etc. (or as Cakes prefers... and etc.!)

I understand the job issues, I really do, that is why I have said over and over that perhaps some more time might have been in order. And I stand by the fact that if it is worth standing up for, then it is worth whatever the consequences. Shadrach and his buddies trusted God with their lives and look how He provided, I feel confident that God can handle these people's finances and jobs.

Mike Bratton said...

Finance Guy said...
cary,
I like your quote, but as I read Mike's post, it really seems to be all about 'people'. Aslansown has been trying to discuss ideas with him, and he continues to dodge.

I suppose one man's "idea" discussion is another man's "People" discussion.


The "idea" was, and still is, to let "people" with objections have their say. Provided they can speak without doing their dead-level best to insult everyone else in the room.

If the obviousness of this idea eludes you, there's not much anyone else can do to facilitate your understanding. Somehow, though, I don't believe it really does.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

By the way, "aslansown," thank you for bucking the trend and condemning Mr. Sundquist's bloodthirsty remarks regarding Pastor Gaines. It will be interesting to see the repercussions stemming from your remarks.

--Mike

aslansown said...

MIke said:The fact that none of this appears to be happening gives fuel to the small group of people who do want to see careers destroyed--since they can continue to veil their bad behavior behind a presumed Quest For The Truth. Pastor Gaines, and Bellevue staff and leadership, I urge you to take the wind from the sails of those people, by responding to the legitimate complaints which tend to be obscured by their hyperbole and misguided actions.

Mike,
I refer to the above. Specifically the last sentence. You state that there are legitimate complaints to be discussed. To which complaints do you agree? It appears from your own words that you wanted more than just a forum for discussion. We now have an open forum to discuss these valid complaints. What are yours specifically?

Finance Guy said...

While giving you that, I'll have to say I've had enough of the discussion of the "idea" that we should have a forum to discuss "ideas", and get down to discussion of "ideas" instead of the "idea" that there in fact any "idea's" that are valid that are expressed in certain forums. One thing that has bothered me is that any "idea's" that are expressed on the blog are immediatly attacked by leadership supporters as invalid because of the "hate filled rhetoric" on the blog. In that logic, one loose cannon invalidates anything expressed by anybody in a particular forum. I just see a continued desire on the part of certain parties to shut down and attack the credibility of anyone who is a "contrarian". (As you have called for a meeting, I do not place you in that group, but I've heard that from staff members as well as lay "leadership supporters"-both in person and in cyberspace.)

Do you realise how the "contrarians" will just react to this attitude, and either become more hate-filled, or more firm in their convictions, depending on the motivation of the individuals involved.

This is and has been my big issue all along, that for years, there is no forum to "dissent" at BBC. It's healthy for a church to discuss, rather than suppress, differences of opinion. It was true in Paul's day and it's true today. My beef is not with the Pastor or Leadership per se, it's with those who refuse to believe there are other "ideas" than their own, and have pretend Communication Meetings and Business Meetings that are not designed for anything other than to "let off steam", not do any true communicating or business-ing.

BTW, there has been some very un-christlike attitudes and comments on the blog by BOTH sides. (If anything, the pro-leadership is getting more pronounced in it's angry comments, and the "anti" is toning down. Just my observation from popping in every now and then.)

And that's my "idea discussion" of the morning!

Finance Guy said...

Also, it's becoming apparent that a lot of the inappropriatenes (Sundquist, et.al) on the blog isn't even coming from BBC members, but outsiders. If I were NASS, I'd limit it to BBC members only, but that's easy for me to say as I'm not sure how she would enforce it. My point is that they should not be allowed to poison the well of debate at Bellevue.

Finance Guy said...

bepatient,
When I say consequence free, I mean that you are allowed to speak your mind in a civil respectful manner without fear that you will find yourself on a "list",because you don't follow the majorty opinion, and lose a job or business as a result. I also don't see why people can't disagree and still be friends, but apparently that isn't possible at BBC. Whole families and long time friendships have split over this. (I'll refrain from opining here, but rest assured, i've got a very strong opinion on the cause of it.)

Obviously if someone makes a terroristic threat, or steps way out of line there should be consequences. I'm speaking of the move to "blacklist" anyone who is a so-called "contrarian". And if you don't think that's happening, you are either blind or in denial.
("There is no mafia"- Tony Soprano.)

I know of at least one person who has lost their job because they went to the August meeting, and spoke up in Communication Meetings (although in a way that it could be argued that is wasn't retribution-the job just "went away".."budget cuts" or some other similar explanation.)It was just a part-time lay job that as far as I can tell the person is still doing, but not for pay anymore. On a more noticible scale, it appears David Smith and Rob Mullins may have spoken too loud, and while not fired per se, both of them appear to have been hounded out the door. And their character (at least David Smith) has been constantly attacked since they left. I suppose in order to find valid reasons why they should have been removed. I don't know.

I know of at least one other member who has served faithfully for years, and if anyone deserved to be a deacon it was him. When he was nominated and interviewed to be a deacon last year, he was interrogated...not interviewed by John Caldwell, and it was made clear to him because he expressed concerns about the pastor and things that were happening, he would never be allowed any leadership post at BBC as long as he (caldwell) had anything to do about it. This was a man with unimpeachable integrity and years of demonstrated Godly leadership in the music ministry and other areas of the church.

This is what I mean by "consequence free". We MUST be allowed to debate without oneside seeking to intimidate and drown out opposing views. The end result of that is what you ended up with under communisim. People who didn't believe what they were saying, but "said all the right things, did all the right things" just so they could have position in the Party. And no Mike B, I'm not comparing SG and BBC with Soviet Russia and the Red Chinese. I'm simply pointing out the dangers of traveling down certain roads. If you disagree with that, I'm open to any ideas that don't put words in my mouth.

-FG, who's appreciating this unusual civil exchange of ideas

Bepatient said...

FG, I do know what you mean but unfortunately that is just the way the way the world works. Just as they may have gained business by their time at BBC, they may lose some by their stance. As far as the people in positions at BBC, I gotta say I understand where they (BBC) are coming from, even if I don't always agree in practice. But it is like the Bible saying you cannot serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other.If negative words about the place you work for or serve are flowing from your mouth, why should they have any faith in your ability to do what is in the best interest of said employer? I mean honestly, if I worked for you and in my free time I was telling the world what a terrible guy you were and that they shouldn't do business with you, would you want to continue employing me?

And all that being said, I am just pointing out the parallels, not trying to say that the church and worldly businesses should be the same, but I do think it applies.

And as far as deacons, why would they want to serve under the administration if they really feel that way? They are not getting paid so why hang on to that- either step down until such time that they feel they can serve again or go serve elsewhere? ( I feel confident if they were successful in changing the regime there would be plenty of people to re-nominate them if it came down to that) I don't understand, is it the prestige of being a deacon at BBC, or the contacts, or what? Because as far as that goes, I can't see why they would stay for a minute if they felt as strongly as people keep saying they do.

And as far as the 'working from the inside or the shadows' stuff, I don't buy it. Like I have said, we have the power of God working within us, and he doesn't need us to be secretive and false (just like I don't think He needs us to make secret recordings).

Lies of omission are still lies, and to walk into your job everyday and put on a false face and take that paycheck just doesn't sit well with me, and maybe I am wrong, I can't imagine that God will reward it. Because if you believe that the church is being led in a way that is un-biblical and you are profiting from it I don't understand how one would justify that? I understand that you may not just be able to walk away immediately, but I still have a hard time reconciling the silence if they really know something.

Memphis said...

FG, I agree with you that the majority of the antis on the blog are not even BBC members, and I think that everyone needs to keep that in mind when they read over the blog.

aslansown said...

Bepatient,

What should one do if error or sin is discovered in the church? I may not be clearly seeing your point, but it appears to me that your logic points to say nothing, do nothing, pray about it and leave if the situation does not clear itself up. Somehow, I don't think that this is what you have in mind.

You may be able to clarify your thinking for me if you relate what you are saying to Matthw 18, Galations 6:1 and 1 Corinthians 5. Also, consider how Paul confronted Peter in Galatians 3.

What do we do when someone is clearly in the wrong and refuses to even consider it to be so? Are church leaders exempt from discipline or loving correction?


I really am interested in your sincere thoughts.

Bepatient said...

aslansown,

I am not saying do nothing, I don't think there is a cut and dried answer for this.

But as far as our particular instances, lets first assume we were dealing with the majority of the congregation and the leadership was ignoring them because without that majority you are unfortunately kind of stuck.

I don't know exactly how all this would play out but indulge me for a moment...

1. Those to first have concerns that could not be resolved with the individual in question, would pick up the phone and talk to people they trust. They would address the concerns in a factual, non-inflammatory manner.

2. Now this is a point that would have to be carefully taken, because you don't want to get into GOSSIP, but basically word-of-mouth is your best bet. It needs to be person to person though- with a source that is easily reachable and can verify the validity of the statements. If you have gone to BBC, you know how quickly things can spread, so it is possible to get the word out, you just have to be careful how you go about it.

3. If the pressure of working within the system- phone calls, letters, etc wasn't providing any results then you might move into an area like organizing for pulling attendance or tithes.

Again, the only way to keep that private is word of mouth, but I believe that bathed in prayer, if that is what God wanted from the congregation and handled responsibly, He would bless the efforts and ensure that everyone who needed to know, did.

Because there is no church without a congregation, but all of this hinges on having a majority and the fact is this- this "side" does not and I think they have burned too many bridges at this point to continue in this path and succeed.

I am not saying this is the exact answer, just one possible scenario.

Support Brother Cakes said...

Bratton,

Again, the ostensible advocate for "sober" discussion is merely the king of the less-than artful dodge.

"Evidently, you're fond of the word "petard," but we all have favorite words and/or phrases. One of mine is "Great Googly-Moogly!"

One of mine is "run, Forrest, run!"

"Their behavior wasn't condoned, just for the record--but don't let the record stand in your way."

By your own freshly-articulated standard:

"When the crowd as a whole does not condemn something, the crowd as a whole condones it by default, regardless of what "crowd" is in question."

Instead of just pontificating dismissal, why don't you put your money where your mouth is? That is, unless my presence here is only suitable as a subject of comment, but not a participant.

Whatever--you seem insistent to prove yourself a rhetorical lightweight with nothing to offer but self-righteous glib-ness and nonsequiturs. Thanks for the opportunity to at least pose the questions, even if no one here is up to engaging me.

Hope Bamer is good to you and your precious family.

Love, D.

Derrick Calcote said...

Mike,

I'd like to address something that caught my eye on the "Saving" Bellevue website and also get your take on it.

(How do you say this?....)

I quote Mr. Haywood thusly and like so,

"The “priesthood of the believer” does not matter any longer at BBC. The voice of the membership matters not at Bellevue now."

Does this strike you as odd?

The way I see it if you want to know who the "voice of membership" doesn't matter to, it is to Mr. Haywood, Members of the "Open" forum, "Integrity" Does Count, and all of their ilk who are trying to exert the will of the minority by harassing and attempting to oust our pastor.

So I say yes, the voice of the membership DOES matter. The voice of the membership said, "we can tell when someone is trying to manipulate us, and we don't care to hear any more of it."

Our church is indeed congregationaly approved. However it appears that many who oppose our pastor also do not approve of the congregation.

Your take?

Finance Guy said...

Derrick,
Do you believe Dr. Rogers and his friends were wrong to "manipulate" the Southern Baptist Convention using Parliamentary Procedures during that meeting where they "took over" against the "God Ordained Leadership" of the time?

Derrick Calcote said...

F.G.

Ignoring for a moment the fact that the governance of an individual church is different than the governance of a group of churches...

While I wasn't there, I would presume that there was some type of vote at the SBC, and that what was acted on was carried by majority.

That is the same thing at BBC.

The fact that the minority that doesn't like the pastor can not thwart the will of the majority who do like the pastor is proof that the congregation did have their voice heard.

The only way for the meeting to continue would have been for the administration to defy the expressed will of the congregation.

That of course leads to the irony that those who oppose the pastor must speak out of both sides of their mouths. They must make the case that the administration ignores the will of the congregation and the proof of this is that the administration adhered to the will of the congregation.

Quite a paradox.

Support Brother Cakes said...

"The fact that the minority that doesn't like the pastor" is a ridiculous preamble not qualified by those individuals that I have met; people and families deeply invested in Bellevue whose lives have been disrupted and forever altered by not just mistakes of leadership, but compounded by a wall of arrogance and bad gamemanship.

No, the better expression of this minority is one conflicted by legitimate matters of integrity and accountability within their beloved church, and that it seeks more openness and congregational participation for authentic reconciliation and closure for everyone.

This stems from many examples--I was at the Coombs ordination--that cannot be credibly called a vote. I was at the reading of the PCIR--that cannot credibly be said to have settled anything but the impact and employment of the pedophile at BBC; and its limited scope is explicitly stated forthwith right in the document. Scapegoating the report as having settled accountability matters for the others culpable, is both ridiculous and disingenuous.

Of course, not everyone uses that tact, but Mr Colcote, how do you reconcile the fact that these ministers sat on their hands, in contradiction of law, yes; but oh, in defiance of reasonable common sense and their own exalted stations as leaders? Can you either defend their nonaction or can you credibly point to when repentance and consequences comensurate to the crimes that took place? Sure, you can say you belieeve he's God's man for Bellevue, but why should that move everyone else? Are you just right, period, no qualifier offered?

Well, if Mr Calcote says he's God's man, who am I to disagree?

Y'all cannot engage these matters because the devil is in the details. You cannot demonstrate any accountability for these grave failures (or why they are not grave failures) nor articulate any reason why folks should share your belief that Gaines is "God's man."

That you must resort to such a tenuous pretext is telling, as is Bratton spending the meat of his "article" weaving a threadbare analogy and little but sanctimony otherwise.

It is derived from the same protestations of slander, hatred and the like--nothing upon which to stand but a pretext that you are loyal.

david S said...

FG, Amy, all:

What is truly desired from the antiBellevue crowd?

What has been given:

1. An apology was demanded. Said that if an apology was given, the church could move forward. An apology was given.

2. Mark Sharp demanded a meeting with the pastor. The pastor gave him a meeting, coming to his home. Mr. Sharp then accused him of trespassing (and continued to say that no one would meet with him)?

3. A Business meeting was demanded. A business meeting was given.

4. A meeting with church officials was demanded. A pastor cannot meet with 30,000 people. A team of people was established to dialogue with the congregation.

5. P.W. resignation was demanded. It was given.

6. Greater communication was demanded. The associate pastor created a page to pass on information.

7. An investigation into the PW matter was demanded. An investigation was conducted and even the pastor was reprimanded.


What has not been given:

1. Church membership records.

2. Pastoral resignation. This seems to be where unhappy members want to press the pastor. Even with open, public apologies the demands to resignation continue.

Here’s the rub: Because each incident is placed into an ongoing list on a website and every offense is categorized, they are never forgiven and released. So even after something is confronted and repented over, it remains on the list on unending complaints. We humans continue to sin, ever adding to the list of grievances. Anyone remember Paul saying: Love keeps no record of wrongs. What is savingbellevue.com? Is it not a record of wrongs?

In each case when confronted the pastor and leadership responded to the concerns. What the pastor has refused to do is remove himself from a place God called him to. It was the consensus of the vast great majority of God’s Church that it was indeed YHWH calling Steve Gaines to be their pastor. Now some want him to reject the will of what they understood God wanting and sin by leaving. The pastor also refused to give out the names of the membership. Why? Because a Shepherd guards the gate to protect the fold from abuse.

And finally: Legitimate concerns were brought to the table, however, they were delegitimized by the way they were brought. So long as the anti-Bellevue group so violently and slanderously attacks the church, their concerns cannot be taken serious. This is sad since they have some serious and in my opinion legitimate concerns. However, when legitimate concerns just get tossed onto the massive list to be included with things like “he hopped a fense...” the legitimate stuff gets lost.

My question is: What can the pastor and staff do to bring peace to the church? How much will be enough? At what point are you willing to let Christ be head of his church? Can the pastor and leadership do anything other than resign that will return the church to a state of unity?

Support Brother Cakes said...

Another example of pretext:

"I agree that (they) blew it. For months and months the "pro" side has been listening to the rants of the [extremists], and when (they) got the upper hand, (they) took advantage of it. Right or wrong, those are the consequences of (their) actions."

Well, here is a paragraph that is so general and timid of specific indictments as to almost completely obliterate any opportunity to argue with it logically. Here's the best I can do:

First, translation:

You mean, "I agree that (the unheard) blew it. For months and months the "pro" (read: loyal) side has been listening to the rants of the [extremists: your brothers and sisters who did not ask for this conflict, but were thrust into it as a matter of concience], and when (the rich, powerful and law-yered) got the upper hand, (the snivelers) took advantage of it. Right or wrong (but leaning toward wrong), those are the consequences of (the vulnerable's completely reasonable, if doomed) actions."

Answer: I agree!

Support Brother Cakes said...

1. Who "said that if an apology was given, the church could move forward? Whp gave an apology to whom and for what specifically? Cannot even utter it, huh?

2. Mark Sharp would probably dispute that charaterization.

3. "A Business meeting was demanded. A business meeting was given." A business meeting was adjourned quick.

4. "A meeting with church officials was demanded. A pastor cannot meet with 30,000 (yeah, right) people. A team of people (who, Maoist?) was established to dialogue with the congregation."

5. P.W. resignation was demanded. It was given.

6. "Greater communication was demanded. The associate pastor created a page to pass on information." But saying greater communication is "given" would be a stretch.

7. "An investigation into the PW matter was demanded." An investigation was conducted and even the pastor was reprimanded." He appreciates getting by with merely a slap on the wrist.

No, someone of great influence demanded that the investigation be solely focused upon the actions and employment of the pedophile, and it never even sought to address the failings of the Pastor and other leaders. You cannot whittle an investigation's scope down to a knife point to protect the culpable, then conveniently try to make it the be all-end all resolution for the sake of justice and accountability.

Mike Bratton said...

I am always fascinated when people who aren't members of a church are so very, very interested in its processes.

It matters not whether, in the current situation, it's the conspiracy theorist who years for a pastor's death, or the Buddhist who invests as much time in trying to tear down Christians and Christian churches as in self-aggrandizement, the question of "why" just sits there, unanswered.

Yes, I look forward to the day when every question will have its answer, but it is my impatience that makes me want to have those answers now.

--Mike

Support Brother Cakes said...

"I am always fascinated when people who aren't members of a church are so very, very interested in its processes."

Well, leave the Department of Child Services out of this squabble; they were just doing their job!

As for me, I am defending a precious group of Christians, even as you tear them down--go ahead and dish out more argumentum ad hominem, since I am an easy target.

There can be little intellectual honesty garnered where loyalty trumps ethics; so as far as I'm concerned, at least you guys are consistent.

Bratton and others are reduced to pumping out their chest, simply because they are right and the "anti-Bellevue (another unqualified pretext) bunch" are wrong. Without question, this has become the MO of Bellevue's administration and apologists--kill the canary. Make your own list of recriminations.

But you cannot crochet a credible pretext saying that Josh's behavior was either hateful or slanderous at that business meeting.

You reveal your heart with every syllable, and I am tickled when y'all stand in a circle and congratulate one another, dismiss better arguments than yours, just to be cute or polish boots.

As for how you run your church, I could care less. Color me anti-pedophile, not anti-Bellevue.

Finance Guy said...

david/derrick,
You both bring up excellent points and arguments that merit response. Unfortunatly, due to work/family/MPP responsibilities I need a little time to formulate a response.
Support Brother cakes,
Please watch your tone. There are godly honest people on both sides of this issue, and it's just not as black and white as you would like to paint.
-FG (Who possesses the spirtual gift of prophecy, and thus likes to see things in terms of black and white!)

david S said...

Support Brother Cakes: "There can be little intellectual honesty garnered where loyalty trumps ethics; so as far as I'm concerned, at least you guys are consistent."

An interesting comment. Steve Gaines is not my pastor. I am not loyal to him any more than I would be loyal to any other leader. What I do see is a man who has made some serious mistakes who has tried to deal with those mistakes.

My question was pretty straight forward. To this point most of what was asked for has in some form been given, except Steves resignation. The Church, the Body of Jesus, said loudly it was the Will of the Almighty that Steve Gaines be its pastor. It may be the most recent thing this church was united about. Why do some in the church now desire that he leave the calling God has given him because of mistakes?

Examine this Biblically:
--Did Peter make mistakes? yes. Even beyond denying Christ, he had to be contronted from the pulpit once. Was he ever asked to leave his calling? No.
--Did Paul make mistakes? Well, remember his refusing to take John Makr with him? Did the mistake count him out of ministry? No.
--Did David make mistakes? I think so. Was he then to leave God's calling to Shepherd the People? no.

So my question: What can the Pastor and Staff do, short of resign, to bring unity to the church?

Bin Wonderin said...

3. A Business meeting was demanded. A business meeting was given.

The BBC bylaws call for monthly meetings. The congregation need not "demand" a meeting as one should be held each month in accordance with the bylaws. Read Section III.

Support Brother Cakes said...

A meeting was finally given, but not the one asked for. The quick adjournment, based upon the thin pretext, short-circuited the opportunity for openness and exchange, which is what the truthseekers desired.

Yeah, you had a meeting. But you also could have met at Chucky Cheese, ate pizza--it would be about as useful--and you could still call it a "meeting." So what, it is still not a credible business meeting if the voicing of some perspectives is actively, premeditatedly, thwarted. That in no way illustrates "the Church, the Body of Jesus, said loudly it was the Will of the Almighty that Steve Gaines be its pastor."

I think the Gaines matter is not just some mistakes, like going over the speed limit or losing your temper with the wife and kids--those are mistakes. The PCIR made it clear that the knowledge of this pedophile was shared by some half-dozen ministers, and that none of them did anything about it until forced by the actions of the victim.

The report added that Gaines was not even curious as to whom the minister would be in contact, which is simply beyond the pale.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, this mistake is not so easily shrugged; and if an informed portion of the congregation finds this behavior in contradiction to his pious and exalted station, Gaines only has himself to blame.

You may clarify whether Peter, Paul and David ever sought top-shelf legal representation by law-yers and consultants; or if they too were investigated by state agencies looking out for the safety of children.

david S said...

binwonderin
"3. A Business meeting was demanded. A business meeting was given." .. "The BBC bylaws call for monthly meetings. The congregation need not "demand" a meeting as one should be held each month in accordance with the bylaws. Read Section III."

I'll pass on reading section III. You miss the point for wanting to argue details, brother. Please clarify: What is being demanded? Is anything other than Gaines resignation going to appease the "concerned"?

Cakes: "You may clarify whether Peter, Paul and David ever sought top-shelf legal representation by law-yers and consultants; or if they too were investigated by state agencies looking out for the safety of children."

I would think you would want a pastor acting legally. When the church is threatened with lawsuit I would hire a lawyer. And when our church was sued, guess what... we did hire a lawyer!

Further, David OFTEN sought council. When there was a rebellion they actually prayed the enemies council would be confused.

And did Paul have a lawyer... HE DID! (See Titus 3:13) Hi sname was Zenas.

It's not a matter of shrugging sin off (as you suggest). Let's clarify: Gaines did not molest any children. PW did not under Gaines leadership. PW confessed a past event that Gaines did not act on immediately because he felt it was in the realm of Pastoral counceling. He says he was unaware of all of PW's oversight. So the fault is that he did not investigate what PW's job exactly was.

Since you want to move in the realm of verying degrees of sin: I believe Peter denied Jesus. He still pastored the Jerusalem church.

bugsii said...

I posted this an an earlier thread but received no response from you Trollcakes. That may have been purposeful but I still would like to hear your comments(in plain English please!)...

Trollcakes, WWBD? You left your "Sanga" after a sex scandal. You said that you were told "if you cannot find in your heart compassion for the lama, then for whom may you have compassion?", "it is our karma together", and "There were also dire warnings against speaking ill toward lamas or tulkus (clergy, more or less) and most everyone complied.".

I'm assuming that advice has it’s basis in some Buddhist teachings. Yet you "had to walk away from that fellowship, because of unquestioning loyalty dipped in sanctimony; with nowhere to go." Fellowship may not be a requirement in Buddhism but since you are a Buddhist and went to a Sanga I'm assuming that good Buddhists go to Sangas for fellowship. Did you turn from Buddhism or just find another Sanga? Since you said you went to Leawood Baptist, what made you turn from Christianity or Baptists? (Maybe it was Baptists that propelled you from Christianity) I would think in certain situations it would be convenient to convert to Muslim so that you could kill the infidels.

You’ve heard the varying arguments on both sides of the Christian fence and we know what the legal system says; now tell us what would Buddha have to say about how we should handle a man that raped his son (I don't know the details but I'm assuming the worst)? And how we should handle the men that tried to show him compassion? Shouldn't you fully receive the same for your bad karma or do you show different levels of compassion for different levels of bad karma?


What would Buddha recommend to the Christians at Bellevue?

Is it not enough for you that PW will return from hell as some lesser being because of his sin(as I assume you believe)?

Samyutta Nikayan: “The fool believes the battle is won with harsh speech, but finding forbearance alone brings one victory.”

"Striving to understand the truth of the human condition and following the path of spiritual enlightenment is the fundamental nature of Buddhism."

Have you now abandoned these?

Interesting reading on Buddhist by the way.

Mike Bratton said...

Marvelous observations, "bugsii."

I was hoping folks might catch the irony in someone announcing the ideals of both Buddhism and self-promotion. As the song says, "One of these things is not like the other."

--Mike

Support Brother Cakes said...

"I was hoping folks might catch the irony in someone announcing the ideals of both Buddhism and self-promotion."

I guess I don't always live up to the letter of my faith, just like Dr Gaines; perhaps you might show some consistency in looking the other other way, even if I'm not the pampered pastor of a megachurch nor clueless when it comes to confronting pedophiles. According to what I gather from David S, just like padre, my sordid history might be bad enough to be a furture Peter, Paul or David, since God has His own timeline--i.e. whom are y'all to judge?

So Paul had an attorney! See? What am I supposed to do with this morsel, this pittance? So what!

(Hey, it's y'alls tinker toy logic, I'm just playing with it.)

That wasn't the question and you know it. There is little intellectual give and take on this blog; and it is almost entirely limited to cheering for the home team, so it is no wonder that legitimate and concise issues hang within my posts like unpaid bills threatening to bankrupt your poor justifications.

Ostensibly, y'all look down your Christ-like noses at addressing these specific matters on the pretext that I am not a Christian, or a whif of contempt is detected in my locution.

So I hope everyone notices the two-pronged irony of conveniently glossing the substance of my remarks in order to, instead, venture shade-tree psycoanalysis of my character and intentions, along with indulging everyone's favorite crutch, argumentum ad hominem.

bugsii said...

Trollcakes, it's easy for you to spew out your verbage and make these questions seem below you when really you are avoiding a real discussion or what you call "intellectual give and take".

NBBCOF has exhausted every topic regarding Bellevue
(Pastor Gaines/Anti-Bellevue/PDL/Pedophile supporters/Jamie Parker's teeth/fence heights/etc...).

I stated in the other thread that you can argue all you want about Bellevue but you will never understand the workings of a Christian church because you are a self proclaimed non-Christian. It's just religion to you. You can side with NBBCOF because they think Bellevue is pro-pedophile, you can be liked and supported, and considered a brother in the cause but "the things of God are foolishness to those who don't believe". That's just a fact.

With those points in mind I asked you how you might apply your own beliefs. I don't care if you're a good Buddhist or not. To be honest with you I am not a good Christian but that doesn't disqualify the truths in the Bible that I try to learn and then apply. If you do not practice Buddhism then why do you say you're a Buddhist? If you are a Buddhist, shouldn't you try to apply those beliefs across the board(blog)?

As a non-Christian, what have you to gain at Mike's place or at NBBCOF? If you are seeking healing for the pain in your childhood, you will not find it in on the blogs. Until you have accepted God's grace and forgiveness, you will not be able to truly forgive and you will always suffer that pain. Once you've received Christ it is the fellowship with Christ and other believers that will bring about healing.

Believe it or not, I have been praying for you.

It's late. I'm going to bed.

david S said...

When presented with facts you run. Please note:

Cakes: “You may clarify whether Peter, Paul and David ever sought top-shelf legal representation by law-yers and consultants” March 29

David: “And did Paul have a lawyer... HE DID! (See Titus 3:13) Hi sname was Zenas.”

Cakes: “So Paul had an attorney! See? What am I supposed to do with this morsel, this pittance? So what!”

You asked, not me. The deal with us Christians is that we believe ever “morsel” is inspired by God.

And then Cakes has the nerve to declare: “There is little intellectual give and take on this blog”

Well, the intellectual truth is: Paul did have legal council. If it is a morsel of an issue, why were you building a point on it earlier? You were having fun building on that foundation until it was exposed as false.

What you are missing is the irony of a Christian Church full of Christians failing to live out the most basic tenants of our faith: Forgiveness, love, mercy, grace. Accountability is taking place. What happened to the Scripture: “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” What exactly is savingbellevue... a list of wrongs! And get this: While the site managers keep a gigantic list of all wrongs, they condmn the blog as bunch of gossips. This remind anyone of a man with a log in his eye. . .

My point in David, Peter and Paul was that there is no human on earth who does not sin and need forgiveness. God doesn’t have any perfect people; none.

Have a good day.

Amy said...

David,
I have been meaning to address your post above for some time,
just haven’t had the chance. I really don’t think it’s fair to label dissenters “ anti-Bellevue” -they just want the trust in Bellevue they had returned to them. I think it’s fair to say there are folks at BBC that wouldn’t of liked any new pastor for the simple reason he wasn’t Adrian Rogers. I’ll also admit some of the complaints about Steve Gaines, in the beginning, were petty and unfair. That being said, I truly think the majority of folks were happy he accepted the Senior Pastor position and became disillusioned over the recent events that were a poor reflection of his leadership and character. As a pastor yourself, can’t you admit they have some pretty valid concerns? You posted a while back ago another pastor friend of yours stated he thought the dissenters were being legalistic – what did he mean by that?

IMHO, it’s not right to say the dissenters got what they demanded?

1. Mark Sharpe Meeting/ Trespassing. - Mark Sharpe wanted a meeting, yes. The fact four grown men showed up uninvited, didn’t call the Sharpe home on the intercom at the gate to find out if anyone was home, then hopped a fence with a “No Trespassing” sign so they could ring his front door un announced, smacks of intimidation. Why not call and schedule a meeting? His apology about the “itty bitty fence” was disingenuous. If he hadn’t come across as flippant in his apology, and if he had seemed like he had truly repented, I think folks would have been more accepting in realizing he has made a mistake.


2. Re: Business meeting. IMHO, that was an orchestrated event. You can attacked a two pronged motion, adjournment motions, etc… The fact is, the shut it down when it became apparent motions would be made that were counterintuitive to their leadership position in he past, or moving forward.

3. The Adm. Pastor’s information page. It is informative in a lot of ways. It shows he was not going to follow the law. He explained it very nicely about membership lists, however, the law is the law. If he doesn’t want to follow them.- BBC doesn’t have to enjoy tax exempt status. I thought it was also very telling how in the first letter he addressed how BBC was and always would be “congregationally governed” and the next letter, tells the congregation who their new board of directors are that they never voted on. The same with the PW report. The committee recommended and passed the changes- no congregation involvement there either.

4. Do you really think PW should have been allowed to stay on staff after he admitted raping his own child for a period of 12-18 months? There was never any “alleged allegations” about this matter. Would you have felt comfortable with this man on your staff? I agree, he can be forgiven, and restored. I also think there are consequences, and SG, as well as the other staff members who knew, didn’t do PW, or his son, any favors by glossing over such a heinous act.

Can you see my points here?

Support Brother Cakes said...

Yes, so what--Paul had a lawyer; so did OJ Simpson, Nero, Nixon and the Rosenbergs. All "God's men?" Of course not. What is ironic is that you think that saying Paul had a lawyer is relevant to the situation at hand.

I don't remember the Epistle where Paul, once he is in the ministry, creates great scandal and injury to the church by dropping the ball regarding a pedophile; relies upon situational ethics to keep his cushy job; and then asks the church to bail his legal fees at the tune of 50,000 drachmas. Is this one of the lost books, because that would make your morsel relevant?

Here's the whole quote:

"You may clarify whether Peter, Paul and David ever sought top-shelf legal representation by law-yers and consultants; or if they too were investigated by state agencies looking out for the safety of children."

So there's no reason to ask why the subject is relevant to the conversation--your (and God's) man made it relevant by placing himself and the church (that includes the truthseekers you are persecuting and trying to villify) in the position to need legal protection and a public-relations makeover.

Otherwise, don't saddle your Lord and savior with your partial and shoddy rhetoric--you do Him no favors and undeservedly toot your own horn to boot.

To my memory, He's a better author than you and may not look kindly upon being unfairly associated with your lame dodges and tenuous logic. I know I wouldn't and I'm nowhere near perfect.

Such poor discernment cannot be credibly said to be divine. Rather you are simply the tool of a mere man hiding behind his Bible, lawyers and yes-men.

"Accountability is taking place."

Well gee, if you say so, oh gentleman I've never seen and don't know from Adam. Another unqualified morsel, like "I know Brother Steve is God's man for Bellevue." Please expound--how is this so?

Or, run, Forrest, run.

solomon said...

Amy,

I realize your post wasn't directed at me, but I'd like to speak to your post.

It's not fair to call the dissenters anti-bellevue but it's very easy to do. I'm as angry as anyone at Gaines' arrogant, indifferent attitude, but I will no longer contribute to the NBBCOF except in unusual circumstances. With all the talk about ignoring 'sin in the camp' and dismissing sin as 'under the blood' most of the bloggers there refused to condemn James Sundquist's proclamation in their midst that Steve Gaines deserves to die. How can they ignore that?

Somewhere Jesus said that those who are not against him were for him, and by their silence they have given tacit approval to this disturbed man's statement. You can't really get more anti-bellevue than wishing for the pastor to die.

This was a major mistake, possibly fatal. I've heard church members talking about this, and the bloggers now have their own damage control to do.

As a former anti-bellevuer I'll address your 4 points to the best of my knowledge.

1. Mark Sharp had decided to leave Bellevue before the 'Amen Kelly' incident. He wasn't happy with Gaines' preaching. I believe I've read that you're a GBC member, so ask him yourself. That fiasco had nothing to do with his disillusionment with Bellevue. As far as the fence climbing incident, unfortunately that's now an embarrassing part of Bellevue's history. I'm sure that in 100 years when people walk by the portraits of the pastors in the foyer, SG will be remembered as 'the fence jumper'.

But to 'give the devil his due' this 'itty bitty fence' babble has gotten old. I was there that Sunday night. That hateful 'saving bellevue' site had a picture of the 16 foot tall gate at the time, implying that the men had scaled it in some James Bond fashion. What Gaines said was that they had not climbed the gate, but the itty bitty fence next to it. As he said that, he held his hand waste high to emphasize the height, and waist high for him is about 41 inches. Although he showed no real remorse, his statement was accurate.

2. Josh is not exactly popular in some circles right now. It was a mistake for him to present a motion. This was not an orchestrated end to the meeting. If he'd have presented a motion to polish the chandelier I believe that the motion to end the meeting would have been brought up. Regardless, the majority voted to end it, not the leadership. I wish it had kept going, but I respect the wishes of the congregation.

3. I have no clue what the Board of Directors is for, or what they do. I'd never even heard of them until recently, so I can't address that concern. I really don't know if they are supposed to be chosen by the congregation or not. Bellevue has always done a lot of things without congregational involvement. Frankly, I don't care but I know that many people do.

As far as the membership list goes, this was a huge blunder by IDC and the bloggers. No one wants their names and addresses publicized. Do you by any chance remember Ernest Stubblefield and Leslie Gattas? If not, you should look up the story on the web. Long story short, he was a stalker and kidnapper who had dozens of church directories in his possession when he was arrested, and he had circled the names of all the girls between the ages of 13 and 15. He also made notes detailed enough to show that he had been spying on them. How would it make you feel if you heard that some pervert had circled the name of your child and noted 'cute redhead, goes to bed at 9:30?' A lot of Memphians remember the story.

There were two godly ladies in my small group who changed churches just because they didn't want their names and addresses exposed. They used to post to the NBBCOF blog together under the name 'faithnhope'. They were very passionate for reconciliation, but they were driven from their church by the fear that their privacy would be given away. (That should have been the tip-off for me, but it took the 'Gaines must die' post to change my mind.)

Coombs made himself a lot of friends when he denied that request.

4. No one on earth will say that the minister should have stayed on staff, and no one is. A trump card can only be played so many times. This whole incident is a testament to Gaines passive leadership and poor judgement. These are the consequences, not a license for his opponents to act at will.


The NBBCOF has lost all credibility, and I'd advise you to avoid it.

aslansown said...

David S,
You have failed to properly exegete Titus 3:13. Paul never says that Zenas was "his" lawyer. The scripture merely states that he was a lawyer. The context of the passage indicates in plain language that Paul was concened for Zenas and Apollos and was asking Titus to do whatever he could to aid them when they visited.

Cakes is justifiably right in questioning you on your logic. It is a point that he has obviously researched and is the germ for his questioning you on the veracity of your statements.

If you are not consistent in plain reasoning, on what basis can he take you at your word in the general discussion?

Histrionics can only take all of so far until it runs into the wall of absolute truth.

aslansown said...

The one thing that really bothers me here is that many are condescending toward brother cakes. He is looked down upon because he is not a "believer" and this is not Christ-like behavior. How many of you have won a convert by badgering them? You might as well try spitting in his face in order for him to see your reasoning. How about celebrating hhis intellectual honesty and use that as a common point from which to engage in a gentle, well-reasoned debate?

david S said...

Aslansown,

"The term lawyer (nomikon) in this context indicates taht Zenas was either an expert in Jewish law or perhaps a Roman civil jurist." NAC Hayne P. Griffin, Jr.

I don't recall Zenas as a Jewish name. Do you? It’s a Greek name. He’s a Greek convert from Crete. Paul is asking that Zenas be sent to him. Titus is written from prison. Draw your own conclusions; my own is that it appears Paul wanted a brother skilled in law.

You stated that Cakes “is looked down upon because he is not a "believer" and this is not Christ-like behavior.” I do not believe I addressed the issue of Cakes own beliefs. However, I suggest you reexamine your position. Jesus was not gentle, nor overly kind toward those who chose to reject him. I trust you are capable of finding such verses on your own, because if I cite them you will say I am being judgmental. A working knowledge of the N.T. will suit you here and you will soon discover that those who have knowledge of the Son but choose to reject him (and worse, walk away from the faith) are not coddled by the Lord.

What is interesting is that for all the diversion Cakes has created, he has not yet answered the heart of a simple question. Nor has Amy. She asked a bunch of her own, but no one has answered that one question: How much is enough? What can the Pastor do to restore unity to the church?

Support Brother Cakes said...

It is telling that all of you would slink, twist and dodge just about every valid point of inquiry I have sought to clarify, in now many threads; but it is downright funny for y'all to bray about your unanswered questions, or pontificate about how my faith should manifest (so you can google Buddhism, Bugsii--good) in my actions.

I certainly don't feel obligated to answer to someone who sought to freight the NBBCOF by the character of my web journal and past jottings. Take a walk, boy.

Unfortunately for the Bratton Report, that bit of PI work did reveal the stink of being associated with me, so, not to undermine my beloved friends, I have reduced to a minimum my activity there. It's really nice here though.

So, the Paul's law-yer-thing has left completely any connection to the original context of the initial argument and now has been successfully kidnapped by a theological question that cannot be answered conclusively. And so goes the argument. Yea!

Again, saddling your God, your scripture, to both timid and banal rhetorical thought would seem to be more basphemous than anything I may have ever published, given that your words are uttered in His very name.

Almost every word that you deliver is a pretext, and all conclusions stem from that. Gaines is "God's man," so justifications are built around that pretext and inconvenient truths are stubbornly avoided. Unfortunately, that is not a credible foundation of inquiry, unless all parties agree on the pretext.

Again, your silly questions are loaded by a pretext--that I, and the group in dissent with Bellevue's leadership, have some specific outcome in mind. It is as if we are like an angry and bloodthirsty mob ready to run Padre out of town on a rail.

It is not a question for me to answer, nor you or any other single person or exalted cloister of persons; but rather, it must be a matter for the entire congregation and anyone else impacted. The gravity of every ministers' culpability must be acknowledged and attoned, and restoration should be sought with the truly injured and those confronting trust and accountability concerns, instead of being asked to shove off--they are invested in Bellevue too.

So, the answer to "how much is enough?" "Something," would be a good place to start--"something."

Amy said...

David Said,

Nor has Amy. She asked a bunch of her own, but no one has answered that one question: How much is enough? What can the Pastor do to restore unity to the church?

I don't think anyone has asked me that before, but this would be my reply. IMHO of course. Please keep in mind, I believe his apologies were disingenuous. I also feel even if the majority may be happy, enough people are truly hurt, and that shouldn't be discounted.

If he said before the congregation....

I have been on my knees, crying out to God for direction, and healing, as we go forward as a church body.
A lot of my actions have been because of fear and pride. As much as I love being your Pastor at BBC, it has also been very intimidating to follow Dr. Rogers. Justified or not, I felt very threatened when people complained and especially when I felt they were banding together to form a mutiny of sorts. I am embarrassed about the manner in which I approached Mark Sharpe's home and take full responsibility for it. It was wrong of me to give into fear, and hurt feelings, and let it become a power issue. I was also wrong to dismiss members who voiced concerns by telling them they should go else where if not happy at BBC. I have felt attacked on several occasions, but it's no excuse for my actions, and I am sorry.

Concerning PW, yes, I should have fired him immediately. I love PW as a brother, and he has been a wonderful friend and support during my time at BBC. To hear something like that was a horrible shock to say the least, and I just wanted to believe him, that he and his family had been restored and he was an example of God's wonderful forgiveness and grace. Truthfully, I also thought this could be a reflection on me. I was afraid people might use it against me for once again for how I treated beloved, long term staff members. I didn’t consider the welfare of PW’s son, BBC, or even PW himself. I was wrong, and I am sorry.

I realize things I have done would cause you to loose trust in me. I haven’t been honest in all matters and there is no excuse. I truly want to be transparent and live above reproach to regain your trust. A poster named Amy on NBBCOF suggested an open Q&A meeting, where questions from concerned members be directly answered from the administration and myself. This is planned, and my prayer is we will all reach a place of understanding and forgiveness.

I can’t speak on the past on how BBC was governed. I can say under my watch, I haven’t followed a congregational governed model. The bylaws we have are outdated at best, but BBC was chartered to be a congressionally approved church and that’s how we will move forward. The poster Amy (really that woman is a godsend!) also had written a motion for a friend of hers to present at last Mondays meeting about forming a committee to rewrite our bylaws. We will have monthly business meetings, where committees will report and recommend, and the congregation will approve. Each month on the website on a members only section, minutes of business meetings will be posted as well as the financial statements for each month.

Again, please know what a privilege it is to serve as your pastor, and how sorry I am that I let pride and arrogance threaten my relationship and leadership with you.



If Steve Gaines took responsibility, truly apologized, and repented, these last few months wouldn’t have to define his legacy at Bellevue. I know I have wronged people, have had to ask forgiveness, and had earn their trust again, as most people have. Moses, David, etc.. Weren’t defined by their sin and became great men of God too. I truly hope Steve Gaines can truly move past this, and become what God wants him to be for BBC.

SpringerSpaniel said...

Amy... that would be tremendous if he were to do that..

Unfortunately, Dr. Gaines and his wife would have to spontaneously combust on stage Easter Sunday for some others to be satisfied.

lovecakes said...

"Jesus was not gentle, nor overly kind toward those who chose to reject him..."

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

aslansown said...

David S:
It does not matter whether Zenas was Greek or Hebrew. BTW, I never said he was Hebrew. As to your interpretation, your just plain wrong. Paul is plainly not asking for Zenas there is nothing to support your assertion.

What I do see is that you are using this distraction to avoid answering my question regarding your abuse of our resident Buddhist. Your view of Jesus also appears skewed.

The only time you can say that he was not gentle is when he through the blaspheming Jews out of the temple. Otherwise he was both direct and obtuse with those that he came in contact with, but never abusive. Ever hear of the commandment to be "gentle as doves and wise as serpents?"

Paul commands us also "...as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."(Gal.6:10) I believe that you have read the second part of the verse and ignored or forgotten the first.

Your comments seem to indicate that you feel free to usurp the authority of God and pronounce judgement on all that disagree with you.

SO, I ask you, Do you not understand that it is not encumbent upon the pastor to restore unity, but each one of us. He must answer for his own mistakes and allow God to break him, just as do you and I. On the other hand, he must also be willing, because of our form of government and the fact that we are called to be held mutually acountable to one another, to hear the charges and quite running from them.

david S said...

Aslan: "Do you not understand that it is not encumbent upon the pastor to restore unity, but each one of us." I completely agree.

As for the Zenas issue: I was simply answering your complaint that I had poorly handled the Scripture. It does appear to be a pretty common view that Paul is asking that he (Zenas) be given money so he can go to Paul. The original point was that the early church attempted to act within the context of Roman law when possible. We also should act legally, which at times may call us to consult a lawyer.

And I said nothing to Cakes about his spiritual walk until you jumped in with all kinds of comments about it. Did you think I knew he wasn't a believer until you said something? sorry, I am not good enough yet to tell online through screen names if someone is a believer.

Jesus' attitude toward those who hear the Gospel and still reject is found in Matthew 11:21. Those cities were under greater judgment because they were in a place to KNOW; much like we Americans.

For someone to reject Christ does not mean they disagree with me, and are thus under my judgment (as you imply). We stand together under the same condemnation: Sin has separated us from God eternally and if we continue in our sin we will be cast from His presence. But if we admit our wrongdoing and turn to Christ only as our source of hope, trusting his grace and not our goodness, then we can be sure of his eternal life and riches. That is not my Gospel to agree with or disagree with; that is the Gospel.

Now, to clarify: My discussion with cakes before you jumped on me was on the issues at Bellevue, not his spiritual state. I wasn't attacking him for his beliefs, I was challenging his statemetns about church government and ethical practices for ministers. Our discussion was on the subject, you decided to make it personal.

Your comments about the pastor not being the means of unity, but the Spirit and the congregation as a whole truly are right on.

david S said...

Aslan: "abuse of our resident Buddhist"
Aslan: "Otherwise he was both direct and obtuse with those that he came in contact with, but never abusive"

what exactly had I said that was abusive? You seem quick to toss the word around; some of us council those who are truly "abused" I find your treatment of the word a little careless.

bugsii said...

Man, drop off the web for a few days and all hell breaks loose! Lovecakes, did another blog make you change your name again? I take it some other religion did't like the Troll part.

Does the fact that I Googled Buddhism void those quotes? My dad is a Buddhist and he avoids faith discussions just like you. He is almost like Rainman when you mention anything vaguely related to God "15 minutes to Judge Wapner, gotta see Wapner". I can talk about anything but that.

I guess you Googled Christianity for your verse?(good):
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." was a prayer for mercy on those that were blinded by their sin. They had been looking for the Messiah for centuries and there they were crucifying him. Jesus' prayer was not a license for them to continue in sin though.

Jesus addressed the religous leaders as a "brood of vipers" and "whitewashed walls" but he told normal folks to "stop sinning". As Christians we should be patient and forgive you for not knowing what you are doing otherwise we are like the brood of vipers. On the other hand, you should stop sinning or you are like those that crucified Christ. You can't stop sinning(Romans 3:23) so your only relief is to become a believer and follower of Christ. The compassion in his prayer for those crucifying him should reveal his love for all of us whether we crucified him or got drunk at the pool hall. So, not accepting that Jesus died for your sins and not turning away from sin to Him is what you need to worry about as you quote scripture. You will be accountable for each and every sin if you die without Christ. So "stop sinning or something worse may happen to you" John 5:14(I gospelgateway'd that one).

later B, bugsii

lovecakes said...

"I guess you Googled Christianity for your verse?"

No, that one is ingrained.

Maybe your dad is wise enough to know you'll end up at loggerheads--what is their to discuss between two irreconcilable perspectives? You know you're right about eternity and his path doesn't put much stock in such. You won't be moved and he feels no want.

No one owes you an audience, just as you owe no one either.

solomon said...

amy,

It seems like the discussion of the fence has popped up anew at the NBBCOF lately.

nass said...
It's all in the archives if you care to enlighten yourself. The photos, including the "No Trespassing" sign are here. Note: It was the white fence they scaled, not the iron gate. Those photos were included to illustrate that it is indeed a gated community and to show the "No Trespassing" signs. No one ever said or even implied they climbed the gate! Good grief. Use your common sense.

amy said...
What kills me about the "itty bitty fence" is- I don't care if it was one of those little fences you put around tomatoes- it had a No Trespassing Sign on it! Use the call button at the gate!


I could be mistaken, but I believe that discussion might have started here and moved there. In the same way, things start on the NBBCOF and go elsewhere. I think a lot more people read it than write on it.

To this day, many Bellevue members have not made up their minds what to believe. The NBBCOF is the only easy way for people to see what's going on. When they visit and observe the ugliness, and then go to church and hear Gaines praying for them and speaking God's word to them, which 'side' do you think they will begin to lean toward?

I'm not saying the NBBCOF is bad. However, it is so mixed with anger, bitterness, and sarcasm that it's rendered useless. I've heard that it takes about 7 positive words to cancel the effects of 1 negative. I think the current ratio is about 50:1 negative to positive. Occasional visitors leave with a very bad taste in their mouth. Serously, the only positive things said are of the genre "yeah, you sure told overflowing toilet off!"

I've noticed that there have been a lot of invitations from GBC for BBC members to visit. That's fine, but it's not so easy for everyone to pull up and leave. Despite Gaines' mistakes, I believe that God wants me at BBC, but even if I wanted to leave it wouldn't be so easy. My girls were born there, and have grown up along with their friends in the church. Leaving would be the same as moving to another city to them, and that's extremely hard on children their age.

Sometimes it's very hard to make my concerns about the pastor known, since I'm usually identified with the anti-bellevuers. Any discussion about my concerns quickly turns to the blog, and 'did you read'...

Earlier you wrote what you thought it would take to end the conflict, and made some good points. Unfortunately, the only way Gaines can win me over is to show consistency and integrity for the rest of his life. I'm willing to give him a chance, but I need to see evidence that he's truly changed. I've seen some so far, but not enough.

In the same way, the NBBCOF needs to take steps to show its own integrity. No more of this 'hey, it's an open forum so I'm not responsible for what 'X' wrote.'

Sunday I saw that 'piglet' and 'koragg' spoke up against that rather bizarre post that accused Bellevue leadership of having people killed who opposed them. (yes, it was a real post) I strongly encourage them to keep doing that. It's a big step. Posts like that might seem like they should be ignored, but perception is everything.

If Bellevue members see that those with concerns aren't just a bunch of irrational complainers, but by and large reasonable and caring people, then maybe we can keep the pressure on.

bugsii said...

Cakes, early on when I was stupidly zealous I pounded my dad over the head with my new found bible knowledge. Fortunately, God showed me what I was doing and I stopped. I will not bring anything related to God up at all. We just have normal conversations now. But there are some circumstances where it is impossible not discuss eternal things(my grandmother,a Christian, died, and now my grandfather who also is a Christian is dying). He called my wife to let us know that my grandfather was in the hospital and my dad shared some concerns about my grandfather. My wife tried to explain that those concerns would not be my grandfather's concerns(as a Christian). She tried to explain that several times and she said everytime she made a statement similar to that he ignored it. She said it was so obvious he ignored her statement that she brought it up again out of the blue as a test. Instead of saying something like "yeah, I guess he knows that" or "that's a bunch of hoooey" he acts like Rainman.

In the past our source of contention was that he believes there are other ways to eternal life(apart from Jesus). And, that all good things come from God...including a girlfriend while you're married. His god is a god of convenience.

Sorry for the Google shot on the verse. If that verse is ingrained it must provide comfort.

bugsii

lovecakes said...

Bugsii,

Being a student of Buddhism is not concerned with eternity; it is focused upon the here and now. The first truth is that life is suffering; that suffering is derived, not from without, but rather within the heart of the individual, manifested in desire, aversion and ignorance. Deal with those, and you take care of suffering.

Why generate more hope and fear regarding a matter that I cannot determine with any conclusivity until I've passed beyond the veil? Must I cultivate such rabid faith to create enmity with fellow human beings whose God's are different than mine?

It is erroneous to think that ethics and morals are only derived from religion; as in the case of the pedophile scandal--and countless examples throughout history, from all religions of the world--the pious generally hide the largest closets.

Allow you father to digest these matters in the way that he sees fit, and shew him you accept it and him without further expectation (and certainly do not refer to rainman, because then you not only insult his faith, but his faculties).

If you do so--if you don't so sorely need to have that God conversation--you may find him bringing up the matter to you.

Love, D.

Amy said...

Solomon,

I truly hope Steve Gaines can show some humility and accept responsibility for his actions. Those are leadership qualities I admire. He is obviously not stepping down, and I think more accountability and openness would go a long way toward restoring trust and confidence.

I do agree you need to pick your battles, and when people drone on and on about Steve only going to see Dr. Rogers once in the hospital. or David Coombs buying his sister in law a glass of wine at dinner etc... it dilutes the really big issues, and folks get tired of the rant.

I pray BBC will heal and be restored. I know what it's like to be a part of a church divided and I hate it's happening to BBC. Some folks are more shrill and emotional than others, but everyone is hurting and has experienced a loss, and it's a real shame the leadership shuts them down. Maybe a little acknowledgement would quiet them down a bit.

P.S It was the opposite situation with my three kids last year, they wanted to leave GBC- (the youth really suffered the most, except for maybe two of the staff the whole youth department quit, and a lot of the teenagers felt very betrayed). They had to learn the “Ask not what your church can do for you, but for what you can do for your church” lesson.

Arminius said...

Greetings, the few and the proud. May the Lord be with you!

Brother Solomon,
God bless you, my brother. Against my better judgement, yesterday I visited the NBBCOF to observe what's new. I feel like I've been to a brothel, and I observed the uncalled for, ungodly beating you took. I was oh so tempted to jump in and knock some heads, but I was able to refrain.

I was amazed when you finally responded. I don't think I've seen such humility and grace in many a year. What a blessing it was to me to see a truly Christian reaction to unrighteousness. I know that they hit you very close to home, and yet you didn't respond with anger, but with the very love and compassion that Christ showed at Calvary.

When you wrote I understand that your childhood innocence was stolen from you, but does that make it wrong for my girl to be?
God has already been merciful to me over and over, and to you too. I'm very thankful for the way He has blessed and protected my family, and I know he has done it because of His goodness. I've tried my very best to be a man after his own heart in return. Please don't begrudge me and mine for His providence. It was His choice, not mine,
I was truly humbled. I felt like I had been to church! (has anyone contacted you for the movie rights yet?)

One thing I'll point out that you might have overlooked: (accidentally, maybe...)

A few other posters stood by you. Springerspaniel (aka Jeff, for some reason), concernedsbcer, and even bill loney (if that's a good thing) wrote encouraging words on your behalf. David Brown also wished you a blessing. I've seen your passion for unity and courtesy so that the blog won't be perceived as corrupt by others (good luck with that, friend). I think perhaps (or maybe not) that you need to be told that it is forever a very divided group. There is no hope of unity there until Christ comes again. However, they are not all against you, and you are not in any way alone. Don't let the yeast discourage you.

If I may quote you 'thusly and like so' (how'm I doin?)
solomon said...
The NBBCOF has lost all credibility, and I'd advise you to avoid it.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice, Keith. Your love for your church and others is obvious, but sometimes things change and we can't do anything about it. Maybe it's time for you to let go. Is it really best for your girls to grow up in church that their father feels unloved?

Don't give what's holy to pigs. Grandpa would say if you wrestle with one, you'll both git dirty and the only the pig will enjoy it.

I feel like a little 'melodrama' of my own, if you dont' mind. Let THIS be forever written:
Keith Solomon is a godly man and father who has shown that he loves the Lord and others. He's a beacon of Christ's love and if others would follow his example the world would be a better place.

Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!!

SpringerSpaniel said...

SpringerSpaniel



Well.. Springer Spaniel is my gmail name... hence my google account that I sign onto the blogs with...

AKA Jeff...

Well, Jeff is umm... my name.

:D

solomon said...

arminius,
You're doing fine.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate what you wrote to me. Yesterday was very difficult. It's funny that I had just written to Amy about needing 7 encouraging words to cancel one discouraging word. I needed someone to remind me that not everyone came down on me. I was just focusing on the negatives.

As far as my visiting NBBCOF, it's a moot point. I tried to post this morning but didn't get past nass' moderation, so I guess I'm no longer welcome. It's really a relief. I've always fancied myself a peacemaker, and I spent too much time there.

Call me an idealist, but I truly believe that the children of God can and should live at peace with each other. I just don't see an end to this mess, and I can't imagine that God wants it to continue like this. The way they treat people! What was it James wrote about the salt and fresh water coming out of the same stream?

I seem to remember you're a theologian of sorts. You sent me to my dictionary expecting a 'brothel' to be some kind of religious court. I was a little surprised!

How exactly is it that you showed up here as Barnabus?

Amy said...

Solomon,

I just caught up on my reading and I thought you replied beautifully to those that attacked you.. I think all people should be treated with respect, even if they’re not treating youthat way. That doesn’t mean you should be their whipping post, but you don’t have to get ugly back. Satan has a real field day when Christians go after each other, and I wish people could see how they play right into his hands. Your even toned responses were great , and I think by the comments and apologies following, some folks might have learned something. You are a class act. Keep on posting, we need the example.

Bepatient said...

I have said time and again, and I still believe that perhaps this cause started with good, godly intentions and has been warped so badly that God doesn't want to be associated with it anymore, so instead of "removing" SG, he is letting the "antis" be removed instead.

As long as you believe (as most of us Baptists do) in intercessory prayer, we know that our actions and prayers can change the direction of things.
Has anyone else given this any thought?


Also, for the blog that supposedly doesn't censor, I would like a refresher on who has been banned....
Ace, Mike, OFG, and JMO, who else am I missing?

Arminius said...

sol,

Let me get this straight - you were kicked out? YOU?!?!?!??!!??!

Now that's funny!

How dare you tell them to be nice! The nerve! The audacity!! The unmitigated gall!!!

Just because the Bible says to love one another doesn't mean you can force your harsh brand of legalism on them! You can just take that elsewhere, pal. "SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME on you!"

I don't care who you are, that's funny right there.

(I'm a part time theologian, and part time Barnabus too. Sarcastic all the time.)

solomon said...

arminius,

I don't know if I was officially kicked out or if it was a one-time thing, but either way it's as good a reason as any for me to stay away.

amy,
Thank you. I appreciate your encouragement. I don't know many details about the trouble at GBC, but I think that the worst thing possible is for a youth program to fall apart. They are the future of the church, and if they don't have proper direction GBC will really be hurt down the road. You're doing a great thing by teaching yours to be servants.

At BBC the youth department hasn't suffered yet, but our college department has been devastated. Children that age have the freedom to go where they want, and a lot of them have moved on to one of the 'seeker' churches in town.

GBC got a real treasure when Rob Mullins moved over there. Take care of him! Maybe he'll get involved with the college kids, and the former BBCers will make their way over, too.

Arminius said...

'Rob Mullins'?

Would that be the same Rob Mullins who got beat up on the NBBCOF yesterday? The PD, traitorous, vision-casting minister of assimilation at GBC?

Sol, weren't you one of the anti-CGM movement? Have you by any chance changed your stance?

SpringerSpaniel said...

Remember... Rob Mullins didn't "move" to GBC.... he simply went back "home"...

He was my College/Career minister at GBC... when he went to Bellevue, so did I, as did many others.

Amy said...

Sol- I forgot to add; I don't think you were banned from NBBCOF. Nass had to put the moderation back on when she can't monitor it.

Arminius- I don't think they were beating up on Rob Mullins at all and nothing was said about him personally. They were just joking about the title of his job and the way some of the job description was written. I go to GBC and I wasn't offended- just saw it as lighthearted joking. I do admit it sounded kind of like a CGM job description and I thought that was a little strange considering what we went through last year. In a nutshell, it became apparent that PDC movement was behind the proposed bylaws, and Living Hope
(the church that was started when we split) is structured in a GCM manner.

Back to Sol- we will take care of Rob Mullins. I met him last night and really liked him, and his wife. I am going to specifically pray for your family as BBC moves forward. As much as you love BBC , I know that doesn’t make it easy. Last year was so hard for us. I had never been part of a church split before and it was awful. Everyone felt threatened, and folks on both sides of the issue said, and did things, they shouldn’t of. However, I feel we are a stronger congregation (and smaller!) because of everything we went through.
I think what has happened in Memphis with GBC and BBC is representative of what is going to shake up the SBC next- the CGM. The SBC churches will be divided between conservative ( lack of a better word for preaching whole Bible , calling sin for what it is and teaching the Word of God that convicts people) or Seeker Friendly- doing what ever it takes to get folks inside.

solomon said...

arminius,

Well, you got me to go back over there. I can't believe Rob was getting talked about, of all people. That's what makes me so angry. Bring someone's name up, and let's jump on him. Those people don't even know the man. There's a person behind the name, a very gifted man who's track record is spotless. Anyone who says something negative about Rob instantly sets themselves up as non-credible to the army of men and women who have come through his college ministry over the years. Not to mention the fact the he and Vicki have feelings. I'd be comfortable following him anywhere, I'm that sure of his walk with the Lord. Plus, he's just downright hilarious. At least some folks spoke up for him. Maybe there's hope.

I am opposed to the CGM, but me and Sundquist are on different pages. VERY different. He has a purpose of his own, I think.

BTW, I noticed your post over there. I hope you weren't trying to stir anything up. A fire will go out without wood, and even that one will burn out eventually.

Amy,
Thank you again. God has protected my wife and daughters so far. I think He is showing me things that he's hiding from them, and I don't really understand why. Sometimes after church it's like everything is perfectly all right, and other times I have to excuse myself from the sanctuary. I really believe that if SG would just humble himself in prayer, get on the phone, make some sincere apologies and restitution, and quit trying to justify his prior actions during his sermons that he could end all the conflict in a few days. Rebuilding our trust is going to take a long time, though. Still, if I didn't think he could do it I'd be looking for another church.

Memphis said...

Solomon, I want to say that I feel your pain about being attack for talking about children. I was also "attacked" for posting about my son participating in his first Lord's Supper and was labeled as a "emotion filled liberal".

I thought a Christian blog would be happy about a youngster growin in Christ!

Amy said...

Solomon and Arminious,

I well have to respectfully, and nicely, disagree with your assesment of the Pastor of Assimilation postings over at NBBCOF. No one said anything negative about Rob Mullin's character, or leadership abilities. In fact, everything that was said about Rob was very flattering and only added to what we at GBC already know- we are blessed to have him. They were making jokes about the job description- not the man. Someone posted they didn't think it was nice to make fun of Rob Mullin's new job and it stopped. It wasn't a mean spirited discussion at all, and everyone moved on nicely.
Please show me where you think Rob was attacked- I didn't see it.

Amy said...

Sol said...

I really believe that if SG would just humble himself in prayer, get on the phone, make some sincere apologies and restitution, and quit trying to justify his prior actions during his sermons that he could end all the conflict in a few days.

I meant to comment on that as well(I have so many insightful comments ya'll need to hear- I can’t keep up with them all). I agree with you- and that's why I posted my apology template for Steve Gaines in an earlier post. He wants to remain a pastor of BBC and I hope he can see he can play a big roll in pulling his congregation back together. There are folks that will never forgive or forget, but I think a large majority of people would respond to a heart felt acknowledgement and apology for the damage he has caused. I think it’s a bid CGM red flag, as well as being very arrogant, when a pastor just seems to be following the “let the dissenters go” rule instead of implementing ways to regain the trust and confidence he lost.

solomon said...

Amy,

For my part, you don't have to go out of your way to make sure I know that you're being respectful if you disagree with me. You've clearly shown a Christ-like spirit in your posts, and I honestly have been enjoying corresponding with someone and not feeling put down.

Anyway, Rob wasn't attacked. I know I'm still upset about the other night, but I don't think it was appropriate for his name to be brought up on the blog at all. The light-hearted joking was mixed in with a lot of speculation about vision-casting and mysticism, and also gossip about a supposed loyalty covenant for BBC staff. I found the overall tone to be unpleasant. In other circumstances, in another place, the comments would have been fine, but not there. It's a very highly charged atmosphere, and I think names should be mentioned very carefully.

Even the first post wasn't made to rejoice that this very well-loved man had perhaps found his place of service, or excitement from a GBCer that Rob would be working with them, but was more of a put-down of Bellevue. I'm pretty sure Rob would rather that he be left out of it.

The same thing goes for the mention of the Passion Play and the Sunday morning service. I've heard wonderful things about both from friends who have been visiting GBC, but all the 2 or 3 bloggers who mentioned it had to say was that how much better than BBC's they were.

Here's a quote from 'sheeplessatbbc' after her 'praise' for what was happening at GBC:
Just heard from one of the truthful Christians that attended 9:30 at BBC.

Absolutely Nothing happened this morning, as was expected.

"PAYDAY.........SOMEDAY"


Skipping over the implication about 'untruthful' Christians at BBC (would that be anyone who got something out of the service?), and that observing the LS counts as 'nothing' (I could park there for a paragraph or two!), I see a smug satisfaction that Bellevue is 'getting theirs'.

As long as these kinds of things are posted, use of names should be avoided.

IMHO!

solomon said...

memphis,

Yes I saw. I also got included in the 'emotional liberal' comment, so greetings, brother!

SpringerSpaniel said...

Hmm... I went to Bellevue Sunday morning... not sure if I'm a "Truthful" Christian or a Lying one, though. I did enjoy the message, so I suspect that'd make me a Lying one, wouldn't it???

Arminius said...

jeff,
Well, I got absolutely nothing out of Steve Gaines' sermon Sunday morning! (Of course, the fact that I wasn't there might have something to do with that. If I were on the NBBCOF, I'd delete the parenthetical part of this paragraph.)

amy,
Ditto to what Solomon said. They don't need to publicly approve or disapprove of ANYONE until they get their own act straight.

solomon,
That fire will never go out. It's been burning for longer than you think, fueled with the very same anger that Cain felt when he killed his brother.

I don't know why I keep going over there, but after reading 'watchman' I posted the stupidest thing I could think of to see if I got any amens. Believe it or not, there was a Baptist fundamentalist who wore a sign that said that last year at our Easter egg hunt.

BTW, is 'NASS' the same as NBBCOF or am I just confused?

Bepatient said...

NASS is the same as NBBCOF..

And her identity is shrouded in mystery unless you are part of the "in crowd"....

And it's funny, but I thought that was what they wanted to get rid of at BBC, but find a justification for it in their own little world.

I think the "I" in "IDC" should stand for Irony, not Integrity.

lovecakes said...

"Yes I saw. I also got included in the 'emotional liberal' comment, so greetings, brother!"

Well, at least that's not as crummy as being unjustly associated with "porn," like I was on this sterling blog.

lovecakes said...

I think you should drop the "I" in your name altogether.

Arminius said...

lovecakes,

I'll say this in the kindest way possible, and I hope you don't take offense.

You're a bad, bad man. Really bad.

Naw, just kiddin. Porn or no porn, you're okay with me.

Bepatient said...

Cakes,

Can I ask you a question?
I don't understand why you have so much animosity toward me- your subtle "bepatents" haven't gone unnoticed, I just generally try to stay away from the personal and stick to what we are talking about.
I do question your involvement and I certainly do not think it helps the cause of the bloggers to take the advice of a Buddhist. But I haven't gotten mean, I haven't gotten personal with you and I don't see what you think you are accomplishing by comments like the one above. Like I have said before, we may disagree but I don't understand what it is you have against me exactly.

You say you care about these people, yet by your insensitive remarks, you do further damage to their reputation. The logic behind this escapes me, but perhaps you can clarify.

Bepatient said...

"Like I have said before, we may disagree but I don't understand what it is you have against me exactly.

I would like to apologize for this terrible sentence. I don't feel like fixing it, so I am just admitting to my horrible misuse of the English language.

solomon said...

arminius,

"NASS" used to post to another blog under the name 'not a stepford sheep'. Hence the dual names. Her identity really isn't that secret (her namesake gives a lot of advice). There's certainly not an inner circle, or any other new-age symbology involved.

Please remember that most people over there are indeed Christians, even though their direction is misguided. They will respond to God's grace eventually, and we shouldn't do anything to cause further strife in the meantime. I fully understand your irritation with 'watchman', but I'd hate to think that one of the parents would misunderstand your post and cancel Easter this weekend.

Perhaps you should pay them another visit and clean up?

Bepatient said...

If you won't tell people your name when they flat out ask you, then you are keeping it a secret. I know I keep harping on this, but it really bothers me to see Christians being so hypocritical.

lovecakes said...

"I think the "I" in "IDC" should stand for Irony, not Integrity."

"I think you should drop the "I" in your name altogether."

The first quote is a dig; the second is a dig in reply from moi, no more or less personal than the first--what do you not understand?

Do you ever think before you betray such double-standards, or do you shoot from the hip?

Arminius said...

sol,

Good enough?

solomon said...

That'll do, arminius.

Has anyone ever told you that your're sort of a strange duck?

Arminius said...

Only Unca Donald.

Blessings, brother. Take care of our family.

Bepatient said...

cakes,

I get that, but my point is that it is not a dig at you.

NASS is capable of defending herself if she so chooses (even though it is not even really about her but IDC), and quite frankly, making a dig at someone personally is not the same as me making a dig at IDC.

and then this gem... "Do you ever think before you betray such double-standards, or do you shoot from the hip? "

How are things like this helping the image of those you say you care about?

solomon said...

Arminius,

You almost sound like you're going somewhere.

See you tomorrow.

SpringerSpaniel said...

Question:

Has anyone on the "Open" blog actually told Trollcakes that he's going to burn in hell unless he accept Christ? Or umm.. are they being "Seeker friendly" and not telling him that?

Just curious...

They do seem to have a problem with "seeker friendly" types of things, after all....

lovecakes said...

Again, I'm admittedly a liability at NBBCOF, thanks to Bugsii and his crack investigation into everything I've ever uttered on the internets, every dark entry described with the lurid diction of a carnival barker.

You know, someone so plodding as to vomit up information about a total stranger on a forum in which he is engaged--simply to avoid argument or worse, to undermine or frieght the credibility of others present with the poor bum's words, character and actions--cannot lay claim to righteousness.

For every indictment y'all make of NBBCOF, it seems the Bratton blog is the repository of anger and bitterness, as well as intellectually bereft. Furthermore, it would have no reason to exist without NBBCOF.

"You say you care about these people..."

"How are things like this helping the image of those you say you care about?"

You're right--I'm a liar--I don't really care about these people; and your implication that I don't in no way could ever be taken as personal.

I don't know you personally, bepatent, so it is not personal. Like anyone else here, your sum total to me, for the purposes of these forums, is simply the words you write and the ideas you express. Thus, not much.

If you wish to improve upon that, then you will have to present yourself in a more flattering light.

lovecakes said...

From the looks of it, I'm sure I'll see many of y'all there as well.

Ha!

Arminius said...

lovecakes,

You're really a very bad person.

Nah, just kidding.

I don't think anyone is ignoring your arguments because of technicalities. I'd delve deeper, but I noticed that you misspelled 'freight' and quit reading.

it seems the Bratton blog is the repository of anger and bitterness, as well as intellectually bereft.
Huh? I don't get what you're saying. I don't get it, and that makes me so mad!!

You're right--I'm a liar--I don't really care about these people
Well! I'm glad you admit it. Doesn't it feel good to come clean?

Like anyone else here, your sum total to me, for the purposes of these forums, is simply the words you write and the ideas you express. Thus, not much.
But not nothing, either. Progress!!

lovecakes said...

Whatever; make a total donkey's patoot out of your self in the name of your beloved God.

The more the merrier.

Amy said...

Springer(aka Jeff!)asked

Has anyone on the "Open" blog actually told Trollcakes that he's going to burn in hell unless he accept Christ? Or umm.. are they being "Seeker friendly" and not telling him that?

Amy says:
See comments from M.B's "One Arm Tied Thread" for answers.

solomon said...

trollcakes (or whatever your pen name is today),

You give your reputation far too much credit. You're no more a liability to the NBBCOF than I am. Even if you were, it still would not be bugsii's fault for revealing your past actions. You're the person who wrote those things, and you need to own up. If there's any blame here, it's yours. Mistakes don't make you a bad person, but a repeated pattern of questionable activity over time is a good indication of the kind of person you really are.

Based upon the musings on your blog, it's perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of your motivation. You stated that your 'affair' with the NBBCOF was to divide the church. Am I misunderstanding your words? What kind of person would deliberately want to divide a church? Why are you doing it?

You need to carefully reconsider what you're doing. I could get my Bible out and show you how sinful causing dissention in the body of Christ is, or even quote the good pastor and explain how dangerous it is to 'attack' the Holy Spirit to scare you away, but let me try another approach.

You displayed great offense when bepatient's post suggested you didn't care about the bloggers. So you do care about them, then. Great! And yet, your response to him was:

I don't know you personally, bepatent, so it is not personal. Like anyone else here, your sum total to me, for the purposes of these forums, is simply the words you write and the ideas you express.

Is that all the bloggers are to you? Nothing more? Only the words they write and the ideas they express? It’s not personal to you?

Well, it’s very personal to me, cakes. Behind every post is a person. I can’t see them, I haven’t met them, I don’t even know most of their names, but they are human beings just like you and me. Each one has their own very special set of experiences, both joyful and tearful, and every emotion in between. Every word that is written and idea that is expressed here comes from a human heart. You need to see that.

I suspect that one reason you and many others choose to reject Christianity is that you can’t see our God. Our Bible says that we walk by faith, and that same faith comes by hearing the message. We believe in God, and we believe He is a personal God through our faith. We believe there are real people behind those 66 inspired books, just like there are real people behind these grammatically incorrect posts.

These people are suffering because of the conflict. The last thing we need is for someone to stir up our emotions just to generate invigorating discussions. Those dialogues come at a high price.

The NBBCOF was born out of the turmoil within Bellevue Baptist Church. Whatever happens in the church is expressed on the blog, and the reverse is also true. I can tell you that from my experience, a majority of the membership keeps up with what’s being posted. Your popularity among the bloggers, along with your constant taunts of Mike and others is definitely harmful to the church. Again I ask, why are you doing it? If you think that taking shots at the 'pro-Gaines' people is the way to lead the bloggers to victory, you really need to check your map.

You asked me the other night if I had ever seen the eyes of a child who had been abused. I think that’s every father’s worst nightmare. I’ve lived with that fear for almost 15 years now, ever since I became a father. I suppose I’m a little obsessed with keeping it from happening in my home.

Let me ask you, cakes, have you ever listened to the heart of a 16 year old girl who has felt deeply betrayed and wounded? I think you should: http://savingbellevue.com/rachelkyker.htm
Where is that child now? Has she found another church? Has she made new friends? Is she being prayed for, cared for? Her time should be spent worrying about childhood things, and not spending Christmas day heartbroken at home, feeling like the Holy Spirit has left the temple and not knowing where turn to find Him! My oldest girl will turn 15 this summer. I really wonder how I would react if she came to me in that emotional condition.

Perhaps this doesn’t mean anything to you, cakes. But just maybe it does. Maybe you’re thinking ‘It’s just church. There are much worse things in life. She needs to get over it.’

But just maybe you’re thinking that if even one child has ever felt so deeply wounded by anything that any man has done, then things must change. There is one sin that Jesus harshly condemned above all others, and that was the harming of a child. I don’t think there are enough millstones in town to deal with everyone responsible for that girl’s tears last Christmas.

It’s time for a change. When our ancestors started building the tower of Babel God knew they would succeed. The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. What an incredible statement! I choose to take that as literally as I can. NOTHING is impossible if we work together.

Victory can only come through unity. This tearing each other apart on the blog has to stop. It just HAS to!!! The congregation will never listen to us until it does.

Trollcakes, why don’t you use your popularity to help? Why don’t you stop visiting here to take jabs, and start encouraging others to respect one another? Which would be better, to see the Bellevue family come back together or see us fall apart? Which result would you rather be a part of?

I’ve read your statements about your beliefs, and I know you don’t really care about our church. However, I believe you care about the people you’ve met on the blog. They care about the church. They are much more than the words they write or the ideas they express, they are our friends.

There’s not enough love in the world today, and we should do what we can to fix that.

Will you help us, please?

Arminius said...

If God can speak through a donkey's mouth, can he use the patoot for anything?

Arminius said...

brother sol,

If that father's plea doesn't melt a few hearts, I don't know what will.

Dibs on the movie rights!!

lovecakes said...

No, Sol,

The point is that I don't know you, bepatient, Bratton or anyone else, except by their words on the forum. Perhaps you can put a face behind the person, but I don't know any of you, so for all intents and purposes, you are your words. Of course, I know there are people behind them; it is not a statement of their value as human beings so much as what how they represent themselves. That is all anyone has on this forum--it is an appeal for people to take more responsibility for how they portray themselves.

Bratton said I wished to split your church, which cannot be intimated from any words of my own (I simply stated quite frankly that this might split the church--how ridiculous, eh?); so take it up with him. Reaching to destroy someones character is the game here. Don't call it Christ's work.

Regarding the outing, I've never launched a google search to dig up dirt on anyone here or on any other thread to which I attempted exchange. I meet all comers with sound points of inquiry and intellectual honesty--but I must, in exchange, only constantly defend my motives.

I stand by everything I write (and apologize when I'm wrong), otherwise I would delete it, yet there were no direct links from my profile to my journal. Bugsii was on a mission, and I hope you are not arguing that your savior favors the lowest commom denominator; but it seems if Steve Gaines irresponsible behavior gets a pass, then character assasination? No big whoop.

I can be a real (censored) in a discussion because I love rhetoric in all its devices--including sarcasm and irony, but alas, they are just words. I wouldn't be here if I didn't care about people. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't seeking to live by my own faith.

I have not ingratiated myself in the internal business of the church. I observe boundaries, but have limited my inquiry regarding the handling of the pedophile scandal (which is a disgrace), because I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. So, the sentiments about your own children are off limits to one who loves children and believes in their protection at all costs, yet sentiment appeals to emotion, not reason. There's too much of this on these blogs and not enough intellectual honesty.

Steve Gaines and Bellevue Baptist Church are responsible for making this a community issue, rather than merely an internal matter. That is why I am involved.

You seem to be offering an olive branch--tashi delek.

Arminius said...

Hey sol,

Got your ears on?

Arminius said...

Man! Talk about your cliffhangers!!

I just read 'Ray' Saba's 7th letter on the savingbellevue site. It's worse than The Empire Strikes back, the Matrix 2, and Pirates of the Carribean 2 all rolled into one!

I'm on the edge of my seat!! Can't wait to see how he talks himself out of thise one...

Arminius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arminius said...

Hey Jeff,

I lifted this off the NBBCOF:

SpringerSpaniel said...

Ok.. somebody sum up for me...

Can we read books or not? Does it HAVE to be the 1611 version of the King James Bible ONLY?

Oh.. and Beth Moore... is she ok or not?

What about Chuck Swindoll... haven't seen him mentioned...

And Andy Stanley, Charles Stanley, Ed Young (both Sr. and Jr.)....

Oh.. and one other question...

Did we celebrate Easter yesterday or Resurrection Sunday??

4:19 PM, April 09, 2007


Here's the REAL summary:

"I know more than you do, so if you don't agree with me you're wrong. Those pastors help people understand the Bible for themselves, so they're cramping my style and you shouldn't trust them. Never put faith in men (except for me, of course. I'd never do anything to hurt you!)"

"Oh, and don't even THINK about reading Beth Moore!!! Not only would you be learning PD wickedness, you'd be learning it from a WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

(Arminius faints dead away...)

SpringerSpaniel said...

But at the same time... they'll give you other books (which are nothing more that THOSE people's opinions) that refute the books/pastors/teachers that they don't like...

Isn't that kinda a double standard??

Warning - Snarky comment ahead...

And I forgot to ask about Jack Graham, Jan Crouch, Bishop Jakes and David Jeremiah (but I suppose that we all know David Jeremiah is evil because well... he took part in the infamous $400 meal at Ruth's Chris.

End of Snarky comment

On a serious note... what is a "Berean".. there used to be a Berean Baptist church a long time ago, next to what was then George Lindsey's steak house near the corner of Park and Mendenhall. Now it's either a wedding chapel or an auction house. I looked up Berean... Paul preached to them... they were commended for running everything through scripture... so does that mean that you are "Berean" if you test everything by the scriptures? I thought that made you a Christian.

Arminius said...

It's a classic example of misinterpretation of the Bible.

Methinks the Bereans were commended by Luke because they agreed with what Paul told them after checking the scriptures. They were sold on what was told to them.

Therefore (in some people's minds, it seems), to be a Berean you have to agree with their opinions after you check what the Bible says. If you don't agree, then you're obviously wrong and are Thessalonican.

Mike Bratton said...

To "be Berean" is to be a cautious, mature Christian who makes sure the claims made by others match up with previous Biblical revelation. At the time they are mentioned in Scripture, the New Testament was far from complete; they were commended for comparing what was being taught in the present (Christianity) with what was available in the past (the Old Testament) and finding that the two agreed.

God never works at cross purposes with Himself.

--Mike

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