Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What is a "real man"?

A little distance is a wonderful thing.

Having been caught up in the joys of both serving in the Memphis Passion Play and of moving to a new home in a new city, I have been blessedly distant from both the childishness that currently permeates the Closed Forum and the disregard for law that is the calling card of "Saving Bellevue." My prayer is that I will be able to address other areas of interest (which I expect to do soon), but I would be remiss were I to neglect observing how both anti-Bellevue groups are operating these days, in one more effort to encourage them to repent of their behavior.

First, the nonsense ironically known as "Saving Bellevue" has pushed the boundaries of the ridiculous to new depths. Last week, I sent them an e-mail; since I've yet to receive a response (which is, unfortunately, typical), perhaps sharing its contents with you might encourage a response. This is the text of my April 7 e-mail, quoted thusly and like so:

I would've written sooner, but we've just now finished the move to Birmingham. As I try to catch up, what do I find at your site? Why, bootlegged IMAG video of the business meeting. Care to explain why a group such as yours--a group so very, very interested in "integrity" and "accountability"--seems willing to break the law with regard to copyright infringement on a regular basis?

You folks really have to stop this. I'm concerned about you, and about your circle of associates. In the name of Jesus, I ask you to put aside your bitterness, because it is blinding you to the wrongs you are committing; you and yours have long since become known only for what you are against, and not at all for what you are for. Consider that Easter Sunday would be a good time to renounce your old behavior and put your efforts toward constructive work for the cause of Christ. At the very least, I encourage you to attend whatever church you'll attend tomorrow without carrying a video camera.


Appropriately, the videos they bootlegged off Bellevue's IMAG system have been removed by YouTube, but the response of "Saving Bellevue" is telling. Rather than taking responsibility for their own illicit behavior--and while displaying a continued, disturbing predilection for unrepentently breaking the law where copyright issues are concerned--their sole response is "This is censorship."

No, this was violating YouTube's Terms Of Service. And breaking the law.

Integrity counts? When--only when it's someone else's?

Secondly, the clique ironically known as an Open Forum has taken to baiting the men of Bellevue who don't buy into their bitterness by insisting they aren't "real men." A few make the assertion, and the rest affirm it. Obviously, such immature, schoolyard taunts have been the coin of the Forum realm for awhile now, but rather than dismissing the taunt, I felt led to address it.

At the Closed Forum, one finds that a "real man" is someone who thinks destroying a church is a good idea. According to the observations and rah-rahs of their few-but-proud (apologies to the U.S. Marine Corps), real men "are not afraid to stand up and speak out. They put their names on the line to protect the church and preserve the truth."

Interesting that the majority of the men who participate in the anti-Bellevue movement do so behind pseudonyms--except for the few who'll provide both their first and last names to television producers.

(The same observation applies to the "Saving Bellevue"/"Integrity Does Count" hybrid. One can only find out the IDC membership after joining--for a fee, of course. So, according to the Closed Forum, IDC is anything but "manly.")

And how have anti-Bellevue sympathizers "protected" or "preserved" much of anything? We've seen them, as a group, fumble every chance to maturely speak to the issues that are supposed to drive them; equate their brothers in Christ with Fascists, the Mafia, and Satanists; and make un-Biblical pronouncements regarding who is--or is not--a Christian. What we haven't seen is concern for the church body as a whole or the meekness, the strength under Christ's control, that would allow them to speak up about an issue without defaming others.

Real men, and real women, are up to that task. So, what do you say, IDC-ers and Forum-ites? Will the discourse of the playground be your only legacy, or can you leave the taunts, bitterness and antagonism behind you?

--Mike

EDITED TO ADD: For those few who make up what's left of the Closed Forum "regulars," thanks for stopping by and browsing. From what I read, your collective seems either unwilling or unable to take up the challenge and put the playground mentality in the rear-view mirror. It's at once telling and heartbreaking.

57 comments:

lovecakes said...

Welcome back Mike; hope all is well with your family's move.

Cakes

Memphis said...

Mike, Welcome back I hope things are well, and sorry we never got to meet.

I also am tired of the "closed forum" as it has been called stating that simply becasue one does not agree with their views that I am not a man. I think the more they go on with that type of "blogging and thinking", the more it hurts their creditibility.

Arminius said...

My favorite statement on the NBBCOF so far:

"Now, this will offend you if you aren't a Christian. [insert favorite inflammatory putdown here]"

SpringerSpaniel said...

Mike... I had a long post here all typed out about the "real men" thing...

With, of course, the obligatory snarkism...

The stupid blog went and changed the word verification thingy and I lost it. Or think I did. Anyways, you summed up exactly what I was thinking... so now I have no need to write it again!!!

How's Birmingham? I assume that you've already found the two sexiest fat men alive and gotten hooked on their radio show.

Although you might want to check first over at the closed blog and see if it is ok to actually listen to the radio... I haven't asked them yet...

Amy said...

Springer said,

Although you might want to check first over at the closed blog and see if it is ok to actually listen to the radio... I haven't asked them yet...

Mike- I am over at NASS'S blog all the time so I'll just save you from opening another window. It is NOT O.K to listen to the radio and I question if you've ever even darkened the doors of a church if you have to ask!

Springer.....
You're always so nice and pleasant to everyone over at NBBCOF. I didn't know you had this other side....
Mike, I hope you are enjoying Birmingham! I love that city-even if the streets are confusing. Take your kids to that Children's museum, and Joe's Pet World- very cool.

SpringerSpaniel said...

Eh, I am nice and pleasant, Amy...

And snarky, at times...

This side of me is over there... asking about certain preachers, telling folks they have to right to vote on Bellevue business if they aren't Bellevue members, I just didn't bother to post about the insinuation that there aren't any real men at Bellevue (and even someone went so far as to say that if you were a single female, don't bother going to Bellevue to find a hubby) because... honestly... is a differing opinion going to change any of their minds? I think not.

Perhaps I were a bit snide, though... my intent was to be more humorous than snide... guess it didn't come across that way.

Amy said...

Springer,

I was teasing you a little bit. I still consider you very pleasant, and I enjoy your posts. I can be extremely snarky as well, I'm more passive agressive about it.

SpringerSpaniel said...

Now... if I can just figger out where I learned the word "snarky" from...

Mike Bratton said...

Hmm... "Snarky"... Such a pleasant word--however did you come across it?

Yes, thanks, folks, Birmingham is a fascinating place. We're getting to know folks, looking for just where God wants us in church, and slowly getting everything where we want it in our new place.

We've already hit the museum you referenced, Amy, if you were referencing the Science Center. Great place.

So radio is now the big bugaboo? I guess it's coincidental that I've made my living since 1989 in radio. A couple of questions you folks might want to pose on the subject:

1) If all radio is evil, then all radio programs must be evil; do you mean that Love Worth Finding, Focus On The Family, Turning Point, and other such broadcast programs are evil, also?

2) Since the fad of television is merely radio with pictures, are all televised ministries evil by association?

Oh, and one more question, but of the non-radio variety:

3) When will the Forum regulars stop un-Biblically considering themselves the gatekeepers of Christianity?

I love them, and it is depressing to see their collective bitterness fermenting.

--Mike

SpringerSpaniel said...

Actually, Mike, all electronical things are evil.

And I googled it... Snarky was invented by a BSU director in the late 1980's known only by his first name of Ron.

Or it was coined by Dane Cook. Take your pick.

Mike Bratton said...

Ron was probably using that word to describe... um... someone in his BSU who was behaving in such a way.

--Mike

Amy said...

Mike said....

I guess it's coincidental that I've made my living since 1989 in radio.

< snark > And not a surprise either I might add. < /snark >

Mike Bratton said...

While I'm thinking of it, can I get someone to find out why people who post death threats even get the time of day at the Closed Forum, much less elude "banning"?

--Mike

Bepatient said...

Banning can only happen two ways...

1. Disagree with the NASS.

2. Oh wait, I guess there is only the one way to get banned.


Mike, we are SO on the same page about this irony (perhaps hypocrisy would be a better word) found on the Closed Forum, etc.

I just don't understand how they have read the same Bible that I have.

Derrick Calcote said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Bratton said...

If Jim Barnwell's not already aware of their latest tactic, Derrick, I'll attempt to contact him tomorrow and let him know.

And to anyone engaged in the re-distribution of the bootlegged video, you're breaking the law.

Over, and over, and over again.

Don't ever say another thing about the integrity of any other human being unless and until you repent to God, seek the forgiveness of those you've slandered at your site, and remove the videos from every site where you've placed them.

As it stands now, your credibility is completely gone.

--Mike

solomon said...

Trollcakes said...
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.

TC, I don't think I've ever read anything more prophetic in my life. It's a sad, sad fact that not everyone is who they appear to be. We've already got a good handle on putting on a 'church face' on Sunday morning, and now it looks like we need 'blog faces'.

I never expected my post to you to show up on the NBBCOF. I shouldn't have been surprised to see words freely put into my mouth throughout the day, but it still got the better of me. I was deceived.

I've mentioned a few times that my wife is friends with the 2 ladies who used to post under the name 'faithnhope'. They used to contribute to the NBBCOF, but signed off for good. Supposedly it was Faith who put my post over there, but she denied it. It's not hard to verify that it was not the same account. The real 'faithnhope' account ended in 92291 (do a mouse-over and the number appears at the bottom). The posts from Saturday ended with 388496.

I have no earthly idea why someone would put on an act like that, right down to imitating Faith's nurturing personality and Hope's theological mind. Obviously, it was an unbalaced but clever person.

When I was looking around for other suspicious things, I noticed a deleted post from 'faithnhope' on 3/27 at 10:17 pm. The (hidden) profile ended with the numbers 85939, the same as my 'new best friend' arminius.

I truly don't understand the motives behind such deception, but that is not a way a Christian should do business. It does a lot of harm and absolutely no good. It's certainly not something a 'real man' would do.

Arminius, whatever your reason for doing this was, you've done a lot of damage. If you truly are a Christian then you know you've got a lot of fences to mend. These times are hard enough already, and we don't need yet another outsider deliberately misleading us.

solomon said...

BTW,

Arminius wasn't the only case of multiple personality I noticed.

I've occasionally thought the Lin/Lindon duo was suspicious, but I noticed a lengthy exchange between 'just my opinion' and Lindon in which Lin suddenly pitched in as if they were the same person:

Lin said...
JMO: You are the master of spin. You take lessons from Paul Begalla or Terry McAuliffe?

You have managed to take everthing I have written and spin it to reflect the opposite. And I won't bother to go through it point by point...the readers here are sharp enough to see it. Even without PhD's.

But I have had enough spin. The facts that are important are still glaringly obvious: You have a pastor who ignores scriptural commands. He did at a critical point. He misuses scripture and verses out of context. Your leaders are operating in secrecy (Acts 5) and they have not been forth coming about the alledged 'interview' of the victim with the 'committee'. There is much more but I will stop now.

Bottom line: The leaders have proven they are not to be trusted.

I have just decided not to engage you specifically anymore. It is pointless.
3:30 PM, March 10, 2007


Just My Opinion said...
lin wrote: "You have managed to take everthing I have written and spin it to reflect the opposite."

Sorry but didn't know we had a string going...I've been back and forth with lindon. Please point me back to the last post so I can remind myself of what I've placed a "spin".
4:52 PM, March 10, 2007

lin said...
nothing


How in the world can we ever know who's genuine? How can someone demand 'integrity' when they don't even know what it is?

What a mess.

Mike Bratton said...

My friends, that is the problem with pseudonyms.

With anyone's use of pseudonyms, if I may be so bold, but particularly when people use them as camouflage from which to snipe.

--Mike

Proverbs 12:22 said...

Mr. Calcote,

Jim Haywood and Saving Bellevue are in no way affiliated with Integrity Does Count. Furthermore, IDC has nothing to do with posting illicit videos.

Please get your facts straight.

Mike Bratton said...

Proverbs 12:22 said...
Mr. Calcote,

Jim Haywood and Saving Bellevue are in no way affiliated with Integrity Does Count. Furthermore, IDC has nothing to do with posting illicit videos.

Please get your facts straight.


From what we know, my friend Derrick Calcote does, indeed, have his facts straight.

To take the second part first (kudos to anyone who knows what game show that comes from), the videos the "Saving Bellevue"/"Integrity Does Count" group are peppering throughout the blogosphere were obtained surreptitiously, by using a video camera to record the display from one of Bellevue's IMAG screens.

This is against the law, which is no doubt why YouTube deemed it a violation of its Terms Of Service.

As for affiliation of the two organizations, a lookup of savingbellevue.com reveals an IP address of 72.22.83.82. A lookup of integritydoescount.com reveals an IP address of 72.22.83.82. (And just for the record, a lookup of blogspot.com reveals an IP address of 72.14.207.191.) While not conclusive, the IP addresses of the two sites are certainly more than coincidental.

But there's more.

The savingbellevue.com contact is Jim Haywood.

The integritydoescount.com contact is Tim Coggins.

Are we to understand that Mr. Haywood and Mr. Coggins "are in no way affiliated" with one another?

--Mike

lovecakes said...

Well, lucky for Bellevue, the video actually shows the way the meeting was conducted above reproach. I'm sure it is getting so much traction simply because it is so flattering to the leadership.

Be happy, with these videos, Gaines and the gang have their credibility restored all over the internets.

Right?

junk99mail said...

Greetings!

I hope your move went well, Mr. Bratton, and that you enjoy your new city.

I was wondering where the BBC meeting videos came from...thanks for da 411 on that. From the poor quality I thought maybe they had been recorded by cell phones or something similar--I never thought of the recording device being pointed at the screens. (If I had been there maybe I would have realized that.) But regardless of whether the video camera was poined at individuals or at the screen, I'm not persuaded that there is a copyright violation involved ... as I am not persuaded that BBC has a legal right to prevent anyone from taping anything that occurs in the building. But I'm no legal expert. To me a more significant question is why on earth the BBC leadership would care that they were made publicly available. (Surely they can't claim it is because it is "internal church business", since at the start of the first video the meeting chairman stated that visitors were welcome to stay, they just couldn't vote.) So where's the harm?

Re: the question of Lindon & Lin ... I wondered about that also, for a while. But she posted a while back that they are both her accounts and for some reason blogger appears to swap back and forth between the two at random when she posts. I don't know how that would happen (unless maybe she is logged in under two separate gmail accounts simultaneously, perhaps in a tabbed browser like IE7). But since she has publicaly stated they are both her, there is no deception involved. Just thought I'd let y'all know.

Peace out.

Mike Bratton said...

Having been at the meeting, the term "bending over backwards" is appropriate for the accommodations that were made for contrarian points to be raised.

As I've said before, they largely blew their opportunity. While some points were raised thoughtfully and discussed intelligently, their efforts rapidly lost coordination and, for lack of a better term, "integrity."

Was I disappointed? Absolutely.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Mister... um... "Junk," thank you for your kind wishes.

And while I appreciate your perception, Bellevue does indeed have copyright protection over the events that transpire and are recorded within the church walls. I don't believe any rebroadcast or other use of the pictures, descriptions, and accounts of church services has to have the consent of Major League Baseball, but you get the point. :)

--Mike

Proverbs 12:22 said...

Haywood hates IDC!

Coggins is no longer involved with IDC.

You saying something doesn't make it true.

You do realize both the pastor and Coombs are admitting they planned to stop the meeting as they did. The pastor has admitted it had to be stopped when they saw Chris Williams approaching. The minority never had a fair chance to be heard.

solomon said...

This could almost have been written by some of the people who are currently saying they despise the emergent church. They don't seem to realize that's exactly where they are headed.

And yet they would also say they want to return to fundamentalism.

Perhaps if they would all get together in real life without phony identities they'd realize how many different pages they are on.

The People...

Bepatient said...

Roland M. Robinson says:

Real Men

R-espect
E-very
S-isters
P-rivacy
E-eventhough
C-ats
T-respass


Also, just good advice all around...

"Please, don't let nobody see you naked"

He needs some money so please visit
http://pullyourpantsupmission.com

If you click on the links I am not responsible for the graphic drawings you may see.

SpringerSpaniel said...

He must have been to Saddleback!!!

michelle mann said...

Just wanted to take a second to say HEY to my big brother! Have a good day!

SpringerSpaniel said...

And remeber this, kiddos!!!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO WEAR A THONG TO HAVE IT GOING ON !


And yes, I know... well, I assume, that he's sincere...

but it's still funny.

Bepatient said...

Bless his heart, I really think it is in the right place, and I do applaud him for putting something positive out there.

But please listen to the "pull your pants up" rap song.

Mike Bratton said...

Proverbs 12:22 said...
Haywood hates IDC!


And your source for such information is?

Coggins is no longer involved with IDC.

And your source for such information is?

You saying something doesn't make it true.

Working with established facts does, however, unless the parameters of their association have demonstrably changed. Seeing as how you're contesting the established facts, whoever you are, without a shred of substance to back it up--much less the heft and reputation that could accompany your real name--perhaps you should've taken your own words to heart before you published them?

You do realize both the pastor and Coombs are admitting they planned to stop the meeting as they did. The pastor has admitted it had to be stopped when they saw Chris Williams approaching. The minority never had a fair chance to be heard.

My apologies for being out of town, but has anyone admitted anything of that nature?

And the sliver of a fraction of a "minority" had more than a fair opportunity to be heard. As has been noted, they blew it.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

michelle mann said...
Just wanted to take a second to say HEY to my big brother! Have a good day!


You too, baby sis. Nice of you to stop by!

--Mike

Proverbs 12:22 said...

Mike,

Please call Dr. Spradlin and ask him, the pastor admitted the plan to stop the meeting to him. Please call David Coombs, he has admitted the plan to stop the meeting to multiple people.

Yes, I know of what I speak with regards to Jim Haywood and Tim Coggins. Tim resigned weeks back and Jim Haywood quit altogether and formed his own new group--A.C.T.

Mike Bratton said...

Proverbs 12:22 said...
Mike,

Please call Dr. Spradlin and ask him, the pastor admitted the plan to stop the meeting to him. Please call David Coombs, he has admitted the plan to stop the meeting to multiple people.


So, you have second- and third-hand information? Not surprising. However, I'll take the invitation to call my friend Mike Spradlin as I have the opportunity.

Yes, I know of what I speak with regards to Jim Haywood and Tim Coggins. Tim resigned weeks back and Jim Haywood quit altogether and formed his own new group--A.C.T.

Am I to understand there's dissention within the dissention?

Again, not surprising, if true.

--Mike

Proverbs 12:22 said...

I don't know what "dissention" is.

Jim Haywood and Tim can speak for themselves. I'm not a member of either group so I don't know the details. The story is Jim and others favor a more forceful approach than IDC.

No, I don't have third hand information. You don't know a thing about me, so don't make assumptions. I know what I know. I recommended Dr. Spradlin because you have previously indicated he is a friend. I thought he might be able to easily substantiate this informaiton for you.

junk99mail said...

Interesting ...

savingbellevue.com removed the link to the NBBCOF blog because the blog was just gossip (according to the original sermon link on savingbellevue associated with the notice that the blog would no longer be linked there).

Now we hear that Mr. Haywood has disassociated himself from IDC and formed ACT (which I noticed does have the same ownership as savingbellevue). And we also hear that Mr. Coggins is no longer part of IDC.

Not to minimize the concerns of my friends on NBBCOF, nor to imply anything negative about those who have such concerns ... but I have to admit that it is all to easy to take separatism to extremes, so that the separatists start separating from each other. That is one of the reasons we have so many denominations already, especially so many Baptist denominations.

Separatism has long been a key Baptist distinctive and defining characteristic. And, of course, the idea of "being separate" from the world is biblical, and it is also biblical that there is a point at which those who claim to be Christians are so close to the world in their views and behavior, that it is necessary to be separate from them, as well. But the problem is determining what that point is ... which behaviors, which views, which doctrines are so bad as to make separation necessary?

The Bible is plain on this when it comes to those involved in blatant immorality -- but what of those who do not live immorally, but are tolerant of those who do? Likewise, the Bible is clear that we are to be separate from those espousing heretical views on essential Christian doctrines (the fundamentals of the faith espoused in the earliest Christian creeds). But are we also to separate from those whose doctrines are not quite that bad, but who in turn associate with or quote or do not condemn others who DO have heretical teachings?

Where is the line?

History and human nature show that there are always those who are too quick to separate, who draw the line too quickly, and those who are too slow to separate, who draw hardly any lines at all.

The "easy" answer is that the line is to be drawn with the truth of scripture, because all unity is based on and requires truth. The problem, though, is whose interpretation of scripture? Sure, there are some things that are so plain in scripture that pretty much everyone can agree on. The hard part is with those things that must be inferred, or which involve application more than one scriptural principle at a time. Based on their interpretation of scripture, the churches of Christ separate from churches that have musical instruments (even churches that believe pretty much everything else the same as they do, such as the independent Christian churches). Pentecostals are separate from those who do not believe that tongues-speaking is a valid spiritual gift for today. The Baptists separate from those who do practice infant baptism. And all of these base their separations on their understanding of the "plain truth of the Bible". The point here being that the "easy" answer of unity based on the truth of the Bible, which is absolute truth, can involve our frail, human, subjective interpretations of that absolute truth.

My conclusions? I have none. No answers here, just observations...

"Junk"

P.S. Now...should I also post this on the NBBCOF?

solomon said...

junk,

After the beating I received for seeking unity, I'd advise you NOT to post on the NBBCOF.

Disharmony is a sure sign of human rights taking precedence over God's preeminence. When human rights are violated, expect anger.

There is no hope of harmony over there. They won't rest until the pews at Bellevue are empty, and every last brick is thrown down, so to speak. (Just look at the gloating that's going on because Mrs. Rogers was reportedly at GBC Wednesday night.)

Don't try to reason with them. I have, and I've received beating after beating. I should have known better after my first attempt to reach out to them. We used to pray for SOTL (and others) on Thursday nights, and I sincerely tried to give her some encouragement once:

sickofthelies said...
Sweet Cakes
Thank you for caring. The problem with going to another church and finding " real Christians" would mean that I would still be setting myself up for more abuse from the pharisees.
I just can't take it anymore. I can't do it.

solomon said...
Stephanie,
Jesus said to never, ever give to dogs that which is sacred, or to cast your pearls before swine. You'll only bring more pain into your life if you do.
Moreover, don't put your light under a bushel. Let it shine so that men may see and glorify God.
Grace and peace.
9:44 PM, March 08, 2007

gmommylv said...
Solomon's 9:44 post makes me sick.
(trying to keep the blood pressure down so no elaboration)


A wise man learns from experience. A wiser man learns from the experiences of others.

Junk, be wise. Learn from my experience with the NBBCOF.

It seems like we've heard this a lot lately, but don't 'cast your pearls before swine.'

Keith

junk99mail said...

Keith,
I appreciate your advice and concern. As I have been in agreement with many of the concerns raised there, I have friendly relationships with most of the regulars. So I don't think I'd be attacked. But even if so, it would be ok ... I've been jumped on in my life before, sometimes deserved and sometimes not.

I'm sorry for your negative experiences there. It can be frustrating (and painful) when you share your perspective and try to exhort others and get smacked around for it. But even when I disagree with (or feel I am being mistreated by) fellow believers in Christ, I don't consider them swine. Nor do I consider my own opinions pearls.

Sure, I get annoyed when people say or do things they shouldn't, especially when I'm the brunt of an attack, or when someone I care about is. And when someone says or does something I find particularly stupid or wrong-headed, I am tempted to lash out at them. Sometimes I follow that temptation and get "snarky", or worse. I've ready plenty on that blog (and this one, and others) that get me "sorely vexed", from people on all sides of the issues. My desire and goal is to respond with the same grace and understanding that I'd prefer to receive if someone was upset with me.

Be blessed, brother.

Amy said...

Solomon,
Have you received an apology and/or explanation (not that any would really suffice) why Arminius
would post what he did over there?

I am glad you mentiond that you can put your mouse over the name and see the numbers. There have been several times I didn't think someone sounded like themselves and I remember someone posting as SOTL that was clearly not her, and she called them out for it.
I am sorry you and Faith and Hope were taken advantage of like that. No excuse IMHO.

solomon said...

junk99,

Thank you for your kind words. They are certainly in short supply these days, and lately it's hard to tell the real thing from some phony baloney.

'Pearls before swine' are the words of Jesus, and they are not a putdown. It's simply a way of saying not to offer something of great value to someone who can't benefit from it. It could be something as simple as an encouraging word, or (apparently) someone's presence at a business meeting.

All analogies break down if pushed too far. A good example is the 'Hezbollah' comment. What Gaines said was that Mr. Sharp's throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him was like Hezbollah firing rockets at random into Israel, hoping to hit something. He didn't say "Mark, you're bad! You're as bad as HEZBOLLAH!!!"

It really wasn't a bad analogy. Of course, it was taken down to the personal level.

That whole episode illustrates the problem with Steve Gaines. He is unable to take responsibility for his mistakes. He didn't mean what he said in an ugly way, but offense was taken. His 'apology' went something like this: 'I shouldn't have called you Hezbollah. You're obviously not a middle eastern terrorist group.'

Maybe I'm just nit picking, but I don't see an apology there at all. No, Mark isn't a middle eastern terrorist group, but he is a man who was offended and deserved an apology.

Maybe SG just has a different way of apologizing than I do. I would have said something like 'Mark, I realize from your reaction that my comment was offensive to you. It was a bad comment, and I apologize. Please forgive me.'

That's just me, though.

solomon said...

Amy,

I haven't heard from Arminius yet, and I really don't expect to. I'm not as concerned about an apology as an explanation. I looked over all of his or her posts that I could find, and I don't see anything disturbing. A few of them sound a little immature, but other than that s/he seems to share the same desire for peace that I have. It doesn't make sense to me.

Arminius clearly has studied a lot of theology, but I have to wonder how good a handle this person has on the basic truths of the Bible, for example Ephesians 4:25.

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

Amy said...

Sol,

I remember when Arminius first started posting on NBBCOF, right after Mike Bratton was kicked off the blog, he made comments to bait people, IMHO. One post he asked if anyone had heard about a blog re:BBC that a " guy named Mike" did, and he asked a couple of posters things like, "Do you read MB's blog?" Someone even wondered if he was Mike Bratton. One wise poster correctly responded, if Mike ever came back,he wouldn't be anonymous!

solomon said...

Amy,

I saw those comments by Arminius. He showed up during that big to do about predestination, but I suspect that he or she has been around for longer. I'm sure a more thorough search would turn up many posts with that id number.

One thing that seemed strange was that s/he would never come right out and say what their thoughts on Calvinism/Arminianism were. With that screen name you'd thing they would be emphatic, but I now believe that since the discussion was leaning toward Calvin that this person was playing 'spoiler' to elevate the arguing that was going on.

I'm going to keep an eye out for any new 'friends' who show up in the near future with a wealth of theological knowledge. I've got a feeling we haven't heard the last of this.

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

junk99,

I see that you posted your question about unity and harmony on the other blog. I hope that some people put some serious thought into it.

Since I live in a house with 3 girls ages 9, 10, and 14 it's something I think about a lot!

At the heart of the Protestant denominations is a spirit of protest. That's how we started, and that's part of the legacy the reformers passed down to us. For about 1000 years after Christ's ascension there was 1 church. Then there were 2 for about 400-500 years. Then there were 4 as the Reformation hit. Now there are over 30,000.

I could point to a lot of signs that there is something seriously wrong with the church today, but none more persuasive than that. Why are there so many denominations?

And all of these base their separations on their understanding of the "plain truth of the Bible".

Yet the Bible says to be one, even as God the father and Jesus were one. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ignore that, and you're ignoring scripture. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. One God, not 30000.

As far as IDC and ACT, I think we're seeing a simple truth unfolding. Their only agreement is that the leadership at BBC is bad. Any time you depend on anything other than the gospel for unity, you're setting yourself up for failure.

junk99mail said...

After my first post on this thread and Mr. Bratton's response, I've done some Internet searching concerning copyright law. Multiple sources indicated that copyright belongs to the "author" or "originator" of a work. When a musician performs, copyright belongs to the author/originator of the song, not to anyone making a video or audio recording of the performance. Likewise, for public speeches, sermons, meetings, etc. the author/originator is not the person or organization making a recording, but rather the individual who is speaking and being recorded. Such individuals are the only ones who can assert copyright. A person can pretty much legally record anything they want ... but publication of it requires the consent of the author/originator of whatever was recorded. Prior consent isn't required before publication, but the author/originator, and only the author/originator, has the legal right to assert copyright and to demand that the publication be terminated and/or fair market compensation be provided.

solomon said...

(from the NBBCOF)

tim coggins wrote...I couldn't agree more that the men of Bellevue should strap on some knee braces and stand up.

Where are the men of Bellevue? Are the protecting their positions and names at the expensive of forsaking the church that Jesus Christ gave His life for?

Long ago, I said I would stand alone if I had to. I have continue to stand. I have not had to stand alone, but there has been little support.

One day folks will realize how strong men like Jim Haywood, Mark Sharpe, Richard Emerson and Josh Manning have been. It will probably be more than one day to late, but they will realize that these men took a stand for truth.

The rest of the men must have reasons for sitting back and waiting.


You know, I just don't get it. There are over 400 names on the petition, but Coggins only considers 4 (well, 5 counting himself) as 'men.'

Tim, some of us non-men of Bellevue have signed your petition, even though our families have rejected it. We've brought the conflict into our own homes because we disagree with the status quo. I've noticed that your wife has also signed, so you can't understand what that is like.

Consider this. The majority of the bloggers on the NBBCOF are women. What was it RG Lee said? "A society will never rise above the spiritual level of its women." According to him, then, the men are not the problem.

When I go to church this Sunday, I will not see Jim Haywood, Mark Sharpe, Richard Emerson and Josh Manning. These valiant 'men' have all left. Maybe I should be a 'man' and quit too, but I still have hope that God is not done with Bellevue.

upside down said...

I find it interesting that the NBBCOF has mention of MD being fired while the person who prayer at the 11:00 service asked for safety for Mark and family as they vacationed.

I find it alarming that Sickofthelies is herself a liar and can spew the most bitter and hate filled post on the blog without being checked by anyone. Those who had a 'gut check' when Steve Gaines arrived certainly don't have the 'guts' to challenge SOTL in her sinful ways.

I am disappointed that the forum operator bans all who try to bring truth and civility to the board. Yet allows slander, gossip, lies and hate to flow freely.

What does it say about a board that produces more hate than love? more lies than truth?

Yes, I've been banned for the simple reason of talking about Christ's instruction to us to "love one another" as a way of showing our love for Christ. Hmmm, this love thing just doesn't survive in a hate filled environment. For those of you who post on the other board why not ask this simple question, "Why have you banned those who bring truth to the board? Are we so afraid of having our opinions challenged that we reject anyone who doesn't march in step with us?"

I once challenged Mike to his term anti-Bellevue. But Mike, I apologize for you were right in your initial assessment and I was wrong. They truly are a group of anti-Bellevue folks. They joy in any perceived loss which now happens at Bellevue. They use membership and staff departures as their score keeping measures. Maybe it is time that those who have moved on to go about building up there current fellowship rather than tearing down the one they left.

And the reason for my id of "upside down" was that those folks trully have things upside down.

Mike Bratton said...

upside down said...

...

I once challenged Mike to his term anti-Bellevue. But Mike, I apologize for you were right in your initial assessment and I was wrong.


Accepted and forgiven, of course.

And much obliged--it's important to understand a group or movement for what it is, and for the past half-year or so, their actions and rhetoric have been solidly, undeniably anti-Bellevue.

Though you're not welcome there, feel free to make yourself at home here.

--Mike

SpringerSpaniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
all2jesus said...

Hey Mike,

So Bellevue claims the services are copyrighted, thus making any videos taken "bootleg." Very clever. All one must do to avoid embarrassing replays of one's faux pas du jour is copyright oneself. Erstwhile Senator John Ford and his counsel would do well to take note and put the FBI on notice: "Hey you (expletive)s, I'm copyrighted!"

Scoundrels everywhere, rejoice.

Mike Bratton said...

all2jesus said...
Hey Mike,

So Bellevue claims the services are copyrighted, thus making any videos taken "bootleg." Very clever.


It's not a claim, and it's not overwhelmingly clever. It's just a fact. What do you call it when someone smuggles a video camera into an event and videotapes the event without consent?

All one must do to avoid embarrassing replays of one's faux pas du jour is copyright oneself.

The only folks who could be embarrassed by the video are those contrarians who botched their opportunity to have a sober, measured discussion of things that supposedly concern them.

Erstwhile Senator John Ford and his counsel would do well to take note and put the FBI on notice: "Hey you (expletive)s, I'm copyrighted!"

Scoundrels everywhere, rejoice.


No doubt you realized how inapplicable your analogy was before you typed it out, so I'm at a loss to understand why you went ahead with it.

On the "Your point is not well taken" thread, we're having a conversation about copyright. If you'd like to join us, by all means do so.

--Mike

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