Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The parable of the fuzzy scroll

There was a man who was blessed by God with a wonderful family; one day the Lord prompted the man and his family to move to a far country, full of elephants and tigers and blazers (although having a school nickname inspired by Chevy doesn't make much sense, personally--but I digress).

As this family pitched its tent by an emerald lake, the man and his wife began to do the things which would allow them to abide in this new land lawfully. One of the most important rules of the new land was the Rule of the Tag. Each wagon in the land must carry the Tag--but not the Tag of their former land, no; even though driving with a Tag from the former land caused other wagon drivers to cut them slack when veering suddenly to get to the right exit and generally elicited a friendly, you-ain't-from-around-here wave from the natives, the family's wagons must now be identified with the new land.

So, it fell to the man to journey into the Land of the Bureaucrats, where the precious Tags are found. He had carefully assembled the parchments and scrolls which would prove him worthy to receive a Tag and allay the instinctive suspicions of the Bureaucrats. In doing so, the man had gotten a copy of the most valuable of scrolls--the parchment kept by his Banker in a land thousands of miles away, the scroll that declared to all that the man would one day own his wagon outright.

With great satisfaction, the man waited to speak to one of the Bureaucrats; when it was his time, he carefully laid out all his scrolls and parchments before the Bureaucrat's squinting eyes. After a long, contemplative silence, the Bureaucrat peered up at the man and declared "This one is fuzzy--begone!"

Yet the man did not move. The scroll his Banker had sent him was a copy of the real scroll, and the journey over the thousands of miles had caused it to blur. Yet the man could read the important parts of the scroll, so he beseeched the Bureaucrat to reconsider. "Your Banker has failed you, and you cannot have the Tag of our land until all your scrolls please my eye. Now, many others wish to make their entreaties of me, so please step aside if you must cry out to your Banker. So let it be written, so let it be done."

As the steam rolled from the man's ears, he raised a loud cry to his Banker; over the long distance, the calm, restful voice of his Banker filled his ear, dissipating the steam. "My friend, we knew you were moving to that new land, and we knew the trials you would face, so we are sending the original scroll to your tent by the emerald lake. Even the most impassive Bureaucrat cannot help but be moved by its beauty and clarity; just be patient, and your wagon will have its Tag."

The man was frustrated that he could not have another copy, until he realized that he would enjoy a few days longer the courtesy extended to those who drive a wagon with a foreign Tag, and then be able to stride boldly before the Bureaucrat after his crisp, original scroll arrived. As he left the Land of the Bureaucrats, the man took each wave from the natives as more precious, and hoped the waves would continue after his new Tag made him blend in more closely with them.

--Mike

28 comments:

Karen said...

Your Tennessee-ness is rubbing off so soon? Does this mean you will be wearing crimson soon? Say it ain't so, Mike!!!

karen

Mortified said...

From there to here,
From here to there,
Bureaucrats are everywhere.

junk99mail said...

Man! I hate dealing with those wagon tag scroll Bureaucrats! An ancient problem, though -- I'm pretty sure I read the same story in one of the books of the Aporcypha. But don't worry...they are in the public domain.

Mike Bratton said...

Bwahaha, and such.

--Mike

Memphis said...

Mike, just wondering if I can call someone an idiot on this Christian based blog like they do on some of the other Christian based blogs??

Mike Bratton said...

Memphis said...
Mike, just wondering if I can call someone an idiot on this Christian based blog like they do on some of the other Christian based blogs??


No, you may not, but thank you for asking.

Was it an isolated case, or is there more than one person employing language that their upbringing would no doubt inhibit (and their professed Savior would frown upon) employing face-to-face?

--Mike

P.S.: Yes, that was an awfully convoluted sentence.

John Mark said...

Was it an isolated case, or is there more than one person employing language that their upbringing would no doubt inhibit (and their professed Savior would frown upon) employing face-to-face?

oc said...
bonds,

There seems to be alot you don't remember. Like the fact you were banned for being an idiot before and will soon be again.

12:49 AM, April 30, 2007

Bonds said...

oc said...
bonds,

There seems to be alot you don't remember. Like the fact you were banned for being an idiot before and will soon be again.

Wow, how Christ like. Sorry to tell you though I am a first timer here on this website. Calling me an idiot is kind of out there since you don't know me. But I will let this one slide and I forgive you. And why would one get banned from this website? Is there a dictator here?

12:57 AM, April 30, 2007

sickofthelies said...

Watching,

You REALLY are an idiot if you are going to hold a CHILD responsible for not telling AR.

Yeah, I said it: YOU ARE AN IDIOT if you think that the VICTIM shares in the blame if he, as a child, did not report the abuse sooner.

You are a creepy little man.

Go away.

10:01 PM, May 03, 2007

New BBC Open Forum said...

I have to concur with SOTL on this one. On this point, you really are acting like an idiot when you say the victim wouldn't have been able to "approach" Dr. Rogers, and you show a total lack of understanding and sympathy for what these victims go through.

Strike three! Yer out!

NBBCOF

8:35 AM, May 04, 2007

David Brown said...

Watching/Mr. Page: You are an idiot.

junk99mail said...

Seems to me that it would be wrong to call someone an idiot, or to say that they were acting like one, if they weren't.

solomon said...

junk,

In the case of john mark/arminius/jd/remember/whoever else this person has posted as,

I'm tempted to say the word is appropriate. However, Jesus was rather emphatic about not saying 'Raca' to a brother, so I won't.

Instead, I'll simply ask, why? Is there any point to this, arminius?

Memphis said...

Well I think we finally know which village it takes to raise........(pause for effect)

junk99mail said...

All this talk about idiots is making me feel stupid.

Memphis said...

Direct Quotes:

"Will a much smaller congregation of younger, less financially established worshippers be able to support this huge church campus?"

**Money Money Money

"When the "week Christians" are all vanquished, who fault will the lack of money, spiritual growth and unity be blamed on then"

*** What came first in that list of concerns??? Money


"Let him lavish himself and his family with a new home in Fayette County when you're barely getting by"

Money again...


oh, and attendance records are also important.

Karen said...

memphis,

You quoted me out of context. What's you point? Please don't get defensive; as always, I truly want to know what people are thinking. I can't tell if you're agreeing with me or calling me on the carpet.

Thanks!

karen

Karen said...

john mark/arminus/whoever you are,

You also are posting things out of context. The "idiot" comments posted by David Brown and SOTL on the other blog were out of sheer frustration with "watchinghistory" who had been posting about Dr. Rogers and what he knew about PW and when he knew. He also was posting some mess about the Holy Spirit should have told Dr. Rogers that PW was a sexual predator - which is hogwash. David and SOTL are both abuse survivors (as well as myself) and it's VERY difficult to keep our emotions in check when someone posts about something they have no way of knowing or spouting things about abuse when they have no personal knowledge of such things. So give David and SOTL a little break - they were reacting to really idiotic posts by watchinghisstory.

karen

Mike Bratton said...

No, I don't think so, Karen.

"Idiot" is just the tip of the denigration iceberg at the Closed Forum--and there are no ways to justify the regulars' decisions to attack the character of those they deem unworthy.

It is possible to disagree without vivisecting the one with whom you disagree, but that is not part of the Closed Forum groupthink. The mindset on display there is ultimately self-defeating; it's what caused them to fumble their opportunity at the recent business meeting, and why they don't deserve the "second chance" they're clamoring for.

Oh, and I don't know about wearing crimson as of yet.

--Mike

bepatient said...

If any of you have a chance please check out

Stephanie Vasofsky

She is a friend of a friend who is undergoing cancer treatment- she is only 28 and has an 18 month old daughter- please pray for her if you get a chance.

Thanks!

Karen said...

Mike,

What fumble at the business meeting are you referring to? We'll have to disagree on the rest of your post, but we're still friends.

And try some crimson with a big ole elephant on it! You might like it! :)

karen

Memphis said...

Not being defensive at all :)

Karen, I am not sure how I quoted anyone out of context.

More and more I am reading posts about attendance being down and therefore tithes being down, it is posted about over and over and over on there. And to me, it sounds like the main gripes people have is about money, and I was actually offended that anything would think that because the wealthy people may leave the church, then BBC could not survive without them. God does not need the wealthy, he does not need any material items from us. He will decide how well funded BBC is no matter who attends.

bugsii said...

Interesting note...in the computer field there's a term for a user error called the ID-10T error(ID10T,IDIOT, get it???). It doesn't matter if the name calling was taken out of context because it fits perfectly with the life of that site. Which brings me to the reason for my post.

Interesting study this week:
Romans 8:12-14: Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Is the general tone of that site one of living by the flesh or by the Spirit??

At the very least they are using the sin of others as their own "opportunity for the flesh"(Galatians 5:12).

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

I just love to watch y'all get bent out of shape over mere words; but hey, the annointed bunch that started the mess in the first place, then heaped shame upon naked culpability with all the grace of an elephant in a china shoppe ("congregationally approved," like sure, dude)--"everybody makes boo-boos."

Cut'em some slack; after all, they make more money than you--and everybody knows a person that makes more money than you is better than you. That's Worthington's law.

That is why Paris Hilton shouldn't go to jail, why Rush is always right and why Padre must not suffer any discernable consequences for failures that would doom, say, a mere teacher. That's Worthington's law.

Screwing up regarding a pedophile is not near as egregious as calling another an idiot in cyberspace.

So Bratton, that overly embroidered sports metaphor doesn't really justify the adjournment of that meeting--if there was good reason, overly embroidered sports metaphors would not ne needed, nor so obscure your thesis.

You got a lot of word length on a mere technicality--these individuals were measured respectful and concise in their presentation. (I saw it on [shudder!] pirate video, but it probably didn't happen) You dismiss them on a technicality? That is your ace?

Pe-yoo!

The name of this thread should be the parable of the fuzzy logic.

On a different note, Bratt, ever done Macbeth?

Mike Bratton said...

lovecakes said...

...

ever done Macbeth?


Not yet--never had the chance, but I'm auditioning for Showboat on Saturday.

As for the rest of your remarks, admitted instances of bad behavior on the part of Bellevue's leadership do not excuse the ongoing belligerencies and hate-mongering of the cloistered Forumites--the ends never justifying the means, and such.

Karen said...
Mike,

What fumble at the business meeting are you referring to?


If I may be self-referential, I've addressed this in depth here: http://thebrattonreport.blogspot.com/2007/03/post-game-analysis.html

The chant of "Hey, we want a real business meeting" is nonsense; the anti-Bellevue core tried to turn the last business meeting into a circus, so why do they need another opportunity when they couldn't handle the last one?

We'll have to disagree on the rest of your post, but we're still friends.

Yes, ma'am.

And try some crimson with a big ole elephant on it! You might like it! :)

I'm still examining the options...

--Mike

David Brown said...

John Mark: In the future please do not take my comments out of context to try and make your point.

This WHS was repeatedly using the victim of this abuse as a tool to try and make some point. I had asked him numerous times to stop. I have worked with this vicitm and know his desires. And what WHS was doing was dishonoring and hurting him.

WHS has very little understanding of what being an abuse victim means. I have tried sharing with him but he still refused.

And when you take my comments out of context to try and prove your point you are doing the same thing. I fight diligently for victims and I will continue until the Lord says my job is done.

In the future, if you or anyone else has any issues over my comments, contact me. I will be more than glad to discuss them with you. My phone number as well as my email address are on my profile and have been from day one.

I stand by what I said. Some times you do have to stand firm and be bold to make a point. I have been a voice for many victims that cannot speak out. If some of them did, I am sure you would have issues with their terms and language.

As I said John Mark or whoever you are, I am real. Next time try to contact me first. Ok?

Mike: sorry for being so long winded. How is Birmingham? I pray you and your family are getting settled in.

David Brown

bepatient said...

I have two questions for you BBCers-

1. When did you feel the turning point from just disagreements between members to the true tension that exists now?

2. What are your views on the fact that the representatives for the SBC from BBC are the Gaines, M. Spradlin, and Bob Sorrell, as well as others?

Mike Bratton said...

David Brown said...
John Mark: In the future please do not take my comments out of context to try and make your point.

This WHS was repeatedly using the victim of this abuse as a tool to try and make some point. I had asked him numerous times to stop. I have worked with this vicitm and know his desires. And what WHS was doing was dishonoring and hurting him.


David, could you have defended your client without using the "terminology of the realm," so to speak?

"Mr. Page, you are wrong, and here's why."

"Mr. Page, you may be trying to make a point, but you do so at the expense of your credibility."

"Mr. Page, please stop."

What if "Mr. Page" needed your services one day, David? Would you expect him to be so magnanimous as to overlook your terminology, or would he have a right to question your desire to help him? Because he's supposedly an idiot, don't forget...

WHS has very little understanding of what being an abuse victim means.

That you know of.

I have tried sharing with him but he still refused.

I am certainly sympathetic to that situation.

And when you take my comments out of context to try and prove your point you are doing the same thing. I fight diligently for victims and I will continue until the Lord says my job is done.

And praise God for your efforts. But do you mean to say that you'll use "any means necessary" to accomplish your task?

In the future, if you or anyone else has any issues over my comments, contact me. I will be more than glad to discuss them with you. My phone number as well as my email address are on my profile and have been from day one.

Again, I know the feeling.

I stand by what I said. Some times you do have to stand firm and be bold to make a point. I have been a voice for many victims that cannot speak out. If some of them did, I am sure you would have issues with their terms and language.

So there are circumstances where bad behavior can be excused, even justified?

As I said John Mark or whoever you are, I am real. Next time try to contact me first. Ok?

I know you know that "John Mark" is real, too, David. If you're going to label him as an individual, rather than just take issue with his behavior, what incentive does he have to open a dialogue with you?

Mike: sorry for being so long winded.

David, you have carte blanche here. Write as much as you like, as often as you like.

How is Birmingham? I pray you and your family are getting settled in.

Slowly--very, very slowly--but surely. We still need a church home, and I still need substantive employment. And we know God will provide in His time.

Did I mention I'm auditioning for Showboat on Saturday? While it would be a wonderful opportunity to share Christ (not to mention a chance to sing, dance, and act), it would have the additional benefit of being a paying gig.

--Mike

solomon said...

This has very little to do with the rest of the thread, but for lack of a better outlet I'll post it here.

I've seen a lot of bloggers telling people to refer to the 'Integrity Does Count' timeline for an accurate account of the events surrounding Bellevue. They speak as if it's completely true without any bias or spin whatsoever.

I don't expect whoever wrote it to be perfect, but I do expect a humility and desire to be as accurate as possible, even when admitting to error. That's true in everything, but especially when dealing with the body of Christ.

One of the events that is listed in December 2006 is a party our singles had:
December 2006
Career and Singles celebrate the New Year with a “Black and White Hollywood Night” party. The “Hollywood Parties” originated at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.

To be honest, I don't see anything wrong with the party even if the theme did originate at Saddleback. However, it did not and saying that it did is a deliberate falsification that should be removed if the timeline is to have any credibility with me. To deliberately ignore the facts because you think you can get away with it is the worst kind of deception in my book.

This is where they got the idea that the parties started at Saddleback. There isn't a year listed, but Friday, February 10 would make it 2006.

Here is a flyer from the singles department from 2002. Under 'Special Thanks' you'll see mention of a 'Hollywood New Year's' party. Since this was 4 years before the Saddleback party, I don't see how the theme could have originated there based on the Saddleback link.

So is this a big deal? I think so. First, everyone who has printed this off and handed it out has been passing around a lie. Is it a big lie? Well, the party was evidently a big enough deal to make the timeline in the first place. Before handing it out in the future, everyone should mark that line out. I think anyone who has already handed out the timeline should contact everyone who received it and tell them that there is at least one mistake on it, too.

Second, it clearly speaks about the men who created the timeline. This image was sent (by someone else) to IDC in March, but there was never an answer or any action taken whatsoever. Men of integrity would instantly remove anything questionable (or clearly wrong), but the event remains.

Third, why are we arguing about parties anyway? Would Steve Gaines' behavior be more acceptable if the party hadn't taken place?

I just can't help but wonder how many other events have been doctored up. If they'll ignore one mistake, why not more? The sad part is that it's so unnecessary. There's more than enough dirt for them to use without resorting to fiction.

I see a lot of irony in the name 'Integrity Does Count'. I believe it does, and that God honors it's presence. I'm not a professional fruit inspector, but I haven't seen much evidence that God is working through IDC.

The NBBCOF puts a lot of importance on fruitfulness. Is IDC sinking or swimming? There sure has been a lot of dissention among the ranks.

Maybe they should create a list of their accomplishments thus far so that we can judge for ourselves whether or not we should support their efforts.

Until then, I'll keep Proverbs 11:3 in mind.
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

Mike Bratton said...

Keith, your observations deserve a more prominent place around here.

--Mike

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