Thursday, July 19, 2007

Critical Mass

(Apologies for anyone who thought there was a pun in the title related to Pope Benedict...)

From time to time, I'm prompted to review the activities of what goes on at the curiously-named "New BBC Open Forum." When considering the group's activities, there are some facts worth remembering: It isn't new, it isn't in existence for the benefit of Bellevue Baptist Church, and the actions of its leadership and membership show it to be the polar opposite of an open forum. Consequently, the name seems odd to a number of people who stumble across it--sometimes because I link to it, sometimes because they've Googled it up, and sometimes because it's recommended to them by others who enjoy rabble-rousing as a pastime.

To be clear, I love their members with the love of Christ and I pray for them regularly, just as their major targets (the leadership of Bellevue Baptist Church) do. However, as with any emotion-driven group, the Closed Forum (as they have been more accurately labeled) has allowed any legitimate concern they had in the past year to ferment, pungently overpowering any hope for productive, constructive discourse by allowing bitterness to become their main product.

I keep a link to their blog for purposes of balance, so that anyone wanting to learn more about the recent problems at Bellevue can have another viewpoint, such as it is. But with the recent buckets of bile being tossed around their site, I may have to reconsider it. I've quoted their antagonism in previous articles, but some of it has reached new depths. Consider these few examples, quoted thusly and like so:

(These first few are from an individual who self-identifies as a grandmother)

I don't know whether you are evil or mentally ill and don't care.

Either way, you are a disgrace.
No wonder you defend SG and other FALSE TEACHERS.

...

Thanks for showing us exactly what a false teacher looks and sounds like.....your arrogance is right up there with gaines....
go kiss the mirror and get your fix.

In Texas, people like you make nice fish bait.

(Note the obtuse death wish there. Does (or did) one of your grandmothers speak that way? But I digress. This next one's from the, um, "moderator.")

You only illustrate with each succeeding comment just how ignorant you are, and it provides comic relief for the blog, so I have no reason not to publish them.

(Moderation, indeed! And hold onto your funny bones for this last one...)

I was just doing a little brainstorming(hold the sarcasm, smart alecs), and I penned down a possible compilation of my presidential deacon staff.

OC- head of security
AOG, Eke.- bible stuff and whatnot
SOTL- public relations
Nass- valet parking
Gmom- catering
Socwork- social work
Junk- puns and jokey phone messages
Lin- death threat laison
concerned- watercooler talk coordinator
mom4- leisure suit picker outer
cakes- long word letter writer

More positions will come available as I make them up, so send me your resumes...(all positions pending the signing of a Loney loyalty/confidentiality oath)


Yes, a group whose members love to toss out death threats and death wishes gets a hearty laugh out of it, too! Ain't bitterness grand?

Ahem... If you, for some reason, wanted to read more, my apologies. I really don't have the stomach for much of the hatred in the Closed Forum these days, just as I have little tolerance for Savaging Bellevue's front-page link to the story of a small, independent church in Michigan exercising church discipline on an elderly member of its congregation. The problem is that Savaging Bellevue used one of its Enquirer-esque headlines with no mention of that church's location, affiliation, or anything else that would dissuade a casual visitor from thinking the story happened at Bellevue.

It would be great to communicate my concerns privately, but they've long since shuttered themselves in--it's been awhile since any e-mail of mine to anyone with the Closed Forum or Savaging, er, "Saving" Bellevue, or Integrity Does Count (But Only For Others) was deemed worthy of a response. Actually, it's been over a month since the last responses, and longer than that since any of the contrarian "leadership" deigned to respond.

Now, I understand that this article will likely be greeted with something other then genuine thoughtfulness by those in the center of those aforementioned contrarian groups. But I'm the sort of optimist who believes, as a Christian, that God will mediate and reconcile any dispute within the body of Christ if we will just let Him! In recent days, I've read remarks from people in the anti-Bellevue camp who seem to be under conviction that their comrades may be going about things the wrong way; reading and ruminating upon some of the very same types of remarks I've quoted above made those people rethink how they do what they do, and even if they should do it at all.

So don't tell me there isn't any hope for them, because there is. And I'm all about hope, because Jesus is all about hope.

--Mike

168 comments:

Dr. Bill Loney said...

WTL, MD wrote:

"Lin- death threat laison"

Mike wrote:

"Yes, a group whose members love to toss out death threats and death wishes gets a hearty laugh out of it, too! Ain't bitterness grand?"

Loney says:
In the likelihood that I am elected president deacon, I am preparing a staff which includes a death threat laison...not that we are going to issue death threats, but in the event that I receive one, the laison will be the one to smooth it over. My thriving (legally questionable )medical practice, my pastel leisure suits(w/gold buckles) and shiny pleather loafers, as well as my upstairs garage apartment landlady's tricked out rascal that I'm currently driving may lead people to think I'm a bit of a high society type, thus causing unintended envy. If that friction ever fermented into proactive anger, I thought it would be best to be prepared. Not to mention that I'm sort of a magnet for brutality...I do hold the record for most consecutive days being pistol-whipped along the I-20 corridor in La.(the troopers tell me we can try to break it when I pass through again). I've been beaten unmercifully by all types...police officers, mall security, meter maids, wal-mart greeters, a nurse at Baptist hospital(not my fault, I really thought she was pregnant...and a woman), the guy that dumps the grease out behind the waffle house, 2 of the 9-10 yr. old Bartlett soccer teams, my ex-wife, her mom, her mom's boyfriend, her boyfriend's exterminator, mall walkers, and by the congregation of Backwoods Holiness Tabernacle of Blackfoot, TX., after a snake-handling debacle.

So, no hard feelings on my part over your sophmoric misunderstanding of my comments and the following irresponsible misrepresentation leading to the unsubstantied acusation of me planning fictitional death threats and espousing venomous hatred.

And to show that I'm willing to let by-gones be by-gones, if you have any cankle reduction needs, the second cankle is free, the same deal I've offered to Sen. Hillary.

Hope I haven't deflated your 'good fella' image of this highly trained doctor too badly...if it's any consolation, a few months ago at my hometown's semi-annual running of the goats, I was involved in a tragic goat-goring accident(I knew the risks). I was back on my feet in a couple days, but the goat(he knew the risks also) sustained a sprained neck, a slight goat concussion, and had some visual damage, as my vestigial tail poked him in the eye as he was goring me. So your tough guy image of me may not totally be without merit. In fact, I'm required at the next goat-running to wear a padded tail sheath.

Another thought...since you used a quote of mine, could I quite possibly start receiving royalties? I don't know much about copyrights and such, but if you feel compelled, you can send payment via paypal to Loney's Wellness Center(landlady's lawn mower shed).

And...if you happen to be in town this weekend, you are invited to come by my president deacon post election party...all the stuffed tripe, pickled mackeral smoothies, and gizzard casserole you can handle(Tums will not be provided)

William T. Loney, MD

Mike Bratton said...

Thank you for reinforcing my observations.

--Mike

Dr. Bill Loney said...

MB--
Thank you for reinforcing my observations.
--Mike

Loney says:

Mike,
You remind me of my uncle Phel's parole office, Dean Gulberry. He was a smart fellow but suffered from what we highly trained medical professionals call 'Bugupadabuttism'. He could only find humor in his own ramblings, only find fault in others, and eventually he left his wife and ran off with himself.

It's one thing for me to pretend like I'm a clueless jackass through the humorous musings of a fictitional character, but I don't think you are pretending.

Yep, after thinking about it, you are a real Dean Gulberry.

And, thanks to you also, for reinforcing MY observations.

William T. Loney, MD

padroc said...

Well, well, Two fictional characters locking horns. One who gives evidence of knowing and understanding he is fictional and the other yet to have such an awakening. I bet I know which one sleeps with a smile.

Good night!

bepatient said...

I wouldn't exactly call it "locking horns" but whatever ;)

It just seems to me that anyone who comes up with a fictional character with which to post on blogs, has WAY too much time on their hands!!

Mike is a great guy, maybe you don't like his style, but I don't see why you would just write him off entirely?

As far as death threats, I don't think Mike or anyone else really means to imply that lin will be out hiring a hit man this weekend, only that perhaps as a forum of people that are followers of Christ, those types of comments are a poor choice and in bad taste.

Arminius Stone said...

"Fictional character?!?"

Say it ain't so!!

Just when I thought I had found something in life to believe in!

O fate, must thou be cruel to be kind?

:-(

Cakes said...

Mike--my friend,

Cherry-picking the musings of Dr. Bill Loney as some kind of reflection upon the so-called "Anti-Bellevue crowd" at NBBCOF (although anti-Gaines is more apropos--founded on the premise that by his poor judgement, he has forfeited the role of Pastor; compounded by the fact that,since his boo-boo, he and the leadership haven't promoted an atmosphere of openness, accountability and reconciliation, rather have engaged in a campaign of self-preservation) is simply to support a presumption of collective guilt by association.

This hilarious creature has consistently offered lightheartedness and humor to the forum when things are heavy and combatative.

Cherry-picking any tidbit of the forum is sort of easy, as I could do likewise with yours, starting from Bugsii's National Enquire like expose on me, including the intimation that my blog was linked with porn (which was my impetus to become part of the dysfunctional family here), to this latest sinking to pet names: "Savaging Bellevue" and whatever the nom du jour for all those horrible devoted Bellevue members and families, concerned Baptists, survivors of sex crimes and abuse left in the cold by the Gaines apologists.

Mike, I am a survivor of this crime, occuring when I was too young and too vulnerable to protect myself and terrified to tell anyone. If you had grown into adulthood carrying this scar, you might have a little more empathy for the level of alarm and heartbreak expressed there, and the deep wounds that Bellevue's sex scandal has wrought upon the church. I don't remember Jesus ever using pet names for his enemies.

The disagreement between the regulars of this blog and that of NBBCOF is the degree of percieved severity regarding the handling of the pedophile scandal by Gaines. It is obviously not a big deal around these parts, all-well-that-ends-well (although it cannot be established that the abuse is limited to a single victim--and pardon me, but I'm sure every victim "counciled" by the pedophile needed a soul shower after hearing of his outing), and it seems that it is a bigger sin to speak openly of the matter than the fact that it, in fact, transpired.

I do not hold you as the moderator responsible for the words of another on this forum, nor will I dismiss it en mass over the poor judgement of someone trying to villify another or be cute. It is a community forum, after all, and just like in the non-virtual world, people come in all flavors--emotional, injured, stupid, illiterate, well-read, reasoned, proud, etc.

Don't lump everyone together, and if you criticize, you must acknowledge that Bellevue leadership seemingly thought it could bottle-up speech by not providing such a forum at the church for members traumatized by this turn of events, and it was in this vacuum that outside forums took root--as much a mixed bag, good and bad, the substantive and the slop, as what you've got going on right here.

The matter of Gaines as Pastor cuts to the heart of ones faith, at the core of who they are and and the church they love, or in my case and others, advocacy for victims and survivors of childhood abuse. You cannot just ask people alienated and dispossessed to swallow what they feel in their hearts to be a miscarriage of responsibility grevious enought to undermine Gaines' trustworthiness and fitness as a "minister," (ditto for the other half-dozen "ministers" that sat on their hands knowing a pedophile was on the payrole) simply for the sake of some shallow unity.

Yes, for many at NBBCOF, this is a grave, shattering mishandling of the matter; their actions are not about revenge, but reconciling what just hit them in the face, wondering how they can reestablish trust and confidence with a bunch of leaders that, according to the studiedly partial PCIR itself, failed miserably both ethically and professionally. They have been assaulted verbally on their own forum by arrogant and childish Gaines supporters, and I and they have been guilty of letting emotion run amok, yet in spirit and tone, there is not one iota of difference between the discourse here and over at NBBCOF, save which side of the itty-bitty fence they're on regarding Gaines.

Please regard the limitations of modal logic, instead of beginning with an presumption of collective guilt, assigning to each motives that are not in your perview to judge (unless God really does talk to you, the way I'm talking to you now), plucking passages devoid of their contexts, often in a manner that embroiders a skewed impression of the content and ignoring the good the forum generates--especially the community of support no longer avaliable to them at their beloved church. Should they all just hang their collective heads, embrace their disposability, mope away quietly and never let the matter pass their lips again nor confer with fellow refugees? Now, that truly is holding hurting people to a unrealistic standard of behavior, especially coming from the very folks who seemingly hold no standard of behavior for their spiritual leaders. It smacks of a double-standard for two classes of individuals--i.e. it's good to be king.

I know you are capable of compassion, and I have grown to like you very much. As a step to true constructive discourse, you might consider that the tone here has been one of dismissing the concerns and motives of NBBCOF regulars, out-of-hand, as if they are inflating an innocuous oversight by Gaines; and then massaging and minimizing the stain on him and the leadership by their own poor judgement. Certainly, even if you're satisfied with a mere "Gee, sorry" from the leadership for that failure, and that settles it for you, you cannot presume that the same should likewise satisfy everyone, can you? If acknowlege that, yes, I can percieve how one might feel as if this entire matter has been mishandled by the church leaders, with seemingly no consequences for those culpable--then that is the beginning of a conversation. Dismissing them, and their motives, terminates the opportunity for discourse, constructive or otherwise. If you demonstrate some empathy for their concerns and suffering, you may build a bridge to exchange, regardless of whether you reach parity of thought. J

Put away the blanket and you might be able to really reach out and minister to people for whom you insist Godly love, but aren't feeling much from you or your fellow Gaines-supporters.

My best wishes for you,

David

PS--I miss Bugsii, and wish he'd return.

padroc said...

Cakes,

Amen

Thank you for showing compassion and love and giving a helping "hand" to all who struggle to relate rightly to each other.

Padroc

Mike Bratton said...

"All who struggle to relate rightly"?

By all means, clue me in. I've spent the better part of a year watching the lack of a "struggle" on the part of those whose increasingly hostile rhetoric stands fully at odds with how those of us who are Christians ought to relate to one another--particularly when issues of consequence are on the discussion table.

What has been evident in the past year, as this site documents in more than one article, is an increasing comfort in tapping out vicious remarks about Bellevue's staff and leadership by people who refuse to claim responsibility for their remarks unless such claims have collateral benefits.

David, you wrote an awfully nice piece, and I thank you for investing the time it must have taken. If I may suggest some things for your consideration, I'd appreciate hearing back from you.

First off, if I've been picking cherries, it's been from a bumper crop. For example, what context would you suggest validates referring to someone with whom one disagrees as either "evil or mentally ill"? Or attempting to brand someone as a "false teacher"? I may be telling you something you already know, David (and if so I apologize), but when the Bible refers to false teachers it is always a specific reference to individuals who knowingly and maliciously attempts to do damage to the body of Christ--the church--by teaching erroneous information about the fundamentals of the faith.

A false teacher, by definition, is not only a non-Christian, but someone who is anti-Christian, someone who consciously engages in Satanic efforts to lead interested people away from faith in Christ before those people can become Christians. As insults go, calling the pastor of a church a "false teacher" is the MIRV of insults, carrying multiple warheads of hatred each time it's fired. You can see why it's out of place in a discussion among believers.

Were the anti-Bellevue folks demonstrating interest in having closure and amity within the church body, perhaps the identifier wouldn't be appropriate; I've spent more than a bit of time illustrating why it is appropriate based on the available evidence, so I won't rehash all that.

And I try to avoid this, but I believe I can make this point without name-dropping: Many, if not most, of the people in the cross-hairs of the anti-Bellevue triad are my friends--some are old friends, and some are newer friends. Thing of it is, so are many (if not most) of the people so often cited as "victims" of the current Bellevue staff and leadership. I know these men well enough to know they don't consider themselves to be victims, even though they've had several legitimate grievances. However, these men haven't sought to publicize their disagreements, or blow them out of all recognizable proportion.

And speaking of victimization, I'm still looking for the Scripture passage that says a "victim" is absolved from personal responsibility. "Oh, you don't know what I've been through!" is never an excuse for irresponsible behavior.

I haven't dismissed any of their legitimate concerns, David. Not one of them. As a matter of both fact and record, I've been on the same page, for example, regarding the need for a business meeting. And the poor management of the Communication Committee meetings. And the nature of the Personnel Committee report.

What I have, do, and will continue to reject is their relentless, bitter, gang-tackling way of dealing with any group or individual who disagrees with them. Literally, they look to demonize anyone who doesn't go along with their scorched-church philosophy.

I love them, David, as I've told them with both the written and spoken word. I'm overwhelmingly confident that they wouldn't talk the same way they type--and on those rare instances when I've spoken with some of their group face-to-face, those people have agreed.

Now, sometimes those people have gone right back to grinding out the invective, but as I've said before, I'm hopeful.

--Mike

oc said...

Mike said:

I love them, David, as I've told them with both the written and spoken word. I'm overwhelmingly confident that they wouldn't talk the same way they type--and on those rare instances when I've spoken with some of their group face-to-face, those people have agreed.

oc says:

Mike, come on. I know you think you are big and intimidating. You keep telling everyone how tall you are, how you were a 'rassler' for a minute,etc....

Well, everyone has a history. So what? So what if I have something more 'manly' that surpasses your macho offerings? What does it mean? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So what's your point? That you are overwhelmingly confident that someone is afraid of you? I think you flatter yourself.

Who was it that you talked to'face to face' that backed down to you?
I would love to know that. Of course, I'm sure that will remain 'confidential information.'

By the way, I talk the same way in person that I type.
I'm not intimidated.

oc.

PS. Before you start in on the 'anonymous' stuff, I'm not all that anonymous.

solomon said...

A false teacher, by definition, is not only a non-Christian, but someone who is anti-Christian, someone who consciously engages in Satanic efforts...

Mike,

THANK YOU for writing that. I thought about posting something similar, but decided not to bother.

Each and every time someone calls SG a 'false teacher' they are cursing him, and by doing so cursing themselves. I was shocked by the absolute, hell-bent (and yes, I chose that phrase carefully) determination to hang that particular title on him. Call him wrong, call him ignorant, call him shallow, but not the biblical description of an antichrist.

bepatient said...

oc said:

I would love to know that. Of course, I'm sure that will remain 'confidential information.'

I'm sorry, but that just makes me laugh :) I mean, coming from a member of the group that is SO forthcoming with sources and names!

solomon said...

oc,

I've tried posting to you a few times on the NBBCOF, but NASS won't let my posts past the moderation. I suspect she's reluctant to post anything that will upset you.

Why are you so combative? Why do you post such belittling things to other Christians? I been dismayed by some of your posts this year. You've bragged about being a 'bad boy', but has it occurred to you that Christ doesn't want his brothers to be bad?

A few weeks ago I tried to start a simple discussion on the NBBCOF, and you treated me like I was Adolph Hitler.

What's your story?

Arminius Stone said...

Now sol,

Let us not "clencheth our butt cheeks" (right oc?).

:-)

solomon said...

Arminius (or should I say Adam),
Stay out of this.

OC,

I'm serious. You claim to fly the banner of Christ. So why do you treat fellow Christians like garbage? Jesus said that all men would know his disciples by their love for one another.

What's your deal?

oc said...

Bepatient,
What is that? I know you are, but what am I?


Good one.

solomon said...

My dad used to take me to a lot of boxing matches. I was always impressed by the heart of those men who had obviously spent so much time training for the fights.

I'm even more impressed by men who spend their time training to be more like Jesus.

OC, I'd like for you to make more of an impression on me.

solomon said...

Jesus said for his disciples to always be prepared to give an answer to those who question you. He would never ask us to do something impossible.

I have to wonder about someone who has no answer.

oc said...

Solomon,

You ask me what's my deal? I may be combative, something I need to work on. Please understand that I am in the process of making improvement on this. So point taken.

You say I 'claim to fly the banner of Christ'? Why do you believe it to be just a claim? Because I dont' speak as you think I should?

I know, I know. The blogs are the only things you know me by. What if my fruits in other things far surpass my obnoxiousness and my poor language skills? What if I was paying your grandma's rent, or mowing her lawn, or fixing her car for free. Would you think me just claiming the banner of Christ, or would you take me seriously as a brother in Christ? What if I was a father to the fatherless, and a protector and provider to the widows? But all you know of me is my faults.

I know, that's all you have to judge me on. And judge you have.

oc.

solomon said...

OC,

All I know of you (and probably all I ever will) is what I read from the blogs. I've seen on your profile that you've feel you need to be more like Christ, and in that respect we're the same.

Whether or not you speak as I think you should is irrelevant. Are you speaking as Jesus thinks you should?
Philippians 4:5
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.


If you are in fact doing good deeds as you have implied, then you should not keep them secret.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


And don't think you can back me down by accusing me of judgementalism. God has given me complete freedom to condemn the things that He has condemned. Carnality is one of them.

bepatient said...

What if you were paying rent and mowing lawns? Would it not hurt you for someone to say that basically those actions don't count because they don't like what you do in another aspect of your life? That is what happens to SG and other ministers every single day over at the NBBCOF.

and for the record, it is more like.. what is good for the goose is good for the gander!

Mike Bratton said...

oc said...
Mike said:

I love them, David, as I've told them with both the written and spoken word. I'm overwhelmingly confident that they wouldn't talk the same way they type--and on those rare instances when I've spoken with some of their group face-to-face, those people have agreed.

oc says:

Mike, come on. I know you think you are big and intimidating. You keep telling everyone how tall you are, how you were a 'rassler' for a minute,etc....


I guess I should be flattered that people pay such close attention. And for those just joining the discussion, the reference I made in the Benoit thread regarding wrestling was a self-deprecating one.

And where did this "big and intimidating" business come from? I know that, as a rule, people tend to have better manners all around when engaged in face-to-face conversation. Please remember that it isn't about me, all right?

Well, everyone has a history. So what?

My history tends to be loaded with punch lines.

So what if I have something more 'manly' that surpasses your macho offerings? What does it mean? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So what's your point? That you are overwhelmingly confident that someone is afraid of you? I think you flatter yourself.

Evidently you decided to ride that mistaken notion of a tangent for all it was worth.

Who was it that you talked to'face to face' that backed down to you?
I would love to know that. Of course, I'm sure that will remain 'confidential information.'


Well, one person in particular--and I mention him because it won't be the first time the conversation's been referenced--is Jim Haywood, before and after last Christmas' Messiah performance at Mid-America. By the end of the conversation, he was jokingly telling Jim Whitmire that he and I would be starting up a blog. Together.

And it wasn't a question of his "backing down," it was a question of abandoning the invective in favor of genial, respectful conversation. There's a difference.

By the way, I talk the same way in person that I type.
I'm not intimidated.


Marvelous, particularly since I don't try to intimidate people.

And it was even better to read this (quoting you thusly, and like so): I may be combative, something I need to work on. Please understand that I am in the process of making improvement on this. So point taken.

If I can be of any service, just say the word.

PS. Before you start in on the 'anonymous' stuff, I'm not all that anonymous.

Great. I'll be in town next week, and I'd love to try and get together.

Oh, and by the way, that's an invitation to all! :)

--Mike

oc said...

Solomon:

Solomon says:

I have to wonder about someone who has no answer.

oc says:
I have to wonder about an adult who can't wait for an answer. You wanna start getting smart? We can do that, but then you are lowering yourself to what you accuse me of.
Wanna do it?


Solomon said:

OC, I'd like for you to make more of an impression on me.

oc says:
I have no need to impress you in any way. Are you narcissistic? Why would I try to impress you? Who do you think you are? I have no need to play your games.


solomon says:

And don't think you can back me down by accusing me of judgementalism. God has given me complete freedom to condemn the things that He has condemned. Carnality is one of them.

oc says: Oh,please, why do you think I would try to back you down? A little paranoid? And carnality? Are you impressed with yourself? Why would you jump to the conclusion that I would even bother?

solomon says:
If you are in fact doing good deeds as you have implied, then you should not keep them secret.

oc says:
See Matthew chapter 6.

Look, do you want a war? You talk about what Jesus wants. Do you think he wants that? Since you are so much more spiritually mature than I, what would you suggest? Oh yeah, that I repent, and that you pray for me. Thanks.

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

Mike said:

guess I should be flattered that people pay such close attention. And for those just joining the discussion, the reference I made in the Benoit thread regarding wrestling was a self-deprecating one.

oc says:
Come on Mike. You love bringing attention to yourself. You think that people can't spot the the self inflating comments couched in so called self-depricating comments? Man, you are way too smart for the rest of the world. How do we ever catch on to this stuff?


oc says:
Well, everyone has a history. So what?

Mike said:
My history tends to be loaded with punch lines.

oc says:
ooohh. What does that mean? Could that be some kind of veiled threat? I wonder if it's to the death, like Dr Loney's on the other murderous blog? By the way, you really out did yourself on that one, Mike. What were you thinking?

oc says:
PS. Before you start in on the 'anonymous' stuff, I'm not all that anonymous.

Mike said:
Great. I'll be in town next week, and I'd love to try and get together.

Oh, and by the way, that's an invitation to all! :)

oc says:
Sure. Sounds like another death threat to me. Boy, I am frightened. What shall I do? Shall I call Dr Loney for back up?

Cakes said...

Children (of Christ), please! Dis wus sposed to be an olive branch, dog.

Mike, I want to ruminate on what you said a while and I promise to respond. Would you please take the time to review the folks who aren't engaged in that kind of rhetoric or would you try truly, in the case of those regulars that are agrieved and emotional, to grasp the impact on those who have lost confidence in their church, the message this slap on the hand sends to survivors of sexual abuse, especially those that where "counciled" right under Bellevue's roof by the pedophile.

What you said was beautiful too and I appreciate your tone. I ask that you may address some of my remarks more specifically, especially those that deal with this fundemental difference regarding Gaines' failure, and the parting of ways on whether he can be an effective leader.

"False teacher" is an adjective and a noun--Christians don't own them. I have determined, by their own lack and unethical behavior, that teachers I have sat under and trusted were not worthy of my faith and confidence; and if they fail to show wisdom on matters that should be moot--i.e. you find out a minister on staff is a pedophile, you take action in keeping with your service to others and, quite simply as a concientious citizen--then you're not a teacher worth having.

I don't think anyone is calling Gaines Satanic, any more than the average christian believes sin is inspired by Satan. I think what they are saying is pretty simple--he cashed in his chips as a reliable teacher when he failed to take an action that protects others and is the law.

When I first began visiting here, you quoted a piece I wrote, and based upon it, reported that I wished to be an instrument to split the church--extrapolated from a remark in which I simply stated this scandal might well do so (and hasn't it?). I never stated anywhere that I wished to see Bellevue split. I'm sure you do not believe now, after close to 7 months of interaction, that splitting the church is not my purpose. Gee, I hope so. I'm not ragging, just saying perhaps don't be so quick to judge motives, even if you firmly disagree with someone's point or tact (or lack thereof)

Saying you love someone and demonstrating it in a way that is telegraphed without question and condition are two quite different things. It's never too late.

Truthseekers, please don't pick fights either--it serves no purpose.

Memphis said...

Mike, I would love to meet you for lunch sometime next week. I can email you a number where I can be reached.


and OC is not a member of BBC? Is that correct?

oc said...

solomon said:

What I suggest, OC, is that each of us behave in a manner worthy of the price Jesus paid for us. The prince of peace didn't lay down his life so that his followers could go after each others' throats.

oc says:
You know what,brother? That is right. My apologies. And I really am sorry for your pain and loss, for both you and your precious family.

I'm having a little problem with this, brother. If you could help me out with what you really mean, it would probably help me. It is this:
You said:
And why are you one of the ringleaders??

oc says:
Really. "Ringleaders". And I don't actually post as often as most. So I'm not leading anything. But you say 'ringleaders'. Like a bunch of criminals. But no one here likes it when the leadership of BBC is regarded as such. Maybe rhetoric should be toned down on each side, no?

Just thinkin.
oc

Ps. Sorry ya'll. But Arminius? Shut up!

oc said...

memphis said:
and OC is not a member of BBC? Is that correct?


oc says:
You are correct. So what?

all2jesus said...

Mike said...
A false teacher, by definition, is not only a non-Christian, but someone who is anti-Christian, someone who consciously engages in Satanic efforts to lead interested people away from faith in Christ before those people can become Christians. As insults go, calling the pastor of a church a "false teacher" is the MIRV of insults, carrying multiple warheads of hatred each time it's fired. You can see why it's out of place in a discussion among believers.


So unless a pastor carries a photo of Anton La Vey in his wallet, let's not go there? As long as he tacks an invitation on the end of his sermons, he can nullify Bible doctrine with abandon? How about holding forth thusly-and-like-so on this?

Here's a mind-bending definition for you:
false teacher n. one who intentionally teaches false things.

There have been several clear instances.

1. Faced with serious allegations, Steve Gaines has refused to allow the clear teaching of scripture (Matt. 18) to be used to resolve the issues. The senior leadership surrounded and defended him in that refusal. Two of those men even went to the president of a certain seminary to explain to him how Matt. 18 doesn't apply to pastors. Gaines has never corrected them on that, in fact, I'd be willing to bet they had just left a little "Bible study" in the pastor's office. No honest exegesis of Matt. 18 would allow such a monstrous distortion. That, sir, is false teaching. Whether he taught it verbally or not, he has let it stand and it has been his conduct.

2. Steve Gaines has nullified the doctrine of Church Discipline. When a deacon asked why Mark Sharpe wasn't being handled under Church Discipline (for the record, Mark would have welcomed this and even requested it), Steve replied "Church discipline is a slippery slope." The truth is, disciplining Mark would have forced Matt. 18 to be followed. See item #1. Under Gaines, there have been no other instances of Church Discipline being followed, either, though several cases have fairly begged for it.

3. With respect to giving, Steve Gaines has violated the free will of those under his authority. Everyone he can compel to tithe, he has compelled: staff, deacons, Bible fellowship teachers. Everyone else he beats over the head. What does scripture say? "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7"
As Dr. Rogers used to say every year during the Love Offering, "What you do not willingly and cheerfully give, God neither needs nor wants." Once someone compels you to do something, you can no longer do it simply because you want to. I don't pay my taxes cheerfully, but grudgingly, without remitting a penny more than the law demands. Steve Gaines has robbed whoever he can of the joy of giving. The term "free will" only occurs in the Bible in reference to giving (sorry, Arminians.) Ex. 35:29; Lev. 1:3; Lev. 19:5; Lev. 22:19; Lev. 22:29; Ezra 3:5; Ps. 54:6; 2 Cor. 8:1-5

4. Steve Gaines does not believe in the scriptural requirements for ministers. He did everything he could to keep an admitted pedophile on staff. Months after the report came out that slapped his hand, he still maintained that Paul Williams should not have been let go. When it was pointed out that Williams had failed several of the scriptural criteria, Gaines replied that those were "just guidelines."

Were the anti-Bellevue folks demonstrating interest in having closure and amity within the church body, perhaps the identifier wouldn't be appropriate; I've spent more than a bit of time illustrating why it is appropriate based on the available evidence, so I won't rehash all that.

Anti-Bellevue? That's name-calling, Mike. I know no one personally who is anti-Bellevue. One might as well be anti-Christmas. We are not Grinches. Rather, we mourn for Bellevue, and the integrity and commitment to living out Bible truth that once were the hallmarks of its character.

solomon said...

oc,

I owe you an apology (several, really). I've been upset about something you said to me on the NBBCOF, and I let it get the better of me last night.

Keith Solomon

Memphis said...

memphis said:
and OC is not a member of BBC? Is that correct?


oc says:
You are correct. So what?

Memphis:
Well I just wonder how many people over there go/went to BBC. I wonder if some have based their opionions strictly off the blog?

I think they should change the name from the NBBCOF, and take BBC name out of it since hardly anyone over their is a member anymore. Maybe call it the the NSBCOF (New Southern Baptist Church Open Forum)

Cakes said...

Memphis,

While we a splitting semantic hairs, using your logic, I wonder why folks still call Gaines a "Pastor." I think he should be addressed as CEO, or Emperor, or something likewise in keeping with his actions.

It contains "BBC" because it would have no context to exist had BBC not created the conditions to require a forum, and as in every other point of conflict related to this matter, BBC leadership is the culprit. They either purposely, and if not, foolishly, gave no quarter to a forum, and then hunkered down in the hopes the mess would blow over.

That's how my dysfunctional family deals with crisis--it is cowardly, self-obsorbed and ultimately just stupid. It obviously doesn't work for churches either.

Where there is an life-altering impact on a community or group, as did the pedophile scandal at Bellevue (oops, there is your context), it is natural that they should wish to meet, share feelings and experiences and create a network of support, especially when the are abandoned. But the leadership of BBC (oopsie) thought they could stage manage their way out of this ethical lapse, but it meant making a lot of the members (yeah, who are no longer members, Einstein) unwelcome.

I am not a member, a Southern Baptist nor a Christian (and watching you guys go at each others throats makes me so contented to be a solitary Buddhist), yet I have restated a legitimate context ad nauseum.

While you're wondering, Memphis, you might wonder if those terrible people over at NBBCOF have legitimate concerns and injuries, and why you hold them to a standard of behavior and personal responsibility that is sort of ironic considering what you will swallow of Gaines failures.

Arminius Stone said...

Ps. Sorry ya'll. But Arminius? Shut up!

Sigh. Nobody likes a troll...

cakes, are you operating under the assumption that the PW scandal is why the closed forum started, and that everyone who posts there was fine with the preacher until it broke?

If so, I'd be interested on hearing your thoughts on how it ultimately led to the current slapping around of the German Town Baptist Church.

(verificaton word - ziggy)

Cakes said...

I'm operating under the assumption that this story broke on one of the forums in question--formed to scrutinize questionable actions by the leadership--and that the leadership proved itself much more deserving of the scrutiny than anyone could have imagined.

People who have been operating under the assumption that they have been under the stewardship of wise and ethical leaders will get testy when circumstance prove otherwise.

Here's a thought--defend Gaines nonaction regarding the pedophile, without resorting to one of those Man-meant-it-for-evil-but-God-meant-it-for-good soda-crackers.

You won't, because it is impossible without some convoluted theology or fairy-dust; but neither will you signify the gravity of that failure, because you could not do so, and in the same breath, defend him as any kind of leader.

Arminius Stone said...

Well, let's theorize...

Suppose SG came into an incredibly overwhelming, almost impossible job and was struggling to get a handle on it. Also, suppose this organization had the most horrendously organized business structure imaginable and it wasn't clear who did what.

Next, suppose that a person who was well thought of by everyone who knew him, who had been on staff for 34 years came to him with 2 other long time trusted staff members and his wife - his WIFE - and told him that he had molested his son 17 years before, but that they were completely reconciled. Also, suppose he was told a former associate pastor knew about it.

Furthermore, suppose that he really didn't know the laws that demanded disclosure even if no crime took place at the church. Shoot, just for fun let's even say that the person was moved from a ministry position to an administrative position and was undergoing counseling.

Considering everything else that was going on, I think it's barely conceivable that SG isn't Attila the Hun.

If the story broke on the NBBCOF (which it didn't), then someone else is every bit as guilty as SG for non-diclosure.

Saving Bellevue was throwing innuendos about it around for about 17 days before it was actually reported and the minister was suspended, so why aren't you condemning everyone involved equally? Weren't children in danger during that time too?

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

All those suppositions do nothing to defend Gaines, and some of them are at odds with Bellevues own PCIR--they found that, not only did Gaines do nothing regarding the pedophile, he was incurious as to whom the the "minister" in question was in contact.

Plus, all those supposition wouldn't save a school principal's job, under the same circumstances. But then, many of the stalwart promoters of "personal responsibility" in evangelical Christianity all turn into jellyfish when it comes to weathy ministers and Republican presidents.

And the "uncharted waters" justification is the most pathetic excuse I've heard since Ted Haggart, but if that works for you, then God bless.

While we're supposing, suppose Gaines had already screwed up royally as a leader, and in desperate self-preservation and damage control mode, blows off the appeals of the victim and sticks his head between his knees.

So, if the minister says everything is ironed-out with his family, and the victim in question tells you otherwise, believe the minister. Wow, membership truly has it privelidges.

Arminius Stone said...

Well, obviously the PCIR is very well thought of, so if anything I said disagrees with it then why believe me?

While we're supposing, suppose Gaines had already screwed up royally as a leader, and in desperate self-preservation and damage control mode, blows off the appeals of the victim and sticks his head between his knees.

Tell me about these appeals, cakes. Were they personal statements to SG? Through a lawyer? Through another minister? Email? Personal mail?

What medium was used, and how did SG ignore it?

Cakes said...

I think Mike should change the name of this blog to NSPNDOF, or Not So Plausible Non-Denial Open Forum.

"Saving Bellevue was throwing innuendos about it around for about 17 days before it was actually reported and the minister was suspended, so why aren't you condemning everyone involved equally?"

I.e. "they're bad too, they're bad too!"

Ah, Christians--everything's so black and white until it's one of their own and then they'll recoil, fetal-like, into the uncharted waters of situational ethics--ha. Just remember this day when you're going off on unwed mothers, Catholics and liberals. There's are sins of the head and not of the heart, after all, so cut'em some slack, yo.

I do not know of this information, and is to me an innuendo in and of itself. What is rumored or suggested on a forum may well be an instrument of disclosure, but the glaring difference is that Gaines knew, de facto, that the man was a pedophile, and if not for the bravery of the survivor, I imagine the man would still be on staff.

That's your man Gaines.

Cakes said...

"Well, obviously the PCIR is very well thought of, so if anything I said disagrees with it then why believe me?"

Well, at the top of the list would be that all your sentences are launched with the word "suppose."

The facts we know are enough to discredit Gaines as a minister--he blew it, period--and further theories won't dig him out of that hole.

Second, the PCIR was not anti-Gaines, was gymnastic in it efforts to not investigate him, and obviously sought to mitigate his culpability, but still came to that conclusion.

Arminius Stone said...

I.e. "they're bad too, they're bad too!"

Correction: i.e. "they're hypocrites"

Gaines knew, de facto, that the man was a pedophile, and if not for the bravery of the survivor, I imagine the man would still be on staff.

Believe it or not, cakes, I'm in agreement with you here. It took courage to distance himself from possessive parents in the first place, to demand that SG be informed, and then go to him in person when no action was taken.

My point was that his attempt was to make an office appointment with SG, and no BBC member would have had any more luck than he did. The inability to meet with the pastor of a mega church without divulging the extenuating circumstances does not qualify as a 'ignoring' his heart-felt plea.

And as for your broad slap at Christianity, you won't win many friends with that. Better men than you have been putting Christians down for a long time, and haven't accomplished very much.

You have a terrible concept of who Christians are, by the way. There are unwed mothers who are Christians. Catholics are Christians. There are liberals who are Christians. There are homosexuals who are Christians.

Christians are not a political group, they are a chosen people. You seem determined to characterize us by the worst of the worst.

If I may quote you thusly and like so, "Don't lump everyone together".

Arminius Stone said...

And try not to get bent out of shape by the 'better men than you' remark.

:0)

Cakes said...

Look for the word "many" in my post, as in a signifier that relates to a significant ammount, but not the entire quantity.

Yes, there's a church on every corner, but I've met a mere handfull of true examples of Christ. I stand by that. If I wrote you all off, I wouldn't be here.

So chill out there, Mr Sensitive.

Did you go to public school? Check out that "many."

Cakes said...

I'm not bent out of shape--I don't do yoga. As far as I'm concerned, you may have or have not met better men than me, as you do not know me nor do I know you.

Fire away--I could care less.

Arminius Stone said...

Look for the word "many" in my post, as in a signifier that relates to a significant ammount, but not the entire quantity.

Nope, not seeing it.

"Ah, Christians--everything's so black and white until it's one of their own and then they'll recoil, fetal-like, into the uncharted waters of situational ethics--ha. Just remember this day when you're going off on unwed mothers, Catholics and liberals. There's are sins of the head and not of the heart, after all, so cut'em some slack, yo."

WatchingHISstory said...

lin said on the closed forum:

"Gaines is not unlike Ted Haggard who railed against Homosexuality in the pulpit. He was preaching against his own sin."

Isn't this a libelous statement?
Dosen't this statement defame SG's character?

Where is the para legal expert when you need him?

Cakes said...

Ok, maybe I should requalify everything I assert, even if I'm continuing a thought in the comment prior, so it won't give the peanut gallery here a gotcha moment so as to avoid the substance of my points. So here's the statement ammended.

Ah, (some, esprcially pro-harboring-a-pedophile-is-no-big-deal ilk that post here)* Christians--everything's so black and white until it's one of their own and then they'll recoil, fetal-like, into the uncharted waters of situational ethics--ha. Just remember this day when you're going off on unwed mothers (including the ones I date), Catholics and liberals (and many of my friends are gay, liberal Catholics). Their's are sins of the head and not of the heart, after all, so cut'em some slack, yo.

*the inverse of "anti-Bellevue," yes?

Now, defend the Pastor's(sic) nonaction. And don't sink to situational ethics or relative thinking, please--y'all aren't supposed to believe in that, remember?

Cakes said...

"Where is the para legal expert when you need him?"

Still looking into "Hezbollah," I guess.

Arminius Stone said...

(Worst case of log in the eye I've ever seen!)

Cakes, I feel like I'm the frontman for the anti-anti crowd when I read your post.

I'm not a member of Bellevue, and I'm not even a Baptist. I quit going to church regularly many years ago because I couldn't stomach the hypocrisy. I really don't care who the pastor of Bellevue is, and I'm not going to defend his actions when he himself said he was wrong.

I was in Memphis a couple of weeks ago and went to Bellevue. I was shocked to find the place packed. I was expecting a ghost town based on what I had been reading, but what I saw was that the 'thousands and thousands' of people who had supposedly left were in the imaginations of the antis.

So the question is, since Bellevue is thriving and SG isn't going anywhere, what's next? Are you and the others going to spend the rest of your lives griping and complaining?

Junkster said...

I love it when people say they don't go to church regularly because of the hypocrites. Too good to associate with the rest of the sinners. Gives me a good laugh every time.

I had intended not to comment on this "Critical Mass" post because I didn't want to give the absurdity of it any air of legitimacy by upping the comment count. But since it's going up already, let me just chime in with, "Yeah, what cakes said."

Arminius Stone said...

Then you'd surely get a hoot if a family member who died of an overdose was used Sunday after Sunday as an example of a sinner condemned to an eternity in hell.

"What Mike said".

Cakes said...

The thing that is really disappointing in this thread is that none of you, save Mike, is willing to even address the substance of my remarks, which I sought to offer in a friendly way, but instead everybody wants to get on tangents and harp on the minutia--I'm not making any friends lumping Christians together (I've made many friends with the first Christians for whom I have found profound respect and empathy in over 20 years, actually); "you've got a log in your eye, ngah!"

You may be correct in all your suppositions and tenuous justifications, but unfortunately, most >8^}> of y'all debate like middle-schoolers, and I've taken the summer off from middle-schoolers. I don't care one iota if you agree with me on any matter, but if someone takes the time to lay out a thought clearly and concisely, then show the good grace and character to meet them halfway. Doing otherwise sends the message that all this talk of wanting "constructive discourse" is just more baloney from this sector of the conflict.

I'm a big boy, and gravitate to colorful speech that pinches and jabs, but I also use qualifiers, because just merely being cute or smarmy is easy. I love rhetoric and words, but I think they are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Some of these matters I've sought to address, particularly the percieved gravity of Gaines failure, is at the crux of you'all differences, I believe. I wish that y'all could stop shooting, meet on that ground, and if not find parity with one another, discover some mutual understanding and empathy.

Ok, where's my pool cue, prayer meeting's over.

bepatient said...

Cakes, the fact is that I have answered you repeatedly and we have beat this horse to death. I don't see why you want to do it again? (Esp. with those of us that only communicate like middle-schoolers).

I agree that SG was 100% wrong wrong wrong in his choices in regards to the situation. period. I don't know how to make that any plainer.

Do I think that there are circumstances that set him up for failure (some of those being his own personality)? yes.

I know how hard it is to be in this situation, and I would venture to say that for someone who has never seen the first hand effect of this type of abuse he may very well have felt he was in "uncharted waters".

I went through the classes the Episcopal church gives on child abuse, and I remember thinking about how sad it was we had to do it- how would anyone hesitate when they suspected any time of abuse?
But the fact is, we don't want to get involved, we fear we may be wrong, we rationalize that we are over-sensitized by too many episodes of Law and Order SUV.

I am not saying that was the situation for SG, just for myself.
It gives me empathy for that frustration of not knowing what to do when it would have seemed so clear had someone asked me the question in abstract prior to knowing the parties involved.

I feel like I have said this a million billion times.

Not all Christians see things in the "black and white" world you describe. I would say I am pretty welcoming and understanding of unwed mothers, seeing as my mom basically was one.. and as far as Catholics and liberals- you won't hear me saying a bad word about them. I didn't trash Bill Clinton and I don't think what he did negates the good he has done in some areas.

The only trap I fall into is getting frustrated with people who are representing my church and my faith, and continue to behave in the manner that they have. It is almost like I am not perfect either.

Cakes said...

bepatient,

The issue is not simply whether Gaines made a bad choice--that's moot; what are the implications for him as a leader?

By in large, you'all will cut him plenty of slack, as it seems he is sitting as pretty as before he discredited himself. A rebuke by Mike, or you, or me is of little consequence to Gaines, so we cannot settle the matter by agreeing his choice was poor.

Nor does it in any way absolve him, because someone on the NBBCOF blurts from emotion or shoots off at the mouth.

Why should anyone have any confidence in his integrity and leadership, and what are consequences of his failure? That is the rub.

If you may, with an open heart, acknowledge that these are legitimate matters of concern by Christians who feel betrayed, even if you don't agree with their perspective or tact, then you will begin to bridge the chasm between you.

Memphis said...

Cakes said: Why should anyone have any confidence in his integrity and leadership, and what are consequences of his failure? That is the rub.

Cakes I will admit that I understand that people have issues with his leadership based prior incidents. I am not sure if I would go as far as questioning his integrity because he did admit he handled things wrong,and to other mistakes (whether or not people felt it was sincere enough is not something I can judge for them).

But I also think that lessons have been learned from those mistakes. My family and I still attend BBC every Sunday we are in town and we get a blessing from the service.

I understand that many people have left BBC and that the auditorium is emptier than years before, but I sit towards the front so I do not notice. (people will miss that and I will get slammed somewhere!)

Dr. Bill Loney said...

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

While it is unfortunate that Castlebury's has had to recall it's canned meat products because of botulism, this could mean a real boon for me. My digestive system has long built up an immunity to any meat-born 'isms'.
So in the interest of public safety and my affection for corned beef hash, please consider donating any of your Castlebury's products to me, via the Loney Wellness Clinic(landlady's lawn mower shed).

William T. Loney, MD

Cakes said...

"I am not sure if I would go as far as questioning his integrity because he did admit he handled things wrong..."

Yeah, after the cat was out of the bag--that's pretty common amongst folks trying to save their hide, bro. But if that is your measure of integrity and consequence, then that apology should settle it for you, so God bless. Would you go so far as to say that the same should satisfy everyone impacted?

Jon L. Estes said...

Hi Mike,

Well, it happened, I have been banned (I think(. NASS said "goodbye" to me and no other post I submitted has been published.

It is sad to think of such talented and capable people living with such bitterness towards their present or former pastor.

There seems to be three premises to their mindset

1 - Steve Gaines is evil
2 - Anyone who disagree with us is evil
3 - If you don't feed our bitterness you will be banned

The cause of Christ is being pummeled on the other blog. They could learn a great lesson from the FBCJax blog.

Have a great day. I guess I will have to hang out in here.

bepatient said...

welcome jon!

Cakes, I am able to forgive SG and move on. He will face consequences this and you know it. Whether from his own conscience or simply the fact that this will haunt him professionally and will always give those that don't like him fuel for their fire. I feel that he owes our church a "debt" do to speak. The majority of us have made the choice to stand by him and forgive him for this mistake and now he has the responsibility to learn and grow and be the man of integrity he needs to be.

If my husband cheated on me, I would stand by him as long as he was willing to work on our marriage. I understand that our marriage would never be what it could have been if that hadn't happened but I made a commitment to him, and I made a commitment to SG when I voted for him. I intend to fulfill that to the best of my ability.

I get that people are hurting but I don't think that excuses their behavior. From all accounts SG is taking what happened and trying to grow from it, while the forum folks are wallowing in sin and bitterness....

johnthebaptist said...

BeingPatient said.......

Cakes, I am able to forgive SG and move on. He will face consequences this and you know it. Whether from his own conscience or simply the fact that this will haunt him professionally and will always give those that don't like him fuel for their fire. I feel that he owes our church a "debt" do to speak. The majority of us have made the choice to stand by him and forgive him for this mistake and now he has the responsibility to learn and grow and be the man of integrity he needs to be.



Reply: While this seems so sweet and scriptural, what you don't seem to understand is that it is unscriptural. Steve has disquailified himself as Pastor. This is the exact same mentality that lets Pastor's like Jimmy Swaggart and others to continue on despite the fact they are NOT qualified to do so.
The Bible calls for a Pastor to be above reproach. Steve has failed miserably. Yes, he can be restored but he must step down now and start the process.
Don't count on his conscience to convict him or his sin haunting him his professonal career, he has a "sweet gig" now so why change?

You are mistaken if you think his problems are because people don't like him. I like him, or used to more than I do now. It was his sin, pride, lies, disception, misuse of scripture that has the people of God upset.

You are right to forgive, stand by him for sure, but to allow him to continue to be your Pastor is your rubberstamp on his sin and a total disregard for qualifications of a Pastor. Rip out the part of the bible that talks about those qualifications. Rip out the part about church discipline.

He should have been the man of integrity that is biblical BEFORE he became Pastor. This isn't his first church you know. Pastoring a church isn't the time to learn integrity! If his integrity is that weak now after all the years of pastoring churches, how much more sin are you and your band willing to overlook so he can become what he should have already been?
Your actions or lack of actions, mock God and His Word.

Bellevue will never be the church it was or can be as long as Steve is pastor and certain leadership remains. It certainaly can't be what God desires as long as there are people such as yourself who disregard the biblical qualifications of ministers.

bepatient said...

jtb,

I guess it is a good thing I don't have to listen to you, but have the Holy Spirit to guide me.

You may feel like I am disregarding certain scripture, but to pick and choose only the parts of the scripture that focus of rules and judgment and ignore the rest of it that focuses on redemption and God's power to change is just as bad.

Cakes said...

Bepatient,

You are loyal; great. But most of what else you said is syrup. Like for instance:

"The majority of us have made the choice to stand by him and forgive him for this mistake and now he has the responsibility to learn and grow and be the man of integrity he needs to be" (in a brand new estate and a phat salary-sound like a prison sentence).

So someone here says that in a Church the size of Bellevue, it's no wonder the victim of the pedophile couldn't get an audience with Gaines (the "pastor") yet you speak for the "majority" of the congregation. Aren't you the least bit aware that the majority always apathetically goes along, doesn't make waves and are otherwise preoccupied with their lives? Don't make a clain that you just assume is true, based upon wishful thinking about what's in their hearts. That's modal logic, where you line up evidence to support your pretext, and ignore any evidence that would contradict the pretext. It's a favorite tact over here.

The regulars at NBBCOF, like Gmom, Allofgrace, Charlie Fox, Piglet, Mary, Padroc, all2jesus, ezekial, junkster, concernedSBCer, churchmouse, SOTL, etc, are good people of concience, devastated by this turn of events. They in no way were instruments of Gaines colossal failure (he and the other ministers are), but in the aftermath and the leadership's craven self-absorption with preserving their careers, alienated and injured these good folks, yet you still hold them to one standard of behavior, while the failure of Gaines (a zillion times worse) gets a mild slap on the hand from you and the others loyal posting over here.

Who called them hypocrites? Sounds like someone needs to look in the mirror--as that is the apex of hypocracy.

Loyalty too, is a pretext, not a reason, so try harder to express why everyone should follow suit, when Gaines has proven he's no leader.

"From all accounts SG is taking what happened and trying to grow from it..."

Hahaha--that's even more ridiculous that claiming you know the hearts of 20000 people regarding Gaines. Yeah, they learned from it--Limit the scope of the PCIR to pinpoint, a fake congregational vote on Coombs, cut the promised business meaning before the victim can reach the microphone. That may be considered "learning," but not quite "growing," if we are talking about integrity.

It is not an obsession with a single mistake--but the contrived way in which the leadership circled the wagons, estranged those who seek concrete consequences beyond whatever airy consequences you cite but won't signify clearly. If you are talking about a soiled reputation, or what goes in his head and concience--then that's the most pathetic excuse for an argument I've ever heard and its no wonder you wouldn't even attempt to extrapolate. I'd be timid trying to qualify that assertion too.

No, time and again (and I witnessed it) the leadership has arrogantly played its hand to protect themselves at the expense of others less powerful and more vulnerable.

So you're loyal; good for you. I won't hold my breath, but now argue why everyone impacted should be loyal?

Cakes said...

"I guess it is a good thing I don't have to listen to you, but have the Holy Spirit to guide me."

Maybe I too should become a Christian, so I don't have to pen cohesive arguments.

I got it now--the Holy Spirit told you what's in the hearts of those 20000 people and NBBCOF regulars.

Well, I cannot argue with that.

bepatient said...

cakes, I don't remember saying they had to be loyal, just that it was the right choice for me.

I just don't think it gives them the right continue to attack those that remain there. I guess that is why it gets to me so much. The fact that they can't limit themselves to the things that they see as a problem with the leadership, but that they constantly have to bolster their position by lashing out at those who stay by saying they don't care about the scriptures or are simply not godly or saved or whatever.

I disagree with what they do, but I don't question their spiritual status. They continue to ignore the fact that the Bible specifically speaks against complaining, and however much they want to pretend that they are just trying to help this whole thing has just disintegrated to a, uh, complain-fest.

Of course some people remain at BBC just out of apathy and ease. Just as some people have jumped on the anti bandwagon just because they enjoy the drama.

bepatient said...

Cakes, I was saying that the Holy Spirit guides ME, I was not implying that I knew their hearts.

And lets try to keep the subtle insults to a minimum.

newbbcopenforumexposed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnthebaptist said...

bepatient said...
jtb,

I guess it is a good thing I don't have to listen to you, but have the Holy Spirit to guide me.

You may feel like I am disregarding certain scripture, but to pick and choose only the parts of the scripture that focus of rules and judgment and ignore the rest of it that focuses on redemption and God's power to change is just as bad.



Reply: Difference between you and me is that I look at the whole counsel of God. You choose to look at only the easy parts. I said there can be restoration but there must be repentence, resignation, and then resoration. You said that he made mistakes but we choose to overlook it and just hopes he does better. Total disregard for scripture.

I am glad you don't have listen to me ...but the sad part is, you aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either.

johnthebaptist said...

BePatient...How does the Holy Spirit speaks to some people to stay with a Pastor who admittedly made "mistakes of the mind and not of the heart" ? What Steve calls "mistakes of the head and not of the heart, the bible calls them sin.

Yet there are thousands who say that the Holy Spirit told them to leave BBC because of the SINS of the Pastor, staff and deacons who are unrepentent?

It sure makes a person wonder how the Holy Spirit could be so divided against Himself.

Newsflash: He is not!

Mike Bratton said...

all2jesus said...
Mike said...
A false teacher, by definition, is not only a non-Christian, but someone who is anti-Christian, someone who consciously engages in Satanic efforts to lead interested people away from faith in Christ before those people can become Christians. As insults go, calling the pastor of a church a "false teacher" is the MIRV of insults, carrying multiple warheads of hatred each time it's fired. You can see why it's out of place in a discussion among believers.

So unless a pastor carries a photo of Anton La Vey in his wallet, let's not go there? As long as he tacks an invitation on the end of his sermons, he can nullify Bible doctrine with abandon? How about holding forth thusly-and-like-so on this?


Misrepresentation and debate are mutually exclusive. Since I did not say what you pretended I said, please take another run at your response without the inaccuracies.

Here's a mind-bending definition for you:
false teacher n. one who intentionally teaches false things.

There have been several clear instances.


Would you characterize the Closed Forum quotes in my original article as "intentionally false"?

Oh, but I forget... personal responsibility isn't required when the target of one's anger is a Bellevue staff member.

1. Faced with serious allegations, Steve Gaines has refused to allow the clear teaching of scripture (Matt. 18) to be used to resolve the issues. The senior leadership surrounded and defended him in that refusal. Two of those men even went to the president of a certain seminary to explain to him how Matt. 18 doesn't apply to pastors. Gaines has never corrected them on that, in fact, I'd be willing to bet they had just left a little "Bible study" in the pastor's office. No honest exegesis of Matt. 18 would allow such a monstrous distortion. That, sir, is false teaching. Whether he taught it verbally or not, he has let it stand and it has been his conduct.

And you know that he hasn't addressed it with the relevant parties how, exactly?

Were I you, I'd be careful about the "letting it stand" accusation. A lot of vileness is allow to let stand on the three anti-Bellevue sites--to the point of fermentation. If you want to use that standard on Pastor Gaines, you must use it on your own home sites.

2. Steve Gaines has nullified the doctrine of Church Discipline. When a deacon asked why Mark Sharpe wasn't being handled under Church Discipline (for the record, Mark would have welcomed this and even requested it), Steve replied "Church discipline is a slippery slope." The truth is, disciplining Mark would have forced Matt. 18 to be followed. See item #1. Under Gaines, there have been no other instances of Church Discipline being followed, either, though several cases have fairly begged for it.

Pastor Gaines is being generous. A pastor friend of mine here in Birmingham volunteered that he would have identified the lot of the antagonists (both those who have revealed their identities and those who have hidden behind pseudonyms) and either given them the opportunity to voice their concerns within the church walls only and to repent of the practice of publishing their vile attacks, or be removed from the church's roll and shown the door.

And please, either stop appealing to Biblical guidelines or admit that you and yours have been violating them for nearly a year.

3. With respect to giving, Steve Gaines has violated the free will of those under his authority. Everyone he can compel to tithe, he has compelled: staff, deacons, Bible fellowship teachers. Everyone else he beats over the head. What does scripture say? "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:7"

We also have a Scriptural command to bring the tithe to the storehouse. Are you suggesting that someone who serves on a church staff can be so spiritually immature that he or she does not tithe?

As Dr. Rogers used to say every year during the Love Offering, "What you do not willingly and cheerfully give, God neither needs nor wants."

Pastor Rogers also said, regarding tithing, that he would never consider letting a Jewish person do more under the law than he, as a Christian, would do under grace.

Once someone compels you to do something, you can no longer do it simply because you want to.

Interesting.

So every Scriptural mandate invalidates our desire as Christians to serve God? Even the mandate to give cheerfully?

I don't pay my taxes cheerfully, but grudgingly, without remitting a penny more than the law demands. Steve Gaines has robbed whoever he can of the joy of giving.

I just got an e-mail from the straws. They're tired of people grasping at them with remarks like that one...

Seriously, though--just because something is a responsibility automatically means no one can do it cheerfully?

The term "free will" only occurs in the Bible in reference to giving (sorry, Arminians.) Ex. 35:29; Lev. 1:3; Lev. 19:5; Lev. 22:19; Lev. 22:29; Ezra 3:5; Ps. 54:6; 2 Cor. 8:1-5

Ah, that's revealing. Wrong, but revealing, and Pastor Rogers would have been the first to remind you that the "elect" are the "whosoever wills." Don't let your Calvinism get in the way of your objectivity. And for the record, Arminianism can do the same thing.

4. Steve Gaines does not believe in the scriptural requirements for ministers. He did everything he could to keep an admitted pedophile on staff.

You don't know this, so saying it doesn't make it so. There is a great deal of information which suggests that the church was phasing Williams off the staff in such a way as to minimize further injury to his family--attempting to minister to both the family and to Williams himself.

Months after the report came out that slapped his hand, he still maintained that Paul Williams should not have been let go. When it was pointed out that Williams had failed several of the scriptural criteria, Gaines replied that those were "just guidelines."

Quotes from where, exactly? And my question is not a loaded one; since the information I've received is at odds with your allegation, I'd appreciate knowing your source.

Were the anti-Bellevue folks demonstrating interest in having closure and amity within the church body, perhaps the identifier wouldn't be appropriate; I've spent more than a bit of time illustrating why it is appropriate based on the available evidence, so I won't rehash all that.

Anti-Bellevue? That's name-calling, Mike.


Is it "name-calling" to call someone who adheres to the ideals of the Democrat Party a "Democrat"? Or someone who believes it's wrong to kill yet-to-be-born children "pro-life"?

And before you mischaracterize an appropriate, earned label as "name-calling," you might want to address you colleagues' penchant for terms like "Nazi" and "demon," among many. Do you object to that sort of name-calling as well, or is your objection limited to those who don't share the scorched-church policy?

I know no one personally who is anti-Bellevue.

Actually, you do.

One might as well be anti-Christmas. We are not Grinches.

Hyperbole. Substitute "Christmas" for "Bellevue" in the typical anti-Bellevue remark, and tell me how it sounds.

Rather, we mourn for Bellevue,

Nonsense.

Do those who mourn lash out as the anti-Bellevuers do? Do they schedule a "Showdown" as part of their mourning? Do they compare other believers to Hitler, or to Satan?

Just as with the notion of being a "victim," being in "mourning" doesn't absolve an individual from being personally responsible for his or her behavior. Thankfully, the notion that your groups' collective behavior is counterproductive seems to be getting a little bit of traction.

and the integrity

Please.

The vast majority of you can't even sign your names to your contrarian remarks. Unless you're a superhero, integrity and secretiveness tend to be mutually exclusive.

and commitment to living out Bible truth that once were the hallmarks of its character.

By grinding out websites and granting media interviews regarding matters which should've been kept (at least according to Scripture) within the church? By judging those with whom you disagree to be unsaved? By indulging those among your ranks who desire the deaths of those you don't like?

Don't kid yourself.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

johnthebaptist said...
bepatient said...
jtb,

I guess it is a good thing I don't have to listen to you, but have the Holy Spirit to guide me.

You may feel like I am disregarding certain scripture, but to pick and choose only the parts of the scripture that focus of rules and judgment and ignore the rest of it that focuses on redemption and God's power to change is just as bad.



Reply: Difference between you and me is that I look at the whole counsel of God. You choose to look at only the easy parts. I said there can be restoration but there must be repentence, resignation, and then resoration. You said that he made mistakes but we choose to overlook it and just hopes he does better. Total disregard for scripture.

I am glad you don't have listen to me ...but the sad part is, you aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either.


John, I encourage you to apologize for those remarks...

Cakes said...
"I guess it is a good thing I don't have to listen to you, but have the Holy Spirit to guide me."

Maybe I too should become a Christian, so I don't have to pen cohesive arguments.

I got it now--the Holy Spirit told you what's in the hearts of those 20000 people and NBBCOF regulars.

Well, I cannot argue with that.


And David, I encourage you to apologize for those.

Just like Brylcreem, a little dab of decorum'll do ya.

Thanks in advance.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Jon L. Estes said...
Hi Mike,

Well, it happened, I have been banned (I think(. NASS said "goodbye" to me and no other post I submitted has been published.


It's a pattern, unfortunately. She doesn't even respond to my e-mails anymore. (Hmm... was that a Neil Diamond tune?)

It is sad to think of such talented and capable people living with such bitterness towards their present or former pastor.

There seems to be three premises to their mindset

1 - Steve Gaines is evil
2 - Anyone who disagree with us is evil
3 - If you don't feed our bitterness you will be banned


Observant, and succinct.

The cause of Christ is being pummeled on the other blog. They could learn a great lesson from the FBCJax blog.

Isn't that the one whose supporters finally realized that they should voice their disagreements within the church walls, and not in a public forum?

Have a great day. I guess I will have to hang out in here.

Mi blog es su blog, dude, just as it is with anyone else who participates here. Make yourselves at home.

--Mike

Jon L. Estes said...

Mike,

Just put the finishing touches on Sundays service (Communion day - always special and different in the presentation). I weave the whole service around the communion. To the point...

Thinking over my short lived presence on the other blog I came to realize I was questioned (a very nice way of saying it) about posting on the blog I was not a member of BBC or personally attached to the church. I was asked what business was it of mine, as a pastor in NC, to say anything to them concerning the mess. Yet they have now gone and invaded, verbally, at least one other church (Germantown BC) and are making the decisions of GBC their business. If I could post over there I think it would be fair to ask, what business is it of yours what GBC does, as members or former members or leaving members of BBC?

Again, I think they are great people who are being misguided in a greater way. PTL, there is hope.

bepatient said...

Jon, anyone that is not a member of BBC is welcome over there... as long as you agree. I would say roughly 1/3 of the "regulars" over there are not BBC members.

And cakes and JTB,
I am going to have to say until you can keep it off the personal level (regarding my intelligence and relationship with the Holy Spirit - even if you did prove my point JTB) I am just not going to do this anymore. I haven't insulted either one of you and I deserve the same respect.

johnthebaptist said...

BePatient said...


And cakes and JTB,
I am going to have to say until you can keep it off the personal level (regarding my intelligence and relationship with the Holy Spirit - even if you did prove my point JTB) I am just not going to do this anymore. I haven't insulted either one of you and I deserve the same respect.


Reply: If I proved your point it would be nice to know what your point was other than your choice to ignore scripture. However, since you requested it, I will not insult you any longer which was not my intent in the first place.

Jon L. Estes said...

bepatient said...

Jon, anyone that is not a member of BBC is welcome over there... as long as you agree. I would say roughly 1/3 of the "regulars" over there are not BBC members.


Sounds like one of those lifetime limited warranties we get on some products.

Can you hear them... Come one, come all --- you are invited, we are "open" (that wording is still in their name) for everyone... as long as you agree with us!!! If not... Off with their heads!

It would be funny if it were not so true.

Jon L. Estes said...

From the other blog

johnthebaptist said...

Mike Bratton has asked me to appologize to BePatient because I told her that she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible. I also told her I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit.


Go back and read your post on this blog at

11:27 AM, July 25, 2007

You sure sugar coated your words on the anti SG blog.

You should know better, I believe.

jtb, that is not the reason I see Mike asking you to apologize. It is more your direct arrogance towards bepatient.

bepatient said...

Oh well, I guess after someone on the other blog flat out telling me I wasn't a Christian (and another person over there telling me I was an idiot) I shouldn't be surprised.

I guess the Holy Spirit prompted them to do that too....

bepatient said...

Sorry, that last comment came out really rude once I re-read it, and that is not really how I meant it to be.

I am just saying, it is amazing that all the Christians who claim to be in tight with the Holy Spirit and have this amazing discernment can't see how arrogant they sound... I just don't see how belittling me furthers their efforts...(..)

Cakes said...

bepatient,

Ok, sorry I said what I did about the Holy Spirit, I just get insulted when folks, either incapable, or simply regard themselves above, the strictures of reasonable debate (and in the future, I'll just assume you are intelligent), resort to "I'm glad I don't have listen to you," cause I've got the Holy Spirit. I think it was a cheap shot, robed in piety, and is disrespectful to JohntheBaptist.

JohntheBaptist is not one of the cads you guys are always lumping together (nor am I) so why did you dismiss his remarks to you with a reply that pretty much says, blah, God's on my side, period. I will back up and just say that you may consider that religion should never be exploited to avoid graciousness and substance in conversation, as it cheapens both you and your religion.

Sorry you don't have a sense of humor. What is "personal" to you? I think y'all are hilarious, hyper-sensitive to the most percular things, but are guilty of the very intolerance and bitterness that you complain about. You write off, en mass, an entire blog of people as devoted to their spiritual path, demonstrably fallable as you and I--as definitely anyone that comments here--assign them (and me) motives that are not in your perview to know, are obviously timid to broach issues that I have spent considerable time and thought putting into concise language, and I might as well shoot pool for all the assinine, not-so-plausable-non-denials and gymnastically-selective ire from the folks that claim to have a direct line to God.

This blog has consistently been the bat-cave for a whole cast of trouble-makers--Ace, 4545, bugsii and whomever makes a jerk of themselves over at NBBCOF, tar and feather, insult and (genuinely) threaten good people there, and I've heard nary a peep of rebuke for those grade-school like pranks and very personal remarks. I suppose you think Ace was kicked off for disagreeing with the forum, instead of vicious attacts and instilling genuine fear of reprisals.

Do you have any idea what these folks have been through? Do they still talk about compassion in church? Because it mystifies me as to what it is that sets you Christians apart. There is little love here and and even less compassion demonstrated, but I am at peace with the fact that this kind of loyalty and acquiecence to discredited leaders and a tolerance for corruption is as common in churches, temples, ashrams, etc. as they are outside of them.

And you wonder why folks wish to remain anonymous. I am anonymous because I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I'd like the freedom to talk about it where it may be of some relevance, without owing every family member and co-worker a conversation about it. Likewise, other folks over at NBBCOF have this history as well, and they are quite justified in remaining anonymous; as is anyone who fears a reprisal in their work and relationships for speaking openly.

You are deserving of respect, but who you are to me is merely the words on the page, and I will judge your reason and intellect based upon what you have said. By the way, have you seen or participated in the things joked about regarding my faith, or Catholics, or Mormons. Lighten up, and chuckle, especially considering what you will blow off from Gaines (just to be clear--agreeing he screwed up addresses no one iota consequences, so quit saying we've been over that territory, because you and all the other true saints around here won't touch that matter, other than vague intimations that he's suffering consequence--like what, I implore? A new home?

If you could stop (both the Bratton Blog and NBBCOF) lobbing stones at one another, I believe you could find common ground, perhaps even some lasting friendships, but you will first have to come to terms with the fact that everything you criticize about the NBBCOF--the innuendo, name-calling, insults, bitterness and complaining, less-than-Christ-like-behavior--is located right here in your own backyard.

But at this point, I've about lost hope that your inflated egos will subside to let it happen. And that is a shame, because I believe there are good people in both camps.

Now, back to your war, already in progress.

Om Mani Peme Hum, y'all.(No, it's not a curse, or voodoo.)

Arminius Stone said...

johnthebaptist,

Are you really a preacher? What's your favorite sermon, fits of rage? Were you trying to accomplish anything by your post, or just giving an example of what walking in the flesh looks like?

I think you've eaten one too many locust or something. Maybe you should take a good, long look at scripture yourself, and then double check it to make sure you read it properly. And don't just focus on the parts about calling down fire from heaven.

Don't come around here swinging that sword, because it cuts deep and leaves lasting injuries.

It cuts both ways, too.

Junkster said...

Junkster said...
I love it when people say they don't go to church regularly because of the hypocrites. Too good to associate with the rest of the sinners. Gives me a good laugh every time.

Arminius Stone said...
Then you'd surely get a hoot if a family member who died of an overdose was used Sunday after Sunday as an example of a sinner condemned to an eternity in hell.


Oh, yeah, that's exactly what I meant! How obvious!

Arminius Stone said...

Then you'll love the new website that tells you where the the DUI offenders will be picking up trash by the road this Saturday.

Doesn't really do it for me, though.

bepatient said...

well, cakes, I guess I will just retreat to my high and mighty throne. I still find it fascinating that when it comes to the issues you think the NBBCOF are your friends, but I can promise if you disagreed with them they would sell you down the river, and plenty have admitted that they would not hang out with you in "real" life.

Quite frankly, I am tired of re-hashing this argument with you... I may be as dumb as a middle schooler but at least I know when to cut my losses!

solomon said...

bepatient:
"I just don't see how belittling me furthers their efforts."

As I've learned the hard way, it can get brutal over there.

For some people, belittling you furthers their efforts simply because their goal is to feel superior. Instead of elevating themselves by serving, they choose to remain at the same level themselves and knock others down.

I won't tell you not to let it get to you (especially after my performance the other night).

I will tell you that you're very well thought of around these parts.

Keith

solomon said...

cakes,

I greatly appreciate your efforts to promote harmony among the blogs. Frankly, I've been surprised more than once that you seem to have a better handle on the Christian concept of grace than many who post.

It's making me examine a few of the beliefs I grew up with.

Keith

Junkster said...

A (not entirely unbiased) RECAP

People get upset with the direction and decisions of their church's leadership, and they express their thoughts, concerns and feelings (too often badly or inappropriately), and eventually they get run off from their church (or "encouraged to find another church"). These "outcasts" join together on a blog in discussions (again, too often badly or inappropriately) with others with similar opinions or experiences.

"Others", who do not share their opinions or experiences (or who may sympathize with them, but are bothered by their bad and inappropriate expressions of them), come along and pointedly criticize the words and attitudes of the "outcasts". The "others" write harshly or condescendingly or gracelessly about what the "outcasts" are doing wrong, sometimes even defending the wrong actions of the church leadership. (The irony of being critical of those who are being critical apparently escapes them, or is justified on the basis of "what I said wasn't nearly as nasty as what you said".)

The "outcasts" respond as one might expect, with defensiveness and their own harsh rebukes for the harsh rebukes. And on it goes, until the "outcast" blog leadership has had enough, and one by one bans the "others" (or "encourages them to find another blog").

The "others" then congregate on another blog, in their own discussions (also too often badly or inappropriately) with other "others" with similar opinions or experiences. And their favorite topic is how horrible those "outcasts" are. And on it goes ...

Cakes, my friend, at this point I can't say I blame you for your current thoughts about Christians. The story is told that a missionary met with Ghandi and asked him why he quoted Christ often by rejected becoming His follower. Ghandi replied, "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

oc said...

solomon said:
oc,

I owe you an apology (several, really). I've been upset about something you said to me on the NBBCOF, and I let it get the better of me last night.

Keith Solomon

oc says:
I don't believe you do owe me an apology, but email me and let me know what I said that upset you, I may need to apologize to you instead.

Just sayin'.
oc.

oc said...

bepatient said:

I still find it fascinating that when it comes to the issues you think the NBBCOF are your friends, but I can promise if you disagreed with them they would sell you down the river, and plenty have admitted that they would not hang out with you in "real" life.

oc says:
You know not what you say. I disagree with Cakes in some ways. In some very important, eternal ways. But I still love him. Not selling him down the river.
And guess what? I hung out with the man, and we had a great time. And we plan on doing it again. This is in 'real life'.

And guess what, bepatient. God loves him too. Even if you don't.

Just sayin'.

oc.

bepatient said...

I have never said I don't like cakes. I posed a question to the NBBCOF a while ago as to whether or not they would go play pool with cakes and if not, why they should expect him to be any more willing to accept their offers to join them for church.... and I received mostly "no way" responses to that. I wasn't saying everyone felt that way (and since you aren't Bellevue folk, it doesn't really count :)) just that that was the response I got. I would hang out with Cakes anytime, I really usually enjoy his banter- he just goes a bit too far sometimes for my taste...
Whether he would hang out with me is a whole different story- I am doubting he would bother with my ellipsis-loving self.


And Junk, I have never ever attacked anyone on the NBBCOF, to the best of my knowledge I have never crossed the magical line and I am not banned. So I think it is unfair to say I was attacking anyone and that they should have been defensive.

Junkster said...

bepatient said...
And Junk, I have never ever attacked anyone on the NBBCOF, to the best of my knowledge I have never crossed the magical line and I am not banned. So I think it is unfair to say I was attacking anyone and that they should have been defensive.

I did not say that you did any of those things. But if that's what you got out of my post, you really missed my point.

Mike Bratton said...

On a rare trip to the Closed Forum, look what I found:

johnthebaptist said...
Mike Bratton has asked me to appologize to BePatient because I told her that she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible. I also told her I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit.

I will think about apologizing although I really am not inclined to. I feel I spoke the truth.

Also, if it was anyone else but Mike that asked me to...Mike, the arrogant- wise in his own eyes Bratton who is always speaking harshly of all who post here.
If it wasn't for this blog, Mike wouldn't have anything to talk about except maybe wrestling and the pope. Both of which he knows little about, I feel.
Nass, maybe you can check it out to see if you can claim Mike as a dependent on your taxes since he is so dependent on your blog to give his credibility.

Credibility and MB blog just doesn't seem to go together.

2:50 PM, July 25, 2007


And yet you still get to post here, John. How is that, exactly?

For the record, you didn't merely say "she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible" and "I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit."

What you said was "Difference between you and me is that I look at the whole counsel of God. You choose to look at only the easy parts. I said there can be restoration but there must be repentence, resignation, and then resoration. You said that he made mistakes but we choose to overlook it and just hopes he does better. Total disregard for scripture.

"I am glad you don't have listen to me ...but the sad part is, you aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either."


Just to be thorough, let's do a little compare-and-contrast, thusly and like so:

First, "I told her that she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible" left out the rest of your nonsense, including "You choose to look at only the easy parts" and "Total disregard for scripture."

Secondly, "I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit" is worlds apart from "You aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either." One is an opinion, the other is a purported statement of fact; the former is bad enough, but the latter is vile.

Lying about and attempting to smear me is one thing, but lying about and attempting to smear someone else is another matter entirely. In the name of Christ, I encourage you to re-evaluate your post, repent, and make a new one that actually tells the truth--that you made a vicious, self-aggrandizing, blanket condemnation of someone with whom you disagree.

You've demonstrated the point of my article quite elegantly. Many thanks.

--Mike

Cakes said...

I like everyone here, even those that have smeared me (and truly, you don't know me, so those that would smear me are smearing their concept of me, so no big deal) as much as your selective outrage perplexes me, so we could all do to step back, call a time out until emotions are not so inflamed, and try another day to find common ground.

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
johnthebaptist,

Are you really a preacher? What's your favorite sermon, fits of rage? Were you trying to accomplish anything by your post, or just giving an example of what walking in the flesh looks like?

I think you've eaten one too many locust or something. Maybe you should take a good, long look at scripture yourself, and then double check it to make sure you read it properly. And don't just focus on the parts about calling down fire from heaven.

Don't come around here swinging that sword, because it cuts deep and leaves lasting injuries.

It cuts both ways, too.


Reply: Nice loving reply. Seems you having trouble too. Sins of the flesh are very well displayed in you.

You seem to think that a christian can't get upset. People who claim that open sin by a church leader is OK and then says that the Holy Spirit is guiding them when it goes against what scripture teaches angers me. You ought to be glad I don't say how I really feel.
Unlike you, I have read the whole bible and realized that you can't take the easy parts and ignore the hard parts. Just like Steve, you must seem to think that parts of the bible don't apply. I don't just focus on the parts of bringing fire down from heaven but you seem to leave that part out.

Please, dust off your bible, if you can find it, and READ it.

The bible does cut, hurt but you will heal.

The only sword I swing is the bible. It figures that you wouldn't want that around here.

Arminius Stone said...

Actually, John, you're ignoring the hardest thing the Bible teaches - grace. Your unrepentant attitude toward bepatient shows that. The other stuff is easy.

I've noticed that legalists such as yourself have a very hard time submitting to the laws you proclaim. You say that Gaines was not brought before the church as prescribed by Matthew 18. The truth is, he wasn't brought in the way that you required with the results you demanded.

I suspect everyone at Bellevue has heard about SG's blunders, but he's still got plenty of support.

He was brought before the church, and the church has accepted his apologies and forgiven him. Sounds like grace to me, not ignorance. Just because you and the other Perry Mason fans didn't get your high drama doesn't mean Matthew 18 was ignored.

Arminius Stone said...

Gosh, I forgot to make my point!

Matthew 22:29
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Arminius Stone said...

Also, john, you need to apologize to bepatient for calling her a witch.

johnthebaptist said...

Mike Bratton said...
On a rare trip to the Closed Forum, look what I found:

johnthebaptist said...
Mike Bratton has asked me to appologize to BePatient because I told her that she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible. I also told her I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit.

I will think about apologizing although I really am not inclined to. I feel I spoke the truth.

Also, if it was anyone else but Mike that asked me to...Mike, the arrogant- wise in his own eyes Bratton who is always speaking harshly of all who post here.
If it wasn't for this blog, Mike wouldn't have anything to talk about except maybe wrestling and the pope. Both of which he knows little about, I feel.
Nass, maybe you can check it out to see if you can claim Mike as a dependent on your taxes since he is so dependent on your blog to give his credibility.

Credibility and MB blog just doesn't seem to go together.

2:50 PM, July 25, 2007

And yet you still get to post here, John. How is that, exactly?

For the record, you didn't merely say "she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible" and "I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit."

What you said was "Difference between you and me is that I look at the whole counsel of God. You choose to look at only the easy parts. I said there can be restoration but there must be repentence, resignation, and then resoration. You said that he made mistakes but we choose to overlook it and just hopes he does better. Total disregard for scripture.

"I am glad you don't have listen to me ...but the sad part is, you aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either."

Just to be thorough, let's do a little compare-and-contrast, thusly and like so:

First, "I told her that she was just using part of the scriptures and not all the Bible" left out the rest of your nonsense, including "You choose to look at only the easy parts" and "Total disregard for scripture."

Secondly, "I didn't think she was listening to the Holy Spirit" is worlds apart from "You aren't listening to the Holy Spirit either." One is an opinion, the other is a purported statement of fact; the former is bad enough, but the latter is vile.

Lying about and attempting to smear me is one thing, but lying about and attempting to smear someone else is another matter entirely. In the name of Christ, I encourage you to re-evaluate your post, repent, and make a new one that actually tells the truth--that you made a vicious, self-aggrandizing, blanket condemnation of someone with whom you disagree.

You've demonstrated the point of my article quite elegantly. Many thanks.

--Mike



Reply: Now Mike, don't let that large beam get in your way of the speck in my eye.

Let's start a the beginning of your blog when you say in About Me section: It's not. Now Mike, we all know that is a lie. This blog and your website is all about YOU.
You say that the people at the Open Forum say mean things. Read you own posts Mikie.

You say that "on a rare trim to the Closed Forum, look what I found" ---Now Mike, we know that is a lie. When I post things about you on that blog, I wait to see how long it takes to see your reaction over here. You know what Mikie? It is usually the very same day or the next. Now does that sound like a rare appearance to you?

You see Mike, you try to make yourself seem wise by your much ramblings and use of big words. It proves just the opposite.

You have NO obligation to monitor what goes on at the OPEN forum. Be honest with everyone including yourself and say that you want to be there because without that blog, you wouldn't have anything to say. Your reply numbers only go up when we come over. Which by the way, won't be much longer for me.

While I don't agree with everything on the Open Forum, and I do feel some people can be harsh to others who disagree, I find it a useful blog. I haven't found much use for this blog other than mocking Open Forum.

It wasn't my intent on misleading the folks over there when I posted about what I said here. Those who know me know I wouldn't do that. I just was paraphrasing because I was tired of typing. People can read exactly what I posted here. They didn't need me to repost over there. So, once again, you are making a big deal out of nothing.

I am surpised that you didn't make my statements out to be a death threat like you do others. I still can't get over your foolishness over Dr. Loney's post.

Mike, your little compare and contrast episode proved just how petty you can be. If fact, you seem to be a drama queen. You whine and complain about the Open Forum but you do the exact same thing you accuse them of.

If someone questions someone else when they say that the Holy Spirit is guiding them when what they are saying is against scripture, you go nuts. It is ok for you to do it but only you. Remember, this blog is about YOU.

Take your own advise to me. Re-evaluate, repent, repost.

I was harsh, granted. Wrong? No.

Mike, I will work on my shortcomings. Please, work on yours.

You like to throw the word "vile" around alot. That word fits your posts as well.

Why don't you try to go one month without abusing the Open Forum and it's people? Start with using the words "OPEN FORUM".

When your blog uses a black background as yours does, and your anger gets the best of you, as it usually does, you start to speak "vile" things of others, as you usually do, then this place just seems evil.

Again you said....
In the name of Christ, I encourage you to re-evaluate your post, repent, and make a new one that actually tells the truth--that you made a vicious, self-aggrandizing, blanket condemnation of someone with whom you disagree.

Now Mikie, wouldn't it be nice if you did exactly the same thing? I believe you have quite a few people to appologize to over at the Open Forum, Saving Bellevue, Integrity does Count. You lie and smear them. Go ahead Mike, take you own advise.

Start re-evaluating,repenting, and reposting Mike.

You said that I "demonstrated the point of my article quite elegantly". Where did you get the info for your article? Once again Mike, more trips to the Open Forum that you "rarely" go to. Sounds like more re-evaluating, repenting, and reposting.

Get busy Mikie.

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
Also, john, you need to apologize to bepatient for calling her a witch.



Didn't call her a witch. I have my opinions about you though.

Arminius Stone said...

Gosh, john, I'd assumed you're familiar with this passage from 1 Samuel:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

I also assumed you'd quickly pick up on my double entendre in reference to Galatians 5 when I said 'fits of rage':

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

Where's that Bible again?

bepatient said...

cakes, for you and everyone else- I really don't actually get upset. I do enjoy the discussion and I generally don't take it personally and that is why I don't get personal in my remarks.

I do feel like God has led me to the place of forgiveness for SG, and really I think it has less to do with the man himself than a bigger plan for BBC. Honestly, we all needed to be taken down a notch and we needed to start working harder at listening to God for ourselves than having someone else (Dr. Rogers for example) guide us.

I am not saying everyone was guilty of this, but it was an easy path to follow for a lot of people. Even now, so many people desire to give weight to their position by adding 'that's what dr. rogers would have done', like that makes it a done deal.

I do not think the Holy Spirit is divided against itself, I do know that we are all acting in good faith to follow the scriptures and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And I am willing to guess that we both have a little right and a little wrong. I am sure I will be accused of being new-age and wishy washy "easy" believism. But just because new-age stuff is all about "balance", etc doesn't mean that it doesn't have a place for us. They don't own the market on it.
Legalism is dangerous, having no boundaries is dangerous, we do have to seek that balance.

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
Actually, John, you're ignoring the hardest thing the Bible teaches - grace. Your unrepentant attitude toward bepatient shows that. The other stuff is easy.

I've noticed that legalists such as yourself have a very hard time submitting to the laws you proclaim. You say that Gaines was not brought before the church as prescribed by Matthew 18. The truth is, he wasn't brought in the way that you required with the results you demanded.

I suspect everyone at Bellevue has heard about SG's blunders, but he's still got plenty of support.

He was brought before the church, and the church has accepted his apologies and forgiven him. Sounds like grace to me, not ignorance. Just because you and the other Perry Mason fans didn't get your high drama doesn't mean Matthew 18 was ignored.



Reply: Once again you are wrong. That seems to be a patern over here. I am far from a legalist. You seem to be far more liberal so compared to you, I would look like a legalist.

The fact is that Steve wasn't brought before the church. He stood up there and said in his "aw-shucks" acting job that he made mistakes of the head and not of the heart. Gee, I would still like to be your Pastor...what a bunch of hogwash.
There has been no repentence, no seeking reconciliation, no humility nothing. The bible has qualifications of Pastors which you and others have lowered.
I can easily forgive him if there was true repentence but there is none.
Grace is not a substitute for repentence. I do like Perry Mason and you could learn from him. Instead, you Rick Warren wantabe's play church and leave God and His Word at home.

Steve could be an excellent Pastor but repentence, confession with humility needs to take place.

Just because Steve has "lots plenty of support" doesn't mean that all is right. See Jimmy Swaggart and others. I am NOT saying that Steve has done what Jimmy Swaggart has done but his "support group" has disregarded scripture qualifications for Pastors in the name of grace.

Liberal as yourself will see that the path you chose is not good.

johnthebaptist said...

BePatient...

Your post today is very good. I can see what you really are saying.

I want to appologize to you. Not because of the folks here that say I should. They need to heed their own advise to others.

I want to appologize because I believe I see what you really are saying/feeling.

Please forgive me for my harsh tone and insults that hurt you. My intent was NOT to hurt you in anyway. I was just upset when it seemed like you were saying that you had a lock on the Holy Spirit.

I said things in the wrong way.

Please forgive me.

bepatient said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
Gosh, john, I'd assumed you're familiar with this passage from 1 Samuel:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

I also assumed you'd quickly pick up on my double entendre in reference to Galatians 5 when I said 'fits of rage':

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

Where's that Bible again?


Reply: Unlike you, I don't play games with people or God's Word. If you have something to say, say it. I don't have time to read between the lines with a gameplayer.

Take that verse to heart yourself. Here is an idea! Instead of playing games with God's word, they reading it and applying it to YOUR life.

If you have to ask me where your bible is, you need more help than I can give.

bepatient said...

JTB,

I am sorry it my post came off as saying I had a lock on the Holy Spirit, that is actually the opposite of what I meant! I just mean that if every person that comes along to blog could sway us by a simple statement that wouldn't say much about our faith. I said it rather flippantly, sometimes I get lazy about explaining myself in a way that that comes across properly without a tone of voice.

I actually do think that God could be guiding us to two different resolves that seem to work at cross-purposes, and the reason for that is the same reason that I could go hang out at bars and witness and it would not be a temptation for me for one single second whereas some people have to stay far far away from alcohol. I don't know that it is happening here, but as I have said before, Intent does matter. Most of us are genuinely seeking the will of God and we will all answer for our actions, but the fact is we should be rejoicing that there are so many of us who feel so passionately and desire so strongly to be in the will of God. I hope that is some common ground!

johnthebaptist said...

BePatient...


I agree...but will you forgive me?

Just don't want any ill will between us.

Arminius Stone said...

If you have something to say, say it.

Okay I will. Good job on the apology, John.

One word of advice in the future: don't throw around all those religious cuss words like liberal, warrenite (or derivative thereof), and the others. I've barely even read Tillich, von Harnack, Schleiermacher, or any of the liberal thinkers (Rick Warren either), and when you try to slap those labels on me I can't really give your statements any weight.

Chambers wrote that an unguarded strength is a double weakness, so try to get a handle on your passion.

(Have fun slugging it out with Mike. I'm going back under my bridge...)

bepatient said...

It was done before you asked!! :)

We're cool!!

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
If you have something to say, say it.

Okay I will. Good job on the apology, John.

One word of advice in the future: don't throw around all those religious cuss words like liberal, warrenite (or derivative thereof), and the others. I've barely even read Tillich, von Harnack, Schleiermacher, or any of the liberal thinkers (Rick Warren either), and when you try to slap those labels on me I can't really give your statements any weight.

Chambers wrote that an unguarded strength is a double weakness, so try to get a handle on your passion.

(Have fun slugging it out with Mike. I'm going back under my bridge...)



Reply: I didn't appologize so that I can make you or anyone else happy. That was between a sister and me. When I saw her true heart, I understood I was wrong. I have always been willing to admit my mistakes and seek forgiveness. I won't ever appologize for preaching the gospel, not according to me, but according to Christ.

Sorry,I cannot accept your advise.
You seem to be just as guilty of the same thing you say I am.

Remember your post, you labeled me (and others) as a legalist among other things. Seems you have a double standard. Did Mike teach you that?

It seems incredible to me that you say what you said to me and then tell me to control my passion.

Please drop the double standard.

Until you do, you statements are as a bunch of hot air.


Religious cuss words is an interesting theory. Doesn't make any sense but interesting non the less.

Just so you know...I hold no ill feelings toward you. I don't consider you an adversary that I must engage. Everything is cool on my end.

Also, I will not be slugging it out with Mike. I am sure we both have better things to do.

Arminius Stone said...

"That was between a sister and me."

My only issue with you was the way you treated bepatient. Since you've made amends, I now have none.

Your comments to and about her were on not one, but two public forums for all the world to see. They are also in print and can't be taken back (as if any words ever can be, anyway).

Remember that in the future.

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius Stone said...
"That was between a sister and me."

My only issue with you was the way you treated bepatient. Since you've made amends, I now have none.

Your comments to and about her were on not one, but two public forums for all the world to see. They are also in print and can't be taken back (as if any words ever can be, anyway).

Remember that in the future.


Reply: Here you go again. Apply what you say to yourself first.

I don't care what your issue is.

I don't need you or Mike to tell me anything. You both are guilty of the very same thing you say I am guilty of. Deal with you own sin.

If I never made an amends with BePatient it would have never been any of your business. Yours and Mikes statements to me mean nothing. Just hollow words from hollow men.

I appologized because she stated her hearts intent. That is what drove me.

I am fully aware of the public forums and that words can't be taken back. That still will not make me appologize for preaching truth to whoever is misusing scripture.

You seem to worry too much about what people see here but do you ever think about what God is seeing? I know I will give an account for what is written.

Put down big, plain and straight...You will too.

You remember that.

Arminius Stone said...

So you're saying the fact that your behavior offends me is of no concern to you?

You don't care what Christian brothers say to you?

Relationships within the walls of faith are not my concern?

And it's okay to say whatever you think is right whenever and wherever you choose?

Show me where all that's in the Bible. If you do, I'll see if I can find mine, dust it off, read it cover to cover like you have, and show you the exact opposite.

johnthebaptist said...

Arminius said...

You don't care what Christian brothers say to you?



Oh, you were talking about Christian brothers. I thought you were talking about you and Mike.

Your actions are so conflicting with what is christian that I was confused who you were talking about.

Just kidding.

Really, you can make a big deal of it if you want but how would I know if your a christian brother? Just because you say so? I have no idea if your a christian or not. Still don't.

No, just because you say I should or shouldn't do something will not motivate me to do it.

If you feel that you must monitor the halls of faith for offenders, that is your business. Labeling me a legalist and then telling me what to do, no, that isn't your business.

You are not the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to be.


No, I don't care if my behavior offends you. Don't read my posts. You don't seem to worry about if you offend me.


Why whould I try to show you anything in the bible when you can't seem to get the beam out of your own eye to remove the speck in my eye.

I would care what you have to say if your double standard way of doing things didn't interfere with whatever message you are trying to convey.


Your so deadset on proving out of the bible that my actions are wrong and yet, you refuse to apply those same biblical standards to your own life.

Do you not read your own posts?

Apply scripture to your actions first, then I will be concerned about what you have to say.

RM said...

Mike,

If I were you I wouldn't waste the time nor space on that bunch. They are actually totally irrelevant since most of them are gone now and consist mainly of some disgruntled women who have nothing else to do. Their motives jump out from their vindictive words and spirit.

They will take care of themselves in time...

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

johnthebaptist,

You shouldn't waste your time trying to reason with Arminius, or you might end up as crazy as he is. He's a very notorious troll, and posts under many different accounts and usernames. I've seen him carry on conversations with himself sometimes.

He's very clever and says some really good things some days (when he's been taking his medicine, I suppose) but for the most part he's not a useful participant in this or any other forum.

His driving motivation for posting is that he thinks the entire situation at Bellevue is being caused by a fundamentalist push to either reclaim or destroy the church, if that tells you anything about his mental state. He took his current last name from Oliver Stone, a fellow conspiracy nut.

I think you'd get more valuable and relevant discussion finding out how Dr. Loney built up his tolerance to meat-borne organisms.

Keith

Cakes said...

"If I were you I wouldn't waste the time nor space on that bunch. They are actually totally irrelevant since most of them are gone now and consist mainly of some disgruntled women who have nothing else to do. Their motives jump out from their vindictive words and spirit."

I quote Mike thusly and like so:

Thanks for proving my point, Einstein. You obciously don't waste any of your time on "that bunch," seeing as you know so much to make a blanket judgement.

RM, you are to be pitied for your "contribution" to the discourse. Don't you have anything better to do, or are you also just a "disgruntled woman" or perhaps just a sexist?

I never cease to be amazed at what passes for "sober discourse" over here.

Wake up and smell the irony, people.

johnthebaptist said...

RM said...
Mike,

If I were you I wouldn't waste the time nor space on that bunch. They are actually totally irrelevant since most of them are gone now and consist mainly of some disgruntled women who have nothing else to do. Their motives jump out from their vindictive words and spirit.

They will take care of themselves in time...



RM: Most are not gone and are not irrelevant. They are not disgruntled women. Thanks for writing people off and labeling them. You belong here.

A Doctor huh? What kind of Doctor? Did you really earn that PHD or did someone give you a PostHole Digger and you thought it came with the title DR.?

Your motives jump out from your vindictive words and spirit.

Mike Bratton said...

I don't know if it's age, or being under the weather--normally I focus better, but I just stopped counting the attacks after awhile, as they were all running together.

(David, I completely agree--posting in the heat of emotion isn't a good idea. However, it is revealing. Oh, and please e-mail me if you'd like to get together next week; I'll be in Memphis for a few days and thought a blogger's lunch might be cool.)

Folks, personal responsibility--particularly for those of us who name the name of Christ--begins at home.

Feeling pain, feeling angry, or feeling victimized doesn't absolve you of it.

And lying about others, judging their salvation, or wishing they were dead doesn't demonstrate it.

If you're angry with me for thinking you (and your groups) should have at least a basic threshold of accountability, I frankly don't care--because I love you with the love of Jesus. I want the best for you, and challenge you to prayerfully consider how your rhetoric is continuing to degenerate.

--Mike

johnthebaptist said...

Your right Soloman...Time here is wasted. Arminius, or my pet name for him, Armpit, has shown me that today isn't one of his good days.

Since life is short, I won't waste any more time waiting for that good day to come.

Thanks for the advise.

Mike Bratton said...

Cakes said...
"If I were you I wouldn't waste the time nor space on that bunch. They are actually totally irrelevant since most of them are gone now and consist mainly of some disgruntled women who have nothing else to do. Their motives jump out from their vindictive words and spirit."

I quote Mike thusly and like so:

Thanks for proving my point, Einstein. You obciously don't waste any of your time on "that bunch," seeing as you know so much to make a blanket judgement.

RM, you are to be pitied for your "contribution" to the discourse. Don't you have anything better to do, or are you also just a "disgruntled woman" or perhaps just a sexist?

I never cease to be amazed at what passes for "sober discourse" over here.

Wake up and smell the irony, people.


David, please scroll up. Look at the variety of contributions as you go.

I don't agree with a significant portion of what gets posted here. Never have.

But people have the chance to share their thoughts here--even if I don't agree with them.

--Mike

Cakes said...

Mike,

That's the nature of a public forum, so everyone, in my opinion, is responsible for the substance, or lack thereof, in their words. So, a cheap dig or immature reason by RM or anyone else is no reflection upon you.

I humbly ask you to consider the variety likewise at NBBCOF, bro.

Mike Bratton said...

Cakes said...
Mike,

That's the nature of a public forum, so everyone, in my opinion, is responsible for the substance, or lack thereof, in their words. So, a cheap dig or immature reason by RM or anyone else is no reflection upon you.

I humbly ask you to consider the variety likewise at NBBCOF, bro.


Way ahead of you, David. I weighed that notion a number of months ago, and had to reject it.

This site, despite specious reports to the contrary and as you can attest, isn't single-issue; the (ahem) Forum, according to its own front page and demonstrated by its use, is designed to be home base for a group of people.

And while I'm thinking about it--Dr. McDonald, please don't attempt to ascribe motive to others.

--Mike

Cakes said...

Well, please revisit the issue, because, by design or not, this blog is also the nexus for a group connected to the Bellevue matter--and not all of them nice or particularly wise.

And further, I fail to see how that has any bearing on the remark. Perhaps you will extrapolate.

By the way, you have mail.

Mike Bratton said...

Cakes said...
Well, please revisit the issue, because, by design or not, this blog is also the nexus for a group connected to the Bellevue matter--and not all of them nice or particularly wise.


Do you think? Seems there's quite a diverse population among the commenterati here. (Hey, I just invented a word!)

And further, I fail to see how that has any bearing on the remark. Perhaps you will extrapolate.

Apologies--I'm under the weather today, and perhaps a touch less sagacious in my remarks.

To answer your question, it's a matter of intent and construction. I'll touch on that later, but right now it's time for the family dinner.

By the way, you have mail.

Much obliged!

--Mike

Arminius Pit said...

Sol,

You know, you're a hard man sometimes but I forgive you.

It's amazing to me that so many Christians run around screaming how they believe the entire counsel of Scripture, but the second the subject of demons comes up they deny their own proclamation.

You're under attack, Bellevue. Make no mistake about it. Take a look at the NBBCOF. Every single day you'll see not only Steve Gaines being assaulted but the very office of Christian leader undermined. It's Purpose Driven this, and New Age that. It's a 21st century witch hunt.

The fundamentalists are the only ones attacking you, either. Satan is using a just and noble cause to destroy God's church. Take a look at that article by Christa Brown that's all the rage. How many times does she mention the name Tommy Gilmore as opposed to 'minister' or 'Baptist preacher'? Why does Charles Stanley's name appear but not the perp? Their whole aim is to program people so that they no longer trust their pastors.

Once that's done, you can get ready. Those humongous crosses you have? Say goodbye. The crucifixion condones innocent suffering, you know. That whole Jesus thing? Divine child abuse. You'll be left with nothing but a headless, chaotic anarchy, complete with prayer labyrinth.

Lemme know how that works out for ya'll.

solomon said...

arminius,

You've got mail, and I think you should pay attention to it this time.

Arminius Pit said...

You mean this one?

To: Adam West < xxxxxxxxx@earthlink.net >
From:Keith and Cathy Solomon < solo9850@bellsouth.net >

Adam,

As entertaining as your posts are, I think you should not post any more on Mike's blog. You should also delete your latest posts.

If not, I'll have no problem making your name and email public.

KS


Hate to break this to you Keith, but you got nothing. I don't live in Alabama, I live right here in Memphis. Name's not Adam, either. Adam West was Batman, not me.

Cheers!

solomon said...

Maybe I don't know who you are, arminius, but God does. JTB was right about that, and I hope you know it.

You're going to be held accountable to Him, not me.

Arminius Pit said...

Sol,

I'll mull it over next time I'm in a prayer labyrinth. Maybe when BBC puts one in to assuage SNAP you can join me. Wait, didn't SG come under fire for wanting one?

I'm confused!

bepatient said...

I know I am the only girl but can I come to the bloggers lunch too?

Arminius Pit said...

Sorry to interrupt the lunch plans, but don't forget to visit the links that stopbaptistpredators.org recommends, especially this one.

oc said...

Mike said:

On a rare trip to the Closed Forum, look what I found:


oc says:
Please Mike. Rare trip? Do you think that everyone else not named 'Mike Bratton' is an idiot?

You disdain the 'Closed Forum' so much, why would you even cruise it?

Is it fodder for your own blog? What are your intentions?

Mike Bratton said...

oc said...
Mike said:

On a rare trip to the Closed Forum, look what I found:


oc says:
Please Mike. Rare trip? Do you think that everyone else not named 'Mike Bratton' is an idiot?


Coincidental that you and John would chase the same rabbit--how'd that happen?

And yes, I can see where combativeness is something that's a sore spot for you.

You disdain the 'Closed Forum' so much, why would you even cruise it?

Is it fodder for your own blog? What are your intentions?


Asked and answered. Quoting myself from just a short ways up, thusly and like so: "If you're angry with me for thinking you (and your groups) should have at least a basic threshold of accountability, I frankly don't care--because I love you with the love of Jesus. I want the best for you, and challenge you to prayerfully consider how your rhetoric is continuing to degenerate."

--Mike

oc said...

Mike said:

On a rare trip to the Closed Forum, look what I found:


oc says:
Please Mike. Rare trip? Do you think that everyone else not named 'Mike Bratton' is an idiot?

Mike said:
Coincidental that you and John would chase the same rabbit--how'd that happen?


oc says:
Well, maybe there's something to it then. Maybe more than one person can figure that out, since that 'rabbit' is as big as an elephant.


oc said:
You disdain the 'Closed Forum' so much, why would you even cruise it?

Is it fodder for your own blog? What are your intentions?

Mike said:
Asked and answered. Quoting myself from just a short ways up, thusly and like so: "If you're angry with me for thinking you (and your groups) should have at least a basic threshold of accountability, I frankly don't care--because I love you with the love of Jesus. I want the best for you, and challenge you to prayerfully consider how your rhetoric is continuing to degenerate."

--Mike


oc says:

Lots of words, no answer.




Mike said:
And yes, I can see where combativeness is something that's a sore spot for you.

oc says:
Interesting. From one who keeps saying that he loves me with the love of Jesus. Your insistance of bringing up someone's already self confessed short comings reminds me of quite the opposite of Jesus. Are you my accuser?

Just sayin'.

oc.

Amazed said...

Arminius,

I looked over that link you put to "Grace Cathedral" and was a bit surprised to see that they have openly gay ministers and lay leaders.

That being said, I'm confused as to how it relates to the conversation.

Mike Bratton said...

oc said...

Mike said:
Coincidental that you and John would chase the same rabbit--how'd that happen?

oc says:
Well, maybe there's something to it then. Maybe more than one person can figure that out, since that 'rabbit' is as big as an elephant.


Actually, the term "talking point" came to mind, but that might be overly generous. Or not.

oc said:
You disdain the 'Closed Forum' so much, why would you even cruise it?

Is it fodder for your own blog? What are your intentions?

Mike said:
Asked and answered. Quoting myself from just a short ways up, thusly and like so: "If you're angry with me for thinking you (and your groups) should have at least a basic threshold of accountability, I frankly don't care--because I love you with the love of Jesus. I want the best for you, and challenge you to prayerfully consider how your rhetoric is continuing to degenerate."

--Mike

oc says:

Lots of words, no answer.


Then please read it again.

Mike said:
And yes, I can see where combativeness is something that's a sore spot for you.

oc says:
Interesting. From one who keeps saying that he loves me with the love of Jesus. Your insistance of bringing up someone's already self confessed short comings reminds me of quite the opposite of Jesus. Are you my accuser?


Re-read your own statement, please. I'm just acknowledging the accuracy of your self-assessment. Please don't complain when others sympathize about something you've voluntarily shared about yourself, all right?

Well, no, there's more to say about the slur you used.

In Revelation, God refers to Satan as the accuser of the brethren. Your choice of words was most probably not unintentional. If it was intentional, I expect you to apologize for it, and repent of the sin of equating a Christian with Satan. If it was unintentional, I expect you to apologize and watch your language in the future.

Combativeness is one thing, but these all-too-typical verbal bombs--the type documented in my original article--really do have to stop for healing to have a chance. That is, if you and yours are interested in healing.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Oh, and with regard to the supposed Satanic nature of reminding someone of a "shortcoming," here's something to consider. I quote thusly and like so:

John 21

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

--Mike

Cakes said...

Mike,

With all due respect, "verbal bombs" are in the eye of the beholder.

I spot a few on your links; please consider ammending them. The way you designated before (New BBC "Open" Forum)--or my favorite, a (sic) after the signifier in conflict--carries the message you intend without sinking to antagonistic language that is counterproductive to reaching people who might otherwise be receptive to a conversation with you.

It's not a big thing, but I don't really think you wish to close the door of exchange on people. I keep encouraging folks to return the nasty things said to them with blessings, kindness and empathy(that sound vaguely familiar, hmm), as it is immediately disarming to conflict, in a way that hitting back is not.

Take care, dude.

Mike Bratton said...

Cakes said...
Mike,

With all due respect, "verbal bombs" are in the eye of the beholder.


No, sir, there's an overwhelming objectivity involved. I really wanted to let it just lie there, but was prompted to address it. Maybe you're aware of the context, maybe you're not, but I'll address it just to be on the safe side.

The offending statement was "Your insistance of bringing up someone's already self confessed short comings reminds me of quite the opposite of Jesus. Are you my accuser?"

Who is the "opposite of Jesus"? Now, before anyone starts blurting out punch lines (and don't think I'm not tempted to, either), our poster focuses the remark with a follow-up question, "Are you my accuser?"

It's one thing to suggest that someone's behavior isn't Christ-like. However, to suggest someone's behavior is the "opposite of Christ," or anti-Christian, for expressing sympathy is just pugilism. That's bad enough in itself, though it didn't stop there. The word "accuse" is found in Scripture a number of times, primarily in the New Testament, but the reference to "accuser" is found only once. In Revelation 12, the appellation "accuser of the brethren" is another name for Satan himself. Verse 10 reads thusly and like so: "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

To ask, in that context, "Are you my accuser?" is the same thing as asking "Are you Satan?"

I spot a few on your links; please consider ammending them. The way you designated before (New BBC "Open" Forum)--or my favorite, a (sic) after the signifier in conflict--carries the message you intend without sinking to antagonistic language that is counterproductive to reaching people who might otherwise be receptive to a conversation with you.

I'll take that under advisement.

It's not a big thing, but I don't really think you wish to close the door of exchange on people. I keep encouraging folks to return the nasty things said to them with blessings, kindness and empathy(that sound vaguely familiar, hmm), as it is immediately disarming to conflict, in a way that hitting back is not.

Take care, dude.


For those who don't wish to fight, it can be disarming. The face-to-face conversations I've had with contrarians have been remarkably pleasant, once they've realized I mean it when I say that my concern isn't so much with their disagreements as it is with the hyperbolic, self-destructive way they go about being disagreeable.

--Mike

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
In Revelation, God refers to Satan as the accuser of the brethren. Your choice of words was most probably not unintentional. If it was intentional, I expect you to apologize for it, and repent of the sin of equating a Christian with Satan. If it was unintentional, I expect you to apologize and watch your language in the future.

Hmmmmm ... wonder if Jesus should have apologized to Peter for calling him Satan? (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8). Unless, of course, His choice of words wasn't intentional.

Mike Bratton said...

Junkster said...
Mike Bratton said...
In Revelation, God refers to Satan as the accuser of the brethren. Your choice of words was most probably not unintentional. If it was intentional, I expect you to apologize for it, and repent of the sin of equating a Christian with Satan. If it was unintentional, I expect you to apologize and watch your language in the future.

Hmmmmm ... wonder if Jesus should have apologized to Peter for calling him Satan? (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:8). Unless, of course, His choice of words wasn't intentional.


Deflection and debate are mutually exclusive. Nevertheless, let's discuss that attempt at diversion.

Was Jesus really equating Peter with Satan, or was He actually speaking to Satan?

And if Jesus was using that statement to judge and chastize Peter, do you believe that anyone other than God is qualified to do so in such a way?

Let me say it even more clearly: For a finite human being to suggest that a Christian is actually Satan is an egregious sin, since it denies the presence and work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of one of His children, and attributes such presence and activity to the devil.

Attempting to justify such a sin isn't much better.

--Mike

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
And if Jesus was using that statement to judge and chastize Peter, do you believe that anyone other than God is qualified to do so in such a way?

How did I know you'd say that? :) Best then that none of us emulate Jesus in any of His rebukes against sin, lest we usurp the prividges of God. But that would kinda put a damper on most of your posts, now wouldn't it? (Don't answer, it was a rhetorical question, and even if you said "No" it wouldn't change the fact that the correct answer is "Yes".)

Let me say it even more clearly: For a finite human being to suggest that a Christian is actually Satan is an egregious sin, since it denies the presence and work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of one of His children, and attributes such presence and activity to the devil.

I can't speak for oc regarding his intent, but I can say that I understand the role of sarcasm and rhetoric in debate and discourse. You use them yourself when it suits your purposes, but somehow it always seems to be different in your mind when you do it versus when others do it. More than once person has pointed this out to you, yet you continue to insist that your posts are not at all like those of the "outcasts". Could this be a personal blind spot for you? (Not knocking you if it is ... I have more than my share of those.)

Attempting to justify such a sin isn't much better.

But I guess that means it is at least some better ... not quite "egregious sin", maybe more like just "rank sin"? I am such a devil!! (Oops, did I just sin against myself??)

Dr. Bill Loney said...

I am not a big blogger as my sporadic posting on nbbcof and occasional posting here would indicate. The only reason I did post here is I was told that MB actually used something I said to demonstrate the 'death threat' vernacular that was becoming commonplace on nbbcof, and I hoped to convince MB that anyone who has read the 'good doctor's' postings would not come away with such a dark impression, which wasn't the intent anyway...but to no avail.

But I have read down this thread today and have a couple of observations. Now, while I may not be a smart man, or a sophisticated man, or a well-read man, or a mailman, or a milkman, or a horseman or a delivery man...wait, what was I talking about?...oh yeah, my observations.

My experiential extent in public forum discourse is limited to a few political chat-rooms(and my saloonatarium cyber-speech that I gave when I graduated from Mexico City Community College Online Medical School). I suppose they (chatrooms) have become dinosauric. In that element, the comments fly fast and furious and by the time you respond to something that someone said, you may be 10 or 15 spots down so that it really loses any intended effect. But blogging is different...posts are not 'from the hip' but rather are well thought out(and spale chequed). Usually, what someone writes is no mistake...content or intent. For instance, the post(1st one) I made on this thread was not hastily written or thought out, but I carefully worded it with a specific intent and deliberate light tone. MB could have taken that into consideration with his response, but chose not to, by design. And my following comment to him where I called him a 'Dean Gulberry' and made a deflective self deprecating comment to insinuate that he was being a jackass...all premedicated, oops, premeditated.

So what I wonder is this...why all the backtracking and apologizing? If one is going to say something only to concede later that they need to apologize, why say it at all?

If one has offended or insulted another, was it not the intent? I'm not trying to justify the mean-spiritedinaciousness, insultinations, or besmirchifying that permeates blogland...it's just a little tiring, even for Dr. Loney, to hear all the 'I'm sorry you were offended/that's not what I meant' explanations. Unless you idiotically tripled up on your medication(as yours truly has been known to do), you most probably did mean it...except for 'the accuser' comment...sorry MB, seems like a stretch...but hey, what do I know...I just recently learned the 'spam file' was not a AOL canned meat catalogue.

With that said, let me go out on a proverbial limb here and agree(I think)with MB...if you disagree with someone, your argument or point of debate is not strenthened by capitalizing all your words or by calling someone 'ungodly' or 'ignorant'...he's (MB) right(gasp!)...the validity of your view begins to have a credibility erodification problem.

So, take some advice(or not) from dr. bill... if you are mean and sour, own up to it, or just quit being mean and sour, cause...no one likes a big stinky-stupid- poopy-grouchy-head.

Now...two questions

One...Has anyone given consideration to my Castleberry's idea concerning recalled canned meat goods, and thusly and likely so, sending them my way? (For the record Sol, my tolerance for meat born organisms comes from practice, practice, practice)

And B, what does it mean when someone writes (sic)? Me being the highly trained medical expertinarian that I am, I can't help but think that I might be missing out on a paying patient.

Anyway, as my incarcerated uncle, Phel Loney, used to always say:

"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade...if life gives you eggplants, then you'll just have to accept the fact that you have a pretty sucky life."

Solid gold, uncle Phel, solid gold.

William T. Loney, MD

PS...I wanted to check in with the other blog, but my little boxy thing wont appear...it's what us world renowned medical practitioners call 'noboxulism'

Mike Bratton said...

Junkster said...
Mike Bratton said...
And if Jesus was using that statement to judge and chastize Peter, do you believe that anyone other than God is qualified to do so in such a way?

How did I know you'd say that? :) Best then that none of us emulate Jesus in any of His rebukes against sin, lest we usurp the prividges of God.


Again--there's deflection, and there's debate. Your response is a deflection. I wasn't referencing a "rebuke against sin," was I? I was referencing an individual who called a Christian Satan. At what point is that an option in a rational discussion?

But that would kinda put a damper on most of your posts, now wouldn't it? (Don't answer, it was a rhetorical question, and even if you said "No" it wouldn't change the fact that the correct answer is "Yes".)

Thanks for presenting your opinion as fact, something that's never a good idea. Quote me as, at any time, having suggested that someone with whom I disagree is "Satan."

Or a Nazi. Or a false teacher. Or anything in the same attack-the-individual mode.

Let me say it even more clearly: For a finite human being to suggest that a Christian is actually Satan is an egregious sin, since it denies the presence and work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of one of His children, and attributes such presence and activity to the devil.

I can't speak for oc regarding his intent, but I can say that I understand the role of sarcasm and rhetoric in debate and discourse. You use them yourself when it suits your purposes, but somehow it always seems to be different in your mind when you do it versus when others do it.


Then it should be no problem to quote instances where I've committed the same sin. Having asked this same sort of question for quite awhile now, and having gotten not one response from you and yours, evidently I'm doing a decent job of addressing issues rather than attacking individuals.

More than once person has pointed this out to you, yet you continue to insist that your posts are not at all like those of the "outcasts".

How could that be? Simple--none of those to whom you refer could actually support their talking point... er, independently-arrived-at observation with a pertinent example.

False teacher. Hitler. Cult leader. Anti-Christ. Do any of those references ring even one bell for you?

Could this be a personal blind spot for you? (Not knocking you if it is ... I have more than my share of those.)

Much obliged. Since you bring it up, more than one person has pointed out to me, without being asked, that my remarks--while uncompromising--have been surprisingly free of personal animus. And they've often cited examples.

Attempting to justify such a sin isn't much better.

But I guess that means it is at least some better ... not quite "egregious sin", maybe more like just "rank sin"? I am such a devil!! (Oops, did I just sin against myself??)


No, more along the lines of a sin that does damage to oneself rather than a sin that does damage to others. If I may cite an example, thusly and like so:

As a teenager, I attempted to justify a role I was given in a play staged at what ostensibly was a college sponsored by a Christian denomination. The college was producing a relatively obscure play by the late John Patrick called The Dancing Mice. (Mr. Patrick also wrote the movie Gigot with Jackie Gleason, who should've won an Oscar for his performance. But I digress.)

To this day, I shake my head at the part in which I was cast, and that I sinfully agreed to portray it. I won't bore you with (any more) details, but suffice it to say the character's language was so disgusting that I asked my parents not to attend.

But why did I do it? Because I justified the foul language as necessary for the art. I'll confess to you that I even lobbied the director to put the worst language back into the drama, because even back then, "that's how people talk."

Needless to say, God the Holy Spirit was convicting me during the entire process, from the first rehearsal to the final curtain. (Well, it was staged in three-quarters round, so there wasn't technically a "curtain"...) Aside from being a pathetic witness for Christ, all I did was injure myself with that performance; in the months that followed, I developed a new appreciation for Isaiah.

Words mean things--whether they're in a play or in real life. And using words to attack people and avoid issues is sinful, whether anyone likes it or not.

Now, what are you doing next Thursday?

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Dr. Bill, let me say this without any stutter, stammer, or equivocation, thusly and like so: Anyone whose sense of humor is so well-developed that he has the "One... B..." gag in his repertoire is doing well.

Perhaps you'll have next Thursday's lunchtime open as well.

--Mike

P.S.: My sister is a big fan.

P.P.S.: Of your humor, that is.

Mike Bratton said...

Oh, and I meant to answer your (serious?) question: The use of the parenthetical (sic) comes from the Latin sic, or "thus,"

(Remember Sic semper tyrannis, the Revolutionary War slogan and John Wilkes Booth/Timothy McVeigh catchphrase?)

In reportage, the (sic) is used when something is repeated as spoken or written, even though the verbiage is inappropriate or just downright wrong.

And in hip-hop, it's (sic) to be (def) with the (ill) rhymes. Or perhaps they're just hypochondriacs.

--Mike

Dr. Bill Loney said...

Mike said:

"Dr. Bill, let me say this without any stutter, stammer, or equivocation, thusly and like so: Anyone whose sense of humor is so well-developed that he has the "One... B..." gag in his repertoire is doing well."

Gag? And FYI, I had my repertoire removed when I was just a boy, smarty pants.

Anyway, was that another backhanded compliment?

I'd be careful if I were you...I'm 6 foot 3 and 108 pounds of lean, mean...aw, who am I kidding? I'm not lean... Sally Struthers hangs around my residence...I (cheated and) passed my anatomy lab skeletal exams by labeling myself...and mean? I sent Birthday Cards to the La. State troopers who helped me set the record "for most consecutive days
pistol-whipped"...I 've been bullied by Chuck E. Cheese patrons. OK then... I'm malnourished and docile...but I'm an explosive type of docile!!

So if you do it again, you'll be opening up a can of Loney Soup!... The kind that doesn't have a whole lot of meat and tastes good with saltines or croutons or even better, Cheddar Cheese Goldfish!
BTW, does Castleberry's make soup?

Quit changing the subject man!
Just considered yourself warned.

Cordially,
William T. Loney, MD

PS...thanks for the (sic) explanation...I'm still not sure how to use it though...how bout this?..."The Tilt O World makes me (sic) as a dog" ...did I get it right? BTW, keep your (sic) comments to yourself...How bout that!! Did I, Did I?!

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
Again--there's deflection, and there's debate. Your response is a deflection. I wasn't referencing a "rebuke against sin," was I? I was referencing an individual who called a Christian Satan. At what point is that an option in a rational discussion?

There's also making a point directly, and making one indirectly. I was indirectly stating my difference of opinion regarding what it might mean if someone made a reference to another in such hyperbolic terms.

To be more direct ... it is my opinion that when Jesus called Peter Satan He was rebuking Peter's selfish and sinful desires for his own will versus God's will. And it is my opinion that if someone refers to another in terms that associate them with Satan or other evil figures, it could be that it was not intended as a literal identification of one with the other, but rather as a rhetorical device to make a point by drawing on an extreme comparison.

Such use of simile, hyperbole, and metaphor is common in the Bible, in the words of Jesus in fact ("brood of vipers", "whitewashed tombs", "of your father the devil", "like children who said 'we sang a song and you did not dance'", etc). And before you say that Jesus was speaking to His enemies and not to His followers, recall His rebukes to them as well ("ye of little faith", "faithless generation", "foolish", "slow of heart", etc.) And recall also His admonitions to treat ones enemies with love and kindness – was He not following His own principles when he spoke harshly to His detractors? (Answer: No) Or was He using extreme language to cause His listeners to stop and think? (Answer: Yes – which means it might actually be a loving thing to get ones point across using unpleasant and shocking words.)

In short, my point (evidently made far too indirectly) was not to deflect, it was to imply that perhaps a little name calling is not always such a bad thing, if it serves a purpose of drawing attention to a fault that needs to be addressed. I hope my making this point more directly sounds to you a little less like deflection. I do not intend to justifying anyone’s bad attitudes or wrong behavior/words … I only intend to say that sometimes people may be trying to make a valid point via rhetoric.

Thanks for presenting your opinion as fact, something that's never a good idea. Quote me as, at any time, having suggested that someone with whom I disagree is "Satan."

Or a Nazi. Or a false teacher. Or anything in the same attack-the-individual mode.


Is it really so different in your mind when someone makes their point by saying "You're an idiot" and you make yours by saying "Your comments are vile"? In my opinion (which, by the way, is often all we to go on ... we fool ourselves to think we can be so objective as to readily distinguish "facts" from our own interpretation of the facts...but I seriously digress, so now I shall end this parenthetical comment and return to the main sentence), the attitude reflected is still the same. You may have a different opinion, based on what you perceive to be your own motives, but all I have to go on is what I’ve read on your blog. And I honestly don’t see a huge difference in substance, just one of style.

Then it should be no problem to quote instances where I've committed the same sin. Having asked this same sort of question for quite awhile now, and having gotten not one response from you and yours, evidently I'm doing a decent job of addressing issues rather than attacking individuals.

Suppose I listed every time you have used words like "vile", "anti- ", "bitter", "unChristlike", "bile", "false", "hypocrisy", "obscene", "ridiculous" when you refer to posts on NBBCOF or to articles on savingbellevue.com. I have little doubt that you'd dismiss each such reference one by one as being totally different from what you condemn in the "castaways". As I indicated above, in my view, the difference is one of degree and not one of substance.

How could that be? Simple--none of those to whom you refer could actually support their talking point... er, independently-arrived-at observation with a pertinent example.

Seems to me more likely that most folks don't want to waste their time arguing a point they know will never be acknowledged. I’ve had more than one person say to me, “Why do you bother posting on Bratton’s blog?” Perhaps I don’t mind wasting my time…or perhaps I, like you, have hope, and feel my time is not really wasted.

False teacher. Hitler. Cult leader. Anti-Christ. Do any of those references ring even one bell for you?

Bile, vile, obscene, bitterness, antagonism. Clang any clappers?

Much obliged. Since you bring it up, more than one person has pointed out to me, without being asked, that my remarks--while uncompromising--have been surprisingly free of personal animus. And they've often cited examples.

I can acknowledge that you've done that at times. As have many on NBBCOF at times. But you never seem to quote those examples. Why is that? How about devoting a thread to things done right or well said over there, say, over the course of a couple of weeks? I think if you went looking for it as you go looking for the worst, you'd find more good there than you realize.

No, more along the lines of a sin that does damage to oneself rather than a sin that does damage to others. If I may cite an example, thusly and like so:

When I called myself a devil, I don't think it was a sin of any kind. But thanks for the interesting story of your lesson learned from your early acting days.

Words mean things--whether they're in a play or in real life. And using words to attack people and avoid issues is sinful, whether anyone likes it or not.

I simply do not believe that to be always true.

Now, what are you doing next Thursday?

Washing my 3 cats. Now that's a challenge! :)

johnthebaptist said...

Dr Bill said in part.....

So what I wonder is this...why all the backtracking and apologizing? If one is going to say something only to concede later that they need to apologize, why say it at all?

If one has offended or insulted another, was it not the intent? I'm not trying to justify the mean-spiritedinaciousness, insultinations, or besmirchifying that permeates blogland...it's just a little tiring, even for Dr. Loney, to hear all the 'I'm sorry you were offended/that's not what I meant' explanations. Unless you idiotically tripled up on your medication(as yours truly has been known to do), you most probably did mean it...


Reply: Now Doc, would you want me to sin by not appologizing when I learned that I misunderstood someone? When I write something here, you are correct, I have thought it out, to some extent, and I mean what I say. Now if someone comes back and says that I misunderstood, then explains what they really meant...what I had written down wouldn't be right. When a true misunderstanding happens, we should all be quick to appologize.
I know when I have need to appologize and when not. No one needs to tell me. I will be quick to do so when needed.
Surely Doc, you even with you limited formal education can understand the bibles command to seek forgiveness when the need arises?
If not, you do deserve to be deacon president.

Tim Greer said...

Mike--
How's life in Bham, brother? I don't have your phone number anymore.

Interestingly, I had a recent experience with the Saving Bellevue team. They have a link to a presentation done by a partially informed guy about "the Emerging Church". What follows is a lot of gobbledygook in which he melds various movements like the PDC, Emergent, Emerging and others and portrays them as if they are monolithic.

I emailed the website's owner concerning this with a carefully thought out and beautifully worded summary of why this needed to be fixed since, for example, many emerging churches are totally orthodox and God-fearing. But I might as well have taken that email and dropped it down a manhole, since he never responded and the link is still there weeks later.

And my answer about cussing in a play is this: it depends.

later,
Tim

Junkster said...

johnthebaptist said...
Surely Doc, you even with you limited formal education can understand the bibles command to seek forgiveness when the need arises?
If not, you do deserve to be deacon president.


Yowch!

Dr. Bill Loney said...

JTB said:

"Reply: Now Doc, would you want me to sin by not appologizing when I learned that I misunderstood someone? When I write something here, you are correct, I have thought it out, to some extent, and I mean what I say. Now if someone comes back and says that I misunderstood, then explains what they really meant...what I had written down wouldn't be right. When a true misunderstanding happens, we should all be quick to appologize."

No arguments there JTB, but I was not talking specifically about misunderstandings, but rather responding to anything, whether one understands it or not, with general meanness and intentional malice, and then apologizing...I was just saying that a person could save themselves the time by deleting it before they hit 'publish'.

JTB continued:
"I know when I have need to appologize and when not. No one needs to tell me. I will be quick to do so when needed."

I have confidence that you do and I will and have not been the apology police(didn't they have a representative among the 'Village People')

JTB:
"Surely Doc, you even with you limited formal education can understand the bibles command to seek forgiveness when the need arises?"

Limited? Only if you call the Mexico City Community College Online Medical School, limited.
But seriously speaking, I do believe that one should seek forgiveness(or apologize) only when they have a genuinely repentant heart...otherwise its kinda just a morally hollow formality to appease someone else. Parents (not that I'm one, because of the court ordered ban prohibiting Loney procreation, secured by the AMA and state of Tenn.), often reinforce a negative behavior in their children by making them 'apologize' for wrong doings, even when they are not sorry. This sorta gives them the impression that they can get away with a whole lot of wrong and rectify it by a simple, robotic 'I'm sorry'. JMO though

JTB
"If not, you do deserve to be deacon president."

even I can appreciate the inferences of sarcastic humor...of course, you know, that someone is sure to tell you that you need to apologize to me.

Please apology police, your assistance is not needed...you know, I think I was once beaten unmercifully in the head and upper torso area by a couple of APD officers...I tried to tell them that I really, really did think that nurse was pregnant...and a woman.

As my beloved uncle, Cindy Loney, used to say:

"If you can't say something nice, then say something mean, but smile politely as you say it"

Pearls of wisdom, Uncle Cindy, pearls of wisdom.

William T. Loney, MD

johnthebaptist said...

junkster....

you understand when I said that to Dr. Loney it is because I am(or was) on his Deacon President election staff. It was an informal conversation between me and my hopefully soon elected boss.

Doc is a great guy but sometimes his mind wonders between his next cankle operation and spam sandwiches. You need to wake him up to help him see that a point.

We all know the good Doctor is a very learned man, eventhough we can't reveal who we are comparing him to. This comparison allows us to make the claim, " a very learned man".

I understand what Doc was saying but I wanted to make sure that he understood that even if you hit the enter button, that doesn't mean it is too late for an apology. Sometimes, it is the enter button that makes you wake up and realize that you could be wrong.

My comment about him deserving to be D P, is based on no repentence or apology from a few deacons that need to. It would be a seemless transition.

arminiusthebaptist said...

(I've decided to convert!)

Amazed, my sanity was called into question (again) because I don't believe that every church in America is under attack by sheer coincidence. Granted that we do not know what the final attack will look like, or when it will happen, but it doesn't hurt to step back and evaluate the big picture.

SNAP is an organization that wants to form a 'board' that for the first time has authority over individual Southern Baptist churches. They have a history of smearing the SBC in the media. That latest stunt by Christa Brown was yet another attempt to make churches look bad. Did she bother to contact Charles Stanley's office to ask permission to hand out flyers? I doubt it, since he might have said yes. (Or maybe her request got lost in the mail.)

SNAP is also an organization that tried to force a church to install one of those labyrinths as compensation for injuries inflicted by a former minister. As you can see, they also promote the mystic beliefs associated with it and not just the meditation aspect.

Call me crazy (er), but I don't like where this is going

David Brown said...

Dear brother Arminusthebaptist: I must strongly disagree with you. As the area coordinator for SNAP in Memphis and West Tennessee I am not sure where you are getting your information.

Let me make this clear: SNAP is about providing assistance to victims of clergy abuse and taking steps to prevent abuse of our most precious assets, our children. Please go to our national website and read our mission statement.

Yes SNAP has been critical of the SBC as we have of the Catholic Church and many other religious organizations that choose to make excuses when it comes to protecting our children. And certainly the SBC has been lagging behind. Before you get all twisted up, I am a former long-time member of Bellevue. I now split my time between FBC-Millington and FBC-Counce. And I have worked with others prior to the past convention on some resolutions to address this horrible crime. There were many good people trying to get some action taken. I think you will agree the resolution that was passed as at least a start.

I am not sure what you are talking about when you say that SNAP tried to “force a church to install one of those labyrinths. If you are talking about something that was posted on Christa’s website or blog, let me remind you that it is a PERSONAL website of hers. You have no idea what she has been through with her abuse and then dealing with the various Baptist leaders. I would venture to say you too would be a little angry with them.

Let me assure you SNAP is not trying to promote some mystic religion or belief. We have too much work to do trying to protect children. Let me ask you this, instead of attacking an organization that you do not know much about, how about helping protect our children? SNAP is made up of INDIVIDUALS from every walk of life and belief. Just because you may not believe like they do, please do not attack them. Have you ever taken to the time to talk to a victim of clergy abuse? At least they are trying to do something.

Please go the darkness2light.org web site and read their postings. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. There are 39 Million Americans that are victims of sexual abuse. If people like you and I do not take action now, in 10 years that 39 million mark will be very small.

There are slightly over 500,000 convicted, admitted pedophiles in America. Over half of that number state the regularly attend church. Does that concern you?

Unfortunately this crime affects us all. Just look at our beloved Bellevue. And now look at Walnut Grove Baptist Church and their long-term pastor. There are many believers that are grieving over this issue.

Lastly before I get grouped or call anti-Bellevue, please don’t go there. I remember that when the abortion people call the pro-life folks anti-abortion. I have met very, very few anti-Bellevue people. There may be some anti pastor folks but calling them anti-Bellevue is not being very Christian.

I used the term Brother Arminusthebaptist, I may be wrong, you might be Sister Arminusthebaptist. I meant no offense. Please contact me and we can discuss your concerns. But please consider helping me, I have many victims that I am working with right now that need a lot of prayer and support. I could use the help.

In HIS Service

David Brown
SNAP coordinator for Memphis and West Tennessee
davidbrown@bigriver.net

solomon said...

David,

Thank you for posting here to put a stop to that nonsense.

Arminius has a history of stirring up arguments, and I'm really not always sure if he should be taken seriously or not. Some of the things he has told me are so outlandish I think he's joking, but he seems totally serious.

Even though he posts here periodically, nobody else on this forum shares his suspicions about SNAP. Your very gracious response should banish him for a while.

From a father of young children, thank you for all you are doing.

Keith Solomon

David Brown said...

Brother Solomon: Thank you so much. I was serious about needing help. I am working with several vicitms and it takes a drain on me at times. I pray I do not fail them. Please remember me and them in your prayers. I can tell you I can feel those prayers lifting me up at times.

I am working with the District Attorney's office, the Shelby County Crime Victims Center to put an informational presentation on DVD that will help any group that deals with children about reporting requirements, help that is available in the event there is abuse and the impact that this horrible crime causes victims and families. I hope we can have it ready by this fall to anyone that wants a copy.

Solomon please wrap your arms around your young children and love them. Be dillegent. Once again thanks for your kind words.

In HIS Service

David Brown

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

Well bless my soul! Is this the true arminius at last?

arminiusthebaptist said...

solomon,

What did I ever do to you?

You know, it's because of people like you I quit going to church. You remind me of Job before he got taken down. Sure, you claim to love God now, but what if your perfect life came crashing down on you? What if one of your girls came home and told you she was pregnant, or had an STD? What if your wife left you, or you lost your highfalutin job? I bet you'd be singing a different song then, bro.

Hypocrites like you make me sick.

7:37 PM, July 28, 2007


Arminius, for the record, you have posted on the NBBCOF as me, you've posted as my friends Faith 'n' Hope, and you've lured me into emotionally charged exchanges both there and here that have been dishonoring to Christ.

It seems you're a little jealous about my 'perfect' life, but the joke's on you. I don't have anything except what God has graciously given me.

If one of those scenarios that you described were to happen, I'd depend on His mercy and grace to get me through it. God has shown himself faithful in so many ways - hope in the midst of despair, direction in the midst of lostness, and acceptance in the midst of rejection.

Whatever your issues are, He is the only solution.

Memphis said...

What if your wife left you, or you lost your highfalutin job?



Huh, I always wondered how to spell high-falutin....

solomon said...

Huh, I always wondered how to spell high-falutin....

I think that's the midtown spelling. I've always spelled it haphlootin, myself.

Mike Bratton said...

Mr. Brown, thank you for your service. God bless you as you continue it for His glory and the benefit of children and families.

And if you can provide a term for people who refer to members of the Bellevue congregation as robots, cult members, victims of brainwashing, Nazis, demons, etc. that's as succinct as "anti-Bellevue," I'd appreciate hearing about it.

(Personally, I've never minded being referred to as either pro-life or anti-abortion. I think killing developing children is always a horrible idea, no matter how far along the child is in the process. Didn't the abortion debate actually suffer when the term "pro-life" came into play with the euphemistic "pro-choice"? Ah, but that's another topic, and one I'd appreciate exploring with you.)

Mr. Arminius, let me respond to this statement of yours--I quote the quote thusly and like so: You know, it's because of people like you I quit going to church.

First, let me say as politely as I can that if you're so easily swayed from going to church, you weren't there for any substantial reason in the first place. As I am hardly a fan of the popular "victim mentality," I ask that you refrain from blaming other people for your own choices.

Quoting my former pastor upon hearing that there were hypocrites in church: "Hypocrites! Do tell!!"

People come to church for three basic, right reasons--to learn about God, to serve God, and to worship God. Ideally, we're there for all three reasons, but if a hypocrite can make you run for the door, your feet were already pointed in that direction.

You remind me of Job before he got taken down.

"Taken down"? My, but that's a mild way of putting it.

Job walked blamelessly before God before God allowed the testing of his faith. But after being "taken down"--and by that, you mean the the theft of the vast majority of his worldly wealth, and not only the deaths of his employees but of his ten children--we read this: "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

Sure, you claim to love God now, but what if your perfect life came crashing down on you? What if one of your girls came home and told you she was pregnant, or had an STD? What if your wife left you, or you lost your highfalutin job? I bet you'd be singing a different song then, bro.

But Job was faithful to God through it all, and you said that he reminded you of Job. If so, then he'd be singing the same song.

Hypocrites like you make me sick.

And slurs like that are telling, regardless of who authored them.

--Mike

solomon said...

Oops! Looks like someone made some folks at GBC mad. And then, for some reason that defies comprehension posted this request to the BOD on his website:

It is my suggestion that Mr. Jim Haywood not be allowed to enter GBC since he has been coming to clandestinely tape sermons and reports which could have obtained by purchasing a CD. He obviously had a disruptive agenda since he took a portion of a sermon to substantiate one of his complaints. This was taken out of context to prove his point.

I suggest that Mr. Haywood not return to GBC until he is willing to confess and repent publicly.

I suggest that GBC pursue any legal remedy available to cause Mr. Haywood to remove all material about GBC from his website immediately and post a public apology for both its content and the harm said content has caused in the fellowship and business life of the church. We would have to develop an accurate estimate of tithes withheld during the period this material has been up in order that a fair and reasonable judgment can be rendered.

If Mr. Haywood agrees to participate in legally binding mediation and arbitration, GBC would not pursue a legal remedy in the normal manner.

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