Friday, August 10, 2007

Let's wait

The recent get-together at Huey's was very rewarding, and actually productive. Putting names with faces was one thing, but the maturity expressed (that perhaps one can criticize aspects of a church's direction without verbal assaults) was refreshing.

However, for those who have made a hobby of attacking Bellevue Baptist Church, that opinion does not appear to be infectious. A few moments ago, I visited the primary home of anti-Bellevue rhetoric, and saw that it's been ratcheted up--with not even a peep of admonition (so far) from the regulars.

But let's be patient.

Surely the notion that a church is "dead" because you don't like it will be countered by someone; surely the notion that a pastor you don't like is led by a demonic spirit will be rebuked at some point. Perhaps the Huey's lunch made me overly optimistic about the future of this dispute. The next day or two will tell the tale.

Occasionally, a Bellevue contrarian will realize that (gasp!) people outside the church body might be reading what is written. One day, they may realize that ignoring the Biblical model for conflict resolution can give people the notion that it's all right not to take anything else the Bible says too seriously. They might even realize that when their behavior is indistinguishable from worldly behavior, something is wrong. One day, they may understand that calls for others to be responsible ring hollow when one's own responsibility, or the collective responsibility of one's group, is suspect at best.

The clock is ticking, but let's be patient.

--Mike

578 comments:

1 – 200 of 578   Newer›   Newest»
bepatient said...

That's what I have said from the very beginning....

be patient.

Mike Bratton said...

bepatient said...
That's what I have said from the very beginning....

be patient.


I thought about that. Didn't mean any copyright infringement, of course. :)

Patience, however, is finite--even God's patience.

--Mike

Cakes said...

bepatient,

You’ve been saying “be patient” since the beginning of what—since the leadership undermined their own credibility, or at the beginning of their damage-control and career-saving modes? Oh, my bad—they’re one and the same.

No, you limit your patience to Pastor Gaines and the other pathetic ministers who sat on their hands--and they've already undermined, on their own, any claim to good judgment and trustworthiness--while the folks who seek accountability and integrity from their leaders, in your mind, commit a greater sin by simply commenting upon those crack shots’ failure to deal with a pedophile.

I don't expect you to perceive the irony.

Mike,

I enjoyed meeting you--please consider augmenting the pet-names on the links. It is in contradiction to your stated objective for less invective and a more substantial discourse.

I also wish that you might delve deeper into the substance of that gathering, instead of merely using it as a jumping-off-point in which to make the same criticism of those that were not. Many of the folks that greeted you, like Padroc, Karen and myself, are the very ones lumped together on this blog, and many more at NBBCOF are as thoughtful, broken-hearted and compassionate as the ones you met.

By the way, I'm not the person that you assumed, in your entry so long ago--out to split Bellevue--now am I? Could it be that you were wrong about me? Padroc is always a gentleman, here and elsewhere--surely you don't dismiss his concerns. Karen is a sweetheart, and just one of the people that have been deeply affected by this tragedy of poor leadership at BBC. Are her concerns unfounded?

What is truly erroneous is lumping folks together that are moved by their will to do what is right by their faith, at much cost, with hope for genuine reconciliation (although the leadership's guarded opacity and face-saving measures have just about killed the latter). Asking them to shoulder the comments of the emotional and directly harmed holds them to a standard of behavior that you yourself will not submit with the regular cast of knee-jerk loyalists and troublemakers here.

You too assumed a tone that was kind, gracious and receptive that I don't find here often. I wish to see that Mike Bratton post, but you will have to be as willing to discuss the crux of the matter, rather than escalating the tension with pet-names and painting dissenters with the broad brush.

I really hope the kindness that I witnessed in you personally can find expression here as well. I too will be patient.

Now, did you ever download Celtx?

oc said...

Cakes said:
You too assumed a tone that was kind, gracious and receptive that I don't find here often. I wish to see that Mike Bratton post, but you will have to be as willing to discuss the crux of the matter, rather than escalating the tension with pet-names and painting dissenters with the broad brush.


Cakes also said:
I really hope the kindness that I witnessed in you personally can find expression here as well. I too will be patient.

oc says:
wow.

arminiusthebaptist said...

Hmmph. What a load.

What is truly erroneous is lumping folks together that are moved by their will to do what is right by their faith, at much cost, with hope for genuine reconciliation

They don't want reconciliation, they want victory. And to them, victory is for BBC to fail. (I wouldn't be surprised if they got the molotov coktails out pretty soon.) I wonder, are they praying for reconciliation or an empty sanctuary this week?

"Moved by their will to do what is right by their faith?" What a joke. Cakes, your ignorance of Christianity is showing. They aren't motivated by faith, they're motivated by selfish desires.

The faith they are displaying is not the Christian faith at all. Jesus died on the cross, cursed and alone, yet was silent. The Bible says to bless those who curse you. Paul counted himself lucky to suffer, and so did the other apostles who died. It's not in the scriptures that God will provide us with a comfy auditorium and our favorite songs to listen to.

No, that's not the Christian faith at all! All that backbiting, gossip, griping, whining, and b******g because they can't sit on their cans and listen to their favorite worship music anymore? Because SG won't obey some imaginary commandment and resign? Please tell me you don't seriously believe that everyone over there is so concerned about CSA.

Instead of gladly and patiently enduring their suffering in the name of Jesus, they are completely negating their faith. Every time they whine they are denying Jesus as Lord, and while at the same time hypocritically professing "Lordship Salvation". Every complaint is an indictment of their apostasy.

Here's a clue: the Bible says to do EVERYTHING without arguing or complaining. Are you arguing or complaining? (Be honest, now!) You are? Then guess what? You're denying Jesus! Why not sing a rousing rendition of "I've decide NOT to follow Jesus" or "God you are NOT my God" along with that?

Cakes said...

Thanks Mike,

I really appreciate you doing that, and I will encourage folks here and at NBBCOF to generate more unstanding and kindness toward one another.

Be well, friend.

Cakes said...

"Are you arguing or complaining?"

Aren't you?

You don't even percieve the irony of your screed either, eh Arny?

"Cakes, your ignorance of Christianity is showing."

Was it you or the Christ in you that penned that screed?

Let me put it this way: Your mendacity is showing, and it is derived from nothing divine. You exhibit all that you seemingly dispise at NBBCOF.

Cakes said...

Mike,

I just posted this at NBBCOF:

"After I asked him nicely, Mike Bratton ammended the pet names on his links to here and Saving Bellevue. He still expresses reservations and criticisms of this blog, yet his tone is more consiliatory and open-hearted (please don't pummel me for saying so)."

"Let's please watch our tone--standing our ground on the substance of the salient matters--seeking integrity and transparency from BBC leadership--without escalating a verbal war of invective and blanket dimissals between the blogs."

We may never come to agreement on the effectiveness of the leadership after their failure to act, but we don't have to cause further harm to one another.

You're alright, man.

Love, D.

arminiusthebaptist said...

"Let's please watch our tone--standing our ground on the substance of the salient matters--seeking integrity and transparency from BBC leadership--without escalating a verbal war of invective and blanket dimissals between the blogs."

HAAA HAAAAAA HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

Why don't you ask "bbc 11yrs" about that? Or Sol? Or derrick calcote? Or (as recently as today) larry? Or anyone else who's sincerely tried to reach them?

Give it up, cakes. Live by your own faith. Don't let them drag you down with them...

Cakes said...

No, I think I should begin with you.

As Mike would say, thanks for proving my point--that this blog traffics the same lowbrow dialogue of which many of y'all here are always labeling NBBCOF.

Nothing good will come from further exchange with you, Arny and you are fit to be pitied more than fought. Thus, I wish you happiness and healing, but my conversation with you is fini.

Memphis said...

Cakes, it was a pleasure meeting you at huey's and I admit, you were nothing like I imagined you. That was also the first time I had met MB and Padroc as well. It was nice to talk to you guys over a great burger....but I wondered if you ever got that waitress's number? LOL

Cakes said...

Likewise, brother (a boo-dhist can call you brother, yes?)

Well, I cannot imagine how you imagined me. The waitress got off work before Mike and I left--so, no cigar.

Cakes said...

"I waive any right that I may have to inspect references provided on my behalf."

BBC Oath

Keep moving, nothing to see here, right?

Or is the document a fake, cooked up by the NBBCOF, in order to make the leadership look like desperate, career-preserving spiritual materialists?

Please tell me you don't look at these loyalty oaths, credit checks and income disclosure statemnts, not to mention that disingenuous commercial--on the heels of the sex scandal, the timid BBCPCIR, the "congregationally approved (sic)" Coombs ordination--and just consider it business as usual.

I smell something burning.

padroc said...

OOOOOOOPS!

Sorry mike and cakes for being so tacky and and..... whatever, for my "kissing" comment on NBBCOF.... sort of.

I to enjoyed our time together.

Padroc

arminiusthebaptist said...

Thus, I wish you happiness and healing, but my conversation with you is fini.

There was no "conversation" to begin with, cates.

When you begin with the premise that you're incapable of being even a tiny bit wrong, and unless I come over to your side I'm to be pitied, nothing useful can ever come from talking to you.

arminiusthebaptist said...

Here you are, cates. Justify this one:

be-still-and-know said...
concernedsbcer said:

I ventured over there a couple of times...but to be honest.....it feels very "dark" over there. It made me feel very uncomfortable.

Reply:

Have you read any Frank Peretti? I sometimes think of his books when I venture back “over there.”

His book, This Present Darkness, paints a fictitious picture of the spiritual warfare going on all around us.

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…


So, is it all right to call us satanic? Of course, by posting here you're showing your own dark side.

evil arminius said...

Oh, and lets not forget that the Bible mentions an unforgivable sin, which many theologians believe to be attributing the work of God to Satan.

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…

But hey, maybe God will excuse it this time since SG is such a bad man.

evil arminius said...

'oc is saying that Gaines is a Marxist!'

'oc is saying that Gaines is a Marxist!'

'oc is saying that Gaines is a Marxist!'

Service with a smile...

evil arminius said...

comrade oc,

Since you spend considerable time visiting, do you agree with this description of Mike's blog?

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…

The correct answer is NO but since you've tacitly agreed by not addressing it on your home blog I assume that you agree 100%.

I'd just like for you to confirm that.

oc said...

The one with MPD said:
Service with a smile...


reply:
Not unlike many I have seen on 'Cops'. Keep smiling.

bepatient said...

armi-

I don't know who you are but you do entertain me....

cakes-
I don't read the other blog and I don't post about it very often. I will be sure to look up irony in the dictionary. That is of course if I can remember the alphabet..........

and as far as being patient- I have said it from the beginning, because it is the ONE thing that no one is interested in. When you truly hope for reconciliation (in your marriage or church or family) sometimes you need to stop and take some time to step back and make sure you are not just acting on your emotions. You can't always just act on your knee-jerk reactions.

evil arminius said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
oc,

Why not just ignore it?


And after all the outrage about ignoring sin in the camp.

It's really hard to ignore this:
be-still-and-know said...
(and was unamimously approved of by the NBBCOF)
concernedsbcer said:

I ventured over there a couple of times...but to be honest.....it feels very "dark" over there. It made me feel very uncomfortable.

Reply:

Have you read any Frank Peretti? I sometimes think of his books when I venture back “over there.”

His book, This Present Darkness, paints a fictitious picture of the spiritual warfare going on all around us.

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…


Maybe Mike should come up with a really cool name for the blog, like "The Principality" or "The Dark Fortress".

Cakes said...

Arny, save your breath, I'm not reading your posts, so you are basically working on your typing skills.

Like Gautama said, "he did not spit on me, but rather his concept of me, and thus his own mind." This should relevance for survivors of rape, physical and mental abuse, victims of random crime, etc. and folks like Sotl, Karen, David Brown, myself and others too numerous to chart; so too, the further perpetuation of the suffering that has been heaped by folks from this side of the sex scandal (it's not about the music, so put that desperate pittance out to pasture, please).

bepatient, Mike, Memphis and other regulars seemingly really believe, or want to believe, that Pastor Gaines was being thoughtful in keeping the pedophile a secret--if mistaken--has learned a lesson from this mistake, and obviously, that the diety has placed him in authority over the church, and that trumps any measure of censure or expulsion that would be common in another profession (say, a school principal).

But this is a matter of faith, much like your salvation experience or belief in the divinity of Jesus or the virgin birth. It cannot be defended rationally--actually, no consequences or investigation commensurate to the ministers' failure, instead, the mass expulsion of "troublemakers" seeking such, defies all logic.

But since most funde. christians believe in predestination or, at least, God's hand directly intervening in world affairs (the common refrain, "Man meant it for evil, but God meant it for good") then loyalty to a religious authority based upon the belief that is what the Bible teaches is sufficient and emphasized above all else. It is consistent with the tapestry of you beliefs and doesn't make you bad folks or pedophile supporters--that is where some accusations go too far.

I cannot fathom that kind of loyalty after such a colossal failure, but I am not a christian, and frankly, it's not going to fly with me or with the unchurched to which you claim evangelical concern. Those outside of christianity, and those christians that think Pastor Gaines is bankrupt as a trustworthy "minister" (if not for protecting the pedophile, then for the song and dance that followed), they have every reason hold such a view.

But you guys will pluck a moment of emotion or weakness by a refugee and brand it upon the whole as a vehicle to dismiss what is at the pith of the conflict. You won't defend the action, but try to make it about the music, or some other tangential issue. It is holding them in contempt for not taking the same leap of faith, on the matter of Gaines' judgement and fitness as a leader, that you folks have.

I could be wrong, and welcome discussion of the issue, but most of you have proven too timid to engage these points directly and shift the focus to discrediting individual's personalities. That's poor and I don't imagine Jesus engaging in that sort of dialogue.

On the merit of what argument, is Gaines still fit to be minister, and likewise, why should folks demonstrate the same loyalty as you guys (or quietly leave like obedient school children)?

bepatient said...

cakes said:

I could be wrong, and welcome discussion of the issue, but most of you have proven too timid to engage these points directly and shift the focus to discrediting individual's personalities.

I haven't been too timid and I challenge you to find where I attack individual personalities? Yet you continue to act like I am just too dumb to waste your time on...

And you seem to forget that that blog and the animosity pre-dated the scandal.

calvin said...

Armen says,

"The faith they are displaying is not the Christian faith at all. Jesus died on the cross, cursed and alone, yet was silent. The Bible says to bless those who curse you. Paul counted himself lucky to suffer, and so did the other apostles who died. It's not in the scriptures that God will provide us with a comfy auditorium and our favorite songs to listen to."

So John the Baptist, Paul, Stephen, Peter all died for suffering silently? Does "ye brood of vipers" sound very christian to you?

It may not be in the scriptures where we are promised a comfy place to worship and good music, but where is it promised that the pastor can change out new carpet because it is not soft enough? Where does it say he can ignore scripture and call it a mere guideline?

Better yet, where does it say that loving your neighbor is not applicable to pastors? I guess "blesssing those that curse you" does not apply to pastors any more than Mat 18 right?

As far as bitterness goes, you sound pretty bitter as well. Maybe a little attention to the beam in your own eye?

Cakes said...

bepatient,

No, you're too timid to come up with a reasonble justification for trusting Gaines and the other ministers non-action when they found out a pedophile was in their midst, other than you think God placed him in authority--despite his failure to be a leader when it counted most importantly.

That kind of convenient loyalty is fine by me, if that settles it for you; but where I draw the line is when you pressume everyone should be so acquiesent or shut up.

And when you say things like this, you indict you own thoughfulness and reason:

"And you seem to forget that that blog and the animosity pre-dated the scandal."

You mean the pedophile scandal; you mean not only doing anything, but "uncurious (according to the BBCPCR)" to boot? You cannot even let it pass your lips.

How does the timeline of NBBCOF have anything to do with the gravity of Gaines failure regarding the pedophile--the suspicion of wrongdoing always precedes the scrutini, and the Pastor proved himself deserving of such in ways no one could have even imagined.

But if that makes the Pastor's failure less egregious in your eyes, then googy for you as well--it does not discredit the critisms that are based in the facts you folks avoid like the plague, even if you fixate on discrediting the source.

If you, with a broad brush, dismiss the entire blog, then you are, if fact, sloppily casting aspersions not on a single individual, but all of them; while never really placing yourself in a position to defend the assertion to an individual.

Likewise, when you said the church members that remained "support the pastor," then that is an assertion based on your own wishful-thinking and support of the pastor, rather than any real knowledge you have of their hearts and minds.

Maybe they just want to continue to see their friends every week, or, as is common knowledge regarding Bellevue, it remains a great network for businessmen. How about the preoccupied or apathetic? You cannot collude that with supporting the pastor.

That's a pretext you accept by faith, not reason.

But every post you make seem so desperate to avoid the cut and dry facts of Gaines failures, and milign the NBBCOF, en mass. Your patience is gynastically selective.

Kill the canary.

Yes, that looks quite timid. Sorry that offends you--as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, your support of Gaines and the lackluster justifications for it offend me too.

evil arminius said...

Calvin! My old nemesis! We meet again after all these years.

Does "ye brood of vipers" sound very christian to you?

It does if it's the truth, and since Jesus said it, then it's hard for it not to be Christian.

So John the Baptist, Paul, Stephen, Peter all died for suffering silently?

John spent most of his life obediently living in the wilderness and not griping about it. Paul wrote most of his letters while in prison, but again, no whining. Stephen died praying for forgiveness for those who were crushing him with stones from the city wall. Nowhere is there any record that Peter complained about his treatment. There's a difference between confrontation and complaining. If you talk TO someone, that's confrontation. If you talk ABOUT them, that's usually complaining.

where is it promised that the pastor can change out new carpet because it is not soft enough?

You really don't need a divine decree for that, just a work order.

Where does it say he can ignore scripture and call it a mere guideline?

Where does it say that he did that? (Other than the blog, that is.)

Better yet, where does it say that loving your neighbor is not applicable to pastors? I guess "blesssing those that curse you" does not apply to pastors any more than Mat 18 right?

Gaines has been more tolerant than I've been on my best day. If I were pastor for a day, my first order of business would be to haul a few dozen malcontents starting with Jim Haywood up on the platform and have them voted out of the church. I'd be a hero for doing it, too.

And like I told jtb before, just because you didn't get your courtroom drama doesn't mean that Mt. 18 didn't happen.

I don't quite catch the drift of your post, Calvin. Rehashing that same tired old routine is pointless (and boring, to be honest with you). All that junk is common knowledge, but there are still 8000+ people going to church at Bellevue every Sunday morning. The majority has voted in favor of Gaines by their continued attendance.

If you can change Bellevue by working within the means God has ordained (by speaking the truth to people), then do it. If you can't change things but still want to honor God, then you have to walk away.

Paul gave clear instructions to the Philippians, and they had worse troubles than not liking the minister of music at their church. He told them to do EVERYTHING without arguing or complaining, so that they would shine out like stars in a twisted world, as they held out the light of life. Unless you can show me a passage that retracts that or give me a good reason why it can be ignored in this case, or why another verse should take precedence, I'll have to stand by my statement.

And please don't use the NBT version (the NBBCOF Blog Translation):

"Do nothing but argue and complain, so that you can be annoying and irritating, as you shine annoyingly like the neighbors vapor light through the bedroom window at 2 am."

calvin said...

Armin,

Stephen may have died asking for his killers, the church folks, to be forgiven but this is what got him killed. Sound familiar?

51"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.52"Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."

Stephen Put to Death

54Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

You are right, John the Baptist spent most of his time in the wilderness. But again, rebuking the govenor for marrying his sister in law got him killed. His rebuke of the pharisees and sadducees certainly didn't help him either.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8"Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

The fact remains that most if not all the suffering that the apostles endured was at the hands of the "religious" establishment of that day. Killed Jesus too.

Then you just blow off the carpet thing with this flippant reply. "You really don't need a divine decree for that, just a work order." So here again you establish the fact that excess or special treatment or getting it your way all depends on who is in control. Who has the power to write the WO. What does that have to do with whether it is any more right than laymen desiring different music? Or resisting change?

Gaines has been more tolerant than I've been on my best day. If I were pastor for a day, my first order of business would be to haul a few dozen malcontents starting with Jim Haywood up on the platform and have them voted out of the church. I'd be a hero for doing it, too.

But we are not talking about you. I could just as easily say that if it were up to me I would have already thrown him out on his ear for not following scripture or the commandments. Love your neighbor. Don't get mad and throw them out of the church. Bottom line is that SG is doing a whole lot less that blessing those that you say curse him. In fact he is using his power and the pulpit to commit the same types of things the religious system did in the apostles days. Do we need to go into detail on all the ministers that have left? How about those coaches?

Then we get down to the old argument: "8000 people think it is right, what is wrong with you?"

So you are critical of the same old stuff but you go right back to it to defend SG. That, I think, is hypo-critical. 8000 people just can't be wrong. Right?

Then this. "Do nothing but argue and complain, so that you can be annoying and irritating, as you shine annoyingly like the neighbors vapor light through the bedroom window at 2 am."

Again. Hypo-critical. Anyone that looks back on your body of comments can certainly see an argumentative, irritating, annoying spirit. Dig the beam out of your own eye. I will work on mine.

evil arminius said...

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, Calvin, I don't attend church regularly and I really don't care who pastors your church.

I never said that 8000 people couldn't be wrong, just that the majority sided with the establishment. Game over.

And why are people right just because they left? I don't follow you.

Let's back up for a second, since we're rehashing. Do you agree with this charming statement about the blog you're currently visiting?

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…

Since Jesus called the Pharisees sons of the devil, does that make it all right to call Mike's blog a satanic stronghold? Since it's not possible to be a son of God and a son of the devil at the same time, whoever wrote that (and those who agree with it by their silence) is denying that a saving work of the Holy Spirit ever took place in the life of the 'regulars' here.

That's what's behind the dispute between the blogs - behavior. It stopped being about your pastor a long time ago. There is never any excuse at all for slandering a brother, and that little pearl goes WAAAY beyond slander.

Has Gaines ever said that his opposition is being controlled by demons?

Hardship only brings out what's already on the inside, and if that's an indication of what's inside of 'be still', there's not a beam in the world that's large enough to keep me from seeing how ugly it is.

calvin said...

Armin,

Just to avoid any misunderstanding, Calvin, I don't attend church regularly and I really don't care who pastors your church.

I guess Heb 10:19-25 doesn't apply to you then?

I never said that 8000 people couldn't be wrong, just that the majority sided with the establishment. Game over.

I don't think apostacy in a church is a game. False teachers again, not a game. So it isn't really over till we all stand before the judgement seat now is it?

And why are people right just because they left? I don't follow you.

You are the one that insinuated 8000 were right because they are staying. How then can you be any more correct than I am when I insinuate that the thousands that have left are right. Fact is that we each have our opinion. Neither of which is any more "correct" than the other.

That's what's behind the dispute between the blogs - behavior. It stopped being about your pastor a long time ago. There is never any excuse at all for slandering a brother, and that little pearl goes WAAAY beyond slander.

Has Gaines ever said that his opposition is being controlled by demons?


When we discuss the spirit this blog has been accused of having, can we do that in the absence of all the "tools of satan" talk that the other blog has received from Why and Mrs Billie? Is it any more wrong when they do it than when folks representing the SG side do it? So in your opinion, slander going one way is ok, just not coming back this way? Is it slander if it is true?

Hardship indeed exposes what is inside. Take a look back at some of your own posts and you will see that you are not any better than anyone else. The real question is how have you been exposed to any hardship? I can see it from the SG camp, and from the truth seekers camp. People from both sides have been exposed to hardship. But what hardship have you suffered as a result of this mess and how does that justify your posts and the lack of love in many of them?

Paul gave clear instructions to the Philippians, and they had worse troubles than not liking the minister of music at their church. He told them to do EVERYTHING without arguing or complaining, so that they would shine out like stars in a twisted world, as they held out the light of life. Unless you can show me a passage that retracts that or give me a good reason why it can be ignored in this case, or why another verse should take precedence, I'll have to stand by my statement.

When you refer to yourself as evil arminian, tell me you don't attend church and come here regularly to argue, your earlier admonishion to not argue, that "it is denying Christ to argue", falls a little short. Does your preaching apply to you?

Mike Bratton said...

I made this hopeful observation previously:

Surely the notion that a church is "dead" because you don't like it will be countered by someone; surely the notion that a pastor you don't like is led by a demonic spirit will be rebuked at some point.

So far, the only people who aren't going along with that mindset are people such as David and Padre. I would like to see more exceptions to the rule, but, as the saying goes, they're scarce as hens' teeth.

Why?

--Mike

EDITED TO ADD: Ah, I see that the remarks have even gotten more personal. I really don't have much of a response except to say that, as a Christian, I'll continue to pray for you folks and speak the truth to you in Christian love.

calvin said...

Mike,

Please be patient with me. I am just a dumb old country boy.

I am having trouble understanding something though. It would seem that by your last post that you expect some sort of rebuke for the individual that would accuse BBC of being a dead church and having a pastor with a demon problem. Apparently, you view the afront as a corporate one, rather than from an individual.

Then when an individual posts a comment on your blog that is very condemning of all the posters on another blog, in fact saying that they are denying Christ, that they have no faith (9:47 pm 8/10 post) it just gets a pass from you. I am not sure I see the difference. Can you explain it to me?

In order to remain consistant, do you need to request a rebuke from your regulars to Arminiusthebaptist or are his comments simply those of an individual that not all here agree with? Therefore requiring no rebuke?

evil arminius said...

Calvin,

The difference between me and your friends is that I don't claim to be the hand of God. You know nothing of my problems, or my 'demons'. I don't claim to be perfect, and that's the difference between me and you.

If you'd get off your lazy butt and read back a few threads you'd see many times that Mike and others have rebuked me for my tactlessness. I'm not very well thought of here. But Mike has demonstrated something you know nothing about, acceptance and a non-judgemental spirit. Despite his and Sol's chastisement I know that they care about me and pray for my well being. Unlike NASS and her crap.

And what do 'why' and 'ms. billie' have to do with the bratton report? Are you so paranoid that you think that every single statement against the NBBCOF's disgraceful filth originates here? Have either of them ever posted here? Has anyone ever approved of them here?

And they call me a conspiracy nut.

I'm getting really tired of people like you playing cowboys and indians. Did you grow up watching Star Wars? The good side and the dark side?

I wonder if you ever grew up at all.

Oh, and you never answered my question. Do you aprove or not?

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…

Mike Bratton said...

calvin said...
Mike,

Please be patient with me. I am just a dumb old country boy.

I am having trouble understanding something though. It would seem that by your last post that you expect some sort of rebuke for the individual that would accuse BBC of being a dead church and having a pastor with a demon problem. Apparently, you view the afront as a corporate one, rather than from an individual.

Then when an individual posts a comment on your blog that is very condemning of all the posters on another blog, in fact saying that they are denying Christ, that they have no faith (9:47 pm 8/10 post) it just gets a pass from you. I am not sure I see the difference. Can you explain it to me?

In order to remain consistant, do you need to request a rebuke from your regulars to Arminiusthebaptist or are his comments simply those of an individual that not all here agree with? Therefore requiring no rebuke?


This is my blog, where I do the following things-quoting myself from September 2006 thusly and like so:

1) As a Christian, it's part of the gig to share your life, and how Jesus Christ has changed you for the better. So, I'm sharing.

2) Over the years of contributing to various websites, people have actually said they've appreciated things I've written. We'll see if a concentrated dose has a better effect.

3) I seem to have more free time than I used to have--so, I thought it would be interesting to try this out...

4) You tell me. Follow along from time to time, and let me know when you like something.

5) Or, when you don't.


This is not the home of a "movement," or a place encouraging like-minded people to coalesce, though it is a place where people can post their thoughts without fear of banishment from the premises.

Having said that, this is also a place where people must be responsible for the things they write. In the past, I have chastised Arminius for being internally inconsistent in his remarks--if you don't think I've been thorough enough, I apologize, as I haven't had the time to devote to individual posts.

Regarding his post of the 10th at 9:47 p.m., let me say this: Arminius, you have a point that people who make up the lion's share of the "Open" Forum are invested in Bellevue's failure. However, referring to them as apostate, and as actively denying Christ, are out-of-bounds statements which are just as hate-mongering as the talking points coming from the "Open" Forum.

If you believe that behaving as a provocateur will actually help to precipitate commonality within this debate, your belief is wrong. It's wrong when those among the "Open" Forum regulars do it, and it's wrong when you do it. The idea here is to discuss issues, rather than to judge people. Only God knows if and when someone is apostate, or otherwise not in a right relationship with Him, so let's leave that to Him.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

And Arminius, while I thank you for your observations that, indeed, I care for your well-being, I must ask you to be more careful with your use of (as Mr. Spock called them in Star Trek IV) "colorful metaphors."

Again--having said that, I'd appreciate responses and observations regarding the slurs Arminius has referenced.

--Mike

johnthebaptist said...

evil arminius said....

but there are still 8000+ people going to church at Bellevue every Sunday morning. The majority has voted in favor of Gaines by their continued attendance.



Reply: actually, the marjority voted by leaving. 8000 people will only fill the worship center one time with a 1000 people overflow. So, 8000 divided by 2 is 4000 per service approx. So how is that the majority when it used to be 14000 + 6500 in Sunday School??? Is that that new math I have been hearing about?

bepatient said...

Cakes, you know what- you win. If that will make you feel better we can just leave it at that. I just can't sit here and keep having this discussion with you. You manage to discuss and argue with other people without being condescending and quite frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

So let me just wish you all the best. I pray for you and I hope that maybe next time there is a lunch we can all meet. I have nothing against you- but life is just too short for this.

evil arminius said...

14000? For 2 services? So both the 9:30 and 11:00 services in a 7200 seat auditorium were full? I disagree.

And even if you're right, 14000-8000=6000 who have left. 8000 > 6000, so yes the majority stayed.

larry said...

evil arminius,

Could you email me, please?

Thanks!

johnthebaptist said...

evil arminius said...
14000? For 2 services? So both the 9:30 and 11:00 services in a 7200 seat auditorium were full? I disagree.

And even if you're right, 14000-8000=6000 who have left. 8000 > 6000, so yes the majority stayed


The worship center holds 7000, not 7200. The choir loft can hold 450. But the choir was usually 300 - 350.
Your 8000 is inflated according to published numbers. What about sunday school?? You forgot to add those numbers. Don't tell me you think the numbers for SS are higher now when they can't even keep teachers?

Mike Bratton said...

bepatient said...
I make a point not to read the "other" blog- but I ventured over there and skimmed through the last couple of threads tonight.

They say we only exist to talk about them.


And that's something else that makes me laugh every time I read it.

The Catholic denomination, particularly the errors committed by Pope Benedict.

Islam's worldview.

The Benoit double-murder/suicide.

Elvis and Celine.

The fact that God has divinely intervened in preventing personal jet packs from being a part of 21st Century society.

And the ins and outs of getting a license plate in Alabama.

Do any of those topics ring a bell?

Facts trump talking points, folks. As I said nearly a year ago, "It would be easy to just ignore such nonsense; however, these tirades against Bellevue and the people God has called to serve in various capacities needed, so I've been led to feel, a counterbalance. Such as it is, here it is. I'll continue to monitor the nonsense, and respond as conditions warrant.

"And I'll actually write about other things, as well. Yes, I know, you're all atwitter with anticipation..."

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

And while I'm in full moderator mode: David, you were more than a bit out of line with BePatient with that business about timidity. To make another Star Trek reference, thusly and like so: "Laddie, don't you think you should... rephrase that?" :)

Deep breaths all around, folks.

--Mike

calvin said...

armin,

The difference between me and your friends is that I don't claim to be the hand of God. You know nothing of my problems, or my 'demons'. I don't claim to be perfect, and that's the difference between me and you.

I'm not sure when they became my friends. Just because I point out inconsistancies in your "arguments" and your stated position then I have friends at the other blog? Paranoid?

As to claiming to be perfect, can you direct me to where I have claimed to be perfect?

If you'd get off your lazy butt and read back a few threads you'd see many times that Mike and others have rebuked me for my tactlessness. I'm not very well thought of here. But Mike has demonstrated something you know nothing about, acceptance and a non-judgemental spirit. Despite his and Sol's chastisement I know that they care about me and pray for my well being. Unlike NASS and her crap.

Some would say I do my best work when sitting down. How do you know that I don't pray for you and care about your wellbeing? If you have been often rebuked for tactlessness, what does that tell you?

And what do 'why' and 'ms. billie' have to do with the bratton report? Are you so paranoid that you think that every single statement against the NBBCOF's disgraceful filth originates here? Have either of them ever posted here? Has anyone ever approved of them here?

Can you direct me to the post where you accused them of a lack of faith or denying Christ? Or is this a case where as long as they are saying hateful things that attack people that you oppose, it is ok with you?

I'm getting really tired of people like you playing cowboys and indians. Did you grow up watching Star Wars? The good side and the dark side?

I wonder if you ever grew up at all.


I did play my share of Cowboys and Indians, but never got too interested in Star Wars. Not sure what connection they have to our discussion anyway but apparently you see one. I guess if you can't prevail with logical arguements you can always resort to name calling.

And to answer your question, no, I do not condone accusing other professing christians of having a demon or a spirit or calling a church dead. Any more than I condone accusing same of denying Christ or not living in faith.

calvin said...

Thanks for the clarification, Mike. Things were gettin a little muddy in me periscope.

calvin said...

armin,

Has Gaines ever said that his opposition is being controlled by demons?

Do you consider him saying that refusal to submit to his authority was akin to witchcraft, anything close to accusing them of being controlled by demons?

I do. For the record, I don't condone a pastor accusing professing christians of such either.

evil arminius said...

Do you consider him saying that refusal to submit to his authority was akin to witchcraft, anything close to accusing them of being controlled by demons?

I do. For the record, I don't condone a pastor accusing professing christians of such either.


SG's sermons are available online. What are the dates of the sermons you're referring to? I'd like to hear them for myself.

Cakes said...

Mike,

I believe bepatient's responses have been timid, factually and without any invective implied. I thought timid was the nice way of putting it--I do, even if I fail from time-to-time, try to be measured in my tone, while not censoring my opinion.

bepatient did exactly the same as she did in the last thread--make an unfounded assertion about a group, painting with the broad brush, then says she has better things to do than qualify them when challenged. Why doesn't she just say she wants a forum to monologue and won't be receptive to actual debate?

Conversation is a form of currency, an economy if you will--whose value is in direct proportion to the investment in clarity, substance and conciseness, as well as the observance of common rhetoric at the service of intellectual honesty. One who feels that they can shoot from the hip, and refuses to defend said hypotheses, assertions and intimations--inspected with scrutiny and analysis for their probability (which is precisely what substantive debate is)--cannot be said to appreciate much exchange value.

I think too many ongoing verbal battles take place, long after any use could be derived from them--it is reduced to the battle of egos, each one trying to land the last blow or get the upper hand. I won't go there with you, because it is a waste of time and emotion--and why I kindly ended any debate with Army. What's the point?

I will goad deeper thought and the oft-lacking intellectual honesty present at the Bratton Report. This deficit is most emphasized when you would paint the truthseekers motivated by the desire to split the church (which is a favorite scarlet-letter here), a quite convenient dismissal of someone as basically evil--and I might add, with no justifiable basis in which to make that snap-judgement. I've met most of these folks, and I love these orphans (the general lack of compassion for this fact is another point of intellectual dishonesty around here); you only harm yourself when you mark them as all crackpots and troublemakers, their concerns lacking any merit.

All while cutting the Padre so much freaking slack.

calvin said...

armin,

As I recall it was a Sunday morning service in the fall of 06. Sorry but my memory just has trouble keeping up with dates. There should be folks around that can get us closer though. Anyone?

calvin said...

Armin,

You can try Sunday morning Oct 8, 06. The notes look like it. I haven't listened to it but will when I get the chance.

truthseeker arminius said...

(I haven't changed my opinions, I'm just going to tag 'truthseeker' to my name so that cakes will side with me.)

Can you direct me to the post where you accused them of a lack of faith or denying Christ? Or is this a case where as long as they are saying hateful things that attack people that you oppose, it is ok with you?

I would, but NASS banned me long ago for my 'tactlessness'. And no, it's not all right with me. They showed no desire to develop a conversation with the bloggers, only to dump their views on them and I'm sure that they gripe about the forum to their friends as well.

They are actually quite similar to everyone else.

bepatient said...

Cakes, I really want to be done with this already. But how is telling me that I have no compassion for them any better than what you are accusing me of? And besides, you really have no idea- some of the people from "over there" that I know you have met might be able to testify to the fact that I have plenty of compassion and have worked hard to maintain relationships that could have fallen by the wayside over this. So you can make whatever judgments of me you will but just remember that you really don't know me and you don't know how I live my life. So, since you preach against making broad judgments, how about you refrain from doing it about me as well?

Mike Bratton said...

Let me cut to the chase--pardon any bluntness.

I've never, once, said that there aren't legitimate concerns; as a matter of record, I've voiced some of those concerns myself. I've said for nearly a year that the methodologies some folks are choosing have overshadowed the legitimate concerns with a cloud of personal animus.

Victim status, real or perceived, is not a get-out-of-responsibility-free card. Has Steve Gaines, or another member of Bellevue's leadership, actually suggested that people who question the church's actions are unsaved and hell-bound?

"Pastor, I have problems with the way you handled that situation" is a measured, focused response; "Pastor, from the way you handled that situation, it's obvious you serve Satan" is unconscionable.

To everyone reading this, regardless of your position on what's happening at Bellevue: If taking personal responsibility for your words and deeds is not your cup of tea, please stay out of the discussion until you can handle that responsibility. Unless you can soberly and constructively be a part of the solution, you are--and I say this without stutter, stammer, or apology--part of the problem.

So, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, please don't be part of the problem.

--Mike

truthseeker arminius said...

bepatient,

You should just ignore cakes. He only attacks you here to kiss up to his friends on the other blog.

Don't forget that he often strikes here and then heads over there to boast about quieting the room with his superior intellectual and debating skills.

As if.

calvin said...

Mike,

My apple is not allowing me to get the audio on the Oct 8, 06 am service. I am pretty sure this is the sermon where SG told us that failure to submit to God ordained authority has something to do with witchcraft or the practice of it.

So to answer your question Has Steve Gaines, or another member of Bellevue's leadership, actually suggested that people who question the church's actions are unsaved and hell-bound? may be answered there.

Is accusing disobedient sheep of witchcraft close enough to a "yes" answer to your question?

I will have to wait till I can get back to a another computer to listen to it. I won't bother if it doesn't matter.

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike

When AR used the title: "Love Worth Finding", did he mean that the sinner had sufficient illumination to seek for it and find it?

Charles

Junkster said...

Matthew 13:44-46

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

truthseeker arminius said...

Calvin,
You can't really persecute Gaines for preaching from the Bible. Oh wait, I guess it happens all the time.

1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.


BTW, the verse is not saying that there are demonic forces actively involved in rebellion. Just that there's not any good sin/bad sin economics. Sin is sin.

Have fun with the rest of the verse.

truthseeker arminius said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
"It is only fitting that the largest church in town has one of the biggest choirs. Every Sunday, the 400-person strong Bellevue Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir performs in two services backed by a 100-person orchestra."

How many years ago was that written? I would estimate they had perhaps 120 in the choir in the 9:30 service this morning, maybe 100 in the 11:00 service, and there were a lot of the same faces in both. It was more difficult to count heads in the orchestra, but I'd estimate perhaps 25-30. (Note to Carter T. -- Please turn down your mike! Eeeeeeeeee!!!)


If nass hates SG and JP so much, why did she go to both services this morning? Just to count the choir?

Strange!

Cakes said...

bepatient,

I did not say you didn't have compassion for them, I said that a lack of compassion regarding their being orphaned from the church they love and have invested their lives is no found much over here, and that is demonstable in the remarks that dismiss their concerns, as if they didn't have a leg to stand upon.

I have posted numerous times lately on the NBBCOF that some of the comments there are inappropriate and that they should not speak out of antagonism and emotion--and you know what? They still love--despite your judgement of them that they would turn on me.

And I should have to make that distinction if you read for content instead of plucking something to get insulted about, but that is your tact. I think it's funny when you've said we've been over this already when, no, you haven't broached my salient points, although I've rephrased them over and over.

The fact is, folks here, save Mike, don't wish to ever acknowledge that Pastor Gaines and some half-dozen ministers acted foolishly regarding the pedophile, and when caught, have acted emperical in the protection of their careers--and that this failure and a conspicuous circling of the wagons manifested in the PCIR, the Coombs promotion, and now these loyalty oaths (sheesh, the mendacity) above all is the primary reason that those individuals alienated and made unwelcome at Bellevue have a context to even have a blog.

If you ever admitted to yourself that, gee, the gravity of that failure and the sweeping of it under a rug, is a reasonable basis for members, concerned citizens who care for the safety of children, and opponents of corporate hubris (and what else would you call it?) to seek accountability and consequences that are commensurate with the failure--and not some airy and vacuous statement that he's suffering consequences.

But if you ever were open to that conversation y'all, you couldn't make a reasonable justification for how this sex scandal has been managed by the leadership, or that they've paid much of a price for screwing up royally.

Thus, the only other tact is to gather moments of emotion or poor judgement (as will occur on any open forum--like say, this one), as squirrels storing nuts, and brand everyones' contributions with their taint. That way, you may dismiss the whole purpose of NBBCOF, without ever lowering yourself to actually penetrating the crux of y'alls' differences.

I have come to the conclusion that you accept Gaines trustworthiness by faith, the same as you believe in your savior or His virgin birth. I know many Christians who are suspicious of reason and logic as a means of penetrating truth. But here's the rub--the tropes that we use (well, some of us) to engage one another, rhetoric, was invented by the Greeks and Romans (why those tropes have Greek and Latin names), and they are sufficient to generating a discussion of complexity and sound purpose.

But some folks duck out once their assumptions are challenged, because faith (and {apparently blind) loyalty are not pretexts that may muster the rigors of logic and debate. That's why it's called faith.

Perhaps you believe this loyalty is Biblical, even if it defies common sense. If that's good enough for you, then God bless; pressuming that should be good enough for everyone is another point altogether.

Some folks think that no discernable consequences for the failure and the perception that the issue has been skirted to save their rich hides is not Biblical; in fact, they think that holding the ministers accountable is.

I only seek to make some extremely injured individuals (that no, recieve very little expressions of compassion or understanding from folks over here) that they shouldn't make the leap to accusing the loyal of condoning the pedophile or even Gaines failure; and likewise, I seek for you guys to acknowledge that some folks have a legitimate reason to eschew loyalty to a leadership that discredited themselves, and compounded it with what appears to be obsfucations and purely political expulsions of ministers and alienated members.

May you be happy and fulfilled, live by your faith and recognize Christians "over there" do so as well.

Otherwise, I do not wish to argue what I did not say, when most of y'all have sheepishly ignored the lions share of what I have.

I don't really think you are dumb, bepatient, I was just jokingly asking you to try harder to explain yourself and offer solid reasons for your loyalty to BBC leaders who failed the congregation (and children, and anyone to whom the dude "ministered")so miserably. I really didn't mean to hurt your feelings or insult your intelligence. If I lumped all of y'all together, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have the met with the blog regulars during Mike's recent visit.

Now, can we now have an adult conversation regarding the crux of your differences yet--e.g. the percieved gravity of Gaines' failure by sheilding the pedophile for six months; the basis for such divergent opinions regarding the consequences for such; and the basis, or lack thereof, for his trustworthiness as a minister (or even a responsible human being)?

PS-Mike, the "you" in my last post was not directed at you, individually--it was a statement in the general sense. I apologize if you thought I do not acknowledge your clarity regarding Gaines' failure of judgement in that matter.

Cakes said...

"Arminius, you have a point that people who make up the lion's share of the "Open" Forum are invested in Bellevue's failure."

Yeah, it's a point--the point of a spear. Why do you guys traffic in this sort of speech? How do know that? I could just as easily say that the lionshare of Bellevue's leadership and their faithful-- emphasizing unity over transparency--are invested in Bellevues' failure. Because the sentence is unclear--you might be saying that, unless NBBCOF doesn't cease it's stated harm, then such may, in fact, destroy the church; upon this basis, why couldn't I use the same modal form to the purpose of arguing that, in factual terms, the leadership have been working pretty hard to discredit themselves, compounded daily, it would seem? That last part was a joke, but often enough, nevertheless.

But one could just as easily interpret this to say the central, be-all-end-all, purpose of the individuals who post there is to destroy Bellevue, as if you can peer right into their hearts and minds. I know of no "truthseeker" whose goal in life is to destroy a church--I know many who've convinced me that they, whether you find them wise or not, believe they are trying to save a church they love and are truly "invested."

I constantly try to get you Christians to chill out, actually regard each other as multi-faceted human-beings with all the frailties that go along with it; and to use speech to begin a dialogue, rather than be so cavalier as to take a point of disagreement to illogical conclusions, blanket dimissals that terminate any good faith to build rapport--but I'm clearly wasting my time.

This kind of thing gets too much play here, and I pray (and yes I do) that you folks would stop villifying one another.

And Mike, that supposed distinction between the riff-raff and balogny trafficed here and that so ironically egregious at NBBCOF, the "movement" diclaimer is not compelling.

In an open forum, the regulars define as much its purpose as you do, and it is only being intellectually honest to say that the central context for this blog's regulars is to criticize the NBBCOF for impetuous and emotional speech--impetuously and emotionally. It's like a mobius strip.

And NBBCOF is not a "movement," there is no organization--it is more like a virtual refugee camp, and I'm thankful that I met this precious group of folks. Having met you, and knowing there's a compassionate heart under that actors' ego, I know that you would find them to be good people, confused and harmed by these events--even if you don't agree with their tact.

Don't back down from you resolve to promote what is right, but don't suggest they want to destroy Bellevue, unless you are willing to cut short the opportunity for "sober" dialogue and common ground.

Tim Greer said...

Using 1 Samuel 15:23 as a text against anyone who questions decisions by church leadership is Scriptorture in the first degree. In context, Samuel's words are directed specifically at Saul b/c Saul rebelled against God, and that is tantamount to the sin of witchcraft. If the other reading was the proper one, every prophet who ever spoke against a king would be guilty of witchcraft, as would the Bereans, Paul when he opposed Peter, and Jesus when he rebuked the Pharisees and other religious leaders.

truthseeker arminius said...

True, but from the sermon Calvin is referring to it's quite clear that Dr. Gaines specifically instructed subordinates not to submit to authorities that caused them to sin.

If leaders are not sinning, then they by definition they are being obedient to God, and subordinates not following them are being disobedient and therefore committing a sin equally as offensive to God as witchcraft.

Being disobedient to men isn't a sin, being disobedient to God is. Luther's acts were commendable because he was following the Spirit, not because he rebelled. To say that since Luther rebelled then rebellion is a good thing is a bad conclusion.

Take a look at 'savingbellevue' and see if that looks like the work of an obedient follower of the prince of peace.

Or better yet, check out 'sickofthelies' perverse innuendo at 9:12 AM (which should be deleted and the person who wrote it banned).

That's the offense that's like witchcraft.

truthseeker arminius said...

Oh, and to give credit where it's due, even nass objected to that particular outrage.

She still didn't remove it, though.

Mike Bratton said...

Cakes said...
"Arminius, you have a point that people who make up the lion's share of the "Open" Forum are invested in Bellevue's failure."

Yeah, it's a point--the point of a spear. Why do you guys traffic in this sort of speech?


Because it's the truth, sadly. The people who make up the lion's share of the "Open" Forum spend time telling lies, spreading gossip, and otherwise doing what they can to undermine the activity of Bellevue Baptist Church. Can you show me, David, what that same "lion's share" does that actually benefits Bellevue?

I've looked for nearly a year now, and there's a lot of trumpeting that Bellevue is apostate and Bellevue is dead. Since it's neither one of those things, why would people so vigorously promote that lie--unless they were invested in it?

How do know that? I could just as easily say that the lionshare of Bellevue's leadership and their faithful-- emphasizing unity over transparency--are invested in Bellevues' failure. Because the sentence is unclear--you might be saying that, unless NBBCOF doesn't cease it's stated harm, then such may, in fact, destroy the church; upon this basis, why couldn't I use the same modal form to the purpose of arguing that, in factual terms, the leadership have been working pretty hard to discredit themselves, compounded daily, it would seem? That last part was a joke, but often enough, nevertheless.

David, that's not really addressing the point, but attempting to answer a question with another question.

I wasn't at all unclear, but let me extrapolate: I don't believe the "Open" Forum efforts will hurt anyone but the "Open" Forum participants. The question is not about their effectiveness, but rather about their rationale.

But one could just as easily interpret this to say the central, be-all-end-all, purpose of the individuals who post there is to destroy Bellevue, as if you can peer right into their hearts and minds. I know of no "truthseeker" whose goal in life is to destroy a church--I know many who've convinced me that they, whether you find them wise or not, believe they are trying to save a church they love and are truly "invested."

Assessing actions is a world apart from judging hearts, David, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't attempt that leap again, all right? For many months they've engaged in destructive talk and destructive behavior; is it at all possible to presume that such talk and such behavior is really, through some sleight-of-hand, constructive?

No. The status of their individual hearts is for God alone to judge. However, when the goal of a behavior is self-evident, there's really nothing to judge.

I constantly try to get you Christians to chill out, actually regard each other as multi-faceted human-beings with all the frailties that go along with it; and to use speech to begin a dialogue, rather than be so cavalier as to take a point of disagreement to illogical conclusions, blanket dimissals that terminate any good faith to build rapport--but I'm clearly wasting my time.

And how can I put this gently--some of us have attempted to communicate some things to you that you don't exactly receive gladly, have we not? Do we get to chide you for your lack of (to coin a phrase) good faith? :)

I don't know that you meant for what you wrote there to come out that way, so let's just leave it there.

This kind of thing gets too much play here, and I pray (and yes I do) that you folks would stop villifying one another.

And Mike, that supposed distinction between the riff-raff and balogny trafficed here and that so ironically egregious at NBBCOF, the "movement" diclaimer is not compelling.

In an open forum, the regulars define as much its purpose as you do, and it is only being intellectually honest to say that the central context for this blog's regulars is to criticize the NBBCOF for impetuous and emotional speech--impetuously and emotionally. It's like a mobius strip.


Amazing. So I'm intellectually dishonest now?

And NBBCOF is not a "movement," there is no organization--it is more like a virtual refugee camp, and I'm thankful that I met this precious group of folks. Having met you, and knowing there's a compassionate heart under that actors' ego, I know that you would find them to be good people, confused and harmed by these events--even if you don't agree with their tact.

And in this instance, you would be correct. I also find them to be a group of people who need to take responsibility for their own vicious actions.

Don't back down from you resolve to promote what is right, but don't suggest they want to destroy Bellevue, unless you are willing to cut short the opportunity for "sober" dialogue and common ground.

It's not a suggestion, it's a statement of fact. Members of their cadre called for a "showdown" during a Sunday service, they've surreptitiously taped private meetings and illegally videotaped church gatherings, they've sanctioned multiple death threats against Pastor Gaines, and they ignore the Biblical model for conflict resolution--when it suits them.

Speaking the truth in love, as those of us who are Christians are called to do, means taking on such problems head-on. So far, that group has refused to admit there's much of anything wrong with their chosen tactics; the ball's in their court.

You have questions about things the Bellevue staff has done? So do I, and I'm asking them as I have the opportunity--in a way that follows the Biblical template. It is possible to have those types of questions without insinuating, as the latest example goes, that Steve Gaines and Jamie Parker have an ongoing homosexual relationship.

And you know, David, just how disgusted I am when incidents where parents have abused their children have come to light. I am every bit as disgusted with the attempt to paint fellow Christians as being sexually deviant.

Or cult members.

Or Nazis.

Or Satanists.

There comes a point where such behavior becomes indefensible. Have we passed that point with the Forum regulars? I honestly don't know; frankly, that's God's call to make.

--Mike

bepatient said...

I know of at least two instances where I have been "involved" or "informed" in incidents that were reported on the other blog, and both times the facts of that events were skewed quite a bit over there. They pick out a little piece or phrase from the story and use it to support their claims of how desperate or ignorant those that remain at BBC are. The facts are what they are- the leadership has made some serious mistakes and some plain old stupid choices but I don't understand how warping your stories to fit your stated purpose of restoring integrity.

I don't even bother to correct them anymore, because I have done so in the past and it was just a waste of my time.

Cakes said...

Sorry Mike,

But I have been pretty patient and have expended much energy making concise arguments and asking probing questions, but all that gets nowhere when the meat of the issue gets pushed aside and I have to defend what I didn't say. If you are intellectual dishonest, it's more like you bring primacy to a belief, then stack up evidence to support it, while ignoring anything that would render it less probable. I'm not calling you a liar, just perhaps that your pride will not allow you to ever apologize for your judgements against people. I don't think you really believe anymore that I wish to split Bellevue, as you stated in an article, but I really don't expect you to retract it either. Mike Bratton doesn't back down.

You hold NBBCOF--as if it is a living, breathing entity--liable for the impetuous and confrontational remarks of its regulars, instead of holding them accountable individually , but when folks do it over here, the Bratton Report gets an indulgence because, from time to time, you mention wrestlers or Celine Dion--you may really believe that, but it's preposterous. How many of those that showed up at your blog lunch were those whose context was centered around Celine Dion and the WWF, and how many who have a context to the Bellevue situation?

"So I'm intellectually dishonest now?" Let me answer that with a question--so, you're saying the entire NBBCOF's sole be-all-end-all purpose is to destroy Bellevue now? I think you must believe that, but if you do, then you are mistaken. That's about as generous as I can be with that further plunge into modal logic.

I regularly comment in a lengthy and careful way so as to be as clear and concise as possible, but yes, when it is reciprocated with bitter strum and drang, timidity and frankly, judgements of my motives and others--then I will show some teeth. But let's be clear--even if you don't appreciate my questions and remarks, I seek substance from dialogue and try to be measured in expressions of frustration. be patient is timid to have a real debate, your "movement" rationale is without merit, and Army is...well, let's just say that dialogue with him is pointless and probably unhealthy for all concerned. Immature and provocative content on NBBCOF damns all of it; the same on the Bratton blog doesn't indict it with the same--because you occasionally write about Catholics and Benoit. Right. And I'm accused of leaping.

This doesn't make you a nazi, a commie or whatever, no more than my being a regular (or anyone else) at NBBCOF makes me someone with the desire to destroy Bellevue.

I've made no leap here of judging motives, even if I do make judgements about the substantiveness of arguments--I too get insulted if I've invested in generating dialogue and it's communicated to me in no uncertain terms that most are up to the rigors of "sober" debate, and it gets takes up space where more laudry-lists and unqualified judgements of peoples motives could fit.

I'm tired of trying to encourage compassion and understanding here--that I do seemingly has made me the target, and that, my friends, is below the pale.

There is no consensus that anyone here is a Nazi, demon-possessed, pedophile supporters, etc., but if you wish to fixate upon that in lieu of a substantive discussion of the issue of Gaines failure and the non-consequences, then I have no business here.

I think, on a heart level, that you are a good and compassionate person, Mike, but that your pride harms your reason and will not allow you to retract statements for which you have been in error. I'm not out to split the church--might you be wrong about other folks motives as well?

I would never pressume to know your heart, but the words on this blog villify people on NBBCOF who have been truly harmed--I vocally and often encourage them to eschew invective and emotional speech, but that some are incapable (here too) of measured exchange in no way nullifies its substance or purpose.

It makes me sad to see you ratchet up the tension, when you don't have to, and leaves me with a sense of having no purpose here and my attempts to open substantive dialogue--on the key points of disagreement regarding Gaines' fitness as a minister--has been a fruitless waste.

I bid you all adieu.

calvin said...

Armin,


Verse 22 precedes 23.

22Samuel said,
"Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

Clearly, this scripture documented the fact that a leader was not obeying God or His word. Not sure how one makes the leap that it applies to a sheep refusing to follow a leader but aparently some do.

True, but from the sermon Calvin is referring to it's quite clear that Dr. Gaines specifically instructed subordinates not to submit to authorities that caused them to sin.

Ok, so if SG tells me to rob a bank I can be disobedient. If he tells me that scripture is just a guideline, I have to obey him? If he won't follow scripture, I don't have to obey him. Right?

Looking back at most kings and a lot of priests, applying this rule would result in death. Right?
How about the priests of Jesus' day. Were they making people sin? How do we know if we don't judge that? What do we judge that against?

I can hear the priests in EZ's day standing in the pulpit and saying "obey me, unless I make you sin"

If leaders are not sinning, then they by definition they are being obedient to God, and subordinates not following them are being disobedient and therefore committing a sin equally as offensive to God as witchcraft.

I guess that gets us all off the hook unless you can show us a leader that is not sinning. BTW, in an earlier post someone said that sin is sin.

"Just that there's not any good sin/bad sin economics. Sin is sin."

Being disobedient to men isn't a sin, being disobedient to God is. Luther's acts were commendable because he was following the Spirit, not because he rebelled. To say that since Luther rebelled then rebellion is a good thing is a bad conclusion.

We agree. Now how do we "know" what spirit the one accused of rebellion is following? If he says "throw the guy out because scripture says so" and the pastor says scripture is just a guideline, who do I follow?

Take a look at 'savingbellevue' and see if that looks like the work of an obedient follower of the prince of peace.

In light of the above, does it give you any pause to consider what "obedience" over here looks like?

truthseeker arminius said...

Calvin,

Not sure how one makes the leap that it applies to a sheep refusing to follow a leader but aparently some do.

It's not that difficult to apprehend this concept. When God has a mission for a group of people, he has historically told the leader of the group, be it Moses, Joshua, or whoever. Since most people seem to believe that the 'local church' is God's people today, he will speak to the leader of the church. If you rebel against a church leader, you'd better be sure you're on solid ground.

And you also need to verify that Gaines said what you are accusing him of. And besides, even if he said that the scriptures were guidelines did he say they could be broken? Would it have been better to have said that they were NOT guidelines?

I'm sure you've heard this passage:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

That's still a good 'guideline' today. Read your Bible, like SG says. Pray, just like SG says. Give and serve, just like SG says. Just don't climb fences and say bad things in Union City when you think people aren't listening.

We agree. Now how do we "know" what spirit the one accused of rebellion is following? If he says "throw the guy out because scripture says so" and the pastor says scripture is just a guideline, who do I follow?

Again, you are in error. Gaines never said he kept anyone on staff because scripture is a guideline. What he said was that he was moved with compassion for the family and extended grace. This was a very scriptural thing to do, too.

The OT demanded that anyone who claimed to speak for God but spoke on his own must die. When David asked Nathan the prophet whether or not he could rebuild the temple, Nathan said "Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you." However, the LORD did come to Nathan and say no. David extended grace and did not have Nathan put to death as the Law demanded.

In light of the above, does it give you any pause to consider what "obedience" over here looks like?

Honestly, no it doesn't.

truthseeker arminius said...

Hey, check out this story!

Pastor Threatens to have church members arrested!

It's got absolutely nothing to do with anything at Bellevue, but it makes a pastor look bad so let's all tsk tsk and tut tut about it. If we do it long enough, maybe we can even convince people it's about Steve Gaines.

Kind of like nass is doing with her 4:02 link to the story about the Lutheran's tolerance of gay pastors.

In light of that post, I have to retract my earlier statement commending her disapproval of 'sickofthelies' perverse remarks.

What a class act.

truthseeker arminius said...

Low, that is.

calvin said...

armin,

It's not that difficult to apprehend this concept. When God has a mission for a group of people, he has historically told the leader of the group, be it Moses, Joshua, or whoever. Since most people seem to believe that the 'local church' is God's people today, he will speak to the leader of the church. If you rebel against a church leader, you'd better be sure you're on solid ground.

" Apprehending" it is one thing, believing it another. I guess we just should burn those bibles then, huh? Seein how the preacher is the only one with the Word. Or are you suggesting he has special powers? BTW The leader of the "church" is Jesus. The WORD. God speaks to us through HIM. If we have a preacher that is not following THE leader of the church, why should I follow the preacher? Would I not be better off following the man that died for me? Jesus died on the cross for me. Through Him I have direct access to God. Remember the veil?

I'm sure you've heard this passage:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

That's still a good 'guideline' today. Read your Bible, like SG says. Pray, just like SG says. Give and serve, just like SG says. Just don't climb fences and say bad things in Union City when you think people aren't listening.


The problem they had those days was a too strict interpretation of the law with plenty of add ons. It would be nice if we could simply get an accurate dividing of the WORD. Remember, we are not under the law. He could start with tithing. Today Jesus would prolly say something like "don't do what they say or what they do".

Again, you are in error. Gaines never said he kept anyone on staff because scripture is a guideline. What he said was that he was moved with compassion for the family and extended grace. This was a very scriptural thing to do, too.

If, by extending grace, he violates scripture regarding qualifications for ministers, is he obeying God or not? How does he decide what part of scripture to obey? Then, if I haven't burned my bible, how can I tell if he is picking the right ones to obey?

Honestly, no it doesn't.

He does say that the delusion He sends will be a strong one.

calvin said...

Armin,

Again, you are in error. Gaines never said he kept anyone on staff because scripture is a guideline. What he said was that he was moved with compassion for the family and extended grace. This was a very scriptural thing to do, too.

Don't you think that the grace extended should have included the victim?

truthseeker arminius said...

I feel like I'm not getting through somehow.

If we have a preacher that is not following THE leader of the church, why should I follow the preacher?

As I said, if the leader of the church (the pastor) is not following the head of the church (Jesus), then don't listen to him. If you have a scriptural problem with tithing, then don't do it. Of course, if you don't tithe but sit under a pastor says you should, you've got a problem. There are many churches that don't require tithes, and you should find one. I think that for far too long people joined churches because of every reason in the world except their doctrinal beliefs. If you disagree with what the church believes you shouldn't be there.

Personally I have a problem with shallowness and hypocrisy, so I don't go to church at all.

If, by extending grace, he violates scripture regarding qualifications for ministers, is he obeying God or not? How does he decide what part of scripture to obey?

Was David violating scripture when he let Nathan live? Sure, since the 2nd greatest command in the OT was love but the 1st was to love God and obey his law with an iron fist. But somehow David made the call that loving his neighbor in this case was more acceptable than obeying the greatest commendment and having Nathan stoned. (Maybe something about God loving mercy more than sacrifice?)

If you're going to err on the side of the law or grace in today's economy, remember that the law came through Moses, grace came through Jesus and then decide accordingly.

Then, if I haven't burned my bible, how can I tell if he is picking the right ones to obey?

"Through Him I have direct access to God. Remember the veil?"

Don't you think that the grace extended should have included the victim?

Since SG was operating under the assumption (which both parents confirmed to him) that full reconcilation had occured, by extending grace to the family he thought he was extending grace to the son.

Junkster said...

Arminius,
Did you formerly attend a Free Will Baptist church, by any chance?

Mike Bratton said...

Personally I have a problem with shallowness and hypocrisy, so I don't go to church at all.

While we're discussing Scripture, here's one that came to mind.

Hebrews 10

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Thoughts?

--Mike

samuel said...

Arminian,

You have mis-used this scripture, two times lately. Let's take a look at it.

Was David violating scripture when he let Nathan live? Sure, since the 2nd greatest command in the OT was love but the 1st was to love God and obey his law with an iron fist. But somehow David made the call that loving his neighbor in this case was more acceptable than obeying the greatest commendment and having Nathan stoned. (Maybe something about God loving mercy more than sacrifice?)

You contend that Nathan was in error when he told David:

2 Sam 7:2That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.3And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.

And that he could have been stoned for saying it.

Yet in the same night,(2 Sam 7:4And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,)

God tells Nathan to go to David and deliver what is known as the "Davidic Covenant" 2 Sam 7:8-17. How you can say that Nathan spoke in error is beyond me and a distortion of scripture. In fact, God indeed delivered exactly what Nathan told David. God knew exactly what was in Davids heart. And the Lord certainly was with David. The fact that God, through Nathan, clarified what he expected David to do does nothing to support your dividing that Nathan spoke in error.

In fact, if you look at Deut 18:20

20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

21And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

One would have to say that what Nathan spoke was true and was supported by confirmation in the form of the Davidic Covenant in the same night.

You may want to look for another example of a king showing mercy to a prophet??? to support your contention that SG showed mercy to PW.

truthseeker arminius said...

Junkster,
I tried a Free Will Baptist Church, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Sam:
How you can say that Nathan spoke in error is beyond me and a distortion of scripture.


Picture it like this. David and Nathan were having lunch one day. David got to feeling bad about the ark of the testimony sitting out in a tent while he was living in Jed Clampett's house. He obviously was asking Nathan whether or not he should build a house for God.

God knew exactly what was in Davids heart.

And it was in David's heart to build the temple. He said so himself, and so did Solomon. God's plan was not for David to build it, though. So why did Nathan grant him permission to do whatever he wanted? Did Nathan have authority over King David apart from being a vessel of God's word?

Modern translations begin verse 4 with a big BUT:
But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan

So after their lunch date, God told Nathan what he should have said to David instead of speaking off the top of his head.

I hope that explains how I came to the outrageous conclusion that Nathan wasn't speaking what he had received from the Lord, since he didn't received it until that night. Hopefully it's not "beyond" understanding this time.

And as far as the 'distortion' of scripture, that's not a very nice thing to say.

truthseeker arminius said...

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works

Mike,
I think the 'one another' should work both ways, but the only provocation I ever got was to leave. As we're seeing displayed each and every day on the NBBCOF, some folks can't forgive mistakes and bring them up with great regularity.

samuel said...

Mike,

Yes, certainly a flood of them.

Hebrews 10

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Thoughts?


1)I am not sure how we comply with Hebrews 10 or any other parts of the WORD if, in fact, we don't know it. Inaccurate dividing, false teaching, ignorance, refusal to spend time in Him. And we can't blame all that on a preacher. Any preacher.

2)Provoking into good works and love gets real hard to do when so much teaching has either been spoken from the pulpit or heard in the pew that indicates we don't really have to do anything to be saved. You know, the old works/faith thing.

We have gone from "being saved", "being perfected" "running the race" to the opposit end of the scale. Now we "are saved" today. 1200 hour. 20--. No need for works, no need for perfection, no need for love. God loves us just like we are.

3)We are living in a time, we could even say we are perfecting it, that I, Me, Mine, are more important than anything or anyone else. Selfish Pride. Dr Rogers had a good sermon on that where he tied pride to selfishness. I want what I want, when I want it and I am going to throw the biggest fit you have ever seen if I don't get it. And if God is really smiling on me, He will give it to me.

If we are going to truly love people and exort them to good works, we have to show them where to start. And that is not anywhere but in the WORD. We have to show them that it is not about the preacher. That it is not about me. It is about the WORD.

We have to show them where the challenges they face in life are in fact God's hand providing discipline, correction and guidance. Show them where he provides the grace, the ability to walk with Him through those trials and become perfected in Christ.

We have to make them understand that the hardship they face is testing, refining to make them perfect before the Lord and In Christ.

We have to go from the model of salvation we see being taught today:

Imputed righteousness through belief to SAVED. Period

To: Imputed righteousness, walk, training, learning, obedience, growing from spiritual children to adults in Christ, moving on from milk to meat and then finally,SALVATION. Otherwise we wind up with disobedient children wandering around in the wilderness and dieing in unbelief, all while they are telling themselves they believe and have a preacher supporting them in their unbelief.

Reading the WORD from front to back a few times will get you to the place one needs to be. At the feet of CHRIST. When that happens, all the theological differences will melt into fear, reverence and an overwhelming desire to serve Him anywhere, anytime He calls. Self will get lost in the background as Christ comes to the front. Then and only then are we truly set apart as His people. Anything less is just going through the motions and practicing religion.

All just my opinion. Take any arguments up with the WORD. Thanks for the space Mike.

bepatient said...

Have any of you read the Grace Awakening? We just finished up a study on the book of James and this is our new series...

What I know so far it sounds really good, but I just wondered if anyone else had read it?

I think it is pretty much on target with some of the discussion we have had lately.

Junkster said...

bepatient said...
Have any of you read the Grace Awakening? We just finished up a study on the book of James and this is our new series...

If you're referring to the book by Chuck Swindoll, yes, I have read it, and would recommend it.

samuel said...

Armin,


To make your argument work, there has to be error on Nathan's part as well as Davids.

Acts 13:22 "After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.'

David was a man of God's heart. He wanted to build a temple, God wanted one built. Nathan wasn't wrong telling David to do what his heart desired. God certainly provided detail but the Temple was built and David did a lot of the prep work.

bepatient said...

yes junks, that is the one.

samuel said...

Titus 1,2,3.

truthseeker arminius said...

Have any of you read the Grace Awakening? We just finished up a study on the book of James and this is our new series...

What I know so far it sounds really good, but I just wondered if anyone else had read it?

I think it is pretty much on target with some of the discussion we have had lately.


bepatient, that's an outstanding book.

One section in particular spoke to me. Swindoll pointed out that we need to show people grace by leaving them alone. Our tendency is to try to force others into our way of thinking, but we need to give them the freedom to learn on their own and not control them.

God gives us the freedom to make mistakes, and we should do the same to others. We show ourselves to be very judgemental and self-righteous when we don't.

(I'd also recommend "Who's REALLY Driving the Purpose Driven, Emergent, Liberal, Hand Raising, Swaying, Saturday night worshiping, non-Wednesday night prayer meeting, gourmet coffee serving, guitar playing, open collared Contemporary Church.")

Junkster said...

samuel said...
We have to go from the model of salvation we see being taught today:

Imputed righteousness through belief to SAVED. Period

To: Imputed righteousness, walk, training, learning, obedience, growing from spiritual children to adults in Christ, moving on from milk to meat and then finally, SALVATION.


I think this is confusing two different parts of salvation, justification and sanstification, with each other. Salvation in the sense of justification, deliverance from the penalty of sin, a change of nature, the new birth, adoption into the family of God, is soley on the basis of imputed righteousness, received by faith only.

Unfortunately, as important as this aspect of salvation is, it is not the whole story, and in modern evagelicalism there is often little teaching on God's on-going work of salvation in sanctification and purification, delivery from the power of sin, and the resulting maturing in works of righteousness and holiness.

But it is not that we are not "fully" saved until we are mature in the faith. We possess salvation, with all its eternal blessings, from the moment we exercise genuine faith. From there, as we mature in Christ, we grow into a fuller realization, experience, and expression of what we already possess. Thus we can say that we have been saved, are being saved, and ultimately, one day, will be saved (glorification) not only from sins penalty and its power, but also from its presence (within us and around us).

truthseeker arminius said...

To make your argument work, there has to be error on Nathan's part as well as Davids.

Saw that one coming a mile away, sam.

"But the LORD said to my father David, 'Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart.

There was no error on David's part, only sin that kept God from using him to build the temple. It's never wrong to want to serve the Lord, only to disobey him.

Like say, a prophet who speaks on his behalf without really having a word from him yet.

Junkster said...

truthseeker arminius said...
(I'd also recommend "Who's REALLY Driving the Purpose Driven, Emergent, Liberal, Hand Raising, Swaying, Saturday night worshiping, non-Wednesday night prayer meeting, gourmet coffee serving, guitar playing, open collared Contemporary Church.")

Isn't that the new nickname for BBC? :)

samuel said...

Titus 3
1Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

10A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

truthseeker arminius said...

Imputed righteousness, walk, training, learning, obedience, growing from spiritual children to adults in Christ, moving on from milk to meat and then finally,SALVATION

Hold the phones, Sam. To say that someone has the imputed righteousness of Christ but is not saved is, well, wrong.

The narrow gate is at the beginning of the road, not the end. Sanctification takes place along the way, and the 'imparted' righteousness we receive enables us to strive for holiness by making us partakers of the divine nature.

To say you have to work for your salvation is quite, ummmm, arminian of you...

truthseeker arminius said...

truthseeker arminius said...
(I'd also recommend "Who's REALLY Driving the Purpose Driven, Emergent, Liberal, Hand Raising, Swaying, Saturday night worshiping, non-Wednesday night prayer meeting, gourmet coffee serving, guitar playing, open collared Contemporary Church.")

Isn't that the new nickname for BBC? :)


Nah, they don't worship on Saturday night yet.

Junkster said...

While y'all are wrestling over Nathan and David, consider this also: If Nathan's original statement to David was a false prophecy for which Nathan deserved to be executed, had Nathan been executed he would not have been around to bring God's word to David concerning his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband.

And if David had received the just penalty for his adultery and murder, he would have been executed -- before fathering the line from which Messiah came. Which would have made Nathan's prophecy untrue, so Nathan would be subject to execution (again?).

All clear now?

truthseeker arminius said...

Well, if David had really hustled and had Nathan stoned the second he told him not to build the temple (before he could tell him about the covenant) everything might have worked out.

I'm sure there's a lesson there for all of us.

Junkster said...

truthseeker arminius said...
Well, if David had really hustled and had Nathan stoned the second he told him not to build the temple (before he could tell him about the covenant) everything might have worked out.

I'm sure there's a lesson there for all of us.


Perhaps it is to get rid of the preacher the first time he messes up, 'cuz if you don't you'll regret it later!

samuel said...

You can find most of the elements in my earlier post here.

Hebrews 12:1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

16Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

18For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

19And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

20(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:


26Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29For our God is a consuming fire.

Armin, don't go there. He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. He does all the "work" IN us. From start to finish. He even decides when it is finished.

truthseeker arminius said...

From: Imputed righteousness through belief to SAVED. Period

To: Imputed righteousness, walk, training, learning, obedience, growing from spiritual children to adults in Christ, moving on from milk to meat and then finally, SALVATION.


Seriously, sam, if you believe in initial imputed righteousness (which is that actual righteousness of Christ) you have to admit that salvation occurs when you receive it. (Unless, perish the thought, you believe salvation can be lost!)

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven

Do you agree with the Lutherans that it's possible to resist God's work?

bepatient said...

Perhaps it is to get rid of the preacher the first time he messes up, 'cuz if you don't you'll regret it later!

Gosh, I sure am glad you are not my spouse- I wonder how our lives would be if we applied this rule to other aspects of our lives?

Husbands are to be the leaders of our homes (as the pastor is to lead the church) and we as wives are still called to submit unless our husbands are causing us to sin. I do believe when we raised our hands to vote for that man we made a commitment to him- it might be a little like a vegas wedding and maybe the fault lies with us, but we made a commitment and we should at least give him a chance to restore himself.

samuel said...

Armin,

The narrow gate is at the beginning of the road, not the end. Sanctification takes place along the way, and the 'imparted' righteousness we receive enables us to strive for holiness by making us partakers of the divine nature.

Looks like OUR devine nature needs some WORK. Is our donkey in the ditch? Imputed, not imparted.

samuel said...

Armin,

Don't go all calvanist on me now.

As to loosing your salvation, I would refer you to EZ 18:24 and Ez 33. John 15:3, 2 Peter 2:22.

1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

I thought arminians chose to follow Christ. If you can choose, can't you un-choose? Or is it a one time sort of thing? Do you have to choose in the morning when you get up or at night when you go to bed? 4 times a day?

samuel said...

Perhaps it is to get rid of the preacher the first time he messes up, 'cuz if you don't you'll regret it later!

Thanks guys! Now I know why she keeps trying to kick me out of the house!

samuel said...

Armin,

I forgot this one.

John 6:66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.

I would really like to hear how these could have been disciples, how they believed and then withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. I guess in good old Baptist terminology they were just never saved in the first place. Right?

Jon L. Estes said...

Cakes,

In your view the regular folks who post on the other site are... "folks who seek accountability and integrity from their leaders".

I don't see this at all. It is very difficult to ask someone for something that the one asking refuses to do themselves.

There is no accountability for the things said against BBC and the leadership on the other blog. There is not integrity in anyone on the other blog speaking as they do in total anonymity.

Anyone who questions the motives or words of the regulars on the other blog are quickly pounced upon and pummeled with words, called names and accused of things not even near true. One of the men from the other blog called my church trying to reach my chairman of deacons, I still have the phone number.

It is one thing to disagree but the lack of civility towards opposing thoughts is unchristian behavior.

The call to transparency begins with those making the call. So far, it has not occurred.

martin luther arminius said...

Pastor Estes,

Are you sure it was one of nass' people? They don't seem like the kind who'd deliberately try to cause trouble in a church.



HAAA HAAAAAA HAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ohh, that's a good one!

martin luther arminius said...

bepatient said...
"Perhaps it is to get rid of the preacher the first time he messes up, 'cuz if you don't you'll regret it later!"

Gosh, I sure am glad you are not my spouse- I wonder how our lives would be if we applied this rule to other aspects of our lives?


Hey, they don't call him the junkster for nothing.

Junkster said...

bepatient said...
Gosh, I sure am glad you are not my spouse-

As is your spouse, I'm sure, and mine.

I wonder how our lives would be if we applied this rule to other aspects of our lives?

'Twas merely a joke, my dear bepat.

Junkster said...

martin luther arminius said...
Hey, they don't call him the junkster for nothing.

Ummmm... thanks, mla ... I think...

Junkster said...

Jon L. Estes said...
There is no accountability for the things said against BBC and the leadership on the other blog. There is not integrity in anyone on the other blog speaking as they do in total anonymity.

So...because I post here under the name Junkster instead of some other name that would be meaningless to you anyway, I lack integrity? Does that go for everyone who posts on this blog under a screen name also?

Ever heard of sour grapes? A little introspection might do you a world of good, Jon.

martin luther arminius said...

So...because I post here under the name Junkster instead of some other name that would be meaningless to you anyway, I lack integrity? Does that go for everyone who posts on this blog under a screen name also?

That's right, junk. You should drop the facade.

Martin

Jon L. Estes said...

Junkster said...

So...because I post here under the name Junkster instead of some other name that would be meaningless to you anyway, I lack integrity? Does that go for everyone who posts on this blog under a screen name also?

Ever heard of sour grapes? A little introspection might do you a world of good, Jon.

7:44 PM, August 14, 2007


Using any name that is not your own and whining the way others don't show transparency, accountability or integrity or calling others names and inferring that those who differ from you concerning the direction of BBC are less than Christian is sinful from beginning to end.

Yet Junkster, I don't have to do introspection here because I know who I am and so can anyone who chooses to look at my blog.

I'm not the coward and there are no sour grapes just a broken heart at the lack of Christin behavior being demonstrated behind the anonymous curtain.

Junkster said...

Pastoral Search Report

We do not have a happy report to give. We’ve not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect still. We do appreciate all the suggestions from the church members, and we’ve followed up each one with interviews or calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report on the present candidates.

Adam: Good man but problems with his wife. Also one reference told of how his wife and he enjoy walking nude in the woods.

Noah: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.

Abraham: Though the references reported wife-swapping, the facts seem to show he never slept with another man’s wife, but did offer to share his own wife with another man.

Joseph: A big thinker, but a braggart, believes in dream-interpreting, and has a prison record.

Moses: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator, even stuttering at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.

David: The most promising leader
of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor’s wife.

Solomon: Great preacher but our parsonage would never hold all those wives.

Elijah: Prone to depression-collapses under pressure.

Elisha: Reported to have lived with a single widow while at his former church.

Hosea: A tender and loving pastor but our people could never handle his wife’s occupation.

Deborah: Female.

Jeremiah: Emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, always lamenting things, and reported to have taken a long trip to bury his underwear on the bank of foreign river.

Isaiah: On the fringe? Claims to have seen angels in church. Has trouble with his language.

Jonah: Refused God’s call into ministry until he was forced to obey by getting swallowed up by a great fish. He told us the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.

Amos: Too backward and unpolished. With some seminary training he might have promise, but has a hang-up against wealthy people. Might fit in better in a poor congregation.

John: Says he is a Baptist, but definitely doesn’t dress like one. Has slept in the outdoors for months on end, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.

Peter: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper—even has been known to curse. Had a big run-in with Paul in Antioch. Aggressive, but a loose cannon.

Paul: Powerful CEO type leader and fascinating preacher. However, short on tact, unforgiving with younger ministers, harsh and has been known to preach all night.

Timothy: Too young.

Jesus: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5000 he managed to offend them all and this church dwindled down to twelve people. Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he’s single.

Judas: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We’re inviting him to preach this Sunday. Possibilities here.

calvin said...

Don't forget Diotrephes, He would fit right in. You might try him next week.

Junkster said...

Jon L. Estes said...
Using any name that is not your own and whining the way others don't show transparency, accountability or integrity or calling others names and inferring that those who differ from you concerning the direction of BBC are less than Christian is sinful from beginning to end.

That isn't what you said, and I'm skeptical that that's what you meant, as it has seemed to me in the past like you've sometimes put forth tagnential counterpoints to keep from "losing" an argument. But anyway, I can't completely disagree with what you've stated as you have now stated it.

Yet Junkster, I don't have to do introspection here because I know who I am and so can anyone who chooses to look at my blog.

Seems to me we all could benefit from a little humility and willingness to examine our hearts and how we come across to others.

I'm not the coward and there are no sour grapes just a broken heart at the lack of Christin behavior being demonstrated behind the anonymous curtain.

You seem to equate anonymity with cowardice, and write as if being anonymous is the problem. It is not. I've seen plenty of nastiness and snottiness demonstrated by those who use their real names, too.

Tell me, Jon -- who wrote the book of Hebrews? Do you know? Not asking for your personal opinion, asking for documented, hard facts. Unless you've got some special revelation from God not contained in the Bible, I think you'd have to admit that the author is unknown.

Anonymity isn't the problem; hardness of heart is. And that problem isn't exclusive to those who go by a screen name, and it isn't unheard of in those who use the name their momma's gave them.

I don't see your heart, so I don't really know if you've got feelings of annoyance over being "banned", just as I can't really know if you're heart broken over the sins of others. But I do think that when someone has genuine concern over the devastation that people bring on themselves and others by their sins, one of the signs is tenderness toward all concerned. So far I'm not sensing that from your remarks. Just sounds to me like you're being critical of others for being critical. And that's fine with me, if that's how you really feel; I just think if someone is really just annoyed by something and their speaking/writing sounds like they are annoyed, it's better to just say "that annoys me" than to say "it breaks my heart."

Jon L. Estes said...

Junkster,

That you would compare what you and others write on the other forum under the cloak of anonymity with the author of Hebrews is down right idiotic.

One civil simple reason. The author of Hebrews is unknown because God has not chosen to reveal who He had to write His inspired words.

Your words are no where near inspired of God. They may be inspiring to the select few who are allowed to post on the open forum but I would compare it to inciting a riot.

But then again, Steve Gaines is the only enemy.

martin luther arminius said...

Actually, I've found junkster's posts to be somewhat agreeable and mildly amusing (to a certain kind of person).

He's the only blogger who isn't scared to visit here, and doesn't feel we're demon possessed. You know,

That oppressive feeling may be easily explained. Did you hear the rustle of wings? Or see a fleeting shadow cross your path? The swirling battle may be so much closer than we think…Some may even be feeling the claws on their backs and hot sulfuric breath on their necks…

and such.

martin luther arminius said...

Does anyone know if Germantown Baptist has a member directory with contact information, or are they lawbreakers like BBC?

If they do have one, why is it necessary for Jim Haywood's 'savingbellevue' spectacle to publicize his criticisms about them to the world?

And I'm also a little fuzzy on how the GBC stuff fits the 'savingbellevue' mission statement.

Junkster said...

Jon L. Estes said...
That you would compare what you and others write on the other forum under the cloak of anonymity with the author of Hebrews is down right idiotic.

That you would twist the point of my words into a comparison of my or others writings' to the scripture is down right pathetic. I said no such thing--and if you didn't already know that (and aren't just continuing in your combative and argumentative stance to avoid examining the merits of your own position and those of others), I might have to start feeling sorry for you. But just to spell it out, what I was saying was that anonymity is not inherently evil (as evidenced by the fact that some biblical authors are unknown), and anonymity is not the cause of problems; hard human hearts are.

Your words are no where near inspired of God.

Of course not.

They may be inspiring to the select few who are allowed to post on the open forum

I doubt it.

but I would compare it to inciting a riot.

I don't understand what you mean by "it"? My words? Here, or on NBBCOF? Or others' words? Or the existance of the blog itself? It isn't a living entity capable of anything, so maybe you mean the totality of what is written there, by me and/or by others. Since I don't know what you're talking about, I can't make the connection to inciting a riot, but I'm having a hard time seeing how anything I've said or anyone there has said could even remotely be compared to encouraging mob violence.

But then again, Steve Gaines is the only enemy.

Our only true enemies are the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly realms. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (other humans) but against those dark powers. It is they who mislead us into thinking our brothers and sisters are our enemies.

Junkster said...

martin luther arminius said...
Does anyone know if Germantown Baptist has a member directory with contact information, or are they lawbreakers like BBC?

I don't know if they do or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. It is more the rule than the exception for mega churches to keep a tight rein on the flow of information to and regarding the membership. There are some practical reasons for that in a large church, as well as some instances where certain folks just like being in a position of control.

I can understand the reasons why the BBC administration didn't want to provide the membership list to those who requested it, but I don't believe that those reasons were legally sufficient grounds to withhold it. But apparently their lawyers did, or they were at least banking on the unliklihood that people would take their church to court. JMO.

WatchingHISstory said...

JohntheBaptist

You said on the other blog:
"Amazed, Watching keeps blaming DR for PW. He thinks that if DR was in tune with the Holy Spirit that he would have revealed the PW situation.

He has been singing that same song for months now. So I turn the tables on him and blame him for the whole thing. Makes just as much sense as his theory."

It would not have been AR revealing PW it would have been the Holy Spirit.

Since by your theory you are blaming me for the PW situation.
Why don't we blame the Holy Spirit?

Was the Holy Spirit negligent? I don't think so. Did he have a purpose in keeping it quiet?Seventeen years is a long time to go undetected.

Or did the Holy Spirit inform people in obtuse ways? Surely AR received some spiritual premonition
that could have led to the truth.

Isn't Bellevue the Lord's Church?

Shouldn't these question cause us to examine ourselves as to our sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Memphis said...

I really hope everyone got to hear David Platt tonight at BBC. It was a remarkable service and the choir and orchestra were strong. The message was wonderful and I wish those that say BBC is dead would have seen the response to the message. BBC may have some issues to work out, but the LORD is still working through the church.

Honestly, if you could not attend the service tonight, get the tape.


And MB, I can't remember what church you said you are attending now, but this young preacher was outstanding!

Mike Bratton said...

Junkster said...

...

Our only true enemies are the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly realms. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (other humans) but against those dark powers. It is they who mislead us into thinking our brothers and sisters are our enemies.


Spectacular point. Excellent observation.

Considering that point as axiomatic, how does one explain the purposeful, planned, repeated attacks on Bellevue staff? You know--the Nazi allusions, the pronouncement of other believers as being unsaved, the death threats, and the most recent allegations of a homosexual relationship?

Again, a stellar observation, Junk. Thank you.

--Mike

P.S.: We're not attending David Platt's church, but he's a phenomenal young preacher--we've been blessed to hear him several times. I understand that folks from our church here in Birmingham, a church which doesn't hold a Sunday evening service, attend Dr. Platt's church on Sunday nights just to hear him preach.

johnthebaptist said...

watchinghistory said...

Why don't we blame the Holy Spirit?

1) don't include me when you say we.

2) the Holy Spirit can not sin. Blaming the Holy Spirit for anything is blasphamy


You started this whole AR/PW mess. Get over it. You emailed me and I will answer you there when I get time, in private. Stop bringing everything in the public arena...unless you want me to answer you here.

товарищ arminius said...

jtb:

Stop bringing everything in the public arena.


товарищ arminius:

Good one!

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said...

jtb:

Stop bringing everything in the public arena.

товарищ arminius:

Good one!


JTB: I guess you keep changing your name is because you are trying to pose as an angel of light? Or a wolf in sheeps clothing?
Doesn't that make you a hyprocrite? Now you can start going back to church with what you called "all the hyprocrites.

Either way, you aren't fooling anyone.


What to see a real funny one???
truthseeker arminius <----BAAAAAAAAAA! Now that's funny!!!

товарищ arminius said...

Here's an even funnier funny:

Truthseeker johnthebaptist!!!!!!

BTW, what did you mean by this?

There will be an accounting for their actions sooner than they think.

Just askin.

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said...
Here's an even funnier funny:

Truthseeker johnthebaptist!!!!!!


jtb: That has a WONDERFUL ring to it. You may call me that from now on....Except it is MR. Truthseeker JohntheBaptist to you.

товарищ arminius said...

Mr. Truthseeker jtb,

The title of this thread is 'Let's wait' to see if the behavior gets any more Christian on the NBBCOF.

Based on some of this morning's lowlights, do you think it's improving?

I wonder who will be appointed the new Cardinals and Bishops in this new arena?

Maybe its time for this: Church members sue pastor

Darkness has filled that place, and I cannot help but think of Dr Rogers' statement, "It's getting gloriously dark".

There will be a reckoning for what has been done, whether Steve Gaines acknowledges it or not.
God does not listen to the prayers of the prideful or of the unrepentant. So no matter how much to talk about prayer, it is not going to do anyone any good unless they humble themselves and confess their sins. So far that ain't gonna happen.

Cult, indeed, driven by pride and greed, unsupported by Scripture, pleasing to the evil one.

All I can say is Lord please work in the hearts of these folks who have turned from You.

So lets compare the new bellevue with the OLD Bellevue. See the difference? GOD HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

Even if I supported him as the pastor, I would be horrified by the " cultish" prayers that are being taught to these children!!
Just another example of the self serving nature that permeates Bellevue since Steve's arrival.

We've been told BBC's governance is "Pastor led, committee operated, deacon served and congregation approved." I suggest a revision: "Pastor bled, committee obfuscated, deacons serfed, congregation: abused."

Kerygma said... "This feels cultic."
Amen! That is because it is cultic.

The Two Rivers situation
[a pastor accused of adultery and pornography addiction] sounds eerily familiar. I should say it's a clone of BBC's.

Apostasy in any church should be the concern of all believers, so I don't think events at BBC are none of your business.

memphis said....
"I did not go there to count people, but I would say there was not 400, but they sure sounded like it...."
Have you not seen the audio equipment - the ones they use to play tapes in the background...sing along with Jamie tapes:) The volume must have been turned up.

My personal opinion....C-U-L-T!

This borders on popery. It sets the stage for idol worship of a man. David Koresh and Jim Jones come to mind. Please, oh please, don’t serve any Kool Aid to these children!
May God have mercy…


If this is your idea of 'truthseeking' then I don't see why you covet the title, but I agree you deserve the eminent title of 'Mr'.

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius

Like I have said many, many times before...I don't agree with everything everyone says there or here. You didn't read anything like that from my posts there.

If you will look over the posts, I don't jump on every band wagon that comes along. I do believe some posts things that shouldn't be posted.

I don't "covet" the title MR. I was just messing with you. Lighten up.

johnthebaptist said...

oops, sorry товарищ arminius, I don't covet the "truthseeker" title. That and the "mr" was me just messing with you.

bepatient said...

Darkness has filled that place

Do they really have no idea how insulting that is to those that remain? Basically they are saying that not only is SG evil, so are all the rest of us. I guess that whole thing about 'wherever two or more are gathered in my name there I am also' doesn't matter.

I know I am supposed to be compassionate and patient and kind, but for people that claim to be hurting don't they realize how hurtful they are being when they say stuff like this?

Memphis said...

Just to clearify....

memphis said....
"I did not go there to count people, but I would say there was not 400, but they sure sounded like it...."

Have you not seen the audio equipment - the ones they use to play tapes in the background...sing along with Jamie tapes:) The volume must have been turned up.

The second part of that quote did not originate with me, but it was another reply to me complimenting the choir and how well they sounded. The point I was trying to make is that I did not attend the service to look for things that were wrong or misleading, but that I went to hear a great message which I did.

Mike Bratton said...

Thanks for importing the "lowlights."

Are all those quotes the words of people who are exercising personal responsibility in what they say?

If you don't agree with those words, have you asked the people dispensing them to stop doing so?

And if you haven't, why not?

--Mike

johnthebaptist said...

Mike, who are you directing your last comment towards?

If me, I have. Even today.

WatchingHISstory said...

JTB

I emailed you because I am banned there. I would rather have a public reply than a private one.

So you probally started the SG/PW mess, if you want to resort to school yard arguing!

Charles Page
Collierville

Mike Bratton said...

Oh, I'm asking everybody--no one in particular.

Now, I'm not under any particular illusion that there'll be thoughtful responses and substantive discussion when folks request that the personal responsibility level be amped up, but there's always hope.

And this debate has long ago passed the point where any version of "I don't agree, but I just ignore the really nasty stuff instead of insisting they repent of it, 'cause they're really nice people" was an acceptable response.

Proverbs 28:23 "He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue."

--Mike

johnthebaptist said...

WatchingHISstory said...
JTB

I emailed you because I am banned there. I would rather have a public reply than a private one.

So you probally started the SG/PW mess, if you want to resort to school yard arguing!


JTB: Ok, I understand the first paragraph.

The second paragraph I will answer with the words of the Geico caveman......AAAAAA WHAT?

johnthebaptist said...

Charles, I will give a brief response to your email. Sorry I don't have time for a full response now.

I think your vision is inconsistant with scripture. There is no way that God would be judging DR now and sit him on a stool to watch what is happening to BBC.
NO WHERE IN SCRIPTURE IS THAT EVER PICTURED OR TALKED ABOUT.
Noing your penticostal past, it doesn't surprise me of your visions. The problem is, that it(the vision) didn't come from God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and what you described to me is not in His character.

You are so sure that DR should have known about PW but I keep asking you is this, why didn't you know? Why didn't your vision happen sooner? Why didn't you have a vision of PW's problem years ago?

Charles, lets be real. Whatever DR has to be accountable for, he will be accountable to God and God alone. You do not factor in the equation at all.

You vision makes no sense. No biblical basis for your vision or your interpetation.

Your fasination with DR and PW is sort of odd. You really need to move on to something else.

You claim because DR got on a woman for clapping her hands, that it is a man ruled church. You said you felt her embarrasment.
How do you know she was embarrased? Should he have let her go wild like the pentecostals do? You have no basis for your accusation.

DR was a humble, holy, spirit filled man of God. My and thousands of others, have had our spirit bear witness with his spirit that he was from God. The Holy Spirit has confirmed this.

WatchingHISstory said...

Geico caveman (said)......AAAAAA WHAT?

caveman said: "You started this whole AR/PW mess. Get over it."

We do know that PW (started) committed the sin of commission (sodomy) and the facts seem to say that AR committed the sin of omission. (neglect) Steve Gaines inherited the mess. And made a greater mess. NBBCOF is contributing to an even greater mess.

I would like to see SG get a little more respect and from your comments today on the other forum you are extending some respect to him in reference to the Hispanic Church.

johnthebaptist said...

We do know that PW (started) committed the sin of commission (sodomy) and the facts seem to say that AR committed the sin of omission. (neglect) Steve Gaines inherited the mess. And made a greater mess. NBBCOF is contributing to an even greater mess.

I would like to see SG get a little more respect and from your comments today on the other forum you are extending some respect to him in reference to the Hispanic Church.


JTB: Charles, you know NOTHING of which you speak. To say you know that DR commited the sin of Omission is putting yourself on equal plain as GOD which is blasphemeous. YOU HAVE NO FACTS CHARLES and to say that you do is quite frankly, lying. Your vision is not proof of anything from God.

Steve didn't inherit nothing but caused problems by his own sin. The mess gets worse because he ignores scripture, tries to cover up is sin and is prideful.

What makes you think I am showing Steve some respect because I what I said about the Hispanic pastor? You are wrong again. They are two different issues.

YOU need to show some respect to Dr. Rogers.

WatchingHISstory said...

2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (King James Version)
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

John, I will be silent when God says be silent.

I have confided in many local ordained ministers and only two rejected what I had to say one was a "penticostal" and the other a charismatic all the others were SBC, three at Bellevue. One, not at Bellevue, was upset with me for saying what I said but said "his Spirit bore witness with my Spirit" he just couldn't process the information. He recognized the truth of what I had to say but it was more than he could handle.

Many ministers recognize the problem of mega-church celebrity pastors and if God chooses me to deal with the problem it becomes my burden to bear.

I will not be the first to be accused of blasphemy or lying.

Respect begins and ends with God. Am I showing disrespect to DR Rogers (your comment comming from NBBCOF who delights in showing disrespect to SG) or being obedient to God. I will be obedient to God.

And I am certain your reply is that NBBCOF is obedient to God.

Meet me in judgement!

solomon said...

I had truly hoped to see some progress, but some things (other than a certain troll's screen name) never change.

Larry, if you're out there, I replied to your email but it bounced back. Thanks, and I think you're right.

Keith

Mike Bratton said...

Somehow I'm guessing it's just perhaps maybe remotely possibly within the realm of imagination to:

1) Love God wholeheartedly,

2) At least respect Adrian Rogers--who, from all I know, loved God wholeheartedly (and whose faith is now sight), and

3) At least respect Steve Gaines--who, from all I know, loves God wholeheartedly.

For your rumination.

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

caveman said:

"DR was a humble, holy, spirit filled man of God. My and thousands of others, have had our spirit bear witness with his spirit that he was from God. The Holy Spirit has confirmed this."

You go and say the kind of things you accuse me of. Where in the Bible does it say AR was a humble, holy, spirit filled man of God?

Only thing that we can know from the Word is that he will stand before God for the things he has done here on earth. Like you and me.

Remember there will be many on that day who will say Lord, Lord....

The Holy Spirit has confirmed this to you and you are not even a "penticostal" How could this happen?

товарищ arminius said...

From Neverland:

Jack Bauer said...
Do you mean to tell me parents are allowing, and in some cases even encouraging their children to pray for their pastor.

JTB: Have you read the prayer cards? If you have and still agree with them, tell Steve hello from all of us when he takes you out to dinner on BBC's dime. You must be buddys.


Mr. Truthseeker JTB,
Do I need to lighten up here? Or did you judgementaly condemn somebody for daring to not share your viewpoint?

So if someone has no concerns with the card to pray for SG, they're the enemy? A Kool Aid drinker? Pleasing to the evil one? Sticking their head in the sand? A member of the billionaire's club? A ring kisser? A troll?

Gosh, I guess there's a lot of us out here...

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius -- did you read the prayer cards? Do you agree with them? Then you have more issues than can be addressed here.

Good luck.

johnthebaptist said...

watchinghistory....

You have so many issues and twisting and ignoring scripture is just but two of them.

I will not waste anymore time with you.

Just like everyone else on both blogs....I will not be bothered with you and your craziness.

johnthebaptist said...

watchinghistory said...

Meet me in judgement


JTB: you I will not meet in the Judgement.

It is the Lord Jesus who will be my Judge. It will be His precious blood that will wash my sins and His sacrifice that will allow me in heaven.

The more I read from you the more I know everyone is correct about you.

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
The clock is ticking, but let's be patient.

Is that some sort of terroristic death threat??

:)

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said....


Mr. Truthseeker JTB,
Do I need to lighten up here? Or did you judgementaly condemn somebody for daring to not share your viewpoint?

So if someone has no concerns with the card to pray for SG, they're the enemy? A Kool Aid drinker? Pleasing to the evil one? Sticking their head in the sand? A member of the billionaire's club? A ring kisser? A troll?

Gosh, I guess there's a lot of us out here...



JTB: Judgementaly condemn someone? You mean like you just did to me? Hypocrite are ya? Maybe you should start going to church so you might have an idea of what you are saying. Maybe then you might have some credibility. Instead, you just sit at home playing an armchair christian. You said that you don't go to church because of all the hypocrites. Why? Too much like you? I know where you can get some prayer cards.

You said.....

So if someone has no concerns with the card to pray for SG, they're the enemy? A Kool Aid drinker? Pleasing to the evil one? Sticking their head in the sand? A member of the billionaire's club? A ring kisser? A troll?

JTB: I have never, ever made any one of these statements. You are lying if you said I said these things but why would anyone expect anything else from you?

товарищ arminius said...

You mean like you just did to me? Hypocrite are ya?

'Hypocrite' means play actor. A phony. Different on the outside than the inside. Since I don't pretend to be overflowing with warm fuzzy feelings for 'fellow' Christians and claim to be perfect (well, one time maybe) I can be as judgemental and critical as I want to be without being artificial.

I just think it's ironic that we have so much in common.

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said...
You mean like you just did to me? Hypocrite are ya?

'Hypocrite' means play actor. A phony. Different on the outside than the inside. Since I don't pretend to be overflowing with warm fuzzy feelings for 'fellow' Christians and claim to be perfect (well, one time maybe) I can be as judgemental and critical as I want to be without being artificial.

I just think it's ironic that we have so much in common.




JTB:

Hypocrite means:
a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

While looking this up, you picture was next to it.

Not only you twist scripture, you twist definitions too.

You said....

I can be as judgemental and critical as I want to be without being artificial.


JTB: you are so artifical, your plastic. You seem to have different rules for yourself.

You can be critical and judgemental but no one else can. You expose your hyprcritical self and your ignorance by your own words.

You said.....

I just think it's ironic that we have so much in common.

JTB: Me too! We are playing horse...I am the horses head and you are just being yourself.

Junkster said...

A worthwhile quote I encountered while "blog surfing":

I will not quarrel with you about my opinions; only see that your heart is right toward God, that you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ; that you love your neighbor, and walk as your Master walked, and I desire no more. I am sick of opinions; am weary to bear them; my soul loathes this frosty food. Give me solid and substantial religion; give me a humble, gentle lover of God and man; a man full of mercy and good faith, without partiality and without hypocrisy; a man laying himself out in the work of faith, the patience of hope, the labor of love. Let my soul be with these Christians wheresoever they are, and whatsoever opinion they are of.
---John Wesley

товарищ arminius said...

hyp·o·crite

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.


As you can see, 'hypocrite' has a meaning that has nothing to do with religion. You chose the religious connotation, and since I chose the other you say I'm "twisting" the definition. (I suppose if someone agreed with my usage they'd be a kool aid drinker?)

I told you clearly what I mean when I say hypocrite, but you'd rather go to dictionary.com to prove me wrong. It's more important to you that you win the argument than to understand my point. I guess you picked up that habit from the other blog.

A good thing to have said would have been 'gee, you're using the word in an unconventional way'. Instead you chose the NBBCOF method of 'I'm right, you're wrong and stupid too'.

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said.....

As you can see, 'hypocrite' has a meaning that has nothing to do with religion. You chose the religious connotation, and since I chose the other you say I'm "twisting" the definition. (I suppose if someone agreed with my usage they'd be a kool aid drinker?)

I told you clearly what I mean when I say hypocrite, but you'd rather go to dictionary.com to prove me wrong. It's more important to you that you win the argument than to understand my point. I guess you picked up that habit from the other blog.

A good thing to have said would have been 'gee, you're using the word in an unconventional way'. Instead you chose the NBBCOF method of 'I'm right, you're wrong and stupid too'.



JTB: now now, don't get mad. Did I win the arguement? Did I choose the religious definition @ dictionary.com? I didn't know I had a choice between religious and secular.
I chose the one I meant. You made yours up.

I didn't mean to do things like NBBCOF. It just seems like that no one can do or say anything to please you.

What is it with the Kool aid comment? You seem hung up on that. I never have one time said that. I have never condoned it. I never called you stupid.

I will try to make you happy one more time... here goes.....


'gee, you're using a lot of words in an unconventional way'.


Happy?

товарищ arminius said...

I didn't know I had a choice between religious and secular.
I chose the one I meant. You made yours up.


I didn't exactly make it up, since the word's etymology reveals that it comes from the word 'actor': [Origin: 1175–1225; ME ipocrite < OF < LL hypocrita < Gk hypokrits a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not, equiv. to hypokr(nesthai) (see hypocrisy) + -tés agent suffix]

Happy?

The only thing that would really make me happy is if someone would prove me wrong about the people populating the church. Tell me, what did you think of 'sickofthelies' (she never said whose lies) response to 'jack bauers' post yesterday? Edifying? Encouraging? Welcoming? Christlike?

Cakes would say that she's got the right to say whatever bitter words pop into her head unhindered by God's Word because she's suffered abuse.

I disagree. Do you? It seems like the blogs are split now between people who are appalled by bad behavior and those who accept it.

Just once I'd like to hear someone from over there that a faithful Christian shouldn't spew hatred.

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said...

The only thing that would really make me happy is if someone would prove me wrong about the people populating the church. Tell me, what did you think of 'sickofthelies' (she never said whose lies) response to 'jack bauers' post yesterday? Edifying? Encouraging? Welcoming? Christlike?

Cakes would say that she's got the right to say whatever bitter words pop into her head unhindered by God's Word because she's suffered abuse.

I disagree. Do you? It seems like the blogs are split now between people who are appalled by bad behavior and those who accept it.

Just once I'd like to hear someone from over there that a faithful Christian shouldn't spew hatred.


I didn't read what SOTL said. Maybe she shouldn't have said whatever you think she shouldn't have said. Being a victim is not a license to say whatever you want. However, I am not in her shoes and I don't have the feelings/hurt she has. I know what you are saying but maybe grace would help from both sides.


You said....

Just once I'd like to hear someone from over there that a faithful Christian shouldn't spew hatred.


JTB: I agree. Faithful Christians shouldn't spew hatred. Like I said before, there are things said on the other blog that I don't agree with and make me cringe. The same goes for here. I do distance myself from those remarks.

I would also ask that you don't lump everyone there all together. We are not all the same.

While we may agree on somethings, we certainly don't agree on everything, or how we express ourselves.

I get testy sometimes and get a little smart (like a lot of people here and there) but I can honestly say that I don't hate anyone here.

товарищ arminius said...

I get testy sometimes and get a little smart (like a lot of people here and there) but I can honestly say that I don't hate anyone here.

I hope this doesn't ruin our relationship, but I agree with that. If I were at a point in life that I was praying regularly, I'd pray for each person on both blogs.

My biggest problem is that so little actual dialogue takes place. It's mostly just potshots and seeing who can make the most pithy comments.

The latest thread over there is to criticize Gaines for his alleged 'I'm going to teach Bellevue to be a praying church' comment. (I say alleged, because all I've heard him say was that he wanted Bellevue to be a praying church.) There's a great sense of outrage that he would say that their spiritual condition was not optimal. Yet amidst the posts is a comment by 'bromichael' which states:
Maybe that's why revival and spiritual awakening have become so elusive... why carnality reigns inside so many church walls... why so few Christians live their faith outside their church walls.

Where's the outrage over that? "So few Christians live their faith outside their church walls?" That's a very pointed statement.

I read that NASS said she prayed for SG everyday. I believe her, but it's not at all obvious from her posts. And what about the trainwreck called 'savingbellevue'? Haywood really lit into GBC recently. But in all the time he was happy with them did he ever say anything good about them? Why not, exactly?

And maybe I don't understand 'sickofthelies' suffering. But maybe she doesn't understand mine, either. Does she sound like a woman who had experienced the healing touch of Jesus in her life? Did the scandal undo all that somehow?

Maybe, just maybe (tm) one of the reasons all this is happening is so that REAL healing can take place. What if one of her blog friends who know her at a deeper level than that 'Bible Fellowship' junk were to gently let her know that it's inappropriate for a Christian to tell someone to 'stay away from my children, pervert' because of where they go to church, she might begin to experience a more permanent healing than going to church every Sunday and pretending that all is well.

The NBBCOF could be a good thing, but until the regulars stop doing the very thing they accuse Gaines of, winking at sin, it can't be.

товарищ arminius said...

Here's a perfect example of what it is that disgusts me.

Dear Friend, you need to study scripture before you comment here. You certainly are not learning it at BBC.

If I were to study scripture and reach a different conclusion than "lin/lindon/lydia/esther/dorcas/etc" does that mean I haven't studied it at all? Shoot, does it even mean I'm wrong?

Is it really necessary to slam the person who posted, as well as BBC? Help me out here! Where is that in the Bible?

товарищ arminius said...

jtb...
Serving, did it occur to you that the Lord left when we left? A lot of godly people have left. All the ones I spoke with they said and I quote " couldn't hear God there anymore".
God cleans house. He moves the precious things out first so when He really starts to clean, they won't get hurt.


John, is there any other way for me to interpret what you are saying than anyone who's still there is ungodly? Not precious to God?

Dale Shipley, Audrey Lawrence, Wayne Vandersteeg, Ken Reich, Carter Threlkild, Joe Jernigan, Cary Vaughn, etc...

You say you don't hate anyone, but it sounds like you're saying the ugliest thing imaginable about anyone who's still at BBC, that they aren't loved by God.

I don't understand.

Junkster said...

товарищ arminius said...
Here's a perfect example of what it is that disgusts me.

Tattletale, tattletale!!

johnthebaptist said...

товарищ arminius said...



John, is there any other way for me to interpret what you are saying than anyone who's still there is ungodly? Not precious to God?

Dale Shipley, Audrey Lawrence, Wayne Vandersteeg, Ken Reich, Carter Threlkild, Joe Jernigan, Cary Vaughn, etc...

You say you don't hate anyone, but it sounds like you're saying the ugliest thing imaginable about anyone who's still at BBC, that they aren't loved by God.

I don't understand.


JTB: I was just giving the opposite of what serving was saying. She said that God cleaned out the church and all the godly was still there. Just giving another view.

God loves everyone. His love never fails or never stops.

This doesn't mean that just because church is going on that God is there and blessing it. <---that is a general fact, not saying it applies to BBC.

I am not saying neccessarily that God has left BBC.

Even when God punishes someone, He still loves them. If God leaves a place because of the sins of the people, He still loves them. But God's holiness will not tollerate pride and sin in a church. Another fact...not saying about BBC.

There are many who claim to be christian and use the christian lingo. Even talk about Jesus but they are not of God. Fact, Not saying about BBC.

You read waaaaay too much into my statements.

You remind me of the two old men muppets that sit in the balcony watching the show. They rip apart everything someone says and then makes jokes. <--- Just joking.

arminius, I don't hate anyone. I was just making a point. In the future, I will try to make my points more obvious so you will have no doubt of where I am coming from.

Don't let my wife know this, but I am not perfect. : )

I say things I should say and I say things in an sarcastic way.

God's love never fails even when I do.

johnthebaptist said...

I say things I should say and I say things in an sarcastic way.


I meant..I say things that I shouldn't say and I say things in a sarcastic way.

товарищ arminius said...

Junkster said...

Tattletale, tattletale!!



chirp chirp...

WatchingHISstory said...

This morning Steve Gaines invited sinners to thank God for his love, to save them from their sins and accept Christ into their hearts.

Then the song: "Put your hand in the nailed scared hand of Jesus. Christ will comfort your heart.

According to Paul in Ephesians 2 the sinner walks according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

Why would a sinner pray such a prayer and how could putting his hand in Christ's nail scared hand save him?

Would this act be according to course of this world? Would the prince of the power of the air lead the sinner to obedience to Christ?

On the other blog if I ask such questions I am listening to voices and am satanic. I get no answers from anyone!

Mike Bratton said...

WatchingHISstory said...
This morning Steve Gaines invited sinners to thank God for his love, to save them from their sins and accept Christ into their hearts.

Then the song: "Put your hand in the nailed scared hand of Jesus. Christ will comfort your heart.

According to Paul in Ephesians 2 the sinner walks according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

Why would a sinner pray such a prayer and how could putting his hand in Christ's nail scared hand save him?

Would this act be according to course of this world? Would the prince of the power of the air lead the sinner to obedience to Christ?

On the other blog if I ask such questions I am listening to voices and am satanic. I get no answers from anyone!


Ephesians 2

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

According to Paul in Ephesians 2, God does the quickening, God is rich in mercy, God raises us up, God makes us sit in heavenly places with Christ, and God saves us by grace.

Those of us who are Christians were filthy idiots in times past, but not any more.

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike

You should be pastor at Bellevue!

WatchingHISstory said...

junkster got it right on the other blog:

"But for many, many years before the advent of the seeker sensitive and related movements, evangelical churches have mistakenly focused on using regular church worship services as a (or the) primary means of evangelism. Together with a decisional orientation towards salvation (walk the aisle, pray a prayer) rather than a focus on salvation as the work of God (His Spirit by grace convicting the lost of their sin and granting them repentance and faith), this misplaced emphasis on evangelism through church services set the stage for a "by any means necessary" approach to adapting church services for evangelistic outreach.

Simply put, when the primary focus of church worship services is the lost rather than the saved, it is no surprise that the church would start to look more and more like the world."

Amen, junkster

WatchingHISstory said...

When you are predestined for heaven you come to Jesus but when you were born you were destined to hell.

"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me; and him that cometh to Me I will I will in no wise cast out" John 6:37

Some people like to change their belief to "When you come to Jesus you are predestined to heaven."

You don't choose to be elected, the Father elects. If you came to Jesus in repentance and faith it was because He "gave you to Christ" and Christ in no way cast you away!

Charles

Mike Bratton said...

...And the elect are the "whosoever wills."

Folks, I'm neither Calvinist nor Arminian, as I've said more than once around here--just a plain ol' Christian.

Just for the record.

But with regard to the actuality of predestination, while many reference this,

Romans 8:29a "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate..."

the rest of the thought gets left out:

Romans 8:29-30 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

God, not being limited by time, foreknew His children, and predestinated them to be conformed to Christ's image. The various responses to God's call have not and will not surprise Him. God is never off-guard with regard to His creation, just as He never puts one of His creation in a metaphysical half-nelson.

Those of us who are His children are, and always have been, predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ. To those of us who are, in the present day, not His children: Whosoever will, let him come after Christ, deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him.

--Mike

товарищ arminius said...

Simply put, when the primary focus of church worship services is the lost rather than the saved, it is no surprise that the church would start to look more and more like the world.

Amen, junkster


I have to amen that, too.

I think any time the 'worship' service is about anything other than God you've got a problem.

When the 'saved' start comparing themselves to the 'unsaved' it's inevitable that condemnation will take place.

That's when churches start getting holier than thou and driving away the imperfect people whose sins are undeniable, such as single mothers and us divorced people.

Oh, sure, there's plenty of false humility to go around, but the implicit message is "my sin is forgivable: yours isn't."

That's the world, all right.

WatchingHISstory said...

Folks, I'm a bold, Spitit filled and evangelistic Calvinist. I'm just a plain ol' Christian. I am a normal Bible believing Christian.

I have two very close friends at work that I have had wonderful discussions with concerning Christianity. One is Church of Christ and the other is Jehovah's Witness. They also consider themselves plain ol' Christians.
They claim to be serious Bible believers. I respect their sincerity and in most cases their knowledge of their beliefs put to shame most of the believers I associate with in my Evangelical circle.

Mike, I'm not sure how an Evangelical Christian could deny being neither Calvinist nor Arminian. You are one or the other by degrees. You may be able to be a synthesis of the two sides. But to just say you are a plain ol' Christian is a term devised to hide one's true position or to avoid a controversy.

When you are talking to a Church of Christ and a Jehovah Witness for over a year you have to break down arguments to understand what they belive what the Bible says about the way of salvation and then to clarify your position to them about your position.

The term "Bible-believing Christian" has become a nebulous identification. We can't just say we are Bible believing and just walk away thinking that all problems are resolved. Preachers can do this from the pulpits but you and I can't in a real world environment, especially when everyone around you claims to be a Bible-believer.

So, what comes first faith or regeneration? Is the sinner totally disabled spiritually or not? Does God choose sinners for salvation or do sinners choose for themselves? Is Christ's death for the elect only or for all sinners?

Can sinners resist God's grace? Can a believer lose his salvation?

It is very difficult to find a middle position. It is difficult to admit to being a four point Armininian and a one point Calvinist. Even more difficult to being a two point Calvinist and a three point Armininian.

Most SBC preachers are Armininian/semi-pelagian. Adrian Rogers was an ardent anti-Calvinist after the John Rice, Sword of the Lord camp. No one will admit it but he was Armininian. He believed in eternal security so some would say he was a moderate Calvinist (a one point calvinist yet a four point armininian)

However if one holds to a Calvinist view of eternal security, he must be a believer in a Calvinist view of Total depravity if he subscribes to perseverance of the saints. He must also subscribe to irresistable grace or effectual inward calling rather than an outward resistable calling.

However Rogers denied these so his belief in eternal security has to be a modification of Armininism from one 'losing' his salvation to a believer can 'keep' his salvation. He actually believes in eternal insecurity. While he claims to be able to keep his salvation he cannot have assurance.

He is an "inconsistent-armininian" and a Wesleyan-armininian is more consistent with his beliefs.

Charles

Tim Greer said...

Here we go with the 5 tenets vs. 5 points debate; it never fails to emerge eventually. My contribution is as follows: Arminians in the debate must be careful not to broad brush Calvinism. Not every Calvinist is a hyper-Calvinist. I have seen this done in Bible fellowship class at BBC more than once. It's the equivalent of setting up a straw man. (By hyper-Calvinist, I mean someone who holds to the doctrine of reprobation, or "double predestination," among other things.) But the Bible's teachings on election and free agency are not contradictory, despite our inability to devise a system to easily explain or reconcile the two. Those wishing a great read on the subject should pick up the book:
Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism: the Battle for Gospel Preaching by Iain Murray.

Mike Bratton said...

WatchingHISstory said...

...

Mike, I'm not sure how an Evangelical Christian could deny being neither Calvinist nor Arminian. You are one or the other by degrees. You may be able to be a synthesis of the two sides. But to just say you are a plain ol' Christian is a term devised to hide one's true position or to avoid a controversy.


Just for future reference, a response along the lines of "Hey, Mike, I don't understand your response--could you clarify your remarks, please?" goes a lot further than "You're just hiding your real position on the subject." One response facilitates discussion, while the other is just belligerent.

Actually, my friend Tim hit the nail upon the head: Election and free will are not mutually incompatible. There are elements of Calvinism that are Biblically supportable, and elements of Arminianism that are, likewise, Biblically well-grounded. If one buys into either system completely, one does so at the expense of those portions of the Bible at odds with either system. And the only cop-outs are cognitively dissonant labels such as "four-point Calvinist" or "inconsistent Arminian," phrases which belong in the same category as "speed dating," "Democrat ethics," and other oxymorons.

There is, however, a way to understand the relationship between foreknowledge and free will, but it requires that I wield the most ponderous, intricate analogy I've ever employed. (When discussing this issue in person, it also requires a large, empty bag of Ruffles potato chips.) While we're "waiting," if anyone would like me to present the analogy, I'll be happy to do so--just remember, you have been warned.

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike and Tim,

Looking at your profiles, I am no match to debate either of you. But to add to my boldness, I am belligerent and I thought I was simply naive.

Let me lay my cards out on the table so you will know exactly where I come from. On a scale of one to ten one being the smartest man I know who is a kind and humble Christian gentleman, a Dr of theology at a Christian College. He has finally (after several months of communication) explained to me that he is Keswick Reformed. That doesn't mean he is the smartesat man alive!

Ten is the direct revelation of God. My belligerent position is some where between the two.

So I am working myself backward from ten. I have heard from God by revelation that He is extremely angry with Dr Rogers for the gospel that he preached. His angry voice told Dr Rogers to "sit in this chair and watch your Bellevue crumble." So Dr Rogers is sitting in heaven and observing his wood, hay and stubble burn.

Now if you need chapter and verse read Hebrews 10:26-31

Tim, I quote you: "Legalism results from the efforts of those with weak consciences and strong opinions seeking to bind others. It is rampant in the church. Many leaders and denominations have manufactured rules that are not in the Bible, and have elevated those rules to the status of the Bible. This must stop before we all suffocate. Nor can there be compromise on these issues...

This is the position that Dr Rogers had taken and has suffocated American fundamentalism/evangelicalism. His "come to Jesus" armininianism has contributed to the mess of American Christianity.

He has "trodden under foot the son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was santified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace."

I am working backward from Fact-10 to 1- human reason. I would like to see a serious national debate take place in that people would realize we have a real theological problem that has robbed us of the real presence of God in our midst. I Cor 14:25.

In the 16th century five tenets of heresy rose against the Orthodoxy of the Dutch Church, reasoned men denounced these five points, point by point and orthodoxy prevailed.

These five heretical tenents prevail today in 5th Avenue fashion. Are there reasonable men today brave enough to rise to the defense of orthodoxy?

I am not a scholar but so help me God I will cut and paste every reasonable orthodox statement to the displeasure of these big shot celebrity Armininian preachers and see their wood, hay and stubble burn to the ground.

Do I make my position sufficiently clear?

Charles Alvin Page
Collierville, Tennessee

michelle mann said...

Yes, dear brother, please proceed! You know me, I'm not afraid of your analogies!

WatchingHISstory said...

Michelle

Speaking of analogies, can you wait to hear from Mike: "There is, however, a way to understand the relationship between foreknowledge and free will, but it requires that I wield the most ponderous, intricate analogy I've ever employed."

My simple mind seems to understand that Armininians believe that God elects to salvation all those whom He forsees will trust in Christ.

An empty bag of ruffle potato chips will disprove this! .. or prove this... whatever

товарищ arminius said...

In light of God's omniscience, I'm curious to know how he could elect anyone WITHOUT knowing what they would do.

WatchingHISstory said...

Tim

read this: http://www.the-highway.com/DoublePredestination_Sproul.html

you said: "By hyper-Calvinist, I mean someone who holds to the doctrine of reprobation, or "double predestination"

WatchingHISstory said...

Tim

I have not read Murray but have this quote from him: "Man being fallen, his will cannot be neutral or 'free' to act contrary to his nature." p. 61,62

John R. Rice tried to redefine Spurgeon's theology by explaining away hyperCalvinism. He said that Spurgeon was a nominal Calvinist, in name only and that he occasionally referenced election and predestination. "He pressed always to to get sinners saved"

Spurgeon said: "Whilst I may be railed upon as a heretic and as a hyper-Calvinist, after all, I am backed up by antiquity."

Rogers followed Rice's lead in denouncing Calvinism confusing intentionally hyper-Calvinism with the lack of evangelistic preaching "whosoever will"

Rice intentionally edited Spurgeon and thought that he was justified in doing so. This was dishonest editing and I pray in my heart that Rogers did not intentionally follow this dishonesty.

arminius the arminian said...

In light of God's omniscience, I'm curious to know how he could elect anyone WITHOUT knowing what they would do.

Junkster said...

arminius the arminian said...
In light of God's omniscience, I'm curious to know how he could elect anyone WITHOUT knowing what they would do.

Shhhhhh..... it's a secret!

The point isn't what He knew, it is whether that knowledge of a person's choice was the basis (reason) for His choice. (But I will leave it to you and Watching to determine how anyone fully knows the reasons for God's choices.)

arminius the arminian said...

Junk,

If the decision to believe isn't the basis for election, and since belief is necessary for salvation, it follows from your statement that belief is an inevitable result of election.

Quick, somebody, get the Calvinist brand!!!

arminius the arminian said...

(But I will leave it to you and Watching to determine how anyone fully knows the reasons for God's choices.)

WHS won't talk to me. :-(

Guess he doesn't like my name or persuasion. :-|

Junkster said...

arminius the arminian said...
Junk,

If the decision to believe isn't the basis for election, and since belief is necessary for salvation, it follows from your statement that belief is an inevitable result of election.


Actually that doesn't follow from my statement ... I didn't say that the decison to believe isn't the basis for election, and I didn't say that it is. I merely said that the crux of the disagreement regarding election is whether or not one affirms that election is based on a person's decision to believe. I was just stating the heart of the issue, not declaring a personal position on it.

Quick, somebody, get the Calvinist brand!!!

I can live with that. I've been called worse!

Junkster said...

arminius the arminian said...
WHS won't talk to me. :-(

Guess he doesn't like my name or persuasion. :-|


Maybe its just your personality. Or his. Or both! :)

arminius the arminian said...

I didn't say that the decison to believe isn't the basis for election, and I didn't say that it is.

Oh, choose a side already so we can start yelling at each other.

YELLING!!!!

Junkster said...

Arminius,
Sorry, I'm not big on yelling. I would at least try to insult you to make you feel more like this is an argument, but I can't think of any worse insult to call you than the screen name you've already taken upon yourself. HA!

arminius the arminian said...

I resemble that!!

Memphis said...

I was reading Savingbellevue.com today and I have a question:

1. I wonder why Riad Saba interview/conversation with the BBC staff member need to be broken into 4 parts? (Is it like the stay tuned to the nexy episode kind of thing?)

2."I was considering removing all the information regarding GBC at Chuck's request however because of a statement made by Brian White (Chairman of the Board of Directors at GBC) in a prayer before the preaching at GBC from the pulpit (Sunday Morning at the 9:30 service) stating that the attackers of GBC, that he was asking God to deal with them severely. Does this sound like a revenge thing to anyone else but me????

Memphis

WatchingHISstory said...

arminius
I agree with this:
"If the decision to believe isn't the basis for election, and since belief is necessary for salvation, it follows from your statement that belief is an inevitable result of election"

Faith and belief follow regeneration.

Predestination is the belief that God will determine events as He planned them.

Hey, I have to work for a living!!

Charles

solomon said...

Does this sound like a revenge thing to anyone else but me????

That's a very accurate description of it, and it reveals much of the present state of JH's heart.

Can't he distinguish between the words of one man and the entire congregation at GBC? Sure he can, but unless they rise up together at his call he (evidently) cares little about their well being. It's all about Jim, and woe to the man (and his church) that crosses him.

At least he has the decency to acknowledge that he's blatantly attacking GBC, since the prayer hit a nerve. Makes me think of the old Carly Simon song, 'You're So Vain'.

On the positive side of the assault on our churches, since Ryan Wingo and Lindsey Gaines are now engaged, IDC is a little closer to accuracy. They've been saying that Ryan was Lindsey's fiancee since February. One small step for man...

solomon said...

maybejustmaybe,

If you're still keeping up, have you by any chance received an anonymous letter in the mail attacking Steve Gaines? I ask because I believe you are a choir member and so far only choir members have received it.

I suspect that someone 'acquired' the choir roll and is targeting them for dissention as a means of harming the church.

arminius the arminian said...

I suspect that someone 'acquired' the choir roll and is targeting them for dissention as a means of harming the church.

Now that just sounds downright mean!

Karen said...

solomon said...
maybejustmaybe,


I suspect that someone 'acquired' the choir roll and is targeting them for dissention as a means of harming the church.


My mother and her friend received the same letter. I got an email from anther choir member who has left Bellevue (as have my parents) - so I guess whoever sent this letter sent it not knowing what "side" someone stands on. I think it was creepy that the letter came with no return address and no claim of responsibility. I KNOW it wasn't IDC - you know I wouldn't lie to you so I hope you trust me on this.

solomon said...

karen,

I don't believe it was IDC or JH either. This is a completely different issue.

Obviously I haven't approved of 'savingbellevue's' muddying the issues with everything but the kitchen sink and the collateral damage they've caused, or of IDC's carelessness of stating incorrect facts as givens.

The choir rolls are not 'guarded' (why should they be?) on Wednesdays or Sundays, and literally anybody could have walked into the room after the choir had left and stolen them. There are hundreds of names on the rolls (although many have left), and I see this as a pointed, directed attempt to sow dissention among these very important church members. It's an effort to empty the choir so that Sunday morning worship won't be as uplifting.

Whoever did this is not a friend of Bellevue, past, present, or future. Criticizing SG is one thing, trying to hinder the worship service is another.

Shame on whoever is responsible.

Memphis said...

Whoever did this is not a friend of Bellevue, past, present, or future.


I would also label them as a coward as well!

Karen said...

Just got a report from one who is NOT in the choir - he and his wife received the same letter.

When IDC asked for the names and addresses of BBC members, this surely was not what they had in mind.

For once, Memphis and Solomon, the 3 of us are in TOTAL agreement. If you're going to say something, at least give people a name to be able to give a rebuttal to. That's not fair and it's not doing anything, but pulling people further apart.

karen

Jon L. Estes said...

Karen,

There are many who will not even give their name but will throw spears at those they disagree with.

At least we all should be mature enough spiritually to stand behind our words instead of hiding behind anonymity.

Or maybe some are not mature enough spiritually.

BTW - Thanks for using your name.

Jon L. Estes said...

Just took a stroll through the other site and noticed the anonymous posters are upset about an anonymous letter being sent. Not so much about the letter but the anonymity surrounding the letter.

No name, no return address...

Is there something wrong with this picture?

Mike Bratton said...

I've requested a copy of the letter in question, and as soon as I have it, I'll be making it (or at least parts of it) available for public perusal. The Ruffles Bag Of Time article will have to wait...

Jon, you raise a fascinating point. Why in the world would anonymous posters--people who publish for, literally, all the world to see--be upset that someone has done precisely the same thing they do on a daily basis, except on a smaller scale?

And Karen, seeing as how it's hard to know who's actually a part of IDC in the first place (or if that little kaffeeklatch is even still in existence), how can you confirm that one or more of their group had no part in these shenanigans?

--Mike

solomon said...

Actually, in my mind there is a difference between blogging and the anonymous mailout.

While the content and responsibility are comparable, the letter is an invasion into peoples lives. You have to intend to go to the blog, but that letter finds its way into the hands of people who want nothing to do with the conflict (including some who have left just to escape it).

Not to mention the suspicious way that the addresses were acquired. I found out about it when a friend of my wife (a single mom) called to ask if she could stay with us for a while. She's scared to death that an anonymous stranger sent that letter to her house, and I completely understand how she feels.

I think we might be able to deduce who's responsible if we can learn which groups of peoples' addressess are being used. We know the choir was, and if we see concentrations of BFC classes and observe patterns (which parts of the building, and which hour they meet, departments, etc) we might get a good lead.

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