Thursday, September 13, 2007

Words Mean Things


A year or so ago, I wanted to leave a response on a blog. Some people were making foolish statements about the pastor of the church I attended at the time, and I wanted to articulate a perspective that wasn't based in emotionalism. In attempting to post my response, I had to register to do so; part of the registration process was the opportunity to establish my own blog.

Now, I had prayed about doing just such a thing since blogging became a significant part of the Internet, though it had never been at the top of my proverbial list. This struck me as not merely a formality, but an opportunity God was presenting to me. And as you can see, I took it.

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to write about politics, pop culture, denominationalism, and more (yes, Celine Dion is in there). But between those who are aficionados of this blog and those who attack it, I've been drawn--even after being away for nearly six months--to writing about events at my long-time home church, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. More specifically, this blog has served as a way to respond to the increasingly shrill, fact-free, and emotion-laden words being indiscriminately lobbed at Bellevue like so many verbal Molotovs by otherwise well-meaning people.

You can post your favorite term for discussion, but let's start with the biggest Bellevue-buster bomb of all, the phrase "harboring a pedophile." Pretty damning phraseology, hmm? I mean, when should we expect Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC to visit Bellevue's offices?

Turn the phrase around. Let's say Pastor Smith is harboring Mr. Jones, who is (read along using your best movie-trailer-announcer voice) on the run, accused of a crime he didn't commit! In harboring Mr. Jones, Pastor Smith demonstrates a number of things about himself, including these:

1) He thinks Mr. Jones should not have to face the law.

2) He thinks Mr. Jones should be free to live his life as he has before.

3) He wants to help Mr. Jones maintain his freedom--and his lifestyle.

Quite a step out for Pastor Smith, wouldn't you agree? But let's say that Pastor Smith actually knows that Mr. Jones is a criminal, someone who is avoiding justice. In this scenario, "harboring" Mr. Jones means Pastor Smith wants Mr. Jones to be free to maintain his criminal lifestyle. Harboring Mr. Jones, if my faulty memory serves, actually makes Pastor Smith an accessory after the fact to Mr. Jones' crimes.

With regard to the Williams case at Bellevue, make no mistake that the use of the term "harboring a pedophile" are words thought to be an unstoppable weapon against Steve Gaines. Unfortunately, those words are a deception.

Mr. Williams, while admitting to despicably harming his son over the course of a year and a half, has never been remotely linked to assaulting another human being, particularly a child in the care of Bellevue. After the time frame in which he assaulted his son, Mr. Williams has never been linked to any form of child abuse at all, anywhere.

The loaded question has often been posed "Would you let him babysit your children?", and of course I would not--nor do I think that Mr. Williams should ever been alone in the company of children. Is that because I believe him to be an active, unrepentant pedophile? Not in the slightest; I also believe that recovering alcoholics shouldn't go to places where alcohol is served, and that recovering Democrats shouldn't visit the Daily Kos, listen to Air America, or watch CNN (except for Glenn Beck, but that's a different article).

Pastor Gaines didn't have any evidence to believe Mr. Williams was an active threat to any child, and certainly didn't desire to facilitate Mr. Williams' past behavior. If the anti-Bellevue club has a favorite branding iron, it would have to be the "harboring a pedophile" label. Too bad, for them, that it's a misrepresentation.

I'm blessed to see that The Bratton Report (I'm telling you, I just might have to have t-shirts made up!) has become a place where people of varying opinions with regard to Bellevue can, in the absence of any other legitimate place to do so, voice those opinions. Sometimes they're substantive, and sometimes they're so much Swiss cheese, but you can publish them--although you should be prepared to back them up.

"Why do you let him (or her) say that, Mike?" If I didn't, I'd be guilty of the same filtering I dislike in other sites. And in the words of the philosopher Montgomery Scott, "After all, we're big enough to take a few insults! Aren't we?"

Words mean things. They can communicate information about a subject, and about their author. (Often, that latter communication is unintentional, yet no less informative.) Words should be used precisely, and responsibly. When you're here, at least, please do so.

Or when you're anywhere, for that matter.

--Mike

247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Brady said...

Great post Mike! It will take about 20 seconds for this to make it to the anti-BBC blogs. Get ready for the onslaught.

David Brown said...

Dear Mike: I am so disappointed in your “opinions” of how Dr. Gaines handled the P.W. situation. It is a real shame. You posted your “opinions” as to explain Dr. Gaines’ actions. Only Dr. Gaines can really speak as to what his real motives were and why he acted the way he did. Neither you nor I have any clue. We only have his excuses. I will not try to make guesses for him. I can only judge his actions or lack of.

MB said: “Pastor Gaines didn't have any evidence to believe Mr. Williams was an active threat to any child, and certainly didn't desire to facilitate Mr. Williams' past behavior.”

DB replies: It was not for Dr. Gaines to do any investigations, that is not his job. It was his responsibility to report it. He did NOT do that. This was the same situation with regards to Dr. H. of Walnut Grove Baptist Church. People suspected him but did nothing. What happened? There are now multiple victims of him.

No, the law is clear. In a meeting recently with the District Attorney, he made it clear too. If you SUSPECT there is or has been child abuse, you MUST report it. Period. It does not say anything about doing an investigation first, anything about being active threat. To color it any other way is wrong and that type of thinking puts children at risk. And Mike, Brady or anyone else that thinking is unacceptable.

MB said: "harboring a pedophile" Once again that is your opinion.

DB replies: When a person in authority becomes aware there is a pedophile in their midst and takes NO action that is “harboring a pedophile.” Pedophilia thrives on silence. It is abuse of power. That is what keeps these monsters doing what they do. I have been after the bishops of the Catholic Church for a long time as well as the leaders of the SBC to do more; to be truthful and transparent in dealing with pedophiles.

Once again when a leader becomes aware he has a pedophile on his hands and takes no action to report, remove or inform the public that is "harboring a pedophile". I am certain that not just this child advocate calls it that but countless others that fight for our children call it for what it is, however distasteful it might sound. Dr. Gaines did harbor a pedophile.

Our children deserve more from us. It is our duty to do the MOST we can to protect them. If we ever err in dealing with an alleged pedophile, please let’s err on the side of our children. I would rather tell them I was wrong about someone BEFORE they were harmed than wait and tell them I am sorry for not doing more AFTER they were abused.

In the above situation you say there are no other victims of this man. Are you really certain of that? I so pray you are right. But are you willing to take the word of someone that lived a lie for over 17 years until his victim outed him? Only time will tell. Remember victims of pedophiles rarely ever come forward right after they are abused. Often it takes years, in my case it was 35 years. I am often asked when a victim should come forward. The answer is when they are ready and not before. And that might be years, many years. What is important is that when they do, there is someone there for them that will believe them and love on them.

Remember these stats. 1 in 4 girls, 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. There are 39 million victims of child sexual abuse in America today. There are over 500,000 admitted, convicted or creditability accused pedophiles, over half that amount have stated and swear they REGULARLY attend church. It is not the "stranger danger" we must look out for. They might be sitting in the same pew next to you or your children. Now that scares me.

David Brown
SNAP director for Memphis and West Tennessee

Brady said...

David,

Interesting that you include me in your response to Mike. Wonder why?? I have said absolutely nothing about Dr. Gaines' handling of Paul Williams.

However, I do get weary of people jumping on the anti-Gaines bandwagon and heaping abuse on him when they were not in the meeting with Paul Williams nor do they know anything about what transpired. A lot of times there are things that happen and things that pastors know that they simply cannot share with the general public.

I would tend to think you would be better served in wondering why the staff members who knew for 17 years did nothing. I find that kind of interesting.

I do appreciate your work but sometimes I think you need to slow down a bit with your criticisms.

John Mark said...

Brady,

I think that David was simply addressing everyone who might read this thread. Since you were the only other name at the time I suspect that's why he mentioned you.

David's not one of the people who condemns people just because they disagree with him. He was quite kind to me once when I said some rather unkind things.

I also think he's just as unhappy with hypocrites who really don't care about CSA victims using it as a weapon to attack Gaines as you and me are.

The real victims deserve more respect than that.

David Brown said...

Brady: Didn't you post this?

Brady said...
Great post Mike! It will take about 20 seconds for this to make it to the anti-BBC blogs. Get ready for the onslaught.

12:30 PM, September 13, 2007

Now you are making excuses for him. Didn't you read the IC report? I regret this one issue has been twisted by both sides for their arugments either for or against Dr. Gaines.

One more time, I not anti Dr. Gaines or and certainly Bellevue. I love Bellevue.

This one issue should stand alone. Our children are at risk while we play games for our personal agendas. NO it was handled wrong, PERIOD! Dont' give me that line that sometimes the Pastor should not share what they know. That sounds like a line that the Catholic Bishops have repeatedly used. Shameful.

The one person that this was reported to back those many years ago is now deceased. Trust me if he was alive today I would asking him the same stern questions. You allege there are other staff members that knew. Would you be so kind to email me those names? What do you find so interesting? Are you trying to imply something?

Brady: I will not get into an exchange with you as it serves no purpose. You tell me to slow down with my criticisms. Why? What about yours? I have seen what you have posted on both blogs and some of it is not very edifying to the Body. Have you forgot your very shameful "balls" comment? Here it is if you have forgotten:

Brady said...
Its good to know you are a man. And all this time I thought you were a woman.

Now maybe you should grow some balls and take this filthy site off the internet.

12:02 PM, September 04, 2007


Sorry Brady, NO I will not slow down as long as children are at risk and religious leaders do nothing. I am very comfortable with my work. See, I get to see first hand the results. To see a victim make the transition to survivor is a miracle. And then to see some become advocates as I have is such a blessing.

And I do praise the Lord for this ministry.

David Brown
SNAP Director for Memphis and West Tennessee

Mike Bratton said...

David Brown said...
Dear Mike: I am so disappointed in your “opinions” of how Dr. Gaines handled the P.W. situation. It is a real shame. You posted your “opinions” as to explain Dr. Gaines’ actions. Only Dr. Gaines can really speak as to what his real motives were and why he acted the way he did. Neither you nor I have any clue. We only have his excuses. I will not try to make guesses for him. I can only judge his actions or lack of.


So, David, information isn't really worth anything if it's qualified as an "excuse"?

Let me say, in return, that I am consistently disappointed, and have been since the outset, at remarks which overreach. As I mentioned in my article, branding someone as "harboring a pedophile" indicts that person in three areas: The pedophile should not have to face the law, should be free to live his life as he has before, and should be assisted in both maintaining his freedom and his lifestyle.

Do you agree, or disagree, with the meaning of those words?

MB said: “Pastor Gaines didn't have any evidence to believe Mr. Williams was an active threat to any child, and certainly didn't desire to facilitate Mr. Williams' past behavior.”

DB replies: It was not for Dr. Gaines to do any investigations, that is not his job. It was his responsibility to report it. He did NOT do that. This was the same situation with regards to Dr. H. of Walnut Grove Baptist Church. People suspected him but did nothing. What happened? There are now multiple victims of him.

No, the law is clear. In a meeting recently with the District Attorney, he made it clear too. If you SUSPECT there is or has been child abuse, you MUST report it. Period. It does not say anything about doing an investigation first, anything about being active threat. To color it any other way is wrong and that type of thinking puts children at risk. And Mike, Brady or anyone else that thinking is unacceptable.


David, I believe I've made it abundantly clear that failure to report Mr. Williams as soon as his behavior was made known was catastrophically wrong--on the part of everyone who knew about it, regardless of when they found out.

It is disingenuous to suggest I've ever held another view, just as it is disingenuous to suggest that Pastor Gaines wanted to actively support Mr. Williams in preying upon children.

MB said: "harboring a pedophile" Once again that is your opinion.

DB replies: When a person in authority becomes aware there is a pedophile in their midst and takes NO action that is “harboring a pedophile.” Pedophilia thrives on silence. It is abuse of power. That is what keeps these monsters doing what they do. I have been after the bishops of the Catholic Church for a long time as well as the leaders of the SBC to do more; to be truthful and transparent in dealing with pedophiles.


David, you're ignoring the article--unless you're suggesting Steve Gaines thinks pedophilia is a good thing.

Are you?

Once again when a leader becomes aware he has a pedophile on his hands and takes no action to report, remove or inform the public that is "harboring a pedophile". I am certain that not just this child advocate calls it that but countless others that fight for our children call it for what it is, however distasteful it might sound. Dr. Gaines did harbor a pedophile.

For reasons I've already highlighted, you're wrong.

Unless, again, you're suggesting Pastor Gaines endorses pedophilia.

Our children deserve more from us. It is our duty to do the MOST we can to protect them. If we ever err in dealing with an alleged pedophile, please let’s err on the side of our children. I would rather tell them I was wrong about someone BEFORE they were harmed than wait and tell them I am sorry for not doing more AFTER they were abused.

How bout not tarring and feathering people for dealing with the issue in a way that doesn't meet with general approval? Even, in retrospect, from Pastor Gaines himself?

In the above situation you say there are no other victims of this man. Are you really certain of that? I so pray you are right. But are you willing to take the word of someone that lived a lie for over 17 years until his victim outed him? Only time will tell. Remember victims of pedophiles rarely ever come forward right after they are abused. Often it takes years, in my case it was 35 years. I am often asked when a victim should come forward. The answer is when they are ready and not before. And that might be years, many years. What is important is that when they do, there is someone there for them that will believe them and love on them.

Just so I understand... It's all right for a victim to not tell anyone--including the authorities--even though that reticence might well put more people at risk?

Remember these stats. 1 in 4 girls, 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. There are 39 million victims of child sexual abuse in America today.

Well over ten percent of the general population? Really?

There are over 500,000 admitted, convicted or creditability accused pedophiles,

So each would have to have had nearly eighty victims?

over half that amount have stated and swear they REGULARLY attend church. It is not the "stranger danger" we must look out for. They might be sitting in the same pew next to you or your children. Now that scares me.

David Brown
SNAP director for Memphis and West Tennessee


Since you're writing in your official capacity, David, I'll ask you--in your official capacity--to answer the questions I asked above, since they were the crux of my article.

In an attempt to be crystalline in my clarity, let me ask you these questions directly, so as to assure your future responses won't pass them by:

1) Did Steve Gaines believe Paul Williams should not have to face the law?

2) Did Steve Gaines believe Paul Williams should be free to live his life as he had before, without consequence?

3) Did Steve Gaines believe Paul Williams should be actively assisted in both maintaining his lifestyle, up to and including the ongoing sexual assault of children?

I don't think you're one of the people who uses terms like "harboring a pedophile" indiscriminately, David, so I would caution you against using it that way in this case. Such language must be employed as a scalpel, not as a baseball bat; over time, misuse of such terms can lessen their legitimate impact, even as they injure those victimized by reckless branding.

Thank you, once again, for the vital work you do.

--Mike

David Brown said...

Dear John Mark: Thank you, you said what I try but don't do a very good job.

This issue has been so over used. Comments are stated as facts that simply are not true. That hurts this dear vicitm. I wish folks would stop.

God bless and thank you for your comments about vicitms. Yes they read both blogs.

Once again thanks.

David Brown said...

Brother Mike, I though you would challenge me on that. Please take the time and visit this website: www.darkness2light.org. Those stats are not me pulling something out of thin air. In fact if one would spend some time digging further you would find those numbers extremely conservative to what other advocates quote. Many say that 1 in 4 while others state 1 in 3 will be abused. But what difference do numbers really mean? ONE victim is ONE victim too many.
Don't you agree with me on that?

I sense you have trouble in believing those numbers when you say "So each would have to have had nearly eighty victims?" Mike, there are pedophiles out there that have abused over 400 children. There are some victims of my prep that say he abused over 150 boys. Once again please do the research; it is freighting and very ugly. Every time I do, I feel so filthy. It can be very depressing.

Why do you try to twist the phrase "harboring a pedophile" to endorsing a pedophilia? I don't dare nor have I ever suggested that Dr. Gaines endorsed pedophilia. His actions were reckless. Ask the folks at the website I referenced what they call his actions. I already know the answer.

As for you asking me what Dr. Gaines believes, I never said I was a personal friend of his. In fact the one time I asked to meet with him, I was denied so I do not know what he believes or thinks.

Mike, I have said all I can do is judge him from his actions or inactions. I have no insight into his mind.

We can agree to disagree with the phrase of "harboring a pedophile." But I will continue to use it when it is appropriate. It is what it is.

By the way how is the weight thing going? Just got back from New England and it was great but way too much seafood if one can ever get too much?

David Brown
SNAP Director of Memphis/West Tennessee

Mike Bratton said...

David Brown said...
Brother Mike, I though you would challenge me on that.


David, it wasn't a "challenge" in the least. As a father of two, I was just asking questions, that's all.

Please take the time and visit this website: www.darkness2light.org.

And I would suggest that anyone else visiting this site do the same thing.

Those stats are not me pulling something out of thin air. In fact if one would spend some time digging further you would find those numbers extremely conservative to what other advocates quote. Many say that 1 in 4 while others state 1 in 3 will be abused. But what difference do numbers really mean? ONE victim is ONE victim too many.
Don't you agree with me on that?


By all means.

I sense you have trouble in believing those numbers when you say "So each would have to have had nearly eighty victims?"

You sense incorrectly, David. I was just breaking down the numbers for anyone reading along. Not that I have your level of expertise, but I did take enough Abnormal Psyc classes to have a basic understanding of the problem.

Mike, there are pedophiles out there that have abused over 400 children. There are some victims of my prep that say he abused over 150 boys. Once again please do the research; it is freighting and very ugly. Every time I do, I feel so filthy. It can be very depressing.

No doubt. We must all remember to continue to pray for people such as yourself, who have to slog through the bile to do the work they're called by God to do.

Why do you try to twist the phrase "harboring a pedophile" to endorsing a pedophilia? I don't dare nor have I ever suggested that Dr. Gaines endorsed pedophilia. His actions were reckless. Ask the folks at the website I referenced what they call his actions. I already know the answer.

Let's pause there for a moment.

There's no "twisting" going on. I'm asking you if you have ever paused to consider the impact such a phrase can have when used broadly. I've asked basic, simple questions, and from what I see, you still haven't answered them. I don't mind telling you that I'm disappointed.

As for you asking me what Dr. Gaines believes, I never said I was a personal friend of his. In fact the one time I asked to meet with him, I was denied so I do not know what he believes or thinks.

Then don't you think you ought to hold off on using terminology that presumes you do know what he both believes and thinks?

Mike, I have said all I can do is judge him from his actions or inactions.

And that, David, is a tremendous mistake. Do I get to judge the anti-Bellevue folks who've threatened others' lives, or accused others of sexual deviancies, based on their actions or inactions? I can judge their actions, but no, I don't have the wherewithal to judge them.

There's a difference.

I have no insight into his mind.

I'm glad we agree on that. Consequently, you should avoid language which implies you do, don't you agree?

We can agree to disagree with the phrase of "harboring a pedophile." But I will continue to use it when it is appropriate. It is what it is.

David, I asked you three direct questions, and I'm still hoping you'll answer them. Let's not deal in subjectivities here--either a thing is objectively right or it isn't, don't you agree?

By the way how is the weight thing going? Just got back from New England and it was great but way too much seafood if one can ever get too much?

Thank you for asking, my friend. I'm actually down a few pounds, and feeling more energetic than I have in awhile.

--Mike

David Brown said...

Brother Mike: I wanted to save the following comment for last.

You said: “Just so I understand... It's all right for a victim to not tell anyone--including the authorities--even though that reticence might well put more people at risk”

Mike, please tell me you are not serious? Please? But all I have to go on are the words you printed. Did I ever say that? You are twisting words again Mike. Like the “harboring a pedophile” into “endorsing a pedophile.” Please stop.

How dare you to imply in any shape, form or fashion that any victim(s) was ever guilty. Mike, I cannot believe you said that. If you are trying to be funny, it isn’t. It is so disappointing. It also shows how what little understanding you have of this horrible crime. My dear brother you have much homework to do then.

Pedophiles try to get their victims to believe that somehow they are responsible for their own abuse. Well that dog won’t hunt. I am so appalled that I pray I have read your statement wrong.

Mike I composed the above response prior to reading your last post. I have answered your three questions. If you don’t like my answers, sorry. I must ask you one. Why do keep trying to drag the other blog into this? Haven't I repeatedly stated that I have nothing to do with any of this other stuff you all are arguing about?

I have wasted way too much time on this with you. You know full well where I come from and I do not need to defend the phrases or words I use. I am not going to get drug into some argument about the NBBC blog. It really amazes me that these are the same people both blogs have sat with, ate with, prayed with and for and worshiped the same Jesus, Sunday after Sunday for years. Outsiders would be shocked to know that by the names and accusations both sides use. It is really sad.

I will continue as I have. I will use phrases that I see fit when it is appropriate. Some may offend people, tough for them then. You made referenced to being called names and having death-threats. You are not the first one to receive them, I certainly have had my share but anytime you put yourself in the public arena you are subject to that. Sadly it goes with the territory in this sick society. And I don’t dare suggest those names or threats came from posters on your blog or the NBBC either.

One last point when you referred to my “official capacity”, I do this voluntary, no pay, part-time. SNAP has just a couple people that are in paid positions. Most of the area SNAP directors are survivors that are now advocates. We do it because we feel our children deserve better.

David Brown
SNAP Director Memphis/West Tennessee

Mike Bratton said...

David Brown said...
Brother Mike: I wanted to save the following comment for last.

You said: “Just so I understand... It's all right for a victim to not tell anyone--including the authorities--even though that reticence might well put more people at risk”

Mike, please tell me you are not serious? Please? But all I have to go on are the words you printed. Did I ever say that? You are twisting words again Mike. Like the “harboring a pedophile” into “endorsing a pedophile.” Please stop.


Again, you've yet to answer the three basic questions I've asked, David, so insisting I'm "twisting" (sounds like a '50s tune, hmm?) without even a passing attempt at answering them doesn't go too far. Yes, I had the temerity to ask you a question--your response that a victim of sexual abuse doesn't have to mention the abuse until he or she is ready left out any mention of developing an encouraging environment in which victims might come forward sooner, not later. It sounded incomplete at best, so I asked for clarification from you.

How dare you to imply in any shape, form or fashion that any victim(s) was ever guilty. Mike, I cannot believe you said that. If you are trying to be funny, it isn’t. It is so disappointing. It also shows how what little understanding you have of this horrible crime. My dear brother you have much homework to do then.

Instead of dialoguing, you've made two how-dare-you posts in a row. And to be blunt, David, you don't know what I know and what I don't know. You don't know how much "homework" I've done with regard to abuse, or what my experiences with it are.

I never, for a nanosecond, implied that an abuse victim was ever, ever guilty. You pulled that one out of thin air. What I think should be cultivated--and I'd be surprised if you didn't agree--is an environment where abuse victims turn into abuse survivors more rapidly, where they are able to identify abusers and thus stop further abuse from occurring, and where they are able to move on to a point where their abuse isn't an overriding, defining aspect of their lives.

You might've found that out more easily without the how-dare-you business, you know. Apoplexy and discussion don't mix well together.

Pedophiles try to get their victims to believe that somehow they are responsible for their own abuse. Well that dog won’t hunt. I am so appalled that I pray I have read your statement wrong.

It should be more than obvious that you did, although it escapes me how anyone could've leapt to the conclusions you did from it.

Mike I composed the above response prior to reading your last post. I have answered your three questions. If you don’t like my answers, sorry.

No, the scorecard says you're 0-for-3, David.

I must ask you one. Why do keep trying to drag the other blog into this? Haven't I repeatedly stated that I have nothing to do with any of this other stuff you all are arguing about?

Whether or not you wish to believe it, you are. You've innocently provided the perfect "doomsday weapon" for anti-Bellevuers to use: "You know, he harbored a pedophile." Never mind that when one pauses to analyze the statement, it simply isn't true.

Did Pastor Gaines handle the situation properly? He'd be the first to tell you he didn't. Matter of fact, there are a number of people at Bellevue who hang their heads about what happened, and how abysmally they handled it.

Does that mean they consciously wanted to make it easier for a predator to roam the halls of the church? No. And like it or not, David, that's the connotation "harboring a pedophile" carries with it--one of facilitation and complicity.

...One last point when you referred to my “official capacity”, I do this voluntary, no pay, part-time. SNAP has just a couple people that are in paid positions. Most of the area SNAP directors are survivors that are now advocates. We do it because we feel our children deserve better.

David Brown
SNAP Director Memphis/West Tennessee


E-mail me when you get a chance, if you don't mind. There's something we should discuss out of the public eye. Thanks.

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

AR attempts to define Eternal Security from a "Calvinist" perspective. He defines it as preservation in grace and we all know that when an Armininian tries to define ES he is attempting to define perseverance and that is suppose to make him a moderate Calvinist when actually he is an inconsistent Armininian. A regular Armininian believes that you can loose your salvation and an inconsistent Armininian just believes you can keep your salvation. It is the opposite side of the same coin.

An inconsistent Armininian is according to James a double minded man unstable in all his ways.

Finding any compatibility between Armininianism and Calvinism is like mixing iron and clay. It is an incongruous mix that can be held together for a short time.

In the 17th century the council of Dort rejected all five Armininian remonstrants posted by the objectors to the Dutch Church. These five protests were Partial Ability, All Foreseen faith Elected, Non-Discriminary Atonement, Saving Grace Resisted and You Can Lose It. They were determined to be heresies and the five corrections were: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints.

AR attempted to mix eternal security with the four heresies until the stone uncut by the hands of man intervened. Bellevue was broken in pieces and they are experiencing this brokenness even now.

No one knew the extent of this judgement better than the Williams family. The family sat for week after week under AR's ministry. They knew that the clay was not mixing with the iron and it would have to break eventually.

The pedophile was reassured that all he had to do was "run to Jesus" and he was eternally secured, his wife, knowing that her minister husband was eternally secured, had to be continually reminding herself that everything was OK.

The victim (we haven't heard from him yet and probally won't) had to be torn by this eternal security that reassured his parents but left him an awfully tormented person torn between hate and love.

"How can my pastor preach week after week and not somehow know what is going on?" "How can my father stay at Bellevue as a minister and no one know what he has done?" "How can my mother stand by my father's side?" "How can God remain silent, surely He knows what has happened?"

Our God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets. Our self-dtermination resist this knowledge yet it will give way to the sovereign God. The hinderance, whether man, argument or both, will be removed and the secrets of men's hearts will be revealed.

Nathan said...

Mike, its always good to hear a voice of sanity. Too often those who say they are protecting the ministry are actually those who are doing the most damage. People who want to discredit will use any reason no matter how much they have to twist it to suit their cause. Certainly abuse is a real and horrible issue but the cause of stopping it is not helped by persecuting the innocent it only makes a mockery of the the cause.

Memphis said...

Hey Mike, Let me know when the tshirts go on sale!!!

Memphis
AKA "wannabe Gangsta Cheerleader"
AKA JF

Brady said...

David,

Well, I'm glad to see that you have read my other postings. I do have to apologize for my infamous "balls quote" since I have since learned that N-ass is a woman and not a man. However, if she had been a he, then I stand completely behind that quote. Its strange to me that people can get so worked up over that quote when they continually call Dr. Gaines every name in the book and then consider themselves to be spiritual.

I personally think that Dr. Gaines walked into a very difficult situation with Paul Williams and I also believe he handled it poorly--but it sure doesn't mean that he harbored a pedophile. Reread Mike's definition of harboring. I'm sure there were things that were said in that meeting that we don't know (and don't need to know) that caused him to make his decision. You can never convince me that a man like Dr. Gaines would do what so many of you have accused him of doing.

I also think there was more than one staff member who knew about Paul Williams. I also wonder why the mother never contacted the authorities. Seventeen years ago BBC wasn't that big so secrets were probably much harder to keep back then.

I think Mike is doing a great job with his blog and I hope he keeps it up. I agree with him completely on this issue. Now people need to quit their griping and complaining and turn their attention to advancing the Kingdom of God and quit tearing down His church. The first step to this would be to shut down the anti-BBC sites and then encourage their fearless leaderette (N-ass) to go in and personally meet with Dr. Gaines to resolve their differences.

David, since you are usually a peacemaker maybe you could arrange that meeting.

At least it would be a start...

Junkster said...

"Words Mean Things":

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus - Cite This Source
Main Entry: harbor
Part of Speech: verb 1
Definition: hide
Synonyms: accommodate, board, bunk, conceal, defend, domicile, entertain, guard, hold back, house, lodge, nurse, nurture, protect, provide refuge, put up, quarter, relieve, safeguard, screen, secrete, secure, shelter, shield, suppress, withhold
Antonyms: hand over
Notes: harbor first meant 'shelter' and 'lodging' and that is how the word first entered English place-names, as a 'place of shelter; refuge' for a crowd of people; a port is a haven for vessels and it is equipped for loading and unloading ships, while a harbor is a haven for vessels but does not necessarily have onshore facilities
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.3.1)
Copyright © 2007 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.


The above is a recognized, independent authority on the meaning and synonyms of the word "harbor". To say "words mean things" is to speak of the objective denotations of words. If someone said "words convey ideas", that would be speaking more of the subjective connotations of words, which can be either a matter of what one implies when saying them, or what one infers when hearing them.

Mike, based soley on the actual meanings of the words "harboring a pedophile" (rather than subjective implications or inferences), the fundamental premise of your article is flawed. You have assumed that when someone uses that phrase their implication is the same as your inference. It is a non sequitur. You demonstrated this when you asked David:

Then don't you think you ought to hold off on using terminology that presumes you do know what he both believes and thinks?

There is nothing inherent in the meaning of the words "harboring a pedophile" to support your contention that using that phrase presumes the motives you claimed that it does. Your conclusions are what you, subjectively, have inferred, not a matter of what those words "mean".

Also, it is disingenuous for you to claim that David did not answer your 3 questions, all of which started with the words "Did Steve Gaines believe", when David clearly said, more than once, that he does not know what was in SG's mind. That was his answer; just because he didn't put his response in the format of "(1) I don't know what SG believed, (2) I don't know what SG believed, (3) I don't know what SG believed" does not mean he did not answer. Come on, now.

Go ahead and tell me why I'm wrong; I have learned by now to expect that you will do that rather than admit when you are wrong.

Brady said...

I was just thinking this morning that most of this conversation is purely a waste of time. The basic issue has nothing to do with harboring a pedophile but with finding a way to destroy Dr. Gaines. That's the whole purpose of the anti-BBC sites and everyone knows it. Its quite a paradox when they call themselves "truth seekers."

The bottom line is that none of the anti-Gaines group are people in authority (or they would have run him off by now), they are not on any key committees, most of them aren't even attending or tithing to BBC, and in reality, they amount to nothing but a lot of hot air.

Its time to turn off the hot air and get busy with things Christians are supposed to be doing. Quit criticizing our pastor and get busy doing things that advance the Kingdom of God.

WatchingHISstory said...

AR attempted to mix eternal security with the four heresies until the stone uncut by the hands of man intervened. Bellevue was broken in pieces and they are experiencing this brokenness even now.

No one knew the extent of this judgement better than the Williams family. The family sat for week after week under AR's ministry. They knew that the clay was not mixing with the iron and it would have to break eventually.

Tim Greer said...

Mike--
Great post. I especially appreciate the first part, and I encourage those who have asked you to censor opinions to rethink their position. A blog is a forum, nothing more. Like the agora or the Aeropagus, it should be available to those with diverse views. We can vigorously debate the views, but no punching below the belt, and we should stay within the parameters of civil discourse. I'm glad you don't muzzle those who disagree with you, as some do, b/c the truth will always rise to the top, and it need not fear other viewpoints. We may not know all the facts, or the totality of truth concerning a given situation, but shutting down dissenting voices won't "give the truth a hand."
It's unfortunate that the buzz against Steve Gaines started so early. Issues about which honest people can disagree, like fences, hospitality meals, salary packages, decorum in the handling of staff, have somehow become commingled with concerns about Steve's mishandling of the PW situation, which I believe is a separate and more serious matter. It should, I agree, be dealt with as a stand-alone issue.

As I wrote on my own dinky blog, I think it called for a more stern rebuke, following I Timothy 5:20, than it did receive, but I don't agree that it constitutes a disqualifier for ministry in Steve's case. Should it happen again, that would be another story.

Engaging in histrionics can sometimes be an effective tactic in rhetoric, but it should be used sparingly. Sadly, it's been the standard fare in this debate for a long time now.

Tim

Shane "George" Lambert said...

Mike,

Long time reader; seldom commenter. As I've followed the Bellevue story from a distance, I've been thankful for your blog. I find myself agreeing with you most of the time, but I also appreciate the way you encourage healthy debate (unlike that other blog). It seems to me that most of those who comment here, on both sides of the issue, are respectful and sincere. That kind of dialogue is greatly needed in this discussion, so please keep doing what you're doing.

And speaking of Glenn Beck (who you mentioned in passing), his CNN Headline News show should be required viewing for all Americans.

Unrelated to your most recent post: I'm an SBC pastor in Anniston, AL, and I also work part-time in radio. Having been a reader of your blog for nearly a year, I feel like I know you (and all the other regulars here). I'm only about an hour away from B'ham, and I'd love to meet you some time, perhaps for lunch. The meeting at Huey's was tempting, but I couldn't justify the cost of the gas.

Thanks for what you do,
Shane Lambert

Mike Bratton said...

Junkster said...

...

Go ahead and tell me why I'm wrong; I have learned by now to expect that you will do that rather than admit when you are wrong.


Nice job salting the ground, Junk.

Show me where anti-Bellevuers consistently use the phrase "harboring a pedophile" (and its derivatives) with the precision and discrimination David insists are inherent in that terminology, and I'll--by all means--admit that I'm wrong. (And since there's a very recent record on this very blog of my admission of being wrong regarding a statement I made, "what you've learned" isn't exactly accurate.)

However, we do have a few months' worth of evidence which demonstrate the use of that loaded terminology not as a laser, but as a shotgun. Do we not?

This isn't so much a matter of objective denotation versus subjective connotation as it is a matter of identifying when a given set of behaviors and/or beliefs justifies a label.

Since no one can--as you admit--answer that, yes, that was Steve Gaines' plan all along in "harboring" Paul Williams, such pejorative phraseology should be immediately removed from the anti-Bellevue armory, and a group apology should be forwarded to Pastor Gaines for its libelous use.

And let me suggest that such an apology be delivered by at least one representative in person.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, I have to ask a few things:

1) Is being an "inconsistent Arminian" anything like being "half dead" or "a little bit pregnant"?

2) Do you think it is possible for a Christian to be neither Arminian nor Calvinist in his or her theology?

3) Do you understand that Christians' security in our salvation doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to mature in the faith?

And Shane, the next time you plan to be in Birmingham, just let me know.

--Mike

michelle mann said...

Hi Shane - I was wondering, since you stated that you are in Anniston, are you familiar with the Hallmark family by any chance?

michelle mann said...

Hey big brother...where did you get the picture you posted next to your latest article? Just curious.

Shane "George" Lambert said...

Michelle,

Sorry, but I'm not familiar with the Hallmark family. Do you know what church they are affiliated with? I may know a friend of your friends.

Mike,

Will do. Look forward to meeting you. Don't know when I'll be over there again, but I usually have to make a hospital visit in B'ham at least every other month. I'll email you.

Thanks,
Shane Lambert

oc said...

It's your blog, Mike. So why don't you address the situation and dress Brady down? He continues to refer to another person as N-ass. You haven't noticed that, I'm sure. So I am also sure that you are not condoning by omission the cursing he is doing under your nose. If one is not aware, then one is ignorant. Well now you know. Ignorant no more. So do something. Words Mean Things.

oc said...

brady said:
Well, I'm glad to see that you have read my other postings. I do have to apologize for my infamous "balls quote" since I have since learned that N-ass is a woman and not a man. However, if she had been a he, then I stand completely behind that quote. Its strange to me that people can get so worked up over that quote when they continually call Dr. Gaines every name in the book and then consider themselves to be spiritual.

reply:
You now 'apologize' for your 'balls' posting, because you say you believe that the one you directed it towards is a woman. But you continue, post after post, to refer to this person as N-ass. So you continue to attempt to demean this person none the less, whether male or female, in your sophmoric way. Now you are calling this person, which you believe to be female,
N-ass. What does that look like?
And you want to talk about testicular fortitude? You need to check your own credentials, if you can find them, so to speak.

Also interesting is that you feel the need to protect Steve in the same paragraph that you speak of your gender confusion. Draw your own conclusions on that. Everyone else will.

Mike. Don't act like you didn't notice the N-ass thing. I would have thought you would have stopped that nonsense at the beginnning. Now we can cuss on your blog, huh? Let the fun begin!

Mike Bratton said...

While the word "ass" may be crude when used in certain contexts, referring to it as always "cussing" means that you also would consider various translations of Scripture as containing "cussing." Since we know that's not the case, you might want to revise your unilateral comment.

Having said that, "oc" does have a point. Let's not refer to folks in such a way, and let's avoid chest-puffing references to any reproductive organs.

That means you, Brady, and you too, oc.

--Mike

oc said...

Mike said:
While the word "ass" may be crude when used in certain contexts, referring to it as always "cussing" means that you also would consider various translations of Scripture as containing "cussing." Since we know that's not the case, you might want to revise your unilateral comment.

Having said that, "oc" does have a point. Let's not refer to folks in such a way, and let's avoid chest-puffing references to any reproductive organs.

That means you, Brady, and you too, oc.

--Mike

Reply:
Very cute Mike. So you think Brady was using "ass" in a Scriptural way? Go ahead and fool yourself, but you fool no one else.
His continual use of the word in connection to another's screen name was not done in a Scriptural sense at all, instead he worked very hard at being an ass himself. Did quite a good job too, I might add. And you sat by and watched, until I said something about it. Saw nothing Scriptural about that either. Therefore I will not revise my so called 'unilateral' comment. Playing stupid is not my agenda.

And as far as the 'reproductive organ' comments? Why is it just now that you come forward to say something about it? You didn't notice he was saying these things earlier? Can't believe you aren't aware of what's happening on your own blog.

Brady said...

Its always good to read how upset you guys get over little inuendos when you tolerate blasphemy and slander on your anti-BBC blogs.

I only "apologized" because I thought Nass was a man and not a woman. I hold true to my admonition that she needs to call Dr. Gaines' office and schedule a personal meeting to make things right.

By the way, you should read the personal email from OC in which he asked me if I was a woman and wanted to date him!

I assured him that I was truly a man and that no dates would be forthcoming but it did tell me a lot about his character--and its scary.

oc said...

provide it brady.

Brady said...

OC,

I just told them what you wrote and you know its exactly true. If you're the man you brag about being, then own up to what you wrote.

If you give me Nass's personal home address I will be glad to mail her a copy of your email.

oc said...

Show what I wrote.

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
Junkster said...

...

Go ahead and tell me why I'm wrong; I have learned by now to expect that you will do that rather than admit when you are wrong.

Nice job salting the ground, Junk.


That's an interesting sounding phrase, but I'll admit my ignorance -- what does it mean?

Show me where anti-Bellevuers consistently use the phrase "harboring a pedophile" (and its derivatives) with the precision and discrimination David insists are inherent in that terminology, and I'll--by all means--admit that I'm wrong.

I can't speak with certainty what others intend to imply when they use the phrase, but that's my point -- neither can you. All I can determine is what the words themselves actually mean. And as I demonstrated, the actual meaning of "haboring" does not necessiate the conclusions you drew about what others must mean when they use the word.

Again, if your concern is about the ideas potentially conveyed by words (what is possibly being implied or what you consider a reasonable inference), your point would have validity. But it is faulty logic and improper semantics to claim you are decrying the meanings of words when what you are really decrying is just what you personally have inferred. Even if everyone agreed with you on what you believe is implied by the phrase "harboring a pedophile", your objection would be to the implication of the words, not to their plain, objective meaning.

Why am I making such a point of this semantic distinction? Because words mean things!

(And since there's a very recent record on this very blog of my admission of being wrong regarding a statement I made, "what you've learned" isn't exactly accurate.)

Perhaps I was not as precise as I intended. I did not mean to indicate that you never admit when you are wrong; I intended to say that my experience with you has been that when I've been right and you've been wrong, you did not admit it. Of course, I realize that you probably weren't aware you were wrong. :)

However, we do have a few months' worth of evidence which demonstrate the use of that loaded terminology not as a laser, but as a shotgun. Do we not?

While I contend that the phrase is not inherently inappropriate to the facts, I can concede that it is not unlikely that when people have used it they intended it as more than a simple statement of fact but they also desired to convey a negative statement about the character and motives of SG.

This isn't so much a matter of objective denotation versus subjective connotation as it is a matter of identifying when a given set of behaviors and/or beliefs justifies a label.

Funny. The phrase "identifying when a given set of behaviors and/or beliefs justifies a label" is an example of relying on a subjective connotation rather than on objective denotation! What I am taking issue with is your assertion that the phrase is inaccurate because of what you claim it means, when what you claim it means is not in the inherent meaning.

Since no one can--as you admit--answer that, yes, that was Steve Gaines' plan all along in "harboring" Paul Williams, such pejorative phraseology should be immediately removed from the anti-Bellevue armory, and a group apology should be forwarded to Pastor Gaines for its libelous use.

It may be intended pejoritively (though we can't be certain unless someone directly admits that was their intent), but based on the plain and simple meaning of the words, the phrase is factually accurate and thus not libelous.

And let me suggest that such an apology be delivered by at least one representative in person.

I really don't think that's going to happen. But God has worked out more unusual things.

-----
Tom

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

OC,

Its interesting to see your reactions to being called out on what you wrote. First of all, I don't work with children so the parents who have this called to their attention and worried about my "intentions toward their children" are as nuts as you are.

Second, you are the one who wrote me an email saying that I must be a woman and then asked if I wanted to date you. Dude, that is sick!

Third, your little comment about my "gay suggestions" is pathetic. I never said anything gay to you and you know it. You're the one with the preoccupation about sex.

Fourth, here is the quote from your last email to me: "So stop emailing me. Before I turn this over to someone who will make life hard." Now my dear spirit-filled Christian brother, that is a threat.

You need to back off before you get yourself into hot water.

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike

1.) A google search revealed this statement: "From what I have gathered, the term is used to express affirmation I believe… One is either totally pregnant or totally not pregnant!" Half dead would be akin to partial ability!
Try substituting half-dead when you read "dead in sins" in the Bible.

2.) Y&ou can attempt anything you want but achieving it is another thing.

3.) Steadfastness is the evidence of election and not the cause of it. What is and who is mature?

If you read our blogs often it does get confusing!

oc said...

Brady,
Mission accomplished.

oc said...

Thank you thank you thank you. :)

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

Brady and OC:

Please read Colossians 3 and learn how the Body of Christ ought to treat one another.

OC, what's the difference in you jumping on Mike for not "controlling" Brady and Watching History, and my jumping on NASS for not "controlling" some of the things said on the other blog?

oc said...

Thanks cory. I don't know. Go ahead and tell me the difference.
I guess you infer that it's wrong on the other blog. Is it wrong here also?

Cory said...

xnhnby
I'm saying there is a double standard. I've been ripped on NBBCOF before just for simply calling for less name calling of people, distorting screen names, etc. The same things you've questioned Mike about here. If you're willing to call out Mike for that stuff, you should be willing to call out NASS on the blog and ask her why she is not controlling some of the bad things that people say on there.

Cory said...

By the way, I think youo should be able to infer I think it is wrong period by my referring you both to Colossians 3

oc said...

Thanks cory.

WatchingHISstory said...

AR + ES = PW

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike said:

3) Do you understand that Christians' security in our salvation doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to mature in the faith?

Do you assume that everyone that reads that statement understands what you are saying?

Did Paul Williams understand that when Adrian Rogers preached?

WatchingHISstory said...

cory

I have yet to resort to name calling but you tempt me with your pompous Christian attitude! When people like you use the word "controling" it should make us sit up and take notice. You are a Nicolaitan. How's that for name calling?

Who controls you?

Cory said...

If calling for brothers in Christ to treat each other according to Scripture instead of playing "I know you are, but what am I" like school boys makes me corrupt, then so be it. There was nothing at all pompous in my statement. It was an abrupt call for them to stop and think about their behavior towards one another. Simple as that.

Obviously you read into my post what was not there. You know what I meant when I used the word "controlling" and so does everyone else on here. There is no need to explain further.

solomon said...

I'm almost scared to ask, but does anyone know who the elderly gentleman was who interrupted the 11:00 service?

maybejustmaybe said...

Sol -- what are you talking about? I was on about the third or fourth row and must've missed it, unless you're talking about the man who laughed really loudly when Bro. Steve said that, with the love of God, it's possible for a Republican to love a Democrat.

I also thought it was awesome that two people came forward at the end of the service before Bro. Steve even got the entire invitation issued. What a great morning! My heart was so full!

solomon said...

mjm,

I don't see how you could have missed it! Unless you sang with the choir and hadn't gotten to the sanctuary yet, that is.

Right at the beginning of the sermon at 11:00 an older man with gray hair walked down front, and Steve said hello to him. He then walked up right onto the stage and he and Steve chatted for a couple of minutes. (they turned the microphone of)

Steve finally pointed him to a security guard who was on the floor, and he went back toward the back of the sanctuary. It was very unusual, to say the least! I have to say that I was impressed with how it was handled, especially since some people (apparently) have been upset with Dr. Rogers and the way that he handled disruptions.

I wonder if it was anyone we know...

maybejustmaybe said...

That's how I missed it ... I'm in the choir. Per your description, though, it sounds like it was handled well.

Junkster said...

solomon said...
I wonder if it was anyone we know...

Keith,
If you want to know if it was Charles, just ask him. :)

-----
Tom

solomon said...

I'm afraid to hear the answer, junk. Then I'll have to admit that I (sort of) know him.

I talked to a few folks tonight, and they all agreed that it was handled gracefully. It was certainly a surprise! You could have heard a pin drop in the sanctuary while he was up there.

Cary said...

Solomon,

Could you please send me an email when you find the time? It's in my profile.

Thanks..

John Mark said...

Hey Sol,

Are you sure it really happened? After all, you seem to be the only one here who saw it.

I think you might have had a vision! You know, sort of the confirmation of how SG is approachable while AR wasn't? Maybe there's something to WHS' story after all!!

I'm going to see my analyst tomorrow, and I'll ask him what he thinks...

:-P

WatchingHISstory said...

setting theological debate aside, the reason I like SG better than AR is that during the 17 years (early on) on a day when PW would have called in to the office to stay home and take care of his son while his wife has business to attend, Steve would have arrived unannounced at Paul's house with a Blockbuster movie and two Starbucks' coffee.

Steve would have called Linda and said that he would be out of the office for a few hours and that he could be reached on his cell phone.
(AR never carried a cell phone - neither did he have a personal computer in his office)

Steve would have rang the doorbell and a red faced Paul would have answered with his t-shirt on backwards, inside out and zipping his pants. Steve would have just walked in and heard the crying son in the bedroom. "What is going on Paul?"

...and such would have been the unraveling of the perdicament we see now. Several weeks later there would be a surprising letter of resignation from PW placed on Steve's desk.

For AR it would have been business as usual without "redneck spontaniety"

WatchingHISstory said...

a little sardonic humor. Notice the irony of these two post.

sickofthelies said...
A little birdie told me that
Dr. R's daughter and her husband joined Faith this morning.

11:03 PM, September 16, 2007


BBC 11yrs said...
FBC Jax Watchdog,

Can you give us proof for Dr. Hunt's speaking fee while at FBCJax? Your statement that he received $10,000 per speaking engagement is titilating but needs to be supported to give it credibility to anyone wanting truth and not speculation.

Most who frequent this blog and
post, I believe, want to be truthful and your speculation, thus far, should be considered mere gossip unless there is proof.

WHS said:
perhaps a little birdie told the watchdog; that meets NASS' standards!

WatchingHISstory said...

NBBCOF has finally settled the story of the man in in the 11:00 service. As usual they did it in keeping with the style of the blog.

sheeplessatbbc said...
"It's the early stages of Alzheimers. No joking matter!

I personally know the gentleman that approached the stage at BBC this Sunday at the 11:00 service, a relative of his just told me about the incident this afternoon.

Something Bro Steve said prompted him to remember a joke he had heard and he came up to tell it to Bro Steve.

His wife was there with him, obviously in shock, she just sat in her seat as he walked up front.

They are not in a Sunday School class, are not involved in any blog activity or any other church activities and he certainly is not Charles Page, akawatchinghissotry."

oc said...

Watchinghistory said:
Steve would have rang the doorbell and a red faced Paul would have answered with his t-shirt on backwards, inside out and zipping his pants. Steve would have just walked in and heard the crying son in the bedroom. "What is going on Paul?"


oc says:
You are one sick puppy to even envision this, yet less want to communicate your disgusting vision to the rest of the world. It's apparent by your attention to detail that you have enjoyed this sickness way too much.
You need to repent.

Mike, it is high time you do something about this guy. It's beyond sick now. This is your blog, and your call, but I think it's time to call 9-1-1.

WatchingHISstory said...

oc

What is sick? Me detailing all this sordid information or that an ordained Bellevue minister did this on AR's watch?

Who is sick here?

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

Oh boy, now we have OC on here calling someone sick. He is the one that asked me if I was a woman and if I wanted to date him. Now that is sick.

oc said...

Brady,
God's people are real good at discerning truth.

I'm praying for you. Many others are too.

Brady said...

OC,

I'm glad they are praying for me. I can use the prayers and they can sure use the practice.

I do hope they are praying for you too. I'm not the one who made those sick comments about me wanting to date you. Own up to what you wrote dude.

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

OC,

Let's see how many people think I am "deluded". Here is the text of your email to me:

"I really think you are a woman. Do you want to date me? I've always had a fantasy about a strong woman dominating me."

You can go on and on about my delusions but I'm not the one who wrote another MAN an email like you sent me.

In the words of the anti-BBC blogs, you are a pervert.

oc said...

As a matter of accuracy, and because 'watchinghistory' has a habit of quoting only parts of posts in effort to gain an advantage for an all out rear assault, and sniping when he can, I offer the full post of which watchinghistory offered only in part in order to prove his distorted point. As usual.


It is this:

It's the early stages of Alzheimers. No joking matter!

I personally know the gentleman that approached the stage at BBC this Sunday at the 11:00 service, a relative of his just told me about the incident this afternoon.

Something Bro Steve said prompted him to remember a joke he had heard and he came up to tell it to Bro Steve.

His wife was there with him, obviously in shock, she just sat in her seat as he walked up front.

They are not in a Sunday School class, are not involved in any blog activity or any other church activities and he certainly is not Charles Page, aka watchinghissotry.

This is NOT a setup to see how Steve Gaines would handle a situation, as some have eluded to, comparing this with the unfortunate incident Dr. Rogers experienced many years ago as someone rushed him on the stage.

Bro. Gaines does not know this family personally nor do they know him personally.

There is no "other" story here, period!

The story is: A precious Christain couple trying to keep life as normal as possible and going to their church to worship God.

There are some of us on this blog who have personal experiences with Alzheimers in their family or spouses families and will be able to understand how something as bizarre as this could happen, others who have no experience with Alzheimers may not be able to understand this, but believe me, stranger things than this can happen.

Steve Gaines is to be commended on how kindly he handled this man, especially since he does not know him and would not recognize him as a harmless member of BBC.

I hope this explanation with put a stop to any further speculation on this or the other blog.

5:18 PM, September 17, 2007

oc said...

Brady,
Praying for you.

oc said...

Brady,
Forward me the email in question, along with the complete header.

Thank you.
oc.

WatchingHISstory said...

As a matter of accuracy, and because 'oc' has a habit of quoting only parts of posts in effort to gain an advantage for an all out assault, and sniping when he can, I offer the full post of which oc offered only in part in order to prove his distorted point. As usual.

WatchingHISstory said...
setting theological debate aside, the reason I like SG better than AR is that during the 17 years (early on) on a day when PW would have called in to the office to stay home and take care of his son while his wife has business to attend, Steve would have arrived unannounced at Paul's house with a Blockbuster movie and two Starbucks' coffee.

Steve would have called Linda and said that he would be out of the office for a few hours and that he could be reached on his cell phone.
(AR never carried a cell phone - neither did he have a personal computer in his office)

Steve would have rang the doorbell and a red faced Paul would have answered with his t-shirt on backwards, inside out and zipping his pants. Steve would have just walked in and heard the crying son in the bedroom. "What is going on Paul?"

...and such would have been the unraveling of the perdicament we see now. Several weeks later there would be a surprising letter of resignation from PW placed on Steve's desk.

For AR it would have been business as usual without "redneck spontaniety"

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike

I was raised in a small middle Tennessee town and that meant that when you listened to the radio on a sunday morning you hearsd the Church of Christ, Baptist and our Pentecostal radio programs. My early recolections are about 1958.

So my first theological concept that developed was from the Baptist
(hardshell I believe) was we are sinners saved by grace.

My church was Wesleyan-holiness Pentecostal and beside "whosoever will" was godly living and the need to go on to sanctification. They preached that we were not sinners saved by grace but we are sanctified saints. But my young heart said we are sinners saved by grace and I kept that belief to my self!

As much as I loved my 'raising' my church promoted a lot of pretensions. I lived with conflict and that conflict was a blessing rather than a curse.

Unknown to me I was embracing Total Depravity and understood that meant that we were dead in trespasses and sin and that when we accept Christ as savior we become "sinners saved by grace"

We were delivered from the guilt of sin and struggled with the power of sin and grow by degree in the knowledge of the Word in our ongoing sanctification.

So about 50 years later I understand that if we are totally depraved without Christ then it stands to reason that election has to be unconditional, atonement is limited and grace cannot be resisted. The hardest part to give up is our will to endure and we insist on survival but human will is removed from the salvation experience and so we are eternally secure.

I am nearly a scholar when it comes to Armininism. I know all about Wesleyan Armininianism and when I hear an Armininian preach I know it!

But I am a 'salty dog' Calvinist and not a scholar and would have a harder time detecting a Calvinist preacher. I don't post on the Founders' sites because of this!

I believe in Total Depravity. I am bold, Spirit filled and evanglistic.

Billie said...

Brady said...
David,

Interesting that you include me in your response to Mike. Wonder why?? I have said absolutely nothing about Dr. Gaines' handling of Paul Williams.

However, I do get weary of people jumping on the anti-Gaines bandwagon and heaping abuse on him when they were not in the meeting with Paul Williams nor do they know anything about what transpired. A lot of times there are things that happen and things that pastors know that they simply cannot share with the general public.

I would tend to think you would be better served in wondering why the staff members who knew for 17 years did nothing. I find that kind of interesting.

I do appreciate your work but sometimes I think you need to slow down a bit with your criticisms.

1:33 PM, September 13, 2007

Reply:

Thank You!
This is what I so desperately tried to get across to David Brown. Mr. Brown obviously has a problem with, "jumping in and over the top emotions" when it comes to dealing with one certain issue and he will not be quiet long enough to hear the complete story. I feel sorry for the man and I agree that he works hard to protect children from sex offenders.

I know the Williams family and I also know that CW left his children, often, in their home. CW was a grown man with the full knowledge of what had happened in his past and I do not believe that he, nor his wife would have allowed their children to spend countless nights and days with PW if they thought their children would be in any danger. People like David Brown, who have out of control passions for revenge on sexual predators, assumed many things without knowing what went on in the meeting with PW. Brother Steve, I believed, assumed PW was completely transparent and honest. I believe CW and his friends assumed PW told Brother Steve everything; without whitewash.
People assume, we are good at it. Assuming gets us into trouble, I know because I have been there done that.

If we assume we have money in the bank and write a check before we balance our account we will have a bounced check if the bottom line reveals that the money is not there. This is what we have in this PW situation in our Church. People have acted on their assumptions of what happened, how it happened, when it happened, how deep the scars are, who is to blame and etc. The bottom line is this: The account has been balanced and therr is no outstanding debt which should be paid by Brother Steve or(Grace was in his account, enough to cover his assumptions) and it is well time for David Brown and the anti Gaines people to get over it!

Thank you, Mike for allowing those of us who stand behind our pastor to have a voice. A voice that NASS of the BBC Open Forum refuses to allow to be heard.

Billie

Billie said...

Mike Bratton said...
Charles, I have to ask a few things:

1) Is being an "inconsistent Arminian" anything like being "half dead" or "a little bit pregnant"?

2) Do you think it is possible for a Christian to be neither Arminian nor Calvinist in his or her theology?

3) Do you understand that Christians' security in our salvation doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to mature in the faith?

And Shane, the next time you plan to be in Birmingham, just let me know.

--Mike
response
This is a subject that I enjoy talking about in a calm gentle way but it seems to end in an defensive tone. I will attempt to discuss this again:

I am neither armenian or calvinist because I have matured in my faith and knowledge enough to know that neither of these great men had it ALL figured out. God is still revealing, in the last days, some things that He did not reveal to previous generations. I do not believe that God ever intended for us to adopt any man's works as our founder for our theology.

The pharasees (Jews) believed in Peter's day that God elected only them to be saved. Peter himself thought that until God dealt with him. He showed Peter, through a dream that God intended ALL people to have an opportunity to come into a personal relationship with Jesus. This story can be found in Acts. Brother Steve talked about this last week.
God gives us "red flags" in our spirit when something is wrong with theology and I received a huge red flag when a calvinist told me that if I were one of the chosen ones to receive salvation then I would have to believe that God selected me because the Bible says it. I began to study to find out what is wrong with me that I do not believe.
In months and years of praying, searching and requiring counsel, I found one statement that summed up what I knew in my heart was the truth but could not find the words to express and I want to share it with you:

"In God's sovereignty He limited Himself based upon man's willingness to receive Him as his Lord"

God is always in complete control of His Grace. Grace is not forced upon anyone it is poured out freely upon ALL who is willing to have a relationship with God.

I love what Brother Steve told me, "I beleive in both grace and free will" I wish that Armenius and Calvin had lived long enough to understand that no man will ever know the depth of God's Word from which we base our theology.

Peter didn't have it all when he was going every where preaching the gospel, but he thought he did, praise God he had a teachable spirit. I try not to judge Calvin and give him credit for all the good things he did but Calvin's dogmatic views of God's grace has done great damage to today's theological seminary students. Professors have embraced a man's theology and are forcing students to believe it and teach it. Carrying the name Calvin, which many believe and I agree is NOT Scriptural and our churches should abandoned the names of Calvin and Armenian. (They were just sinners saved by grace with errors in their ways) and should not in any way be exalted.

One other thing that I have observed in all of my years. The sin of David is often talked about in the pulpit. The sins of John Calvin is rarely if ever mentioned. One terrible sin that Calvin did, recorded in history, is having one of his friends burned in the street for all the people to see for the purpose of letting everyone know what would happen to them if they did NOT agree with his tulip.
I don't call myself a Davidite but I know that David had a heart for God. I don't call myself a Cavinist even though I do believe that he did some good things.

I call myself only a Christian because He alone is worthy!

Billie

Brady said...

I sure do enjoy Billie's writings. A welcome, refreshing change--and its sure nice to hear from someone who supports our pastor. Keep up the good work!

Brady said...

One of the things I notice about this whole fiasco with Dr. Gaines is that people love to quote Scripture and then apply it to someone else or bask in its glory to make themselves seem hyper-spiritual.

I'm just wondering how Dr. Gaines feels about people that have maligned him on blogs. The Bible is very plain that when these people are praying and then remember that someone (Dr. Gaines) has something against them, they are to leave their offering and go be reconciled to their brother.

Since they know they have said things against a Christian brother then why aren't they going to him??? His schedule should be lined up with people asking for his forgiveness.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie said:

"Brother Steve, I believed, assumed PW was completely transparent and honest. I believe CW and his friends assumed PW told Brother Steve everything; without whitewash.
People assume, we are good at it. Assuming gets us into trouble, I know because I have been there done that."

WHS said:
Didn't CW and his friends go to SG because they were upset that PW was still on staff? Bro Steve was under the assumption that everything was settled with the family and after talking with CW he realized he had to fire PW.

It seems that you are making false assumptions!

Billie said: "Mr. Brown obviously has a problem with, "jumping in and over the top emotions" when it comes to dealing with one certain issue and he will not be quiet long enough to hear the complete story. I feel sorry for the man and I agree that he works hard to protect children from sex offenders."

billie, you are wrong about David Brown. He knows what he is talking about, apparently you do not.

Paul Williams is a sexual predator, reguardless if his son let his children stay over.

Matter-of-fact he should be on the sexual offender list. People should know where he lives, works and attends Church.

WatchingHISstory said...

billie, according to this statement you are clearly an Armininian, a follower of the teachings of James Arminius

"In God's sovereignty He limited Himself based upon man's willingness to receive Him as his Lord".

You are solidly, anti-Calvinist. You are a follower of Adrian Rogers and Steve Gaines. You can only assume that your view is mature and Bible based.

you said: "God is still revealing, in the last days, some things that He did not reveal to previous generations. I do not believe that God ever intended for us to adopt any man's works as our founder for our theology."

We are far behind Calvin or Arminius in our understanding of theology today. We are theologically illiterate. Just listen to Johnny Hunts' message at Bellevue last month! You should know what I mean.

David Brown said...

Dear Ms. Billie: Wow have you ever changed your position since our last exchange of emails many months ago. Have you forgotten them? I still have them. Do you want to see them? As far as your opinions I acknowledge them, those are your rights but once again those are only your opinions.

What does matter when it comes to pedophiles is action; taking swift action in some cases. Inaction or excuses don’t cut it. Call me all the names you want, it is not going to change one thing I do. And you are certainly are not the first. In fact there is a long list of my detractors. But there is another list and unfortunately it too is long. That is the list of victims and their families that I work with. I am more concerned about that one.

Dear Charles: Thank you brother. Yes this minister should be on a sexual offenders’ registry. It is a shame our laws in Tennessee are still out of step with other states. SNAP was able, working in conjunction with several other child advocacy groups get the laws changed last year. It was a small step but yet it was action. Look at Maryland’s laws. Ron Merony, remember him? He was living here, was on TV and he sexually abused that girl in Maryland over 30 years ago. No one wanted to believe he was guilty when it first came out here. They were tons of people coming to his defense. People vilified the victim. Well what happened? He plead guilty. Why, because he was.

No, Ms. Billie fire away with your opinions. If it helps you feel better go for it. It is so easy to criticize someone when we don’t agree with them. It makes us feel better, “well I told him”, rather than take action. Now before you tell me that you are doing something, are you really? When you take up the time it took you to write those recent posts, you could have been doing something positive instead of calling someone names. That is what I meant earlier in my response to Mike. The other day I wasted too much time posting. As soon as I quit I heard from one dear lady for the first time. I ask you to join me in prayer for her and her family. She too was sexually abused by a very highly regarded priest (not in Memphis) and NO one believed her when she came forward over 30 years ago. Not even her family. What a burden to bear all those years.

Ms. Billie: I still love you.

David Brown
SNAP director for Memphis/West Tennessee

John Mark said...

WHS...
I believe in Total Depravity.


You have a powerful testimony, too!

Personally, I believe in partial total depravity. Or maybe impartial depravity. Or was it depraved impartiality?

Maybe I'll just start my own theology. How 'bout impartio-depravemental-unconditional-existiential-hyperactivism?

WatchingHISstory said...

john

impartio-depravemental-unconditional-existiential-hyperactivism?

I googled this and no web sites were found so it looks like you can start your own theology!

Good luck keep me posted

WatchingHISstory said...

DB said:

" Thank you brother. Yes this minister should be on a sexual offenders’ registry"

What have we come to when SBC ministers are on the sexual offenders' registry (or should be..)

WatchingHISstory said...

amazed said...
FBCJAX--You made my point about ministers being called better than I did. To say that God moved SG to BBC so he could do nothing but sow discord and division is hard to believe.

Could you also say that God moved SG to BBC to manage the discord and division already sown and that is also hard to believe. But more believable than the above post by amazed.

Brady said...

I love it when people say that Dr. Gaines sows division and discord when they are the ones posting ungodly posts and undermining everything at BBC. Kind of like the pot wanting to call the kettle black.

Perhaps Dr. Gaines was called by God to BBC to deal with people who were already people who thrived on discord and strife.

John Mark said...

It is kind of ironic that the contrarians go on and on about one or two things SG said in a sermon were divisive, when they say their stuff 24/7.

FYE, here's something I cherry picked today.

STOPTHEMADNESS said...
Hey Guys, sorry to barge in. But it is odd that Bro. Steve has been so grouchy (lack of better word) that he is hailed for being nice to someone, when he was standing in front of an audience. Wow, a man who loves Jesus was nice to a sick man for daring to approach him. Can't we all hear ourselves anymore?

9:23 PM, September 17, 2007

New BBC Open Forum said...
stm,

It is odd, isn't it? And a shame.

10:31 PM, September 17, 2007

Housewife said...
stm, LOL. No kidding. Also, at an 11 AM service, that camera serves as a great deterrent too. I mean, it's one thing to twist Scripture before an already Scripture-ignorant audience but it's entirely another thing to show your true temper in front of a camera. ;P


I don't follow the "logic". Are they saying that SG should have decked the guy?

Being recorded on tape makes people act phony, but at the same time Sharpe and Emerson are applauded for their loving tone when they were secretly taping the meeting with Gaines?

Talk about danged if you do, danged if you don't! Just for once, can't everyone agree that SG reacted in a very commendable way when a strange man interrupted his sermon? And not hurl curses at the congregation of BBC while doing so?

Housewife, good luck when you lay that trophy down.

Junkster said...

John Mark said...
Maybe I'll just start my own theology. How 'bout impartio-depravemental-unconditional-existiential-hyperactivism?

Maybe you could join me in my new group ... the ADHC, Attention Deficit Hyper Calvinists. We think we agree with all 5 points of the Tulip, but it's hard to be sure cuz we lose interest after somene explains the first two.

Memphis said...

John Mark, you have to remember that the majority of the people on the NBBCOF blog do not even go to BBC anymore, and that some of them never attended BBC in the first place.

WatchingHISstory said...

junkster

That would make you Attention Deficit Hypo-Calvinists

WatchingHISstory said...

Lin said...
"To say that God moved SG to BBC so he could do nothing but sow discord and division is hard to believe."

Read the OT and see how God used the Syrians and Babylonians and many others to get the attention of His people to turn back to Him.

Read the Prophets in the OT to see how well the people listened to the warnings God sent.

Since NBBCOF indulges in speculation as to what God does and does not do let me offer a speculation, lin.

God put PW at Bellevue to get them to turn back and get their attention. You can see how well the people listened and what has transpired.

Jessica said...

memphis,

glad to see you back... you have been MIA for a while!

John Mark said...

We think we agree with all 5 points of the Tulip, but it's hard to be sure cuz we lose interest after somene explains the first two.

Not interested, junkster. I hate organized religion, and if you agree on anything that's way too organized for me.

The SBC is really starting to grow on me, by the way.

John Mark said...

memphis,

It doesn't make sense to me. If they don't like SG, why don't they just say so instead of nitpicking everything he does and make fools of themselves in the process?

I'm trying to decide whether or not 'stopthemadness' was being deliberately ironic, or if he was serious. "Can't we hear ourselves anymore?" That's the question of the century.

WatchingHISstory said...

just a random post I came across:

"One only has to ride around our town to see some church's sign reading:
"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

My family always responds with, "Is anyone good?" "Why do good things happen to bad people?"

The same reasoning is applied by Arminians. "Why would a loving God choose to send people to hell?" I think our question should be, "Why would God elect any of fallen, sinful man for heaven?"

None of us deserve any of God's blessings, and yet he pours them out on us nonetheless. We breathe His air, He feeds and clothes us. Even afflictions are to be counted as joy because God uses them to mold us in to His son's image."

oc said...

WHS said:
I believe in Total Depravity.



Reply:
You mean staying there or just revisiting it once in a while?

John Mark said...

None of us deserve any of God's blessings, and yet he pours them out on us nonetheless. We breathe His air, He feeds and clothes us. Even afflictions are to be counted as joy because God uses them to mold us in to His son's image."

And yet (apparently) he chooses some of us for eternal life while he leaves others alone. The world and everything in it is passing away, but according to the Calvinists if God grants worldly blessing to some men (although they stand condemned) then that is just as good as granting eternal life to the elect.

I'd really like to understand this reasoning, but all I hear is that it's the "secret will" of God, and I dare not go poking around in it unless I'm willing to confess that I'm reprobate.

Okay, I'm reprobate. So what gives?

WatchingHISstory said...

oc

I guess staying there. We cease being depraved at glorification. We live with the present potential for sin every moment.

We grow in grace and knowledge and yet we have a struggle that causes us to cry out "O wretched man that I am"

oc said...

WHS,

You go ahead and stay there. I am being sanctified day by day.

Billie said...

WHS said:
Didn't CW and his friends go to SG because they were upset that PW was still on staff? Bro Steve was under the assumption that everything was settled with the family and after talking with CW he realized he had to fire PW.

It seems that you are making false assumptions!

Reply:


Yes,CW and his friends did go to Brother Steve because PW was still on staff. Brother Steve said that he had been led to believe that the matter had been dealt with over 17 years earlier. Why did CW and his friends wait so long?
The only answer that explains it is the fact that PW did not come clean with Brother Steve the, "confession" was whitewashed giving Brother Steve the message that there was no pending problems in their family.
It makes perfectly good sense that a minister or counselor who was listening to a well established minister (especially under Dr. Adrain Rogers) confide of a moral failure over 17 years ago, one that he said had been dealt within his family under the counsel of a minister on staff, would say that if God has forgiven you and your family, then it is over with. Counselors do this all of the time.
We know now that the term moral failure covers many sins but the term in times past was used for fornication and adultry.

Homosexuality was unheard in my days of education and if it was we never talked about it, now it is almost an everyday conversation. It is a sad day when a minister can no longer listen to a person confess a moral failure, without asking if the person sexually molested his or her child.

This is a sad period of realization for today's churches and,for certain,a time that all believers should be falling on our knees,as Isaiah saying, "woe is me and my people"

Nancy L. DeMoss has a message on what pride and humility looks like. I think it would do us all good to take her list and look at ourselves. Pride is a very ugly thing.


People want to blame Brother Steve but as I have said before and will continue to say, "WE, all, are to blame for the condition that our churches are in. PW was in our church before Brother Steve came and it is absolutely stupid for anyone to try to blame him for making a bad assumption when we assumed for 30+ yrs that PW was a minister who could be loved and trusted.

Memphis said...

Jessica, Thanks and yes I have been laying low lately...just do not see the point of arguing with people anymore.....If they are not worshipping at BBC, then by all means find another place to worship. But it bugs me to hear that people are not getting anything out of a service anymore without them looking into what they are putting into it.

Memphis said...

John Mark said...
memphis,

It doesn't make sense to me. If they don't like SG, why don't they just say so instead of nitpicking everything he does and make fools of themselves in the process?

I'm trying to decide whether or not 'stopthemadness' was being deliberately ironic, or if he was serious. "Can't we hear ourselves anymore?" That's the question of the century.

7:00 PM, September 19, 2007

Memphis says:
My humble opinion is that the blog over there has given most of them a sense of community that they are missing in the real world. I honestly feel that most of them feel their voices are not being heard anywhere else except on that blog and that is why they all band together no matter what is said.

I also think some of them enjoy this whole "rivalry" and think they are doing the right thing, while some reall y think they deserve a pat on the back.

As I said before, I hope they find a place to worship, and I also hope that they stop bashing us who stay and worship at BBC. I am seeing the sanctuary starting to fill back up and I see god at work there.

Memphis

David Brown said...

Dear Sister Billie: Once again you are at it with the PW matter and once again you are throwing your opinions as if they are fact. You and I have exchanged numerous emails in the past over this issue. I do not know how to say this but you are not even close. I told you that before when you were berating me. At that time you tried to drop names on me of people you knew as if that meant something. When you realized I was working with this victim, you backed up. You continue to speculate and defend what was said in meetings with Dr. Gaines. You do not have any first hand reports do you? I am talking about those that spoke with Dr. Gaines directly.

When PW told this one minister, that man was no longer on staff. He had been retired many years. And if you really knew what started all this, you would not speculate. It was pretty well spelled out in the “Report.”

I certainly take issue with your definition of moral failure. I think if you will check very closely, Dr. Gaines called it a “high” moral failure.

You make two statements that really get my blood boiling: No. 1: “Homosexuality was unheard in my days of education and if it was we never talked about it, now it is almost an everyday conversation.” Ms. Billie you and I are close to the same age. Where have you been all these years? It is in the Scriptures. Did you forget about Noah and his son?

And let me make this point perfectly clear. Homosexuality has NOTHING to do with pedophilia. NOTHING! So often well meaning but very ignorant people try to explain this horrible crime that way. Nothing could be further from the truth. The overwhelming majority of pedophiles are heterosexual. PW is not and was not a homosexual.

No. 2: you say: “Why did CW and his friends wait so long?” Who are you and how dare you to suggest this precious young man did anything wrong? Dear sister you owe this young man an apology. I love it when self-righteous snobs make comments like this about victims. It really shows how little understanding and how insensitive they are of this horrific crime. It speaks volumes.

And this statement of your “It is a sad day when a minister can no longer listen to a person confess a moral failure, without asking if the person sexually molested his or her child.” Why is that Ms. Billie? The law is extremely clear and has been for many years.
And the “confessional” does not absolve the duty to report. Just ask the District Attorney. You heard their statements in the media. And don’t give me “well if he was guilty he would have been charged.” Once again if you ever suspect that a person may have sexually abused a child, report them immediately. Let the people that know how to ask the proper questions do their thing. Yes it is a sad day but it is reality. Why is so much being said now? Victims sense things turning around for them. They see that there are people out there that will believe them, support them and fight with them. That is why you are hearing so much more.

And what about the church family Ms. Billie? You said, “It is the fact that PW did not come clean with Brother Steve the, "confession" was whitewashed giving Brother Steve the message that there was no pending problems in their family.” Is it really fact or once again your opinions? Do you really know what was said in those meetings or conversations? Ms. Billie have you read the report. Just read the book of Joshua and see what effects the nation of Israel suffered because of a “sin” in their church family. Look at how this sin has affected our beloved Bellevue. And certainly Dr. Gaines did not do right. Not my opinion, the investigative team said that. So please you have nothing to defend. The report speaks for itself unless you don’t believe it. I have accepted it, the victim has accepted it, why can’t you?

David Brown
SNAP director of Memphis/West Tennessee

WatchingHISstory said...

oc

keep holing on, endure to the end and you'll achieve glorification!

I get the impression that you practice falling from grace and that makes you a consistent Armininian.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie said

People want to blame Brother Steve but as I have said before and will continue to say, "WE, all, are to blame for the condition that our churches are in. PW was in our church before Brother Steve came and it is absolutely stupid for anyone to try to blame him for making a bad assumption when we assumed for 30+ yrs that PW was a minister who could be loved and trusted.

WHS said"
...when the sheep follow a shepherd who is an inconsistent Armininian this is the mess you get.

WatchingHISstory said...

A Armininian who tries to preach the perseverance of Calvinism (eternal security) is a loose cannon and a loose cannon is a dangerous thing.

WatchingHISstory said...

David

With all due respect explain this statement: "PW is not and was not a homosexual."

I am a very ignorant person yet I do understand that "The overwhelming majority of pedophiles are hetrosexuals"

Brady said...

David,

I enjoyed reading your comments to Miss Billie today but I do have a few questions and comments.

It seems like you know a lot about the conversation between Paul's son and Dr. Gaines. Do you really or are you just blowing smoke?

I thought you were a little harsh with her asking why his son took so long. I think this is a perfectly legitimate question and I don't think she was casting blame on him. My biggest question is what did the Mother know and why didn't she do something or report him to the police.

I really would like to know how you can say Paul is not and has never been gay. Have you talked to him personally about this? If not, I don't think you can categorically make that statement.

I do agree with your concepts but I think you need to calm down a bit.

JMHO

Billie said...

Dear sister you owe this young man an apology. I love it when self-righteous snobs make comments like this about victims. It really shows how little understanding and how insensitive they are of this horrific crime. It speaks volumes.


Mr. Brown,
I have a very low opinion of your judgments and tactics. You apparently set yourself up as judge and jury but one thing stands boldly in your face in this situation: You do not have the law backing up your claims against Brother Steve which anyone with discernment can determine who has the most insight into the PW case between you and I.

You say that I owe CW an apology; I say I have said absolutely nothing that warrants an opology. I simply raised the question of why did he and his friends wait so long (6 months) to learn if PW had been straight with the pastor. I will ask you the same question, considering you said that you were working with the victim; why did you not report the case? The way that you so boldly present this case against Brother Steve one would think that during that six months you were sitting in on every meeting, but you were not and neither do you for certain everything that took place!

Even if you were told what happened you were not there to see the facial expressions, to hear the tone of the voices or to know what was whitewashed. If you are as smart as you claim to be you would know that one side is what it is, "one side" with one side views expressed. I am sick and tired of your so called professional opinion regarding the pastor of our church appearing on the scene.

We, thousands of us who support our pastor, those of us who can see the love he has for Jesus in his heart, the desire he has to please God in all of his ways are saying to you Mr. Brown and all of your anti Gaines buddies "it is time for you to face the facts about the PW case and let it go"!

Our pastor, regardless of what you say happened or did not happen is innocent of the charges that you continue to place upon him and in our opinion you owe him a public apology for taking sides with the anti Gaines (wrong) crowd.

Do you honestly believe that your determination to destroy the victim's dad and punish our Pastor is helping the victim? Read the Word Mr. Brown! "Forgiveness" is where he will find peace.

It is time for you to leave our Pastor and the rest of us at BBC out of your conversations!

I also feel that it is better for you and I at this time to not speak of this matter in public again. If you would like to meet with me and one of our ministers in BBC; I will be more than happy to comply. One thing that is very obvious you and I are not on the same page. According to your post I have made you very hot under the collar (you seem to get that way a lot). I will meet with you at BBC to discuss your anger and try to help you to get over it!

Brady said...

Billie,

You are my new heroine!!!

Junkster said...

Brady said...
Billie,
You are my new heroine!!!


Isn't that a drug? Or is that heroin? Would a female junkie protagonist be a heroin heroine? And if she gave someone a kiss would it be a smack smack?

Junkster said...

Concerning the post at 10:57 AM, September 20, 2007, I think Proverbs 10:8 (ESV) applies:

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

Billie said...

Junkster said...
Concerning the post at 10:57 AM, September 20, 2007, I think Proverbs 10:8 (ESV) applies:

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

5:19 PM, Septembe

Junster,
Read the 1:59 AM post by D B and make sure you bring your verse of Scripture to his attention. I like the verse and agree with it 100%
There are a lot of babbling fools around here! IF you don't believe it just read the BBC Open Forum blog.

WatchingHISstory said...

junkster and Billie

How do you determine who is wise of heart and babbling fools. Apparently you consider David Brown a babbling fool.

You don't consider yourselves babbling fools, I'm sure.

How do you do it? I need to know this info for my communication skills. Did I miss the class where Dr. R taught the difference?

John Mark said...

Did I miss the class where Dr. R taught the difference?

I think you were there, you just didn't receive what he said for some reason.

WatchingHISstory said...

John

Are you wise of heart or a babbling fool?

John Mark said...

I think it depends on who you ask.

WatchingHISstory said...

John

If you are asking me I think you are wise of heart.

John Mark said...

Well, it's not too hard to be wise in heart but come across as a babbling fool. What's wrong with that, anyway?

I think if we ever get to the point that we can't laugh at ourselves then we're in sad shape.

Brady said...

Sometimes I think we can be wise in heart when we realize that we may be a babbling fool.

Seriously, I think a babbling fool is one who uses Scripture to make themselves appear spiritual and someone else unspiritual or even worse, one who reads and knows Scripture and then chooses to ignore or disobey it.

oc said...

Watching says:
oc

keep holing on, endure to the end and you'll achieve glorification!

I get the impression that you practice falling from grace and that makes you a consistent Armininian.

6:37 AM, September 20, 2007

oc says:
Acts 19:2. Did you recieve the Holy Spirit since you believed?

He works in me to become more like Jesus. Sanctification. You can label me Arminian, Calvanist, whatever. I don't care. Promote divisions of theological systems so you can provoke your petty war. Big deal. Why do you wage division? Not to promote the Gospel, but to amuse yourself.
I have recieved the Holy Spirit and I am being sanctified. I am secure in my salvation. My God is bigger that you are. So label on, antagonist. Arminian, Calvanist, Charles Pagism, whatever. But what you say matters not. Because in the end, only one label means anything. Label me Christian. My label says I'm His, and His alone. No matter what nonsense Charles Page can make up. Or anyone else.

WatchingHISstory said...

oc

My God is bigger that you are - so true

I like your post! Sometimes an antagonist brings out the worst or the best in people. Keep that passion and take it to a Walmart parking lot and tell people about Jesus with that passion. You are filled with the Spirit!

For me I remain a Spirit-Filled antagonist bold and evangelistic and yes CALVINIST!

What a life! I've got to go to work.

Charles Page

WatchingHISstory said...

If you are not a Calvinist then be a consistent Armininian but an inconsistent Armininian is a putrid drink and is usually spewed.

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, here's the thing.

Did you notice you referred to yourself as an "antagonist" and as a "Calvinist," yet not as a Christian?

And shouldn't that concern you?

When secondary issues gain such importance that they overwhelm fundamental similarities and basic areas of agreement, there's a problem.

--Mike

Billie said...

Questions for calvinist:

Do you agree that God made a plan before the foundation of the world to create all life?

Do you agree that God chose to give only the human life the ability to reason and make choices based upon their reasoning ability?

Do you agree that the above describes "predestination" of God's elected ones to communicate and fellowship with? He did not elect birds, dogs, cats, etc. but people!

Can you explain how God can sit on the throne during judgement and ask lost humans why did they not believe in Him if He had made them or programed them to not believe?

How could God say to those who did believe well done good and faithful servant if He alone produced their belief and He forced them to take every step along the way?

I know you are very dogmatic about your calvinistic theology but it does not make any sense and the only explanation that calvinist offer, when faced with the reasoning of the God given mind, is that the Bible teaches it and if you don't believe it you are not a Christian.

One final question: Before Arm. and Cal., there were Christians who fully believed that God gives all people opportunities to believe or refuse to believe in Him. People were allowed to follow His ways or reject His ways (Grace) in action. Can you show me one account where God forced His Grace? There are many places where He let the people go and He waited until they called upon Him.

The teachings of John Calvin does not flow through the Scriptures it has to be, "forced" into other text or just overlooked. If you have been studying the Word very long you know that the Word flows smoothly and Scripture easily interprets Scripture.

One of the major Calvinistic arguments is that man can not understand God's Ways and that statement is a BUT that is one reason why we must be saved. Our minds must be renewed, so that we can come to understand the ways of God.

Coming face to face with God through God's Word and accepting Him as your personal God opens the door to understanding but it is important to remember that understanding is a process which comes over time with God.

I have a take on John Calvin and Arminius that I believe explains where they went wrong and how we might benifit from their efforts, but it is my opinion which I do not feel led to discuss now. Both of their followers have fueded for years attempting to prove their leader was the right one. They were both the right men to prove that no man has ever or will ever be able to establish a, perfect "organized state religion" History records that Calvin desired to have his new organization appointed as the government ruled church and with his views of God he thought it was ok to use force.

We can get close to pure Christianity but only Jesus Christ will stand as the Head and leader of it. Subtract all human beings from the title and place Jesus where He belongs!

oc said...

Mike said:

Charles, here's the thing.

Did you notice you referred to yourself as an "antagonist" and as a "Calvinist," yet not as a Christian?

And shouldn't that concern you?

When secondary issues gain such importance that they overwhelm fundamental similarities and basic areas of agreement, there's a problem.

--Mike

8:12 AM, September 21, 2007


oc says:

Mike. You got it man. There it is, and that's my point. I was searching for a way to say it without being furthermore confrontational. Thanks for putting in that gentle way.

Just sayin'.
oc.

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike you said to me:
"Did you notice you referred to yourself as an "antagonist" and as a "Calvinist," yet not as a Christian?"

"And shouldn't that concern you?"

9:42 AM, September 13, 2007 you said:
"And there's a difference between questioning someone's Christian maturity, as he did, and questioning someone's salvation, as you just did. The former behavior, while not conducive to discussion, is far more tolerable than the latter behavior, which is presumptuous and sinful"

So I find it surprising that you of all people would question another's salvation.

Everybody read my 7:19 AM, September 18, 2007 post which explains my journey to Calvinism.

I am antagonist on this blog because I see the need for antagonism, especially on the other blog!

You tell me how many people have you bore witness of Christ to today. Witnessing is a result of Holy Spirit regeneration and not the cause of salvation nor assurance of it.

I started the day talking to two people at McDonalds, two people on the shuttle bus to work, six people at work (lengthy conversations with a JW and a Church of Christ worker. I witnessed to two people at Walmart and not once did I bring up the subject of Calvinism. Rather i witnessed in Calvinistic fashion!

How many people have you witnessed to today? I hate SS type show and tell sessions but this one time show me and tell me how your regeneration has resulted in witnessing for Christ today. Not a week ago or a year ago but today.

I have probally witnessed to over 1000 strangers the last two years.
Market place evangelism among real people not in the four walls of a church.

I am an evangelistic Calvinist! Are you an evangelistic Armininian?
Are you a Calvinist hating witness for Christ? I witnessed to four Calvinist hating Baptist lately. They were antagonistic in public places! Two were Baptist Deacons and one was a deacon's wife!

Mike, you can call my antagonism secondary issues but for me they are primary issues extremely important to the future of American fundamentalism.

We are a long way from basic agreements and similarities. We are already spread out too thin with agreements and similarities.

John Mark said...

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

I've thought about this quite a bit today.

I think that since the pastry is gone, nobody here is arrogant to the point that they are not open to instruction.

We all know (now that you-know-who has departed) that we don't know everything, and if someone offers up something that shows we are mistaken we aren't too proud to admit we're wrong.

And no one here demands that we behave according to his rules (well, as long as a certain person stays away). We are all willing to accept one another for who we are (other than, well, you know).

I used to think that there was an arrogant smugness that was unique to Christians, but now I know that it belongs to other faiths as well.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie

here are a few answers to your questions from Germans in Heidelberg, 1563

6. Q. Did God, then, create man so wicked and perverse?

A. No, on the contrary, God created man good[1] and in His image,[2] that is, in true righteousness and holiness,[3] so that he might rightly know God His Creator,[4] heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify Him.[5]

[1] Gen. 1:31. [2] Gen. 1:26, 27. [3] Eph. 4:24. [4] Col. 3:10. [5] Ps. 8.



7. Q. From where, then, did man's depraved nature come?

A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] for there our nature became so corrupt[2] that we are all conceived and born in sin.[3]

[1] Gen. 3. [2] Rom. 5:12, 18, 19. [3] Ps. 51:5.



8. Q. But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?

A. Yes,[1] unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.[2]

[1] Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Is. 53:6. [2] John 3:3-5.

Mike Bratton said...

WatchingHISstory said...
Mike you said to me:
"Did you notice you referred to yourself as an "antagonist" and as a "Calvinist," yet not as a Christian?"

"And shouldn't that concern you?"

9:42 AM, September 13, 2007 you said:
"And there's a difference between questioning someone's Christian maturity, as he did, and questioning someone's salvation, as you just did. The former behavior, while not conducive to discussion, is far more tolerable than the latter behavior, which is presumptuous and sinful"

So I find it surprising that you of all people would question another's salvation.


The technical term for that, Charles, is "grasping at straws." Obviously, I questioned nothing except your preferred terminology, and I expect you to apologize--both for suggesting that I questioned your salvation, and for suggesting that I'm somehow hypocritical for observing the curious nature of your remarks.

Let me ask you the same questions, augmented and amplified just a bit and taking into account your lengthy response: Did you notice that you referred to yourself as someone's antagonist, and self-identified as a Calvinist? And should it not bother you that you emphasize Calvinism as much as you do?

When I was a boy (and for those of you saying "Oh, no, another story," get hold of yourselves), I went to an all-boys school. When we were released in groups to use the restroom, we would often have contests to see which one of us could stand the farthest back from the, um, lavatory facilities while, um, hitting the mark. Bladder strength, in the minds of boys and young men, is quite a distinction; with the maturity of adulthood, though, such juvenile competitions should go by the wayside.

For lack of a better term, Charles, you're attempting to use sharing the Gospel in the same way as boys use bladder strength, wanting to have a "contest," and it is offensive that you do so. I share Christ as I have opportunity, and have had the blessing to be part of, over the years, several unique ways to witness not only locally, but nationally and internationally. After prayerfully considering what to write, that's as detailed a response as you're going to get.

Words mean things, Charles. I'm still curious why you use particular words as you do.

--Mike

Billie said...

WatchingHISstory said...
Billie

here are a few answers to your questions from Germans in Heidelberg, 1563

6. Q. Did God, then, create man so wicked and perverse?

A. No, on the contrary, God created man good[1] and in His image,[2] that is, in true righteousness and holiness,[3] so that he might rightly know God His Creator,[4] heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify Him.[5]



repy:

Let me make certain that I understand your post. Are you saying that God did not predestinate (before the world began) some to be compliant and follow His will and some to reject His Lordship?

Are you saying that predestination began after Adam and Eve fell into sin? Are you saying that God's grace gave them a free will, but He took it away from us? Are you saying that you are not a Calvinist?
I don't mean this statement to be ugly so please do not read arrogance into it: Your post is very confusing and innconsistant with the 5 points of the tulip. To add even more to discuss is the fact that I have listened often to John MacAuthor and others who claim to believe that man does not have a free will to choose Christ and one day that say they believe it and the very next day preach a sermon that says that the opposite is true and say, "I preach the Word the pure Word, the Word that John Calvin taught"

This is what I was saying in my earlier posting: There is too many inconsistincies in the Calvin doctrine of salvation. The only way the theory can be consistant is by elaborating on certain Scriptures. My Spirit does NOT indentify with the theory, and from the first time I was exposed to the teaching (in my early 20s) I had a check in my Spirit that something was not right. I know today in my late 50's after many years of being in God's Word the reason I could not force myself to believe it was because it was not the complete gospel in the form of 5 points. I am still learning about God's wonderful grace and with the free will that he predestined me with, I daily partake of His grace. I enjoy and am so grateful for the gift of my free will and He continues to bless me in more ways than I could ever express. God gave every human a free will and Grace refuses to take it away!

I do enjoy discussing this subject with those who have settled to accept the theory. I do not like to get involved in heated arguments. I consider the conversations as informative material to gain futher insight into the religion of Calvinism.

I do ask, if you desire to pursue our conversation that you please only refer to me as a Christian. I take a lot of pride in the name of Christ and wear His Name with great respect.

In Christ,
Billie

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
The technical term for that, Charles, is "grasping at straws." Obviously, I questioned nothing except your preferred terminology, and I expect you to apologize--both for suggesting that I questioned your salvation, and for suggesting that I'm somehow hypocritical for observing the curious nature of your remarks.

Mike, in the quote of you that Charles provided, you chided someone for questioning someone else's salvation. But that person later responded by saying that was not their intent (just as you have).

From your response it seems evident that you didn't think your remarks could be construed as questioning Charles' salvation. But I can see how, prior to your further elaboration, Charles could think that. I trust from your explanation that was not your intent, but I don't think you should take such offense at Charles' misunderstanding of your words. Seems he simply mistook your meaning, just as you mistook someone else's meaning in the same way. JMO.

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said... (to Charles)And should it not bother you that you emphasize Calvinism as much as you do?

One must keep in mind that many Calvinists (and many Arminians) believe that their soteriological views are orthodox and that any other view is unorthodox or heretical. If one believes that Calvinism is biblical truth, and that it is as much a part of orthodox belief as is the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and coming return of Christ, then it should bother them if they didn't emphasize it. Shouldn't it?

WatchingHISstory said...

junkster

I guess I should thank you for your kind remarks, although it becomes difficult to determine who your friends are on these blogs.

I went to a Christian Church college and heard class after class berating Calvinism. 1968-72
A couple of months ago I met one of the great theological professors at a Church and I went up to him reintroduced myself to him and proudly announced that I am now a bold, Spirit-filled evangelistic Calvinist and he dropped his eyes fiddled with his tie and not looking up he said, "well, it dosen't matter what you believe as long as you love Christ."

I thought that I wasted all that money getting a degree for him to now just dismiss my beliefs as petty. I was insulted. Where is his backbone?

I am antagonistic! intentional! AR was more antagonistic than me. He and SG both devoted a full sermon on anti-Calvinism using cheap straw man illustrations without any opposing views.

I have AR's poorly written booklet in front of me, "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!" The title itself is a strawman title. I seem to be the only person in the world who will challenge his Armininian views (I'm sure there are others but they post on safe sites)

I encounter in public anti-Calvinist people and they are antagonistic and arrogant and I try to avoid public arguments.

Public displays should be clearly witnesses unto Christ and his glory.

These blogs are not such forums but are rather venues where opinions fly with passion!

John Mark said...

Junk,

I hope you understand why I must respond to your post here instead of over there.

Junkster said...
"Roger Oldham, vice president of [SB] convention relations, told a Nashville TV station the convention is looking for a broad approach to 'first of all, protect autonomy of the local church, and second, protect the children, too.'"

This is an example of placing right doctrine before right living. As important as right doctrine is, Jesus taught us that right living arises from having a right heart, not from having the right theological views.

"first of all, protect autonomy of the local church, and second, protect the children, too." How very Baptist. How very Phasisee.


I don't agree with you at all. Regardless of how it was said, the fact remains that protecting children was spoken in the same sentence as protecting church autonomy. I don't see anything to suggest that right theological views has taken precedence over right living.

What I do see is still another example of a group of bitter, unhappy people (you know who) seizing on anything they can to make the church look bad.

You shouldn't encourage them.

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, the straw man argument lies in suggesting that someone--be he Adrian Rogers, or any other Christian--is an Arminian when he has both demonstrated and declared that he is not.

Over and over again.

Of course, when folks show an interest in only using the word "Arminian" as an epithet, sometimes it worms its way into places it doesn't belong.

And Junk, you have a point. Sometimes the obvious can, for whatever reason, be less than obvious to a portion of a group.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

However, Junk, it is "grasping at straws" indeed to insist someone is pharisaical because of the ordering of a list in a sentence.

For example, let's say I make this remark: "First of all, I love my children, and second, I love my wife, too." Can anyone honestly presume from that statement that I love my wife less than I love my children?

For the record, Mr. Oldham's quote, linked to in the Ethics Daily article, was truncated. The quote as it appearted in the WSMV website article, quoted thusly and like so: "'The database by itself would be an insufficient safeguard of our children. We're looking at a much broader, multi-prong approach of how we can best, first of all, protest autonomy of local church, and second, protect the children, too,' said vice president of Convention Relations Roger Oldham."

Mr. Oldham, from the full quote, evidently isn't quite the Pharisee you make him out to be. Apparently, he's much more interested in safeguarding children than you suggested. I would encourage you to revise your observation, and to engage in more research before making future pronouncements.

And isn't it interesting that someone from "Ethics Daily" would engage in quote mining? But, hey, at least he left a link to the actual quote.

--Mike

Junkster said...

John Mark said...
I don't agree with you at all. Regardless of how it was said, the fact remains that protecting children was spoken in the same sentence as protecting church autonomy. I don't see anything to suggest that right theological views has taken precedence over right living.

To quote Mr Bratton:

Sometimes the obvious can, for whatever reason, be less than obvious to a portion of a group.

I think I may end up using that quote a lot! :)

Junkster said...

Mike Bratton said...
However, Junk, it is "grasping at straws" indeed to insist someone is pharisaical because of the ordering of a list in a sentence.

For example, let's say I make this remark: "First of all, I love my children, and second, I love my wife, too." Can anyone honestly presume from that statement that I love my wife less than I love my children?


Sometimes the obvious can, for whatever reason, be less than obvious to a portion of a group. I see your example as "grasping at straws" -- a futile attempt to prove an invalid point. Starting a sentence with "First of all" generally carries the concept of, "I have multiple important things I want to convey to you" and would, as your example indicates, not necessarily imply an order of importance. But placing the phrase "first of all" in the midst of a sentence, as Dr. Oldham did, conveys the concept of priority of the items that follow. (I would have said "clearly conveys" but sometimes the obvious can, for whatever reason, be less than obvious to a portion of a group.)

For the record, Mr. Oldham's quote, linked to in the Ethics Daily article, was truncated. The quote as it appearted in the WSMV website article, quoted thusly and like so: "'The database by itself would be an insufficient safeguard of our children. We're looking at a much broader, multi-prong approach of how we can best, first of all, protest autonomy of local church, and second, protect the children, too,' said vice president of Convention Relations Roger Oldham."

Mr. Oldham, from the full quote, evidently isn't quite the Pharisee you make him out to be. Apparently, he's much more interested in safeguarding children than you suggested. I would encourage you to revise your observation, and to engage in more research before making future pronouncements.


I read the entire quote, and even with the context you provided, the concept being conveyed remains the same. I will grant that I do not know if Dr. Oldham intended to convey the idea that local church autonomy was the first concern and protecting children was the second. But intended or not, his wording did convey that thought. After all, "words mean things". But then, sometimes the obvious can, for whatever reason, be less than obvious to a portion of a group.

Given that Baptist leadership has a history of bringing up autonomy whenever asked to take any action on the issue of abuse by clergy, and given their lack of action prior to the messenger's motion at this year's convention, it is not at all unreasonable to be suspicious that the leadership would place the doctrine of local church autonomy over the protection of children from sex abuse.

(By the way, I assume that "protest (sic) automomy of the local church" in the WSMV article is a typographical misquote, and that Ethics Daily got the wording right; otherwise Dr. Oldham is indicating that their first priority is very un-Baptist!)

And isn't it interesting that someone from "Ethics Daily" would engage in quote mining? But, hey, at least he left a link to the actual quote.

It is only "quote mining" if the use of the quote out of context changes the meaning of what was said. Again, I see absolutely nothing in the full quote that changes the priority that Dr. Oldham's wording places on autonomy. If it were not the primary concern, why would this even be an issue? Why wouldn't such a database have already been created? Other than concerns about autonomy, what possible reason could there be for not taking every step possible to protect children? Granted that a database may not be the ultimate solution, and much more may need to be done, why has nothing been done at all up to now, in spite of repeated requests that the convention take some action, any action? If autonomy isn't taking priority, what is?

Well, there is one answer, but it is rather cynical to assume ... perhaps the convention's real primary concern is not automomy at all, but it is avoiding any legal responsibility as a national organization. If they can avoid getting involved, they can avoid getting sued when something goes wrong in the future. But it would be cynical indeed to assume that protecting financial assets is more important than protecting children.

Mary said...

Junk,

Be sure to give attribution to Mike -- everything he says on this forum is likely copyrighted. ;-)

But Junk, a slight change in syntax can make it your own, such as MB did with my comment that "Words have meaning" in a response I posted here a few weeks ago.

I think I'll give Mike the rest of that phrase in case he needs another topic header: Words have meanings and those meanings have consequences. Like that better? ;-)

I'm just having fun with ya', Mike.

Have a wonderful day!

Mary

Junkster said...

Mary said...
Junk,

Be sure to give attribution to Mike -- everything he says on this forum is likely copyrighted. ;-)

But Junk, a slight change in syntax can make it your own, such as MB did with my comment that "Words have meaning" in a response I posted here a few weeks ago.


Oh my! Guess I'll have to stop using that phrase (or modify it a bit). But Mike wouldn't sue me--would ya Mike? :)

I think I'll give Mike the rest of that phrase in case he needs another topic header: Words have meanings and those meanings have consequences. Like that better? ;-)

I like "words have meanings" better than "words have meaning" ... the former conveys that words can mean more than one thing, while the latter implies they mean only one thing. If this thread (and blogging in general)has shown anything, it is that words can and do have multiple meanings, and that it is often very difficult to determine the "meaning" (original author/speaker intent) because of the "meanings" (potential multiple definitions of the same words).

Thanks, Mary, for injecting some levity. Hope you have a great day also!

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, regarding your use of language, we've been over this before. There are mannered, polite ways of expressing ideas, and you have again chosen to avoid them. Consequently, I'm deleting your original post after I respond.

WatchingHISstory said...
With all due respect I don't offer an apology for my assumption that you were questioning my salvation, which I believe you were doing. I am still surprised that a man of you maturity would have suggested such a thing.


Since I didn't, your belief is poorly invested. I still find it curious that you want to press the point, though, and self-identify as a Calvinist virtually exclusively. Why is this?

I also am shocked that you would have construed that my self aggrandizement at sharing Christ as a juvinile and immature ... contest.

"How many did you witness to?" expresses the same sentiment as "How far back can you hit from?" and is just as worthwhile a question to ask.

My purpose in using the "contest" argument was taken from Paul's argument to the Corinthians about the spiritual gifts. If he was going to argue against abuses he would establish that he spake in tongues more than they all. It could not be said of him that he was just an observer but a passionate participant in the subject at hand.

You never got around to the rest of Paul's argument, though, did you?

To argue against Adrian Rogers' Armininism ("only the grace of God can. . . . enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God" -prevenient grace, SBC BF&M) I believe that my personal testimony must be that I am a passionate participant at the very point that AR accuses Calvinist of failure, evangelism. The heart of the Armininian argument is that Calvinism destroys personal evangelism and thus implies negligent Church growth.

First off, let me make this clear. Just as he was not an Adrian Rogers was not an Arminian. Period. There is no room for discussion, qualification, or obfuscation on this point, no matter how many times you print that fabrication, Charles. Pastor Rogers preached against Arminianism even as he preached against Calvinism, since he subscribed to neither flawed, exclusive, eisegetical extreme.

It is a lie to say he was doctrinally Arminian--have I made the point clearly enough, folks?

God charted my path to argue against Armininism on Dec. 22, 2005 before I realized that I would be involved in such a debate. God sovereignly intruded into my life like a "thief in the night" and sent me out wittnessing. I rediscovered the Spirit filled life in daily sharing the gospel.

Splendid.

Did He also instruct you to press the point regarding mislabeling people such as Adrian Rogers?

...

Now I may not win others over into Calvinism in the numbers I expect, but if I provoke others to witnessing as much as myself then we will all be winners!

God might just come to you in the night visitation and you might be a Calvinist also.


Interesting that nowhere in Scripture are those of us who are Christians instructed to "win others over into Calvinism."

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

And just for attribution's sake, I was quoting one of Rush Limbaugh's 35 Undeniable Truths of Life.

Word for word. ;)

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike said:

"No. None of those statements presume individual initiative apart from the prompting of God the Holy Spirit. Without His prompting, in ourselves we would have no interest in the things of God."

Is this prompting in ourselves regeneration of the Holy Spirit?
Is this the new birth?

John Mark said...

I think I may end up using that quote a lot! :)

Maybe you could set up some kind of signature for your posts?

Here's an idea. Why don't we stop having church altogether? Did the Soviet Union have a problem with abusive preachers? They didn't have church, but hey, they didn't have sex scandals in the (nonexistent) church either.

Maybe that would be an acceptible solution today.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie said:

"Let me make certain that I understand your post. Are you saying that God did not predestinate (before the world began) some to be compliant and follow His will and some to reject His Lordship?"

God does predestinate before the world began. Eph 1:4,5; II Thes 2:13; II Tim 1:9
Remember, He dosen't have to reject anyone We are all aready rejected and condemned to hell.

You ask:
"Do you agree that God chose to give only the human life the ability to reason and make choices based upon their reasoning ability?"

Adam and Eve were created innocent and had the full and free will to make a choice. Their sin brought corruption into the world so that we are all lost and dead in sins.
Eph 2:1-3

you ask:
"Can you explain how God can sit on the throne during judgement and ask lost humans why did they not believe in Him if He had made them or programed them to not believe?"

He won't have to ask them this, they will be filled with the awareness of their inexcusable sinfulness. Rom 2:1-3

you ask:
"How could God say to those who did believe well done good and faithful servant if He alone produced their belief and He forced them to take every step along the way?"

Election is not forceful. He chooses and quickens one to newness of life. They will be so full of thankfullness knowing that no work of righteousnees on their part got them there.

you said:

"I know you are very dogmatic about your calvinistic theology but it does not make any sense and the only explanation that calvinist offer, when faced with the reasoning of the God given mind, is that the Bible teaches it and if you don't believe it you are not a Christian."

I don't know of any Calvinist who has said if you are not Calvinist you are not saved. There maybe some but not me.
Interesting though is that the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Church of Christ, Baptist and Armininians appeal to the same book as the source of their teachings.

Jesus seems to be speaking Calvinistically when he tells Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit moves like the wind selectively at the will of the Father quickening dead sinners to newness of life. They believe because they have been born again. They are not born again because they believe, that would take away the desire of the Father to save whosoever He chooses according to his good pleasure. Eph 1:4,5

Billie ask:

"One final question: Before Arm. and Cal., there were Christians who fully believed that God gives all people opportunities to believe or refuse to believe in Him. People were allowed to follow His ways or reject His ways (Grace) in action. Can you show me one account where God forced His Grace? There are many places where He let the people go and He waited until they called upon Him."

Did you ever go to a morgue and ask the undertaker if he would allow you to arm wrestle one of the dead? To successfully arm wrestle there has to be resistance so my suggestion would be to select a small body that will not offer resistance!

When a person is born again then they regretfully offer resistance. Do you ever offer God resistance?

No there are no scriptures that indicate that God forced his grace there are many that show God quickening sinners to newness of life. Eph 2:5

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

from Josh Buice's blog

The Aposlte Paul's Theology

In Romans 3:10-18 Paul writes:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips: Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Paul does not seem to indicate in this section of verses that man is able to turn to God. In fact, he says “there is none that seeketh after God.” Furthermore, Paul writes in Ephesians 2:1 “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;” Paul said that “we” were dead in trespasses and sins. This seems to indicate an inability to turn to God. Did Paul believe the doctrine of Prevenient Grace? Did Paul hold to a partial deficiency of man or a total depravity of man?

WatchingHISstory said...

Notice how Billie has come under the influence of the straw man argument created by Adrian Rogers.

A straw man argument makes the opposing view appear to be weak and easily refuted. It is an intentional misrepresentation of the opponents view.

AR want you to think that Calvinism has God forcing grace upon the sinner. That statement can easily be refuted but it is a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

AR wants you to think that Calvinism predestinates sinners to hell. That argument can be easily refuted but is a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

He has Calvinist saying God takes a little tender child and say, "I'm going to harden your heart and then I'm going to cast you into hell."

Now if Billie believes this is true of Calvinism and someone like Adrian Rogers says it then her heart is seared with error!

When Ar says to Billie that Calvinist will have you believe that if God is sovereign, how can He blame me for sinning? Was I created to be a sinner? If billie believes this she is hardened against the truth.

When AR says that Calvinist believe that "..God takes a lump of clay and says that this one is for heaven and this one is for hell. These I'm going to keep, but these I'm going to destroy"

He is misrepresenting truth about Calvinist with strong emotional language. (emotive language fallacy) She nor Mike Bratton seem to really know what AR believes short of his many Adrianism but are certain that He is not Calvinist.

What is AR not telling you in all the above straw man arguments? He is not telling you what the Bible actually says about being sinners.

He is telling you that a sinner can contribute to his salvation. The sinner is prompted by the Holy Spirit to act freely in comming to Jesus. This supposedly answers the question about God forcing anyone to be saved. Sovereignty is forfeited sufficiently that man's free moral agency is protected. There was a day when this would have been heretical but it is popular theology today!

AR's beliefs are hardening the hearts of believers. Believers are warned not to harden your heart nor allow yourself to be mislead into hardness and unbelief.
"Take heed, brethern, lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief" Heb. 3:12

Jessica said...

I sat under the teachings of AR for my whole life. But since I was only an adult for about 7 years of that, I tend to remember the simpler things that he said- the things that were easier for my young brain to process. I do recall some sermons where Dr. Rogers talked about Calvinism but what I do away was not the deep theological positions he held, but the simplicity of him saying 'I won't know for sure which way is right until I get to heaven , but I know that we are called to witness and evangelize and let God sort out the details'. Basically he said that even if people are predestined (which, no, he didn't believe) it doesn't absolve us of our responsibilities. It doesn't matter what doctrine you subscribe to in the debate, we should just all be out there trying to tell the world about Jesus.

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, a discussion is made up of a substantive exchange of remarks. I'd like your next post to actually include some of that, if you don't mind.

Adrian Rogers was my pastor for most of the past quarter-century, and for a smaller percentage of that he was both my boss and my friend. Consequently, I have something more than a basic grasp of where he was theologically. And you keep posting lies about his doctrine and theology; it would really go a long way towards facilitating real discussion if you would stop publishing lies about what he did and did not believe.

For example, you said this (quoting thusly, and like so): "What is AR not telling you in all the above straw man arguments? He is not telling you what the Bible actually says about being sinners. He is telling you that a sinner can contribute to his salvation."

Your statement is a lie, Charles.

Pastor Rogers went to great pains to preach that there was no way that anyone can "contribute" to his or her salvation. As a matter of fact, one of his favorite analogies to drive that point home was someone receiving an automobile as a gift from a friend. The recipient, not wanting to be perceived as a charity case, volunteers to pay some of the cost of the car. He pays a whopping twenty-five cents toward the purchase price, then tells everyone "My friend and I bought this car together."

I don't know why you post what you post, Charles, but the repetition and the lack of substance are wearying. As I've observed more than once recently, words mean things, and I'd love for you to explain what it means when you use words that consistently misrepresent what Adrian Rogers preached, and words that suggest you have an unhealthy fascination with Calvinism.

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Jessica said

"I do recall some sermons where Dr. Rogers talked about Calvinism"

He preached sermons against Calvinism not about it. He wrote a booklet, "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!" It was a poorly written booklet that misrepresents the principles of Calvinism.

It was written after the style of John R. Rice Publications who seem to have intentionally misrepresented Calvinism especially Charles Spurgeon's theology.

Perhaps this misrepresentation was done out of ignorance on AR's part as he relied on John R Rice.

you said:
"...but the simplicity of him saying 'I won't know for sure which way is right until I get to heaven , but I know that we are called to witness and evangelize and let God sort out the details'. Basically he said that even if people are predestined (which, no, he didn't believe) it doesn't absolve us of our responsibilities. It doesn't matter what doctrine you subscribe to in the debate, we should just all be out there trying to tell the world about Jesus."

I disagree with you about the debate issue. It is far more serious than a mere disagreement over a minor doctrinal issue. Predistination is a major doctrine Romans 8:29,30. The roots of the disagreement reflect a very dangerous compromise, the integrity of the doctrine of salvation. Present day fundamentalist along with AR, a celebrated leader at the helm, have left the orthodox moorings and have allowed semi-pelagianism of the style of Charles Finney's "new methods" evangelism and depravity- destroying "prevenient grace" to corrupt the true doctrine of salvation.

Mike Bratton said...

Case in point.

Charles, since you apparently are not a fan of Pastor Rogers' "Predestined For Hell? Absolutely Not!" booklet, can you give some specific things you don't like about it?

You know, for discussion?

And Charles, I've never met another believer who didn't agree with this: "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."

Talk amongst yourselves--I'll give you a topic: One of Calvinism's major shortcomings is erring in understanding the import of those two Scripture verses from Romans 8.

(Which--for the record--was Pastor Rogers' favorite chapter of his favorite book of the Bible.)

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike, you said: "Pastor Rogers went to great pains to preach that there was no way that anyone can "contribute" to his or her salvation. As a matter of fact, one of his favorite analogies to drive that point home was someone receiving an automobile as a gift from a friend. The recipient, not wanting to be perceived as a charity case, volunteers to pay some of the cost of the car. He pays a whopping twenty-five cents toward the purchase price, then tells everyone "My friend and I bought this car together."

Mike this analogy, STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN. That is blogese for screaming profanites in Christian secondary cussing. If I had cussed I would have used a simple four letter word starting with s and ending with t.

Is that a substantive exchange of remarks. that you would like my next post to actually include?

Now read this Mike and understand what I am saying. The analogy assumes that the sinner is a friend of God, a major error. God loves the world, the 'kosmos'. That is the well ordered created adornment including the inhabitants he placed in it. His creation brought pleasure to him and the couple would replenish the earth with people deserving of his love.

But the couple sinned and insulted the creator. The couple's descendants are not friends of God but people perishing under the awful judgement and wrath of his anger. Mike, they are sinners.

The gift was not an automobile donated to a poor friend but the death of His own Son to pay a debt that the sinner had incured. The sinner is a dead man spiritually in God's eyes.

This death paid the price that the justice of a holy God demanded. The Son had to be fully man and fully God inorder for the sacrifice to be effective.

A "dollar-deal" is a contractual agreement to satisfy a legal demand or a face-saving token for a proud charity case.

Not a whopping penny would be received by our sovereign God as payment to save face. We have already insulted him enough!

It is a gift and God gets to freely pick those He wishes to restore. This is election, foreign to present day fundamentalism.

Jeff Alexander says: "According to this definition (prevenient grace) sinners are no longer totally depraved. The power of God is no longer needed in gospel work, and evangelism is the art of selling Christ. The better one is at persuading sinners, the more sales he makes. Emotional manipulation makes the gospel appealing to the godless. Human methodology is believed to produce "revival" and pride replaces "fear and trembling" in the preaching of the cross. " ICor 2:1-5

WatchingHISstory said...

"Charles, since you apparently are not a fan of Pastor Rogers' "Predestined For Hell? Absolutely Not!" booklet, can you give some specific things you don't like about it?"

Mike, read my post 7:43 PM yesterday. I won't have to be repetive.

Jon L. Estes said...

Charles,

You come across as pro-Calvin more than pro-Christ. You also put words in the mouth of someone who never stated or believed what you claim they did.

If you want to make a point worth anything, please show where someone actually said something wrong, then show the truth through scripture... not your Calvinistic idealism. Until then, what you offer is rubbish.

WatchingHISstory said...

CRTA website "Foreknowledge"

The evangelical Arminian acknowledges that God has foreknowledge, and that He therefore is able to predict future events. But if God foreknows any future event, then that event is as fixed and certain as if foreordained. For foreknowledge implies certainty, and certainly implies foreordination. The evangelical Arminian does not deny that there is such a thing as election to salvation, for he cannot get rid of the words "elect" and "election," which occur some twenty-five times in the New Testament. But he tries to destroy the force of these words by saying that election is based on foreknowledge, that God looks down the broad avenue of the future and sees those who will respond to His gracious offer, and so elects them.

WatchingHISstory said...

jon

read my post 7:43 PM yesterday. I won't have to be repetive.

If you know how to copy and paste then select my rubbish and post it for everyone to read. Point it out rather than just saying it is rubbish.

You don't want everyone to think I am stupid do you?

Now if you are Armininian then you will want everyone to thik that.
Mike has done a good job establishing that I am a liar.

Jon L. Estes said...

Charles,

From you 7:43 post...

AR want you to think that Calvinism has God forcing grace upon the sinner. That statement can easily be refuted but it is a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

No where have you shown Dr. Rogers ever wanted this. Give us your source, not just a bunch of words in quotes without source.

AR wants you to think that Calvinism predestinates sinners to hell. That argument can be easily refuted but is a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

No where have you shown Dr. Rogers ever wanted this. Give us your source, not just a bunch of words in quotes without source.

He has Calvinist saying God takes a little tender child and say, "I'm going to harden your heart and then I'm going to cast you into hell."

No where have you shown Dr. Rogers ever stated this. Give us your source, not just a bunch of words in quotes without source.

When AR says that Calvinist believe that "..God takes a lump of clay and says that this one is for heaven and this one is for hell. These I'm going to keep, but these I'm going to destroy"

No where have you shown Dr. Rogers ever stated this. Give us your source, not just a bunch of words in quotes without source.

He is misrepresenting truth about Calvinist with strong emotional language.

No where have you shown Dr. Rogers ever misrepresented. Give us your source, not just a bunch of words in quotes without source.

What is AR not telling you in all the above straw man arguments? He is not telling you what the Bible actually says about being sinners.

Or how Charles interprets scripture as truth, to the point everyone else is wrong.

He is telling you that a sinner can contribute to his salvation.

Shall I say rubbish?

AR's beliefs are hardening the hearts of believers. Believers are warned not to harden your heart nor allow yourself to be mislead into hardness and unbelief.
"Take heed, brethern, lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief" Heb. 3:12


Dr. Rogers beliefs are contrary to Charles therefore Dr. Rogers is wrong and Charles is the centrifuge for all truth.

I'll say it one more time.

RUBBISH!!!

A good way to win your point is to work to present truth and not to just call everyone who see things differently wrong.

From this Calvinist to another...

RUBBISH.

There is no need to be repetitive it only will make you look more silly.

Jon L. Estes said...

Charles said...

Mike has done a good job establishing that I am a liar.

Now that could be the truth, for once. ;-)

WatchingHISstory said...

Jon
my apology, my source is "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!" by Adrian Rogers.

WatchingHISstory said...

jon

I posted this earlier to Mike:

Mike, you said: "Pastor Rogers went to great pains to preach that there was no way that anyone can "contribute" to his or her salvation. As a matter of fact, one of his favorite analogies to drive that point home was someone receiving an automobile as a gift from a friend. The recipient, not wanting to be perceived as a charity case, volunteers to pay some of the cost of the car. He pays a whopping twenty-five cents toward the purchase price, then tells everyone "My friend and I bought this car together."

Now read this Mike and understand what I am saying. The analogy assumes that the sinner is a friend of God, a major error. God loves the world, the 'kosmos'. That is the well ordered created adornment including the inhabitants he placed in it. His creation brought pleasure to him and the couple would replenish the earth with people deserving of his love.

But the couple sinned and insulted the creator. The couple's descendants are not friends of God but people perishing under the awful judgement and wrath of his anger. Mike, they are sinners.

The gift was not an automobile donated to a poor friend but the death of His own Son to pay a debt that the sinner had incured. The sinner is a dead man spiritually in God's eyes.

This death paid the price that the justice of a holy God demanded. The Son had to be fully man and fully God inorder for the sacrifice to be effective.

A "dollar-deal" is a contractual agreement to satisfy a legal demand or a face-saving token for a proud charity case.

Not a whopping penny would be received by our sovereign God as payment to save face. We have already insulted him enough!

It is a gift and God gets to freely pick those He wishes to restore. This is election, foreign to present day fundamentalism.

Billie said...

amazed said...
It doesn't really matter if Mary Winkler was right or wrong in killing her husband. The jury and the judge have spoken, she has served her time and it is now time to accept her back into society.

It is now pathetic that another judge has control over when she can have her children back.

What ever you do in life, please steer clear of the judicial system. It will control your life and mess things up for a long long time.

9:26 AM, September 24, 2007



Mike, I found this post from one of the BBC Open Forum active bloggers. I could not help but be AMAZED by the willingness of this women to accept the bottom line of the Winkler case. Her desire is to accept the decision of the jury and tell others that they should let it go. This is one of the same people who constantly bring up charges against our pastor and tell people that those of us who are now active and supporting Brother Steve are idiots for announcing that Brother Steve has been declared innocent of all charges against him.

What is this? Defend a murderer but fry a man who is preaching the pure gospel of Jesus Christ??

I would like to know your take on this one?

Billie

Mike Bratton said...

As I told someone else this morning, there is no legitimate courtroom defense that centers around the notion that "He needed killin'."

Unless, of course, you're deliberating the Mary Winkler murder case. Or attempting to defend that literal miscarriage of justice.

To suggest "It doesn't really matter if Mary Winkler was right or wrong in killing her husband" is an incredible display of moral relativism. It doesn't matter if murder is right or wrong? I remember reading something in Exodus about that...

"The jury and the judge have spoken, she has served her time and it is now time to accept her back into society."

Considering the site from which it originated, that statement screams right past irony and deep into hypocrisy. Don't let Paul Williams near your children, but invite Mary Winkler to your home for a sleepover, 'cause she needs to be accepted? What happens if you aggravate her just before "lights out," hmm?

Well, she did say she was sorry. She said it from a jail cell, after being extradited back to Tennessee from Alabama, where she fled with her three children.

And again considering the source you quoted, one of the elders at the Winklers' church had this to say--specifically about Mary Winkler: "Mary is a member of this church family... If we don't have forgiveness, then we don't have anything."

Forgiving her is one thing--that's clear-cut and Biblical. But pretending she didn't gun her husband down while he slept is another matter entirely.

Let me be clear: If you're gung-ho to not only forgive Mary Winkler but "accept her back," yet you publish a single unforgiving word against anyone else, you've created a cognitive gridlock for yourself.

Once again, words mean things.

--Mike

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, the best way I've ever heard it summed up Biblically is this--that those of us who are the elect are also the "whosoever wills."

Calvinism is imperfect and incomplete, just as Arminianism is. Because of that, both should be, must be rejected.

And Charles, all analogies--unless they were offered by Jesus Himself, not surprisingly--break down at some point. However, you committed the basic mistake of jumping on the word "friend" rather than dealing with the example as a whole. Again, that's counterproductive to discussion.

Why be so locked in to a flawed theology, even identifying yourself with it instead of with Christianity as a whole?

Oh, and for the record, I said you published lies about Adrian Rogers, which you did. I never called you a liar. There's a difference.

--Mike

John Mark said...

It doesn't really matter if Mary Winkler was right or wrong in killing her husband. The jury and the judge have spoken, she has served her time and it is now time to accept her back into society.

Wow. I'd like to think 'amazed' means that God's final judgement of the murder has already been rendered although not yet enacted, but I know better. What an incredible statement, the kind of thing I'd expect an atheist to say.

Well, she did say she was sorry. She said it from a jail cell, after being extradited back to Tennessee from Alabama, where she fled with her three children.

I read that she also said she was sorry to her husband before he died. Apparently after taking his shotgun and shooting him point-blank in the back while he slept, he fell off the bed and asked her 'why'? Before she took the children and left the house with him still breathing, she said "I'm sorry".

Billie said...

Mike,

Thank you for your response regarding the statement from one of the Anti Gaines activist, "Amazed" I really think we can understand a little more about how she thinks and exactly how she became involved in the movement to destroy God's man who happened to be the one in leadership when the PW situation came to the surface AND
They say that we / I have some mental problems?

Billie said...

Mike,
I agree with your post regarding Calvinism. We are Christians!

I had an opportunity to actually sit and talk with Dr. Rogers about this subject. He told me without hesitation that he was not a calvinist and that he disagreed with people calling themselves Calvinist. He said that he did agree with a couple of their points, but he futher stated that he often found some point to agree with in the theology of most religions

I often wondered why Dr. Rogers did not get up and say point blank, "I am not a Calvinist" I know now, after Brother Steve said it, why he didn't. Dr. Rogers new that it would cause a huge problem, especially with some of the connections with Mid America (not with Dr. Gray Allison) but others who were teaching that a person could be a two or three point Calvinist. It is obvious that if you don't believe all points then you are not a Calvinist, you are just trying to straddle a fense. I believe like the Jehova Witnesses, there is One God, but that does not make me a one point Jehovah Witness.
I personally believe that Calvinism was not Dr. Roger's major concern nor his, "fight" but I do believe the problem is growing among SBC and someone is going to have to step out on the front line and say, "This is not the name of Christ and Calvin is a name that should be abandoned in the mission to reach the lost for Christ"
It is one thing to be aware of the work of another man but it is completely out of line with Christianity to refer to the body of Christ as, "Calvinist"

Keep up the good work Mike!

John Mark said...

Actually, Billie, according to 'amazed's' profile he's a 75 year old dude. And a crabby one at that. (That's not in the profile, I deduced it on my own.)

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike Bratton said...
Charles, the best way I've ever heard it summed up Biblically is this--that those of us who are the elect are also the "whosoever wills."

Mike, can a sinner make a choice for salvation without first being regenerated?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?

Is the sinner totally disabled by sin?
Calvinist say yes
Arminians say no
What do you say?

Has God chosen a people He intends to save?
Calvinist say yes
Arminians say no
What do you say?

Did Christ die for all of lost humanity?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?

Can sinners resist God's saving grace?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?

Can a believer lose his salvation?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie ask:

Do you agree that God chose to give only the human life the ability to reason and make choices based upon their reasoning ability?

Billie
Q. Did God, then, create man so wicked and perverse?

A. No, on the contrary, God created man good[1] and in His image,[2] that is, in true righteousness and holiness,[3] so that he might rightly know God His Creator,[4] heartily love Him, and live with Him in eternal blessedness to praise and glorify Him.[5]

[1] Gen. 1:31. [2] Gen. 1:26, 27. [3] Eph. 4:24. [4] Col. 3:10. [5] Ps. 8.

Q. From where, then, did man's depraved nature come?

A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in Paradise,[1] for there our nature became so corrupt[2] that we are all conceived and born in sin.[3]

[1] Gen. 3. [2] Rom. 5:12, 18, 19. [3] Ps. 51:5.

Q. But are we so corrupt that we are totally unable to do any good and inclined to all evil?

A. Yes,[1] unless we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.[2]

[1] Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Is. 53:6. [2] John 3:3-5.

Billie said...

Can a believer lose his salvation?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?

7:30 PM, September 24,

Watching History,
Why do you believe that Calvin or Arminius is the only choice for people to choose from? Who was Paul, Peter, Mark, Matthew, etc? By the way I say IF I had to choose between one of the two men BUT I DON'T, I would choose Arminian. I praise God that He gave us Jesus and I choose Him!

Why do you want to pick the teachings of any man? The Word tells us NOT to do that. The more I hear you expound on your god (John Calvin) I am even more convinced that you need to set your self free from his bondage upon your life.

God created Adam and Eve giving them the freedom to choose why can't you except that God gives all people a right to choose. God does His part and then it is up to us to do our part. Yes, we can not save ourselves we have no means to save ourself because God ownes heaven. HE gives us the knowledge necessary to make the decision. This is not a difficult truth to grasp. As I said before, everything flows through the Word of God backing up this truth. When I read the text that you point out all I can see is that God's plan was to create us (all people) desiring for all to love Him with a free will. HE knew many were not going to love Him but for those who would He said "lets make man"
Those who choose to love Him are the chosen ones or the elected ones. To believe anything else is reading the Word with a closed mind, determined to make it or force it to conform to the teaching of John Calvin, not Jesus!

I am praying for you; I want so much for you to realize the greatness of our Heavenly Father.
He can not be placed in a box (tulip) He is much bigger than that.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie,

I respect your right not to be called an Arminian, however your statement is pure Arminianism.

"God created Adam and Eve giving them the freedom to choose why can't you except that God gives all people a right to choose. God does His part and then it is up to us to do our part."

Pure and simple, Arminianism/semi-pelagianism.

This is contrary to Paul in Romans 3:10-18 Adam and Eve in their innocence had a choice but we their descendants are dead in trespasases and sins Eph 2:1-3

You said: "Those who choose to love Him are the chosen ones or the elected ones."

I John 4:10 Contradicts your statement. We didn't choose him he first choose us John 15
He loved us first when we were sinners undeserving of his love.

You said: "Why do you want to pick the teachings of any man? The Word tells us NOT to do that. The more I hear you expound on your god (John Calvin) I am even more convinced that you need to set your self free from his bondage upon your life."

You exalt Adrian Rogers. I have never read an article by John Calvin, let alone a book. But I do subscribe to the decision of the council of Dort that determined that the teachings of the followers of Arminius were heretical.

You on the other hand have sat down with DR Rogers and let him determine what you believe.

You said: "I often wondered why Dr. Rogers did not get up and say point blank, "I am not a Calvinist"

I was there the Sunday night he devoted a full sermon denouncing Calvinism. I sat there and listened and knew that he didn't know what he was talking about. But he used emotive language that scared people away from the truth of the Bible.

Mike Bratton said...

WatchingHISstory said...
Mike Bratton said...
Charles, the best way I've ever heard it summed up Biblically is this--that those of us who are the elect are also the "whosoever wills."

Mike, can a sinner make a choice for salvation without first being regenerated?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?


Your question asks if an unregenerate individual can respond to the call of God without having first... responded to the call of God. Quite a Möbius strip you built there, isn't it?

Is the sinner totally disabled by sin?
Calvinist say yes
Arminians say no
What do you say?


Unwilling to come to God on personal initiative alone? Of course. Unable to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit? This Scripture came to mind:

Romans 10:13-16a

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel.

Has God chosen a people He intends to save?
Calvinist say yes
Arminians say no
What do you say?


Again, I'll refer you to the above Scripture.

Did Christ die for all of lost humanity?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?


Romans 5:6-10

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Of course, no one's up for rewriting Scripture to say that God loved just the elect so much He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever was already part of the elect wouldn't perish (which they wouldn't have done anyway), but have everlasting life (which they already had).

Seriously--does anyone want to have a go at that?

Can sinners resist God's saving grace?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?


The Bible says people can get a good, long look at what it means to be saved, and even understand their need to be saved, and walk away.

Hebrews 6:4-6

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Can a believer lose his salvation?
Calvinist say no
Arminians say yes
What do you say?


Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What I have to say on those subjects--or, frankly, what you or anyone else has to say, Charles--doesn't amount to a hill of pinto beans. What the Bible has to say on these subjects is the beginning and the end, and both Calvinism and Arminianism are guilty of picking the parts of the Bible that support their respective worldviews and ignoring the parts that don't.

Too many people over the centuries have become doctrinal vigilantes for either of two systems which are full of flaws, and which both suffer from the curse of a limited temporal perspective.

Self-contained, exclusionary Calvinism is wrong, Charles. Self-contained, exclusionary Arminianism is wrong, too. I really don't know how many different ways I'll have to phrase it before the message gets processed, but I can certainly keep trying...

--Mike

WatchingHISstory said...

Self-contained, exclusionary Calvinism is wrong, Charles. Self-contained, exclusionary Arminianism is wrong, too.

The titles Christian and Bible believing can also be self-contained and exclusionary.

Charles

Mike Bratton said...

Charles, why participate on other people's blogs if you are unwilling to engage in discussion of the remarks you make?

For those following along (including Charles): What truth does Christianity ignore, and what truth does the Bible avoid? For Charles' retort to make any kind of sense, both the Scriptures and the Christian faith have to be fundamentally flawed.

Either you have a point, Charles, or you don't. To modify a well-known phrase, extremism in the defense of the liberty of the Gospel is no vice; however, extremism in the defense of a flawed doctrinal system is.

--Mike

Billie said...

Mike said: (He is right)
Self-contained, exclusionary Calvinism is wrong, Charles. Self-contained, exclusionary Arminianism is wrong, too.

Watchinghistory said:
The titles Christian and Bible believing can also be self-contained and exclusionary.

Charles

7:38 AM, September

Reply:
Charles,
You say that I allowed Dr. Rogers to convince me that Calvinism is wrong and I want to you to understand that I was convinced Calvinism was wrong long before listening to Dr. Rogers preach. When I brought up the subject with him; I wasn't for certain how he believed because I never heard him denounce Calvinism in specific words. God had shown me the truth and Dr. Rogers added some confirmation.

I want to enourage you to listen to the wisdom of Mike who articulates the truth very well. The response that you made about Christians and Bible believing people are not in comparison with Calvin and Arminian, and their (box of points), do not line up.

When Christ returns He alone will be worshipped.
We are to spiritually seperate ourselves from all foreigners and not look to any man for points or outlines to base our faith upon. A good book to read is Nehemiah, the story of the return to ONE GOD and especially chp. 9, renewing the ONE GOD they had wondered so far away from.


I say: We all need to get alone with God and forget everything we think we know long enough to get to really know our GOD. When I did this I fell to my knees saying God have mercy on me and my people; we are far away from worshipping You and praising you from our heart because we have foreign throughts deluting our minds. l

Church music is getting louder, people's voices are getting stronger so why doesn't God hear and respond? Are people doing this thinking that loudness impresses God? God wants our hearts to know Him as the one and only God.

Many people have left church because of the loud music and the songs being sung. Loud music and loud voices of man will not provide the wisdom we need in order to live at peace with the Lord. John Calvin voice was, "screaming" "I have the way!"
"I have the, "box" all you need to be satisfied in this world,'make it the state religion and everyone will be happy!" WTONG !!!!!!!
MAN DOES NOT HAVE THE WAY GOD ALONE OWNS IT; PREACH, SCREAM, CHANT, BANG INSTRUMENTS! Study what Calvin says, do all these things but it takes JESUS and there will be absolutely no peace until HE alone sits on the throne and man is bowed in humility before HIM!

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike
(just got home from work)
"Your question asks if an unregenerate individual can respond to the call of God without having first... responded to the call of God. Quite a Möbius strip you built there, isn't it?"

I'll assume that you answered yes.

"Unwilling to come to God on personal initiative alone? Of course. Unable to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit? This Scripture came to mind: Rom 10:13-16a"

I'll take that to be a yes. The prompting/enabling of the Holy Spirit seem to me that you are saying it is pre conversion/regeneration. That would be an Armininian position.

Romans 10:13-16a
1)They will not call upon Him if they have not believed
2)They will not call upon Him if they have not heard
3)They will not hear if they don't have a preacher
4)No one will preach unless they are sent
5)Those sent will declare the Word of God. (Faith cometh by hearing)
Salvation springs from the Holy Spirit sending the preacher to minister the Word. The sinner does not initiate it at all.

The elect nation of Israel heard the message and rejected it. The voices of the prophets fell on deaf ears.

The Gentile message was fortold by Isaiah: "I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me." (sounds Calvinistic to me)


Has God chosen a people He intends to save?
Calvinist say yes
Arminians say no
What do you say?

I'll take it you answered no.

"Of course, no one's up for rewriting Scripture to say that God loved just the elect so much He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever was already part of the elect wouldn't perish (which they wouldn't have done anyway), but have everlasting life (which they already had).
Seriously--does anyone want to have a go at that?"

I'll try it!

Rom 5:6-10 WE and US are listed 8 times in these verses. The elect (US) are ungodly, lost, in bondage and under judgement; awaiting eternal punishment. God motivated by love meets the needs of the elect by giving his son.

I Thess 5:9,10 "For God hath not appointed us (elect) to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us."

Redemptive love is particular and cannot be frustrated. His grace is effectual.

I John 17:6 "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word."

"God loved just the world (kosmos) so much He gave His only begotten Son that the elect (whosoever belieth, they call upon the name of the Lord) wouldn't perish but have everlasting life."

I'll assume you answered yes.

"The Bible says people can get a good, long look at what it means to be saved, and even understand their need to be saved, and walk away." Where does the Bible say that? Rom 3:10-12, says the opposite of what you said.

Certainly not the passages in Hebrews 6:4-6 The Armininians believe that 4 and 5 describe a truly regenerate man who falls away. Some Calvinist believe that this describes a man not born again but on the threshold of salvation. I disagree with both views. The view of the Armininians would seem more believable than not being regenerate at all.

Heb 10:26-30 Seems to me to clarify the one above. Here the one believing is a regenerate man who sins willfully. The nature of the sin is such that there is no forgiveness in this life but a fearfull expectation in the life to come. These passages deal with a believer who looses his rewards in heaven but not his salvation. I Cor 3:15

So I'll assume that you answered yes to that. But you will have a hard time pulling away from the Armininian argument.

Romans 8:35-39 No sureprise here, you said no.

Mike, by my evaluation you are 4 point Armininian or 1 point Calvinist. (You could be 3 1/2 A or 1 1/2 C) But what is my evaluation? This also is probally AR's and Billie's view.

I'm no scholar but I believe that you and Billie both want to hold to a third position.

WatchingHISstory said...

Mike,

Is there a synthesis of the two sides?

You said: "Charles, the best way I've ever heard it summed up Biblically is this--that those of us who are the elect are also the "whosoever wills."

I do not see a synthesis of the two. It boils down to free will, man or God's.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie said

"Charles,
You say that I allowed Dr. Rogers to convince me that Calvinism is wrong and I want to you to understand that I was convinced Calvinism was wrong long before listening to Dr. Rogers preach. When I brought up the subject with him; I wasn't for certain how he believed because I never heard him denounce Calvinism in specific words. God had shown me the truth and Dr. Rogers added some confirmation."

Thanks for the clarification and I apologize for the wrong assumption I made.

Charles

Tim Greer said...

Zzzzzzzz....snark..snarf..zzzzzz....

WatchingHISstory said...

"For those following along (including Charles): What truth does Christianity ignore, and what truth does the Bible avoid? For Charles' retort to make any kind of sense, both the Scriptures and the Christian faith have to be fundamentally flawed."

Or else the state of American fundamentalism is as far removed from reformation Bible truths as Catholicism was from Luther in his day.

If Luther was to walk the halls of Bellevue Baptist would he think Christianity has progressed or fallen away from the truth of the Bible?

Karen said...

Hey all!

I have no dog in the fight on Calvanist or Armininists, so I'll stay out of it.

I know a lot of BBC folks read this blog so I wanted to post about my dad here.

Dad will have the left upper lobe of his lung removed due to a mass that was found during a CAT scan. He will have surgery next Wednesday and we really covet your prayers. You can email me for more details.

Hope you don't mind me breaking into the conversation - please continue!

Thanks! Karen

Derrick Calcote said...

Karen,

I will be praying for your dad. I love Brother Joe very much and it will be my privelige interceed on his behalf.

Karen said...

Derrick! I forgot to email you directly, but thanks for they prayers.


karen

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie

What is the connection to Calvinist here:
"Church music is getting louder, people's voices are getting stronger so why doesn't God hear and respond? Are people doing this thinking that loudness impresses God? God wants our hearts to know Him as the one and only God.

Many people have left church because of the loud music and the songs being sung. Loud music and loud voices of man will not provide the wisdom we need in order to live at peace with the Lord.

you lost me in this. I thought that I would just ignore your remark. What are you talking about?

bayoubaptist said...

Mike,

Who do you think LSU will beat worse...Alabama or Auburn?

Since you livin' there now, don't you got to back one or the other?

So, will you pick your "Biggest Loser", or will get lost in your Alabama 'dreams'?

:)

BB

Billie said...

Watchinghistory,
I was trying to make a point that Christians need to turn back to worshiping God, alone, from the heart. Creating a, "Tulip" or a different kind of music with more emphasis on feelings will not produce the pure gospel. The gospel has never ceased to exist.

God calls His children to come out from, not reform and, "fix it"
I don't have all the answers to your problem of believing in John Calvin's tulip (box) I don't have all the answers to what is going on in the Churches all across our country but I know the One who does and He existed long before the reformation and there has never been a time when He did not exist.

I know He has kept His Way and His Name alive and He is NOT here today because of any man but inspite of man.
I will also state what I believe regarding Calvin based upon MY research. Calvin knew that the religion he was practicing was NOT right (False religions will NOT satisfy) I believe the Holy Spirit was convicting his heart and he was searching for the Truth. I also believe that his determination to read the Scripture, firsthand, was God's will. I believe God used Calvin even though Calvin DID NOT have time to deeply study with much prayer and meditation the depth of God's love and His desire to save ALL people. The reformation freed a lot of people from the stronghold of the organized state religion, people who otherwise would not have had opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ. Christ is the BOX, not the points of Calvin's Tulip. Those who are in The Box (Jesus) will be saved and anyone can get in The Box who chooses to believe in Him. There can be no salvation without The Box so yes He is the Savior!
It is difficult to place ones thoughts on internet and I am sorry if I sound confusing. The best way I can sum it up is by saying We need to go beyond the new movements we see going on today and beyond John Calvin; back to Jesus Christ and start all over again with Him, listening and obeying what we know is right and that is loving Him with all of our heart!

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie

You are confusing contemporary music with Calvinism and there is no connection.

However, let me explain a little of what I understand of the history of Calvinism.

Europe experienced a separation from Roman Catholicism on two fronts. There was the German Reformation led by Martin Luther in October 1517.

Zwingli led the Swiss Reformation in Zurich in 1522 and John Calvin, in August 1536 in Geneva.

Both Protestant Reformations spread rapidly through all Europe with Calvin's making the most headway.

These reforms away from the Catholic Church also competed with other rival reforms including the Anabaptist and Unitarians.

At the end of the sixteenth century James (Jacob) Arminius resisted the Calvinist doctrines in favor of those who did not agree with the predestination that made God responsible for sin and denied man his freedom of will.

So Arminius drew up his views in five protest: 1) Election was conditional based upon the forseen faith of those who would believe. Calvinism taught the unconditional election based on the sovereignty of God. 2) Christ died for all people and not only the elect, however not all people accepted this attonement. Calvinism limited the atonement to the elect only. 3) Man was not totally depraved and could cooperate with God in regeneration. Calvinism held to the total depravity of man. 4) God's grace was not irresitable for the elect. Calvinism held to the opposite view. 5) Calvinism believed in "once in grace always in grace" Arminius emphasized the possibility of a lapse in grace.

Arminius died in 1609 and his followers protested the Calvinism of the (Dutch Republic) United Netherlands and in November 1618 the Synod of Dort formed a delegation of theologians who convened for seven months to decide the issues. Their determination was that all five points were heretical. They then formed the formula which we know today as TULIP. Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresitable Grace and Preseverance of the Saints.

Arminius' views held and were the fore-runner of Methodism.

Calvin never authored the TULIP formula however his name was attached to the systen of orthodox beliefs that held for 200 or more years and spread into the English colonies.

Today what was once heretical beliefs are now embraced as "orthodox" without hardly a sign of protest. We are in desperate need of another break from false religious systems.

Charles

Junkster said...

I wish there was a book called "Calvinism for Dummies". Some folks could sure use it.

WatchingHISstory said...

Billie

People like you and Mike have always been embarrasssed with several points of Calvinism. The close ties to Augustine's seemingly belief to make God the author of sin and the limitation of and irrestibility of grace.

So after the decision of Dort to maintain a Calvinistic form of Christianity there arose the revolt in the form of Amyraldianism after the beliefs of John Camereon.

According to them there are two conflicting decrees. A general decree whereby God wills the salvation of all men and a specific decree whereby God wills the salvation of the elect.

It is a variation of the form of fundamentalism we have today in America. Since fundamentalist are embarrassed with the exclusive view of limited atonement which is effectual, it charms the sinners with an armininian approach whereby God loves them and offers a savation based on their choice.

This sabotages the Biblical truths of God's sovereignty in salvation and makes the message more universal and accepting. This explains the reason you don't hear about repentance as a fearful dread of the consequences of sin.

I took my dog for a walk this morning and saw a young student waiting for his ride to high school. I stopped and ask him if I could tell him something with out being offensive. He said yes and I repeated the five word phrase the Lord gave me to witness to people, "Jesus is Lord and God"
These are the five words that answers to the five words Paul refered to in I Cor. 14:19 (Mike take notice) These words have oppened doors to incredible conversations.

This young man was smoking and as we had to cut our conversation short he let me know that he was over 18. It caught me off guard because I was not even talking about smoking at all. The five words sparked a response in his young heart and it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Somebody probally already planted a seed and I watered a little and the Holy Spirit will give the increase. This prompting resulted in condemnation of sin. We need this in our churches, but no, the sinner hears an affirmation of the love of God for him that is void of the move of the Holy Spirit.

John Mark said...

Actually, the kid has probably been beat up by judgemental church people and he's programmed to act phony whenever he's around one. For some reason churches label smoking as sin, and the kid didn't want to be talked down to.

What he needs to hear is an affirmation of the love of God. Then he wouldn't be so worried about justifying his actions to men.

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

Mike said:
"For those following along (including Charles): What truth does Christianity ignore, and what truth does the Bible avoid? For Charles' retort to make any kind of sense, both the Scriptures and the Christian faith have to be fundamentally flawed."

Charles' retort I'm assuming is: "The titles Christian and Bible believing can also be self-contained and exclusionary."

Which was a reaction to Mike: "Self-contained, exclusionary Calvinism is wrong, Charles. Self-contained, exclusionary Arminianism is wrong, too."

Concerning divisions amoung American Christianity today the identifications "Christian" and "Bible Believing" are so over used as to be vague and indistinct.
This is a shame and reproach because they are noble terms.

Paul dealt with the same problem in Corinth. The household of Chloe reported by letter to Paul that there were contentious divisions.
Noble men were awed by their followers and making comparisons to the other groups with their celebrated men. Paul, Apollos, Cephas and Christ.

Shouldn't we all be Christ's followers? No, if we use his name to divide the body. The name Christ can be Self-contained and exclusionary. The Bible can be exclusionary and self-contained if we use it to divide rather than unite us.

We all need to speak the same thing and be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.

Are we all Christians? Yes Eventually we will all be speaking the same things in minds and judgements. Because of Christ and the Bible there will be unity. We have to have trust and a open heart to the Holy Spirit. Open and free discussion with the Spirit will prevail over exclusive and closed minded approaches.

WatchingHISstory said...

Christa brown said on her website:

"Dozens of Southern Baptist abuse victims have told me about how their perpetrator (ministers) insisted that what they were doing was sanctioned by God. Others were told that they were “already married in God’s eyes.” Still others were told that it was a “test of faith.” Many were told all of that….and more…by Southern Baptist ministers whom they were raised to believe were God’s mouthpieces.

I’ve heard similar stories so often that I sometimes wonder whether there’s a seminary course that teaches this sick stuff. I can just imagine the course title: “Biblical Rape 101: How to twist the scripture to get young flesh and silence them when you’re done.”

And what about all those other Southern Baptist ministers whose inaction makes them a sort of accomplice to the crime? In my own case, the music minister knew that Gilmore was abusing me. Gilmore himself had talked about it with the music minister! Yet, the music minister did nothing and, as a result, Gilmore grew more emboldened and the abuse became more severe and I wound up being far more traumatized. Why should that music minister not be considered an accomplice to rape?"

WatchingHISstory said...

check this out

http://grace.org.uk/faith/calvin.html

WatchingHISstory said...

Isaiah 59:1-2 (King James Version)
1Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Did the sin of PW and the neglect of AR to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit cause God to hide his face from Bellevue for 17 years?

Can we keep saying that AR didn't know and that excuses him from judgement?

Was there something in his theology that offended God?

Junkster said...

WatchingHISstory said...
check this out

http://grace.org.uk/faith/calvin.html


Excellent summary ... pure biblical teaching ... simple, yet profound. The believer who comprehends and submits to these truths finds them heart warming, bringing a sense of awe and wonder and gratitude and humility and joy. For those who do not see that this is the true nature of salvation, these doctrines are a stumbling block, something they foolishly and ignorantly dismiss as "flawed, exclusive, eisegetical" and "imperfect and incomplete". Yet take heed -- these blessed doctrines of Scripture are the full counsel of God's salvation, and, those who do not embrace them, though they may not realize it, are only rejecting His Word and His sovereignty. Though we may think our "words mean things", His Word truly means something!

All glory to God for His gracious salvation!

Barnabas said...

This may or may not make it past the censor on the "Open" forum so I thought I would share it here.

This is my reply to "SOTL" who made this post:

sickofthelies said...
I want to tell ya'll something remarkable that has happened this week at Faith Baptist.

I have a friend who's child has been sick and having some physical problems that the doctors have not yet been able to " fix".


Anyway, my friend had her child at the ER one day this week, and guess who came to see them there?
Bro. Terry, the choir director...He came there to check on them...

And then, if that wasn't remarkable enough, the next day, Bro. Danny CALLED her at home to check on her child....

These men have the heart of a pastor....Can you imagine SG doing anyting like this? He doesn't meet with his sheep, he's much too busy and too important.

Bro. Danny makes a fraction of what SG makes..and yet, he has time for this family, who has not yet even joined the church!!

Praise God for men like Bro. Danny and Bro. Terry!! Praise God for Faith Baptist Church, where wounded sheep can receive spiritual healing.


Reply:

Absolutely. And I don't have to imagine it. A while back, word got to brother Steve that there was a lady in the hospital who watches BBC's service on TV and she especially liked it when he sings. It was suggested that maybe he could call her and minister to her on the phone.

Instead, he went to meet with her in the hospital to minister to her, pray for her, and he even brought his guitar and played and sang for her.

WatchingHISstory said...

junkster

It is hard to believe that Adrian Rogers and Steve Gaines would waste a worship service preaching against these wonderful truths!

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