Monday, January 14, 2008

New year, new rule

Since there are some who simply will not take a hint, comments here are now (and will be for the foreseeable future) moderated. This will slow the discussion to a crawl, but will allow me to prevent that which is neither edifying nor topic-specific from appearing in the Comments sections.

--Mike

160 comments:

Memphis said...

Hey Mike, my wife and I were talking about the upcoming Passion Play and about how we were going to miss you playing Caiaphous (sp?).

And believe me, we all understand about the need to moderate the comments.

Keith solomon said...

Mike,

I certainly approve of your decision to deny an open forum to a person who is so determined to tear down instead of build up.

I'm also glad that you'll be screening out not only offensive language and imagery but also unholy motivations.

Mike Bratton said...

Memphis, I appreciate your kind words. From what I hear, the Caiaphas hat is in good hands (and, somehow, that sounds like a mixed metaphor).

However, not everyone is as hip as you are, and as Keith is, to the screening process. I hear I'm a "big arrogant hypocrite," running the "Closed & Shuttered Blog," and narcissistic to boot--even though (oops for the person who made that observation) my noble assistant gave the green light to that comment regarding the Memphis Passion Play.

Folks, comment moderation is a tool. A match can be used to light a campfire or burn down a forest, but that doesn't make the match evil; a car can be used for a morning commute or to escape after committing a robbery, but the car itself isn't to blame.

Moderation can be used, as some do, to squelch disparate voices on an issue of substance. In the case of TBR (don't you just love acronyms?), I've had to employ it because of people who've taken advantage of my largess. (No jokes, please.)

Do I now discourage discussion and debate? Of course not--I never have, and never will. However, I've given those many of those who visit here ample opportunities to clean up their respective acts. Since some of you couldn't keep the main thing the main thing, I will now do it for you.

--Mike

oc said...

Hey ya'll. Do you think the recent steroid issue will permanently harm Major League Baseball in any significant way?

Do you think Barry Bonds should have and asterisk beside his name in the record book?

And if so, should that record actually mean anything?

jussayin'.
oc.

ezekiel said...

OC,

I think they ought to throw the book at them!

Any violations of the law should result in banishment from the camp..er....league and all records blotted....er...erased.

JMO

Keith solomon said...

I think the scandal will hurt the sport for a long time, but not kill it. If it survived the players' strikes it can weather this. But isn't it a shame that a small number of men tarnished the image of something that is loved by so many just to elevate themselves.

As far as Bonds, I like the idea someone had of marking his record-breaking ball with an asterisk and putting it in the hall of fame.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

I agree. One question I would have is whether or not the league is going to turn a blind eye to the whole mess and just walk away without instituting reforms and addressing the damage caused by the few? Or will they just slap them on the hand, shrug their shoulders and just say things are different today? Maybe just demand an apology of sorts and make them promise not to do it again?

If they let Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame, won't they have to let Pete Rose in now?

Junkster said...

Keith solomon said...
But isn't it a shame that a small number of men tarnished the image of something that is loved by so many just to elevate themselves.

Amen, indeed!

Keith solomon said...

ez,

I truly hope that the league takes visible and harsh action against everyone involved in this mess. Considering the scandals in recent history, I think it's very possible they will. It will still take a long time to recover, though.

Frankly, I haven't been able to get excited about our national pastime since the Pete Rose mess. Even so, nothing he did increased his number of hits. If they let Bonds into the Hall of Fame, they should let Rose in, too.

As far as the records go, I don't think that Bonds' total should be removed although it needs to be flagged. If it were removed then Aaron's record would need to have an asterisk in front of it, since someone hit more HR's than he did. Better for Bonds to be remembered as a cheater than for Hank Aaron to be downplayed. Much better for Aaron to be held up as an example of how well an honest man can perform.

Again, I think it's shameful that men who should care about something bigger than themselves have shown that they put their own glory above the well being of something that's treasured by so many others.

Whoever they may be.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

That reminds me of Darryl Strawberry. All the talent in the world, opportunity and numerous chances.

In the end, all he could do was feed his addiction and think of self. Not what he could do for the game, not play his position but squander the chance because of his addiction. Was he addicted to a drug or was he addicted to the celebrity? the drug just a means of coping with the celebrity and its demands.

Isn't that what most of this is about anyway. The power kick, the fame and fortune. They will stop at nothing to "be the man"...

oc said...

Well, I predict attendance at MLB games will decline dramatically, but attendance at Celine Dion concerts will skyrocket.

jussayin'.
oc.

Lynn said...

Bud Selig and Donald Fehr are the most incompetant leaders in sports. Especially Selig who had a clear conflict of interest because for many years as Commissioner, his family owned and ran the Brewers. (Which might explain why he always looks like he's had a few too many).

As for Bonds....one website is reporting that the idiot commissioner may suspend the Giants owner and General Manager for continuing to allow Greg Anderson into the dug out even after they found out he was dealing in the cream and the clear. Baroid only be in the hall of fame if they put Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose in first. But also, take a look at Mark McGwire. He's been eligible for Cooperstown for the last 2 years. Both times he's gotten only 25 percent of the votes (the requirement for entrance is 75%).

Now, I will say this to be fair. George Mitchell should not have been the investigator. I only say this because Mitchell is part of the management of the Red Sox. Once again, like Selig and the Brewers, this reeks of a serious conflict of interest. A independent investigator should have been brought in to handle the investigation instead.

Oh, and BTW, one minor league player has filed a class action suit against baseball because of the roids. He's suing on the grounds he got screwed out of a shot at the majors because he didn't juice.

Keith solomon said...

ez,

The thing I remember most about Strawberry was how popular he was (except with a few of the women in his life). If he had used his popularity for something other than his own indulgences he could have been an all-time great. As it turned out, only a few of us who remember him from his playing days even know who he is.

lynn,

I agree with you about Mitchell. He certainly does have a serious conflict of interest. And to be honest, I think that minor leaguer has grounds for a lawsuit. I'd like to hear his whole story, but he might be able to do some good.

Lynn said...

Solomon said..

lynn,

I agree with you about Mitchell. He certainly does have a serious conflict of interest. And to be honest, I think that minor leaguer has grounds for a lawsuit. I'd like to hear his whole story, but he might be able to do some good.

12:53 PM, January 17, 2008

Lynn says...

I agree he has grounds. I hope he wins. The ironic thing is, all of this came to light thanks to Jose Canseco's book "Juiced". At the time, everyone laughed at him and passed him off as a disgruntled player no one wanted. Turns out he was right. He says he has another book in the works to name more names.

As it relates to the Mitchell report,I feel that it won't do any good. In fact, I think its quite flawed because a majority of it is hearsay. I'm no lawyer, but Hearsay isn't admissible nor is it reliable evidence.

And Baseball took another major hit on its credibility today. They gave Selig a contract extension until 2012. Lets review Selig's highlights.....1994 Strike....Steroid scandal....Not exactly things worthy of being rewarded an extension.

The bottom line is, baseball needed a way to put butts in the seats after the Strike in 1994. The Long Ball was that method. The price paid...the integrity of the game.

Memphis said...

I think they are all overpaid and that baseballis a boring game to watch, unless it is live.

So this will have no impact on me, kinda like the hockey strike, they had one right???

Junkster said...

Interesting, the application of this new policy of preventing comments that are not on-topic and edifying....

oc said...

I think that these guys are way over-paid anyway. So I think that if they breach the law at any point, I think they should suffer the consequence of...like Ezekiel said, "banishment" from the camp. These guys are getting paid big bucks for a playing a game they love. How many of us have that pleasure? Most play a few seasons and can afford to retire for the rest of their life. So I think that if they fail just one drug screen, they should be booted out. That's the way it is everywhere else. Just try it at your job, and see what happens.

oc.

Keith solomon said...

I just received an email from a friend, and it contained great news about our blogger friend Larry.

I've only shared this with a couple of folks, but for those who didn't know, Larry had heart surgery last week. He had a couple of complications set in, but he's all set to go home later this week Lord willing.

I don't know if he plans to continue blogging or not, but I'm sure he'd be comforted to know that he's being thought of.

Keith

Memphis said...

While I really was pulling for the Packers, I have to say:

Go Patriots 19-0

Lynn said...

Memphis said...

While I really was pulling for the Packers, I have to say:

Go Patriots 19-0

11:07 PM, January 20, 2008

I hate The Hoodie with a passion. As much as I hate Eli....Go Giants.

oc said...

Yeah, and I don't like Eli at all. Watch him whince and whine once he gets hammered. You can see him throw "quick" once he gets rushed. Sissified. But on the other hand, I'm tired of Brady and company and their arrogance.
Which one of these princesses should prevail????

Astounded said...

That reminds me of Darryl Strawberry. All the talent in the world, opportunity and numerous chances.

In the end, all he could do was feed his addiction and think of self. Not what he could do for the game, not play his position but squander the chance because of his addiction. Was he addicted to a drug or was he addicted to the celebrity? the drug just a means of coping with the celebrity and its demands.


Actually Darryl Strawberry did turn his life around at one time. In 1996 he was suspended from baseball for cocaine. He did clean himself up and returned to baseball with the NY Yankees. In fact, in 1996 and 1998 he was a part of two world series titles. His life though took another tragic turn in late 1998. It was then that he was diagnosed with colon cancer and had 2 feet of his colon removed. The disease later spread to his lymph nodes and kidneys. During the next two years Darryl lived in constant pain undergoing chemotherapy and more surgery. He had surgery in 2000 to remove a kidney and another tumor. From many accounts, it was his inability to cope with a life threatening illness that led him back down the path of self destruction. I guess of all the drug addicted players we have heard about, I tend to think of Darryl more with pity than with disdain.

maybejustmaybe said...

Well, in the midst of all this wonderful discussion about the pitfalls of fame and the horrors of addiction, and all the hoo-rah over baseball and the Super Bowl ... what about them TIGERS??!!

Keith solomon said...

I'm happy the tigers are ranked #1, but I think that it would be good for them to lose a game or two before the tournament.

Lynn said...

maybejustmaybe said...

Well, in the midst of all this wonderful discussion about the pitfalls of fame and the horrors of addiction, and all the hoo-rah over baseball and the Super Bowl ... what about them TIGERS??!!

7:18 AM, January 23, 2008


We're number 1. We're Number 1....

And Oh yeah...Duke Sucks.

oc said...

Tigers.

How many wins in a row???
Do you think they might run the season without a loss?
Who can beat them? Who even has a chance?

National Champs.

Memphis said...

Problem with the Tigers going undefeated the rest of the way is that they only have 1 good team left to play and that is Tenn. So to me, Big Whoop if they go undefeated aginst the powerhouses like UTEP, SMU, UCF, UAB, Tulane, Tulsa, Southern Miss and so on. It has always been a concern that they do play in a weak conference that when they have to play the Tarheels, or the Jayhawks, it's gonna be trouble!

Of course that is my humble but accurate opinion. ;)

oc said...

Sorry Memphis.
The Tigers have the talent to stomp anyone in the nation. The Tarheels have nothing on the Tigers. They don't even belong on the same court. Rebounding on both ends and shooting the three?
Right. Go ahead and tell me that the "heels" can compete there.

And the Jayhawks couldn't keep up with the Tigers running the court and making big passes which lead to the big plays. Tigers are going to be the National Champions! Watch them run through the Final Four into being the National Champion.
There has never been a better team!

In my UNhumble opinion.
oc.

Keith solomon said...

I think Georgetown might disagree about the Tigers' strength of schedule. And Oklahoma, USC, and Arizona.

But why is UM in such a weak conference anyway?!?

Lynn said...

Memphis said...

Problem with the Tigers going undefeated the rest of the way is that they only have 1 good team left to play and that is Tenn. So to me, Big Whoop if they go undefeated aginst the powerhouses like UTEP, SMU, UCF, UAB, Tulane, Tulsa, Southern Miss and so on. It has always been a concern that they do play in a weak conference that when they have to play the Tarheels, or the Jayhawks, it's gonna be trouble!

Of course that is my humble but accurate opinion. ;)

9:53 AM, January 24, 2008

Your forgetting Gonzaga. Also, your forgetting who we have already played. Georgetown is in the top 10 and we have beat them. Also this year we have played USC and Arizona who are also in the Top 25. In RPI Terms, the only team that has a higher RPI than us is Tennessee. Calipari, as much criticism he receives, has done a good job scheduling. Because C-USA is weak, Calipari's tried to get as tough non-conference schedule he can to prepare Memphis for March Madness. Additionally, Memphis is much deeper talent wise than Kansas and the Tarheels. Calipari even believes this team is much better because of that depth than the UMASS team he coached in 1995 (The team that barely beat Larry Finch's Tiger team that year).

Never count the tigers out. If they are focused, they will kick major butt in the tourney.

larry said...

sol:
I don't know if he plans to continue blogging or not, but I'm sure he'd be comforted to know that he's being thought of.


Well, KS, I guess it's impossible to keep a secret around here. I did blow out a valve, but I'll be good as new in no time. I'll never be able to watch 'Alien' as an impartial observer again, though. :-)

I truly do appreciate the prayers that I've felt. I'll be spending a while with family out in the sticks for some R&R. I don't think they've heard of the internet out there yet so I'll be offline but don't worry about me. If a sissy like Arnond Schwarzenegger can handle a valve replacement I don't think I'll have too much trouble.

I'll be back...

oc said...

The Heath Ledger thing. Overdose of something killed him.
Broke Back Mountain? Drugs?
What killed the dude?

Overdose of drugs?
Overdose of sin?
Are both the same?
Is there a common denominator?


And as far as sin goes, do you know when your "overdose" is coming?
Let's discuss.

oc.

oc said...

Tigers rock!

Again.

oc.

Karen said...

Had to jump on this one...

The Tigers will probably go undefeated until the tournament. On Saturday, the free throw attempts were pitiful and Andre Allen had the audacity to continue to attempt those 3 point shots! Zaga just let him stand there and take them - if the odds of him hitting 3 point shots are so bad, can't Calipari "forbid" him from attempting them especially when there's no rush to the basket?

Memphis said...

Hey, don't get me wrong, I still root for the Tigers, and what I said was concerning them going undefeated the REST of the way!

No one can honestly tell me they play any calibur of teams besides Tenn the rest of the way!

And Yes, I believe that Conf USA is not a strong conference top to bottom!

OC, The Tarheels and Jayhawks are teams to contend with brother.

Lynn said...

Keith solomon said...

I think Georgetown might disagree about the Tigers' strength of schedule. And Oklahoma, USC, and Arizona.

But why is UM in such a weak conference anyway?!?

8:13 PM, January 24, 2008

We got screwed by the Big East and with Memphis being right smack in the middle of Arkansas, UT, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, the SEC didn't want us either.

Lynn said...

Karen said...

Had to jump on this one...

The Tigers will probably go undefeated until the tournament. On Saturday, the free throw attempts were pitiful and Andre Allen had the audacity to continue to attempt those 3 point shots! Zaga just let him stand there and take them - if the odds of him hitting 3 point shots are so bad, can't Calipari "forbid" him from attempting them especially when there's no rush to the basket?

9:57 PM, January 27, 2008


Your right Karen. This has been a problem for at least the last 3 years. The Tigers have played DOWN to the level of their competition. They need to quit relying on the 3 all the time. I think the Tarheels might prove to be tough if they meet in the NCAA TOurnament. Tyler Hansborough is very talented. Heck, he even dunked on someone that makes Andre the Giant look like a midget.

devoutagnostic said...

Has this site died or has it become the Memphis basketball booster huddle?

Barnabas said...

Mike,

I'm sure you've seen the tragic news out of Memphis about the tornados. Scores are dead across the Mid-South. Let us all be in prayer for those who have lost loved ones, and those who have been traumatized.

Of particular note is the devastation Union University suffered. Two dorms were destroyed. Miraculously there were no serious injuries there despite some being trapped in the wreckage for hours.

Bellevue has activated its Disaster Relief teams to be the hands and feet of Christ here in Memphis and are also sending up volunteers by the busload to Union as soon as we are being allowed in.

Barnabas said...

Mike,

One further update. Just heard from our mutual friend Chip. One of the tornados hit his grandmother's house, destroying it. She did not make it.

His Aunt and Cousin also were badly hurt.

He is there helping with the recovery now, but as you can imagine he is having a tough go of it.

Mike Bratton said...

Not a surprise that Bellevue would be able to muster the same disaster-relief response in her own backyard that she's dispensed in far-flung places so often in the past.

Folks, please join me in praying for the families who've lost loved ones in this devastation. Pray that Christ will be magnified, and that those who labor under the pretension of self-reliance understand how frail we humans really are when organized gusts of wind can cause such calamity.

--Mike

P.S.: On another note... If one figures that a man has 16 hours a day available to get done what needs to be done, that computes out to 112 hours each week. Currently, I'm having to commit over 70 of those to work and work-related activities.

Please understand that my activity here may be slowed, but not stopped. As a matter of fact, I have an essay, contributed by a very talented author, which will soon be available for your consideration. Thanks for understanding.

Keith solomon said...

I just dropped by the 'savingbellevue' site to see what all the ruckus was about the videos that the interns put together, and this is the headline on the story (which links to the videos):

See if you can find the gospel in this production made with the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent for the media depart on equipment and salaries paid for by your tithe money.

This is a perfect example of why I've opposed JH's and IDC's efforts from day one. Those efforts are built on lies.

As anyone who has ever taped a recital or a birthday party can tell, the videos were made with a hand held camcorder and edited with off-the-shelf software. Haywood is tech-savvy, and he knows that perfectly well.

Implying that the video was made by Jim Barnwell's staff and that the cost was enormous is a deliberate, malicious lie. The amateur editting and audio/video quality aren't anywhere close to Bellevue video productions, as Haywood knows perfectly well.

I suspect he thought that the videos were so inane that people wouldn't feel insulted enough, so Mr. H decided to help the truth out a little.

Haywood has long been a critic of the PDC movement, saying that they don't teach what sin is. I wonder why it is that JH doesn't seem to understand what holiness is? Can't he understand that God is not honored by deception? I wonder where he got the justification for the name 'Integrity Does Count'?

I just can't help but wonder how things might have unfolded if deceivers like Haywood, Sharp, and Emerson hadn't been allowed to sneak around with their recorders and spread rumors, innuendos, and lies.

We needed men with the mind of Christ to step up during the conflict, but instead we got men with the mind of Jacob.

Lucky us.

oc said...

"Implying that the video was made by Jim Barnwell's staff and that the cost was enormous is a deliberate, malicious lie. The amateur editting and audio/video quality aren't anywhere close to Bellevue video productions, as Haywood knows perfectly well."



If the cost was only a penny, or even just a moment stolen, is it not still a sin?

oc said...

"We needed men with the mind of Christ to step up during the conflict, but instead we got men with the mind of Jacob.

Lucky us."


And yours was where?

Keith solomon said...

I'd like to stay focused on this one.

If JH suspects the interns stole resources or time from the church, that's where his attention needs to be. I wouldn't even bother commenting on a 'savingbellevue' story that said "BBC interns need better supervision." If rules were broken, an appropriate, biblical response should be forthcoming.

Instead, JH deliberately posted misleading information suggesting that the videos were produced by the media department for a large amount of money. As anyone with video experience can tell, those nonsensical clips were obviously amateur and in no way comparable to a Bellevue video production. I could run out and buy a Walmart camcorder and put together a higher quality production on my laptop for less than what Haywood pays for his website.

Haywood seems to be counting on most people not knowing the difference. I suppose he thinks that if he can trick BBC members into thinking more of their money is being wasted, they'll leave the church.

That seems to be his goal, to destroy Bellevue. Not to help it, but to kill it. He's unwilling to wait for the Lord to do what seems right in his own eyes and shut us down, so he's sold out to Malcom X's philosophy to accomplish his goal "by any means necessary". His current means are by lying and deception.

Please don't defend this man to me.

Hope Patterson said...

Keith,

I agree that Jim Haywood's site contains a lot of errors, but I've known him for several years and I don't think he's being deliberately misleading. I believe he's doing what he thinks is right.

Memphis said...

IF, and yes I put it in capitol letters, IF the videos are such a great sin, would it not also be a sin to promote the videos by placing them on a blog, and providing a link for everyone to see over and over and over......


Memphis

Barnabas said...

"If the cost was only a penny, or even just a moment stolen, is it not still a sin?"

Of course not.

Nothing was stolen. 99.99% of all jobs on the planet have a certain amount of "down time." And since the interns obviously made this with full knowledge of their supervisors your charge of theft is specious at best.

Since you obviously view this differently, I trust you have never so much as paused from your work duties while on the clock to take a phone call, greet a coworker, tell a story, answer a personal E-Mail or view any non work related site.

Any of which would be "stealing a moment" from your employer.

Matthew 7

1Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Keith solomon said...

Hope,

You've always been a good friend to my family, and I appreciate your sentiments.

But there's no way to measure how much damage Haywood has done with his selfish crusade to destroy Bellevue. Maybe he really is doing what he believes is right, but we are not given permission to do what's right in our own eyes unless it's in line with what we know to be true from God's word. I don't see how ANYONE who reads the Bible could possibly think that his 'scorched church' strategy is right. His out-of-control lone ranger act has undermined every attempt to address the real problems at BBC.

He has no concern for the church. Do you remember the time he snuck his camcorder into the sanctuary to record the 'touchdown whooping and hollering'? What were his motives? What purpose would such a recording have served?

One and one only: to ridicule the congregation of Bellevue in front of the whole world. Would a Christ honoring man scheme to make the sheep of God's field a joke in the eyes of the unsaved world? Does that sound like something God would approve?

I haven't agreed with John Mark about much, but he's right about that cyber bully. If he really thinks when the Day comes that he'll hear 'well done good and faithful servant' he's in for a big surprise when all his internet rants go up in a puff of smoke. Same thing goes for Sharp, Emerson, Saba, and Manning when they try to play their secret recordings to impress Jesus.

They'd best repent, throw all that hay and stubble in the garbage before it catches fire and start building up the body instead of tearing it down.

There is absolutely nothing that anyone can say to change my mind on this.

My prayer for these men is that their eyes are opened, that they turn back to God, and use their abilities to further the kingdom.

And truthfully, it's perfectly all right with me if their kingdom work never brings them across my path again.

Tim Greer said...

You're right, Keith. Anyone who has spent any time working with video can see this was shot with 1-chip (CCD) video camera and cut on something even less professional than iMovie, like Windows Movie Maker. The videos are just for fun. Fun is legitimate in the Christian life. A lot of hyper-legalist SBC members need to learn this.

Not everyone is going to enjoy the same kind of humor (and a few aren't going to enjoy any kind of humor). I personally thought the scripting and story arc were bad and the pacing was abysmal, but I don't have a problem in theory with interns making a video in an attempt to make people laugh.

John Mark said...

solomon said...
(sounds a little like 'Simon Says')

I haven't agreed with John Mark about much, but he's right about that cyber bully.


Woo hoo! Vindication!!

Hey Sol,
Glad you're still out and about! If you're interested in some advice, LIGHTEN UP!!! Those dudes are out of the picture, so forget about 'em! Look forward, not back.

You and your fam have got lots of great things to look forward to, while those 'heroes of the faith' can only lament the loss of their 'perfect' church (translation: a church where they were bigshots).

They've shown the world their loyalty to the Bellevue family. Instead of showing compassion for what you've been through they've called you apostates, fools, and sinners. They accused you of greed, ignorance of scripture, and then they walked out on you.

When the going got tough, the yellow got going.

Just keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

One and one only: to ridicule the congregation of Bellevue in front of the whole world. Would a Christ honoring man scheme to make the sheep of God's field a joke in the eyes of the unsaved world? Does that sound like something God would approve?

Who bears more responsibility for becoming a joke in the eyes of the unsaved world? The ones acting in an unchristlike manner or those exposing it.

I am going to have to agree with Hope on this one. Don’t confuse what I say here to be a defense for JH. It isn’t. On the other hand, God did indeed make Israel a laughingstock. What makes you think that he won’t do the same to BBC? Like Israel, we have a lot of spots and blemishes. This isn’t the first time that God has acted in this manner. Probably won’t be the last.

When we get to the point that we realize that God is totally sovereign and works His will regardless of how it looks to us, we may find our way back on to the path. There were 400 false prophets doing His will in 1 Kings 22:22, there have been anointed kings doing His will by laying siege to Jerusalem.

There have been folks on both sides following their convictions and acting out of obedience. No one in their right mind would intentionally act against God or His will. Especially ones that know better and I would argue that we should all know better.


Lam 3:37 Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?


Jer 24:8 But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat Zedekiah the king of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. 9 I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a reproach, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10 And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.

See also Micah 6, Psalms 44, Lamentations 3

Keith solomon said...

JM! I thought they had taken you out back and shot you or something.

How's the new digs working out?

Keith solomon said...

Ez,

I wish I could agree that people in their right mind never disobey God, but I see them do it all the time. A popular writer calls it 'Grace Abuse'.

People reinterpret God's grace as a license to do whatever they want. As one man jokingly said, "I like to sin, and God likes to forgive sin. It's a perfect setup!"

Until these unfortunate souls learn that following God's commands is really and truly the best way to live they'll never want to obey, and if they don't want to obey, they won't.

As far as Haywood in particular, he's shown over and over again that he'll tell lies to build up his arguments. He would have editted any film he captured to make us look like idiots.

In his mind, Bellevue MUST be restored. It's God's will. If he has to lie a little bit to accomplish God's will it's okay, isn't it? God will forgive him anyway. That's his logic.

His definitions of right and wrong are being determined by an earthly goal, not by God's word.

God has used sinful acts in the past to accomplish his plans (Joseph's brothers, for example). But nowhere is there a suggestion that Christians are free to use whatever methods they deem best to achieve results. God will work whatever we do for good, but we have the freedom to choose holy or unholy things, with an admonishment to choose the holy.

We're limited in what we can do. We aren't permitted to use deception, unrighteous anger, and character assassination and expect God to be our helper. (We shouldn't even be tempted to use those things.) If those sinful actions DO get the job done, then you can be 100% sure that God was not involved in the outcome.

As I said before, there's no way to ever know how much damage JH has done. Just because his crusade didn't have the effect he wanted doesn't mean it had no effect. I was informed that one of the other bloggers was giving slaps on the back because they had driven so many BBC members away from the church.

While churches like Faith Baptist and GBC are celebrating their growth, let's not forget the big picture. Church attendance at Baptist churches in Memphis is down. Not everyone who left Bellevue has gone elsewhere. What happened to the ones who vanished?

That's Haywood's legacy. And I wonder how he feels about those who are no longer attending church anywhere?

If he cares about them, perhaps he should use his website to share the gospel with them just in case they never heard it from our 'apostate' pulpit. I've looked through the website fairly well, and I haven't seen it yet. Over a million visitors (supposedly) and not one of them has yet read God's plan of salvation there.

Seems kind of strange to me.

John Mark said...

Man, I hate to come back and see the ship under lockdown 'cause of Page.

Oh, well. You know what the Bible says about blogs:

Phil. 4:5
Let your moderation be known unto all men.


(How's that for a twisted scripture?)

Lynn said...

Keith Solomon said....

"While churches like Faith Baptist and GBC are celebrating their growth, let's not forget the big picture. Church attendance at Baptist churches in Memphis is down. Not everyone who left Bellevue has gone elsewhere. What happened to the ones who vanished?"


Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that in regards to protecting children from child predators, the Southern Baptist Convention protects their brotherhood than protecting the children. The SBC is looking worse than the Catholic church.

Keith solomon said...

I can't make up my mind about our Tigers. It seems like they're having a more difficult time putting these teams away. Is it because their opponents are getting up for the games, or that our guys are playing down to their level?

Keith solomon said...

I've been informed that someone apparently feels that in regards to my speaking out against Jim Haywood's deceitful methods, I need to

"get over it. Enough is enough. You did nothing when you should have."

I will never 'get over' someone abusing their freedom in Christ to blatantly and openly lie.

Sin is sin, and just because someone might feel 'enough is enough', God's Word still stands.

Regarding what I have and haven't done in the past, I don't see how anyone with any knowledge of the conflict could possibly say that I've done nothing. In fact, that's a completely unfair thing to say. If anyone thinks that my efforts for resolution were 'nothing' because they failed to solve anything thus far, I must ask them to show me the fruit of their own labors.

True, my method is not as sensational as using the media. I never seized the spotlight and called Dr. Gaines a lawbreaker on TV. I never called for a news conference in front of the church, never created my own sensational website, and I never posted anonymous allegations on blogs. But that's a LONG way from not doing anything.

My strategy was and is to talk to people. Not about them, not at them, but to them. Just because my efforts have not been documented in the media does not mean they are 'nothing'. I don't think God uses media exposure as a measuring stick, and I don't care how many men do.

Given the choice of 'doing nothing' or deliberately doing something that the Bible and even my own conscience tells me is wrong, I'll 'do nothing' every time. Situational ethic are unbiblical, and I choose to believe in absolute truth instead.

David said...

EZ: "There have been folks on both sides following their convictions and acting out of obedience. No one in their right mind would intentionally act against God or His will."

No one in their right mind would intentionally act against God? I think most people say they believe the Bible because they don’t know what it says.

This here isn’t an obscure verse:
"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men." Titus. 3:1-2

Notice it says “remind the people.” Meaning that they had already been taught this throughout the whole of Scripture. He is reviewing the basics of Christian conduct: We are to obey, not slander, do good, be peaceable and considerate foreign concepts to Christians.

Titus 3:1-2 is dishonored when Christians call a pastor or church leader the anti-Christ. Or set up websites to oppose the church. When the church is openly called “ugly” and “demonic.” When the pastors arrival 9/11 is compared to a terrorist attack. Are people really acting in ignorance? Is there obedience to Titus 3:1-2?

Keith solomon said...

Lynn,

I don't want to take this down to a personal level, but is that why you don't go to a Baptist church? Really and truly?

Keith solomon said...

David,

That's exactly my point. And according to James breaking one of God's commands is the same as breaking all of them.

I agree that too many people don't know what's in the Bible, or the history surrounding it. When you consider the cruelty of the leaders Paul was admonishing others to follow, that passage takes on a whole new meaning.

I encourage everyone to read the article about situational ethics that I linked to above. Our culture is excessively purpose driven and goal oriented, but the Christian life is just that - a way of life, noat a way of getting results.

David Brown said...

Brother Keith: There you go again. You took something I said and applied to yourself. I was NOT directing my comments to you or the situation with Jim Haywood. Why do you insist on taking this tact anytime someone says something you don't agree with? You paint things with a very broad brush. Very broad. You say you were informed by someone? Is that a rummor? Please check out the facts before you link my comments to your position with Mr. Haywood.

I remember clearly the first time you did this. I remember the things you said about "that horrible man" then. They did not make sense and you got challenged and called out by others for it.

People have the right to have opinions. I respect those even when I don't agree. Paige Patterson has zero credibility, none. He spoken words have prove it. Same with Dr. Gaines. We have been through that so much in the past; but, those are my opinions, simple as that. You have yours.

I have never defended Jim Haywood and for you to take my words an apply them as persecution of your position with him is wrong. Please keep in context.

Brother John Mark it was so good to hear from you. I hope you have not forgotten my invite from a while back. Your testimony would be so compelling and helpful to other vicitms like yourself. I hope you are doing well. Please contact me when you feel like it.

David Brown
SNAP director of Memphis and West Tennessee
davidbrown@bigriver.net
901-569-4500

Lynn said...

Keith solomon said...

Lynn,

I don't want to take this down to a personal level, but is that why you don't go to a Baptist church? Really and truly?

8:56 AM, February 16, 2008

I no longer go to a baptist church because of that yes, as well as the fact in every church I have gone to, every time I had a differing point of view, or didn't buy into the status quo, they all turned their backs on me. I get more respect from a bunch of loudmouths at the bowling alley than I do at church!

Zurishaddai said...

Keith Solomon,

Truth hurts you and scares you. Nobody should fear truth. I'm glad taped recordings of Steve Gaines and others like Mark Dougharty and Chuck Taylor show they have selected memory. Former staff have stated lies were told by Gaines, Dougharty, and others with no conscience. Tapes don't lie. Men got caught lying. Plain and simple. You remind me of government types that silence whistle blowers by trashing them. Call sin what it is and accept the fact that sin permeates Bellevue leadership. Things aren't going to get better until repentance takes place.

Keith solomon said...

david brown said...
I remember clearly the first time you did this. I remember the things you said about "that horrible man" then. They did not make sense and you got challenged and called out by others for it.


I remember it quite clearly, too. I'm not sure I can (or should) ever forget it. I suppose I should be happy that I was able to 'rally the troops' on the NBBCOF, but since all I did was rally them against me I'm not too happy about it. It was that unnecessarily harsh treatment that led me to find a home here, and I'm glad I did.

Most of the lynch mob that grabbed their torches and pitchforks seem to prefer to pretend their putdowns never happened or that they don't matter, perhaps feeling that the whole episode is 'under the blood', which is just a way of saying that it happened a long time ago and it's more prudent to pretend it never happened.

I thought that I had apologized to you, David, for any misunderstandings and that you had accepted my apology, but it now seems that the tension between you and I has not yet been forgotten. So, in the hope of settling it once and for all, let's review the whole thing.

First, an anonymous blogger claiming to be CW posted on the NBBCOF. I didn't see the post, so I don't know what was said. It was apparently quite insulting, though.

Here is your response:
David Brown said...
Dear Brothers and Sisters: I am not going to be very kind. In fact I am really mad and would like to use some words that would better describe my outrage but NASS would be booting me off.

To the very sick, sick person (I use the word "person" loosely here) I am coming after you. I do not know what you were thinking by posting using this dear victim's name. He is extremely upset. I am going to find out who you are. I am a licensed private investigator and I WILL find you.

Formal complaints are being made. How dare you. I have a very good idea who you are. In time you will be found out and we will prosecute you. See you in court.

You never gave this victim any regard. You are the worst of the worst. You may think you were cute but it was very sick.

I and this dear victim ask that moderation be turned back on. I know that is not poplar but what just happened is inexcusable.

This is just another example of the attitude and behavior of the "follow and swallow" crowd. I for one am sick of it. It is time for their leader to go. And I mean now.

To all expect this very sick poster, I am sorry for sounding so hate filled and angry. But I cannot sit back and let this slide.

In HIS Service,

David Brown
10:28 AM, April 03, 2007


(As an aside, I've always been put off by the "swallow and follow" phrase. I don't understand why Christians would want to use a crude term from a Korn song that also alludes to oral sex.)

An anonymous blogger called 'upside down' responded to your post, pointing out that not everyone at Bellevue would be willing to lie and pretend to be CW.

Here's his/her post
upside down said...
David, not knowing what was posted I am sure that it was enough to inflame most any of us. But with that said I think that to label a group and/or pastor with supporting that post or condoning it isn't right either. I think most of the "swallow and follow" crowd would be just as angry at what was posted as you are. I don't think myself to be part of one crowd or the other. I just call balls and strikes as I see them. While the pastor has made some gigantic blunders in his actions of past it doesn't justify any assumptions as to whether others would approve of the deleted post. I hope you discover the person responsible and expose him/her for what they are. But in the mean time let's not condemn everyone in the process.
11:32 AM, April 03, 2007


(It seems like 'upside down' thinks that you paint rather broadly, too.)
Your response:
David Brown said...
Dear Upside down: Please check out my profile and read my story posted there. I am a victim's advocate. I have worked with this victim as well as other victims that have been hurt over the handling of this situation at Bellevue.

My record is very clear. Yes I am angry over the way this victim has been treated especially at the so-called "open" business meeting.

As for the "swallow and follow" comments, I stand by them. For far too long the Catholic Church membership has sufferd it. They sit there blindly and accept what is put forth from the pulpit as the truth, even when the leadership has been less than truthful.

It appears as if the "majority" of the members of Bellevue suffer from the same syndrome. You say you are not in the that group but where is your outrage over the handling of this matter? You say in the past he has made major blunders. Can you give me one Biblical reason he delayed in taking action? Can you give me one legal reason he delayed in taking action? Can you give an explanation why he denied this dear victim a meeting when he requested it? The list goes on adn on. If we do not stand on the Word of God, then what do we stand on?

When the majority hears things like "he did not know the job responsibilites of the minister or the infamous "uncharted waters" as reason for NOT taking action and there is no outrage from this majority, something is wrong. Seroiusly wrong. I expect more from a senior Pastor. Much more. This opinion is coming from one that was a member of this beloved church for over 20 years. In the past the membership I knew would not have stood for it nor its senior Pastor.

David Brown
12:01 PM, April 03, 2007


Since you made it clear that your statements applied to the entire congregation, which included me and my family, I had permission to add my two cents worth.

This was the post that set off a firestorm of outrage against me, which still burns today. This post was called the worst thing ever written, and that after Ace, kingsteve, and even the fake CW posted. I neither defend nor retact my words, I will simply let them speak for themselves.

solomon said...
David,

I do not support your 'swallow and follow' comments, nor do many who post here.

For the record, I do not want Gaines to be pastor and I am not defending him. Frankly, as a father, such a crime is unimaginable and makes me sick to my stomach. Even though the minister came to him with his wife (the victim's own mother) and gave every appearance of peaceful resolution, it's beyond me how SG could even work alongside someone who'd do something like that, much less keep him on staff.

With that out of the way, I will point out there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Using Jesus as our example, judging down a group of people in the hope that they will turn to your side is the wrong way. Gaines will not step down, and you will not beat anyone into submission. Your attempt to do so only cements Gaines' position. If you continue to call the people at BBC godless, you will not do anyone any good.

I was at a circuit city, and the story came on the news about your 'attack' on the SBC. My wife and daughter started crying to see our church on TV like that. My 10 year old asked if we'd have any more picnics there. My 9 year old asked who that awful man was who was mad at us (it was you). Is that what you want?

I fully support what you are trying to do, and also the life-saving work you do with the victims, but not your words here.

I think your anger has gotten the best of you today. You might want to make sure it's that 'sinless' anger so many people here claim.
12:31 PM, April 03, 2007


After so much time has passed, David, does this post make any more sense to you? The ‘things’ I’ve said about you at any time in the past have been overwhelmingly positive, and I challenge you to prove otherwise. The only negative was that anger was hindering your work by portraying you in a bad light to those who don't know you.

But I still have to suspect that it was my posts about Jim Haywood that led to the remark that the people who post on The Bratton Report 'did nothing'. There is simply no other recent post that would have prompted such a statement. There are about 5 of us here, so the odds are good that you had me in mind.

If that was not your intent, there are still those who will take it to be a response to my posts, just as there are those who will now accept as a fact that I once called you a horrible man and said bad things about you.

david brown said...
I remember clearly the first time you did this. I remember the things you said about "that horrible man" then. They did not make sense and you got challenged and called out by others for it.


While it's technically true that I wrote about 'that horrible man' since I physically typed the words (though I never wrote ‘horrible’), it is NOT true that I ever said it or implied it in any way whatsoever. As I vainly tried to explain to NASS, it was a young girl who said it, not me. I shared it with the hope that you would realize that your anger was portraying you in a very negative light to those who do not know you. I saw how my family reacted, and I’m certain that several thousand others reacted in the same way.

I don't envy the work you do, David, but I admire you for doing it. Me and my wife assisted victims of drunk drivers for many years after our son was taken from us. But I'm sure that work is much easier, since most of the victims eventually achieve closure. No one tries to cover up for the killers, either. Laws are firmly in place to penalize the offenders and compensate the victims.

Child abuse laws are not nearly as well defined. No one even wants to talk about it, and this is a battle that has a long way to go. If my own anger prevented me from helping others in any way I would have wanted someone to point that out to me. That's all I'm doing today.

I hope you will seriously consider what I've said before you dismiss it.

Keith solomon said...

Lynn,

That's a long standing issue with the church. It isn't that they don't respect you, it's just that most church goers like to pretend that everything in life is perfect. Rock the boat and they'll throw you overboard. Philip Yancey wrote about it in a book called 'Soul Survivor, How My Faith Survived the Church.'

You shouldn't let your experiences lead you to give up. I've read that you were part of the single adult ministry, which is not exactly famous for its hospitality and warmth. Those groups are never a true indication of what a church is really like.

If you decide to try another church, you should avoid this kind of compartmentalization and get involved with the real church.

Keith solomon said...

zuris,

Truth does not scare me, deception does. Not the act, but the consequences.

I know full well that men have lied, but I did not need a tape to convince me of that. All Sharpe, Manning, Emerson, and Saba did was lower my own opinion of them by sneaking their recorders into meetings. If they had simply told me what had been said I would have believed them. But they threw their reputations into the trash by choosing the Watergate strategy over God's means to an end.

Your name implies that you believe God is almighty, but your words reveal that you prefer human wisdom, human methods, and therefore human results.

I prefer a more excellent way.

Cakes said...

It's funny reading comments here calling folks out on situational ethics--you mean like "sin of the head and not of the heart," "uncharted waters" and basically, every apologia for Mr. Gaines' handling of the ped. scandal?

Hope everyone is well!

David said...

"I get more respect from a bunch of loudmouths at the bowling alley than I do at church!"

How much “respect” does Christ get from the church? More important, how much respect does God give to the church?

How God sees the church:
“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Eph. 5:25 Jesus gave his LIFE for the church.

“dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness” Eph. 5:27 Message.
Radiant. Holy. Dazzling.

“This means that the husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the church, when he sacrificed himself for her. Christ gave himself to make her holy, having cleansed her through the baptism of his Word, to make her an altogether glorious church in his eyes.” (Phillips)

How we see the church:
Something to be condemned. Pour guilt toward. Claim our rights in. Place to push our theological agenda. Something to complain about.

We would do well to meditate on the fact that Jesus died for the church. He loved her that much.
We should be careful to treat the church as “holy” in what we say about her.

If we see the church as “holy” then we see it worth our effort to invest in it.

ezekiel said...

David,
“No one in their right mind would intentionally act against God? I think most people say they believe the Bible because they don’t know what it says.”

When is the last time you sinned? Did you do it intentionally or unintentionally? Hopefully the answer is unintentionally or you may want to take another look at Hebrews 10:26-29.

“This here isn’t an obscure verse:
"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men." Titus. 3:1-2”

The last time I read it, we are all supposed to be one in Christ. No more male, female whatever....all members of the body with one head and He is Christ. Now you can do the “under-shepherd all you want but the actual position is servant of all. Mark 9:35 and 1 Cor 9:19.

Before you get all wound up trying to establish the idea that you or people like you are rulers and authorities, you best take a look at it and tell us if you are a disciple of Christ or not. Are you Jew or Gentile?(Romans 2:29)

Mark 10:42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.



Sorry you couldn’t have been around the first time we argued this one, or even the last one. I am frankly just not up to another go round with you. You preacher dudes have been busting us up with this one since it was penned. It goes hand in hand with “touch not mine anointed” as well. It is a shame you guys can’t get your context right. Never mind all the saints that have died since then in apparent violation of this very scripture. What are you going to do with folks that died contending for the faith at the hands of the “rulers” or authorities? Down through history you will find a laundry list of folks “religious authorities” that have been killing brothers for the last 2000 some odd years. The brothers were not killed because they were obeying rulers. In the church or outside of it. In fact, I think we can prove that the environment inside the church has been decidedly more hostile to the brothers than the one found outside.

You can go back to Jeremiah’s day and find it, Peter and Paul, Luther and with your education, prolly a lot more that slip past me. Most persecution has come from inside the religious establishment. And they act just like you guys. They try to silence opposition, and dominate the operation of the church. When is the last time you read up on Nicolaitans? You can google it to get an idea of exactly what Jesus hates......sound like anyone you know?

Really no need to answer, just a few things to think about.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

Telling us that JH is responsible for all the members leaving BBC is saying that he holds more power than your preacher. It tells us that a blog or website has more power than a preacher in the pulpit. It also tells us that everyone that listens to and evaluates the information on the site all have it wrong. That we are stupid people, unable to make decisions on our own and incapable of discerning truth in what ever form it is presented.

Maybe David is right, most people just don't read the Bible. Maybe that explains all the people led astray by a website or a bunch of bloggers. On the other hand, if the people that have left are reading their Bibles, what does that say about the people that stayed?

If I give you and people like you the benefit of the doubt and say that you are there because your reading of the Bible tells you to stay and follow the man in the pulpit, is it too much to ask that you give me the same benefit?

I think that is what you have been arguing all along. To say that many have left because of bad information is not a lot different than saying that the people that stayed are guilty of the same sort of error.

I would rather think that whether people stayed or left, they followed convictions based on the scriptures, on the Word and their relationship with the same. That was my point anyway.

David said...

EZ,

is your argument with me or with Scripture? Sorry to let you in on this, but I didn't write Titus.

I'm not looking to lord anything over anyone. I do believe sincerely that there will come a day of judgment. That every man will give account and "confess" before God. (Romans 14:11) That includes church leaders.

When we try to judge men before the judgment we lose focus on what's really important: The commission we were given.

God will be much harsher with some than we could ever be. I believe we are much closer to the end than perhaps we think. Let's keep our eye on the harvest in front of us.

solomon said...

It's funny reading comments here calling folks out on situational ethics--you mean like "sin of the head and not of the heart," "uncharted waters" and basically, every apologia for Mr. Gaines' handling of the ped. scandal?

No, I mean like claiming as absolute truth a Bible that says 'do not bear false witness' but then lying whenever you feel like it. Or a book that says 'love one another' but hating those who don't agree with you.

And so on.

Either the Bible is truth, or it isn't. By their fruit you will know them...

oc said...

Solomon says:
"Truth does not scare me, deception does. Not the act, but the consequences."

Then be afraid, very afraid. The act of deception brings the consequences. If you haven't got a even a hint of deception from Gaines and company, then you haven't been looking, you have purposely ignored sin, and it is of no purpose to remind you of what has transpired. You know. Tape recorders or not, your leaders lied, and got caught at it. The consequences are still happening, by the way. If you can't see that, then you are willingly ignorant. You are mad because they got caught. Too bad.

By the way, your argument of not being bothered by the act, but by the consequence; is disturbing and is classic criminal thinking. It is that same thinking that I hear all the time. "It's not a crime unless I get caught". Just think about that for a minute.

Please don't teach your kids that.


And you say:
"I prefer a more excellent way".


Yep. Lots of us do. Hope your excellent way isn't "Truth does not scare me, deception does. Not the act, but the consequences."
Because if the act of sin doesn't scare you, but only the consequence does, well...

oc said...

Solomon says?
"Your name implies that you believe God is almighty, but your words reveal that you prefer human wisdom, human methods, and therefore human results."

oc says:
It does? Show us where it is in Scripture.

ezekiel said...

David,

I can ask you the same thing. Is your argument with scripture or with me. I didn't write Mark and if we believe the red letters to be Jesus' very own words, He is telling us that we serve others in humble obedience to the WORD.

When you talk about the harvest, let's remember a couple more scriptures.

James 3: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Now somebody tell me how a preacher that exalts himself, throws out the trash, plucks up and tears down is sowing peace. If a mere mans spends 50-75% of his time establishing his position at the head of the church or the possessor of the pulpit, what is he sowing? How can we possible say that he is sowing peace or serving Christ. The Head of the Church?

Then,

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Two things really jump out of this scripture for me. First, the sheep are harassed and helpless. Wonder who was doing the harassing? Was it the religious establishment or the Romans? Was there really any difference? Second, He sends out laborers. It doesn't say that he sends out laborers and their superiors or their supervisors. Just simply laborers. That is me and you I think. Us. The Church. The Body.

You are right, the time is so short it may happen in my lifetime or my children's lifetime. How are any of us going to fare in the judgement that is coming if we spend all our time lengthening our robes, clamoring for the best seat or refusing to go to the field?

Keith, The two greatest commandments are love God and love our neighbor. The real question is, do we really love that neighbor when we just sit back and allow him to do whatever he wants, what ever he desires and not tell him where he errs? Do we just sit back and watch him rip a church from one end to the other and pat him on the back, give him a big salary and agree that he is wrong but just don't tell him because we are afraid he might throw a fit, throw us out or worse yet, just sit by and watch the clock tick off and let our other neighbors die for a lack of water or bread.

Face it, if the sheep were getting real spiritual food at BBC they would still be there. JH or no JH, bloggers or no bloggers. It isn't about feeding sheep at BBC anymore and most of us know it. It is about money, and control.

solomon said...

Ez,

Have you ever tried to get a point across over and over again, but just weren't able? Isn't it frustrating? I don't expect any more success this time, but I'll try again.

You spend a lot of time studying the OT, so I'm sure you know the story of Jericho and Ai. After the destruction of the mighty city, Israel was routed by the ancient equivalent of Mayberry.

Why?
Because God was not helping them.
Why not?
Because Achan had deliberately sinned.

Because of a single sin by a single man, God would not help his people.

If there's one thing I've been arguing all along, and there is, it's this: sin DOES NOT only affect the sinner, it affects EVERYONE!

The Bible says that if someone sins, SHOW THEM! It doesn't say ignore it or approve of it as it suits you.

I'm no more popular in certain circles at Bellevue than I am on the NBBCOF because I strive to live by the principle that we are called to be holy. I will denounce high-handed sin wherever I encounter it.

And let's be quite clear on this one thing. I do not 'follow' Dr. Gaines. He's a preacher, that's all. At best I walk alongside him, and then only if he is following God the same way I am. If he were to slow down he'd be following me.

Lastly, I've never (to my knowledge) addressed the issue of whether people are following scripture as to where they decide to attend church.

But I have and I will continue to address the issue that at whatever church they attend that they follow those scriptures that led them there. Whether it's a rebellious man at GBC posting half-truths about my church on a website, or if it's a deacon at another church who frequents a strip club, that sin still affects me. It also affects you, the entire church, and yes, the whole world.

We have yet to witness the full repercussions of the one sin of Adam, and I believe that every intentional sin we commit has exactly the same effect.

Why else is the world going downhill so fast?

solomon said...

oc, I really don't know where you're coming from on this one. I suspect you're trying to sidetrack the discussion to derail the argument in order to protect Jim Haywood's reputation. That would explain why you'd user words like 'disturbing' and 'criminal thinking' when describing my post.

If you choose to support and follow 'savingbellevue' that's your business, but in my book you forfeit any right you have to belittle me for allegedly following corrupt men.

solomon said...

ezekiel said...
The real question is, do we really love that neighbor when we just sit back and allow him to do whatever he wants, what ever he desires and not tell him where he errs?


I've addressed this before, many times. It seems most Christians are more eager to apply their rules to the nonbelievers than the church.

Do we just sit back and watch him rip a church from one end to the other and pat him on the back, give him a big salary and agree that he is wrong but just don't tell him because we are afraid he might throw a fit, throw us out or worse yet, just sit by and watch the clock tick off and let our other neighbors die for a lack of water or bread.

I'm not trying to 'spin' your post, ez, but let me ask you a question. Let's say you're 100% right about Steve Gaines. And also that the church leaders are indeed approving of his actions. What's a member to do if his legitimate concerns are not heard? What if God has not provided a way to resolve the problem in a biblical manner?

Does that mean that the person has a green light to do whatever he wants? Is God like the police chief who looks the other way while his detectives beat a confession out of the suspect?

Is bitterness permissible if God stays his hand? Anger? Threats? Lies? Molotov coktails? Tanks?

I don't think they are.

I'm still at somewhat of a loss to understand why so many Christians, and I really and truly mean wonderful, God fearing men and women, are not able to get a handle on the most basic of truths that sin separates us from God.

A lack of purity in any area of life, be it what we say, what we watch, what we listen to - ANYTHING - a lack of purity is a lack of purity.

If our only response when sinned against is to sin in return, we're fighting a losing battle. Satan has already won. But thankfully God has promised to always provide a way out for us. He will never allow us to be put into a situation where our only recourse is sin.

And I'm thankful for that.

Cakes said...

Sol,

"Corrupt men" is in the eye of the beholder, obviously. When it comes to the constant moral relativism and situational ethics directed in defense of Gaines here (or from his own lips), then such isn't bothersome or even acknowledged; yet Haywood gets both barrels for running a piddly blog (as opposed to a mega-church with bookoo dollars and lawyers).

I don't care for savingbellevue, and have no interest in defending it, but it's the ugly double-standard that baffles me.

If you rail against following corrupt men, yet attend Bellevue to this day, then your position, from my perspective, is tenuous at best. Either one is consistent in his criticisms of corruption, or he can pick and choose which outrages to lambast, based upon established loyalties.

But, as a non-christian, I'm sure that I cannot percieve which situational ethics are "under the blood" and which aren't. It seems Gaines gets the kidd gloves, and bloggers get the sufflex. It's good to be king, yes?

David said...

EZ: "How are any of us going to fare in the judgement that is coming if we spend all our time lengthening our robes, clamoring for the best seat or refusing to go to the field?"

Amen!

Hope Patterson said...

If I can stick my nose in here, I've read more than enough of the counsel of Eliphaz today.

The term 'broad brushing' has become something of a buzzword, but I can't help but notice that hasn't diminished its practice.

To those of you who are singling Keith out for no other reason than he's the only Bellevue member left who cares enough about all of you to respond, you need to stop. He is not a 'Gaines worshiper' and implying that he is simply shows that you have not kept up with the blogs.

Keith was one of the first ones to raise the yellow flags about SG, long before the dream incident. He did not ignore the duplicity he saw, but he did not go public with it either. Since it was a church matter, he kept it in the church. He chose to talk to people about it, and that caused him more trouble than probably anyone else has experienced. He was the target of plenty of gossip and slander, to the point that his teenage daughter wouldn't even sit with the family in church. He also received a visit from two of the 'elders' of the church (who have themselves left the church) who suggested that he either leave the church or keep quiet. His response was that he would not stop speaking to his friends about his concerns, and the only way he'd leave the church was if he were voted out. How many men said that when the time came? And there's a very large difference between saying it while safely attending Germantown Baptist and while attending Bellevue.

Perhaps if some of you had joined him last year instead of having your fun by being rude to him something good might have happened.

There's an old cliche that asks, "if Christianity were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" Keith, there is plenty of evidence on this blog, the other blog, and elsewhere to convict you of being a Christian many times over. I know you're constantly being goaded into action, but I think it's time to let bygones be bygones. No one on the blogs has ever changed their mind about anything, and this is not a fruitful endeavor for you.

oc said...

Solomon,
"Suspect" all you want.
I don't even know Jim Haywood, nor do I "support and follow" savingbellevue.

What is "suspect" is how you jumped to that conclusion. What I was trying to point out was that one can be so very offended by deception, yet on the other hand, defend it to their benefit.
Thanks for proving that.

PS. As far as the "disturbing" and "criminal thinking" goes, yes, it is still disturbing to me that one who is already saved and knows full well the agony that Christ endured on the cross would fear the consequences of sin rather than the sin that itself that put Him there. Yes, I stand by that.

Memphis said...

Sol, I totally understand the point of fearing the consequences of sin, and I do not think there is anything wrong with it either.

You have to realize that on blogs, people like to "debate" about any and every thing possible, which is why they come here to this blog. It makes their day go by better.

Hope you have a great Day Sol!

Memphis

Cakes said...

Many folks tried to deal with Bellevue failures within the church, but the leadership provided no quarter for real accountability and restoration; it rather went into self-preservation mode. Thus, real dialogue was pushed out the door and Bellevue must take responsibility for that failure of judgment as well.

One may argue the truth of that assessment, but it is quite another thing to dismiss the critics out of hand. A few thousand former Bellevue members are not a rabid faction; and bloggers cannot be blamed for their departure.

There is basis for believing that the Pastor destroyed his credibility as a person of wisdom and spiritual discernment; that the PCIR shielded culpable leadership; that the chairman of that committee was--on the heels of that report--ensconced without the congregation's approval (I was there at the "ordination," BTW); that dissenting deacons were bought out of their contracts, Sunday school teachers removed; that the purpose of loyalty oaths is specious, given the timing and context; and finally, that the Pastor abused the pulpit to engage in a personal battle against his critics within the church.

If Sol gets out on a limb and says that someone is corrupt or motivated by hatred, so be it; but such is an invitation to rebuttal. Those are strong judgments of others' hearts that beg some qualification.

A pedophile is not a church matter, particularly if the stewards of that church have failed miserably. It is an issue of concern for anyone of conscience. Again, if you need to blame anyone for Bellevue’s dirty laundry being spilled all over the country, look no further than its crack leadership.

So he raised some red flags early on, and experienced some of the very repercussions above. Did Sol give up under the pressure, have a change of heart about Gaines, or decide that he could best bring about restoration and reconciliation by playing along?
I'd really like to know.

solomon said...

it is still disturbing to me that one who is already saved and knows full well the agony that Christ endured on the cross would fear the consequences of sin rather than the sin that itself that put Him there. Yes, I stand by that.

OC,

Since that is exactly what I was talking about, I don't understand where we're in disagreement.

solomon said...

No one on the blogs has ever changed their mind about anything, and this is not a fruitful endeavor for you.

Hope,
I've made that same observation myself, but it's not all bad. This is a very public forum, and I'd like to believe that there are a few lurkers who enjoy from reading my posts. (Obviously yuri isn't one of them.)

BTW, those guys who came to my home weren't anyone important in the church. They were trying to get into the new inner circle, but when their attempts failed they moved on.

cakes,
Does it ever bother you that there are millions of Muslims in the world who hate you because you pay taxes to the government? Or that your taxes pay for Israeli jets that regularly bomb neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip? If so, doesn't that mean you should leave the country?

I don't believe that mere physical presence is an expression of approval of what those in authority do. I don't know who it was that decided that vacating the church was the only way to express dissatisfaction with the pastor, but it's not.

Haywood linked to a story about an elderly woman who was voted out of her church, and arrested because she kept coming back. The congregation shuns her, but she still comes back. And here's the strange part: other church members have left because of the way she's been treated, but she hasn't.

I don't know her story (although I'd really like to talk to her), but I think she knows that her church is much more than just one man. If her pastor is not 100% certain that he's on the up-and-up her presence must be a real thorn in her side. One Sunday he preached a sermon called 'Infidels in the Pew' and she told him what a good sermon it was! Can you imagine what he must have felt like?

So I choose to stay and not give up on a church that I've invested in. Since you asked where I stand about the pastor, my opinions haven't changed. It should be apparent that I don't forget things quickly, but others do. Some things need to be remembered, and as long as I remain I plan on keeping people from forgetting.

You won't like my opinion on this, but there's no way around that. I don't consider allowing PW to remain on staff to be grounds for condemnation. To me, that showed that SG had no idea how to run a church as large as Bellevue, and that he has not even had the most basic management training which teaches that there are some things that can't be kept quiet.

But that's a flaw that can be fixed. Bellevue is probably the safest church in America for children today, and you almost need a DNA test to pick your children up after church. You can bet that if a staff member came to Steve today and confessed a similar crime that he'd act very differently.

As I said, I understand that we disagree on this, but apart from the way the situation was resolved I could put that in the past. It was a bad decision, and an indication that he was not fully qualified to run the existing organization. He has since admitted his mistake, apologized, and restructured the office so that the chances that something like that happen again are small.

This might seem like a small thing to many people when compared to pedophilia, but my biggest concern to this day concerns that church credit card. There was so much slander flying around that this was completely overlooked. I'm convinced that he has never used it for a personal expense that he hasn't repaid, but the simple fact is that the account was charged for a private party at Colonial Country Club. The actual card was not used, but the account was charged.

This charge was repaid by the pastor, and I don't have a problem with using a company card like that in a pinch.

The problem lies in what he said during the 'informational meeting'. During his defense of his past actions, he pulled out his wallet and dramatically held up the card. He said "I've never used this card for personal expenses." This was not a lie, but I think it revealed a lot about Steve. He didn't have enough faith in us to admit that he had used the account (although technically not the card he was holding in his hand) and repaid it.

He relied on his own cleverness to outsmart those who were opposing him. When he first came to Bellevue he said that he wanted to be part of a church that couldn't be explained by human strength, human ingenuity, or human offort. And there he was a year later using Bill Clinton's methods.

The PW affair was an indication of how well Steve knew the laws, but that statement is a good indication of what's in his heart. He was afraid to trust us with what really happened because it sounded bad, and he tried to fool us.

I don't want a pastor who's afraid of me, or who thinks I'm a fool. But I'm not going to allow one man to drive me away. I believe that he can change. The Bible is full of examples of unworthy men being used in mighty ways. But he won't change unless he sees the need. How will that ever happen if everyone who is unhappy with him leaves?

And if worse comes to worse, I'm younger than he is and I'll use whatever influence the Lord gives me to bring in a better pastor when he retires.

solomon said...

from 'savingbellevue'

Jim Barnwell emailed saying that the media department did not produce this above film. Therefore I removed the comment about that.

If you have heard that it is easier to get an audience with the Pope, than Steve Gaines, read the sign on Dr Gaines's desk.


Also from 'savingbellevue'
(Claude Thomas quote)
“When it comes to our past here is what we want to do. We want to take the best from it and leave the rest of it. That gives us a healthy perspective of our past.”

(Haywood's comment)
Never one time in his message about moving forward in the future and taking only the good things from the past, did he ever say one word about going to those you wronged and asking forgiveness.


So is Mr. Haywood practicing what Thomas preached? Haywood wrote unfounded speculation that Barnwell's department was misusing church resources. By his own words, shouldn't he admit wrong and ask forgiveness?

Someone who didn't know better might think Haywood is being inconsisent and selective in his application of scripture.

larry said...

sol:
Whether it's a rebellious man at GBC posting half-truths about my church on a website, or if it's a deacon at another church who frequents a strip club, that sin still affects me. It also affects you, the entire church, and yes, the whole world.

We have yet to witness the full repercussions of the one sin of Adam, and I believe that every intentional sin we commit has exactly the same effect.

Why else is the world going downhill so fast?


Wow, Sol. What an amazing word. What a sobering thought, that the original sin that led to the fall of all creation can be recreated in my own life.

All Adam did was eat one piece of fruit. I'm capable of much more evil than that.

I think you've shared a deep truth today, sol. Why is Adam's sin more grave just because his was first?

I pray that more of God's people learn to think of their own sin like you do yours.

Cakes said...

Sol,

Thank you for explaining your decision to stay at Bellevue. I can respect that position, and find your candor regarding those failures refreshing. You seem to be in no man's land--not comfortable with the status quo at church, but neither with the refugees.

I feel that folks sometimes want to hinge so much on the so-called "single-issue"--how Gaines handled the pedophile crisis and curtailing a future bumble such as this--you know, alls well that ends well; the measures that followed seem dovetailed to insulating him from his and (let' not forget)other ministers own failures. It is compounding failure upon failure, for the good of the few, and not the flock, that infuriates folks precisely because it demonstrates character (or the lack thereof).

Sure it's not going to happen again at Bellevue; but we are also talking about a segment of our society (Christian conservatives)that ostensibly places great emphasis on "personal responsibility" and accountability. One cannot hold a standard for unwed mothers or corrupt polititians and another for a clueless pastor.

This is a situation ripe for ridicule, because it looks quite hypocritical and corrupt. This makes Christianity look less like a spiritual path, and more like a private club with convenient indulgences.

So too, people who had no hand in these pathetic judgements were injured--folks like you who were also deeply invested in Bellevue. What does the unfolding of events since last January say to the people to whom the pedophile "counselled," or to any victim of sexual assault? How is this different than the uppity-ups in the Catholic church turning a blind eye to their own pedophile priests?

Bellevue opened a pandora's box when it pushed the discussion off its campus (because when a mass of people face a crisis, they will communicate)--we can mince the particular utterences, both egregious and substantive, all day long, but once people feel muzzled from acknowledging the elephant in the room within their own church and emotions are inflamed, then one might as well damn the sunrise.

I wish you well in your endeavors to restore integrity and reconciliation to your church home.

solomon said...

cakes,

I apprectiate your understanding. I have to admit that I wonder if I'm off my nut sometimes. I've never been a member of the in crowd, and maybe that's why I don't feel any great urge to either leave Bellevue or get with the program.

You know, you've got a lot of wisdom to share. I hope that you have many opportunities to share that wisdom with others whether it's the children you teach, or the bloggers who call themselves your friends.

And I hope you don't mind if I pray that God gives you those opportunities.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

When you mention the sin of Achan causing so much trouble to the nation of Israel and how sin of one man can threaten the entire congregation, I think of another man.

His name is Phinehas. When we read of him, we see a man that ran a spear through a couple of sinners and stayed the plague on Israel. That day, 23,000 died due to the immorality of a few.

When we talk of committing sin when we fight against sin....I wonder why Phinehas was blessed even when we all know that he committed murder. He was under the law.....wonder what ever happened to "thou shalt not kill"?

If we have learned anything in all this, I hope that we have learned how to fight for our faith.

I think that like Phinehas, the actions of one righteous man can make all the difference. King David with his sling is another example. I often wonder if things like this occur to test the hearts of men. Our response may be a lot more important than our accomplishments. At least I hope it works that way.

solomon said...

ez,

Even more interesting about Phinehas is that in the entire Bible he's the only man who's said to be a peacemaker.

The Levitical law allowed for executions in several instances, although none by spear or by a single man's whim. Phinehas' act can't be justified by scripture, but it was clearly approved by God.

Perhaps it was his passion for God that made his act acceptable. But do you see the danger of claiming passion as a motive for acting? Can we ever be 100% sure that our passions are truly for God and not for ourselves?

One thing is clear, Phinehas did not sin when he speared the couple to death. How his action harmonizes with the law, I don't know. But somehow he knew, and his act was verified as righteous when God told the people that it was not the high priest who restored the peace, but Phinehas.

God's plans are not achieved by sin. Yes, he's used sinful men to achieve his purposes, and His hands are not tied by human choices. But the simple fact is that under the present dispensation of God's grace we are called to be holy, just as He is holy.

Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.


I'll always believe that if anything good comes through me that it's the Lord who works through me, to act and to will according to his good purpose.

And he does not do that through lies, innuendos, gossip, slander, anger, or deception.

It's easy to separate the things that have come from Keith Solomon and the things that have come from God. The good comes from him. The bad comes from me.

Nuff said.

solomon said...

larry said...
All Adam did was eat one piece of fruit. I'm capable of much more evil than that.


No comment on how much evil you're capable of, friend.

It's good to see 'the sheriff' back in action! ;)

Between you and JM, I've been wondering if I missed the boat by not working in the hospital. I'm looking forward to seeing the two of you around this neck of the woods more often.

Pardner!

Cakes said...

Wow,

I guess I missed this particular story in the Bible growing up--it's downright scary to think that God has certain caveats ammended to His own precepts.

So, is the inference that this character murdered a couple against the letter of God's law, yet the deity approved of it?

Forgive my ignorance, this is a new one on me.

ezekiel said...

Cakes,

It really isn't new. The whole story or history of the nation of Israel when they finally entered the land of Canaan was one of conquest and fierce battles.

Jesus was apparently teaching them how to fight. Check out the man in Joshua 5:13 on through chapter 6.

That is one appearance of Jesus in the OT. Just one of many. Notice how He tells us that He is the commander of the Lord's army? In chapter 6 the Lord (same guy) is telling Joshua how to fight.

And He is coming back. Matthew 24. Sort of messes up that gentle, peaceful image we have of Him. Don't it.

Besides the Giant, how many folks do you think King David killed. Yet He was a man after God's own heart.(1 Sam 13:14)

It is the part of the character of Jesus that a lot of folks these days don't remember is there.

oc said...

Cakes said:
Forgive my ignorance, this is a new one on me.


oc says:
Yep. Waitin' fer that shplanation too. Guess we didn't go over that in all my theology classes. I am wanting to hear what is going on with that. Eagerly.

oc said...

It's easy to separate the things that have come from Keith Solomon and the things that have come from God. The good comes from him. The bad comes from me.


oc says:
Oh, relax Cakes. Maybe it's just one of these instances.

Junkster said...

NEW TOPIC!

NEW TOPIC!

NEW TOPIC!

(C'mon, folks, chant it with me!)

ezekiel said...

Cakes,

See Psalm 136. You should note that it talks of His loving kindness. But you have to be one of His to see him from that perspective. There are a lot of mighty kings, Pharaoh is one of them, that don't see him as loving.

136 1
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.
2
Give thanks to the God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.
3
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
4
to him who alone does great wonders,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
5
to him who by understanding made the heavens,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
6
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
7
to him who made the great lights,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
8
the sun to rule over the day,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
9
the moon and stars to rule over the night,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
10
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
11
and brought Israel out from among them,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
12
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
13
to him who divided the Red Sea in two,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
14
and made Israel pass through the midst of it,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
15
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
16
to him who led his people through the wilderness,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
17
to him who struck down great kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
18
and killed mighty kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
19
Sihon, king of the Amorites,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
20
and Og, king of Bashan,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

21
and gave their land as a heritage,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
22
a heritage to Israel his servant,

for his steadfast love endures forever.
23
It is he who remembered us in our low estate,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
24
and rescued us from our foes,

for his steadfast love endures forever;
25
he who gives food to all flesh,

for his steadfast love endures forever.
26
Give thanks to the God of heaven,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

ezekiel said...

Cakes,

This is a quote from Charles Spurgeon, known as a strong faithful preacher. We grow closer to the storm that he mentions each day. In Christ we are protected. Its not too late for you to seek shelter.

"The wrath to come." --Matthew 3:7 It is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself; to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight. That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon His Saviour's head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distil from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction. But how terrible is it to witness the approach of a tempest: to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it groweth black, and look to the sun which shineth not, and the heavens which are angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane--such as occurs, sometimes, in the tropics--to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind shall rush forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man! And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have as yet fallen, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God's tempest is gathering its dread artillery. As yet the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the flood-gates shall soon be opened: the thunderbolts of God are yet in His storehouse, but lo! the tempest hastens, and how awful shall that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury! Where, where, where, O sinner, wilt thou hide thy head, or whither wilt thou flee? O that the hand of mercy may now lead you to Christ! He is freely set before you in the gospel: His riven side is the rock of shelter. Thou knowest thy need of Him; believe in Him, cast thyself upon Him, and then the fury shall be overpast for ever.

cap44 said...

Concerning Phinehas, I found the following on Wikipedia. After reading the etire entry, I wouldn't infer that he committed murder, but rather was carrying out orders in conjunction with commandment of "having no other gods."
But, I could be wrong.

"According to Josephus, Moses gave orders to kill all the idolaters, yet Zimri, the son of the Israelite prince Salu from the Tribe of Simeon, openly defied Moses and publicly showed his opinion to those standing at the Tabernacle entrance with Moses by going in to Cozbi, the daughter of the Midianite prince Sur. In a moment of great strength born of holy zeal, Phinehas went after them and ran them through with a spear simultaneously while they were apparently in coitus. He thus "stayed the plague" that had broken out among the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them had already perished (Numbers 25). God declared that Phinehas was to receive divine recognition, and he was appointed to lead a hereditary priesthood."

solomon said...

So, is the inference that this character murdered a couple against the letter of God's law, yet the deity approved of it?

Boy, if there's one thing I've been arguing against, it's that intentionally breaking God's commands leads to His blessing.

cakes said...
Forgive my ignorance, this is a new one on me.


If ignorance of the atrocities in the Bible is a crime, then 99% of all Baptists are guilty. The overwhelming majority of our pastors don't teach from these texts, but leave it up to their congregation to study them on their own. Since a large percentage of Baptists don't read their Bibles, they never read these accounts and wind up with a distorted view of what God is really like.

I don't have a neat and clean answer about Phinehas, and I don't think anyone else does either. As cap44 pointed out, it's possible that God had ordered the execution of the idolaters (that was their crime, not sexual immorality or interracial marriage), in which case Phinehas was acting in obedience. The rabbinical tradition holds that Phinehas received superhuman strength during the killings, which proves he was empowered by the Lord, but those accounts are not included in the Bible and don't carry the same authority as the scripture.

So I don't understand how this killing was a good thing. What I do believe is that God is just, and he does not allow double standards. My problem is a limited understanding of His ways, and a tendency to use human values in my judgments. In some way a seemingly evil act was the right thing to do, even though I can't imagine how.

I don't understand how God could curse Cain and declare that he would be a restless wanderer for his entire life, but then Cain turned right around and built a city. In return, his family was blessed through Lamech and his sons were the originators of music and industry.

I also don't understand the slaughter of Jericho, every man, woman, child, and animal. God said that he would curse anyone who tried to rebuild the city, but it still stands today.

What about Jephthah the judge? He swore that he'd sacrifice the first thing that came out to meet him if God granted him victory over the Ammonites, and when his own daughter came out to greet him upon his homecoming he kept his oath and sacrificed her. I don't recall many Sunday school lessons about THAT story.

Or about the wonderful Levite man in Judges 19, either.

There are plenty of things in the Bible that I wish weren't there, since they dispelled my childish notions of what God is like. However, since my image of the Lord was wrong it needed to go. It was created by well-meaning Sunday school teachers and preachers who tried to make God look good by only teaching the 'nice' things.

I used to believe in a God whose biggest concern was making me happy, but not anymore. And it's not because my life isn't good, it's because I believe what the Bible says. And it reveals some things that seem downright heartless.

But when it's all said and done, I still believe that God is holy and just. I don't expect to ever understand everything that happens in this life, so the best I can do is to keep living by faith.

And the biggest part of that faith says that God provided a savior. Jesus is a Christian's example, not Cain, not Jepthath, and not Phinehas. Not Abel, Gideon, or Aaron, either. Christ's disciples learn a law very different than OT law, and that law says to turn the other cheek, that hatred is the same as murder, and that man's anger doesn't achieve God's purposes.

I'm not willing to make the call that striking back when I'm struck, committing murder, and flying into a rage when I get the notion are what God wants me to do, and then using the OT atrocities as justification. If I'm wrong about this, then I'm going to err on the side of grace. I think that's the better choice for everyone.

imo

ezekiel said...

Keith, I don’t think it a good thing to call what Phinehas did, murder. He was acting on the orders of Moses. (Let’s not forget that Jesus our Savior and Mighty Warrior met with Moses on the Mount, Mark 9:4) That sort of rises to a point of condemning a servant of the Lord or questioning what he did.

Job 40:1 And the Lord said to Job: 2
Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

He who argues with God, let him answer it.

Job42 1 Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2
I know that you can do all things,

and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3
Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.



And before we get all wishy washy, mushy and full of love, lets not forget Jehu.

2 Kings 10: 28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord the God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin. 32 In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel.

Jehu killed Jezebel and she called him a murderer.

Let’s not forget that God is Holy, and Just. He demands justice and provides it. We might not understand it all the time, but like Job, I am resolved not to question Him.

Micah makes it pretty clear here.


Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?

Doing justice may require more than erring on the side of Grace. Otherwise, why do we carry such an offensive weapon as the sword?

Cakes said...

Well pardon,

But I've always thought that precepts are just that. I guess Buddhism is not about the diety, by whatever name, and is focused upon life, here and now, not the hereafter--so one does not spend considerable time apprehending what God thinks or what caveats He allows. It is largely a practical path, and not consumed with theological arguments.

Perhaps Sol is right, and this story from the Bible doesn't get much exegis precisely because it is so counterintuitive to how we consider the Judeo-Christian God's ostensibly consistent and authoritative word. Is this contradictory?

EZ, I don't know how spearing a couple in bed prepares anyone for battle, as most adversaries fight back in war.

ezekiel said...

While we are on Phinehas and Jehu, ask yourself the question:

How much Grace and Mercy did God show the remainder of Israel in both cases. You an bet the rest of the camp, other than the 26,000 appreciated Phinehas' action which ultimately was removing/banishing sin from the camp.

It is also consistent with the Law of Moses. See Num 15. This was intentional sin in sight of the whole congregation. For the record, so was the worship of Ball and Jezebel's sin as well.

29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. 30 But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him. 32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said to Moses, The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.

When you desire to err on the side of grace, remember Hebrews 10

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

The thing we must ask, it seems, is whether or not the corporate sin we have witnessed at BBC is intentional or unintentional. The answer seems to dictate either that it was atoned for by the ultimate sacrifice or it was intentional sin that will be punished or is being punished.

I don't think your contention that " Christ's disciples learn a law very different than OT law, and that law says to turn the other cheek, that hatred is the same as murder, and that man's anger doesn't achieve God's purposes. " holds to much water in light of the above example. True enough, He does say "vengence is mine" but in these cases and many more, that vengence was carried out through people and carried out I might add, sooner rather than later.

You may want to create a difference between the God of the OT and the God of the new, but scripturally, that difference doesn't exist. It only exists in the mind of people that try to justify sin. Either that or God has changed.

Mal 3: 3 1 Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. 6 For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them.

In the case of BBC, how much mercy and grace has been shown to all involved, from leadership, pew, those that have left? It is within His power to crush BBC just as it was in His Israel and Judah.

David said...

"If ignorance of the atrocities in the Bible is a crime, then 99% of all Baptists are guilty. The overwhelming majority of our pastors don't teach from these texts, but leave it up to their congregation to study them on their own. Since a large percentage of Baptists don't read their Bibles, they never read these accounts and wind up with a distorted view of what God is really like."

Let's consider:
--99% of all Baptist are guilty of not knowing their Bible.

--The overwhelming majority of our pastors don't teach from the text.

--A "large" percentage of Baptists don't read their Bibles.

Those are some serious charges against the Bride of Christ. Where did you get your info?

Do you have study results that actually say 99% of all Baptist are guilty of not knowing their Bible? Or that most pastors don't teach from the Biblical text?

I mean, if you have Barna or something like that and it says 99% of Baptist don't know what's in their Bible, I'm interested.

John Mark said...

Hey, did anyone read the BBC bios on Bellevue.org?

If I may quote, "Steve Gaines was president of the United States from 2000 to 2004".

Oh wait! It doesn't say that anymore! Absolute proof that I'm more important than I really am, since my post which hasn't been posted yet forced BBC to change the bio that never said what I said it did!

I'm the greatest! And even though I'm not a woman!!

Junkster said...

John Mark,
If you are insinuating that the BBC bios never mistakenly claimed that SG was the SBC President and that it was not corrected to its current wording, your insinuation is incorrect. I don't think the mistake was a big deal and seriously doubt it was intentional or that SG was aware the mistake was there (unless someone snuck in behind the wizard's curtain and told him after the fact). But the mistake was definitely made and corrected.

David,
Have you never used hyperbole when preaching or making a point? If not, you are doubtless the only preacher in the history of the who hasn't. Or maybe you just don't recognize it when you see it.

solomon said...

I mean, if you have Barna or something like that and it says 99% of Baptist don't know what's in their Bible, I'm interested.

David,
I'm sorry, but you won't be interested in my source since it doesn't come from studies, polls, or surveys. It comes from a source that most people will frown on, my own experience.

I've been at Bellevue Baptist for a long time, and I've met a lot of people. I've heard a lot of visiting pastors, too. Some of them are very well known and highly regarded. Almost none of them have preached from the Bible. Over the years David Jeremiah, Voddie Baucham, Johnny Hunt, Jerry Vines, Paige Patterson, Ergun Caner, and many familiar Baptist preachers have been in our pulpit. Jeremiah and Patterson both preached excellent messages from Luke, while the others generally used passages to prop up the points they wanted to get across. Perhaps these men practice expository preaching in their home churches, but they haven't when they've visited us.

I've subbed as a Sunday school teacher many times over the years. I've been surprised over and over by the number of people who can't find the Psalms in their Bibles, and I've had to cut numerous lessons short because I've had to waste time 'proving' to someone that something is really in the Bible.

But I guess it's more correct for me to say that the pastors who speak at Bellevue don't preach from their Bibles, and a significant number of the adult members of Bellevue doesn't know the scriptures.

If you preach from the Bible and pastor a congregation that's committed to Bible study, I commend you. But I can assure you, that's not what I've seen at Bellevue, and I'm not speaking as someone who is embittered against the church.

solomon said...

ez,

Intentional sins aren't unforgivable.

Leviticus 6
1 The LORD said to Moses: 2 "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, 3 or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do- 4 when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, 5 or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.


Stealing is rarely unintentional (if ever), but it can still be atoned for. What can never be forgiven is apostacy.

The letter to the Hebrews was just that, a letter to Hebrews under the law of Moses. It's a very difficult book, and it needs to be understood in the context of its target audience. The sin that the writer is talking about (I truly believe) is the unforgivable sin of denying Jesus as messiah.

The entire book's purpose seems to me the proving of the superiority of Jesus. Superiority to Moses, to Aaron, and to angels (which elimates groups such as the Sanhedrin that included Sadducees as a target audience, since they denied the existence of angels). Jesus is described as a better priest, a better sacrifice, and a participant in a better covenant. What other purpose could the writer have had in mind than to convince self righteous Jews to accept true righteiousness? I see a direct connection between the sin that remained on the sinner in Numbers 15 and denying Christ.

10:26-39 is the fourth 'warning passage' in the book, a warning against despising Jesus. The punishment for this offense does not worry me since I'm not guilty, and I still say that if I err I will err on the side of grace. I don't see how I could possibly offend the Spirit of grace by extending His grace to others. Perhaps it's difficult for you to accept that a time comes when I have to take my hands off and trust God to clean things up, but I won't let the sin of others force me into sin myself (at least not intentionally - pun intended).

I recently heard an excellent sermon about this by pastor Stephen Davey, and this is a quote:

In the first century, believers lived under the leadership of men like Nero, who married both a man publicly and several women. They lived when the foundations of home and virtue were being dismantled and dissolved through repeated divorce and adultery.

John wrote to this generation,
Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous . . . the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.
(I John 3:7-8)

In other words, when a culture arrives at the point at which, as Isaiah said, people will call evil things good and good things evil (Isaiah 5:20), John wrote, “Don’t be deceived; the standard of God’s holiness has not shifted.” Right is still right and wrong is still wrong, according to the inspired record of scripture.

To applaud unrighteousness does not make unrighteousness right. To denigrate and scoff at purity does not make purity wrong.

If we truly love God and others, we will not practice sin. We will not wave sin under anyone’s nose; we will not offer them a bite of sin; we will not keep sin around the house; we will not store it on our computer. We will confess sin and flee sin and hate even the smell of sin. If anything, the church needs to be revived in her holy aversion to sin.

In fact, according to I Corinthians 13, we cannot really love God and one another without a disdain for sin.



Ezekiel said...
You may want to create a difference between the God of the OT and the God of the new, but scripturally, that difference doesn't exist. It only exists in the mind of people that try to justify sin. Either that or God has changed.


Since I'm trying to get people to reconsider what I consider sinful actions, I'm not trying to justify sin. The immutability of God is one of the most important doctrines we hold, and if we believed that he changed then we could also believe that he might change again.

God doesn't change, but the OT doesn't contain the full revelation. Salvation in the OT is very different than salvation in the NT. In the OT, salvation always has to do with deliverance from worldly peril. The Jews believed that worldly riches were a sure sign of God's favor, and that's why Jesus shocked the apostles when he taught that it would be hard for a rich man to enter heaven.

I've always believed the entire Bible can only be understood properly as it relates to Jesus. All of the sacrifices, the festivals, and the ceremonies point straight to him. The worldly riches given to those who were saved by the Lord were an image of the heavenly riches of those who are being saved by Christ.

The Bible is a progressive revelation, and if we expect God to work in exactly the same way today as He did in the OT we might as well throw out the new.

John Mark said...

junkster said...
But the mistake was definitely made and corrected.


Oh yeah? PROVE IT!
(Just kidding.)

I hate to admit I still read the other blog, but the dude who originally posted the error really gets on my nerves. Apparently, he thought that somehow the mistake was part of some diabolical plan by the evil Steve Gaines. You know, like visualization and transendental meditation? I just couldn't resist taking a jab at been reamed's elevated sense of importance. (I didn't even notice that it was you who wrote that the blog had some kind of influence. Horrendous eyesight.)

This man is so twisted he seems to take delight in SG's health problems, as demonstrated by his taking the time to repost this on a new thread:

Been Redeemed said...

Transferred from previous thread:

MOM4 said...
opie said..."For all I know the pastor is doing a great job now,"

Actually, something is catching up with him quite rapidly. He is suffering physically and mentally, unable to stand to preach on Sunday nights...yelling his sermons and "chasing rabbits" quite a bit...I guess if one is content with shallow, winding and twisted scripture sermons, they wouldn't know what is going on...

12:44 PM, January 22, 2008
1:07 PM, January 22, 2008


What was the point of br reposting that? So that everyone on the blog could pray for SG? Not likely.

Far be it from me to judge someone else's motives (bear with me here), but br549 sounds a little bloodthirsty.

ezekiel said...

Solomon,

" Salvation in the OT is very different than salvation in the NT. In the OT, salvation always has to do with deliverance from worldly peril. "

I don't know where you get this idea but it couldn't be more inaccurate. Salvation for such men as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Phinehas and that is just a short list, ocurred the very same way it does for us. The Spirit of God moving in the man. None of them were justified by anything other than saving faith in God. (Gen 15:6).



1 Cor 10:1 I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

"The Bible is a progressive revelation, and if we expect God to work in exactly the same way today as He did in the OT we might as well throw out the new."

Rather than throw anything out, it would behoove us to see how the OT and the NT are both part of the same revelation as you call it. Some like to say today that we are under a new law, the law of Christ and tell everyone that we are under the blood and saved by grace. How were the firstborn of Israel saved while they were in Egypt? They were under the blood. When you tell me that things are different today than they were in the days of Noah then you disagree with Mat 24:37-38, Luke 17:26 and 1 Peter 3:20.

Rather than focus on the differences, I would highly recommend that you look for the similarities between the old and the new. I think you will find them the same a lot more than you will find them different.

For instance, just look at Grace and Mercy. Do you not see the Grace and Mercy God showed His People all the way through the OT? Noah, Moses and Israel, King David, Solomon, Judah and Jerusalem? Grace and Mercy abounded in all the messengers that He sent to a hard hearted, stiff necked people to get them to turn back to Him.

Hebrews 1:1 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

It Isn't the message that has changed but the messenger. Rather than a servant/messenger He is God's own Son, Hebrews 3:3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

And rather than sacrifices that have to be repeated Christ was the ultimate sacrifice.

Hebrews 7:27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

Just as there was no salvation for unbelievers in the OT, there is no salvation for unbelievers in the NT.

"The letter to the Hebrews was just that, a letter to Hebrews under the law of Moses. It's a very difficult book, and it needs to be understood in the context of its target audience. The sin that the writer is talking about (I truly believe) is the unforgivable sin of denying Jesus as messiah. "

Wrong again, the Book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians. The Church. The Church in Acts was primarily if not totally Jewish. That explains all the “our fathers” language we see used.

Like you, I used to think that the OT was then, the NT is now and I am to live the life of the NT church. That is true enough but let’s not take that to mean we can’t learn from the OT and that God has changed. We also need to realize that The Entire Bible is a series of examples from messengers selected by God to bring his chosen people to salvation. We truly have no excuse as our messenger is none other than the SON and the sacrifice is complete and total. And...we possess the total revelation of God through His written WORD. No excuse.

ezekiel said...

Solomon, by the way, I never said intentional sins are unforgivable. If they aren't I am big trouble...

The problem I have with intentional sin as we are discussing, it seems some want to say that it can only be one (rejecting Christ) or total apostacy.

The question I would pose, is a pattern of intentional sin indicative of a saved person? I don't think so. The 1 John 3 text you quoted should be screamed from roof tops and pulpits every day. That along with Galatians 5.

In the context of these two scriptures, what does a pattern of intentional sin tell us about a person? It tells me they aren't saved in the first place and they have a worse fate awaiting them than getting run through with a spear or getting stoned outside the camp. (Heb 10)

oc said...

David said:
"I mean, if you have Barna or something like that and it says 99% of Baptist don't know what's in their Bible, I'm interested."

Solomon said:
"David,
I'm sorry, but you won't be interested in my source since it doesn't come from studies, polls, or surveys. It comes from a source that most people will frown on, my own experience."


oc says:
So you admit you just made that up? Only an itty bitty lie.

But ok. You go to BBC. Your experience is that Baptists don't know their Bible. I suggest you get a different experience. Others have.

solomon said...

So you admit you just made that up? Only an itty bitty lie.

OC, I think it's time for you to learn a more subtle way of starting a conversation than calling people names. That might be a good way in a bar or at a NASCAR race, but it's not appropriate for a Christian.

solomon said...

ez,

First, let me just say that I truly appreciate the gracious way you always respond. There's no doubt that you carefully weigh your thoughts, and search the Bible before responding. Even though you and I disagree sometimes, I know that your motives are to learn more about God and I answer for that same reason. On the few occasions I've read one of your responses that I could have taken personally, I know that you don't intend them to be so I don't get upset.

Salvation for such men as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Phinehas and that is just a short list, ocurred the very same way it does for us. The Spirit of God moving in the man. None of them were justified by anything other than saving faith in God.

We're talking about different things here. You're talking about the way of salvation, and I was talking about the visible result. OT salvation was always about salvation in this life, not the next.

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

And the examples show that we have a God who saves. In the OT, salvation was from peril. In the NT, salvation is from God's wrath. The method is still the same, God's grace through faith.

When you tell me that things are different today than they were in the days of Noah then you disagree with Mat 24:37-38, Luke 17:26 and 1 Peter 3:20.

A judgement is coming, of that there is no doubt. You seem to have the impression that I'm suggesting sin is free. It's not. What I'm suggesting is that Christians are not allowed to use every means possible to bring about the kingdom. If we stop a sinner by sinning ourselves, have we really done anything at all?

Rather than focus on the differences, I would highly recommend that you look for the similarities between the old and the new. I think you will find them the same a lot more than you will find them different.

I look for harmony, not just similarity. The OT allowed an offended person to do exactly as much harm to an offender as he himself had suffered. Jesus changed that. He said to turn the other cheek. How do those two notions fit together? Can I make someone pay an eye for an eye when Jesus said not to? Was Jesus violating Scripture when he said not to divorce? The Pharisees thought so. I don't.

For instance, just look at Grace and Mercy. Do you not see the Grace and Mercy God showed His People all the way through the OT? Noah, Moses and Israel, King David, Solomon, Judah and Jerusalem? Grace and Mercy abounded in all the messengers that He sent to a hard hearted, stiff necked people to get them to turn back to Him.

As I already mentioned, I look for harmony between the testaments. Mercy is an attribute of God, so it exists at all times. Grace is a little different, since as John wrote grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. If I'm going to really find saving grace in the OT I'll need to see Jesus in the sacrifices, and so on.

It Isn't the message that has changed but the messenger.

I disagree with this. What is the message? The message is Christ. He's far more than just a messenger.

Wrong again, the Book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians. The Church. The Church in Acts was primarily if not totally Jewish. That explains all the “our fathers” language we see used.

If it was to Christians, then it was to Christians who had drifted away from their faith and had reverted to Judaism. This letter was not to people who were exalting Christ. The message is that Jesus is superior to religion.

Like you, I used to think that the OT was then, the NT is now and I am to live the life of the NT church. That is true enough but let’s not take that to mean we can’t learn from the OT and that God has changed. We also need to realize that The Entire Bible is a series of examples from messengers selected by God to bring his chosen people to salvation. We truly have no excuse as our messenger is none other than the SON and the sacrifice is complete and total. And...we possess the total revelation of God through His written WORD. No excuse.

You made a conclusion about my beliefs that's incorrect. I've never said that the OT was obsolete. (BTW, I'm seeing just the opposite of what you've described, people throwing away the NT in favor of the old.)

What I've suggested is that many of the OT events foreshadowed the coming of Jesus. As with any sign, the thing pointed to is greater than the sign itself.


Ezekiel said...
In the context of these two scriptures, what does a pattern of intentional sin tell us about a person? It tells me they aren't saved in the first place and they have a worse fate awaiting them than getting run through with a spear or getting stoned outside the camp.


Now this is a statement I can't possibly agree with. I agree that unsaved people will suffer eternal condemnation, but there's no way I'd presume to know whether or not a person is really saved. That's not for me to know or judge.

When I see a statement like the one John Mark shared above, I see a person sinning. There's a strong hint of murder in that person's attitude, no doubt.

Even so, I can't say they aren't saved since it's not my call. I suspect they are simply consumed by anger and bitterness and writing without thinking and praying, perhaps believing they are safe because no one knows who they are.

But a judgement is coming, as we both know. A judgement where we will be held accountable for every word we say, and I don't think there will be allowances made for saying them anonymously, in anger, or in jest.

There is nothing in this world that is worth committing a single sin for, and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

If Bellevue could be completely restored, with over 10000 members attending Sunday morning, a 300 member choir and a full orchestra, and an untainted image in the community - if that restoration took one sin to accomplish then the price is far too high.

Memphis said...

OFF TOPIC:

Went to the Passion PLay last night, thought it was great! Really missed Mike playing Caiphous...he seemed really short to past years!

David said...

Solomon: "Perhaps these men practice expository preaching in their home churches, but they haven't when they've visited us."

Ah, so there is now a standard for true preaching: It must be expository.

The Bible is full of preachers. I challenge you to find one preacher who was an expository preacher.

We can go to the Old Tetament preachers (prophets) and look at the style of preaching. Did any of them exegete the Pentateuch? Sorry, none did.

Let's move to the New Testament:

Was Jesus an expository preacher? no. He was topical.

Was Paul an expository preacher? No, once again, a topical preacher.

Stephen comes close. But he doesn't use a single passage, but overviews the whole Scripture to make a point. He is an apologist.

What about Peter and John? Once again, not expository preaching I can find.

Closest we come is Philip: "Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." (Acts 8:35)

So if Peter, Paul, Jesus spoke at Bellevue, would they fall into your unspiritual catagory because they don't preach the style you prefer? (Smile, Solomon)

ezekiel said...

Keith,

Even so, I can't say they aren't saved since it's not my call. I suspect they are simply consumed by anger and bitterness and writing without thinking and praying, perhaps believing they are safe because no one knows who they are.

1 John 3: 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

I don't know how you read it, but this tells me it will be evident.

oc said...

I said:
So you admit you just made that up? Only an itty bitty lie.

Solomon said:
"OC, I think it's time for you to learn a more subtle way of starting a conversation than calling people names. That might be a good way in a bar or at a NASCAR race, but it's not appropriate for a Christian."

oc says:
Firstly, I fail to see a name called. Show it to me. If you cannot, then you have again actually proven the point I made in my post.

Secondly. By your definition of "name calling", well then, you did a fine job of it yourself in response, don't you think? And it seems by your response that you believe yourself to have extensive knowledge of the "NASCAR and the bar scene".
You seem to want me to believe you are an expert able to judge such things. I have no reason to disbelieve your expertise. But I will say that you are great at jumping to conclusions and making aspersions on someone else's character.

Thirdly, I don't see being "subtle" a requirement for being a Christian, and you can be as "subtle" as you think you are, but you have no ground to stand on "subtlety". "Subtle" was what the serpent was, and I wouldn't think I should be called to that by a brother in Christ. And I wouldn't be using that argument. By that argument, the prophets and John the Baptist and the Apostles are of no use to you either. Nor would be Jesus.
(And no, I am not comparing myself to them. I am only saying that it doesn't always have to be warm and fuzzy. )

So, I guess my question is, who made you the arbiter of the proper "Christianese" discourse?
(By the way, you seem to speak it well.) And it's such a fine way to avoid what really hurts. The fact is that all things are not right in wonderland. And you take that however you want, but I don't think any Christian's 'wonderland' should be satisfied by it's condition. If that condition is satisfactory this side of Heaven according to said Christian, then yes, it is but a lie. Subtle or not.

Just don't make judgements on what is proper Christian discourse. It could be that what you believe is not exactly right. Could that be possible?

By the way, I do like NASCAR. Football too. Hell-bound?


Jussayin'.
oc.

oc said...

Solomon said:
"There is nothing in this world that is worth committing a single sin for, and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

If Bellevue could be completely restored, with over 10000 members attending Sunday morning, a 300 member choir and a full orchestra, and an untainted image in the community - if that restoration took one sin to accomplish then the price is far too high."


oc says:
ok. Then let me ask you this.
Is it worse to commit a new sin, or to live unrepentant in an old one?

oc said...

And by the way, Solomon.
You totally ignored the fact that by your own estimate 99% of the people in your church don't know what's in the Bible, as you have honestly stated.

And you aren't seeing a problem in this? In your estimation, why is this? Does this not alarm you, even more than my not being able to learn "Christianese"?
Why not go on THAT crusade?

Answer:
Because that hurts.
It is too close to home.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

Thanks for the comments regarding my sincerity. For what it is worth, I find similar sincerity in your comments. I just can’t help but wonder what could happen if folks like you and I were able to get together and just study the Word. Forget about music, dress, who is the boss and just glorify Christ by showing an earnest love for Him and a desire to know Him better.

”If it was to Christians, then it was to Christians who had drifted away from their faith and had reverted to Judaism. This letter was not to people who were exalting Christ. The message is that Jesus is superior to religion.”

Hebrews 3:
3 1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house.

6 but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.


8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds,

and write them on their hearts,

and I will be their God,

and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Keith, Hebrews was written to the brothers. Us. Christians. It is not as you say “hard to understand” unless you try to make it apply to apostates and not us.

In fact, it is written to every Christian that would consider losing their confidence and shrinking back. A timeless warning to keep the faith.

I would suggest you read it again with this in mind. If you still disagree, let me know and we can take it verse by verse, chapter by chapter until we agree. This book is just too important not to understand. I put it on par with Romans in importance.

ezekiel said...

Keith,

"If Bellevue could be completely restored, with over 10000 members attending Sunday morning, a 300 member choir and a full orchestra, and an untainted image in the community - if that restoration took one sin to accomplish then the price is far too high."

You would still have a bunch of folks there that are practicing religion, desperately in need of a message from Hebrews 10

"If it was to Christians, then it was to Christians who had drifted away from their faith and had reverted to Judaism. This letter was not to people who were exalting Christ. The message is that Jesus is superior to religion."

The only difference between the "brothers" that were looking at shrinking back or reverting to Judaism and a bunch of the 10,000 you are talking about is the "religion" or idol worship they are trying to revert back to. And the message is still "Jesus is superior to religion".

ezekiel said...

Keith,

"I disagree with this. What is the message? The message is Christ. He's far more than just a messenger."

I already said He was far more than a messenger. I said:

"It Isn't the message that has changed but the messenger. Rather than a servant/messenger He is God's own Son, Hebrews 3:3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

And rather than sacrifices that have to be repeated Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. "

A quick look at the parable here in Luke 20, shows us the messengers (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel?) and THE Messenger. The message hasn't changed. God is still wanting His fruit.

9 And he began to tell the people this parable: A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him. 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours. 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. When they heard this, they said, Surely not! 17 But he looked directly at them and said, What then is this that is written:
The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.

What exactly was the message then and now?

CHRIST.

1 Cor 10:10 1 I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

The message has been Christ from way back when.
I believe we see Him here,

Ex 33:21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.

Again in Deuteronomy 32 several times and many other places throughout the OT.

Christ has been here since the beginning.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God hasn't changed, neither has the WORD and both have been since the beginning. The only thing that has changed is the covenant He has with His people. Old covenant (Old testament), New covenant (New testament)

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah,
9
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers

on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

For they did not continue in my covenant,

and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds,

and write them on their hearts,

and I will be their God,

and they shall be my people.
11
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor

and each one his brother, saying, Know the Lord,

for they shall all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.
12
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,

and I will remember their sins no more.
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

ezekiel said...

Cakes,

"But I've always thought that precepts are just that. I guess Buddhism is not about the diety, by whatever name, and is focused upon life, here and now, not the hereafter--so one does not spend considerable time apprehending what God thinks or what caveats He allows. It is largely a practical path, and not consumed with theological arguments.

If that be what you search for, life here and now, you can find it, will find it in Christ. Here and now. That is what is so disturbing about a lot of the teaching we see today, The emphasis is on the after and not the now. Failure to grasp the freedom from sin today, the freedom the Christ provided on the Cross is to live a life in bondage to sin. And that ain't life, that is death. Death now and forever.

Perhaps Sol is right, and this story from the Bible doesn't get much exegis precisely because it is so counterintuitive to how we consider the Judeo-Christian God's ostensibly consistent and authoritative word. Is this contradictory?

There is a whole lot in the WORD that is counterintuitive. That is simple because we don't understand CHRIST. The sad part about it all is that in a lot of cases, we refuse to read about Him so that we can understand HIM. Just because it seems counterintuitive doesn't mean that He is the one that is wrong.

EZ, I don't know how spearing a couple in bed prepares anyone for battle, as most adversaries fight back in war."

This particular scripture is simply an example of how corporate sin was handled in the days of Moses. We don't use spears any more, just the SWORD. The Word of God, and our fight is not flesh and blood but a spiritual one against sin. Keith is partly correct when he talks of the OT being in the context of physical deliverance of God's people. I believe we can take the examples we see there and apply them to the spiritual battles against sin we fight today.

Unfortunately, false teaching today is teaching us that God does all the fighting against sin and we are to just love everyone and leave the sin fighting to Him. Throw out the OT teaching where we are taught to fight against sin and ignore the same teaching in the NT.

ezekiel said...

David,

Matt 23 and 24 look to be pretty topical. Timeless as well.

All the folks you mention were still preaching Jesus. Even Jesus. I think that many today preach man rather than Jesus. Otherwise, why all the emphasis on "your best life now" or "get your blessing now" rather than the true message,

8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Please forgive me but I just have to quote a little Spurgeon. Ask yourself, does this message line up with Mat 24 or does the "name it and claim it" message of "my best life now" fit?

"My grace is sufficient for thee." --2 Corinthians 12:9 If none of God's saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, "Still will I trust in the or, when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God's grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring--that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night--I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit's work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable,-- "Calm mid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory." He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it--hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.

How does this message and the one in Mat 23,24 line up? I am with Keith, maybe a little more exegesis, a little more actual scripture. Topical sure does seem man centered these days.

solomon said...

Phew! They're coming from all sides!

David,
You make a good point, but you missed the bigger point. I'm not singling one person out, but Ergun Caner was at out church a few years ago. He spoke to the youth department on either Friday or Saturday, and I heard he was great. He's a former Muslim who's now a well known preacher.

I was looking forward to hearing either his testimony or an enlightening sermon on Sunday morning, but instead he told redneck jokes for 15 minutes, lamented that no one shared the gospel at the national day of prayer, and gave a gospel invitation. The auditorium was packed, but I don't see how anyone could have learned anything. They might have left entertained, but not edified.

That's the problem. A preacher can be a great speaker, a great role model, and so on, but if he's not sharing God's word he's not living out his call. I remember Dr. Caner mainly because I was struck by the irony when I heard him lament the missed opportunity to share the gospel when he didn't take the opportunity to share how he learned from the Bible that Jesus was superior to Mohammed to over 7000 people.

BTW, I see we have a misunderstanding about the word 'expository'. When applied to preaching, it's a particular style. I meant it more like expository writing, which simply means to explain something. (Liberal arts major, you know.)

Since a Baptist preacher is theoretically using the Bible for his sermons, he should at least explain the connection between the single verse he quotes and his topic.

If any of the NT men you mentioned came to preach Jesus, but instead gave a sermon that all the farmers were to keep their oxen in the house instead of the barn, I'd expect the to explain the connection and by what authority they said so.

solomon said...

OC said...
Firstly, I fail to see a name called. Show it to me. If you cannot, then you have again actually proven the point I made in my post.


Well, if Mark Sharpe can fairly say that Steve Gaines called him Satan when he said his actions were as reckless as Hezbollah, then it's more than fair for me to say you called me a liar when implied that I tell lies.

You don't seem like a person who'd have 'itty bitty' in his vocabulary, so I took that to mean that you were equating my hyperbole as a willful sin and justifying it because it wasn't a serious offense, the way Dr. Gaines did with the 'itty bitty' fence.

If I was mistaken, and you weren't saying that what I said was a lie when you asked if it was a lie, and then equated my actions with Dr. Gaines' act then I apologize.

(And by the way, Mrs. S and me used to go to Talladega every year before the kids came along, so I am something of an expert in that kind of 'conversation' starting.)

Thirdly, I don't see being "subtle" a requirement for being a Christian, and you can be as "subtle" as you think you are, but you have no ground to stand on "subtlety". "Subtle" was what the serpent was, and I wouldn't think I should be called to that by a brother in Christ. And I wouldn't be using that argument. By that argument, the prophets and John the Baptist and the Apostles are of no use to you either. Nor would be Jesus.

I don't think I called you to subtlety. What I said was that there is a better way to start a conversation than irritating me. John the Baptist wasn't subtle, but he didn't go around throwing sand in people's faces to get their attention either.

The fact is that all things are not right in wonderland. And you take that however you want, but I don't think any Christian's 'wonderland' should be satisfied by it's condition. If that condition is satisfactory this side of Heaven according to said Christian, then yes, it is but a lie. Subtle or not.

OC, statements like this are why I keep responding to you, because deep down we're in complete agreement. We might be like porcupines that stick each other when we get close, but we believe the same thing.

I've been mentioning OT salvation, which had to do with worldly deliverance. NT salvation, although it has an earthly component, it mostly eschatological. Nothing on earth compares to eternity. So why is it that so many people are acting so ugly to each other because the church is ailing?

Nowhere in the Bible do I see a promise of a perfect world until Jesus returns. What I do see is a promise of salvation that enables Christians to live in a fallen world but experience the same joy as if they were in paradise.

If people knew what the Bible said, really and truly, then mistreatment would not produce such negative reactions. I do not believe that God's plan is to shelter Christians in perfect churches so that no evil can touch them. My belief is that God wants to transform us into people who are able to exhibit peace in the midst of the storm, and then someday He'll take the storm away.

And my 'crusade' about Bible knowledge at Bellevue is a Bellevue matter. That's where I 'fight' it and that's where it needs to stay. It was a mistake for me to have written what I did earlier on a public forum, but I don't think BBC is very different than other churches in this respect, and I feel safe saying that since (just for laughs) a recent Barna group study revealed that 78% of Christians polled believe that they are not excelling in Bible study. (Interesting thing about the study is that 55% felt like they were living by their faith principles, but where are those principles coming from?)

Bellevue is not perfect, and it might be a good thing it's so obvious now. I worry about friends who tell me how wonderful their new churches are, since they're setting themselves up for disappointment all over again.

No one can tell me where to go to church. If I found a perfect sin-free place, it would still be in Shelby County. And if the crime, abortions, strip joints, and every other evil were removed from the county, I'd still live in Tennessee. And if Tennessee was cleaned up, I'd still live in the US. And the US is on Earth.

I still believe there are ways to make a difference other than leaving, nitpicking sermons, fault-finding, and so on. Postive actions usually get better results than negative ones.

Just because I still attend BBC, that is in no way an assertion that everything we do is perfect. I attend because I believe it's a place that God can do something with me.

John Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

EZ,

I wasn't defending "name it and claim it" theology, or the "your best life now." Becuase they may utalize a type of teaching does not descredit the style. That some pastors poorly execute topical teaching does not make it an invalid form.

There will always be those who abuse the Word of God. They will use many forms of teaching. gulp, they may even use expository preaching. A believer is expected to "test the spirit" when listening. Is what the person saying true to the Scriptures?

oc said...

Keith,
Before I go any further, and so I don't jump the gun, what does this mean?

You said:
"(And by the way, Mrs. S and me used to go to Talladega every year before the kids came along, so I am something of an expert in that kind of 'conversation' starting.)"

oc said...

And Keith, what does this mean?

"No one can tell me where to go to church. If I found a perfect sin-free place, it would still be in Shelby County. And if the crime, abortions, strip joints, and every other evil were removed from the county, I'd still live in Tennessee. And if Tennessee was cleaned up, I'd still live in the US. And the US is on Earth."

I'm being honest. I don't understand. I need understand if I am to respond.
If we get this cleared up, I may be able to respond to your blizzard of verbage.

solomon said...

David Brown,

On the other “blog” I was taken to task by someone that was offended that we might hold a picket across from Bellevue. Trust me if I was in town, I would have even if was just me. That was when Dr. Patterson was in town. This “wise” person was upset I would do this.

Mr. Brown, this is exactly what I'm talking about.

I've never said one word about your notion to picket Bellevue, or your plans to demonstrate in Dallas. My issue was that you read my posts criticizing savingbellevue, and for some reason you seemed to take it personally.

This is the same person that got upset over his daughter comments: “that horrible man saying bad things about Bellevue Baptist.” For the record and let me make this abundantly clear, I never said anything bad about Bellevue. I love Bellevue. It is the administration that I was speaking about. And my opinions have not changed one bit.

By enclosing something in quotation marks, you're asserting that it is an exact quote. I never said or wrote “that horrible man saying bad things about Bellevue Baptist” so this is technically another mistake.

I am not your enemy, David. We're on the same side.

I've written plenty of things in anger that I wish I could take back, but once it's written it's there forever and I have to live with it. You have every right to copy and paste whatever you like from my posts that will damage my reputation, but I will refute anything untrue that gets back to me.

And that's a promise, sir.

solomon said...

In the interest of fairness, I have to mention that savingbellevue has finally done something useful.

Mr. Haywood has provided links for his visitors to listen to sermons from other churches around town. This might actually be useful for a Bellevue member considering visiting.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first constructive thing the website has ever done, and hopefully it marks a change of strategy.

Haywood has come up with an incredible amount of garbage to make Bellevue and every other church in the world look bad. Maybe he'll turn away from his destructive campaign.

And maybe there really is a Santa Clause.

oc said...

And Keith, you never answered this:


oc says:
ok. Then let me ask you this.
Is it worse to commit a new sin, or to live unrepentant in an old one?

7:49 PM, March 03, 2008

oc said...

Keith,
Whether we ever correspond again or not, I am still amazed that even by your own estimate, 99% of Bellevue Baptist Church don't know what's in the Bible. Wow. That is incredible. And quite an indictment. And that says what about the leadership? Who is not teaching them?

Cakes said...

Sol,

That is why I find so many of the preachers' and soul winners' pleas of "if you die today, would you be assured that heaven awaits?" It is ultimately a self-interested question; and it is obsession with the self, the ego, that I seek from which to withdraw--as difficult as it is.

If more Christians took the mantle of addressing what the path is good for in the here and now, where faith is exhibited in service, expressions of good will and unconditional love on this side of the veil, then you'd see more folks commited to Christ.

I think the scores of individuals walking away from the traditional religious institutions in which they were brought up is a reflection of, first, globalization and access to many religious perspectives; and two, that, for whatever reason, an insurance policy against eternal damnation is not as compelling to an increasingly multi-cultural society.

It seems a growing segment of Americans are unaffiliated with any religious institution whatsoever.

Thank you so much for your remarks.

maybejustmaybe said...

Cakes,

The question of “if you die tonight, are you sure heaven awaits?” is not a self-centered question. Its very design points toward man’s (or self’s) inability to secure heaven for himself. If, as you suggest, we focus on “what the path is good for in the here and now,” then there is a tendency to see one (good works) in terms of earning the other (heaven). Perhaps the reason people are leaving traditional religions these days is that our culture is so incredibly self-absorbed, it’s almost impossible to see the need for a Savior.

Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the … other – or as the Bible puts it, “Faith without works is dead.” But unlike the infamous chicken/egg argument, this one definitely has a prescribed order: Faith first, works second.

Getting our spiritual cart (works) before the horse (faith) inevitably leads us to try to earn our salvation by being/doing good, which we think somehow will bring us peace. No, the peace comes from faith – then the works grow as a natural response to what’s changed within us.

MJM

David said...

Yeah, Cakes. Who needs a light house, it's only in the self interest of ships and the happiness of sailors that anyone would expose the truth of the shoreline. Sailors don't need to be happy. Ships don't need to stay afloat. In fact, we should condemn the lighthouse for showing us the truth, because the truth is arrogant.

Cakes said...

David, MJM,

Thanks for engaging me. I simply find the notion of making a judgement call about faith based on fear of eternal damnation appeals to self-preservation; and that such grasping is not a predicate to faith based upon altruism for others or the negation of ego.

A model of life that states that man is born damed, because it is inherent in his nature, inherited from the fall--such is not the model of life held by all peoples of the world; and other models of life don't presume a fallen nature, thus have no context for a savior.

Some people don't believe that morality requires a belief in a diety. There's quite a bit of evidence to the contrary, with all the caveats that many religious folks claim.

I accept what I cannot know on this side of the veil, empirically, and get on with life, as it is. It is possible to do what is right, and regard it as it's own reward. It is possible to value compassion over dogma.

I like this forum because I need to be reminded that behind these opinions are people--some I've met--complex individuals with values and beliefs very different from my own--but it is too easy and convenient to write of whole tracts of individuals--fundementalists, church-people, liberals, buddhists and crystal-smootchers--as merely two-dimensional automatons. I like most of you, and benefit from the rest.

I don't think I can be persuaded by your model of life, but I hold no aversion to your faith in Christ, to you'all who embrace it, and encourage you to rely upon it.

David said...

Cakes: “If more Christians took the mantle of addressing what the path is good for in the here and now, where faith is exhibited in service, expressions of good will and unconditional love on this side of the veil, then you'd see more folks commited to Christ.”

I totally agree with you.

Actually, when pastors make too much “application” they are accused of poor “exposition” by certain hardline groups. People who want greek verbs parsed from the pulpit and not an explanation of how the Christian life can change the world.

John Mark said...

From across the blogs...

gmommy said...

BTW....I was reading the archives the other day when I couldn't sleep...and mom4 had a post in Oct 06 about JP purchasing his big house in Millington 8 days after something ...can't remember what now....but whatever it was...it would have meant that there was never a true search...the decision was in the bag.

Mom4...are you out there to clarify?????

9:28 PM, March 16, 2008
Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the author.

9:28 PM, March 16, 2008
Blogger concernedSBCer said...

GMommy: I heard lots of rumors about it being a "done deal" and that really bothers me. If that's true, who's will is it????

9:48 PM, March 16, 2008
Blogger gmommy said...

Whose will is it??
The elders we didn't know we had....???
Men decided

9:52 PM, March 16, 2008


I wish that some people could get a good look at themselves. Must it really ruin their lives that Bellevue is still doing well? Isn't there some way that both Bellevue and the bloggers can prosper?

Because if it's really necessary for a church with millions and millions of dollars invested in all kinds of investments to close up shop before a certain person can be happy, I'm afraid that person is not going to be happy for a very long time.

Especially if someone who has been proven to be an incessant, irrelevant gossiper as much as mom4 is their last best hope. Talk about grasping at straws!

When Jamie Parker went to Gardendale, it was understood that he would return as minister of music if Steve Gaines were called to be pastor. Even I know that. SG was called by a count of over 10000 to 8, if I recall. (Correct me if i'm wrong.)

Adrian Rogers asked him on the pulpit afterward if he'd come and be the new pastor. SG said he would.

Bellevue was given opportunity to vote, and they voted for Steve Gaines.

Now what's the problem? Bellevue got what they asked for.

John Mark said...

All right, Tom, I'll bite.

Blogger Junkster said...

Why this sudden talk and concern about this blog possibly dying? Did I miss something? Seems like there are plenty of life signs to me!

If you want to see a truly dead blog, go take a look at The Bratton Report.
11:02 PM, March 27, 2008


I think it's well past time for all the blogs to go away. I certainly have no illusions that anything I've ever written did anyone any good or accomplished anything.

At the very least I hope I was somewhat entertaining (or annoying, if nothing else).

Anyone who really believes that all that grumbling served any purpose whatsoever is delusional. The Sharpes, Mannings, and McClerkins are still rich, Steve Gaines is still the pastor, and the whiners are still whining. They've just found other things to gripe about. What was the latest, in-law troubles? Boy, now there's a problem that's unique to Baptist churches all right.

Hope Patterson said...

junk said...
I was referring to the dates of the last post and the last comment over on that "Other" blog. That's a long time to go without a pulse. And aside from the comments from Cakes in that thread, the number of interesting discussions there can be counted on one hand (without using any fingers).


Junk, I realize that you're just trying to generate dialogue but don't you think that's a little harsh?

Perhaps you'd be willing to start a discussion that's more stimulating?

Barnabas said...

One thing of note, have you checked www.integritydoescount.com lately? If not, it is worth a look.

solomon said...

Barnabas,

Now that is an interesting change. I can't help but wonder what the point is. I also wonder if their actions will contradict their name again. Hopefully integrity won't just be a meaningless word this time around.

And if it draws a crowd, maybe we'll have to start using our fingers to count the interesting discussions over there.

Barnabas said...

Solomon...

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

The point seems self evident.

solomon said...

Barnabas,

This explains it:

IntegrityDoesCount.com is under different ownership than in the past. The URL was purchased after the previous owners allowed it to expire.

The owner of this site would like to encourage people to forgive one another so that they may in turn be forgiven by our Lord.

This is a crucial lesson taught to us by Jesus himself when He taught us how to pray.


I guess I must have become pessimistic, but I knew that the 'old' owners wouldn't have bothered to deliver that message. Their strategy included fueling the fire, even if it took deliberate distortion of the facts to do it.

If one person - just ONE - learns that important lesson from whoever the new owners are, their efforts will have made a difference for all eternity. Here's hoping they are as successful at acheiving their goal as the old owners were a failure.

Barnabas said...

Agreed.

The message is simple and more importantly biblical.

Junkster said...

Well, guys, I'll try to reply to the remarks addressed to me here about my remarks on the "Survivors" blog, but I don't know if it will get through. Mike has not posted some of my remarks since he put moderation on. (Mike, that's your right; I'm not complaining.)

John Mark,
Your comments are amusing coming from one who so evidently enjoyed stirring the pot. Perhaps all the blogs should go away; then I could go back to watching TV for entertainment.

Hope,
Yes, I was trying to generate dialog. Sorry if it came across as harsh -- I was attempting humor, and was only referring to this current thread (if you can call it that -- I'm still trying to figure out how we are supposed to keep our posts "edifying" and "topic-specific" when commenting on a thread that is only about Mike's new rule for the new year).

Solomon,
Good one; that's the spirit! :)

solomon said...

All,

After a lot of time in prayer and discussion with others, I feel led to stop visiting and posting to the blogs. It's not because of any one event, but it's not a wise use of my time any more. I don't believe the number of people who read them is as great as it once was, so it won't be as damaging for only one side of the story to be told now.

I had to stop by the NBBCOF and see what the buzz was about the congregational meeting, though.

Naturally, I expected NASS to go in with a chip on her shoulder, so nothing she said is worth discussing. It was ironic, though, that her first complaint was that the music was too loud, although she's insisted that her gripe has nothing to do with the music. I think she just told on herself...

All I have to say about it myself is that business meetings are not a viable way to effect change in a church, and it would suit me if we never have another. All they are good for is to convince people to leave, whether it's those who feel powerless to make decisions in the church, or a pastor who has been turned on. Either way, the more powerful side will win and that's always a lose-lose scenario. Both sides need to win, or else nothing has been solved.

Change must be made slowly, by convincing everyone involved that it's necessary. I think the majority of us have this dramatic 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington' notion of how a business meeting should go, but I doubt there's a single instance that this has ever really worked out. Real, lasting change must happen at the grassroots level.

Believe me when I say that there is a growing number of loyal, long-time Bellevue members who have developed questions about our direction, not the least of which was the decision to place on the committees that run the church people who are "new to the church and Bellevue ministries".

Change can't happen overnight, but it will happen eventually provided that those who see the need don't abandon the flock at BBC. To be honest, I don't think I could sleep at night if I did that. With all the talk of 'kool aid drinkers' and 'ring kissers' and so on, why leave? If one of the Bellevue deserters had gotten wind of Jones' plan to poison his followers, would they have said "good riddance"? I really don't think so. I think they would have done everything in their power to convice the people of Jonestown that they were being deceived, and tried to persuade them that their side was the right one.

Anyway, I'll address a few of the comments I saw:

concernedSBCer said...
So very sad.

So many misled.


Don't feel sorry for us, our God is great.

MOM4 said...
Having experienced last year's "meeting" and just now reading about this one, one scripture comes to my mind and my heart - Romans 2:1-16.

....and yes concernedsbcer, it is a very sad day.


Mom4, why don't you leave the NBBCOF alone? Your posts have proven that you have zero credibility, and you're only hurting the cause of whoever you associate with. As a favor to some good Christian people, stop posting. I'm not scared in the least of the day of judgement. Are you?

cakes said...
If anyone was misled, they really, really wanted to be. It's easy, convenient and doesn't risk anything.


Cakes, of all people I'd never have expected you to begrudge anyone for wanting to believe in something pure. Not everyone believes that all preachers are good out of laziness. Some have traveled roads much harder than your own. They need to believe in something good just to get out of bed in the morning. Can you blame them for their faith?

BkWormGirl said...
Cakes -
I do wish that the world was a place where our nice and pleasant efforts and intentions were rewarded with goodness. I long for the day when we are able to stand before God and to see the world He desired for us to live in. Until then, I place my trust in the blood of His Son, and ask for protection for all those being persecuted by those who do evil on a regular basis.

With regard to the issue of "to the victor goes the spoils..."

I am not sure who the victor is either. What I do know is that no where in this mess was God glorified. The kingdom of God did not benefit from any of this. So if I look at this situation from a either or point of view. I feel that Satan was the victor. Now before anyone gets excited I am not saying that SG is working for Satan. I just don't feel that God "won" this particular battle.


bkwormgirl,
God has NEVER lost a battle. Let me repeat that: NEVER!!! You must never doubt that he is in control. Bad things happen, evil seems to win, but never doubt for a second that the outcome is decided. If you believe that Satan is able to defeat God at any time, you have a most unbiblical worldview.

Is Bellevue really that important in God's plan? I don't see it mentioned anywhere in the Bible. I don't think Satan has won any victories there, any more than Paul believed that Satan had won a victory in Corinth. But does your happiness really depend on 'congregational approval' at Bellevue? If it does, well, you're going to be a very unhappy person.

Perhaps you should move to Houston and join Joel Olsteen's church. If you need to experience your 'Best Life Now' then the Christian life is not your best option...

gmommy said...
At least DC didn't use the word homosexual for no reason like Brian Miller did.

After watching the short video on Saving BBC...I wonder why Josh didn't correct BM when he called the motion on the floor (the one about sexual purity for ministers)"about homosexuals"??


Gmommy, the answer is easy. Take another look at the video. Bryan asked JM is he'd care to discuss the 'two pronged' motion he'd made. What was his discussion? How a business meeting was feasible, and how it could be done in a large church, etc etc. Yada yada yada. I can't help but notice he didn't even mention the 'homosexual' part of the motion. Why? Because he doesn't give a flip about child abuse. He was just using it so that his IDC buds could get their business meetings and seize power. He was using you and the other victims, plain and simple, just like everyone else who jumped on the CSA bandwagon after months of unsuccessfully slandering Steve Gaines. The childhood victims are just tools to men like that. They are victimizing them all over again.

They aren't your friends, people like me are. We're the ones who have given up our carefree Sunday worship to stay behind and fight for what we believe in. Someday I hope you see that.

oc said...
(ot bkwormgirl) I'm sorry you feel that way about it. I see it differently. The Kingdom of God did benefit from the battle. God won the battle in the hearts of His soldiers who have fought in this strange theatre, which we at first believed was familiar and shared ground. And those who fought, and yet still fight, have learned that we need to expect low down tactics from the decieved, even though they may call us 'brethren'. Which is one of the things He has taught us in this battle... the enemy is among us. Some of the enemy look like us. Those we should be able to trust, well...should not be trusted.


Brother oc,
We have only one enemy. Some of those you call your enemy call you their friend, and would lay down their life for you. Please reconsider your post.

concernedSBCer said...
bkwmgirl: How did you restrain yourself?

TROUBLEMAKERS????

How blind......it just really makes me wonder.....

If they can't see false teaching when it's slapping them in the face, how can they see the TRUTH?


Concerned,
All I see is you slapping me in the face. I don't enjoy it, either. I truly hope that someday you'll stop. I also hope that while you're enjoying your 'traditional' Sunday morning worship at Covenant you'll pray for those who have decided to stick with a church where our worship is forfeit so that we just might make a difference someday. It's a sacrifice we're willing to make, because some things are worth fighting for even when those who are supposedly fighting for the same things do nothing but run us down.



Having said all that, I'll now say so long. I've been posting for over a year now, and it's been a learning experience. I've learned a lot from many different people, and I'm not sure how I would have gained that knowledge and wisdom otherwise. It's time for me to concentrate on the people God has placed im my real life, though.

But based on the number of hits my profile has received, I think that I might have reached one or two others. That's one of the things that's kept me blogging, that maybe, just maybe people were interested in what I have to say. To all of you, if you are members of BBC, look me up some Sunday. I think we've got some things to talk about. Only in real life, though.

I won't be checking back in, but my thoughts will be with my bloggy friends for the next few days. I hope that each of us finds what we're looking for, and that his name is Jesus.

In His name,
Keith

Memphis said...

The thing that bothers me is when people attend a service just to report on what they do not like. They might have missed something that God was saying to them while they were taking notes in order to slam a church or to fill a blog.

maybejustmaybe said...

Keith, our dear brother,

I completely respect your decision and in many ways understand it. Your precious spirit, however, will be sorely missed in our conversations here. You have been such a blessing to me in many of your posts and I wish you and your family God's very best as you pursue that which He desires for you. I would consider it such an honor if our paths cross at church someday and I could have the chance to hug your neck.

Love and blessings,
MJM

John Mark said...

Boy am I mad! Steve Gaines just put up a new billboard! Can you believe the nerve of that guy? Man, who does he think he is? I tell you, this is the last straw! And it proves all the bad things everyone has said about him, too.

John Mark said...

Oh wait....

Am I supposed to have a reason for being offended?

Ummmm.....

Let me get back to you on that one.

Hope Patterson said...

Keith,

I hope you read this.

I just read your last post. It really saddens me that you've stopped posting. You've come such a long way from the reluctant husband that CC used to drag to our small group. You have a unique way of connecting with others, and you've been given a tremendous gift of transparency and authenticity. I hope that you'll continue to use that gift wherever our Lord leads you.

I'd never noticed how many hits your profile had received, but that's just proof that a real Christian witness always draws attention. Keep up the good work, brother.

Your sister,
Hope

John Mark said...

Sorry guys, it's just what I do...

Blogger Been Redeemed said...

There are several very large Memphis churches that are doing actual work in the inner city, the poor areas and in the schools. The members I have talked to consider the interferrence by Bellevue as "token" gestures. T-shirts and commercials do not make an impact on the lifestyles of these people; neither does the emotionally and mentally scattered, unscriptural and scripturally incorrect messages that are coming forth from the pulpit.

Do you want to know what Memphis really thinks of Bellevue now? THIS VERY DAY, I heard it referred to as "PeeWee's Playhouse". Is it any wonder?

7:28 PM, April 23, 2008


So BR, who appointed you spokesman for Memphis? And what qualifies you to judge whether a message is scriptural or not? I've never seen one post from you that mentioned a Bible passage, or anything else that suggests you are a Christian. All I've seen are your hateful multiple-personality tirades. Not that I'm necessarily against that sort of thing, but once you revealed your true identity to be Don Lumley you should have stopped pretending to be other people as well.

BTW, are you still hoping that Steve Gaines will fall ill and die? Doesn't seem to be happening...

Long story short, you're a horrible person BR. Seems like the Bible says somewhere that God doesn't enjoy it when evil men die, but you apparently are looking forward to it.

But despite your best efforts (which don't amount to much), there will be a Bellevue Baptist Church long after the insignificant names 'Don Lumley' and 'been redeemed' have been forgotten.

Face it, you're a nobody. And nobody cares what you say.

Mike Bratton said...

Interesting. Never met a Christian who begrudged another Christian evangelizing in the same neck of the woods. Have things changed that much in Memphis in one year?

And should I know Don Lumley?

--Mike