Thursday, May 01, 2008

Obama, Wright, and the cultic church they have in common

(New information added 5/3/08.)

Yes, you read me correctly--and I don't headline this lightheartedly. Don't believe me? See if you can tell what words I've changed in the following quote. Thusly, and like so:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly White and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the White religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are a Caucasian people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent Europe, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the prosperous time of being slaveowners, the good old days of segregation, and the joyous years of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously enjoy privilege as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a White worship service and ministries which address the White Community.

What sort of Aryan nonsense would that be, right? It's not exactly Aryan, but a subtle expression of the anti-Christian belief system known as Liberation Theology. The tweaked quote above came straight from what (at this writing) is still Barack Obama's home church and Jeremiah Wright's senior pastorate, the Trinity United Church of Christ on West 95th Street in Chicago. If you think I'm stretching to qualify that "church" as practicing Liberation Theology, I refer you to Wright's own "talking points" (the church's term) on that subject. Among them:

The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.

Black theology is one of the many theologies in the Americas that became popular during the liberation theology movement. They include Hispanic theology, Native American theology, Asian theology and Womanist theology.

Black liberation theology defines Africans and African Americans as subjects – not the objects which colonizers and oppressors have consistently defined “others” as.

To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else. African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior.

Systematized Black liberation theology is 40 years old. Scholars of African and African American religious history show that Black liberation theology, however, has been in existence for 400 years. It is found in the songs, the sermons, the testimonies and the oral literature of Africans throughout the Diaspora.

(The above reference to the "Diaspora" does not refer to the scattering of the Jewish people after their Babylonian exile, as the word is generally used. It has been co-opted by black liberation theology proponents to refer to the period when sub-Saharan Africans were sold into slavery--often by other Africans. To say that referring to this wretched period in time as a "scattering" is an understatement.)

Liberation theology of any stripe is non-Christian. It seeks to enthrone ethnicity or political persuasion in the center of an individual's life, rather than seeing God have that place. When people practice liberation theology, they do so in place of practicing Christianity.

Still not convinced? Here's something else from Trinity's own site; I'll make comments where appropriate.

We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify:

Note that, in this little declaration, there will be not one mention of God the Father. "Trinity" Church? Hardly.

You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth,

Perhaps you can help me here. While I in no way disagree that Jesus Christ is fully man, He is also fully God. Is that mentioned in the quoted epistle?

our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit,

Not getting anything here about "God the Holy Spirit," something you think you'd get from a Trinitarian church.

creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races. You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen.

"Your realm." Heaven? Nirvana? Wrigley Field? And note how "justice and peace" get worked into the equation. Never mind that we find grace, not justice, in Christ; never mind that as things are, we are told there will be no peace in this world.

Trinity also hosts a "Center for African Biblical Studies." Whether you wear a dashiki or a bed sheet, advocating race while appealing to the Bible never, ever works. Scripture reminds us that, in Christ, there is no "Jew" or "Greek"--by extrapolation, no "Black" or "White" or "Hispanic" or "Asian" or "Native."

Here, let's look as a few of their "ministries." As a side note, Jesus is mentioned once directly on the Ministries page, and only three times by reference to "Christ," "our Lord," and the "Son (of God)." They list 59 "ministries" on that page. A few tidbits:

AFRICA MINISTRY - promotes, educates and advocates issues concerning Africans in Africa and the Diaspora. Opportunities shall be provided for education, travel, fellowship, economic development, missionary work, financial support, and health education

FINE ARTS & LITERARY GUILD - informs the church family about artistic and cultural events focusing on African and African American heritage.

CARIBBEAN CONNECTION - This ministry is our Afrocentric congregation's attempt to educate our North American members about the many aspects of the Caribbean culture. These aspects include the cuisine, the peoples, the countries, the customs, and the religion of our Lord as practiced in the various Caribbean places.

INTONJANE - Swahili for "Coming into Womanhood" is a formal Rites of Passage program for young women, ages 8-18 years old. The program involves each participant in inspiring Christian, cultural and social awareness exercises.

ISUTHU - Swahili for "Coming into Manhood" is a formal Rites of Passage program for young men, ages 8-18 years old. The program involves each participant in inspiring Christian, cultural and social awareness exercises.

KUJICHAGULIA - The 2nd principle of the Nguzo Saba, meaning "Self-Determination;" provides resources, networking and hands-on assistance to persons who are physically, mentally, and/or emotionally challenged.

SINGLES COMMUNITY MINISTRY - addresses unique issues facing single Christian adults.

Never Married
Single Parent
Same Gender Loving (emphasis mine)
Upcoming Events

Tangeni Adult Dance Ministry

Ministry Purpose/Objectives
The purpose of this ministry shall be to praise God in dance. In keeping with the church’s motto of being “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian,” we recognize that praise and worship in dance is both an expression of our heritage and an acknowledgement of our faith. Tangeni, as led by the spirit, shall provide fellowship and nurturing to its members through devotion during rehearsals, seminars, retreats and other related activities. Tangeni provides an opportunity for its members to enhance and use their spiritual gifts in order that we may minister unto the church universal and the community at large

YOGA MINISTRY - helps participants maintain physical, mental and spiritual fitness.

I love that last one--"yoga ministry" being an oxymoron, whether you're focusing on a cultic church or on a Christian church that's just confused on that particular issue. And how, exactly, does a church address the euphemistically-named "same-gender loving" other than to say "it's a sin"? Seems like that would be one short session.

And if the phrase "Nguzo Saba" rings a bell, that's because it refers to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. That made-out-of-wholecloth "holiday" was, of course, invented by a fellow named Ron Karenga in the late 1960s. Karenga, for the record, is a Marxist. For the record, his one-time "United Slaves" organization was responsible for the deaths of two members of the Black Panthers. For the record, Karenga served several years in prison for assaulting and torturing (yes, that's "torturing") two women who were members of his "United Slaves" organization.

Trinity United Church of Christ, located on West 95th Street in Chicago, Illinois, is not rooted in Christianity. It is a liberation-theology-spouting, ethnocentric pseudo-church preaching a synthetic gospel grounded in divisiveness and hate. A lot of people, apparently, are comfortable with that--or else, so spiritually immature that they're unable to distinguish the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God and God the Son, by the way) from the false gospel of ethnic preference and socialism.

Wright ran a false church, as we can see and read by what passes as "sermons" from his pulpit. And Barack Obama has affiliated with that church for two decades.

How are those of us who are Christians to vote? Do we vote for Hillary Clinton, who's never been guilty of taking the Christian faith very seriously? Or do we vote for John McCain, who's not that troubled by homosexual "marriages," who made McCain-Feingold into a mine field for Christian churches, and who insists he's a Christian but will tell you point-blank that he's never been born again? Or do we vote for Barack Obama, who sat for twenty years, shining the pine of a pew in a "church" where hatred had free rein?

To quote the King of Siam, "What a puzzlement."


EDITED TO ADD: On April 28, 2008, Wright spoke to the National Press Club, and answered questions posed to him. Lest there be any doubt Wright preaches another gospel, his own words included the fundamentals of liberation theology--and something even more damning. In case you don't follow the link, I'll post a notable exchange here, thusly and like so:

MODERATOR: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me.” Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?

WRIGHT: Jesus also said, “Other sheep have I who are not of this fold.”

Not exactly a straight answer, but an interesting little torture of Scripture, that. So Wright believes Islam--an anti-Christian religion that denies the deity of Jesus Christ--is a viable way to salvation, a way that makes Muslims Jesus' "other sheep"? Such belief is impossible without believing that Calvary was the debacle of the ages, and that God is a bumbling idiot.

Not through sinful judgment, but by Wright's own words are the conclusions inescapable ones: He does not--cannot, by his own statements--have a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and we should pray for his salvation, because Wright is not--and cannot be, by his own statements--a Christian.

Which puts us back to Obama, who has publicly declared himself to be a Christian. The above-referenced question asked of Wright must be asked of Obama, publicly and clearly. And for all his posturing and rumbling, Obama's answer will no doubt be as disgusting as Wright's.


Arron said...

And I hear it now "...(blah blah blah blah) DON'T JUDGE PEOPLE (blah blah blah)...."

I'm considering voting for Ron Paul. My mother saith to me: "That's a wasted vote." I saith to her: "Well, so is a vote for any of the three remaining candidates..."

Jessica B. said...

I am glad to see you have re-joined the world Mike...

As far as the election goes, I told someone the other day that I have sworn for years that I would never vote for Hilary and I couldn't imagine her ever being our president.

Now, I would vote for her in a minute over Obama and I have debated her merits over McCain. I actually think that I feel like she is less of a question mark than he is- at least I would feel like I knew what I was signing up for.

Barnabas said...

McCain is a solid pro life guy. The pro-life person gets my vote 100% of the time.

Hope Patterson said...

Goodness, Lynn. I know you've posted here in the past and I hope you're reading.

Posting what you did on the blog was absolutely uncalled for and totally unedifying. If you observed a brother sinning you should have spoken to him about it in a loving way, not made fun of him to your friends and everyone else within shouting range.

Nothing beneficial will result from what you wrote, and there's only the potential for hurt feelings, anger, and further squabbling.

I think we've seen our share of that. My suggestion to you is to delete your posts, and I hope John will do the same.

Lynn said...

Actually Hope,

Your right. After thinking about it, I did cross the line. I am having some internet I do apologize for this.problems so I'm not exactly in a situation where I can remove the post myself. But I did e-mail to have it removed in the mean time.

Lynn said...

And as far as the presidential election goes? I'm voting for Bob Barr. Both the Republicans and Democrats have sold out. McCain supports global warming initiatives that will cost $1 TRILLION A YEAR. The Republicans are now the Democrats. The Democrats are now the Marxists.

Hope Patterson said...

Praise God, Lynn!

We all know that our brothers and sisters are imperfect, but their shortcomings (as infuriating as they might be) shouldn't cause us to make similar mistakes.

But even if they do, let's be thankful for the forgiveness our Father has shown to us, that even though we were sinners Christ died for us.

Blessings to you, young friend.

oc said...

Where did JohnMark's comment go? It just seemed to disappear. No "comment deleted" or anything. Amazing.

John Mark said...

You can just call me Houdini. I can appear and disappear without a trace.

Actually, I decided Hope was right and nixed my comment. Guess the housekeeping dept cleaned up after me.

No big loss on the deletion, my point was mainly how NBBCOF has a talent for distorting facts and how those distortions get turned into silly condemnations of Steve Gaines.

But we knew that already.

oc said...

Well, since you say Hope encouraged you to "nix" the comment, and you then volunteered to describe what you deleted; then maybe Hope can encourage you to tell the whole truth about that comment. I'm sure Hope wouldn't encourage you to give a half-truth.
Houdini was good at deception. You aren't that good.

oc said...

And while you are thinkin about telling the truth...

You said,

"Actually, I decided Hope was right and nixed my comment. Guess the housekeeping dept cleaned up after me."


"No big loss on the deletion, my point was mainly how NBBCOF has a talent for distorting facts and how those distortions get turned into silly condemnations of Steve Gaines."

Glad you admit your post was trash and the housekeeping department had to clean up after you.
Admitting it is the first step.

John Mark said...

Boy, the second moderation is off...

OC, Lynn seems like a nice kid who's experiencing a lot of frustration trying to make friends with a bunch of immature kids at Bellevue. I didn't want to cause him trouble by quoting a post he wanted to be removed. So sue me.

As far as the rest of the story, NASS was the one whose post was trash, deliberately misrepresenting a statement by Steve Gaines in which he said that when his mother comes to his house to cook, he asked her for a dessert sampler to suggest that when he goes out to eat he devours every dessert on the dessert bar.

In response, you wholeheartedly agreed with her lie (or should we call it a moral failure?).

Why is it that you are so eager to please those angry women over there? Why does their approval mean so much to you?

They seem to really enjoy making fun of Steve Gaines for his weight and his illness. That's a little bit twisted, don't you think?

Maybe they (and you) would get as much pleasure by making fun of me? Do you want to laugh at the old 'crip' whose wife left and took everything he had after their son was killed and imply that it's God's judgement against me? Whee! What fun!!

If so, then the joke's on you. The judgement of the Lord is in the next life, not this one. It took me a long time to see that, but with the help of the people I've met here, I finally did. Perhaps if I'd met fine people like Sol, Jessica, MJM, and Larry about 30 years ago I might have learned it sooner. But the contentment I feel today makes the wait worthwhile.

I don't have much else to say to you OC, except to share this observation. Everyone else seems to be getting on with their lives. I've been reunited with my birth family. Jessica has that precious little girl. Memphis has his triathlons. (WHS has his obsession with Paul Williams.) Sol is fighting tooth and nail for his church, in a way that is pleasing to God. Even Nass and Lin have moved on to other blogs which share their hatred of male authority.

I hope you figure out who you are, what you want out of life, and that you are able to pursue it. I think it would be a shame if a people person like you spent the rest of his days blogging against pastoral authority in churches he's never even been to. Use your talents for the praise of God's glory, and separate yourself from the darkness. Christians are meant for better things.

With that, I bid you adieu

oc said...

Instead of going on a Johnny Carson monologue and trying to add sad personal stories in order to garner sympathy, and then trying to assasinate someone's character, why don't you just address the question?

Mike Bratton said...

The interesting thing to me is that a couple of posts on this thread actually have something to do with my article on Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.

A couple of them, anyway...


P.S.: Yes, Jessica, I'm back around as I have opportunity. It is amazing to me that things and people, by and large, have stayed precisely where they were months ago.

Folks, God built change and growth in as parts of life. Stagnation and (dare I say it?) obsession are unhealthy.

oc said...

And your growth sir?? Seems you made yourself the judge of all that. So tell... inspire us, and tell us about your growth.
I'm sure we can't rack up the accomplishments, but go ahead and shame us anyway.

PS. Barack will be death of us.
Ducks in and out, spurs things on for a minute... then he appears and again he's gone...
and never really does anything. Illusive little feller, ain't he? Sometimes he's wid ya, den in a minute he's gone...Kinda like Hosea's wife.

oc said...

JohnMark says:

"OC, Lynn seems like a nice kid who's experiencing a lot of frustration "

No,genious. You have no idea of what you are talking about. This person, which you still seem to have the need to display his name to all the world, is no "kid". He is a grown adult, fully able to understand the impact of the stupid post you made, even though you deleted it. Yeah, some people saw your nasty remarks regarding him. And just because the comment was deleted on this blog, doesn't mean that you don't need to also check Jesus' blog. You owe him an apology. And you need to mean it.

You have no idea what you are doing.

Hope Patterson said...

Address the question, OC? Perhaps you'll show us the way.

oc said...

Isn't funny that some people show up at strange times? I had an uncle like that. I'll call him uncle Fred. Some Christians are like uncle Fred.

I mean, they say they care about you, act righteous and want to show you a better way,(because of course whatever you are doing is not good enough, and is possibly of Satan), yet if you don't do things exactly as they would do, they will walk away. They will tell you to clean your house, but they will not help you do it. Then they leave. And you don't hear from them for months, maybe years. Then all of the sudden, they show up again. And they usually have an agenda. Maybe wanting something. Or just wanting to show that they are better than you, and that your house is still dirty. And yet if you went over there to look at Uncle Fred's house, it seems to need a good cleaning too.

Just sayin'.

This is what I see in you post, Larry:

1. I have an agenda.
2. My house needs cleaning.
3. I left the NBBCOF because they didn't do things my way.
4. I never helped the NBBCOF clean house.
5. I want something from you.

I challenge you to defend ANY of those statements, OC. Your vague generalizations hold no weight with me, and I won't be intimidated by the threat of physical violence in case you choose that route. Hopefully you won't threaten a woman, but even if you do I will not quietly bow down to you. I live about 500 miles away, so a threat isn't really that threatening to me.

I left the NBBCOF after you and people like you repeatedly attacked me and my gravely ill sister for our thoughts. And our thoughts were simply that truth does not begin and end with us, but that it comes from above. Just because we might not like Jamie Parker's singing (and let's be honest), that's not a license to say whatever sounds good in our own ears. Mark Sharpe's 'check' coincided quite nicely with Dr. Whitmire's retirement.

My sister has been healed of her injuries, and although she's no longer here physically I believe (although it's not stated in the Bible) that she's watching over me from above. With that in mind, I will not do anything which will shame her through commission or omission. In fact, I think I'll change my screen name back to what it was when me and Faith used to hold each other accountable for our words.

You'll be seeing more of me, I think.

faithnhope said...

Proverbs 18:2

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

Oh, and just to stay somewhat on topic, I'll vote for McCain.

oc said...


No. Not claiming my house spotless. I just want the same grace that your dirty house affords.

Surely I am not trying to intimidate. I grew up in an abusive home. But I am smart because of it. And so while I am trying hard to think that you are not trying to sway things by manipulation, I yet see some manipulation in what you post.

Such silly stuff as this...

"I challenge you to defend ANY of those statements, OC. Your vague generalizations hold no weight with me, and I won't be intimidated by the threat of physical violence in case you choose that route."

I have no idea of your history. But I'm willing to bet my life you haven't been beaten by your daddy like I have. No, I would not be the one to threaten or intimidate anyone. I'm against violence. I promise you that, Hope. It makes me sick. And I'm sorry if you ever felt that from me.
Forgive me if that was ever the case.


oc said...

People say things when they are in pain, they would not say normally. I think you may doing it now. Because I really don't know what you are talking about.

But where did I attack you? Or your sister? I don't remember doing that at all, and if you show me that I did, I will surely apologize to you, my sister.
Please show me my lack, that I may repent. And I'm not kidding. If I've done wrong by you, I need to make it right.

oc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Bratton said...

Oc, thanks for your on-topic observations.

But as for this...

"And your growth sir?? Seems you made yourself the judge of all that. So tell... inspire us, and tell us about your growth.
I'm sure we can't rack up the accomplishments, but go ahead and shame us anyway."

...were the statements inaccurate? Have methods changed, or even moderated? Are stagnation and obsession healthy?


oc said...

You are right Mike. Stagnation is bad. Change is good. Vote for Obama!

There, now we're back on topic.

John Mark said...

Hey Hope,

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I remember reading her story on the 'good' blog, and I know you were very close. Did you lose her recently?

I would have liked to have met her back when we were all in Memphis. Believe it or not, some of her posts really got to me. It was hard for me to believe that after her experience she was so forgiving.

It was hard sometimes to tell which one of you was posting under the 'faithnhope' banner, but the two of you always seemed to be a class act. Be careful you don't get dragged down now that you're on your own.


oc said...

Matthew 5:22

"But I say to you, that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca;, shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."

oc said...

And not that I really care, Ms. Patterson, and I was going to let this go. But I don't want you think I'm too shallow to understand how you operate. I don't recall giving you permission to address me here, or anywhere else, by my real first name. You are a game player, aren't you? So now that I know how you play the game...

And as far as me answering any questions? Look, I'm still waiting for answers to questions I asked.
Look above in this thread. When I get those questions answered satisfactorily, I will answer you. But I think you will see that if I do get answers, those answers will also answer some of the questions you have asked of me.

So, when I get those answers, you'll will have yours.


oc said...

Oh yeah. Jeremiah Wright for Pope! Back on topic.

oc said...

Hey Mike.
It seems that JohnMark and Ms.Patterson cannot stay on topic. You haven't mentioned that though. However are we supposed to stay on this wonderful topic with them constantly distracting us?

Yeah, you chide me for not being on topic. But you have said nothing to them. It gets kinda obvious sometimes, Mike.

So thanks for making sure that everyone is on topic, not just me.
Seems you have a bit of sniper in you too, don't you?

Oh. Obama for Commissar.

Now back on topic. ZZZZZZZZ...

faithnhope said...


I never would have expected sympathy and a call for moderation from 'the arminian'. At least not before. I wonder sometimes how it is you've mellowed out so much.

I'm glad you remember Faith. She had good days and bad days, just like all of us, but she almost always managed to put her best foot forward, figuratively speaking. She had circulation problems in her legs for years, and she dropped a blood clot about a month ago. She almost fought back, but we lost her on the 10th.

We had a talk about you after you stole our identity, and we figured out about 5 of your other identities. I was ready to 'out' you, but Faith convinced me that it wouldn't solve anything. Instead, she felt led that we should pray for you regularly, to have a change of heart. It looks like those prayers were answered in a big way, too. I'm not surprised, since she had a very special kind of faith and compassion. I'm not sure she ever read the Bratton Report, but it would have made her happy to know that you've changed your attitude.

I see that you list Alabama as your home now. I seem to recall one of your posts (and your attempt to deceive Keith) suggesting that was your home. Have you moved back there?

oc said...

So now how important is your topic, Mike?
Are you going to direct her back to Obama and Wright?

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


I really don't think I need to ask permission to call you by your name, but if you prefer I'll call you OC. I think I read that it's short for "obsessive compulsive", so it's probably more apropos. People's names used to be descriptive of their character, and if you're more comfortable with OC I'll be happy to go along with you. I'd think that Larry, which means "crowned with glory", would be preferable to "obsessive compulsive", but it's your choice. OC.

It's beneficial to know a little about a person's life to better understand their reactions, so I appreciate your sharing. In case you haven't noticed, nearly everyone on either blog has some kind of trauma in their past. Many come from abusive childhoods, and that's why there's that bond. I'm not complaining about anyone in particular, but a person who has never endured some kind of horror just isn't able to 'get it'. I do get it, though.

What I don't understand is why so many people who have suffered so deeply are so shallow. Pain should drive us closer to God, not into the weeds. It's downright shameful for such nonsensical gossip to go on and on. I feel shame for anyone who to this day remains obsessed with whether or not the church bought Steve Gaines a pair of shoes. What does that have to do with anything?

The world is falling apart all around us, and some people have so little depth of soul that something like a billboard keeps them awake at night.

There are still over 10,000 people unaccounted for after Katrina. Why is that so easy to ignore but not Steve Gaines' weight? In California a humanitarian group has constructed secure parking lots for women who live in their cars because they've lost their houses. Shouldn't that be something to lose sleep over? And maybe pray about?

And for 9/11 to have become a cutesy little joke is the last straw for me. Steve Gaines' first sermon at Bellevue has absolutely nothing in common with the worst attack ever on US soil. Nearly 3000 souls perished that day, many of them unsaved.

These are the same people who are the light of the world?

OC, when I see an absolute saint of a woman like Faith pass away nearly unnoticed, but people absolutely obsessing and writing manifestos over what Steve Gaines had for dessert it makes me furious. She tried to make friends with the NBBCOF, but she was driven off because she didn't speak the dialect of slander and malice. She was rejected not because of who she was, but because of what she didn't do.

Just out of curiousity, did you ever get to fight with 'Just My Opinion' or did you make amends with him? Hopefully the latter.

oc said...

Very cute Hope. Do you know what? Go ahead and call me Larry.
My name is Larry, easy enough to get through my profile. I really don't care that the world knows. I never really made my identity a secret. But I was new to the internet and felt more comfortable being "OC". But you decided you wouldn't even give me that much respect. You took it upon yourself to call my name. That wasn't for you to do. But you decided to do what made you feel good. Well, anyone can get my name easily, as you have. So now are you satisfied? But then even after that, you go ahead and lower yourself to name calling, calling me "obsessive compulsive", since that seems to give you pleasure. You go on ahead with that spirit. But if you continue in that vein, don't continue to tell me that you are addressing me as a sister in Christ. There's nothing Christ like about you getting your kicks at my expense.
And that's just another point. I do it and it's sin. You do it, it seems ok.

That you need to resort to calling me names is evidence that you think yourself better than me.
That pretty much says more about you than what it says about me.

I understand that no one gets out of this life alive. But I don't think it's fair for you to call me 'shallow' because of who you think I am. I may be a little deeper than you think. You write me off easily, as if I didn't have the same Father as you. No matter what you think about me, I'm still a brother in Christ. And no matter what you think of me or the "other" blog, we are still siblings in Christ. If you act the same way that you say you despise, you are no better than what you hate. That's what I've been told over and over. I'm slowly starting to get it. I'm am hard headed, but I'm not shallow.

I do care about Faith's passing and your pain. I really do. It breaks my heart. But I'm going to tell you something you don't want to hear, and that I'm sure you will deny. You seem be a lot like me in one way. You have started to 'throw your pain around'. We both need to repent of that. I've been trying, but it's been a tough process. I'm still working on it.

And no, I never 'fought' "Just My Opinion". You have a good memory for my sins. But God has forgiven me. Sure wish you would.


Mike Bratton said...

Hey Mike.
It seems that JohnMark and Ms.Patterson cannot stay on topic. You haven't mentioned that though. However are we supposed to stay on this wonderful topic with them constantly distracting us?

Larry, if you'll go back and read, my first comment on here addressed no one by name. My second comment on here thanked your for the portion of your response that's been on-topic. You decided to flip the switch back to the same tired, unrepentant belligerencies of the past, and so I responded to that portion of your remarks.

Yeah, you chide me for not being on topic. But you have said nothing to them. It gets kinda obvious sometimes, Mike.

What gets "obvious," Larry, is your desire to pick fights with people from the bushes. Not only does it get obvious, it gets old. I understand you're now challenging people to actual fisticuffs--is that correct?

So thanks for making sure that everyone is on topic, not just me.
Seems you have a bit of sniper in you too, don't you?

When I was a much younger fellow, I remember that it was usually the person that threw the second punch in a fight who got into trouble--because the teachers never saw the first punch. Unfortunately, I saw your first "punch" in this comment thread. You might want to try accepting responsibility instead of pointing virtual fingers at everyone else around. Just a thought.

Having said that, folks, I understand that people need a place to vent about the anti-Bellevue nonsense that people apparently continue to publish. If this continues to be the place, I don't mind a bit. I'm blessed to still hear from friends in Memphis, and to hear that the work done by so many to stand against divisiveness and bile, while expecting church accountability, is still at the front of many folks' minds.

However, as Hope has rightly observed, there are other issues of interest in the world besides Pastor Gaines' dessert preferences. (It is absurd to think that he's still in the cross-hairs of a few pitiable people, but hate-mongering is, indeed, habit-forming.) As I noted in the original article, there is a very real chance that the people of the United States will elect to the Presidency someone who actively embraces an anti-Christian worldview--that of ethnocentric liberation theology.

On the other side of the aisle (barely), there is a very real chance that the people of the United States will elect to the Presidency someone who insists, in direct opposition to the Word of God, that he's a "Christian" although he also insists he's never been born again. (And yes, as time allows I'll be posting a future article about John McCain's convoluted belief system.)

God has given me the blessing of distance. We moved from Memphis over a year ago, and my wife and I now both have been blessed with incredible gigs; personally, I'm having as much fun as I've ever had in my career, if not more. We serve in a great church here in the Birmingham area, our children are loving it here--life here is great! And since I was given no choice in the matter, I have become far more insulated from the contrarian bile than I was a year ago. If we were still living in the Memphis area, it would've been much harder to separate myself from that junk.

While I know that most all of you won't be packing the ol' moving truck any time soon, it would do you a world of good to give the people who live to hate Bellevue the freedom to do so on their own time. From what I understand, their "storm" has long since passed, and they're reduced to harping about clothing choices and menu selections. In the words of the great philosopher William Shatner, those contrarians are folks who need to "Get a life!"

Larry, if you don't like the topic, no one's insisting you post--though I'd appreciate hearing more of what you think about B. Hussein Obama...


John Mark said...

Hey Hope.

Yep, I used to cause a good bit of trouble all right. It's hard to explain why, but I really enjoyed making Christians act ugly to each other. I suppose I was a little bit like Paul when he was persecuting the church. I never had a Damascus road experience, but what happened to turn me was no less an act of God than Paul's vision.

I did move back to Alabama, for real this time. I've gotten back in touch with my relatives, and all of a sudden I'm a great uncle. It's been a lot of fun, but I've been "required" to learn how to text or I'll stay an outcast forever. It's hard for an old guy to pick up, YKWIM? (YR...)

Mike made an outstanding point, HP. The battle of Bellevue has been fought. There were no winners, but reconstruction is well under way. Based on what one fellow told me, there's a sense of unity among the congregation that he hasn't seen since they moved to Cordova.

There's no reason for you to jump back into the fray. Just a little info from my own experience, but after my accident I felt a great void in my life. I tried to fill it with churchy things, but I ended up frustrated and that's when I let my anger control me. Don't think it can't happen to you, because it can.

Grief is a God-given expression, and it's healthy if it's allowed to run through the stages. I wouldn't let mine go past anger, and sadly that's how I spent most of my life. But the important thing is not to focus on what's been lost, but what's still left. You've lost a lot, but you've gotten this far, and you've still got a long ways to go. Please be careful not to make any mistakes that might come back to bite you down the road.


Memphis said...

Mike, I was excited to see your blog back in action, it has been awhile since I have gone to this one or the NBBCOF blog. I have been trying to get mine going and now realizre how tough it is too keep posting on a regular basis.

It is kind of a downer to see that there are still people trying to stir things up no matter what the topic. After while, I lose my desire to read such posts, about anything.

On topic, I do not trust Obama or Clinton. I think McCain may be the best of the choices in my opinion. The Rev Wright, Oprah and connections to Obama scare me the most!

John Mark said...

Hey OC,

You need to let this one go. There are these little things called compassion, sympathy, and forbearance that should characterize a Christian's behavior.

You're addressing a woman whose husband was killed by terrorists and who just lost her best friend. Is it just me, or is it really, really insensitive to tell her to repent of her anger right now?

If you're not willing to show a little understanding, then you need to turn your computer off.

Tell your friends, too.

Memphis said...

John Mark, good to see you around again!

larry said...

(Just plain Larry, not OC/Larry)

Hope, I'm probably the slowest guy on earth. I've never put two and two together before. I heard you speak in Jackson a few summers ago, and I even shook your hand afterward (I'm sure you don't remember).

You didn't used to go by 'Hope' did you? I'd be especially honored if you'd email me.

Praying for you,

oc said...

Hey JohnMark,

I have already let it go.

But I will say this. The way you and someone else handled another brother's perceived "sin" was not right. It should have been handled in private if you thought it was actually a sin.

And I'm not letting it go because of any new info you are giving me. I let it go last night, because I thought it would be right to do so.

Now I am done with it.


Lynn said...

Mike Bratton said...

"On the other side of the aisle (barely), there is a very real chance that the people of the United States will elect to the Presidency someone who insists, in direct opposition to the Word of God, that he's a "Christian" although he also insists he's never been born again. (And yes, as time allows I'll be posting a future article about John McCain's convoluted belief system.)"

I did not know that was McCain's stance. I don't plan on voting for him anyways.

Lets face it folks, we don't have a liberal vs. conservative battle this election. We got a liberal vs. Marxist battle. None of the 3 candidates will be getting my vote. I'm tired of just giving someone my vote because I think they're conservative. Politicians take our votes for granted. We need to let these blowhards know that if they want our votes, they will have to earn them.

Oh yeah, this may rub some people the wrong way but....if your voting for McCain just because he's prolife, stay home. We have more important issues right now than a 30 year battle to overturn a supreme court ruling that is light years from being overturn. Look at our economy. Look at the spending congress is doing that is wasteful. Look at the big picture and not just one single subject matter. Sadly, all 3 candidates will continue to spend money like a drunken sailor.

oc said...

Watchinghisstory said:
"what say you, oc?"

I say you are banned. Bye. :)

Lynn said...

Watching....Not even The Doctor and his blue box called the TARDIS could help you lol.

BTW, Dr. Who is a great Sci-Fi show.

Lynn said...


I'm a guy dude.

faithnhope said...


I never intended to disrupt the thread, and after this I'll go away.

Larry, I hope you'll understand if I prefer not to email you. It's nothing personal, but I'm staying in Texas because I need some space right now. I'd also be grateful if you would be careful not mention my former name. I haven't gone by it since that illustrious senator grouped me in with Coulter's "Wiches". And I hate to break this to you, but it's been more than 'a few summers ago' since I did one of those fund raisers. The Jackson dinner was in the fall of '02, but if your last name begins with 'M', then I remember you very well. Words of encouragement were few and far between after those galas, and one 'Larry M.' from a parachurch in Memphis spoke very kindly to me on that particular night. I'll always remember it. People came to those circuses to hear hatred and calls for blood, not the gospel.

Lynn, I posted an apology to you on the NBBCOF, but I'm afraid I included more truth than NASS could handle. I didn't even check your profile for an email address, so my visit to the other blog was completely unnecessary. I hope you're able to find a place with other Christians in your stage in life who aren't as shallow as I've heard the BBC singles can be.

While I'm on the subject of the NBBCOF, I hope everyone will stay away from there. Sin has free license, and NASS is a real piece of work. She seems like an incredibly bitter and hateful woman to me, and she really enjoys having the last word in an argument. I've witnessed many people with similar character flaws, but since she's appointed herself as the voice of those who feel powerless at Bellevue, she has an enormous potential to do damage. I wonder if anyone in the last 100 years has been more destructive to Bellevue? And I also can't help but wonder how God is going to deal with her in the end. What a shame that she's trading an eternity of glory just so that she can be large and in charge today. But God has promised to judge, and I'll step aside and let him handle it. If she hasn't seen the error of her ways by now, I don't see how she ever will. Of all the people on earth to administrate that blog, what a disaster for a two-penny dictator like her to get the job.

OC, to be honest I've always been uncomfortable when I've read your posts. Faith and Keith have both told me that I should give you a chance, but something just rubs me the wrong way. I'll be praying for God's wisdom and acceptance, and I hope something changes soon.

John Mark, I don't know what to say to you. One minute you're deceiving dozens of people and causing dissention in the camp, and the next you seem to have found the keys into my heart. Part of me wants to trust you, but I can't. I don't know what your angle is, but I won't be reading any of your future posts to me. If you're on the level I wish you well, but far away from me.

To the rest of you, I pray that you may know God, that you may know him even more, and that you will continue to make him known.


oc said...

Lynn reads and posts here. Why not post the apology here? No one is stopping you here, are they?

solomon said...

I heard there was a reunion going on here, but I never got the invitation. I'm glad I eventually got word, though.

Hope, you know that we're on your side. You've always got family in my house, and don't forget it. Don't let the blog wars discourage you. One of the blogs is not like the other, and the difference is extraordinary.

We're always here for you.

John Mark said...

OC, will you please stop?!? For crying out loud! This is no game, and whatever it is you're trying to prove isn't worth a nickel. You feign offense that Lynn's statement (which was posted by ME, not Hope) was made public, and yet now you feel deprived because her apology to him wasn't seen by your eyes. Seems a little double minded to me...

HP, I understand what you mean. Trust has to be earned, and I haven't exactly been trustworthy. Shoot, I've been a lowdown dog. But everyone else isn't like me. I hope that my sins won't keep you from reaching out to others.

oc said...

"One of the blogs is not like the other, and the difference is extraordinary."

You certainly are right about that.

Hey, I thought you said you were never going to visit the blogs again?

oc said...

"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,


oc said...

I was willing to let this go. But it seems you both can't shut up about it. So now we are talking about it again. Do neither of you have a reading comprehension problem? As far as I was concerned, I was done. You both were off the hook, but both of you can't keep your mouths shut. So here we are back again. Now quit acting innocent johnmark. Both you and Hope need to apologize to him. You both, including Mike, know what you did and what you posted and what he deleted in an effort to sweep your sin under the rug.
Didn't work. Now knock off the innocent crap. Many saw what you both said.

And johnmark, you are the game player. Even your friend Hope can't trust you.

solomon said...

Actually, what I said was that I didn't see the need to visit anymore. The only reason I posted as long as I did was for the lurkers.

However, a long-time friend who has lost her best friend and is suffering uncalled for persecution (by you) is more than enough reason for me to post again. If you really want to attack her, OC, then you'll have to go through me first. I'd expect a Christian to show a little bit more compassion, but if that is out of your reach then I'll draw my own conclusions about your salvation.

There are times when I almost like you, OC, but then when you decide to display your superiority and stomp on others I change my mind.

Understand this, OC. There are more important things in life that being right. Perhaps your ex-wife told you that. If all you care about is having your own way all the time (and as far as I can tell it is) then you'll grow old a very lonely man.

oc said...

And she won't apologize, then you man-up and do it.

John Mark said...

So here we are back again. Now quit acting innocent johnmark. Both you and Hope need to apologize to him. You both, including Mike, know what you did and what you posted and what he deleted in an effort to sweep your sin under the rug.
Didn't work. Now knock off the innocent crap. Many saw what you both said.

Maybe this is some kind of bizarre game to you, obsessive compulsive, but not to me. Will you please just SHUT UP AND GO AWAY. Nobody here likes you. You claim to have suffered through a terrible divorce and your son-in-law's deployment in the armed forces, and yet you continue to try to manipulate others to obey your unbiblical whims.

Maybe you should buy a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People". You've made zero friends here, and I don't see how you could possibly do worse.

oc said...

It's alright Keith. I will at least thank you for admitting that I am right about this situation.

But I will also say this. I do have compassion. And I stated I was letting it go. But someone decided to start it up again. Now,I will also tell you this. I am willing to let it go again. But if you want to go ahead and challenge me about it, I don't mind going through you, if that's what you want. You choose. And knock off the demeaning crap. You may find your little world rocked someday.

oc said...

Thank you JohnMark. I sending all my friends a copy of your message. I will tell them that it represents the loving people who go to BBC.

I will go. But unlike Solomon, I'm not promising to never come back.
May see you here again, friend.

Feeling sorry for yourself isn't doing any good.

oc said...

Oh,and just one more thing self righteous solomon, since you want to be nasty and bring up my ex wife.

If your wife is ever prescribed a medicine which alters her mind, and she decides to leave you and abandon your children, then I will be here to try to comfort you.


Just sayin'.

John Mark said...

I will tell them that it represents the loving people who go to BBC.

Go right ahead. Of course, since I've only been to Bellevue a handful of times this will be just another story you've made up about her.

Don't let the truth stand in your way, though. It never has before.

maybejustmaybe said...

Charles, in case you missed it after you posted that the first time: W-E A-R-E N-O-T R-E-S-P-O-N-D-I-N-G T-O Y-O-U, Y-O-U H-A-V-E B-E-E-N B-A-N-N-E-D H-E-R-E. G-E-T I-T?

solomon said...

It's always amusing to me which people call others self-righteous. I've never known one single person who was truly walking with the Lord use the term, only those who are steeped in sin and don't want to give it up.

OC, since you seem to believe that my sense of right and wrong originates within myself, I'll give you a Bible verse to mull over.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “ If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I did receive John Mark's original post, and he in fact quoted one of yours in which you once again chastised Dr. Gaines for allegedly saying that Scripture was a 'guidline' to be followed (which is gossip, btw). The natural question that any rational person would ask after such an ironic post is, which is worse, to say Scripture is just a guidline to follow, or that it's the inerrant word of God and then NOT follow it? Nearly every post you've ever made here was meant to stir up anger, and that not even to 'push buttons' and motivate a response like John Mark did. I'm no great discerner of sin in others, but what you're doing is an obvious transgression and it seems to bring you a lot of joy.

About a year ago you jumped on me because I said I didn't have a problem with calling sin a moral failure as long as it wasn't an attempt to make it sound acceptable. All right, I'll refer to your continual tirades as sin, then. How do you justify your sin? (Other than pointing out the sins of others, that is.)

I've written several epistles here about God-honoring behavior in response to difficulties. We don't have to respond to sin with sin once we are in Christ. However, nearly every time you write something it's in anger and is an attempt to incite anger in another person.

Since you clearly aren't able to control yourself, I suggest you simply do not visit here. I don't understand why simply associating with Bellevue members causes such ugly behavior in you, but since it causes you to keep sinning then you need to remove yourself from that temptation. You've never shown any interest in anything anyone has said anyway, you only deride.

Based on your repeated assaults on any and all pastors and seminary students I suspect it will be hard for you to ever fit back into a church, but that's a goal you need to strive for. A good first step is to stay away from whatever it is about us that makes you fly into a rage at the drop of a hat. The Greek word for peace means a lot more than just the absence of hostility, but that should be where you start.

Lynn said...

It should be noted that Obama left his church today. However, that seems to be akin to the horse leaving the barn, travelling halfway around the world and being eaten and then closing the barn door.

Memphis said...

Mike, I am sorry that your blog is used by some to just rant, rave and act irresponsible in my opinion. Many need to move on and quit living in the past and start looking forward.

Anyways I am sure that you never meant for this blog to go where it has or for a few people to make it their own soundboard.


solomon said...


Perhaps you really think that the only appropriate way to show disapproval of what Paul Williams did is to go on a tirade such as you're on. If so, more power to you.

But I can't help but notice that you had your face set against Adrian Rogers before that crime ever came to light. Therefore it's reasonable to assume that your 'righteous indignation' is just an act, and you think that the gravity of the crime will sway others into listening to what you have to say (which has no merit of its own). Perhaps your strategy has won you a few supporters, but there are countless victims of this crime that you are spitting upon by reducing it to some kind of cheap leverage tool.

And in becoming an expert in child abuse by spending so much time on the internet, you instead became an addict. I wonder if this is the kind of thing you talk to your grandchildren about when you gather around the fire?

It's better to bury your head in the sand than the cesspool. The Bible says to flee from sexual immorality, Charles. Run from it or it will consume you. Run. And don't even pretend that you have any kind of walk with the Lord whatsoever as long as you're held captive by that darkness.

And I seem to recall that Mike gave you certain reasonable requirements to fulfill before you would be allowed to post again. Why aren't you able to understand and respect that? It would benefit you greatly to be held accountable to others, and maybe even find a 12 step recovery program. It's not a sign of failure, it's a sign of admitting you're not perfect and it's a very good thing. I think a lot of people would be overjoyed to hear that you have decided to rehabilitate yourself.

The first step is admitting you need help, and it's the hardest one.

larry said...


I understand, and I'd never intrude. I guess it has been almost 6 years. Wow!

Come back soon!

John Mark said...

Hey Charles,

I used to think you were a pain in the neck, but my opinion of you has dropped recently.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.