Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Commercial Appeal Poll Results & Comments

On October 5, 2006, an article dealing with the situation at Bellevue appeared in the Commercial Appeal.

A reader poll accompanied this article which asked the question, "Ex-deacon accuses the new Bellevue pastor of misleading church and misusing finances. Is he correct?" As of this writing, 10-24-06, 1635 people have voted, and the results are as follows:

(1) Yes 56.6% (925)

(2) No 29.6% (484)

(3) Undecided 13.8% (226)

Rather than reprint all the comments here, you can read them yourself by clicking here.

A follow-up article appeared the following day.

3 comments:

New BBC Open Forum said...

notastepfordsheep said...

Thank you, whoever you are!

001 5:27 PM, October 13, 2006


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002 5:52 PM, October 13, 2006


Custos said...

Dear Blogger,

I don't know you, but I just want to urge you to keep things clean and above board as far as the language and behavior go on this board.

I firmly believe that we are dealing with holy things here, and while I strongly hold that Dr Gaines must allow Matthew 18 to be fully exercised, I hope we all remember that regardless of our points of view, we must be Christ-honoring in our discussions.

And one last word friends, before some of you speak of great harms, the peace of compromise, and tragic saddness, hear this:

No one wants to hurt Bellevue. No one wants to tear into it or tear it down. The problem is that often people confuse pain itself with that which is wrong. I know this is painful, but friends it is ultimately for the good. Surgery is painful, but it allows the body to be fixed and healed. I'm afraid this is no different. I don't want to minimize your pain (I lament with you), but it would be good if you could remember that often pain yeilds to healing and brings better circumstances than we lived in before.

Respectfully submitted,
Josh Manning

003 6:07 PM, October 13, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...

custos said:

...I hope we all remember that regardless of our points of view, we must be Christ-honoring in our discussions...


Good advice regarding postings here. I hope people on both sides take it to heart.

Sloppy reasoning and logic from either side will just have to bear the brunt of rebuttal.

Hopefully people will think before they post.

004 6:26 PM, October 13, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

Dear "Supreme Blog MASTER,"

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist.) I want to second your suggestion for people to keep things "clean and above board." Seriously, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading those unbelievable letters from Mr. Weatherwax. The longer I read the more shocked I became. I don't know Mr. Weatherwax (and I'm not sure I want to -- with friends like that who needs enemies?), but all I could think of while reading all that was, "Is this an example of the 'leadership' we have at Bellevue?" If it is, heaven help us all! Not only are there a lot of "Stepford Sheep" at Bellevue, but it appears the "Men's Association" has now gotten to most of the staff and deacons and created... "Stepford Shepherds." And you know, this is a minor point to be sure, but I've always kind of wondered about people who call "the pastor" merely "Pastor," as in "I wish 'Pastor' would jump my fence and come see me." Personally, I think I'd find the thought of that rather unnerving now, but I digress.

This is just an observation I've made. I keep reading comments like, "____________ is enjoying the notoriety and the attention." Fill in the blank with "Mark Sharpe" or "Josh Manning" or whomever is being advised to "leave if you don't like it." Well, if these guys are so eager for attention and desire to be in the public eye, why do most of us, unless we happen to know them personally, have no idea what any of them look like? I haven't seen a photo of any of these people, and I don't see them thrusting themselves into the public limelight. Mark Sharpe, whom a lot of people are so critical of, had two interviews with you, the transcripts of which you published on your personal blog, and his letters are on the savingbellevue.com site, but other than that, I haven't read a single word he's written or seen him interviewed on TV or in the paper. I certainly don't see him "promoting" himself. What in the world, if there's nothing to any of the things he's claimed, would be his motives for putting himself and his family through all this grief just for his "fifteen minutes of fame"? If it is just for "the fame," he's not doing a very effective job!

Mr. Haywood did grant that one TV interview. Whether it was "appropriate" or not, I don't really have an opinion one way or the other, but that was his choice. I wish things had never gotten to that point, but I support those who are seeking the truth as long as I perceive them trying to follow Biblical principles in their search. Deviate from that path, and I will be the first in line to withdraw my support! One example that gave me pause was the posting of the home addresses and phone numbers of the Bellevue deacons on the SB site. Now THAT was crossing the line, and I was glad to see the list promptly taken down. An apology may have even been in order, but that's the poster's call, not mine.

Mr. Manning, I'm over twice your age, and so far I've been very impressed with your maturity, attitude, and seeming desire to honor our Lord and Savior in your words. I am keeping ALL the members of Bellevue in my prayers and looking towards a brighter day.

Yours in Christ,

notastepfordsheep

005 9:02 PM, October 13, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...
Okay, the crack about "Stepford Shepherds" was my perhaps somewhat lame attempt at trying to lighten the mood a little, but now having just read the five deacons' replies to Mr. and Mrs. Gremillion's letter to them, I have to say I don't think it's a joke any more. Folks, this is just downright scary!

006 9:08 PM, October 13, 2006


MOM4 said...
I am so very ashamed of the administrative leadership, the deacons who have responded unkindly, and those that have failed to respond at all. Steve Gaines and Chuck Taylor say to contact our deacons for answers. The deacons say to remove their names, address and phone numbers from the lists. This is a disgrace manipulated in the name of Christ. I am ashamed of you and I am ashamed that I ever knew you. Matthew 25:40-46.

007 8:09 AM, October 14, 2006


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008 9:05 AM, October 14, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...
I came across this comment on another blog this morning. It was posted by someone identified only as "anonymous," so it's impossible to give credit where credit is due, but I think s/he hit the nail on the head.

So without further ado, I quote "anonymous" (thusly and like so, of course -- whatever that means):

"I have had a number of conversations with fellow members, deacons and some outside our membership. The most prevailing thought that keeps coming up is not the 'what' but the 'how'. There are a number of long standing members which are more concerned on 'how' this situation is being handled by our leadership rather than 'what' has transpired.

"I and others are concerned that Bro. Steve would preach two sermons which intended or not were not appropriate and seemed to us to be very self-serving considering the meetings which would follow said sermons. Secondly there is a concern of how in these meetings his words were demeaning to those who have voiced a concern. His use of words to describe the fence as 'It was the little bitty white fence about that tall' is certainly a half truth. Anyone who cares to witness this 'little bitty' fence could drive out to the countryside of Lakeland and find for themselves that this fence is approximately 48 inches in height. Half a truth is not a truth and we should expect a pastor to be truthfule to his flock. By the way the shepard went after the lost sheep rather than suggest that the sheep join another flock.

"My personal feelings as well as those I’ve spoken with believe that Bro. Steve lacks the humility needed to resolve this situation. It is not a question of who is right or who is wrong but a question of being humble enough for Godly wisdom to prevail. No one is anti-Bellevue but all have a right to their opinions and because the leadership failed to properly handle this situation we have to see it magnified for the world to see. May those who use the term anti-Bellevue stop using these words to describe fellow church members, fellow Christians, and brothers in Christ."

Amen.

009 4:46 PM, October 14, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

I endeavored to reply to this earlier today, but there was something hinky with the site and it kept giving me the old "page not found" thing. Now that it appears to be working properly...

"pastor mark," who has since removed both of his comments (oops, did they get to him, too?), wrote: "I wonder are some of these issues in reality the result of a grieving congregation, that is struugling with the home going of Dr. Rogers?

"The suggestion that Dr. Gaines should not travel and always be at Bellevue (Every Wednesday night, when other pastors and associate pastors would see the opportunity to speak at Bellevue the opportunity of a lifetime)simply does not fit with the call to one of the premier churches on the planet."

Re your first point: I would imagine that grief over the loss of Dr. Rogers might be playing a small part in all this, but that's certainly not the driving force behind those asking questions. I wasn't here when Dr. Rogers was the pastor, so other than seeing him on TV and in person a few times, while I admired the man there's no way I could "miss" him in the same way longtime members of Bellevue have. There seems to have been a shift away from mourning the loss of Dr. Rogers to real concern about the way the pastor and staff have handled (or failed to handle) all this as well as the issues about which Mark Sharpe and others asked questions in the first place.

As for your second point, I've never heard anyone say Dr. Gaines should "always" be at Bellevue on Wednesday nights. That's simply not realistic. Of course he's going to have other obligations from time to time, but for him to state he's never going to be there on Wednesday nights is at the opposite end of the spectrum. What do you think an employer would say if someone accepted a job, then announced that he was going to take, say, Wednesday afternoons off (with pay) because he needs more family time or wants to take another temporary paying job? Just as Wednesday afternoons are included in the job descriptions of most people with 9-to-5 jobs, Wednesday nights should be part of a pastor's job description. Why this should apply any less to the pastor of a "premier" church than to the pastor of a small congregation I don't know.

I have a relative who's pastor of a moderate-sized Southern Baptist church, and he used to hold revivals in other churches -- a lot. When he accepted the call of his current church it was with the understanding that he was limited to a set number of outside revivals per year. I'm sure some of the "big name" preachers who supplied the pulpit at Bellevue on recent Wednesday nights were generously compensated. I read somewhere that one recent fill-in was paid $5000 for his Wednesday night appearance, but I can't confirm that. However, if that's the kind of compensation the church is paying, I imagine there are lots of preachers who'd consider "the opportunity to speak at Bellevue the opportunity of a lifetime"!

By the way, what characteristics do "fit with the call to one of the premier churches on the planet"? Sadly, openness, accountability, and humility were apparently not on the search committee's short list.

You made some other very good points, most of which I unfortunately can't recall now, but when I read them I thought they were good.

010 5:47 PM, October 14, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...
endeavored to reply to this earlier today, but there was something hinky with the site and it kept giving me the old "page not found" thing.

Blogspot was some doing maintenance on their site this weekend. It was down for a couple of hours, and them a bit spotty once they brought it back up.

011 6:37 PM, October 14, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

Thanks. Glad they got it working. So where is everyone??? I've written to ask them to put the link to your blog on the sb.com page, but so far they haven't. I suspect people aren't going back to look at the Commercial Appeal comment page and just don't know this forum... , uh... blog, is here.

012 7:01 PM, October 14, 2006


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013 8:41 PM, October 14, 2006


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014 9:12 PM, October 14, 2006


choice_is_yours said...

The problem is NOT Steve Gaines or Mark Sharpe or the leadership of Bellevue or SavingBellevue. We are simply operating in ways that we have learned to accept.


Spiritual Abuse

(Copied from another website, please note that this material is meant to help people get out of cults. Please disregard such nomenclature because Bellevue is not a cult. Also Brother Steve is not a cult leader, but an excellent biblical preacher. And Mark Sharpe is not a problem maker: he is simply responding to this as best he knows how, from all that I know. Unfortunately, spiritual abuse occurs inside the Christian church, not just in cults).

First occurence in history: While the practice is old, the term "spiritual abuse" may have been coined first by Jeff VanVonderen.

Organizational Structure: Can occur under virtually any organizational structure, but "top down" hierarchical structures are especially well suited to systemic spiritual abuse.


DEFINED

Spiritual abuse is the misuse of a position of power, leadership, or influence to further the selfish interests of someone other than the individual who needs help. Sometimes abuse arises out of a doctrinal position. At other times it occurs because of legitimate personal needs of a leader that are being met by illegitimate means. Spiritually abusive religious systems are sometimes described as legalistic, mind controlling, religiously addictive, and authoritarian.


COMMON CHARACTERISTICS

#1) Authoritarian

The most distinctive characteristic of a spiritually abusive religious system, or leader, is the over-emphasis on authority. Because a group claims to have been established by God Himself the leaders in this system claim the right to command their followers.

This authority supposedly comes from the position they occupy. In Matthew 23:1-2 Jesus said the Scribes and Pharisees "sit in Moses' seat," a position of spiritual authority. Many names are used but in the abusive system this is a position of power, not moral authority. The assumption is that God operates among His people through a hierarchy, or "chain of command." In this abusive system unconditional submission is often called a "covering," or "umbrella of protection" which will provide some spiritual blessing to those who fully submit. Followers may be told that God will bless their submission even if the leadship is wrong. It is not their place to judge or correct the leadership - God will see to that.

#2) Image Conscious

The abusive religious system is scrupulous to maintain an image of righteousness. The organization's history is often misrepresented in the effort to demonstrate the organization's special relationship to God. The mistaken judgements and character flaws of its leaders are denied or covered up in order to validate their authority. Impossibly high legalistic standards of thought and behavior may be imposed on the members. Their failure to live up to these standards is a constant reminder of the follower's inferiority to his leaders, and the necessity of submission to them. Abusive religion is, at heart, legalism.

Abusive religion is also paranoid. Because the truth about the abusive religious system would be quickly rejected if recognized, outsiders are shown only a positive image of the group. This is rationalized by assuming that the religion would not be understood by "worldly" people; therefore they have no right to know. This attitude leads to members being secretive about some doctrines and the inner policies and proceedures of the group. Leaders, especially, will keep secrets from their members. This secrecy is rooted in a basic distrust of others because the belief system is false and can not stand scrutiny.

#3) Suppresses Criticism

Because the religious system is not based on the truth it cannot allow questions, dissent, or open discussions about issues. The person who dissents becomes the problem rather than the issue he raised. The truth about any issue is settled and handed down from the top of the hierarchy. Questioning anything is considered a challenge to authority. Thinking for oneself is suppressed by pointing out that it leads to doubts. This is portrayed as unbelief in God and His anointed leaders. Thus the follower controls his own thoughts by fear of doubting God.

#4) Perfectionistic

A most natural assumption is that a person does not get something for nothing. Apart from the express declarations of salvation by grace through faith God has given in the scriptures, it would be natural to think that one must earn salvation, or at least work to keep it. Thus, in abusive religions all blessings come through performance of spiritual requirements. Failure is strongly condemned so there is only one alternative, perfection. So long as he thinks he is succeeding in his observation of the rules, the follower typically exhibits pride, elitism, and arrogance. However, when reality and failure eventually set in, the result is the person experiences spiritual burnout, or even shipwreck of his faith. Those who fail in their efforts are labeled as apostates, weak, or some other such term so that they can be discarded by the system.

#5) Unbalanced

Abusive religions must distinguish themselves from all other religions so they can claim to be distinctive and therefore special to God. This is usually done by majoring on minor issues such as prophecy, carrying biblical law to extremes, or using strange methods of biblical interpretation. The imbalanced spiritual hobby-horse thus produced represents unique knowledge or practices which seem to validate the group's claim to special status with God.


BIBLICAL RESPONSE

Examples of spiritual abuse are found throughout the Bible. God describes (and condemns) the "shepherds of Israel" who feed themselves rather than the flock, who do not heal those who are hurting, or seek to bring back those who were driven away but rather discard them, ruling with force and cruelty (Ezekiel 34:1-10). Jesus reacted with anger against the thievery of the money changers in the Temple as they misused God's people for selfish reasons (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47; John 2:13-16). He was angry at those more concerned with rules and regulations than with human suffering (Mark 3:1-5). In Matthew 23, Jesus describes the abusive spiritual leader in great detail. In John 9 the Pharisees "cast out" the man born blind simply because the truth he told about his healing exposed their own corruption. In Acts 7:51-56, Stephen called the Jewish leaders to account over their spiritual abuse. His testimony of Christ vindicated Jesus, whom they had abused, and condemned them. The legalistic Jews were so angry they stoned Stephen to death. In Galatians Paul addressed a performance based Christianity which leads to the abuse of legalism. There are many more such examples.

As God in human flesh, Jesus had legitimate spiritual authority. But He did not exercise it to gain power for Himself, or to abuse and control others with rules and regulations. He said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). The Greek word for "heavy laden" is phortizo which means here "to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety)" (Strong's Concordance #5412). Jesus gave a balanced perspective on positional authority when he said, "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (Matthew 23:8). He gave another key to discernment when He taught, "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory..." (John 7:18a).

Jesus was not "image conscious." He was willing to associate with wine drinkers, cheating tax collectors and even prostitutes. He accused the legalistic Pharisees of "teaching for doctrine the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9) and likened their showy, hypocritical outward rightousness to "whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27).

Neither was He paranoid. His ministry was conspicuously open to the public. When He was on trial (John 18) He was asked about His teachings and His reply was, "Why askest thou me?" Jesus pointed out that He always taught in public, and never in secret, so why not ask His disciples. He had nothing to hide.

Jesus did not fear to criticize the religious leaders or their faulty doctrines (e.g. Matthew 15:1-9; 23:1-39, etc.). And when confronted with criticism or with treacherous questions designed to discredit Him, His response was never to simply demand silence or only positive recognition from His accusers. Rather, He gave answers - scriptural and reasonable answers - to their objections (e.g. Luke 7:36-47; Matthew 19:3-9).

Jesus upheld the high standard of the Law, yet He clearly placed the legitimate needs of people before any rules or regulations (Matthew 12:1-13; Mark 2:23-3:5). The scriptures make it clear that no one will cease to sin in this life (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). Jesus made it plain, however, that one can know in this life that one has eternal life (John 5:24; 6:37-40), a theme developed by Paul throughout his epistles, and by John (1 John 5:10-13).

The Pharisees, quintessential spiritually abusive leaders, were quite unbalanced in their perception of what mattered most to God. Jesus said they, "...pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, - judgment, mercy, and faith...." (Matthew 23:23).


EFFECTS OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE

Spiritual abuse has a devastating effect on people. A very high level of trust is often placed in spiritual leaders. It is, and ought to be, expected that the trust will be honored and guarded. When such trust is violated the wound is very deep. Sometimes the wound is so deep that the wounded person cannot trust even a legitimate spiritual authority again.

An analogous situation exists with the victims of incest. The emotional and psychological symptoms exhibited by victims of incest parallel those of spiritual abuse to a remarkable degree. The main symptom is the inability to relate normally to people who represent the source of their emotional injury.

Besides an unhealthy fear of, and disillusionment with, spiritual authorities, the spiritually abused person may find it difficult to trust even God. "How could (or why did) He let this happen to me?" Anger is also deeply felt. Anger itself is not always wrong - God Himself expresses anger at such spiritual abuse (see Biblical Response, above). However, even legitimate anger, if not properly channeled and dealt with, can degenerate into bitterness and cynicism toward everything spiritual.


RECOVERY FROM SPIRITUAL ABUSE

Healthy recovery from spiritual abuse must begin with understanding what has happened and how. A victim usually thinks he is the only one experiencing these problems. Just being able to give a name to the problem is important. There are many books on the subject (see Resources, below) that will be helpful in learning about spiritual abuse and recovery.

Afterward the abused person must learn the true nature of God's grace, love and forgiveness. This is the foundation for being able to eventually forgive the abuser. Being able to share the experience and what has been learned so as to minister to someone else's need is also very important. This could be done in a support group made up of people with a similar experience who can share the healing love of Christ.

Finally, a lot of time must be allowed for full recovery.


RESOURCES

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen, Bethany House Publishers. Dynamite! Excellent help for recognizing and escaping spiritual manipulation and false spiritual authority within the Church. 235 pages-$10.

Faith That Hurts, Faith That Heals, by Stephen Arterburn, and Jack Felton, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Very thorough treatment, analyzes beliefs that make harmful faith, religious addiction, etc. as well as treatment and recovery, and the characteristics of healthy faith. 320 pages-$11.

Breaking Free, by David R. Miller, Baker Book House. Speaking first-hand from the experiences of his own family, Miller penetrates virtually every nuance of legalism and its insidious effects on individual and family life. 176 pages-$10.

Wisdom Hunter, be Randall Arthur, Multnomah Press. Taut, fast-paced thriller presents a powerful message about the damage caused by Christian legalism. 323 pages-$10.

Churches That Abuse, by Ronald Enroth, Zondervan. Providing real-life examples throughout, Enroth probes every corner of the abusive church. He also provides help to find the way out, and back to God's healing. 253 pages, endnotes-$6.

015 10:19 PM, October 14, 2006


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016 10:22 PM, October 14, 2006


2006Huldah said...

Thank you "choice_is_yours" for the information you copied from another website on spiritual abuse and its characteristics. It seems our old church has now fallen under the spell of many of those described signs. Woe is me! What a sad day this is. My family and I will have no part of it until it. If only we had chosen a homegrown pastor and not a prima donna, we would not be having this crisis right now. I know who my choice would have been because I even wrote the search committee and suggested the same, but it was only shortly before they surprised us with Steve Gaines. We would have had a wonderful togetherness with our simpler, humbler choice who lives to serve and to honor the Lord and not himself. Our patience is now being matured because we are not hearing anything about what is being done. This must be so that we will go the Lord in prayer in a very fervent way. Prayer is hard work. We must not be lazy or try to do too much on our own without His directing. Have mercy on us, Lord Jesus. Help us to be able to see the truth wherever it lies and save Bellevue.

017 8:51 PM, October 15, 2006


Jack Kennington said...

As a former member of five years at First Gardendale and now a minister called under Steve's watch there I am appalled at the character assassination he has been through. The negative comments made are very unchrist like even if you do not agree with the way he is leading BBC. Scripture is clear that we are not to touch God’s appointed and anointed leader. While under his ministry my family and I grew spiritually. To me the two signs of a healthy church are baptisms and the number of people who are called out to do missions and vocational ministry. Under Bro. Steve both of these were evident and I understand BBC is growing significantly in Sunday School and worship this year. The church led the state in Baptisms almost every year the last ten years of his ministry. The man has a walk with God that is intense and intimate. His precious wife Donna and children add much to his ministry. He always made time to speak to my kids and even gave my son a book and a coke once when we were in his office and ran into him on a road trip. He took the time with me to allow me to ask questions since he knew of my ministry desire. Is he a strong leader? Sure, but not the dictator he has been accused of. I did not see that at GFBC. He had a good staff and delegated well. None of the things that he has been accused of by some on this web site were ever an issue at GFBC. I am shocked that any of the so called members from Gardendale would write negative things about him on this blog. If Bro. Steve was good enough for Dr. and Mrs. Rogers to prompt them to sense he was God’s man for BBC plus that of the search team I do not believe all of those people missed God. He will never be Dr. Rogers nor will he try to be and I know he has communicated that to the church but he will be the best Steve he can be. He will preach his heart out and over time will win your respect just like he did mine and thousands of others at GFBC. I give him much credit for my call and convictions in ministry. Pray for him, love him, and give him some time to be all the Lord wants him to be. He will make some mistakes but they will be of the head not of the heart. Praying for the Gaines family and the church that unity and healing will occur so that you may get about doing the fathers business as you have done for many years. Time is short we must redeem it and not let the devil steal what the Lord has intended for His people.

Prayerfully,
Jack Kennington

018 8:05 PM, October 16, 2006


ScaredOfTheTruth? said...

Dear Jack,

While I appreciate and understand your obviously heartfelt comments, your notion that "we are not to touch God’s appointed and anointed leader" is simply wrong. God does not place his "anointed" above the requirement of doing right or wrong any more than the layperson. In fact, there is actually more accountability to those called to lead than others. Many of the prophets of old were rebuked by God and man when they were not following His direction. To imply that because Steve Gaines was called to be the pastor of Bellevue makes him untouchable is naive. Hardly a month goes by that some church with a similar committee makes a similar search and comes up with a similar "called" man that goes on to commit a major transgression that results in his resignation. So, was every one of these churches less righteous or less sincere about their desire to have a man anointed of God chosen to be their pastor? Of course not. The simple reality is that people make mistakes and it does not matter if who you are--we are all equal in His sight.

Additionally, negative comments are not "unchrist like" as you state if they are made with the right intention. I assure you that Christ made many negative comments to the Pharisees and Sadducees of His day as did the apostle Paul on many occasions to both individuals and entire churches. If there are improprieties being committed, it is the obligation of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to investigate and find the truth. There is no carte blanche immunity from criticism by virtue of being the pastor of Bellevue or any other church.

019 8:58 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

scaredofthetruth?,

Very well put. Thank you.

I am praying for Bro. Steve and his family... and for Bellevue and the individuals involved in this... all on a daily basis. I love Steve Gaines in the Lord. I don't like his bullying attitude, especially when it comes from the pulpit, towards those who are asking questions and his stubborn refusal to settle things with Mr. Sharpe, but I don't always like the things people in my own family do either. That doesn't mean I love them any less. It also doesn't mean I can't "call them out" on occasion if I feel led, or they me. Steve Gaines is human -- no more, no less. But his position should hold him to an even higher standard than those in his flock.

020 9:40 PM, October 16, 2006


2006Huldah said...

Ditto to what scaredofthetruth? said. There are so many places in the Bible where the priests who led Israel astray aroused the anger of the Lord. Then the Lord also allowed the destruction and captivity of His beloved people. The New Testament also holds the pastor to a higher level of accountability. Thank you.

021 10:13 PM, October 16, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...

ScaredOfTheTruth & Jack Kennington

Thank you for both the tone and for your comments. That a good example of the right way to do this.

One suggesstion. When you say the Bible is very clear about xyz don't be afraid to cite the reference.

022 6:12 AM, October 17, 2006


Lwood said...

Updated on Commercial Appeal numbers....Oct.18 2006 8 A.M.
54.9% (849) choice 1
30.8% (477) choice 2
14.3% (221) choice 3

023 6:17 AM, October 18, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

Try as I might to keep up with the various Bellevue related blogs, it isn't easy. The comments were turned off on custos' blog, Who Watches the Watchmen? and some fancy Latin words (although he's continued to update it occasionally), but two other blogs were created to continue allowing comments. However, they're not too easy to find. Not to detract from this fine forum, but just in case anyone's interested, those are Mark Sharpe Interview Comments and Sharpe Interview Pt 2.

024 9:31 AM, October 18, 2006


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025 7:05 AM, October 19, 2006

Hecanhear said...

The behavior of at least seven Bellevue deacons is inexcusable and reprehensible. All seven showed their pompous posture by their individual response to the Grenillion letter. They shared their Non-Christian, non-loving attitudes! Deacons Michael Blake, David L. Walker, R. Struble, Mark Whitby, Frank Roberts, Perrin Jones, plus Chuck Taylor, should resign immediately. Bellevue members, surely you must be ashamed of these fake deacons.
Also, the reverend Phil “Yours without Apology” Weatherwax fits in so well with the rest of the collection of misfits at Bellevue. Congratulations Reverend Weatherwax, you really demonstrated what a phony you are behind your title of Reverend. No one can be more offensive and unkind than your letters to Josh Manning. You are a disgrace and should get on your face before God after you apologize to Josh and the entire Bellevue congregation.
And, Pastor Steve Gaines, how can you stand there as a man of God behind the pulpit in God’s Church while looking the congregation straight in the eye lying? Are you not at all afraid that God might just strike you dead in a moment for your dishonest behavior in His Church? Tell the Church the truth of why you spent over $400.00 to entertain your wife and friends and charged it to the Church credit card. Stop holding up this credit card as some kind of gesture for truth. Is not preaching on Wednesday nights a part of your paid responsibility? Evidently you believe it is your right to refuse to preach on Wednesday nights. It is OK for you to preach at other churches on Wednesday nights where you collect a “love offering” instead of preaching at Bellevue. Is it O.K. for you to decide when you will work for Bellevue and when not? Money, Money, Money – is that it Dr. Gaines?

LSPSAM said...

LSPSAM
It has been said that the Pastor has invited Mark Sharpe to meet with him and Mark refused.
Does anyone know if this is true and if it is why?