Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Fence

From the original BBC Open Forum:

The Fence.

What do you think about it?

posted by BBC Open Forum at 5:47 PM on Oct 16 2006

3 comments:

New BBC Open Forum said...

BBC Open Forum said...

My wife thinks it is a big deal. I don't. Lapse in judgment maybe, but I am seeing molehill not mountain.

Thoughts?

001 5:57 PM, October 16, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

I quote thusly, and like so:

"And I want to say, I join Chuck, I say to the family, I hope you know we never- there was no intimidation at all- we just wanted to be reconciled. And we're sorry, and I want to tell you as a church, we're sorry. It was poor judgment on our part, and I want to tell you this, it did not come out of a bad heart. It was a mistake and it was. It was a mistake of the head and not the heart. We do not have bad hearts, we were trying to reconcile."

Either you take Pastor Gaines at his word and accept his apology and explanation, or you don't.

For whatever reason, some don't. Indeed, it is a molehill some would like to remake into Everest.

--Mike

002 6:02 PM, October 16, 2006


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003 6:24 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

It's not on the top of my list, but I don't think the door was adequately shut on the topic either.

It might have been considered a "mistake" had they not seen the "No Trespassing" signs just like exceeding the speed limit because you didn't see the speed limit sign would be a "mistake." Even though there would be no intent on your part, both are still breaking the law. Ignorance isn't an excuse if you get caught. Neither are your motives unless of course it's a life and death situation, and this did not nearly rise to that level.

To say that out of four supposedly intelligent, thoughtful adults not even one thought about picking up the phone and calling Mr. Sharpe to find out if he was at home and to make sure it wasn't an inconvenient time to visit before rushing off to his house (which is several miles from the church) just doesn't pass the smell test with me. Were the four of them just out for a leisurely drive only to find themselves outside Mr. Sharpe's neighborhood? Surely there was some forethought here. (Not enough obviously, but nevertheless some.) As CS pointed out, no one has apologized to the Sharpe family personally, and two of the four involved haven't offered any explanation for their actions at all. Actually, Steve Gaines really doesn't owe me an apology. It wasn't my fence he jumped.

I don't doubt for a second at least some of them are sorry they jumped that fence (or maybe just that the fact they did became a matter of public record), and they probably won't be jumping any more fences in the near future, but the explanation that it was to "reconcile with a brother" seems laughable. If you lived in a gated community, and four men you knew jumped the fence and knocked on your door unannounced, what would you think? I think Mark Sharpe already knew Steve Gaines wasn't particularly receptive to talking with him one-on-one at the church. What would he have thought if he'd been home and opened the door only to find the pastor and three other men standing there? "Reconciliation" might not have been the first thing to cross my mind.

If reconciliation was the intent, then why did Steve Gaines reportedly call Mark Sharpe "Hezbollah" two days later? I wasn't there and didn't hear it, but Mr. Sharpe says his wife and neighbor were present and heard it. If and until Mr. Sharpe, along with his witnesses, has the opportunity to present his version of things, this issue is probably not going to go away.

And just for the record, the rest of what Steve Gaines said was that it was a "little bitty" fence, only about "this high" (while holding his right hand out at a height of about three feet). I wasn't sure why that mattered.

004 7:17 PM, October 16, 2006


byhisgrace4hisglory said...

I have really pondered this question as a mother to five children. My view is that I really don't want my children to have as their example, a pastor who will trespass the law, call it a "mistake of the mind" from the pulpit and downplay the significance of the sin by calling it an "iddy, biddy, fence." Sin is sin. Sin has consequences. And as words do mean something, I have a hard time accepting the apology as genuine because I don't think the "mistake" was acknowledged as the sin it was, regardless of the pastor's said intentions. Integrity of character has been compromised in a public fashion. I don't want my children thinking that kind of reasoning ("mistake of the mind") is scriptural.

005 7:27 PM, October 16, 2006


justamember said...

Good Point byHisgrace..! I also believe that his inappropriate humor/sarcasm while apologizing said volumes about his character and integrity!

006 7:32 PM, October 16, 2006


2006Huldah said...

Yes, and why didn't Gaines call later and schedule an appointment to meet Mark Sharpe? You know why. It wasn't really that he wanted to reconcile. Gaines was still in an ugly mode when he finally did call Sharpe three days later. Now, that was time to think about it, too. Three days in the whale's belly.

To me this was no gray area. It was a disgrace to the Lord and to the church body of which Gaines is the head. It was breaking the law and the whole city knows about it now. This is a city we are trying to evangelize. Maybe we will fit right in now thanks to our leader, since Memphis has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S.A. That really stands for Christ, doesn't it? Gaines had the gall to lead others into temptation, but he doesn't have the guts to offer a personal apology--out of sincere repentance and a "turning"--to the Sharpe family. The Sharpes, instead, get a hard row to hoe along with others who see the wrong as what it actually was. Jesus sees all this. You can run the Sharpes and Josh Manning and the McClerkins and the Sabas and the Pembertons and the Hopkins and all the rest of us away from a church from which we have served our Lord for years now; BUT you can't fool God. There will be a price to pay--consequences for your actions that the Lord God built into this universe when He made it. Gaines can wait until the whale swallows him up and he has to surrender this rebellion and he has to be vomited out on the seashore if he wants to; but there are a bunch of us who fear God's correction much more than that. This is why we are fighting for TRUTH and JUSTICE NOW no matter what anybody thinks. You may think of us all as the scum of the earth because we are smaller in Jerusalem than you; but I tell you, we are the children of the KING--the REAL KING. Now, that is exactly what I think of the fence (since you asked). Thank you.

007 8:03 PM, October 16, 2006


Mom38134 said...

A face to face, man to man, eye to eye apology is in order, with witnesses like the ones that attended the 9/24 meeting where the incident was trivialized and joked about. Had these men knocked on my door with my children home alone, uninvited, unexpected and having been SEEN by a lost world climbing over a 4ft fence in violation of the law, I would have had them arrested because anyone that would go that far is not of sound mind and most definitely not of sound moral character. Spiritual men - I think not!

008 8:30 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

2006huldah,

Well, was that what someone in another thread referred to as "being blunt"?

For you...

009 8:32 PM, October 16, 2006


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010 8:52 PM, October 16, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

A friend of mine put it well. I can't quote him word-for-word, but what he said was along these lines:

If it had been a young boy hopping that fence to bring flowers to a young girl, do you think anyone would be shouting "trespassing!" about this? No, the mother would be on the phone all teary-eyed, telling her friends about the fine boy dating her daughter.

I would be honored to know that someone, particularly my pastor, loved me enough to hop my fence and try to make things right with me. The last thing I'd do is attack him for it.

--Mike

011 9:06 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

"Was someone getting Baptized?"

Stop that! You made me spit water all over my screen!

012 9:10 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

> If it had been a young boy hopping that fence to bring flowers to a young girl, do you think anyone would be shouting "trespassing!" about this? No, the mother would be on the phone all teary-eyed, telling her friends about the fine boy dating her daughter.

Steve Gaines isn't a young boy. He's a grown man who should be accountable for his actions.

013 9:13 PM, October 16, 2006


2006Huldah said...

Steve Gaines is 48 or 49 years old. He is married, the father of four children, the pastor of one of the largest churches in America--a large-sized, fully grown man. He is not a BOY. He referred to the man on whose property he trespassed as "Hezbollah" when he phoned him three days later. If he had set out to truly "reconcile", he would have been already reconciled and probably a whole lot of this mess would have been forgiven and settled. Gaines is accountable. Thank you.

014 9:19 PM, October 16, 2006


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015 9:21 PM, October 16, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

"Steve Gaines isn't a young boy. He's a grown man who should be accountable for his actions."

Your response adroitly avoids the point.

No Taste, whoever you are, were someone to follow you around for a couple of days, would we find that you keep the letter of the law all the time?

For example: Do you bring your vehicle to a complete, dead stop each and ever time you come up to a stop sign? Doing otherwise is breaking the law, you know.

There's lots of talk around here about the letter of the law, but precious little talk about extenuating circumstances.

Or, for that matter, about grace.

--Mike

016 9:23 PM, October 16, 2006


2006Huldah said...

Grace was NOT bringing charges against Gaines. Thank you.

017 9:26 PM, October 16, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

"Grace was NOT bringing charges against Gaines."

Was it "grace" to, instead, use a website to attempt to assassinate Pastor Gaines' character?

--Mike

018 9:38 PM, October 16, 2006


westtnbarrister said...

"There's lots of talk around here about the letter of the law, but precious little talk about extenuating circumstances.

Or, for that matter, about grace."

Grace is freely available to those who seek it with the concomitant circumstance of a penitent heart.

019 9:49 PM, October 16, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

> Your response adroitly avoids the point.

Actually, I thought it was the only point -- which I made -- and quite succinctly I might add.

> There's lots of talk around here about the letter of the law, but precious little talk about extenuating circumstances.

And the extenuating circumstances in this situation were... ?

020 9:49 PM, October 16, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

"> Your response adroitly avoids the point."

"Actually, I thought it was the only point -- which I made -- and quite succinctly I might add."

No, sorry.

"> There's lots of talk around here about the letter of the law, but precious little talk about extenuating circumstances."

"And the extenuating circumstances in this situation were... ?"

Asked and answered. Please scroll up.

--Mike

021 10:11 PM, October 16, 2006


2006Huldah said...

MB:
Gaines committed the offense against the Sharpe family and the community in which they live. Was Gaines showing "grace" to them or has he done it at all since Sharpe began asking questions? There is so much that could be said here. It would take forever to cover all the points. It is a sad thing indeed that we are even having to discuss having to show our pastor "grace" at all. You are in this as much as anybody else because you are all over this open forum and you even put your name on it. You must be very proud. Thank you.

022 10:27 PM, October 16, 2006


pinker socks said...

I think the fence jumping was very wrong; but what really bothers me is Dr. Gaines response. Rather than confessing sin, he acted like Bill Clinton stating it was a "mistake of the head". I had to live with Bill Clinton as president for 8 years and we know what he did to our country. I do NOT want this kind of leadership over my teenage sons in the pulpit!!! Is he teaching our kids that sin is ok as long as your "heart was in the right place" but you made a "mistake of the head?" It's just WRONG!!!!

023 5:11 AM, October 17, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

Basic computer? $700.

Dial-up Internet connection? Around $15.

The chance to sling a "Bill Clinton" slur at someone with whom you disagree, rather than discuss an issue?

Priceless.

--Mike

024 7:17 AM, October 17, 2006


BR said...

Mike, you need to stop your attacks just because you don't like what is written here. Folks, he feeds on strife. Ignore him and maybe he will go away!
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"

025 7:24 AM, October 17, 2006


pinker socks said...

Is that all you can say Mike? Can you actually argue that what I said was wrong? Is that the influence that I should have over myself or my sons? Is that integrity? I say NO, it is NOT! Can you ever in your life imagine Dr. Rogers fence jumping (trespassing) and then using the PULPIT to minimize it?

026 7:28 AM, October 17, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

Interesting.

Observing that someone else has inappropriately engaged in a personal attack is an attack?

No, sorry.

Funny thing is, my first post on this quoted Pastor Gaines, and discussed the issue. The responses were less issue-oriented, to put it mildly.

But yes, let's try again to discuss the issue at hand, if people can resist comparisons to Clinton, robots, or Hitler...

Pastor Gaines has already admitted, as I've already quoted, that climbing that fence was a mistake, and poor judgment on his part. Yet people such as Mr. Sharpe and a number of the so-called "saving Bellevue" people continue to assault him for it, completely ignoring the circumstances that compelled him to step over it.

"Is he teaching our kids that sin is ok (sic)"?

Of course not.

Are you putting words in his mouth?

Absolutely.

That is the only issue that remains--the issue of the virulent personal attacks against Pastor Gaines and other senior Bellevue staff.

If you haven't taken a gander at savingbellevue.com this morning, by all means do so. Someone went all the way back to 1999 to find some quotes from Pastor Gaines, no doubt attempting to "fire up the base."

In actuality, that someone did those of us who don't hold an anti-Bellevue viewpoint a service, in illustrating that even way back when, Pastor Gaines understood the need to address obstacles. I quote thusly, and like so: "You’ll face strongholds of formalism, legalism, liberalism, traditionalism, but just stay in there, because God will soon let you build."

--Mike

027 8:04 AM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

I scrolled up, several times, and I still don't find the extenuating circumstances which necessitated jumping a fence vs. picking up the phone and calling ahead of time.

028 8:36 AM, October 17, 2006


Rick said...

Pinker,

It would have been a much harder choice for you to do something about moving out from under Clinton. However, in this case it would be quite easy for you to take yourself and your teenage boys to another church. Taking Bibles into China and other countries is against their national laws, do you not think we should do this either?

029 8:37 AM, October 17, 2006


Bell22 said...

Well we see good ole Mike has found this blog,and doing what he does best.We were talking about the fence until Mike join in.Did the four men call to see if Mr. Sharpe was in before they came over?Common sense and right thinking would say you should ,it would save gas and time. We now know that common sense and right thinking did not get in the car with the four men.Think abot this these guys run our church? We all should be on your knees praying to GOD our church needs it more than ever.

030 8:47 AM, October 17, 2006


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031 9:00 AM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

bell22 wrote:

"Well we see good ole Mike has found this blog,and doing what he does best."

By that I assume you're referring to bloviating?

032 9:05 AM, October 17, 2006


Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

I am growing increasingly weary of the multiple attacks against your new Pastor. He has apologised for the fence incident...how many times does he have to say I am sorry?

The expense to take several couples out to eat, is a part of serving a church of your size...and assuridly it was a budgeted amount ( according to your own finance person) No inpropriety none!

Why the desire to handcuff your new Pastor who has stepped into the posistion previously held for 32 years by Dr.Rogers?

Dr. Rogers was often away on Wednedays not always...and I must say that I do believe your new Pastor should be in attendance when he is not away, representing or encouraging another Church or seminary as a guest speaker.

I am confident that your new Pastor is not abusing predetermined time away granted to the Senior Pastor of Bellevue!

I have to say that the deacons who responded in a hateful manner should be ashamed....and why on earth would you want those mean spirited men in Leadership!

I don't believe they speak for Dr. Gaines, or the Church...and certainly would be quickly rebuked by Dr. Rogers if he were there!

However Folks, some of you ( Not All) are eating your Pastor alive! ....acting more like goats than sheep, critizing, defaming, belittling etc!

Dr. Rogers always spoke so very highly of the Saints of Bellevue,

I am very concerned that if this doesn't come to a quick resalution your church will be seen as anything but loving...and what Pastor would want to serve a people that refuse to let him be human.

I don't believe your Pastor should be making more than Dr. Rogers....but honestly after reading some of your criticisms a a million a year wouldn't be enough to have to put up with such disdain and disrespect!

Should your Pastor be held to a high standard...absolutely!

In the process show respect for the office of Pastor...he is not Gaines....

He is Dr. Steve Gaines, Senior Pastor of the Bellevue Baptist Church of Memphis!

Your former Pastor Dr. Rogers in his book "Standing for light and Truth" on page 44 wrote:

There are often two classes of people in the church: Those who complain and those who know how to pray. The people murmured against Moses, but Moses went to the Lord!

Lets all do the same!
Ephesians 4: 29-32

033 9:12 AM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

rick wrote: "Taking Bibles into China and other countries is against their national laws, do you not think we should do this either?"

We're to abide by Romans 13:1-7. If man's law doesn't conflict with God's law, we are to obey man's law. Only when man's law is in opposition to God's law are we to disobey civil law.

Steve Gaines has had numerous opportunities to meet with Mark Sharpe without resorting to trespassing. Getting Bibles into China and other places where the Gospel isn't allowed by the government requires that man's law be broken. With all due respect, your example is comparing apples to oranges.

034 9:12 AM, October 17, 2006


Josh Tucker said...

Quite frankly, none of us know the complete thought process that went into the decision to go over the fence. Nevertheless, I see plenty of individuals who are very quick to cast aside any thoughts that Steve Gaines might have been trying to act in the best interest of Bellevue and are willing to write statements suggesting they know the state of these men's hearts and minds.

Granted, I don't think this was handled very well, and I do believe that a better course of action could have been pursued, but I'm not going to continously castigate the Pastor over this. Is it forgiveness we're after or justice? Reconciliation is more closely related to forgiveness.

Some individuals are having trouble thinking of extenuating circumstances, well, here are some possibilities. Bear in mind, I'm not trying to convince anyone that they're perception is incorrect, but I am attempting to show that people are not willing to give Pastor Gaines the benefit of the doubt. And, until you know the complete story, why the rush to judgement?

Considering the gentlemen involved believed they were being called to go visit Mark Sharp in person, is it possible that, at the time, Pastor Gaines was concerned that 1) Mark Sharpe might refuse the visit or 2) make the visit a public affair by drawing other individuals into the planned conversation.

Secondly, does anyone know without a doubt that the gentleman noticed the "Do Not Trespass" sign? Along these lines, I'm not sure why Pastor Gaines needs to apologize to Mark Sharpe personally. Gated community trespass laws correspond to the walls of the community, not the individual properties located within. Furthermore, unless Mark Sharp had a clearly visible "No Trespassing" sign on his premises, had a fence enclosing the area, or warned the gentleman to leave his property, Pastor Gaines would not have been trespassing on Mark's individual property. Access laws are written so that door-to-door salesmen aren't breaking the law every time they visit a neighborhood.

Considering this, how was the Sharpe family wronged?

Also, it seems to me that everyone is forgetting the Dr. Rogers had a penchant for not following speed limits. If you care to recall, he enjoyed trying to race his daughter many a time, but I never heard individuals going up to him saying that they were falling on their knees weeping over the fact that he was a sinner.

Which, I might add, we all are, so why the hangup with moving on? It is forgiveness and reconciliation we're moving towards, correct? For the record, I'm not about to expect anyone, including pastors, to reveal to other people every sin they've committed and asked God's forgiveness for. And, no I am not going to ask if they've asked for God's forgiveness either.

Unless we expect our pastors to be perfect, why is it difficult to move past the fence incident?

Considering the fact that all of us sin, why is it this big of a deal? I personally believe that different sins carry different weights of punishment, per se. However, when you say it is a big deal or is not, you are making a comparative remark about the level of seriousness the sin entails, and to be frank, this differs from person to person and all involved will never come to complete agreement about the matter.

So why can't we move on?

035 9:41 AM, October 17, 2006


MOM4 said...

Josh,
You question why we just don't move on and you emphasize forgiveness, but you are forgetting the Lord's way, repentance worketh forgiveness..no one has repented here. This has been made into a trivial joke. Had these men actually been seeking reconciliation, why did they not continue to pursue it? Instead, Steve Gaines went on to call Mark Sharpe that very same week at 11:00 PM and rather than offer a means to come to reconciliation, he called him "Hezbollah".
There has been no repentance, Steve Gaines would not even let Mark Sharpe address the deacons unless HE repented-of what?? Steve Gaines wanted him to RECANT - so I am confused. What part of repentance and reconciliation are we to use and what part are we to set aside? Only what Steve Gaines decides is what matters? Or do we follow the Lord in this matter?? If Mark Sharpe had been offended in ANY way by his brothers in Christ-no matter what the reason, THEY should seek forgiveness - PERSONALLY - like I said in my previous post. There is no room at the top for arrogance and unrepentance. I remember that one time Dr Rogers said he had to repent for wasting "some" time one Sunday afternoon. Can you imagine the walk he had with the Lord - now look at Steve Gaines - refusing to make this situation right - can you imagine the walk he has with the Lord??? And he is our "Pastor" ??? There are many that are loosing (and have lost)respect for him simply because he refuses to be reconciled to his brother!

036 10:03 AM, October 17, 2006


Josh Tucker said...

To mom4,

I don't want to end up splitting theological hairs on this forum, but what you are espousing is not consistent with what Christians are shown in God's Word.

Forgiveness is to be made irrespective of any show of repentence by the one being forgiven because it is a representation of our love for one another. You represent the side of justice, but very little grace. If you suggest that we wait to forgive anyone who has done us harm until they repent of their actions, we head towards bitterness in our hearts.

Secondly, I do not, for one moment think that a Christian should apologize for merely offending a brother in ANY way. Specifically, we are called not to sin against our brothers nor cause them to fall into sin. With regard, in particular, to the fence incident, how has Mark Sharpe been sinned against? If we take the view that ANY offense causes the offender the need to seek forgiveness, I, and others, will be having to seek forgiveness from other Christians for things like the fact that I like the color blue more so than the color pink or one prefers that I use the term wicked instead of nefarious.

037 10:24 AM, October 17, 2006


Bell22 said...

Yes notastefordsheep that is correct I also see Josh has found us too.Josh God gives us a brain He wants us to use it in The Fence case it was not.Look at what we are talking about a silly fence this should not had happen maybe Mark Sharpe did not want to see them ,so do you break laws to do it.NO as a church we do not need to moved on or leave ,Pastor Steve needs to have a face to face meeting with Mark Sharpe and get these things handle before it is too late.

038 10:45 AM, October 17, 2006


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039 11:12 AM, October 17, 2006


Mom38134 said...

Josh,
You missed my point,I am sorry, I failed to be more specific. Please refer to I Timothy 3 - specifically v 7. Let's go from there to I Timothy 4:12 referring to Josh Manning - then proceed to I Timothy 5 - referring to rebuke of elders specifically v 19-20 and move on to Matthew 25:40 where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
Even if Mark Sharpe has already forgiven the 4 men,(we don't know), it is a sure fact that there is no repentance evident to the body of Christ or this would not be going on - and THAT damages their testimony.

040 11:18 AM, October 17, 2006


carolsupporter said...

I have FINALLY got your answer. and it also came from the Bible. Guess what I found this answer 40 years ago. It is Love and forgive your brothers , sisters and your Enemies and God will love you this way. Repent with sincerety and go witness to the lost, bring them to GOD Today, any of you sinners(including me) that cannot do this Today must repent for Gods forgiveness and God will Love you in this way. Thats the fear of God that all of you must have. Your dealing with some serious stuff here. Please lets show the love of God in our walk with God. He will and is dealing with these valid issues all have raised but raising them over and over again will not make him do what he may not choose to do, it also could get you taken to the wood shed as we all know who said that.

Please let all this go and TRUST GOD.

041 11:43 AM, October 17, 2006


Josh Tucker said...

Carolsupporter, good word.

042 3:23 PM, October 17, 2006


2006Huldah said...

This is sickening and it's going nowhere. The snobbery and condescending attitudes of some of the contributors is abhorrent. As far as I am concerned, it is all in the Lord's hands now. I have stood with the downtrodden but I am leaving this site and Bellevue. I don't know that I will ever trust another "church" again or its leaders. I have seen enough to last me the rest of my life. Goodbye to all. Thank you.

P.S. Do not waste your time responding to this farewell because I will have nothing more to do with this site nor will I allow myself to be tempted to check in on it ever again.

043 3:39 PM, October 17, 2006


choice_is_yours said...

The only way to "mend the fence:"
---------------------------------

1) Gaines and the other admitted trespassers should make an appointment to attend the next home owners association where Mark lives.

2) Since so many weeks have passed and media and websites have become involved, they should be represented at the meeting to witness.

3) The apology should be worded on paper in advance in a manner acceptable to the home owners.

4) Some acceptable action should be taken by BBC to the owners assoc: financial gift, etc.


Anything less than this will continue to leave a bad image.

044 6:38 PM, October 17, 2006


Lwood said...

Well....Well....I see that Mike Bratton and Josh Tucker have decided to leave the Bratton Blog and try to cause turmoil on the BBC Blog.....Folks lets not stoop to the level...There are so many concerns now that the fence jumping is a minor thing....Could you say TRUTH from the pastor and leadership of Bellevue... Yes it makes me sick to see this....The intimidation being used against God's Teachers in our church...The intimidation against our Deacons...Are we living in a communistic society where we can not have a different opinion in our church's and discuss them without being kicked out....People are afraid to open up and talk for fear of being osted.SoooooSad.....

045 7:44 PM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

It's been pretty quiet here today. I think if more people knew this forum, er... blog, was here there'd be more participation.

I agree we've about beat the fence thing to death. There's just so much you can say about it.

That's a novel idea, choice_is_yours. All four fence jumpers addressing the homeowners' association would be an amicable gesture but only AFTER they "mend the fence" with Mark Sharpe and his family. It would elevate the image of Bellevue and Bro. Steve and the others in the eyes of many, myself included, while others would probably say it's too little too late and that the only reason they're doing it is they got caught. They'd have a point, too (about the getting caught part), but I'd like to think if it ever gets to the point where they truly reconcile with Mark Sharpe and get everything out in the open that their motives would be pure and beyond reproach. The longer this drags on though, the more difficult it's going to be to ever mend any fences.

046 9:04 PM, October 17, 2006


Josh Tucker said...

Well, let me say this first. If anyone thinks that I am attempting to cause turmoil or unrest, I apologize for coming across in that manner, for it is neither my desire nor intention to appear that way. I have no thoughts about coming into a blog to stir up trouble. The reason I am posting over here is that this blog is a forum that is supposed to be middle ground that allows for a discussion or a debate of sorts to take place between all who are concerned with the issues at hand.

You never want to always preach to the choir, but if anyone has been offended by anything I've said, feel free to let me know (I'll treat you with respect, even if I strongly disagree).

That being said, I do have some firm opinions about the issues at hand facing our church. In theory, Christians would always get along and we would never have to deal with disagreements or controversy, but given the fact that we are sinners limited by finite minds, different perspectives are bound to crop up with any given topic, including those which people believe to have obvious answers.

I'm not going to ever intentionally demean someone (I might take a comment head on), and you won't find me engaging in mud slinging or ad hominem attacks. However, this being a forum both for dialogue and for the communication of ideas or opinions, I will try to put forth an alternative point if I think it needs to be made or correct what I think to be an error of fact.

One thing is for certain, I'll never attempt to suppress anyone's thoughts or opinion, even though I might differ with them, and communicate that differing of opinion as well.

047 9:43 PM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

josh tucker,

I can't speak for anyone else, but you haven't offended me. I don't agree with everything you've written, and I know you don't agree with everything I've written, but I think we've managed to remain civil and respectful of other people's opinions when they've expressed them civilly and respectfully. Unfortunately, a few have not, and it is those people I will not engage in a discussion. Sometimes the best you can do is agree to disagree.

Something occurred to me today. The term "Stepford Sheep" can apply to either "side" here (there's that ugly word again). There are people on both sides of the fence who are following blindly -- from the "off with his head" gang to the "there can't possibly be any wrongdoing" bunch to the crowd walking around wearing blindfolds that have their fingers stuck in their ears. I've always said the less you know about what goes on behind the scenes in any church, the happier you'll be in that church. Or as they say, ignorance is bliss. I was one of the latter until my blindfold slipped, I pulled my fingers out of my ears to catch it, and I suddenly found myself having to deal with what I was seeing and hearing, a lot of which seemed to validate what I'd been feeling in my gut for several months. Believe me, there are days when I wish I was still in the dark! But since I can no longer ignore what's happening, I want to think I'm at least trying to objectively look at all the evidence and conclude for myself who's being truthful and who's not. If that makes me an "adversary" or demonstrates a "fault-finding spirit" in the eyes of some, then it just does.

And just for the record, I don't think it was fair to lump you in with that "blunt" blogger. Your opinions may be similar, but your delivery is much better!

048 10:56 PM, October 17, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

It's interesting that this thread has received so many more responses than most of the others, and I've asked myself why that is. Why is "The Fence Fiasco" such a big deal to some people? As I stated in my first comment on the subject, it's not on the top of my list but I don't think it's been resolved either.

Well, I think I finally just figured it out. (Sometimes I do some of my deepest thinking at 1:00 a.m.) I believe that there's been more discourse about the fence incident because that's one of the few issues we're really aware of any of the facts about. We know that four Bellevue staff members jumped a fence surrounding a gated community that was posted with "No Trespassing" signs and went to the home of Mark Sharpe. We know the identities of the four men. We know it was an unannounced visit. We know two of the four men offered an explanation to the congregation for their actions and that they were perceived by some to be disingenuous. So we know more about this issue than most of the other questions that have been raised.

There are more "angles" to the issue as well. There's the legal aspect, the negative publicity since there were witnesses, the possible emotional stress on the family, etc. There's just more that can be discussed about this issue than most of the others.

But as I said, I think we've about beaten it to death. If anyone comes up with a new "angle," by all means go for it. I'm going to bed.

Note to BBC Open Forum: Your blog clock seems to be about an hour and 54 minutes slow.

049 11:29 PM, October 17, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...

Note to BBC Open Forum: Your blog clock seems to be about an hour and 54 minutes slow.

The blogger server is probably on the west coast and so we get a pacific time zone time stamp regardless of whether you are in Memphis, London or Jerusalem.

Josh Your tone seems fine to me. I appreciate both sides getting a chance to present their arguments and make their case. No need to belittle anyone nor their thoughts. Just lay out why you agree or disagree with what someone said.

We can disagree without being disagreeable.

050 6:23 AM, October 18, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...

I don't know that I will ever trust another "church" again or its leaders. I have seen enough to last me the rest of my life. Goodbye to all. Thank you.

Well, that is probably a good thing. I've had a preacher that turned out to be gay (Waco), one that cheated with multiple ladies in the congrgation (Prestonwood -Dallas) and others that were just downright mean people. That taught me to worship God and not my church or my pastor. Pastors have let me down but Jesus has not. Churches & men can let you down. If you want to choose a person to focus on, choose Jesus. Look to saints and preachers for encouragement, but don't look to them for your model. They are fallen too just like us.

Read your Bible thru each year and you will be blessed. You will also be better equipped to recognize false teaching when you hear it. Memorize scripture and you will be blessed.

Hulda - I hope you find a church where you can grow and worship wherever you are. They do exist so I hope you do not stop looking. Just don't expect to find a perfect one.

Peace to all of you. Thanks for leting me ramble.

051 6:41 AM, October 18, 2006


BBC Open Forum said...

Couple more things…

I did not in anyway mean to infer Pastor Gaines is in the same league as the two former preachers I have had (the gay & the cheater). Please don’t take it that way.

Those guys are fallen people just like us and God can still do a work through them just like he did through Paul and Moses if they are humble and repent and seek God.

I just want a preacher that will preach the word of God and not sugar coat it. One that does not care if we grow or if we shrink, but cares about humbly pleasing God and preaching his word to his flock. Don’t embellish the Word or add to it and don’t take away from it. A leader that is humble and admits daily he too is a sinner and fears the Lord so much he takes the Word seriously and preaches with respect and fear and trembling. That points to God and not himself. Don’t be afraid to tell me what the Word plainly says, don’t avoid the topics that are “uncomfortable” – I need to hear it! Yes homosexuality is a sin, but so is drunkenness and adultery and stealing from God and praying on Sunday and watching and laughing at Desperate Housewives on Monday. Preach the word and let the Spirit convict us.

Tell us the truth, tell us what we need to hear, humbly walk the walk and humbly ask forgiveness when you stumble. Remind us that if we love Jesus we will follow his commands and that if we are not following his commands we better wake up and smell the coffee! And praise God, please tell us every single week that the Lord promised us that despite the fact in this world we will have trouble that He has overcome the world.

Lord God thank you for saving me a totally wretched sinner. Amazing Grace. Amen!

052 7:11 AM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

Josh,
You may not have meant to cause turmoil on this blog, but if you associate yourself with the Bratton Blog, the effect will be there. I am not trying to disparage you for that, just stating the reason you have been seen as having questionable motives. I did not mean to be perceived as "blunt" either (if they were talking about me), but that is my personality. I don't like dancing around issues - I am a get to the bottom line and fix it and move on type of person - a trait my husband has to deal with as he is a contemplator and we have dealt with each other for almost 30 years and we still love each other more and more each day. So because I appear blunt, does not mean that I do not love my fellow church members, it just means that I am tired of this and we need to fix it and move on. The Lord has the answer, but I honestly do not believe He will allow all this to continue and reconciliation to happen unless all the truth be known. We need to work on that!

053 7:13 AM, October 18, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

"The blogger server is probably on the west coast and so we get a pacific time zone time stamp regardless of whether you are in Memphis, London or Jerusalem."

Jumping off topic for just a moment, I didn't realize until recently that not all the time zones around the world are exactly one hour apart. I was speaking with my internet company's tech support in India (aren't they all?), and the techie commented it was 8:18 in the morning there. That seemed odd because it was 9:45 CDT the previous evening here. That means we differ by 10 hours and 33 minutes (11 hours, 33 minutes during standard time). Just thought I'd throw that out.

Other countries vary, too.

Time Zone Table

054 7:19 AM, October 18, 2006


Bell22 said...

You know Josh I should not lump you in with other so called blogger.You do have a better way of putting things out in the open to talk about. Sorry. Now if our pastor could do the same with Mr Sharpe we would have a start in the right direction. An go back to telling people about Jesus and his free and wonderful gift of salvation.

055 7:34 AM, October 18, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

BBC Open Forum,

Those are good words to remember. That was my thought, too. Putting your trust in a church or a pastor is misplaced trust and will only lead to disappointment. Also, I don't think anyone has ever said or even implied that Dr. Gaines has a problem in the... ahem... areas you mentioned. Someone in the CA poll did label Mark Sharpe that way though.

mom4,

You were not the "blunt" blogger I was referring to! I think you know who I meant. Actually, I like your style.

You wrote: "I don't like dancing around issues - I am a get to the bottom line and fix it and move on type of person - a trait my husband has to deal with as he is a contemplator and we have dealt with each other for almost 30 years and we still love each other more and more each day."

I guess opposites really do attract. Funny, that's kind of a role reversal from the stereotypical couples in the jokes we heard from the pulpit Sunday morning. I'm the "fix it now" type, too. I may overanalyze things, but hey, that's only to kill time while we're driving around in circles waiting for the men to stop and ask directions. :-) Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now!

As someone in another thread said, "I know we do have some fine men of character in leadership roles who are deeply concerned over what is happening to our fellowship."

And as I replied, "No doubt we do, but where are they? Their silence is deafening."

The longer this drags on, the more damage is going to be done and the more difficult it's going to be to ever reconcile matters.

056 8:41 AM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

Thanks NASS! I appreciate your comments. My family and I have not been attending Bellevue since the evening of 9/24 when my husband got up and walked out. We have attended other churches but have not felt led to make a move at this time. It has been hard to bear the lack of fellowship with our Sunday BFC believers (who are divided) and we have tried to watch on TV and online where we could at least remain familar with our church home, but it has been most difficult to get past the toothy music, even thought he has toned down the "rock" a bit lately. Maybe I have been traumatized by the situation, because I cannot sit thru the condescending messages without feeling overwhelming oppression at the lack of sincerity by our pastor.
But the Lord always shows the way! I was truly blessed this past Sunday when we watched Dr Rogers on TV at 11:00 am. It was not as much his message, rock solid as it was, as it was the music. Although contemporary and "christian rock" is a fad that is out there, I will say that all the clapping, swaying, stomping and waving will never take the place of the magnificant music of our beloved lost choir and orchestra. I was so moved into the presence of the Lord that I was brought to tears of joy and praise. Anyone who has truly been in the presence of the King knows that the overwhelming awe brings you to your knees in total silence before the great I AM. And I believe that is true worship. I was comforted by a scripture the Lord gave me, II Thess 2:13-17, especially v 15. God is very clear on the importance of tradition and from Gen thru Rev we will find references of the emphasis HE places on it. He also is very clear on those that would divide the bretheren, those that sit on fences (and climb over them too!:) and those that fail to make things right with those they have offended. We have been told more than once that if we don't like it, then we should leave. Unfortunately, the Lord has not given us that freedom at this time. I believe that we are to wait for a "vote" and I also believe that it is coming to that to end this mess and provide His church with His peace. I pray that someone is working on it as we speak!

057 10:44 AM, October 18, 2006


Lwood said...

Josh
I am sorry if I used the wrong word(turmoil) in my post. Please understand that I myself am so disturbed over the way things are being handled. Please accept my appolgy if I sounded too strong in my working. I do understand we are all on edge over all this...Pray Pray Pray. I do agree with MOM4. The Lord Has The Answer...
By the way I am in no way kin to Mr. Haywood...Just picked my post as LWOOD.:)

058 10:45 AM, October 18, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

When emotions have sway, to the exclusion of facts, people open themselves up to embracing unfortunate viewpoints and ideas.

Whether it's being "struck in one's spirit" or giving heed to an oppressive "feeling" or letting a music preference be an obstacle to worship, an opinion grounded in emotion is a hazardous thing for anyone to entertain.

Whoever you are, "mom4," please use caution. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 applies to the "traditions" of the Gospel and the doctrines taught by the Apostles, both verbally and in what would become the New Testament epistles. If it legitimately applied to various and sundry church traditions through the millennia, those of us who are Christians would have no choice but to be Roman Catholic in belief, wouldn't you agree? Just because something is a church tradition does not mean it is sacrosanct.

Attempting to extend this passage of Scripture (or any other, for that matter) beyond its meaning is never a good thing.

--Mike

059 11:47 AM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

Mike,
And who are you to tell me that what the Lord has revealed to me is not the truth. Me thinks your nefarious hostility is showing. You have your own blog, or are you sanctioning "fence jumping" by crossing over to attack me over something that you know nothing about - your ugly post sounds like you are spitting the words - be kind or apoloigize for casting such a slur.

060 12:15 PM, October 18, 2006


BR said...

Mike,
I think Mom4 was too kind to you! You act like you are above everyone else, I think not!
You owe her an apology!

061 12:29 PM, October 18, 2006


westtnbarrister said...

"When emotions have sway, to the exclusion of facts, people open themselves up to embracing unfortunate viewpoints and ideas."

Might this be what happened to Brother Weatherwax?

062 12:47 PM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

WTTB,
Sounds like a very good possibility. He has done a lot of good work during his time at BBC, but I am afraid that he has crossed the line with a lot of folks. It seems that the majority of those who falsely accuse and attack the bretheren are NOT the choice 1 folks.

063 1:12 PM, October 18, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

"Mike,
And who are you to tell me that what the Lord has revealed to me is not the truth."

I've done no such thing. I have attempted to gently reminded you of the obvious, which I'll attempt again, but much more directly. One's feelings, impressions, emotions, intuitions and/or perceptions must line up with revealed Scripture, since they are not trustworthy in and of themselves.

"Me thinks your nefarious hostility is showing."

Again, the issue raised is quickly avoided.

"You have your own blog, or are you sanctioning 'fence jumping' by crossing over to attack me over something that you know nothing about"

Pardon me? Is this a gated blog?

And I know that what you posted had some troubling areas. Out of concern for you, I made suggestions. Please highlight anything you feel, for whatever reason, constituted an "attack."

"- your ugly post sounds like you are spitting the words - be kind or apoloigize for casting such a slur."

This is endlessly fascinating. It's a "slur," supposedly, to encourage someone to be cautious with regard to relying upon their emotions? Or, perhaps, to caution against overextending a passage of Scripture?

And at the same time, it is not a slur to falsely accuse someone of "nefarious hostility"?

How does that work, exactly?

--Mike

064 3:31 PM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

MB,
I am not the great theologean that you perceive yourself to be. I am not looking to get points on who is the best on which "side". You have changed your story from an assault for relying on "emotions" to "gentle encouragement". Like I said, you do not have the right to criticize, demean or otherwise infer that any other person's experience with the Lord is of a lesser quality simply because you perceive yourself to have superior "knowledge". You have ranted and posted extensive rambling assaults all the while inferring that everything someone else here posts is a "slur" and demanding apologies, yet when it comes to you, you are "above" making an apology. It is no wonder you are supporting those of a like mindset. I will say this, I will never read another of your posts and I encourage everyone else to do likewise. You like to argue just for the sake of it. I shall just scroll on by.......

065 3:48 PM, October 18, 2006


BR said...

MOM4,
and if it were a gated blog, he would have no qualms about trespassing! I will scroll on by as well..............

066 3:54 PM, October 18, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

br wrote: "and if it were a gated blog, he would have no qualms about trespassing! I will scroll on by as well.............."

Well, probably only if there were extenuating circumstances.

067 4:32 PM, October 18, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

> Whether it's being "struck in one's spirit" or giving heed to an oppressive "feeling" or letting a music preference be an obstacle to worship, an opinion grounded in emotion is a hazardous thing for anyone to entertain.

Just curious about something. How does the Holy Spirit speak to us? I mean, how do you always know it's "fact" vs. raw emotion?

068 5:48 PM, October 18, 2006


MOM4 said...

NASS,
I would not want you to err because of something I said, or something someone else said so I am prayerfully researching some scriptures for you and will provide them later because it will be of quite some length.
I will tell you that I honestly believe that if you cannot back up your "feelings" and "discernments" by scripture then it is not of God. The Lord felt emotion and God gave it to us. It is a human and heavenly trait, however,when you are standing on Holy Ground, you will know it. One preacher said "you will know it in your knower". I assure you that when you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to praise and worship the Lord, either on bended knee or with the lifting of hands as Dr Rogers often did, you will be able to discern the difference between emotion and true worship and praise. If you are raising your hands, clapping and getting "in the spirit" any other way, you need to check your relationship with the Lord.

069 6:26 AM, October 19, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

mom4,

Really, I was just wondering if perhaps the "blunt blogger" got his information from the Holy Spirit in writing (besides the Bible) because that's what he made it sound like. Still wondering.

Thanks.

070 7:18 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

NASS,
I did gather that, but I wanted all to know where I was coming from - that I was not some emotional fool that boo-hooed because we lost Dr Rogers (although I do miss him), but that I stood on the Word and Christ alone for my praise and worship "experiences" Thanks for your question, it would be nice to know where he gets his ramblings, but I am not going to read anything he says - I am not "going there" with him..I believe he likes to strive with people - we have enough problems to be concerned with at this time. I will pray that the Lord deal with him - I won't.

071 7:31 AM, October 19, 2006


Donna said...

WOW! I can't believe how ugly some people have gotten over this whole thing. I will say this...Mike you may be very intelligent and perhaps have the ability to belittle others and still sleep at night, but your snippy words to others within this blog forum are not reflective of a person representative of love for others. I think if there is one thing I have concluded from this whole mess, it is how fellow brothers and sisters of Christ have become bitter enemies of one another, just because they don't agree. Can you imagine what non-believers are thinking of Christians right now? Mike, I have read several of your comments and no where do I see you comment positively to others, unless they are in support of YOUR side of thoughts and ideas. I don't have a problem with you disagreeing with people, but your delivery is a bit brutal and unloving, to say the least.

I pray that we don't become stumbling stones for others throughout this season of suffering for Bellevue. We need to be considerate of others not only in our actions, but with our words as well!

072 8:21 AM, October 19, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

> Mike you may be very intelligent and perhaps have the ability to belittle others and still sleep at night...

Interesting you should mention being able to sleep at night. One thing Mark Sharpe said Sunday was that he sleeps "like a baby" at night knowing he's taking a stand for what's right.

073 8:32 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

Donna,
I want to apologize to you if you thought my responses to/re MB were ugly. I tried VERY hard to be civil to him and it was VERY hard to do. I believe it will be easy to respond in future postings if we do not read his posts as I believe they generate strife within hour hearts. Again, I apologize if I offended you.

074 8:58 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

oops "our" hearts:)

075 8:59 AM, October 19, 2006


Donna said...

NASS,

You must have been in the same room with me in hearing Mark S. say that. I believe Mark has a clear conscience and is following the will of God. Thanks for the post!

Mom4,

No, you did not offend me. I was speaking more to MB, in how he has attacked some people rather hastily. I agree with someone who eariler stated that we need to agree to disagree and not let things get so ugly. I'm sorry for making you think that I was pointing at you!

076 9:20 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

Well, if anyone ever thinks I am legitimately out of line, I would want them to call me on it - legitimately being the operative word:). I most certainly would not want someone being offended or turned off on my account..

077 9:35 AM, October 19, 2006


westtnbarrister said...

It is doubtful anything we say will change our friend, MB. I emailed him weeks ago and asked him to temper his divisive tone, but he ignored my email and, if anything, has become more antagonistic. I don't want to be too hard on him because like all of us, he is concerned about our church. I simply disagree with the way expresses his opinions.

We must realize that not everyone sees these issues the same way, so we should expect disagreement. As Christians, however, we should also expect a civil and fair debate.

We all know the meek will inherit the earth. But meekness isn't weakness, it's strength under control. If we disagree with a gentle, meek spirit, we should be able to debate vigorously with confidence and strength. We go off track when we get personal and resort to ad hominems.

One of the most troubling things to come out of this whole drama is the level of our discourse, from BOTH SIDES. We've all seen Brother Weatherwax's response to Josh Manning. I saw it as bullying and hateful. Some of the emails I have received from deacons have been absolutely appalling.

On the other hand, I have received thoughtful email from deacons who agreed with me. Perhaps more importantly I received thoughtful, civil email from deacons who disagreed with me, which was fine. At least they were open to my point of view.

Many claim this will all be over as soon as all the questions are answered (by the way, one deacon emailed me that all the questions were answered long ago). I hope they are correct, but I fear they are not. Regardless of how you line up on the "Saving Bellevue" issues, this has been allowed to fester so long that we now have some deep divisions. I sense a palpable tension during our services. I'm unsure how we can amicably reconcile our fellowship. Will new committees and a review of credit card transactions cut it?

078 9:35 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

I believe that most of the deacons and BFC leaders are being told what to say and do. There are a few that are working behind the scenes, but they are working very slowly and the longer this goes on, it most certainly gets worse. We need a business meeting - with a civil tone - no cat calls from the congregation and no snipes and intimidations from the leadership. When we can agree on that, then we can move on to an agenda for the meeting. This needs to be done according to Roberts' Rules of Order and the agenda and a voting proxy needs to be mailed to each and every member in case a vote is called for. This situation is so serious now, that I am afraid a "stand-up" vote will result in more broken relationships. Someone recently had the nerve to say that "so'n so did not even clap at the leadership meeting on 9/24". Tones like that are uncalled for and this meeting needs to be appropriately handled to avoid such comments. We would need the votes (if it comes to that)to be counted on the spot - out loud - with one or two persons from each "opinion" to verify each and every vote. An investigative audit from an un-involved firm would need to be made and presented to the church - not nit-picking every little expense, but a summary of how much went where and whether the salaries were out of line with the education, tenure and responsibilities of the norm. They would need to include perks and extra income made and where it is being applied within the church budget - which is where it should be going - (if extra monies are received, that should actually be applied toward travel for mission trips-wouldn't you think - I am sure there are a lot of people who would go on a mission trip if money were not such an issue)but that is another post entirely...
I am sure this can be worked out, but only if the leadership is willing to lay their cards on the table. Just telling us Mark Sharpe is a liar is not going to cut it, especially when we have known him a lot longer than Steve Gaines. I am sure that others can add to this and I am open to whatever it takes to resolve this situation as long as it is done decently and in order with both sides having equal say. If something like this is not acceptable to the leadership, then we need to clean house..

079 9:59 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

Is there someone out there that has access to the STATE by-laws that apply to our situation - or if you know the annotated code info, I can look it up myself. This is going to have to be done appropriately or the leadership will not acknowledge it.

080 10:34 AM, October 19, 2006


phil413 said...

In my opinion many are mising the point on the "fence" issue. I can understand how anyone can have a lapse of judgement, I know I have and do myself. The issue that bothers me most as it relates to this particular issue is dishonesty. We were told the reason for trespassing was to reconcile with Mark Sharpe. We are now over two months removed from their attempt to "reconcile" and there has been no further attempts at reconcilliation with Mark. The apology was made to the church but not to Mark and his family. Every one of these men have Mark's phone numbers including work, cell and home. Based on this info it appears to me that the explanation and subsequent apology was based on a falsehood. The dishonesty from our leadership is appalling and should not be tollerated by the church body.
Phil. 4:13

081 10:45 AM, October 19, 2006


MOM4 said...

PHIL 4:13
We all have lapses in judgement, and I agree that the point has been missed by many.
This has been whitewashed, trivialized and joked about.
I always taught my children that it only takes one lie to make you a liar..and if you will tell one lie, you will tell another..and another.

082 10:58 AM, October 19, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

Let me try that again...

"In my opinion many are mising the point on the "fence" issue. I can understand how anyone can have a lapse of judgement, I know I have and do myself. The issue that bothers me most as it relates to this particular issue is dishonesty. We were told the reason for trespassing was to reconcile with Mark Sharpe. We are now over two months removed from their attempt to "reconcile" and there has been no further attempts at reconcilliation with Mark. The apology was made to the church but not to Mark and his family. Every one of these men have Mark's phone numbers including work, cell and home. Based on this info it appears to me that the explanation and subsequent apology was based on a falsehood. The dishonesty from our leadership is appalling and should not be tollerated by the church body.
Phil. 4:13"

Do you know as a fact, Phil, that "no further attempts at reconcilliation" have been attempted beyond the visit to Mr. Sharpe's home?

--Mike

083 1:29 PM, October 19, 2006


phil413 said...

Mike,

Yes, I do know for a fact there has been no true attempt at reconcilliation since the "fence" incident. How do I know this? Mark Sharpe is a very close friend of mine, whom I have taught Sunday School with, and I truly feel I know Mark's heart. I would not have stated it as fact, without knowing so. If you could take an objective look at the blogs and comments, including those from our very own Deacons, even you would have to admit the vitriol and mean spiritedness are coming from the "Steve Gaines camp". I had a good church friend come to my office and visit with me on Tuesday. He along with his wife have been adamant about remaining objective. His quote to me was, "With one side being so hateful and personal with their attacks, how could anyone remain objective and neutral?" You yourself, with your hateful comments, have done nothing but fuel the fire of the very opposition you detest.

PHIL 4:13, David Matlock

084 4:04 PM, October 19, 2006


choice_is_yours said...

EVERYONE on this thread.
Please witness my testimony to our Holy Spirit filled brother, Mike Bratton.


Sir,

You said (1:29pm), "Let me try that again..."


I want you to know that I could see a very Christlike difference in your 1:29pm post as compared to some of your previous posts (no offence intended).

I applaud you. You have shown more spiritual growth with that meek and humble post than I can claim for today.


Please be patient with the post that immediately followed (4:04pm) as Phil gets a chance to notice how your tone changed.


God's peace be with you,
choice

085 9:02 PM, October 19, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

Choice, I praise God for your kind words.

Phil, please tell me, brother, what comments can equate with "Stepford Sheep and Shepherd" and "Hitler style of management," to name the two most disappointing of the recent lot?

If you feel there's anything that matches those pejorative--including anything I've written--I would appreciate knowing all about it. We all need to be easily accountable for the things we say, do, and write, wouldn't we all agree?

--Mike

086 10:00 PM, October 19, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

mike bratton wrote: "Phil, please tell me, brother, what comments can equate with "Stepford Sheep and Shepherd" and "Hitler style of management," to name the two most disappointing of the recent lot?"

You know, I saw a definite softening in your tone as well and actually started to commend you on that earlier today. Then you wrote the above, and I knew it must have just been a fluke. If you'll please scroll up to my 10:56 p.m. comment of October 17th you'll see that I explained what I meant by the term "Stepford Sheep" which (no kidding) came to me in a dream early one morning a few days ago. It can be equally applied to anyone who's on either "side" or still sitting on the fence who chooses not to think for himself. If after reading my earlier explanation you still consider this to be "pejorative" (you don't have to use big words to impress people, you know), then so be it. You strike me as the type of person who doesn't suffer fools gladly, so I would think you would respect people who think for themselves and don't just follow the leader.

As for "Stepford Shepherds," yeah, that was admittedly a bit of a cheap shot at the group of deacons who responded to the Gremillions' letter the way they did. Throw Mr. Weatherwax, Chuck Taylor, and Chip Freeman into that group as well. It just seems like they've all been programmed to respond with the same set of "talking points" as evidenced by westtnbarrister who remarked that a couple of the deacons responded to him by answering questions he didn't ask.

"We all need to be easily accountable for the things we say, do, and write, wouldn't we all agree?"

Absolutely. I take full responsibility for everything I've written, and if it should be determined that anything I've written is inaccurate, I'll be the first to set the record straight and apologize if necessary.

087 11:47 PM, October 19, 2006


Mike Bratton said...

"You strike me as the type of person who doesn't suffer fools gladly".

Nota, that's the nicest thing anyone not related to me has said to me in awhile.

Thank you!

--Mike

088 12:13 AM, October 20, 2006


notastepfordsheep said...

Nor do I. You're welcome, Mike. I meant it.

089 8:10 AM, October 20, 2006


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090 8:10 AM, October 20, 2006

allofgrace said...

The issue here in this fence jumping incident is...is there genuine repentance?..I'm not talking about groveling before men...but honestly, and with Godly sorrow..repenting, and showing the fruits of that repentance. Saying "I'm sorry", then minimizing the sin by making it out to be no big deal is not...by Biblical standards..repentance. As I see it...if you truly think what you did isn't wrong...why apologize? Repentance means to come into agreement with God that what you did was indeed sin. Then the principle of restitution comes in. If you sin against a brother...you go to that brother...admit that you sinned..and ask for forgiveness...without making any excuses..that brother is then obligated by the scriptures to forgive. If he does not forgive..then it comes back on his own head. It is not enough to say we believe God's word is inspired, infallable and inerrant...we must also believe it is SUFFICIENT..God has not left us without a proper way to deal with these types of issues in the church. As an apostle, Paul dealt swiftly and decisively with matters of discipline in the churches he ministered to...following the mandates laid out for us in the scriptures. That should be the pattern. Whenever we fail to trust in the sufficiency of scripture to guide us in these matters...this is the kind of chaos, mistrust, and a whole host of other problems we can expect.

MB..you are right...none of us could stand up under the microscope..we all sin...I do not expect my pastor to be perfect..but I will tell you honestly...when i see those who are in authority over me exhibit humility, and genuine repentance, it compells me to examine my own heart, and pray as David did..."...search me and know me..and see if there be any wicked way in me...and lead me in the way everlasting.." Trying to separate ..mistakes of the mind and the heart..opens a dangerous can of worms...in that scheme..we all can minimize or even deny our own sin. The scriptures refer to "...the thoughts and intents of the heart.." It appears to me that it's telling us that both our thoughts and intents spring from the heart....Jesus said,"As a man THINKS in his HEART, so he is." (emphasis added) I have no desire to bring down our pastor...but I do desire to see these things handled according to the clear mandates of scripture.

I love my church said...

If it was so vital to reconcile with Mark Sharpe, if that was the true goal, why not wait at the gate until he returned home? Why not call him every hour on the hour until he answered. Why not fedex letters, send email, show up at his office, etc.? If reconciliation was the goal, I know they could have found a way to get a message to him since August.

I'm sorry, I believe they went to shut him up. They needed to stamp out the dissent. They couldn't have a rogue deacon asking too many questions. Dr. Gaines cannot stand anyone challenging him on anything.

If reconciliation was the goal, why has there been no move toward reconciliation since early August. The answer is simple and obvious. As much as I hate to say it, reconciliation was never the goal.