Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is Bellevue a Part-time Job for Dr. Gaines?

This was the question posed on the savingbellevue site. This is a list of his known speaking dates for the next few months. There may be more, but this is all the person who researched this could find right now. He has already been away on Wednesday evenings for other speaking engagements, including 9/25 to 9/27 at Second Baptist Union City, and a Thursday morning, October 12th, at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has already had a two-week personal vacation. With most jobs one has to be employed for one year before receiving a vacation.

He told us in the 9/24 "information meeting" that he needed Wednesday nights off from preaching for committee meetings and such so he could devote other nights to family activities. There was no mention of revivals or other speaking engagements.

So... what do you think?

1. Should family activities (i.e. volleyball games, etc.) take preference over being in church on Wednesday evenings, especially if you're the pastor of the church?

2. Is it okay for a pastor to be away from the pulpit for more than say, 2 or 3 Sundays in a year (in addition to a regular vacation), and not reimburse the church for his replacement? Do you consider this "double dipping"?

3. Do you think "family activities" is the real reason he's gone so much and doesn't preach on Wednesday nights? Did you find his explanation to be completely truthful and acceptable?

4. Does Bellevue need a preacher more than a pastor? Of course, we need both, but the whole package isn't that easy to find. So if you had a choice... which would you choose?

5. Would you like to see Dr. Gaines delegate less and take a more active and personal role in ministering to his flock?

6. Why was he so "pooped" (his word) that he needed another associate pastor in the form of David Coombs? Dr. Rogers was a much older man and didn't have to hire another associate. Should the church have voted on hiring another high-level pastor considering the high-level salary such a position must command?

49 comments:

BibleFellowshipTeacher said...

As a longtime member of Bellevue, I am not happy with our new pastor traveling so much away from home. Most staff members do not know him because they haven't spent much time with him. I've talked with many of them and hear that not one time have they had an opportunity to sit down with him in his office and talk. This is just not right. I thought the pulpit committee said we were getting a pastor. No wonder 9 out of 27 ordained staff members have left or are leaving in the next week. Last count has the following on the list: Jim Whitmire, Craig Parker, Randy Redd, David Powell, David Smith, Ross Ramsey, Greg Ringle, Rob Mullins, and Cary Vaughn. It's hard to believe that Bellevue has changed this much in one year. I pray that something is done soon to change our direction. How can our leaders stand by and watch 100 years of Bellevue be taken down so quickly. Steve Gaines, if you are reading this please stop the dismantling of Bellevue.

hashbrown said...

I am a pastor and I have spent the last few years preparing 3 sermons a week. Sunday AM, PM, and Wed.

Recently my church o.k.ed allowing other members, who are gifted in teaching/preaching to rotate leading the wednesday devotion.

The result has been the addition of almost a whole extra day to be in hospitals, homes, and ministering, rather than preparing another message. I wish I had made the change a few years ago.

Two expositional sermons should really be enough for any Christian to absorb a week anyway, in addition to Sunday School, discipleship, and personal daily devotions.

Finance Guy said...

Hashman, the issue is that 1) He is preaching on Wednesday nights, and Monday nights, and Tuesday nights....at other people's churches. 2) In the "information meeting" of 9/24, this was at best misrepresented. He led us to believe that he needs this time to do other things, (committee meetings, etc) so he could be a father and husband to his family other nights of the week. Fair enough. I don't care if he preaches on Wed night or not. I'm enjoying Joe Jernigan a lot. I just wish he would be honest about it.

Anonymous said...

MKW,

I believe the question asked revolves around why, if Pastor Gaines needs Wednesday evenings to spend time with his family, does he then use a significant amount of other time during the week to preach at other churches around the area?

No one, I think, would question his need to spend time with his family. The real question is whether or not he was being completely forthcoming with his reasons for not preaching on Wednesday nights. If, in fact, he could spend time with his family on other weeknights and give up his apparently semi-frequent trips to preach at other churches during the week, there are some who would think he might make a different choice.

Personally, I do not think it is that big a deal that he does or does not preach on Wednesdays. It is actually very common at large churches for another senior pastor to lead the service since this gives someone else the opportunity to lead, gives them "practice" (for lack of a better word) preaching, and takes a load off of the church's lead pastor for one night.

A lot of this, in my opinion, boils down to one of attitude and perception. While on one hand, Pastor Gaines makes a big deal of telling the church why he does not preach on Wednesdays, he certainly doesn't tell everyone of all his other speaking engagements throughout the weeks, perhaps because of the perception that would create that he is not just the pastor of Bellevue.

You state: "So what if he preaches revivals and takes on special speaking engagements? He is spreading the gospel and extending the ministry of Bellevue, to the glory of Jesus Christ.

This is an interesting point. Does the spreading of God's Word serve to trump all other interests and obligations that a pastor has to his church? Even Christ went away from the multitudes several times during his ministry for rest. Was he setting an example for others who preach the Word? Possibly, but what we do know from the New Testament (Eph 4:11) is that some are called to be Pastors while others are called to be Preachers (or evangelists, if you will). The question may be one of which one Steve himself feels called of God to be? Certainly, one would not argue that Billy Graham is of the latter, as he only pastored a single church at the very beginning of his ministry. But it does not appear that a single individual can effectively fill both roles, given the amount of time required to "shepherd" a local flock.

Finally, I honestly do not believe a single person I have encountered expects Steve Gaines to be perfect, since we all realize there was only One perfect Person. I truly believe that what the Bellevue family seeks is a pastor that is free from the appearance of impropriety and who, when confronted with such, acts in an open and honest manner with total transparency for the good of the entire body of Christ.

Finance Guy said...

Also, I'm starting to feel that Wed night is the only expositional sermon we have now. The Sunday morning sermon is generally topical, with a verse used to illustrate the point. Don't misunderstand, I'm not criticizing the messages, and often the Holy Spirit convicts me of things through these messages. They just aren't the expository messages that Dr. Rogers brought to us for 30 years. Different pastors, different styles. The funny thing to me is that Dr. Gaines is apparently considered in SBC circles as an authority on expositional preaching. [shrugs]

New BBC Open Forum said...

mkw,

You know, I was at the 9/24 meeting and listened to the tape at least twice, and I honestly didn't hear it the way you describe. However, I've listened to that part again, and I see what you're saying. If you listen carefully, he didn't say Wednesdays are "family nights." I'm also more confused than ever as to just what he was saying. I think he was a bit vague about the whole matter, but he didn't ever mention all the speaking engagements and what a toll those must be taking on his family life. It was all about his Bellevue responsibilities.

As for the rest of your suggestions about wanting a "perfect" person as pastor, I've never heard anyone suggest the rigorous schedule you described. That's just ridiculous.

biblefellowshipteacher wrote:

"Most staff members do not know him because they haven't spent much time with him. I've talked with many of them and hear that not one time have they had an opportunity to sit down with him in his office and talk."

Well, perhaps they should try to get an invitation to one of those every-third-week deacon dinners.

hashman said:

"Recently my church o.k.ed allowing other members, who are gifted in teaching/preaching to rotate leading the wednesday devotion."

Key words = "my church o.k.ed... "

To my knowledge, Dr. Gaines did his own "okaying" about Wednesday nights.

Wednesdaypreacher and scaredofthetruth? summed it up in one word: honesty.

Just be honest about it. Stop making excuses.

notastepfordsheep

ilovebbc said...

We rarely knew when Dr. Rogers was going to be out of the pulpit until we got to church. Even when he was there on Sundays and Wednesdays (and yes, I know that was most of the time), we didn't know where he might have been on the other days of the week. Why? They said they didn't like to post his itinerary in advance because of security concerns. Joyce and the children, when they were younger and still living at home, might be there alone while he was out of town and they didn't feel it was a good idea to make this known to any watchful crook. So what does Mr. Haywood do? He posts Brother Steve's itinerary for the next several months on the Internet.

Isawit said...

Destroy?...I've heard that word recently. That is really scary..

What do we expect from a pastor?
one that is a truth-teller.

Bin Wonderin said...

MKW

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a civil and Christian tone. I hope you will continue to post your views here. I may not always agree but I promise to reflect on and consider what you say because you seem sincere in the way you present your view.

You are not an arrogant sarcastic mean spitited bully like some others that frequent this site. I won't read their rants & suggest others avoid them also.

Don't want a perfect Pastor but I wish he could just tell the truth. He could have said I don't preach on Wednesday nights because I'm out preaching revival at other churches. The family thing makes it look like he was trying to make his critics look bad and himself look good by telling a fib about where he was & what he was doing.

He should have just told the congrgation where he was and what he was doing.

ilovebbc said...

Sorry but I couldn't determine the correct thread for this post so I just put it on this newer one.

The lines below are cut/paste from the first Mark Sharpe interview. I'm not saying he lied but what I'm saying is that much of this controversy is merely one person's word against someone else's - -nothing that can be proven. Are we really going to risk splitting the church over matters that might never be proven one way or another? Have any former staff members publicly made negative comments about Bro. Steve? Have any current staff members publicly made negative comments about Bro. Steve? If there are no copies of improper cr card receipts/expense reports that can be provided, again isn't it just one person's word against another? I haven't gone back through the 2nd interview yet but here are quotes pulled from the first one. To save time I just put quotation marks at the beginning of the first one and end of the last one . . . .

"I thought he had said a few things

I had also heard of some things

went against what I thought

I believe I know

Some of the things seemed to be

A staff member told me

I'm told of

I believe the threat

I believe

I believe they were wrong

I believe that it was used

that is just my opinion

I believe a pastor

I believe a true shepherd

I believe a pastor is one

there doesn’t seem to be

I believe if"

I don't doubt Mr. Sharpe is a godly man doing what he believes to be right. However, without more concrete proof that could be shown to all, should the matter ever have come before the entire congregation? Each side has Scripture they believe supports their position. Some are very bothered about those that climbed over the fence. Some weren't bothered by it at all. Some don't mind that he doesn't preach on Wednesday night. Some are very bothered by it. Some love it when he sings and the end of sermons. Some think it's more of his arrogance. If a public question/answer session was held, would one side believe the answers provided by the other? Some on this forum have already said they have no confidence in the deacon committee, they have no confidence in the Pastor, etc. So if they got to publicly ask him their questions, would they believe any of his answers? So since so much of this controversy is over matters that can't be proven, over personality issues, over matters of taste and preference, doesn't each one of us just need to decide where we want to go to church - either drop the attacks and stay at Bellevue or visit other churches and find one we like and let that be the end of it.

cjesusnme said...

Bin wonderin,

I agree with you! You know, for months, I have had an uneasy feeling about Bro. Steve, but yet I had no reason to question HIM about those feelings. For months, I wrote them off as me compairing him to Dr. Rogers, since I had been under his leadership for 18 years. I think the biggest reason all of us who seem to now have a problem with him, goes back to INTEGRITY. I had come to the conclusion that I had NO REASON to have those feelings about Bro. Steve until be began making some of the choices he has made (fence fiasco, calling Mark Sharpe hezbollah), and then telling half-truths or deceiving the congregation (UC recording, talking about why he doesn't preach on Wednesday night, the dream story). Now....I feel like my feelings were right. I now have facts that back up my feelings, as well as many other members do.

While I respect mkw and REALLY appreciate your tone used in your posts, for the life of me, I can not understand how some people are dismissing the lack of HONESTY and INTEGRITY coming from our pastor. One way that I am looking at this is this: If my child CONTINUES to tell lies, and make poor choices, wouldn't I expect him/her to repent and it be addressed with the family? Of course I would! Well, it is no different with my Pastor. Yet I think we should hold him in a higher regard. Please don't think that I don't have a forgiving heart because I do, but from my perspective, I don't see where Brother Steve thinks he has done anything wrong (except for the Fence thing & I don't think Mark has received a personal apology yet).

I address these feelings in this forum in hopes that some who disagree might have a better understanding of the feelings of us who are still not satisfied with the excuses given. I agree that the AD HOC committee should be used in a way to get our concerns addressed. I just pray that this all is resolved soon because I am growing weary of the comments I hear about Bellevue and it's leaders from Non-Bellevue people. It is sad that it has come to this and that all parties involved can't meet, talk out their differences, repent, pray, and move on. Prayer warriors.....we need to be praying harder for ALL invovled!

Bin Wonderin said...

MKW asked


If a public question/answer session was held, would one side believe the answers provided by the other?

Doubt it.

Some on this forum have already said they have no confidence in the deacon committee, they have no confidence in the Pastor, etc. So if they got to publicly ask him their questions, would they believe any of his answers?

I think you know the answer, probably not.

So since so much of this controversy is over matters that can't be proven, over personality issues, over matters of taste and preference, doesn't each one of us just need to decide where we want to go to church - either drop the attacks and stay at Bellevue or visit other churches and find one we like and let that be the end of it.

That is probably what the guy that started the foum did when he shut it down. For people that have been members for 10, 20 30+ years it will be alot harder.

I wish I had an answer. Humble truth telling, time and forgiveness from both sideds is what we need but I don't know if we are going to get it from either side. We can pray for those things.

Like the old blog guy said, there is not going to be a "winner" in this.

When someone goes into a huge great church like BBC with a rich tradition and starts to shake things up then sparks are going to fly. It is not like BBC was a dying or dead church. Right or wrong sparks will fly in a situation like this. Especially when you insult your new congrgation from the pulpit of other churches. Yes - I think he did insult the members of BBC, and that is not right.

Does Dr. Gaines have to ram rod changes so fast. Were the old BBC worship music & style unbiblical? If not, then why not just keep the existing tradition and worship style for a time. You can always slowly change over time once people are ready for it. First you should enlist the membership's support. Leadership 101. Insulting the way BBC has functioned in the past is not a good approach. It is almost like Dr. Gaines wants to run people off.

The "I am going to tell them all the things they do wrong at BBC, and all the things we do right at Gardendale" is just not a good attitude for a Pastor to bring to a church like BBC. I watched the video, the small clip was not out of context. He meant what he said, and that is sad. It is an arrogant attitude and is insulting to his new flock. Especially insulting to the core of the church including long time BBC folks that have sacrificed for decades. It just seems like an arrogant "my way or the highway" tone from the things he says.

It is not too late but I think BOTH sides starting with our leader need to modify their tone and admit that mistakes were made. Praising BBC for all the good it has done might be a good start. Playing the insulting clip at church, admitting what you said and begging forgivness would go a long way. Saying I was quoted out of context is not going to cut it. We are not stupid but we can forgive.

Digging in for battle is a recipe for disaster. The Pastor has the pulpit, he needs to change the tone and take the lead in healing these wounds with a spirit of humility, not arrogance.

Set pride aside and let the healing begin.

ilovebbc said...

Regarding the Union City meeting, it occurred the night after the Deacon's meeting and Sunday night church meeting. Deacon Calcote has said that during the deacon's meeting, the only person to speak out negatively was one inactive deacon. If that's the case and no deacon with doubts spoke up, how was Brother Steve to know he didn't have their full support? I sat on the floor during the church meeting. When we stood in support of Brother Steve, I couldn't see anyone remaining seated. The bodies of those standing were concealing those still in their seats. I didn't know until several days later when a friend who sat in the balcony told me, that there were those who did not stand. Perhaps from Brother Steve's view, he didn't see any or very many people remaining seated either. When he went to Union City, perhaps he was happy, praising the Lord that hopefully the matter had ended and knowing that because of media coverage all over west Tennesee, they already knew about our problems, he just wanted to share with them how he thought it had ended the night before. Again, so many people are ready to come on these public forums and accuse him of going to Union City and lying. Before doing that, ask him about it in person, send your question about it to the Deacon Committe, write him a letter. If you're not happy with the response you get or lack of one, then make your accusations if you must. Some think the tone of his remarks in Union City was one of arrogance and making light of their concerns. Some thought the tone of his remarks in UC came from thanksgiving and praise.

Bin Wonderin said...

Washing the feet this Sunday - and meaning it not just doing it for show - of the oldest longest serving BBC member/deacon as a symbol of his love and respect for his flock and as a sign of his admiration for the people he leads at BBC could start the healing.

Please be a servant leader for us.

Start healing now.

Lead us, but love us too.

praying4ewe said...

I agree with ilovebbc..if there is any proof...bring it! Now is the time b/c no one is going to believe anything else that might come to surface until they know any of this is fact.

It still amazes me though by the justification of all of these wrong doings. My family and friends have backed Gaines on every issue with "what's wrong with that?" And apparently that is alot of other peoples response as well. Where do we draw the line on right and wrong; when it depends on who's doing them? Like someone in Pastor Gaines position? Are we not supposed to question him? I'm so confused b/c I was brought up
at BBC where everything was black and white and now excuses are being made to defend the pastor and the church. I don't undersand how some of us can see right through and so many others are so blind.

Lwood said...

Ilovebbc said
Maybe Br. Steve could not see those that were seated.
I was in the balcony and yes there were enough seated that he could not miss all of them. Have you ever stood on the platform and looked over the congragation. You can scan nearly every seat if you want to look....
I for one think he again was STRETCHING the TRUTH again...It is about not being able to tell the comlete truth. As I have always told my children....Always tell the truth no matter how bad it hurts you because you loose your credibility in an instance and never to be recovered.

I love my church said...

Honest question for all...

On the UC tape Dr. Gaines talks about repeated standing ovations. I don't remember Chuck Taylor, Harry Miller and Chip Freeman receiving standing ovations. People did stand for the pastor. Did the other standing ovations really happen?

cjesusnme said...

I have a family member who attends 2nd Baptist church in Union City and reported to me that Brother Steve came across to some in their congregation as arrogant and bragadocious, so when you heard the laughs, NOT EVERYONE thought he was funny. Many thought he was making light of the situation and making fun of us at Bellevue. Having said that, I know it's not just me that felt that way when I heard the recording myself.

Any thoughts?

New BBC Open Forum said...

ilovebbc wrote:

"We rarely knew when Dr. Rogers was going to be out of the pulpit until we got to church. Even when he was there on Sundays and Wednesdays (and yes, I know that was most of the time), we didn't know where he might have been on the other days of the week. Why? They said they didn't like to post his itinerary in advance because of security concerns. Joyce and the children, when they were younger and still living at home, might be there alone while he was out of town and they didn't feel it was a good idea to make this known to any watchful crook. So what does Mr. Haywood do? He posts Brother Steve's itinerary for the next several months on the Internet."

With all due respect, Mr. Haywood didn't post anything that isn't public knowledge. Spend a few minutes Googling, which is just what the person (not Mr. Haywood) who compiled that list did, will produce the same results for anyone who's interested. All that information is already on the internet. I suspect there are probably some engagements scheduled that might not be on the internet right now, but the ones on that list are.

Will McKay said...

c,

None of us were there so we can't give an accurate assessment.

Are you asking for our thoughts on speculated attitudes?

Probably not a good idea, unless you're generating more dissent

cjesusnme said...

straigning,

No, I'm not asking for anyone to speculate anything. I'm wondering if others viewed "things" differently after hearing the recording. I don't want to generate dissent here, as I feel the majority of posters here don't either. I think we are just trying to find answers.

Anonymous said...

I posted this in another section but believe it is appropriate here as well.

Consider the following.

Deut 19:15-21
15 "A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.
16 "If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing,
17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be {in office} in those days.
18 "And the judges shall investigate thoroughly; and if the witness is a false witness {and} he has accused his brother falsely,
19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
20 "And the rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.
21 "Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
(NAS)


Matt 18:12-17
12 "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?
13 "And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.
14 "Thus it is not {the} will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
15 "And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
16 "But if he does not listen {to you,} take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.
17 "And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.
(NAS)


1 Cor 14:26-33
26 What is {the outcome} then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, {it should be} by two or at the most three, and {each} in turn, and let one interpret;
28 but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.
29 And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.
30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, let the first keep silent.
31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;
32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;
33 for God is not {a God} of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
(NAS)


2 Cor 13:1-3
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
2 I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again, I will not spare {anyone,}
3 since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.
(NAS)


1 Tim 5:17-22
17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.
20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful {of sinning.}
21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of {His} chosen angels, to maintain these {principles} without bias, doing nothing in a {spirit of} partiality.
22 Do not lay hands upon anyone {too} hastily and thus share {responsibility for} the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
(NAS)


Heb 10:23-28
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging {one another} and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on {the testimony of} two or three witnesses.
(NAS)

Outsider said...

Maybe it's best to realize that since this whole issue has been publically broadcast, discipline has been inacted, if there actually has been a problem. Dr. Gaines obviously knows he has numerous watchdogs (not necessarily guardians or watchmen), so he would know the accountability that awaits him if he were to "slip" for the first time or as many of you suggest, again. Wouldn't it be better to close the site, offer support and loyalty to BBC and Dr. Gaines, and realize that anytime an organization as large as BBC goes through a change in leadership, some changes to the organization will happen. If there have been indescretions, they will become obvious. All this website and blog is accomplishing is the demise of the church not the settlement of the issue. Dr. Rogers did not deal with the internet. Even though I wasn't a member of BBC during his tenure, I heard him multiple times in multiple venues in one year. No one faulted him for that, and you should not fault YOUR present pastor for the Kingdom work he does. Don't get to the bottom of the issue this way. Cease this communication tool and deal with it as you would have during Dr. Rogers' tenure.

outsidelookingin said...

Are you actually saying there should not be any accountablilty? I bet Ken Lay at Enron would love your solution. What about the people who know what has happened? What about integrity from the pulpit? What about the qualifications of a pastor? I guess this is what the church has become today. Where are the people who stand for righteousness? Are we putting our faith in God or man?

onlyamember said...

I was at the meeting and I did hear him say that he was not preaching on Weds to go to committee meetings and to do the age-level visits, so that he could spend more family time and go to volleyball games. I have NO problem with that. My problem is....that he says that, then spends all this time at other churches and events preaching; which leaves him NOT with his family or his church who is in a time of need! If you are going to say it, do it and mean it.

Someone posted a list of staff that has or is leaving .You listed Cary Vaughn. Did I miss something? I did not hear/know this. Why and what happened? Let me guess, he has been called away and he is leaving on good terms....that seems to be the theme. You know, maybe God is calling so many of our staff away, to protect them? We need to pray for our staff.

New BBC Open Forum said...

bin wonderin wrote: "Washing the feet this Sunday - and meaning it not just doing it for show - of the oldest longest serving BBC member/deacon as a symbol of his love and respect for his flock and as a sign of his admiration for the people he leads at BBC could start the healing."

Except that the potential "washer" is not going to be there Sunday, at least not in the pulpit.

As an aside: I couldn't help but notice those little swirly letters you have to type in the box for "word verification" spelled out a very, very naughty word this time! LOL!

Bin Wonderin said...

As an aside: I couldn't help but notice those little swirly letters you have to type in the box for "word verification" spelled out a very, very naughty word this time! LOL!

I didn't even notice. < blush >. I have to concentrate so hard to read the letters I guess I missed it. Don't tell me what it was. :-)

New BBC Open Forum said...

I don't think any two people see the same combination of letters. And I agree, they're very difficult to read. Half the time I read them wrong and have to do it again.

Remember that movie A Christmas Story with Peter Billingsley, the bespecled blond kid who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas? It was the same word his mother washed his mouth out with Lifebuoy soap for uttering. And that's all I'm saying!

David Brown said...

Dear Outsider: Take it from one that has been there over 23 years, Dr. Rogers would not have had the problems we are having. There is one huge reason. Dr. Rogers was a compassionate pastor and leader. He had totally sold out for Jesus. When I hear commments "well attendance and tithing is all up from past years", I take it as slap against Dr. Rogers. Look at what Dr.Rogers and the Lord did together. And he still had time for the little man. He steadily grew Bellvue for over 30 years without any of the mess that is going on now.

Once again, and I have posted this before. The sign of true leader is one that is willing to be compassionate. I propose to you that Dr. Gaines needs some of what Dr. Rogers had. I see potential in Dr. Gaines and that is why Dr. Rogers supported him. But when I hear the comments and his irrating laughs or snickers about the people of Bellevue he made in Union City it does get me angry. If this had been going on with Dr. Rogers you know what he would said to the Union City church? I would suggest he would have said with tears in his eyes, folks we need your love and prayers, will you join with me and ask the HIS will prevail? That is the true difference.

Dr. Gaines has very haughty attitude. I am sorry but that is the truth. He is speaking outside both sides of his mouth. It reminds me of a former president we had that would tell one group one thing and then to the next group just the opposite as long as it built him up. It is my prayer that the Lord and Dr. Gaines have a real time of examination. No one but Dr. Gaines is tearing down Bellevue.

Will he become the compassionate leader that his mentor was? It is my prayer that he does. Then Romans 8:28 will ring loud and true again.

New BBC Open Forum said...

This is in the wrong thread, but since you brought up the subject of Union City...

Transcript of first part of Union City clip:

"And there is another side. I saw the other side last night. I saw the other side last night. Can I... can I tell you what happened last night? You say, 'Might as well. He's going to.' Amen?" {audience laughs} I saw... a church... literally... come alive. A small, little group... puts up a website... and you know... you know, on the internet, it all looks big, doesn't it? And then the paper... they found the website... that three or four men put together... , and now you've got James Dowd and these guys comin' out interviewin' you and everything."

I've heard it proposed that perhaps Dr. Gaines was somehow compelled to talk about what had happened, but it sounded to me as if he was actually eager to tell about it, even joking about telling the story whether anyone wanted to hear it or not.

I was in attendance the Sunday evening he made the crack about "I'd rather be flogged than blogged," but it went right over my head, as I didn't know about sb.com or any of the issues at the time. I'd had a sense for a long time that something wasn't right, but I didn't know what.

Did anyone hear the whole tape to tell what the "first" side was? Where this clip begins he's already discussing "another" side.

NASS

Anonymous said...

"Dear Outsider: Take it from one that has been there over 23 years, Dr. Rogers would not have had the problems we are having. There is one huge reason. Dr. Rogers was a compassionate pastor and leader. He had totally sold out for Jesus. When I hear commments "well attendance and tithing is all up from past years", I take it as slap against Dr. Rogers. Look at what Dr.Rogers and the Lord did together. And he still had time for the little man. He steadily grew Bellvue for over 30 years without any of the mess that is going on now."

I'm just hazarding a guess here, but it would seem that attendance was up during Pastor Rogers' tenure over Dr. Pollard's tenure, and even over Dr. Lee's tenure. Is observing that a "slap" against either of those men?

And not to make too fine a point of it, but the technology didn't exactly exist as it does today for folks such as the so-called "saving Bellevue" group to so easily publish anti-Bellevue propaganda. Just think how simple it would've been for the small number of Bellevue members who opposed the move from Midtown to Cordova to have cranked up a "mess" had they had the Internet as a tool.

"If this had been going on with Dr. Rogers you know what he would said to the Union City church? I would suggest he would have said with tears in his eyes, folks we need your love and prayers, will you join with me and ask the HIS will prevail? That is the true difference."

Actually, we have some insight as to what Pastor Rogers would've said. Just look up "loving Bellevue" on YouTube.

"Dr. Gaines has very haughty attitude."

Your opinion, to which you are entitled.

"I am sorry but that is the truth."

No, that is your opinion, to which you are entitled.

"He is speaking outside both sides of his mouth."

Which would make him a talented ventriloquest...

Seriously, though, do you have any examples you'd like to quote?

"It reminds me of a former president we had that would tell one group one thing and then to the next group just the opposite as long as it built him up."

What other Clinton-themed disparagements would you like to lob at Pastor Gaines?

"It is my prayer that the Lord and Dr. Gaines have a real time of examination. No one but Dr. Gaines is tearing down Bellevue."

Actually, no one is tearing down Bellevue, period. There's a small group doing their best to damage Bellevue in the name of "saving" it, but their efforts aren't exactly productive ones.

--Mike

David Brown said...

Wow Mike you are so full of yourself. You really seem to delight in making fun of people that do not agree with your position. You are right and I am entitled to my opinions. I have earned them. If it makes you feel bigger keep on trashing us. I will share this with you, it won't help you with Dr. Gaines. I was at First Baptist in Counce today with Dr. Ken Story and Bellevue came up. He was very heart broken about it. See his former church had similar problems. What happened there? I think you know that this beloved man of the Lord spoke out against Sam Shaw. Now where is Sam Shaw? It is a shame what is happening at Bellevue. And contrary to what you think we are not going away and we will only grow stronger. So if attacking us for sharing our thoughts and concerns makes you fill bigger have at it. You have more than shown you real character. And for that I pray for you.

Anonymous said...

"Wow Mike you are so full of yourself."

If the best you have is to respond to legitimate questions with insults, you have come to the discussion empty-handed.

"You really seem to delight in making fun of people that do not agree with your position."

A projection. If you'd ever read much of my articles and comments, you might have noticed that "delight" is something that simply isn't a part of why I do what I do.

"Sadness" and "compassion," yes.

"Delight"? No.

"You are right and I am entitled to my opinions. I have earned them."

People can whip opinions out of thin air. If it's an opinion on something which has yet to be, or cannot be, determined--such as the best second-baseman to ever play baseball (Answer? Ryne Sandberg)--then everyone's entitled to an opinion. However, no one ever "earns" the right to have an opinion about something that can easily be disputed.

"If it makes you feel bigger keep on trashing us."

If by "us" you affiliate yourself with the so-called "saving Bellevue" group, I have yet to trash you. I have, for several weeks, questioned behaviors and issues of interest. And no matter the number of requests for specifics when people such as yourself, whoever you are, take potshots at me, none are forthcoming.

"I will share this with you, it won't help you with Dr. Gaines. I was at First Baptist in Counce today with Dr. Ken Story and Bellevue came up. He was very heart broken about it. See his former church had similar problems."

I know a number of people who are heart-broken about this nonsense, and I'm one of them.

What is heartbreaking is how, less than a year after Adrian Rogers died, people who presumably listened to more than a few of his messages display behavior that would make people think they'd never heard a thing the man said.

What is heartbreaking is how people proclaim "Matthew 18!" until it's pointed out to them that Matthew 18 doesn't make any provision for their behavior, and actually speaks against it.

What is heartbreaking is to see a group go to great lengths to repeatedly attempt character assassination on their church's pastor and senior staff, and on anyone else who has the temerity to disagree with that group.

"What happened there? I think you know that this beloved man of the Lord spoke out against Sam Shaw. Now where is Sam Shaw? It is a shame what is happening at Bellevue. And contrary to what you think we are not going away and we will only grow stronger."

I've recently heard somewhere--can't quite place where, exactly--that growth and numbers aren't anything to be proud of.

"So if attacking us for sharing our thoughts and concerns makes you fill bigger have at it. You have more than shown you real character. And for that I pray for you."

By all means, please just share "thoughts and concerns". It would be a pleasant change of pace.

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

Mike,

Your comment posted twice. I just deleted the duplicate (only).

David Brown said...

Mike thank you again. I am glad you have chosen to take me on and break down my responses and opinions. Once again you show your lack a maturity and the fact you cannot accept another opinion or position. You continue to confirm what many others have said about you. All you can do is try to provoke or belittle, good for you. You are still in my prayers and please notice the maturity I have used in responding to you. How about you, got any?

New BBC Open Forum said...

David,

That is one of the reasons I haven't deleted any of Mike's (and some other people's) posts (except for the duplicate above and one of lw's). I think they speak volumes about the person(s) behind them.

I'd like to ask though, if you want to continue to get into it with Mike that you take it over to his blog. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to continue sparring with you there. This forum is intended for civil discourse, neither of which he seems to be capable of.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Mike thank you again. I am glad you have chosen to take me on and break down my responses and opinions."

Hopefully, David, you had them under warranty...

"Once again you show your lack a maturity and the fact you cannot accept another opinion or position."

And the same one-page playbook is in effect: Don't respond substantively, just attack the person asking for details. Emotion, emotion, emotion.

"You continue to confirm what many others have said about you. All you can do is try to provoke or belittle, good for you. You are still in my prayers and please notice the maturity I have used in responding to you. How about you, got any?"

Taunts such as "How about you, got any?" are an example of maturity how, exactly?

"That is one of the reasons I haven't deleted any of Mike's (and some other people's) posts (except for the duplicate above and one of lw's). I think they speak volumes about the person(s) behind them."

I quite agree. They make me out to be someone who actually notices that the so-called "saving Bellevue" way of doing things is emotion-led, anonymously served, un-Biblically operated, and congregationally disapproved.

And even though I can't get a straight answer from anyone around here, I'll ask the question again: Which is more loving--letting people follow the "saving Bellevue" path of hostility and division that can produce no good thing, or objecting to the behavior and ideas that take people down that path?

Oh, and I have to compliment you, newb. That "civil discourse" bit was a nice try; however, even a cursory browse of the old and new "BBC Open Forum" comments, plus the comments posted on my site, come down decisively against the so-called "saving Bellevue" coalition. When someone compares Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Haywood, or even your own anonymous self to a venomous Pharisee... or Bill Clinton... or Adolf Hitler... or the devil... you might have a point.

Until then, you do not.

--Mike

Truth Hunter said...

Mike,

I must disagree. NBBOF makes an excellent point about civil discourse.

You had a link to "Saving Saving Bellevue" during its short life. Mark Sharpe was turned into a joke and pilloried on that site. Of Mark and Mr. Haywood I quote one poster thusly, and like so: "hemorroids find another church."

That sight was also full of comments questioning the salvation of those who dare question the pastor.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"When someone compares Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Haywood, or even your own anonymous self to a venomous Pharisee... or Bill Clinton... or Adolf Hitler... or the devil... you might have a point."

Hmmm... okay. How about "hemorrhoids"? Or "libelous webmaster"? Or "homosexual"? Or "demon possessed"? Or "idiot"? Or "Democrats"? Or "evil"? Or "Hezbollah"? Just to name a few.

"They make me out to be someone who actually notices that the so-called "saving Bellevue" way of doing things is emotion-led, anonymously served, un-Biblically operated, and congregationally disapproved."

Bwahahahahahahaha!!! Hardly.

"I'll ask the question again: Which is more loving--letting people follow the "saving Bellevue" path of hostility and division that can produce no good thing, or objecting to the behavior and ideas that take people down that path?"

Sorry. Doesn't compute. I've witnessed much less hostility on that path. And I must have completely missed that "loving" part. {scratches head}

Scrolling on by...

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm... okay. How about "hemorrhoids"? Or "libelous webmaster"? Or "homosexual"? Or "demon possessed"? Or "idiot"? Or "Democrats"? Or "evil"? Or "Hezbollah"? Just to name a few."

All right, then, you have a point with most of those. Apparently, those made the SSB site while I was out of the state and away from a computer.

However, "libelous webmaster" is, well, accurate. When the so-called "saving Bellevue" site publishes libelous comments, the webmaster doing the publishing is, by definition, a libelous webmaster.

And I've really, really heard enough of the he-said, he-said regarding the alleged "Hezbollah" remark.

As for the rest of your quotes, you do have a point. Having been on the receiving end of such appellations, though, it is a surprise that your group would continue to use them against others.

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

mike bratton wrote:

"All right, then, you have a point with most of those. Apparently, those made the SSB site while I was out of the state and away from a computer."

Actually, most of those were taken from the CA poll comments (which are still online), but some could have been on ssb, too.

"When the so-called "saving Bellevue" site publishes libelous comments, the webmaster doing the publishing is, by definition, a libelous webmaster."

I don't always approve of their "headlines," such as "Gaines says this or that... " or "Gaines shames Bellevue again," but I haven't seen anything there I'd consider libelous. It's the tone of the headlines, not the substance of the articles that I sometimes take exception to. Just because someone has a different opinion about something doesn't make the other person's opinion libelous. For example, you probably don't think Dr. Gaines' remarks in Union City "shamed" the members of Bellevue, but some of us did. That doesn't make stating our opinion of that libelous. Many of the articles on sb.com are from publications like the Baptist Press, and there are many audio clips of Dr. Gaines -- in his own words. The letters published on sb.com are all signed by their authors, and those are the people responsible for their content. An example of a "libelous" statement would be, "Dr. Gaines and the three men climbed the fence surrounding Mark Sharpe's gated community, smashed down his door, and ransacked the place." The first part of that statement is true, but the other two parts of that would be libelous. I see nothing libelous on the part of said webmaster about anything published so far.

"As for the rest of your quotes, you do have a point."

NASS just fainted.

ecclesia memphis said...

i am not a member of bellevue. I have never invested any time energy or money into bellevue. i have honestly never even heard Dr. Gaines teach on a sunday. and i can't think of the last time i stepped into the bellevue building, so i don't know if anything that i will write from this point on will be discredited or not. What i am about to say is not biased in any way, other than towards what the bible says.
what i want to say is that this whole situation between the leadership and bellevue and sb.com is not making God look glorious and bottom line does not make Him look good. it is actually bring shame, not on bellevue, but on the bride of Christ. it seems that some have forgot the whole issue of authority.
Christ is the head of the church (body, bride etc)
The pastor represents the head of the local body, he is accountable to Christ for his sheep (local members of a church)
the sheep should follow the shepherd
there is a metaphor in the bible that talks about how we are sheep, and Christ is the shepherd. That same illustration is used to describe how a pastor and congregation are to function. You know what happens when sheep begin to lead sheep, they fall off a cliff.
There is a very strong call for authority in a biblical model of leadership.
David understood this even at a very early age. Just read the very end of 1 Samuel. David had several opportunities to kill Saul (1 Samuel 24 and 26), a wicked vile man. But he wouldn't. Why, he would not kill God's anointed. He feared God more than he feared anything else. Even at the end of 1 Samuel, saul is about to die and at the beginning of 2 Samuel we see that a man from the Israelite camp has come to tell David what happened. we learn that he actually killed saul, that saul even asked him to. and in verse 14, david says one of the most frightening things, "why were YOU not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?" and then David had this man killed.
i hope that i never find myself in any of your shoes. i hope that i always care more about the bride of Christ and the unity of the bride, than getting my own issues that i have with a leadership/church answered. Not only that, but prostituting the bride of Christ around on the internet. hoping that someone will join the cause and covering it is a blatntly out of context view of Matthew 18. if Dr. Gaines is doing wrong, let the Lord judge him and deal with him for that. it is not our/your place, regardless of how long you have been a member, or how much money you have given. but then again that raises a whole new issue.
What would happen if instead of us all wasting time typing out these ridiculous post, that won't change anything, we spent time praying for healing and restoration of the bride, not just for Bellevue, but for all the churches all over the country, and in our city, that have to spend so much time and effort dismantaling this kind of stuff. bellevue is just a building (news flash), people all around us, all over the world are the church. Only Christ will prevail and win, thank God.

Lwood said...

The people of Bellevue are on their knees praying for Bellevue Baptist church. The ones you see posting on this site are in deep concern!!!!!!!!!We love the church and the people who make up the membership but we do not belive we should burry our head in the sand either..I for one and can only speek for myself but I do believe the prayers are going to be answered and God is on his timeline and will work all out for the glory of God.

Anonymous said...

"NASS just fainted."

Glad to see you didn't hit your head...

--Mike

stillwaitingandwatching said...

HisServant said...

"Brother Steve has many different things he does on Wed. nights. He meets with committees, youth groups etc etc etc. He said he leaves Wed. night open to do those things, so that he can spend OTHER nights with his family."

Thanks for coming over here, hisservant, my question is, if he is doing other things on Wed. nights so he can spend OTHER nights with his family, why is he preaching at i2 on OTHER nights? I really don't have a problem with the Wed. night issue. BUT, him being at i2 is inconsistent with what we were told about Wednesday nights. Do you know why we are told to believe one thing and then another is done? I truly don't understand. Maybe you can help me out with this one. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Brother Steve did not plan on preaching at i2, but things changed. they are really trying to reach that age group in Memphis. it is an age group many churches forget about. they lost their speaker that was doing i2. he moved on and Brother Steve is filling in for now. not sure for how long. I TRULLY applaud Brother Steve for all he is doing. he teaches a GREAT men's Bible study at 6am on Thursday and now i2 at night. hope this helped.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

So him preaching on Thursday nights is interim???

Anonymous said...

i do not know that. I would sure think so, but I have never heard one way or the other.

again, he did not plan this, the speaker for i2 took another direction.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Thanks so much for responding. I appreciate it.