Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Psst! Please come in here to tell people if they don't like it to leave.

It seems there are a few people who, instead of trying to follow the topics offered for discussion, are choosing to instead make sometimes long-winded and often disparaging comments of the "if you don't like it, leave" variety. Requests to keep things civil and respectful are being ignored. Therefore, in the interest of fairness and openness, this thread is now available for anyone who wants to leave such a message. Any further messages of that flavor left in other threads will be copied and moved to this thread, and the original will be deleted.

There are some who want to come here and have legitimate, civil discussions of issues facing Bellevue and the church in general, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to do so with all the off-topic comments scattered throughout this forum. So please feel free to use this thread to offer your unsolicited advice.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

70 comments:

New BBC Open Forum said...

Moved from another thread:

Kevin Furniss said...

As one of my good friends already stated in an earlier post, please watch this video. He gave you a link to his blog but here is a link to my site with the video that my friend and I made from a trip to Honduras.

www.passion4nations.com

This is my site for ministry and mission trips. We must not forget our purpose in being involved in a local church, which is to be a body of believers. We need to get back to that purpose not only at Bellevue but at churches everywhere. Start impacting nations instead of hurting the body of Christ!

1:45 AM, October 31, 2006

Bob Furniss said...

I find it interesting that the author of this blog choose to move this post to the category about "tell people to leave." His post was was an admonishment to the writers and readers to remember the REAL reason for Bellevue (our outward focus and missions).

So let me make sure I understand, it is OK to spout negative thoughts about our pastor and our church here for the world to see, but when a college student attempts to remind you about the real reasons for our church, you categorize that as "not worthy of other threads"... ummm is there a "good spin" to that decision?

Yes - he is my son and I am VERY proud.

MOM4 said...

NBBCOF,
I do agree that this particular post is not offensive or devisive and POSSIBLY should have been left where it was (wherever that may have been). At BBC, we do have some young people who are earnest in their efforts and I applaude them for making the stand that they do. Kevin is one of these and so is Will McKay. I have seen many more posts that are ugly in their comments that should have been bleeped immediately and although this one is making a positive gesture, I can see where it could be construed as off-topic. I watched the video and looked at the pictures and it was a blessing to me.
Rather than offend any more people on both sides of the aisle, I think it is high time for the pastor to call the involved parties to account in front of the church and have them present their evidence which would either shut everyone up or prove to us all that they did have a legitimate complaint that should have been dealt with.

Will McKay said...

Let's put missions on the back page while we assault the pastor... interesting...

Kevin, I'm still trying to figure out where you made the remark to "leave?"

Just for the record, Stepford, are you saying that those in your "camp" are anti-missions and see that as a threat to your agenda?

Re-read what Kevin has posted, then apologize for mis-reading his statement.

Remember that failure to do this will be seen by all who read this and will reveal the true intent of your blog.

New BBC Open Forum said...

bob furniss wrote:

"His post was was an admonishment to the writers and readers to remember the REAL reason for Bellevue (our outward focus and missions)."

Mr. Furniss,

I don't plan to regularly respond to comments left here or once they're moved to this thread, but I do want to try to address your concerns. No disrespect to Kevin or to you, but it did go a little farther than that. The only reason Kevin's comment was moved to this thread was the last sentence of the last paragraph. If the information in his post had related to the threads (plural) in which it was posted or had just not accused "us" (we know who "we" are) of "hurting the body of Christ," it would have remained every place he left it.

His friend, Mr. McKay, left his message in several different threads, as did your son, which wasn't necessary. It's difficult enough wading through all the comments in this forum without seeing the identical comment double, triple, or quadruple posted in different threads. (Not to say we don't all repeat ourselves from time to time, but once would have sufficed. Making their URLs linkable would have helped everyone, too.) Mr. McKay's and your son's messages were good messages. They just didn't need to be posted multiple times, and if your son's message hadn't ended as it did, all copies of it would have been left where they were. Mr. McKay's multiple postings of a similar message were left in place because they didn't contain such admonitions. I agree there have been several messages with a tone much more divisive than the last sentence of Kevin's, but I had just opened this thread and have neither the desire nor the time to wade through all the old threads and move any previous comments here, so the guidelines are just starting now. Also, if someone had responded to Kevin's message(s) before I saw his comment(s), they would have been left in place. Kevin's just happened to be the first no one had responded to that I thought fit into that category. Rest assured the information about missions had nothing to do with the reason I moved it.

A few days ago someone suggested we have a place for announcements in this forum. I think that's a good idea and will begin a thread today where people can post messages like Will's and Kevin's. And to start, I'm going to move both Will's and Kevin's original messages to that thread.

Kevin's seeming assertion that the people who are asking legitimate questions are (1) not now "impacting nations" (or by implication even our own back yards since not everyone is called to the foreign mission field) and (2) hurting the body of Christ... were neither needed nor appreciated. I'm growing weary of hearing it said that you can't stand up for what you believe and win the lost at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. Frankly, I think this whole situation is hurting the body, but the body is not going to be able to heal until the truth is revealed. Continuing to cover it with a Band-Aid is only going to make it continue to fester and the wound to only grow deeper. A small group of men, headed by Dr. Gaines, hold the key to healing. Has Kevin "admonished" them, too? I noticed that he didn't leave the same message over at the Bratton blog, and Will McKay left only one copy of his message there. Perhaps "we" just needed more admonishing over here!

It appears Kevin and Will are doing a great work in Honduras, and their reminders of the primary reason Bellevue exists are always timely and needed. I would have liked to separate the remainder of Kevin's message from his final sentence, but it's not my place to edit other people's posts. You have every reason to be proud of your son! I pray their work in the mission field will continue to produce fruit for God's kingdom. I apologize to Kevin and to you if I gave anyone the impression I think the Great Commission should ever take a back seat to the issues facing Bellevue right now. That was never my intention.

Sincerely,

NBBCOF

MOM4 said...

NBBCOF,
Good form NASS! You are making very good points from a kind and sincere heart.
Thanks for doing such a good job on this forum, the civility that is developing is a good thing for us all.

cjesusnme said...

I second that Mom4! I think NASS is doing an outstanding job as the "forum spokesperson". I admire your willingness and respect shown to ALL who post here. Thanks for given us a place to discuss our concerns! Keep up the great work!

will mckay said...

New BBC Open Forum,

It has come to my attention that I have offended you by posting my comment in several sections of your blog. Let me ask your forgiveness for doing this, and apologize for offending you.

My intent was singular: to call all of us to re-examine our focus. It is my belief (right or wrong) that some of the trouble with all that is going on is the result of focusing too much upon ourselves and not enough upon the world we are commanded (not called) to impact.

My only other statement comes in the form of encouragement: let's show each other the same grace that God in Christ has shown us. I have no doubts that many of you here have questions and need answers; I won't belittle you or that desire for answers. However, let's (myself included) use the avenues provided to us within the body to get those answers. Stirring things up here doesn't do anything restorative for our body, and only puts us in the middle of a flesh parade for all the world to see.



Again, my sincerest apologies. I will delete my comments from the other section.

WM

Kevin Furniss said...

NBBCOF,
I by no means meant to put that comment up to put you or anybody else involved in this situation down. I think that everybody involved (including myself) in this issue has gotten away from what Christ COMMANDED us to do: make disciples of ALL NATIONS!

As WM apologized earlier, I would like to echo his comment with my apologies as well. What is going on in our church right now is by no means unimportant but since being to Honduras three times and planning on spending the summer in Thailand, I have realized that there are men, women and children around the world (including the United States) that need our love. I am earnestly praying that this issue would be resolved as quickly as possible so that everyone's focus (including my own) would turn back to the reason we are still here...which is to reach people, ALL PEOPLE, for Christ!

Once again, I would like to apologize if I offended you in any manner. My intent was not degrade you or anybody else involved but only to call all believers (including you and I) back to the focus of other people instead ourselves!

Be encouraged,
KFurniss

New BBC Open Forum said...

Will & Kevin,

Apologies graciously accepted. Will, "offend" would be too strong a word to describe your multiple postings. I was just pointing out that it wasn't necessary, with the volume of the comments here, to post something more than once, maybe twice. As you may have noticed, both your messages have been moved to the front page in the announcement section, and as a result, I removed the duplicates (except Will's original in the prayer thread).

I admire and applaud the efforts of young people like yourselves and wish you only the best as you serve the Lord in Honduras or wherever He leads you.

Question: Does Bellevue in any way help sponsor you on these mission trips? Is there a way for individuals to help in sponsoring you?

john316 said...

I would like to be on record as saying this. If the current staff and leadership do not want to be open and transparent, then they should go. I would also like to know what Brother Steve Gaines ultimate vision is for our church. Does his sermon writer give him that information too?

bopen4once said...

I also heard that someone out of town helps DR. Gaines write his sermons. In defence of that, he really doesn't have that much time to prepare as his speaking tours increase.

What I really want to understand is this. DR. Gaines told the church that he visits on Tuesday nights. OK, who is he visiting and who is going with him. Is he visiting the sick, visitors ie..
There is a record we fill out when you make a visit at BBC. We fill out the results of our visits when we go. I was told that Dr. Gaines would lead our visitation program and I have never seen him any where around on Tuesday night??It would be great if he would come and pray with us before we head out.

Anonymous said...

More gossip?

This time about supposed "sermon writers"?

Honestly...

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

I have no idea if Dr. Gaines is out visiting or not. I can say though that when we came to Bellevue, and it wasn't that long ago, that nobody ever visited or called us, nor has anyone since. I didn't know they even had visitation at Bellevue.

You'd think with a deacon body of over 180 that each deacon would be assigned a group of members to shepherd.

bopen4once said...

Mike you lost on this one. I spoke with a professor at MMBTS and DR. Gaines was asked about who writes his sermons. Go over to MABTS and ask for Yourself. If you still dont believe, then I cant help you.

RM said...

I always like to check this blog daily to see what you guys are offended about that day. Now we have gone to whether or not the pastor visits (but then I thought that was the job of church members) and who writes his sermons. You might want to start checking where he buys his groceries...

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote: "You might want to start checking where he buys his groceries... "

We'll let you handle that one, okay? Please report back with your findings.

will mckay said...

NASS,

God has abundantly provided all my needs in years past through employment and the gracious gifts of those who invest in us. I haven't needed to apply for church support yet but could at any time.

I have seen individuals who do apply for financial support receive hundreds of dollars on their trips. These dollars come from budgeted tithe dollars and the Missions offerings.

The best way to support our efforts is to give through the tithe and Missions Offerings. As long as those dollars come in, the Missions endeavor will continue and students will have the opportunity to impact the world.

Thanks for asking!
WM

RM said...

bbc open forum,

I will try. Maybe we need to check how he pays for them too. God forbid that he might actually be paying cash instead of using the church credit card as so many think he does.

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm,

I don't think the pertinent question is whether or not he pays cash but if he uses manufacturers' coupons. {rolls eyes}

NASS

bopen4once said...

Where is Mike Bratton at on answering this question? I hope I didnt scare you off with my question. If I did then I am sorry. Just in case here it is again.

bopen4once said...
Mike you lost on this one. I spoke with a professor at MMBTS and DR. Gaines was asked about who writes his sermons. Go over to MABTS and ask for Yourself. If you still dont believe, then I cant help you.

2:52 PM, October 31, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

beopen,

You mentioned that you talked with a professor. There are many at MABTS, with whom did you speak? Secondly, you only stated that Dr. Gaines was asked. What was the respone and to whom was it given?

bopen4once said...

Josh

I will not give the professors name here. Go over to MABTS and speak with the President there and ask him who the professor is. I'm sure he is aware of his comments. It was a question & answer time with Dr Gaines during class. The students asked the questions. Please, go find out for yourself and you then report back. Really, he has much help writing his sermons.

Josh Tucker said...

beopen,

It is frustrating to have factual statements being made on behalf of anonymous individuals, which happens frequently in this forum. It makes it quite difficult to ascertain the truth of the matter. For starters, individuals are difficult to track down when they are only anonymously mentioned. Secondly, a point is made in the open while everyone else is expected to double check it's veracity without a lot to go on (meaning names or specifics).

Personally, this is non-issue for me until it's suggested that Pastor Gaines does not work on his sermons at all. However, if the information is going to get posted anyway, it would be nice to have more to go on.

RM said...

I hate to disillusion some of you naysayers but pastors have been using men to help them write sermons for years. I can guarantee you Adrian did as well as Charles Stanley, WA Criswell, and Jack Graham just to name a few. There's nothing wrong with having someone do additional research. The only harm would come if they were to buy one of those cheap sermon books and then preach it verbatim without doing any personal work.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I find myself in agreement with "rm" on this one.

{NASS feels faint again... }

The POTUS uses speechwriters, but that's common knowledge. I think most people think preachers, while they draw from the research of others, usually write all their own sermons. Whether Dr. Gaines does or doesn't, I don't really see that as a big issue here unless he's telling people he writes his own sermons when he doesn't. That would be a deeper issue and one worthy of examination.

NASS

choice_is_yours said...

Kevin Furniss said...

What is going on in our church right now is by no means unimportant but since being to Honduras three times and planning on spending the summer in Thailand, I have realized that there are men, women and children around the world (including the United States) that need our love.


I am earnestly praying that this issue would be resolved as quickly as possible so that everyone's focus (including my own) would turn back to the reason we are still here...which is to reach people, ALL PEOPLE, for Christ!

...said by Kevin.

Kevin,
With the hope that I have placed in God alone (not in fallible men, fallible brothers) I believe that God expects us to keep going with the Great Commission no matter what difficulties we church people face.

He wants us to keep our focus on missions at the same time that we handle everything else.

With God, you already know in your heart that this is possible. You are just asking for a friendly & brotherly reminder. Praise God that we have each other to spur each other on in these moments!


From your http://passion4nations.com/

"While in Thailand, we will be living on campus at a Thai University teaching English to students and just building relationships with them in hopes of sharing the Gospel. The university has around 25,000 students with only 0.02% of them believing in Christ. I am going to start writing journal entries leading up to the trip so please start reading those and commenting on them with your thoughts."

I am assuming that the name of the school in Thailand is confidential. You want to be partly anonymous while you are there, probably.

But perhaps you can suggest some other school names in Thailand? I'd like to google for blogs by students at those schools. The plan is for one of us to go to that blog(s) and post 4 spiritual laws or something like that. We can post links to it in Thai (it is available at http://www.greatcom.org/laws/thai/) and also in English.

Just see if the moderator deletes it or leaves it up.

This might lead to "just building relationships with them."

As I said, I don't consider myself to be very good at witnessing, so if you have any suggestions based on your experience in Honduras, please let me know.

MOM4 said...

Pastors I have known in the past have used published outlines to work on their sermons. Some may have copied them verbatim, who knows but the Lord.
Dr Rogers seemed to enrich his sermons from his own personal relationship and walk with the Lord and that made a huge difference to many of us.
I have been around a few years (I am not telling how many - but quite a few) and I have heard folks from the 'bang the shoe on the pulpit' Lester Roloff to Dr Lee and the latest and greatest of todays giants and wannabees. You can usually tell who is the giant and who is the wannabee.
Steve Gaines types his own messages, some of which lately are questionable to me (to me being the operative words)in his motive to draw the flock to the truth or make a statement in his own defense or to justify his position or to blast his "opposition".
I guess we can search the web for sermon notes and outlines and see if any match what we are hearing - I do not have the time, but someone else may.
On another note, there are books of sermons in our own bookstore and I am sure that MABTS has some as well.

westtnbarrister said...

RM brings up a good point. Plagiarism and unattributed ghostwriting is a common thing within the evangelical world. The "Christian" publishing business is the worst. At its core it is about money, which is why nonsense like Prayer of Jabez sees the light of day.

I know for a fact (I don't use that word lightly) that a major evangelical minister uses a ghostwriter on all of his books. This is a man with a huge TV ministry and each of you would know his name. A close friend of mine is a Christe award winning writer. She was contacted by said minister to write a book for him. They were to split the money evenly. She wrote every word and he wrote nothing. He spent a few minutes reviewing it and gave it his approval. The book went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. He paid her $25,000 and he kept $725,000 plus all of the residual stream of income. After the book hit the best seller list she learned she had not been paid fairly or per their agreement. He told her that next time she ought to get her own lawyer (she trusted him so she used his attorney for everything). When she told him she was shocked a minister would act in such an unchristian way, he said, "Church is church and business is business. This is business." I later advised her the only way to get her money was to sue him, but she did not want to pursue it because she believes in the biblical admonition not to sue a brother. She was afraid she might bring his entire ministry down and she did not want to be a party to that. That minister later went on one TV program after program hawking his book. He never ackowledged her work. He even talked to one interviewer about his "writing process" which was all lies since he did not write a word.

Ghostwriting in the secular world is one thing, but I have a big problem with it in the Christian world, particularly when it isn't attributed. Use of researchers and editors is fine. But it is not right to use a big ministry to line your pockets, particularly in a deceptive way. Dr. Gene Veith has written on this phenomenon in World magazine. It is not a small problem.

A pastor seeking help writing a sermon is fine, maybe even to be expected. But if a pastor doesn't write his sermons at all, isn't that deceptive? Doesn't that reduce him to mere actor giving a weekly performance? If that is all a pastor is and everyone is fine with it, then we should always hire the man with the most pleasing appearance and voice. We need the guy guests will be drawn to the most. We need the guy people will want to stop and watch while they flip channels on Sunday morning.

Things are not always as they seem, even in the church. Many people march under the church flag who need to be exposed. We must be discerning about what we read and who we follow. Lifeway is full of books with serious doctrinal error. I'm not referencing debateable matters like Calvinism or eschatology. I am talking about heretical teaching. We must examine what we are being taught in light of Scripture. Much of it won't hold up.

The world loves this kind of stuff. They are always waiting for the next preacher to fall. Christians should never sweep it under the rug. We should hold the front door wide open and sweep it completely out of the church and then scrub the floors when it is gone. It is incumbent on discerning believers to stand for the truth and let the world see us doing it. Some believers are babes in Christ and they may be easily led astray by false teaching. Those who know better have a responsibility to all.

Remember, narrow is the way and few find it.

Kevin Furniss said...

choice is yours,
I would love to talk to you a little bit about the trip to Thailand and possibly some schools and stuff but would rather do that through email than on this blog. my email address is on my website so email me if you would like to talk more. thanks!

trustme said...

Westtnbarrister:

Great insight and when I was a younger man , great pastors relied on the holy spirit. It seems that many are just interested in their next book or speaking tour. Our pastor seems too be fitting that model now.

Anyway, I vote for you as our new pastor or associate or chairman of the deacons.

allofgrace said...

WTB,
Amen brother. I posted earlier on another thread about the importance of giving a thorough going over of the books that are out there..and their authors. When Lifeway was still Baptist Bookstore, you could find some books of substance..since it became Lifeway...it's mostly what sells that determines what's in the stores. Bestseller doesn't = best reading. If you go to the theology section (if you can find it), you'll find it's the smallest section in the store..a sign that folks are more interested in what tickles the ear than what feeds the soul. I agree on the "Prayer of Jabez"..more faddish Christianity.

choice_is_yours said...

Kevin Furniss said...
choice is yours,
I would love to talk to you a little bit about the trip to Thailand and possibly some schools and stuff but would rather do that through email than on this blog. my email address is on my website so email me if you would like to talk more. thanks!

12:39 PM, November 01, 2006


Kevin,

God bless you, brother!

I googled for a list of all universities in Thailand. I saw several with the word "Bhuddist" in the actual name of the school. Those would be a good place to start looking for lost folks who blog.

I decided to be more generic for a moment and just look for Bhuddist blogs.

I found

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/

1) I appreciate your desire for anonymity/confidentiality. I share that interest.

2) I want everyone here to continue to be edified by our discussions of doing Kingdom work.

Would you like to go with me to

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/

?

What anonymous names should we use?

For fun we could create some user id's that have names from the post-pentecostal times. I can be Timothy2006 and you can be Paul2006.

Interested?

westtnbarrister said...

trustme....I am not worthy of the positions you mention, but thank you.

Allofgrace said, "If you go to the theology section (if you can find it), you'll find it's the smallest section in the store..a sign that folks are more interested in what tickles the ear than what feeds the soul." I laughed when I read that because it is so true. Sadly, even the Bellevue bookstore has some of the same problems.

I don't know why Christians jump on these fads. The gospel hasn't changed in 2000 years. Some men claim we need to make the gospel relevant. I say there is nothing more relevant to the natural man than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

bopen4once said...
Mike you lost on this one. I spoke with a professor at MMBTS and DR. Gaines was asked about who writes his sermons. Go over to MABTS and ask for Yourself. If you still dont believe, then I cant help you.


Research assistance is increasingly common (and no sin), and Pastor Gaines' remark about having some "writing" help is a non-starter, whoever you are.

You see, I have a super-secret seminary source. (Love that alliteration!) And it isn't a question of winning or losing, it is a question of accuracy. Phrasing it as though the pastor has to have help, or is too busy collecting speaker's fees to prepare to preach, is inaccurate.

--Mike

Truth Hunter said...

WTB,

Amen. I echo the sentiments of trustme, our church needs you.

trustme said...

Mike Who is your secret source? Let me guess you can't tell us.
Here we go again..Gossip

Anonymous said...

"Mike Who is your secret source? Let me guess you can't tell us.
Here we go again..Gossip"

That's always one of the funniest things people do, at least to me--ask a question, then don't give a chance for it to be answered.

Could you, whoever you are, have just asked a question without making a false accusation?

However, since you asked, I'm confident my "super-secret seminary source" won't mind me mentioning him.

He's Mike Spradlin.

Does that alleviate your concern?

--Mike

trustme said...

Mike

Ironic you mentioned your secret source, and mine is just as reliable. Soooo I know my source is correct and you may want to check again with him.

Anonymous said...

trustme said...
Mike

Ironic you mentioned your secret source, and mine is just as reliable. Soooo I know my source is correct and you may want to check again with him.


If I may, whoever you are, the genuine irony is in accusing someone else of being a gossip, then refusing to divulge the source of your information--thus engaging in the precise undesirable behavior you imagine you see in others.

And "ironic" is the most gentle observation that can be made about your anonymous behavior.

--Mike

choice_is_yours said...

Let us pause from bad news and begin to dwell together in some Good News. Together, let's see WWJD by reviewing what Jesus did do.

This situation is not a matter of winning or losing. It is a matter of how we draw ourselves and others to Christ in the midst of our life. People are watching what happens here and we have an opportunity to show them Jesus.


NIV
KJV

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.


1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

choice_is_yours said...

Jesus said we would have trouble. Trouble we are having. His words are being fulfilled among us.


In that light, verse one is interesting.

"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us"


Isn't that ("draw up an account") what various ones both inside and outside BBC are trying to do these past few months?

choice_is_yours said...

3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
8Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

choice_is_yours said...

3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.




5THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

9According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

choice_is_yours said...

Resources

Luke 1:1-2

King James Version



New International Version


Luke 1:3-17

King James Version




New International Version

choice_is_yours said...

Comment.

6Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.

Also

15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous

As a Christian I hold myself to Jesus as my standard.

Here are one... two... three (!) first-century non-Christian mortals who ALL humble me with their witness to God.

Do any of us live up to the standard of these three non-Christians?

choice_is_yours said...

Luke 1:18-20
King James Version
New International Version

choice_is_yours said...

Luke 1:18-20 (New International Version)

18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."

19The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

choice_is_yours said...

Luke 1:18-20 (King James Version)

18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

choice_is_yours said...

Comment.

When the angel first shows up and foretells the birth of John the Baptist...

The angel is... anonymous.


However the angel does not REMAIN anonymous.

I don't know if there is a pearl of wisdom here or not.

What would you think if you were approached the way Zacharias was?

I think it was fine for Zacharias to ask the angel for proof.

I guess that just shows I don't yet fully understand everything in the Bible.

Just before we were told that Zacharias always obeyed God's commands. Apparently this was not one of those days?

New BBC Open Forum said...

choice_is_yours,

Interesting points. You appear to be having a one-sided discussion in here, so I thought I'd drop in and listen. Actually, I think if most of us today were approached by a real live angel we'd probably faint. But if you ever do reach the point where you understand everything in the Bible, let us know. I've never met such a person! :-)

Thank you for reminding us to always depend upon prayer and Scripture to guide us.

choice_is_yours said...

Donuts will be provided, eventually :) Didn't you know that is part of your job as the blog owner?

The encounter here is by a priest performing his duties in God's temple. Does that mean that an angel at that moment should automatically be assumed to be from God? Ideally, yes. Possibly that is where Luke wants us to be at this point in the gospel.

And fainting is what I would do, too. As you know, encounters with angels in the Bible are not as popular TV shows portray.

New BBC Open Forum said...

tim wrote: "Just curious, so many threads of people thinking they need to make it their own personal mission statement."

Yes, that's why I created it. It was such a recurring theme that it needed its own thread.

I'll be there with you, brother!

Genesis1_1 said...

Jesus said "I will build My church." I don't remember Him saying anything about needing our help in cleaning it out. In fact, He said my House is a House of Prayer. Sounds like to me that there needs to be a lot more time praying about YOUR church than blogging.

Tim said...

Jesus himself cleared the temple before proclaiming that my house is a house of prayer. Sounds to me that someone needs to keep their scriptural references in context and not using scripture to a self-serving end.

Anonymous said...

1 Cor 5:6-13

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump {of dough}
7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are {in fact} unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
10 I {did} not at all {mean} with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.
11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within {the church}
13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
(NAS)

*

ezekiel said...

Andrew....

Ah....wash us with the Word....Stand Firm.

Eph 5:26-27

New BBC Open Forum said...

I've decided to share my answer to a private message I received last night from someone who describes himself as a "cheerleader for Christ and His church" but who is not a member of Bellevue. I'm not at all opposed to non-members posting here. After all, that's the definition of "open," but it would be good if all who post here (and I've no idea if this person has left any comments or not) would try to at least provide constructive criticism if they're going to criticize. This to me, was not. Of course, I will not identify him or post his private correspondence to me here, but in his message he admonished me (or "us") to "repent of this great shame" and "tear down the walls of deception by cancelling" this blog. I'm not sure what the "walls of deception" he was referring to are, but my reply was thus:

Dear ________,

Why is it always "we" who are causing all the damage to the body and in need of repentence? I really am trying to keep this a place where people can engage in civil discussion of the issues that now face our church. On several occasions I've admonished people to remain civil and respectful in their tone, and for the most part the people who've posted here have done just that. About the only exceptions I've seen are the people giving advice similar to yours. The day I see you rebuking and appealing to the "blogmaster" of this to "repent of this great shame," I'll be more inclined to consider it. Until then or until I feel led of the Lord to do so, this forum shall not be (re)moved.

Sincerely,

NBBCOF


The person then replied accusing me of "hiding" behind "an organizational name" and questioned why I would "hide" if my "heart is pure." In the same sentence he offered his continued prayers he stated that we are "purveyors of deception."

So I responded one last time, and I intend for this to be my final word on the subject:

Dear ________,

It's not "hiding." Rather it's a matter of security on the internet and a desire to not cause any stress to my family, and for now I'm not using my name in private correspondence either as I have no idea with whom I'm corresponding. You wouldn't know me from Adam anyway, so what difference does it really make? You could call yourself "________" or the "Pope of the Catholic Church" for all I care! This isn't about you or me. It matters not to me whether people participating in discussions on the forum call themselves "John Smith" or "Mary Jones" or "bin wonderin" or "notastepfordsheep" or anything else. I don't know "John Smith" or "Mary Jones" anyway. I will reveal my name to those within the church I've corresponded with in due time. No one else needs to know. I'm basically a trusting person and tend to take people at face value which has caused me to be deceived in the past; therefore, I want to trust you are who you say you are (and I don't know who ________ is), but as I said, this is the internet, and one can never be too careful. As they say, "A rose by any other name is still a rose." I know my heart is pure, and I've never said anything here that I wouldn't say to someone's face. Others are responsible for their own words.

My desire, contrary to what you seem to think, is not for Dr. Gaines to leave Bellevue, nor is it to cause any pain to him or his family. I love him in Christ, pray for him and his family and for the members of Bellevue daily, and I really do like the man those times when he parks that enormous ego at the door and is just "plain, old Steve." But I always love him. I dare say you don't always like all the people you deal with or even members of your own family sometimes. It's obvious you don't like me very much! But you never stop loving them, do you? Yet, a lot of us feel like Brother Steve doesn't love us very much right now. Mark Sharpe, who's one of the key players in all this, has said in his conversations with many, many staff members, both current and former, that not one of them denies "that there is no love" coming from Brother Steve. And that's sad.

Part of love is holding our brothers and sisters accountable (which I suppose is what you think you're doing with me). My heart's desire is for him to realize that arrogance and secrecy and failing to forthrightly deal with legitimate questions and hiding behind a group of yes men is not what it's going to take for Bellevue to heal. My prayer is that these issues will be dealt with quickly and completely, but that doesn't mean him and his men presenting the predigested "facts" and saying "everything is okay" (such as we were treated to again after last night's service). Our leaders are to be held accountable. Yes, God is the ultimate Judge, but are we just to stick our heads in the sand or blindly follow a leader just because he's our "spiritual authority"? With authority comes responsibility.

Several times I've asked a question that so far no one has ever answered, and that question is, "Where do you draw the line?" No one has ever accused Dr. Gaines of anything like what the pastor in Colorado was just found guilty of, but what if a pastor were accused of something like that but there was no concrete proof made known to the congregation at the time? Would Mr. Teutsch still say, "So what?"

Assuming an individual claimed to have proof and approached the pastor according to Matthew 18 and was turned away, then attempted to go back with one or two witnesses and was still turned away, then tried to meet with the accused and the deacon body and was turned away again, then what should his next step be? Just to "go find another church" and forget about it? Again, no one is accusing Dr. Gaines of anything like that, but there have been some serious allegations made, and the accusers say they have the proof if he will just meet with them and talk. So far he has refused. Bringing it before the church is the next step, but even there the accusers have been prevented from addressing the deacon body or holding a special meeting at the church. The only "evidence" we've seen is just what Steve Gaines wants us to see.

I don't like the fact that this has gotten this far. It never should have reached this point, but in this day and age, the internet was the best way those who began this search for truth thought they could address the church. Have they made mistakes? Certainly. Haven't we all? But if people who aren't a part of Bellevue Baptist Church would not try to participate in the process, we might be able to devote our time to dealing with the problems in the church instead of answering those who insist upon interjecting themselves into the "fray."

I can tell you from the site meter statistics that the vast majority of the hits on the blog are coming from the Memphis area with the occasional visitor from Alabama and Texas and a couple of regulars from the West Coast. (I can only see domain names, not individual addresses.) I see no evidence that "the world" is watching this or even cares. Your words have been read and duly noted, but I hope this will be my last word to you on the issue. I've 'splained myself out!

Your offer of prayer is appreciated but an accusation that we are somehow "purveyors of deception" in the same sentence is not and makes it seem a bit disingenuous. Could it not be possible that there is deception coming from the leadership at Bellevue? Please, until you've been here and experienced firsthand what we, the members of Bellevue have, do not pretend to know everything about this situation.

I have noted this morning that you still have not admonished the participants in the "Bratton Report."

Sincerely,

NASS

Anonymous said...

Wow, Nass... two swipes in one post?

Tell me, is this the sort of thing for which you think I should be "rebuked"? I quote myself thusly, and like so:

"In any organizational disagreement, and sometimes when an organization is running smoothly, there are those who engage in what can be called rock-tossing, bomb-throwing, or sniping. These are the people who, for whatever reason, anonymously attack those with whom they disagree on an issue under the pretense of speaking to the issue. People who snipe generally run on raw emotions. Thankfully, over time, those emotions can wind down, and most people who play the role of "sniper" do not take the time to groom understudies. As Pastor Rogers used to observe, if an individual doesn't sign a complaint, that complaint cannot be taken seriously.

"No doubt this subsiding is the direct answer to prayer--the prayers of both the people who are aligned with the unfortunate, anachronistically-named "saving Bellevue" group, as well as by the church body as a whole. When the disagreements contract back within the church walls, it will be far more difficult for the snipers to lock in on a target, and virtually impossible for them to express themselves anonymously. And when people take ownership of their remarks, those remarks are almost always tempered. At that point, we may begin to see resolution."

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

I take full ownership of my remarks and would not hesitate to say the same things to someone's face or if I signed my real name. I've explained my reasons for remaining anonymous in this forum before and will not repeat them again. After all, I could call myself by any name and post a photo of anyone and say that it's I. You wouldn't know the difference. If you don't like my explanation, I can't help it.

Why is it that all you want to do is try to push people's buttons and argue? Is it really that satisfying for you? That's sad.

Scrolling on by...

NASS

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
I take full ownership of my remarks and would not hesitate to say the same things to someone's face or if I signed my real name.


Marvelous, and I don't doubt it for a moment. So, please sign your real name.

I've explained my reasons for remaining anonymous in this forum before and will not repeat them again. After all, I could call myself by any name and post a photo of anyone and say that it's I. You wouldn't know the difference.

You would, though. And I seriously doubt you have that in your nature. Anonymity is one thing--subterfuge is something completely different.

If you don't like my explanation, I can't help it.

It isn't a question of whether or not anyone likes your "explanation," it's a question of whether or not the behavior is legitimate.

Now, if all you anonymous and pseudonymous individuals are out there fighting evil supervillains, for example, the need to protect your secret identities is self-evident. Since none of you (that I know of) are wearing capes, tights, and/or utility belts, there's no need to wear masks.

Why is it that all you want to do is try to push people's buttons and argue? Is it really that satisfying for you? That's sad.

Always interesting when people pose questions, and then answer them themselves. It never facilitates dialogue, but it is interesting.

--Mike

Tim said...

It is my fear that if I revealed my identity that MB's family and relatives would want to take refuge at my house.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Tim,

You make me laugh out loud!!! Thank you for your wonderful sense of humor.

And to answer your question on the other thread....Yes, my husband does remember you!!! Didn't he go with your sister to the prom? Or was that David's sister? He couldn't remember. Anyway, he says hello! *snicker*

Blessings to you and your family as well my brother.

Tim said...

stillwaitingandwatching,

That would have been David's little sister Renee. It wasn't actually a prom, either.

I think that little added tid bit between us should clear up if we are who we think we are.

Uh...well, we know who we are...we just don't know who each other are..sort of..

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Oh nice....now I have to clean up tea from my monitor!

Note to self...don't read anymore posts from Tim Taylor whilst drinking sweet tea.

Thanks for the lighthearted dialogue. You are a treat!

Anonymous said...

Tim said...
It is my fear that if I revealed my identity that MB's family and relatives would want to take refuge at my house.


I'll presume that to be a joke that went horribly wrong.

--Mike

stillwaitingandwatching said...

OOPS....let me clarify....Tim "'the tool man' Taylor."

Tim said...

Mike,

Yes..it was a joke that was ...well given to me by my very good friend, John K.

He's been living in the basement of my parents house since 1963.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I just found this cluttering my mailbox...

SendTheLight50 wrote:

Did you all realize that Dr. Rogers introduced Purpose Driven Life to Bellevue, not Brother Steve? Did you all realize that Dr. Rogers prayed that Brother Steve would come to Bellevue? I have been a member of Bellevue for 16 years and I am a teacher in the adult department. I have never participated in the EE program because the head of the program stands for Calvinism which I oppose, but I just did not participate and those who are causing so much trouble in our Church has the same options. You do not have to participate in causing conflicts among the members. Those of you who are participating in the anti-Gaines slander and gossip are trouble makers-not peace makers. Peace makers would rather be wronged and walk away than cause problems to escalate. There is no way you can rationalize your behavior!

Sendthelight

Custos said...

SendTheLight50 wrote:

"Did you all realize that Dr. Rogers introduced Purpose Driven Life to Bellevue, not Brother Steve?"

Yes, we all do. But this does not make its propriety different. Further, call Bill Skelton and ask what Dr Rogers take on seeker friendliness/full conversion to the PDC movement was. Bill will tell you that when they encountered these things at conferences, Dr Rogers would routinely say, "No, this is not the direction for us." He would pull what he thought was good from the movement (calling the church a campus, using IMAGs, etc), but absolutely knew that much of the stuff was not for the best.

"Did you all realize that Dr. Rogers prayed that Brother Steve would come to Bellevue?"

Yes, we all do. And many of us did too. How does that prayer at all effect the issues of accountability, integrity, and transparency that face us now? Surely the argument isn't that "Since Dr Rogers wanted him here, he's doing just fine [my words not yours]."

"You do not have to participate in causing conflicts among the members."

You're right, but at some point mustn't one stand? (Yes, I did just use the contraction "mustn't.") At what point should one stand?

"Those of you who are participating in the anti-Gaines slander and gossip are trouble makers-not peace makers."

Wait a minute, have you seen how many issues have been clarified through this medium? Far more than were dealt with by the CC (ironic initials) publication which had numerous half-truths. Second, you referred to troublemakers. I'm betting the same moniker was used for Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, and Paul just to name a few. Standing for what's right when it's not popular is troublemaking, but it's not necessarily wrong.

"Peace makers would rather be wronged and walk away than cause problems to escalate."

That's not what the Lord did in Matthew 23 nor what Paul did in numerous epistles. Further, isn't what you suggest the antithesis of your name, SendTheLight? Walking away rarely sheds any light. Declaring truth does.

"There is no way you can rationalize your behavior!"

It has been defended ad nauseum. If you disagree that's fine, but it would be nice if you'd take up some of arguments and present counter arguments.