Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Threats of Lawsuits?

From the original BBC Open Forum:

Deacon threatens legal action

"I'm not sure if there is any legal consequence to making my personal e-mail address available to the public, but I am willing to find out. I would appreciate it if you would remove the e-mail addresses from your site."

Well, you can sue anyone for anything. Remember the lady that spilled coffee in her lap & then sued McDonalds for making their coffee too hot? The deacon probably won't win his lawsuit, but I think he definitely will lose some respect. I find it interesting – well a bit shocking really – that a deacon would threaten litigation over something like this. Does the deacon have a right to be annoyed? Sure. But threats to sue the guy right out of the box? Seems a little heavy handed to me when maybe an appeal to have his email address removed might have sufficed.

I think it was totally improper for savingbellevue.com to post all of the the deacon email addresses. I also think the letter from this deacon (assuming it is a legit letter) including not too subtle threats is also improper.

Sentence two in the deacon email above is fine, sentence one went a bit too far.

Disagree? Comments are open. Set me straight.

Update 1: Hmm. This sounds like a threat also.

Do you not copy me on your further emails ... I told you earlier to stop emailing me and now you are harassing me. Continue, and I will take action against you.

Update 2: Now this and this strike the right chord.

Thank you for your e-mail. As a deacon I am a servant of the Lord and His church. This makes me your servant as well. If you would like, I would be honored to meet with the two of you, either in your home or at a place of your choosing, to discuss whatever concerns you have.

Thanks for your excellent letter…your concern is shared by many and there will be no resolution until both sides have the opportunity to speak!

I suppose a good rule for life is that you should assume whatever you write in an email will be forwarded to the world, so chose your words carefully and set the right tone. Mean what you say and say what you mean.

posted by BBC Open Forum at 1:22 PM on Oct 14 2006

Gremillion letter and additional deacon responses


New BBC Open Forum said...

notastepfordsheep said...

> Disagree? Comments are open. Set me straight.

Nope. I think you got it about right. Except I don't have a problem with them posting the deacons' e-mail addresses. Is deacon contact information supposed to be secret? I thought these men are supposed to be the servants of the congregation (and I don't mean that in a demeaning way). Shouldn't the members of the flock be able to call on their deacons if they have a need? All any deacon who's concerned about his "personal" e-mail address getting into the wrong hands has to do is set up an extra "public" e-mail address and give that one to the church office. Posting home addresses and phone numbers, although most people have listed phone numbers and property records are a matter of public record, was probably crossing the line, but not e-mail addresses. After all, Chuck Taylor did instruct us to "find a deacon" (they've been "well-informed and equipped," you know), so how are people to correspond with them otherwise?

Grabbing one by the arm after church isn't going to be very effective, nor in my opinion is it the time or place to pursue such matters. (It's also akin to a dog chasing a car. What's he gonna do with it if he catches it? From the e-mail responses I've seen, asking some of these men anything in person could make for an ugly scene.) Phoning them, understandably so, isn't going to make them overly receptive, and most people have abandoned the art of old-fashioned letter writing, so e-mail in this day and age is about the best way to do it. From what I've seen so far, it's not producing very positive results. But, hey, it's surely been "enlightening," hasn't it?

I'm curious if the Gremillions or anyone else who has contacted a deacon has received a civil response.

001 6:56 PM, October 14, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

BBC Open Forum blogger wrote:

"Update 1: Hmm. This sounds like a threat also.

"Do you not copy me on your further emails ... I told you earlier to stop emailing me and now you are harassing me. Continue, and I will take action against you."

That's like calling 9-1-1 and being put on hold.

002 7:05 PM, October 14, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

The deacon responses to the Gremillion letter are shocking and an affront to their responsibilities as deacons. Our deacons are elected to serve and to lead. They have a holy obligation to all Bellevue members, even those with whom they disagree (as does Pastor Gaines). It defies comprehension any deacon would threaten legal action against church members (which is an assault on the guidelines of 1 Corinthians 6) because said church members contact them, via unobtrusive email, regarding church matters. I find it almost as shocking that we have other deacons who can’t be bothered with the concerns of church members, so they request no further emails. I’ve never been particularly exercised over the allegations of fiscal mismanagement, worship changes, dreams of demon possession, etc. But, I’ve had escalating concern over the handling of this crisis by our senior leaders. Now, upon reading the letter by Brother Weatherwax and the deacon responses to the Gremillions, my concern has devolved into fright. I am fearful too many of our leaders lack the spirit necessary to foster amicable reconciliation. However, I know we do have some fine men of character in leadership roles who are deeply concerned over what is happening to our fellowship. They desperately need our prayers.

003 8:50 PM, October 14, 2006

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004 9:13 PM, October 14, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Carol Pemberton

I don't know this woman, but from reading her letter I'd have to conclude she's got more backbone than the entire staff and deacon body rolled together. It's getting awfully frustrating waiting for the male "spiritual leaders" of Bellevue to step up to the plate. What we need are more "Carol Pembertons." It would be interesting to know what kind of response she got from the deacons.

westtnbarrister wrote: "I know we do have some fine men of character in leadership roles who are deeply concerned over what is happening to our fellowship."

No doubt we do, but where are they? Their silence is deafening.

005 11:03 PM, October 14, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

westtnbarrister: Now stop that! People keep removing their posts before I can digest them!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I recall, I think you commented that you received responses from about 10% of the deacons that were mostly positive except for a couple of "don't bother me" replies and a few who stuck to the standard "talking points." Please keep us updated on the "count," if you don't mind. I'm at least a little encouraged that you got some supportive responses and hope others have, too.

006 11:18 PM, October 14, 2006

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007 11:53 AM, October 15, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

Hi Notastepforsheep,

I removed my prior post because I wondered if some of the men who responded to me might feel like I was betraying what their confidence. Also, I was concerned some might ask me to reveal who said what and I already know I would be uncomfortable doing so. However, since you saw what I wrote I will reiterate the gist of that post.

This past Friday afternoon I sent an email to each deacon. To date roughly 10% have responded. Of those reponses, most were friendly and thoughtful. Several were quite lengthy. A couple of them explicitly said they shared the concerns I raised in my letter. A couple were clearly annoyed I had bothered them. And then there were a couple that seemed to be responding to someone else because they seemed to answer questions I did not raise, which made me wonder if they have prepared a generic email they send each person who contacts them. If that isn't the case, they misunderstood the central thesis of my email.

One thing I have learned is the deacons are definitely not unified. In my email I asked if they are truly unified or if we have deacons who have been intimidated and are afraid to speak up. Some did not respond to this question, but several did. More than one said some deacons have indeed been intimidated into silence. Another deacon said he believed some have been intimidated into silence, but he went on to assure me that he and some others had not been.

So, all in all it was a mixed bag.

008 12:09 PM, October 15, 2006

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009 12:42 PM, October 15, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

Hi carolsupporter,

I don't want to convey the idea that those who have concerns are doing nothing. I believe some are indeed working behind the scenes. As much as I would like to know everything that is happening, at this moment I'm hesitant to take them to task for their approach. In the end this situation needs to have a public resolution, but it may take men of conscience working behind the scenes to make that come about. Don't forget it seems they risk being kicked to the curb for publicly asking questions.

I wish I knew the general mood of the long-term pastoral staff, particularly Dr. Jernigan. I believe he is a man of wisdom and character.

010 1:00 PM, October 15, 2006

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011 1:16 PM, October 15, 2006

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012 1:18 PM, October 15, 2006

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013 5:26 PM, October 15, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Hi westtnbarrister,

Thank you for reposting the information. I don't see how anything you said could have been construed by any of the deacons who responded as betraying their confidence, and I certainly wouldn't dream of asking you for names of respondees or the particulars of what any of them said. I was just interested in the number who responded and the general tone of those responses. Nothing more. So if you could keep us updated if the numbers change, I'm sure we'd be interested.

014 6:29 PM, October 15, 2006

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015 6:30 PM, October 15, 2006

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016 7:21 PM, October 15, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

I sure hope br is wrong. I would feel awful if I inadvertently caused Dr. J a problem.

Do others believe the overall situation is getting worse? The level of discourse sure seems uglier.

017 7:25 PM, October 15, 2006

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018 8:43 PM, October 15, 2006

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019 10:57 PM, October 15, 2006

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020 6:42 AM, October 16, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

Hey Notastepfordsheep,

You confirmed what I thought I knew about Mark Sharpe and Ray Saba. I have had dealings with the McClerkins and I have nothing but good things to say about them too.

My comment about the level of discourse was not directed toward any of those men. My comment was directed toward certain deacons, blog posters and commenters, and others in our church.

Even the pastor seems to belittle those who dare question him. When broadly slamming bloggers, for instance, I wonder if he fails to realize just how many bloggers there are including Dr. Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, David Rogers, Adrian Rogers' son, and lots of other Southern Baptist pastors and leaders. Whether he likes it or not, blogs are now used to conduct our political and denominational discussions.

It is really sad to see, but I believe you are correct. The more contentious comments seem to be coming from those steadfastly defending the pastor and other leaders. That fact is part of what made me jump off the fence and speak up. It was only after reading Brother Weatherwax's exchanges with Josh Manning that I decided to contact the deacons. The only strident responses to my deacon email were from those defending Pastor Gaines.

I don't expect everyone in our church to agree, but is it too much to ask that we settle diputes with a civil tone and a guarded tongue? I cannot stand the anti-Bellevue label and I have emailed one blogger and commented on his blog about his tone and his use of anti-Bellevue. There is nothing Christ-honoring about employing that label and there is no reason for a smug a sarcastic tone. He knows he is being antagonistic, but he doesn't care. Perhaps he prefers an argument over restored fellowship? That said, he is correct the other side shouldn't employ the names coward, mafia, etc. I don't defend everything that has been said or how it has been said. Their actions, however, do not justify his.

021 8:02 AM, October 16, 2006

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022 8:09 AM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Sorry, westtnbarrister. I wanted to do some minor editing, and you replied just before I reposted. So to those of you reading these comments, the previous comment was in response to this:

Are you suggesting the "level of discourse" is getting uglier between the "major players" or between the deacons and those asking questions or between the people posting on blogs, the Commercial Appeal poll, etc.?

The reason I ask is that I had the unexpected opportunity and blessing to sit in on Riad "Ray" Saba's class Sunday morning (Oct. 15th) and to meet him and Mark Sharpe, and the "level of discourse" in that room was anything but ugly. The topic of discussion wasn't pretty at times, but it wouldn't have been a pleasant topic any other time or place or with anyone else discussing it either. Before, all the "major players" were faceless names to me. All I knew of any of them was what I'd read, and anyone can choose his words to convey a particular image to the reader. Hearing and speaking with people and observing their body language gives one a whole different perspective.

Today I witnessed men who were literally choking back tears as they stood firm in their stance that the Holy Spirit is guiding them in all this. They and their families are paying a heavy price for their courage and willingness to stand for the truth, and I was honored to be able to shake their hands and tell them that I admire their courage and have prayed for and will continue to pray for them and for Bellevue. Mark Sharpe, with tears welling up in his eyes, said, "I've felt those prayers." Unlike the publicity-seeking, it's-all-about-me, "anti-Bellevue" caricature some have made him out to be, I saw instead a quiet, humble man whose only desire it seems is for the truth to be revealed and for Bellevue to heal. If anything, he seemed somewhat embarrassed by the attention.

The soft-spoken Mr. Saba struck me as a dedicated Christian man with a deep love for Jesus, a passion for the Gospel, and a heavy heart for Bellevue. His lesson, relying heavily upon Scripture, related directly to the current situation, but unlike some recent sermons we've heard, there was no battering or intimidating tone to his delivery.

For now I don't know what the whole truth is, but after this experience I am convinced there are men who know things that need to be brought into the open and dealt with. The time for that will be when Dr. Gaines chooses to let Mark Sharpe and those with the "evidence" present that evidence. Critics of Mr. Sharpe say they haven't seen any evidence that there's any problem, but he's made it clear that the people with the bulk of the evidence will not come forward unless they have the proper forum and protections in place, and so far that hasn't happened.

All I could think as I walked out of that room was that I had just witnessed something that I haven't seen emanating from the pulpit in quite a while -- a sense of humility and love. I'm thankful I was afforded this opportunity.

As for the "level of discourse" between the deacons and "rebellious ones" or between the blog and poll commenters, I'd have to say it's not getting any prettier, but I've also observed that the overall tone of the comments coming from the people who are asking the tough questions isn't nearly as contentious as those who've labeled said people "anti-Bellevue." However, there have been exceptions on both sides of the fence. It saddens me to see bitterness and mud-slinging on either side.

One last observation is that there seem to be a lot fewer people sitting on that fence now than there were a few weeks ago. It appears at least some people are beginning to pull their heads out of the sand. And that's a good thing.

023 8:13 AM, October 16, 2006

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024 8:55 AM, October 16, 2006

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025 8:58 AM, October 16, 2006

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026 8:59 AM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

westtnbarrister wrote:

"My comment about the level of discourse was not directed toward any of those men. My comment was directed toward certain deacons, blog posters and commenters, and others in our church."

Well, I knew that! My response was to those who are of the opinion that "Mark Sharpe and Co." are just seeking publicity and trying to harm Bellevue, but even more so for the consideration of those who are still "sitting on the fence." I admit I sat on that same fence for quite a while. Before I knew any of this was going on, I got the distinct impression there was something not quite right at Bellevue, not from anything anyone said because no one had said anything, but just a gut feeling that things were not as harmonious as they appeared on the surface. I could never put my finger on it and kept hoping it was "just me," but when all this came to light my eyes began to be opened. That feeling in my gut began to make sense, and I learned there are a lot of other people who'd been experiencing those same feelings. Now, after meeting and observing Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Saba, I am even more convinced their critics are wrong.

I think we all know who the "smug, sarcastic" blogger is, and I will not get into it with him. If everyone would ignore him he'd probably direct his attention elsewhere. Or maybe he's the one looking for attention. After all, it's not Mr. Sharpe's photo I see plastered everywhere (or anywhere for that matter). This comment will probably bring said blogger out of the woodwork, but unless he wants to have a civil exchange of opinions, I will not stoop to his level. So far I've seen no evidence that he's capable of engaging in civil exchanges. As with the contentious comments by certain deacons and Mr. Weatherwax's letters, all these people are doing is reinforcing my opinions.

And I agree name-calling has no place in all this. I never saw the terms "Mafia" and "coward" employed by the savingbellevue group, but I agree it would be just as wrong for them to use those words as it is for others to use the term "anti-Bellevue" or any of the other derogatory comments I've seen coming from that side. Perhaps even I played into that by coining the term "Stepford Sheep," but that was my way of saying there are people who are acting like blind followers and refusing to think for themselves. At one time or other, we've all been "Stepford Sheep," and sometimes we have to be awakened and reminded that the Lord gave each of us our own brain which we are to exercise.

I don't like the term "side" either, but unfortunately for the sake of brevity (obviously not one of my strong suits) we're sometimes reduced to that. I would hope and pray that we're all on the "side" of Christ and Bellevue and that we can tear down that fence that's threatening to divide us. However, continuing to say "there's no problem" and refusing to deal with it is only going to make the fence taller and stronger and more difficult to tear down.

And yes, carolsupporter, I am your Sister in Christ. Thank you for the correction. Does that make my comments any less valid? (That's not directed at you or anyone in particular.) I'm sure in the eyes of some it might, but what I've not observed, both in this matter and at Bellevue in general, are many women taking a strong stand. The men don't always lead, but they certainly seem to "control" things. We need a few more "Carols" who are willing to take a stand.

027 9:14 AM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

carolsupporter wrote:

"could the experience give us a quick lesson on how to delete a comment at a later date?"

If you're asking how to delete your own comment later, just log in, and you'll see a tiny trash can underneath each of your previous comments. Just click on the trash can below the comment you want to delete and follow the instructions on the next page.

028 9:17 AM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

BBC Open Forum (that seems so cold and impersonal!) wrote:

"Update 2: Now this and this strike the right chord."

I just saw those responses. That and that are more like it! I'm encouraged.

029 9:20 AM, October 16, 2006

BBC Open Forum said...

BBC Open Forum (that seems so cold and impersonal!) wrote:

:-) Well please feel free to call me Hebrews 4:12-13 if you prefer. That is what is embossed on the cover of my Bible. If you have not memorized Heb 4:12-13 I highly recommend it.

I'm keeping quiet and trying to be fair and listen to both sides here as one would expect a moderator to be.

030 9:46 AM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Yes, I know that passage well. It's from the same book of the Bible that tells us it's a sin for women to make the coffee - "He-brews." :-)

It would be nice (I think) to hear from some more people.

031 10:24 AM, October 16, 2006

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032 11:07 AM, October 16, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

Given the seriousness of the allegations brought forward by Mark Sharpe, I believe he should have kept his concerns to himself until, at such a time, the evidence to back up his allegations could be presented to the proper individuals, namely, the deacon body. As evidenced by the publication of the deacon's email addresses, no one would be able to stop Mark Sharpe from presenting any evidence or proof of his claims to his fellow deacons, and in a private, confidential manner.

Regardless of the status of Mark's character and the weight of his personal gravitas, I have grave reservations about the fact that Mark is relying on other sources of information and does not appear to have any first hand knowledge of the alleged wrong doing. In what way is it appropriate for Mark to act as a proxy for the unnamed individuals with the "bulk of the evidence?"

Moreover, I have even graver reservations about the manner in which this matter has been pursued. Regardless of intent, the use of the Saving Bellevue website and Josh Manning's blog to communicate still unproven allegations has allowed the concerns of Mark Sharpe to be used in a manner that is divisive, contentious, and inflammatory; and is also allowing others from outside the church (and some within) to hijack the debate and use it for an agenda that is not concerned with reconciliation or truth finding. This, to me, was a serious lapse in judgement and wisdom.

- Josh Tucker

033 11:42 AM, October 16, 2006

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034 11:59 AM, October 16, 2006

BBC Open Forum said...

I know annonymos w/o logging in is risky, but maybe BBC Forum should pray about allowing this type of writer to comment.

It just gets too confusing to follow with multiple people posting as "anonymous". You can't tell if it is one, two or several different people. Way too confusing.

You can always start another Forum and make different rules if you feel strongly about it. It is easy and totally free.

035 12:17 PM, October 16, 2006

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036 12:37 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

BBC Open Forum wrote:

"It just gets too confusing to follow with multiple people posting as "anonymous". You can't tell if it is one, two or several different people. Way too confusing."

I agree. Using screen names keeps people as anonymous as they want to be. If I feel led to sign my name to my comments at some point, I will. But this is the "world wide web," and for now, I choose to remain anonymous. It has nothing to do with my wanting to hide or not having the courage of my convictions. I would have no problem saying anything I might say here to someone face to face, in private correspondence, or on a password-protected site.

You're right. You started this blog, and you're free to set the rules under which it operates. Thank you for your efforts.

037 12:46 PM, October 16, 2006

Mike Bratton said...

"Stepford Sheep" and "Shepherds"?

"Hitler type of leadership"?

The anti-Bellevue invective is getting more and more interesting.

Someone was nice enough to let me know about this little kaffeeklatsch, so I thought I'd stop by.

Imagine my surprise!

Well, let me be completely transparent--I wasn't that surprised.

"Disappointed" would be a much better term.

Oh, and just for future reference, I quote Mr./Ms. On Lyam Ember thusly, and like so: "Our leaders are telling us not to read this site or listen to the mumblings. It is way past that now. The ones that have caused these problems are informing our Sunday School teachers what they are to instruct us. They are the cowards. If they have nothing to hide, they need to defend themselves."

And from (gasp!) an anonymous response to the Commercial Appeal: "Gaines, your walk and your talk are incompatible. It's past time for you to leave. We'll come help you pack. We want a pastor/shepherd, not a dictator who rules with his mafia henchmen."

Out of those four bons mots,

a) Mafia,

b) cowards,

c) Stepfords, or

d) Hitler,

which do you suppose is the worst one? Or do they all possess their own unique charms?

And for those who so generously inquired as to why I've attached a picture of myself to my posts? To facilitate communication. As I attempted to post elsewhere, and did post on my blog:

"Your personal opinions about what should or should not go on at Bellevue--and about who should or should not serve there--don't, frankly, serve as the be-all and end-all.

Yes, I know that's harsh, but it's the truth.

To those who actually signed their names to their remarks, I applaud your fortitude, even if I don't applaud your unfounded attacks.

Do we have perfect people on staff at Bellevue Baptist Church?

No. Neither do we have perfect people in the congrgegation. What we should have are brothers and sisters in Christ who work together, even if some of us don't always get our way.

Have some recent situations been handled as elegantly as they could have been?

Probably not. However, there's been enough inelegance to go around, particularly on the part of people who seize upon the slightest opportunity to point at a staff memeber and scream "Off with his head!"

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Seriously--go back and examine what you're saying and writing.

If you can't see the problem, go back and examine it again, because it's there.

And if you want to discuss this in greater detail, I'm incredibly easy to find."


038 12:49 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

carolsupporter wrote:

"I know Everytime my wife agrees with me I feel important."

Funny, I thought you were a "sister" for some reason. Anyway, I stand corrected, Brother.

And just so you'll know, you should feel important when your wife agrees with you. It probably means you're right! I'd be more concerned about the times she doesn't agree with you. :-)

039 12:50 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Golly, wonder what took "said blogger" so long to find "us."

I saw several incidences of name-calling in the CA comments, but those could have come from anywhere. I do recall the "Mafia" comment now. I doubt they were from Christians - or at least I hope they weren't. Thank you for quoting the sources on those though.

I have no interest in engaging you in any discussion because you would only tell me my comments have "no merit." Why bother?

040 12:59 PM, October 16, 2006

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041 1:19 PM, October 16, 2006

Mike Bratton said...

"Golly, wonder what took "said blogger" so long to find "us.""

I wasn't attempting to "find" this site. Someone referred me to it, and I see that the same unfortunate behavior that have become the hallmark of the so-called "saving Bellevue" association are in play.

Rather than address issues, you slur those people with whom you disagree. At what point is there a Scriptural command to behave in such a way?

"Mike no thank you!Go attack elsewhere."

Please, quote for me where I've personally "attacked" anyone.

"The meanest comments were from catergory # 2 that told our Members to get out and find another Church."

I don't know that I agree with the sentiment, but is it "mean," or just blunt?

"To all it does not matter to me if you say your name or not,"

It mattered to Adrian Rogers--which is why he rejected out of hand letters sent to him whose authors wouldn't sign their names.

"we know your a real person without a personal agenda. Glorify our awesome God. Fear only Him."

Likening someone with whom you disagree to Hitler or to a Stepford robot glorifies God... how, exactly?


042 1:48 PM, October 16, 2006

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043 2:06 PM, October 16, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

From Nancy Pearcy’s book Total Truth regarding Unity:

“…In Redemption, believers are called to form an actual society--the church--that demonstrates to the world a balanced interplay of the One and the Many [Trinity], of unity and individuality. In John 17:11, Jesus prays for the disciples He is about to leave behind, asking the Father ‘that they may be one, even as we are one.’ Jesus is saying that the communion of Persons within the Trinity is the model for the communion of believers within the church. It teaches us to foster richly diverse individuality within ontologically real relationships. ‘The Church as a whole is an icon of God the Trinity, reproducing on earth the mystery of unity in diversity,’ writes Orthodox bishop Timothy Ware. ‘Human beings are called to reproduce on earth the mystery of mutual love that the Trinity lives in heaven.’ And as we learn to practice unity-in-diversity within the church, we can bring that same balance to all our social relationships-our families, schools, workshops, and neighbors…”

044 2:30 PM, October 16, 2006

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045 2:37 PM, October 16, 2006

BBC Open Forum said...

John 13: 34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

I have a few suggestions.

1. Let’s not devolve into insulting each other personally.
2. If someone said something inappropriate on another site we don’t need to import it over here. Just leave it over there.
3. Feel free to state your reasons why you think a person’s action – or reaction was appropriate or inappropriate. As an example do you think it was acceptable for a deacon to threaten a lawsuit against a member. Do you think the fence jumping was an issue or no big deal. State your case.
4. There are pleasant and not so pleasant ways in which a person can dissect an argument they disagree with. Aim high and aim for a pleasant tone. Discuss the topic and another person’s position on an issue not the other person.
5. Remain humble and hopeful.
6. Instead of trying to hurt another person's feelings, try not to hurt their feelings.
7. Remember we are human and keep an open mind.
8. Forgive one another.
9. If you do not wish to engage another poster simply ignore them. One sided arguments do not last very long.
10. Try to be constructive and not destructive.
11. Last but not least don't bait each other and give the benefit of the doubt to one another.

I am not talking to anyone, I am talking to everyone including me. Maybe especially me.

046 2:48 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Just applying some logic to this exchange because I've seen similar quotes elsewhere:

carolsupporter: "To all it does not matter to me if you say your name or not,"

mike bratton: "It mattered to Adrian Rogers--which is why he rejected out of hand letters sent to him whose authors wouldn't sign their names."

1. No disrespect to Dr. Rogers, but "carolsupporter" isn't the reincarnation of Adrian Rogers. CS was stating his opinion, not filtering it through what Dr. Rogers thought. (Or maybe he was and decided he didn't agree with Dr. Rogers. I shouldn't try to say what filters CS used.) I admired Dr. Rogers greatly and found myself in agreement with him most of the time, but he was human and not infallible. Wise, learned, and from everything I've seen, humble and Godly, but not perfect.

But rather than asking ourselves, "What would Adrian Rogers do?" we might want to ask ourselves (to quote an oft-used but timeless cliche), "What would Jesus do?" We all fall short of that standard, but at least I hope that's the standard we're striving to meet.

2. There's a big difference between an anonymous personal letter or e-mail and posting a comment on a public forum for all the world to see. I would reject anonymous personal correspondence, too. (Someone even coined a term for the electronic version of it. It's called "spam.") But putting personally identifying information in forums like this is a matter of personal safety and privacy, not not wanting to take credit for your statements. (Feel free point out my use of the double negative in that last sentence. I said what I meant and meant what I said.)

047 2:53 PM, October 16, 2006

BR said...

Don't let Mike Bratton fool you, he knew exactly where this site is and has been playing "Rush Limbaugh" for some time now. His website and subsequent comments are self-serving in his efforts to promote a truly subversive and scandalous attempt to exert a nefarious influence that may extend far more widely than his own individual actions. How's that sound Mike, since you are the "big word" guy out there! We love you anyway-in Jesus' name!

048 3:01 PM, October 16, 2006

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049 3:19 PM, October 16, 2006

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050 3:30 PM, October 16, 2006

BBC Open Forum said...

BBC are you male or female, not that it matters, just curious.

Hint: If lost I will never ever stop and ask for directions.

...Yes, I know that passage well. It's from the same book of the Bible that tells us it's a sin for women to make the coffee - "He-brews."

Now that we have started down this road...

Q: What is the only state mentioned in the Bible?

A: Arkansas - Noah built an Arkansas it was good.

051 3:40 PM, October 16, 2006

ilovebbc said...

Carolsupporter, an announcement was made at the end of the 11:00 service yesterday that forms to be used for submitting questions to the deacon committee are available at the Events Registration Center.

On another matter, I just have to ask if anyone has noticed that "countryboy" has a post on Mark Sharpe's blog - or maybe it's Josh Manning's Blog - -about Bellevue's Discovery class.

Do you remember many, many years ago when Dr. Rogers began the Pastor's Discovery Class? It was primarily designed for new members to teach them the basics of the Christian faith and help them become familiar with Bellevue's ministries and how they might find their place in our church. Well, since the Pastor retired and died, I believe now they just call it the Discovery class and it's taught by Joe Jernigan. Just on the basis of what he's read on the Sharpe blog, countryboy is making assumptions about what's going on at our church. Without even doing any investigating on his own, he's taking all the comments regarding Bellevue cecoming a PD church at face value as if it's gospel truth. Evidently, according to countryboy, at Rick Warren's church, new members go through something called a Discovery 301 class, which he claims teaches New Age philosophies. This is what he has to say about Bellevue's Discovery class (which he is mistakenly also calling Discovery 301) . . . . . . . . . . .

"You will see Steve Gaines is turning Bellevue into a Purpose Driven church regardless of what he says. Discovery 301 class is teaching Doctrines of Demons from New Age spiritualist Carl Jung.

I think it is of the utmost urgency that you warn your fellow Bellevue Baptist Church members to help save your church. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST!

By promoting Rick Warren's version of a healthy church such as forcing members to take Discovery 301 Class to be members of Bellevue Baptist Church, which is based on Carl Jung demon spirit Philemon temperament divination, Steven Gaines is hardly promoting what Jesus Christ deems to be a healthy church."

Now, folks I ask you - - -do you really feel like Joe Jernigan, let alone, Steve Gaines, would be involved in anyting like that?

052 3:48 PM, October 16, 2006

Mike Bratton said...

"Don't let Mike Bratton fool you, he knew exactly where this site is"

Ah. So, I lied when I said I found out about it today?

Since I always appreciate facts, here's one--the note I received regarding this forum. And I quote it thusly, and like so:

"Anonymous said...


It looks like your blog is upsetting some people. Check out http://bbcopenforum.blogspot.com/

I think they have referenced you.

1:12 PM, October 16, 2006"

Any other personal disparagements you'd like to engage in, whoever you are?

"and has been playing "Rush Limbaugh" for some time now."

That, on the other hand, is quite a compliment, and I praise God for it!

"His website and subsequent comments are self-serving in his efforts to promote a truly subversive and scandalous attempt to exert a nefarious influence that may extend far more widely than his own individual actions. How's that sound Mike, since you are the "big word" guy out there! We love you anyway-in Jesus' name!"

You do realize, do you not, that the word "nefarious" means "wicked"?

And it's loving to just call me a liar without a shred of proof?

In what way?


P.S.: You people do realize, do you not, that every time you ignore the issues and attack others who have the temerity to disagree with you that you violate the Biblical template the so-called "saving Bellevue" cadre supposedly embraces?

053 4:06 PM, October 16, 2006

Phil said...

There are many good points on this blog. I am very heartened to see attempts to be civil, honest, and sincere.

I have read most, if not all on the three websites. When folks make a point and use characters in movies or movies themselves, sometimes I don't understand the point. For example, "the Stepford Wives, or shepherd, or sheep" illustration went right over my head. I know there was a book or movie called "The Stepford Wives" but have no idea what it was about. My point is, I would like to hear examples from scripture, not movies that are make believe entertainment.

Does that make sense?

054 4:06 PM, October 16, 2006

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055 4:32 PM, October 16, 2006

ScaredOfTheTruth? said...

The following post was a comment I entered on Mike Bratton's site. For reasons known only to him, he chose not to post it. I imagine that he won't be able to resist responding now that he isn't the only outlet of (dis)information:

Hi Mike,

Sorry to be anonymous, but my parents still attend Bellevue, as they have for over 40 years, and I do not want to bring them any undue stress over what is admittedly a very difficult situation.

I, too, am a former Bellevue member and grew up in the church site off Union before it moved to Cordova. I live out of state now, but keep up with the various goings on in Memphis through friends still living there.

While admittedly Mark Sharpe has not done everything right--a fact I'm sure he be the first to admit--as an outsider looking in (and the member of a local megachurch myself), it does seem to me that there is culpability on both sides. Your site, while claiming to try and balance what you perceive as inaccuracies and distortions posted on the savingbellevue site, seems to have taken the tone that there could not possibly be any impropriety taking place among the leadership at Bellevue. My question is: how can you possibly know that? It is highly unlikey that Pastor Gaines is going to stand up on a stage and admit any wrongdoing, short of his somewhat arrogant attempt (again, in my opinion) to downplay the fence-climbing incident by using his brand of sarcastic humor to act as if his only concern was the good of the church. There is simply no excuse for what those 4 men did. They could have used the phone, tried to set up a meeting, done a thousand other things than what they did.

There was NEVER any hint of impropriety during the tenure of Dr. Rogers in all the years I was a member there. The biggest difference I have seen (and heard from others) in the time Pastor Gaines has been there has been the fact that to Adrian, it was all about the Gospel. He preached, people showed up, and souls were saved. How does that need fixing? Pastor Gaines has most certainly engaged in the "Culture Crashing" that has been referred to. There has been absolutely no respect for what came before him. To me, that strikes at the core difference. An outsider would immediately say that it's all about Pastor Gaines. Both in his style and his demeanor, he simply comes across as a sideshow performer who enjoys hearing himself talk.

In the end, I admit it is possible that nothing improper has ever happened, financial or otherwise. But the question remains, why should there be ANY secrets in a church? What shouldn't everyone know what every staff member--including the Pastor--makes? It IS the business of the membership because it is THEIR stewardship that allows every staff member to have his or her job. If everyone has the clean hands they claim, they would not be afraid to have 100% transparency--not just the illusion of it.

My prayers go out to you and rest of the membership of Bellevue in the hope that this difficult time will pass and that Bellevue will return to its former place of high regard in the church community, but it will take more doing on the part of the leadership and a lot less talking to get it done.

God Bless

056 4:36 PM, October 16, 2006

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057 4:45 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

carolsupporter wrote:

"Does anyone have the names and e-mails or however you get in Touch with the New Communications Committee. I would hope this committee is working with Carol Pemberton. I would like to communicate with them also.10 Deacons and 2 Staff"

I haven't seen a list of the committee members anywhere although they may be listed on the form they talked about Sunday, but just going by memory, I know it included David Coombs, Chuck Taylor, and Harry Smith. Good luck! (I have good reason to believe the latter might be your best bet.) You know where to find the e-mail addresses of Taylor and Smith. It also included at least one of the deacons who has the same last name as another because I remember they distinguished between them, but for the life of me I can't remember which one it was.

Just an observation... there seem to be several families with more than one member on the deacon list. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, and those with common last names probably aren't even related, but just to give an example, there are three named "Vander Steeg."

058 5:04 PM, October 16, 2006

BR said...

Any person seeking membership into the fold at BBC is not a member until they complete the new member's class. It is a requirement. They can be saved and baptized, but their names are NOT added to the membership roll until they complete the class. I do not know if the class contents have changed since Dr Rogers (not Rodgers) has been gone or not, but I can with certainty say that JJ would not compromise the Word for anybody.
And Mike, I know what nefarious means, and to fail to show respect to the body of Christ is most certainly wicked. How would you like it if the pastor called you an 'evil adversary' from the pulpit? Does that sound like respect and brotherly love to you? But, like I said, we still love YOU brother, In the name of JESUS.

059 5:34 PM, October 16, 2006

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060 5:35 PM, October 16, 2006

BBC Open Forum said...

Congratulations to ilovebbc on a nice post. You gave background to support your thought process and opinion and made your case in a nice way and addressed countryboy without insulting him. You addressed and dissected his position, not him personally. Bravo. Gold Star.

Phil – Good point. I prefer to hear examples from scripture. If that makes someone go read their Bible to find an example then that is wonderful.

Scaredofthetruth? – Your post was fine but no need to bait Mike in the preamble. He can read and respond if he chooses. His blog is his blog and he is free to control and screen comments over there as he sees fit.

To everyone:
I don’t screen any posts here - yet. I thought about it but decided not to. If you post something it will show up. You can always use the little trash can to delete it if you wish. If anyone is mean-spirited as a poster it will reflect on them and not me – heck no one even knows who I am (hint: I’m not Steve Gaines or Mark Sharpe).

Anyway, I hope you will think before you pop off a firecracker post. If you would not say it out loud at a church social then don’t type it. If we start getting a bunch of posts from obvious teenage non BBC trolls and spammers then I guess I’ll enable moderation. For that reason it is best if we don’t link to this place. Linking can draw the worst type of troll. Feel free to tell your fiends or email them, but links will draw non BBC youngsters that just want to make fun, fight and cause trouble. The Amalekites of the internet if you know what I mean (how about that one Phil?!).

061 5:40 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

Yeah, CS. That was my thought when they announced who was on the committee -- how objective can they be? But seriously, try Harry Smith. I think maybe he's beginning to see some things more clearly. Or maybe not, but I have it from a reliable source that might be the case and just think he might be more receptive to you.

Didn't it seem to you he was the least comfortable of the four who spoke after the September 24th service? I got the distinct impression he'd rather have been just about anywhere besides standing on that stage speaking.

062 5:48 PM, October 16, 2006

Mike Bratton said...

For the record, "scared," that's the first time I've seen your comment.

Please--cite an example of disinformation, would you?

And while I'm asking, "br," please cite an example in this fun little thread (much less in the total volume of work) where someone sharing the so-called "saving Bellevue" mindset has apologized for a slur.


063 5:54 PM, October 16, 2006

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064 6:00 PM, October 16, 2006

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065 6:03 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

I'm glad someone mentioned the Discovery Class. Has anyone taken it recently? Did it look anything like this?

That covenant on page 63 would make me squirm. In fact, I wouldn't sign something like that. (See Matthew 5:33-37.)

The "Spiritual Gifts" and "Temperament" surveys on the Bellevue.org site sound like something straight out of a psychology textbook and/or the PDC playbook. I hate tests like that. I did hold my nose and take the ones on the Bellevue.org site three times (several months apart), just out of curiosity, and I got three different "recommendations." I really don't put much stock in things like this. I figure at my age (I'm knocking 50) I know my strengths and weaknesses without having to take a test to validate and pigeonhole them.

In fact, I have a real problem with requiring all new members to take any kind of class. By all means, offer new member classes for those who are interested, especially for new Christians, but when did taking a class become a requirement for membership in any Southern Baptist church for someone moving his letter from another SB church?

066 6:14 PM, October 16, 2006

BR said...

If I have offended you, please accept my apologies. I did not mean to "slur' you or your work. I was playfully trying to lighten the mood after your lengthy post. No one here has a "so-called saving bellevue" mindset. We are seeking answers for legitimate questions, and we have that right, just as you have the right to host your own blog and put what ever you want to on it. As far as my "proof" of the extent of your knowledge - I know you Mike and I know how you think and how you work. You may have just found out about this particular thread today, but you have know about the CA article since day one and this thread reference is on it. Like I said, I apologize for any "slur" reference you may have absorbed, and now I have said it thrice,
WE still love you brother! In Jesus name.

067 6:19 PM, October 16, 2006

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068 6:44 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

carolsupporter wrote:

"I never took a test and I never will... "

Better watch out, CS. They just might decide to start requiring it for old members who want to retain their membership. After all, we all need to know our S.H.A.P.E., don't we? Refuse to take the test, and you can "go find yourself another church"! Really, I'm only half kidding here.

069 7:32 PM, October 16, 2006

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070 8:02 PM, October 16, 2006

westtnbarrister said...


You asked me to keep you informed about the responses I received from the deacons. Well, today I have heard from six more. Two instructed me not to contact them again. But, interestingly enough, the other four were supportive of my point of view. One of those said matters are beginning to spiral out of control. Another reassured me there are other deacons who share my sentiments. So, of those deacons who have emailed me since Friday, 40%-50% have generally shared my concerns.

What I find most troubling are those who can't be bothered with this. I think that speaks volumes. Isn't this the time their service is most important? Don't they have an obligation to the congregation?

071 8:59 PM, October 16, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

westtnbarrister wrote:

"Isn't this the time their service is most important?"

More like "isn't this the time their service is no longer needed"?

Thanks for the update. I hope, like Santa, you're keeping a list.

072 9:08 PM, October 16, 2006

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073 9:32 PM, October 16, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

It was asked of me yesterday how I thought reconciliation should or could be achieved.

Truthfully, I don't know for sure.

However, I do believe our deacons have a good grasp of the situation at hand, and I think if we leave the issue to the deacons of the church, things will get worked out.

I don't believe Mark has earned the right to have an audience with the pastor, but, I'm not sure how to clear the air without having a meeting of sorts.

I am also concerned that there are individuals who will remain unsatisfied with this matter until there is a public, church-wide meeting, which, I don't believe would be wise to hold considering the sensitive and confidential information that would be discussed. I am concerned, as well, that many people are waiting on Mark Sharpe to be satisfied with any response that is given, and I wonder if he has set his level of expectation too high.

Nevertheless, I'm leaning on and trusting the deacons to handle the matter.

074 4:29 PM, October 17, 2006

Eccl.7:25 said...

I'm sorry but according to the lack of By-laws, I really don't think the deacons can do anything. I hate to say it, but I think the angry responses may be because they are really powerless. They can not do anymore than they are allowed to do by the administration via Chuck Taylor.

The reason the meetings are not taking place is the simple fact that the administration will not let people attend that have the first hand knowledge. If you tell me that your boss is eating red jelly beans, and he said he's not eating red jelly beans and I'm a lier and troublemaker.. I would need you to verify that you told me that.What if he wouldn't let you meet with the both of us? Because then everyone would know who was lying. But... you may lose your job for telling me, truth or not. What is truth worth?

Nothing against red jelly beans. I love them.

075 7:36 PM, October 17, 2006

WasaPK said...

I have tried to NOT get involved with the accusations and what i consider to be "less than Christian" accusations on this site. But, I just cannot stay quiet any more.

Question - have you READ the information on this site lately? It seems to me that the carping and complaining is about MORE than Steve Gaines. MUCH (MOST) of the complaints are about policies and decisions that were made under Dr. Rogers NOT under Steve Gaines. From the references to Rick Warren (part of the original complaints) to financial policies to the diatribe about the personality tests that help people find their spiritual gifts - all were issues of the Roger's administration not the current one.

Many of you claim that you have been here for years and that this is YOUR church. Where were you for the past 10 years as most of the policies and processes were put in place? It is NOT your church - the current leadership was choosen by the church (from deacons to pastor). I am one of those people that say - if you don't like it, please choose to worship somewhere else. As for me and my family, we will choose to stay and support our pastor.

076 7:41 PM, October 17, 2006

Eccl.7:25 said...

Blessed Dr. Rogers...He is no longer here. I know the current administration is trying to bring it back to him, but this is not fair to his family. He cannot speak for himself. We cannot speak for him. Maybe it worked while he was here, but it's not working now.
He was the most fiscally conservative man I knew, when it came to the Lord's money.. Craig Parker comes in second.
The way each person operates is different. We need to set up accountabilty.

077 8:12 PM, October 17, 2006

WasaPK said...

You missed the point - the comments were not about Dr. Rogers. It was to make the point that it should NOT be about Steve Gaines. If you want to change the policies then please do so without dragging our current pastor through the mud. By-the-way, I agree with your assessment of Dr. Rogers - what an amazing man. But in lifting him up, I also lift up Steve Gaines. If I remember correctly Dr. Roger's said something like, "I knew all along that Steve was the one God had for our church." That was and is enough for me....

078 8:27 PM, October 17, 2006

ilovebbc said...

Thank you wasapk for your 7:41 p.m. post!!! I was taking temperament surveys at Bellevue in Church Training on Sunday nights back in the 70's. Was Rick Warren even a teen-ager then? Dr. Rogers is the one who went somewhere and saw praise teams and liked them and asked Jim Whitmire to do it at Bellevue, or at least that's what many choir members have always told me. We've had the big screens since 1989. We haven't used the hymn books in years. What drastic changes has Bro. Steve made in Policy & Procedures in his year with us? I think many Bellevuers know what all the issues were at GBC before they split and are so afraid Bro Steve is trying to do to us what Sam Shaw wanted to do there, that they are paranoid and thinking it is happening to us or will soon. Surely nobody thinks Bro Steve waters down the Gospel. The PD church of Rick Warren might have some New Age Discovery 301 class but again, we've had our Discovery class for many years and it was begun by Dr. Rogers. It is not teaching new members some New Age philosophy as some non-Bellevue member claims. I know I'm not privy to all the inside info that some may have but I just don't see all the drastic changes that many keep referring to, except for the music and Dr. Rogers warned us in his last series of messages that our next preacher might have different tastes in music and other things and that those things do not matter - we should love him and follow him. Yes, I know he's been accused of doing some things that might cause some not to want to follow him but I'm thinking by now if there was any absolute proof - copies of receipts, copies of expense reports, etc., Mr. Haywood would have gotten hold of them and posted them on his web site for the entire world to see. So I just can't see taking this as far as it's gotten based solely on allegations. Yes, I know they admitted climbing over the fence. I know many won't agree with me but if my Pastor wants to climb over a fence to come see me instead of calling me to let him in the gate, I wouldn't be upset enough about it to bring it before the entire church and ultimately ask for his resignation.

079 8:01 PM, October 18, 2006

iwasthere said...

A reminder to ilovebbc - Dr. Rogers/Jim Whitmire used praise teams only in services where there was no choir.

080 8:36 PM, October 18, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

Nevertheless, there are multiple good ways to organize the music for a worship service or church related event. There's not one particular style that is inherently the best. Musical tastes and preferences run the gamut with Christians.

Fifty years ago, the use of a drum set, even within an orchestral setting, would have been frowned upon if used during a worship service. Church musical style has changed over the centuries, and differs from church to church. Musical expression and creativity is a gift from our Creator, and we shouldn't become too locked in with one style or preference.

081 7:47 AM, October 19, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

As for the "contemporary" music we're hearing now, I have a real problem telling one song from another. To my ear, there's no discernable melody to most of them, and they all sound alike. And some affect me the same way fingernails on a blackboard affect other people. They make me cringe. Case in point about so many of them sounding alike: Sunday night we watched the service live on the internet, and they sang a contemporary song followed by another contemporary song. As they began singing the second one, my mother turned to me and said, "That's the same song they just sang!" It wasn't, but it did sound the same.

I've noticed at Bellevue that when they sing one of these tuneless contemporary songs a lot of people aren't joining in. They don't know the words, and trying to follow the tune is difficult at best. On the other hand, when the words to a hymn or really pretty newer song (there are some) are flashed on the screen, nearly everyone heartily joins in. Doesn't that say something?

And while we do have a "blended" service, when we sing a hymn, we usually just sing a verse or two, but when we sing a contemporary song we sing all 7 words all 11 times -- and sometimes a few more.

I can't remember ever leaving a worship service with the words or melody of a "contemporary" song playing in my mind. You know, one of those songs, when you hear it, you can't get it out of your head? I'd be hard pressed to tell you the words to most of these songs, much less remember the melodies. On the other hand, I'll sometimes have a hymn or a John W. Peterson song playing endlessly in my mind for days. And I know I'm not alone.

082 9:00 AM, October 19, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

Nota, believe me, I have many of the same critiques as you. The problem with a lot of modern praise and worship songs is that the arrangements are often musically simplistic. Moreover, there is the repetitive tendency. A good arranger can get around this though.

Many of these songs were written and arranged to be played by one guy with a guitar using only simple chord structures.

083 9:46 AM, October 19, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...

> The problem with a lot of modern praise and worship songs is that the arrangements are often musically simplistic.

...not to mention theologically simplistic.

Example: The song I Am a Friend of God was described by one writer on the second page of this forum thread as "like a song that a kindergardner would sing. It makes God seem like our pal Jake that we hang out with at McDonald's." I am NOT saying I necessarily agree with his assessment of that particular song, just that a lot of contemporary Christian music seems to fit into that category.

That same thread covered a lot of topics that have timely relevance to what's happening at Bellevue.

Rick Warren says, "New songs say God is doing something awesome." Well, God is and always will be doing something "awesome" somewhere, but in my opinion that word has been diluted in modern vernacular to the point where it doesn't mean much any more. It used to be a word reserved for describing God. Today it's just as likely to be used to describe a movie, a book, a video game, a tattoo, or a pair of ripped, faded, hip-hugger, high-water jeans that expose the nether regions (and probably an awesome tattoo on said regions) of the person wearing them should s/he happen to bend over a little too far.

084 10:40 AM, October 19, 2006

westtnbarrister said...

Below is the link to an article by Dr. John MacArthur on the topic of worship music.


I don’t know that I fully agree with his assessment, but anything Dr. MacArthur writes deserves consideration. One passage I do agree with: “And incidentally, my own assessment is that the style in which music is written today isn’t really the biggest problem with contemporary music. Styles change. Bad church music isn’t bad just because it is “contemporary.” But the content of the lyrics is what reveals most graphically how low our standards have slipped.”

Dr, Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Thelogical Seminary recently wrote this about the King James Bible:

“It's not just the beauty and majesty of the KJV that I miss. Nor is it, I think, just nostalgia. It is the continuity between generations. There's something about the beauty, the majesty, and the continuity between generations about the KJV that is sorely missed when it is gone…I know that I'm reading the same words my grandfather preached from fifty years ago, the same words my great-grandparents would have read through the Depression, and my great-great-great grandparents would have read in the aftermath of Reconstruction.

As we move toward the 400th anniversary of the King James Version in 2011, I realize that my children and grandchildren will probably memorize Scripture in something other than the KJV. They'll understand the Bible in a language they can grasp, and that's an important aspect of why I'm a Protestant. So I'm happy about that. But will they know what it is to hear the words, "Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24)?”

I feel much the same way about the change from hymns to contemporary music. I love the intergenerational link the hymns provide. I don’t want us to lose that connectedness that comes from everyone knowing the same songs. These news songs are quickly discarded in favor of other new songs. All too few of us know them. We are already singing different ones than we sung a year or two ago. Some have excellent lyrics, so I don’t want to paint with a broad brush. But how many will last like “It is Well with My Soul” or “Amazing Grace?”

085 10:53 AM, October 19, 2006

notastepfordsheep said...
You nailed it, WTB!

086 3:57 PM, October 19, 2006

ezekiel said...

Josh Tucker makes the following comment:
I don't believe Mark has earned the right to have an audience with the pastor, but, I'm not sure how to clear the air without having a meeting of sorts.

As a member of BBC and more importantly a member of the body of Christ I wonder what I would have to do to earn an audience with the pastor? What steps do I have to take? What social status do I have to have? How much money do I have to contribute? Do I have to be staff or a Deacon? Is he so high up there that I have to earn the right to an audience with the Pastor?

Deacons that won't Deac, Ministers that spew hate, Murmuring members willing to cast the first stone.......

Ephesians 4-5:17 spells out pretty clearly how we are to act as a church body. Especially 4:1-19, 4:29-32 and 5:12.

The Rick Warren stuff preceded Pastor Gains. Why are we just now getting upset about it and blaming it all on our Pastor?

According to Romans 8:28 even this mess will work to glorify our Savior if we abide in him and He abides in us.

I personally don't think that anything done in secret is good for our church. Eph 5:9-13 and
I know it is not good for our church to have Deacons that don't want to be contacted concering church matters. From what we have seen, we have 2 out of 8 deacons that respond with apropriate love?

Maybe what we are seeing now is Ephesians 5:26. May Jesus scrub us with the word until we are presentable with all spots and wrinkles pressed firmly out. AMEN

087 3:06 PM, October 20, 2006

Josh Tucker said...

Ezekiel, specifically I was referring to bringing forward allegations of financial misconduct, nothing more. Mark Sharpe already had access to the pastor near the beginning in this dispute.

Also, although Bellevue once participated in a SBC wide Purpose Driven Life program, Bellevue is not a Purpose Driven Church by any stretch of the imagination.

Corellation without causation is to blame for any belief that Warrenism is alive and well at Bellevue.

088 3:21 PM, October 20, 2006

stillwaitingandwatching said...

*ANY* deacon that does not have a heart for restoration or reconciliation, no matter which side of the fence (pun intended) they are on, has no business serving us!! Period. I am absolutely SICK and TIRED of the "if you don't like it leave" mentality. This statement should not be handed out so flippantly. They have NO idea who they might actually be saying this to. Think about it!!!!

089 7:08 PM, October 23, 2006

New BBC Open Forum said...

Link to Carol Pemberton letter referenced in October 14, 2006, 11:03 PM comment above.